My Diary #029

Dear Tigey,

I made it! I’m home! Of course, coming home isn’t without its own host of problems, and I really wanted to just chill out and play games this week and maybe the next, but I’ll do a short post anyway as I need to get back into the rhythm or this will fall off by the wayside forever.

So, what exactly happened while I was gone + this week?

Entry #029 (Nov 28 2021)

Table of Contents

Putting up my feet at my…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #27
ට  Photograph of the Week #15
ට  Song of the Week #4
ට  Dreams

School

Things on the Study Abroad/Exchange Program front barely moved at all while I was away. I did receive this email on November the 25th from Sophia though:

Dear Colleagues,
CC: JESSICA

Greetings from Sophia University!
We are pleased to inform you that the following student has been accepted as an exchange student to Sophia University.

If any information is wrongly displayed, please let us know.

TAN, JESSICA RACHEL
Period of Acceptance: April 1, 2022 to September 20, 2022
Program to be enrolled: DEPARTMENT OF LIBERAL ARTS

The period of acceptance mentioned above is an official enrollment period and final exams will be finished earlier than the end month of official enrollment. For details, please refer to the academic calendar on the website below.
https://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/admissions/exchangeprograms/academic_calendar/index.html

Official acceptance package where CoE is enclosed will be sent out in early February.
(Students holding Japanese citizenship will not receive the package.)
Currently we assume that all courses will be offered in face-to-face format, but please kindly understand that we may have to swit
ch to online mode or cancel the exchange program depending on the future situation. In such case, we will let you know immediately. We expect final decision about the format of courses will be decided by the end of January.

Your accepted students can refer to our Academic calendar, Arrival & Visa instructions, etc., through their Sophia application portal.

If you have not received other nominated students’ acceptance notice, it means the applications are still under checking or screening.
We will inform you once the result of faculty’s review is received. Thank you in advance for your patience.

This was more or less accepted since I did get this far last time too, but I almost did miss the deadline (see last diary entry) so I’m glad I was able to get this done before the trip. This wasn’t the most likely trip-up point that would make me decide to go vs stay either, that one is whether the classes are in-person or not, and I guess we won’t find out until late January. That is pretty awfully late for having to deal with rental renewals and packing/storage of furniture and stuff, but whatever.

Also do note that this is just a one semester thing this time, April to September. The reason for this is that UAlberta does not have a full year application from April to March or whatever months it would be, their only “full year” application is the one starting in Fall/September. But this is a special application I’m doing, so I’ll have to apply twice. Sophia also noted that, with the coordinator over there adding, when I explained it in response to a query that they had sent earlier,

Thank you for your explanation!
We understand the situation.
In that case, you can apply for extension of exchange duration after coming to Sophia.
Please consult with us on the application process after coming to Sophia.
 

It should not be a major problem though as long as I remember to do it.

Work

We had onboarded our one new external hire on November 8th, and he spent his first couple weeks reading documentation before being slowly spoonfed handpicked easier tickets by one of my colleagues who had been assigned as his mentor, as part of a process to ease him into work here. He’s already been a huge help to our team’s numbers though, and I couldn’t be happier. He also seems nice as well as a good worker in general so he looks like another successful acquisition, so far at least.

Our other two hires, both of whom are actually former members of the team (one from 6 years ago or so and one from last year who was with us on a temporary seconded basis), join us tomorrow — Monday November 29th — and everyone’s pretty happy about that as well. They both will require a lot less time to get up and running, and the plan is for them to help out with tickets to get their feet wet before transitioning off to project work.

I’m still the team’s Queue Monitor — I have a giant spreadsheet that I use to catalogue and dole out tickets every day, and my supervisor hasn’t passed on the role to someone else yet because no one is willing to do that kind of spreadsheet (for good reason) and he likes the spreadsheet, teehee. It might be a good time to do so once the new members come on board and we finally will be able to clear out queue to near-zero numbers for the first time since May or June (and especially since September) though.

Anyway I’m glad our stress levels are or will be much lower now with the added hands on board for ticket and project work. Or is that my trip talking? I still work a couple hours a night (and then usually try to take a shorter shift during the day) to get the next day’s tickets out the door to everyone before work starts though. I had to do that during the trip as well and that really cut into blogging time (which was nonexistant) but otherwise was not really much of a problem at all.

Our University also finalized its formal work-from-home policy, and indicated that it is basically a decision by individual units and departments, though they gave us formal applications and guidelines as well. We immediately put in applications to our boss who will forward it on to his boss, all of whom are supportive of us working from home, so we’ll be doing that for the foreseeable future. There’s a couple courses (ergonomics and privacy-related) that we have to take to qualify for this, so we’ve either already done that or signed up for the next available appropriate course, but they’re fairly trivial.

Apparently as part of the work from home program, we’ll all be sent a first aid kit, and will be expected to return it when we are no longer WFHing for the University. How weird.

Life

So, ugh. The night I returned home, on the 22nd, I found a couple red bugs crawling around on some of my plushies, and a couple more on the wall the next morning. This wall that the plushies (and my bed) were on is also the wall that adjoins the unit that had bedbugs earlier this year. I sent a couple of pictures to my rental office, and they confirmed that they were adult bedbugs, and scheduled yet another cleansing session for next Monday (December 6th). I’m fairly mad that the last two cleaning sessions that they did were apparently not effective, nor did the bedbug detection dog sense them on its walkthrough shortly before I left the country, but that it takes so long for them to send pest control over.

At least they’re not doing the chemical sprays again, so I don’t think I actually have to move out my furniture or unscrew the damned sockets this time. They’re doing a heat treatment instead, which will probably fry or melt a few things of mine despite their assurances that things will be fine, but I probably don’t really care as long as my major things survive and the apartment isn’t burnt down to the ground because my wooden table gets set on fire or something.

Anyway I haven’t actually seen any more bedbugs since Wednesday or so when the pest inspector came, nor do I itch at night even though my mattress is still just a couple feet away from the affected wall, so I don’t think it’s too infected or anything like that. My legs did itch the first night in a way that was reminiscent of my pre-trip woes, but they didn’t itch once I had left on my trip, and I’ve been sleeping with a light on and shining onto my bed ever since the bedbugs were confirmed and i’ve not itched a bit since then either (even under the blanket), so maybe all those itching episodes pre-trip were actually caused by bedbugs or something instead even though inspection swore otherwise. Thank goodness I can sleep like a baby no matter whether the lights are on or off. I actually keep my lights on through most of the day now as well with the idea that it might disrupt any attempted migration by the bugs since they do apparently shy away from light.

In the meantime though, my poor plushies (except Tigey and Ducky) are all bagged up in a large trash bag, and they don’t enjoy it in there, but there they will stay until after the heat treatment (Forms here: 01 | 02 | 03). I don’t think some of them would survive a romp in the washing machine and dryer. The inspector had found and squished a couple bedbugs in the cardboard boxes that the plushies sat on, which contained books, so I’ll probably leave those there until after the treatment as well. Oh well. I did buy some plastic containers and will be packing other things around the house into those containers as part of “decluttering” before next week though, and this dovetails with my need to pack things up if I’m going to be going overseas for a year anyway.

My rental office (Midwest Property Management) also, hilariously, wants me to re-up my lease in the middle of this mess, and I said I was going to go month-to-month instead. I have a meeting scheduled on the 1st of December to go down and discuss the lease. Even if I were staying long-term, there’s no way I’d do it in this unit though. To properly get rid of the bedbugs before it spreads any further, they probably need me *and* my neighbour out of here. They (the head office) also sent people over for a weekly vacant unit check while I was gone, and I noticed once I got back that my kitchen sink faucet was now damaged and rocks back and forth a little when I turn on or off the tap. There was also a bit of wall debris, for lack of a better word, on my kitchen floor, so I don’t think they took off their shoes or used indoor shoe coverings when they came in. What exactly did they do to my house when I was gone??

Anyway, outside of bedbug chaos, I’ve been slowly trying to get used to life at home again. The keyboard and computer screen both seemed abnormally large after I returned thanks to my 3 weeks or so spent on my little laptop. My body still somewhat aches too, particularly parts of my back, bottom and legs, despite nearly a week of “relaxation”. Everything does feel like it’s on hold due to the upcoming treatment though, so I haven’t been able to fully mentally relax, but I’m not particularly torn up about that, I just want it to be over with as soon as possible. I also hope to finish scanning the fourth yearbook by next week if I find the time to do so, just in case the scanner gets damaged by the heat treatment. We’ll see if I have the time for this, though. I have tons of anime to watch, blog entries to write, and gaming to do. And they’re all important too!

My phone did suffer a couple drops during my trip and I need to get it repaired, but apparently repairing a Pixel 5 screen is really expensive due to the LEDs in the screen or something, and the first quote I got while in New York was about $200 USD or so and a day’s lead time which I couldn’t afford. When I got home, the MobileKlinik store by my house quoted me $400 CAD! At that point I was ready to get a new Samsung phone or something instead, but I did another quote from the official Google repair partner in Canada, UBreakIFix, which gave me a $250 CAD price instead. That’s more acceptable, but I can certainly live with the cracked screen for a bit so I haven’t quite decided yet if I want to repair the screen or buy a new phone or just ignore it.

Oh, and while I will mention this in the blog itself too, I was invited to and joined the WhatsApp group that my former Dunman High classmates (Secondary 1-4/Grade 7-10, although I was only there for Sec 1-2) had created and that I had heard mention of from talking to others through email. This reunion (for me) happened on November 2nd, the day I met Eileen for lunch in Los Angeles. She introduced my situation to the group that evening, and invited me into it. Thank you Eileen! It’s pretty magical to me, firstly that this group even exists (as Kaiting succinctly put it, the Dunman High years are very close to everybody’s hearts), and secondly that I managed to eventually end up here post-transition and with my right gender identity. Apparently two other classmates had transferred out for various reasons a year after me as well, and I had no idea that this had happened, but they were now both in the chat as well.

Games

I largely avoided gaming while on my trip, but while on the tail end of my trip, and facing the longest flight of my trip (Toronto to Edmonton, 4 hours and change), I started to look at a couple games to play while on the flight. I eventually settled on Hero of the Kingdom 3, because I had already played and liked the first two entries in the series before, and because the fourth one happened to be on 80% sale at the same time, which was obviously a sign from the heavens. It was fully playable offline and easy to play on the tablet, and although I started the game a couple nights before flying home, and played it all the way through my flight home, I still needed some time when actually home to eventually 100% all its achievements. I did do so though, and now apparently have 94 perfect games on Steam.

Once that was done, there were a couple games I wanted to get into or get back into, especially since the Steam Autumn Sale started on the 24th of November. Unlike the Winter sale that starts around Christmas, the Autumn sale doesn’t give trading cards or anything special for participating in it besides the actual sales, and the sale prices are almost always identical to the Winter one, so there’s very little point in splurging on games in this sale unless I’m going to play them right away. One game did fall into this category though, because a couple other people in Discord were also interested in it, and that game was Satisfactory. So I picked that up and I’ve been having a good time messing around with bases both in our group game as well as my solo game. I would have picked up Dyson Space Program if not for that, I think, but that one isn’t multiplayer and they both scratch similar itches, so I’ll leave that one until Winter or beyond. I also really want to try Swords of Legends Online but no one else (except Fern, who instantly bought it! But tends not to be able to play with others) from my main Discord server seems to want to try it with me. It seems to require a static group of 5, 10 or 20 to progress into endgame dungeon content. Maybe I’ll wait until December to pick this up too. And maybe I’ll find a new static group to play the game with (grumble). We’ll see.

The other game I started playing (again) was Genshin Impact, both because Rachel (from my Dunman High Whatsapp chat group) casually mentioned that a couple other people had played it and asked if I had played it as well (I did, at launch), and because I had visited their booth at the AnimeNYC convention on November 19th. They had released tons of new content since I last played, not that I had even finished the old content, but there was even housing now and I was only a couple world levels away from it, so I wanted to push at least that far to see what it was like, while waiting for the dev’s next game, Honkai Star Rail, to release. They’re the same developer group that did Honkai Impact 3rd, which I had mentioned in several blog posts prior to going on the trip. And both Honkai and Genshin also have PC versions, which I really appreciate. Now if only I could actually roll some good characters in Genshin’s gacha.

Another phone game that was suggested to me while I was on my trip, and that I checked out briefly, was Revived Witch. It’s by the same dev studio as Mahjong Soul, which has a PC client too and which Satinel gets addicted to from time to time. (That game is a poor experience for F2P players though.) From the little I’ve played of Revived Witch, it turned out to be pretty terrible, so don’t expect to hear much more about it in the blog.

And finally, now that I’m back home again, we resumed playing our daily games of Anime Music Quiz just in time for their anniversary event and bonus gacha tickets. Since it’s a memory game, the rust from all of us after being gone for just three weeks has been pretty hilarious (or sad) to see in places, although I’m also surprised that some songs that I never expected to stick actually did stick and could still be identified. Memory is a strange and wonderful beast.

Plushie of the Week #27 – Mystra

One of my goals of my USA trip was to pick up a new plushie on every major stop that I made on the trip. My first stop was Las Vegas, and I picked up Mystra, a giant squishy snail plushie, for my new showcase from the Sin City.

While in Las Vegas, I watched the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere, in the Treasure Island hotel where I stayed. It was pretty awesome! At the very end of the acrobatic stageplay, a giant snail rose from the stage and all the performers frolicked around it. It’s supposed to signify the Circle of Life in some way, and it was supposedly introduced at some point in the show and you were supposed to notice it getting larger or something through different stages of the show, but I didn’t actually notice it through the show, so it was a bit of a strange symbol to see at the end as that was the first time I had registered seeing a snail. Still I found it quite neat. And then when I visited the Mystere store after the show, lo and behold, they had these little guys on sale. Naturally, I picked up one.

Supposedly, her name is Alice the Escargot, but the book in the store recounting the characters in the book didn’t seem to mention this, and the store clerk had no idea what the name of the snail was either, so I took her home and named her Mystra, a play on words on Mystere, as well as a goddess character that I like a lot from Forgotten Realms. She hails from the Mystere store, in the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas, and cost 16.26 USD after tax. Her official birthday (from when I acquired her) is Oct 29 2021.

Here is a picture of her from the front. Doesn’t she look goofy?

From the side:

From the other side, including a tag:

And finally from the underside, displaying the other side of the tag as well as her frills:

The plushie reunion is somewhat muted right now because they’re all in a bag, but someday they all will be displayed on boxes again and this plushie (as well as the other five new ones I have, which I will introduce in the forthcoming weeks) will take their places amongst the other plushies.

Photograph(s) of the Week #15

Similar to Plushie of the Week, the Photograph of the Week this week is one of my hotel views from the trip, specifically from the Yotel New York hotel near Times Square in New York City. I stayed here for two nights, and purposely paid a little bit more for a room with a great view of the downtown city. The room itself was pretty awful, minus the bathroom which was excellent, but the view (and the short time I was there) made up for it and was one of the highlights of my trip, at a very good budget price. I never went to the Empire State Building or any of the other tourist panorama view locations, so this was as best a “night city” view as I got (and wanted to get) from this trip.

Ah, be still my fluttering heart. The purplish glow in the last picture is actually from the Yotel that I was staying in, I believe. The room itself was also supposed to have coloured lights for a very stylish glow, but the bulb was dead so I never had that. I could see right into some of the rooms in the neighbouring building across the road — and because the windows were ceiling-to-floor windows on two corners of the wall, they could probably do the same into mine as well if I left the blinds open, which I did. I liked the “big city, tall buildings, glittering neon lights” aesthetic very much though.

Song of the Week #4

Title: Tremolo
Artist: Yukie Nakama
Album: Tooi Hi no Melody (1998)

This song is my current favourite Japanese song, the ending song from an old anime named Haunted Junction that isn’t particularly good (okay, it was pretty awful, but it aired in 1997, so some of it can be chalked up to classic Old Anime pitfalls and aesthetics anyway). But it gave me this song, which stuck with me and progressively rose through my favourite songs list over the course of a full year or so before I finally decided that I still liked it so, so much that I awarded it my #1 spot, knocking out the previous incumbent, which will also get its own weekly feature soon. It was one of the songs that blew me away by the third or fourth time I heard it while watching the show with Satinel.

It’s a show that would have aired before I had even left Singapore, and this was not lost on me, as it became one of my anthems for scanning my Dunman High yearbooks and rifling through old boxes of papers and connecting with friends and the government and eventually ended up with me being legally cleared to revisit the country as well as getting in touch with most of my secondary school group again. I do notice that several of my top anime songs are actually from the late 90s, and they all have a certain kind of wistful tune and melody that reminds me of my Singaporean days even though I never even sniffed at anime back then (and did not all the way until about 3 years ago).

It also has lyrics that I really appreciate, with the fansub of the anime translating the chorus (which starts at about 1:29 in the video below) as,

I turn around to look at a street I will never return to.
If it becomes a memory, I want to think back to it,
With a kind of warm feeling.
I want to chase after that summer breeze once again.
And remember the boy I loved,
Waving to me in the blue skies.

Good stuff. Melancholic stuff. Hearing this song immediately mellows my mood and turns me into a little, wistful ball of mush, even though I have mostly positive connotations of the song. The singer is quite popular too, as she also apparently is a popular actress (and gravure model), with little fan pages dedicated to her here and there. I don’t know any of her shows though.

Dreams

I feel like a reset button has been hit on my dreams. While my dream journal was pretty much on fire before I left, the trip, as expected, didn’t faciliate many dream entries at all since I was far too excited about exploring a foreign land (and probably because I was sleeping in unfamiliar rooms and beds). However, this first week after I returned home has basically produced no dreams of note as well.

Anyway, this does mean I can catch up with a month long dream diary entry instead of a week long one. Here’s a quick dump of all the dreams I did have from November 01st onwards, and here’s hoping I have more interesting dreams next week.

Nov 02 2021
  • I was being hunted by a group of people, in the context of a top-down game, because I was transgendered. They allegedly kind of meant well, but they wanted to extract a confession from me as to how bad being transgendered was, so that they could use that sound bite as a proof for something or other. I said that I was not interested, but they did keep pestering me about it. One of them was a girl that introduced herself as Veroury.
Nov 07 2021
  • Zixiang, Xuanjie, and one other person had stopped coming to class, but they were still doing their midterms and had both scored in the top 5 in the latest round of Chinese tests. Mrs Shu, our teacher, had marked each test segment by segment and updated a big chart on the blackboard at the front of the class as she did so. She then wrote out the names of the top 5 people in big letters on the board, and they were #5 and #4 respectively. (I think I also did really well and was proud of my score but for some reason I wasn’t displayed even though my score beat theirs.)
  • Anyway, she was curious where they were these days and I told her that I went to hang out with them every day after school. She said she was happy that someone was taking care of them. Fast forward to after school and I was hanging out with them as usual, but Mrs Shu had made her own way there as well. She had removed her clothes (in a non-sexual way) to show that she came as an equal and not as a teacher and did not mean to preach, so we all averted our eyes as she took Zixiang to one side and started talking to him.
Nov 10 2021
  • Even though I was on holiday in my dream, I first applied to watch a school soccer team play, and eventually that then turned into tryout tickets to try to make the team as they were recruiting 11 players to represent the team. The tryouts didn’t actually involve any soccer though, but there was some sort of game element to it, and I eventually got slotted into the second team of 11 during the very last round of practice/training. I wasn’t sure if this was good enough to make the team, but I did know that several of the people on the first team had never actually turned up for the tryouts, which had probably disqualified them. I also had access to a bunch of profiles of many of the other players and noted that some of them had reasons why they couldn’t make it either, so I felt my chances of making the team were fairly decent.
Nov 11 2021

Dream 1

  • I had been taking part in a yearly Math Olympiad, but I noticed that someone at school from a different grade named Alvin had won a special award this year that I had never heard of before, even though I had taken part every year and had even beaten his score this year. Upon research, I noticed that that award was given out to students that finished their paper while only turning the pages of the paper 4 times, and the paper itself had 4 pages, so essentially it meant you had to do the questions from start to end consecutively without doing anything else.
  • I had always missed out on this award because I was always trying to help friends get decent scores as well, so I always collaborated with my class and fed them answers or hints as I was going through the paper, since I was good at math and everyone would ask me about the questions. But this collaboration always disqualified me from any award except the team one, which we never won anyway.
  • This next year I resolved not to do that, so when the time rolled around again, I wandered around the school looking for a spot in the canteen or a room where I would more or less be surrounded by strangers and could work on the paper by myself. I took too long to find a place though, and by the time I settled down some time had already passed. The first question had to do with solving a w(x) function, in a question themed around protein, and where the hint was to multiple both sides of the equation by (x-y) and (x+y).
  • I was really confused and skipped it, but I knew that I probably only really needed to answer 2/3 of the questions in order to qualify for the special prize anyway.
Dream 2
  • I had met up with Mom, Kel, and Jon in some sort of shared hostel partway through my USA trip, and although it wasn’t our “home’, we were staying there for a bit. I was also in touch with many of my Dunman High friends and Discordia friends through phone chat programs.
  • Several stories that I don’t quite remember played out here, but the very last bit had me turning depressed, and I started to colour my surroundings grey. I did this by touching something with a colour that wasn’t grey, and selecting grey from a popup menu — this changed all instances of that colour around me to grey.
  • I did this to my phone background and profile, and then requested that my Singapore and Discordia friends did it too, even though this would ruin their profiles. The reason for this was something along the lines that this would mutually remove each other from our friends list, even though we would still be able to talk to each other.
  • Anyway a bunch of others complied and did this as a favour to me, even though this was a messy solution. I remember Yaoxiang from Dunman High, and Kynji and Frotswa from Discordia, but there were many others too, especially from the Dunman High side. I also realised at some point that if removing each other from friends list was the goal, we could have actually just done that instead. I don’t think I told anyone that that was the actual goal though.
  • I also did it to my bed and bag in real life, and started doing the same to my clothes or soething as well. Mom commented that the my blanket, which was now grey, blue, and orange, looked like it was on fire. I quickly turned the orange grey so that it looked nothing like that anymore, and she frowned.
  • My sister asked where my last stop before arriving here was, and I said San Francisco, so she left the room and turned left to head off toward SF to apparently try to figure out why I was so depressed and to find something to cheer me up again. Similarly, my brother left the room and turned right, heading to Los Angeles for the same reason.
  • They said that they were going to reverse this madness before the changes became permanent and irreversible. I said it was already too late, citing the online profiles, but they said that it wasn’t, citing as an example how Yaoxiang had changed the colour of his own personal profile but not that of the Dunman High class page, which he was the head administrator of, and which we were all still subscribed to and would allow us all to reconnect with each other.
  • I realized that although people were playing along with me, they actually knew what I was doing, and meant well, and would never let me hurt my relationships.
  • Snippet: At some point I was riding around with my Dad or someone who was basically driving an Uber and picking up passengers. It was a left hand drive car and I was occupying the back left seat so there were only two other seats available in the car. At one point a mother hailed the car and sent her kid in by himself, he was a scrawny Malay or Indian boy, about 10-12 years old, and holding a drink in a fast food soft drink cup. They were trying to find a grocery store or something to figure out where they could get more of this drink. I held the cup for him as Dad drove him to a store and he went searching for it.
Nov 13 2021
  • i dreamt that I met Paulene, and had a conversation with her about playing sports (particularly soccer) as a girl against guys, particularly against Justin and Yaoxiang. I wanted to see if she was still able to keep up with them and what techniques she was using, if any, to overcome her physical disadvantage due to gender. An example that I suggested was using her body to shield the ball by having her back to the person trying to challenge her possession of the ball.
Nov 15 2021
  • The dream involved something about learning and teaching how to play a certain puzzle or coordination game. Each puzzle objective itself was part of a set of puzzles and the exact puzzle varied between sets. For example one set involved breaking open three biscuit bags and pulling out the biscuit in each one, holding all three biscuits between your fingers at once, and then eating them. Another set of puzzles involvde Deus Ex style sneaking and taking down enemies, except they were all rappelling up the sides of a building but were frozen in place and only occasionally drifting up and down a little. For this second one there were elves, zombies, and something else that were lying on the ground and that I could resurrect (like rezzing NPCs in Guild Wars 2) in order to raise them as allies and have them distract the enemy guards.
  • This was a recurring dream game overall. Not the individual minigames, but the overarching game that all the objectives were connected to. I had to teach many people about them and the lineup included my parents and siblings, Ronnie from work (and we watched a video of him approaching a teacher in an active classroom in one of his earlier analyst days and stammer his way awkwardly through a request to access an account in order to gain access a login ID that it owned that belonged to someone who had left the University/school) as well as a few other work people, and Leon, Yongrui, and Harvey from Dunman High.
  • Snippet: In a later dream, I don’t remember the context but I was watching a show or a clip at some point as part of a larger story and a character broke out in an Aikatsu! concert song on stage. The villainess of the show, who was nearby, immediately interrupted the singer and made fun of her, saying something along the lines of “An Aikatsu song? Is this really the best you can do?”
Nov 20 2021
  • This dream involved war breaking out in the city where I lived, and the early part of the dream featured a segment where we knew the enemies were coming, but were not there yet. They were still attacking us from afar, however — buildings were on fire, people were in a panic trying to escape, etc.
  • An airplane commandered by terrorists nosedived into the large apartment block (HDB-style block) two blocks over from where I lived with my parents, destroying it in a conflagaration of flames. My parents were not home yet but were coming home later that evening, and I knew that it was time for us to leave. I pulled out two travel suitcases, one for each of them, and started to go throuh the rooms and pull out important things that were worth bringing along. I remember adding some of Dad‘s work documents as well as pausing to consider a colourful, rectangular face towel.
  • Once they got home, they were happy that I had saved them some time by starting to pack for them. We finished packing and left the house, transitioning to the next part of the dream.
  • In the next part of a dream, we were on a school bus along with about 20 other people. About half of them were my age, somewhere around late high school or early University, and possibly even people I knew, although I didn’t actually know any of them from real life. A couple of them, like my parents (who faded into the background from here on in), were adults, and six of thme were young children, from early primary school. I was the lesder of the bus and pretty much made decisions on where to go and what to do, while one of my “friends” drove the bus.
  • The foreguard of the invading army had arrived at this point, and were trying to hunt down and kill civilians, so we constantly had to be on the move. I remember one enemy unit type that we saw was a mad butcher unit who swung two big butcher knives, one in each hand, and wore a stained apron.
  • At one point, I asked the 6 children, who were sitting in a row on the long, rear back seat of the school bus, to vacate that row and bring their school bags with them, and I found them room among the other people scattered through the rest of the bus. I told everyone else to welcome them into their midst. I said it was important to vacate the back two rows of the bus because one of the new enemy types we could face was in a car which would ram us from behind, so we absolutely needed to keep the children safe.
  • At another point, we were stopping for the night, and I polled the group to see if people would like to take turns standing guard through the night, with our driver sleeping in the driver’s seat and the two rotating guards positioned at the middle right side of the bus, and the back of the bus, keeping watch out of the window for incoming enemies. It hadn’t been particularly dangerous thus far so the idea was voted down. I asked the person driving the bus to sleep in the driver’s seat anyway in case we needed to make a quick getaway, while I would try to stay up all night, or as long as possible until I fell asleep on the long, rear back seat, and at least somewhat guard the rear window.
  • I remember that everyone also had RPG stats of some kind, and although this didn’t play into this segment of the dream, it did in the next segment.
  • As a transition event to this final segment, I had to leave the group (and possibly the “game”) for some time altogether. When I returned, I was in a small apartment in a building, and my “group” was down to two other people. One of them was a friend (whom I also didn’t know from real life) who had decided to wait for me, while the other was a nameless and faceless character who decided to hang out with us as well. My friend welcomed me back, and she told me that the bus was gone, and that small roving groups now moved around the landscape, kind of like in a Mount and Blade sort of way where they were denoted with little tokens moving around a 2D map, except this was a 3D first-person game/dream. I could still see nearby groups though, and some were friendly civilians trying to escape, some were small bands of enemies, and others yet were mercenaries for hire.
  • I was also told that apparently another group of people from the bus had been chased by a really strong enemy group with a boss character in it, although it wasn’t clear if that was the main boss of the entire invasion or just a randomly strong boss. About a third of the people on the bus were in that group, and I was not given any word on what happened to the rest of the group. She said that she had no idea how we could save them, and gave me control of the group of 3 that we now had.
  • In this part of the dream/game, I was being granted a stipend of $350 a week that would appear on my screen, as part of or next to the stats panel user interface that I had. I had just returned, so I had just magically acquired my first dosage of that exact amount, $350, and that was all I had in my bank balance.
  • I decided that I was going to try to recruit some mercenaries to bolster the strength of our group. My friend said that she had tried, but all the mercenary groups wanted fees that were well into the thousands. I also had a Charisma-based skill that basically functioned as a Beg skill, but that was universally panned by most players because it never worked for them, so no one ever took it. I did though, and I had an idea of how it was actually supposed to work, so I took my group and crept out of the apartment quietly, avoiding the fleeing civilian groups and the roaming army groups.
  • Not too long after, I finally found a medium-sized group of mercenaries, 7 of them in all, with really good stats. They were apparently from Thailand, and their leader was walking around with both his hands in front of him, palms upturned, as I met them. They cost a little over $1000 to hire as well, but after briefly talking to them, I used my Beg skill on them. For most players, that would be all that they would try, so it would still have failed at this point, however, I also sweetened the pot by offering them my $350, and this in conjunction with the beg skill caused them to accept my offer, and they joined my group, becoming a group of 10, all of us with higher than average stats.
  • I decided that this would be strong enough to attack the enemy group that was hunting down my former busmates, especially since we would be attacking them from behind, and because we didn’t have much time (and no money) left anyway. We trailed them to some sort of structure that they were sieging, and attacked them from behind, wiping out a lot of the weaker anemy troops.
  • The main boss, who was a grizzled army veteran who looked thematically similar to Bill from Left 4 Dead, had a lot of health, and we exchanged gunfire with him from behing some fallen tables and rocks as he came up to deal with us. I think he did take down some of the Thai units, and he was all the way up against the table that I was hiding behind when I switched to a melee weapon and started going to town on him. With a bloodied and beaten face, he finally froze up and began entering the throes of death, his eyes glazed and staring up into the distance as his body froze and began to shake, even though he was still standing up. With the help of the other busmates group, we finished mopping up the remaining enemy units, entirely routing this unit, and we cheered in celebration as we combined groups again and the dream then ended.
Nov 28 2021
  • I only remember two small snippets of my dream. The first was that I was standing on a train platform with someone (Satinel?) in a place that we were visiting, and there was a train that we were trying to board. But the first and last carriages of the train were totally packed, whereas the middle ones had standing room only. We spent a bit of time going from the first carriage to the last one to check it out, so the doors closed and I tried to use my hands to grab on to one and pull it open so that we could still get on, but my partner didn’t want to and said that we should wait for the next train instead since it was just a couple minutes.
  • The other snippet was with me as a wizard in a fantasy adventuring party, we were in our base planning our next adventure. There was an optional encounter near our destination that involved defeating about two dozen or so of a low level enemy, and both I and another member of the party offered to go there ourselves in advance to clean them out so the main party could go right to the destination. But the leader, a kind woman with a gentle smile on her face, was having none of it. She pointed out that if either of us were hurt, it would cause a large time setback, especially since it was 10,000 miles away and could only be reached by train, and eventually I agreed that it made no sense since we all had to take the train there to reach our actual destination anyway. She said she would have need of my wizardly power though. Also, while changing for the trip, I put on my new, knee-length, cream skirt (with a little strawberry stitched onto it), and found a used bandage in the pocket. I took it out and tossed it in a nearby dustbin.

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