Dec 31, 2011

Hyde Park

I was at Hyde Park for a picnic belatedly celebrating one of my school friend's birthday, and I couldn't resist taking some photos of the scenery and architecture. One of my friends was using my camera and you can easily tell which photos were taken by me because most of my photos don't have people as the focus. I need to learn to take pictures of people, instead of non-animate objects/scenery.

The first one is my favourite, it looks almost professional:

St Mary's Cathedral

Dec 24, 2011

a little project

I've pretty much been MIA for 3 months from blogging now. I have no excuse except that sometimes life feels so tedious it's hard to muster up the energy to write more than I absolutely need to for school. Year 12, guys. Hopefully I can survive this so I can look back at it nostalgically. I can't and won't promise I'll be blogging regularly, but I will try to keep up with your posts.

I wish blogspot had a function that sends me an email when someone I follow makes a new post, like livejournal does.

I wasted something like 2 hours yesterday making a poster for my wall. I had a diary that had cute illustrations of tarot cards in it. Since it's been used, I decided to recycle it and make a poster out of the pages without writing on them.

Which basically means I tore out the pages with the tarot card figures on them, arranged them in order and stuck them onto a two large pieces of paper (from a huge 2011 calendar, it's good to reuse). I had to include more pages to fill a rectangle shape, but all 22 of the major arcana tarots cards are there in order, from The Fool all the way to The World. If you can spot where I stuck one page upside-down I'll give you imaginary internet cookies.

I'm not good at drawing like Cinda, and my photo-taking skills are not up to her very high standards, so I guess a remix of other people's work is the best I can do :-(

Finished product - tadaa!

Sep 23, 2011

Fish Market

This is my first day of holidays! My last exam was finished yesterday. So, I just came back from the Sydney Fish Market, and I ate so much seafood. I also went there last Easter, so I'm putting all the pictures together in one post.

This is the only picture I got of the food: I forgot what the fish is called, but it's grilled with lemon and garlic sauce; soft shell crab, scollop with cheese; oysters and octopus sashimi. The octopus sashimi looked weird because it was just this huge purple octopus tentacle, but it doesn't taste that different from cooked octopus when it's dipped in soy sauce and wasabi.

Aug 30, 2011

Country Fair

I didn't get many photos, but it was nice to come back for a while. I really do miss it. Cinda and Helena and Jedda weren't there :(, but I met lots of other people, and they were all really nice. It was a bit smaller than the previous years, wasn't it?

I love this idea.

Aug 20, 2011

Wordle and TagCrowd

I found a really cool web application - Wordle. It creates a tag cloud of words in a piece of writing, and the words that occur more frequently is bigger. This is one I did of George Orwell's novel 1984. (click on the image to see it full size)

Wordle: 1984 by George Orwell

Doesn't it look cool? You can use it to find the most important points in a piece of writing, or find which words are overused in your own writing. You can customise the font, colour and layout. You can even print them out and hang it on your wall. Here's another I made of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Wordle: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Another similar web app is TagCrowd. It doesn't make designs that are as pretty as Wordle, but it does have a few more practical options, like a stop list to exclude words you don't want, grouping similar words and showing the frequency of words.

Aug 12, 2011

Weird gross thing in my Lipton Tea

There was a free hand out of Lipton tea at Central station, so I got one. I drank some of it, and then I saw the Thing inside:

Check it out:

It's all gross and green. I think it's the small thing under the lid, but it's soaked so long something green and slimy has grown on it, and it turned the tea slightly more yellow than it should have been. I drank some of it! >o<

Aug 10, 2011

Another dead cat

What's with me and dead cats? That's the second time in less than two months that I've seen a dead cat on my way home. First time is just bad luck, second time might be a coincidence, but I hope it doesn't happen a third time.

Jul 20, 2011

A reply to the strange note in a strange place

So I blogged yesterday about the post-it note with "You're beautiful" on it. Today someone wrote under it "i know". :) Why do people write so many things on toilet doors? There's a survey asking what people think about Justin Bieber on one of the toilet doors. Why do people bring sharpies into the toilet?

Jul 19, 2011

Strange notes in strange places

Today I found the following in my Maths text book:

Dear Yr 11er:
If you found curve sketching as boring as I id, perhaps you would prefer to spend your time searching for Wally somewhere in theses pages.
Good Luck =)

Since this is a 471 page text book and I have to do work, I failed to find Wally. :(

I found something else at an never stranger location. On the inside of one of the school toilet doors, someone stuck a yellow post-it note with sticky tape that said "You're beautiful" and drew a red heart after it. On that note other people have written things like "Thanks" and "That made my day".

Just thought I'd share. Maybe something to cheer you up on the first day of school?

Unlike a lot of others, I actually liked coming back to school. For the last few days of the holidays, I was feeling a bit lost, like I didn't really know what I was supposed to do. Getting back into the routine and rhythm of school is comforting.

Jul 5, 2011

10 units or 12 units

I'm facing the choice that all of us will facing sooner or later this year, year 12 subject selection. I'm currently doing 3 unit maths and English, Economics, Chemistry and Physics, making up 12 units. I've already decided I'm not doing extension 2 English or Maths, because it's just not worth it considering the time and effort I have to put in to get a decent mark. But the problem now is that I want to keep doing all 12 units, and mum wants me to drop one of either Economics, Chemistry or Physics, and do only 10 units.

She thinks I should cut out everything unnecessary and focus all of my time on only the necessary works, and not have to waste time on 2 units that aren't going to count towards my ATAR.

Her logic makes sense, but I feel that it leaves no wriggle room at all if something goes wrong. What if I find that the extensions are too hard or that I'm just not getting one of the subjects. What if I can tell that one of the subjects will get a bad mark? Wouldn't it be better to be able to drop that subject?

But it's not just about another option in year 12, it's also about another option in university. It would be to my advantage to have done one more subject. That knowledge might be the keys to doors of opportunity that I might otherwise have missed out on.

But it is true that the time spent on one extra subject may well impact on the results of my other subjects. Year 12 is definitely going to be harder and I might not have time, or maybe just that I would get better results if I'm not doing that one extra subject.

So I need help, what do you think? What you doing? 10 units or 12 units?

Jun 22, 2011

Photos of my school

I promised Cinda photos of my new school ages ago, and these have been sitting on my computer for a while, so I thought it's high time to show you what it looks like. I snapped these in the morning before school, so I'm not sure if I got everything I wanted to show you. Enjoy!

Going into the school

Youth Allowance, and The Cat

I'm trying to get my youth allowance organised, and I had to get my tax file number for that. I forgot what it was because it was so long ago. It wasn't hard to get it back, I just had to call the Tax Office. I tried to call them before today several times and they were "experiencing peak demand" so they wouldn't even put me on hold. Anyway, I had that happen to me today again, it took one whole hour to get a person on the phone with me, and then everything was done in 5 minutes.

Filling out forms are so tedious. It was so thick. I hate it the most when I didn't know what I filled in was the information they wanted or not, and none of my family members speak English well so I'm the one who fills out ALL the forms for the whole family. I guess it's good practise for later.

There wasn't much point to that, except to vent, and to tell you I'm still alive and back from camp. We did go to Collaroy Centre, and there was just so many memories there. I have so many photos I want to put up, the photos of the school have been sitting in my draft for more than a week. I want to write some stuff on it and hopefully have it up soon.

Onto The Cat. So I was walking to the train station in the morning, and I see a cat lying on the footpath. I walk closer and I'm hoping that it wouldn't run away too soon, because I love cats. I'm walking closer and closer, and I realise something's not quite right. It's not running away. There's a second when I feel happy because it's so rare that cats let anyone that close. And then I realise it's lying on its side. With its feet sticking out straight and stiff. With its tail puffed up and away from its body. In short, I realise that it's not a cute cat that's bold enough to stay and let me stare at it, it's the body of a cold, dead cat staring straight ahead.

There's no wounds on it, but there's a trickle of blood leading out of the corner of its mouth down to a small puddle of blood on the ground. I got such a fright. It was terrifying, especially when I was expecting a cute, living cat.

When I walked home from school, it was still there. I went across the road to avoid it. I hope someone will take it away before it starts to smell, because I'm not walking near it with a 10 foot pole.

(is there someone I could call to get rid of it? Would the council help?)

Jun 12, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Coraline

I watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4 in 3D yesterday. It's mostly pretty predictable, even if I haven't even watched the first three movies yet, but it's still quite an enjoyable movie. I think this is the first time I've watched a live action movie in 3D.

I love the mermaid scenes, it was so magical. Everyone one of them were amazingly pretty, but the mermaid Syrena is one of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. She really delicate and innocent looking, and her accent makes her sound so cute. She has that really pretty European/French look, and if you look the actress up on youtube, she looks amazing in some of her ads.

I'm just very partial to mythology, made up or otherwise. Especially the about things and people that looks beautiful but are actually very dangerous. I love the contrast.

I also watched Coraline on a friend's iPad and got half way through Mulan. It was Athletics Carnival and there wasn't much to do. I quite liked Coraline, but I don't know if I'm just a scaredy cat or what, but I don't recommend watching it at night by yourself, it can get creepy. The soundtrack is really good.

Coraline is based on a book of the same name by Neil Gaiman, and he's one of my favourite authors. He's one of the few author's I actually remember the name of. He wrote Stardust, which I enjoyed, and he was also the writer for a graphic novel series called Sandman. That series is one of my absolute favourites, it's about 7 entities, more powerful than gods, called Endless, and focuses on one of them in particular, Dream. It's a wonderful mix of mythology and legend and magic, the words he writes just sounds very, I don't know, deep and meaningful.

Jun 7, 2011

Vivid Live Light Show In City

I love my new camera. I went to the Vivid Live light show in the city on Sunday night, and if I was still using my old camera, none of the photos would have came out ok. Hope you guys went and saw it, it's a nice night out and the lights are pretty. I could stand and stare at the mesmerising lights on the Opera House forever. There's some fun interactive stuff there too, so it was all really fun.

So here they are people, an epic(ly long) photo post of the Vivid Live light show.

Jun 5, 2011

Brand New Macbook

Mum bought me a 13 inch Macbook Pro last Wednesday. I'm ecstatic, as you can imagine. It's different from Windows, but I like exploring a new system. I'm starting to get the hang of it now, nothing can't be solved by clicking around and google-fu. Mac doesn't have a right click (which I think I seriously overuse, but anyhow), but you can set up preferences to get a secondary click (which is the same thing). I especially like how I can set the mac to do things with different finger swipes. I wish I could show you guys :(

The idea is to use the Mac to replace my old PC desktop, and take advantage of the educational tax rebate. I think it's also something of a reward for getting 100% on advanced mathematics (not actually that hard to get, but don't tell her that), and an early birthday present. A friend did recommend Macbook Air, which is the really light one, but the sales person said an ordinary Macbook is better value. Mum opted for the Macbook Pro at the end because a friend said it's better.

The Macbook Pro looks really sleek with the aluminium casing, the keyboard lights up, and the design is generally very modern. The mac operating system has a really nice look, it's all sleek and streamline and modern. The graphics is so clear it's like wow, and I plan on taking full advantage of the free apps. So, as the salesperson said, I'm now the proud owner of a brand new Mac!

p.s. Since this is my own laptop, I wanted to take good care of it. I was hearing some conflicting messages about how to extend the battery life. The one I hear the most is that you should always use it until it's flat and then fully charge it, or the battery memory is wrecked, but I was also hearing people saying that's not true. So I googled it, and apparently the new laptops, with their lithium based batteries, don't have the battery memory problem. In fact, if you do use the battery til it's flat, you damage it. It's best (for lithium based batteries) to have frequent charges, but don't keep it at full charge at all times.

Jun 3, 2011

Exams are over! Celebrate!

Yay half yearlies are over! I think I went okay but I really don't trust my own judgement. After the exams are all over on Friday, being the party animals we are, we all went out for karaoke again. Did you know the Woolworth at Town Hall has a section downstairs that sells chicken, hot chips, donuts, other baked goods, and sandwiches? I brought a chicken Caesar salad thingie sandwich, and I was a bit sceptical about the taste, but it was really yummy.

Just wanted to ask you guys something, did we go to Collaroy Centre for camp at some point, and if we did what year was it? It sounds distinctly familiar but I can't really be sure.

May 15, 2011

Half yearlies are next week! Wish me luck

I think the impending exams are driving students a little nuts. A group of students play Scattergories in my maths classroom at lunch once in a while, because sometimes they leave a board full of Scattergories stuff in different coloured chalk.

But on Friday the categories were different from the usual (and normal) categories of countries, names etc. They were, instead, things like history, chemistry, physics, and commerce/economics. Our maths teacher was laughing her head off and saying only in a school like this would students play Scattergories using categories all to do with academia!

In other news, my half yearlies start next week. Wish me lots and lots of luck! I'll desperately need them. Sydney Girls has practical exams for Chemistry and Physics, which, as you would know, I have never encountered before. There's a very new form of oral exam for English, where I have to have a 'discussion' with my partner on one core text and our chosen texts, and it can't be practised or staged. I have a horrible history with impromptues, and I don't know how I'm supposed to talk for 8 minutes without a prepared script.

One good difference is that there are no normal lessons for us in the two week examination period. In the time and days I don't have exams, I can go home. So it's good that there will be no normal lessons to worry about.

Apr 21, 2011

Yum Cha at Granville RSL

Like the title says, I went yum cha with grandma and one of my mum's friend today at Granville RSL. I made it a goal for myself to learn to use my new digital camera better, so I bought it with me to take photos. They're not very good, but at least it's a start.

The curtains are very typical of yum cha places, the colour scheme is bound to be gold, brown, red and a very small amount of deep green.

Apr 14, 2011

Gives Me Hope + MLIA

I found a website today called Gives Me Hope (or just GMH). It has very short accounts of sweet and touching moments. It's described as chicken soup for the soul, but 21th century and twitter style.

It's something that might make you feel that humanity gives you hope. I teared up when I read some of them. One of them went like this:

One of my classmates in high school had leukemia, and he was really depressed after his first round of chemo when he came to school with no hair. When they found out about it, all 70+ members of the varsity football team shaved their heads too. Their yearbook picture is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. GMH
Another website I found (connected to GMH) is My Life Is Average (or MLIA). This website is a collection humorous moments in the lives of ordinary people. I wasted hours on these two website. But this is just something to cheer you up in between the hours of hard studying. Enjoy.

Apr 12, 2011

Karaoke outing

First week of the holidays! I'm not quite free because I have two fairly big tasks to do for English. One is a creative writing task with the visual prompt of mirrors and on the concept of 'Changing Self'. The other one is a research task for Emma and Clueless.

Apr 7, 2011

New Physics teacher next term + story of almost electrocution

Look, an airplane.
We're getting a new physics teacher next term! The current temporary teacher we have is a really cool person.

Apr 6, 2011

Jokes + Holidays

A classmate told us this joke: A man set fire to a copper house, a wood house and a cotton house, which house does the ambulance put out first?

Apr 1, 2011

Lesson where the teacher told us stories + Monster Blood Tattoo series

Yesterday we were able to get the English teacher to tell us anecdotes for the whole period. We were talking about waxing and hygiene, tattooing, piercing (and how she pierced second holes in both her ears herself with a sewing needle when she was a teenager). We kept asking her questions and for more information on this and that, I wasn't expecting her to really keep answering them. I think we only got away with it because she didn't have anything important to teach us then.

Mar 28, 2011

Our parents take our HSC with us

Writing about HSC before reminded me of something else my English teacher said about HSC. She said that your parents are taking the HSC with you. When they're stressed, talk to them about it, tell them to take a break. When they're worrying, reassure them. If they get a less than ideal mark, tell them it's not the end of the world. Talk to them, guide them through it, manage up.

Isn't that very true. I think sometimes that in being so focused on our our stress, we sometimes forget that our parents, especially the Asian parents, can be just as if not more stressed. We have our teachers and friends to help us through it and tell us to relax, but our parents have to keep everything to themselves. For an Asian family such a mine, I think it can be that the children absorbs the less stressed attitudes of Australian society but the parents feel that this is the most important thing in their children's lives up to that point so they stress and stress and stress. They are taking the HSC with us, but they have much less control than we do over it.


I think most times Sydney Girls' mufti days (they call it Civi Day) the have a theme. But it seems that most people don't bother (or are too embarrased) to dress up. On a Harry Potter themed Civi Day, guess what everyone came as? Muggles.

A girls raised a good point though, because we're not at our local schools any more, most of us have to take public transport to get to school. It would be pretty embarrassing to be dressed up and be stared at on the train or on the bus.

Mar 24, 2011


A girl in my grade died yesterday night. The teachers gathered us into the hall and told us the news in 4th period. When the principal broke the news half the grade started crying. Looking around I could see stricken, sobbing faces all around the hall. I felt really sad even though I didn't know her. It was when a teacher is talking to us and his voice was breaking that I really did cry. It's always shocking to hear about death, and even more shocking to hear about the death of someone you knew. It was so unexpected, who would have thought someone so young could have just gone?

Mar 23, 2011

The importance of sleep

My English teacher is prone to going off on a tangent, and that's what she did yesterday. She told us that according to statistics, adolescents require 7 point something to 8 point something hours of sleep per day. But on average, teenagers are only getting 6-7 hours of sleep. I'll admit here that I'm guilty of that. For one reason or another, I seem to sleep late and I'm sure the story is the same for most people my age. Going around the class, 6 or 7 hours of sleep is the most common answer.

She says that students are always operating on sleep-derived mode and that we only manage that because:
1. Most of us are fit and healthy (there's no obesity problem at school)
2. Most of us have good diets, especially those with Asian backgrounds eat lots of vegetables.
3. We're all water conscious (we drink enough water) and we exercise etc.

She said that if they had the choice, they would have school from 10 to 4, because that's when teenagers will work best. Adolescents naturally want to sleep in later in the mornings, that's how our body works. She taught us a trick to help us sleep better (that I knew already, but anyway): heat a small cup of milk in the microwave oven for 1 minute and 27 seconds, and that produces chemicals that help you sleep. Today a lot of girls said that they tried it, they slept more and they felt a lot better for it. I know it'll help, and I probably make it one of my goals to try and sleep earlier.

Adolescents also save up their sleep and sleep in til noon or something on weekends (that's not something I do, for one, Grandma won't let me). She said that's actually not good for you. It takes 3 days to make habit and 3 days to break it. So on Monday you're forced to wake up early and your body goes into shock. You're not used to it, that's why we feel especially tired on Monday (so there is a reason!)

She also said that when the HSC comes, being healthy and well rested gets you half the marks. Memorising facts doesn't matter because you don't know what would happen on the day (that's what she said). I think that is something that will be a very big part of getting a good HSC mark. I've had it happen so many times that I slept late the night before an exam and got a really bad mark because my eyelids were drooping the whole time. I made so many silly mistakes because I was just feeling so groggy.

She also mentioned an experiment involving the use (or not) of Facebook. All the HSC students in a girls school (not Sydney Girls) agreed, as a grade, to not use Facebook for 6 months before the HSC. They all said they felt a lot more relaxed, they all felt better about their work load. And their HSC mark was actually better than their class mark. They said that the lack of the pressure to keep checking, keep updated and the pressure to respond is a big stress buster. That's something for you to chew on, so you think I should get a Facebook and stop using it 6 months before HSC to get this effect?

Mar 21, 2011

Pooling Resources on the School Network

I haven't gone exploring before today, and it's a shame because there's a hidden treasure trove on my school's network. Every year has their own folder and inside there's things like shared notes, past paper, there's photos and videos of school events, and, there's also an abundance of games, movies, anime, songs, even wallpapers. I wish I knew about this before, I filled my 4G USB today (but the past papers would have taken up a lot of space).

I wondered why I sometimes see girls playing Plants vs Zombies on the library computers in the morning, and this is where everything are! There's tetris, Plants vs Zombies, Sim City 4, Stepmania, Insaniquarium, lots of other big games I've never even heard of and lots of small flash games. There's movies with real actors like Black Swan, My Sister's Keeper, there's Gossip Girl, Glee, Dance Academy. There's Bleach, Naruto, there's anime movies like Howl's Moving Castle, Grave of the Firefly, and I took three Ghibli studio movies that I haven't seen before. There's English songs like those by Rhiana, there's Korean songs like those by Beast, DBSK and Epik High. There's Japanese songs by Utada Hikaru (the artist that sang First Love), there's songs from animes, it's crazy.

We used to pass USBs around, here there's a drive where students pool all their resources (for studying or otherwise) together and everyone can take what they want. I saw that people could request what they want by creating a new folder asking for whatever movie/series/anime/song they wanted. Someone had to wrote on a folder "Request for anime are now banned", I wonder what happened for that ban to come into place.

Apparently there had been a crack down in year 9 where files were tracked back to whoever put them there and those people were told off, but gradually they started not caring again and this whole operation grew again.

This is a huge collection of all the popular electronic files students could want. But I think this collection is still not as large as Maryanne's (and doesn't that tell you how amazing she is). I don't think the teachers at Hurlstoen would allow something like this.

Mar 20, 2011

Switch to Chrome

I switched browsers from Internet Explorer to google's Chrome yesterday because I couldn't log into blogspot and I can't work out why. So far, Chrome is a lot, and I mean a whole lot faster. Everything is so much cleaner, there's no fiddly bits I never use. The font is a bit strange though, well, I guess it's just different. The themes are really pretty though. Chrome can't doesn't let me save pdf directly off the internet, but that's what I keep Internet Explorer for. For the far superior speed, I think I'll stick with Chrome.

Again in Economics, the teacher was giving an example of the influence consumers' choices have on the producers' behaviour. So he says: Pearl here is selling Vegemite sandwiches for $2. Jenny here is selling meat pies for, say, $5. All these people (gesturing to the whole class) is lining up to buy meat pies. Only one person (teacher goes to stand beside Pearl) comes up to your stand, and he asks, "Where can I get some meat pies?"

He's wonderful.When he explains things he does it really well and he uses a lot of humour so I remember it well. Economics is my favourite class hands down.

I have to write an essay and a creative for English,1500 words each. Luckily it's due at the end of the month. They were originally exam questions so they're not meant to be so long. I have a problem where I use a superfluous words and I find it hard to be concise and to the point, and these long essays will not help me break that habit.

Mar 17, 2011

Argument on the train

Funny thing happened on the train today. A guy, white, and horizontally challenged, sat a few seats in front of me. He had my back to me and was talking with the person next to him, and I saw later that it was a Chinese university student. I couldn't see who he was talking to, so I assumed it was to he's friend. He was saying something about "I love China and Chinese" which is what got my attention in the first place.

Mar 13, 2011

The Japanese people in the earthquake

The Japan earthquake and tsunami are still all over the news. I was watching a news footage from yesterday and the Japanese news readers were wearing safety helmets and they're still staying there and broadcasting the news. There was a video of the inside of the NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation) building, things were falling to the floor and a computer was hanging over the side of the stairs. They really are dedicated to their jobs.

Mar 11, 2011

Japan 8.9 Earthquake

I turned on the TV for dinner and there's an live report on the Chinese (Hong Kong) news on the earthquake in Japan. It measures 8.9 and triggered a tsunami with waves more than 10 metres high, the strongest aftershock is 7.1. I think Sendai was the first to be hit and the sea water covered the fields and ruined houses. From what's being reported, three people have been confirmed dead and many more are injured and missing.

Because the earthquake is so strong, it's thought that it'll affect many countries. Tsunami warnings have been sent out to countries including Hawaii, the Philippines, Taiwan, I just heard that the tsunami will hit Australia at 11:20 tonight, but I think that's the warning issued by the US. According to this article, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, says there's no threat to the Australian mainland.

Mar 10, 2011

Excuse me for a minute while I pick my jaw up from the ground. The amount of traffic for yesterday's post about the train delay caused by the person at Petersham scared me. This is a private blog and I have an average of about two readers for each post. I'm grateful that:
1) I have no embarrasing things on here, and
2) No one cares to read it

I went on the internet and tried to find out what happened because I was curious. It's a collection of what people are saying from the internet, I can't know what was true and what wasn't. The only information that I can back with absolute certainty is that there was someone attempting self harm at Petersham yesterday and it did cause delays.

Apparently, Petersham was trending on twitter last night too. But I wouldn't know, I don't have a twitter.

I'm glad that people are using this as a place to express their opinions, whether that's frustration or otherwise. It's  true that he's inconvenienced a lot of people by doing what he did, and it's reasonable to feel frustration towards him, but surely they couldn't have just let him die.

Mar 9, 2011

Train delay caused by suicide attempt at Petersham

My train was delayed today because of a passenger attempting self harm at Petersham. The power lines had to be shut down for safety reasons and the announcer said there will be no trains arriving or departing from Central until further notice with the exception of platform 24 and 25 (which is the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line). The train to Sydenham still ran, but if I took the train there I would be stuck in Sydenham.

Mar 8, 2011

Book rec: For the Win

Machinery of the Stars by alexiuss
The title is what first made me pick this book up. "For the win". That's something so pop culture and so internet culture that it surprised me to see it on a book, even in teh fiction section. I picked it up, I read the blub, and it was about gaming, it was about gold farming, it was about China and it was about underdogs all over the world banding together to overthrow their oppressors. In other words, right up my ally.

Mar 7, 2011

Physics Homework almost killed me

Black Dress
I typed up 8 pages of summary notes in one sitting, and that's, what, 5 hours straight. My shoulders feel weak, my wrists feel weak, my fingers feel weak, my brain feels like much. I did another 6 pages on Friday. The sad thing is I feel like that's this homework has been the thing that's made me learn the most in physics, the teacher is that bad.

Mar 4, 2011

Power Shift: Australia's future between Washington and Beijing

On 8th March is the centenary of international women's day. There was a morning tea earlier today for VIPs and as per tradition, Sydney Girls prefects were invited. Next Tuesday, women in 18 countries around the world will participate in bridge climbs and crossing, in Australia, it'll be on the Harbour Bridge. The teacher needs 60 girls to participate in the event.

Mar 3, 2011

Coffee in Australia

The clouds reflects a beautiful red colour when the sun's setting. The clouds are a darkish purple that makes a pretty contrast with the red. I can only see that if I look above my backyard fence at sunset, no wonder I've rarely seen it from my house before.

Mar 2, 2011

Dopamine + Uni attendance in Australia and Iran

Golden Queen
I read the science magazine Cosmos (not Cosmopolitan) and there's an article about a study on people that got "chills", which is a "marker of extreme pleasure" when they listened to music. I don't know if you've ever gotten goosebumps or chills when you read a really good piece of writing or listen to music you really like, but I have.

Mar 1, 2011

Start of autumn + Psychohistory

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month no returns. No one has done that to me at all today, I'm frankly surprised. It's the technically the beginning of autumn and so we should be saying goodbye to sweltering weather. Though to be truthful, excepting the really really hot week or so in the middle of February, it really wasn't that bad this summer. There was a period of about two weeks where it seemed like autumn came early.

Feb 28, 2011

Folk Lore, and finally a break from Nutella sandwiches

This will be my 26th post in February, and that means I've only had one day in the month I haven't posted something (because I deleted one post). I have too much time on my hands. I have a feeling (which may or may not come true) that I might ease up on blogging after this month.

Feb 27, 2011

Implicit Discrimination

I thought, and I would be the first to admit that I'm very sheltered, that because of the policy of multiculturalism, that discrimination isn't bad in Australia, or at least, a lot better than some other countries. But just because something is better doesn't mean it shouldn't continue to change. Australia is better than a lot of other countries in terms of discrimination, but even if explicit discrimination doesn't exist, implicit discrimination is still abound.

Feb 26, 2011

Yes, Mr Malfo- I mean, Mr Harrison

Yours truly by Lasaro

Ugh, I'm sick. I hate being sick. It's when I am sick that I remember how comfortable I am when I'm not sick. I can't sleep properly because I can't breathe through my blocked nose and I keep coughing. Being sick is miserable. I've taken medicine, but I'll probably get a sore throat tomorrow. Ugh.

Feb 25, 2011

Ghost stories: Japanese school girl

I was walking home from the station to my house this afternoon and I went past a group of boys. They're only teenagers, most likely my age or only a little older. One of them lingered a little behind and he was fiddling with his phone. Then he said to me, "I have a problem."

So I stopped, because that's only polite. I thought he was having some problem with his phone and he wanted to borrow mine, which, now that I think about it, can't be true. He could have used his friends' much more easier.

So I was looking at him with slightly raised eyebrows, saying nothing and waiting for him to say what his problem is. He continued, "I don't have your number on my phone." Can you believe that!

"I have a problem, I don't have your number on my phone." What! What! That's such a cheesy pick up line. My eyebrows shot up and I walked away. I could here the group of boys laughing behind me and that boy saying "What! She just walked off!" It was funny, I admit. I was grinning with my back turned to them.


In Physics we were telling ghost stories because with the teacher we have, we're learning very very little. He just doesn't care. He did give us all fruit to eat though, rock melon and honeydew, it was really sweet.

One girl told two ghost stories that were really good. They scared me, though I'm not that hard to scare, I don't really like horror stories, but these aren't that bad when I'm not in that atmosphere anymore. I hope they don't haunt me tonight.

They're more effective when told in person because it relies somewhat on sound effects of the story teller where she hits the table with her hands or her fist, and she mimes opening the sliding doors and does the creepy voice and pauses in all the right places, but here they are (organised a little by me):

In an Asian school, there were two girls who were best friends. However, one girl always, always comes second in everything to the other girl. Every test, all the time.

Even though they're best friends, the girl who always comes second got really jealous. So she ask her friend to come to the roof of the school with her, and pushed her off the roof. (imagine those tall school buildings with the flat roofs students can go to in J-dramas and mangas)

The girl who pushed the other girl off the roof went home and pretended she had nothing to do with it. The next day after school, the girl was staying back to study, and she was studying in the fifth room on that floor. The layout of it was typical of the Asian (Japanese) schools, there's staircases at each side and there's the corridor with rooms on each side and the rooms all have sliding doors.

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. The footsteps went to the first room. Sheeee, the sliding doors opened. "Not in here." Sheeee. The sliding doors closed.

The girl was really scared because she knew it was her friend she pushed off the roof coming back to get her. She was panicking and hid under the desk, hoping that her friend won't find her this way.

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. The footsteps went to the second room. Sheeee, the sliding doors opened. "Not in here." Sheeee. The sliding doors closed.

This happened for every room until the footsteps came outside the fifth room, the room the girl was in. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Sheeee, the sliding doors were opened.

Feb 24, 2011

Multicultural Day at Hurlstone

Multicultural Day was on teh 17 wasn't it, I didn't know until I saw a video on Genieve's blog. So now I'm going through all the performances on youtube. I'm so grateful that some nice people (EPIC has every single one of them) have put all the performances onto youtube. While I'm at it I'll be watching everything else Hurlstone related like swimming carnival and assembly performances.

Feb 23, 2011

Swimming Carnival and Capitol Square :-)

Fox Spirit's Mask Painter
I got to the swimming carnival ok, and it is a free, huge, whole school picnic with swimmers as the side entertainment. Or that's what it felt like. Only about half of the students were on the stands, and all the others are spread around the grass area around the pool, squishing onto little shelters with a table and benches under it, under beach umbrellas and onto sunbathing chairs.

Feb 22, 2011

I can't believe I said that

Noise From the Silence 5 by Shel-yang
It was the last period of the day and there's less than 5 minutes left, and my Economics teacher was dictating to us. But he being silly (like he sometimes is, but funny too), and saying it one word at a time. That was probably to make fun of the fact that some girls always tell him to slow down. Then a girl said, wait, what was that again. And he went even slower, by that I mean he's stretching the word out.

Then I said: "Oh stop doing that." in what sounded like a really annoyed tone. It sounded like the tone you would take with an annoying whiny kid. I wasn't, seriously, I was startled when I realised I said it because I really didn't mean to say it, it just slipped out. It directly bypassed my brains and fell out of my mouth. There was silence was a few seconds, and then everyone laughed. I laughed.

Feb 21, 2011

Super Mario Bros

Noise From the Silence 4 by Shel-yang
I played Super Mario Bros yesterday on my Wii. Grandma bought it from China and it's the first real "game" game that I've played on the Wii. Everything else I've got is mini games of sport. It's a good thing we didn't get to play my disks on at Cinda's birthday party. My maths tutor said that a Wii that's not been hacked yet won't play the pirated copies.

Feb 20, 2011

Falling into a rountine, and that's a good thing

Noise From Silence 3 by Shel-yang
It's the end of my third week at Sydney Girls High School. I'm settling down into a routine, I know when to wake up, what train to catch, how to get to classrooms, who to sit with at lunch and where to sit in classes. It's no where as bad as I thought it might be. I was lonely before, but now that I've been adopted into a group, I'm okay.

Feb 19, 2011

Introduction to SGHS musical and Grandma's back in Australia!

Noise From Silence 10 by Shel-yang
 Yesterday was assembly. I forgot that entirely when I came home. I've been sort of out of it in the last few days, I can see the dark circles around my eyes. I promise to go to bed earlier, or at least, I should.

Feb 18, 2011

What homework?

Noise From Silence 9 by Shel-yang
 I'm sure you've seen this happen before too. The teacher says, "while you're doing that I'll check the homework", and half the class, in perfect unison, choruses "What homework?"

Feb 17, 2011

Science teachers and their lame sense of humour

Noise From Silence 8 by Shel-yang
 It seems that all science teachers have the same sort of so-lame-it's-occasionally-funny sense of humour. My chemistry teacher put some solutions to chemistry questions up and there were "solutions" on it. The way he said it reminds me so much of Mr Spies. They says a lame pun or a lame joke and it's so obvious that they thinks it's so funny that you just have to groan and laugh.

Feb 16, 2011

Rosary and Books

Noise From Silence 7 by Shel-yang

I saw a dead little white worm on top of the cooked rice yesterday, when Mum cooked it, and I paid extra attention today when I'm washing the rice. Guess what, I found 11 little white worms in the one and a half cup of rice I washed. They look like little maggots and it’s making my skin crawl. High protein rice much?

Feb 15, 2011

The habits we used to have

Noise From Silence 6 by Shel-yang
If my life is a TV show this must be the running gag.

"You must be ... year 7." She sounds so sure of herself.
I laugh quietly, resigned. "No, I'm actually year 11."
Shock, embarrassment, and she hides her face in her arms. "I'm so so so so sorry."
I smile, "It's okay, I get that a lot."

Feb 14, 2011

Valentines Day and the incident in North Ryde

It's Valentines Day today and I didn't realise until I was at the school bus stop and see so many girls with roses in their hands. I know for a fact that one group was doing something like Secret Santa, except that it's Secret Valentines.

Feb 13, 2011

Even after the stolen generation

We were all taught as part of mandatory Australian history about the stolen generation, about how Aboriginal children were taken away from their family and sent to Christian missionaries. We know that they were treated badly, used as cheap labor and abused physically, and sometimes, sexually. Yesterday when going over Samson and Delilah, there was a part of the summary that said Gonzo "found accommodation with Christians". My English tutor made a comment that it might be taken in a negative light, and told me something experienced by a friend of his.

Feb 12, 2011

Random school stuff

Noise From Silence 2 by Shel-yang
Thought of the day (from chemistry teacher): If a famous scientist says something is impossible, you can usually bet that by the time he's dead he'll be wrong.

Feb 11, 2011

Funny Economics Teacher

Noise From Silence 1 by Shel-yang
My English room had a fireplace! How cool is that. There’s even a chimney to go with it. It’s filled in now, and a heater is put in the same place, but isn’t it so cool that my classroom has a fireplace?

Feb 9, 2011

Friends! and House Meeting

Leaf by Fengjing
I found a group to sit with during recess and lunch. They seem to be really nice girls. Time will tell whether we’ll be good friends or not, but I’ll be optimistic for once and lean towards yes. I’m sitting with Claire in maths and it’s great (but I see her no where else). We don’t talk much because she’s one to get all the maths homework done in the lesson, but that’s what’s so good about it. I’ll also be rushing and rushing to finish everything with her, privately racing with her to see if I can get it done before her. It’s wonderful because I don’t have any maths homework to do at home. I wouldn’t be so productive if I wasn’t sitting next to her. Thanks Claire!

Feb 8, 2011

Year 11 new students' meeting

Arabesque by Toonikun

Yesterday our year advisor called all the new year 11 students for a meeting at lunch. She asks us who's in our “friendship group”. If she asked last week I wouldn’t be able to tell her.

Feb 7, 2011

Sport for the first time

Riddle: I fell asleep on the bus, and woke up again. I was surprised, why?

Feb 6, 2011

More of the same

Sunny by BANP
Lame joke of the day courtesy of my Economics teacher, who heard it from his student:
What's a Hindu in New Zealand?

Feb 4, 2011

Rambling and observations on school

Singing Dolls
On Thursday, a girls in my English class came up to me and ask “I was wondering, did you happen to have skipped grades?” So of course I said no. Then she said “Oh, you just look so young.” I asked her how old she thought I was, and the girl next to me said, “Honey, you look 12.” O.O Again. I really don’t look my age, do I? That would be a wonderful thing to be able to say when I’m 30 or something, but I’m only 16, any younger and I would be a baby.

Feb 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese new Year everyone. 新年快乐,恭喜发财!

Chinese New Year is a time for family, so I hope you all have a nice get-together with your family and relatives. Watch the 春晚(I don't even know what it's called in English, that late night concert/celebration that's on every year) or watch it tomorrow, since it'll be very late due to the time difference. Most Chinese channels will be replaying it again and again for the whole day tomorrow, and many more times days after that.

There's quite a bit of homework for me already, and I have to finish reading Jane Austen's Emma by next week. So I'll probably be doing that instead of celebrating. There's only Mum and me anyway, with Grandma in China. There's nothing special planned, we're not even eating dinner. Mum's usually so tired after work, and she recently hurt her leg. It doesn't feel like a special occasion, I only remembered it was Chinese New Year because an Asian girls at school made a comment of not wanting homework because she's celebrating Chinese New Year with her family.

Grandma left me two 利是though, one from her and one from Grandpa. I think there's 200 dollars in each of them, so I'm pretty happy. Hope you all get lots of red pockets (those two words sound so awkward), and be lucky all year. 身体健康,万事胜意。

Feb 1, 2011

New School

Melt Down

It's so hot. I hope you're all bearing the heat well, Mum finally caved and turned on the air-con, so I'm good now. But I wouldn't have survived school without my fan. In teh new school it seems lots of girls bring those Chinese/Japanese fans to school.

Jan 30, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day

Tomorrow is my first day at the new school. I was panicking yesterday, but now that it's so close, I've calmed down. I know that tomorrow morning I'll again be terrified, but that's something to worry about tomorrow. I've ran through the trip again and again in my head, I'll get up at 6:15, leave at 6:55, take the train at 7:16, arrive at blah blah blah. You get the idea. I can't think of anything more I can do to ensure tomorrow goes well anymore. I think I've done all that I can do, but at the last minute just as I'm about to get out the door I'll probably remember something I just have to bring. = =

Claire's phoned me and we've agreed to meet at the bus stop. So, hopefully I haven't forgotten anything serious, hopefully I won't get lost, hopefully I'll get there on time, hopefully everything will go well. Fingers crossed and wish me well.

Jan 23, 2011

Technology hates me

For years now I've had a problem with my iPod where it displays some of the titles of my Chinese songs as a jumble of English letters with accents and weird symbols. The reason I had that problem was because I didn't set my computer to recongnise Chinese unicode. So I changed the unicode setting about a year ago, but the mixed up Chinese titles didn't revert back. I thought, okay, that's alright, I can still listen to the songs, it's not that big a deal. But it's annoying to listen to a song I like and not know the name so I can't go back to it.

Today, I was going to clean up my ipod, delete some songs I don't like and things like that. So I double click on a song with a messed up title on iTunes to listen to it, and it magically reverted back to Chinese! How was I supposed to know playing them in iTunes will make the Chinese display again? Ugh, and I've been listening to them with messed up titles for a year now, I can't believe it could have been fixed so easily. *bangs head on desk*

Even though it's easy to do, I have a lot of songs. Over 4000 of them, and I would say more than half of those are Chinese songs with messed up titles. That's why I spent the whole evening sitting in front of my computer and double clicking on songs. I double clicked on 1891 songs this evening, and I'm not done yet. On top of that I still want to delete duplicate songs to clear up space. I didn't expect this to be such a big project... TT.TT My right shoulder and wrist are complaining to me. Is there an easier way?