My Random Personal Anecdotes
👋 I originally wrote these in late 2020 & early 2021, but later removed them from the site because I couldn't handle my cringy past told in my cringy writing being up on the internet. Changed my mind, now the anecdotes are back.
I once had a small issue with my ear after an ear infection and I went to an doctor who specialized in checking people's ears. At the follow up appointment, I had all the tests I had during the first appointment, plus a hearing test. When I talked to the doc at the end of the appointment he said I didn't need to do anything if I didn't feel too bad (I did not feel too bad). But after that he said "your hearing levels are fine, but they are not great for your someone your age." Uh oh, I guess I shouldn't've listened to loud music with headphones on.
I've been to the anime/weeb convention in my city three times. First time (2015) was meh, but I guess it's understandable that the first time would be a little weird/overwhelming. Second time (2017) was excellent, but I think that's only because I went with one of my friends who is fun to hang out with. Third time (2019) I did not like going, the experience was crappy. Maybe the first and third time were bad because I went with people that weren't that fun to be around with, or it was some other factors that I didn't think about, like how the first time I went I didn't realize almost everyone only accepted cash as payment and I didn't have any cash on me. However, I'm probably not going to go to an anime convention again unless someone (maybe literally) drags me there. Other than the market/artist stuff, everything at the conventions are not that interesting, maybe a little cringy. If I want to get weeb merch or buy art from artists, I can just get it through the internet (I've bought Japan-only stuff via proxy shoppers even), no need to pay money to basically just get access to a market. Though I do have to say: if you've never been to an anime convention before, you should at least go once just to experience it.
In high school when I was in grade 11 & 12 (early 2010s), me and my friends sometimes had lunch time and a free period back to back, and I happened to live a short walk away from the school. We would sometimes come to my place to have lunch and watch things or goof around on the interwebs. I got one of my friends to watch the first few MLP:FiM episodes during these vists. He ended up enjoying the show, not as much as my /mlp/-loving butt at the time, but it was nice to not be the only person I knew IRL who thought the show was good in those days.
I once went to Canadian Tire with my mom to buy topsoil & manure for her garden. Because the soil bags we wanted were big and heavy I went to go get a plaform cart. My mom changed her mind and decided to get smaller soil bags that didn't need a platform cart. So I went to put the platform cart back and get a regular shopping cart. Somehow despite the fact that I was wearing nothing that looked like the store uniform, a guy thought I worked at the store just because I was rolling a platform cart around and asked me where he could find wheelbarrows. He was lucky cause I actually knew where wheelbarrows were in the store and pointed him the right way, but still that was a weird experience being asked for help like I worked there.
Once me and my family went to pick up locally grown groceries from a farmer guy we know in a walmart parking lot. While my parents were loading the stuff in our car I briefly had a conversation with the farmer guy. He asked something like: "I don't get how you live in the city, it's crazy here, so many people, how do you survive?" I paused for a second to look at the busy road we were next to to think about how a large-ish city would be a little... different for someone who is used to living in the countryside. I didn't have a great response, but it was short and simple: "we just do."
A very long while ago I had a somewhat serious blood disorder (I'm cured don't worry!) that required me to go to doctors that usually treat cancer patients, so I rubbed shoulders a lot with cancer patients. When I was at what was possibly the lowest point in how crappy my illness made me feel, I met a kid a little younger than me who was in complete remission after getting treatment for lukemia. I had some of the same annoying symptoms as he had when he was sick and he gave me a little advice on how to deal with them. I didn't hate him or anything, but it seems like my mom and his mom had a stronger relationship than we did. After, I spent almost a month in the hospital getting treatment for my blood disorder. I missed the end of the school year and final exams, but luckily I had my courses 80% complete, and my teachers pretty much gave me a solid pass. I wasn't a terrible student then, I don't think my pass was undeserved, but still I kinda feel bad I got a free pity pass without properly finishing the grade I was in. Anyways, back to the kid, a little over a month after I was discharged from the hospital I was feeling almost as good as I was before I got sick, but he was back in the hospital getting treatmeant for his lukemia that came back again. Because he was from out of town and in the big city hospital, and his mom and my mom had a close-ish relationship, I visited him a couple times to deliver him stuff that was a hassle for his parents to get to him. I didn't talk to him too much when I visited, maybe a 5 minute courtesy chat. He played minecraft and played with lego to pass the time in the hospital while he was getting all of his new treatment. Anyways... he died a few months later cause even the most hardcore chemotherapy drugs that he could get didn't cure his lukemia. I barely knew this kid, but it feels strange to have met someone who died so young. I know hindsight is 20/20 and all, but honestly if I'd known those were his last months, I would have at least visited and talked to him a little more, tried to get to know him better, maybe played some games with him. I feel so bad thinking about this.
I once went to a 5 pin bowling place with my friends. After playing some games seriously (in a fun way) we were nearing the end of our last game, and decided to do various "trick shots" to finish up. When it was my turn I somehow tossed the ball in a way that it went into the gutter of a different lane, went up in the air, and hit a spot between the gutters of two other lanes. Between the gutters there were various "RGB" multi colored flashing lights and that hit with ball actually broke the lights in the spot that it hit, although it didn't physically break something.
I've been to America around half a dozen times mostly for cross-border shopping, but once I went to Mount Rushmore with my family. The actual place wasn't that interesting, it's just a bunch of important dudes carved into stone, but the various tourist attractions surrounding the area were actually pretty interesting. I don't remember all the places we went to but I liked one of the local cave tours and this one place (I forget what it's called) that a lot of different animals and a chicken that played tic tac toe.
Crossing the American border feels definitely a little scary at times, you never know if they'll decide to strip search you or maybe you'll be put on a list cause a border officer was having a bad day. When my family crossed the land border for our visits to the US, a few times the officer just checked our papers, asked the obligatory questions, and let us through, a few times the officer got out of his shack to check what we had in our car before we went through, but once an officer ordered us to have our car fully searched. We drove into this inspection building and we went to a waiting room with a one way mirror (mirror part facing into the room) while our car was being searched. After 15 minutes, we got out, and the officers ended up confiscating something... two pears that we had in our lunch/snack bag. Apparently there's some rule where produce that crosses the border can only be products of Canada, the US, and Mexico. But the pears we had were products of Argentina. Very serious haha.
One of the most fun school projects I've done was one I did in grade 8 that I got full marks for. I don't remember the prompt or the rubric, but my project was basically a report/essay about how different cultures approach hand/body gestures. I read a few articles and a book dedicated to the subject. It was really interesting for me to learn how in some various countries/cultures giving someone the OK sign (👌) or a thumbs up (👍) or the "rock on" sign (🤘) is about as bad we (we as in English-speaking westerners I guess) consider giving someone a middle finger (🖕), and how some people have gotten into big trouble when they used them in places where they were bad gestures even though they did not intend to be rude. Spoken or written language is one thing, someone can throw the harshest insults in their language at you, and you would just hear some weird sounds. But body gestures are completely different because they can be "understood" without having them be translated, even though they still need to be actually explained or translated when different cultures collide. This has probably changed a little bit or maybe a lot since the time I did my project because affordable smartphones and the internet have connected a lot of people from a lot of different places more, but still, fun project.
I've had access to the internet since I was 6 years old, but I didn't really get into forums, social media, and comments sections until I was around 13/14 years old. However I do remember how in the early 2000s a lot of people didn't like how "google" was being used as a verb (e.g. "I googled it and found out that..."). Like what about other search engines? What if one day Google becomes irrelevant, are we still gonna use it as a verb even though we use search engines not named Google? Those were the arguments I've heard, though I'm not sure how since I wasn't into the social parts of the internet.
I used to be a very good student in school. My parents pushed me hard to get into the advanced program in my middle/high school, because the advanced program grants access to AP exams, which can be monetarily useful if I get a good score on the exam and then went into a post-secondary school. I passed the advanced entrance test and was in almost every advanced class in school until I graduated. Though I was an OK student during grade 7 & 8, during the first semester of grade 9 I was objectively at my peak, almost all classes in the 90s, my worst grade then was 88%. After that was a slow decline in my performance, and I don't exactly know why. At the beginning I was in advanced classes all the time, but by 12th grade I started attending some non-advanced classes just so I can scrape by to get the required amount of credits to graduate. I basically started doing the bare minimum just so I could pass. For the classes that I did really like either because I enjoyed the subject or the classes had a great teacher I still went into the advanced course and had fine grades. I did take the AP environmental science exam and I got a 5 on it (best score), but I never ended up using that for anything. My poor student performance did not go away when I went into college. I ended up dropping out of college because I was a bad student, and my bad grades with my self-hatred for not putting in the required effort to pass made me not want to finish the course and graduate. Don't know if I'll ever go into post-secondary education again to finally get a real career, but formal education definitely has become really rough & tough for me. My past self would be probably be really angry at my current self. Makes me sad.
My family and I lived in Toronto when the 2003 northeast blackout happened, when the city had two whole days without power. According to my parents, in the places we've lived in before when I was younger, there have been longer blackouts, but this one was the longest one I clearly remember experiencing. It was little scary for me not having power for so long after being used to always having it with only an occasional brief blackout. We got by though. On the second day of the blackout when it seemed like the blackout wouldn't go away, we went on a picnic with all the food from our fridge and then cooked it on a portable charcoal grill cause it would have otherwise gone bad with no power. That was fun.
Many times, every summer, I used to go a lot with my family to a forest an hour and a half drive away from our city to go pick wild mushrooms, pick wild berries, and just vibe in the wilderness. In the beginning, it was fun for me, but after a while it got boring and I dreaded those trips a lot. I've tried to bring various distractions, but I could never enjoy them cause outside I was swarmed by bugs, and inside the car, it was humid and stuffy (and also had a bunch of buzzing bugs that got inside). So usually I just sort of wandered around with my parents in the forest, not really being useful. Ok, I needed to set up that background up to tell this following story: Once we went with another family we were friendly with to do this forest thing, and they brought their kid who brought a metal baseball bat with him. This dude was bored like me and decided to hit things with it. He got to smashing a fallen over tree that dried out, a lot of the branches he hit with the bat just snapped or moved aside, but one of the branches, when he hit it the branch didn't break, it bounced the bat back at him. The bat ended up hitting him right in the forehead with the same force he swung it with. Almost the entire right half of his forehead was a huge purple swollen bruise. Good thing the bat didn't hit him in the jaw or anything instead, that would have been way worse.
After I dropped out of college, and before I had my current job (current in 2020 for future readers) I was a NEET for a little over a year. That year is a top contender for worst year of my life so far. I did nothing really productive, just read stuff on the internet, watched youtube, watched some anime, and went for long walks when my body was tired of sitting and staring at a screen. Though I helped my parents out a lot with my unlimited free time, by cooking meals and driving them to their work often, they were upset and frustrated that I was not really participating in society or doing anything productive. At least get a dumb part time job, they said. It was a little tense having deeper conversations with them, I could say something that implied sort of life wisdom, and they'd often segue that into "why don't you have a job if you say that?" I'll admit I barely even tried job hunting, but some of the job application processes that I ran into were really annoying. Why the heck do I have to take some 20-minute long personality probing quiz just so I can apply for a job putting stuff on shelves? Eventually I applied to the place I currently work at because they had a big "now hiring" sign outside. Surprised I got a job here so quickly and easily after having zero responses to all my other job applications. Not sure if I'm more productive when I'm at home than I was when I was NEET, but at least I actually have a use for other people and have more money to spend on things or save up. I don't really like this job, the pay is not that great, every day I start work I wonder why I still work here and am barely doing anything "extracurricular" to get outta here. At least I'm good at this job though, my bosses and coworkers even praise me. Can't complain too much about a little bit of job security. Birb in the hand two in the bush and all.
I got my driver's licence when I was 17 years old. When I started my driving lessons my I wasn't able to do my first driving lesson because my learner's licence expired, whoops. Actually no, good thing, the instructor I would have gotten if my licence were not expired would have been a decent instuctor, but he was not the very cool driving instructor I got when I got to finally start doing driving lessons. His name was Mike. Mike was a very good instructor, he carefully explained everything, gave lots of quality advice, told me all the dumb little driving rules you only really have to follow when you do a driving test, etc. He had an interesting saying that was like "car accidents only happen when two drivers are not paying attention." Not sure how objectively true that is, but it sure feels true to me, it even feels like this concept could apply to situations outside of driving. Mike also had a ton of really interesting stories from his life to tell like how he packed all his stuff into his car and just moved to Edmonton. And how he somehow got a job there driving a snow plow, but the snow plows he got to drive were manual transmission, and he didn't have any experience driving any manual vehicle. So his first day on the job was a little awkward cause he had to figure out how to drive it while people were wondering why he wasn't driving immediately. I sort of promised Mike I'd call him after my driving test to tell him how it went, but I failed my first driving test, so I didn't call him cause felt bad about calling him to tell him I failed despite his amazing effort teaching me. But I ended up passing my second driving test a few weeks later. After that I... never called Mike, don't remember my dumb reasoning why I didn't. So many years have passed since then and still I feel bad about it.
I own a Zune HD. Back in the late 2000s I really hated Apple stuff, and I wanted a nice music player, but I didn't want to get an iPod like everyone else at school, so I got the fanciest Zune you could get. Now, you couldn't buy a Zune HD in Canada, it was only available in America (well it was available in Canada long after I bought mine), so during one of my family's shopping trips to America, I bought the black 16gig Zune HD at Best Buy with the money I made delivering flyers in my neighbourhood. It was an interesting device, the UI was beautiful, the PC software was amazing, I really enjoyed playing PGR, Goo Splat, Tiki Totems, and Audiosurf on my Zune. Kinda funny, for some reason I couldn't download apps to it via the software if my computer's location was set to Canada, I had to set my computer's location to USA to have it be able to download apps. I decided to buy a couple months of Zune Pass (basically a Spotify equivalent for Zune), though a lot of my songs were youtube mp3 rips. In my sewing class at my school I made a little protective carrying pouch for it. I got an audio jack splitter so me and a friend of mine could both listen to music together with our different headphone preferences. He liked plain earbuds while I had the Skullcandy skullcrushers (later replaced with Sennheiser HD428). I let him borrow my Zune from time to time so he had some music to listen to when he was studying. In retrospect I'm puzzled how he tolerated my music library, but whatever. Around 2014 I stopped using my Zune, and just put it away in storage. Over the next few years my music library changed around as new songs came out and I discovered new musicians and genres, but my Zune was still there with my past music library frozen in time. In 2019 I randomly decided to dig it out and try to get it working again. I thought my Zune was dead, but after being plugged into the charger for 10 minutes it lit up and was working again. After listening to all the shitty dubstep, brony music, and early 2010s pop hits I had on it from back in the day, I just lied in my bed staring at the ceiling for half an hour. I was just plain immobilized by a wave of extreme nostalgia that was triggered by some vibrating air, what a feeling. This little Zune probably won't be in use ever again, but it's nice to have a sentimental item that's also a little piece of tech history. Here is a pic of it (yes, "APL H8R" is what I named it around when I got it).
I've had the luck of never being in a car accident, but however I was probably the cause of a car accident that didn't break the car I was driving. Once I was driving down a very busy bridge in my city and one of the three lanes it had was closed for construction, so the other two lanes were packed with traffic. I was driving a little quickly and the car in front of me slowed down fast, but I was zoned out a little so I slammed on the brakes when I saw the car's brake lights and finally snapped back. Luckily I didn't hit the car in front of me, the car behind me who was also driving at my speed luckily didn't hit me, but the car that was behind them hit them hard, cause they stopped as fast as me to not hit me. I still remember the crunch of metal and how when I looked in the rearview mirror I saw the car behind me jerk back a little from stopping. Kept driving of course, I wasn't part of the accident, but... yikes...
Black friday is supposedly an American thing, but here in Canada every year when black friday happens in America, we also have a black friday, with all our stores having huge sales and discounts. It wasn't always this way here actually. Here in Canada our "black friday" is actually boxing day (Dec 26th), and that was the day when all the stores had huge sales and all that. We still have... something that's like boxing day, it's more like "boxing week" nowawadays if you have a glance at the store flyers that go around the boxing day period. But it used to be that black friday here was just something that only people who went to America for cross-border shopping cared about, the average Canadian mostly just did the normal christmas shopping without any major discounts at this time. If my memory is correct, black friday only really started becoming a big thing here after the 2008 recession, when one Canadian dollar was worth as high as 1.29 US dollars, which was abnormally high at the time. I guess all the economic issues (or maybe economic opportunity?) forced stores to get Canadians shopping at home instead of travelling to America during black friday. And I guess stores here have kept on this... tradition since then.
In the mid-2010s, I was super obesessed with Hatsune Miku, and I wanted to get a pair of Miku's D-shaped headphones but irl. Turns out none existed other than not that great "miku cosplay headphones," so I wanted to use some of the knowledge that I gained in my college course (that I would later drop out of) and try to make real miku headphones. So I went and designed the headphones in 3D CAD software so I could send them off to Shapeways to have them be 3d printed. Making the design work from an actual engineering standpoint was kind of tough because Miku's character designer essentially just made her headphones winter ear-muffs with lights and speakers in them and didn't look at how actual real headphones irl apply even presure on and around a person's ear so that they are well sealed and comfortable to wear. But in the end I actually had all the parts I needed designed. The amount of money I paid Shapeways to get them to get these headphone parts 3d printed was way too much, but in the end I got exactly the headphone parts that I designed... which were... a very bad design with really bad tolerances, and with little consideration for how they would actually look and feel when finished. If I had made a good design, I would have tried to finish the headphones, but I really messed up a lot, and I basically just abandoned this project right after I got my 3d printed parts. Later I would gain a lot of knowledge about plastic design, parts assembly, and convenient off-the-shelf parts. That knowledge would have been really useful if I had it back when I was super passionate about this project. I still have the neon yellow and neon pink acrylic sheets that I got for this project, though the 3d printed parts are long gone. If I want to try this project again sometime in the future, I definitely could pull it off, but I would take a much more different approach to making them and would have a much better design. Still have all of my STL files of my poorly designed parts on my computer, here is a picture of the main headphone bit. And here is a picture of the same part's 3d print. Finally, this is what the never-finished headphones looked like.