Friday, 28 November 2008

Busy busy week!

I haven't updated in a long long while! o_O In my defense, it's been a busy week!

In order of what happened:
1) I did a presentation. It sucked.
2) We had a presentation the very next day for the trouble coursework. I'll complain about this one later
3) A new coursework given, so I had to work on it.
4) A meeting for our troublesome coursework group. It sucked. I'll complain about this later too.
5) Dissertation meeting, where I had to finish my literature review (not that I did.. will have to add on to it later!)

Okay, bitching time starts now.

OMFG I can't BELIEVE those *bleeeeeeeep* who were supposed to do our Systems presentation! On Monday we met, discussed our recommendations, and decided to meet on Wednesday so that the presentors can practice in front of the rest of the group for critique and suggestions for improvement. So on Wednesday, right after my presentation, I went to meet them.

The slides weren't even done. It looked like they just barely started! The other two girls came along, one of them having travelled an hour from home just to see the practice presentation. A little while later, the presentors said that they had a lecture, so they couldn't stay anymore to do the presentation. We offered to finish up the slides for them, and they declined, saying they wanted to do it their way since they were presenting. We said okay, and told them to at least practice together once before the actual presentation. Would you believe they hadn't been planning to???

Anyway, they promised to be in school by 9am Thursday, just in case. The 3 of us said fine, we'll see you before the lecture, etc etc. On Thursday morning, at 10.45am (15 minutes before the lecture started - us 3 girls were in a 9am lecture), we met up with one of the presentors (Sophia) and she said that the other girl who was supposed to do the slides wasn't there yet. PFFT 9am my FOOT.

When the other girl (Trang) FINALLY came along, we demanded to see the slides, so we all trooped down to the computer labs. Guess what? THE SLIDES HADN'T EVEN BEEN TOUCHED SINCE WE LEFT THE DAY BEFORE. She hadn't even used the slides which I'd amended abit for animation and stuff! Obviously we panicked.

Luckily, our presentation timeslot wasn't till 12.30pm. So for one hour, we rushed to do everything, trying to add more stuff into the slides etc. But there was something wrong with the slides, and we couldn't save it. I kept trying to adjust it so it would be ok, but the others (read: Trang) kept pushing me away to do her own thing. Ugh. So the one who was supposed to do the slides said she'd just present like that - incomplete, with alot of blank slides and no pictures, diagrams, graphs, charts, nothing. She took her USB and left with Sophia. The three of us were left very upset and panicky and in a daze.

I started playing around with the slides, and I managed to fix it, so Andrea, Sita and I rushed to make it prettier, with animations, graphs, charts, etc. We saved it on another USB and brought it to Trang and Sophia, telling them we'd fixed it. Not like they even looked through to check what was on the slides before they presented! They ended up embarrassing us and making us all look like absolute fools. The last person in the group, who was there, had this look on his face that seemed to say "Why didn't you do any better???". Not "I should've done this, I could do better", but "why didn't you do any better???". Bitch.

That was really the last straw. After the lecture, Andrea, Sita and I stormed straight up to the lecturer and complained (I think that may have been the only reason why we got the marks we did - 12 out of 20, which was quite good considering ours was the worst presentation and we didn't get the lowest marks). She said she'd talk to the only guy in the group, because she's his supervisor for the dissertation and she had a meeting with him later that day anyway. Then she organized a meeting for everyone in the group on Wednesday so that we'd be able to discuss things with a mediator. The three of us went away hoping that she'd be able to do something.

Come Wednesday, we met at the designated time and place, except for Sophia, who didn't turn up for dunno what goddamn reason she had. That meeting was the most useless thing I'd ever heard of. She didn't want to talk about what happened in the past, or for us to point fingers and accuse others, and came up with stupid suggestions that would never work in our group. Hello?? The only reason why we wanted the meeting in the first place was to sort out all that and find out WHY THE HECK they didn't do their work!!!

Ugh, we still ended up distributing our work evenly (read: they won't do it and we'll get stuck doing all of it), and the ppl who didn't do their parts went away smiling like goons, as though they got away with something. I can already tell that they're not going to do their work. If I ever felt murderous before, it's nothing compared to how I feel now.

And to think I used to like Systems last year. This year sucks ass. I tell you, when the time comes for me to do that course review thing for feedback, I'm going to complain and bitch as much as I can.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Yamatoku Sales!

Yamatoku Classics has a sale on their website!! For 8 days (not sure when it's ending, actually, but I think it started today [Monday]), there will be a 30% discount off everything in their webshop!!!

I'm so excited - some of the things I've lusted after for ages but never bought because of their prices are so cheap now!! I'm very tempted to break my kimono diet and buy something from him, but the only problem is I don't know what to buy! Not a furisode - I've enough of those. Not a komon either - I've too many of those! Maybe an iromuji? I was thinking a houmongi or tsukesage. Oooooh what about that houmongi-juban set I wanted so badly? It's USD88 now, as opposed to USD130...

I was looking through my collection and decided that while my kimono collection is good enough for everyday wear, I don't really have much choice when it comes to semi-formal events. I only have three iromuji and one tsukesage here with me in London! Even at home, I only have two tsukesage that are wearable. I think I ought to get more tsukesage, houmongi and iromuji so that I'd have a larger choice of clothing of an acceptable formality level if I were to go out for a smart lunch or meeting or something. Especially since iromuji is so versatile in looks and formality levels! I really really want to get more iromuji...

I do think that wearing a wool kimono to Ikiteru, KL Hilton would be embarrassingly underdressed (though it'd be good for shopping!) while a furisode would be far too overdressed - think of wearing a ballgown to have tea. A nice komon or an iromuji would be a good choice. Tsukesage and houmongi would be even better if I'm going out with someone I don't know all too well, although if I don't know them that well, I don't think I'd wear kimono in the first place!

Yeah, my collection has an odd range. Alot of informal everyday wear for housework etc, a number of komon that may be suitable for nice lunches, very few semi-formal stuff, and a large range of furisode and one kurotomesode for formal kimono. I suppose it reflects my thinking that I'd rather wear kimono for simple everyday enjoyment, and when it comes to formal things, I'd rather wear a nice dress and blend into the background, rather than stand out and take attention away from the host/guest of honour.

Hm, I've been contemplating selling or trading off my kimono. I've got someone who's already interested in buying things I may have no use for, and someone I already am trading stuff with *cough*Hong*cough*, but other than that, I don't know if I'll ever dare to sell or trade online after so many stories of scams.

Ooooooh I wore kimono for a short while on Sunday! I was feeling really kimono-deprived, so since I was on a break, I wore my eye-popping purple and pink wool ensemble. I'll post pictures later!

It was so cold that night that wearing a kimono and haori together indoors made me feel perfectly warm and toasty. I'd hate to imagine wearing it outdoors! Plus, today was cold too! It's finally gotten cold enough that I had to break out foxy - and even foxy wasn't warm enough! O_O

It looks to be a cold winter this year, as opposed to last year's unbelieveably warm winter. Time to break out the earmuffs yet?

Annoying Coursework Groupmate

Once again, I'm complaining about that annoying guy in my group.

Today, we had a meeting where we discussed our recommendations to the client, our presentation and our final report. We also discussed how we're going to divide our work. Andrea sent out an email summarizing our meeting and stating who was to do what.

The irritating guy, who didn't even turn up for the meeting, immediately sent a reply saying he wasn't going to do the presentation because he did something and the others didn't. RIGHT. The others at least went to the first meeting with the client and relayed it back to us. He did the part we asked him to - two weeks after the due date of the report it was supposed to go in.

The next step of his part was that he compounded on what he was supposed to have written before, and elaborated it further for the report. We said what he wrote was good, but not enough, so we asked him to write it in more detail - he sent us a reply saying HE thought it was good enough, so HE wasn't going to write anymore, and if we wanted more detail, we should write it ourselves!! HONESTLY! The nerve!! And Andrea, Sita and I had written the whole interim report by ourselves!!!!!

Plus, he actually had the gall to say that HE was getting annoyed with the coursework group! He was saying we didn't communicate efficiently, blablabla, if we wanted someone to do something, we should ask, not tell. He said no one should assume they are the leader because no one is, etc. etc. >:( HELLO??? We communicated everything via email to everyone in the group! Chats, conversations, files, everything was on email, and we all decided email was the best way to communicate in the first meeting!

He said he was annoyed we tell him what to do and not ask - well, it's HIS own fault! He never turns up at these meetings! During those meetings, we all decide on what to do (we volunteer for parts and whatever is leftover is shoved to whoever isn't there) fairly and then we just send out what we've already agreed on so far. No one assumes they're the leader. In the meetings, everyone is on equal footing, and no one says "you do this, you do that", we all volunteer for the jobs. He's just taking it out on the person who sends out the summaries of the meetings by implying that she thinks she's the leader!

We've been discussing this problem for a week now, and I've relayed to the group everyone's advice on complaining to the lecturer. One of the girls was talking to the lecturer and mentioned that someone wasn't pulling their weight, and the lecturer said to include in her copy of the final report a breakdown of who did what and if someone hasn't done anything, just leave a blank. I'm not sure what will happen, but I hope to God that he won't get our mark.

Speaking of marks, I just got the marks for our interim report. We got a 22/30. Yay, or something like that. To be honest, everyone says it's a good mark, but I'm not happy with it at all. I feel we could've done a much better job and gotten better marks if everyone pulled their weight from the beginning. Am I being too critical? Or is this just the stress of the past two weeks speaking?

I decided to take the weekend off to relax and de-stress for a bit after the past two (going on three) hectic weeks. I kind of regret it now, because while it was nice to relax, this morning, I was in a full-blown panic and felt more stressed. And my workload is actually lighter! I just feel like I wasted time, even though I've just about finished everything due this week. Well, I ought to work ahead for things due in two weeks then (after my report and presentation this Wednesday, plus another presentation I'm not taking part in on Thursday, I've nothing due till 4th December. Hooray, or something like that).

I've got to do a presentation on Wednesday! I've prepared myself extra-well this time, so I hope it'll all be fine. Wish me luck for it!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Inland Revenue

Ooooh something interesting happened this morning!

At about 11am, I woke up to this banging on the door. I jumped out of bed, pulled a shawl on and opened it up to a couple of men. They said they were from Inland Revenue and were looking for someone called "Miss Kalef" who had avoided paying taxes in 05-06, and that they had a warrant to search the house! I told them that there was no one by such a name living here. They asked to see the ID of all the people living in the house to make sure. (Oh, I did check their IDs btw)

I woke James up and they explained the situation to him while I went to get my passport. James did the same, but MeiZi wasn't in, so I just took our tenancy agreement, which they were happy to see. The good thing is that after seeing our IDs, they said they wouldn't bother us anymore.

Abit of a shock when things like that happen. Okay, since I'm already awake now, maybe I'll clean up my room a little and then dress up in kimono. What should I wear...?

ROH tour + coursework rant

I had the Royal Opera House backstage tour for a coursework earlier that day, which was really fun! We saw the auditorium, the costume area, the backstage area, the place where they built the sets and the hat and jewellery department. It was so interesting!! The best part is that they had a rehearsal going on at the time.

Now, actually, when they're having a rehearsal, no one is allowed to go into the auditorium. However, that day, they were rehearsing a triple bill (three short operas/ballets? in one show), and they had a break in between to change the set, so we were allowed to go in!! We actually saw what it was like when they're having rehearsal - people walking on stage, making sure the set is absolutely perfect, adjusting the lights, people yelling, etc. It was great to see! *hearts*

That trip really made me want to go watch something in the ROH!

Speaking of courseworks, I've been really busy the past weeks. Ma and Pa will kill me if they found out, but for two weeks, I haven't really been eating or sleeping. I only slept an average of maybe 4 hours a night, and ate only once every 24 hours - even then it might just only be soup. And even after all that, I just barely manage to hand in my courseworks on time. On Wednesday, we submitted our coursework just a minute before the hand-in time!! We were so worried we wouldn't make it that we didn't do the best we could, I think. :( *sighs*

I blame all of that on the people who didn't do their parts!! If they'd done SOMETHING, I wouldn't have had to concentrate so much on that coursework and ignore my other coursework, which I then had to rush through! A part of me regrets going to that kimono fashion show on Tuesday because of that.

Oh and you know what? On Tuesday, we also found out that all the work we did wasn't what the client wanted. I mean, yeah, relevant, but still not what she wanted!! So we only have this one week before our presentation to get everything done. I'm doing the research side of things, and am supposed to get things done by Monday, but it's a little difficult because offices will be closed during the weekends, so I can't call our competitors to test their system *sigh*

You know what's the worst thing?? One of the ppl who didn't do any work argued that what the client wants isn't relevant to our coursework at all and what we'd done is enough! He actually told us to stop wasting time on it! It made the 2 girls and I who worked hard on it very furious - WE want the good marks! Who is he to stop us from working??? So we took a vote to see who wanted to stop working on it and who wanted to change our project - we won, of course.

That bit about what the client wants not being important? That's abso-effing-lutely ridiculous. Our presentation is going to be marked by the client - that's 20% there. The final report is specifically for the client, not our lecturer, so it's vital that we do what she wants. The final report is 40%. We told that guy about this and said it was written in the course outline, and he had the NERVE to say "I'm reading it and I don't see it. I don't know what you guys are talking about".

AAAAAAARGH I want to kill him. I don't understand HOW an idiot like that ever made course representative! Plus, our lecturer came up to us and said "Oh you have a course rep in your group! I'll expect better work from you guys then". Talk abour pressure.

I've been told by everyone to complain about this to the lecturer, who assigned us our groups, but she'd already specified in the beginning that if there are problems within the group, we'll have to sort it out ourselves. Usually, she's quite good about taking our complaints (she taught us last year) but this year, it's apparently a part of our coursework, as we are emulating a real life consulting group, with a client and everything.

James and MeiZi told me that there should be a formal way of lodging a complaint with the university itself. I'll have to look it up and see, and discuss it with our coursework group. I'll wait and see for our presentation. That guy is supposed to do the presentation, as he didn't do anything at all for the interim report. If he doesn't do the presentation, we'll most definitely complain.

Argh, I've been complaining and ranting about this coursework for weeks to anyone and everyone who would listen, and I'm still angry about it. Any ideas on what I can do to get rid of this anger? Shockingly, wearing kimono (Tuesday) didn't help, although that might be because we were late, so I was feeling really annoyed. But then again, cooking, playing the piano, reading and watching TV didn't help either. I'd only do it for 10 or 15 minutes before going back to work because it just added to my stress. I kept thinking "need to do work, need to do work need to do work, shouldn't be doing this!!" *sigh*

I pray that Ma and Pa won't nag at me to STUDY STUDY STUDY the next time I talk to them or I'll burst into tears. I KNOW I should study but I haven't got the time!!! Coursework is taking up everything in my life. Today's the first bit of time I've had to myself to relax and I still have a pile of books to read for my dissertation literature review.

I'll be so glad when December comes and I can go home. I've been craving for steamed pomfret and steamed soup lately.

Is working life also this stressful?

Event Aftermath: Kimono Fashion Show!

On Tuesday, despite having 3 reports due the next day, Mel, Hong and I went to see a kimono fashion show. Of course, we just had to wear kimono! We all decided on wearing furisode ^_^

I was supposed to meet Hong at 3pm and Mel at 4pm in my flat to get dressed. Instead, both came about an hour late *sighs* Hong and I managed to get dressed in time, but then we decided to dress Mel in her furisode too. That, plus the fact that we couldn't get a taxi, and traffic was bad, made us really late so we missed half the show! :( *sighs sadly* Oh well.. At least I got to see how kimono sensei dress other people!

After the show, which was lovely, there was a dinner that the three of us attended. It said to have kobe beef, but was really just a burger. *disappointed* At least the starter was unique and the dessert (apple pie) was gorgeous!

Anyway, on with the pictures! :D

I'm wearing my birthday furisode, paired with Hong's purple obi and my black accessories, which aren't actually formal enough for furisode, but we don't care :D The next time I wear this beauty, I think I'm definitely going to try for my red obi with orange accessories. Oh and I desperately need a juban for this. The night before, I was sewing up juban sleeves for this kimono! I ended up having to take up nearly 4 inches!

The lovely handara-inspired obi musubi Hong tied onto me. A little wonky in this picture (believe me, it was much prettier than this!) though. Sure beats the craptastic handara I tied onto her!

This is what Hong wore!! This furisode was originally mine, but it didn't fit me :( I bought it because I wanted a black furisode. The seller's pictures were awful, but I looked past it and saw the true beauty of this gorgeous piece, and bought it. I was so upset when I received it and it didn't fit me!

Then I met Hong, and thought that it'd fit her perfectly, so I showed it to her. I was glad she fell in love with it! Since this piece was rather expensive, I didn't really want to just give it away, so I traded it for her dance parasol, which I loved and she didn't like.

So everyone's happy! I finally got a parasol that I've been wanting for ages and she got rid of it. At the same time, she got a beautiful new furisode that fit her, and I gave away one of my precious to someone who actually fits it and I know will take good care of it ^_^

The obi she's wearing is one I bought specifically for this furisode. I'm contemplating selling it to Hong as well, because I don't have anything else it matches, plus it matches this furisode so well. I tried to get her to wear pink accessories, because the lining is pink and the general feel of the furisode screams "pink accessories", but she isn't too fond of the colour, so she wore red instead. I think it look nicer than I expected!

The craptastic handara I tied onto her :P It looked a bit better after I stuffed towels down her back, though!

After that, we dressed Mel up in the furisode I helped her buy :) Since we were running late, everything was rushed. I started pulling out every juban I had in the hopes that one of them would fit the furisode - thank goodness one of them did! While Hong dressed Mel, I grabbed the most neutral obi I had that matched, and then started throwing accessories to see if they were suitable! And all that was happening while I was helping to dress Mel haha. We managed to do it in 15 minutes, would you believe it?? For such a quick kitsuke for furisode, I'm quite proud of how Mel turned out!

Here's a picture of the three of us after the show:

And our backs. You can see us all lopsided here! Haha.

Here's Mel and Hong with the only non-Japanese model. I love her furisode!! Not too fond of the ensemble, but the furisode itself is gorgeous!

We got alot of comments and compliments ^_^ The sensei were very surprised to learn that we dressed ourselves! We did speak to the Japanese woman we saw in the koto concert - she was with a friend who was also a kimono sensei! *happiness* We got their emails so now we can get lessons!

Ooooh this reminds me, I haven't posted pictures of the MCM Expo, have I? Remind me to do it sometime this weekend!

Friday, 7 November 2008


*sighs* My lemon craving is getting out of hand. I'm dying to drink a lemonade, or eat a Carluccio's lemon tart or maybe lemon sorbet. My tastebuds are screaming for that sour tang that strong lemony stuff gives me. Maybe I should go buy a bag of lemon drops and act like Dumbledore (hwoh hwoh hwoh)

Am supposed to be doing coursework now (due date is tonight) but my brain is blank. I stayed up till 3am doing it last night and it still isn't done because I didn't have absolutely everything we needed for the report. At least it's almost finished now *sigh*

Okay, going back to work.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Have you ever felt really frustrated by your coursework groupmates?

I certainly am. For one of my module's coursework, I was assigned to a group of 6 students by my lecturer. It was all fine and dandy at first, but as time went on, I came to realise only 3 of us were actually doing things. The others have contributed just about nothing (two of them went to interview the client and relayed it back to us, but nothing else) for our report (which I'm supposed to put together!!!!) and I'm sick of arranging meetings where only half of us turn up and actually do the work. It's irritating to have to do a coursework for people who don't do anything. But I guess that's life *sigh*.

It's getting really busy now. I've got to finish up one coursework (well, checking my group's English so that the report makes sense!) by tonight so that we can do the presentation in two weeks. The coursework I was complaining about has an interim report due this Friday (OMG STRESS!!) while I have another report to finish by the same day so that I can hand it in on Wednesday. Not to mention my dissertation..... I've got to write the introduction and the literature review, which means reading a pile of books and articles and reviewing them and their authors *sigh*.

Speaking of that, I was discussing with my dissertation supervisor yesterday about doing a Master's degree. I'm not entirely sure if I should or not... It's expensive, and I don't know if I'll be able to get in, but I did promise him that I'd give it a think. I would, of course, try to apply for either LSE or Imperial College's Tanaka Business School. I did think of applying for London Business School after working for a while, but I dunno.. It depends on whether I'm good enough, and if I'm not married or not by then (hahaha tough luck on that happening). If I do further my studies after this, my resume would look good though. I mean, graduating at age 21 with a Master's degree under my belt already? Nyehehehe.... Hopefully it'll get me a good job, although job prospects aren't exactly good right now. Still, I'm really hoping I can get a good job without a Master's...

*sighs* We all can dream, can't we?