27 November 2010

holiday collections

unrelated note: I feel sad when I compare my monthly post counts from before I got a job to now. No more complaining though, will make the most of out of it (aka upsell like crazy) until the day I feel I made enough money XD

Back on topic:
I've decided to buy myself one item for Christmas.
ONE (1).

(oh yeah, this post is more so for self-reference, feel free to disregard. But do check out the link to Glitch)

Man that's gonna be hard to narrow it down. Time to write out the process of elimination!
  • No more clothing. I told Rui that I would limit my future closet to one item per category that I can think of. She laughed XD
  • No electronics/games. The only electronic that is near the verge of dying is my ipod earphones, I'll make ti last :] No time = no game. Also found this adorbell browser based game called Glitch, apparently it's by a founder of Flickr (Stewart Butterfield) It's still in alpha though ;_;
  • No books. The library is a wonderful place, especially when one is armed with a nice cup of starbucks <3
I think I've covered some major categories there o_o That leaaaaaves: art supplies and make-up.
Damn both cost a fortune "orz

Been wanting to get over my fear of watercolours lately. Read a whole bunch of books (instructional and reference), though nothing can replace actually painting <_<
Will probably buy brushes when Currie comes to school, paint wise my Reeves are good enough for now, and it's just sad buying a pad of watercolour paper for christmas XD
Moleskine sketchbooks? For when I get better haha. The paper in there are noiceeeee *in a Everyday Exotic accent* (for future self reference: weekly sketches!)

So onto make-up, which is more expensive, yayy. Also have everything that I *need*, so here's a *want* list (yay distinctions!)
I really think I should stop browsing beauty blogs ;_;

25 November 2010

Botanical Illustrations

Botanical Illustrations by Siriol Sherlock, ISBN 071348862 (why can't APA/MLA be just the isbn? "orz)
in watercolour

lightbox it please. I've very impressed with photoshop's autolevel in fixing the terrible lighting.

Paeonia Suffruticosa
Did you know that the peony is my favourite flower? :] Perhaps drawing painting it all the time when I took art lessons was a reason.

Hex Aquifolium
Those glossy leaves...so amazingly depicted *u*

Physalis Alkekengi
The amount of details in the skeleton is mind blowing.

Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis
Loveeee the loose brushstrokes!

Agapanthus Praecox


Enkianthus Deflexus
Pencil sketching + watercolour = win.

Silene Dioica

Camellia Sasanqua

Oh I'll never have the patience and dexterity to be a botanical artist XD

24 November 2010


^kids pack per minute that is.

That bag contains 50 kids packs.
I folded 4 more bags of them.

All in 3 hours, feel very accomplished haha.
and tired.

22 November 2010

3 is 20

decisions decisions decisions.
and prioritizing which ones to make first.

and getting enough sleep~

20 November 2010

Autumn Experience

The previous entries were all so wordy, so I'll let the pictures talk for yesterday afternoon/evening. Went shopping with Melody and Linnee, Grace joined us for dinner at Fuzion afterwards.
All photos courtesy of Linnee and are lightbox-ed.

@Kenn: I found curiosity soda! Haven't drank it yet though xD

The annual Swarnvoski crystal tree at eaton center. The mall always looks a lot more impressive in pictures than in real life haha.

Swatches of UB's Naked palette, I will get you (when you're unsold-out) for gritaly! D<

And off to dinner:

Entrance to fuzion, it looks AMAAAAAZING. The restaurant is a repurposed row house that is beautifully lit and decorated.

Velvet cushioned walls!
There aren't any shots of the interior as the lights are too dim for nonflash and flash would just ruin the atmosphere ;_;

We had the autumn experience menu ($30 instead of $35 due to a dine.to offer).
I had:
Beluga lentil and chestnut bisque with porcini mushroom and truffle 'capuccino'
Upstream salmon with pumpkin&white bean shellfish cassoulet, topped with truffle cream and caviar.
Flourless bitter sweet chocolate brownie topped with valpolacela fudge with white chocolate-lemon pistachio semifreddo
Fancy restaurants = long names.
The meal was sooooooooooooooooooooooo delicious. Stuff at chain restaurants just can't compare haha. It was perfectly portioned for my appetite as well.

Such a contrast to my morning misfortunes haha.

19 November 2010


This would have been a very long and detailed rant, but I decided not to focus on the negative things.
So here's a shorter version ;D

Woke up early to get my G1 with Donna, much thanks to mom who offered to drive. All is well until I was informed, at the drive test place and after waiting for half an hour, that they do not accept cheques.
Well what the hell is this then?

Result: did not even get to take the test.
Funny thing is that I would have had enough on my debit if Westin Hotel returned my deposit <_<" Though I'm no longer mad as they emailed me early in the morning telling me they're gonna mail me a cheque.
Donna passed though, so congratz to her. Happy birthday as well XD
Also made a new friend while waiting in line. He is apparently in engineering club LOL.

Went to get my health card renewed afterwards. It was my fault that I did not bring one of the documents specified, so I had to run home and back "orz
While retrieving the missing document, I was concerned about signing the renewal form. I'm changing from a child's card to an adult card, which implies that I should sign it. However, I am under 18, which implies my parent should sign. To be safe, I decided to call OHIP's info line.
This is where I got reeeeeeally pissed.
The lady that answered my phone sounded annoyed and impatient (deja vu much). She COMPLETELY ignored my question and went on telling me the same message I just heard from the automatic answering system. Firstly she's in the customer service industry, paid to listen to my concerns. Obviously not doing her job -o- Secondly she said the EXACT SAME THING as the automatic msg, again not doing her job.

...so much for being short.
blahhhh, been so easily irritated this week "orz But also speedily recovering from those irritations lol. I was quite happy strolling back from the OHIP office.
What's the difference between being angry and pissed off, or annoyed or irritated? o_o

17 November 2010


I have not had a chance to sit in front of my computer for more than 30min since last thursday "orz

It was very worthwhile, listened to amazing speakers, met cool delegates (and impact members), attended a fantastic gala and is generally inspireeeed.

The two days were PACKED with events, no time to do anything (including sleep, but thats more my problem). Will do my best to recount the memorable ones. (sit tight, long long post).

700-900am-registration: Joyce and Qiqi were late, so I had to subway down by myself. Did not know that I could take a streetcar so I lugged my freakin heavy bag all the way down Bay St "orz Met with James at registration and practice entering and exiting from group conversations. Really glad that we started talking to ppl asap, set a good momentum for the rest of the conference.

930-1030am: Opening keynote: Emotional Roller Coaster of Entrepreneurs by Cameron Herold.
One of my favourite keynotes! I think almost everyone was able to empathize with the topic. Funny moment when Cameron read a list of qualities and asked everyone to stand up when five of those quality described you. In the end almost everyone stood up, then he goes "what I've just read was a list of symptoms of manic depression" XD.
The roller coaster consist of 4 stages arranged in a kinda skewed sine wave shape.
  1. Uninformed Optimism. When you're really up to it and think you can do annnnything! Things you should do at this stage include marketing, meeting new people/media, and brainstorming ideas. However, do NOT purchase anything. At all.
  2. Informed Pessimism. When reality starts to set in and you are worrying about whether you can accomplish everything you set out to do. Things you should do include crunching them numbers and making a business plan.
  3. Crisis of Meaning. "oh shit there's no way I can do this. So stressed omg ahhhhhhhhh!" Things you should do include finding support or a mentor, flushing out your feelings, and jut relaaax.
  4. Informed Optimism. "it's all good, you can do anything and you know how to do anything".
Quotations aren't actual quotations, just my paraphrasing XD

1030-1130am: Get Connected! The Power of Networking and Creating Meaningful Relationships by Matt Tod.
Great meet and greet activity, good keynote by Matt as well. In a lot of the keynotes, the speakers all stressed the importance of MEANINGFUL relationships. Taking, but also importantly, giving (I gotta work on this)! Translates into my personal life as I gotta be nicer haha. Iuno though, cause I'm not the kind that...uhh...accommodating? So being nice requires me to ACT nice, which isn't the most true image of me.
Anyways, we did this cool activity using playing cards. We had to say as many things about ourselves as the number on the card to each person we meet. No repeating things to the next person either! Really forced me to think about myself and what I see myself as.

300-400pm: Discovering Your Passion and Using It Wisely by Sally Han.
I have rather mixed feelings to Sally's workshop. On one hand, I reeeeeally respect her for speaking from the bottom of her heart. It made the presentation really choppy, but every word she really believed in every word that she said. Very admirable. On the other hand, she talked alot about religion, which was personal to her. Many people there were nonreligious, so we did not feel a strong connection and therefore was bored. Quite on the fence with whether I enjoyed it or not.
Side note: the jewelry that Sally makes are AMAZING.

Somewhere in between the things mentioned above (a rant): The service at the front desk of the hotel was TERRIBLE. When Joyce, Qiqi and I went to check in, we were informed that our room was not yet available. Problem 1: the room should be. I was concerned, so I inquired about when the room will be available. The guy helping us replied "oh I don't know, it's not." in a really impatient and I-just-really-don't-want-to-be-here tone. Problem 2: not the best attitude. Same thing happened when we came back to check in for the second time. The lady sounded like she was pissed off at us, which makes no sense as we're the ones not getting our room that should have been ready 2 hours ago! None of the two seemed slightly willing to assist us. Thankfully, the lady that was helping us the third time was friendly and most importantly actually helpful <_<

700-1000pm: Gala with a keynote by Michael Hyatt.
Susie and I wore the same dress! It was so much of a coincidence (both bought on taobao) that I wasn't even upset LOL
The gala was really fancy haha. Appetizers during the general reception was so so delicious, made me want to stalk the waiters around XD My only complaint would be the ridiculously tall center pieces on the tables. It completely prevents anyone from seeing the people across from them. It was very troublesome to get it removed.
Unfortunately I don't quite remember what Michael's keynote was about. It was a really good one though! XD
*later edit* ah-ha! He talked about failing fast and often. This relates back to The Dip by Seth Godwin and How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer respectively. Go read those books. Another point is to "know where the puck will be", aka anticipate the future.

Late at Night:
gossip session yay! It's ridiculously easy to bond with people that you share a room with <3

900-1000am: Opening Keynote: Yanik Silver.
Started to take more detailed notes haha. Yanik stressed the significance of coming up with a vision so everyone is on the same page, having at least a 10x margin to be able to fail fast and often, having a loyal fanbase (just look at the hardcore apple fanatics), and of course, to have FUN!

1000-1045am: Meet Canada's Entrepreneurs with Bobby Umar.

Bobby's speech is what struck/inspired me the most. Chased him down twice afterwards to talk to him about it :]

Key point: YOU GOTTA WANT IT! if so, everything will appear to fall in place as the result of your hardwork. (latter half is my interpretation).
Tactics of networking include:
  • Approach: "excuse me..." "my name is..." important to repeat your name many times so it'll stick. (I clearly remember Alex repeating his name at least 5 times in his JA exec speech).
  • Art of the Conversation: Go with the flow of the conversation and ask the right questions. Every conversation has a beat, follow that and it'll never be awkward.
  • Seal the Deal: NEVER just walk away from a conversation without a solid closing. Set up follow ups (I need to email Bobby. I will do it. If not today, tomorrow. <-public accountability, which Yanik mentioned). Also important to keep moving in networking events such as conferences. I made a conscious effort to sit with brand new people at every meal. Really paid off as I met a whole bunch of amaaaaazing delegates.
Bobby also talked a lot about branding, though not in the conventional sense. A personal brand is a promise to everyone that you come in contact with. My personal brand...iuno, have to figure it out haha. Attending the conference made me more aware of what I need to work on. Another important point that I walked away with is that caring+communication=connection.

445-545pm: I'm Young&Curious, What's Next? by Brian Wong.
Brian, is extremely good at presenting.
Love love love his analogies. Eg. "Statistics are like boogers. They're useless once you pick them" XD There was also one about networking and picking up girls, both you must not do with an agenda.
A tip that he had on time management (everyone seems so busy these days) are to
  • Delegate (outsource) whatever other people can do. Especially the mundane tasks.
  • Differ the unimportant tasks. I actually didn't catch what he said about this, so gonna leave it at at.
  • Delete the stupid things that you should not do.
The girls (and a guy) were lining up to take a photo with him after the workshop XD

Bad bad lighting.

/end recount of events. I don't believe anyone read the whole thing.

So yes, the conference was so worth it! Really made me believe that everyone has the potential to do whatever they want. Just have to supplement it with really really hardwork. Listening to the keynotes and talking with fellow delegates pushed me further along the great big journey of self discovery xD
Here I shall make a promise to myself. Once I figure out what I want to get out of life, I will immediately take action to achieve it.

11 November 2010

Half & Half

Finally decided to empty my knick knack drawer (sorry Grace XD) and attempt to sell as much off as possible.
How? soompi shops ftw. Collaboration between Melody, Rui and I.

Pretty banners ftw. I miss the days of selling signatures on xeno, remember making 3mil off the one for applejoy.

Anyways, it's not done yet. Impact conference eats up the weekend while work eats up monday and tuesday nights. Sigh, haven't slept in for the entire week now "orz

Managed to squeeze time in to take photos of my products in my crappy makeshift studio.

White tissue paper over lamp -> lightbox ;D
My desk is pretty reflective and in addition to a closet mirror to the left, lighting was deceeeeent. Though everything still turned out crappy cause it was dark out. I should calibrate my whiteness/temperature thingy (can't remember the name atm @_@)

Preview of the sellable treasures that I found in my knick knack drawer (plus cosmetics):

Disregard the shoeboxes and books xD
Big bag on the left is the freebie bag, it's at least half full.

09 November 2010

crunch crunch

It as annoying to eat as it is delicious, which is alot.

08 November 2010

brunch: last minute improvisation

Pasta frittata with tomato chutney.
Fine it's not a chutney, but that just makes this desperate attempt to make something edible after finding out that my pancake mix is infested with bugs and there's no milk left a lot more fancy.


Turned out pretty good actually ;D Yay for flexible neurons (see previous post)!

Boiled the last remaining quarter bag of pasta; made a sauce from a tomato, leftover can of tomato pasta, onion (always), and generous amount of spices. All that goes into my tiny non-stick pan along with a mixture of eggs (2 per person), flour and the last 1/3 cup of soy milk.

Almost everything (minus the eggs) can be replaced for whatever last bits you have leftover in the fridge. I think mushrooms would be delicious.


Later in the afternoon:

Oatmeal Breakfast Clafoutis
via chocolate & zucchini

Observe how perfectly the apple slices are arranged :]

Had to bake mine for an addition 10 minutes for the center to solidify. Oatmeal is oh-so versatile <3

07 November 2010

How We Decide

Synopsis (via Amazon)
The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions. Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the minds black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, theyre discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reasonand the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, its best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when were picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think. Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need, drawing on cutting-edge research as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of decidersfrom airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?
Go read it.
Lehrer illustrates each type of decision making with thorough examples and clear explanations, making it very easy to understand. I was surprised to find the "best" decision making method is quite contrary to the commonly believed method.

I really don't think any further justification is needed xD Instead I'll try to summarize the key points in this book for mine and your future reference. (btw chapter 8 "The Poker Hand" section 4 is pretty much a summary)

Simple Problems Require Reason.
  • Simple problems = less variables.
  • Prefrontal cortex = old fashioned calculator where as emotional brain = fancy laptop with parallel processing. Very constrained.
  • Use if decision can be described in numerical terms.
Novel Problems Also Require Reason.
  • Think whether you have any related previous experience, if no, emotional will screw you over.
  • Unique problems need creative solutions, which comes from the flexible neurons of the prefrontal cortex.
  • But a happy mood could help because the prefrontal cortex needs not to decide its resources between the problem at hand and your emotional well being.
Embrace Uncertainty.
  • Certainty blocks off any and all evidence that contradicts your conclusion.
  • Although you may not always have time to internally debate, but let the debate run on whenever you can. Bad decisions are usually the result of a forced consensus is imposed.
  • 2 tips: always entertain the opposite hypothesis (be your own devil's advocate) and remind yourself what you don't know.
  • "Tell me what you know, then tell me what you don't know, only then can you tell me what you think" Colin Powell to his intelligence officers.
You Know More Than You Know.
  • The conscious brain is unaware of any activity (thinking) that happens outside of the prefrontal cortex.
  • Emotions: representation of all the info we process but don't perceive.
  • Different emotional areas of the brain process different aspects of the world.
  • Has massive computing power, good at making hard decisions.
  • Learns from mistakes, brain learns by accumulating wisdom through error. After you have built up lots of experiences, trust your emotions more than reason.
lastly and most importantly...
Think About Thinking.
  • Beware of the kind of decision you are making and the process that leads up to it.
  • Helps avoid stupid mistakes (eg. loss aversion). Can outsmart the innate flaws of the brain.
[The] most astonishing thing about the human brain: it can always improve itself. Tomorrow, we can make better decisions.

04 November 2010


I should be working on assignments, so book tmrw.
The logical part of the brain (frontal cortex? forgot) makes up rational sounding reasons for what the emotional part of the brain has already (subconsciously) decided.

jay chou <3
such a perfect song for autumn.

作曲:周杰伦 作词:黄俊郎

地上断了翅的蝶 不想自由地蔓延
爱原来更心碎 都可以更细节
田野风绕过几条街 秋天收了满地的落叶
于是又一整夜 感情的句子都枯萎 凋谢

我不想再写 随手撕下这一页
原来是跟离别 可以没有结尾
憔悴后你会跟着写 于是我把诗折叠
有几重感觉 挑一束白玫瑰 你将爱退回

我不落泪 忍住感觉
哭久了会累 也只是别人的以为
冷的咖啡 我清醒着 一再续杯

我落泪 情绪零碎
门外的蔷薇 带刺伤人也很直接
过去被翻阅 结局满天的风雪

哦...我不想写 随手撕下这一页
原来是跟离别 可以没有结尾
憔悴后你会跟着写 于是我把诗折叠
有几重感觉 挑一束白玫瑰 你将爱退回

我不落泪 忍住感觉
哭久了会累 也只是别人的以为
冷的咖啡 我清醒着 一再续杯

我落泪 情绪零碎
门外的蔷薇 带刺伤人也很直接
过去被翻阅 结局满天的风雪

03 November 2010


Didn't feel like blogging...
still don't.

Feelings are only meant to be listened to in certain situations according to How We Decide. It talks about what type of decision making we use in what situations, and what type of decision making we should use in what situations. Informative book, will give a more in depth review tmrw (public accountability ftw).

input time, output money and fatigue. I want enough money to go on grad trip. Possibly Japan trip next march as well *u*

Also want more leisure time though. Forgot how good it feels spending an entire afternoon reading manga~ Arcana is finally getting to an explanation of Enril's past, Ciel is having developments between the arc dragon and yvienne. Noblesse is as awesome as ever. Ares is being reaaaaaaally slowly released. Other korean webcomics are also going well, hurray for regular updates!

Just gonna keep typing. Floooooow.

I regret stopping art lessons "orz Realized how terribly terrible I am at figure drawing. More knowledge on the human anatomy would be helpful. Never really given acrylics a thought, watercolour and oil were enough <3

I can smell the cranberry bread pudding from my oven, mmm. The chickpea stir fry I had for lunch 3 days in a row wasn't bad either. Thank you kevin and jason for supplementing my lunch everyday, I'll make it up to you guys one day.

School assignments, blah. Giardine marks hard, though she did give us a warning. I can do math in physics but not math in math "orz Courses I would like to take just for fun: world history, ancient civ, environment&resource management, philosophy, latin, visual arts elective, painting and lifedrawing. Probably bio too xD

Highschool drama lolol. Something wonderful to laugh about years down the road~ I guess Dear Coke Talk somewhat relates, I love reading that even though I don't quite agree with it. Actually, I like opinions that are different from mine, much more interesting. On the topic of blogs, two more that I love: XiaXue (mad photo retouching skills!! also love her long rants) and How To Get a Grip on Life.

This has been a pretty good recount of my thoughts for the last couple hours. Everything somehow fits together, linearly at least xD Sure typed a lot for not being in a mood to blog. I think the problem with me is that I dread starting a task. I can plan perfectly for it, but I just won't start it.
bread pudding's done.