My Diary #082

Dear Tigey,

This week is over already? It felt way too short.

Entry #082 (Jan 29 2023)

Table of Contents

Gently sorting…
ට  School
ට  Work
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #80
ට  Song of the Week #57
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #64
ට  Last Year’s Entry #33
ට  Dreams

School

A weird thing happened this Tuesday in class — I had a mild panic attack when it came time for the 5-minute quiz, the sort where my mind went blank and I could barely even put pencil to paper and write simple hiragana. I knew the stuff, it was an easy enough quiz, and yet, I had to take a few deep breaths and throw away about 30 seconds to a minute to stabilize myself, and then fight with a shaking hand and pencil to get my answers down on paper. I wasn’t sure if anything was correct at that point and was just working on instinct, though I caught a line of errors in the last 30 seconds or so and fixed them.

I still did well, scoring 14.5 out of 15 after a careless mistake that had nothing to do with the part that I got a panic attack on, so apparently my instincts were spot on anyway. Besides, as our instructor pointed out, since the quiz was worth 1% of our total mark and she drops the worst quiz out of our 11 quizzes to determine the 10% of our total mark devoted to the quizzes, it’s really not a big deal at the end of the day.

The Thursday quiz was a lot more difficult, as it surprisingly made us reach back to past weeks’ quiz content as well to conjugate some stuff and apply that knowledge to that week’s quiz, but I think I did okay on that too. I’m glad I didn’t panic attack on Thursday’s quiz instead of Tuesday’s one, as it would have been a lot tougher to recover from since that quiz was a whole magnitude tougher.

Argh conjugations. Mizenkei, ren’youkei, shuushikei, rentaikei, izenkei, meireikei. Nahen, rahen, kahen, sahen. Don’t know what they mean? Lucky you! I wonder what people hundreds of years in the future will be studying about today’s languages?

Work

Work was quiet — between sickness and school, I only turned up for the team meetings on Wednesday and Friday, and my boss was gone on Friday. I quietly did my own tickets and stuff on Tuesday and Thursday, and my boss wanted help coming up with a list of bugs and feature requests for the lousy identity management system (IdentityIQ) that we use on Friday, so he could throw it on our two newer hires on the development end of the team, so I helped come up with a list of 25 or so things for them.

A teammate invited me (again) to our team’s pending Dungeons and Dragons game, which apparently he plans to start up in February or March. We talked about my timeline and I mostly pleaded out because if I plan to leave in August or so, I have a ton of things to do in real life before then and can’t devote the time to this game. I told him to keep me in the loop as it gets closer to the campaign (re)launch date though, since I did play in the last one and am not disinterested in the game in general, I just can’t really fit it in anywhere in my plans at this moment.

Life

Although we only spent a couple of months talking to each other, someone I consider an old friend, Cara, contacted me this week out of the blue to say hi. Cara was a classmate from Vernon Barford — I’ve previously mentioned her here in My Diary #060, and she’s also the person I exchanged these notes from My Diary #051 with. She apparently has a couple of kids attending the school now, and had Googled the school and some combination of keywords and found my blog from there. She said she had a laugh reading my spot-on description of some of our classmates, and that she and her kids got a kick out of reading the exchanged notes between us. She was appreciative that I had blocked out her email address in there, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I didn’t think of that at first, but that it was Satinel who caught that when she reviewed my page and suggested blocking that out, and I agreed with it. Thanks Satinel, great catch!

She was also the bearer of some sad news, that Connie, with whom she had maintained a friendship with into adulthood, had passed away in September of 2021 after losing a battle with breast cancer. So this paragraph is a little memorial tribute to her, even though I don’t think I knew her very well and do not think I remember what she looked like exactly. I do remember the person though, and this is a virtual candle for her.

I was running a headache most of the week — a little bit when I woke up on Monday, then the little panic attack on Tuesday left me with one again for most of the day. It came back again on Thursday in the afternoon, and I spent most of that evening as a zombie, restless and wanting to do something but unable to do anything. That’s why ultimately the week felt so short. I did take one day off work, and maybe I should have taken more, since I’m going to lose all these sick and vacation days if I leave around August like I plan to.

The /r/anime flair that I mentioned last week was finished and released this week, which means I got to see (and download) ((and reupload)) the Hidamari Sketch flair banner that was made for me by Abyssbringer, one of the mods, upon request.

Yes, very shocking.

This week, I received the replacement CD for one of my two broken CDs that I had bought in-person from the M3-50 doujin music convention in Japan late last year. The doujin circle (group)’s name is ADelY’s (local) and the composer/leader person seems to go by BUTO. Anyway when I contacted him a few weeks ago, he had offered to ship me a free replacement CD even though I was in Canada, even after giving me a free digital download version of the album in question. I said not to worry if it was too expensive, but gave him my address anyway, and he shipped me the disc on his own expense. He shipped it by EMS, so the package contained the invoice and everything, and I saw that it cost him a whopping 3150 yen in shipping.

I sent him an email thanking him for it, with a picture to show him that it had arrived, and happily told him (after testing) that the new CD worked. I then bought a digital version of one of his other CDs online on that Booth page above, which was the last one that I didn’t own a copy of yet, and I learnt at that time that Booth allows a buyer to tip (“boost”) any amount of yen for a purchase that the buyer was making, so I tipped him basically a little over $20 so that the total price I paid was equal to the shipping cost he had paid, 3150 yen, instead of the original cost of the digital CD, which was 800 yen. I still came out ahead in that due to the printing cost of the other physical CD and the cost of the digital CD itself, but it didn’t sit right with me that he had to foot that shipping cost himself, I’m well aware that independent music artists already tend to not make much of a profit if at all, so hopefully that gesture was appreciated.

Plus I just really appreciated that he had sent that disc out of his own goodwill, not expecting anything in return. The other larger musical group that I had bought a CD from have not returned my attempts to contact them (in Japanese) over their website form or direct email, and I will never buy a CD or track, physical or digital, from them again. That group is called Pumpkingdom, and I’m not even going to give them a link to their website. They don’t deserve it.

Instead, have a picture of some of our neighbourhood rabbits frolicking on our front lawn at 2:26 am on Tuesday. Why was I up at 2:26 am on Tuesday when I had a headache? Who knows.

Games

This week was largely devoted to Vintage Story, though there was a large chunk of time when I was unable to play due to the headache, and then another large chunk of time on Friday and Saturday when my internet connection was terrible (classic Shaw Communications) and Satinel and Milumbar were or would have just been booted off my server whenever my Internet had a hiccup.

In between that, we played a bit, but we don’t really have any major goals left in the game, except to slowly craft things, explore a bit more, terraform the area around us a bit more, wonder why there’s a giant monster pit under our farm, and mundane life things like that. I swung back and forth between ennui and a drive to improve our medieval life and landscape, and I am foreseeing that it will soon sink down into an occasional tend the crops, grow the animals, beatdown the locals, sort of game, which is just fine with me. We haven’t done everything we can do, but there’s no actual reason to do a lot of the things we haven’t done (make steel, make better armour/tools, make cheese, etc) because there’s nothing in particular those things are used for, the game isn’t complete in that regard. And boy is making iron a manual pain in the rear.

I really like our house and the slow pace of the game though despite it all. It feels very much like coming home some evenings.

I don’t think I played much else by myself this week besides that and Genshin Impact, where the ingame Lunar New Year festival was taking place in Liyue as usual. Playing that also feels like coming home, and that festive atmosphere is one I tried not to miss this year (but did almost forget about it nonetheless) after really enjoying it last year.

Our Saturday group played and finished up Valheim this week, which was an interesting experience overall. Despite supposedly being an “every Saturday” sort of game, with weekday time devoted to idling around and building stuff, large chunks of incremental progress were made during the week pretty much every week for those who had the time and will to do so, while leaving the actual bosses for Saturdays when everyone was on, which had the effect of making the players who had no intention of being on every day have no attachment whatsoever to the actual bases or game as everything developed and changed so fast, and the last couple weeks of gameplay basically started off with “here’s all the stuff you need for the next tier of gear, and more food than you’ll ever need, everyone craft this and you’ll be right up in power level with us”! And huge new chunks of claimed land that we had no hand in building or clearing.

Getting free gear and not actually learning all the ins and outs of the game was a bit of a bummer, but I don’t know that there was another solution for that game either besides “stop being so addicted and playing everyday” since it doesn’t exactly allow for people to play at different speeds, and some measure of farming is always needed anyway even if one was just on to build amazingly big structures. Plus monsters spawn and walk in and get themselves killed for loot. So in the end it was a case of needing to adapt to playing with other people’s playstyles and coexisting with them and finding a happy medium everyone could play along at.

It was definitely not always a negative experience either — one of the big push factors away from the game for me was actually that the game code was so unoptimized that my frames per second was nonexistent around the main base by the endgame on my old potato of a machine, and in that regards I’m actually really thankful that they pushed forward as quickly as they did so I wouldn’t have to suffer as much each week. The last Mistlands zone was really nasty and unfun to be in as well, with fog and tall mountains everywhere, so that was actually really nice to have an express ride through that as well. The actual boss kills were quite fun as well. I never tried magic because I didn’t think I had the computer specs to be productive with it — next time!

Anyway, here’s a picture of us after defeating the final boss.

Plushie of the Week #80 – 2022 Group Picture

Instead of dedicating this section to just one plushie this week, I wanted to do an end 2022/start 2023 group picture of all my.. I mean, Tigey‘s plushie army. I had done a couple partial ones in the past, but not formally and often not a complete set of plushies either. But I’ve learnt from doing these segments that they really help in dating certain plushies or certain events that happened relating to those plushies, when I’m trying to recall them from far off in the future, so this picture is a favour to my future self by archiving exactly which plushies I have as of now, January 28 2023.

One of these years I’ll look back at these early 2020s when I was doing all this journalling and archiving and really feel nostalgic for the time I wasted and will never get back, the people I knew back then, the places I visited, and the things I did. But until then, I’m going to enjoy my life. And my plushies.

Many of them have been featured in Plushie of the Week segments already, but several still have not, though I don’t really have backstories for most of the remaining ones. Oh, and I do not have a plushie collecting problem.

Song of the Week #57

Title: Grand Symphony
Artist: Sayaka Sasaki
Album: Girls und Panzer das Finale OST (2017)

This song is indeed a very “grand” song, as its name goes, and it’s pretty much occupied a permanent spot in my top 10 anime opening songs since soon after I first heard it. I like how it hops from the aforementioned grand orchestral start, to a glorious melodic drop, then to a “brisk running” sort of pace through the song, then to another glorious pause and an explosion at the very start of the chorus. The tonal jumps and shifts are something I very much like in music.

This song was also one of the songs I saw in concert at Edmonton’s Animethon in August 2019, where ChouCho, Sayaka Sasaki, and Youko Ishida came to our fair city and held a concert here. I don’t think the videos for the event are posted anywhere, but they all did several solo songs, then came on the stage for duo and trio renditions of certain songs as well, and it was a very fun concert all around. While I became a big fan of ChouCho from that concert, and she also did a separate song that I like for the Girls und Panzer anime franchise, this was my favourite song from the event. Though by that point it was my favourite song going in to the event as well, so that outcome wasn’t a surprise.

This song is forever entwined with that summer for me though, the last Animethon that was held before COVID-19 caused the next two in 2020 and 2021 to be shuttered. I’ll probably eventually have a quick photos page up for that event, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. The concert definitely was a huge highlight of the event for me though. I had never seen the actual official music video until just before I wrote up this segment, so I linked it below. The Japanese really need to work on their enunciation of English words. I had no idea all this time that those were the lyrics she was trying to sing at the start and end (0:23 to 0:33 or so and again from 4:59 to 5:11) but never felt a need to look it up to find out for real either.

Memory Snippet of the Week #64

This is a little bit of a weird memory, but I claim to have perhaps saved the life of one of my siblings once, and it’s a vivid memory that had stuck with me all these years. It’s weird though, because the two halves I have of the memory don’t sync up — on one hand I have the memory that it was Jon, my younger brother, and on the other hand I have the memory that it took place in Yishun 799, a house in which he has never been to — when compiling family notes and timeline later on, I found out that we were already at our next house, Yishun 723, before he was born. But it couldn’t have between either Yishun 723 or Tampines 294 in my mind, because the balcony was on the wrong side of the television in both those houses, my memory has this event happening been the sofa and a balcony on the left of the sofa, which only matches up with the Yishun 799 home, specifically here (taken from My Diary #014):

Anyway, whichever house it was, and whoever it actually involved, my memory fragment reads as follows. My parents were watching some show on television while seated on the sofa, and I was seated on or hanging out near the left banister of the sofa as well, likely also watching the same show. One of my little siblings, a little toddler at the time, climbed up onto one of those generic eighteen-inch tall stools that happened to be placed between the balcony and the sofa.

As the toddler climbed up and sat down on the stool, the stool’s leg caught against the groove in the floor for the balcony door or something, and the entire stool tumbled backwards — I’m not sure if time slowed down or I processed all this afterwards, but it was very clear to me that my sibling’s hands were still holding on to the chair in front of them and the trajectory of the falling stool would end up causing the back of the toddler’s head to smash against the marble floor with a nasty thud.

Thankfully, I was there, and I caught them. I remember trying to tell my parents what had happened but not really garnering praise from them or anything because they had not seen what happened, hah. Only that the stool had cluttered over and my baby sibling was now crying.

While on the topic of balcony grooves, another memory comes to mind with them, and that’s how I used to line up little toy cars along the grooves and smash them into each other at the same time, to see which ones would “win (i.e. stay in their groove) or “lose” (fly out of the groove) after their head to head contest with each other. Mom hated when I played that game, as the cars were meant for little toy tracks that we had that could be joined together to make paths and loops, and not for destructive fights to the death. But the balcony grooves were about the same size, so that’s what I did with them.

I remember a large red truck-like car we had with the word Mad Max written on it, that would bully other cars out of the groove more often than not just by sheer size, and a blue formula one style racing car with a very slim front, so any cars that crashed into it sometimes just slid up the car like a ramp and flew out of the groove. I also remember an orange car whose paint started to peel or change colour, and by the time we were in Tampines 294, the car was entirely tan or milky brown, I think, instead of its original bright orange. I seem to remember a police car as well, but not much else. I wish I took photos of the toys I had when I was younger.

Last Year’s Entry #33

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #038. This was published on Jan 30 2022.

Ah, I never did visit that Hell’s Museum thing when I went back to Singapore last year. Probably because I didn’t end up meeting Eisen, whereas I did meet Debbie and went to her art exhibitions afterwards. Perhaps next trip, if I ever make another trip back. I’m suddenly struck by a wish that someone would sponsor me a modest amount every month to just go around and record and research and write about history and catalogue present life without the need or pressure to also monetize that and turn it into a book to recoup costs or anything like that.

I’m glad for now that I never picked up that VR set that I was considering, that would have been a waste of money for how much time I’ve had (or not had) to use it. It still would be nice at some point in the future, but that point is not now.

Between the Eisen and Huihan bit and the CNY-focused Memory Snippet of the Week that talked about my grandparents and CNY festivities when I was younger, this diary entry really made me nostalgic in a way I hadn’t felt since I went back to Singapore.

Dreams

I had a great dream week, with seven out of seven recorded entries in my dream journal, and all of them decently long blurbs too. Many of the days even consisted of multiple dreams. I didn’t consider any of the dreams to be top-tier dreams in terms of how interesting they were, except perhaps the Jan 27 one which was close, but they were mostly still good and well-detailed. It’s also funny that the Mouser appeared in my dreams this week after being in last week‘s Memory Snippet of the Week.

Jan 23 2023
  • I took part in an inter-class contest organized by my school, with a number of teams set to write a music quiz. All the students in school were more or less on a team consisting of everyone else from their class by default, so there was basically one team in the contest per class, though we apparently might have had the option to join another team if we wanted. Our GEP cohort certainly did, since each of our two classes were half the size of a regular class, although it’s uncertain if it was only us that had the option of merging with the other class or joining other teams, or if other regular students did as well.
  • Anyway, our GEP class decided to bend the rules, and we strategically split into two teams, with Harvey running point on organizing this. All the teams taking part in the contest had their own name that they came up with, most of them two or three words long each, and both our teams had specific team names that I’ve forgotten but that were related to each other. One had the word blue in it and the other one had red.
  • The reason that we split up was that we realized that the score for each team on the quiz was going to be the average score of how everyone on the team did on the paper. So since we had the ability to move teams, and we had two team slots between our two classes, everyone who was clueless about music moved to the blue team and everyone who thought they were fairly good at music went to the red team, and we balanced the numbers along those lines. I was on the red team.
  • The paper itself was a two-sheet, three-page exam, the first two pages were simple fill-in-the-blank questions and the third page consisted of two open-ended questions. I finished the first two pages quickly, but got caught up listening to my neighbour chat about something interesting with the proctor standing in front of us, and almost didn’t have time to finish up the third page. I wouldn’t have had time, in fact, if there was a fourth page at the back of the second sheet, and I thought that was the case at first but was very relieved when I flipped it around just as the proctor was announcing that the time was up, and found that the back page was blank.
  • Our strategy worked resoundingly well — the results sheet was listed as a bar graph, with each team on the X-axis and the points that they earned, represented by a bar showing their lowest, average, and highest scores, running up the Y-axis. Our blue team scored one of the worst scores in the school, but our red team had scored much more points ahead than everyone else.
  • Later on in Discord, I told Harvey that I was glad it went well, I felt I was competent enough in the subject but had no way for sure of knowing until I tried, and had almost ran out of time anyway, but things worked out. He agreed, and was also creating a new Discord role for the server based on how many contests we had taken part in. He gave himself an admin role, gave me a 1-contest role that made my display username red, and then created a regular role for our classmates who would be joining the server later as well. The implication was that there would be more of these quizzes with different themes coming, and this way he could track how many times people had been on the red team.
  • In a separate but somewhat related scene later on, I went into class itself and there was a male bartender at a bar situated at the back of the class. He seemed very nice, and I went up to him and ordered a drink, which came to $2.60. I opened my cat purse and took out some coins, easily finding $2, then dug out a bunch of coins, but I only seemed to have combinations of 5, 10, and 20 cent coins which would give me a maximum of 55 cents, unless I used my pennies as well, which weren’t really legal tender by then. I probably did use them in the end though. I chatted with the bartender briefly as well, telling him that I was definitely of legal age, since I had gone through University around 2002-2006 or so.
Jan 24 2023
  • I went upstairs to “our” classroom on the second level of a building, something similar to my primary 4/5 class in Rosyth School, where our classroom and the adjoining classroom belonging to the other GEP class had a connecting wall that could be opened to combine the two rooms into one larger classroom. That wall was opened as I walked into the classroom and peeked around.
  • I first saw Xuanjie there in the near corner on the left side of the classroom, on “our” side of the expanded classroom, he was seated at a school desk doing some homework. I slid in and greeted him, noting that I just met him in Japan a few weeks ago and was very happy to see him again here. He was more or less still in child mode, very close to how I remembered him looking like at 14, but a bit older than before. I told him that I had stopped by yesterday at around 12:10 pm and saw no one here, and he said that although class let go at 12:00 for lunch, most of the class went off to eat before returning at around 12:30, so I probably just missed everyone. It was 12:40 today when I met him and he said others would shortly be back.
  • He was right, as a couple people I recognized joined the room and sat down next to the two of us in a little circle. I greeted them in turn and had a brief talk with each of them, asking them how they were and such — Chiayi, then David, then Alvin Foo, then John, all boys from Rosyth that I hadn’t seen in many years. One more boy joined in and said hi as well, I said hi but was puzzled because I couldn’t place his face, nor could I place his distinctive nasally voice to a memory. I asked him for his name, then asked if he had recently joined the class, and he said yes, he had just joined yesterday.
  • From here, the dream drifted off to several snippets that were still located in the same “school”. Firstly, there was a wandering MMO game that I played that kind of looked like Vintage Story, with a voxel-based world and blocky graphics and a large wilderness to explore and waypoints that I could set. I was travelling through this one as a nomad, carrying only what I could carry with me, instead of settling down at one place.
  • Next, there was a courtroom scene that took place in one of the buildings at school. It featured volunteer students as jury members, although they often cancelled — I saw a board that said four of six student jurors for the day had cancelled, for example, with Amy being one of the four, her reason given being that she was taking the Haiku class that I had taken last year at the University and there was an assignment due for it that day.
  • The court cases were really weird, and were more argument based than evidence based, even the victim sometimes had to prove and explain what had happened and the judges and jury would pick a side to support from there. One of the court cases had one of the accused students recruit a couple of her friends to break and coincidentally fall in through the ceiling of the courtroom during her trial so that she could scramble to help them and win helpfulness points or something, but she still lost her plea in the end.
  • Lastly, there was a two-player co-op game I played with a guy friend that felt like an arcadey game, like Streets of Rogue, but 3D and from a first person perspective, RPG mechanics like character levels and quests, and I think a respawn point at the start of each level. We were equipped with guns and there were lots of enemies to defeat as we progressed from stage to stage. The game went from a school setting through a city with a shopping district and eventually led to an endgame in a military base that we had to infiltrate.
  • The game also had lots of NPCs, in particular I remember some memorable ones in the shopping district that were analyzing Christmas songs and other weird songs I had never heard of and explaining how the lyrics actually meant something risque or that the composer had a hidden message of some kind within the song. There were also lots of sidequests to do along the way as well as a main quest that led the two of us through the story.
  • I got annoyed with my friend though as he obviously had become tired of the side quests toward the end of the game, nor did he care about talking to the NPCs, and he just wanted to get through the military base as quickly as possible to complete it. The problem was that not only did I not share his sentiments and thus wanted to move along at a slower pace, we were also badly outlevelled, as we were only level 49, whereas the main quests were level 57 and even the side quests in the military zone were level 51. We were obviously underlevelled due to him rushing through things, and enemies were getting very difficult to kill since they were purple-con to us (as in, they had purple NPC names due to the 8 level differential between them and us, part of a standard yellow-orange-red-purple colour coding system used in MMOs to denote the relative levels of enemies more powerful than the player).
  • Even headshots did not outright kill them now, though it did a lot of damage. We pulled two enemies out from the next room into our room at one point and even with the two of us focusing fire on one while kiting the other, they did a lot of damage before we finally managed to down them. At another point, I was hiding behind a flower trough at some point and trying to sneak attack and kill a woman commander leading a small battalion of troops, but couldn’t do so due to the level differential, and I had to stealth up and run away when she came charging over to me. At a third point, a large tank shot a missile at us but missed, and the ensuing explosion took out some stairs behind us that were in the direction that we were going to kite our enemies in, as a song from the Nana anime named Starless Night started playing at its chorus. I had to quickly lay down some voxel block cobblestone stairs so we could use our escape route again.
  • I wasn’t really enjoying the game at this point though and thought back to the classroom where Xuanjie and the others were. I decided that I wanted to replay the game properly again later with one of them, maybe Zixiang if he was interested, as there was so much stuff that we had skipped by now.
Jan 25 2023
  • As part of a larger dream that I don’t recall, I was in a classroom of 30 people, arranged in 6 rows of 5, each one of us assigned a number and seated in numerical order from the back to front. I was in seat #5, so basically in the back corner.
  • I had been given a number of large books, each about the size of an A5 sheet of paper but about 8cm or so thick, and was supposed to give them out to the class. I basically started handing them out at random, before realizing that not only were the books different from each other, but there was a number printed on the front of the books signifying which seat to give each book to. I quickly announced to the class that I had made a mistake and would need to collect the books to give them out again.
  • I collected back most of them without incident, while at the same time starting to give out the correct books to each seat, although Leongwai, who was in one of the front left seats, tried to hold on to her book because she had gotten a book meant for seat #6 and she really liked that number, she said. I eventually still convinced her to hand it over though.
  • Another person I recognized in class included Alexei, from my Grade 9 class, who was somewhere on my right and either in my row or the one in front of me. He was a lot taller now and had a fancy moustache. I was never close enough with him to be able to just approach him to talk but I exchanged a smile with him as I gave him his book.
  • There was a mechanical Mouser robot, from the Ninja Turtles franchise (and particularly the #15 card on last week’s MSotW), sitting in seat 15. The book I gave to that seat was titled… How to Use a Mouse. With a picture of a computer mouse on the front.
  • The rest of the class consisted of people that I did not recognize. There were two overweight and balding guys in 29 and 30 who were good friends, the guy in the 29 seat had plenty of books on his desk already, and I noticed the book I gave him was a book that was on his neighbour, guy 30’s, desk. Apparently the story for that was that the guy in seat 30 ordered a copy of that book for the guy in 29 because 29 was a voracious reader and had mentioned wanting to read it in the past.
  • Anyway I finished giving out the books to everyone — everyone had received 1 or 2 books each, and the genres spanned from everything from fiction to fantasy to non-fiction. They all had similar covers so I still thought of them as textbooks, though.
  • There were two other snippets to do with the classroom that I remember. One was that we were standing in the classroom figuring out how to use some weapon or other when I made it work and smashed a window between the classroom and the corridor outside with it. The female teacher frowned at me and told me to go outside and repair it tomorrow. This actually entailed me immediately going outside the room to the corridor, and touching a big flashing button on the wall above the broken window on the corridor side of it that said “Tomorrow”, which immediately fixed the window pane.
  • The other snippet was that there was a swimming pool in a central hall area outside the classroom, and I was told at one point to go test it out to make sure that it was ready for tomorrow. I stripped until I was left in a one-piece female school swimsuit, before jumping into the water, then pulling myself out again. That seemed to satisfy the teacher or principal, whom I could hear announcing from the class that the pool preparations were now complete for tomorrow’s school event.
  • Snippet: I also remember a scene in some sort of home that was two four-storey tall buildings joined together at the first and fourth storeys, and that the left building was rumoured to be haunted so I never really went into there. I did follow a friend in there to the fourth storey to keep him company at some point though as he needed to do something there, but he didn’t seem too concerned about the supposed haunted nature of the building. I even went down into the second and first storeys of the building there later and saw my parents loading laundry, including three stained bags, into a large washing machine there, and began to suspect that the haunted stories were something they made up to just keep people away so as to not disturb them when they were working there.
  • There was also a living room scene where Dad was watching TV and I strolled in and past him to talk to someone seated at a round table at the back of that room. I don’t remember the exact event there but I do remember picking up Tigey from a cabinet top along the way, and also at one point around there opening two bags of old clothes that hadn’t been washed yet and finding four copies of my Dunman High uniform blouse, which I recognized thanks to its metal buttons.
Jan 26 2023
  • Snippet: The earlier parts of my dream had a voxel world that I was moving around in, I was staying in a central location and somewher far south of me included sand cube blocks that I vividly remember Vladimir Putin’s face on. North of me had a bread shop that I visited at one point.
  • Later on in a separate dream, there were two groups of people at my Edmonton 205 apartment, which was located in a foreign city of some sort, one group (which included me, but that had a couple other people too) that was going off to perform some task and a second group (my parents and siblings) who were going to watch us through some cameras. There were discussions between my family about them going off to a nearby neutral city to watch from there over the Internet, and discussions about finding a computer being powerful enough to be able to see “palpitations” from the camera, that was the term for being able to watch the stream live, as opposed to just seeing photo recaps from the cameras a little afterwards, which would be the default camera mode when the computer was not strong enough.
  • I don’t remember the details, but the former group that I was in and that was going to travel around also had some discussions on what sorts of places we were going to visit, there was some sort of limit or timer or restriction placed on us that we were trying to figure out.
  • This part of the dream also involved visiting bread shops before I left, as part of a preparation shopping excursion that I did. I visited a couple Asian shops looking for some bread products that I could take along with me. The first shop that I thought was a bakery turned out to not be a bakery at all, the donuts that I could see at the back of the shop from the outside turned out to be a pile of cloth or something. The second shop was a gourmet bakery, very high-end, they had trays and those prongs that you could pick up freshly baked bread with to place on your tray and bring to the counter, where they would pack it into a paper bag, but the pieces of bread were very small and broke apart really easily.
  • I picked up two or three tiny loaves and a couple of chocolate donuts and brought it to the front anyway, and one of the two girls at the counter quoted the total price as $33 in US dollars. I asked if that was more or less than $40 Canadian dollars, as I fished out two $20 Canadian bills, and she said she wasn’t sure but had to do some calculations. The other girl at the counter said that she enjoyed the currency difference as it gave her the chance to practice her math, and talked about a formula she used to calculate the currency conversion, something about dividing by 10 and then doing something with that number to start.
Jan 27 2023

Dream 1

  • What I remember of this dream started in an apartment where Mom and Dad and Jon and I were living together. We had a guest over, a female friend I knew, but I forget who exactly or why they were there. The layout of the apartment was similar to the current one they lived in that I visited for Chinese New Year dinner this year, except the kitchen was facing away from the living room, sort of like my Edmonton 205 home.
  • Anyway, we were helping prepare food in the kitchen when I remember Mewkledreamy coming on the TV, specifically episode 26 of the anime, which somehow in my dream contained an English version of the opening song instead of the regular Japanese one, although the chorus and end bits used Japanese as well so I knew it wasn’t just some weird dub version.
  • Dad eventually came by and was mad that that show had replaced whatever his normal show was, but Mom pointed out that he could use satellite TV remote or something to tune in to another version of the channel to get whatever he wanted to see. Although I was happy to see the show airing in general, neither Jon nor I wanted to watch Mewkledreamy right now anyway so it wasn’t an issue when Dad turned the channel away.
  • A little later on, Mom and I got into a big argument, to the point where we almost came to blows. I strode angrily over her and raised my hand as though to slap her, then put my hand down and said I could never strike my mother. I invited her to strike me though, closing my eyes and extending my head forward to have my face slapped, but she said she wouldn’t do it either. We soon made up after that.
  • Jon was also looking for some sort of toy car in this part of the dream, a small factoid that would also eventually spin out into its own separate story below.

Dream 2

  • I was leading some friends around a small overseas city. There were four or five other friends in all following me around, about two males and two females, but I didn’t actually know any of them from real life. I apparently did in the dream though, and they all trusted me. Our main goal was to look for the toy that Jon wanted to find in the previous dream setting, a toy car that supposedly could be located around here somewhere for some reason.
  • The first place we went to was a specific train station that I had apparently visited in a past dream, with a bunch of turnstiles up at the top, and dour brick walls and tiled floors that reminded me of a London railway station somehow. I apparently knew that there was a lost and found pet area there, and I figured there would also be a lost and found toy area there, and although there was next to no chance that they had a copy of the exact toy car that we were looking for, I figured it was a good place to speak to a toy expert and see if he recognized it.
  • However, we could not find the lost and found area there, and soon enough three station cleaning ladies walked up to us and asked what we were doing. I explained that we were looking for the lost and found pet area, and one of the women replied that oh, they had closed down the center these days and all the lost and found items were just sent to another train station on the route, which was effectively overseas, as the train line was apparently an international one that went all over the world.
  • That didn’t make much sense to me, but as we were not looking for an actual pet anyway, I just pretended to express dismay that I wouldn’t be able to find my pet again, and bid her farewell. I also apparently recognized that cleaning lady who answered my questions from the last time I had visited this station about 5 years ago, apparently, but she didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t press the issue or introduce myself. I didn’t recognize any of the two other women though.
  • I had a laptop with me that I used to launch a virtual machine, a small window within the laptop screen that launched its own separate installation of Windows and that then somehow contained a map and some information about the area. We were going to use it to plot our next move. But it was a bit tricky to press the right keyboard keys to make the computer focus on and lock its input to the inner Windows installation instead of the outer one, and the information didn’t turn out very useful in the end either, so I closed it off.
  • Instead, I took a poll of my five friends and asked if they minded following me as I wandered around the place, as that was how I tended to explore a place and find new things. They all said they had no problem with it.
  • I led my motley crew out of the train station, and north and west where there was a large beach area at the bottom of the south side of a cliff. There was no water or waterfront anywhere nearby though, so the beach area was just a random patch of fine sand, but there was a show being put on by an otter master and his group of otters and a bunch of people in beachwear were lounging about the area, some of them watching the show and clapping or dancing and some of them just relaxing.
  • Sand got in our slippers and shoes as I trudged my way along the beach and up a flight of stairs just before where they were performing. The otter master was performing on a ledge a little ways up the cliff, but some of the otters were at the bottom on the sandy beach itself, and a couple of my friends walked along the beach, between those otters and a couple of the onlooking beachgoers, before climbing another set of stairs that would lead them to the same place that I was going to. Those two friends got hooted at by the beachgoers who felt that they were partially blocking them. They shrugged and move on without incident though.
  • At the top of the stairs was a row of shops, very much like a Singapore shopping strip, and I led my friends down the row toward another train station at the very end that would apparently let me take them to Southgate, where there were more otters to be seen as well. They were looking forward to that. I never reached the station in my dream, but on the way to the station, I pointed out how one of the shops was actually the southern end of the long corridor that was HUB Mall, with rows of shops on both sides of that corridor, with a Japanese/Korean tea shop that I used to frequent in my dreams nearby on the left side, and the Hoho’s Chinese food stall that I used to eat at further in on the right.

Dream 3

  • For some reason I was back in a different part of the same city again, although this time it was with my two siblings, Kel and Jon, and we were wandering around residential neighbourhoods instead of the commercial and beach areas. We were still looking for something, and Kel was carrying along a large radio in her two hands, while Jon was carrying along a big black bag of toys.
  • I taught them that there was loot to be gained in the city from certain sheds that were scattered around the place, and that respawned every now and then. Normally one would only find out about them by acquiring a treasure map leading them to the place, and the treasure maps always led one to a loot shed that could be opened right at that moment, but once I had done a couple maps I recognized what the loot structures looked like and could just wander up to one and open it if I found that it had closed and respawned.
  • I pointed out a loot shed to them, and told them that to learn whether the shed had respawned or not without going right up to it to check it, the thing to do was to look at the surrounding streets. When the shed was opened, a bunch of old grandmas or grandpas would come toddling out, together with a bunch of butterflies or rabbits or similar ambient creatures, and they would randomly wander around the area, so if the surrounding one or two streets had any of those things listlessly enjoying their freedom, then the loot shed had not respawned yet, as they all apparently would despawn and respawn back in the shed everytime the shed itself respawned. We ended up looting a couple of those sheds under my instruction.
  • Then, at one point, three Hispanic guys walked up to us and started being a little too friendly with Kel. In particular, one of them saw her radio and held up a phone he had to the radio, as though he was trying to exchange contact information with another phone using close-range infrared tapping. I thought that was too pushy and was going to tell him off. But instead, the radio came to life and started playing some beach music.
  • I diverted the attention of the three guys from my sister, asking them if they were at the otter beach party yesterday, and they said yes! I said that I had heard that there were three guys from the Dominican Republic there yesterday in the casual audience who put on a really great dancing show, and asked if it were them, and they said no — not only was that not them, but they weren’t from the Dominican Republic at all, just some city from the USA (they gave a four or five letter word starting a G, it wasn’t a real city that I know of).
  • Having captured their attention, I started walking and led them along, with my siblings behind them, until we reached a fork in the path and I pointed down one way which led toward a train station, and said that we had to go home now. They took the hint, waving at us and leaving in the other direction. My siblings were impressed that I had managed to smooth talk them away.
  • We walked down the other path for a bit, but soon saw a large horde of people running toward us, very obviously chasing us for some reason, like a horde of rabid fans. We ran away, but they were obviously slightly faster and we weren’t about to lose them, so I randomly teleported away, then used a summon spell to summon Kel, Jon, and then Jon‘s bag of toys, which apparently counted as its own entity as there were too many plushies in there.
  • However, once we recovered and set off again, we saw the crowd coming toward us from another direction as well, so I had to repeat the same procedure again, this time teleporting to the edge of a grass field near the train station that we were headed to.
  • We were still about a minute away from the train station at this point, but it was far enough that there was no sign of the crowd yet as we ran over to it, past a couple of small shops and across a HDB void deck. However, I still knew that they were coming, and I told Kel that the radio, which was still playing cheery Havana music, was most likely compromised now and had a tracker on it that the guy planted with his phone. She agreed.
  • The entrance down to the train station was really weird, it was a spiral slide wedged into a tiny round hole, sort of like a spiral staircase and sort of like a corkscrew, which one had to slide down in order to reach the underground station beneath. I went first, to make sure that there was nothing bad waiting for us beneath. Jon came down after me with his toys, and then Kel came last, nervously looking out for signs of the crowd chasing us, but they had not arrived yet. We made our escape successfully.
  • The dream then showcased a sort of epilogue, where the crowd arrived at the slide entrance to the train station, only to find the abandoned radio sitting on a nearby round table, together with a book that was entitled something like “The Mysterious Lady.. who was she and where did she go?” apparently a book from the future written by a historian detailing the attempts to chase Kel and figure out her identity, together with the picture of a random female model on the front, as they obviously didn’t have a picture of Kel.
  • The scene then shifted to an office, where a mob boss was hearing a report from one of his subordinates about how they had lost 50 or so thugs when another subordinate who had been demoted or ordered to stand down had gone against his will and sent the thugs to chase Kel and us in order to try to gain some prestige and perhaps even topple the kingpin.
  • However, the plan backfired not only because we escaped, but because the police, who had arrived after the first teleport and were defeated by the crowd of chasers, had learnt that they had lost because they were only using 3 damage spells and weapons, whereas the thugs all had a damage resistance of 4. The second time they met was above the train station slide, as they were milling about in confusion after finding the radio and book, and the police came prepared with 4-damage elemental bolt spells instead, which stripped the damage resistance from the thugs and made them trivially easy to defeat and capture or kill.
  • The kingpin was really angry at the subordinate who had disobeyed the chain of command and sent those thugs, and cursed the person’s name, which apparently was Herschel. The boss said that the mob order was about to change drastically as he was going to use this as an excuse to clean house and get rid of Herschel and his allies.
Jan 28 2023

Dream 1

  • I was a heroine in a game where I could have created my hero character as a male or a female. I picked female, of course. The game was set in a dark fantasy world and consisted of a nine part epic quest chain and many side quests, and also probably had other players like in an MMO where we were all going through the same set of quests, but I never saw any other player in game.
  • Anyway, the part I remember was when I had just finished the first part of the epic chain, and had ended up marrying a male doctor NPC that I wasn’t particularly attached to for some bonus or other. However, the end of that quest chain found me in a dank room with a lecherous priest and two different ways to end — either I could step into a little glowing portal of light on the ground and end it with a small reward, or I could divorce the doctor and marry the priest — this would start a nine-part epilogue quest chain that I could work on even while continuing on with the epic chain, and give much greater rewards. I picked the latter, of course.
  • This nine part epic chain involved me divorcing and re-marrying nine times, starting with leaving the doctor for the priest, and even including the re-marrying the original doctor NPC that I had divorced in step 7 or 8 later on as well. Each marriage step would unlock 6-10 side quests per spouse that I could do before moving on to the next bachelor, although I was dimly aware that the doctor’s quests, which included going to a higher level zone and healing someone, were already quests that I had access to since I had married him. I would lose access to them once I divorced him but regain it later on when I remarried him, and assumedly was at a higher level myself and able to tackle that zone.
  • The priest himself, being lecherous, also came with a little setback — it turns out that if I wern’t virtuous and had already had sex with the doctor or something, then marrying the priest would immediately infect me with a sexually transmitted disease. I hadn’t though, so I was immune to that, and besides I carried around a small green jar with herbs that would have cured it.
  • I set off for a new zone at some point to work on the second level epic quest after marrying the priest, and this started me by a riverside where I went around picking up various rocks to add to my inventory. I had apparently joined a random small guild at some point, and one of the other players logged on and said hi to me over guild chat, but I had no idea who they were.

Dream 2

  • I had inherited or otherwise somehow acquired a minivan from Dad, who had apparently picked up his own separate vehicle somewhere else and so no longer had need for this one. I feel like this somehow involved the mafia or an illegal gang as well, and I was staying with them in a room or shop but left them to come down to the underground carpark where the van was parked.
  • I fiddled around with the van for a bit, unlocking the doors and checking that the front hood and back door could be opened and closed. I couldn’t figure out how to unlock and relock the doors properly for some time though, until two men working on their car nearby came over to help me with it as well. Then I realized that any of the keyholes on the four doors acted as a master lock for the entire car and all its doors at once.
  • There was also a girl carrying a suitcase nearby, and she asked me if I would take her to the airport. I said that I was extremely new to driving, and getting to the Edmonton airport would involve a stint of driving on the highway, which was a bad idea for such a new driver. Would she mind if I just took her to Century Park where she could catch the airport bus instead? She said that that was fine, so we hopped into the car.
  • I had issues figuring out the break and acceleration pedal as well, firstly because the driver’s seat was rather cramped, and that there were large paper bags over each pedal so I couldn’t see where each one started and ended. To help alleviate this, there were strings that I could pull on that would then clearly demarcate where each pedal was, but I couldn’t hold on to both the strings and the steering wheel at the same time. I could still drive, but this meant the car moved very slowly along.
  • I eventually turned out of the carpark and onto the side road and then main road just fine though, keeping to the side of the road, and eventually got the hang of it to the point where I realized I could probably let go of the strings and concentrate on holding the steering wheel full time. I wondered if the girl, seated in the front passenger seat beside me, was going to be late for her flight, and if I should try taking her all the way to the airport instead. She didn’t seem to mind the slow speed we were travelling at, though.

Dream 3

  • I was living in an apartment of the 8th floor of a large building with a bunch of other girls, but I didn’t find myself talking to or associating with them much. When one of the girls left the apartment for something, I followed suit, slipping out the door behind her and exploring the apartment block to look for a public washroom.
  • She went left along the corridor toward the main elevator, so I decided to go the other way, toward the side stairs. I did indeed find the side stairs at the end of the door, and initially went up, but those stairs ended unceremoniously at the 9th level even though the building continued further up than that, and there was a side elevator there as well that didn’t stop on every floor but that probably provided access to the floors above (and below) what the side stairs led to.
  • I turned around and went back down those stairs, the corner units at the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors had a lot of potted plants outside their apartment, as many Singapore units do, and I sidestepped them gently while admiring them. Upon reaching the 6th floor, the side stairs ended again, but this time the floor opened up into a large lounge area with an impossibly high ceiling, and a cafeteria with a coffee and snack stall on the other side from where I entered, plus a couple of seats and tables strewn about.
  • There was also a set of public toilet cubicles, though they were really weird — they were basically set near the back-middle of the open cafeteria area, and they only had a back wall and a single, wide front door, a large rectangular door that was easily four times as wide as it was tall, that could be swung shut across the entire set of four toilet bowls at once.
  • There were no side walls, and even as I closed the front “door” and held it shut with one hand while I sat down on the toilet bowl, I could look to my left and see the other three unoccupied toilets, and then a couple boys seated at the cafeteria tables in the distance. I realized that if one wanted to be a voyeur, one could strategically pick a seat that would always give them view access to the sides of the toilets. However, no one seated there seemed to be remotely interested in the toilets, especially since we were at least a good 10-15 meters away, so I finished my business without incident, cleaned up with some tissue paper, and went back up the same way I came down.
Jan 29 2023

Dream 1

  • I was at a hotel with my family, we had rented out a large private room with separate beds in all four corners of the room, though there weren’t any dividing walls between those “bedrooms” and the rest of the hotel room as far as I remember. Mom was in the far left corner, Dad was in the far right one, I was in the near left one, and Kel and Jon together were split between the near left and near right corners too.
  • Mom and Dad were apparently waiting for some rich Chinese tourists to arrive before we left, something about wanting to catch the same bus that they did back to the airport, or about not wanting to stay at the same hotel as them because they would be rude guests. Either way, that was supposedly the sign that we were going to leave the place.
  • We knew approximately what time this was going to happen, so a little bit prior to that, we started packing up. Kel had five extra textbooks that she had no packing room for, so I put the leftover books in a large garbage bag and helped her carry that. We walked over to Mom and Dad to see that they had just finished packing as well — Mom had left a bunch of broken half-eggshells on a shelf, and Dad had left a couple unopened cans of soda on the same shelf. Upon closer inspection, those cans were part of room service, and cost 60 cents extra for each one you did drink. He had drank one and left the other two.
  • The bus then arrived and we checked out of the hotel as planned. However, upon reaching our destination, I found out that my parents planned to wait 4 hours for a slightly cheaper plane that would save them literally a dollar or two per ticket, instead of taking the plane that was going to be leaving right away. I was livid at this, because it was a waste of time and we could have stayed in the hotel for another couple hours if we were going to do this to begin with, and because if that price difference was a problem, then Dad should have avoided drinking that soda can too.
  • I started striding away from them anyway, threatening to just use my own credit card to buy my own ticket home. One of them wondered if I could also just get tickets for them “on my card” (that was the phrasing used in the dream) as well.

Dream 2

  • This dream happened in and around my Edmonton 205 building, whereby I went downstairs to check the mail in my mailbox and saw a group of scruffy Asian guys sitting around a table near the front lobby next to the mailbox. One of them said hi to me as I fumbled with the keys to open my mailbox, and said that they had just moved here from Japan. I greeted them as well and made friends with his daughter, a girl that looked like she was still in high school or early University.
  • She looked at my junk mail and asked me why I still received those. She told me that there was a way to opt out of all junk mail by telling the rental office’s front desk staff that I no longer wanted to receive any of them. I said that I had no idea that that was an option at all but that I would definitely do it the next time I went down to the rental office, and thanked her for the information. In truth I didn’t really care one way or the other, since I still looked at them and occasionally would use one.
  • On the way back up, I ran across a French woman seated on the stairs with an injured foot wrapped in bandages. I asked if she needed help, offering to walk her back to her apartment, and she shook her head and said she was just resting and would be fine by herself, but said that she was a sports reporter and had just moved in to the city, and had left the window open in her apartment and was worried about that.
  • I offered to close it and she said her unit was on the same floor as mine, but at the end of the hall where there was a little cul-de-sac, and hers was the rightmost unit there. The door was closed but should be unlocked. I headed off and indeed found the door unlocked, so I opened it into a rather long, rectangular room. The open window was set in the middle of the right wall and was some ways in, so I strode in, pulled the window close, and then started to head out again.
  • Another guy neighbour came in around then, as he had apparently had a very similar conversation with the woman on the stairs as well. He nodded to me and said that I must be a social butterfly to have met and befriended all these new people already.

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