This next upcoming week should be the last gasp of my final winter here, right? Then it’s time for the springtime of my youth?
Entry #088 (Mar 12 2023)
I finished my Ritsumeikan application this week, as well as about 2/3 of my Sophia application, though I still have a couple more forms I have to do for those. All the ones that involve me to do things outside of the house are done though.
It turns out there was actually a page on the Ritsumeikan website itself for the program, which is here (local). We were sent that link as part of the hotel accommodations step, which started a couple days after I submitted the application, when our UAlberta advisor email us saying.. “Hey, Ritsumeikan wants to know if anyone wants a hotel room… oh by the way there are only 4 slots left as of the time they emailed me.” But,
a) Maybe we should have been sent that link earlier, since that has other pertinent information I hadn’t seen yet until now, like the schedule, and,
b) Are we that low priority on the list that we were only given 4 hotel spots minus whatever else would have been snapped up by other students from other schools in the interim? UAlberta was supposed to have space and availability for up to 15 students to go!
I think our UAlberta-side advisors/organizers are just kind of poorly organized this year, as it seems to be the first year that UAI is taking over running this program (or at least the signup/organization part of it from the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, which is located in the same building as them). The UAlberta application we had to fill in was woefully unupdated, with links to documents created pre-COVID and parts that don’t apply to us anymore, and even the application on the Horizons app, which UAI uses for coordinating study abroad programs these days, gave us an application for a different study abroad program (in Cortona, Italy) instead of this Kyoto one. So bad.
At any rate, while the offered hotel (local), whose booking.com listing is here (local) would only have cost JPY 143,800 or so for the 33 nights that we’d be staying there or so, it actually lacks a few things that I like, like a kitchenette, so I decided to leave the rooms for the students that couldn’t afford the time/money and didn’t have travel experience, and I went for my own accommodations instead. I picked this one (local), though it’s a tentative lock-in — at this point I haven’t paid yet, and won’t have to until Apr 29 2023. So plenty of time to back out and look elsewhere if I need to, or if I need to cancel entirely. I locked in the price of JPY 221,130 for that place, for the same period of time, for now, though. It’s closer, and while it’s a fairly significant bump in price, it’s not the end of the world, and is larger and has a kitchenette and more facilities.
Outside of all that, school was very busy this week, since we had one of the longest homework sessions of the semester and it was due between Tuesday and Thursday. It was basically twice the size of our normal homework batch. I’m glad we have no more tests or quizzes to memorize for until our final exam.
Work was also quite busy this week, though it mainly hit other members of my team, since two big projects are both coming to fruition at the same time and driving our supervisor mad. For my part, I continued working on key fob activations for our MFA system, doing about 200 of them or so, and keeping those tickets out of our queue, which is flooded with another 100 tickets complaining about changes from those projects. I also helped file the incident report on the breach I discovered last week, which was fun, I’ve discovered breaches before but usually it’s my supervisor involved in filling in that form. He didn’t have time this week, heh.
I saw a blue-haired girl on the train on the way to the University this week, and tried to get a picture of just her hair. Nice hair.
I remember a girl with the bottom couple inches of her hair stylized to look like green flames, that I saw a couple times on the train many years ago, on the way to the University. That was neat and burned itself into my memory for recovery all these years later.
Early on in the week, my tea package from David‘s Tea finally arrived. I was out that day, so Canada Post stuffed it into the parcel locker in our building’s mail room, and put the key for it in my mailbox. It’s the first time I’ve gotten to use this since they installed the parcel lockerss in the building, so that was neat.
The tea boxes themselves look like this. I love the stylish and sturdy boxes.
Late in the week, my package of CDs also arrived from Japan. Spread out, they looked like this:
Now to rip, scan, and archive some of them before I leave for Japan!
There was an annual house inspection or something this week that I wasn’t home for, and while this one usually just involves them checking the home alarm, they usually peek into the bathroom as well and had asked me to clean up some strangely-coloured stains on the bathtub several years ago. This time they are asking me to scrub the sinks and stove for a repeat inspection in two weeks or something, and fair enough to the stove but all the sinks largely have on them are water and powder/detergent stains from both of them being over 10 years old, so that is a bit annoying. Still, I have the wiry sponges and moist towelettes for them anyway so it’s just a matter of finding time to do them at some point.
Oh, and after I washed my bedsheets this week, I flipped my bed over so that the holes were at the bottom of the bed and the springs no longer poke into me. So I no longer risk self-impalation every night.
While I did play a tiny bit of V Rising with Satinel this week, things were so busy that this wasn’t really a game week. The most time I put into gaming was probably the same idle/incremental phone game that I was playing from last week, Annihilation. But that’s also kind of hit a part of the game that requires a paywall or watching an endless parade of ads, but yet lacks an ad-free option, which is very annoying and means its not likely to survive to the end of next week, since it doesn’t respect the player’s time.
Jah also got Trin and I to set up and play around with Playnite (local), an “open source video game library manager” that tries to be basically a cross-platform game aggregator and scrobbler. It’s interesting and seems somewhat customizable, but also a bit laggy on my computer just because my combined accounts have so. many. games. on them. He also got me intrigued into watching the official League of Legends eSports league matches again on Twitch on the side. We used to watch them more religiously (and also play in online team management fantasy leagues) probably about 9-10 years ago at this point. How nostalgic!
Plushie of the Week #86 – Korean Giraffe
This is I believe both my last unfeatured giraffe plushie as well as my last unfeatured Korean plushie that I know the origin of (there are a couple more that I know are from Korea, but I don’t know exact origins of). This giraffe plushie came from Artbox, a store in Seoul, and cost 9,500 Korean won, or just under $10 CAD. I acquired him on Oct 27 2015, on my second trip there, when I went with Steffy to get my vocal cord operation.
I don’t really have any memories associated with this plushie other than that though, he’s just sort of sat there and taken care of the other giraffe plushies. He comes from the same shop as Billy, but is Billy’s junior by two days. (I also added new pictures for Billy this week in that old link).
But this post is about the unnamed giraffe, not Billy, so here are his pictures.
He has a lot of tags that identify him as being from Best Ever Korea, but also note that he was made in China, so yeah.
Tag 1 front:
Tag 1 back:
Tag 3 (and Tag 2 back):
Tag 4 back:
Song of the Week #63
Title: Fleurs du Mal
Artist: Sarah Brightman
Album: Symphony (2008)
Aaa. I love this song. This song is great, so much so I excitedly linked it in Discord this week when I heard it for the first time in years. It sent chills through me when the song started playing, like I was discovering a long-lost piece of ancient treasure. It was a song I had randomly come across long ago, but I had long forgotten about, until it got dragged up from the dregs of my Spotify mega-list of every song I’ve ever heard, that I’ve been working on compiling for over a decade now, by the random number generator that powers Spotify’s Shuffle Tracks feature. (That list isn’t as complete as I’d like it to be, and has nearly no non-English songs on it for starters, but it is 2,271 entries deep and so does take a while to get through regardless.)
Anyway, I like the power in her voice a lot, and the symphonic metal, or whatever this song’s genre is considered to be, combines her lustrous vocals and the choir and the instruments to make a gorgeous combination. Both the live version and the album version of the song are great, and the video below puts the live version on display.
I don’t have any particular memories toward the song, except that I always associate this song with Phantom of the Opera, my favourite musical, even though this song has nothing to do with that. Sarah has played Christine in the musical though, and so the two entwine together for me, reminding me of a time in Edmonton 205 when I couldn’t fall asleep, and instead got up, went to my computer, and proceeded to watch (and weep to) two different renditions of Phantom of the Opera back-to-back instead of going back to bed.
Writing Prompt of the Week #6
This week’s writing prompts read:
Fill in the blanks: “My mother was born in ___ in the year ____. Her parents’ names were ____ & ____. She grew up in ____ and was one of ____ children.
Write about your earliest childhood memory of your mother.
Fill in the blanks: “My father was born in ___ in the year ____. His parents’ names were ____ & ____. He grew up in ____ and was one of ____ children.
Write about your earliest childhood memory of your father.
These two were side by side, and are similar enough that I wanted to knock them both out at once, especially since I’ve already kind of covered the first part of both questions back at the family tree post here. But I don’t actually want to make their names searchable, so I won’t complete those parts in text here.
Earliest childhood memories though?
For Dad, the earliest clear memory I have is being in our Yishun 799 toilet, located off of the kitchen, naked and getting ready for a bath, and Dad had a portable red plastic tub down on top of the closed toilet bowl. He filled it halfway with water, added a bottlecap worth of Dettol liquid soap to it, and then dipped the towel in it and proceeded to clean me. After that he handed me a little red plastic container with a handle, about the size of a stock pot that one might bring camping, and told me to use that to pour the tub water over myself to bathe. He then left the toilet and slid the door shut. I still love the smell of Dettol to this day.
For Mom, I don’t have one specific memory that I can point to as being the earliest Mom memory. One strong memory I have that could be it though, is that I was upset one morning when we lived in Yishun 799, because Mom had left me alone in the house to go shopping or buy some food in a nearby market. Once she left, I sat on the floor screaming and crying until she came home, and I remember vividly having the memory that I was trying to scream loud enough so my mother would hear me from as far away as the traffic crossing just past the police station near our house, and imagining her rushing home toward me. I probably only just succeeded in disturbing the neighbours though.
Memory Snippet of the Week #70
Since I featured a plushie from Korea this week anyway, and I talked about League of Legends in the Games section above, this Memory Snippet fits nicely here.
Back during my first trip to Seoul in 2014, which was also my first solo international trip, one of the things I did was to visit a League of Legends eSports game there. By this time, even though I had not had any of my surgeries yet, I had already been presenting as female for over a year (I started Mar 2013), and I had no issues getting there or passing in public. Anyway, I attended two games on two different evenings in the official Korean eSports league there, both located on the top floor (9th floor) of a shopping mall named Yongsan I’Park Mall in Seoul. Both were playoff matches, so it involved the two teams facing off in a Best of 5 series, with the series ending after a team reaches 3 wins.
The first match I attended was on July 25 2014, a quarterfinal match between the Samsung Blue team and the Jin Air Green Wings Stealths team. The second was on July 30 3014, and was a semifinal match between KT Rolster Arrows, and SK Telecom T1 S. The two teams that won the matches that I watched on those two days, Samsung Blue in the quarterfinals and KT Rolster Arrows in the semifinals respectively, went on to play each other in the finals, which I watched from back home since my trip had ended by then. The archived match information for these games can be found here.
This event happened quite a long time ago, so I’m just going to leave a couple of notes here compiled from memory snippets and email/chat/picture logs.
The arena was a hall that was filled with plastic chairs, with a stage area up front for the stagecasters, and a big screen above for the viewers to see the games going on. The players themselves were in encased team booths to the left and right of the room. There were basically two or three rows of plastic chairs near the back of the room reserved for overseas visitors to these games, which were the tickets that I bought. These tickets were cheap — I bought the quarterfinal ticket online on July 23 2014, and the semifinal ticket on July 29 2014, 2 days and 1 day before their respective matches, for just US $3.00 each. They weren’t bad seats though, the screen was huge anyway and we were actually located right by the player booths, so we could glance left and see them furiously clicking away behind a pane of glass.
Although the entire venue and the main shoutcasting being broadcast into the hall was done in Korean, there were also two English broadcasters in their own booth doing commentary for the English Twitch stream, and they actually gave us little FM radios and earpieces to listen in to that so we knew what was going on. According to Fames, who was watching the stream on Twitch at the time, we were about 20-40 seconds ahead of the stream, but we did confirm that it was the same set of shoutcasters by their bad jokes.
I remember climbing the escalators to that top (or second-highest?) level of the mall one level at a time. One of the levels we passed by was an electronics level with various counters and shelves sprawled out across the length of the level, and one of the male clerks tried to sell me a camera or something. I believe there was also some greenery on the top level — not a garden per se, at least not official, but it looked like a rooftop area with a couple of trees and plants that looked kind of desolate and forlorn and that we were not allowed to go into.
On at least one of the two occasions, I’m pretty sure I took a bus to the venue instead, or at least went around the area to something else and then came back to it just before the match started, because I remember walking through a low-rise building nearby that had open walkways that cut through the building on the ground floor, and there were independent electronic shops there that looked like they were selling counterfeit goods, or at least questionable and discounted goods. It actually reminded me of Sim Lim Square in Singapore, which I visited last year and holds vaguely nostalgic memories for me. I love walking through areas with multiple shops selling vaguely counterfeit cheap electronics.
The game on the first night started later and I was worried that I was not going to be able to get home if the trains ended or something before the game did. Thankfully Jin Air got swept so the series ended after 3 games and not 5, and I was able to make it home without incident. They were the underdogs though and I was cheering them on. Ah well.
On the second night, I met and became acquaintances with a guy from Canada named Darryl, and a girl from Singapore named Jenny, who were both also separately attending the games there that evening. Jenny had a plushie with her, and through Darryl (who was apparently a social butterfly and had acquired both our Facebook contacts separately), I got her email address once I got home and emailed her asking about the plushie, which turned out to be a poro plushie from the official League of Legends online shop. This was the catalyst for me eventually getting my own as well!
Next, here are some poor pictures from my two trips there. I was using a terrible iPhone 4S phone at the time and it apparently was doing some motion picture thing that destroyed some of the pictures. Here’s pictures from the first visit on the 25th. One outside the hall:
And then the rest from inside the hall:
And the second visit on the 30th. I believe this was part of the restricted area with greenery on the top level: Somehow there were flowerpots.
And the player booths inside the game hall:
I’m pretty sure the girl with dyed hair and checkered shirt in the last pic was Jenny. I remember really liking her cool style.
Finally, here are the two tickets I ended up with once I went to the venue. First ticket front:
First ticket back:
Second ticket front:
Second ticket back:
Last Year’s Entry #39
My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #044. This was published on Mar 13 2022.
It’s not an award-worthy essay or anything, but I’d like to post that essay from last year in the Writing section of my blog because it turned out to be pretty fun to write. It’s been a year so that’s probably fine, right.
I don’t think studying at NUS is ever in the cards anymore, it’s not impossible but the path to it is both quite narrow and expensive. Having actually visited there and gotten a lot of the nostalgia out of the system though, that’s perfectly fine with me. As long as I can still visit the place now and then.
That plugin that I’ve been using for hovering text has been working out great, I love it, although I wish it had more features, like a way to exclude certain uses of a word based on the words on either side of it. Like not highlighting John if it’s followed by, say, Lennon. It’s not smart enough for that and I’m not involved or experienced enough to code my own plugin, I just know it’s possible pseudo-code wise.
I still haven’t updated that anime group watch page, and possibly never will. I’m putting this here so I can frown at myself some more next year.
I had forgotten about that Arrowmancer OST. That was so good. Still not available for purchase+download though, it seems.
That Song of the Week #19 song is on one of the CDs I bought that arrived this week! It’s the black one on the bottom row, to the left of the yellow CD.
Mar 07 2023
- I was playing a 2.5D viewpoint game in a tile grid world that looked like it was built with blocks that were halfway between Minecraft and Lego bricks in origin. There were several of us players on the same map and we were recruiting characters to arrive in an outdoor place with a pavilion-like area in order to defend it against various zombies and other things, and eventually one could also recruit or convert some of the zombies in pairs to help defend the area, although they weren’t officially characters and could not be controlled. The game was similar to co-op, although it didn’t really feel like we were working together, more like we all just happened to have the same temporary goal in a larger context with different end goals.
- We could recruit multiple characters over time to the group, though we could only control one at a time. I’m not sure how recruiting was done but it didn’t involve a minigame or involved the characters actually reaching out to those potential recruits or anything like that, the dream just went to the character’s backstory or introduction and then suddenly they were recruited.
- One of the characters that was recruited was a music-themed character who was in his own dream, when suddenly the black outer wall of his dream world was shattered and “I” reached in from the outside in an omnipotent sort of way to get him. His theme song was apparently “I am… I said” by Neil Diamond, as that song played as background music as he appeared on the field.
- Another one was a computer scientist without a name — his character info wasn’t prepopulated in the game because he wasn’t on a database. Apparently I could leave his name blank though so I did so, and I noticed that his character sheet was totally blank as well. I had to answer Yes to a character generation question that asked if he was male, but that was it.
- The characters were 4 feet high in “reality”, but in the game they were represented by figures that were only 1 foot high. For the scientist character, I lifted up the connected tiles that made up the pavilion floor like I was lifting up a floor rug from the floor, and pulled out a life-sized black Sony Walkman from underneath before putting down the floor/rug again. I then gave him the Sony Walkman, which was as tall as he was, and whose width was about 2 feet long, and length around 3 feet long.
- I realized that the developers of the game probably asked Sony for permission to include the Walkman as an item in the game, and Sony had agreed on the condition that the Walkman be left exactly as it is and not altered in any way. To spite them a little for the silly request, the devs had carried this out to the letter by not even shrinking it to an appropriate size for the dream world. I laughed in my dream at this and seemed to half wake up.
- Yet another character was a hockey player on a team, and like the last character he was missing some information too. Specifically, he had no jersey number on the back of his shirt. The ref guessed that it was supposed to be a 3 though, as it was the first unused number on his team, and it turns out that he was correct. I did see though that the team had a set of triplets on it and they were all wearing the jersey number 4, and I laughed at that again — this time I woke up from my dream from that laugh.
Mar 08 2023
- This dream vaguely took place in two locations, an apartment on the bottom floor of a two-storey building where I lived with Mom, and a school of some kind where we could use magic that slowly accummulated in a book that we carried, once enough magic accummulated for whatever spell I wanted to cast needed to consume.
- Regarding home scenes, at one point, I was bringing someone home to see Mom and the person wanted me to lie to her about something before we entered the door. Also, on the way back from home at another point, we passed by some shops where a 61 year old shopkeeper had recently passed away, and this made other shopkeepers think about their mortality. A news report or someone said that at least he was past the life expectancy of 60 and so was super old anyway, and this made a nearby 51 year old woman shopkeeper bristle.
- Regarding school scenes, I remember Yiwen being there but at some point switching to the other class between years/semesters, whereas most of the people in both classes stayed in the same place. I wondered if she would be lonely. Also there was a library that I went to at some point, and some magic spells or schools that were named after animal types, like a male bull.
Mar 09 2023
- This dream started in the school library of a school I had just rejoined after my transition. Although class was in session, I was playing hooky and was studying by myself in the library instead of going to class because I was only wearing a school blouse and bloomers (PE shorts), and the blouse was a little sheer, as though slightly damp, so my perky nipples were somewhat visible through it.
- At lunch, I decided to go to class anyway, and snuck my way there about 5 minutes after the lunch bell so that I could meet as few people as possible. I saw Eileen outside the classroom and asked her about the homework and study material from that morning so far. She didn’t comment on my clothing or tardiness, and showed me what we needed to study in her textbook. I thanked her, and mentioned that I could have just self-studied the textbook up to where we were supposed to be but wasn’t sure if I would have been missing anything that way.
- I did note that the desks had been arranged into four groups of four, and I asked why. She said it was due to some group work in the period before lunch that I had missed out on. I went over to my seat, which was in the front left cluster of tables, and consisted of at least Zixiang and Yaoxiang, though neither of them were there at the moment. No one else was in class either.
- I sat there awhile and did a bit of homework, then I fiddled with a class laptop that everyone in class had been assigned one of. This laptop was about the size of a desktop keyboard or a handheld Steam Deck, and was all white. Basically a screen in the middle surrounded by buttons. Where the Left Alt key would be on a keyboard was a little light bulb sunk into the material, making the top of the bulb a bit lower than the actual surface of the laptop itself, so that it would not get in the way when the device was closed or stored.
- When I turned on the laptop, this light turned on and shone brightly as well, and the beam of light emanating up from it projected the contents of my laptop screen onto the ceiling above my head. In this way, presentations could be made directly from the laptop for others to see. However, I didn’t need that feature, so I turned off the light using a loose switch below the rim of the device near the light that could be flicked left and right to turn the light off and on respectively. The alcove that housed the light also had a roller flap or cover that could be slid up over it to completely obscure the light bulb within, and I did that. This cover reminded me of a store in a market with metal shutters that could be pulled down over the storefront when it was closed.
- I sat around for a bit but no one else came back. I then recalled that while I had permission to be in school with this outfit from the principal, I really should have just picked up a new skirt anyway, and maybe a second blouse, from the school bookshop. I wanted to do this now, so I left the classroom. Both the library and my classroom were rooms off of a circular corridor that represented the second floor of this school, with the library at about where the hour hand would be at the 9:00 mark and the classroom at about 5:00. This bookshop was located at about 12:00. So I left the classroom and headed in an anticlockwise direction along the circular corridor.
- When I got near the bookshop, I heard the female principal and our class’s form teacher walking by, so I ducked into a toilet that was located at around 1:00 on the circle. This was as I heard the two of them talking about me. The principal said that I was a new student in class, didn’t have my full uniform yet, but was given permission to come to class anyway, and so on. The principal said that it was probably better if they called me Rachel instead of Jessica because the teacher’s name was also already called Jessica and she wanted to lessen any potential confusion.
- Editor: Never mind that if this was based on my Dunman classes, which these dreams usually are, then there should have already been another Rachel present as well…
- The principal thanked the teacher for always helping her with her period cramps, which apparently often happened after 4:15 or 4:30 pm in the afternoon or so. But they started happening right as they were talking, and the female principal doubled over in pain in the corridor with our form teacher comforting her.
- Eventually, I went back to class and steeped a bag of tea in a cup. I had acquired that tea bag from a box of tea bags that was in the class, but I noted that I didn’t need and couldn’t even use half of what was in the box anyway because they were for the morning classes that I had missed.
- Snippet: At some interlude point somewhere in a dream, I was watching, from a very close vantage point, a League of Legends fight over some objective in the jungle. The match was being played by four teams at once, and three players from the team that had a gold lead at that point were roaming the jungle together, when they found a group of four players from the second placed team, Wolves, killing some random monster.
- The trio launched a surprise attack on the Wolves group and tried to unload all their skills on them while they had positional advantage, but the player they were focusing their attacks on was a marauder class character and he flashed/teleported away to break their targetting on him after taking the brunt of the initial attacks. He didn’t go down, however, and in fact still had more than half his health. From there, the Wolves group turned the tables and annihilated the trio that had attacked them, killing two of them while the third one ran away to the east and hid amongst some tall grass as he recalled/teleported home to wait for his comrades.
- The Wolves team didn’t lose a single person, and the colour commentator said that the marauder was indomitable, saying it as though he had gotten an achievement called Indomitable, and the reason he had survived was that he had specialized into a build that gave him nine different temporary shields that would blunt the first nine attacks thrown onto him by 100 damage each, and they had all been up when he was attacked. So the attacking team had chosen their target poorly.
Mar 10 2023
- The last part of my dream involved me waiting for a bus, bus number 20, at a bus interchange platform in a city. The driver of the 20 bus that came did not stop, however, even though he saw me looking at him and waving my hand at the part of the bus interchange island that he was supposed to stop at. Instead, he drove on to the next bus stop, about 30 seconds down the road from the bus interchange, which was a large bus stop and also had many people trying to board that bus.
- He stopped there, and waited for everyone to board, while I was trying to briskly jog my way from the bus interchange to that bus stop with my bags in order to board that bus. But when I was about three bus lengths behind the bus still, everyone finished boarding, and he closed the doors and drove off even though I was again trying to wave at the bus.
- I half panted and complained to myself about the situation in a high-pitched voice, and some obese guy standing off to the side that had watched the entire charade imitated me in a high-pitched voice, almost in a mocking way. Instead of getting angry, I burst out laughing at this and said that that was exactly how I felt at the moment too — the man also laughed at this and nodded and wished me good luck.
- With a long wait for the next bus number 20 anyway, I continued walking down the road toward the next stop, and ended up where the road ended at a T-intersection where I could see a parked double-length bus 9 across the road, and the driver walking back toward the bus from the left. I thought that that bus could perhaps get me near where I wanted to go too, and I crossed the otherwise empty main road to get to the door of the bus, where I met the driver.
- He asked where I was going, I said that I was going to NAIT but the bus 20 had drove past without stopping for me. He said that he didn’t go there, but would give me instructions to get there using another bus. He told me to go back the way I came until I reached the double musical notes, and when I questioned what he meant by that, I found out that he was talking about a road whose name was called ネネ, or at least that would be the road sign that would be demarcating the road. I pulled out my phone on the map and found it not far away, stretching west (in the direction where his #9 bus was facing) from further back along the road I came from, and he pointed to that street on my phone and then traced the curve of the road as it went west then south. There, he said, would be another bus that would take me to the school I was trying to get to. I thanked him and set off.
Mar 12 2023
- As part of some event that had to do with an army camp of some sort, a group of people I was with had an obstacle course to navigate through. It felt like I was more of an observer than a participant, and I apparently chose to accompany Brad on his attempt through it. He was carrying a handheld camera and chose to record the entire obstacle course for posterity, which was fine until we reached a part where he had to cross a river.
- The obstacle course presented him two parallel thin wires stretching across the river — one hovering just above the water for his feet to inch along on, and made out of barbed wire with knots in the wire that he had to step over, and one hovering about five feet above that, which was meant for his hands to grab and hold onto for balance, and to pull himself along with, since both wires were not tied particularly tautly and were swaying and sagging. The barbed wire tightrope even dipped into the river due to that, making it slippery.
- Anyway there was no way he could do that bit and still hold on to a camera, so he put his backpack and the camera down just before the river, and pulled out a roll of masking tape from the former. He took off his helmet and then proceeded to tape the camera to it with several loops of tape, before packing everything up again and putting his helmet back on. He then crossed the river, and recorded his struggles with it, that way.
- We also discovered at one point that the army staff was throwing random events into the obstacle course to keep things interesting. One was that at one point, one of the items in everyone’s backpack, a how-to guide, had its front page remotely torn off and turned into a piece of leather that could be used in one of the challenges. Some people had found an alternate way around the challenge already though, and they were annoyed because now their book was damaged and they had to carry the piece of leather all the way to the end.
- Another was that not everyone faced the same course — at some sections participants had to pick between two cards, and their next challenge would be generated depending on which card they picked. Later on, I was talking with Kynji and Trin and someone else on Discord about their experiences, and I mentioned that Brad had recorded us going through the river tightrope portion and that that was the best or funniest part of the course. Kynji seemed to understand what I meant, whereas Trin and the other person were completely confused as they did not encounter that segment.
- Trin asked if the recording was available on Twitch or Youtube, and I said that Brad was not on those platforms yet but planned to be within a month or so and would likely upload the video at that point. Trin asked to be kept informed as to when he did so so that she could watch that clip.
- In another dream, Trin and a tall guy from work were kidnapped by two people from an opposite faction in a jeep, who put them in the back of the jeep and started driving them back toward the enemy base. There was kind of a game element to it, where my two allies actually had an escape condition and did manage to fulfil it on the way back, and ended up taking the two people hostage themselves, turning the jeep around, and driving it toward our base. But then they lost control again on the way back as the two enemies also fulfilled an escape condition that they had, involving getting their hands on some weapons, so they overthrew Trin and the tall guy and took control back yet again.
- This time, they drove all the way back to the base, and I lost sight of them for some time. However, a girl on my team also saw them being taken, and realized that to help them with their new escape condition, our side needed to time a raid on the enemy base for when they were taken into custody there to cause some chaos. So she went off to arrange that with some friends.
- In the meantime, I went to work, and ended up on a train parked at the underground University LRT station together with Ronnie and a few other people who worked with us. I was describing what happened to Trin and the other person to the group of people I was with, since the tall guy was a teammate as well, and Ronnie said that he could open diplomatic lines and demand their return by threatening an invasion if they were not returned promptly, as it was affecting work.
- I left the train while the rest of them were talking, and went around the side of a wall to where the elevator was. To my surprise, I bumped into the tall guy there — apparently he had either escaped or been freed and had just made his way back here to work too. I told him that Ronnie and several friends were on the train and to hurry to the train to stop it before it took off, which he did, and I then hurried back to the train behind him as well to witness their joyous reunion.
- He then said that Trin should be nearby as well, so I left the train again and went to the elevator. I got onto the spacious elevator with one other person, and the elevator had several different sets of exit doors and buttons — it was a 3-level elevator that could take us to the surface, but it had a separate set of buttons that also led to a special washroom and smoking area, with its own set of doors. Anyway we rode the train up to the surface level, and when the doors opened, I found Trin there too.