I’m growing older. Everyone I know is also growing older. The Time Moves in an Arrow. Remember that? That was a line that Jon made up when we were in the Edmonton 4012 house. A Heroes 3 custom map name or something that he made. And he’s so right. It’s an unstoppable arrow.
Oh well. Spring is almost here again, and I can almost smell the fresh air streaming in through the balcony door already.
Entry #044 (Mar 13 2022)
The deadline for the final essay for my Haiku class is creeping up. Specifically, we have some time set aside in this upcoming Wednesday’s class for individual consultations for our project, which kind of implied that we needed to have an idea on what we wanted to write on for it. Haiku is kind of a difficult topic to write on, because there’s really not a lot of scholarship written outside of a few specific important poets and events, and even then a lot of the time most of their poems aren’t translated, or aren’t translated *well*, only whichever ones the specific translator feels are more important.
Anyway, my biggest issue with this was what sort of topic to write about, especially since this isn’t just poem analysis, but we have to have some sort of encompassing thesis statement/argument for papers like this too. Yet it is impossible to know the full body of work for any given poet involved, even if one could fully read and understand their original language, most of their stuff isn’t published in books that made its way over here to the West. At any rate, I spent Friday down at the University library peering at books (and took this picture while there), and have come up with a couple rough ideas I consider fairly good, I just have to decide on which one and narrow it down to a specific thesis statement. I think coming up with the ideas was the hard part though, I tend to write a lot (could you tell?) so a 4000-word essay will take just a day or so to hammer out. The important thing for me to do this week was clear my schedule of other things so that I could build a railroad to get this paper going. And after that, I will be done!
In the meantime, we have our final meeting for the MLP session next week, and we’ll have a group presentation for our collaborative activity (the scrapbook I linked in last week‘s post), and I don’t expect there to be much of an issue with this since it will be short and sweet. I even volunteered to do most of the presentation for my team. Hopefully that wasn’t stepping on toes. Everyone else has a small segment to do though.
Our exchange coordinator also gave us notice of a pre-departure meeting on Saturday April 02, in the University, for all the students who are going to be going abroad this semester. Compare that to how my acceptance to (or rejection from) NUS won’t be known until somewhere between Mar 21 and Apr 04, and it’s interesting that I might end up in a state where I’m not sure if I’ll even be accepted yet by the time that session rolls around. Still, this is interesting because the previous two semesters never got this far — this pre-departure session was never held, so this shows that this time they think the exchanges will indeed go ahead.
I did see some people going to other schools in Japan (Chiba, ICU) excitedly chat with each other in our University’s Japanese Discord server though, so I was a bit jealous of that, and felt some regret at not applying to Sophia again this semester. But I also regretted not being able to apply to the National University of Singapore last semester, and both schools mean different things to me, so I knew that this time I’d still feel apprehension even if I had applied to Sophia. And I will be applying there next semester if this NUS one this semester falls through. Still, it was a very odd moment, since I had two doors for my life’s journey to choose between, and have now had the opportunity to pick one while wistfully looking down the other path, for both of the possible doors. I almost want to write a bad haiku about this, since we’ve looked at a lot of Japanese poets in class now and many of them often mixed poetry into their writings and diaries and so on, Heck, I did so.
The other door has
Grassy paths drenched in blossoms.
Why didn’t you pick me?
I actually pronounce the word didn’t with one syllable using my native accent (the middle D drops, so “didn’t you” becomes “dintchu”), even though I know it’s two in formal English.
Work was quiet this week. I regret seething a bit at Ronnie, my supervisor, last week, because this week he got yelled at by some obnoxious person from another team (the other person’s team leader had to come to my boss to apologize for her subordinate’s rudeness afterwards!) in a public meeting for something that ultimately wasn’t his fault. So anyway it’s hard for me to stay mad at him for inconsequential things in the long run when he’s having a bad week.
The only notable thing from work this week was that the teaching staff did indeed ratify their union-approved contract agreement with the administration last week, and thus a strike was averted for now. The union for us support staff is still in similar mediation-driven contract negotiations though, and I do wonder if they’ll try to play the unions against each other by giving us a worse deal or even a better one.
I went down to the doctor’s this week and got told that yes, I am probably prediabetic, because I’ve scored over the Hemoglobin A1C threshold for two tests in a row now, 6.6 in October or so and 6.4 earlier this month, where 5.4-5.9 is considered normal and 6.0-6.4 is considered prediabetic. I don’t fully understand the ins and outs of it, but it does run in the family, and I don’t think I take in a ton of sugars either way, so hopefully some diet changes and the warming weather (allowing for more walks and other activity) will help alleviate this a bit. I did immediately resolve to cut out fruit juices for at least the rest of the year though, since that’s one thing I do buy and drink sometimes (usually diluted with water, but still). I’m not overweight, or at least not last time I checked, but I am/was close to the high end of normal weight, partially because I’m being measured on the female weight table these days despite having male bone structures. And partly because working from home in the pandemic is very sedentary.
Anyway, the doctor prescribed me a new pill to try out for now, the label on the bottle says its called Metformin. It allegedly comes with upset stomach as a temporary side effect, so the pharmacist told me to eat half a pill a day instead of the prescribed one pill until I felt like the side effects were over, then to move up to a pill a day. I only really had an upset stomach the first two days though, and I moved up to a full pill on the third day and haven’t had any issues since. Touch wood.
I have an appointment with my former endocrinologist near the end of the month as well, but apparently this will be just a telephone call appointment, which is a bit weird for me as I need to get a prescription from her as this also stemmed from my doctor’s visit and was about a request to review and adjust my hormonal dosage.. but whatever.
This week was weird overall, I have email inquiries out to several shops and services and stuff for various things and just… no one has replied back to me for anything. Nothing like indifference and a horrifying war on the other side of the world to make it feel like the world sped by.
I installed a new plugin for this website that provides information about keywords when you hover over it with a cursor. It works site-wide, so I provide it with a glossary and it highlights words on all previous pages as well, which is both a plus and a minus at the same time, but I had been looking for a plugin like this for some time and was glad to finally settle on one, because it was one of the obstacles (besides time) preventing me from working on my Dream Diary page — contextual information on proper nouns — people, places and things. Video editing also continued this week, I processed what was my fourth-largest video or so from my USA trip… and it tied up my computer for 16 hours. Ack. I need to figure out an alternative for these insane processing times. (It’s tying up Youtube even longer though, Youtube’s been trying to process HD versions of the video for over 24 hours now.)
Talking about clearing my schedule of other things, two things had been weighing down on my mind so I cleared them off my plate this week. This year’s taxes was one of them, and claiming my Personal Spending Account benefits from my workplace from last year was another. They’re done, and I’m a bit richer now. I think. I should be getting something close to CAD $2k back from them in total, though part of it (the $1250 from the PSA) will be taxed.
I saw a bunch of rabbits in our community backyard on Saturday night. I took a couple pictures and declared to my friends in Discord that this was a random miracle. And it was, because they were concealed by my curtains, and I was going to have some tea, but changed my mind at the last second and had some chilled milk from a milk packet instead. And after chilling the packet in the freezer, I wandered over to the balcony while sipping from it, pushed aside the curtains to peer out from it, and saw the coven doing their thing. They were only there for a couple minutes, just enough time for me to grab my phone camera and wander out onto the balcony, and were all completely gone by the time I was done my drink.
I’ve never seen a sight like this in my 11 years living here. Even when I see rabbits it’s usually just 1-3 at a time, not six of them at once. I guess they were gathering around whatever that dark thing in the ground is, that maybe was producing some warmth to melt the snow as well. But it looked like they were holding an usagi (rabbit) conference to discuss the time change (this was the spring time change of the famous “fall back, spring forward” phrase, so we lost an hour, but get later sunlight hours in return).
In anime news, my mostly-daily 3-episode-a-day group watch with Satinel and Nak finished a show this week that I really liked — Sakura Trick. I liked the two main characters and the relationship they had with each other, though not so much the actual physical intimacy (kissing) scenes, but what I -really- liked was the depiction of hanging out in a classroom for hours after school until everyone else was gone, just for the sake of hanging out with a good friend, as that brought back a few good memories for me and my secondary school class. It didn’t end up in my top 10 shows, but it’s definitely in the top 20-30 or so, which is still rare. Writing this also reminded me that I have an abandoned page in progress to track our group watching that I should really get back on when time permits. I have the full list painstakingly tracked in OneNote, it’s just not in a place where I can link it to others from.
I didn’t play any Elden Ring this week after the first couple days of the week, since From Software is still really bad with being responsive to big issue and has not released a patch for the invisible enemies. The novelty of playing the game on hard-mode has largely worn off, as every zone I do complete that way is also a zone that I’ll never see in its proper intended fashion. Really poor response from the company.
Most of my week this week was spent playing Atelier Ryza, again, and I managed to finish the game on Saturday, this marking the first Atelier series game that I’ve managed to finish (and the third overall that I’ve tried, if I count the phone game as well, although I started and abandoned this before that). I also have the sequel waiting for me, as I own that as well (I don’t own any DLC for either game though, and there are apparently some stories locked behind expensive DLC alongside extra costumes that I don’t care for.) After that, there are other Atelier games I could try too. I’m happy to finish an Atelier game though, since I like JRPGs and they’re one of the larger franchises that I’ve been looking at for forever.
The game’s ending made me sad, but I guess that’s the point since it then pushes you to get the second game in the series as well. I am happy that I finally finished a game this year though, though I still have a few more post-game achievements to go to 100% the game. Apparently it is considered one of the “easiest” alchemy crafting games in the series. It still involved a serious amount of crafting though, to the point that even the final story mission was a crafting one, not a battle one. I found the combat a little tedious though, especially the ones that didn’t pose a danger to me. They still tended to be long, with no fast forward option or anything.
On the phone side of things, I’ve been playing around with Arrowmancer, a game purpotedly about magical “witches in space”, although in reality it’s largely just a text-based game in terms of artistic design — you only ever see chat avatars of the witches’ faces and all the “story“, which is very weird and esoteric, happens in a chat room format. I don’t hate the “story” though, but I don’t even really understand it either, and I think it’s meant to be that way. I’m both intrigued and completely lost at the same time. The combat gameplay segment is fairly interesting, it’s a “dance”, half-puzzle, half-rhythm game, that you do by shuffling characters about on a 3×3 grid, making requested patterns and avoiding enemy beams to power up your attack on your enemy, and each “witch” has a “magic spell” that’s styled in a programming code format (like chant_of_life() and flameshock_arrow()) that you can cast.
Another interesting aspect of the game is that you can build your own gacha banners using “business cards” of potential witches that you can earn, or alternatively import from outside the game. It’s linked to a platform they also own called Waifulabs that uses AI to create anime portraits that you can then import into the game using in-game tokens that you can earn or buy, who will then be assigned some random skill, and you can then possibly roll the character in the banner (or just import them again the next time. It’s also possible to recruit them right from the website using a special token.)
The system is interesting, but still a little underwhelming and bland because none of the characters have actual personalities, nor any form in the game other than the chat avatars of their faces. The name Waifulabs was also a terrible idea. The entire package is a slightly different take from procedurally generating everything though, and it also has a different taste from your typical gacha game since you’re generating a lot of your own units to try to recruit instead of the game generating them for you, so it’s interesting to me from that angle. I can’t see myself playing it for another full week, but maybe I will. It also has really nice music. The OST can be found on Spotify, but I particularly like this song, Secret Spell by Seina, which plays during combat puzzle phases.
In the meantime, my Genshin Impact subscription has ended so I’ve largely dropped that game. Even doing dailies isn’t worth my time to me most days right now.
Plushie of the Week #42 – Ichiko
Ichiko is a… a.. neck pillow? She’s named after a strawberry, with the -go at the end of the word/name Ichigo (strawberry) being changed to a -ko (子), which means child or young one, as a bit of a pun. It’s her official name, which I didn’t override, though she’s so languid that i honestly don’t think she’d care if I did. She’s shaped like a hanger and is always asleep.
She hails from a dollar store (well, 100 yen store) called Daiso in Nagoya, Japan, though her actual sticker cost was 500 yen. She was bought by my sister sometime in late October/early November 2021, and given to me on Jan 30 2022, when I went over to the family house for the reunion steamboat dinner. Other than that, she’s still new, so there’s not that much to say about her, but that does not mean she is not worthy of a Plushie of the Week spot.
Here are the complimentary complementary picture. Firstly, the front:
Just look at that lovable, lazy, languid “Do I know you?” look.
Store tag front:
The black bold text says “Oyasumi”, or goodnight, and then “cushion” beneath it. Googling “Oyasumi cushion” brings up a lot of irrelevant matches, “Oyasumi cushion daiso” brings up a single Brazilian Daiso page with a picture of the rest of them and a stock number, 4549131726350.
Store tag back:
Song of the Week #19
Title: Yozora (夜空)
Artist: Minori Suzuki
Album: Jomino (2020)
While that Youtube video linked below has English subs, and is the full version of the song, the version I actually fell in love with is the short version with visuals, found here. This is the ending song to an anime called Koisuru Asteroid, or Asteroid in Love, that I watched as a seasonal in January to March of 2020. It wasn’t a terrible show, since I love the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things genre and school club themes, but it was still very disappointing to me, because it was my most anticipated show going into that season (since I love shows about astronomy as well) but didn’t deliver a final product that met my wishes or expectations, as they barely spent any time doing astronomy stuff, or at least showcasing the brilliance and romance of the stars, and outer space, at all. At least not to the extent that other similar anime have done — see this clip from episode 9 of Sora no Manimani (At the Mercy of the Sky) or this clip from episode 9 of Houkago no Pleiades (Wish Upon the Pleiades) for examples of crown jewel scenes that I really like from other space-related anime.
However! It delivered musically, as I adored both the starting and ending songs. But especially this one, the ending song, whose title means “Night Sky”. It cracked my top 20 anime ending songs by the end of the Winter 2020 anime season in which it aired, and then began to climb the fiercely-contested list over the months, as the song sounded even better the more it aged. After a year, it hit my top 10, and after another year, it’s about to break into my top 5, as it intertwines with memories and feelings and creates a complex web of emotion every time I listen to it.
This song sounds like sweet, melted butter to me, and I mean this as a positive thing despite being someone with no sweet tooth at all. In particular, the part that really gets me is the part in the short version with visuals, above, that starts with the pre-chorus buildup at 0:28 and explodes into the resplendent chorus that carries through the rest of the song, and the visuals with the blowing wind buffetting the girls’ uniforms as they watch day pass into night, and with the two main characters then reaching out to each other in friendship. I love that scene (which doesn’t actually happen in the show) a ton, and this is one of my go-to walking songs, especially when it’s windy, solely based on the strength of that scene and how the wind, which represents freedom, journey, and exploration, visually stands out for me. So perhaps you can say that this ending song clip is what I actually consider to be the crown jewel of this space-related anime show.
And that, in turn, becomes a self-reinforcing association, since listening to the song now also invokes memories of not only the beautiful clip and the visible wind in the ED song video above, but also now brings up memories of my own winds, the caress of the breeze and the fluttering of my hair as I sat at my computer desk next to the open balcony door in spring, summer, and fall, the rustling of leaves and the smell of grassy prairie wind whirling around me as I walked around my neighbourhood in Edmonton, the winds of serenity as I walked beneath the night skies on my USA trip, the wafts of street food while walking through Seoul in 2014 and 2015, and even all the way back to the imagined warm breezes of Singapore when I was a young teenager walking home from school.
It’s a very powerful and personal connotation that’s been building up on this “wind” song over the last couple years, one that I’ve both cried to and laughed to in the past, and one sends my heart soaring and that is pushing me onwards to find new adventures in distant lands. But my heart always catches in my throat as the song transitions from the bridge to the chorus, and that chorus part especially is sung by Minori Suzuki with a sort of persuasive intonation and stretch that I can interpret as both a gleeful and brilliantly-shining cry of happiness as I soar away into the sky, or a frustrated and wistful cry of longing as I am torn away from my friends left on the ground behind me, who cannot follow me. Sometimes both at the same time! And that’s why this song is a complex ball of emotions for me. Heck I teared up a little just writing this section. It’s a very precious song to me.
Memory Snippet of the Week #26
For this entry, I wanted to note something that happened this week. I reached out to someone on our city’s subreddit who seems to collect old pictures of West Edmonton Mall for archiving/documentation purposes, and I shared a few photos of the mall with him that date back to a family trip from 1997 that I had scanned last year. That’s not the actual memory snippet though — since he seemed to be fairly knowledgeable about the city, I also shared with him these three pictures of an Edmonton house, and asked him if he could figure out what house this was from the background:
The reason that this was important to me was that this was the only house that our family lived in whose full address I could not track down, as we only lived here for a couple weeks when we first came over to Edmonton in January 1999. We stayed in the lower level of this house, in a partitioned space that we could call “ours”, from approximately Jan 05 1999 (the day before those three pictures above were taken), to Feb 13 1999, before moving to another house for a month and a half (Edmonton 1532, I haven’t featured that house in anything yet), and then Edmonton 4012, which I stayed in for 12 years. I use a shorthand system, [Placename] [Number], to refer to former lived-in houses and apartments in things like dream journals on this blog. For that, I’ve been tracking our family home places and compiling a list of them, and while dates are somewhat approximate (but getting refined as I find new evidence), they really help to put some parts of our lives, some photos, etc in context, and help bring up long-forgotten memories in some cases.
Sep 2022 note: I’ve found more documentation that’s pretty much ironed out all our Edmonton dates.
Our former addresses (with shorthand included — I’m partly making this list so I can know to include hover text for them) are:
Home 01: Clementi 730
From: Around end 1979
To: On/before May 1987
Who: Dad, Mom, me
Home 02: Yishun 799
From: On/before May 1987
To: Before Feb 1993
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel
Home 03: Yishun 723
From: Before Feb 1993
To: Sometime after Dec 1995 and before June 1997
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel, Jon
Home 04: Tampines 294
From: Sometime after Dec 1995 and before June 1997
To: Dec 31 1998
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel, Jon
Home 05: Edmonton 1929
From: Jan 05 1999
To: Feb 13 1999
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel, Jon
Home 06: Edmonton 1532
From: Feb 13 1999
To: Mar 25 1999
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel, Jon
Home 07: Edmonton 4012
From: Mar 25 1999
To: 2007/9? (Kel), Jul 29 2011 (me), Aug 2013 (Dad, Mom, Jon)
Who: Dad, Mom, me, Kel, Jon
Home 08: Edmonton 205
From Jul 29 2011
Note: Exact addresses are withheld. But the first four were in satellite towns within Singapore, and are named after those towns, the ones after that are all in Edmonton, although you can find a slightly more accurate version of some of the addresses on various other pages.
Anyway, the address for Home 05 was always missing in my notes, but not anymore! That filled in a hole in our family history that had bugged me because I had pictures but not an actual address to put to them. Also note that we were in Vancouver in that gap from Dec 1998 to Jan 1999, but I don’t believe we were staying in a house of our own, we were either staying in a hotel or in a shared house with another family for a few days before jetting over to Edmonton.
That “Sometime after Dec 1995 and before June 1997” bit for when we moved between Home 03 and Home 04 also really bugs me, because that was a really significant time in my life, since I moved schools in between Primary 6 (which ended in Dec 1996) and Secondary 1 (which started in Jan 1997). So I really should remember when, or be able to figure out when. I’m sure I have some evidence in my boxes somewhere that can narrow it down, but I haven’t yet found it, and the contexttual clues that I’ve found so far pin the most likely move dates to either Mar-Jun 1996, Dec 1996-Jan 1997, or around Apr-Jun 1997. There’s still a lot of things for me to rummage through though, and hopefully I will find some time to do so this year and narrow that range (or other ranges) down further.
I had several long dreams this week, with a hefty entry pretty much every day. And on Mar 07 I even adopted a small white Tigeykitten in my sleep. How nice. Other cool things include a very long dream diary entry on Mar 10, with multiple snippets that featured magical girls, portals, and talking animals. As always, my secondary school friends featured a lot too. Annoyingly, my dream streak broke on Sat night/Sun morning, and I’m blaming the time change for daylight savings time for this somehow.
Mar 07 2022
- I dreamt I adopted a small white kitten that was the same size and shape as Tigey, but who could move and even speak. Most of the time the kitten was docile and didn’t move or speak however, so I carried him around everywhere in my left inner jacket pocket.
- I acquired the kitten on a visit to a farmhouse, where I watched an odd plot regarding a boy and a girl unfurl, where they snuck out in the middle of the night to try to find their dog, who was wandering the farm but had been or was about to be captured by a trainer that the farmer had hired and put into a cage in the basement for some sort of medical or training purpose.
- The boy and girl were not particularly coordinated, and at one point the girl was hiding in a tractor and the boy ran into her while sneaking around, scaring her and causing her to accidentally activate the tractor, which started driving itself in an out of control manner, as one of the tires was deflated. The boy snatched the girl out of the tractor into his arms as it took off, then as the tractor turned around and sped right at them, he tossed the girl to the ground on his right side to try to save her — but the tractor also veered off in that direction. It however had a lot of room beneath the tractor frame and between the wheels, and passed right over top of her without injuring her and continued on a little ways more before crashing into a barn and coming to a halt.
- The two kids went over to look at the tractor, and the boy noticed that the deflated wheel was no longer deflated but had come off entirely, since being detached was a larger debuff and it overrode the lesser one of being a flat tire. He said that if they could screw back the tire, the vehicle would be good as new. One of them thus held the tire against the wheel frame where it was supposed to fit on the tractor, while the other person drove the tractor backwards in slow motion, allowing the turn of the tire axle to screw the wheel back in position.
- The farmer and trainer did eventually come out to search for the source of the noise though, but by that time the boy and girl were long gone, using another entrance into the farmhouse to look for their dog.
- Mom and I decided not to stick around, so we both took/adopted a Tigey kitten and left the farm in Dad‘s minivan. We visited some sort of exhibition show where animals were on display, and a woman really liked the Tigeys and said that we should consider entering them into a pet show the following day. Neither of us were interested though so we left. We also stopped by a couple other places on the way home, but I don’t remember what they were. I do remember that Tigey was so docile that I was afraid that he was suffocating in my pocket or something but everytime I looked at him he was fine.
- Eventually, we got home and I went to have a bath in a square tub that looked like a kitchen sink. I was in girl form and basically sat down in the tub with the water coming up to just above my breasts, and Tigey was on my left shoulder as I splashed water on my arms, neck, and armpits, and talked to him, discovering among other topics that he also did not wish to participate in the pet exhibition. He had also gotten a bit dirty, as I had apparently splashed some red soup or something on his bottom half at some point, so I tried to rinse him off best as I can without letting him fall into the bath water. He clung on tightly to my shoulder as he didn’t like getting wet.
Mar 08 2022
- I remember having to put together a song or spell by combining two snippets, and there were a list of snippets that I could use and a few others that I could collect by doing things. I believe that attending a certain lecture at the University, for example, was related to acquiring one of them. There was also some sort of race or competition aspect that tied in to the dream somehow, as I was not the only one putting together songs/spells. I could also, and did, put together several different combinations of snippets to test them out over the course of the dream.
- The main reason this dream was notable was that putting together two of them in particular created something sad in the dream that made me tear up and weep for no good reason, and this translated to real life — I woke up at some point with my eyes wet, similar to what happened on Feb 11 2022, though I didn’t feel particularly sad about anything that had happened.
Mar 09 2022
- I was taking Chinese or Japanese class with a bunch of people from secondary school, and the teacher in the classroom was trying to teach us a specific phrase on the chalkboard and have us try to use it in a sentence. I knew what she was trying to teach us but didn’t speak up to answer her questions. I also really wanted the class to be over, as it was an extended class that day and it finished at 50 minutes after the hour instead of 20. Right at that moment that I looked at the clock, it was just 10 past the hour.
- One of the girls on my left had dropped a water bottle and it had rolled right next to my chair, and the girl behind me tapped my shoulder to let me know it was there and gestured for me to pick it up and give it to her. I did so, hiding my actions behind the silhouette of the person in front of me so as to be less disruptive to the teacher, and she then passed it left to the other girl.
- The teacher ten took a big bag of concert glowsticks and started handing them out. I peeked into the bag as she got to me, and saw that they were mostly blue and red, but there was one pink one, and I instinctively reached out my hand to grab it, before stopping myself as that would have been rude. The teacher smiled and coincidentally gave me the one pink one anyway.
- I needed to visit the washroom around that time, so I left the classroom and came back just in time to hear the teacher explain the end part of what we were going to do with the glowsticks. She told us to split up into groups of five, and I considered joining the group that the three people on my right (our four tables were joined together) were forming, but I decide I wanted to form a group with whoever was left behind instead so no one felt left out. Yucheng was on my right and seemed to initially wanted to join, and I saw Eugene across the group of tables on the left and reached out to him as well, with Zixiang noting that now would be a good time to speak to him since I hadn’t done so in ages, but he also seemed to have a group of his own. I ended up with Leon, Yaoxiang, Zixiang, and Kaiting in my group of 5 though, the latter two having approached me to ask if they could join directly.
- Yaoxiang also was checking with Yucheng to see if he already had a group since they were good friends and he was still hanging out by us, it would have been a problem since we would have had one too many, and I thought about dropping out and finding another group. But he said no — he had joined the group on my right, but was hanging out there because our ragtag group would need people enchanting our glowsticks into arcane and divine weapons (wands and sceptres or something) so we could do the assignment, and he was getting his group to help. They helped us enchant the other four members’ glowsticks into divine rods while they made mine arcane.
- Snippet: At one point I stepped out of an elevator into a mid-level HDB flat elevator lobby and looked at the corridors stretching away from the lobby, they weren’t quite straight and sloped up and down slightly, with stairs on one side. My apartment was somewhere around here, and I saw various people walking about, at least one group walking away from me and one guy walking up to me to tell me something or other.
Mar 10 2022
- I was in a Dunman High classroom and had just finished a class with my secondary school friends. We were done early, so I headed off to the female washroom and then returned for my next class, which was apparently a departmental staff meeting with people from my workplace, in a classroom two doors down from the previous classroom.
- I also arrived early for this one, so I sat down on a seat literally right at the front door. There were two rows of chairs in the classroom, one row packed tightly together along the front of the classroom, parallel to the chalkboard, and one row packed tightly together along the back of the classroom. Both rows faced the front, however.
- Ronnie was seated next to me, and in the back row were two other people currently, Mark and someone else. Mark was talking to Ronnie and was complaining about Stuart, and how he was always late to these meetings and stood outside the door reading a book while the meeting went on instead of coming in because he was angry at the department for something. I looked around the room and wondered if it was actually because the room was pretty full by the time he arrived and there were no seats inside.
- At any rate, Ronnie told Mark to not speak so loudly, as Stuart was actually teaching a class in the adjacent room, three doors down from my original classroom, and there were windows set into the wall between our current classroom and his, so it was possible for him to overhear Mark speaking, especially since Mark was seated at the back of the room by those windows.
- I told Mark that I was angry too regarding what happened to Shinya and how he got let go by the department. Mark apologized since Shinya had been associated with the project that he was running, and I shook my head and held up a hand and said that I was angry with the general situation but not with any one individual person. Mark raised a finger and pointed at the air above him, gesturing at the room/atmosphere in general, and I nodded.
- More people came in and other people started chatting to each other, since our meeting host hadn’t arrived yet. One woman seated at the back of the room, in response to someone else’s question, stood up and went into the center of the classroom to show off her feet squeezed into really tiny shoes, and said rather sheepishly that they did hurt and that she had to undergo a diet to fit into those shoes.
- Since I was seated right by it, I looked outside the classroom door for the meeting host, and saw a couple people walking the corridors, including two really young children who were wandering by alone and separately from each other. I waved at them, hoping to get at least one of them to come over so I could pet and fawn over them, but neither came.
- Eventually, it looked like this class was going to be cancelled, so I left early and went to the washroom again, this time to the male washroom. I went to sit down on the toilet bowl to use it, rather than use the urinals, although this toilet bowl was located in the open in the middle of the washroom and had splatters on it and some suspicious liquids on the ground that I accidentally stepped into while barefoot. I noted how much more disgusting the male washroom was than the female one, and (despite being in one right then) was thankful that I didn’t have to use them these days.
- I then stepped out to go to my next class, passing by my original classroom on the way, where I saw a couple secondary school friends, including Allen, who didn’t have any classes last period, and so had stacked all the chairs on the tables neatly and had swept the floor clean as well. I felt a bit guilty for not helping them and wasting time in a class where the host/teacher never came.
- Snippet: Somewhere between the Mark/Ronnie scene and the general chatter, there were other snippets of conversations that took place as well, one about some ball game, one about point scores for incomplete Knowledge Base articles, one about blanket comparisons, and one that might have been more like an interlude event about point bubbles that programmed robots could take from a cauldron, much like taking spoonfuls of soup from a pot, where some point bubbles were worth more points than others.
- Snippet: I had various short dreams drifting in and out of consciousness after that. The first one was about a nervous anime protagonist girl who received and put on a new, orange magical girl outfit. Despite saying that she was just going to put it on today and then take it off again, putting it on emboldened her and she stepped just outside her house and gate, clenching her fists nervously as she tried to fight off her anxiety.
- She strode along the street and went to a nearby store where there were a short line of fans queued up to receive free merchandise, for the same show/franchise as her character’s outfit, that was being given away by a store clerk. The first person in line was dressed in an identical orange magical girl outfit as hers, so she cut the line and stood right behind her, apparently unaware of social standards and cues and angering the other three people queued up. When they called out to her, she realized it and apologized and went to stand at the back of the line though.
- While she was fifth in line, the fourth in line was a mother and her child, and she allowed the girl to cut in front of them since the queue was short. In addition, once they reached the front of the line, the mother gave her the free gift that she got because her child didn’t want it, so she ended up with two of the free giveaway items, and was happy about that.
- Snippet: There was an online class scene where we practised crafting in the style of the Atelier Ryza game, building a thing with a certain characteristic and then changing it into another more powerful item with a different characteristic.
- Snippet: I was with my family in a house and we were about to have dinner, Mom was preparing curry in the kitchen and told me to set the table. I couldn’t find any old newspapers, just ones from today and yesterday, so I pulled some sheets out of an issue of a small tabloid newspaper from yeterday and laid one sheet each as a table protector for me, then the seat on my left for Jon, and then Kel on his left, each one of us on a different edge of the table. However, Jon had also brought his own newspaper by the time he came to sit down, and he put it down next to Kel on her left, but on the same edge, so the two of them ended up sitting opposite from me while no one sat between me and Kel. Kel said he always had a rule that involved sitting next to her since the two of them now lived together but that rule apparently didn’t extend to me! At any rate, I brought over a bowl of potato curry for each of us, and put a larger bowl in the middle of the table for when we wanted refills.
- Snippet: There was a snippet about a stage play, I don’t remember much about it but do remember another magical girl outfit character, possibly several, and a portal thing that led between the main stage and backstage. There was some discussion in different languages and the plot somehow involved a talking cat on stage as well. There were several girls this time, dressed in outfits similar to that earlier orange one, but in slightly different hues.
- Snippet: In another snippet, I was testing a pile of pens on the ground at work, discarding the ones that weren’t working into a bin. A workmate asked me for advice on how to change something to fix some issue he had, I helped him with that and then offered him a fruit and told him that I would possibly give him a magical apple in addition next week if he took it. He refused.
- Snippet: Another portal in my house, and yet another magical girl dream, but this time she was a friend dressed in a black and white costume. This portal was used for corporate upgrades or something instead of transportation of people, but no one liked it, so I destroyed it and everyone was happy. The upgrade they offered showed a purple silhouette of a girl being upgraded into an orange silhouette of a girl, but it was expensive, $150 per upgrade, along with a long disclaimer/EULA they had to agree to each time. There was also a talking rabbit this time that I had to rescue from some trouble.
- Snippet: Two people at work, a guy and a girl, were talking and wanted to meet up with each other after work or during their break, but one could only arrive at 11:20 and the other had to leave at 12:30, so they really only had an hour or so. Related to this somehow, I crossed the drawbridge of a castle moat and defeated a gargoyle that was standing guard there so that they could go right in and save some time once they met up.
Mar 11 2022
- I accompanied Dad to some sort of gambling house to wait for and meet up with Ah Ma and one other person from the extended family. Dad cast some sort of spell to summon something he could use to gamble with, it wasn’t quite money but more like some fruit or vegetable that represented his savings, and I believe the spell involved basically picking ingredients from a list, sort of like crafting in the Atelier Ryza games.
- He gambled on some sort of card game, where everybody drew two cards from a regular set of poker cards and the highest total sum of cards won the round. He went all in on his one round but I managed to convince him not to be so reckless, so he instead put in just 20% of his total amount. He drew a 6 and an ace for a total of 7, while the person on his right drew a 5 and ace, and the person across from him drew a 4 plus ace, so he did end up winning the round anyway. He said that he had a debt and was glad to be able to put the winnings towards that.
- Each fruit/vegetable had different values, and the leafy fruit he won from gambling 20% of his savings was highly valuable, but would decay after three weeks, so he had to still find a way to sell or trade it for more durable fruits/money.
- In the meantime, we went outside to wait for Ah Ma and the other person, and it rained for exactly one second on us, making our hair and shoulders slightly wet. At another point, one of my friends from Singapore, possibly Gee Yong, said hi to me, and then tried to talk to Dad and get Dad to click on a spam link and have him invest in something shady that looked like a pyramid scheme as he was down on his luck and jobless and needed some money. My friend wasn’t particularly happy or proud about it though, more ashamed than anything, and I noted that he didn’t ask me.
- Eventually Ah Ma and the other person came, and we all piled into the back of a van except Dad, who was driving. It was suggested that we sing karaoke and have a dance competition while in the back of the van, which I was against at first, but Ah Ma convinced me by saying that there was no way I was worse than her, since she was an old lady. (She was right, her singing was very off-key.) But it was all for fun.
- Snippet: In a separate dream later on, I was at home and looking out of the window at an apartment block across from ours before our family left the house, and Mom and Dad were asking if I had put a jacket on yet and then later on whether I wanted a new jacket. I didn’t want to waste our money though so I said no.
- Snippet: There was another where my sister and I were in a car in the late evening and looking up at a large apartment complex that also represented a letter, which was a will to someone’s inheritance. Several apartments in the complex glowed, and these represented spots on the page where we could insert commas to try to change the meaning of the inheritance letter. The first change we made granted us access to the letter itself, but we couldn’t find a good place to put the second comma until Kel suggested that maybe we were looking at it from the wrong angle and that we should try moving the car to another spot.
- Snippet: In yet another snippet, I was controlling a character in an MMO which was in trial/beta, and remember that there was an option to turn off multiplayer, but what that actually did was opt the player out of PvP, which was optional. “Friendly” players would always be visible though, and while I don’t remember the exact plotline, I believe each character had an accompanying character following us around, a king or something, who we had to help through some quests.
Mar 12 2022
- I was in an apartment 402 (possibly 412) in a HDB flat, living with my parents and siblings, when I got a work call from Microsoft for an IT support request from the apartment two floors up. I didn’t work for Microsoft, and didn’t think I would get paid for the work, but I was curious why they would call me, and wondered if I had signed up as some sort of local volunteer several years ago or something. Still, even if I did, I had never received a call until now, but I had free time and was curious so I went up to the 602 (or 612) apartment, two floors above me, to check it out.
- The call was from a lady and her daughter, they had put in a support request on their computer while using Microsoft Edge because they wanted to buy some clothing from an online store and had no idea if it was legitimate or not or how to use it. I immediately mentally compared it to how stupid some of my work tickets for clients at my actual work could be. But I was there already, so I looked at the page — seemed legit to me.
- However, they were trying to buy a single clothing item which came in a white or black version. They ordered black, but when they put the item in the cart, there was also a white item and black item shipping option, and it defaulted to white and they didn’t realize that it could be changed, and were wondering why the page wouldn’t allow them to continue. I found this error, fixed it for them, and wondered why the website itself was so poorly programmed too.
- They also had no idea how to put in their credit card number, so I showed them. They also had to input their home address, which was a town in Connecticut ending with -ford or -feld or something. They couldn’t spell either the town name or the state name. I told them (as a Microsoft rep!) to open up Google and type their approximation in there, and Google’s suggestions would tell them the right spelling. They were able to find it that way.
- Lastly, as they seemed to be unaware, I told them that the next page after putting in their credit card details would be the actual point-of-no-return purchase page. They thought a while and then nodded and decided to proceed anyway. I wished them luck and headed back down to my apartment, noting that I was late for a meal and the rest of my family was waiting for me.
- Snippet: At one point, Dad and I visited a bunch of landmarks around town and I had a piece of paper twisted and formed into a cylindrical shape that would carry it aloft the wind for some distance. I stood at the foot of, or in a building next to, each one and blew a piece of paper so that one landed on top of each of the landmarks.
- Snippet: At another point, there was some sort of computer wargame going on and it involved units decorated in three coloured sparkly lights, red, green, and blue. There was also a real life demonstration area where we could see a soldier from each team with the sparkly lights on their helmet, and once you shot it (with something resembling a paintball gun or pellet gun), the lights would get knocked back and the visor on the helmet would pop open, signifying that they were out of the game.