Awas! Barang panjang!

Don't get too carried away with the title.

Was cleaning up my phone memory. And I found these deep in the photo folder. Taken some time back. Long before my break. Long before I tendered.

This lorry guy seriously willing to spent on that. How much is one letter? Few bucks? Isn't spray paint cheaper?
He could spray his whole fleet. If he has a fleet.

Barang panjang. Barang panjang? If this was translated to English, it could sound something like... long stuffs, long things, long et cetera, but long load. Shouldn't it be muatan panjang, instead? I don't know.

But just nice to made up a good title with these two snapshots.



Been feeling very nostalgic of late.

I've been thinking a lot of my childhood. My past. The life I have walked. Even there's a list of drafted posts waiting to be published. Things that go back as far as my first memory brought me. I really don't know why. Hope I'm not leaving here anytime soon. I'm as healthy as I can be. I think. Aside from the excessive consumptions of nicotine, and caffeine. Sleeps? I have plenty of quality ones this month.

What surprised me was, Since Primary Two had similar experiences. Recently, he's been watching animes that we used to watch when we were young. Playing games that we used to play when PlayStation was just a prototype. I borrowed the whole episodes of the Robotech series that he bought. Halfway through.

Why are we being so retro lah?


I rarely touch myself now

I've solved this.

Here's what I did. I put my keys in the electronic safe, along with my wallet. Without the keys, I can't get in the car. And when I open the safe to get the keys, the wallet is shouting at me to pick it up, "Oi! I'm here! Don't leave me behind!". Voila.
How can I miss it?

Not once I've left it since.
Hope I'm not speaking too soon.

Sorry again, not a post on something I fantasized. *wink*


Being too free

I did these at home.

One month break is very long. I'm not gonna sit still, and just do nothing. Not gonna put my brain in long inactivities. Below are just some mental exercises to keep the creative juice flowing. First-thought idea. Copy-based.

Olay, and Diesel are not my client, or in any way associated with them.
These are just spec works.

Get it?

The night be
fore we left for Phuket, we were sleeping at Zoky's apartment. That night, I couldn't get myself to sleep. Until the last one hour, before we were supposed to get up. I'm very excited about the trip, to be honest. Rather than just tossing around the mattress, I thought of 3 different ideas, for 3 different clients.

A print ad for The Jeans.

An outdoor ambient media for The Isotonic Drinks.

A branding TV commercial for The Car.

Gonna present these when I start work later.


Phuket Déjà vu

My second time there in two years.

Very different, I must say
. Not about the island, but the trip itself.

Went to places I've never been.
Was more into sightseeing. More into seas. More islands hopping. More sand playing on beaches. Got blisters from too much walking. And cuts on my soles for clumsily stepping on the wrong side of the reefs. Devoured more beef noodles. Bottoms up-ed more alcohols. It was dripping on two evenings. I couldn't even smell the rain the last I went.

The seas are clearer this time. The corals are visible. Without having you to go under. Being surrounded by fishes. When you're just standing on the beach halfway submerged in the water. Where these came from? Was it the post-tsunami effect? It washes off the unnecessary, and brought in new things?

Anyway, here are some photos on that trip. To sum up six days I'm there.
Taken with my trusty Nikon D40, and Tamron AF 70-300mm telephoto lens.

Didn't let me down.

Viewpoint at Phromthep Cape. One of our first stop.

Longtail boats at the snorkeling point. Near Phi Phi Islands.

Zoky. I'm her personal photographer throughout the trip.

The angular wonders. James Bond Island.

Eurasian boy. Beach on Coral Island.

The pouring evening at LCCT. "Missed" Songkran Fest there. But got it back here.

Hope you're not expecting to see our faces in. *wink*



"Is this Birthmark?" Number withhold. Male. Robotic.

"Yes. Who's this?"

"I know you went to Thailand with Zoky. Who are you to her?"

"A friend? And we went in a group. What's wrong with that? Who
are you?"

Claimed she is
his girl. And warned me to lay my hands off her.

Here's the thing. Why be a coward? Reveal your number. Let me hear your true voice. Even meet up face-to-face. Talk like a man. A real man. At least we can minimized the screwing. Knowing that, I fucked him on the spot. The conversation got heated. It went on until I said there's nothing between us. It was a lie. I'm still very fond of her.

The voice changed. To something I couldn't make up. The line, got cut off soon after.
Who. The. Fuck. Was. That?

Since Primary Two
called minutes later. He was about to leave the office. Noticed I sounded pissed. I told him there's nothing serious. Will tell him when I get there. Hanged up, I left the house. And went to the petrol station. As I was filling up, he texted me.

"Dude, don't call
Zoky. It was me."

Huh? What? Why didn't I think of that!? Fuck! I seriously don't know if I should laugh, or double the pissed. I got in the car. Swerved out. Floored to the
mamak. Fucked the pair on first sight. We all started laughing our asses out. After being laughed at. For a quick comeback, I lied to him I did tell her about the call. And the best thing is, she will be joining us later.

"Eh, why you go tell her lah?"
Fun Size asked. Worried.

"Ah then? This is a serious case, okay?"

The look on their face. The guilt. The fear. Almost in tears. Of how remorse are they. One day, these two monkeys gonna
kena big time from me. One. Fine. Day. Zoky didn't make it. Was tired. Lucky for them.

But I almost. Almost wanted to tell her about the call.

I wouldn't mind being played a prank. That's what bros are for. To make fun at each other. At least we can cry laughing at it in years to come. Tonight's, I was disturbed. As much as I can laughed at it, deep down inside, I'm hurt. Not at the cheap prank. But the prank did remind me about what
Zoky told earlier.

She wasn't happy at work. Brought it up to her to have another break. Aside from the recent Phuket's. A short, quick one.
Since Primary Two was planning for a weekend trip to Malacca, or Port Dickson. I invited her to tag along.

"...but remind you again we go out as "friends", okay?"
Said her.


Back to reality

New realities.

Since my last, failed relationship of five, reaching six years, I decided not to rush into them, blindly. Take the time to know the girl better before I commit. Maybe I was being too cautious in this, I overdid it. Unknowingly to me. Can't deny I've met new female friends since, but there is something missing in them. Seriously. That thing we call, the chemicals. That little sparks.

Until I met her.

Days before we left for Phuket, Zoky and I had some talk. About "us". I have never said a thing, but she knew. She noticed the things that I've did. But chose not to go further. She felt the pressure. Respected her. I, reluctantly backed off. Fortunately, there's not a slight awkwardness in us during the whole trip.

She's still the Zoky I knew. I am still me.

The last couple of days before the trip ends, there's something noticeably different in her. I'm not hoping for any miracles. Really. But the way she talked. Smiled. Giggled. And the way she steal glances at me. They were more intimate. More affectionate. More dear. It was very warm. I'm really confused. Wished I knew what's in her mind.

Not gonna think of them for now.

All these years, I was hoping so hard to land my feet in big shops, or the very least, hot shops. I've even dreamed of it. I rarely dreams in my sleep, but I did. Of me working on big accounts, and winning awards on them. I woke up smiling, being upset the next. Knowing I am not in one.


I wont be seeing the sun when I knock off. There wont be days or nights. I'll be working through consecutive nights. Only to go home to bathe and get new fresh clothes. I know. And I knew. But I'm not even afraid. Not a single sight of them. Now, I've finally got it. Finally having given a chance. To break away from the norm. To squeeze my brain juice in good use. To use what I've picked up throughout the years in a real, advertising world.

What else is there for me to expect? I have yet to find out.

But, come lah! Kasi sama dia!


Bros, are made of these

Neo at the front.

Satria MIVEC Turbo at the back.

Escorting the Slow White Poke, in the middle.

Having a hard time starting the car last Friday evening. Managed to get it started after a while. Thought of letting the alternator charge the

I was so wrong.

Sis to her basketball practice, before I went to the agency for my appointment letter. Since Zoky was already out, called her for dinner and a short walk after. When we were done, I walked her back to her car. And drove me back to mine. It started perfectly. Nothing seems too wrong with it.

I was so wrong again.

the gang at the mamak for some drinks and card games. When we about to leave, I couldn't start it. After a quick troubleshooting, found out the battery was really dead. Got it started after some hard cranking. I was full time running on just the alternator. A dying alternator.

Talks suggested me to tail him. In case my car dies off in the middle of the road, he could at least jump start for me. Along the way, I switched off all my lights. It was pointless, as they are getting dimmer. He called in, worried. I told him I was just trying to save as much. Since Primary Two joined the convoy later, after he sent Fun Size home.

Here's the thing. Talks live further up. Since Primary Two loves the highway. Loves the toll guy and girl. They could have gone home straight using their own way.

How could you not love them?


The on/off pair

Since Primary Two and Fun Size made a weird, tall-short pair. In many cute, funny ways.

The funny thing about this pair is, they have
so much in common. But they have so little in common. Guess the likes that brought them together, and the flaw that made them a "perfect" couple. One minute they were names calling, next minute they were laughing their asses off. One minute they were in cold war, kissing raw in the next. For so many times we've been hearing the word "break up" from them, we actually lost count.

I'm the fillings of this two slices of bread. From just a mere listener, to being their informant. Their messenger. Well, more for her. As if I'm a love bird who have tons of past relationships to advice them what to do. I failed big time myself. I'll just listen to what they wanted to say. Say what I wanted to them. Filtered. And tell the other.

No, no, no. Not selective hearing. But it was more of a selective information. Some things are meant not to be told. Not to be shared. Even if I have all the green lights to do so. But making such a judgment on what to bring forward, and what to hold back, is a pure headache. I'm sandwiched in between. Both of them are like my bro and sis. And I can't be biased to one side.

You get what I mean?

Once they were fighting in
my car. Saliva and tears involved. I told them off, it's just a small misunderstanding. Screw the yelling and crying. Or just stunt the fuck out, if they don't stop. I sent her back. And forced him to get down to settle the thing. Their things. I'll just wait at the corner. Right before I light my third smoke, they were hugging hard. Just as I expected.

She called me earlier in the noon, sobbing.
Not the first time though. Claimed he sounded serious. Not the first time too. For the millionth times, I asked her since when he sounded "not serious"? Big, big sigh from me.

You guessed it, they "broke up" again.

Barely eight hours later, I got a text from her. You guessed it right again, they were "okay". Seems fine, apparently. Will be meeting them up and the rest of the gang later tonight. We'll see how it goes. For a couple who are always on and off a relationship, when the real one is out, it will definitely be a really huge one. Definitely.

Which I don't hope to see.

I've never been in that many relationships before. But what I've learned and
experienced so far, when one's love weighs more than the other, the latter will start to take a little advantage of the first.

What matter most is, can we find the perfect balance?

I guess no one will.


A bittersweet end

Since we lost an account to an international, sad to say, the business has never recover. The account itself worth a handsome six, seven figure yearly. For a small sized agency, this is a lot. A few of such are enough to keep the business running. If... I said if we have more accounts like this.

For the lost, we squeezed from a 2000+ square feet office premise into a 700+ square feet shop lot. We don't even have our own floor; we were at the mezzanine. The place is so small, the back was just a spit away. When the phone rings, intercoms are deemed pointless. Hence, the receptionist was asked to leave. Some staffs are forced to work a 4-day week, deducted salary,
voluntarily. Creatives are spared, deductions on incapable ones. Buddy's replacement, came in as a freelancer. A servicing who left earlier, was replaced by a new senior. Contract-based. Which ended recently. The creatives had taken over the servicing.

I started brushing up my folios. Bombarding resumes.
Mass apply to jobs online. Who said the time is bad? It may be at internationals, not at small shops. I got a few calls. I know, I know, they are merely a "job", not something you would look too far ahead for. But if you were in my shoes, will you take it? For the time being?

I tendered. They countered. I stayed. They matched with what the other side offered. Most importantly, that place, isn't what I wanted.

But this is only half of the story.

After staying back for a couple of months, I've been hearing rumours flying around. We might close down. By mid year. Twenty years in business to end up this way, is really bad. Even if the business did sustain, it won't be "advertising" anymore. An advertising agency not doing advertising? What are we then? Boss' personal designers? Of her own side businesses? It's hard for me to be in love with what I'm doing, and now, all these shit? I'm very worried. I'm very depressed.

For as long as I still have the fire, I'm not going down.

For years I've been reading "underground" news of the industry. Accounts movement. Agencies movement. People movement. In just 3 years, I've been going in and out at internationals. Met with all the creative directors. Well,
almost all of them. Hoping to land my feet in. Some chats that sounded promising, will just got lost in the way. With their forever famous line, "We just lost an account. Hiring on hold.". And apparently, copywriters are more sought after. To a point I think, am I leaning towards the wrong side? Should I try? But writing, isn't my strength.

I almost give up.

Time is running out. I don't want to waste few more sad years in a small shop doing the same old shit again. This is not what I wanted. I have a dream. A big dream of working in internationals, ever since I endured in the advertising life. I'm
seriously not young anymore. And I haven't fulfill them.

I get hold of creative directors I met before again. And some new ones. After a few in-and-outs, I got accepted in one.
Finally. After years of envy. To creatives already working in one. Producing award-winning works.

The hotshot who gave me the big break, was the one who knew me better than rest. Knew my style. Knew my works. And was the one I turned down an offer some years back. Some other time on this irony, perhaps.

Apa lagi? Of course take it lah! Still wanna think meh? And off I go.

The rumours, are in fact a real news. My boss was telling me after she received the letter.

It just seems like yesterday. The serving notice part was quick. After deducting available leaves, which left me with only twelve days. Inclusive of weekends. Inclusive of extra days I was requested to stay back. Time really passes. Guess I was too busy with the handovers, and there's so much backing ups to do. I actually missed the countdown.

The farewell lunch was simple. My speech, was concise.

Yesterday, was my last day. As much as I disapprove the working style and the creativity standards here, people are really nice. The last couple of hours was really, really hard for me. My heart sink.
I burst in tears. And here's the thing at places with nicer-than-average people. I wouldn't give a damn if the people were fuck-ups.

Zoky's birthday falls on the 1st. Yes, on April Fools.

Just the right timing for a double celebration. Went to Pyramid after my last farewell goodbye. I brought her a bouquet of orchids. And two slices of cheese cake. One candle included. There's a hint of shine in her. Seeing the red glow on her cheeks. The sweet smile on her lips. The shimmers in her eyes. No, you should see mine.

We had Bali's. After we were done, we went for a short walk. I helped to carry the bouquet. She reluctantly let me at first. Saying she couldn't imagine me (guy) carrying it all around. But what's wrong with that leh? I was carrying it earlier for a good half an hour looking for the restaurant before I met her. I then relate to her I wouldn't even mind to carry her handbag as well. That's one new thing, and one I forgot to add to this list.

Went to see her new cute car before we leave. Ah, at least it suits her better than driving her father's. We briefly parted. And went home. Can't wait to scale Phuket with her, and a couple of her friends. Off reality before I commence in May.

As I was writing these, the creative director texted me. My letter is ready for signing and pick up.

A new challenge awaits.