My Diary #026

Dear Tigey,

How crazy hey? Season 1 Episode 26 of my writing blog, that’s half a year of diary writing gone by. And these posts are still too damn long individually. No, just kidding. I guess there is truth to the adage that one just has to start writing and let the words flow. The blog has turned into something quite important for me, something I do build my week around, and something that already holds precious memories that would otherwise have long been run over by the rumbling trains of time and left in the murky, dusty ambiguity of “Yeah, the last six months were decent but time sure flew by.”

Summer has already turned into fall and winter is quickly approaching, which is crazy — the Taste of Edmonton doesn’t feel that long ago but that was between diary entries 13 and 14, whereas the Calgary Stampede was between 11 and 12…  both more than a quarter of a year ago. I’m still a little bit tanned from that latter one!

Entry #026 (Oct 17 2021)

Table of Contents

Effortlessly bake…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #25
ට  Photograph of the Week #12
ට  Song of the Week #2
ට  Dreams

School

Because Canadian Thanksgiving was on Monday this week, our MLP group of 4 didn’t actually get around to our second pod group meeting this week. We scheduled it for this upcoming Monday, the 18th, instead, which is interesting because we’ll have it on Monday, then have an all group meeting on Thursday, the 21th, and then probably have another pod meeting on Monday the 25th. Our theme for the first week’s scrapbook page will be Autumn in the East, so I’ll have to find some stuff that reminds me of Autumn in Asia to bring along. I have the distinct advantage of being able to draw from Singapore culture for a lot of this though.

I initially felt like my group was kind of difficult because people just weren’t replying to emails and forum posts when I’m trying to find times that everyone can meet, but I did discover that this was because a couple of the people were not noticing that they were hitting Reply instead of Reply All, or not noticing that others were doing that to them, and thus messages were getting lost until I followed up on them. But when I sent out a meeting invite on Friday evening, for example, everyone accepted it within two hours, so it’s not like they aren’t reading their emails.

I was a bit annoyed at first when I didn’t understand what was happening, but now that I know why and know what to do (just follow up individually with them if needed), I’m mostly just bemused. They’re all really good people though. I’m kind of reminded of the type of client at work that I am a bit afraid of/often try to avoid — the kind that will send an email asking for a phone call because they’re bad at replying to emails but really good in-person or over the phone, whereas I’m the complete opposite of that.

Work

As hinted in the above School section, this week was yet another four day work week as well, since we were off on Monday. Strangely, our incoming ticket workload took a dive this week, which meant we were able to put a significant dent in our backlog. My boss is still worried about me burning out, and I tell him I’m fine because I find work fun at the moment, but it’s definitely something to be cognizant about, especially since I’m on the verge of cancelling my US and Canada trips.

My boss still suggested I take some time off around Halloween and/or Rememberance Day though, and even suggested that I could arrange something with him to travel around the States while not using any vacation time as long as I did my work in the morning and early afternoon and then spent the evenings sightseeing or vice versa or something. That’s sort of an interesting idea. Partly fuelled by someone else on my team doing a similar thing earlier this month.

We’re also optimistically about 2-3 weeks out from our two new teammates joining the team, now that interviews are over. Boss has kept mum about who he’s picking — we’ll probably find out late next week or early on in the week after, I believe, depending on how offer sheets and such go. I have my two hopefuls I’m cheering for, and I hope I’m right on both of them, though if anyone beats either of them out then I’d be happy too since that means they’re “even better”.

Life

Early in the week, I went down to my local outpatient clinic to get some blood tests done. The turnaround on the results were really quick, and by the end of the evening I had gotten back most of my tests on the online provincial health platform. I did fail four of them, Alanine Aminotransferase (48 U/L), Hemoglobin A1c (6.6%), Lipid Panel/Triglycerides (2.04 mmol/L) and Immunoglobulin E (386 kU/L). Googling up the first one plus all the itching over the past few months immediately led me to the doom and gloom of a failing liver problem, which made me feel rather mortal for the rest of the night.  The second one is apparently commonly a pre/diabetic thing, the third something to do with not enough exercise (thanks COVID), and the fourth is commonly some sort of allergic reaction thing.

It’s all rather weird in the end though since I don’t drink alcohol, largely don’t eat sweets, am not overweight (or maybe a little, hard to say anymore since I’m so inactive from working from home), and am not allergic to anything that I know of as well. The doctor followup call the next morning basically said she was going to schedule more tests, including some liver-specific ones to be safe since it fit a couple of the problems, including mysterious lumps appearing on the skin that cause itchiness, but that improving my diet might be a good place to start. I’ll have a followup test in a month and another one in three, I think.

More green vegetables in my meal is something I can get behind, but another usual online suggestion for lowering triglycerides is to avoid rice and other forms of carbohydrates and there’s no way I’m going to be able to give up that kind of food and still eat what I consider to be proper meals. I have probably been eating processed instant noodles too often lately though and that I can happily cut back on. Targetting more vegetables when I order out or when I make soup or curry should help.

The second part of my week revolved around the DJI Pocket 2, as I ordered that sucker after over two weeks of hemming and hawwing like I do with every major purchase to see if the want would wear off (it didn’t), and it arrived a couple days after. I took it out for a couple test runs around the neighbourhood and quite liked it, except that one of the parts that comes with the Creator Combo is a little lens that increases the field of vision, but it’s installed by magnetically sticking the lens on to the top of the existing lens, and that sucker already fell off somewhere. I don’t think it’s too expensive so I can get another one, but it’s really irritating that that thing is so fragile. But I’ll wait and see. I haven’t gotten a replacement yet partly because I probably need to figure out how best the base camera itself works first, and secondly because I suspect it might be stuck to something around the house somewhere, and not lost outdoors, though who knows for sure.

At any rate, besides that gripe, I like the handheld camera. It’s small and light and I can hold it somewhat unobtrusively without drawing too much attention to myself, and it seems to do really well for its price in both semi-low light and high glare situations as well. Out of the box even. It struggles in really low light but I think there are settings that I might be able to play around with to improve it a bit, and it’s not a $4000 camera so I don’t expect it to excel in that field. I do appreciate that it doesn’t artificially jack up the background evening/night light by default like phone cameras and their ilk do though.

Processing videos (especially when they’re 4k videos) take forever though. It takes my main machine about 3 hours and change to process a 15 minute video, and the laptop throws tons of errors when I try to do it on that, and I’ve only partially fixed that issue so far. It would be nice to be able to process video on that old Surface Pro but I don’t know that it’ll be up to the task. I also fell down a rabbit hole of Youtube video codecs and audio normalization tricks and problems that I suppose every other video blogger has gone through as well. Fun times. (Not really.)

Talking about glare, I finally turned my eye prescription from mid-July into glasses, since my local LensCrafters was having a sale on lenses. It turned an $850 pair of glasses to a $350 one after the discount and after workplace insurance benefits. Because my prescription had hardly changed and my old pair of glasses still works, the optician asked if I wanted a pair of transition lenses, instead of regular clear lenses. These apparently work as normal eyeglasses indoors but turn into tinted sunglasses outdoors to help with the glare, and vary in colour while only being about $30 or so more expensive (after discount). New technology is interesting!

I can apparently try these for up to a month and can ask to swap them back out for regular lenses without extra cost if I desire, so I saw no drawback to this and decided to go for it. I picked a pair of light amethyst purple lenses to go with the marbly pink eyeglass frame, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the outdoors looks in splendourous purple (and how cute or stylish, hopefully, the glasses actually look. I don’t really have my hopes up for this one though.) But actually I’ve been plagued by light sensitivity since young, so this sounds like it would help in a neat way.

Those three things basically sum up life this week. There’s other minor stuff, like my local mall now mandating vaccinations to use the food court (I wonder where I pick up this proof, I haven’t actually really looked into it), me messing around with Aegisub and trying to sub some Japanese raw anime episodes early in the week (I played with it enough to get the gist of how to do simple signs, and found that I could more or less translate most things if I tried), or me continuing to be enthralled by Singapore and making plans to revisit the country in February next year to catch the Chinese New Year celebrations, and thus giving my cross-Canada/USA trip a much lower priority due to the need to save up money and vacation time, until my boss offered a deal for the latter so he can get me out of the office to relax for a bit. We’ll see, though. There’s also my jury duty thing coming up next week, as well as our municipal election. That’s about all for the week though!

Anyway, here are some videos I recorded on Friday and processed over the weekend to test out different settings and/or light levels. I lost half the video in the daytime shot due to issues so it kind of starts halfway from me going to pick up some lunch at a restaurant and then struggling home with two bags (it gets difficult to carry and balance the camera). It’s still mostly stable though and was a good test nonetheless, especially since the entire path home had a ton of sun glare that the camera managed to avoid. The night one is a lot more stable because all I had was the camera, but it’s using out of the box settings so it’s dark in places. I suspect there’s some settings I can tweak to make it perform even better at night. But it handled going into darkness and then light and back and forth quite well. It even could catch the moon and planet (I believe it was Jupiter) in the sky just fine. They’re both technically 4k videos too. I think. My computer isn’t beefy enough to actually view them.

Games

I didn’t touch Outer Wilds at all this week. Haven’t gone back since it gave me that mild headache. Instead, Satinel and I bought Back 4 Blood, which released this week, and we played it with Trin and Gibbs, who have it from their Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription. I am fond of Left 4 Dead 1-2 so I expect I’ll be fond of this one too, and the starting experience was decently fun (although it’s basically what we played in the beta several months ago). It’s not without a few launch bugs though, like nearly every cutscene is ruined for me because the sound is wildly out of sync with the video. But I’ll probably play it for about as long as Satinel does since she dragged me into this — on the contrary, I don’t get the impression from what Gibbs or Trin have said or indicated that they’re going to be playing it for very long, at least not to the levels of repetition needed to get good at the game, so hopefully we can at least finish all the campaigns once first so it’s not a colossal waste of money.

Steam also has a Roguelike Games sale going on, and that always interests me — it’s a genre I’m fond of and like to support interesting games in even if I don’t have time to play them, so it’ll be something to look over once I finish the blog for the week.

Plushie of the Week #25 – Unnamed Unicorn Twins

Unicorns kind of hold a special place in our plushie collection. While I don’t think we purposely seek them out, we have quite a few of them between us three, and they are probably ahead of tigers and bears and only really trail turtles in total species count. I think. I haven’t actually sat down to catalogue them all (this is partly the purpose of the blog…)

Anyway, chalk two up for the Unicorns with this entry. These two unicorns came inside mugs in the clearance section of our local Safeway, and I happened to badly needed a new mug when I saw these two on sale, so it was a no brainer that I snapped them both up. I only needed one mug, but there were only these two left on the store shelf and I was not going to be that heartless soul that would forever separate these two plushies from each other. They were obviously good friends. Plus, being half off meant that I could get both for the price of the one regular mug that I would have spent in theory anyway. Therefore, they both came home with me that day. I bought the pair on June 03 2020 for $11.52 CAD (after tax).

Safeway shelf picture:

Front:

Back:

Tags, mind the dust:

They’re not super cute, since they look a little odd and chubby around the horse muzzle, and their tails are as long as feather dusters, but they are cute nonetheless, I don’t have names for these, but they were basically rescued and adopted and now live a mildly happy life in my stack of plushies. If you’re interested, the cups look like this (side | top and bottom) but I don’t seem to be able to find the colour card that was in the cup with them anywhere. They might still be lurking somewhere in the house, and I’ll upload a picture of it if I ever find it, but I have no idea where I would have put it if I didn’t outright toss it away, so maybe I tossed it away.

Photograph(s) of the Week #13

I don’t have any pictures of my dad as a kid, but I do have some pictures of him in his army days, and here are a couple of them.

That’s Dad doing his National Service for the country. The first picture is him and his platoon, he’s in the very far right of the back row. These are the names of the people in that picture, from the back of the photo. The next three are pictures of just him in various places in Singapore and maybe around Southeast Asia (training takes places in surrounding islands and other nearby countries too, as far as I know, not just on the Singapore mainland itself). I believe he’s said that he operated the radio in the unit, and so he lugged around that big thing in the second to last picture. He also has some interesting army stories to tell, like the time he was asleep with his unit on some Malaysian or Indonesian island in a rickety kampung room or something, and thieves came in the middle of the night and gassed the entire room with sleeping gas, before rifling through their bags, stealing all the money, and getting away with it. I should plumb him for more of his stories before time or old age claims them.

Song of the Week #2

Title: My Love
Artist: Westlife
Album: Coast to Coast (2000)

This week I shall feature the #1 song on my list of English favourite songs. When I was in my teens, a criteria for a song to top my English song list was that not only do I have to love it very much, but it had to appear in my dreams. This had the effect of stopping churn at the very top of my list, since I loved lists and thus liked to sit down and redo my top 100 list every now and then just for fun. I will upload some of them in the future if I find them, and I suspect I will find a couple iterations of the list somewhere. Anyway, I consider the #1 spot somewhat sacred, or at least important and meaningful, and didn’t want to mindlessly let songs cycle through that spot. It’s the same on my other favourite song lists — changing the top spot has to be a conscious decision that I’ve thought through for a bit of time.

Due to that, only four or five English songs have ever topped my English list. Lemon Tree, last week, was one of them early on. Anyway, the dream criteria is not really a restriction I care about anymore, but I also stopped listening to current hits on the radio a long time ago, so it’s not like I’ve had many new English songs to add to my repertoire for many years, only old songs that have had differnt sentimental value as time goes by and things like that. As such, I’ve never bothered updating the list and crowning a new #1, and thus this song has reigned on top for about 20 years now. I should either redo my English list for real sometime, or attempt a unified list that will combine my English, New Age, Japanese, and Computer Game top song lists, together with a select few Chinese songs, into one giant list of doom. I’m not sure I can do the latter though, even being a listophile like I am, as that would be such a massive project.

The other personally interesting thing about this Irish boy band song is that it’s one of a rather comparatively small group of songs, especially those near the upper echelons of my favourite songs list, that I actually have a more Canadian connotation and memory to, than a Singaporean (or non-specific) one. That checks out with its release date — it released in 2000, a year after we arrived in Canada — but it’s still rather unique for a song in that grouping to be this high in my rankings.

Then again, I guess the lyrics, starting off with lines like “An empty street, an empty house, a hole inside my heart,” did kind of feel like I was here in Canada and sorely missing my Singapore friends. In retrospect, it probably comes across as a little emo. It’s an “I miss you” sort of love song, and I was definitely thinking of my Singapore friends, particularly Huihan, who I had been a little romantically involved with (you’ll have to wait for the relevant Shrine of Memories entry for this story) before coming over to Canada. To some extent, it was inescapable at that point of my life.

But the song was as much light as it was darkness for me — while the lyrics speak of missing a distant loved one, the music video itself is upbeat and soaring, especially at around the 3 and a half minute mark where they have a drone or something fly above and around the singing boys on what I think is supposed to be a windswept cliff next to a beautiful beach.

Therefore, the actual mental image that I do have from this song though is that of being outside McNally High School, where I spent my Grade 10-12 years, at lunch, walking around the school exterior alone and sometimes peering down over the rather beautiful river valley that the school was located up on an adjacent hill to. While I did not really like it here in Canada at the time, this song was part of my “opening my eyes to new experiences” and “broadening my horizons” phase, and my mental image accordingly had my soul physically soaring high and flying around the area in tune to the song’s beat as I walked around the school in this strange, new world. And that maybe one day I would be able to go back and meet her again. This never happened, of course, we’ve both since long moved on, but the song played a part in getting me through high school in one piece.

Dreams

After another couple instances of it happening this week, Satinel pointed out that my dreams are becoming increasingly complex with occasional instances of time travel (Oct 16) or “alternate history” (Oct 14, Oct 17) sections where I live the same event several times with different outcomes. Now if only I could be less tolerant of plot holes and convert this into a lucid dream! Also, my October 17 dream diary entry was so absurdly long that it stands among the top, if not at the pinnacle, of the longest diary entries I have.

Oct 12 2021
  • Snippet: I remember a bunch of little floating companions I had and could control that doubled as workers — I had them replace the floor of a room with orange asphalt cubes at some point, and then was going to get them to stack more asphalt cubes on each other until the floor was 6 layers thick. I had other things to build around the area too though so that was passive work. That room I was renovating, if I’m not wrong, also represented the map of Canada, and little mountains of asphalt cubes formed on the map depnding on how many people listened to my 6am and 9am radio news programs through the country from that particular region. It seemed my audience mainly came from Edmonton and Vancouver though.
  • Snippet: At one point, I was adventuring in a dungeon or something with four other male characters. Everyone was low on health, but we only had one more room to go — the leader told the person with the lowest health to stay behind and guard the second last room where we had found the elevator exit, while we went to tackle the last room. The guy in question misinterpreted the order as following the group and just hanging back to guard the rear of the group though. The last room had just one group of human enemies, and I tossed a music bomb (it literally had the Chinese word for music, 乐, on the bomb) into the room to do some initial fire damage on them, but the leader, who was also our tank, had to reset the fight and undo that damage once he saw that the guy with low health had come along. But it turned out to be fine in the end.
  • Snippet: At another point, a female acquaintance I felt like I knew (but can’t remember the identity of) was having lunch with another female friend in a restaurant. They were both feeling a little down because society considered them deadbeats — my acquaintance, for example, earned her way through life as a courtesan who ‘entertained” men, but the two of them enjoyed each other’s company and said that it was a fresh change of pace and that they’d like to meet each other again to eat maybe once or twice a month. This declaration was made to each other while my acquiantance was on her way out after the meal, whereas her friend was still seated at the table, so the entire restaurant could hear the conversation.
  • Snippet: Later on, I was having my weekly one on one meeting with my boss, except we were having it in my Edmonton apartment, as he was seated beside me at my computer desk. We also weren’t talking about anything, as my boss spent the part of the opening meeting, where we usually discussed happenings at work, listening to Mariya Takeuchi’s Plastic Love on YouTube instead. I was bored but glanced at the computer as he scrolled through YouTube, and saw a thumbnail go by about a Minecraft update that added new creatures in game, which looked like the dragon characters from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, a mix between their girl forms and dragon forms.
Oct 13 2021
  • This dream started off as a school dream, except it seemed to take place on a University campus of sorts, or at least a large area where I wandered around in for a good amount of time between “classes”.
  • There were lots of little snippets here, hanging out with friends in some of them, meeting and chatting with guys and girls around campus in others. At one point it suddenly rained while I was out and a nearby Chinese guy offered me his umbrella and we strolled around for a bit until we got to the train station where he was headed off. At another point I was exploring an old teachers’ lounge building and entered a door to a room with someone else, before we found out that the door on the other end of the room was unreachable because the stairs leading to it were broken. At another point I was seated on some outdoor steps facing a large grassy courtyard and feeling a bit lonely. Class-related snippets involved being on television and answering some quiz questions, as well as using some superpowers of some sort.
  • However, the dream morphed at some point when an Indian girl named Raja, who used to be a workmate but I think in the dream was the daughter of a family friend, approached me with a pile of papers. I had indeed seen her a couple times earlier on in my dream, like when I passed by her sitting at a table, and we even met eyes and traded quick smiles, but I figured that she probably didn’t recognize me post-transition, so I was surprised that she recognized me and was now approaching me.
  • She showed me her pile of papers. Apparently my overprotective mother had contracted her to quietly follow me around campus and write down details and names of all the boys I had interacted with that were not from my class, and she had quite the pile of paper scraps. One of them was something I had written about one of them, then torn up into two and discarded much earlier in the dream, whereas the rest were little notepad papers that she had written herself. She had a good two dozen or so papers in all, with most of them having names, but she gave me the papers and wondered if I could fill in the missing names.
  • I said I had no idea who any of them were as they were just people I happened to have a friendly chat with and would never meet again, and was she not worried that I now knew what she was up to? She said that my mom technically never said she couldn’t come talk to me. I gave her back the papers, then later asked for them again so I could record them and use that to raise hell with my mother when I got home.
  • Snippet: Later on, I had a dream that had to do with translating Japanese into English, but I forget the extra context.
Oct 14 2021

Dream 1

  • This dream involved a real time top-down tactical war game, although there were places where it occasionally went into first-person mode, and the screen was centered around my visibility rather than being scrollable to the entire map. There were three factions on the map, although the forest faction largely stayed out of things. I was the leader/hero unit of a faction that was invading another faction, and I was really powerful, especially in the air.
  • The battle for supremacy started with an air battle where I was a flying plane or spaceship, and constantly emanated green projectiles in front of me like a shmup (shoot-em-up) game. Somewhat similar to Tyrian. There were certain passive enemy planes/ships that I couldn’t destroy, but they couldn’t really touch me either. They were assigned to protect other important planes/ships though, and those I could and did destroy. I flew around with a couple other allied units between several groups of enemy ships, annihilating them all with my automatic projectiles.
  • After a bit, this transitioned into a ground battle. My unit could “land” on islands and destroy enemy forces there to take it over. At one point, I landed on the “main” island, which was apparently an Indonesian island, and there were two enemy cities there as well as a bunch of troops that all started firing at me. I strafed around the island while returning fire, and basically reduced everything to between 0 to 10% health before I had to teleport away to heal because I also only had at around that level of health remaining.
  • But I teleported right next to the enemy commander, who was a dinky ground unit running around on the outer portion of the map, a circle of land that surrounded all the islands. He saw me and begin attacking me and I knew I had to escape.
  • One of my skills was a short-range teleport that I could use every 5 seconds or so. I ran away north, causing the enemy commander to chase me, while I aimed my teleport skill to the south east of where we were. The skill had a bit of lag built into it, which effectively increased the range slightly because the limitation of how far I could teleport was calculated from where I was when I cast the skill, and not when it actually fired.
  • This played out as planned, with the enemy commander chasing me slightly north, then looking confused when I suddenly disappeared. He thought I had teleported somewhere in the direction I was running, and scanned that area instead of looking behind him, which would have allowed him to easily see me. In the meantime, I continued running southeast, waiting out my 5 second cooldown timer before teleporting again to put more distance between us.
  • I went into the third faction’s territory, a forested area, to regenerate my health. The game narrator here talked about the forest faction and how they had developed their land by interacting with every single boulder and tree they could, to create overturned boulders and fallen logs everywhere (though there were still lots of actual undamaged trees) and turn the border region of their territory into terrain that would slow down any invading army significantly. They also grew crops like clovers in any clearing or between clumps of trees, which apparently also achieved the same slowing effect.
  • A little piglet NPC wandered up to me while I was hiding and made friendly noises at me. The action implied that the aggressor that the forest faction was defending against was actually the faction that I was attacking, and not my faction — we were apparently allies with the forest kingdom.
  • Snippet: Outside of this dream, there was a group, similar to an idol group but not, where girls aged younger than 9 could audition and sign up for to be able to wear white Japanese sailor-style school uniforms and appear on some TV program. Apparently both Kellie and I were on this program at some point in the past when we were eligible for it.

Dream 2

  • I was in some sort of building that I and others used as a base, it was operated as an arcade but also had special rooms which were each just dedicated to one game at a time. And there were living quarters in the basement. Everyone who lived there was basically considered a family or clan. My mom and younger sister were here, but there were other people too.
  • It was Christmas Eve, and I and other dream occupants of the building were chilling out in the living quarters. Mom came by with news that another clan had spawned a boss by their base. These bosses were usually public events, so we raced over, hoping to get a tag on the monster and thus get loot from it once it died.
  • Most of the people I was with failed to get there in time, but I did, and I managed to shoot it from afar to tag it shortly before it died. I thus saw its corpse glowing once it fell over, meaning that there was loot for me in the corpse, and I ran up to it to loot it.
  • The corpse was surrounded by a bunch of other random players who similarly had come by to help defeat it for a share of the loot. However, the person from the clan who had summoned it refused to share the corpse bounty with everyone, even though it wouldn’t affect how much loot they in particular get out of it since loot was rolled separately per person.
  • There were huge protests but he held firm, saying that they had not actually invited anyone external to the event. Apparently the news was spread by people who saw the spawned monster and wanted a piece of it, rather than an invitation from the guild to help, even though it was spawned as an open world monster.
  • I was next to the corpse and right across from him, so we locked eyes for a long time as I decided what I was going to do, since this would also affect what others were going to do. Two scenarios played out in my dream, one after the other.
  • In the first, I put my hand into the monster corpse, grabbed my loot, and ran off anyway, ignoring what the guy said. I figured others would do this as well but I didn’t wait to check. I looted three items, one a magic item of some kind, but felt guilty so I hid myself in the basement when I reached our home area, hoping that there wouldn’t be any reprisals on our clan.
  • The dream rewound, and the second time around, I accepted his argument and left without picking anything. Later on, I found a $100 gift card taped to some pillar at our home, with a message thanking me. This was obviously a bribe and I said (to the card?) that I still preferred an artifact over money, and the guild leader replied back saying that I should be able to buy one of my liking with that money.
  • The dream rewound again, and there now was a third scenario that played out slightly differently, with me as a young child, no more than 5-6 years old, somehow watching events unfold and listening in to the conversation from afar using what looked like a tin can telephone. I don’t remember the outcome of this route though, but it did involve wryly noting the complexities of the world of adulthood.
  • I ended up picking the second option for good in the end, once the dream rewound back to that spot again.
  • Separately but in the same world, I remembered another dream involving the same base. the layout of the base would change now and then, I believe, and in one of its incarnations it had a cosy basement with an item chest to one side, a fireplace in the middle of the right wall, and lots of furniture and clutter scattered around. It was modelled after the basement of our Edmonton 4012 house.
  • The fireplace had an on/off button that would toggle the AI in it that controlled the temperature, which Kellie pressed and turned on at some point, but I noticed that there was also a panel where it was requesting some items for an upgrade. In particular, it was requesting a round cushion that we certainly had in the house and that was inside the item box.
  • However, once when the item box was opened, there were no cushions in it. I realized that the fireplace had automatically searched the item box (since its inventory was also catalogued by AI) and tried to pull out the cushion to itself, but it got thrown somewhere in the room instead. Kellie and I did some searching (we lost all our clothes at some point too and had to put on new ones, thankfully I was in female mode in this dream), and we eventually found it on top of a pile of books on a cabinet.
  • I don’t remember what the upgrade did, but we did finish the upgrade for the AI bot after first powering off the fireplace.
Oct 15 2021
  • I was friends with four ghosts, two that lived in an apartment room with me and two that lived in an elevator just outside the room, which was up on a highrise building, around the 12th storey or so. It wasn’t my permanent residence, but more like a medium-term hotel room or short-term rental apartment.
  • The ghosts were tied to me rather than to the building, and we were there so that the two ghosts that stayed with me in particular could do some hunting and kill a bunch of people. It didn’t feel like a horror dream or a cold-blooded killing spree though, but was structured more like objectives within a mystery game where we had to stay hidden.
  • There were a couple detectives in the building trying to figure out what happened too, though they never seemed to succeed. There was also some sort of prayer shrine located just outside my room window — on the exterior of the building itself and accessible using catwalks that were on the outside of the building or could be reached through people’s outward-facing windows. That was the our main target for catching people, though we varied things up a bit to not make it as obvious that it was us. For some reason no one really seemed to ever catch on.
  • Our “goal” was to extract the souls from the people that the two ghosts in my room consumed, and combine them into something that would give one of the ghosts life again. The souls had tiers, from white (common) to green (uncommon) to blue (rare) to purple (exotic) to golden (legendary), and each person we killed had one uncommon (green) or maybe common (white) soul. But 3 souls of a lower tier could be combined to form one soul of a higher tier, and that was what the ghosts were doing.
  • Eventually, the hotel manager began to get slightly suspicious, so as more of a test than an accusation, he requested that I move downstairs to another room near the bottom of the hotel. I told the two ghosts to not follow me, but to remain in the room and try to finish their tasks. They were hidden in a Singapore-style rubbish chute in the room so they couldn’t be found, but I had their collected souls and wasn’t sure what to do with them. At this point, the ghosts were fairly close to their goal, they had two golden souls that looked exactly like closed dandelion buds, and just needed one more.
  • I initially thought about putting them into a flower pot in the room and pretending that they had fallen off the plant, but the plant looked completely different so that would have tipped off the next owner of the room for sure. I ended up taking them with me to start, but then I met the other two ghosts in the elevator on the way down to the lobby, and they said they’d take care of hiding it instead, so I gave it to them. They took the souls and zipped up through the elevator roof back to the room to somehow take care of the issue offscreen.
  • Down in the lobby, I met a professor from a Montreal university that I was apparently going to stay with, as well as a boy around my age, and a fourth person that was some sort of host or attendant. I had seen the professor earlier on from my hotel room window, he was down below in the courtyard staring at about twenty old, stone kilns that were placed in the courtyard and all facing away from my room, and he was marvelling at the ancient architecture of those kilns and saying how rare it was to see something like that.
  • Now in the lobby, the professor introduced himself and said he wanted to get to know everyone, and asked if anyone had been to Montreal before. I said I had, two or three times, when I was a young child, and he was very happy about that. The boy was quiet and a bit surly and didn’t seem to want to interact with me, but the professor seemed to know the boy and asked him to loosen up.
  • Snippet: There was a disgruntled hotel/apartment guest doing a survey at some point and his survey said that he was disgruntled because the survey itself was sour.
  • Snippet: While the ghosts were doing their things and I was staying with them, I also had things of my own to do. At one point I was practicing Japanese, and at another point I was chatting on Discord, where I discovered that they had implemented the @me command, which pinged the user themselves when used so that they could use it for self-notifications or to bookmark a certain line.
Oct 16 2021
  • I was playing some sort of MUD where a bunch of different zones were haphazardly connected together. I was level 3 but had some multiclass skills, and had a quest to defeat three enemies in some sort of arena in a Castle Mjolnir, so I went there to do that, but I accidentally failed the quest after killing two of them and getting the third one down to 0% health (with a sliver left) because I was trying to steal from him before I killed him, so I kept using a phase skill from a frost giant class to teleport through him, then tried to turn aroundf quickly enough to use a steal skill from a thief class before he could turn around and stop me, but kept failing, and I eventually accidentally phased out of bounds.
  • That was fine by me though, since I could just repeat the quest in 5 minutes. While waiting, some level 2 that I had seen earlier in the dream with a weird Nordic name (it was 10 letters long with a dash) came along to start the fight, which was really bad timing on her part because another high level event in the zoen started and a magical fire started elsewhere on the map and started racing its way through the outdoor rooms, rapidly approaching where she was fighting the mobs in the arena. She also failed and I ran away to let the entire place reset.
  • While waiting this time, I put my notebook and two other items down on a table that was one square outside the zone, and wandered around some of the neighbouring zones. There was a mountain path with two giants leading to a glacier area in one zone, a convenience store in another zone, a kitchen in a third zone, an underground prison in a fourth zone, and I met Mom and Jonathan in a fourth zone and talked to them for a bit. There were other zones as well that could be reached. Some had level requirements — one needed crystal level 9 or something, which translated to player level 3, which was what I was, but I ignored it since I wanted to do my existing quest first. Others required player level 2/crystal level 4. Whatever crystal level meant, it seemed to just be the square of the player level.
  • Mom asked Jonathan to locate a certain restaurant located by a University, and I interjected and mentioned how there was a fancy restaurant that could be found hanging from the underside of a structure and suspended about three stories off the ground, and that the restaurant was detacted and moved between five different spots, spending about a week at each spot. Mom really wanted to go there, but then I told her I was just kidding and she scolded me for it.
  • I did mention that I knew about a restaurant that was hanging from the underside of a structure located about three stories above a traffic intersection for reals though, and that it rotated very slowly and made a complete 360 degree revolution in about one day. Large windows allowed the patrons to look out of the window while eating. She said that one sounded scary, but I said it moved so slowly that you could barely feel it.
  • Later on I went back to the castle area to redo my quest, but my travel steps didn’t seem to be working perfectly, they took me to the general area but the exits seemed a little off. I eventually found my way down to the prison area and into a cell, and then found a new ladder up to where I needed to go though.
  • Snippet: Much earlier on in an unrelated dream, there was a cozy tour ship hovering above Antarctica with a room below deck that looked like a ballroom or cozy lounge of some kind where the dream took place. There were glass windows in that room for guests to look down at the barren land below. There was a man set to perform and sing on a stage there, but he disappeared, and then reappeared 40 years later on an identical looking ship doing the exact same tour. The problem was that he found out that he didn’t reappear in the same timeline — in this one, “he” didn’t disappear 40 years ago, so now there were two versions of him in the room, one older and one younger. This caused a continuity problem, but only because they didn’t know which one of them should do the singing now and thus who would get paid. There was also something about a shopping mall and escalators, though I am uncertain if that was in the ship or somewhere else.
Oct 17 2021

Dream 1

  • I was playing a Civilization-type game against Kellie, although the combat part of it involved us amassing large armies that formed units similar to Heroes of Might and Magic or King’s Bounty, where your army could only consist of 5 different creature types but could have as large a quantity of that creature as you could find. The more of a creature you had, the higher their hit points, as well as their overall offence and defence scores.
  • I was winning by a really large margin so we decided to call the game. Before we ended the game, I noticed that one of the many, many expansions the game came with had a menu where I could buy NPC ships for money and send them to attack coastal cities. Kellie was playing a necromancer faction and her capital was on the coast, so I gave her a heads up that I was going to buy a ship and send it her way to see what happens, since neither of us had tried out that expansion.
  • The ship I bought was the second cheapest one out of 5 or 6 options — it was a Leviathan ship that cost 600k gold. It was a single ship with a defence of 92 and an offence of around there, and it sailed to the city where Kellie had parked all her troops and people. The ship looked really weak — of Kellie’s five units, the weakest ones, her skeletons, also had 92 defence, and her top three unit groups had offense and defense stats of well into the triple digits. They started to exchange fire, with the Leviathan’s attack being a single cannonball that targetted the strongest unit, and it looked like it was terrible and that the fight was going to be over quickly, even though the Leviathan had a lot of HP.
  • Then one of the cannonballs missed the unit, landing on some intricate part of the city that was located between the two strongest units and that looked like strands of spider web silk. It exploded into a large fireball, consuming virtually all the web, causing the visual of both unit types to crumble and “break”. This civilian area between units was not normally targettable by any other unit in the game that we knew of. Heck, we thought it was just cosmetic all this time. However, this expansion must have added a new unit type that could target it.
  • Most attacks in the moderately late stage of the game that we were in did a few million hit points worth of damage, and units had several dozen million HP each. The Leviathan had several hundred million hit points, not far off from a billion, and we thought that that was its main focus — to be an annoying damage sponge that didn’t do much damage itself. This errant shot that caused a massive explosion, however, wiped out most of Kellie’s civilian population, dealing 7.9 trillion damage in the combat logs due to their cumulative lost hit points, much to our aghast. Kellie still defeated the Leviathan in the end, but most of her troops were smoked and destroyed by then as well.
  • Snippet: I was part of a group of students trailing another student or group of students in order to find the optimal settings for a collection of pamphlets that we had and were going to give out, or something like that. The followed student/s had a specific configuration, like I remember one had just come back to school after a long absence of some sort, and we on the other hand needed to see how they read the help file before using certain pieces of software on their phone or whether they read certain envelopes that they passed by or not so that we knew whether to include those things in our stack of papers or pamphlets that we were going to give out.

Dream 2

  • This one was sort of connected as a sequel to Dream 1, although I think I did wake up in between. In this dream, I was in a bar in Kellie’s country, after the disaster. The bar was largely empty, but I started off chatting to a shell-shocked sailor that was busy drowning his sorrows. He had apparently been in the army that was fighting the Leviathan, and was lucky enough to survive, but his wife and kid had been living by the harbour and were completely annihilated by the Leviathan’s exploding payload. His child’s name was two real words put together, 5 and 4 characters long, something like First Hope. The casualty reports had initially typoed his name, calling him First Hop or something like that, which gave him an irrational sense of false hope that his child might still have been alive somewhere. But this was not to be — they corrected the typo eventually, so here he now was. In the end he wandered off distraught.
  • Later on, I sat at the bar itself and watched a video that was also filmed at the bar. This video featured a hostess, as well as Rinku and Rei from the Happy Around! group in D4DJ: First Mix. They were frolicking around, dancing and singing, until Rinku jumped excitedly atop a stool that was set slightly away from the other stools and main bar counter, up against a small, fancy wall with its own personal counter/mini-table. She accidentally activated a button on the stool when she did this, and the wall swung around 180 degrees on a rotating platform, taking her and Rei, who happened to be close by as well, behind the wall to whatever secret room was behind it. The half of the wall that was now facing outwards looked exactly the same as the half that was now inside — a stool next to a little counter wedged up against the fancy wall.
  • The hostess laughed, then went up to the stool herself, sat on it, and the wall swung around again so that she, too, was now inside the wall area. The camera was left pointing at the empty bar for the rest of the video. Since I was now seated in the exact same bar, I pulled my eyes away from the video and eyed the actual wall and stool suspiciously, but they now looked perfectly normal to me.
  • Either way, it looked like I was basically proof-watching the video before production, as someone thanked me for watching it to its end. I noticed that the show used to be a show I had watched and whose show name had usually been prefaced by the word “Laid-back”, but that that part of the name had been now removed. I also realized that no one was aware that I was somewhat responsible for the carnage here and was here to help with cleanup and penance after the fact, even though they were all just NPCs.
  • Later on, another show was being shot in the bar, and someone approached me because they wanted another person to go into a trance with them on stage or TV. I didn’t want to but eventually agreed when I negotiated that I would only have to pay $5, assumedly to the bar for my patronage, instead of the usual $10, if I did the shoot.
  • There were other snippets that were related to the bar somehow, one about bus stops and missed connections that didn’t work out in the end.
  • A second snippet involved a stick, with a brand name of Teinang on it, that was shaped like a hockey stick but could easily have been a broom as well. I saved it from falling over to the ground from where it was propped up on the wall, whilst in the middle of giving a reporter an interview.
  • Lastly, there was a segment where I was watching a girl and a guy performed a concert and sang some songs on a stadium stage in front of a large audience with glowsticks, accompanied by some backup dancers. But it was the girl’s first ever live performance and her mic wasn’t tuned correctly, so she sounded too sharp. The audience didn’t like it.

Dream 3

  • I was a student but was currently at home with my family and some extra people. Due to someone else roaming around the dream world, and due to me leaving my medicine somewhere else, I had to take a bunch of extra pills in order to protect myself against the someone, who apparently had lupus and was trying to spread it. Mom had plenty of medicine, and laid out a veritable stack for me, there were three different kinds, one tiny tablet the size of Tigey’s eye, one green cylindrical chewy one, and a larger round pill that was like a small, silver oxide watch battery.
  • All three types corresponded to pills that I do or had taken before IRL. But there were a lot of them to take, there were over 30 of the tiny ones, about 10 of the cylinder ones, and 4 or 5 of the big nasty ones. Mom also only gave me a tiny bit of water, although I went to grab another cup about halfway through. At any rate, I managed to force down all the pills eventually, before realizing that some of the pills were probably laid out for my younger siblings too.
  • Apparently, while the pills were taking effect, I needed to avoid being touched by anyone else. There were two other people living with us that took turns trying to “catch” me and ruin the pills though. But I had a short range teleport skill, which let me simply teleport away from the first one, and for the second one, I had a skill that allowed me to make copies of myself, so I would leave my body and flit into a different copy nearby just before she grabbed hold of me, leaving her with a life-sized doll of me.
  • Eventually, the plot moved on, and Zixiang called me over the phone to alert me that there was a graet soccer match going on on TV that I should watch. Lionel Messi had already scored two goals and threatened to score many more, and it looked to be a potentially historic game. Mom and Dad were seated in the living room but both were doing something else, and I reasoned that as an adult of 35 years old I didn’t need to ask my parents for permission to turn on the TV any longer, so I grabbed the remote and did so.
  • There were a lot of channels on the TV and I hadn’t used it for many years, so I guessed at what I thought I remembered the soccer channel to be. I first ended up on channel 225 or something like that, which was wrong — it was an Indian music channel. I then tried channel 125 instead and found the correct soccer channel.
  • Dad looked on with interest as I scanned the games on the channel. There were two games going on and somehow both were showing on the same channel, so I couldn’t know for sure which game Zixiang meant. The first game had two teams from Europe duking it out, and although the game had just started and it was only in the first minute, the score was already 2-0. The second game had two teams from the English Premier League playing each other, Wigan and someone else, and although it was only early in the second half, the score was 11-0 and the other team had largely given out. One of the team players was sitting atop the netting of his own net, with his jersey off his back and laid out on the netting to air it and dry off his sweat, not caring as the opposing team shot another ball into his team’s net amidst audience disappointment.

Dream 4

  • In this dream, Mom and I were travelling across town in different vehicles. Mom was usually riding a neon-lit, hi-tech motorcycle-like vehicle, I was usually in some sort of truck. It was late at night so there was nearly no one else around, and we were headed for an Asian supermarket so we could shop there before or just as the store opened. In practice, we usually reached there around 4am or so and so had a couple hours to wander around the supermarket by ourselves since we apparently had the key. We couldn’t actually buy anything until the store opened, though.
  • I went through multiple variations of this dream and what happened at the supermarket.
  • 1. In the most interesting one by far, it was near Halloween and the supermarket was decked out in lifelike Halloween decorations that could move around and do things, and might even have had a modicum of AI. I mistook a couple of them for real people at first, especially the first two “cop” figures who escorted me and Mom down different aisles of the frozen section, but very quickly clued in. There were shadowy figures lurking suspiciously at the ends of store shelves, as though they were holding knives, and other figures dressed up in various Halloween outfits, giving out candy.
  • Anyway, the policeman took me to the very back of the store, past the employee toilets, where he then opened up a back room. Inside the back room were about half a dozen Chinese girls in their late teens or early 20s, dressed up as cheerleaders or idols, actual people that looked like they were being held captive there, though I assumed they had just arrived early to prepare for the store opening events that day or something. The bot told them to dance and perform to entertain me, and then left me outside the open door, in their hands.
  • They took one look at me and told me that if I wanted them to perform, I’d also have to change into an outfit and join them. Their outfit was really skimpy, but, as they pointed out, so was mine, which was some sort of modification of a Japanese school uniform, complete with a school bag that looked like a cloth briefcase. I said I didn’t want to and they started becoming more insistent, coming up to me and surrounding me. I sat down on the ground and huddled to myself, and one of them pointed out that they could see my orange panties thanks to my short skirt. I quickly used my school bag to block that view.
  • After surrounding me and leaning in so that an imaginary audience couldn’t hear them, the girls dropped character and apologized, whispering that this mean act was part of their actual show, because people liked seeing that sort of thing, and that it was my choice on whether I wanted to perform with them or not but they thought I would do really well with it. I cheered up at that and agreed to join them for a bit, and they gave me an outfit and told me to get changed in the employee washrooms.
  • 2. In a second version of the event, Mom and I pulled up outside the supermarket but we parked outside the adjacent shop, which was already open this early in the morning, and the shopkeeper mistook us for customers interested in his shop. Out of politeness, I looked over his wares anyway, and noted a screwdriver kit in the discount bin that looked interesting (but was opened and thus possibly missing a few pieces). He noticed my interest and quoted me a 50% off price, and I said I might be interested but I would have to see how much money we had leftover after shopping at the supermarket. I wasn’t really interested though and was plotting a way to retrieve our vehicles later without him realizing that Mom and I were together. He said he understood but couldn’t guarantee the availability of the item for more than a couple hours. I said that was fine and rushed off to the supermarket after Mom.
  • 3. A third version of the event involved Mom being chased by some NPC with a knife. I don’t remember what happened, but I do remember that we ran into the supermarket in the hopes that we would drop aggro on the NPC. It did work, as he ran in but then lost sight of us, but he no doubt later influenced those lurking Halloween figures.
  • 4. A fourth version involved us running into another player on the journey to the supermarket. We were on some sort of loopy highway in our usual vehicles, and he was crossing the road ahead of us with an angry NPC with a weapon in tow as well. He yelled out to ask if NPCs could go into the supermarket or if they would automatically leash at the door, and we didn’t want him to mess up the place or occupy our secret spot, so we told him (truthfully!) that NPCs could indeed go into the supermarket and thus he should try to find some other place to lose the NPC chasing him.
  • 5. In a fifth version of this event, a yandere girl that had me under her thumb and was super possessive of me was taking me to this supermarket, before it officially opened in the morning, so that she could force me to take a photo with her in the photo booth there.
  • I’m pretty sure there was at least one or two normal shopping instances as well, as I think I remember being with Mom inside the supermarket and looking through some plastic boxes, even though none of the above versions actually had that happen, but I don’t remember the details of those normal instances.

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