My Diary #063

Dear Tigey,

It looks like we’ll be here another four months! Shall we make plans to go somewhere exciting?

Entry #063 (Aug 07 2022)

Table of Contents

Treading water at…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #61
ට  Song of the Week #38
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #45
ට  Last Year’s Entry #14
ට  Dreams

School

My Study Abroad dreams for Fall 2022 had been dying a slow death for the past month anyway thanks to ICA, but the second last nail in the coffin came this Friday when I received this email from them:

Hi Ms Jessica,

We are unable to process your renunciation.

Please wait for our official letter, we will explain to you further on what need to be done.

Wow, how verbose. ICA is both the department that processes Student Passes (4th floor) as well as citizenship renunciations (6th floor), and this is the same person who has been telling me for the past two months that she would try to expedite my renunciation (needed before they’d OK my Student Pass for some inexplicable reason), whom I put in touch with CMPB to let them know it was okay to proceed, and as recently as a week ago told me that it was waiting to be finalized. This department had been draaaaaaaaaaagging their feet for the past two months, and now suddenly on the eve of their part becoming finalized and completed, suddenly there’s a mysterious wrench thrown in the works that kiboshes the whole thing?

I don’t know the details of what went wrong yet, but everything on my part has been completely, 100% above board, including the whole gender change and mismatched name thing (I even signed forms for that while there in Singapore), my only real guess at this point is that their process really cannot handle transgender people or something and some knucklehead somewhere along the line is confused. Hard to say until I receive whatever mysterious letter this is though.

But if it’s due to a stupid reason I am going to put the name of my officer down in my blog to enshrine her as a lousy, incompetent officer in Google searches and in history, so there’s that. Despite giving me her email address, she’s basically impossible to reach for updates, and she never reads my emails — I’ve asked her in the past two emails if it was possible to change the mailing address on my application, and she just ignored all of that and told me to wait for a letter to be sent in her reply anyway. What the hell Singapore? Maybe I’m going to have to go down there again just to go in person and find someone to talk to where they can’t ghost me.

This is not quite the final nail in the coffin yet, that one will be the 4th floor of ICA, the Student’s Pass department, coming back and telling me that my application has been rejected. This should be imminent. The ball’s in their court now, after I uploaded my birth cert to them (as they requested) on Wednesday or so last week after having a dream that that was a good day to do so. This was the day before I received that email above. I don’t actually know what they would do on the off-chance that the application comes back with an acceptance anyway, but it shouldn’t unless they change the process just for me, and I don’t think they have the wherewithal to do so. That and classes start tomorrow (Aug 8th) so it would be such a rush to get down there even if I was allowed to.

So what does this mean? I’ve already mourned for this over the past month or so, so I’m not in the least beat up about this outcome that I could see coming a mile away. Singapore was always a “bonus” trip above and beyond my main Japan one which is now scheduled for next Fall, and which I am still on track for. I will aim for a Singapore Winter/Spring semester study abroad stint, just 1 semester long instead of 2, but I’m not 100% sure that that one will be a go either due to how this renunciation thing blew up, I have to wait and see what additional thing the agency wants before I know how feasible it is. I don’t really have anything to lose by applying for Singapore for Winter anyway though, as I don’t want to go to Japan this semester, so I’m going to do that regardless and see where the dice fall.

Outside of that, this means that I’m going to extend the house lease early next week for another 4 months or so, though this might mean going month to month now as I think their shortest discounted lease period is 6 months. It also means I can look forward to planning a trip somewhere, currently thinking South Korea with maybe a side trip to Japan (if the borders are open) or Taiwan, perhaps around the end of October. I do have options and time though so I’ll have to slowly and indulgently plan this one so that I can tell myself, at the end of the day, that I’m happy Singapore in Fall 2022 didn’t happen because I got to do all these other things instead.

There is also one very interesting door that I see from here that I was not able to see before — since Winter 2022 might now also be in the air, there is a timeline where I could just not go through with the renunciation if it’s too much of a hassle, and keep my Singaporean citizenship as a symbolic thing, hoping for a future where Singapore might abolish their ban on dual citizenship. Or I could even relinquish my Canadian citizenship to officially return home to Singapore. I’ll have to ponder this one a bit (as it means I would have to get a proper Singaporean passport if I ever want to travel in and out of the country) but I do see that door in the distance as an intriguing possibility.

Work

Work was quiet this week, but the developer side of our combined team has apparently hired a couple people, and one of them, Emily, is starting this upcoming Monday. It’s nice that we’re getting a bit more diversity on the team — while I don’t think that everything has to be absolutely balanced in racial and gender terms, there was definitely some severe unbalance here, she’ll only be the third female on the team of 13-15 or so. Anyway she now has floating text for her name, and I’ll probably spend Memory Snippet of the Week this week defining everyone else’s names on the workplace team as well.

Life

The first order of business this week is that I took a picture of Tigey, seated on Cruiser, for my sister. Here is Tigey circa Aug 01 2022.

He’s sooo squishy right now.

It wasn’t my intention for them to do this, and I wasn’t aware that they were even still reading the blog, but my sister saw my note in last week’s blog about my cough and my wish for the peppermint medicine, and my two siblings promptly went out and got a small bottle of that as well as a couple sachets of the Fisherman’s Friend cough drops for me. My siblings are great!

I’m still coughing a bit, but it’s not as annoying any more, hopefully just the lingering remnants of whatever bug I caught now. In related news, I wish for a million dollars this week. I could do so many interesting things for my blog with that amount of money.

This week, I sent off a card with an eulogy to Thrandor‘s family, via the PO Box that they had shared with us. The card was just a simple one from Papyrus, and it looked like this:

The eulogy I left inside was as follows:

Dear Erik,

Although we’ve never met in real life, we’ve known each other for many years since meeting in the Lord of the Rings Online game world that came to infleunce so many of our lives. The friendship that we and a couple dozen of our mutual acquaintances shared together then transcended that game over the past decade or so so that we became more than gaming buddies — we also became good friends, sharing in each other’s triumphs and setbacks, happiness and despair, mirth and anger, as we walked the roads that our individual lives led us upon separately, but together.

We shared very similar tastes in games, and I often sought you out for recommendations for new things to while away my free time with, as you always seemed to be really knowledgeable about the latest news. We also played a fair amount of Minecraft together over the years, and I appreciate how you were always kind enough to invite me and others along for the ride with you and Michael, and how you shared all your knowledge and patience with us. If there’s one small comfort I have, it’s that you somehow were prescient enough to upload to me the files for the last map we played on, on the final day before we lost contact with you, and I have made sure that those files will live on.

Outside of that, I always considered you one of our group’s ringleaders and kindest souls and we will miss having you around. I had always noticed, for example, how you would constantly reach out to a certain introverted member of our group to ensure that he’s included in whatever activity we were going to do, as he tended to sometimes be inadvertently overlooked otherwise. Kind acts like that did not go unnoticed. You were also proud (in a good way), friendly and thoughtful toward everyone, caring toward your friends and family (as we knew from your occasional mentions of them), encouraging (but not afraid to tell us off if you thought that we were wrong), and fearless in trying new things.

We were happy that things seemed to be looking up for you after you landed your new job. Now we all miss you dearly, and I personally regret that I did not make room for an Oregon visit the last time I came down to the USA.

There is a saying in the Lord of the Rings world lore that elves don’t really die, they merely journey west to their homeland of Valinor and either rest there forever in paradise, or eventually choose to be born again. Erik, we hope you have a safe journey to your personal Valinor and have found happiness wherever you might be now. Thank you for spending much of your precious earthly time with us, and know that we will never forget you.

The family wanted things that could be read out at his Celebration of Life ceremony so that was how I angled it. I’m not sure it will make it in time though, since I know that regular mail from Canada takes eons to reach the States, but we’ll see. We weren’t given a date for the memorial either so who knows.

On my way back, I ran into a neighbourhood cat:

Her name is Echo, and she was accompanied by a couple who had been basically walking her around the neighbourhood (without a leash), but were currently standing on the path and watching her as she sat at the bottom of a little tree. There was apparantly a doomed squirrel about two-thirds up the tree, and she was eyeing her prey like a wingless hawk as she mentally prepared a list of squirrel dishes that she would be able to serve her human subjects tonight.

I chatted to the owners a little bit, the man’s name was Damian (Damien?) and he said she was friendly and loved pats, but the cat didn’t move a muscle the entire time I was there, for fear of losing her prize. I took several pictures with their permission before waving goodbye to them and heading on home. They apparently lived on the 10th floor of the building next to mine. This is the second cat I’ve seen being walked around the little apartment complex area we have, the first being Waffles about three months ago.

Echo penned a heartfelt haiku for me to include on the blog, while lounging under the summer shade of that tree,

how i envy u,
i wish i could climb trees too
so i could catch u

Other than all that, I started looking through my South Korean pics from 2014 and 2015 in preparation for hopefully uploading them onto this blog, but boy, there’s over 1000 pictures over the two trips to sort through. No time like the present to start doing so though, so hopefully I’ll find the energy to either upload some of those ones, or my Minneapolis trip from 2017, those are the main things still not on the blog yet that I do want to get up sooner rather than later, so that I can delete them off of Facebook where they currently reside.

I also scanned an errant family photo album that I hadn’t scanned yet, as it was in Kel‘s possession at the time that I received the box of family photos from my parents. Those are now scanned and archived as well. Next up on the scanning list are some math contest things that I have from way back. the delay in going abroad will give me additional time to get all this done before I have to put the boxes away for a couple of years.

Along that line of thought, I also took pictures of all my plushies this week, specifically on Aug 07 2022, to go with the pictures of all the plushies at the (old) family house on Jan 30 2022. Some of these pictures are updated ones of previous plushies that already had pictures taken of them, and those I might update previous Plushie of the Week posts sometime with (or reserve them for the Shrine of Plushies or whatever page I eventually make for them). But others are brand new, since I never actually sat down and took individual photos of each and every one before. The lighting in my apartment is really bad though, since my main hall doesn’t have an overhead light to balance things out, so I had to choose between too little light (and too many shadows) or too much light (via a camera flash) for a lot of the pictures. I opted for the latter in most cases.

I donated a bit of money to Thrandor‘s family to help with his funeral costs too. But it was weird because they only gave donations addresses for Venmo and Cashapp, neither app of which is even available in Canada, so I had to do it through a proxy (Jah). What an Americentric situation.

I managed to hit At Peace with the World not once this week, but twice, on Thursday and Saturday, and for the first time in months at that. That was excellent. The first one led me to a mental image of my as a 4 or 5 year old, lying down on the marble floor in one of our family apartments. The second one left me in the present, and tuned up my mindfulness setting to maximum, giving me a sense of deep, existential peace as I watched the wind blow on the little plants and flowers outside. Then I nodded off.

Games

On the phone, I finally deleted that #Me game that I had been playing on and off for a couple weeks. Mostly it was that the game occasionally freezes up on my phone when it tries to load a new area or a cutscene, and there are a lot of them. The other bit of it was that I had enough of the cringy content. Basically the first combat quest chain in the game involves some forest imps that stole phones from villagers because the imp king wanted to become internet-famous and go viral by doing unboxing videos using the stolen phones, so you got to beat up the imps and take back the phones as you were the chosen one of the goddess of creation and stuff. And the entire quest chain ended with the imp king giving up and deciding to do slime ASMR videos instead.

I can’t even. I did notice that this company does do name and shames (local) for account suspensions though, which is sort of neat — I completely support this as a practice.

I picked up another phone game, a zombie survival game called Last Day On Earth: Survival that has some scavenging and base building built in, and it’s somewhat interesting but seems to require inordinate amounts of resources to do much, items get damaged really quickly, my corpse bugged out and disappeared once so I couldn’t get my items back, and zombies come by and knock down part of my base every 24 hours or so, which is annoying. Also, there’s PvP, which means every other player you run across in a public map will try to swing their club at you. Also there’s a daily zombie wave that will walk through your plot of land from one side to the other and knock down a couple walls in the way and that’s it. It’s very weird. But it has its charms as well, largely a scavenging > base building loop that I find hard to locate in games, so I want to like it. But we’ll see where it goes.

On the PC, I played the following games this week:

Deep Rock Galactic — With Satinel, Jah, and Nak. We finally hit our first promotions (except Nak, who has gone through an umpteen number of them). The gameplay loop is still fantastic and fun.

Children of Morta — I had a hankering for a roguelite halfway through the week so I gave it a shot. It was okay. I don’t like how some of the characters handle in combat so it’s going to be weird playing with them to try to unlock family passives if I continue playing this. Also I keep mentally calling this Children of Moria. It even takes place in deep caves. The house narration and story seems superb so far though.

Might & Magic: Heroes VI — Because I had it, and I had some sort of a craving for a Heroes of Might and Magic 3 sort of game. I played through the tutorial and it was incredibly bland.

NEO Scavenger — I go back to mess with this every now and then because by all metrics I should love this game — I like traditional roguelikes (so the lack of graphics isn’t a problem) and I love games with scavenging gameplay loops, but I could never get into this game for some reason. Even following a starter guide. I just haven’t been able to mentally get off the ground with it.

Necesse — A game I do want to play more of, but sometimes feels like it’s uninspiring in some way and I’m not sure why. Like there’s a lack of an urge to uncover its mysteries somehow. I do like the town-building and I finally did beat the first boss though.

One Step From Eden — I’m awful at this and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to beat this sort of game, but somehow the gameplay loop was captivating enough for me to spend a couple hours on it.

Plushie of the Week #61 – Mew

Mew is a plushie that joined my plushie family while I was on my trip to South Korea in 2014, specifically one of four plushies that I picked up on Jul 30 2014, two days after I picked up Winnie, who was featured in PotW #015, exactly one year ago. I have a picture here of the four plushies, taken that evening in my hotel room in Seoul:

Mew is on the right there, and the two right plushies have known origins and price tags. The two left ones are a little problematic however, as I don’t know for sure which shop they came from, and a lot of my Seoul receipts are now faded. I’ll get to them all eventually, though. But for today, Mew! He’s from Lotte World Adventure in Seoul, and cost KRW ₩15,000, the same price as Billy from a year later.

Mew is extremely adorable, and his name was given to him by Nak a few days later on Aug 04 2014, when I was sourcing names for my new tiger plushie from the Discord (Ventrilo at the time) crowd. He suggested the name Bartholamew James III, Mew for short, and I liked it. These days, the name Mew has sort of been appropriated in my mind by a magical flying plushie from an anime I’ve watched/am watching, but close enough. Close enough, at least, until I visit a Sanrio store and manage to find that Mew plushie as well, then we will have namespace and plushie vanity contest problems back home. But until them, Mew it is!

Front:

Back:

Sides:

Tag:

Neck tag:

The neck tag reads 예쁜동물친구들 which apparently translates to something like Pretty Animal Friends. He seems a bit cheaper now (local) but you can’t put a price on affection, really.

Song of the Week #38

Title: Across the Universe
Artist: Terry Oldfield
Album: Across the Universe (2000)

Not to be confused with Fiona Apple’s Across the Universe, which is also a song in my S-Tier Spotify playlist, this song is one of my absolute favourite New Age tracks, a song that has calmed me on many a rough night, and sent my spirit and imagination wandering through space, searching for meaning, hope, and dreams, many, many times. It’s a near 11-minute track composed and produced by Terry Oldfield, with vocals by Juliana (Julie Trott) as main vocals, and three children — Eilidh Debonnaire, Hallam Robinson, and Lana Robinson — as choral vocals. But it never actually feels 11 minutes long to me, with time melting away as the song soothes my soul and takes my hand, leading me on a journey along a trail of powdery stardust and across a dome of glittering galaxies and stars. It’s a very powerful feeling.

According to my Spotify records, I discovered and added this song on Aug 09 2014, so almost 8 years to the day. This would have been around when I was fighting my bouts of severe depression and just after I arrived home from my first trip to South Korea on Aug 01 2014, when I was still struggling to come to terms with my failed/rejected surgery (pending a later blog post, I haven’t talked about this yet) and what this meant for me. New Age music at the time was something that I grasped on to while burning the midnight oil night after night from all the emotional damage, unable to relax and fall asleep and unable to function at work the next day either. The right songs were like harbours against the storm, and although I already had a sizable New Age playlist back then that I had been building up since 2012, I hadn’t yet run into this song until 2014. Yet, despite the bad time period during which I picked up this song, I don’t really have any of those negative connotations attached to this song — my thoughts about this song are merely that it’s extremely peaceful and meditative and capable of supercharging my imagination.

The YouTube page for the song describes it as “a song about our sense of a deeper connection with everything”, and the Bandcamp page includes a description from a publication that describes it as being “about the yearning to be free that becomes so much a part of human condition as we travel the pathways of liberation,” and that “the lyrics are odes to the night sky, and the vastness of our earth and the universe beyond.” How lovely.

Memory Snippet of the Week #45

As promised above in the Life section, I wanted to spend this week continuing the introductions of various groups of people in my life so that I know that I have fancy floaty hover text for them. This week, I’m going to introduce current and former members of my team because most of them have made forays into my dreams at various points in the past.

My current work team, of which you can see some pictures in last week’s blog, is made up of two teams that were combined together under the watch of my supervisor at the start of this year. The other team’s supervisor is now a senior member of the combined team but without the supervisory aspect to his job (which he apparently never really wanted anyway). Our team was a tier 2 application support team, their team was a tier 3 application development team, so it’s a bit weird being lumped together as our morning meetings now are still sort of split in half with updates from one side that the other side really could care less about and so on. But c’est la vie. I’m not going to talk much about individual people for the most part because, well, I still work with them, but they are good people.

I’ve worked here in the University’s central IT department since November 2010, although our current team was formed in January 2012. I was on the deskside team from 2010-2012, and came over to this team, the tier 2 application support team, in 2012 when our department was reorganized. I’ve been here for over 10 years now.

Team members

RonnieRonnie is the supervisor of the combined team, and was the supervisor of our smaller team (the application support side) before we got combined. He’s been my boss for about 8 years now, and despite my occasional gripes is a very good person and supervisor, a good part of which comes about because he encourages gripes and dissenting opinions so he can get a fuller picture of things.

Jeremy, Sandy, Johannes — Other long-term members of the team besides me, we’ve all been here since pre-pandemic. Jeremy‘s an outdoorsy and DIY person and showed me pictures of his remodeled kitchen when we got together in the park last week. Sandy was apparently inspired to go back to school by me taking classes, and is now himself taking some really fun classes on the side as of this semester, although apparently his are in-person classes, eek. Johannes used to stream games on Twitch and we set up a Gloomhaven campaign table in our shared office a few years ago before the pandemic where we would play a bit of the campaign every now and then over the lunch hour.

Daniel — He was a former member of the team who left (together with Kimberly) a few years ago to the central ITSM team. He then returned to our team late last year, but is now again leaving back to a different, more central role on the central ITSM team. Or has just left, this week was his transitional week.

Melbourne — He was also a former member of the team who had come over on a seconded basis a couple of years ago from the deskside team, then was pulled back to them because the seconding contract ended and Ronnie wasn’t allowed to hire him, but then applied for the team during our last round of hires late last year and got in anyway. He’s my food buddy!

JamesJames was the supervisor of the development team that got merged with us (I phrase it like that because although the team names got merged as well, the team kept the initials of our former support team and not theirs, so basically *they* got merged into *us*!). I had lots of problems with him in the past because he came across really rude on chat, to the point that I think our entire half of the team would have resigned if he had been made the leader of the combined team, but things have significantly improved since being able to listen to and chat with him in person over Zoom every day and getting to know him that way, as he communicates much better over voice, and our boss now also acts as a shield between him and executive meddling so he’s much happier in general as well. I think everyone basically likes him now.

Babita, Justin, Lukasz, Semyon, Zach — Other members of the development team that got merged with us. They’re all nice people, and we’ve worked on and off with them for several years now, but I don’t have any particular stories or memories of them since we only just got to know each other.

Emily — The first of several new hires on the development side of the team! Welcome, hopefully!

Former team members

Aman — Someone who was with us briefly in 2012 when the team first got incorporated. I was never really close with him and he was often working on baggage that he had brought over with another team. He basically eventually transitioned all that stuff to us and then left the department.

Amy — The Service Desk team lead, who was very briefly on our team when we were first incorporated as a team back in 2012 or so but who then applied for and got that role and so left us after a couple weeks. Still, we work/ed very closely with the tier 1 Service Desk, so we still got to see a lot of her. She left to the ITSM team last year.

Dennis — He was a slightly older gentleman who left the team for medical reasons around 2014 or so, and passed away from cancer in 2015. I was also in my throes of depression and transitioning at this point so I wasn’t at work much and didn’t really get to say a goodbye to him, either when he was leaving or when he was at his hospital for some time.

Govinda — He was hired on at the same time as Daniel and Melbourne last year (2021) but left for a job at the government due to monetary and family reasons.

Hisham — Our first team leader back in 2012 or so. He was here for a couple years before moving on to bigger and better things. He was the first one at work that I told about my transition (while he was trying to chew me out for overreacting to something else), and he then helped me navigate the office hierarchy and line up all the ducks for my successful transition at work.

Ken — An older member of the team who was with us when the team was first incorporated in 2012 and then retired a few years later, around when I was doing my real life transition. He was a lot of fun to be around and had a lot of what my boss called institutional wisdom.

Kimberly — A former member of the team that left with Daniel for the central ITSM team a few years ago, then got let go from there as part of budget cuts. She’s back in another central role now though.

Kyle — I never really knew him as he was both hired as well as left the team while I was away from it, either during my transition or long-term depression periods back around 2013-2015.

Lejjy — A fun guy who was here in the early team days and who left sometime while I was away from the team, either during my transition or long-term depression periods.

Leo — A former member of the infrastructure team that left for another team earlier this year (2022).

Maciek — A former member of our application support team that actually went over to the development team a few years ago. Has since moved on to greener pastures.

Matt — A former team member of ours who left to take a leadership role on the desksite team, and then moved into Amy‘s role as the leader of the Service Desk team when Amy left that role.

Shelley — A former team member of ours who joined the central Security team on campus. We still work quite closely with her.

Shinya — A former Service Desk member who joined us and then got let go a few years ago, due to his contract not being renewed, thanks to budgetary issues and a former team leader of his who made an error that caused his seniority level to be reset. I’m still pretty angry that the department let him go due to poor financial decisions.

Tawheed — He is best remembered for having a famously big laugh, and loving cars and bikes to the point where he’d buy/sell/trade for them and have a new one every few months. He was a former member of our team who left for a leadership role with the deskside team as well, and then moved to an executive role in another department on campus where he is today.

Tyler A — Similar to Maciek, a former member of our application support team that actually went over to the development team a few years ago. Has since moved on to greener pastures as well. He still quietly mods the /r/ualberta subreddit even though he’s no longer involved with the community as a staff or student.

Tyler P — A former member of our team who’s moved on to the Security team. I butted heads a lot with him and am not fond of him.

Last Year’s Entry #14

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #016. This was published on Aug 08 2021.

It’s odd how I felt that we were so busy last year, this year we do have a couple more bodies, but we also have people leaving and projects that those extra people are working on — on the ticket side of things it’s so dead that I’m generally done the bulk of my work for the day within the first hour of work, and after that it’s just watching over things and waiting for replies and doodling over longer-term assignments.

I still use Wallpaper Engine for one of my monitor’s wallpapers, but I eventually moved on from the specific wallpaper I listed in last year’s entry, though I did use that one for many, many months. I’m now using this one as my main wallpaper engine wallpaper though, though like the last one it gets paused or muted a lot as I get busy and do things.

Seeing Winnie in Plushie of the Week #15 here made me decide to do Mew in Plushie of the Week #61 above.

There’s nothing much else I need to add to this week’s entry. I touched it up a bit on the administrative end, fixed up the pictures so they’re not giant and noncompliant with how my blog is now (don’t ask), and eradicated a couple of typoes that I found as well.

Dreams
Aug 01 2022
  • I was at the very front of a packed tour bus full of people who were taking some sort of history class and on a field trip, most of them were students but some of them were extra people as well, like there were three young Indian children that I was helping keep their balance so they didn’t topple over, and several adults that were just along for the ride as well.
  • The bus was definitely travelling through time as it passed by a 4-way intersection next to Dunman High at least twice, once as its modern expanded campus, and a second time as its older campus which was half the size of the modern campus. Someone asked me about it as we passed by and I said that at the time of the older campus, the back half of the surrounding area had not really been developed yet, and that’s why the school hadn’t been expanded in that direction yet. The front half of the school looked more or less the same in both cases.
  • For us students, our assignment while on the tour bus was to come up with examples of things to fit a list of criteria on a history worksheet we were given. I felt that it was structured similarly to the second half of my weekly blog entries and how they had category headings and I had to find something that fit in each of them each week. One of the adults was a teacher that was leading the class and then asking people to present and briefly talk about their choices to the rest of the bus.
  • Melbourne was next to me and got to present at some point, I forget what he presented on at first but he droned on a bit until the bus pulled to a stop next to a strange tent-like stall by the side of the road manned by some older people. He then announced that the answer to his next category was a plate of food from this stall, and he got off to order a plate to bring it back to the bus. Several of the older people also got off here, as that was their final destination. I asked the teacher if I should get off here as well if I wanted to use the washroom, she said no, the people here were too xenophobic and we were nearly at the bus’s final destination anyway.
  • I agreed and played with the Indian kids as we waited for everyone else to get back on board. One of them, the eldest sister, had left the bus, and the other two had grown up so they were no longer 8-10 year olds, like they were earlier on in the dream, but more like 12-14 year olds. They wryly noted that their sister was mad because they were asking her which of them was the taller one, and she realized that they were now both taller than her. I said that that wasn’t particularly uncommon in younger brother and older sister sibling relationships eventually once they both grew up, and immediately thought of Kel and Jon.
  • I also hadn’t come up with an answer to one of my final worksheet categories yet, which was basically the equivalent of the Memory Snippet of the Week section of my blog, except I had to point out something that had changed over our bus time trip, so I used that time to think on what I would put down for it. I wasn’t particularly worried about finding an answer, I just had to decide on which one. In the end, I used my blog notes to pull up pictures of Dunman High‘s old canteen and how I still had a few old pictures of it. There were about five pictures in all, one of them was upside down, one was blurry and not focused on the canteen so all I could see were distant outlines of things, but in the other pictures, I could even see classmates — Valerie was in one of them, and a crowd of students were eating lunch in the other, and I saw Valerie and Zixiang in that second picture too. I got really sad that this open-aired square canteen from my days there was now gone and replaced with a modern round canteen building instead.
Aug 02 2022
  • I had rented a room in a house for an evening. The owner, who was someone i knew, was going to be moving away from the house soon, and there was a wardrobe in there of random clothes and other items that I wanted to look through and even try on clothes from. However, I soon learnt that there was an attic in the room just above the wardrobe as well, and the first sign I had that someone was living in that attic was when two baby socks dropped down on the ground in front of me as I was sitting down by the wardrobe.
  • A head then poked out from the attic, an Indian girl that looked curiously down at me. I was unaware if the owner knew that the girl was there, but I wasn’t going to change clothes in front of her, so we talked in a friendly manner for a bit, before I spent some time sorting a pile of board games into groups of 7 instead, so that they could be played one a day for the entire week.
  • I told the other girl that this was how I always got attached to things and helped others decide what to keep and what to throw out, and in some cases would take things if they insisted on throwing them out, when they were moving houses.
  • Snippet: I was at a hawker centre and had some of my stuff on an empty table to book it, while I was several stalls away from it trying to order some food. I was worried that the cleaner would think my items were abandoned and toss them away, so I hurried back once I had my order, just in time as I did indeed see that the cleaner was at my table and was able to prevent him from doing so. Not before he had taken a bottle of chilli oil that I had just purchased and tossed it into a nearby bin though, but I was able to retrieve that as well.
  • Snippet: At one point, the dream involved a girl, the time 4:43 pm, and a camera shot that started high above her and provided a series of snapshots as it zoomed in toward her, profiling her smiling and walking along from different angles. She was integral to whatever plot was going on at the time in my dream. It had something to do with talking to a witch in an in-game world.
Aug 03 2022
  • A good friend came to town and stayed at a hotel that was also a floating cruise ship located on top of a building or cliff, as well as the site of an online game that we played on a lot in the past. As he or she was staying there now, that allowed us to use that ship as a staging area of some kind while playing a different game that was also physically located in the same area in the city, except we now had two approach points we could use (my house and his/her hotel) for the game.
  • The mechanics of the game itself are murky, but involved hacking a computer of some kind, and we were discussing ways to hack it through its command line and what our two favourite shortcut keys on the keyboard were while trying to simultaneously reset it and figure out its password. Shortcut key pairs that were discussed included Q/E, A/D, W/S, and R/F.
Aug 04 2022
  • In one part of the dream, I was a black dragon masquerading as a white dragon and trying to negotiate with humans living in a cliffside mine accessed from a door high up in the cliff. They didn’t trust black dragons, so I morphed into a white dragon while waiting for them to answer the door, although the polymorph wasn’t quite complete when they answered the door so parts of my body that shouldn’t have been white were coloured white when they first answered the door. They didn’t seem to notice though and I soon fixed it.
  • I needed to talk to them about something to do with teleporting to the nearest city and back, and I did successfully negotiate to get whatever I needed from them. I also remember some commentary about how I was able to fly and how public bathroom stalls, where I took my showers, weren’t very effective separators since I could just go over the walls.
  • I dreamt that my approval to go to SIngapore arrived, and I teleported the approval around to my last few steps to speed up the submission process to get my final papers. I thought I was ready on my end but it turned out I still had to process something, it had an induction bar and I had left the bar at 99%, but I hadn’t realized that it needed to go from 0-100% nine times, not just one time, for my side of the process to be done. It only took an hour or so to do though.
  • There was also a dream about being sort of trapped in a room in a house with a couple people, the room was a safe room but led back out to a corridor with two exits, one of which was far on the left and led deeper into the house, and the other one of which was nearby on the right and led to a room with an external window. The right room had several people in it that we would have to defeat to escape, but we were trying to stealth out and thus trying to find alternative routes. There were also two other one-way doors that led into the same hallway but didn’t have a handle on this side of the door so we couldn’t use it, but I considered using a card or something to try to pry one of the doors open through the gap between the side of the door and the door frame.
Aug 06 2022
  • I dreamt of snippets from the same interconnected dream, which included a weather forecast of a low of 15C and a high of 70C that I was sure was a typo, an oasis-like area called a Yurika that we were going to take shelter in in case it was not, a kid I was taking care of and teaching combat to who went to hide on the ceiling in the bathroom with her crossbow when she was sulking at something, before I found her and told her that she should channel her frustration into learning a new sort of combat like the ability to fight someone while running on the walls of a room, a scene where I drove Kel to a gas station to pick up a new car from a machine that generated vehicles there, after she abandoned her previous car because she found some nitro fuel that sped up her walking speed to that of a car but only lasted for a few minutes, and an arcade bar where people could play guess the song games and sports trivia games on video machines against 3 other players in the bar (Kel and I briefly played guess the song but they were all songs we had no idea about).

 

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