My Diary #060

Dear Tigey,

It’s our 100th article!

Entry #060 (Jul 17 2022)

Table of Contents

Postponing…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #58
ට  Song of the Week #35
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #42
ට  Last Year’s Entry #11
ට  Dreams

School

The ICA government agency in Singapore has failed to reply to my emails or processed my requested citizen renunciation form (needed for my Student’s Pass to study abroad there) since a month and a half ago, and the last thing I’ve heard from them was in reply to my Jun 21 request where they said, on Jun 23, that someone was looking into my case and would get back to me. Since then, radio silence. I emailed them again on July 5th, and then July 13th, asking for updates, but radio silence. Typical bureaucratic civil servants that are just there to push papers.

I was under the impression that my final date was on July 17th though, but I re-checked my emails and found that I had actually mixed up the date — the final possible deadline for getting the renunciation email is July 22nd, and my registration deadline (which I already did) was the 17th, so I had misremembered that date. So the worst thing about all the waiting this week is that it just got extended by another week.

The other wrench is that last week, on the 11th, I applied for my Student Pass despite not having the renunciation done yet, adding a note that my renunciation was still in progress but that I had been told to apply anyway. I was told that this would likely fail if my renunciation didn’t go through first, but that it was largely unprecedented, and it’s a different floor of the ICA that handles this application, so what the heck. Maybe I’ll actually get someone competent who can coordinate things between different departments in the same agency. Or the renunciation process will complete while the Student’s Pass application is still in flight and they can put two and two together. This normally takes 1-2 weeks to process, but can be longer for complex cases, so because I started this well before the 22nd, if a positive reply to this does come in at any point in the next week or two, it will still be in time, even if it’s a little past the 22nd. A no reply to this will be the final nail in the coffin for my Fall 2022 study abroad plan though.

In the meantime, I completed the first part of my NUS registration, and am even signed up for classes now, even though I likely won’t be able to attend. I also ran into another odd roadblock. I lost my housing spot because I refused to pay the $4000 fee for the entire duration of the stay up front, and although I had emailed the office to ask what the refund policy was like, their response time was too slow (the window for accepting and paying the housing offer was only 5 days, and 2 of those days were the weekend), so the offer expired while I was waiting. I had noticed that there were no refunds except under “special circumstances”, but I wanted confirmation as to how much of the money I would get back if I paid in full and then had to cancel, and not only did they not get back to me in time, the office then wanted me to email the actual housing building to ask even though the form and timeline I got held up on was one belonging to the office. So that expired, and so be it. I *still* haven’t gotten a reply from them nearly a week later as well. How incompetent can NUS get? The world is far too full of people just trying to cash in a paycheck and coast to retirement.

My next step is to decide whether I actually want to go back to this place or not. At some point late next week, most likely, I will have to email both my NUS rep as well as my UAlberta rep and either transfer my application to a Winter/Spring 2023 one, or a full year 2023 one (I’m not sure if I have to make the decision between 1 semester or 2 right away or not), or give up on Singapore entirely, as there’s no guarantee that the Singaporean bureaucrats will process my renunciation by even 4 months from now, and concentrate on Japan instead. Or do I even want to study abroad anymore?

Work

Work? I don’t remember much about work this week. I was too engrossed trying to figure out the school thing, and my boss was occupied half the week with a “secret security project” that he couldn’t talk to us about, and then went to adopt a puppy at the end of the week. Work took a back seat this week for me for sure, and I don’t really want to go back and work here anyway, I don’t believe in the department anymore and I’m not really earning the money I’m making so it feels terrible. How many weeks has it been since I last felt inspired at work?

Life

A lot of the week was me feeling absolutely terrible about the study abroad thing. I’m not mad at the circumstances — in fact, I do believe that fate picks the best possible path for me through life, so if this was not meant to be, then it was because going would have caused some terrible fate to befall me (different floors of the apartment block I was going to be in, for example, are also used by the government as a hostel for people that need COVID isolation, and there are one or two newly discovered and supposedly more infectious COVID Omicron subvariants floating around as well, the BA.4 and BA.5). Or staying will give me some opportunity or experience that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. It’s all about looking on the positive side and finding the rainbow. And there’s plenty I have to do around the place still, like scanning all my miscellany before I have to put them in a box for a couple years.

But the week still had me in a pretty bad mood, because of the waiting and uncertainty and the stress that that builds. I shortly have to renew my housing lease and get my mindset back into working here for another four months if I’m not going, but at the same time I couldn’t abandon the possibility that I would be going, so I still had to prepare for that and look out for things to buy, do some spring cleaning, etc. That uncertainty (and it’s still ongoing) was the worst part of it and it threw my week off greatly. And will probably throw me off for a portion of next week as well.

Lost in the midst of all this is a significant milestone — while this is “only” my 60th diary entry, my Table of Contents tells me that this is my 100th article on the blog as well. Not counting the ones in the distant past that were nuked, before this was turned into a weekly diary. Yay!

Also, I went out on Tuesday evening for a walk and was treated to a gorgeous cloudless sky, nary a puff to be seen in nearly every direction I looked in (I eventually found a couple when glancing north). The cloudless sunset was gorgeous and so I have pictures to share:

Just look at those hues! Blue, yellow, orange, purple, I swear there’s some green in the middle somewhere there too. I mentioned in Discord that those layered colours reminded me of a confectionery that I knew and had eaten when I went to in Singapore, specifically this lapis sagu. Yes I know they’re not the same. I just said they reminded me of such.

I also went back this week and added a Table of Contents for all the blog posts that I created on the Singapore trip, the Rose-Tinted Goggles series. I had been meaning to do that for a while but had been lazy about it. Still have to do that blog post for the New York leg of the USA trip sometime though.

Games

I drifted through a number of games this week, starting with State of Decay 2, in which I murdered many zombies and even nearly completed the campaign, I think.. but after defeating the zombie nest in my town, the story plotline turned into something where an evil gang moved into town and suddenly I’m fighting against other human survivors with guns and trying to kill them, instead of scavenging and running over zombies, and this really left a bad taste in my mouth and killed any interest I had in the game. I didn’t come to this game looking to bash in human skulls.

I drifted through some other games — Horizon’s Gate, a ship sailing/trading RPG, Serment – Contract with a Devil, a JRPG-style mystery dungeon game, a bit of No Man’s Sky, where I found a great ship right off the bat, Bionic Dues, an Arcen Games roguelike, Time Break Chronicles, a game I got a couple sales ago but didn’t like the UI for, and KeeperRL, a colony sim roguelike in which I took my goblins and murdered a colony of nearby dwarves.. I think it’s pretty obvious that my real life restlessness bled through into gaming time.

One game that I started a couple weeks ago on the Steam Deck and that I 100%’d near the start of this week was OPUS: The Day We Found Earth — it’s more a short story wrapped around finding and clicking on little pixels that they guide you to, than a full-fledged game with mechanics, but it was fine, although parts of the game (looking for interactables on your spaceship) required tapping on pixels with a thumb cursor rather than using the controller buttons, and that was a little annoying. Supposedly the later games in this series/world from the same developer are also really good and come with a lot of acclaim, which was why I wanted to try and play this one.

I also played more Approaching Infinity, a game that seems to be turning into one of my go-to games because it’s very easy to pick up and play for 15-20 minutes here and there since it’s turn-based and has very small, bite-sized maps. You can also find item codes in chests on your playthrough that are redeemable in-game for items either on the same day, or 1 or 2 days in the future, but only on that very day. However, anyone playing the game can redeem the item code, and the item code can be redeemed multiple times, so the cool thing that came out of this is that the game’s Discord server has a channel where people just list the item codes that they find in their game, so others can redeem them as well. It adds to the community in a very clever way and is a feature I haven’t seen in any other game. However, the downside of the way it’s implemented is that each player can only redeem one item code a day, so it does eat a bit into the hype around finding multiple codes and the community aspect of things. Still, that only means I don’t have to constantly monitor the Discord channel or feel like I’m losing out on loot.

I also started playing StarCrawlers, a pretty sweet looking futuristic/cyberpunk dungeon crawl RPG where I am working through a main plotline on behalf of a number of different megacorps who want me to do different things for them. The combat and hacking play is uninspiring and has animation speed issues sometimes, and my characters miss their attacks far too often, but the game maps have a lot of atmosphere and little details, and the writing is pretty fun, and I like it overall despite its flaws. My main character is a half-insane psionic who can supposedly summon cosmic horrors from another plane in combat, and half her lines make no sense to anyone but her, and that’s excellent. I also had a robot companion that only spoke in haiku, although I’ve since replaced them with hired characters that happen to have the same name as Trinstar, Kynji, and Satinel.

As if all those games were not enough, I also played Core Keeper and Deep Rock Galactic with my main group of friends at night — the former with Kynji, Milumbar, Satinel, and Trinstar, and the latter with Jahandar, Nak, and Satinel. Both games are kind of tearing at each other for time so neither one is getting our full, unbridled attention, but maybe that’s better so we don’t get sick of either game as quickly. Core Keeper is already kind of wearing me down a little, it doesn’t seem to have a ton of content as yet.

Anyway, my gaming time this week was basically like this:

my Steam library
like a box of chocolates
i sample each one

Plushie of the Week #58 – Shelly/Yllesh

Shelly is one of our long-time turtle plushies that I don’t think I ever really considered part of the Main Crew, but he did come down from the bedroom to sit with the Main Crew plushies around the Edmonton 4012 house now and then. So maybe he was at least a supplemental member. He’s a turtle with big eyes and a big, floppy head that lolls around a bit, and he was from Chapters sometime in the mid 2000s. We think he was a gift to Kel when she was in high school as well, so likely somewhere around 2004-2005, but we are not sure.

He’s a rather simple plushie, so even during the plushie photo shoot I didn’t take many pictures of him, just a front and back (well, top and bottom) one. Because Shelly’s head is so floppy, we did sometimes combo him with Headless, the Unicoron alt-persona featured in PotW #39, positioning his floppy head on top of the headless form (so that the rest of the body was hidden behind/riding on the upturned Unicoron) to form a cosmic horror plushie named Yllesh. All hail Yllesh. Pictures not included, because one doesn’t include pictures of a cosmic horror and expect no repercussions.

Top side:

Underside:

Song of the Week #35

Title: Chiheisen no Mukou e
Artist: Sanshuu Chuugaku Yuusha-bu
Album: Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou OST (2021)

This song is the ending song from the final/4th season (some say 3rd season) of one of my favourite shows, Yuki Yuna is a Hero. Or was, if it’s now over. This is the franchise where the name of the blog, Yuusha Nikki, is inspired from — It translates to Hero Diary, a thing that they keep in the show (you can even see it in the fan video below), even though the actual name of the diary they keep is a little different. Got to keep the copyright and search engine bots at bay.

It aired in Fall 2021, and was my favourite song from the season despite a number of strong songs in other shows too. It is a slow ballad, mournful and lonely and sad and yet hopeful at the same time in a way that really moved me. While not a particularly good translation, some English lyrics can be found here (local). The best part of the song is the chorus, which goes maware, maware, or spin, spin…  I can feel my spirit spinning around in slow circles as well as she dances, slowly ascending up into the cloudy sky. But the tone and way it’s sung conveys a bit more than what those above translated lyrics portray, due to the difficulty in translating the word maware (local) — there’s also a sense of perserverence and to keep on pushing on toward your desired reward even as one day turns into another — that is why the English translation of the title is Beyond the Horizon — that was hopelessly lost by the translator.

Because the song is still relatively new, and is a post-pandemic song, I don’t have much in terms of emotional attachment to this, except that this song is on my 2022 spring/summer neighbourhood walking playlist, so it’s been imprinted on memories of walking around Southgate and enjoying the feel of the sun and the wind rustling through my hair, and memories of an impending departure from the city, as has been my mood and outlook for the past few months, regardless of when I will actually manage to go somewhere to study. It also reminds me of the extremely satisfying ending to the show, though I don’t read the source material so I’m not sure if there’ll ever be any more Yuuki Yuuna coming. It was a good stopping point for the franchise, though. Or at least this story branch of the franchise. It’s hard to explain without spoilers.

Memory Snippet of the Week #42

I’ve done my three Singapore schools, so the next two memory snippets will be devoted to my two Canadian pre-University schools. I don’t really have memories of anyone from University in the same way that I have from earlier — University classes are more decentralized so I never really shared any class with more than one person, other than a couple of high school friends in my first year. It made it harder to care about or remember anyone. This week, however, I will list people I remember from my Grade 9 class in Vernon Barbord Junior High School, where I spent all of half a year — I finished Secondary 2 in Singapore before coming over at the end of 1998, but school years in Canada run from September to June/August instead of January to December like in Singapore, so when we came over at the start of 1999, my parents insisted we all went to school right away anyway, which meant that I got to skip half a year and joined the Grade 9 year at Vernon Barford that was in progress.

I don’t know how Dad managed it, but he managed to not only get me into the Academic Challenge program in my half a year in junior high, which was the best equivalent, I suppose, to the GEP in Singapore that I had been a part of, but he also managed to sing my praises about math enough that I was allowed to qualify for and compete in a number of math tournaments that were going on as well. I found the school year very easy — the Grade 8 Singapore curriculum was way ahead of the Grade 9 Alberta curriculum, and it wasn’t until about middle of Grade 10 or the start of Grade 11 until I felt like it had caught up to the end of Grade 8 in Singapore. Not that I minded, I wasn’t THAT good in my studies despite also qualifying for the International Baccalaureate program once I entered high school, and they did things differently over here, so it was a good review with occasional new stuff sprinkled in.

Anyway, in between that IB program in McNally for Grade 10-12, and my GEP in Dunman for Secondary 1-2, was this little slice of the AC program in Vernon Barford in Grade 9. I remember very little about my time here other than my math teacher and form teacher, whom was very encouraging and whom I liked a lot. That and how I didn’t care for many of the people in my class as I found them rough and wild and immature. I did, however, dig up two diary entries I made, on Mar 10 1999 and May 25 1999, which provided me with my only primary source for most of the people in my class here, as I apparently jotted down a number of people in my class and wrote notes on them. This I am thankful for, for it triggered memories that were long buried and otherwise would have been lost. They’re still largely just first names though, I don’t remember most of their last names.

As a tangent, my diary entry also contained one excellent Tigey memory from Singapore that I do not remember ever taking place or even writing, but I apparently wrote down a memory on Mar 10 1999 that “I remembered the time Miss Tan declared a silent Maths class because Tigey was asleep in the scrabble bag with an eraser for the pillow and small pieces of blu-tack for ear-muffs.” I don’t even remember a Miss Tan as a teacher though, maybe she was covering for someone or my/our memories are really busted. But what a cute memory!

Vernon Barford Students

Lee — I remember him being a tall, Caucasian guy, always very open and social (even with me in introvert mode at times), though my notes found him “dirty-minded, and very brash”. I did note that he was nicer in the mornings when his co-conspirators, John and Patrick, weren’t around yet.

John — Another tall Caucasian guy, I remember thinking he was our class thug and I wrote a prediction that he would end up in jail or dead somewhere a few years after graduation. He just had that kind of personality. I wrote that this guy would betray anyone that he could just for laughs. He hung out with Patrick a lot.

Patrick — Yet another tall Caucasian guy, he also hung around with Lee and John and the three of them together were sort of the hooligans in class, but I liked Patrick and had a good gut feeling about him, though I wasn’t sure why. I never associated much with any of these three, but I did write down that even though he gets way too many DTs (which I assume are demerits or something), I saw him veto Jon‘s stupidity a few times as well.

David (aka Dave) — I didn’t speak much to him but we were not unfriendly to each other either, and I remember him at least.

Alexei — A Russian guy with glasses that was a little difficult to understand when he was speaking but occasionally had a wicked sense of humour as well. My diary notes that at one point Lee drew a picture of me holding a maths book on the blackboard or something and he stepped in to modify it so it was making fun of Lee instead. Introverted but a great guy.

Paul — I labelled him as “partially wild, like Pat & Jon, but can be quite nice too”. I don’t actually remember a Paul though, not even a name, whereas for the others I definitely remember the name and generally even a face.

Mark M — Another person I don’t remember, though my diary entry says “He’s a very nice person from what I’ve seen, though I haven’t talked to him too much.”

Mark Enge — Yet another person I don’t remember, though my impressions of him were not as good. “I don’t like him. I feel he dislikes me. He seems very childish too.”

Richard — I remember Richard. Tall Chinese guy, someone I apparently initially disliked at first but eventually liked and found quite nice.

Jennifer — She was a Chinese girl with glasses that usually was one of the top scorers in class as well, I think quite a few people liked her. I largely stayed out of her way, although I remember a science class where I was paired up with her for some sort of dissection exercise, and showed her a pickled frog in a jar and said that the frog looked like it was praying. She laughed.

Ira — She was another Chinese girl, slightly taller than Jennifer, and lacking any glasses. She had a couple friends she hung out with (I don’t remember who) and was very quiet, almost mouse-like, and hard to approach even though I wanted to make friends with her. We were both introverted so we just stared at each other for most of the half-year I was there.

Cara — The person I exchanged these notes with. I described her as a nice person and the closest personality match to me, although I don’t really remember this. “Pity she’s a girl so I can’t really talk to her much, although I’d like to,” went the younger me, unaware of the whole transgender thing at the time but very much aware that I wanted to make platonic female friends.

Emily — I don’t really remember an Emily here, but there apparently was one. I seem to remember knowing an Australian Emily in either here or Rosyth, but I’m not sure which one that memory goes to.

Joel — A Caucasian guy, I remember him existing but not much more about him other than a dim outline on the edge of my memory.

Katrina — A girl I have no memory of, but her name is written down without a note accompanying it, so she must have been a classmate. (July 24 2022 Edit: She’s not actually on any of the class rosters that I can see, so I have no idea who this is. Maybe the long name of the Kate in our class?)

Bettina — A Chinese girl that I was actually fairly friendly with, if I recall. I believe she had glasses and slightly curly hair.

Doug — A Caucasian guy with glasses. I remember thinking he was one of the class’s moral compasses, and was a fairly friendly guy too, though I didn’t get to know him particularly well.

Keltie — Another person I only largely remember by name, though I think she was a tall Caucasian girl with brown or blonde hair.

Mitra — An Indian girl that I occasionally went to math contests with (Mr Wong would chaperone us there) as well.

Rebecca — A Chinese girl that I remember but didn’t ever associate much with. Hung out with Dave a lot I think, and might even have been romantically linked.

July 24 2022 Edit: I found a better list of names (it even includes surnames) and a lot of other familiar names came to mind once I saw the list. I will be scanning this list soon, but other names from my class I had forgotten about while writing this include: Natasha, Kate (I seem to remember Doug and her being sort of the class leaders in some respect), Victoria (aka Vicky), Connie, Ellen (I remember Ellen now and she was a really kind person), Ramya, and Kelly.

I also looked through the class rosters of the other classes and I noticed that I knew quite a few names from class 9-6 too, though I’m not sur ewhy. Maybe we shared some other classes together? Heather Mckenzie, Ben Woodcroft, Lucy Zhang, and one or two other names definitely ring a bell. No one in any other class rings a bell, though.

For teachers, all I remember is:

Mr Wong — Mr Robert Wong. Our Math teacher and my class (9-3)’s homeroom teacher. Dad befriended him and pulled some strings to get me into the class/math contests I suppose. He was super supportive, as I mentioned, and I liked him as a teacher.

I also found a Vernon Barford report card and am adding the following teacher names to this journal: Mr Purkess (Language Arts), Mrs Pysyk (Science), Mr Davis (Social Studies and Health), Mr Candler (Phys Ed), Mr Smith (Career Tech Studies), and Mr Wyatt (Drama). Mr Wong also taught Computer Studies, apparently, in addition to Math. Our principal was Mr Noel Kunst. End July 24 edit.

There was also a guy a grade below me, Robert Barrington Leigh, who was a math genius as well, and the two of us also went to represent the school/city/country together in several high school math competitions. He did not go to the same school as me — he went to Old Scona instead — but he’s an important footnote here because he drowned in an accident around 16 years ago and I do want to make sure I never forget his memory, and hopefully this way history will remember him as well. He did very well in University-level competitions too (I didn’t partake in them), and was well on his way to becoming a groundbreaker somewhere in the field of mathematics (as opposed to me, who hated University-level Math and beyond and went to find something else to study instead).

The news report of his passing is here (local) and his memorial page is here (local). I went to a couple math camps with him as well in the summer of 1999 and 2000, and attended a weekend math club at the University of Alberta with him back in the early 00’s long before the overseeing professor eventually got busted for child porn possession and lost his tenure. (Both Mr Wong and the professor in question are listed on that memorial page.) Above and beyond all the math stuff, he was a really, really nice person even as a grade 8-9 kid. I wasn’t as close to him since I was a year apart from him, and because we went to different high schools, but the testimonials aren’t exaggerating. If I ever dedicate a memory snippet to my math camps, I will mention him there again.

Last Year’s Entry #11

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #013. This was published on Jul 18 2021.

I still more or less feel the same way about my boss and his lack of respect today as I did in my complaining article last year at this time — he’s always so busy these days (and is always so eager to make sure we all know that loud and clear) that he never makes meetings on time anymore, I joked with him during our last weekly meeting that he was only 5 minutes late that time — compared to the other meetings this month, that actually beat his average arrival time so he was basically early. He laughed. Our one on one meetings have basically lost their magic since our team merged with the Infrastructure Apps team at the start of the year and both came under his supervision. They used to be my highlight of the week, something which I’ve told him multiple times, but now they’re something I’d rather skip and get my time (and free his time) back. Even in our meetings I more or less hold him at arms’ length and no longer chat about life and stuff, there’s just no time. I think it’s a major factor as to why I no longer have any inspiration to work here at my department in the University. Thanks, executives! While this has actually been a boon because it means that if I were to leave the University, I wouldn’t miss the people as much as I would have a year ago, it does also mean that staying on another four months is excruciating. I will still, always, strive to do my best for clients though.

I’ve completely forgotten to use those eye drops for that glaucoma thing I mentioned last year. I ran out of drops before I went on my USA trip, but never did refill them (And how would I even do that? They only gave me a short prescription) once I returned. Oh well.

Those Orca Pro glasses were terrible for what I wanted to do with them (general life recording), even without the whole no high prescription lenses issue — I’m still surprised they have so many positive reviews on the site because without any sort of stabilization built in, the potential uses for it are very limited (and certainly not usable for the kind of active, sports recording that they want you to believe it works for) as the resulting video is far too shaky to be considered a good video by any stretch of the imagination. I’m super happy with my handheld DJI Pocket 2 camera.

I didn’t mention it in my Singapore travel blog, but I actually brought that Dunman High badge all the way back with me to Singapore and it was even in my bag when I went to revisit my old school again back on June 01 2022. It also thankfully survived in my carry-on luggage through all the various customs and through my detention without being confiscated, despite being/having a sharp pin on the reverse side. I remember it being a last minute thing I decided to toss into my bag a few hours before I left the apartment for my trip, and I’m glad I did, the badge got to revisit the school where it hadn’t been to since 1998 as well, and if items truly have spirits residing in them, then I’m sure it appreciated that.

And ooh, this week marks one year since I reserved my Steam Deck. What a nice device that has been.

I’ve gone back to the Plushie of the Week section there and added a few other new pictures as well to show the other two Santa Claus plushies. I didn’t have the pictures at the time, but they don’t really warrant a separate post, so they got added to PotW #12 instead.

Dreams

My streak got broken early on this week. Oh well. I haven’t had any really memorable or really long dream diary entries recently anyway.

Jul 12 2022
  • I was living with my parents and siblings in a house, and Kel had invited a contractor back to renovate one of our rooms. I didn’t trust nor like the guy though as I found him a bit of a scam. His technique was to first fill the room with shin-high swamp water, and he then wandered around the water poking at the floor, possibly to remove the existing carpet while it was wet, but he also was obviously admiring the wildlife that came in with the water — he picked up a frog at one point and admired it in his hand. Kel and I were watching him “work” but I quickly ran out of patience with that and mentioned to Kel that I was going to play a game of Heroes 3 in an hour or so (at 4pm) on the main computer outside.
  • Kel got angry at me for that as she knew about my lack of trust in him and didn’t like that, and felt that it was a jab at his work. We exchanged a few curt words before I left the room, at which point Mom came to chat with me and I said that I had said what I said in a general sense and was going to play the game with or without Kel anyway. It was a general invitation to play with her and not a passive aggressive remark about how long he was taking like Kel had taken it to be. I also looked up at this point and saw some drones carrying the old carpet fly out of the room, and other drones carrying a new replacement carpet (two of them, actually) flying in, so it looked like the renovations were indeed somehow progressing.
  • Kel soon wandered out of the room as well and apologized for losing her temper, and we then settled down in the computer in the main hall to try to figure out how to play some Heroes 3 together. Jon joined us as well at this point, so it was more figuring out which game map to play and whether to take turns controlling one player colour against one AI, or if we wanted to play actual co-op with three different players versus many other computer players.
  • Snippet: Later on, there was a scene in a game simulation where the son of someone had been kidnapped by slavers and we could see him on the top-down minimap in a market area to the north. I didn’t have full control over the characters and saw both a mage and a warrior character, represented by circular tokens with their faces on the map, drift northwards towards the market to try to save the kidnapped son. The slaver and his five or so minions also had circular tokens representing them, and I saved the game just before the two groups engaged. The first two times I ran the simulation, the wizard got barely killed before the warrior, who was lagging a bit behind, could come and save him, but he managed to arrive in time on the third try and the slavers were defeated without any casualties in the party.
  • Snippet: There was also some sort of plot centered around the food at the market or nearby hawker centre but I don’t remember the details. In addition, there was another food/cooking plot involving five girls, but I also don’t remember the details of that one.
Jul 13 2022
  • I dreamt I was working with one other person as a healer in a small building, we had a steady stream of customers that would come in hoping to get healed of this or that injury or malaise. One of the things we could heal was a particularly devious affliction that removed your memory once the affliction was healed, so while we did advertise that we could do it, we also said that those people needed to wait outside the building for some reason that was related to how we could quickly send them on their way without them being too panicked or confused once they were cured.
  • At another point in the dream, I was a student in a large room with 29 other students or so, we were divided into groups of three and seated in our groups around the edges of the room. Our group was the frontmost group along the right wall and one of the only groups that were seated away from a window, as we had picked a nice, comfortable alcove to settle down in. There was a Chinese or Japanese teacher as well, and between classes, she came over to hang out with us and listen to our music, as our group was somewhat unique/famous for listening to our mp3 players during class downtime, as part of our training to learn and identify songs so we would be better at AMQ. She could identify a few songs that we couldn’t and I thought that was impressive.
Jul 14 2022
  • I was in some sort of convention with a friend, that had a team-based side event that involved a overall good versus evil theme with a futuristic fantasy world sort of flavour, and we were on the good side and on the defence of a building against the evil side. Our team’s specialty was machines and each team could build a god unit of some kind, and I had used ours to upgrade our main unit, which we could only build one of, into a rectangular machine that leaked out some white liquid that was deadly to machines from the other faction.
  • Because its power was liquid-based, I chose to place the machine on the rim of a nearly-dry fountain which had a thin layer of water along the bottom, so that it would gradually dribble the white liquid into the fountain, and the water would then spread the white liquid out while not making it too diluted, increasing its effectiveness. I placed all our other units around or in the fountain as well. But the good versus evil event overall was a sideshow to the main event, so my partner and I then largely ignored it and went around the place to enjoy the convention.
  • Later, we passed by the room with the fountain again and I noticed that the pool was nearly full of water and crawling with noodle-like machines from the other faction, and my god unit, which was still on the rim of the fountain, had been turned down so it barely dribbled any liquid and we only had a small section of the fountain left under our control. I was angry at this as someone had obviously meddled with this, so I went back to turn on the machine, and this time placed it inside the fountain itself, in the small area that we still controlled, along with whatever other units we had that hadn’t been destroyed yet.
  • The amount of water diluted the white poison so it couldn’t instantly destroy the enemy units, but it did hold them at bay as the entire fountain became chalky, so I left it like that and started to look for things I could do to help it, as well as any nearby perpetrators wandering by.
  • At one point I caught two orcs, dressed like regular convention-goers in shirts and jeans, trying to fill in more of the fountain with a hose, and I unplugged the hose and punched their lights out before tossing them out of the building.
  • At another point, a woman walking by said that I should be ready to defend my unit against unix hackers as well, to which I replied that I wish that the other side would even try to do such a honourable and fun thing, but all I had ever seen them do was to stop by in person to try to deface it while looking around the convention, so I doubt they had the brains for that sort of thing.
  • At a third point, there was a dusty window next to the fountain and another woman pointed out to me that some words had been written on it using a finger to trace out letters in the dust. I thought it was some taunting message from the other side, but it turned out to be a chef character from our team that said that he had taken pictures of my setup to commemmorate it even if we lost in the end. It sounded like he expected us to lose though, so I redoubled my efforts.
  • By now the water level had subsided as I had cut off the flow of the water going in and what was there was being heated and evaporated, so the white liquid was gaining potency as my god unit was still slowly producing it over time while the overall dilution level was going down. Eventually, this reached a tipping point that started to wipe out the enemy noodle units that were now trapped inside the fountain, unable to climb out and over the rim, and they started to get wiped out, and our team soon took back control of the entire fountain.
  • Somewhere in this whole story, my parents were around as well and I had given them a $60 restaurant voucher to go enjoy their anniversary, which was apparently the next day, at a restaurant in the city. The voucher had been 33% off on a sale and allowed two people to go dine there so it seemed perfect.
Jul 15 2022
  • My dream involved a large 4 by 3 grid map of an area where each of the 12 squares was further subdivided into something like 500-1000 little squares each. I don’t remember the exact context, but two large zones, stretching across several grid squares, were controlled by cards that our team controlled. Each card could claim and support 500 squares or so, and the two large zones were of different colours and one was 1500 squares or so in size while the other was 2000 squares large.
  • However, due to downsizing of some kind, our team had to partially unclaim both of them so both were down to the size of one card (500 squares), and a friend and I spent some time working on the zone that had been shrunk from 1500 down to 500, trying to reclaim the squares for our team using some other method that didn’t involve a card and thus was much, much slower. It was a tedious process that would take days.
Jul 16 2022
  • I was looking for a Chinese herbal store to buy a bunch of medicine from, I had some herbs already but needed some more for a daily dosage of medicine that I wa suggested to have, and it also somehow tied in with needing the daily dosages to show some friends to unlock something. I was travelling with Mom and Dad, and we found a small shop that seemed nice, and entered it to look for said herbs.
  • I asked the female clerk if they sold the main ingredient I needed, and she said yes. She pulled out a box of little satchels, about the size of my usual RL purple soup stock packet, and said it was $24.95. Dad was very happy at that and said we would purchase them all, while Mom looked aghast and said it was too expensive. The two of them looked surprised at each other’s reaction, then discussed it briefly and found out that Dad assumed the prices were for the entire box of sachels, and Mom assumed it was for an individual sachet.
  • The shop clerk confirmed that it was for an individual sachet, so Dad got angry at that and said that they were price-gouging. I asked why it was so pricey and she said that they were freshly picked and sealed. I pulled out a different bag of herbs from my bag, which was also stored in a vacuum-sealed bag of its own, the size of a 400g bag of chips, and placed that on the counter. I said that this was also freshly picked and sealed and if it was really so expensive, I would sell this to her for $50 and she could then resell it for a fortune.
  • She looked visibly shaken at this and apologized, saying that she understoof our frustrations but that she was under management’s orders here, and that she hoped we could understand the situation she was in. She also cited personal pride as a reason that she wouldn’t budge. I nodded and said I understood, but that I refused to make any purchase from the shop out of principle, and walked out of the shop with my parents, leaving a basket of other herbs that I was going to buy at the cashier’s desk.
Jul 17 2022
  • Snippet: I only remember two entirely unrelated dream snippets. One was that there was an overarching goal to produce maps of a region, which looked similar to the paper maps that players might get when they pressed the Open Map button in a computer game. We could only produce low-resolution maps at first, until there was an epiphany and someone managed to figure out something that generated huge maps that were four times the size of the virtual dream computer screen that I was looking at (even though I and others were standing in the area we were trying to map and not actually at a computer), so we had to scroll using virtual cursor keys to be able to see the entire map.
  • The second snippet involved a woman and her little catgirl maid, they had two female guests at the door and the woman told the cat maid to invite the two guests in while she went to make some cake for the four of them, which would take four time units to do. But the catgirl maid wanted more cake, so she pretended that she didn’t hear or understand the order and cordially sent the two women on their way instead so that she could get a bigger helping of cake. She got in trouble for this.

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