Back to the drawing board

Tomorrow, I will be 9 months away from the thesis submission dateline.

Thesis wordcount: paragraphs are everywhere just not where I want them to be

I can’t wait to get back home now. My supervisors think it is a great chance to do some data collection (oh no).

Don’t get me wrong, I came to terms that I needed more data than what I have at the moment. But doing another round of interviews is not on my favourite list.

I don’t even know how to reach my interviewers. What should I say? Hello, can I give you a call when I touch down and we can do a bit of follow up? If it is that easy.

I think my fragile heart can’t take anymore rejection (insert dramatic music)…

Jokes aside, I think I just need to thicken up my face and start get in contact with my interviewees. Nothing to lose anyway.

Rather than worrying about word count, I probably got to be more worried about my unproductive brain.

Probably my holiday mode kinda got switched on and never got switched back to work mode.


Movie afterthoughts: Spy


Not your average spy movie.

Melissa McCarthy as a spy? Who would have thought! But she is deceptively funny and lethal as a spy in this movie. There are few really funny scenes which I think only Melissa McCarthy can pull off. Though I find it quite distasteful to have a stereotype on fuller size women (stool softener, wet wipes?).

It did took me some time to recognise Jude Law as the spy in the beginning of the movie though. And Jason Statham is as badass as he was in Furious 7, a badass spy with a complex for danger… and a lack of wit.

Probably my favourite characters in the movie, is the unassuming sidekicks, Nancy and Aldo. Aldo, in particular, is as horny as he can get but deceptively good for leaving the audience with the question whether he is part of MI6… or whether he really learnt the accent from Downton (that was the highlight for me).

In short, just go give yourself an excuse that you need some laugh and go watch this movie!

Movie afterthoughts: When Marnie Was There (思い出のマーニー)

Marnie poster


There’s only a few Studio Ghibli’s movies I’d watched. My favourite will definitely be My Neighbour Totoro, because Totoro is very cute indeed.

When Marnie Was There is said to be the last movie produced by Studio Ghibli before it goes on a hiatus. That aside, this animated movie is beautifully directed. The storyline itself is interesting, focusing on Anna (the short-hair girl in the picture) and her lack of interest in her life and her foster family. She was sent to stay with her relatives far out from the city after her asthma attack in the beginning of the movie, and the rest of the film then focuses on how she came across Marnie, how she rediscover family love and friendship, and lastly, how she is related to Marnie.

The revelation in the end of the film on Anna’s relationship with Marnie may not be a surprise for many (for myself, I’d read the Wikipedia entry), it was nicely presented and the whole movie, in my opinion, was aptly made to illustrate this.

In general, if you are into some supernatural (not the spooky kind though), family-themed film, this is a really good one and not to be missed. Even if the storyline is not appealing, just sit back and enjoy some of the nicest scenes and animated setting in an animated film.

p/s: my favourite is probably the house where Anna was having her retreat. It has a great view, a vegie patch, and few short-cuts explicitly written out on sign posts.

Falling out of love…

… with this place.

Considering the paperwork for change of supervisors is finalised and approved within a day after submission, I felt so weird that no one from the admin tried to (at least) investigate how the student is feeling throughout this process.

Not to say that I am not thankful that the admin and paperwork is quite smooth and quick; but I have to admit that no one in the university will care about the student’s mental and emotions when such a thing happen.

Maybe a change in supervisor is not a big deal after all?

I can’t wait to leave.

I’ll take this as a motivation to finish and submit.

Lighting up the thesis sparkles?

Less than 10 months to go and my word count for my thesis is back to zero.

I am glad that the supervisor fiasco is all over (not really… I have a tad feeling it is not over yet) and to have proper supervision now. These two supervisors have put my work under the microscope and have been interrogating me in every meeting.

Then I realised there are just too many flaws in my thesis.

And I really don’t communicate well in spoken words. I tend to stay silent during the meeting, because I am too afraid to speak out. And I don’t know what to say.

Have to admit that I don’t see any sparkles that would excite me with my research at the moment.

Perhaps I need more time to find the sparkles back.

Just returned from a quick trip to Taipei, and I was really enjoying the flight time where I don’t think about my thesis, and just plain not doing anything but sleep, watch some movies, and try not to get nauseous.

But most of all, I enjoyed spending my time with my family even though it was a short one.

Already missing them. Can’t wait to be back home in June for a bit of traveling.

For the time being, I shall try lighting up my dampened sparkles. Perhaps, I just need some time to dry out my dampened spirits haha…

Embarrassing myself

I played my first badminton singles match competitively (not professionally but Grade C?) and probably broke the record for the lowest score I could get… which is 1 and 2…. out of 21.

I don’t feel like a loser, but I do think I got to start training and make practice a priority if I want to improve from 2 points haha…

I have always played badminton for leisure, never for competitions. This is my first time doing so… and it definitely punches me in the gut to know I am not good enough yet.

I shall work hard, just like how I have to work hard for my PhD… because I see myself not achieving what I want in my PhD journey. A lot of things are still not good enough to me.

The progress on PhD has not been going smooth and easy. Had another meeting with my two supervisors yesterday and we kinda found an angle to target for my thesis… now we are talking some business.

Now I kinda wonder what I’d been doing for the past 2 years under my ex-supervisor. Felt like none of the work I’d done is meaningful at all.

And I think it is inevitable that I will need to do more interviews for my research. I am really reluctant to do so, and tried so hard to wriggle myself out of this “sample is not rich” problem since day one.

And did I mention I hate talking to people? It’s just tiring to be curious and pick out interesting things in a conversation. That’s why socialising is my least favourite thing to do as a grown up.

Maybe because I don’t like to embarrass myself, and in front of others.

Just like how I hate myself now for volunteering to play in the badminton matches.

Also, just felt bad for letting my team mates down… and potentially my PhD supervisors too.

Movie afterthoughts: Fast and Furious 7

(Taken from:

Though I’m not a close follower of the Fast and Furious series, I tend to enjoy the actions and dramatic scenes in these movies. I just find it odd to look at two extremely muscular men going against the bad guys (it’s probably just me). And I find it really hard to follow Vin Diesel’s lines in the movie, mostly due to his husky voice.

I got to say, the actions in this movie couldn’t get any better than cars parachuting out from a plane, crashing through three high-rise buildings and tumbling down from cliffs. I just find it funny that it kept on relating back to what Brian (Paul Walker) said to his son in the start of the movie: “Cars don’t fly!”

The antagonist of the movie, Ian Shaw (John Statham) could be the most bad-ass bad guy I’d seen in a long time. He leaves a trail of mess behind him and could walk away from bombings and fires. The best part of all… his accent!

The last scene of the movie as a tribute to Paul Walker is definitely a touching one. Nicely closes the movie. Paul Walker driving his car on a different direction from Vin Diesel and Vin Diesel’s last words in the movie… definitely a tear-jerking scene to end an action-packed film.