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Little Things 205 : Smoothies


In trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I found a new delightful latest craze; smoothies ! 

We received 2 blenders from our wedding gifts; one for normal blender and another one for juice/smoothies. Ma mentioned that her blender just couldn't work anymore few weeks ago so I gave her one of the blender for her to make her daily morning juices *we don't really have the chance to use all the presents pun.

Basically the juice consists of all the weird stuffs like : carrots, tomatoes, celery,  pegaga, apple, orange and honey. We have to drink it every single day, every morning. For years. Anyone claims that drinking juices can make your skin glow and all those stuffs? No lah, I've been doing this for years, my skin is still too oily, too pimply, too uneven most of the time. Hmph. 

It's healthy, yes, but I usually I can't finish it. Partly because I'm full, partly because I'm so mengada-ngada. I often buy fruits before arriving at work and sooometime when I'm super hungry after work but I feel too guilty to eat out, I'll buy some juices/smoothies from Boost. It is quite expensive, and I know I can do something exactly like that, double the amount. So I decided to learn to do it myself. 

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We just went to a supermarket one day after work, and I bought fresh milk and bananas. 

The next morning, I poured some milk, 8 cubes of ices that I made the night before and 4 bananas. I blended it and served to AF & Ma. It was the most refreshing delicious smoothies I've ever had! I even thought that I'll be having my morning stomachache afterwards because I consumed banana + milk, but nothing happened. They both also agreed. ❤ ❤ 



The next several days, we kept on buying more bananas and I kept making several glasses of smoothies in the morning or after work. Hah. I tried to make honey-dew smoothies several days ago but it turned out to be a bit meh. I'm still in love with plain banana smoothies. No sugar, no yogurt. 

But I'm considering to have some other try-outs, so I'm stalking Boost's list of drinks here. Pinterest is a great tool also. Will buy more fruits, I promised myself that.

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It is a bit like a love-hate relation because I know fruits are good and healthy but they can be super expensive *and I'm a cheapskate. T^T I really want a healthy clean diet, so I'm going to continue my exploration in finding something healthy and fulfilling enough for both of us. And Ma 

PS : I am really encouraging people to try banana smoothies. 

Work Related : Final day with LGM & TRP team



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It was my final day at LGM & TRP, yesterday. 
I've tried to finish up all my listed works and update all the working files. I passed those files to people who I think I can rely on. T^T We did countdowns for weeks now. It's really hard to imagine that I'm not going to be working here next month. There won't be silent morning with my green tea and the moment to wait for cranky Ally to arrive. There won't be "what's for lunch?" too early in the afternoon or short tea-time stressing about our workloads. There won't be the boss that I highly adore or a cupboard full of unlimited choices of hot drinks in the pantry. 

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They took me out to O'Brien's during lunch, imagine that I've never went out to eat with them ever because we can't leave the office untended. And they took me out to Starbucks for teatime with the chief editor and Mandy also made a nice gluten-free Japanese cheese cake for all of us ! I was awkward like always. They made me a nice hand-made book *because I like books and wrote down all the sweet little things about future, books, make more friends, talk to strangers, have fun and such T^T PS : I didn't tell the whole team I was leaving, just like the moment when I got married. I just told the designer team and somehow it spread out.  


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I'll miss Ally, Paula, Mandy, Nicole, Iz, Azli, Ethan, Sean, Micheal, Desmond, Azzim, Francis, Esther, and those friendly guards and cleaners. And my pet plants. And highest floor level 14 with incredible KL city view that I hardly enjoy because I work too much =.= boo.

I had so much fun here.
I hope I'll be enjoying my next journey soon. 

Little Things 204 : Pesan-pesan


There are 3 things that my Tokmak will say every time we meet :

"Kalau gaduh, bila sorang tu marah2, sorang kena senyap. Bila orang tu pula marah2, sorang lagi tu kena senyap. Jangan dua-dua nak cakap. Dengar je. Tau."
"Doakan untuk ibubapa, itu yang paling penting. Hari-hari, doakan untuk dua-dua. Tau."
"Solat 5 waktu, baca Al-Quran tiap-tiap hari. Satu ayat pun cukup kalau banyak sangat kerja. Tokmak amalkan baca hari-hari dan khatam 2 kali setahun. Ingat Tuhan selalu."
 ❤  ❤   ❤ 
 

Doodle : DA x Blik Contest


Doodlers Anonymous x Blik created a contest to design a wall clock. I've been ignoring it for days until they sent the final reminder to try out for the contest several hours before it ends. I just thought "why not"-

So I submitted my Little Sleepyheads, because these little guys have been sending me to the whole world since I started doodling years ago *or maybe I just don't have any other good designs for a last minute submission. Ha.

There are 277 designs, doodles + illustrations submitted from all over the world, mine included. It is open for voting until tomorrow, just click here to vote. But you need to login if you are a Doodle Addict at Doodlers Anonymous and can just type for "Azah Azreen" from the browser's "Find" box, not the "Search" box *because that won't work. You can also view everyone's artworks, but it will take ages to judge 277 of them, they should consider to find for more efficient way to view everything so it's easy for us to compare, yes? 

You will see this :


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If you like these little sleepyheads cramped in the wall clock, click on the asterisk below it. 
If you don't like, just ignore this pos and pretend like nothing happened t :D

Books : Tsundoku


Tsundoku.
It means buying books and leaving them pile up in your room, maybe waiting for the right time to read it, or the right atmosphere, or the right mood, or the right reading sofa or the right everything. 

Don't you miss a long school holiday when there wasn't much to do but to read?
When there wasn't console games or smart phones or Astro. 
When we exchanged books on the last week of school.
When we spent hours sprawling on a hot bed in the afternoon.
When we wrote pages of new words that we found.

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Image from here.

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I bought these in less than 2 months :
Narcissus & Golmund (1930) - Herman Hesse
Siddhartha (1922) - Herman Hesse *my own copy, finally!
Pinball + Wind (1979 + 1980) - Haruki Murakami *2 books in 1
Der Steppenwolf (1927) - Herman Hesse
Meditation (1909) - Marcus Auralius 
Tokyo Guide (2015) - Hello Sandwich's Ebony

+
My boss gave me these as presents :
A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Anna Karerina by Leo Tolstoy
Invisible Monster by Chuck Palahniuk

Do you know what I mean? Tsundoku. 
I bought them, wrapped them nicely and let them pile up on my desk in my room =.=
PS : Okay I've decided to bring Narcissus & Golmund to Tokiyo. I hope I'll enjoy it. 

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Little Things 203 : Yoga


If I count the time when I first self-learned yoga stretches, that would be almost 2 years now. I learned the basics through some readings, video shared on youtube and mobile application. I used to do it almost everyday. But since I am back at my old apartment, I stopped the daily routine after work. There isn't much space for me to do any of those stretches at home anymore :(

So several weeks ago I decided to start taking care of 'our' healths again *this time AF is included. So we tried to find some options for our outing activities. I decided to do yoga again, but this time in public places. This is tough because I hate being seen much and yoga needs some extreme stretches that I'm quite uncomfortable to do in public. Plus, I might need proper full clothing. 

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I decided to buy a black harem pants from Lazada that costed around RM 35. It is free-sized, loose, quite cheap, and of course the material is a bit smooth & shiny like lycra. I hate to imagine that people can actually see my feet so I wore a long cotton legging inside. I've never wore a harem pants before, so I didn't know how comfortable it can be! I can do all the stretches and even play around hopping here and there for parkour techniques as well :p 

2nd week, we went out to Putrajaya. AF shared his secret hide-outs - one of the location for his previous parkour training. The place next to the lake with stairs and blocks and everything. I can finally do my yoga stretches in public, sans the human :D It is the best secret location for a shy yogi because the space is lowered a bit compared to the surrounding and it's like I'm in a room with an open sky above me and big lake in front of me.

3rd week, we are trying our best to keep on continuing this activities weekly. I'm still teaching him what I know, and he is still trying to teach me what he knows :F I learned something about myself along the way; that I don't have the confidence with what my body is capable to do. Parkour is still too extreme for me! Mihmihmih.

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Little Things 202 : Cockroach Theory


My colleague shared with me an interesting article about the Cockroach Theory by Sundar Pichais - he is the latest Google's CEO, announced few weeks ago. I really love this simple theory based on his random observation in a restaurant, I think you should read this as well

Sundar Pichais' Theory taken from the link :

“At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. 
She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but, it landed on another lady in the group. 
Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant. 
Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? 
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies. 
I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it's my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. 
More than the problem, it's my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life. 
Lessons learnt from the story: I understood, I should not react in life. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are always instinctive, whereas responses are always well thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in anger, anxiety, stress or hurry. A beautiful way to understand : life.” 
- Sundar Pichai
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Work Related : Begadang Backpackers 4


So they took BB beans to the top of Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia :D

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Little Things 201 : Converse

Remember that I used to take pictures of my Converse with various backgrounds from my outing sessions? It was one of those moments that I went out ever so often to sweat out and see the nature and be more aware of those little things in my surrounding :p It was one of the best moment that I had because I was doing part-time job and was working for only half a day - daily, so time was flexible. Plus I dedicated every Tuesday to be out in the sun for the whole day.

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Remember this ? :

 

T^T

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Well it's been almost 4 years with my light brown All-star Converse, the shoes that I bought at Converse's Sale in SCP, Seri Kembangan. I remember that I went there after work, and I only found one shoes that I can fit into. I bought it on discount. 

And it went to places with me. I washed it often enough, it faded.
Random people recognized me through my Converse. And because I don't really have any other shoes, I keep on wearing it all the time. Up until it got holes beneath both of the shoes. I knew I was over-wearing it, so I bought dark blue Muji's slip-on as a substitute shoes. They took turns. 

My final call was last week, when I wore it and I pushed my toes up, I noticed that there's a hole on my right shoe :( I can wriggle my toe and definitely see it. I knew I need a new shoe by then.

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Last Friday after work we went to Avenue K and stopped at one of the shoes boutique. And among hundreds of shoes, I choose another one Converse. This time it's in Navy classic colour - *later I noticed it's the same as my Muji Slip-on :


I was choosing between the red and navy coloured one. 
But they got no stock for the red one in my size, then the navy ones it is :)

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PS : The best part is I wouldn't have to pretend to be more feminine after I got married. AF knew that I am just as simple as a person can be and he doesn't mind with the fact that I don't dress-up and be all that girly. I can still wear my converse - be it for another 4 more years. Mihmihmih. 

Work Related : Viralcham Website


This is one of my last year's project. We were asked to design a logo for a local website's branding called Viralcham. Basically it is a website that share random contents that I'm not quite sure of because I can't read it *it's in Chinese. As they mentioned, 'cham' is a mixture of everything.

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So we sent our logo proposal. My moodboard consisted of research from companies that uses hand-writing/free-hand style in their logo. I wanted to incorporate my doodle in the logo - and the boss thought it was a great idea! 

This was the first sketches draft :




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The client thought that it is a great idea to create several characters to be used for their branding. So in the second draft, I created more characters - and they can seem to accept my cute-cute little monsters, but they thought Asian loves cute things =,= By this time, the boss asked me to take on the project.

Here is my second draft : 


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The boss asked me one last time to make a variation on the second draft to see where it might lead to, but I kind-of played in the same park and produced this :


Personally I love the grafitti-like logo and also the one with my hand-writing *A8.
But oh-well, the client finally agreed to go with one of the logo and all my new little monsters.
Here is the whole Behance-prepped presentation :D <

PS : I don't really like the characters for Viralcham compared to the Begadang Backpackers project because this was all too structured and vectored. In the BB project, I used the Wacom Intuos fully to illustrates those BB beans. 

Work Related : First Translation Job


In 2011, I applied for an online translating job - I guess that was one of those days that I think I need extra job to gain money. But I never did receive any reply from the person who put up the ad online.

So last month, someone from China replied to my 2011's email like she just received it the day before and offered me a translation task (Eng > BM). I was asked to translate 2701 words in 24 hours and the rate was $0.03 USD per word. The total would be $81.03 USD. So I thought why not?

I translated those paragraphs of text about chemical components and how to handle it. It was one of the most oddest freelance job I had ever done. I had to read several formal writings that were already shared online to know certain medical/scientific words and those weird chemical components' name in Bahasa. It took me a day to write the first draft and I had to reread it many times. It felt like being in school again.

The client didn't really explain to me what the writing was about because she can hardly speak in English *so I'm guessing from her email that she's the local from China and she was using Google Translate to communicate with me. Ha. But it was something about how to handle the chemical component.

The draft got approved and I finally got my first payment from a translation job : $81.03 USD - and because our Ringgit has fallen, I'm getting around RM 335 for the job. Good enough for a one day job, kan? :D

New things I learned :
  • Translating write-ups isn't as simple as it sounds. 
  • I need to use a dictionary to find proper words. 
  • I need to read and reread and reread and do more reading from other available write-ups. 
  • I'm guessing translating fiction might be much more exciting than formal documents.
  • I want to do this again. 
Maybe I'll improve my Bahasa and translation skill.

:D

Little Stories 98 : Those Crows


During that time we were searching for scarves for our wedding. 
We were walking from Jalan TAR towards Dataran Merdeka. It was almost 6-7pm, the sky was blue. Then I heard a gunshot. I've never really heard one, so I couldn't be sure. We were walking along an alley, so I was getting paranoid and imagining several scenes with gangsters and all. And I heard it again, AF did too. So it wasn't my imagination.

Suddenly I saw a crow flew down near us.
It jumped, limped. It was in pain. I knew something was wrong. 

From where we were walking, we saw several people in dark blue costume, holding something like a rifle and a DBKL lorry near them. I heard more gunshots, and I saw crows were falling here and there. They were killing these crows. AF brought me farther from there, he knew I was uncomfortable.

It upsets me. It still does, that is why even after several months, I can still remember the blue sky, bird cries and those falling crows.

It was this : Operasi Menembak Gagak. They killed those crows because :
"Langkah menembak burung tersebut terpaksa diambil demi menjaga persekitaran supaya orang ramai tidak akan hidup dalam suasana kotor dan kurang menyenangkan."
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That's it. Because these hundreds of crow are taking over the place, they were loud and dirty and in a large mass.
So the DBKL decided to kill them, as many as they can.

We are the human.
And we kill living things if we 'feel' like we need to.


Work Related : Begadang Backpackers 3


It would be another 8 days before my final day at LGM and I'll be taking my short holiday for a few weeks before starting a new job. Life at work has been so busy because I am finishing off all the list of works that my boss passed to me. Everyday when I go back home at night I'll be exhausted beyond words and all I want to do is to sleep :F *or watch AF watches his videos.

I've began to wonder whether it is a sign of I'm getting older or unhealthy food intakes or lack of outdoor activities or I am just worn-off after 9 hours of busy day at work - lately. So we decided to spend weekends with outings like we used to. And eat more healthy foods and fruits *super expensive =,=  And spend 10 days at home relaxing and freelancing before our trip to Tokiyo. And I'll run everyday during my holiday. That should do. Experiment mode 101.

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Other than *almost open* Hello Kitty Gourmet Cafe at Sunway that we are still working on, I'm still going to work with Begadang Backpackers  - the client finally decided to hire me as their freelance designer :D 
So I'll still be doing the designing with them even after LGM. 
Yeay for still growing up together with my baby! 

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We are still working on the website. So the client asked to put elements on the website to customize everything and give more personal touch. I'm working on tabs and headers and icons. For example things like this :




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To this :


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So the idea is to customize everything and make it more happy and funky :


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Sometimes I wish for extra hours because I keep on feeling like I need more time, to do more.
But I guess that is just an excuse. Kan? Kan? Fine. Read this.

Random : You


I taught him a little bit of basic yoga stretches and he taught me a little bit of basic parkour. We ended our outing session with jogging up and down the stairs, reaching from one point to another. I guess that's how people adapt to each other's liking, by opening up to those things that makes them happy, by trying and learning these new things.  

As he would read my books, as I would watch him play games, 
as he would eat foods that I cook, as I would drink his morning coffee.


Image from Pinterest.

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Little Things 200 : AF and his Games


I often wondered how people can spend hours playing video games. 
Until I've come to know AF and we bought a PS4 as one of our wedding hantaran. I knew he's a big fan of digital games on consoles plus he's been watching Pewdiepie and Marki Plier for years. He even watches those youtubers almost everyday after work just to watch the game-play *I still can't process this =,=

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Since the PS4, I've been watching him playing those games during weekends especially since our monitors were put almost next to one another and I've been taking my full weekend off. I can't help but to see the development of his game plays. My favorite game-watching are from The Last of Us and Life is Strange :D 
I'm not a fan of any soccer play or Assasin's Creed though.

I've become attached with the story lines of these 2 games like I was watching movies or maybe super-slow short series because I need to wait for AF to play those games to know what will happen next. I'm pretty sure their production team worked very hard to make every little details matter and their character & story developments are really-really great :F 

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It's been almost 3 months. Last weekend AF finished Life is Strange episode 4 with an abrupt shocking ending and now we are anticipating for the final episode that will released maaaybe in 2 months time. We, as in 'we' - AF as the player and I'm as a watcher. Ha. I even come to love Life is Strange's playlist on Spotify. Who would possibly created such a nice-nice playlist just for a game? Now I know I've been downgrading my level of expectancy on console games. 


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Yesterday AF finished playing The Last of Us, it has been a long emotional and thrilling ride *even as a watcher T^T It was so sad and so thrilling and so good, all in the same time. I hope I can continue watching AF game-play it for the next rumored Last of Us 2, just to see how it goes. Go and watch Pewdiepie's first gameplay if you want to know what I meant.


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Phewww. Terjebak

Book : Pinball/Wind


As one of Murakami's big fan, I knew about his latest *but not so latest book that just came out. I went to MPH yesterday to check it out because the last time Tsukuru Tazaki came out, I got the book right-away at the same MPH. There were no long lines awaiting for the book like in Japan, I guess here in Malaysia, we aren't that craaaazy over him :D Thank God for that.

We went to the "Latest" book shelves and there I saw two reversible versions of Pinball/Wind :


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I actually downloaded the e-books several months back and read it. There weren't any English version printed for these 2 books before this. These were the earliest Murakami's books written in 1979 & 1980, the first and second part of the Rat's series *if you are still following me. These 2 books are the most important books in the earliest part of Murakami's transition to being a full-time writer :D

The storyline weren't as strong and odd as others, but they are worth mentioning. I am still in love with them all :D I choose the right one even though all my other Murakami's books are from the left's ones version :( And it costed RM89.90 for a hard-cover ! If I waited for another 6 months, I'm pretty sure the paperback version will be released. 

But love does crazy things and I bought it nonetheless  ❤ 

PS : Oh, and they also published Murakami-san no tokoro, the printed and e-book version all in Japanese :( They aren't planning on translating everything to English. He answered to 3,716 questions that were asked to him from all those 37,465 questions *mine included. Now I really wish I can read Japanese :(

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Little Stories 97 : Perfect Strangers Project


Last June I participated in The Perfect Strangers project by Oh Comely magazine. 
The idea is to sign-up our names, pay 1 pound for the registration fees and wait until the closing date. By the 15th June, they randomly gave you a partner to swap gifts + letters with. We were to send our parcel in several weeks time. There was hundreds of participant from all over the world :D I love sending people stuffs, so I thought, of course I'll participate! 

We can actually send anything from inspiring quotes, favorite books, or even those little things that you picked up. The idea is to gift something to someone that you don't know. I saw so many interesting and beautiful gifts tagged for the project, all for strangers. It makes me believe that there are still a lot of nice people out there willing to make some strangers happy - just because. 

My partner is Nicola from the United Kingdom and I received a parcel early this week :D

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I received items from Burt's Bees, the company that she works with. Several nice illustrated postcards and a picture of Manchester Wheel taken by her friend. Wooden stuffs, fluffy pen, love-shaped stone from her mother and a piece of A+N wood cut from her wedding last September :D

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I gave her my illustration stuffs that I did, here a picture of it that she posted in her IG :


I can't think of anything much when I was preparing for this gifts, except for stuffs that I do *I really hope she liked it. But I think I got some nice ideas from other people's post, maybe next time?

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The next gift swapping project will be in October, I think I'll be joining in again :D

Excerpt 15 : Der Steppenwolf


Image from Pinterest

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From this book, I wrote down these texts in my little book.
These excerpts came from the Harry Heller also known as the Steppenwolf's records | 1927  :
How foolish to wear oneself out in vain longing for warmth! Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.  | pg 43
His life oscillates, as everyone's does, not merely between 2 poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousand and thousand. | pg 66 
Man is an onion made up of a hundred integuments, a texture made of many threads. | pg 69 
"If I could be a child once more!". He who sentimentally sings of blessed childhood is thinking of the return to nature and innocence and the origin of things and has quite forgotten that these blessed children are beset with conflict and complexities and capable of all suffering. | pg 73 
All births mean separation from the All, the confinement within limitation, the separation from God, the pangs of being born ever anew. The return into the All, the dissolution of painful individuation, the reunion with God means the expansion of the soul until it is able once more to embrace the All. | pg 73 
It is true that every time my life was shattered in this way I had in the end gained something, some increase in liberty and in spiritual growth and depth, but with it went an increased loneliness, an increasing chill of severance and estrangement. | pg 78 
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There are something about the language written in the old days that shower me smiles. The thought of having the long gone authors scrutinize about each line to be beautiful and worth spoken out loud over and over again like a poem. I always wonder whether they actually talk like that in those days, or their architecture of writing is just both as complex and simple as it is. 

I'm 2/3 part through, there will be more beautiful excerpts to be updated I hope.
These are all my favorites, but the ✮ excerpts are my favorite-favorite :D


Little Things 199 : USD

I wouldn't know this if I didn't come across this letter from Goh Wei Liang on the Malaysian Ringgit here. Because people keep on bashing the government for the RM4.00 over a dollar thingy, I keep on asking myself, as a Malaysian who won't even go to the States or use their currency any time soon, will I be affected?

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Taken from the letter :
" Of course, when you have a narrow, myopic view,
you will tend to miss out the fact that over the 5-year period :
  • Russian Roubles lost 114% against USD 
  • Indonesian Rupiah lost 51% against USD 
  • Indian Rupees lost 38% against USD 
  • Norwegian Krone lost 37% against USD 
  • Australian Dollars lost 24% against USD 
  • Euro lost 20% against USD 
  • Thai Baht lost 10% against USD 
Also, US is not our only trading partner and the performance of our Ringgit is not measured against US dollars alone. When we look at the Ringgit, 
  • we strengthened against Canadian Dollars (2%) 
  • we strengthened against Indian Rupees (10%) 
  • we strengthened against Japanese Yen (14%) 
  • we strengthened against Indonesian Rupiah (18%) 
But the next time before you get upset and share your anger on Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself whether or not the Ringgit-Dollar exchange rate affects you, and how :
  • Do you shop online from US websites? 
  • Are you planning to fly over to US for a holiday? 
  • Are you a Malaysian studying in the US?  
  • Do you import goods to be resold in Malaysia? 
  • Do you buy necessities and food from the US to use here? 
  • Do you at all use the US dollar in your daily life? 
Because, my dear, only if you answer yes to the above, are you affected. Otherwise, what are you shouting and so worried about?
Your salary is still denominated in Ringgit and you don’t buy necessities in US dollars. There are no economists out there who are saying that Malaysia’s economy will collapse. Only the politicians are saying this. 
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On the bright side, 
1. I do sell things online on Etsy so converting to Ringgit has been great so far. 
2. I'm going to Japan, the rate is a bit lower now, great enough for me. Ditto Indonesia.
3. I don't buy things from the States.
4. Even though people are saying that they don't have money, everyone is buying and selling more high-rise properties crazier than years before. So I don't trust your complains, guys.
5. We are not the only country losing to USD, there are also : Russian, Indonesia, India, Norway, Australia and so many more. And we are rising at the same time, yes?

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PS : I don't know lah. I'm just trying to look at the bright side, too many people complaining on their social media sides, I feel like I'm bloating with hatred and complains from you guys. Come on. If you don't like the PM or the government or anything, be respectful and have some thoughts like a civilized people, you know where your manner should be. We are better than this. Or maybe we are not even close?

Image from Pinteretst

Event : Post - My 22nd

Not only it marked my 22nd event, it was also my shortest stay on an event. I managed to stay a whole day for yesterday - not planning on going back until Friday *because I am workaholic and work has been too great to be missed for this. It was the feeling of familiarity, of going back to where I've been for 4 years of my life, of looking at people I can still recognize. Yet, everything is different. I am no longer a student, it's been almost 5 years since I left.

For now;
I work full time | I am married | I am happy

Things changed and everything didn't feel the same. 

Image from Pinterest


Event : My 22nd


It's been more than a year since my last booth. 

This would be my 22nd booth.

I'm not sure what I was thinking, I decided to apply for a free booth in Uniten's pre-convo bazaar this week and I got in! It's happening during the weekdays and I still got 6 annual days to use before my last day at LGM so might as well do something out of the norm before I start at the new office. 

One thing that changed tremendously since my first booth in 2010 is the fact that I don't socialize anymore. I guess I just grew up and became more of myself + and stopped thinking that I need to please anyone just to fit in :(

But I have a huge collection of new things that I sell online through my Etsy : like those stickers, postcards and badges. And I should eventually sell those things that I keep on making, right?

So, please, I'm not sure when I will be opening a booth and sell stuffs again in the future. Do come at Uniten's Sunken Garden, the admin's building from 11-14th Aug, 9.00am-5pm if you want to meet and have an awkward conversation with me :)

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PS : Oh, and I also want to show the students that I'm the living proof of GM's student that came out fine in the creative world. That even when I was once too worried about fitting in because we aren't fully in IT department or even Graphic department, there were always chances to level up and adapt to our environment :) We can rule our own world, no worries about that.

Book : Hello Sandwich - Tokyo Guide


Other than Memento Bento and Tokyo on Foot, I pre-ordered Hello Sandwich's latest Tokyo Guide zine last month. I even forgotten all about it until I saw she posted it on Instagram, telling all of us that it is ready to be posted. The zine arrived early this week :D

Several years back, I found her blog and I came across the previous edition of her sold out Tokyo Guide. So I've been waiting for a new edition from her ever since. 

Luckily I managed to receive this one before our trip to Tokyo.


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She wrote down all the interesting little books, arts & crafts shops, cafes, parks, with maps and details like address, time, website link and snapshot. These would be the places that we will hunt and stalk and take photos yet feel too intimidated to look around. Hah.




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We must visit Ghibli Museum ! :


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Extra little zine in a zine :


Random : Song from the past


Maybe I'm just too affected by the story, that even half a year after I watched this, I still feel like something is crushing in my heart when I listen to this song. T^T Maybe it's the idea of not having enough time to be around with someone you love for long and you'll promise to meet again in the next life. Or the thought of having to repeat it all over again, just for another one of those countless endings. 

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Beautiful angel 
Pulled apart at birth 
Limbless and helpless 
I can't even recognize you 

I think you're crazy, maybe 

I will see you in the next life

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Book : Meditation


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. 
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditation

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It's this little joy in life that I'm holding up to.
I found a new hard-cover book with a beautiful cover called Meditation (1909) by Marcus Aurelius printed by Penguin Classics. I'm not sure why 1/3 upper part of the book is black and 2/3 of it is dark blue, at first I thought it was a flawed copy but I checked from Google Images and found out that they were all printed in such way.

Little Things 198 : Sampul Duit Raya


Having a designer as a husband means 
I'm getting random hand-made items as a gift every now and then 

What's not to love?

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and this is for those who still believes in love :


Work Related : 634 days with LGM & TRP team - Part 1


I received another great offer from a local start-up company about a month ago. It has been 6 months since they approached and offered me a job but that was the time when I was too busy with the Hello Kitty Cafe project so I had to decline. 

Surprisingly, they approached me again and after a week of consideration I think it's time for me to go and spread my wings to new challenges and skills. It is hard to leave, but they had a better offer, new scopes that I wanted to learn and I've been wanting to work with a startup company for awhile. T^T

To make it official, it was a great 634 days with the team. 

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Here is what I learned from LGM & TRP team :

1. Always be aware of your weaknesses. 
My boss mentioned that my weaknesses are : Colour combo, style variations, and basic designing rules/terms. I wasn't majored in design, I was majored in IT so I didn't know a LOT especially basic theories. I asked her what I was bad at, and I gave myself space to learn from my colleagues. They critiqued my works as I critiqued theirs. We have a very healthy working environment.

I also keep links to my references : Colourlovers , Flat UI Colors

Knowing your weaknesses is supposed to help you improve. 

Always refer from any resources and create a moodboard before you start on a project. 

For example, this is the colour combo I originally chose for Hello Kitty Cafe and that was the mood/style I was looking for : brush/watercolour/soft style :-


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2. Keep a huge collection of inspirations + researches
I'm using Pinterest, Behance and Dribbble for my personal library. They are my ultimate teachers. If you think learning from other people is low beneath you, then you will never reach anywhere - *because you are being arrogant. The important thing in teaching ourselves how to be good in something is by learning from our surrounding. Just like how you learn when you grew up as a baby, it was really fast, isn't it?

I have a Pinterest folder of everything from : Magazine, Poster, Packaging, Website, Infographic, Uniform, DIY, Branding to other little things like : Machine, Girls, Little Apartments and stuffs.

I also have my own book where I keep every moodboards I ever printed on projects :


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3. Learn the right way to imitate

Not everyone is born with a good talent in designing and own a 4-year graphic degree, as I said before some people like me needs extra effort and time to learn the skills & techniques. Learning shouldn't be intimidating. It should be fun, exciting and challenging to the point that one day, you will find you, in every one.  

So I learned a lot by :
1. Imitate the pros,
2. Learn their techniques,
3. Pour everything you learned in a bowl,
4. And bake your own cookie and do magic !

As Steve Jobs said :  " Creativity is just connecting things ". 
So you just have to learn from the pros. 

Note : Imitate and copycat (plagiarism) are 2 different things though.


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4. Adapt fast
I realized that every art director/clients have their own favorite and style. My task as a senior graphic designer is to adapt to their likings fast and time-efficiently, but not to forget my own style completely. It is important to be flexible and accept things requested with an open-mind. 

As a designer, I know it is hard for you to put limitation on certain things because you have your own way of doing things but; work is work. You can always do freelance or personal jobs using your own styles and strokes, but at work you need to adapt to what is needed and requested.

Lower down your ego, follow your art director or supervisor. 

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5. Keep all the rejected works
I have tons of rejected works in the past 2 years. All because of my try-and-error artworks and having a perfectionist art director. Sometimes it is quite frustrating to have things rejected for weeks, but those things can always be used for other projects or personal portfolios.

So it is not a waste of time & effort.

See all these rejected icons for various projects that I did since last years.


Other illustration from rejected project : The Wise Bear

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Book : Steppenwolf


It's like that day was meant to be the day that I asked AF to go to Grand Union to buy groceries and stopped by at EZ Used Books after work. I mentioned to him about how long it has been since I went there to find random books *because there wasn't many options. 

Unplanned, we stopped by for a quick look.

I went through the 2 racks of old musty English fictions when I saw a name I can't possible believe;
"Hermann Hesse". 
!!

Last year my boss lend me a book called "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse, I didn't know the author back then and she said to me that it's one of her favorite book. "Nothing religious, but more to spiritual." I read the book and I liked it so much that it just got stuck in my head like a song. I never found anyone from the European country to write something so modest and pure in passing messages to the world using one of the Asian religious icon. *Except for Paulo Coelho I guess. But Herman Hesse wrote books from 1904 - 1953, so it was quite rare - it was during World War period so it goes back to the hard & tough time of those people. 

He was one of the rare writer in this world that managed to write something really pure, beautiful and humble. I am still inspired by his sensitive soul T^T And he was a German, during Third Reich. 
So can you imagine? 

Back to the book, Steppenwolf. It was originally written in German - Der Steppenwolf  in 1928. I didn't read about the synopsis, I just simply took to book to the counter and felt like I just found a rare pearl on a one fine night. 

With a grin, I paid the casher; RM 3 :


Look at the classic illustration on the cover :D
It feels like looking at my dad's library all over again.

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I haven't been able to read it yet. 
But it's in my bag since several days ago, waiting.