Happy New Year! We made it to an unfathomably large number that will seem unfathomably small to readers from the distant future!
Entry #078 (Jan 01 2023)
Table of Contents
A brand new…
ට Plushie of the Week #76
ට Song of the Week #53
ට Memory Snippet of the Week #60
ට Last Year’s Entry #29
I mentioned in last week’s blog that my Internet Archive account had been broken for some time now and was not able to save any pages to web archives, and that I had reported it to them last week. This week, someone there emailed me back saying that he had passed my bug report on to one of the engineers, and when I tried it a couple of days later it seems like the bug was finally fixed and new saves were now appearing on my web archive. Hooray. I donated $10 to them for this. Now if only many website saves weren’t completely broken even when I use screenshot save on them. I have no idea where the screenshot save option puts the website save, and I see absolutely no documentation on the option anywhere.
I also mentioned last week that I had sent emails out to the two circles (groups) from whom I purchased defective CDs from during the M3 event in Tokyo, and I am happy to report that one of the circles, the smaller one whom I didn’t really expect a reply from, already replied back, giving me a downloadable version of the CD from their website as well as offering to ship a good copy of the CD itself to me. I had mentioned that I was in Canada though and I don’t know if they know exactly how expensive it is to ship something here, so I told them that it wasn’t necessary to do the latter (but I gave them my address anyway in case they nonetheless wanted to). That was nice of them! The larger group I haven’t heard back from, and I will probably try to poke them again after the holiday season.
Anyway, the most significant thing that happened this week is probably that I changed my phone providers. I discovered that I had been charged $70 on my last phone bill due to 5 overseas uses of my Telus phone network while I was in Japan, each one costing $14, because what happened was that a spammer had called me and left a 1 second blank voice message while I was in Kyoto, and due to the way I had set up my phone, my Telus connection was an eSim that was set to never use data roaming but I still wanted to receive incoming texts to be aware of anything going on.
This 1 second spammer message caused my phone to display a “you have voicemail” phone notification that could not be removed or disabled by any means — even when I used online steps that showed how to flush the phone app’s cached data to make the notification vanish, it would still reappear within an hour or so and was thus permanently plastered as my top notification for a segment of my trip, thanks to Android or Google or Telus or whoever the hell’s fault it was trying to be “helpful”.
What this actually did in reality was that I would occasionally accidentally press that notification, since it was so prominent, either while trying to press another notification on my phone or just while trying to use my phone in general. Each time I did that, it would generate a 1 or 2 second call on my voicemail, which apparently triggered the $14 roaming charge for that day even though Telus never actually notified me that the charge had been started. Because if they had, I would have just bit the bullet and cleared the voicemail message on the first day. I would have been angry but not THIS angry about it after Telus quietly charged me 5 times for this.
Anyway, I went into the Southgate Telus store to complain about it, and the store attendant said to call Telus at a certain number as the in-store people couldn’t handle billing requests. I did call, and the person on the other side did acknowledge the problem and did see that most of my calls were only 1-2 second activations (except for the final day where there was a 2 minute or so one, that was the day I decided to delete the voicemail from Osaka without listening to it anyway after I noticed that I had accidentally brushed against the notification and been connected to the voicemail service for some time already).
But even then, the billing agent I spoke to said that the best he could do was to give me a rebate of $24 instead of the full $70 (or even $56 for the four days that were actually 1-2 second calls). I don’t know where he got that number from, but it was better than nothing.
However, this also triggered me going down to Southgate and shopping around, and noticing that all the vendors besides Telus (including Telus’s budget partner, Koodo) had a cheaper, near-identical plan where you could bring in your own device and sign up for a $40/month plan for 20 GB mobile data or a $50/month for 30 GB one or something. With very slight variations on the plan between companies at best. Before this week, I had been paying $85/month for a 100 GB 5G network plan with unlimited use at 4G speeds if I went over limit, or something ludicrous like that, partially subsidized by my workplace which pays $30/month. Which was not breaking the bank, but it still felt like a colossal waste of money, especially when working from home — I had used less than 1 GB in the full month since I had come home from Japan, so why was I paying for 100 GB/month?
I ended up talking to the Virgin Mobile booth, who switched me over to their $40/month plan for 18 months, with a one-time $25 set up fee, and a promise that there was no contract for this plan. So I could leave it whenever I decided to head over to Japan and park my phone number somewhere (if that is a thing, I haven’t looked into it enough yet). With a $30/month rebate from my University workplace, this will now end up costing me just $10 a month or so. It’s a 4G network connection instead of a 5G one, but I won’t even notice it, I barely use the phone since I’m at home so much. And even when I was out full-time working before, I’m fairly sure I never got even remotely close to the 100 GB limit, since I do not stream videos over it (except occasionally in bed, for bedtime music, where there’s WiFi anyway).
They could not figure out how to set mine up as an eSim at first, as the technology was available but hasn’t been widely adopted by Canadians at all. They said the system was probably down due to the Boxing Day rush and to come back in a couple days, so I did so. I did find out that unlike Telus, it was free to set up an eSim with them and free to transfer it to another phone if needed as well.
When I came back a couple days later, one of the booth attendants said that it had to be done through the Virgin Mobile phone app, and so we went through the process and promptly got locked out of the phone, ending up in a state where I had to get a verification code sent to my phone number to continue but could not get the code because my phone was stuck in a limbo sort of state between the old physical SIM (which had been deactivated) and the new virtual eSIM (which had not been activated yet). The poor flummoxed employee who was trying to work through the setup had to call in to the Virgin Mobile phone swap hotline or something and authorize one of their staff members there to approve the new number.
We still couldn’t get it to work initially until one of the other booth attendants pointed out that he was trying to set up my eSIM by scanning a QR code on his screen that was meant for iPhone devices, and that there was a separate, different code for Android ones. Once he scanned that properly, and then rebooted the phone again, it seemed to be finally set up right, although it seemed to fail yet again until I noticed that the eSIM had become toggled to an off state at some point during all the meddling and turned it on. At that point I received all my texts and was able to make a test phone call out from it, and everyone celebrated. That took over half an hour to do, but the booth attendants (two Indian? gentlemen and a Polish? Russian? lady) were very nice and I had no problems with them needing to take some extra time to figure it out right there and then.
Now I just have to find a good deal for Internet services and get off my current pricey plan with Shaw as well.
In other pointless news, I finally finished the huge bag of chillies that I had bought back in March 2022 in My Diary #043. I had slowed down on using them in the month before I left for Japan and the month after I came back, since I was nearly out of them, but decided I needed to finish them up before the year was out. They definitely did not spoil while in the freezer, but the later packets lasted a significantly shorter period of time in the fridge once I removed them from the freezer to start using them. If I were to repeat this again, I would not uniformly put 20 chillies in each ziplog bag for storage like I did, but put 25 or 30 in the earlier bags, and 10-15 in the later bags.
I switched away from LastPass as my password manager this week, moving to BitWarden instead, as I had become fed up with all the breaches and negative security reports on LastPass and the export/import process between the two was rather easy. Jah has indicated that he might at some point set up a self-hosted server for this, and hopefully he does so as emergency vault sharing is a premium feature on BitWarden for some reason and so I have not set that up yet in case of my untimely demise, although BitWarden premium is rather cheap compared to LastPass’s anyway ($10.00 USD per year instead of $51.00 CAD) so maybe I will opt for this too after some time of trialing out their app. LastPass has felt really bloated to me for some time now though, their app and website takes forever to load for me and causes page slowdowns in my web browsers sometimes, and their premium services are really predatory, so this might be my final goodbye to that service. I don’t like an endless number of subscriptions either though, even though BitWarden seems to be considered one of those “good to support” devs, so I might just wait and see if Jah sets up his server since that might have emergency access for free too depending on which implementation he uses.
This article (local) on the perceived passage of time between older and younger humans popped up in my Pocket feed this week, and while it’s a good article in general, and not particularly unique or groundbreaking, I felt like it was word-for-word equivalent to another Pocket article that I had read many months earlier. For some reason I couldn’t find that article though, and all references I could find were from variations of this same article written in mid-December 2022, so that felt very odd. I wonder if I linked it somewhere else in my blog, though the closest thing I could find was this article (local) from My Diary #011. It definitely wasn’t that exact article though. That one doesn’t touch on growing old at all. I do remember thinking that that sort of thing is exactly why I write my blog — to make sure I am well-aware of the uniqueness of day to day life and do not let the days and weeks meld together into months and years and flow by. Even just my Last Year’s Entry section has forced me to go back and re-read blog posts I made last year, which then reminds me of things that happened then and the goals and wishes I had back then.
I also purchased a number of second hand CDs from Japan this week, the reason being that I was already committed to purchasing this Bocchi the Rock! CD from a site, and was using a shopping proxy service called Buyee (local) to do so, since they had a $30 off international shipping coupon offer that I could use that should in theory cover most if not all of the shipping costs. That coupon required buying at least one item from a site named Mercari, which is a second hand CD and other goods “flea market” sort of site, through Buyee, though, so that’s what I did, along with another second-hand CD site. I’m not so sure all the CDs will arrive at the warehouse in time to be packaged up and sent off before the 10th, when the coupon expires, but it -should-… and if not, well, then there will be two awkward packages sent, the first one to abuse the $30 coupon to make the second one lighter and cheaper.
And lastly, to close out the year, here’s a picture of my apartment complex circa 5:31 pm on Dec 31st, the last picture I took in 2022. Time to create new 2023 archival folders for my pictures, screenshots, etc.
I got gifted a couple of games around Christmas this year, Rule with an Iron Fish by Jenna, and both Arcade Spirits and Touhou Mystia’s Izakaya by Kynji. I haven’t tried the first two games, but the third one became something I played for several days and liked so much that I ended up buying the full DLC package as well.
Besides that, I also picked up the DLC for Vampire Survivors, the entire Fallout 4 package that finally hit 80% off 7 years after release (but which I somewhat enjoyed playing on Fames‘ account when it first released), and two games that I think play somewhat similarly, one called Dinkum and one called My Time at Sandrock, which is the sequel to My Time at Portia, which I haven’t actually played but have watched two separate people play. Basically casual house/base/town-building and crafting games.
There are several other games that I have my eyes on now that Kynji broke me out of my game ennui, but we shall see if I end up picking any more of them up before the Steam winter sale is over. In the meantime, have a mood piece from Touhou Mystia’s Izakaya:
I want to play that version of the game, too.
Plushie of the Week #76 – Titanto
Titanto is a woolly mammoth plushie that we have had for a long, long time — he’s visible in this May 2003 photo that I’ve posted a couple times, for example.
That being said, I do not believe that he’s a Singapore plushie — I believe he was instead one of our earliest Canada plushies, and we may have gotten him very soon after we moved here, possibly as early as 1999, though more likely around 2000-2001. I think we got him as a leftover plushie from Dad‘s laundry shop that he set up way back then, and that one of his customers had wanted to leave behind, but I’m not entirely sure. I know at one point a customer left a box full of Ty plushies that smelled of smoke (due to some fire) with Dad, and didn’t want them back afterwards, but I believe Titanto predates even that event. Hard to say anymore though.
Anyway, regardless of his murky origins, Titanto is possibly the last old plushie that we have that has a unique name and that hadn’t been featured yet until now. And by old plushie, I mean that they were part of the plushie crew when all three of us siblings, Kel, Jon, and myself, still lived together in our Edmonton 4012 house with Mom and Dad. Now he’s in a box together with many other plushies in the family home.
When we were reminiscing about the plushies during Chinese New Year 2022 as I was collecting the plushie pictures below (and many others), we were discussing his name but weren’t sure if we had actually named him Giganto (which was this plushie’s default factory name) or Titanto (a portmanteau of Giganto and Titan). I’m mostly certain it’s the latter now, but at the end of the day what’s a couple orders of magnitude of size between friends?
At the end of the day, he’s beady and squishy and nice to have around and that’s all that matters. Tigey can sort of ride him, but doesn’t fit as well on him as he does on, say, Unicoron, so the latter was often his steed of choice around the house when he had the urge to ride another animal.
Anyway, this is a picture of Titanto from the front, tusks and all:
Underside, and the front of his tag, which reads Giganto:
Back of the tag:
Song of the Week #53
Title: Tin Toy Melody
Artist: chat noir
Album: Tin Toy Melody (2022)
This single was one of the CDs I purchased this week, and quite possibly my favourite anime song of 2022, though only time will tell if this holds true (since songs have to settle down for some time before I can truly tell where it sits in my favourite songs list). Tin Toy Melody is the opening theme to a not-so-good show called Prima Doll, but the song swept me off my feet and my opinion of it has only grown since the show has ended and some time has passed.
I picked this video below because it’s “coded”, i.e. it highlights and hides the characters depending on who is singing which line. The reason I did so is that I particularly love the buildup in the song, how it starts with single characters warbling their lines — their voices seem to shake a bit for me at the start, like they’re uncertain or scared, before growing stronger through the song — and into doubles and triples. It builds up and builds up and eventually the entire quintet sings the opening lines, the ones which were sung solo and uncertainly, but this time all together at the very end, with really strong tones that support each other.
I also just really like the song progression in general, how the notes are stretched out, how there’s a couple of drops and then glorious rises in the song, and the awesome melody in general. If I build a 2023 spring/summer song playlist for my walks around the neighbourhood, this song will definitely not only be on it, but be one of the main headliners.
Memory Snippet of the Week #60
This week, I found a bag of folded and scrap papers that made me very happy — it contained a number of notes and journal pages that significantly enhanced some of the memory snippets and other lists that I had already put together.
Among other things, I found:
- More information about the CDs, with purchase date, location, and price, that I had bought between 1999 and 2010, that were previously missing from the list that I posted last week in My Diary #077. I basically managed to fill in 40% of the missing information on my personal spreadsheet from that data chunk. I don’t think the rest of the information exists, but that’s fine, as this felt like a bonus after I had already made peace with all that missing information before.
- A more fleshed out list of rats from Rat Race than the list I had in the first couple pictures of My Diary #074’s MSotW section.
- A really tattered map I drew of Threshold MUSH, which would have enhanced My Diary #071’s article.
- More names and notes about people from my Grade 9 period at Vernon Barford and my Grade 10-12 period at McNally, which would enhance my MSotW sections for My Diary #60 and #61, if I ever find time to sort through and add those.
- A class roster from Rosyth, maintained by two other people, containing full names of people that I had long forgotten, which would be a huge complement to My Diary #058’s writeup.
- A couple more handwritten notes from friends in Dunman High, specifically relating to Operation Sokrates from My Diary #052, though they could fit in my Letters with Friends segment from #051 as well.
And some more writing fodder for topics that I haven’t covered yet. It was such an awesome find!
But one other thing that was also in the bag was my kindergarten report card, which means it’s a good time to segue into talking about some pictures that I had uploaded in the past for my blog, but had not linked anywhere public yet.
To start off with, from around 1987 to 1993, around when I was 3 to around when I turned 9, we lived in an apartment block in Singapore that I fondly call Yishun 799 — it was Block 799, Yishun Ring Road (local), a highrise HDB flat building with many individual housing units. I’ve already covered the timeline of my family homes in My Diary #044 and pictures of this home all the way back in My Diary #014, so I won’t be getting into that again.
Behind that block was Block 795A/796, a coffee shop/kopitiam that I fondly remember from my youngest days, and then Block 795, another tall highrise building where my babysitter lived. This area and she in particular will be the topic of a future MSotW segment.
Behind her block, however, was a kindergarten that I attended when I was 5-6 years old, so in 1989 and 1990, and that’s my topic for today. But this kindergarten doesn’t exist in its old state anymore. There were a couple potential kindergartens that were in the area that it could have been, like this one (local) that was really near to the kopitiam that I remembered, kind of off to the side of 795 and 799 and which at first looked kind of familiar, but upon piecing various clues together in the past, I had determined that it was likely this one that this old map site (local) listed as “PAP Community Foundation – Nee Soon South Education Centres”, even though there was precious else little information on it, and even Google Maps now lists a different kindergarten (local) called Sparkletots there.
I had found my kindergarten graduation certificate by then though, which listed “PAP Community Foundation – Nee Soon South Branch”, which was practically an identical name.
Practically, but not quite. So I still had a little bit of doubt about it. Part of my doubt about the place was that when I went to the actual PAP Community Foundation website (local), that specific Sparkletots kindergarten didn’t actually exist there whether I zoomed in on the map to where it was supposed to be, or whether I tried to filter it by its postal code. So was it still there or was it not? Was it a kindergarten or was it some sort of processing facility.. err I mean administrative centre that took care of all the branches in the surrounding neighbourhoods? Had it been merged and moved nearby, like what had happened to the area below my second Yishun home, Yishun 723 (which I found when I visited it earlier this year)?
All the markers even on Google Maps were a tiny bit off as well, so I couldn’t ever really be sure. The fact that the second kindergarten existed in the area could have meant that that was my actual kindergarten but that it was now bought out by a private owner, for example, since both now had a different name. When I visited the place earlier this year though, I did confirm that the place was still around and that it was very much a kindergarten (preschool), and said it was most likely that place, though even then it was a little bit inconclusive due to the name mismatch.
What I found this week though was my report card from the school, covering both my years there, which definitely confirmed beyond a shred of doubt that that was my kindergarten. This is because unlike the name on the graduation certificate, the name of the kindergarten facility on the front of this report card read “PAP Community Foundation – Nee Soon South Education Centre”, which was an exact match for what was on the earlier site (minus an errant S, which was likely the fault of the website).
I was apparently in classes 1C and 2E. And apparently had bad writing from the get-go, although I think it’s pretty decent these days. Always had trouble with the arts, but never had trouble with studies. I wonder how they graded some of that stuff though. Sense of responsibility? Power of observation? In kindergarten?
I remember breaking down and crying in the middle of the floor on my first day of Kindergarten 1. I apparently made it out of that experience alright though and still got an A for independence!
Anyway, while I was on the topic of my kindergarten, I thought I’d link a few other photos that I have of my time there too. Firstly, the blown up picture of my graduation photo in that kindergarten certificate looked like this:
I remember having to go outside the kindergarten front door to get this taken — this was taken on the pavement just outside with the Ninja Turtles backdrop set up against one of the outer walls or windows of the kindergarten. I also disliked this photo process because I was wearing glasses by this point (I started having to use them in the middle of Kindergarten 2), but was made to take them off for the photograph so everything was a blur.
I also have a couple of photographs here (where I was wearing glasses) of me winning my first ever trophy in a kindergarten English Storytelling Competition contest. Here is a picture of me in said contest:
And here’s another of me picking up a trophy for my efforts:
Apparently we had pink sailor uniforms back then as our kindergarten uniform. Sailor uniforms aren’t used in general in primary or secondary schools though, so that struck me as a bit weird. Also, I don’t remember a single classmate from kindergarten. Not even a hint of a name.
What I do remember is having to memorize a short story that I did not write off of a piece of paper, and then recite it back in front of the group for this contest. These two pictures are dated Sep 28 1990, and I remember it was an event that took place late after class that day, which for me at the time probably meant mid to late afternoon. I think I remember that my babysitter, Auntie 795, was waiting and watching from outside one of the windows, to the right and back of the photographs, along with other parents/caretakers.
This writeup actually inspired me to go look for my trophy to see if I still have it with me — and lo and behold, I do! I won a consolation prize back then, which is different from a participation prize these days — I seem to recall that only four to six trophies in total were given out for all the participants there, so it was an actual consolation prize.
Very cool that I still have it. The funny thing is, it turned out that this trophy also contained the name of the school that I had been struggling to confirm – Nee Soon South Education Centre. Oh well!
While hunting for this trophy, I also found a very problematic trophy that affects another previous post, this Astronomy Camp offshoot page I made stemming from My Diary #070’s Memory Segment of the Week, so I made edits at the bottom of that offshoot page.
Last Year’s Entry #29
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #034. This was published on Jan 02 2022.
In terms of New Year’s resolutions, I didn’t really have a concrete one this last year, besides deciding at some point that I would make it to either Singapore or Japan. I did end up making it to both, so great job I guess. I did pick up learning how to make a couple new dishes this year, but they’re minor dishes and I don’t consider that a completed New Year’s resolution. I did get a lot of progress on my scanning one though, finishing up all my yearbooks and completing a good number of other scans to boot. But there’s still sooooo much more to do.
One resolution that I’d like to try this year is to eat more bread — my trips to Singapore and Japan gave me some neat pastry experiences and memories and I could potentially start to erase some of my traumatic (that’s an overdramatization, to be clear) dislike of bread that has prevented me from enjoying bread since I was young. I’ll write about this in a Memory Snippet of the Week in the near future. I was thinking something roughly akin to trying out a new type of bread once a week or so if I can, though there aren’t really any bakeries near me besides the Southgate Safeway one so this will be tough in the winter and still mildly challenging during the spring to even find new breads to try. It’ll be easy as cheesecake pie once I leave for Japan though.
I’d still like more resolutions to do with scanning and archiving as well — I’d like to get most of the way through the CDs that I have, though I’m not sure I’ll have the time for that. I’d like to finish my dream journal and get that part of my website up and running, although that’s not something I plan to start until I go overseas to study, because that’s one of the things I can work on on my website while abroad since I only need access to my digital documents, not my physical boxes. So that’s more of a June 2023-April 2024 resolution if my study abroad plans don’t go awry again.
I’d like to make another resolution to travel somewhere out of North America this year as well, likely back to Japan even if study abroad doesn’t happen, but it could also be Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, or something in Europe like England, Ireland, Iceland, or Holland. I don’t really have the urge to travel anywhere else right now (besides around Canada or the States).
I would also like to start to practice drawing, as per this article (local), but as always, the main factor preventing me from starting something ambitious like that is simply time, my precious time that I have already partitioned into a million pieces and divvied up among other projects. One day though. If only I had enough money to live in mild comfort for life and be able to direct all my energy into things like this and still be able to enhance my blog.
Besides all that.. we’ll see if any other resolutions hit, I guess! Oh, I also would like to put in more effort toward finally managing to achieve lucid dreaming, but I’m not sure how. I might try a sticky note reminding me to do reality checks and/or see if I can associate lucid dreaming with a frequently reoccurring motif in my dreams, like trains, but I’m not sure how well any of that would work for me.
I’ve been really looking forward to going to bed recently, and seeing what sort of weird, wild dreams my subconscious tries to come up with. This has meant that I’ve often been disengaging from my computer at 11pm, sometimes 10pm, and once even 9pm this week, so that I can go to bed earlier and hopefully catch a good sailing wind to let my yacht drift off into the dream world more effectively. Still have to work on my dream retention skills though, but there was a weird one this week where I tried to write down my dreams while still in my dreams. That didn’t work very well.
Here’s another relevant mood piece from Touhou Mystia’s Izakaya:
But despite being a bird-brain, I had two days this week with a Dream 1 and a Dream 2 recalled and written down, so I was very happy about that.
Dec 26 2022
- I was working/studying/staying at a building that reminded me of a livehouse, it had a front double door leading to a lobby area and then side rooms leading away from that. Different people were in charge of this building at different times, Matt was in charge at one point and complained briefly that no one had told him something while he was in touch that his predecessor had known, and at another point I think a girl named Erin who I didn’t know at all was in charge.
- My family was there too and I remember going out with Jon and/or Kel at some point to do something, but I don’t remember what exactly.
- One snippet I do remember is that there was an uploaded collection of CDs, but someone named Sheldon found and uploaded three of the Fabled Lands books — book 2, book 4, and book 5 — and then really wanted to read the rest as well. I said that I owned physical copies of all 7 books that were published so far, and even had an official digital copy of 7 since I had kickstarted it, and that I would upload them for him at some point when I could.
- Another snippet I remember is that there was some sort of primordial dragon or blob in the front lobby that could only be interacted with once a day, to try to defeat it or to retrieve Erin’s hand, which was apparently somehow stuck there in the possession of the primordial being.
Dec 27 2022
- I dreamt I was pulling into a connecting train station on a train with some of my friends. We were discussing where to get something, and Yucheng and Yaoxiang both said they’d check out a field to the east of the train station for it, because while we all had the same final destination, they were going to take a risk-free route there that involved leaving the train station and walking past that field to an adjacent train station about ten minutes walk away, and catching their connecting train from there.
- Zixiang and I had a different idea however, and we were going to try to catch a connecting train from the same train station that we were arriving in, that would leave us on a much slower route if we didn’t catch the proper trains, but that would take us there faster if we could. We made sure to stand by the doors so that we could rush out when it appeared, and we pushed forward to be near the front of the surging crowd that left the train.
- We were in the front group of about 10 people or so descending the stairs from the arrival platform to get to another platform where our connecting train was. On the way down, Zixiang was talking to me about some board game that he either had or was getting, and how it was time-limited and on sale by the author if I wanted to consider it as well.
- I dreamt that I visited a University that I was going to attend in the future, and went to a festival that the swim team there was holding. I met and befriended some of the girls on the team, including one who was basically Nijika from Bocchi the Rock!, as she had vibrant blonde hair in the same hairstyle.
- At one point she was posing in front of a door, when four boys on the team opened the door as they came up the stairs on the other side of the door. The first boy leapt back in surprise at her flamboyant pose, jumping up and backwards like he was going over a high jump bar, landing on top of the other three boys who supported him as though he was crowd surfing. The four of them then tumbled back into the basement. I learnt later that this was completely choreographed and was being used as part of some promotional material featuring her.
- At another point the girl herself was being carried by some of the other girls, and after she was let down, one of the taller girls on the team complained that she had accidentally touched the other girl’s panties with the side of her hand while carrying her, and there was a spot on the side of her hand was now dirty. The Nijika girl huffed at her for that.
- I had initially come to this swim team to play Minecraft with them, and that was how I had befriended about four of them in the first place. This game was played in first person mode, and we accessed the map through a portal that was hidden in a cupboard under the kitchen sink, crawling into there and then appearing in the virtual world. The first time in, we came to the bottom of some underground stairs and crossed into a rocky cavern area where we got slaughtered by a horde of skeletons who then pushed past us and over a cart that we were carrying without destroying it, before climbing the stairs.
- The second time around, most of the girls were busy with the festival so I was going to go in myself. I saw Johannes pass by on his way to something as well and I invited him to join, but he said he was busy. He gave me a weapon and some advice on something about ray-tracing weapons though, and once I clambered back into the zone, I found that there were tracer trails everywhere, little white streaks that showed the projected path of bullets without there being any actual bullets. There were only a couple skeletons left, I had no idea where the rest had gone, but I finished them off with the weapon that I had received, which pulsed out a red beam that turned out to be rather overkill, retrieved all the dropped items and the cart, and dragged it back to a makeshift bed area that we had. I then left.
– A few days later, I came back to the University again as part of the actual school festival, separate from the prior swim team festival. This time, I didn’t go visit them — I walked around the campus instead, and at one point remember walking up and down a roadside pavement in the evening and noting how this city was really safe, and comparing it to New York City at night.
- I spent time in a hotel room near the campus with Dad and Kel, and the next morning when we woke up, I beckoned Dad to the window and pointed out at two radio tower structures further out in the city, each one with a long string rising up from it, attached to a kite that was suspended in dark clouds above the city. I said that they might be trying to replicate Benjamin Franklin’s lightning experiment to see if it was a viable way to gather lots of electricity at once, and Dad said something about them having watched too much science fiction shows.
- I then beckoned him a few feet to the side to a spot between the beds, so we were still near the window, but instead of looking out at the city skyline, this time we were looking at a tree located just outside the window. This tree grew little red buds which turned into red flowers and then into blue flowers after some time. This tree had various buds/flowers in all three forms, and I pointed it out to him and said how beautiful it was. He agreed and took a picture with his camera.
- I then went back out to the second day of the school festival. I ran into Shinya there, who asked me what I had came to/was going to Japan to do. I said I was hoping to buy some CDs, and he mistakenly assumed I meant Chinese CDs and told me that there were two main routes from Canada to Hong Kong or Singapore and asked which place I was going to. I told him that I was also aware that there were two main ways to Singapore from Canada as I had ended up taking both the last time I went there, one that went around the north side of the Pacific Rim and one that went along the south side.
- But no, I said, I meant Japanese CDs. I suspected that Chinese CDs were easier to get in Edmonton because there was a higher concentration of Chinese residents there. To prove that, I pulled out a guidebook to a local Chinese festival that apparently Mom had provided me, and we flipped through the pages to try to see what they had. We ended up on some page showing pictures of a play that they had put on, where nine girls were huddled together on the ground after some oni had chased them into a rocky area next to a pond and surrounded them. Shinya said that he had seen a very similar Japanese play with my sister before, and Kel had then sent her this very page from the magazine as she had also seen this one before and wanted to show him the similarity. Now he knew what magazine she had taken the page from!
- He took the magazine from me and flipped it forwards several pages until we reached the vendors section. We pored over that but didn’t find any vendors selling anything that remotely seemed music-related, so I harumphed and said that maybe Edmonton also lacked a Chinese CD store after all.
- I don’t remember exactly what happened from there, but later on, I was thinking about the swim team, and then won some sort of math award that I had to go up on stage to receive, and from there I could sense that a few of the girls that I had met and befriended prior had recognized me and would come up to me after to say hi, even though I never ended up joining their club.
Dec 28 2022
- I dreamt that Dad and I were at an airport, specifically the airport that I call Vancouver Airport, located in the northwest corner of a certain recurring dream town. We were flying off somewhere, and I was carrying with me some reward from a previous segment of the dream where we had played some sort of game at the house that we were staying in at the time. Forgot the details of exactly what happened there though.
- We arrived at the airport 90 minutes before the plane was meant to take off, and got in the checkin lineup. There were two lines side by side, so Dad took one line and I took the other, but his line progressed much faster than mine, which was stuck thanks to the person in front of me having a lot of things to clear at the baggage check area. While I was waiting, an airport attendant came up to me and asked to see some paperwork to speed things up once it was my turn. I showed her the sheet of paper that she wanted to see and she nodded.
- After we passed the baggage check area, I met up with Dad again, and there was a desk of people that we had to give those sheets of paper to. I somehow recognized one of the attendants at the desk as someone that I had seen the last time I came to the airport, and I gave him my sheet of paper, wondering if he would recognize me as a repeat customer. He did not.
- There was then a short passage leading to a security check at what were basically arcade machines. This was really quick, a few presses of the button and we were done.
- A door next to those arcade machines led directly outside onto the tarmac area where we could walk to and board the plane. There were still about 45 minutes or so before the plane would take off, but there was nothing else to do, so we walked out to the plane and got on board.
- Once on board, we checked out the plane and saw that we had two side by side seats that could be swivelled about together, as they were both attached to a circular base that could be spun around and that turned both seats at once, or swivelled about separately, as the seats could be “lifted up” from the base and further spun to whichever orientation we wanted regardless of which direction the base was oriented. However, when the seats were both facing the same way, they could be joined together with a soft click, and the two armrests could be pulled down and activated. When they were spun different ways, the armrests were locked in an up position.
- – Editor: Some other dreams involving this Vancouver airport included Sep 20 2017, Jul 21 2021 (although this airport is portrayed as having a flight TO Vancouver), and Jan 26 2022, basically anytime I have had a dream involving an airport “in the northwest corner of the city”. This dream also isn’t recorded down, so it must have been before I started my journal in Aug 2016, but I remember a vivid dream where I piloted the plane between this airport and Vancouver as well, sitting in the cockpit of what was essentially a tiny military-style jet, and watching the sun rise over the horizon from the cockpit as I flew it. Another time I remember being in this airport with some girl friends and there being extremely long escalators that crisscrossed each other (some going top left to bottom right, top right to bottom left, etc, and some going to different levels even if moving in the same direction). Different escalators led to different lobbies in the airport which in turn led to planes departing for different cities. Half the time this airport is Vancouver Airport though, and the other half of the time it leads to Vancouver to the north of it.
Dec 29 2022
- Snippet: All I remember is a partially-covered outdoor walkway with a part that looked like a trellis, a quest to hunt for CDs that I wanted to buy, and at one point being able to “switch on” being an esper and being able to advance the plot in some fashion even though I wasn’t an esper for the rest of the dream.
Dec 30 2022
- I remember at one point leading a party of nine into some sort of “final boss” encounter in a building. I don’t remember who else was with me besides Satinel and Kynji. I do remember that I had several abilities, including a heal skill, a poison skill, a turn to stone skill that lasted for about 20 seconds, and a skill that summoned a large crackling electricity wall.
- The final boss had a bunch of minions and looked like a large Pacman ghost, and they all had a lot of health and ranged attacks that could be dodged. The boss could shoot fireballs with an incredibly big explosion radius. They were all located behind a partially broken wall and inside a pit in a separate room so we didn’t bother trying to approach them. We fought for a bit, before someone else in my party called for a retreat and we shuffled off to an adjacent building. I told everyone I was proud of them for surviving and fighting and to continue to prioritize survival over damage.
Dec 31 2022
- I took a bus with Mom and Kel to a school in Singapore where Kel was going to pick up some graduation papers, which were supposed to signify that she spent four years of secondary school and passed her O-level exams there. Due to bus transfers, there were a couple routes that we could have taken to this school, and I was trying to help Mom out by planning a different route there, to try to squeeze our entire trip there and back onto one bus transfer, but she said not to worry about that.
- While waiting for a bus, there was also a small, cramped convenience store that was fully automated and thus lacked any sort of attendant or even a cashier area, where I stopped by to grab lunch from. I was confused as to how it worked at first but figured out that I could just pick up a tray of food or whatever else I wanted and the system would automatically charge me and even heat up my food for me.
- Once we took the bus to the school, Kel left by herself into the depths of the school hallways and I initially waited around with Mom. I noted that this event, held by the government, involved graduation papers being given out for students from -all- secondary schools, and I saw two of my old Dunman High teachers, Mrs Teo and Ms Lim, walking by and descending some stairs into a school hall. I avoided making contact with them, but I realized that it was likely that some of my friends would be there too, even though I technically shouldn’t be there since I never graduated from secondary school myself, having left the system after just two years.
- I left Mom and went down into the hall too, wandering amidst the throng of people there until I found a small gathering of people I recognized. There was a small circle of guys there — Paul, Allen, Xuanjie, and about three others, and I joined them with a greetings. Xuanjie in particular greeted me and called me Jess without hesitation, as he and I had met in Japan prior to this and we recognized what the other person looked like now even after about 25 years apart.
- I told the group that I hadn’t originally intended to be there and so had not announced that I was coming back, but had managed to enter Singapore the day before that due to the government letting me in again with my family, so here I was, and that I was glad to meet them. We stood around and chatted for a bit. There was a brief commotion nearby at one point as Zixiang also cut through the crowd to get to us and join our circle.
- Strangely enough, I “woke up” soon after that while still in my dreams, and “scribbled down” a bunch of notes about the dream on a piece of paper, with far more detail that I can now recall, a little bit before actually waking up in real life and trying to write all this down again to no avail.
- Editor: Kel never took secondary school in Singapore at all though, so that part of the dream made no sense, but my dream self didn’t think to question her presence there in the plot, just mine. Also, while I am pretty sure that the others looked like their Secondary 2 forms in the dream as that’s all I know of them, both Xuanjie and Zixiang looked like a mix of their Secondary 2 forms and their adult forms since I had met them in the past year.
- This segment consists of a bunch of loosely connected snippets that took place in the same “world”. Firstly, I was stuck in a school washroom — it was a narrow boys’ washroom, with at least seven boys who came in, but I was a girl in a girl’s uniform in there, and there was at least one other Indian girl in there as well at one point, and no one really seemed to care besides me.
- There were cubicles on the far right side, stalls lining the walls on the left, and sinks on the near right side. Two of the sinks were partially clogged with water and urine, though they both cleared up at some point, though the right one was my fault as I had been using it to relieve myself somehow when there were lesser people around as I really did not want to use the cubicles. Once more people came in though I stopped, cleaned the sink, and went into a cubicle anyway to finish up.
- The cubicle was extremely cramped — I could not even fit my body in there without turning to the side, and both my covered breasts and the back side of my tight school blouse rubbed against the cubicle walls on either side, which themselves were filled with pen graffiti from previous students that were mostly two letter abbreviations or short sentences that made no sense to me, as I tried to lower myself as best as I could to finish my business.
- Once I was done, I was irritated with this part of my dream so I gave myself a teleportatation blanket power, which would teleport me back to my class and seat and also camouflage my arrival so no one else would notice that I had been gone so long nor notice me teleporting back. I used it and patched myself back into the dream timeline before ending it.
- Later on, I got a larger sense of the city world I was in, and why the school was so run-down, as the city had been partially destroyed by a war or something that had recently ended. We lived on some apartment buildings near the south side, though the map was rotated so that “south” to me was on the right side of the map. Our neighbours had helped my entire family, Mom, Dad, and us three siblings, repair our apartment, and now they were trying to repair their own one next to ours. They said at one point that they were big fans of the south side as they hailed from there, as did we, and that they wanted to eventually repair and rebuild the entire south side.
- Even later on, the five of us went to a bulk grocery store somewhere else in town. While outside the store, Dad pointed to an elevated train track in the distance and said that while he was in Toronto, he had taken the Limited Express train instead of the Local train even though it cost a bit more, and it had taken him by a scenic route similar to this. We were going to chide him for wasting money but realized that it only cost 80 cents more, whereas it was a whole two hours faster, so we agreed that this was a prudent move. I said that I had also done the same thing in Japan.
- Inside the store, we were talking about some aspect of a music video that could no longer be found in music videos these days, and this was somehow plot important. We listed a couple examples of songs/videos in the past that contained this element, and Mom, who was still standing just inside the entranceway of the store next to Dad, started playing one of the songs’ music videos on a large holographic projection that basically covered the entire long entranceway, with the fuzzy holographic projection’s height about as tall as Mom was, and the width about three times as long as it was tall.
- It went through the regular song, and then started playing a Christmas song, and I asked Mom to switch it off at that point as it was embarrassing since there were other shoppers in the store too. Also the store attendants had apparently picked up on that and were also broadcasting that Christmas song over the store loudspeaker radio, and that wasn’t anything anyone needed to hear.
- While we were standing there, Jon tugged my sleeve and pointed to some sort of candy bars on the shelf. He asked if we could buy some of those and I shook my head. I jokingly said it was a bulk grocery store and we would have to buy at least five, so he put five in the basket I was carrying, but I took them back out and said that he would have to ask Mom about it but it would probably not be in the family’s budget.
- In the meantime, Mom was filling up her own basket, it was full of rice and meat and vegetables and sauces, so much so one of the packets of something fell out of the basket and onto the floor. I reached down to pick it up and put it in my empty basket, as I was the only other member of the family carrying one, just as Dad said something snarky (in a joking manner) similar to “if only we had another basket to help put all this in”.
- Just for that, when Mom went down a narrow part of the aisle, I moved in front of him with the basket to innocently block him from following, but then Kel moved out of the way so he went around me and through where Kel was to follow Mom, so I slid in after him to block him from moving out instead.
Jan 01 2023
- My dream was confusing but what I remember was some sort of festival event and many friends and workmates from various times of my past there — people from Dunman (Antonia), people from McNally (Justin), people from work (Ronnie), my family, and more, were present at various points in the dream. There were a lot more people than what was named too, I just don’t actually remember who was there.
- Various snippets I remember include me at one point hanging up my clothes and other possessions on a bunch of pegs attached to a really complex multi-layer clothing hanger that was hanging on a rough stone wall to the side of a sheltered passage that people were walking through to get to and from the festival. I had claimed that little area to the side of the passage and next to the hanger for myself and was using it as a sort of home base to put all my possessions. The hanger couldn’t really support all my clothing, though.
- The festival included a bunch of races that we could split up into smaller groups to do, and I joined up with three or four other friends and we began to race around a circular course that was basically a bunch of rocks, grass, trees, and bushes, with a river cutting through the middle of it. While it took about 30 seconds to make a round around the circuit, I realized that there was a large rock in the middle that I could circle around to make a circuit of the track in 10 seconds, since the track had no defined boundaries, and after breaking the game and getting an obscenely low time that round, I told everyone else about the trick and suggested that we put in a formal rule not to do that.
- Someone else pointed out that there were other tracks we could load up and try as well, but our leader said something to the effect of how it didn’t matter because we were all going to split up shortly anyway as the next event was starting. That event had something to do with pairing up with your lover and competing with other couples, and I had no one that I wanted to partner up with so I retreated out of the story and watched others play.
- At one point, there was a short story in here where a girl befriended an anthropomorphic duck or something that could not speak, and due to a series of miscommunications, she wrongly concluded that the duck had just given birth to five ducklings and was trying to care for them, and was giving her all sorts of advice and help while the duck struggled to pretend that she was right, so as to not embarrass either of them in public. The next day, the two of them met up again, and the duck had tried drawing a series of panels on a large square sketch book to tell the human girl the truth, that she did not have five ducklings and that the girl had misinterpreted her, but the girl managed to misinterpret the situation even more from the story somehow, and concluded that the duck really had it rough trying to keep the ducklings alive.
- Separate from the festival, I remember being in a place similar to our Edmonton 2012 main hall at some point, and Dad coming home after an overnight stint and leaving the door to the garage open in order to get some fresh air in. I closed it after he stepped inside though, so that no insects would get in. This was in the morning after some sort of event that had taken place overnight, where I think I had stayed up all night in preparation for something that had the same kind of vibe as a family trip the next day, while everyone else besides Dad had gone to bed.