31 December 2011

hindsight 2011

Format blatantly copied from Chronodex by Scription. Sorry it's not the cleanest looking thing, autoCAD (rather illustrator, but I suck at that) would be my preferred software for making that.

To be honest, I didn't remember a lot of the events listed on the chart. Original content consisted of Shad and Gritaly, which I already talked enough about. So I went through my 2011 archive and pulled up some more events.

My winter vacation to Dominican was the first time to a tropical destination in a loooong time. (Only other time was to 海南 when I was still in China. Needless to say it was quite fun, the beach side buffet had awesome tasting light beer (alcohol that I like and can take? gasp!). Trained myself at billiards too. Bobbing in the waves wasn't that great though, the ocean water leaves a salty aftertaste in your mouth for the reminder of the day.

Spa day at Lyndons was soooo jokes, let this be a reminder to the future me that life was good haha. Gonna miss my group of friends, let's keep the thread alive through uni!

Braces OFF! Had those metal brackets for 5 years e_e Goodbye and hope to never see those again.

Equally miraculous (k, a lot more miraculous) is the first ever official snow day since I started school here. A close call was in grade 8 when we got half a day off. Let's hope this year's winter is no where near as bad (quite on track as the first legit snow storm was just a few days ago).

Quitting my first part-time job. Mixed feelings about this, on one hand it did eat up a lot of time which was starting to interfere with school work and I didn't particularly enjoy my job. On the other hand it was good income, I would be a lot less stingy right now haha. While I felt more tired than usual and didn't really have free time on the weekends, I did manage to get all my school work done. I was also a lot more reckless with money, bought a bunch of stuff I didn't end up using (but it did fund a lot of good experiences too, a la gritaly and ps3). Final rational was that once I'm in university and actually need money, I would not be able to quit a less-than-perfect job, so might as well use up the last chance to do it.

Gritaaaaaly. Loved the trip, right from the moment I started to brainstorm what to pack and through the terrible plane ride home (was really sick so slept the entire way back ;D). I would prefer to live in a city with a rich history (aka Europe or Asia. Middle East also has a fascinating culture, unfortunately I know very little about it), wouldn't it be amazing taking after dinner strolls to the Trevi Fountain or by Michelangelo's grave? *u* Will definitely revisit, multiple times, in the future (ideal situation = I have a summer home there).

Space Design was...quite an experience haha. First time procrastinating so much: we were given 3 month for the report, started researching 3 week prior to the deadline. Cramming the report on the very last day is well documented in the post above. To think we would have learned and started the presentation on time? Heck no, 12:30am on the day off ftw ;D It was so much fun hanging out with the team though, Jin for some reason brought an amp xD Also prepared me for cramming the Shad business plan.

Jason...hahahaa. Mel and April had amazing deduction skills.

Did not expect to place in City Mosaic haha. Fulfilled my dream of being in the Amazing Race :D It's a really fun way to explore Toronto, found several cool shops along the way. We still haven't gone to Sweet Lulu! Anyone up for it this year?

First time camping with friends alone, all good and fun with the exception of the extremely cold nights (well I was warned) and the fact that no one thought to bring dish detergent. 3 days worth of bacon grease was not fun to clean up e_e" Overall it was a good experience in trip planning.
(haha notice the commentary getting shorter? Been typing this for well over an hour)

The honor of first jrpg finished goes to Final Fantasy XII! Opinions in that post still stands, I would purchase a remastered edition (though the graphics was amazing for a ps2 game) in a heartbeat. Though totally not looking forward to the hours I spent restarting the game due to the treasure system based on chance.

Ah grade 11, seems so far in the past already XD Highfive fellow Ms. G English students! Though I reeeeally appreciate her teaching now, the material we covered and her book suggestions are extremely interesting, just not when you were gonna be tested on them. April, Mel and I slacked so much on her presentations, yet we still did well ;D Chem summative was a pain too, why a video, whhhhy! Sucks that we have to do it again this year. Glad I took co-op (thank you Janice for talking me into this and Gritaly), my co-workers were really nice and I learned a lot through our conversations. Grade 12 is 1/3 done, 加油!

Shad. Best month of 2011 hands down. Reunion is coming up, can't waaait :]

Most sleep deprived month haha, very thankful for the internship opportunity though! I probably learned more about engineering in this month alone than in the rest of my life. So much acronyms @__@"

Shepherd's pie obtained! Three years, three attempts, finally got it. Story goes that Grace and I had an amazing slice of shepherd's pie during zero day in grade 8 at downtown. We enjoyed it so much that every subsequent year we went downtown to eat it again. Unfortunately, the first year the shop was closed and the second year they sold out -o-" Nevertheless, we persevered and was finally successful in our third attempt.

I should name my phone, cannot bear to live without it now haha. Who knows how far consumer technology will progress, please work on the printer T_T

YOU Innovate was also a...learning experience. Another evidence for The Dip (or the shad valley of despair xD), quite the hard work sticking to a project.

Patty's birthday was fuuuun ;D I owe you for introducing me to Matsuda. To think we've only spend a month together yet I feel so close to you guys.

University applications...durrrrr. Pray for February, hope for March, expect for April and panic in May.

29 December 2011

under the stars

Done supplementary forms >D
(only had two to do, but still doneeee! slightly behind schedule as David got me into Berserk again)

To be honest I didn't put essay amount of effort into the longer questions, but at least I didn't bs stuff. Even revealed in my Waterloo app that it was SimCity that first got me interested in civil engineering xD
Now to wait as the admissions committee decide my fate.
(oh wait, still one more scholarship app to do for Waterloo, will save that after a few days rest).

Was gonna tie this post in with Hoshi O Ou Kodomo, but found that Sean already did a post on it. I completely agree as my first thought was "what a Miyazaki plot", scenes where Asuna, the main character, is running through her village is so reminiscent Miyazaki films. Of course there's always the signature Shinkai visuals (not to mention bitter sweet endings) and Tenmon music (soundtrack is amazing *u*).

Feast your eyes and ears on the trailer:

Please click through to watch in HD fullscreen, it's gorgeous ;D

and opening song:

27 December 2011

timeproof ink

Sorry for the really corny title, not in the most creative of moods after filling out supplementary forms. Still got the essay questions to tackle tmrw "orz

Anyways, don't think an year review will be happening, excuses being overall laziness and the inability to recall the details of the many events that happened this year (perhaps caused by staying up to catch-up on Berserk).

So to compensate, here is my Gritaly Sketchbook. Been meaning to scan it since last March, hehe a bit overdue. It was a really fun trip despite large amount of drama surrounding my roommates.

Left: expense tracking, messy but completely accurate ;D
Right: Island 1, Hydra, of the tour of the Greek Islands.

Left: first page of the recount of the third day in Rome. Isn't the Colosseum ticket gorgeous?
Right: Details of the church of St. martino in Lucca. It's a lot more fun sketching architectural details than taking pictures of them. Would have spent hours doing this if there wasn't a schedule.

Second day in Rome, highlight being the visit to the Vatican. Proof right there that I climbed the 571 steps up St. Peter's Dome, which is sooooo pretty. Rome's subway tickets are also much prettier XD

Veniceeeeee *u* Now that I think about it, it has a certain charm underneath an overcast sky. Also grey + pink + blue is nice.

Last 2 of the 10 pages of notes on the Accademia and Uffizi. Even the Vatican only took 5 pages! Forgot my black fineliner for the day so ended up borrowing Donna's pink pen xD

Last chance to shop in the markets of Florance! Needless to say I spent all my money, literally had only coins left. Pretty paper shop has pretty business card.

and finally

Our tracks over Rome, click to enlarge! ;D So extremely proud that we walked all that distance (was forced to on day 2 due to subway strike). Exploring the city on foot is definitely the most fun.

Wanna go back so badly T_T" perhaps in forth year uni summer? I'll have money from PEY to blow off haha.

25 December 2011


 image via tumblr
Merry Christmas and happy holidays :]

21 December 2011


With the winter break starting so late, I don't think I've realized that 2011 is coming to an end. Should get around to reviewing the year and writing out some new year's resolutions, not that I've ever kept any of them. System needs fixing.

A lot of things actually happened this year, two of the biggest events being Gritaly and Shad (oh the good times). I guess starting the final leg of highschool counts as well, though the importance of that diminishes as the years go by. Acquired my lovely iPhone (Gilly do not make a comment <_<") and read quite a few good books. Still don't know what to do with my life, but that's okay for now.

Gonna think more critically later in the night. Shall update.

edit: so I went to watch Midnight In Paris for inspiration, a quotation from Gertrude Stein really ties into The Elegance of the Hedgehog:
We all fear death and question our place in the universe, the artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. 
Wisdoooom. Amongst others featured in the film.

and "Dali! Daaaali! Daaaaaaali!" Ahahhaaa, will forever erupt into laughter in my head upon remembering that scene.

and it'd be lovely to be enchanted with a city :]

18 December 2011


My weekend boiled down to 10x15cm.

15 December 2011


The poor image quality puzzles me o_o
 It's taken with my phone without any settings changed, so it should be at full 8MP. Unless Camera+ does some reeeeally awful compression when it saves photos/some filters make the image gritty on purpose, there really should be no excuse for such poor resolution.

Sigh, shall not display at full size.

PS. positive double digits weather in December? dannng.

14 December 2011

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Was about to return this to the library without recording my thoughts on it, terrible!
 Synopsis from Amazon:
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who, for their part, are barely aware of her existence. Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.
Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

That might have been misleading, this post is going to consist more of profound (personal opinion) quotations from book.
And yet there's nothing to understand. The problem is that children believe what adults say and, once they're adults themselves, they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realize that's not true, it's too late. The mystery remains intact, but all your available energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anesthetize yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life, and then, the better to convince yourself, you deceive your own children.
^I wish that was the passage we have to analyze for the English Existentialism test T__T Every line in there follows that philosophy! Starting from we lead inauthentic lives by believing what others sat, to life is meaningless. I think this is pretty true, at least I've once believed that the answers to every question would become apparent once you've reach adulthood, whatever that may be.
@Rui: I was right! It did come from this book haha. You must read ittt!

More Existentialism from Paloma:
[...] no one seems to have thought of the fact that if life is absurd, being a brilliant success have no greater value than beign a failure. It's just more comfortable. And even then, I think lucidity gives your success a bitter taste, whereas mediocrity still leaves hope for something. 
"ignorance is bliss" in other words. Gosh looking back to the earlier chapters narrated by Paloma, life in her eyes sure is depressing o_o

Renée's view is slightly more positive
[...]and society, a territorial field mined with the powerful charges of hierarchy, is sinking into the nothingness of Meaning. [...] all have become primitive hominoids whose nudging and posturing, [...] language and codes are all located on the genetic map of an average primate, and all adds up to no more than this: hold your rank, or die.
At times like this you desperately need Art. You seek to reconnect with yoru spiritual illusions, and you wish feverishly that something might rescue you from your biological desiring.
This ties into some points raised in The Denial of Death (oh Ms. G, in retrospect, you taught us a loooot).

So: have our civilizations become so destitute that we can only live in our fear of want? Can we only enjoy our possessions or our senses when we are certain that we shall always be able to enjoy them? Perhaps the Japanese have learned that you can only savour a pleasure when you know it is ephemeral and unique; armed with this knowledge, they are yet able to weave their lives.
Also relating to The Denial of Death and a favourite of mine to think about when trying to avoid work (aka now): why do we (or at least I) want objects/events/feelings to last forever if the value of those things arise from their fleeting nature (durr forgive the bad wording). Like, we value our lives because one day we will die.
There is always the easy way out, although I am loath to use it. I have no children, I do not watch television, and I do not believe in God - all paths taken by mortals to make their lives easier. Children help us defer the painful task of confronting ourselves, and grandchildren take over from them. Television distracts us from the onerous neccessoty of finding projects to construct in the vacuuity of out frivolous lives: by beguilling our eyes, relevision releases our minds from the great work of making meaning. Finally, God appeases our animal fears and the unbearable prospect that someday all our pleasures will cease. Thus, as I have neigher future nor progeny nor pixels to deaden the cosmic awareness of absurdity, and in the certainty of the end and the anticipation of the void, I believe I can affirm that I have not chosen the easy path. 
This is intensely humorous, precisely because of the amount of truth it contains.

The seal of eternity ... What absent world does our heart intuit when we see these dishes and cups [...]? Beyond the frame of the painting there is, no doubt, the tumult boredom of everyday life - itself an unceasing and futile pursuit, consumed by projects; but within the frame lies the plenitude of a suspended moment, stolen from time, rescued form human longing. [...] Even though tomorrow we will die - we can build empires doomed to fade to dust, as if the knowledge we have of their imminent fall had absolutely no effect on our eagerness to build them now?
First though was minecraft when reading the latter part was: minecraft! Goes further to prove how absurd our reaction to life is.

Anyways, enough typing here, should reallocate to chem lab. So I leave you with aria, which the book mentions near the end:

13 December 2011


I am part of the 99% that got directed to this song by a webcomic.

11 December 2011

Just a dream with you and me

I have a whole pile of songs (3) that I need to share, gonna separate them into individual posts so blog update schedule doesn't become non-existent.

Might have posted this up before, but that would be at least 2/3 years old (when I first came across this on dA). Damn, it just hit me this weekend that 2011 is almost over and I would have had this blog for close to 4 years. Guess this was my outlet for the turbulent adolescence times, though that's hardly coming to an end. Gonna be legally an adult next year, don't feel grown up at all haha. It's so weeeeeeird (and somewhat scary) that daily life seem to pass by so slowly yet years go by in a flash.

Anyways enough rambling, this is beautiful ;D

I found another point of view
Just a dead end avenue
I'm growing closer back to you
Just want I don't wanna do
Just what I don't wanna do
Is to fall infront of you

And you can break and you can mend
For all the wrongs that you defend
You learn the hard way in the end

So stay in my memory
You can hide out there
Don't take all my thoughts today
So I can start to begin again
So stay in my memory
you can hide out there
Don't take all my thoughts today
So I cant start to begin again

So I don't wanna be left with all this
I plan to be there right by your side
Oh it seems like this could be
Just a dream with you and me

Don't wanna be left with all this
I plan to be there
I plan to be there right by your side

So stay in my memory
You can hide out there
Don't take all my thoughts today
So I can start to begin again
So stay in my memory
You can hide out there
Don't take all my thoughts today
So I can start to begin again

And you and i we had the stars
And you and i we had the stars
That you left over and over again
And you and i we had the stars
And you and i we had the stars

I don't wanna be left with all this
I plan to be there right by your side

So stay in my memory
You can hide out there
Don't take all my thoughts today
So I can start to begin again
So I cant start to begin again

09 December 2011

sharing water

Very eventful day today is :]

GOT ALL MY SUPPLEMENTARY FORMS! ;D Though they're gonna be put off till the break cause of large amount of schoolwork.

Started off with an Engineering faculty tour, and then a general tour of the University of Toronto. I think it's very likely that I will go there, unless like Waterloo offers me full tuition or something haha, wishful thinking.

A part of Trinity College, which looks a lot better than Victoria haha.

Inside the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, doesn't like look like a set for National Treasure? haha. And Kenny was right about Robarts Library, there is no way you can miss that building. It's suppose to look like a peacock, why I can only guess...

Following the tour I went on a little shopping detour in Eaton. Finally got myself the Naked Palette, like a full year late. Naked 2 came out too, I'll be quite pissed if Sephora decides to drop the price on the original one. Also totally not fair that the price difference between US and Canada is a full $10. That's ridiculous considering our currency is on par, though I guess not ridiculous enough "orz Darn you BI coupon!

Anyways, Christmas decorations! ;D

The annual Swarovski crystal christmas tree.

There were also giant wire reindeers placed in the mall.

Lastly the day ended with going to see the school show, The Oath. It's quite good every year (though this is the only year I've gone and deeply regret not going the previous years).

The set is really pretty *u*

Finishing note: camera+ is amazing for when one's too lazy to open up photoshop. 

08 December 2011


View from the walk home, is this not a sky you see in the summer?

Hopefully this will provide enough motivation to blast through the weekend workload of chemistry lab, quiz and math test. Four tests and three assignments, guess this is a small taste of what finals week will be like in university.

07 December 2011

Now's the time to find out why

Quite a large portion of my music library either directly or indirectly originates from animes/mangas o_o
This is from Wakeup Deadman, quite ironic actually. (Same author as Fairytale for a Demon Lord, which has the most "wha....?" ending)

Maybe I don't really want to know
How your garden grows
I just want to fly
Lately did you ever feel the pain
In the morning rain
As it soaks it to the bone

Maybe I just want to fly
I want to live I don't want to die
Maybe I just want to breath
Maybe I just don't believe
Maybe you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever

Maybe I don't really want to know
How your garden grows
I just want to fly
Lately did you ever feel the pain
In the morning rain
As it soaks it to the bone

Maybe I will never be
All the things that I want to be
But now is not the time to cry
Now's the time to find out why

I think you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever
We're gonna live forever

Gonna live forever
Live forever

on a related note:

Bower & Wilkins P5 Headphones *u* drooooool.

05 December 2011

and let there be light

Definitely made the right choice taking Earth and Space Science this year (thank you conversation with Andrew like...4 years ago LOL). The curriculum is a good match for my interests and serves as review for physics and chemistry ;D

Some spectroscopy fun, photos taken through a diffraction grating. In order: white light, hydrogen, mercury, and helium.

03 December 2011


10 hours at the Bahen Center at the University of Toronto and I come home with this:

second place oh yeahhhh ;D
Next generation better carry on the Think Tank name!

T'was a great experience, it was a challenge trying to improve the flaws in our design with only 20mins left haha. Also got to see some first year friends, chatted with others students and confirmed my fear about the hours of sleep (4-5 in second year) and the difficulty of linear algebra (specifically the forth chapter of it). Sounds good though, hopefully I'll be part of them next year :]