My Diary #008

This week was the first full week since I received the news that the Japan exchange had been postponed a semester. I feel completely fine, no side effects or dejection whatsoever!

Entry #008 (Jun 13 2021)

Table of Contents

Stomp towards…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #7
ට  Things I am thankful for this week
ට  Dreams

School

I began my appeal process for that A- in China 302 this week. I’m not sure if this first step (emailing the department chair with the appeal) is a formality or not, but it’s probably good anyway to get some feedback on where the weaknesses if any in my appeal are. I’ll probably feel a bit bad about continuing on with the appeal to the second (dean) and third (grade appeal board) steps if it gets denied at this first step, but then I don’t think I really have much to lose at this point anyway. The ombuds person gave me a good amount of feedbakc on my initial draft though, and I fixed it up accordingly before sending it to the chair.

On the Sophia side of things, I had a meeting with my Study Abroad coordinator, and found out that I would not be required to take any courses in Fall in order to qualify for the Winter semester, since they’d just transfer the previous nomination. This is a relief, because I don’t think I would have to be able to take 3 courses (the minimum to be considered a full-time student to satisfy the “you must be a full-time student the semester that you apply for study abroad” requirement), while also maintaining a full-time job, since classes would probably at least partially be in-person. The job might return to in-person in September too, we’re not sure yet — but whether we return to the office or not, both will have their own unique set of problems when it comes to trying to balance online and in-person classes together with work.

Sophia also replied to my Study Abroad coordinator’s query on whether I would be allowed to try for a non-standard Winter/Spring 2022 + Fall 2022 study period over there, and they said yes, although I’d have to reapply again in September when the application period for Spring reopened. With that, UAlberta also approved my nomination for that (although I will have to do two separate applications, one for Spring and then one for Fall, since the system doesn’t support one single regular Spring+Fall “full year” application).

There was one caveat I was aware of but that was made doubly clear about — since the Sophia University Spring semester starts near the end of April, I would be sacrificing 3 regular semesters on the UAlberta side — Winter 2021, Fall 2022, and Winter 2022 — in order to fit in Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 on Sophia’s side. I said I was fine with that and discussed the potential Winter month-long program there as well..The conversation seemed to go really well. I think I have a pretty good shot at this!

Work

It was a fairly pleasant week at work again. A couple of the people on the Tier 1 helpdesk team below us found new jobs on another team in IST, which is good for them. The helpdesk itself is being split off from IST and joining a consolidated helpdesk-ish team? department? of some sort, it’s a big mess that no higher-ups seem to have any clear plan for, and the helpdesk’s morale has been very low lately, as could be read between the lines in the tickets they had been escalating to us (and you should be reading between the lines in my paragraph here, too). Hopefully this helps a couple of them find happiness and fulfilment.

I still feel pretty checked out from work but apparently (and I asked my boss to be sure) I still am doing fine and seem more or less as engaged as ever to them. Since the last few weeks have been non-stressful, I’m not particularly unhappy with the job right now, just unfulfilled, and so I don’t mind it that much because I can work on other projects and take care of real life once I’m done my work for the day.

Life

Kynji and Fames put a crazy idea in my head this week. One job that would be really suitable for me, they say, would be some form of a diplomat’s job, especially if I can complete my stint in Japan successfully. I’d mentally considered it before, but didn’t think much of the idea at the time — this time the idea of being some sort of a diplomat really struck a chord with me though, as I’m fairly good (I think..) with dealing with people and I have a rather broad spectrum of experiences, and would probably love travelling as well. At least, I don’t have a family or anything tying me down to a specific city or even country so I wouldn’t *hate* travelling.

I had briefly considered it in the past but had dismissed it outright, but at this point in time it felt like a really good idea, and one possibly worth shifting my goals to aim toward, instead of something along the chronicler/archivist line, which has always sounded fun but more of a low-paying hobby unless I could find a really specific niche job or went for a generic book-writing historian or translator role. But a diplomat would also make use of similar research and translation skills as well as allow me to travel to, experience, and chronicle many places in my spare time. In theory.

Rin’s mom passed away on Saturday, and this was a little upsetting. I do believe in reincarnation so I think her spirit will have the choice to hang around and watch over their family and maybe inhabit and be reborn as a future kid to the family (or elsewhere) if she wants to, but it still made me think over the mortality of my parents and grandparents and humanity in general. Still, I wanted to put a small section here offering condolences, well-wishes, and to act as a tiny memorial of sorts.

I started scanning my Dunman High 1998 yearbook. I’m only 40 pages or so in to the 160 or so pages, and I hate the moderate abuse I’m inflicting to the spine of the (hardcover) book, and the scanner is kind of hard to work with and align the scanning source too sometimes to boot, but still, the going has been steady, if slow. I also finished uploading the random 1997 school newsletter that I had onto the Special Pages section of my site (note: this is now depreciated and the link just goes to my regular Table of Contents), and renamed/edited a bunch of links internally as well as part of an administrative overhaul to make the URLs simpler.. hopefully I didn’t miss any links across the site. The main Shrine page is linked but set to private, and I’m not sure when I’m going to open that one up, but it still requires a lot more work than I’ve had time to put into it.

The yearbooks that Eileen sent arrived! They actually arrived on Friday afternoon, about a week ahead of schedule and literally less than half an hour after I arrived home on Friday, but they didn’t knock or anything, and since it’s the pandemic I didn’t realize the package was leaning against the outside of my front door until Sunday afternoon (just before I wrote this), so it’s even passed a 48 hour quarantine at this point. Thankfully it’s inside a locked apartment complex so no one was probably going to steal it anyway. They’re all softcover yearbooks too, which makes me happy because mine are all hardcover, and it’s really difficult to scan those while trying to minimize book spine damage.

I picked up a new pair of bluetooth earphones as well as an SD card reader this week. They’re both things I needed, and my Amazon Prime subscription is coming to an end shortly, so I wanted to get them out of the way. I could renew but I’d only be here for 6 months or so out of the 12 if I have my way, and I don’t think I can renew under a student discount again (despite still being a student), so it’s not very appealing.

I went out this week for a couple really, really nice walks, and a quick trip to pick up the board game that I had Kickstarted a long time ago and talked about last week. I’ve long stopped purchasing new ones though since I don’t think I’ll be socializing and playing with my current workmates ever again. The ones i have will go into boxes for use with future potential social circles.

Next week, I have a haircut scheduled on Monday afternoon, though I haven’t actually mentioned that at work yet (I only booked it Friday afternoon). I dread spending what almost certainly will be a 3 digit sum of money on it, but I’m going to cut my hair short (probably above shoulder length even — right now it’s chest length) and dye what remains of my hair black (otherwise there’s a lot of silver-white-grey hair mixed in) and hope it lasts for 6 months or so. Going to the hairdresser twice a year instead of three times will help cut overall costs, and going now will mean that I get to go in December just before I leave. Of course if I end up leaving in March instead of December then I might have to schedule my next two cuts for October and February or something, which would put me back at a 4 month schedule instead of 6. Either way, now’s mathematically the right time to go.

One thing I know my apartment complex has but that I’ve never used is a small gym, and right now they’ve reopened under an “online booking” format, where you can pre-book an hour-long spot for the gym up to a week in advance. I’m thinking of doing it, but my biggest impediment of going to a gym, besides the time, has always been that I’m not sure what to do in a gym with all the machines there, and that I’d just end up going and looking silly because I have no idea what I’m doing with the machines and have no regimen to boot. Still, I put a pin in this because it’s something I’d like to check out at some point. There’s also an indoor pool, and that one I have used before, but it’s not reopened right now.

The city has also started opening up some amenities again since we’re now in Phase 2 of our COVID-19 reopening plan, so I’ve been considering taking a trip to the Muttart Conservatory, which I’ve never actually been to and has been closed for a couple years now, even prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, so I never got a chance to take my Summer Connect partner there last fall as well. Speaking of which, I wonder if that program will run again this year? I’m not sure there ARE any international students stuck in Edmonton right now though, but unlike Japan, Canada does seem to be issuing student study permits and visas.

Games

After last week’s MMO-hopping, Satinel and I did not play any MMOs this week.We had a brief foray into Muck, which seemed unbalanced but yet hooked us for five hours or so one evening as we died a few times and then figured out that we were supposed to play it as a roguelike and not build any houses, and instead concentrate on gearing up and murdering the monsters at night. It’s ugly, unfinished, and slightly buggy, but we did find a sweet spot on Easy difficulty setting where the game felt and played well. It felt exactly like Risk of Rain in first person perspective, the way we stacked up different randomly-obtained artifacts on our character to gain buffs.

We also tried a bit of Unturned, because it was free and I also had a good experience with it in the past with another friend. But that was a mistake. The game was awful and even uglier than Muck even after so many years, with no QoL features, poor crafting and balance, and a really laughable attempt at zombies. I don’t know how I managed to like this game in the past, but we certainly didn’t find the spark in the game this time around. Even when the game tried to be pretty it came off as pretty pathetic instead. We dropped this one like a hot brick.

Instead, we spent a couple days finally delving into MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons, which were an integral part of my early gaming career. Satinel has a little bit of mudding experience, but not a whole ton and long ago to boot, so the aim was to pick a random MUD and try to give her some experience in getting used to some commands and the playstyle in general. I’m personally mostly familiar with the difference between many of the common codebases (across the different MU*s too, so MUSH, MUD, MUX, MOO, etc) and the common commands and tendencies of each, so hopefully I’ll be able to do a good job dispensing some of that information too, but I think the most important thing in getting used to MUDs is to get used to the different commands and quirks through experience anyway, and I’m here mostly as a general security blanket to ensure that nothing goes too terribly wrong.

The MUD we settled on to start was Aardwolf, which has a pretty good 100-ish people on most of the time that we’ve been playing. I picked it because it supposedly had a pretty good newbie school tutorial course to start off the game — and boy did it ever. Most MUDs do have some sort of a short tutorial, but this one was something else, it basically took us two whole evenings to properly complete. You can definitely see the work and love they put into it — but at the same time, that was a lot, a loooooot, of words, and even as a player returning to MUDs, and forcing myself through the course so that I could regain as much familiarity as possible, so many different commands were thrown at us that it all became er bian feng (耳边风, lit: ear-side wind), as the Chinese say, after a while — in one ear, and immediately out the other. Thankfully each tutorial room also had a cheat sheet that one could just copy out and paste somewhere for later reference.

A lot of the commands they taught were kind of unimportant though, it wasn’t optimized, but in theory it was a good microcosm of the different aspects of a game for a brand new player, if said player had the patience and time and concentration to spend eight hours going through it. I did entertain the thought that we should just spend time hopping between MUDs just to try their training schools out, though. But, I like this MUD so far due to the wide breadth of commands and quests and mechanics they have, many of which seem unique to them. I suspect many of the larger MUDs are like that these days, though.

For me though, I’m actually really interested in mapping out some of the zones again and building a list of maps and spreadsheets if we happen to stick with the game long-term. I did this with the one hack and slash MUD that I stuck with the longest, back in the late 90s/early 00’s, and I will probably be scanning and posting THOSE maps at some point on their own Special Page on my Shrine of Memories as well.

Other than that, I didn’t play anything much else on PC besides a little bit of Tangledeep. I’ve never been able to get too deep into the game due to getting distracted, but I like the devs a lot, and the game is nice and bite-sized, with a roguelite puzzle feel to it, so I’ve always been meaning to play more of it. Get in line though, eh?

On the phone, I continued playing Grim Quest from last week for a little bit, hitting level 20 after taking out the first four bosses, but the game got really samey with the optimal battle rotation I’m using, with the only new mechanic being a grind for obscene amounts of gold for small upgrades, with plenty more bosses to go, so meh. It might still be good for an occasional time-filler though, since each dungeon level is also quite short, but I phoned it in pretty quick and went exploring on the Play Store for a new friend.

I eventually settled on ANOTHER EDEN (emphasis theirs). It’s not a new game, but it’s a “free” JRPG with a bit of gacha wrapped around it, but that actually has maps and levels to walk around in and explore, gear to equip, and enemies you fight, instead of the silly “click on this circle to enter level 2.5 and fight 3 waves of enemies” thing that a lot of other mobile “RPGs” do. So it’s been casually interesting so far. Also, time leaps. Alsoalso, while they have collab events, the collab events (Persona event, Tales event) seem to be permanently unlocked within the game instead of being time-limited, which I appreciate.

Since the game so far seems to be all about the PvE, I’m not sure yet why there’s a gacha system with stronger and weaker characters. There’s probably just other features I haven’t unlocked yet where it’s beneficial to have stronger characters. There’s far more characters you can and are probably expected to recruit, than you actually have space on your team for at any one time, so I suspect standard mobile RPG shenanigans like events tuned to needing fully-levelled teams of characters that all use a specific element or something at some point to farm a boss into oblivion, which is a feature I do not like about them. Or maybe some PvP, though I have not seen a peep of this or other social “guild” interactions (happily so — and they do call this game a “single player experience” so I’m not expecting to see this).

Either way, my one gacha pull gave me a best girl so I’ll keep trudging through it for at least another week since they’re obviously pandering to me. Apparently it has a Steam version too but it lacks the Japanese dub that the phone has, AND you can’t casually crossplay because you need to transfer data back and forth each time, so screw that.

Plushie of the Week #7 – Toodles (and the Three Musketeer turtle siblings)

If there’s one plushie that can be said to have been bullied more than Tigey the Emperor in the plushie headcanon that we had, it would have been Toodles. Toodles was part of a set of 3 turtles that Kellie brought home for us at some point in our early Canada life, and we split them up so that each of us siblings “owned” one turtle. They were from a store called Bargains, 2 for a (Canadian) dollar, and apparently there’s a bag at home somewhere with 15-20 more of them. But only these three were given life and freedom.

They were all slightly different, and I got the tallest one, Kellie got the middle one, and Jonathan got the shortest one, to match our order of age. In order, they were given names of Steroids, Rebel, and Toodles. Later on, for some reason forgotten to time, they were also given Spanish nicknames, which were Fabio, Julio, and Pedro respectively. (According to my sister, Steroids was Fabio because Fabio was the name of a strapping muscled man on the front of a romance book, and Steroids wanted to become juiced up like he was.)

The three of them were an integral part of the Main Crew, which also included Tigey, Ducky, Cruiser, Ally, and Orson. The last two haven’t been introduced yet, because I don’t have pictures of them until I next visit the family house and try to find them to get pictures. I don’t have many pictures of Toodles either, but my siblings sent some, and a couple of them follow. First, this is a normal shot of Toodles:

And then a close-up of him as he peers into the camera:

Here’s an older shot of the little dude fast asleep:

Don’t be fooled by the lack of hair and the faded green bowtie and shell — all three turtles started with hair, and they were all vibrantly green, and I think the other two are still fairly bright green even today, although Rebel had a slightly darker tinge of green, I think. Or at least I think he did, maybe it’s just my image projection due to his name. Steroids and Rebel were left with Jonathan when Kellie and I moved out, with the reasoning that even though us siblings were going to split up, there was no reason to do the same with those turtles. Thus, I don’t have pics of them as well, but you can imagine them to have about the same build, just slightly taller and buffer and with a small tuft of hair. If I ever get pictures of them, I will try to remember to update this diary entry with a couple. Or make new Plushie of the Week entries for them.

Anyway, Toodles lost all his hair for some other unknown reason not long into his entrance into the our world, probably due to receiving much love from Jonathan, as Toodles was basically Jon’s Tigey, his little lucky charm that was brought everywhere. This made him a butt of a lot of jokes and a bit of a victim role was developed and projected upon him, with the other animals beginning to do things like rubbing his bald head for good luck, or pushing him around due to his baldness, shortness, beady eyes, and high squeaky voice, or giving him nicknames like Tootie Patooties. A plushie-only virus that caused plushies to go bald, called toodies, was named after him.

Yeah, poor chap. Despite that, the jabs and teasing were never malicious, as there was never that vibe between any of the plushies. Instead, evoking the younger brother archetype, he was also lovingly protected to some extent and would sometimes be given special privileges like being allowed to ride on Cruiser’s shell, or tucked away safely in the center of a cocoon of other plushies. Doggy, a floppy dog that belonged to Jonathan and who was a protector plushie of sorts, also seemed to have a soft spot for Toodles and would protect him. Except he was often asleep a lot.

Things I am thankful for this week
  1. My exchange advisor, Michal. I had a couple really good experiences with him this week, including a Zoom meeting, and I am so glad that the UAI office is doing their best to make sure I get the best study abroad experience possible instead of trying to throw roadblocks in my way. They definitely could have insisted on a hard way of doing things here but they did not.
  2. The Student Ombuds Office’s undergrad ombudsperson, Veronica. She really helped me organize my appeal with an eye on what I would need to include and not include to increase my chances of successfully appealing my grade. I consider myself a fairly good writer but after seeing her edit and comments on my first draft, I did realize that my organization was inefficient and repetitive, and I was able to make the necessary changes before sending it off to the chair, which would have been embarrassing otherwise.
  3. Kynji and Fames in Discord, for bringing up that casual idea that I should go seek out a diplomat career once all is said and done because they thought I would be a good fit for it. See the Life section above about this. I’m not putting my chips all in to this yet, but I did accept the germinating seed that was this idea, and it might one day actually prove to be a life-defining moment.
  4. MUDs, as I got really nostalgic this week due to Satinel and I finally getting around to beginning to explore the world of MUDs that so captivated my childhood. I have so many different experiences across a broad spectrum of MUDs, and I hope that she wil lbe able to eventually catch a glimpse of the kind of magic that got me so enthralled with them back in my pre-MMO days. There’s still hundreds of them around, ranging from small to large, hack and slash to roleplay, and everything in between, so there’s got to be a sweet spot somewhere!
  5. OneNote, specifically the free 2016 version of OneNote that I use. I have dozens of organized tabs in many different categories in that thing and it’s such a nice tool to use for note-taking. I organize games, anime, life plans, and even this blog in there. That being said, it’s somewhat awkward to install these days and I don’t know (and won’t test, because that might blow up my current installation) what the correct link to grab it at is anymore since Microsoft tries to railroad you into grabbing the inferior Onenote 2019/Office 365 versions instead. That’s the one that caused a major data loss for Trin due to syncing issues when she was building her game, and also requires a monthly subscription if you go for the Office 365 version of OneNote, which is cancerous. But, the standalone 2016 version at least makes me very thankful!
Dreams
Jun 07 2021
  • I was part of a group of people that were being hunted down by another group of people in a post-apocalyptic style setting. The leader of the other group seemed to know our rough position, even if we hid.
  • One morning while we were about to embark southward through a marsh, I looked north and noticed something on the horizon, so I squinted and magnified my vision and could see a bunch of black dots that could only be the other group, approaching us from the distance in the north.
  • I told my group leader this, and he altered our travel path to instead go south and eastwards, briefly through the swamp and then to some houses where we could hide in.
  • We travelled through the marsh with me and the leader carrying a bunch of our group’s possessions, whereas two other women carried the children and babies along, trudging with bare feed through the mud. At some point someone also caught a fish of some kind and we left its guts floating in the mud.
  • Once out of the mud, we trudged over to the housing area and hid in an apartment that looked similar to my current RL apartment. We were basically behind a sofa that took the place of the internal wall in my apartment.
  • The other group found our apartment easy enough, but we were all hiding and they combed the area for a bit without finding us (mostly because a couple people that could have seen us didn’t look down).
  • Eventually, two different people did see us, but because I knew so many people on both teams, I put a finger to my lips to ask them to keep quiet and they nodded OK. One of the people was someone that I had pegged as a friend but I didn’t recognize, and the other was a Black scientist who used to work for us as a freelancer, but then had been either captured or it had become inconvenient to continue working for us due to where he lived, so he now followed the other group around. No hard feelings though.
  • The leader of the group didn’t spot us, but he stood in the doorway to the apartment and refused to move.
  • One of his minions suggested that maybe we had all gotten eaten on our escape attempt since they had also saw the animal or fish guts floating in the mud pool earlier.
  • The kids and other women were doing great hiding but it was getting more dangerous by the moment, so I decided to do something. I left my leader where he was and put on a blue wig, and with the help of another friend that I had in the opposing group, I slipped out to join a song and dance troupe that was there to entertain the opposing leader. After a performance, I revealed that I was one of the members of the other team and that the rest had indeed all drowned or moved on, but that I was willing to join his troupe as a dancer. I planned to escape by myself in the future as I was really stealthy.
  • This feud between the two groups originally started when we were ice hockey teams, and the opposing leader was on our team. He was the best player to ever play the game, with more points in his career than the next 3 players combined. However, due to being past his prime and not fitting in our team’s strat, he was benched on our team, whereas his younger brother, who he hated but was a legitimate player on his own merits, was recruited to the team and joined the lineup.
  • He found out about this as he was operating a kiosk booth in a mall, and I took his brother by the area as part of an introduction tour. They saw each other, he made a fuss about not wanting to be near his brother, and left the team to form his own. He beat us in the league and then proceeded to hunt us down to try to convert or eradicate us. That’s why I knew a lot of people on both sides, as everyone else didn’t really care about the feud but we were all in the same business, more or less.
  • There were three snippets in this dream but I am not sure how or where they fit into the story. The first was getting vaccinations, specifically 2kg worth of them. The second was a slow coinflip motion that accompanied and moved with the opposing group’s leader as he traversed through the swamp. And the third was a segment where I had to translate song titles from English into Japanese.
  • Snippet: In a later dream, I was part of a 1 guy 3 girl group who was taking care of a bunch of children. The plot is uncertain, but it at least involved two minigames that others played, a bus, acquiring 15000 free gems in some gacha game, at least one game of some sort that we played as well, being outdoors in an urban housing area, and a teleport machine.
  • Editor: The dance scene was definitely inspired from Aikatsu!, and the 15000 free gems from either the Touhou LostWord gacha game, or Genshin Impact, as it felt like a mixture between those two games in the dream. The opposing hockey player was definitely Wayne Gretzky-esque but an evil version of him at best, with a brother who could actually play at the same professional level (the real life Brent Gretzky did as well but barely).
Jun 08 2021

Dream 1:

  • I helped a friend set up a second monitor/computer on his messy L-shaped desk in preparation for a 5-6 player hotseat game that we were going to play. One player spot was for an AI that ran as a server or a GM, though. Mom wasn’t going to come because she didn’t want to take someone’s spot but I told her that a friend had dropped out so we actually had a free spot for her.
  • I don’t remember the game but it had to do with needing to power something up to use skills. There were two different skill sets that could be used, and they somehow involved putting crystals of different sizes into something. Acquisition of those crystals seemed to have been somehow linked to two all-boy bands/groups and different combinations of their members to try to finalize their group memberships. There was some aspect of competition between the two groups.

Dream 2:

  • I was taking the train system by myself in an overseas city that was a mix between Montreal and London. It was a really large train system with many different lines, a confusing map, and it stretched over multiple rural areas and urban areas, crossed rivers and islands, and went underground and aboveground.
  • I made a transfer at an underground station at one point as I saw a somewhat familiar station name down another line that my current line intersected, so I decided on a whim to head that way. The station name that I saw was Smogmaw, it was on the outskirts of a central city hub, and I felt like I had been there before once in my dreams, a long, long time ago, so I wanted to go back there and take pictures to see if it had changed in the years since I last visited this dream train network.
  • I saw many random people and had many random events on the train. For example, I overheard several business conversations between people, as well as one boy grumbling at the train door in Japanese and asking it to hurriedly open as it slowly slid to a stop at a station, as he mumbled about Kare something. I saw the train pass by a despondent business woman sitting with her back against a tree, as well as two sets of lovers lounging in the sun on a front garden area of a factory of some kind, enjoying each other’s company. I had someone unseen drum his fingers against my thigh in the crowded train, and I moved away from him in disgust. I saw someone else at a station standing by an escalator checking for transit tickets, and I realized that I hadn’t paid and had no real idea of how to pay, even though I had unused transit tickets with me. Later on the crowd on the train thinned and I found a train seat, which was warm.
  • At one point, I saw a video ad of a station that was linked to an old Singapore station, and the video played a clip from a construction of the station. I wasn’t interested in the guy speaking in the foreground but I noticed that the background was vintage Singapore memories of places under construction and the city skyline, from 20+ years ago, that were now lost to time, and I regretted that.
  • All in all, I was in full on exploration mode, and was filled with a sense of intense wonder, freedom, and loneliness at being alone in this foreign land, as the train rattled on.
  • Editor: Smogmaw is a city in Book 3 of the Fabled Lands gamebook series.
Jun 09 2021
  • I dreamt that I was at a large shopping complex that was two adjacent tall shopping malls at least five storeys tall each, joined at the bottom floor or two by a walkway with shops.
  • I had visited both sides of this shopping complex several times before in previous dreams, and thus recognized it. In particular, there was a two-floor library on top of the left mall that I had been to before, and I could see escalators and remember nearby shops that sold clothing, books, bedding linen, and more, as well as things like an open, sunlit, indoor area on the third floor that was a computer commons area for students.
  • Anyway, I was curious today about a supermarket on the ground floor in the left mall. I walked over and stood by the entrance of the supermarket but it had not hit capacity yet so the security guard in the supermarket waved me in. I immediately walked around to browse a bit, then went over to the cashier to stand with my empty basket. I realized it was still empty though, so I let the person behind me take my place, and walked off again to look for something to buy.
  • Putting down the basket, I picked up a magazine of some kind, tucked it under my arm, and then wandered around a bit more, looking specifically at groceries. Walking slowly, I somehow strolled right out of the supermarket and toward the section of the complex that joined the two malls together, before realizing that the shelves had long since turned into shops and although I had not passed a gate, I was outside the supermarket but still had the unpaid magazine under my arm.
  • Turning around, I strolled back with the magazine in full view to acknowledge that I had forgotten to pay for it, and the guard at the mall hurried over to me and thanked me for coming back — he said he had been trying to looking for me for an hour but there were so many people in the complex that it was difficult to pinpoint any one person.
  • He asked me to follow him to a back security room that was adjacent to the supermarket. He led me through a pair of unmarked doors down a rough stone path that turned right, then left, and then into a small, cramped room. I marveled a bit at the area because I had never been to this area before and thus it was a new experience that I appreciated.
  • He sat down on the only chair in the cramped room and then felt really awkward when I asked him if I should stand or sit or whatnot. He said I could kneel down in a Japanese sitting-style in front of him, and he gave me a tissue roll, from which I tore off five pieces of thick tissues that more resembled cloths, to put under the knees so that I wouldn’t scrape it against the floor.
  • This still looked really awkward though, and to make it worse, the door to the small office would swing open due to motion sensors everytime someone passed by the office, and apparently regular people, especially students, did use a back door to the mall that was near the office, and an elevator that was directly across from the security office, so it swung open regularly as students or other people wandered by.
  • The guard was really self-conscious too, so everytime the door shut, he would open his mouth to try to speak, but then quickly stop as the door swung open again. I was a little self-conscious, but not really, because he had indicated at some point that I wasn’t in trouble but just had to help file some report. I was more conscious about my position than anything.
  • At some point, I dimly recognized someone I knew, Bernadette, whom was passing by and peeked in. I have no idea if she remembered who I was as I barely remembered who she was.
  • At various other points, we both were forced to leave the room for some reason to separate locations, and then had to return after some time. This happened two or three times in total. He asked after one of the times if I by chance had managed to find time to write the report and I said no, as it was still in the cramped side room and I couldn’t actually get into it when it was empty without him being there.
  • At another point, a pretty girl who was dressed in tight-fitting and revealing clothing stopped by, started in surprise, and then actually spoke up to ask if I was a sex worker giving him a blowjob or something, since I was a female kneeling down in front of the male guard. This made him really uncomfortable and made me laugh and I leaned in suggestively to lay one hand on the knee of his pants.
  • Impressed and getting the wrong idea, she hrmphed and explained that she was a sex worker too and would be happy to teach us tips sometime or at least meet up with us to chat again in the future. She also started talking about more private locations in the mall that we could “do our deed” in, and I realized that I also knew a couple places in the mall that we could go for peace and quiet (and that I could actually sit down properly in) to file this report.
  • The scene swung to a big 3D map of both shopping malls at this time, complete with security corridors that looped around the outside of much of the mall. I even noticed that there were maintenance railways nearby that connected the left and the right track, which could be traversed using minecarts, and I told him that we should consider taking the rails to the right building.
  • The right building in particular had a good network of railway laid down, and I remembered that Satinel had told me and everyone else in Discordia about its existence as well as how to use them in the past. There was a set of maintenance tracks surrounding the outside of each mall level in a circle, and I could see from the 3D map that you could grasp the railway and pull or push yourself to gain momentum for your cart along the rails. As well, sections of the rail had red booster tracks that would speed your cart up if your cart ran over those tracks. Furthermore, there was a section of the track that was connected vertically somehow, and you could “hop” up or down that section with the cart to reach different floors.
  • I indicated that we should try to get to the top floor of the right mall, because there were small but spacious rentable and private study rooms there with a large table and seats. He seemed to warm to the idea and so we started to head over there before the dream ended.
  • Editor: I had definitely visited this mall multiple times in past dreams before, as I remembered some activities around the computer commons area on the right, the library on the top floor on the left, as well as noting that the bedding linen store, that was one of the shops in the walkway that connected the two malls, was often quiet and bereft of visitors. I also remembered walking around looking for shops that sold collectible trading cards, although I don’t remember if I actually found a shop in this mall.
  • Editor: The rail system here was definitely inspired by Terraria or Minecraft, with slight modifications.
  • Editor: Bernadette was a really familiar name and face IRL, but I could not place from where. After some curious 4:30 am research I determined that the name of the face I remembered was actually Bernadeen, someone from high school that I had shared a couple classes with. First time in the dream diaries I’ve ever thought of her, though my Canadian school friends barely ever show up in my dreams anyway. I also was left with a strange memory of a name though, a Bernadette Lee, that fit no one I ever knew (high school and University and Facebook records turned up completely empty, and it definitely was not from before high school) even though it felt like there was someone from my late school/early working career with that name.
Jun 10 2021
  • A magical girl protagonist and two guys were travelling around the land as an adventuring party of some sort. She really liked and was possibly even romantically involved with one of them.
  • Besides the usual health bars etc as part of someone’s profile, there was also a friendship bar. There was also a guild roster, but instead of a last login time, there was a last friendship time instead, and even though it was December, several people had their last friendship time in December and several others only had theirs set to September.
  • At one point, she was injured and lying face up in a daze on a bed in the local hospital. The doctor overseeing her commented that even though her health bar was low, her friendship bar was full and pure white. She wasn’t aware about this but was happy, as that meant that her satisfaction level was really high.
  • At another point, the third wheel in the group took an arrow to the chest and had to be left behind in a city to recover as the girl and her other companion embarked on their journey by themselves.
  • Snippet: In an earlier dream, there was some kind of alternate world connected to our main one by a portal. Land was freeing up on the map as I did something, and as that happened, owners of nearby “kingdoms” of land would claim that land and move their “capital city”, as though they were steering a ship, nearer to that land in order to claim the newly created space, much to my chagrin.
Jun 11 2021
  • Travelling to and from to school was involved somehow, but the gist of the dream was that I was building a fort, not only for myself but also for my classmates, at least 15 people or so in all eventually. The room had four sofas that at first formed a primary wall that prevented undesirables from entering, and I scavenged and brought back all kinds of things for the inside of the room. Later on, as more people arrived, the couches got moved around a bit so they were more of a symbolic border than a physical one, as larger things got left inside the room but outside the barrier too. A crawlhole half the height of a normal human was necessary to enter and exit the room.
  • As well, in the room next door, there were four vending machines that I had apparently built from hand and had a friend’s help in installing. One of the vending machines had some half-eaten meatballs that I had left there from what seemed like a different dream in the past, or at least a sense of “some time ago”. However, the friend had stored it in a microwave unit that was the top part of the makeshift vending machine, and the microwave unit still worked and had heated up my food fine, so the friend said it was safe to eat. I ate it.
  • Besides people, there were also animals that were wandering in and out of the room. There was at least one cat and one chicken, and I had to rush out through the crawlhole to carry them back in (and fetch the chicken eggs) now and then when the animals wandered out of the room.
  • There was also the concept of a couple animals wandering around in another nearby room that I wanted to keep out, and part of building the barrier was to defend against them, though I also had the option of welcoming them in.
  • Then there were schoolbus scenes, where the schoolbus ceiling was really low and I had to kind of crawl over people lounging about to get to the seats. Once you got to a seat you could sit upright just fine though. I remember feeling the body heat and sweat of a girl I brushed against while trying to make my way around and over her lounging form. Random people, some friends and some former classmates and some not, were discussing classes on the bus, and although I don’t remember the class names, they were definitely University ones since they had three digit numbers and semesters attached to their name.
  • I mentioned that I hadn’t even finalized all my class grades for the previous winter semester yet due to an appeal and someone at the back of the bus asked whether I meant a specific class that he was in (I didn’t), as he was undergoing the same thing.
  • There was also a previous snippet of the same dream that was somehow related, involving an idol and her manager, another girl that held conversations with him, a floating device that gave a four digit rating score, a house that they were trying to replace or move out of, and that house had both an English and a Japanese name. The Japanese name started with Bokura or Minna and the English name (which was a direct translation) thus started with Our or Everyone’s.
  • Editor: The grade appeal is of course a reference to an ongoing saga that you can read more about in the School section of my diary entries.
  • Editor: The name of the house in the last snippet was based off of an anime idol movie which I had heard about the day before and had considered watching.
Jun 12 2021
  • Something about matching up people with giant carrots that represented their dreams, but also represented their eventual death (I think) in some way or another. There was nothing morbid about it though.
  • There was a party of some sort going on in a room at the same time as well. Now and then, someone would have to come out of the party to confront some people attempting to come up the stairs to the party — this was tied into the matching people up with carrots, although the carrots themselves weren’t what they confronted.
  • There were a whole ton of little snippets that I couldn’t remember how they fit in. For example, at some point, there was the feeling of going out with several people to those stairs, and splitting something of mine that had already been completed, into two pieces, in order to deal with whatever was being brought up the stairs. And a feeling of “Thankfully I’m here so I can take care of this”. There was a snippet at another point about someone leaving and flying away with an “Aaaaaah”, as well, and a feeling that the things coming up the stairs were sometimes puzzles and at one point I could solve half of a puzzle by myself, which represented the left side of a big rectangular block, but needed everyone’s help to do the other half.
Jun 13 2021
  • My dream involved a 12 year old tomboyish girl with long hair that could be tucked up into her hat was an internet sensation with her guitar, and had 6 songs that she wrote and could play. She would stream online and in-person. The dream didn’t actually involve her except as an important background character though, I believe.
  • I had a conflict with some sort of group that came along to my HDB flat apartment to confront me over something or other. It seemed to involve how well I could play those songs and then divide the songs into some different categories.
  • There was an element or feeling about needing to escape from this group of people chasing me by playing a sort of hide and seek game that involved those songs, and also Internet audience voting on how well they were played.

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