Happy belated former National Day! Ah, I miss “home”.
Entry #105 (Aug 13 2023)
So as mentioned two weeks ago, I have an upcoming trip to Calgary this Monday, Aug 14, for an appointment at the Consulate-General of Japan in the morning. I had looked into bus trips, and even an airline flight down, but none of the times really made sense to me, as the way the timing lined up, either I’d have to stay overnight in Calgary the night before, or arrive there at something like 4:30 am for my 10:30 am appointment. And getting back on time was a bit weird as well since I wasn’t fully sure how long it would take, and thus how long after my appointment I should book my return bus for.
In the end, I searched around and found a carpooling site called Poparide (local) that offers rides from people down to Calgary. While there were a bunch of options for Monday by the time Saturday rolled around, there was only one option for Monday earlier in the week when I checked, which was the guy I initially picked after reaching out to him, Jagdeep (local). He quoted his prices ($80 one way, $150 both ways) higher than the site actually shows ($45 one way), but he claims he’s also driving another couple to the same Consulate-General that same day, for an appointment at 11 am (so just after mine), so it would be a direct trip right to the consulate and then back to Edmonton for us and would also include the waiting time for the appointment.
That was fine for me — while there are slightly cheaper options that include piecing together two one-way rides and then bus travel within Calgary, that would still come up to at least $100 and extra waiting time (probably adding 2 hours onto either end of the trip) or rushed schedules and would cause more unneeded stress. Staying overnight plus a bus ride would also cost at least $200, so it’s better than that option too.
That being said, he wanted to conclude the transaction off the app, and while I actually totally understand that, it did come with a little bit of danger as well. In addition, I didn’t get his license plate number beforehand, which was another small red flag. In the end though, it didn’t matter — I asked him on Sunday morning if he could confirm the details of where we were meeting up by noon, and he said that the other couple going still hadn’t replied to him, and he encouraged me to make other arrangements instead. So we amiably broke that off. I think I would have been okay with him though.
Anyway I backed out of that, and since by this time there were more options on the Poparide website itself, I went with one by a driver called Vishavdeep (local) instead, whose schedule seemed to match mine perfectly as well. In addition, his licence plate and phone number were both available, and the entire transaction was handled in-app, all of which were plusses. I could also clearly see the other couple people going with me and that they were all from the site as well, plus he has a lot more reviews in general.
It’s just a one-way trip instead of a two-way one though. He said his other two passengers need to be at Saddletowne Station in Calgary before 10 am, and he needed to be there in Calgary before 9:30 am, and those schedules work out just fine for me. I’ll figure my own way back afterwards, via bus.
Just in case, I’m leaving this information here and taking it down once I return — his phone number is +1 705 921 7277, and his licence plate is CPV 6553.
In other news, I’ve gathered up all the other documents (I think) needed for my trip down there. One of the items on the list, a stamped 45mm x 35mm photo, had me going down to the McBain Camera store at Southgate for a mugshot photograph, and so what happened was that I was told that the waiting time for the photo to be processed was 10 minutes. I asked if I could come back that afternoon instead, since I was planning to go down and visit Mom at the hospital and would pass by the place on the way back anyway for groceries, and the person who took my photo said sure, just let the staff know that I was here to pick up my Japanese visa photos once I arrived back.
Fast forward a few hours, and when I returned to the shop, there were a couple staff members there, but none of them could actually find the prints for my photo, so it seemed like the original guy had either not printed them out after all or it had somehow been misplaced. They apologized for that, and so while I had to wait around 10 more minutes anyway, as they processed the photo that they still had from whatever memory card/laptop they kept the day’s snapshots in, they also eventually ended up giving me a 50% discount for it, so I paid $12 and change instead of $24 and change for the photo. I like discounts. I wonder how long they keep customer photos around for though.
And then Google Rewards asked me for a photo of the receipt, which I obliged, and so I got back another 38 cents for it. What a bandit I am.
I also got a quote for my medications this week, and apparently the pharmacy agreed with what my doctor said, that insurance would not cover a year’s dosage of my pills, and they were actually able to quote me prices on my pills as well — $105.20 for 365 Estrace tablets (for the transgender thing), $22.00 for 365 Metformin tablets (for the pre-diabetes thing), and $451.01 for the Blexten (bilastine, for the eczema thing). That’s over $500! My usual prices are $4.50 or so per medication per pickup, so like $13.50 for 3 months.
Anyway I balked at those prices and took back my prescription paper. I said I’d go back down to the doctor next week and see if I could work out something else, which will likely either be to see if there is a different brand of bilastine tablets or whatever that I can take instead of Blexten, which is the expensive one due to it being a brand name drug, or else I’ll just ask for a 3 month prescription of each one, and just try to take less pills while I’m there. I don’t consider the Estrace or Metformin tablets to be essential, and the bilastine one I can survive on one per two days without much side effect, plus I have a small leftover stockpile of about 5-6 months worth of THAT pill at home anyway, so another 3 months would basically tide me over for my entire trip.
In other-other news, even though I haven’t paid for my housing yet, the housing place released a garbage roster schedule for the house and emailed me and a few others about it already:
I guess that Yari is one of the other two people I will be staying on the same floor with. Cool. That name is actually neat because the verb Yaru means “to do” (a weaker form of Suru, which is the more common “to do” verb) in Japanese, and Yari is one of the conjugations of that verb. Anyway it looks like the house will be vacant for three weeks or so before we move in. That also prompted me to look at the house website (local) again, and while the page doesn’t screenshot properly due to poor fancy implementation of sliding menus, and that annoys me, the gist of what I notice is that the person in room 203 ended up cancelling their lease. When I had booked it back in June, I’m pretty sure that I saw that both 202 and 203 were filled up from early September onwards, as I remember not really having a choice if I wanted to book a unit there.
I wonder if I should swap rooms to save a bit of money. Oh well. I’ll need to go there and actually look at the place.
While work is, again, quiet, one thing I do appreciate about the work is how flexible it is and how I have been basically given time to go down and visit Mom at the hospital whenever I want or need to. Although I did have to bump a small meeting from Thursday this week all the way down until at least Wednesday next week because I’m just so busy with going out to the hospital, or doing stuff to prepare for the move, or a host of other real life things. It was also a short week this week, as Mon, Aug 7th was Heritage Day here in Alberta, but that doesn’t really mean all that much to me since pretty much every day is a truncated workday these days anyway.
Because I’m still not 100% certain that I’m going to Japan after all this, I talked to my boss about when I will have to hand in my notice of resignation. He said that once I hand it in, that’s final and there’s no going back, but it’s ultimately an arrangement between me and him since I’ve given unofficial notice a long time ago and the team’s been preparing for that for forever now. And that even two weeks notice is more of a courtesy than a strict requirement. We agreed that I’d most likely give a two weeks’ notice around Sep 4th, for a final day of Sep 15th, and burn vacation time for the entirety of the 11th to the 15th so I won’t actually have to work then, since I plan to leave for Japan sometime on the weekend of the 16th onwards. I haven’t booked THAT plane ticket either, though.
Also, I will most likely be having a team farewell lunch thrown for me, but it will either be on the 8th or the 15th of September or thereabouts.
Mom is doing a lot better this week, partly due to what seems to be fantastic care from the nurses and doctors at her hospital. She’s now free of all her tubes and needles and, while still very weak, is able to slowly use a phone now and also able to be pushed around in a wheelchair. She’s started the long road of therapy too, trying to regain the strength and motor skills in the side that she lost in the stroke. Apparently the first six weeks after a stroke are where most of the progress can be made, and a patient’s recovery process tends to plateau a bit after that, so there’s a therapy “boot camp” waiting for her at some point next week at a local rehab hospital. It was good to see her doing better though, we even pushed her to a picnic table and bench area outside the hospital and had a nice family get-together there, and Dad appreciated the poignancy and uniqueness of that moment. We could also see the local ambulance helicopter, called STARS Air Ambulance, flying overhead from where we were:
While I haven’t decided whether to go to Japan or not, I also haven’t broached that subject with either my Mom or my Dad, because I don’t want them to feel guilty about it or anything. I have talked to Kel and Jon a little, but I need to see how the parents are doing for a couple weeks more before deciding for certain if I want to go or not. In the meantime, I will probably book a plane ticket next week after I return from Calgary, in case I’m told that I cannot get my visa for whatever unknown reason.
I made some scanning progress this week, although I still have quite a large scan backlog to go before I leave for Japan. I haven’t bothered uploading anything (in terms of ads and other notices that I’ve scanned) recently because I figure that I’ll have plenty of time to do that if I want to once I go to Japan, right now I’m focused on digitizing everything I can first. There’s a few other pieces relating to going abroad that I haven’t dealt with either, including figuring out a storage solution for my boxes, a transportation solution for them, a way to get rid of excess furniture in my house when I leave, and what to do with my phone plan. Argh.
On Wednesday this week, I went down to the library to print off some documents, and on the way there I passed my usual local Power Spot and saw a cat in the window of one of the nearby apartments there.
Talking about cats, I saw Echo a couple more times this week from my balcony as well. Once here, also on the 9th as he disturbed a gardener while on his walk:
And once here on the 10th, after he audited the setup for our annual apartment-complex-wide barbeque.
Talking about said barbeque, which I briefly mentioned last week, it took place on Thursday, the 10th, down in the courtyard below.
Setup was done in the morning, which mostly consisted of the staff putting up some stands, decorations, and a bouncy castle.
The event started at 2 pm officially, and people trickled in and out over the course of the afternoon.
I also went down eventually to take photographs of the various stations there and to get some free food. There was a rainbow fountain thing that I never saw anyone use, but that was probably nice for hydrating the local grass a little.
A beanbag toss thing, I remember this (and the rainbow fountain, and actually most of the props) from last year:
There was a face-painting table with kids setting themselves up to be blackmailed in the future:
And a henna table along the same lines:
Although there was a chance of rain in the afternoon, the weather held and it didn’t rain, but it was really windy. They had put up a main central tent this year, like they did last year, and this was where the emcee with the microphone was doing draws and giving out prizes from throughout the event. However, it was so windy that they struggled with keeping the tent from toppling over:
They actually gave up in the end and took down the tent, and did the prizes by the side of the main office building instead, so it was partially shielded from the wind.
Anyway, Telus apparently sponsored the event, so here’s their sponsor booth. That’s nice of them.
And here’s the bouncy castle, which apparently is a slightly different one from last year. Same design, different patterns/colours, at least.
With how many kids play in this area these days, it’s too bad they probably can’t just install one here year-round.
Lastly, here’s the food area:
I rescued one of everything and went back to my apartment with my loot:
Can’t say no to free food!
There were door prizes and other prizes given away through the afternoon, and at one point they even invited people into the management office and upstairs to take some extra prizes if they wanted, but I was back home and doing my group watch thing with friends at that point so I didn’t partake in any of those. I know some of the better prizes were things like a free month of rent too, or a kitchen makeover, but things like that didn’t really apply to me anyway since I don’t plan to be here past next month! Plus I didn’t want to hang around too many people that I didn’t know for a couple hours just for a chance at a prize.
Another change they had this year was that they no longer yelled out unit numbers when looking for people for their prizes, each person I guess was given a 3-digit number for entering the draw and they called out those 3-digit numbers instead, for anonymity’s sake.
Anyway I took an aerial picture of the event once I went back to my apartment:
The tent was gone at this point, and although it doesn’t look crowded, there were a bunch of people partially obscured next to the food area behind the trees and white stones as well, as that’s where the emcee was and where the draw was being held, or going in and out of the rental office area. Also, about an hour after the event ended, I took a picture of the remnants of the BBQ event:
Almost everything was gone by then, and there were little kids messing around with the poor, deflated unbouncy castle. I loved it. Also the teens squeezed on the bench in the middle of the field was a nice sight.
So that was Thursday. My only remaining pictures I have to share are from Friday this week, when I went to visit Mom at the hospital. Here’s a picture of the sky on the way there:
Okonomiyaki clouds. For lack of a better way of describing them. And on the way back, while walking past the baseball field in the park near our house, I saw a bunch of ring-billed gulls spread out and obviously playing a game of baseball.
So many birds.
Early on this week, Satinel hooked me on Inscryption, a card game that she had been trying to get me to play for a while now, and I played that hard for a couple days, finishing the story but not quite getting all the achievements, though it’s not impossible. It was a very interesting game. It’s hard to describe without going into spoilers, except that it got accolades for breaking the mould a bit and being far more than what it presented itself to look like at first glance, and having several stages that don’t look anything like each other, as well as doing some cool and unorthodox things that only a few other games have really ever done, pulling in things that involve certain other things outside of the game itself, for example. Man it’s hard to describe it without spoiling it. It was fun though and I liked the various card games that they had me play.
Near the end of the week, I picked up FINAL FANTASY XIII again after something like a 6-year break, because I always knew that I was somewhere nearish the end of the game and kind of wanted to see the ending of it before moving on to another FF game. It’s such a slog though, but I did manage to re-learn how to play and get a recap of the story from chapter summaries so I more or less remember what happened to the characters thus far now. But the combat and the game is so bad. Everything’s so linear for the most part, enemies are just speedbumps along a corridor, and combat is really idiotic because if any party member dies but you, they can be resurrected by you or another party member and continue the fight, but if your main character/party leader dies then you immediately get a game over even if anyone else in the party is alive to rez them still. So dumb.
I was (and still am) on Chapter 11 out of 13 at any rate, so it’s not that far to the end, probably, and the game did not come anywhere close to enticing me to do post-game stuff. I might just drop it and go forward to FF15 or back to FF10 though, which are the other two games that I own. I only played through the very start of the former and I’ve never touched the latter (but it apparently has interesting character progression systems). Or move on to other franchises.
In between the two, other games I dabbled in include Children of Morta (with Satinel), Risk of Rain 2 (with Satinel), Across the Obelisk (without Satinel), Disgaea 5, Tales of Maj’Eyal, and Yamafuda! 2nd station. I still have about 15 mountains to successfully climb in the last one to 100% the game, but at this point they’re so difficult that it takes several tries to complete each one since you seem to need a number of defensive artifacts and cards in order to be able to complete them, and the ones you do get are somewhat random.
Jah also streamed DAVE THE DIVER for a temporarily-resurrected Jah Stream Night this week, which made me want to go back and continue playing it. So I did so, and hopefully will continue doing so in small chunks too. I feel like he’s trying to send me off by doing a couple of streams before I go as a gift since I won’t be able to watch him for a year even if he does do a stream in the meantime, since I will be checking in from a different time zone and likely over some form of unreliable wireless network. Thanks Jah!
Plushie of the Week #101 – I’m Not Chicken
This week’s Plushie of the Week is not technically is a plushie, but that’s okay, this is my blog and my scrapbook and who exactly is going to sue me? I think this is a clip that was attached to something else — none of us siblings seem to remember what — but together with Unicorn Keychain, were kept together with our army of plushies on the chair in my siblings’ bedroom back in Edmonton 4012, so they’ve been friends for a long time. Or at least acquaintances. Or at least bedmates. Or boxmates. Look, they both exist together at the very least.
We’re not sure when we got this — it would likely have joined our family sometime around 2001-2003 or so though, just like the Unicorn Keychain, and might have come attached to something that may or may not have been free, but likely wouldn’t have factored in to the cost of the item anyway, so it was basically “free”. “I’m Not Chicken”, however, was an occasional phrase a plushie would throw out during plushie interactions in our ensuing years together. Especially the unicorns. It was never proven one way or another though.
I’m Not Chicken clip front:
I’m Not Chicken clip back:
Searching the asi #81233 patent up on Google brings up something about a company called Reflectix which was acquired by another company named Fey in 2009 (local), although the research attempt was a bit weird because it looks like there’s another company which had the same name (local), and I wonder how they coexisted at the same time? Anyway.. maybe that I’m Not Chicken clip didn’t actually arrive to us attached to anything else after all. Still no idea what the history behind the item is, though.
Song of the Week #78
Title: Indoor Kei Nara Trackmaker
Artist: Yunomi & Nicamoq
Album: Yunomokyu (2017)
While the album came out in 2017, this week’s song came out as a single in 2016 (local), though I only first heard of it on January 20 2019, at about 2 am in the morning, when I listened to a random J-Pop radio channel online right before bed and got infected with a bad case of earworm from this song. I immediately linked a video of it in Discord at the time too, and Jah called it pop rap, although the above Bandcamp page itself calls it electropop.
That’s not a genre I’m familiar with or have ever been particularly interested in, but I really liked this song, especially its melody, and I adopted it and took it along with me on my mp3 player to work and back. As such, while it’s a bit of a weird memory, my main nostalgic memory of this song is listening to it while waiting for a train to Century Park at the underground University LRT station, and listening to this song on my earbuds. Then the train arrives, and I get on on one of the front carriages, and it carries me home. Good times, and well before COVID times, for sure.
Now, four and a half years after I first heard and then downloaded an mp3 version of the song, I’ve gone to the Bandcamp site and actually bought a FLAC version of it to return a little bit of love to the creators, as part of writing this Song of the Week entry and closing the loop on this small corner of my life sprawl.
Writing Prompt of the Week #21
This week’s writing prompt reads:
“Which of your parents do you take after, and in what way(s)?”
I don’t like this question, I don’t think it’s one that I can answer properly and I think it’d be humblebragging or just weird if I say things like “Oh, I think I’m curious and love travelling like my Dad” and “Oh, I think I’m smart and have a cautious streak like my Mom” and that kind of implies like the other parent is not any of those things in these cases. There’s weird things like how I now collect CDs like my Dad too, perhaps, but that’s not really what I consider taking after someone else too. I’m close to them, but I don’t know that I borrow enough from them that I could write a good reply to this prompt about it. I’m my own person. Next.
“Where were you when…” No matter when you were born, something huge has happened in the world within your lifetime. Tell what it was, where you were when it happened, and how it affected you.
This would be 9/11, or the New York City terrorist attacks on Sep 11 2001, and I remember that I had a dentist appointment that evening back in a little outdoor shopping square near our Edmonton 4012 house, and I was watching the TV embedded in the ceiling of the dentist’s office as the dentist gave me a checkup. Earlier in that day, I remember watching the news on TV during breakfast after I woke up and before I left for school, and hearing an update that a *second* plane had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings, and knowing that that was too far-fetched to be some sort of coincidence or accident. Later that morning, like I’ve mentioned in a prior entry, our IB history teacher and form teacher, Ms Usher, came into our classroom wearing a grim look on her face, and we spent the day watching 9/11 news on the classroom TV.
Memory Snippet of the Week #85
Back when a good chunk of my friends actually used Spotify and it wasn’t a piece of software that had become absolutely bloated with ads and rubbish features that slowed down its regular usage to a crawl yet, my Discord friends and I started a weekly Spotify Song Swap project that could arguably have been considered a precursor to my Song of the Week segment here, except that it was far more freeform and casual.
What we did was that we created a Collaborative Playlist on Spotify, a feature that still sort of exists but seems to have been nerfed a bit, since the checkbox to make a playlist collaborative is no longer there, and has been replaced by some weird Invite thing that may or may not work the same way. I don’t really care. Back then though, after making the playlist, we spread the link between friends, and I started up a spreadsheet with a weekly “theme” that we would pick in Discord every Friday. Everyone would then try to contribute a song to the playlist that more or less fits the theme, using whatever criteria they wanted — we weren’t strict about absolutely enforcing a theme or deleting songs that weren’t related closely enough to it. Every other week, we would also hold an Open Theme week, whereby no theme was selected for the week and we could all just add one song of our choosing to the list, no matter what it was.
In this way, even though we were sometimes constrained to themes to keep things interesting, we were all picking songs that we knew separately but adding them to the general pool that we all could access together, and the idea was that this would then create a playlist that we could use to listen to each other’s music and recommendations.
In reality, while I did discover a couple songs from other people that I liked from it, I don’t think many people (including me) actually consistently listened to each other’s songs for more than a couple weeks in a row, and it was more just someone complimenting someone else for a song that the second person put in that the first person happened to also already mutually know and like, too, so it was a little bit of a failure from the point of view of getting people to listen to new things.
But I do know that people at least sometimes did still put the playlist on just to listen to random things that would come up anyway, plus it was a nice experiment and group activity to do. I liked building the list with everyone, and we had a host of people join us over the 4-5 years or so that we had this experiment active — although as per the title we only did 209 weeks, which is exactly 4 years worth of weeks, there were still some additional songs stuffed in afterwards. We had 21 different people add at least 1 song to the list, and ended up with 1,715 songs in all.
Is there a list tracking this, you ask? Of course. I even kept track of the themes of most of our earlier weeks in this document here, though I believe that after week 187, which the documents ends with, we mostly just did Open Theme weeks with occasional informal themed weeks as people’s interests were flagging by then. The first song was added on Feb 16 2013, and the final one (so far) on Sep 25 2018, although it looks like the last week we actually had more than one person add a week in was the week of March 24-26 2017. So 4 years plus stragglers.
There’s a link to the playlist in the document above as well, but for completeness’ sake, and since I’ve completely backed up the playlist to a CSV file using Exportify (local) anyway, there’s a direct link to the playlist here too.
Aug 09 2023
- While in the dream, I had a feeling that I was in Japan, and that there was a war going on in the background against some vaguely evil forces. I was not a combatant, but I was travelling around, and at one point I remember being at a waypoint or save point up on a hillside, with a large city below me on my west. I had been to the southeast part of that city, the part nearest to me, as there was a little waterfront area there that I recognized somehow.
- Later on, I was in a house with Mom, Dad, and Jon, and it was dark and early in the morning when I headed off to school. I had the feeling that I could have skipped school if I wanted to, but that I would regret wasting a skipped day once it reached 5 pm or so when school would normally be over.
- After I stepped out of the house and walked toward school, Jon came following after me, waving me down and handing me some money that he had tried to give me earlier, and said that I had left on the kitchen table. Did I mean it to be a donation to Dad?, he asked, and I said no, but I said that I wasn’t certain that the money was actually mine either. He said it was and to take it.
- A mutual friend came up between us to chat with us at that point, but I also had an idea and asked if Jon could come with me a second. The mutual friend realized that what I actually meant was that I needed to speak to Jon without his presence there, so he playfully huffed but waited to one side.
- Out of the wad of bills that I had, I gave Jon $100, in the form of one $50 bill, one $20 bill, and two $10 and $5 bills each, and told him that this was his emergency fund to get him through school on top of the allowrance that he was getting from Mom and Dad, and to hide it somewhere in his bag or something. He said thanks and that he would find an obscure place to hide it. Not in something popular like the K-On! CD in his bag though, since that would be more likely to be used by someone at random who would then find the money. But not too obscure either or he himself would never find it again when he needed it.
- Later on, we went to the school cafeteria together and settled down for lunch there. It was made out of many diner/restaurant style rectangular tables with two high-backed cream-coloured plastic benches by each one, roughly seating four per table, though more than two could squeeze in to each bench if required. Everyone had a preset seating place at breakfast, or on the previous day or something, but everyone had spontaneously decided to move tables for lunch, so the serving lady who came by with a food cart was confused as to where everyone was to deliver the food.
- She asked the room some general questions like which adjective we would use to describe food that had lots of chilli and stuff in it (spicy) as that apparently helped her find people to deliver the dishes to based on answers she had heard the day before during idle conversation.
- Even later on, I was in a medieval city of humans but saw, in a cutscene, a band of orcs decide to enter the city and climb the towers to get into the parapets of the walls surrounding the city. The orcs were not inherently evil, but there was no love lost between the humans and the orcs. There was something evil up on the ramparts that the orcs needed to vanquish though, so they all tried to climb up a ladder to a tower in single file and in a very comical stealthy animation, and then spread out amongst the walls from there.
- They weren’t fooling anyone though, the humans saw them climbing the tower and the queen hastily summoned her advisors to talk about the situation. A portion of the humans wanted to attack the orcs, but the queen and most of the advisors did not. One of the advisors, an older male sage, said that we should just climb to the battlements and contact the orcs and ask them if they were friendly and what their plans were, but another advisor, a younger tsundere girl with twintails, disagreed, as climbing the walls might provoke them.
- She said that we should have an award ceremony, invite a couple of the orc representatives who somehow were humans (and looked like a typical guy and girl anime protagonist) too, and she would sit in the front row and throw a beach ball at them when they went up to stage. They would catch the ball in surprise, then realize that the first ball had a piece of paper taped to it, which they would quietly retrieve before bouncing the ball back to her, as well as a secondary ball, in order to act natural. Later they would read the message asking them if they were friendly or not and could proceed from there. The queen agreed with this plan.
Aug 10 2023
- I dreamt that my housing apartment management was holding their annual backyard barbecue down in the quad area between my house and the main rental area. Our house was on the ground floor though, and so the management used our house for storage and preparation the day before the event because it was convenient.
- Among other things, there was a serving tray on wheels, similar to an airplane trolley cart, parked in our house overnight, with a single chocolate cake on top of the trolley. It had extra sugar in it though, so I didn’t want any of it. On the morning of the event itself, a woman from the management team came along with a plastic container of coffee, labelled something like “Janet’s Coffee” as though trying to imply that it was handmade by one of the other staff members, but it had obviously been bought from a fast food restaurant that morning instead. She stood outside on the path near the entrance to our house, and started pouring out the coffee into little individual cups, before adding ice to each one, to make it look more appetizing.
- From things like this, it was apparent that the budget for the event was very low and that they would struggle. We planned on supporting the event anyway, but once it started, barely anyone turned up at all and neither the coffee nor the cake was even finished in the end. Someone else on the staff team was supposed to bring some other type of food too, but they did not even show up in the end.
- Snippet: At one point, I was talking with some students who owned the Leicester City soccer team from England, and apparently because they were an independent entity, which allowed it to be owned by some foreign students in the first place, it had been delisted by the soccer league management and the student owners were angry at this. The leader managed to get it reinstated after some complaining, and after some time I saw that they were winning their matches, beating Liverpool on the final day of the season to finish 3rd in the league overall, about 10 points behind the 2nd placed team.
- Snippet: At another point, I visited an Asian grocery store with Mom and Jon and saw that they had a new section selling discounted University textbooks since it was so close to the start of the school semester, on thin shelves that stretched from floor to ceiling. It was mostly Chinese and Japanese textbooks though, and they did not have anything that I needed.
- Editor: The annual staff BBQ at my apartment complex took place on Aug 10 2023 as well, later in the afternoon, and was nowhere near such a disaster.
Aug 11 2023
- I dreamt that while on a foreign school trip, I got separated from someone I was best friends with and visited places together with after we boarded the chartered bus because I realized while boarding that I had left my phone and a scan of my passport on the sofa in wherever we were staying, so I hopped off at the last minute from the bus just before the doors closed.
- After retrieving the phone, I texted my friend, and apologized for that. My friend said that I should have just stayed on the bus and tried to wing it, but I said that it was too dangerous to go without my passport and phone, plus I couldn’t take pictures without the latter. I said I’d run/walk to the museum that we were going to, and meet her and everyone else there, as it was only about ten minutes away.
- It was a warm evening, reminiscent of Singapore temperatures, and I was dressed either in a spaghetti strap tanktop or just a bra for my top, something at least that gave the sensation of exposing a little bit too much skin, but I didn’t really care. I ran along a semi-crowded mall area and then down some streets, and then past a woodworking or polishing shop of some kind that the Emperor was said to like, but never have time to visit since there was no prestige or importance in it, and thus only ended up visiting once per year or so to commission something to be made.
- All the while, I was texting my friend on the phone as well as pulling up my maps app to make sure that I didn’t get lost. Before the museum, they had several other stops, and their first stop was an RBC Bank location that I searched for on my phone’s map application by entering the word Bank in. There were quite a few banks strewn about this town, but I found it and headed over that way. I didn’t get there before they left, but then they ended up in a bar next to the bank, and that was where I met them in the end. My friend said that it was open late on Friday nights and that she enjoyed having a drink, I said that it wasn’t my sort of activity.
- While running, a minigame popped up at some point involving a view of a top-down game, and a ship that I controlled that had gotten separated from the main fleet. I had to avoid getting attacked by another player’s army while I landed on a shore using Heroes 3 movement rules, then recruited a captain and his army plus his ship on that peninsula where I landed on, and then hopped into the boat with him and set sail again toward our destination. We found another captain and his boat that was willing to help us, and we transferred all the army troops from the first boat into the second one (except the captain, since one unit had to stay behind to take caree of the boat), and used that to slingshot me toward my destination more quickly, since the new boat had a fresh set of movement points for this turn whereas the old boat had run out of movement points by the time it found the new boat. In this way I got twice as far as I could usually travel in one turn’s worth of movement points.
- I don’t remember the context, but the class or school friends that my friend and I were with had an aura of danger around them, as though they would harass us now and then for being girls or try to ask for sexual favours or something. Nothing like that happened in the dream, but it felt like the threat of something similar was always there, and so we mostly stuck to ourselves.
Aug 13 2023
- I dreamt that I was in Germany, on a chartered tour bus trip with Mom, Dad, and Jon. Our bus had stopped in a short tunnel, basically the underpass of another larger highway that went over top of us, because of a fault in the road ahead or something that was preventing most traffic from getting through, but there wasn’t really any other traffic around either. We stopped in there to be under the shade because we had to wait several hours for the road to be repaired.
- The bus was structured like an airplane, with front and rear cabins, and each cabin having left seats (two), right seats (two), and a middle column of 2 or 3 seats too, with two aisles going down the length of the cabin. I was sitting next to Mom in one of the left seats, and chatting with her to find out what happened to the bus in the meantime, because I had somehow been “away” from the bus and had recently returned to it to find it stuck here.
- After a bit, Dad also returned to the bus from a back room of the bus, and he sat down in a seat on the right side of the bus instead of where we were on the left. Mom got up and went over to him to sit next to him. Jon was in front of me, in a double seat by himself, but now that the seat next to me had vacated, and there were also other passengers slowly returning from whatever was in the rear cabin, he got up and came to sit next to me.
- The tour guide who was supposed to be at the front of the bus had gotten off at some point but had now also just returned to the bus. She said that we were heading off again soon. She also said that she had been convinced by talking to someone else to visit Kyodo and that she would take photos while she was there and post them somewhere. Someone wondered where Kyodo was and someone else said Japan, before a third person said that no, that was Kyoto. Kyodo was some small town in a nearby European country.
- There was also some minor storyline about someone watching a game of ice hockey in person and finding it incredibly exhilarating, and then going home and trying to watch a soccer match on her large TV and now finding that really boring in comparison. She quietly turned her TV to another ice hockey match, though she felt a bit guilty about that.
- Later on, I was in a shopping mall, and the mall was divided into an upper and lower half that was connected by one single escalator. The escalator was not working however, because three of the escalator steps, one near the bottom and the two right at the top, were lowered down and had to be raised up to their proper position to form a staircase before the escalator would move again.
- The controls for these were in a couple of shops in the shopping mall, one on the floor just above the escalator and one just below it respectively, and this part of the dream involved me either taking over the body of some shopowners or somehow teleporting myself to the shops above and below and finding the levers to pull the escalator steps back up into position, since no one else on either floor seemed to want to do it. Eventually I got the escalator to work again though.
- There was an overall plotline here where I had a number of shops that I had to trigger by stepping into the shop and visiting them, so I absolutely had to access both the floors above and below the broken escalator.