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Phytomancer and The 9,999 Green Villains


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You are rocking this challenge :-)   Completing one goal by the end of week 3!   Your design project looks great too.


Hope your roommate doesn't need so much space soon.  You're a good friend and roomie for helping but agreeing that it would have been nice of him to explain a bit more.  Would be more of a friend that way.


Thanks, Teirin. I think he just needs sometimes and it's okay.



Double posted chart. Here's a cat chart:





There's the many faces of Statisticia!

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Good luck with the class...hope you can get through this time around, but sounds like you are learning a lot either way.

You've done great with the progress bars!

Thanks Xena. There is a lot to learn, and I am riding the wave. :)



All these charts are cracking me up hahah.


You're doing great, Phytomancer, despite some hurdles along the way.  Keep it up and good luck with everything!

Raxie, don't trust Statisticia. She ain't that cute when she's angry. Thanks for cheering me on!

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Everything is DONE! (Except for grading paper)


Running errands all morning. A friend came over and asked if I could fix his computer. His thing was filled with malware that if it was his junk I'll advice him to cut it off. We also put Puella Magical Girl Madoka on marathon as I run several anti-virus software. Still didn't work. He might have to take it to a professional.


The show was the most realistic and WTF magical girl I had ever seen. My friend has exquisite (if not a little dark) taste.


We went to the gym and did some free weight work outs (sadly it didn't count for the challenge.) I did about 10 chin ups.



Breakfast: Bananas

Lunch was more like a process to clear out old things in the fridge, and I made fried rice with tofu, chive, onion, and sweet chili paste. Topped with two boiled eggs

Dinner: Stirfry egg plant, rice, Thai style shaved carrot salad with bean sprouts and onions.


Thus lead us to the end in the Acedemian


Week 4 Conclusion




Although Sour Bill turned very sour at me, Statisticia accepted me to her throne room and lend me her hand to defeat Urbaniads.

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Week 5: Into The Woods



This week, everything is happening. I got to prepare for the trip to Boston, celebrate friend's graduation, design two presentations, grade students' final papers, prepare for another award competition, etc. It's as confusing as what people are all doing in the woods.


I am here to convince: *Gasp*The witch.


With all the challenges in the Academion never ceasing, I must appease the witch by, er, eating her greens and enjoy them. I must tell her how delicious it is, and that I am on her side.


Challenge: Have vegetables be a part of my every meal this week.

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Breakfast: Celery and peanut butter
Lunch: Homemade garlic chive pesto pasta with red onions and dying mushrooms.
Dinner: Hamburger, fries, salad bar


Freedom didn't suit me well, and I got very little done... but it was relaxing. At the evening, I went on to the writer's club and had a one-on-one time with a member. His story was about the art of seduction. Boy, he knows what he was writing... My story was about an awkward person. Heh.


Last week I did a lot of knuckle push up to reduce my wrist use. The results was that I have dark bruises on the skin around my knuckles. My boss thought I beat someone up, and he seemed kind of worried I had a fight club hidden somewhere to reduce my stress from grad school.


Workout: 1.8 mi walk



Breakfast: Banana, celery

Lunch: Tuna, noodle, carrots, and onion salad, apple.

Dinner: Beef sandwich, garden salad



1.8 mi morning walk

A friend of mine took me on a 2 hour tour of historic trees in my town that survived the deforestation-- some of which were more than 200 years old. We jogged and walked for approximately 6-7 mi


Walking/ jogging cumulation = 42.4/90


On my way back to work that night, I found a tall young girl crying on a sidewalk. She wasn't pretty-crying like why-is-he-so-mean-to-me crying. It was an epic why-does-my-life-suck-so-bad kind of cry. Howls and sobs and hiccups and yelling included. I don't know why, but I approached her like I would approached a crying five year old. This include asking her if she's alright, whether I could call someone for her, or if I could be any help. She asked for a tissue; instead I offered a piece of printing paper.


As she was about to smile and to tell me what was wrong, my automated 'my work is over now' kicked in, and I bid her good night and rode away. I didn't realize until later that maybe she wanted someone to hear her problem. It just didn't occur to me.  


Dumb Phytomancer is dumb. Hopefully a tiny kindness from a tiny stranger would make her feel like she's not alone in this planet. And that's good enough for me.


Anyway, I rant too much. Time for bed. The darn crow I got from Aunt Mally is picking me in the ear now.

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Refreshing 8 hour sleep doesn't happen in a while, but it felt very good!




Breakfast: Cinnamon with peanut butter

Lunch: Collard green smoothie, eggs, bread

Dinner: Chive Pesto on baked sweet potato, bacon



2.8 mi walk (in the morning and after dinner)

30 chin ups

100 push ups


The day was nothing extraordinary. Got a student at my office door today demanding that I fix the grades of her final so that she could get an A instead of A-. All my academic career, I never understand this type of kids. It's not like she was trying hard on her finals. Her paper was very inattentive it was an insult. If it wasn't for her midterm [group project] grades she would have gotten a B. Now that she knew her grade, she came prepared with the rubric, the materials she (should have) included, and a motivation that would have made her discover skin cancer cure. If she was as half as motivated and used this energy to make the paper, she would have gotten an A. No problem.


Anyway, after haggling like I was a street vendor, she got an A, and I got ticked off. I should forgive her youth...I think this was almost the first time I frowned to a person this long.

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grrrr. I hate it that pushy people really do get ahead.


I know... That made me grumpy. I felt like I was mean to her, and at the same time I felt like I wasn't being fair to other students.




Breakfast: Bananas, some leftover bread

Lunch: Chipotle bowl with guacamole and extra lettuce, no beans

Dinner: The last of pesto, tofu, sweet potato


I also made a smoothie and freeze it overnight for tomorrow lunch, so that I can sleep in a bit longer.


Workout: 1.7 mi walk... planned for a bike ride with a friend, but the rain poured down, so I didn't do it. :(


Today I joined a lab to get a new committee member. They seem to value my input, even though they are madly intelligent. I didn't understand any of their presentations because it's all graphs and computational models... not made for a designer type. But I did enjoy some exchange between how social science research is done compared to what is done in informatics/ engineering, which is kind of cool. (What do you mean you didn't have to train your model with 10,000 data point?)


Then I graded, and I graded, and I graded.


Ate green every meal so far. :)

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Very much so.  Hope you can get a lot of useful stuff out of the lab.


You're very kind for talking to that girl and hopefully you helped :-)  The other one with the A- sounds rather annoying.  You were not mean to her.


Laughed over the fight club thing.  That must have been a surprise!


Madoka is so awesome!  One of my top 5 anime to date.  Definitely somewhat dark but so very very good.  

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Behave yourself, badly if necessary.

Current Challenge

Judo - Shodan

My Character

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Don't be intimidated by the new lab. They aren't smarter just because they make a lot of graphs and throw in some equations ;-) (Take that Statistica). It does sound like an awesome opportunity for collaboration though!

That's true! Collaboration can be extremely fun, but also super intimidating. They are all very sharp, even behind graphs and figures.



Very much so.  Hope you can get a lot of useful stuff out of the lab.


You're very kind for talking to that girl and hopefully you helped :-)  The other one with the A- sounds rather annoying.  You were not mean to her.


Laughed over the fight club thing.  That must have been a surprise!


Madoka is so awesome!  One of my top 5 anime to date.  Definitely somewhat dark but so very very good.  

Thank you. I hope I helped both of them rather than hurt. The fight club thing was a surprise, but he looked very genuinely concerned.

I love Madoka too. The movie that follows is also extremely twisted.



I spent most of my Friday trying to get things done and prepare for the Saturday trip to Boston. Stressed out and went overdose on sugar.


Breakfast: None

Lunch: Packed a frozen collard green smoothies and banana to work, three boiled eggs

Snack: Sugary sweetness that pumped my productivity and killed my workout

Dinner: Chinese food (On choy, chicken, brisket, rice)


Workout: Muay Thai

I ate too much sugar. I felt so weak and jumpy, and cramps all over my body shot up like fireworks with my partner's gentlest touch. I felt as if there are tiny fingers digging into my arms and legs-- and the muscles I didn't know existed between my thigh and stomach. This was not a proudest moment for me as a fighter.

10 pull ups, 20 push ups

Writing: A lot. I was resubmitting some awards and grading student's papers.



Lunch: Collard green, bacon, and chili peppers

Snack: Bananas

Dinner: [at the airport] Vegetable Quescadilla with quacamole

Workout: 20 push ups 30 chin ups

Got some creative writing done on the plane.


Sunday: My friend's Law School graduation, yay!

Breakfast: Strawberry

Lunch: Tiny sandwiches, pasta salad

Dinner: Thai food, family style...  Lots of greens, but ate way too much

Workout: About 5-6 mi walk in total... We walked around campus, then from his college to Harvard to eat, then around Harvard, and back. 30 chin ups (portable) 100 push ups. Also, 15 students were graded.


Week Conclusion

The Woods' Witch was a little upset that I stay pass midnight, but she was pretty after I ate the greens, also, I don't think I get the story right, but she's on my side now. I made her my *Ahem* witch.



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The Last Week (For now)


This week, I visited 'The Other Side' with our buddy Facilier.



Dr. Facilier is my favorite Disney villain. It's not like he wanted gold-- or power-- or something silly. He's just really discovering what he can do. He's pushing the limit, and he's excited when the world crumbles because his spell works.


In some extent, his hunger for knowledge is not different than that of many PhD students.


Mini Challenge:

- Try to write creatively and academically at least for five hours total this week.

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Breakfast: None

Lunch: BELT (Breakfast Egg Lettuce Tomato) sandwich, side salad, water

Snack: Monkey bread

Dinner: Shabushi... Japanese hot pot with meat and lots of veggies


Writing: 1 hr of creative writing


Workout: I had a lot of fun working out today. Walking from my friend's place to the train station is about a mile. Then I visited Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. While there, I got an idea of filming myself working out in different ways in Nerd Fitness t-shirt, and I asked people all around the common to taped it for me. Video to follow.


Then I caught a bus to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, literally a holiest ground for public sector in landscape architecture Walked for another mile. The cemetery itself felt like paradise. The lady on the bus told me to climb 'the tower' which I found and did. The view there was breath-taking, and I shared it with two strikingly beautiful Bostonians who happened to be on the secret balcony at the very top of the tower. They invited me to sit and gave me a quick tour of Boston and its surrounding cities from the sky.


Sadly it lasted for what felt like five minutes, then I had to catch a bus to Chinatown to meet up with the friend I came to visit.


Dinner at Chinatown was okay. The food was great... The conversation was weird. It was just me and the graduating friend, and he told me about all his fantasies and adventures... in the places that I shouldn't know. (We kind of had a different orientation-- if you know what I mean.) It was kind of graphic and inappropriate, but it was in my language, which nobody else in the restaurant understood. I tried to stop him-- but then I just ate, switching my ears to mostly English.


We walked around Chinatown and Boston night. I stumbled upon other two hidden treasures, the silky sculpture from the sky of a famous landscape architect, and a small garden of one of my living hero, Kongjian Yu. I was overjoyed. Pretty much just yanked my friend's $200 leather jacket sleeves, jumped up and down, and shouted 'That's Kongjian's! That's Kongjian's! That's Kongjian's!" Then ran over the space and just jumped around in there for a bit. It was a cold night, so nobody cared. It felt great.


My friend and I have different priorities in life, you see.


I think I had about 8 mi in my pocket, approximately




Breakfast: None

Lunch: Pork with celery and spices, fried rice

Dinner: Pork and green beans with ginger-chili pepper sauce, white rice


Writing: None

Work out: 40 push ups/ 4 mi walking


Today was a lazy day. The rain was all over the morning, so the friend and I got Chinese food. We then parted way. I tried and failed to get work done, graded the last of student's final paper (yay!) and visited Harvard Museum of National History, while he filled out job applications.


Harvard Museum is awesome! The rocks and the weapon rooms are the coolest ever (Have I ever told you I am a nerd?), but I also liked the glass flower exhibition. The room was filled with 100 year old glasses that looked exactly like frozen flowers. They were so realistic and lifelike, yet so fragile I was afraid to sneeze in that hall.


I got some cool souvenier for my labmates and roommates and headed to my friend's apartment to help him move out.


My friend was a bit upset. He was just freaking out about turning his life upside down again (from 9 years in the US back to governmental work [super competitive sector] in my home country at mid 20s... talking about quarter life crisis...) and he lashed it out on me a bit. It was only natural, so I took the hit and helped him move anyway, understanding the stress he must have been in. He apologized after.


We met up with some friends for dinner, one of which I knew since middle school. It was nice.


Back to real life tomorrow-- I got a meeting and two presentations right after I land. Ouch.

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Wow, that was quite and adventure! It seems like people tend to open up and talk to you...maybe about things you don't want to hear, maybe as random strangers crying in the night, but that really is quite a compliment. And why doesn't it surprise me that you helped another friend move!?


I think empathy and moving heavy things (while helping people) are your super powers :-)

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016


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Wow, that was quite and adventure! It seems like people tend to open up and talk to you...maybe about things you don't want to hear, maybe as random strangers crying in the night, but that really is quite a compliment. And why doesn't it surprise me that you helped another friend move!?


I think empathy and moving heavy things (while helping people) are your super powers :-)


Xena, thanks. Considering how awkward 'the real me' is around people-- sometimes I see it as a curse than a superpower. I have a persona I use for work that comes in handy in usual social outings, but it's useless when people start crying and doing all non-scripted actions.


This friend was easier to help moving, he gave away almost all his stuffs. I just helped him carry a couple luggage over the cab. It was the emotional luggage that my muscles couldn't lift. 

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Couldn't help it





Agreed with all of the above.  You help everyone with everything :-)

Thanks. :)


Sometimes I feel like I brag too much in this page... but also it reflects on me that I'm a bit of a pushover. So maybe it kind of shows both my strength and weakness in a way.


Wednesday: Traveling day-- going back to the world

Breakfast: Almonds

Lunch: Burrito bowl with extra veggies and guacamole

Dinner: Chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, brown rice, banana


Workout: none.


So. Many. Meetings. I was so exhausted, but there are a lot to catch up on. A design competition is due tomorrow. Prepared for the presentation on Thursday.

1 hr of writing down some frustration I had with the trip just to get it out of my head with some artistic flair... Guess that counted as creative writing.



Breakfast: Bananas

Lunch: Tofu stirfry with sweet potato and masala sauce, mushrooms, tomato, and spinach

Dinner: Lunch leftover with pasta and cheese on top.


Spent two hours writing academically. Will try to do another tonight.

Workout: None yet. Will try to do some chin ups before bed.


3 Hours meeting+2 hours meeting of another projects. I feel so drained even though I haven't been very productive. *Grumble*

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