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Books


I just finished reading Conversations with God by Neale Donald and Ring by Koji Suzuki. I failed in reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods because of the vulgar language that reminded me so much of Stephen King's old books. I'll probably ignore the book for another several months before giving it another try. It's odd what time can do to my interest in books. 

For now, I need something refreshing so I'm going to hunt for books later. 

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Books I just finished reading :


Basically the book is the whole conversation between Neale and God. Somewhat a bit controversial, definitely for an open-minded people who don't mind arguing with their thoughts and emotions and everything they have ever learned in life. If you are searching for something different and you are interested in theology and philosophy of life, then here's one. It's not fiction !

Some people might argue with the contents, some might refuse to accept anything it offers. But for me, it was an interesting read, a deeper love to my own God and myself, some personal cynical thoughts and arguments here and there.

Anyone who says a book, a movie, a song, a belief, a religion or anything that matters will corrupt your mind - probably they have the weakest faith of all people. I believe in what I believe in, and I don't mind learning anything as long as I have the deeper meaning in life. 


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I watched the movie when I was young, and I didn't like it. I didn't like any horror movies in particular so I shouldn't really point this out :D 

Well the movie was based on this 1990's Koji Suzuki novel.  I didn't remember much from the movie so I can't make any comparison. But the book offered much more detailed investigation and nothing too ghastly. I read in 3 days while commuting to work, a light creepy reading. I avoided reading it in my room because I didn't want any Sadako's aura lingering there.

I need to pass it around so the virus will continue to spread among human-kind, so please read.

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Current book count : 11 of 26

Doodle : Dreams



"
In dreams you don’t need to make any distinctions between things.
Not at all.
Boundaries don’t exist.
So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions.
Even if there are, they don’t hurt.
Reality is different.
Reality bites.
- Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

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Little Stories 55 : Leather

While snuffing my leather key wrapper,  I said to Aja :

"Aja, smell this, I love the smell,
Did you ever think this way, that the smell I love so much is actually a smell of dead animal's skin ?".

"Why do you have to put it that way, Reen? ".

:D

Little Things 83 : Our Lives


Life is always about other people.

You study and excel to make your parents proud.
You work for your family.
You put your dreams aside to what's more important.
You want to fall in love,
you let yourself fall in love, despite the risk of hurting yourself.
You help people when you see them in need.

It is about family, partners, friends, society, the world.

It is not for you alone.

You make other people happy, so other people can make you happy.
It is an interconnected spiderweb.

We are twisted that way.

You need to put aside your fear of trusting people to do their job, as you are doing yours.
You are not alone. So stop self-pitying yourself.

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Event : Karnival Belia


Last weekend I joined Standard Chartered Run, along with the conjunction of Karnival Belia in Putrajaya. I registered for the 4km run because I refused to try out for the 8km run, thank God I made the right decision. Halfway through the run, I had the massive stomach cramps and I just walked to the finish line. *Ha. See, you should listen to your instinct. 28 minutes taken for the 4km walk.

This time our team consisted of : my brother and his friend, Ridir for the 8km run - they made a new impressive personal record, 55 minutes for the 8km. My former schoolmates : Tasya and Din - left me alone walking in pain and said I just gave them a lame excuse for not running. 

Anyhow, it was a short run and I should get ready for next week's 5km Mines Charity Run. It's beginning to become a weekly activity !



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I also sent some stickers to Zamzammee's Doodle booth at the Karnival Belia and we did a short doodle demo live. I spent my Saturday sweating madly at the booth, but it was fun nonetheless. There were Zamzammee, Raja Ahmad Zharif, and I missed Liyana and her sister, the Doodly Watches. All from my high-school life ! 

The weekend was like a high-school reunion. 



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Little Project : Cancer

Hello,

Our family friend is diagnosed with brain cancer several months ago. So I really wanted to help lessen his burden in paying his medical fees. I figured that I should do something that closest to me, and that is doodling. I also asked other doodlers, illustrators, designers, artists and cartoonists whether they wanted to contribute something as well, and here is the name of all the people that wanted to make this happen : 

Current Contributors :

Azreenchan | Zamzammee | Farik Karim | Farhan Rosdi | Ikhsan Ise
Zulfiqar Naim | Azah Azura | Mysara Mangosteenskin

I thank and appreciate all the efforts, time and love spent on this little project.

All the money collected will be used to pay his medical fees.

Test print.
Test print 2

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All in all :

I really hope you can support us in helping our friend to fight his cancer.
All help, support and love are much appreciated.

It is now available,
RM 15 for each set ( there are 16 stickers ) .
Please PM me from my facebook, or email me at : azreen_31@hotmail.com

Doodle : Instax Sticker


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Hello,

I made a set of Instax Fujifilm sticker set : the instant camera.
I had this camera for 2 years now, and I'm still using it for special occasion : mini travel / event / for my travelogue. So, I doodled this for myself, and now I'm selling it too !




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PM me thru my facebook to buy this, 
or my etsy.
Thank you ! 

Mini Escapism : Genting Highlands 3


In this short escapism, I decided to take the scariest rides *for me. I wanted to fight it, I wanted to taste it and I wanted to shout like a winner. This was an easy pick, I avoided this particular ride in all the theme parks I've ever visited : Space Shot.

On this ride, we were seated on a 3x4 seats, each facing the public. They asked us to put the bag down, take out the glasses and enjoy the ride. It brought us to the highest point, where we can see the whole Gohtong's hill from above, and it fell at the fastest speed possible. Once, twice, and three times, before it stop.


I was finally on the ride that I feared for so long. 
On the highest point I asked my siblings many many times,
"Why did I agreed on this? This is stupid. I don't want to play this anymore."
They just laughed. 

Here, let me tell you what it felt like on the 5 seconds halt before it fell down.
It felt like having a panic-attack, the shortage of breath, the heart pumping blood getting too fast to handle it almost felt like it is no longer working, the things that came to your mind at that point, the silence that felt like death is so near. 

When it finally fell down so fast, I shouted as loud as I can and the fear just disappeared, it turned to laughters. And more laughters and smiles. 

It was a great feeling to finally overcome my fear of falling ridiculously fast.

PS : We actually repeated the ride three times. 
By the third time, I thought I can handle it.
I was wrong, it was the final ride before they closed it, so they gave us a combo ride. Different than my two previous rides, and we weren't expecting it. Our final ride was the perfect wrap up for the fun play.


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What did I learned from this ?
If you are afraid of something, give it a try. If you don't like it, you can choose not to do it anymore in the future. But if you refuse to even try, you will never know what it feels like. You can imagine, but it will never be the same as really experiencing it. 

I tried three times, each time, on the highest point, I actually asked myself "why on earth did I agree to do this?", but eventually I managed to get through it. Even if I didn't like it, I enjoyed my personal achievement. That, felt so good.

Plus, don't ever expect things to stay the same. At one point, when we put our expectation too low, and given a surprise, we will be too shocked to respond. Haha. 

Mini Escapism : Genting Highlands 2


The last time I went to Genting Theme Park was after we had our PMR exam, when I was 15. That is around 10 years ago. There were two rides that I remember the most from the my previous visit with my friends.
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First is Spinner, the first ride most people take because it is located right in front of the main gate. As to give us the soft warning for our next rides. It was fast and high and fun. But not scary, definitely beautiful. We were seated on a metal chair with almost no protection except the ring between our thighs. 


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The second is Sungai Rejang Flume Ride.
This is where we got really wet and cold. It was rather funny, we were seated in a tree trunk-like boat, I chose to seat at the back because I don't want to get too wet. But when we were falling from the highest point, my face hit my sister's shoulder hard and I felt like my left eyes were flying out.
Thanks for the painful and wet ride !

The other rides were all pretty new to me, or maybe I forgot.
It was, definitely 10 years ago. I feel old.

Mini Escapism - Genting Highland 1


I am not much of a theme-park person. 
But the day before yesterday, on a short notice, I had an idea of bringing my little siblings' to Genting Highlands for our short escapism. My brother and sister is going to start on a new semester next week and I know they need something to ease their mind from the normalcy. So I asked my siblings to get ready and I applied for a day-off from work. 

We bought tickets at KL Sentral for the return bus ticket, cable car rides and full outdoor activity. I had to prepare to what they will offer, like I said before, I am not much of a fun hyperactive person. I usually rather have a simple silent old-people walks. Ha.

Interestingly, I slept through the bus ride to the cable car station, it was definitely because I slept a bit late the previous night :D 

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On the cable car :

My sister is afraid of heights, and I teased her about it by rocking my body left to right. 

"You know Ra, if we fall from this cable car, we are all going to die and we don't feel anything anymore, so why worry much?", I whispered to her. 
"I don't think by saying this, you are helping anything".

Hahaha. Oukay.



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It was definitely a sight worth seeing. 
The silence was beautiful and if I wasn't sitting with my two siblings, I would definitely on my most romantic moment with the nature. 

PS : The ride took almost 20 minutes.
And yes, it was ridiculously high and fast.

Little Things 82 : My Oxford


I grew up several years in quarters Mardi inside of UPM, Serdang. I remember the place as being almost heavily clouded with nature and it was also located in the outskirt of town. Our house was reachable after a short ride along durian farms - it was even called as Jalan Durian. 

When I was small the road to my house was quite scary, houses were scattered apart from one another, there were some houses located deep in the what seemed to me like a forest. But I loved the place. I remember several earliest childhood memories while growing up in there. Aja and I, mischievous little girls. We collected biji saga to play congkak, picked up bunga raya & various leaves for masak-masak, rode from 4-wheels bicycle to 3-wheels to finally 2-wheels ride, I played with berudu in the lopak in front of the house, we danced in the rain, played at my neighbors' house until maghrib. Those little childhood memories. 

Our playground was so big, we can run and play so far away.
Kids should grow up in places like this. 
Not in their room, with tablets on their laps.

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Last weekend I visited UPM, to pick up my running shirt and also for the Milo Breakfast Run. Here are some picture taken on my little exploration :

I used to call UPM : my Oxford, because of the overdosed beautiful old trees all around the campus. 








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Event : Milo Breakfast Run


Yesterday, I went to my first 7km run ! Along with my brother and his friend, Ridir, I also met my high school friends : Tasya & Din. The event was held in UPM. We arrived around 6.40am, and started running at 7.15am. I forgot what happened most of the time while I was running, maybe because I expected it to be a lot tougher than my previous run so I focused on keeping track of my pace. I gave myself quite a lot of time slowing down so that I can keep on running. It took me one hour to complete the 7.8km run - recorded by Runkeeper. 


After the run, we took our goodie bags consisted of several packets of instant Milo, a Milo mug in Milo tote bag. We also received the finisher's medal for completing the run less than 1 hour 30 minutes ! We drank as much cold Milo offered to us and stayed until it was too hot for me to handle. 

Cheeky faces

My brother's friends

Tasya and I

My fourth or fifth cup of cold Milo.

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Previous Run :
Kidney Day Run 2013
Brooks Run 2013
IMU Charity Run 2012

List of upcoming runs, click here.

Little Stories 54 : Thrift Shop


Lately I keep on playing a song called - Thrift Shop : Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This happened ever since Ellen invited them on stage, and I love Ellen. So I came to love this odd song - not my usual genre but ridiculously catchy anyway. My sister and brother know this song too, considering it is one of current hits on the radio, *I think

So two nights ago, my brother and I sprawled on my little bed after dinner and my sister sat next to us. The usual siblings' talks and gossip sessions. I forgot how we started to talk about this song. I played it on my iPhone and sang along to it.

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Me :
     I bet you like this part -
     "What what what what
     What what what what".

Aja : No I am not.

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Me :
     How can they sing about a Thrift Shop?
     Imagine if we create a song called "Kedai Bundle",
            Aku nak beli barang, tapi harga barang 99 sen je ~.

Aja : Yeah, these days song lyrics are ridiculous.

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Me :
     I'm gonna pop some tags ~ *here it sounded like na-na-na-na-na
     Only got twenty dollars in my pocket ~
     I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a come-up ~ *here it sounded like na-na-na-na-na
     This is f****** awesome !
Aja : What did you said?
Me: What did I said?
Aja : You just sang it.
Me : " This is phony awesome ? "
Aja : Liar ! You just cursed !
Me : No I did not.
Aja : You did.
Me : Well the song made me. It's a bad influence.
Aja : Ye la tu.

:D

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And my brother did the most hilarious version of the starting song after the 'wha wha wha what' part. 
I love my siblings. 

Little Things 81 : Childhood pictures


When I was in high school, I was a bit of a collector. 

I collect things, they vary from normal stuffs like books, badges, postcards, cards, wooden pencils, stickers, pictures of artists : Alexis Bledel & Jeremy Sumpter , a file of printed pictures and articles on Aurora - the Northern Lights, comics, Card Captor Sakura's stuffs, printed plasters, letters, other people's artwork, to hard things to collect like pictures of people when they were small & also their passport photos.  

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I was seventeen, and it was my last year in high school. Everyone was going to leave and start a new life outside our normal community. I wanted something that reminds me of them, and I wanted it to be special. So I asked for each and every person - their photo when they were small and their passport picture.

It was not an easy task. People hold on to their past quite dearly, and I was thinking : I want to keep something special about them, so that when I look at their photo, I'll remember how much effort they gave in helping me to create that. I succeeded. I collected around 40 childhood photos of my friends and juniors. I also collected around 20 passport photos of people too.  


I still keep all of it, and when I look at it back again, I'll remember the little stories behind it. I look at my friends in Facebook and I can see how much they changed and evolved. Works, marriages, kids, places. Those little things, make me happy. It's good enough for me. How long I was with each and every person I knew, was not really as important as how much great things I learned about them & from them. 


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Little Things 80 : What You Have is Enough


Mom bought a pair of new sport shoes.
After I repeatedly asked her out with me for my late afternoon's walks. That I usually do alone - she seemed to give a lot of excuses, ditto my sisters. But I know changes need to be polished slowly, so I asked them all the time. 

Mr. Prakash said, to start something, what you have is already enough.
Old sport shoes, not even meant for constant running, with holes that make my socks wet - is enough.
Converse sneakers, a bit uncomfortable but you left the other sport shoe at the lab - is enough.

Everything you have is enough to start something.

Here is an example on the same topic.

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Beijing in winter

If I keep on sitting in front of the computer in my room the whole day, I'd probably go berserk. On my wild days, I go out twice - in the morning, and late afternoon. It calms me down. I am that good in finding distractions. 

I walked and ran for more than 130 km *since I keep track of it
I walked even more than that, on days that I didn't want to keep track of my outing activities. 
I walked and ran and walked and ran.

I miss it, the strange silence of the world that we usually see.
And when the familiarity of being away touches me.

Review : Webby Awards 2013


You can now check the new list of The 2013 Webby Awards winners and nominees ! 
This year I see a lot of Tumblr,  Nike+ Fuelband, McDonald's Campaign, and Pinterest.

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I really like the winner of Experimental & Innovation category : The Silent History
This is what we can call as a great innovation! An interactive novel, written and designed for iPhone and iPad :
The Silent History is a groundbreaking novel, written and designed specially for iPad and iPhone, that uses serialization, exploration, and collaboration to tell the story of a generation of unusual children — born without the ability to create or comprehend language, but perhaps with other surprising skills of their own.
It is location based stories , in the US and around the world. That means you need to be in the exact location to read/know the story ! Combining stories, travels and technologies - I'm getting hyped, I wish the future brings much more great ideas. Please be fast, please please.


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I also love the McDonald's campaign : Our Food. Your Questions.
It won several categories : Food & Beverage, Customer Service, Integrated Campaigns and also nominated and honored for several other categories.

Basically, people can type-in questions about McDonalds' food and they will answer it. Questions about why it looked differently in ads and the real one, whether they added MSG or not, whether their ice cream contains pig's hooves and such. 

This is a great idea, because of the never-ending rumors about their food, now people can ask and get a nice written-up answers with videos, and share it. 



Other findings :

1. An interview session with Mr Suraj Sharma aka Pi Patel from Mr Porter. There's this thing about learning about other people indirectly that excites me. Read what he said about Ang Lee's works, how became an actor changed him,  etc.

2. Comparing this and this. Click on 'Most Wanted' and you'll get a list of current nation's threats, click on 'The Stats' and you'll get a huge statistic. The wesite must be designed for tablets, I'm sure it will look beautiful on iPad. We need something like that.

3. Fourth Estate Leadership Summit, hosted by Invisible Children. I salute Invisible Children for keep coming with big stuffs after the viral Koni 2012. We need people like 5ifty&5ifty , look at their nice websites.

4. A nice presentation for an interview by Pavel MacĂȘk : Local Discovery

Okay, I'll stop now.

Little Things 79 : Death

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. 
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view,
and demand that they respect yours. 

Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. 
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. 
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. 

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none. 

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. 

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. 
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

- from Act of Valor (2012)
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Mum asked me :
     Aren't you afraid of death ?

And I answered :
     No, should I ?
     I think it feels like coming back home.

Doodles Projects


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Hello !

I was inspired - I am still ! 
Movies and movies and movies and books later, I tracked my rhythm back again. For the whole 2 weeks I managed to doodle something for the little cancer : charity project, rapid doodle on huge cotton-fabric for my brother's friend, digitized 3 new camera stickers and several more doodles on my little book. 

It's been rather fun weeks. 
Thank you.
Yes, I mean YOU ! 

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Here is a doodle for the charity project.
Please don't ask me how I digitize it, because I have no idea how to explain, except by doodling on my old Bamboo tablet and outdated Photoshop. No magic tricks, no vectors, just scratchy free-hand strokes. I am no digital artist - no I am not. Just a doodler.

Fast doodle on my doodle book
Late night with old Bamboo and outdated Photoshop

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Next, here is the rapid doodle on the large fabric, I managed to ruin my artline for this. My brother's friend requested me to draw something - anything and I can't think of anything fast enough for me to doodle except machines. Because I am that fast :p



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and lastly, here is for the next stickers collection :


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I am too latzy to post pictures of my other random doodles,
you can just check it out from my instagram : azreenchan.

Short Notice.

Due to some problem, my blog can't be accessed by the previous address : www.azreenchan.com , so I'm using my old main blog link. I've notice some of other blogs are also affected by this - I am not sure why. SO for any subscriber, I hope you can still find me here and add me back, if you want. 

My domain name will expire soon and it may be used for my future website instead.
This would still be my blog.

TQ.

Little Things 78 : Summary of the Current Affair


Here is an ode to our current nation's affair. I feel dishearten by so many negative energy all around our nation through social network, newspaper and television. Be strong people, open your eyes widely and spread the love. At time like this, we should lower down our egos and unite.

Do what you want to do. 
Do what reflects you, what represents you as a grander version of yourself
If you want to feel bad, feel bad. 
But judge not, and neither condemn, for you know not why a thing occurs, nor to what end. And remember you this : that which you condemn, will condemn you, and that which you judge, you will one day become. 
Rather, seek to change those things - or support others who are changing those things - which no longer reflect your highest sense of who you are. Yet, bless all - for all is the creation of God, through life living, and that is the highest creation. - Neale Donald. 

I wish you peace.

Doodle : Moonrise Kingdom

In my previous post, I mentioned about how inspired I was while watching the Moonrise Kingdom, so I doodle things that I saw in the film. I love the vintage items in the movie like the water flask, lamp, suitcase and record player. I also love the raccoon logo on each item that Sam wore because it was designed specially made for the movie. 

I also read from an article about how Wes specifically requested a design made for the Island's map and the books Suzy brought in her bag. They created a story & history about the island for the narrator to tell and also the story Suzy read aloud from her book. That is impressive :D

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Here are the doodles made while watching the movie :






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Movie : Moonrise Kingdom


I watched another movie by Wes Anderson, The Moonrise Kingdom (2012) last week. The movie was written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, remember my post on the Coppola's family ? Or read my previous post on the Darjeeling Limited. Well, this time the main characters were lead by two kids : Jared Gilman & Kara Hayward, both were pretty new in the film industry. 

It's an innocent love story of young children, in romantic-comedy genre, you can read the synopsis here.


What I loved about the movie? :
Read more if you watched the movie and wanted to know what I think about it :

Little Things 77 : Two Lies

“ Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” — Rick Warren
Summary :
1. I can be super odd and you can still try to be my friend.
2. You can be super annoying until I want to agree to disagree in every matter that comes out of your mouth and I can still love you just fine. - azreenchan.

Case Study : Sofia Coppola


Why I have never heard of any female movie director, I wonder ? For that, I've come across Sofia Coppola, and did a little research on her. Made a list of all her movies and asked my sister to find it for me and spent the whole week watching one movie per night before sleeping. It's a great twisted finding, I have't done this since the Life of Pi. 

List of her movie :
The Virgin Suicide (1999) feat. Kristen Dunst & Josh Harnett
Lost in Translation (2003) feat. Scarlet Johansson & Bill Murray
Marie Antoinette (2006) feat. Kristen Dunst
Somewhere (2010) feat. Elle Fanning & Stephen Dorff
The Bling Ring (2013) feat. Emma Watson

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Please read more if you want to read about Sofia Coppola, my findings and also my thoughts. It were all based on my personal opinions, without any knowledge of filming, so this would be a little raw.

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Little Stories 53 : My Bookcase


" Are you going to do anything with your bookcase? ", my brother asked.

" No. I want to let it be like that.
I want to see it falling apart. "


So dramatic.
:D

Event : Walk & Run 2013 *update*

Read updates on my Walk & Run event list :

Oh Hello Etsy !


Hello May !

Check out my ETSY shop and enjoy a 10% discount !
Coupon Code : HEYITSMAY .

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Have I ever told you that Etsy is the best online shop platform available, so far? If it's not for Etsy, I wouldn't dream of sending countless stickers to all over the world. By far most stickers went to the US and UK. Others went to France, Greece, Singapore, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the latest was to Poland ! 

Some addresses were not even readable by me :D 
For that, I thank thee, Etsy, for giving me a chance to explore the world through my stickers. And for being a great platform for people like me to meet other unique artsy-fartsy peoples of the world. 

The only reason I love hand-made things so much is because I feel like the thing was made specifically for me. The human flaws, the personal touch, the love and time - I appreciate those the most. 


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Little Stories 52 : My Morning


I love early morning. I love the silence it brings.
It's the only moment that I can feel the serene coldness of what a new day can offer. So that leads me to become very protective over my morning. I wake up, I do my stuffs, I take shower, I eat my breakfast, I kiss my mom goodbye and I go out for work. No fuss. 

You don't have to talk much in the morning. Only important things, only beautiful words like ; take care or have a nice day or be careful. None of that ever happened anyway. 

Ask anyone in my house, I think everyone knows how particular I am about silent morning. Every time my mom starts to find things to complain about like all mothers do, I'll whisper : "No, no, please not in the morning", as much as I tried not to say anything. Because I know it will ruin my morning. 

I walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus, sometimes reading, sometimes staring at nothing in particular. Hop on the bus and start to read. 

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Today, I didn't read. 
I sat next to an old lady who talked too loud with her friend who sat several sits back. It was too loud, almost shouting. I read 3 pages of Neil's book before I gave up and kept the book in my sling bag. I took out my earphone and turned on songs from my iPhone as loud as I can. But I can still hear her loud voice. That was for the 40 minutes bus ride. 

She ruined my morning over her loud 40 minutes conversation.
The whole bus was silent, except for her.