My first week back from the Calgary Stampede was largely uneventful. If I am sick I certainly showed no signs of it. I tried to not go out anywhere though, minus a quick trip to the mall. I was also addicted to a certain game all week, so all my free time went to that. Therefore, this post won’t be particularly long.
Entry #013 (Jul 18 2021)
Table of Contents
Make trouble down at…
ට Plushie of the Week #12
ට Things I am thankful for this week
Two small notes in this category this week. Firstly, after some hemming and hawwing, I decided not to continue the appeal up the chain for my China 302 grade. There are a couple reasons for that, mostly revolving around how long it’s been since the class was over and how little I care about the actual grade anymore. An A- is still fine at the end of the day, and I just want to cut this negativity out of my life so I can move on. I will just never take any extra classes with this Chinese department that I need to, nor ever donate to this farce of an East Asian Studies department. And forget ever signing the next petition or attending the next students’ meeting to save the department again.
More importantly though, I now have other bigger fishes to chase and things to apply for, stuff that are infinitely more exciting and rewarding than this. I’d have to rewrite the appeal again for the next level to take into account the result letter from the previous stage and I just don’t have the time or energy for that on top of everything else.
Another minor but positive school-related thing that happened this week is that I got confirmation from the scholarship coordinator that my awarded scholarship for Studying Abroad, the $4000 from the Rod and Judith Fraser Award (local) that I was awarded, will carry over for my postponed study abroad session, which is great since it means I don’t have to apply again and it was already one of the best and craziest amounts I could have gotten! It will apparently carry over as long as I do a program in Winter 2022, which starts before April 30 2022. Sophia‘s Spring semester starts April 01 2022, so that’s perfectly fine. In addition, it apparently will carry over even if I don’t go to Sophia and instead go to a different University in Japan, or even somewhere else in the world, so my options are still really open right now in that regard, which is always a good thing.
Another relatively quiet week at work, despite the length of this section. But I had a nonsensical argument with my supervisor on Thursday over how he doesn’t respect my time, after he came 20 minutes late to a recurring weekly meeting he had with me, our weekly one-on-one meeting, because he prioritized another meeting with someone outside our team who.. let’s just say is well-known for lengthening any meeting he’s in. His rebuttal was that he always gives me more time for our meetings anyway so the extra time was basically just tacked on the end of it, but this is not true — it’s true that our one-on-ones often go for an hour because we have a lot to talk about regarding my life and direction and stuff, and it’s longer than the usual one-on-ones that he gives the other members of the team, but it’s the meeting that’s booked wrongly (he refuses to formally change it to an hour-long weekly booking), and the lost time wasn’t tacked on to the end because he always has to run off at a set time.
What I actually gathered from that is difficult to put down in words, so I didn’t really try in the meeting, but it was a mixture of me being less important than the other person because I was on his team and thus beholden to him already, whereas the person outside the team was a more important colleague (whom he often shoots the breeze with) and he considered the maintenance of that ongoing friendship more important than the sacred contract of our meeting to the point that an impromptu meeting with him was more important than a scheduled meeting with me. It was for a work issue that they had the meeting, but it was ultimately for a really trivial work issue that could have waited (especially since I also had additional information about that work issue waiting to be brought up to him).
This issue in question was that the University communication and this external-to-team person were trumpeting up Google changes coming in July (local) when in actual fact this person seems to be mixing up two different changes – a Youtube change (local) coming July 23rd that barely affects us at the University (and is NOT mentioned in the University communication at all), and a notification coming July 26th about Drive files that will be altered in September. I don’t know how this translates to “Security Update for Google Drive Coming July 26, 2021” when the emails in the screenshots on the page even mention a date of September 13th.
So ultimately they were blowing up a storm (about which team should handle client communication on this issue) over the most idiotic of things (although to be fair I don’t think either of them realized that the dates were all wrong until I pointed it out afterwards — I’m not sure that external person even now realizes or admits that he was wrong) and it annoyed me that that was given priority over my meeting, and when I complained about that later, it REALLY annoyed me that his reply was “well if you were really concerned about our meeting starting on time, what about how our meetings never end on time and have always tacitly extended for an additional 30 minutes after? Should we start ending on time too?”
(Edit: I have since learnt that this is actually a Google messaging issue, and despite the misleading email, there seems to be a way to force the change through on Jul 26, and an option to let it take hold on Sep 13th. Assuming that’s true, then the external person is not being a doofus here after all.)
That was a bit of a slap in the face because it’s him that refuses to formally extend the weekly meeting in the first place, probably for “optics” and to “play fair” because everyone else largely gets 30 minutes (though most of the time it can go longer if we have more to speak about). But I’m more complex, and especially in the past have had tons of things going on in regards to the transition, the depression that went along with it, the plans to go study abroad, and other things, in addition to the normal work stuff we talk about, and the way he said it kind of threw a cold bucket of water over our entire history, as though he was saying that he had been doing me a favour by letting me talk all this time and that it wasn’t a two-way relationship/friendship.
Plus I think that part of his refusal to formally make the meeting longer even though I often need it is twofold, firstly again for optics and how it looks to everyone else, and secondly so that other people can book meetings on top of and around it, and he can move our meetings around to fit into other empty spots. Which is fine, I understand the importance of a flexible schedule, but constantly being at the bottom of the totem pole and having meetings moved around like we were just numbers on a sheet of paper, instead of actual important people whose time matters and is respected, is grating on the soul in a way that I’m not sure he understands.
He’s still a really great supervisor though and I will constantly say that to anyone that thinks otherwise. But he sometimes treats us like pawns in his political dealings with the rest of the department, without placing importance on our feelings, and then wonders why I and basically everyone else on the team often lash out at other teams and their nonsense during our morning team meetings. In this weekly one-on-one, he noted that I had been talking too aggressively about other teams and asked me to tone it down, on the one hand attributing it to how perhaps I was planning to leave the team and thus had looser filters, while on the other hand contradictorily noting that he had recently had similar conversations with nearly everyone else on the team anyway,.which implies that they all feel the same way as well regardless of what I say. It’s spreading negativlty, he said, without realizing that it’s his tolerance and “appeasement” (hello Winston Churchill) towards other teams that causes these feelings of derision from our team toward other teams and their incompetence, because we’re always left covering for them and don’t agree with his personal opinions of them. But it’s easier for him to play the blame game than realize that he’s the biggest part of the cause of all this negativity.
So anyway, while he’s still a super boss in general, at the end of the day that killed any motivation I had, and I was still feeling the anger and lack of desire to work the next day, so I took Friday off to arrange for a slightly extended weekend to clear my mind and work on other things instead. It turned out to be a really nice and needed break, so there was that!
One week back from my Calgary trip, and I’ve been feeling no ill effects thus far. Hopefully this meant I managed to avoid any Covid-19 variant shenanigans while down there. Cases in the province remain very low as well, at least for now, despite it being over two weeks since the reopening (local), so that’s good news. Hopefully it will remain that way.
It’s funny that that quote in the last link above talks about sunscreen and being burnt. I don’t think I’ve been sunburnt since I was in grade 8. Flakes of skin are starting to come off of my forehead and neck now though, which is an odd experience but not entirely unexpected, so hopefully the odd colouring will be back to normal within a couple weeks.
I still really miss the magical feeling I had from the hotel room at night in Calgary last week. Work annoyances aside, the nice positive moodlet (in Sims terminology) that it gave me has lasted this full week and still kept me thinking about a job that involves travelling in the future.
I picked up a pair of Orca Pro (local) camera glasses because I’ve been interested in video chronicling my travels and walks just to have records of them without the need to carry an actual camera around. The reason I picked these was that they claim to have video stabilization, which is important because video jitters when walking often renders “walking videos” unwatchable due to motion sickness and such. It also has decent battery life, compared to cameras that give a wider field of view or better video quality but whose battery life lasts from 30 or 40 minutes only. It also claims to have replaceable lenses, which is necessary since I can’t see anything without my regular glasses. And lastly, it has a full return policy if you intiiate a return within a month, which was important because the glasses would be absolutely unusable without lens replacements, but I can’t actually find out if they could be replaced without bringing a physical pair to the opticians’.
So when my pair came, I immediately went down to Lenscrafters to get my vision tested. My eyesight has been relatively stable over a long time, so the results were not a surprise, they’re -7.50 for my right eye and -7.00 for the left. Unfortunately, the staff member out front said that while the lens was replaceable, they were just pop-out lens and couldn’t really be replaced with lens that had any sort of significant prescription on them, because there was no groove to hold thicker lens in place. Oh well. I then contacted the company to start a return process for the glasses, and they were very nice about this.
I also found out that the glasses did fit over my glasses just fine, so I walked around the neighbourhood in the evening to take a sample 10 minute video to test how good it is. The microphone sensitivity is off the charts, and it captured a lot of my breathing (and made it sound very heavy and hoarse) even though I barely actually made any noise at all. The wind noises were also a huge issue. In addition, even though it claims to have some video stabilization, the video was still so jittery and shaky to the point that I got a huge headache watching it, and so won’t bother even uploading it to Youtube. These glasses definitely don’t work and would have gotten returned even if I could get lens for them.
I would like to do some actual silent vlogging (i.e., my “chronicling”) eventually though, I’m just not sure how to go about it without carrying around an actual, very obvious, and bulky camera with a gimbal stabilizer or something. I’d also like to do astrophotography some time though, so maybe there’s no choice.
Two interesting pieces did fall out of this, however. Firstly, the optometrist did mention that I am a candidate for glaucoma, and that she wanted to do additional tests on me next week. This isn’t much of a surprise because I think my Dad, if not both my parents, have this condition as well. If I’m diagnosed, it’d mean I have to use occasional eye drops, and that’s fine by me, since good eyesight is important and valuable.
Secondly though, she did mention (well, I brought up the topic, but she confirmed) that I was a good candidate for Lasik eye surgery as well, and that’s super tempting, especially since it’s very slightly covered under my current work benefits (local) which I might be losing by the end of the year, plus it would help me save on the ongoing cost of eyeglasses and plain allow me to see the world better. I’m not entirely convinced, but I’m thinking of it, and I’ll go down to the optometrist again to talk more about it this upcoming week as well. It’s likely still going to cost 4-5k but that’s affordable for me, and is one less thing to worry about on a day to day basis (the upkeep, cleanliness, worry about losing or breaking them or falling asleep with them on, etc.) And I have had a former supervisor who basically went to get it during lunch break over ten years ago and came back right after lunch to continue working.. I don’t plan on doing that exactly, but it did highlight how safe it is. Then again, Mom‘s worried about some reports of people having permanent lasting aftereffects like headaches whenever they look at bright lights.
I’ll think about it over the next week.
So what else happened this week. With my Friday off, I started some spring-cleaning, even though it’s already summer. I went through some old boxes and started throwing out some things, starting with pens and such that no longer worked (and really old makeup, from when I first transitioned and started looking into the world of makeup — I didn’t like it and don’t use any these days though).
I did run into some odd items that brought back old memories, things like this box of coloured pencils (complete with Japanese names for each colour too, foretelling the future I suppose!) dating from my Secondary 1 days, so way back in 1997. Apparently I still have these for some reason.
They bring back faint, nostalgic memories. I also found a few odd trinkets, like my school badge from Dunman High (so also 1997-1998). This was a pin we put on our shirts, basically over the left breast of our uniform.
There was also this coin that I guess was given to us at my high school alma mater, McNally High School. 2000-2001 was my grade 11 year though, so not sure why I have this when it wasn’t my graduation year or anything. Also it seems to have suffered a bit from the wear and tear of time, sadly.
There’s supposed to be a second heat wave coming to Canada next week, although looking at the forecast, it looks like it actually misses Edmonton (and nails our neighbours to the south and east instead) since we seem to have pretty nice weather lined up next week.
Still, I went ahead and bought some insurance ice cream, basically grabbing whatever looked interesting and was on sale (along with some blueberry fruit juice as a cold drink) from the Safeway when I ventured out of the house to the optometrist. This turned out to be a hilariously-named ice cream flavour called Unicorn Toots (local). Who names their ice cream flavour Unicorn Toots? What even exactly is a toot? Do I want to know? What executive sat down and thought up this idea?? Anyway yes, so I have that in the fridge now, and assuming that we don’t get any more heat waves, I’ll probably panic-eat all of it in December or March just before I leave the country, forgetting that it’s there in the meantime due to a lack of interest in general junk food snacking.
That provides a good segue into talking about other life habits, and one I’ve noticed that’s been developing over the past month or so is that I’ve only really been getting 5 hours of sleep a night before I wake up again, and then either that’s enough for me or I can make myself go back to bed for another 2 hours before getting up again. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it’s getting to be like clockwork. It’s happened every day this week and probably last as well. It’s not like I go to bed particularly late either, I usually am tired by a little bit past midnight, and am in bed by 1:30 am most days. It helped with dreams early on too, but now my dream journalling has become significantly weaker than it was, say, two months ago, and again I don’t really know if it’s related. Haven’t felt tired in general though, throughout most days.
And lastly, here’s a photo I took at 9:52 pm on July 10th, 2021, judging by the photo metadata. 8 minutes before sunset, and basically almost exactly 24 hours after I alighted from my return bus from Calgary. It felt extremely peaceful and particularly beautiful that evening, so I was simply inspired to take a picture. It didn’t make it into last week’s blog for whatever reason (well, I didn’t remember to pull it off my phone in time, that’s the only reason) so it’s here instead.
This week hasn’t been as nice, because we’re getting smoke from forest fires blown in from.. somewhere. Either elsewhere in Alberta, or over from BC.
I have been completely addicted by the Troubleshooters game that I bought at the end of the last Steam sale, a strategy RPG with grid combat and such similar in style to X-Com, but so, so much better. Steam tells me I’ve sunk 64 hours into it over the past 2 weeks, and I’m only about halfway done with the story. It’s more like a mix between a strategy RPG and a light visual novel, and I enjoy both aspects of it quite a lot. The characters especially are extremely memorable, and I can’t wait to see how their storyline unfolds.
Some things I like about the game include:
- The world-building and the character back stories. Even the villains have backstories, and in some cases the heroes and villains knew each other in some capacity growing up, whereas in other cases they might have met and become friends recently outside of their roles and jobs, and all that serves as character development (for both heroes and villains) when things eventually bubble over.
- The game places heavy weight on what all the characters in your company think, especially the leader, and focuses on how they build relationships with each other quite a bit. In particular, one thing I really like is how they have little moodlets of their relationships with each other, like this one because one character often walks the other one home to protect her in the game,
or this one because the character favours keeping the community safe.
Between missions, you can also click on characters in the company’s home base to hear their private thoughts about things, which is a nice touch.
- Characters exist in the town and have their own goals and reactions outside of your main character and his ambitions as well, and they react completely differently to situations than you do sometimes. Notable things happen to notable NPCs in reaction to events as well, as the town doesn’t just revolve around you.
- The gameplay itself is pretty great, with none of the classic “99% misses” like in X-Com. You can get your hit rate up all the way until 100%, for example, but the RNG percentage numbers in general feel correct. Things like hit rate, crit rate, debuffs, movement, and a lot of other things are part of your character build, which you can influence by picking their character classes, the skills, the traits, and the gear they equip.
- There’s a ton of customization, with hundreds of traits that can be equipped, and trait “combinations” that you can discover as well. There are many themed sets of 4 traits which, when all equipped, give you set bonuses. They’re hidden, but once you have 3 of the 4 equipped, the game displays the trait set to you as well as a clue as to what the fourth trait is, and it’s been fun hunting them down.
- In terms of actual gameplay, the game seems to be very crit and block/dodge dependent, and your characters feel like actual heroes compared to the other NPC units that you sometimes get to control, with most enemies not really being a threat one on one, and only really able to whittle you down slowly in groups. But there are veteran units that pose some danger, and named elite/boss units as well that pose a lot of danger, and often pose special problems of their own.
- My “hero” units play very differently too, like there’s one that’s an absolute beast who gains major buffs when she’s far away from everyone else, so I always send her running off by herself, as befits her actual personality as well. Another is a healer and buffer class who needed to be protected at all times and her quips reflect this as well. And over time you unlock some really nice synergies between teammates that interact with each other often.
- None of the characters (thus far) that you control or face in combat die if their HP hits zero either, they’re just incapacitated and taken out of the current map, (enemies get arrested, your team well.. it’s assumed they make it out with aid if you win the map). This means that even though RNG can be nasty and murder a character or five sometimes, as long as I manage to win the map anyway, there’s no lasting harm done, just a morale hit that I can pay off by taking my entire team for cake and juice after.
- The storytelling part of the game is really well done as well, I particularly love the way they use the same game engine you play the strategy map part with, to show the characters running around and doing stuff at different points in time.
- Since you work as a crime-solving unit, I also really appreciate that there are consequences, like an older character worrying about a younger character’s safety while off-work, and several instances where characters get attacked while off-worked by people bent on revenge, as well as things like dealing with exhaustion from there being too much work to do. Those are angles that not a lot of stories explore.
- Some quests have NPCs that act on their own as well, and different events that happen if X character runs into Y character during the quest (as in, their characters run near to and see each other). Other quests have mini events where you can select one of your party members to take part in a scene with, and you can see the events with the people that you didn’t pick in a case review book thing in your home base afterwards.
- To mix things up, missions often have optional objectives as well. You can complete a case and just leave or complete a case and then stay to eradicate every last atom of evil on the map, for example. Some of the more difficult maps also involve objectives that are not “murder everyone” (although that usually works) but also things like evacuating as many civilians and allies as you can. The “hero feeling” is very strong as well, for example cases where your NPCs are barely holding down a fort without you, until your team swoops in to save the day. Or a desperate situation where you’re defending a certain route or street with your heroes against a barrage of bullets while NPCs rush in behind you to rescue the wounded or civilians.
- And lastly, a small but really nice touch is that you can review quest acceptance and completion conversations with any NPC that you’ve had a side quest with. This is cool because you can do side quests before picking up characters or vice versa, and they will simply skip over lines said by a character if they’re not actually in the party yet. While that usually means that you miss out on that piece of characterization, this way you can come back after recruiting all your characters and review what they would actually have said had they been in your employment at the time of you picking up or completing the quest.
There are negatives too of course, particularly slight translation issues in places that don’t really matter, but it’s not too egregious, and it’s been a long time since a game has completely enthralled me this strongly for this long. There’s also an ingame translation suggestion tool that really more games should have.
Anyway, it’s kind of nostalgic, reminding me of the days when I had a lot more free time, I suppose? I suppose I still do have that much free time, but they’re just taken up with anime, blog-writing, and learning Japanese these days.
And best of all, this game is billed as just a “Season 1”, implying that even though it’s probably about 100-150 hours long already, there’ll be future story continuations for this ragtag group of clowns as well that I’m super excited about! Assuming that the rest of the current story is as good as what I have currently experienced, of course. There are still several characters I have met but have not recruited yet, and an implication of certain neat future events that have not happened yet, and I look forward to all of those.
Anyway, outside of this game, I haven’t really been playing anything else. I did make a reservation for the newly-announced Steam Deck though, although there’s a chance that I won’t actually be able to order it and have it arrive in time, depending on when I am leaving for Japan or wherever else I end up going. The reason I want this is that if I am going abroad to live for a year, or even plan on working in a job that involves a lot of travelling in the future, I won’t be able to lug along a huge PC capable of running all or even most of my games, and gaming-capable laptops are usually really huge, really expensive, or both. This thing looks like it would allow me to access most of my nearly 4000 games on Steam while still being relatively portable, if it works as well as they claim it does, so I did place a reservation of interest, especially since it only involves a small refundable deposit fee for the moment. Even if I can’t get it right away, I’ll probably try to get it in the future, either when worldwide delivery opens up or if I can get it through a friend who would otherwise be cancelling their preorder.
Plushie of the Week #12 – Santa Claus
I’ve been highlighting some newer plushies lately, so I wanted to go back and look at some of our absolute oldest plushies. The stuff that predates Tigey in 1998, even. Talking to my siblings and parents, the absolute oldest plushie we have is Doggy, a dog that was given to my younger brother by our grandmother when he was born (1993), but that was kept cloistered in a box for years. We then had a Woodstock (i.e., Snoopy’s companion) prior to June 1995, three Santa Clauses prior to July 1997, a Snake sometime after that, Doggy released from his prison, Tizilla in Nov/Dec 1997 (or Feb 1998), and finally Tigey in June 1998.
I don’t currently have pictures of many of those, nor do most of them have particularly interesting personalities (those were reserved for the New Wave starting from Tigey onwards), but I do have my Santa Claus with me, so here he is.
He comes as part of a set of 3, but has no tag, and I’m not sure if any of the other two do either. He was also really dusty, as can be seen in the picture. He’s fat and squishy though, and I remember Dad bringing the three of them home one night after work, and giving one of each to us 3 kids. As the oldest kid, I remember getting this particular one because he was the plumpest and thus biggest, whereas my sister got one that seemed to become anorexic and lose its stuffing over time. I’ve linked the picture before in a previous Plushie of the Week post, but you can see all three Santas in front here in this picture:
The Santas, the penguins behind them, and the three turtles mentioned here (but with no picture of them together yet) are the three sets of plushies with which all three of us siblings each gained custody of one member of the set.
And yes, while vaguely humanoid, the plushie doesn’t completely look like a real human, never mind Santa, outside of the clothing, but that’s what we called them anyway, and the name stuck (all three of them are named Santa though..). This implies that we got them around Christmas, so my Best Guess birthday for them is probably just going to be Dec 25 1996 until I unearth more evidence otherwise.
One year later edit: Here are some pictures of the other two Santa Clauses as well, circa Jan 30 2022.
Things I am thankful for this week
- The Troubleshooter game I mentioned above. I already gushed about it quite a lot above, so read that, but it’s been a LONG time since a game has consumed me to this level and provided me an immense amount of happiness over such a long stretch of time. Thrandor commented at one point that me spending 12 hours with the game open (according to Discord) was certainly a (jokingly) healthy amount a couple days after spending the entire day outdoors, and he’s right, it’s certainly quite the juxtaposition!
- Rivers and bridges. This might be an aesthetic thing, but one of the other lasting memories I have from that Calgary trip was crossing the bridge (twice) and looking over the sides to take pictures of them. Gentle or powerful, the sound and sight of a flowing river and the breeze that it carries along with it gives me such an injection of energy. Bridges that cross over rivers are very enabling as well, allowing me to get so close to the middle of a river, and I kind of have had a thought in the past of going around places and collecting pictures of bridges over rivers. Specifically, I’d take several shots of any given bridge — the view of a bridge from the sides looking toward it, from the ends looking toward the other end, and from the middle looking out both ways. And just starting a catalog of bridge pictures like that on a blog somewhere. Somewhere.
- Smoky weather. This isn’t really a nice thing to say, because as the saying goes, when there’s smoke, there’s fire, and smoke here means animal or plant life is dying somewhere else, and homes and farms are possibly at risk as well. Still, in the here and now, I kind of enjoy and appreciate smoky weather in small increments. There are two versions of this, and the version I am thankful for this week is the version where visibility isn’t really hampered, but there’s the gentle smell of smoke in the air. And I like this smell. It’s bad for people, especially those with bad lungs, yadda yadda, and I definitely close the windows if an environmental warning is issued or if it gets too bad, but I have no respiratory ailment, and so what I actually get out of slightly smoky weather is that I can make my house smell like it’s under the effect of a scented candle, just by leaving the balcony door ajar. Free scented candles! It also reminds me of the smell of joss sticks from Singapore, especially at my paternal grandma’s house.
(The other version of this, the really bad visibility smoky weather, is also interesting in the same way that a pandemic is, in that it shakes up daily life and offers a new experience, in small doses. For example, Edmonton had smoke roll in and settle over the city on May 30 2019, and the city looked like this and this and this — everything looked yellow like I was viewing the world through a vintage photo, and the phone photos don’t actually capture how bad visibility was, the actual visibility was about half of what the phone could actually see at most. It was like walking around in a computer game depiction of an afterlife world.) Also see My Diary #080.
- Short Korean daily life routine videos. Things like these sueddu ones. Using this site to reverse the playlist so it plays chronologically from the start (and turn on the subtitles option). They’re so relaxing! Apparently this is a niche of videos that exist, and I think the world is better off for it.
- The third day of a long weekend where I don’t actually have to go anywhere. It’s so nice waking up on the third day and having it feel like a work day at first, before the realization that I actually get the full day to myself kicks in. Freeeeedom~
I feel like there were a lot of near misses this week in respect to having longer, much longer dream memories. Like I generally remembered snippets when I woke up but had entire novellas just tantalizingly out of reach. Oh well. I’m also surprised that I had a dream on the 13th about Jah not playing the Troubleshooter game on Jah Stream Night, and then that actually kind of happened (due to technical issues) on the 16th. Except the game name wasn’t short at all.
Jul 12 2021
- I was one of two mages in some sort of police force or investigative unit and we solved issues by casting some sort of magical ball and letting it do its thing. Details are scarce now but they worked like homing pigeons, and could even move around independently on their own, but occasionally I or the other mage would have to struggle to try to recast the spell to either give the ball extra time or try to “reclaim” it as ours somehow, as it could get into some sort of neutral stage where it stopped working. We could recast it on each other’s balls too but it was less effective, and I remember being recalled from the middle of classes at school at least once in order to recast the spell.
Jul 13 2021
- Snippet: I and at least one other person were comparing fantasy monsters featured in a contest. The two finalists this year were the #19 and #20 entries from the previous year, and a documentary was being made about those two monsters. The former #19 one, and the eventual winner this year, were some sort of bear species from a game called The Book of (Swords? Games? some other short, plural noun similar to that.), a game which featured other gems like quantum frost giants, which the documentary host noted didn’t make much sense to her.
- Snippet: Something about Sakura-brand premium sakura cherry blossoms, though I don’t remember what context this had in the dream, just that a female charcter was holding a bouquet of these and I could see the brand name on the front of the wrapping paper.
- Snippet: Dad and I visited some friends, and the room got weird as we had to leave. The room wall began to get highlighted in neon double lines, as thoguh the room were being traced over and coloured by someone looking at the room in a top-down map. The neon lines spread around the walls of a neighbouring room as well. Dad and I were packing our two separate bags and I almost ended up taking something of his that was wrapped up by our visitors in a smaller plastic bag together with three items of mine in it. Thankfully I checked and was able to give him his item back.
- Snippet: Some of the Aikatsu! girls were in a room with me and Aoi turned out to be the best singer in her grade, although she had never advertised this openly, and so Sakura and a couple of the other kouhai girls that were competing for the #1 spot were really surprised when they heard her sing. This might have taken place in the same dream and around the same time as the packing and neon-lit walls above, as a farewell song.
- Snippet: I and my siblings were watching Jah play a game from my library during Jah Stream Night, except we were all in the main hall where the computer was in my former 4012 home in Edmonton. I was mad at him because he had borrowed my Steam library so I couldn’t play myself, but didn’t end up playing Troubleshooter like I had suggested, and was instead playing some other game that he had opened and watched the cinematic of once, so I considered it a “waste”. It had a short name like Prey. After some passive aggressive comments from me and my sister though, he switched games to the requested one, and I considered calling down Trin from our upstairs bedrooms to watch it.
- Snippet: There was something about some ox-drawn carts parked in a room and the police needing to find a way to get rid of them.
Jul 14 2021
- I was trying to get to my office building at the University after hours, when I met some girls who were trying to find a custodial staff member to get into some location as well. I asked them if I could help them as I had a master key that could open most of the doors on the first 4 floors (my office was on the 3rd floor), and they said yes, and led me to some frat houses lined up in a row a little ways away from the main building. There were various people seated outside the houses on the steps, and just as we reached the area, one of the frat house doors was opened by someone that looked really sleepy as he had just woken up. Anyway I told them that my key probably wouldn’t work for this, but tried my key on the open door anyway and found to my surprise that it did fit and could open the doors here, too. I helped unlock a bunch of the other front doors so the fraternity and sorority members could enter their homes.
Jul 15 2021
- I remember sneaking through a grid-based map of a zone with my team just before an invasion match started, during the preparation phase, and looking for a number of buried hats in the ground that would summon an NPC out of the ground and to the location. Most of the NPCs were cosmetic, but there was a girl dressed in brightly coloured clothes and carrying missiles of some sort, as well as an old man. The map was a house with an upstairs area and a downstairs one, and where time of day (evening in particular) seemed to be important and tie in to the invasion somehow. I remember a snippet of another outdoor map as well, but nothing particularly interesting about it.
Jul 16 2021
- Snippet: I remember taking a train between different countries — the train system was a local light rail sort of train but this particular train route came in from a neighbouring country of orcs, and extended 3-4 stops into our country. I could “see” the local area of the world in a top-down grid and there were a few neighbouring countries with borders nearby together besides the orc one and my one too. I had to record something while on the train in order to unlock something else.
- Later, I was exploring some sort of museum with some other people, and then Kel had to make a presentation outside the museum to some other people but she was being looked down upon or made fun of because of computer issues. We rewinded the scene and this time I helped her locate and drag a large computer monitor outside the museum, where there were a bunch of wires that could connect it to a laptop. I showed her how to connect various components together, and then left her to do the actual presentation.
- While she was doing so, I and some others climbed a nearby hill to visit a pig farm, which was located some distance on top of it. I could still see the museum and Kel from the farm itself, particularly at a little dead end side path where the pig feed was kept, but I set large glowing waypoints for her on the way up so that she could join us afterwards. Gibbs was nearby, and talked about the feeling of guilt of feeding a pig and getting it wet with one hand while holding a knife and planning to slaughter it on the other hand. Also, at some point, there was a snippet about multiple copies of this pig farm existing.
Jul 17 2021
- I was at a location that seemed to be a mix between a school campus and a carnival. I was part of a team of 5 people, competing against a group of 10 in a game. The game involved one team hiding eggs in a small house and the other team looking for them, and we were the defensive team, so I asked to be the one that hid all the eggs as I was good at that. My team agreed. However, in order to hide this from the other team, I went outside the house and did some practice pitching of a baseball, so that they would think that I was going to play some other role instead.
- At another point, I was in a tall, flimsy building with Jeremy. The building itself seemed to be made out of some sort of cloth, durable enough to hold people but always sort of in danger of collapsing. We took some sort of contraption up to the 8th floor, but needed to get to the 9th floor, so we headed for the elevator. The elevator could safely hold up to 3 people weighing about 120 pounds each, and the two of us were in the elevator along with another woman that held the door open for us. However, just before the door could close, three other people, including my mom’s sister (Yi Yi), came in as well and settled into the elevator, which started to sag a little. Jeremy and I quickly left the elevator and decided to take the next one up instead.
Jul 18 2021
- The part I remember the most is that I was visiting a zoo with my two siblings, except it was also a turn-based game and there were animals loose in the park. Ahead of us were alligators blocking the main road, for example, and although they weren’t moving, when I went near they came to life and looked at me and started to slowly slither in my direction, so I beat a hasty retreat and went back to my group and said we had to find another way. There was also a left path we could take, but this put us in combat with some enemy that was vastly superior to us in terms of level and firepower, so we were stuck there for a quite a bit trying to defeat them.