My Diary #067

Dear Tigey,

Wow, this week really vanished. I feel like I was living in a haze this past week. The days just floated by.

Entry #067 (Sep 04 2022)

Table of Contents

Whiling the week away at…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #65
ට  Song of the Week #42
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #49
ට  Last Year’s Entry #18
ට  Dreams

School

The University Fall 2022 semester started this week. Not that it involves me much, except in the context of work below. I also received a physical copy of the renunciation rejection letter that I had been emailed from ICA in Singapore, and they had sent it to me using my old, pre-transition dead name instead of my legal name, and made it so I had to go pick it up from the post office instead of just delivering it to my mailbox, so that was fun. Idiots.

Work

Work was notably busier this week than the past few weeks, although it still isn’t really what I’d consider stressful or busy, but it does consume a lot more time on and off during the day as issues pop up that we have to deal with, or replies to previous tickets came in. This is because the Fall semester started this week, although it probably really doesn’t take off until next week since this week just had the first couple days of classes + orientations.

I did manage to fully catch up with updating and approving our team’s Knowledge Base Articles this week though, which was a nice feather in the cap as there were a couple KBs that had been stuck for months in the draft stage due to ennui and needing approvals. Not anymore! Just in time for a KB freeze as they prepare to import them into Freshservice, by Freshworks, which is apparently the next iteration of the ticketing software that our department is going to use, replacing the old one, ServiceNow.

Our exec staff team every 5-8 years or so and they really like implementing new ticketing systems to boost their resumes — we’ve gone from OTRS to ServiceNow to Freshservice in the past 10 years, and no one I’ve spoken to expects that we’ll stick with this for more than one contract cycle.

It’s a long weekend this weekend! This means no work on Monday, yay. I plan to spend it happily lazing around the house.

Life

Our highs this week were 27°C on Monday, 31°C on Tuesday, 32°C on Wednesday, 23°C on Thursday, 31°C on Friday, 36°C on Saturday, and 33°C on Sunday. One last hurrah for summer heat I guess, especially that 36°C, which is by far the hottest day we’ve seen this year. Due to this, I stayed home a lot, as there was a heat warning/alert most of this week and some of the afternoons got rather hot. This also had the rather amusing effect of there being a heat warning on Thursday, when the high was 23°C, because it was surrounded by hot days on either side and they didn’t bother to end the heat alert after Wednesday and issue a new one on Thursday.

I mostly spent the week at home though, either playing games (at night) or catching up on work stuff, blog stuff, and other various tasks and chores. My bubble tea ice cream also came in good use this week. There was also a fire alarm that went off early in the week during the day, but when my neighbour and I went downstairs, we found that it was just a test and maintenance people were fidding with the fire alarm box by the apartment’s front doors. They hadn’t bothered to post an individual sign on our doors that this was happening this time around, and I eventually found a notice pasted in the mail room stating that there would be a fire alarm test this week, that wasn’t there when I visited it last weekend.

Also in apartment this week, someone was having trouble getting the dryer in the laundry room to work, so he knocked on my door and asked for assistance since my door is right opposite the laundry room’s. It was the same issue I had figured out last week — he had a card but it only worked on the washer, and not the dryer, as well. I showed him where to download the phone app for it and how to use it, and ended up just paying the $2.50 for his load of laundry since he already had his wet clothing loaded in (as he had expected the card to work). He was very grateful for that and I declined the repayment he tried to give me. +Neighbour rep. I briefly considered posting a sign on my door saying to knock and ask for help if anyone couldn’t figure out the laundry, since I had overheard a couple other people outside my door trying to wrestle with the machine the prior week.

I seem to be getting slight coughs and sometimes sniffles every 4-5 days or so — they often come together, last one day or even half a day at times, and then mysteriously and completely disappear. I have no idea why and I’m not testing positive for the ol’ COVID-19, but it’s happened about 4 times now over the past two weeks. And it’s very strange. Not discomforting or debilitating or anything, just weird.

I did go out a couple times earlier in the week, and in my local cloud report, I saw a war being waged between grey clouds and white clouds in the sky:

I swear the contrast was a bit more striking in person. It vaguely looked like space battleships from two different factions duking it out in Edmonton’s atmosphere. The next day though, everything was gone and there was no traces left of the carnage from the day before:

I also purchased a laptop this week in preparation for my future Singapore or Japan or whatever study abroad program, this Gigabyte Aorus (local) for $1364.79 after tax. It’s a little on the big side and apparently doesn’t have the best battery life, but it does hit my requirements of a 3060+ with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of hard drive space (for video processing) otherwise, and was on a steep sale to boot.

The end of the week also found the group of people I’ve played AMQ with working on an anime identification quiz, a celebration event for /r/anime hitting the 5 million subscribers mark. There was one for previous milestones too, specifically the 1 million, 2 million, and 3 million subscriber mark ones, and we took part and did well in those quizzes as well. This time they have it in a video format and are openly encouraging group submissions, which I had suggested one or two iterations ago, because people group up to solve them anyway and some openly state this and others didn’t, and there were small prizes on the line for doing well in those previous quizzes that made that whole dynamic sort of awkward. This time, it’s just for fun, and the contest lasts the entire week, which is far better.

Games

I barely logged any solo gaming playtime on Steam this week. Most of my gaming time went toward Gunfire Reborn with Tes and occasionally Satinel, the game’s gameplay loop is excellent and we’ve cleared the difficulty levels all the way up to Reincarnation 2 now. New game mechanics that were not in the lower difficulty levels keep the game really interesting and the character builds and focuses somewhat different each time, which in turn keeps each round challenging and stimulating, especially when you can start to collect “sets” of skills/scrolls/weapons for bonuses, although I feel like I’m being carried along by better players in a lot of the runs. Still, it’s been so fun that it’s been causing really late night sleeping times, which in turn has probably been causing a cascading effect of waking up late and/or being tired and has thus been pulling down Life and Dreams and several other blog sections around these parts. I should probably cut back on this game a little.

Besides that, we dorfed a bit.

Rock and Stone! Because people were partially away and stuff and we had been playing for a fair amount as a group already, we scaled back a bit and made Wednesdays our official Dorf and Stone day for now, with Saturdays being more of an optional thing, whereas in the past few weeks we would always play longer sessions of DRG on both Wed and Sat.

Plushie of the Week #65

This week, I’m featuring three plushies — they’re all little Ty plushies so all three have official names, which are: Strut the Rooster, Loosy the Goose, and Iggy the Iguana. I acquired all three from an online credit auction site named Listia, where two other previously featured plushies have been from, Aria from PotW #18 and Bob from PotW #23.

These three are the only three other plushies that I got from that site, and all three were from the same user, named TnTCollectibles, at the same time, so even though they were separate lots that I bid on and “won”, the person was kind and sane enough to ship all three together. Strut cost 150 credits, Loosy cost 202, and Iggy cost 99, for a total of 451 credits, or roughly . I didn’t actually find a discussion of shipping cost for this one, nor do I have a Paypal record for this transaction, so that part might actually have been free. Regardless, they arrived safely and joined my plushie army on Sep 06 2011, so their 11th birthdays are in two days from the posting of this blog.

They don’t really have any personalities or claims to fame or anything, the most significant thing any of them has ever done is that one of the Iggy pictures became Diary1000.jpg on this blog site. Note that this doesn’t mean it’s the 1000th picture on the blog — my backup folder for the site contains over 6000 pictures already, many pictures just have a different naming scheme (and early on my naming schemes weren’t exactly the most consistent). So even this achievement is significantly watered down.

Here’s pictures of Strut:

Loosy:

And finally Iggy:

Song of the Week #42

Title: Owaranai Sekai de
Artist: DAOKO
Album: Shitekiryoko (2018), Dragalia Lost OST (2018)

The song I would like to feature today is also, like the past few weeks, from a game. Specifically, this one is from the Japanese mobile gacha game called Dragalia Lost. It was the opening song of the game (at least when it first launched, no idea if they changed it up later on), and while the game was decent and I played it for a few months, I fell head over heels in love with the song and would just linger on the character menu screen listening to the song play. I listened to it a fair amount outside of the game too. it’s a very nostalgic song to me, not only because of the lyrics that mention nostalgia, but because I played this during my recovery period after my late 2017 surgery and the song has connotations of coming forth into a new life and a new world for me. It was also a song I took with me when I went back to the University and started classes there again in 2019 or so, so it also reminds me of the Tory Building on the UAlberta campus in particular, and the slightly sweet/musty scent that the building seems to have.

I discovered through cursory research for this blog section that a shutdown for the game was recently announced and that it will be ending on Nov 30 2022. This made me oddly really upset, despite me remembering nothing about the gameplay or characters or plot, and I’ll probably re-download the game to visit my old characters and see how far I ever got, as there apparently actually is an ending story chapter for Dragalia Lost now that wraps up the story for the characters.

Besides the official video linked, there are other videos of the song that I wanted to highlight, particularly this English subtitles version and this Dragalia Lost ending credits version. There’s also a 1 minute long official game trailer version. The song lyrics are also vaguely fitting for a game shutdown in places, which adds a layer on top of the song that is probably going to give it even more of a tinge of sadness than it already has, especially since the title of the song (ironically) translates to In An Unending World.

I’m going to go into a corner by myself to be upset now.

Memory Snippet of the Week #49

This week I’m taking a break from walking down the memory lane of old games that I’ve played, because a conversation came up in my main Discord mid-week that ended up with me displaying a picture of a box of CDs that my sister had sent over to me from when they recently moved — she sent the picture, asked if I wanted the CDs (or they’d get thrown out), and followed up with the boxes a couple weeks ago once I said yes. I don’t necessarily want to keep the CDs, but I do at least want the album covers.

From there, I also dug out an old diary page I had made in the late 90s and early 00’s detailing where and when I got most of those CDs, which I thought was interesting enough to stand on its own as a Memory Snippet of the Week.

Not all the CDs in the box are mine, nearly all of them are though. But geez, I sure spent a lot of money (or my parents’ money) on CDs when younger, particularly between late 1998 (when we were preparing to depart Singapore) and early 1999 (when we arrived in Canada). I guess they were bribes in a sense since I was also very angry about moving at that time and wanted to stay behind in Singapore, but wasn’t allowed to do so.

I also remember one odd memory snippet related to buying CDs. I was coming out of a HMV store with my parents on what might have been that Nov 24 1998 trip in the notebook, although I feel like it was earlier on than that. This would have been somewhere downtown, I believe either around Orchard Road or one of the neighbouring north-line MRT stations (Dhoby Ghaut, Somerset, Newton), when we were accosted by a woman telling us that we had won a vacation for somewhere or other and trying to get us to sign up for something. I remember my parents herding us away from it while I was questioning them as to why they didn’t accept that offer as it looked like a no-brainer to me. Looking back, it was definitely some sort of marketing or scam thing but I’ve always wondered exactly what that event was about.

Anyway, there are also some cassette tapes in the box above — that contains music from the Heroes of Might and Magic (1-3) and Might and Magic (6-8, Crusaders) series that we had recorded to tape directly from our game CDs at some point. We had a radio in our Edmonton 4012 house which had both CD and tape slots and which allowed us to record from CD to tape, and we discovered that we could play the music from those game CDs by just sticking the game CD directly into the radio, so Jon transcribed those at some point while playing around with the technology, as we all really liked the music soundtrack and sound effects from the games.

Last Year’s Entry #18

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #020. This was published on Sep 05 2021.

I see that this time last year we were already swamped in tickets. Yikes. Even with people leaving, we have one more person on our side of the team this year, and we’re more closely in touch with the developers since we’ve been merged with them as well, so any tickets we have that need their attention will generally pass back and forth a lot quicker, so things have not yet been as crazy as last year.

I’m not queue monitor this year so far though, Sandy is and he’s still held on to that role even as he goes to classes three days a week. I think it’s actually better this way — I’ve noticed he’s gone to a system that I used as well where I spend a bit of time the previous evening doling out tickets for the next day, and this way can offset the work needed the next day so he can go to class or just take a shorter day to concentrate on homework assignments if needed.

It looks like our province is now sitting at 90.8% of the population with at least one dose, and 87.3% with at least two doses, along with 4790 total deaths, as of end of day, Aug 29 2022.

The thing that they built down in the shared courtyard there last year turned out to be just a little shed. You can see it in the Resident Appreciation BBQ pictures from two weeks ago, particularly in the background of this shot:

And I’ve since been back to that Tampines 294 house that I featured in last year’s corresponding blog entry, of course, with the front door (different from when we lived there) visible in this picture from my Rose-Tinted Goggles Day 11 blog post.

Dreams

My dream retention was pretty terrible this week. It happens, I suppose, but I’ve been unhappy about this. There were multiple cases of me waking up and remembering feelings and uneasiness rather than the actual content of the dream. I was sad that I made (and then lost) a dream friend on Aug 31, and then again on Sep 04, though.

Aug 29 2022
  • Snippet: There were a few different train stations that felt like they were on the east side of Singapore that I could travel within, as well as an overarching theme at their stops where there was some sort of task to do at each one. Groups of people, who were either all-boy or all-girl musical bands, were attempting to solve whatever the task was, and I could help them in some way if I wanted to.
Aug 30 2022
  • In one part of my dream, I was trundling along with a group on a wagon or something through some marshy grasslands, and someone following us wanted to buy memebership in our group for 65 million dollars/gold.
  • Later on, I was visiting a city while on holiday and passed through a street where I could see an Indian woman in the doorway of a house on the other side of the street, standing just outside the ajar door as she performed several standup comedy routines to entertain passerbys. There were quite a few passerbys standing in a large semicircle around her, watching and clapping at her antics, but I did not want to stay as the outdoor air was really misty or smoggy.
  • I went up to the 4th floor of the building I was in, where it connected with the city’s airport, and I went in before realizing that I had not packed my stuff yet and thus was not ready to leave the place. I watched two men carrying luggage having an irrelevant conversation with an airport attendant before heading back the way I came.
  • Further on, I was back home in my Edmonton 4012 house when I heard a noise from my balcony and saw movement outside. I opened the door and saw a Chinese boy, around University age, in my balcony and partially concealed behind the right-side wall so I couldn’t see him well from my computer desk. I asked what he was doing, and he pointed to a large hole in the left-side wall of my balcony, which led directly into his apartment unit.
  • He said that he had accidentally cut through it with a large chainsaw and wanted to know if I had any house insulation or panes of glass lying around so that he could patch up the hole. In the meantime, he was trying to make up for the inconvenience by watering a small potted plant that I didn’t know I had there, so he must have brought it over as a gift after making the hole as well.
  • I looked at the hole — it must have been quite an accident, for it was a roughly cut square hole about 1.5 metres in length on each side, and was obviously deliberately done. He said that he had always lived in an apartment with a large window and really liked that, so he wanted this for his unit here as well. I shook my head and figured that he’d be gone from the place once I reported him to the rental office downstairs, so I sat down on the edge of my balcony and chatted with him a bit before he stopped watering the strange plant and went back through the hole.
  • Our conversation was in a mix of English and Chinese, he seemed to favour Chinese and I could mostly follow the conversation, but there were several words that I didn’t understand that he had to translate to English, for example when he was asking about housing insulation to plug the hole with.
Aug 31 2022
  • This dream took place in some sort of train station area and an underground lab area, I had been here before in previous dreams and recognized the place to some degree. There was an entire plotline that unraveled here, and plenty of guns and combat and possibly deadly flying orbs as well, but the bit I mostly remember is the end bit, where there were a couple ways to trick an AI, steal something it needed, get into an elevator leading up, and slow it down enough so that it couldn’t get into the elevator before the door closed as well. I could then take the elevator up from the Basement 3 level to the Basement 2 one and escape from there. This involved a lot of saving and loading the “game” and trying out of different tactics to achieve.
  • I also made a friend at some point, a University girl who waited for me before starting a defense event on one of the floors so that we both got credit for it. She then said she waited because she was Canadian, and I said I was too. I asked where, and she said that she was from a University in Ontario, and I replied that I was from one in Alberta. We chatted in a friendly manner for a bit even though I knew the friendship couldn’t last.
  • She showed me her phone address book and said that most of her friends were White, and asked if that demographic split was the same where I was. I said not quite, we have a lot of Chinese here in comparison, although Caucasians still made up a slight majority in the city/University. The ethnicity split was a lot closer though.
Sep 04 2022
  • There was a school campus-wide event where a boy with flying powers was “it” in a massive game of Hide and Seek, and had to find other students, about 1000 of us in all. I was friends with one other girl and we decided to try to “hide” together.
  • I pointed out that he most likely didn’t know what we looked like since the cohort was so big, and would likely be looking out for magical powers, but as long as my friend hid her magical girl powers, we would likely be fine because I was not a magical girl myself yet (but would become one in a few days) and so even if he landed in front of us, as long as I made myself out to be more assertive, he would see that I was clearly non-magical and probably not bother to scan my friend too.
  • So I said that we should not try to fly away to hide or anything like that, but start right in the middle of the circular radius that marked the starting boundary for the hide and seek game, and mingle with the hundreds of other innocent civilians walking around. She agreed, so that was what we did, and this worked great. He never even landed near us but I had a feeling that even if he did, we would have been fine.
  • We walked around and then out of campus, as it was lunch break and I wanted to visit a road going up a hill nearby. On my phone map, the road ahead split into two, each leading to a point of interest. One was a small cluster of shops that included some fast food places, and the other was a cemetery. We were going to the shops but I said that I wanted to stop by the cemetery as well as I had some relatives buried there and wanted to pay my respects even though it had been many years.

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