I am as brown as a berry. Somehow I couldn’t tell how tan I’d gotten in the hotel bathroom but back in Ithaca i certainly look like I changed race about two continents away. when we refilled the car’s tank before returning it at the airport, the attendant at the petrol kiosk asked where we were from and lz told him we were from singapore. He said “Singapore huh? The lady looks filipina!” I in general don’t look super chinese, could be a mixed blood peranakan/malay type hybrid (some guy in my MEP class in JC thought I was malay for about 3 months until I said something in chinese) but yea I guess I could look pretty filipina. I think they are in general slighter than me though, if the maids in Singapore are anything to go by.

I miss the clear blue skies every single day, but all the trees in ithaca have sprung into bloom. It is a different kind of beauty here. The more subtle, quiet, ponderous kind. the cherry blossoms and the pink and white and yellow all down buffalo street. Daffodils and crocuses and tulips have all sprung up too! We finally headed to chipotle today and the food was cheap and good. Not that many college students too cause spring break isn’t quite over yet. Their adobo chicken is certainly spicy! I bought a bottle of adobo seasoning for tacos this week. Had to get all sorts of tofu and portabella for the vegetarian who is coming to stay!

We are going to practice fly-casting on the pond on wednesday and I haven’t ordered my waders like I planned to over spring break! I have however ordered my easter chocolate from Neuhaus :D they have free shipping for 5 days from yesterday. And I told hyangmi I’d bring her a souvenir from the caribbean for covering my saturday morning concert but I didn’t because there really isn’t much in the way of souvenirs there. I mean, useful things that one might actually want. So she’ll just make do with some neuhaus easter eggs, which I’m sure I’d infinitely prefer if I were in her shoes.

After the rain

Conch salad, ceviche style, from the conches we dove for. I brought one up!

Trying out the waterproof case for the camera.

Well it works. Photographer could be better. I was too seasick and just about ready to hurl to take any photos, so all of them are due to liangze.

He was real excited to be able to see everything because of the degree-d goggles!

The marina outside our hotel at dusk. Our boat dropped us off right in front of our hotel :) Cause it docks at this marina.

A truly wonderful lobster thermidor with mango sauce for dinner at Sharkbite Cafe. There are so many creative ways of doing lobster here! I’m going to have to bring the dining guide back, it’s got quite a few recipes.

We can’t wait to snorkel again. Discovered that we don’t need the snorkel mask with our goggles, just the mouth piece, which may be a worthy investment.

Neuhaus sent me an advertisement for free shipping next week! Which means easter eggs! :D I actually open some of those Neuhaus/Gilchrist & Soames/Pottery Barn/Kate Spade emails when I’m bored.

None of the combinatorics homework is getting done, although liangze says some of the matroid questions are from 4420, which I should look into once I get back. I should also be coding :S instead of watching the Colbert Report every night :P


It’s been really warm around Ithaca lately, i.e. shorts and shirt weather. i bunked off all my classes today except fly fishing because i watched two movies back to back last night until like 6am in the morning and couldn’t wake up er.. the same morning. Otaku mode is coming on early. I blame it on the not having any entertainment at all for the past three months. Okay that is a lie, but I really haven’t watched much since coming back to Ithaca and catching the Secret life of Arietty with hr and michelle at the mall.

It is basically a Ryan Reynolds phase. I used to think he was kind of a douche but am coming around to his charms. I watched


He makes a really legit fat guy!! I wonder if he was fat before. The change up isn’t anything original, but it had this really great quote:

“Before heading to the market always ask Jamie if she needs anything first- in fact before ANY decision in your life, no matter how small, call your wife first. Think of yourself as a brain-damaged mule, lost in a desert, helpless, dumb, and in constant need of direction. Never take the initiative, never strike out on your own, and never deviate from the plan. Why? Because you’re a brain-damaged mule and you’re lost in the damn desert!”

I think all guys would do well to heed this advice.

Things I love about these summery days:
1. eating rainbow sherbet out of a gallon sized tub. If you’ve never had rainbow sherbet on a sticky summer day, you’re missing the entire point of your overseas education.
2. fly-casting out in the field with both the wind and the sun in perfect amounts.
3. getting sent to and picked up from my phys ed class by liangze. it reminds me of when i was 4-5 and my dad would drive me and my brother to yamaha for piano and art and calligraphy lessons. Learning completely non-essential things for character building and being ferried around like I’m a child again is wonderful.
4. my fly fishing instructor has been really, really encouraging about my fly casting. Today he hollered all the way across the field that my fly-casting looked just like the pro in the video! I wonder if he’d take me out on private trips after our class is over in exchange for my cooking our (his) catch for him. Otherwise paying him to guide me on private trips would be like $200 apop. I wish Ed weren’t the only professor seeing the intrinsic value of all the not-for-school stuff I do and I could make similar typeset-notes-for-homework exchanges. Charmaine says her father fishes, and I would love to go with him, but I doubt there’d be fly-fishing type fishing back in singapore.

Down under

It really is a dog eat dog world out in the great barrier reef!

Wobbegong are really fearsome. And the seaweed looking thing that are encrusted on the first wobbegong? Not seaweed. that’s the tasselled wobbegong, and that stuff grows out of his face to trick other fish into thinking he is the seabed.

here is a strange blog set up by a young mother who makes meals to look like stuff. I thought it was interesting because she doesn’t do cutesy things, like totoro bento boxes or smiley faces and that kinda puerile crap, she made a wobbegong fetus and man it’s gross.


My fly fishing instructor said the more artistic students would be able to tie some real nice flies.
I guess there are different kinds of artists.

here’s an example of rick’s caddis, one of the most basic flies to tie.

my caddisfly larvae. The four on the right are mine, the one on the left is my teacher's.

A proper woolly bugger:

My teacher's woolly bugger.
My woolly bugger

liangze and charlotte both think my woolly bugger looks more like a fish than a fly. sigh. y’know, sorta like this fish:

here i was thinking i would make some really nice flies, being artistic and all. clearly i am deluded.

Fly fishing

Today was the first day and it was great! We are going to tie our own ties over the next few weeks and actually head out to different creeks and lakes in April after learning some casting and wading etc. I would really like to land a trout, or some salmon. It looks like you gotta be pretty good and have pretty good eyesight too. Need to find a sort of tackle box to keep all the flies I tie. It’s an interesting sport in that you use bits of one kind of animal to imitate a second kind of animal to catch a third kind of animal. John brought out some rabbit faces (when you skin the face of a rabbit whole) and turkey tail feathers, whose fur and feathers will contribute to our fake flies. Apparently there are all sorts of ways of tying flies that can imitate nymphs, fish eggs, crayfish, crabs, larvae, pond skaters, mayflies, partially emerged mayflies, etc. Of course one probably has to be quite deft with one’s fingers.

Other interesting things I also learned are: fish don’t just eat to satiate their hunger. They eat for all sorts of reasons, to kill an enemy, out of curiosity… (sound familiar?) cause there were some super synthetic streamers (bigger type ‘flies’ that stream through the water) that were bright pink and pearly and that did not resemble anything living but that managed to snare some pretty large landlocked salmon. I guess humans eat for all sorts of reasons too. To feel better, to try something new, for aphrodisiac purposes, for medicinal purposes, to relieve stress, and babies eat a lot of things out of curiosity like lego bricks and their own snot.

I also learnt that piercing the hook through the jaw of a fish does not actually hurt them. they use their mouths to eat or (simply chew) all sorts of very hard shelled crustaceans and their mouths are used to pretty rough treatment. It hurts them so little that many, after being unhooked and released into the water, simply swim off in search of more food and get hooked again an hour later. I bet if I were a fish I would be one of those who gets hooked multiple times in one day.

can’t wait to tie some flies and go out fishing! just need to get some polarized sunglasses and waders, and of course, a nice fly box or fishing hat with a bow i can clip my flies to like brad pitt does :D
The teacher seems rather chauvinistic though, there was one other old lady in the class and he asked her why she joined the course, whether her husband was interested in it or what and she said she had no husband. i guess he got a lot of guys and fishing is a pretty male dominated sport, but that’s no reason to assume that girls wouldn’t be interested. I think it’s a beautiful sport that attracts a very noble, nature-centric, big-minded sort of temperament.