My Diary #057

Dear Tigey,

Happy 24th birthday! Who’s a cute little plushie now. Our next year or two together should be an interesting one.

Entry #057 (Jun 26 2022)

Table of Contents

Mining my own business at…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #55
ට  Song of the Week #32
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #39
ට  Last Year’s Entry #8
ට  Dreams

School

The main thing of note that happened this week was that I sent out an email to Singapore’s ICA unit, who are handling my renunciation, to see if there was a chance that they could expedite my renunciation process or not (as they had mentioned this as a possibility back when I visited them in-person at the start of the month).

Their reply was mildly encouraging, they said,

The matter is receiving attention. Our officer in charge will respond to you once it has been looked into.

Which I took to mean that hopefully the answer isn’t no, since that wasn’t a stock/automated reply email that I got, but one from an actual officer/analyst over there. I presume that if the answer was no they would have just said no right off the bat. I suppose I’m raising the chances of my study abroad stint happening from 33% to about 50%. It still involves bureaucracy though so it’s hard to say if it will work out.

I also went to take a photograph (with glasses on) from a photo shop in my local mall for my NUS student card. We apparently have to upload the photo and wait 4 days or so before they’d actually create my user ID and password to let me actually finish registration formalities and accept the courses that I was offered, and although I’d been slacking on this due to the uncertainty around my study abroad, I figure that I shouldn’t shoot myself in the foot if I were actually serious about trying to get accepted for Fall instead of Winter, so I went ahead to start this process.

Work

My boss won an award at work! I had previously nominated him for an award back in 2018 or so, and he had won that one, but this time around another team that we work with nominated him in another category (there are five categories in all) and he won that as well. He’s the first person, I believe, to win an individual award in two separate categories. We joked that he only needed three more to finish his 100% achievements speedrun.

We butted heads in a meeting later that day about another issue, which also turned out to be funny in hindsight because, when he won that other award in 2018, I also remember butting heads with him that same day that he found out, and he was very conflicted when he found out that I had nominated him on the same day that we were arguing about something else.

Life

It was Tigey‘s birthday this past week! To commemorate it, I took a picture of him and the other animals that are currently up on the computer desk beside me in this iteration of the Main Crew:

It’s dated one day after his birthday, which I set as June 21 1998, so the date of that above photo is June 22 2022. I’m sure it will become an important milestone snapshot down the road. I note wryly that all the plushies that are in the current iteration of my Main Crew are essentially a combination of orange and white.

My sleep schedule continued to be terrible in the first half of the week, with extremely early mornings, tired afternoons, naps right after dinner, then truncated sleep schedules that left me wide awake at 3-4 am or so and really tired by the next evening again. My body more or less overcame it on Wednesday evening though when I went for a “nap” at 8:30 pm, woke up at 2:30 am, then went back to bed at 3am and woke up at 7am. With that solid 10 hours of sleep or so I was finally able to force a reset to my sleep schedule and now I’m back on roughly a natural 12-1am to 7-8am sleep schedule, which is perfect. I will, however, somewhat miss being “naturally” up and wide awake at 3:45 am and able to work on things without anything or anyone else disturbing or distracting me. But having normal energy levels during the day now is also a good thing.

It was raining a lot this week, which is a far cry better than the heat wave some parts of the USA were getting, and which we got last year as well. It does mean I didn’t exactly go anywhere though, besides a couple of grocery runs earlier in the week, especially when coupled with early-week fatigue issues and the late-week Steam sale.

There was a particularly awesome downpour for about 15-30 minutes in the evening of the 22nd, the kind we see less than once a year over here in Edmonton, and I composed a Bad Haiku to commemorate it,

Nature’s wrath descends —
I am sheltered from the world,
By the evening rain.

Here’s the accompanying video, which is just a minute long and features bad audio because I just grabbed my phone and captured what I could:

The one grocery run to the Asian supermarket I did early in the week involved me taking a different path from normal to get to the store, which was nice, as I got to see things like this bus-stop that was installed in reverse for some reason:

I’ve never seen a bus stop where the open panel is not facing the road. I wonder why they did it like that. It kind of makes that entire section of the kerb between the bus stop shelter and the road rather wasted as buses can’t really stop there.

On my way back from the store, I snapped pictures of this tree near one of my local bus stops:

Fascinating but unnerving at the same time. Are those woolly aphids?

I then had my Little Miracle of the Week, whereby I passed by a black guy on the pavement and exchanged a smile with him, though he was masked and I wasn’t. He passed me, paused for a second in thought, then turned around and asked me in a friendly manner, “What’s your number?” I laughed and shook my head and he left me alone, but that did leave me in an amused mood as I trudged back along home with my grocery bags.

Later in the week, I watched an anime episode (season 2, episode 9 of Rikei ga Koi) that said as part of their research that women wearing red clothing were considered more attractive by men (but noted that the correlation didn’t go the other way for men wearing red shirts!), and I remembered that I was wearing my red Dunman High polo shirt when I went out that day, so maybe that’s what it was attributed to. My purchase is already paying dividends!

I’m about a third of the way through the random book I borrowed last week at the library, so I can more or less now recommend it as a good (to me) read, To Touch a Dream: A Wilderness Adventure (local), by Sunny Wright. A memoir of a woman who got tired of urban life and went out into the wilderness with her BFF and her 5 year old girl, and a number of anecdotes about the trials and tribulations that the three girls faced as they built their own log cabin and lived their life as they got to know all the neighbours around them and faced various successes and failures. It’s a lifestyle I’ll never have (or want), so it’s a very interesting window to a different world in that regard, and it’s written in a slice of life sort of style that I like, basically a narrated, chronological diary.

Lastly, I spent several days later on in the week glued to this Youtube livestream of Kabukicho in Tokyo, one of the streets in what is basically considered to be their red light district, though it’s really just a (side) street like any other. I especially like it past midnight (Japan time) since the street is quieter then, and yet still not entirely bereft of people, but most of the lights and signs and such are still on. I see lots of people meeting up in groups and then wandering off and I like that brief glimpse into other people’s lives and stories, and I’ve seen some interesting characters like a girl in a catgirl suit standing out front and advertising the hookah bar on the far left. Also, lots of rats. Lots!

The camera is low down enough that I can hear faint urban sounds too, and occasionally things like people talking, glassware clinking, loudspeakers, or music, though never loud enough to make out what is being said/sung or to distract me. I love the visual and aural ambience of streets like this, and wish there were (there probably are) other street-level cameras set up in a style like this. I will one day visit this place and wave to the camera with Tigey.

Finally, there was a fire alarm in my apartment late on Saturday night, at around 11 pm or so, and visions of the fire from a few months ago were dancing through my head again. I went out with Tigey and my phone and found out from someone in the lobby that the fire alarm had been pulled on accident, and he/they were trying to figure out how to stop it. They couldn’t until the firemen came, of course, but since it seemed to be a false alarm after all, everyone went back to their apartments and endured the alarm for about 25 minutes before it finally stopped.

Games

The first part of the week was spent on Minecraft, but I ran into an issue where my character got stuck and kept crashing the server whenever I tried to get online. It was eventually fixed, but by that time Steam sales had started anyway so I drifted away to spend time window-shopping there instead. I also played some Monster Train on the Steam Deck again, which is turning into my favourite bite-sized game to play on that thing, as well as a bit of Vampire Survivors on the PC, although I’ve cooled significantly on that game since it’s still utterly broken on my Steam Deck even after the latest patch this week that purpotedly fixed Linux saves. Spoiler: It didn’t.

I usually spend about $100 or so on the major (biannual) Steam sales, usually targetting a number of indie games on decent sale, and DLC for my existing games if I like them, rather than going for triple-A purchases or bundles. I have a number of games I’m pondering for the sale, but so far my one purchase has actually been outside of Steam — I picked up Wildermyth from Fanatical on Friday night and was very fascinated by the stories that it gave my characters and the turn-based combat that the gameplay is built around. It could do with some better tooltips though, like there’s no way to see how far an opponent can move in one turn, I think, and the gear/crafting system is not something I really like, but the stories and character interactions (despite the characters being randomly created, and the stories supposedly being procedurally generated to some extent too) seem pretty great and will hopefully carry the game. It’s nice and artsy, for lack of a better word, lots of mystique and cosmic wonder stuff on a scale that’s similar to Fallen London/Cultist Simulator without all the horror bits.

I completed the first campaign in two days and found that the cool thing about the game is that your retired heroes sort of blend in to the lore of the world and can be recruited again in some capacity in future campaigns, or encountered in random events, sort of like how Heat Signature does legacy items that you can add to a pool and encounter in future games.

Okay enough pictures. I did start to run into several repeat story events in the middle of the second story campaign though, so I’m not sure how many unique events it actually has, but the artsy flavour is very much up my alley. I love a world described in vague cosmic truths.

Plushie of the Week #55 – Steroids

As mentioned last week, this week’s Plushie of the Week is Steroids, the third of the Three Musketeer turtles to be featured, after Toodles and Rebel.

Like the other two, he entered our lives on the same day, somewhere (we think) around April 2004, and he cost 50 cents and hailed from a dollar store in Mill Woods Town Centre in Edmonton named Bargains. He’s slightly bigger than the other two, and his green tie is slightly shinier, and he has a slightly more vibrant tuft of hair, and all these natural advantages were definitely (as accused by the other turtles) due to performance-enhancing drugs, so he was named Steroids. I took ownership of him as I was the eldest sibling and he was the largest turtle, though these days he lives with the other two turtles in Jon‘s custody. His Spanish nickname was Fabio, because he’s Fabulous!

Just like last week, here’s the requisite Uncle Orson group picture that’s on all the other three plushies’ personal pages too:

As well as some personal photos of Steroids. From the front:

Back:

Bowtie closeup:

And finally one of him toppled over in exhaustion from looking after his two younger brothers:

I can’t imagine having to look after two younger siblings!!!

Song of the Week #32

Title: The Long and Winding Road
Artist: The Beatles
Album: Let It Be (1970)

This is my favourite Beatles song, and it was the previously mentioned “other song” in my top 100 that evokes memories to a book/computer game for me, that I briefly alluded to back in Song of the Week #06 and #08. It’s taken a while to feature it since I wanted it to have some separation from Song of the Week #08 in particular, An Everlasting Love by Andy Gibb, which I closely tie this song to because both songs remind me very strongly of the Fabled Lands series of gamebooks, a book series that I hold very dear in my heart and that was very formative to me, my siblings, and some of my Singapore friends (like Zixiang) growing up.

While most gamebooks are linear and your characters in them tend to have a set backstory and a certain quest to complete in each book, the Fabled Lands series of books are set up in such a way that each book actually represents a region of the world and you can travel back and forth between the twelve books to check out a number of intertwined stories, and there’s no defined start or end to the journey of whatever character you choose to create. Of the twelve books, only the first six were published back in the late 90s when the gamebook genre was still popular, and it took until 2018 before the seventh was published, via Kickstarter. The 8th to 12th still have not been published to this day.

Anyway, this song in particular reminds me of Book 4 of that series — The Plains of Howling Darkness, which is set up to cover the northern Great Steppes area of the main continent of the world. There’s an image here (local) showing the world map. The Great Steppes area is portrayed as a mystical, windswept area that’s cold and unyielding and yet filled with strange wonders to explore. There’s one single city on the east coast that clings to survival like a tree on the side of a mountain, most of the middle area is a large plain being fought over by two tribes on horseback, the west side has a huge, magical frozen lake that barely anyone ever visits but that contains one of the most epic storylines in the first 6 books, and the north side is bordered by a massive mountain range that you can eventually climb and witness some things that human eyes were never meant to see.

Of all the zones in the books, this zone was the area that made my imagination run wild the most, and my vision of the Steppes was always that this area was drenched in a dim cerulean or azure blue light that illuminated my traveler’s path at all hours of the day as she trod through the lands in search of the meaning of life, as this song played overhead and rang out through the land. The area might be cold and scraggly, but there were many secrets to be found hidden away in the land as well, and this was the quintessential theme song of the book for me. I can imagine a montage of scenes from the book flashing by in a music video sort of style everytime I hear this song, as a video camera swooped from landmark to landmark in the Steppes, everything from great pyramids to giant worm burrows to glowing red crystals to huge sprawling nomad camps.

One of my earlier personal homepage ideas that I wanted to make and publish back in the late 90s/early 00s, but never did, was themed after a “Forgotten Library” set into the side of some hill in these Steppes, where some wizened old caretaker would welcome the traveler to the homepage. The traveler would then find that that Forgotten Library (homepage) contained a compilation of all sorts of dusty tomes on lost human knowledge (in the form of trivia lists and interesting things I learnt) that the wizened old caretaker had been carefully curating and hoarding there over the years, as the pursuit of knowledge was the meaning of life or something sappy like that for me back then. This song also reminds me of that dream, and would have been one of the songs playing within that sacred library of mine as well.

It also isn’t lost on me that I’m living in Edmonton, Alberta now, which is basically a city located on prairies/dry steppes, but it’s nothing at all like the Great Steppes in my imagination! How boring. Anyway, that’s the story behind this song for me, a much beloved song that has been as high as #2 or #3 in my favourite English songs chart in the distant past, and one that is definitely still somewhere in the top 50 today. I picked a video version below with nice camera panning and views of nature, not too different from my mental image of how the Steppes video would look like, except with less mountains and a lot more blue-drenched frosted plains and mystical beings peeking out from behind little mounds.

Memory Snippet of the Week #39

There are several memory snippet entries I need to do where I list all the people from a certain time period of my life, for example my stints in different schools and workplaces, just so that I can check that hover text entries exist for them. These lists will probably change over time if/as I add more people, but right now I’ve just been adding people ad-hoc as they show up in dreams or conversations, and this approach will allow me to be more thorough about it, especially since it’s possible I will forget about some of these people over time.

With that, I’m going to start with people I remember (or can track down memories for) from my Primary 1-3 school, Peiying Primary School. I do not remember nor have records of anyone from kindergarten, but I do have some from Primary 1-3, and they’re listed below with a quick one or two line blurb about each person. This is basically how I’m going to do most of this series of entries.

Peiying Teachers

Ms Wong — Ms Grace Wong. My Primary 1 form teacher (Class 1H). I remember nothing about her.

Ms Sinnatamby — Ms G Sinnatamby. My Primary 2 form teacher (Class 2HH). I remember her always coming to class in really colourful sari. Also for some reason the even years in school had double letters on the end of their classes — if I had stayed in Peiying, I would have been in Class 4HH.

Mr Aziz — Mr Abdul Aziz. My Primary 3 form teacher (Class 3H). He’s also the topic of Memory Snippet #30 in My Diary #048.

Peiying Students

Constance – A Chinese girl that I was somewhat friendly with. I remember linking her with the song Constant Craving, which released in 1992, when I was in Primary 2, although I’m probably not a big enough fan of the song to ever feature it in Song of the Week (that and I don’t think I have any other associated memories with it other than this snippet).

Kavitha – An Indian girl, she and Vanitha were always together and seemed inseparable to me.

Shuyi – A Chinese girl that I was somewhat friendly with. I remember her being short.

Solomon – A Malay boy that was in our class and was somewhat developmentally stunted, I remember him being blur/confused a lot of the time, as though he was not quite there mentally, and he defecated in his shorts in class at least once, so that became my lasting memory of him. Note: blur is Singapore slang for the person archetype who is either often confused, klutzy, or sometimes just not quite there. Sometimes used endearingly, sometimes not, like in this case.

Vanitha – An Indian girl, she and Kavitha were always together and seemed inseparable to me. She was the slightly taller one of the two.

Yingjun — A Chinese boy, his class number was #9, whereas I was #10, I think, and he was the fastest guy in class besides me so we were rivals and always racing each other in Phys Ed as we ran laps around the basketball court.

I’m actually surprised I remember anyone at all from this time period since I never spoke to or saw any of them again after I transferred schools at the end of Primary 3, nor do I care to. I still have mental images of how the 6 of them looked like, though, that have somehow persisted all these years, although none of them have showed up in my dreams ever since I started writing them down. I also have report cards and stuff from this era of my life that I hope to scan and post some day, which is where I got the form teacher names from, but it doesn’t list students, and I don’t think I have much other literature or documentation that survives from this era of my life.

Last Year’s Entry #8

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #010. This was published on Jun 27 2021.

I remember being tired of the grade appeals fight by that time, so I just let it drop to concentrate on other things, even though I thought that I definitely had a chance. It’s also interesting to reflect about my comments on work and the combined team — the combined team has been fine, but we’re still very much working apart as two separate teams for the most part, although we meet daily, which has helped some people and completely alienated others who barely show up for the combined meetings.

Kynji is in a very, very happy place now, so I’m very glad for that compared to this time last year when she was panicking over having to find a new job. Her job now is much better than her last one though, by all accounts. And her coworkers are less insane.

I remember my complaints about reusable grocery bags last year, but I’ve actually come to really like them. One of my bags is about to tear but the other three or four that I have have served me for basically close to an entire year now and are still going strong.

That book club never took off, but I’m still reading books now and then! Prior to that starting I hadn’t actually borrowed or read much from the library for years, so that’s one good thing that started in the pandemic. Although I fear that I shortly won’t have time to do much reading anymore. That’s fine, though, I’ve already picked up several useful lenses to examine life through, from the books that I have read in the past year.

The lit tree outside my apartment is still dark! It went off a couple months ago and hasn’t come on since, although when I walk by the rental office in the evenings, I see some smaller trees next to it still lit up, and the big tree still has cords tangled around it, it just hasn’t been turned on I guess. Or a light bulb gave out and they haven’t figured out which one.

In an odd case of life going in circles, I thought about buying wind chimes while on my walk to the Asian supermarket earlier this week, as it was nice and windy, but I don’t really have a place in my apartment where I can reasonably hang it. Apparently I must have been doing the same last year around this time though, since I mentioned wind chimes in the blog there as well. One day I will live in a place where I can hang one of these up.

Dreams

I’ve got another nice, long streak going that started on June 10th, even though a couple of the diary entries from the streak were just basically one-liners. It’s still better than nothing remembered, though.

Jun 20 2022
  • I ran to catch a double decker bus from the University — it was bus number 38 I believe, and the bus stop had two of them, heading in opposite directions. I made sure I queued for the right one. There were a good number of students getting onto the bus too but they were all younger than me and my juniors at the Uni — they were largely 1st and 2nd years and I was in my 3rd year.
  • When we clambered on the bus, the seats were arranged around the outside of a large, square amphitheatre-like area, in a horseshoe pattern that was 3 rows deep, with the back rows slightly elevated so everyone could see the stage in front. The seats were all coloured one of four colours (red, yellow, blue, green) and randomly mixed together. We were all assigned a colour, mine was red, so I had to pick a red seat and I picked one in the back row on the right side of the bus. The bus was very packed so nearly every seat was taken by the time all the students settled on board.
  • This then apparently turned into some sort of elementary Japanese course, though the teacher was late as the classroom door wouldn’t close, and she had to go find a doorknob and install it on her way in before she could start the class. In the meantime, the students chatted, and the person beside me asked how to spell the formal past tense of the Japanese to-do verb (shimashita), and I and a few others around him spelled it out for him both in English (Romaji) and Japanese characters.
  • Ronnie and Shelley came into the class to help maintain order as the teacher fixed the door. Shelley asked the class for a raise of hands as to who was not technically registered, using a certain terminology I don’t remember but that apparently meant a first or second year student here, and I raised my hand but no one else did. Shelley scanned the room, ignoring me, while Ronnie, addressing me as Jess, told me that they meant besides me as they knew my case and that I was basically an employee here anyway.
  • One of the people next to me said that he wasn’t sure but he had another friend in the class that was technically waiting for grades for a previous class to find out if she was eligible for this one so she might actually fall into the “unregistered” criteria that Shelley was looking for, but I said I didn’t think that was what she meant.
  • Snippet: I don’t remember the context but I remember a specific scene where a rich girl was tied to her chair in class by her strict parents in such a way that her left hand was always raised or something like that, but due to the way that she was tied, she was unable to keep her balance, and toppled over to the floor on her left as the concerned teacher and someone else rushed over to try to catch her.
Jun 21 2022
  • I dreamt that I was travelling around Canada with Kel and someone else, and for whatever reason we were detained and temporarily “imprisoned” in a classroom by two police officers. It was mid-afternoon and expected that we would be free by sunset. We were partially restrained, our feet were bound to something so that we couldn’t all escape, but our hands were kept free.
  • Kel was allowed to use the cellphone while in there, and she called up a female friend who knew a newspaper reporter and described our predicament to the friend. She also used the phone camera to show the friend pictures of the room we were kept in. Just in case we weren’t released by when the police said they’d release us.
  • We could also take turns leaving the room if needed, as long as we did it one at a time, so they allowed me to leave the room to visit the toilet, which was in a separate room in the building, and I opened the door only to find several boys outside trying to peek in through the tinted glass to look into the room. I quickly darted inside again, reported them to the police officers, and waited until most of them had disappeared before I opened the door again and left. I was not cuffed, but I was wearing something with red straps around my mouth that I could not remove and that made me stand out a little, either a small ball gag or a weird, bulky face mask or something like that.
  • I checked my Discord program on my phone while in the toilet, and saw that Neichus and Benny from my anime writing club server had invited me to play AMQ an hour or so ago. But then due to my lack of answer, they had figured out what had happened to me. I reassured them that we were fine and would be out soon, but that I wouldn’t be playing since we were on vacation anyway.
  • Justin from Dunman High was also in the room, and he commented something about how we had already made the news because all three of us were Oilers season ticket holders and that was a rare sight in Singapore and had raised our profile, and people had watched for our arrival and subsequently saw our arrest, so that made local news.
  • I took my own sweet time going back into the detainment room, even visiting a second washroom along the way. I noticed that there were about a dozen little curly wires pasted to the wall just outside the detainment room and realized that they were from Kel‘s shorts, I resolved to tell her that so that she could retrieve them once I returned and it was her turn to leave the room.
  • There were a couple other snippets somehow tied into this. One was some sort of brewery or food-producing machine that we or someone had and operated, but I don’t remember the context behind it. It looked like a large stove or distillery or something though, complete with little bouncing pipes that let off white steam occasionally.
  • Another was some sort of a device, accessed via a screen, that constantly ran a program that created a long strip of white, flat noodles or roll of cloth or something, and it was slowly and endlessly trundling by on a conveyor belt from left to right on the screen. It would endlessly auto-create whatever it was creating at a slower pace if we left it alone, but it was faster when we could define a regular interval for a blade to swing down and chop off the white strip, so that it created smaller strips that were about as long as the width of the screen without going over that maximum limit. We could set the blade to do this every few seconds, but it would only really work when we were going to be in one location for some time in the “real world”, so our movements didn’t throw off the speed of the conveyor belt, as the device was very sensitive. We turned that feature on while we were being detained.
  • Editor: Well, this was certainly inspired by my adventure at the Singapore border last month.
Jun 22 2022
  • I was part of something similar to an MMO-style adventuring guild, but framed more like a school club, that met at a rich member’s house every now and then, the house had many rooms to walk through and a large garden and walking area around it as well.
  • In here, we reviewed and/or got ready for zones that would open every now and then, as there wre several zones strawn around the “game world” that we had to travel to and enter once they opened. But even when closed, there were things we could and did practice, and we could pull the zone up to look at its information blurb or talk to each other to trade tricks and information about the zones, I remember standing by a window with a friend and a couple other people nearby as we tried to connect wirelessly to a zone and only managed to get a frozen picture of its splash screen or a screenshot of the UI from the last time we had connected to the zone.
  • At one point, battles in three or four zones all opened up at once. One of them was a dwarf zone and a large contingent of our guild went to enlist for that as they were dwarves and their leader had a roleplay backstory where his father had died in a war in that zone long ago. Everyone else was invited, but it felt like we were overrepresented as a guild there anyway. Harvey and a couple Dunman people had also rushed off to another zone, and the rest of us met in a round courtyard garden area in the house from where they had deployed from after a general Call to Arms was issued for the guild members.
  • The round courtyard had a horizontal and vertical path running across it that looked like a cross, and in the four quadrants were short, truncated, curved paths that more or less looked like they formed a circle from a bird’s eye view of the garden, but weren’t actually connected to each other or the central cross path. Scattered around the garden were flower trellises, flower beds with butterflies flapping back and forth, and short lawn grass. Around the gardens were also plastic chairs by what looked like floating computers, and right in the center was a plastic chair that was wet for some reason — someone complained that Harvey had left the central chair wet again in his haste to get to his favourite zone.
  • The rest of us drew folded slips of paper from an open-top paper box someone had created, in order to decide what zone we were heading to. Trin, I, and Mell drew zone 43 and grouped up together, whereas someone else that was with us drew a 70-something, and I playfully and lightly pushed them out of our huddle once I saw that to indicate that they had to go find their own group.
  • There were various other characters in the guild that I sort of knew or recognized as well. There was a girl who was madly in love with one of the adult guild officers who did not reciprocate her love, but she always tried to join whatever map he was on or going to be on. My parents and siblings were also apparently somewhere there, and I delivered a bag of requested groceries to their room (within the larger mansion, I suppose) at one point.
Jun 23 2022
  • I was travelling alone and had just arrived at my hotel late in the night or early in the morning, and visited the front desk to order some food — the front desk had two ladies tending a reception desk, and right next to it was a food stall that was usually staffed by some Indian woman and selling nasi briyani. However, she was in the back area or something and I had to ring a bell to try to get her attention. The two ladies at the reception desk muttered something nasty about how the Indian woman was back there slacking off and waiting for customers to call her, instead of staffing the stall like the two of them were staffing her desk.
  • I took my food and wandered off to eat it, before eventually coming back again with my luggage bag in tow to actually check in. I took a lift up to my room and put my things there, with visions of flopping down in the bed and sleeping dancing through my subconscious head. However, I ended up walking around the place instead, starting with the large lobby area outside my room. Instead of the elevator leading to a number of branching corridors like in most hotels, the elevator led to a huge square room with latched doors leading to the hotel rooms set all around three of the four walls of the room. The elevators weren’t set into the wall too, they were set slightly off-center near the middle of the room so that the elevator shafts worked as structural support, so I could even walk behind them and see people wandering down some sort of service corridor passage behind it.
  • The rest of the dream was a blur, though at one point I remember needing to wait for three things to grow and finding the optimal time to combine them together into one thing.
  • Snippet: In an earlier dream, I was walking up and down a HDB apartment block with a friend to throw off some curious followers who were trailing us. It was implied that we were all students living there but that the two of us were famous in some way. We exited the elevator, walked over to the stairs, went up a couple levels, crossed the corridor and went down another flight of stairs, then ducked into one of the apartments to shake off the people trailing us. At some point when the coast was clear, we also ducked into a minimart that was somehow embedded in the corner unit of one of the levels of the building instead of down on the ground floor, and we saw a young girl there, about 4 or 5 years old, struggling with trying to buy or carry something on an errand. We helped her out on her task.
Jun 24 2022
  • I was exploring a small school campus and talking to some friends who were students there. I am not sure if I was a student there as well, as it felt like I was just a visitor, even though I knew several people there. Zixiang was there, as were Yaoxiang and Yucheng, the former of whom was chasing the latter around in some form of horseplay.
  • I was trying to help some friends find a daily secret message hidden in the school, it took the form of a small braided talisman made of red strings and with four letters embroidered onto the talisman. The talisman itself was hidden in plain sight in a different location each morning, and once someone explained to me what the game was and showed me a picture of what it looked like on a previous day, I wandered around the canteen and buildings and fields looking for it. We eventually found it in a plastic box set up high against a pillar, exactly where it was in the picture that my friend had shown me, so apparently they reused locations every now and then, which was a bit disappointing.
  • While exploring, I had seen a screen which listed different “school servers” and their weekly PvP results, it was set up like how Guild Wars 2 used to do their weekly PvP rankings, where every server was ranked in a giant list and then the top 3 would fight against each other on one map, the 4th-6th ranked servers would fight against each other on another map, etc, and try to get points against each other, which would then affect their rankings next week. Apparently our server, Tampines, used to be a high-ranking PvP server, but after many server merges where many other school servers were added, and after the novelty of the game wore off, no one really cared anymore and we languished near the bottom. We were in the 3rd last group of 3 out of about 10-12 or so of them, but we were apparently actually winning this round against our two opponents.
  • At one point, Dad came by on his motorcycle to drop something off for me, I forget the context behind that though. At another point I think he was actually driving me around some roads to get to the school, but there were several one-way roads that flummoxed us and we weren’t sure how to get to the school while still obeying local traffic laws. I eventually found a road that involved driving all the way to the end of the main road past the school we wanted to go to, and then doubling back along the side roads to it.
  • At another point, Uncle Wilson and Auntie Esther (relatives from my Mom‘s side) were getting married and were temporarily staying with my Dad‘s brothers and mother in a rather dirty apartment, though something happened that then forced them to move to a couple smaller but cleaner apartments. I mused that the two of them were only now getting married when they already had several grown up kids, and how there were still other pairings among my Dad‘s relatives that were probably still not married despite having been together for years and having children.
  • There was also an RPG scene that took place in a school field where I controlled party members represented by tokens from a birds’ eye view, two of them were a blacksmith and cook and four were probably regular adventurers, and I had a mobile base that I could move around and places of interest that I could send party members to explore. I sent the blacksmith to tap a nearby node, for example, which spawned four resource nodes around it that I then sent the four adventurers to collect and bring back to my base.
Jun 25 2022
  • I don’t remember anything from the night except, oddly, that at some point I was looking for clothes to put on, and there was a pair of panties in front of me where the front part of the fabric was wet and the back wasn’t. But there was some sort of benefit from putting it on, so I was contemplating doing so anyway together with the rest of my outfit, which I hadn’t gathered together yet but that which would hide it.
Jun 26 2022
  • I was in Singapore and had two school essays to write, one for the current semester and a very similar one for the previous semester that I had gotten an extension for, and had pretty much written up already but had to do some formatting on, as the papers had to be divided into several pieces before being submitted — a main paper with the 1st, 3rd and 5th paragraphs, and then two side “sticky notes” with the 2nd and 4th paragraphs which were pasted onto the sheet (if handing in a physical copy) or attached in the email (if sending the instructor a digital copy).
  • I had to go to specific location to write these, so I got off a couple bus stops south of Khatib MRT station in Singapore on the west side of the north-south road (Lentor Avenue), and started walking north toward it. I passed another bus stop where students from a primary school were alighting from a different bus, and they also walked northwards behind me. I was ahead of them and I felt as though I were leading them so they wouldn’t get lost.
  • I came across an overhead bridge and I knew that most of them would be going up the stairs and crossing the road to the east, whereas my train station required that I stay on the west side of the road and was actually just past the overhead bridge. I still could have “led” them up the southwestern stairs of the overhead bridge and then come down again myself on the northwestern side myself, but I saw a small ramp to the left of the overhead bridge that led right to the train station itself, so I decided that they would figure out how to use an overhead bridge themselves, and hurried my pace to put some distance between the little kids before taking that left path.
  • I remember deciding not to take a picture of the station if I found it lacking in some way, but it had an attached outdoor covered hawker center on the west side of the station so I did end up taking a phone picture of it and then wondering if I could find out which of the open stalls had the best ratings to eat at.
  • Instead of doing that in the end though, I walked through the hawker centre and saw a building on the other side that was a covered restaurant with barely anyone inside and a helper person carrying a box and struggling with the door. I walked up to him asking to use the toilets and he seemed happy to have a customer, inviting me inside to use the toilets, and I settled down on a toilet bowl which was musty and old but not dirty. I could hear voices outside as he excitedly mentioned to an older couple who evidently also helped out with the store that they finally had a customer.
  • When I came out, I was in a darkened apartment whose front door still led out to the hawker centre area, and whose interior had a main room with an open door leading to another room. I could see Dad inside the other room, sleeping on a bed and breathing gently. I turned on a light so that the front room was flooded in a warm, incandescent, yellow-red light, and I settled down on a dining table outside the room, with my back to the wall and my front facing the open doorway to Dad‘s room, trying my best not to make any noise but worried about how loud my mouse clicks might be as I assembled my laptop setup and started working on my essay.
  • He didn’t wake up though, and I was able to finish both essays and turn them in, though writing them involved an odd sensation that felt like I was chewing on some old and dry nori seaweed flakes. I then handed the papers in digitally, although I had the vague feeling that my first paper would not be graded as well as it deserved due to the time extension I had gotten even though I really shouldn’t have been penalized for it.
  • Snippet: Back when I first was trying to fall asleep, I had a weird segment where I was on my bed in my Edmonton 4012 bedroom and staring up at a hole in the wall next to the ceiling, where I could see insulation foam sticking out of the hole. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and as I had the vague sense that I was still awake at the time, I stared at it and pondered whether it was a dream or not until I noticed that the hole had disappeared. Later on, I was practicing basketball throws with a young Jon, using Toodles as the rather tiny ball and taking turns tossing him into a basketball net located across the room, and I described this dream to him.

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