29 April 2016


If in the future a series of emoticons becomes a mean of self identification, so like passwords, mine would be: glasses, cake, cat. Maybe potato if it needs to be four digits. 

27 April 2016


 image via.

Initial impressions of bravely default:
  • love the battle system, took a while to learn how to default/brave properly, though it's now reduced to brave x4 when fighting mobs for the combat bonuses and generally default x3 then brave x4 when fighting easier bosses. 
  • Ringabel == Alvin?! At least that's where I'm predicting his story is going based on the enigmatic notes and the minor spoiler in the artbook that I saw of Ringabel returning to his own world at the game's end. When Alternis first appeared, I thought that he was actually Ringabel in this timeline, and while I believe that less now because of the difference in rank, it seems too convenient that those two characters did not appear simultaneously.
  • Disappointed that I can't play as swordmaster until a couple more chapters in :( and in general how slowly you accumulate the job classes. But I also remember being overwhelmed in the demo when you had immediate access to all of them. Currently sticking with white x black mage, and ranger x spell fencer, while leveling a merchant for that big pharma hack.
  • Shipping Ringabel x Edea so hard, mostly cause Tiz x Agnes is such a calm and certain couple. Also it worries me that Ringabel is not mentioned at all in the promo materials for Bravely Second, though my theory is that he's the key art character with the hidden face and white hair, cause c'mon the hair. I hope it's obvious that I favour Ringabel so much more than the other characters.
  • Edea's black / white is fairly static so hoping that there's more growth in her character when she meets her father. The encounters that she's had with her previous comrades seem unbelievable in how unhesitant she is, though its arguable that she got that trait from her father. 
  • Agnes' head strong trait is fairly to my liking, and Olivia's death is pushing her character along nicely. It was cute when she relied on Tiz's judgement in character in the beginning when Tiz and her first met Ringabel and Edea.
  • Tiz...jury's still out on him. Mephilia's comment makes me intrigued, actually the whole encounter with Mephilia is intriguing. All the art with Tiz and his sheep is adorable though.

26 April 2016

memories die out so hard

I think the feels for leaving Atlanta is starting to hit me.... hopefully this means the stress of moving back has finally left. Probably why I was having a shitty time sleeping the past week. Ugh why am I so out of tune with my own stress level, wait don't answer that.

bbbbbut, the most perfect summer song:

24 April 2016


I feel alive again!

Having the last of Top of the Clouds sample, can confirm it's super smooth and thin bodied in the yixing.

Finally I can get pour shots since my gorillapod came. I now take back all the complaints I ever made about leveling a surveying tripod, because leveling the gorrilapod is not possible. smh...one day I'll fork over a couple hundred for an actual tripod. So forgive the crappy framing, and just focus on therapeutic it is to watch tea being poured (just me? okay).

Also .gifs kill the image quality omg. Should've just shot a video with my phone and it'd look better. So here's a still shot from the sequence:

23 April 2016


This has gotten me through every mood of the week, perhaps my favourite song of this genre. Much thanks to Jeff for introducing.

Here's hoping I pay back enough of my sleep debt this weekend.

19 April 2016



Should've put more effort into this photo and used a better backdrop than carpet, but the time was better used flipping through the artbook. Yoshida's art is always fantastic.

In other news, I'm still only at chapter 2 of the first game durrrr. Sad that swordmaster is so far away, counter is definitely my favourite way to play.

18 April 2016

pier 225

I have completed my Atlanta tourist duties, finally went to the aquarium & world of coke.
Thank you visiting friend.

I actually liked the World of Coke more than the aquarium, much to my surprise. Coke is really well done with all the insane amount of memorabilia, including these awesome posters. Although I don't care for their drinks, Coke's advertisement is always well done.

The aquarium...does not look very big while you're walking through it. There's usually just little windows into the tanks, which is not quite impressive looking. But we were lucky and manage to catch all of the shows, which were great.

15 April 2016


100% demo, starting the full game. So you won't hear from me in a while.

In the mean time, I finally took proper photos of my boots last weekend. The full review is here.

14 April 2016


In case you're wondering what I've been up to: Bravely Default demo.

image via

11 April 2016

freeze time


In other news, it all makes sense now! for now ah ha.

via Colorless Tsukuru: "We truly believed in something back then, and we knew we were the kind of people capable of believing in something - with all our hearts. And that kind of hope will never simply vanish."

10 April 2016


I think I've got a method of brewing green tea that works well for a variety of green tea types (y)

It uses about ~5g of tea...actually that's totally a guess, I either empty a pack of individually packaged green tea (most greens bought in China) or just eyeball a good thick layer that covers that bottom of the pot, for 100 - 150ml of water.

Start with a couple of slow infusions with cold water, which brings out the more delicate notes of the tea. Then gradually increasing the water temperature until boiling for subsequent steeps. Generally the steeping times get shorter as the water gets hotter. I can usually get 5 - 7 good brews in this fashion. Then I follow with some long steeps with boiling water to extract whatever's left but by then the flavor is less of a concern.


It's also funny that the teapot I bought mostly on a whim, the dragon kyusu, is the pot that best matches a type of tea. It really rounds out the flavor of green teas, and maybe thickens the body a bit too. 

09 April 2016


It's depressing how little I can eat. Yet again I've missed my chance to have dumplings, 钟水饺 nonetheless, in Atlanta. This is not meant to be...but in a month and half I'll be having my beloved dumplings in Chengdu again! I swear I'm going to that place the first chance that I have.

Anyways, this is about Krog St Market.

Coworker recommended Yalla and Gu's dumplings. I somehow convinced myself that I can eat both a shawarma and a salad bowl, and then 6 dumplings. It is abundantly clear in retrospect how wrong that is.

I struggled to finish the shawarma, as good as it was (but would be better if they warmed the pita and heated up the meat more) and slowly consumed the salad over the next hour while reading about leather quality on styleforum. I really am not a salad person, but the pickled okra, beets, and cherry tomatoes were fantastic.

The market was also a lot smaller than I imagined, so there wasn't much to walk around in attempt to digest. So I gave up on my dumplings, but did stick with getting an almond croissant from Little Tart to go.

devouring this atm

Also dropped by Xocholatl to pick up more bars of this amazingly delicious "kissed mermaids" chocolate bar (coconut milk, sea salt, cocoa nibs).

This is definitely better than Mast Bros. An intoxicating smell of chocolate bursts out as I unwrapped the bar, and this is not even a hyperbole. I'm also a fan of the bar design. This may just be my favourite bar of chocolate ever eaten.

Of course luck would have it that the store didn't have this flavor in stock today. But luckily they said that another customer told them that a hipster-to-the-max shop in PCM had some in stock, and I was going to drop by on the way back to the Whole Foods across the street anyways. I've finally entered into the category of consumers that regularly buy small batch chocolates and grocery at Whole Foods. Achievement unlocked?

Speaking of PCM, it would definitely be the place I want to live if I move to Atlanta, $1500 rent for a studio be damned. It's got all the amenities within walking distance, right on the beltline (oh yeah I finally walked on the beltline today), and not a hassle to commute to WPM's office. It's comforting to know that so many good restaurants are either downstairs or a short walk via beltline to Krog away. But the priority remains Europe/NYC > Toronto > Atlanta.

It is fast how a year has past...

06 April 2016


So far the week has been full of frustrating calls. Although getting my hats was a positive experience on the store end of things.

But yay hats!

I was an easy sell at the feather bar.

05 April 2016


I almost dropped Helck because I wanted to remain convinced that Azudora didn't really die. Reference point: he's the Icarus of this manga...except Icarus lived.

Hnng the plot is in the pits right now.

So have some catchy music instead:

03 April 2016


Good to be back having a proper tea session after only drinking Lipton bags in Charleston @_@"
(though the bagged black tea that Georgia gave me is perfectly fine, Lipton is barely drinkable)

This weekend's theme is clay pots, with last session's sheng in my lion pot and some DHP that I bought from Zen's Tea (intended to give to John as a thank-you, but ended up picking up a bag for myself as well) in the little hongni shuipin.

This pot may now be dedicated to shengs...which makes sense as it looks to be zhini (but all my talks of clay is only a barely educated guess at best). The tea did brew up exceptionally smooth. Not too much body, but I don't have notes on that from the previous session to compare. Going to repeat this set-up next weekend with the last bit of my sample to explore further.


I don't recall if I ever posted about my first visit to Zen's Tea and the excitement I felt when I tasted this DHP. The taste was identical to how I remember my first ever DHP that my dad brought from China, probably the tea that kickstarted this (expensive) obsession with yancha. That particular taste is always what I look for in subsequent yanchas and unfortunately did not encounter until that visit to Zen's Tea.
But now I'm realizing that the taste is more likely to be the result of brewing parameters than the specific tea, since I flash-brewed this and it tasted so strongly of stone-fruits and somewhat bitter, aka nothing like that taste. The shop uses more western parameters in a glazed cast-iron pot, which retains heat like a beast compared to this hongni pot. Perhaps I'll try grandpa brewing this next time since that's the likeliest method that I used as a kid.

Psst I'm also really liking the soft shadows. It's similar to vsco cam's fade slider.

02 April 2016


Finally wrapping up Charleston, featuring the much anticipated meal at Husk.

But first, two more alleys that are too pretty. 

Entrance to The Common at the end of an alley, which I wish I can just leave my credit card at. Was chatting with the SA and she said many restaurants in town buy their tablewares here.


dun dun dunn:
 Bibb lettuce salad / Cornmeal crusted catfish with curried shrimp rice

Yeah the tableware is beautiful ;_;
In short: not life changing as I've hyped it up to be to myself, but very good nonetheless. Not worth making a trip just for Husk, but definitely worth eating even as the only meal if you are in the area.

Perhaps I'm just tomato deprived since I haven't ate much for almost a year, but the bits of tomatoes in both dishes tasted sooooo gooood. The main is definitely well executed, the crust isn't soggy in the slightest and stuck well to the fish, the rice is the Carolina gold rice (it's largely responsible for Charleston's fortune) and cooked perfectly, and the bitter mustard greens complimented both fish and rice well.

Bonus for having fantastic in-house butter and rolls. This meal also introduced me to shrubs, which is everything sodas should be.


Some more photos from just strolling around:

 ISO3200, not bad at all. 

01 April 2016


I randomly felt an intense urge to listen to 七里香 this morning, and discovered that it's somehow not in my music library anymore "orz
The entire day I was looking forward to coming home and listening to it (and of course now I realized I could've youtube'd it at work too...)

but omg young Jay Chou! How many years has it been? Now he's married.

Time really flies, almost time to go back to Toronto.
When is he coming back to Toronto for a concert? :(