My Diary #035

Dear Tigey,

It’s a brand new year with the same old problems. And what is the biggest problem of all? Time.

Entry #035 (Jan 09 2022)

Table of Contents

Still freezing my…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #33
ට  Song of the Week #10
ට  Dreams

School

School started up this week. I’m taking one class this semester to avoid losing my student status (which I think will disqualify me from my ongoing go-abroad applications). As mentioned a few diary entries ago, the class is EASIA 441 – a 4th year East Asian Studies course, my 2nd of two that I need for my degree. EASIA 441 is “Topics in Japanese Literary History”, and whenever the course is offered, the exact subject usually changes depending on the instructor’s interests, and it’s one of the courses where it can be taken multiple times if needed as long as the actual topic is different. My other 4th year class that I took two years ago was RELIG 442 — Advanced Studies in Buddhism: Visual and Material Culture in East Asia, and it was really fun. And it cross-counted for East Asian Studies degree credit, despite being a Religion course. Despite that course, I’m not really interested currently in art history being a focus of mine though, as I’m more interested in food and literature and architectural history, so this one seemed more up my alley.

Yet, all I knew about this class right up until the start of the class was the single word “Haiku”… the class outline wasn’t released as it wasn’t done, and even now a couple days later we only still have a partial outline, with the topics but not the actual assigned readings for all the weeks yet. Instructor’s still working on it.

This EASIA 441 class seems lighter than my RELIG 442 overall though. I only have one 8 page final paper to write instead of a final paper and a midterm one, both 8 pages long, which is what RELIG 442 had. I also only have one class presentation to do on the weekly material, instead of two, and they’re 10 minute presentations, instead of an hour long, which is what the other course did. Finally, RELIG 442 had weekly reflection pieces to write on top of everything else, which this class doesn’t. All in all, I consider this a fun and not too heavy class and am looking forward to it.

However, it turns out that my presentation is on the second week — Jan 12 2022, There are two people presenting on the assigned readings per week, so I’m one of the two people doing the first round of presentations. I’m actually happy for this though, as it means I can get mine over with and I will be somewhat free the rest of the semester. My specific reading is also a bit unique, I think, in that it’s an analysis of a short, but complex, two-page treatise on poetry written by someone in 1222 AD, instead of an excerpt from an essay or book that everyone else is doing.

The professor did warn that this was a more challenging one, so I guess no one else wanted it — she asked us to submit choices for what we wanted to do and she would assign them out as needed, and I said I’d take the earliest one that no one else wanted, but was flexible, since this was my only class this semester. People probably also avoided these first week’s two presentations since the prep times for these two are truncated (I only found out on Friday that I was going to do the presentation next Wednesday). This should actually be advantageous for me though since I enjoy analysis of source material more than analysis of someone else’s analysis, and have done similar writeups with that Chihayafuru project I’ve talked about before, plus I have my experience from RELIG 442 under my belt as well. I just have to go heads-down this weekend and get that out of the way and the rest of the semester should be somewhat smooth sailing.

The other thing that also absolutely has to get done this upcoming week, and sooner rather than later, is my Fall 2021 study abroad application. This time, I am going to see if it is possible for me to apply for Singapore (Natiional University of Singapore) as my first choice, and then Japan (Sophia University) for the third time as my second choice. Singapore actually has two universities offering exchange programs with the University of Alberta — the other one is Nanyang Technological University, but I don’t think they offer courses that I actually want to take so I wouldn’t be picking them over Sophia anyway (plus they are not holding exchanges in 2022-2023 according to the UAlberta website — and the NTU exchange student website itself seems to be down.)

The deadline for this application is Jan 26 2022, but this will probably involve my coordinator helping me get in touch with his counterparts over in NUS to find out if I’m even eligible for this exchange due to my weird GPA history, and if I’m not then I need to know with enough time to pivot back to Sophia, so I pretty much have to finish my UAlberta initial application of interest by the end of this upcoming week, if not earlier.

Lastly, the second half of my MLP program is rolling around now after the winter break, and this picks up next week on Monday (pod meeting) and Thursday (all-participants meeting), so next week will be really busy school-wise! It then lightens up for the rest of the semester though.

Work

I took this entire first week off of work, because I wanted the extended break, and I wanted the extended part to be after the Christmas-to-New-Years (paid!) break that our entire University gets off, instead of before. This made for a nice 17 day holiday, and allowed me to get started on school as well before work rolled around.

It was really difficult not commenting on some of the questions I saw on our work group chats though. Also, it seems that I won’t be getting back queue monitor duties to start, which is probably a good thing, since I need the time to work on school stuff for now anyway. My boss says the ticket volume doesn’t seem as high as he expected right now.

I also, at some point in the next couple months, have to claim my Personal Spending Account money from last year. This is due March 31st of this year for expenses made last year. It’s firmly lodged behind several other things on the to-do list though.

Life

It was still really cold this week, we’re on the tail end of a historic cold snap, the coldest in 50 years (local) according to the news. So I didn’t step outside this week at all, except to toss garbage bags away. Next week from Monday onwards it warms up though. As this was my last week of time off before school, I continued to indulge in playing Steam games as well as catching up on last season’s anime shows that I missed while in the USA, plus starting on the seasonals from this season, Winter 2022, whose shows started premiering late this week.

I called my rental office this week to inquire about my baseboards, to find out that (as I figured) they had forgotten about me again over the Christmas break. They called the pest company to confirm that despite what the company originally said, they wouldn’t actually be coming by again for another inspection as long as I didn’t see any bugs, and the rental company then told me they’d send someone by next Friday to nail the boards back in. I haven’t seen any bedbugs since, or any crawling bugs of any sort even, but there have been a couple flies buzzing around that have likely come in through the holes in the baseboards, so hopefully those will be patched up by next Friday, and I can start considering moving my boxes back to the way they were before the heat treatment.

I’ve been considering taking music lessons for a couple years now, and had even seriously looked at a koto (the Japanese instrument) before backing away from that due to uncertainty about where I’d be staying in the future and the price and bulk of the instrument, but the new year rolling around has made me consider music again and wondering if I should pick up a more manageable (size and price wise) instrument to fiddle around with now that my exchange program has been pushed back yet again (and possibly for more than just one semester depending on how Omicron goes). I’m thinking some traditional Chinese or Japanese instrument, or a synth or keyboard. And even if I won’t have as high a proficiency as if I were practicing it since childhood, I think it will push my appreciation of music even further and also help give me a foundation for music that will come in use in my next life. We’ll see, though. The last time I had these thoughts I settled on doing nothing in the end.

I haven’t booked my booster shot yet, but it’s still on my mind. I should book it soon because there’s probably a waiting period anyway before I can get it, but I haven’t yet. I did try looking for N95/KN95 masks because all I have are a couple reusable cloth ones and a couple basic blue and white disposable ones, but finding them on Amazon or other online retailers for non-ridiculous prices seems to not be straightforward, so I didn’t pick up any.

On Friday, I stayed up really late (till about 3-4 am in the morning) to watch the annual karuta Queen and Meijin games, basically the karuta championship match where last year’s incumbent karuta champion plays against the person who won the qualifying playoffs last year to decide who gets to keep the title of Queen (female) or Meijin/Master (male) for the upcoming calendar year. These are best of 5 matches, and I very much like watching them. I’ve watched them for the past two years, ever since watching and doing all my writing about the Chihayafuru anime, which itself is based on this card game/sport, karuta. There were some really exciting games this year on the men’s side that came down to the absolute wire, but I was dead tired at the end of it all and still couldn’t sleep for some time due to the adrenaline, which is why I barely had any dreams to show on Saturday.

Besides that, this is just a short (by my standards) diary entry this week because I have a bunch of school stuff to do this weekend. See you next week!

Games

In the mess of Steam games over the past couple weeks, phone games have largely taken a back seat. I got annoyed at Era of Chaos for having too many different clickable rewards and treadmills, and in-game notification dots that are designed to just never go away, so I dropped it. I’ve dabbled around in a few new games anyway, Thrandor started playing Call of Antia and asked people to join him for a mutual referral bonus, and I like match 3 games so I checked it out, but apparently I had already played it before at some point in the past, and I remember (And reaffirmed) the story being absolute, insulting trash and the game being a watered down version of better games like Marvel Puzzle Quest, so I didn’t stick around with it then and didn’t again this time. Plus it wouldn’t let me do a referral code since my account already existed.

What actually took the cake for terrible games though, was a Chinese game (with English translation) called Trading Legend. Despite being interested in Chinese lore and despite it having a decent English translation, the game is very.. I’m not even sure how to describe it. I played it for a few days to see how bad it could get, but I still had no idea what I was doing or where the actual game was after three or four hours of play. It’s kind of an idle game, but not, and the game very quickly married me off to someone who confronted an evil taxpayer or something who was threatening me. My hero husband dropped one or two lines of text to chase him off, and then proceeded to propose to me. And what passes for the “main story quest” seems to be some sort of repetitive level where I’m riding a donkey down the one single really long road that leads through the town market for a couple minutes, picking up tons of money along the way, and eventually reaching a boss lord in a carriage that blocks my way, but there aren’t actually any statistics that I can see or upgrade, or any kind of option I can select, I just automatically win because I earn more money per second than him. And my retainers fight with other retainers by comparing how much money they earn per second, that’s their combat stat which they then use against NPC housing owners to kick them out and help me exchange my current house for their better one. And apparently I have a kid who is my heir now, and I’m slowly buying over/rebuilding a town or neighbourhood for myself despite all the rich people who supposedly live in town too. It’s really confusing and I was really amused with how bad and nonsensical it was. It’s so bad that it kept me amused for some time. Also look at this goat.

Anyway, talking about Chinese games, I indulged myself by picking up one last game from the Steam sale before it ended, Tale of Immortal. It plays sort of like a mix of.. A Valley Without Wind and Mount and Blade, on a really large grid map, with a board game sort of feel — you’re a Special Person in a sea of other Special People, you take your turn of 30 or so days (1 month) all at once before everyone else in the world moves their 30 days, and you have to find and collect rare upgrade items to upgrade and cultivate your way through the enlightenment ranks to try to become immortal and beyond. While movement is turn-based on the gridded world map, combat is like a top-down Action RPG, done on a small randomly generated field of a few rooms, with various bosses you have to kill and such. It’s a weird and interesting mix.

Besides that, I cycled through a bunch of other recently-bought games that I had already previously started playing. Jahandar also streamed Dead Cells this week and we had fun hanging out in Twitch chat with him, and taking turns taking over the chicken character in the game and accompanying him on his journey. More games should have Twitch integration.

I also tried out/started playing Bitburner, a free idle progression incremental game with a programming/hacking sort of theme. And an API you can do coding with, if you know some basic programming. And unix filesystem commands and stuff. Pretty neat so far, and there are a lot of example scripts available so far, and it’s already given me a few ideas for thing that I’d like to incorporate into my future theoretical cyberpunk slice of life story game.

Plushie of the Week #33 – Jinbe-san and Jinbei-san

My sister really, really loves Jinbe-san (sometimes Jinbee-san, but with no ‘i’), a whale character from Sanrio in Japan. You can often find souvenirs from the Jinbesan heritage.. er product line in Japanese souvenir/specialty shops and various other places, although the line’s an older product line now and so has been largely replaced by some of their newer lines. His little stingray partner has an official name of Ei-san, but I call him Jinbei (with an I, basically a portmanteau of their two names) as well just because it’s easier to remember.

Since leaving the family nest, my younger sister has visited us back in Edmonton a couple of times from her jaunts around the world, and at one point she gifted me a Jinbe-san plushie that I still have to this day. I have proof that I owned this plushie earlier than 2017, so upon research, I believe that this was done on a trip to my house on Dec 20 2015, with an offchance that it was done on an earlier trip on Dec 14 2015 instead, as she did two back-to-back visits here while staying in Edmonton at my parents’. This was most likely on her second trip though, as the purpose of her first trip was to move some boxes of hers out of my bedroom.

Anyway, those were some interesting days. Back then she hadn’t started really idolizing them yet (and wasn’t even sure what/where they were from), but found them adorable anyway, so I got one of the early prototypes that she bought as a Christmas present. We were still conversing by email back then too, and I was just recovering from my South Korea voice surgery, and had absolutely no idea what Line (the Japanese instant messaging program) was. I was still two years away from my final transition surgery, three years away from starting anime, and nearly four years from actually starting up classes again.

I am very thankful that Jinbe (the whale) and Jinbei (the jellyfish) still had their price tag attached as well, as this allows me to get a perfect reading of both their price as well as their originating shop, which is rare for our older plushies. They hail from a stationery/bookshop called Urban Write in Singapore, and cost $24.90 SGD, which today would be about $23 CAD (and it would not have been too far off back then either, apparently).

Here are some snapshots of Jinbe and Jinbei. Front:

Top:

Bottom and booklet back. Notice Jinbei clinging on to Jinbe’s underbelly here. His sides and back are stitched on, but his front is not, so it forms a little pocket that hidden notes or something can be slipped into:

Booklet front:

Booklet inside:

The right inner page of the booklet shows Jinbe-san keeping a half-eaten rice cracker in the pocket formed by Jinbei.

Song of the Week #10

Title: I’ll Stand By You
Artist: The Pretenders
Album: Last of the Independents (1994)

This song would have at some point hit my top 10 list, but more commonly hangs around the 30-50 range, a song that I like, and arguably love, but not one that I would normally put on a pedestal this early into a Song of the Week segment. However, this song has really strong and important connotations for me, so here it is anyway.

While I knew of the song, it had no specific connotation for me until an event in the early morning of October 30 2014, when a little spat came up in my ArcheAge guild, which involved my fourth gaming muse, who was one of the two guild leaders, together with the other guild leader, and one of our mutual good friends in the guild. The guild was a combination of people from my Lotro guild and her Guild Wars 2 guild, and some friends of both sides.

The actual spat is a long story that I’ll write about some day in another part of the blog, but it involved a love triangle breaking down, a war council I had with the two girls involved in the love triangle in the early morning while the sun was still asleep, hurt feelings and declarations that people were leaving, and a note that they knew that the guy involved was sweet-tongued and flirty enough that if he had a chance to catch and talk to them one-on-one they’d probably cave in.

Long story short, while this was the beginning of the end for our time in Archeage, we’d still go on play for several more months together, particularly in Final Fantasy XIV. Although the other girl kept true to her word and left, my muse stayed, and the other guild leader, her boyfriend, left and then rejoined once she and he had “patched things up” like she/they had feared. There was a line that I cannot find in my logs but that I remember, something along the lines of “I know there’s a good chance I’ll forgive the scumbag if we talk and I hear his excuses, but I need you to make sure I never forget about my anger and humiliation tonight” or something along those lines. Paraphrased, and possibly partially made up, but that was the gist of it.

Even though they got back together in the end, I never forgave the guy involved as per what was said that night between the three of us, and stayed behind with my muse to be a reluctant thorn in their side, in a game of cold shoulders and tug-of-war over my muse’s time that extended out of Archeage and into our Final Fantasy XIV guild as well. This also eventually roped in another mutual acquaintance in our Final Fantasy XIV guild, who flew into a rage and called me pyschotic (sic), a ticking time bomb, and unstable when I had enough and broke my lotro friends off from their FFXIV guild to form our own guild after my muse and that other guild leader got married in-game against my wishes. I had promised to keep exactly what happened that night a secret, so I was not at liberty to discuss with her what actually happened, and she wasn’t a particularly nice individual and had been strongly encouraging them to get together in real life because she and her husband had gotten together that way too (as I remember anyway), so we were often at odds.

This would be even funnier retrospectively because I had my South Korea voice surgery in late October of 2015, and I invited (and paid for) my muse to come along with me on the trip as a chaperone, as I needed one since I wouldn’t be able to speak. She also came back to stay with me for two days or so back in Edmonton in the middle of winter after the trip, before she flew home. So I can only imagine how apopletic she and the guy must have been. I was also financially supporting her through most of this time period to save her from being kicked out of her apartment as this spat had also involved them almost moving in together in real life.

Anyway all that is over now, as far as I heard they did almost try to move in together anyway but he backed out, and she’s since split off all contact with that last woman as well, and now has a stable job and way of life, so all’s well that ends well. Mistakes had to be made along the way though, but I suppose that’s how people learn. For me, my fifth muse and best friend helped me heal my Final Fantasy XIV wounds when we played together there afterwards, and I also eventually felt very vindicated when I heard that my fourth muse had finally long since cut ties with the people that I considered toxic in her friends group, when I eventually talked with her again much later on.

So what does the song have to do with that extremely long flashback scene? This song is basically a song that played during the night that we had the war council and the two girls I was talking to were really distressed, and was the song I made a silent promise on (“I’ll Stand By You”) to support them through this to the best of my ability, first brokering the other guild leader’s quiet exit from the guild, and then not being interested in their peace and trying to keep them separated once he returned. it obviously didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped, and I didn’t enjoy the abuse that I received for it, and ultimately our friendship even ended for several years over this and never reached the same level as before again, but the song gave me conviction and is very much a theme song that I think of as a symbol of our friendship and deeply associate with her, and which reminds me of that entire circus that went on for a good two years or so. It’s not often that drama has a theme song!

The song also reminds me of a second, very specific thing besides that entire ball of drama, and that is the two-storey carpark between my apartment complex and the shopping centre next to it. I’m not sure why, but it specifically brings up the memory of me walking under the shade of the carpark towards the shopping center.

Dreams
Jan 03 2022
  • I was living in a small apartment in a building with my family and a few strangers. Mom was preparing to bring Jon and Kel to school, but I didn’t have school or work that day, so I was sitting around and helping out by sorting $20 bills on the kitchen table according to their serial number.
  • There was also a tornado warning at some point that got upgraded to a full-blown alert, but I figured I’d be safe because we were on the 5th floor or so of the 12 or 13 storey building, and the top floors would get blown off first. The tornado never arrived anyway.
  • Later on, I lost a bet or fight of some kind to some stranger, and had to go out with him to an Asian restaurant in a short skirt as recompense. The restaurant seats were arranged like train seats, there were just two long seats on either side of the room, running parallel to each other, and facing each other as well so the guests were forced to face each other. And then there were little rectangular tables in front of us.
  • Across from me were two groups — on the left was an old woman in gaudy makeup and with a showgirl sitting on her lap, while on the right was a guy that kept on watching me intently, and was obviously trying to get an upskirt peek.
  • The person I went with had a gun, and so there was a feeling like I was really being coerced to be there at first, and I don’t know if that feeling was obvious to the two groups across from us or not. However, over time, I started to care less. When the person I was with went to the bathroom, I could have used that as a chance to escape, but instead I uncrossed and recrossed my legs the other way and changed my order from one type of vermicelli dish to another. This combination of events annoyed the man who was watching me, who became visibly agitated.
  • Later, after my partner returned, the restaurant was raided by police looking for the two of us anyway, so we had to flee. We learnt that the police had been spying on us through three cameras — the gaudy woman had one, the visibly agitated man had one, and our server had one as well.
  • At some point I was lying in bed at home next to someone and playing Anime Music Quiz with them. It wasn’t all music, though I remember Puchimas ED1 playing, but there were scenes in between songs which were just pictures of western actors as well and the game asked us to ID them, but neither of us had a clue who any of them were. Mom wanted us to go to sleep though so we couldn’t be too loud in our playing.
  • Snippet: There were also other games I remember playing later on as snippets from other dreams. One was a game where I had a pistol and was hiding behind a pillar near my base and shooting a large robotic turret that was as high as a two-storey building, trying to hit its weak point, a little sensor in the middle of its face, even though it looked like all my bullets were not doing any damage toward it. That game also had a top-down, base-building component where I could build gunships and little flying robots, and the enemy also had patrolling gunships. The other game was some incremental game that both me and my sister agreed was terrible.
Jan 04 2022
  • I remember watching a short 3-minute anime that was apparently made by the Dragon Ball director. The show was about some sort of fight club where there was an outdoors boxing ring, and featured one defending champion and two challengers, but all the action actually took place a short distance away from the ring, where the fighters were catapulted or cannonballed to from the boxing ring itself. The show was in chibi form, and the first challenger was an anthropomorphic elephant, complete with a trunk where his nose was, whereas the other two were humans.
  • The elephant was catapulted over to the actual fighting arena first, and then the current champion was catapulted in, landed on top of him, and instantly knocked him out. The second challenger was then catapulted in, but completely missed where he was trying to land, fell short and skidded along the ground across a trail of fire, and was also knocked out cold. The elephant then eventually woke up, grabbed the second challenger and dragged him back toward the boxing ring and the catapults/cannons, declaring in a very positive manner that they’d try to overcome the champion again.
  • I gave the show an 8 out of 10, and wrote a short review saying that it was cute and enjoyable and had a decent message for its short 3 minute runtime, and I liked its ending song. I saw a lot of other reviews gave it a 4 or 5 because it was nothing like Dragon Ball, and because the translators had mixed up the names of the two humans in a couple places and thus the story made no sense to them. I thought it was a weird thing to judge a show on since that wasn’t the studio’s fault.
  • Snippet: I seem to remember watching another anime short as well, that possibly had to do with flowers, but I don’t remember anything about it.
  • Snippet: I had a dream segment where I went to meet a retained lawyer in a tall office building, after emailing him about my issues. He took me to some meeting room where a third random person was hanging out, and proceeded to try to sell me on some COEs or something, whatever they stood for, with the third person chiming in on the topic too. I said I wasn’t interested and this was not what I had written him about and did he not bother reading my email properly? I would summarize for him but only when we were alone as it was private. The third person took the hint and left.
  • I then (re-)explained that I had a conflict with my housing company as they had recently moved me from my current apartment to a newer and more expensive one, but which was smaller in size because it did not have a storeroom. However, there was a price increase associated with this, and I had no chance to decline it or renegotiate my housing contract, which just rolled over into the new place at the new price. The lawyer asked when my old apartment was constructed, and I said 1985. He said he’d look to see if anything could be done but I didn’t trust him anymore by that point and doubted he woul do anything.
  • Snippet: At one point, I also remember Mom and I walking along a row of neighbourhood shops and passing an art gallery that was closing down and was thus having a Going Out of Business sale. We could see wall posters and portraits through the glass windows at the front of the shop, but we didn’t go in as there were plenty of people hanging around the place. This was at the end of a more convoluted dream in which we had visited other places, but I don’t remember the details of that.
Jan 05 2022
  • There was a theater skit that two people, A and B, were putting on as long-time partners. Two other people, C and D, were applying to join their small troupe. C was a manipulator while D was an innocent applicant. As part of the play, A would put B in a cage on stage, and C’s manipulative whispers managed to convince A to murder B with a really long, curved knife while on stage, and make it look like part of the stage performance, so that there would be space in the troupe for newcomers.
  • A did so, and the moment B died, C cast a body thief spell that absorbed B’s body and they merged together, so that C now sort of looked like B but with different hair colour. That took care of the body, but not the large volume of blood. After the play was over, they also recruited D and told him to help throw off the police detectives who were sniffing arund trying to figure out what had happened.
  • The best D could do was to suggest that B was in the bathroom, or using one of B’s leftover coats to make a silhouette of him in the shower. Neither of this convinced the detectives, who demanded to see everyone in the actor’s waiting room, and they moved in for arrests once 3 lies were revealed in the story.
  • Snippet: In one dream segment, I was riding a bicycle down a really long road, past several empty junctions, heading for a bus stop to meet up with old Singapore friends (Rachel and others). I remember Mom asking me if I would be alright going off on my own before I set off, and I said yes, the bus stop wasn’t too far away. It was far though, but it was a straight line at least.
  • Snippet: In another, I was playing a game of Risk with a couple friends and a couple NPCs. It had elements of Civilization 4 thrown in, so there were empire penalties if you controlled land too far away from your capitol, and movement was hero-based and done using two dice like Monopoly, with doubles getting an extra turn. I was based in Southeast Asia and Australia but was going to try to roll over North America to help my friends break a stalemate, before I thought better of it. I noticed that Africa was made up of 12 countries that were all basically owned by a patchwork of independent AI groups, so I diverted my attention in that direction instead.
  • Snippet: In yet another dream segment, I was visiting a city with a large hill in the middle southern part of the city, and some sort of nature attraction up on the hill. I had been up in that direction in previous dreams, although this time I was headed north and east with my parents, toward some housing blocks that I had also been to once prior before. We passed the ascent to the large hill at about 7am, and we saw a couple people headed up that way, to which I commented that they were there really early, considering that the attraction didn’t open until 7 or 8 pm. Dad pointed out that one of them was carrying a bag of books, no doubt to read through while waiting.
  • We headed north and east and I mentioned that the Minnesota bus card that I had picked up while on my tour of the USA would work here, but after fishing around in my card wallet for it, I realized that I had already unpacked the card and left it at home since I didn’t think I’d ever be returning to the USA. Both Mom and Dad had bought ticket packs of 4 though, and I had a couple spare tickets myself, so there were enough tickets for all five of us in the family regardless.
Jan 06 2022
  • I remember a train ride, and then a car ride, specifically a car ride with my siblings in a woman’s car that took us to the Millwoods shopping center outskirts region. We didn’t actually go to the shopping center, just the outdoor shops around it. Several little snippets happened around here, for example:
  • The woman’s car was almost carjacked at some point, by a man that managed to sneak up to the car while we were all in it, slip a folded piece of paper between the rolled up window and the place where the top of the window met the car somehow, and then tried to use a spoon that he had against the slip of paper to pry the window open. He missed by inches, then fessed up and apologized, saying he had no idea how he failed, and left us alone afterwards. Jon said he missed by millimeters, the space he made was almost identical to the width of the spoon. The car had panic shutters like airplane windows that we could have pulled down if he did manage to pry open a window, though.
  • There were at least two Chinese restaurants nearby, and the woman who was driving us around, who was Russian, also owned one of the two restaurants. She had also driven some other people I knew to that shop earlier as part of a business outing for them, and although the place wasn’t cheap, it looked somewhat fancy. I asked the woman for directions to the restaurant as a thank you for driving us around and she gave me the link on my phone, but it came across all in Russian. I couldn’t read it but I knew what the buttons were supposed to say so I pressed the appropriate ones and the Google Maps guide to the place appeared.
  • The woman also owned a trailer that she disassembled and parked her car inside of, and the trailer itself was otherwise empty besides that. It was very warm and cozy in the evening night, and I commented that it would make a great RPG base — we could put health and mana things here, player beds there, equipment over there, etc.
  • The business people who were in the restaurant came over as they were leaving, before I left for the restaurant, and proceeded to try to pick the lock of some capsule that looked like a phone booth, which they needed to do to leave the area. It belonged to that same woman but they had her full permission to do so. I helped them do it in the end, and successfully picked the lock on my second try.
  • I also watched myself head toward the restaurant on a floating camera, which was very weird because it looked like I was watching a replay of myself doing so earlier in the dream or something. In the video, it was raining and I crossed a traffic junction where the fire hydrants had burst and were shooting jets of water around, then I walked along a roadside path carrying a pot which I knew was important somehow, then I met a friend (Eisen) from primary school who proceeded to chat to me for a bit and then hug me while I tried to not drop the pot, then the camera panned around to a couple people nearby watching me whom I didn’t remember or notice from the first time I walked through the area.
  • I also remember a singing segment at some point, but I don’t remember the context of this, only that I didn’t like my voice when I had to sing something because it was a lower pitch and far less feminine than the person I was singing a duet with.
Jan 07 2022
  • I was in class in a Dunman-like school when the lesson bell rang at 12:30 pm, and it was lunch hour! Allen and I left the classroom together to go have lunch, though we first went to look for a washroom. I think I was in boy mode at this point, as we passed a couple male washrooms that I told him I had no idea existed, and then we saw a wall phone that doubled as a urinal, but it felt wrong for me to us those so I didn’t do so in the end. There were also a lot of students passing by the hallways but they paid no attention to us.
  • After that issue was resolved, we went off together to a quiet room detached from the main school building. Although it was an indoor room, the floor was grass and soil, and I sat down on some grass against a wall, brought out a small portable TV, and turned it on.
  • The show I was watching was hosted by some bombastic host who was peeking out of a hole in a wall that he had claimed to have dug himself, and he was looking at and talking to a camera that was on the other side of a large fish tank between the wall and the camera. He wasn’t particularly interesting, but the show he was hosting was, and soon enough he shut up and started playing the show I wanted to watch.
  • This show was a live action sequel to a really chill and relaxing anime from a couple seasons ago where a couple of cute girls that were best friends went camping together. This live action sequel somehow “proved” that the anime girls in the first season were right to go camping, and the first episode was them meeting up and going off to their first camp adventure together.
  • The show then interluded back to the host, and after talking a while, he switched the show over to some awards show, featuring some baseball team lining up and receiving a bunch of trophies and stuff from giddy women dressed in sundresses and cocktail dresses, guys in suits, and other socialites, on a baseball field. Either the team or the socialites were involved in some sort of scandal, but this particular event was a recording and was pre-scandal, when the allegations hadn’t been revealed yet. Watching the presentation through a glass window were students from a Toronto high school, all of whom had cameras and were snapping away, as well as Don Cherry.
  • It was 1:00 pm at this time and half the lunch period was gone, before the host switched back to himself and talked a bit more before saying that he would switch back to the original camping show again. By that point we were packing up though as we had other things to do before class resumed at 1:30pm.
  • Snippet: At some point, I was driving the two of us in a car, but we changed to a new car for some reason where not all the features of the car were unlocked yet, partially because they were slightly dangerous. The new car could still be driven just fine, though.
  • Snippet: At another point, I was a young kid, about 6 or 7 years old, living with a grandma figure. The weather report on the radio indicated that there would be a storm coming that evening after school, with the weatherman urging everyone to get home safely. I had things to do after school though, and told my grandma that I was aware of the storm but would probably be a bit late anyway. She was supportive and told me to stay safe, wishing me luck, telling me to come home before my Dad so they didn’t worry and didn’t have to go out searching for me. I thanked her for trusting me.
Jan 08 2022
  • Snippet: I only remember small snippets like people somehow entering or invading a Discord server that Neichus and I were in, some sort of large ship or other seaborne vehicle, and playing a simple magical girl incremental game of some kind. I also remember my two younger siblings, and a sense of protecting them, but not the context behind it.
Jan 09 2022
  • The gist of a good part of the dream involved five girls, including me, facing off against five or so evil criminals, including Nendou from Saiki Kusuo, who was the main sidekick of the evil mastermind. I don’t remember much about the story (except that we were behind an overturned table or something powering up at some point, and the entire battle involved several rooms/locations including a fishmonger’s shop), but good did prevail in the end, largely thanks to me discovering a power that we girls had where one of the girls, a sporty redhead, could hum and sing/chant a song in Japanese under her breath that would remove all pain from the other four of us, and one of the other girls could translate the Japanese back to English to convey the benefits of the buff back to the fifth girl. We used the power to run around a lot without our legs aching from lactic acid buildup.
  • With that power, we sent the evil team packing, though the mastermind managed to gather the five of them in a vehicle with a tank-like roof entrance and was making an escape out of the city across the bridge with them.
  • Suddenly, a helicopter piloted by some of his goons appeared overhead, and it dropped a ladder down toward the vehicle. Seeing this, the mastermind climbed out of the vehicle, grabbing on to the ladder and allowing them to pull him up as he abandoned his other confused colleagues to their fate. Three of the four remaining evil members clambered out and looked around confusedly but didn’t see their boss, while Nendou, who was dressed in a leather outfit with guns and knew exactly what happened, waited for the helicopter to drop down the ladder a second time, this time for him. He was also pulled up to safety.
  • Now in the plane, one of the goons asked Nendou to take over the piloting of the plane, which he did so. The other goons were afraid because although he had a license, it was known that the way he piloted the plane made it wobble from side to side the entire time, which made nearly everyone else in the plane sick. However, it had a soothing effect on their boss, and acted in much the same way that the magical song did for the good team, and the scene ended with the boss sighing in soothed satisfaction as all the other goons around him tried not to be sick and throw up.

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