Books + Coffee = Happiness

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Listening to: Hellraiser Brigade - Two Steps from Hell
Feeling: Somewhat better, but still sick and unhappy about it
Well, survived another chemistry lab today. They're not so bad; I don't mind doing them, it's the lab report sheets that usually annoy me. That and the long duration that we have to stand for. Worked with making isopentyl acetate (aka "Banana Oil"). Funniest conversation of the day was when I was discussing with my lab partners about our chemistry teacher assistants. Two of them had the same one whereas I had a different person. Our conversation went like this:

Me: "Oh, I have Hope for my TA."
EW: "Hope? That's a really pretty name."
Me: "Yeah... Hope's a guy."
RW and EW: O_O "He's a guy?!"
Me: "Yeah. When I first stepped into the room and saw a guy in front, I thought I was in the wrong room until he introduced himself."
 EW: "Hope is also a really pretty name... for a guy."

And with that, we burst into laughter. It's not really that funny I guess, but when you're all uptight with worrying that something will go wrong in your experiment (such as accidentally knocking over 3 hours worth of work or doing something that you shouldn't have), even the simplest things seem funny.

My 26 year old sister wants to go trick or treating tomorrow, but I keep feeling that we're too old. But we do look young for our age, so maybe we can pull it off (my sister has been mistaken as my twin or for a high schooler). Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow because I don't want to get even more sick.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Je suis malade....

Listening to: Love in the Ice Violin Cover by Daniel Jang - Original Artist: DBSK
Feeling: Sick 
Unfortunately, it's that time of the year again: Flu Season! When you're smack in the middle of midterms (I'm done, but not everyone is), stress levels go up and you get sick easier. Or according to my Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS), a stimulus is presented which the body responds to it by lowering your resistance. While I've recovered from my stress points, I think I'm sick because everyone else around me is sick, so now I'm sick not just by association. My mom caught it from her workplace, my friends caught it from other friends, the girl that I tutor caught it and now I have to. Sigh. Nothing too bad so far, just sniffles and the inability to concentrate. The sad thing is that I'll be unable to play with my hamster for a while because I don't want to pass it to her. Learned that the hard way last year.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Book Review: Sing Me to Sleep - Angela Morrison

Published March 4 2010 by Razorbill

Goodreads description
Beth has always been "The Beast",that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever. 
When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion,for music, and for Beth, leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty. 
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek? 
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.

Well, I read this one about a year ago, but I loved it so much that I wanted to reread it and finally do a review on this one. Although you're not supposed to "judge a book by its cover", I picked this one up in the library and thought that it looked cute, fluffy read, so why not? But wow, it certainly wasn't what I had been expecting.

Starting off, Beth is described as a "beast". Someone who looks so hideous that she is bullied mercilessly by the other students at her school. But one of the good things in her otherwise miserable life is the fact that she finds solace in singing with her emotions. In fact, she has joined an all girls' choir and when an opportunity came, Beth took it and rose as the choir's soloist. However, one of the choir girls' mother cannot allow such an ugly human being represent her daughter's choir in a music festival, so Beth is given a huge makeover. And from there, Beth's life changes.

After a surprising online conversation with the boys' choir from across the border, the two meet up in the same festival as competitors. Despite keeping her guard up after the harm caused by the guys in her life, she finds herself to be unable to turn away from Derek, who seems to be perfection personified. Surrounded in mystery with dark hair, chocolate brown eyes and pale pale skin. One of the best singers in the boys' choir and composer. And the fact that he claims that he fell in love with her voice and that she "sings [him] to sleep".

And just like that, in a matter of a few days, Derek becomes Beth's drug. Once the competition is over, the two of them swore to remain together, vowing to meet on both sides of the border. But what about Beth's geeky best friend, Scott? The one who had loved her before her "transformation" and continues to do so?

Despite her friendship with Scott, Beth still chooses the guy that she met at the festival. But as she gets to know him, there is more to his weird behavior than she initially thinks. And some of what he's hiding may make her regret her decision.

The writing was very smooth and intriguing to read. If school had not gotten in the way, I probably could have finished it in a sitting or two. I really loved the idea of the plot revolving around music even though I'm not very familiar with that type. It was also refreshing to read about a male singer who wasn't a rock star or anything similar.

The first time I read this book, I was highly skeptical of Derek and his motives for getting close to Beth. Did he like her for just her appearance or was he genuine when he admitted that he loved the beauty that he saw when Beth sang from within. Not to mention how he was surrounded in mystery and pushed her away when Beth came close to picking at the cracks. And his odd "drug" habit that one of his friends had revealed. Was he really a good guy?

However, regardless of Derek's occasional weird behavior, Beth loved him with every inch of her being and it soon became apparent that he returned her feelings. But when it became too much, Beth realizes that something is wrong and discovers the truth.






There were occasional foreshadowing in the story that I caught in the second time through, but for the first read, Derek's actions were sometimes a little strange, but nothing out of the ordinary. And certainly, I wasn't expecting anything life threatening. So when it was revealed that Derek had been fighting his entire life to live with cystic fibrosis, it was a bit of a shock. For the most part, he had seemed fine when he really wasn't. Even though he suffered, he wanted to meet Beth after listening to her sing online. And he wanted to be someone who wasn't sick and dying because when he was with her, he almost believed it. It made him strong enough to live a little longer.

Admittedly, I bawled a lot in the end. Both the first and the second time. As soon as I realized that she was learning to truth, it got to the point where I stopped reading it on public transit because my eyes were watering when I read about him telling her that he was ready and that she needed to let him go. But the scene where Beth was singing (the song that he wrote for her) to him as he drifted away was tragically beautiful. No matter how much it hurt, Beth never regretted loving him.

Source: Borrowed
My Rating: 4 and a half coffee cups (Loved it)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tape Job Examination

Listening to: The Heavy Rain Outside
Feeling: Lazy
The last of my first batch of midterms are finished!! Though I have a second part of a midterm in the middle of November, so I have some breathing room. My week has generally been okay. Got through my ankle tape job with a pretty good score. Funniest part of the exam was that we only got 10 minutes to do the tape job and there's this material called Pro-Wrap, which is not used on the field to tape athletes, but can be used in practice. It's not really tape, but more like saran wrap. It is used to protect leg hair when you take off the tape. But since we have a limited time, most ended up getting the agreement from their partners to not use pro-wrap to save time. Luckily, I was paired with a girl, so not much of an issue there. After the exam was done, watching some of the guys peel off the tape was pretty damn hilarious amusing. Especially since about 80% of my classmates are jocks and they're used to injuries, so it was a little unexpected to hear them complain about minor hair removal.


Friday, 12 October 2012

Stressful week

Listening to: Love Song Cover by Daniel Jang - Original Artist: Big Bang
Feeling; Like I'm running on coffee fumes
Well, this week has been another crazy one. Two midterms this week both on kin and I'm glad to say that those ones are finally over. Goodbye stressful points of my week. Also had a stupid point of the week too... which was my fault. 

You see, in one of my kin classes, it's a active health and rehabilitation class where you learn to diagnose common injuries found in athletics and you learn to bandage sprains in the lab portion. And being me... well, I forgot that I had that class the day where I decided to abandon my casual athletic attire aka the I-don't-feel-like-looking-very-presentable-today-because-it's-the-middle-of-midterms... ie. sweat pants and hoodie. So yes, I went to school in skinny jeans and cursed myself a hundred kinds of stupid when I realized that I left my sweats at home and that my lab requires the ability to roll up your pants so your partner can work with your lower limbs. Which you can't really do with skinny jeans. However, I was extremely lucky to have a 3 hour break that day (due to having another kin lab class every other week on Wednesdays), so I dashed to the nearest mall, which is about half an hour away at the most, and bought a pair of decent sweats. The best thing? They fit quite well in length as well, which was why I chose sweats rather than yoga pants because I'm vertically challenged

Tape job midterm next week as well as my last kin class (which should be a breeze considering it's a first year class and I've learned most, if not all, of the material before in my other kin classes).

Saturday, 6 October 2012

RIP Chubby

Listening to: 不能說的秘密 (A Secret I Cannot Tell) - Jay Chou
Feeling: a little heartbroken
Today, my russian hamster, Chubby, has passed away. Their life expectancy is about 2 years and she has lived with me for a year and 7 months. Although I knew that she wouldn't live too much longer, I had hoped that she would. Lately, there have been some signs that her life was almost at its ends. One of her forelegs was swollen and there was some sort of tumor at the base of her mouth too. But even then, she was still strong and active until the last few days, where she wasn't as active and ready to greet me when I call her. She ate a lot less too, losing quite a lot of weight in the past few weeks.

This morning, I was still able to coax her out to feed her some sunflower seeds, however, with her declining strength, she dropped most of them. But she gladly took the peanut that I offered. However, after I came home today, I called her and when I didn't see any response, I lifted her house to see that she had passed away with a barely-eaten peanut in hand. And so, I said my goodbyes as I buried her in garden and watered it with some tears.

She was a good pet. Although she disliked coming out of her cage to exercise, she was an active little hamster with impressive climbing skills. Chubby never refused a peanut or sunflower seed, but she was never greedy. She worked hard in keeping her house clean and supplied with tissues right away after I cleaned it. I hope she had a good life with me and that her suffering ended. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Long weekend is well deserved

Listening to: Emily Not, Not Gone - Cemetery Sighs
Feeling: Relieved
Another long week gone. Thank god. 3 stress points are done and over with. Ochem midterm, kin lab report and kin health paper. I've learned the lesson of procrastination over and over, but sadly, it never sinks in. Maybe it will this time. Two midterms next week; both kin classes. But oh well, at the very least, I have the long weekend to recover and study.

Made two cellphone charms this week. One was a request from a friend and I got paid for it too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it. But I did take a picture of the second charm, which is a small gift for a friend's birthday.

Was doing a bit of studying for my kin quiz today when the raccoons returned. Seems like the same parent and child pair as I saw not too long ago. I originally named her Dimitri until I realized that she had a baby raccoon with her, so I'll rename her Trini. Like all the other times, I was once again distracted from what I was doing to watch the two of them perform like stars. To my surprise, they climbed up the tree and jumped onto the glass ceiling above me, so I could see them quite clearly. However, my delight faded a little when Trini picked up a dead bird in her mouth and then shared her meal with her little one. And then what was once a bird turned into a pile of bones and feathers.