My Diary #023

Dear Tigey,

What an eventful week. A lot of exclamation points happened this week, and I dare say it probably ranks in the top 20 or so most interesting and important weeks in my life.

Entry #023 (Sep 26 2021)

Table of Contents

Explore the path of…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Singapore
ට  Anime
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #22
ට  Photograph of the Week #10
ට  Dreams

School

In the realm of school this week, the Multicultural Learning Pods program that I talked about last week started this week. I signed up for it, and our first group meeting was on Thursday, where we sat through an introduction to the course and then met our podmates. There are about 40 students in the course altogether, split around half and half between the Certificate in International Learning (CIL) program that I’m in, and Japanese students from the International Visiting Student Program (IVSP).

The group i am in seems to be a group of 4, with someone named Tessa from the CIL program/UAlberta, and two girls named Kaede and Erika from Japan. Kaede’s from Toyama Prefecture, but currently living in Edmonton, whereas Erika’s from Osaka and, for now, is connecting to Zoom and such from Japan! This meant that our 4-6pm meeting on Thursday was actually 7-9am for her over there, and a few of the other students from the IVSP side of the program.

Our weekly schedule goes: A, B, C, B, A, B, C, B, where A is a general meeting with all 40 or so of us, B is a pod meeting between just the 4 of us in our pod, and C is a progrma-specific meeting, so CIL has one meeting and IVSP has another. This week was A, so next week we’re having our first pod meeting, but we’re supposed to arrange our own time to meet and we haven’t quite done that yet. Tessa was missing during the first A meeting this week, and she introduced herself in our pod forum on eClass but hasn’t spoken up about her time availability. Erika was at the meeting, but hasn’t posted in the forums at all so the two of them haven’t met. Kaede did both and I’ve chatted with her a little over Line as well, she seems super nice. I’ll probably wrest control at some point and use the spreadsheet that we had to fill in during the application to figure out a time we can all meet at though. Even though this communication obstacle (and/or unwillingness to do things while shy) is part of the whole point of the program with regards to examining cultural differences between different people and populations in how they do things. The introduction presentation had a great quote, which was apparently from a student last year, that “Culture is not who you are, it’s how you are.”

Overall I’m very happy with the setup though, assuming that we get our group off the ground. In our small pod meetings, we will have to talk about a certain topic each week and then write a little reflection on it, I believe. We also need to come up with a proposal for some sort of group project that we have to work on through the semester and then do a short presentation on at the very end. I’m not sure how this is going to work out, especially with one member still abroad, but we’ll come up with something, hopefully. Maybe a scrapbook of some sort.

Work

A couple people were away at work for parts of this week, and this is going to be the same over the next 2-3 weeks or so. Despite the vacations and my complaints about a couple of my teammates in previous weeks, people were a bit more on the ball this week, and that coupled with a lessening of tickets meant that we’re only about 4 days behind in tickets now instead of 5-6 days, and there should be a lower load of tickets coming in overall for now so hopefully that number will drop even more next week.

I definitely feel on fire and very much energized by the work though, in large part probably because I can pick and choose the types of tickets I get. Not that I’m picking easier tickets, I actually find I’m giving myself a lot more tickets overall, and tougher ones on average than other people too, but I can and do largely (but not totally) try to avoid certain kinds of tickets that I just don’t like doing, whereas there are other kinds of tickets where I know that I’m the best person to guide the client through a rather complex case due to my understanding of the situation from previous cases, so I take those and do them. I guess one could say that I’ve found a certain measure of self-satisfaction in some types of tickets.

I’m apparently going to take over queue monitoring next week for the other team that we’re going to merge with soon as well, although my supervisor swears that with their lesser tickets overall it’ll be a breeze. I’m not really convinced though, nor am I looking forward to that, but my supervisor also did intimate last week that someone else will probably be taking over queue monitoring duties in a few weeks from me, probably around when (if) I take some vacation time to travel, so it’s probably not going to last very long anyway.

Life

I had an argument this Friday with Jah, who owns the domain that this blog is hosted on. This really, really bothered me, but thankfully we resolved the issue before Sunday was out and seem to be at least on amiable terms again, and can hopefully move forward normally from here.

It did make me think about my diary though. In particular, as my (somewhat) personal space, it did bring up a lot of thinking points about what exactly I can and cannot say in it when I get into an argument with my benefactor, especially when said benefactor also reads and somewhat supports the blog. This is even relevant outside of that because even the last few weeks have found me with a really negative outlook of people at work, and they’d definitely stop talking with me if they actually read any of it.

What does the future of this blog look like? What’s the goal of a diary? How much should I be toning down my words and opinions to not have to get into arguments with people from the present if I’m writing for the future? Am I focusing on what I observe or what I feel? Should I add a week’s buffer in between posts (ie, each diary entry would talk about the events two weeks ago) to let any opinion drain out of the writing and chronicling? Is my feeling toward an event also considered part of the chronicling of the event? What should I do with this diary going forward? And who is Tigey, really? And some other questions. I have some answers, but not all of them yet.

Outside of that damper, a few other things happened this week. In the wider world of politics, the Canadian federal election happened this week, and our government ended up being virtually identical (local) to the government we had prior to the election, with a Liberal minority and a shuffle of seats that more or less evened itself out, since the most any party gained or lost was 2 seats out of 338. That was extremely pointless, wasn’t it? I voted, of course, but I didn’t take part in early voting, I went the day of instead, at about 11am, expecting a long line to vote. Instead, the place was absolutely, shockingly empty. (01 02 03 04 05). No queue at all. Oh well. That was good for me, I voted and got out of there really quickly.

I am really happy though that our 3rd party elected representative, and my ballot choice, Heather McPherson, won by a landslide again, as we were the only riding in all of Alberta and Sasketchewan to send someone that wasn’t a Conservative to Parliament in the last election. Although I might have accidentally spoiled my vote as I was expecting a colour in the circle ballot and proceeded to do so before realizing that they wanted a simple X instead. Oops. Anyway, this time, we happily weren’t the only riding to elect a non-blue (Conservative), as a couple other ridings in Edmonton and Calgary also went red (Liberal) or orange (NDP), but the less power to the Conservatives the better. In fact, the exact shift in power for the Liberals (+2 seats) and NDP (+1 seat) overall was also the exact shift in power for those two parties (+2 and +1 respectively) in Alberta, so you’re welcome, I guess? I’m particularly partial to the 3rd party NDP in general over the Liberals, so a minority government is exactly as much power as I want them to have and trust them to behave in anyway.

Another interesting event this week was that I received a letter on my door on Monday or so saying that a bedbug-sniffing dog would be coming by on Thursday for a follow up inspection after the last spray two or three months ago. It was a heart-stopping letter at first because it was formulated exactly like the previous two that had requested that I basically pack up everything as though I was going to move out, so that the fumigators could get to every corner of the apartment.

This time though, the message was different and the prep work was nonexistant, and in the end the dog and two attendants came and left on Thursday without any issue, so it sounds like there were no issues with the spraying. Hopefully that was the same for all my neighbours too, especially whichever one started this mess. The only mildly annoying part about this was that not only did I have to vacuum the place beforehand, but the attendants traipsed in with their indoor shoes carrying dirt from the corridors/other units (and maybe even outdoors) as well, without any care taken to keep my apartment clean, so I had to vacuum everywhere again right after they left. Thankfully my vacuum these days is largely fun to use and no longer a large source of negativity like the previous one was.

Singapore

By far the most important thing that happened this week though, was a phone call that I got on Tuesday evening from a representative in Singapore, in the CMPB unit of the army. This is so important that it gets its own section this week.

Being a male-born Singaporean citizen at birth, I had been obliged to serve in the army there when I turned 18, but had more or less dodged that since my parents took me out of the country when I was 14. I knew little of the exact circumstance since I had never been privy to any communications the army might have tried to make with the family after I left, but since September of 2019 onwards, after all my transition-related surgeries had been completed and I had recovered from it, I had been going back and forth with government officials to try to get my status sorted out, since I was now legally a female.

I had largely avoided talking about this in the blog entries, as I was technically a fugitive from the country, although draft-dodging is not an extraditable crime, and I would only have been in trouble if I had re-entered the country and they had found out my old identity. Still, I wanted to clear my name, and although I thought I would be saddled with some sort of a fine or jail term, I found out this week that through my contact at CMPB, they had apparently granted me a PES-F exemption instead once I provided them with various forms of proof (documentation, letter from my surgeon, and timeline from my doctor with reference to the original gender psychiatrist’s diagnosis).

I don’t have an official document saying so yet, although the representative said that she’d get that to me soon after some administrative processes that they had to do on my file first, which might take a bit of time. She was excited though and said that she wanted to let me know as soon as she could that the warrant had been lifted and cleared, since I was now in touch with them and had the granted exemption as well. It seemed to clear my history as well, which was a nice bonus — even though it was correct, since my gender diagnosis stated that I was a female since I was young, Singapore isn’t exactly known as a bastion of LGBT rights, and so I had expected to run into something along the lines of not being able to waive the past 19 years of “draft dodging”, since I only transitioned in real life in 2013, had my surgery in 2017, and reached out to them in 2019. But nope! They apparently cleared it all. Official letter pending.

I haven’t really told this to a lot of people yet, especially since the Japan thing has already bitten me once with the acceptance and then the retraction, and I’ll only do that and start making concrete plans once I actually have the papers sent to me. But it’s exciting, because it opens up various doors in my future.

The first, and most important thing is that this gives me a backup plan if Japan falls through in the end of October announcement again. At this point, if the Japan trip is cancelled again (despite there being so many Japanese students that have come TO UAlberta FROM Japan), I probably won’t be trying any further. It’d be a sign of the gods not to do it. I’ll instead plan something Singapore-related instead, one option being to go there and study through UAI’s program, the same one I used to apply to Japan. This might not be possible for a variety of reasons, however.

A secondary option at this point would be to finish up my degree, and just go there to do some sort of post-graduate degree instead. I’m not sure what degree I would do, but that would give me an excuse to spend several years in the country, more than enough to work through any nostalgia I have and experience a good chunk of adult life there before coming back to Canada (or not).

A tertiary option would not include school at all, but instead would have me trying to find a job based over there, likely through a Canadian company, but working abroad in Singapore as an expatriate. This wouldn’t have to be just Singapore specifically, a job that involves travelling around in that region of the world would also do the trick for me. I’m not sure what qualifications I would need for a job like that, but I would try to look for one and try to get qualifications for it.

Lastly but not least, there’s one other really intriguing option for me, and that is that I apparently might still technically be a citizen of Singapore, because I wouldn’t have been allowed to renounce it while I was under the warrant and considered to be draft-dodging. Now that it’s cleared, that citizenship is in some sort of dubious state, especially since it’s still under my dead name and ID, but the representative indicated that I could try contacting the relevant department to find out more information about it to see if I still qualify, and possibly change my name as well. Canada allows dual citizenship, but Singapore does not — I would have to think about renouncing my Canadian citizenship if I pursued this route, but it is an interesting option that I could technically move back there to live. Of course, I can probably find a way to do this anyway without a Singaporean passport, but there are several options down this path that I have not fully hashed out yet.

Instead, a lot of this week has been spent deep in thought about Singapore, my childhood hometown, and listening to its radio, watching some television and walking videos, rummaging through cobwebbed childhood memories and finding things like odd Indonesian songs, and so on. Singapore’s annual Autumn Festival site is up as well, including videos and walking tours with 360 degree camera views, and I wish I knew how to back up these videos to be able to see them outside of season too. I don’t think archive.org picks them up properly, nor can I seem to actually easily download any of it. I can at least find and save the song, though, which is the same song they used in the 2020 version — Moon Festival by Derek and Brandon Fiechter. I quite like it.

I think whatever direction I pick for my future, I’m going to at least pay Singapore a visit the moment the borders open and I can find some time to do so. I do have vacation time coming up in October, but the USA trip is pretty much a bust at this time and while I do want to take a cross-Canada trip, I might save some of that time for a Singapore trip too in anticipation of the borders opening before (if) I leave my job to go to Japan.

Anime

Here are some mood pieces to start off the segment this week, from Shiroi Suna no Aquatope:

Anime also deserves a section this week, because it’s now just about the end of the Summer 2021 season, so I can do another one of these breakdowns of the season. This season was odd in how average it was — the best show would have ranked #6, maybe #7 at best if ranked against last season’s shows. But I genuinely did not dislike any show that I watched for the first time ever since I started seriously watching seasonal anime, so it was quite the pleasant season, and even though one show got a 6/10 in the end for being messy, for most of the season nothing was charting at lower than an 8, and thus there was nothing that I ever felt was a chore to watch.

Anyway, my interest/watch list for this season before the season started, sorted by highest interest, looked like this (copied from Discord):

Probably
Shiroi Suna no Aquatope – https://myanimelist.net/anime/46093/
Kanojo mo Kanojo – https://myanimelist.net/anime/43969/
Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai! – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48753/ – Starts late (Aug 1st)
Bokutachi no Remake – https://myanimelist.net/anime/40904/
Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru. – https://myanimelist.net/anime/46471/
Cheat Kusushi no Slow Life – https://myanimelist.net/anime/40960/
Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid – https://myanimelist.net/anime/47257/

Sequels
Hamefura S2 – https://myanimelist.net/anime/42282/
Assault Lily: Fruits – https://myanimelist.net/anime/45961/ (short)
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S – https://myanimelist.net/anime/39247/
Love Live! Superstar!! – https://myanimelist.net/anime/41169/
Magia Record S2 – https://myanimelist.net/anime/41530/ – Starts late (Jul 31)
Tensura S2 Cour 2 – https://myanimelist.net/anime/41487/
I’m Standing on 1,000,000 lives S2 – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44881/

Possibly
Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu – https://myanimelist.net/anime/43523/
Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki – https://myanimelist.net/anime/41710/
Peach Boy Riverside – https://myanimelist.net/anime/42627/

Maybe
Kageki Shoujo!! – https://myanimelist.net/anime/43691/
Uramichi Oniisan – https://myanimelist.net/anime/40620/
Sonny Boy – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48849/
Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei – https://myanimelist.net/anime/45572/
Seirei Gensouki – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44203/
Meikyuu Black Company – https://myanimelist.net/anime/42340/

Coming out from the season, from best to worst, the seasonal anime shows I actually watched this season were:

01. Kageki Shoujo!! (10/10) – It was only on my Maybe list, and didn’t actually make my initial cut — I was afraid of the potential drama in the show, and so I only picked this show up at about the halfway point of the season after seeing several glowing recommendations about it. I really liked it though. The drama was generally well done and did not overpower the show, and the characters were fresh and not obviously locked to stereotypes even though the show leaned into comedy in between the dramas and character stories. The show had a Girl of the Week episodic feel to it at times, but problems that surface in one episode usually had their seeds planted in an earlier episode, and this gave the series a nice, interconnected flow. It also didn’t insist on completely solving every single problem, nor did it overly rely on the Power of Friendship — a lot of the time it was just someone giving the person a pep talk and/or a flashback or two that inspired the person to overcome their adversity. Also, the art (especially of Sarasa, the main character) was very pretty, and the ending songs were great too.

02. Uramichi Onii-san.(10/10) – Two “Maybe” shows in a row topped my list this season. Uramichi Onii-san is a comedy show about a fictional children’s variety show, based on an actual Japanese show called Okaasan to Issho. This reminded me of similar shows in Singapore (English | Malay) as well. The key with this comedy though is that most of the main characters in the show are extremely cynical and the show follows them interacting with each other and their quirks and trying to carry out their cheerful children’s show week in, week out. Naturally, while they somehow do manage to stumble by, the watching children are sharper than the watching adults (who seem to not notice all the cynicism in the lyrics and words of the performers) and end up catching on and reacting to the cynicism as well, and this causes some utterly hilarious moments.

03. Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu (10/10) – One of more than half a dozen isekais and isekai-lites airing this season, this was the only non-sequel one that I picked up and I loved it to bits. It has elements of Tensura in how they collect people/monsters and start to build up a dimension of their own, and I enjoyed what they did with it as well as the overall story, but what propelled this to the top were the personalities and interactions between the two extremely overpowered yandere girls who ran with the main character, as well as the main character mentally snapping in a scene that I wasn’t expecting but ended up liking a lot. I really like media that show a character descending into madness without outright turning them into an enemy of the plot, and I liked that the show dared to do what it did. I’m very happy that this show had a second season announced right after the first season ended.

04. Love Live! Superstar!! (10/10) – The fourth installment in the Love Live! franchise is full of colourful, pretty art and great music as expected. The story is pretty much a meme at this point, as they seem to be going to the “Save the school from being shut down” well again, but it’s a little less egregious this time, since it seems to be a fundraising and interest issue rather than an external force trying to shut the school down and giving the idol club an ultimatum. Because the anime started late and thus has only aired 8 of 12 episodes as of writing, and probably has a second cour/season upcoming as well, I don’t know where the story will ultimately go, but the music is great as always and the character interactions and humour are top-notch, so I’m still enjoying the show a lot regardless. Plus, there are only 5 girls in the main group this time instead of 9-11 like the previous installments, so there’s more focus and airtime for each character compared to previous seasons, although I think they still took far too long to get the full group together.

05. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S (10/10) – The second season of Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon is better than the first, but definitely had a heavier focus on drama and melancholy though, and so I felt like it was missing some of the humour that I really liked from the first season. I didn’t really laugh out loud the way that I did at, say, Uramichi or Tsukimichi, or the first season of this show. The lousy characters had far less screen time this season though, and I love some of the new characters and the characters who have gotten more air time this season, and all of those are positive things. The ending song was kind of awful though, and the opening song wasn’t really catchy to me either.

06. Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai! (likely 10/10) – A two-cour show that started halfway through the season, this show is only done 8 of 20 episodes as of writing, but it’s a solid mid-tier 10 and will probably not move significantly up or down in my books. It’s very enjoyable, and often quite funny, but most of the characters conform to certain stereotypes for comical effect, there’s no sign of any character growth or plot progression in the show, and most of the episodes so far could be rearranged without appreciably losing anything, so the correct lens for this seems to be a show revolving around putting the characters in various sorts of trouble and see what kind of hijinks their interactions cause. Which is perfectly fine! The show is solidly enjoyable by all my metrics, and thus enjoys a solid 10.

07. Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd Season Part 2 (10/10) – This show has been up and down, and I’ve liked some parts of the franchise while disliking other parts of it. This season was pretty great though, as pretty much the entire season revolved around Walpurgis and the events leading up to it, culminating in some really satisfying resolutions. While there was little actual increase in Rimuru’s powers in the season, there were a lot of social connections and alliances made and I really like that aspect of the show. As well, I really liked the OP song for the show, which always gives the show itself a solid bump in my rankings too.

08. Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (likely 10/10) – This is a two-cour show, and as of writing has finished its first 12 episodes. It was a good journey, the art was very pretty, I like these sorts of kids-working-in-small-Japanese-town shows (like Hanasaku Iroha, another P.A. Works show it gets compared to a lot). I also like the two main characters and the relationship between them a lot, so it sits as a solid 10 in my books… or would, if the show ended right here. While it’s an Original show that isn’t based on any source, some people have expressed trepidation at what could happen in the second half of the show though, based on certain clues in the visual art that they’ve found, and their theories have definitely sparked a bit of a worry in me too. Hopefully it turns out unfounded and this show does well in its second cour.

09. Hamefura X (10/10) – I did hear that a fair chunk of people liked the first season but found the second disappointing, and also, amusingly, that a smaller but significant chunk found the first season disappointing but liked the second season a lot. They both had different plot focuses even though it was largely the same number of characters, and I liked them both, and while I don’t like that a movie was announced at the end of the season instead of a third season, I’m still happy that more Bakarina will be forthcoming. If there was a disappointment, I think it was that they really focused on the male romantic relationships with Katarina this season and less so on the female ones, who were basically relegated to gag comedy duties this season. This is especially true for her best friend that was shown late in Season 1 to have reincarnated along with her to be one of her best friends here as well, but that plot point was then ignored for the entire second season. Also, I despise the ED song of this show, and find it very irritating and grating, even though it’s the same singer that did the ED song of the first season and I didn’t mind him there (nor do I dislike any of his other anime songs that I know).

10. Shinigami Bocchan to Kuro Maid (10/10) – The last show to sneak in just past the 10/10 threshold, this show was sweet and pensive and a fun show to watch every week, even though it felt a bit stilted in places to me, both in animation and in character reaction. It didn’t elicit any particularly strong reactions one way or another from me, and I found the side characters somewhat weak, but the main couple was really cute and comfy, which made up for it, and the opening song which they sang together was pretty great too. This one also got a season 2 announced at the end of this season, which I’ll be following with some interest since there was an actual plot and some plot progression through the first season.

Misc: Kaizoku Oujo / Fena: Pirate Princess – This one is a difficult one to rank, because it started halfway through the season and is only 8 episodes through its season as of writing, and as it is an adventure show, where and how it ends is extremely important to its final score. So it’s here more as an honorable mention. It’s been extremely enjoyable to watch so far though, with great little background and side gags played up for comedy amidst a serious plot, and it is currently sitting in my #3 spot of the season, with strong Akatsuki no Yona vibes, and a great, fun OP song to boot.

There’s a couple other 10/10 shows from last season, like To Your Eternity and Mairimashita! Iruma-kun, that are not in the rankings because their second cours ended this season, and I’m not quite sure where to put shows like that since they basically had two seasons to make good on their story instead of one. They both have future seasons coming up too eventually, and those should be interesting and will definitely be watches for me.

12. Kanojo mo Kanojo (9/10) – An extremely dumb and silly harem show that knows its premise is incredibly dumb and leans hard into it, with great voice acting and interactinos between the incredibly dumb characters. Did I mention it’s dumb? But it was done in a good enough way, and with the appropriate lens, it was a very fun watch week after week. The reason it did not get a 10 was not because it was dumb, I’m not pretentious enough to dock marks from shows because they’re not intellectual, but instead because one of the middle arcs stretched on for waaaay too long, to the point that the mental gymnastics they were using were starting to get very repetitive, and the best girl got barely any time at all in the show. I would definitely have preferred to see him four-timing instead of two-timing the girls in the end.

13. Bokutachi no Remake (9/10) – I think stories should stand on its own merit, and I found that many people instead compared this one to other similar shows like ReLife or Pet Girl of Sakurasou and then used that comparison to put down the show, which was odd to me since all stories are derivative from other stories in some way and are often a reason to see them and see how other writers adapt a similar story to tell their own tales, instead of a reason to avoid them. This one added several twists to the “usual” (if that is a thing) story about time travel back to one’s school years, with a look at what happens when you meddle too much in lives and cause ripple effects in the future, and what the meaning of happiness is. That being said, I don’t know and don’t care about the source adaptation, but as a stand-alone story, the ending was far too rushed and they also skipped over a major plot point that absolutely needed an explanation, and so it got docked a point for that, but it did try some unique things and had nice and memorable characters, and all those were big plusses in my book.

14. 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru 2nd Season (9/10) – I somewhat disliked the first season of this show, with it barely clawing its way into a 7/10 score at the end when it was coasting along at a 5 or 6 for most of the season. For some reason though, this second season felt a lot better — the characters were less distasteful and more likeable now that they’ve settled in, the plot didn’t feel as contrived (though there was definitely still some questionable parts where it felt like a bad fanfic being written by an /r/iamverysmart Dungeons and Dragons player), and it was a lot more fun overall. I’m not sure if this will ever had a season 3, but I wonder where the overarching story goes eventually, since they pick up a new member of the party every arc as part of the rules of the game. Eventually the group has got to get so big that either an arc has to go on for a really long time to give everyone a chance to shine, or some characters start taking back seats and not get any meaningful development at all, which kind of happened this season to the characters that were recruited earlier on.

15. Magia Record 2nd Season (8/10) – Very pretty, but the plot was convoluted and messy and there were far too many characters involved to the point that it was hard to remember many of the characters, never mind get invested in them, especially when the resolution of some scenes sometimes revolved around throwaway lines or scenes from much earlier in the franchise. Still overall fun to watch, but too incoherent in places.

16. Cheat Kusushi no Slow Life: Isekai ni Tsukurou Drugstore (8/10) – A fluffy slice-of-life show where the character gets reincarnated in another world and opens a pharmacy there, magically inventing potions and salves that are basically equivalents of real life things like perfumes and oils to solve issues in another world. I had trepidations picking this one up at first because I thought it had the potential to become very bad, but thankfully it wasn’t. It wasn’t particularly good though, the characters were largely all really bland and uninteresting, so there wasn’t a lot to get excited about every week, but it was light-hearted and fun enough that it was never a chore to watch the show.

17. Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru. (6/10) – Finally, a show that was basically my only disappointment in the season, because the writing was a convoluted, juvenile mess, with no redeeming factors in the end other than that the characters were somewhat cute. The show did keep me entertained for most of the season until it reached a point where it was obvious that it wasn’t going to properly conclude with any sort of smart point or tie-together, and it at least did sort of try something new even if it flopped horribly by the end of it, so even though this one read like bad fanfic in the end, it still ended up with a somewhat respectable 6 in my book instead of a 4-5. I didn’t hate watching it as its episodes aired, it just didn’t go anywhere or do anything smart in the end.

There weren’t many songs I liked this season, but the best opening song that I liked was MindaRyn’s Like Flames from Tensura (Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken S2 Part 2). I’ve come to really like MindaRyn’s voice after hearing her here, and in the ED for this other slime isekai from Fall 2020, and I’m looking forward to her new song next season too — it’s one of the reasons I’ll probably be watching that show. I also really like the Fena OP, Umi to Shinjuu by JUNNA, as well as the Cooking with Valkyries OP, Watashi no Tenmei, by Aoi Koga & Yuu Serizawa, although there’s a Chinese version of that song too, and I think the reason I like it is because it sounds very different from your regular polished Japanese anime song. That show was definitely the standout short show of the season for me, though I don’t rank those here.

I didn’t really find any standout EDs or Inserts this season, at least not enough to shill them here, with the possible exception of this one-shot ED from Tsukimichi, Aa Jinsei ni Namida Ari by Ayane Sakura and Akari Kitou, two VAs that I like a lot.

Next season, we get a girls playing ice hockey anime! Totally pandering to Canadians here. That’s the show I’m most excited for, though I’m fully prepared to be disappointed by it as well after Cramer last season.Also, more Yuuki Yuuna! That’s the show this blog title is fashioned after! And some other sequels I’m very happy for (Yakunara Mug Cup mo S2, Isekai Shokudou S2).

My next season watch list looks something like this (copied from Discord):

In rough order of interest:
Definitely (~95%+)
Puraore! Pride of Orange – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44274/
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou – https://myanimelist.net/anime/42587/
Selection Project – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44275/
Yakunara Mug Cup mo: Niban Gama – https://myanimelist.net/anime/49263/
Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shimashita – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44037/
Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48926/
Taishou Otome Otogibanashi – https://myanimelist.net/anime/45055/
Isekai Shokudou 2 – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48804/
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu 2nd Season – https://myanimelist.net/anime/45576/
Sakugan – https://myanimelist.net/anime/38192/
Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi – https://myanimelist.net/anime/42351/
Shinka no Mi: Shiranai Uchi ni Kachigumi Jinsei – https://myanimelist.net/anime/46985/

Probably (50-90%)
Waccha PriMagi! – https://myanimelist.net/anime/49285/
Takt Op. Destiny – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48556/
Kyuuketsuki Sugu Shinu – https://myanimelist.net/anime/41833/
Heike Monogatari – https://myanimelist.net/anime/49738/
Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48471/
Mieruko-chan – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48483/

Maybe (~25%)
Saihate no Paladin – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48761/
Muteking the Dancing Hero – https://myanimelist.net/anime/39893/
Blue Period – https://myanimelist.net/anime/46352/
Shikizakura – https://myanimelist.net/anime/38440/
Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru – https://myanimelist.net/anime/44387/
Visual Prison – https://myanimelist.net/anime/48567/

+ Some shorts, which can be hit or miss since many don’t get carried by the anime sites.

There’s a lot of shows that interest me though, more than this season, and close to the 20 mark, so there might be some pruning even in the definitely list once things get going.

Games

This week, we levelled to max level in Neverwinter as a 5 person group (Trin, Nak, Jah, Satinel, and I), occasionally stopping to level with Milumbar as well even though he’s a couple zones behind, since the max group size is only 5. I’m glad we’ve gotten to max level, but that probably is about it for the game minus a dungeon or two or checking out some new zones for a little bit, since just getting to max level was one of the main goals of the MMO Project. That, and for a while after my fallout with Jah on Friday, it didn’t feel like we’ll be playing together as a group any more for a long time going forward. Though now that we’ve made up I wouldn’t mind doing so again. However, Nak is gone on Sunday and Monday, Satinel is gone on Monday and Tuesday, and on top of that, Jah and Thrandor are going off into the launch of Amazon’s New World on Tuesday anyway, so when exactly will we have time as a group?

I found the Neverwinter zones to be a bit bland, but not terrible — the levels came quickly and easily, and it was a novel experience to play a game where what you killed and did didn’t matter for character progression as long as you did the quests that you were given, in order, since that quest progression was all that the character levels were tied to. Although I never played much of it in the past, I remember earlier incarnations of the game with different level caps and gear progression/gating, and a bit of research shows the research cap just a couple months ago used to be 70, before they streamlined it to make the level cap 20, of all things, to match the non-epic character level cap in D&D. I think running through the progression zones that we did to get to the level cap so quick felt pretty great and being able to experience this specific levelling system will be a good experience to compare other games to in the future.

We also acquired a guild keep and checked out a bit of keep stuff, but that seemed to get old pretty quick, at least for me, the main reason for this being that the upgrades that you can work toward are not scaled well for smaller guilds, and it would take us weeks if not months to obtain even the first building after the tutorial one. A lot of the tooltips in game, including the keep/stronghold ones, also reference earlier systems that were now removed, for example demanding a certain number amount of level 60+ gear as one of the upgrade components, in a game where the level cap was now just 20.

Crafting is also intensely painful and silly in terms of time investment, although I’ve gotten my main profession all the way up to around level 13 or so now. I really dislike that you are encouraged to babysit your gatherers and crafters and basically log in once every few hours to empty the collections box though. That part is a pain and not fun at all. Also not fun is the upgrade quest from level 2 workshop to level 3, and level 3 to level 4, both of which allegedly (unless it’s been changed since the threads I saw talking about it) require a ton of resources to craft things and turn them in for 500k of some generic credit points in order to unlock incremental upgrades for your workshops, which again would take weeks and weeks to do (or a bunch of actual RL money).

Plushie of the Week #22 – Tribute

This plushie was already partially highlighted in my Summer Connect 2020 post, but he does need a full introduction post, or he’ll forever be known as “Black Bear in Blanket Banff”, as stated on his receipt. This bear is named Tribute, as Tigey claimed his blanket for himself almost immediately (and then never uses it anyway, so it basically does belong to the bear regardless), and he was a black bear plushie bought from a shop named the Rundle Gift Shop in Banff, Alberta, on August 29 2020, for $12.59 CAD. He shares a birthday with Starmiya, the strawberry plushie previously featured in PotW #14. Both the above links have group shots of him and Star, as well as Tigey.

His close-up shots are as follows:

Front:

Back:

Tags:

More tags:

The blanket:

Him, wrapped up in his thoughts:

Tigey, snuggled in the blanket:

And Tigey, when the other plushies get to him at night:

The little cloth blanket has a small velcro strip on the undersides of two corners that allows it to be folded up together, which is how it’s being held together in the last three pictures there.

Photograph(s) of the Week #10

The photographs this week are of my mother, and they were taken one week after she turned 2, on Mar 08 1959. These are by far the oldest photos that we seem to have in the family stash, and so they’re extra precious even though they’re a bit faded and tattered.

I had originally wanted to post these last week, but ran into some trouble explaining the second photo due to the complexity behind the family tree on my mother’s side, which is why I needed to post and talk about my family tree last week first. Looking back at that tree, the person in the bottom right in the second photo is my mother, whereas the person in the bottom left is her mother, Tan Choon, who would have been 43 years old, and who passed away a year later in 1960. The person in the top left is her sister, Peggy Chua, who was about 25 years old in the picture. In the top right is Peggy’s husband, Willie Gwee, who would have been 27 that year. Not pictured is Mom’s father, who would have been 69. That is quite the generational gap in that picture. Yet, due to that, it’s a really precious picture.

The third picture has an additional picture of my Mom and her elder sister, as well as a picture on the bottom of some school kids walking to or from school, although I don’t know the context behind this yet, as I don’t recognize the uniform from any of the other pictures from my Mom’s albums.

Dreams
Sep 20 2021
  • In one part of my dream, I had a gun-shaped device that could suck in things and then, once it had a prototype item sucked in, could create infinitely many copies of the item. I could also see what items were inside the gun by looking down the barrel of the gun and “opening” it up into a bag of sorts.
  • As far as I was concerned, the original copy of things in it were there for safekeeping instead of lost forever, and the first time I re-summoned the item, it would summon an item with the same soul as the copy that got sucked in, so I had no qualms sucking in Tigey and a few other stuffed animals for starters. I also went around to several locations to scavenge things, and sucked in items like a sports duffel bag, some clothes, some electronics, and building materials.
  • In another part of a dream, I was in a shopping centre, and I passed by a shop on my left where a Chinese male, smartly-dressed in a business suit, marched up and declared that he had 1 million dollars in a suitcase he was going to bring and could he buy something with it there. The attendant told him yes, but that he shouldn’t announce it to the world if he really had 1 million dollars because he would be making himself a target. He shrugged and marched off.
  • I pretended to not notice him and continued down the shopping centre’s main aisle. Near the end of the corridor, on the right, was a McDonalds, and I passed by it at first before deciding to eat there, so I turned around and went back to it. I noticed the Chinese guy walking by with a suitcase but I ignored him again.
  • The McDonalds store was staffed by a friend from work, who was also working as a part-timer here. I ordered two things, then hesitated a bit for my third item. I told him I always ordered food in sets of three but couldn’t decide what the third item should be. He suggested some sort of oily vegetable dish, then said that he always ate it with his camera off if he was on a Facetime call because it could get messy. He then got me my order and we chatted a bit.
  • In a third part of my dream, there was a forest guide leading a group of tourists or civilians through a forest. He had made a no-death guarantee and was getting some flak from one of the remaining surviving members because half the group had actually perished to wild animals and other things that were soemwhat out of his control.
  • However, as the member was giving him grief, he heard a growl nearby and crouched down, holding up his hand to silence everyone. this saved everyone’s life as they were able to avoid aggroing the lion. A random person out for a stroll along the forest path walked by and waved at the group, and was going to call out to them too, but he was also hushed by the guide before being beckoned over, in order to keep him safe as well.
Sep 22 2021

Dream 1

  • I needed to come up with three different names for a number of somethings, which I think were groups of people or adventuring groups or something along those lines. This led into having different groups play each other in a game of what I believed in-dream to be ice hockey, except it took place on a wide-open field and was likely actually soccer. People’s personalities shone through in those games and I used that as part of my data on them.
  • For example, I noted that one forward was having a really good day, and another one was having a bad day but kept on refusing to pass to the first one because he wanted all the glory to himself. Instead, he made himself look silly by constantly missing the net.
  • As part of one of the soccer games, the contested ball got chased into a corner of the field. Also in this corner was a woman who had a number of coloured sheep that had wandered away from her, and she was desperately trying to regain control of them. The ball hit one of the light blue sheep that had wandered onto the field, and everyone was really amused by this somehow.
  • Snippet: At some point I was looking a globe map of the world that was divided into hexagons or octagons, smiliar to a soccer ball. I remember looking at Europe in particular and noting how the entirety of the United Kingdom happened to fit nicely within one of those shapes.

Dream 2

  • I was living in a post-apocalyptic world but we were quite comfortable off, I had my entire family intact and we claimed/lived in a second floor apartment near a University and a tightly-packed urban area to the north, and a rural area with a temple to the south. We didn’t have a ton of things, but the shelter was safe, we had food, and even electricity, and Dad could watch all the TV he wanted.
  • While the world was post-apocalyptic, and there were many people without a home, there were also many people with homes and even the University was full of recruiting tables/booths where student groups were recruiting other students, and lots of students socially hanging out in the public areas. Yet at the same time, there were lots of empty houses and apartments nearby to scavenge.
  • I met one of my old history teachers in the University and mentioned to her that I could no longer find the history department in the school, as well as specific Students Union group that used to be in a large room just north of the northernmost recruiting booths. But I had recently visited it, and showed her a paper schedule that I had picked up, showing that that room was now just a social gathering spot for students and there were 20+ people there lounging around when I visited.
  • She told me that I was just looking at the daytime schedule, and that there was a different schedule past 7:30 pm at night, until 7:30 am the morning after. She proved this by showing me that the schedule I had brought her had a second page/back page to it too. Apparently the gathering spot turned into the Students Union booth that I was looking for in the evenings, before reverting to a social space the morning after. She also said that her history department had been given a new office down on the first floor, and she took me along to show me where it was.
  • A bit later on, I crossed the University with Kellie to do some scavenging of a nearby house just past it. It seemed deserted, so we entered through the main door and wandered up the stairs, ending up in a girls’ bedroom with two beds, several plushies, and a bookshelf that stretched from wall to wall and had a lot of issues of National Geographic, Dungeons and Dragons manuals and supplements, and many other magazines and books. It was too much to bring back at once, but I started with the plushies, putting them into a bag. I found a bolster the size of my little finger that was obviously meant for a plushie, so I planned to bring that back for Tigey as well. We also took a few miscellaneous books in our bags and then left the room.
  • On the way out, however, I suddenly heard some noises and sensed some intense danger. I pulled Kellie to the right side of the upstairs area and told her to hide in a bathroom while I pulled out a gun. I saw a homeless person with a crazed look in his eye and a gun in his hand at the landing at the top of the stairs, and I managed to shoot him as he raised his gun to shoot me as well.
  • With the danger past, I hurried downstairs with Kellie and saw that the living room, which had been empty when we passed it on the way up, now had the television turned on and set to show a camera that was upstairs in the bedroom. He had also deployed a laptop on the coffee table in the living room that was helping out in the surveillance, and I closed the laptop and took it with me as we both hurried out of the house and back home.
  • Later on, I decided I wanted to retrieve all the other books from the bedroom and take it home with me so that I could start a bookshelf in my room in the house. My parents asked me what I was up to but I didn’t think they’d approve, so I didn’t tell them. I also didn’t bring Kellie along because it was too dangerous. Instead, I emptied my inventory and brought a trolley cart along with me, this time clambering along the connected roofs of the University and back to the second floor window of the house that led into the bedroom in question, under the cover of darkness during the night.
  • I wasn’t sure if there were people downstairs — I knew the guy I shot would eventually respawn and I knew he probably had a friend or two that made the downstairs area far too dangerous, but we had disabled the camera by taking the laptop and so if I were quiet I knew I should be able to complete my heist. The dream went weird here with several potential possibilities, but they were all successful, the only issue was how to get all the books out at once, as the cart couldn’t jump gaps or go over fencing if it was loaded down with books, and I only had so much inventory space. I think I eventually made two trips and got all the books out, and there were slightly over five hundred of them in total. And at one point there were lights on downstairs, but no one thought to come upstairs to check on the room.
  • At another point in the dream, I went south to scavenge and again ran into some unspecified danger there, though I don’t remember the detail. It ended up with me plopping myself down on top of a hay bale in relief and tiredness, my formal and cute one-piece dress a little stained from combat and traversal. The goddess of the world, like the goddess in Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy who favoured beautiful people and looked down upon those that she deemed to be imperfect or ugly, was looking for me and happened to appear next to me as I flopped down on the hay, and she gave me a disapproving look that I would do something like that. I shrugged at her, we were in the middle of the apocalypse after all and I had just fought my way here through some enemies.
  • She indicated that she didn’t like what she was about to do, but that she was sent here by someone to deliver a gift, and she summoned something that looked a large army pickup truck next to her, which was filled with packages as well as stacks of fuel from 7 Days to Die. She said it was for me from the future, and she then promptly disappeared.
  • The post-apocalyptic world we were in didn’t have fully-functioning vehicles, so this was quite the gift. I loaded up my loot into the truck and drove it home. Our garage already had two cars in it, though one was really beat up and barely ran, and the other didn’t have an engine and was just being used for parts, I think. I bumped one of them a little to push it out of the way so that I could fit my truck in the garage, as Dad came running out to look at the truck.
Sep 24 2021
  • I vaguely remember an adventuring party made out of me and my parents and a couple other girls in the party. At one point we were exploring a house and Dad was outside when two zombies and a skeleton with a lot of health aggroed on him, he came indoors with them and we shot many, many bullets from handguns into them before they finally collapsed.
  • There were other adventures too, and it culminated at some point with the people in my group being Satinel, Nak, and Trin as well and us deciding that this game that we were trying out was mildly fun but could have been a lot better, and that we should move on to the next game instead. Just as we decided this and were logging off, Jah logged in as he had just awoken from a nap. Thankfully he had also already played with us a little earlier (I think he was actually at the house scene above, too) so he didn’t mind missing everything else in between.
Sep 25 2021

Dream 1

  • Melanie called me in to task on a work ticket where the client had complained about my reply to her while trying to solve my issue, saying that my reply to her was abrupt and rude, or something like that. The thing was, Ronnie had written my reply for me for that ticket and asked me to send it to her on his behalf under my name, so the fault was entirely his, although I did physically send the reply as I did think it was fine, just missing my own usual finesse.
  • I wasn’t about to betray him to Melanie though, so I took all the criticism from her anyway, and then caught up with Ronnie later on by the cubicles of some combined washrooms and told him I had gotten chided because of him. I laughed it off though as I wasn’t too worried.
  • Later on, it was Shelley’s birthday and Ronnie, her, and a few other people from her family went for lunch at a famous Chinese restaurant of some sort. I needed to talk to Ronnie about something after that, so he quietly asked me to kind of tag along and wait until they had finished their lunch.
  • I got to the restaurant after they had already ordered their food, and they were sitting down at a side table and had began eating by the time I finished looking over their menu, which had a bunch of different foods, including some sort of chicken rice packet, as well as several different types of odd drinks, like milk tea energy drink, and longan juice in a soft drink can. I was deciding between just buying a drink so I would be ready to leave when they did, and buying a full meal and taking it with me so I could eat it in the car while trailing Ronnie, and later on tonight for dinner as well.
  • I realized after several moments that I was blocking a line of people that had gotten here before me and were already queued up, and each one of them had a golden spoon which somehow signified their number in line. I took a golden spoon myself and moved to the back of the line, about 6-8 people or so deep.
  • About halfway through the line, I was jostled when the line was moving up, collided against the person behind me, and dropped my spoon. I had to try to retrieve it, but around this point I somehow fell asleep or lost consciousness in my dream itself. The next thing I know, I was awake and my spoon was gone, as was Ronnie and Shelley’s group.
  • I also had a plastic bag hanging from my hands, and a nearby person seated at one of the tables noted that while I was out cold, the queue had gotten to my turn, and the crabby old lady manning the line had figured out what I had probably wanted to order, had her staff cook it, and then had given it to me without my input, before moving on to the next person.

Dream 2

  • I was one of three instructors teaching some sort of course in a museum-like setting, but located in an outdoor field. The overarching course involved three smaller sub-topics, and each of us taught one of the topics in three different “lanes” on the field. I was the left instructor, a guy I didn’t know was the middle one, and a girl I didn’t know was the right instructor.
  • The student audience split themselves into groups, and we had to teach our students our sub-topic to a minimum efficacy of 50 points out of 100, at which point the students were considered masters in the topic and could switch topics for the next round to get their other 50 points to complete the course.
  • Everyone thought that 50 points per topic would be difficult to get, but we knew it was not, as the points were cumulative within a topic, and basically filled up like a checklist as the student learnt the topic — there was no way for them to “lose” points.
  • For some reason though, the middle instructor was unable to finish teaching his topic, and had to abandon his course halfway, possibly due to some subplot involving him trying to betray us all. It was a little moot though since the other remaining instructor and I could still teach the course to a total of 100 points, even for the students he had abandoned, it just took a little more time to do so. We took turns occupying the center lane and teaching our own specific topic there in the next two rounds and got all the students to 100 points.
Sep 26 2021
  • Mom was driving a triple, possibly even quadruple- level school bus that contained an entire school on it. Each level of the bus was dedicated to a different school year. Most of the school’s students were missing, though it might just have been a case that they were off that day.
  • Each level of the bus was narrow but there was a sign of newness and explorations of the rooms on the bus itself. The exits from each room leading to the adjacent rooms were sealed off with what looked like giant surgical stitches sewing shut giant pieces of cloth over the exits, and many rooms had 4 or 5 exits. The main focus of the dream involved creating 5 or 6 person teams and exploring each level.
  • The most memorable event happened on a group that I was leading on the 3rd floor or so. Each room had a struggle timer that reflected some sort of force of entropy that resisted exploration, and we took turns pushing against it to try to make our way to, and past, it to get to the exits. Our group did indeed get to the exits, but only had about ten seconds left before we’d fail the level.
  • Nonetheless, I tried to push forth, taking my eyes off my team and turning to the exit, before breaking open part of the stitching and dragging part of my team through the hole to unlock a new exploration point, while trusting that some of my other teammates would be able to do the same, and thus that we would be able to complete the level that way.
  • This indeed happened, in no small part because we got a small time bonus each time we dragged a certain part of the group through the exit. Whatever this actually was was kind of abstract, but I think our group was represented by a large, tangled ball of human bodies that was made out of cloth or cotton and all jumbled together, and different members of the group were pulling on the ball in their own way to try to get it, or parts of it, over the victory line.
  • As a result of pulling with all our might, we kept triggering small 2-3 second time bonuses as the ball slowly began to budge against the exits, and although it felt like we had done all we could and were going to get a normal pass, I made one last pull that might have disloged something in the ball, and ended up with several members of my team as well as part of the ball stumbling and falling into the next room that I was trying to enter.
  • This had an effect of turning our score multiplier from 1x to 2x, 3x, 5x, and then 10x, and a section of the entrance glowed in orange light as it announced that we had been successful in either setting a high score or actually completing the game altogether. We went back downstairs to the front lobby area near the driver’s seat, and met Mom there, as well as several first and second year students. They did announcements and a round of congratulations and then asked if we wanted to continue playing the game. There was a vague sense that we were auditioning for something as well, though I don’t remember what or how it ties in.
  • At one point, Mom had a sign explaining the game propped up on a plexiglass stand above her head, so that it could be seen from the second level of the bus, but the sign had fallen over due to our antics from the third floor creating a hole in the stand, so she had to reach up and adjust the sign to make it visible again.
  • At another point, I saw a map of the world that Mom was driving through, and there were hubs marked with large city icons on them and connected with dotted lines that represented roads. There were two towns connected vertically to each other on the northern side of the map, in a snowy terrain that reminded me of Canada, and the two towns reminded me of Edmonton and Calgary even though they had their own fantasy names of some kind. We were from the northern town and had been travelling south in Mom’s bus — we were outside the snowy area by the time I looked at the map, and the southern part of the map had cities arranged in two rows and many different dotted lines, horizontal and diagonal, connecting the other cities.

Dream 2

  • This dream consisted of Guild Wars 2 style castles, in a game where I was some sort of old returning player and largely unaligned with anyone else, though I had friends I hung out with in game. There were two faction colours, red and blue, and like any game of the sort, the two sides made giant blobs of players and took turns trading keeps, attacking and taking over a keep for the rewards and then not bothering defending it against the enemy blob.
  • The people I had joined up with were happy to see me as they needed to deliver an item into one of the keeps that was currently owned by the enemy faction. This was a castle that I had built myself in the early stages of the game when this are was still undeveloped and largely empty grassland — there were buildings and an entire town around this castle by now — and so I had a trick for it that virtually no one in the game knew about.
  • The small group of four or five of us prepared to siege the keep, but the large friendly blob of our faction came along and lined up outside the keep, also obviously meaning to take it, so we decided to follow them instead. To gain entry to the keep, two sets of double doors/gates made of solid iron had to be knocked down, and the friendly blob deployed battering rams on the left door of the outer gate and began knocking it down.
  • I saw one of the players trying to pick the lock on the right outer gate, and I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to back off, as I pulled a set of keys out of my pocket. It was just as I suspected — since I was the original builder of the keep, I had the original key for the doors still and I casually unlocked and opened the right door of the gate at about the same time that the battering ram knocked down the left gate.
  • This stunned the players who were watching and noticed what happened, and even more so once I unlocked and opened the second gate as well, before the battering ram even deployed. Being a blob, most of the players didn’t notice it though and still knocked down the left door of the inner gate anyway, even though the right door was already wide open, but a good number of players did and came in through the right gate with a WTF look on their face. One player asked what the heck just happened and I explained it to them.
  • The rest of the siege proceeded without incident and it was over in an instant, although I then had a scene where I imagined setting up a much more difficult anti-zerging castle, with a ramp leading up to the boss and logs that tried to push players off.
  • There were other snippets that happened in this game world too, for example our base was located in a glass dome that looked like a greenhouse of some sort, and at one point I was putting on a uniform that was a trenchcoat that looked like something out of the British army, except it was a light pastel green in colour. There were other questlines too, at least one that I’m fairly sure involved my boss and maybe other people from work, but I do not remember any specific details about them.

 

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