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Little Things 44 : Small Talks

Most introverts hate small talks. 
It is one thing that most of us fail to understand. 

I asked my siblings all the time :
Why would someone want to ask about something personal in short meetings?
What I am currently doing? 
When will I get married? Have children ?
How is my family? 
Where I am working at? 
How much is my salary?

All those small talks people usually do when they meet in short time : weddings, bump into one another at supermarket , while waiting bus , etc.

Some say it is a way to avoid being rude for not asking or trying to care. For my opinion, small talks are a bit rude, you know when people ask something personal because it looks nice and it is what everyone does, and silence or not asking anything seems rude. It is much better to just shake hands, smile and ask 'how are you' , in meeting old-old-old friends, people that you use to know in a class you took several years ago, and such than trying to seems like you care. 

Social Interaction for introverts :
They dislike small talk and would rather say nothing than something they feel is insignificant. Although introverts are quiet, they will talk incessantly if they’re interested in the topic. They also dislike being interrupted when they talk, or when they’re working on some project. - Carol Bainbridge
It is something that I found a bit relieving when I feel much much much comfortable for not having to ask anything and trying to keep up in a short conversation. This explains why my mom said my aunts are scared to talk to me because I look uninviting and even several other mums said that too. I know how my aura of "don't-try-to-small-talk-with-me" because I usually see it from people's reaction after I give that aura. Ha. In a way, it is much better if you talk - I just listen, and I'll talk when I feel like talking. 

Waiting for me to ask anything will take probably take so much processing in my mind that it left me exhausted afterwards. I am serious. 

Anyhow, for any introverts who wants to learn the art of small talk, read :
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PS : Mum said "stop making that serious face of yours, smile like your sister". 
I am being myself. 
I am serious.
:D

Muji



If you love bright, modern, simple concept, say hello to Muji. It is a no-brand brand from Japan. Easily said, imagine IKEA for Swedish, Muji for Japanese, I guess Mydin is for Malaysian. Ha. It sells everything from small things like crafts & stationaries, to big things like furnitures and houses

I first found out about Muji from their Muji House while I was feeding my curiosity on small-concept architecture. I guess I fell in love with their brand. 

The first Muji was opened on 1983 in Japan, much older than I am !

There is one Muji in Pavilion, and yeay to another brand new Muji opening soon in Mid Valley this December. There won't be that huge pet store I used to go to anymore, Muji took over those 2 levels shop :D

Here, feed your curiosities :

Ps : Price range is not the same as Daiso though. 

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Book : Yasmin How You Know ?


I borrowed this book from my colleague and finished reading it while on my way back from work months ago. It was mostly short paragraph each and it didn't take so much time to finish. I bought a donut, sat at an empty table faced a lake at TBS, and read it as much as I can. 

Yasmin How You Know ? is published by Leo-Burnett Malaysia. It is a compilation of Pesan-pesan and stories from Yasmin Ahmad or around Yasmin, shared by her family members, her close friends, people who worked with her, and anyone else around her. 

I read the book twice to refresh pages that I loved, before returning it back to the owner. 

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Some of my favorites :

Yasmin on talent to Orked Ahmad ( Yasmin's sister ) :
"God gives everyone the same amount of talent. It's just up to you to korek (dig)."


Yasmin on choosing her causes :
It was just before the 1st Gulf War. I asked Yasmin if she was joining in the anti-war campaign. And her reply, "Anti-war rally? No thank you. But please do let me know if there's a pro-peace effort being organised."

Then she gently explained that focusing on the negative only gives it energy. Trying to prevent wrongs or seeking ways to punish people who have done wrong actually creates more problems.

Instead, she said, focus on the positive. Pour all your energy into doing good.


Yasmin on the Meaning of True Love to Eugune Yong ( a friend & colleague ) :
Me : What is love ?
Yasmin : It's the long we have to know God.
Me : How do you know we found true love ?
Yasmin : The same way we know when our house is on fire. We just know. 

Yasmin on her Secret of Success to Orked Ahmad :
"Work hard, pray hard, and be kind to your parents and do a lot of sedekah but don't tell anyone."
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It's a book I recommend people to read. Go to any major bookstore and buy it. Enjoy it, because there were some pages that make me laughed while at the train station alone. There were some paragraphs that gave me a short pause to think. 

I wouldn't mind having it for my collection, someday. 

PS : What I ask is to try to pause your mind on all the negative speculations existed around her, read this book, enjoy, cherish, think and take all the good things. She is one of great people that existed in this world that deserves to be treated with respect. 

I loved this book. 
4 huge stars ★ 
RM35 / Borders.

Doodle : I am fine ❤


I am just fine.
How about you ?

Travel : Renew Passport


Hello !

My passport will expire on April 2013, so for my next trip this December, I had to renew it. Everyone knows that applying for a passport or renewing one will take time. I don't even like the process myself. There was a time when I was 13, I remember taking a number in the morning and went back home, later that afternoon, I went back to wait for my turn. It was a really slow process. 

So few weeks back, I Googled for online renewal application and found out that someone use this : MyIMMS - eservice. It is not widely known, I just found out about it. So I read the requirement and process slowly and decided to use this way. 

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1) On picture
My brother and I went to take a passport photo, little did we know that we should probably take our own photo at home because the specifications for the photo were some basic rules any graphic based student can easily achieve. Actually I was not satisfied with the amateur photographer aka salesperson at the photo shop that took our photo :
1) She used built-in flash on basic cheap digital camera 
2) She edited my picture using God-knows-what resulting my face looked like I used 1-inch foundation : she just blurred the picture out , and I looked tan. 
So I feel cheated.

See, blurred picture.

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2 ) On application
Requirement : Passport photo & Debit/Credit Card
I filled in the form here and uploaded my picture. I tried to upload my pictures many times because every time I crop it, it will automatically stretch my face a little bit. I hate my distorted face : even though it is not really obvious, I still know a distorted picture when I see one. 
Anyhoo, I applied for 5 years passport - RM 300 and my brother applied for 2 years passport - RM 100 , paid using my Maybank debit card and printed the receipt. 

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3 ) On Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia
Requirement : The printed receipt & Old passport
I went there on Tuesday afternoon and asked someone from the counter on the process. She said I should take a number. So, after I took a number and waited for 1/2 hour, I decided to come again the next day because I was in a hurry. On the second day, very early in the morning, I went back and gave my yesterday's number, she took my new shiny passport and I gave her my digital thumbprints and there ! Exactly 5 minutes time. I am serious. My mom didn't even finished replying her text message.

PS : Try to take a look at everyone serving at counters, they ALL looked the same ! 7 counters,  20-ish women, wearing the exact same outfit, wearing spectacles, and almost the same height and face! :D 

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Here to my next 5 years travel time :



Little Things 43 : A tin of Nescafe


A tin of Nescafe Mocha : 99 kcal.

To burn such calories consumed, there are several mini workouts that you can do.
In average for man & woman :

Walking , 3.5mph - 20 minutes
Jogging / cycling / swimming - 15 minutes
Wash your car - 30 minutes
Ironing - 1 hour straight
Bowling - 45 minutes

So, can you see how much energy you just consumed this morning?
And imagine having to sit for hours in the office after you drink it?

Just a short thought.
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Thought : Apple's New Products


Ever since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple lost its mastermind. Apple is getting weaker. The competition between devices is relentless. Every company is shoving their products to consumers. Every couple of weeks someone I know from my Facebook list will popped up in my apps list - indirectly telling me they are now a tablet or smartphone user. 

On tablets :
Eventhough I am an avid Apple user, honestly I am not a fan of iPad. For me it seems like an obese iPhone. iPhone cathers all the basic things needed in my daily live - why would a person need to have an iPad? The only strong feature I find useful are the ability of an iPad to be used in presentation, work updates to clients, visual interactive portfolio and such - Anything work related. It is huge, I can't even fit it in my handbag. *I would like to own a kindle tho - only for my reading.

So I don't understand why they have to launch something called iPad mini 7 months after the new iPad? Ditto iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5th gen that looked almost exactly like the previous one. 

Although the new iPod nano with built-in pedometer and the new slim iMac are really tempting, other new products seem like a repetition of the previous one.

I feel like I am talking about politic. The politic of brands. Which brand produces better products? The never-ending fights over this topic. Why I am even posting? Because I can't understand why they just launched iPad mini and it troubles my thoughts. I feel like saying, " Are you guys serious,? There's enough over-sized smartphones in the market, why did you guys just launched the doppelgangger of them? " Huh.
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Anyhoo, I still love my iPhone 4s and my getting old MBP. 
Thank you Apple.

Doodle : Sticker


When I was small I bought a sticker book from my hometown's pasar malam. I went there several weeks later to buy cheap looking RM 1 stickers that I started to collect since then. My older sister taught me how to differentiate between unacceptable pirated stickers and the one that looked decent enough to be in my collection. 

I grew up collecting stickers. Years later I still have the same notion everytime I saw those colourful stickers at stationary shops. The excitements when I saw colours! To name a few, these places provides a huge collection of imported stickers : Art Friend, Sketch & Crop. I love them, I want them.

They inspire me.

These are all my stickers that I've drawn, printed and cut personally :





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You can order these stickers :
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Foods : Chilis & Ma


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Although I don't enjoy foods as much as most people do, I do enjoy looking at how they are presented and how interestingly beautiful they can be. Those various natural colour combinations according to how creative and intricate the chef wants it to be. 

We went to Chilis in Mid Valley. 
We don't really go to expensive places to eat much except on special occasion : Mom's birthday! 










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Pictures were taken by using :
Lumix LX 3
I  hate watermarks, 
so please be informed that all this pictures are mine, 
thank you.

Book : Blanket


When I received duit raya from the boss for last Eid, I secretly went to the Borders by myself to buy a graphic novel + visual biography by Craig Thompson , Blanket. I aimed for this book after I saw it a few weeks earlier and googled pages from the book. Ps : I bought the last copy :D

I've been searching for graphic novel about life, mainly on personal thoughts and opinions. Blanket looked like a hole that let me peek inside Craig's past and thoughts. What made him produce Habibi? That was the real question. I heard some good and bad reviews on Habibi from my colleagues and Goodreads. On rough statement, Habibi consists of beautiful intricate illustrations, and Arabic calligraphies. It is NOT suitable for kids and immature adult, in a way, I am sure it touches a lot about sensitive issues ; religions, races, beliefs, history, slavery, nudity, sex etc. 

So I am pretty curious on what makes him did all those interesting research - because Habibi shows that he did his research. I don't really recommend this type of reading, except if you are purely interested in such heavy topics and open-minded. 

Anyhow, in Blanket, it is mostly on his childhood and love stories. I love this book.
PS : Be warned that there's nudity in this book. Not suitable for under-age. 

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Little Things 42 : Learn


Do extra reading.

Do more research.

Explore and learn.

Read because you want to learn.
Learn because you want to know.

Make it a habit.

Not for good grades. Not for rewards. Not for praises.

When you want to know about something, Google it up.
When you don't know certain word, look up in the dictionary.
When you have any uncertainty about some topic, find answers.

Make self-learn as a habit.

Ask when needed.
Ask when you didn't find answers to your questions.
Ask when you Googled it up and still have uncertainties.
Ask when you need answer fast and there is no way to find it out yourself.

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Stop letting people feed you,
you have the privilage to do it yourself.
Use it.



Little Stories 23 : Sleepiness


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After dozing off several times in the bus - the longest traffic jam ever in the history of my working era, or maybe I just felt like it and exaggerated a bit, I went to the nearest stop to 7-eleven next to the station and bought a can of cold Nescafe. 

And so, my morning is starting to make sense.

This is the morning when I need a sprinkle of magical light-caffeinated drink to help me go through the day. Thank you for those who invented coffee. 

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Please buy the new vintage camera sticker set.
It is for my next trip to nourish my childhood dream.
Thank you very much kind people of the world.

Order : Vintage Sticker Set

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Hello !


Vintage Camera Sticker Set :
10 pieces of Vintage Cameras 
+ Vintage Camera Bag
+ 2 label "Vintage Camera"
RM 10

Postage :
Express : RM 4
Normal : RM 1

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Please send me an email : azreen_31@hotmail.com

Thank you !

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Printed !

This is the 10 vintage camera stickers. 

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Doodle : Vintage Camera in the Making


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Hello !

I still find machines quite interesting, so this time, after making a consideration on which theme to doodle for sticker : cakes or vintage camera , I chose vintage camera ! I've collected pictures of vintage camera since last year, thinking I might someday want to doodle them. 

I used Photoshop CS4 and 5 year old bamboo tablet. A friend ask me, why I didn't use Illustrator and draw a vector version instead? I think my answer would be, digital painting is the closest I can achieve to my doodle strokes. Vector feels little bit stiff and the artist's touch is missing - that is what I thought. 


Anyhow, it will be available for this upcoming Pipit event.
 ❤

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Books : Ghost Stories


I managed to read Coraline in 2 days while on my way to work. 

I need to imagine myself being 13, that is the appropriate age to read the book. It was somewhat creepy and ghastly. If I was 13 when I read the book, I might feel little uneasy while reading. I want to read-aloud this book to my children someday- I listened to Neil's Gaiman version and I loved it !

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When I was young I read Goosebumps series by R.L.Stine. I even read all ghost story books in the library. I bought Gempak every month when I was in primary school because of two things : 
1) ' Jangan tutup lampoooo' short story 
2) Scary comics by Octopus, Fakhrul Anour and Baba Chuah - those were the days when Gempak was far cooler than now. 

It's ironic. 
I don't like ghost stories nowadays. I hardly read ghost stories. Let alone watching horror movies. 
I tried to read some of Stephen King and Dean Koontz which later turn into thriller - than horror. I read Dracula or vampire stories that turned into romance and mystery instead. 

I once read a review on the scariest fiction novel, which is Amytyville Horror by Jay Anson, so I ordered the book from Depository-books, which later after 2 months of waiting, they said they don't have any book left in their stock and returned my money. I took that as a sign, maybe I shouldn't read the book.

If I can feel sadness, inspired, happy, excited, anticipated, anxious by books, is it possible to feel scared as well? Can I really feel goosebumps while reading until I need to stay with my siblings or in daylight to keep on reading? Can I feel the dampness of the back of my shirt from the cold sweat? Is that possible? Is there any writer good enough to write such books? 

Does anyone has any recommendations? 
No, I don't watch movies, I want books. 

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After I watched Hotel Transylvania & read Coraline, I can imagine them being best-friends.
So I doodled this yesterday.


Event : World Walking Day

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Hello !

There is an event held by Nestle : World Walking Day ,  5000 steps this month! I just found out about about this , and in achieving my walking goal that I posted just now , I registered right away.

Details :
Date : 28th Oct 2012
Day : Sunday
Time : 6 am - 10 am
FREE

You can register by choosing your closest venue here or via SMS.



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Other walking track around Malaysia, click here

App : Runkeeper


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Hello !

A mobile application that I love to use during my exercise : Runkeeper.
There is also a web-based edition for Runkeeper.
Click here for iPhone version and here for Android version.

Features that I love :

1. Easy to use and straight forward
When I go out jogging, I will click open the application, choose an activity : running or walking, and click on the "Start Activity" button right away. It will then automatically track my location, how far, time, map, and such. 
Why it helps? It is a very convenient application to use. Click "Start" and off you go !


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2. Achieving your Goal
I am aiming for 50 km running and 30 km of walking in 3 months.
Runkeeper gives you a platform to keep track your goals.
Why it helps ? Tracking how far you've achieved and how much farther you need will keep you on your track. Well, at least it helps me. 3 km more to go before aiming for 100 km run ! :D


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3. Save your Activities 
How far, when, map, time taken to complete it, how much calories burned and such.




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4. Share and tweet.
Why it helps? Everything is about social network nowadays! Share it with your friends, compete, drag them along. 

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The web based can 
- list down events that you can join near you
- find street team
- save your routes & share
- make training plans
- give you visual statistic like this :


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I work as a conceptual designer for mobile application and during my free time, I explore the beautiful wonder of arts in current digital medium mainly in tablets and smart phones. I'll share my finding here from time to time. Enjoy the geeky side of me ! :D - azreenchan