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Little Things 144 : Wash up



In the organization I worked with, they hire 2-3 cleaners. 
Their work mainly focuses on keeping all things tidy and clean ie: wash all the things in the pantry's sink, clean up the toilet, take the rubbish bags down, etc. For each cleaner, they pay roughly around RM1,500 (based on the innocent bual2 kosong with the cleaners - the amount I was paid when I was a fresh graduate)

So say, they have 3 cleaners, and they get RM1,500 per month :
RM 1,500 x 3 = RM 4,500
RM 4,500 x 12 = RM 54,000 per year 

So those RM 54,000 is used to maintain the working environment to the 'above-decent' standard.

Perhaps, every single people in the office knows how to wash their plates, mugs, spoons and forks after they use it, including the 'big bosses' and seniors. Or they know how to clean up the toilet or their desk, and throw the rubbish bag themselves every day after work.

Situation :
Imagine we have around 50-70 people daily, and most of them use at least 1 mug from the pantry. If 60 people don't wash their own mugs, the sink will be flooded with 60 mugs. 8 from 10 people will wash their own mug, and another 2, wash other people's mugs as well. So those 2 people will wash roughly around +30 mugs if they divide the job. 

Imagine if every single person in the organization knows this basic thing in life.
Wouldn't it be much easier for everyone?

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I always wonder, how can someone who lived so long or learn so much, don't make these little things as their habit? Like having your wife washes the dishes for you when you go watch the television after she cooks, for you. Or putting the very plate you just used for lunch, and let someone else wash it for you?

What possibly went wrong when you grow up?

PS : We used to have a maid. But believe me, my parents taught us how to clean everything up and do it ourselves really good that this mentality stick in my head and become a habit.

Little Things 143 : Life

It's no longer about the evening sky and the sound of leaves rustle in the hot park on random Saturdays. It's no longer about the heavy rain in the afternoon or wrong innocent turns. It's no longer about beautiful excerpts winding up in perfect time-lapse of yesterdays.

I love emotions that make us, human.

Now I understand why I don't have to know everything in life.

Little Things 142 : 100km


I reached my 100km ! 

Another 4 months before the end of 2014, so I'll try to add another 50km in my Runkeeper app. I had my 4th run yesterday, and another 2 to go. Other than Makna, I haven't registered for any run to complete my intended list of 6 runs a year. 

Mom asked me why I am doing this again?
Just for the sake of doing it, somehow it completes me.
Just like some people need to watch movie every week, or some people need to buy a certain car to make them feel complete. For me, I need to run.  

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PS : And oh skinny people should know that when they run constantly, they can gain weight. Probably by having leaner muscle or what-ever the scientific term is. Because ever since I run, I have tendency to eat and I gained weight, in a good way : not as skinny-sekeping as I used to be.

Book : Sputnik Sweetheart


One of the thinnest Murakami's book I've read; Sputnik Sweetheart (229 pages), this took around 3 days of commuting to work. I bought it from Border's discounted book (*2nd book 50% off) with Dance, Dance, Dance - as the second book. Other than guiltily buying his latest "Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", the hardcover version with free stickers to put on the cover even though I told myself that I'll wait for the paperback version. *failed*

In short, this is a story about a girl, Sumire, who wants to be a novelist, narrated by her best-friend K. She did everything in her life to be a writer but even though how good she was in writing, there was something missing in her work : a work that is just typically 'good' but not 'genius'.
And then she fell in love, with a woman 17 years her senior.

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I love how it connects me to the love of writing, all the metaphors and narration. Simply put, it's another Haruki's work, and everything expected in his writing. Detachment, books, writing, silence thoughts, love, lost, confusion, missing part. Not sure how I can relate to the feelings with an older woman, but how he wrote it was by showing something as pure and innocent as how we fall in love, beyond anyone's control. So it wasn't that all weird and awkward much.

I noticed that I've read 6 of his books and countless short stories over the internet, written by him. None can I possibly recommend to people as something worth read except for "What We Talk About When I Talk About Running". But, what got me hooked with his writings at the first place were the way he writes things, the emotions he puts up in such simple words, and the dreamlike-odd-super-weird storylines. He's too fascinating to be ignored, so I can't stop.

I totally understand if people can't keep up with his works and I don't really recommend you to read them too :D




Some excerpts from the book :

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"At this stage in your life I don't think you're going to write anything worthwhile, no matter how much time you put into your novels,' said Miu, calmly but firmly. "You've got the talent. I'm sure someday you'll be an extraordinary writer. I'm not saying this, I truly believe it. You have that natural ability with you. But now is not the time. The strength you need to open that door isn't quite there. Haven't you ever felt that way? "
*
"And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions, but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal on their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing. "
*
We each have a special something we can get only at a special time of our life. Like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once that flame goes out, it's gone for ever. What I'd lost was not just her. I'd lost that precious flame. 
*
So that's how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that's snatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of our skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.

Little Things 141 : A Meaning


I love this old letter from a lady to Albert Einstein, she asked him : 

“What’s the point of living with what we’re going through here — having one war after another?” 

and he replied :

 
taken from here, brainpickings.

*

We want answers for every infinite question to satisfy our curious mind.

Little Things 140 : Bad-mouthing Human


"I really don't want to bad-mouth people,
but when I do, I can't stop."

I have thoughts, I have opinions, I don't talk much, but sometimes when I do, I burst things that I don't want to say. Have you ever done that? I did, and I know I'll do this many times more. This troubles me. I view myself as the second person in the room, and I know I don't want to do it but I'll do it anyway. 

Call me a social-complainer. An act of wanting to be a part of the social activity to have a mutual agreement on certain debated topic ie; other people. This could go on and on. 

*

Why this happens? 
1. Disturbing the circle - I have this invisible circle that I've drawn around me, don't cross that line, if you do, then I'll bite. I understand that people can do whatever they want in life and I almost don't care as long as they don't mess with others' circle. Example : you want to smoke a box of cigarette per day, do it, but if 10 years later, you die because of lung cancer that probably caused by your smelly habit and it makes your family sad? - then that is called disturbing other people's circle. 

2. You have a bad habit and you flaunt it - You are proud of it, you wear it like a badge on your shirt. I can't just turn blind-eyes and ignore this obnoxious act and complain in my human's mind.  I tried that mantra, "Don't let other people control your emotions" or "find your inner peace", it works sometimes, but it is really hard to keep calm all the time.

Possible solutions :
1. "Let's have the talk" - All I want to do is to have 'the talk', like a civilized grown-ups. "Okay, you have this obnoxious-annoying-attitude and I don't feel comfortable with it". I did that several times in the past, but not everyone can handle 'the talk', some people like to use it as 'oh-I-am-the-victim' and be in denial. They can't see that it was a civilized discussion meant to stabilize everyone's circle, that it is an act to stop the bad-mouthing activity to continue. Some people treat it like a threat. Shessh.

2. Ignore - I wish, I can close my eyes all the time. But I have this belief that if I care enough, then I'll tegur. If not, then the cycle will go on and on, people in denial will be forever in denial. How can we let that happen?

*

This happens all the time. 
Everyone, this includes your family, colleague, best friends, random people on instagram, etc. This habit doesn't just fall to 'woman - kuat mengumpat', I don't believe in stereotyping, because I listened to boys bad-mouthing all the time. Tell me what should I do as human? If obvious annoying thing happen to you everyday for the last half a year, what should you do?

I tried : ignoring, joining the session, sitting stoically, totally avoiding social activities. 
But I haven't find my peace yet.  

Little Stories 79 : Peculiar Man


Every morning on my way to work, I would meet this one peculiar man.
A middle-aged man, buttoned shirt and khakis, slinging a black backpack, while holding a newspaper. I would not call him peculiar if it's not for his daily odd habit of randomly tearing up the newspaper into pieces. He would look around, tear some part and turn to the other page. 

At first I thought he was interested in certain column and wanted to keep it, but later I noticed that he just teared it up, in the middle of an article or image and left it hanging like that.

Today he brought a red marker and drew messy scratches on the teared newspaper.
I found it fascinating.

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Little Things 139 : Snowflaked Memories


You know how memories come and go?

It goes swiftly like a falling snowflake drops on the tip of your nose, too small to give you a chill but you know it is there, for a few seconds, or even minutes, before it melts. Of all the countless snowflakes none shaped the same, or even identical.

Memories are like that. 
They give you those soft nudge, saying;
"hey, it's me",
each time they appear slightly different than before. 
And softly, they melt away.

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Little Things 138 : Heart


Heart, I am so sorry.

*


*

Sometimes nothing makes sense at all.
And when that happens, heal.

Little Things 137 : Not typical artist's block


Nope, it's not a typical artist's block. It's been months, maybe almost a year. Now I even made myself believe that I can't do any doodling or illustrating. I told myself that I can do designing at the office, designing for my freelance jobs, and that's that. 

Azreenchan the doodler? 
Phhbbt. That's a myth, guys.

*Maybe I should just focus on my reading and writing.

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Little Things 136 : Live Updates

I noticed one annoying trend in my favorite social media application, Instagram and that is : 

#liveupdates-anyeventsinthisworldyoucancomeupwith

This is as annoying as getting spams in your Yahoo! mail account - if you know what I mean, or never-ending-notifications on Facebook group you've joined and soon regretted. If it's your wedding day and you want to do live updates that will take a whole day, around 2-3 images every hour is somewhat acceptable *10hours event = 20-30 images, but if your images consume my wall for the whole day, it is called spamming. If you are doing a business and start promoting on your every frequent post, it is spamming.

Solutions :
1. Don't do #liveupdates, just create a photo album folder on your Facebook and put every single pictures in there. You should know how many is too many.
2. Unfollow.

Little Things 135 : Time's Up


Maybe the story isn't about the happy ending.
Maybe it is about the journey towards it, but without the happy ending.

The story that consists of you - putting up goals and dreams in your life, you - working relentlessly to achieve it despite the never-ending problems and challenges, you - trying to figure out ways and solutions for it, you - falling deep down into the world of failures and waking up again, defeated but stronger than before. 

But the minute it seems like it is reachable or you know it's tomorrow, "tomorrow is the day I'll reach my happy ending", then everything stops. Your life, your world, your story, they stop abruptly. Without warning, without any notice.
' Time's up. '

Book : The Goldfinch


After 3 weeks of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, the 962 pages of slow journey with Theo Decker on surviving his dreadful life after the death of his beloved mother. A painstakingly draggy story with too many detailed descriptions over everything. It can be beautiful, if there wasn't too many tiny mentions of things and if the pace is not too slow.

This wasn't my favorite. It reminds me of Lionel Shriver, the author of "We need to talk about Kevin", too wrapped up with their abundance-knowledge-on-extravagant-words-and-miniscule -descriptions.

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"And you love her, yes. But not too much."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because you are not mad, or wild, or grieving! You are not roaring out to choke her with your own bare hands! Which means your soul is not too mixed up with hers. And that is good. Here is my experience. Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you. What you want to live and be happy in the world is a woman who has her own life and lets you have yours.

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A great sorrow, and one that I am not only beginning to understand : we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are.


*
What is one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted -?
What is the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight towards a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster? If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight towards the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the preserve glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationship and steady career advancement, the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person?
Or - is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?

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Little Things 134 : Supermoon Attacks 2


Another supermoon guys,
"Thanks to coincidental timing of the moon being at its closest approach to Earth for 2014, at 356,896 km away, while in its full phase this week our planet’s companion will appear 16% larger and 30% brighter than usual." 

"In 2014 there are 3 supermoons : on July 12, August 10, and September 9, when the moon becomes full on the same day as perigee. Such tight timing won’t occur again until 2034. "

"The best time to catch all the action is just after your local sunset on Sunday, just as the full moon begins to rise."
Remember last year's romantic supermoon faded with our worst case of jerebu?

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Little Things 133 : Stack of Books


My colleagues are bringing books for me to read.
Other than another bunch of books that I got from my brother last months, there are more books on my office table now waiting to be read. I've never been surrounded by so many readers and book lovers in one environment. As a bookaholic, this year has been a blessing. I'm reaching my 27th book and still going wild eating them up :D

Little Things 132 : Modern Rumi in lyrics


I can only see his lyrics as something simple and beautiful, almost like modern Rumi, connected closely to  the love of God. I don't want to decipher his spiritual journey or trying to understand, because one's journey usually only makes sense to him alone. This compilation of mine is more like an amusement over other people's experience, in this case, the legendary musician; Ahmad Dhani. 

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1. Satu 

Aku ini adalah dirimu | Cinta ini adalah cintamu | Aku ini adalah dirimu | Jiwa ini adalah jiwamu | Rindu ini adalah rindumu | Darah ini adalah darahmu | Tak ada yang lain selain dirimu | Yang selalu ku puja | Ku sebut namamu di setiap hembusan nafasku | Ku sebut namamu |  Dengan tanganmu aku menyentuh | Dengan kakimu aku berjalan | Dengan matamu aku memandang | Dengan telingamu aku mendengar | Dengan lidahmu aku bicara | Dengan hatimu aku merasa |

Comment : Isn't this sounds like there's nothing but God, in every breath, the hands to touch, the feet to walk, the eyes to see, the ears to listen, the tongue to speak, the heart to feel, everything in us is not ours, but His. Isn't this beautiful?

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2. Hadapi dengan senyuman

Hadapi dengan senyuman | Semua yang terjadi biar terjadi | Hadapi dengan tenang jiwa | Semua kan baik-baik saja | Bila ketetapan Tuhan | Sudah ditetapkan, tetaplah sudah | Tak ada yang bisa merubah | Dan takkan bisa berubah | Relakanlah saja ini | Bahwa semua yang terbaik | Terbaik untuk kita semua | Menyerahlah untuk menang |

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3. Jika Surga dan Neraka tak pernah ada

Apakah kita semua | Benar-benar tulus | Menyembah pada-Nya | Atau mungkin kita hanya | Takut pada neraka | Dan inginkan surga | Jika surga dan neraka tak pernah ada | Masihkan kau bersujud kepada-Nya | Jika surga dan neraka tak pernah ada | Masihkah kau menyebut nama-Nya | Bisakah kita semua | Benar-benar sujud sepenuh hati | Kar`na sungguh memang Dia memang pantas disembah | Memang pantas dipuja |

Comment : This is more or less like a question I asked myself over and over again. Whether what I do, I practice, I believe in, are because I really wanted to do, loved and believed in, or because I am afraid of the promised punishments?

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4. Mistikus Cinta

Ketika pertama kali, jiwamu ingin selalu dekat dengan jiwaku yang belum bisa menterjemahkan segala arti pertemuan ini | arti cumbu rayu ini yang mungkin bisa memusnahkan, kenyataan yang terjadi | ketika jiwamu, merasuk ke dalam, aliran darahku dan meracuniku | ketika jiwamu, memalukan itu, dan biarkan jiwaku cumbui jiwamu | Ketika kamu angkuh, melebur menjadi satu dan hanya waktu yang mungkin bisa memahami apa yang terjadi apa yang sedang kurasa, apa yang sedang kau rasa adalah cinta yang tak bisa yg di jelaskan dengan kata-kata |

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These are simply beautiful :)

Little Things 132 : Film Directors

I've seen many of these movies during my case studies among these 4 film directors ; Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher and Baz Luhrmann. Each of them is unique in making his/her work of art that I can actually see particular styles and ways in their films. I bold some of my favorite movies from them in the list that worth to be watched.

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Wes Anderson :

Bottle Rocket (1996) | Rushmore (1998) | The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) | The Squid and the Whale (2005)
 The Darjeeling Limited (2007) | Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) | Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)


Comment : Vibrant colours, unique characters with peculiar attitude, interesting OCD shots, very detailed to the core, lots of connection between the films, hidden meanings/symbolic representation of stuffs, stories in stories, voice-over narration, familiar faces repeatedly in different movies. I love his works. His music compilations are unique, nothing quite like the things we usually listen to.

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Sofia Coppola :

The Virgin Suicides (1999) | Lost in Translation (2003)
 Marie Antoinette (2006) | Somewhere (2010) | The Bling Ring (2013) 


Comment : Aesthetically beautiful, pastel-coloured shots, odd mixture of modern songs in gloomy mood, characters lack of emotions, really slow mixed with silence, depression and loneliness. Her movies are a bit too gloomy for me. I always wonder what's her 'real' stories behind all of her films.

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David Fincher :

Alien (1992) | Seven (1995) | The Game (1997) | Fight Club (1999)
The Hire (2001) | Panic Room (2002) | Lords of Dogtown (2005) | Love and Other Disasters (2006)
Zodiac (2007) | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) | The Social Network (2010)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) | Gone Girl (2014)



Comment : Love the twisted mysteries, most of his movies are a bit dark. Not so much of my genre, because I don't really watch thriller or anything that makes my heart goes 'thump-thump-thump', alone. My favorites are Benjamin Button and Fight Club, genius.

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Baz Luhrmann :

Strictly Ballroom (1992) | Romeo + Juliet (1996) | Moulin Rouge! (2001)
 Australia (2008) | The Great Gatsby (2013)



Comment : Awesome Grammy-winning soundtracks that send chills down into my spine. Baz Luhrmann is a genius in composing songs into his movie, with many shots taken in dark background contrasted with bright surreal colours. He seems to love chaos, songs, party, music and crowds. Soundtracks I keep on replaying on my Spotify : Moulin Rouge and Great Gatsby.


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All video clippings taken from Mr. Kees van Dijkhuizen jr.

Little Things 131 : Pi's Snippet


One scene in Life of Pi when Pi asked Anandi about her dance routine :

Pi : In the dance, you went from Pataka, which means the forest, and then you did-then you did Samputa, which means something that is hidden, and after that you did this... and then you did Chatura. But at the very end you did this.. None of the others dancers did that. What did you mean? 'The God of love is hiding in the forest? '
Anandi: No, that also means the Lotus flower.
Pi : Lotus flower is hiding in the forest? Why would a Lotus flower hide in the forest?
(Her friends giggled and she looked slightly embarrassed)


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In Hinduism & Buddhism, lotus flower associated with beauty, fertility, prosperity, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening. So there's 2 3 possible meanings :
1. Symbol of a quest, lotus flower hidden in the forest, or enlightenment hidden in deep place that is hard to go ie; the forest or spiritual awakening is something that is hard to achieve.
2. Symbol of sexuality, 'the god of love' or the lotus flower, hidden in the forest. Some Asian mythology also symbolizes female organ as lotus flower. So, something beautiful like a flower, hidden in the forest, you know what I mean? That's probably why Anandi blushed and her friends giggled. Well said for something that is a bit personal and intimate.
Should I even elaborate more on this?
3. There is no meaning, just a lotus flower hidden in the forest. :D

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Anandi wasn't even existed in the book so this part was probably added by someone other than Yann Martel (*maybe the producer or scriptwriter). But even for such a simple snippet added with symbolic meaning, thus makes the whole production pretty much aaawe-some. And to think there is a meaning and story in every dance steps, pheww.

Little Things 130 : 10:99

Surat Yūnus (10:99) -
And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? Link

Dan (bukanlah tanggungjawabmu wahai Muhammad menjadikan seluruh umat manusia beriman), jika Tuhanmu menghendaki nescaya berimanlah sekalian manusia yang ada di bumi. (Janganlah engkau bersedih hati tentang kedegilan orang-orang yang ingkar itu; kalau Tuhan tidak menghendaki) maka patutkah engkau pula hendak memaksa manusia supaya mereka menjadi orang-orang yang beriman? Link
If it had been thy Lord's will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe! Link
“Kalau Tuhan kamu menghendaki, maka akan berimanlah semua manusia yang ada di muka Bumi. Apakah kalian hendak memaksa manusia agar mereka beriman?” Link
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Buat manusia yang masih terbayang dengan gelapnya dunia, ingatlah yang menguruskan dunia ini, bukan kamu.
Jaga hati, jaga diri, hari-hari yang terjadi inilah yang terbaik untuk kamu.