30 May 2014


Lab work makes you very resourceful. I'm proud that a straw is the instrument of choice for making highly sensitive measurements about the alignment of anchor bolts. It's been a good day at work.

But yeah, today confirms that deciding to do research instead of a corporate job was the right decision despite the terrible pay.

28 May 2014


This was originally going to be a picture of yesterday's beautiful sunset but it didn't transfer into photo well. So instead here's out of focus lights. It's a decently accurate representation of what the scene would look like to me without glasses.

26 May 2014

keep moving back and forth like an echo

(y) so wonderful. I should check more of her Chinese songs.

25 May 2014

Kafka on the Shore

I don't feel that I understand much of what I'm reading these days. Not the couple Vonnegut books  (While Mortals Sleep is so so good) I've finished, not the Girl Queen manga (was much irritated until I decided to go with couple assumptions and accept that the ending wasn't meant to tie anything up. Time loops are so rarely done well, Tsubasa's was so confusing as well), and definitely not Kafka on the Shore.

The weird thing is, I didn't even realize how badly tied up the loose ends of this book's plot is until I'm googling its reviews afterwards. Nothing is given a logical explanation, yet somehow I feel content. A refreshing change from how I feel about the Girl Queen manga (which is similar to how I feel about Arcana and Ciel, but I'm going to reread Ciel once it finishes to see if I can make more sense out of it). Don't remember how Norwegian Wood ended, but I believe I felt content by it too. The (translated) writing is still as beautiful as ever though.

I feel as if the following lines are very true:
In dreams begin responsibilities.

"Every one f us is losing something precious to be," he says after the phone stops ringing. "Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own hearts we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower cases. In other words, you'll live on forever in your own private library.

"You'd better get some sleep," the boy named Crow says. "When you wake up, you;ll be part of a brand-new world."
You finally fall asleep. And when you wake up, it's true.
You are part of a brand-new world.

and these two just sounds nice
The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensations is already memory (Matter and Memory)

Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream.

24 May 2014

blazing summer, cold coffee

currently really liking this song

22 May 2014

early summer

^ the nicest time of the year.

 It's going to be a beautiful summer watching this tree grow.

 Excuse the composition, makes the branch look like a flowery caterpillar.

20 May 2014


Was browsing through Bebop fanart, too much feels. If I rewatch the series, I'm going to be so overwhelmed that I'll be unable to do anything for a couple of days. Instead I pray for more movies to come out.

To recover from just looking at the fanart (not enough of Spike x Julia), rewatched a heartwarming episode of Lupin. I should really finish the series.

Also downloading Cobra to heal the freshly opened wound of Bebop.


Also can't reread Ares cause too much feels. I need Icarus in my life.

13 May 2014


As Kurt Vonnegut's Uncle Alex says, "if this isn't nice, what is?"
This is today's entry to in an attempt to exercise happiness daily.

10 May 2014


I've been meaning to post pictures of roasted vegetables for a long time, but they're not very photogenic (probably cause I've got non-existent natural lighting thanks to North facing window). They constitute a large portion of my meals when solo cooking.

This time I made a sorta fancy salad out of them:
Though there's leftovers and my mom's awesome dried meat in there, so the roasted veggies (sweet potato, kale, zucchini) can't take all of the credit for tasting so good. Also tried Israeli couscous for the first time and they're so much better than rice/pasta (in a salad)! It's chewier and has a hint of nuttiness to it. 

09 May 2014


The Ogura is a machine that bends rebars. I don't like the machine, and I'm fairly confident that the machine doesn't like anyone using it either. It will bend the same rebar set at the same angle widely different amount at times. It makes forming stir-ups difficult :(

That is my rant for the first week of work.

Otherwise it's really tiring, but in a satisfying way. Currently doing lab work, which also translations into manual labour. All the test specimen requires building, which requires formwork and rebars to be built. Rebars are heavy. But on the positive note, it's like getting paid to work out.

Learning quite a bit from doing lab work. Namely the importance of tolerances and how everything we've done in coursework is so so far away from reality. Fixed ends aren't really fixed. Sigfigs become super important as you're lucky to get it within 10mm of the dimension. And no one will actually construct it like your drawing.

05 May 2014


Well this is surprising, actually did the same mark-wise this semester as the first. Thank the curve.
  • Civil engineering materials: 85, durr thought I did better
  • Structural analysis: 94, pretty good considering how I messed up the first midterm
  • Graphics: 88, as expected
  • Hydrology and Hydraulics: 94, woah this is shockingly good.
  • Probability: 98, thought I did worse
  • Greek and Roman art and architecture: 89, was so sure I wasn't getting above 85
Get to keep my 4.0 for another semester (y)

04 May 2014


Finally sunny outside + trying on dresses due to packing = starting to feel like summer.

Time to get started on the reading list, should have read almost everything by Vonnegut by the end of this.

In other news, finally got flowers after an entire year of really obvious hinting.

Flowers are always a good idea.

02 May 2014


Here's all the backlogged food photos:

 CW from TL:
  • Babeyaki udon from Tokyo Grill. They have the best Japanese curry ever, also their udon has the best chewy texture.
  • Chef-made tofu and sichuan dumplings. Both has been featured previously, they're all I eat when I go there.
  • Ham and brie quiche and beet salad from Snakes and Latte, the dinner menu there is surprisingly good. The salad is delicious.
  • Chicken parm with asparagus risotto from College Q. It was one of their specials, so worth it. The place is a little pricy for everyday eating, but the food is really worth it.
Marketing transition dinner with YN at Teppan Kenta: dashimaki (must get!), okonomiyaki, and salmon natto. 

This is my preferred izakaya, even over Guu, which is too crowded and loud. This place has similar ambiance, food is delicious and well priced, and service is friendly. Downside is that it's super hard to find.

01 May 2014

second year

And second year is over with.

For once the latter semester felt really long instead of the usual breezing by. Didn't enjoy it as much as other times even though good things definitely happened. Still recovering from feeling really tired and unsure about the future haha.

First semester was pretty good, made more friends within civ and got rank 1.
Also had an interesting course called APS301, in which the prof lectured very passionately about how to save the world (paraphrasing). The workload of this course was really heavy with readings, didn't even get that good of a mark in it, but it had a biggest impact in terms of opening my eyes. It's pretty funny how frequently an idea that was mentioned in that course makes an appearance in TED talks. Vanderburg is everywhere!

Second semester wasn't as fun.
Had this one course that was a nightmare because of the professor, will definitely go complain give constructive criticism to her face instead of here. Hopefully that goes well and kiddies who take it next year will have a better experience.

Joined YNCN, which I think is a great decision. So many amazing people there, just gotta push my self to socialize with them haha. I really like the marketing VPs, they're both skilled and offers constructive feedback.
Also decided to stick to WISE for another year. Had fun with the team during the conference (I wasted that opportunity sigh) and I feel the club has much more potential. Opted for an internal position rather than doing professional development (conflict of interest with YNCN anyways) so I can apply the insane organization of YNCN to WISE.

The most difficult part was transitioning from having good marks to something else (???)  as number one priority. First problem is that I don't know what the something else should be. Second problem is that getting good marks is so ingrained in my identity that I feel lost without it. Maybe I'll figure something out.

With half of university over with (not counting PEY), starting to worry about what to specialize in. Building science or structural? It's making me stressed more so than it should, mainly because up until now I've mostly known what's the next step. Feeling kind of like the brief period where I wasn't sure whether civil or some other branch of engineering is right.
Everything I know suggests that the choice between the two doesn't matter at all in undergrad. In fact the couple professionals in building science I've spoken to all came from a structural background. There's also not enough courses in forth year to actually specialize, either would likely require a graduate degree anyways.
Time to get comfortable with the feeling of being unsure.