A whole year has flown by since I started this blog. It’s a little surreal huh. Many big and small things have happened, and I think the value of this blog to me is that I’d have forgotten about a lot of those things if not for having written them down (and for the need to write them down making me more mindful of noticing these things in general).
As such, since my blog started on April 25 2021 and this blog entry #50 (I lost 3 weeks travelling in November) is being published on April 24 2022, I’ve basically reached my one year blog anniversary and I’m premiering a new section where I look back on the previous year’s entry that most closely matches up with this current year’s entry. I intimated this possibility a couple weeks ago. This should be fun right? As everything else, it’s a bit of a whim, but I will test it out and see if I like it. If not, it goes out the airlock.
Entry #050 (Apr 24 2022)
I went out for a walk on the 18th, during the Easter Monday holiday, and I saw this cat in the window staring back at me. I called him my Little Miracle of the week, and I came up with this haiku to commemorate this fine occasion. Enjoy.
cat in the window,
is that envy or pity
when you stare at me?
It then snowed terribly on the 20th and we ended up with this mess in the evening. It’s late April! LATE APRIL!
It was mostly gone by Friday though, and I went out for another walk, taking a specific combination of paths that I had never taken before, though I had taken them individually many times in the past. First to return some books at the library and then next walking over to the mall for some grocery shopping. I picked up two loaves of sliced white bread, against my general trepidation and distaste for bread, because I plan to make curry a couple times this upcoming week and bread is the best (in terms of ease and speed) way to consume curry and a very cheap way of fulfilling a number of meals at once. There’s so much bread in my house now though, argh. But it’s worth it for curry!
Next to the library, there’s a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant/store that only sells steamed buns, known in Chinese as 包 or bao. It’s really weird. But I specifically love their steamed buns, and stopped by last year several times to buy from them. They sell their baos by the box, 8 pieces for $12, or 10 for $15, and will often just give me a semi-random mix of vegetable and ground pork ones depending on what they have that day. I like all the ones I’ve tried. But this week they gave me two dill pickle steamed buns as part of my 10. Who puts dill pickles (with ground pork) in steamed buns! But they were SO GOOD! Geez. The buns are huge too, they don’t skimp out on the size or the bun nor its filling at all.
Anyway the store is called Yan’s Family Restaurant, located here (local), and I like them because I can buy a bag of steamed buns and this will cover 3-5 breakfasts or lunches over the next few days. They’re pretty great. I also realized that I can also take them out with me as a snack on a subsequent day that I can consume while resting in a park or on a bench or something, which is an experience I haven’t actually had but plan to do this year. Sort of like a mini-picnic! As far as I know they actually do literally only sell steamed buns and nothing else though, at least ever since the pandemic, so I’m not quite sure just how many buns they have to sell to stay afloat, but this is a very nice, local secret place. And the store itself is so physically small that it feels like a literal hole in the wall, the public area *and* order counter together can’t be much larger than 15 by 10 feet or so.
(According to reviews, I could actually ensure a variety by ordering ahead, I’ve just been going in and ordering whatever extras they had on hand since I live well within walking distance, and am usually out of there in a couple minutes. I wonder what their other flavours taste like, I definitely haven’t had all of them! They apparently do or used to sell cold noodles, which I dislike, and a few other things that I might be able to get by calling in too…. but really, I just want the steamed buns.)
As I’m not playing any phone games, I’ve been checking out one of those apps that give you cash for watching ads and doing surveys and stuff on the phone, except this one has passive ways of generating money too, and after about two weeks I’m about to cash out a $10 Paypal card or a $12 Steam card. Which is cool, but I despise the app, even though the effort needed is rather low, as I can put music on its lowest non-zero volume (playing music is one of the ways to generate passive points toward cash) and leave it charged (charging is another way — it shows ads on the lock screen when charged) and check in once every hour or two to collect my points. But it’s very intrusive and has nearly nothing but scammy cryptocurrency ads on it, and I don’t like that it takes over my lock screen at all. (It can be disabled, but not easily.) It obviously cheats in several ways too to try to withhold points from the user, and leaves the phone too warm for my liking, so I feel like it’s not been worth it as it’s probably been killing battery lifespan on top of everything else. I’ll cash out what I have early next week and then delete it for good, to the point that I’m not even going to name the app here (there are a few variations of it and they’re probably all terrible) so I forget about it. It’s probably worth it if I had a burner or secondary phone I was going to not otherwise ever use, though, but definitely not on a main phone.
My gaming time this week was mostly spent on Minecraft, on Darkseize‘s server (together with Thrandor and Milumbar, and now a bit of Satinel as well). I have my own base and planted a lot of things and did some exploration, and it’s quite relaxing, but I haven’t had an undying urge to play it 24/7, which is probably a good thing for the multitude of other things on my to-do list, as Minecraft has tended in the past to consume all my spare time when I play it. I enjoy looking at and learning new mods in whatever new flavour of modpack we have though, or just logging in to sit around at my base and prettify the landscape around me a litle more, but I haven’t really had the urge to push forward and actually “progress” in the game in terms of gear or mod progression, and I am a bit worried that my interest will suddenly fall off a cliff since I’m not that invested yet.
Here are some pictures of my current place, as well as a picture or two from some exploration I did. In annotated gallery form:
Plushie of the Week #48 – Bbglo
For the second week in a row, I’m forced to feature a plushie in Plushie of the Week because it appeared in my dreams that week. Bbglo is an odd one because i’ve barely even met the guy — I’ve met him twice so far, once a couple years ago when my sister visited my place and took him with her, and a second time this past January when I went to my parents’ place for Chinese New Year steamboat dinner. I know very little about him, but his story has been relayed to me by my siblings as follows:
He was a gift to my younger sister by her Primary 3 students in Singapore when she was a teacher there. This was for Teachers’ Day in 2013, which was apparently Sep 06 2013. He was named after a Football Manager (computer game) randomly generated character named Barbagallo. His Bbglo name is just a shortening of that name, and according to plushie legend he enjoys soccer as well. He has another nickname that is an extension of Bbglo — Bbjello.
Perhaps because he also has no hair, he is said to be an Upgraded Toodles, and as legend had it, Toodles and him were never supposed to meet in the same place since said legend indicates they were the same turtle, and it would cause some sort of a hole in space and time if they were to meet. However, they met in early 2019 when Kel came home for a visit, and then the COVID-19 pandemic started not too long after that, soooo. You draw your own conclusions, reader.
Here are a couple pictures of this turtle, who doesn’t stand up very well if at all. Front/top:
Underbelly and smile:
His tags are just about gone:
I can’t make any of that out.
Song of the Week #25
Title: Yuki ni Saku Hana
Artist: Kana Hanazawa
Album: Shinsekai yori OST (2013)
Shinsekai yori, or From the New World, is an anime set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic sort of world, with pretty great world-building and plot. I watched it together with Nak and Satinel back on Apr 05-13 2019, so our three year anniversary of that just passed, but I didn’t want to do a three-in-a-row feature of Japanese anime songs in my Song of the Week segments, so here we are instead.
Yuki ni Saku Hana is the second ending song of the show, though the first time I actually ran across it is as the opening song of episode 16, when one of the characters is reading a letter that changes her life forever to open up the episode. The song, sung by the voice actress of the character who read the letter, replaced the instrumental opening that usually accompanied the start of an episode, and episode 16 is the only episode with an actual vocal song as its opening song. It then becomes the ending song from the next episode onwards until the end of the show.
The song made an incredible impression upon me the first time we heard it in context, and I remember having my heart caught in my throat as I watched on, fascinated yet somewhat horrified as the characters grew up and changed before my eyes. The melody of the song is sombre, yet light, and straddles a line somewhere between a funeral dirge and a cautious hope for the future. Sort of like a flower blooming from a mound of earth that was someone’s grave. Or in this case, as the title of the song translates to, a flower blooming out of the snow. The lyrics (local) of the song are full of regret, of lost friendship or love, yet of the need to move on forward past any regrets, and the importance of holding on to old memories of those long gone and taking them with you. Although I must say, those lyrics, and most of the others I looked up, are pretty poorly written (bad grammar, etc) and are far too literal. The version in the video below is better, though not perfect. I had a random urge while writing this to abandon my blog and instead start a lyric translation project of my favourite songs though. Someday..
Anyway, the singer of the song, Kana Hanazawa, is also my favourite voice actress, I’ve watched quite a few of her shows and love her voice. She also shares the same birthday as me, except I’m five years older, so I consider her my spirit animal. This is one of my favourite roles of hers, though. I also like that the song fits into her name well (since the Hana in her name is the same Hana in the title of the song — flower).
Connotation-wise, the song itself eventually got inextricably linked for me to my attempts to go abroad to study in Sophia. I’m not sure quite why, though I do know that part of the reason is that the first line of the chorus, toki yo, tsumore, or “time is piling up/accumulating like snow” also sounds like and puns into “Tokyo, tsumore“, which sure felt a lot like my long journey to even qualify to go study abroad, and how my subsequent efforts then kept getting pushed back due to Covid. In April 2019, I was still two years away from qualifying to apply for study abroad. I actually restarted my school journey in May of 2019, when I applied to take Japanese 101 at the University, so this was a theme song that just preceded that event and that pushed me onwards toward my destination. Not that I understood the lyrics at the time, nor did the song actually become linked to that until some time afterwards.
I have liked the song quite a lot ever since we watched the show, though, and it was a mainstay on my favourite songs list and my phone as I walked around campus listening to music. It was even powerful enough to claim my #1 spot on my favourite anime ending songs list for a good chunk of time, a sacred spot that I grant very few songs, although it relinquished that spot after my study abroad attempt to Japan got postponed for the second time, whereby it started to feel like a stifling blanket instead.
This song and I are like old friends now, I don’t get as excited over it whenever it comes up in AMQ as I probably should for how high it ranks in my best songs list, but the crescendo of the chorus still does leave me with a bit of a sensation of my breath getting caught in my throat, something that only a small handful of songs do to me.
Memory Snippet of the Week #32
This week’s memory snippet evolved into a number of old memory snippets from my Primary 4-6 school, Rosyth Primary School, after entering the GEP. These snippets took place between 1994 and 1996 when I was there. I focused on memories that happened outside of actual class time, though even with that it’s hardly an exhaustive list. I’m sure I can think of more given more time. To give some background context though, I don’t remember what class numbering the rest of the school had, but our GEP classes were “numbered” 4D1 and 4D2, 5D1 and 5D2, and 6D1 and 6D2, for each of the three years that I was there. I was in 4D1, 5D1, and then 6D2, and at least two of the classes I was in (4D1 and 6D2) were all-boys classes as there weren’t many girls registered with the GEP in the school at the time, so they were all in the other class, which was mixed-gender. I don’t remember if I was in the all-boys class for all three years or not, though I do not believe this was the case. But as can probably be surmised from my eventual gender transition, I wasn’t very happy with this, although I couldn’t quite place why and just thought that I was weird.
I actually took French classes after school for all three years of my Rosyth academic career. This took place in a spare, ground-floor classroom on the school grounds after school for a couple hours every Wednesday, and a number of us (several of us from the GEP classes even, I don’t recall if there were any non-GEP students) would sit somewhat attentively as a teacher taught us basic things like numbers and masculine/femining words in French. I don’t believe clubs were compulsory in primary school, and I don’t even think this was really considered a school club, but nonetheless that was what I did. I also remember Eileen taking the class, and we would occasionally torment her a little while waiting outside the classroom for the teacher, by finding little pebbles or empty drink tetra-paks and dropping them down the back of her pinafore until she got annoyed at us. Sorry! This pinafore uniform has interestingly featured in my dream a couple of times since my transition, including Sep 01 2021, and Apr 20 2022, from a quick search through my dream diary. It never did at all before I transitioned.
I did try out for the soccer team in Primary 4. But I didn’t get picked, even though in the exhibition game that us hopeful had against the actual soccer team (or maybe their reserve players), I took the ball, ran to the other end of the pitch, and scored a goal. I didn’t really understand soccer tactics, nor did I do headers (since I wore glasses), although I usually made a decent defender anyway, but I’m not sure how many 10 year olds play the sport for more than fun at that point in their lives. I thought the coach and team were pretty rude and elitist for not letting whoever wanted to join do so, though. These school clubs were more interested in picking already “good” players and forming a “winning” team, than being a place where 10-12 year old kids interested in the sport could play and learn tactics and stuff, and I recognized this at the time and was mad. This was moot in the end anyway though since Dunman High, my secondary school, didn’t even have a soccer team. I remember the basketball team was the same way — though I had no interest in joining that one, I remember having to do “trials” anyway so they could pick the best, and I remember hearing that they wanted the tallest person in class, Jonathan, to join them purely because he was so tall. For my trial, I ran to a spot just below the net, stopped, threw the ball upwards awkwardly, and called it a day.
I remember staying late many other days waiting for Dad to finish work and pick me up, and I would wander around the school grounds, occasionally hunting in the drains and under the vending machines for stray coins. I never spent that money, I had the idea of just washing and depositing it all into a box at home to see how much I could collect in a year. I think it was around the ballpark of $10 per year. I remember the canteens and foyer, the washrooms near those two places, and the main hall and the teacher’s room just above, and up until a couple years ago I used to irregularly dream about this building setup. When my dreams mention a staff room (Dec 06 2017, Jan 19 2022, Apr 16 2022), it usually refers to some version of this teacher’s room and corridor setup.
There were hopscotch lines on the ground in the foyer where people waited for buses. Us GEP kids tended to have to travel further than regular neighbourhood students to get to Rosyth, since there were a very limited number of GEP schools in Singapore, so we would also sometimes be there later than everyone else waiting for our rides back home. I remember hanging out with people like Allen, Zixiang, Kent (even though he lived in the neighbourhood), Geeyong, and Xuanjie after school, and sometimes Eileen or Huihan as well, and we would use our purses and wallets as hopscotch markers as we played until our parents arrived.
I also remember occasionally walking outside the school gates (To get to a bus stop? Not sure why I’d be walking outside otherwise..) and seeing lots of angsana tree (local) fruits, the brown, disc-like things in the picture, carpeting the ground. As well as the flowers. But especially the crinkly, dry, flat brown fruits! That’s a tree species/name I haven’t heard or seen or even had to say in ages though.
Other memories I have include exploring my classroom’s storeroom in our Primary 4 class. Our classes were in a two-storey (and kind of run-down) separate building from the main school building for some reason, a setup that I’ve dreamed about several times in the past as well. And our form teacher, Mr. Grosse, who was a great and fun teacher to have, had a storeroom full of junk connected to the main classroom, as well as white cupboards at the back of the room also filled with stuff, so sometimes when I was the last one back in class and the entire room was quiet, I would idly look through the room for interesting things, books, papers, etc. I do remember being gender dysphoric by this point, and while I didn’t know what my feelings meant, I do remember wondering if I could find a female uniform anywhere and changing into it when no one was watching. No such luck, though, of course. One thing I did find was a detached cupboard door with a chalkboard grid pattern on it, and some of us used that to play Connect-5-in-a-row using chalk several times through the year. I was really good at this game. I also seem to remember finding a horse-racing steeplechase dice/board game or something, though memories of that are dim so I might be making that up.
We started playing L5R around this time too. I have no idea how or where I got my cards, I must have convinced my parents to let me buy some. I am glad they did, as this eventually became a formative game and an interest point for Japanese mythology for me. I remember occasionally staying back in the classroom as early as in our Primary 4 class after school to play with some Zixiang, Kent, Geeyong, and others though. I became best friends with Geeyong around this time, and our family eventually moved to Tampines near where he stayed, which allowed us to continue hanging out because we went to separate secondary schools after moving on from Primary 6, as he didn’t continue on in the GEP.
I remember hurting Kent at one point in Primary 5 or 6 (likely 6) by being too boisterous. A bunch of us were running back to our class room after some PE class or something, and I shoved him as we passed by the washrooms. He fell and injured himself and I didn’t realize this at first until Allen chased me back to class to attack me (with tickles, for some reason), and then pulled me back to see what had happened to Kent. Miss Khoo, our science teacher, threatened to call my parents over the incident but this never materialized, though I was really scared of the possibility for a couple days after. I remember her baleful stare. That was kind of a life-changing moment as I grew up a bit and was forever after more cognizant of not blindly hurting, bullying, or roughhousing others.
There was the big highlight of my Primary 6 year, which was the trip to Hong Kong for a Math competition. I already talked about it a bit in My Diary #021/Photograph of the Week #08, but I have lots more to say about this someday, in another separate memory snippet. Possibly other Math competitions, too. Our cohort was really, REALLY good at math though. In grade 5 or 6, I was told by my form teacher, Mr Shah, that I had received the top math score nationwide during the GEP Grade 4 entrance test, and I constantly knew I did well in the multitude of math competitions that I took part in. However, there were other prodigies as well that pushed me, in particular a boy named Alvin Foo. Because we shared the same first name (this was more than 20 years before I transitioned and changed my name), the rest of the class and even the teachers called us “Alvin Squared” for math-related matters. There was another boy named Nicholas that was really good as well, and it was often a toss-up as to which of us three would win any given (nationwide) tournament.
Our school was divided into four factions for Sports Day and other related intra-school events, and our Rosyth School factions, or teams, were named after four big cats. My team was the orange-shirted Pumas, there was a red-shirted Jaguar team, a Panther team, and I believe the last team was the Cheetah team. I think the Panthers were green and the Cheetahs were blue but it could have been reversed. We were divided somewhat randomly among the four teams, it wasn’t by class or anything like that, and we kept that affiliation through all three years at Rosyth. I don’t have my team shirt anymore, but I remember it being really big, and being able to fit in it many years after still. There are a scant couple family photographs I found that include the shirt still, and below is a crop of one of them. Oddly, no reference to these Rosyth School teams/shirts seem to exist online, so I wonder if they’ve changed to something else by now.
Our school at the time shared a large grass sports field with the school next to us, Parry Primary School. Our two schools stood side by side for some reason, although this is no longer true now. I remember doing The Great Singapore Workout in that field. Once a year. I also generally did fine in my yearly physicals, but I wasn’t a fan of Sports Day, and so I tended to avoid doing much except baking in the sun. I did take part in a 400 or 800 meter race or something one year and finished 7th out of 8th, though, so there was that. I recall odd school spirit/team spirit chants like,
Thunder thunder, thunderation.
We’re the <Puma/Panther/Jaguar/Cheetah>, delegation,
When we sing with, determination,
We create a, sensation/thunderation!
It’s odd, the things that stick with me years later. The school song (local) still sticks with me as well, although we only ever sang the first stanza and the chorus. It’s interesting though, because this Primary 4-6 school song is the *only* school song out of the seven or so schools that I’ve attended that I still remember by heart. And I am not just able to recite it, but can still even sing it fully from end to end!
One time, our two classes were on a field trip by boat to one of the outlying islands around Singapore, likely either Pulau Ubin or Sentosa. We took a ferry over from the mainland to the island, and while doing so, one of the boys had his glasses slip off his face and drop down into the deep straits. He was blinded for the rest of the trip there and back, as he couldn’t see without it. I don’t remember who exactly this happened to, though.
I remember Kent often being late for school, especially when it rained, even though he lived nearby. I think I saw his rather nice house now and then but I also felt like he had some family issues going on sometimes. I do remember him being really embarrassed at some point when he came to school one day, sat down, and opened his backpack, only to have a cockroach crawl out of it and around the room. I don’t think he ever really lived that one down. Tangentially, I remember that our two GEP classrooms in Primary 5 and/or 6, had an adjoining wall that could be opened so we could occasionally have joint activities with the other GEP class. During one particular rainy morning though, the other class found their classroom ceiling had been plastered with moths or bees or some sort of rain-averse insects overnight, which I believe meant they couldn’t use the classroom for most of that day. Oddly, our class next door was perfectly fine!
I also remember Andy Hong, he was one of my friends in class and loved being a Dungeon Master/Game Master, inventing his own paper-based games and inviting others to play them. Kind of like a prelude to Dungeons and Dragons game, which I think we also eventually did play. But he invented several games that I remember being pretty cool. I particularly remember some sort of grid-based positioning game involving dice and tanks that you could buy with points, and the top tank being called a Vulcan. To this day, the word Vulcan retains a sense of mystique that reminds me of Andy and the Vulcan tanks in his game.
This one has gone on for far too long now, but I would like to do another Memory Snippet segment soon that just highlights names (and pictures, where applicable) of the people in the two classes, and brief notes of them, the reason being that this way I can guarantee that my highlighting plugin (the one that highlights and gives hover text when I type Tigey, for example) has entries for all the names of the people that I have known through the years, and what I thought of them. I need to do this for Peiying, Rosyth, and Dunman High, and then move on to the scant few people I remember in Vernon Barford, and then the much larger pool again in McNally, my two pre-University schools in Canada. I don’t actually remember anyone in University that wasn’t also from McNally, though.
2023 Edit: I am happy to add that in the intermediate year, I’ve completed nearly all those above desired diary entries. Peiying in MSotW #39, Rosyth in MSotW #40, Dunman in MSotW #41, Vernon Barford in MSotW #42, and McNally in MSotW #43. What an industrious few weeks I had.
Last Year’s Entry #1
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #001. This was published on Apr 25 2021.
The funniest part of the entry is undoubtably this line:
“While the intent is to talk about the past week in each entry, I’ll be touching on some events over the past month in this first post instead, since some things require context, other things are still fresh memories, and even more things just feel like a waste to leave out. Due to this, this first week’s entry might be abnormally long.“
Last year’s me was such a joker! That was a pretty -short- diary entry compared to pretty much every subsequent one.
The blog back then looked very different than it did now. I had an Anime section, I cut that after a few months because I felt that wasn’t working out. Same for Things I Am Thankful For This Week, although I should really morph that into a Things I Like/Dislike section and do one a week in general from my life, as that would fit in well with my blog theme in general. That’s basically what that section eventually was turning into, though.
I had just finished a pretty crazy semester at the time, although I had no 400 level classes, and the English 102 class was a cakewalk, that was still the semester where I was both a full-time student and a full-time staff at the University at the same time, which was only really possible due to online work and online classes. It was a prerequisite I needed to become eligible for going abroad without losing my job yet though, which was a good thing in the end since there were two study abroad semester cancellations between that time and now. Geez, how time flies.
My scanning project I was mentioning then was completed many months ago, but it did take quite a long time to complete. There’s still lots of other little things I want to scan though, and just have no time to do so.
I didn’t have my DJI Pocket 2 camera at that time, and I do remember that Panasonic camera that I said I bought for half off. It never really worked out, I couldn’t get the thing to connect to my phone due to some bug or other, and it’s still sitting in a box somewhere. The DJI was definitely the better choice in the end though.
I haven’t watched as much mewatch.sg as I’d like to. Part of the reason is that I am scared that I will get myself too hyped up for Singapore and then have to cancel that again. I will probably do so if/once I get my acceptance letters in order though. I’m still way too loyal to Singapore. (However, I like that I was already interested in food history back then. I still am very interested in it.)
I hadn’t realized I had given Atelier Ryza a shot back then. I did eventually play, complete, and love it, this was just about 5 weeks ago, in My Diary #045. And Valheim! Geez, that was so long ago now. Still have no real drive to go back to that one with my gaming group though.
Still, my greatest takeaway from looking back at this blog post is that I’m glad that I managed to keep this going for a year and have comfortably integrated it into my weekly routine now. I’ve streamlined the process quite a bit and tossed out some things that didn’t work, which makes it easier if I ever get to go study overseas, so that I will still be able to continue blogging then.
Apr 20 2022
- At one point, I was at a train station waiting for a train which the little ticker claimed would not arrive for nearly an hour. Someone who was monitoring the wait gave up and said that it was up to whoever wanted to take over to monitor when the next train was coming now. The moment he left, however, a train showed up, although I had to get off after a stop or so since apparently it was going in the right direction but headed for the wrong destination.
- I believe that happened while I was going to school in girl mode. Later on the journey, I somehow left my schoolbag on the bus and only realized it when I actually got off the bus and tried to enter a building that required a card to pass. Some security guard told me that they received a call from the bus driver telling me to wait outside as the driver had found the bag and he was bringing my bag along on the bus’s return trip, and the bus had almost arrived at the bus stop across the road.
- I went out to wait for it, but when the bus stopped, the bus driver came down without the bag to talk to me. He was surly and wanted some sort of compensation, which I was unable to provide. A friend came out to back me up and we argued for a long time. Eventually we just beat him unconscious and went up the bus ourselves, at which point I found my bag there and took it.
- In the meantime, the people on the bus had stopped to tour a museum next to the bus stop. The bus driver, who was a youthful boy around 18 years or so in age, had his family with him, consisting of his two parents, and two younger siblings. They came out of the museum, then commented on how it was a bit strange that the boy had stayed in the vicinity of the bus for 75 minutes and then decided to now go for a walk. I realized that they didn’t know that we had hidden his unconscious body behind a wall.
- I went into the museum myself and we had a look around. At one point there were 25 things to press, arranged in a 5×5 grid. Jeremy was with me and he pressed them very efficiently, hitting up 16 of them alone while a couple other people from work with me hit the remaining ones together. This opened a series of doors set into the wall that led into small treasure rooms or something.
- At another point, I went back to the school building and saw Eileen and Huihan, in pinafores (like the both of them had worn in Rosyth) on top of their usual uniform. I had a nice chat with one of them about something.
- At yet another point, I went into a motel with small, cramped rooms and was looking for a place to rest without actually paying for a nightly fee. I found an unlocked room, room 15 or something, and remembered that room numbers ending in multiples of 5 supposedly had Minecraft creepers or zombies hiding in the closets. I was looking for one though as I knew creepers wouldn’t attack me due to my cat slippers, and I was slightly disappointed when I opened all the cupboards and closets and found none. Perhaps because I didn’t pay for the room.
- Later on, I was physically at work in an office building, and everyone was called to some central area for a meeting, but only about 10-15 people from my team and one of the other teams showed up out of the 100 or more people that used to work there. The announcement was about some new job postings that had recently gone up, but the HR person got distracted and left the table to wander off somewhere.
- There was a notice board nearby and I saw a drawing that Melanie had put up, with really well-drawn caricatures of everyone at work, with start “birth” dates corresponding to when they started working, and “death dates” ending in 2017 or 2019 by them. It was entitled something like the in-office versions of everyone, since we were all now working remotely and didn’t normally come in to the office any longer. A lot of the pictures had no names by then, though some did, but they were easy to identify anyway. I saw Ronnie‘s picture and it looked like a slightly stylized version of his Google/Zoom avatar of himself in a blue shirt.
Apr 21 2022
- I dreamt that I was just completing my Secondary 1 or 2 class in Singapore as a girl, and I was about to move to Canada. We all had actual cat familiars that we brought to class, and mine was named Tigey. However, I couldn’t bring a cat with me to Canada, so I was really sad about that until another girl in class offered to adopt and take care of him instead.
Apr 22 2022
- Snippet: There were a couple scenes that involved Mom and Kel. I’m not sure what order they happened in, but firstly I was seated on an upturned plastic box (that I had been using as a makeshift vehicle to cross the road as a pedestrian somehow) on the walking pavement by the side of a road, while waiting for Mom and Dad and Kel to arrive. A boy passing by stopped to chat to me and ask if I had time to help him. I said I did, but when he asked for my phone I said I had none as I had lent it to Kel and thus it was with her, so he said never mind. Another boy stopped by and offered us the use of his phone, however. The first boy then used it to summon a physical copy of the newspaper from Dec 25 of the previous year, and with our help, he turned to the puzzle section and snipped out an entry form or the answer to some puzzle from it. Mom and Kel came to pick me up after that and I left with them.
- Snippet: I went along with Mom, Kel, and Jon to a house, and later on when we were leaving, we almost left our Three Musketeer turtles behind, along with Bbglo and a fifth turtle that looked similar to them. However, when Kel brought the topic of them up, we discovered that we had each taken a couple turtles along with us and managed to account for all of them between us three sublings.
- Snippet: While in a house and preparing to leave it, Mom gave me some hot water in a cup balanced on a flask and told me to drink it. It was hot so I was going to let it cool down, but she said to just take it outside the kitchen to drink it there. I started to do so when she told me not to and that it was just a joke, I indeed had to let it cool down first and we had time. I said I didn’t realize it was a joke and that I had done it before when I was younger, possibly on her instruction, and that it had actually worked then.
- Snippet: At some point, there was a scene at a supermarket that Mom and Kel were visiting where I was a healer and resurrecter working there (though I might have been a visitor with them at the same time too). Reviews were posted on the glass window outside the supermarket, by the shopping carts, so people could look at what services we offered before coming in.
- Snippet: Around the same time, there was also another scene where I left along a passageway to a hidden second-hand bookshop, and I saw an old woman there as the proprietress, and a cute, young girl from elementary school kneeling down and looking through books near some shelves that had gamebooks. She looked up at me and I didn’t disturb her, but I went over to a secondary glass counter away from where the proprietress was, and saw a bunch of L5R card packs for some expansions I had never heard of, one of them being a blue-green coloured pack called “Peace and Islam”, which was about converting the Japanese characters in the card game to Islam for extra bonuses or something like that. I figured very few people came to the shop so it was unlikely that the things I wanted to get to disappear by the next day, and I resolved to come back with some cash to spend in this shop.
- Snippet: There was a Brandon Sanderson convention or exhibition happening in another bookshop or curio shop that I was passing by and wasn’t interested in, but they were only freely letting in people 5’0″ in height and under, whereas anyone from the 5’1″ to 5’3″ range or so would be harassed before they were let in. I wasn’t sure if anyone taller than that was even allowed in or not. However, I saw Kynji approaching the doorman, and he started to harass her until she flashed a signet ring related to the author at him, at which point he immediately stepped aside and let her in.
- Snippet: I and a number of people visited a room where a cookbook with colonial recipes was literally being built and put together — there were mini conveyor belts stretched and curving all around the room which individual pages were chugging along and being built somehow, and they would all end up as a book at the end of the line. However, one part of the conveyor belt was tangled up with a package of dense paper held together by tape and envelopes, and I helped tug it free so the papers wouldn’t get jammed, though the package itself was unbalanced and wouldn’t stand up on its own without being held up by the belt or my hand. I laid it down sideways on the ground. Some of the people with me also commented on how the recipes in the colonial cookbook were probably really bland and hopefully the author had thought to update the recipes for modern contemporary tastes too, but I thought to myself that I hoped he didn’t, since the food historian in me was really interested in the preservation of the original recipes.
- Snippet: There was a 2nd year class monitor who was the student president for the entire 2nd year cohort at a 3-year school that I was attending, and at the start of the year she took prefect applications from everyone in the grade, and picked a boy from the class to be the sole prefect of the 2nd year students. All this was fine, but two 1st years girls were trying to speak to her too and didn’t get to do so until after a certain deadline had passed, at which point she found out that she actually had a secondary job to do, which was to pick a class/grade monitor for the 1st year students as well. Since she failed to do that, the 1st years had to go through the year with no monitor and prefects, and no one there got the chance to develop their leadership skills. At the start of the next year, when they became third years, the window of opportunity finally opened again, and this time she appointed both a 2nd year as well as a 1st year monitor, since she realized that there was no 2nd year monitor to appoint the new 1st year one like she was supposed to last year. The two 1st year girls that had originally brought this up to her had vibes of Miko Iino from Kaguya-sama and one of her friends.
Apr 23 2022
- There was some racial tension in the city I lived in, between us Chinese and some darker-skinned people that I think were Malays. This was due to a war that was going on in some other part of the world. Partly due to uncertainty from the war, Dad was moving boxes or furniture from his van to the house we lived in, which was modelled after our Edmonton 4012 house, and when I saw him arriving (and could see the boxes in his van from afar, outlined the way that Minecraft blocks are), I ran out to help him move them into our garage. Mom told us to be careful if any members of the other racial group were to walk by though, and indeed one did walk by along the other side of the street at one point, so both Dad and I stepped into the van and went into the garage to stand by the far inside wall of it just in case, until he had walked on out of sight. More out of respect for Mom‘s sense of caution and wanting us to play it safe, than out of any real danger that we felt. I noted that I had never actually seen an incident happen so perhaps things weren’t as bad as they were made out to be.
- Later on, I planned to make a trip around the neighbourhood we were in, which I had a street map of. It was kind of modelled after Yishun in Singapore, and had a northern and a southern half full of residential and commercial streets. Our house was on the northeast side, and I had four different maps, held together by a paper clip, that showed different data overlays of the same area. One was bus coverage, for example, with white lines showing the route of the bus that went closest by our house.
- I wanted to explore the city as we were new here and it was kind of implied that I was here on a temporary basis, kind of like for a year-long study abroad program. So I wanted to look at the area, the businesses and houses and more, take pictures, and put it on my blog. I was worried that Mom would say no, since she was more risk averse than I was, but to my surprise she agreed, perhaps due to the level of planning that I had done.
- I showed her a bus ticket that I had, which would allow me 1.5 hours of bus usage, and then showed her that I had a second bus ticket along with me as well in case the first one ran out. I said I would be fine even though I was going to bring along a small MP3 player and wear earphones, which would probably make me slightly more of a target. She nodded and advised that I stuck to the northern areas around the white bus route for now.
- Before setting out, I wished I had more time to prepare for this, as I wanted to make lists of interesting places to visit as well. I rifled through some papers by my computer but didn’t find a printout that I wanted to make or bring along. This was no big deal though since I could just go on subsequent exploration trips in the future too, this was just an initial stint. In fact, I hoped that in the future I would be able to do more once both the war and COVID ended. In the meantime, my 90 minute window already had started so I left the house.
- On the way out, I was on an office chair somehow, and rolled it through an office room where members of our sister team at work were seated around desks and chatting with each other. One of the guys asked James how he still had hair after working with them for so long, and he laughed, saying that they would probably all fall off eventually, as they weren’t really growing any longer, but he hadn’t gotten it all cut off yet because he actually enjoyed having a head of hair! I also rolled by Johannes in an office and stopped to cracked a joke that made him laugh.
- I didn’t get very far into the exploration trip before waking up but I do remember one segment where I was walking by an underpass where two highways intersected with each other, while listened to a news radio station. A Chinese man who worked in IT Security called in to the radio station to say that he was now a loyal listener of them due to a previous segment that the radio station had played, highlighting and reviewing some nearby primary schools, and that he appreciated that information because he had been looking for a good school for his kid.