My Diary #051

Dear Tigey,

I apparently forgot to put anything in here last week. Well, there’s something here now.

Entry #051 (May 01 2022)

Table of Contents

Maybe…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #49
ට  Song of the Week #26
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #33
ට  Last Year’s Entry #2
ට  Dreams

School

My grades for my Easia 442 Haiku class were released this week — I got an A for it. That’s a 4.0 gpa, so I’m happy in that regard, but I didn’t get an A+, so there’s some dissatisfaction there. Hard to really do much in an online course where the entire mark was composed of like 5 things and all of them are opinion-based (essays, presentations, etc) and how we only knew and ever saw 15% of our total mark though. We never even got feedback on our final paper. I did get feedback on my final paper for the other 400 level course (Visual and Material Culture in East Asian Buddhism) that I took a couple years ago the semester that the pandemic started, but in this one we didn’t see a mark or get any feedback for it, the class course page just.. closed.

In the meantime, still no news on an acceptance/rejection for my Singapore study abroad attempt, and even my study abroad advisor is getting a bit antsy. No word from Singapore either on the supporting note that I really need before I go, even though I bugged the officer a couple times this week and she said (at the start of the week, and for the third time) that she would pen me a letter. They’re oddly inefficient.

Work

One of my tickets became a bit of a bigger incident this week, and for the first time since we moved over to our new ticketing software (which is what, 6 years old by now?), I got to sit on a parent incident ticket for an account creation issue that our infrastructure team got to fix. It wasn’t particularly difficult or headachey to deal with, and there were only three child tickets that it spawned, so it was no big deal in the end, but it was still.. cool? I felt mildly important for once? I didn’t actually solve any issue or anything though, besides knowing what happened and being able to pinpoint exactly when it happened and what the symptoms for the error were.

My boss and I also had an interesting conversation about my plans if my Singapore plans were to come to fruition. I decided that I would probably aim to leave in late July or so, maybe even earlier, taking leave from work to go there and talk to whatever government or army entity I needed to to see if I could clear up all my loose ends before school started. And if they booted me out of the country, well, since I were still on vacation, I would come right back to my current job without losing it. That’s the important part of the plan, as the worst case scenario would be that I resign to go there and then get bounced out due to some technicality once I arrived. He said he would talk to his supervisor to see if something like that could be arranged. And if everything went fine then I would formally resign while over there.

Life

I have tons of little notes to put in here this week, for some reason. Let’s see..

Firstly, thoughts and prayers for some friends from my main online Discord. According to Thrandor, Darkseize is in hospital in an ICU due to an infection and got transferred to a larger hospital for better care. He gets sick a lot and I hope he pulls through okay (and it’s not too expensive, yikes USA). Gibbs is also going through some issues and about to move to a new place and I wish him all the best.

I did some scanning this week, firstly with some handwritten notes between friends that I had preserved from 1998-1999 somehow, and then the first few pages of a diary I found that I had kept from around that time too. Boy was I cringy and awful back then. It’s like reading the writing of someone entirely different, someone who was very sad and very angry about the move to Canada and waxing melancholy all over the place. However, it gave me some really important dates, names, and events that I had long forgotten from my own personal history, and is valuable for that alone. I also continued backing up our Lord of the Rings Online kinship (basically our player guild) forums, and I think I am about a third of the way done with the entire site now, with the most important forum completely backed up.

I broke my main can opener trying to wrestle with a terrible can of sardines earlier this week, and then cut my finger trying to pry it open with various spoons, forks and knives too. That was a terrible experience. I did more or less win in the end, though, but it didn’t taste nearly as good as it should have after that wrestle. So maybe it won?

There was a tear in my favourite skirt that I had been keeping more or less pinned shut with a safety pin for several years now, since before the pandemic, even though that probably made that part of the skirt a bit more tattered than it should be. It’s under a flap of the skirt so it’s usually hidden from view, but it would often (but not always, oddly!) trigger the airport metal detector or item detector when I went through it. Anyway, Kynji posted some handicrafts that she had done in Discord and I got tempted to buy a sewing kit to try to fix that myself, but Trinstar suggested that I send it to an actual tailor for repair, as it was usually pretty cheap to do. I had never really seen a tailor around these parts, but a quick Google told me that there was actually a small shop in Southgate Mall near my apartment, so I went there on Monday evening and gave them the skirt to perform needle surgery on.

They had signs up that said most of the work could be done in a few hours or would take up to 48 hours to do, but the attendant asked for more time and said it would take all the way up to next Tuesday to do because one of their two tailors was on leave and they were severely backed up at the moment. She also quoted me just under $25 to fix the skirt, saying that they would sew all around the hem to make it even or something like that. I agreed, and handed over custody of my skirt to them. I’ve never been able to find a skirt in the style of that one, which I like a lot (and have gotten a decent number of compliments for), so I felt that it was worth it anyway. I hope to get it back in one piece this Tuesday. I don’t like being away from my possessions for that long though. I guess that’s what’s called sewing doubt.

That same Monday evening, on the way back from the mall and tailor, I bought some Pad Thai from the Thai Express store in the mall’s food court, getting it to go in one of their cute little carry bags. Remembering what I had written last week about eating outdoors, I decided to make my own Little Miracle this week, and stopped by a picnic bench on the way home, sat down, cradled the little bag in my lap, and just ate it right then and there, as I watched another guy watch some guys playing baseball:

The weather was pretty great, a bit chilly, down to somewhere between 12 to 14 degrees Celsius, but my food was piping hot as well as extra spicy, so it was a lovely, looooovely blend of hot and cold blending together as I chowed down. Although Singapore is a very eat-outdoors society, and I did so a couple times with friends in the USA as well, it’s kind of rare in Edmonton, unless you’re at a barbecue or park or walking around a fair with vendor food or something. Most food places are indoors just due to it being deathly (or at least inconveniently) cold half the year. So this was a pleasant change of pace! I don’t recall ever having an outdoor dinner in Edmonton before. And it was so peaceful, and the sky was so beautiful. I sat in mindful bliss for about 10-15 minutes.

On the way home, I saw this Canada Goose and caught a nice picture of it:

He was watching the baseball players as well. There are lots of animals out this time of year — there was another goose nearby, a bored rabbit on the way home, this hungry goose the next day, two lovebirds wandering around near an arena thing, and even a deer? Maybe not. And there was at least one other prominent Canada Goose in the video I’m posting below. They’re everywhere this year!

On Tuesday, I went to the grocery store and, against my better judgement, found a couple new potato chip flavours in a different section of the store from where they usually are (in the junk food aisle, which I generally avoid). These were in the Asian foods aisle, and looked unique enough, so I decided to try them. They were unappealing. Never again.

On Wednesday, Pocket, the Firefox article feed app, fed me an article about working vacations (local) and how although people might think it’s bad for work-life balance and for recharging because you’re not tuning out of work on your “vacation time”, that might actually not always be true instead. And I agree. It reminded me of my November trip I took through the USA and what a great experience that was, combined with how little vacation time it actually cost me from my bank compared to how long I was abroad.

On Thursday, I managed to achieve At Peace with the World status, which is a zen-like state of mind where I feel like the world around me is perfectly balanced and where I feel good without feeling overwhelmed with positivity or negativity. This requires good (usually cloudy) weather, fresh air, silence, a lack of stress, a lack of hurry to fulfil any obligation or even to do anything, and several other ingredients, and I can go months (especially during winter and summer) without hitting this state at all. (I don’t meditate for it, it comes naturally.) But when I do find it, the serenity I feel is a magnificent feeling. I even wrote a bad haiku about it,

At Peace with the World —
when every falling tree leaf
is a miracle

And then I went out for a long walk along a lonely, curving park road. And I brought my camera for a video. Parts of it are slightly tilted to one side again — I think this is just due to how I hold the camera, and I have an idea on how to improve it, but it will take a couple more recordings to test out all the possible options.

However, more importantly, I tested out a couple methods of processing the video and learnt that the default way I had been using all this time to process it in Davinci Resolve actually spits out a pretty bad compressed video. My raws were 36.3 GB or so in size, and my usual preset method spits out a 3.93 GB video at a data rate of 10 Mbps, but actually manually choosing good settings doesn’t change the processing time at all but spits out a 43.6 GB video that looks a ton better! The problem is that it also takes a lot longer to upload and process onto YouTube. Still though, I uploaded both versions so I could see if the “better” version actually displays better on YouTube as well. If it actually looks better, I might go back and convert all the raws that I still have (particularly the USA trip ones) to this new larger size and preset as well. If not, I’ll save myself all that trouble!

Here are the two versions of the video I converted. First is a 10 Mbps one, using the regular YouTube preset on Davinci:

Then here’s the one done in 120Mbps:

Neither video is done its YouTube processing (to generate their HD versions) so I guess I’ll come back here later to look at them. Also, on Thursday night, the community Christmas tree lights that I can see from my balcony window didn’t turn on in the evening. This continued for the rest of the week. Temporary or permanent stoppage? We’ve had temporary stretches where the tree lights haven’t come on in the past 4 years or so since the first Christmas when they turned the lights on, but it usually doesn’t last for more than a week or two at most. We’ll see if it eventually comes back on this time!

On Friday, there was another AuroraWatch alert, and apparently a few minor northern lights could be seen depending on where one looked, but although my house windows are more or less facing the correct direction (northeast) for it, I didn’t see any. I did do some research and found this site (local) talking about aurora forecasts and teaching one what to look out for, though. I hope I manage to see a good one this year.

On Saturday, I finished the library book I had borrowed and had mentioned a few weeks ago — Why Travel Matters by Craig Storti. It gave me some new perspectives on travel and some general ideas on what one should be doing (though I don’t agree with all of it) for maximum immersion and cultural experience, and dovetailed very nicely with the CIL course I finished a few months ago. Good stuff. It did say that for maximum immersion, one should travel alone (or with as few other people from your home country as possible) in order to more easily be able to interact with the natives, and that one’s ultimate goal is to get invited into someone’s house while at your destination, to see how people in other cultures live, both of which I more or less achieved while in the States. I really need to do that write-up.

Games

Not actually a ton this week! I played a bit of Minecraft, but my heart wasn’t too into it, especially since Darkseize, the server owner, was in hospital for the entire week and continues to be in hospital through the end of the week, Felt a bit wrong to be playing it.

I loaded up and played a bit of the start of Atelier Ryza 2 for two evenings, though I’m sure I’ll burn out at some point and let it sit again. The start of the game coincided nicely with the Why Travel Matters book I’ve been reading and wrote about earlier though, as the main character there travels to a big city from her farming village for the first time and immediately gets hit with culture shock and experiences some of the things the book talks about. Very cool. She then meets a couple friends (“locals”) who help her through the initial shock and show her around. I like when different aspects of my life loop back into each other coincidentally.

I did eventually get my $12 or so gift card from that one dumb app, though it turned out to be a slightly-less-than-$12 discount code that could be only used on a third-party marketplace site for a $20 card that cost slightly over $20.. whatever. Anyway there is a Steam sale going on to collaborate Golden Week, although there isn’t actually an official Golden Week sale on Steam this year. Lots of Japanese games are still on sale though, including several other games in the Atelier series, so I might pick those up.

The odd thing is I already have an old version of one of the games, Atelier Sophie, which was then removed and replaced by a remastered version, Atelier Sophie DX, to the point that the original game isn’t even in my Steam library any more, although if I visit the store page directly I can install it from there (only if I remember that I have the game though, which I happened to.) The remastered game is basically the same game with a few minor changes but was not given out free to current owners or anything like that, and any game bundles on Steam containing that game now feature the new version instead of the old one, so you can’t get discounts for owning the old game that way either. Very slimy. Still, I’ll probably use my gift card to offset that and get the Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack as it’s pretty highly rated and are all games that I want to play. Probably. Most semi-major purchases always require a few days for me to mentally process before I pull the trigger.

Jah got his Steam Deck purchase invitation email this week, so mine should be coming up pretty soon, I think! Probably in one or two weeks. Hopefully. Different model, and I’m in Canada instead of the USA, but we’ll see. Also, the Jah Stream Night game this week was Wilmot’s Warehouse, which was interesting and which I think he did reasonably well in. Seems like a game I’d do well in but also at the same time doesn’t really seem like a game I want to subject myself to playing!

Thanks to my kinship (guild) forum archival project, I also had a strange urge and decided to log onto Lord of the Rings Online for the first time in forever, just long enough to claim some anniversary gifts (as some sort of celebration is on) and clear my mailbox. Every character in the kinship has a Last Login time by their kinship entry, and the most inactive character in the kinship was last online 5,454 days ago from when I logged in on Wednesday, which calculates to May 22, 2007.  Just 3 weeks and change shy of 15 years! The game’s changed too much though, and it’s hard to get back into with my old characters.

On the phone, I dabbled a bit in Echoes of Mana because I had apparently told the Google Play Store to auto-download it once it launched at some point in the past. Haven’t gotten very far into it, as I haven’t had time to play phone games this week, but it’s there for when I want to delve into it further. I’ve never played any other Of Mana game so I don’t really know what to expect, though most of the other games are on actual proper gaming platforms (as opposed to.. the phone, mobile gaming sucks) so I’m not expecting much. The game at least started off fairly cute and funny though, though the tutorial sound effects are annoying as all hell.

Thrandor also recommended Dawncaster as a fun RPG deckbuilder roguelike on the phone, and I picked that up as well to give that a try. It’s still early days, I haven’t even completed (or failed) one run yet, but it very much has vibes of Night of the Full Moon, which was another mobile deckbuilder I played last year.

Lastly, it seems like our Saturday afternoon Anime Music Quiz games, which I play with a secondary friend group, are winding down to becoming an occasional thing instead of a weekly thing, which makes me slightly sad, since it’s the end of a tradition, but also does free up time for me to go out or do other things while still allowing us to potentially do it now and then if we want to. My daily (nightly) evening games with my main group are still going strong though, so anime music is still a huge part of my day to day life.

I also wanted to highlight some of the Wordle-adjacent games that my main Discord are currently playing almost every day (not everyone does every game). There’s the main Wordle game, this movie scenes variation, this video game screenshots one, this Name that Tune musical snippet one, this musical snippet one based around video games, and this musical snippet one based around anime opening songs. There are others we’ve tried out in the past too and largely discarded. There sure are a lot of clones and variations overall.

Plushie of the Week #49 – Cat

Cat is quite possibly our oldest surviving plushie — as far as we remember, she’s my younger sister, Kel‘s, first main plushie, which dates Cat to around 1988-1990 or so. However, my earliest picture of Cat is from about 2003, so we don’t really have any pictoral proof of when Cat arrived or what she looked like back then. Probably the same, but perhaps a little fluffier! Cat is largely expressionless and, as far as I can remember, never really developed a personality or backstory. Her whiskers are also made from a wiry sort of plastic, as I recall, and twisted into odd shapes from the ravages of time. Here are a few pictures of this old cat. Firstly, the one from 2003 that I’ve linked a few times in various plushie pictures. This is our oldest surviving plushie group picture, and you can see her at the back, just behind Druggy:

Here’re more recent pictures of her. Front:

Back (She looks so shy, aww):

Bottom and tail:

Close-up of face (wiry whiskers!):

Tag front:

Tag back:

The tag literally says “Made in China”. That’s it. Not very useful at all for identifying origin.

Song of the Week #26

Title: In Another Life
Artist: Ning Baizura
Album: Ning (1994)

So I wasn’t even going to do this song this week, but while researching and starting to do a writeup on another song, this one kind of forced its way in, so here we are.

This song was eventually covered by Jennifer Love Hewitt, and apparently even a Cantonese version of the song was made at some point, but the original song was actually by Ning Baizura, a singer from Malaysia who gained some popularity on the Asian-Pacific Rim, but never made it big elsewhere in the world.

This song though. It was a fairly popular song in the mid 90s in Singapore, and I love her voice — it reminds me of Mariah Carey’s vocal smoothness without the ridiculously high pitch. It reminds me of an early Singapore, on the cusp of an economic boom and major infrastructure and technological developments, and teetering on the edge of the new millennium, its citizens clinging on to the last dying gasps of a pre-Internet world. It reminds me of more innocent times, with musty shopping centers, faded-paint HDB flats, 10-cent toll entry public washrooms, old men and women seated at makeshift tables outside local strip mall shops to sell lottery tickets, a library checkout system that made modem connecting noises whenever you scanned your library card, and a whole host of other minor, old memories like that. Basically memories that predate me even entering Secondary School in 1997.

Even if I were to return to Singapore now, I know that I will not find the old Singapore in my mind’s eye — I have an impression that life back then was simpler, very easygoing, and less commercialized and touristy, although I acknowledge that a lot of that was probably me just being very young and also having the benefit of rose-tinted goggles bleaching out all my younger childhood memories in pastel colours.  It also speaks to a life before the Internet though, and how much more local-minded and attentive people were without the ability to instantaneously reach out around the globe with the press of a button and without the leash of email and social media at the tips of one’s fingertips. Is that good? Is that bad? Probably a bit of both. It’s a Pandora’s Box that can never be closed again though.

But in another world, in another place, who knows what would have happened? If I had stayed in Singapore? If I had been born a girl? If I had never worked up the courage to transition? If the Internet had never been a thing? If we had moved to another country? If I had done a little better, or a little worse, in my studies? Life is made up of so many little decisions or whims of fate that influence and forge our paths forward, but leave us wondering about other doors not taken.

Memory Snippet of the Week #33

For Memory Snippet #33, I’m actually going to upload and display some notes that I have preserved in my personal stashes for whatever reason. These sorts of notes usually got passed around in class behind the teacher’s backs, although these specific ones, as far as I can tell, were complex and long-winded, and possibly even sensitive enough that they were likely passed to each other directly, between classes or after school, instead of risking a teacher interception (which definitely happened!) or a classmate reading something they weren’t supposed to while in transit (which in practice seldom happened).

They almost all date from 1998, when we were in Secondary 2/Grade 8  — some of them even have exact dates, in August 1998 or so. They were written by earlier editions of us, so long ago (~25 years as of this blog entry) that they may as well have been different people or different lifetimes altogether by this point. Still, I thought they were interesting artifacts, and so I scanned all of them and uploaded some of the more interesting and less incriminating ones. You can definitely see the chaos in them, it’s like an explosion of colour and abbreviations and there’s scribbling all over the margins and such. You can’t do things like this in a phone chat app!

For context behind these notes, Huihan and I briefly started and maintained a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship for about the latter half of 1998 before I left the country. Zixiang played broker and set us up, if I recall, he always fancied himself a bit of a matchmaker. But there was always a lot of romance talk flying around the classroom in my secondary school days, fueled by something I did that will be the subject of a future Memory Snippet of the Week. Nothing much ever really came out of this though — if I’m not wrong, no one in the end ended up marrying anyone else from either class. That’s just the way life is!

Anyway, back then, we were apparently trying to hide our relationship for some time, according to some of these notes, and some people were aware while others were not, and that secrecy was probably part of the.. mystique? Fun? Prestige? too at that point. I do remember hanging out with Huihan a lot after school, we spent time in each other’s company a lot and chatted and occasionally visited a shopping mall together. As I recall, we never even held hands much less do anything more like that — but we did buy gifts and trinkets and cards for each other, I think, and in hindsight, I think I managed to get the kind of platonic relationship with her that I wanted with a girl but could never otherwise describe, understand, or explain at the time. But hey, at that time, we called it love. And arguably it was a form of that. Just not the kind that would lead to physical intercourse, that’s never been an urge toward anyone for me (and still isn’t to this day).

Anyway I’m not going to censor my dead name and all so it’s there in the notes, and in many other previous Memory Snippets of the Week either, but to explain some of the other abbreviations, H² or H2 is Huihan, AT is me, Rae is Rachel, Val or VTHM is Valerie, XJ or Xuan is Xuanjie, KT is Kaiting, LZX is Zixiang, Jon in this context is Jonathan, D² or DD is Debbie, PC is Paulene, 1.0 is Eileen, Al is Allen, AZL is Antonia. SJ is St John Ambulance Brigade, a club. I’m sure there are other abbreviations in there I missed as well. Most of the people closest to me are mentioned in these notes somewhere or other.

This first note is between two mystery people. I have no idea who they are based on the handwriting, except I know it didn’t involve me nor Huihan. I have my suspicions based on who’s NOT mentioned in the note, but no real certainty. Also, I have no idea how I got hold of the note since it wasn’t addressed to me.

This next second note, detailing some PE class drama, is between Huihan and I.

So is this third note. Apparently I believed in reincarnation even way back then:

And this fourth one, which just had one side filled in:

These next four were in a journal that apparently Huihan and Eileen bought for me together, and that I wrote back and forth in with Huihan to start off. I eventually turned it into a proper diary for some time, and there are lots of interesting notes in there. Of important note to me from this segment are two things, one being the fact that Paulene arranged the chalet trip in November 1998 that was the last major event I attended with my classmates — I remember parts of this important event really vividly although it wasn’t specifically arranged for my sake or anything, and I’ll talk about this another time. I had forgotten that Paulene was the one that had arranged this though. The second thing is just a list of radio stations that i listened to/flipped through at the time. Detail like that has long been forgotten to time and I appreciate my younger self leaving nuggets like that for me to unearth decades later.

The last two notes I’m sharing are actually from around March 1999, when I was in Canada, in Vernon Barford Junior High, where I spent 6 months at before graduating to high school. I joined in  Spring break starts at the end of March, so this would have dated the second letter, whereas the first one would have been a little bit earlier than that when I first reached out to Cara, the girl that I corresponded with. I’m not sure why I picked her, there must have been some sort of event that convinced me that it was a good idea to try, but I turned out to be right.

I wasn’t good at talking — at this point I had become somewhat introverted due to culture shock and because my accent at the time was a problem in getting to know other people, not to mention the short time I had with them, transferring in halfway through the final school year, as well as the multitude of things I had to get used to, like the lack of uniforms and the cold Edmonton weather and the oppressive school buildings. But I wanted to make contact, so I did so the best way I knew how, giving her a random note one day at the end of the school day when no one else was looking. She handed me this first note as a reply the next day:

This, and another diary entry I have, are really important because these are the only notes I have of a number of my classmates’ names. I don’t have a yearbook or anything of my Junior High, and really didn’t care at the time since I was only there for a bit under six months, so seeing some of the names jogged some long lost memories that I had no idea I still had.

Anyway, we exchanged a number of notes, it might have been only these two, or there might have been a few more that I didn’t keep and are now lost to time. I don’t have the notes that I wrote either, since she wrote her replies on a separate piece of paper that she then sent back to me. This following note is the only other one I have from her though, and possibly the last one we ever exchanged:

I might have eventually transitioned to email and/or ICQ, with her and others, but those records are long gone. I do have a list of ICQ numbers from people in basically all my schools from Rosyth (Primary 4-6) all the way through McNally (Grade 10-12) though, including Vernon Barford, so I must have talked to some of them there too.

I hope that was an interesting read through some notes, letters, and correspondences that I had preserved from the late 90s!

Last Year’s Entry #2

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #002. This was published on May 02 2021.

That 60 minute fix to MFA that the dev team supposedly implemented does not work as intended, and I’ve reported this before onto deaf ears. My supervisor asked me to track my time one day to give him an example, I did so, and he just let that fall by the wayside anyway after I had gathered the evidence. He does this a lot, I can’t count the number of times he’s asked us to compile some date or writeup to make us feel like we’re doing something to solve the problem, and then quietly let it drop. Irritating. I don’t even know if he does it on purpose or he’s just too busy all the time (which is not okay, it’s a sign that things are not healthy or right.)

I think I summed up my frustrations with work well enough in this post last year though. I largely ran out of anger and gave up meaningfully trying to make things better as my boss doesn’t take our concerns seriously enough, and I’ve been in flux and waiting to leave employment here for so long now that I feel a bit fake even when I’m working.

I was, oddly, sneezing a lot this week as well, although I don’t think it was a cold, nor do I normally get allergies. Not sure what it is. Funny this happened last year at this time as well though. Maybe it will next year too! Tune in for Last Year’s Entry #54 next year! Hello, me from the future! Did I ever make it to Singapore? Japan?

This has also been the first week this year where I can keep my balcony door open for extended periods of time, so that matches up with last year. I have three vaccine jabs now whereas this time last year I was still waiting for my first one — if this pattern continues I will have six by April next year and nine by April 2024. That’s how this works, right?

Tigey is due for a bath, but he hasn’t had one since I returned home from USA, so about five months ago. No news on the tulpa front, Tigey or otherwise, though.

Ooh, I’d completely forgotten about Wanikani. Not really in the books right now unless Singapore gets rejected though, then I might start that up again in preparation for another Japan application.

This was the first week of the Plushie of the Week segment, featuring my dear Tigey, and I remember going back at some point later and adding a couple paragraphs at the end to Tigey‘s story.

I still use Scanspeeder, though my 1 year license has now expired so everytime I open it it tries to get me to upgrade with another yearly license to download a new patch. They’re really slow with patches though, there were barely any when I was a paying patron and it took them months before they deployed the fix for the bug I submitted — as though they were trying to space out the updates as much as possible to catch people out and make them pay more. Hmmm. I also still enjoy that Power Spot, though that’s a place I also now associate with Hirawyn passing away as I went there the evening I learnt about it to wish her farewell through the hole in the roof. I actually started my walking video this week from that Power Spot.

Dreams
Apr 25 2022
  • I was taking the train back home with the rest of my family, when it stopped at the border between North and South Korea, where we were supposed to get off. Four of us got off, but Mom remained seated, as though she wanted to go into South Korea or missed that it was the stop somehow. I held the door open and called out to her, she looked at me blankly, came to the door anyway, but when I stepped away from the door to let her out, she didn’t actually step out, so the doors closed gain and the train took off, much to our horror.
  • Tensions weren’t good between our countries so we were afraid the NK’s would capture her and we would never see her again. We also weren’t sure if she somehow actually wanted to visit or stay there. She didn’t have a passport for it though. We appealed to our embassy who eventually managed to secure her return, and we found out that the border guards at the next station over had apparently treated her quite well, even though we had heard other horror stories about them.
  • Mom did give some reason about being confused but also wanting something about their way of life, I forget exactly what her rationale was though. Either way she was happy to be back.
  • Somewhere along the way, I had created a spreadsheet at work, in our shared team Google Drive, to help keep track of Mom and a couple other visitors and their refugee status or their travels around our city or something similar that I was helping to coordinate. I created this late the night that Mom disappeared, before going to bed, and when I woke up the next morning I populated the spreadsheet with all my information. I then found the spreadsheet deleted — upon looking at the Google Drive logs, Jeremy had thrown it into the trash even though it was clearly named as my document.
  • I rescued it from the trash bin, which made the audit log change to indicate that the two of us were fighting over the file, and I lodged a complaint with Ronnie when he came to pick Jeremy, I, and some other teammate up in a (right hand drive) car. I did this over our ualberta.net email so that Jeremy couldn’t see it, listing the timeline and telling him the filename and saying that Jeremy was unreasonably deleting files again and how much I disliked him for that habit.
Apr 26 2022
  • I was playing a game with Kel, Milumbar, and a few other people, it was a first-person game where we had separate farms and infinite roads stretching out from where we were, the roads were procedurally generated and stretched north, south, east, and west in all directions from a central pregenerated core area that we and our separate farms were in. It had a Minecraft and 7 Days to Die feel without actually being similar to either game. Anyway, we needed to farm several things, including fish, coffee, and bandit points, but once we cleared out the bandit camps around our initial area, we couldn’t find any more bandit outposts in the randomly generated areas, so it seemed like world generation was bugged. Similarly, we had an infinite but small pond back in the pregenerated area, but we were unable to find any fish farms to raid out in the “open world”. Someone took a car out to explore and basically came back with a bunch of coffee and other junk.
  • Later on, I was a new recruit and part of a team that was armed with paintball guns and going off to fight a bunch of criminals who were probably armed with similar guns. We had a call from our teacher telling us our new target and we all grabbed our guns and left the room to get ready, but being the new person, I was listening closely and realized that the name that the teacher gave, which everyone else ignored, was someone who had also just joined our team and who was feeling depressed. After leaving the room, I saw him standing thoughtfully outside our door with a loaded gun facing the ground, and I turned around and shot him. Our team instantly won the match and I got a bunch of accolades for that.
  • At some point I was in a room and saw a television or screen showing a bunch of soccer scores. Singapore had beaten some small national team, some regional Malaysian teams had played each other and one had lost badly, and some English teams had just finished a promotion playoff battle. There was a clip of some player scoring an amazing goal from his own penalty box on the other side of the pitch, with the ball swinging high into the air and then wickledly curving down into the opponent goal. There was no goalkeeper there because he had come up to try to get his team a last-second equalizer. I showed Dad the clip and he pretended not to see it, instead feigning surprise at some of the other ads on the page as though that was what I was trying to show him.
  • Snippet: I had a weird classroom dream where I had a female Math teacher and Physics teacher, both of whom disliked me and my questions for some reason. I was in a small class, about 10-15 people per class.
  • In a separate dream later on, I was playing a first-person Among Us/Werewolf-style detective/murderer/patrons game with my Discord friends. I was the murderer, Kynji was the detective, and I had taken out Frotswa and Nak with a fire axe and a silencer gun. I left the hotel we were all staying in to hide the murder weapons behind a car in an adjacent parking lot, then wandered back into the hotel through a different door and played innocent through most of the investigation. I managed to pin the blame on a couple other people whom Kynji murdered and then found that they were the wrong people because their guns were not silenced. Once I knew that Kynji was looking for the silenced gun, I knew that I was mostly safe, but I had a silenced ammo clip hidden in my shoe still that I needed to get rid of, so I tossed that out a window the next opportunity I had. I eventually won by time as I got 19 out of 20 survival points, and then found Kynji by herself and stunlocked her and won a fight as the game time ended. She then discovered who I was later on outside the game by looking at some true/false cards, and seeing that Nak had discovered my identity but was unable to divulge that information before he was bludgeoned.
Apr 27 2022
  • I won some contest and getting a one-on-one talk with a historian person about a recent discovery. They had found a very old European prophecy talking about some hidden treasure in Edmonton, which was written in difficult to understand Olde English or something, but which he had spent time translating. It indicated that when you looked at an aerial map of part of downtown Edmonton, which was located on a keyhole-shaped island surrounded by a river in my dream, during Christmas, when all the trees were festively lit up, the lights would reveal a cave with treasure in it. And sure enough, when he looked at the overhead map during Christmas, he found a dark cave on the western side of the island jutting out from the river. Inside of it were two pieces of delicious food, one with a recipe, and the second one, some sort of breaded prawn thing, with no recipe.
  • We had a little bit of it, and the fast food company who sponsored this food historian was also hiring people whose job would be to figure out and reverse engineer that piece of food to get its original recipe. I found this out in a mall that I was visiting which had a booth that was a single plate hanging from the ceiling on wires with some sample dish in it and a note that the application process would involve an attempt to reverse engineer that to show them what we could do. It was a delicious sample!
  • I was ready to try applying for this job, however I first wanted to wait and see what would happen with my study abroad application, as it was pointless to do so if I were just going to leave in four months. There was another boy who was also eating the sample hanging from the ceiling plate, he seemed to have no actual inclination to apply though, he just wanted the free food.
  • Snippet: Something about being in a temporary jail for half a minute or so, and needing to not play my music on a guitar and to let a certain cooldown expire before my jail term ran out. If I did so and refrained, everything was okay, if I played music while in the cell, the cooldown wouldn’t expire and I would carry a demerit point of some kind (for lack of a better term) with me. I could have up to five of those, after which something bad would happen.
  • Snippet: Something about a woman and I fighting a vampire lady, but just before we engaged her, we also managed to find her contract pact with a boy which was giving her soul vessel a rebirth, and we held it up in front of her, ready to destroy it. This struck fear in her heart.
Apr 29 2022
  • I had dreams about a group of 7 superhuman friends who were dorming together at a house roughly located where Edmonton 4012 was, and who were thinking of moving in permanently with each other out of safety. The gender split was 4 to 3, though I’m not sure if there were more guys or girls. I experienced the story through a third person omniscient viewer and so saw little bits of the story from different points of view.
  • One of the girls was heavily disliked when she first joined the group and moved in, five of the other six people moved out of one dorm room into the other room together (all seven of them had single beds), while she slept with the last person, the girl that had invited her. She was really surly in the way she talked to others, and also a bad sleeper to boot. They eventually got over this though.
  • Another girl didn’t actually need sleep and would often take watch at night for safety reasons. The issue they faced was that there were two gangs that waged a raging gang war nearby and police and firemen were often on scene to fight them and their ensuing fires, too. The war often raged just one or two streets east or northeast of the house, basically within a stone’s throw, and she could see the fire alarms going off on a digital map and the fire trucks going by but needed to be careful as several of the others found it really difficult to get back to sleep once they were woken up. But the house needed to be protected and she herself only had the combat ability to spit poison, which wasn’t useful from the house and took a while to take effect anyway, so they told her to wake them up if she felt necessary.
  • Also, these neighbouring streets had the feel of basically belonging to another country, or at least being some sort of border region, which was why such a gang war was happening here in the first place.
  • Another scene had the superhumans checking out the damage to the neighbouring street one morning, and basically lounging on a sloping grass hill behind a long, rectangular road sign help up by two poles, when a bunch of cars filled with gangsters from one of the two gangs rolled by. The cars stopped and they saw the leader and some goons come out and surround them to try to harass the girls in the group, but they all chased him and the goons off together. One of the guys, whose ability apparently was super-strength and who grew huge muscles when using said ability, took hold of one of the lackeys in an attempt to scare them away, and told another one (possibly some sort of leader) that he had to go down on his knees and beg for his life or his compatriot would get destroyed.
Apr 30 2022
  • The dream involved studying at an unnamed University with two main tracks, a Science-based faculty/major and an Art one. Most people in the dream were in the Science major, the only one I remember being in Art was Maciek, who was a year ahead of me, and who took classes with his science classmates — some of the girls occasionally talked about his major and how neat it was that it was different. At some point they had to declare the courses they were going to take that year or something and his were all different from everyone else.
  • I had to do a similar thing about choosing courses, though in my case at least this selection process involved looking at little balls of light that somehow represented the courses, as created or reviewed by previous students, kind of like a final project that everyone did before they left the course. Oddly, there were balls of light from people that had completed the course I was looking at, not only from people from last year, but also a few from people in the same year as me, and even one ball from someone who was entering the University next year and thus who should not have had a chance to complete the course yet.
  • The other thing I remember is being in a small apartment at some point, and both watching TV as well as flipping through a game list on the TV looking for indie games to play at different points of that part of the dream. I remember seeing a pinball game with nearly no reviews, and thinking about the complexities of programming the paddles to send the pinball flying. I also remember seeing some sort of crab game. The TV was in a small room next to the front door and window, both of which I had left ajar and could occasionally see other students walking to school through. I was off that day though. At some point two girls stopped to knock for some survey that they wanted to do, and I hid by the wall beneath the window until they went away, at which point I swung the ajar door close so no one else would disturb me, despite knowing that I would still be visible through the window to anyone else walking by.
May 01 2022
  • Snippet: I remember sitting on a cushion on a floor in a room full of individual bunk beds lined up in rows, specifically in the space between a bed on my right that I knew to be mine, and a bedframe without a mattress on my left that I knew to be Kel‘s. There was a friend of mine seated on a bed to the right of my bed as well. Something was going on in the room and both that friend and I were listening in or watching someone do/say something as part of the main event of this dream segment, but as a side task I had just retrieved a basket of my laundry and dumped it on the floor in front of me, and was busy separating my clothes into piles and folding them up.
  • Snippet: Someone else and I were in a short building on one side of the street with a bunch of doors leading out into the main street, whereas two people that we were at war with could be seen on the roof of a taller building on the other side of the street. There had been some sort of ceasefire for some time, so even though they were on guard, they had no idea where we were or when we were going to resume hostilities. I also realized that the rim of the roof was blocking them from being able to look down at us properly, and I told my companion this before sliding out to a large cement block outside one of our doors to demonstrate to him what I meant.
  • Snippet: At another point there was some sort of AMQ scandal where the database mods had uploaded some sort of mashup of a couple songs together under one entry, or something like that, and weren’t going to or hadn’t bothered to fix it in a hurry. A lot of people were flaming them, including Milumbar who said something nasty about one of the mods, who replied in an announcement post specifically to Mil that his allegations were rude and untrue. Although I wasn’t particularly worked up about it because I never actively played with that song in my list, I did generally dislike the mods and so didn’t think too badly about Milumbar or the other people flaming them — you sow what you reap, after all.

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