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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.

Books : The Rat Series from Murakami


It's been days since I started to think about which new book to read, after Jay Rubin's book. I wanted to read something that is not too thick and heavy ( both 'Hard-boiled Wonderland & the End of the World' and 'Ghostwritten' are quite heavy - it will take weeks to finish ). 

So I remembered the zipped folder a friend of mine sent to me early this year. It consisted of Murakami's e-books in .epub & .mobi formats, that can be read using ibook. I don't know what makes me think about it again early yesterday morning. I love physical books and I found reading on devices a nuisance, so I ignored those files all this time. 

But I decided to check it out again and I found precious 'Hear the Wind Sings (1979)' and 'Pinball ,1973 (1980)' in the folder. These 2 books aren't widely published in English, so you won't find it anywhere in the local bookstores. But the files were there in my Mac all this time! :F 

Both books are the earliest books that Murakami wrote when he was still a jazz-bar owner and not a full-time writer. I finished reading it this morning and will start the second one on Tuesday morning. The first book is mostly raw writing fiction, straight-forward Murakami's style, but even so, with a great deal of small random descriptions on his surrounding, which I like the most.

It's the first and second book before "A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)" & "Dance, Dance, Dance (1988) ", from the "Rat series". I found out about these books being a series before I started reading the third book, "A Wild Sheep Chase", when I read Jay Rubin's explanation about the Western publisher that didn't care to publish these series in a chronological order, so such thing like telling us it's a trilogy was simply ignored. But thankfully they still can do well as a stand-alone novel.


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Books : The Music of Haruki's Words


I finished : 'Haruki Murakami & the Music of Words' by Jay Rubin.

I loved it. I never thought reading almost 400 pages of semi-autobiography / book discussions would be this entertaining. Jay Rubin, being one of his translator, a long friend and a self-confessed fan of Murakami wrote a thick book discussing almost all of Murakami's books & short stories, adding snippets of interviews, thoughts and comments from available published works both in English & Japanese. Thank God I used the MPH coupon to buy this book. 

Clearly this obsession is not getting near any ending.  

If you are interested in Murakami and his books, you should get a copy of this. But you need to make sure that you've read all of his books, because spoilers are scattered everywhere. Or you just have to skip some chapter based on the book title that you have not read yet.

This book is the closest to a semi-academic manuscript that I dream to write if I ever do a full academic research on a writer or novelist. Although he is an academician, Jay Rubin managed to write something that sounded straight-forwardly formal but in a fictional way of telling interesting story. An academician with a power to write story, well that is a very fascinating combination 



Little Things 155 : Cynicism & Previous Archived Posts


My brother asked me why I deleted previous posts on this blog and some people who commented on my Google+ might notice that certain posts were deleted last weekend. To answer that, instead of ignoring his whatsapp messages. 

The reason is : I hate those narcissism posts.

Two posts were talking about : 
1. My thoughts on running and my reasons for that, the continuation of my arguments with my brother on the reason of why he would do a marathon that bring more harm to him than good. And the mental discussion on why a person would do that to their body. Also the honest statement : I still don't think 5km a long run compared to those who do marathons, the gap between 5km and 42km is just too much. 
2. My works on infographs and the dissapoinment for the lack of everything even after a year. I feel like I'm going no where, maybe I'm not up to being a graphic designer because I haven't reach the purpose of one yet. Or maybe this is just another one long process in life. 

The third post was on explaining and bitching about those 2 narcissistic posts. Being human, I have my ups and downs, that was one of my downs. I'm disappointed with the fact that I can't write anything, even after I read so many books. My blog, where I practice my writing was left without any long posts that matter to me. I write in this blog to my brother, to this small circle of people that I can't reach directly and to myself - something personal that I like to argue and discuss with them. I forgot, that this is a public blog and everyone can read everything. I forgot that the internet is so widely open, until I put a part of me in this big stage and read an excerpt of my thoughts without filling in important holes to connect my stories. I just forgot how my words can reach people's mind without the need of me to be sitting in front on them one-by-one. I forgot. 

So I deleted those 3 posts after 2 days, because when I read those posts, I hated myself. It smelled rotten and full of skepticism. I hate myself for growing up as a skeptic and at that moment, I wrote those posts in my blog and spreaded my skepticism to the world. I looked at how numbers of people that read the posts increased, and I needed to stop spreading those viruses to people, so I put them in archive. I don't regret writing it - I am a pure breed skeptic per se, but I regret posting such negativity to the world. *If I am dark & gloomy, why would I make everyone dark & gloomy with me? You know what I mean?

I just can't do that again. 
If I learned something in the past dark years, I should know that my skepticism and stone-heart statements won't do any good at all. All those arguments should be discussed among my people, just to keep my sanity - and not in a public blog as I did. 

So the mistake was to give statements about random things in my head to people who don't know me personally. My bad. I knew there's something dark lurking in my heart and ready to eat me slowly if I let it happen. The skepticism is purely mine, and I'm perfectly aware of that, but I can choose to tame the creature or feed it, it will always be my choice and I hope I don't stumble too much.

If I did, I'll put it in archive again when I get my rationality back. 
After all, what do you expect? I'm raw and human. I make mistakes, ALL the time.

Little Things 154 : Nothing


I found myself waking up to these :

1. People who know nothing and prefer to know nothing,
2. People who know nothing and prefer to act like they know something,
3. People who know something and prefer to act like they know nothing,
4. People who know something and prefer to show that they know something.

So I solemnly pledge to keep my sponge dry and ready to absorb water as much as needed, despite innocent humanly judgements because I know nothing. How can a sponge absorbs water if the hand that holds it is already squeezing it hard, not letting it go?

I might pity people who are blinded by what they thought they can see, but at the same time, they might pity me for something that they thought I couldn't see. Either way, we are playing the same game. What work for you might not work for me and what work for me might not work for you. So let us be.

As I said, I know nothing.
And I'm up to everything, except a final full-stop

Little Things 153 : Plants


I've noticed that I've taken an obsession towards little plants.

Maybe to replace Awan's absence. I miss the cat a lot and she misses me too, but I can't let her stay at the new place alone all day long, 5 days a week before I come home from work everyday, can I? She will be terribly lonely T^T

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I should thank my dad for teaching me basics stuffs that I should know to take care of plants when I was young. I've been in-and-out from nurseries around my area, trying to find nice little plants - but avoiding my dad's-right-in-from-of-my-eyes nursery. Ha.  

I hunted for some cactuses :




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I'm going to live with Awan, books and little gardens in my apartment.
Now I need to find a husband to complete my little circle :D

Books : Never-ending Topic

I've probably read about 30 - 35 books this year. Mostly things that were written by Murakami and some other classics. I spent too much time commuting and other than playing 5 lives of "Two Dots" - *the game I finally completed last night, I read.

I used to buy 1 book each month, now I can go up to 3 books - spending almost RM 100 a month for books. My shelves are expanding quite fast. A guilty pleasure, because I am spending with a joy and excitement like other people spend money to buy overpriced sneakers or handbags or game consoles or whatever it is that you over-spend on quietly. 

For example; I am currently on the last few chapters of "A Wild Sheep Chase" by Murakami, at the same time I'm reading "Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words" by Jay Rubin - *which is by far the best semi autobiography/book discussions ever-written. And waiting in line are "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" by Murakami and "Ghostwritten" by David Mitchell - *the writer of Cloud Atlas, I want to try his first book written in 1999. All were bought on discount ( 2nd book - 50% or 20% off ), so I end up with having too many books piling up to be read soon.

Not a healthy habit, but as long as I keep on reading them, I guess it is acceptable :p

Other than that, I've been eyeing some books by my favorite authors 
(listed in my birthday wish list - for my siblings' reference. Teehee ) :
  • Adultery by Paulo Coelho
  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Cuckoo's Calling by JKRowling

( cc: Aja, Azmi & Azura )
All in paperback version. I don't quite like the hard-cover version, it doesn't fit nicely with all the books on my shelves. It is also heavy and space-consuming. 
The list consisted with mainstream writers, or maybe all writers have been exposed to the highlights and world of fame by the society. Either way, as long as they produce good fictions, it's fine with me. Be rich and well known, whatever.

PS : A true book addict. 
Throw me time and books, I'll eat them raw.
:D

PS2 : Azmi, I haven't found Ramlee Awang Murshid's latest book. 
Been avoiding book stores. Soon, ok?