Merry Christmas to you and yours! Wait, wouldn’t that just be me?
Entry #033 (Dec 26 2021)
Not much happened on the school front this week, except for our University announcing that the first three weeks of the next semester will be online. This doesn’t affect me per se, since my registered class was already online, but it’s interesting how after there was enough freedom for me to take my trip to the States, and the prospect of going abroad to study, it’s now regressed all the way back to online-only classes again. I still think governments are over-reacting, and I hope that this Omicron variant is the beginning of an endgame where COVID will just become an endemic seasonal virus, but we shall see I guess.
I also tried to organize an outing for my small 4-person MLP group because they had expressed interest in going to Glow Edmonton during our last meeting, but when I sent an email after exams, only one of them replied (and she’s leaving for holiday or something on the 29th), and then Omicron hit, as did a terrible streak of weather that will last through the new year. Needless to say, this isn’t happening this year.
Work was also quiet this week, since it’s literally the last week of work before our paid winter break (Dec 25 to Jan 03 inclusive). We’re always let go early on the 24th too, around noon, so I nearly never take that day/week off since technically that’s another free half a day off, and this means I am optimizing the amount of free time I have in my life… なんちゃって. I have the first week of January off though, so I’m not back until the 10th or so. Freedom! Once January rolls around, we will be a slightly reformed, combined team with the team we work closest with, and while I have trepidations about this, it probably won’t be too bad since they’re all relatively good people still. My boss is going to break with all the meetings he’ll need to have, though.
We didn’t have any emergencies this year around Xmas (you laugh, but it’s happened), so as the queue monitor and the most senior member on the team, I just did all the tickets myself on the last two days of work and gave everyone else time to clear out their tickets. They were by and large all straightforward tickets, thankfully.
One of my friends in the Dunman High Whatsapp group that I shared the yearbook link with asked if I would consider uploading them to archive.org as well, which was an interesting idea — I had no idea that archive.org had a yearbook section, but apparently they sort of do, although there aren’t a ton there if that’s the main repository page for them. I’d like to eventually upload them there, and also add my McNally yearbook as well as some of my siblings’ ones, though I don’t think they’ll be too receptive of the latter. I value the importance of archiving and displaying historical events (i.e., things that aren’t relevant to the current day, like current address/phone number, current pictures, current friends/family situations..) before people’s memories fade or they pass away unexpectedly, over the privacy risk that displaying things like that causes, but I don’t think everyone’s quite on the same page about that, especially on the family side.
This week was quiet overall though. I bought some leg protectors for my computer chair to try to mitigate the carpet damage from the chair legs since I sit here so much, and I bought a small hand-held vacuum that comes with a nifty charger stand, but neither of that is particularly interesting.
My baseboards are still loose, and it’s been over two weeks since the bedbug heat treatment event now. Thank goodness it isn’t this week since the temperatures are abysmally cold outside. We apparently set a new record low temperature this Christmas Day too. And what even are these numbers for next week?? Edmonton always gets ridiculously cold like this 2-3 times per winter season. Thank goodness the apartment is super warm! I’ll probably run out of food about halfway through that cold snap and either have to make a trip to the mall and grocery store, or get someone to deliver some stuff, though that would shift the inconvenience (and danger/pain etc) to them. Anyway, both the rental office and the fumigation company seem to have forgotten about my baseboards, so I went down to the rental office this week to talk to them, They talked to the fumigation company, and apparently I’ll have to wait until at least the new year before they can figure out what to do with that. On the bright side, I haven’t seen any bugs yet.. not that I’m really looking hard or anything, mind you.
I also renewed my month-to-month rental lease through February while I was at the rental office. A gut feeling told me that ending it and moving in January (if I’m going to move to another apartment) wasn’t a good idea. I just hope this doesn’t mean I just subscribed to another round of bedbug treatments.
The government finally announced that we could sign up for our 3rd COVID booster shots this week. In addition, pharmacies were being given rapid COVID testing kits that people could claim, once per person every two weeks. I’ve yet to see those kits in stock though. As for the booster shot itself, the pharmacy nearest my house is booked solid through January and the ones further away are too far to walk to and back in the biting cold of winter, so I decided not to get mine yet and hold off until mid-late January at some point. I could have gotten mine as early as Dec 24 otherwise. I don’t really feel an urgency behind this though, especially since I’ll be home through most of these Xmas holidays. Plus the later I get my booster, the later it will last before its effects start to wane.
Finally, it being Christmas this week, I did note that I no longer really feel depressed and/or dislike for the holiday, which is a nice change that’s only taken root over the past 2-3 years or so. Basically after my vaginoplasty surgery. Both Christmas and New Years used to be holidays that really got me down and feeling dark, because it was the time of year that we left Singapore (against my wishes) and because it reminded me of the things I could never get back/become, and the feeling of time slipping by while I was in the wrong body, but those negative feelings have largely dissipated now, thankfully.
The Fall 2021 anime season has just about ended, but I still have an enormous backlog due to the trip that I haven’t fully caught up on, and Steam sales and games are taking priority over that at the moment. That seasonal wrap-up that I like to do, plus next season’s previews, plus all the blogging in the backlog, will eventually get done. Just not this week!
To close off this Life section for the year, and in lieu of Picture of the Week, which I am skipping this week, here’s a pretty picture of my residential area (and a couple Christmas trees) from the evening of December 25th, 2021.
Mood piece for the week, again from Genshin, and it’s actually from the same scene and same character as last week. I suppose I could also have done these for Picture of the Week. But they’re not the same thing.
But the Steam sale rolled around this week, which means outside of doing dailies, Genshin took a back seat this week. I don’t feel much of a pressure to do content in the game, I like it a lot and it’s there when I want to go back to it, but there’s no pressure from the game itself to continue playing it more than a few minutes each day, or else feel like I’m falling behind. I appreciate that.
With that, I purchased a couple other games this week in the Steam sale, and I wanted to give a brief review on each game.
Dyson Sphere Program: I was really interested in this from the epic scope of the game (you start on a planet trying to build factories and manufacturing lines, and eventually work your way up to exploting resources across an entire solar system and then star cluster, to try to harness enough energy to build a dyson sphere around a sun. The game frames it as you being part of a humanity-wide project to advance the human race, and even has a counter for the number of dyson spheres that all players have completed across all games, so that feeling is really cool.
What’s not so cool are a couple quirks with the game. Firstly, the robot character you play as has an energy bar that depletes as he walks around and does stuff, and while there are various ways to re-energize him, it’s annoying. This obviously is something that you unlock upgrades for over time though, I’ve already unlocked several for it, but it takes away from the feeling that I need to explore the planet I’m on, especially since you also get an upgrade early on that shows you what basic ore nodes are “near” you or within your field of vision, which encompasses nearly half the planet. This means that I feel like there’s a lot of downtime, especially early on, where I’m just standing around waiting for things to process or for research to complete.
The other thing that’s annoyed me so far are the conveyor belts and the sorters, which are things that attach conveyor belts to other belts or to certain buildings. Some buildings take conveyor belts as an input or output, but not sorters, and some buildings take sorters as an input or output, but not conveyor belts. This means that half the buildings have conveyor belts that start or end one or two squares away from them, and then a sorter that moves things from the belt to the building, whereas others just have belts going right into them. And if two buildings are side by side and they both accept belts, or both accept sorters, then you can connect them directly that way, but if one accepts a belt and one accepts a sorter, then the buildings have to be slightly further apart than the above case because you need to build a one-square conveyor belt sticking out of the building that only accepts belts, and then a 2-by-1 square sorter that connects it to the other building, and it’s really, aesthetically, dumb.
Also, unlike Satisfactory, where you can just attach splitters to the belt, splitters in DSP are enormous 3×3 structures too that you have to have planned space for and are not just things that you can add on the fly later either. Apparently they can be stacked though, so that’s cool, and I like the vertical building aspect of the game, but I’ve found the early game so far far less inspiring that I had hoped, though not *bad* per se, since I know some epic stuff is coming, just not something that has put this game ahead of all the other games I’ve bought.
Aground: I also bought this game due to its epic scale, as it promised to go from a local “mine blocks and set up your farm” setup to a really grand scale involving other planets and dimensions. I enjoyed exploring the start of the game on my first day but had no idea that it had co-op, so when Satinel pointed this out, she picked up the game and we restarted the game yesterday evening. All I’ll say is that while the very early game took a bit of time to get through, once we unlocked a few things, suddenly the game opened up in many different directions and things “escalated sharply”, as she succinctly put it. We’ve been shot at by pirate ships with guns, raised and flown a dragon, built factories, raided an odd dimension, found some weird rooms and items we had no idea what to do with, and that was all basically in the first night of play. There’s still spaceships, magic, and more to eventually explore. I don’t know whether the game has a long “tail” in terms of how much sprawling content it has, or if we’re about to unlock every last surprise in the first few hours and that’s it, but so far it’s been a pretty great experience in terms of exploration and epicness. I look forward to playing more of this later today.
Eiyu*Senki Gold – A New Conquest: This seems like a cousin of the Fire Emblem style of games in that it’s a strategy JRPG with characters/armies that you recruit, place on tiles on a small combat grid, and proceed to overwhelm the enemy characters with. I opted for this because I liked the look of the art (although there’s apparently adult content as well that I don’t care for), the historical bent of the game as well as Japanese culture stuff that they delve into, and because it was a game that had caught my eye in previous sales as well that I had passed on buying then. The characters are amusing so far, and they’re basically all female versions of important leaders or other famous people of history relating to that place, although reviews say neither the story nor the characterizations are particularly deep, and I don’t like the self-insert male protagonist. But that’s fine, I like the game so far anyway.
The graphics option for the game are fairly terrible though, as it does have a “borderless windowed” mode but it doesn’t actually let you tab out of the game in any meaningful way since it’s also set to always be on top. So you can tab out to things on your other monitor, but everything beneath your current monitor is stuck. Like a lot of amateurish engines, it also defaults to a low resolution, and then when it goes fullscreen, or even borderless fullscreen, all your non-maximized windows in the background are resized.
But it does have a bunch of cities on the world map that you can eventually visit and overpower the rulers of, and I notice that it includes both Singapore and Edmonton. I wonder who I’ll meet there? Hmm. Unrelatedly, I wonder what a female anime-cized version of Tigey would look like? Ahem.
Christmas Tina -泡沫冬景-: Last but not least, this is a visual novel that’s partially translated into English (I think the main story fully is, though a bit wonky, and the side story DLCs are not), but the voiceovers are done in a mix of Chinese and Japanese because the two main characters in the story speak Chinese and Japanese.. and a large part of the plot, at least initially, has them having no clue as to what the other person is saying. But it’s framed as a romance, apparently a really sweet one, and it was Christmas themed as well, both of which added to the reason that I wanted to get it. It’s also set in the late 80s, which is a little nostalgic — they talk about carrying around pagers and using public telephones with phonecards.
But the main reason that I picked up this game is because I felt that I am oddly-positioned to be able to enjoy this game, since I know, to some extent, both Japanese and Chinese, and even without the English translation I would be able to understand over 50% of both. In addition, I like the language aspect of it, so even if I didn’t understand what someone was saying, well.. that’s part of the struggle that the characters were going through. I was also supposed to go to Tokyo, where the two main characters end up, but that has been postponed for two consecutive semesters now and that probably played into the decision a little as well.
Finally, I just plain like games that deal with language barriers and/or picking up new languages. This isn’t the first visual novel I have that deals with this kind of topic — I really, really liked what I played of The Expression Amrilato, though I never did finish it (I should go back to it, though), and I’m looking forward to the release of Koe (声) later this year, which I might well get as well. I like exploring the intersection between languages and culture and understanding, and I suspect this has to do with having one foot in Asia and the other in America in real life, more or less understanding three different languages, and also a couple months that I spent in South Korea in the last decade where I could not speak the language at all (and for one month, could not speak anything at all due to vocal cord surgery) and still had to find ways of communicating. Language is really, really interesting.
Anyway, I’m six chapters into the visual novel right now, but there’s no game aspect to it at all, it’s basically setting the game on auto-advance and sitting back to watch it. It’s one of those visual novels with absolutely no player agency. If not for you having to manually select and load each chapter between chapters, you could probably complete the game from start to end without touching the keyboard or mouse at all once it got going. Oh, and Tina is apparently a cat.
Outside of Steam, I dumped all my other phone games but am slowly working my way through Might and Magic: Era of Chaos right now, which is an obvious money grab from.. I mean a homage to players who liked Heroes of Might and Magic III and the whole 3DO/Erathia franchise, since it features a lot of returning characters and location art and even sound effects from HoMM3. Despite that, and despite a somewhat annoying and unfulfilling gacha system, it’s not bad, and I can see myself playing it at least through the next week. Apparently it’s been around for a while, since the game has been pushing 2nd Anniversary splash screens into my face whenever it loads up, but I hadn’t heard of it before.
The last note in this section is that Anime Music Quiz, our daily browser game that does exactly what the name suggests, implemented daily quests last week, and added bonus rewards this week for the Christmas to New Year’s final week of the year that give out bonus gacha tickets for guessing a certain number of songs from shows with a certain theme or criteria in your games. The nice thing is that these quests are given daily, but last for an entire week, so there’s no big pressure to do them all at once each day, so we’ve been largely able to play at the pace of our normal games anyway, but with an additional injection of interest in the variety of shows that we add to our list (since we use custom-curated lists of shows that we want to appear, instead of our full watched anime lists) and the rewards we get from it. It’s spiced things up and got people excited to play, which is always nice, but since the daily quest is a feature that is going to be here permanently, I hope they don’t ever feel like they’re overstaying their welcome and turn into a negative aspect of the game for others.
Plushie of the Week #31
My next stop after San Francisco on the USA road trip I took last month was New Orleans, and after spending several days exploring around this city alone and/or with Jahandar, this plushie was chosen in the end to be the New Orleans representative for my plushie army. I was quite taken by this large pony from Mary Meyer, although he was a challenge to bring back home, I had to squish him flat in my backpack next to Stacey the Stingray as they were my two biggest plushies from the trip by far.
I have him written down in my notes as “Mary Meyer Colorful Pony”, which must have been what was on the receipt, even though that isn’t reflected on his tags that you can see below — he’s apparently named FabFuzz Calliope Pony. That’s one heck of a mouthful though, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to shorten it to FabFuzz, Calliope, Pony, or something else.
This plushie seems to have the unique capability to both adopt a standing up (on all fours) and sitting down (on two legs and butt) pose without toppling over, which is nice, but his mane also seems to have the supernatural activity to attract specks of dirt from the other plushies to himself, which is a bit annoying. Still, he IS fabulous, and the spots on his side remind me of some ice cream flavour or other. His birthday is Nov 15 2021, and he cost $30.71 after tax. He was purchased from Little Toy Shop on Decatur Street, so he probably came with a little bit of a markup in price as well, but not too much. He is one of six plushies I have (at least from research so far) that cost over $30 USD after shipping and taxes, though none of them cost over $37, so they’re all not that far apart in price.
Here is what he looks like from the front, seated down:
Side, and main tag:
Other side, standing up:
Song of the Week #8
Title: An Everlasting Love
Artist: Andy Gibb
Album: Shadow Dancing (1978)
I don’t think this song is particularly well known, but this song is one of my most beloved songs that has never hit #1 in my English songs list. It’s consistently hung around in my top 5 or top 10 though, and it evokes a whole host of memories for me that transcend my entire Singapore childhood experience. It’s sung by Andy Gibb, the younger brother of the Bee Gees trio who was never actually part of the band, and according to Wikipedia the title of this song is actually engraved on his tombstone after he passed away at the age of 30.
For me, my memories of this song include being a child in our various homes (the three that I remember anyway) in the 15 years that we lived in Singapore, in particular to my father occasionally playing his vast collection of CDs, tapes, and vinyl records on his stereo setup on a warm Sunday afternoon, while I sat on the equally warm and sticky marble floor, or at the kitchen table doing my homework. If there is one song that reminds me of my Dad more than any other, it’s this song. There’s a whole host of oldies and such that predate my existence by years but that got drummed into me due to a combination of Dad playing the music and our family often (though not exclusively) listening to oldies radio stations back in Singapore, and as I’ve grown up over time, many of them have climbed my favourites list due to being tinged with nostalgia, but this is definitely one of the ones that has always hung up in the upper echelons of my favourite songs list.
Besides that, this song also reminds me of my schools in Singapore, although not so much my Dunman High (junior/secondary) School as my second primary (elementary) School, Rosyth School. In particular, it reminds me of my Primary 5/Grade 5 class, a second-floor classroom set in an old, two-storey building next to but separate from the actual main school building, which was a really interesting building with a storeroom full of junk that we would occasionally explore after school. It also reminds me of my best friend at the time, Gee Yong, whom I met in Rosyth, and how my parents eventually moved us to a house that was near-ish him in the Tampines neighbourhood/residential town even though we went to different secondary schools in Grade 7, since he didn’t continue down the Gifted Education Programme path that I was in. We still visited each other occasionally and hung out through the years though, and this song reminds me of walking to his apartment block.
While it doesn’t evoke many memories of my beloved secondary school, Dunman High, it also does still tie into a few memories there, particularly around Huihan, since we were briefly formally (and very innocently, since I was really awkward, we mostly hung out and chatted) seeing each other before I left the country. We never officially “broke up” or anything other than let time put a twenty-year barrier between us before we made contact with each other again, so the song took on a context of “maybe we’ll see each other again” in the first couple years that I was in Canada.
I had mentioned two weeks ago that there were two songs tied to games that had nothing to do with the actual game. I apparently misspoke, as this is actually not the other song I had in mind when I said that, but this does have strong memories of games and books as well. In particular, for me, this is linked to the Fabled Lands series of gamebooks that I and my siblings played a lot when younger, and that we consider the best gamebook series there is. There’s even a Steam version now that I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts. It also has strong links to the Might and Magic VI computer game that was my and my siblings’ first ever RPG computer game, one that has an interesting backstory in and of itself (see my Games writeup page or the eventual Shrine of Memories that it will be integrated into), and one that we’ve replayed and re-beaten many, many times.
Lastly, and this is an odd one, but it also evokes the memory of my Grade 12 English teacher in McNally High School, Mrs. Karen Douziech (local). She always wore a particular perfume that I can’t describe but I can always remember the scent of for some reason, and occasionally I’ll catch a whiff of the perfume from someone else wearing it and remember her. She was one of my favourite, if not my favourite, English Literature teachers that I’ve ever had, and is a big reason why I fell in love with literature and symbolism and analysis. I remember her encouragement and kindness clear as day, and she changed my perspective on how fun literature is. Without her, I might never have done some of my more epic anime writing projects, for example, like these Chihayafuru analysis ones, because they all can be traced back to the sort of analytical processes and the weaving together of literary threads and connections that she taught me to see and love, and more importantly, not be afraid to point out even if I think I might be over-interpreting it.
So this song, for some inexplicable reason, also got tied up with her perfume and my mental image of her. It’s one of the few songs, I believe possibly even the only one (but I’m not going to guarantee that) I have, that actually is linked to a smell too, among many other memories. Nonetheless, it’s been an extremely important and memorable song in my life and I know the lyrics so well that I’ve been able to sing it end to end ever since before we moved to Canada.
After last week, this week was a complete reversal, I had tons of dreams, and even one long, 4-dream-segment night on Dec 20 2021, which ties my record (May 29 2021, Oct 17 2021). That night had many, many snippets, I was in a weird half-asleep-not-asleep state for a couple hours and kept floating off into a fevered dream while semi-awake, then waking up just enough to write it all down. My dream notebook was 7 pages long that night!
Dec 20 2021
- I was staying in a ground floor apartment with my parents and siblings, with slate windows that reminded me of Yi Yi’s house or my Dunman High classrooms.
- One day, my two siblings and I left my parents house to go out on an expedition on our day off. But I saw a small rat in the carpark outside the house, next to a parked car, about twenty feet or so from the front door of the apartment.
- Kellie insisted we stop as she wanted to wash the place. She used a hose to hose down the area, and even lifted the flagstones covering the drain that ran by the carpark in order to make sure everything underneath was washed clean as well, in an attempt to protect the home from pests.
- She was dressed in a maid outfit that was apparently from one of the One Piece anime movies, and so she drew a lot of attention while she was cleaning up the place from passersby who then wanted to spend some time with her or take pictures with her. She ran back into the house afterwards and got changed though, and then ran out again to meet Jon and I.
- The three of us ran away from the clamouring passersby, toward the wilderness and hills to the south of the city/neighbourhood, where we figured we would be able to lose the pursuers. We were going to explore a certain mine anyway, so we headed there, noting how it seemed deserted and safe.
- I realized though that the mine was the -only- point of interest for miles in this direction, so if the pursuers had any sort of interest in continuing the chase, they would be at least checking the mine here. I turned around to tell Jon and Kellie this and found out that they had already come to the same conclusion, and had found a trapdoor in the ground leading to an underground mineshaft area, and Jon called me to quickly come down the trapdoor so they could close it, while Kellie hushed him and told him to lower his voice because we could see torchlights outside and approaching by now. I entered the trapdoor and we proceeded to lose them in the mines.
- Snippet: Somewhere in this dream, there was a book with a Japanese name called Watashi Iu no Germany. It had 82 chapters in its story. I don’t remember the context of the book or why it was important though.
- Editor: I know nothing about One Piece, but I’m guessing it doesn’t have maids in the movies. That book title also makes no actual grammatical sense, but that’s dream logic for you.
- This was a surreal dream with many parts that didn’t really make sense. It largely took place in an unfamiliar school where I, and many of my friends from Dunman High, were in our Secondary 3 (Grade 9) year together with other classes. Our class specifically was the 3L class, and class names ran from 3A to 3M.
- There was a moving phase and an assembly phase to the first part of the dream, and the moving phase involved a bunch of us finding our new class seating position in the main assembly hall in preparation for the assembly phase. Since we were third years now (out of 4 total years in the school), we were considered seniors, and our class was located in a section in the back right side of the assembly hall, where 3F to 3M sat.
- But we were confused as to which table to use initially. If we started counting tables with 3F as the first table, we would end up at the 3K table instead of the 3L table, and this was only finally resolved when we noticed that there was no 3I class listed at all, and the table labels went right from 3H to 3J. The H and K tables were also very small, whereas the M class had one extra table at the end, and had also already partly occupied our L table.
- In the end we decided that the labels didn’t really matter, but the positions did, so we asked the 3M class to move the tables they were using closer into the corner, and we took the 3K table and moved it to where the L table was. We accidentally bumped into the 3M table at first and the perosn sitting there got a bit grumpy over that, but we pointed out that that was originally our table anyway, as we scooted back out a bit, and they were then fine with it. We moved the tables so that the H and K class could move in other tables to use them once they arrived.
- Some fierce teacher that was overseeing the assembly was watching our interactions and decision-making from halfway across the hall, and he almost smiled when he saw how well we were resolving the situation.
- The area was very cramped, and once we were all settled in, there wasn’t really even enough space to move around much. However, the table in front of me (and the person next to me) was piled high with a wall of plushies, taller than my head while seated.
- I asked my partner if she had done this, and then mentioned that it was okay if we brought them out during moving phase, but they couldn’t be out like this during assembly phase since it blocked us and others behind us. I used my hand to take down the wall, swiping the plushies toward me so they ended up in a pile over my and my partner’s laps and the bench we were sitting on.
- The assembly itself had something to do with Aikatsu!, apparently, but I don’t know what. I don’t remember a concert.
- Snippet: There was something about taking pictures of the moving phase, and something about books at one point that were replaced by old, dusty tome that no one wanted to study from. We instead went to disturb the goose from Untitled Goose Game in order to get back our regular books.
- Snippet: There was also something about a game in which I/we scored 791 points, and it involved changing my party elemental attunement to lightning and passing elements either between party members or to someone else.
- This dream then got odd, as we acquired a camera-like device that let us switch phase between moving phase and assembly phase, and this summoned several more snippets that might have served as alternate stories somewhere in the timeline of the dream.
- Snippet: A friend did a review of a flowering ball or something like that, posted it online, and then forgot to turn off something to do with the camera that caused the review to bleed into the past couple decades or something. This caused a lineup of people in person and online that wanted to speak to her and interview her about the review, and she did it once she finally grounded the camera so it wasn’t causing the review to get blasted out everywhere.
- Snippet: There were a couple replays of the 3L/3M table scene, with one of them involved us giving them more room, and then they were trying to slow or pause time to catch some of their furniture in some sort of stylized falling scene to create more room for them somehow, but we had already unpaused time using our camera so that didn’t really work out for them.
- Snippet: In another version of the scene, the tables were not labelled at all, but we figured out what was going on and specifically which tables were ours by looking at the falling sakura petals that were drifting down upon each table, as we knew what our sakura petals looked like somehow. They were purple and glowy, but they were only visible when an RPG skill of some sort was used on the tables while they were located above a waterfall.
- Snippet: In another version, we were outside the assembly room and walking toward the school on a path that looked like a conveyor belt track, except it wasn’t actually moving. A bunch of external students were walking by, and I noticed Gillian dressed up in a brown Japanese-style sailor uniform with a large scarf walking in the other direction from us. She didn’t seem to notice us.
- Snippet: I don’t remember the context, but the dream contained a tall and narrow cardboard box at some point that was suitable for one short person to hide inside of, that we could then conceal from someone else, and we made use of this.
- Snippet: There was a television show airing a commercial called Anyone Can Cook that I watched for a bit.
- The dream then transitioned to a slightly longer scene in a classroom. I was a short, young girl dressed in a dark, long-sleeved female blazer overtop of my usual blouse and was up front at the chalkboard solving some math question on the board that the teacher had asked me to do.
- I got the answer correct, and returned to my seat in the front row of the classroom, next to a girl with black hair and a hime haircut in a wheelchair that I was partnering with and taking care of around the school/between classes.
- After class, the scene shifted to a grassy hill on top of a waterfall, and another friend was asking me why I didn’t tell everyone about my other friend’s disability as everyone could have chipped in to help look out for her. I said that I didn’t want to violate her privacy by doing so but thanks for caring.
- Also, my character was also very easily distracted by bubbles.
- There were also three RPG character skills that belonged to the entire class, but only one of them was usable by me and my wheelchair friend. The skills had the exact same name so they were difficult to tell apart, but we figured out which ones by casting them all at the same time and looking at the sakura petals that each one generated again, as the skill we needed had a slightly different pattern from the other two.
- There was something about some quests that we failed but could reset again by speaking to the original questgiver NPC. I got an overhead view of the map we were on and saw a large rectangular piece of land, with the vertical borders about twice as long as the horizontal ones, with a pond in the middle taking up most of the space, and with land surrounding the pond that we could walk upon. Me, my wheelchaired friend, and the questgiver were all located on that map.
- I also saw the date, and saw that some quest event had passed on Nov 13 and Nov 15, but that “today” in the dream was Nov 17th and thus it was time to try the quest again.
- Finally, there was a snippet that had to do with some original CDs, and a picture of the non-disabled friend standing over a thin brook atop a hill or mountain, one leg on each side of the narrow stream.
- Eralain was working as a bank teller in a bank late at night, with a bunch of people from our Zomg Discord as well as other strangers hanging around the bank. She was the only teller working there and was visibly tired as she dealt with each customer one by one.
- I was there seated to one side, not actually in line, watching the bank TV and other customers while waiting for her.
- Jah was there in the queue with a question about money inheritance from a relative who had recently passed away. He had a bunch of papers with him.
- Nak was also there in the queue, behind Jah, and I think he was dressed up in a Victorian-esque gentleman disguise, although we could all tell who he was. He was actually a bank security auditor, and he was here to test Eralain! I told everyone not to alert Eralain as to Nak‘s identity as she needed to pass this test on her own when Nak got to the front of the line. We weren’t even sure if she would recognize him due to how tired she was.
- Eralain also had a helper assistant NPC but she was mostly useless, though she engaged the people in line to give them brochures and ask them if their query was something that they could handle at a nearby ATM in the same branch instead.
- The test involved Nak cooking up a scenario about a brother working in the mines somewhere else and money that he had to transfer to him. There were several holes in the story but Nak tried to persuade her to allow the money transfer through anyway. She refused and was about to hit the panic button when Nak pressed a button on his cane, which caused his disguise to shimmer and disappear, displaying proof that he was actually an official auditor instead. Eralain had passed the test! Everyone was really proud of her for not caving in despite being tired.
- I noticed that the line on the floor that people were queueing up at was actually a physical line with hit points that was attackable, and would cost 7 purple diamonds to repair afterwards. I only had 3 purple diamonds on me, though.
- Outside the bank, there was a carnival going on, and I was controlling a large dinosaur that was giving people rides around the carnival along a set path, and then over a bed of sand that led to a finish line. The first ride garnered a lot of attention and interest, and the crowd really enjoyed watching this, though no one realized that it was actually a real dinosaur that I was controlling and not a robot.
- For the second round of the ride, I had the dinosaur hop across the sand on tiptoes to the finish line once it reached the sand bed. The crowd seemed to really love this as well.
- There was also a subplot where I saw a carnival roster with three siblings on it, Michael Easel, Suzanne Easel, and a brother that they were trying to find. One of the people they met was a witch trapped in an interdimensional space who could invite people in to meet her, but who could not leave the place herself, as she had a Lost status on her character.
- She invited the two siblings in and they argued with her a bit, calling it a waste of time as their brother wasn’t there, but she pointed out that she had her own issues she was trying to solve and it’s not like she forced them to come in to talk to her. They talked things through though, became friends, and got a second invitation back, and ended up trying to both find their brother and find someone to help the witch at the same time.
Dec 21 2021
- I don’t remember the dream particularly well but it involved several characters/classes that could summon a different-coloured version of some kind of trophy or artifact, possibly a cup or flower, but only I could summon a copy that could actually be improved/enhanced by everyone. I remember some tension between me and some of the other characters/groups though.
- I also remember at one point noticing that I was still on several old email lists run by Dunman High, my old junior high, in particular being on a hallway@ email address that hadn’t been used for years but was used in the past for prefectorial disciplinary discussion about how to handle people running in the hallways of the school.
Dec 23 2021
- In the first part of the dream, I and a couple friends were searching for a good spot to see the sunrise from. Basically we were looking for tall places near our house that faced east.
- I had previously explored the area with my younger sister and brother, in a scene that had us walk through the top few levels of a building that sort of looked like a HDB flat, and we even entered someone’s apartment at some point because the door was open, I think.
- I had also previously left the family house to do some solo exploring at 4am in a nearby forest, and this took me to the edge of a cliff where I set a small campfire, but while that was a nice view, that wasn’t facing east so it didn’t help.
- I mentioned those two instances when I was trying to join up with my friends who were also searching for a sunrise, and they let me join their group. I think I ended up with two people who were romantically involved with each other but also were largely in touch through their phones and used to play MMOs together.
- I asked them if they had Discord, Line, Whatsapp, or something like that, so that we could share news to everyone else at once if we were all separately searching, and they eventually brought up some sort of stripped down and un-updated web chat that they had used in the past that the guy ran on his personal server. We tried it and it worked, but pictures uploaded to it had to be done by entering in an IP address where the picture was stored, and when the girl tried it, it kept on picking wrong photos and uploading embarrassing pictures of her exercising and stuff like that.
- I also got to chatting with her and she said she was from near LA and showed me pictures of some Japanese shopping mall that I had not been to that looked like a market set in a large, pink room. She called that a bookstore, but I told her about the actual Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, except I think in the dream it started with Kigum.. and I literally told her to Google up the rest of the name since I forgot how to spell it. I said it sold a ton of current anime and manga stuff, and she seemed interested in it. She wasn’t sure if there was one near her, but I assured her that there was one in LA, SF, and SJ, and I had visited all three of them during my tour of the USA.
- Editor: I did actually visit this bookstore in all three cities during my tour of the States.
- Later on, there was a scene about an acting troupe, which was putting on a show for an audience in a small, enclosed room. The performance was done to some recorded music but there was a clear rift between the old guard, who wanted to put on the same show as they always had, and the new guard, which had proposed some new timings and had been trying to get everyone to rehearse the dance. The old guard followed reluctantly but rolled their eyes a lot and did not try their best and/or would mess up timings on purpose even in practice, and the actual performance was a flub due to that too.
- The manager of the troupe called a halt to the performance about halfway through and summoned all the new guard outside of the door, where the old guard assumed they were going to be given a scolding for trying to push the new performance agenda. The most outspoken person from the old guard tried to talk up the audience, telling them about the rift and how it was bad, when the manager came back in and said that she actually really liked what the new guard was trying to do and had brought them outside to praise them.
- She then did a post-mortem for the old guard members of the troupe, going around one by one and calling people out and talking to them about their shortcomings. One old balding guy kept missing his timing because he didn’t practice properly, one woman was (just like herself, the troupe manager said!) introverted and anti-social so she didn’t try making friends with the new guard, etc. The outspoken member of the old guard said something prideful and walked out of the troupe in embarrassment before it was his turn though.
- The troupe manager then said that even though she was part of the old guard now, she would never have made it where she was if the previous old guard had refused to change and adapt when she was a newbie to the troupe, as she would have forever been stuck as a newbie, dancing to their song. Therefore she was glad that the new guard now was bringing winds of change to the troupe again.
- There was a new member of the troupe being hired, and she got her email address from someone who guessed at it, and emailed her two cushions as a welcome. I noticed that the email address was actually wrong though, it belonged to someone else on campus with the same first name and no one realized that until I pointed it out, but by then it was too late to undo the email. As this was a club, I wasn’t sure if the people at work would help them undo the email by deleting it/bouncing it back from the mail server, but I decided that I would ask when I went in to work the next day.
- Snippet: At some point, there was an ASMR short airing on TV, which involved a square white towel, made wet and then wrung up into a roll, floating around and bouncing off the edges of the screen. It would make noises as it un-wrung and re-wrung itself, and came in three modes, soft mode for when sleeping, loud mode for when awake, and alarm mode for waking up in the morning. The show had a short ending song, and I noted to someone nearby that it was in AMQ.
- Snippet: Also on TV were a bunch of soccer match scores at some point. Manchester United lost 3-1 to some team in a European tournament whose name started with D and was 9 characters long, while Manchester City won 6-3 on the back of some player’s hat trick, to keep their slim lead at the top of the English Premier League. There was a promiment player in a powder blue shirt who was famous for pulling his shirt up over his head and running around when he scored a goal, and his name was Jay Jai Tai or something. He was asked by an interviewer if he was aware of a cartoon character named Jay Jaitai or JJT that also did the same thing and was obviously modeled after him. He said he was aware of the parody character and said that there was a limit as to how much they could use his caricature.
Dec 24 2021
- Snippet: I had ties to three or four mafia, dressed in purple suits, and trying to hammer out some deal on the abandoned top level of a tall shopping center building. They asked me to intercept two milk-delivering police officers on the floor just below the top level, which was a public section of the mall. I did so by engaging them in conversation and then inviting them to lunch, which kept them around for an hour or so longer, but eventually they said they needed to go check out/patrol the top level anyway and I ran out of excuses to stop them. I was hoping that this would be enough time for the mafia to finish their deal, but they were still there, and a gunfight ensued, during which both police officers were killed. There was one incriminating text on a phone that was broken and left on that top level, in which either the mafia or the police (I forget which) had clearly texted me, but I pre-emptively headed that problem off by openly stating right away that I had contact with whoever that was the day before for some other unrelated reason.
- Snippet: I was playing a first-person MMO with a girl friend, and the two of us were trying out different musical instruments which, when played, would cause damage to some giant (but still relatively tiny) ants on the ground that we were fighting. There were drums, a sort of digital saxophone, and more. The saxophone didn’t seem to do anything to the ants, though.
- Snippet: I remember at one point being in the front computer hall of our old 4012 house, except that room was the 12th floor of an apartment block, and I had a button I could press to make the entire block “stand up” on two legs, which effectively raised my room to the 24th floor or so. This had some element of danger to it because it was so high, but it wasn’t particularly threatening, and I needed to do it for some reason that escapes me.
Dec 25 2021
- In one segment of the dream, I was in school with some friends and one of the things we did in school was learning how to smelt ores. There was a large open-walled canteen area with machines, several machines were used for various stages of iron ore smelting, where you put the ores in as well as some coal, and eventually would get out a small, purified lump of ore that you would wrap up together with a similar-sized lump of coal using some sort of special oil paper, and then you would leave the two lumps to one side to cool before you could use it.
- There were other machines as well, one was a big cuboid machine with a front door that swung open, this was a machine used to actually create the coal or whatever other fuel was used, and I spent some time on this to learn how to do it after using the ore machine a bunch and deciding that I was well enough versed in how that part of the smelting process worked.
- There were also arcade machines, specifically slot machines, that you had to pull and get a good score on to get some resource or other, this was apparently the very first step in the ore smelting process.
- Something that was ordered from a bookshop was also part of this process somehow, and at one point either our shipments got delayed or they were missing some sort of quality confirmation that one of our teachers/parents had to call in to get.
- Lastly, there was some sort of game featuring a grid map with an overhead view, and a dragon flying overhead, that you had to play to gather the iron ore itself.
- This whole process was considered “fun”, and at one point during some sort of study session with friends, I finished my homework early and wandered off to the smelting area to get in some additional smelting, though it felt like I would get in some sort of trouble with the teachers or parents for spending so much time here.
- In a later part of the dream, I was at home, lying on the floor on some carpet in a family home that I did not recognize. Mom and Dad were seated on couches watching TV, while I not much larger than a baby, and was on the floor playing with our two cats. Specifically, I picked up one of the cats, a grey one, and hugged her close to my chest like a bolster. She was about as long as my entire body, and didn’t resist at all as I felt her fur and rubbed my hands up and down her back.
- Eventually I needed to go, so I placed her down on my bed next to my pillow, where she turned into a little Tigey that could still move, with his head touching the bottom part of my pillow. I placed my baby bolster over him to comfort him, with the top of the bolster on the pillow and the bottom on the bed so it made a kind of diagonal shelter for Tigey to nest in. I then left the room and went to do whatever I needed to do.
- On the way out, I noticed that one of the metallic heating vents in the floor had been taken out for some reason, leaving a rectangular hole in the floor, and Mom and Dad were liable to step into it on their way from the couches to the kitchen if they weren’t careful. I went over to put the heating vent back in.