Two large events loom over this week — the first being the house prep for the preventative bedbug fumigation on Friday, May 28th that the rental office wants to do, and the second being the upcoming results announcement of my Study Abroad application, which is allegedly due on Monday, May 31st (Japan time).
These two events heavily coloured my week, as I was tense with that feeling of anticipation over those upcoming events, and everything else either revolved around that or really didn’t matter in comparison. It’s also why I started writing this blog early this week, as I borrowed an office space from the rental office to work in for most of Friday, and found myself with only limited work-related things I could do and thus some extra time at hand. In addition to that, I will be writing another blog post once I get my study abroad application results, so I don’t want this diary entry to get in the way of that one (and in particular, the content of this week needs to be framed as “if I succeed/fail” and not “now that I have succeeded/failed”. Wouldn’t want any spoilers to creep in…
Entry #006 (May 30 2021)
Last weekend, I was rather overcome with despair and helpless frustration at the prospect of having to basically move everything in my apartment (a very strenuous event for me) on top of all the other pressures that I was facing. Oddly enough, I found as Sunday rolled into the Monday long weekend, and then into the Tuesday of a short week, that rather than make me give up, this actually gave me a shot of adrenaline to get things done. And this wasn’t restricted to just for the fumigation alone.
In terms of school, this meant that I had a meeting with the Student Ombuds’ office on Tuesday, and then I decided to move forward with my grade appeal process. As the first step was supposed to be an attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor before approaching official channels, I wrote up an email to my instructor as follows, on the advice of the Students’ Ombuds to not immediately info-dump but to first seek if the instructor would be open for discussion on the grade. This is the following full text of the email minus the greeting/farewell honourifics:
I am very sorry for disturbing you and for sending this email so long after the last one — I had to look over and think about my marks for China 302 that you sent in the email to me, and I wanted to speak to the Students’ Ombuds office first, which I only managed to make an appointment to do so earlier today.
I believe I saw what might be some calculation errors in the grade scores that you sent, as well as some major things that I lost points for that I believe were not in the marking rubrics (and thus not legal deductions), and I believe that taking away all those errors actually puts my final grade at between a 93-94 instead of an 89.
Because the point gap was so big and because that is practically an A, I am going to try to appeal my A- grade and have it changed to an A, but first I wanted to approach you to ask if you would be open to informally discussing this and possibly changing my grade if I could convince you, or if you would not consider the change at all and that I should instead try to pursue other avenues of appeal. I do not want to stress you out too much as well, so I understand if you would prefer to no longer discuss the marks from China 302 as it has been over for a month.
Her first reply was:
Thanks for your email.
In your last email dated May 10, after receiving the feedback and grade breakdown, you specifically told me that ” I don’t think in the end it would have mattered since it looks like I barely even got an A-“. While today you asked me to change your grade to A, otherwise you are going to appeal. I am very confused without knowing all the details and the reasoning behind it.
Would you please state formally in detail with supporting documents/information regarding the errors of your grade calculation, and how you come to 93-94 for this course? Only after that, I will be able to decide and let you know my decision.
And then a couple blocks where she referenced the Grade Appeals Procedures (local) document. At this point, all perfectly fair. The comment about the May 10th email was because my initial reply directly after receiving my grades was a disengaging one, as I hadn’t had time to do a full analysis/writeup on my grades nor talk to the Students’ Ombuds office as to my possible options yet, although I had already brought up (and was ignored) concerns about illegal mark deductions then.
Her second email, sent 51 minutes after the first before I had any sort of chance to reply, was:
I would like to add that, in our syllabus (attached), at the grading section it states 90%-93%=A-, and 94%-96%=A. As you mentioned in your email, “I believe that taking away all those errors actually puts my final grade at between a 93-94 instead of an 89”, even if it were going to fall into the range of 93-94, it doesn’t guarantee that the grade is A. For instance, 93.2 is still an A-. What’s your reason for changing your grade to A?
In a broad sense, we are all human beings, and we all could make errors. However, in a fair academic environment, we don’t use others’ errors to gain advantages. Without knowing the details and reasoning, I feel being threatened, but I do hope this is not the case.
I would appreciate an open and clear communication on this matter.
Woooow, welp, so much for the relationship with this instructor. Imagine that implication, that me asking about her potential calculation errors in the final marking is me “using others’ errors to gain advantages“. And that she feels “threatened” by this. And implying that this appeal process that I was doing was not part of a fair academic environment.
She also ended up ignoring 75% of my email but did address the two “calculation errors” that I had brought up too, and it’s pretty hilarious.
For the first one, regarding a final oral where we had to write a script, memorize it, and then record ourselves reading it, she awarded me a 7.5/10 for writing and 8.54 for presentation. I then got a final mark of 7/10 for this part, and she said that her formula to combine the two raw scores was ((Writing Mark) + (Writing Mark x Presentation Mark))/2 because the presentation mark “is based on the content of the writing” (where she had conveniently massively docked my mark for a trumped up charge not in the rubric). I hope I don’t have to explain to any readers where the massive logical flaw here is.
The second calculation error was even better. It was again a made-up deduction not in the marking rubric, and she had taken the scores 7.6 (actually 9.6 but there was a third invented deduction here), 9.6, 9.0, 9.8 and 9.5, and then applied another 1.5 point penalty on top of the average to give me a 7/10 for the section. But those five scores average out to a 9.1, and so even if everything else was upheld, a 9.1 minus 1.5 should be a 7.6, not a 7.1, right?
Her reply was awesome. She acknowledged the error, and said:
Failing to meet this requirement results in 2 points reduction, instead of 1.5 points. Please see my correction below.
So instead of acknowledging her error, she doubled down on it, saying that this made-up requirement which wasn’t in the rubric was actually worth 2 points instead of the 1.5 that she had put in the initial feedback. It’s soooo convenient that I have nothing to verify this against but her word. And thus,
Your total mark for the final exam below has no calculation error nor procedure error
What a joke of a teacher. And this is 3rd year Chinese too, not some first year class. (Not that that makes it any fairer, but first year classes tend to be larger and thus looser, since there are many people who never intend to pursue any further in the particular subject.)
At any rate, I actually liked this because it gave me quite a bit of ammo to use in my official appeal. I hammered out a formal 6-and-a-half-page Word document and sent it to the Ombuds office to review before I send it to the chairs and go up the appeals chain. I’m sort of curious how closed-ranks they will be in supporting this instructor, they’re supposed to be impartial but I have no experience with them whatsoever one way or the other to tell.
Part of the adrenaline shot was that this week was a short work week, since Monday May 24th was a national holiday (Victoria Day) here, so I had more personal energy to spare for the week. On top of that, due to needing to prepare the house for fumigation, I had to take Thursday off and did most of Friday from a spare back office in the main rental building. My boss was also away Tuesday and Wednesday, which means I didn’t really see him or get to talk to him for the entire week.
So in that sense, nothing particularly important or noteworthy happened at work, even though I said in my first diary entry that I don’t like saying that. Everything major was just on-hold this week though.
I did, however, pick up the two art pieces from the colleague’s daughter that I had won in the silent auction at work, after sending the auction fee to the Edmonton Food Bank. It was nice meeting someone from the office in person again, and we had a pleasant 15-minute chat before parting ways.
Yes, I had to take a day off work to get the apartment ready for fumigation. I had a ton of boxes and loose things to move and also had to unscrew wall plates, remove bed linens, do laundry, and other assorted garbage like that. I had inquired with the office to see if there was any possibility of enlisting (paid or free) help to move things or whether I could just clear the wall nearest to the affected neighbour or something, or even if they would compensate me for the day off, but they basically said no to everything and it was fairly clear that I would have to shoulder the entire (time, money) cost myself. That being said, the front desk guy who had to call me back several times was super nice and I wrote a letter of appreciation to the main office for him. Cosam’s his name. Uncommon name, I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen it before. I like him a lot.
Oh well. The week was weird, and I even slept one night on my bed on its “usual” bedframe in the bedroom instead of in the main living room next to the computer, which just felt strange at this point, heh. At least the rental folks allowed me to use their back office again while they fumigated my house, and I took some pictures of the place as compensation. Check them out here: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08. I didn’t touch anything other than my desk (hi Tigey!), so I never looked inside those cupboards or refrigerator or anything, but it felt like I was looking at little piles of treasure strewn around the place. And what exactly was a popcorn machine doing there?? Oh, and I also saw what happened to (some of) the oregano and other plants that got dumped on the apartments by Telus. There was a new fragrant herb arrangement in the front lobby! Though there were only a few oregano there (3rd row from the front) so hopefully that means that they found good homes for the others.
Anyway, while moving boxes was strenuous, I did use the opportunity to throw out a bunch of things that I had been hanging on to, things like an old bolster and pillow, an old umbrella, and a whole bunch of old boxes. There are still tons more to go though, but by this point I had resolved to move this September whether or not I manage to go study abroad, as I didn’t want to have to deal with another bedbug fumigation ever again. And so since I had basically combined and folded the Moving Apartment life event into both my main life paths no matter what happened with the Sophia application, this got rid of some uncertainty in my life and gave me an impetus to start spring-cleaning. I also broke part of the vacuum and part of a statuette that I had, that wasn’t nice, but all that were just more signs to me that it was time to clean up and go.
Still, it was hard to throw out old things. I’m not a super bad hoarder but that bolster and pillow had been with me probably since I moved to Canada, so even though I had phased them out a couple of years ago, I still kept them around as basically extra bedside padding material. Hopefully a couple years was enough to let the spirits in them find a new home in my current pillow and bolster, or elsewhere.
I am so going to be thankful of the fumigation this week, aren’t I? That’s surprising considering where I was last week.
Although I didn’t get any scanning done this week, nor did I get around to uploading any of my other yearbooks to the blog, I actually managed to work a little bit on my Shrine of Memories page, which made me happy. Those pages are still all flagged private as they’re in shambles, but I laid down some of the foundational pages and sections and could technically start actually writing content for them soon. I still probably won’t start until I have at least finished the family photo scanning project though, which is about 15-20 albums from completion. Even then, I probably will give the yearbook scanning and the scanning of all my other random documents sitting around a higher priority, for the simple reason that the scanner is old and likely to be thrown out come September, especially if I end up going to Japan.
I was in a mood to explore new phone games this week, and played two interesting ones. The first was CyberCode Online, a vaguely dystopian-themed RPG with levels and lots of randomly generated loot, an auction house, some afk elements built in, and a really good community. The game itself looks great on phone, and also has a web browser version, but unfortunately that web browser version looks and handles awful. They defend this by saying that “everything looking like code” is a stylistic design choice, but the UI is still really ugly and unwieldy to me, and outright missing several features of the main game to boot. The game is somewhat interesting in concept too, but the lack of variety in the things you do for level quickly grounded this game to a halt in my books. They have little ASCII dungeons that are really cool though, and even can be co-oped to some degree.
One of the most standout parts of the game for me was the community. While I expected it to be like every other game where the community was largely based around guilds and the public channels were spammy or disengaged, this was actually not true, and although I did not talk to anyone or get directly helped in any way, I found it to be a nice pocket of humanity on the internet. Part of this was the unique way in which the game did its microtransactions — you could not donation-buy anything that only benefitted you, but you could donate to buy buffs that helped out everyone on the server, and I saw a couple instances where people were even coordinating them and giving others warnings in chat that they were going to buy a buff soon, so that everyone online could go take maximum advantage of it.
So that was really cool. That public community as well as the AFK timers for skilling up (and travelling places) reminded me of another browser game I had played in the past but had long forgotten about — Movoda. I wonder how that game is going, apparently it’s still in development a dozen years or so later.
The second game that I landed on that looked interesting was Touhou LostWord. It’s a gacha, so I don’t know how long I’ll stick with it, but I had no idea that there was an English Touhou phone game that wasn’t based around the bullet hell genre, which I generally strongly dislike. This one is instead based around turn-based battles, so much closer to something like Princess Connect: ReDive or Revue Starlight ReLive (those similar names..), and it plays very similar to those games, with a bunch of equippable item cards and different upgrade systems for the girls and their cards and things that you can click on every few hours for currency. Basically mechanics like every other gacha game reskinned, and there aren’t nearly enough UI and tooltips where one would expect them.
I’m unlikely to stick with this one for long due to that, but it did catch my interest because I’ve wanted to delve further into the Touhou realm without having to touch bullet hell or metroidvania type games. It reminded me that I own Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded on Steam, really enjoyed it, and really should play more of it. That’s where my first exposure to many of the characters were from, even. So based on all that, I -might- end up sticking with the game long enough to finish up the main story like I did for PriConne and Revue.
This phone game was cool for one unique reason though — they use songs from various Touhou music circles, some of whose names I recognize, and there’s a little popup with song and artist name each time a new background song plays. I appreciated that as it then also kind of acts as a small window into the world of Touhou music.
Anyway, between those two games, I was able to finally move on from the PriConne phone game and its awkward storywriting this week. Still looking forward to the 2nd season of the anime, but the phone game didn’t even live up to the gem that was the 1st season.
On PC, Satinel and I played more Soulworker this week, we’re pretty much level 30 now, and one of these weeks I’ll finally remember not to call it Soulwalker instead of Soulworker. It’s still janky and I still consider its writing/translation so absolutely hilariously bad that it’s great. We’re on the lookout for other games to drift to though, and when Soulworker was down for maintenance during Wednesday primetime, she suggested we try RWBY: Grimm Eclipse instead.
That game oddly turned out really fun. I played Weiss, and we duoed through the first handful of maps and ended the night at level 9. Satinel killed most of the things, but it was a lot of fun. Jah had previously streamed the game on Jah Stream Night, and it gave me a nauseating headache watching him at that time. But when actually controlling the game, even in full screen mode, the camera and controls were still a bit janky but I didn’t actually suffer any motion sickness. The combat felt good and I was surprised that I ended up liking the game. My only complaint is probably that there seems to be some sort of memory leak inherent in the game, and as we moved from level to level I could feel my computer slowly bog down and the fights turn into a slideshow, with an occasional frozen second or two of time.
Also, while playing Soulworker and looking at the scenery of the second social hub, I got it into my head that I really wanted to find a building simulator of sorts that would slowly let me build a modern/futuristic city from the ground up. Every street, every shop, every building, every item in them, I want to build a city (or at least a small neighbourhood square) by hand and fill it with clutter and then walk through it. That’s all the “gameplay loop” that I need. I wish a game or engine like that existed, but if it does I don’t know of it.
Plushie of the Week #5 – Tizilla
Tizilla is an old tiger plushie. He’s actually several months older than Tigey — while Tigey was given to me by Allen in June 1998, Tizilla was given to me by Eileen, another Secondary 2 classmate, in, I believe, February 25 1998 as a Christmas present, because she knew that I liked playing with the Tigeys that people were bringing to class every day. It might have been Nov/Dec 1997 as a birthday present instead of Feb 1998, but I believe it was for my birthday. Eileen also named the plushie, and I kept the name that she gave him.
Anyway, Tizilla was too big to bring to class, but he certainly received quite a bit of adoration at home. Being older than Tigey by about a half a year, he was our first tiger plushie, as well as the largest one we’d have, so he would eventually became the unofficial big brother of the tigers and turtles. He was also by and large too large to bring around the house though, so most days just found him perched on a chair or a bed in the bedroom, often with other smaller plushies draped on his lap.
As such, while Tizilla had a name and even a well-defined role in the group, he seldom actually saw any animation or action and more often than not was more of a side NPC that was talked about by the main group of plushies fairly often.
I knew I had to feature Tizilla early on in this Plushie of the Week segment though, because more than any other plushie I have, time has not been kind to this old friend of mine. Or at least his clothes.
This is Tizilla with all his gear on:
Half his gear on:
And no gear on:
And those are his three common states of wear. He has four pieces of gear, his hat (with holes for his ears), his goggles, his jacket (with holes for his arms and tail), and finally his blue scarf. You can see in the picture that there are brown spots on his jacket and hat — those two articles of clothing used to be solid black, and used to look and feel like leather. Twenty years later though, both are literally crumbling — handling them at all leaves little black bits of material on my hands, the floor/bed, or on himself or other nearby hapless plushies, and I really need to just store his clothes in a ziploc bag and never touch it again. His goggles used to snap on around his hat and eyes too — but two decades later, the elastic is all loosened and it’s a bit too big for his head now. The blue scarf is the only piece of clothing he had that did not suffer significant wear and tear over the years.
This picture is a bit of a spoiler, as it contains several future Plushies of the Week (and a few former ones, and a bunch that likely never will be featured), but you can see Tizilla in a more natural state here on the far back left. It was taken May 15 2003, in our 4012 house in Edmonton, Canada. At that point, his “leather” jacket and hat were both still nice and solidly black, and the band of the goggles wrapped tightly around the hat.
Tizilla himself is still doing fine though, and although he looks really weird without any clothes, and no longer resembles Snoopy on his kennel airplane fighting off evil airplanes, he always has a happy smile for me. Sometimes I wonder if we mis-species’d him and he’s actually supposed to be a dog instead of a tiger. Gnah, nononono. This is Tizilla. Big brother to the other tiger (and turtle) plushies!
Things I am thankful for this week
After receiving feedback, I will be moving this section up past the Dreams one so people that are not interested in that can skip it. This will commence this week and continue to be this way moving forward.
- The period before a rainstorm. This is partially an aesthetic thing again, but being able to catch the time period before the a rain shower or storm arrives and washes over the area is so wonderful. The sky is overcast and the blowing wind brings with it that fresh scent of rain that heralds the coming shower. You can even hear the rain in the wind rustling through the tree sometimes, where the leaves have that sort of “wet” rustle to them even before the first raindrops fall. Beautiful and uplifting! I’m the sort of person that very much appreciates a good rainstorm or shower.
- Pocket. This is the Recommended by Pocket feature that is an option you can enable for your Firefox browser so that whenever you open a tab, one of the things it shows you on the new tab page are a bunch of curated articles that cycle out through the day. And they’re not news articles, but instead interesting tidbits or inspirational/self-help articles or food recipes and all sorts of other random internet potpourri. I’m not sure if it caters to user preferences over time, but I use it as a source of inspiration and have dozens of articles saved from there, especially the motivational ones. Even if I often don’t agree with an entire article, they’re usually short and easy to digest and I usually will feel a pull to one line or paragraph within the motivational article, and I sometimes use that to remind myself that I’m on a right path, trying to achieve some of the crazier long-term goals that I have. I was going to quote some articles here, but I literally have dozens saved as bookmarks, and figured that picking just a couple to highlight would be futile. In a sense, it’s something similar to Stumble Upon or one of its spiritual descendants, but more curated toward articles and less random odd sites.
- Bedbug fumigation. I did mention that it eventually gave me quite a lot of adrenaline, which turned into strength that let me finish out the week well. Ever since I lost the shrine amulet two weeks ago or so, I’ve felt that things were piling up against me and that that would not bode well for my upcoming study abroad decision because I believe that part of what affects the success or failure of an action is how much you believe in it. The work and school and other issues piling up were really starting to get me down, and then the fumigation on top of it felt like another kick to the ribs, but this woke me up and somehow became the trigger to turn everything around, and now I feel great and positive going into the final weekend. Also, it’s worth noting that the first fumigation happened right as I received my formal nomination for Stage 1 of the application process (the acceptance of my application by my home University). The application approval from my University literally arrived as I was in the back room office three and a half months ago.
This time, the timing of the second fumigation wasn’t that exact, but it’s still highly coincidental and possibly a good sign from the heavens that it is taking place on the Friday before the weekend that I expect to get my results. Also, the spring-cleaning that I started on and all the vaccuuming that I was able to do, as well as making the decision that I was going to move this September no matter what, were all net positives for my mental and physical health too.
- Long weekends. To tie in to the above, long weekends are great. I should have probably done this last weekend, but I was too distracted by all of the other issues going on. In addition, the effect of the long weekend when the Monday is off, only really kicks in the following week after the short week, and I was really thankful for that this week because it gave me the time and energy to spend on, frankly, more important issues than work. This weekend is a long weekend for the Americans down south, but not for us up here in Canada, unfortunately. Still, long weekends are a nice mental break for sure.
- Ordering out. While I would like to learn to cook more and can indeed prepare some simple meals at least, and the right microwaveable dishes are often much cheaper than either making my own meal or ordering out, it’s nice to have a treat sometimes, especially after a long, exhausting day, and getting delivery through one of the food delivery apps is a nice way to unwind and feel a little pampered at the end of a long day. For example, the Friday of my fumigation, when I basically collapsed in exhaustion after an early nervous morning, having to work for the day in an unfamiliar and cold office, and then moving everything back into place once I got back custody of my house. At that point I just wanted to be spoiled, and delivery was a good way of making sure I didn’t have to do dinner.
In addition, the local Asian food app, Fantuan, nearly always has several featured deals with various restaurants and that allows me to feel both as though I was finding a good deal and saving some money, while at the same time supporting the community in the form of the local restaurants and delivery people. Of the delivery options available in Edmonton currently, Fantuan is by far superior to SkiptheDishes (and the now defunct/absorbed Just Eat), as well as Uber Eats, both in terms of discounts and fees and general speed of delivery.
This was a fun week. Having a physical dream journal next to my bed really is OP, I wonder why I didn’t actually think of doing that until a few weeks ago.
Starting this week, I am implementing editor notes into my dream writeups. They’re the same format that my actual dream diary page (under construction/barely started) is doing editor’s notes in, and that is because I need to test the format out and make sure it works. It’s a little annoying because the page editor that I am using, Elementor free, has a white text edit box with no way to change it, so even though my yellow text works fine in the preview page on a dark background, it’s practically invisible in the Elementor editor as yellow text on a white background.
Anyway, editor notes are completely separate from the actual dream! They’re generally questions or comments that I had after the fact.
May 24 2021
- I was a runner in a high speed race and participated in this event several times through my dream. The races were usually on foot, but the speeds were about as fast as a bicycle, and they were dangerous. There were vague rules around the races, and the training for the races, but we regularly flaunted it by going past the maximum speed, racing/training alone, etc.
- There were usually twelve teams of three or so, usually sponsored by companies but also possibly vaguely tied into the zodiac signs. The overall group of people between the races were the same though, they all comprised of people in a class that I was in, we just formed different teams each time, and we were always really excited about the races.
- One time I was paired with two Indian girls that I was seated next to, while Ronnie waited on in case I was rejected by them. He ended up pairing with someone who had recently been released from jail and thus found it hard to get a group instead. Another time I was paired with two guys who ran with me all the way to the finish line on four legs, as though we were hyenas, all the way along a neatly lined stone path that stretched up a hill overlooking a beautiful night ocean toward a bright coastal city in the northwest. Yet another time I must have been paired with KT as she gave me an answer as I ran by her in the school. In at least one race I was racing against Zhuquan from my Sec 1 class.
- The object of the race was to solve a series of AMQ questions — guess the anime the song was from — and then taking the list of answers to a preset location. They could be solved while running as well, as long as a team coordinated well. The song KT identified in the previous bullet point was (she claims) an ending song from A Certain Scientific Railgun, but she wasn’t sure which season, and I said it was probably season 1 since I vaguely recognized it. Another time it was the ending song from Kamichu!, the anime. There were some other twist to the questions as well, so it wasn’t just straight up identifying the relevant anime all the time, but I forget what they were.
- The group of classmates and other people I was with did do other sponsor jobs as well though. For example, one time we were in a van and we took a job to entertain some kids. We pulled up next to them by the side of the road, and I told them through the rear side window of the van that I and the girl next to me were going to be mascots who represented their favourite anime/cartoon characters. These made the kids very happy.
- Another time, we went to an Indian festival place that was celebrating Deepavali, in order to demonstrate a Japanese tea ceremony. When we arrived, one of the Indian attendants offered each of us a jello-sized cup of noodles in a bowl, and poured hot broth into the bowls for us — except that the noodles were still actually in the cup that was placed in the bowl, and the broth was poured around the outside of the cup.
- As for the tea ceremony itself, most of us weren’t very good at it since we were basically hired for the role. A lot of us spent most of the time trying to figure out how to do it in a way that wouldn’t embarrass us. I sort of understood it, so I taught those around me that it was supposed to represent impermanence and basically you had to arrange the ingredients and sip the tea, yet every single ingredient and tool we were given needed to be placed very exactly to achieve maximum aesthetic and sophistication, while avoiding any sort of patterns or order in order to seem really natural.
- I showed them a small wooden board with holes carved into it, in the shape of a horseshoe. Each hole represented an “era”, with the very first era being “primitive” and the final one being “futuristic”. I told them that this was an unofficial scoring scale for tea ceremonies, and that masters could take primitive ingredients and tools and still be able to advance twelve eras and come up with a futuristic aesthetic. But that for us, just being able to advance 2-4 eras would be sufficient since we were new and it was just a demonstration. However, we also had to be careful not to offend their cultural sensitivities in any way.
- Anyway, back to racing. In my final race, I wasn’t even running per se — I had acquired a motorized heli-glider contraption and was soaring through the air at about the height of a tree canopy, and I was racing someone else who also had the contraption. It was really fast, and although the entire contraption was above my head and I had to hang on with it with both my hands on handles above me, I found out that if I pedalled my feet as though I was on a bicycle, it would somehow give the contraption extra hang time and speed as well, so I did that.
- That was my last memory of that race though, I had no recollection of what happened afterwards nor who won, but I was put into a coma for 5 years due to some sort of accident.
- I awoke during the afternoon of our class graduation, and when I regained my senses after the coma, I pointed at my teacher that was seated nearby amongst all the other students, and asked him where I was and what had happened in the interim. He or one of the girls nearby gestured to an album of photos that they had taken and that was lying on a table, it was basically a calendar of events that the class had compiled as memories for me over the past few years, to commemmorate the past few years in the hopes that I would awaken someday.
- Apparently I had been in a walking zombie-like state all the while, like FranChouChou’s Number Zero from Zombieland Saga, mildly interacting with and following the class around.
- There was also the head of an Indian guy nearby, on some sort of cushion — he was also not dead, but in some sort of coma, and was expected to recover later that day as well.
- No one was sure why it took us so long to recover, as respawns were supposed to happen the next day after an accident/death, but the other students thought that there was a bug in the system that prevented these coma respawns and that they had only finally managed to fix it for us two on the last day of school.
- Editor: The tea ceremony part of the dream echoed a video on the tea ceremony that I had watched for my EAsia 240 (Overview of Japanese Culture) class over a month ago. It’s also really weird when my dream decides I know something that I don’t actually know — I’ve never watched Railgun and have no idea what its songs are like, outside of knowing that it has songs by a band called Fripside.
May 25 2021
- I was dressed in a couple layers of clothing, specifically several layers of skirts and leggings. The custom in this land apparently was to unzip the zipper on the skirts if they were too tight as long as I had other layers on underneath, so I did that to one of my skirts after I was informed of such so that I could walk more freely.
- I was exploring a street with Satinel (it had a giant tree that granted wishes, among other things) as part of us testing out a new patch or visiting a new region in an MMO. I had picked up invisibility to pair with my backstab skill, and this was extremely overpowered — we waltzed into a fancy bungalow house and I backstabbed the father and a businessman friend of his, then the mother, sister, and two of the sister’s friends, the last three of whom who were all sorceresses sitting around a round table, on the other side of the house.
- Along the way, I had to lower the mother’s suspicion of me by swapping out a Christmas skin of some kind for my character since it was already slightly past Christmas at that point.
- A male and a female guildmate logged in and the male asked me if Satinel and I were doing Fates (FFXIV terminology). I said no, we were just exploring a new zone and completing random quests, and we were about to restart our game to apply a patch that we had just downloaded in the background.
- Editor: I had just talked to Satinel about returning to FFXIV as a possible game option the night before.
May 26 2021
- I was some sort of magician that would go around to people’s places to inspect them in some way or other for illegal things.
- At some point, I built a floating robot whom I could communicate with from afar, and imbued it with the ability to cast the same spells too, so that I could be in more than one place at once.
- The robot could teleport about from place to place and thus helped to keep the peace. I could kind of view it through a picture in picture mode like some TVs or video websites feature.
- The robot would occasionally be painted other colours, though I am not sure of the context as to how or why.
- At at least two other points, I was playing a computer game that I had apparently built myself in the past, it was indie and janky and low-poly 3D, but very much a full-fledged game.
- I don’t remember the first game, although I do remember it involved friends from my secondary school as NPC characters, and that I had to choose a group of them to join and take along to do some task or other.
- The second game invovled me driving in a truck to a small town that was known for UFOs, and taking a lift down into a mining facility, stopping at two floors along the way before leaving the elevator on the third floor. I had to play a minigame at each floor, that had to do with tossing three ping pong balls (which I pulled from a box that I had brought along) at something and having some robot guards or something retrieve them to distract them from guarding the entrances.
- Eventually I came into contact with two little aliens (the classic ET kind) and escaped the facility with them. Being the person who had wrote the game, I knew a shortcut that allowed me to skip some of the encounters on the way out, and I evicted a homeless person who had taken refuge in my truck in the meantime, but who was also an alien, and had started to convert plastic scraps in my truck into a pink sponge of some kind, which also allowed him to start evolving himself into a gray, gooey alien form.
- I wanted to be done with the game at that point so I demonstrated that I could drive away with the two little aliens anyway, back toward my starting location, which finished the game.
May 27 2021
- I was engaging two large tables of students or patrons at an outdoor restaurant-like area next to a sunken door that led into a room/dungeon. One table was of people from China and another from Japan; they both could speak English and their respective language (but the Japanese folks’ English was weak).
- I was trying to put an item, that I was originally going to bring into that room/dungeon, into a bag that was nearby, and possibly take something else from the bag as well. They were surprised that I could speak both English and Chinese to them. I said I could speak a bit of Japanese too and would hopefully be able to speak more in the future, but that I wasn’t a polyglut or anything.
- The bag in question was hanging on a doorknob on a nearby door though, and although I was worried that someone would take it because it was just hanging there, I also had a backup bag with items somewhere so I wasn’t too worried. The bag had two vertical straps that snapped together like a hiking bag to keep the bag flap on.
- Whatever I ended up taking from/putting into the bag had to do with the start of the room/dungeon, where there was some sort of check or prerequisite and yet it was somewhat important to get two things into the first room past the door as quickly as possible. I apparently was going to send two skeletons and a zombie to do that.
- I also knew that bringing something specific into the dungeon would allow me to complete at least one of the levels, possibly that same first room, in a specific way, allowing me to bypass something or allowing me to create/summon something special in the room.
- There was also a computer just inside the room, and one just outside between the restaurant and the front door, and both of them had mp3 songs on it, so I brought along a corded pair of earphones for the outer one as well, altohugh I knew the inside one already had earphones.
- My parents were nearby and I was trying to tell them about a song that they should know about, it had two words in its title and was by Simon & Garfunkel. Neither Mom nor Dad could either hear me or recognize the song title though, so I wanted to play it for them from an mp3 on one of the computers too.
- I had taken the day off work to deal with bedbugs, but I spent a lot of the day either eating, preparing rice tupperwares to put in the fridge for future dinners, or logging onto old games to chat with friends.
- One of the games I logged on to was a MUD where I apparently had not been on to in a few months, and had to pay 6k gold in guild fees or something that I back-owed. I had something like 360k gold saved up though so I wasn’t worried, and the leader hadn’t kicked me cause the guild in general liked me. I told him I’d be back after switching characters.
- But when switching characters, I accidentally logged into the wrong account and logged into Medievia, which I hadn’t logged into for something like 15 years. That guild was still alive as well but most of the people were gone from the main guild and replaced with newer players, but all the old players were in a secondary retirement guild that was attached to the main guild’s “town” via a chat channel so that they could talk together from anywhere without actually being in the same guild.
- I saw a lot of familiar names, including Kyrik, some of which hadn’t been on recently and some of which were even online, and they were surprised, said hi, and asked if I wanted to go join the side chat channel instead of remaining in the main guild so that they could free up a spot. In the meantime one of the newer players came over and welcomed me to the game, thinking that I was new. The guild leader also send me a tell message, and then a followup tell that was just a 😛
- I ignored all of them because I had to log back onto the old game as well, and while I left that connection open, I opened a new window and logged back into the other game. By that point the guild leader was locked in some sea battle near a city wall, had killed a guard captain NPC via passive damage (by collapsing a wall onto him or something), and was yelling in guild chat for someone to go claim his body as soon as possible since it was lying there untagged and lootable by anyone, since he didn’t do direct damage to that npc.
- Inundated by tells from both channels, as well as a radio station gig I was running or listening to, I largely ignored the tells or told them I’d get back to them later.
- One of the people in one of the guilds started talking about a cool new game recently, except they only used its 5 character acronym — it started with A! and then three more capital letters without a space. My sister also came up to me at that point, outside of the game, trying to tell me about the same game, which was a cool new wrestling computer game that she was psyched about. I jokingly told her I didn’t care, she made a face, and I said I was kidding and I’d listen but honestly couldn’t really formulate a reply right now. She said that was okay and continued chatting my ear off about it.
- We were also in our 4012 house then, and my parents were also leaving the house to go to work, and I still had to clear the furniture from my room for the bedbug spraying the next day, but apparently by that point that was only one room in the house that would need that treatment.
- The dream then melded with a radio show where four hosts were also buying groceries and then making rice meals in tupperware to store in the fridge. I don’t know if I was one of them or just listening to/watching them.
- At any rate, there were a couple fridges. and the packing was paired with radio commentary from the hosts. Someone made a large rice bowl, half rice and half meat with sauce, divided down the middle like a Chinese fast food container, then he slipped a plastic bag around it and put it in the bottom shelf of the fridge. The inside of the fridge was weirdly shaped, with a cylindrical tree-like bulge running down back of the fridge from the top to bottom, that made it hard for him to squeeze the square box into.
- Once he squeezed it in, he or someone made the joke that even though it was wrapped up, insects would be all over the meal when it was taken out and he would have to make a choice on which side to eat first and which side to risk the insects getting to.
- He was the actual radio host and he signed off the show right after that, which surprised the other three hosts. Once he left though, one of the other hosts asked the other two if they wanted to stay behind and do a bit more for another 20 minutes or so since he had time, and they all agreed, so they made their rice bowls as well.
- The scene shifted after that to a girl who had acquired magical powers and an older man who had a modicum of control over her, possibly due to having helped her gain those powers. He had her demonstrate her abilities by doing a couple things that were mean but not morally evil, which disturbed her a little.
- He then pointed to a man sitting on the edge of a pier or low cliff, with his legs dangling over the edge and over the moonlit water of the lake or sea. He told her to fly over and push him into the water, which she did with a quick push to his back, and he landed with a splash in the water, stood up, and cursed her superhero name since he had apparently realized who that was.
- She was really upset at this one because her dream since young was to become a superhero that helped others, and this action had sullied her dream.
- The man didn’t care, and then pointed at a building where a man was walking out of a set of double metal doors, and told her to make him quit or lose his job. This man was the second radio host from earlier who had just finished his extra 20 minute shift.
- The entire dream actually ended right there with a dramatic pause, sound effects, and basically a “To be continued” sign.
- Editor: Needless to say, while my house doesn’t have a bedbug infestation, the event at least infested my dream. The town chat function is also a feature of the Medievia game mentioned together with it, that allows allied clans (guilds) to chat to each other. Kyrik was a friend and the person who started the family bloodline that my character was a part of, this will require an eventual writeup to chronicle properly.
May 28 2021
- This dream started out with me with me and some others beong taken on some bus on a trip to a large dystopian theme park. I had apparently sort of been here on a previous trip, as I had won a prize prior to this dream that allowed me a chance to visit a platform high above the theme park, where I was given a sniper rifle and told to shoot marked robots that were patrolling in the theme park amidst the regular visitors. This was apparently somehow perfectly safe.
- Anyway I remembered that but also remembered that I had left the ticket for my second shot at that event at home this time so I wasn’t going to be able to do that.
- Mom and Dad may have led the trip here, although I think I remember several Sec 2 friends and many other people whom I had no idea who they were but befriended anyway. A vague “Chinese class teacher” character was also chaperoning us on the trip and she allowed us to use her class for playing board games.
- Also, she had ordered something from an online shop that would make our student lives a little miserable, so when it arrived in a package I had taken the item and thrown it in a dustbin instead of giving it to her, so she might still have been waiting for that.
- Anyway, some of us were playing two board games concurrently, one was Monopoly (I wasn’t involved in this game) and the second was not a real game but was similarly themed in that we were rolling dice and moving around a board. Some people were playing one game or the other, and several were playing both at once and taking turns rolling dice for each. I mentioned that back home, my siblings and I had used a house rule where we combined the two games into one board and had basically played Monopoly with extra rules.
- Neither game ended as people got bored and playing pieces mysteriously started disappearing. We saved the positions for future continuation at some point.
- Once we arrived at the theme park, we were all told to wait and the kindergarten children on the vehicle (apparently there were lots of them!) were told to disembark first. Once they did, the rest of us followed.
- I learnt at some point that Mom had informally left the family some time ago, after talking things over to Dad. It felt like a divorce but it was more along the lines of her wanting to realize her dream of seeing and exploring the world, so she left everything at the house and struck out on her own. When I was still living at home and meandering my way through school, she would come home late each night (on the pretext of work running late) and sleep there to keep the family together, but after that she had struck out on her own to further places.
- She asked Kellie to bring her some of the bus route pamphlets that were at the front of the bus, and I asked her where she could afford the room to keep and collect those if she was travelling light and basically only taking along what she could carry with her at any one time.
- Once we all disembarked, we hung out in the parking lot for a bit, which was where I learnt Mom’s story above. In that parking lot were some people loitering around as well, I noticed a woman with a baby pram squeezing past another woman with an umbrella leaning against a guard rail, and next to that guard rail was a barrel that was slowly leaking very flammable petrol or gasoline. I was really disturbed by this.
- Once we started moving, we moved in groups through a preset path that took us along a pathway and then through glass doors into some building.
- At some point, a group of young men were talking about an MMO style event that had happened here and how they had been paired up with another group of kids on some quest but had basically let them die once they figured out the kids had no idea how to play the game. They said making them learn how to fend for themselves was the only way they would ever learn the game.
- From there, this somehow morphed into a scene where the five kids and I were reluctantly chosen or held captive by male teachers and tall men in business suits as a crowd of onlookers looked on. The five kids, all boys, were forcefully given haircuts in public, in order to give them a makeover. This was done with the best of intentions, although four of the five cuts really stood out afterwards, things like a banana or a sundae shaped hair on top of their regular brown or black hair. The fifth boy just had a nicely combed and trimmed haircut in a normal shade of dark brown.
- As for me, they were making a spectacle of processing some chemical in a bucket that would then be applied to my hair, and there were 20 steps in the preparation of this chemical, so there were lots of cheering and oohs and ahhs from the crowd. They even made me help out with combining the chemicals in one of the stages. The 20th stage involved a chemical that they couldn’t ship directly here as the manufacturer would only ship it to a business factory address, and the ringleader was talking to the crowd about what a pain it was to bring it here.
- He then hyped up the crowd by asking them what they thought the chemical would do to my hair. In response to yelled out answers, he started listing off things it wouldn’t do — it wouldn’t make me bald, it wouldn’t hurt me, it wasn’t contagious, etc.
- That last description stuck out to me, so when I wandered off to a toilet bowl to sit on it and relieve myself (I was out of view of the main crowd but in front of the organizers without any shame), and he turned to me and asked me if I wanted to guess as to what the chemical would do, I said that I hope it wouldn’t infect me or others with anything, and he said that when he said it wasn’t contagious, he meant it wasn’t something that would be classed as an infection, even to me.
- Either way, I was still very reluctant but was playing along, and I told him I would let him apply it but that I wanted to prepare myself and my gear first. He told me to try to raise my defence and hit points level to the maximum possible value, so I changed some gear around, and equipped a one-handed weapon and a shield in preparation, which raised my defence value from the mid 300s to the mid 600s, and raised my maximum hit points by 100-200 to the 450-500 level. The dream ended not long after so I never found out what the chemical did.
- Snippet: Earlier in a previous dream, I was a government leader surveying citizens on topics to get their satisfaction level on those issues as well as asking about the best way to do certain things. I noticed that most of the citizens were either babies or little anthropomorphic animals walking around on two feet, and both groups were about as tall as each other (and much shorter than me). At any rate, these surveys and their resultant answers usually unlocked new options for me as to how I could resolve an event.
- Editor: Despite the stuff about my China 302 course in the School section above and through the last few weeks, this “Chinese class teacher” character here was different and, I believe, largely unrelated.
May 29 2021
- I was outdoors in a familiar looking University, a place modeled after the U of A but with some differences, like it was cut into zones. I’ve visited this University several times in my dreams. It was the first day of school in my 2nd year as a University student here, and I had fallen in with three new friends, one other girl besides me and two guys.
- A teacher who was in charge of one of the swimming-related clubs approached us as we were waiting for a train that went around campus, and asked us if we wanted to buy passes to the pool and possibly even join a water club. I said no thanks at first, but one of the guys who was ringleader signed up, and the other two followed suit too.
- I thought for a while as the train pulled up, and then changed my mind as we were boarding, and tried to look for a $10 note in my bag before the doors closed on the teacher that was outside. The ringleader instead paid for me and said I could pay him back after, and he handed the teacher several $2 coins. They fell to the floor and a couple fell into the gap between the train and the platform, but I picked up the rest to give to the teacher and he said it was okay and not to worry about it.
- I thanked the ringleader guy in slight embarrassment and gave him the $10 note, he said it was no problem. I said since everyone else had the pass I wanted one too because even if we didn’t join a swimming club, it was actually a nice place to relax after school in the evenings, as I had been here last year and had used them.
- However, I had used them in the summer when even in the evenings the pool was warm; I was looking forward to see how cool they would be in the balmy spring and fall evenings.
- We headed to the pool, which was an outdoor pool under the brilliant moonlight, located in a quadrant that looked very similar to the real life Business quad at the U of Alberta, and thus surrounded on buildings on two sides by a long building in the shape of an L, and there was a standalone building where a library or lecture hall was on a third side. I recognized this area (I was a 2nd year student, after all!) and I remembered entering that hall from a previous dream (I think the Oct 24 2020 one).
- But everything was quiet now, and there was no one about, so the four of us stripped down naked and lounged around in the pool. Even though we shared the pool and were near each other, there was nothing sexual about the scene whatsoever and none of us four seemed to care that all four of us were naked.
- We floated around a bit, and I mentioned that even if we didn’t join one of the swimming clubs, now that we had the $10 pass we could even go join the Diving club’s scuba diving demonstration session in the indoor pool that I had attended last year.
- Editor: I woke up at this point and spent some time wondering about the identity of the ringleader, who kind of had a thin but tall face and was a cross between Justin from my Grade 10-12 class, and Benjamin.. but who was Benjamin? I remembered a Benjamin (and even his Chinese name, Ang Fu Hong) from my memories but I couldn’t place what grade he must have been in, either Primary 1-3, 4-6, or Grade 9. Since I knew his Chinese name it wasn’t Grade 9, and I eventually concluded that he was from one of the two GEP classes in my Primary 4-6 school, but it was still really odd that I couldn’t remember for certain.
- I arrived to my class where all the desks were aligned to point to the right side of the camera where the front of the class was. My seat was on the far side of the room, the 1st column from the left and 2nd seat from the front, if we faced the front of the class.
- As I approached my seat, many of the students around me were already there. I stopped to talk to whoever was next to my seat, 2nd column/2nd seat, and I noticed Rachel from my Sec 2 class, who was usually seated behind me (1st column, 3rd seat) slide into my seat to talk to the girl that was usually in front of me (1st column, 1st seat).
- She looked up at me with this extremely languid look on her face, a mixture between laziness/tiredness and sexiness, a pretty look that blew me away and that I can still remember hours after the dream. She asked if I could please switch seats with her for the day as she was trying to avoid being targetted in Math class again because she hadn’t done her homework, and she wanted to talk with her friend in 1st column/1st seat. The people behind her normal seat were also friends from my Sec 2 class (I think either Gillian or Yiwen or possibly both), so I said it was no problem. She thanked me and said she’d do her homework properly the next time.
- One of the adjacent girls talked about a mutual friend of ours that wasn’t in this school. She said she had met him in summer class when they were 7, and I remembered meeting him in last year’s class, which might have been from my real life China 301/302 class. She said he was doing well.
- As I took Rachel’s seat, I showed either Gillian or Yiwen, possibly both, my Steam achievements, and how I had 100% achievements for Rachel’s seat (because they carried over from my seat) even though I had 0 playtime in it (since I had only just traded seats with her). As I sat down, my Steam activity displayed the “Played for first time” message, and then all the achievements, even the hidden ones, because visible and immediately marked off as complete. They wow’ed at that.
- Math class started, and the teacher was holding a competition to pick a class rep for a math contest. Most of the class did not know that I was really good at math, though the girls around me did. He used this as an opportunity to call on people one by one to quiz them, and he was puzzled at first when “I” (Rachel) missed my answer, but then figured it out after a while since he tried to pressure “Rachel” (me) with several tougher questions and I got them all correct anyway.
- I had done my hair up in a ponytail to look different to try to fool him as well, and I remember some Donald Duck imagery being used in the same vein as part of the quick disguise, but not the exact detail surrounding it.
Dream 3 (Snippet):
- Entirely separate dream, but I was in a separate room from two others, solving Math problems on a huge white card that was as tall as I was and as wide as the width of my outstretched hands if I formed a T shape with them. I had to pull on the card and slide it out of a casing that it was in, to even reveal the Math questions, but I could still seem to do them all anyway so it was okay.
- The events of this room also somehow tied in to a girl that was about to open a business, as though the math questions, and our success at solving them, would somehow affect the success of that business. The math puzzles weren’t the only factor, someone else in the room was also performing song selections that would have an impact on the business’s success.
- I was in a sprawling overseas University, with a tall male that was a childhood friend whom I apparently liked, and a third mutual friend, a girl that was shorter than I was, whom he liked. She thought we were the perfect couple, as she knew I liked him and that I was always nagging him to keep him in line and he was really absent-minded and completely oblivious, but I knew he liked her and while I was a bit disappointed, I wasn’t particularly jealous, more resigned of my fate, and I never pushed the point.
- I knew he liked her because I could see on some sort of minimap that his player dot would often visit her room to hang out when we were all in our dorm rooms, which were near each other.
- In one particular scene, we were on our way to the elevator to head out for dinner when I noticed that he had absently taken a turn to our dorm hallways and had unlocked the door leading to there. I called out to him and asked him if he was actually going to skip dinner or eat in. He stared at me for a bit, before realizing what he was doing. He said no and headed toward the lobby where the two of us were waiting for the elevator, and I had to yell at him again because he had forgotten to lock the dorm hallway door!
- Once in the elevator, there was a Muslim woman in there with a pretty flowery headcover, and she turned to me and asked me if I was a Continuing Education student here at the University. I realized that the implication was that I probably looked too old to be a regular student here, what with some strands of white/gray hair and all. I said no, I was a regular student here.
- She opened her mouth as though to say something again, possibly to confirm the implication above, when my childhood friend guy instead bumped into her as he settled into the corner behind her, derailing the conversation and saving me from the potential embarrassment.
- He apologized to the Muslim woman, with the excuse that he was often really clumsy and forgetful, and he had once even bought a snack from a vending machine when the three of us were waiting for the elevator to go off to dinner, completely negating the point of going out for food.
- She replied and said it was no problem and not to worry about the bump, she had already been molested 3 other times while staying here at the University and thus this was no big deal.
- The three of us also had a side gig where we would transform into a team of coloured superheroes to defend the University against monsters that were attacking. The one I remember in particular was where a monster that could toss rocks or concrete slabs had appeared, and I was defending against it by getting in the way to block the thrown projectiles with my body, while the other two guided nearby passersby to safety behind me. I couldn’t get too near to the monster before they were done clearing the area, because I ran the risk of not being able to adjust in time to intercept the things that he was throwing.
May 30 2021
- The first dream had something to do with debugging a game world with some others. I could see ID numbers in places and events and was basically a GM helper character. The game world had a ton of different weapons with different damage weapons and combat styles. It was largely a fantasy world, but I also remembered a supermarket, as well as an open-aired (but roofed, just no walls) casino where a lot of little babies were gambling and I and some others had to catch a couple of them that were cheating and bring them out to get scolded by the administrator.
- There were also little castle forts with short stone walls, and the everpresent threat of an invasion from another country in the game. While walking around, I twice summoned seven different-coloured torches using the GM item tool, one time I decorated the outside of two adjacent forts with them allowing them a method of communication via the coours of the torches, and the second time I decorated a lonely village square, lined with flagstone, using the torches at night.
- At one point I was going to submit a few bug reports to the devs, and I asked if anyone had any others that they wanted me to submit together with mine. Rinuruc mentioned one bug and I noted that down.
- Some Malay or Indonesian shop owner that I was talking with complained about a gang that had come by his shop in the middle of the previous night, and stole a statue that was in front of the shop. They then boasted about it in a social media post. The shop owner was mad not so much because the statue was stolen, but more because they had scratched a chair while trying to lift the statue onto their getaway pickup truck because they couldn’t lift the statue all the way into the truck in one go, so they lifted it onto the chair, then from the chair onto the truck.
- There was also a path that led to some stairs and a door that I knew led to some sort of admin area and was thus “Out of Bounds” for most of the game’s npcs.
- Again, we were in a world and were basically debugging it or doing a test run in it, but this was a different world. We had some extra powers over a normal human or player and we weren’t worried about death or the value of money and items.
- This second dream started out with Kellie and I on fancy motorbikes that we found, each carrying a bag and filling it with things.
- At one point, we stopped by the side of the road and she needed to head off to a nearby place to do something. I thought about keeping watch over the motorbikes and bags while she was gone, but decided this was just a trial run game so it didn’t matter. I crossed the nearby 4-way intersection and went to a gas station that I could see diagonally across from where our bikes were, and entered the shop to see if they had any interesting snacks in it. The shop was a tiny square room, containing the proprietor and shelves packed with candy and cigarettes and other things I was not interested in, so I left.
- When I got out, some time had passed and it looked like our vehicles and bags were still there, however I had an idea and went to procure a nearby tour bus instead. This took some time, and by the time I got back with the bus, my bike and bag were gone, but Kellie’s was still there.
- I opened the roof of the bus like I was opening a box of ice cream, and lifted and placed her bike into it, as well as a computer printer and cord so that I could print and archive things. I also brought her bag of items, and a few other things that were lying around, on board. Although my bag was gone, I searched around and also found an external hard drive that I had been copying a lot of data onto earlier in the dream, so I was happy about that. I also installed most of the seats, as several of them were lying in a pile at the back of the bus, before “closing” the bus roof again.
- I also found four hyenas chewing on a severely decomposed skeleton (or a plasticized toy skeleton) in a hole in the ground and decided to leave them well alone.
- Anyway, eventually Kellie returned and there were lots more people on the bus. Some I knew and some I didn’t. Kellie would be driving the bus whereas I had come up with a seating plan for everyone. I realized once everyone was seated that there were too many seats though, and several of the rows, including mine, were far too cramped for a long bus ride.
- I was seated in the second row with someone and there were two older gentlemen in the front row, who needed to recline their seats because they had bad backs, so I had basically no space to work with or wiggle around in, and it was even worse for the poor person next to me.
- I stopped the bus from leaving at that point, took off a few of the bus seats and tossed them out, and asked everyone to shift back to their next available row behind them while remaining in the order that I had written out. This worked.
- Everything was free, although money was still important for some things, so at this point we travelled around to various places, looting and scavenging certain items to add to the bus. For example, at one point we had four washing machines and four dryers on the bus, and when I complained about that and put one outside the rear bus door (even though it had clothes spinning around in it), Kellie said that they were testing to see which ones were better and would toss the ones that were not. I agreed and brought that washer back in.
- We also had clothes, money, books, and various larger items too. I told them to look out for a second motorcycle because I wanted a replacement of the one that had disappeared as well.
- The whole endeavour felt like a school group activity, especially since a number of people on the bus (but not all) were from my Secondary 2 class, except they were now in Secondary 3 and were “seniors”. There was a subplot about the people that were in the Boy Scouts troupe at Dunman High and how now they had less things to do in general but were more responsible for watching over the newcomers to the troupe.
- I also saw a Scout troupe senior that I recognized as being in his 4th year now, but whose name I did not know, in the distance with one of the new year 1 Scouts, and I made sure to avoid him so he wouldn’t see me.
- There were easily about 20-25 people on the bus, but there was quite a lot of room still. At one point I was in the back of a bus around a table with Eileen, KT, Antonia, and Huihan, and they were trying to figure out what kind of gift to get Danethor as he had been absent from the friends group for some time. They asked me to look through my old notes, and I found a notebook I had written out in neat, tiny script, that summarized a different document that was a transcript of a previous interview that I had done with Danethor in the past. I dimly remembered writing this notebook summary, perhaps in a different, older dream that was now lost to time, or perhaps simply just offstage earlier on.
- In that interview, I had asked Danethor what kinds of books or media he had liked in the past, and he said that he liked books about go-getters as he found their stories inspirational. The girls held up a book about either the Coca Cola company or founder and asked if I thought he would like that, and I said yes, he probably would. So that was marked off as Dan’s gift.
- At another point, I noted that our bus only contained 2 blessings out of a potential maximum of 5, as we had used a couple during the journey to keep the bus safe. The blessings were basically Get Out of Trouble Free cards. I noted that we could head back to the school, unload and refill our blessings there, and then come out on a journey again. Eileen said that that sounded like it was cheating, but I pointed out that it was allowed and we could basically just call it a second fresh expedition, just with the same vehicle and crew.
- Editor: Travelling around and collecting/scavenging loot in a safe vehicle is a gameplay loop I’m really fond of and have been thinking about/searching for games about for a long time. The double world debugging dream, as well as the blessings and refills, probably are a reference to the Fabled Lands books and game, the latter of which just released.