You need a bath. You’ll be getting one early next week.
Entry #061 (Jul 24 2022)
What an up and down week. Singapore for Fall 2022 is probably still not going to happen, but it was quite an eventful week along this front anyway.
My week started with the housing people finally getting back to me about my fees/refund inquiry. I had mentioned last week that my housing offer had expired while I was waiting because I wasn’t willing to pay $4000 without the guarantee of a refund. They got back to me and reopened my housing spot for me though, and also said (though not really directly) that I would get a refund if my Student’s Pass application was rejected, so I went ahead and paid it anyway.
The ICA also got back to me this week, with my rep (the person I had seen) apologizing and giving me her direct email address. She said,
Since the day you came to submit your application for renunciation, I’ve expedite your case. I remember about your student pass.
As for your case we need to get clearance from the CMPB. We have written to them and am waiting for their reply.
I sincerely apologise for the late reply to you.
Once I get the response from them I will act on your case as soon as possible.
This is my direct email address, you can email me directly if you need any further clarifications.
That was encouraging, but between when I received this email, on Monday, and my deadline on Friday, I didn’t hear a single word from her despite prodding her through email a number of times. Basically one short email everyday asking politely for an update, because I did contact my CMPB officer who said that they had replied to her. I was trying to confirm this on the ICA side but it was like talking to a stone wall.
I also spent six hours on Thursday night trying to call ICA itself, and although I reached the ICA Help Desk 4 times and was able to get the direct telephone numbers of the Citizenship department and the Renunciation department, most of those 6 hours (timed to align with Singapore working hours) was spent calling those numbers over and over again and just hearing a ring tone or a busy tone. No one ever picked up the phone when I called any of those numbers, and this was super frustrating. It was like the departments were ignoring incoming phone calls even though the Help Desk was sending me (and assumedly others) to those numbers. I imagined someone over there going impotent with rage because the phone wouldn’t stop incessantly ringing though, so that was my mental revenge through this ordeal.
I finally got an email late on Friday evening, after work hours, from the ICA rep, who said that she still hadn’t received an email from my CMPB rep.
I understand your urgency. As I have mentioned to you earlier (during the interview) that the renunciation takes 3 months. I actually expedite your case as I was able to understand your urgency. Nevertheless I have also send a chaser to CMPB. We need to get a reply from them to finalise on your case. Once they reply to me, I will expedite your case.
I don’t think she really understood the urgency as I was very clear about my deadline, and I told her that if she had told me that she hadn’t received the reply from CMPB earlier (and this was what I had asked her on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday) I could have tried to make arrangements, but that my deadline had come and gone due to a lack of communication on her part. Still, I texted my CMPB rep again who immediately called me on the phone, despite it being Friday evening, said that she had sent an email to ICA in the past, and had tried to get a colleague to look into it this week, but that she was away this week due to her ailing father and wouldn’t be back at the office until Tuesday. She asked for the contact information of my ICA rep though and apparently is going to try to talk/email it out with her on Tuesday.
In the meantime, my Student’s Pass application that I submitted last week came back to me not with a pass or a rejection, but a status of “Withdrawn” on Thursday, which confused me because that’s usually when one doesn’t pay the processing fee of $30, and I definitely paid that. I had no idea what the status meant, and I didn’t really have time to inquire. I was worried because I thought it meant that NUS had withdrawn my application due to it being too close to the deadline, but when I contacted them, they said that they had not done anything. They suggested it was due to the citizenship thing but that I would have to contact ICA to find out for sure.
I know from reading online that that Student’s Pass department was infamous for being surly and not giving reasons though, and I simply didn’t have the runway to try anyway, so I asked NUS if they could reopen/resubmit my application so I could try again, with the caveat that it was now the weekend and stretching over into the new week past the original deadline, but that that Tuesday meeting would (if they do clear up and finalize everything on that day) likely come before the application would get processed anyway. I’m still waiting on them to see if they would agree to do this, because if not, my Fall 2022 window would have closed. If they do reopen it, then it’s a last Hail Mary play before the window closes, my final road toward studying abroad this semester.
I took Friday off work due to staying up pretty much all night to try to get in touch with Singapore, so it was a shortened and somewhat quiet week where I didn’t see or talk to my boss much anyway because he also took another day off to adopt a new puppy for his kids. We have another one of our three new teammates from the last batch of hires leaving, so that’s 2/3 gone now, although this guy is just taking a role elsewhere in the department instead, moving to the process improvement/ITSM/change management side of the department where actual work goes to die. Err, I mean, I’m sure he’ll do well there compared to the previous change manager, who everyone hated. He’s certainly organized and level-headed enough to make it work while being able to read a situation so as to not bog people down in unnecessary minutiae when the situation cannot support it.
My boss is also trying to arrange a team get-together and barbeque next Friday at a city park, so that’s sort of nice, except I do wonder how awkward it will be hanging out with some people I haven’t met for years for 3-4 hours. Maa ii ka. I should bring something as well, though I’m not sure what. It sounds like I’ll be getting a carpool ride from my boss there though, which is nice, since it’s otherwise 1 hour away by public transportation. We plan to do work in the morning, arrive there at lunch, and stay there for the rest of the work afternoon, I believe.
I did most of my mourning for Fall 2022 last week, so besides Thursday night here (Friday work-day there in Singapore), I actually felt pretty good throughout the week. Part of the reason was that I spent time on and finally finished my A Grand Tour of the States blog series, covering my Oct-Nov 2021 trip to USA, specifically the final New York leg of the trip. This was a big weight off of my chest since I had procrastinated on this for so long. It was far too big of a piece to chew at once, and I had even gone off to Singapore and returned from that trip with an entire blog series before I had finally completed this one.
I also uploaded my McNally yearbook, to pair it up with my Memory Snippet of the Week section below, and I detoured from writing this diary page to throw five hours into that and get that up and running as well. That is another piece of the to-do backlog taken care of.
If I don’t make it to Singapore for Fall 2022, and I am expecting that I won’t, I will almost certainly take a revenge vacation somewhere, possibly Japan or South Korea around Halloween, or possibly somewhere in Canada (or just generically visiting places across Canada) since I haven’t been to most of the provinces. Either way, I’m looking forward to the planning for this one. And even with a trip in the books, I will have a decent chunk of money more on hand than I would have if Fall 2022 had worked out, because I get to work 4-5 extra months at my workplace and save on tuition fees. I will also have a large chunk of things written on the blog and scanned in my archives that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I still have tons and tons of things that I want to add to the blog. Revenge archiving!
Next week is Heritage Festival (local) weekend in Edmonton, from July 30-Aug 01 2022, and I’m considering going to that one, though I’d have to sacrifice a weekend day to do so. I do like the various cultural tents there quite a bit though. K-Days (local), our city’s version of the Calgary Stampede, is also on now, from July 22-31 2022, but I’m not certain if I want to visit this or not. I might take a mental health day on Monday and go though, depending on how NUS replies to my inquiry about an extension. The Taste of Edmonton (local) is also going on, but I don’t like this one as much since the food is always overpriced. I have previous event pages for Heritage Day (2019, 2021), the Calgary Stampede (2021), and the Taste of Edmonton (2021) on my blog, too, and I have to decide which of these if any I want to chronicle this year.
Closer to home, I went to the library this week to return my last borrowed book (To Touch a Dream: A Wilderness Adventure (local), by Sunny Wright) and to pick up some steamed buns from a restaurant that I had ordered before from and mentioned liking in the past. On the way, I snapped a picture of a car with spikes coming out of its wheels:
And mused that if they were just a little longer, they’d be great for making sure no one parked too near to your car. Maybe they can retract while the car is in use and only extend when the ignition is off.
Later in the week, when I went down to Southgate Mall for groceries, I also noticed that one of the endless construction work areas around the Safeway there was finally packing up.
This thing had been under construction for a long time now, since around or before the start of COVID, since the last big box tenant in that area behind the construction (Sears Canada) moved out. This site (local) has a nice quick history of the big box stores in the mall, though whoever made that must have been high, calling American Eagle an anchor tenant — the two anchor tenants are The Bay and the former Sears/Big Comfort store that closed down and has been vacant since mid-late 2019. And maybe the attached Safeway on the outside of the mall. American Eagle is just a random regular store in the mall.
Even closer to home, I noticed on at least four separate instances this week that there is a specific rabbit, out of all the animals (rabbits, pigeons, Canada geese, cats and dogs on a walk with their pet humans, etc) that wander the grassy area that my apartment complex surrounds, that likes to settle around a certain spot beneath my balcony. I guess I can’t guarantee that it’s the same exact rabbit each time, since I haven’t tried to tell them apart or given them names yet, but it seems to be so. He or she sits right here, watching over the junction in the path.
I composed a Bad Haiku for it.
in the shade of tall buildings,
he should write haiku…
Despite spending a significant chunk of time this week working on my blog, I also left a bunch of games with scattered playtimes in my wake. These include:
- Monster Train (briefly on the Deck)
- Satellite Reign (though I mostly installed and tested it and never got around to really playing it)
- Monster Girl Manager (I launched it from Satinel‘s account to see what kind of creature the “Tigey” random seed generates — it generates this)
- Serment – Contract with a Devil (which plays as a Mystery Dungeon game — and here’s another Tigey-kin)
- Watch_Dogs (which lagged horribly in driving segments even when I turned down the graphics quality)
- Disgaea PC (I was testing it out on the Steam Deck but this week wasn’t a good week for games in bed due to Singapore)
- Kenshi (which I have yet to see the magic of)
- StarCrawlers (in which a character named Satinel is my main DPS and nuker)
- Cultist Simulator (I died from being too fascinated, this would happen IRL too)
- TROUBLESHOOTER: Abandoned Children (an old favourite, though it was tough to remember a lot of the tweaky character mechanics)
- The Ascent (not liking it as much as I thought but the cyberpunk visuals seem really nice)
- Approaching Infinity (though this week I’ve largely just been redeeming community codes), and
- Star Valor (space trading and being destroyed by pirates, lots of fun).
In co-op, we also played a bit more of Core Keeper and Deep Rock Galactic. On the phone, I explored a bit of #Me, a really odd and shallow game and yet different from a lot of other games I’ve played. It’s some sort of virtual world with ingame social media and everyone speaks in a valley girl voice and somehow is enamoured by the stylish poise of your avatar. It’s very cringy but yet interesting, like I’m looking into the games of the next generation that I don’t fully understand or something.
Plushie of the Week #59 – Snake 2
This snake doesn’t really have a name, but Snake was the Plushie of the Week last year in My Diary #014, and this is a second snake that we found in the box of plushies at our parents’ house when I visited it in January 2022. Did this Snake come with the other Snake? Did they come from Whimsy (which I thought the first Snake was from) or somewhere else? Are they even from the same country? I don’t really know.
There is a tag on the snake that reads Reg. No. 23W5750. Oddly, Googling that does give a few other plushie results, one of which was from 1993, another from 2001, and a third that might be from 2010 or so. I guess that’s some sort of long-time plushie manufacturing company or something, and gets me no closer to finding the true origin of this snake.
Anyway, Snake 2 is a box plushie, so I don’t know much about him other than he exists, in a box. He’s definitely related in some way to Snake 1 though, they look so much alike, and are equally stiff. And have the same tongue, except that this one is still attached.
Tag other side:
Song of the Week #36
Title: Prince Igor
Artist: The Rapsody feat. Warren G & Sissel Kyrkjebø
Album: The Rapsody Overture: Hip Hop Meets Classic (1997)
I’m not a hip hop/rap fan at all, and I don’t think I can name ten rap songs that I can actually say that I like. I’m not even sure I can name five. However, if there’s one I can say to be my favourite one, it would be this song, a mix between soft rap (i.e. not overflowing with gangster rage and testosterone-laden profanities) and Russian opera music. Prince Igor is apparently an amalgamation of two different songs with an instrumental backdrop, and I like the contrast very much
I’ve found that these days I also tend to enjoy songs with big contrasts in the songs, like mountains and valleys in the vocals or melody that play against each other, or songs with dramatic or unexpected pauses where the lyrics feel like they’re tripping over themselves and fall over during the silence. This is probably an early example of that sort of thing that I really liked, although I long learnt since young to generally ignore lyrics in rap music, as they’re often dumb and cringy. This song is no different, the (rap, I don’t understand Russian) lyrics are dumb, but the rhythm and delivery is good, and together with the lovely chorus, form a song that’s more than the sum of its parts.
This song charted in Singapore back in 1997, during the time period of my life when I was actually listening to the radio and watching MTV, and that’s when I learnt of the song. It was a song I had lost for a long time until I randomly rediscovered it a year or so ago though. It also came up when I was chatting with a friend in another server this weekend, so I figured it was a good time to feature it here as well. It mildly reminds me of Singapore, though more of the general childhood time period than of any specific memory. I do remember the music video below, but not the extended start/end that it shows. I smiled at the absurdity of the ending.
Memory Snippet of the Week #43
The last of my pre-University schools, McNally High School, featured a lot of people that I only spent some of my classes with, and a small handful of people that I spent virtually all my classes with, since that smaller group of us (17 in total by the end of it all) were in Full IB. I remember some of these guys and gals really fondly, though I wasn’t really super close to any of them. I would have liked to be better friends with some of them though. There is no one in this group currently that I have talked to or seen in over 10 years, and thus no one that knows that I’ve transitioned.
Most of my name memories here are pulled out from the Yearbook CD page, which was a reason why I needed to have that page done before I did this blog segment this week, however as that list isn’t actually a complete list of names (it’s missing me, for example), I can’t guarantee that my list is actually complete as well. I can, however, link pictures to each name that I have from the yearbook, which helped a ton for me to identify some of these people.
I’ve divided them into three groups — Group 1 is for people I know well and was friendly with, Group 2 is for people I knew but didn’t really associate with, Group 3 is for people I do remember but didn’t really know or remember much about, and Group 4 is a tiny group of people I had on ICQ but are not in the profiles list, since I used that list to cross-reference with the profiles as well. They probably had neither a photo nor a profile attached, like me.
There are a lot of people in here, so not all of them have descriptions. Most if not all of them were at least partial IB students (which was why I shared some classes with them). I’m going to give people in the first group hover names, but not those in the others for now, there are just too many people. In fact, I’m considering going back to the Rosyth one and remove hover names for people I didn’t really remember either. But then it’s hard to know where to draw the line. Anyway, this is ultimately a disorganized memory scratchpad that I might tweak over time, and so I reserve the right to move people around as necessary.
Alexandria (pic) — I don’t recall any specific memories attached to her but I remember her voice and that we did have several mutual friends and occasionally chatted as well. I feel like we actually chatted a fair amount at one point and that it was mildly important for some reason, but I don’t remember the context if so.
Angela (pic) — Someone that I associate with Justin a lot, though almost in an elder sister/younger brother sort of way, heh. They always sat together when they could in class. She was super nice and I wish I had gotten to know her better, but I do have pleasant memories of her and her laugh.
Angie (pic) — She doesn’t actually have a picture in the profiles section, but I’m pretty sure this was her. We talked a fair bunch and were pretty close, I feel like she was from one of the countries surrounding Singapore, and if so, we had that geographic factor in common too. I’m not certain on that though. I also met her a couple times in the University of Alberta.
Jason (pic) — Oh wooow, I haven’t thought of him in ages. I remember him and his laugh, and we spent a bunch of time together. I don’t really remember any specific memory though, just that I remember him as being playful and nice.
Jessica Lau (pic) — Very good friend of Wela, the two of them were always inseparable to me. I liked them both, and while I can’t say I was fast friends with her or anything like that, she actually inspired me picking Jessica as my post-transition name. It wasn’t the only factor, but it was one of the bigger factors, definitely the largest external one. This anime character also reminds me a lot of her. The kind of character archetype that’s a bit shorter than the main cast, with straight, short black hair just so, and usually is studious and very earnest but yet sometimes goofy.
Jessica Leong (pic) — A different Jessica from above, we weren’t as close but I do remember her and do remember talking to her and sharing quite a few classes with her. Enough to get her in this group anyway!
Jonathan (pic) — Someone I talked to a fair amount. He was always together with Kathleen and so they are always paired together in my memory. I participated in an annual Microsoft Excel team competition at UAlberta with him and Kelvin for all three years that we were at McNally.
Justin Kiew (pic) — This Justin was someone I considered one of my closer friends, at least insofar as the introverted me had friends. He was full IB and a great, kind person, and was one of the centerpieces of the full IB program too (it also looks like he was a valedictorian style speaker at at least the Mandarin Graduation — him and Lisa both!) He loved Britney Spears and a bunch of other popular pop bands and singers around the era and I remember bonding with him over ICQ on that. I admired that he wasn’t shy about what he liked either. He sent me this message on the back of a picture after graduation, which I appreciated.
Kaman (pic) — She was good friends with Rhona and they’re an inseparable pair in my mind. I remember being somewhat friendly with them and I actually wanted to get to know them better but couldn’t ever get the chance to.
Karen (pic) — I believe she was a little bit introverted overall too but I believe we (cautiously) talked to each other a fair bit and I think I’d consider her closer to a friend than an acquaintance.
Kathleen (pic) — I remember she hung out with Jonathan a lot. Not sure if they were romantically involved or not. They were both great and I liked them quite a bit though.
Kelvin (pic) — I knew him fairly well and we participated in an annual Microsoft Excel team competition at UAlberta for all three years that we were at McNally, together with Jonathan above. I also shared some University classes together with him and a random girl we met in UAlberta in our first year there, we always ended up sitting next to each other in those classes.
Laurie (pic) — Laurie was extremely quiet/introverted but I did like her, perhaps due to that as kindred loner spirits. Not that we talked a lot due to the exact same reason, though!
Levina (pic) — Levina I remember quite well, but I don’t remember how much we talked. We did definitely associate with each other now and then though.
Lisa (pic) — I remember being quite friendly with Lisa and that she was one of those who would purposely reach out to me sometimes to chat even if I was being introverted. I also remember her being one of the last people from high school that I met, since I ran into her once in the U of A, I believe it was after I had flunked out but had started working there again after my NAIT stint, and she was a grad student on campus or something. You know how sometimes you have a name that you know several people from but that hearing the name in the wild always reminds you of one particular person that had that name? I know several Lisas but she is the one that owns the name most strongly for me.
Rhona (pic) — She hung out a lot with Kaman and the two of them were inseparable to me. I liked them both and might have been slightly jealous of their friendship. Just a little though.
Stephanie (pic) — No picture, but I feel like she was either a near-full IB or a full IB student and we shared a lot of classes and mutual friends/acquaintances. She might be the 3rd girl from the left in this picture because 2nd from left is Kathleen, the KO in Steph’s message above. (And that’s Angie on the far right.)
Waison (pic) –Good, fun guy, quick to laugh, spent a lot of classes with him. I liked him quite a bit. I think he dropped one IB course, which took him out of full IB in Grade 12, and he regretted it a little in the end (but still finished mostly-IB).
Wela (pic) — She was one of the centerpieces of our full IB cohort, definitely up there both in terms of grades as well as social activity, very active, very personable, and I liked her a lot. She’s probably the person I remember the most in terms of random high school memories that I have associated with people. She was also really good friends with Jessica Lau above and they hung out together a lot. I worked with her briefly in the University of Alberta International somewhere around 2008 or so, though not exactly together — I was IT support and did go help her out now and then as needed in our shared College Plaza departmental office space though. (In terms of anime archetypes she’d be the genki character in a class, who’d get voted in as the class representative and be constantly near the top of the grade as well). I wonder why she didn’t leave a message. Though who I am to say that!
Beverly (pic) — I remember her (and her radiant smile) very well but we were in different social circles most of the time, I think.
Bernadeen (pic) — Oddly enough, she randomly turned up in my Jun 09 2021 dream despite me not having remembered her for years up until that point. She was literally a passerby that even in my dream I identified as someone I hadn’t seen or thought of in a long time. Even as a Group 2, she gets a floaty text hover entry due to that.
Bryan (pic) — I saw him around a fair amount but he usually hung out with a social group I wasn’t involved with or cared for so I didn’t get to know him.
Christine (pic) — A social butterfly, she was very friendly and personable. I don’t think we associated a lot, but I do remember her very well.
Colin (pic) — I couldn’t figure out if he should be in group 2 or 3 at first. Upon further review I’m pretty sure I knew him decently well though and was even on moderately friendly terms with him.
Darlene (pic) — I remember her voice through her laugh, I think. The best way to remember someone?
Elia (pic) — I remember her but we hung out in different social circles.
Errol (pic) — I think she was full IB or close to it. We shared quite a few classes. I remember her being quite studious.
Herman (pic) — I’m not sure if I talked to him enough for him to belong in the top group or not. It’s close though.
Ian (pic) — I believe he and Jared below were both either in full IB or very close to it too (their messages claim full IB) but I wasn’t particularly close to either one.
Jared (pic) — See Ian above.
Joyce (pic) — I think she was friends with a good number of other IB/full IB folks but I don’t remember interacting with her much.
Joyce (pic) — Someone who was in different social circles from me as well, I remember her but do not remember hanging out with her or ever talking much.
Kandis (pic) — I always found her a bit aloof so we never really talked.
Lauren (pic) — I don’t remember talking with her much but we definitely shared a number of classes. Pretty sure she was full IB, in fact.
Leah (pic) — I vaguely feel like we talked a fair amount at some point but I can’t be certain.
Len (pic) — We didn’t interact a ton, but I seem to remember him having an infectious laugh.
Megan (pic) — Someone else I was in a few IB classes with. Might even have been in full IB, not sure.
Melanie (pic) — At first glance I didn’t remember her but after further consideration I’m pretty sure I did know her! I don’t remember much but my memory of her was that she was a super sweet person.
Michael (pic) — I don’t remember much about him but his picture immediately rang a strong bell and I seem to remember him being a bit.. mischievous? And fun to be around.
Rick (pic) — Someone I knew on sight but didn’t really know in person.
Vikram (pic) – I remember him quite well. I don’t know if I associated with him a lot, but I liked him.
Alexander (pic) — He looks familiar and summons a nagging memory, I’m not certain that I knew him but I think I passingly might have.
Alice (pic) — I remember her, but different social circles.
Carley (pic) — I feel like I should remember her more than I actually do.
Carmen (pic) — I barely remember her, but I think I do. Not 100% sure.
Connie (pic) — I’m not 100% sure if I remember this person but she was just on the edge of my memory abyss so I put her in anyway.
Dam (pic) — I do remember him, but not much about him. I had him on ICQ though.
Edward (pic) — Very little actual bells but his picture does ring a bell.
Justin (pic) — There were quite a few Justins that I’m pretty sure I at least passingly knew.
Kathy (pic) — Someone on the very edge of my memory, not sure if I actually knew/remember her but close enough that I don’t mind putting her in here.
Kevin (pic) — I don’t really remember him but he is slightly familiar and I had him on ICQ.
Logan (pic) — Someone I feel like I remember, though I’m not 100% sure.
Michael (pic) — I don’t really remember him but he is slightly familiar and I had him on ICQ.
Nitesh (pic) — I have the nagging feeling I knew him but I can’t really place him well enough in my memory to confirm this.
Philip (pic) — I don’t really remember him but I had him on ICQ.
Ryan (pic) — I don’t really remember him but I had him on ICQ.
Sarah (pic) — I don’t really remember her but I had her on ICQ.
Wilson (pic) — Another person I feel like I might have seen and possibly sort of knew from a different social circle, but the memory is so dim it’s hard to know for sure.
Mrs Douziech — Mrs Karen Douziech, our Grade 10 and 12 English IB teacher. Super nice, I credit her for my love of analyzing symbolism in English and I think she was my favourite teacher.
Ms Usher — Ms Laurel Usher. Head of IB, and our history teacher from Grade 10 through 12, she was a mentor to a lot of us and I remember her very fondly. I recall her coming in to class with a very serious look on her face when 9-11 happened and we spent the day just watching TV in class to watch history unfolding. She also showed us Schindler’s List at one point and accompanied it with a warning that it was graphical and a subject matter to be taken very seriously.
Mr Oberholtzer — Mr David Oberholtzer. He was our Grade 11 English teacher. He scared me a little bit! But I think he was still a fun teacher overall. I always had a mild sense of dread entering his class though, like he was preparing to try to embarrass people, and I’m not sure that’s what you want your students to feel at the end of the day.
Mr Jauch — Mr Kay Jauch. Grade 10 Physics teacher. Funny and memorable teacher, I’ll forever remember him for introducing Victor the Vector as a character to teach us vectors.
Mr Johnson — Mr Errol Johnson. Google says he eventually became the principal of the school but he was our Math 20 and 30 teacher in Grade 11. I remember him saying that our Math textbook homework was optional but highly recommended. I appreciated that option and did some of it but not all, since I was headed for the top mark in class anyway and was doing Math competitions on top of that.
Mrs Knull — She was our Grade 12 Math teacher, I don’t remember much about her but i remember her name.
Mr Rice — Mr George Rice. He was our principal and I liked him quite a bit, which was odd because I had never liked (nor really remembered) any other principal in any other school I had been to up to this point.
Mr Miller — Mr D. Miller, our Grade 10-12 computer science/programming teacher. I don’t remember much about him but I do remember him and the computer lab in general, and I eventually did my final IB project under him.
Mrs Hampel — Mrs L. Hampel, our Grade 11 Biology teacher. I remember her being a nice teacher, but I don’t have any specific memories of her.
I actually found a few other teacher names in my report cards as well, but I don’t actually remember most of them so I won’t be giving them hover text. I’m not even sure I should give all the above ones floaty text entries, but so be it! I’ll at least list these other teachers though: Ms J. Smith (Grade 10 Science), Mr B. Kao (Grade 10/11 Chinese), Mr D. (David?) Allingham (Grade 10 Math), Mr N. (Neil?) Peterson (I think he taught part of Grade 11 Math), Mrs S. Nisbet (Grade 10 Biology), Mrs D. Stirrett (Grade 10 Chemistry), Mrs S. Stevenson (Grade 10 Career & Tech Studies (I think)), Mr B. Pike (Grade 11 Physics), Dr. G Salmon (Grade 12 Theory of Knowledge), Ms R. Chen (Grade 12 Chinese), Mr D. Case (Grade 12 Biology), Mrs J. Hughey (Librarian)
Sorry, I don’t really remember most of you teachers! Mrs Nisbet and Mr Pike’s names ring a bell but that’s about it. There are other teacher names I found in passing mention but they weren’t my teachers, so I’m not sure how to list them. I also found a report card with some of my Vernon Barford teacher names so I went back to last week’s post and added some (mostly no hover) teacher names there. And I found a Vernon Barford “yearbook”! It’s a tiny farewell booklet with class and student names, but close enough. That will be scanned and added soon.
I could make several more of these lists, I do have a list of people from my time at NAIT but don’t know/really care for most of them, I don’t have any from UAlberta that really matter since classes were so spread out there, or I could even shift into lists of work people, online friends, and so on, but I don’t think I will do those right away as these took a lot of effort. They were very useful in organizing thoughts and forcing me to do research and dig up old, lost files, though. I came out of it a lot richer (in a memory sense) than before but likely need time to process some of these.
Last Year’s Entry #11
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #014. This was published on Jul 25 2021.
I did hear that they found the missing bag of my sister’s photos when my parents and siblings (they’re living together right now) moved house a couple weeks ago. I still haven’t obtained that bag to scan yet, but hopefully soon.
I was apparently working feverishly on my blog this time last year too. I suppose it has to do with it being festival season in Edmonton, and so there’s a lot of things that I could go do and then write about and that inspires me a bit?
I completely forgot that the Olympics took place last year, that’s totally flushed from my mind now. I never did pay any attention to it while it was going on, but it did at least play a significant role in news stories around Japan and the coronavirus and border control and all that. That’s all evaporated now. I wonder if there were any lingering effects?
Snake is definitely a plushie writeup that I have to amend a bit, since I’m now pretty sure he was NOT my first ever plushie (that would be Paddington Bear if anything, but I’m not even sure he’s my first surviving plushie, just an old one in general). I do still think we got him in 1993-1995 though. But the weird thing that I discovered is that we have a second Snake plushie in the box at the family home, and that one is similar but a lot cleaner and less damaged by the waves of time.
This time last year had me feeling particularly adventurous and industrial, and that’s when I started Photograph of the Week, which eventually would morph into Memory Snippet of the Week. This first family apartment was a place I visited when I went to Singapore in May/June 2022 as well, although I didn’t try to go inside the house or anything, I just glanced at the outside of it.
I never put it on either this page, or the corresponding Singapore blog page of the day when I visited Yishun again this year, but I did want to note that this picture from May 13 1987:
And this one from Jun 05 2022:
Are basically mirrors of each other, they would be looking almost directly at each other if not for the short apartment block that’s popped up in the way since the two pictures are taken. The first picture is so old that not only is the apartment block not there, even the train station and tracks themselves were clearly under construction at the time.
This second picture as well, from May 13 1987:
Is a foil of this one from Jun 05 2022:
The angle on the first one isn’t as good but they both basically look down on the same edge of the building and then Naval Base Secondary School below. Or rather, in the 1987 picture, the current school campus hadn’t even been built yet (it apparently was finished in July 1988), and it was more or less looking down on the construction site that would eventually become Naval Base Secondary School. I wish I could time travel back then and see those sights and sounds again (and take better pictures). But it’s still pretty cool!
It’s also odd that I wrote about the tiger tail bag tag in this My Diary #014 blog post, and then happen to talk about it again almost exactly one year later at the bottom of my McNally 2002 Yearbook CD page.
And lastly, I still love that nylon blanket to bits. It’s by far the best blanket I’ve ever had.
Not actually that many dreams this week, but Satinel showed up twice. It’s normally rare for her to even show up once.
Jul 18 2022
- One dream involved me with a group of friends inside of a game exploring a city. I had one single skill, which was to place a bomb that would explode and damage everything in the 8 squares around it but not actually damage the things in that square. It wasn’t much, but I eventually was able to put this on people as well, and could even do so at some range, and I used this to keep friends safe as they explored buildings.
- Another part of the dream involved me needing to get away and hide from some friends, and one friend pointed me toward a garden-like zone to hide in. I said it was no good as people could just look for me on the global friends list and see the name of the zone I was in, and there were only one or two hiding places in that zone so I would be easily found. But then I realized that I could become anonymous in the global friends list so people couldn’t see that, which turned the zone into a good place to hide after all. I toggled the anonymous setting and then stepped into the park, I sat down under a tree, with two leaf blankets covering me, one over my legs/knees and one over my torso, as I reclined back onto a comfortable bush and relaxed.
- The zone next to the garden, which was a hotel I had apparently visited on two separate times when I visited the same city before, and which I pointed out to my family earlier when we passed it, eventually started to host a dance party, and a number of people, mostly girls, wandered in to the hotel lobby and started boogieing in pairs, facing each other as they shook their bodies back and forth. I watched them for a bit and wondered if the bustle and music would negatively affect the effectiveness of my hiding spot, but it didn’t seem to.
- Satinel was in the dream and we had a conversation at one point where she said that she was now a game developer with six prototype games or so that she had programmed over the past year and now wanted to upload them onto Steam, but she didn’t want to use her own Steam account to do so due to some reason or other involving either a reason that one of her other friends that I didn’t know gave her, or involving her not wanting to let her other friends find out, so she wanted to use my account to publish them instead. I suggested that she create a new, separate Steam account for it instead as I didn’t want to take the credit for the games.
Jul 20 2022
- I was a young child again and was visiting an exhibition by my own, it was an art exhibition featuring works by disabled children. I took a bus to the place, and found a motorized wheelchair discarded near where I alighted from the bus, so, whimsically, I decided to use the wheelchair through the exhibition to get a proper perspective in what disabled children and people in general go through. The wheelchair was steered using a left pedal and right pedal, which let me both speed up and slow down the wheelchair as well as turn it from side to side.
- The exhibition was held in a small, weird building that was just a single, narrow corridor containing about eight doors or so, four on either side, leading to small rooms. To get to the building, I passed a couple outdoor areas, one was a fishing pond that nearly no one was at, and another a shallow wading pool with benches set around and inside the pool where people were hanging out at to beat the heat. The part of the pool the benches were at featured ankle-deep water, so people were sitting there and dipping their feet in the water while reading, eating, chatting, and so on. There was a slightly deeper pool where a small child was swimming around in, but even for a child it was only waist-deep water.
- Upon reaching the exhibition, I noticed that admission was free and that there was already a tour about to start, so I tagged along with them. The visitors were mostly boys and girls in their late teens and early 20s and the museum guide assigned to us showed us into the first room and started to say some words about the art featured in the room. However, there were a lot of people and I couldn’t quite fit into the room since I was on a wheelchair and determined to not reveal that I wasn’t actually disabled, so it was difficult for me to hear anything.
- The second room was even slightly smaller, and no one was ceding any space to me so that I could get in, so I decided to just let reveryone filter out to the next room before I inched my way in with a couple other stragglers and viewed the art myself. By the time I came out of the second room, however, the group I was with was gone and I could no longer find them. Since the exhibition was free anyway, I skipped the rest of the exhibition, guiding the wheelchair down and out the door on the opposite end, and ended up in a Buddhist roadside temple where I could get joss sticks and make a prayer if I wanted to. I told myself that I’d come back later, and wheeled my way back around to the start of the exhibition again.
- Throughout this process, although no one was kind enough to make sure I could get in and see the exhibition, a couple other kids that were there did try to point and make fun of me, and I realized that this was part of the struggle that actually disabled kids went through on a daily basis. I also remember an exhibition about a disabled girl in a wheelchair that was also a young and famous Olympics star, and had gotten many gold, silver, and bronze medals for our country in her sporting career. Yet, she was attacked and mugged at one point just because she was disabled, and suffered a broken back from it.
- Snippet: In a much earlier part of the dream, I and some friends had the day off from either work or school, and were situated at a movie theater that was connected to a house that I was in. Mom had put in a disc or tape of a musical and had assumed that that would be enough to entertain or distract all of us who found ourselves with too much time on our hands, however I wasn’t interested in the musical (especially as I pointed out that I had watched it before and all the good songs were played at the front of the musical anyway), so I wandered around the rest of the darkened house.
- I don’t remember all of what i did, but I remember sorting through my laundry at some point and getting ready to do that. I also spoke to Dad a bit, and he talked about how he hated driving down to Chinatown now because his eyesight was deteoriating to the point that the journey there and back was dangerous. He said he would probably never drive down there again. He asked me to fetch him something and I did so.
Jul 23 2022
- I was playing a game that involved me circling a small, squarish island in a flying vehicle (that could only fly in a clockwise direction) using an overhead map, while stopping and picking up supplies and health from a base on the southern side of the map everytime I passed by it. It took a few seconds for me to pick up the supplies, and there were three types of enemies chasing me, so I had to plan my route to lose them during each of my circuits.
- One type of enemy was a ship that could chase me and launch missiles at me, they were the fastest of the three but could not move on land, so I could lose them by cutting across the land at the corners of the island, though that meant that I had less room to work with to avoid the other two types of enemies. There was only one ship in total, and I usually lost it around the northwest corner, though sometimes I let it chase me further.
- The second type of enemy was a helicopter, they could fly after me but they were really slow in comparison, though they could go over land and sea due to that. I had to speed up to get past them safely. There were two of them and they were usually hovering and stuck around the southeast corner of the map.
- The third type of enemy were little drones that moved really slowly but knew where I was at all times and would slowly beeline toward me across land or sea, and try to shoot at me. There were three of these but as long as I kept moving and didn’t stop for too long at the base they could not catch me.
- Later, I was in a lecture theatre in a school at some point, though I was “on vacation” and not really here. I witnessed a scene where one guy pushed another guy who pushed a third guy into a girl that was talking to the third guy and caused an “accidental kiss” as though we were in a romantic comedy anime. The guy was extremely apologetic but the girl didn’t really seem to care. The second guy told the third guy he was lucky and that he should thank the first guy for starting the chain reaction push.
- Also in that lecture theatre, a Japanese girl sent an email (written in Japanese) to me and a few other friends which said, among other things, that she had sent me the three hand puppets I had requested in a reply to her previous group email, and that when I was done with them, to please mail them to an address that she provided in the email. She then came up to me as well, as she was apparently in this overseas class too, and I told her that I had forgotten that I had requested the three puppets but that as she could see, I was on vacation. I would use the puppets and send them on once I arrived home next week though. She said okay.
- The lunch bell rang and everyone started to leave that lecture theatre, and there were two doors labelled “1” on the front left corner of the room that we couldn’t use but had to pass by on the way out (the actual exit door was on the front right wall). One of the random boys near me commented that that door was actually slightly ajar, but another girl said that the door was for the emergency ambulance services only and shut the door. Someone also talked about the shiny “1” sticker placed above the door, and she said that it was shiny so that even if the emergency responders came here when the lights were off to rescue someone, the light from the open door would glint off of the 1 and show them where the exit was.
- Also, although it was lunch, some kids were streaming into the room from a door on the the back right side of the room even as we exited from the front right door. A guy I was leaving with wondered if we could somehow play a prank on them and open the back wall to convert the room into a basketball gym by combining it with the large gym next to this classroom, but I said that it was a bad idea. I then took my lunch and went to the canteen, queueing up for a microwave while dreading how dirty the microwave would be. I noticed that although the nearest microwave had five people queued up there, there were another two microwaves by the sinks in the middle of the canteen and no one was using either one, so I broke off from the line and went there instead.
- Snippet: At one point, I was playing MMOs with Satinel and talking about the magic I felt in playing a new game and finding and picking up interesting items while having no idea what they did. We were also playing LotRO, and were in some “Forgotten Moors” just off to the south of Angmar, and I noted that I didn’t have this magic with LotRO because I pretty much knew everything there was about the (early) game, but that I hoped that Satinel would find that sort of magic as I remember having it the first time I went through that game. She played a hunter, and I taught her how to use her hunt skill to find nearly rare mobs for crafting shards. We found a named imp with a 5 letter name and I said that there were others around here too.
- Snippet: I was looking through some old boxes of papers (homework and such) from Rosyth and Dunman that I had found, and noticed that while some of them were written on proper paper, others were scribbled on the backs of recycled sheets of paper that our family had earlier used for other things, so the backs of some of them had things like Dad‘s work invoices or such. I found one with a date of 1989 and a description of what Kel, who would have been an infant at the time, was wearing, and I realized that that matched up with a baby photo of hers in a box somewhere. I showed it to her but she didn’t seem too interested. I then continued digging for other interesting historical family artifacts, as I had never looked through that box or looked at the back of those papers in general before.