It was nice talking to you this week! We will defeat The Great Old One together at some point.
Entry #071 (Oct 02 2022)
I don’t actually have an update about my study abroad situation, although I don’t think Winter 2023 to Singapore is happening at this point. I kind of want it not to — I can do two semesters AFTER Japan instead of one semester before, if the clowns over in the Singapore government can sort my status out given a slightly longer runway. But I wanted to write down that I talked to an acquaintance this week whom I had met on the /r/chihayafuru Discord server two or three years ago. He goes by the name of Kaede and we had hung out a bit and chatted a fair amount as well as played some AMQ together in the past, as we shared some similar anime tastes. Anyway, he’s from Paraguay but is currently doing a 4 year program in a University down in the USA, and is planning to go to Japan next year to study as well — Fall 2023, the same time as I am planning to go.
He’s still choosing between a university in Kansai and one in Tokyo, but if things work out for the both of us, that’s cool that we’ll be in Japan at the same time. If we’re even in the same city then that’s one person I can meet and hang out with a fair amount, and if not then we can at least plan to meet up now and then!
It was a short week, so work was kind of deathly quiet for me since I’m fully caught up on all aspects of my work. My boss was unreachable due to being busy for most of the week, so I mostly did my work and then sat around monitoring chat and tickets while slowly researching and preparing for the Japan trip. My boss did say that our half of the team would meet at some point to outline what projects we had on the table and figure out what projects our team can work on, but to hold tight for now until then. I don’t have confidence that he’ll ever find the time to do that (or even ever remember about it without being prompted) though. Free time I suppose.
Friday was a public holiday at the University and a federal holiday nationwide — it’s the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
A number of other things happened this week in relation to the upcoming planned trip to Japan that I talked about last week. A good part of the week was spent on Japan research — places to go, things to look out for, where to stay, plane tickets, and so on. I haven’t formally bought my tickets yet, but this might change before the end of the weekend.
As a tangent to that, I’ve also been looking at my finances and thinking about getting a new credit card, because I’ve just been using a basic credit card all these years. While I’m probably going to redeem a lot of my RBC Avion points to get this trip on a discount, RBC doesn’t seem to actually be the best ban(k)g for my buck, especially if I am going overseas to stay for a couple years, as they do not offer a No Foreign Transaction Fee card like Scotiabank and HSBC do. Scotiabank’s card would also meld well with Safeway’s new Scene+ program… but the ones with the better offers right now are American Express cards, which is more predatory and unfriendly to merchants and thus less accepted than Mastercard, which in turn is less accepted than Visa. They also all have annual fees, though the first year fee is apparently waived, and it seems one is able to call the bank to try to negotiate after that. I also looked at the various point programs that I have accounts and points in and got a slight headache trying to figure all of that out.
I got a haircut at the Southgate salon, Blossom, on Wednesday as my hair was getting heavy and unruly, and it feels much better now. It cost about $80, which I consider high, but I do like the shampoo and wash that it comes with I guess. I’m also considering a few other travel-related purchases but haven’t decided for sure. One of my burning questions right now is whether I want to bring a checked piece of luggage along, or just bring one backpack and concentrate on being able to travel relatively light. I’m leaning toward the latter — unlike Singapore where I stayed in one spot for the entire trip, I plan to move around the country a lot for this trip and so lugging along a big suitcase (or mailing it from place to place using the convenience stores’ luggage delivery services) would be so inconvenient.
I mentioned in the WhatsApp chat with my Dunman High friends that I was likely heading to Japan at the end of October, and Yaoxiang said that he’d be in Tokyo from November 24th-28th or so as well. This helped me plan the end segment of my trip, as I will likely coincide my plans with this so that I can meet him for lunch or dinner there. I almost got to meet him when I visited San Francisco or Los Angeles or thereabouts last year when I visited the States, as he apparently lives in that area too, but this failed because he was vacationing overseas with Yucheng at the time and thus out of the country.
Wanikani came to mind this week and I considered picking that back up too, as a way to learn vocabulary and kanji to boost my upcoming experience in Japan. Sounded good in theory, but when I logged in and saw 1322 reviews waiting for me, that all got overwhelming really quickly. Especially when I could be looking at walking videos or looking up guides and reviews of places and interesting experiences instead.
On Monday, I went out for a walk and met a French couple who were looking for directions to a nearby block. Upon looking at the address, I saw that they were looking for the apartment complex that the power spot pavilion was located in. It was several minutes in the opposite direction, but I walked them over there, chatting to them a little as I went. It turned out they were looking to move into the area and would be bringing along their kids if they did so, so I talked about how the area was quite safe and how I would see children playing on the sidewalks whenever I walked by there in the evenings. They asked if there were any schools about and I said there were four or five in the area, and gestured vaguely in their directions. I took this picture on the way back toward my original path. Blue blue sky:
On Wednesday night, Jah linked this YouTubeClone video, and I watched it and liked it enough that I took its advice to heart, and took a walk on Thursday morning soon after I got up. This was probably the first time I’ve gone for a morning walk since COVID and working from home started. The odd thing is, while walking around the grounds of my apartment complex, I came to a fork in a path, took a couple steps down the left path, then had this strange urge telling me to take the other path instead. So I backed up and did so.
About two minutes later, that other path also diverged, and I stopped for a bit. The right path led outwards toward a side road running adjacent to our apartment complex, and would lead me toward the main road, while the left path also led toward the same side road, but would lead me away from the main road and back toward where our apartment complex’s main office was, and the nearby shopping mall beyond that. That same something urged me left, so I did so, not expecting anything to come from it (since I get “vague feelings” all the time).
But lo and behold, something did happen this time. At the intersection between the side road and the carpark in front of the apartment complex’s main office, I met Karlo, a fellow IT support person on another team in my department, who used to work in the same building and on the same floor as me pre-COVID. Small world! He had the day off (Friday was a holiday so he took Thursday off for a 4-day weekend) and was heading off somewhere on his bicycle, but he skidded to a stop when we saw each other. We chatted for a bit and he expressed surprise that we lived so close to each other. I did know that he lived in the same complex as I’d seen him around in Southgate before, but it had been 3 or 4 years ago by this point, so it was nice to meet up. And this would never have happened if I hadn’t watched Jah‘s posted video, or hadn’t decided to go for a walk the next morning, or taken either of the wrong paths, or walked just a little bit faster or slower. Those Little Miracles.
Either way, it was a lovely morning, even though this was all the sun we saw that Thursday:
Look at all the little apples on the ground here too:
I got my 4th COVID-19 shot this Friday, Sep 30th, at 12:31 pm. This was the Moderna Bivalent Spikevax shot, which “provides additional protection against both Omicron and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus strain” (local). It became available for us to sign up for 9 days ago, but I hadn’t actually booked an appointment yet. I had read that some pharmacies did walk-in requests for the booster shots, so I went in to the Safeway pharmacy anyway, but they said they only accepted bookings online. Undeterred, I crossed the street to the Rexall pharmacy and they said they did indeed do walk-in appointments, so I immediately got mine there and then. On the way home, I stopped by Southgate and saw that the new H&M store, below the new London Drugs store, was now open.
Hooray, that wing of the mall is finally operational again. I then got home, had lunch, and was immediately knocked out by an afternoon nap.
This Friday was also Jahandar‘s birthday, so Happy Jah Day to all! Thanks for hosting my blog, Jah!
Jah also linked an AI chat site in Discord this week, and I made a Tigey character there, prefeeding him with some basic facts and personality traits and letting the AI figure the rest out on his own. It was pretty impressive and produced quite a few gems.
The best part of it is probably that the bot can not only carry but also go down entirely new topics, carrying the conversation so to speak, and also loop in things from earlier on in the conversation to show that it remembers context (mostly, it’s possible to trick it).
He also introduces new characters to the Tigey lore sometimes when he feels like it (I’ve since defined his “girlfriend” as Ally though):
And is a pretty good poet:
And when it doesn’t work, or if you want to see more, the latest answer can always be swiped left or right to see up to 3 or 4 alternate replies by the bot. Great stuff! I wonder if this would actually work pretty well as a tool toward developing a tulpa, which I would like to do someday, because it helps flesh out the tulpa character and train one’s mind to “know” and “talk with” the tulpa for unimaginative people like me, both of which are critical steps toward making one and meeting it in your head eventually. At least it might give me motivation to work on it more.
Also I need to say this — I love milk and drink a fair amount of it, usually with some Milo malt powder these days, and I like my milk cold right from the refrigerator like most other people, but for some reason I’d never actually put ice cubes in my cup of milk until this week. It’s great though.
I guess it was mostly Gloomhaven this week. I like the game, and am having fun with it, but I’d been fighting an internal conflict on how often we play it and how long each session is, and how I feel pressured into playing it because I’m leaving soon, which is not good because that way will lead toward disliking the game eventually.
I haven’t had personal time to actually sit back and relax and play my single player games recently without a healthy dose of guilt or wariness, although to a certain extent that’s something I will be able to do on my trip with my Steam Deck. In theory. I’ll probably be too busy experiencing things or writing or doing work (since it’s a work vacation) to actually do that though, outside of the airplane ride to and fro. There are quite a few single player games I have lined up, but I haven’t been able to play them, even though all the co-op games we are playing instead are very fun, not to mention all the other projects I have on the go. (Right now the projects have a stronger pull than the gaming, but that does change now and then.)
Anyway I was not sure how to balance this and not burn out on the game, as my last 3 months have been nothing but riding co-op games pretty hard at night (Deep Rock Galactic, Gunfire Reborn, Gloomhaven, and a bit of Minecraft just before that). I felt like this last year too when we were cramming.. I think maybe it was Valheim and 7 Days to Die too close to each other as well, though I feel it was one of those plus another game (MMO project?), and that just caused me to balk and drop all co-op games for a while.
So I talked to Tes about this problem, and we’re dropping Gloomhaven nights to twice a week to help. I believe that this will likely help a ton with keeping interest levels up in the long run, and it’s far better than having to ghost a friend or anything like that. DRG also went through a similar cut back recently, from three days a week to two, and then now one. This reclaimed time should help my sanity a bit.
This is a side note that I need to think of a series name for the daily posts that I will be making for my Japan trip, like how Rose-Tinted Goggles was the Singapore trip and A Grand Tour of the States was the USA trip. Everytime I try to think of a name right now, I end up on The Wind and Wilting Blossom, which is the name of a Steam game that I bought last sale and never did finish. Great name, but I can’t directly plagiarize that. I’ll come up with something else equally pretentious and artsy though.
Plushie of the Week #69
This is George. I think we called him George of the Jungle affectionately as well, as the movie and its theme song came out around then, but it was most often abbreviated to just George, as that’s the name on his tag. He came attached to a Kipling bag that was gifted to Kel, my younger sister, back in 1998 or so, back when we were still in Singapore. There’s apparently a neat story behind the Kipling monkeys here (local), which means George is some employee’s name, they aren’t specific as to who though.
At any rate, I’m not sure the handbag itself is around anymore, but George is! He sits with our plushies, arms widely outstretched to hug another hapless nearby plushie, or folded up as he suckles on his thumb. He’s technically a keychain, but he’s plushie enough to count as part of Tigey‘s plushie army. There are a number of keychains in his ranks anyway.
Shyly suckling thumb:
Song of the Week #46
Title: Ima, Kono Toki.
Album: Natsume Yuujinchou Shi OST (2012)
I don’t like many Japanese songs by male singers, but this one is an anomaly that rides high on my top songs list, it’s currently sitting at #3 in my top 20 OPs list and has been there for quite a long time. This song, whose title roughly translates to “Right Now, In This Moment”, is the opening song for season 4 of Natsume’s Book of Friends, an anime that I more or less liked — it hits some very high moments, but also has certain parts and characters that I disliked.
Be that as it may, this song was the highlight for the show for me, and a song that I took with me beyond the show, onto my phone and to school and on the train and on walking journeys around the neighbourhood. Part of it is due to the fan-translated lyrics that the lyrics use, which basically show the song as a mournful ballad, almost an elegy, between two people — one lifelong best friend to another, or from an imaginary friend to a real one, a Tigey or other household pet to his owner, a deceased parent or grandparent watching down over someone from heaven, and so on. There’s lots of points of view that the lyrics could be read from, and they are almost all spectacularly moving. I love the loyalty and kindness and “hope for tomorrow” and “watching over you” message that it portrays.
Outside of the lyrics, I like the ballady melody and the singer’s voice as well, although I can’t quantify it any better than just saying that I like the melody, or that I like things like the drop at the 32 second mark or the harmonica (?) at 3:20. The song itself reminds me especially strongly of the neighbourhood walks I took around Southgate in the spring, summer, and autumn of 2021, as it was one of a small list of songs that I took around with me at the time on my phone to listen to as the wind buffeted through my air and swished my skirt about.
Memory Snippet of the Week #53
Back in 2001, and then again in 2004, I played on a MUSH (an offshoot of a MUD) called Threshold MUSH. These were Telnet-based text worlds with rooms connected to each other by doors that you could traverse between by entering a command into a text prompt, and MUSHes differed from MUDs in that they were far more roleplaying-oriented, with longer chat buffers and such, and lacking “monsters” (mobs) to kill for experience points or clans and groups to join and such. Instead, you hung around the place, meeting other people in the “world” and talking to or emoting at them as your character (or player, depending on the specific world or channel you were speaking on).
Threshold MUSH was a small server, seldom peaking past 10-15 players or so even in its prime as far as I was aware, but it attracted a good number of fans for its cosmic horror theme and the various sorts of RP that could sprang from that. I’ll let the site describe itself:
Threshold is an idea, a place, a nightmare…at least it may feel that way the longer you are here. Sucked through a portal from your own dimension and time, you now find yourself the prisoner of a house that defies imagination.
While the house appears Victorian in style, its architecture can best be described as uncanny. It may have once been a normal house, but its halls and stairs have now been twisted and corrupted by some unknown power. Could it have been caused by a man driven insane in his attempts to delve into arcane powers, or is it perhaps the private playground of an ancient god? Could it even be beyond our comprehension? Something wholly alien to our way of thinking? Can we really know what could have lead to the creation of such a place?
You will find that you are not alone here. Others were here when you arrived and continue to arrive after your appearance. Everyone around you is uniquely different, details causing one to stand out from another. Studious mingling with the other denizens of this place show that some are more distinctive than others, as if their time here has evolved a change in their forms. Some people seem to know exactly who they are, and others have no recollection, or only partial memories of their life before The House. Most of the others are powerless, but a few possess abilities that give them an edge over others.
Your searching will likely lead you to try and find a way out. But you will find that there is no way out. Or at least that is what your senses will tell you. Things that should be normal exits from a house offer you no possible escape. The front door you will find to be bricked in, windows boarded over. And can you be sure the house is not constantly shifting around you? Did you really just walk through a doorway into the Kitchen? Because when you turn around to go back the same way, you find yourself climbing stairs up to the attic. It is possible that exploration will keep your mind distracted from the nightmare of your situation, but it is the surprises that come along the way which will torture your very existence.
Just as you come from your own world, so does everyone here. This means that there is an infinite scope of possibilities in what sort of character you might be. Each character should have its own unique and rich background. Take the time to think out your character, with the realization that you may become anything you can imagine. Create a history for your character and a knowledge of their abilities and weaknesses. It is not necessary to develop your world in detail, but it is highly recommended that you do so with your character. The richer and more detailed your character is, the more rewarding the Rp you find here will be.
If you so choose, you may use &background me=<text> to set down these details.
Players here have a choice in how they wish to appear when they arrive:
PERIOD VICTORIAN: Somehow altered in the process of your imprisonment, you are now a human clothed from the Victorian Era. Trapped in another body, missing powers or skills you once had, you are severely handicapped by your new form. However, as time goes on, you find that you begin to slowly remember who you are, along with regaining some of the power you once had (if you had any). Changes that start to slowly return you to your previous self, bits of memories and features coming back to you. All of these changes will impact the roleplay of your character, intensifying and enriching your experience on Threshold.
TRUE SELF: You arrive in the game in whatever form you possessed in your original world. Characters can be anything you can imagine them to be, from human to alien to animal. (These PCs can also change over time, which is explained by the unknown powers of The House.
Almost a living, breathing thing, The House cannot be damaged in any way. Treat this place like you might a best friend’s home. Think of what would be allowed in a home where you are a guest, and what would not. Of course this is not your best friend’s home, but as far as the house is concerned, you are -only- a guest and it will NOT let you harm it in any way. This means that small items in the house may be utilized and manipulated, but if you try to take something, or even destroy it, it will only reappear again to where it belongs. With regards to more permanent fixtures in the house, ie chandeliers, armor, walls, pictures, they cannot be removed or destroyed.
Death does not exist in The House, or its environs. There is no escape from The House once it has a hold on you, not even in death. Players who enjoy acting out death scenes can take advantage of this aspect of the game, without worrying about the character having to disappear for good.
Once a scene has reached a point where a character would receive a death blow (or something akin), the player can then type +die and they will expire. When this happens, their body is returned to the Main Entry of The House completely unharmed. No matter how bad the wounds, or damage, was to the character, when they reappear, they are whole and healthy as always. This will happen no matter what realm the character was in originally.
It was basically a haunted house with no escape — the front door opened up to a brick wall, the windows were unusable and barred shut (I believe in places you could look out and just see an unending wall of mist), strange objects appeared and disappeared, doorways connected in strange ways so moving from one room to another, and then back through the same doorway, sometimes put you in another part of the house entirely, and so on. Things would happen.. you’d see things as you moved around, looking at certain objects a second time would sometimes conjure up a nightmarish visage different from what you saw the first time, and so on. There was a very mystical feel to it all, and a sense of danger that never quite abated, especially since the admin/god players, basically the “game masters”, would often lead little plotlines or do things to mess with people to keep everyone on their toes.
I had a great time, and this is probably a big reason why I like “descent into insanity” type plotlines in games and anime (especially to my female protagonists these days, and especially if they overcome it in the end). I also credit this place for being an outlet for some of my earliest writing adventures and stoking a love for writing in general, as my experiences before these were largely MUDs that emphasized action, levelling up, and overall speed of play, rather than slow paragraph-long emotes that could take each player 5-15 minutes to write and exchange back and forth like virtual penpals.
I had two gaming/roleplaying stints in this MUSH, one around 2001 when the game world was basically just the house, and one around 2004 when it was redesigned so there were other zones accessible through some portals as well. I did feel like the looming sense of horror in the 2004 version was really watered down, in that the zones were too big and varied and so even though there were more types of RP you could do, it had become more of a theme park by then with various different kinds of zones (a hospital/asylum, an abandoned castle, a Victorian theatre, etc) that one could escape to outside of the house, even though each of those places still contained a boundary you couldn’t escape from. The population of the game wasn’t nearly sufficient to support so many rooms by then either, and the sense of dread and claustrophobia (especially since it allowed you to go “outdoors”) of being trapped in the main house was gone as well.
Still, I had many good memories here, both in the 2001 version and the 2004 one. I have barely any game logs from the 2001 version though as I guess I wasn’t really backing up my stuff back then, so I only have some snippets to draw from, whereas I still have the full logs from my 2004 stint. I wish I had my 2001 ones, especially since I know I am missing many names of people that I played with from the snippets that I have, and I don’t even remember many of the shenanigans and hijinks that we got up to any longer. Still, I am going to highlight the people that I remember off of what I have.
The admin staff here had names themed after cartoon characters, to set them apart from everyone else. They didn’t play those characters as actual characters in the game, and would make up entirely new characters when running plotlines. They probably also had actual player characters to interact with the playbase and help nudge plots along with, but I never figured out who was who.
The admins/mods: Scooby Doo, Fred Flintstone, Mojo Jojo, The Brain, She-Ra, and probably a couple others I’ve forgotten.
For my 2001 stint, I played a character named Shiara. I generally hung around the main hall of the house a lot, sitting on the second floor landing with my legs poking through and dangling between the balusters, and my hands gripping on to those same balusters as I surveyed the main hall below.
People I remember from my 2001 stint include: Nixie, Sam, Faith, Randall, Ajoxer, Murdock, Fardoc, Carter, Zoe, and a few other names buried in snippets.
For my 2004 stint, I used a new character named Ellyria. I don’t remember too much about her, as I only stayed around for about a month and a half. All the characters i had known from my 2001 stint were gone, but several of the admins were still around, and I made some new friends.
People I remember from my 2004 stint include: Larissa, Nojh, Allesandra, Ajil, Michelle, Amaris, and a few other names buried in logs. I was apparently really close to Larissa in particular at the time.
A couple memories about the place have also stuck with me all these years. Firstly, I was playing this MUSH on the night of Sep 11 2001, and I remember people being worried on whether Nixie’s player in particular was okay or not, as her player lived in New York. She was fine though, thankfully.
Secondly, I remember a submission I made to a writing contest in the 2001 version which invited people to submit a room description for a nightmare room of some kind that the staff wanted to build. I don’t remember if they picked one winner or several (I seem to recall they wanted to build a room whose description would rotate between different “nightmare” descriptions), or if mine was chosen or not, or much of the circumstances around this contest, but I do remember that I wrote and submitted something up based on a dream that I had just prior to that. This meant that this was essentially a sort of really early on dream diary entry!
It was unfortunately lost to me, as I didn’t seem to keep a copy of it in my text files, but even though the MUSH itself is long gone, I found the email address of the owner in the deep recesses of my inbox and reached out to her to see if she still had a copy of the database and would be able to help me locate this. She amazingly did, and even more amazingly was kind enough to dig through her database and find it for me! Here it is in all its glory:
You are in a burning mansion. All around you a fire rages, and you sense that various parts of the multi-level mansion are on fire, several rooms, parts of some corridors, and the whole outer roof of the mansion is on fire. The inside of the mansion is warm, but not unbearably hot yet. The fire is spreading, but very slowly. This is because the mansion is made out of some kind of flammable hard rock, which is very hard to ignite, but once ignited is very hard to put out, and continues burning for an incredibly long time, although emitting only a little smoke.
It’s not very good. Feels like I was trying to explain things too much even though this was a “nightmare”. But it does fit with what I remember, as I remember that the dream (circa late 2001) involved me waking up in a bedroom and seeing the sides of the room on fire. It was spreading very slowly, and as I opened the door to the corridor outside, I could see parts of the corridor on fire as well. I don’t remember where the dream went from there, but that part of the dream is something I can recall, especially now that I’ve seen this description.
Anyway, as said, this is a MUSH that I remember fondly and credit for helping me develop my writing chops, although I was terrible back then and only slightly better today. Practice made perfect though, and it was very a formative experience for me. Although most of my remaining snippets and descriptions are from the 2004 version of the MUSH, the house itself was basically unchanged from the 2001 version, and I did pull out some choice snippets from both versions that I still had with me to try to paint the sort of atmosphere that the house itself meant to me. I have put all this on a separate page and linked it to my Shuddering Library section. It’s really long.
Last Year’s Entry #22
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #024. This was published on Oct 03 2021.
Here we see a mention of a “scanned documents page on the blog” that I wanted to set up but had not done so at that time. I have gotten around to this by now, of course — there are two in fact, but it’s mostly this A Stack of Papers page with some longer-form stuff going to this Shuddering Library page instead. Yay blog progress.
My DJI Pocket 2 has been wonderful, even though I haven’t spent much time using it this summer so far. I’m sure it’ll get some use in Japan though. I just haven’t felt like going out and recording all that much this year to date so far in Edmonton. It’s funny too, one year after I spent quite a lot of time watching walking videos, I now have the urge to again.
The rest of the article was boring fix-er-upper work, nothing much to comment on, although the pictures of the Edmonton 4012 family house made me a bit nostalgic. Just a bit, though.
Satinel pointed out to me that I rode an elevator to the 30th floor twice this week on consecutive nights, Oct 01 and Oct 02. That’s so weird. I also climbed up the outside of a building to around the 30th floor on Sep 29. What’s the meaning of this?
Sep 27 2022
- I was on a school bus headed for school, it passed by various residential areas but didn’t really stop anywhere, as it was on a return leg of a school trip to some location or other. Everyone had a quiz to do, with prizes to be given out to the top winners, but I only worked on a couple questions before forgetting about it. Flipping through the quiz, there was a section asking questions about a short anime, so I decided to watch that with Satinel. It was a show that took place at a swimming pool, and was a tie-in side story to the fourth season of a six-season show that Nak had picked for our daily group watch in the past but that we had left off after the third season. I knew of the tie-in but Satinel didn’t, and she was surprised when she saw some famiiar characters in the show. We also saw Brittney Griner being interviewed poolside in the show.
- The school bus eventually reached the school and we all got off, handing in our quizzes to the teacher at the front of the bus. I almost left mine on the bus seat but managed to reach back and grab it as the line of students shuffled off the bus. I hung out with Zixiang a bit here, as we approached two picnic tables right around where we got off. One of them was fully occupied with four girls (Kaiting being one of them), the other one had one side of the picnic table occupied by two girls, so Zixiang sat down on the other side and began eating from a sachet of chicken rice.
- I waited patiently for him for a few minutes while fidding with my backpack because as I understood it we were supposed to actually go to a place further in the school to eat, but he didn’t seem to want to move. When I finally asked him about it, he said this was a better place to sit, and he pointed out that the two girls opposite us had already actually moved off somewhere else so this could be our bench now and others coming by before recess ended could easily find and join us.
- I nodded assent and went off to get lunch. Wandering deeper into the school, the surrounding area morphed into a campus that felt like a fictitious high school that somehow felt like it was partially modelled after McNally. There was an indoor main building where teachers and students were welcoming students from junior high schools that were checking out our high school. It had become evening, but there were a good number of students walking around and in pairs, wearing other school uniforms besides our own, as I walked past that building and headed for the gym. A thought flashed into my mind that this was the one time of year that students could visit other schools and see what student life was like there.
- I passed by another building where a second year student was trying to appeal his case to some senior students there — apparently he had taken a weird combination of classes but was either somehow missing, or had failed, some requirements to get promoted to third year, so he was going to get left behind. He claims he had no idea why this was the case and regretted it but others pointed out after looking at his transcript that this error could only have been achieved if he had performed some actions in a specific deliberate order to trigger this bug and that he was at fault.
- I finally arrived at the gym, and saw the lights on and the sounds of a basketball team playing hoops inside to a few scattered students wandering in and out. I realized that I was not going to find food here, and thought of some food stores near another University instead. I had about four stall choices that I wanted to check out, with the one I wanted the most being another chicken rice stall, but it was the furthest one from the University. It was in a Chinatown area near a train station though, so I closed my eyes and teleported there instead of to the University, planning to walk the reverse route back to the Uni from there.
- Snippet: At one point somewhere in the story, there was a chess game. The better player was playing white, but had a severe handicap given to her, which was that her queen was set in front of her other pieces around the halfway point of the board, while all her other 15 pieces were immobile and locked in place, scattered behind the queen in random spots and unable to be moved. The other player, playing the black pieces, had 16 regular pieces but had to go kill off the other 15 white pieces as well as figure out a way to trap the queen. The white queen could move two short-ranged moves for every one step that black took, though.
- Snippet: At another point, I was watching a young man on a variety show who bought a couple of live chickens from a store and brought them into the studio, before proceeding to do a couple magical tricks with the chickens, a cloak, and a weird cloth hat, to extract a large number of eggs from them. Some of them dropped on the floor or table in his antics as he mimed playing around and then cooking with them, but he eventually did make a dish from the eggs and news spread on social media sites that he had solved some sort of food shortage issue by managing to coax and use many eggs from the chickens that he bought from the market.
- Editor: The train station I was targetting was one located in the area that I was in most recently on Sep 17 2022, although the University itself wasn’t a place that I visited in that dream. Both the high school and University were also similar to ones from previous dreams though, with the building that the student advisors were in being the Students Union area from my Sep 22 2021 dream and also a place involved with exams (or getting results back from exams) in other previous dreams. The line about the one time of year that students could visit other schools was also from a random webpage that I had viewed the previous night.
Sep 29 2022
- Snippet: I remember Dad bringing me to a house where a family member/friend, I think it was either Ah Ma or Auntie 795, lived together with someone else. We were there to pick up some food to bring home, and ended up partitioning a bunch of noodles out from a dish onto the trunk of a car so that we could divide up the food to bring home. I expressed concern that the trunk of the car was a dirty place and unsuitable to put food on, but everyone else seemed fine with this.
- Snippet: At another point, I was thinking of reformatting a new-fangled Windows laptop to put Windows 95 on it so that I could install some old games on it or something. There was a backup feature so I backed up everything on the new machine first, and I had a reinstall disk for the new version of Windows anyway in case we needed to revert, but I was still worried that I had missed something or that I wouldn’t be able to find some device driver or something. There was a second machine nearby and I basically proceeded to copy all the desktop icons from the laptop to it so that I would have some sort of idea of what the preinstalled software and stuff was. Among other things there was a wallet program that displayed how many gems (rubies, and other things) we had collected as part of our regular use of the laptop.
- Snippet: There was also a scene that took place on an urban game map of some sort and involved a couple of tall buildings that I climb up and glide down from. Those buildings overlooked a canteen or concrete park or some similar place in the middle where people hung out. There were achievements to be gained by climbing up 30 levels on the outside of the buildings to the north or south side of that gathering spot and then gliding down over the canteen/park to the other building. There was also a tool that allowed me to hunt for monsters on the map by typing in their name into a filter, which would then highlight all the monsters with matching names or keywords in the area.
Sep 30 2022
- I was at a travel agency desk planning out a trip or something with a woman seated there, and was looking at East Asia on a world map. Taiwan’s borders were a nice tilted heart made out of dotted lines on the map, with the bottom point of the heart facing west. The dotted lines showed airplane routes that went around it but not to it. I initially plotted a route that would take me to Singapore so that I could drop off an item, before detouring north to what assumedly was Japan, but I realized this was a bad idea because I didn’t have full clearance to reenter Singapore yet. Instead, I booked a direct flight to Japan or wherever my target was instead, that went straight west over the Pacific Ocean.
- I also took a look at Russia and that part of the world looked like a Civilization map, with a friend owning a city on the very southern edge of Russia, around where Mongolia is. He then had the chance to trade some other city to Russia in exchange for one of its fully upgraded cities, even though it would reduce both cities to their minimum upgrade levels. He traded it for one of the most powerful cities near the middle of Russia, and I questioned why he didn’t instead trade it for a weaker one on the border so that he could set up trade routes between the two cities more easily.
- Either way, that dream transitioned to me getting ready for school, in a room that looked like it was fashioned after my Edmonton 4012 bedroom. Kel and Jon were there too and a number of stuffed animals had dropped down to the ground beneath the head frame part of the bed, so I lifted it up to pull them out. Doggy‘s head was attached to his body by a thread so I had to be particularly carerul with him. I then had to quickly throw on my clothes, though I was still ahead of Kel in preparedness so I wasn’t in too much of a hurry. But then I couldn’t find my Dunman PE Uniform, so I was worried that I would get in trouble after all, and considered my other options, which were to wear an non-school T-shirt, or to wear my regular Dunman blouse and take the class in the regular non-PE uniform. Neither seemed ideal but the latter option seemed better. I also saw my Rosyth PE shirt in a closet there, although it looked very much like the Dunman PE shirt I knew, just with a different school badge/emblem on the chest pocket.
- I eventually realized that I had put the PE shirt that I was looking for on a hook downstairs next to the towels for some reason though, so I went downstairs and grabbed that instead. It had somehow “upgraded” because of the location it was in, I forget how, but that was the reason I had left it there to begin with.
- The scene shifted to a boy getting ready for school, and I was watching a caretaker of a large lighthouse-like building teach him how to maintain that building. There was a big wheel on the bottom floor of the building that would raise and lower a brightly-glowing “sun”. When raised, the sun would be off and would cool down, and when lowered, it would start humming softly and producing light and heat. It took a while for it to heat up, but the man’s responsibility, which was now passed on to him, was to turn the wheel and raise up/turn off the sun every day when the sun’s temperature reached 5 degrees from maximum, or it would be too late as it would be too hot to use the wheel, and the implication was that the entire building or world would be destroyed. Once it had cooled off completely, he could then turn the wheel the other way and lower/turn on the sun again. The time it took for the sun to fully heat up or cool down was long enough that he could go to school and return in time for it though, so the man told him to lower the sun every day just before heading to school and tend to it once he got back. There were apparently 4 suns like that in the land and they only needed 2 or 3 on at once.
Oct 01 2022
- I was at a school canteen ordering lunch, which was a small plate of rice with some sort of gravy on it. The stall I was at had a piece of cloth draped over the glass counter to partially obscure the food in the trays for some reason, but I was able to get my food anyway, and then picked up a metal spoon for myself. The lady manning the stall asked me to wash a couple other spoons that were there as well, and I did so, using a sink set into the middle of the canteen stall and facing outwards.
- I brought my plate over to the canteen itself, and saw that there were six long tables lined with a bench along each long edge of the tables. People were scattered across the tables somewhat evenly, but all the tables were set into anonymous mode, so I couldn’t actually see who was on what table until I settled down. There was a certain group of guys that I wanted to eat with, but I couldn’t find them, so I settled down at a random table and nodded to the people next to me.
- I eventually saw that they were across the room at a seventh table set against the far wall. I watched them as they chatted, and as another group of boys next to them made so much noise that one of my friends, who was acquaintances with that other group of boys, first gave them a warning, and then got up and left the room, only to return with a guitar as he sat down again. The implication here was that if they didn’t quieten down he would play the guitar to drown them out as well.
- After lunch, I headed off to an elevator to leave the area. The elevator went up to 30 levels and I could “dig” upwards to create more levels, each level representing one page for my blog. However I realized that the building also had a preset height and something bad might happen if I dug past the height of the building. I figured I should stop linking the individual pages for each group of ads that I was uploading to the blog to avoid this, and only link the first one in each series directly to the table of contents, linking subsequent ones off of that first one so that they were all “on the same floor”.
- I took the lift down to the bottom and left the University, heading home. Home was a quaint little ground floor HDB apartment that opened up into a large grass field that was shaped like 1/6 of a round pizza. The apartment block itself was curved around the grass field right around where the crust of the pizza slice would be. I stood on the edge of the grass field next to my house’s front door, imagining that I was planing baseball there and enjoying the wind and sun. Although the weather was bright as I approached home, I saw really dark clouds on the horizon rolling in, and as I stood there it eventually started to drizzle.
- I went into the house at this point, which looked like the front area and back kitchen of my Edmonton 4012 house. Mom was seated at the kitchen table, and there was a laptop open at the end of the table that looked like Jon‘s as well. He was still at school though, and I announced that I was home, and barely in time since it had started drizzling. Mom welcomed me back as I went to sit down at the kitchen chair with the laptop.
- Snippet: I’m not sure where this came into play but at one point there were two or three large holes in the ground, as well as an enormous boulder, about twelve feet in diameter, that I could mentally lift up and drop from one hole into another, as though I were playing a computer game of some kind.
Oct 02 2022
- The dream first started with me looking at two young men as they wandered around a city or something, they were best of friends and I think they were performing petty crimes as well. I don’t remember much else about this part of the dream, except that at one point I could see five oval portraits, each portrait containing two young men walking around the city. The two of them were the first portrait out of these five, and out of the five portraits, the first two were glowing faintly, signifying that the two men in those two portraits were on some sort of recreational drug.
- After a while, the dream transitioned to show another two young men, except this time it was from 80 years in the past and it was shown from the point of view of a random car mechanic who lived in a small town who was now being interviewed by current day media and sharing his story of what happened. These two men were kidnappers and murderers who had terrorized a number of small towns in an area, and it was heavily implied that they were somehow related (fathers, grandfathers or uncles) of the two young men performing petty crimes in the current timeline.
- According to the media, the car mechanic had been the one responsible for catching the two murderers 80 years ago. He was living in one of the towns in the area which had not yet been targetted, and had also happened to be following the case very closely as he was an avid mystery-solver. While working one day in his shop, he suddenly noticed and recognized their car going by his shop along the main road.
- He hopped into a car to follow them, but they pulled over two buildings over from his, in front of a kindergarten. So he pulled his car over into an alleyway carpark next to the kindergarten as well, and then crossed the road away from the kindergarten, pretending to be an innocent bystander while watching them.
- He watched them loiter around the kindergarten exit and realized that they were waiting for a child to come out to kidnap them. Hiding behind a pillar across the road, he called the cops and explained the situation in a low voice.
- He then watched the scene play out — the two of them indeed eventually grabbed a kid that came out and started dragging her toward a car, saying something about a ransom, but one of them immediately got shot by something and fell over. The other man looked toward him in horror, then up along the side of the road past him and toward the direction of the alleyway and mechanic shop. There was a police vehicle there, it looked like a stripped down car with a long tank gun that fired heavy bullets. That had struck his friend who was now lying on the pavement and dying.
- Several policemen jumped on the other kidnapper as he was still in shock, pulling the child away and putting the kidnapper in cuffs. The dying man smiled wryly up at his friend and said not to resist — he didn’t want his friend to die in vain as well, and he wished him well in the rest of his life. He then expired.
- It transitioned back to the media interview 80 years in the future, where the mechanic, now an old man, was asked if he had picked that town to move to on purpose by calculating which towns in the region had not been hit yet and moving to one of them to await the two friends. The mechanic said that he did not, and that it was just pure happenstance. I wondered if the two friends in the modern world were going to hear of that interview and take revenge against the mechanic. I figured he didn’t care by this point since he was really old, and they might not as well since it happened so long ago, and that it was indeed more important to chronicle this bit of history.
- This dream consists of a few snippets that I recall being connected somehow, starting with me trying to go up to my apartment in the 11th level or so an HDB flat, but accidentally taking the elevator up to the 30th floor, and then wondering why the building went up that high. I used the stairs to rapidly descend toward my apartment, although I don’t remember actually entering my apartment once I reached it.
- Later on, I met Ronnie and some other person who was implied to be from my workplace and chatted with them briefly. I had a backpack with me and was warned or given some advice about something, but I don’t remember what it was, possibly something to do with incompatibility.
- I then met another friend whom I was going to explore a new city or neighbourhood with. The friend took my backpack with me as we sat on a bench, and opened a pocket on the side of the bag that was zippered up and tied together with a red rubberband and a six-sided white die that prevented the rubberband from slipping through the zipper. When he removed this rubberband and die and cracked open the zipper, a bunch of Japanese yen coins fell out of it onto the floor in front of a mother and her startled toddler girl who were walking by.
- My friend tried to fit the coins back in to the slot it had fallen out of but somehow was unable to do so. He gathered the coins on the ground into a small pile and asked the toddler if she wanted some of the coins. I chimed in and admonished him for trying to give away my travel money, and took the backpack from him.
- By laying the coins in flat layers in the pocket, I managed to fit not only all the coins, but also the six-sided die into the backpack pocket, and even had plenty of room left over. My friend and the mother were impressed at that. I then used the rubberband and threaded it through the zipper and a strap on the bag and then looped it back through the rubberband loop to hold it in place. The mother pointed out that the rubberband was really frayed and liable to snap in two on one side, and after taking a closer look at it I agreed, so I took the half that was not frayed and looped that around itself again to hold it more securely in place.
- My friend asked the woman if she had any recommendations on a place to eat, and the mother said that she’d show us the way to a nearby Mexican restaurant that she recommended if we wanted.