Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast


November 2018 in Review

Dec 1, 2018 | Comments

November went by super fast. I was taking a look at my to do list this morning and I saw that my “first of the the month” tasks were appearing. The beginning of November feels like just yesterday.


I blocked Reddit from all my browsers

While I didn’t successfully avoid Reddit altogether (I would check links that friends would send me or sit with my friends and looked at Reddit together), I managed to not browse Reddit on my own. Does that make much of a difference? To me it does! Usually I could spend hours upon hours on Reddit. I think I managed to curb that number last month.

I made it past probation at my new job

This month marked the third month I spent at my new job. It’s been great so far. I do feel like I’m getting comfortable and getting to know people at work. I’m slowly feeling a little more confident.

I saw pandas

I went to the zoo with a friend and I saw pandas! They are adorable. We spent a great deal watching them eat. The way they eat is very interesting. They reminded me of the stereotypical fat middle-aged man coming home from work slouching on the courch and eating.

Other highlights were camels (they are so silly looking, we spent a good couple of minutes watching them standing around), monkeys (there was one Japanese macaque and it was screaming so loud and it sounded like a human), lions (the lion peed on the glass, it was great), penguins fighting (they kept screeching at each other and at one point it got physical).


I am a statistic fiend. I spend at most 5 minutes everyday (immediately when I wake up) to input the previous day’s data. And most of the data is automatically generated so thankfully I don’t have to worry about that.

November Average Temperature

Tracked with Canada Environment and Natural Resources

A lot of up and downs this month. I’ve been enjoying the mild weather. I wonder what this means for December, though. I hope December won’t be too chilly. Honestly, this November is like my ideal winter weather. Not too cold but just cold enough for it to snow.

Steps Walked

Tracked with Samsung Health

Two major spikes this month. The first one, I think I was out with a friend to check out the opening of a new library. It is absolutely gorgeous. The other spike was our trip to the zoo. There was a lot of walking involved!

I am absolutely terrible with walking nowadays, especially on the weekend. It’s getting colder and I opt to take the bus instead of walking to the station. It also means more reading time for me!

2018 Steps Walked

It does make sense that I’m walking less. The months that I walked the most this year was when I was unemployed and out of school. I had lots of free time to just go places and walk! It would be a stretch to say that socializing with friends make me more active but I do walk more when that happens.

Hours on Phone

Tracked with App Usage

The trend of a spike and then immediately trying to remediate the next day is prominent in this graph. Thing mid-late November got a little out of hand. I can’t remember why. I might be that I was out and just kept checking my phone out of boredom.

2018 Hours on Phone

In general though, I’m definitely making progress on spending less time on my phone. Two hours still seems like a lot of time, however. I might need to start breaking down what exactly it is that I do on my phone that takes two hours.

Hours of Sleep

Tracked with Sleep as Android

I seem to be solidly getting around 7 hours of sleep per night. I started going down to 6 hours of sleep because there are just not enough hours in the day to do the things I want to.

2018 Hours of Sleep

In the grand scheme of things, I’m definitely sleeping more compared to the first half of the year. But I’m also sleeping less compared to the second half of the year. I’m trying to figure out the best number of hours of sleep for me. I would love for it to be 6 or 7 hours and not 8 hours.

Top 20 Artists

For a monthly view, 10 artists is not enough. I definitely did listen to a lot of Coheed and Cambria last month (I’m listening to them right now). Not much on this list surprises me, expect for possibly The Weeknd. When did I listen to so much of the The Weeknd? I must have blanked it out.

Top 20 Albums

Not a lot of surprises here either. I guess I didn’t expect Ascension to be the top album. But I did expect all of the Coheed on here.

Top 20 Songs

plenty’s あいという makes sense to me. I definitely put it on repeat a couple times. No World for Tomorrow is a little unexpected. So is Rich Girl, and Lollipop. Spotify algorithm at it’s best (worst).

Books Read

I didn’t read as much as I hoped I would last month. I technically averaged a book a week though, so I guess that’s fine. I also read a lot of manga this month. It will technically go to my read count but I don’t know if I can really count it.


Oct 9, 2018 | Comments

A couple of weeks (months?) ago, I fainted. I know it’s really not a big deal to faint but it never happened to me before. It was just a really bad case of vertigo, I think. I was sitting down and I stood up too fast. I walked a couple steps forward and a pain shot up my leg. I get cramps a lot so it’s no big deal for me. I tried to wait it out but this time the pain felt different. Not like my usual cramps. My cramps usually just stop at the top of my calf but this time it felt like the pain spread up my entire leg and into my side.

Now, when it comes to health, I always assume the worst. I take birth control which slightly increases my chances of blood clots. I also have relatives who have had aneurisms before so there’s a family history. The past year, I’ve been on the plane like five times and everyone knows deep vein thrombosis is a thing. And I’ve read Two Kisses for Maddy where a new first time mom suffers from a pulmonary embolism and then dies. Her last words were, “I feel light headed.”

SO. With that context. I genuinely thought I was going to die. My vision went pixelly, literally. It was like someone put a filter over my eyes and everything was behind a transparent grid. I called out for my brother and he rushed to me. He was talking but I couldn’t hear anything/ The room started to spin and then I blacked out.

When I came to, I started crying. It was scary. I went to see a doctor and he confirmed it was probably just vertigo. Or a panic attack. He really tried to press hard if I was stressed the past couple of days. I downplayed it but really, I was (I was going through a lot of interviews at the time, it was draining). So maybe a mix of vertigo and stress?

The reason I bring this up is because on the train, a girl fainted. When she came to, her first instinct was to say, “I’m sorry” and the started to cry.

And so I was reminded of my one and only fainting spell. Also I stood up too fast today and I was like “oh no not again.” I was okay though.

I probably need to go see a doctor though because my legs are tingling and cramping up a whole lot more than usual lately. Maybe I’m just sitting down way too much. I don’t know. I’m more aware of my body these days. Sometimes I feel like I’m out of my body. Not really feeling like I’m in it. But I only have one body and I should probably take care of it.

2018 Mid-Year Stats

Aug 13, 2018 | Comments

So far in 2018, I’ve been keeping track of:

  • The number of hours that I sleep
  • The number of hours I spend on my phone
  • The number of steps I take per day


For sleep, I use Sleeps as Android to keep track. When I put down my phone at night, I hit a button to stay I’m going to sleep and then when I wake up, I hit another button to say I’m not sleeping anymore. The caveat of this is that I rarely ever fall asleep right away. Sometimes it takes me ten minutes and other times it might take me an hour. So the accuracy of my sleep isn’t the best.

Average Hours of Sleep Per Month

I have horrible sleep. It’s really hard for me to get 8 hours of sleep everyday. I tend to go to bed late and wake up early because I’m a morning person. It’s tough trying to sleep earlier especially when sometimes social life can get in the way of that. I can’t believe I was getting average seven hours of sleep back in February and March!

Time on Phone

For time on my phone, I use App Usage. This is fairly accurate from what I can tell. I have checked it a few times and it is really ruthless. There’s no cheating this app!

Average Hours on Phone Per Month

It just keeps getting worse and worse. I spent a lot of time on my phone in June and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. At least I curbed my usage a bit in July. I installed Forest on my phone and it’s been pretty good for me getting off my phone!

Step Count

For the number of steps, I previously used the Moves app which is now closed down by Facebook. Currently, I use Samsung Health. It seems to be fairly accurate. I’m getting a lot more steps with it, however. Now I’m thinking Moves was simply inaccurate.

Average Number of Steps Per Month

I am just loving that spike in May. I took a trip to New York City in May and it involved a lot of walking! Like a true New Yorker, we took the subway everywhere and wore off the soles of our feet. It was a super fun way to explore NYC!

My social life also sky rocketed in May. It seemed like almost every day I was hanging out with people. Since I don’t drive, I walk and take the train everywhere.

In June and July I tried my best to talk at least everyday. I would walk over to the nearest library and use the computers there to learn something new or apply to jobs. Of course, I would also browse the stacks for any books that I wanted to read!


The only stats that I’m happy with is my walking. I think an average of 6,000 steps is a pretty good number. They say the recommended is 10,000 steps per day and I am in awe of people who can accomplish that!

This August I’ve been trying my darndest to sleep earlier and to spend less time on my phone. Since I’m going to be starting work (hopefully) soon, I’m trying to get back into my more productive habits.

The plan:

  • Socialize earlier in the day
  • Get more done in the day
  • Use the Forest app to curb my phone usage, especially at night
  • Keep aiming for daily walks!

25 Before 25: Update #2

Aug 8, 2018 | Comments

When I turned 22 I made a bucket list of things to accomplish by the time I’m 25. Right now I’m 23 years old. There is a year and a half until I am 25. Let’s see how I’m progressing with my bucket list!

1.Graduate from university: Done!

2. Move out: Still working on it! I need a full-time job first before that happens.

3. Max out my TFSA: Slowly but surely. Every month I contribute a little bit to my TFSA account.

4. Open an RRSP account: Not yet!

5. Get a full-time job in my field: Still looking! The market is tough. But I’ve been getting more and more interviews which is a big plus.

6. Read 150 books/50 books per year: A bit behind but I’m still trying to read more often. I fell off reading a bit around March and haven’t been able to get back on it since.

7. Finish the Dragon Age series: I restarted my playthrough because I forgot everything that had happened previously and party build was quite frankly not good.

8. Make my own TCG: I am seriously debating whether or not to continue with this. As far as I can tell, there are only three active TCGs at the moment: Colors, Idolise, and Sakura. My plan was to make an Asian music TCG but there is a big overlap with Idolise, which is a K-pop TCG. Decisions, decisions…

9. Finish my Pomodoro app project: Haven’t done anything on this for a while… I need to re-evaluate where I am with this one.

10. Make a book review website: Some progress on this one! I have the databases all set up and ready to go.

11. Get my driver’s license: No progress. I am still super scared to drive.

12. Make friends outside of tech: Done! I made some friends with people who are not in Computer Science or anything IT related. Which is awesome!

13. Get fit: Some progress…? I fell off the gym wagon a bit and I’m slowly trying to get back to it.

14. Floss more regularly: Not happening. I always forget to floss…

15. Drink. More. Water: Some progress. I have a water bottle right next to me as I type this up.

16. Learn how to actually cook: Some progress! I have been cooking a lot more things lately. The other day I made eggs benedict for breakfast. I’ve been cooking chilli for dinner sometimes. I’m going to try to make curry next time!

17. Travel internationally without family: I did it! Back in May, I went to New York City. I still haven’t made that blog post yet. It will come, eventually. :)

18. Konmari ALL of my things: My clothes and books have been konmari’d but I might need to do another pass…

19. Get drunk for the first time: I have a plan to get drunk eventually. It’s on the horizon.

20. Get my CCNA certification: I gave up on this. Now I’m not so sure if I want to get my CCNA after all. So… Done?

21. Attend Zoo Lights: This year for sure? Who knows if I’m in the area by then.

22. Get a grasp on my depression: Suddenly it got dark. I stopped going to my counselling sessions at the beginning of this year. I think I’m generally doing better but it’s definitely hard. I think I might need to rebrand my depression to “low self-esteem issues.”

23. Continue my pen pal relationship: This won’t happen until I can get a P.O. box again but I simply don’t have the funds yet.

24. Go to a concert: Done!

25. Make a dent in my to-watch movie list: I think I’m making progress? I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately but they are new releases. There’s still a lot of movies that I need to see.

TL;DR I accomplished four things since my last update and I renegotiated my priorities for one thing on my list. It’s always good to take time to reflect on your goals and see if you’re on track or if they still need to be a goal in the first place. Time for me to get start cracking on some plans!

I Want to be In Love

Jul 24, 2018 | Comments

Tamen De Gushi, Chapter 124

I was scrolling through Tumblr when I saw that one of my friends had posted a comic strip from a Chinese comic that I used to follow. It’s called Tamen De Gushi or in English, Their Story. The comic follows two girls, Sun Jing and Qiu who fall in love and start dating. Overall, the comic is very sweet, uplifting, and wholesome. It features small daily interactions like offering each other an umbrella, eating spicy noodles, doing homework together, etc. My friend added a comment to this comic strip: “I want to be in love.”

While I did chuckle and initially was like, “Yes, same!” the more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t like that thinking.

You hear about being in love with idea of being in love all the time. Just a couple of weeks ago one of my friends said, “I just want to cuddle with someone.” I recently posted something on Tumblr about wanting to hold hands with someone. In Mitski’s latest single (which I am obsessed with right now), Nobody, she sings that she “just need(s) someone to kiss.” It’s everywhere.

I don’t want to fall in love just for the sake of falling in love. I used to joke, “I could fall in love with anyone.” But I think I could, and should, do better than that.

A couple of days ago, one of my friends was badgering me about my relationships. “What’s the status with you and X? Have you hung out with Y lately? Are you still single? Voluntarily or because of circumstances?”

It was at that moment that I made a decision. I turned to him and said, “I’m just going to be single for a bit and stop looking.”

He nodded sagely. “It took three years for one of my friends in England to come to that conclusion.”

So yeah. That’s my current situation. I’m not looking for love. I don’t want to idealize it. Additionally, I’ll try not to push it away if it somehow comes my way.


A photo of me

My name is Edel Grace Altares. My programming interests include full stack development and back end development. My languages of choice are Python and Java. Outside of programming I enjoy crocheting, video games, cats, historical fiction, and reading.