My Diary #115

Dear Tigey,

I want to travel to other worlds.

Entry #115 (Oct 22 2023)

Life

The official start of fall this year was apparently on Sat, Sep 23 2023, but late fall/early winter weather is basically here. Contrast this Google weather widget screenshow, taken early this week on Mon, Oct 16:

With this one, taken late this week on Sat, Oct 21:

Goodbye, pleasant weather. We may never see you again (we probably will, but maybe not for a few months). In my mind and experience the first snowfall usually starts right on Halloween, Oct 31, so this year it seems like it might be a week and a bit early. Hopefully it warms up a bit again after that before dipping down for good though.

The rental management company is also busy denying the onset of winter. All throughout the year, the lit-up tree outside the rental office that I can see from my balcony and computer table has been lit up in the evenings, then shut off around 11 pm or so. Sometime late last week or early this week though, it stopped coming on at all during the evenings. I felt this was a bit weird, I mean, its original purpose was that of a Christmas tree and now that the nights are getting longer and colder and Christmas is rapidly approaching again, it provides serenity and acts as a beacon at night. Or it did, before it stopped being turned on. Oh well. Maybe in a few weeks.

Either way, I need to get out of here. I did receive an email from my CMPB enlistment officer in Singapore this week that partially confirmed to “Please note that there is no travel restrictions made against you and you are free to travel to Singapore and leave Singapore while investigation of your case is ongoing“, and although they are not the group that is ultimately responsible for border control, aka ICA, they are the group that would be in charge of the actual violation (draft dodging) to begin with. I still plan to email ICA to try to confirm that I won’t be arrested at the border again if I return, but having actually been through that process once already, I’m fairly confident that I won’t be in any trouble if I go back (they are disastrously slow, but I absolutely trust my CMPB enlistment officer), and so I am going to be tentatively planning some sort of stop in SIngapore when I go for my Asia-Pacific tour early next year.

I’m still trying to juggle dates for all those though. And potential events to do on my tour. I will be working while I am there so it can’t be something extremely strenuous, but that being said, I found some Korean schools (local) that allow one week enrolment classes (local) to learn the very basics of the language, and I am awfully tempted by these. Not completely sold yet though, since I’d have to balance that with some work at night, and since that leg of the trip wouldn’t then be much of a vacation. But it’s knowledge, and I’d love to be able to learn some Korean too. Although I can always self-study. So my thoughts on the dilemma have been swinging back and forth, as you can see. At least it’s a good sort of dilemma.

I did a lot of scanning this week, and finished uploading everything from my second Papers section (that I talked about last week) to Archive.org. All my files disappeared for a day at the start of the week though, and I had to contact them at their main email address and wait a day or so before they restored everything and said that it had disappeared due to admin error. I wonder how often that happens. What would the point of backing things up on archive.org be if everything disappears after I’m gone from this world and not able to actively check my uploads? Anyway whatever. I started working next on my backlog of things to upload that weren’t already previously uploaded on my site. Mainly spread across the Potpourri of Papers list and the Life Through a Mailbox list. I plan to focus more of my efforts on this for a while.

I also started my programming journey this week after arranging with Satinel to set aside Friday nights for both of us to work on programming separately-but-together, as an impetus for me to even get started on this programming goal. Our Friday nights are free these days with Jah no longer regularly doing his Jah Stream Night anyway. And once I have this momentum to start I’ll probably start working on things outside of the regularly scheduled Fridays too.

Jah also convinced me to start up trying to use RSS feeds again, something I had stopped doing since Google killed their Google Reader API back in 2013. It remains to be seen if I actually use this on an ongoing basis, but I set up RSS Guard and am using it for now.

I have a couple CD packages en route to me, as Suruga (local) had yet another sale going on and I saw some stuff that I wanted get restocked. However, those were not the only CDs I bought — I also saw a cheap Backstreet Boys: For The Fans CD 2 from Amazon (local) that I immediately jumped on. That local screenshot shows the current price as $22.38, and the CD 1 and 3 also go for around that price, $20-$30. The one I actually picked up was just $9 CAD, with free shipping with my Amazon Prime, the only drawback being that it took (or is taking, it’s slated to arrive on Sunday or Monday, after I publish this blog) a week to deliver. That was perfectly fine though — the reason I bought this specific CD was to complete a set, as I already had CD 1 and 3 from a purchase back on Aug 28 2000. I had picked them up for $2.99 CAD each from a store named Liquidation World here in Edmonton, which doesn’t even exist anymore (local). Now, 23 years later, I’ve completed the set for a reasonable price! Minus the VHS, which I am not going to even begin to bother with.

I haven’t had a vacuum cleaner since I tossed out my last one a month ago. I should do that soon so I can clean my house again. I haven’t been keeping up with that very well.

My AncestryDNA results came in this week, but they were boring. Mostly they said that according to DNA, our family definitely came from Eastern/Southern China region several generations ago, which we already basically knew. And we don’t have any weird, exotic bloodlines that they found. The results were not very precise as well, probably due to a lack of data, and even their definitions of “China” actually wrongly encompassed the entire South East Asian region as well:

AncestryDNA’s results don’t seem to be gender-relevant — at least, there’s a “Male Hair Loss” trait that seems to be there even when I toggle my gender between female and male, and also while I’m glad that they do give that option to toggle gender at all (as it affects how others see you as when they show you people with close DNA matches), there’s only an “Assigned sex at birth” flag that you can toggle and not one where you can currently choose just how you want your profile to look like to others. It’s very backwards.

Anyway, besides that map above, the only other information the site gave is a bunch of traits and how likely I am to have or not have the trait:

My likelihood of “remembering dreams” is apparently next to none, but I have a pretty extensive dream diary! I’ll blame that on not being able to lucid dream yet, though. It’s genetic! Also I enjoy cilantro very much. And I do sneeze in the sun.

While chatting with Zian on our usual Saturday night (my time) video call, I shared with her that I had received my results from AncestryDNA, and she said that she had done one with a company called WeGene (local) while in high school. She logged in to her account to take a look at her own stats. It seems like that service might be a lot more relevant to Southeast Asia (local) though, and allegedly I can download my genetic data test results from AncestryDNA and upload them there to get analyzed results as well, so I’m thinking of doing that.

While pondering my escape from the country this week, I went out to toss the garbage into the neighbourhood dumpster,  and on the way I randomly met Echo! She was out taking her walk with her owner and guardian, Damian (Damien?), and his mother, Sherry (Sheri? Shari?). I confirmed the spelling of her name but not of the other two humans. We chatted for a few minutes and I told them that I had stopped to chat to them before and that I could sometimes see them from my balcony. Sherry said that she remembered me, but I don’t remember her even being there the only other time I’ve met them in person, so she was probably mixing me up with someone else — they had no idea what my name was at any rate until we did introductions. That or I met her separately from meeting Damian and Echo. Anyway, Sherry also said that she had stayed here a long time and the apartment complex used to be even more beautiful, with flower beds and stuff everywhere. Interesting. I’ve been here for over 10 years now but this was from even before my time it seemed.

Anyway I got to touch and pet Echo, and Damian said that she liked me because she raised her tail and brushed against me as she walked past. I took a few pictures too, and they follow:

Cute. Who’s a kawaii kitty then? Yes you are! Sorry Tigey.

All that happened on Monday, the 16th. On Tuesday, I went out again and saw yet another cat:

I only know Echo and Waffles as neighbourhood cats, though I’ve pointed out and taken a picture of this Starlight Leo house before and wondered what it meant. I still don’t know, but in my headcanon this is now the cat’s name.

I took another picture of kids frolicking in the unending very much ending autumn sunshine this week:

I then heard voices to my right, turned to look that way, and snapped a picture of two people chilling on their balconies:

Earlier that day, Thursday, the 19th, I had also taken a walk around the neighbourhood and snapped pictures of the boundless blue skies:

That was a very nice day. I also saw a weird tree on the way back, and it got added to the photo gallery:

Back on Tuesday, my walk took me down to Southgate Mall and I grabbed lunch while there. I also grabbed some other pictures of the local Thai Express store, which was decked out in Halloween decorations:

Southgate Mall is planning another Trick or Treat Halloween event around the mall from 4-6 pm on Oct 31st, and for the first time in 3 years I will actually be in Edmonton on Halloween. Maybe I should wander around with a video camera.

At Safeway this week, I found this nostalgic bottle:

I grew up with Maggi chilli and tomato sauce bottles in Singapore, as well as instant noodle packets, and I can get the noodle packets here but the chilli and tomato bottles as far as I know don’t really exist in any meaningful form here. This one isn’t the exact flavour that we had but it still was pretty good, and I was happy to welcome it into my home before slowly draining it of its lifeblood over the course of a couple weeks’ worth of meals anyway.

Lastly, at around 9:35 pm on Tuesday night, I heard some music wafting in from outside the balcony door, and peered out to see two guys sitting on the bench outside. They then proceeded to take off their shirts and change into something else, before gathering up their stuff and leaving. Why? What backstory did they have? Who knows. By the time I switched off the lamp light (so they wouldn’t see me in case they were doing something illicit) and grabbed my phone though, they were leaving.

Games

I restarted and finished another visual novel that I had started in the past but never got around to finishing: The Expression Amrilato. Like Christmas Tina before it, it was a visual novel centered around language and the main characters being unable to communicate with each other at first, except in this one they actually teach you the language with tutor-like snippets and have you do and repeat simple tests (I don’t think you can actually fail them, you just need a certain number of correct guesses to continue on) to learn the language.

I loved this one very much, and I regretted playing it late at night, on my Steam Deck in bed, because I couldn’t sleep at all for nearly two hours after I finished it so I didn’t end up falling asleep that night until about 4:00 am or so. Not because the story was particularly moving, though I liked it in general. Not because the language aspect was super interesting, though it was. Not because the endings were upsetting, though they were poignant. But just because I felt a sense of kinship to the characters’ situation, as the main protagonist was trying to decide if she wanted to stay in this world or go back to her own one, and that drew too many parallels to my situation of choosing whether to go to Japan or not. She had a certain day she had to make her decision by, and was wracked by indecision one way or the other.

In the end, she had a rather similar sentiment that I did, hoping that someone would make the decision for her:

There were a lot more parallels that I drew, but that would be spoilers. I’m still thinking about it two or three days later though. I wonder how my life would have been different and who I would have met if I had gone to Japan. I even picked up the soundtrack CD (for 500 yen) in my latest round of CD purchases. There’s a second game on Steam, but I haven’t picked that one up yet. Next time there’s a sale.

After that, I tried playing Cherry Tree High Comedy Club but it controls really badly on the Steam Deck so I didn’t become too interested in it. I did learn that it had been delisted from Steam though, due to its publisher going bankrupt (local). I already own Cherry Tree High and its sequel though for if I ever want to get around to them.

In the meantime, I paid a dollar for a Mahjong Solitaire style puzzle game called Shisensho Solitaire, and so far so good. Too early to tell if it will last, though.

Satinel and I played more co-op Elden Ring this week, we explored the underground area of the map a little bit and then bashed our heads against a boss for a bit. How terrifying it must be to be a boss in a video game and know that you can never win because your opponents respawn indefinitely, unless they lose interest in the game or face a game-breaking bug.

Plushie of the Week #111 – Manes the Lion

I believe this is the last of the plushie collection at my Edmonton 205 house, at least assuming that my main index is accurate. It might not be, as I’ve found errors in the past. Anyway, like the last couple plushies before this one, I have no idea about the backstory of this plushie, only that I know I have it, see it all the time next to my bed, and likely received it either just before or not long after I moved in here, so sometime in the mid to late 2010s. Probably.

Future Plushie of the Week segments will concentrate on finishing up with cataloguing the plushies that are over at my parents’ house, most of which I have pictures for as well. I think there are around 25 more of those. Then plus whatever else I pick up in the interim!

Anyway, Manes is super fluffy! Yes, that’s his official Ty Plushie name too. Meet Manes! Front:

Back:

Bottom, and tag front:

Tag back:

Other Tag front:

Other Tag inside:

Other Tag back:

The tag says his birthday is Oct 06 2005, but my plushies’ “birthdays” are when they enter my possession, and that definitely wasn’t the date, so.. his birthday is unknown. He’s welcome to have an unofficial birthday on that day though! And hey, that day just passed not long ago!

Song of the Week #88

Title: Kaze to Oka no Ballad
Artist: Real Paradis with Nodame Orchestra
Album: Nodame Cantabile: Finale OST (2010)

The absolute best thing I can say about this song is that I hate the show it’s from. I felt like Nodame Cantabile portrayed the female lead really poorly and stepped all over her and made her subservient to the whims and dreams of the guy she was in love with, while never really letting her fulfil her dream properly. And that’s the absolute best thing I can say about the song, because even though I strongly dislike the show, I love this ending song to bits — it did take about a year after I finished the show for me to actually fall in love with the song, but after a whirlwind five years or so worth of anime and AMQ under my belt, it still is in my top 10 list of ending songs that I have ever heard.

Kaze to Oka no Ballad, or Ballad of the Wind and the Hills. An indescribable feeling rises in my heart when the song starts to play. But I’m going to try anyway. Whenever I listen to the song, my chest tightens — a mild sense of panic comes over me, but I’m not quite sure why. I have the mental picture of a girl standing at a railway station, looking back behind her as she prepares to board a train. A warm wind is blowing — a Singapore wind, or the summer wind in Kyoto along the riverside, as she prepares to say goodbye to the place she was at, and the memories she made, and steps on her train to her next destination, as yet unknown even to her. She wanders the world alone, heart filled with nostalgia for the things that were and that had shaped her, and excitement for the things that were still to come.

She can never settle down in one place, for she has seen too much of the world to do so.

The video below, which I’ve only seen for the first time today, is also the first time that I’ve ever seen an English translation of the song. I see that my mental image was not too far off from the actual lyrics though, since I could catch some of the Japanese words anyway. I actually bought the CD during one of the recent Suruga sales, and it was a pricey one, coming in at about 3,000 yen (or just under $30 or so CAD), but was very worth it for me. It was the main snag of that round of purchases.

Writing Prompt of the Week #31

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“Wriote about a time when something that was supposed to be joyful turned out badly.”

I’ve talked about most of the major things that would fit under this section already I think. From things long ago like the Sentosa Chalet incident, to the time I lost a bag of games on the bus on the way home from school, or the time I went to Seoul for voice surgery and got denied. Or maybe when I went back to Singapore and got arrested?

Oh, I know. I don’t generally get involved in drama very much anymore, but in an MMO named ArcheAge several years ago, I was in a guild called PiNK led by Steffy, my fourth muse, and StephenBrolbert, who was her boyfriend. That game came with tons of drama for some reason, both within the guild as well as between guilds, but the most severe instance of drama that happened for me was when our guild was almost disbanded because Steffy found out that StephenBrolbert was cheating on her and wooing a mutual friend called Matachin, who was also a long-time guild member, having very romantic and sexual chats with her while bad-mouthing Steffy, his supposed girlfriend, and saying all sorts of bad things about her behind her back, including that she was nothing to him. Even though Steffy and StephenBrolbert were already serious enough to have plans at the time for Steffy to move in nearby to him in real life! She even had a move in date less than a month away!

I had been good friends with all three of them too, and when Steffy found out about the cheating and slander on Oct 30 2014, Steffy beeped me on my phone and I logged in to a late-night group with Steffy and Matachin where they bared their souls to each other in a big cry session, and cursed out StephenBrolbert after exchanging notes on what he had said about each other to them. The consensus on that time was that the guild would break up, though it was eventually walked back to just having StephenBrolbert leave the guild, though even that was just eventually walked back as well with little repercussion. Why? Because, as Steffy predicted in one of my chats with her the next day, Steffy knew that she was weak enough that he would be able to apologize and sweet-talk her back again over time, because she liked his attention and charm. She made me promise that I would help to keep her strong.

As time rolled on, her predictions were spot on. Matachin had left the guild entirely, and Steffy and I were best of friends, but our relationship was souring because StephenBrolbert had wormed his way back into her good graces again after all the things he said about her, and all the things that were shared that night, and all my efforts to keep them apart. Steffy was also struggling financially at the time, and I was helping pay her rent to keep her afloat — she still owes me something like $15,000 USD to this day and has conveniently “forgotten” all about this.

Part of the deal with the payment too was that while we would still play ArcheAge now and then, things had gotten pretty bad between StephenBrolbert and I because I had never fallen for his charms anyway and wanted nothing to do with him after he had hurt Steffy and made us lose another mutual friend. But because she was sidling up to him again and they were becoming a couple again, it was causing a lot of strife between Steffy and I. So the deal was that we would play something else on the side that he would not be part of, for which we picked Final Fantasy XIV. This is where another bit character named Naveras came in.

This part requires a bit of a segue into a summary of our complex guild histories. My main group of friends initially came together as a LotRO guild (aka kinship) named DoMH, which I have talked about in the past. Naveras was a former guild leader of another guild in LotRO, coincidentally on the same server (Landroval) as where most of the people in my Discord were from. She had met Steffy there as well, though Steffy never played LotRO a ton. We just all happened to be on the same server anyway because it was the roleplaying server. Next, we all met up again in Guild Wars 2, also on the roleplaying server (Tarnished Coast) there, although the situations were reversed. I played the game heavily, but no one else from my main group of friends/LotRO guild played it a ton. Steffy and Stephen also played GW2 a lot, and had run a pretty good guild named PiNK there, and I hung out with them now and then as well as many other mutual friends. When ArcheAge launched, I started playing that with Nyari, and we had both been independent players hanging with the larger guilds in GW2 but decided to join PiNK in ArcheAge since virtually their entire guild was moving there. Many of my main group of friends from LotRO, the DoMH group, came along for this ride as well. Naveras did play this a bit, I believe, but not a whole lot.

The way I remember what happened next, we joined Naveras‘s guild (aka free company) in FFXIV. I don’t remember who else was there, but I know a few DoMH people did come over as well, including Eralain. But the problem with this setup was that Naveras was well aware of Steffy and StephenBrolbert‘s relationship, but was fully unaware of the drama that had happened between them and Matachin and the despicable things he had done and said to both of them, especially Steffy. As far as she was aware, it was strange that StephenBrolbert was not playing together with her as well, and she was domineering and busybody enough that one way or another, StephenBrolbert eventually did come over to FFXIV to play with us as well.

Part of this was that Naveras herself had a real life husband that she had met online, and she was obviously trying to set up Steffy and StephenBrolbert along the same lines. I was an obstacle to that and thus to her, because I was still holding on to the promise with past-Steffy and gave her a lot of grief about having StephenBrolbert around, especially since part of the deal — for real life money — was that this was to be our sanctuary. Adding fuel to the fire, they (basically between Naveras and Steffy and StephenBrolbert) decided that Steffy and StephenBrolbert should hold an in-game wedding ceremony as well, which could only happen between two consenting players and would grant them some special benefits when they were online with each other and such.

There were a lot of minor details that were weaved into the tale, but all that would be unnecessary to dump here. Suffice to say that this eventually led to me (and my friends from DoMH and currently my main discord, although at that point they still didn’t know the full story, they trusted me at my word though) deciding to leave Naveras‘ guild in FFXIV and form our own guild.

And that is where the crowning jewel of this long post comes in, as we then had this exchange on Mar 24 2015 that I will post on a separate page and link here.

Finished reading that? Great. While I can sort of sympathize with Naveras not knowing the full story (and with Steffy perhaps not trusting her enough to tell her the full story), I’m not sure that I was the psychotic one in that situation and we cut ties with her after that. I mean, she thought I didn’t want Steffy to marry StephenBrolbert because I was apparently in love with Steffy! We almost named our new guild Time Bombs to mock them after I shared that log in our main Ventrilo (Discord did not exist at the time) server, but cooler heads prevailed and we named it Well Travelled or something like that instead.

Anyway, that entire episode soured my taste for FFXIV for a long time, and we stopped playing it soon after, so that’s what qualifies it for this section. Playing the game was supposed to be joyful and a sanctuary away from ArcheAge drama, but it turned out badly in the end. Made for an interesting story though. Steffy and I were actually still friends for a little bit afterwards, and I even paid for her to come along as a chaperone for my trip to Seoul in October 2015 when I went there to have voice surgery (this wasn’t part of the $15,000, either, I fully sponsored it), which was some nice catharsis.

At any rate, the epilogue to this was that I met Satinel on May 30 2016 and became fast friends with her, and we played FFXIV together and thoroughly enjoyed it, with Satinel basically overriding all my bad memories in that game with good ones. She also helped me realize that my previous relationship was toxic and helped me cut ties with her. Still awaiting that $15,000 and the many promises to return it though, but I’m not exactly strapped for cash either, so whatever.

And last I heard, Steffy and StephenBrolbert had broken up again and were no longer in contact, and neither were Steffy and Naveras due to some other bit of drama that eventually cropped up. Life, eh?

Memory Snippet of the Week #95

That above Writing Prompt section was more or less also a full-fledged memory snippet anyway, but another snippet also came to mind that I wanted to share, because of the AncestryDNA traits thing above in the Life section. Cilantro taste was one of the traits listed, with some people (Jahandar) saying that it tastes like soap to them. It tastes like a normal vegetable to me and I like cilantro quite a bit, since it reminds me of the soup bowls that come with (Hainanese) chicken rice meals in Singapore. Those soup bowls usually had cilantro in them, though sometimes they put it on top of the chicken instead. Here in Canada they do the same thing but the meal never comes with soup, so they always put it atop the chicken.

I remember my parents always telling us never to finish the bowls of soup, a stark contrast from their usual mantra of how we always had to finish all the food in front of us. The reason was that the soup was full of ajinomoto, they said, which is the brand name of monosodium glutamate, or MSG. It would supposedly make our hair fall out (but don’t worry, my AncestryDNA test says that my hair loss chance is low!). It also sometimes had fried pork lard cubes in the soup, making it even unhealthier (though I loved eating them, much to my parents’ collective horror).

I also had an odd memory surface though, that sometime in Edmonton 4012, so sometime between the ages of 15 and 27 or so, I actually bit down on a wet bar of soap to see how it tastes like… the taste was terrible and the taste and sensation stuck for hours in my mouth afterwards, ick. My parents always threatened to wash our mouths out with soap if we told a lie… and I don’t recall if that actually happened when I was younger or not, and if that was an impetus for me trying that experiment.. but never again.

I can still imagine the taste and sensation of it to this day if I think about it, ugh.

Dreams
Oct 16 2023
  • Snippet: I remember a specific snippet where I and someone else were examining a scene of a large formal dinner that apparently Dad, Mom, Jon, and I had attended many years ago, when I was around 8 years old. I no longer remembered many details from that scene, but we needed some sort of information about what happened that day, and I was surprised to see during the playback of the scene that I had apparently mixed up that memory with another one as a couple of familiar things happened that I had thought actually happened in that other event.
  • Snippet: Also later on there was a snippet to do with a girl meeting another girl and eating tofu, as a cameraman and another girl that was his assistant filmed her while hidden in the canopy of a nearby tree. The two of them were known to the girl but she did not know that they were filming her, and the man tsked when the two girls down below started speaking and told her assistant that they’d have to do some editing in post-production.
  • Editor: I had just started playing The Expression Amrilato earlier that night, and in one of the starting scenes, the main girl had looked around to see if there was a hidden camera in the trees around her. That scene definitely inspired this snippet.
Oct 17 2023
  • I only remember a very specific snippet where someone I was with had a giant white cube of meat, about 3 feet across by 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall, which was apparently an incubated form of life that would eventually become a sheep. It was being formed from the outside, and she wanted to make some money by either duplicating the sheep or farming it for extra body parts, and the way she was going to do this was to carve out a large portion of the cube that represented the stomach of the sheep, setting that aside, and letting the giant white cube regenerate that part of the sheep again.
  • She did so, although the cube she extracted was so large and so imprecise that the remainder of the giant white cube was in two separate pieces, the larger piece being what was going to be the front part of the body, and the smaller piece the backside and tail. Nonetheless, she said that that was probably fine, but that she needed to find a box to put them in so that she could take them to a specialist to soak the sheep cube in a broth of liquid nutrients.
  • She started hunting with some desperation through her house for a large enough box to put them in. I pulled out a Giant Game Board Book, an oversized book of games that we owned back in Singapore, at some point,and suggested maybe we could cut that up and form a box out of those pieces if needed, and she seemed to like that idea, but in the end she found a regular cardboard box to put the sheep in.
  • We then brought the box and went to visit a shopkeeper, a guy standing by the side of a road who tried to sell us some other things as well, but that’s where my memory of the dream ended.
Oct 18 2023
  • We were at the end of a long work project, and the project itself was represented by or stored on an underwater research ship shaped like a large white sphere floating a little bit above the ocean bed. I drove an underwater submarine there late at night to bring another colleague there, upon his request, as we were both a bit jaded with the project and had no love lost for the executives and he wanted to rob the research ship of miscellaneous, non-project-related loot on his way out the company door.
  • This had been done by various people over the course of the project and was just considered part of the operational cost. One used to be able to get $1,000,000 from robbing the research ship, but these days there was a lot less loot on it. This colleague had a girlfriend that he was going back to, and I had a premonition that something bad might happen to him if he wasn’t careful, so I asked him to double check his gear before he left the submarine to swim to the ship. Indeed, there was a broken strap on one side of his vest that would have come loose, and we adjusted it before he set off for the ship. There was no one actually on board the ship, and he robbed about $4,000 of miscellany from it before leaving.
  • The next day, I arrived at our workplace cafeteria in the early morning and heard some workmates chattering about an announcement that had been made by the executives in the form of a minute-long TV commercial at midnight last night about the end of the project. It detailed a list of perks that we were going to get as thanks for our hard work on the project.
  • One of the bullet points had a quip about people who would be “getting lost” while diving near the project ship and end up on the ship whose items would also suddenly “get lost” too, obviously a reference to the thefts that had been happening over the course of the project. However, it also referenced other people diving near the ship and discovering an aquatic snake-like creature that could be ridden underwater like a steed, and how the company had acquired a bunch of those snakes as a result and was able to give everyone one of those snakes each.
  • Another bullet point said that anyone who had lost their original email address due to offboarding would be able to get it back after the project ended, as they were loosening their offboarding policy for people who had left the company and returned, which had apparently affected many people who were temporary or sessional contractors and kept on being hired and let go during the long project duration.
  • I had been planning to leave to Japan but had cancelled that at the last moment, but my account had already been offboarded a couple of weeks before I was scheduled to leave, and this had played out in an earlier scene where someone wanted me to slightly abuse my powers to reset the password on several treasure chests that he had with him so that he could open them without going through the proper protocol to reset all their passwords, and I had said no and used the fact that my account had already been offboarded and I had probably already lost those powers anyway as an out.
  • Anyway, when my leaving was cancelled, they had given me back my powers on my second account instead of restoring my original account, which had a username that I liked better. I thought about talking to Ronnie to get my old email back since I did work on the project and was no longer intent on leaving.
  • Snippet: There was a classroom scene and I was in there at my desk working on something many hours after class had ended, late into the evening. There was a guy at a desk in front of me who was doing the same thing. A relative of the teacher eventually came in to pick up some things a couple times and told us to go home, at which point I agreed and started tro pack up my bag. I also discovered that the guy in front of me had a secret twin when the twin came into the classroom from another class to chat with him and wait for him.
  • Snippet: I was at a doctor’s office, there were 2-3 of us in there speaking to a doctor who didn’t really want to speak to us and only wanted to speak to some sort of Mistress or supervisor character who we all (including the doctor) shared a common subordinate relationship with, but one of us was the only one who had seen the Mistress the last time she transformed or something, and was the only one who could give detail on that.
  • Snippet: I was playing something like the Connect 4 game where you slip red and yellow counters down into slots at the top of a frame that was standing upright, and the counters would come to a rest at the bottom-most open slot in that column, above all the other counters that were already placed in that tile. Except, instead of red and yellow tiles and trying to get 4 of them in a row, these were Scrabble tiles with letters and points on them, and the object of the game was to draw up to 7 tiles from the pile and play as many tiles as I wanted at a time in a straight line in the vertical frame in order to form a word and score points. I was playing with Jon and Kel, drew a blank to start when we were each drawing a random tile to see who would start first (I won due to that), had trouble drawing exactly 7 tiles since it was a dream (and because the tiles were folded pieces of paper of different sizes) and ended up drawing 15 or so tiles and putting the rest back, and started with a 5 letter word, I believe it was “whack”, and earned something like 81 points for it.
Oct 19 2023
  • Jonathan, from Dunman, and I were waiting at a bus stop full of students, it looked very much like a Singapore bus interchange queue where there were queues for three or four different buses side by side and the queues formed snaked lines that doubled back upon themselves every dozen or so people to form a box pattern. We had joined the queue to get on a particular bus, but I noticed that the queues didn’t seem to add up, and when I went to check a poster at the back of the queue, I found that this was the wrong queue, it was a queue for a group of sport athletes or something that we were not part of. I located the correct queue after that and found that that queue was actually very short, only about 10 people or so, and the end of the queue had just been obscured by the other two or three queues that wrapped around it. We joined the correct queue and helped move some tables around to make the end of the queue easier to find.
  • While waiting, we noticed that everyone else in the short queue belonged to a particular club, including a rich and refined-looking boy who was obviously their president and being interviewed by a reporter or commentator. We listened to that commentator tell the story of the club via the interview, about how the club had just succeeded in a war that spanned 25 generations or so and caused probably about 40,000 deaths or injuries, but which was all worth it because they had managed to overthrow the yoke of oppression on the school that had been placed by a family or club of crimson cats that had now been eradicated by them.
  • The cats were magical, and would in particular seek out certain students to oppress them and hurt them. They had some sort of weakness to do with not being touched though, I believe, and it was something like they needed regular students to touch them now and then in order to recharge. They then needed to touch the students that they wanted to oppress in order to hurt them. The first president of the club, who was one of the people being oppressed, had a scene with a crimson cat in a crowded school canteen where he succeeded in depriving the cat of recharging (or whatever reason it needed the touch of a regular student) by pointing to a delinquent who was arriving and starting a flash mob of students who ran to him, touched him, and then fled away from the canteen.
  • The crimson cat was very angry but ran into hiding, and this started a war over many generations of students to defeat the crimson cats, the role of the president in particular was to find the current cat and keep tabs on it. I didn’t hear what happened exactly for this iteration of the club but apparently they were being treated as reluctant heroes now that they had defeated the last crimson cat and ended its lineage.
  • Jonathan and I were the only non-club members in that line, but especially since we were helping them move the tables to indicate the end of the line too, it seemed that some of the other queued students thought that we were part of the club too and watched us with a bit of awe. They didn’t say anything though so neither did we, and our bus (or possibly plane) came eventually and we boarded behind the club members and left.
  • Later on, there was a scene after I arrived home where I turned on the television to watch a variety show that I liked. There were back-to-back 30-minute episodes, and each one was made up of smaller show segments about 5-7 minutes long each. I caught the first episode, from :00 to :30 of the hour, partway through and watched it to the end. The second one, from :30 to :00, then started, and while watching the starting part of that I noticed that there was a new game show segment that I had never seen before.
  • This game show started with a student from the same school as I on one side of the room, and the game show host using a computer to place down little unmoving slimes around the room. The student’s objective was to get to the other side of the room to a glowing end region, while avoiding the slimes, and within an alloted amount of time. They also had to recite a long Chinese sentence that was apparently from our school song at the same time.
  • The student who was running this gauntlet in this episode’s segment was apparently Matt, and the first round involved small slimes and a 30 second timer as warmup, and he did it with no problem at all. The host then increased the difficulty of the second round by adding more slimes and lowering the timer to 15 seconds, and Matt had no issue with this either. Ditto for the third round, which had its timer lowered to 10 seconds.
  • I felt that the timer could not be lowered any further as the Chinese sentence, which seemed to change from round to round but was always from our school song or mission statement, took almost 10 seconds itself to be recited. Instead, for the fourth and final round, I watched the game show host increase the size of the slimes, so instead of being about 1 foot tall and wide on all sides, it was about 3 feet tall and wide on all sides. It looked rather pixellated at this size though, since the program just took the model and multiplied all its dimensions by 3, and the game show host was puzzled for a moment as he said that he was sure the programmers and back room staff had said that it would look fine.
  • Anyway the slime nearest the host was wearing a pink short skirt for some reason, but it was slightly crumpled, and the host adjusted the slime’s skirt as he explained that the additional restriction for victory was not only that the contestant had to reach the other side within 10 seconds while avoiding the slimes and reciting the Chinese sentence, but they had to leave the starting zone “in a smart manner”.
  • The slimes themselves never moved, so they formed the walls of what seemed to be a tiny maze, and I noticed that they were arranged so that there was a clear path that the contestant could take to get to the other side. There was also a pillar located near the start zone, and while the game show host was explaining the rules and patting down the slime’s skirt, he did not notice that Matt had slinked off down the other side of the pillar already and had soon made his way to the end zone before the game show host had even finished explaining.
  • The game show host then pressed a button that started the 10 second countdown, and was shocked when the timer immediately ended due to Matt being detected in the end zone already. He acknowledged that that was clever and that Matt had won the game.
  • Mom and Jon had come home around when the segment started, and they stood behind the sofa that I was seated on to watch this game show segment as well, and I told them that this must be a new segment because I had never seen it on previous episodes of the variety show, and that if it did play in the first episode today then I had missed it because I had tuned in late.
Oct 21 2023
  • A friend in a Discord server asked for a CD to be ripped because he wanted a copy of it, I told him that I was already scanning another CD with a black booklet that would take a while to clean, and had a queue of about five or so CDs that I wanted to do next, but that I’d bump their request up in my queue. Someone else in the server described a problem he had where an invisible window seemed to be stuck on his desktop, I suggested one of the apps in the Microsoft Powertools set of programs that might help him, as it highlighted all open windows and said which process was using or causing them, and that description sounded very similar to his problem.
  • But I had taken a while to give him the answer, and after I replied, a know-it-all person in the server mentioned that the person I was replying to had already gone to bed, and then proceeded to drown out my answer by answering someone else who had chatted about something and included a bunch of verbs in his chat, by haemorrhaging a long list of other related verbs. “Who asked?” I said accusingly, basically rudely asking him who had asked for his opinion. He said he was just making chatter with the other guy. I said that I was referring to his reply to my chat, and he said oh.
  • I went to bed myself, and when I woke up, I found that Mom, Dad, and Jon had stopped by a food place near an airport, and then come to my Edmonton 205 house and dropped off some food in a plastic bag, as well as an empty, Christmas-themed pizza box on my computer desk. I brought the box to the garbage drop-off place in the kitchen near my front door.
  • Not sure if in the same dream or not, but later on I was heading downstairs from my Edmonton 205 house and was at the bottom of the internal stairs in my apartment block. I was walking with someone, and chatting to them about the synergy between a couple skills that we both had. I demonstrated (on her) that I could use two skill buttons to drain 15% of her health and 7% of her stats, and then hit a skill reset button with a long cooldown, and then press those two buttons to drain another 15% health and 7% of stats, before actually ending my turn and giving her a turn to act. I said that occasionally she would run into that combination when fighting other players.
  • Snippet: I was playing a Sim-like game with a friend, and in particular there was a main road crossing a river on a bridge, and I built a small path leading perpendicularly away from it along the river’s edge, across a bunch of grassy land set on some rolling hills. I commented to my friend that this area might eventually become a golf course.
  • Snippet: There was a detective who had special blood, and he was crying out in horror because he had just been bitten by two vampire girls who then fled, but the vampire bite had doomed him and he was writhing on the ground. Two godly figures came across him as he was dying, and they reincarnated him into a large, brownish seafaring ship to save him.
  • Editor: The Microsoft Powertools set of programs here refers to Microsoft Powertoys, except I always remember the name wrongly in real life anyway, so why not in dreams too?
Oct 22 2023
  • I was in Vancouver because for some reason I was planning for a trip around Asia in about 3 or 4 months, and going to Vancouver now would apparently cut off the need for me to go to Vancouver once that trip rolled around, as though I could just load my progress and start from Vancouver once the time for my full trip came around. I came and danced in my school uniform at the side of a lake, which was apparently my main goal there. I had no schedule to adhere to either, so I could stay there for as long as I wanted, but I did want to get home that same day that I arrived so I went to the airport.
  • However, somehow I managed to get past the initial screening without actually having printed off my plane ticket yet due to some staff confusion, and because I wasn’t sure which plane I wanted to take back home, as there were a couple options. Eventually I opted for one that I saw was going to land 4 minutes before another situated on the next gate. I talked to the attendants at the counter, and even handed them my passport, before finally realizing that I had not printed my tickets yet.
  • I asked them if they could print it for me, and they said no — I would have to go out all the way past screening security again to the main airline counters, print it there, and then come in again. It would take quite a while, and one of the clerks suggested I spend more time in Vancouver and take a bus out to where one of her colleagues was staying to see some snow while I was here in BC. She couldn’t remember the name of the town though and was annoyed at herself for that. They also mentioned that they even got requests occasionally from the airport securityy staff asking them to print out someone or other’s tickets for them, but they couldn’t.
  • They then started to attend to other customers but I realized that they had forgotten to hand me back my passport so I asked for it. They handed it back — it looked just like my regular blue passport, but it also had a slip of paper stapled to it, and I knew that that was my Japanese visa from my cancelled trip to Japan. As I walked away, the girl that had suggested I visit another town commented to another clerk that she appreciated how I not only didn’t cry or get angry, but even apologized to them for the hassle.
  • For my part, I was going to head to the other airplane’s counter to see if they could print my tickets instead, but I wandered by a 7-11 store counter that was located in between the two airplane counters, and heard a familiar voice call out my name. I turned around, and saw Miyu at the counter as a cashier! She asked if I was here in Canada for a Pronunciation Competition, and rattled off some impressive English sentences. Apparently she had come here for that contest as an international entrant, as part of her English immersion studies, and her English was pretty great now. For whatever reason she was now also working part-time at that airport 7-11 store.
  • I said no, that I was just on a trip, and that I had forgotten her name — she said it was Yaru. We chatted a bit more, then arranged to meet for dinner after she was done her work, which would give me plenty of time to get tickets and such and aim for a midnight flight home instead.
  • Snippet: One snippet from an earlier dream involved me washing dishes at a sink, in a house where I was living with Mom and Jon. I found one of Mom‘s earrings by the side of the sink in a small puddle of water, and the other matching earring next to the soap and sponge bowl, so I retrieved both and put them together.
  • Snippet: Another snippet from that same house involved us seeing Santa Claus go by the window, and then the next morning finding a bunch of board games on our kitchen table. Some of them were labelled to be for me, and some for Jon, and some of them were labelled Neutral or something similar, which implied that they were for the family at large without specifically being for either of us.
  • Snippet: I was on a bus at one point, and that bus had an experiment where they had removed some of the seats just behind the rear center door, and replaced them with plastic chairs facing each other instead. This was supposed to give people more room, but all it led to were people taking one of the pairs of chairs and slumping over, stretching out their legs to impede people from sitting in the plastic chair opposite theirs. I tried sitting in one of them anyway even though there was a person across for me, but it was too cramped and my knees kept bumping into his knees, and the rough texture of the blue jeans he was wearing, so I got up and moved to a regular seat across from the rear door instead.
  • Snippet: At another point, I was at a train station, and needed to cross the tracks to buy a ticket from the machine on the other side. Although the train track actually ended at the point where the crossing was, that crossing was still supervised by two officers and I had to pause, look down the tracks to the direction the train would come from, and then look back at the officer for permission to cross. He waved me across and I did so. On the way back, my train was arriving, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cross back in time to reach it, but he waved me up some stairs and I found that there was a little overhead bridge that also allowed me to cross those tracks and get onto a second level pathway where a good number of people were hanging out. For good reason, since that pathway snaked across the station and had stairs leading down to all the platforms.

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