Reflection

Blind

I just watched the first season of Daredevil (NOT via Netflix).

Every time I watch a blind person on television, I am filled with envy. They are forced to see the world differently. They do not experience the world like we do. They sense differently. Same goes for anyone with any kind of disability. People see them differently, and they see people differently. They did not choose this, yet they were gifted with such a unique experience.

I wish I were them. Ask any other person and they would probably say the opposite. People can’t even begin to imagine life without one less sense. But we all live with a finite amount of senses. We are all disabled in that we don’t have a sixth sense. If we lived in a world where everyone had psychic abilities and one of the senses was knocked out, then it would be the same situation as having only four senses.

Our experiences are divided into the senses. Lose one, and there’s more for each of them. I, for one, would prefer not to be able to smell. Yes, there are some good smelling things out there, but the majority of smells are not very good-smelling. A whiff of any sort of perfume and my brain is clogged with a puff of poison. Also, the smell of mint smells like literal shit to me sometimes. The olfactory system is not much use for me. It’s only use is for smelling out stenches, but I wouldn’t have had that need if I couldn’t smell them in the first place.

Hearing would be the next sense I’d knock off. I am highly sensitive to sounds and loud, annoying people. Would actually be really nice if I couldn’t hear. It would give me a reason to ignore people as well.

Touch… I don’t know if anyone just goes numb in places in their body. They do go paralyzed, but we’d have to go into it limb by limb. Let’s just not talk about that. It’s a touchy subject (I just had to say that). Well, I just don’t like to think about all the different possibilities for paralyzation. There’s just too many, and it’s hard to imagine it unless it’s really happened to you. Wheelchairs are cool, though.

Taste. Hah. I would not give that up. Food is my life. It’s the reason I get up in the morning. But I’m sure I could live without it. I would focus on getting the best texture out of my meals. Currently, my food preferences are a good mix of taste and texture. Can’t have one without the other, or so I may think?

Sight. This is the big ticket. I rely on my eyes the most. Some days I’ll get so focused on something that I won’t even let my eyes take a break. I’ll be like, alright, let’s rest these two up for a few minutes. Then a few seconds later, they’re open and working again. Everything I have/am/will worked/working/work towards involves sight. Everything I buy, every piece of junk I collect is in my possession because I set my eyes on it, and I would like to keep having my eyes set on it. The career path I’m taking has to do with sitting at a computer all day. Sure, there are braille keyboards and stuff (like Auggie’s in Covert Affairs) to quickly read and type, but will I experience code and what it builds the same way? Will I enjoy it as much? If I were blind, I’d probably find something else to build. Maybe sculpting. Something I could feel with my hands.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to be blind. I would have to definitely change my life in significant ways. I would either have to give up the dream of becoming a programmer in a cubicle who collects Funko Pop!s and wears pop culture t-shirts or adapt to that dream. Not to mention, I would have to completely change the way I experienced television. No more awesome fighting scenes, no more crappy CGI, and no more wicked CGI. I would change as a person, but maybe for the better.

So I’ve been thinking about practicing being blind, you know, if the day ever comes. Well, I’m not expecting it to come so much, but if I can get used to not having sight, then I would not have to rely on it so much. Obviously when I’m at the computer, I’ll need eyes open since I don’t have the technology to do so otherwise. I am going to start closing my eyes while moving around the house. I just took a shower with eyes closed 95% of the time. When walking, I can’t help but to open my eyes a tiny bit sometimes to save my toes. I might sport a blindfold if I can find the right piece of clothing to do that. Also, I am a Glaucoma suspect, so it is possible for me to lose my sight some time in the future. Probably not since my optometrist orders ten tests because of one irregularity. You’d think after the one where she checked my eye pressure every 2 hours for an entire day and deemed it was fine, she’d cancel the rest of the appointments. Nope. I swear she’s just doing it on purpose for the money.

Well, it’s time to close my eyes.

soupy twist!

Smile

Last night was the first time I smiled to sleep in a long, long time.

What caused this? Why, it was TV of course. Last night I stayed up very late reading people’s thoughts and theories on ABC’s new drama The Family. Only 3 episodes have aired so far and I am addicted with this mystery. So far, they have only raised questions and answered none. This feeling… this is what happiness is to me. The constant pondering of one or more TV shows. The obsession gives me the will to live.

These past few days have been pretty shitty. A large mass of negative energy came back into my life that I could totally live without. TV has been getting me through it. Even if the reality of my life is complete garbage, there is another world that I can dive into and be totally fine. If I never found my passion for television, I would be contemplating whether life was worth living a second more.

Good television occupies me in many ways. 1) The excellent actors and actresses. Their every facial expression that makes you feel feelings you have never felt before… For example, in The Family, Andrew McCarthy’s Hank Asher is a convicted sex offender (for indecent exposure is all we know for now), yet I still feel empathy for him. He has this sadness in his eyes that makes me want him to be happy and left alone. Though I don’t know if I have left over feelings from Pretty in Pink, or if it’s just Andrew McCarthy’s acting. 2) The plot. The greater the mystery, the more I think about the story. The show is just one timeline, but there are an infinite amount of ways the story could have gone and can go. 3) The characters. Being able to connect with a character is one of the greatest things ever. You get this feeling of, I can totally be that person and those events could totally happen to me. My life could be awesome! That is who I want to be when I grow up!! Right now, I’m trying to gain Robert California’s confidence. I don’t think I’ll ever reach the level of Bob Kazamakis, but if I keep telling myself to be more like Robert California, I’ll gain a sliver more confidence. 4) The imagery. Seeing events unravel, living in them, experiencing them first hand… It’s like that is your life. You gain these fictional memories that are so fun and entertaining as opposed to that time you wrote an essay or did some insignificant task. Most of what we do in life is for the outcome, but the whole point of television is for the entire experience. The outcome is like yeah, that happened, but happy endings are still just endings–onto the next adventure! 5) The fandoms. A show doesn’t air for long without people watching it. To be able to share the experience with others who appreciate and enjoy it as much as you do, makes you feel so connected with a bunch of strangers. It’s why I don’t watch shows that EVERYONE watches (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, etc.). It’s no fun when everyone watches it because everyone is talking about it. They just watch it for the sake of being up to date.

The Family only has 3 episodes so far so I’m starting a bunch of shows to get my TV fix. I’m almost done The Office (on the last season), and it’s going to be sad that it’s over for a second time, but I’ll have room for more shows. I started Queer as Folk a while back and I’m watching only an episode a day. I recently watched the first episode of Prison Break and am currently downloading The Americans to start. Now, whenever I receive signs that I should be watching it, I watch it. I have sort of wanted to watch The Americans for a while now (I think since it premiered), but I always put it off.

Guess I’m getting back on the path of happiness again.

soupy twist!

TV

Is quitting TV a bad thing for me?

I’m watching a lot less TV than I used to. I stopped trying to watch as much TV as I could when The 6th Floor became my home. Whenever I watched something there, it would take forever. Probably because I was with friends. TV was my I’m-not-doing-anything time, but also my this-is-very-important-that-I-watch-this time. So that meant that a) this was a prime opportunity to not not bother me and b) I have to finish this episode!! Sometimes it took me 2-3 hours to watch a 43 minute episode. Sometimes I got so sidetracked that I forgot I was watching something and I realized later that the episode was left unfinished. Then, of course, I had to go and finish it up.

Sometimes I would go days without watching any TV. I survived because I was on the 6th floor with friends. I built a family there. But ever since then, I haven’t really been happy. I’ve been okay happy, but not truly happy. There is this empty feeling inside of me.

I remember back in high school, I would watch SO much TV. Even with projects and homework, I somehow managed to do those even with copious amounts of TV. I think it’s because I spend so much time watching, I try to make up for it by working harder than I usually would. I leave less time to work, so I work more efficiently and give it everything I’ve got. My greatest example of this is in Grade 12, first semester. It was the week before exams. I had an Advanced Functions exam- my most important exam. This was my main course that would get me into the University of Waterloo. I was sick. I had a cold, and I was basically dying. PLUS, this was when I was watching House, one of the greatest shows ever. I think I was on season 5 at the time. Well, I watched like 2-3 seasons during that week. It got SO good that I just could not stop. Exam, sick, House. I basically lived like a sick, old hermit for the week. Then, the morning of my exam, I found out that I got admitted to the University of Waterloo! All they had were my Grade 11 grades and two Grade 12 grades (English and Computer Science), which I took in Grade 11. I was so scared I wouldn’t get admitted, but I got in! I was like, “screw this exam! (But I’ll still try my best. I mean, I’ve already studied a lot.)” I got 100 on it!! I’ve never gotten 100 on an exam. It was awesome.

The lesson was: do as much as you can of what you love, and everything else can still be done. I think the reasoning behind this is: 1) Oh shit, oh shit. I gotta finish all of this stuff!! 2) Too tired to not be able to sleep like a baby (so no time is wasted in bed trying to sleep). 3) I feel very satisfied with what I’ve watched. 4) Livin’ life to the max!

I guess watching less TV has been doing me more bad than good. I mean, my average has only been increasing by ~0.2% per term while my TV consumption has been decreasing by 50% per term. TV is definitely not the problem. TV gives me reason to live. I think my best times are when I’m grieving for a character. I still think about George 😥 … Just thinking about how good a show is puts me to sleep with a smile on my face. I miss those times. I used to go to sleep smiling every night. I haven’t in years.

With that said, I’m going to lift my no-more-new-shows rule. Screw that! Gotta be trying new stuff all the time. Up next on my watchlist is: Queer As Folk (because Michael Scott watches it), Spooks/MI-5, and The Night Manager (Hugh Laurie!!). Maybe Peep Show, Misfits, My Mad Fat Diary, and Episodes. (I gotta start watching more British television.)

 

I need to remember that watching TV is the same as sleep for me! It energizes me. It wakes me up. It’s equivalent to food. It’s basically one of my basic needs. Food/water, shelter, sleep, and TV. I don’t even spend the entire day on my app. There’s downtime and what do I do during that time? I don’t even know. I measure time by the seasons I watch, but if I’m not watching anything, how do I count time? Does time even exist if I’m not watching anything? Enough nonsense from me. I need to watch a lot of stuff. My mother woke me up to shovel snow at 7AM, which is like 6 hours before I usually start working. So I’ve got plenty of time to sleep watch TV.

soupy twist!

Sandwiches

I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere all because of this:


An open journal with sketches and scribbles. I know it must be silly, but I feel like one of those geniuses on shows who have giant walls of formulas. This is my wall of formulas. It’s not exactly a wall, but it is formulas. I’ve been doing trigonometry all day. Well, more like basic trigonometry. Just splitting up a circle. Coded what I needed on paper first and then in Objective-C. Had a few bugs at first, but it worked!! Worked on it until it was time to stop to watch The Flash.

Today was also the first time I forked a Github repository. Didn’t know it was that easy! I’m working on a circular menu that I found. The original can do 1-6 buttons in a fixed circle, but I want to do as many buttons as you want and from any angle to any other angle (so not necessarily in a full circle). I’ve done it already, but I think another way would make more sense so I’ll be reformulating my code.

A lot of motivation is in me right now. I decided to start doing crunches again — only way for me to lose my center. I’m also reaching for the pull-up bar in my parents’ room. Aiming to be Oliver Queen after five years on an island.

I think all of this motivation is coming from the sandwiches I’m cooking up. I’m making these massive sandwiches for lunch and the taste lingers in my mouth all the way to nightfall. It’s what gets me up in the morning and what gets me to bed. I know that tomorrow is a day I can look forward to because I’m gonna make me a sandwich.

I put EVERYTHING into my sandwiches and it is a scrumptious mess. Ingredients include: Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.27.16 AM

  • Cheese
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Black Pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Roast Beef
  • Chicken Breast
  • Turkey Breast
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Lettuce

Had Costco seaweed salad added the other week. Sad that there’s no more, but the bacon makes up for it.

I think I’m beginning an addiction to sandwiches.  Or sandwiches are a healthy thing and not an “addiction.”

Some days I would rather sit and do nothing, but other days I would rather be occupied and coding. I guess I chose the right field to get into.

soupy twist!

Learning

Limitations are my greatest fears.

Being unable to do something that I want to do.

In all aspects of life, I try not to live by limitations. From the way that I dress to the way that I am. But these things are easy (if you have the mental strength). But when it comes to limitations in intelligence… that’s where it’s not so easy. I’m just scared that even though I want to learn how to do something, I won’t be able to because I’m not smart enough. There are a lot of programming geniuses, and I don’t think I’m one of them. That won’t stop me from pursuing a programming path, but it can be discouraging at times. Can I do more than I already am? I certainly do enjoy learning Computer Science (more areas of it than I thought), but do I have the brain to become a highly-skilled programmer that knows the best practices of programming? Does it just take experience? Or is it more than that? I just know I will make a lot of mistakes as I already have. I learn from mistakes. I learn from bugs. When you make a mistake, you know that next time you do not make that mistake again. I’ve always considered this the way of learning programming. But do all programmers learn this way? Or are there some that are innately good programmers? Is that possible? Maybe they’ve just had more experience? I started programming in Grade 11 and some have started at a much younger age.

I’m just not sure if I can ever reach that level.

I’m writing my first app right now and I’m scared. I’m scared that even if I do write my own app, I won’t be good enough to be able to have a job writing apps. So scared that I’m coding much less than I can. Sometimes, well a lot of the times, I put things off because I fear that I will find out that I can’t actually do it. I end up not doing things so I don’t have to find out that I can’t actually do it. I think this is one of my greatest weaknesses because I end up not ever knowing if I can do something. I miss out on opportunities to find out that I actually CAN do something. Most of the time I find that I’m not very good at the things that I try. I’m just okay at it. Maybe I’ve been going at it the wrong way? Everyone starts out being sucky at what they do, right? If you don’t continue learning and growing, you will never be good at something. I think elementary/secondary school taught me that if you’re good at something, it will be easy. EVERYTHING was easy back then. The only thing I wasn’t good at was music and gym. I was even good at science, even though I disliked it. But this gave me the wrong sense of something. It made me think that if something was difficult, I would never be able to be skilled in it. If you’re good at it, you like it. If you’re bad at it, you don’t. I don’t think this is right. Programming takes a lot of learning, and it’s difficult at first. It still is difficult. It’s difficult to become highly skilled because of how much there is to learn. I guess it’s just discouraging. It leaves you with a sense of hopelessness as you are learning.

I guess I should accept the fact that I’m gonna start out as a really bad programmer and then grow from there.

With that thought out, I’m going to be quitting movies and most TV and dedicate more time to making apps. I think even if I mess up the structure of my app, making a working app with a bad structure means I have code that can be copied and pasted elsewhere. I think this is the beauty of object-oriented programming. You have individual classes that don’t depend on each other A LOT. So you can change one class without a chain of changes.

I have several things I am working on: my website, Ben 10 Omnitrix bracelet, Martin Manhunter bracelet pattern, keyboard stickers, stickers, and cleaning up my computers. I think I will hold off on all of them and focus on finishing my app by the end of the month.

A fun idea popped up while I was writing my newsletter: every day of the last month of this term, I will learn something for the day. For example, I would really like to learn how movie CGI works so I could spend a full day learning that. I also wanna learn soldering, amigurumi, how networks work, etc.

I also need to spend a week putting content onto my website. I have years of stuff to put on there like my art, my crafts, etc.

I know I will continue to waste a lot of time on other things, but hopefully I can spend more time on making my first app. This first app is a huge step. If I can accomplish this one step, I will be able to walk.

soupy twist!

Goals: Conclusion

Yes, yes, yes!!

Daily goals definitely squeeze the most productivity out of me.

My calendar is empty, but I’m doing so much.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 2.22.58 PMI am almost done iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. About a week left and I can start making my own apps. The book has given me so much knowledge! I’ve built many of their apps. The big one is Homepwner where you can add a list of items in your home in case a fire burns them all. I’ve learned how to make the data persistent between application runs. It’s all really cool.

Another app is TouchTracker. It’s a drawing app. Learned gestures with this one.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 2.26.01 PM

I’ve been setting a lot of different goals every day and I’m getting a lot done. For example, it takes less than a day for laundry to get done from when I decide to do laundry. I put it on my to-do list for the day, and it gets done. It’s like magic (but not really)!

I’ve also been really strict about my physical activity. 4555 steps per day and if I don’t meet it, +111 steps for the step goal – permanently (I started with 4444). I also have to do either DDR, treadmill, or crunches. Haven’t done crunches once! But I’ve been on the treadmill every day because it’s the easiest to start doing. Sometimes I get on there and I’m jogging, and I can’t stop! I’ll jog for 20 minutes straight and be like: “WHO AM I?!?” (because I am an actual potato). Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 2.28.40 PM.png

My main hobby right now is making DIY stickers. I make precise measurements, Photoshop, print on shipping labels, apply magic tape, and cut. BAM! Lots of cool stickers are created. I realized that I really enjoy making DIY anything because it allows my mind to imagine what I could make with materials that I have or could have. I started making stickers for my keyboard. Only did 1 key so far, but will do more!!!

 

I am really excited to be making more stickers and to start making my own apps! I’ve got so many ideas lined up (for both).

soupy twist!

Goals

What was I thinking? I need to stop treating this time off as a job. A set schedule won’t motivate me for long. I only lasted two days with the new schedule. Every “work” hour was filled with anticipation for the break hour. And every break was unnecessarily long.

Life has been dull for the past two weeks. The first week was fine because I was working on my website. I was doing something. I set goals and I just kept going. That’s what I need to be doing now. I need to set goals and strive to finish them. That’s how I function. That’s what gives me a sense of accomplishment. That’s how I get high on life. Nothing beats watching a season of a TV show in a day or two. I set a goal to finish as fast as I can and I do it. That’s what makes me happy.

So I need to set seemingly impossible goals to create a challenge for myself. A challenge is better than taking it slow. When you take it slow with no checkpoints in mind, everything just seems meh. Life needs to be an infinite amount of levels that you complete. Life is a game. Get addicted. Play till it’s game over.

I’ve been doing it all wrong. That saying about loving what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. I’ve been trying to make what I love to do into work. It’s all wrong!! I just need to do what I love and let that grow. Maybe it will evolve into “work”, maybe it won’t. I’m still an egg. When I hatch, I may be an ordinary duckling who will become an ordinary duck, or I could be the ugly duckling that does so much more. Let’s hope I’m the ugly duckling.

I told myself I didn’t need to set chapter goals for reading this book, but I think I do. Yes, it’s difficult to set realistic goals, but maybe what I need isn’t realistic goals. I’m supposed to push myself, right? I didn’t take a term off so I could have my last summer break. I took it so I could get somewhere in life. This is my last chance to ready myself for the world. I don’t want to be late to the game. I want to be ready and fully capable to take on anything. “That’s what co-op is for.” Well, if you’re going to rely on something that depends on yourself, then… I don’t know. I can’t take that risk. If I don’t put myself ahead of the game, I fear I may never even get into the game. So this is why I’m here. This is why I’m not in school, I’m not working. I’m just here in my room. Late at night. Reflecting on my mistakes, on who I am, and on who I am going to be.

I’ve been empty for a while now. Hoping that someone would drag me out of this hopelessness. That someone would motivate me. But that someone is me. No one is going to save me. I was Harry Potter on the opposite side of the lake, thinking that someone else would come save me. But, no, it wasn’t James Potter, it was me all along.

I need to stop “working” and be Steve Jobs in his garage.

Deep down, I know I can do something with my life. The power is in me, I just need to learn how to use it. I won’t just know how, I have to learn how. All the greatest superheroes had to go through so much shit to harness their power. It’s my turn now.

And it’s good to be frustrated. It means you have a problem that you need to fix and you will do whatever it takes to solve it. I need to always remember this. FRUSTRATION IS GOOD!

If you’re not killing yourself trying, you’re not trying at all.

soupy twist.

Influence

Getting distracted right now.

Remembering all the people who put me on this path…

If it weren’t for Mr. Harris and Mrs. Vickers, I don’t think we would have had Computer Science or Communications Technology. I would not have fallen in love with web development or even discovered what the heck Computer Science was. They were there >20 years, helping students get into the technical field. I would be pursuing business. Maybe GBDA with a minor in psychology. Then I would switch to Psychology as a major. It just would not be the same… It would not be right.

All it takes is one person to point you in the direction you were meant to go in.