28 October 2014


Haven't had a nice view of the sunset in ages, thanks to tall buildings that block the view in virtually every direction. 
You win some and lose some by living downtown. 

Lots of the buildings have full glass facades, which really sucks in term of building science, but do make for a pretty picture reflecting the sunset. 

27 October 2014


Sometime ago I read on the internet about cooking mushrooms in butter and seasoning it with soy sauce. Yesterday I tried that and it was so fucking delicious.

Okay I added rosemary too, which made it all the better. Be good with some garlic too.
It's a simple and quick dish too, especially if you buy pre-sliced mushrooms. Takes < 5mins to come together. In fact I went and bought 2 more boxes of mushrooms today just so I don't have to run out of this.

In other news, persimmons are also an autumn fruit. Think their season just started now that we're ending the apple season. 

Yes this is the mushroom tray, complementary colours ftw.

26 October 2014

The Garden of Words

I'm pretty late to this but Shinkai's latest movie was great. It's my new standard for visual quality now, the opening screen can honestly be mistaken for a filtered photograph.

Everything, and especially the mundane things, are animated so beautifully. The whole movie is just beautiful, of course this includes the soundtrack.

I made the mistake of watching this dubbed and I must say the english voice acting is really annoying. Both main characters just sound a lot more whiny in english, smh. This could just be I'm use to hearing japanese for animes though.


The ending was satisfying too. If 5cm's ending was more bitter than sweet, then this ending was more sweet than bitter. The progression from Takao's confession to him yelling at Yukari to her finally speaking out to the parting and then when he left the shoes at the pavilion was so perfect. It goes to show that their relationship was a success despite not ending up together.

21 October 2014


More tea photos, because of Parkinson's Law (work expands to fill the allotted time).

I really appreciate the ritual of making tea, it forces you to slow down and be mindful of the act you're currently performing. I would definitely feel overwhelmed with school without this act of slowing down. (And this is coming from a week without midterms, but then I just schedule all the extracurriculars now ha..ha...)

Grinding spices for first try at making masala chai.
To be honest it turned out lackluster. Going to try using evapourated milk and a higher tea leaf to water ratio next time to intensify the flavour.

First and second steep of Zhong Shu Hu oolong (slowly making my way through the Tea From Taiwan samples).
Very, very floral, and somewhat sweet. The floral does transform from a high note to a deeper note as the infusions progress.

17 October 2014


A cup of random shou pu er, cold weather calls for darker teas.

This is not a particularly good tea, tasted rather earthy. Might have detected a hint of fish and then mushroom. One day I'll make an order here and try the good stuff.

14 October 2014

stolen days you don’t give back

Although I'm not 100% happy with Apple's direction with the iPhone 6 (here's hoping my 4S lasts forever, actually, I didn't like 4S' shape when it first came out either haha), free U2 album is a nice touch.

This is my favourite song from it.

13 October 2014


After a very stressful 2B term, my attitude towards school this term is a lot more lax.

This change might have been triggered by reading the Mexican fisherman story. It made me accept that not enjoying the present for the sake of the future implies that when the said future becomes the present, I'm equally likely to sacrifice it towards some other "better' future I could be having. Like what this quotation says:
If, while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea[as reward] that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance ... we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, chances are we won't be able to drink out tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future - and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life
(by Thich Nhat Hanh, a buddhist monk)

In that spirit, I did the minimal amount of schoolwork this long weekend and read Eden, its an endless world until pretty late into the night. David highly recommended it, but I thought the story was a little all over the place. (spoilers follow) The ending also seem to say that everything that happened in the story was totally pointless. This does echo the motivation of the "antagonists", which is to create a alternate universe to our current absurd one where almost everyone dies in meaningless ways. The manga does have a good share of everything: adventure, action, emotional scenes, fan service, etc. Thought Swallowed in the Sea would be a good theme song for this.

11 October 2014


Chives' seed pods and other things that are still alive back at home.

09 October 2014


The never-ending boot hunt, updated:

  • Black
  • Covers ankle
  • Narrow opening
  • Preference given to quality leather & craftsmanship 
  • Comfortable (currently at the low points of my sinusoidal affection function for heels)

Leaning towards to the fluevog because their quality is suppose to be good. All depends on that heel height.
Otherwise I'd love the bottom Church pair (minus the price tag, but I can accept that) if the leather wasn't patent. Maybe the Cole Haan would be good, need to check leather quality in person though.

For now I hope this pair gets made in black. 

08 October 2014


Happy to be invited to the Catalyst Canada Honors dinner today, it was tres inspirational as expected.
(cool fact: one of the champions was the mind behind the Dove real-beauty campaigns)

The dinner is to honor those in high level corporate positions who champion for inclusiveness.

A memorable quotation regarding how we've progressed:
The standard went from "look like a lady, act like a man, and work like a dog" to "look however you want, act like yourself, and work like a dog". The last part is hard to get rid off.
Or as Alex says, "hustle is universal"

But the main take away is how these people are using their influence to provide opportunities for others to advance. Things to think about:
  • How to best be a mentor?
  • Generate dialog amongst everyone, men and women, minorities, about inclusion. 
  • What impact do I want to have?
  • Get these people as speakers for the WISE conference haha.

06 October 2014


The good thing about taking photos in manual is there's so little post processing to do.

Presenting sandwich #2:

This time with rye bread, brie cheese, steamed sweet potatoes and beets (better than baked), and basil. If flavour profiles were colour combinations, this sandwich would be analogous. Whereas sandwich 1 would be complementary.

Yeah I don't have much to say these days aside from food.

05 October 2014


This is a green tea that I really enjoy, sorry dragonwell.

According to my mom who very kindly brought it back from China, this particular grade is "sparrow's tongue" (from the leaves' shape I guess). My attempt at tasting notes: vegetal, sweet, and light bodied. Unfortunately the taste only lasted about 3 infusions, but that's partly because I used a very high water to leaves ratio.

 The leaves really do stand up :D


Clearly I care more about cooking than my problem sets. Lots of fall vegetables to round out my last couple meals of meat+grains.

Top left is a tomatillo sauce, recipe via Helane, which is great for dipping steamed root vegs in. The sour kick complements the sweetness of the vegs well.