Monthly Archives: December 2018

Life as a state machine

Credit: Myself

Had an idea this morning that I could try "programming" my life as a state machine or a giant "if-statement."

When we program an app, we try to anticipate edge-cases and malicious behaviours of our users.

Using that as an analogy, the "user" is myself, and the programmer is... also myself. Except the programmer is the person I want to become — productive, charismatic, determined, decisive, etc. And the user is the person that I sometimes become when I lack the motivation, self-control, and am I dealing with unexpected events and requests.

We can then create a trigger mechanism that we try to "brainwash" or "program" ourselves into adopting.

For example:

if (am_in_productive_mode && girlfriend_called_to_go_see_movie) {

Once these trigger-response mechanisms get documented and slowly adapted and turned into habits, we will start to gain control over our lives. We can also continuously improve ourselves by adding new response mechanisms and modifying/improving existing ones — just like how we do with building software products.

Anyway, just a quick idea for now. More details can be expanded later on if I decide to come back to expand on this idea.

Hey Amber, ya have time for a coffee?



If my 2018 were a person, I think she’d be a girl.  She understands me, and she pushes me in ways not most men can, she pmss aggressively. I think she’d make a cute Amber.

If Amber walked by me somewhere in the city, I’d stop everything I’d be doing, cancel all my plans, and I’d beg her to let me buy her coffee, or cake, or a vegan burger, or sushi, anything she wants.  She’s been THE MOST IMPORTANT person to me since . . . ever. If I ever get to sit infront of Amber here’s what I would say . . .



You were not easy.  

Oh yeah by the way in case you forgot, I’m Jade, I know you’re super busy and you’re leaving for something soon, I just wanted to say some things before you did.  I know you’re just doing your job and minding your own business, so I don’t mean much to you, but to me, you’re kinda unforgettable.

I’ve cried so much because of you, more than any three years in my life combined.  You did not go easy on me at all. When I felt like I couldn’t possibly hurt more, when things could not have gone any more wrong, you added insecurity, anxiety, and then, more hurt.  Amber, you hurt me in ways I didn’t know I could.

Oh, I should probably say that I don’t hate you.  I get that this probably didn’t start super comforting for you.  I probably could have started with I like your hat. Oh, your boots are cute too!

Anyways, I don’t hate you, actually, you’re the best person in my life.  You hurt me so much, but that’s only because you gave me so much to love.  You didn’t just push me in ways I could break down; you also pushed me in ways I could jump over the moon, be happy, and love. 

Amber, you have introduced me to some ridiculously amazing people, who will forever have a place in my heart.  You introduced me to my first love, I thought Harold did that last year, man, did you show me. You’ve introduced me to people who challenge me ALL THE TIME, people who care enough about me to tell me no when I need it.  These people, man, I’m a better person because of them, not because they’re great all the time, but because sometimes they suck, and I have to be patient, and pull more out of myself. Some of them are RIDICULOUSLY wise too.  

Amber you were confusing, you pushed me one way, and slapped me into another, and then when I started to get my footing in that new direction, you’d slap me backwards; over, and over, and OVER again.  

You taught me a lot about myself.  You taught me that I don’t know more than I do know; that I essentially don’t have anything figured out.  I learned that everything I used to want before you (to teach, security, predictability), I don’t need. You introduced me to parts of myself I didn’t know existed; wants and desires I didn’t know I had.

Gosh, does THAT come with a new universe of challenges, oh and of course anxiety.  

Since meeting you I have never felt more uncomfortable with the world.

Don’t get antsy!

Actually I’m glad, grateful too.  

I’ve never known myself more.  

Amber, thank you for breaking me.  You rubbed my face into my cracks, and that was unbelievably hard; but you also showed me parts of myself that I didn’t know mattered.  

Amber I’ll say it again, you’re the most important person to me, and I just want to say thank you.  

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.  

I’m meeting 2019 soon, no offense, but I hope she’s better than you.

I know you’re itching to leave, but before you do I just have to say, you are one hell of a wingwoman.



The post Hey Amber, ya have time for a coffee? appeared first on My Life's Mixtape.

A Chat About Confidence

Confidence is always a touchy subject. I myself have always been uncomfortable with talking about it because I was so unfamiliar with it and so afraid of it. However, earlier this year right before I turned 20 I decided I wanted to get more comfortable with the topic of confidence, so let’s talk about it!

Looking back at my teenage self (ah yes-a mere 6 months ago) I think I was under the misconception that confidence was always physical. And sure, confidence is partly physical, but there is so much more to it.

I think I started to question what confidence meant when I was constantly stressed about what my boyfriend was doing and who he was with (sorry Ty). We would get really frustrated with each other because I always had so many questions and he didn’t understand why they were always so important to me. I started to realize that maybe he had a point, I didn’t really understand why I was asking them myself, and why I cared as much as I did.

As I pondered my own feelings more, I started to realize that it maybe it wasn’t him I was worried about, but myself. I had no confidence in myself and it came out through my mistrust in him. I was worried he would lie to me or cheat on me because I didn’t think I deserved anything more. I didn’t see my own worth, and couldn’t convince myself why I would be good enough for a genuine, trusting relationship. 

This realization started to change my mindset about a lot of things. I wasn’t mad at my friends when I didn’t get invited out. I didn’t think they were bad people. Rather, I was mad at myself for not being likeable enough to go out with them. It also started to explain why I had hung on to so many friendships for so long that really were not healthy. I didn’t see my worth, I wasn’t proud of myself, I didn’t test my capabilities, I settled. I settled because I had such a negative perception of what I deserved.

Looking back, I think I was a lot angrier of a person than I would have liked. I don’t tend to come across that way, it normally comes across as sadness, but I think it did affect some of my friendships. I tended to be upset with people and situations that were a product of my own lack of confidence. I took everything so personally. I was always worried people were mad at me, I took criticism so hard, and I didn’t do well with people upset with me. I relied on other people to build me back up because I couldn’t do it myself.

Fast forward 6 months.

Moving away from home has given me time to reflect on who I am, and who I want to be. Stepping away from my entire support system, all I had left to rely on was myself and I’ve had to get pretty comfortable listening to my own feelings and emotions. 

The most rewarding thing that has come out of my move is that I can look at my life and say “I did this myself”. Watching myself move out on my own, do well in school, hold down two jobs, and make new friends has allowed me to gain the confidence I lacked for so many years. For the first time since elementary school, I have genuinely felt proud of myself. I know that I can do more than I give myself credit for. I know I am capable and smart and too hard on myself, and it makes me sad that I didn’t let myself feel those feelings for so long. 

I’ve wanted to write this out for myself for a while to remember when I’m having a bad day, or when those feeling of self-doubt starts creeping in around exam season. However, I still had a moment of hesitation. I can feel my self-growth and I am aware and present with my feelings. But honestly, life has been pretty good. I haven’t had a lot of things to challenge my confidence or my pride. I worried the second I said, “I feel confident in who I am,” it could get torn down again.

But then, it happened. It didn’t happen in the way I thought, a bad grade or fight with my boyfriend, but no, it was Facebook. It’s 2018, and I got called out on Facebook. Classic. 

My friends that were with me would attest to the colour draining out of my face and the immediate confusion I felt. “But this isn’t even close to the truth” was the first thing I said. My point is not what was said, how it was said, or who said it, but it was how it made me feel. I automatically went into my self-destructive hole of, I must be really awful if someone is going out of their way to ensure I have a bad day. I’ll admit, I was sad, it got to me. Yet, after a few minutes, something new happened.

I started to feel bad for the person who tried to hurt me. My second thought was, wow they must be really upset and insecure with themselves if trying to hurt me helps them feel better. I was sad for them. I related to them and sympathized with them. I was like that too. I got mad at my friends and boyfriend because I always was threatened by the idea of not being good enough. I felt bad they didn’t feel strong enough to have a direct conversation with me about their feelings. I felt sad they were hurting and were insecure. 

It’s a weird feeling being on the other side of it now. I understand why people are mean. I get why petty fights are started. But I’ve also come to understand that the reason is not my lack or my misdoing. The fact that I automatically sympathized with them, and didn’t take it personally reaffirmed how much I have grown. People can say rude things, but it doesn’t define me, because at the end of the day I am aware of my own truth. I know who I am and I am still proud of myself. 

So alas, here I am talking about confidence because we need to talk about it. I am so proud of where I’ve come, but also recognize my privilege of being self-aware. To know that there are people my age still burdened by their own self-doubt makes me sad. It makes me sad not only for them but the other people they are able to affect. 

Confidence is not just physical, it is about believing in your values, believing in your abilities, and not letting the little things threaten it. 

I finally reached my bump in the road, I was challenged and vulnerable. But I am okay. I am proud of myself. And I am confident and happy with the person I know I am.

I hope you enjoyed my confidence talk and I am always willing to talk to because sometimes it will take others helping you and giving you a good foundation before you can start building yourself back up.



Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a Failure

Last week, I was finally able to see the new Fantastic Beasts movie. I had heard from several people, including massive Harry Potter fans, that it was terrible, so I went in with low expectations. Surprisingly, I was still disappointed.

I could write a twenty-page essay on why this movie was terrible, but I’ve tried to condense my thoughts and focus on the biggest problems I had with the film. I still wrote a lot, which I apologize for, but I just had to get my feelings out. This review will have minor spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, and if you need a refresher on its premise, click here to watch the trailer.

Now, where to start? The Crimes of Grindelwald has so many flaws, but the most striking one is the lack of any discernible plot. Aside from a few major events in the beginning and end, nothing really happens in this film. It mostly consists of exposition, and feels like a buildup to the real story, which we never get. I was surprised when it reached the climax, because it felt like nothing had happened yet. Part of the cause of this problem, in my opinion, is the fact that Fantastic Beasts is going to be a five-film series, which is clearly just a cash grab. This second installment shows that there is not enough material to cover five films, as it is not a self-contained story with a typical story arc and conclusion, but rather a prolonged exposition setting up the next movie, where, presumably, stuff actually happens. The Crimes of Grindelwald is meant to be watched immediately before watching the next film in order to understand what is going on, instead of being watched because it’s a complete and enjoyable story on its own.

Another gaping problem with The Crimes of Grindelwald is the characters, as there are too many, their arcs are either nonexistent or not believable, and, despite the film being almost two and a half hours long, it felt like I spent very little time with each character. Unlike the first Fantastic Beasts film, which has four main characters and a couple side characters, the sequel has a large cast of characters, new and old, and it just feels crowded. There were so many people to keep track of that I eventually gave up, and I genuinely can’t remember the names of some of the new characters. To make matters worse, the characters are broken up into small groups, so the story constantly shifts to show what is going on with other characters, and this makes the time we spend with each character feel shorter. It also feels short because nothing really happens to these characters, and most of them don’t grow or change at all. Contrastingly, one of the characters changes significantly, but the change is extremely radical and receives little explanation, so it does not feel believable and just serves as shock value. The issues with the characters make this already unappealing film even more difficult to care about.

Lastly, one huge issue that I (and most Harry Potter fans) have with The Crimes of Grindelwald is that it commits the worst crime possible: it goes against Harry Potter canon. Casual fans of Harry Potter may not notice or care about this, but for hardcore fans such as myself, it is unacceptable. J. K. Rowling spent years crafting this world and making sure she got every detail right, so it is extremely strange and disappointing that she could either forget what she originally wrote, or decide to change it after the fact. One example of her going against canon is that Professor McGonagall is teaching at Hogwarts in this film, despite the fact that she wasn’t even born yet. Perhaps J. K. Rowling decided to change her birthdate to include her in the film, but she has such a small part that it seems unnecessary; she is essentially only there so fans can go, “OMG, it’s McGonagall!”. The other option is that she forgot that McGonagall wasn’t born yet, which is even more disappointing, because it shows that she does not really care about this series, and that makes it difficult for me to get invested in it.

The other instances of breaking canon are different; she did not make a mistake or forget something, but rather changed certain aspects of the Harry Potter storyline. Fans such as myself who have read the books will notice this immediately, and likely feel angry that she carelessly went back and changed her original story in big ways. I have seen arguments attempting to explain why these changes were not included in Harry Potter from the beginning, but I don’t buy any of them. She describes everything in detail in Harry Potter, so there’s no way she wouldn’t have included these aspects of the story. It is clear that she decided to change these after the fact, despite the fact that these changes make no sense in the canonical story. One big revelation changes everything, and it doesn’t even make sense in the film itself, as there are no hints or clues for it. It seems to exist almost entirely for shock value, which is very disappointing and once again shows how little effort and care were put into this story.

Now the question remains: Can the Fantastic Beasts franchise be saved? After seeing the second installment, my hopes have dwindled significantly. If the subsequent films have actual plots and character development and explain the choices to go against canon, I could potentially get behind them, but I’m not going to get my hopes up, and neither should you. I would give The Crimes of Grindelwald a 4/10, and I would suggest that potential viewers just stick to Harry Potter

Week 8: Remixing and Choosing

So for the mini assignment this week was about remixing something. At first I was very interested in the smartphone trends. For example, Tik Tok is gaining popularity over here in North America where you can post a video of yourself acting or lipsyncing to a song and someone can add onto yours or remix it. I thought that would be a great idea to do a remix, but it would just be copying someone else.

But just a few days ago, my girlfriend was in an elevator when these 2 dogs were interacting with each other. The Shiba Inu in the picture was very affectionate to the other dog, and the dog was quite hesitant. We exchanged a few edits back and forth then that gave me the inspiration to make my own.

While it was focused primarily on what I feel in studying, I guess I should give some background too. The courses that I’m taking in my last semester are heavily involved in technology. Sending in assignments, writing emails, and writing blogs. Mixed in with what I have to check for things I bought, my work schedule, updates on graduation, etc. it becomes exhausting. The Shiba Inu is representative of that. And I, kind of just taking it. I’m not claiming my remix to be deep, but a better context to how it fits overall!