My Diary #080

Dear Tigey,

Nothing soothes my soul like sorting things and making lists. I gather so much satisfaction from the act of organizing things that it’s silly sometimes

Entry #080 (Jan 15 2023)

Table of Contents

Gently sorting…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #78
ට  Song of the Week #55
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #62
ට  Last Year’s Entry #31
ට  Dreams

School

We’re now done our second week of classes (three classes overall — last Thursday, this Tuesday, and this Thursday), and so far so good for this Classical Japanese class. There are 12 people in the class not counting the instructor, so it’s a rather small class, but I like that as that means that we all get to sit at our own separate long tables in the classroom, and no one is sitting right next to anyone else for hygiene purposes. Our instructor, as well as two or three other people in the class, including me, still wear masks, while the other students do not. I take mine off to speak though.

The first half of the semester will involve a bunch of rule memorizations and weekly quizzes, and the second half of the semester apparently drops the quizzes but adds more translation homework, I think. The first half of the semester also does include homework, but the workload has been rather light so far and the homework involves textbook practice questions that we discuss (and take turns answering) in class rather than outright handing in, which is very nice.

Work

Aaa. There was so much work this week but I actually quite enjoyed it. I ended up closing something like 60 tickets this week, with another 15 or so in my queue, and I actually more or less overtook the guy who had been here by himself the entire first week of January in total tickets closed, so that sort of felt good. Even though some of the tickets were perhaps rather rote and straightforward, they still had to get done. We still have something like 40 tickets in our queue, but it was down from something like 70 at the early part of the week, so you’re welcome, I suppose.

I also finished my tuition remission forms this week, which should give me a nice discount on the course that I am currently taking.

Life

My self-satisfaction levels were criminally high this week. I spent the middle of the week working on my blog — nothing earth-shattering, but doing things like fixing a few links identified by my broken link checker addon, starting up a Collections page on my site that I entitled A Shelf of Odd Curios, and then with a bit of help from Satinel, figuring out a way to split up my old “A Stack of Papers” page of scans into two, a new section called “Life Through A Mailbox“, for scans of ads and notices and other junk mail that comes in through my mailbox or door, and “A Potpourri of Papers“, for miscellaneous scans and because I like the word potpourri.

The latter link is located at exactly the same URL as what A Stack of Papers was at before, and has almost exactly the same mission statement as before as well, but that collection of scans was becoming overrun by those pointless scans of day-to-day junk mail, so I broke all that off into its own section so it wouldn’t drown out other more interesting (to me) “miscellaneous” scans in that section. And then I gave the section a new name to celebrate the occasion.

As part of all that rearranging, I renamed a bunch of pages and picture URLs as well, which meant that I had to upload and relink a bunch of pictures since you can’t actually rename uploaded pictures on WordPress for whatever reason. This was what gave me the burst of satisfaction, I apparently really like virtual housekeeping and puttering away on organizing and cataloguing and renaming things. I actually had to rename, reupload, and relink around 80 pictures twice each since I changed my mind on the naming scheme after I was mostly done the first time, but I was even perfectly fine with that. And it’s nice that I have the insurance of the broken link checker addon now to let me know if I missed anything while taking a flamethrower to sections of my site.

It also really helps that my previous selves have put in effort to keep my WordPress site organized. For example, WordPress has an “Uploaded to” field for uploaded media that as far as I can tell doesn’t actually do anything, but allows one to associate an image or file to the specific page/post that it is uploaded to. I currently have 8,874 uploaded files (mostly images) linked to my blog, counting everything from this week’s diary entry, and every single one of them is linked/associated to a page. Assumedly and hopefully the page the image is actually used on — I can’t actually verify that with 100% certainty. But that organization was something that had to be started early on and kept up with everytime I added new stuff weekly, and I’m happy that I’ve been doing so. It’s helped out when I’ve had to perform diagnostics on the site, like when I ran into the duplicate Cat Plushie of the Week entry last week and wanted to verify which two blog posts her pictures had been uploaded to.

I started a Tigey page on that A Shelf of Odd Curios section that I mentioned above, for Collections of pictures and scans, and while there are only nine pictures on that Tigey page so far (out of a couple hundred that I have), the important thing is to start it and have a framework in place so that I can slowly add to it. Not only for pictures of Tigey, but for other Collections that I want to start. Not sure I’ve decided on the correct format for these pages yet though, but something better will eventually fall into place if needed.

One thing the broken link checker plugin did alert me to though is that some of the linked videos and such that I had linked to in the past are broken now, and I plan to go through my blog posts in the near future and run the video links through JDownloader2 or something to grab all the videos that I actually link to on the site, and back them up on my local storage. I do have a few important ones already backed up, but not nearly enough.

Now for other news away from the blog! I’m happy to note that Buyee, the Japanese proxy shopping company that I used to purchase a few CDs from, did manage to repackage my box down from a 40x36x40 cm box, that cost 8,800 yen to ship, into a 23x32x11 cm box, that cost 3,356 yen to ship, after I yelled at them and told them to remove the packaging and combine the boxes together. What a silly way to do things. They apparently do provide this service but you have to manually email them to ask as it’s not directly offered on the website.

Anyway, they not only downsized the package and saved me $50 or so CAD, they did it before the 3,000 yen shipping coupon that I was trying to use expired, so I saved another $30 shipping on it on top of that. It technically only cost me 356 yen to ship that box over to Canada.

I say technically though because there were other semi-hidden costs associated with it too, though I was aware of these costs. The first one was domestic shipping of the original packages to the Buyee warehouse — I knew there was a cost associated with this and I think there was no way to see what the cost actually was until I was arranging for the final consolidation and delivery. In my case though, this was only an extra 600 yen for the 3-4 separate packages that came in, so no big deal. The other cost was that DHL was the courier company contracted to do the delivery, and -they- charged a Customs Clearance Service Fee on top of everything — the GST import tax on the package was just $4.76 CAD, but DHL charged a flat $17.50 customs fee and $0.88 tax for the fee on top of that, so that ended up being $23.14 for customs instead of $4 due to the greedy, greedy courier company. Then again, they did get me the package from Japan in 2.5 days, even though they said that it was going to take 8 days, so that was nice I suppose. I would have rather it took a longer time if it meant I saved on that extra $20 in rubbish fees though.

Anyway that package of CDs arrived safe and sound:

They also added some bubble packaging material in the box despite me not asking specifically for it. All in, it cost me: $114.59 for the CDs (including service fees on top of the actual item costs), $10.31 to Buyee for shipping (down from $40 or so), and $23.14 to DHL because they’re scum, for a total of $148.04 Canadian dollars for the 14 CDs. Most of them were second hand CDs though, except for the one in the top right that cost about $47 by itself, but it’s not a terrible total price. I’ll probably do another purchase near the end of next month, around my birthday, as I’m eyeing a couple more CDs that I’d like to have, but it’s not likely something I’ll do regularly unless I find other nice coupons to piggyback off of. However, it was a useful exercise for me to plot out how much it costs. I’ve been very curious, and I also might want to help proxy buy things for people once I am over in Japan studying there for a year.

I also then spent some time calculating all those costs and inputting all that into my list of purchased CDs that I compiled a few weeks ago. This list update also added an extra dose of satisfaction to my list.

The air quality in Edmonton was supposedly pretty bad this week, although that largely came to fruition as some fog, and I kind of like fog. It was apparently due to some weird atmospheric thing settling over the city that caused “stagnant weather conditions” and some sort of “inversion effect” or something (local). Who knows. I sure don’t! What I do know though is that the week looked like this where I was:

It was neat? interesting? to see the sky be just one grey canvas from horizon to horizon, with no visible clouds nor sun, yet no blue in sight at all. Just a dour grey pall. I did really kind of like it, but I was only outdoors two days this week, largely for school, anyway.

While brushing my teeth in the morning or at night, I have a habit of wandering to my bedroom window and staring out of the window at the apartment complex’s courtyard below. I woke up early on Thursday morning to fret over my test later that day (that I aced), and like every morning, I did just that. This morning I saw a strange sight though. Part of the path in the courtyard forms a large diamond that encircles a little garden, and I watched a random Indian man carrying a bag and looking like he was headed to work stroll in a counter-clockwise direction around the diamond and disappear out of view at the top left portion of the diamond… only to reappear a few seconds later at the bottom left of the diamond, and repeat the same path that he just took a few seconds ago. He did this loop at least four or five times that I saw, before finally disappearing for good.

It takes about a minute and a half to do a circuit of the diamond, so I just happened to be there watching during the 10 minute or so window of time where he was wandering around in circ- diamonds. I thought I was going crazy the first time I saw him repeat the loop. I wonder what he was doing? Killing time? Did he ever suspect that someone else was killing time by watching him kill time too? How serendipitous. Also, there was a bunny watching him from the garden in the middle of the diamond that he was circl- diamonding.

Satinel got a second monitor this week, and I am very happy for her, though she seems to have trouble figuring out a good way to arrange both monitors and all her peripherals on her desk with limited cord room. I remember feeling like I didn’t know quite what to do with all the extra virtual real estate space the first time I got a second monitor for my computer way back, but then after a while realizing that I could never go back to a single monitor again. The second monitor just added too much utility. Both my own monitors are now really old and really dusty, as I think I have had both of mine for at least 8 years now, and they probably should be replaced when I return home from my study abroad (or sooner if that doesn’t pan out and I give up on that bucket list item). My main monitor, a BenQ GL2460HM, was a $150 monitor from Jan 2015, and my side monitor, an LG Flatron E2211, is so old that I can’t even find a digital invoice for it, so it’s possibly from before I moved here 12 years ago. I probably have a physical receipt somewhere in a box for it, but it’s older than the BenQ one for sure. Then again, if they still work, why replace them?

I had formed a little group with Kaiting, Eileen, and Yaoxiang on Whatsapp to try to see if we could all put together some time to travel to Iceland or Norway or something to see auroras, but it doesn’t look like we will be able to coordinate anything this year (or next year, at least not for me if I’ll be studying abroad), which is a pity. I still might take a local trip somewhere around Canada this year though, in addition to a trip to Japan whether I qualify for study abroad or not.

In the meantime, Huihan is on a work exchange to Australia and sending some really amazing pictures and videos over Telegram, the first time I’ve used that app for anything. I never knew that it had announcement channels where you could join to read but not actually post in unless you were approved to do so. Now I understand how things like graphics card/Playstation 5 stock alert channels that I had heard about on this platform would have worked.

Games

Game-wise, the front of the week was marked by me largely continuing to play one game, My Time at Portia. Good stuff, though it started to get a little bit samey, and I eventually ran into a bug that froze up my game save with this specific quest, and caused me to lose all progress for that day since, unlike the My Time at Sandrock sequel game which does allow you to, Portia does not allow you to save at any point during the day due to engine limitations, only when you go to bed at night. Anyway that irritated me enough that I closed the game and haven’t been back since, even though it’s just a sidequest that I can in theory avoid by just not going near that area.

I also tried a bit of Subnautica because, well, I really want to like the game, and it supposedly has mobile vehicle base-building and stuff, which is one of my gaming itches that I’m always looking for games to do well, but a combination of the very limited inventory as well as the underwater game play, which I dislike, immediately turned me off within 5 minutes of starting up the game for the first time in years again. I just don’t like the setting. Maybe sometime in the future.

Mid-week was taken up by blog time, so I didn’t devote much time to gaming, though I played a bit of Vampire Survivors and Hidden Folks at some point, the latter on my Steam Deck in bed. It works well except the scroll speed is a little slower than my ideal experience demands.

End of the week was taken up by Valheim on Saturday, with Trinstar finally joining us on Tes‘s server so we’re six strong now on the weekends. I have had little to no drive for playing the game outside of our weekly session for the past few weeks, but the weekly sessions are still quite fun once I get into the game itself, and I end up staying up until something like 3 am each time. As does everyone else on the east coast apparently, though they end up going to bed earlier than me due to time zones. We geared everyone up with tier-appropriate gear but wiped on the plains boss due to not having fire resistance potions — he’ll probably be steamrolled next play session though, and then we’ll be on to the new content.

I’ve also been looking into Vintage Story (local) on and off for a couple of weeks now, and am likely going to the trigger this weekend or early next week.

Plushie of the Week #78 – Pokeybelly

I said two weeks ago that Titanto was quite possibly our last plushie from my Edmonton 4012 time with my siblings that had a unique name and hadn’t been featured yet. Whoops, nope, missed at least one. Hello Pokeybelly!

Pokeybelly is a soft turtle who joined the family sometime in the early 00s when we were in Edmonton 4012. I don’t think anyone specifically remembers how he joined us, never mind how much he cost, he was just kind of there in our memories.

His special power, and the reason for his name, is that he has the miraculous ability to sprout (imaginary) spikes from his belly to attack anyone making fun of him, and he could also wield this as a weapon against other plushies by lying down on top of them, at which point he would probably be able to get whatever concession he wanted out of the hapless plushie, lest the plushie gets something out of Pokeybelly instead. Despite that, he was a nice plushie, and the smaller turtles were all always a little jealous of him.

In the new digital world, since we siblings now all live apart, I hear that he might now be trying to adapt by sending a spiked.bat file to people that offend him if they live so far away that his physical spikes cannot reach them.

Here’s a picture of him from Jan 07 2023:

And one more, closer to his face, from Jan 29 2022:

He did have a tag, but it’s just a completely white and tattered strip attached to him now, so I took pictures of him lying flat on his top and bottom together with his tag at the same time, since there was no need to zoom in on the tag for separate pictures.

Top:

Bottom (and the vaunted pokey belly of doom):

Song of the Week #55

Title: Run Without Care (瀟灑走一回 / Xiāosǎ zǒu yī huí)
Artist: Sally Yeh
Album: Run Without Care (1991)

This is a Mandarin Chinese song with a number of English name translations — Run Without Care, Walking Gracefully, Walk Gracefully Once, Cool Walk, and a few other names will all generate correct Google hits for this song. It was apparently the theme song for a Taiwanese drama named 京城四少 (Four Peking Brothers, or Four Brothers of Peking), which was released in 1991 as well, though I’m not familiar with that show.

I do remember and am familiar with the song though, as it’s one of the songs that stuck with me from Singapore radio way back when I was a kid, and remind me of sitting at the kitchen table next to the radio and flipping the little knob to channel surf the ten or so FM radio stations that Singapore had at the time. Two or three of them were Chinese channels, plus one could definitely hear Chinese songs in public sometimes (say, over store loudspeaker radios), so even though I never really listened to a lot of Chinese music back then, certain Chinese songs like this one or this previous Song of the Week did get engrained into me.

It’s songs like these two that have recently gotten me into listening to Chinese music from the 80s and 90s from Youtube compilations. There’s often a certain nostalgic tinge to the vocals and melody from songs of that era that I really like, and I love the traditional Chinese instruments as well, and this song captures both those aspects in spades for me. The particular video I chose below includes both Chinese and English lyrics, which is why I picked it over the many other videos of the song, even though it uses one of the lesser-used English names for the song. For the “official” name, I just went with how Youtube officially credits the song, as can even be seen in the song information section of the linked video below itself, even though I actually like Walking Gracefully as a translation (走 is walk after all, and not run, and walking gracefully through life is a great philosophy), and the chosen picture for the lyric video is excellent too. The song has an “official” video here, too.

Memory Snippet of the Week #62

As a break from the last couple weeks of importing things in from old defunct diary entries, I wanted to do a Memory Snippet of the Week that the fog this week reminded me about. It reminded me of the hazy smoky weather we had on May 30 2019 in Edmonton, when out of control wildfires north of the city blanketed the city in an odd, orangey haze that blocked out the sun and impeded vision. This was pre-COVID, so no one was wearing masks yet, and it was still a workday where we were expected to go to work and such so I had duly gone that day anyway.

On the way back though, the visibility was so bad that I could not see the other side of the Southgate train platform from where I was standing on one end. Although the pictures I took below show otherwise, the pictures are actually a little deceptive because the camera was able to capture visibility about twice the distance that I could actually physically see, and that in itself was an interesting footnote that I took away from the day back then.

The entire city also smelled of smoke, like burning wood, and while I knew it was “bad for health”, I kind of liked the scent. Looking back at my Discord chat logs on that day, I apparently noted that even in the University train station, which was an underground station (that had about 20 seconds of train tunnel on either side before reaching open air), the tunnel on the other end of the platform looked like it was billowing out smoke. And even back then I had a reaction that I still agree with today: I said that I kind of liked it from a scholastic point of view. Everything looked different. Everyone acted a bit differently. And it all looked a little mystical. Zombies anyone?

It’s also amazing that this was “only” three and a half years ago at this point — it feels like an eternity ago now, thanks partially to COVID, and even though the event still starkly stands out in my mind, I had started looking for the pictures from my 2016 and 2017 folders before eventually finding them in my 2019 one. However, this time dilation is more a good thing than a bad one, since the slower time goes, the more alive we feel. I have said this many times in my blog, but time and life are precious things, and the feeling of time speeding by as one grows older is something that everyone should be trying to avoid (by being more mindful in daily life, searching out new experiences, writing blogs, etc).

Anyway, here are some pictures of that one hazy day back in 2019. The first picture was taken at 11:21 am and was me pointing the camera at the sun, the next few train station pictures were taken at 4:30 and 4:31 pm when I alighted from the train, and the last two pictures were taken at 4:38 pm at a residential crosswalk on the way home.

I had briefly referenced these pictures before, in My Diary #013, so some of those pictures are duplicates, but there are more here than I linked there at the time.

Last Year’s Entry #31

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #036. This was published on Jan 16 2022.

I don’t really have anything to say about this blog post, except that our weather is much better this year than it was last year at this time, I guess. I fixed up a couple picture links and made backup screen captures, to add more self-satisfaction to the week’s pile.

I still agree that I do not like our daily standups being at 11am. It’s detrimentally affected my work schedule and now it feels like I mentally aim for it to be the end of my work day rather than the start (especially when I start work the evening before or really early in the morning), but then I usually still have to end up keeping an eye on chat and working in the afternoon anyway when I do that and end up with more than 8 hours of work a day. I basically no longer have an anchor for what is supposed to be the start of my work day. On the plus side, I get to sleep in some days.

Dreams

One of the techniques for acquiring lucid dreaming is supposedly to write a reminder to do a reality check now and then to confirm that you are not in a dream, and to paste that somewhere prominent, with the idea that if you get into that habit and it translates over to you doing that while a dream, you will actually realize that you are in a dream at that point and turn lucid. I’m very skeptical about this, but I did write down “Reality Check” on a sticky note and place it by my computer, and poke my right palm with my left index finger every now and then after glancing at it. We’ll see if this ever pays dividends.

Jan 10 2023
  • The chunks of the dream that I remembered took part in some sort of MMO. I was in a guild of 6 people or so, and we had recently recruited a new player from another guild. Their guildmaster wasn’t very happy about this, and came to argue with us, and one thing led to another and we promised that a dish that we served at our tavern would become our top seller with the new recruit as the server within a month or so.
  • To achieve this, we took the new recruit and went out to kill some monsters as a group to level him. Xuanjie in particular was there and took the newbie under his wing.
  • While languishing behind the others, I found two ancient tomes on top of a table. Each tome had a latch that was closed but not locked, and I could see many little booklets slotted inside the tomes. It looked like a whole collection of books on necromancy, and I wondered if it was a trap left behind by someone at first, but when I poked it at bit, the books didn’t give off any smoke, which would have been the telltale sign of a trap, so I took the tomes and brought them to the rest of my team.
  • I showed them to my team and the guildmaster exclaimed that some of those books were super rare and he really wanted a couple of them. He said that not many copies of that book existed, and he named a player who was close to retirement and said it probably belonged to them. I said I had never heard of that played.
  • I argued that we should stop training for now and head back to the guild HQ and read what we could too, while waiting for rumours to surface of which high-ranking wizard had forgotten those tomes. At that point we could return it to them, but not before absorbing as much knowledge as we collectively could from the books. The rest of the group preferred to continue levelling the newbie though, and the guildmaster estimated that we would be fine holding off for a bit since we would probably have about two weeks before we had to return the books.
  • We were all in a narrow alley passage next to an outdoor restaurant at that point, and there was a door at the end of the alley that our front member was picking the lock of. Two humanoid mice-like characters came up to us from behind though and greeted us — this was Satinel and a mutual guy friend, they knew I was there on my alt character and wanted me to log over and play with them, and this was their way of letting me know that they were online. They didn’t actually call out to me though, because they knew the guild didn’t know about my alternate character, so it was a general greeting to my other guildmates.
  • They then decided that it was too dangerous to continue levelling here since others had seen them picking the lock, and began to leave the area. I excused myself and logged over to my own mouse character, who was also conveniently logged off right in the same area, and I wandered over to a table next to the alley where Satinel and our mutual friend were seated. I sat down and began to chat with them even as my other guildmates filed out of the alley and went home. I noted that since the lock at the end of the alley had now been picked, but my other guild had left without exploring the area, we could probably explore that area ourselves.
  • Later on, for some reason or other, the three of us were caterpillars on the shoulders of a giant (who was probably a regular human, except we were so diminutive). We took turns hopping down onto his front shirt in order to read something or help with something that the giant was reading or doing, and each time we jumped down we were also fed by him.
Jan 12 2023
  • I dreamt that I was taking a train into a new city with a couple of friends. On the way in, the train passed through a tunnel and I saw it pass by a large and dangerous fire hound that was sitting there and guarding its territory. The train then left the tunnel and went past quite a wide expanse of open land before reaching the city. I mentioned the hound to my other two friends and said that I guessed that it was probably fine since it was unlikely that any of us would be going that far out of the city, but to be careful just in case.
  • Once we reached our station, we split up and I went over by myself to a nearby car rental shop to try to rent a car. I approached the counter and asked in Japanese if they had a car available, but the woman at the counter was Caucasian and answered me in perfect English that they did. She gave me a quick form to fill in, though that form was in Japanese.
  • While I was filling it in, another woman came up to the counter next to me and handed a note to the woman behind the counter. I stole a glimpse of the note and saw that it was a robbery note, she demanded money for her and her partner behind me and also said not to make a fuss or to contact the police, or else. The Caucasian woman seemed to be flustered at the note.
  • I pretended not to have seen the note, especially since I realized that they were politely waiting for me to finish the transaction and leave with my car before commencing with the robbery, in order to raise as little suspicion as possible. I finished the form and was given a pair of keys for a car outside in the parking lot in exchange, and I hurried out of the shop.
  • Once I was safely outside and around a corner, I pulled out my phone and called 911, telling the officer on the other hand that ther was a robbery in progress. I had trouble describing what area I was in, so I said that it was at the car rental shop near the train station, and he seemed to understand what I meant and named a couple buildings nearby. I said that he was correct.
  • Having done my civic duty, I hopped into my new rental car and drove off. It was a very small car, and was basically a solo car, with just one driver’s seat in front and a slightly longer seat behind that could hold either some bags or a couple other people if they were willing to squeeze in. It was a very cozy car. At one point, a random woman approached the back seat hoping for a ride, but I noted that it was too cramped with my stuff already in the back seat, and she moved on along.
  • One of the places I remember driving by was my Edmonton 4012 house, because for some reason the house was in the city and I knew my parents were out of town, but that they had also bought the house next door to our old home, and somehow there was a chance that they had left the doors unlocked and had left stuff in there for me from a previous dream or previous interaction I had with them. Driving past it, however, all the doors seemed locked, and the car was difficult to handle so I kept on driving. The car was on autorun mode so I couldn’t really change its speed and make it slow down even though it wasn’t moving terribly quickly, but I thankfully managed to make the right and left turns out of the neighbourhood road onto the main road again without crashing into any parked cars.
Jan 13 2023
  • I dreamt that Ronnie and I were in a classroom in school and using it as a staging area to keep our team’s bags and stuff while we prepared for a team competition held elsewhere in the school. The classroom was full of tables, some upside down and piled to the side, others the right way up but strewn around the room, and I put my bag down to one side. I also had Tizilla, Tigey, and my red, round thermal food container with lunch in it with me, and I put all of that down and helped him move some desks.
  • A student came into the room and waved a card literally in my face, he was trying to get us to give some sort of donation to whatever cause he was supporting. I pretended to play dumb and have no idea what he meant, and Ronnie shook his head at him, saying that we were competitors in the contest that was happening upstairs and we had to go soon. Upon hearing that, he also stopped being pushy and helped us arrange the tables, and we moved two long tables to the rear door and put them so they were parallel to each other with their short edges touching, this made a sort of barrier that would hopefully prevent others from using the room.
  • We then left for the venue we had to go to upstairs. The building had changed into a mall by then, and there were various escalators and stairs leading up. I told Ronnie that I’d meet him upstairs, and I stopped off at a long queue outside a co-ed washroom upstairs, and got briefly irritated at a man carrying a baby because as he milled around in my path just outside the washroom, blocking me, eight other people got into the queue in front of me from the side. Whatever, the queue moved really quickly anyway, especially with an attendant woman by the entrance guiding the queue along and making sure it was quick and orderly.
Jan 14 2023
  • This dream entry consists of a few different snippets that took place in the same “world” so to speak.
  • Firstly, there was an MMO aspect of it that involved an underground world beneath the overworld, the underground world was made up of caverns and sand pits and had lots of castles in it. It was considered a dangerous area that people normally did not venture to, but there was going to be some sort of a guild contest down there in a few days. I had dug a tunnel from my Dad‘s bedroom down to the centre of an area that I called the Catacombs, and was hoping to convince my guildmates, which included Jah, Trin, Satinel, and more, to join the guild contest with our guild, using this tunnel as our secret weapon to get around, as we also had a guild passage that led from the underground region to my room where we stayed, and which was next to Dad‘s room in the overworld. We could basically zip back here to resupply and then zip back down to the underworld.
  • This contest involved taking a castle and holding it, and doing some siege warfare against other guilds as well. Normally we would have immediately been overrun by much larger guilds, but there were also little NPC armies running around that would attack the larger guilds, and in fact I learnt during a practice run of the event that it was possible to hang out inside those armies and pretend to be an NPC myself, and heal the other NPCs attacking their castles, without drawing much attention from the defenders, as long as I didn’t jump around as that would immediately flag me as a player. It was apparently hard to resist the urge to jump around, though.
  • Anyway, there were lots of castles strewn around the underground map, and many were unoccupied. The underground map was divided into four or five large general regions, and all the castles were one of those regions by default, but I was friends with one of the guilds that owned a region and they said to just claim a small castle somewhere and run a slash command in chat that would set our guild as the liege for the castle and that should get us through the event. We thanked them and did so.
  • I also told my guildmates to bring along a couple weapons that had a higher level requirement than our current level, as this was a good way to level up but it would be difficult to leave during the event to gear up before coming back. On the flip side, we didn’t have to bring much in terms of silver for repair costs because we could just discard the gear that we had outlevelled afterwards.
  • From here it devolves into a number of snippets. One involves a couple of burly tourist brothers who were walking around in the overworld at some point, indicating that there was some sort of spectator system for the upcoming guild contest too. I don’t remember much about them, just that they existed.
  • In fact, there was a semi-covered market area that was usually closed, but that I knew had an entrance to the underworld, and Satinel and I were headed there a bit early on the day of the contest to get ready to go underground. I wanted to use the washroom first while there, and I had figured that the place would mostly be deserted so it would be no problem. But I knew this wasn’t true when, as we approached from a distance, I noticed that the metal shutters guarding the market entrance were pulled open today and some of the stalls inside had lights on and people at the counter — I had apparently passed by this market before but had never seen it manned until now.
  • There was a crowd of people, mostly spectators, milling about the market even though it was just a minor entrance to the catacombs below, and the line to the toilets were astonishingly long. We went down a side passage to look for alternates and Satinel found a swivelling bar stool with a hole in the middle of it — she also needed to use the bathroom by this point though so she sat down on it, and an attendant lady came by with a chamberpot to place beneath her chair. She also offered me one, but I couldn’t find a similar seat to use, as all the other seats had no convenient hole in the middle of them. Instead, the attendant lady pointed me toward a small doorway that opened up into what basically was an aircraft toilet, and I used that instead.
  • The last snippet involved a class scene that was implied to be set near the end of the contest, where a 30-strong class of primary school students was shuffling back to their classroom in preparation for the next class after watching or perhaps participating in the event. There were only 29 of them there though, as the 30th student was delayed for some reason, and a man that looked like the main teacher character in the Mairimashita! Iruma-kun anime stood outside the classroom and made the entire class clean the classroom from top to bottom until it was spotless. Somehow, the implication was that if he could get this done before the 30th student returned, he would be able to take the place of that student instead. But as the dust settled down from the cleaning and the students all returned to their seats, and the man stood triumphantly outside the classroom door waiting for the teacher to acknowledge him, the back door of the classroom suddenly flew open and the 30th student, with a sullen look on his face, walked in and headed to his seat in the front left corner of the classroom, dismaying the man waiting outside.
Jan 15 2023
  • The earlier part of this dream involved a man and his companion going around a medieval town or city looking at houses. He was a vampire, she was a witch or magician, and they could both cast teleport and a few other magical spells. They seemed to be lovers or at least really good friends.
  • At one point, an elder magician started following them. When they came out of viewing a castle, he teleported in and moved in to start attacking them. The vampire teleported to the edge of a chasm next to a nearby bridge and the man followed with a scrying spell, and the vampire took the girl in her arms and leapt over the side of the bridge. The man couldn’t follow them that way, and he cursed, before teleporting down to the bottom of the chasm to look for them. However, he couldn’t use scry to follow them because the pair had not teleported down. Instead, the man had changed them both into his vampire bat form (or she had shrunk herself into a form that he could carry even as a bat) and was hiding on the underside of the bridge, and once the elder teleported down into the chasm, the vampire bat flew himself and the girl away.
  • At another point, when the pair of them teleported to a church outside the city, a group of crocodile-themed templars ambushed them as well. There were six of them, dressed in checkered outfits that seemed reminiscent of detectives. Three of them clenched their fisted gloves, which glowed yellow, in front of them — they were using some sort of magical item to cast a channeled scrying spell on the pair, and that was how they were going to combat the pair’s teleportation power — teleporting cost pretty much all their magic power for some time, and it took time to regenerate the magical power, so even if they both teleported far away, they could only teleport twice since there were two of them. The triple scry would be able to follow their magical signature through three hops and the templars could follow and defeat them.
  • Even though the two of them were surrounded, the man whispered into the shorter woman’s ears, who then chanted something and teleported them about ten metres away, onto the roof of the nearby church. The man then immediately teleported them again, one more metre away and still on the roof, and then the woman teleported them one more time, another one metre away. The man followed up with a proper teleport spell, and the two of them disappeared in a flash.
  • The templars were disappointed at this, with one of the younger templars asking their leader what had just happened. The exasperated leader said that they had used short teleports for their first three teleports, which only cost half their total magic power each cast, but which exhausted the triple scrying web that the templars had cast. The man that exhausted his magical reserves and then some to properly teleport the two of them away. They would both be exhausted and have to rest for some time, especially the man, but they had successfully escaped and couldn’t be traced for now.
  • There was also a fourth faction of characters, the Argent Dawn, who also consisted of a group of 6 or so vampire hunters who were specifically tracking the male vampire down. They were investigating the earlier scuffle near the bridge, and specifically looking at the bootprints by a footpath next to the bridge. There were a lot of bootprints in the area, as apparently the Crocodile Templars had also already come by earlier to investigate the area, and they had tried to mislead the Argent Dawn group by leaving one particularly clear bootprint very visible, which seemed to implicate one of the younger Argent Dawn members by suggesting that he had been here on his own earlier.
  • However, the man, who was of African descent, was cleared by his supervisor, a European noble lady, who said that she could verify that he had been with them all the time earlier and could not have been here earlier during the scuffle as they had been having a tea party, and she noted that he had held his teaspoon the exact same way that he always had and that his teaspoon weighed exactly the same as it should have when he did so, which were things that any decoy spell could not replicate. He thanked her for that, and then also pointed out that the bootprint just before the incriminating one was also “broken”, this indicated somehow that the print was most likely fake. He got accolades from his other group members for being observant for this.
  • Suddenly, they heard a sound, and one of the other members looked down over the edge of the hill that the footpath was on, toward a lower part of the footpath beneath them. To their horror, they saw a swarm of large and small crocodiles, about 30 of them or so in all, scampering along the footpath and heading up towards them. They all turned tail and fled back toward the town with the crocodiles chasing them.
  • The townspeople in general had been supportive of the pair when they were looking for a place, and it was suggested that they both originally hailed from the town as well. A new character was introduced here, a diminutive girl with pink hair and pigtails or buns who had just received some commissioned gear from the local blacksmith, and was now going to set out on a journey to find the runaway pair as well. She was friendly to them, and neutral to both the Argent Dawn and the Crocodile Templars, as she was a normal human girl.
  • At this point, I received a “To be continued” screen as though it were an episode of a show whose weekly broadcast had just ended. I then immediately woke up.

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