My Diary #017

Diary Entry 17. This week personally kind of slipped by too fast. I feel like I was constantly waiting for something to happen and thus putting off actually doing meaningful things toward my big goals, and then before I knew it the week was gone. Also, Aug 09 was Singapore’s National Day, so I felt a bit nostalgic through the early part of the week.

Entry #017 (Aug 15 2021)

Table of Contents

Drop your eyes to my..
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #16
ට  Photograph of the Week #4
ට  Things I am thankful for this week
ට  Dreams

Work

A lot of teammates were again fully or partially away from work this week, to the point that on Thursday at one point there was only one person manning what usually is a 6 person queue. We managed, though. My number of tickets is ballooning reiatlve to the rest of the team again, but they’re not particularly difficult ones, thank the gods.

Next week promises to be interesting, because I’m going to try to balance the volunteering thing that I talked about last week with actual work time as well. I spoke to the coordinator who thinks that there probably will be a decent amount of down time between students, and that I can bring work in to do if needed, and I’ve spoken to my supervisor at work to let him know as well.. it’s a good way to get more volunteer experience on my resume and they’re crazily short on volunteers for this in-person Greeting/Q&A/Welcome Package thing, as far as I can see from the sign-up sheet.

My exact dates are in flux though since I only plan to volunteer for the time slots where they can’t get people to fill, so I’m signing up only a day or two in advance for each slot at most, but I did sign up for the entirety of the first day (Mon Aug 16) so I can see how it goes, and can gauge to see if working on my tickets on a laptop while over there is viable or not. The entire event lasts from Mon Aug 16 to Wed Sep 01, 13 days all in all. If I can avoid using my vacation hours for this, then I should be able to commit to 10 or 11 days out of the 13 if needed.

We also learnt this week that our employee ID card no longer works for train transit since everyone’s working from home, despite some people coming back to school to work in the Fall. The student ID card still works, but I currently have no plans to be a student this fall semester (I might for winter, though), so I guess I’ll be picking up a bus pass and/or bus tickets for these four months, grr.

Life

Mell mentioned late last week that she had gotten a DeskCycle for her birthday, so I picked up one as well, and it arrived this week on Monday. I was afraid that it wouldn’t fit under my desk, as it barely meets the minimum height stated in the description and has some metal plates and bars set into it as well, so I made sure to confirm that I could get a full return on it if it didn’t fit. But it did! Barely. I’m quite happy about this because I’ve wanted something to passively help fight the entropy from being stuck at home and sitting down at the computer all day, and this should do the trick, even if it’s only for a couple months before I go. I’m not happy about the reduced leg room overall though, but I’ll survive, as long as I don’t ever stub my toe too hard on it while trying to sit down at my desk, or the metal plates of the desk while cycling.

The manual said to start on the lowest setting for a week to get used to it and test it out before ratcheting it up, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve put right about 300 km on it in my first week, although I’m a little dubious about how this thing measures distance. It also has other measurements, for example after the 300 km I’ve put on it, it’s apparently also the equivalent of 892 minutes and 33 seconds (this cannot be correct, can it?), or 4500 calories worth of cycling.

I also finished scanning the family photos this week, and finally packed up the entire plastic box of family albums again after having it open and taking up space in my main living room since January. It’s a nice feeling to finish a major project! I also found a stash of documents, consisting of old school projects and other family documents, that used to be stored on diskettes that we’ve long since lost. I had apparently backed them up at some point many years ago when diskette drives were still a thing on computers, I believe around 2010-2012, and had just been carrying them along with me in my backup drives ever since. I had long forgotten of their existence, so I was really delighted when I found them, because some of these documents were from as early as January 1997, pretty much from the first year that our family even got a computer. And there’s lots of documents from Dad in there that I haven’t thoroughly scoured through, but probably contains clues to some important family dates and names and events as well. Next up, scanning yearbooks.. and figuring out where to upload all the scanned photos I have for the rest of the immediate family to access.

In the middle of the week, I had my followup appointment at my optometrist to see how the eyedrops were working against the potential glaucoma. My left eye actually became really sensitive to light this week, to the point that even mildly bright light was causing little stabbing pains in my left eye, and I could also feel that the sight in the eye had (temporarily) weakened. Thankfully this recovered more or less in time for the optometrist appointment, or that would have been very difficult with all the light shining in eyes that they do. Apparently the eyedrops were having a decent effect though, so I was told to just continue the regimen and come in for another followup appointment around the end of October, basically a week before my planned trip to the USA. And then I walked out without actually picking up a prescription for more eyedrops.

Even worse, I went back to pick it up, cashed it in, got home with three little bottles of these prescription eyedrops, and then found out that I didn’t really have a way to store them at the required temperature (“Store: 2-8 degrees Celsius. Protect from light. Once opened, may store at temperature up to 25 degrees Celsius, up to 6 weeks. Avoid freezing.”), so hopefully the fridge is cool enough that the second and third bottle will still retain most of their effectiveness by the time I get around to them.

I also did talk to my optometrist about Lasik surgery, and she reiterated that she thought I would probably be a good candidate for it because the lens tissue in my eye was fairly thick, which apparently means that they can scrape off whatever they have to more easily and with a lower risk of any lingering negative effects. There’s always still a chance though, so it’s probably best to wait until I return from Japan before doing it, we agreed, due to the risk of some side effects happening while I’m away from a place where I can easily get followup professional treatment if needed. Also, she suggested that the wait times at the Lasik clinics were probably really long right now due to COVID-19. But then again, I do have work benefits that I believe provide a discount on the procedure, that will be expiring when I leave work to pursue studying abroad, so… not quite sure what to do there.

The later part of the week was characterized by something very irritating — literally. Itching! I don’t know why, but my arms and legs became very sensitive and started itching, with several little bumps sprouting on/under the skin, and if I scratch the affected parts, they get worse and turn an angry red. This isn’t the first time it’s happened too, but it’s very rare, maybe once every 2-3 years. This lasts a couple days each time and then disappears. I don’t think it’s an allergy, since it happens for a couple days each time. I don’t think it’s bugs, as it largely happens when I sit around the computer (it’s actually better if I lie down in bed). I don’t think it’s COVID-19, or even any other illness, because there aren’t that many rashes despite my complaints, maybe 12 of them total on my 4 limbs, and if I manage to not scratch a bump then it generally slinks away in a couple hours. But the parts that do get scratched swell up into an angry red, and I do have several of those due to a lack of self-discipline. Although there was a day earlier in the week where i had odd chills, soreness, and a large ulcer in my mouth, all of which disappeared by the following day.

I’d blame the heat (and still kind of do for the lack of any other culprits), but it’s really not that hot either, at least compared to earlier this summer, despite there being heat warnings in the latter part of this week as well. But we get heat warnings here even when daytime highs (merely) approach 30 and nighttime lows approach (merely) 15, which I’m sure nearly every other place in the world finds kind of ludicrous. But anyway, the itching is irritating, and I hope most of it goes away by Monday since I’ll be heading out for volunteering for most of the day then.

Greg popped back into Discord this week, which is nice, he had gone radio silent since January 2021 (but it’s felt like longer) for no reason that he’s cared to admit to us. Still kind of just on the side to drop some updates on his family life and work situation, but that’s better than nothing I suppose. I wonder if any of us made him mad and made him rage-quit, since he’d been around and talking daily for years prior to that disappearance. I wonder if I did anything. None of us looking back at public Discord chat logs ever found any obvious reason though.

The folding fan that I had bought at the Heritage Days festival already came apart at the connecting fulcrum part at the bottom, where all the sticks were held together by a flimsy metal rod, so that’s irritating. I guess that’s what I get for a $5 fan. The fan itself is still in one piece since the embroidery between each stick is still intact, and I can thread a piece of string through the holes and tie it together to basically achieve the same effect as before, it’s just annoying that it fell apart so quickly.

I’ve been looking for some tools to download videos and playlists from Niconico (Japanese Youtube) and Bilibili (Chinese Youtube) for archival purposes, and had largely settled upon a fork of youtube-dl (this one) to do so. It apparently doesn’t work on Bilibili playlists despite claiming it did (or used to) though, as those playlists don’t really give you unique video URLs for anything after the first track, so I had to dig a bit further for that specific case and finally found an odd tool in this top comment here that finally did the trick. I’m just putting this here as a reminder for when I forget in the future..

I found a really good Hainanese Chicken Rice store this week, from Sam Wok restaurant, a place that I had frequented (online delivery) in the past but had not ordered from for quite some time. By far the best I’ve had since coming to Canada though. The rice was gently soaked in some sort of soya sauce that wasn’t strong at all but left a great taste in the mouth. And the chicken and ginger sauce and chilli sauce were all great. Really reminiscent of home.

I also made my usual lazy immunity soup this Sunday, and while that isn’t usually something to write about, I decided I’d go for a new ingredient this week and picked up a giant daikon radish. All I did to it was peel it, chop it into chunks, and subject it to the same treatment as any other vegetable I add to the soup, but it turned out pretty good!

And lastly, I didn’t take many walks this week, but I did do one evening walk, and ended up waving to and making faces at a little Chinese kid (and her mom) staring down curiously at me from a balcony five levels up. Midweek, I also took a bit of a long walk and visited this rather famous house about 20-30 minutes walk away from where I am. It was undergoing construction of some kind when I came by last summer, but this summer its majesty seems to be in full bloom again.

Games

I basically played two games this week. The first game is a carry-over from last week, Honkai Impact 3 again. Still not very far in, but I did my first 10-card pull from the gacha (using free gems) and basically immediately got the best possible card from the season, plus another pretty good featured character as well, so the game’s obviously trying to pull me in to spending money by giving me a beginner’s luck god-tier roll. I know your tricks though, I do..

The second game is the Back 4 Blood open beta, which Satinel pointed out was running this weekend and playable for free during that time period, so Jah streamed it for Jah Stream Night this week and Satinel, Nak and I tagged along as a group. It basically plays and feels almost exactly the same as Left 4 Dead 1/2, except less polished (due to bugs), uglier/grittier (due to more gore everywhere — especially over the players), and easier (because there are less specials, no tanks, a Continue system that makes levels easier as you fail on them, and the fact that enemies and specials never spawn “behind” you so you only really have to ever watch in front of you).

There are cool new aspects of the game too though, like a giant boss we had to fight over several appearances in one of the levels, and things like different item and “card” (passive ability) loadouts that you could buy or equip and bring along. I didn’t like how difficult and harder to come by ammo was in this version, but it was still bearable, and overall the game was quite fun, if laggy and unoptimized in places. We ended up playing a second and third night as well to more or less finish up the one entire campaign that was open to us in open beta. It will probably have to wait for a deep sale before any of us will actually buy it once live though, due to bugs and just a really high retail price ($80 CAD!) on Steam.

I have also been eyeing Library of Ruina, and will most likely get it before its sale ends on Tuesday. I’ve been eyeing it since last Tuesday, around when it first officially released on Steam (leaving its Early Access period), even briefly glancing over gameplay videos on Youtube to look at its style and gameplay. However due to the price and due to things I knew were coming up on the to-do list (like Back 4 Blood and this blog post), I had decided to hold off until I was actually ready to sink some time into the game. But the devs are Korean and the storytelling style and mix of VN + gameplay seem kind of reminiscent of Troubleshooter, which captivated me through most of July, so I should be quite happy with this game as well. In theory.

Plushie of the Week #16 – Unnamed Jellyfish (Clara)

While I was at Southgate Mall this week for my follow-up optometrist appointment, I noticed a new store across from the Lenscrafters called Kids & Mom Gifts, with some really cute and eye-catching things in it, so I went in to have a look-see. There were plushies and anime figures and keychains and many other cute things in there, although no characters from a series that I cared for, so they didn’t get a sale there. I did see this great jellyfish “keychain” though that I knew I needed, although they had several different colour combinations and faces that I could choose from. I eventually decided on this one below, for a mere $10.49.

This jellyfish plushie is two-spirited (and two-gendered?) as it has two sides to it, and can be turned inside-out in order to get a version of the same plushie wearing a different colour and face. I assigned one side to be male and the other to be female. Pictures explain this more easily than words:

Male front:

Back:

Underside:

Female front:

Back:

Underside:

Tag 1:

Tag 2:

Isn’t the face on the orange side just so adorable???  There’s a keychain hook as you can see too for the orange side, but I have not yet decided if I actually want to take this one out to hang on my bag and accumulate dirt, or if I should just leave it at home to accumulate dust. Anyway, there were several other face and colour combinations available, but this was the one that won me over, although they were all jellyfish (I didn’t see a cat version like in the Tag 2 picture).

Besides being a jellyfish, this one also reminded me of a slime from some game or other that would drop from the ceiling and engulf a character’s head to start chewing on their brains, as re-enacted by Tigey here:

Yes, very cute. Fortunately, for reasons I hope I don’t have to elucidate, Tigey is immune to this brain-sucking.

Note: Satinel has named this Clara for the female side, and Clarence for the male side, and that’s stuck for me. Clara is also a jellyfish in an anime we watched together, Princess Jellyfish.

Photograph(s) of the Week #4

This week, I’d like to display more photos of myself. This is me when I was almost 3 years and 3 months old, when Mom and Dad took me on a trip to London, England. Some of my earliest remaining identified memories are from that trip, and here we are specifically at Trafalgar Square, surrounded by a horde of feral pigeons.

Well, at least the first three are from Trafalgar Square, I’m not sure if the last two are since they were taken three days later. May 18 and May 21 1987! Apparently this is no longer possible, as feeding pigeons is now banned as of 2003 as per the Wikipedia link above. I guess that makes the memory (and photos) extra-special!

Things I am thankful for this week
  1. My DeskCycle. Time will tell whether this is actually effective or not, but I’m thankful that it fit fine under my desk (as, return policy or not, returning something is always a pain in the rear), and thankful that it seems like it will be a good way to help work off some stored fat and combat the lethargy and low energy usage borne from sitting at home at the computer desk for most of the day. Plus it has stats, and i like stats.
  2. Anti-itching balms. I apparently have four different types that I cycled between during my itching phase this week. From weakest to strongest, they were: Bactine First Aid Spray, Gold Bond Anti-Itch Lotion, Polysporin Triple Antibiotic Ointment, and Tiger Balm Ultra Strength. Although the last one is meant to be for pain, it works on itches quite fine (especially before bedtime) and nullifies the itching sensation quite well. I wonder why I had so many different ointments lying around.
  3. The fact that my bed is right next to my computer. This has meant a lot of different things over the years — I can just get up and lie down in bed very easily if I am feeling tired or while waiting for something to happen, I can watch some shows from bed, I can listen to music from my computer speakers while in bed, or get alerts when something is happening without any fancy hardware, and so on. But one thing I really appreciated it this week is that I simply don’t have to walk very far to get from one location to the other to, say, grab some ointment at night, which is nice when I’m hurting or itching all over. It’s not just this week either, this also came into play when I was recovering from walking far too much on my Calgary day trip a few weeks ago, for example. It also lets me easily access water at night without having to travel too far at all, nor run the risk of accidentally toppling a jug of water over my head at night.
  4. Playing co-op games with friends. I don’t stress this one enough, but from experience and from seeing how others talk fondly about the past, I know that playing games with friends in the present doesn’t necessarily create the best of memories right away (depending on the specific game and how it plays out), but they do create fond memories when looking back from the future at time spent together. In the same vein, I never remember to take enough screenshots in the present because it’s happening right now and not immediately valuable to me, but I don’t like it when I know we played a game together in the past but I have no screenshots to show for it, and details of our gameplay have long since faded away. I do need to get into a habit of taking more screenshots when we play co-op games, especially of characters posing together or all visible together.
  5. My new vacuum. I didn’t really give it enough time last week since I was still testing it, but I do appreciate that it sucks up hair and dirt a lot better than my old nightmare of a vacuum did, even if its vacuum head is far too wobbly and hard to easily push in a straight line (because it tends to droop to one side as I push it, like Cruiser’s head, so I end up vacuuming at an odd angle). I do like the light that’s mounted on the end of the vacuum head too though, as well as the fact that it’s cordless and powered by a removable lithium battery that can be charged separately. Very novel.
Dreams

Dreams this week varied wildly between the extremely long and the extremely short! And the first dream, involving me actually writing my dream diary in my dream, was weird. It didn’t go lucid though, unfortunately. Although the lion in that dream was probably symbolic anyway because Aug 09 is Singapore’s National Day and the lion is Singapore’s national symbol (Singapore actually means Lion City). I really liked my August 12 megadream too, and the third dream from August 15. And it’s odd that I basically dreamt about food and drink 6 times this week, including back to back dreams about working in a cafe.

Aug 09 2021
  • I recall various disjointed parts of a dream. One where the mafia owned a school building and there were two floors in the basement that housed casinos, one a comparatively safe wagers floor and one a dangerous wagers floor. I was with Yucheng in an elevator going down to the ground floor at one point when someone on his way to the first basement level with 600k stepped in to chat with us. It was mentioned that the mafia had the building for sale for those interested, but it cost something like 100 million with a 2 million dollar extra fee each month, and you’d basically have to win that money on the dangerous wagers floro and risk your life to do so.
  • In another part, not long afterwards, I was walking through downtown with my parents and a very young (~6 year old) Jonathan, but Dad was forced to leave us to take care of something. Mom and Jon and I continued on our way, we stopped at a traffic light along with a bunch of other people, then crossed it, then went down into an underground train station.
  • As we descended, Jon was ahead of me and I was ahead of Mom, he seemed to know the way to the ticket booths so I followed him even as I glanced down a passage he didn’t take and thought I saw an escalator down to the train area in the other direction too. The direction he picked was right though. While we were waiting for Mom, I used a water fountain to wet my lips but refused to actually drink from it because the water was “old” and lukewarm.
  • The scene shifted a little so that we were at home and I was asleep in the same room as Jon, Mom was asleep in another bedroom, and Dad hadn’t returned yet. I woke up and saw Jon was still asleep, but recalled those earlier dreams and wanted to write them down, so I got up and sat down at the computer. I opened this very Notepad file and noticed that I had given a title to yesterday’s dream journal entry, something I don’t usually do (I usually only start off with a date and then the dream itself). I erased that, added today’s date, and then prepared to start typing.
  • I then heard a commotion and glanced out the balcony window, where the view overlooked the Main Quad and the Central Academic Building area of my University. There was a herd of cats running confusedly around the area, and the reason for that was that there was a larger and more malformed lion (it looked like a horizontal bolster with legs and a maned head) running around the quad as well. Mom yelled “Lion!” from her room as I saw it too, this woke up Jon as well and he ran to the window to watch too.
  • There were a lot of humans, likely University students, still blissfully sitting around the grassy fields of the Quad, until the lion came up and started to attack a group. Everyone basically screamed and stood up and tried to flee into the building. As we watched, two guys pulled out pepper sprays and started spraying the lion with it relentlessly, this seemed to work as the lion let go of whoever it was chewing, then pranced around threateningly around the group of people running away, but was unable to bite into anyone due to the ongoing application of pepper spray. I could very vividly hear the pattering feet of the lion (though this was likely linked to the noises of my computer IRL).
  • Editor: I feel like I might have lost a couple dream events because I recalled and recited them for writing down in the part of the dream where I was going to do my journaling, and the shock of the lion then wiped it from my short-term memory, grr.
Aug 10 2021
  • All I remember is a very brief snippet about living at my 723 house, having people over (4-5 people in all), and then something about a meal and a decision between feeding oneself and being fed by someone else, which somehow tied into a map of a wilderness area and the ability to do something related to it.
Aug 11 2021
  • Jon was driving Kellie and I around town on a weekend evening. We stopped next to a school, and Kellie and I got out, leaving our schoolbags in the car, and pressed our noses against the front window of one of the school buildings to admire the ocean out the back window across from it.
  • While the school was closed, I asked Kellie if she would be interested in going inside to look at the ocean better, as one of the back windows seemed to be open and we could just look through that. She said yes, so we clambered in through an open window and admired the ocean from a much better view.
  • Once we were done, we tried to climb back out the way we came, but the window we came through, and the blinds over it, had been shut! I opened both and we clambered out, where we were confronted by the school principal, who was about 10 feet away drilling a hole in the ground as part of a construction team. He ran over to us, told us we were in trouble for breaking and entering, and then told us to wait there, as he then quickly ran back to the drill to continue his roadwork renovations.
  • I looked at Kellie and suggested we run. Jon was still safely in the car so he could drive away with our school bags just fine and meet us at home. I pulled Kellie’s hand and we jumped up onto the roof of the building, clambering along it and crossing to the neighbouring building’s roof, before dropping down out of sight of the principal. We then ran off from there.
  • Later on in the same dream, I was alone by myself in Southgate Mall. The mall, the outside of the mall, and my nearby apartment, all basically had the same layout as real life, except that I lived with Mom (and possibly others) in the apartment. However, no one was at home in this specific case, Mom had gone out somewhere and was going to buy food on the way back, and I was probably supposed to watch the house, but I had also gone out to Southgate Mall to get some ice cream.
  • I got ice cream from basically where the food court was, and started making my way home, but I could not walk and eat at the same time (I basically took a 90% speed penalty for a few seconds after each lick) so progress was really slow as I slowly licked at the little cup of ice cream. In fact, Mom would definitely have caught me if she didn’t already send me a message saying that she had been delayed and would be back on a much later train instead. I didn’t have the feeling that I would be in trouble if she did catch me though, it instead felt like the danger level of something happening to the apartment would be higher if she did.
  • On the way out of the mall, I vaulted over a table next to a retractable belt barrier. As I vaulted over it, my phone’s Shazam IDed an unidentified song that was lying on the table like a piece of paper, revealing its title and artist. Its owner was very happy at this, as he apparently had been looking for info on the song for weeks.
  • Once I was outside Southgate Mall, my phone rang and I picked it up, although the receiver I picked up was that of an old corded house phone. Mom was on the other end, and I had a conversation with her while trying to clasp my hands over the microphone part of the phone receiver as much as possible so she hopefully wouldn’t hear the occasional car going by. If she did hear it she didn’t make a comment about it. She asked if I was hungry and I didn’t want to tell her about the ice cream, so I said yes. I crossed the road as we spoke and made it most of the way home before she hung up.
  • Once I was home, the entire apartment was dark, but seemed safe. Just to be certain though, I secured the house and started to form a mini barricade at the front door from the inside, to set up defences against whatever danger might come. I also cast some spells, which were somehow based off of certain anime that I had watched or was watching — most anime didn’t grant me a spell but a couple did, although the spells (or lack thereof) had nothing to do with the contents of the actual shows. One show that I remembered granted me some sort of spell was I’m Standing on a Million Lives.
  • Editor: Season 2 of I’m Standing on a Million Lives is airing this season, which might be partially why that show appeared. I think the entire mechanic of a show granting me a spell might have also been lifted from me watching gameplay videos of Library of Ruina, where apparently (I haven’t actually played it to know) you can burn (consume) books to create skill pages that can then be given to characters.
Aug 12 2021
  • I was playing a game with shades of Civilization 3 and Heroes of Might and Magic 3, but with a grid map that was larger and more intimate. I was basically on a freshly uncharted continent, made up of lots of natural bone-white stone structures as well as a bit of flora. There was a large coliseum building that was marked by a white arena building from Heroes 3 on the map, which provided me a huge (50-100+) tile visibility range even though it was abandoned and I didn’t own it either. As long as it remained abandoned/unclaimed or I didn’t own it, I would keep that visibility. There was also a gold mine, marked by a Heroes 3 gold mine picture, next to it on the right, so I settled down about 20 tiles south of the coliseum and set up three small cities there in a small triangle, with a 3-way road in the shape of an inverted-T connecting the three cities, and began to secure the territory.
  • I also sent someone up to claim the gold mine for income production even though it was somewhat far off, since there were no enemies around and I had all that visibility. But there was a vague sense that outside of the tile visibility range were devils or enemies of some sort that would eventually come through and attack, and I needed to secure the coliseum and the mine and my cities before then.
  • Later on, once the area was secured, I shifted into first person mode and was actually exploring the two-storey stone structure. There were other visitors there at that point too, and some Olympic Games style event that was going to be held there shortly. The architecture felt like it was from the Roman era, and the building was very wide-open with tall, marble pillar structures. I remember at one point ending up in a women’s bathroom, and finding (and using) a urinal made specially for women. It was shorter (height-wise) and longer (depth-wise) than a typical men’s urinal, suspended off the ground, and with a hand tap in front and on top of the urinal, for sanitation purposes and to clean up after use. I used it and it worked quite well. A little girl then came out of a cubicle at the back of the washroom and said that she was jealous; she was too short and couldn’t reach the tap so she couldn’t use that urinal and had to use a regular washroom stall instead.
  • The scene eventually shifted, and I was with Dad on the second level of the coliseum along with a crowd of other people, seated on tiered spectator stands and watching the Olympics going on below. Specifically, we were watching an athletics race, with people running on a modern, red running track that looped around a grass field. Later on there was going to be a soccer match, where the US men’s team was ranked #1 in the world but I had a feeling there were going to be stymied by a weaker defensive team and then lose to a fluke goal.
  • However, in the present, I began to feel dizzy. We were located on the lowest and front row of the second level, but there were no guardrails between us and the edge of the level, so there was a large drop down to the first level right in front of us. I had a feeling like I was slowly nodding off and jerked upright when my body caught itself, except it wasn’t due to tiredness, but instead the wooziness from being dizzy. I clutched on to Dad, who was next to me, and he took my school bag from me so he could carry it, and said that we should leave and go to the canteen to get some food or drinks. We did so.
  • The canteen in question was down on a different part of the first floor, and was structured like a corner of a hawker center or a canteen at a Singapore school. I did not recognize any of the stalls there. Dad went off to another stall to get something for himself, while I remained at a Chinese food stall that was being staffed by two young Indian girls. I didn’t pick anything from the trays that were laid out, but instead inquired about some smoothies that Dad had pointed out before he left. There were three flavours — mushroom, watermelon, and strawberry, and as I like to do in real life, I told them to give me whatever flavour was their favourite one.
  • They asked if I would be okay with the mushroom one, and asked me how much I wanted. I thought that was a strange question, but I did see that there were two cup sizes, so I said I wanted a large. They looked at me strangely and asked if I was sure — It was $10 for a large watermelon or strawberry smoothie, but the mushroom one was special and was $15 per thimble; a large cup would cost me about $1500. I gulped and said I’d go for a watermelon smoothie instead. They looked disappointed.
  • Not long after, Dad and I were on our way home and he was going to drop me back at my dorm, as he wanted to see the room too. He drove me and parked next to what was basically the Health Science LRT station, which had a stalled train in it. The Health Sciences building, next to the LRT station, was on fire, and the fire was slowly spreading toward the largely unconcerned citizens on the train, though some of them were beginning to get worried. The doors were fine and they could have left anytime they wanted though, but they actually wanted the train to just get a move on, which it didn’t because it wasn’t receiving a Go signal from whoever was overseeing the regional train system.
  • My dorm house was across the busy two-way road, and I crossed it along with Dad. Around here I saw Kaiting at the train station and also crossing the road not too far away from us, but I didn’t call out to her. Instead, I arrived at the front door of the dorm house, and fumbled with my two sets of keys, trying to find the right one to fit the front door.
  • I lived in Pinecrest House, a two-storey dorm share house with individual dorm rooms and a bunch of extra rooms in it like meeting rooms, open garden/sand rooms, lounges, and stuff. My room was up on the second level, and could be gotten to using the third flight of stairs clockwise from the main entrance of the house, which on the floor plan had it vaguely across the bottom of the main floor from the main entrance. But there were four or five flights of stairs in the house, and all of them led to different parts of the second floor, though there was some overlap in common areas, so there was always a danger of being lost. Some people I vaguely knew lived there as well, I think Stephanie from McNally was one of them, but I didn’t really meet any of them.
  • Once I opened the front door, I tried to navigate my way from memory to my room. There was a matron in the kitchen cooking dinner and noises of different students in various rooms or open play areas, but we didn’t meet any of them as we went upstairs. However, once I got to the second floor, I knew something was wrong — the room names were different, some of them were even meeting rooms with lots of office chairs in them and stuff, and when I got to where I thought my room was, it was either someone else’s room entirely or possibly just empty.
  • I took Dad back to the stairs and told him to wait there while I looked around to try to find the right stairs. I asked him to try to keep quiet and pretend he wasn’t here, so people wouldn’t question why he was here alone when he obviously wasn’t a student and wasn’t in the company of one once I wandered off. He stood by the top of the stairwell and said that he’d wait there with my school bag.
  • I then went down again and tried the other stairs, to no avail, I couldn’t find the stairs that led up to the portion of the house that my room was at. I then had a hunch, and went outside the house — I discovered that this indeed wasn’t my specific share house, just one that was identical in layout. We were instead in Hawhurst House, which was a neighbouring one to Pinecrest House. However, I looked to the left and right of the building and couldn’t actually find Pinecrest, it should have been to the left of Hawhurst and the right of a larger building that I used as a landmark, and the reason why I assumed that this was my dorm share house to begin with. However, there was only a little path leading away into the darkness from the main road where I thought Pinecrest would be.
  • I also realized that since the two dorm houses were basically sister houses, that that’s why my front door key also worked on this front door, however I should have known something was up because even though it worked, it didn’t really fit correctly and had gone in at a diagonal angle to signify that something was wrong.
  • Editor: Pinecrest House is an actual dorm house at my University. Hawhurst is not, though.
Aug 13 2021
  • All I remember is that I was working in two separate cafes, or possibly the same cafe under two different teams of girls, both of which hated each other and also had trouble communicating with each other for whatever reason. Like, one team only spoke Chinese and broken English, while the other only spoke Japanese and broken English, or something like that. I was accepted even though I was on both teams, though. I’m pretty sure both teams could cast magic too, though I don’t remember any examples. The only event I can remember happening is that the shop was held up by a gunman at some point and I was crouched behind some seats and huddling with another girl.
Aug 14 2021
  • Another cafe dream, but just one team this time. The dream was very disjointed, and was largely about day to day regular life and interactions between the members, although at one point two of the large monsters from Back 4 Blood attacked and were quickly put down. I don’t remember much about the actual dreams besides the events being really surreal, although at one point I think we helped either resolve or accuse one of the girls of lying about something.
  • Editor: We played Back 4 Blood before bed for Jah Stream Night, so naturally the monsters showed up in my dream this night too.
Aug 15 2021

Dream 1

  • This dream took place in an area that I thought of as a weird “in-between place” where several things melded together.
  • One of the events that happened here was a scene where two boarding school students were in between school semesters, but they weren’t allowed to go home to see their relatives. However, they discovered that by using a machine there a certain way, they could leave a message behind that would persist after they left, and would eventually reach their relatives when they next came to this in-between place.
  • Another event that took place was a scene outside a supermarket where several people I knew were waiting for a bus, and in this in-between scene afte they had left the supermarket and before they got onto the bus, a security guard suspected one of them of being a shoplifter and was arguing with him about his receipts and the items he had. But with the advent of new technology, the security guard was given a device that could summon holograms of receipts from the supermarket, and he used that to discover that the accused shoplifter was actually innocent.
  • A third in-between scene here involved a tile-based MMO of some kind that was between seasons. The players were relaxing in some lobby, and there was a push to fix the portal mechanic in the game. Portals linked different places in the game, and always had a length of 3 tiles and a width of 1 tile, and stretched east to west and could not be rotated, even though a large portion of the world map stretched north-south and was as thin as 5 east-west tiles across in some places. Furthermore, the two tiles on either end of the central portal tile were always grass tiles, even if it didn’t match the terrain where the portal was placed or where the portal led to. This irritated a lot of players.
  • The game devs were basically run by the AMQ database admins, which to me explained a lot of the uncaring attitudes around fixing the game. The game devs did recruit a new dev who asked for a summary of the bug, and this new dev was an online friend named Bodhi who I remembered. Someone went onto a forum thread where the details were already posted in 2018, and bumped it using a certain set of commands in his post that triggered a script which brought the contents of the post into the game lobby for the new dev to see. The new post was labelled 2020, which implied that that was when this dream was taking place.
  • The new dev eventually fixed the portal tiles to properly show terrain, but that was all he managed to do before the new season started. He did also cause a minor explosion at some point.
  • I also made a note about birthday wishes but I am not sure what that involved or how that connected to the rest of the story if at all.
  • Editor: The first part with the boarding school students definitely reflected our current group watch anime — Gakuen Alice.

Dream 2

  • This took place in a shopping center and “hotel” that a group of friends and I were on vacation at, though the hotel was more like dorms, with many individual rooms in a very cramped floor. We initially took the bus to the building but planned to stay here for two nights, although at some point halfway through the dream I also had to return to the bus terminal as though to travel on a bus.
  • The entire shopping center was really crowded too, with narrow passages and lots of people. The building also had lots of doors and lots of hotel attendants standing around and doing one specific job each. The stairs were also very narrow, and at one point the banisters were so close together that we couldn’t fit between them and had to sit on both of them and slide down to the floor below.
  • There were washrooms but they were a bit difficult to locate, my dorm room had two single-cubicle male washrooms right outside of it, across the hall from each other, but getting to the female one involved me going out of the dorm area and crossing a tight hallway out into the open shopping area.
  • During that segment of the dream where we had to return to the bus, I overheard an old man asking an attendant whether the bus rides would allow his glasses to stay on while he was on them. I found that funny and told my in-dream friends about it when I got to them.
  • Between the dorm and the bus terminal were was a wide open stair segment that I had to climb up, and there were a number of immaculate, blond Korean or Japanese girls (I recognized them in-dream as gyarus), done up in heavy makeup, seated on the stairs and hanging out at each other. A couple of them stared at me as I went by. At the top of these stairs was a pathway to a different wing of the mall that I had not noticed, but for some reason I thought of the shops on the second floor of the Japanese/Korean mall (see my July 20 2021 dream) and wondered if I could get to that tea shop from this passage.
  • Outside the washroom in the main mall area was a popcorn shop, and a couple of attendants were standing outside giving out free samples. Instead of a bag of popcorn, these popcorn kernels were basically stuck together to form a big structure that looked like a complex chemistry structure of molecules stuck together. I circled around them, but another lady had a slightly eaten one and offered hers to me because she had to leave somewhere. I said that I was going into the washroom and couldn’t take it along with me, but she insisted and forced it into my hands anyway before hurrying off.
  • There was also a plotline about borrowing shirts from the shopping center staff — they had a booth that was lending out shirts, and I picked out two white school uniform blouses that buttoned down the front and were emblazoned with the Wake Up, Girls! idol group name on them.
  • Lastly, I had a note about a plotline involving 3 of my friends and accusers of some sort that we apparently managed to fend off, but I don’t remember the details of it.

Dream 3

  • This time I was with Singapore Dunman High friends in a different hotel. We had decided to meet up there as a reunion and stay there overnight for one night. We were in our 20s age-wise, although my mental picture of the people I knew were still exactly the same.
  • Dad drove me there on a motorcycle. While we were parking outside the building, I saw Antonia just outside the hotel heading inside and on the way up, and I also saw a couple of people I knew from McNally, but didn’t know their names, walk by along the street as well.
  • Once we took the elevator up, I found that we had booked off an entire floor and there were three conference rooms as well as a number of sleeping rooms. The event was already in full swing, with plenty of people chatting to each other in groups, and I was one of the last ones to arrive. I first went to my sleeping room, and found that I shared the same large room as Allen, Eugene, Zixiang, a guy from McNally whom I also didn’t know by name, and Satinel. Everyone was lying down on futons laid out on the far side of the room except the McNally guy who was on the only bed. I was a bit nervous about meeting Allen and Eugene but they seemed to have no problems with my transition. Satinel had also waited for me to arrive before picking out the spot for her futon, and we both took our futons and placed them side by side near the door, next to each other. Since it was an overnight stay, our room had a brief chat on whether to stay up all night or not. The McNally guy with the bed said that he was probably going to sleep, but I said I’d try to stay up since it was a special occasion.
  • I then went out to look at the three conference rooms. From “left to right”, the first room had food vendor stalls in them, who were holding 1 on 1 consultations with customers and selling them cheap food. Satinel or Allen said they had already looked over them and there was nothing interesting. The second room was the only one actually labelled food, but I don’t remember what was in it exactly, except it was most certainly not food. It might have been arcade machines. The last room was a buffet room, and a lot of the Dunman teachers were in there eating. Mr Ng, my Chinese teacher, entered the room as I stood by the hallway, and looked at me as he passed.
  • Dad was busy talking to teachers and asking me for introductions to friends, which I found a bit annoying. I told him that I wanted to get my pink shoulder bag and something else from the motorcycle box before he left later, and to let me know before he left. He said ok. I had brought along a hovering bicycle-like machine powered by a bag of ice and a touch of a magic wand to a certain panel on the device in order to start it. I wanted to show the others the machine. Part of the device, possibly the bag of ice, was still in the motorcycle box, though.
  • When it was time for him to go, we went down separately, as I think he had the idea to bring the items up for me but I wanted to go down and help him anyway. The hotel had only one elevator and it was in use, the door closed as I arrived and there was someone waiting outside the elevator door as the elevator was going up from our floor and he wanted to go down. Another group of three people came just as the door was closing and asked him to try to hold the door open, but he didn’t react in time. Instead, he tried to claw at the door, then spider climb up the closed elevator door awkwardly until he reached the ceiling, as the elevator rose up to the floor above. The group of three people told him he didn’t have to go that far for them.
  • I knew Dad wasn’t on that elevator since it was on the way up, and that it would be a while before he could enter that elevator on the ground floor, so I headed for the stairs instead as we were only on the 5th floor and I could just slide down and hop over the banisters to get to the ground floor pretty quickly.
  • As I left, I heard that group of four people chatting with each other. The conversation shifted to how the one person who had tried to spider climb up was interested in construction work, but the owner of the company he wanted to join or help lead hadn’t started the company yet. One of the other three pulled out a phone and did some research, and figured out this was because the person who was going to be the owner was put in jail two years ago according to a news story he found, so it would probably be a bit longer before he could start the company.
  • At some point in this dream there was also something about an argument that came down to comparing internet logs and Reddit access timestamps to prove who was “right”. In the end the victor still offered to trust the person who was proven wrong and gave him control over something that could hurt or destroy the rest of the group if used inappropriately. The other person appreciated the gesture and nothing bad happened, though.

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