Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tag, you're it!

Hey there, happy 29th February! Did you know that traditionally, girls can propose to guys on this day? ^^

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got tagged by the lovely Harley, and since I'm such a slow coach, I've only just caught up with the game!

Song of the day: Rival by Mintjam (I do believe this is the first Japanese song I've posted on here!)

So, here's how you play:
♥ Put the rules of this Tag on your blog.
♥ Everyone tagged should tell 4 things about themselves, answer the 4 questions asked by the person who tagged you, tag 4 other people and ask them 4 different questions.
♥ Let the people whom you tagged know you've done so.
♥ Don't tag anyone who's been tagged before.
♥ Really do tag 4 others, and don't go all "if you want to, take this tag".


OK, here we go! Firstly, four pieces of information about myself...

1.) I like to knit things. I learned this ancient craft for kicks back when I was a kid, forgot about it for over fifteen years and picked it up again last October. Let me tell you now that if you come out of the closet to me as a knitter, then I will forever consider you cool.

See the little belt on Snowy? That's the first thing I ever knitted!
But it was supposed to be a scarf.
Oh well.

A Christmas present I made for a friend! ^^

A work in progress...

2.) The state of my dorm room is a measure of my sanity. When people are in my room, I will automatically start to tidy it.

Right now this room suggests an intermediate state of mind, in which I am clawing my way back to a state of normality i.e. nothing is going wrong with my lab project right now fingers-crossed-don't-jinx-this!

3.) A recent medical test has concluded that I am allergic to cinnamic alcohol.

This is a chemical that is found in perfumes and perfumed cosmetic products. If you have any product that smells of cinnamon, daffodil, hyacinth or jasmine, then chances are, it will contain cinnamic alcohol and I will break out into a rash if I stand next to you after a very very long period of time.

Yum yum.

4.) I can spin pens:

But not like that though.

I only know the basic tricks ~ thumbaround, reverse thumbaround, sonic, and the charge...all of which I learned last year instead of studying.

Being able to spin pens makes you look like you know what you are doing when you are sitting in the exam hall.


Now for Harley's questions:

What would you like your last meal to be? You can have as many courses as you like.

Uhm, this is a bit of a toughie. I'm pretty terrified of death, and live in the delusion that one day my consciousness will be able to be downloaded into a badass clone of myself. And then I could eat and eat and eat and download my consciousness into another clone to eat more, and do other things in between, so this meal would in fact be never-ending. Yeah.

If you could travel back in time, what time would you visit?

I'd travel to the future and nab myself a piece of machinery that would enable me to fly. Although if I could only go back in time, then I think I'd like to visit Ancient Egypt and convince them to make a statue of me that is bigger and better than the Sphinx. Or to when I'm a child and warn my younger self about my mistakes. Of course that'd probably result in some kind of paradox wherein I destroy my present self by changing the past, but who knows? Maybe the new me will have succeeded in world domination and then it would be all worth it? But then it wouldn't be cool if the me me wasn't around to see it...

If you could make one book/movie character real, and bring them into your life, who would it be?

Artemis Fowl. Because the world needs more teenage criminal masterminds. Because he is Irish and because he believes in fairies.

What keeps you awake at night?

The fear that if I fall asleep, I may dream of disproportionately large fish.

Like the ones you can see here, only bigger, and not as colourful:


OK, I'm done! Now, who to tag...*squints*...eeny meeny miny mo...I choose you, Pikachu! Only kidding, I tag: Kimmy, Junjun, TGTBATB and Michy!

Questions I have for you aaaaaaaaaaaare:

1.) What would your dream house look like?
2.) If you could have any magical power in the world, what would it be?
3.) What makes you embarrassed?
4.) If you were given a coconut right now, how would you open it?

Go forth, spread the tag, and everyone else, I'd love to see your answers in the comments! :D

Yishi xxx

Monday, 27 February 2012

The meaning of love

Good evening!

Today, I brought some pandan cake into the lab to share with my colleagues. They were a little suspicious about the colour of the cake ~ this isn't my photo by the way, I borrowed it from Google because we ate it all:

Image source here!

As was I when I first saw a green cake, hehe! But then I realised how good it tastes. Now that is the meaning of love... :P

Song of the day: Good Day (Ashilia and JD Relic English Cover) by IU (I am so in love with their voices! I now associate this song with someone who I wanted to confess to last year hehehe...I think I still want to confess xD)

Anyway, this afternoon, I was browsing Facebook in the lab, and got asked on chat by a complete stranger what the meaning of love was for me.

It was so totally out of the blue that at first, I just sat back and stared, speechless. Then I realised that the guy couldn't actually see my response so I echoed it in words.

From here!
His question was definitely good food for thought though. In the last few months, I've 'loved' and lost, had my heart shattered, done some soul searching, and observed the development and destruction of a romance between two close friends which has given me some major perspective on facets of my own life ~ especially when I see some all too painful parallels and have to offer support to a friend who is on The Other Side, i.e. doing the destroying. So I guess I'm a little wiser now.

But still not wise enough to really be able to provide a concrete answer to that question: what is the meaning of love for me? Although, I think I'd probably start off with something along the lines of:

♥ A number close to 42... :P
♥ Someone who you want to spend every waking moment with
♥ Caring so much about someone that you would do almost anything for them
♥ Feeling as though you are not complete without your other half
♥ Knowing them almost as well as you know yourself
♥ A feeling so intense that it becomes a double edged blade

Then again, there are different types of love, all equally pure. It was obvious that the guy was asking me about the romantic kind of love, but I should not neglect to mention the other kinds: platonic love and the unconditional love that a parent has for their children.

I guess I've always been an idealist about things like this (which is definitely not a good thing!), so for me, it's not a word that I'd throw around lightly. Thank you teenage romance novels for this influence...!

So guys, what is the meaning of love for you?

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Photo Diary: Another week in pictures

Hey guys!

As promised, here is a round up of my week. Please enjoy!

Song of the day: Not Fair by Lily Allen (so O and L put this on tonight when they were hanging out in my room and it stuck in my head! I never listened to the lyrics closely before but now I'm like... O_O)

On Monday I cooked the rest of my kimchi with some tuna and made a yummy stew!

The weather was so beautiful on Tuesday that I had to stop to take some photos of the scenery.

I haven't cycled this way in a while for lectures and it was a lovely breath of fresh air!

Pancakes in the evening...

O can flip them like a boss. I, on the other hand, am less than adept at the art of pancake tossing.

We decided to see who could sit against the wall for the longest. I lost... :(

This was Shaun's experiment on Wednesday morning. I've adopted him as my close supervisor and feel a little happier now in the lab.

A crystal heart. The best crystal I have ever made! :)
Credit also goes to Shaun for his help, but he didn't want me to acknowledge him on fb since he thinks he is too cool for science... xD

H came to visit Cambridge so he and I went out for lunch at a Chinese place on Saturday, after my one-on-one supervision with E ~ both of them have been keeping my spirits up! :)

In the afternoon we had a lacrosse match against another college.
We lost, but it was still good fun.

Us modelling our Gryffindor team colours... xD

On the way home, I saw this lovely field of crocus and could not resist this photo opportunity!

Our college cat, Gus, had found a small patch of something on the ground that he really likes since he was going crazy for it!

My pretty new earphones arrived!

Stocking up on tights and food to bring for my lab group!

Last but not least, a package from Singapore arrived on Friday...

I'm so excited about this because it is from Cellnique, an Asian skincare company that have so kindly sent me products to review! :D

I haven't opened the package yet ~ gonna leave it as a surprise treat for after a long day of revision, so watch my style blog for a review coming your way soon! Finally, ever since I saw Izzy's post about her new Black Milk leggings, I have been unable to stop looking at the product website and Facebook page! I am so torn on the purple galaxy ones...

Anyway, I do hope that you are well! Sorry for being MIA for a while from the blogosphere ~ as I said in my last post, I've not been sleeping well recently from emotional/lab/lecture/what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-my-life-next-year stress, so as a result, I've been spending less time online which has also been sad as I miss you guys! I have so many blogs I need to catch up on now, so see you soon in another post! :)

Yishi xxx

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Je suis desole!

Hey there guys! How are you all doing?

Sorry for being MIA for the last week or so ~ I've had so much going on recently, and I gotta say that I think I may be going a little crazy from lab and study stress since I've been having nightmares about them every night now since last week eeep! >_<

Damn this Asian pressure I exert upon myself! The really scary thing is that it isn't even exam term yet... *dundundun*

Song of the day: Tonight (JD Relic English Cover) by Big Bang (ohmygod I love this guy's voice

I'll update with a photo diary tomorrow, but for now, just thought I'd share this with you since it's kinda going viral at the moment:

I don't know if it's real or not, but anyhow, at least I know that there is a lower limit to my own personal non-work related crazy and that I hope it never crosses this line! xD

Before I go, what's new in your life? Do you know any ways to relax and de-stress?

Until tomorrow everyone! ^_^

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Photo Diary: More Retail Therapy!

Hey everyone!!

After my last post in which I had a bit of a mini meltdown (thanks Harley and Kimmi for cheering me up with your joke and video) I decided it was time to take a step back, sort my mind out and get some TLC, so...I went shopping. After studying...of course.

Song of the day: Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa (the Jane Norman store was playing this and it stuck in my head!)

On Saturday, T called me whilst I was having lunch in town with L, and told me she was coming to Cambridge to visit. So we made plans to cook.

A healthy stir fry with chicken, oyster and spring onion sauce, onions, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, spring onions and udon noodles. It was very yummy!

Cambridge was so beautiful this Sunday when I went into town to meet T for shopping.

The weather was wonderful, and it felt like Spring had arrived.

T and I saw these really cute T shirts in TK Max for £7.99 each!

I only ended up buying one of them.

Since jeans do not fit me very well, I went overboard and splurged out on tights! :D

I bought this cardigan from Jane Norman ~ it's half price right now in their sales.

Maybelline are also having a 3 for 2 right now at Boots. I had an eye infection last week (another doctor visit >_<) so decided to get some new eye liner and mascara. Saw a nice palette, and T showed me some Barry M eye glitter that I couldn't resist buying too!

I feel a bit better after the shopping, and after getting my head down and learning half of one of my lecture courses in two days. Hope you had a great weekend too! :)

Yishi xxx

Thursday, 16 February 2012

One of those days...

Hey everyone! Hope you're well and that you're having a better day than I have had today. As my title says, it was just one of those days where I felt like giving up on everything.

Song of the day: The Show Must Go On by Queen (maybe this will motivate me...^^:;)

I've talked a bit about my research project before, but I didn't really mention what it was like to work on it on a day to day basis. At Cambridge, if you take a Masters during your fourth year as an undergrad, then one of the requirements is for you to complete a research project and to write it up as a dissertation. You get assigned a day-to-day supervisor who has detailed knowledge of your project and who is there to give you close supervision when you're working in the lab. They are your mentor for the duration of your project, and as such, the success and enjoyment of your lab experience will depend on your working relationship with them.

Now, I hadn't given my fourth year much thought ~ I'd originally planned on graduating with a BA after three years. But a lack of job offer and the security of one more year in the bubble changed my mind...three days before research project applications were due in. By then, all of the interviews had already happened, and since I hadn't met any of the supervisors, it was highly unlikely that I'd get a good project. Luckily, I bumped into a PhD student, A, who had taught me in labs before, and after a quick catch up, he suggested that I do a research project with him. Guaranteed project? Yes please.

Now let's fast forward to the present.

My research project supervisor is a nice guy, but after starting my project with him, I've come to learn that A just happens to be a really bad supervisor. He's never in the lab when I need help, doesn't give me close supervision when I get stuck and expects me to be this amazing chemist who can make things happen like magic. I've wasted days in the lab trying to figure things out, when a simple hint or guidance could have made all the difference.

As such, I've been turning to the other PhD students in the lab for support, and they've all been really helpful, but at the end of the day, it's not their job to look after me, and I always feel bad that I have to ask them for help. The neglect has been driving me crazy ~ I've talked to A and superiors about it, but if there are any changes, they are always short lived. My project is worth 25% of my MSci grade, and as I spend so much time in the lab, I have no time to learn/revise my lecture notes, which are worth 50% when I sit the exams in the summer. Stressful... :(

Today, I was walking down the stairs with a test tube, intending on runnning some tests on a sample reaction that had worked every time I tried it before but failed to work this time. I bumped into my lecture course supervisor, E, who asked me how I was getting on. I've always had a soft spot for him and admired him since he started to supervise me in my third year - he's also a PhD student and is one of the most intelligent people that I have ever met. When he asked me how I was doing, I said I was fine, but then a few steps later, I broke down in tears.

I tried so hard not to cry, but all it took was that one simple question, and there I was, having a mini breakdown from all of the things that have been making me sad since the start of this semester. E looked awkward, not really expecting anything like this at all, but he offered me emotional support and gave up half an hour of his time to give me guidance on how to overcome the obstacles in my project. Thinking about that simple act of kindness whilst walking home just set me off in tears again...! >_<:; I put it down to Week Five Blues ~ a slang term we use to describe a phenomena:
When the beginning-of-term partying dies down a little bit and work piles up to the level that sometimes makes you despair. Many Cambridge students find Week 5 (or Week 4 or 6, depending on the person and subject) a tough week with mounting work pressure.
It's not just work and feeling emotionally drained that's been getting me down. This week, I've had a series of medical appointments: blood test results came back fine (phew!), one at the hospital where they stuck loads of patches on my back to see what my body reacts to, and I'll have another one at the hospital tomorrow morning at 8:50am for them to check the patches...

This is what my back looks like at the moment...they're making me wear a bandagey vest so the patches don't fall's pretty icky as I'm not allowed to wash my torso until the patches are removed. I feel like a walking experiment... T_T

Anyway, I have a series of photos that I took today showing my walking/cycling route to lectures which I planned to blog about for today's post, but since it ended up being a rant about how awful my day was, I'll save it for a happier post! ^^:;

Kudos to you if you made it to the end! Can you tell me a joke to cheer me up? :D

Yishi xxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Photo Diary: Valentine's Day Formal~

Hey there! I've just been to my first formal of term, so as promised, here is a glimpse of what one is like at Selwyn College. Ignore the fact that today it is Valentine's Day... ^_^

Song of the day: Misery by Maroon 5 (kekekeke...)

So, here we go! Date tonight with a bottle of wine and 45p. Hay-ell yeah..

If you are planning on drinking, then you need to come prepared. Formals at Cambridge generally start at 7:30pm, but you'll need to be ready by 7pm if you want to go to the bar to pick up wine. Luckily for me, I picked up mine on the way home from the lab today.

Getting ready, no make up on yet. Hmm, methinks it's time to clean the mirror.

Group shot in the bar before the rush to get seats in the main hall.

The main hall, formal style. Our meal will be candlelit! Unsurprisingly, tonight's formal was very empty...

The view of the other end of the hall. We're not really supposed to take photos when the college Fellows arrive so I haven't been able to snap many. The Fellows all sit at the high table which you can see in the previous photo.

Each place is set out like this. I quickly learned in my first year that you work your way inwards with the cutlery. Before food is served, we stand up for grace, which is read out in Latin, and read by a student who got a First in exams.

This is the menu! Looks scrumptious...

And it really was. The starter is probably the best one that I have tried here in all my four years! ^_^

We are given a plate with our main on it, and some platters of veg which we serve ourselves.

Normally I eat much more than this but for some strange reason, I was feeling quite full. Maybe it was the pennying... :/

We also have something where if you throw a 5p into someone's dessert before they put a spoon or fork in it, then they have to eat the dessert with their face and no cutlery. O refused to eat his in this manner! (that's his hand by the way...not mine...)

O and I, post penny merriness.

Afterwards we went up to J's room and hung out there for a bit. No one felt like going out so we just chilled. Some of the guys decided to come clean with hidden talents like juggling but I held my ground with my pen spinning skills! :P

My outfit with my college gown on!

Without the gown! For my outfit deconstruction, click the images to be taken to my style blog! ^_^

Got my blood test results today: all is well chez moi, so I'm very happy about that! Although I have three hospital appointments now to look forward to, first one beginning tomorrow afternoon... -_-

Other news, hmm...well, I think one of my chemical reactions may have finally worked after months of not behaving, yippeee! :)

Well, that's all for tonight now. Going to try to sleep earlier and get into better bedtime habits, so night night, and I do hope that you had a wonderful day whether you spent it with someone 'special' or not.

Yishi xxx