On Fiction

Non-fiction books have dominated my shelf for a couple of years now. Biographies, self-help books, books on productivity, psychology, and the like. I would often read them during my free-time as a form of rest and relaxation (R&R). But last month I (finally) realized that it’s still more of studying I was doing rather than resting.

Fortunately, it so happened that I bought fiction books from a local indie bookstore over the holiday break (as always, the cover attracted me; I tend to judge a book by its cover!). I’m on my fourth book now since Christmas. It is very refreshing to read fiction! It effectively allows me to detach from reality for a while, which I think is the point of a real R&R. I can literally feel the tension in my brain muscles slowly loosening and I almost forgot just how entertaining a well-written novel can be! Books on fantasy and adventure also seem to encourage creativity as it allows you to imagine more.

Have you been too busy lately? When was the last time you read a good fiction book? Maybe it’s time to grab one from your shelf again?

Happy reading!


On Color

A brewing interest. Let’s make 2018 #colorful! :3

This book is slowly opening my eyes to the fascinating world of colors and natural pigments. Read about the white pigment so far and how lead carbonate was used for the longest time despite its toxic properties (lead poisoning!!!) because it provides a vivid, opaque color. Zinc Oxide would’ve been an alternative, but it was too expensive that people still used lead. Fortunately, titanium was discovered! I’m in the chapter about ochre now and learned that it can be found in certain rocks!

Outside the book, I learned from a YouTube video how to extract pigment from bamboo! Now I want to try it!!! Just need to buy some alum powder (tawas?) and cook baking soda to turn it into washing soda. It’s also very tempting to buy clear acrylic gel medium to turn the pigment into acrylic paint (or watercolor, but apparently it has more components like honey, glycerin, etc., so let’s start with simple acrylic first).

Definitely something to explore next year after this jam-packed semester is over!



On Essentialism


Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, was such a great read! It’s written in a very simple and structured way that it becomes easy to follow and understand. The book also inspires action so much that I finally gathered the courage to turn down a very good opportunity in order to focus on what is really essential to me. It felt liberating and empowering to take control of the choices I make. If it doesn’t contribute to what matters, don’t waste time and energy in it. The next challenge is to sustain this practice!

This book is worth your hard-earned money. I strongly recommend it! :)

Life Keeps Moving On

Totally loving Ben Rector’s songs right now. :)

“Life Keeps Moving On”

Here’s the truth
Life sucks sometimes
When it hurts so bad that you can’t go on
Life keeps moving on

When you feel
That you’ve been done wrong
When you’re sure your world is coming down around you
Life keeps moving on

And it is beautiful and tragic
Different verse, but same old song
Sometimes the only thing you learn is
That life keeps moving on

When it’s good
When you’re flying higher
When your feet float up above the ground around you
Life keeps moving on

When you’re glad
When you’re fat and happy
When you don’t need for anything
Life keeps moving on, yeah

And it is beautiful and tragic
Different verse but same old song
Sometimes the only thing you learn is
That life keeps moving on

We’re better off the sooner that we find
That life is mostly what we choose to see
‘Cause whether or not I’ve got what I want
Life keeps moving on in front of me

At this pace
We’re gonna get somewhere
If it’s good or bad, if it’s slow or fast
Life keeps moving on
And yes, life keeps moving on


I am now approaching my third month away from home and the Universe is very kind to have blessed me with friends who are more like my family here in Cleveland. It never fails to amaze me how quickly we got along with each other!

The past two days, though, I have been feeling weird. My constant enemy has been attacking again: fear. People probably don’t have any idea how fearful a person I am, especially when it comes to my friends and family. With people coming and going in the lab nowadays, I can’t help but think that the time will come when we will have to part ways as well (oh my, so dramatic! Lol.) But seriously, these thoughts started to come in and I fought back fear again as I always did so many times before. Being selfish is something I would never want to be. So if they have to leave to finish their project, search for greener pastures, or whatnot, then I will be happy to see them thrive. I, too, will be leaving at the end of the year anyway. I guess there’s no use fighting the inevitable.

The transience of all things really make life more meaningful. It makes us appreciate every single moment. I felt the same when I left DMMME last year, but I no longer feel fear for that because I know that my DMMME family will still be there when I go back home (gaaahd, I miss you guys!). :’)

Anyway, I don’t know how else to show my gratitude so I guess I’ll just say it through the video below. THANK YOU guys (you know who you are). Where do we go next? :D


“If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?” ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull