My Diary #068

Dear Tigey,

A dream was born this week. Not sure I can afford it right now, though!

Entry #068 (Sep 11 2022)

Table of Contents

A happy sugar…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #66
ට  Song of the Week #43
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #50
ට  Last Year’s Entry #19
ට  Dreams

School

There’s still not much happening on this front — I’ve disturbed my Singapore government contacts once or twice but have heard nothing from them. I vaguely feel like I’m supposed to be doing something with my Singapore NUS application as well, there’s a deadline coming up in two weeks for my Winter application, but I haven’t actually gotten any instructions or clearance from the NUS side to do so either. Oh well.

Work

As we swing into the busiest time of the year, work has been.. surprisingly fine. The one extra person we have this year plus everyone working at more or less full capacity (this wasn’t true last year) seems to have really made a difference. My workload this year feels like it’s about half of what I had to do last year. Though a large part of it is probably that I’m not queue monitor this time around.

In other news, someone from the dev side of the team is leaving to pursue a career upgrade at Apple. This would be James, who was the team leader of the dev side before our two teams merged together, and he moved into an advisor sort of role in the team while our supervisor, Ronnie, became team lead of the combined team. I didn’t like him while we were on separate teams as he was rough to work with from outside, but Ronnie had always sworn by him and said that he was very nice in-person and within his team (and that he was just a bad communicator over text, which was the bulk of our inter-team communication due to COVID-19 and working from home), and we’ve seen this once our teams merged together, he’s been super nice to work with and I’ll be somewhat sad to see him go. He’s also the knowledge expert for a lot of systems so they’re trying to offload as much knowledge as possible from him to the rest of the team before he goes on pre-departure vacation next week.

Life

My laptop that I ordered last week arrived this week, so I signed for it and picked it up from the local Canada Post branch in the mall next to my house, lugged the box home, and dumped the laptop in a corner. I haven’t actually had time or the willpower to even turn it on to test it yet. Sometime soon, hopefully!

Otherwise, I’m actually going to cut this section short today in an effort to cut the time that I spend working on this weekly blog post down a bit. I would like to get it to a point where 2-3 hours a week is enough to get a post out if I’m not doing significant research for any specific section. Which probably means trimming down some sections in the end, I haven’t decided which yet. I could just get less verbose in general though.

Anyway this week did see a significant event, but I slotted it down in the Games section rather than up here, so Life looks a little barren this week, as most of my free time went toward that event, instead of going out and doing or seeing things, even though the weather’s much cooler this week after last weekend’s sweltering heat. But that’s fine!

I also finished a major file sorting project this week that’s been on pause and forgotten about for a couple years already, so that felt good to do. I found several really old files from that (1998-2005 era) as well, and spent some time browsing through a couple of them as I was sorting them into the appropriate folders. I also added a couple of those documents to my blog, on my handy-dandy new (couple weeks old) Books page, namely this terrible Rain essay I did in 1998, and this Fluff v1.7 story that some girls in my Dunman GEP class (I’m not sure exactly who, though..) did.

I also helped another neighbour on the floor with figuring out the laundry machines this week (although I didn’t pay for him this time) and reported one of my next door neighbours for being too noisy, since they were up until 3:30 am on Friday night with their TV or music tuned up very high. This happened last week as well, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, since it was a long weekend, and has happened this week on Friday and Saturday night thus far, though this Friday’s was particularly bad due to how late into the night it went.

Games

The games I played this week were the same as the past few weeks — Gunfire Reborn, Deep Rock Galactic, and AMQ. That was it. That isn’t what I wanted to talk about here though.

So while chatting with Satinel this week, I managed to.. hmm. Find is the wrong word to use here, since I already had this goal before, but maybe iterate upon is a better verb here? Or conceptualize? Improve? Focus? Anyway I managed to latch on to and flesh out a new and improved version of one of my life goals, or maybe, like a parasite, it managed to latch on to me and suck out my week.

I’ve wanted to program a computer game for a long time now, but it has always been a vague goal — I started toying around with Unity at some point in the past to work toward this goal, and made some panels and stuff after wading through some tutorials, but it always felt like the wrong tool to use, especially since I don’t have art or music skills and complex concepts like lighting and shadows always feel far out of reach and pointless to me. I just want to write a story and capture people’s imaginations.

In the past, Trinstar had suggested checking out Twine, among other story-writing tools, as Unity plugins when I was trying out Unity, but I never really looked into it back then. I came across and took a serious look at Twine as a standalone tool in particular this week though, and although I’m not sure how scalable a project can get before it starts lagging out a machine and requiring me to get a better PC (for a text game??), I ended up downloading Twine and playing around with its SugarCube 2 story format this week and hammering out some basic visual templates and game functions and stuff, with an eye of creating a Choose Your Own Adventure type of story in the end, but a supremely intertwined one that lets the story itself play out in many different ways.

I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it yet, it being both the game in general as well as the Twine/SugarCube format, but I’m well-familiar with the process of creation after starting up this blog — you just have to start doing something and see where it takes you over time, and even if something fizzles out, lay as much of the foundation as you can down, so that if you return to it in the future, even if it’s a year or two from now, your future self can take that abandoned foundation and improve upon it and have a much better starting point than if she was starting where you are right now. That’s partly how this blog started too, the format and background and most of the content blocks and primary addons and all that were in place long before I actually started my diary entries, well in excess of two years from when My Diary #001 was posted, and the proverbial ground is strewn with ashes of old posts that no longer exist, from a time period where I was still experimenting and figuring out what I wanted to do with the blog, and these current diary entries have risen from the ashes of those old iterations of my blog.

Anyway, my game story itself is also still being developed but I want it to be a female-protagonist high school life/magical girl story, set somewhere in a Japanese or Chinese (perhaps fusion) styled city, but first and foremost with a heavy focus on just living a normal “slice of life” (as in, the game will involve the basic loop of school > after school > home life > bed > school), and then adding on predicaments to explore the magical girl concept from there, because that’s the kind of story both of us like and want to play. I also haven’t decided if it’s going to be set in the modern era, pre-Internet era, or perhaps something futuristic and cyberpunky, although I do want to craft something cyberpunky and techno-futuristic at some point in the future.

It’s obviously easier said than done but right now it will differ from most other slice of life type games in that there won’t be one path that the player will be forced to take through the game’s slice of life portions — they should be able to make as many or as few friends or enemies as they want and juggle and nurture those relationships over time, join any school club they might want out of a couple dozen that all have their own associated plotlines, and feel like a part of their home city — which itself will hopefully be something I can build out to be nice and large while not feeling hollow.

And then, on top of that, as Satinel and I both like the mahou shoujo/magical girl genre, and because the market is seriously lacking a female protagonist magical girl/slice of life game, I’m going to angle the story in that direction, giving your character a selection of powers they can choose from and giving them decisions like which of their friends they want to confide in and reveal their true identities to, and which to hide it from, and perhaps even a way to recruit others in the end. Whatever evil organization I dream up should also be able to react to that, since you’d want to be hiding your identities from them as well.

I think that one of the main advantages of a text (or mostly-text, if I can eventually wrangle someone to do character sprites) game is simply that you don’t have to have pictures drawn out for different variations of the same scene, which allows me to have a lot more flexibility in my story and a lot less railroading. That being said, there are tons of people who get this far and have their own self-proclaimed great ideas, but never complete their game or story, and realistically with everything else that I’m already doing, this is probably at least a 3-4 year venture to get something basic out and a 7 or so year venture to get something that I’m satisfied with.

Still, the week was spent making functions like my own time system, and link wrappers so I can make all my passage transition links styled a certain way. Then making some test passages that link to each other and loop around, and some SugarCube2 (which has its own scripting language), Javascript, and CSS work, even though I’m not particularly adept at either Javascript or CSS. There’s lots of documentation to wade through and lots of gotchas to figure out. Some time went into trying to design the game world as well, although there are a lot of questions about the setting still left unanswered. I am confident that those will come with time though, with one idea popping out, rising above the others, or just feeling more comfortable to do, as always happens once I take some time to mull all the options over.

So, fun stuff. I’d rather invest more of my time on that this weekend as well, so I’m trying to be briefer than usual with this blog entry.

Plushie of the Week #66 – Johann and Johanna

Johann and Johanna are ghost plushies that we picked up sometime in the early to mid 2000’s, while we were all still living in our Edmonton 4012 house. It must have been around Halloween, but we aren’t sure exactly where or when we picked them up. They stood on the chair between my two siblings’ bed with a bunch of the other plushies, and although they were never the central characters in our stories, they were occasional side characters that made appearances that usually involved them getting angry with Toodles or Tigey or some other hapless victim and bonking them over the head with their pumpkins.

Johann is the ghost with the larger pumpkin and Johanna is the one with the smaller pumpkin. Don’t anger either of them! They are Ty plushies and their default names seem to be Ghoul and Ghoulianne. Our names are better, though.

Johann front:

Johann back and some tags:

Johann arm tag:

Johann rectoplasm tag:

Johanna front:

Johanna back:

Johanna rectoplasm tag front:

Tag back:

And a group picture! Awww.

Song of the Week #43

Title: Lelianna’s Song
Artist: Inon Zur feat. Aubrey Ashburn
Album: Dragon Age: Origins OST (2009)

Leliana was a bard in Dragon Age: Origins that can be recruited to your character’s main party, as well as the outright protagonist in one of the prequel DLCs for Dragon Age: Origins, also called Leliana’s Song. It’s the titular song of the DLC, since it shares the same name, and plays during a particularly poignant moment in the game itself. The song itself, oddly, was titled with an extra N on the actual soundtrack CD for some reason, so it’s Lelianna’s Song instead of Leliana’s Song because some intern in charge of printing the track listing probably screwed up along the way, even though the character’s name is Leliana.

This song is the embodiment of Dragon Age itself for me, as it captures the hopeless sort of despondence that the world is shrouded in rather well, while infusing it with a defiant and resolute touch as well. It makes me think of various people all around the world living through hell in war-torn regions, and how brave they must be to get up day after day to struggle and try to eke out a living in the hopes of a better day. But above and beyond that, it’s just a really nice song that I wept to while playing the game, and brought with me onto my MP3 player as I slogged away at work and muddled my way through life in the early 2010s. It also reminds me of cool, rainy weather, for some reason, which is a nice connotation to have.

Lastly, it leaves me with a little bit of guilt because I only played and completed the first game, and not any of the follow ups, since they were not available on Steam at the time and I refused to buy from their store/EA Origins. They’re apparently all 75-80% off on Steam at this very moment in time though, so maybe I should purchase them and find some time to play through the story.

Memory Snippet of the Week #50

“D, R, W, G, O, G, S, I, I, ?”.

This is an odd sequence of characters that will probably live on in my head forevermore, outliving and pushing out all sorts of useful information that could otherwise have taken its place.

Back in the late 90s or early 00s, around when Geocities was still alive, there was a certain personal website/forum, long lost to time, that I stumbled upon. It was hosted by some British person or couple and consisted of a letter sequence puzzle that they would post and invite visitors to the website to solve, and each puzzle would remain up until someone solved it. At that point, the website host would send the person a $5 bill in the mail or something (thus why it was mostly localized in the UK and surrounding area) and post a new puzzle.

I remember seeing that most of the puzzles were solved in a day, sometimes hours, after they were posted, and they weren’t easy puzzles to boot. For example, an easy example puzzle might have been M, V, E, M, J, S, U, ?, and the answer would have been N, because that’s the first letter of the planets starting from closest to the sun and going out. A medium variation might have been something like Y, S, H, S, R, N, S, ?, and the answer would have been E, as now we’re using the last letter of each planet. An even more difficult variation along the same theme might have been M, E, R, S, T, ?, and the answer would have been N — here it’s the first letter of Mercury, the second letter of Venus, the third letter of Earth, and so on. And of course, they weren’t just planets, that was just my example question theme here, but it covered quite a wide range of trivia, from things like geography (e.g. planets, countries) to history (e.g. monarchs in order of succession, or something empires/wars related) to sports (winning/losing teams of this and that sport event) and literature (starting letters of a sentence of a famous book) and more. Those are not specific examples, but that was definitely the gist of how the puzzles went, at least.

However, by the time I had stumbled upon the site, I saw that the puzzles had largely stalled and the community had more or less petered out. The website had an archive where I could see past puzzles, which is how I knew that most of the puzzles were solved in hours to days, but I could also see that some had taken a couple months before someone had finally cracked the code. This DRWGOGSII one, however, was the “latest” puzzle on the page and had been there for over a year at that point, and it looked like the community had largely given up, whereas the site admin were not forthcoming with the answer and had continued to leave it up as a challenge.

Was it ever solved? Was there even an answer? Or was it a fake answerless puzzle by the admins who were tired of giving away money to puzzle solvers? I might never know, but I know that I had written the sequence down in a jotter book at that point, and carried it with me as a memory snippet ever since. I’ve looked through my old bookmarks (2007 being the earliest saved bookmarks file that I’ve been able to unearth) and have not been able to find the actual originating website thus far in order to look them up on the Wayback Machine, but honestly I’m not sure I’d recognize the name of the site in my Bookmarks files at this point anyway even if it were in there.

I do know, however, that although at this moment there are no matches for a search of that sequence of letters on Google, I have searched it up in the search engine within the past 10 years or so and found at least one other person who had posted it on another site looking for closure on this topic as well, so I might not be the only person in the world looking for an answer for this weird little piece of internet history. And thanks to this site, I’m going to make sure that there is at least one Google search result for this damned sequence of characters for some years to come, hopefully.

Last Year’s Entry #19

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #021. This was published on Sep 12 2021.

So this was the week that I finally ended that “Things I am thankful for this week” section that I used to run. My initial intent was to merge that and Photograph of the Week, which eventually turned into Memory Snippet of the Week, and mix some longer form and shorter form writeups where the shorter ones would be kind of similar to what I did with “Things I am thankful for this week”, and the longer ones would be more of an in-depth view at something, but I’ve been doing a lot more long-form entries than short-form entries thus far. There’s a lot of small things I want to talk about though, like last week’s CD collection, but even shorter, it’s just that there’s always been larger writeups begging to be done as well. I should probably angle MSotW more toward shorter writeups though.

I still haven’t done a full writeup, scan, and photo dump of that Hong Kong math contest that I went to and that I talked about in last year’s post. I do have a few thoughts on that that I need to put down still. One day!

Dreams

Lots of dreams of short and medium length this week, after a rather disappointing week last week. Weird too, I had two dreams that involved a swimming pool and learning to swim, and two that involved deaths. I always wonder when little themes like that get strung together in dreams chronologically close to each other.

Sep 05 2022
  • Snippet: I was walking around town with someone else and came across a food cart store that was open that I had always wanted to try — apparently I had been by here before and it was always closed, even though the surrounding stalls were open. Today this one was open, and I learnt that it was a stall selling small helpings of chocolate food, so I bought a small donut or something.
  • Snippet: The other snippet I remember is that I was playing a baseball game with my class or group of friends against another group of people, we were the underdogs but had three or four decent players on our team. I remember the two main characters from the Aharen-san anime were both on our team, and I remember that we had weird names for first, second, and third base that made the other team snicker when they heard it. There was also a large pillar in the middle of the field between the bases that took up most of the field and made it so you couldn’t see second base from home plate.
  • Somehow related to this was some news that I had heard where the Edmonton Oilers and a New York hockey team were both trying to recruit a famous player, and the Oilers won by default because the New York manager flew over to see the guy personally but insisted that the player had to buy his own plane ticket to come play with them.
Sep 06 2022
  • Dad and a family friend of his drove me from their house that we were visiting to a nearby bus terminal in the friend’s car, as part of a contract, where they dropped me off. There was something about how if I wanted them to drive me any further we’d have to sign a new contract, which we didn’t want to do. I was meeting a friend from school there, and we were taking the bus from there in the southeastern side of the city to a shopping centre in the northwest. We could catch a variety of buses for this, including the 4 to West Edmonton Mall, but there were still a couple minutes until the next 4 arrived so I asked if she minded if I went to the washroom first, and she said no.
  • As I started walking though, I saw her look at one of the other buses pulling in to the bus terminal, and she made a run for it, thinking that it was our bus. I decided not to go for the toilet and rushed back toward the bus as well, trying to tell her that we didn’t need to catch that specific bus, whereas she tried to ask the bus driver to wait for me, but the bus driver was in a hurry and drove off with her on board.
  • I waited a minute more and the bus I had intended to take in the first place arrived, so I got onto that one. I learnt that to get to the shopping center or anything else in the northwest sector of the city, we had to first stop at a large shrine in the central sector of the city and get permits from the Japanese authorities there, so I figure I’d just meet up with my friend again at that shrine.
  • I made my way toward the front of the bus where there was a long seat that stretched from the right side of the bus to the left side. There was a school bag on the rightmost part of the long seat there, and I excused myself to the nearby riders as I took the bag. I said that I had gotten a friend to leave the bag there yesterday and was only able to claim it today, but that it was mine and I could name the name in the wallet inside the bag, as well as the things in it, if they were dubious of my claim. They weren’t though, so they just nodded.
  • I said something about showing them my plushies anyway and opened the bag’s main pocket, patting Tigey, Ally, Orson, and Ducky, all of whom were seated inside the bag. I brought Ally out to show to someone in the seat in front of us, who swiped excitedly at the alicorn plushie and dislodged the bridle on her snout. I put Ally back into the bag, then noticed that all four plushies were “insane”, with red eyes and slightly deformed features, although they were still benign and safe. They had turned insane due to being left in the bus and cold temperatures overnight, but would recover in an hour or two, I figured.
  • Snippet: Someone logged in to our Discord server as Thrandor, and although he didn’t say a thing, I realized it was one of his relatives with his phone due to the Now Playing status in the sidebar of the Discord client.
Sep 07 2022
  • My team went on a two-day work trip of some kind and were in a large communal house with an indoor pool that we had rented out. A couple things happened there, the first being that we met a hero who had been fighting a final evil boss, but had lost, and had been sent back 30 years in the past, with his soul sword split into seven pieces, and he himself had been transformed into a girl. We met that girl in the house and Ronnie invited her along with us on our excursions.
  • She wanted to make a mutually acceptable deal and offered to use some sort of ticket system where ticket to her was a sort of currency that she’d give us in order for letting her tag along. Ronnie agreed to this but I disagreed, I said I wanted nothing to do with tickets while on vacation because it reminded me of work tickets.
  • At one point too, we were looking back on a room projection of India in the past, where some army had marched into a roadside market in India from a country to the northwest while looking for a hospital, and they were wondering if this market was an open-air hospital or something because the culture was completely different from theirs. Ronnie was more interested in the prices of the items that the stalls were selling than the historical event happening, he pointed at some eggs and said that that was really cheap and maybe he should start buying from there. I reminded him that this was from the early to mid 1900s and inflation would have more than tripled the prices by now.
  • Once we arrived home, I was walking home from school and lugging my suitcase behind us while a guy friend of mine was following behind with his own. Apparently the trip had involved people breaking off into groups and now we were coming to gether to share stories, and meeting our regular friends again. I hurried off away from the school until I noticed him following me, at which point I slowed down so we could walk back together in single file.
  • On the way back, I overheard people saying that the two main travel agencies that we used were very good and had vetted our homestays well. I remembered going back to my room just before we left and noting that the proprietor, an old man, and his young son had helped me pack everything into my case, after I had left the room to change because someone we were with was being inconsiderate and sitting on my bed to chat with me and I realized he was going to watch me strip and put on my panties if I changed in front of him. They even were cognizant enough to take some clothes that I had folded up and left on the room’s window sill, and pack them into the top of my case. I heard some people complain about a third travel agency that was really lousy and had caused luggage problems in the past, I recognized the company name (I don’t remember it now but it was 5 characters long) and noted that they were defunct now.
  • The reason I was hurrying was that I was now in guy mode and Angela from McNally was waiting for me somewhere along the way, and we eventually found her on the other side of a yellow sand wall that had one sloping sand path leading up to it and another one leading down from it. Both paths were parallel to the wall and pressed up against it, and were sloping up in the same direction, from the left side to the right. She was at the bottom of the slope of the path on the other side of the wall from the school, and we walked home together from there. I had apparently confessed to her at some point and she had run off without giving a proper answer, but her waiting for me here with a big smile was some sort of a yes.
  • She asked us if we had walked home together and the friend I was with said yes, and that he wanted to walk home together with me so that he had made a trolley out of some green material (whose name I don’t recall) and put all our luggage on it for me to push. I said he didn’t, and that it was impossible to make a trolley out of that material anyway as it was a type of plant. He said he was joking.
  • Somewhere along the way I also slightly regretted not practising my swimming in the indoor pool more, as I only had a rudimentary ability to swim but we had spent enough time there that I could have levelled up my swimming somewhat. I resolved to the next time we went on this trip. I also remember hanging out with Antonia and some other girls at a different pool on the trip.
Sep 08 2022
  • Snippet: I remember exploring a house that I was living in with Kel, we slept in separate bedrooms that, together with Mom‘s bedroom, all had doors that led out into a shared corridor, but her room also had another door that led to other rooms as well as a toilet with a light that had been left on. We explored a few of the rooms and I went slightly ahead of her to clear out a room and declare it safe, but she was too afraid to travel any further at that point so we called it a night and I went back to my room as well, noting that my bedroom door made a slight creaking noise. Mom came to my room soon after to wake me up for the day, and scolded me for not sleeping properly since I was already awake. I said I had slept for part of the night so that was fine.
  • Snippet: Besides that, I don’t remember much else besides vague concepts. There was an MMO I was trying to introduce to some friends, and there was something separate about a wispy cloud. I also did write down a chunk of my dreams on a piece of paper in my dream, and then tucked it in a book somewhere, but whatever was written was long lost once I woke up.
Sep 09 2022
  • I dreamt that there was an event held on some school grounds (the school was Dunman High, but the school grounds didn’t match the real life school grounds) that Harvey had volunteered for, but the venue had caught fire while everyone was there. Most of the students got out, but Harvey and a couple other people died as heroes, saving a number of other people as they stayed behind to make sure others escaped.
  • I repeatedly both went back to the school as well as checked the school website to see if the school would confirm his death, as there was no official confirmation and he was just listed as missing at first, and/or write an article proclaiming them as heroes, but they never did for the duration of the dream and this veil of secrecy really irritated me.
  • This eventually merged into a plotline where I had no motivation to continue school or work because of not liking the administration and feeling really depressed. Ronnie mentioned something about seasonal depression as Christmas was coming up and I was happy to blame it on there.
  • There was also mention of an old MMO raid that we were trying to get people for that I had apparently run before in the very distant past — I didn’t remember any of it but I had completed the entire raid, which had about 10-15 different parts, on difficulty 3 (which was what they were trying to get people to do) and even had the first two stages completed on difficulty 4. There were 5 modes of difficulty in all, with difficulty 5 being the highest.
  • Lastly, at the very end of the dream, I was watching some anime where a boy was skipping school because his dog escaped and he was trying to track down the dog and running all over his neighbourhood to do so. While crawling belly-down atop a neighbour’s wall at some point, he ran into a girl from his class, and he put a finger over his lips and made a ssshhh noise with his face bright red, as his clothes had been all torn up. The girl laughed and helped corral the dog which was sitting patiently nearby with its tongue out. The scene then shifted to the boy’s house where he was still trying to cover his own tattered clothes with his dad and the girl watching on in amusement. Someone offered or asked him something that made him momentarily forget about his embarrassment, and his clothes fell off as he lifted his arms in excitement — they all laughed at him for this.
Sep 10 2022
  • I was in a large communal bathhouse that had bathrooms as well as a swimming pool, and I was lined up with several boys and girls dressed in swimsuits in preparating for taking a swimming/diving test held by a young Chinese woman who was basically our Phys Ed teacher. I was in girl mode here, but didn’t have a swimsuit, so I was wearing a frilly singlet top and no bottom and was garnering some attention from some of the guys I was lined up with, although most of the guys and all of the girls largely ignored me. I think the people I was lined up with were vaguely from Dunman, but I don’t remember specific names or faces.
  • Anyway, I had accidentally joined the wrong line at first, as there were several entrances to the pool but only one of them was being used by the teacher, so by the time I joined the right line I was right at the back of it. That was fine though, as this would give me time to watch and learn — I had not practiced my swimming in a long time and I had no idea if I would do okay or not.
  • The test involved the teacher filling up the empty pool to the neck level of the person taking the test, so the water level varied depending on the height of the current testee. They had to stay afloat in the pool while the teacher filled up the pool. The teacher then put four seashells on the bottom of the pool, and they had to dive down and retrieve all four shells in one breath. It wasn’t too difficult, although I saw a few people miss it and fail the test because they opted for a running start and then totally missed where the shells were once they dived. The teacher then completely drained out the pool between each person’s turn.
  • You were allowed into the pool to swim around and warm up once you were one of the next three testees, so once the teacher got to the third last student in the queue, I was allowed in to wade and float around. This helped with my confidence as well and I watched as the other two students did their test. We realized here that the difficulty of the test, specifically the number of shells to retrieve, also was scaled to the character level of the teacher, something like how it took the last digit of her current level and she happened to be at a level ending in 4 right now, which led to an easier test than if she was at level 10X+7 or 9 or something. I considered asking for a more difficult version of the test.
  • Once the pool was drained and I was getting ready for my turn however, the dream abruptly ended with the Taliban bursting in to the bathhouse and surveying the scene. Seeing me in my wet singlet, they immediately shot me, and when they pointed their guns at the teacher afterwards, the quick-thinking teacher proclaimed that I was the teacher and she was just a bathroom attendant and towel cleaner. She pulled a wet towel from the side wall to illustrate her point. The Taliban considered this a lowly job suitable for women so they let her go, as they were just looking to kill females in blasphemous jobs like teaching.
  • Watching the scene, I saw that the bathhouse was part of a tall apartment block and the teacher apparently was working as part of the local resistance, and had managed to convince the army to leave the apartment block be and saved it from being destroyed the last time the army had swept by the area. She had no idea the raid was happening today and was very guilty that she had used me to survive, but I appeared to her in a dream that night and told her that I was happy that she had survived, proud to be of use, and admired her quick-thinking skills. I asked her for a favour, which was to get the resistance to help ship my body home overseas, and she agreed to that and thanked me.
Sep 11 2022
  • Snippet: The only snippet I remember is part of a cooking task, where I was trying to enlist someone’s help in deciding whether a red soup powder or a yellow soup powder was stronger/better, while at the same time trying to trick them into touching both powders with their hands because that was somehow important. I ended up opening and pouring both powder packets on the kitchen floor and asking them to touch it and sniff their fingers to learn its smell, and then to see which was stronger by seeing how far away they could move from the respective pile of powder before they could no longer smell its pungent scent.

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