My Diary #018

This week was marked by three things that consumed most of the week — itching, volunteering, and 7 Days to Die. I’ve combined some categories this week because that’s just how things worked out. Less for me to write!

Entry #018 (Aug 22 2021)

Table of Contents

Fortify my…
ට  School/Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #17 / Photograph of the Week #5
ට  Things I am thankful for this week
ට  Dreams


i did a bunch of volunteering this week for University of Alberta International’s in-person Campus Check-in for international students. Five hours on Monday and Wedneday, and three hours on Thursday and Friday. I basically wanted to be there for the first day, and then tried to make it afterwards on days that there weren’t at least two other people signed up. Anyway, this almost completely overlapped with my work schedule, since it all happened during work hours, so I combined these two sections this week. Sue me.

There was a 3 hour shift every day from 10am to 1pm, and then one from 12pm to 3pm. The coordinator had wanted at least 6 people for each shift, with an overlap between 12-1, but there were so little people signed up that he dropped this number to 4, and so there were only 4 volunteer welcome tables in the lobby of the Telus Centre where the event was located. I’m not sure where they’d have put the other two tables anyway, as the place isn’t really big enough for that.

Day 1/Monday: At this point, I had told my boss that I would go down and see how busy it was and decide from there if I had to take time off work or anything. But in the end, it wasn’t busy at all. We had 3 volunteers in the morning and 2 in the afternoon (including me in both numbers), and there were maybe 20 people per session spread out about among those of us there. I helped 9 or 10 of those people, so basically one every half an hour.

For each student, we first had them add their name to a Google form for tracking/newsletter purposes, and then we gave out a reusable bag with a pamphlet and two leaflets in them containing information allegedly helpful to International students, which I will probably scan and upload at some point as well. There was also the tiniest bottle of hand sanitizer ever, as well as a yellow University tuque. We then answered any questions that they had, which half the time was nothing, and half the remaining time was about the student ID card and transit pass. There were a lot of other odd questions too, but our escalation point for anything we couldn’t answer was in the International office anyway, so there was never much stress.

In between students, we were putting together those welcome packages, as the items came in separate boxes and needed to be packed together. I had plenty of time here to do my work as well though, and the organizer was well-aware that I had brought work to do too (he said he hoped everyone else brought something to do as well), so I managed to get everything done with plenty of time to spare. All of the volunteers were friendly as well, with some chattier than others, and we spent a good chunk of in-between time socializing. The International Students Association, a student-run group meant for international students as a social outlet, was also there with a booth promoting their student group and trying to sell t-shirts, but I didn’t really talk to them as they were on the far side of the lobby from me.

Day 2/Tuesday: I didn’t show up this day because they had enough volunteers on paper, so this was purely a work day. I would have shown up in the afternoon since there was only 1 other person there, but there was a 2nd person until (I believe) about halfway through the shift that they were supposed to be there for, when they finally cancelled and removed their name, far too late for me to think about going down to cover the shift. Very irresponsible. I hear there were about the same number of people in total as the first day, though.

Day 3/Wednesday: I ended up being the only person here on Wednesday for both shifts, and the coordinator (well, the backup coordinator, since the main one was also away from work) was really thankful to have me there. Again, there were about 20 students overall, spread out over the 5 hours or so. It did get busy enough with a queue at a couple points that the coordinator herself grabbed a couple Welcome bags and started registering a couple of the students herself as well. Besides those points, I could handle the international student intake flow myself though, and I actually did kind of like being the only one there because it meant I had a lot of freedom between students to just do my actual work (in the form of tickets that I had to answer).

The ISA booth was on my end of the lobby instead of the far end on this day (and the rest of the week), so I chatted a bit with some of the volunteers there once I had finished my work. They had a couple student leaders who were on their executive roster and basically there every week, were also occasionally volunteers for UAI, and were very friendly, so I started sending some students their way as well if they sounded like they were interested in the social aspect of being an International student.

Anyway, I was basically a pro by the end of this day. Trial by fire and all that.

Day 4/Thursday: There were two volunteers scheduled for the morning, and one for the afternoon, so I signed up the night before and went down in the afternoon. By the time I arrived though, it turned out that there were 4 volunteers there — two of them had just come down anyway and added their names to the signup sheet really late, even later than I did. There were also only about 8 students overall that stopped by on this afternoon, so we basically had 2 students each over the 2-3 hours that we were there, and thus were very much overstaffed. I probably wouldn’t have gone down if the other two had signed up earlier, but then again us volunteers had a lot of nice chatting time to fill in the downtime, so that was fine too. I had finished most of my work in the morning before going down for the afternoon, so all I had to do was occasionally check my tickets for replies.

Day 5/Friday: There were two in the morning and one in the afternoon, so I kept on checking through the morning and basically did a version of what I complained about one paragraph above and didn’t sign up until about two hours before the event, to help out the one person manning the afternoon shift. This was partially because I had a work video call to make with a client beforehand, and the workload was heavy enough that day that I wanted to make sure most of it was done before I went down, and because I was really worried about my itchy skin and wondering if I could find a rapid COVID-19 test to take at Southgate prior to going down just to be safe, though this apparently wasn’t a thing.

Anyway, I signed up late but was the only other person there in the afternoon besides the original person who had signed up. She seemed grateful to have someone experienced there because it was her first volunteer shift, and the coordinator basically parroted that jokingly, saying that she could just ask me if she had any questions since I had been here several times already.

Next week: It seems like there are actually a lot more volunteers for the rest of the one and a half weeks that this event runs, so I’m not sure how often I’ll go down. I guess they’ve been mobilizing some extra volunteers, as I basically talked with everyone that went down the first week, and a couple of them were alumni volunteers who had graduated during COVID-19 and were just bored with nothing to do while stuck at home. They ran the gamut from undergrads to grad students to even PhD students, although I definitely was still the oldest by far amongst them. Many (but not all) of them were Chinese, so it was easy to connect with them anyway even though they were all largely from China.

I got to know a couple of them quite well, which turned out to be a bit of an unexpected (but obvious in hindsight) bonus of the volunteering sessions. One of them, the person I was with on Friday afternoon, even lives in the same apartment complex as me in a different block, so that was a pleasant coincidence. If nothing else, I don’t have to go down for any particular shift next week, but I seemed to be able to keep afloat at work despite going down there nearly daily this past week, so I can probably pick and choose which sessions I want to go down to next week, without it costing me any vacation time.

One thing that I did find weird was how many people seemed to or claimed to recognize me from previous stints of volunteering at UAI. Because I hadn’t really volunteered for anything major with UAI before! I’d been to the office pre-COVID-19 to talk with the outbound coordinator about studying abroad, and I’d been to two other events — as a welcome greeter for International Student Move-in Day in 2019 outside one of the various dorms, and at Senior Peer training late in 2019, where there were still over 50 of us split up into groups of 6 and doing bonding activities like Lego-building under secret personal constraints. Which was fun, but apparently not only did this inbound coordinator remember my name and recognize me through my facemask on the very first day, two of the new volunteers that I met for the first time (to my knowledge) on different days this week ALSO apparently remembered me from the Senior Peer training program, which confused me. Either I really stuck out like a sore thumb back then, or I have some sort of aura presence that I’m unaware of. One of them said we were in the same Lego group. I don’t remember anyone from that since that was prior to COVID-19, two years ago at this point.


As if life wasn’t wacky enough, it wasn’t just volunteers and coordinators that recognized me this week too. I was walking home from one of my volunteering stints, in front of one of the other apartment buildings in my complex, when one of the rental office’s staff members, who was apparently showing two potential tenants around, stepped out of the apartment building and casually dropped a “Good afternoon Jessica” to me. What. Who even was this person. I did a double take before realizing she was a staff member, but again, I don’t interact THAT much with the rental office staff here, how did she remember me? How do people randomly recognize me, even through a facemask?? Four times in a week?? Maybe it’s this blog that’s proven immensely popular. Hello world!

As a followup to last week, I’ve also remained really itchy this whole week, to the point that I got really worried about it mid-week and tried to see if I could get a COVID-19 rapid test or something. The mall near me doesn’t have a rapid test place though, and I don’t even think I qualify for the free provincial one (at the same place where I took my jab, I guess?) because I don’t actually exhibit any signs or symptoms and as I understand it you need that to get tested these days because the conservative government is trying to hide the numbers and pretend everything is OK with reopening.

Still, it finally does seem to be somewhat subsiding (again) so I probably won’t actually have to make an appointment to see a doctor or dermatologist or something next week. Hopefully it does finally subside and leave me because it definitely severely impacted my free time as well as my sleep time, as there were a couple nights where I had lots of trouble falling asleep due to skin itches. As far as I can tell though it just seems to be something to do with really sensitive skin — it’s nothing to do with bedbugs or mosquitoes or dirt/dust or allergies, and bumps and rashes aren’t appearing on their own either unless I scratch, which eliminates a lot of the common viruses, I believe.

It’s just that it’s hard to control the urge to scratch, especially at night when I am half-asleep, and don’t have the presence of mind to not claw at my skin with fingernails even though I know better. I have found that cold water helps it, by numbing the itches, and wind or cold air helps as well. I’ve also found that taking my hormonal pills seems to help relieve it a bit, and I’ve been ignoring taking those pills for many months now, so maybe that’s part of the reason why this is happening, although it might just be me wanting to believe that that’s the reason (thanks to some idle symptom googling at 4am one night) rather than it being the actual reason. Also, most of the bumps on my legs and arms have completely healed now, and the majority of the tingling itches and sensitive.. sensations have been on my hands and feet this week, I guess implying it’s something to do with blood circulation. But knowing more or less what it is does help to keep the symptoms under control for me.

And when it’s in a stage like right now (at the end of the week) when the itching is mostly under control and subsided, the extra sensitivity I seem to feel is an interesting experience. Right now, my arms and legs are sensitive to the point that even laying out a shirt over my knees as I fold it after doing laundry is enough to send tingles through me. Or when my arms or legs brush each other. And using the blanket is a bit of a problem at night due to a similar, almost ticklish feeling wherever the material touches me. And showers are interesting! Tingly all over my arms and legs. Wearing my regular clothes, sitting down on a chair, or lying down on the bed normally is fine though. This actually kind of reminds me of when I first started taking testosterone blockers and estrogen pills as well, as I noted at that point that I felt more sensitive and could feel the wind against my skin in a way that I had never experienced before. It’s similar to that sensation, I think, but I didn’t have this prolonged tingly effect back then. This itching issue also started before I resumed my pills, though I’m not sure if the sensitivity bit was present then.

Another thing that’s also helped in a weird way is that at one point I had scratched a couple locations on my left thigh/knee to the point that they needed cute little bandages put over them to stem some leaking fluid or other, and there was some internal pain involved whenever I stretched my left leg or tried to walk. This pain actually really helped push away the itching sensation from every other part of my body as well, so I really welcomed it, especially since by that point (weekend) I was just sitting around at home for a couple days and didn’t have to go anywhere major anyway.

A side effect of this whole ordeal is that I haven’t been using my DeskCycle this week in case that was one of the things that was aggravating the issue. I did bump the resistance rating of the pedal up to the second lowest level from the lowest one, as the instruction booklet suggested, but I only put something like 30km on it during the early part of the week before just moving it aside altogether. That thing will only get picked up again after I recover from this oddity.

Outside of all this nonsense, I started scanning my 3rd high school yearbook early this week, although that took a back seat once my problems flared up again, so I’m only about 20 pages in out of 200 or so. This book is the one Eileen sent to me though, so I’m trying to treat it with care even though it’s basically mine now and even though I basically have to wrestle with and flatten the book spine before scanning each page. I also decided that I need to create an Excel spreadsheet for my family photos so that when Kel comes back to Edmonton and I go over to the family house (probably in December before I go to Japan), we can properly catalogue all these photos. I must also inquire what sort of TV they have and what external connections it accepts, to see if I can somehow get a signal from my laptop to the TV for easier picture group-viewing or something.

I had a couple odd emails this week. One was from Zetronix, the company that I had bought the pair of Orca glasses that I had talked about and tested in an earlier blog entry. I had expected them to keep some of the money as a shelving/return fee, but they actually had returned every cent of it to my Paypal account two weeks ago. I had processed that email without really thinking about it. This week, I got an email from one of the company reps saying that she had noticed that they had tried to reimburse my credit card but the bank had declined it, and to check with my bank to find out why. Or if I prefer they’d use Paypal instead. I said I had no idea why the bank had declined it but that Paypal was fine, and she replied back the next day saying that oh, I apparently had already been refunded through Paypal two weeks prior. And I did. That got lost in my haze of memories. I wonder why the mixup happened on the company end though.

The second odd email was something I had signed up for a couple years ago, for a study about the “psychological/sociological understanding of the anime fandom”, and they send annual surveys to me asking me for my thoughts on the anime fandom. The study page for it is over here (local), along with a link to this year’s survey.


Besides some minor phone gaming, most of my gaming time this week was spent on the PC. I started the week by picking up Library of Ruina. It played decently, if a bit awkwardly, and I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the different rules and interactions between cards yet. I also do not like the RNG nature of the part of the game where you have to burn (consume) books (rewards) that you get from defeating certain specific enemies to get cards that you can use in future fights, because as far as I can tell, the UI doesn’t really tell you which cards you still have to obtain from burning a certain book that can’t be gotten from any other book, and which ones can be gotten from other books. I also dislike the way characters are introduced and then immediately killed off (you basically get a backstory of all your enemies before you fight them). Still, there are plenty of cool things to like about the game aesthetically too, and I am still early on in the game, so it could still well turn out very neat.

The problem with that though is that Trinstar organized a group game of 7 Days to Die for our Discord server, and Satinel, Milumbar, her, and me have been completely hooked on it since then. It took a night or two to figure out how to set up the dedicated server, but it’s been running pretty great ever since (except my computer still becomes a bit of a slideshow during Horde Night every 7 nights..). It’s actually been running so great that we’ve put a little over 30 hours into it this week already, and this means that every other game has taken a back seat, along with scanning, blogging, and chronicling, and even my seasonal anime watching. And then going to bed late paired up with both going out all day for volunteering, as well as the itching getting in the way of a good night’s rest, to create a bit of exhaustion in the middle of the week. That was under control by the end of the week though.

Anyway, I had played through this game with Satinel in late December 2020 (we basically started on Dec 25 or 26) to early January 2021, a couple months before I started writing the blog, so the game was still somewhat fresh for us in terms of knowing what to do, without being recent enough to be boring. We played a randomly generated map this time, so we wouldn’t gain an advantage from knowing where some good locations were (although I still recognized some of the prefab buildings). Despite being randomly generated, the towns and cities and little villages and hamlets still feel really good, and I think that that’s one of the good parts of this game.

I have largely been working on fortifying the house and creating electronics, although I sort of wish someone else had decided to do this this time as this is the exact same role I played back in the game I had with Satinel. That also just means that I know the quirks of the role though, and since each house is different anyway, the experience is not quite the same each time, I just find it hard to get the other achievements for maxing out certain stats because I always have to pour all my points into Intelligence to unlock electronics and vehicles! And then i get tied to the crafting stations because I’m the one with the crafting bonuses, and can’t really go out to explore because the drawback of that is not having enough time to shore up the house’s defences before the next horde.

Still, it’s fun! The game does really scratch my itch (bad choice of terminology there) of wanting a gameplay loop that involves going out and scavenging things, and then bringing them back to hoard and tinker with. In particular, the act of being able to upgrade the walls of your base/house to make it more resilient against the neighbourhood delinquents is a very nice feeling. I also appreciate that other people have slid into mining and cooking and exploring roles and spent significant time doing those things, especially mining. The game is definitely a lot more fun in a group than solo, as you’ll always have to split up your skill points as well as time while solo in order to get resources to do a bit of everything.

We also moved bases at one point late in the week, which was a very cool experience to have, moving together as a group of friends in a convoy of vehicles, along roads and across countrysides, through one town and to the next, in a game, in order to get to a nicer location to set up a better base at. It’s just not something that many group games allow or have a need for doing, and it makes for cool memories and screenshots!

Plushie of the Week #17 – Paddington Bear / Photograph(s) of the Week #5

I only have a limited amount of time this week due to 7 Days to Die and an anime backlog, so this felt like a good time to combine two categories into one down here as well and make this blog entry just that much shorter! While scanning my family photos, one of the albums gave me a really curious photo that I wanted to display.

So this photo is dated Jun 20 1988, and I was 4 years old. I’m sitting on a set of furniture drawers that I remember really well from our Yishun 799 days. It’s the same house in My Diary #014, and you’d see these furniture drawers if you were standing where the first photo in that blog entry was taken, and turn 180 degrees to look behind you.

I’m holding a bear that (upon seeing the photograph) I do remember, but that I had forgotten about for many years. I had mentioned in My Diary #014 that Snake was my very first plushie that I had, and I am now amending that to “the very first plushie I had that I still possess today”. I was wondering at the time if I had any plushies when I was a baby — I most certainly must have — but I didn’t recall, nor do I still have, any of them.

This photograph certainly jogged the memory of this bear though. I don’t have this bear any more, so he must have been let go sometime during one of our purges while we were house-moving so many times in the 90s in Singapore. I seem to remember naming him Paddington though, even though I know that he’s not the actual Paddington Bear, which implies that we might have picked him up on a family trip to London that we took in late May/early June 1987, just before this picture, as that’s where I strongly tie the name Paddington Bear to. It’s possible his origin is from elsewhere, but really who’s going to challenge me on this at this point? I also could not find any other pictures of the bear in our family photos, before or after this date.

Due to that, and due to looking through the albums for date-stamped photos as to likely dates that we might have picked him up, I chose May 21 1987 as his birthday, and London as his birthplace. It’s probably a moot point because he’s no longer with us, but maybe I’ll find a version of him again at some point!

Things I am thankful for this week
  1. Volunteering. While there was a large stage of my life where I would never have considered it fun and definitely found it a chore whenever I was forced to, I have found in recent years that when I have a vested interest in whatever I’m volunteering for, and now that I don’t have to be depressed about presenting as the wrong gender anymore, it’s actually really fun. Not all my experiences have been fruitful or worthwhile, sometimes it’s just really boring anyway, but I’ve met plenty of nice people through this, and it’s nice to feel relied on in a way that isn’t artificial — to put it another way, it is far more worthwhile than the job I do, that really doesn’t need to exist and actually isn’t contributing anything to society except by the undoing of other people’s anti-contributions. Also, it almost certainly played a big factor in why I got such a large scholarship for going abroad.
  2. Living next to the LRT. While the apartment isn’t cheap, it isn’t back-breakingly expensive either (at $1150 CAD or so a month), and being right next to a major mall and an LRT station and bus terminal works wonders for travel time and the flexibility of being able to decide that I’d be at the University in half an hour from the moment I step foot outside my door, and then actually being able to accomplish that. Because LRT travel also is more or less currently free for me (but the bus isn’t, except during semesters where I am a student) due to my employee pass, this also basically acts as a portal for me to access most of the downtown/central stations and be able to venture out to the buildings around them without actually having to pay and worry about making the return trip in time before the ticket expires. It’s pretty great, considering that our previous family home was 1 hour to 1.5 hours away by public transit from the University, and I had to take that route home every day (and occasionally in the mornings to work or school, too, if Dad wasn’t fetching me that day).
  3. My portable Crock-Pot lunch warmer. I bought that thing in 2016 and have used it on and off ever since, depending on how often I decide to bring lunch to work instead of buying lunch while there. I used this while volunteering this week though, after a couple years (thanks to COVID and classes and general laziness) of not using it, and it’s still as great as ever. The capacity of the internal metal bowl is kind of small, though there are larger versions, but there’s a coiled power cable at the bottom that you can plug in to any regular power outlet, and it will heat up the metal bowl of food inside in about half an hour or so, making it warm and edible. It doesn’t actually cook the food — the meal had better be edible before you put it in to begin with — but it’s great for heating leftovers for lunch, especially when the only other option are public/communal microwaves which really stink and often come with queues. And it’s great for not having to leave your seat in the winter in order to source out lunch. They’re also a great conversation piece!
  4. Photos that have date stamps on them. These days it’s all digital, so this isn’t a worry anymore, but we have a ton of photos with date stamps on them in the corner, and a ton that don’t, and I wish we had more of the former and less of the latter even though it technically mars the photo a little. I wish someone had at least developed the tech for the date of a photo to be recorded with the photo on old Polaroid or film cameras somehow, so the dates could be printed on the back of the photographs when they were developed or something. Because, looking back on old family photos, it’s a little distressing how many clues are lost to time just because I can’t figure out when exactly a photo was taken.
  5. My tolerance for spicy food. I love eating spicy food, generally the spicier the better, and I am very happy that I can tolerate it without much side effect because it lets me enjoy the hotter things in life without much of a worry! There have been some foods in the past that were so spicy that even I had trouble consuming them of course, but most of the time my tolerance level for spice is so high that I don’t have a problem with the spicy or extra spicy level of spiciness that most (especially in Western countries) restaurants and food places offer, so it’s never a problem for me. The only problem in fact is that sometimes I’m disappointed because something that purports to be spicy is actually so mild that I can’t feel it at all.

Between staying up late and unable to sleep well due to itchiness, I didn’t actually have many good dreams this week. In fact, for half the week, I either didn’t or practically didn’t, remember anything at all. Sad!

Aug 17 2021
  • There was a mall with three specialty shops that my two siblings and I were comparing. Each shop earned up to 3 stars per item that they sold, depending on its item rating, and each shop also had a combined rating based on the total number of item stars it had. This did mean that a shop could earn more stars than another shop based on quantity rather than quality though, which I thought was weird.
  • Later on, Jon and I were playing a board game. He was about 6 years old in this dream and also mentioned that he needed the game to finish within 30 minutes so he could go somewhere, so we played a shorter duration map of whatever game we were playing, instead of a longer duration one. Mom was watching on as we played, and I commented that 3 or 4 years ago, we’d still played like this, but Jon was incapable of playing for himself at the time so I had to control his pieces for him in addition to my own.
Aug 19 2021
  • Snippet: I was a student in some sort of a history department/classroom at a school. At some point, the classroom itself was falling apart at the seams of space and time, and splitting up and being consumed by a dark void. No one seemed particularly worried though as we split into two groups and boarded two school buses that could fly through the void, to escape the place. I believe I saw a couple Singapore guy friends there, Harvey and at least one other person. Each bus was supposed to be for a slightly different curriculum/specialty/major but I didn’t really get to choose which bus to get onto.
  • Snippet: At another point, there was a horse race being carried out through the streets of a town. The top 20 horses automatically qualified for the next round, and it was points-based to some extent, so the leading horses slowed down and slacked off near the end of the race because their finals spot had already been guaranteed. The horse that I was jockeying was in this same boat as we were currently 5th. As we ran down one of the streets though, my horse stretched out one of its limbs like a hand, and smacked a bunch of lamp posts that we were running by. This caused a bunch of judges to be disqualified or hurt or otherwise unable to judge for the finals, and they had to bring in substitutes that looked like kindly old grandmas.
  • Snippet: In another classroom, there was a girl sitting behind me who was also casually eavesdropping on a conversation that I had with the student next to me. Once we were done our conversation, she passed me a note saying that I had used an incorrect word in my conversation, something about a grammatical form of a word that didn’t exist. She also reiterated that she had the right to not wear a mask. I told her in a note reply that in that case, I had the right to not move my desk up with everyone else to allow her to get closer to the blackboard to look at what was written there, as people would be packed more closely together that way.
  • Snippet: I went out to get dinner with a friend. We stopped by two butcher/meat shops that were side by side, one Japanese and one Korean. My friend went into the left shop to buy something, but I wasn’t really interested in what he had selected, so I decided to wait for him. Eyeing the hanging slabs of meat, I wondered out loud if buying one of those and having that raw for dinner would count as a proper meal, and my friend chimed in and said he didn’t think so.
    – Snippet: I don’t remember the context to this, but I/we had a map that showed the location of someone that I/we were told to find at some point.
  • Snippet: I was helping someone open a bank account, and to do so the person trying to sign up needed to show a Student ID from signing up to battle a monster in some sort of arena, or at least provide proof that they were assisting a partner who was signing up to battle. In a later part of this snippet, the person instead was trying to get a phone plan in order to have a phone number to buy something else, and six different vendors tried to sell their version of a phone plan to my friend.
  • Snippet: There was a rich family, and their daughter joined a team of adults for a game versus an identical team of adults. The 2nd team tried to cheat, but was caught because the 1st team was not only made up of identical-looking adults, but they were actually linked and so could and did also copy the moves of the first team. This caused a collision between the two teams, which somehow then exposed the cheating mechanism.
Aug 20 2021
  • All I can remember is that part of a dream had to do with a red racetrack, like in a stadium, where runners were running round and round, and another part had to do with apartments that were reachable through stairwells, located in the same building as a large mall, similar to how the residences in HUB Mall IRL are.
Aug 21 2021
  • I was in a school building where the bottom floor was a wide open area and the classrooms were located upstairs. Mine was on the 2nd floor. The people in the class were mixed, from little kids all the way to adults. There was an office on the bottom floor too which I was in at some point. There were activities or games on the bottom floor that one could do. These activities included some sort of trivia-like game as well as another game where you had to defeat a couple organizers dressed up as animal mascots at some task or in some battle. There was also a traffic crosswalk on the bottom floor of this school, somehow.
  • I had a special ability that allowed me to complete these events and then “remember” my win so that I could help others through it more easily. I used this to help the little kids in my class through the games, by bringing them down to the ground floor between classes. At one point I was trying to do this for a kid but then I saw our next teacher, Mr Shah, walking down the 2nd floor corridor toward class, and he was going to be giving out the results of some test or other (that might have had to do with raising a baby animal), so I told the kid that we’d come back later to actually do the event, and he said ok. I teleported us back to class.
  • Later on in the same building, instead of classes, I was attending a wedding between a relative and their fiance. Dad was there with one of his brothers, my 3rd uncle, and the two of them were re-enacting a couple scenes at the crosswalks on the bottom floor to show that two pedestrians that my father had been initially accused of running over and killing by the police (as he was unlucky enough to be in the area), were actually killed by something else.
  • Part of the proof for the first pedestrian involved my Dad announcing that even though he had never had to run at top speed in my presence and thus I had never seen that, he was known as a really quick runner back in his National Service days and thus could not have killed that pedestrian. The second one was hit but the argument was that the pedestrian had first been hit by another car based on their body position and so was already dead.
  • Some of the relatives felt a bit uncomfortable that the wedding time was being pre-empted for this proof, so they slid out of their chairs and began to head toward the exit. We didn’t really like them anyway so we didn’t complain.
  • Snippet: There was a separate turn-based game at some point that I was the GM for other players for and thus could reset at will.
  • Snippet: At some point, there was a friend who was in a situation that I realized one of my saved anime screenshots could aptly describe. I showed her the picture and she found it funny, so I said I’d find the episode again, take the screenshot without subtitles this time, and send it to her.
Aug 22 2021
  • I was sitting at a table chatting to two girls that were either MMO reporters or developers for the game ArcheAge, and I was using cards to make an analogy to describe to them what the general playerbase thought of the game updates and changes that the ArcheAge devs had been making to the game over time. The cards were from Legend of the Five Rings, I think, but I was using the back of the cards to illustrate my point so they were basically all identical and it didn’t matter what was on the front of the card.
  • I first laid out ten cards in a 5 by 2 grid and said that in any given update, there were usually around ten major changes. I then took the 10 cards and laid them out in four columns, 4 in the first one, 3 in the second, 2 in the third and 1 in the fourth, with each card in a column overlapping the one above it. I said that the first column of 4 represented the changes in an update that players more or less liked, the second column of 3 representing the changes that players were wary about and needed their effects to be played out before they could decide if they liked it, the third column of 2 representing the changes that were grumbled about but accepted, and the fourth column of 1 representing a bad change that everyone hated and was really vocal about. I said that this was the pattern for almost all the game updates before I left.
  • A reporter with a TV camera was lurking around our table during part of this discussion, and I had to pause and hide the cards as it was important somehow that he didn’t see them. One of the girls deftly helped me hide the cards too — while the other girl’s body was partially impeding his view of the table, the two of us each grabbed one of the two decks of cards in a hand and held them beneath the table until the reporter was gone.
  • Snippet: There was a 7 Days to Die part of the dream where we were going to defend a house that we had just newly taken over. We had ladders outside for the zombies to clamber in to specific areas. There was a younger girl playing with us, and her mom gave her the instruction that if she wanted to stay for the horde invasion, she had to defend and repair a particular block that had a countdown timer on it as that block was easy to repair when damaged.
  • Snippet: I had a friend over to my house and was partitioning out some leftovers from my fridge to give to them. Refrigerated cooked rice from one of my blue tupperware boxes, and stewed cabbage with frozen tofu from the Chinese Dumpling House restaurant that I order from sometimes.

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