Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Awakening

I desperately need to write something about 'The Awakening' myself. I've read so many reviews and even Melissa's own take on the CD, but I have never really talked about every song on the CD.

First gotta tell you that I love absolutely every album Melissa's ever gotten out, though it depends on my mood. 'Skin' and 'Lucky' tie on the top of my favorite album list, because I can't pick just one. Skin is telling a story, about the beginning of her break up, and how she goes through all the bads, through the healing, and then the glorious 'I Want To Be In Love'. And I swear 'Live and Alone' is the coolest concert ever. Well, of course it's because my idea of 'cool' is intimate and connected, not a concert with millions of audience and huge stage and all.

Lucky is a celebration - and dammit, I love celebrations! Especially if it's a celebration of love. When I'm happy and content I listen to Lucky. I love both albums for a clearly different reason, you see.

But 'The Awakening' is the 'deepest' of all Melissa's albums. She's one of the strongest and bravest people I've ever known - dead or alive. Best of all, a strong, brave person with a sense of humor, oh and of course with a killer musical skills. Anyway, let's go.

1. All There Is
The first time I heard this, it was kinda like one of 'Xena' soundtrack. Then the music is kinda taking me to outer space. Then Melissa's voice went in, "All there is, is atoms and space. Everything else is illusions." I always take this song as a kind of 'prayer', and like a mantra to take the audience to a state where the other songs are gonna be. It's a mesage about the truth, afterall, that too often we are worried about this and that, when those are just illusions.

2. California
This is a very Melissa-ish song. Right from the very first strum. I always think of it as a very hopeful song. "I took my family's burden, and strapped it to my chest. A few hundred bucks, and a kiss for luck, and I pointed my dreams west." My favorite part is when she sings, "I will find my love, I will know my peace, I will seek my truth, I am almost free." That was exactly the state where I was when I first listened to this song!

3. An Unexpected Rain
One of the most annoying thing about Melissa, and Bruce Springsteen too, for that matter, is that when I first hear their song, I might not like it, but the song kinda stuck in my head, and it plays over and over and over until I finally 'get' it, then I just have no choice but liking it in the end. This is a very bluesy song, slow and very fitting to be heard alone in a darkened room when it's raining outside. It's about a lover that got suicidal after Melissa left without saying goodbye. I know Melissa made her mistake, but I love her even more for admitting it out loud. How many people do that, huh? Especially in the celebrity world?

4. Message To Myself
One of the most loveable song ever written. Really, this song can easily be liked by anybody. The song is catchy and the message is clear. "I'm sending out a message to myself so that when I hear it on the radio, I will know that I am fine, I will know that I am loved." "It's funny how you find just what you seek, love is what you get when love is what you speak." "It's funny what you fear can make you weak, truth is what you get when truth is what you speak."

5. God Is In The People
The title says it all. God is in the people. The lyric is only about four short lines or so anyway.

6. Map of The Stars
I'm amazed if she doesn't get a lot of shits from fellow celebrities for this. It's about a girl wanting to be a star, then can't hold the pressure of being famous, and then the circle of life bringing us back to a girl in her hometown who sees her in a magazine and wants to be a star just like her. It's a very very positive message. Well, every song in this album holds a positive message, anyway.

7. Threesome
This is the most intriguing title when I first saw the track list. Oh my God! Threesome?! I thought she lives a very beautiful life now with her family and therefore there's no need to do this kind of stuff! After listening to the song, though, and of course after I read the story behind the song, I laugh out loud. "I don't wanna have a threesome, I don't wanna sleep with nobody else. I don't wanna be a swinger, I'd rather keep you all to myself." Aaah, she's who I think she is. I love this song, especially the part when she laughs! It's so cute.

8. All We Can Really Do
"All we can really do is love one another." That's all the lyric to the song. Clear as the day, isn't it?

9. I've Loved You Before
Damn, just when I think I couldn't love this woman more, she wrote another romantic song with a lyric that can make any romantic poet droll in envy. I love 'Sleep', I want to use 'When You Find The One' on my wedding day, I dropped tears to 'It Will Be Me', and this one leaves me speechless. Beautiful, beautiful words, absolutely love the lyrics, and the music is so soft and lazy... like being content in a relationship and wanting nothing more. And isn't that how you're suppossed to feel when you live your ever after with your soulmate?

10. A Simple Love
A short song like the other ones, but this one is my favorite. "It's a simple love that holds us together. It's a simple truth that sets us free. There's a place we're bound and they call if forever. It's a simple love between you and me." It's a simple song, but you can't deny the beauty of that song. Definitely will enter my list of songs to be played on my wedding day. Lol.

11. Heroes and Friends
"You can't take a trip if you don't first say goodbye, you can't find a star if you don't look up in the sky. You can't find the light if you don't know where the dark ends, and you can't change the heroes and friends." This song makes me think of Melissa herself, cause she's my hero, and is like an imaginary friend to me. She taught me so much about life yet she's not like a mentor to me. She's more like an inspiration, like a friend. She's my hero and friend. And with this song, she inspires me to just grab the bull by its horns, something I don't do much. Not because I'm scared, usually, just because I'm too lazy if it's not of a great importance.

12. The Kingdom of Heaven
It's one of the 'WHOA' song. Whoa, that she even DARES to sing it in public at all. Especially about the suicidal religious 'martyrs' (martyrs are usually for those who died for the greater good. These ones just died simply for hatred. Stupid people, I always say.). "He strapped all his desperate pain and his faith to his body, and blew them away." And the most beautiful statement of religion I've ever heard: "My God is love, my God is peace. My God loves you, my God loves me." As simple as that.

13. Open Your Mind
This song affected me more in the beginning than it affects me now. Now it only leaves me chanting its "Work eat sleep, work eat sleep, work eat sleep,... suffocating my delight." But I love the message, again: "How come there's so many people willing to suffer, so they get up and suffer everyday. They think we were put on this earth to suffer, and by God, they're gonna suffer until they suffer their lives away." "If my choice is despair or wonder on the line between truth and belief, do I just let the tide take me under or do I let the fascination come on and rain on over me?"

14. The Universe Listened
"There's something wrong, we don't start living until we almost die." I love the title of this song ever since I read it on the track list. This song is pretty much Melissa's biography, how she wants fame and fortune, "Make a deal, hearts to steal, they will know my name. I'll pay the price, any price, just give me the fame." She got fame and fortune. Then she asked for love, "A perfect song, my love is wrong, so I ate the dark. The hero closed, the story goes on, but I hate the part. I chose to fall, destroy it all, but I will rise again. I believe in love, please send me love, and I will try again." And she got love. Now she wants her message to be heard, and she got that, actually, remember 'The Incovenient Truth' and 'I Need To Wake Up'?

15. Imagine That
As much as I love the message in this song, this is the only song I can't like. Maybe just because of the melody. Huh.

16. What Happens Tomorrow
The first song I liked from this album, because I heard it on live earth, of course. "If not now, WHEN? If not today, then, what about tomorrow? What happens tomorrow?" Such a simple thing, AGAIN, yet holds all the importances possible. I have no idea how many people have shed tears when they hear this song, especially Americans, because it deals more with American's politic.

17. Not Tonight
I just HAVE to include this song. I love this song so much. It's PERFECT to be sung on stage, especially given the connection Melissa has with her fans. I can't help but laugh out loud when I first heard "So my sweet friends, speka true, be strong. Keep on believing we are right where we belong. You know I'd love to sing you, just one more song... (the audience applauded and cheered) ...but not tonight, not tonight (awwwwwwwwww!)" Damn, it's so cute!!! "Not tonight, I have to get back home. My baby's' waiting and it's been so long. The bowl is empty, the candies're all gone. So not tonight, I've gotta bring some sugar home."

I can't wait for her new Christmas Album this September 30th! I bet I'll love it. 'A New Thought For Christmas'... I really can't wait to see what she has next for 'Fearless'!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Scared of Being Afraid

Damn, I'm in a huge trouble here.
I feel so at lost of words to describe how I feel right now. Maybe I can try a bit. Hm...
Today I'm really really happy. Not giddy happy, but content happy. Finally I can go back to the trees and the sand again. I can stay there for hours just in silence... but since today I was accompanied by the person I want to get to know the most, I think I just can't be silent all the time.
But underneath that happiness there are two huge worries haunting me. The first one is of being in love, because if that indeed happens, it will consume much of my time and my mind, and if it's not requited, it will be much worse for my sanity while dealing with work and thesis. The second one is of my thesis, cause I haven't even got the topic until now.
You see, I can't just have a 'light' crush. When I like someone, I get to know them better, then if getting to know them makes me don't like them anymore, that's it. I forget them. But it can also grows into love. And that's always dangerous. When you're in love, what do you feel? Do you feel like you want to be with them all the time? Do you feel everything is a little bit better everytime you see their smile? Do you feel down after you say something stupid to them or having a bad conversation or even fight with them? It doesn't matter if it's one-sided or requited, the basic feelings are the same, I think. If it's requited, though, you have to work even harder to make it work and if it's not requited, well, being heartbroken isn't a nice feeling.
I may be just a little bit obsessed with making sure that when I fall in love with someone, it can work. Means that the feeling is to someone who is sane, healthy, has a strong character, and has positive energy about them, so that if it indeed works, it can lasts until forever. I was in love once with a girl that I knew even then wouldn't be the one for me. I did fall in love with her but even when I was in love with her I knew it wouldn't be for ever after. I did end it before it had a chance to start and though until now I sometimes think of her, I knew deep inside that I made the right choice.
I know what kind of person I want as much as I know I want to get married, have children, and live a good life. I find most of what I want in her... at least from what I see in her. That's what scares me now. Willingly or not, I'm almost falling in love with her, and I'm scared even more for not knowing if the feeling is requited.
Well, for now I'm just gonna go to sleep, not for running away from troubles, but it's 4 am already. I'll take it one step at a time. We'll see where the road leads me to. Good wishes are accepted happily, though, so feel free to send me some. Haha.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dear Diary

Ok, this is not my diary but what I'm gonna tell right now is about what happened today, so it's kinda like a diary entry. It's kinda boring and I don't know why I'm so in mood to post this, while actually I can write it in my own personal offline blog. Like usual, though, I think I'm gonna ignore reasons and just go with the feelings.

The first thing I'm gonna tell you is about my dream. It's like a fairy tale dream, with the set of Lord of The Ring. Yes, with the fantasy forest and all. With waterfall, I think, cause there's a wide river nearby. I should've written this hours ago when it's still new cause now I've forgotten all the details, just the main storyline. I was some sort of hero in this story (no protest allowed! It's my dream, afterall), who fell in love with a beautiful princess, who is engaged and to be married to an evil man. How classic is that? Of course, she fell in love with me too, and then we both had to fight against that evil man and his soldiers. At the fight she got shot by an arrow and collapsed, and I had to carry her on my shoulder to the forest. The funny thing is, the dream had two endings (I woke up after the first ending, then I slept again and the story went back to this scene. Weird, I know). The first ending was that she died in my arms... it was a little bit more romantic, though, and then I put her on the water in the river. Then I woke up and went back to the scene when I carried her to the forest... she died, too, but this time I felt no lost or panic. I lowered her to the water, below her first dead body (again, weird!) and the two bodies became one and she was alive again, we hugged and kissed and that's when I woke up for real... and just minutes after, I got a phone call from a real girl I like. Anyone can tell me what this dream means? It wasn't like I dreamed about the girl I like. The girl in my dream was pretty, tiny (how else could I have carried her?), and rather dependent. The girls I like in real life are always beautiful, strong, independent, and mostly the ones I couldn't carry. Hehe.

Okay, the next story was about tonight. Well, not necessarily about tonight's tonight, but about one girl in particular. Damn, I don't even know my feelings anymore. This is the first time I don't fall in love at the first sight. Well, I met her on my first day here so I think that counts as 'first', but then I actually felt a little bit annoyed by her. Then as time goes by... perhaps a week or so... I started to see her in a different way, that maybe her annoying way is a part of her kindness, you know. And damn, she's so kind. That hits the weakness in me. I really couldn't resist kindness. I always fall to kindness. It also defines my orientation pretty well, cause there is this one man here who is soooooo kind, and yet I'm not attracted to him at all. Well, of course I like him a lot because he's kind, but not the way I'm attracted to this girl. The turn-off, though, is in the fact that though she's pretty gayish, I think it's possible that she likes my friend more. And plus, as far as she knows, she's straight. That really is annoying. I was once in a position where I got the feeling that the girl I liked was into me, too... but then she ran back to her religion and shutted me out. That hurt, cause it wasn't that she didn't like me, it's because she's scared. I was scarred too, I just didn't run away. Crap. Well, now I still have no idea how I feel about her. I still have one year to go so I'll take it slow.

By the way, tonight I watched a retro-reviewing on, about If These Walls Could Talk 2. They voiced my thoughts... it is a must-watch movie, for gay or stright alike. Better yet if every straight people is exposed to that movie. Especially the first sequence. By the gods, I think any gay people who watch that feels the same thing: suicidal. Hehe... well, not literally, but technically. It was so painful to watch, especially with the 'it could be you' mantra ringing in your head. No straight people would have to worry about these things... you just have to get married. And oh God... the line of, "You'll never feel this kind of hearbreak (when your husband died) cause you'll never have a husband"... that cuts straight to your heart. But the movie grows into the sexy 70s and comedic 2000. Death turns into birth. Beautiful.

One more thing before I end this bizzare post... I just ran into this quote of Melissa:
"I know whatever darkness that I have, I will have at least as much light."
She never ceases to amaze me... I love her with all my heart and soul... much like maybe some of you love Jesus. Say whatever you want, but it's true that Christians have Jesus, Moslems have Mohammed, so since I'm no part of any religion, why can't I have my Melissa? Oops, this may get a bit heavier. Jesus never sinned, Mohammed is God's hand on earth... but Melissa is just a human being with her flaws. That's exactly why I love her. I know she has her flaws, I know she's in no way totally innocent, but that's what makes her human, and she doesn't shy away from it. "Not so black and white the color of your sin," huh? This quote I really like. I try to focus on my truth, I try to stay positive about everything, but every now and then I lie. Every now and then I envy others. Every now and then I play dirty games. But exactly as she said, whatever darkness I have, I'll make sure I have at least as much light. Without the balance... I don't think anybody can really live as a human being.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm Ryan, But Not THAT Ryan

I'm Ryan, I'm gay, I've ever mutilated a dead chicken's body but I will never mutilate people, ok? And I'm a girl, btw, so relax, I'm not a criminal.

This case really makes me heartbroken. I've just had a talk with my friend about how to increase the visibility of LGBT people in Indonesia so that more people could realize that we're just people. Suddenly I got this information from my friend that this case happened in Indonesia, and the mass media doesn't help cause they interview wrong people. Well, I read and I think it made a quite fair, unjudging articles, but how many people watch TV more? Now in Indonesia we have one more stereotype of gay people: murderer and mutilator. WTF?

I will treat Ryan's case as any other murderer's case: I'll just hope that the laws and justice make the right decision. But I'll play my part in commenting about the psychology issue: stop abusing. I've just posted 'Ellen's Message' some time ago, about how Ellen reminded us that jokes about gay can lead to laughing at gays, and then verbal abuse, and then physical abuse, and then... murder. In that case, it was a straight boy killing a gay boy. In this case it's the gay boy who's the murderer... but the message is still the same, don't you think? I know, I know, there are many other motivations for killing... but at least this one is one of them, and what's wrong in spreading a little more peace in this world?

I'm so sorry that I'm not out yet. I'm proud, I'm loud, but I haven't been out yet. And I'm so sorry that I can't contribute much, especially since I'm now not in Indonesia. I'll be happy, though, to help and contribute in any way I can. For now, though, I'll just keep reading the continuation of this case... reading people's comments and putting some comments in myself... hoping that someone would care enough to read it and open their minds.