My Diary #042

Dear Tigey,

Happy Shiara day.

Entry #042 (Feb 27 2022)

Table of Contents

Avoiding cake from my…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #40
ට  Song of the Week #17
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #24
ට  Dreams

School

It was Reading Week this week in the University, so there were no classes. However, I got this message:

You’re receiving this email because I’ve just completed your nomination for exchange to NUS for sometime during the equivalent to UAlberta‘s 2022/23 school year.

You can now be expected to be contacted directly by NUS with information about their part of your exchange application. Please be sure to let me know if they don’t contact you by March 28. If I don’t hear back from you by that date then I’ll assume that, yes, they did contact you and that everything is going well with the NUS part of your exchange application.

I’m forwarding the email below that will give you a “sneak peek” at the information that NUS will likely send to you. To be clear, please do NOT start any part of the NUS application until they contact you directly inviting you to do so.

If you have any questions about the NUS part of the application, please send them directly to one of my NUS counterparts,

———- Forwarded message ———

Subject: Call for AY2022/23 Semester 1 and Full Academic Year Nominations (University-wide)

Important Deadlines & Updates for the Student Exchange Programme
Application portal opens: Mon, 21 Mar 2022

New Process!

Nominated students will receive an email containing a pre-assigned application number and temporary password to start their exchange applications. Emails will be sent out between 21 Mar and 4 Apr 2022 and will contain additional information on how to complete the application.

For more information on the application process, please refer here.

Application portal closes: Sun, 10 Apr 2022* (23:59 Singapore Standard Time)

*In an effort to give more time for module allocation/reselection, NUS has moved the application deadline forward by a few days. We hope this allows more inbound students to be offered admission in the next exchange cycle, and to have a smoother module allocation and reselection experience overall.

Immigration & Insurance

NUS will continue to keep a close eye on the latest advice from immigration authorities and any possible impact on students’ ability to secure a Student’s Pass (Visa) or arrive in Singapore. In the event border control measures prevent students from entering Singapore, we will let partners know as soon as possible.

Given the uncertainties associated with international travel, we ask nominated students not to make travel or housing arrangements for their exchange until they receive their acceptance letters (emails) from NUS in mid-June 2022 and know the latest travel advice and entry steps.

Exchange students are covered under the NUS Medical Insurance Scheme. For more info regarding COVID-related coverage, please click here.

Students are strongly encouraged to purchase supplemental travel insurance to ensure they are adequately covered during their time abroad.

Available Modules (Courses)

For the latest list of modules open to exchange students, please click here. Modules for AY2022/23 Semester 1 will be posted in mid-March 2022 to coincide with the Fall 2022 exchange cycle commencing on 21 Mar 2022.

Course restrictions can be found here.

NUS Timetable Builder, which includes course descriptions, can be found here.

Please note some lectures (with 50+ students) could be conducted online in Semester 1. Such lectures will be noted as “E-learning” in the NUS Timetable Builder. Tutorials will likely remain in-person if they have less than 50 students (based on the latest COVID-19 mitigation measures).

Students are encouraged to be very flexible with their course requirements and to have plenty of back-up options in the event of oversubscribed modules or timetable clashes.

On-campus Housing

Students will apply for housing after they have been accepted into the programme. More information on how and when to apply for housing will be included in acceptance letters (released in mid-June 2022).

In order to abide by social distancing measures, our residences will most likely not be able to operate at full capacity in Semester 1. Students should research off-campus housing options to be safe.

Based on the latest border control measures, students may need to self-isolate for up to 10 days upon arrival in Singapore. Student should take this into account when making travel and housing plans. As a general guide, students should arrive no later than 31 July 2022 for a 10-days self-isolation, 3 August 2022 for 7-days self-isolation and 7 August 2022 for 1 to 3-days self-isolation. More information regarding arrival procedures will be included in acceptance letters.

Additional Resources for Students and Partners
GRO Website

Feel free to share the Global Relations Office’s website with nominated students for the latest information on module restrictions, application procedures, required supporting documents, deadlines, visa applications, etc.

See you in NUS Webinar

To help incoming exchange students prepare for their exchange, NUS will be conducting webinars in the summer (tentatively July 2022).

Please keep a look out for more information regarding dates and registration information!

Latest COVID-19 Updates

For the latest updates from NUS on the COVID-19 situation and the steps the University is taking, please refer here.

Other sources of information include Singapore’s Ministry of Health and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.

A couple takeaways from this:

This is basically the UAlberta-side acceptance of my study abroad application to Singapore/NUS — this part was kind of mostly expected, just a bit delayed this year. NUS themselves haven’t accepted me yet, so that still remains to be seen. It’s interesting that the actual application window on that side, if accepted, is really small — starting somewhere between Mar 21 and Apr 04, and ending on Apr 10. That’s a tiny window to get paperwork done, so I assume they won’t be asking for things like letters of recommendation this time. Which is good, since I probably won’t have anyone to write them since I have been out of the University system for a year (and only taking part-time, online courses before that), not counting this semester’s one haiku class.

It’s also interesting that housing application is done separately after everything else is done — in June — I will probably look for off-campus accommodations because I am or should be fairly well-acquainted with how to get around the city, but we will see what the situation is like at the time.

In other news, the University and the teaching union decided at the end of the second round of mediation negotiations to.. continue mediation next week. I wish they’d just go on strike already, as this pushes back the strike date even closer to potential final exam dates, plus forces students back to school and in-person for a few weeks and forces them to play with health risks and, especially in the case of out of province and international students, forces some of them to figure out how to even get to class as not all professors are (allowed to be?) accommodating in terms of offering remote learning options. And in the meantime, professors are apparently warning their students to expect a prolonged semester. The province also cut funds to the University even further in the budget this week as well, despite spinning it as “growth”, and apparently there’s an act (local) where the government can control the administration’s bargaining offers with secret puppet strings in regards to what they can say and what offers they can put on the table, which explains a lot of the rubbish going on.

Work

I had a three day work week this week, so things were quiet. I don’t have too much to say about it except the other female on the combined team, who was from the other team that got merged with us, is returning after being away for some time due to maternity leave. I’m not particularly close to her as I have not associated much with her in the past, but I am glad anyway and hope to get to know her better.

Also, one of the daily standups devolved into some political chatter, and current events has now been banned as a topic from our daily standup chat, heehee. This was just before Russia attacked Ukraine this week though. And Alberta/Edmonton has a large Ukrainian population and one of our new team members that got merged into us was originally from there.

Life

I suppose the biggest thing this week was also the reason I took Friday off — it was Shiara Day, a.k.a. my birthday, on the 25th. Sort of anyway. I was born just after 6am in Singapore, so if adjusted for local time zones it was actually the 24th. I don’t like birthdays as they remind me of getting old and it’s just another day, and friend interactions get a bit awkward because I have always felt that exchanging niceties (“happy birthday!” “thank you!”) are a bit uncomfortable, but I do use Shiara Day as an excuse to slack off that day anyway. I received some amazing memories this year though and wanted to highlight a few so I never forget them:

Firstly, Satinel programmed a freaking game to surprise me with. it’s based on Skeal, a well-recommended game that even Jah has played multiple times (or made others play, it’s not always recorded) and that you can get here. While the idea is about the same, she changed the event and the background song (setting it to this former Song of the Week), adding in karaoke subtitles, pictures of Tigey and some of the other plushies from Plushie of the Week and a couple easter eggs for me. That was awesome and I had a silly grin on my face all the way through, so thank you Satinel!

Just so this is never lost, here’s the link to the game, and here are some screenshots:

How odd that the two screenshots I took with lyrics had the same lyric line (from different parts of the song) in them. Anyway, I’d been urging her to learn Unity programming for some time as she has a dream she needs to pursue, and I knew she had tried out some online courses for it, but I hadn’t realized that she had progressed this far in so short a time, so it quite floored me, even if she was still busy listing all the things still wrong with the game the day after. None of that matters!

Next, Jah Stream Night rolled around and he revealed that he had purchased a cousin of Tigey‘s online and had it on full display for Stream Night in the stream camera:

Tigey‘s influence is spreading! It really is the Chinese zodiac Year of the Tigey. He bought it from eBay, and he said it came in a sealed plastic bag, which is probably a good thing since these guys hail from 1997 or so. My Tigey has an older look to him since he’s been out in the world for so long, but that one, and many of the ones I’ve seen online, are whiter (especially the sideburns), and have a flatter and slightly more lopsided face. Or perhaps that’s due to the placement of the somewhat random stripes. It’s definitely a Tigey though. That was a super pleasant surprise/tribute.

And then lastly, a friend from the /r/Chihayafuru Discord server whom I hadn’t really talked to in quite a while (I stopped being active in there quite some time ago) but who I liked talking to quite a bit back in the day, pinged me in the server because he had remembered my birthday and had modified/drew some fanart of me and some others in the server, for me. They’re attached here:

I’m apparently the striped tiger cat on the left, the bear at the bottom is a bearstab emoji on Discord that I liked using on him whenever he was mean to me, and he’s the tree (I call him Bodhi but his original server nickname was BodhiSearchTree, and he likes giving out headpats, despite being over 10 years my junior). In the extended picture, a mutual friend who used to go by the name of Llamasoup, thus the llama personification, is bringing him a bandage in response to the bearstab. How cute! I’m not sure quite what I did to deserve all that from friends, I never do anything like that for anyone else, but I am nonetheless really appreciative!

Outside of Shiara Day shenanigans, my Chinese dizi flute arrived this week:

I still can’t actually blow a note on it, it mostly makes hollow noises, although I’ve come close to making a proper note once or twice. It’s all about the blowing technique and I haven’t quite figured out how yet, though. You’ll notice a tape over the second hole from the left — there’s supposed to be a membrane stretched and glued/taped over it but the flute only came with a few membranes and it’s supposed to be replaced every couple weeks, so most people recommend using tape of some kind to cover it while practicing, even though it loses some of its timbre without a proper membrane. It apparently doesn’t make a sound at all without some sort of tape covering though. Though not that I can tell yet.

Russia invaded Ukraine this week and it’s weird and a bit terrifying to see and read about them being at war and the possibility that it will spill over into the rest of the world with nuclear weapons being part of the equation as well, as Russia is currently ruled by a madman. I had been having premonitions for some time, from even before the war, that passports will become important in the near future and have been trying to get my friends, especially those in America, to get theirs just in case a quick jaunt across the border is necessary for security’s sake. I also now kind of understand the draw behind buying and owning a nuclear bunker somewhere and stuffing it with stockpiles to survive a nuclear winter with some friends, and have definitely at least mused over the idea while lying in bed, heh.

I’m now done week 3 of my weekly hour-long interviews with Dad, and he’s shared some super interesting stories about his family and army life. Last week’s recording, done in Audacity, was bugged for some reason though and although my voice recorded clearly, and I could listen to him clearly, the recording has his side of the Google Voice call turned down to very low, nearly inaudible, which is extremely disappointing. I wish there was a good, clean, and reliable way to just record a voice conversation over the Internet (or I guess phone, but it stops me from Googling things up on the fly if I have to hold and use a phone) for free. Oh well. I at least kind of know what to look at to immediately see the warning signs if this happens again now in Audacity. Week 4 is this afternoon, since I am finishing up this blog post on Sunday morning.

Someone whom I had never spoken or written to before emailed me this morning as well, a student from Paris, France who cited one of my Sophia University writeups and had some follow-up questions about the University. Unfortunately I could not answer her questions about it since I never actually did end up going there, at least yet, but that’s sort of impressive (and it did make my day) that people were actually randomly stumbling across the page and found it passingly useful. We started chatting over emails and it’s been a really nice exchange so far.

Games

This week was “Steam Next Fest: February 2022 Edition” week on Steam, which basically was a festival of game demos that were coordinated to release at about the same time for people to sample new and upcoming games in various states of completion. I played a whole bunch of these for anything from 30 to 90 minutes and reviewed them for my Discord friends, and though I won’t list the actual review opinions here since they’re just demos in various stages of completion and games change over time, I did rate each demo out of 10 and wanted to at least catalogue their scores here:

So that was a lot of demos. Again, they’re rated on how good I thought the demo was and aren’t necessarily a measure of what the full game might be. There were several more that mildly caught my eye, and that I would have tried, except I got bored of bouncing around games and wanted to concentrate on a longer game instead, particularly on Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout which I fixated on late in the week.

Lost Ark basically became a footnote this week, after I spent most of last week engrossed on it — the story stalled out on an incredibly boring portion and the performance and other issues with the game on my machine started to overshadow any fun I was having, so I more or less dropped it other than doing daily logins. It’s basically not far above Genshin now, which I’m also dropping once my current subscription to it ends (the sub requires me to log in once a day for 28 days or so to collect gems, and I obediently do my dailies while online).

Elden Ring released this week on Shiara Day, and while I’m not picking the game up to play with it, it was pretty cool to see Jahandar stream it for Jah Stream Night this week, and I do like how neat it looked and the open world, almost Skyrim-like feel to it combined with tough boss fights. It made me ponder playing Dark Souls 3 or looking out for Sekiro sales more than actually wanting to play Elden Ring right now, though, since my current computer might struggle with that one this early on in its patch cycle.

The Steam Deck was also “released” on Shiara Day and started shipping out to early preorders this week, allegedly. I say allegedly because apparently the stock was so small that very few of the people that had preordered even got the email that they could order one now. I had preordered it on the first day, but my spot in the queue reads to be Q2 2022 before I can actually order one, and according to this Steam Deck calculator someone built based on some methodology I didn’t look into, I probably shouldn’t expect mine before June 01 2022. At least there’s still a chance it comes before I go abroad, I suppose!

Other than those games, I played the Happy Shiara Day game that Satinel put together for me and that I highlighted in the Life section above, and I also dabbled in Atelier Online: Alchemist of Bressisle on the phone briefly, although all that really did is push me back to the Ryza PC game that I already owned and had not completed yet. What little of it I played seemed interesting and cute though. I want this shovel.

Lost in last week’s Lost Ark obsession was also a footnote that my Mojang/Minecraft account has now been migrated to a Microsoft account, since they asked me to do so in an email on February 17th. Sure, I decided. Why not. Better than ignoring it and getting stuck down the road when I actually want to play the game again but have to figure out an arcane migration process that might or might not still be working by then.

Plushie of the Week #40 – Tignardo/Tigette

Tignardo, or Tigette, depending on which name Jah settles on in the end, is the Tigey that Jahandar (the online nickname of the owner of this site’s webspace, the host of Jah Stream Night, a friend of many years minus a few blips in between, and someone whom I visited in November 2021) unveiled on Jah Stream Night this week. You can see a picture above in the Life section, but it will be reposted here so they’re all in one place:

Look at him hanging out on the microphone there, next to Jah. Anyway, I thought that this would be a good tangent for this week’s Plushie of the Week segment, even though this is technically not my plushie. I say technically, because the real Tigey has been to Jah‘s house and annexed it, and therefore owns everything he owns by proxy, even if they turned up a few months later. It’s like a sphere of influence thing. Or a disease that spreads by touch. Anyway it’s inspired by Tigey, and owned by a friend of mine, so me featuring this is no more out of place than me featuring a toy bought by one of my siblings after I left the family house.

He arrived at Jah‘s place on Feb 25, 2022, making it the first plushie in my list to actually share a birthday with Shiara Day, because I’m not reverent enough regarding my own birthday to tend to buy, receive or ask for plushies for myself. Though there may be one or two exceptions I find eventually. He apparently cost $11.38 USD, after taxes and shipping, and his exact listing is here (local), with the seller pictures backed up here (01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06).

According to the listing, he went over to Mississippi (where Jah is) from Willis, Texas, though I’m not sure if the beanie babies were also given out there and elsewhere back in 1997 when these were given out, or if this Tigey had taken a long trip from Singapore to end up where s/he is today. Jah did point out that Exxon’s headquarters are in Texas though, and we did find other eBay listings from Texas, which lent a tiny bit of credence to that theory (though not all of the American listings are from Texas). Therefore, in our headspace, Tignardo and others like him/her escaped from a warehouse crate in Esso/Exxon HQ and disguised themselves in sealed plastic bags so that the hound plushies wouldn’t find them. They then made their way out and brokered new forever homes for themselves. I should really look out for a a couple other cheap Tigeys and buy them as well.

I don’t have too much to say about this cousin of Tigey‘s otherwise, since s/he’s a brand new plushie, but here are some pictures of him nonetheless, courtesy of Jah. He looks so FLUFFY! Tigey‘s cousin that is. Not Jah.

Here’s Tignardo posing with Lucky, a red lucky cat figurine that by pure happenstance moved in with Jah when I was there:

Hello to you too!

Song of the Week #17

Title: Mebae Drive (芽生えドライブ)
Artist: marble
Album: Hidamari Sketch OST (2007)

Mebae Drive is the ending song of the 1st season of my favourite anime show/franchise, Hidamari Sketch. The duo/band marble does the main ending song for all the seasons, and while I like the band in general and can recognize the lead singer’s voice a mile away, this song is the one that I particularly like, out of all their songs that I know of.

The song title, Mebae Drive, roughly translates to Budding Drive, and the lyrics (local) are about innocent friendship, mindfulness, and the here and now of growing up. Yet, to me anyway, it is balanced with a sense that one day all this will end, and that people will grow up and go their own separate ways, and that is why it is even more important to appreciate what one has currently, the presence of good people and things around you in your life, the small and delicate pleasures that life offers, and to try to find the positives in any negatives if possible. Live with as bright an outlook as reasonably possible, and try to catch the glittering stars before they break or fade away. this is a philosophy that guides me, and it cannot be understated that being able to do this isn’t a luxury that everyone has, but a lot of people who have it lose sight of it.

In tems of memories, this reminds me of walking through the Tory Lecture Theater buildings of my University, going to Japanese class in the basement in the afternoons, with this song on my earphones. It also reminds me of the distinctly musty scent of that place and the libraries, which I guess makes it yet another song that has a scent linked to it in my memories. It also reminds me of volunteering for various things on campus for some reason, particularly with UAI and the various things I’ve been able to participate in with international students.

It also reminds me of the show itself, which is my favourite precisely because it echoes a lot of the themes I mention in the last paragraph above, on top of being a fairly long series, with four seasons. The first two seasons are weird because the episodes are split in half and then arranged in anachronic order, with the timeline jumping back and forth until it stabilizes in the third season when some new friends are added. It works for me though, because it speaks to memories and how jumbled up things get over time, and then thus directly points back to this blog (and the Shrine of Memories) that I am trying to write, and the many introspective memories I’ve had since starting the project.

The in-show creditless 90 second video of the ending song can be found here. I don’t particularly like or dislike it though, I’m more a fan of the melody and lyrics. The melody gives my soul a feeling of being a girl in a fantasy world, dancing like a ballerina across the surface of a pond with magic sparkles swirling around me. Good stuff.

Memory Snippet of the Week #24

No pictures this week, but I wanted to talk about one aspect of childhood that occasionally finds its way into my dreams, which are Dad‘s motorcycles. Dad used to drive a Honda motorcycle around Singapore as part of his courier job, and he would also use it to fetch me to or from school at various stages of my early school life. When I was very little I rode in front of him, between him and the handle bars, and I remember putting my hands on the red metal frame for balance and looking at the dashboard with all its dials, and the cap for the oil tank on the frame through which he would fill up the bike at a gas station. When I grew older, I would sit behind him, holding on to his back around his jacket (and getting the smell of the jacket all over me too) and leaning back against the black, lockable motorcycle box placed on the back luggage rack area of the motorcycle.

My school bag would usually be placed in that and locked shut while we were actually on the bike, and I would wear a helmet with a full-face visor that was usually locked inside that box when not in use. Although we would bring the helmets up with us to our apartment once we were home, and they usually sat on a pile of old newspapers or on a counter somewhere. I have endearing general memories of him weaving in and out of traffic, as Singaporean motorcyclists stop between lanes at intersections and traffic lights, rather than take up an actual car spot in the lane like in Edmonton and elsewhere in Canada. I also have several specific memories and snippets of events with Dad and that motorcycle that I can recall:

  • One time, I was waiting by the motorcycle down in the parking lot below my grandmother’s apartment in Bishan, while Dad had either popped up to the house to get something or was at the kopitiam (coffeeshop) nearby ordering some food. Anyway i leaned too hard against the motorcycle, and it toppled over into another motorcycle parked next to it, with both crashing down to the ground with a loud sound. I tried pulling it up but Dad thankfully came over in time and righted everything for me.
  • Another time when I was very young, around Grade 3 or so, I was fumbling with my wallet for some reason while Dad was driving me home from my school, and a dollar coin slipped out of my hand and fell onto the grass by the roadside as the motorcycle flew by. I was upset by that but didn’t tell anyone about it at the time. I still remember where it roughly was and did even eventually halfheartedly pass by the area to search for it many months later to no avail, so I guess I traded a dollar for a lasting memory in the end.
  • I could recognize the motorcycle from afar because it had a tinge of red to it, and one of the things I could do from our second home, Yishun 723, was to watch out from the balcony down to the road intersection far off in the distance and spot Dad on his way home after work well in advance of him actually reaching home. I also briefly mentioned this (with pictures) over in My Diary #015.
  • I remember wearing a yellow plastic raincoat and hiding behind Dad whenever he would bring me to or from school in the rain as well, and then putting the helmet on over the raincoat hood. I am guessing this raincoat was always kept in the motorcycle box as well, but the yellow shade of the coat still sticks out in my mind. As did how it mostly kept me dry but my shoes would always be wet. If I were going to school, I would put my shoes in the box as well and wear slippers instead, and dry out my feet with a towel once I got to the school parking lot, then put on my socks and shoes and head off to class.
  • Lastly, one day in Grade 4 or 5, I remember scalding my leg on accident by carelessly pressing it against the metal exhaust pipe on the side of the motorcycle as I was alighting from it in the school parking lot. I didn’t yell or scream and didn’t even tell Dad about it, just went off to class anyway, and I watched it with curiosity through the day as it did leave a visible burn and wound mark on my lower leg, not far above the sockline on my ankles. Dad was really upset about it when I got home and my parents found out about it though, partly because I didn’t tell him and, if I recall right, partly because what it might imply to everyone else about our family life because I walked around all day at school with a burn mark visible to everyone else.

There are plenty of other small travelling memories in various places around the country, and I do associate the motorbike with parking lots with little crowded motorcycle parking spaces, as well as to coffeeshops/kopitiams in general because Dad would often stop by one to pick up dinner for the family while I waited for him. I also remember him chiding me now and then for nodding off on the motorcycle as I would wake up with a jerk and surprise him, causing the motorcycle to jerk and wobble briefly, and he mentioned how dangerous that was.

Also, while he could take one other person with him on his trip, the family couldn’t ever all travel by motorcycle together, since it only seats two at once and we were 3-5 large with kids. And we didn’t own any other vehicle since cars were extremely expensive in Singapore. So when we went out for outings, we would either take the bus and train, or a taxi. For this reason, I think, I never really got much experience with riding an actual car until I was in my late teens, and so I hated the smell of cars and taxis and would sometimes get carsick if the windows were not wound down for fresh air.

There’s a recently aired anime named Super Cub that really resonated with my childhood motorcycle phase, which brought back many little memories about my childhood when I watched it. I inquired with my parents at some point while watching that and they mentioned that Dad indeed owned a Honda 125cc motorcycle, and had even owned a Suzuki motorcycle before that, although I don’t quite remember that one. They did drop familiar license plate numbers though, the latter one that I do remember was something like AX5099U and the former one, which I don’t remember, was something with a 5077 instead. I do seem to remember that 5077 number being somewhat significant though, though I’m not sure if it’s a memory I’m making up after the fact. It’s definitly not as strong a memory as 5099 though.

Once we came to Canada, Dad got a car license and drove a minivan instead, so I’ve never ridden pillion (nor as a main driver) on a motorcycle here in Canada, but every time I see one I am still brought back to my Singapore days and clutching my Dad‘s waist as we zipped between traffic on the way to some unknown destination.

Dreams
Feb 21 2022
  • I remember a couple who had just broken up while on vacation trying to get back to their hotel room without their friends, who were also there with them, figure out what happened right away. They had to take a really crowded elevator back so the guy helped push the girl and a bunch of other people into the lift so that the door could shut, while using that as an excuse to wait for the next elevator himself so that he ddin’t have to be in the same one as her.
  • At another point, I and a group of friends were trying to solve a word puzzle, a 7 letter word starting with P and ending with -ER that describes a person who slept really well. It was set up similar to Wordle, where people could make guesses as to the word, but they would only tell you if the correct letter was in the correct place. The other people with me guessed some silly words that were definitely wrong to discover the letters we had, but I told them not to waste the last two guesses so I could have some time to think of the answer.
Feb 22 2022
  • I remember taking a trip with someone and planning to hike all the way up to the Arctic from Edmonton. I knew it was going to be chillier than it was down here, but not terribly so, but I was looking forward to it and there was a sense of exoticness and possibly mild danger around the trip as we were probably going to pass through Russia at some point. Anyway we walked some ways up and ended up befriending a girl we met and spending the night in her house. I thought already we were really far north but was surprised to hear her mention, when we chatted the next morning, that she had moved down to near Edmonton in order to be close to the a certain market here that was basically really close to my home. I checked the map and indeed we had only moved a very short distance from our starting point, relative to how much of the journey we had left. I also noticed I had a couple Dunman friends living nearby, one to the southeast and one to the northwest, as per my map, which had notable landmarks marked on it.
  • I remember at another point taking the bus with some Dunman friends on the way to school, I remember in particular talking about some English analysis homework with Yiwen as we waited in line to board the bus, and then sitting next to Harvey in the front left seat of the bus for the second day in a row.
  • Lastly, I remember at one point playing an NHL computer game, where I basically simulated the entire season since my Edmonton team always got into the playoffs, then I would simulate the post-season in small chunks, adding extra practice and rest days here and there to try to boost my team’s stats for the playoff rounds. I never wanted to actually play the matches though so I would inevitably lose in one of the rounds, but then I’d just quickly fast forward again to the next post-season after that. I also remember Detroit had an off-team that wasn’t the Red Wings, because the commentator at one point referred to the “other” team, the Red Wings, and mentioned something about how the four main Detroit sports teams had won all four major sporting championships at some point and how that inspired something about this current one.
Feb 23 2022
  • I dreamt that Nak, Satinel, and I were a group wandering around a three-level building that was a school and a shopping mall rolled into one. In particular I remember Satinel stopping us outside a science lab where a teacher was seated at a desk reading something, and four students were at tables doing chemistry experiments. She indicated that she wanted to attack it, and we barged in, threatening the teacher with our weapons, who looked unamused and told us to shoot her. We each picked a different target to start and shot them all, which had the effect of not killing them but instead turning their allegiance so they were part of our team now. We then told them that they could now research in peace, and they thanked us. We also went around the room to see if any of them was a hidden shopkeeper or had some other unique interaction, which was the reason Satinel wanted to attack them in the first place, but they didn’t.
  • We also went up to the third level of the building and walked around in preparation for a birthday dinner celebration we had at 8pm. It was 7:30 pm so we took our time passing by various shops and a fancy staircase that led down. We ended up at some public toilets with a long queue outside, which actually only had 4 people lined up, and Nak said that the toilets were very efficient and the queue of 4 would be down to 0 in less than a minute. He was right.
  • At another point in the dream, I was hanging out with Neichus and Seren and we were celebrating Christmas or New Years by playing a special game of AMQ after watching an anime movie of some sort together. The two of them had already watched the movie before and thus already had its song on their lists.
  • At yet another point, I was in my current apartment and looking out the balcony door toward the building on the other side of a grass yard. My family was living in a ground floor unit in that building, and I saw Mom outside cleaning their unit’s balcony door with a rag even though it was close to midnight. She paused and crossed the yard to my building to use a tap located on our ground floor to rinse the rag she was using, before heading back to continue cleaning.
  • Finally, there was a scene as part of a larger, forgotten dream where I entered a shop to pick up a wok and some other things and saw Justin and a couple other people from Mcnally working there, as another place they were working at or something had shut down recently and they needed to make some money. I hailed them and said I visited this shop often when I neeed to buy something as it was on the way home from school for me. I almost picked up a mechanical pencil as well but I couldn’t find one that I liked. The only one I saw had a sliding flap at the very bottom where the metal nib of the pencil usually was, I could slide it to the left to “close” the hole and hide the sharp nib, or slide it to the right to open the hole and allow the very tip of the metal nib to jut out, it was some sort of safety feature to prevent it from being able to stab others, but it also meant it was very awkward to write with.
  • While in the shop area, I also ran into some friends as part of another subplot where we were talking about some Dungeons and Dragons style characters we all had in some game and how the new staff of the shop were less interested in us having fun and more interested in running a boring streamlined game, they were reluctant to let our characters take powerful skills that had been allowed in the past, and the new GM started off the new groups at levels 1 and 2 compared to the established characters in order to curb power creep, but that meant that we couldn’t play together since I and some friends were of a higher level. The level 1 group consisted of three girls from Aikatsu! and only Ichigo from the show, playing the red girl, had her character decided upon. The other two, who were not show characters, hadn’t finalized their character yet but eventually performed an impromptu concert song and then decided on their names. I don’t remember the blue girl’s name but the green girl’s name was Cube. There was a sketched picture of the three of them on the wall and she added a hat on top of her green character to show that her character was now complete.
  • On the way home from that I passed by an intersection near my Yishun 799 home where tons of students were lined up, queueing to get in to a place to do their exams. Time dilation was in full effect there as there were queues numbered by not only class but by year as well, and I saw two different versions of my younger brother there, one where he was holding hands with a girlfriend and one earlier one where he was by himself. I greeted the latter one and we walked home together.
Feb 24 2022
  • I remember a snippet where I was playing an AMQ ranked round as a plot interlude while waiting for a guy friend in some outdoor area, and I accidentally came in second because I got off to a strong start and it was only a 20-song round instead of 100. I got about 16 or 17 songs right. The winner was impressed because he had not really seen me around before even though I was a high level since I mostly play private games, so we got to chatting a little before my friend came and I left. I don’t actually remember anything about the main plot.
Feb 26 2022
  • I had a party of 4 that was escaping from pursuers of some sort, with loot, through a forested area toward a city. One of my group members was dragging along a pallet behind him that was leaving marks in the grass, even though it was very light, and a couple members of the party could cast various spells as well. We had no trouble keeping a bit ahead of our pursuers, and a good portion of the dream was managing this, but I wanted to permanently lose our pursuers before we hit town, so I had our mage cast a spell that would duplicate our tracks, the pallet and our footprints, in two different cardinal directions, east and west, from a certain starting spot, while I cast invisibility on all of us. We continued on southwards, and the two false sets of tracks also started to lengthen as we did so. Looking back, I noticed that the enemy had taken the bait, and gone after the western set of false tracks.
  • Once we hit the city, there were quarantine procedures that we had to follow, and although a party member complained about that as well, I said I didn’t mind since we were allowed to do it safely in town and I trusted Singapore’s government to do the right thing. We spent our time watching a card game between two people, they were playing on two adjacent sides of a square glass booth with counters, but there was no one in the booth itself (which was probably meant for a dealer/referee, so I stepped into the booth and showed my party members how to play the card game.
  • The game was played using a standard 52-card deck, and apparently went something like this: The two players either flipped over a card or picked one from their hand, and they both offered it to the judge (or revealed it in the middle of the table) at the same time. The one with the higher card would win a certain number of tokens from the one with the lower card, based on whether the lower card was odd or even. If it was odd, 1 token was sent over, if it was even, a number of tokens equal to the face value of the card was sent over.
  • Snippet: Also, I remember at some earlier point in the dream being on a train and trying to find a writing partner for some homework project that was supposed to be done during our vacation between the end of the current school year and the start of the next one. People were being paired up as time progressed, and I talked to a couple girls who were potential candidates but wasn’t able to find one and mused going at it alone myself. The reason for the incompatibility was that I already had less homework than my peers since much of it didn’t apply to me, since I didn’t qualify for some of the English homework, and was also not allowed to take second-year Physics and Chemistry classes due to missing a year when I went abroad in the past. I told Zixiang this after he inquired, and he was really surprised by all the restrictions I had.
  • Snippet: There was also a section where everyone at work was gathering for a photo picture after our last morning standup before some extended vacation, but I was remotely accessing the machine and did not have my camera on to boot so I wasn’t part of the picture. I would still be getting a copy of the photo so that was good enough for me.
  • Snippet: At another point, I was a small girl learning magic spells, though my spells were utility based — at some point I had an arm wrestling match with an adult male larger than me and had nothing I could do to be able to win that. However, a little bit after that I had to jump down from a platform to explore a new zone below me and I had plenty of spells to help with getting down there safely and then recalling back afterwards once I was done.
Feb 27 2022
  • As part of the end of a school-related plot, I had the power to roll back time and was trying to use it to save the life of a Captain Kallena who was going to be murdered by a boy who used to be my friend but had succumbed to the temptation of demon-worshipping. I started on the other end of the school, and could hear the hourly news blare out over the loudspeakers. On one of the rounds where I did not intervene, and just listened, it first said that Captain Kallena was no longer a target of the demons, then a few seconds later I heard a gunshot ring out across the school, and the news said that Captain Kallena was now murdered.
  • In several other rounds, I actually went over to where she was but was unable to defeat the demon and save her, and also save my friend at the same time, one or the other always died, so I kept on rewinded time again.
  • Eventually, I found a solution, which was to get to Kallena before the boy did, and teleport her away back to our room, we were all friends and so Kallena and I shared a room while demon boy had a room next door. It was late in the evening by that point and there were others around, so I instructed Kallena to go to sleep and I did as well. Apparently demon boy searched a bit longer but then went to bed too as he didn’t want to reveal his identity to the rest of the school as yet, since his demon powers had not peaked yet.
  • The next morning played out from the point of view of the demon boy. It was bright sunshine when he woke up, and I had implanted the idea in his head that it was Sunday and we were out on the grass field in front of our dorm playing soccer and were thus easy targets. He got out of bed, and he and a floating blue demon friend ran out the room and down the stairs in a CGI cutscene — only to run into the entire student body and the principal and teachers, who were holding morning assembly just outside the dorm.
  • The point of view then changed to a bird’s-eye view, and I saw the principal chastised him for being late, and then, eyeing the blue demonic familiar, asked demon boy straight up if he was a demon. Students did not have the power to lie in front of the principal, so after being asked a second time, he meekly answered yes, and was immediately strapped to a table and had exorcism performed onto him to remove the demonic entity from him.
  • Snippet: There were many other school scenes in the dream, one of them being an early one where I saw the front page photo of a Dunman High yearbook from about 7 years after I had left the school, as part of a quiz (possibly as a prize being given away, but it was also part of a question) that some teacher was holding, where he had obfuscated the name of the school by changing the name to Raffles, another Singapore school, but I recognized the layout of the front of my old school, as well as the school logo still visible in the picture.
  • Snippet: In another snippet, I was climbing some stairs together with a teacher from a second-year University class and some of his students, and hearing them speak about how class two weeks ago was online because of bad weather, and how class last week was slated to be online because of bad weather but was changed to in-person at the last minute because the bad weather never showed up, and some students were late or never arrived due to the late change. This week it was also in-person but everyone apparently did show up. I was wearing really loose shoes that kept on threatening to fall off, and I was hopping up the stairs on one leg, taking it two or four steps at the time, as I listened to them chat.

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