Rain on Highway 401

Sometimes I think of someone I knew in the past whom I haven’t been in touch for ages and I’d do a Google search on them, just to see how they’re doing. It’s always good to know when I found that they are doing well. They might not remember me anymore, but I’d be happy for them nonetheless. The last two of such searches I did, however, didn’t bring up very pleasant results.

The first search I did was on a really nice girl I knew from when I was still “blogging” at Diaryland about 7 years ago. Her name was Jenny and she had a diary called Sheepish. This Flickr photoset of her Diaryland artwork came up among the search results, and in the description, the words “in memoriam” caught my eye. Further search revealed that she was murdered in May 2003.

Jenny’s diary always had attractive designs. In fact, she was one of my earliest influences in web design. I always wanted to be able to design as well as she did. We read each other’s diary, and whenever I sounded down, she’d write me an email to try to cheer me up. It saddens me to know that she was no longer around and that she had to die such a tragic death.

The second search I did was on a family friend, a well-known Indonesian artist/painter who, as far as I knew, lived in Yogyakarta, where the recent earthquake was. I just wanted to see if he was okay. This obituary turned up among the results. He already died two years ago, in December 2004. Apparently, his health declined after his gallery caught fire and he lost everything.

I remember visiting his gallery many, many years ago when I was a little girl with my parents and brothers. He was a very friendly man. My parents were really fond of him and I think the feeling was mutual because he gave them a few of his paintings for free. His gallery was obviously his pride and joy. The fire was a tragedy, as was his death.

Learning that someone you knew and liked had died is never easy. I hope they both rest in peace.


Another Call for Help

Indonesia Earthquake: As a people, they already had little – now they are left with nothing

It’s not an exaggeration. Life is already hard as it is for most Indonesians without natural disasters. My own family is no exception. Some nights I just can’t fall asleep because I keep thinking about them and all the crap they have to deal with on a daily basis.
Yogyakarta is one of my favourite Indonesian cities, if not my most favourite. My parents went to university there. It was also the place where I spent my last vacation with my mum, 10 years before she passed away.

I have a cousin who is attending university in Yogyakarta. His family lost contact with him after the earthquake, but now they’ve found out that he’s okay. I also have a friend from university whose family live in the area hardest hit by the earthquake. The whole family survived, but they lost their home, along with around 30,000 other families.

More than 5,000 people have died and even more are injured. Some survivors had to wait two days to get medical help. Some died during the wait. I really don’t know what else to say. The least I can do is post the following links to various charities/organisations that help the earthquake survivors. If you have some money to spare, please make a donation through any of these charities/organisations:

  • Unicef
  • Oxfam America
  • Oxfam Canada
  • CARE
  • Relief International
  • International Medical Corps
  • American Red Cross

Every single penny counts. Thanks for your help.


Wedding Anniversary #1

Wedding Anniversary #1
Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. We spent the day doing the laundry, playing team Cribbage games against Troy’s parents (in which they destroyed us), doing a little thrift store shopping (we finally got a chair for our porch!), having dinner in a fancy restaurant that served bastardised version of Indonesian food (the lobster martabak was really good), and having a romantic (?) walk around the Waterloo Park where we had our wedding ceremony last year. Oh, and I made a video to commemorate the event. Troy looks really cute in the video while I just look downright scary. Next year, the video will have sound. :)
Troy is buying us a new, 19″ flat screen monitor as a wedding anniversary present to ourselves because our old, big ass monitor has been begging for retirement for awhile. We’re planning to buy it tonight. I’m pretty excited about it.
And Troy, me wub yew. :)


Feeling Somber

Blueberry Island

The Victoria Day long weekend was freezing cold. We got rain, snow, and hail. I made a video of when it was snowing on Sunday morning.

Troy and I didn’t make it to Quebec this year because we missed a turn and ended up in Marten River, Temagami area instead. It was the northernmost both Troy and I have ever been in Ontario. We did get to enjoy poutine in a small town (village?) called Field, where everyone speaks French. The poutine was just as authentic as it can get in Ontario. It was a fun trip despite the crappy weather.

Sunday night we learned that the husband of one of Troy’s cousins had passed away. We’re going to his funeral tomorrow. This morning I got the news from one of my brothers that one of my aunts in Indonesia passed away yesterday. She was my mum’s second oldest sister. I like to think that she and my mum are together now. I hope they’re having a good time catching up.


Another Firdamatic Update

Firdamatic: the Design Tool for the Uninspired Webloggers has been updated. The templates should work just fine in Blogspot-powered weblogs, at least until Blogger decided to change something and break the layouts again.
I also made some changes to the templates to make them even more customisable. I made the most changes to the header. Now you need only one header image instead of two. You could even use no image at all since you have the option of having a title text on the header and the header background colour is now configurable.
I was going to add a support blog for Firdamatic, but then I thought about how much I suck at replying to comments and emails so I decided against it. If there was any problem, I’m sure someone would post about it here. So yeah, enjoy!


Still I Push My Barrow All the Day

Apple Blossoms

I don’t know why I’ve been listening to Eli, the Barrow Boy by the Decemberists (mp3) on repeat all morning when it’s making me feel sad and depressed. I truly am a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, we went to a book sale in Elora on Saturday and it was awesome. It worth the 45 minutes we spent standing in line out in the cold. I picked up some fictions that I’d probably never finish reading and some photography books. Troy picked up even more books than I did, including a hardcover copy of the Da Vinci Code that he got for $5. All the books would’ve been half-priced the next day but we couldn’t go because we had to be at Troy’s parents place. We did go there twice last year. I don’t think there was too many good books left the second day anyway. All in all, we picked up some 30-something books — many are hardcover — for $50-something. I think it was quite a good deal.

I really can’t wait for the long weekend, which is the weekend after this weekend. We’re going to drive up to the cottage and spend the weekend with Troy’s parents and brother and sister-in-law. We’re also thinking of doing the trip up to Temiscaming, Quebec to have poutine like we did last year. Sure you can always have poutine anywhere in Ontario, but it’s just not the same! :) I sure hope that the poutine place will still be in business because the next Quebecois town from that one is like many miles away.

In other news, I’m trying to think of ways to make some money to send to my family in Indonesia. My sister-in-law had to have two surgeries a couple of months ago and now they’re deep in debt. Again. I really can’t wait until I get my PR status so I could find myself a job, get a regular income and be able to send some money home regularly. Soon, I hope. Sigh.

I really should go out and take pictures of the Trilliums out in the woods before they disappear for the year, especially since the next several days are going to be rainy. It’s interesting that in the Wikipedia article, they mention that “[w]hile popular belief exists that it is illegal to pick trilliums in Ontario, no such law actually exists.” Hrm. I wonder if it’s true.