Wow, this was an extremely busy week. I barely had any spare time to breathe this week. All for a good cause though, but what am I sacrificing?
Entry #087 (Mar 05 2023)
Table of Contents
ට Plushie of the Week #85
ට Song of the Week #62
ට Writing Prompt of the Week #5
ට Memory Snippet of the Week #69
ට Last Year’s Entry #38
Both my Ritsumeikan post-nomination application and Sophia post-nomination application opened on Wednesday, March 1st, and I was emailed lists of things that the Japanese universities wanted me to do for the study abroad applications on their end, so the latter part of the week was very, very busy here as I ran all around trying to get health certificate forms, photos, and various other things filled in.
The Sophia post-nomination to-do list this year is exactly the same as the one in this post, and this will be my 3rd time going through the list, so I don’t anticipate too much trouble with that, with the possible exception of the letter of recommendation if my current one is too old. I spent most of Thursday and Friday doing #6, the Certificate of Health, because that required a doctor’s checkup and then a chest X-ray from there, all of which I’ve done now. I’ll be returning to the University doctor’s office early next week to pick up my filled-out form. The Sophia list of tasks is due Apr 10 2023, though I hope to submit it soon after the Ritsumeikan one too, but I have plenty of time relatively speaking.
Relative to what? Ritsumeikan! Although the Ritsumeikan application opened at the same time, because their course starts earlier, they want their list of things done by Mar 10 2023, which is basically this upcoming Friday. Ritsumeikan demands six things:
- Handwritten essay (local)
- Letter of Consent (Pledge) (local)
- Certificate of Enrollment
- Copy of Passport
- Health Certificate Form (local)
- Official Transcript issued by the university
Among other things, they also provided a sample completed Health Certificate Form (local) that stood out to me because of all things, their sample doctor name here is Dr. James Bond, from the James Bond Clinic, and also because the signed dates are actually wrong/impossible, since the document is signed in multiple places as Dec 01 2018 when the physical examination at the top is dated Jan 01 2019. Teehee.jpg?
#4 is easy enough, my passport thankfully still has years to go on its eligibility. #3 and #6 are easy enough as well, although the University of Alberta has been using myCreds (local) for a couple of years now, an online system that forces the student to pay $10 per document for 6 months access to their own requested official documents, whenever they request one, which all the students despise. University of Alberta is a terrible University just for this sin alone, and its administration are cheapskates for locking our admission papers and official transcripts behind a paywall to try to offset costs, and I say this as a staff member too. I decided at the time (and still have the stance) that I will never donate money as an alum to the University of Alberta based on my feelings about this myCreds system alone.
Anyway, the Certificate of Enrollment cost $10, so I held my nose and did that since I had no choice. The official transcript still has an option for a paper version, since I am still a student with an active account, so I opted for that and hopefully it will arrive in the mail before next Friday, else it’s another $10 down the drain.
I don’t own a printer, so I had to print out the documents for the other three at the University’s printing shop, SUBprint, and I picked it up before class on Thursday. The letter of consent was simple enough and only requires a signature before I scan it in again.
The Ritsumeikan health certificate form was trickier, because in the vein of thoughtless, conservative things that Japanese society does, that form seems to be biased against people born in certain countries where tuberculosis can be found, which includes Singapore, and demands extra rubbish tests from me just because I happened to be born there 39 years ago, without any consideration for the fact that I moved to Canada 25 years ago. However, there was also a stipulation that seemed to say that they accept an X-ray test in lieu of whatever rubbish tests they wanted me to do, and I was going to do an X-ray test for the Sophia application anyway since they specifically requested one, so I ended up using that one X-ray requisition to fulfil both health certificates. I think.
Once I pick the completed form up on Monday or Tuesday, all I will have left besides waiting for the transcript is that handwritten essay portion, which consists firstly of a 200 word essay, and then a second 300 word essay, to be written on the fancy grid paper that the University provided. Apparently this is their Japanese proficiency placement test, but it’s a stressful thing to do on top of my current classes and workload at work, and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to bang all that out.
This week was very busy, and I basically had so many things to do during office hours (especially later on in the week, seeing doctors and clinics and such) that I often had to chip in time after work or in the evenings just to catch up with all the tickets and MFA key fob activations that I had to do. I also picked up my own key fob this week from the bookstore while I was down there. I also discovered and pointed out a privacy breach that happened in about 10 or so tickets, so I had to help with the investigation and data-gathering portion of that as well.
All that aside though, after filing for my annual $1250 Personal Spending Account allotment last week, which was approved and which I received on Mar 03 this week, I realized that I have another $1250 to spend this year, which is going to be (barring something crazy) a truncated year since I’ll be leaving the University in August or so. The money isn’t truncated or pro-rated though, and my Internet bills and such won’t come close to using up that amount… so although last week I was mulling about getting a new scanner after I return from Japan, I realized this week that it would actually probably be better for me to get the scanner now, using that $1250, since I already have a laptop from last year’s fund, and I’m not going to get new computer parts until after I return, and there isn’t that much more to spend the money on. With all the craziness going on with the applications, I haven’t had time or energy to spare in pushing this boulder, though. Maybe next week or the week after.
My time was consumed with School and Work this week, so Life is comparatively short. Trin wanted an underwater camera to take with her on a Galapagos trip that she’s planning in a couple months, so she offered to buy my Olympus Tough TG-6 Camera second-hand, but even though I don’t use it much anymore, I actually find it really hard to part with items for money, so I offered to lend it to her instead with the understanding that she’d send it back to me once she was home. I think it’ll even be back in time for my Kyoto Ritsumeikan trip, though I can’t imagine that I’ll be underwater at any point in Kansai. Never know though.
I finished compiling my second CD parcel with Remambo, and by that I mean that the parcels from different places finally arrived at the warehouse of that proxy shipping company. So I had it repacked and paid for shipping. It was about $47 CAD plus other misc costs, which is about what I expected, but which is slightly more expensive than the last package I used for around the same number of discs.
The cost disparity between the companies is kind of insane though. They tried to default me to the DHL one so I had to change it so it didn’t cost me a liver to ship. But even though I had this done on Thursday night Edmonton time/Friday morning Japan time, they didn’t actually get the parcel out the door before the weekend, and it still has a “waiting for pickup” status. With higher fees and higher shipping, this Remambo (local) company definitely loses out to Buyee (local) though, the proxy that I used for the first purchase, with the sole exception in their favour being that they are not locked out of purchasing from one particular second hand store in Japan called Suruga-ya (local) (which due to anti-competitive business practices or something, locked out Buyee from purchasing from them since they have their own expensive overseas shipping option — Remambo was too small for them to bother with though.)
There were apparently lots of aurorae over Canada early on this week, and although I didn’t see any in the end from my brightly-lit urban vantage points, I did at least try, venturing out for a midnight walk in the frigid chill early Monday morning to peer up at the skies. I didn’t see any, but I did see this.
How cute. O kawaii koto. I really like midnight walks, although not so much the cold. And though my neighbourhood is quite safe, there’s always a vague sense of danger and a lot of looking around for other lifeforms.
On Tuesday, I stopped by the main office to say hi and complain about the noise my neighbour was making, but apparently everyone was out and it was being renovated:
Liminal spaces! And the laundry card refill machine is finally gone since they’ve phased out the use of the laundry cards.
I took some pictures on Thursday of the nice skies from Southgate LRT Station while I was on my way to school:
The first one points west out of the station platform toward blue skies and fluffy clouds, and the second one points east toward white clouds and angel ladders, and I liked the contrast in the two pictures. It’s hard to tell that they were taken 10 seconds or so apart.
I went to the bloodwork clinic at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic building next to the Health Sciences LRT Station that same day on my way to school, with a bloodwork requisition form that I had from 6 months ago which my doctor had told me to use around February 2023 for my next checkup. Mar 02 is close enough, right? But I found out to my dismay that the clinic I always used, because it was on campus, was now closed to walk-in appointments.
Those bastards. Their service had been deteoriating ever since COVID though, largely with them blocking off the pedway from the station to the hospital building and blocking off all the doors except the furthest one away from the station (so one had to walk outside and around the building in the deep winter chill to reach the only open doors), so I guess due to cost-cutting measures they’re now also staffed less and no longer have the time to deal with University students and staff who need blood tests done on their way to school/work, despite being located on prime University territory. How rude.
Instead of that, I headed to the University bookshop area to pick up both my key fob and the scans of the documents above that I had submitted online the previous night, and then went to class. After class, I walked to another building about 10 minutes away from the station to get my bloodwork requisition done, and that was a bit nostalgic because that building, College Plaza, was one where I used to occasionally work at when I was with my former department in the University back in 2006-2009. I hadn’t been back there in a couple years, so it was nice to see the place again.
In fact, the reason I had last stopped by this building was because the X-ray clinic that I needed to see for my X-ray tests for my Sophia/Ritsumeikan applications used to be located there, and I had gone there back in Mar 2021 and Oct 2021 for my tests. The March one proceeded without a hitch, but in October 2021, there was a sign that said that they (an X-ray clinic!) had no working X-ray machine, so I had to go elsewhere to get the test done, and apparently that was a sign of their impending doom because I learnt this week that the branch had shut down in November of 2022. So although I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone here, I only hit one bird.
I went to another branch of the X-ray clinic, down by Century Park LRT station, which is adjacent to the Southgate one by my house. There I learnt that I couldn’t just waltz in to get an X-ray done anyway, I actually needed a requisition form from the clinic, so I left again (after confirming that I was at the right place if nothing else) and left everything else for Friday.
On Friday, I went down to the University clinic, and ended up sitting in the waiting room there for 2 hours (from 10:20 to 12:15) before my doctor could see me. This is due to their new appointments system where people can book appointments with doctors weeks in advance, and they’re always heavily booked, but then this means that walk-in patients are given a much lower priority since the doctors have booked appointments slotted in throughout the day too. This is very inconvenient, especially for things where I literally cannot book an appointment because open appointment slots are 1-4 weeks out. If I’m sick, why would I book an appointment for a month from now? And my Ritsumeikan app was due in 9 days from when I received it, so booking a doctor’s appointment for that sort of thing doesn’t work either. All these appointment bookings clog up the system and this means that day-to-day walk-in patients have to wait forever now to see their doctors. Oh well. Since I was on the work clock I guess I was technically being paid to sit there and wait, so I was in no hurry as well.
Once I got in to see my doctor, she took my measurements and vitals for the form, and I had to do a second urine sample in two days (I did one for bloodwork the day before as well) before I was cleared to go. I did pick up my X-ray requisition form though, so I zipped back down to Century Park to get that done too before heading home. Two days in a row of exhausting clinic trips. The bloodwork results were in as well and apparently my Hemoglobin A1c tests are still a little high, though the number hasn’t moved from before.
This reminds me though that for whatever reason, even when I forget/skip my pills for a couple days, I don’t seem to be really getting those rashes/itches anymore, or maybe just a couple minor bumps that don’t itch by the end of the third day, whereas previously they would be flaring up again by halfway through the second day at most if I forgot to take my bilastine tablets. I still haven’t skipped more than two days of pills at a time though, but I wonder how long I can go for without taking those pills now. Maybe some sort of a diet change caused that? My doctor wants me to try cutting down more on rice and noodles (i.e. carbohydrates) though to see if that helps the elevated sugar levels, but I’m not sure I can do that. It’s part of my identity!
Talking about tea, I did end up buying some tea from that David‘s Tea sale that I mentioned in last week’s blog entry. I basically bought two sample boxes and one small pack, all of which were on sale, to bring the cost to just over $40, so that the package would qualify for free shipping. It’s been nearly a week and the package still isn’t here, though… seriously, you have a shop in town, how hard can it be, David??
I also learnt from Eileen in the Dumnan High chat that Shaun Khiu, a mutual classmate from our Primary 4-6 school, Rosyth School, was drumming for a band (local) that was currently touring the USA and going to perform at SXSW (local). Very cool!
I spent part of three or four evenings this week watching this Twitch channel which is a channel featuring AI-generated anime characters talking rubbish about things. Yet for some reason I spent way too much time on this thing. I’m leaving this here so I can look back on it next year and roll my eyes at my current self.
Lastly, I saw this in the apartment building on Thursday and it mildly amused me.
Our management staff really likes these passive-aggressive ominous general warnings. It reminds me of the notice from May 2022 in My Diary #052.
This week, I spent some time playing V Rising with Satinel, and we’ve slowly made our way into what seems to be the final zones now, though there are still plenty of minibosses to go and a whole entire tier of gear we have not unlocked yet. We still only have one castle, and we’ve now enabled being able to teleport through the waygates with resources for sanity’s sake so we don’t have to rebuild somewhere else. Our characters and chests and everything are very much anime-themed, which was something we couldn’t do on the old shared server since no one else would have gotten our references, and that really adds to the feeling of our castle being our home.
From a solo point of view, I’ve been playing a phone idle/incremental game called Annihilation, it’s simple and straightforward and really nothing special but I credit it with helping me maintain my sanity for two hours in that University clinic waiting room, so there’s that.
I’ve also been wanting to do some more writing on the Twine/Sugarcube2 game that I have been wanting to make, but the sheer lack of time and the understanding that I still have a blog entry to write, as well as two Japanese essays and a bunch of translation homework for next week, as well as a lot of scanning to do, and a few other things like the abovementioned games, forced me to put this aside for now even though it bubbled to the top of my want-to-do list for a few days this week.
Someone also tried to reset my Steam account this week, and I received a password reset email and a Steam Guard login code for it, and then the person hilariously even followed up with a direct email to me.
Just what. We had a terse exchange and that was it. He hasn’t replied since.
Plushie of the Week #85 – Giraffe Twins
Following up to last week’s Plushie of the Week, here are more giraffe plushies this week. I don’t really know where I got these two giraffes from, but I do know I got them early on after I moved out, so sometime between 2011 to 2014 or so, and I actually think that I picked them up separately, despite them looking so much alike. They even have different tags, after all. I have no memory as to where or how that could have been though, or any inkling as to where either one came from. However, because they look so much alike, I think of them as twins. Just look at their pictures below!
First one, side:
Second one, side:
So one’s a Japanese plushie from Banpresto (though I hadn’t ever gone to Japan yet at that point) and the other’s a knockoff from China somewhere. They’re both nameless but are friends with each other. Here’s both of them synchronized dancing with Tigey for scale:
The larger one on the left is the Banpresto one. The other two are knockoffs.
Song of the Week #62
Title: Kawaki wo Ameku
Album: Domestic na Kanojo OST (2019)
For most songs, I have to listen to them a few times before they really start to resonate with me and take off in my heart and favourite music chart lists. A lot of them I find perfectly neutral through their first few listens, and then suddenly I get an “Aha” moment and realize that hey, the song is pretty great. This even applies to my favourite songs — Tremolo, for example, my current #1 Japanese anison, or anime song, took me until the end of episode 5, so about 5 listens or so, before I even started to fall in love with it. English songs are the same way.
This song, then, stands out as one of a very small handful of songs that I fell in absolute love with on the first listen. The only other song I can think of off of the top of my head that has done this to me is Valley of the Giants, though I’m sure there’ve been a couple more over the years. This song though, left such a lasting impression that I still have a vivid memory of exactly when I first saw the video and heard the song — on its release day, as I was browsing Reddit on a weekday morning in my Edmonton 4012 apartment, just before heading out the door to work. I stumbled upon it off of a thread in the Anime subreddit that I happened to click on. I remember that this happened just before 7:30 am, and my logs corroborate this and tell me that this happened on Tuesday, Jan 29 2019, since I posted it in Discord chat right after listening to it and before wandering out the front door in a state of awe, and since that was its release date as well.
I had only started watching anime back on Nov 23 2018, and that date would also roughly correspond to when I started listening to any sort of Japanese pop/rock music at all — I simply hadn’t been more than passingly interested up till that point. So fast forward to January 2019, a mere two months later, I was still pretty new to the scene and exploring what it had to offer. This song was so powerful, and so different from anything else that I had heard up till that point, that it left a huge impression on me to the point that I took a mental screenshot of where I was in my life when I heard it, something that usually only happens for life events (just before my surgeries and cancellations, the day 9/11 happened, when we were flying out of Singapore to come to Canada, etc).
This song hung out in my top 10 OP songs list for quite a while, it was briefly #1 not long after I first heard it, and hung around in the top 5 for over two years. These days it’s sitting just outside the top 10, but still proudly holding down a spot in my top 20. The anime itself was apparently pretty terrible, so I didn’t actually watch it until about a year after knowing the song, and I found it.. questionable, but still enjoyable enough despite the melodramatics. Nothing I’d write home about though. The song still largely reminds me of that morning, and thus of going to work (pre-COVID, when I still had an office to go to), but I don’t otherwise have strong nostalgic memories tied to this one. But her voice, her voice. And on top of that, it has talking bits too, which I adore in songs.
Writing Prompt of the Week #5
This week’s writing prompt reads:
What events happened in history the year you were born? Research the details, and write them down.
In 1984… lots of things can be Googled about the year, but here are 10 I picked out anyway. I start off with some global things and then veer off into smaller things that interest me.
- Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi was assassinated (local).
- The first untethered spacewalk was done. Scary (local).
- Apple aired a 1984 Superbowl ad (local) that apparently launched both the Macintosh computer as a household name and super bowl ads as a phenomemon on the back of George Orwell’s “1984” book. The ad itself is here.
- Edmonton’s science centre, currently known as the Telus World of Science, opened (local) as the Edmonton Space Sciences Centre.
- The Edmonton Oilers ice hockey franchise won their first Stanley Cup in club history. Woo!
- Singapore launched the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament system to ensure a minimum number of opponents in Parliament.
- The Gifted Education Programme in Singapore was founded (local). Rosyth School also moved to the school site (local) that they would still be at when I attended the school from 1994-1996.
- Tetris was launched (local).
- New World Computing was founded. This is the company that eventually published the game that was my first major foray into PC gaming in 1998 — Might and Magic VI.
- I was born. As were many of the friends I would grow up with and meet in the many schools that I went to.
Memory Snippet of the Week #69
For the first three years of my life, from Feb 1984 to around or slightly before May 1987, Mom, Dad, and I stayed at a home in Clementi, a residential town on the west side of Singapore (and whose MRT train station is known to me as West 8), that I called Clementi 730. My siblings were not born yet, and I was only three years old when we left the house, so I barely remember any of it either. There are a few photos of the place though, for example the ones from My Diary #016 / Photo of the Week #3, and I have a couple more I wanted to add, but there isn’t much left in terms of my memories or records of this place.
The place was dubbed Clementi 730 because, well, it was an apartment in Block 730 of Clementi West Street 2. It’s located right here (original):
A Google Maps view of the block can be seen here (local). I actually re-visited this place on Jun 04 2022 when I visited Singapore last year, as you can see in my linked travel diary, going all the way to the door of the apartment I used to live in over 35 years ago. I remember nothing of the place, but it felt like I was making a pilgrimage to a revered and very important location nonetheless.
Anyway, from our family photo albums, I tried to gather a few pictures to piece together what the inside of our apartment looked like as best as I could, while leaving out pictures that featured other people besides myself. Without further ado, here’s pictures of various parts of the Clementi 730 apartment that I have managed to pull together.
Firstly, the bedroom, circa Nov 29 1982, before I brought my havoc into this world:
And circa Jan 26 1985, when I was practicing standing up on my two feet a month before my first birthday rolled around:
The furniture probably got shuffled around a bit, but from the two angles, I can’t actually comprehend how the room must have been laid out, since the bedroom toilet is at the back right side of the room in the second picture, while the first picture shows an external window on the back left side of the room. The only thing I can think of that might fit is that the bed was rotated 90 degrees clockwise between the two pictures, and the first picture was taken from the entrance to the toilet, whereas the second was taken from the entrance to the rest of the house. Or, the bed didn’t move but then our toilet was jutting out from the bedroom. Who knows for sure though. None of the other pictures I have really show the bedroom and its toilet well enough for me to determine this.
Next up, the kitchen. This first picture is again from Nov 29 1982, and is the only one I have that shows the view from the kitchen looking out:
These next two are undated, but from either late 1986 or early 1987, and I’m pretty sure at that point the glasses I am wearing were fake or something, as I didn’t actually start wearing glasses until I was halfway through Kindergarten 2, in 1990, I think. Or maybe Kindergarten 1 in 1989. Anyway, look at the background, and ignore the person in the foreground!
Lastly, the living room. To start this batch off, we rewind to Nov 29 1982 yet again. This picture shows the relation between the living room and the kitchen, which I believe means that the bedroom entrance had to be just before and off to the right of the kitchen entrance when facing it.
Also from Nov 29 1982, here’s a picture of some of dad’s amplifiers and cassette/record players from this long-gone era of audiophile history:
And here’s 7 month old me gleefully trying to tear down his stuff on Sep 07 1984. That is to say, I mean, ignore the foreground again and look at the background. That’s a window to the corridor outside our house, the front door was to the right of that.
This is me on the other side of the TV and amplifiers on Nov 30 1984 — that carrom board behind was something that followed us all the way through 1998, before we left it behind for the new owners when we moved to Canada. We might even still have the carrom pieces around somewhere, I’m not really sure. Just out of sight to the left of that image, would have been the doorway to the bedroom, facing away and to the right, if my mental placement is correct.
This next one was also taken on Nov 30 1984. I was trying to figure out how to use a chair. Chairs are hard for a 9 month old.
These last two were taken sometime in 1986 or 1987 as well, and I mostly added these to show that there was some furniture rearrangement done between ’84 and ’87, since the TV was now placed so that its back was to the corridor outside, and so anyone sitting on the sofa and watching TV would also be able to look at people walking by.
I have no idea what show was being broadcast on TV, and it didn’t look like I cared, but the locked grille on the right side is what was separating the apartment from the corridor outside, when the front door was left open. And it was left open quite often for fresh air, as it was that night when the photo was taken. A good number of households in Singapore still do this, too. Front door gate/grille closed for safety, and front door wide open.
Last Year’s Entry #38
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #043. This was published on Mar 06 2022.
Miro is a terrible application because they lock being able to download and archive your work behind a subscription paywall. What scuuuum (but I’m largely biased because I’m very much into archiving things). I’m actually surprised the board is still up after one year. I took a pdf backup of it last year so I threw that up this year.
We got two good hires over the past year over on the developer side of the team, glad to have them with us. Hopefully we find some good hires for the identity administrator side as well. Our supervisor still hasn’t had time to actually process the resumes that have been sent in from around a month ago and that we’ve vetted though. Is it really alright to hold up other people’s lives like that?
The pictures I took of the children’s well-wishes and the butterfly needles notice were all from Kaye Edmonton Clinic, the hospital that no longer takes walk-in patients for their bloodwork clinic. The parallels in the dates between me going there last year and this year are interesting, since I didn’t actually plan it that way.
I’ve watched that YouTube video I mentioned at the bottom of the Life section there several times in the intermediate year. I still like it (in a melancholic) way a lot. I’m linking it here again so that I have another link to it.
I wonder if I could have visited the National Library in Singapore to look at microfilms when I went back to visit last year. Do people go to other countries to do those kinds of things as tourists? Not that I really needed to do that since I found out the date already, but…
After last week, Nyari appeared in my dreams this week again. Interesting.
Feb 27 2023
- I took a bus in a foreign city with a female Indian friend to check out the classes in a University. She was thinking of signing up for the school. When we reached the school stop, we stood around for a bit uncertain of what to do, and then got invited into the principal’s office by a teacher to talk to the headmistress there. In that room, we saw the headmistress talking with another Indian or Malay girl who was there with her mom and who I recognized from the bus. The headmistress turned to us to listen to the Indian girl, who asked if she could skip some prerequisites and take some courses here, which would involve her dropping a 1st year Data Science course of some sort to make room on her schedule. The principal laughed and said she didn’t need that course for this course, and gave my friend a proficiency quiz that she pulled out from a drawer of her table, to see if she was suitable for the course that she wanted to take or not.
- In a separate school dream later, I joined up with a school that was also simultaneously a guild with two other friends in a game world, and we formed a little miniguild within that larger guild, which had quite a few players. I started two new characters in the game, one male and one female character, to explore a labyrinth. As part of the joining process, I had to secure a rental apartment in the game, which I did, and the rental manager said that she liked me but I would still have to pass a probationary period of 15 days or so like everyone else, whereby I could not get too many demerit points or I would get kicked out. She gave me a short list of 10 or so items that would cause demerit points, the main one being not being home at the end of the day.
- However, one of the first quests after joining the guild was fighting some creatures that promptly kidnapped the character, win or lose, and sent them down into a subterranean lake area. There, we had to do a series of quests to be able to return home again. One such quest was a fishing quest, where we had to fish in a river until we got a popup message that told us that the fish we needed wasn’t in that area and to finish fishing in another spot. My female character, who I was concentrating on playing through the quests first, managed to complete this first part in 4 fishing attempts, which was extremely lucky. Another quest later on involved controling a team in a game of ice hockey where we had a 4 on 2 power play and needed to score at least once in the net as we were trailing by one goal.
Feb 28 2023
- I was waiting outside a manor building with Zixiang and Jonathan from Dunman High, as well as a few other nameless students. Our next class apparently was in the classroom located in that building, however the teacher wasn’t here yet to unlock the doors for us to go in. The manor apparently housed different people, including residential units, and the person staying next door to the classroom wandered out of his apartment to the balcony and looked down at us, and when we noticed this, Jonathan went up to borrow keys from him and unlock the classroom so we could go in. He agreed, but said that he didn’t have the key to the toilets and he couldn’t let us use the one in his apartment either. We went into the classroom to study for an upcoming test, and Zixiang reminded me that the test was out of 20 and the teacher had said that the minimum mark we would get for it would be 16 no matter how badly we did.
- In a different dream, I was playing a game with Nyari and we were hiding outside a spaceship owned by medusa, creatures with an upper body of a woman and lower body of a snake, who were slithering around outside the ship. Nyari discovered that the medusa were essentially blind and would not see you if you were prone on the ground and didn’t move. He set off ahead of me and I saw him lying prone on his belly by an outdoor pillar that was propping up the front nose of the spaceship, and he told me to hurry up and get to him too. I tried the same thing, running out partway and then going prone and trying to hide out in the open, but this didn’t work so well for me, as the medusa got curious and started slithering over in my direction even though I wasn’t moving any longer, and I realized that they were going to bump into me eventually. I ended up aggroing them and running away. I learnt that this was a demo version of the game anyway as the game ended right after that.
- In yet another dream, I and some others were planting seeds in a garden that woulkd sprout into anime OST albums, and someone was looking for something super similar to the OST for Management of a Novice Alchemist. There was a scoring system put in place for sprouted albums and how similar they were to that. Also, at some point I went back to a school canteen after some time away from it, and marveled at how there were lots of people in there, and the scene in particular was so colourful, and hi-definition, with lots of crisp detail and lots of reds and browns.
Mar 01 2023
- I was in class getting back a quiz from the teacher, and one of my classmates told the person seating next to me, who was new to the class, that I generally got really good marks on my quizzes. I was a bit embarrassed by this as I didn’t think it was really true, though it was true that I got good marks on the last quiz. We also had some sort of quiz or assignment that day that involved going into a game world and exploring an underground sewer tunnel-like area, but I discovered a weird room behind the bottom of the stairs that led down into the tunnels, that led into a separate large room. A bunch of monsters were in that room and they overwhelmed my character, causing her to die and have to choose a respawn location, either up on the surface at the nearest respawn shrine area, or up at a random spot near where I died. I didn’t know how random it could be though so I picked the shrine, which was some distance south, but was at least a known landmark. I then made my way back and cleared out the room.
Mar 02 2023
- I was doing quests in a large city along with many other people, and in particular there was a quest that introduced me to archery whereby I had to run to a place on the edge of a forest and then shoot a small and quick-moving bird within 4 minutes or so. However, that quest had an achievement tied to it which could be obtained by running to a certain spot near the starting location of the quest, which was much further away than where the quest would lead me, and then shooting down a bird within 90 seconds of the start of the quest.
- I attempted this quest several times, with the first aborted attempt being spent trying to find the correct spot in the first place. I started just inside a train station, so I went to an elevator that led to an adjoining tower, but the elevator took so long to arrive and then carry me and others up to the top of a tower that I figured this could not be it — by the time the elevator doors opened at the top, 90 seconds had already more or less elapsed. I used the rest of this attempt to find the proper spot, and eventually found a smaller two-storey viewing tower attached to some sort of Science Centre type building across the street from the station, which I could reach in a few seconds using some stairs next to where I started to get to street level, and then crossing one road and going up another set of stairs. This would leave me about 30 seconds per quest attempt to shoot the bird.
- Shooting the bird still felt impossible as it was so far away, and it was difficult to even make out the bird at times, it was like a little smudge against the evening clouds floating above the city. I decided to spend another attempt going to see where the bird was, as this bird wasn’t flying over a forest but was above the city instead. I approached the location it was flying over, which was a street whose sidewalk was filled with people doing other quests, mostly to do with either the cars passing by or some sort of creature that was on the road.
- There was one person standing around saying that he had compiled a list of character skins from Guild Wars 2, which were basically outfits for various characters, as well as the release dates for those skins, and he had made a Reddit thread with all the dates. Another person had made a comment saying that at least one of the dates were wrong, because his favourite skin was listed as coming out in 2022 (or 2012?) whn in fact he had bought that green foresty skin in 2021 (or 2011?), and he suggested that the person’s data came from when the skin was later modified to be a higher resolution. He even provided a picture of his digital receipt for the character skin. I added a comment to the thread suggesting that that date should then be changed, and when I came back later to the thread, I found that my comment had 2 community upvotes for a total score of 3.
- Anyway, from the edge of the street, I could look up and see the bird not too far away. I took a couple of practice potshots from here but even from here I could not really hit the bird. Someone else mentioned a weird trick though, where you could edit the copy of the game and specifically edit the bird’s model. And by clicking on the bottom edges of the bird’s profile and dragging it downwards toward the ground, one could create a large, grotesque model whose top was like a floating eagle, and was still dozens of feet in the air, but then was connected to a large cylindrical snake-like bottom which extended all the way down to the ground and make it trivial to hit. However, this would become visible to everyone in the city, especially those by the road doing their other quests, and it would not only be embarrassing and cheating but also be pointless as everyone would then go attempt this quest and get the same rare achievement that I was trying to get, so I decided not to do this. I restarted the quest and returned to the tower to try to take more pot shots at the bird, futile though it was.
Mar 03 2023
- Snippet: All I remember today is a 2D view of a house and that I was guarding the door on the bottom right side of the house, on the ground level, occasionally letting some friends in while watching out for some sort of superior force that was frustrating to guard or fight against.
Mar 04 2023
- I was on a boat as a crew member or an omnipotent observer, and the ship had just acquired a new captain, a short, but outgoing and plucky anime-style girl. Her first order was to overhaul a Japanese language class being held on the boat that I was a student in. I was taking this class with two other people I knew, a male and a female, though I forget their identities. The guy was possibly Kelvin from McNally. There were many other people in the class that I did not know as well. And apparently Zixiang was supposed to be there too but never showed up to class.
- The captain became the substitute teacher for the class, and asked what we had learnt thus far. We went over a few things that she wrote down on the board. She saw the girl that I was with read off of a folded reference sheet at some point, and took the reference sheet from her to see what we had been taught. The teacher was annoyed and embarrassed at what she saw though, because the reference sheet, which was from the previous teacher, taught us that each word had a chakra value and that they could be used to help us remember the word or some grammar rules or something. This teacher said that that was utter rubbish and we should get rid of that reference sheet and that stuff like that was why the overhaul was needed. I made some reading notes as the teacher droned on.
- The teacher also surveyed the class, asking who had native Chinese experience as she needed someone to sit up front in the teacher’s desk area to translate some Chinese text to Japanese on the board. I put my hand up half-heartedly, as I only had partial native Chinese experience growing up, but several other people including the boy I was with (Kelvin?) put their hands up anyway, so I knew that one of them would definitely get it over me, to my relief. In the end, there was already a boy up front at the teacher’s desk and typing on a laptop even as the teacher was doing her survey, and she found out that he was the best person for the job anyway — he had done his master’s degree in Chinese and was now studying Japanese as well so he had been trying to get a head start on the translation even while the teacher was doing her survey. By the time she had finished, he had already translated a Chinese paragraph by putting Japanese hiragana over it and we could all see that thanks to the projector that was shining his work on the blackboard above and behind him.
- The boat itself was some sort of a tugboat and cleanup boat, and was involved in an international incident or race to get to a part of the ocean off the coast of America to try to retrieve a black box from a plane that had fallen into the ocean. Air Force One, the presidential plane, had recently flown over the area to try to locate the site of the plane crash, and we were following up behind after that plane left. Someone suggested that America would probably send out a telegram to the other countries as a late courtesy, telling them that we were about to clean up the wreckage, but not until we actually approached the spot, so that it would be too late for any other country to react.
- Snippet: There were a mess of other snippets somehow mixed in with this plotline or my dreams in general, one of them being a scene where someone was calling a bank to try to open a new account when he already had one, and a female Indian clerk was helping out another male clerk and telling him that the best way to do this was to select the transfer option on the remaining $170 in the client’s account and then using the option to send it to a new account from there, where it would let him enter the details for the client.
- Snippet: Another one involved watching the very end of some ice hockey games that we were watching on TV. I believe there were two Edmonton Oilers games, one where we lost 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks, and another where we lost to the Colorado Avalanche 2-1, which was noteworthy because the Colorado team had been up 2-0 with seconds to go, so they had given up and gone to the bench early with a couple seconds left, and someone on the Edmonton team had snapped up the puck, rushed across the blue line, and put the puck in the Colorado net with less than a second to go to break the shutout. The Colorado coach was pissed at his team for this.
- Snippet: Satinel and I were also wandering a school hallway late at night, looking for enemies to defeat so that we could loot new skills and skill upgrades from said enemies. We both controlled two characters each, though we controlled them on laptops. Mine was on my lap as I sat upright on something that looked like a toboggan with wheels, with my legs stretched out in front of me. I had put a blanket over my legs too, trailing off to either side of the vehicle, and either Mom or a teacher came by at one point and inquired as to what was under the blanket, since the laptop lid was open and causing the blanket to make a tent shape. Anyway I was capable of steering the toboggan even though I was seated entirely on it and my hands were busy with the laptop, so I followed just behind Satinel as she led the way.
- At one point though, we entered some washrooms and triggered a rockfall trap, which crushed us and our characters. Three of the four characters, both of mine and one of hers, died. We had about two dozen resurrect scrolls between us four though, so it was not a problem for the remaining character to loot a scroll from one of the corpses and rez one of us, except that the rez scroll needed two mana or faith points or something like that to activate, and the remaining character only had a maximum of one. To get around this, we had to exit the game to the main menu and then load it up in a special mode that was only available when one character was left alive. This mode allowed her to extend her skills by sacrificing one hit point to temporarily get one extra mana to be able to use that scroll, so she did that to rez one of the other characters, who then promptly turned around and rezzed everyone else properly.
- Snippet: There was a part in my dream itself where I tried to write down preliminary dream notes for my dream journal, particularly focusing on the Japanese class scene on the boat earlier. I wrote down Jap for Japan, then remembered that it was considered a slur and added a couple more letters to be clear. I then sat at a table in a house and tried to get myself to write out the actual dream, but I could not find the concentration to do so. I also wanted to do a writeup on a certain group of gaming friends that I had not written about on my blog yet, as I had liked them and the time I had spent with them, but also couldn’t. Mom was also nearby, she had borrowed Kel‘s laptop to look up something on the internet. I was watching the clock myself too, because it was rapidly approaching noon, when I would be able to ask my parents for permission to actually surf the net and talk with my friends for the rest of the evening.
- Snippet: At another point, I was bunking in a dorm room with a few other people for the night, but Johannes was still awake because he had taken a nap earlier in the day, so instead of sleeping, we played a few games of something together until it was nearly 5 am. I then asked him if he still wanted to play, but he said no, he wanted to try to get proper sleep too and not have to coast through the next day on only a nap. I nodded and laid down on my bed too and turned onto my side, fiddling with a phone game of my own, and then pretending to be asleep when someone came in to check.
- Snippet: Lastly, there was a gang initiation of some sort involving a game with a convoluted city map split into two horizontally by a river, though there were many bridges leading across it. It looked like a more complex version of an Edmonton city map in that regard. The initiates had control of a car, and their goal was to get to a secret location and drive into a garage there without being followed, to see how good they were at evading the police. On the other side were two or three large cars staffed by gang members, who were roaming the city and looking for those initiates. On my digital/holographic map, I could see the live locations of the gang initiates’ car as well as the big red vans or trucks that represented the gang members trying to find them, and their efforts to outmanouver each other. I wasn’t sure how much of the information the people in the cars had, as although it didn’t seem like they could see each other’s positions, it did seem like they had access to some sort of information so it wouldn’t just be searching for a needle in a haystack.
Mar 05 2023
- Snippet: I was in my Edmonton 205 kitchen, except the kitchen was much longer in length. I started on one end of the kitchen, laying down long, thin strips that looked like plastic racetracks for little cars and could be joined together, except each length of track had two columns of grooves set into it. The left set of grooves were little spheres spaced evenly apart, and in those I placed small cookies, candies, and similar confectionaries, whereas the right column was one thin trench that connected smoothly from one strip to the next, and I put liquid chocolate in that so that there was a stream of liquid chocolate stretching the length of the racetrack. The racetrack stretched several metres long by the time I was done with it. I wasn’t alone and it was getting in the way of someone else, so I eventually picked up all the racetrack strips and put them on a serving tray along with a number of my plushies.
- Snippet: I was watching, through a full-length body mirror, some girls celebrating with each other during their school graduation. I had thought that it was a one-way viewing device, but one of the girls eventually turned to me to address me, much to my surprise. She said that some of my hair was stuck on the side of my face so it looked like I had a beard or something, so I fixed it and thanked her.
- Snippet: This snippet also took place during a graduation scene, so it might have been connected to the last snippet. A short girl that looked like the main character of Watamote was sitting in a dark corner on the second level of a grand hall, away from a school exhibition and festival that was taking place on the first level. She was depressed and hugging her knees because she had missed taking part in a school band that had played in the middle of the main hall some time ago. A short, fat boy that looked like he escaped from a western animation cartoon came up to her to try to cheer her up, and said that he had recharged $20 into his card and wanted to take her around the festival to see the various stalls.
- Snippet: Heg and Amy both left a Discord server that we were in together along with a few other friends. Both of them were still in Heg‘s side Discord server though, so I could see them there, but they were offline. I chatted to Satinel and told her that the reason they had left was that they had both left the house that we were all staying in as well, and gone overseas to study. I then went out to the house’s second-floor balcony at 4 or 5 am, and brought in some items that we had left outside on the balcony so that they would be safe.
- Snippet: A male actor was being interviewed about a film he was performing in called Ogender. Someone jokingly asked the actor if that meant that his character was agender. The actor gave a bad answer, ridiculing the question and insulting agender people, and got downvoted heavily as the crowd’s opinion turned against him. Someone replied saying that while the question may have been irrelevant, the way that he answered now made the issue relevant to them.
- Snippet: There was a slander attempt from a guy that tried to confront our Discord server about something. I was defending someone else and told him to feel free to slander me, as I wasn’t going for a job in his industry or in the vicinity of the city anyway. It turned out that the guy was very well-connected, and we found some lists with people that we had slandered in the past, with their name up top and a list of characters he had used to contact various companies below that. The slanderer only stopped when the person listed at the top of the sheet apologized to him, which he considered a victory. He had left behind lots of text chat evidence though, which I screenshotted, and those lists of characters that he used to contact the companies always used the same persona name to make his complaints to each company too, and usually involved a second persona then agreeing with the first one in bad English. So even though I didn’t want to work here, I figured it was better safe than sorry, and I took all the evidence and started to contact the companies one by one to tell them who the slanderer’s fake personas were.
- Snippet: I think this was related to the last snippet, and one of the companies I went to report to was currently running a Korean cultural festival with stage presentations in an auditorium, so I had to sit through that first before I could talk to the people in charge. The emcee lady leading the presentations looked up at the upper catwalk at the back of the room at one point, where a computer that some news broadcasters were supposedly using to record the exhibition was located, and wondered if it was being used to farm bitcoin instead because the machine was making a fair amount of noise but no one was actually there. A man in the crowd suggested that they put a piece of tape over the camera to prevent it from recording the exhibition since no one was actually there.