My Diary #030

Dear Tigey,

You know I’m growing old when I’m still aching in weird places from my trip.

This diary entry is short this week, and the reason is that this weekend has been very busy. Largely in preparation for the bedbug heat treatment thing, on Monday Dec 06. If things burn down I might not have an apartment any longer on Monday, which will make next week’s blog interesting.

Let’s hope not! I don’t like that kind of interesting.

Entry #030 (Dec 05 2021)

Table of Contents

Winter-cleaning my…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #28
ට  Photograph of the Week #16
ට  Song of the Week #5
ට  Dreams

School

The only thing of note this week was this email that I received from the UAlberta coordinator:

Hello,

You’re receiving this email because you have plans for an exchange in Japan in the equivalent to UAlberta‘s Winter 2022 term.

As per the guidance of the University’s Travel Directive, there are two main requirements that need to be met prior to the approval of travel. The first is an approval by the University for travel to the destination country and the second is that the hosting country needs to be open for student travel.

In the case of Japan, travel is not yet permitted due to the fact that Japan is not permitting students to enter the country at this time.

Given this, your exchange program continues to be suspended.

We will monitor the situation and provide an update in early January. In the meantime, I would recommend that you remain registered in UAlberta courses for the Winter term in case the suspension is not lifted.

I understand that this is a challenging time with changing conditions impacting the decisions you need to make with respect to your program. I am happy to attempt to answer any questions that you might have.  If I can’t, I’ll point you in the direction of the person or team who might be able to do so instead.

This is as expected, especially with the Omicron thing now floating around, Japan was one of the first to close their borders again. It was always 50-50 though and I think it is still 50-50 as to whether it would happen or not. It sounds like they’ll reevaluate and make a final decision in January, and it if happens, then great, if it doesn’t, then that’s fine — I have other doors that will unlock and open and I won’t be too beat up about it.

Next week I have a small group session for the Multicultural Learning Pods again, which I seem to lead for my small team of 4. It’s on the same day as the heat treatment for the house though, on Monday, so that will be interesting — I was told that the house would still be quite hot after the treatment is done so I wonder if it will affect my ability to do this. Not sure how hot exactly is quite hot, though they did say that I should consider staying somewhere else for the night. But it is cold enough outside that opening the balcony door should do the trick, right?

I also have to decide on courses really soon, especially since Fall 2021 classes are basically over. I did not take any classes in Fall, but if I skip two semesters in a row, that might actually affect my student eligibility altogether and ruin any future going abroad plans. I ran it by my boss and he’ll run it by his to see what my options are. I plan to take one course, if I can, and if Japan happens then I’ll just drop it.

Work

Three days into our new expanded team of 8 people (counting the supervisor), and our work queue is down to 0 for the first time since September, and maybe even July or August. Woo! People are going to be pulled into project work right away though, which is good too — we’ve been on hold/treading water with basically no project work getting done for months, and now things will be able to move again and our team will no longer be the bottleneck for some of the major projects (we write/do system tests for them).

Most importantly though, it means we actually feel good at work for once. Not only because we have no tickets left in the queue weighing on our mind, but also because the new people inject new life into the group and the morning standups are a lot livelier now. Not that they were dull before, but they’re now even more lively. I can see it in the reactions of my teammates. And the questions and viewpoints they bring to our existing processes are important.

Life

So, yeah. Bedbug treatment this Monday, which means the weekend (mostly Sunday, because I procrastinate) was spent cleaning up the house, packing things into boxes, and moving them off the ground where possible. I also used the chance to do some winter-cleaning — I dumped out about five large garbage bags of assorted things into the dump, as well as a large floor rug that went under my computer desk that they said had to go.

Well, technically they said it had to be removed, and could be replaced after, but the carpet had been there under the desk, which never moves, for about 10 years now, and it had long since been fraying as well as clumped up in places, making it hard to vacuum and keep clean. And I wasn’t a fan of it in the least, although it kept the actual carpeted floor below from suffering any damage. It’s gone now though.

The extraction process was painful (I basically lifted up each side of the desk with my back while pulling the carpet under the desk legs), though worth it. But there was no way I was getting the carpet back there, nor did I want it back there. Getting rid of it and a bunch of other things made me feel light-hearted. Some of my loose items are now in plastic boxes. I bought 6 and filled them up, and realized that I actually probably need another 6 or so to fully pack up all my loose items, and easily another 15 or so if I were actually packing to move. Bother.

I didn’t get back into blog-writing this week other than this pose. I didn’t get much progress done on the video processing side either, nor on the anime watching side. A lot of time and energy went toward this house prep, and one of the things on my list got bumped to the very top — I wanted to finish scanning my Dunman High yearbooks before the heat treatment in case either the house went up in flames or the scanner ceased to work. I am happy to say that I did manage to complete this, finally, on Sunday night. Another load off my chest! I’m now uploading it to have a backup copy in the cloud, and I should also shortly be able to share this with my Singaporean friends.

News this week came down that someone at AnimeNYC was diagnosed (but recovered) with the new Omicron variant, though there are other news reports that suggest that the variant had been circulating for some time anyway. I was at AnimeNYC though, and pictures will eventually be forthcoming, but it was extremely crowded there and I could definitely see how it could have spread like wildfire. Although everyone had to be vaccinated and masked to enter, that doesn’t necessarily lower the rate of spread by much, it largely prevents the aftereffects of the virus.

Anyway, I was there on a portion of the first day, the 19th. I haven’t gotten a call or email from the organizers yet, but then again my USA SIM card is now in a bag somewhere and unusable, so I don’t know if they’re trying to contact that. Or maybe the person wasn’t there on the first day. I doubt he was the person who brought it in in the first place though, he was just the first detection case as I understand it. Anyway, while I feel fine, I’m totally in a mode of thinking where every little sniff and cough is COVID in my mind.

I haven’t actually gone for a test though, because other things are on my mind right now and I haven’t exactly gone out at all, except briefly to the grocery store and mall, since I returned. I’m more worried that I was potentially being a spreader in the airports and on the planes on the way home though, even though I tested negative for COVID. My last rapid test was done only hours after AnimeNYC, so maybe it hadn’t spread enough to be detected yet. But contracting asymptomatic COVID was always a risk with so many people anyway, the variant doesn’t really matter, and that’s why everyone had to be vaccinated to travel anyway.

I also renewed my lease this week as the rental office was bugging me about it. I said I wasn’t going to, however as my trip is still up in the air, and I won’t know if I’m going or staying until (it looks like) mid-January, I renewed on a month-to-month basis at a slightly higher cost till the end of January in order to punt the decision to four blog posts from now. If Japan does not happen though, I likely will ask for a different apartment in the same general complex, away from this bedbug bedlam, and then sign a new 6-8 month lease or so until August/September to see if I can then study abroad again, then.

I had asked the rental office in the past if I would be considered a new resident if I moved apartments, to the tune of being able to qualify for the new renter bonuses. I had heard no in the past, but I was told yes this time around, so who knows what the truth is. More interestingly, I was told by the staff member helping me out that Midwest is very strict about giving one month’s notice before moving out — if I was moving out at the end of January, it had to be in by Jan 1st, even being one day late would mean that I would be on the hook for February’s rent. She claimed that there was a trick to this though, and gave me a notice form to fill out now — I had to give my one month notice but, if she is to be believed, I apparently can rescind the notice at any time during the month if I like, if circumstances changed and I wanted to stay another month.

I’m not sure if that’s actually true or if they’re just trying to trick me to leave (I doubt it’s the latter because they’re a really nice rental office), but I signed it anyway because I had a vested interest in leaving the specific apartment after three bedbug treatment attempts in a year, and doing so while most of my things were still relatively clean. So right now I’m scheduled to move out end of January. I actually asked if they could move me now but they said no, I have to finish the lease first, and apparently they needed to examine the house two weeks after treatment anyway to see if my place was clean of bedbugs. Depending how the Japan thing turns out, I might move out at the end of Jan, at the end of Feb, or at the end of Mar, and I might go straight to Japan, detour to Singapore first, or sign a new lease and move into a new apartment. We’ll find out over the next little while!

Talking about Singapore, it seems like I won’t get my official letter of clearance (that my National Service obligations are officially rescinded) until February or so, but the Mindef government agent that I spoke to reiterated that my criminal record was clean now and that I could come back if I wanted to, and if I wanted a letter in the interim she could probably send me one in a week or two once she returned to work. I was appreciative of this and accepted the offer, so hopefully she remembers to do this.

My Monday will be busy with bunking down at the rental office’s back office, getting back into my house once the treatment is done, doing some post-cleaning and moving (there are storage bins in my bathtub right now!) and then school stuff in the evening, but I am looking forward to getting back to some semblance of normalcy at the latter part of the week. I finally might be able to start catching up on anime assuming that I pass this treatment event without any major issue.

Games

I basically played two games this week, Genshin Impact for solo play and Satisfactory for group play. I unlocked fishing and housing in the former, and we unlocked tier 5/6 in the latter, and both are quite a lot of fun, so I’m very content right now in terms of the games I have on my plate. On the phone, Thrandor suggested Postknight 2 so I took a look at that, and it’s fun and cute so far, but realistically I don’t have a ton of time to play on the phone so I’ve barely scraped the surface of theat game (plus the phone screen’s still a little cracked, which annoys me, and parts of the screen are occasionally unresponsive. In particular, it stops responding altogether sometimes when it’s plugged in and charging, until I relock and unlock it).

Someone also mentioned in Discord that Lineage2M also launched this week, so in the spirit of being MMO explorers, Gibbs and I downloaded it and tried it. It turns out that it’s a bad phone to PC port with no effort whatsoever to make it an actual PC game gameplay wise (for example, the very start screen says to “Please tap screen” and “Tap screen to enter the world server”). On top of that, it is very much an automatic game that plays itself, to the point where you press on a quest in the quest tracker on the side of the screen, and your character walks to the quest area and starts attacking the quest target/s until you’ve completed the quest. And then you click on the quest again and you have an option to teleport back to the NPC. What even is the point of this game? I blinked a few times and found myself at level 17 (out of 75) and found myself questioning my life choices that had led me to this point, so I hurriedly left the game and went back to Genshin. In short, it’s awful, with next to no redeeming factors, and I don’t suggest anyone even look at the game.

The only somewhat interesting redeeming factor I found is that NCSOFT’s new launcher (PURPLE) actually allows you to view ingame chats (including general/global chats) while the game itself isn’t launched, on all your characters at once, which is pretty cool. A few other MMOs allow various forms of ingame-outgame chat but this one seemed pretty neat, at least in the ten seconds that I glanced at it while on the way out of the game in disgust.

Endwalker, the latest FFXIV expansion, is also launching this next week, and I’m still kind of tempted to go back to that game with Satinel or something at some point. I think she’s already satiated from conquering the world on her perpetual free trial account already though, and I realistically cannot afford the time for this unless Japan gets postponed, so I guess it will sit a little longer.

Plushie of the Week #28 – Stacey the Stingray

I would like to introduce Stacey the Stingray, my third plushie from my Grand Tour of the States, this one from San Francisco, my third stop. Yes, I skipped Los Angeles. All my plushies are in a large garbage bag right now in preparation for getting char-broiled tomorrow, and Stacey was on the top of the pile. So Stacey gets to go first.

Stacey is a Stingray, as mentioned, but she has a very nice personality and is sweet as honey, which also means she attracts bedbugs and other insects to that flower on her head, I’m sure. Her birthday is Nov 09 2021, and she was acquired from the Aquarium of the Bay Gift Shop, at Pier 39 in San Francisco, for $17.37 USD after taxes.

This is what she looks like from the front:

Look at those brilliant cerulean eyes. She also kind of looks like a UFO, doesn’t she? Next, back and one tag:

Underside and more tags:

Other side of second tag:

It felt like I was doing a bedbug check on her. Anyway, she also came with a label, which looks like this:

Back:

As you can see, Stacy the Stingray is actually her default name. I added the E because there is a Stacey on another team at work that I do like, both the person and the name.

There was an octopus plushie bin next to the bin that Stacey was in at the aquarium shop, and I was actually really tempted to get that one over Stacey because it looked cuter, but Stacey won out in the end because she was easier to fit into my travelling bag. Ain’t no space for a takoyaki in my carry-on luggage. When I got home, I looked at the tag and the website to try to see if I could identify the octopus plushie that I liked, and I believe it was Octavia the Octopus (there are actually a couple octopi in this product line). One day.

Photograph(s) of the Week #16

Of all the great people I have met online, there have been five people that I have considered Best Friends, and are or were especially important to me and my life as a human being (and who all largely entered my life at a really important juncture when I needed someone), to such a point that I call them my muses. All five have revolved in some way around gaming, and I will do a more complete writeup someday about each of them in the context of my life, but I do mention this person briefly in the Games blurb that I already did elsewhere in this blog.

I knew her as Jinx, LadyJinx, or Lady Jinx, and her name was Jamie Morgan, then Jamie Bottenberg. She lived in Bloomington, Illinois, back in 2002 when I knew her, and I am shocked that I still remember all this without looking it up. I had to look this next one up, but her birthday was Sep 14 1972, which put her about 12 years older than me — I was 17-18 and she was 29 when we met and played together for a year or so. We met sometime in late 2001 or early 2002, definitely before March 2002 according to logs, and basically drifted apart by around January of 2003.

She was an instrumental figure in my life because she took me under the wing as a younger sister (We called each other sis a lot! I was the little sis.) and allowed me to accompany her as her sidekick and friend across various MUDs and games, and we roleplayed on a number of different fantasy RPG world-themed servers, which allowed me to get my feet wet and experience different ways of RPing while basically under the protection of a “big sister” who would take care of me and bail me out of trouble or offer a sympathetic ear if needed, since I was still young and inexperienced enough at that time that I would get into trouble with admins and stuff now and then for things unintentionally, but old enough to write and hold my own in RP, though not nearly as well as her. I remember really adminig a bard that she had.

Anyway, 2002 was also the year that I found out I was transgendered, although I never told her about this, so you can imagine what having a relationship like this meant for me. Jamie basically gave me my first platonic female-female relationship, something that I had been craving all these years but was unable to achieve in real life due to being the wrong gender, and could not put into words to express anyway until I found out what being transgendered meant around June that year. As you can see from the timeline, I actually knew her before I discovered this, then discovered what I was in the middle of our relationship, which rocked my world. Even before that though, I always just pretended to be female — it was far more natural for me and gave me something that I felt like I needed, so I never once broke character.

We chatted a ton every single day, and while I unfortunately do not have those chats saved any longer (it was 2002 after all), I have a strong association linking the Yahoo! Instant Messenger’s smileyface icon with her as that was her go-to emoji. I can still recall exactly what it looks like now and remember it popping up beside her blue username when she smiled at something in conversation. She would also write up themed character backstories for the both of us, right down to the name, sometimes related, sometimes just friends, and while I don’t have the game logs saved any longer either, I still have bits and pieces of what she wrote and sent me saved neatly in folders, all the way back from 2002, stuff like:

Greetings. This is a request application for generating our two characters as identical twin sisters, both of whom have already been created as rogues and are being developed, but have not been set up specifically as twins yet, pending approval.

As rare as twins may be, Ramiriana and Siari are twin sisters, halfelven children born in Neverwinter, and sent to Waterdeep to learn what they can and then set forth upon thier own journey in life. They are dark, curly haired, light blue eyed and of good natures.
There is no real difference in their appearance unless one looks very closely, or listens to the way they speak.

We are not entirely certain of all the information that is needed for this application, other than that we wish to have these two be twins. We plan to have both the characters start off from scratch, so no additional skills/equipment would be required, although we may need help in altering player files a little if our height/weight is too far off from each others.

Both of us have played together from our earliest days on Forgotten Kingdoms, and we quite literally read each others minds. In hopes to heighten our rp here, we would truly like this chance to play our twins. If further information is needed, let us know and we will gladly send in more details.

If this is approved,
Lady Jinx (Player of Jalora, Kiriyel, Naqaili, Kitilandria, Ziyrin, Kyil) will play Ramiriana
Shiara (Player of Iylora, Velyss, Melyene, Kuruni) will play Siari
(Those are just our most active pcs)

Sincerely,
Lady Jinx and Shiara

Yes, I used the Shiara name all the way back then, and still do to this day. That was on a MUD called Forgotten Kingdoms, which apparently might still be around, though I don’t have any particular nostalgia for it. But now I have listed all my character names in the hopes that someone Googles and finds this someday? Knew me? Contact me. Do it.

In the end, she drifted away when she had a baby (Alex, Jan 10 2003) and basically ran out of online time to play. She also had a daughter from a previous marriage, Riana, I believe, whom she talked to now and then. I chatted with Jamie several times over email (and thus I actually have those logs, and boy was I cringy back then) but when I tried emailing her on her birthday in 2018, her Yahoo email address was no more, so I no longer have a way of contacting her, nor does she seem to have a presence on the internet the last time I checked. Oh, never mind. Two minutes on Facebook and I definitively found her. Not sure I will reach out to her (yet?) though.

Losing her hurt me a lot at the time, I was really clingy and had to detach myself and learn to move on, but I think the experience of knowing her and the experience of losing her both helped me grow immensely as a person, and she was a catalyst of my development in many different ways and sent me further hurtling down the path of MUDs and MMOs, by myself this time, until I eventually found my second muse in Dungeons and Dragons Online about 4 years later, in 2006. I miss the camaraderie and relationship that we had sometimes, though it isn’t particularly painful or anything these days, just a wistful sigh long scattered in the winds of time. I’m the oldest child in my family, so she was the only big sister figure I had in my life.

Wow, this segment turned out heavier and a lot longer than I ever meant to type.

Song of the Week #5

Title: Valley of the Giants
Artist: Mars Lasar
Album: Yosemite – Valley of the Giants (2006)

I like New Age music, and this song is the cream of the crop for me — the song gave me chills the first time I listened to it, and I have loved the song ever since. It still holds a permanent place amongst my most beloved songs. I believe this is one of the most beautiful melodies ever written in music, and the mental image I have when I listen to this is that of twin birds, entwined together, spinning in spirals and flying vertically upwards into the sky. And also panning shots of lush, grandiose forests and mountains, but this one is because of the music video that follows below.

This song is the crown jewel of my new age song list, and because it’s basically instrumental with no meaningful vocals, it is basically my go-to song when I need to immediately destress or mentally disengage from a bad situation. I don’t know exactly when I discovered the song, but it was on my Spotify list in 2012, and got added about a week after I started my New Age list there, so it’s plausible that that’s where I discovered it, listening to random tracks on Spotify. 2012 was the start of several of my earliest Spotify lists in general though, so that might also just be dated that way because that was when I first moved onto the platform in general.

Dreams

My dreams are not fully back to normal yet, probably partially due to the flux that my apartment is in at the moment, so that’s likely thrown me off a bit — it feels like I’ve been packing up to move out, and I sleep in fear of bedbugs (not really, none of them have gotten on the bed as far as I know, but I do keep a light shined on me while I sleep to keep any potential bugs at bay, so that probably throws my deep sleep off a little).

Anyway, dreams. It’s interesting that I had two separate dreams this week about impromptu decisions to go on travel. My subconscious wants to go back on the road…

Nov 30 2021
  • I dreamt I took a bus to Las Vegas with a friend, who started out as Valerie when we boarded the bus but turned into Satinel about halfway through the trip. The bus trip cost $65, and it was a very impromptu decision — we were passing by the bus terminal on a Friday evening and saw the bus, and decided to take the trip, ignoring all our weekend responsibilities and despite the fact that I had only just returned from my USA trip that involved a Las Vegas stop. Valerie/Satinel really wanted to visit a book shop/book sale there after I had mentioned visiting and buying a book from on my trip, just as we were passing by that terminal.
  • Not counting the driver, there were only 7 seats on the bus, and we took two side-facing single seats near the front door on the right side of the bus. There was a clump of four front-facing seats (two double seats) on the left side of the bus that four guys took, and one single front-facing seat on the back right side of the bus that a girl had taken.
  • The two guys seated on the back double seat on the left side of the bus had also apparently spontaneously boarded the bus like we did, as one of them exclaimed that they were going to Vegas! And it only cost $65! He told us that he hoped we had brought money to gamble with. I didn’t, but I had my credit card anyway if needed. I wondered how I was going to find time to write my blog and if I was even going to mention this in my blog or if I was going to omit it and keep it a secret.
  • Once we arrived, the bus itself turned into a gambling room and I started to play a game located on the windows across from us, which involved a card being drawn with a number on it from 1 to 120 or something, and I had to pick whether the next card would be a higher or lower number, and keep a streak going as long as possible. I immediately lost the first game because one of the guys’ heads were blocking the card display and I couldn’t see it. He apologized and moved to another seat in the room.
  • I then played again and did really well on the game. I even accidentally clicked Higher when a 112 was drawn, but the next card came up 114 instead, and everyone was impressed that I had gotten that correct. (I clicked Lower after that, and the next card was 111).
  • Satinel had not gambled but was wandering the hotel after having visited the bookshop/sale to purchase a couple books. She went back to the hotel room and then sent me a message on Discord saying dgp8, which I apparently parsed as her saying that the Games Done Quick charity event was running and they were speedrunning one of the Di Gi Charat computer games on stream/TV.
  • I told her to enjoy her vacation here instead and that I was looking forward to playing some slot machines with her because I didn’t get to play them at all the last time I came to Vegas.
  • While wandering around, I found and opened some chests of different rarity levels, but there was also a regular rarity chest that I was standing in front of when a kid came up to the side of the chest and opened it at almost the same time as me, barely beating me to it, so that I got an error that the chest was already in use. I was annoyed at the kid for this and “flipped” the chest (not physically, but I reset it somehow), which force-closed the lid that the boy had open and also messed up the contents of the chest so they weren’t neatly stacked inside. I didn’t actually need the items from the chest, so I left it to him anyway, and walked away feeling vindictive.
  • Snippet: At some point I was playing a top-down game in the style of Heroes of Might and Magic 3, but on a very rigid and visible grid. I had my castle and a few resource mines around me, and my enemy was somewhere to the west/northwest and was not posing much of a threat at all. I had two Logistics items that increased how much I could move per day, and there were also two buildings just to the northwest of me, a few squares out from the castle, that gave me an even larger movement boost as long as I visited them every week, since the buff expired weekly when Monday arrived no matter when I picked the buff up that week.
  • Because my movement range was so large, the computer-controlled enemy to the northwest of me was just sitting in his castle and not venturing out at all, since I could otherwise basically waltz in from the vicinity of my castle all the way to his, and take the castle without a fight, if he ended his turn outside the castle. I didn’t push this though, and proceeded to visit the resource nodes south of me to collect some resources.
  • I also bemoaned that a dwelling on the map next to the mines, that was producing the Tier 5 unit for my castle, was not upgraded to Tier 6 and producing my top level unit, knights, instead. I had missed out on this upgrade somehow either from some event or because I didn’t get to loot/upgrade my resource nodes in time before the upgrade expired. Anyway the unit was still producing cavaliers or champions or horsemen or something, the Tier 5 unit for my castle, although it was also producing peasants that generally took care of the horses in the dwelling, but occasionally came along with the horseman unit when I purchased it.
  • Snippet: I was wandering through our old 4012 home looking at boxes of photographs, but there was a poltergeist attached to me who would occasionally flip or throw something when I entered a new room, and there were also coils of rope around my ankles for whatever reason so I could only shuffle around and not walk or run. In this case when I entered the main room of the house, two boxes (one of photos, one of papers or something) got tossed and scattered toward the front door, though about 2/3 of the contents of both boxes were still inside once I shuffled over to where it was. Mom and Dad were out of the house for a couple hours still, so I started to repack the items before they returned. The photos really were assorted, I remember seeing many little photo albums of assorted family and friends, including in particular photos of Wela from high school (except these were taken when she was on a trip with friends post-high school) in an envelope.
Dec 01 2021
  • My dream involved travelling to a neighbourhood in a city that I was visiting, and making an appointment to have crab there in a fancy coffee shop-style restaurant with two friends. The restaurant was very strict and you had to make your reservation there to be able to dine — there was a notepad in the shop and you had to be there in person to book. You also had to check out once you were done.
  • The shop itself was located next to a really large, rural, peaceful road that ran next to a river or drainage reservoir, and I arrived first and waited for the others, as I wasn’t sure if it was the correct shop. The owner/chef was talking to another group as I stood around waiting for the other two, and I overheard him telling them that there was another similar restaurant nearby (without such strict rules but without as high a quality and experience as well).
  • At that point, the restaurant was packed, but there were only two slots taken out of the 6-8 slots or so available for the 6:45 pm time slot that was coming up next. However, I wasn’t sure if my friends would make it, so I didn’t book a slot. When the current group was done, they all stood up and queued up in a line for the notepad to check out, and I joined the back of the queue with one of my friends who had arrived. In front of me was a girl and she chatted something to me in Japanese about the shop, which I only partially understood but laughed politely, which was the correct response to what she had said.
  • By the time we got to the front we found that all the 6:45 slots were taken up, apparently by some of the rich businessmen who had just checked out but who also wanted to dine for another round. But that was fine, since our third friend wasn’t here yet. We instead put ourselves down for the next available slots, the 8:15 one, and then texted him to tell him the situation. He said to please put up signs outside the shop with arrows pointing at it that could be seen from afar, so he could figure out which was the right shop and wouldn’t get lost.
Dec 02 2021
  • I had recently finished some sort of surgery, and had a dark blue health book returned to me from the doctor’s office now that they had finished the post-surgery report as well. The book was fashioned after Singapore report card or health card books, with each page being a double-sided plastic sheath that printed pages were slipped out of and into.
  • Although the previous pages had reflected my gender and name change, this latest one listed my male name as my primary name, then my female name below it, and the nurse/secretary apologized and claimed that she was afraid that this would happen when she filled in the form and submitted it for review, because the perosn typing in the form was not familiar with or didn’t care for transgenders. She didn’t offer a way to fix it though, so I figured I’d have to go through the hassle of contacting some central health agency to fix it when I had more time.
  • For now, I went home to rest and recuperate. Home in this context was our 4012 home, and Mom, Jonathan, and Kellie were both there as I rested in an upstairs bed, although the upstairs level was one large attic-like floor instead of the usual 4012 layout. The downstairs was more or less accurate, however, particularly the front and back doors and yards, although the front door was on the left side of the house instead of the right. My family members were all circa 2005-2010 age-wise, too.
  • Mom said we needed to do some snow-shovelling to prepare for Dad‘s return, and she took Jonathan and went out of the back door and yard after a conversation about it being a guy’s job to help and about how shovelling now would make for less work later. They went about 100m away from the house and started to shovel a piece of sidewalk that I thought was city property though, for whatever reason, instead of the area directly by our house.
  • I stayed in the room/attic with Kellie and we chatted a bit, and she brought out several Tigeys which we fawned over for a bit. I feel like at some point here I noticed a letter about some sort of event that I had taken part in before, and actually recognized that that was referring to a previous dream that I had been involved in, but that didn’t trigger any sort of lucidity.
  • Dad then returned through the front door, and we went down to greet him and told him that Mom and Jon were out shovelling snow. The front yard didn’t seem to have snow, but that didn’t register while we were in the dream.
  • I suggested that he open the front blinds and wait there for Mom and Jon to return, and he did so for a bit, but eventually decided to open the door and stand outside on the path leading up to the door instead, with his hands on his hips. We waited a while but there was no sign of Mom and Jon returning.
  • I then went back up to my bed and looked outside the window, and saw that they were returning through the back door instead. At the same time, Dad was tired of waiting and had come back inside. From my vantage point, I managed to snap a good and rare picture of the two groups, Dad/Kellie in the living room and Mom/Jon in the kitchen, walking toward and about to meet each other.
  • I went down to join in the reunion, and saw that Kellie had set up 8 Tigeys (all the white variety) on the living room table, which were all facing my reunited family. My original Tigey was there, as was a Tigey which I knew was the second one we picked up because his pink nose was uniquely lopsided, and then six more after that that I didn’t know the history of.
Dec 04 2021
  • I was in a large gathering of people in some building. It felt like a mix of people from work and from somewhere else but I don’t specifically remember anyone being there except for my work boss, Ronnie.
  • It was nearly evening and we were owed/being served dinner, and the group was divided into two groups, with the “adults” being ushered over to the kitchen and a long dinner table there, whereas us younger ones were left out in the open at another long dinner table. Both Ronnie and I were in this latter group, but it also contained a lot of actual children.
  • The people in this younger group complained, but the organizer who was doing this noted that the kitchen was going to close in less than an hour from now, so we did not have time to have both groups take their turns eating in the kitchen. Also, eating out here would mean that we could take our time and eat, unlike the adult group which would have to finish within the hour.
  • After finishing dinner, the group disbanded and we all went our own way. Among a variety of things, I remember telling my boss that I was going to go out of the country for travel again for a couple of weeks. I then went to the airport terminal, which looked like a train station partitioned into several rooms. I had no idea exactly where I wanted to go, I just know that I wanted to go travel.
  • The first room I went into had a Departures board, as well as ticket costs, and I became really excited as I noticed that there were several really cheap flights, including $1 flights to Alaska, to Tokyo, and to a small village southwest of Tokyo.
  • I decided the first one was a bad idea due to Covid, and so I wanted to go to one of the Japanese cities. I was hesitant, however, because it was Saturday and the tickets were for Monday, but Monday was also when the bedbug treatment people would be coming to my house, and it would be risky to not be there for that.
  • A guy from Ontario entered the room and tried to chat me up, trying to inquire as to the origins of an antique clock I was lugging around with me. He said he just had the one quick question at first, so I answered him and he left the room, but then he reentered with more questions, and I noticed that he was obviously trying to flirt with me. He asked what part of Ontario I was from, and I said I was from Edmonton, Alberta, two provinces over. He opened a digital hologram map on the floor next to him, with a map showing those two provinces and a travel path between them, and went “Oh.”
  • A nearby woman looked at the map, and remarked that oh, that’s just five minutes away, isn’t it? I had to explain that they were two provinces apart, and they looked close by on the map because it was zoomed in in a way that was very much not to scale at all.
  • Editor: Actually three, but in my dreams Manitoba didn’t exist.
  • Anyway the guy backed off and said that he hung out at the airport a lot and was practically a worker here, except he wasn’t formally one, and had no job and all his possessions were on this really low skateboard-with-bicycle-handlebars thing that he sat on and drove around the place slowly.

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