My Diary #053

Dear Tigey,

We’re going back to Singapore! Are you excited? You haven’t been back there in 23.5 years!

Entry #053 (May 15 2022)

Table of Contents

Arising out of the stormy…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #51
ට  Song of the Week #28
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #35
ට  Last Year’s Entry #4
ට  Dreams

School

After a sleepless night on Monday due to research, fretting, talking to my rep in Singapore and thinking things through, I decided that the best chance for my actual NUS application, whether it is successful this first time around or if I have to withdraw and try again in a couple years, is to actually go back to Singapore now and get some of my paperwork done first, prior to actually knowing whether the University is accepting me or not.

This is due to one of the requirements for getting into the country to study, even if I get accepted. I have to apply for a Student Pass from the government (I think the University assists with that), no later than one month and no sooner than two months prior to the start of the semester, or something like that. And they are apparently pretty strict on this Student Pass application. After consideration, I don’t think I’ll get this if my other issues aren’t squared away yet, so I decided to go back and get this done first.

I don’t think I’ve spoken about it in the blog before yet, but my main issue is that because I was born as a male in Singapore, I’m obligated to do NS, or National Service, for the country, even though our family migrated away in 1998, when I was 14. I didn’t, obviously — we were basically uncontactable in Canada and I grew up there and finished my schooling and started working and all that. And then I transitioned, which throws a wrench into the entire thing, because now am/was I actually legally obligated to do National Service or not?

I contacted them with this question back in September of 2019, but due to the pandemic and bureaucracy, it was very hard to actually get in touch with anyone there and get a proper answer. I eventually, finally, got an agent in Jul 2021 who called me over the phone (they use WhatsApp for client communication!) and asked for my paperwork, which I got from the doctor. In Sep 2021, we had another phone call where she told me that I had been granted a PES F exemption (local) and that my criminal record was clear, and I was allowed to go back into the country right then. She said that as part of the official process she’d have to open a case and close it as soon as possible after that, so it would probably be about January or February before I’d hear anything, but to let her know if I planned to enter the country sooner than that.

At that time, my application to Sophia was still ongoing, but it fell apart in December and so I started pursuing this application to the NUS instead. I messaged her over WhatsApp told her about it, and asked for documentation that I would be allowed to enter the country. She said okay, she’d send it to me when she got back to the office, as she was away that week or something.

And silence.

But whatever, the process was supposedly over in February anyway, which would have left me plenty of time to finish my application still. I poked her again in February. She said that due to Chinese New Year, COVID cases had spiked dramatically in Singapore (this was true) and thus they were very behind in things, and to ask again in March. In March, I asked again, and was told to wait until early April. The application deadline to NUS came and gone. I stated in my application that I had already received a full exemption from Mindef/CMPB, the governmental bodies in charge of this National Service thing, which was true as far as I knew at the time, but also stated that I hadn’t received any paperwork yet.

Through our conversations in April and May, my rep over at CMPB still refused to give me any paperwork, and would often just ghost my requests, but I eventually got hold of her over the phone in May and she said that while yes, I was allowed to enter the country, and she could drop me an email saying so (I had asked for this since December and she had said yes 3 or 4 times but had yet to actually do it), the chief medical officer or something over there wanted to do a checkup on me as well as see the originals of my documents, so they wanted me down there whenever I could manage, and only then could they process my case. This was her furiously backpedalling and then pretending that that was the truth all along.

Even when I asked repeatedly again for a letter stating that I was cleared to enter Singapore, stating that I needed it for my study abroad application at NUS, which she was very aware of, she kept asking why I actually needed it. It was really annoying and kind of felt like a trap. Still, after talking through things with her, she finally produced an email for me, and boy was it watered down like hell.

Dear (name)

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

 1.  I refer to your National Service (NS) matters.

 2.  We are currently reviewing your outstanding NS case and we noted that you are making arrangements to return to Singapore soon.

 3.   Please provide us with your return date and details for us to facilitate your entry into Singapore without facing any issues pertaining your NS issue.  We will arrange for you to report to (address) on the next working day upon your return, for a medical examination.

4.  Should you have any query, please write to me at (email).

A bullshit form letter that did not reflect at all anything that she had said over WhatsApp. It’s like they’re trying to lure me back and then capture me or something, even though this isn’t a “crime” that they do that for, and all indications that I have ever received is that they actually do appreciate that I reached out to them and are trying to help me clear the case as well. Anything more than that letter, apparently, would have involved her needing to get approval from her supervisor or something and take even longer.

Anyway, that letter would not have sufficed for the Singapore application anyway, so whatever. I had planned to go down and see them at the same time as my study abroad trip, so I wouldn’t have to take two trips there, but the more I looked at it, the more I felt like this would have been impossible. However, the rep also said that once I came down to see them, this time, this time, assuming I had brought “all the needed documentation” with me (they were vague as to what they actually wanted to see, though), they would be able to push through my case in about a month. And on top of that, this entry thing actually did allow me to stay a bit longer and wait around, though she also said that I wouldn’t have to stay around and wait while the case was being reviewed. Lastly, she also said that she was still certain that I would get the PES F exemption, and that at most there might be a fine attached to it, which is honestly fine by me as long as it’s not unreasonable.

I’m not sure if they’re being completely honest with me here, or if she’s one of those people that likes to overpromise things and tell people that everything is fine, but I do believe that the offer to reenter the country to see the CMPB folks is legit, and even with this letter at least I can give it to the Canadian embassy and such so they’re aware of what is happening in the case that things go really south. Plus even if I don’t get accepted to the NUS, this trip would go a long, LONG way toward satisfying me anyway, as it would be another step toward clearing my name so I could go back there anytime I wanted, plus I would be able to work through many of my nostalgic memories while there and hit up all the things I want to see and do (and eat). Plus, if I went as soon as possible, there’s a good chance that the case will still go through in time, and I’d be able to go to NS this Fall semester, which starts August 1st 2022 (Orientation Day).

Also, we had a plan at work that I could go over to Singapore in early July while still employed, using my vacation time at the end of my tenure, and see if I could get my NS matters sorted out then. And if it worked out, then I could just resign and start my school there, and if not I would still have a job to come back to. I haven’t heard anything official back about this yet, but I’m not sure that that plan works quite as well as my boss hopes it might, so this would also alleviate a lot of that uncertainty if I could just get it done in advance.

Therefore, with all that in mind, I decided to bite the bullet and take a return trip early to Singapore. I booked plane tickets for May 23 to Jun 07, which would give me a window of about May 25 to Jun 06 as my “vacation” days over there, due to time zones and flight times. It would cost me 11 days vacation time from work, bookended ever so slightly by our May long weekend (21st-23rd), but I have 21 paid vacation days saved up right now anyway. Fun times! Hopefully.

Oh, and the other development this week is that I have started my Risk Assessment Form for the NUS study abroad program. It’s not complete though and really won’t be until I come back from this trip, at least. The Sophian deadline (if NUS falls through) is also coming up on May 24th, the day before I leave for my trip, and I’m not sure how that’s going to be conciled yet. We also received this email from our study abroad advisor:

Hello,

You’re receiving this message because you’ve applied for an exchange sometime in the 2022/23 school year.

You’ll likely recall this warning I sent you earlier this year in my email entitled, “Your nomination for exchange!”:

Before I describe the remaining work / next steps related to your application, I need to provide you with this PANDEMIC UPDATE

Given the ongoing suspension of all university travel (for students and staff) plus the latest updates from Global Affairs Canada, you need to understand that there is no guarantee that your exchange will be able to proceed as planned.

We will provide you with an update regarding your exchange plans sometime in [the second half of May – if your exchange is for Fall 2022 or Full Year 2022/23 or in the middle of October – if your exchange is for Winter 2023].   In the meantime, as will be explained later in this message, please avoid making financial and academic commitments related to your exchange until you know for certain that it can proceed.

Based on current travel advisories from Global Affairs Canada, we expect that your exchange program will proceed and you can plan accordingly for it.  If there are any changes in the advisory for your destination country, we will contact you immediately.
 
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.
 

That’s nice. I didn’t expect this to be a problem at this point anyway, barring a new, deadly variant of COVID-19 rising from the ocean of germs.

Work

Besides confirming my plans with my boss, not all that much happened at work this week, although I got a nice compliment for saving my boss some time by drafting up some emails to a client on a tricky ticket that he wanted to have a hand in writing or vetting before I sent out. In the end he liked it quite a bit though (I had told him not to worry, pfft), and barely changed anything from what I had drafted up, and the added compliments after were nice.

He’s been super busy with work though, so there’s been a subset of tickets just involving having to coordinate things with clients, a category that I felt this one fell into, that I have been trying to keep off his plate so he can concentrate on his other larger projects. I did note that my business/formal/client-facing writing is far better now than it was 10 years ago or whatever when I first started here. It feels sort of nice having so much experience on the team sometimes. I know exactly what to do with some of these coordination-based tickets (handing out different pieces of the reply to different people/teams to get them to do different things) even if they’re all unique situations different from any past tickets that we’ve gotten.

Life

Last week’s Life section was obnoxiously long. This week’s will be a lot shorter in comparison, since most of my energy is now focused toward preparing for the Singapore trip. There’s a whole pile of things I need to get done and I have been feeling very rushed the last few days even though I still have a week and a half before I go.

In terms of life events this week, outside of what has been said in School above and will be said in Games below, there weren’t a ton. I would, however, like to introduce Waffles:

I went out on a walk Thursday evening, and met a woman walking her pet cat. Waffles was his name, he said, and he loved going on walks. There was another girl and her mom who met up with them too, and the girl went on a petting frenzy over the poor cat. But the cat seemed to enjoy it too.

I transcribed a Bad Haiku for the little furry guy:

Pets on a short leash
plotting world domination
between loving pats

I idly wondered about chatting up pet owners that I meet around the neighbourhood and asking for permission to take pictures (like this one) and their names, and posting them online as sort of an informal Neighbourhood Pets spotlight. That would be fun huh. Too bad I have no idea if I will be in the neighbourhood for much longer. It’s a great place to stay though.

Later on on the walk, I also saw a couple cats peering down on me from a balcony:

The one imitating the bicycle seemed to be living dangerously, but s/he eventually pulled back through just fine. The two cats and I spent a good minute or so staring at each other like this though.

I also ran into two teams doing a baseball game at our local community field. complete with a few random spectators:

I wonder who was playing. They were there the next day when I passed by as well. I also found this abandoned game:

And wondered what the story behind that was, and how they gathered all those coloured pebbles. That doesn’t seem like checkers or chess either, but some made-up arrangement. It’s like a remnant of two other peoples’ lives, a hint of a moment of friendship that they shared and then left behind them, or the wild imagination of a child drawing up grand battle plans between two armies. There was also an early moon, which I liked:

Thursday was also “special” because it was the first day that I’ve ever gone on two evening walks — after reaching home, I decided late at night that I wanted to make curry that weekend, so I hurried back down to the local Safeway before it closed. It closes at 10pm, and it was about 9:40pm when I decided to leave, so the shopping window was fairly small, but I made it quite easily and was in and out of the store and home by 10pm.

Jahandar had mentioned how late-night shopping could feel really zen, especially in a supermarket that was open 24 hours a day like his used to be pre-pandemic. This isn’t quite the same thing, but it was a special feeling visiting the supermarket just before closing time, and seeing half the store already closed down, with lights off and tarps over the produce in certain sections, and only a small skeleton crew of staff remaining.

It was also neat to see the deserted mall parking lots, which definitely tapped into the liminal aesthetic as they’re usually really crowded:

And the beautiful evening skies around here, I think this was the best picture I took this week:

And finally, the moon again, this time wearing a veil of shiny clouds:

Not quite darkness and not quite light, the colour contrast there between the moon, clouds, and background sky felt mystical, like I had wandered into an odd painting.

Outside of pictures, the furnace was down all week due to the fires last week, so I actually had to turn on my space heater this week to warm up the apartment in the early parts of the week. Something which I haven’t had to do literally in years, so the space heater itself had a little bit of an acrid smell when I first turned it on. No additional fires occurred from that, though. Our water was also off for most of Tuesday, as they wanted to replace the apartment buiilding’s water heater, so I had to schedule my shower carefully around that and fill up several pots of water in case it became a prolonged outage. The rental staff also came by to check my smoke alarm on Wednesday, and sent someone to replace the batteries in it on Thursday. That, compared to how I didn’t sleep at all on Monday night and was dead for most of Tuesday, made it feel like I didn’t have a peaceful moment all week!

I also finally reinstalled the Deskcycle machine I had bought last year under my desk this week. It had been sitting to one side ever since I had to move things around for the bedbug treatments last year. I figured I should get some use out of it now while I can though.

While I have drafted up a list of things I need to do before leaving on the trip, my main goal for next week is finishing, or at least uploading the pictures and videos for, my travel chronicles from my LAST trip in November 2021. I definitely do not want to be two trips worth of blog posts behind. Various things have played into this delay, but hopefully, just like this weekly blog went, I can “just start doing it” and figure out the exact details along the way. I might just end up uploading the pictures and videos without much commentary on the later chronicle posts though, and coming back to it later as time permits.

I also finished Jodi Ettenberg’s “The Food Traveler’s Handbook” this week, and it was excellent. I definitely got myself inspired a bit by that book, and it put some of my previous antics on the USA trip into perspective too as well as suggest new things that I can do to spice up my excursions even more. I’m definitely going to purchase a Kindle copy of this book for safekeeping and reference too, and I’ve already quoted and referred to it a few times while belatedly writing up my USA trip journal entry.

Games

My Steam Deck is on its way! I received a notification last Monday that it was avaialble for me to order now:

I did so on the spot, as well as picking up a 1TB microSD card to supplement the storage space since I was opting for the lowest tier Steam Deck, which comes with only 64 GB of storage. I also ordered a screen protector and some decals for the thing. It shipped out from Carol Stream, Illinois on Thursday, and is anticipated to reach my house in Edmonton on Monday May 16th. That’s a pretty good turn around time on the shipping! Valve apparently ships Steam Decks to Canada via FedEx 2Day International Economy. As of Sunday, all my other parts for the Deck have already arrived, and once that deck joins my family on Monday, I should be able to be happily distracted for my upcoming airplane trip. Knowing that this was coming was definitely a factor in not only the fact that I booked the trip but also when I booked it though. (Although I booked it late Tuesday night, before I knew when the deck was coming for sure.)

Other than that, not much Games news this week. I played more of Atelier Ryza 2, and should be about halfway through the game by now, but that has been put aside in favour of me trying to finish my blog and other preparations before I leave. And my scant phone time (mostly before bed) is still occupied by Dawncaster. I also purchased the Atelier trilogy that I had my eyes on, which cost me $54 CAD or so after discounts and Steam credit (I don’t change regions to get a cheaper price though, I think that trick is too close to fraud for me to be comfortable with doing it), as well as the last Hero of the Kingdom game that I didn’t have yet, as that’s a game series I normally take with me on vacation to play, especially in airports during layovers.

Plushie of the Week #51 – Beluga

We have many plushies that just are, without much of a story behind them. This is one of them, although he’s a pretty old plushie, and has been around with us siblings since our early Edmonton 4012 days. We have no idea when or how exactly we obtained Beluga, or his counterpart Panda, whom will be featured next week, though, and they do not appear in the 2003 plushie group photo that I have.

Beluga and Panda together don’t have much of a personality that I remember, but either because they were obtained in fairly close succession to each other or always sat next to each other or something, they were eventually paired up like a comedy duo would. The other animals called the two of them a baseball and a bat. Panda was small and round, so he was the baseball — Beluga was the bat, and you can see the resemblance from the pictures below. The two of them would even occasionally come down and join Tigey and the main crew in their escapades around the house, a privilege that was only allowed for a handful of plushies.

Side:

Other side:

Tag:

Tag 2:

Beluga was a product of Stuffed Animal House, apparently, and there’s even still zipper pull/magnet versions of Beluga available for purchase on the website, though not ones with just a band like our Beluga has.

Song of the Week #28

Title: Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)
Artist: Christopher Cross
Album: Arthur OST (1981)

Similar to Plushie of the Week above, there are many songs that I like without there being much of a story or reason behind it other than “because I do!”, and without much of a memory or connotation attached to them. Though I knew the song since I was in Singapore, I was on an English music kick between May and August of 2016, and this song and several others snuck into my top tier of songs, basically song that I consider to be “top 100 songs” quality candidates (although this Spotify list of mine has 229 songs in it, and those are only the English ones..)

I’ve never even watched the movie and know nothing about it besides what’s in the video below. I do know the lyrics in the video seem to be slightly wrong (for example, at 1:20 the lyrics say he sings “his master’s toys” but I’ve seen “he’s masked his choice” or “he’s mastered choice” and both seem more likely..), but it has 18 million views as of May 2022, so it apparently didn’t really matter.

I definitely relate to the lyrics about being caught between the Moon and NYC though. Outside of what they might actually mean in the context of the song or the show, they both represent two different types of dreams to me, with NYC being a busy, big-city urban, hi-tech, neon-lit life and the moon being a quiet, mystical, magical dream sort of life.

After all, I only live as this Jessica once, and so I am greedy about trying to accomplish and experience as many things as possible in my time on Earth. And when they say the best that you can do is fall in love, to me that means falling in love with life and having the hunger to continue pushing forwards and trying new things. I’ve said this before, but falling. This week’s “Last Year’s Entry” features My Diary #004, and I open that blog segment up with a comment that “the days, weeks, months, years, all flying by is the worst thing that can possibly happen.” I still believe that this is true. I’ve been there, during a time when I was less Mindful of life, but I never again want to fall into the rhythm where I live just for the sake of living to the next day and the day after.

Memory Snippet of the Week #35

Back home in Singapore when my siblings and I were really young, especially in Yishun 723 when I was around 9-13 years old (and when Kel was around 5-9 years old, and Jon was around 0-4), Kel and I slept in the same room, and we would sometimes delay going to bed by playing a couple games. The one I remember most vividly is Supershop, where we imagined up a scene, say possibly that we were stranded on a desert island, or out in space, or in a submarine, or were battling each other or something. We would be cut off from the outside world, more or less, but we had a phone that could call the Supershop, from where we could order anything we like within reason, for free, to be magically delivered to where we were trapped.

This was a time before Amazon and their ilk, before drones and next-day delivery, and even before the modern Internet (it was dial-up at best at the time and the Internet was very undeveloped), but that didn’t stop us trying to figure out ways to survive and amuse ourselves in our fictitious scenarios based around this Supershop. I don’t know where the idea originally started, but I do remember the submarine scene because I had been influenced by reading an abridged version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea around that time, and imagining being in a largely self-sufficient submarine travelling around an unknown underwater world. Which, come to think of it, is probably part of the reason why I like and am always looking for mobile (the non-immobile definition of mobile, not the phone-based definition of mobile) base-building games like Space Haven.

In a related memory, in the Yishun 723 home, we had an upstairs area where the bedrooms were, and a staircase leading down to the main hall. Sometimes when we were bored and not sleepy at night, Kel and I would sneak out of the bedroom together and over to the banisters with our bolsters (or by ourselves), and we would hide there and either listen to the TV and to Mom and Dad talking softly to each other, or watch TV through the banisters, which required sneaking halfway down the stairs instead of hiding at the top of the stairs next to the bedroom. Sometimes we would get caught and either rush back up to bed, or I would continue on my way down and pretend I was headed to the toilet downstairs. Sometimes if Kel fell asleep early and I could not fall asleep, I would sneak out myself.

Either way, I don’t think we ever got Jon involved in these shenanigans, although we did all sleep together in the same room in Tampines 294 house, so maybe there was some of that there. There was no banister and no way to sneak out of the room in that apartment though, it was a much smaller one-level flat. But even these days, mentioning the Supershop is a sure way to bring up “remember that?” smiles between me and Kel at least though.

Those nights were fun. I remember the gently air-conditioned feel of the rooms we slept in.

Last Year’s Entry #4

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #004. This was published on May 16 2021.

Despite the negativity at the time, our team and work environment has improved from last year until now, buoyed by the hiring of three new faces (even though two were returnees to the team and the third has now left). That’s helped out a ton, and there’s been less desperation and frustration running through the team for sure. And through me as well. As I suspect at the time, we have also moved to a permanent work from home team now, which is also nice.

I noticed that I haven’t uploaded the McNally “yearbook” that I had scanned a year ago. It’s not really a yearbook in the traditional sense though, which is why it’s hard to decide what to do with it. I might try to get it done at some point “soon”, though it’s definitely taking a back seat compared to some other projects. I also tried a couple times last year to see if I could return to the school to take some photographs, but was told no each time, largely due to the pandemic. I haven’t tried since the new year though, but maybe I should this summer.

That lucky charm incident and the oregano incident had both slipped my mind. Although they were both not positive memories, the ability to remember them from reading back is one of the reasons I really appreciate myself starting to write this blog.

I’ve also actually really warmed up to the recyclcable bags from Safeway, whatever that might or might not tell you about how successful the program is. I still use plastic bags for my ongoing garbage though, as I still have a stash of old ones I’m working through (and then some disposable garbage liners afterwards), but it’s actually quite a nice feeling to be able to use just my reusable bags when I go out. None of the five I’ve bought and used over the past year have broken or been forced into retirement yet, although one of them is close. I’ve also turned it into a bit of a decoration — although my three Safeway reusable bags don’t quite work this way and are stuck in my kitchen cupboard unless I know that I am going for a grocery run, I have two other colourful bags that I roll up and hang on the sides of my shoulder sling bag as well, and those are cute as well as useful to have in a pinch!

Dreams

With the exception of my May 09 one, my dreams this week were kind of weak and short snippets at most. A combination of not sleeping well on Monday night (May 09’s dream is Sunday night/Monday morning’s), and being too excited later on in the week!

May 09 2022

Dream 1

  • I and a few other students were headed for a train platform through an underground train station. I got there slightly ahead of everyone else, and an attendant that was seated on one of the central round seats on the platform while eating lunch waved at me and told me/us to not use that platform, and to instead head back the way I came, into a stairwell that I had passed, and up onto the street level — there was an outdoor platform a short way along the street and that outdoor platform would allow us to skip a couple stations so it was always worth it to try. We did so, turning around and heading out that way. On the way there, I saw another student I vaguely knew, a tall guy, headed for the same underground train platform, I waved at him and told him that he’d just be sent away like us. I beckoned him to follow, but am not sure if he ever did.
  • After reaching the surface with the 2-3 other friends I was with, they were a little bit ahead of me and so tried to bolt down the street for a train that we could see leaving the platform. A number of little kids dressed in the Japanese kindergarten powder blue uniform were cheering them on but they didn’t make it. I caught up to them at the platform, and we sat down on the ground to wait for the next train.
  • There were quite a few people at the train station, roughly divided into four groups. The largest group consisted of the 20-30 kindergarten kids in their uniforms, and a couple of chaperones. They were seated on the ground next to the platform edge, between a set of plastic or plexiglass dividers that kept them separated from the actual edge as well as from us, but would allow them boarding priority when the next train arrived. I said to my friends that they were super cute and that I was going to melt.
  • Besides our group, there were two other smaller groups as well. In front of us, were a group of three Black rappers who were friends with each other, one of them with a name that was something like “Lil ???”, where the ??? was a 7 letter word, whereas the other two were unknown. To the left of us were three Japanese girls in school uniforms, who were also friends with each other.
  • A spring shower suddenly came, which wasn’t a problem for most of the boys but was very much a problem for the three girls and I, since all four of us were in school uniforms (though mine was a different one). Our blouses were all white and so would very quickly become see-through — I could already see the outlines of their bras through the back of their blouses even when dry, and I knew mine was about as revealing as well. Though there was a bit of a sexy element to this, I was still trying to avoid it, and huddled up a little against the back of the guy friend in front of me to try to shield myself from the rain. To no avail though, as it started to pour.
  • However, while the rain was strong and I could feel it falling onto me even though it was just a dream, it only lasted all about 30 seconds before dissipating. I was wet, but not exactly soaked through for the most part, and I shook my blouse a bit to prevent it from sticking to my skin. The three Japanese girls apparently had a scarf portion built in to the uniform too, which consisted of a piece of cloth that went over the collar and shoulder area and stretched down to the bands on the ends of their short sleeves — the bands themselves actually turned out to be the end parts of the scarf wrapped around the bottom of the sleeves, and not actually part of the blouse, as I found out when they unwrapped their scarves and took them off to dry.
  • The next day, we read in a newspaper that the three rappers had each secured a 1 million dollar contract with their agency on the day that we had met them, thanks to their hiring of a star manager to do the negotiations for them. Prior to this, they were really frustrated with the agency and the negotiations and lack of a proper contract, but had not publicly complained about it because they were in the middle of an anniversary celebration tour of some kind.

Dream 2

  • This dream involved some evil overseers that had control over a land and the humans on it. The overseeres divided the humans into various groups, one of which I was in charge of, and they then instructed the leaders to sacrifice a few people and murder them within their group and offer up proof of the victims’ demise to the overseers in order to sow dissent within the group and make the leaders dependent on the overseers, hoping to eventually build loyalty that way. The groups would also each have a territory to plunder and mine for resources to send to the overlords.
  • There were some complicit humans and leaders who started to do this. And in fact, this was probably necessary to some degree so that the overseers would overlook the groups that hadn’t submitted proof yet. However, I had no intention of doing this, doubly so after learning that a yearly sacrifice quota of about 50 people would have to be maintained as well, in order to cull the population.
  • I ended up leading a resistance, and trying to get in touch with another resistance group that I knew was hiding in underground tunnels in a town, with the main door to the tunnels accessible through a diamond-shaped concrete island in the middle of a shopping street that was meant for flowers or trees. The door also required a close-range wireless download of some software onto a device, that had to be wirelessly transmitted out using P2P technology by someone who was already inside the secret hideout when the person who wanted to enter approached, as well as a password once the software was downloaded.
  • I didn’t end up ever going into the hideout, though I hung around it for a bit to get the software. While I was there though, another guy was standing down in the short tunnel outside the main hideout door waiting for entry, and he was so tall that his head caused the ground above him to bulge slightly, causing a little girl to tug at her mother’s sleeve and point out that there was someone trapped under the surface. The mother said no at first, then saw it, then realized what was happening and mentioned that the hideout entrance must be down there, and I made myself scarce before authorities arrived.
  • Either way, our two separate groups did end up eventually defeating the overlords together, though I believe that the dream skimmed over exactly how this part was done. I remember some logistical back and forth to avoid the evil overlords, and at some point having a group of us hurtle down a mud slide on the side of a hill that led to the edge of a lake next to a safe wilderness cabin. At another point, I had my entire group of civilians on an airship or spaceship and was ready to take off with them to ensure their safety.
  • There was also an incident on that spaceship where we were almost ready to overthrow the evil overseers, but one of my underlings, a boisterous Malay guy, refused to follow because he had been somewhat brainwashed by them into believing that their way was the best way. He argued with me until I gave him a short, inspirational speech, and watched his eyes widen and light up as he broke free of the conditioning. He then turned around and fully agreed with me, and raised up his fists for several celebratory fistbumps.
  • Another incident that took place during the rebellion was that a leader of a neighbouring group proposed to me, asking for my hand in marriage. I refused, saying that I was eventually going to log off anyway and if he wanted I would just give him my land then. But I didn’t mean that, as in reality I was already secretly married to an important (and a really nice) leader or something who lived across the realm. The neighbour eventually ended up marrying a woman who raised dragons, which was useful for him as well because his land had a lot of shiny, crystalline ore on top of mountain peaks, and even after the rebellion was over and we had won, I saw them flying around together on their dragons to the top of their peaks to do some mining.
  • Finally, as an epilogue, after we had defeated the evil overseers, I saw a scene where a financial auditor knew about the presence of the secret hideout but didn’t mind them there because she assumed that they were paying their taxes. They weren’t, though, and she hadn’t realized that. In the scene, the financial auditor was arranging smaller rectangles inside a larger one on the ground with a black-haired girl who was the leader of another of the groups, and she mentioned all this to her. The girl was aware that they did not pay taxes, but did not reveal this to the auditor, instead stammering out something like a nervous “S-Sure!”.
May 12 2022
  • Snippet: I was at home with someone else and out the balcony door I could see (and very clearly hear, even though the door was closed) a pack of circling ravens. They were integral to the plot somehow and quite deadly, they could and did sometimes divebomb us one after the other if we left our balcony door open or ventured outside. There was also a lightning storm at some point that sent them squwaking and panicking.
  • Snippet: In another segment, Dad was bringing me to school on his motorcycle. I was very young and riding pillion in front of him. He almost rode into someone at one point who was standing with a broom in the middle of the road and who had his back to the oncoming traffic, but I managed to stop him in time. He took a wrong turn trying to explore and find a shortcut, and ended up at a dead end road on some hotel grounds, and had to back out of that area, passing a very confused hotel attendant both times who was trying to figure out why he was headed in there. He then took me by the normal road, which was a road I recognized, it was the crosswalk intersection with the secondary school (that I was not a student of) from Mar 01 2022‘s dream, except it was a regular T-intersection this time. My school was a bit beyond the school at the intersection, somewhere along the eastern/right hand side road from there.
  • Snippet: A bit later on in the same dream there was a woman pushing a shopping cart around to various dumpsters, collecting plastic bags with milk cartons and drink bottles in there for a bit extra recycling cash. She was a bit prideful and only took existing bags that were pre-filled with the cartons however, refusing to stoop low enough to take the single cartons and packets lying around, which she left for a man that came along behind her instead.
May 13 2022
  • Snippet: I was in our Edmonton 4012 house at one point with my siblings, my parents, and some guy sitting in a music production room that felt like a boss figure to me. Jon had just returned with groceries or something so I was helping him move them in, because we had heard about some sort of danger outside, and after moving all of it in from the attached garage, Jon and I peeked back out through the house door that led into the garage, and saw the garage door and far wall in tatters, and a large, black wolf watching me while three house cats stood nearby, watching the wolf. I was wondering how to rescue the cats without aggravating the wolf when the scene suddenly shifted and the wolf disappeared. Suddenly the wolf was inside the house behind us, in the music producer’s room, and we cried out in warning, except the wolf had shapeshifted into a bipedal fox and was playing a turntable like a DJ. The music producer was really impressed and inked out a contract on the spot, hiring the creature as my/our DJ person. Also, at some point during this latter scene, a neighbour woman came by and scooped up the three cats and brought them home to safety.
May 15 2022
  • I was walking with Jahandar around a building, showing him around the place and exploring it myself, as we trudged through both public areas as well as private areas that we probably weren’t supposed to be in. The main level of the building was a museum, I remember at one point walking along a set of curtains that divided the public area from the private area, in such a way that the people lounging in the public area could definitely see us if they looked, but no one complained about us. By walking this path though, we both earned a buff pill that we could use to trigger our choice of buff. For example, one of the buffs, which Jah used as insurance in case we got caught, was a form of weak invisibility that toggled on for 3 seconds randomly.
  • Later we explored the basement as well, and I recognized the basement from another dream in the past. It was a straight service corridor with rooms off to the sides that I told Jah I had been in before — they were computer rooms and the University’s Computer Club or something used them. The passage ended at a T-junction, and we explored both directions from there as well. Assuming that the corridors were arranged in the shape of an upright T whose horizontal line was pointing east and west, each of the two short corridors that ended in an amphitheater to the east/south and west/south respectively, as well as a northern entrance to a shop with curved walls that joined up to the entrance on the end of the other passage. The corridors and the shop together thus visually formed a sort of umbrella or tree symbol ☂.
  • Anyway, an Indian or Malay girl approached us as Jah and I walked down there, and told us about the new leader of the Computer Club and how he was bullying her because she was tall. She followed us around and tried to stick to us for protection, even though we weren’t sure from what — we never saw him or anyone else while we were walking around. We did find her a little annoying, so in the end we lost her when I showed Jah where the shop was (which surprised and excited Jah, he had no idea there was a shop down here) and we entered that together, ignoring the girl who gradually began to lag behind.

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