Finally, the diary entry number is higher than my age. Well I guess that was true last week too, and the week before too, but THIS time it’s gone into a new survey age bracket. Take that, diary.
Entry #040 (Feb 13 2022)
You know, I haven’t heard a peep about my application to go study abroad since the deadline closed a couple weeks ago. There’s also a looming strike from the University’s professors, although this doesn’t technically affect either me or the exchange coordinator since we would both be considered support staff, and we’re under a different union (NASA (local)) from the one for teaching staff (AASUA (local)) that’s likely going on strike in early March. However, our union can’t be that far behind — neither of our unions have had proper contracts with the University in some time. The blame for this lies largely on the monkeys in power in the province though, but the semester’s going to prove interesting and I’m glad I’m only taking one course this semester.
Work was fairly quiet this week as we had a reduced team with various people away every day except Thursday. The other team that we got combined with had their work ticket queue merged into our queue (since we have a higher ticket/task load) this Monday, and I helped shepherd that transition since I was the assigned queue monitor in the early part of the week. The actual person doing it returned on Thursday, so he took that back over to close out the week.
Apparently we have a statutory holiday coming up on the 21st, and I’m also taking the 25th off, so next week will be a normal week, and then after that there will be two long weekends in a row for me!
And then the strike by the teaching staff.
Early in the week, I went out to the doctor’s to get a requisition form for some blood work. I also told her that I had more or less self-diagnosed the itching and stuff I was getting as urticaria (local), since it had come back but was more or less a morning and evening thing this time, and it fit the description and most of the other criteria for it. I had been getting it pretty much every day for the past 2-3 weeks, but the creams I had were keeping it well under control. She agreed with my diagnosis and gave me some antihistamines to try, 30 little tablets of a product named Blexten, which are apparently bilastine tablets, whatever those are. But boy were they effective. I took one on Tuesday night, and those hives completely disappeared without a trace on Tues night, Wed morning, Wed night, through Thursday morning, and it was well into Thursday night before I felt some hints that they might be returning and so popped a second pill. This pattern continued — Saturday night was the next time I began to sense some tingling again, so I popped another then. I could apparently take them as often as once a day if needed, and she wanted me to try it for two weeks and report back, but it seems like once every two days is enough for me.
Going out to my doctor (at the University four train stations away) and then back was as far as I had travelled since I came home from my USA trip, due to the winter and the cold and the COVID more or less keeping me trapped indoors. Even though I was fine that day, I felt it for the next two days, my legs were aching all over — ooh. I had something like this at the start of the pandemic when I wasn’t going out much at all due to the stay-at-home order and felt exhausted once I did go out — some sort of body/muscle stagnation I suppose. I can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can go on many walks again. Also, on Tuesday, I saw this ad while walking through my local mall on the way to the train station, and had many questions about it. Who spends that much on gift cards? Isn’t that kind of a lame bonus? Not to mention a bit predatory (trying to bank on 8 being a lucky number during the Lunar New Year period)? And what the heck even is OTTPAY? And what website??? It’s such a bad ad.
I did head out on Friday again to do the blood work for the requisition form that I had picked up on Tuesday, but when I reached the hospital clinic that I usually did mine as, all the alternate doors were closed except for a front entrance that I had to walk outdoors around the side of the building through the cold to get to, only to discover that the bloodwork clinic was closed to community patients due to the hospital being very short-staffed thanks to some COVID incident or COVID clinic or something upstairs. They gave me a few alternate locations I could try, but I can’t really get to those places easily since they’re not on the train network, and I need to do this specific blood test in the morning before 10am. So that was frustrating. I returned home and will probably just try another week instead. The hospital had never been closed down like that before on any of my previous trips, even during the pandemic.
Yet our idiot provincial government is taking another run toward a full abolishment of all mandates, along with threats to municipalities and institutions that try to implement their own local vaccine/masking requirements, as they cite a dip in hospital cases and overall cases, without mentioning the fact that the reason there’s a dip is because they REFUSE to test and count and report accurate numbers any longer. While I do support a reopening done properly right now, and do support a move toward “living with the virus”, especially since this has cost me a study abroad trip to Japan twice already, the way that the clown in office (our premier, or provincial governor, Jason Kenney) is doing it is totally wrong. That plus the irreparable harm he’s done to post-secondary education on top of that means I’ll never vote for the Progressive/United Conservative party as long as he’s at the helm. He is unworthy of his current position.
I also decided on my curtains, a simple pair of panels from Amazon that didn’t cost too much and would take under 6 weeks to arrive. I ordered it on Wednesday and it was supposed to arrive on Sunday, but it actually arrived on Friday instead, so I put it up and voila!
I now have curtains on my balcony door, after 10 years of living here, and they’re a perfect fit. I can’t actually pull them open or closed very well because they’re curtain rod styled, but didn’t come with a rod, which was fine since I just slipped the existing rod through it. Except that my rod is missing a finial or end cap on one end because it wouldn’t fit against the wall and ceiling, so if I tug the curtain cloth the rod falls off its left hook. It’s times like this I need a 3D printer to print a solution to that. Although I don’t think I’ll be here in this apartment long enough for that to really matter.
The curtains are not blackout curtains, but I actually prefer them that way, they darken the room without actually making it pitch black, and I do like the way the stars and planets glow through the curtain. The phone makes it seem brighter than it actually is, the images from that phone camera always come out twice as bright as real life when I take pictures of darkened areas. I also finally have a use for some of my belts and scarves that I’ve picked up over the years but never actually used.
And the curtain fabric pattern is cute on top of that, since I didn’t want a generic one-tone curtain. Bonus! There were other nice curtain patterns, but nothing that I felt was *perfect* and that warranted a 6-10 week waiting period. However, I will probably look out for more perfect curtains after moving in to my new place after I return from my Study Abroad trip and decide where I want to settle down for a few years, whether it be here in Edmonton or elsewhere in the world.
In the meantime though, I’m loving the muted light of these curtains, and between these and the anti-histamine pills, I slept like a baby from Friday night onwards, even though I do not suffer from insomnia and usually have no issues falling asleep. This was a new level of relaxation though, though my dream retention seems to have suffered as a result. I should get a new pillow too and see what new depths of depravity my sleep comfort can sink to.
My flute is apparently on the way too, the one that I mentioned a few weeks back. I had spoken to the site representative a couple times since then, so they’re obviously not fake despite the couple bad reviews I saw, and I had a random DHL notice to my phone this weekend saying I had to pay a customs fee for it to the tune fo $19 CAD or so, which was around 20% of the actual cost of the flute. Those thieves. It seems to be on pace for a Feb 22nd delivery, according to DHL.
I restarted my scanning project this week as well, the first time since completing my yearbook in early/mid December. There’s some stuff I’ll upload eventually, and one thing I’m going to throw up in today’s Memory Snippet of the Week segment. But there’s a lot I still want to scan before I risk them by leaving them in a storage facility somewhere while going on an overseas jaunt.
Also, it seems like Eileen, the Singapore friend I met while in Los Angeles and who introduced me to the WhatsApp class group, got into a minor accident during the week with a rental car that they were using, and I was really worried about her and her family. Something about the right front tire tread coming off. They seem to have made it out okay though, thankfully.
I didn’t touch phone games this week, and outside of the usual AMQ/Genshin Impact/Wordle suspects, didn’t touch computer games either until late in the week. School preoccupied me early on, and I just couldn’t find the right rhythm to calm down and relax and spare some time for games even if I had downtime between things.
Eventually, I wandered over to my pile of games and poked at a couple of them. First up was FortressCraft Evolved, which I picked up a couple weeks ago. I only played through the start of the tutorial before being bounced away from it rather harshly. The tutorial is terrible, and while I could understand some aspects of the game due to being familiar with modded Minecraft, things like the ore pinging afterglow (which was visually nasty) and the need to scan blocks and then research them back at base for some reason without first collecting a copy of the block, and then being able to destroy blocks at your starting base right at the start of the tutorial without (seemingly) the ability to rebuild them and thus not actually being able to complete the tutorial without restarting the map, and odd inconsistencies like a thing I crafted seemingly immediately being “used” without me actually opening the inventory and using it, all those things turned me off so fast that I need to go back eventually armed with a proper Youtube tutorial instead of whatever they have built in to the game.
I also noticed that Tangledeep was having a Lunar New Year event with some special drops and collectibles so I went to play that a bit as well. I still find this game really easy, but this time I played long enough to get to and beat the first boss. I do still like the game overall, especially the class changing mechanics, I just don’t find the early game challenging enough to want to push through to the later game very much.
Next, I tried Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3 V Generation, which I did enjoy, as Neptunia, silly as the story and characters are, is the series that bridged me from regular RPGs and western games and first got me into JRPGs back in July 2017 when Jah streamed one of the games. I’ve 100%’d Re;Birth 1 and 2, and will eventually do so for 3, though not right away.
The reason for that is that Lost Ark (or Lo Stark, as we fondly call it to avoid the Milumbar censors), launched this week — Tuesday for the early access patrons, and Friday for the people like me who refused to pay for a pre-order pack. But a bunch of friends are playing it, so I’m giving it a shot too, since it’s free. The game takes forever to load up for me, my computer acts like a tsundere for a full couple minutes after I hit launch before the game window actually opens, but once it opens it seems to still run fairly well despite my relatively low computer specs, so that’s good. The game hasn’t captured me so far, but it hasn’t turned me off either, and it’s still early game, so we’ll see how well it goes and how long I stick with my bard. Wish they had Japanese or Chinese voiceovers, though, but the devs are Korean, so like many other Korean MMOs, there’s a strange obsession with segmentation of the playerbase into different regions and different publishers
Whatever. I really liked the character creator’s hair options because even though they were somewhat limited, I was able to make two-toned hair, and that’s always a bonus. My bard looks good.
Plushie of the Week #38 – Doggy
Doggy has been mentioned before, particularly in PotW #7, and glimpses of him can be found in some other ones like PotW #5, but it wasn’t until I went to my parents’ house over Lunar New Year that I was able to formally grab pictures of him. He’s an old dog — Jon got him when he was 3-5 years old or so, we think, possibly around when we moved to Tampines 294 in 1996/1997, but Mom says that he was actually a gift for him from our grandmother when he was born, and that he was just kept in a box so he wouldn’t get dirty until Jon was a little older. So he actually shares the same birthday as him, Feb 05 1993, as far as I’m concerned. This makes him very close to, if not actually, our oldest surviving plushie.
Doggy‘s body is floppy, so we say that he’s always sleepy and would rather be in bed than do almost anything else. He used to be Jon‘s best friend and would sleep next to him every night in bed. Doggy was his protector, as well as Toodles‘ protector. These days he sleeps in a box with the other animals, protecting them.
Front, wherein you can see his odd single moustache:
He forms a protective roof around most of the little animals. He also had a washing machine mishap when the family was still living together:
Some of his beads/stuffing spilled out into the washing machine through a gash in his arm when he was taking a bath one time, and, while they were mostly stuffed back in, he probably did lose some weight then. He underwent some emergency surgery to save his life, though, and you can still see the stitches in his arm in the picture above.
Song of the Week #15
Artist: Spice Girls
Album: Forever (2000)
This song appeared on an album in 2000, but the single came out in December 1998 or so, and while there’s a whole background about the song and how it coincided with Geri Halliwell leaving the Spice Girls and how the song came to be representative of that, for me this was extra impactful in a different way — this was the month that our family packed up and left Singapore, and migrated to Canada. Therefore this song has a very powerful connection to that event, not only of saying goodbye to my childhood friends for the final time but also to my grandparents (especially my grandmother), who I never saw alive again, my relatives, and my home. I remember that this was the second last song that played on the Singapore radio that I listened to before we left the home in the very early morning of December 31, 1998, the last song being the equally apt Leaving on a Jet Plane by Chantel Kreviazuk, which I don’t like and thus will probably not be ever featured in a Song of the Week.
This song I liked a lot though, by far and away my favourite Spice Girls song, but it comes with heavy melancholic overtones that colour the song a saddened dark blue and grey-white for me. It reminds me of several memory snippets, one an overnight chalet trip in November or December 1998 that my class organized on the Sentosa resort island that I was allowed to attend but wasn’t allowed to stay overnight for, and the subsequent fights I had with my parents about that and about leaving Singapore in general, and then Huihan coming to visit me at home a few days before I left to hand me a Christmas card. It also reminds me of a picture I have of me and my grandma taken a few days before we left as we did our goodbye visits with our relatives, as well as a dinner or breakfast that we had with some of Dad‘s family friends or relatives the night or morning before we left for the airport.
It also reminds me of the last mental scenes I have of Singapore, the orange early morning sun rising over the airport and a couple residential towns that the plane flew over before leaving Singapore’s borders, a memory of a last desperate wish to not leave the country that will probably never fade. I’ve definitely cried hard over the song in the past.
However, the song also contains memories of when we landed in Canada, emerging in -20 Celsius snowy weather in Vancouver when it was close to +30 Celsius when we boarded the plane, and of just the first winter in general. The song is very much associated with winter to me, and that aspect of the song helped with healing, as the snow came down like a gentle and dull blanket to cover the pain and replace it with a curious sense of wonder, a duality surrounding this crossroads event in my early life that I would examine and overanalyze and replay over and over for decades to come. Was there ever a path for me to stay with relatives and not move to Canada with my family? Would staying overnight at the chalet and having a last happy memory with them have gone a long way toward me not hating the move and turning into a social recluse for several years? Was it the right move to let my (casual, exploratory, but still active) relationship with Huihan at the time end on an ambiguous, open note when we were walking alone together along a darkened beach at that chalet retreat minutes before Dad came to pick me up? Would I ever have been able to transition or survive if we had remained in Singapore? And will I, as the song intimates, ever get to return to Singapore?
Memory Snippet of the Week #22
Anime and live action TV drama/movie classroom shots almost always show students’ desks lined up in rows and columns of single desks. Something like this:
Occasionally you’ll see tables pushed together into twos, side by side, or sometimes even into groups of 4 temporarily, usually during lunch, like this:
Those screenshots are from Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, a seasonal anime I mentioned last week that I’m very much enamoured with. In the latter screenshot, you can even see the teacher’s doodle on the board there showing that this was a premediated pattern the teacher wanted them to form. But by and large, they stick to the single island row/column thing in the first screenshot. When I came over to Canada, this rule was also more or less true, and held firm from Grade 9 all the way up to and through University, with the occasional exception of classes with long tables that sat two people per table, or classes where the desks all formed a semi-circle or square because the teacher felt like it. Especially since in Canada, a lot of the chairs were actually attached to the desk for whatever reason, so the chair and desk together formed one piece of rigid furniture. Or you had the lecture theater sort of cheap chair with an unfoldable arm that became a little table for you to write on.
Anyway. This was also true in Singapore to some extent — it was definitely true in my Primary 1-3 classes, and I am not sure about Primary 4-6, but I think we were either sitting at single tables or pushed together into pairs of tables at that time too. However, my Secondary 1-2 classes were different, and one of the things I scanned this week illustrates that.
This is the front and back of a sheet of foolscap paper that I had written on in 1997, back when I was in Secondary 1/Grade 7. The branding header on that sheet of paper was Rosyth School, my Primary 4-6 school — every school in Singapore has its own branded A4 paper, and my Secondary School was no exception, but as I started this sheet in January 1997, I probably had a lot more leftover paper from my former school still since we were expected to buy a bunch for school supplies and use them for class assignments.
But that’s neither here nor there. What is actually cool about this sheet of paper is that I preserved our seating arrangements through basically every change in Secondary 1 and 2, except for one right at the end of Sec 2 (if there was one at that point, I might have skipped it because we didn’t do one). And as you can see, in most of our seating arrangements after the first one, we didn’t actually sit in rows and columns, but in “clumps” of 3-5 desks, which I always thought was really interesting and have never seen in any other classroom setting, real or in media. I’m sure it exists somewhere out there, but nothing that I know of at least.
That tattered sheet of paper is hard to read, so I re-sketched it out in larger diagrams that follow. Please excuse my bad drawings — I have an inability to draw straight lines and neat squares, and the classroom and tables are not exactly to scale. In fact, the classroom isn’t even square — there are pictures in the 1997 yearbook and will be more pictures when I upload the other three yearbooks that I have scanned, but the room is more of an elongated 凸 symbol, with indentations where the two doors are, and a jutting out segment of the classroom between them, I just didn’t care to draw that in to the picture as it doesn’t affect the seating layout portions of the diagrams. The chalkboard/blackboard and teacher’s desk should scoot over left in most of the diagrams as well if accuracy was desired.
Anyway, this is very much a piece of neat treasure and lost history to me though, as it captures moments in time that are otherwise long lost to history. And even looking at it now, many little points of analysis and bits of memories jump out at me.
Firstly, here are my blown up sketches of that piece of paper:
Secondary 1L (1997) sheet 1:
Secondary 2L (1998) sheet:
Next, an explanation of the layout of the classroom. Both our Secondary 1 and 2 classrooms were identical in shape and size, the Sec 1 one was on the ground floor and the Sec 2 one was on the second level, right above it. The top and bottom rectangles on the right of each panel were where the front and back doors were, they were where the indentations in the 凸 shape I described earlier were. They jutted inwards about as far as the middle rectangle on the right did, that middle rectangle being a metal cupboard with shelves that every classroom had. The long rectangle “above” the teacher’s desk in each panel was the green chalkboard, to the right of that by the door was a small notice board, and a broom and dustpan and chalk duster beater, while above it was a television (and a loudspeaker, I think) mounted on the wall. On the left side of the chalkboard was a projector screen that could be pulled down, as well as an overhead projector machine that could be wheeled out to display transparencies on the screen.
The back of the classroom (bottom of each panel) consisted of notice boards as well, no cupboards or shelves or anything. Tigey got pinned up on one of those back notice boards once. I believe umbrellas were left on the floor behind there if we had to use them on the way in to class and they were wet, but I am not certain. The left and right sides of the room had windows with metal flaps at the bottom and glass flaps at the top that could be closed if it were too rainy or windy, but were otherwise almost always open for a really nice outdoorsy feel to the classroom. Except for specialized labs and lecture theatres, the regular classrooms did not have air-cons/heaters, or computers (but they probably had overhead fans. I also heard that our classrooms might have acquired computers in Sec 3, after I had left). Also, every second classroom was mirrored, so the board was on the bottom and the desks would have been facing toward the bottom of the panel instead, if we preserved the format of the doors and metal cupboard being on the right side of the layout.
There are many pages in my yearbooks with partial pictures of the actual classrooms, and here are some coloured pictures from the 2000 yearbook that I have not uploaded yet:
One here (bottom right picture shows the cupboard, outer windows, and jutting wall):
One here (bottom right picture shows the front door, a broomstick in the corner, the mounted TV above it, a whiteboard instead of a chalkboard, and the projector/screen on the left):
And one here (the bottom two pictures show a mirrored-image classroom with many of the same things):
Apparently at some point between when I left after 1998, and when these pictures were taken in 2000, most of the chalkboards were being phased out for whiteboards or something.
Next, here are some thoughts on what I noticed in the layout:
- I was shocked to learn that in Term 1 Week 1 of our Grade 7 class, we actually had someone named Lewis in our class as well. He had transferred to another school by Week 2 though, so I’m not sure anyone (besides maybe Jonathan, who came from the same primary school as him) actually remembers him, I sure didn’t until I found this chart. I wonder what he would have been like if he had stayed.
- While most classes in school had about 30-40 students per class, which can be verified in the class lineup pictures in any of the yearbooks, our two Gifted Education Program classes had only 16-17 people each. They could really have probably combined both classes into one, but did not.
- Anyway, while it looked like most other classes also resorted to single row/columns or double-table columns, our low student count led to some really creative seating arrangements, which basically changed at the start of every term. The Singapore school year has 4 terms, each one about 10-11 weeks long. We often worked on class assignments and stuff in our little pod groups of 3-4.
- It looked like our form teacher, Mrs. Shu, who was our form teacher through both years that I was there, finally found a “good” seating arrangement that would fit 17 students at the end of the first year (Term 4 Week 1), only to have one additional student, Zhuquan, transfer out after the end of the first year. Then she had to go back to the 3/3/4/3/3 format again for the entirety of 1998!
- I don’t know why I don’t have a seating arrangement written down for Term 4 Week 1 of the 2L/1998 class. Either there wasn’t actually a change or I was too mentally preoccupied with getting ready to move overseas or something.
- I either never realized or didn’t remember how much Xuanjie was always in the middle of the classroom, I don’t know if the seating arrangements were random or not, but he never left the middle pod until Term 3 Week 1.. of the second year!
- Jonathan was the tallest boy in class, and he often got shunted back to a seat where he wouldn’t be blocking anyone behind him.
- There were some major shenanigans going on in the first sheet of paper, from Term 1 Week 2, to Week 4, to Week 5. One might note that the seating layouts there are exactly the same, with the exception of the top left group, where the members were constantly shuffled around. I do remember Mrs. Shu commenting for the Term 1 Week 4 move that she wanted to put Eugene, who was one of our class clowns (but a very great guy overall), between the two new girls, Gillian and Paulene, so they could help tame/control him or something like that. In fact, most of the groups had alternating boy/girl seating patterns, although this didn’t always hold true (particularly in Sec 2). I have no idea why the two girls switched spots in Term 1 Week 5 though.
- I wonder what the story was for the move in Term 1 Week 7/8 in Secondary 2, on the third sheet. There must have been a story behind that because something like half the class moved seats, while the other half did not. Very weird.
I also found this sheet below, that kind of indicated that the seating arrangements were at least partially decided by the two class monitors for each semester and then given to Mrs. Shu to ratify. That left me with more questions than it answered, though. But I kind of remember making this with whoever my female class monitor counterpart was (these two roles rotated and had a bunch of responsibilities). And the “proposed” addition made it clear that this wasn’t something a teacher had given everyone at the start of the semester. Also, that’s not my handwriting on the sheet. It was probably Valerie, Debbie, or Yiwen‘s, in particular I think it was Yiwen because I have an odd memory of us potentially both being class monitors together and also sitting together in class at the same time, and this would fit that memory:
Lastly, I have a few thoughts on the existence of this memory snippet at all. One of the reasons I really enjoy Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, the anime airing this season that I linked the screenshots at the top from, is that the protagonist of that Slice of Life show takes notes on all her classmates in order to get to know them better, and she’s shown to not be the only one who does so as well. You can see in the first screenshot that she’s writing down the details of the other girl she just met, and she is shown to have a whole journal of their names here by the second episode.
I relate very strongly to her, as I, too, kept several lists and such to try to get to know my new classmates as soon as possible. Though not the only example, this entire Memory Snippet was one of them, especially the very first panel in Term 1 Week 1 of the Secondary 1L sheet, where I not only had everyone’s names and positions, but also the primary school that each person had come from! I was very glad to find this, because I knew that the majority of people had come from the same primary school that I did (Rosyth), but I was also aware that half the class was not, and that two of the girls in particular, Gillian and Paulene, came into the GEP from non-GEP schools, and would probably need a bit of an extra welcome to make them feel more at home. I would have had no idea which schools anymore though, without actually asking them, until I found this sheet. Knowing how attached I am to these people, I will likely have future MSotW segments further highlighting my class roster and will talk about all them again. (2023 edit: For example, here.)
Not many dreams this week at all, for whatever reason. None that I would consider a long diary entry, until the very last day. I blame the nice curtains from Feb 12th onwards, but have no idea about before that.
Feb 09 2022
- Snippet: I remember seeing and hearing about reviews about some TV/movie game or anime series where the first season was done by one studio, the second season by another, and then a movie was promised to be made and given back to the first studio, which pleased the people who didn’t enjoy the second studio’s work. Danethor was telling me all about it and how he adjusted the scores of the second game up because he believed the overall team guiding the franchise had learnt their lesson or something like that.
- Snippet: There was an odd scene where I was new to a city and meeting a group of people from it who were trying to casually recruit me to the city. Each city represented a school or University, so I walked around with them and they told me how this city’s street grid was not aligned properly to the regular cardinal directions grid and actually was aligned/pointing southwest, and so time travelled a little bit more slowly if I were going to sign up at the school’s University and study there as an exchange student.
- Snippet: I had access to two physical stores from afar, one representing a .com version of the store and one representing a .ca version. They sold groceries and other things but also had a wide variety of goods. In particular, there were external hard drives that were being sold in the .com store for really cheap, but the shipping on the drives was really terrible, something like the drive costing $20 but shipping for each one being $40. However, the drive was on “sale” in the .ca version for $60 before other costs, and buying it from the .com store would allow me to squeeze in other items that were also cheaper there, so I was seriously considering buying 5 anyway, one for each member of our family, even though I wasn’t sure if Mom needed any storage space or what she would keep on it.
- Snippet: Then there was a school scene where I could squint my eyes and use some sort of small magnifying glass like thing to “see” glitches “behind” a worksheet or test or exam that we had done if I stared right at a certain part of the paper. There was an air of finality around the scene too, like it was the final day of classes or something, but I was borrowing people’s sheets and trying to find these “glitches”, which was like a hole in the fabric of space that led to some background scene area. I only really found one obvious one though, behind a sheet of paper that I myself had.
Feb 10 2022
- Some class I was in was taking turns doing presentations, with everyone watching in remotely from afar as the presenter talked about a topic. When my turn came, I made a presentation to my class on food, and my presentation was split in two parts, the first was me presenting to them a bunch of different types of bread, specifically buns from a bakery, while standing at some outdoor location on a deserted street. There were nine different buns of various colours lined up on a table, black, yellow, white, and so on, and three of them had colourful chocolate sparkles and cream toppings on them. I cracked a joke about not liking bread and everyone laughed. I then asked my class to wait for about 20 minutes as the second part of my presentation required me to run to a restaurant several streets north, though I eventually managed to teleport there or something so it didn’t take me quite that long to wait. I then presented on some pre-cooked dishes that I had them made for me.
- I also remember living in a dorm of some sort with a shared public area that I had to be careful about leaving stuff out and around in, although I left Tigey out at one point and he was okay.
Feb 11 2022
- The dream started out in an outdoor University campus where I was finishing up a class with a teacher and several other students. I think there was a minor test of some sort we had to complete but this part was vague, except that I had no problems with the test. I also looked at a big book of class rosters and saw a lot of students in other classes (largely of first-year students), they mostly had Chinese names and besides each one there was a class nickname or note by them, usually in pencil and written either by themselves or someone else in class. One note that stuck out had a girl saying that she climbed a tall mountain with a weird name that started with a J.
- I was hanging out with a couple friends after class but wanted to disengage from them and head home. One of them asked for help with two things, ordering a cosplay outfit and photocopying a book, and I knew shops on the north side of the campus by a street with chic shops on it so I took the book and was going to stop by the shop on their behalf, but once I left them I realized that I had no way of telling them where they could pick up the book from, nor did I know their measurements to actually make the outfit order. Both were a pain in the rear but I was eventually able to get in touch with the friend’s parents and leave them the book as well as recommendations on the shops that I knew.
- I then went to briefly meet two other friends who were at an odd abstractly-shaped curved table by an outdoor library, they had cups of coffee as well and were planning to both research something until they fell asleep, so they took seats that were across from each other so that they had enough room to nap. One of them accidentally spilled a bit of coffee on the table, she wiped up the mess but not before it made a tiny stain on the first page of the library book she had.
- Finally, I met or was a spirit wandering through the same campus area, telling a story and being recorded, possibly for some TV or radio audience. His story was mundane at first but he played up a particularly tragic story involving his daughter and her little daughter dying as well and he burst into tears for the audience on two separate occasions, wishing that he could have at least saved his grandchild from whatever had caused their death. It was implied that he was over-emphasizing this tragedy for the audience, but this heart-rending segment went on for quite a bit, and they also played a plaintive wail clip from his daughter that added to the heartbreak several times, and I woke up IRL with tears in my eyes, although I wasn’t particularly emotionally sad about it.
Feb 13 2022
- After crossing a zebra crossing on the way home to the Singapore-style apartment block where Mom and I lived, there were two food carts ran by two people each that were trying to sell me suspicious-looking food and drinks for a party that was apparently going on in an open-air restaurant on the ground floor/void deck level of the apartment block we lived in. Both food carts sold exactly the same things, but one pair of vendors was a lot more insistent on trying to sell my their goods, whereas the other pair looked guilty about what they were doing and didn’t really try.
- The food was some sort of bland pastry, and the drink option came in two flavours — either lots of sugar, or a mixture that the vendors described as chill and relaxing, which would knock me out for about 45 minutes or so. I decided I didn’t want that, so I went for the lots of sugar option, even though I felt that I wouldn’t be able to finish the drink. The food and drink combo was cheap enough and did grant me access to that open-air restaurant, so I decided to stop by before I headed upstairs to go home.
- The tables in the restaurant had permission levels set on them so that if you were sitting at one, people who requested to join could automatically join, automatically be declined, or the system would ask whoever controlled the table for permission to allow them in. There were also certain tables reserved for English speakers or Chinese speakers only, and other tables that had no such restriction — this meant that if a group or event was booking the restaurant, they wouldn’t be able to book the entire restaurant and there would always be a few seats left for other people to use.
- A case in point popped into mind — apparently a group of people from the Chinese language classes that I took at my McNally High School were going to use this restaurant for an end of semester/post-exam party, and had booked all the tables they could using the Chinese setting, which was about 2/3 of the restaurant, even though everyone in the group, including me, could obviously speak both Chinese and English.
- Despite not buying the chill and relaxing drink, I fell asleep at my table anyway with the “ask me” permission setting on, and this apparently defaulted to allowing the person in if there was no reply after some time. I hovered over my unconscious body and watched people peer in to the booth and then leave it again since I was curled up on a long wall-side table seat.
- Eventually, the manager came and woke me up, or came by as I woke up, and he said that there had been a rash of thefts in the area recently and to ask me to check if I had all my possessions. I couldn’t find my grey cat coin purse at first, but the manager looked on the floor and found it on the other side of me from him, it had apparently rolled off onto the floor while I was asleep. Besides that, I had everything else with me.
- A bit later, I was in a garage with Dad, and he pointed out that most of the thefts in the area were done by people bumping into their victims’ front or back and then stealing the item while the victim was distracted, so holding an item in front or behind me like a slung bag or wallet in the pocket was dangerous, and to hold my items to the sides of my body instead, since the thieves never targetted those.
- He tried to teach me how to carve a large, heavy wooden panel that I could clutch to my chest to protect the front of my body, to help prevent theft from that angle. But I told him that that slab of wood was far too heavy for a girl to lift, and that I already had a blue multipurpose file left over from my McNally days that I still carried with me, it was battered and empty but I carried it clutched to my chest as well, and that would suffice against the thieves because I didn’t care if it got stolen.
- Snippet: I remember, at some point before the zebra crossing, controlling a superhero team of five in some game which had configurable settings that I could tweak.
- I went to another void deck in this second dream, this time to meet a middle-aged woman teacher from a nearby school who was giving truck driving lessons after school. This was the second lesson that I had taken, I had taken a similar class from a different teacher previously (it was implied to be in a previous unrecorded dream), and had passed it, and was told to go practice for a year before I could get my full licence. For whatever reason, I either wanted to redo the test or I wanted to use this as part of my training, so I went to this location to take the test under a different instructor again.
- I felt more nervous even though I had passed it before, but I arrived early anyway and she waved to me. She had four or five students coming for this so she told me to wait to one side until she was ready. I noticed a lot of people scurrying around the same void deck we were in, they looked like a TV crew setting up a set to shoot some scene.
- I was chewing on something and there were bones that I had to spit out, I looked around for a bin to spit it out in but found none. The teacher was starting to gather everyone by this time so I noticed a nearby doorway that led to an indoor corridor and a bathroom sign as the first room to the right, so I ducked into there, spit it out into a bin in the bathroom, and went out again in time to catch the start of the lesson.
- We were seated on the floor as we listened to the instructor give a lecture that preceded the truck driving portion, and as I was carrying a large rucksack with me, I unpacked and laid out everything in it before repacking it again. Besides school books, there was a prize banner that I had won or bought earlier in the dream, a bunch of Dragon magazine issues, and the entire 6-book set of the Fabled Lands gamebook series. The two closest students to me were looking at my items with curiosity and interest as I packed all of it back into my bag.
- The prize banner itself was for a TV event that I had attended before coming to this training session. We had to watch the second season of a show and then vote on which character was the best one, and we would either win or could buy commemmorative limited-edition victory prizes based on which character won the vote, or something like that. I had also participated in this for the first season of the show, and the barrister character had won all the awards then, and I had some mementos from him as well, but another character that I voted for was the runaway winner in this second season, which was how I ended up with this new prize banner.
- I went home after the truck driving course, to a room that looked like an expanded version of my current bedroom and closet. The bed was a large, queen- or king-sized bed as well. I shared this room with a guy, but he thankfully had his own bed, as I found him a bit annoying.
- I flopped down on my bed, opened my laptop, and then either started to watch or play a new anime or JRPG that I didn’t know much about, but that involved the main character, a girl that I controlled, starting to work at a restaurant with a high staff turnover. I figured that this meant the restaurant didn’t treat its staff well, but “I” was actually treated really well, and there was a good mix of male and female waiters. The male waiters were dressed like butlers, but the female waitresses were not dressed like maids, we had cute waitress outfits with short skirts instead.
- Anyway, I was a really perky character and so made a good first impression, but I soon discovered the reason that the staff turnover rate was so high — the entire restaurant was also a hunting ground for some ethereal monsters or something that would pop out from under the table and would target the females in the room with tentacles that had sticky ends, trying to latch onto parts of their clothing and pull it away. This applied to both staff and patrons, and I had no idea about this beforehand, but the patrons did and seemed to enjoy the attention. They were really slow, and part of the male waiters’ jobs, besides serving the food, was to protect the female patrons as well by getting in the way of the tentacles, as they would just bounce off and go on cooldown if they hit a male or his clothing.
- However, no one was protecting the female waitresses who had no such defence, and at one point a tentacle latched on to my wrist, which had a cufflink thing on it, and I had to wriggle out of that to let the monster drag it off, and I heard slurping noises as it devoured the item. I realized belatedly that this game or anime was probably quite ecchi in theme, at least in a suggestive sense, although I never saw anything specifically lewd happen. Yet.
- I did see the manager protecting a woman patron get distracted by someone talking to him at one point though, as he stood in a T-pose between a monster and the patron. The bemused monster realized he wasn’t paying attention, so it walked around him and up to the woman, extended a tentacle and smacked it on her straw hat, pulling it off her and consuming it in front of the two of them. She immediately got up to leave and he looked really apologetic about that.
- The scene eventually transitioned back to the bedroom, as I shut off the game or anime I was watching. I noticed on the Windows taskbar of the laptop that it was running on that it was part of a franchise series called When They Cry, which had three shows or games, of which I had now played or watched the first chapter or episode.
- I also noticed that while I was engrossed in the media, my annoying roommate had jumped onto my bed and was lying down beside me, sort of watching with a smug look on his face. I wanted to slap him. He tried to peer at my monitor screen after I had closed the game as he saw a search engine session open with some partial search or random keystrokes typed in that happened to spell out “Butt”, and he was very amused by that. I yanked the laptop away from him and told him to get off my bed. He refused. I then got off the bed instead and said I was moving to a chair.
- As I got off, he opened our closet from afar and showed me that he had converted it into a shrine for the TV show that we both watched and that I had won the prize banner for earlier. It was one of our shared interests. It had a bunch of memorabilia from both the first and second season of the show, and I ooh’ed at it and said that I had brought back a new second season banner and he could add it to our collection. I then realized that he had tossed out all my clothing (as well as his) from the closet in order to have enough space to hang up all the memorabilia, and I made complaining noises at him about this.