My Diary #021

Dear Tigey,

First actual week of classes, and it’s the busiest time of year at work. It was also Open Beta for the New World MMO this week, as well as the first week of our group MMO project. Those things took up the bulk of my time this week.

I am also dropping the “Things I am thankful for this week” section, because after personal review on it, there’s either a lot of overlap between that and School, Work, or Life, or else it’s not actually things that I’m thankful for, it’s just small things that I like and enjoy (and not necessarily from the last week either), and want to write an appreciative note about. So more like “Things I like”. That distinction has been bothering me for some time. I think there’s a place for the latter in here though, because that helps flesh out what I want to do with the blog as well, but I’m not sure this section is the right place for them. Also, I think I’m going down the wrong path when I have to consciously try to think of things to put on the list as I go through my week, and then get a bit antsy if I approach the end of the week with the list not filled out yet. The way I have to approach this section to finish out the week feels very different from the way I approach any other section, and I don’t like it.

Rather, I’m thinking of a section like “One interesting aspect of my life” or “something I like” (name pending) or something like that to replace it, where I can describe a thing I do or have done in the past and slowly add to my self-chronicle that way. I might start that next week instead.

Entry #021 (Sep 12 2021)

Table of Contents

Follow map icons to my..
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #20
ට  Photograph of the Week #8
ට  Dreams

School

So, Sophia University applications are open again, for Spring 2022 this time.

My email looked like this:

Dear JESSICA TAN,

Greetings from Sophia University!

You are nominated to our exchange program at Sophia University in . (this part was missing in the actual email, not my snip!)

You can access the application portal using your log-in information below:

<snip>

Application Instructions:
https://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/admissions/exchangeprograms/application_info/u9gsah0000011ypr-att/forStudents_OnlineApplicationProcedure.pdf

Documents to be Submitted
https://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/admissions/exchangeprograms/application_info/Application_Materials.html

The completed application materials must be submitted during  – November, 10 2021.

You must upload all application documents through the portal AND send an email to <snip> with the title “Application for Exchange Program (Home Institution/ Your Name) to let us know that you completed online application.
We will check all the documents after receiving the email and give feedback for each student.

The coordinator sent us this email, and included the one the got from Sophia:

Hello,

You’re receiving this message because you’ve applied for an exchange to Sophia University during the equivalent to UAlberta’s Winter 2022 term.
 
I’ve just completed your nomination for exchange to Sophia University.  I can see that Sophia University has already contacted you to provide you with information explaining how you are to start and complete their part of your exchange application.  Please be sure to read the information in that email, the email below, in any attachments to either email, and viewable through all links provided to take any required action by any deadlines indicated.
 
I’m forwarding the email below from my exchange partners at Sophia to give you even more helpful information about your exchange application and the exchange experience at Sophia.
 
Should you have any questions about the Sophia part of your application please send them directly to Sophia University at <snip>.
 
All the best,
 

———- Forwarded message ———

Dear Partners,

Warm greetings from Sophia University, Japan! 

We hope you are doing well in this difficult time. 

Even though we have continued concerns around COVID-19 under the uncertain situation of the pandemic, we decided to start nomination and application process for Spring semester 2022. 

We would like to work on the admission process assuming that we can offer in-person exchange program, but please kindly note that it may be cancelled or switched to online format depending on the future situation. 

 —Nomination and Application Process for Spring 2022— 

Online nomination instructions including log-in information (subject: “Sophia Nomination Information for Spring Semester 2022”) will be sent to you soon after this message, so if you have nominees for Spring 2022, please complete the online nomination following the instructions. 

!!Please let us know if you do not receive the email about online nomination!! 

Nomination confirmation will be sent to you and online application instructions will be sent to your students automatically after your nomination. 

Students’ completed application materials should be submitted during October 1, 2021 – November 10, 2021 (last day of receiving application). 

Please advise your students to upload all application documents through application portal AND send an email to <snip> with the title “Application for Exchange Program (Home Institution/ Student’s Name) to let us know that they completed online application. 

We will check all the documents and give feedback for each student AFTER receiving their confirmation email. We will advise students about missing information and documents accordingly so that they can correct and complete application documents. 

Original hard copies are not required. Basically, all documents must be uploaded through portal, but if a letter of recommendation cannot be shared with the applicants, please let us know. In that case, we can accept the letter directly sent from your office or professors via email. 

More information regarding application to Sophia Exchange could be found here: 

https://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/admissions/exchangeprograms/application_info/Application_Materials.html 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Thank you for your continuous support for our exchange program. 

We look forward to our continuous collaboration!

Finally, the coordinator sent one extra, very illuminating email:

Hi,

You’re receiving this message because you’ve applied for an exchange to Sophia University during the equivalent to UAlberta’s Winter 2022 term.

To avoid problems at the UAlberta end, please plan to complete the Sophia part of your exchange application as soon as possible in OCTOBER.  Please see the email conversation below to find out why this is important …

Thanks!

———- Forwarded message ———

Dear ,

We will open our nomination and application portal for Spring 2022 in September and application period is October 1- November 10.
If your students can complete the application within October, we can issue an acceptance letter within December, but please kindly note that Sophia may cancel the exchange program or switch to online mode depending on the future situation, and the final decision may be made in January.

I hope this timeline would be fine for your students.
Thank you!

———-

Hi <snip>,

I hope you are well!

When would Sophia University normally release its exchange decisions for its Spring term/semester?

I plan to nominate two students for an exchange to your school during your Spring 2022 term/semester.

Would it be possible to get the decisions regarding their exchange applications, or at least an unofficial confirmation of their acceptance or rejection, sometime in December at the latest?

I ask because if the normal timeline for Sophia’s release of the decisions happens starting in January, it might create complications at the University of Alberta end since our students might find out after they need to drop their University of Alberta (UAlberta) courses during the period of the exchange.  If they end up being rejected after having dropped out of all their UAlberta courses then they will have lost an entire term/semester of their UAlberta degree programs, which would extend their UAlberta degree programs and delay their graduations.  

I look forward to your reply.

Yes, he wants us to get the application done by end of October, which probably won’t be a problem because it’s basically the same application as last time, and I already have most of the work done. I even have permission from my Japanese instructor to re-use the same reference letter. Oddly the initial letter from Sophia says it only opens October 01, but here we are anyway.

The really eye-opening thing in the email is what he let slip in the email chain. There’s two people he’s nominating to Sophia for this special Spring semester!

Work

It was a short week at work so I’m not going to spend too much time here. We had a lot of tickets to do, and this was my first week monitoring the team ticket queue as well. I had a lot of fun doing it, I like playing with spreadsheets and ranking things and all that came into use here since I had to prioritize tickets in a way that the previous queue monitor wasn’t doing. That was probably partially why he passed it off to me to start off the semester.

I exchanged some heated words with my supervisor this week though, because I felt that half the team was not pulling their weight in terms of results and yet were not taking the day or week off, which would have been fine for me. Instead, one of them basically did no work toward the end of the week and my supervisor said I was to dole out very little work to him next week as well. Which is fine if he has a reason to take the week off, what irked me was that he was still here and drawing full pay for the entire week while being super anti-social and not doing any work, on a week that the rest of the team was drowning in critical and time-sensitive tickets and we had already lost one person to his new job/transfer to another team announced the week before.

I understand people sometimes have issues and bad weeks — I’ve gone through a bad period like that before where I basically withdrew into a shell and just checked in, did my work, and checked out, or took many sick days off of work due to depression. One other person on the team has been through a similar thing too. The difference though is that even in those cases, given work was still at least done, and when I couldn’t do it I took the day off as a sick day instead. And obviously there’s a pandemic going on now and a multitude of things that could go wrong. Take some damned time off to get better though (he apparently has 3 weeks vacation scheduled at the end of the month, but that shouldn’t preclude taking some now).

Instead, our stats right now look like it’s being fudged, since we have four active people at work but basically only actually did the work of two and a half people, tops, during the week. My boss likes the low rate of tickets done because it gives him ammunition to try to hire more people, which seems to have worked (there’s an internal posting for two people going up soon, yay!), but while we absolutely needed the two people because our team is drowning after all the cuts and lack of position backfill recently, it also rings a bit of dishonesty and vindiction in my opinion. This is the time of the year that we are SUPPOSED to pull up our socks and put our nose to the grinder and work through our tickets, it’s literally the only thing we’re paid to do this time of year, and I didn’t even end up doling out that much work. Our backlog is still immensely huge and getting larger.

The other major thing that really irked me is that my boss indeed, as I suspected he would, brought up my time with depression and being aloof on the team, seven years ago or so, as a defence when I complained about what was going on this week on our team. As though that somehow meant I didn’t have the fucking right to bring the topic up. I hate that sort of American politics whataboutism, especially since, as I said, I almost always either got my work done, even if I was just going through the motions, or had enough honour and pride to take the day off sick if I felt I couldn’t do my work that day. I don’t drop everything to sit and rot even if I mentally check out at work, as that’s disrespectful to team mates and clients. Even when I was volunteering with UAI over the past month, and was at a table the entire day, I always found a way to finish my daily assortment of work.

Still, my boss eventually had a good point that this is only four days so far and things can and will change soon, and he did acknowledge that it was horrible timing on my teammate’s part that these “personal issues” were happening during the busiest time of year. I wouldn’t have had any problem at all if he actually took the time off work though, this just wasn’t done and I think it reflected very badly on the team. I don’t actually expect seven hours of work even though that’s what we’re getting paid for, I don’t think most people in office jobs reasonably work for more than 2-4 hours a day unless they’re in a high-profile job with lots of compensation (far more than we’re getting paid over here!), but I do also expect that people do more than 0-1 hour of work, which was what was happening.

Am I strict? Harsh? Overdoing it? Maybe. I reflected on it a bit because I know I have always been a bit biased against him due to philosophical differences in work that end up with me mentally accusing him of being slipshod, and trying to get away with doing as little work as possible to coast to retirement, whether that’s fair or not. But he’s done and does do plenty of good things too and I guess ultimately I’m worried about him — he’s also the first person I tap on the shoulder when I am asked to get a second opinion, because I know his viewpoints are usually opposite of mine, and that’s the best place to get an honest opinion most of the time.

Anyway, work drama gets me down and I really don’t want to work here anymore. The Canadian-Japanese borders had better open by January or so. I am looking forward to our two new teammates though. I hear it’s being fast-tracked since the postings are internal only, and I think it was estimated that we might have them on board in 5-6 weeks.

Life

Them itches came back again and they’re literally really irritating. Both the itches itself and how it just won’t go away. because I have been rubbing rather than itching, the response is that my skin has become a bit more rash-ey rather than open-wound-ey, which is “better”, but still. Anyway, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor at the University clinic, but apparently the queues are two weeks long now and I’m scheduled for Tuesday, Sep 21st. That’s so far away. Maybe everything will be cured by then though.

In the meantime, cold water still really, really helps the itches, as does cold in general. I bought moisturizing cream but that didn’t seem to help. I don’t think my skin is dry anyway (except some patches around my feet, and in winter when I get some electric shocks when I touch metal, though that might also be a room thing) even though water helps soothe the itching a lot. I have had the skin of the back of my hands go dry and get white, crackly lines in the past, and this is nothing like that. I also bought a bag of apples that were on sale and started chewing on those, two a day, to see if that would help, because I seldom have fruits as part of my diet and I don’t know if this is caused by some sort of chemical imbalance. All the apples did (besides being really tasty) seem to have pushed the doctor appointment far away though. But damn they’re tasty. Meat was on sale this week too and I brought back enough for a nice round of Immunity Soup this weekend, mmm.

Another big thing that happened this week were computer problems. Satinel had (and maybe still has, though hopefully that’s cured now, but I understand my blog has jinxing powers sometimes) an issue that looked like hardware failure at first as it led to a boot device not found error, but hopefully a System Restore she did will have fixed everything.

For me, I had an issue post-reboot where the computer would just hang up on a black screen just before POST as well, and this was quite scary as I couldn’t even reach BIOS. Not sure what triggered this in the end, but I realized that disconnecting my external USB hard drives immediately let the booting process continue, so I did that, rebooted a couple more times to finish out some other disk checking fixes that Windows was trying to implement, then reconnected everything once I had booted into Windows and everything was fine. Not sure if this will be a thing going forward, but I do know that some odd things have been going on with the computer recently (Windows Explorer crashes a couple times after a fresh reboot, the first two or three times I try to open a new Explorer window of any kind, and then it works fine after that). I really should reformat/refresh/whatever-they-call-it-these-days my PC as well.

I spent a lot of time listening to Chinese and English music on Singapore radio stations (and then a bit of Youtube) this week, and was a little upset when I realized (at least for the English station) that 80s/90s songs that I listened to when I was growing up 20 years ago are now basically playing on what is an oldies radio channel. I did, surprisingly, recognize and pick up some old Chinese songs that I hadn’t heard in ages but still rang a bell in the deep recesses of my memory. I’ve been more curious about Chinese music basically (as part of investigating my heritage) and I’m glad for this because until recently I had pretty much all of 1 Chinese song I knew the title of from childhood. This week I added this one (Sally Yeh – Run Without Care) and this one (Ling Su Shan – Pearl of the Orient) to my growing repertoire. This English song with a single Chinese sentence (Tokyo Square – Within You’ll Remain) from a Singapore band as well. Nostalgia. I also finally finished an anime this week that I had been dragging my feet on for a year, and it finished with a nice ballad (Yuka Uchiyae – Beautiful World) that I really appreciated the lyrics to as well. Also, this insert (Aina Suzuki – Jinbouchou Aika) from a group watch anime that also ended this week was amazing too and emotionally moved me. So there’s a couple Japanese ones too. Basically I (re-)discovered lots of good songs this week to add to my burgeoning lists.

Early in the week, I took my one and only walk this week, and even though it was only a short 20 minute walk, I found it odd because I found (and took pictures of) not one, not two, but three cars in weird states of undress. I also took a nice sunset and clouds picture that I liked, so here it is:

7:46 pm on Monday, Sep 06 2021

Look at those windswept, mussy clouds that make me feel and appreciate how small I am in the world. Dear Tigey, the large, boundless sky is lovely and I can never get enough of gawking at it.

Once home, I added my steps to my World Walker app as always. I’m around 6% through my tour now, and one thing I like doing after adding my steps is to see where the Google Map View button of my location puts me. I learnt that the website and the phone actually calculates your location (and thus the Street View picture) differently, but the phone served me up a really nice set of pictures — I was somehow inside a flower gift shop named Hibiya Kadan! And could traverse around in it via connected 360 degree photos! Very cool.

Games

As predicted, we finished playing 7 Days to Die last Sunday, after defeating the zombie horde on the 77th day of the apocalypse. I took lots of pictures of the base. I also managed to complete all my skill book sets, although it is with regret that I couldn’t help anyone else complete their sets (not that there’s any reward for that), although everyone got close.

After that, we started our MMO project, each one of us nominating a game and then Gibbs rolling randomly on the list to see what the first MMO we’d invade and try out for (about) two weeks would be. The winner was Satinel and her pick, WAKFU, an odd, turn-based style MMO that even has several seasons of a western animation TV series based around it, somewhere on Netflix’s catalogue.

Did I mention it’s odd? It’s odd. The game is very odd. There’s bits of fun stuck to the sides of the ship though, I find the farming and gathering in particular somewhat fun and therapeutic, and I like the ecosystem aspect in the game, whereby zone bonuses are had if certain thresholds of monsters, plants, crops, etc are maintained in the zone. Most monsters can be re-bred using monster eggs that you can harvest from monsters, and the odd part is how nearly nothing in the game (so far) seems to be aggressive, probably due to this need of maintaining the ecosystem. It does mean that it’s fairly nice and casual for exploring and harvesting without concern for loss of character if I go AFK or anything like that.

It’s a game that doesn’t seem particularly well maintained though. The account system to sign up is odorous, many instructions (for example crafting licenses) are out of date, the game sometimes chokes and despawns crops when I try to harvest it without actually giving me anything, and the UI is pretty cryptic in places. But there are lots of unique systems too. Besides the ecosystem aspect, one thing I really enjoy is being able to recruit sidekicks or even other characters on your account to fill out your party of 2 or 3, although you have to subscribe for the latter. The subscription model is also pretty nice and unique, with a cheap 7 day option and a more pricey 30 day option, which is rare in MMOs. I also like exploring the world and finding hidden chests with permanent emote unlocks in them, that’s cool.

Overall, the game feels very casual, not necessarily in a bad way, but not necessarily something that encourages long-term play either. That’s the entire point of exploring new MMOs in this MMO project though, so that’s fine! Each zone has random zone quests that pop up every few minutes, with things like killing cute slimes or collecting cute birds that spawn and wander around, and that together with certain odd minigames and a follow mechanic (that breaks often) reminds me of an old game we briefly played as a guild as well called Zentia.

On the weekend, the open beta for New World also started, and as that is time sensitive, many of us also downloaded that and hopped in to that. The game is an unoptimized, buggy mess right now, and seems to lack any sort of meaningful endgame PVE or PVP (but especlally PVE), with a really boring world and nothing but repeatables most of the way unless you’re in a guild. Crafting is very simplistic and seems useless a lot of the time as well. Gathering is fun though, housing looks cool, and while the game doesn’t run perfectly smoothly on my end, it runs much better than I expected considering the graphics it has.

The negatives though. This thing so isn’t ready for launch in Sep 28 2021 without a major server boost. Things on the terrain, monsters, and even other NPCs, don’t load correctly for me, I get caught up against invisible terrain all the time, both in town and out in the wilds around questing areas, and sometimes invisible enemies attack me and nearly kill me before they appear. NPCs in town take anywhere from 0 to 60 seconds to “spawn in” on screen and become interactable, even though I can see all the players running around me, and while I can usually see the buildings pretty quickly, they are all in a semi-loaded state until the front stairs spawn in, and attempting to enter any house causes a glitch where my character stutters and bounces around in a falling animation while walking around the floor of the house, until I leave and return to the streets. The house only properly spawns once the NPC does as well.

There’s a lot of other small, stupid bugs besides that too, like falling through the ground, stuttering or random cancels when you try to harvest something, missing UI (a fishing hook has a bait slot which I can’t seem to use, and fishing doesn’t actually consume bait), poor camera implementation indoors, options that are implemented poorly (for example, “automatically climbing over obstacles when you walk into them” leads to a case where you can never draw water from a town well because you always end up climbing atop the well instead). Some of those do look like beta bugs that they maybe can fix before launch, but the whole feel of the game was very janky and unpolished in a way that I felt was reflective of game engine issues, which generally aren’t easily fixed without a massive overhaul, which is impossible this late into the game’s pre-launch lifecycle. At least I could log in though, unlike Nak.

The blandness of the world is also amplified by a restrictive fast travel system that consumes a currency that low levels are not able to get, and that has a very low currency cap overall so you can never really stock up on it anyway, There’s generic wolves and zombies everywhere, though maybe this changes in higher level zones. No mounts are available in the game as well, which is a strange design choice. Resource nodes seem to always spawn as the exact same resource each time, so there’s not much impetus to wander an area to see if nodes spawned as other rare materials.  And for a game marketed as being supernatural, none of the zombies and such strewn around the place are doing anything cool, they’re just standing and pacing back and forth in quest locations. Amplifying all this even further is that new characters have one of three or four different starting locations which are quite far from each other but look identical to each other. So players that want to roll together on a server have to either keep rerolling until they end up at the same starting location as their friends, or resign themselves to not being able to actually play together until about 1-5 hours in (depending on how fast they zerg through quests — I’m very slow) if they care about their main story quests at all.

Oh, and campfires that act as mobile respawn points are very cool, but I am not sure how they’d work in pvp and if they’re destructible, else this seems like a zerg mechanic. What isn’t cool though is the repair mechanic — you lose durability on your gear as you lose it over time, and more if you die, but NPCs cannot repair gear for you. Instead, you have generic “repair parts” that you can get from deconstructing extra random gear that you have, but that is again a currency with a rather low cap on it. What happens if you, say, die in a dungeon or pvp a few times and then run out of repair parts to repair any of your gear? You’re basically taken out of commission for some time until you go farm some trash gear and deconstruct them for materials (deconstructed crafted gear does NOT give these repair materials). I feel like either I didn’t run into some other aspect of this repair system, or it just wasn’t well thought out.

So yeah, this game looks like a sub-optimal buy for $50 CAD, but has been a nice way to spend the weekend. It very much embodies what we’ve been trying to do with the MMO Project — play a game hard for a short period of time in order to learn about it and extract all the fun we can from the game, look at quirky things in the game and talk about the various design decisions around the game, and then move on.

There was a Mortal Online 2 stress test over the weekend too, but that one barely ran on my machine even on lowest graphics, and I got bored of chopping trees and rocks with my sword after about 15 minutes or so, so there’s nothing worfth talking about there.

Besides MMOs, the only other game I played this week was a game from the August 2021 Humble Bundle called As Far As The Eye. It’s not the best thing since sliced bread or anything, but I do like roguelike/short session type games and that one looked fun, so I’ve worked through most of the tutorial now (during 3-4am gaming sessions when I’m too itchy too fall asleep) and will probably give the real game a full shot soon. The screenshots are really deceiving though, since each hex-shaped map is actually really quite small, and actions like harvesting or moving take forever too. But I really like the concept of being able to build either cheap temporary shelters, or expensive mobile shelters that can follow you to future maps, as well as the concept of having to fit together anything you want to bring along, represented by tetris-like blocks, into a backpack grid that is influenced by how many pack animals you have, at the end of each level. That’s really cool.

Plushie of the Week #20 – Cuddles C. Cupcake

Plushie of the Week this week is a baby chocobo! Technically, he’s a “Wayward Hatchling Plushie” that was released around the time of the Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward expansion, I ordered it on March 21 2017 for $32.98 USD, and it arrived on Mar 31 2017, though the delivery company conveniently left it in a box on top of the community mailbox downstairs while I was out at work. It could easily have been filched. But things worked out.

Front:

Back:

Tag:

He needs a name, and I’m sure my friends will not hesitate to provide him with one shortly. (Note: Satinel suggested Cuddles C. Cupcake, and that works for me.) He also looks a little goofy in the picture, but he’s really cute in real life and I do like him.

In the actual FFXIV game, Cuddles was my chocobo’s name the first time I played through it, and Cupcake was my chocobo’s name the second time around, so really this guy’s name is a mix of both names depending on which one I remember more on any given day. It’s usually Cuddles, though.

Photograph(s) of the Week #8

The photographs these week are from when I was 12 years old, when I represented my home country, Singapore, in a math competition in pre-handover Hong Kong. There will likely be a future write-up on this at some distant point in the future, but the gist of this is that I actually anchored the team to first place in the group part of the competition, and we won nice trophies and got our faces plastered in the local newspaper and TV back home. All that was very cool and it still was one of the most surreal and meaningful experiences in my life.

The name of the contest was the 1st Annual Po Leung Kuk Asian Cities Primary Mathematics Competition, and we were a group of 4 students from two different primary schools, chaperoned by two teachers, that stayed in a place called the Po Leung Kuk Tai Thong Holiday Camp. This one. It’s funny how 25 years later, the name still rings strongly in my mind even without having to look it up. That’s how much of an impact it made!

It looks like the competition itself is still ongoing, and even has a Wikipedia page for it. I guess they did a rebrand at some point.

We didn’t actually do very well in the individual quiz part of the competition, and there was a group segment which totalled up the team’s score for their individual quizzes and we obviously didn’t do well on that either. There was, however, a separate team contest/coordination quiz segment of the competition in 1998, and all the schools were placed in one of three (I think) brackets, and we won our bracket and were given a trophy for it. See results here:

I have tons of other artifacts relating to this event that I will someday scan and post as well, in the Shrine of Memories.

Dreams

I had a mixture of REALLY long and REALLY short dreams this week, a byproduct of having interrupted sleep (due to itching issues) almost every single night. It’s weird how it can produce two entirely opposite dream diary outcomes.

Also, what the heck was with that dream on the morning of Sep 11th? It somehow diverged about halfway through, without me waking up in between (I think), and I ended up having two long and detailed dreams about two separate resolutions of one event, back to back, and then the dream ended right after that.

Sep 06 2021
  • I led a math study group in our class and our neighbouring class, and had a lot of girls repeat a test for a certain topic over and over until they passed it. After our class test, I talked to our teacher privately and she said that I hadn’t helped anyone pass per se, because everyone in our two classes was already passing the test and subject, and the people who were failing the subject were in other classes in our grade. However, due to my tutoring, many of the girls pulled up their grade from a 1.7 to a 1.9 out of 3.
  • I wanted to buy a new Honda motorbike and was seriously considering it through a part of my dream. Someone I asked for advice said that Edmonton had a lot of motorbike trails surrounding the city and that that would be fun, and if I regretted it in the end I could just sell the bike anyway.
  • There was a library custodian in my dream who visited two large factories that were producing something as part of her job. I was watching over her from afar.
  • She may or may not have been the same character as a woman later on who was dressed in a dark-coloured kimono with flowery patterns, who went around to floating cubes scattered through the land that acted as both shops and lesson dispensers. She touched them in order to update the curriculum on them with some changes that she had championed that had finally been recently passed after a lot of hoops that she had to jump through (for example, TV interviews that she had to do).
  • I found out at some point that this woman was also the Royal Princess of the land. Also, of the floating cube shops she was updating, the ones across town were considered better and sold the best quality products, “except the cho shops that sold oil”, which was a direct phrase from the dream that I couldn’t understand even while in the dream.
  • At one point, she was seated at a picnic table and resting there, while two high school girls at the picnic table next to her played a game with tossing dough balls in the air and trying to catch them in their mouth. One of them misthrew a dough ball, and it arced high in the air and landed on the princess’s table with a thud instead. She picked it up and returned it to them.
  • At another point, a woman and her two kids examined an information plaque in some room, before erasing part of it and replacing it with two pieces of new information as well, as I and my boss watched on through a glass wall or ceiling from some overseeing area.
  • One last part of my dream featured me back in the earlier school, but this time split up into a small group with a shy Chinese girl and one or two guys. We did some introductions, and some sort of group activity where I helped them with training and confirming some account trades, before we broke the group up and went our own ways.
  • But I stayed with the girl and became friends with her. She said that she had resolved to put herself out more and make lots of friends when high school started, but now, a couple weeks into the semester, she still found it very hard to make any friends and had become a bit dejected. She appreciated my friendship though and talked a fair amount with me.
  • One of the guys that left mentioned that he had a father that was in bed at home dying of cancer, and he needed to leave in order to talk to him, which was part of his daily routine to make sure that his mental identity and sharpness did not leave him while he was bedridden, otherwise it would considerably up his chances of passing away.
Sep 07 2021
  • The only thing I remember is actually waking up late and missing my first day of Queue Monitor duty at work, and having my teammates remind me about it in our 9am meeting and patiently waiting for their work tickets as I sat in some sort of stairwell of a building and doled them out from my laptop.
  • Editor: Yes, this was actually the first day of my new Queue Monitor duties. I didn’t sleep very well.
Sep 08 2021
  • There was a large outdoor building that was like a cross between a fish market, and a really narrow hawker center with one pedestrian lane down the middle. It had a line of stalls down the lane, and a couple tables to the sides for people to sit at. There was also a pit area beneath grilles in the floor where homeless people and various petty criminals were huddled, they were visible to the people on the main level of the building, who could literally look down upon them, and that pit was basically where the “trash of society” were kept.
  • In reality though, most of them somewhat enjoyed being there, as it was both somewhat safe and secure, albeit a bit cramped.
  • I ended up in this pit twice for whatever reason. The first time, I escaped with a friend, got a part-time job while on the run, and earned enough money to stay out of it.
  • The second time, a friend and I were under attack by a mobster person and a goon in a room with two doors. We shot at each other, lowering each other’s hit points, but the mobster had rigged our guns so that they were only half-full, and even though we were the better shooters, we ran out of bullets really quickly. We dodged his attacks for a bit, running out of one door and in the other with him chasing us, before I got the bright idea to yell for bystanders to call the police. This chased him off, and he was mad at us for calling the cops, but it also had the side effect of throwing both of us into the pit as criminals.
  • We were rescued by the leader of a group of 4 people or so, who asked the attendant for whoever was involved in that shootout that he had heard about. The attendant pointed to us with a spotlight. The leader said that crimes vs terrorists didn’t count as real crimes, and he recruited both of us into his group.
  • There were a couple disjointed scenes from here as a member of the group. One was that I was back in the market ordering food and drink for myself, but I didn’t really understand how the lineups worked, and ended up in a line of people watching a TV mounted up on the wall just below the ceiling while waiting for their food. Someone pointed me to the correct line once I reached the front of that line.
  • A second scene involved a courier or mail company sending my gear over in a large, flat container reminiscent of a long, rectangular portrait bag that was about twice as long horizontally as it was tall. It was sent to the front of the market, and I had to lug it through the market, murmuring apologies to the people seated around watching tv and eating, as I lugged it to my group’s base room somewhere in the back of the market.
  • A last scene involved us all in that room, and one of the members of the group trying to set up a group game night. He asked me how many dice I liked in my games, from 0 to 6, and I said 6. He brought out a game that had a bunch of character cards with different sets of skills on them, where the object of the game was to draw a card and then face off in a 1 vs 1 battle versus another player or NPC’s card, and try to win a tournament with 3 or so rounds (8 players, elimination bracket).
  • The card I drew was some sort of slime-like creature with no actual attacks though, so it didn’t seem like there was any way I could win. One of my skills was a skill that boosted my own stat points for 30 mana per cast though, and I cast that over and over trying to grow myself to victory, but I still lost my very first game to my human opponent and got eliminated. I did find out that one of the dice-rolled effects from the skill was some sort of damage skill, possibly damage reflection though, and so I caused him a lot of indirect damage before going down.
  • Our group (or group leader) overall had an 8.46/10 community rating, which was pretty great as most groups had a rating just below 8/10.
  • This score was also somehow tied in to a game score, and what was happening was that game pirates were dropping the overall rating of games across the board because they would pirate the games, and those pirated versions would have some broken features that they then thought reflected the original game.
  • Snippet: At some point in a different, earlier dream, I remember being in a room with some of the understudy girls from AKB0048. I was Nagisa and was encouraging them on their training.
  • Editor: AKB0048 is one of the group watch animes I’m currently watching with one of my groups (Satinel and Seren, in this case).
Sep 09 2021

Dream 1

  • I was in a city that was being used as a setting for a show with a two word name, except that the part of the dream I remember had my character and others from the main show actually also being part of a spinoff show that was located in a playground or arena or park in the city. This spinoff show had the same two word name as the main show, with an R appended onto the end.
  • There was an instructor in the area teaching me and others around me how to play a certain game. There were about 12 of us participants in all, split into groups of 3. I don’t remember the exact game, but it had to do with words written on cards and how we had to each take turns picking one and holding it up, and trying to play them in a certain order in order to keep the game going.
  • My group was fairly competent at this. We were also all really young kids though, and this was reflected in the instructor constantly checking in on us and everyone else after every “round” and asking us if we were doing okay.

Dream 2

  • I was staying at the house of a male acquaintance, it was a little two-storey house in the suburbs.
  • I was actually in class with him at one point, even though it was taking place in his bedroom. He was “seated” at a long table in front of me, whereas a girl was to my right on my long table. We all had textbooks in front of us. To my left was the blackboard and the teacher announced that we were studying Chapter 5 today.
  • Each chapter in the textbook led with a short chapter preview story and a couple review questions, and I and everyone else had done the Chapter 5 one already, and it was marked off in the textbook to boot, because we had actually done it last class. I flipped through the textbook and noted that the rest of my Chapter 5 was already filled in and marked too. Therefore everyone looked confusedly at each other and started to ask their neighbours if we were actually doing Chapter 5.
  • The teacher was drawing some wavy lines on a graph on the board that looked like radio waves, and these lines seemed to be from Chapter 6 though, so I concluded that that was probably what we were doing. The problem was that none of us had done the review for Chapter 6 yet, because today’s class wasn’t an actual official class (we did Chapter 5 yesterday and Chapter 6 wasn’t supposed to be until next week). I quickly tried to scan the short story to see if I could prep the answers from skimming though.
  • At another point, I had a dream or vision at one point where I was the only person in the house, and that two delivery people from a fast food restaurant turned up with guns and wanted to shoot up everyone in the house before robbing it. As I was on the 2nd floor and there was a window in the room, I figured I could make an easy escape though.
  • But then I went back to dream reality and the house contained my friend as well as his parents. Two fast food restaurant actually showed up with packages, and I told him about my dream. His Dad opened the door to talk to them downstairs, and he grabbed three or four essential things, putting them on the table where I was working so that he could easily grab them if we had to escape out the window in a hurry. But first he went downstairs to try to help his Dad out. Nothing happened though and the delivery ended without incident.
  • For my part, I had grabbed two the things in preparation for the escape as well — an umbrella, which I figured I could use to hook on the bottom edge of the window and climb partway down on it and thus that it would help with the escape, as well as Tigey, which was the most valuable thing I could see in the room.
  • At yet another point, I noticed that outside the window and across the road was a community center and a large field next to it. There were tanks and other military vehicles parked beside it, and at 5pm, cosplayers got into it and drove the vehicles to the field to begin a grid-based wargames tactical simulation. Apparently this happened every Sunday at 5pm, according to a small bronze plaque affixed to the exterior left wall of the house I was staying in.
    – Not everyone was in vehicles as well, there were a line of about 15 boys standing in a line on the left half of the field, each facing the back of the person in front of them. They waved their hands up and down continuously, which protruded into the two adjacent squares next to each person. On the other half of the field, there were about 15 boys as well whose job was to run down the column of squares on either side of the line of boys, trying to dodge or force their way through the hands to get to the other end without being stopped. That attacking team, from the right half of the field, lost.
  • I tried to take some photographs of this event from his window using my phone, but the mosquito netting set in the window made it so the shot wasn’t perfect. I asked him if I could remove the netting temporarily to take photographs, and actually removed the netting at some point before he said it, as though to show him the netting, before putting it back as best as I can because the netting was actually only half as tall as the window and didn’t wedge in to the window grooves properly.
  • Anyway he eventually said yes so I removed the netting again, but by then it was dark outside and the event was more or less over, although the participants were still mingling together around the field.
  • I could hear two of the boys saying that they couldn’t find some biscuits, which they had set down earlier, in the dark, while an adult berated them and said that he had told them they would lose the biscuits. One of the boys said that he was going to wear a t-shirt that said that he was looking for biscuits, to raise awareness for it.
  • At one last different point, I was on a laptop trying to work on some school stuff and he was being annoying, hanging around me and picking up and looking at some of the things I had put on the table. There was a red brochure under a water bottle on the table in particular that I remember him picking up and curiously examining.
  • The boy also wanted me to find the name of a song for him that he had heard when young. It was about not sending children off to war, he said, and the title of the song was something to do with “Don’t do “. He said it was a 1997-1999 song, and I said that was a prime radio listening period for me, but I didn’t know of the song that he mentioned.
  • The TV downstairs was playing some KFC ad that mentioned a line that said not to drink the water, and I remembered that Don’t Drink the Water, by the Dave Matthews Band, was the name of a song that I knew from around that time, so I asked him if that was the song. I Googled the lyrics at around the same time and realized that it probably couldn’t be that though as it didn’t fit the topic at all. He indeed said that that wasn’t it.
Sep 10 2021
  • All I remember is a specific scene in a large backyard garden behind a house, surrounded by tall stone walls, and how there were groups of people, representing both athletic and non-atheletic student clubs, seated around the backyard in groups. I eventually found a way that would let us cross up and over the wall.
Sep 11 2021

Dream 1

  • I was a new student in some outdoor class area and had to get vaccinated. To do so, I queued up with a male friend beside a large cardboard box in a field in preparation for a vaccination session tomorrow, even though it was just the two of us. The box itself contained some containers that assumedly somehow contained the vaccine. Nearby, in the same field, another girl wandered up to a small white square drawn on the grass in chalk, made a little sigh, and sat down in it. This had the effect of volunteering herself as a source for the vaccines tomorrow instead, though she seemed to be uanware of what she had just done. I was worried and said that I didn’t want to get vaccinated, if it meant it was going to kill someone else, but I was assured that it wouldn’t, they’d just extract some vaccine from her and inject it into the two of us.
  • Later on, I was in the same field, accompanied by possibly the same guy, but it was now one year later chronologically. There was a stand with a little roof in the middle of the field where a professor, who had passed on, was preserved there in an odd standing pose, and he was now being used as a source of vaccines instead of whatever was used the previous year. I noticed that there wasn’t a sign that showed who he was or even an in memoriam plaque or anything like that. Some attendant was checking to see if he had enough vaccines left in him for some unknown task, and he left satisfied that the cadaver did indeed contain enough doses.

Dream 2

  • I had signed up for a three day, two night snow resort trip to Red Deer with my class. This was an hour and a half south of Edmonton, and I would be taking a chartered bus there with the teacher and the rest of the people I was going with. I already had a snow resort trip to Red Deer still in my memory from a previous dream, and this was to be my second trip to this exact resort — I remembered the first trip and remembered liking it very much despite not being a snow or snowsports person.
  • Among other preparation things, Mom and Dad wanted me to cash in several $100 certificates in the house that I had left with them so I could use them on my trip as spare money, even though I already had my own money I was bringing along. Mom gave me three certificates that I had given her before, but I Refused to take them. I said thanks but that I had given them to her for her own use and she should go cash them in herself. I gave her another three certificates that I had as well and said they were for Dad. She said she’d go cash them in then even though there’d be a fee for doing so.
  • Mom left first, then Dad returned as I was leaving. I was also bringing a box out of the house we shared, that was propped up against a table leg, but was destined for the garbage dump, and Dad noted with happiness that that box was finally being thrown out. I said yes and made my goodbyes before I headed out.
  • Now, for whatever reason, here my dream did something very weird because it split into two. I lived two separate timelines of this event, one where it probably succeeded and then one where it might have failed.

Dream 2 Branch 1

  • Firstly, the scene turned to me playing a game similar to Left 4 Dead 2 with Nak. We were on the second floor of a dark house, clearing out the floor and looking for a special zombie that was somewhere up here and would let us finish the game. The floor had two bedrooms, one each on the eastern and western side of the level, and each was connected by two parallel hallways that ran east-west across the level in between them, and led to a bedroom door on either end of the hallway. There was a set of stairs about halfway down the length of the hallways that connected to both passages that led to the bottom floor.
  • Anyway, the special zombie we were looking for turned out to be stuck outside the window of the right bedroom, and I came up that way and saw it while Nak was clearing out the left room. I started shooting it until Nak came in as well. He jumped out and kicked it, putting it to rest and getting a level complete screen even though there were a couple of minion zombies on the roof still jumping down and reaching out for at him.
  • After this game was done, it was time to leave for my trip. I packed up, took my luggage and made my way to the first pickup location with plenty of time to spare. The bus had two pickup locations, one in a more central location in Edmonton and one near the south edge about 30 minutes later, and we were asked to meet at the first location 10 minutes before the bus trip so that we could be checked in. If we were going to the second location, we had to tell her so.
  • I travelled to the regular bus depot with a tall girl who was a friend of mine, and I was going to be spending most of trip with another two girls that were friends of hers and acquaintances of mine. The rooms at the resort were small rooms sized for “two and a half persons” each, with beds that could hold 37 pounds each (which I noted seemed really light), and we were basically going to bunk together and share two rooms between the four of us.
  • The tall girl sat with one of her friends while I tried to settle down next to the other girl, who was an Indian girl with shoulder-length curly hair. Someone else had already sat down beside her however, though I didn’t notice this myself at first because I or her was desynced with the world somehow. I sat down, then noticed there were three people on the seat and the Indian girl was apologetically flickering in and out of existence. To resolve the desync, I left the seat and let the two of them sort it out, while I took the empty seat in front of them instead.
  • That empty seat was across the aisle from a male teacher who was in a single seat. The woman teacher/driver, who had been droning on over the bus intercom in a hard to hear voice for some time, announced that we were at the second pick-up location point and asked us to hold tight as they took on the four or so people waiting there. One of her announcements that mentioned an empty seat next to the male teacher also made clear that the empty seats were prioritized for the students coming on due to Covid concerns, and that the other students that were already on board should remain in our seats. I realized that I had probably violated this by taking the empty seat already, but the male teacher looking at me didn’t seem worried about this, and so I didn’t move. Most of the other seats around me were indeed only filled with one girl even though they were two person seats, but there were some empty (and uncomfortable-looking) seats near the back of the bus, so the newly-boarded students got sent there instead. After that, the bus continued on its journey without incident.

Dream 2 Branch 2

  • For some reason, I soon after had a second version of this dream where everything went wrong. Firstly, I was back with Nak on the second floor of the house in the game we were trying to clear, but this time the monster spawned behind me in a closet in the left bedroom and burst out of it to attack me. Things got chaotic here as I had to clear out of the room to make distance, and I had to hide in the right bedroom to lose the zombie and spend precious time healing up. Once that happened, Nak was with me, and we spent some more time hunting down the zombie again, who was still in the other room, before finally killing it and winning.
  • Due to the extra time we had taken, I looked at the clock once I disconnected from the game and realized that it was 10:43 am, and the bus was leaving the first depot at 11 am. I was still at home and I hadn’t packed! I started to panic a bit and started my packing, but by then it was almost 11 am and a lost cause. I realized I could still make the trip if I aimed for the second depot instead, and I resolved to call a taxi to try to pick me up. I had some issues location the exact address of the second depot though, which involved several sheets of paper and ate up some extra time before I figured out that it was on the original trip brochure and even had a map and picture to boot — it was next to a McDonalds in a parking lot at 153 St and 46 Ave, some distance south and east of my house.
  • I haphazardly tried to finish my packing, putting on my blue blouse and skirt, grabbing a spare change of clothes or two and some money and stuffing that into the bag I was bringing along, then trying to figure out what else I was missing and would need. Once I was done all this, it was 11:10 am and I was in real danger of missing the trip as it was about a 10 minute ride away, and I really should be there 10 minutes early as well AND had not yet had time to contact the female teacher that was both the chaperone and driver to inform her of my change of plans.
  • I grabbed my phone and opened the Uber app, making a phone call to the dispatcher and requesting a “rush job” ride to the location, and said that I’d pay extra if I had to. The operator seemed bewildered, and said she’d need to share this with her colleagues. I said okay, she put down the phone to talk about it with her colleagues, and I heard some laughs in the background too, but she did come back with advice within a minute and said that I should hang up and press the request ride broadcast button on the app, and if there was someone nearby and free then they would respond to that.
  • I did so, though by this point I was making plans to find my own bus trip to the resort and arriving later in the day and joining the class that way instead. But when I typed my request and the location in and pressed the button, the ride was immediately accepted by a car that was about 20 seconds south of my apartment along the road and heading in my direction. I realized that I might actually be able to make it after all, and hurriedly finished packing up and grabbed my keys to leave the house.
  • Editor: I can’t find this first detailed trip to the snow resort in my dreams file, but it involved a trip in a darkened bus, I knew no one when going there so I was mostly by myself, I remember the bus pulling up to a semi-circular road in front of the resort/chalet that was gleaming with untouched snow, and I remember a nearby snow-covered city that I visited and did some shopping in. Also, that 153 St/46 Ave address doesn’t exist in real life. However, the double stop thing and a bus stop in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant is similar to the buses I did take down to Calgary and Banff in 2020 and 2021.
Sep 12 2021
  • Snippet: I remember a set of stairs that led up several levels of a building. I climbed it with a friend, and on each landing level of the stairwell was a different event hosted by someone that we had to interact with before we could pass it. There were at least five or so of these events we had to “pass”, although I don’t remember any detail on them now.

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