My Diary #031

Dear Tigey,

Congratulations on surviving the inferno this week!

Entry #031 (Dec 12 2021)

Table of Contents

Optimizing factories for…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #29
ට  Photograph of the Week #17
ට  Song of the Week #6
ට  Dreams

School

Not much happened this week in terms of school updates. We had our fifth MLP pod meeting, but the program is on break now until January. I finished an essay for the program, which was our midterm project, and while it isn’t my best work (it isn’t graded after all, and I had other things going on in life, so this was basically me submitting a draft that seemed fine), I thought it was interesting enough to share anyway, for those curious.

Our topic was:

PART 1: The Reflection (approx. 2-3 pages) Choose 2 of the primary message systems that you have studied so far and …

(1) Briefly explain what each primary message system means
(2) Reflect on what each lens has revealed to you about your own culture(s)
(3) Consider how these 2 primary message systems relate to one another in your cultural context.

You should be able to draw on your weekly reflections when crafting your answers. Feel free to quote your weekly reflections in your assignment.

Interaction/Association
Subsistence
Bisexuality
Territoriality
Temporality

PART 2: The Reflection on the Reflection (approx. 2-3 pages): In this part, you are conducting a meta-analysis of your cultural explorations thus far. Instead of thinking about what you learned, you are encourage to think about how the learning process has gone/felt. This is important because it can bring new insights into your own preferences and habits and have implications for how you might approach culture-learning in the future.

The five message systems listed there (of the ten we’re going to look at — we’re only halfway through the program) aren’t quite as straightforward as they seem at first, but they aren’t far off their classical definitions. You can see a synopsis of them here.

Anyway, my bad essay, which I nonetheless thought was interesting in terms of story and analysis, was:

I lived in Singapore from 1984 to 1998, for the first 14 years of my life, and this MLP project, in particular the questions revolving around the primary message systems that we have had to think about for each pod meetup, have really helped me to put together some context to some events and rituals from that part of my life that I’ve never really thought about since coming to Canada. I’m going to be highlighting two of my stories from my pod conversations that really resonated with me in particular and that kind of link to each other as well.

The two primary message systems that I am picking for this essay are Subsistence and Temporality. Temporality, in this context, is simply about time and how different people in my family and friend groups reacted to it. I think Singapore is very monochronic in general, but my friend group was really polychronic, and this collision of two worlds — and how it intersected with food — was interesting for me to look back on and analyze during the pod meeting preparations!

Subsistence, in the context of this essay, revolves around food and what it meant in my culture and to my experiences. It also does have other meanings, like an element about the means of working and providing for the family, and the economy in general, but I will largely be talking about meals and how it related to my family and friends in the context of temporality.

Back in 1997 and 1998, when I was in Secondary 1 and 2 (Grades 7 and 8), there were no such things as smartphones, and none of us even owned mobile phones. The effect of this was a more monochronic society — you had to be punctual when meeting someone because there was no such thing as texting someone to tell them you would be late — you often couldn’t contact them once you left the house until you met up with them.

To set the stage for my story, our classes concluded at 3:15 pm each day, yet we were a very close-knit class and would often hang out with each other after school. (Most of us are still, amazingly, in contact with each other over 20 years later.) People would do a variety of things after school — sometimes people had club activities, or had to clean the classroom, or hang out and do a variety of other things, often in small groups or alone, as opposed to one large, unified group.

Nearly everyone used public transportation, and our school was about 15 minutes away by bus from a train station, so we all had that part of the journey home in common. Our journeys home would then diverge at the train station, and people could take a variety of train lines to get back home. There was a McDonalds near that train station, and a small park next to that McDonalds, that organically became a hangout for my classmates and me. Many of us would end up visiting the McDonalds or park, with people coming and going over the course of every afternoon once they had left the school. It became our class’s unofficial meeting place outside of the school.

The part that relates to time and temporality here is that people would often talk to each other in class before leaving, arranging to meet each other there later on in the afternoon, but we often would not actually mention what time we would be there, simply because we didn’t know — it depended on when our activities ended, when we or our friend group felt like leaving school, and even when the bus came.

This led into what I now realized was a very interesting situation where we had our school with its extremely monochronic schedule where we hung out with each other in, and then this meeting place away from school with a really polychronic setup where we also hung out with each other in. Even without prior arrangements, it was fairly common to see someone there after school, either at the McDonalds or the park, hoping that someone else would eventually show up. Sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t.

In addition to this, my curfew every day was at 6pm, which meant that I had to leave that area at 5:30 pm to get home in time. I would get in trouble with Mom if I arrived home late, regardless of whether I had homework to do that night or not. But why 6pm? It was not something I really wondered about until I considered it in the context of subsistence as well. When I was younger, around 5 or 6 years old, Mom used to serve dinner at 6pm every day. And although this was eventually bumped to 7:30 pm, I realized that it had been ingrained into the family culture that 6pm was the border where afternoon turned into evening, and that that was most likely why my curfew was always set at 6pm, even though sunset was usually at 7 to 7:30.

And then from there I backtracked and looked back at the McDonalds again, noting the influence of subsistence over the creation of that polychronic place. That place brought us together because we could come together and snack on fries and a drink in the presence of friends, and because food was cheap in Singapore, so that was well within our allowance budgets even after recess and lunch time at school.

With those two examples, one revolving around temporality with a side of subsistence, and the other revolving around subsistence with a side of temporality, I began to wonder about what the two together could tell me about culture in Singapore. I came to one conclusion that I hadn’t realized before — Singapore basically sits right on the equator, so our sunrises and sunsets are basically the same year-round, and we have stable sunlight amounts at any time of day throughout the year.

This means that people can plan meals and events around “breakfast,” “lunch,” and “dinner” and have that mean roughly static times to everyone without needing to necessarily define what time we mean when we use those terms — it gives us a language revolving around those meal times to use that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to in some place like Canada, where sunrise and sunset can vary so wildly over the course of a few months, and where people have “dinner” as early as 4pm in some families and as late as 10-11 pm in others.

This was a great epiphany to achieve, and things like that are why I have found the primary message windows to be surprisingly effective tools so far for analyzing my own culture and history. I don’t say that lightly, and I am very happy to be critical about things if I don’t find them useful (see, for example, my reflection on the CIL Orientation), but I certainly have found this very useful so far. It has added several important lenses to my collection that I can consider when analyzing a piece of my history and culture, and also bring to bear when entering a new place and trying to figure out why people react a certain way. There is almost certainly a reason that things are the way they are.

The main limitation of this approach is that it’s harder to apply a lens a certain way or realize how it fits a situation if one doesn’t already have a similar personal experience to draw on, which is why I think the self-reflection part is so important – I would never have realized how the different primary message systems had applied to various parts of my life if I hadn’t sat down and thought through it for the pod discussions, and I would thus never have known how to use them to analyze new cultural situations.

But when it works, it really works well. I’ve enjoyed learning about other cultures through this MLP program. In particular, I took a month-long trip to the United States from October 28 to November 22 this year, travelling through six different cities during that time, and I believe that my experience in the MLP really helped enhance the trip by giving me many new things to consider and look out for, and even compare between cities, as well as making me more receptive to experiencing other cultures in general.

But oddly enough, even though I found the process of experiencing new cultures really enjoyable, I also found it uncomfortable and eventually very challenging to continually be immersed in another place’s culture, and after a month or so I found myself missing home and wanting to just immerse myself in familiarity for a little bit to relax and unwind. I’m glad I was made aware of this now though, since I still currently plan to travel abroad to Japan to study in Spring of 2022 (although it looks like this might not happen now), and it will give me some time to reflect on what to change and how to avoid this culture immersion fatigue before I actually commit to staying abroad for a year. I really enjoyed the immersion and seeing new things, but I also definitely needed more time in each place to let it sink in and absorb, I think.

Lastly, at this program, I feel like I have a better grasp on my own history and experiences than I ever did before, and that’s critically important to me because I fancy myself an archivist or historian, and so these lenses are really important to me. My current life goal that I am working on is to write a blog of my personal history, starting from birth all the way to present day, and my aim is to catalogue and note as many things as possible that I can remember and piece together from chat logs, photographs, memories, old boxes, and more, and then being able to explain how any one event fits into the context of my life and every other things that was happening around me then. It is a 7-year project, of which I am but in my first year, but many of these excerpts and stories that I’ve already written as part of the MLP are eventually going right into this blog of mine, that’s how illuminating they have been.

I don’t actually know yet what gaps or lingering questions I have, but I am really interested in seeing what the remaining Primary Message Systems can bring to the table and the understanding of my own past. I don’t think I am the type of person that tends to question things that I don’t have or understand yet, but instead I work with the tools that I am given to try to paint a picture, and each tool I add to the box seems to give me a more complete view and interpretation of things, which I am really enjoying. It’s like adding different colours to a picture, and I am really interested to see what new colours the second half of the MLP program adds to my palette!

A little corny at the end, and I’m sure not everyone involved in that agrees with the analysis, but I do sincerely like the program for the little epiphanies like that that I’ve had. It’s really helped me grow closer to my fond memories of my childhood.

Work

Work is winding down for the year, and things are quietening down. A couple people are being pulled off tickets for projects (good luck to them!). A former co-worker was rehired this week, which my dreams below referenced too. All in all, work got derailed a lot this week due to the bedbugs thing, and there’s no more terrible ticket backlog at work, so work largely took a back seat.

We get Xmas to New Years off, and it’s paid vacation time too, so I’m looking forward to that. And probably not mostly because it coincides with the Steam sale too! Some teammates at work are taking vacation time before Xmas, some after, and as for me, I have a couple extra days off scheduled after the break, since I don’t particularly need the time off before.

Life

The main event this week was the heat treatment of my apartment for bedbugs on Monday.

Did I say on Monday? The bastards cancelled on me! I settled down in the back room of the rental office, and just before lunch the rental office manager came in to say that the fumigators said that their machine had “broken down” and they were going to postpone it to two Wednesdays from then, the 15th. The rental office liked this as little as I did, since my house was all packed up, and she said they demanded they get me in sooner than that or subcontract the treatment, so after another half an hour or so, I received news that they were able to get me in on Thursday, the 9th of December, instead.

This still royally annoyed me, but what could I do. Monday to Wednesday was weird, since most of the things in my house were packed up except for four boxes that I knew housed the majority of the bedbug habitat, but moving all the other boxes away meant there was a lot more room for me to look and find the terrible critters crawling around, and I saw and squashed pretty much one adult one a day from Monday through Wednesday, which disturbed me quite a bit. It also meant there were less things to distract them between the wall and my bed, and I even found one on my mattress at one point. Needless to say I didn’t sleep very well those three days, though I ended up with a bunch of dreams thanks to that. And no bites or night itches that I know of. The silver lining about the cancellation is that I had forgotten to pack away some things in the meantime, and those extra days gave me that time to figure out and rectify this error.

Thursday came, not a moment too soon, and I again spent the day in the rental office. They were supposed to be there around 8 or 9, and it was supposed to take about 6 hours, but it ended up taking all the way until 8:30 pm at night, long after the rental office had closed. Thankfully, Southgate Mall closes at 9pm on weekdays, so I had somewhere to sit and chew on my thoughts (and some dinner) until i got the phone text saying that it was done.

When I got home, the apartment was still warm, but it was not as hot as I had expected. The nice person who did the treatment had left the balcony door and a window ajar, as we had arranged, and half an hour had lapsed since he’d left, so some of the heat had dissipated by then. It was 37.5 degrees Celsius when I got home, and -10 outside, so I opened the balcony door a bit further, cleaned the house a bit, and went to move some of the boxes out of the bathtub and washroom so I could take a bath.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least — everything was emanating warmth, even my shampoo and toothpaste were warm inside the tube, and despite the balcony door and bedroom window open, and my computer area (by the balcony) cooling off quite quickly, the rest of the house, especially the kitchen, was still simmering and it took another hour before the thermostat reading dropped to 34 degrees Celsius, and another hour and change before it dipped below 30. It wasn’t particularly uncomfortable though. I was just relieved I was back in my house and that the treatment was over and the bedbugs were (allegedly) dead.

The baseboards of the wall adjoining the unit with bedbugs twice earlier this year were pried open and left open (01 | 02) though, for some sort of extra insecticide treatment. I was told to not vacuum against the walls either. I’m not sure exactly when they’re going to put the baseboards back, but I suppose it’s cool to see that there are no bugs in sight anywhere there as well. Eventually though the poison is going to wear off and other bugs, even if not bedbugs, are going to migrate in, so hopefully they close the boards sooner rather than later.

I could also see why the treatment took so long — the fumigator moved everything, and opened most of my plastic container boxes as well, to make sure the heat got into everything. He even moved everything off my extremely heavy bedframe, then moved that to get the carpet out from under it, which I did not have the strength to do myself. And then piled all the heavy boxes back onto the bedframe afterwards. Thankfully I dont own anything in the way of incriminating things at my apartment (i.e. sex toys, smutty magazines, plans for world domination, etc), I wonder how many of those he normally finds going through people’s lives like that. He did find and move my dilators and KY Jelly that I had used after my bottom surgery as part of the recovery process though. Wonder what he thought of that!

Although I haven’t tried or unpacked everything yet, and in fact most of the house is still in disarray in packed boxes, as far as I know the only casualties from the heat treatment were the carpet, which I hated anyway and threw out, as well as a bulb in my standing lamp, which I promptly replaced with one from my cupboard. And a lot of bugs, hopefully. It’s much easier to wish for dead bugs when I’m not the one actively killing them, nor seeing their dead forms.

So how has the apartment been since? I haven’t seen a single bug of any sort so far, although I think it’ll be a long time before I can “trust” that wall again. I’m not sure I ever will, since I vaguely hope to move out in February or March. I don’t really trust the company though, since this is the third time they’ve been in here this year (as you know from the blog). Also, due to all this, I haven’t really felt like I’ve been able to settle in at home since I came home from the USA.

Talking about coming home, the other big piece of Life news this week is that my younger sister managed to return home safely from Japan. Apparently the (rapid, and assumedly PCR, though there are other options) COVID test she had to take in Japan before coming to Canada cost something like 33,000 Yen though, or about 300 Canadian Dollars. That’s insane! What a backwards country Japan is. Anyway, she’s back here now and living with the parents, and I hope to go over some time this month.

And the anime season is coming to an end, but I’m still 6-7 weeks behind most of the seasonal shows that I was watching, and only very slowly picking away at the backlog. This is not the first time I’ve had a backlog like this, but they are a little painful to pick through. December is a heavy gaming month though, due to the November and December Steam sales, so I don’t expect to be fully caught up on my seasonal anime watching for some time yet. Probably not until a bit into next season.

Oh, and I wanted to log these odd Whatsapp spam mails or something I got this week. This one and this one. How very odd. I can’t fathom why someone would send things like this, even if I try to think from a malicious point of view.

Games

Same as the past two weeks! The gaming part of my week still revolves around Genshin Impact and Satisfactory. I hit Adventure Rank 35 or so in the former, and finished their time-limited winter seasonal story event (it ended at the end of Sunday Dec 12 2021), which was a really comfy and cozy slice of life story, with glimpses of some mystery and, hmm.. cosmic tragedy/horror tossed in for good measure. I’m really happy I returned to the game (damn you again, Rachel..). My gacha rolls for new characters still really suck though.

For Satisfactory, our factory is an absolute mess, with spaghetti conveyor belts running on all three axes, pipes and trains everywhere, and I absolutely love it. Trin and Kynji and I are building basically on top of each others’ things in the main base, while Milumbar is building nice, organized things far away from us (he knows..), and just looking at the factory reminds me of one of many cute quotes that (I think) my Grade 5 English teacher, Mr. Grosse, said — There is chaos in order, and order in chaos.

Outside of that, I explored some phone games after talking with Thrandor and musing over how we both like trying out phone games for a little bit and then moving on. Kind of like the currently-dormant MMO Project from a few blog entries ago. Postknight 2 from last week didn’t last very long, though there was nothing inherently wrong with it, other than the writing didn’t capture me enough to even finish the tutorial. Next up was Ultimate DragonMaster, which I played until tier 10 dragons but found to be far too stressful, as there is always something new to click and collect. Then I went to Idle Heroes, but did not like the way they overloaded me with powerful-seeming heroes right off the bat but had no clear way of looking at stats and trying to figure out what was better than what. Something about that annoyed me. Finally, I ended on Epic Seven, which is decent so far, though I am not a fan of the morale mechanic it uses when exploring its labyrinths, that puts an artificial cap of how much of it you can explore at once.

Still, it’s the current phone game being trialed as of the end of this week, and I’ve been on it for 3 or 4 days now, so it must be doing something right. We’ll see if it lasts much longer.

Plushie of the Week #29

The plushie of this week is from Los Angeles, specifically a second-hand anime store called Entertainment Hobby Shop Jungle, located on the bottom floor of a mall area in the Little Tokyo/Japantown region of Los Angeles. He cost $9.84 USD after taxes and his birthday is Nov 05 2021.

He’s.. a goldfish plant. Yes, I know. He’s also nameless thus far, as what even is a good name for a goldfish plant?

Front:

Side:

Side + Tags:

Back:

Underside and tags:

A goldfish plant. I saw a big version of him too, but it was $50 or something and far too large for me to lug home, so.

These plants feature in the anime Hoozuki no Reitetsu, or Hozuki’s Coolheadedness, they’re a plant that the main protagonist of the show, a deadpan attendant that lives and works in Hell, collects and grooms as a hobby. They make weird noises but aren’t otherwise actual characters in the show, though they also feature in this ending song sequence where two of them apparently try to make an escape from Hell in search of a better life. This one apparently made it, and he’s probably used to the heat from the bedbug treatment already. I’d have bought two if the shop had two, but they only had one, and one of the stitches tying him to his leaf is loose, but that’s okay..

Photograph(s) of the Week #17

It did come to my attention that current pictures also work just fine in Photograph of the Week, and that is something I’d like to transition toward more over time as this blog progresses as well, as I only have so many pictures from the past about different, interesting topics.

In this vein, the pictures from this week are from Thursday, December 09th, 2021, as I was walking back home from the mall to my house. This past week or so has seen our wild weather go from snow to melt to freezing rain, and the roads and paths that weren’t heavily used or sanded were especially treacherous — it took me a full minute to cross the residential road to get to the garbage dumpster on the other side on Friday when I was throwing out my carpet, for example. It was really bad, as bad as I have ever remembered seeing it, and the pictures here capture that:

The first two are from pretty much the same location, and the third is me from my bedroom window looking down at the yard beneath. It looks like there’s a river running through the far side of the grassy yard in our residence! But it’s all ice on top of snow and grass, every bit of it.

Thankfully, most of the regular pavements and stuff were either plowed or sanded/salted just fine, so getting around wasn’t a big problem except for the bits where you had to cross a road in non-standard places.

Song of the Week #6

Title: Heartbreaker
Artist: Dionne Warwick
Album: Heartbreaker (1982)

This song is fairly high in my top 100, though definitely not in my top 10, and probably not even top 20 or so. It is, however, somewhat unique in that it is a song that to me is inextricably tied to a game that it had nothing whatsoever to do with. I think I have two songs in my top 100 that are that way, and both are oddly tied to interactive fiction games and gamebooks, in the realm of the Choose Your Own Adventure books/stories, though far more complex than those things.

The game that this song is tied to for me is Blue Lacuna, a novel-length Interaction Fiction game which I played from about January 01-03 or so in 2014. I know the date because I liked it so much that I sent the author an email telling him how meaningful his story was to me, and got a nice reply back the next day. I consider it a formative game in my life experience, as I played it in the throes of my depression and fear the year after I transitioned (2013) and between my two aborted surgeries (March 2013 and July 2014).

I don’t actually remember much about the plot now, but I do remember linking this song to it for some reason, either because it played on Spotify or because I read some sentences that reminded me of the lyrics and started thinking about the song, or something like that. I didn’t particularly like or dislike the song before 2014, though I’ve known it since young, but once it bonded it shot straight up my rankings and was definitely a song I cried to several times from 2014 to 2017 or so.

My mental images of this song, which I take to be (but cannot confirm to be) actual plot points from the story, involve a large and beautiful beach along a desert island, and a painting set on an easel and overlooking the ocean water. My mental image also involves me entering the painting to find other worlds, in a very fruitless search for the actual artist that drew the painting across infinite possibilities, as well as heartbreak, tragedy, and longing, extreme and painful longing. I don’t think all that happened in the story, though I think some of it did, but the song and my imagination magnified it, and sent this song into a mental space where it got compared to my pain of being transgendered and being born into the wrong gender and if only there was some other way.

it also got linked to one person later on that year, when the wounds were still fresh — he was a guy that I had met on Guild Wars 2 and hung out with for some time between games. We played Archeage, Elder Scrolls Online, and Wildstar together, and chatted a lot daily out of game, and I liked him quite a bit. He was very much a free spirit, and also sort of a womanizer, but also very sincere and fun to be with, teasing and caring in all the right amounts, and we had a good few months together in the first half of 2014, the same time period as when this song deeply affected me and before I went to Korea on my aborted surgery, which was also around when we stopped talking.

He was super nice, but one thing he said put a dagger in me and made the cancelled surgery all the more painful — I was quite open with him that I was transgendered, and he randomly said one day (in one of his womanizer moods) that he liked me and would have pursued me/asked me out if only I was post-op, and boy did that feel like a rejection of everything I was up till that point. I laughed it off and we still played together for some time, probably a month or two, after that before drifting apart, but that callous sideswipe always stuck with me and was a reason why I eventually stopped keeping in touch and let him drift away, though last I heard he had found someone and settled down with her anyway.

He was very much a Heartbreaker too though, and that memory and connotation bled into my mental image of the song, together with the game, and turned it into a very emotional musical scar that took several years to heal and scab away. These days, thankfully, the song just reminds me of those old days, without much of the raw emotion in it any longer.

Dreams
Dec 07 2021
  • Snippet: I dreamt that I was in my current 205 unit, at my computer desk, but most of the room was empty. Something was off about the atmosphere though, and suddenly the power flickered and went out. There was a windstorm going on outside, which was making a loud keening noise and rattling my heavy balcony doors. The door held firm, but I jumped up and backed away from the balcony doors and the computer table. The door frame started to ominously glow blue and red, and I tried to step toward the table to grab Tigey and my phone, but it was difficult to move forward, as though there was an invisible wind force blowing me back even though the doors held firm and there was no actual wind in the house.
  • Snippet: I was in class with Allen and Xuanjie, and they had brought out a math worksheet that was apparently due today as they wanted my help. I had completely forgotten that it was due today, and there were twenty questions on the assignment but they had already done the first six. We were seated along a thin rectangular table, with the two of them on one of the long sides and me on the other. Class was going on while we were working on this, and at one point Xuanjie was called on by the teacher to answer a question. He stood up and played it straight, politely asking for the question to be repeated as he was working on other school things.
  • Snippet: I was playing a top-down game, controlling a hero character and guiding a group of catapults that were attacking a keep from one side. The objective for me to win my side of the map was to get my hero -and- one catapult into the keep, and we broke the keep door open pretty quickly. But there was another group of friends attacking the keep from the other side, so when I broke through, I went through (as the hero) alone, leaving my catapults outside to continue shelling the walls while I travesed the keep and helped open the keep door from the other side. I then finally went back to my side and guided the catapults through the door. The first catapult that reached the door triggered an event that I had no idea existed, spawning a friendly adventuring party in the doorway of the keep that helped protect my side.
  • Snippet: I was in a small town with little country roads leading off of it. I don’t remember the context of the dream, just the scene.
  • Snippet: I was trying to help Jon remember the name of a game that he played, where two large round monsters that looked like giant raisins with big smiles on their face, and which had little arms and legs, could fight with each other in a browser-based flash brawler game. Points were awarded at the end of each round and were stylized after square gems of different colours, in some cases the square was split up into four smaller squares, each one with a different colour. He asked me about it and also posted it on /r/tipofmytongue on Reddit, but I had a hunch that it was a Neopets game and went to check it out, and it was indeed correct. The game was called Chomper Chomp or something like that, and I posted it as a reply to his Reddit thread and then, because he was in the same room as me, told him I had found it and posted it. He thanked me for it and I reminded him to mark it as solved afterwards.
  • Snippet: There was a row of work items or files, arranged on something like a curvy conveyor belt that wasn’t moving. Each one had an ID number on it, and I was trying to enter the ID number of an item that was literally right in front of me so that I could unlock and retrieve it, but the system wasn’t accepting the ID number that I was trying to enter. Eventually I figured out that it was because the ID number had a period at the end of the 6 digit number which I had omitted but which was apparently required due to poor programming or cataloguing.
Dec 08 2021
  • I dreamt that I adopted a baby girl, five months old, and took her home with me to my apartment where I live alone. A large part of the dream was spent cradling her in my arms, and feeding her a bottle of milk as I stared down at her and contemplated how beautiful it was to hold a baby in my arms, and what she would look like when she grew up (I could envision a five year old version of her running around the apartment). I believe that there was an RPG element of the dream eventually but I don’t remember the details or how it ties in, I just remember opening the balcony door and going outside and how this involved an overhead map and skills and a quest of some sort.
  • The baby girl didn’t have a name, I actually specifically thought about it and noted that I didn’t see a need to give her a name right then and there. I think I knew on some subconscious level that I wouldn’t be able to keep her, and therefore it would not be the best idea to actually give her a name.
  • In an unrelated snippet much later on, I also dreamt that we rehired Kimberly at work, though for a different role (Editor: This is true as of two days ago) and as part of her re-hiring process, I found myself traversing along porcelain platforms that looked like the flat sides of a standing toilet sink. Dotting the platforms were physical representations of some work settings that I manually toggled in order to give Kim access to our systems and her files yet again.
Dec 09 2021
  • Snippet: I dreamt that our Service Desk team at work was understaffed one day, so Amy called me over the phone and invited me to work with them as a special guest. I agreed, and when I arrived I found that they were working in a bank that day, welcoming and helping guests who came through the door and validating their identities before helping them with whatever issues they might have.
  • Snippet: My Japan study abroad trip was cancelled, and I came to one of the sponsoring teachers or organizers to see if I could use that as leverage somehow to guarantee that my next application attempt the following semester would be successful. Instead, I got roped into helping a team of newbies in a team deathmatch against another opposing team with more experience, where the game involved a large building complex with multiple levels and corridors, and both teams’ home bases being somewhere in the building. Ours was a door off of the middle of some dim corridor. Some of the enemy team came straight for us on their motorcycles and started attacking our base door, but we managed to rally enough troops to fight them off using fire and robots.
  • Snippet: This might or might not be related to the above snippet, but at some point there was also a scene where a professor wanted to use some questions that we had asked him about, as an introductory question for a University class that he was teaching. “We” in this context was me and two of my friends, pre-University age, possibly even with Chimame vibes. He invited us to attend his class in a lecture hall that afternoon, where we’d be formally introduced to the class before he’d present and answer our question in front of everyone.
  • Editor: When I say Chimame, I mean this trio from the Gochiusa anime.
Dec 10 2021
  • Snippet: We had looted a cellphone from a giant spider and brought it home (to our 4012 home), it was a damaged, black mobile phone (pre-smartphone) with a large, round ruby taped to the bottom half of the phone. Mom had Dad duplicate it at some point so that we had a second one. A couple giant spiders attacked us one day and snatched the replica smartphone, then tried to turn it off so we wouldn’t be able to use it or something like that, but when they pressed the buttons on the replica, nothing happened. One of the buttons was an M2 button. I remember saying to one of the spiders jokingly that I ran into a similar situation in Los Angeles where turning off the phone wouldn’t ever work.

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