My Diary #016

Hello! Welcome to Diary Entry 16. Nothing momentous happened this week, which meant that I had plenty of time to appreciate the gentler things in life. Take some time to slow down, to think, to look closely at things, to be mindful of the beauty of life, and not to just let time pass by.

Entry #016 (Aug 08 2021)

Table of Contents

Dance along to the beat of my..
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #15
ට  Photograph of the Week #3
ට  Things I am thankful for this week
ට  Dreams

School

Hey, I have a school section for the first time in a bit. I don’t currently plan to take classes this fall, so this section won’t necessarily appear every week even once the semester starts, but something relevant came up this week in an email anyway.

Hello Campus Check in Volunteers
The in-person version of Campus Check in is around the corner, about a week away.
This year, we will be in Telus Atrium. from Aug 16 – Sept 1, and shifts will be:
Morning = 10am -1pm
Afternoon = 12 – 3pm

Please sign up for your available shifts through this Google Sheet

Oh yeah, I guess I did sign up for this some time ago. And I signed up for the in-person variety.

Your responsibility will be to go through a new student pamphlet, and answer any questions the new students may have.
The International Student Centre will be open as well, so if there are any questions or concerns you cannot address, there will be people available to help you.
For the most important information, students are looking to connect to the real student experience. And all of you have that figured out already.

You will be encouraged to work as a team as well, and you will be able to talk with others on your shift.

If you have a yellow volunteer shirt, please wear it. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, we will find you one on your first shift.

We encourage you to wear masks at all times, and the one you are most comfortable in will do just fine.

That’s interesting. The student info page on it is here (local). I wonder how many international students are actually already here, I know from the International Students Association’s Discord server that plenty are still stuck waiting on visas, and there are probably going to be measures in place (local) to help those that can’t arrive in time for classes.

Anyway the volunteer times overlap so that there’s coverage and time to pass on information, and there’s meant to be 3 volunteers in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. I probably will take some time off work to go work some afternoons, although it’s possible that things will be so quiet that I can just bring my work along anyway, or it’s possible that things are so noisy that there won’t ever be time to do anything. I can’t really imagine the latter though.

I also do already have a yellow volunteer’s shirt from volunteering at Move In Day in August 2019, but it actually says Residence Services rather than whatever this one is, so maybe I can score a new one as well. Even though both are under the larger UAI umbrella. Or maybe they’ll let me wear that one and look funny compared to the rest of the volunteers wearing the proper shirt.

I can’t help but be a bit envious of the students coming here to study though, since this is also the time period that I would have been flying off to Japan to start my adventure if not for the Japan-Canada border being closed scuttling my trip a couple months ago. Still, a b it more patience and time will get me a better trip experience, probably better than any of these incoming students will have in Edmonton. I mean, who comes to Edmonton voluntarily and pays vastly more money to study here?

Either way I probably will have to talk to my boss to see if I can take some time off to go help out for a couple sessions, I suppose!

Work

Work this week was again both quiet and noisy — there were, and still are over the weekend, a ton of tickets in the queue, but these days our work queue is managed by Jeremy, who doles out only a certain number of tickets a day to everyone. And, much as our relationship on the team is cordial at best as our personalities and attitudes clash deeply, he does try his best to make sure everyone has a balanced load, and has no qualms about letting work tickets sit (with the blessing of our supervisor) and wait for a day or three before we get around to processing them, if we are already knee-deep in other tickets. Taking that queue pressure (to keep our queue empty) off of our shoulders has honestly been a huge help to our sanity, especially since we have a couple empty seats still — and are not allowed to rehire due to the government budget cuts.

it was a short week this week due to the Monday holiday, but it felt like a normal 5-day one. That still beats last week though, which felt like a 6 day workweek. Next week, Matt is going on vacation, so we’re probably going to feel a bit of a squeeze again since we’re entering the week with tickets in our queue from last Wednesday that we haven’t even looked at. It does feel vindicative to let tickets sit though, I won’t deny that, since the alternative is to work ourselves basically to the bone to make up for the lesser number of bodies, and our boss does not want us doing that and for that to become the new norm that they’ll then calculate any future budget cuts from!

Life

Life was odd this week. Firstly, through most of Monday and Tuesday, there was a bad smell coming from my bathroom, a sharp acrid smell that made me wonder if it was sewage or something that was leaking from somewhere. It got so bad that I could smell it through my entire apartment, although even in the bathroom it wasn’t strong enough to induce a gag reflex or even prevent me from using it — it was more like a light, constant annoyance. After cleaning the bathroom and removing as much as I could from it, I isolated the source to the cabinet below my kitchen sink… but none of the pipes or anything else in the cabinet actually looked damaged, and the water was perfectly fine too, so ???

Our residence has maintenance workers that come to your apartment to fix problems if you put in a work ticket on the rental company’s website, and this is generally a free service unless it’s something deemed to be your fault (which never has happened for me). I put in a ticket there requesting someone come check out the smell and make sure everything was okay, marking it as non-emergency, which usually still meant that they’d come between 24-48 hours. I put this at midnight at the end of Monday, which was a statutory holiday. I figured they’d come by sometime on Tuesday, but the plumber didn’t actually come by until Thursday afternoon!

And by that time, I had been running the ventilator in the bathroom for about 48 hours straight, at first to mitigate the smell (together with closing the door), but I noticed by Wednesday morning that the smell had entirely evaporated and everything was back to “normal”, with next to no sign as to what might have happened. So by the time the plumber came by 36 hours later, not only had I not even bothered running the ventilator any more, I told him it had basically solved itself, and he checked the pipes, said everything looked fine, sprayed some odd liquid around the cupboard, and then left with instructions to call them if it happened again. How odd.

And then on Friday afternoon I smelled it again, but this time I couldn’t isolate it to my cupboard — instead the smell was coming from outside the house somehow, so I had to shut the balcony door and bedroom window and ventilate the house again to get rid of the smell. But then everything was fine when I opened the balcony door again two hours later. How odd (again). I have no idea what happened this week, as this has never happened before the entire decade I’ve lived here (then again, neither has bedbug fumigation, yet THAT happened twice this year as well..), but I blame neighbours somehow.

In related news, I mentioned my bedroom window — for some reason, I had forgotten or not realized that my bedroom window could actually be slid open. I don’t know why I never tried it, I guess I never really thought about it because I don’t use my bedroom, and when I do it’s hidden behind curtains that were permanently closed anyway so people across the way can’t look in. But they could be opened, and this helped a ton with airflow during the hotter days this week, so that was great. I’ve just crested my 10 year anniversary of living in this apartment now, and I definitely have not opened that window for at least 9 of those years.

Along the vein of something else close to home that I’ve never done until this week, I began taking some evening walks this week just to try something different, since it was nice to get out of the house during warm evenings (my house sometimes feels like a furnace!) and especially since I’m still on a self-imposed just-in-case quarantine this week and so evening walks allow me to avoid basically everyone else while upping the step counter for my current World Walking tour. I had never walked around the area late in the evening or at night before, and I picked up some nice evening pictures which I will dump into a gallery at the end of this section. These late evening jaunts felt like mini-adventures though, and they were pretty fun, though this is definitely going to wind down and cease as winter approaches. We have, at most, 3 more months of good weather — probably less, since it usually starts snowing around Halloween.

By the way, this is what my current walking tour looks like nearly 28k steps in. Kynji did find a really similar site with some additional features and even medals that you could get at the end of the tour, but the site demanded cut-throat sign-up prices for each individual journey, and you even seem to have to set an end date for each one, that you will fail the journey on if not achieved by that date, and I’m unsure if that’s optional or not. Frankly seemed like a joke and a scam rolled into one, I’m not sure how they got so many silly people to pay for those godawful medals just by labelling them as “limited edition”.

It looks like our premier is going to attempt to end virtually all COVID-19-related measures by mid-August, including dismantling all the testing and reporting infrastructure that tracks positive cases and makes people who test positive quarantine.. and this is backed (and possibly even led) by our chief medical officer of health in the province as well. It’s pure insanity. I do support all the push for reopening that they’ve done, but this is very clearly idiots in power trying to push “normality” in order to win conservative votes (because the premier’s support is abysmally low and he’s probably not going to win the next election), and playing Russian Roulette with people’s lives. More selfishly, I worry that this is going to trigger a 4th wave so bad that Alberta gets put on a special block list and I won’t be able to go down to USA for Rin’s wedding in a couple months, nor maybe even Japan at the start of 2022. I’m happier than ever that I more or less won’t be going to the University of Alberta for classes this September though. There’s going to be outbreaks for sure.

Combining the two topics of walks and going overseas, Jah linked a website in Discord this week where one can watch walking videos (hosted on Youtube) around major cities while simultaneously listening to radio stations from that city. This is very cool, and I spent a bunch of time on the Singapore site feeling very nostalgic. The problem is that you can’t choose the radio station, and many of the links are actually dead, so you keep having to go back and forth between your desired country and another country until you roll the radio station that you want, in Singapore’s case being Gold 90.5 (though I like the Chinese station, 93.3, too). I did realize however that this site (created by someone in India) is totally a ripoff of this site (created by someone in Germany), except the latter, which came first, consists of driving videos, rather than walking videos, set to radio stations.

The walking site even has the exact same UI as the driving site, complete with the exact same style of popup after you watch the site for a little bit, and a coffee donation link that goes to a different person’s profile on the same site, as well as a “Follow me” instagram link that points to nowhere because the developer apparently doesn’t have social media but couldn’t bother to remove the link. It’s such blatant plagiarism. Except the copycat developer removed the radio station channel surfing arrows that the original site had, which is the one feature that I wish they DID copy over.. argh. Still, it doesn’t cost me anything to listen to it, and probably costs them a little bit of hosting resources at the least, so I was happy to listen to it anyway.

I also had some extra time in the evenings this week, and watched a couple episodes of a show on meWatch, a Singapore official streaming site that I’ve mentioned in previous writeups. This time, the show that captivated me was On the Red Dot: Hawk This Way, and this specific show is neither geoblocked to Singapore IP addresses only, nor restricted to people with an account only, and has English subs, so any hypothetical visitor should be able to comfortably watch it by just clicking on that above link if they so desire, assuming the show is still listed there. Anyway, what really interested me about this is the food culture aspect of the show. Hawker centers were a big part of my childhood growing up, but I also love how they trace the history of the stalls and chronicle the stories of the stall owners, as well as talk about how current affairs (i.e. COVID-19) have affected them. I’ve been tangentially interested in food culture ever since I applied (and was accepted) for the Japanese Food Culture class (local) that was going to be run by the UofA (and has been cancelled two years in a row, now). I watched all 3 episodes in quick succession and will be keeping an eye out for any future episodes.

While doing that, I also scanned a number of family albums this week. I had eleven small albums left, and scanned seven of them, so I only have four left and should finally be done digitally archiving those by next week as long as I don’t get too distracted. Then I can start looking at either my yearbooks, a pile of brochures I have sitting around, or other stuff from my school days and vacations that I would like to make digital copies of. Out of the seven albums I scanned, three were of my paternal grandma, who passed away in 2000 (I think) after we had moved to Canada, and it was a little emotional going through them, especially since I was also thinking of the acquaintance whom I mentioned had passed away last week, a friend of a friend from Lord of the Rings Online that I had known and talked to quite a few times as well, throughout most of the week.

(And yes, I do recognize the irony of her passing on the very week after I wrote I was thankful that I had yet to lose someone in my immediate circle of friends/family. I still haven’t, as she wasn’t nearly close enough to me for that, but that’s not exactly meant as a challenge to the gods or anything like that.)

One thing that did come up from my scanning escapades though was that I found a few more pictures from the balcony featured in last week’s Photograph(s) of the Week section. So I edited that page and threw in a few more pictures at the bottom. I also found a couple interior shots of the apartment that helped me dredge up some forgotten memories from the past, which was neat. There’s still large swathes of the house that we apparently never photographed, though. (Edit: I found a few more precious photographs in the 3rd to last album!)

My Amazon.ca account has been blocked from doing reviews since oh, 2013 or 2014 or so, due to what I believe to be a seller who didn’t like my negative review on his product reporting it to Amazon for suspicious activity or something, even as he contacted me to try to get the negative review flipped. I had tried to get it unblocked by Amazon soon after that to no avail, as I asked for an escalation and it never went anywhere, and I hadn’t contacted Amazon about it since then. But I was looking at my purchase history this week (after purchasing the vacuum I talked about last week, which sucks — well — by the way!), and decided to send in an appeal and explanation to Amazon again on a lark, and it worked!

Thank you for contacting us about your reviews. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

After reviewing the account once again, we have restored this account’s previously contributed reviews   and the ability to contribute reviews, comments, customer questions and answers, and other content. It may take up to 24 hours for reviews to reappear.

Great! Not like I review a lot of things to begin with, but this at least clears away another little pebble in my shoe that’s been bugging me on and off all these years. And it only took ~7 years.

And lastly, here’s a picture of the lit-up Christmas tree (that’s basically lit year round) that I’ve mentioned in several blog posts already! And then a few random photos of my late night neighbourhood in a gallery!

Aug 04, 10:00 pm. Apparently there’s actually more than one tree lit up.
Games

Again, I barely played any games this week, besides the usual phone and browser culprits. I did find out that Honkai Impact has a PC version though, and that it has a cute tongue-in-cheek crossover event with Genshin Impact, a game I’ve also played in the past (and also really should get back to), so that was nice. Both are games from the same Chinese publisher, miHoYo.

I played a bit of Bloons with Satinel, and felt very out of touch since they’ve had a major update since I last played. I didn’t even touch Troubleshooter this week though, since I was busy either watching shows or scanning stuff in the evenings, but that game also had a small update to add a new quest to the storyline, implying that the story isn’t complete yet and is unlikely to resolve most of the burning issues that it’s brought up in the plot so far. I’m not sure why I haven’t felt like playing it though, I suspect it’s a mix between how long some missions can be (even if they are pretty epic), and how long the downtime between each mission is if you stand around and tweak your builds based on all the new stuff you just uncovered each time.

One game I did briefly dabble in this week was Cogmind, a game that I had bought at the time as Troubleshooter at the end of the Steam sale, but never got around to. It’s an odd little roguelike where you’re a robot with parts that wear down really quickly, but you can find tons of new parts each level to strap and weld onto yourself to replace old parts.

You also seem really durable and get a full heal at the end of each level, and in the scant 3 levels that I played in my very first game, that led to a case where I never felt like I was going to die in any situation despite not knowing anything about the game and jumping right in on the hardest (and “intended”) permadeath roguelike difficulty. I’m sure this changes eventually though. But I’m not sure I have the patience to play this very long.

I actually really like the concept/theme, and the mouse support in the game is great, but the UI has big issues, like what even is this nonsense. It’s a view setting that’s a main feature I had to use many, many times — a way to view all loot on the ground — but lines are cut off, the arrows are an unclear jumble, and this isn’t even all that much loot, I’ve been in areas with double the amount of things on the floor and it’s just a complete mess. They should take a cue from how Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead does their “show all visible items on the floor” command, it’s great, a scrollable sidebar list that highlights each item and its path/distance from you as you scroll through the list.

Plushie of the Week #15 – Winnie (working name)

Winnie, not to be confused with her more famous cousin, is a yellow bear from a shop called Teddy Bear Museum, located at one of the plazas of the N Seoul Tower in Seoul, South Korea. She cost 20,500 KRW after tax, which is $22.46 CAD today according to Google. Her birthday is July 28 2014, as that was when I stopped by the store while sightseeing on my very first solo trip to South Korea.

Her current working name was given to her by Jahandar, though he probably doesn’t remember that, and frankly, since I had to actually do some research to even find out what her name was (I just call her Teddy Bear most days, which doesn’t help because I have a few of them), I didn’t remember that either and would consider christening her with a new name again if someone would care to provide her with a good one. By the by, a working name just means the plushie’s current placeholder name, but one that I haven’t decided is permanent yet. Carrotblade’s name from an earlier post is in the same boat, as loyal readers might recall.

Anyway, this teddy bear is quite adorable, but I’ve never imbued her with a personality of any sort as well. She’s also kind of playing second fiddle to Billy now, as both are from Seoul, rescued a year apart, and Billy is just that much more adorable. But so are you, Winnie (working name)! I’ll eventually post a picture of what the shop looks like when I get around to import my Korean trip pictures over from Facebook to the blog, but here are pictures of Winnie herself in the meantime.

Front:

Back:

Tag:

Tag 2:

Photograph(s) of the Week #3

I’ve started this series off with a couple pictures of my former house, so this week I thought I’d pivot and show the earliest existing pictures I have of myself, instead! These first seven pictures of me are from Mar 03 1984, when I was 1 week old:

With various half-pictures of my mom and dad as well. The pictures were taken in our old home in Clementi, which I basically do not remember at all, we moved out of it before I was 3. The red packet there likely didn’t actually contain money like it usually does for Chinese New Year festivities — it likely contained a Buddhist talisman inside for protection, whereas the red packet itself signifies prosperity. I still do have a half-packet like that with a talisman inside that is folded up and carried around with me, I wonder if it’s the same one? (Note: I checked and it is not, the markings on the front of the packet are different.)z

This next picture is me at 12 days old, on Mar 08 1984, I have no idea why I’m wrapped up like that but it happened in more than one picture. I guess it was to prevent me from rolling around, maybe?

And here’s one of me at 7 weeks, clutching my bolster tightly.

And lastly, what my parents got for my baby shower, I suppose!

Good times, good times. I recognize next to nothing from these pictures though.

Things I am thankful for this week
  1. Wallpaper Engine. Set a custom wallpaper for your desktop, and many of them are animated, respond to audio on your machine, and so on. There’s a lot of great wallpapers for every type of taste, but the specific one I use as my main wallpaper is this one. I picked it originally for the combo of the rain, the random_anime_girl_character_art, and the reflection of the night city which I love, but frankly the actual picture on a wallpaper seldom matters because the real estate on both of my monitors are completely used up most of the time. However, what makes this specific wallpaper shine for me is the background music. It’s a soft, wistful tune that I have turned down quite low, to create the effect (because I use fuzzy $1 speakers instead of headphones) that it’s playing from somewhere in the distant background, outside of my home, instead of my computer. The tune is a bit repetitive, but somehow I don’t really get tired of it because it feels so far away and so faint (and if I do, i can always switch it up). And best of all, since it’s audio-responsive, it fades out to nothing automatically when it detects any sort of sound playing from any other program on my computer! And then starts back up again after the other source of sound stops. The app is great! I’d use it even just for the automatic fade-in fade-out background music even without a wallpaper.
  2. Morning storms. Yes I know I’ve done evening rain before, but this week on Saturday, it was overcast most of the morning, and started to pour torrential rain at around 10am or so. That was crazy nice weather, especially since the temperatures at crested 30 degrees Celsius a couple more times this week (we apparently already set a record this year for the most number of days in a summer with 30+ degree temperatures). But what makes morning storms so nice in particular is that the skies remain overcast through sunrise and beyond, making it seem as though the sun forgot to rise in the east and the day forgot to start. It’s like I got a few hours of bonus late evening/pre-dawn weather, and I thought that that was really fabulous!
  3. Satinel finally got her 2nd vaccination shot this weekend, on the 6th. Thank the heavens she made it this far as a front-line essential worker. Doesn’t seem to have too much of a reaction to it too. Yay!
  4. Food smells in the evening. Yes, I just thanked the gentle smell of BBQ (while sitting at home) last week, so this is not all that different. However, when I started my occasional evening walks earlier this week, I did expect the nice weather and cooler wind and gentle light and lesser people around and all that as positive factors, but one thing I did not expect and was pleasantly surprised by was that I could smell various people’s dinners wafting out through open balcony doors as I took a swing around the various apartment blocks here. And that was a bit of a wow moment. It felt like I was briefly touching their lives, even though I was just passing by in the night. Different places would have different faint scents, and sometimes they’d combine together to create even more interesting scents. I even smelled something really faint my first night out that I couldn’t place, but that I could identify as a really old food or drink (possibly soup) memory. It wasn’t a particularly nostalgic smell, nor anything I can remember anymore anyway, but I had definitely smelled it before and it really piqued my curiosity as to what it was. I wish there was a way to detect and “google” scents to identify them.

    There’s a secondary piece to this as well, and that is that this only really works well during summer nights — the temperatures this week varied quite a bit, and when I went for my walks around 8-10 pm, it was as low as 14 degrees one night to as high as 28 degrees another night. No one keeps their balcony doors open while serving food when it’s 14 degrees out, so the only way you can smell the gentle scents of grandma’s food mixed with Indian spices and a dash of something vaguely nostalgic while walking around is when it’s warm outside!
  5. And finally, judging by a couple interviews she had this week, Kynji might be on the verge of landing a pretty great-sounding job that she actually wants and hopefully pays decently well too, so fingers crossed that it all comes together and she gets an offer the next week! I’m at least thankful she got the opportunity and was named the candidate, and shared her happiness with us, after all the struggles of the past couple weeks that she’s been through!
Dreams

I had a couple really, really long dreams this week, which also dredged up some old memories that I had completely forgotten about. Those were super interesting to me. I wonder why my subconscious chose now of all times to regurgitate old details that I had long since forgotten, like being the person that everyone went to in primary school when they needed stationery like scotch tape and hole punchers, but I’m happy that some of those were still lodged somewhere deep down in the ol’ noggin, as they’re now retrieved and written down as proper memories.

I also had dreams involving the Chinese, Japanese, and even French languages this week, in addition to my usual English dreams. How weird!

Aug 02 2021
  • I started off in a classroom as class was ending. It was an elementary Chinese class and the teacher did some wrote some kanji on the whiteboard and asked me to come up and write the answer to a question on the board too. I did so in simplified Mandarin, and the teacher was impressed. She asked the class who already knew traditional Mandarin, and who already knew simplified Mandarin, and only 3-4 people put up their hands for either question. I put up my hand for both though.
  • Someone asked if it was important to know both if they were going to travel to Asia, and i raised my hand to answer the question and said that it depended on which country they went to, some countries like Taiwan used traditional Mandarin and some like Singapore and mainland China used simplified. Everyone raised their hands to ask followup questions after this but the bell rang and the teacher dismissed the class instead.
  • I also got a test back and looked at my grade after class. It was part 2 of a test and was written in English, so it wasn’t related to the class that just ended. I had gotten a 77% on it despite a lot of answers marked wrong on the test, since there were a lot of questions on the test — it was multiple pages long and contained many multiple choice, fill in the blank, and long answer questions.
  • I left the classroom and headed for the bus stop on an office chair. I was driving or propelling the chair somehow, and it was moving as though I was using my legs to push it along the ground, even including things like speeding up after a push before gradually slowing down, except it was all automatic and I wasn’t actually physically propelling it. It could even jump curbs as needed.
  • I stopped off at a washroom with two large toilet stalls side by side in it, one for guys and one for girls. For some reason I could see two guys hanging out in the girls cubicle, even though the sign clearly said that one was for girls, so I used the other cubicle instead since it was empty. I also met and made a new friend from the Chinese class, she was headed to the same bus terminal as I was and had stopped off at the washroom too to freshen up. I explained why I was using this toilet instead of the regular one for girls, and she did the same thing.
  • Afterwards we headed for the bus terminal together but separately, and I hopped the office chair up onto the bus and drove it home using public transit.
  • At some point afterwards, I was back in a school toilet after alighting from the bus, except it was not my usual toilet and the gender signs were flipped. The reason I had to go to this other toilet was that it was midnight and not all the rooms in the school were open. Despite it being midnight, there were still some occasional students roaming the halls, just far less than during the day.
  • I was using the left toilet which was labelled as the females’ toilet this time, but I could see the right toilet for males, and the toilet bowl came with a rather intriguing device plugged into the seat itself — it was meant for meditation, and had noise-cancelling headphones that also came with an attached blindfold, a penis gag the user could strap on to prevent talking, and two small electric pads that they could attach somewhere for stimulation. Totally meant for meditation. The headphones had a prominent model number too that I could see, GX-something, a three digit number following the dash, in the manual for the headphones that was conveniently laying open on the floor.
  • At some point, Debbie and a friend came in to the washroom as well and looked confusedly at the manual that I was peering at. I shrugged and said it was from the boys’ toilet. I asked Debbie if she recognized me, and she didn’t at first, but eventually recognition lit up her face and we greeted each other.
  • Snippet: Attack from Titan season 6 episode 1 was released, and somehow I was downloading it even though I didn’t watch the show because it was popular in class. The place I downloaded it from labelled it as episode 39 at first, so my anime program didn’t recognize it properly even though it was technically correct in my dream world’s logic, and I decided to download another one that had the proper season numbering on it. Two male students came into the room at some point and started to make bad comments about the show, and incurred the wrath of the girls in there who liked it.
  • Snippet: Students at the school all used a smartphone with an app to show school events, but newer students had to occasionally seek out any older student who had been there longer than them and sync their phones with the other person in order to get updated calendar information. The more senior you were, the more stable your phone app was, or the more info you had/were given on your phone, I guess.
  • Snippet: At some point, a guy mentioned the Japanese phrase tsuki ga kirei, which translates to “the moon is beautiful” but is also apparently a phrase that declares your love for someone. The girl sitting beside him immediately clasped her hands together and gasped at him, and many cute little hearts started floating above her head.
  • Snippet: At another point, we were building something and people were bringing in large wooden blocks as well as steel construction I-beams to wherever we were so we could merge them together (the I-beams literally were shoved through the middle of the wooden blocks) as part of our structure.
  • Editor: Although I don’t have a mention of the office chair in a previous dream, I’m fairly certain this isn’t actually my first dream with it. Also, I remember a second good dream friend that I had made earlier in the night, but I have no idea what the context was with the person nor what they were like now. Making dream friends and then losing them always hurts a bit afterwards.
Aug 03 2021
  • Snippet: At some point, there was a giant board, like a chessboard, and a giant 下 symbol roaming around the squares on the board. I’m mildly positive that sometime before that, there was a 上 symbol doing the same thing as well.
Aug 04 2021
  • I went to join a fire-fighting volunteer team with a male friend, this was downtown and there were several tall office buildings gently burning on the inside — i.e. the buildings were evacuated and we knew there was a fire inside but it wasn’t spreading too fast and no one was really concerned.
  • An attendant took our names, and then we joined the queue outside the front door. Two policemen arrived after a bit and started cross-referencing our names on the list and allowing us in, they couldn’t find my name at first and gestured to some other name on the page even though I could see my name right in the middle. I pointed it out to them.
  • Once we were inside, they sat the 12 of us volunteers down on some wide steps in the lobby. Each step was 2-3 feet apart from the next one so it was very broad and there was lots of space to sit on. They then turned on TV cameras and proceeded to interview us. We had to speak with the host for 10 minutes each, in the best French that we could, though we could substitute words for English if we had no idea.
  • I didn’t like this, I barely knew any French after all besides the simplest of words. the first interviewee liked this and encouraged the rest of us to be sure to practice our French, and even encouraged us to skip school if needed, citing COVID-19 safety reasons, and then learning French by ourselves at home. It was a super useful and great language, she said.
  • There was a commercial break after the first interviewee was done, and I stood up to leave with my friend, as did a couple other volunteers that hadn’t gone yet. The confused TV host asked for feedback from the people leaving and I said that I only had 2.5h to help with the fire fighting anyway, and spending 2h of that on impromptu TV interviews was not worth it.
  • Snippet: There was some sort of war going on and I was building robots out of machine parts. We had hundreds of them in piles but I could hear a humming noise coming from the good parts.
  • Editor: The robot snippet was most likely because I played a bit of Cogmind before bed last night.
Aug 05 2021
  • I was on vacation in a town that was like Seattle or Portland, although my hotel was on a street running left to right called Robson Street, which is a main street in Vancouver. It was a small, cozy hotel with three or four floors. I was doing vacationy things by myself, but had my mom, dad, two siblings, and a pet dog there as well.
  • I had also apparently been vacationing here before, because I remembered about a bizarre hotel that I used to stay at in another dream in the past. This hotel was tall as a needle and very narrow, and the needle was divided into five vertical sections stacked on each other and coloured a different section on the outside, with each section at least 20 floors high, and with only a couple rooms per floor. The two swift elevators that served the hotel would descend or ascend very swiftly to the start or end of the 20-storey segment of the hotel that contained the floor that its passengers had chosen as a destination, before slowing down and ascending/descending to the correct floor. I.E, the needle segments were floor 1-20, 21-40, etc, and if someone was going from floor 80 to floor 31, it would rapidly descend to floor 40 at a speed that would make you feel like you were almost freefalling, and then normally descend from 40 to 31.
  • Anyway, I wasn’t staying in that hotel this time because I was not alone, but I did check the Internet to see what the death rate of tourists there were since the elevators were kind of dangerous, but apparently it was no higher than any other hotel.
  • On to actual vacationy things. I attended a class of some sort where an instructor was showing us a video or livestream of some other people taking part in some other event in the city. There were about 12 people and they had a bunch of horses, and he asked the class to estimate how many animals the handlers had in all. I asked if we should count a bunch of chicks that we saw in the video that were running around but were served as breakfast later on, he said no. I guessed 24, 2 per person, whereas a few other people in class thought a bit and came up with 25, hedging against my guess by adding one in the hopes that they’d be “closer” to the actual number. However, the instructor said that I was correct.
  • The instructor then said that he was an astronaut, and he asked the class if anyone cared to guess what that meant. Someone said an astronaut was someone that had gone to space before, and he said they were wrong! I tried, and I said that it was someone that was trained and could go to space, or at least could go high enough to at least reach the upper atmosphere of Earth and escape most of its gravity field. He said that was correct, specifically the first part.
  • He then told us his life story, where he had trained to be an astronaut and was set to fire off into space, but could not do so as he believed a meteorologist on TV who was reporting on wildfires burning through his Australian hometown the very same day that he was scheduled to go into space, and instead went back to save his house. However, it turned out that his house was actually fine – in fact, every house in his town had burnt down and his house was surrounded by scorched tiles, but the specific tile that his small house was on was fine, so he could have gone on his trip and not lost everything. He then tried to go to space again the next year but was forced to retire due to a leg injury instead, so he ended up becoming a teacher here.
  • Once I left the class, on my way home, I stopped by two trading posts (from the game Medievia) that were very near each other on the eastern end of Robson Street, to do some trading between the two locations to earn a little bit of pocket change. One of the two had a goods appraiser, and I could see the prices of all the goods between locations elsewhere in the city, they were far away locations but promised good profit. However, since these two trading posts were practically 20 tiles or so away from each other, I looked for small profits that could be made shuttling goods between the two posts. Most of the prices in both posts were identical, but I found some that would give me 1 gold to 3 gold profit per item, and loaded up my cart to haul some of that over to the other nearby post.
  • The scene then became a late evening, with dark blue skies that signified the sun had set, and I started walking home to my hotel. I saw Zixiang and Xuanjie walking together on the same side of the road toward me, heading to a restaurant of some kind, and I waved to them, but they passed right by me as they chatted with each other, not seeing me at all and apparently interpreting my wave to be someone else. I realized that although they looked the same to me, I probably looked very different to them. And while I had corresponded with Zixiang over email, I had not done so with Xuanjie yet.
  • I then saw Rachel across the road, and crossed the road toward her as well. I saw her enter a restaurant and take a seat by the window next to the street, where Arlena was there waiting for her. I realized that a good portion of the Dunman classes were coincidentally here on vacation as well.
  • I received some text messages on my phone from an unknown sender, which I assumed to be spam mail, but it was promoting some event going on nearby and also telling me about a real estate incident here where a bad tenant had been evicted, but not before he had ratted out a family whom he could see from the balcony of his apartment, they had a big tent in the middle of their living room that they were renting out to Asians and he could see all that. The unknown sender said that the real estate agents in the region were very excited, because there was normally very little residency movement in the area and so they were all bored with nothing to buy or sell, but it looked like two properties were soon going on the market.
  • I went back to my hotel, walking my dog along the way somehow. He was on a leash, and as we entered the hotel and I headed for the very safe stairs to head up to our 3rd floor room, he scampered up to another dog belonging to someone that was also going up the stairs, and they started playfully barking at each other. One of the dogs pooped on the stairs, but I was fairly certain that it wasn’t my dog, and so I thought the other person was being really rude by leaving the poop there.
  • I was vindicated once we got to my hotel room, as apparently I had been training my dog to use a human toilet, and my dog ran right to the toilet and sat down there like a normal human to let his poop go, a few moments after we entered my hotel room. I was proud of him and glad my assumption earlier was correct.
  • My parents and siblings were in the hotel room as well, and once the toilet was freed up again and some time had passed, it was available for me to take a shower. In the meantime, I had learnt that the unknown sender of the text messages earlier was Huihan, and also taken out my laptop and started to pen an email to Zixiang to see if I could get myself invited to some reunion events that the people in my Dunman classes were obviously coincidentally having in the same city. I realized that this would out my new post-transition self to everyone else who was there, including Xuanjie, and thought about it for a second, but I came to the conclusion that I was very okay with this.
  • I started to pen an email to him using an email template that had a detailed placeholder story already written out, except I went through and changed the all the events to match my actual day in the city as well as my actual life since leaving Singapore instead. One part I remember sticking out is describing how the first 2-3 years of my University life were a complete hole in my memories that I did not recall at all, and that I had regained awareness and control of myself halfway through the fourth year of my Computer Science undergraduate degree, finished up that year and graduated, and then started working. I wrote in the email asking how their trip was going and that I had literally walked by them and waved to them earlier in the evening, but did not speak up to identify myself then because I didn’t want to surprise them.
  • The tub was ready at this point and I was going to go take my shower/bath, but Dad went into the toilet just before me and turned on the TV embedded above the bathtub to search for and watch a Daft Punk video, because he said I was taking too long to get into the shower. He said the video would take 8 or 9 minutes and that I could wait. I felt that he was being insensitive and just trying to irritate me, however I wasn’t irritated as I could just go back to writing my email anyway, which is what I did.
  • Re-reading what I had written, I decided using the email template produced an email that was too long and awkward, so I deleted most of it and just left in the part about passing them on the street and waving to them to say hi, and that I was in the city, and decided that I’d tell them about everything else when we actually met up instead.
  • Editor: I’ve never had a pet dog, I didn’t finish a Comp Sci undergrad degree, and the feeling I had when I woke up was that the missing 2-3 years of my dream college life felt like I was partially merging with someone else’s memories, even though most of the detail was predominantly mine.
  • Editor: The hotel in question, I think, is the one from this dream from Feb 24 2019. I have attached the relevant snippet below. It’s not the only dream that took place in this hotel though, I think. I remember another one where I was going between rooms.
  • Every household or business had some sort of machine outside the front door, where you could input a password and then use it to edit and auto-build structures on land that you own. We showed someone how to use it and noticed he hadn’t changed the manufacturer password yet. He had a hotel lot, and it auto selected the length and width of the small plot, and gave us options to extend it all the way up into the space line of the atmosphere manually, or using four preset level values. We used the highest preset and watched as the hotel was instantly built up just past the end of Earth’s atmosphere. We saw little attendant NPCs tend to guests of the hotel, guiding them from the garage after they had parked their car, and leading them to one of the two elevators that served the entire hotel, to get to their room.
Aug 06 2021
  • I had just rejoined my Dunman High class after a 1.5 year break due to depression, and was getting ready for school on my first or second day. There was a dream segment before class that took place in some busy area that seemed like an airport passenger scanning area, complete with metal detectors and passengers being scanned, but this was also somehow my home base.
  • I grabbed my school bag and almost left but realized I was still missing a number of things. I told myself not to panic, made a mental checklist of the items I needed to grab, and then grabbed most of them from the tables around the area — this included four erasers that I have had in the past, one mechanical pencil and one regular pencil, my RL money purse (shaped like a cat) and card purse. I also grabbed my phone and wanted to grab a USB stick that had all my music on it but could not find that.
  • I was also reminded or found out around here that I had some Chinese homework due today, at the start of Chinese class, and this class was scheduled for 2nd period in the morning. It was unclear as to whether this homework was given to me before I left for my 1.5 year break or not, as I had a vague feeling that it was and I had simply forgotten to do this, and I had the notes and assignment on hand, but it was also due today for everyone else in class and they certainly had not taken a 1.5 year break. The homework had a number of parts but was largely three different essays that had to be written in Chinese, I think one was about environmental conservation of some sort. Due to this, I grabbed my English-Chinese dictionary on my way out the door too.
  • Arriving at school, my class was pretty much exactly my old Secondary 2 classroom still. Our tables were grouped together in clumps of 4-5 like normal, with people randomly assigned to seats each semester, and I was sitting on the front left clump next to Jean. Most of the people were not in class, as they had ran down to the flag area/carpark for morning assembly, but I sat down at my desk, checked the schedule, and started to work on my essay anyway. There wasn’t much time though and the music for assembly started playing, so I got up and followed three other people who had also been lingering around in class, heading toward the assembly area.
  • The music stopped before we actually reached the area, but the area was within view, so as per normal procedure we just stopped where we were and recited the school anthem, national anthem and Singapore pledge from the lobby of the building we were in, while looking over at the main flag area/carpark at everyone lined up there doing the same. I saw where my class was lined up, and saw a few people I knew like Eileen and Zixiang. I was proud of myself for remembering the words of the pledge.
  • After all that was done, we hurried back to the classroom, arriving ahead of the rest of the class since we were nearer to it. I started working on my essay again. First period was Chinese literature, a self-study period where most basically pulled out a Chinese book of some kind and started reading it, or ignored everything and chatted among themselves like kids do. I was doing my Chinese homework, so I figured that counted, though someone at some point told me it didn’t. I ignored them. I forget who the person on my right was but I glanced over at some point and she was reading a large, thin book with lots of pictures in it, kind of like a children’s book, but with a fair amount of complex Chinese characters on each page too.
  • First period went by really quickly and I was only a third or so done with the first essay, and what I had written was English to boot, as I wanted to get down the gist of what I was going to say first, and then translate it into Chinese. Even though the essay was due right away, I noticed that Zixiang and Justin (the one from high school, not the one from Dunman) also hadn’t done theirs, and Zixiang was waiting outside the class to look out for the Chinese teacher, Mr. Ng, and intercept him to ask for an extension. He was supposedly really strict with people handing in their assignments on time but Zixiang said that he did give out extensions if people asked him properly.
  • We waited in the corridor outside the classroom for the time, glancing left (toward the other GEP classroom, but they were out of the classroom), right (toward the stairs and the assembly area), down below the railings (we were on the 2nd floor and there was a garden below us), and across (where the teacher’s lounge was, because the corridor looped around in one big circle). We could not see Mr. Ng anywhere though, even though time stretched on to 5, and then 10, minutes after Chinese class was supposed to have started. We also glanced behind us to make sure he hadn’t somehow made it into class and started the class already, as there was apparently an entrance to the class on the other side of the classroom too — but he hadn’t.
  • Finally, around the 15 minute mark, I somehow got in touch with someone who was still down around the assembly area, and s/he displayed a video showing that Mr. Ng had just walked by her and was on the way to the stairs leading up to the right corridor to our class. He had a sort of weird white aura around him. He crossed a bridge that was visible from where we were, so I cut the video connection and saw him there as expected. He then came up the stairs to the second floor, and we ran over to him to ask for an extension. I told him that I had been gone 1.5 years for depression but would try my best to catch up and be done the homework by tomorrow. He granted the extensions and we ran back to class ahead of him.
  • Justin needed an extension too but he had not been waiting for Mr. Ng outside the door, we told him to go ask for his extension anyway and he did so. I didn’t see the resolution of that, but apparently he had been preparing a large, metal tray of snacks for Mr. Ng as well as people in class, and he went around and offered everyone, including me, the tray. There were basically two types of snacks on it, one was some sort of fried bread and the other was a dry almond cookie of some kind. I took a loaf of fried bread, holding it with a piece of tissue paper.
  • At some point Jean asked me for tape to mend a tear on her worksheet that she was going to hand in. She said there was some in my desk, and she had borrowed some while I was away and hoped I didn’t mind. I said I didn’t, of course, I kept a lot of stationery in my desk for the class to borrow. I lifted the cover of my desk and there was indeed a whole pile of things in there, I could see papers, a glue stick, a couple different kinds of scotch tape, and pens and pencils. I gave her some scotch tape as requested.
  • Editor: Both the area outside the classroom (left = the other class, right = stairs and path to assembly area, down = garden, across = teacher’s lounge) was actually quite accurate compared to real life. Even the “bridge” is accurate, though in a different location in real life Dunman High. The desk with a lid that I could open was actually a desk I had in Primary 4-6, not a secondary school one, but it was true that I did keep stationery around for classmates to use — I had forgotten this until the dream brought it up again.
  • Snippet: I had a dream involving Kynji and Frotswa, where a red fire burr rolled up to and jumped up at Frotswa, whereas a blue ice burr rolled up to and jumped up at Kynji. This was opposite of their natural elemental alignments (Kynji = fire, Frotswa = ice) and caused them some sort of inconvenience.
  • Snippet: I and some others visited a Dettol factory and I could see the bottles that I remembered from my childhood being manufactured there.
  • Snippet: I had a body calisthenics program or app installed on my user profile and was using a free trial of it for some exercise in the morning, together with some friends. I did notice while setting the app up that apparently my user profile already had a log of an expired free trial for the exact same program, but it let me reinstall and reactivate the free trial anyway.
Aug 07 2021
  • A good portion of the dream revolved around my Sec 2 classroom in Dunman, although the dream started in an art room about four classrooms away, at the end of one of the halls. I had sorted the metal cupboard in the art room, throwing out unneeded things like pens that didn’t work and broken furniture, and sorting everything else left in the cupboard, which included other stationery and a row of books. There was also a class roster of the GEP class that preceded us (the Sec 2 roster from the previous year, but it was typed and printed out like the rosters that I always made and maintained for my year’s two GEP classes) that was propped up and visible the moment the cupboard door was opened, and a few other things.
  • I accidentally tore the sleeve of the down jacket that I was wearing, and the entire thing pretty much came off right to the shoulder. It was a really neat tear too, as though the jacket was designed so that this would happen eventually. I realized that that meant the other side probably would tear as cleanly as well, so in order for the jacket to still be wearable and not look really awkward (one side sleeveless, the other side long-sleeved), I tore off the sleeve on the other side as well to match.
  • Later on, I went back to my main classroom and Mrs. Shu, our form/homeroom teacher, was talking about cleaning out the metal cupboard in our class there. I told her that I had already cleaned up the cupboard in the art room and could bring them over to see it and then maybe we could arrange our class’s cupboard the same way. I had forgotten where the art room was though, and she laughed and said it was down at the end of the hall from our class. I asked why it was there and she said that certain classes (implying us) were always really noisy during that class and so it was placed away from the actual classrooms. Anyway I brought her and a few others there to look at the cupboard.
  • At some point, during recess, I was lugging around a small, white TV that belonged to someone and was significant somehow and thus needed to be kept. I was trying to bring it to that art room, but was on the ground floor of the school, and could not find a stairs leading up. I saw an ajar door whose doorknobs were right up against the ceiling instead of at waist level, and went through it since it was ajar, but a muffled female voice told me that the place I had entered was a school custodian storage area and I was out of bounds, so I apologized and went back out. I saw Jonathan (from DHS) in the distance playing a game with some unknown people at the playground, where they would take turn drawing things based on cues and it would get further and further from the original image each time.
  • Snippet: I was helping set up a play that was to be jointly performed by humans and giant orcs, and I was assigning out roles to different people. I remember an orc being given the role of a rock at one point. There was a human girl that really wanted one of the violent roles but I was told to not give it to her and to assign that role to an orc as well.
Aug 08 2021
  • There was some sort of guild coalition made up of anime characters coming and working together, to play a game (as players, not as characters). The guild itself had some sort of recruitment process, and a member of one of the BanG Dream bands even came by to join at some point. One of them also ran away from her current band and got her leader worried, and as she was either thinking of joining us as well or had recommended someone to us recently, her leader came around to ask if we had seen her. I’m pretty sure the leader girl was Yukina, who leads the Roselia band, but the missing girl was a girl with four syllables in her name and not actually from Roselia in the real life show.
  • The game itself was a smartphone game and involved the game first picking a map layout from a list of 10-20 or so, where each layout consisted of around 20 rooms arranged in different patterns. The layout didn’t really matter in the end since the game structure was simply going through each room 1 by 1 and defeating the enemy in it, with a structure where you took turns either attacking your opponent, casting a spell, or healing yourself. Different difficulties awarded different rewards, and the reward we needed required us to play on Ace difficulty, which was the hardest one.
  • At one point someone (it might have been Dad) started a map, got to the second room, but was pressing attack too fast and forgot that the enemy always attacked first on Ace difficulty, so his character died and he lost on the 2nd room and he was sent back to the start.
  • My group/guild also did things together as a unit in real life though, for example we were waiting for a taxi together at one point to visit Mom or something. One of the characters, the one I was viewing the event through, had a penchant for falling asleep on the spot, even while standing up, and when the taxi arrived and everyone got in, they saved the front passenger seat for her but had to wait for her to wake up before she realized the taxi was there and got in. THey could call out to her but couldn’t touch her somehow even though she was standing in the middle of the side road they were waiting for the taxi in.
  • At one point at Mom’s house/the family house, I was using the computer but Mom told me to get off because my turn was up and she needed to use it for something, and Jon was then hanging around to use it as well. While waiting, Jon inquired about a Pikachu cushion that I had bought and was lying on the floor next to the computer. It had some sort of additional use for it outside of being Pokemon-themed, and that was the reason I had bought it, but I refused to tell him what the reason was.
  • I also had to help her move out some beds in the master bedroom to add a new bed that she had just bought, and there was a tiny, spare dressing table with one drawer that she said could be moved to one of the other bedrooms, either my own, or the room that Jon shared with Kellie. She said I could decide, and Jon said he wanted it, so I gave it to him, citing the fact that while I would like it because I had no table, it also had no mirror so it would have been of very limited use to me.
  • I also dreamt that in the public Discord server that I help moderate, we implemented a rule where we would ban anyone who announced or threatened in the public channels that they were going to leave the server, to “help them on their way”, after this happened a couple of times in a day by malcontents in an attempt to rile up other people.

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