My Diary #117

Dear Tigey,

Our city’s new train line, the Valley Line LRT, officially opened this week! Today in fact, Saturday! They started building it in 2009………… well, I’m happy for them that they managed to finally stumble across the finish line after years of mismanagement and delays, and I wasn’t going to wake up at 5 am today and go brave some ice to catch the first train or anything like that, nor am I going to take that line anytime soon in general since it’s not connected to the main line anywhere near my station, but at least our former Edmonton 4012 home sort of has nearby train service now!

Entry #117 (Nov 05 2023)

Table of Contents

Trains running to…
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #113
ට  Song of the Week #90
ට  Writing Prompt of the Week #33
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #97
ට  Dreams


The snow is all gone.

Highs this next week are +6 to +7 virtually every day, with lows going down to between -4 to -1 Celsius… we apparently might get a light dusting tomorrow anyway but it’s not going to stick for a little bit longer.

I had a bit of a fly problem in my house this midweek, at least I kept noticing a couple of those tiny, tiny black flies (I don’t know what species of fly they are and I don’t care to research it) buzzing around either the computer area or my washroom. I noticed that everytime I went to the toilet sink there were a couple of flies perched in the sink, and the way I’ve had it set up for the past decade or so is that I’ve just left the little sink drain hole open because it’s never been a problem, I did see the occasional fly now and then but not in large quantities and I never linked it to that hole. I did this time though, although I wasn’t sure if it was maybe linked to not having vacuumed my house for some time (trying to hold out for Black Friday vacuum sales..), but after finally adopting a policy of stoppering up that hole when it isn’t in use, and murdering a number of flies on the first day, I seem to have gone back to being basically fly-free (as far as I can see anyway) for the past 3-4 or so days now.

On my way back from the mall one day this week, I ran into the Starlight Leo cat that I briefly wrote about two weeks ago. The balcony door of the house she lived in was ajar, and she took the opportunity to wander out onto the side road and into a small area next to the nearby garbage dumpster, then back to a lamppost next to her house, then back into her house. Seems dangerous. And also a bit dirty. But who am I to criticize?

The dumpster (and small side road she crossed) looks like this:

Starlight Leo house is on the left, and the dumpsters are on the right.. she was to the left of the brown-coloured dumpster and to the right of the chain link fence when I first saw her, then she darted back across the road. Later, she was curled up next to the lamppost visible on the left side of that shot.

I never saw the owner. I wonder what the cat’s name is.

My other outstanding parcel from the Japanese second-hand CD shop came in:

I paid 5,978 yen for 7 CDs after all fees and taxes, and again there was no customs fee (4 out of 5 packages from the shop have had no customs fee), but although the box size was exactly the same as the box from last week, the shipping fee that the company paid (according to the Japan Post invoice that was included) went up from 4,400 yen to 5,000 yen. That fee was waived for me as part of their promotion, so I still have no idea how the company is making a profit, but I’ll take it.

The parcel was also sent via EMS, through Canada Post, and the Canada Post delivery person again failed to even attempt the delivery, instead just placing the delivery card in my mailbox, which asked me to go pick it up from the post office the next day myself. I know the procedure well enough now after last week, it’s done via reaching a human chat agent through another AI chat agent on Canada Post’s website, and the human chat agent actually fills in the ticket for me, so I filed another online complaint about this and then did some work on my computer while the agent created the ticket and then sent me an email notification about it. I don’t think I actually have gotten or will get feedback through the ticket, but that’s fine, the existence of the ticket itself (and the metrics that that creates) is more than enough petty vengeance for me even if the ticket gets closed immediately.

Work was really busy this week too as we had switched over from our old ticketing system, ServiceNow, to the new one, FreshWorks. FreshWorks is missing a number of useful “common sense” features that ServiceNow has, like a way to turn off notification emails when your team’s queue received a ticket, or a way to filter for tickets older than a set period of time, but has some decently neat things built in as well, and having to adjust to the new world, figure out how to do tickets properly, and make a ton of dashboards and filters, all contributed to make the week really interesting.

With that said, even though it feels like I didn’t accomplish anything this week, every day felt really hectic and it felt like I never really got any downtime. I keep a weekly running list of thoughts that I can perhaps talk about in the blog at the end of the week, and four of the items this week mention wanting to do more things with the blog or in my personal life — making an “anime translation” section of the blog, making a digital list of all the gamebooks I have (after last week’s Writing Prompt of the Week), wanting to do some sort of personal research and essay writeup on Edmonton-local history at the library (inspired by the Valley Line LRT launch), and working on my uploads, but three also came with notes like “Not enough time this week to work on this,” or “Really feeling the squeeze on time:” It felt like I’ve been “on standby” or “on alert” for the entire week and it’s been a little exhausting.

I renewed the library book that I had borrowed three weeks ago, All the Knowledge in the World by Simon Garfield. It’s been a fun read, and I’ve enjoyed stepping through the history of encyclopedias. The book is roughly arranged with chapter titles that go from A-Z even though the actual layout of the book is chronological, I guess in an attempt to try to get style points, and despite renewing the book for another 3 weeks, I finished this book on Saturday this week. So a visit to the local library to return it is probably in store for me this upcoming week.

I also attempted to do some research on my upcoming planned trip this week. I didn’t really come out with much though, because there’s so much uncertainty still. But I’m likely going to skip the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido this year if I’m allowed to visit Singapore (still pending a confirmation email for this…) because it overlaps with Chinese New Year celebrations and I’d rather be there for that if I have a chance. Australia to or from North America is also extremely pricey, and there’s no way I can fly that route without breaking the bank so I’m likely going to fly in and out of Asia using a Japan <-> San Francisco route operated by ZipAir, a Japanese budget airline. We’ll see though. Sydney to see Zian and Huihan would have to be a side detour down from South East Asia or East Asia.

And! I washed my bedsheets (and pillow/bolster cases) this week. Which seems inconsequential, but I never really do that often, except on “special occasions”… I really should do that more often though, when the laundry basket isn’t overfull anyway, because sleeping on fresh sheets makes for a nice mood boost for the next few nights.


I played several games during my evenings this week. One was CODE VEIN — although I had come into the game looking to see if it was a suitable game for Satinel and I to play co-op, apparently it actually is a pretty terrible co-op game. The entire game is like a budget (and really easy) Dark Souls-esque game, down to things like mist walls for bosses (but the bosses have all been very easy, especially since you have a good NPC escorting you the entire way), gear itemization is somewhat interesting in theory but really bad in practice, and the co-op implementation, where you can only summon other players within a specific zone, and at the end of the zone they are sent back to their game and you cannot continue with them or play with them “between” zones or bring them to your base, is utter garbage.

Furthermore, all the content has to be run twice as a dedicated duo, once for Player 1’s game and once for Player 2’s game, and it’s very weird and bad and so stereotypically Japanese in its problems. Like, designed by old men in business suits that are far behind the times in the gaming world and can only copy what worked 25 years ago, but no one can fire them because that’s corporate culture in Japan. That sort of thing. It reeks of that. The character creation is gorgeous though. I sunk an hour into it before I realized what I was doing. I never do that in games, so the fact that this game made me do that is a testament to it.

I also continued to play some Honkai Star Rail, the most notable part of it being that I did a sidequest that ended up with the main character going out with other two characters to see the aurora.

This kind of scene is very nice, though the shot composition is almost identical to Yamafuda 2nd station‘s victory screens. Like this one, for example.

Not that I mind, the more of this sort of picture the merrier.

I also played some more Shisensho Solitaire on the Steam Deck but that was about it for solo play. I’ve been tempted by MGSV lately though and might go back to that for a night or two soon.

Elden Ring’s default co-op multiplayer was also implemented poorly, but thanks to the Seamless Co-op Mod I’ve been having a fairly good time in there with Satinel as well, although we ran into a yucky “puzzle” dungeon at the end of our last playthrough and haven’t been back to the game since. Nonetheless, here’s a random shot of the both of us:

We also acquired and started playing Heroes of Hammerwatch, and it’s been neat going through games and seeing how gameplay features are implemented and then thinking back to this or that Unity course and understanding what was done there. The game itself has been fun so far, a few weird implementations but nothing game-breaking, and we thankfully haven’t been experiencing the disconnect issues that other people have complained about in Steam reviews, perhaps since we’re using a version of the game that some reviews recommended. And the game has a text chat box! How novel!

Plushie of the Week #113 – Major

Brand new Squishmallow plushies tend to be $14.99 or $24.99 in Canada, depending on the price, but when I was passing by the Indigo Spirit bookstore in Southgate Mall on Friday this week, I saw a few Halloween-themed ones on a rack in front of the store and on sale for $9.99, and I found them rather fetching, so of course I had to rescue one. Birthday: Nov 03 2023. Price tag: $9.99 after tax. Name: Well, undecided as yet, but his nametag says Major, so he fits right into Tigey‘s plushie army!

Outside of the four plushies I got while in Japan, this is actually the first plushie I’ve acquired this year. He is my third squishmallow, after Starmiya and Opal. Pictures follow!



Tag front (after I took it off):

Tag back:

Label 1 front:

Label 2 front:

Label 2 back/Label 3 front:

Label 3 back:

The three squishmallows taking a goofy group picture:

Song of the Week #90

Title: My Soul For You
Artist: Fire Bomber featuring Basara Nekki
Album: Macross 7 OST (1995)

Although I’ve never watched the Macross anime franchise, this song was one of the first anime songs I liked, back when I first started watching anime. I heard it on some Japanese anime radio at the time, and for whatever reason I fell in love with it quite quickly. However, over the next couple years or so, I would gradually forget this song as it got relegated to the sidelines in favour of other songs.

Nonetheless, here we are today. I don’t have a strong connection to the song outside of knowing that it connects to my early anime days, but I do still like the song in general, and I got a kick out of listening to it again for the first time in a couple of years. It’s a nice and slow ballad, and give me a smoky restaurant 80s, almost even noir-like sort of feel, and I like it!

There’s apparently two versions of the song, one an acoustic one, and then this one. According to chat records, I apparently stumbled upon this one on Mar 12 2019, so about a scant four months into my anime watching career.

Writing Prompt of the Week #33

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“How high-tech was your childhood? What technologies existed in your youth, and what role did they play in your life?”

My youth, at least in Singapore, was a time where we didn’t even have cellphones yet, never mind smartphones. I kept and maintained a class roster which included people’s phone numbers and addresses, and occasionally a couple of fax machines. Virtually everyone also had an email address, several of us had multiple email addresses at neat domains like, and we found that fancy. We had ICQ for online chat by the late 90s, but cellphones were absolutely not a thing and wouldn’t be until at least the early to mid 00’s.

We had computers, our family’s first computer came in around 1992 when I was in Grade 2, and it was a Pentium 386 that ran Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.1 (and then shortly after 3.11), and that was where I started my lifetime journey with computers, figuring out how everything worked, installing and uninstalling things, playing games and fiddling around with early computer apps,  and so on. We got the Internet a few years later, likely closer to 1994 or 1995, although it was a metered dialup connection at first so we didn’t use it all that much. It wasn’t until 1997 or 1998 that we first got a cable modem, and an internet connection that did not require tying up a spare phone line to use.

I spent a lot of time when young poking around things, and computers have been a big part of my life since then, so much so that that’s ultimately why I ended up working in a computer-related field for a living, troubleshooting other people’s problems to a degree. Conversely, I never had exposure to Macs or Linuxes growing up, and we never did any sort of console gaming either (besides a couple of random standalone handheld games) until we got an Xbox in the late 2000s. By that time we had long since passed the threshold where such a thing could appreciably leave an indelible mark on our childhood — they were fun enough for a game or two, but never to such an extent where we’d still talk fondly about our experiences afterwards, nor would we ever seek out the latest console games and hardware.

In the realm of computers, we used 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch floppy disks before readable and writeable and rewriteable CDs were a thing, anbd although most of those are gone now, I still have a couple kicking around, and I actually have a bunch of stuff from our 3 1/2 inch diskettes backed up in my archivesr as well. There were also some missteps along the way — we had an Iomega external zip drive and some zip discs at some point, for example, but those were EXTREMELY unreliable and would often just error out and destroy anything on them, so I hated them after playing around with them a bunch. That was a garbage piece of hardware.

I do wish the 90s had a higher technological level though, as a lot of things and memories from back then are now lost to time, because no one thought about things like archiving, nor had the capability to be able to easily record day to day things, way back then. Nowadays everyone has a mobile phone with a video and photo camera. Back then? I sometimes brought Dad‘s pager to school and got a beep on it to let me know that he was coming to pick me up. Or Mom would tell Dad before he left the house that she’d call his pager tonight, and that two beeps meant that he needed to go grab some bread from the local store on the way back home, whereas one beep meant that he didn’t…

Memory Snippet of the Week #97

There’s this Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptom that I’ve had ever since young — it’s not something that’s taken over my life or anything like that, but it is still something that I do rather often, in little ways, unless I consciously look out for it and suppress it, and it can get annoying occasionally.

This started when I was really young, where sometimes I would find that once I touched something with one hand, I would then have this compulsion to touch it with my other hand as well, to “balance” it out. My parents, once they noticed this, called this the “Touch-Touch Syndrome” for lack of a better name as they made fun of me. It didn’t only extend to touching something with my hands, if one knee touches a stool for example, I would sometimes get a compulsion to bring over my other knee to touch it as well, especially if nothing else was going on to distract me.

Obviously this discomfort isn’t debilitating to the point or I wouldn’t have been able to function in life, and I can often just ignore it just fine, however when the counterbalancing action that demands to be enacted is a small, quick one, or one that takes very little effort to do, it can be very hard to suppress, either because it’s already instinctively done before I can react against it or because the effort is so low for a nice payoff of relief and balance.

Some examples of this “balancing” include having to flick a finger or rub against a nail with another finger if it feels off balance compared to my other hand, or having to “wink” either my left or right eye to balance the facial muscles on either side of the face. This also applies to my arms, particularly the muscles between the elbow and the arm, often I have to twitch one or the other, sometimes both in succession, back and forth, until they feel “balanced”. And to my little fingers on both hands, especially my right one, I have to bend and “crack” it sometimes or bring it up in front of me and scratch against the nail and skin with my right thumb to relieve the nagging urge that something is wrong with the world.

This is not just related to physical idiosyncracies as well, I sometimes get uncomfortable if my mouse is hitting or predominantly on one side of the screen but not the other, and I have to flick the cursor over to the other side of the screen, sometimes letting it bounce off more than one edge and back, before I feel comfortable again. This almost never happens outside of games though, I think, and I’m not sure if it’s restricted to certain types of games or not. It’s usually not an issue, but it has occasionally caused a character death here or there if that disrupts the camera or makes me lose sight of the cursor at a key moment.

In addition, it can be visual even outside of computer screens as well. For example, I sometimes feel uncomfortable when I’m looking at an object, and I find that to alleviate this, I need to bring up my right little finger again into view, curling up my right hand backwards toward me as I do so, so that a certain part of the finger, where the corner of the nail meets the skin, lines up visually with the item I am looking at. That then triggers some sort of mathematical formula that relieves my discomfort immediately.

Yet, despite all that, I could probably touch a thousand things a day and only get this sensation with a couple items. As examples, I don’t get this compulsion when using my mouse, drinking water from my cup, packing my bag or purse, petting Tigey, using my phone, opening or closing a door, brushing my teeth, or using a sink (though I actually believe I used to have it happen with sink faucets, this has not happened for a long time though if so). I don’t get it while watching others do things either, neither in real life nor on television or an anime or an online video or a character in a game. Nothing like that triggers the compulsion for me. I don’t get it while digging my nose, though I can get it while touching the outside of my nose, and I definitely do get it if I purse up my lips and touch the underside of my nose, especially if it’s cold.

I do sometimes get this with clothes if they feel “unbalanced” on my body, and I do sometimes get it with my hands on my keyboard due to the ridges between the rows of the keys, but neither sensation is overwhelming or unignorable, just annoying. To the point where it’s often easier to just give in and fix it if I can. I do get something like it if one of my legs is under a blanket and the other is not, although I’m not sure if that one is really linked to this or is just a regular human “this is a weird situation” sort of feeling, since my feet are sensitive to temperature and I think that’s the same for many people.

At any rate, it’s weird hey? Touch-Touch Syndrome, a left side/right side of body OCD imbalance or something like that. Often mildly uncomfortable, sometimes ignorable, other times easier to just get it out of the way.


My set of dreams this week were particularly strong. It was a pretty great series, most of them were long and interesting entries, and several were punctuated with what I call “subplots”, where I doze off and come up with alternative endings or scenes after the ending of the main dream. It’s really weird. The dreams were so long that they basically took around half an hour to an hour a day to write down after I got up. Maybe that’s why the days always felt so short and packed. Heck, it’s about half the length of the entire blog post this week — when I finally move these into my combined dream journal page, this specific blog post will seem so much shorter.

In the latter half of the week I used this sound combination and left it running on the computer as I fell asleep, I’ve found that having some sort of noise going on as I sleep tends to translate into better dream recollection for me as long as it’s a noise that I like or that doesn’t bother me in the first place. Traffic noises definitely fall into that category for me.

Oct 30 2023

Dream 1

  • This dream involved a young prince, and his younger sister, a princess named Allele. They were both studying at a school near a war zone, and were going home for summer vacation. Both of them were still too young for combat training, but the prince would reach the age where he was eligible to start this over the summer vacation, so the headmaster secured permission to send some training material home with him so that he could study while away.
  • The princess was still a year or two behind, but the headmaster apparently had plans for her too so that once she was eligible to start training, she could catch up to the prince as quickly as possible.
  • The dream showed some scenes of this war on TV. There was a video of a boy making handmade rockets that he could shoot out of his window, and another boy that made some sort of explosive contraption out of wires. There was another scene where a boy made a bunch of tiny refractive prisms cut from a long, thin sheet, around the size and length of a short roll of stamps, and I knew that this was somehow linked to testing a special pink laser that I had invented at some point. There were also cautionary videos about being too close to the window in the room, as one might get hit by a rocket and explode.
  • Later on, I was one of two heroes trying to clear a church of some monsters, and our plan was to go in and draw the aggro of the monsters and lure them outdoors, which would apparently cause four of the six monsters to get lost and despawn or reset. The two dangerous monsters in the group would remain though, but then we could fight them on equal grounds. I went in and got all the monsters angry at me, then ran around leaping over things trying to avoid the monsters as I headed for the exit.
  • Editor: The name Allele certainly came from the anime Kizuna no Allele, though there’s no other relation to the show in the dream.

Dream 2

  • I was hanging out with three Dunman High girls at a shopping mall like area. Two of them went to the toilet for a bit, each one leaving a plushie behind, which I put on their chairs and then patted. One of the plushies was the fuzzy pink rabbit that I own, I didn’t recognize the other one though, nor do I remember who the two girls were. When they eventually came back, I told the owner of the fuzzy pink rabbit that I knew their plushies better than them now or that I could only learn about them through their plushies going forward or something similar to that.
  • While they were gone, I also spoke with the third girl, Debbie, who was our class monitor and had a little black book that doubled as our class yearbook. In the context of my dream, this was a book that contained a summary of the year, written by the monitor or leader of each of the previous ten years of the class’s cohort of students. Each entry was only 2 or 3 lines long, but it was still an important piece of history. Debbie was really good at English so I had no doubt that she would find something poignant to add for our year, and I offered/asked to read it after she had chosen what to write in the book.
  • Later on, I was on a train with Ronnie and a few other friends. Ronnie was heading to the airport to catch a plane to southern Australia, though it looked like he was actually headed to the coast off the southeastern side of Australia. From there, he was going to catch a rocket trip to outer space. It wasn’t the first time he had done this trip but he said that he was not looking forward to the 7 hour wait time in a transport tube there before he could even board the rocket.
  • The rocket trip was apparently a reward sponsored by the World of Warcraft game, and was some sort of game reward for playing it, and I wished him luck but said that I wasn’t a fan of that game and didn’t want to go to space badly enough to play it.
  • Later, I was on a motorized wheelchair zooming around campus. I was heading to meet up with my parents, and Melbourne or Sandy tried to assign me a work ticket at this point but I said that I was already done for the day even though it wasn’t quite noon yet, since I had the afternoon off. I said that they could still assign me the ticket but I wouldn’t work on it until tomorrow.
  • Eventually, I met up with my parents and some other friends and went walking around a festival with them, leaving the wheelchair behind at some point or other. Mom was afraid of getting lost in the crowd, so I held her hand as we walked. Then Dad dropped a scrunched up black twist-tie wire on the ground and I noticed that and picked it up, putting it in my pocket so that we wouldn’t be considered littering. We passed a few stalls and I mentioned to Mom as we passed a plushie stall that if we saw a nice plushie I wanted to stop and buy it. She agreed.
  • We went into a shop where Dad was friends with the proprietor and his assistant. Both of them were Malay guys. Dad either made a purchase or gave the shopkeepers some money, this apparently was done to support our grandparents or extended family back home. Jon also turned up at this point and said hi to me — I was surprised as he was supposed to still be at work and not be able to meet us until the afternoon.
  • The shop name was on a poster on the wall, and was written in English and Chinese. Apparently the shopkeepers had been told by tourists that the Chinese name of the shop also worked in Nepalese by a tourist who had been passing by in the past, but no one actually spoke any Nepalese at all, never mind enough Nepalese to confirm if this was true or not.
  • The shopkeeper also explained that there was a pun in the Chinese name, because the Chinese name was made out of two parts, the first part of the phrase was the name of the shop while the second part was a compound word that just meant “shop” or “business”. However, the last Chinese character of the first part was the same word as the first character of the second part, so to try to prevent confusion, the shop owner had changed the first character of the second part to a different, more complicated homonym that one seldom saw, never mind associated with shops in general. This ended up causing more confusion among the patrons that could read Chinese though, especially since not everyone could read this more complicated character in the first place, but they usually liked it once the shopkeeper explained it to them.
  • Lastly, Dad asked me if I knew what the word for “bag” in Hokkien was. I said 条 or “tiao” at first, but quickly realized that that was the wrong word, as that meant “piece” in Chinese. The shopkeeper, who was listening in, spoke up in agreement and said that that was plastic in Hokkien, even though I knew that that was not the case. At any rate, I remembered the actual word, “long”, right after that, and both Dad and the shopkeeper nodded once I said it out loud.
Oct 31 2023

Dream 1

  • I was in my Edmonton 205 home, with a diminutive grandma and an adult female who was her helper. I was at my computer desk and the grandma was next to my bed, seated on the floor on a laptop. Both of us were chatting with a Brazilian kid that we were internet friends with. The grandma was on a land line phone, and I was on a separate phone receiver connected to the main line so that I could not only hear the conversation between the grandma and the kid, but also have my own side conversation with the kid if I wanted.
  • At one point I noticed that he had hacked my computer, and was moving my mouse cursor around and opening windows as he commented on wanting to check out my Internet history and cookies folders. I immediately stopped chatting with him and forcefully rebooted my computer with the button on the computer case. He didn’t seem fazed at this and continued chatting with the grandma.
  • When my computer rebooted, I immediately hit a button that shut it off from the Internet, then changed my computer’s IP address manually. Then I unlocked the Internet long enough to grab the latest update file for the firewall program I was using, ZoneAlarm, before shutting the internet off again as I installed it. Finally, after that was installed, I reconnected to the Internet, believing that I was safe.
  • At that point, I saw grandma walk over to my computer desk. She actually walked slightly past it, then stopped and turned back and asked if she could use the computer. I said sure and stood up. Apparently she needed troubleshooting help from the Brazilian kid to get into her online Bitcoin wallet again and the next step she needed to do required a more powerful computer than her old laptop as it was somewhat involved. I wondered if he could be trusted but he seemed earnest about it at least.

Dream 2

  • I remember an arcade machine that a group of us were investigating because we could see two different versions of the game played on the machine, one an older version and one a newer version, and how we could tell the difference was that a specific tree in the game was still a young sapling in the older version and a fully-grown tree in the newer one.
  • This was all linked somehow to an old man that lived in a second or third floor apartment unit near the edge of a cliff in a foreign city or country that was nonetheless very near to our homeland. I was not officially part of the investigating group but I was friends with them, and loosely working in league with them.
  • I befriended the old man and got invited to his house, and the investigators, who wore devices that made them invisible, slipped in at the same time as me. But the old man became suspicious because the devices did not mask sound, and the three other investigators were not as silent as they thought they were. I feigned suspicion as well and pretended to keep my eyes out to help monitor his house as we chatted.
  • In the end, two of them went into his bedroom and searched while the third kept watch outside, but we could occasionally hear laughter from inside the room as the two people inside were a little rowdy, and the person who was standing guard outside had his device malfunction or run out of battery after a while, so he faded into view.
  • The old man jumped to his feet and I followed suit. The investigators escaped out the front door with their evidence and I followed them, making it seem like I was trying my best to find them. In reality, I knew which way they were headed, so I ran another way, scanned that area furiously, then ran back to the house and picked a third direction, running away from the house again and scanning that area furiously as well, finding no one there both times.
  • I then returned to the house again and packed up my backpack from the couch and table as the man turned off his lights and went to bed. Despite having a bedroom, he lay down on a glass table in his living room and prepared for sleep there as he watched me pack up and leave.
  • There were also a couple snippets that happened in the same trip, but I’m not sure if it was before or after this event. Firstly, there was a hockey game between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, which the Oilers won 5-2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a hat trick for the Oilers, but he almost got injured for his third goal, as he ended up behind the opposing net and lay there sprawled for a couple of minutes as one teammate concernedly tried to help him.
  • Two other teammates had a special celebration that they did next to him for his hat trick, ignoring that he was lying prone on the ice — this dance involved laying down six white towels down next to each other on the ice, then standing on them and dancing in a silly manner.
  • After the game, there was a special feature showing a video that was shot during the off-season, where some of his teammates visited him at his house and asked him if he planned to stay with the team, as apparently he had not signed a contract yet and had been considering leaving. Their visit, plus something inspirational that the team captain said, tipped the scale and so he stayed in the end, which the production team lauded had led to this victory.
  • The other snippet memory is that I went with Mom to lunch at one point in a shopping mall, sitting across from her at a restaurant table, and we watched that last video on a TV mounted on a wall there. Later on, I was walking with Jon and Kel through a city, likely on the last day before we returned home from the trip, and Kel had to step away for a bit.
  • Jon brought me to a nearby street corner where a bunch of posters were pasted on the wall there, including one that somehow related to the old man in the first part of this dream. Jon pointed to another poster, showing me that he was on it as part of a set of five pictures of two people each. He was in the top pair next to another guy. Jon said that it had been taken while he was in University, and that the guy he had posed with had passed on from this world.
  • I told him I wanted to visit a nearby mall to check out a shop on the second level there that I had been to in the past, and then visit the food court that was set in the ground floor or basement of a building next to it. He agreed and came along, and I texted Kel that we would be there when she returned, although I realized afterwards that I didn’t mention where or what time we would be there.
  • Eventually, Jon left first as he said he had somewhere to be. I waited around for Kel, and she eventually arrived at my table with a big plate of noodles. They looked like Fried Hokkien Mee, my favourite dish, except it had peas instead of prawns in the noodles. I commented that I still wished I had seen that dish for sale before I had bought and eaten something else though!
  • After the meal, I walked off with Kel toward some place where we were going to meet Jon. As we passed the street corner from earlier, I pointed out the poster with Jon‘s photo to her, and she pointed out another poster on the wall which she herself featured in as well.
  • Editor: The mall I visited here was basically the same “overseas mall” that I occasionally visit in my dreams, see previous entries like Sep 19 2019, Jul 20 2021, Aug 15 2021, and Jul 30 2022. I think the food court portion was borrowed/merged from another dream mall though, although this isn’t the first time the mall appeared as double mall buildings next to each other. Also, the Oilers did just beat the Flames 5-2 back on Sunday, Oct 29 2023, though there was no hat trick there.
Nov 01 2023
  • I was on the 8th level of a school buiding with three other classmates, as we headed down to the ground level for a special class in a small wooden classroom with a female version of Ronnie. S/he talked our ear off for about half an hour, but just before s/he finished I texted James and told him that Ronnie was almost done and he could start coming down now, and he did a couple of minutes afterwards.
  • This was also a female version of James, and s/he started to explain to us how to use a sort of half-conditioner, half-moisturizer lotion in a shampoo bottle, and how it was important to use that lotion after every ointment or cream that we placed on our face, in order to lock in the cream and make it more long-lasting. This was apparently news to most of us and we seemed grateful for the tip.
  • This concluded the class, and it was lunch hour so all the hallways and stairs in the 8-storey building were packed. I started climbing the stairs again with one of my classmates, as I wanted to walk back up to our classroom on the top level to put down my things. On the 5th floor, the flight of stairs that we were using ended and the remaining floors had to be ascended using another flight of stairs about 20 metres away.
  • While walking over to it, I passed a landing that had glass panes set in the roof over top of it, so sun was shining in through the glass and onto the students seated there. There was a way up to the actual roof itself through that landing as well. I recognized Aubrey sitting there in that landing area, having lunch and chatting with a few other people.
  • Snippet: At some point during the dream I was roaming around in a computer game world, navigating my way across the rooftops of a small town or outpost. I found a secret area that was surrounded by 8 or so straw huts that were all facing outwards, and all their back walls were touching each other and formed an octagon with no external exit. Inside that octagonal area was a boss mob and a number of soldier minions that I attacked and defeated.
Nov 02 2023
  • I had a dream where I was in a bedroom, lying down in bed under my blanket, and was told to stay there by Mom as she hid all 52 cards from a deck of poker cards throughout the rest of the apartment. I was told that they could be anywhere in the house, although if they were slipped inside a book then they would be either just inside the front or back cover, and not between some random page in the middle of the book.
  • The bedroom had a giant cage by the door, two metres or so from my pillow, and a smaller box by the foot of the bed. Both of these trapped and held giant rats that were falling down from the ceiling like dripping water, each rat was as big as a house cat, though they apparently didn’t bite. Somehow the smaller box had no problem holding the giant rats, but the larger cage, which had vertical bars running from the floor to nearly the ceiling, was jam-packed full of giant rats that couldn’t move already.
  • I sensed that it was about to overflow and explode, and I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, so I called for help. Mom was still busy so Jon came in and did something which transformed all the giant rats in the large cage to a crushed and compressed solution of bloody liquid, although somehow the cage still managed to contain the liquid without any of it flowing through the bars somehow.
  • Two rats did escape through the top of the overfull cage though, and they hopped onto my bed, where I grabbed them and tossed them to the ground in disgust. The bed and my hands had an unwashed smell that lingered for a bit and I whined that I wanted to take a shower to clean it off.
  • But Mom was soon done her hiding of the cards, and I had a 6 hour timer that started from that point in which I needed to find as many cards as possible, and every 10 cards I found would apparently give me some sort of permanent buff. I went to my car in the garage and found two cards there, one was the 9 or 10 of spades, and I have no idea what the other card was — but these would be the only two cards that I would find in my dream as I woke up soon after that.
  • Editor: This was where things started to get weird. Lying down in bed, I noted down that earlier dream on my phone, but at some point I also drifted off into a continuation of that dream myself.
  • This time, the smell from the rats had almost faded, as I got into the car, but I realized that it was a tiny car as I had to crouch over to enter it and had to occupy both the driver and front passenger’s seat, sitting on the middle divider with one leg tucked into each seat’s legroom. I wondered why it was so small.
  • The car must have expanded at some point though, as I soon slid into the driver’s seat afterwards just fine and two passengers joined me in the back. The cards were now apaprently hidden all around a large carpark instead, and as the car started moving before I was ready to drive it, I asked one of the two in the back to steer it for now instead and he agreed.
  • I placed down a stack of papers that I had beside me, and then tried to put on my seatbelt, but got interrupted as the backseat driver took a sharp turn, then another, throwing me off each time. I scolded him for doing so and asked him to make gentle turns if at all. He obliged and aimed the car toward the exit of the carpark, as there was a long, gently curving road leading off from that, and I finished putting on the seatbelt and took control back from him.
  • The car exited the carpark at a rather high speed, and I knew that if I simply hit the brakes we would spin out of control. Instead, I just slowly decelerated the car as it travelled down the road into an area that I recognized as being very similar to the road outside the Mill Woods Town Centre bus interchange. I turned the car off the main road into a side one once it was about to cruise to a stop, and it bumped into a light pole off the side of the side road and came to a complete halt.
  • We all left the car to check that no damage was done, and then returned to the car again, except now the car had become a bus. The three of us boarded it, with me seating in the driver’s seat, which was located on the right middle side of the bus, where the rear exit normally was. We had picked up a fourth person as well, a woman who had boarded the bus behind us. We said we were just on our way back to the carpark not far from us, and she said she didn’t mind and that she was interested in what we were doing, and we ended up befriending her as we drove back.
  • From here, the story somehow developed into a brief love story, though I’m not sure what the exact details are. I do remember the ending though, that a guy and girl ended back in an apartment as a new couple after the guy confessed to the girl. The girl was an anime-style character, in her late teens or early adulthood, dressed in light-coloured winter clothing with fuzzy earmuffs. Also, there were a pile of aluminum takeout boxes full of food stacked on their kitchen counter table, with the rectangular box at the bottom significantly larger than the ones above it.
  • I then “woke up” again, but this time I was still in a dream, lying down on my mattress in a larger version of my Edmonton 205 apartment, with Mom lying down on a mattress that was perpendicular to mine, the head of her mattress near the head of my bed and the feet of her mattress stretching toward my computer desk.
  • It was 7 am at this point in my dream, and Mom asked me if I was awake as she was waiting for me to be up before she got up as well. I pretended to still be asleep as I jotted down the dreams in my head, from the rat incident to the carpark one to the ending of the love story. I also thought I saw a dark and impossibly thin figure rifling through one of my boxes that I could see from my bed, but when I looked more closely I could see nothing there. Dad and Jon were already up and elsewhere in the house, and Kel was in a separate room still asleep as well, so I did feel safe nonetheless.
  • I got up at this point, and Mom did as well. We went to try to wake Kel up and knocked on her bedroom door, but she said that she wanted to sleep for 4-5 more hours. Mom then went into the kitchen and talked to Dad, asking him how often he cleaned a wooden picnic table that was located outside of our home. She thought he cleaned it daily. He said he did, but he cleaned it in the morning instead of late at night because apparently he found out that some kids from a nearby community center liked to catch spiders or mosquitoes and bring it to the table at night, and then set the bugs into fighting each other there.
  • Allen appeared at this point, carrying a large, twin-sized mattress. He had apparently borrowed it from us in the past and wanted to return it to us, and had dragged it here by hand from Vancouver where he lived, via a train that went from Vancouver to Ontario, and then a transfer to another train from Ontario to Edmonton.
  • I was delighted to see him and beckoned him to my room. My bed now was on a bedframe located in the corner of the room, with Mom‘s bed in another corner. My bed was overflowing with plushies, and several, including Druggy, were on the ground. We also passed by another Tigey plushie as I headed over to my bed and picked up the real Tigey plushie, and then handed it to him to pat. He smiled as I told him that that was the original one that he had given to me many years ago.
  • Editor: At this point, I actually woke up again, and noticed that I had started writing down that first rat dream on my phone, and that 23 minutes had passed since then, but nothing else was actually recorded down. I wrote down what I could, then lay down and tried to remember what I could of the love story portion. I couldn’t, but I did semi-drift off again and resurfaced with new dream snippets, or subplots, that were loosely connected as epilogues of the previous dream. In one scene where there was a battle between two spaceships in outer space that were bonking noses with each other. In another scene, a mafia-style antagonist showed up with some of his goons. Neither one was a full-fledged scene though, and I decided to get up for good shortly after that.
Nov 03 2023
  • This dream took place in a hospital where Kel was recovering from a heart attack. The hospital room itself was like a furnished one or two room apartment on its own, so the entire family had basically moved in while Kel received medical attention, and by the point of the dream she had already fully recovered and we were preparing to head home.
  • The only snippet of hospital life I can remember outside of preparing to go home was that Dad and I went downstairs to the cafeteria during the weekend, and overheard a couple talking to a cook holding a big pot of soup and making some sort of complaint that the soup wasn’t enough and that had somehow caused the girl in the couple a headache. The cook apologised, and while pointing to another pot on the stove that was covered and being heated, she said that she didn’t have access to the weekday soup pot which had better soup in it. She offered more of the weekend soup from another pot, and put a ladleful of soup, cabbage, and carrots into the girl’s bowl even as the couple said it wasn’t necessary. We were contemplating eating at that cafeteria but decided to go elsewhere to eat.
  • Around when we got back, a couple of visitors left the apartment that we were staying in. They were another couple that were making the rounds and doing introductions, and they had said that they had just moved into unit 605, a couple of levels above us. Even though we mentioned we were leaving imminently, they invited us to visit them anyway if we ever had the time.
  • On checkout day itself, packing was leisurely on the day that we were due to move out, but once the checkout timer hit and we weren’t done yet, a bell chimed to let us know that we were starting to be charged an overdue fee for each minute that we remained in the apartment. A nurse also arrived and wondered where the keys were, but we told her that we weren’t ready yet.
  • There were a couple half-packed suitcases around that Mom and Kel were working on packing. Jon was nowhere to be seen, and Dad distracted the nurse by talking to her. He told the nurse that he wished some of the decorations in the room were buyable at the hospital gift shop downstairs, pointing to some LP records on the wall in particular, and said that if they were available, he’d definitely have bought some of them as he liked them so much.
  • I went into the room where Kel‘s bed was, and saw a half-packed suitcase there too. Most of our things were in that suitcase already but I identified a few other things that were not, and brought them and the case to the door. In particular, I remembre bringing three pairs of sneakers belonging to Mom as well as an additional pair of shoelaces.
  • Out in the main room, I also looked for a box to put my A3 scanner in, as I had apparently brought that along to the hospital to help with my scanning project even while we were staying here. There were a pile of boxes by the wall but I couldn’t find the long box that the scanner came in, and as Mom or Kel were walking away with other corrugated boxes, I assumed that my box had been mistakenly thrown away as well and was not happy about that.
  • I talked to Dad about our living arrangement at home, and he said that there were indeed plans to change things around to help Kel. Currently, in the context of the dream, our home included three bedrooms — one for Dad and I, one for Jon and Kel, and one for Mom. After this, we’d be swapping around so Dad and I would still be together but would be in a master bedroom with a raised carpeted dais for the bed. I was looking forward to that. Mom would move in with Kel and they’d be in our former room, which was a bit smaller but did not include a raised platform that she had to clamber upon. Jon would be by himself in the third room.
  • Editor: I woke up at this point, then again drifted off into half-sleep after writing down some notes, and came back with some dream snippets that were loosely connected to the original dream but otherwise made no real sense.
  • Snippet: We received a letter for an emperor congratulating Kel for leaving hospital .The emperor asked his handmaidens about our stay, and the handmaidens hold the emperor to look around at the well-lived apartment and the tardiness that we had run into when leaving it, which showed that we must have liked the place a lot.
  • Snippet: Kel was a princess sitting at the base of a tree in the forest, she was dressed in an expensive, fluffy dress and had been running from something.
  • Snippet: There was a car-driving subplot that had to do with racing another car, and involved the police arriving on the scene too at some point.
  • Snippet: There was a woman wearing a jacket who had invaded our hospital apartment, and we were looking for some help in order to clear her from the room. For some reason we developed a new food recipe for this, as the subplot looked like it was about to devolve into a cooking competition.
  • I think there was at least another scene with an emperor figure losing or having something stolen from him, and possibly yet another scene involving a lion, but I don’t recall the details of any other subplots.
Nov 04 2023
  • Dad was about to drive all three of us kids, Kel, Jon, and I, home from the local University, when an antagonist showed up with TV foreshadowing. None of us saw her, but she was very clearly looking at the camera with a sneer on her face, as she had newly transferred in or something and disliked something about our family or class or perhaps something about some of the friends we had. I as the viewer knew that something was going to happen, but I as the character didn’t even see her.
  • We were walking toward Dad‘s minivan when we came across an elegant-looking pen on the ground that hade been planted by the transfer student, we “knew” it belonged to her and that it contained a terrible power but Kel picked it up anyway. Jon and I told her to leave it in Dad‘s car, but she said that she’d return it to the girl tomorrow. We got into the van and drove home.
  • The next day, Kel went to look for the transfer student. She found her outside a Phys Ed storeroom on the uppermost level where our classrooms also were. The transfer student opened the storeroom and forced Kel into there, then activated the pen, which turned Kel into a blue bird, very similar to the ones from Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko. We discovered what had happened when the gym teacher later came into the store room as well and found Kel‘s stuff lying on the ground there, but there was no sign of the transfer student or the bird.
  • I spent basically the rest of the dream looking for Kel. I searched the top level first, then went down and walked through the rest of the school slowly, looking for a blue bird. There was a Chinese New Year style festival celebration going on in the courtyard on the ground floor, on a thin, elongated piece of concrete surrounded by grass, which in turn was surrounded on three sides by the tall building that I had just descended through. People were dancing and playing games in the courtyard but I was in no mood to join them or watch. I went outside the school and looked around the adjacent neighbourhoods to no avail as well.
  • I ran into Zian, who had skipped classes that day but was trying to go to the University anyway to pick up worksheets that she had missed, now that classes had ended for the day. I accompanied her back as I had no other leads anyway, telling her what had happened, and we walked back into the University.
  • She suggested that maybe the bird had flown to a familiar location and was waiting for someone to find her — perhaps our home, or perhaps back to the classrooms or storeroom, and that it sounded difficult to track her down since she could not communicate but could travel around much easier than we could. I wanted to check our classrooms again at this point, but there was a hitch — the doors to the top level of the building were locked after hours, so we could not get in.
  • Zian and I went to the second-to-top level, where we ran into a teacher and Zian explained that she had been sick and thus had missed school that day and could the teacher please open the door for us so she could get up to the classroom and grab her notes. The teacher pointed to a red emergency box on the wall that contained a device that would measure one’s body temperature, and asked her to use that instead. She looked nervous, and I was surprised she went through with it because I thought that she was just feigning an illness as an excuse, but the machine actually did detect her temperature to be slightly abnormally high, and it beeped.
  • A compartment in the red box opened, which was supposed to release a key to the top level, but it didn’t actually have a key in it. I realized at this point though that I had a keyring and on that keyring was a key for the doors to the top level as well. I told Zian this and beckoned her to follow. We went to another part of the second-to-top level, near a glass-enclosed cafeteria with a lot of students in it. The cafeteria had stairs inside that led up to the top level, and I wondered for a moment if we could just use that, but Zian pointed to a sign at the bottom of the stairs that said that there was no access to the top level through those stairs, as the area it led to was sealed from the rest of the uppermost level.
  • Anyway, just outside that cafeteria entrance was a very short, rickety “pathway” consisting of a three feet long by two feet wide grilled floor with metal handrails that jutted out from the building itself, so that one could see the ground floor six levels below if one looked down through the grilled floor. This was basically here as a mini-landing for the door that was located in the external wall there that led down from the top level, but that swung out into mid-air right next to the corridor just outside of the cafeteria door, instead of leading down into the corridor itself, due to poor architectural decisions. The little grilled floor gave a way for people to reach that door from the corridor and vice versa, and was barely wide enough for the door to swing open.
  • This was the door that my key fit into though, so I fumbled around trying to unlock it with one hand while being really worried that I would either drop my keys, or an egg that I was holding in my other hand for some reason. Eventually I gave my key to Zian and told her to unlock it, she thanked me, unlocked and opened the door, returned my keys, and scampered upstairs. I told her to let me know if she found the bird upstairs.
  • I wandered around the second-to-top level for a bit, checking my phone to see if anyone had reported seeing a blue bird around town — I specifically searched a Twitter-like social media as well as Google for the keyword “blue bird”, but found nothing. I wondered if the transfer student had actually also taken Kel the blue bird as a prisoner, and contemplated asking the school authorities for the girl’s address.
  • I then saw Dad walking by and told him what had happened to Kel. He seemed worried but was accompanying about eight other kids around the University, and wished me luck in finding her. Using my key, I unlocked a box on the wall which contained a water hose, and he and the students proceeded to have a grand water fight with the hose in the middle of the corridor until they were all drenched and laughing. I whipped out my Samsung phone and asked them to pose for me, using the wide-screen camera to take a couple pictures of them while a couple other students walked by between them and me, trying to time it so that they wouldn’t get in the way of the photos.
Nov 05 2023
  • My recollection of this dream started when I was in a large elevator with about 6 other people or so. The elevator was going between some levels of an airport, but Johannes, who was one of the people in the elevator, was a KFC attendant and had a food cart that he was pushing around with him and needed to deliver to a certain special level that was not on the regular numbered list of floors that the elevator stopped at.
  • He pulled out a set of keys, and used one of them to unlock a panel that was mounted diagonally on a plinth in the corner of the elevator. I looked at the panel as he manipulated the dials and buttons on it, and by way of helping him out, told the others in the lift that I had seen Johannes do this once before and that we would get to see a special elevator stop on the way to our final destination.
  • Once he had activated the level, he stepped back and let the elevator doors close normally. The elevator indeed stopped at a weird level that was not on its regular list, and its doors opened, at which point Johannes pushed the food cart out of the elevator and out of my dream. That special level seemed to be a mixed waiting area full of people that had both just arrived and that were waiting for their own departures, and about a dozen other people from the level saw the elevator door open and boarded the elevator with their luggage carts. The elevator was quite big, about maybe 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, so it could hold a lot of people nonetheless, but I was worried about how many people had now boarded the elevator illegally.
  • The elevator set off again, but I noticed that even though the elevator dial was moving as though it was travelling through floors, the elevator itself wasn’t moving. I alerted the other people in the elevator about this, and one of the people in the lift, another KFC attendant dressed like a flight attendant, stepped forth and fiddled with the panel for a bit. She then said that it looked like a spring in the elevator mechanism had broke so that the elevator thought it was moving through different floors but wasn’t actually going anywhere, and the doors wouldn’t open because each level had a signature and the signature of the floor the elevator thought it was on was different from the signature that it was actually receiving.
  • She wasn’t sure what to do, but I told her that I had seen Johannes configure the elevator for that floor we were on twice already, apparently once in an earlier dream as well as once a few minutes ago, and I was confident that I could replicate it and trick the elevator in thinking that we had returned to that same floor. I took over the control panel, which had three dials up top and a bunch of buttons in the middle and bottom, and did exactly that. Soon enough, the elevator, as far as it knew, returned to the special unmarked level that Johannes had got off at earlier, and the level signature matched what the door was receiving, so it slid open and everyone streamed out.
  • It would apparently take about 30 minutes to replace the elevator, but I was in no hurry so I decided to sit around and wait. A guy that was in the elevator with me asked me if I was alright, and told me that I looked really pale to him and should go take a seat. I did so, then took a good look around and saw a trained chimpanzee perched on the table next to mine. I got up and took a picture of this with my phone, though initially I tried to take this picture with a canvas bag draped over my phone so that I wouldn’t scare the monkey. The canvas bag was way too thick though, so I ended up just removing it and taking a normal photo.
  • I then looked around again and saw that a number of the other tables were occupied by horses and their owners. The table closest to the chimp had an unattended horse, but as I looked at it and snapped a picture of it, a pizza delivery person walked up to the horse and sat down on the stool next to it. He then raised his voice and announced that he was looking for a passenger who had time and would like to sit down with him and his horse and be interviewed, so that he could record it for a podcast or show that he was doing. I was not interested in this so I moved on.
  • Soon enough the elevator was repaired, and at this point there were three or four smaller elevators that I could use in place of that large one, with glass panels between each one so I could look into the elevators to the left and right of me. I picked a middle elevator, a guy and his kid boarded the elevator to my left, and a girl boarded the one to my right. The two of them took off a few seconds before me, though it seemed we were all headed to the same floor.
  • Just before the doors to my elevator closed, I saw an emaciated, ragged-looking Santa Claus figure with a gaunt look in his eyes try to prevent my door from closing so that he could enter my elevator as well. I felt like he would be trouble, so I didn’t help him with this, and he couldn’t prevent the elevator door from closing. His loose suit did get caught in the elevator door, however, and I saw the elevator bring the suit itself, without the man, along as it travelled upwards, so assumedly it had ripped free and he was left standing back on that level wearing nothing.
  • When my elevator reached the destination floor, the doors opened and I stepped out. The kid from the elevator to my left was very interested in my elevator and the red scrap that it had brought up with it, and as his Dad watched him he walked over and picked up the red scrap to look at it.
  • The level I was at was a train platform, and there were several lines of people waiting to board the next train that arrived. I was third in the line that I joined, and in front of me was a girl whom I did not know but who I knew I could easily become good friends with. Then there were two social butterfly girls behind me, chatting with each other. They seemed nice, but I ended up switching places with them, either through some sort of request on their part or by some other dream function that they somehow activated, so that they ended up third and fourth and I ended up fifth instead. A bunch of other people joined the line behind me, and soon enough the train came, and we all boarded.
  • Once I entered the door, I found myself in a classroom, with the people who had entered the door with me becoming my classmates for the year. I was happy with this because I liked the three girls that I had seen in front of me, particularly the quiet one who I also located in the classroom, and everyone seemed to be around my late-teens age anyway. I also saw a large shadow-clad figure leave their seat at the very back of the class, and then take his or her bag and walk out of the door, signifying that they had transferred out to another class. In return, a smaller figure with a large bag that was about as tall as him walked in through the back door and took the seat that had just been vacated. I sensed that this new boy was rather impish in a Zixiang sort of way and that my year here with these classmates would be a pretty good year.

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