Random Thoughts and Updates

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a good holiday. As for me, I have a three-week school break at the moment. I am only on my first week but I have already finished doing THREE out of FIVE exams. It’s not fun but I’m surviving. I find this course very interesting. I have learned so much in a span of three months! We had classes on Python programming, Machine Learning, AI and Data Laws (very sensitive, touchy subject), Applied Maths (Calculus, Algebra, Matrix Manipulations), Statistics and programming in R, Databases (which was a very good review), etc.

So far, my favorite was Artificial Intelligence and Data Laws. We talked about AI for Good, The GDPR, Patents on Algorithms, Ethics and Morality. I am suddenly ever more aware and conscious about all the information that I share about myself and my loved ones online. I’ve started deleting pictures of myself and my immediate family, which I wouldn’t want anybody (especially my classmates) to see while trying to scrape for image datasets for our school projects! LOL!

As for the Maths, I am still trying to catch up on Calculus. I never really had a strong background on it since, first and foremost, I never really realized before how fascinating it was when I was first introduced the subject. My interest in Maths, back then especially, Calculus unfortunately heavily relied upon my interest in the teacher conducting the class. I would say that my Calculus teacher was mostly absent, treated us like idiots, except for maybe one or two people in the class, and shamelessly collected money from students in exchange of a passing grade. I can only hope that she really needed the money. Otherwise, I hope someday she grows a conscience.

I never totally hated Maths, I was really interested in Trigonometry and even Algebra when I was in HS and College. In fact, I always like to watch a lot of videos about Maths. This one today, I found very intriguing, touching, and surprisingly poetic...

This video talks about Incompleteness and how, after a certain point, we keep getting back to the problems of infinite loops, who guards the guards and turtles all the way down. This might just be connected to this gnawing, nagging thought that I always get whenever I look out into space, especially looking up at night and just seeing blackness and the stars… it always, always makes me wonder whether I am looking outside, trying to see what’s way out there or I am really way outside trying to look deep within.

What do you guys think?

Also, in the spirit of total randomness… just wanna say that, it’s always difficult to find that balance in a conversation among friends where each person talks about himself/herself just enough. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being interrogated when I talk to French people. They almost always do not share anything about themselves but like to ask questions instead. I guess it stems from the fact that in most (non-Asian) cultures, it’s considered bad form or impolite to talk about oneself all the time. While the people from my home country are just the exact opposite. Filipinos almost always just talk about themselves. Never really even asking you even a simple, “how are you doing”. We were never really taught a lot of social graces, especially when it comes to oversharing and talking too much about ourselves. Tough. Not sure which one I prefer.

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Hopefully, I’ll be back again with some watercolor video with a Christmasy vibe. Ciao for now.

Watercolor Painting of Santorini

Finally, after almost two years, I managed to travel outside of France once again. My family and I stayed in the lovely island of Santorini in Greece for a week during the school holiday. We stayed in this beautiful apartment in Pyrgos, a quiet area in the middle of the island, away from the bustle of the touristy areas of Oia and Fira.

We had a lovely view of the sea, some of the islands, and the mountains from the balcony of our Airbnb apartment. The view, and the Bougainvillea flowers at the entrance of the apartment inspired me to paint plein air on the balcony, one day, when I had the occasion to take a break from our usual walks.

I had so much fun, and felt so relaxed doing this watercolor painting of a scenery in Santorini. It was actually inspired by this picture of myself standing under the lush and lovely Bougainvillea of our Airbnb apartment. I just edited it a bit to make it look more interesting in the painting.

Me and my bougainvillea tree

Hope you are all having a fun week. Thanks for dropping by! Cheers!

Youtube 100 Subscribers, Master’s Degree, Travels, and Other Updates

Hello, everyone! It’s been a long time since I last made an update. My family and I went traveling for half a month in the Northwestern region of France last month. We were trying to make the most out of the seemingly very few “sunny” days of summer this year. It has been sooo rainy and windy. It felt more like autumn than summer.

Anyways, I was surprised this morning to find this email from Youtube:

Just when I was about to give up on this channel… hope to find more time for videos soon!

It’s been a long time since I last updated my Youtube art channel. I was surprised to find that I have actually been getting more subscribers. It was such a pleasant surprise. I do hope to be able to post more videos soon. I will try my very best. Although, I am going to be really very, very busy starting next month.

I have actually applied to a Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence. I managed to get accepted in the two schools here in France where I have sent my application. I chose the one whose campus is in Paris and Nice. But I’ll be taking live online classes since I live in Toulouse. As you know, my day job is actually IT-related, not the arts. I have decided that I am just going to keep doing art as a hobby, not as a main source of my bread and butter. Maybe someday. Maybe I just might be able to find a happy mix of art and IT, like maybe something along the lines of NFT’s… maybe. But for now, I’d like to focus on Artificial Intelligence coz I believe, there is a lot of opportunities there. The possibilities are infinite. 😉

As for my travels, my family and I went on a Food Trip Road Trip holiday going from Toulouse to the Northwest of France. It was quite tiring, but nevertheless, wonderful trip to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary this year. We saw a lot of nice places and dined in Michelin-starred restaurants. I think I will write more about this in my travel blog.

Continue reading Youtube 100 Subscribers, Master’s Degree, Travels, and Other Updates

Plein Air Watercolor Painting in Gruissan, France

Every year, my artist friends and I would take a short road trip to a nearby village in the South of France for a plein air water color session and to chill.

I was very happy with our choice of location this year — the Plage des Chalets, which is the setting of the movie, “Betty Blue”, or “37.2° le matin” as it is known in France. I’ve heard it is also a location of one of Leonardo di Caprio’s movies, but I couldn’t seem to find which one it is. Let me know in the comments if you know which one.

Anyway, here is a short video of our trip to Plage des Chalets and the pink salt mine (yes, “pink”, that’s right!) of Le salin de l’île Saint-Martin. We had a lovely time there. Hope you enjoy watching! And if you did, please give the “like” and “subscribe” button a hit.

Have a lovely summer weekend! 🙂

Working in France

Surprisingly, I managed to find work after just one week of looking for a job. It’s my best record so far. I’m not very patient with job interviews, so this was really a very much welcomed relief for me.

For the first time in my life, I’m not working in Finance/Banking industry. In fact, everything was overwhelmingly different — new technologies, new industry, different language, etc.

The language is really one of the biggest obstacles I had to face. Although, the technical interviews are mostly in English, I had to express myself in French in the non-technical interviews. And since we are in France and all my colleagues are French, including myself, everybody speaks French at work. Even my computer is all set up in French. The keyboard is of course, not my usual qwerty keyboard, where I’m used to touch-typing. But I am not complaining. This is a good training for me. Already just one week into the job, I feel a lot more confident speaking French. I even surprise myself at the extent of what I could understand now even before taking the job.

Et voila, juste une bonne nouvelle que je voulais partager avec vous.

Bon weekend! 😊

First Time Long Drive (Revisiting Lourdes)

With some helpful proddings and encouragements from hubby and friends, I’ve managed to convince myself to do a day trip and revisit Lourdes. It was a gruelling 2.5-hour one-way drive to get there. It was my first time ever to drive for such a long time. My right ankle hurt for three days! But of course, it was worth it. Although, next time, I would take into consideration to do a short break each way, to give my legs some rest.

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Updates and Random Stuff

What have I been up to lately?..

Driving a lot… trying to remove my fear of the big roads and the crowded car parks.  Getting there. Meanwhile, I am a big fan of the roundabouts now… more practical and efficient than stop lights.

Trying very hard not to overshare on social media. I have removed facebook on my phone… wait, was it a good idea to share that here? If you have not yet put a tape on your computer’s webcam and microphone, do it NOW.

Planning future travels. So excited!

Learning to paint in Watercolor. It’s not as easy as it looks. But so far, I really love how the paint does not stink at all, or not get in the way of healthy breathing, unlike acrylics and pastel.

Continue reading Updates and Random Stuff

Romantic Lunch Date at Rhubarb Le Restaurant

Rhubarb Vanilla Ice Cream at Rhubarb, Le Restaurant
There is nothing more pleasantly distracting than a surprise romantic lunch at a Michelin-starred French restaurant on a busy Monday. Hubby chose a cozy restaurant called, Rhubarb, Le Restaurant. We figured the owner must’ve been really obsessed with this plant, which a decade ago would’ve been something very unfamiliar to me. I now know for one that Rhubarb Pie is one of my husband’s favorites. And I quite like it too, for its tangy and citrusy flavor. We tried the restaurant’s Rhubarb Vanilla Ice Cream at the end of a three-course lunch menu, and found it deliciously refreshing, especially with the popping sugar bits.
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Weekend Staycation at Raffles Hotel Singapore

The holidays came and went just like that… just like 2016.  And since the start of the year, I have been ever so busy with work, etc. But now, I finally found a weekend to write about the previous weekend when we had an opportunity to stay at Raffles Hotel. I had been waiting for a long time for this. It’s such a magnificent and historical site that I wouldn’t want to miss checking out, especially since I have been living in Singapore for a really long time now.

The magnificent facade of Raffles Hotel along Beach Road

Read on for more pics and video of the Courtyard Suite that we stayed in…

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