My Diary #094

Dear Tigey,

It’s been two years since we started blogging. We’ve all grown older by two years! Where has all that time gone? More precisely, where have all my Saturdays gone?

Entry #094 (Apr 23 2023)

School

I wrote up and submitted both my Risk Management documents this week, for my Kyoto and Tokyo study abroad trips, it was nice working on them at the same time because I could copy many of the answers that I had written up for one of them and paste it into the other.

My Ritsumeikan acceptance letter arrived this week, and I uploaded that to the student exchange portal. I’ll also upload partially redacted copies here:

There were a number of miscellaneous things to do on the Ritsumeikan side as well, like show them my ticket itinerary, proof of insurance, and fill in a yukata survey form. That survey form looked like this:

Very cool that we’re going to get a yukata to keep. And that they let us choose the style and colour, and that it’s not gender-locked.

Talking about the trip itinerary, I have mine booked now, and I will be flying to Japan on Saturday, May 06, and returning on Wednesday, June 14. So Diary #095 next week will be a regular one, but Diary #096 after that will probably be truncated and barebones. There’ll probably be the usual pre-departure post too that leads into a travel diary blog series, and I hope to do one post per day on this trip too but I might not be able to. Either way though, this will allow me to test and see if I can streamline my blog posting style to be able to do a daily short post while I am in Japan, or if I will be relegated to a couple of posts a week. And then I will bring this style with me when I (hopefully, still not confirmed) go to Sophia University in the fall.

My plane ticket (plus return trip) cost me over $1600 after taxes, but I reduced this cost by using the $500 voucher from Air Canada from the debacle of a trip I had with them last year, and after redeeming my Scene+ points as well from grocery shopping and stuff, it came out to just under $1000. For economy tickets, of course, but that’s all I probably need.

I had a hold put on my University student/staff account this week by the University Health Clinic because they thought I didn’t pay for getting my forms filled in back in March, the ones that I mentioned going to pick up the week after this post. But I did, and I still had the receipt, so they found my payment after I called in and sent the issue to their billing department to remove the account hold.

I also sent an email to UAI wondering why they hadn’t made any effort to connect the students from UAlberta that were attending Ritsumeikan/RSJP this year, with each other, yet. It’s very weird. Why *wouldn’t* you let the students know who else from the school is going on the program? More UAI disorganization and chaos, despite them ratcheting up the fees this year and clamping down on the program.

The final exam for my Classical Japanese class is on Monday, and then I will be done with it! Woohoo. Due to the chaos of work over the past week or so, I have not been able to dedicate any studying time for it, and this Saturday is dedicated to blog-writing as all Saturdays are, but hopefully Sunday, and Monday morning, will be enough to help me memorize what I need to for this quiz. I think I more or less know my stuff anyway so hopefully it’s just refreshers and a few conjugation tables that I need to memorize into my short-term memory and find mnemonics for.

Work

Never mind what I said about work being crazy the last couple weeks, THIS week was the definition of crazy, with our ticket counts ballooning past 500 and 600 (on a team of 5) and things starting to age into 8 or 9 days old. Somehow though, after some rolling up of sleeves and template emails and the addition or modification of a couple of the workflows in our tools that helped us, we managed to clear out most of the queue by Friday evening.

I think everyone did a bit of overtime, but I ended up doing a LOT of OT this past week, and I tallied up how much overtime I had done over the past 3 weeks so far on top of our 8 hour days (technically 7, with a lunch hour, but I don’t take a formal lunch hour break anyway, lunch is just mixed in whenever I feel like it):

Monday Apr 03: 2h
Tuesday Apr 04: 3h
Wednesday Apr 05: 3h
Thursday Apr 06: 8h
Friday Apr 07 (holiday): 7h

Wednesday Apr 12: 4.5h
Thursday Apr 13: 8h
Friday Apr 14: 8h

Sunday Apr 16: 6h
Monday Apr 17: 5.5h
Tuesday Apr 18: 6.25h
Wednesday Apr 19: 5.5h
Thursday Apr 20: 6.5h
Friday Apr 21: 3h

I banked nearly all of the time as vacation hours at the following rate: The first 2h of every day is banked at 1.5x time, and the rest of it is banked at 2x time, with the exception of Apr 07, which was banked as 1x normal time but which had added perks on top of it (I essentially got paid double time for working on a holiday on top of claiming 7h toward vacation time, or something like that).

There were also meal breaks thrown in, with OT on workdays giving an additional 30m of paid break time and $7 in paid break allowance upon hitting the 2.25 hour threshold of OT work, and every complete block of 4 hours thereafter. On weekends and holidays the paid break time and allowance came in at the 4.25 hour threshold, and every complete block of 4 hours thereafter. Yes it’s weird. Apparently it’s possibly for the two timers to somehow be out of sync in some situations too, so you can either get the meal break but not the allowance, or vice versa, but I’m not sure how. I’ve just read about it.

Anyway, that was too confusing for me so I just entered the meal breaks as straight money in my timesheet, but I banked the OT as vacation time, since even if I get that paid out eventually once I leave, it would be the same thing as if I took OT pay now, just spread out across a later and likelier lower paycheck so I’m not getting taxed as much on it. My math might be wrong (mostly because my understanding of how banking OT time works might be wrong) but I think I basically earned a bit over 130h of extra vacation time this month.

My previous vacation balance was 148h or so, which would have been just short to cover 5 weeks in Kyoto (5 days x 7 hours a day x 5 weeks = 175h, -7 for the Victoria Day long weekend in May), though I’d get another 11 hours when May 1st rolled around and another 11 when June 1st rolled around, which I think would have *barely* covered it if I had worked the day before the first day of class and started working again the day after the last class ended (170h of vacation vs 168h of days off). This way is much better though, now that I’ve nearly doubled my vacation bank time, i can take my time and add a couple days of vacation on either side so I’m not working in the airport and such trying to make times meet.

Anyway, while I thought my closed ticket count last month was high (644), I already smashed that record and am sitting at 926 this month with another full week to go. And I think I paid proper attention to most of them too, and gave a semi-customized answer to a good number of them even though I was leaning on a template email that I wrote to do most of the work. (Our tickets were roughly split into two main issues or categories, and one issue with half the tickets didn’t require an email to be sent out, while for the other half I used the template email indicating that we wouldn’t accept direct replies to that email, so all that helped cut down on the time spent too, though there were always exceptions for the weirder edge cases).

But seriously, spending more than 12h a day processing and closing the same sort of ticket was.. not really as exhausting as I thought it would be. And oddly enough, I daresay it was fun. Since I knew that it was just a one-time special thing that I had never seen in my ten years here, and that I was leaving in a couple weeks for Kyoto anyway, and leaving my job entirely in three months anyway, this was a rather special occasion and was honestly quite fun and satisfyingly fulfilling in an unexpected way. Plus the tickets all involved giving people back their stuff, or directing them to go talk to someone else to get back their stuff, rather than taking things away. I was in a good mood through most of this OT.

Life

This week, I ditched that infinite anime that I had been watching while doing my OT for the past two weeks entirely, as I could feel it dragging my soul down a little. I didn’t spend even a minute watching it this week, and cutting free of it was liberating. I spent most of my OT time instead listening to random YouTube videos of ambient music, weaving tales of fantasy worlds with gentle harp and flute noises, aurally visiting grand libraries and magical alchemy shops and rowdy taverns, listening to dreamy and nostalgic Chinese instrumental music wafting through the air next to a pond by a rice paddy field, that sort of thing. Very soothing, and great mood music for piling through a ton of tickets in OT.

I alluded to this late in last week’s diary entry, but chatted to the author of this book (local), and then bought a copy of it, after seeing it linked off of an article (local) while doing the Last Year’s Entry #44 segment last week, which caused me to look back at Memory Snippet of the Week #31 and reminisce about the site that I wrote about there. Long story short, the book features a number of compiled stories from the woman who owned that website, as well as the person I spoke to over email when I contacted the Pedantic Press Books publisher mentioned in that article above, and it seemed like a good way to support that community and honour one of the many threads in my life that have helped make me the way I am. That book is schedule to arrive sometime next week.

I also ordered new glasses, using my prescription from one and a half years ago that still hadn’t expired yet. The reason for this one is partially because my vision benefits through work had renewed itself, and I wanted to use it before I left work and lost access to it, and partially because my current pair of transition lenses, which I got a year and a half ago, are occasionally difficult to see through when the sunlight hits it at certain angles. And this has caused sub-optimal visibility issues when crossing roads and such before. So after a year and a half of trying it out, I want to move away from them. They also look weird in photos.

I scheduled a haircut for next week, as is customary for me before I leave on a trip. With all the craziness that has been the past two weeks, I haven’t filed my taxes yet, nor have I claimed my scanner purchase against this year’s Personal Spending Allowance at work, and there’s some stuff about the lease payment system that my rental company uses now that I have to figure out too, but all that is being noted down and pushed forward until after my final next Monday. It’s very weird to think that I will be in Japan again two weeks from now! There’re still so many things I want to do right now.

On that note, I only alloted myself four extra days or so of time in Japan after my RSJP course ends and before my flight home, because I figure I’ll have plenty more time in that country in a couple months anyway. Right now, amidst all the planning for going abroad (and trying not to buy groceries and other consumables that I won’t be able to finish in four months), I have come to realize that at this particular juncture, extra time back home is more valuable to me than extra time in Japan.

I also managed to lock out my physical credit card this week, because I had not used it for so long that I had forgotten the PIN passcode for it, since it’s also tied to my phone and I just swipe that for everything. I wanted to test it anyway since I knew that Japan was not a phone swipe friendly country — one of the weird tech things that the country is extremely behind the times on — and I tried a couple numbers that I thought was the PIN, but they turned out to be wrong, and after 3 tries the card was locked. I wasn’t sure if it was locked or if it was broken, so I brought it down to my local Scotiabank branch, which was thankfully just outside the mall (it’s weird it isn’t inside the mall, actually, it’s part of a small and pointless row of shops that is separated from the actual mall itself), and they reset the PIN for me and confirmed that it was still working.

I also considered making an order for Japanese yen while I was there, but I remembered that I still had a small bag of leftover yen from my last trip back in November 2022, so I’ll use that instead until I get there and settle in, and then withdraw what I need from a 7-11 ATM once I am there since that seemed to be far cheaper and I’m pretty sure offered better exchange rates as well.

The weather early this week was great, then late in the week it became rather chilly for spring weather (high of 6°C and low of around -2°C), before rebounding on the weekend. Still much better weather than winter though, and I love how much light there is late in the evenings now. Here’s a nice clouds and happy family picture from 6:54 pm on Wednesday this week that I liked:

And one with a forlorn looking dude seated on a bench and pondering the meaning of life, two hours later, at 9:10 pm.

Games

Satinel made a new game and released it this week! It’s called Magic Quarry: Prospecting (local). I know she put in a ton of effort over the past couple months making it, and it’s great to see it come to fruition. It’s an endless match-3 digger, and it’s pretty good, inherent bias aside! Far beyond anything I’ve ever made.

I also turned on my Steam Deck this week, letting it charge and updating some games in preparation for my trip abroad. Or at least the plane trip, which is the segment of the trip that I’d most likely be using the Steam Deck on. I meddled around with actually playing a few games on the Deck while in bed too, something to look forward to after the end of a long day of OT I guess. Rogue: Genesia and Gordian Quest were the beneficiaries of these languid gaming sessions just before bed. For the trip, I’m lining up some roguelites (specifically those two and Monster Train so far) and probably am going to consider doing more Atelier 2 and maybe Persona 4 Golden too. I considered getting Persona 5 Royal on Steam so I could have it on the Deck with me as well, but so far have not bit on that.

Plushie of the Week #92 – Mysterious Dolphin

So, ever have that nondescript uncle that you can creepily see in family photos going back years, but no one ever seems to know who he is?

No? Neither do we, but this plushie comes pretty close. See this 2003 picture lineup that I’ve featured many times:

Not all the plushies in that photo have a name or have been featured. The two deep pink plushies were only out for a brief time and don’t really have names, they were eventually stuffed into a box at the back of the closet along with some other plushies. Same for the big brown bear in the back. But at least we remember them. That dolphin or porpoise in the front left however? It’s a mystery to me and both of my siblings! None of us remember much about him, and I did a double take last week when I noticed him. To add to his legend, I looked in my index of plushies that I had taken pictures of but still had not featured yet, and also did not find him listed there — it was only when I went back into my raw pictures from my visit to the family home for Chinese New Year back on Jan 30 2022 that I finally found a few pictures of him. I had randomly jumped over the pictures that I had taken of him and another unnamed plushie when enumerating my pictures and noting them down for my blog later. How creepy.

In reality though, he most likely came from the same place as Mini Furby from last week — that is to say, from Dad‘s laundry shop. I’m fairly certain he was not a Singapore plushie. Though a few weeks ago I would have happily agreed that he was never an Edmonton 4012 plushie either, let alone one of our earlier ones. The picture above proves otherwise though.

Front/Side:

Front/Other Side:

Back:

Underside:

Tag front:

Tag back:

Song of the Week #69

Title: How Deep Is Your Love
Artist: Bee Gees
Album: Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Besides Lemon Tree and Se a vida é (That’s the Way Life Is), another song that was an unofficial anthem for our two Dunman High GEP classs of 1997-1998 (when I was there)  was this old track by the Bee Gees. While those two songs came out in 1996, however, this one came out in 1977, seven years before any of us were even born. Still, thanks to local oldies stations, everyone knew the song anyway, and somehow this one rose over all the other old songs to become one that was beloved by quite a few people in class for some reason or other. I think someone really liked it and started propagating it everywhere. I blame Zixiang.

At any rate, similar to the scans in the latter link above, it was so popular that we wrote parody songs about it for class presentations and stuff too. We definitely did the same for Lemon Tree too but I haven’t yet found surviving copies of any of those songs. I do, however, have a scan for a parody version of this song that was obviously written for some sort of History play or project, and I have attached it in all its terrible glory below.

Complete with a nice little Microsoft Word clipart or whatever that thing is! Those were the days. This song strongly reminds me of my Dunman friends and my 1997-1998 school life, and of Zixiang in particular, which is why I blamed him for the proliferation of the song through our class above, rightly or wrongly. Oddly enough though, this is not my favourite Bee Gees song, that honour goes to another song which I have yet to feature. I’m not sure it’s even my second or third favourite song by them. It is the one that elicits the most nostalgic memories by far though. And their vocals are all so silky smooth and go so well together!

Writing Prompt of the Week #12

This week’s writing prompt reads:

Tell about the first time you kept a secret. Was the secret your own, or someone else’s? Did it ever come out? It’s time to tell all.

Oh, this is an easy one. I don’t think I’ve told this story yet, my apologies if I have. It doesn’t come up in any keywords I’m using for searches on my blog anyway.

Back in Yishun 799, when Jon hadn’t been born yet and it was only Kel and me, there was an incident where for some reason or other, I ended up hiding something, I believe it was the TV remote control, under the seat cushion of the couch. For some reason, Mom and Dad were mad at this, and were trying to find out who did it, me or Kel, who was five years my junior. And still is, but that’s not the point. We stayed in Yishun 799 until sometime around 1991-1993, so she would have been 3-5 years old around then.

Anyway, I knew I was the one who had put it under there, but I was not the nearest person to the table when they “discovered” whatever this crime was, so my parents were angry and were targetting Kel with their scoldings, as she happened to be nearer. She was in tears as they scolded her. Kel was vehemently denying the crime, and I was near enough that Mom asked me straight up if I was the one that did it too, and then if I was lying, and I shook my head. No way I was going to get in the way when they were that angry. Later I was sure to treat my little sister very nicely for some time. I never did tell any of them about that secret, though.

That incident left a big impression on me from the guilt that I picked up on it. I have lied since, as has everyone, but I try to make sure others aren’t hurt by it if possible.

This isn’t a significant enough memory to put in its own section, but this also reminds me that we had a Lego set with a couple of “skipping rope” pieces, that consisted of two little domed pieces connected to each other by a short cord stretching between the two apexes of the domes. While playing around, one of these skipping rope Lego pieces was tossed up in the air at some point and ended up on top of the cover for a ceiling light in the living room. I don’t think Dad ever recovered that piece for us, and I believe we left Yishun 799 for Yishun 723 without ever getting that piece back. Sad.

Memory Snippet of the Week #76

When I was a wee kid in Singapore, one of the weird things I set out to do at one point was to try to collect enough lone, discarded playing cards/poker cards off of the ground to form a full 52-strong deck of misfit cards. Ace to King of each of the four suits. The rule was that they had to be relatively clean, and in good condition, but they did not have to have the same backs, and in fact it was more fun when I found poker cards with weird card backs.

I never did complete the set, and I’m not actually sure if I still have the cards anywhere around the house. I have been thinking of them recently and did try looking for them, but didn’t find them. There are lots of little and big boxes that they could still be hiding in, though.

I do remember that the cards were anchored by a set of Heart and Diamond suit royal cards, Jacks (maybe 10s) to Aces, that came with a Reader’s Digest issue or something and that I liked, and didn’t want to throw away. I formed this little game around those cards, since I remembered occasionally seeing playing cards randomly lying in the middle of the void deck beneath a HDB flat, or at the side of the road, or left on a table in the school canteen, or something like that.

Although I never completed the set, this game spanned years of my life, and my eyes were often cast downwards as I walked around, looking for loose coins as well as loose poker cards. I did, on one or two occasions, find a whole or near-whole set of cards strewn in my path and abandoned by some stranger, but I did not count those and never retrieved those. According to my self-enforced rules, the cards had to basically have been orphaned from the deck they came from, and I could not collect them if they were in a set of five or more cards or something like that.

Singapore was such a rainy country that the lifespan of a discarded card left out in the open, even under shelter, was not ever really very long, and it would rather quickly meet a grisly end at the hands of some water if not first cleaned up by the garbagemen. Still, I did end up with a fair amount of cards and lots of duplicates in the end, some in better condition than others. If I decided a card wasn’t worth keeping in the end, I would just toss it, but if I had two or more copies of a card and they were all in perfect condition, I would just keep them anyway.

I more or less stopped playing this game after we moved, largely for three reasons. The first is that Canada is a much, much dirtier country than Singapore, in terms of general filth and litter on the ground in public places, which dissuaded me from picking things up from the ground and bringing them home to towel them down like I could do back home. Secondly, the snow and mud on the ground everywhere during basically half the year made the pickings really, really slim. And lastly, Edmonton is not a walkable city in the least compared to Singapore. Part of the mystique of finding playing cards lying on the ground to me was knowing that that card was part of someone else’s life, and perhaps they had been playing a card game with a friend at the table of a void deck below a building where they were all leisurely hanging out and shooting the breeze or something like that.

That sort of facility and walkability doesn’t exist in Edmonton, and likely most of North America, as everything is deemed to be private property and gated off, and public void decks beneath buildings just don’t exist. There are barely any outdoor gathering spots where friends could go to and sit down at for hours to play a game of cards in public or anything like that. And if there were such places, they were likely also either overrun with garbage or the homeless community seeking shelter.

So, at some point after moving to Canada, I stopped playing this game. But occasionally, I still stumble upon a torn card lying forlornly by the side of a wall or something, and my heart leaps as this game that I used to play comes to mind again. I haven’t picked up a card in ages, though. And especially not with COVID-19 being a thing now.

I hope to find this misfit deck of cards somewhere though, if it still is somewhere in my possession, and if I someday do find it, I will take pictures of the cards and post it here for posterity. And who knows? Maybe I’ll complete the set some day.

Apr 29 2023 Edit: Here’s some examples of cards that I dug up from a box somewhere. Not even close to my complete set, just a subset that never got merged in I guess.

Last Year’s Entry #45

My corresponding diary entry from last year is My Diary #050. This was published on Apr 24 2022. I also looked at My Diary #001, published on Apr 25 2021.

Coincidentally, I also picked up two loaves of sliced white bread this week, since I plan to make curry this upcoming week as well. How cyclical life is. My New Year’s Resolution to eat at least one bread product every 7 days is still going strong.

Since I’ve now hit the two year mark and have lapped the Last Year’s Entry segment, it’s also neat going back two years to my first post and seeing that there still are a whole bunch of things to fix, because my criteria for what needed fixing one year ago is different from the criteria now I use to fix articles. Argh. But on the bright side, that LNX x Hawkers show I mentioned only had one episode last year now has 8 episodes! I need to watch it sometime.

I had to replace one of the YouTube links in My Diary #001 because it was broken. Thankfully, I was able to find the name of the video via archive.org, and when I did a search for the title it pulled up the identical video uploaded by other users. I’ve now locally archived this video (and many other ones) too. That was a close one.

I also took the chance to watch the Great Singapore Workout video linked in My Diary #050 again. Wow, that was an incredibly nostalgic trip. Again. My childhood. Singapore’s attempt at getting the country to adopt morning radio calisthenics or something, except it was once a year, and was video, not radio.

Dreams

Weirdly, I thought last week’s dearth of dreams was due to how much OT I was doing, but I had a great dream streak this week, and they were so much fun that I was looking forward to bed each night in order to see what brilliance (or stupidity) my subconscious could conjure up that night. It’s really fun to dream and journal when I get into memory streaks like this! I even got inspired by this and added a couple more months of back content onto my Dream Diary page.

I suspect this was due to me playing videos with ambient music or noises on my computer speakers and letting it run overnight, as “background music” for my dreams, particularly this video, which I think I used for 3 nights. But other ambient videos not particularly promoted as being a dream aid were also played, and my suspicion is that the music might have kept me a little closer to consciousness, where I could remember my dreams better (and in theory where I need to be for lucid dreaming attempts), whereas silence would sink me into a deeper sleep where I’d have more of a chance to not remember my dreams. It’s just a theory, though, but a nice 7/7 week of long dream diary entries did come out of it either way, coincidence or otherwise.

Also, regarding my April 18 2023 dream that mirrored a dream location that I had on October 13 2022, I wanted to point out the absurdity of this happening two weeks before my Kyoto trip, when that referenced dream happened one week before my Tokyo trip.

Also, Nyari featured twice again this week! So rare for someone that barely ever shows up in my dreams.

Apr 17 2023
  • My dream involved a water temple set in the middle of a large garden. A dirt path stretched due north from the temple, and at two points along that path, perpendicular dirt paths ran east and west from it, creating 4-way junctions. There was a square-shaped blue pond centered around both of those junctions, so that the dirt crossroad formed a bridge leading across the surface of the pond and divided the pond into four equal parts, to the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast.
  • I had seen all this in a virtual walkthrough of the area that I had done with some friends the day before. There was also a jigsaw puzzle that we did based on it. Inside the water temple, there were two shops on the right side of the building, a bookstore and some sort of food and grocery market.
  • I wanted to visit the temple the next day but I was unable to do so because of some Chinese worksheets or something that I had to do. There were three of them. I slammed them against the table in frustration at one point as that should not have been something that prevented me from going, but whoever the authority figure was at the place we were at was being inflexible.
  • Mom went and had a camera feed on her though, and the camera feed of the place was shown at the Great Hall during dinner time. Nyari was also headed to the water temple, and he had worked on the puzzle with me the previous day so I chatted to him as he made his way west from a train station near the water temple toward the garden. The temple was not listed on Google Maps, but I pointed out that he could figure out its position just from looking at the crossroads and ponds and going south from them. He found the temple that way soon enough.
  • During that dinner time in the Great Hall, I also had some unfamiliar plushies with me, and I noticed a metal cart near my table that I realized I could wipe down with a cloth and use as a pushcart for my plushies. It was shaped like an air attendant drink cart, had a little rim going around the sides of the top part so the drinks (or plushies) seated on top wouldn’t fall off.
  • Kel was also there and announced that she was going to try moving out of the parents’ place and living on her own, and I offered to give her one of my plushies.
  • The plushies were magical as well, and although they couldn’t communicate as they lacked mouths, I could watch their body language to figure out what was happening at times. At one point, several of the plushies, who were all lined up on the edge of the table with dishes in front of them too, looked over at a yellow lizard plushie who was agitated and shivering as we watched the camera feed, and this was because either Mom or Nyari was walking through the entrance to the temple doors, which was causing some golden coins that were floating over little ponds just outside the water temple to explode as they were “collected” by virtue of being near the visitor. The lizard was reacting to this, as he was set up to detect when things exploded nearby. The other plushies went into high alert until we all figured out what was happening and they all calmed down.
  • Later on, there was an ice hockey game that Kel and I were watching the very end of on TV. The Oilers were about to win 6-5 against Vancouver in a shootout, and Kel expressed surprise as this, as we were down 2-1 earlier in the game when we both briefly watched it as well. I said that I had also turned on the TV earlier in the middle of the game and we were up 4-2 at that point.
  • I had also watched an event in a soccer stadium that involved both teams lining up before the start of the game, and the announcers then parading several players out from around the league and announcing that those players had now moved to or been signed by this or that club. There were eight or ten players in all, and the crowd booed most of them, however they cheered on one of the Brazilian players who was announced in this fashion because he was apparently very popular with local fans, even though he was a foreigner to them.
  • There was also a side story where I was trying to convince someone to open a store in that water temple. Specifically, I pointed out that the food store in the temple had five stalls that made High Quality ingredients (the ingredient names had a squiggle next to them like in FFXIV to denote that they were High Quality) that could all be used in pizzas, so she could have a very successful venture if she opened a pizza shop in the temple itself, as they were just basically exporting the ingredients at this point.
  • Finally, at one point I was also taking a train somewhere, and waited on a platform until the train arrived. I took the second last carriage and sat down in the corner of one of the long, side-facing seats that faced the seats on the opposite side. A Black couple that was previously standing up and chatting to each other near one of the doors also came over and sat down next to me, and I looked at them curiously as I listened in to their conversation. Don’t remember any of it now though.
Apr 18 2023
  • It was the day before the finals for my Classical Japanese class, and I still needed to study and refresh up on it, so I apparently took my little notebook that I had prepared for the class with me to bed, hoping to try to at least learn/refresh on my conjugations as I was falling asleep.
  • Later on, I was in a park when I came across a mother and her teenage daughter. The daughter looked a bit distressed and the mom was obviously looking for a public toilet, so I pulled out a map and helped point them around the area. To the west of me was a park that I said had toilets, and they asked if they were sheltered and covered toilets or not, and I said yes. There was also a little park/playground area to the southeast of us and they asked if there was anything there, and I said no, it was just a tiny strip of land. They asked the same about a cluster of buildings to the southwest of us, and I said that there was likely one there too, as that was a hawker center and food court area. Finally, I said that there was a good set of public toilets in a park way to the north along a vertical road on the map if the mother wanted to drive north from where we were, and I knew this because I lived with some friends near that park. They ended up thanking me, and heading for the first park that I had pointed out.
  • This whole map scene was really familiar — the layout was exactly the same as the city area from my Oct 13 2022 dream, and both the park, the little paved area to the southeast, and the hawker center were landmarks in that dream too, although the details were a little different. In place of the bus terminal to the south of the hawker center was a specific train station layout that was also from an earlier dream, though I’m not sure I can pinpoint which one. It was to this train station that I headed to next.
  • This dream was canonically located in Kyoto, and the train I was going to catch was headed toward Tokyo. I went into the main platform of the train station and past a jacket lying unattended on a square marble block that was meant to be used as a seat — there was a game-like glowing red outline of a gun on the jacket and I knew that this meant someone had hidden a pistol underneath that jacket. There were a few other passengers nearby but no sign that the jacket and gun belonged to any of them. I considered reporting it to the authorities but had no idea what number to call, so I ignored it too and walked down to the far side of the platform, hoping that if trouble did arise it would not find me.
  • Eventually, the train that I needed to take arrived, but it didn’t actually stop in front of the tracks on our platform. It instead came in on the set of tracks next to the tracks by the platform I was facing, and opened its doors on the platform across from us. I and several other travellers hurried toward an overhead bridge that would take us from this platform to the other one, and I ran ahead of them as I had no luggage to carry along with me, but the doors still closed just as I reached the bottom of the overhead bridge, and the train left from there.
  • However, the male Japanese conductor standing nearby told me not to worry and that there was a second train that had just arrived. The wide platform we had just arrived at had a couple of train tracks that jutted into the platform itself and ended there, forming a sort of E shape whose three parallel lines were elongated, with one train track that ran beneath the E, and two train tracks that ended in the two alcoves of the E. The original platform we had arrived on would have been below the E platform altogether, and also ran parallel to the three parallel lines of the E. Anyway, the second train that had just arrived had pulled up in what was the equivalent of bottom alcove of the E, so we all boarded that train instead.
  • Later on, at home, I was playing AMQ cooperatively with someone on a television in a shared room. We had gotten to the 8th or 9th song or so and had a perfect score so far. Shuuka and someone else came in, and one of the two asked if they knew if there was a main AMQ Discord server that people planned games in. The other one of them said there was indeed a public AMQ server, and I agreed with them, but added that I only really played private games so we usually just planned it out from the physical room we were in, which was apparently a private Discord server as well.
Apr 19 2023

Dream 1

  • I was with Kel in a foreign city that we were visiting, we were taking the Singapore-style train system around to sightsee. I was looking for an arcade to visit as I knew that Kel liked them. Specifically I was hoping to find a Whimsy arcade from our childhood again. Looking it up online, I did find that there weren’t many arcades in the city but that there was an indie arcade on the northeast side of the city that was open from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm daily. The premises could hold up to 15 people at a time, and you could make reservations for it by calling in in advance.
  • Anyway, we didn’t pursue that route, as we were stuck in a train station near a card machine set in front of about nine or so arcade machines that were shoved into a long alcove. The arcade machines were not plugged in, and the paint on them was faded (I remember a pink one in particular that looked really old), but the machines still looked clean.
  • Kel was trying to activate a phone card that she bought on a public computer in that general vicinity, and having no luck doing so. We sat on the bench as she kept trying, and it got to the point where I felt a bit frustrated because we were being delayed. Looking over at the screen, I noticed that the stupid public computer kept throwing an error message that had to do with not having enough room to download an application that was needed to activate the phone. I pulled out my laptop from my bag, and Kel did the same with hers, and we ended up activating the card on one of those instead.
  • Snippet: Somewhere in the dream, I was in an orphanage and there was a bomb hidden in the building somewhere. Well it wasn’t quite hidden, I knew that it was in a faded pink bar of soap that was in front of me and had just dropped down to the ground. Apparently it wasn’t a particularly strong bomb, but Vladimir Putin had a password or trigger that could activate it anytime that he wanted to.

Dream 2

  • The overall dream involved some sort of guild competition we were doing. People from Discordia, Dunman, and my workplace were in some Discord server or IRC channel and we were basically one large guild competing against other guilds in an MMO-style game to level up and do quests. Ronnie was happy that we had so many people in irc that chat was scrolling by too quickly.
  • Many of the quests involved driving around to places with others. I had gotten a new minivan just before this specific part of the dream, and after driving it around a while, I really liked it, but I was new to being a driver and didn’t think to fully refill the tank. I ran out of fuel right next to a tall building that was a combination of a shopping center and Dunman High, and tried to reach out to my friends from help. But most of them were off doing group quests.
  • Shelley said that she was driving some guildmates around at the moment and had a limited amount of fuel as well, and only one siphon tube, which I lacked entirely myself. I resolved to buy a fuel siphon tube as soon as possible from a shopping center or hardware store. Ronnie said he would come by to help shortly, and Justin from work said he would race Ronnie. They eventually arrived in the vicinity and basically split off from each other by a junction on the north side of the city block where the school/shopping center was located, one going east and south around the building while the other went west and south, to see which route was faster.
  • In the meantime, I had gone into the building itself, using a set of stairs past a small side door that opened out into the street near where my van was. I had gone up onto the second level of the school and was walking around. I passed Gillian and Paulene in their PE uniforms at one point and waved to them both, they waved back.
  • Someone had commented in chat that it was difficult to go back to our old school without a uniform. I said I had done it twice, once to buy a uniform, when I had visited Singapore, and thus now I had my own skirt and blouse that I was wearing to blend in with the other students.
  • I found my old desk as well, and it was seated out in the hall outside a classroom and had a four word name attached to it. Something similar to “<Proper Noun> of the <Proper Noun>”. Someone had remotely inquired as to when my desk would get restored or reprieved or would be open to the general public or something like that, as they wanted to loot it. I still had a couple of books and my new ice tray in the grilled shelf under the table top, and the idea that someone else wanted to take it annoyed me even though I hadn’t been a student there for over 20 years.
  • Once I heard that Ronnie and Justin were coming to help me out, I knew I needed to go back down to the car to wait for them. I couldn’t find the door and stairs leading down any longer though, so I followed the main passage along with a number of other students, wearing my backpack and clutching a bulging multi-purpose file as I did so. I marvelled that I blended in perfectly well — no one seemed to notice, and many of the students were around my height anyway.
  • We crossed a walkway that gave me strong nostalgic vibes as it reminded me of the 2nd floor walkway between the building where our 2I-2L classrooms were, and the building behind us where the 2A-2H classrooms were, back in my old Dunman High school. This walkway here led over a road junction though, and opened up into a small foyer area where a 75 year old Wayne Gretzky was giving an inspirational speech to a number of people, alongside Mario Lemieux.
  • But I had no time for that, so I descended one of two escalators that were built side by side. I knew one of them led directly down to the underground train station beneath the school, so I took the other one, that went down to the main level of the train station. From there, I walked out onto street level.
  • However, since the walkway had taken us diagonally across a 4-way road junction, I was now diagonally across from the city block where my van was, and I had to cross back over. This involved crossing halfway to a complex island of hedges and trees in the middle of the road, and then waiting with a few other people for the lights to turn so I could continue crossing. A man was draped belly-down over one of the hedges in that island of greenery, he looked like he might have been dead but I was fairly sure that he was just asleep in a very weird position, and no one else paid him any heed.
  • At one point, my guild was collecting stats like weapon and armour values of the gear that we had in a table in whatever chat program we were using. I had one of the best stats in the guild so I didn’t mind missing out on some adventures while my van was out of fuel. My attack stat was a number between 101 and 105, and I had a +30 weapon on top of that.
Apr 20 2023

Dream 1

  • I was following Satinel through some 30 minute anime episode that we were playing as a game, and she defeated a bunch of enemies in a feudal Japan style map and headed into a castle where there was a trench inside and a shopkeeper in the corner of the trench. I was not nearly as good as the game, but I at least deftly followed along without aggroing anything else and joined her at the shopkeeper, where we discussed what to buy. She said she picked up four things — two tapestries that were part of a larger collectible set for wall decoration, and two pieces of gear.
  • Satinel and I watched some scrolling text on a monitor above the shopkeeper, and Satinel indicated that she wanted to pause the show so that she could rewind and note something down from that monitor. So we paused the show and the enemies, scrolled up on that screen, and Satinel somehow used a text command to save a chunk of text on the screen as a bookmark. I figured out how to do it after watching her do so — I selected the text with a cursor, entered in something very similar to X(2)=, and then pasted the text on the other side of the equal sign. This set a bookmark that I could later access based on where I plucked that text from.
  • Fern was also watching the show with us, or rather, she was watching us play the game from her office, and we apologized for the pause and asked if she was ready to continue as well. She had just watched this episode with us on a whim even though this was the 6th episode out of 12 and she hadn’t watched the first five, so I wasn’t sure if she had gotten bored.
  • She replied that her coworkers had come back into the office and were making noises in the cubicles adjacent to hers, so she wasn’t sure how much longer she could watch, and she would try anyway but that we could just continue on if she couldn’t follow along. There was also a mention of using something else to help, possibly a VPN.
  • Snippet: I was with Nyari and a couple other people and it was apparently my birthday, I wasn’t sure if he knew it but just before he left the room, he gave me a little gift which turned out to be a blue bear plushie. I thanked him and I believe I took it to a bathroom stall with me for some reason after that.
  • Snippet: I was at home in my Edmonton 205 apartment and could hear noises from outside that indicated that some homeless person was in the stairwell that led down to the main floor from the right side of the building. I decided to just stay indoors for most of that day to be safe. I also heard a bunch of TV or computer game noises, and when I eventually poked my head out the door to look, my neighbour’s front door was ajar and I could hear two boys playing games in there.

Dream 2
– I visited a two-storey school that apparently was my Vernon Barford junior high school, and this apparently was my second visit in as many nights, although I’m not completely sure if I did visit it last night, another recent night, or if it was made up as part of tonight’s dream. While in the previous dream, I had visited Vernon Barford alone and met Mr Poh there, this time I had brought along Doug for some reason and we were visiting our former school together.
– I brought him up to the second level of the school and we went toward where Mr Poh‘s classroom was last night, except he wasn’t there. There were a handful of students self-studying in class, and a tall boy standing outside that was looking at us. Doug looked at the boy, went past him to peek in the classroom, then turned back to the boy again and looked at him somewhat confusedly as the boy returned him the same look. Eventually he introduced himself as Phoenix, and I learnt that Phoenix and Doug were acquaintances — they had been roommates briefly in University.
– After a while, I saw Mr Poh passing by at the end of a parallel hallway in the distance that was connected to our hallway, where his classroom was, via a perpendicular hallway that connected the two. The three hallways formed an H-shape. I took Doug and we went back down the stairs we came up of, hoping to meet Mr Poh at the bottom of the stairs where he seemed to be headed.
– The three of us did indeed meet up by a Singapore-style school canteen on the first floor of the building, and I let the two of them chat and catch up with each other as they wandered into the canteen area to buy food and chat, since I had already had one on one time with both of them. I took out my camera to take a picture of them, though I ended up taking a picture of an unrelated table of four people (who looked curiously at me), as Doug and Mr Poh had blended off into the dream crowd by then. I believe I did eventually get a picture of the two of them the next time I found them though.
– I was also distracted by a family group, an Indian lady with a hijab that had three or four little kids running along with her. One of them, about half my height, exclaimed to me that I was so tall and there was so much space between my feet. I said that he would one day be big and tall and also have lots of space between his feet. I was also carrying Tigey, and I showed him that Tigey had barely any distance between his feet even if I stretched his legs out.
– Later on, I wandered down to the main lobby of the school and saw a wall dedicated to awards and trophies. I looked it over, wondering if I could see anything from my time there, even though it was only half a year. I did not, but I did see to my surprise a trophy and a letter from someone who had studied in Peiying Primary School, just like me, which was not something I had expected to ever find half the world away. This other person had been born in Malaysia, went to Singapore to study, then came to Canada as well, and he was now a doctor.
– Finally, still clutching on to Tigey, I brought him along to the school washrooms, and paused in front of the male and female washroom doors. I realized this would be the first time I was using the female washrooms in this school. I went in to the female one, where there was a squat toilet on the floor and a square tile pattern on the lower wall. The upper wall had some Japanese bamboo designs, though there was also a note that said that they could be replaced with any other pattern. I got some sudden pangs of nostalgia and wanted to visit McNally, my high school, as well, now that I had visited Vernon Barford and become reacquainted with it again.

Apr 21 2023
  • I remember being part of a group of 4 players or so, venturing out of a house to an area that was similar to the neighbourhood road outside our Edmonton 4012 house. The road stretched east and west, and we went west as a group, killing monsters or enemies as we went. There were also NPCs, for example we found a door-less house with a forge and a blacksmith at some point, and across the road was another blacksmith, this time with two adult men and a young apprentice in it. The young lad was being yelled at by one of the senior blacksmiths, who told him to maintain the forge properly or he wouldn’t get to eat lunch.
  • There were also other safehouses around, one of them was locked by a combination lock and I had secured permission from the owner of the house for our party to use it, but she didn’t give us the combination lock number. I went to the school cafeteria she worked at and overheard a conversation between her and some of her coworkers where she let drop a couple of possible combination lock numbers, including the “first one she ever used”, so the next time our party went out I brought them there to try it. But just as I was going to use the lock, the door itself opened from the inside, and I could see Uncle Robert, Auntie Joanne, and a couple of children preparing to leave the house. I was surprised, but I learnt the correct combination code from them instead as they were also just temporarily borrowing the house from the same lady.
  • Snippet: At one point I remember having to choose some pregenerated things that were represented by stickers on a sheet. I rated most of the stickers 5/5 but I gave one of them 4/5 because the sticker involved a character wearing a top hat that jutted out of the square sticker area and overlapped with another part of the sticker sheet.
  • Snippet: Much earlier on, I also had a separate dream where I was basically King Arthur and had several knights, including Sir Lancelot, who were my sidekicks. My name and the knights names might have been different, but I’m fairly sure Lancelot was there. Anyway, at one point one of them helped secure the dream land or country we were on and was going to be made king, but he passed the honour on to me to become the king or queen instead and I was very proud of that.
Apr 22 2023
  • I was in my Dunman classroom with several team members from work, Johannes and Ronnie and others, when we heard of a department-wide free lunch happening at the soccer grass field downstairs over the lunch hour. The rest of my team went down first, while I dallied a while before making my way down there alone as well.
  • The lunch was apparently organized by Nuno and consisted of a couple tents set up on the edge of the grass field, next to the side fence gate where the path running by the field and the fence that separated the field from the outside of the school intersected.
  • There were speakers blaring out some sort of noise, which I would later see was from a television that absolutely no one was watching, which was broadcasting the second movie from a trilogy of shark movies. There was a sign next to it that said that there were no spoilers so it was okay to watch them out of order.
  • There were only about 10-12 people here at this picnic, and the food was spread over two large tables. I didn’t want to make small talk with the people I saw at the more crowded table, so I sat at the other table. The food at the table I ended up on consisted of several large plates of fries, as well as several burgers. I dug into both of them, although mayonnaise dripped out of the burger and onto my shirt at some point. I used a piece of tissue to mop that up as best as I can.
  • I did chat a bit with a couple of my teammates here, a conversation snippet I remember in particular was how I asked if they remembered all the people that had come and worked for us for a day before we decided that we didn’t want to hire them, and specifically if they remembered that one time where we declined to hire someone because he was too good at the job. I had a good chuckle over that one.
  • Geeyong came by and sat down as well and I asked him if he had studied for the Chinese exam after lunch yet. He said he had only studied a little bit and was hoping to spend the lunch hour doing so. I said I would too as I had not studied yet due to how much I had been working recently. Allen also came by and said that now that it was finally lunchtime, it would be much easier to concentrate, and if we were making a study group then he wanted in too. I agreed and said that we should all go back to class and study.
  • I wanted to bring a plate of food back with me before I went, so I grabbed a plate, put a bunch of fries on it, then looked to the other table. Amanda and Trevor were there, and I excused myself politely as I reached toward the plate in front of them and picked up a bunch of chicken cutlet strips and nuggets as well.
  • I then started to head back to the classroom, but apparently to get back I had to wait for either a really slow spaceship to take me there, or I had to plan a series of hops with my crew of 6 across interdimensional space, without a spaceship. I would do this by hopping from spaceship to spaceship and using the teleporting beam that every ship was equipped with to aim for the next ship.
  • I opted for this option, and I started in the top right square of a planetary system grid, where the field was located, and had to get to “Earth”, which was the classroom, and was located in a square labelled F1 in the very middle of the grid. This would take 4 or 5 hops, but I calculated a path and teleported all of us just fine, until the very last hop where disaster struck.
  • For the last hop, from the last ship back down to Earth, something went wrong and one of the crew members ended up slightly offset, so his feet or something ended up sunken into the ground when we teleported in. Because the ground was made of dirt, teleporting into the solid space here didn’t outright kill him or amputate his feet, but there was blood everywhere and he fell unconscious as his feet forcefully displaced the dirt like a shovel striking earth.
  • One of the other crew members yelled at me for this as I tried to figure out what had happened, but she calmed down once I showed her that I had made an adjustment because one of the coordinates we had received ended with a 69 and I was fairly sure that would have made us miss the planet entirely. The only thing I could do was change the end digits of that coordinate to a 68, which landed us where we were but injured that poor person because the teleporter was not calibrated properly in the first place. She agreed with my analysis, and went off to help tend to the injured crew member, who was soon healed and woke up again.
Apr 23 2023
  • This dream world was a mix between a Dunman classroom that I had been a former student in, and a game world full of vampires who needed to attack other NPCs or players to collect blood to survive, although the vampire plotline only came into relevance very briefly when I noticed that my attack score was around 600ish and I could only really defeat other low level inactive players on my own. Some people in class had a higher attack value or were able to go out hunting as a team and bring back blood as well though.
  • But more broadly, I had the sensation of having left for several years and then having returned to the classroom, and it felt like although I had built or curated some things to help the class before I left, everything was either gone now or falling to pieces now that I had returned, and worse, no one that I knew seemed to want to talk to me or help me rebuild things to the way it was before.
  • This problem was personified in actual, physical games in the dream classroom. For example, there were Lego model sets that I had helped partially build before I had left. One was a house whose walls were made of wet and dry cememt blocks, kind of like 7 Days to Die, which we had built up to about 2/3 of its actual height but had not actually put on a roof yet. I had left instructions for the wet cement blocks to be exchanged out for sturdy dry ones at some point, but no one had bothered to do that, and instead there were random shoddy plank blocks placed on top of the existing wet and dry cement walls to “finish” it up, the building still lacked a roof, and there was junk or shrubbery on the outside of the Lego building.
  • Another build involved a spaceship or something that was being built on a separate base piece, but not only was that still incomplete as well, people had tacked on weird things to the build, and the left side of the base piece was bent downwards at an angle as someone had tried to build a large dinosaur on it. Even that dinosaur wasn’t attached well to the base piece so I had to fix that by pressing the dinosaur’s feet into the base.
  • There was a girl in class who was apparently either much younger than us or mentally challenged in some capacity. She showed me a sheet of paper with a big red circle drawn on it that I instantly recognized as one of three sheets of paper belonging to a larger board game that I had acquired for the class and taught people to play. However, that game was nowhere to be found anymore, and all that was left was that sheet of paper. She was proudly showing me how she had discovered a new game to play with that sheet, which was to put it some distance away and to try to toss coins so that it landed inside the red circle. I was frustrated at this.
  • Snippet: I was theorycrafting a larger version of that game at some point, where there was a large, round marble table at the front of our classroom and we were standing near the back of the room, and everyone in class was going to toss a rubber ring toss hoop onto the table to determine or elect some sort of winner. Everyone whose ring fell off would be eliminated, whereas everyone whose ring successfully landed and remained on the table would move to a second round where they had to toss their ring again, and so on, until only one person remained. I figured that my best chance of victory in this hypothetical game would be to flick my fingers forward as I tossed it in a tall arc toward the table, putting a backwards spin on the ring to try to prevent its momentum from making it fly off the far end of the table.
  • Snippet: I was at home at some point, and it was late at night, around 11pm or so. I was in Dad‘s bedroom as he was preparing for sleep, sitting next to his bed and watching him as he came into the room and did some stuff. I commented to him that in the couple years that I hadn’t seen him, his face has changed dramatically so he looked like a completely different person, even though I knew he was the same person because of his mannerisms. I said it was weird because Mom looked exactly the same as I remembered her. Mom came into the room and I made that same comment about Dad to her, and she said she agreed with me, and that it was apparently a thing with growing old and becoming forgetful to the point that he had forgotten what he used to look like, and that was reflected in the steady change in his daily appearance.
  • Snippet: Finally, there was an ice hockey player named Alf whose name reminded me of the character from the Alf sitcom. I don’t remember any more context other than that though.

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