I sometimes get really into observing my planted tank and shrimp. Here's a compilation of recent photos!Image description

To take these photos I'm just using a clip-on macro lens on my cellphone camera. It is pretty hit and miss, but I'm glad to have some photos stored to look at my tank growth and progress!

My left arm has been in pain for the past while, and I've been having insomnia as well. IDK what the cause of all of it is, but hopefully it subsides soon. Body is aging and aching...

Today's music post: Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius, conducted by Leonard Bernstein,performed by Vienna Philharmonic. I went to hear Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 performed at the TSO last weekend. The most interesting parts to me were the swan-inspired wing fluttering emmulated by the cello (?I assume?) bows knocking against the strings. Another interesting read here, here, and here.

Here's a bonus sad swan song called Olim lacus colueram/Once I swam in lakes, which is 1/25 of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana movements. The song is meant to be sung by a tenor in falsetto (haha). The song lyrics are BIG MOOD.

For the past few weeks my drawing hand gets numb whenever I use my computer at home (sit desk). It doesn't seem to happen when I'm using the mouse as work (stand desk). I'm not really sure what's going on, but I suspect it's a pinched nerve somewhere else in my body that is causing this. Will be asking a RMT about it tomorrow!

As a result, I haven't really been drawing much at all, especially not at the computer.

Here's a picture I drew of my holiday party outfit this year. Most people assumed that I was going to wear a bag dress (as usual), so I decided to SHAKE THINGS UP and go with a full menswear-inspired outfit, inspired by cool people like Esther Quek from older-era, DapperQ, and of course, Janelle Monae.

I came pretty close to replicating this drawing IRL, save for a few things:

  • Didn't find a knitted tie in time...
  • Opted out of the flower pin for a pocket square instead! Well, the pocket square was just a piece of scrap fabric
  • My tie bar was a bobby pin, ha! SO CHEAP!

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Oh, I drew my own hair part wrong. Everything is mirrored...

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A while back, I also drew some stuff to get embroidered on to a varsity jacket! I'm really happy with how it all turned out! Everything on the jacket was designed to represent some aspect of myself, so it is very personal. Kudos if you can figure out how everything is linked to me...!

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I also sewed on the Love Love Hill patch and put on Saicoink and Wai's pins.

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Today's music post: Grand Poppa by ZAMAGI chill japanese hip hop!

Let me tell you about some things that I like...

Sapphire crystal watch glass.

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I'm currently sporting The Hemmingway watch from Hawthorn Watch Co's kickstarter. It has all the features I need in a watch: highly contrast watch face, 3 watch arms, numbers, and date. I toyed with the idea of getting an automatic watch for a while, but decided that the reliability of swiss quartz movement is more functional for me and what I use watches for (running to meetings, timing workshop activities, etc.). Automatic watches also tend to be way more expensive, taller, and mostly marketed towards man-sized wrists. The Hemmingway is definitely on the bigger side for my wrist (40mm) but I guess that makes it easier to read time as my eyes get older. It always aggravates me I see "women" versions of watches that are tiny and bejeweled to the point of non-function!

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The watch I had prior to the Hemmingway was a Grenen watch by Skagen. It was the first "adult" watch that I ever bought, for the purposes of looking like a legit workerbee when I went to client meetings, etc. I remember within 1-2 days of wearing the Skagen it already had a permanent scratch on the surface (you can see some of the scratches in the photo). The strap is also not replaceable and has begun splitting after a couple years of wear. Many reviews on the Skagen website also note the same problem. The strap problem plus the mineral crystal glass led me to retire the watch . I love the look of a lot of Skagen watches, but the quality of the make is just not good enough!

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I have accidentally banged the Hawthorn watch on many things before and it shows no sign of wear! Sapphire crystal totally makes a difference (even if it is domed/raised, which you would expect would scratch more often). Apparently sapphire crystal is second in hardness to diamond! Will see how long this watch survives!

In other news, I have updated my Bludit to 2.x without a hitch, so now the RSS feed works!

Music post: What's That Perfume That You Wear? by Jans Lekman. This artist was chosen by one of my colleagues as a song that might represent aspects of my personality... interesting!

I acquired a bunch of moleskine cahiers for free. I have a lot of assorted field notes and other things as well. I have so many unused/half used notebooks and sketchbooks in my place.

I've always struggled to find a note keeping system that works for me. I struggle primarily because I often capture my thoughts electronically and on paper, so the lack of crosstalk/consolidation across these channels makes it hard for there to be "one place for everything". Aside from that, I also have a desire to keep work-related things physically separate from my personal notes, yet I want to be able to access and write in both categories of notes, iregardless of where I am.

Inspired by some of my staionery-loving friends and the Midori traveler's notebooks, I thought about make a DIY cover that could fit at least 2 booklets. One booklet could be for work-related matters, while another could be for personal matters. Then I can swap them in/out when one gets full, or really, whenever I want.

This is a prototype! I bought a scrap piece of leather for $3, and the elastic cord was 69 cents a yard at Designer Fabrics. The leather piece I bought can make at least 3 covers total, so definitely affordable. The only thing that I didn't have that would be nice, was a leather punch or some way to make nice round holes in the leather piece. I ended up just cutting crosshairs in the leather to get the thread through.

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Many lessons learned! I've already started on the next journal cover, and hopefully that will be a bit more polished. Overall it was a very simple project. I left a fold-over edge on mine to keep the paper edges "extra" protected, but it also doubled as a pen holder!

Tutorials that I found helpful are listed below:

I came to this realization that I pay for my own webhosting already, and that self-hosting my own blog means that I don't have to worry about the pesky ads on other free social media sites. This also gives me control over the ownership of the content that I put up. It might be a social suicide kind of thing to do, but I've never had that huge of a following on blogging platforms.

In previous iterations of my blogs, I also had the tendancy of keep art and thoughts separate, but I'm going to merge them together this time, since they were never separate thought processes to begin. It's going to be full-on unfiltered freetalk!

Hope you will check-in from time to time and stick around! Please comment and reach out, as usual :).