Didn’t we have a fun adventure? How did you like visiting home again? Oh right, you were in a bag for most of the journey. But still.
Entry #055 (Jun 12 2022)
So, I’m glad that I took that Singapore trip in order to work things out with various arms of the government, as my original plan of “I’ll accept the study abroad, go there, and then iron things out while there” would NOT have worked out — my study abroad pass would have been cancelled and I would have been sent home for sure.
Right now, my chances of going to SIngapore to study in NUS for August 2022 is still only about a 35% chance, but I am actually fine with this as everything is only a matter of time now. The catch is that I can’t actually apply for my Student’s Pass until my Citizenship Renunciation is over, and that takes about 2-3 months to complete, although they said they’d try to expedite it. I don’t really trust them on that though, after seeing how inefficient certain other wings of the Singapore bureaucratic corps are. But maybe they will! After that is done, I still need a couple weeks to apply for my Student’s Pass before I would be able to go.
I informed both my UAlberta and my NUS reps about this, and what came out of the back and forth emails were a couple of deadlines. Basically, the important email was ths one from the NUS rep:
ICA has confirmed that they you would need renounce your citizenship first before you can start on your Student’s Pass application.
As for postponement, you should explore the possibilities with the UofA. On our end, we do have students from Australia, NZ, and Japan who do stay with us for Semester 2 and Semester 1, mainly due to the nature of their academic calendars. Additionally, in order to minimize disruption to your studies, I do recommend informing UofA about your situation and seeing if they can arrange for course enrolment for you in semester 1 as a contingency.
On the issue of Student’s Pass approval, ICA is normally not forthcoming on such matters given that they review each case based on its individual circumstances. That being said, we are merely stating that apart from approval, rejection of student’s pass application may be a possible outcome.
As for timelines, we require students to report to us by 19th August, which is the end of instructional week 2. In using the longest time to process a student’s pass case of 4 weeks, if you have not received news of your renunciation by 22nd July, it would be preferable if you postpone your exchange. in the same vein, if the renunciation is completed by 22nd July and you have not heard from ICA on your Student’s Pass application by 10th August, you may want to withdraw from exchange at that point.
I’m not concerned about the course enrolment bit — because I took a course (the Haiku one) in Winter 2022, and I’m in no hurry to complete the degree, I do not need to take a course in Fall 2022, nor will my student status drop off if I skip that semester. I might still take a course anyway if I find an interesting one with spots still open, but I don’t have to. My UAlberta coordinator was okay with the July 22nd deadline, and so I guess I will find out at some point between now and then if bureuacracy prevents me from going to Singapore in August for NUS‘s fall semester or not.
And honestly, at this point, it’s fine. Although I estimate that there’s a 35% chance or so (a figure entirely derived from my gut) that it will work out, I’ve already assumed that it’s not going to happen, and made peace with it. Basically I’ve gotten a lot of the nostalgia out of my system in my two weeks there, and also cleared out the obstacles for me to return in the future at my own pace and whim, and those are far more important than the actual study abroad. Obviously I would still want to if I could, but there are things that I could do if it gets postponed too, so I’m looking forward to either path.
If it gets postponed, I have more blog writing projects I could focus on, as well as possibly a trip to either somewhere up north in Canada for a week so I can experience some of our gorgeous nature and maybe even some Northern Lights from a place that still provides creature comforts, or vacation on a farm somewhere in Alberta or something so I can experience living out on, well, the actual prairies. Or maybe I’ll hop over to Europe and look for some nice sheep and rolling hills (this is more unlikely than the other two). On the study abroad side, if it gets postponed, I might well do just 1 semester in Singapore and then try to do 2 more in Japan, instead of 2 in Singapore (and then potentially 2 in Japan). This would be hinging on something else that I need more information to be released on first, though, before I decide for sure.
I eased back into work this week and it was a fairly light week of work for me, though I had some things to review that had piled up in the time that I was away. I took care of all that before the week was up, as far as I was aware.
There are likely some nasty Google Drive/Mail storage limits coming up for everyone in the University of Alberta due to the storage quota limits (local) that Google scummily imposed on large Universities after enticing them over to Google with promises of free, unlimited storage. We don’t have the full details yet but I’ve seen some of the initial numbers and changes coming, and while they make some sort of sense, they are also horrible and will create a ton of backlash. It’s one of the reasons I hope my Study Abroad for Fall 2022 does happen, as not only will this cause headaches I don’t want to deal with, but also that I only partially agree with what is being done and feel that our IT leaders are a bit immoral and do not act with the best interests of our students and researchers — they will always, always take a balance of the easiest and cheapest way out of problems and do not consider the satisfaction and ease of use of the University community as a factor to care about at all (outside of “how can we minimize complaints to our own Helpdesk?”) when making sweeping decisions like this.
I don’t disagree with everything they’re slated to do though, there’s a good number of freeloaders that shouldn’t be using their accounts, but have been, that are going to lose them right away as well. But I disagree with enough that’s happening that I don’t really want to be a part of it, even though I’m not the actual person implementing the changes. I understand there are budget issues too and a lot of it ultimately traces back to Google’s predatory actions, though, but the University (and my department) is not blameless in this.
Man, I know I’ve chronicled my trip to Singapore elsewhere already, but that in hindsight still was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. And life-affirming in a good way too, although not without its own trials and setbacks, but it’s something I’m very glad I did, and got away with (in a manner of speaking anyway — I survived, etc) at the end of the day. And it was all so sudden too, I had no inkling in April for example that I was going to make a trip to Singapore in May!
I like this relevant quote from this article (local) that came across Pocket this week: “It is the suffering that we choose that affords the most opportunity for pleasure, meaning, and personal growth.” Also this sub-chain of comments in a random Reddit thread, unrelated to the earlier quote but thematically relevant to my blog. “Writing is how we transfer memory through time,” and all the other things in the top comments on the page. It’s nice to find things that validate what I do and how I do things.
This truncated week has been one big catchup week since I got home. Catching up on sleep, on blog-writing, on friends and various Discord servers and what’s been happening with them, on seasonal anime (and AMQ), on cooking and cleaning, on emails that needed to be sent, on loving my plushies, and on other upcoming life goals.
I’ve never had to micro-manage my finances or even keep a budget on normal life, but I do so on trips, meticulously writing down how much I spend, and on what, and the date I do so. In normal life I don’t live paycheck to paycheck so I’ve never needed to, and I instinctively trust my intuition and upbringing to not overspend on things, but I’ve wondered about the feasibility of doing so anyway, more from a historical than a financial point of view, as these represent transaction records that I’m losing forever as time goes by (especially for things I don’t have receipts for). I also could fold in old receipts to this log to “digitize” them in a sense so I could toss the receipts away. I’d probably want something better than a table in OneNote to do this though, and I haven’t really made a list of features I’d want in such a program. This is still a low-priority project on my list right now but it wasn’t one that was there before the trip.
Despite everything else I hate about it, I love Edmonton for its spring/summer/fall weather, for its slow pace of life, for its lack of crowds and its “natural” greenery and beauty everywhere, and for its lack of bugs and flies in my house. Why am I not just coasting to retirement comfortably here again, in a work from home job that doesn’t require all that much effort (compared to other more stressful jobs) and in a fairly pleasant environment (discounting winter, but I can always stay at home), in a place without natural disasters and global warming issues for the most part? Here’s a rather metaphorical Bad Haiku that encapsulates how I feel about it. I entitle it, Home:
a flower blossoms
in my corner of the world
only I see it
I had to get a new mouse this week as my old one came back from the Singapore trip with part of its side rubber grip broken off, so the side grip was sticky and annoying. I’m kind of sad as the mouse itself still works perfectly fine, it was a SteelSeries Sensei 310 mouse that I had picked up in February 2019 for $79.02 CAD and was still happily chugging along. It’s now my backup mouse. I picked up a Razer DeathAdder v2 mouse this time for $52.49, the same mouse that Satinel has, and hopefully mine outlasts hers. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had the same mouse as a muse, I remember Steffy and I getting the same mouse several years ago when we were both looking for one. I also bought an ice tray from Amazon, because I couldn’t find one at my local Safeway.. it’s still in transit, but I consumed a lot of tea while at that homestay house in Singapore and would often plop in ice cubes into the tea to make it cool down faster after steeping, and I liked that. I wondered why I didn’t have an ice tray in my house after all these years. So I fixed that.
I still need to buy a laptop with a good graphics card, as well as an audio recording device at some point if I find a good one on decent sale. I think those are the only things currently on my purchase backlog that I haven’t resolved yet (besides a new phone and/or phone cover eventually), though they’ve been there a while and are thus not a particularly high priority. The laptop is a higher one now though now that my work laptop didn’t survive the trip to SIngapore, and because I won’t know for sure when I’m leaving for the trip and might not have time to get one after I find out and before I leave.
My apartment lease ends at the end of August, but I had a notice on my door waiting for me when I returned telling me that I can go down to the office to renew my lease, although it was dated Friday, May 13 2022 and it sure wasn’t on my door when I left on May 23rd. I even told the housing people that I’d be gone for two weeks from the 23rd.. which is supposed to stop them from pasting door notices and such which can alert people that I’m not at home. And they said they’d let themselves into the house to check my taps and run my water halfway through my trip, but they don’t seem to have done so because they didn’t leave a log of it. Also, the furnace is still not fixed from the rooftop fire a month ago, as my heat doesn’t work (though it’s not exactly needed in spring/summer). Housing Management plz!
While I only went out for groceries a couple times this week, I did find a Little Miracle coming home from my Asian supermarket trip, a rock atop an out of the way trash bin that said, “Turn me over!”
I thought a while, and complied, wondering what profanity or whatever might be written on the reverse side. It was easy enough to shove it into the bin if that was the case, though.
Instead, it said, “You just listened to a rock”. I laughed, took my pictures, and reset it for the next person. I only found this rock because I missed my bus home from the supermarket and had to walk home (a 25 minute or so jaunt with bags) and only because I was also in Mindfulness Mode and curiously paying attention to things around me, rather than lost within myself and a desire to get home as quickly as possible or something like that.
One of Mell‘s three cats, Yosemite, passed away on June 10 due to a sudden congestive heart failure, which apparently comes very quickly and suddenly for cats. She was only 5 years old and Mell and her other cats (Sam and Mazie) were devastated. This is a permanent memorial for Yosemite so she is never forgotten.
I also noticed this scene of a rabbit and a giant bird staring off at each other downstairs on Saturday morning this week. The bird walked a half circle around and behind the rabbit before walking away toward the shade of our building and out of sight, while the rabbit continued to sit there nonchalantly. It’s nice to see our local wildlife again. Minus the Canada Geese, haven’t seen any of those yet… This bird wasn’t as big as the geese, but it was big! Almost as big as that rabbit!
What a lifesaver my Steam Deck was! And not only because I got to play some games on the plane to keep myself from being bored to death, but because the Desktop Mode of the Steam Deck allowed me to keep up with my blogging while overseas, albeit on a tiny horrible screen, and only after spending a couple days more or less learning the quirks of the SteamOS Linux operation system that it came with. The deck has some quirks, like occasionally not charging or turning on properly, or randomly bugging out, but they’re rare, and a reboot usually fixes those issues right up.
The two main games I played on the Steam Deck while on airplane transit were Atelier Ryza 2, and Monster Train, both of which work almost flawlessly, although the latter game sometimes doesn’t register the controls properly when I load up the game, and I find that I can’t use the sticks or pads to select or flip through my cards. This only happens at game start and a game restart fixes this though. The other oddity with it is that the game starts with a black screen that I have to press a button to skip, as though there was a cutscene that was supposed to play there, but doesn’t.
I didn’t play any games on the Steam Deck while actually in Singapore, even during the evenings, although I have noted elsewhere that the mouse portion of the Serverless Bluetooth Keyboard & Mouse app on the Google Play Store turns the phone into a finger/thumb-controlled “mouse” that actually works really well for games that require 1-2 mouse buttons and primarily use the left mouse button.
Actually, that last paragraph is technically a lie — I did play one, as Satinel finished her game jam with a game called Corpse Run, which she developed in only two weeks or so. I played it on the Desktop Mode of the Steam Deck in a browser, using that WebGL browser version on the page, and I beat it, thus maintaining my perfect 100% win record across Satinel games (3 of them now!) and also probably being the first person to beat it on the Steam Deck platform, and probably on Linux in general. It’s amazing considering that 4-5 months or so ago she had never even programmed a single thing before, and was starting afresh in the world of game programming. And now she can produce things like this under game jam restrictions (the theme was “Death is Only the Beginning” and all games had to somehow adhere to that) in a short time span.
This is all very inspiring and I have a long-term project and desire to write a game as well, and I wish I could allot some time to this while Satinel is also doing so, as it would be a cool thing to do together-but-separately. But I have other goals to pursue for now!
I started two new games on the phone after returning from Singapore — Diablo Immortal is one of them, and despite my misgivings about the microtransaction system they have, the base game is actually quite decent, at least in the early levels. It’s also easy to progress while not being over-engaging, so it’s a fun game to fall asleep to at night. Apparently it might get significantly harder in the mid-game though, but I’m not there yet. There’s also a PC version, and while people’s complaints that it’s a straight mobile port with no PC adaptations are true, it’s nice that there’s a PC version at all. I hate Blizzard in general but I still like to think I can give credit where due, and at least from my experiences so far, it’s decent.
The other game I started is Pathos: Nethack Codex, which is a roguelike that seems to have been adapted to work surprisingly well on mobile. Still bumbling my way through the early game as well, and I’ve already lost a handful of characters to random things, but there is always a continue mode for people who don’t like that, and a good number of loot, monsters, and interlocking mechanics that indeed do make it feel like a classical rogue-like, the kind that predates Steam and is made up of ASCII characters running around on a DOS screen, with a fairly good UI that lets you pull up info on items and debuffs and skills easily most of the time. And because it’s fully turn-based, it’s even better than Diablo Immortal to fall asleep to since tutorial mobs won’t kill me if I fall asleep in the middle of a combat. I’m a fan.
Finally, the next Steam demo festival, known as Steam Next Fest (June 2022 Edition) (estimated URL, it isn’t live yet), is starting this upcoming Monday, the 13th, and running until Jun 20th. I quite liked the last one, which gave me some games to add to my wishlist and even eventually buy, and I hope to find a few gems among this one as well. There’s also this Guerilla Collective 3 thing that I’m going to try out some demos from after finishing this blog entry, probably. Not sure why two different events highlighting indie games and giving demos for them are appearing practically at the same time.
I also ended up playing a bit of modded Minecraft. Darkseize and Thrandor‘s server (running All the Mods 7) is still active as their playtime got truncated by Darkseize ending up in the hospital due to an infection, so I hopped back on to check out the base and welcome Jah and Nak to the server to poke around as well.
Plushie of the Week #53 – Napatak
Napatak was a plushie I won from a claw machine at PLQ Mall in Singapore on May 31 2022. He took 3 coins to win, so he costs $3 SGD, even though I put in $5 to get 6 coins for the attempt. The claw machines were run by a company/shop called Funclaw, and this is the first plushie I’ve ever won from a claw machine. No lie, it made me curious to go back and try more claw machines, from either those machines or other ones, but I didn’t bite this time around. It’s a thing I’ll definitely be looking at from now on though.
I won him from this machine:
He was situated next to that grey cat in the middle of the screen, and you can see how they were stacked so high that even if the claw machine dropped them, I figured that there was a chance that they would just bounce and roll off into the chute anyway. That’s why I decided to try for him. I could have tried for the grey cat too, but eh. Maybe I should have. It didn’t feel right at the time, though. I can’t explain it more than that.
Napatak is named after a Discord friend, and the person I group watch anime shows with on a near-daily basis, together with Satinel. His online nickname is Nak, and I actually met him for dinner when I was on the New York leg of my trip in November 2021. The nickname for his nickname is Nakatak, and we occasionally pun around with that name, and Napatak originates from along that line of thought, since the plushie’s eyes are closed. In addition, there’s another pun along the line of Nak > Nako > Neko > Taiga (who in anime represents a tiger cat), which is an emoji I throw his way when he logs on daily in lieu of a hello:
And this is a tiger cat plushie too, so Napatak as a name is doubly fitting to me. But really I wrote all that because I just wanted to memorialize that picture (which I use as a Discord emoji) somewhere too. It’s the one from the Taiga anime scrobbler program located here (local), which itself is probably inspired from Toradora. That’s altogether too much background info though, so here’s a few pictures of Napatak instead.
Underside.. because.. he’s nice and round..:
Tag other side:
He also had this ear tag that I’ve since pulled off, but I wanted to photograph before I did so:
Apparently you can redeem those points for extra goodies but they take a LOT of points to redeem.
Song of the Week #30
Title: If We Hold On Together
Artist: Diana Ross
Album: The Land Before Time OST (1988)
I’ve never watched the movie, and I had no idea until now that it was even an animated film involving dinosaurs of all things. I also do not have the mother connection that apparently a lot of the people who have watched the show and actually know the plot do. Also, this is now only my second-favourite Diana Ross song, not her top track of mine. But despite all that, this still warrants a mention because it is a song I hold dear for apparently all the wrong reasons.
For me, this song reminds me of one particular aspect of my Secondary 1-2 Dunman High class — that a lot of us liked reading fantasy books. Mercedes Lackey. Anne McCaffrey. Margaret Weis. Tracy Hickman. Forgotten Realms. Dragonlance. Etc etc. I don’t know who exactly started it, but at some point many of us caught the reading bug, and we borrowed fantasy books with each other, or outright bought them from the odd bookshop or second-hand store, and talked to each other about our favourite books and characters. This song tied in to this aspect of our classes very much for me because the lyrics are very fantasy-esque and painted an idyllic mental landscape of hope and wonder for me.
In addition, the song reminds me in particular of two girls from the other GEP class — Rachel and Sandra, perhaps because somehow to me they were particularly attuned to the fantasy worlds portrayed in the novels and I admired them for it. I even have this picture of a rakshasi (or rakshasa, supernatural fox creature in this context) that Sandra drew for Rachel, according to the copyright signature — I’m not sure why I have it, but it’s timestamped June 11 1999, 2:36 AM, so it’s at least that old:
And I’m probably actually breaking that copyright by posting this, and I’m sorry, but it’s for archival purposes? Does any other copy of this drawing even exist anywhere anymore?
Anyway, this song came to mind because I met Rachel (and Zixiang) in Singapore on Jun 01, and the topic briefly shifted to fantasy books, and books in general that inspired us growing up, at some point. This song for me is indelibly linked to the high fantasy books we read as teenagers, and to Rachel and Sandra, and has in the past been as high as #5 in my ultimate song ranking charts. These days it charts a bit lower, and might not even be in my top 100 anymore, especially since my taste in songs has long expanded past only English tracks. But it is yet another song that will always remind me of my roots and my golden school days.
Memory Snippet of the Week #37
In the Day 11 post of my Rose-Tinted Goggles Singapore trip series, I mentioned a picture that I would talk about on my next Memory Snippet of the Week segment:
This place is memorable for me because we used to have a pet goldfish, when I was really young. Assuming my memories aren’t lying to me again, this would have been when we were still living in Yishun 799, and I think it was when it was early-middle in the spectrum of time that we lived there too, probably between 1989-1991 or so,. though it’s hard to tell without any firm records. Anyway, we used to keep and feed a goldfish in a tank at home, the only pet our family has ever kept up till this day. It predates Jon and I’m guessing that Kel doesn’t remember it either as she was much too young. I don’t know where my Dad got it from.
I was still really young then but was probably supposed to take care of it, even though I don’t really recall wanting a pet or a fish back then. I might have, though! Anyway, I didn’t, so it eventually fell to my parents to take care of it, and I think neither of them wanted to either. So at some point, Dad took the fish down to the reservoir, or at least claimed to (I don’t know if he took me along on his motorcycle for it or not — I think he did but I might be wrong), and released the fish into the water. I see on Google Maps that the reservoir is more or less connected with the ocean, though I’m not sure if that barrier in the way was blocking the way out or not. I hope the goldfish survived and made it to safety and had a productive life though!
I always wondered about the fate of the goldfish everytime I passed by the reservoir, even many years later. I was never even really sure if fishes were allowed or could survive in the reservoir. This time though, when I passed the reservoir last week, I actually saw people fishing in the water, something that I had never remembered seeing back in the late 90s. So I guess they do! I tried to take a picture of them but they turned out blurry due to the capriciousness of the moving train. Run fishies, run!
Last Year’s Entry #6
I’m touching on all the ones that I skipped while I was away at once, so this will be three shorter than usual segments compressed into one instead. My corresponding diary entries from last year are My Diary #006, My Diary #007, and My Diary #008. These were published on May 30 2021, Jun 06 2021, and Jun 13 2021, respectively.
#006: Ah, this was bedbug season last year. I’ve been worried about bringing them back from my trip this time, and so have been furiously examining my bed and the walls and the luggage and everything, and definitely washed all my clothes (and Tigey and Clara) once I got back home. No sign of any infestation yet, nor of any bugs that moved in while I was out like last time… yet. I never did Move Apartments like I had threatened here, but it’s still on the cards as part of my upcoming likely Study Abroad anyway.
I still really, really like the scenery and ambience of that second social hub in that SoulWorker game. Everything else about the game was meh with the exception that my character wielded an electric guitar as a weapon, but that social hub had such a nice aesthetic that I still am in love with it to this day.
I haven’t used Editor notes as much as I should have in dreams, and I think this is partly because I hate the yellow colour and how Elementor, my WordPress editing program, doesn’t work well with it. I changed it to light purple and will be slowly implementing this change across my blog as I do the yearly reviews.
#007: I had a lot of upkeep to do on this blog post (adding hover text for names, for example) but not much in terms of actual comments for this one. Though how time flies, just a year ago I had just been rejected for my first Study Abroad attempt, and now I’m up to like potentially my 3rd delay. And I was just about to get my 4th yearbook at that time, now they’ve been completely scanned and I’ve gone and met Eileen to boot as well.
#008: I do actually have pictures of Rebel and Steroids, the other two turtles in the Three Musketeers, now. I said in this post that I might add pictures to this Plushie of the Week entry or make new entries for them once I got pictures, but because I did do full profile pictures of the two of them, I’ll make new entries soon instead of lumping them in with Toodles.
And ooh, this was the week last year that the diplomat idea was planted in my head. It’s still rather far out of reach, but it’s an option that I could point my Study Abroad dream toward. Very tempting still.
One interesting thing I noted about my dreams when I was on vacation — I started to dream again near the end of my vacation, which meant, to me, that I was finally starting to get comfortable with my place. How interesting. Unfortunately, I only had a couple days left in the vacation at that point, so I couldn’t see if I could sustain that dream rememberance for the journal or not. Still, I’ve included all my dreams from May 23rd onward here.
Also, as I mentioned in my travel diary, I’ve now obtained a copy of Debbie‘s book, a dream journal she wrote and illustrated called Dream Syntax, and I’m excited to go through that and see what sorts of new lenses it provides me for my own dreams. I’m almost tempted to sketch out a couple of my dream worlds and spaces from the past myself because I do remember some of them pretty vividly.
I really want to put up my five years or so worth of dream journal entries on my site though, which involves some significant cleanup and formatting. But I think I will bump this little project up in my scale of importance thanks to this chance meeting with Debbie, especially if my first semester of the Study Abroad falls through.
In the meantime, here are my recent dreams in all their usual lurid detail! I particularly like the one I had on Jun 11th. That was a fun and interesting dream. The cosmic event on the 12th was quite a sight too. You had to be there, though!
Jun 02 2022
- I don’t remember the context but I remember a dream segment where someone found a pressure point in the middle of my back that basically immobilized me because it was like the meeting point of a lot of nerves and sent interesting tingly sensations through my body whenever she pressed it.
Jun 03 2022
- I and someone else had been demoted to a second-tier GEP class from the main one due to unsatisfactory grades, and we were walking to our new class together. I said something to the effect of how I hoped I could get back into the main class next year based on the strength of my Math grades.
- At our classroom, the teacher came in and addressed the class about some scandal involving some students, the letters N and O (in the context of Nitrogen and Oxygen), and something they had discovered about the school administration. She seemed to be somewhat acknowledging if not praising the students. A bit later on though, I would catch a glimpse of a sheet of paper on the teacher’s desk from the school administration, with about 18 or 24 bullet points on it divided into groups of 6, telling her what to say to the class to smooth over the scandal, and then what actions they were going to take against those students afterwards.
- I provided a second teacher with a set of headphones that I was going to return, and he looked at the box and said that it should have been accompanied by a second, smaller set of headphones (that were basically about the size of Tigey) and asked if I knew where they were. I said I did not and maybe it was in my former class or something as that was where I had picked up this set in the first place. He laughed and said not to worry about it and that he was kidding.
- I tried to trade or buy a DVD from him too and handed him the DVD so he could look at it. It came with a sheet of paper detailing issues with the music video/s on the DVD, for example that there was a couple seconds glitch around the 4 minute mark, and again around the 15 minute mark. The teacher popped the DVD into a drive and set the playback to start at 3:56 so we could see the glitch, and indeed there was one. I said I didn’t mind video glitches because I only cared about the music.
- Somehow, this glitched DVD caused the second teacher to ask the first teacher to collect compensatory donations from the rest of the class for me. I was confused as to why and confused as to who was actually collecting it, the teacher or me, but I pulled out a sheet of paper with everyone’s names on it anyway to track any donations that might come my way.
- Lastly, I heard the Oilers had won their game against Colorado in the conference finals of the NHL playoffs and now led fthe series 3-1, so they would have to at least be able to force a third consecutive Game 7 if they were going to lose the best of 7 series. This was apparently some sort of achievement for a Canadian hockey team.
Jun 04 2022
- I dreamt of a port that was secretly ruled by a “good” organization similar to the Harpers from Forgotten Realms, they had ship captain allies that would come and go, a network of spies, mages, and mermen that worked for them, and a permanent city council or something that made decisions.
- The council was having a meeting and presenting the results of an investigation on three ships that had recently docked at port. One claimed to be visiting the port for 10 days and they would then move on to their next port of call, they seemed like a normal ship and the merman said that the wave currents would indeed shift in 10 days so that the ship would be able to follow the currents to the new port, so they seemed legit.
- The second ship also claimed to be here to resupply and then move on, but spies showed that the ship had been up and down the coast many times in the past 48-72 hours or so, far more than a normal ship could sail, and that they were part of the evil organization searching for something nearby.
- The third ship had arrived in port while chasing a wounded ship that was secretly owned by the good organization and was only pretending to be wounded and vulnerable, and it was certain that this ship was a pirate ship or something filled with recruits from elsewhere.
- The council was trying to figure out how best to apprehend and destroy the two latter ships. One of them noted that the evil organization must have at least two agents at another port of call and that’s where they were recruiting all these sailors who didn’t know any better from. They wished they could track down this port.
- At this point it was clear that I was “reading a book”, and the book ended with the meeting adjourning. But just as it was ending, a dark elf who had been recruited at some point as part of the bait ship and who had gained the trust of that ship’s captain, and thus was allowed/asked to come along to the meeting as well, asked a one-liner question if anyone else thought that the second ship’s total travel distance over the past 2-3 days was a little too abnormal.
- One of the ship’s council, a retired ship captain with nice, fiery orange-brown hair and beard who didnt trust the dark elf, growled at him for daring to speak up. However, a couple others including his captain seemed to realize what the elf was implying without actually saying, the implication being that the ship’s travel was only possible through dark magic and so they likely had a dark mage on their hand in the city or crew as well. One of the chirpier members who didn’t understand asked the elf’s captain, who did get it, whether he wanted to meet for drinks or a chat after the meeting, and the captain said no as something had just come up.
- Finding out what happened next would have required buying the next book in the series, though, which I did not have.
Jun 08 2022
- I was apparently taking part in some throwback LotRO game-wide reunion event or something, as were a number of other former kinship (guild) and random people not even in our old kinship. Seo was going to lead a casual kinship raid next week and wanted me to bring Alynne, my hunter, along for it, and I was casually trying to gear her up by running some instance that dropped some nice high level armour with him, Mell‘s minstrel Ellawynn, and a few other people. Each instance dropped two pieces of class armour and the minstrel armour and something else dropped, so Mell was pretty happy with that. The instance was easily repeatable so Mell switched to her hunter next to see if she could pick up another piece of gear, whereas Fern also came on and I knew that she had both a minstrel and a hunter as well and would want to gear up the latter first. I told Seo that I’d switch to my minstrel, since she was my actual main character, to see if I could get the armour on her even though my hunter was the one I was bringing along to next week’s raid, as we didn’t really need this armour for that. He said it was about time that I gave my minstrel some love as my main character.
- There were a bunch of two storey apartment blocks that I was walking through in game at some point, and a piece of paper with house numbers on them, as well as a record of accounts on Discord who had contacted me in the past but who were now “Deleted User” followed by a string of random characters acting as an account ID. I was trying to match up someone who used to be in our Discord server but was now deleted, and I looked at the account’s last 5 digits and happened to notice it matched up with the ID of someone who just moved into one of the nearby house addresses on the piece of paper. I discovered that this was a girl with a 6 or 7 letter character name who was never in our guild but was known to us and had recently converted to Muslim (so her character name was now preceded by a Mohammad or something) and had also returned to LotRO for this event. She must have been in our guild Discord server as a guest in the past, but her account had been deleted and re-created so it wasn’t in any chat servers. There was a party going on at her house with four or five other friends that I recognized from another kinship though.
- I told my findings to some of my friends who may have been from LotRO, Singapore, or work, but that I also apparently used to share a Discord server with as well. They were seated with each other at a round table on the second level of that building too, and glanced over toward the door as I lowered my voice and said that that person used to be in our Discord server. One thing led to another, and apparently there was a chase scene involving some guys (not sure if related to my friends or not) chasing that girl as she ran away further into the game world as she was really popular in some circles.
- At another point, I was lined up with some workmates and getting ready to take a boat on a cruise of some game islands. There were five game islands off the coast that the ship was going to visit, one way north, and four of them in a group nearer to the shore, more or less arranged in a square formation just nortgeast of the shoreline. The boat was going to take a different path this time, starting with the northern island, then coming back down to the four islands near each other, ending with the southwestern most island in the shape of (or somehow representing) a cat’s paw. My workmates and I were holding fans with LGBT pride signs and messages of support from other workmates while we were queued up. The messages were written on pieces of paper and pasted on the fans, though some of the messages were on torn pieces of paper and I thus couldn’t read them.
- Editor: Oddly, I think this cat’s paw island was inspired by Jah driving me along the Mississippi coast during my visit to New Orleans in November 2021, and pointing out a Deer Island and a Cat Island just off the coast.
Jun 10 2022
- I remember at one point that our family was walking through a city with a couple other strangers, and we needed to get to a tavern that was located in a building partway off the ground. Our map guide for how to get there took us through a Chinese gang’s hideout, where 5-6 men were huddled around a crate looking at us as we passed through their room to the dead-end room beyond. It was very sketchy, but they didn’t seem to mind.
- In that room, we then saw shelves that we had to climb up, and at the top of the two or three rows of shelves was assumedly an entrance to the tavern. I wasn’t sure the gang would let us use this method of getting there as it seemed like some sort of getaway path, so I wanted to quietly find and bring the ladders we needed to get up there instead, as we needed one ladder per level ascension. I brought a yellow metal ladder that was leaning against a nearby wall over, and helped Mom and Jon and Kel up, but Dad had wandered off to go talk to one of the gang members who was arriving, much to my chagrin.
- However the gang member said it was okay for us to use it as long as we didn’t use a wooden ladder, as that would attract termites which would then attack something else he had stashed in a box in that room. Thankfully we didn’t, so we thanked him and moved on, and Dad was helped up as well.
- Eventually we got to the top, and I had to aim something toward the tavern in order to connect the shelf we were on with the tavern itself, but I couldn’t actually see the tavern from where I was, just a lot of undersides of buildings. Someone pointed out a dark blue Tiger Beer sign on an oval plaque and said that that was probably it though, and so we tried that and it worked. We ended up climbing up a square hole in the tavern floor and escaped the area.
- Snippet: At some point, I was gearing myself up and noted to someone I was with that my blue Dunman High tie gave +210 HP and +20 Spirit or something, and Spirit was the stat that my character class used, so I really wanted to use the tie. When I looked closer at it, it also gave +10 to another stat and -1 to some skill, but those two either got cancelled or nullified by my chosen class. Either way though, I didn’t wear it in the end, although it was a good stat boost and I was tempted, because wearing a tie belonging to one school while our party belonged to another school would have been awkward and caused misunderstandings.
Jun 11 2022
- I was working with another person as an investigator of some kind while also being a student, although the dream didn’t lean into the student side of things. We investigated a number of cases over the course of my dream, and I believe that both my and his gender fluctuated over the course of the dream from female to male and back.
- A couple of the earlier cases involved investigations in a building and maybe a carpark, I’m not sure of the exact details. I do remember that one case involved a scene where someone was doing sneak photography of either us or another girl, and we were investigating who did this as it had to be someone close to the target and us, since we were in the same class. We eventually figured out it was the taxi driver who was driving us around, as he knew exactly where we were due to that, and we were surprised that it was a guy and an adult at the end of the day rather than a female student in class.
- One of the later cases I remember involved my partner driving us around in a car while I was in the back seat, and we were trying to get near a group of 6 or so people or spirits whom we were tailing in order to find out where they were going to attack next. Tigey had video camera and audio recording functions built in, and I turned him on and held him in my hand to try to record them so we could review the footage later. For better quality captures, I eventually handed him to my partner, who held him up near the open window in the car that we had winded down so that he was closer to the group we were watching.
- This drew their attention however, and they came over to the car and surrounded us suspiciously. My partner gave Tigey back to me and I pantomimed him being alive and being the ruler of the universe, as I am wont to do in real life, and they eventually seemed to accept that, although they continued harassing us a bit anyway. We ended up in a house with them and were looking to distract them and escape, but my partner, who had turned female at this point, had to AFK for something in real life (implying this was sort of a game we were in) and told me to distract them for 10 minutes or so until she came back.
- She gave me a note with instructions to invoke as a last resort, and I copied it down in some digital notepad so I would have a dream record of it when I woke up, but this was actually done inside the dream so I don’t have a real record of it. It was two lines long though, with each line containing a couple of words each, and the top line was the name of a bank. We did eventually resolve and escape this issue.
- Another later case, and our last one in the dream, involved us both in guy mode, and ended up with us being attacked by acolytes of fire while we were investigating a bunch of elemental acolytes. Although we “won”, they knocked me out, and I eventually revived in a darkened version of the world where it was permanently night and raining (but had low background light everywhere so I could still see things). I was in a room, in bed, and all alone, but I could somehow communicate with my partner too, who apologized and said that my soul and body had been temporarily separated and he’d find a way to get me out as my senpai, though my best chance probably was to wait 36 hours or so to let me real life body heal and then my soul would probably rejoin my body.
- In real life though, he was in my parents’ house, and helping Mom and Kel with chores. He was shocked that I had been doing so many chores around the house while also both a student and in the after-school investigations club with him. Laundry, cleaning, moving heavy things around, etc. He struggled with them a bit, then laid on the floor and seemed to say a few things into the dream camera “to me”, as he knew I could listen in through that. The first sentence he said was somewhat incriminating, as he had only told my parents and siblings that I was recovering in the other room and would soon revive, but nothing about the whole soul severing part, but yet he mentioned into the camera to hang on tight and that I would probably soon be out or something. My sister and mother looked at him with curiosity, and he looked embarrassed. Shortly after he said a second sentence “to me”, something about how he was going to seek help from someone else in the club to be sure, and this time he had to explain the full circumstances to my mom and sister.
- The scene then went to someone explaining how our club was actually a cover for paranormal investigations, as some earlier members of the school or club had divined that the centre of the Universe was located in our town, a bit to the northwest of our school, and so our city attracted lots of strange spiritual denizens. She said that strange things like this would happen but at the end of the day my partner was right and I would soon wake up from this one.
- Editor: The sneak photography scene directly references Episodes 9 and 10 of the Heroine Tarumono anime, which I watched just prior to bedtime.
- I was staying in an apartment in a two-storey building as a guest or traveller. The family I was staying with was a boy and his parents that might have been modelled after Mom, Dad, and Jon, but I’m not certain there.
- At one point, I tried to visit the shared public toilets located in the building, but there were a ton of people camped outside the washroom, and a bunch more inside, and I was told that trying to use those was futile. Those people were transient and were there temporarily for a couple days as they had arrived for some sort of event but had nowhere to stay since there were so many of them, so they had taken refuge inside the building and around the washrooms.
- There was a plot point about the family having two figurines that looked like chess pawns in shape and size, one was yellow and one was white. Each figuring could be placed down and then given simple instructions, and some built-in AI would make it scurry off and try to complete the task. At one point I passed by where the yellow one was perched on the top of the wall next to the ceiling, and it “jumped” down at me for some reason when I looked up and noticed it, as though it were trying to commit suicide. I caught it, though.
- Anyway, the family apparently used to have *three* figurines — there was a second white one that had broken down somewhere, and a cord that used to join the two white ones together that had been misplaced as well. The son said that he had seen both the piece and the cord around the house on occasion, tucked into some drawer or other. They never really did anything with it until the Mom figure found the cord in the dream, at which point she enlisted my help to try to search for the missing second white figurine.
- Snippet: I remember at some point visiting an outdoor shopping mall built into the levels of a 5-8 storey high cruise ship — I specifically remember standing outside the ship and look up at all the different shops and eateries.
- Snippet: I also remember visiting a touristy location where, at sunset once or twice per month or so, one could look up in the sky and supposedly see proof of aliens. I was there for this month’s spectacle and saw six giant squares or cubes fade into existence in the evening sky, divided into two groups of three cubes. Each set of three cubes then arranged itself so each cube was equidistant from the other two cubes, as though all three cubes stood on the three points of a equilateral triangle. Each “triangle” then began to spin high in the sky, sending majestic red, purple and other colours everywhere. There was also an open-air bazaar and exhibition on the ground catering to the tourists walking around and gawking at the sky, and a feedback form at the end of some of the exhibitions where you could rate it on a scale of 1 to 5. I heard someone complaining that most people apparently rated one of the art exhibitions a 5/5 even though no one really understood it. I joined it and rated it a 5 on a thin, but long piece of paper. There was also a TV nearby with a news anchor explaining how this monthly cosmic event wasn’t actually aliens, and how the spinning cubes were probably caused by rays of light from the sun or something somehow, apparently there to assuage any visitor who might fly into a panic at the thought that there really were aliens.