My Diary #081

Dear Tigey,

Do you like our new home? I like our new home. In-game, of course.

Entry #081 (Jan 22 2023)

Table of Contents

Gently sorting…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #79
ට  Song of the Week #56
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #63
ට  Last Year’s Entry #32
ට  Dreams

School

Third week of classes are over now, and I will henceforth stop counting the number of weeks that have passed every week. The class structure is interesting because there’s a class every Tues and Thurs, and a quiz every class in this first half of the semester, which means that there’s two days between the Tuesday material and the Thursday quiz, and five days between the Thursday material and the Tuesday quiz. So far the Tuesday material has been shorter, so the Thursday quizzes haven’t been bad, since I like to space out my studying (especially because it involves a lot of memorization right now). I’m not sure if this pattern continues through the semester though. I hope so, because some of the Thursday material has been rather hefty.

The homework has all been really quick and simple so far though, though I now know a lot more than I ever intended to know about classical Japanese verb types and conjugations.

I also got un-lazy and formally finished my UAlberta-side application for Sophia University this week, and I don’t really foresee an issue with it being accepted on this end. I don’t really see an issue with it being accepted on the Sophia end either, but if there is a problem it will likely come up there and not here.

I also got wind that this (local) five-week Ritsumeikan Summer Japanese Program might be held this year if there are enough interested people, and there’s an info session about it in a couple weeks that I’ll be attending. This would take place just before my study abroad trip to Japan, on May 09 to Jun 09. However, they rudely ended (local) the complementary two-week additional English-taught cultural portion of the program that usually goes along with it, the Theme Studies to Japan thing that I’ve linked, and backed up screenshots of, elsewhere in past blog entries. Thankfully, because the live link to the site is dead now. I had signed up for both in the season before COVID hit, and was accepted to both, but I guess that cancelled Theme Studies program on food culture isn’t happening after all. Although I’ve visited many of the places that the program was going to visit, like the Nishiki Market in Kyoto, myself already anyway.

But because the second part has been cancelled, there would probably be too big of a gap for me to stay in Japan after the Ritsumeikan session ends on June 09, and before Sophia‘s semester begins around September 21. Granted, even with the course, it would only have taken me to about June 23 or so. I wonder if it would be worth doing the course and flying back to Canada, only to fly back to Japan a couple months later again. We’ll see how the info session goes, I suppose.

Lastly, here’s a picture of my classroom for the Japan 341/Classical Japanese class that I am taking.

The tables are always rotated and pushed together two by two to form squares whenever we come in for our class, thanks to a previous class that is too lazy to turn the tables back, our professor called that an elementary school setup the first time she walked in on us rearranging the tables, and I concur, I think the previous students must have the mindset of elementary students to not do something as basic as moving back the tables and chairs to their proper default position after their class is over. Anyway there are only 12 students in our class, so once we rearrange the tables, everyone pretty much gets their own long table.

Work

I conversely don’t have much to say about work, I stayed out of everyone else’s way and did what I had to do this week well, and that was about it. Apparently we’re hiring two or three new people for our team shortly though, though they’re looking internal before they go external because they aren’t guaranteed to be permanent positions. At least one of them probably will become permanent though in preparation (again) for my departure late this month, and we technically have at least one more empty seat to backfill as well.

Life

I am such a happy person. Life is very satisfying right now, and I am appreciative of that and hope this feeling lasts a long time. I think a large part of it is still residual satisfaction from my Singapore and Japan trips last year as well. I really, really should be considering just not going for Study Abroad and sitting in my job for the rest of my life, and taking annual trips to Asia as and when I want to. But then I’d have too many “what ifs” on my deathbed. But anyway, I’m pretty damned happy right now. A lot more so than, say, when I first started my blog, although I wasn’t too bad then either.

The /r/anime subreddit hosts a name-that-anime subscriber quiz more or less every million or so new subscribers or so, which is nice, and I’ve always participated in a group and done fairly well in it (especially since they allow and we clearly state that we use reverse search tools), but one thing different this time is that all participants were also put into a raffle, and six winners out of the couple hundred were chosen to select/nominate an anime-related flair for the subreddit. I was unaware of the raffle but apparently was one of the winners, and the mod that contacted me said in the first contact post that they’d be happy to make one for me that fits the size requirements if I simply nominated a show and/or a character too. So I picked my current favourite show, Hidamari Sketch, which our group watch group is also currently rewatching (but on hiatus at the moment since Nak is sick), and left the details up to the mod.

The result turned out to be as shown below (as per the mod setting the picture flair on his own Reddit account for me to preview):

I don’t have a link to the full-size image yet as it’s still not officially released, but that’s Yuno, the main character of the series, and a mock-horrified face taken from the opening song of the first season of the show. Good stuff. I liked it a lot and happily approved it, especially since he had gone through all that effort to find a good candidate picture and send me that preview so quickly after our initial conversation, and I know they have a ton of other work to do too.

I had no idea the flairs site even existed, as I only really visit the subreddit a couple times a week these days, but I logged on that app to check too and apparently found that I had a couple special flairs and icons unlocked for me due to my Chihayafuru writeups and winning two previous year-end /r/anime Best Of awards. I wanted to post the nice Chihayafuru flair in my virtual scrapbook at least, since it’s marked as special on the flairs site and I don’t think anyone else besides Seren has access to use them too (but she’s using the Aria the Animation one because that’s her favourite series). Anyway it’s pretty sweet as flairs go.

I should really bring back my anime blog section again but I already have so much to write about every week, and that section always felt very weirdly out of place. This season’s best show so far has been Tensei Oujo to Tensai Reijou no Mahou Kakumei though, though my favourite song so far has been D4DJ All Mix‘s opening song, Maihime by Lyrical Lily, which I might end up buying the single for.

I didn’t buy (or haven’t bought, so far) any of my favourite singles from the last anime season (Fall 2022) though, Hajimaru Welcome by Aguri Oonishi, the opening song for Shinmai Renkinjutsushi no Tenpo Keiei, and Virginia by Hinano, the ending song from Uchi no Shishou wa Shippo ga Nai, with honourable mention to Shukufuku by YOASOBI, the opening song from Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo. Instead I ended up with Bocchi the Rock! and Do It Yourself!! CDs to support the shows because I ended up liking them so much.

I like songs with a lot of “punctuation” and melodic changes though, and I suppose repetition to some extent, and I noted at some point that both the songs that I liked the most last season have a part where they repeat a set of three verbs, “naite, waratte, kagayaite” (cry, laugh, sparkle) for Hajimaru Welcome, and “hashire, maware, yurase” (run, spin, sway) for Virginia.

Anyway, the fog finally lifted from Edmonton this week, and everything went back to gloriously blue, blue skies again.

The weather was also really mild this week, which for me basically means anything above -10C. It even rose above the freezing point on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday though, allowing me to open the balcony door (which adds to my overall happiness level), and this is apparently continuing all the way until the end of next week, when the forecast says temperatures will plummet again.

I am slightly sad to report that the Xmas lights on the trees in the courtyard outside my balcony are now gone. Although the main tree, the one by the rental office’s front door and that peeps over the top of the office’s roof so I can see it from where I am (see this post and this post for context) is thankfully still lit, left up past its fourth anniversary now. It’s still turned on until about midnight these days before the lights go off. Saving a bit of electricity, I suppose that’s a good thing!

Kynji mentioned seeing a travel blog somewhere where the blogger collected a photo out of every window from places that they’ve stayed in in the past, or places that are somehow significant to them, and I thought that that was an excellent idea. That’s the kind of thing I want to do for the Collections/Sets section of my site, and I might even steal that specific idea once I have more time to do so. I have several different Collection ideas that I want to work on, some of them from real life pictures, some screenshots from anime shows, and so on. When I have more time to work on my blog.

I occasionally try one or two new things whenever I visit the supermarket or grocery store, depending on what is on sale, usually picking up something that can be tossed into a bowl of soup or rice, or eaten along side them. It has led to some rather dubious culinary experiences, like this week when I tried rutabaga and parsnip for the first time as an alternate to potato and carrot, and neither one was particularly good, though neither were they terrible, more of an acquired taste that I would have to spend some effort to get. Other recent experiments include bamboo shoots, kale, mini potato balls, fried cheese sticks, some sort of meatloaf ball, some gourmet peppers and artichoke hearts soaked in crazy oil, and more. They usually turn out okay, not particularly good but not particularly bad either.

One recent thing I’ve really enjoyed though was some supermarket eggnog, which I got in late December and hated the taste of by itself. However, I did then discover that when I dribbled a small amount into my cup, and then filled the cup with cold milk and drank that together with the eggnog, the two tastes combined together to something heavenly, and I’ve been drinking my milk that way ever since, especially since it also seems to push the milk over a line where my very mild lactose intolerance doesn’t seem to kick in at all. Or maybe that’s just my body getting used to all the milk again? Anyway, the eggnog also lasts a long time (the small carton I got in December expires in May) so a little dribble into every cup of milk should be a good speed at which to consume it.

The reason I mentioned all that, besides highlighting that recent find that I really like, is that when I went to the (second) annual Chinese New Year family dinner at my parents’ place this year though, I also came back with a whole bunch of tea samples. Most of which I have not tried yet.

But the one tea I did try right when I got back on Saturday, the coconut oolong tea in the top left from David‘s Tea (apparently stylized as DAVIDsTEA — why??), was fantastic. So fantastic that I ended up resteeping the loose tea leaves in my tea strainer twice and ended up with three cups of tea between 11 pm to 1 am. Still slept well though. Apparently my mom and sister have turned into tea connoisseurs in the past couple years and I am tempted to follow them along the same route, especially since they say that although they have a local brick and mortar shop in West Edmonton Mall too, the David‘s Tea online shop (local) often has pretty good online sales.They apparently used to have a store at Southgate Centre too, next to my house, but not any more. Oh well…

I probably won’t end up with a cupboard full of tea like my mom and sis, especially before I return from my globe-trotting adventures, and especially since I don’t actually know the difference between most types of tea. Red and black and green tea are all the same for me, they’re all just tea, and I’ve never otherwise come across a tea that I’ve particularly liked or disliked, but we’ll see. I did enjoy being able to sample many different kinds of teas last year in both the Muslim house in Kembangan where I stayed while on my Singapore trip, and Akira‘s house in Kyoto where I resided in on my Japan trip.

I realized that even though I briefly talked about the tea strainer that I had gotten using an Amazon gift card from a survey back in My Diary #045 and #046, I never actually provided a link to it or a picture of it. The link to it is here and there are pictures on that page. It’s been largely working out well for me, though the metal rim means that it’s rather warm when I pull it out of the cup after five minutes in there. It’s never been unbearably hot though, so I take it out and lay it down on a plastic cover I have that it nicely fits on, add three cubes of ice into it to make it cool down more quickly, and bring the nice cup of tea back to my nice computer and spend a nice few minutes commisserating with it there. The only negative is that the last 5% or so of the tea leaves in the strainer are never really emptyable into the dustbin even with a spoon, and I just have to kind of wash it out into the sink, and even that sometimes take a couple tries.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to trying out the rest of the teas now. Probably over this week and the next. On the topic of the CNY hotpot, here’s a picture of Tigey and some of the other animals plushie that came along with me this Saturday to my parents’ place, featuring Tigey with a totally non-electrified thinking cap on.

And here’s a picture of the actual hotpot. It was yummy, though I ate too much as usual.

This was the first time that I had been to this family house, since they’ve moved since last year’s CNY dinner and it’s a little inconvenient to travel there by Edmonton’s sorry excuse of a public transit system, especially during winter. While I was there, I also backed up Dad‘s computer and his music project stuff to my Backblaze account, although Backblaze doesn’t seem to give additional family or computer discounts so it was an additional $70 or so on top of my annual plan (basically doubling it) when I added his computer to my account. It’s worth it though since he says he has stuff on there that he’s worked on for over 20 years, and it was all being precariously stored on external hard drives.

Also, this is happening outside my apartment and it has been like this for a couple weeks now, and it feels like a sign of the coming zombie apocalypse. I kind of liked the ambience of it though so I never reported it or anything, and apparently either no one else has (and the rental, maintenance, security, and cleaning staff never wander by our corridor) or they don’t care enough to fix it.

I was asked how long these blog posts take to write every week. I had estimated 4-6 hours in the past, which was down from 8-12 hours or so for the very early posts, but these days they often actually still take closer to 6-8 hours to write, due to the length of things and including time to do a bit of research and/or thinking and/or gathering material to upload and write about. 6 hours for the standard posts, like this one, and 8 hours if I have to do a seriously long MSotW writeup, or one that includes custom maps and so on. The 6-8 hours are primarily spread out over Friday to Sunday, and I enjoy doing them, so they’re very much just a part of my weekly schedule now, even if they get in the way of playing games or studying or going to interesting events sometimes.

Games

My game du jour this week was Vintage Story (local), I had been looking at it and talking about it last week, and broke down and bought it at the start of this week. Satinel came along for the ride as well, and we built a nice house along an isthmus between two large bodies of water, with a fantastic eastern and western view of the sunrise and sunset (and moonrise and moonset). At least, it was fantastic until the snow came in early October, and it’s now February and everything is still blanketed in snow. Thankfully we have enough food to last the winter.

Progression is a little slow but I do like it that way, it’s very much living a rural medieval life, crafting and smithing things and making animal pens and capturing chickens and goats and preparing to plant a lot of crops when spring rolls around again. And we have a cellar that will be chock-full of food by next year. There’s wolves and bears around sometimes that threaten us and our livestock, and some nasty otherworldly yeti-like things that spawn from temporal rifts or during mind-bending temporal storms that happen every now and then, but otherwise things are peaceful and that’s just the way I like it as we slowly develop the land around us. Milumbar also got the game and logged on briefly to join us and peek around the house.

While the game looks Minecraft-esque, it has a whole host of mechanics that differ from that game, and any review dismissing it as just a Minecraft clone is basically a writer being lazy or not having actually played the game, although comparisons are definitely inevitable, especially early on at first glance, due to its graphics. They just both happen to be voxel-based games with first-person camera view, and while it’s a distant derivative of Minecraft, it’s so far removed and so much more stable on my computer that it’s been a joy to play as a fan of modded Minecraft. I particularly like the aspect of how they simulate the natural world, everything from the biomes and rock and ore strata to seasons and weather being based on “real world” based logic rather than absolutely random generation like Minecraft. While the map is generated, there’s an equator and there are poles and it takes forever to travel from one end to the other, we haven’t even gone more than 1% of the way toward either pole ourselves. It’s 500,000 blocks from the center of the map to the edges on either side.

Anyway here are a bunch of pictures from our world, mostly centered around our house.

Very cozy. Besides Vintage Story, I played a bit of Valheim and Vampire Survivors this week, all games that start with V (and another one with initials of VS), but they were a distant second and third place respectively.

Plushie of the Week #79 – Glow-in-the-Dark Turtle

While not tecccchnically a plushie, this guy has been hanging around and sitting with my plushie collection for so long that he’s pretty much an honourary plushie at this point. He’s a little baby ninja turtle, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, that never quite grew up. He doesn’t exactly have any tags or anything, so I’ll lead off with his pictures for context:

Front:

Back:

Under:

As one can see, he’s actually missing a leg — that broke and fell off at some point, though I’m fairly confident that I still have that limb in a box somewhere.

I got this little guy way, way back when we were living in the Yishun 799 family home, so sometime between 1987 to 1993 or so. He also came with a box of goo, and I distinctly remember the shape of the box and that it was glow-in-the-dark goo and was Nickelodeon themed, so a few strategic Google searches later, I actually found eBay listings showcasing the original box of ooze and more of these turtles that were meant to be dipped into them — the toy itself was apparently called Retromutagen Ooze, and an eBay search (local) for it still shows up some resultant pictures. I’m glad I had enough memory context left to be able to trace down this one’s origin. Apparently the product line itself hails from 1989, so that acts as a lower bound of when my parents could have acquired him for me.

It’s too bad we don’t have the goo anymore, as it seems to be quite pricey, since I’m pretty sure that we tossed it out while moving from our Yishun 799 house to our Yishun 723 house. I remember it sitting on top of the shelf in the storeroom next to the kitchen in our Yishun 799 house though. Then again, even if we still had the goo can, it would probably have been an interesting colony of bacteria by now, since it was opened back then and this turtle did get dipped into it, once upon a time.

I remember that after we dipped this turtle into the goo, and then let him dry out, he actually did glow in the dark for what felt to me like a couple of years at the time, though it might have been several months instead. I would sometimes put him beside my bed at night and stare at it in the darkness, although it was never bright enough to read by or even hurt the eyesight in the dark. I think. His spunky teenage glow faded away over time to a dim glow, and then eventually to nothing at all, some sort of metaphor for life perhaps. I don’t seem to remember having any interest in making him glow again, but I definitely did keep the turtle himself around, as evidenced by the fact that he’s still here with me today. I never did give him a name though.

Anyway, the reason I featured this turtle this week is that he featured in one of my dreams below as well. What a random thing to pop up in my dreams!

Song of the Week #56

Title: Spaceman
Artist: Bif Naked
Album: I Bificus (1998)

I hated this song when we first came to Canada, as it was overplayed on Canadian radio, as part of satisfying the stupid “Canadian content” rule of how much music played on a Canadian radio station must be from Canadian artists. While there were several songs from that era that I hate and still hate today, I eventually grew to like this specific song, which is why it’s here today — it reminds me of the early 2000’s, or at least anything from 1999 to 2002 or so, the period of time when I was in high school.

My memories of the song are not high school related however, they instead relate to the Edmonton 4012 house that we lived in, and the blue Dodge Caravan minivan that Dad used to drive the family around in when we first came to Edmonton, between 1999 and 2003. Us kids would be in the backseat as the car trundled over snowy, dirty roads, heading to the supermarket or some store or even one of the small towns around the city or something. I also remember seeing the music video on MuchMusic and noting her.. old? hairstyle and her tattoos and noting what an interesting, if weird, pair they made together.

Other than that, and a general love for space-related things that I will note without expounding upon, that’s it for my notes on this song!

Memory Snippet of the Week #63

This week’s MSotW is related to the Glow in the Dark ninja turtle toy above, and it felt like a good week to feature this one since I was already doing research on that adjacent topic. This MSotW is what my siblings and I called the “Ninja Turtle card game”, it was a set of cards printed on what might have been cardboard stock paper, with the back of the card being brown like cardboard and featuring a Ninja Turtles logo on it, and the front on the card having a character and a number on it, and a blue or red background. There were two identical sets of cards, basically a “blue team” and a “red team”, and each colour had the exact same number of cards in their deck. Both of them had 1 Splinter card, for example, and four Ninja Turtle cards.

The characters and numbers for each card were as follows:

1 – Splinter
2 – Ninja Turtles (4 copies)
3 – Krang
4 – Shredder
5 – Casey Jones
6 – Leatherhead
7 – Genghis Frog
8 – Rocksteady
9 – Bebop
10 – Ace Duck
11 – Rat King
12 – Usagi Yojimbo
13 – Baxter Stockman
14 – Tragg
15 – Mouser (2 copies?)
16 – Foot Soldiers (1 copy? Maybe 2?)
17 – Metalhead
18 – April O’Neil
Bomb (3 copies?)

I don’t remember if the set of cards also came with a rule card or a card list, but we figured out rule variations for games that we could play with those cards pretty quickly by ourselves anyway — we had bigger number beating smaller number, and bomb cards beating everyone, with the exceptions of Mouser beating Bomb, and April O’Neil beating the Ninja Turtles.

Variations of the games we played involved shuffling the two decks separately and flipping over the top card from each deck, and losing cards were either removed from play or added to the victor’s pile together with the retained winner cards, and once a player was out of cards they could shuffle their remaining cards (if any) and continue pulling cards from the top. Those games were pointless but could go on for hours. We also played a variation of Luzhanji or Army Chess with them, a game that I’ve briefly talked about elsewhere in my blog here and here, with the Bombs acting as the unmoveable land mines in the game protecting the April O’Neil flag, and the Mousers acting as the engineers that could travel along the sides/railways of the makeshift board that we would arrange out on the ground. The card game itself didn’t come with a board, so that was not the intended use of the game, but it didn’t stop us from adapting it anyway.

Anyway, I’m not sure if we have the cards still, but I haven’t been able to find it in my boxes, nor has our family found them even though I’ve asked them to keep an eye out for it everytime they move. But more puzzling to me is how the cards don’t seem to be acknowledged or findable anywhere on the Internet, I’ve searched Google, the TMNT wiki, and I even trawl through the first few pages of eBay listings every now and then when I think of the game, but I’ve never seen it listed or mentioned anywhere else. We played with the cards so much that I know all the numbers above by heart with upwards of 99% certainty, and I remember what the cards look like, but for some reason they seem lost to the sands of time. Maybe they were only a local Singapore game from the early 1990s period or something.

All the cards were portrait mode pictures, and they were not trading/collectible cards (i.e. no booster packs and such, they were a fixed deck set of cards), nor cards with movie or TV images (there was just a cartoon drawing of the characters at the front of each card), nor did they have any information on the back besides the TMNT logo, nor did they have quotes on the card anywhere either. When the two decks were stacked together, they formed a pile about 6-8 cm tall, so they were fairly thick cards, considering there were only about 25-27 cards for each colour.

Some of the characters on the cards were such side characters too that I had (and still have) no idea who they are, as I only watched the show on and off when young, and yet, mystifyingly, I have not been able to find any traces of this card game on the Internet. One of a couple lost childhood games that I’d love to find or acquire a copy of.

Last Year’s Entry #32

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #037. This was published on Jan 23 2022.

Ah yes, the flute. It’s still sitting next to me, and I still haven’t exactly learnt it, I can barely make a noise when blowing into it still, it’s kind of complex and I never seem to have the time to put aside for it. But I knew this was going to happen anyway, which is why I opted for a cheap instrument, and something that I can easily carry around and store somewhere for when I want to use it, as opposed to having a craving to play around with one in the future and not having one on hand. So, like many other things, it’s a keep in view future project!

It’s funny that I was looking for (and started playing) a game last year based on a Reddit thread around mobile bases, as I started Zompiercer a few weeks ago during the end of the Steam Winter sale based on pretty much another identically-themed thread on Reddit. Something about Edmonton winters and being stuck indoors in my nice, warm home must inspire me to want to take this sense of security and go places with it.

That Stardander School for Witches game I mentioned last year is still not out yet. Is it ever coming out? Do I even care anymore after so long? I do slightly regret not playing Conan Exiles with the group last year, but I think it would have been as laggy as Valheim is on my PC these days. I can’t wait to get a new PC after I come back from study abroad and find a place to settle down and a new job and and and.

I still haven’t uploaded the notebook with our class’s Kallang McDonalds attendance records. I did find a couple pages in the ensuing year but am not sure if that was all of what I had. Someday. I did edit that MSotW to include a link to the day where I revisited the Kallang area on my Singapore trip though.

Dreams

I think I had some pretty great dreams this week. Nothing lucid, and nothing I’d consider S-tier, but several dreams with a good pile of details remembered on many of the mornings, another rare 4-dream night in the mix, many snippets scattered through the diary entries, and basically some experiences that kept me eager to go to bed each night to see if I’d remember anything as interesting the next morning. And most of the time, I think I kind of did.

I also got soaked in rain twice this week, and then at the end of the week, I became a water mage of some sort. Weird linking theme?

Jan 17 2023
  • The only thing I remember from the dream is that at one point, I visited an old school again and sat down on a couch with Zixiang to chat. I asked him if there were still often empty classrooms that we could hide in between classes, and he said no, these days most of the classrooms were all in use all the time.
Jan 18 2023
  • Snippet: I stayed back after class with one other guy from my class as we both had something we wanted to ask the teacher. She answered his question first, then when it got to my turn, I flipped through my book but said I could no longer find my question. While I was thinking about it, the teacher and the male student picked up broomsticks and started mock fighting each other with them as though they were staves. When they stopped fighting, they saw that six students or so from the next class had come in and were watching them fight.
  • They were quite impressed by the teacher and it seemed like the boys were going to hit on her, so the two of us helped the teacher pack up her pencil cases and papers from the desk, and escorted her out of the classroom. Valerie joined us then and suggested that since three of us were female, that we hide out in the female washroom until the coast was clear, so we did so. The boy in the group was impressed as he had never seen the inside of a female washroom before. I went into a cubicle and relieved myself in the squat toilet there while waiting.
  • Snippet: I was with Mom and Dad by a riverside, they were saying something about how they were happy to treat me to a meal but it would be the last time, and what would I like for it? They suggested a new roadside stall on the other side of the river, pointing to it from where we were, and I agreed.
  • Snippet: Two adventurers escaped on a large garbage platform chute in a building that lowered unwanted garbage from the main establishment on the ground floor into the sewers. The platform descended and came to a stop on the third level of the sewers, at which point the two adventurers hopped out and headed for an exit that was supposed to lead to the second level, so that they could ascend toward the surface. The younger adventurer went through the level change portal first, and the older one stopped, then touched a piece of moss on the wall, which healed him slightly and put him at max health. He then went through the portal as well.
  • On the other side, he immediately felt like something was wrong, everything looked strange and it looked like he had gone through the fourth level portal and descended to the level beneath by mistake. He panicked and grabbed a sea urchin from the wall and held it above his head, tilting his head up and opening his mouth while attempting to squeeze its juice into his mouth, because that would supposedly help send him back. The younger adventurer came over to wrestle with him, shaking him out of his stupor and alerting him to the fact that the sea urchin had made him hallucinate and was trying to make him drink its poison. He was actually indeed safely on the second level.
  • Snippet: I had a power to colour a large tiled floor palette with many different colours, which I did. After a bit, I had to leave the room with Mom and Dad as they were going to drive me home in a van, and I had to bring something along with me which I didn’t care for as I had not completed whatever it was yet, but I didn’t have a choice. While in the van, Dad told me that there was a game made in Edmonton, or by an Edmonton studio, that I was not legally allowed to buy DLC or redeem free bonus codes for while in Edmonton even though they existed, because the company heads had decided to milk the product for more money by re-releasing it as a base game only. I think he said the game was Spore. I said that I didn’t care and owned the full game with all the DLC and bonus codes on Steam already, and was not going to cave to corporate greed.
  • Snippet: There was also a dream sequence where someone in a group I was with was summoning things by pulling out cards from a magical deck of cards. One of them summoned a large scorpion man that was about ten feet tall across the road or river, and that scorpion man ran into a nearby building that looked like a bank. I watched as three guards raced in after it, two men and one woman, and the two men came out after a few seconds, both at extremely low health, and stood outside the door to regenerate their health. I was worried this meant that the unnamed woman had died, but it turned out she was a healer and was just tanking the scorpion inside the room. Once the two men had recovered their health, they ran in again, and after another few seconds, all three reemerged safely from the building.
Jan 19 2023
  • I dreamt that I went down to Calgary to meet Satinel and a few other friends and hang out with them. Details are sparse, but a few snippets are linked to this event. For starters, I had a curfew back home due to some mild punishment that I wasn’t able to keep because I was over three hours away, so I told my parents that I was staying with someone else in Calgary overnight.
  • On the second day, after I had left the company of my friends, I tried to arrange a ride home with Dad the next day, asking if he would come pick me up, but the 3-4 hour drive was too long so I said I’d find a way to take a bus back home first. I said I could contact my friends again but that I might end up staying one more day and leaving in the early morning the next day. Thankfully it was the weekend so I didn’t have to be at school or work the next day anyway.
  • While waiting for a local bus, I saw an Aeon departmental store across the road, and left my bags at the bus stop while I wandered up to it, wondering if it was open and if I could find some of that banana milk I liked in it. It was unfortunately closed, the store apparently opened from 10 am to 11 pm, and it was only 8 am or so in my dream. I had put on a pink jacket to do so, which I had apparently bought from a similar store in the past, and one of the things the store apparently sold was a fashion selection that changed with the seasons.
  • It took me a bit to find my original bus stop again, as there were three bus stops in the vicinity and the first two did not have my bag. A couple of buses tried to stop for me but I waved them onwards. I eventually found my right stop (by looking for the Aeon departmental store again and then looking across the road) and retrieved my bags though. It had started to rain by that point and I liked the feeling of being wet, but eventually decided to pop into a nearby residential building through a little side door anyway.
  • There was a chair on the other side of that door so I sat down on it, but I then noticed a sign on the inside of the door that said that the door was not supposed to be used, and an electricity bolt symbol on a sticker above the handle. It obviously wasn’t electrified since I used it just fine to come in, but I decided to leave just in case it came on. I used the weight of my bag to open the door and stepped out again.
  • On the bus, I was standing next to a seated Caucasian woman who tapped my shoulder and asked me if she could forward someone on her chat my way. I said yes and we tapped phones to exchange contacts, and I soon had two new contacts on my phone. The second person was a friend of hers with a male name and a profile that said s/he was beginning his/her gender transition. I accepted the invite and said hello, and that s/he must be the friend of the woman who turned out to have a Chinese name, according to her profile. The new person said yes, and had some questions about some coloured tiles and how that related to a successful transition. I said I hadn’t really played with those tiles yet but had had a successful and very happy transition.
Jan 20 2023
  • At one point, I was in an airplane or something that also doubled as the pilot’s house, with a living room with a computer in it, as well as a side bedroom and toilet. Besides me and the pilot, there were also a couple other random people milling about, like an old woman that I remember, but I never interacted with them. I did interact a little with the pilot though, like I was using the toilet at one point and he needed to enter the bathroom to do something else in there and I told him to feel free to do so, it was his house after all.
  • Some distance through the journey, I saw a little gosling walking around in the house as well. And as we were preparing to disembark, I also found a tiny little duckling waddling its way around near the computer desk. It would turn into a flat pancake as a defensive mechanism if it felt frightened, and when it turned into one in front of me, I reached up to the desk and tried to find Ducky to bring him down to the ground and place him on top of the duckling pancake so that I could take a picture of them both, but I instead brought down my little glow in the dark turtle toy. Then the duckling half-unflattened so it had working legs again, and fled the scene. I confirmed with the pilot that this was the last stop for the plane, and my correct destination, and hurriedly packed my bags and left the plane.
  • Later on, I was riding a bicycle through the rain together with Amy and a mutual guy friend. We were on the way to his house. The two of them were somehow sheltered from the rain but I was not, and I said I did not care, I loved the rain and loved the feeling of being drenched. When we reached the house, the boy’s father was there to meet us and help us in, and he started to ask about my wet clothes as well. I told him that Amy had pretty much fallen asleep while sitting on her bicycle in front of their house though and she needed to be let in as soon as possible.
  • Even later on, I was in a lecture theatre full of little square school desks and chairs pushed together into groups of two. We had bad seats, but nearly everyone left for an intermission, and I took the opportunity to take a table at the front of the slightly elevated second row so that I had a good seat to see the next demonstration after the intermission, which was apparently an interesting one. I called out to Jah, and then Satinel, both of whom were nearby at different desks, to join me so that they would have good seats too. Satinel sat in the empty seat to my left, and Jah moved his table up to my right to join up with my table, so we formed a line of three desks instead. Someone I didn’t know then decided to move his table up to the left of Satinel and join up with us as well. I thought that was weird and a bit rude.
Jan 21 2023

Dream 1

  • I was living with my family in a house that was also a public facility that we took care of, we had our private living quarters house but there were also other buildings that were open to the public, kind of like a small Japanese shrine. We opened the front and rear gates every day and let people wander in and out.
  • This was also in an MMO setting, and I was part of a guild with friends, and one day Gawaine, who used to be in our guild but was not anymore, came by for a visit. He was a toddler character but somehow had made the trip here himself. My guild figured that his father had put him on the train and paid the fare for him and then just sent him off, which felt dangerous and irresponsible, but here he was anyway.
  • I showed the Gawaine toddler around the public section of the base, in particular bringing him to a smaller garden by the back gate, then past a fountain to a larger garden near the front gate. In between there was a building that turned out to be an auditorium, and I also brought him inside that, showing him that it was a two storey thing, sort of like a theatre, where there was a stage in front on the ground floor, some chairs and tables on the ground floor, and more chairs and tables on the upper level that ended at a balcony that overlooked the stage below.
  • I pointed out to him that the chairs were divided into groups of four and each group of four were centered around a table, and that the floor was a dark colour but beneath each set of 4 chairs and 1 table were white tiles, and this was so that if the audience needed to be divided into groups for some activity or other, they could do the activity in the groups that their chairs were already roughly divided into.
  • Snippet: I’m not sure if this snippet comes from this dream or a later one, but I was preparing to sleep with my family in a large communal room at one point. Mom, Dad, Kel, and Jon. I felt like I wasn’t really staying there with them but had come to visit, and was staying there for at least one night. There was a large radio at the side of the room that was blaring out some lo-fi music, and although I liked the music, I was afraid that that would be disruptive to the rest of the family trying to sleep. They didn’t seem to mind it though. Even though I didn’t turn on the radio in the dream, it still felt like my fault somehow, and when I actually woke up in real life I noted that it was because I had left a YouTube video of lo-fi music running on my computer for background ambience while sleeping, and that was what was playing in my dreams.

Dream 2

  • I was in a room with my workmates having a team meeting, and Ronnie announced that as most people knew by then, he was leaving his supervisor job at the end of the week for a new job at the United Nations, as headhunter recruiters had called him up and offered him a job there that he could not refuse.
  • I was pissed at this. Partly because he didn’t tell me, one of his direct reports, about it until that meeting, and because it was Thursday on the last working week of the year and there wasn’t enough time to transition anything. But there was also an element of being scared of change and not wanting to have to deal with a new boss at this stage of my career. However, I reasoned, it probably wasn’t all that bad because I was only going to be here 4 more months before I left the job for Japan anyway.
  • Still, I didn’t like it, and pointed out to him that only last week, he had said that he would be in this job for many years to come still, and would probably still be here, as leader of this team, in sixty years if the University didn’t kick him out first. Why did the change of heart come so quickly? I was livid at him.
  • I also commisserated with Jeremy at some point, laughing with him that whoever the next team leader were would have a hard time if we both didn’t like them, since we both had concessions (like working from home) that were deal-breakers for us if they ever tried to remove it, and we often also had polar opposite demands and viewpoints on some issues and only Ronnie really knew how to navigate and balance us.

Dream 3

  • This dream involved a train ride on a route and train that was modelled off of Singapore’s MRT train system, and having to make a transfer from my current line to a train line on the opposite side of the platform that went in a different direction that I needed to travel toward.
  • I also knew for some reason that at each stop, the first person onto the train, or the person carrying the most items and getting onto the train, or something like that, would have their profile or achievement captured in an online record called Fotopedia. I was carrying a large backpack and knew that I had a good shot at whatever the award was. However, it wasn’t guaranteed to happen because a lot of people tended to stop at the popular nexus terminal where the two train lines and a couple other lines met.
  • That being said, I knew that the train line I was on and the train line I wanted to get to didn’t converge at just that particular hub station, but also the next three stations after that, which were residential stations and thus far more quiet. Going an additional stop also meant that I was pretty much guaranteed a seat, since the train I needed to take was going in the opposite direction, and thus would stop at those three stations before reaching the hub station.
  • Therefore, I stayed on my train past the nexus station, and got off at the first residential station after that with one other passenger. This station had two large pillars holding up the roof and each taking up about 1/3 of the station’s length, with a small squarish open platform area in between where I stood and waited for the next train.
  • Editor: Fotopedia seems to have been an actual old website but I’ve never heard of it, so the one in my dream was unrelated to that.

Dream 4

  • This scene happened around a school field outside a school that roughly resembled my McNally Composite High School, with two teams playing soccer or something in the field and a line of spectators watching them play along the side, between the field to the west and the school building to the east. I was standing to the south of the field, behind the net of one of the teams, half-watching them play.
  • I could hear the conversation between the teams and even some of the spectators quite well, and at one point one of the players tried to insult a player on the opposing team, but couldn’t figure out how to finish off his insult. He trailed off for a second, then added a “Your mom!” at the end of it, which caused the audience to laugh. I wasn’t sure which of the two sides, the insulter or the insulted, the audience was laughing at.
  • I wasn’t entirely paying attention to the game though, not only because I wasn’t really interested, but because the entire area also had a virtual farm simulation game overlaid on top of it that I was playing. This consisted of several points of interest that produced coins over time for me and that I could upgrade with said coins to unlock new animals or other perks.
  • For example, there was a dirt mound on the north side of the school field (but that I could access from where I was standing in the south) that produced rabbits, but that I could upgrade to also produce bunnies (which apparently were distinct from rabbits) and frogs. There were two or three other upgrades that didn’t produce new animals but upgraded the existing ones in some way, like faster coin production speed.
  • To the southwest of the field were some school buses, and another area where I could buy and/or upgrade other animals like goats and probably horses. They were more expensive so besides the starter goats that I started out with, I hadn’t really upgraded that section yet.
  • To the southeast of the field was a building with a small computer lab or lecture theatre in it. I went into there with my lunch, a box of noodles, which I knew was slightly strong-smelling, intending to eat it by myself at one of the tables since there was no one else in there. I also learnt that that was a centralized upgrade location, where I could see all the upgrades from all the other facilities at once in a floating virtual menu. The first letters of all the words in the names of the upgrades were a different colour too, as long as the letter wasn’t already used in an earlier upgrade further up the list, so I realized that it was some sort of smart shortcut system that let me tap one letter on my keyboard to run the upgrade.
  • The upgrade I picked, the bunnies, was made payable to a man that appeared in the room, and I pulled out my grey cat face coin purse (that I have in real life) and opened it to retrieve the coins from the game, which were apparently autodeposited into there as I earned them. I had a scattering of coins and notes in there, and the upgrade cost something like $5.64 or so, so I gave him a $5 note, then a 50 cent and 10 cent coin, and was trying to find enough small change for the rest of it. In the end I gave up, pulled out a 500 yen coin, and asked if that was fine and if he had change.
  • He looked at the coin, then started to count out a lot more change than I was expecting. I realized that that coin was actually a special commemorative coin I had acquired from something called the Pirate Bay that I had apparently visited on my USA trip last year. I decided to take back the coins and just gave him a $10 note instead.
  • Snippet: At one point somewhere later on in the dream, I bumped against a radio with my right arm and it came on, broadcasting an AM Radio channel with a talk host that was apparently having an interview with Trin about her company’s game, Signs of the Sojourner. I recognized her voice quite clearly but was surprised as I hadn’t heard that she had done any radio interviews for it. I tried to turn the volume up to listen to it more clearly, but the radio then cut off and I couldn’t get it to turn on again.
  • Editor: Yes, rabbits and bunnies were two separate animals in my dream. I also did not visit any location called the Pirate Bay during my USA trip last year. By the way, the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar starts Jan 22 2023.
Jan 22 2023
  • I was at an MMO taking place on some school grounds, possibly as part of a school festival, as there were many other students also wandering about. For the first part of my dream, I was walking around with a female student a year older than me who I had become friends with, and who I thought of as a senpai.
  • There were dorms that one could own and upgrade, and as a new student, I had two cards each granting an Upper 3 room in one of two adjacent residential towers, each of which was divided into four sections, Lower 1, Lower 2, Upper 3, and Upper 4. The level numbers were written in Japanese, each with two kanji and then a 1-4 numeral after each. I didn’t recognize the second kanji that was identical for both terms, but I did recognize the first differentiating kanji for each level as 下 for lower and 上 for upper. I was headed to an office with her to turn it in, and had agreed to give her one of the cards as well, the bigger one if she desired so although they were both probably around the same size, as she was currently living in a Lower 2 dorm.
  • On the way to the office, we ran by some people that were carrying planks, and I learnt that there was an entire auction or consignment system where teachers and players sold stuff and students could buy stuff for their room and such, and apparently wooden planks were a popular item for some reason. I guessed that people were making crates with them to store items in their room.
  • I also opened a loot chest with ten slots at one point and pulled out six items, including a magical ring, and an upgrade item used for the final step of an item upgrade chain that I didn’t have the prior items for yet. I gave the senpai a couple of the items, put everything else in a plastic bag, and carried that with me.
  • I was also carrying a bunch of L5R cards in one hand, though a couple other cards from another game or possibly some student profile cards or something were mixed in to them. I dropped about a quarter of them at some point as we were crossing a field, and some nearby students helped me pick them up, though one student seemed reluctant to return one of the cards and I had to tug it away from him. I then put the cards in the plastic bag as well.
  • That delay also meant that I was still around the area when a nearby raised stage became active, and several adventurers gathered around to listen to a figure giving announcements from the stage. Apparently this was where new heroes were anointed, and adventurers could become heroes by finding unique rings, and bringing them here whenever the event activated to get unique titles with unique skills based on their ring.
  • The person on stage would then read out the hero names of every player nearby, sorted by alphabetical title order, with most of them already activated titles belonging to heroes that were promoted in the past and who happened to be nearby that day, which basically then acted as an attendance sheet for them. But whenever she read out a new hero’s name instead, she would add a line that said “May the craftsmanship last forever”, their ring would become bound to them, and they would get their new title.
  • This was how I got my new title, as my ring was inside the bag I was carrying. I forget my exact title, but it was something like Elegy of Water, or Maiden of Water, or something close to that, and the ring allowed me to cast some unique water magic spells. Everyone else clapped, as they did for all new heroes. I realized that it was quite a powerful unique ring/title, although there was also an Earth, Fire, and Air version of that title, and I had no idea who or where those other players were (if their corresponding rings had already been found), as they were certainly not at this iteration of the promotion event.
  • I then moved on, following the senpai over to the building where the matron in charge of housing was. The elevators were really packed, but there were also stairs we could use to get up. The office seemed closed at first, but as we were turning to leave, the senpai saw a plump woman waddling her way toward the office from a connecting corridor, pointed to her, and said that that was the matron. We then waited for her and the older student handled the transaction for us both.
  • On our way back down, we used outdoor platforms along the upper corridors where someone standing on the platform could press a button and the platform would lower to the ground floor as long as someone kept the button depressed. If the button was let go, the platform would rise back up to the level it was from. This meant that it was mostly useful as a descending device, unless someone at the bottom happened to pass by as the platform reached the ground, as there was no way to “call” the platform down to the ground from below.
  • I wasn’t really sure how the platform worked but we were only on the second level so it wasn’t a terribly long jump anyway, so I had lowered myself so I was hanging on to the edge of the platform, intending to just drop to the ground from there, but once it started lowering I realized what it was happening, waited a little while until it got closer, and just jumped to the ground from a couple of feet up. There was also a Chinese girl dressed in a white blouse, skirt, and sneakers, that jumped down from the second or third level corridor and landed unharmed beside me in a crouching position, I thought she looked really cool.
  • Later on, I was walking alone in a field on the school grounds, not terribly far from where the hero promotion field earlier was. I could even hear the announcement event taking place again, and a hero in attendance list being read out and a couple new heroes being anointed with the same “May the craftsmanship last forever” line as before, but I was too far away to actually have my title read out.
  • There were a group of four named NPCs wandering by in a little square, and I was trying to aggro pull one of them, a warrior maiden, away from her adventuring party and toward me with a ranged attack, so that I could attack and defeat her, but as she came running toward me, she got distracted by a guild store that was set up in between us, and a jewelry display case where there were several accessories on sale, including four different rings that could be taken to the stage to get a unique title from.
  • She was considering them, and when I went over to look at the rings with her, I saw that the listing showed their unique skills as well. All four of the rings cost 600 coins each, which wasn’t a lot in the context of the game. One of them was a smoke ring that billowed out smoke around the wearer, and the other one was a red heal ring, which gave some sort of AOE benefit to people around the wearer whenever the wearer received a red heal. The ring itself could produce a small red heal of 2 hit points every now and then, but a guy nearby was complaining to someone else that that ring seemed really weak, as most players’ heal spells were not coloured, and thus would not activate that ring.
  • I figured that that was a very niche ring that had to be combined with something else, and hazarded a guess that there was a specific zone with an altar that produced a pulsating red heal every few seconds or so, and that ring would trivialize that particular encounter and nothing else, so the character who bought that ring would likely end up spending a lot of time hanging out in that area and helping out any other adventuring groups.

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