31 December 2012

nye '12

Delicious food and the company of family is a good way to end the year.
(sorry the crappy white balance)


30 December 2012

flashback 04

k this will be the last of them, onwards is new years resolution and 2013 :]

To correct a past statement, the biggest change of university is not sleep deprivation but living in dorms. And it is awesome (with juuuust a few drawbacks: loud neighbours, boring food, and no wifi in rooms T_T).

Before moving in, I wasn't too apprehensive about having to share almost everything with a roommate. This is mostly thanks to Shad and Lisa-Marie's awesomeness. While my new roommate and I didn't gossip late into the night too often (all thanks to problem sets), she is an absolute saint for putting up with me haha (hi Tania :D)

Luckily, Chestnut has several conveniences that softens the transition from home to dorm. Since the building is re-purposed from an old hotel, there's a bathroom in every room and weekly cleaning services. Without the two, dorm life would be rather miserable. Unluckily, my floor happens to be the 2 out of 26 floors that has single beds, the elevators are beyonddd sketch (this is the first thing I mention to anyone that comes over), and the food has gotten worse over the course of the semester.

Speaking of food, meal time is the absolute best. It's about the only time when everyone is together and not stressing out over work haha. There's always so much laughter, mainly cause our maturity levels has clearly not improved (or has even decreased) since high school and we tease (success of which varies greatly from person to person) each other about any and everything. It's rather unbelievable how close I feel to my new group of friends.

Sentiments aside, a few practical notes on dorm living:
  • I've accepted that hoodies and other lounge-wear as necessities.
  • It's actually quite easy to smuggle food out of the cafe.
  • You can never have too many storage bins, or cups/tumblers.  A basic set of utensils is useful as well.
  • It is imperative to stock up on snacks during the weekends back home.
  • The cloths I wear is a much much smaller subset of the cloths I brought. 
  • Cloths (and notes) will inevitably end up every where. I blame the second law of thermo.
  • Have fluffy bedding and you will be the envy of all. 
  • Also useful to have extra pillows/cushions to make sitting on the floor more comfortable. 
  • Bring lots of power outlets since plugs will vastly outnumber outlets. The outlets also seem to be intentionally placed is impossible to access places. 
  • Most importantly, learn to sleep with excess light and noise.

29 December 2012


  • found a Rome metro ticket in my coat pocket from Gritaly
  • chatted with Rui about our rosy tinted visions of the future, which gets closer and closer
  • went through old photos dating back to grade 8 (incidentally when this blog was started)

ahh so much nostalgia @_@

Semester 1 passed by in a flash,
Grade 12 went by really fast too,
The rest of high school just blurs together,
and rather complete memory juuuust stretches back to grade 8.

I've changed so much from back then haha. I clearly remember being told by a family friend that her first impression of me was when I came into the room, talked really loudly and walked just around everywhere. Also recall when I was really young, I ran around everywhere and complained that my parents can't keep up with my pace. So to defend my present day laziness, all my energy was spent back then.

So to conclude, here's a quotation that I came across long long ago:
The only permanent thing in the world is change.
(swear I've posted it before too).

28 December 2012

flashback 03

So here goes my attempt at summary my lessons learned as frosh the half an hour before I fall asleep.

  • On skipping lectures: while it's true that some lectures are terribly boring and scheduled at hours that really should be left for sleeping, skipping is generally not a great idea. Example: first question of the chem final was apparently an example done in class. Had I been awake, or in class at the very least, I probably would not have wasted 10 minutes staring at the question.
    In the other scenario where video or powerpoint of the lecture is posted, I still don't think it's worth skipping. For one you are likely going to procrastinate catching up on videos and cause yourself some amount of confusion at subsequent lectures (if you decide to show up to those). Secondly it's also excruciating painful having to watch lecture videos/ppts. Overall it's really not worth it @_@" Unless it's first period after cramming for ESP, then by all means sleep in. 
  • On problem sets: do them, especially if they're for marks. It's also perhaps the only regularly scheduled work you'll do (practice problems, pfft what are those).
  • On studying for exams: group studying is rather effective for 2 main reasons. One is having someone to clarify any last minute misunderstandings (or teach it to you for the first time), and the other is to keep you sane. Honestly I would not be able to study all my waking hours (minus some time for eating and sgs) without friends.
    Some other useful things to have is music (to concentrate), chocolate (to keep you happy), mints (to stay awake), and coffee (also to stay awake). Oh and for most courses, even if you know nothing at all, almost guaranteed a pass if you do enough past finals. In other words, 不用搞懂,搞定就够了。
  • On actually writing the exams: my new strategy is to quickly do all of the questions in one go, and then going back and carefully checking my arithmetic. At least for semester 1, all of the exams were difficult in the sense that you don't have enough time. None of the questions (with the exception of a part b on linalg, and some chem ones that I just don't get wth it was asking) were actually conceptually difficult. It's more of a "oh for this type of question you use these formulas in this sequence", which you will know how from problem sets/previous finals. I rather have marks taken off for missing negative signs than for running out of time and leaving a straightforward question blank.
  • On waking up for 9am lectures: mornings are a miserable time & not much can be done about it. Some strategies that worked are
    • Packing bag & picking outfit the night before. The less you have to think/remember in the morning, the better.
    • Be able to wake/get up at the first ring of the alarm...or have a roommate that can. Snooze is for noobs :]
    • Open curtains and absorb the sunlight, natural lighting helps with waking up?
    • Reeeeally minty toothpaste & cold water to wash face.
    • Espresso. Already growing immune to its effects fml. 
  • On eating "healthy": good luck on that. Res food really doesn't help in this aspect. In fact cereal, bananas and smoothies are quite adequate meal replacements.  
  • On standards of doing well: a common thing I've heard about uni prior to entering is that your marks will drop around 20% from highschool. It's not quite true... it's more accurate to say that the range of your marks will increase. My marks range for major items go from 55-100, whereas in hs I try to keep it in 90-100 (with some inevitable 80s). In addition, striving for perfection becomes really not worth it. Good enough is certainly good enough. The time you save can be much better spent socializing or sleeping. 
  • On extracurriculars: quite true that there's only going to be time for 1 or 2. And it still holds that they're not really worth it unless you're on the executive team. Meetings will be scheduled either really early or late, both of which is rather inconvenient. But of course the benefits are great experience and good opportunity to meet people whom you would otherwise not interact with. 
  • On profs/TAs/office hours: funny fact, none of my profs sem 1 have been research profs, so can't comment on the stereotype. Otherwise, I feel that getting to know your TA is much more beneficial (and less awkward) than your prof. At least remember their email so any last minute questions right before the assignment due date/test can be answered.
    My opinion on office hours are quite biased since I've only ever been to my calc ones (which were seminars). They were held twice a week to review important concepts (eg. trig or integration techniques), though I went for lin alg help xD It was effective though, having the prof/TA explain 1 on 1 is far more efficient than consulting the textbook, especially for theory based questions. At the very least it shows their efforts to be available to the students.

So this ended up taking a lot longer than half an hour, and I feel like I've been stating the obvious.

25 December 2012


Merry Christmas!
Though the only festive things I've done this year is spend a long time wrapping presents and watching Miracle on 34th Street.

Been having more of a boxing day spirit, spent quite the majority of my free time these two days online window shopping. The result is a list of where my money will be leaving me for:
Implementation timeline will go as follows:
  • Crossbody: if I complete first year with a decent gpa, or somehow get a scholarship for second year. 
  • Satchel: when I get a placement for PEY.
  • Tote: when I graduate and get an actual job. This one is freakin expensive (and totally justified cause it looks amazing)
  • Wallet: whenever my froggy one breaks.

24 December 2012


Much thanks to Jeff for introducing me to My Aunt Mary, the entire Circle album are the perfect chilling-at-home songs.

23 December 2012

flashback 02

Stuck between finals and moving out is 2 precious days of spending every possible moment with friends before we all depart for back home.

First is time spent with highschool friends.
Ryan, Austin, Alex and David came for a quick visit consisting of ramen and pool. Nothing (except hotpot) beats a nice big bowl of steaming soup noodles in the winter, especially after waiting for half an hour outside the shop in the cold. I'm shocked at how Sansotei is *still* full every lunch and dinner time. Pool was so jokes, we're simultaneously really good and bad at it lol. David missed the first break completely, but able to get a lot of balls in by luck when he just hits really hard.

The evening, night, and next morning was spent playing countless rounds of sgs. It's pretty much the default activity for the chestnut friends. Not studying? sgs! Finished dinner? sgs! It's 4am? Let's play a few more rounds. We've managed to teach a friend who spoke not a single word of Chinese (now he can say 杀 quite well) to be rather good at this game . In fact I think he's won more rounds than any one of us.

On Saturday, the ones that are still remaining in Toronto came over for some karaoke and hotpot. Trekked (or rather subwayed since they got a daypass :D) up to Finch for good ol' $5 happy hour karaoke (aka the cheapest karaoke Dave's ever sung). Took a while to remember how to work the remote since I've actually never gone without a Korean speaking friend (Helen or Grace). Their selection of Chinese songs were quite limited but they had Oasis so it was all good. Hotpot was great, what more can I ask for other than good food and good company? Gonna miss having meals with chestnut people, it's always filled with laughs no matter how badly the day went.

Coming home has always been a mix of feelings. On one hand I miss my mom, comforts of home (aka wifi eveyrwhere, and good food) and old friends; but on the other I also miss my hanging out with new friends. It's actually kind of crazy how close I feel to them after just a semester, though to be fair I'm with them almost literally 24/7. Guess that's how Shad worked too (can't wait to see you guys on the 30th :D)

I should really just sit here and appreciate how awesome all my friends are. Love you guys soooo soooooo soooooooooo much.

and thank you guys for the belated birthday gift T_T It's amazing!

I correctly guessed about 90% of who drew/wrote what :D

22 December 2012

flashback 01

I know I repeatedly complain about how little sleep I get, but honestly that's most drastic change from highschool to university.

Let's see...
  • gr 11 and below: before 12.
  • gr 12: 12-1, but never for work.
  • September: 12-1 still, problem sets still take ~1hr to do.
  • October: woah before 1, that's early! civ problem sets are taking to take a while.
  • November: 1-2, manageable with espresso in the morning and gave up on getting all of chem problem sets correct.
  • December: oh hey it's 2 maybe I should sleep.
  • Finals week: at least 6 hours before whatever time the exam is.
  • Right now: my head really hurts but why not stay up and type this post. 
Finals weeks was at the same time better and worse than I imagined. Group study worked, at least for me, quite well. There's an obvious tradeoff between productivity and fun, but least I was not miserable after an entire day of studying. Plus explaining concepts to others is a good check to see if you really understand the concepts yourself. Downside is that almost everything else got pushed to the absolute bottom of the priority list: sleeping pattern (well that disappeared a while ago), healthy meals (cereal is a completely adequate dinner item), etc. Was convenient though that almost everything negative could have been blamed on exam stress. Got sick again D: really hope this doesn't become a pattern.

Marks aren't even out until after the holidays, not sure if I'm happy or unhappy about that. Overall they weren't terrible (minus chem, wtf) and that calculus solution has been posted already. Prediction time!
  • ESP: honestly no clue, the m/c was a lot easier than previous years (content, instead of reading comprehension, is actually being tested) but the written portion is a lot of bs. 
  • Civ: Should be fine? Got the I for the last question wrong though.
  • Chem: I don't even...
  • Calc: compared what I remember of my answers to the solution, should also be alright.
  • Lin Alg: again easier than previous years, but might have had some calculation errors. We'll see

Here's to 2 weeks of chill before next semester starts!

21 December 2012


Done exams
Done semester

Finally back home, and so much events to post about. So here's a promise to myself that I will eventually, in the next week hopefully, post them up.

Priority at the moment is to catch up on sleep.

16 December 2012

something you can't replace

Coldplay's songs are already amazing, but this a capella version is even better:

15 December 2012


The past week has consisted of 3.5 activities:
iIf not studying, then eating; if not eating, then playing 三国杀 (sgs); and finally, if not any of the 3, then minimal amount of sleep is acquired.

For example, right before the civ final:

Subsequent exams also induced similar scenes. It's quite a pain trying to find an open table up on the 27th in the evening e_e"

And much less depressing collage of the various food consumed while eating out in December:

Going clockwise from top left: bibimbap from Hana Korea, japchae from Kimchi House, shio ramen from Kenzo, snow crab with grilled shrimp (so good!) from Red Lobster, brunch from Cora's, and mushroom risotto from EatFresh.

Finally back at home and relaxing before getting slaughtered by linalg, THE END IS IN SIGHT!

14 December 2012


This is what will help me pass calc:

Here's to hoping that I won't make silly algebra mistakes.

13 December 2012

loaded dice

Because watching videos about Inception was much more important than cramming for Chem (and teasing friends is much more important than doing more past calc finals):

Non, je ne regrette pas (hopefully my French is still somewhat coherent, the first half was just copy&pasted though XD)

10 December 2012

activity constant

Time is spent on cramming thermodynamics and equilibrium instead of blogging, so here's a image that's quoted for truth from Doghouse Diaries:

07 December 2012


The number of hours of sleep one gets is inversely proportional to the number of times one has said "I will go to sleep early tonight" that day.

So far this hypothesis has held true, it might just become a theory by the end of first year.


In other news, esp final in less than 8 hours. whoo!

04 December 2012

more tea

Presenting the intimidating stack of papers that I need to get through in preparation for finals & the lovely mug of tea that will aid me in this task.

Gonna be a fun 3 weeks.

01 December 2012


Something I made days ago while procrastinating. Found the quotation in this TEDtalk about sustainable cities (via ESP seminar).

image used is via Flickr

29 November 2012

empty out the cup of eternity

6 hours of sleep is the new normal (y)
So it's only appropriate to listen to a song named Coffee.

Oh woah, staying up for BC was worth it... In total shock over my mark. The PDF for marking better not have screwed up again...

The lyrics are awesome too :D

It’s already the fifth cup of coffee.
With no particular destination
I walk as if I’m in a hurry, endlessly.

I’ve already emptied out my wallet.
With no special wants,
Pretending to be all busy, endlessly.

It’s too early for us to fall asleep.
Please stay up a little longer.
Please, don’t miss out on the cup of eternity.
You and me.
Me and my coffee

It’s too early for us to fall asleep.
Stay up a little longer.
Please, don’t empty out the cup of memory
You and me.
Me and my coffee.

I miss the warm lips, so I drink a cup of coffee
Alcohol is hard on my body, so I drink second cup of coffee
To keep my empty hands warm, I drink third cup of coffee
Coffee became part of a daily routine.
Walking through time.
Memories of wandering through long dark night might be painful, so I poured another cup of coffee.

It’s already fifth cup of coffee.
Walking through time.
Memory within the black aroma,
It touches my hardened tongue but not my heart.
The cup that once held my habit,
Became a drawer of memory that unfolds like a photo album,
And drifted away like leaves.

It’s easily emptied out.
Move the cup away without regrets.
Falling in love, it’s so easy unlike meeting face to face.
So that’s why I can’t quit it.
I can’t let my hand off the cup.
The aroma is already inside of my head, now I can taste the bitter poison at the tip of my tongue.

With a cup of black coffee and the book I always read.
I flip through the book page by page thoughtlessly, with my eyes closed.

To kill some time, I have abandoned myself.
The coffee that I drink everyday,
Is bitter today and I miss the sweetness from yesterday.

I’ve already emptied out my wallet.
With no special wants,
Pretending to be all busy, endlessly.

It’s too early for us to fall asleep.
Stay up a little longer.
Just, me and my coffee.
Me and my coffee.
Me and my coffee.

It’s too early for us to fall asleep.
Stay up a little longer.
Please, don’t cry.

27 November 2012

cream cheese & .09

I think food photos has replaced music posts as my fillers for when I have nothing better to say.

Edit: nevermind, seems like I do have something interesting:
My conclusion of having almost complete first semester is that the derivatives of hot water can solve anything university throws at you: coffee, tea, and steaming showers.

But anyways, food!

From Spring Sushi:

Las Vegas roll (soooo goood)

Spring roll

Black Dragon roll

Beef Tataki sushi (this was suppose to be the highlight, but the vinegar in the rice overpowered the taste of the beef D: )

...yeah not such a great idea posting these before lunch

25 November 2012

force swap

So no work was done over the weekend, this is probably the first (and sadly last) time that it'll happen this year. Finals are around the corner...summer research application is still not done, and then there's the last assignment for calc...

Oh well :D
Had an awesome time this weekend. Playing card games with friends (Resistance with highschool crew Sat, Monopoly Deal with UT mafia just now) is always loads of fun.
And defininetly today, I will sleep early.

...and by early I mean before 12.


k promise I'll go to sleep after this:

After ordering from Jetpens,  my current collection of black pens:
 From top to bottom:
  • Lamy Safari with J.Herbin ink in perle noire (nib is not the smoothest, needs to write at a particular angle for the pen to work the best. But it'll always have a spot in my heart for meing my first (and only, as of now) legit fountain pen).
  • Uni-ball Signo in 0.28 (I'd say the Jetstream is smoother, but this has a thinner tip)
  • Uni Pin 01 (this may just become my everyday notetaking pen. Seems more durable than the Micron, and cheaper than the Staedtler)
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C in 0.25 (thinnest tip I've ever used, this will be what I depend on to cram tiny writing into even tinier spaces)
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner 01 (best fine liner, in terms of quality, I've used. Also the most expensive out of the bunch)
  • Ohto Graphic Liner in 005 (the tactile of this pen against paper doesn't feel as nice as the others, but that's probably because the nib is meant to be more durable)
  • Sakura Micron in 01 (my current everyday notetaking pen, requires a light hand and be held upright. I've ruined the nib of one already within 2 month ha..ha..)
  • Knock off of a Uni pen (forgot the exact name of the original, but it's a rollerball. Nib is too thick for my liking, but it's sthmoooooooth)
The use freqeuncy goes like this:
  • Lamy for when I feel fancy/need to write special occasion stuff. 
  • Gel inks (Signo & Hi-Tec) for writing good copies of study sheets
  • Fine liners for normal note taking, I go through a looot of these. Sadly they're not refillable @_@

24 November 2012


Still in recovery mode after BC...or rather recovering from BC starts now since I decided to stay up yesterday night too.

Recount of past few days:
Wednesday: BC
Thursday: BC
Friday: Submit BC, and then the fun starts :D

Rui came to visit (on a mission from the rest of the loo kids to meet Lionheart), so we had dinner out & strolled around Eaton (because J.Crew had a sale and it made me miserable seeing others on the street, who did not have to do BC, holding shopping bags from Black Friday).

Dinner was at Kinton Ramen, the other super hyped ramen place aside from Sansotei:

Fried Tofu as appetizer, t'was delicious. The tofu had a crispy shell, while the interior was still soft. The accompanying sauce was good too, kind of like a tangy mayo?

(Aside, I really ought to turn my screen to full brightness when ps'ing)
Onto the ramen itself. Ordered a Shio Ramen just so I can compare the two restaurants. Both places had the eggs boiled to the perfect doneness :D Verdict is that Sansotei has the better broth (juuuust the perfect saltiness) and meat (the shoulder at Kinton was slightly tough, but it's not truly comparable since I had belly meat at Sansotei), while Kinton has the better noodle (more springy). Atmosphere wise, Kinton is reminiscent of Momofoku with the communal tables and louder noise.

The portions at Kinton were huge, so gotta walk all that dinner off in Eaton. Conveniently all the Christmas decorations were up:

Too bad the Swarovski crystal tree wasn't up, or is that being replaced by the tree above?

Subwayed back home with Rui at the end of the night, it's nice to be home :]
In the spirit of American thanksgiving, I am super thankful for homemade food and the company of my mom.


As a side note, here's proof that my phone has the better photo editing capabilities. Pfft instagram cannot compare to VSCO cam and Camera+

Original, VSCO, Camera+

Now to finish the night off with a much needed episode of Suits :D

21 November 2012


Edit: DONE BC. ahahahaaaa.
Only ever stayed up late to cram for ESP assignments...
Looking forward to tomorr... later today.

Truth from the F!rosh handbook, under the heading of "Before coming to university, I wish I had known..."
That ESP requires more time than all my other 20 credits combined
PR... (k these 2 weren't nearly as bad)

Goal is finish BC tomorrow and go shop on Friday :D
(generously funded by UTAPS, honestly my day got so much better).


Though I must say that 最近很有口福, been eating out at a lot of good places (thanks sweetie :]). Today's lunch was at One Hour:
小锅米线,  三鲜wonton (lol I only know the sichun way of saying them in Chinese), and  银耳汤.

The portions are just right, enough to be filling but not too much. Food is fresh and most importantly tastes authentic! It reminds me of eating 小吃 with my aunt back home this summer. Mann can't wait to go home on the weekend to eat my mom's food *u*

19 November 2012

fish cakes

I've found my means of surviving the finals!
Thank the deities for jazz versions of Ghibli songs.


Count down to finals:
  • 2 assignments: BC and calc writing assignment (this will either be lots of fun or pure hell).
  • Summer research application: research proposal (...I am so clueless as to how to write this) and edit resume again. 
  • Lots of chem chapters to catch up on
  • ESP readings: 5 more chapters of Human Factors.
  • ESP seminar readings and presentation, the seminars have actually been pretty fun (and chill). Just wanna get presentation over with this Wed.
Semester one is almooooost done!

18 November 2012


I had the goal of not stepping into Robarts for the sake of studying, but that was broken today and it wasn't all that bad. Was decently productive and managed to finish off ESP seminar stuff. BC on the other hand...hahahaa "orz

I was surprised to see a vending machine selling stationary supplies, overpriced ones too. 

But before making way to Robarts, saw a glimpse of the Santa Claus Parade!

Civil engineering at work :D
The third pig obviously did his truss analysis correctly.

(there was also one with Sack Boy, but the image file is corrupt D: )

And afterwards, a nice dinner out :]
This time at another restaurant on Baldwin called Vegetarian Haven. The atmosphere was really nice and the food was delicious too :

Tofu claypot with purple rice in the front, and Bali styled rice noodles (?) at the back.

17 November 2012


UTHSDC...has successfully been completed!

It's such an accomplishment, the hiskule team has been awesome, the volunteers have been awesome, and never will I want to cut out letters from vinyls ever again.

Time to type out a long summary of the day, and well, of the night before too.
Actually no I'm way too tired to type, so here's a series of photos documenting the crunch night:

The war room, aka gb204, not a pretty sight.

To do list for the night...and subsequent morning.

What I spent 6 hours doing: cutting letters and gears out of adhesive vinyl. Never do I want to touch that ever again, my thumb on my cutting hand was legitimately shaking when not holding the pair of scissors. Though somehow it's still shaking now, so I have no clue haha.

Also my heartfelt gratitude for whoever did this last year,  I completely emphasize and appreciate your hard work.

lim n -> infinity...and beyond (actually there were 25, the extra N now sticks to the back of my phone case as a reminder of this night).

Resupplying at around 11, my eating schedule has gone to hell for Hiskule.

Results of my night, fancy decorated hard hats given to the top 3 teams. 

Got roughly 5 hours of sleep that night, and surprisingly I feel more awake than days when I've got 8. And this is with a measly cup of timmies versus espresso shot(s). This is what the engineering course load does to you e_e" Walked to campus in the complete dark, the Oasis songs blasting in my headphones made the experience much less miserable. 

The actual day of the competition started out quite hectically. Majority of the exec team overslept and we were rushing to set up registration & a billion other things. Sad that I missed opening presentation, which thanks to the talents of our promo director, is pure gorgeous. My ppts ought to be at that level.

Moving onto construction time, I somehow ended up manning the store despite multiple, explicit expressions of unwillingness. The morning rush was just...not fun. There were sooo many kids scrambling in the room scourging for the best materials. This is definitely part of the competition that requires yet more improvement on (to be honest we did try pretty darn hard to revamp the materials sign out process this year). All was good after morning rush though.

Testing was also nerve-wrecking at first. 40lbs of weight should not be above a large tank of water... Luckily most teams' bridges were quite sturdy and none were tested to failure. Unfortunately, testing rules, despite our best effort, were not communicated effectively and caused some confusion amongst the teams. We also lagged behind schedule and had to scramble to get ready for presentations.

Presentation wise, there were really good ones and...doubtful ones. Many had solid justifications for their design, and tried their best to use APS terms (to great effect too). Others, the bs was very apparent, at least to me. I'm tempted to look back to my own presentation and see how badly I would grade myself haha. I've definitely learned a ton in these 2 months of university XD
The highlight of the day for me would have to be when I convinced this one group who wanted to forfeit the presentation to give it a try. By "I" I really mean Kenny who gave them a giant pep talk xD The group pulled off a rather impressive presentation given that they had roughly 4 minutes to prepare. 

Overall, I am so so so so so so so thankful for the volunteers that helped out. If I had the financial ability, I would totally buy them all drinks. They are super awesome and cleaned up the all the rooms while the final presentations were going on. So if by some fluke they ever see this, THANK YOU SO MUCH. And the amazing executive team, I honestly don't know how we pulled this together & I would have gone insane cutting all those letters without you guys.

...k that was way too much thinking for such little sleep, or rather all this typing should have been done for my BC assignment. I would finally like to thank the Honey and Clover soundtrack for keeping me awake until now.

One last photo :D
Giant Christmas tree at City Hall!

Can't wait to see the Swarovski one at Eaton *u*

15 November 2012

broader considerations

Dear ESP: I actually find your lectures mostly interesting, but please, the assignments, really?


But that's not the point. Been a rather busy week, staying for extended periods of time on campus now feels pretty normal. UTHSDC is this weekend, so HiSkule meetings have been frequently happening. Synonymous with that is delayed dinner, it was totally not cool when someone walked into the room with a bag of Popeye's  T_T The fried chicken smell...

But the upside to this is that the team usually heads to a nice restaurant to eat afterwards. Tofu stew was from last meeting, and today we went to Sansotei Ramen.

on a totally depressing note, finals start in 3 weeks time.

13 November 2012


ESP lecture is cancelled for today and Friday due to convocation, so hurray for an extra hour of sleep in the morning!

...except that translates into having an extra hour to do work at night.
(same with daylight saving time)
Tired ._.
Debating whether there are more types of supports in civ or whether there's more equations in thermo. To be fair both can be categorized to make memorization easier.

so I guess the lesson learned is...I don't even know anymore.
Oh yeah, units and negative signs will absolutely screw you over in thermo.

back to problem sets whoo!

09 November 2012

deflection to length ratio

The paradox of being exhausted and yet wasting time on the internet instead of sleeping.
Aka all day everyday.

Another day of spending 12hrs at school, wasn't all that bad actually. Was gonna nap in the common room, but found an interesting math problem to do instead haha. Guess this is reassurance that I've chose the right major.

But like I don't know
(warning, here's starts another round of doubting my choices)
I find that I enjoy my math courses (and the more theoretical parts of the math classes) more so than my more "practical" courses (ie. statics and phys chem). Then again I find ESP alright, I actually find learning about the design process to be quite useful. Or rather, I am amazed at how much of it was taught at Shad (how I still do so bad on the assignments is just ughh). Funny moment: I was complaining about cramming for CDS during phys chem, and the guy sitting behind me, whom also went to Shad, commented that it should be a joke after surviving house projects xD

...I went rather off topic, and is too tired to veer back on track.
My new standard of measuring sleep deprivation is how often I laugh hysterically at completely neutral statements. It's pretty bad atm mmm.

Nice weather on the weekend! Gonna go soak up the sun *u*

(k stopping. here's some photos of this week instead. Sorry the quality is pretty crappy)

Found my new source of Korean Tofu Stew, life is complete.

Perks of living downtown.

07 November 2012

heat of freezing & .07

One of the few benefits of winter is that the skies are clearer.
^Morin's justification for why the SES class was freezing at YorkU's observatory. That was a cool trip though.

Anyways, with daylight savings time in effect, I officially end class at sunset.
(the colours are a lot more brilliant irl, too lazy to photoshop it.)
And soon enough I'll be starting class with the sunrise too e_e"


More frosh lessons learned from midterm weeks & beyond.
  • Problem sets take a really, really long time. I'm no longer surprised when 4 questions end up taking 3 hours to finish. Consequently, going to sleep "early" now means "before 1am".
  • It does help to develop a pre-exam ritual. Mine's currently consist of assigning each exam one song, and listening to that on repeat while studying & on the day of until I walk into the exam room. Also found it much more beneficial to nap in the last half an hour instead of cramming more information in. 
  • Discovered that I review the best by rewriting and colour coding my notes on a sheet of blank paper. I'm actually quite proud of my study sheets, guess I'll make a post about them at a later date.
  • If upper years say that a certain course's final is a joke, it will be. Multiple choice options included "some of the above", "all of the above", and "all of the above and more". I don't even...
  • Lin alg is pretty cool, and really, really confusing.

04 November 2012

beginning of the end

Just discovered how awesome ketchup and sriracha sauce are together, it's as wonderful as espresso and late night studying cramming.

I don't foresee my workload decreasing until finals are over...

Another Noel Gallagher song to fill up space:


the beginning of the end is marked by the release of midterm marks. Here goes:
Calculus: 85 (I was stupid, test was really similar to last year's)
Linear Algebra: 83 (I was stupid at arithmetic)
ESP: 97 (whoohoo!)
Physical Chem: 97 (yay, except it's worth 10% less than the other midterms)
Mechanics: 85 (92 after float, so yay?)

So far it's pretty good. Let's see how much longer that statement remains true.

02 November 2012


I lost more sleep and spent more hours working on the CDS than I spent studying for my midterms. That's very sad.

3 till 2 and then 12 to 3 whoohoo! Beating previous record of 2 to 12 for UTSDC.
Though there's people that pulled consecutive all nighters, so I can't complain too much.

Side effects included not feeling hunger or tired, which was sorta cool. If this workload is sustained, it would be a pretty effect diet haha. But I'm guess the double shots of espresso played a big role is keeping me awake until now. Hot shower + nap is way overdue.

Can't really tell if what I'm writing makes sense durr.

30 October 2012


Last midterm tomorrow! LinAlg please be nice, and by nice I mean similar to previous years.

Caught a cold yet again, so maybe karma will balance and linalg will be nice .."orz The weather sucks too, a week of heavy rain and gusts (thanks to hurrican sandy). Definitely not gonna help with the cold.

will report back tomorrow e_e"


kept my record of not cramming until finals roll around woot.

What's not so exciting is the pile of work that was pushed aside, should stop sleeping in chem and start doing suggested practice problems once linalg hits chapter 4. Totally passing that course cause of my calc prof&TA haha...

and get more sleep.
skin has not been well during these weeks e_e"

28 October 2012


2 month into dorm living and there's already a long list of conveniences I miss from living at home. In fact my first reaction after unlocking the door was, woah this is spacious xD
  • Access to a fully equipped kitchen, specifically the kettle. Been surviving with the Earl Grey and Chamomile in the cafe, but those leave a lot to be desired. 
  • Comfy armchair to sit on. Imagine Sheldon from BBT if he couldn't sit at his spot e_e"
  • Reliable wifi. So glad I came back this weekend, chestnut, or rather UT network was down. I feel bad for the people that had to trek to campus to finish Lyryx. 
  • Large bed, there's actually room to pile on blankets and roll around in. 
  • Reading material other than textbooks
  • The amazing view, which is terribly captured by my phone (the focus is intentional though):
    Trust that it looks far better irl. 
  • Homecooked Chinese food, 川菜还是最好吃的. 
  • and ofc my parents :]

27 October 2012

banana pancakes

My new baby hehe:

Yeah I ended up getting the (2,1) on, mostly because I can't stand the feeling of a metal band. The price online was deceiving though, ended up costing a lot more thanks to price difference between Canada and the US, and taxes "orz
Oh well, it better last me until graduation!


Have also been taking lots of photos of my meals, haven't gotten around to posting them though. So here's them all together:
Left is Savory Cream Green Tea from LatteMei (so much better than ChaTime imo), and right is pad thai from Salad King.

Also from Salad King,  super spicy soup (actual name I've forgotten) 5 chili is beyond me.

Lastly, from last week, vegetable udon from...this Korean place right outside of Chestnut. The noodles were really chewy *u*

26 October 2012

stop the world and make you mine

Phys chem...or rather thermodynamics is really tricky @_@" I can just imagine a negative sign screwing me over in the final.

but that's to worry about later, for now is more oasis! This time is acoustic version of Noel singing:

25 October 2012

watch decision matrix

^the title half reminds me of the impending ESP midterm (t-4 hours) and half big bang theory.

But anyways, if I'm going to procrastinate, might as well procrastinate productively ;D

Client Statement: I've recently lost my watch and so require an replacement. I would like a relatively cheap (<$150) watch for everyday wear. It should be easy to match outfits & jewelry to.

Problem Statement: The gap in the client's life is that she has lost a mean to tell the time and an accessory for her outfits.
Function: display the current time
  • should be aesthetically pleasing by client's personal tastes and matches her existing wardrobe.
  • should be convenient,  can read time in less than 2 seconds.
  • should be inexpensive, as much as possible.
Constraints: Shall cost less than $150.
Stakeholders: Client's parents want client to spend money wisely.
Service Environment: 
  • Physical: urban center, mostly indoors with controlled temperature/pressure/etc. Exposed to weather elements such as rain. 
  • Living Organisms: in contact with human skin, client interacts with other people daily. 
  • Virtual: wifi, cellular signal is widely available.
Alternative Concepts:
...so the obvious implied solution is to buy another watch, which I will do. Narrowed the store down to Fossil (rational: personal preference), and down to 6 final options:
Prices are listed beside each one, help me decide please XD
Row 1 and 2 are fairly similar, skinny band with large face. Row 3 could be a bit too fancy for everyday. Column 1 contains the lighter colours, which somehow turns out to be cheaper.

Currently leaning towards (2, 1)...

22 October 2012

written inside of your head

Mmm today has not been particularly good, so now there's a higher chance of tomorrow being better?

Durrrr another Oasis song to feel better to:

Oh my gosh, UT engineering is the place for me haha. I love these people.
Obviously the stress of the Statics exam is too much to bear: /pun

21 October 2012

cause I just want to fly

and not do the Statics midterm.
But maaaaaybe I can manage with this song on repeat, the acoustic version is amazing.
(and that I've spoiled myself by eating out all 3 days...)

(posted the regular version a loong time ago)

18 October 2012


Painkillers are amazing, don't know how I'd get through the day without them.

But the lesson learned is always do the past midterms, especially if the professor is the same. Guaranteed there will be the same questions, and if you're lucky (aka calc and chem so far) it will be the same numbers too.

Soooo grateful for easy chem midterm!


A few things I've figured out from the 2 midterms I've done:
  • I'm subconsciously very stressed about them. This sucks as I always get a terrible night of sleep right before exams. I've woken up at the middle of the night and the first thought that popped into my mind was Squeeze Theorem... (and yet I still forgot to use it to prove a limit)
  • It helps for me to have a few lines of a song stuck in my head. Don't know how I would have survived studying for and writing both exams without Kanye and Adele.
  • Having sips of water/doing some unrelated action in between finishing each question helps reset my concentration. The test is a lot less intimidating if you're just facing one question at a time, divide and conquer whoo. 
  • Write each step out, mostly because I suck at doing arithmetic but makes finding an error at a later time easier. Though now there's more lines to erase if you do find a mistake...

17 October 2012


More wisdom from calc professor, in the context of word problems, paraphrased:
There's two things we test you on, how well you can translate from english into math and the courage of your conviction [...] it takes confidence to do well in math. Logical thinking we can teach you, but to be able to stare at an equation and believe that you are deriving it correctly is something we cannot teach.

and with that ends the happy part of the post. Below is a rant on the calc midterm, which was by no means difficult. I just make really stupid mistakes :]

...like subbing in values near 1 into f(x) when the limit was as x -> 0.
So there goes 3/4 marks, if the TA was in a nice mood I'll get a mark for writing down the definition of continuity <_ p="p">and then I proved something is true by assuming it's true. It actually makes more sense in context, but that's still not the way to prove anything "orz
annnnnd I lost marks for notation (prob 2 marks), brainfarting (2 or 1)
so thats maybe 10 marks gone assuming everything else is right. I'll predict a 70-85%, anything above 80 I'm happy with. 


Plastic water bottle and boiling water are not good friends:

14 October 2012

white dress

Ugh need to make a post totally unrelated to academics.
I hate Wiley so so much. Sh!t F!roshs say is a lot funnier a month into school:

ah crap. onto stuff unrelated:
Been talking to Rui a lot of a Sephora haul, so I thought to go through my stash to save my wallet from potential pain.
Lo and behold all my lip balms:
L -> R: Korres lip butter (from gritaly!), Burts Bee lip balm, Yves Rocher moisturizing lip balm, Fresh sugar and sugar rose lip treatment, Mary Kay lip treatment, and Kiehl's #1 lip balm.
(man beauty bloggers must have a lot of patient typing out all the product names)

The first 2 from the left is what's in my backpack. The Korres is extremely pigmented and makes me look less like a zombie for days when I'm too lazy to put any make-up on (so everyday but Wednesday). Burts Bee is pretty all purpose, the minty scent helps keep me awake in lectures as a bonus :]
Yves Rocher one is what I layer under other lip products, also pretty all purpose. The Fresh ones are the free birthday gift from Sephora. They're similar to the ones Mel sold for JA, feels the most lightweight on the lips.
Last two are more of a treatment. The Mary Kay one does wonders for getting rid of dead skin, and the Kiehl's is a bit too oily for daytime use, so I use it overnight.

Conclusion: do not purchase anymore.
(though I really want to try the Dior lip glow T_T)

13 October 2012


Had dinner yesterday at Eat Fresh.
Despite it's slightly sketchy decor, the food is delicious! Portions are large, prices are reasonable, and the service is amaaaazing. Chef Dan and all the waitstaff were so welcoming and helpful, thanks to him I'll never make the mistake of ordering any steak of meat over medium again.
I don't know how I ever ate anything well done.

Anyways, presenting the food:

Definitely treating myself to this place after midterms end.

12 October 2012

not a thing

Shad (and McKinsey YLF) covered a large portion of ESP. I feel like it's simultaneously a really useful and useless course @_@"

Done PR! Group made it through without biting each others' heads off, we get along rather well haha. Let's hope this continues into CDS and beyond.

This must be the nth time I've mentioned how awesome my calc prof (and TA too ofc) is. A graphical explanation for lin alg helps soooo much. I totally get eigenvalues and eigenvectors now, and yes they are cool / useful.

Onto midterms...
weekend say hello to a hundred calc practice problems :]

10 October 2012


I forget whether I first heard this from my grade 7 or 8 teacher, but "the feeling of impending doom" is a perfect description of how I feel at the moment of the titular subject.

and ESP, just ughhh. 

hurry for tea & music for keeping me sane focused.
(it's not thaaaaat bad, I'm prone to exaggeration when stressed)

09 October 2012

.04 & others

So the $300 I spent buying textbooks won't be so useless after all. Chem was already fun to read (or as joyful as reading a textbook can be), but turns out that Lin Alg textbook explains the concepts quite well. And just maaaaaaybe I'll finally be hitting the Statics textbook for practice problems (though I much prefer to do past midterms and problem sets from other sections).
ESP...yeah shouldn't have bought that.

Had a good afternoon, so I treated myself to some donuts and internet wishlist-ing :]
hehhehehee (in the least creepy hehe possible).

Some office wear lusts from Club Monoco:

jacket / shirt & skirt, perhaps together?

My point: I actually have no business formal wear. Yes I have blazers and pencil skirts, but none of the match (navy and grey for blazer and black for skirt, plus the skirt is quite short). Debating between whether to get a really nice wallet (either this (can't decide between green or black) or this) or a pencil skirt (why nice ones cost the same price as a leather wallet is beyond me, but it'll be an investment).

I was going to get a watch with a metal band, but luckily I was able to mooch off some super glue and fix my current watch (leather band broke). Really happy that I get to wear it again, it's
  • light weight
  • comfortable (leather whoo)
  • has both silver and gold colours on the face so I can wear whichever other jewelry that I want


Woah haven't made a long post in a while, so therapeutic haha.  Signing off with a view of the sunset:
(disclaimer: photoshoped, but to match reality)