2016 Resolutions

2016 will be my year.

I say that every year, and every year has been better than the previous one. And I will make every year better than the last. That’s my one promise to myself (besides shibas and smiling).

This is a bit early since I’m out of town for the actual new years, but cheers!


In no particular order… kinda not really

  • Will, and the rest of Windows Shell (Zach, Steve, Chris, Chris, Alex, Charing, Michael)
    • An amazing 4 months with some of the smartest people behind the Windows operating system, and all the craziness they have to go through to code. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted but it was such an eye opening and freeing experience that I’m glad to have had. Also, having a car for 4 months is absolutely awesome.
  • Jon, and the rest of Thalmic Labs team (Edwin, Mark, Dan, Dan, Sameera, Elaine, Jared, Scott, Scott)
    • I took the job at Thalmic because I wanted to know what would happen to me if I spent 4 months away from everyone I cared about. End result? Eh… But this was one of my strongest 4 months term, lots of learning about all parts of the software and hardware cycle, work on the coolest product I could have imagined (sssh), lots of improving and learning, lots of personal growth and hard work. Super healthy food, lots of gym and archery and bouldering and skating time meant that I managed to lose a good 15 pounds in 4 months. I hope that counts as a success. I wish I was better at networking and all of that to know the rest of you better, but I’m glad to have known at least you guys.
  • Archery Club people (Jerry, Andy, Horatio)
    • Archery is basically every little nerd’s dream. For me it was because of all the robin hood I was exposed to as a kid. So actually learning and getting better at archery was actually a dream come true, and making a couple of new friends along the way is icing on top. Too bad I had to come 4th in the beginner’s tournament.
  • Those random guys at the climbing gym who I chatted with while bouldering alone
    • It’s actually really sad that none of my friends were in Waterloo for me to boulder with, now that I’ve actually had time to play and get better. But I did manage to meet some random guys at the gym and talk with them for an hour while we tried to do some problems. Thanks!
  • Microsoft Silicon Valley people
    • Hey you guys still remember me, kind of! Must be tough given how many interns there are and how long it’s been. Everyone and everything has changed, but I’m grateful that everyone is still awesome. Special shoutout to Chong Han and Ilya!
  • Xtreme Crew (Danny, Anthony, Robert)
    • Our chat still has the most messed up conversations I can imagine, but somehow it’s still been going on for 2 years, so that’s that. At the very least I love hearing about your lives (less so your exploits), and I really wish that you would all work out your relationships so you were happier and so I could be hopeful about myself. Thank you for still keeping me in your lives even though we’ve diverged so much.
  • Kathleen and Ryan
    • Thanks for inviting/joining me when I visited Toronto that one day of the term! I wish I could have visited more but it’s a huge pain. You guys were awesome hosts and it makes me sad that I never met you both earlier, and that our friendship never worked out that way. And thanks Kathleen for being super enthusiastic about my bouldering and shoe problems, as well as watching out for me when I’m not feeling as well.
  • Climbing Crew (Evet, Jaclyne, Kathleen)
    • Thanks for inviting me to climb every once in a while, it is awesome and I’m really happy that you guys introduced me to it. We should do it more!
  • Fancy
    • Hey! We’re going on an adventure. Thanks for inviting me. I’m so happy that we didn’t let all of our crazy fights over the years turn our sibling relationship into a broken mess.
  • Hockey Crew (Neal, Harpreet, Steven)
    • We have our differences, but I think that makes things more interesting than conflicting. It’s been 4 years of fantasy hockey, and every year it sucks more and more because fantasy hockey is hard and Leafs suck and we keep switching teams, but we keep on trucking. We saw a Marlies game, and we kinda saw a Jays game where we got crushed. It’s fine. I’m really thankful that we’re still going strong since you guys make hockey so much more fun. And I’m really thankful that we kept this going so strong.
  • Roommates (Denny, Taylor, Jaclyne, Connor)
    • Thanks for inviting me to be your roommate. You guys are actually so much better than any roommates I’ve had so far that it makes me sad that it’ll have to end so soon. I’m so happy that you guys exist. No lie.
  • Denny
    • We have the weirdest relationship, but I’m happy that you’re always yourself, no compromise, whenever we talk.
  • Taylor
    • Well, we’re totally fucked for trains next term, ahaha. Thanks for agreeing with being my partner and I hope we survive.
  • Jaclyne
    • Hey, somehow we met in first year (at least I remember trying to talk to you and Evet back then). So somehow it’s been four years. I’m really happy that we’re close enough to talk frankly with each other. I really hope that whatever sadness you feel works itself out, but maybe the whole point is that it shouldn’t need to.
  • Connor
    • Honestly you scare me the most out of everyone, you always feel really mysterious and impressive, but maybe that’s just me. In reality I’m really glad that we met and I’m really thankful that you asked me to be roommates. I wouldn’t have gotten to know the crew without that, and my life the last 2 years would be a whole lot shittier. I’m really grateful you guys gave me a chance, and that you guys thought enough of me to do so, and I’ll try to keep it up.
  • Kamilla
    • I feel like I have to include you every time, because you’re in everything I do. Remember that one time you told me to smile more? Something like, “you look a lot better when you smile”. I will remember that always. Thank you.
  • Thalmic Intern Crew (Drew, Anthony, Stefan)
    • The intern group chat was the best group chat I’ve had at work so far, given how many cat and dog gifs we managed to post in there. Thanks for keeping me sane over the 4 months.
  • Anthony
    • On that note, thank you Anthony for coming bouldering with me a few times. It’s so much more fun going with a friend rather than by myself. And thank you for showing me what someone of pure happiness and positivity and genuineness looks like. I’ve almost forgotten.
  • Drew
    • Thank you Drew for being such a wonderful friend. I’m really not sure how you became the person that you are, but you are truly a wonderful person and it was so fun to mess around with you all the time when we were bored, and it was so relieving to listen to your advice with whatever I had to ask. I’m sorry if I ended up being too under the weather near the end, but I have to thank you so much for keeping me alive over the term and keeping my spirits up. You are a wonderful person and care about everyone, and I really hope you manage to figure out your own career, because you deserve it.
  • Sally
    • I’m not really sure what happened, but thank you all the same for your friendship. You’re a lovely person and I really loved getting to know you better recently. I’m really happy that we met, because knowing you has been so much better than not knowing. Thank you for being such a good friend.
  • FYDP group (Aaron, Adrian, Dian, ex-Justin)
    • How in the world are we still together!?!!?!? No, seriously, we have been through a lot of shit so it baffles my mind that we’re still a group and working and caring and friends even. Like I’m so confused as to how we’re still alive. I’m sorry that I wasn’t a better member, but I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that it would have ended up like this, and yet I am so happy that it did. Thank you all so, so much for inviting me into your group. I started out with no group and no idea where to turn to, but you guys invited me as a 5th! Not even a 4th, a 5th! Like holy shit do you know how much that means to me that you guys not only cared enough to see if you could invite me, but then also actually invited me as an extra? Thank you for being such amazing people. You guys seriously thought I was a good person? That means so much to me. Thank you so much for inviting me into your group. We’ve been through hell and we’re still in hell and things are on fire, but we have 3 more months to put it out and push ourselves to the end, so let’s have fun doing it. This has been an amazing experience and I’ve been so blessed to have worked with you three (four). Thank you for taking the risk on me.
  • Merr
    • Thank you for always being there when I need you. Thank you for listening and thank you for understanding. And thank you for inviting me to your Guelph campus so I can be jealous about your awesome lab and campus. I’m not sure how our friendship has survived 6 or 7 years, but I’m really happy that it has. I’m not even sure how we became friends either, but oh well. Sometimes things get crazy, but I’m so happy that I know that someone’s got my back. I really hope things work out with your relationship.
  • Christian and Fasih
    • Since you guys are basically the same people, thank you so much. You never really appreciate your friends until you think about it, but I’ve been a little shit all my life, so to hear that you guys actually want to work with me or do things with me is so unbelievably heart-breaking. I’m really grateful that I’ve become friends with people who value integrity and honesty and being good to each other. Your memes are always really poorly chosen and I will actually kick you in the shins, but I love you all the same. I hope our friendship continues to grow stronger.
  • Jay
    • Well it’s only been 4 years, but it’s been the most up and down 4 years I could have imagined. Who could have figured that it would have ended up like this? Just awkward new interns at NexJ that didn’t know how the world works. You’re one of my best friends and my favourite person to talk to. Thank you for sticking by me through thick and thin, and I hope I’ll be able to pay you back in the future. Thank you for calling me out with what you actually feel instead of letting me prance on. It’s refreshing. I’m really glad that you’ve managed to kill it ever since we’ve stopped being at NexJ, and I’m happy that you invited me to meet some of your new NexJ friends. I’m really happy that you’ve met a guy who’s much better for you than your past ones, and hopefully things continue to go well. I’m really grateful for the fact that we’ve managed to grow our friendship stronger over the years, and hope that there’s even more to come. I really hope that you find some way to make your art work, because you deserve it.
  • Everyone else
    • Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have an influence on your life. I wish things could have gone better, but it’s never too late.


  • Bouldering
    • I WILL DO AN ORANGE PROBLEM. Like seriously JUST LET ME DO ONE ORANGE PROBLEM. I’m so tired of failing all the orange ones. PLEASE. I will work hard at adding more callouses to my fingers. I will work hard to meet some more people, and plan more events with people I know now. Let me know if you want to try. It’s really fun.
  • Archery
    • I will make time to go to archery club at least once a month. It’s really fun, and there’s a lot of really nice people, though it does get crowded often. I want to be consistent at 18m, though that’s harder given how inconsistent the bows are.
  • Running
    • I will run a half marathon before 2016 ends. Want to join me? Give me a shout. Stretch goal is running it in less than 2 hours, which would be an amazing feat for someone as bad as me.
  • FYDP
    • At this point, I think we’re so de-motivated about it that we just rather finish it, and as sad as I am to say, I agree. It’s really stressful considering how many times we have changed ideas, and I wish everyone was super excited about it, but we’ve gotten to the point where saying FYDP actively causes us pain, which seriously can’t be good. So let’s just get it over with. I think we could still completely kill it though.
  • Headphones
    • I’m ramping down my headphone rage and going to sell off some gear because let’s face it, 7 pairs of headphones is too much. There’s a really weird toxin in the Head-fi community that makes the hobby really weird for me. Hit me up if you want to talk about headphones though.
  • Photography
    • I’m going to see how much I can learn from photography. I’m actually really bad at photography, and it’s a bit annoying to be that bad, so I’ll try to do something about it. I figure it’s pretty much a life skill, if I ever have a family.
  • Cooking
    • If I move out by myself, I’ll have to make a better effort to cook instead of eating out so much. Every time I watch Gordon Ramsey cook the absolute shit out of chicken, my mouth waters uncontrollably. Hopefully I can at least get to a state where I’m comfortable cooking nice meals, not just pasta.
  • Gym
    • I gained 15lbs last year, and then I managed to lose it in the last 4 months. Right now I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’m taking advantage of it. But it’d be sad if this was really the best shape of my life. I’ll never want to look ripped or bodybuilder like, but I’d be happy to keep it so that I’m not ashamed of looking at myself in the mirror.
  • Friends
    • I met a lot of people this year, but none really who have become very good friends. However, I’ve managed to grow closer to some of my previous friends, so that’s awesome. It takes time. My goal next year is to meet more people, and cherish the friends I already have even more.
  • Career
    • Maybe find a job. Maybe not. I’m not sure what’s best for me yet. But my goal at the moment will be to narrow things down. Interview, interview, interview.
  • People
    • My goal is to be more active. I’m usually really passive when I do things, reactive instead of active. But there’s times where I could be a lot more involved, such as actually initiating a conversation when someone I don’t know asks, “How is your day going,” by answering and asking them the question as well. Similarly if I see something interesting going on, or if I want to do something, but I’m usually too afraid to ask people out. Well, I can get better at it.
    • My other goal is to make people feel better more often. Gratitude has always been hard for me to give, but it shouldn’t be. If I can see things more positively then I can find more ways to appreciate people on a daily basis.
    • My final goal is to appreciate people more. There are hundreds and thousands and millions of people you will interact with daily. Some will play a big role in your life, some will play a smaller one. My appreciation for all of them should be the same.


Contact me at lai.victor.vl@gmail.com.