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Little Things 163 : 2014


Another year almost reaching the end. It flew like a hummingbird, silencing the air between its soft vibrating wings. I learned a lot of things throughout the walking days, I experienced so many pain and joy, transitions and phases, regrets and hopes. 

I mourned for so long. Over decisions and false hopes, plans and misguided goals, most importantly, over blindness in obsession to create a superficial future. 

Was is it that I wanted so bad in life? 
Is it the chance to understand it all? Or the need of reasons to answer questions that longing for some explanations? Another year ended and still, some questions remain the same.
I grew older but not yet any wiser.

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On work :

Bad things happen in this world. I'm learning to accept that. A year in the news team taught me how to accept the harsh reality. I grew distant to all misery and pain of the world. When being put in a daily news of worst case scenarios, our mind will build a thin layer of self-defense, like a sponge to absorb things more slowly and silently. We'll get used to things. We won't get too distracted over bad news, we'll put some time to mourn a little and continue our work to get the news up, to tell the story. I might not agree on all things over the news, I might have some difficulties reasoning it all, but I managed to get it through. I had fun working this year, it's officially one of my favorite personal achievement.

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On transition :

I managed to stay strong on my own two feet.
I wanted, no, I needed to prove to myself that I can be independent, free from parental shield. I managed to be financially independent from them for years since I started working, and the last one on my list was to be able to rent my own place. My own little fortress, a place to call my own. Third month, of ups and downs, regular unhealthy cheap foods and traps behind the door, cranky Minka and beautiful baby plants, worried ma, empty apartment and beautiful solitude.

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On love :

Maybe it took years to accept and maybe it took mere seconds to realize that we can't have it all. So we need to prioritize on what we really want in life. Ask yourself. What is the one important thing that you want in life. Honest truth, I did a lot of decisions that I don't regret, I did it because I need to know, to make things clear. Wrong step and it will jeopardize the whole system, so I ask myself over and over, what do I really need in a relationship? Do I really need to be in pain to love? Do I really need to romanticize past memories? No, I need all things in present. Not future, not past, but right now in the moment.  

Him, the one that has been there since I had my fall, day to day. The one that neutralize my instability, my clouded emotions, my worries. The one that help me with littlest things and listens patiently to everything that I can possibly talk about. Him, that taught me about the surrounding nature and try to be in the present. Him, that lives in his flaws and being able to accept it all. Him, that always here and try to make me happy. Maybe I speak less of my personal life before, but this time, I am really thankful for all these and I want him to know that.

I got engaged last weekend, and I'm more than ready to have someone in my close circle.
And I'm really glad that I found my person.


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Google - 2014 Search Compilation :


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Shop : CreativeUnited.my


Now anyone interested in buying exclusive printed arts, totebag, pillow, wall clock, button badges, t-shirts by me, or by any other featured artists, you can visit CreativeUnited at Ground Floor, KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur. 

I went there yesterday to check out the little shop. It is located at the far end of the Ground Floor near ATM machines. A small and vibrant looking with colourful artworks from many local artistes. Not yet ready for online market but you can take a visit to their physical shop at the KL Tower. This is their Facebook, please follow them to know their current news.

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Event : Running Events 2014 *final update*


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NOTE :
By far, this is one post with overload pictures of me - 
I'm sorry for this narcissistic post, 
this is for my personal yearly running record and yes, 
I record things on my blog :F

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1. Run for Life, UPM - 8th March 2014, 8 km

Great morning view, first run after 3 months hiatus, overload students :D 
It was rather a normal running activity. I guess after so many events, I am getting used with the hectic excitement. But to keep my list packed, I am still joining 6 crowd-running-events per year. Registered 5 of them throughout the whole year.  


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2. Milo Breakfast Run 2014 - 20th April 2014, 7 km


I entered my second run this year at Milo Breakfast Run 2014 (*my 9th run in total) . 
7 km run with more than 10,000 registered runners - not including ghost-runners ie; my brother and my friend =.='. All tickets were sold out after several days of online registration activation. I excitedly invited all my siblings last month and tagged all my friends on Facebook - but they procrastinated and missed the chance. Oh well.

Inspired by H.Murukami, I started the run with slow-consistent pace. I didn't stop for 30 minutes, around 4 km by that time. Normally my pace would be slow-fast-walk-slow-fast-walk, the variety worked for me. Maintaining a consistent pace is something new for me and I took 4 km non-stop run as a new achievement. Wihu!

Too bad after around 5km, I tried to follow my brother's faster pace and almost fainted. The remaining route was much slower afterwards. I think it's because of the blood donation I did 2 days before. I was a bit tired and even felt light-headed yesterday, *a normal symptoms for someone who just donated blood :F I didn't thought it will affect me that much.  

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3. NM Galaxy Roadrun Bukit Jalil - 10th August 2014, 10 km 



This time I went for my 10th run, alone. I took around 1 hour 30+ mins to complete the run, blaming my almost 2 months rest from any outdoor activities on Ramadhan and Syawal :D I asked a random runner at the event to take my picture before I went back home by train and bus. The bad stinking smell wasn't entirely my fault.

PS : Soon afterwards, I've been gaining weight back, thanks to the run.

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4. Mizuno Wave Run, Putrajaya - 24th August 2014, 10 km

This was my last run with my brother this year before he continued his semester in Germany =.= Nothing special much about this run other than secretly went to the event with my old school friend and his brother and met Mr. Loh again - *but he didn't joined this time.




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5. MAKNA Founder's Malaysia Run, 1st Nov, 10km

I've never joined night run and this was my first. The starting point's location was at the Water Sport Complex Putrajaya near Pullman. I remember people were sitting everywhere near the man-made lake & a small beach like hundreds of pink flamingo. A nice sunset + heavy dark cloud view from a tower that we can climb up to. I was having one of my minor headache so everything was a bit uncomfortable and less enjoyable.

I remember running in dark and silence except for the sounds of running-footsteps and soft huffs. This was one of my favorite run. A combination of night-time and Putrajaya : win.


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6. Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon, 21st Dec, 12km

Other than weekly yoga, I have't been training for months. If it's not because of the early-bird registration, maybe I wouldn't even go to Cyberjaya for the run. I arrived and started late because it took almost an hour to arrive there from my new home. I walked most of the run, and finished after 1 hour 40 minutes - the slowest so far :p

But.
It's my first 12km run, not my proudest achievement,
but still enough for my personal yearly record 


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And also, I managed to complete my 2014 goal to run 150 km :


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2014, thank you ❤ 

Books : 2014


Stephen King said :
Read, read, read.
”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write.”
He published over 55 novels, 6 non-fictions and more than 200 short stories.
*But I only read 2 of his books - hew hew hew. 

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Yeay for reading more than 40 books this year ! This is the complete book list.
I've been wanting to read more books than previous-previous years ever since after school but couldn't find the time and money to do so. This year has been a great reading year. I got money to buy books, I got books as presents, downloaded some good and free stuffs and read it on my iphone, and my colleagues shared some books and e-book :D 

Books I personally like this year:
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • The Hard-boiled Wonderland & the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  • The Truth of Life by Ahmed Hulusi
  • Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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I realized that I used a lot of my time commuting - to read. And I read quite a number of it, but among all of that, I probably like only several and would recommend people to read them or maybe even not worth mentioning. 

So what is the main reason to my reading habit?

A friend said to me :
"I know you read a lot, but that doesn't mean what you are reading is always right".
I know. And that's why I keep on reading. So I would know from my 300 books that I've read, maybe I'll get 30 things - right and 270 things - wrong. So I would learn to differentiate and understand what can be right, what might be wrong, which possibilities that one thing that is right can turn into something that is wrong and vice versa. So I can improve my ability to see situations as a whole and take what is good and what is bad. Or learn anything, just anything at all.

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If you read 10 books in your life, perhaps 9 books taught you bad things and only 1 that matter.
If you read 300 books in your life, perhaps 30 books taught you something beneficial and 270 were just rubbish.

When you read so much, you'll learn to understand that not all books are good.
But you just have to keep on reading to learn that skill.

And qualities versus quantities?
If you don't read, then you won't find the good ones, because it's subjective and based on personal preferences, so you still need to be picky and read a lot of them to find it.

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Reading teaches me about reasoning, possibilities, adapting to situations, connecting the dots, understanding experiences, reaching what's inside of you and other people. It connects me to the world. 

How about you?
How many books have you read this year ? 

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Previous goals :


Movie : Tony Takitani


Tony Takitani is a short story by Haruki Murakami in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - short stories compilation. It's one of my favorite. Most of all his short stories are very light and almost easy to forget - but I couldn't forget this one.

The truth is, I still want something from Murakami after the last book I read written by him several weeks ago. So I googled his name with films. Other than Norweigian Wood that I avoid watching, I found out about Tony Takitani and The Second Bakery Attack for short filmed-stories.

Weeks later, I got the copy and watched it.


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It's a 75 minutes short movie by Jun Ichikawa (2004). Soundtrack composed entirely by Ryuichi Sakamoto. I can't forget some of the songs in the movie so I sometimes played the movie just to listen to the narration and background music. Just to fill my room with this song. T^T

Narrations and conversations are mostly short & simple, so most words are easy and familiar enough to my understanding. I love it. I love it to the point that I keep on thinking about it for several days later when I first watch it.

Something about the music makes my heart goes numb. When I listen to the song, it feel like something cold and sad is creeping on my body slowly, picking my last happy memories and turn it into infinite silence. It makes me ask myself whether this silence is what I want to endure everyday. This is a different kind of beauty. The one that undeniably touched your heart, but also the one that you try to avoid.

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PS : 
I've always wanted my silence. 
But I don't want to be sad or lonely while having my solitude tho.
So, no Tony Takitani's life for me please. 

Little Things 162 : Flu & Mini Chocolates


I'm having a really bad flu and it's been 4 awful days.
I am supposed to start ferret-sitting Minka yesterday *boss is going on a 2 weeks holiday. But because of the bad flu, she said she'll let other colleague keeps her first. I've been excited for weeks =.='

So I drink hot green teas and took Vitamin C daily, ate chicken soup, ate Panadol Soluble last night that tasted like weird isotonic drink, and drink a lot of water. Nothing works, much. 

I got this energetic-but-with-a-sick-look at the office and right when I commute home, I'll get in this semi-consciousness state where my body only walks back home and my energy to do anything else depleted to almost null. Being sick when the mind isn't ready to rest is a torture. 

Maybe I've been putting a lot of energy towards work, maybe I've been enjoying too much of my time. Maybe I need more rest. A colleague once said to me that "people spend too much working, they forgot about living". The thing is I know most of my time will be spent on having money by working - and I accepted that, so might as well find a job that I really enjoy because I know I'm going to spend a lot of the time of my life doing that. 

So when I look back on the time that passed, 
I can really tell myself that I enjoyed it and I had fun.

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I also bought a big pack of mini M&M to increase my endorphin level, 
so I'll feel happy and will get well fast. 

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Plant Project : Little Seedlings


Planting Journal :

While hundreds of little seedlings grow every day, there will be little deaths as well among the fragile ones. I have to accept that not every little thing can survive growing up, even in a very well-cared environment. 

I try to accept that little deaths are normal in this gardening cycle and to not be overly emotional because among all that did not survived, there are also the ones that still struggling to grow T^T

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They looked so small and fragile, even watering them requires time and patient because every drop is too heavy for their thread-like-stem. So I try with spraying water and making the water flow on empty soil instead on where they are. I killed a bunch of Petunia seedlings, I'm not going to repeat that with Sweet Alyssum and Carnations T^T

Surprisingly, they grow well in a small container compared to in a big pot among hundreds of them. These are much healthier and growing faster than the first batch I that planted in a other bigger pot :



Sweet Alyssum in a very tiny green tea cup and Innershines bottle.

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And Pegaga is growing up well too, look at those little babies. When I first brought it home, it got around 5 leaves, now it look like more than 10 leaves. My dad said that Pegaga and Keladi are among pet plants that easy to grow in the house with less direct sunlight. With using Zeolites, I only need to water it about once every 3-4 days. So I bought another pack of zeolites from my dad for other plants as well.  


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Little Stories 84 : BBW2014


I lied.
I went to the Big Bad Wolf last week with him. When people asked, sometimes I said I did and sometimes I answered, "I haven't". This lie, I can't fully understand why. 

I did went there last weekend until midnight. I did walked through thousands of graphic novels, fictions, literature, travel and cookery sections. I did bought those Feb's Monocle and several cooking books, and Sudoku and one fiction.

I prayed for total anonymity. I hoped I won't meet anyone I know. I wanted to be invisible and free from little chit-chats. I felt like someone entirely different, I became one person that I wanted to be at that time if I can avoid judgements and expectation all-over. 

So in my head, the event felt half-real-half-imaginary.


Things I found at BBW2014 :

1. Cheaper Monocle Feb 2014 magazine, to study basic modern magazine's structure & grids, also interesting vectorized illustrations. Totally for work purpose. I read-aloud every article from front-to-back to avoid buying magazines for no strong reasons. Main topic on future cities and possible migration. RM10

2. Paris magazine, a very boring & outdated magazine on Paris just because I'll go there soon and need to do some reading. RM5

3. Little book on Prague.
I'm reading it front-to-back, can you feel this boom-bada-boom?
RM 3 = 19 Czech Koruna

4. A Dangerous Method by John Kerrs, RM 8
I want to read about Freud & Carl Jung in stories rather than academic writings, this is the closest that I found. Got the 2011 movie version by Micheal Fassbender, Keira Knightly and Viggo Mortensen.

5. Sudoku, RM 3
I just found out that my brain is super slow lately - that I took 1/2 hour for the first light & easy sudoku game. Remember the time when we played 10-mins tops sudoku? Shessh.

6. Cookery books, RM++
I need to enjoy the art of cooking and feasting.

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As for my early Kismes present, I received the complete set of Inkheart trilogy from Ivy (but I pay her back because I pesan her to help me find it at the BBW premier day). She bought it at BBW for RM 25. I-am-super-excited! I haven't found this version for so long. The first time I fell in love with this children fantasy book was 10 years ago, I borrowed from Tasya back then. And I only got the third book as a Valentine present from my friend - the hard copy beautiful version. I L-O-V-E the hard copy version of Inkheart with illustrations and all.


I don't feel good to buy a complete set for RM25, but I'm not complaining.

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PS : For RM35, I cut my hair shoulder-length short and saloon-washed it, very refreshing.
Like someone who's turning 28 soon. Teehee.
I love growing up 

Excerpt 11 : Jim Carrey's Secret to Life

I've seen his speech before this, I've shared the link in this blog too,
and someone created a beautiful video out of it.

Enjoy;

Little House 2 : The Second Month


The only furnitures I bought after 2 months at my new home are a wooden table and 2 mini wooden side-tables from IKEA. That costed around RM200+ total. Other than that are all old wooden furnitures from ma and collected wooden things all around. 

Old furnitures were painted oil-based white paint so they seem a bit acceptably decent. I keep on buying cheap brushes from Kedai RM 2 and Mr.DIY because I don't want to waste thinner to wash those brushes. I don't like oil-based paint. 

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I keep on pinning things from Pinterest that might work for my tiny apartment. Mainly I wanted something more minimal, cheap, rustic with natural-coloured theme. My main inspiration came mostly from Muji and other simple Japanese apartments. Things are just too expensive, so I end up collecting old things that can work for me and making things myself.

Personal research center :


Ma doesn't agree with using cheap bamboo blinders and asked to put proper curtain, which, I argued because I hate ruffled fabrics that block lights. I also detest the bunk-bed & old carpet that the owner provides, but I have no where else to keep =.=

Now it became clear to me on how picky I can be. Hah.

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I reorganized the studio for the 3rd time in 2 months.
I found a way to put books in the small space like this :


Every time I go back home to ma's, I take 4-5 books from my old shelves so it won't be too heavy while taking the train. That is what I currently have with me. I probably need a whole lot of book shelves to keep all my books. I'm out of budget. So let just pretend that I don't own so many books at ma's.

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I finally found the use of that super heavy bed's base wood that we collected from the trash. I painted it white - double coat, and put it aside for weeks, waiting for it to become a diy sofa. But huge pillows are quite pricy for me to buy - right now, end up buying some nice natural coloured fabrics from Tewah today and asked ma to sew some pillows for my little living room. 

So the wood turned into this, next to the front door :



The apartment looked empty, decent and a bit cheap. 
Every time I feel like buying huge stuffs, I'll remember Fight Club & IKEA.
I rest my case.

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Little Things 161 : Hello Girly, you.


People who know me personally would probably know how much tomboyish I can be, for certain things. Like how much I hate weddings, dress-ups, make-ups, girly-pinky stuffs, glitters, shiny things, high heels, shoppings, girl-talks, and such. 

At 27, I still wear jeans, converse and sling bag. 
People at the office might notice my repetitive checkered shirts for as long as they know me, because I don't do clothes shopping much, so I don't have variations of what I wear anywhere. That one time my officemate noticed I wear lip balm, he asked why I wear lipstick, I cringed at the sound of it, I don't know why I want to deny and tell him that I used coloured lipbalm, totally different if I put on lipstick. I don't even have one. 

If I have to attend an event, I asked my sister to apply some eye-liner for my eyes because that's the only thing that I let anyone put on my face and they are quite good at doing it compared to what I sometimes do before I go to the office. So, I have an eye-liner stick and a coloured lipbalm ❤ 

I sometimes imagine myself being less boyish and more feminine, but I still fail at those things just because I don't really care much of my outward appearance as long as I look decent and less noticeable. Ha. My mom gave-up on trying to make me more feminine or buy me stuffs like moisturizer and foundation, because I'll end up give it away to my sisters. 

But then again, I do my own version of self-pampering like make my own yogurt mask or green-tea ice cubes for puffy eyes, and such. So I'm not quite sure whether I am totally against commercial products, or I am just being plain paranoid. And the only girly cloth that I really like is those printed baju kurungs, and I can't really do other girly dresses of any kind. How do I even climb a tree in dresses? Even though we don't really need to climb tree these days. Hm.

Not quite sure why I'm pointing this out.
Maybe just sometimes, I feel less confident being compared to those girly beautiful girls but why on earth do I have to compare my features and appearance with other people in the first place? Sheesh. I hope my future partner will accept my tomboyish look and doesn't force me to change just to be like somebody else.

Because the truth is, if I can choose, I'll go with jeans, converse and a sling bag, every time. 

Excerpt 10 : Emotional Excess & Writing


From Anais Nin on why we need emotional excess in writing & creativity :

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.
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“If you do not breathe through writing,
if you do not cry out in writing,
or sing in writing, then don't write,
because our culture has no use for it.”
Anaïs Nin

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What I actually learned from these strong-willed female writers like Ruth Ozeki, Susan Sontag and Anais Nin wasn't their writings or stories, but their little reminders on how we shouldn't fight our inner-self and expressions in writings even if we are exposing it to the world. To not be afraid of being fragile, judgements and letting ourselves drown in endless emotions for being a woman.

But there are a huge difference in whining and properly expressing your emotions, this, is a skill I need to master. If I keep on whining for public read, I'll detain myself from writing as a punishment.

This is an example of a beautifully written self-expression.

Plant Project : Death and Updates

Planting journal :

I am not happy because I've killed all petunia's sprouts. It seems like their soft fragile stem rotted and not even one sprout manage to grow tall much longer. Too much water. While all carnation sprouts are doing quite well with the same amount of water. Too bad I read about petunia's watering technique a day later before the mass killing T^T 

And I'm thanking the internet for all free knowledge that I can find easily.

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Our bonsai is growing up well and needing a bigger vase and proper wiring. I am not looking forward to the actual pruning. Other than that, I've been experimenting with fruit seeds. Last week I got 2 persimmons from ma, and I managed to get 5 seeds from the fruit after I ate the persimmon. And because I got so many bottles and soils left, I planted those seeds thinking that maybe it might work and I'll do persimmon bonsai later. Well 3 days later, it showed the first sign of little sprout from the seed :D

Nothing yet from all bonsai seeds I bought online : Gingko, Wisteria & Red Maple. I guess I have accept that 4-seasons trees can't magically accept our weather - and I'll give up after 6 weeks. And try again with the proper tedious technique. I have another 6 Wisteria seeds and 4 Gingko seeds in my keeping. 

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I managed to get several little cups for souffle for RM 1 each and did a proper moss mini garden in it. Put some zeolites for the base because those cups don't have drainage for excessive water. It is so cute now and I can't wait to take some pictures later in another few weeks time.

Gardening should be done in the morning, but I don't really have time before work so I do it at night after I come back from work. It's against gardening rules but they'll have to survive that :(

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I've also started working on organic compost since last week. I put a medium sized basin at the verandah and throw all the dried veggies, green leftovers, and egg shells in it. Added basic soil on-top of it to avoid the smell and unwanted insects. Other than online reads, all ideas came from what I learned when I was young - the 'forced gardening' years. I should thank my dad properly one of this day. 

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Maybe this is how I survive my solitude, the hunger and need of other lives in my life that only bring soft positive vibes and the effect of not having Awan around. Maybe human really can't possibly be totally alone. So I started planting.

But I'm not lonely.
It's hard to explain to people when they pity me for enjoying solitude. I ended up telling them that I am totally fine with this and rather be alone than having someone that I don't want to be with. Hah. And maybe I'm beginning to be slightly socially awkward and clingy to a certain individual.

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Documenting my life straight-forwardly from a 3rd person's view like I am an experimental specimen on a case study works fine with me. I hope this doesn't bore you, and if it does, you shouldn't waste your time on this dilly-dally because one's interest is only if it connects with them, even for a little tiny bit of atomic-sized link.

Little Things 160 : Social Media


A liberating feeling when I finally deleted my Grooveshark, Twitter and Tumblr, cleaned up my Bloglovin' list from forgotten, deleted, boring blogs and leave only blogs that matter and I actually want to read. The real Facebook account has been deactivated for almost a year with no regret, only leaving the fake one that I'm using for the office's use. 

What I keep on updating for public view are : this blog and Instagram.
Other than that, I don't think I have anything much worth sharing in my life.

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Plant Project : Seeds


Every time I go to places that sell seeds, I'll buy 1-2 types of them.
By now I've planted okra, alyssum, coriander, chinese celery, aloe vera, mini wisteria, gingko biloba, petunia, carnation, persimmon, mini red maple, and chilies.

Every glass bottles and egg containers are used as planting place. 
I've come to visit every nursery in my area, buy mixture of soils and pots, tell almost elaborated updates everyday to one that patiently listened. I learned a thing or two about soils and watering technique and the most happiest is to see them sprouting excitedly everyday. Too bad the only place I can plant them is in pots and I have to wait to see whether it works for them or not. 

And because I planted so many seeds and I didn't label them, I'm starting to get confused on which is which. All big sized seeds like wisteria and gingko bonsai aren't so cooperative, so nothing came out yet even after weeks. This leave me with stalking over thousands of littlest baby sprouts from smaller sized seeds.  

My goal is to have overwhelming greenery and colourful flowers in my empty apartment. I want to see them grow, to enjoy the slow process and to appreciate the beauty not by having to kill them i.e : bouquet of cut flowers as a gifts. 

I understand now, why my dad dedicated his days to planting plants. 
It's therapeutic. 

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Carpet of snow, alyssum :


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Okra :


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Petunia or carnation ? :


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Left over alyssum :


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I always tell myself that you can see the core of a person by seeing :
1. How they treat plants,
2. How they treat all animals including dogs and pigs,
3. How they treat children.

See how a person treats those that can't judge, complain and give nothing in return. 
And you'll maybe see a tiny glimpse of the person's hidden soul.

PS : 
But my dad isn't so nice with people, and too nice towards plants and animals. 
This case study of mine always collides with this annoying fact. 
Maybe he just doesn't like human much, just like me.

Illustrations : Autumn Leaves & Anniversary


Old Bamboo tablet still working fine, this Macbook keep on blacking out while completing this illustration. No more time for random meaningless doodles, the heart sticks to purposes and reasons - anti-climax-party-pooper :( 


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Things I learned while being a designer at TRP :
  1. You can teach yourself anything, with efforts, time, research and a will to learn.
  2. You don't know, you learn. You are not good enough, you work for it. You can't say no.
  3. Learn to prioritize and manage time by stages. No 'Malay-time' attitude. Deliver your job on time, even if it is just good enough and not great - time for improvements are ready for you, if you can deliver the work on time.
  4. Excuses are excuses. 
  5. Work only on working hour. Use your 8 hours for work, short rest, pray and energy consumption. Yes, you are a robot, use your time well, and get back home when your time is up. Don't stay around.
  6. Skills can be upgraded and improved.
  7. During your free time, do researches and practices.
  8. Find freelance jobs, send resumes and emails to companies that might need your service. 
  9. Create your online portfolio and update your linkedin.
  10. Every time you don't feel like a designer, tell yourself that you are just exploring the field for fun and passion. That way, you don't have to label yourself.

Happy first anniversary at TRP, 
and thanks for the promotion to a Senior Graphic Designer  ❤  ❤  ❤ 

Little Things 159 : Society


This excerpt was taken from the book I'm currently reading : Cloud Atlas. If you watch the movie, this is the conversation between Zachry (Tom Hanks) and Meronym (Halle Berry) in the future version where the civilized world is already destroyed and the Civilization is trying to find a new land hence, why she stayed with the valleyman in the first place.

Savage and civilized -
What's the naked meanin' b'hind them two words? 
Savages ain't got no laws, I said, but Civ'lizeds got laws. 
Deeper'n that it's this. The savage satisfies his needs now. He's hungry, he'll eat. He's angry, he'll knuckly. He's swellin', he'll shoot up a woman. His master is his will an' if his will say-soes 'Kill' he'll kill. Like fangy animals.  
Now the Civ'lized got the same needs too, but he sees further. He'll eat half his food now, yay, but plant half so he won't go hungry tomorrow. He's angry, he'll stop and think why so he won't go get angry next time. He's swellin', well, he's got sisters an' daughters what need respectin' so he'll respect his bros' sisters and daughters. His will is his slave an' if his will say-soes, 'Don't!', he won't, nay. 
So, I asked again, is it better to be savage'n to be Civ'lized? 
Listen, savages an' Civ'lizeds ain't divided by tribes or beliefs or mountain ranges, nay, every human is both, yay. Some savages what I knowed got a beautsome Civ'lized heartbeatin' in their ribs. Maybe some Kona. Not enough to say-so their whole tribe, but who knows one day? One day.
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Not quite sure why I feel like the most important thing in this world is to balance up your knowledge with everything else that you do in life. Maybe as people said, to be able to control the society from destruction or seeing the whole truth. I'm not quite clear - but from what I see, with all these technologies and free open knowledge available everywhere, people still remain completely irrelevant. 

Maybe we thought we see some changes. Maybe it is. Or maybe it isn't. I feel like we are just shifting the background environment into a new modern version, but the whole system is just another repetition from previous repetitions. What happened today, happened before. We are just here to keep the system going, as long as we need to. And we feel important, we feel like we are making a history. A history in different name and look, but hidden behind the mask of the same theme and feel. 

Maybe what we need isn't changes in the technology, in trends, in society, in outward appearance of everything, but what we need is individual changes, starts from the core of everything, your heart and  your soul.

Plant Project : Bendi Seeds


As for the last week's continuation on this post, where I posted about my shopping spree at MAHA, I also posted an image of those Bendi seeds in recycled egg carton. I didn't expect much on the first few days, but 2 days after I planted them, they sprouted their first leaf. 


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Their growth is alarmingly fast. In just several days, they got as high as 5 inches. Not sure whether that is normal or not, last time I planted seeds was 12 years ago. But those red maple bonsai seed and gingko biloba seed that I planted on the same time aren't showing any progress, so I guess it depends on every plant.


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New pot, almost all crammed together in a limited soil. Aha. 
I need longer pot, more soil, and organic fertilizer. 
These babies are growing too fast. These are just 6 days old :


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Book : Hard-boiled Wonderland & End of the World


I finished reading the book last week - after a week. I finally found Murakami's book that I really like and would recommend if anyone wants to try any of his book *before this I found it hard to recommend his book because I was worried people won't like his odd writing, pace and mood. But this time, I really enjoyed the story. Almost all of his books are bringing different style : for example, 'Norwegian Wood', 'Sputnik Sweetheart', 'Colourless Life of Tsukuru Tazaki' are more like stories about life. While 'Kafka on the Shore' & 'the Wind-up Bird Chronicle' are a mixture of some unexplained oddity and life. 

'Hard-boiled Wonderland & End of the World' is a semi science-fiction/fantasy genre written in 1985.
Not quite sure how he got the idea of those parallel world of reality and subconsciousness. There was this one chapter that explained the scientific explanation on those theories - and that lost me. But other than that, I found the book really fun and worth my time reading.

I really like the part in the odd town where everyone is called with names like; The Gatekeeper, The Librarian, The Dreamreader, etc, people don't have shadows, and there are beasts that will die every winter and keep people's old dreams in its skull? Which would probably doesn't make any sense at all but it would, if all of those are written in metaphors. And if it does, than that is a stroke of geniuses. I still have too many books to read and don't have much time to reread it yet, and Murakami always said, "Just read, I don't write in metaphors!". Well, I don't believe him.  

This book deserves 4 stars with some cherry tomatoes on top.

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And that, wrapped up all his books for this year.
It's sad to say that I finished all of his books, except 'After the Quake' - *which I won't buy, but find someone with the book, to borrow. This year has been my great reading year, because I found Murakami, and got the money to keep buying all of his books *chances to buy books has always been a privilege for me, because books can be quite expensive. I am really happy for this.


Currently I am reading David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.

Little Things 158 : Little House 3 + Baby Plants


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Here are things that I bought at MAHA 2014 for less than RM 50 *except for some of the seeds - etsy, baby aloe vera and moss of course. Look at those different types of orchids, not quite sure which are which now.


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Aftermath :

I took several hours to replace their pots. Not quite sure whether planting orchids this way would work or not tho. Inspiration taken from too many images in pinterest, and hanging them up next to a window seems like a great idea :


Had to read several more how-to from Google to keep them orchids alive.
I don't want to repeat the past :F

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I also planted several seeds - I felt quite optimistic until I read several articles on how fussy it is to plant things indoor - in pots, compared to outdoor in their natural habitat :F Now I feel like giving up and wanting to buy all baby plants instead of seeds.


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I once asked a seller in one of the nursery in KL about air plant. I didn't know about it much, so I was just as curious as any new gardener would be. It is just a plant, that doesn't need soil and much water - perfect for this one glass ball I bought for no reason when I followed my sister to a warehouse in Balakong last month. But, the price was RM35. 

I left the place feeling a bit shocked. Clearly wasn't ready to hear such littlest being to cost that much. But when I went to MAHA, there was 3 booths that sell various types of air plants costing around RM8 - RM 15, depending on the size. So I bought one :F


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Little bonsai needs its sunlight, so I had to put it in now-healthy-looking-aloe-vera that I brought from home. Before this, the aloe vera almost died. Over-watered. Hah. 


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Little mosses were scooped up from the apartment area. I stole it, in front of the guard - picked it up with my mini tools and a plastic bag. These littles moses are by far the most fussiest plants that I'm currently taking care of. Sometimes they turned brownish and dry, sometimes they looked like they are ready to die because I over-watered it. I have no idea how much should I water to make them look normal. =.= Need more time to understand each pot's water requirement.


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I'm really glad I started indoor gardening :D
Much cheaper than taking care of Awan, although plants don't really respond much as cats do. 

Event : MAHA 2014

Last weekend I helped my dad at his booth.
He joined MAHA 2014 at Maeps since last Thursday,
the event is being held for 10 days, once every 2 years.

Dad's booth :
ApadanaAgro, Booth 31, Laman Tiba 1, MAHA, Maeps, Serdang. How to go?

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When I arrived there on Sunday morning, the booth was already set-up ready to go because the event started 3 days before, so I didn't do much of hard-sweaty work. Booth and location were far better than 2 years ago. This time we were surrounded by plants; herbs, fruit plants, orchids, cactuses, air plants, seeds, big plant, baby plants, everything green and exciting. I was overwhelmed.

Sunday at MAHA clearly well-packed with human from all over Malaysia. I was busy selling my dad's soft baked cookies, jeruk, chocolate moist and air asam boi. While my dad and Ali (*dad's worker) sell plants and zeolites. The first 6 hours was so hectic I didn't even have time to sit and rest. I waited for my sister to arrive to take my turn so I can have my late lunch and hunt for plants.

When she finally arrived,  I gave her a simple briefing and I left her to take care of the booth :D I had around 2 hours to find foods, toilet and plants. The event place is super-big and I don't have the time and energy to have a full walk-through. So I only aimed for our plant area (Laman Tiba 1) and the food area (which was really far but I was famished beyond words and I know my dad won't find anything to eat until 10pm+, so I had to find something for them to eat).

I scanned through the plant area 3 times, bought myself baby chili plant (RM 2), baby orchids (RM 20 for 5), air plant (RM 10), bendi seeds (RM 1), little pots and woods (RM 1 each), also baby keladi + pegaga in zeolites from my dad (RM 5 each). All them seeds and babies because my apartment is so small everything would go to little hanging pots and bottles. Not quite sure buying orchids will work for me or not - the last time I bought orchid, it died :F

It rained heavily at 5pm until 8pm, I was stuck at some booths and scanned around for things. I had to run in the rain when I got too bored at same booth for long. Until I was back at my dad's again. We were there until 10.30pm - super exhausted and smelly, happy for buying so many baby plants, and promised I'll try to spend another day next weekend to help my dad.

Don't miss it.
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Little Things 157 : Connection between Experiments & Social Media Posts


For 9 years I practiced doing simple scientific experiments.
I once believed I wanted to be a nutritionist, up until the moment I failed my matriculation and was banned from entering any public universities. I decided to change my course of life to my second option : graphic + computer, but that, is a whole different story.

I was quite good in experimenting. I still believe I am.
Not only that I was a nerd who would rather spend my weekend in the library, I also make myself believe that anyone can teach themselves anything, with the right skills and efforts. So that was how I became the person I am today.

I believe everyone has huge potential. We have a brain to think, we have thoughts to judge, analyze, consider, and summarize. So everyone is equipped with a mind capable to think. I am not quite sure how curiosities vary in every human being. But from my personal thought, I believe I am a really curious person. That is why I constantly have questions and thoughts in my mind - and push myself to learn things so I'll have some reasonable answers. I am aware of the danger of curious mind, so I learn how to use it in proper way. 

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As human, we always have thoughts. 
Most people these days would rather summarize things based on what they know at that moment. This means: The less you learn, the less you know and understand. So things that you might say and think would probably be wrong, or mayyybe - right. It was o-kay, until they created Social Media : where everyone shares everything they know and they thought they know. Spreading thoughts like viruses, eating people's rationale mind.

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I'll remind you an important skill that all of you learned for years while growing up : Conducting an Experiment. 

1. In scientific experiment, we usually start with having a statement : in our case, thoughts, doubts, arguments, opinions, questions, etc. "Why this and this is wrong?", "Is this and this equals to this?"

2. And then we will have hypothesis or possibilities or ways to test/prove/answer the early statement in our mind. "This might be the answer to that and we might get the answer by doing some of these".

3. Next, we'll have inference or your reasons to back up those hypotheses of yours, just to make sure they are not just random statements rather, something that you've put your thought up to and consider for awhile. "Doing that and some of this is the closest to creating the answer - so that is why".

4. And then you'll start your experiment or research. 

That part is the longest part, it might take forever and you might not even conclude anything. This is what we are open to, possible answers, the core of everything. We will forever researching, learning, experimenting, observing, analyzing. The thing is, sometimes we don't know what we are doing is right, or wrong. But one thing for certain, giving some time to expand what you know and feel about something is never a waste of time. 

Not sharing everything in your head is sometimes good for you and for everyone else. 
So every time you read anything online, give moments to think everything through. Process it as long as you can. Conduct some experiments and personal researches. And avoid summarizing things based on several well-written thoughts. That way, you'll have absolute time to use your brain to think constantly.

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OR if you are super latzy to use your brain on every shared posts on social media, you can try another simpler version of the process. This is one of the way to separate between people you should trust and people you shouldn't trust :
2 type of people you shouldn't trust online : 
1. People who don't know what is flossing 
2. People who never floss - ever
Easy.

Random : Is it ?


Sometimes in a certain phase in life, we get quite close with a person or two.
We meet everyday, text each other, spend most of free time together.

And under certain circumstances when the phase ends, they slowly disappear from your life. Sometimes with reasons, sometimes there's nothing worth the explanation. They leave you with an empty hole that you've created for them in the beginning. 

And you've begin to wonder, how can you actually started it in the first place? What actually went wrong? But it took not so long to recover, and you asked yourself again : why it took this certain amount of time to get used to the emptiness that they left behind?

Then you realized, that you actually knew from the start that they don't belong to you. 
Not at that moment, not ever.

So you don't feel like you missed much.
You see, how can you lose something that never yours in the first place?

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Little Things 156 : Little House 2

There are 2 things that I really want right now :

1. Medium sized refrigerator
2. Comfortable natural coloured sofa.

I took everything old and wood-made from the apartment to my new home. I've painted the book case, lamp shade, rattan cabinet to white, and my sister helped me paint the old wooden reading desk from my childhood years and a heavy small desk to white as well. 

It started with an ugly little table-like wood that the owner left at the verandah. It was ugly, but I can't let it stay at the verandah looking very gloomy and alone. So I paint it white, using the white paint leftover. Now it is used as my mini gardening place, where I play with the collected moss and new born seedlings. 

The house is pretty much wide and empty. 
I don't really need much other than a place to work, cook, my books, and plants.

I'm enjoying this silence so much that it worries me.

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Little cream-coloured glasses that are used to hold those cactuses cost 50 cents each and the clear glass bowl cost RM 1, bought at another almost deserted shopping mall from an uncle that opened a small booth-like shop. He sold ancient stuffs that varies from my childhood years like ceramic plates and pots and stuffs. All cost below RM 2.

Cactuses ranged from RM 3 - RM 5, depends on where I bought it. Healthy looking stuffs from a nursery in Seri Kembangan are cheaper than almost over-watered cactuses from a nursery near Ukay Perdana. I'm still looking forward to them getting better.


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The little bonsai was accidentally bought by us from Zahari Bonsai. We found the booth while I went out to refill my groceries last week. It is a small herb tree called Bebuas. The reason we chose that particular tree is because some part of its root is already floated above the ground - so I can skip the first phase. I'm not looking forward to any drastic changes. Although I want the floating effect, I am still partly against any harm to trees - I feel like the art of bonsai is forcing trees to grow in human's own terms and condition. :F But images in Pinterest are so tempting and what is miniature garden without a bonsai. Haha - worst excuse.

But I believe plants do have soul.
The super magical one. 
Look at what this old tree rings sounded to :


C'est magnifique !

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PS : A note for blogger user -
Blogger usually aggressively auto-compress images that you upload in your blog these days.
So what you can do is :
1. Resize accordingly
2. 'Save as web' - preferably PNG-8 format less than 200K

So you'll have a decent-not-too-bad image.

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Books : Books Hidden behind the Escalator

Later that night after work, I stopped by at the nearest almost-deserted shopping mall to buy some groceries. I almost missed the old books seller next to the escalator. There is this thing about bookaholic's eyes that can always find books at random places even if the books are hiding. Ha.

I looked them through, those books looked quite old with yellowish paper and bad cover. Most of the time, I won't find books that I found worth reading from authors I never heard off, so I stopped buying books from such places. This time I was wrong.

I found books by David Mitchell :
  • Cloud Atlas (2004)
  • Black Swan Green (2006)
  • The Thousand Autumn of Jacob de Zoet (2010)

For RM 10 each. 
Huge deal, I got 3 books for the price of one - if I buy it in Kinokuniya. Although I haven't started reading "Ghostwritten" yet. Next year should be a year dedicated to other new author on my list - I need to strictly put a pause to reading Murakami's works.

On lighter note :
My new cheapest plant surprise me with a little flower this morning. I bought it with Ma last week and changed it to a bigger plastic vase. I love how the gardener never told me anything about the plant except a short "RM 1, there's more at the entrance if you want", and I bought it with no expectation of any flower, I just like the rounded leaves and the small-sized feature. 

Suddenly to wake up this morning with a nice sweet greet of "Hey". 


PS : Ignore the breakfast bekal, that's peanut butter with jam sandwich for weekend at work.