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?

*

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.

*

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.


*

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 !

*


*
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.

*

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.


*

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