My Diary #118

Dear Tigey,

This was one slow week. What even happened this week? As Mom used to say, “eat, sleep, play computer.”

Entry #118 (Nov 12 2023)

Table of Contents

Heroes of Hammer…
ට  Life
ට  Games
ට  Plushie of the Week #114
ට  Song of the Week #91
ට  Writing Prompt of the Week #34
ට  Memory Snippet of the Week #98
ට  Dreams

Life

A bunch of spammers got onto our Shiarapedia site, and while Jah tries to figure out if he can nuke the database so we can start over or not (since we have the two dozen or so pages all saved and backed up anyway), we’ve been playing around with a nuke script (local) and slowly deleting all the spam from it. There were upwards of 30,000 spam pages to delete though and the script only deletes 1,000 at a time and takes forever to do so. And it’s weird both that the default Mediawiki configuration and suggested security settings allow spammers to sign up and ruin a wiki like this, and also that even though I had set the front page on my Watch list, I never got any notifications when that was vandalized and there seems to be no option to receive an email when Watchlist pages are changed anymore (the previous version did allow for this, however it was set up).

In news around the house, my upstairs neighbour/s have been opening and closing their balcony door every few minutes in spurts of an hour here or there, totalling to well over 50 times a day, sometimes as late as 2-3 am in the morning, I don’t know what they’re doing, but since I don’t use my broom much, I wrapped the broom head in a plastic bag (so that residual dirt from the broom head doesn’t get onto my carpet) and put the broom itself next to my computer desk in a threatening manner. I then proceeded to bang on my ceiling with that broom whenever they’ve made too much noise or made noise too late in the night or I just reach some sort of boiling point myself, to the point that the broom head actually fell off the stick. It was a cheap broom from the dollar store, I guess that’s why it was so flimsy.

I plan to report the woman living in the house to the management office on Tuesday when they reopen. Here’s an example log of how many times she opens or closes the door, from Saturday, November 11th 2023:

About 10 times between 12:00 and 12:45 pm
12:50 pm
12:56 pm x2
1:08 pm
1:09 pm
1:10 pm
1:16 pm
1:23 pm x2
2:25 pm
2:32 pm x2
3:29 pm x2
7:37 pm
8:42 pm x6
8:53 pm x2
9:03 pm x2
9:13 pm
9:16 pm x2
9:37 pm
11:51 pm
11:57 pm
12:02 am x2
12:11 am x2
12:17 am x3
12:19 am
12:42 am
12:45 am x2
12:51 am x2
12:54 am
12:55 am
12:56 am
12:57 am
12:58 am
1:17 am x2
1:22 am x2
1:48 am
1:49 am

Is that reasonable use of a balcony door?

The woman living in that apartment has also gone into a screaming rage at someone or something else in there three times over the past two weeks, and when I called in to the rental office earlier this week during the third occurrence, they gave her a call and then called me back and said that she was crying on the phone because she had hit her leg on something and was in pain. Liar. She seems to have some sort of extreme OCD, or otherwise is smoking a lot of drugs and needs to ventilate the place often or is operating some sort of grow-op in there or something. Judging by how often I hear stomps and furniture moving and being knocked around upstairs though, which happens on a daily basis outside of the balcony door shenanigans, it’s probably OCD.

The neighbour to my right also has a party every Friday night it seems, but their overall sound is down from before (perhaps due to the endless stream of reports against them that I’ve made) and banging on the wall on Friday nights while I’m trying to work on my Unity programming courses also seems to help alleviate whatever remaining noise leakage comes through for the most part. So far. At least there hasn’t been loud booming and head-throbbing bass noises for a bit now, just occasional subdued booming and head-throbbing bass noises.

The batteries in my thermostat are flashing a warning that they need to be changed, so I had to grab some batteries from the grocery store this week. They take two double-A batteries and I apparently only have spare triple-A batteries lying around the house. I’m not even sure those work any longer, it’s been years since I had to use batteries for anything. I don’t remember if I had to replace the thermostat batteries before in the past, I think I did at one point years ago, soon after I moved in, but all that’s been lapped up by the tides of time.

I returned the library book that I borrowed a few weeks ago this week. I haven’t replaced it with anything yet, since I’m too lazy to want to walk across a major highway to the library in the snow. There’s no snow on the ground currently, but in 3-4 weeks there likely will be!

There were a couple of nights last week when strong geomagnetic storms hit Earth, supposedly causing auroras at night all over a good chunk of the world. For us, that night also happened to be a night where there was tons of fog, because of course a thing that never ever actually happens (fog is rare here, never mind at night) happens on a night when we were supposed to be able to see pretty skies. Instead, we got pretty fog pictures.

It was foggier than that to the naked eye, pictures always appear clearer in the camera, but even with that camera adjustment the picture still looks real foggy.

Here’s a bonus picture from a couple of days later, when the sky was a bored shade of blue-grey, with no visible sun but also no visible, well-formed clouds, just a dull pastel blob across the visible horizon. There’s also a bird perched atop the tallest tree in this picture.

On Friday, I went out to the mall and met the cat from the Starlight Leo house that I had met last week again. This time, s/he did not have a collar, but it was undoubtably the same cat since I had that picture from last week to compare to. S/he was wandering around the road outside the ground-level apartment again, and I worried for him/her. Still haven’t seen the owner either. The cat came up to me and rubbed against my trouser leg before meandering off and giving me a nice final pose for the camera.

I don’t know if I’m a jinx or what, but I noticed at Safeway this week that they had removed the cans of Maple Leaf Vienna sausages that I had talked about just two weeks ago. All the cans were gone and so was the price tag. Maybe it’s a temporary thing, or maybe the things I talk about just tend to disappear soon after that, like the mashed potato/whipped potato thing a few weeks ago (that I also talked about in that same My Diary #116 page linked above). Maybe I can use this curse for good, and force the out-of-control higher costs of food and other things from late-stage-capitalism-induced inflation to go down.

Other than all that, and scanning and uploading a few more things, nothing all that interesting happened in personal life news this week! I did come to a realization as to why I mentioned last week that life felt very hectic even though I didn’t feel like I accomplished much then either though. Part of it is just that there are a bunch of pending things on the to do list — try to get my learner’s licence, think about buying a ticket for my trip before prices rise, etc, but one other new contributing factor has been that RSS feed that I’ve been looking at, and how there’s always a number on my Windows taskbar bugging me with how many new news articles there are waiting for me. It’s gotten worse since I added some smaller subreddits to it too, as well as my blog site and the Shiarapedia wiki site, since the latter triggers 1,000 new entries over the course of 6 hours or so everytime the nuke script runs. So I’ve been consciously trying to cut down on how often I look at that RSS Guard app that I use.

Games

I wandered through a number of solo games this week, starting with Shisensho Solitaire, which I finished and 100%’d and so this will likely be the last time it will feature in my blog unless I randomly dream about it. It started to wear out its welcome near the end, but it was cheap and a good time distraction on my Steam Deck while in bed for several nights anyway, and by the end of the game I was pretty good at knowing what to look for to find the matches under the rules that the mahjong solitaire variant game imposes (mostly that to make a match, you have to be able to draw a line along the four cardinal directions between the two matching tiles which cannot consist of more than two 90-degree turns and cannot intersect any other tile.)

On the PC, I played a bit of Neon Chrome, and so far its been okay but the graphical resolution options are terrible and neither the borderless windowed or full screen modes actually lock the mouse cursor to the window. I did want to scratch the roguelite itch after playing a good amount of Heroes of Hammerwatch with Satinel during the week though, and that helped a little. We still haven’t beaten the game yet but we’ve gotten as far as the fifth boss on our best runs. Town upgrades have become very expensive though. And the best way to level up alts seems to do a money run on our main characters and spend all the gold we earn on stat upgrades for said alts so they die less when levelling up, which is an interesting MMO alt-leveling (i.e. levelling up alternate characters) sort of strategy.

I poked around a bit at some other games, including My Time at Sandrock, Rogue Genesia, Hardspace: Shipbreaker, and Alina of the Arena. Nothing more than about ten minutes in the former two though, and about an hour each in the latter two. I just wasn’t feeling like playing them for the most part. My Time at Sandrock is from the same devs as My Time at Portia, a game that I had enjoyed but that I had run into a game-ending bug in 42 hours in. Sandrock had just come out of early access and hit version 1.0 this week, but I was eyeing a different game from those devs called Let’s School for a good chunk of the early part of the week, which was on sale in Fanatical for about $17 or so after coupons. I resisted buying that though, and was rewarded when it came out in a Humble Bundle a few days later for $21, together with another game that was on my wishlist, a couple other games I had not heard of, an extra Portia key for future considerations, and some other mystery game that weirdly hasn’t been revealed yet.

Plushie of the Week #114 – Manchester United Bear

This bear is in the family house, and is still in a sealed plastic bag, so the pictures I took of it were just through that bag as well. According to my Dad, it was something one of his young sisters, Auntie Doris, gave to him when he went back to Singapore to visit a little bit after we first left Singapore for Canada in 1999. This would have been pretty early on, since according to him, she got it from a Manchester United official shop called the Manchester United Theatre of Dreams, that had opened up in the Orchard Parade Hotel in Singapore in the early to mid 2000s. But that shop was only afloat for a couple of years, and had closed down by 2007.

I haven’t quite nailed down when Dad made this trip back to Singapore, nor when exactly that Singapore store opened or shuttered — Dad did a trip back in 2000 and the bear might have come from that trip if the shop had opened that early, but more likely it was from another trip that he did closer to 2005. Nonetheless, Dad said that the bear was a gift to him along with a Manchester United cup, poster, pen, and a few other things that were squirreled away somewhere else around the house. But this is a plushie of the week segment, not a poster or pen of the week segment, so here we are.

Front:

Back:

Tag:

Song of the Week #91

Title: You Light Up My Life
Artist: Debby Boone
Album: You Light Up My Life (1977)

This is a song I revere. There are many versions of this song, but my preferred one is this 1977 rendition by Debby Boone, although other versions I like include one by Westlife, who also sang my current favourite song, as well as one by Teresa Teng in Chinese.

Perhaps as befitting the lyrics, my mental image of this song is of being in a small, secluded park in a metropolitan city at night, and looking at the tall office towers that surrround me. Each and every little light in the building is a worker working late at night, each with their own hopes and dreams and connected to not only each other in adjacent windows, but to their families back home elsewhere in the city or further afield as well. The feeling of seeing individual building lights at night and thinking about how each one represents a person or a family’s life has been a theme resonating within me for years and something I someday want to express in the form of a game or something.

Urban city ambience has always really charmed me, and this song embodies that feeling for me, with its feathery vocals and rising and falling crescendoes feeling like invisible strings of fate spiderwebbing their way across the city and across the world and connecting people near and far. It’s both sad and hopeful at the same time, I’ve pretty sure I’ve cried to this song in the past, and yet at the same time it plants a seed of inspiration, wonder, and exploration in me, urging me to sally forth and do things and maybe eventually light up someone else’s life as well as my own.

Writing Prompt of the Week #34

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“Write about a time when you were given responsibility as a child. Go into as much detail as you can.”

I couldn’t really think of a good answer for this one, so I’m going to twist the spirit of the question a little bit, away from how I originally read it as a parent to child responsibility thing, to a school responsibility instead. One thing I failed to mention in My Diary #098, where I wrote about my involvement with the Scouts as my ECA in Dunman, was that one of our tasks and responsibilities involved raising and lowering the school flag during the morning assembly in the carpark.

About 30 minutes before the first class of every school day, everyone would shuffle out of the classrooms to a central meeting location, where we’d line up in columns by class, then according to our class number, with the lower numbers in front and the higher numbers behind, sorted by gender (girls in front) and then by alphabetical order of surname. The location we lined up at varied by school — in Peiying I believe it was in the main hall, which was indoors and doubled as our gym. In Rosyth I believed it was the same, though I’m not certain. In Dunman it was the school carpark near the front gates. When it was raining, this was just held in class instead, over the loudspeakers.

Songs were then played, to which everyone sung (or at least pretended to mouth) along. It varied by school, but it always included at least the Singapore national anthem, and often the pledge of allegiance as well. In Rosyth, I believe we also sung the school song — I don’t know if we did that in any other school, and I didn’t remember the Dunman school song at all even when I listened to a YouTube video of it, so.

Anyway, despite not mentioning it in My Diary #098, I’ve largely spoken about this before, and even provided some pictures of this way back in My Diary #027. The flag-raising and lowering (the lowering was a lot more casual and done privately instead of in front of the whole school) was something I did have the pleasure and responsibility of doing now and then, especially during my second year, just before I left (first years only sometimes got to do the lowering, but never the raising, I believe). The reason I’m bringing it up in this segment though are some memories tied to it, where there was a tradition that under no circumstances should any part of the flag, especially the Singapore flag, ever touch the ground when raising or lowering it. The flag would start tied around the pole, and then the flag-raiser would untie the rope and flag and sling the flag over the flag-raiser’s shoulder to start, before raising it as the music went along. When lowering it, it was pretty much the reverse of that.

This rule also applied to the school flag, as well as the Scouts flag which was brought out and carried around occasionally during Saturday club activities. Accidents did happen though, and they were always considered a sign of disrespect. This never happened to me personally, but I definitely witnessed the offending parties being punished in the form of push-ups or extra jogs around the school or something if they ever dared let any of the flags touch the floor. I remember the flag touching the ground at least once during morning assembly at some point as well, in front of the principal and all the teachers and assembled students, when someone else was doing the flag-raising. Not sure how, but that was definitely a wincing moment, and feeling bad for the flag-bearer for what was surely to come afterwards.

Memory Snippet of the Week #98

Back in My Diary #113’s Snippet of the Week #93, one of the things I had written about was a Marble League. This week, I actually found some scoreboards from said Marble League, which I have scanned and now present below. I really should make a section of my blog for “Found Papers”, similar to the /r/foundpaper subreddit, but focused on papers I have myself. I do have this Potpourri of Papers one, but that one’s turned into more a scan collection of miscellaneous printed material, rather than written material. I’ve already scanned lots of old written material that fit somewhere between that and Jumbled Writing. Things like these old friend notes and these Valentine hearts and my oldest dream diary entry and the Remember the Good Ol’ Days sheet above. Hm.

Anyway, I digress. Here are the two scans I have of the league tables that I apparently tabulated and kept, since everyone knew that I liked making lists:

The first list definitely came before the second, since the second has one extra team and at that point we had an actual template for it too. I don’t have specific dates for them though, but I am thus guessing, since I was only there for two years, that the first list was our 1997 one, while the second was from 1998, though it could easily just have been two consecutive semesters in 1997 or 1998 as well.

The fun part came when trying to decipher who each team name was linked to. Several were easy enough to figure out, others were likely down to a couple of people, and a couple of them I have no clue about whatsoever.

  • Republic of Smileyface – Allen
  • Penguin Utd – Eugene
  • Rise of the Phoenix – me
  • Nova – ???
  • Republic of Sore Losers – ???
  • Blur – Jonathan
  • Baby – Eileen
  • Sturm Caralin Brightforge – Zixiang
  • Drizzt Do’Urden – Paul
  • Happyface – ???
  • The Masked Horse – ???

I’m fairly sure the missing people included Huihan and Xuanjie for sure, but that’s still only two of the four missing people. The Masked Horse sounds like a name that Sandra or Rachel would have used. Allen was definitely either Republic of Smileyface or just Happyface, but I’m fairly sure it was the former. If I absolutely had to bet on something, then Huihan was Nova, Xuanjie was Republic of Sore Losers, Rachel was The Masked Horse, and maybe Harvey was Happyface?

Dreams
Nov 06 2023
  • Snippet: There was a dream snippet where I was talking with a teacher or professor from my past, who I think was based either upon Mr Jauch or Dr Quinter or possibly both. I needed to take one more East Asian Studies classes for my degree, and I was seeking help from him to figure out which class to take. I had a piece of paper in my hand with a list of classes, the top half of which were classes that were run every semester and the bottom half were classes that were occasionally run, and I asked him if he could help me figure out which classes would be run next semester and which class was best suited for me.
  • Snippet: There was a scene in our house where I entered a large bathroom to shower in. There were three showerheads on the wall, and Jon was using the rightmost one while Dad was using both the middle and left one together. He was primarily using the middle one set to a certain cooler temperature but had also turned the left one on just a little bit, so that it was dribbling water, and had set that to a warmer temperature so that he could mix the two. He stepped aside when I came in and said that thanks to his ingenuity, the left shower was already warmed up for me too. Though as I was about to start using it, he playfully turned that left shower to a cold temperature instead to try to catch me off guard. I was wise to his tricks and turned it back to warm before using it though.
  • Snippet: There was a scene in front of an old Japanese temple, I was with a really young girl who could not have been any older than 10 or so. We met an old man in front of that temple who was obviously some sort of government official or temple priest. He introduced himself using the feminine Japnese pronoun for “I”, watashi (so he said Watashi wa.. whatever name he was, which translates to “I am..”), but I didn’t catch that and I was a bit nervous so I hesitantly answer him with something similar to “Nice to meet you, Mr Watashi.” The girl I was with cackled and said “Boku wa, boku wa..”, where “boku” was the common male pronoun for “I”, obviously trying to tell me in her childlike way that watashi was a pronoun here, and also telling the man that he should be using a proper masculine pronoun.
  • I started asking the man for help because we needed food, and he looked like he could provide some, but the sun set below the horizon at that point and he turned around and started to walk away. I tried to beseech him and he angrily turned around and scolded us for not being silent past sunset. I told him that the food was needed so that we could use our skills successfully, and without it the number of things that we could manipulate, or the accuracy of our whip wraps or tail wraps, would be much lower.
Nov 07 2023
  • Snippet: The earliest dream snippet I remember is having a 1 on 1 interview with some sort of professor-like man, whereby he asked me a question and I started to give him a really long answer. He cut me off after a minute and signified that I had passed whatever the interview was for though, though I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t finish my spiel anyway.
  • Snippet: After that, there was a scene where I took some clothes into a bedroom to change into. Someone sitting on a toilet bowl in a room outside and across from the bedroom door wanted to know what I was changing into, and wanted to watch, but I denied his request. Once I made sure the door was closed properly, I took off my thin T-shirt and my vest underneath it that I was wearing. I then put them on in reverse order, first the thin t-shirt underneath, then the vest, and then a temple or shrine uniform on top of it. I tucked the t-shirt and vest into whatever bottom I was wearing, but not the uniform.
  • Snippet: There was also a plotline about a flood that was coming through the city, I was with a couple people and we moved from an office location where there was a filing cabinet and where we were looking at a map of the city to try to figure out which areas were affected, to an airport location where we were walking through a viewing gallery and past some shops. Tigey actually spoke up to someone in the airport at some point as we were passing by then and I was surprised by that. We couldn’t get him to replicate speaking aloud any more than that one time though.
Nov 08 2023
  • Snippet: I remember two leaders of a group I was following holding up a piece of newspaper or newsletter or something, and on it were two lines written in a particular font. Apparently as part of the group everyone could put text on their own versions of the paper and submit it to the leaders every day or so, and the leaders were hoping that people would stick to writing whatever they wanted them to write, but after a few days of not achieving some goal or other, their followers began to disobey them and write in something else instead.
  • Snippet: I also remember finishing an exam for a class I was in, and the teacher asking us all to stand up, then calling upon us one by one to deposit the answer booklet into a small basket at the back of the class, as she gave us some sort of handout in turn. I then compared answers to the students around me, who I believe were mostly Dunman friends, though when I got up to deposit my answer book and then talk to friends, Melbourne took over the chair and table in my cubicle near the front right of the classroom, unpacked a bunch of food that he had brought for his lunch, and began to eat there. Some of my other friends were watching a computer monitor with webcam feeds of some other former classmates’ pets at home, I think it cycled between pet cams belonging to Antonia and Leong Wai among others.
  • I instead headed home and greeted my parents and younger siblings. I had had a squabble with Dad earlier on in the dream and had purposely not renewed a blessing upon him that made walking in terrain with ankle-deep water, which we apparently had to do as part of a journey, very difficult. Dad had never experienced it without the blessing, and so he thought that the walking with the blessing was the “normal” sensation and the walking without the blessing was actually an additional curse that I had put upon him. I explained that that was not the case and that the slow walking was the default state for everyone else, and restored the blessing upon him.
Nov 09 2023

Dream 1

  • Kel was driving me on a motorcycle from one train station to another, and at one point she did a stunt drive off a ramp into midair, then twisted the bike around so we did several flips and twists. We landed perfectly on our wheels though and I was really proud of her. There was no warning of this though so I was rather afraid until halfway through the flip when I knew that we were going to land fine.
  • Later on, I met Allen at a bus stop, and we took the bus together back to his house. There was an overseas feel to the place, specifically it felt like we were in Japan, but he owned a large mansion in a residential neighbourhood somewhere. We were the last two people off the bus even though the bus was only halfway through its route.
  • After we went into the house, I met his mom, as well as two family maids, one of them Japanese and one of them either Malay or Indian or Filipino. He also had three or four younger siblings running around that his mom and the maids helped take care of.
  • I asked his mom something about life in Japan and she gestured to her two maids. They then started talking about various things, in particular that they were having trouble finding an English phone app guide catered to overseas home schooling for her little kids since everything relevant was Japanese and she couldn’t understand that language.
  • We talked for a bit with his mom until I noticed that we were on the opposite side of a wall from her and could quietly slip off. We went to his room and he sat down on his bed while I sat down next to it and fiddled with one of the knobs on the foot of his bed. I turned it until the knob came out, revealing the head of a protruding nail behind it that it was screwed upon, so I positioned it back on top of the nail head and tried to screw it back in.
  • Allen was on a laptop, but he called out to his mom or the maids at one point asking if a certain TV show with a really long English title had aired yet and if it was recorded. Someone yelled back that the show was to air at 2pm. I was set to leave at 2:30 pm, so I told him to not worry and feel free to do anything he wanted to do even if I was still there.
  • We wanted to start a programming project while we were in his room but at the end of the day we never did.

Dream 2

  • I was on my way home from University when I stopped at a bar. This had an overseas feel to it again, and in particular I had met a friend there who I had told that I was heading home later that evening. He wanted to play some games with me, and he asked if I was free at 9 or 10 pm that evening, but I said I likely wasn’t because I was going to be travelling to another country. After a bit, he amended it and said that he would be free at 7 pm, and that he would even use his camera, but that he was a bit nervous because I didn’t know his character name nor had I met him before and he was afraid I’d be let down once I saw him. I said that his character stats or looks obviously didn’t matter and I could see his real life self right in front of me so I knew what he looked like in real life already. But that my issue was still that I wasn’t free to play with him, whether at 7pm or at 3am.
  • The bar had an arcade area, though it was more like an area with computer screens. I did order some food from the bar, and then tried checking out some old MUDs that I had once played. I found that I could use it to log into my old Medievia guild, and saw some names and a family tree that I supposedly recognized and was surprised that those people were still logging in daily to play. I could even see clan and town chat scrolling by. I wondered if they remembered me. The way that the monitor accessed it though did not trigger a login event, nor was I able to reply or interact with anything in the game, so I just watched it like a stranger from afar for a couple of minutes.
  • I went back to the bar area, with my bowl still half full of scrambled eggs. My earlier order had been scrambled eggs with wheat or something, and now I asked for a refill, but for the entire dish to then be packed up so that I could bring it home. I had the option of refilling it with potato or wheat and chose wheat again. I then paid $4.50 or so for the entire meal and fumbled for my reusable bag to put the packaged leftovers in.
  • I pulled out the wrong reusable bag at first and couldn’t find the right bag for a couple minutes, and Allen‘s mom, who had come up to the other end of the counter, was asking people to step away so an old farmer lady could come up and deliver a bunch of carrots to the food counter, so I did so. Once I found my bag, I stepped up again and put the package in it. I also took some handwritten notes that someone had left on the counter, wanting to scan it later on.
  • I believe somewhere in here I was also looking for iron or steel ore to create a weapon with, and I had 19 out of 21 ore that I needed.
  • Once I left the bar, I entered a wide, paved alley which lots of little kindergarten-aged kids were walking up and down on their way to somewhere or other. Virtually all of them kept to the right half of the path in relation to the direction that they were walking in, which I thought was strange. The right half of the path in relation to the direction that I was walking in was a little elevated compared to the left side, about a foot higher than where I was, and I didn’t want to climb that, so I just went down the left side of the road.
  • Later in the scene, I was helping my family unload some packages from the family van in the carpark as we had arrived home after some groceries. I tried to carry four bags and two boxes with me, but as we were walking from the carpark toward the apartment, a bunch of animals ran up to us — two turtles, a squirrel-like creature, a creature that my sister exclaimed was a cockroach, a couple really cute cats, and a couple other things that I didn’t recognize nor remember now. I offloaded one of the boxes and two of the bags onto my sister so that I could try to find my phone to take a picture of them, but everything dispersed before I could do so and I lost that chance. Kel was surprised that I couldn’t even get one picture.
  • A little further on, after we had turned a corner, we noticed that we passed a humming noise, and Kel pointed out a little tear in the fabric of reality, located about chest level, that we were walking by. It was shimmering with aurora-like colours and making the humming noise. Mom asked if I had been to any religious site lately, and if that was what was causing all the weirdness with the animals and now this. I said that on my way out of the University, which was apparently Ritsumeikan University, I had passed a temple called Ryohouji, and Mom said that that must have been it since that was a very famous temple.
  • I offloaded the rest of my bags and pulled out my phone to try to take a proper picture this time, but it was weird because my phone was a white Discman-shaped device, and I also had my old, black Sony Walkman which was slightly smaller, slightly thicker, and had no phone capabilities whatsoever. I also had a card that had to be slotted into the correct phone device before I could start taking pictures with it, and every time I tried to slot it into the device, I realized that I was trying to insert it into the black device instead of the white one. I did this a couple times, taking out both items and confirming with myself that I had identified the correct device before putting the other device back into my bag, but it turned out that I was left holding the wrong one in the end anyway and I didn’t understand why. In the end I finally managed to put the card into the right device though, and took a picture of the rip in the fabric of space before I left.
  • Editor: The ore reference was probably from Heroes of Hammerwatch, which Satinel and I have been playing for the last few days. Also, I have never been to Ryohouji, which is a temple in western Tokyo, but that temple does have an anime aesthetic and a theme song CD which I have. And the black Sony Walkman is the one from My Diary #109.

Nov 10 2023

  • I visited a Chinese shopping centre that I think I had been to a couple of days ago in a lost dream memory, as the entire scene including the paths I walked all felt really familiar. I also looped through this dream at least twice, taking the same path but doing slightly different things each time. The mall had a lower level and an upper level but was basically just a short rectangle, with space for about maybe 10 shops on each floor.
  • In loop 1, I walked to a bao shop, a shop selling Chinese buns, on the bottom floor. I bought a bag of them, though I believe they were really pricey at $10 per 3 or 4 baos. They had a woman out front offering samples which I did try first though, and I found them to be really nice. After that, I walked across the bottom level of the mall, browsing the other stores, before coming to an escalator which I took up to the top floor. Most of the shops on the top floor were closed, bar two, one a small sundries shop by the escalator and one a spacious Western cafe at the very back of the floor. The two owners of the nearer shop, both middle-aged Chinese women, were talking to a group of guys about something. I crossed the length of the upper floor, getting a liminal sort of sensation at the emptiness, then took another escalator down.
  • Leaving the mall, I joined two other friends and went to their house from here. They were both classmates, and they had recently become romantically involved with each other. I don’t remember the guy’s name but the girl was named Saki. I was pretty close friends with her but was surprised that she was now proclaiming her love for him after he had asked her out — I had asked her about her thoughts on romance in the past and she had said she was not really interested and had made some sort of weird analogy about how her love was like a house. I did understand though that she liked the attention and that someone asking someone else out could really change their perspective on things.
  • Their relationship was the first one among the classmates and in the school, and possibly even the first one in the small town that we were apparently in, so they weren’t sure how people would react. The boy wanted to run away and elope with Saki if his parents didn’t agree to it, but he did want to tell them about the relationship first, which was why they had been headed to his house on that day. It turned out that his parents were out of town though, which blunted his enthusiastic momentum a bit, but once they returned he told them about Saki and himself and they approved, so everyone was happy.
  • In loop 2, starting back in the mall, I walked past the bao shop, commenting that it was too expensive to buy this time. I walked through the lower level of the mall again, this time looking out for a clothes shop as I wanted to see if there were any interesting T-shirts about that I could get. I did see a shop displaying short, slightly puffy dresses on individual wooden crosses out front, but I didn’t want any of those.
  • Going up the escalator, I went over toward the two women this time to listen in to their conversation. They were telling the men around them in a gosspiy fashion that the shopping centre was dying and they weren’t sure how long they’d be able to keep their shop open themselves, since barely anyone even came upstairs anymore. I wanted to take my DJI video camera and record a walk around the mall to look at and catalogue the various shops there, but I didn’t have it with me at the moment. Perhaps the next loop.
  • Besides the sundries shop and the large Western cafe, there was another event going on in the open space at the middle west side of the upper level. People were playing and running around there, and I recognized someone I knew so I joined in briefly — it started off with throwing around a basketball, but I eventually started kicking it, as well as other types of sportballs, back and forth with my mutual friend.
  • The scene shifted a little and it becamse an AMQ festival that Mart was holding, there was the outline of a Christmas tree on the ground and all the songs from this season of anime had become personified and turned into items as they were released as singles on the Japan music charts. Mart was arranging these items in the tree outline on the floor like a sort of jigsaw puzzle. Two of the songs near the top of the tree were Kizuna no Allele songs that had become wrapped pieces of cloth, and they both fit diagonally on opposite sides of the tree outline and joined up with each other near the top, in such a way that they were touching each other at the top but yet left a little gap to fit things in at the very top of the tree.
  • There was already something there taking up half the space at the very top as well, but there was space for a second item just below it and above the cloths, and Mart wanted to put a bunch of noodles there, but I placed an invisible or clear item there to block off the space from being used while defending the location by kicking away any item that got close. I pretended that I was just really good at being a defender and it was like kicking soccer balls away — I was good, but normally no one was that good to be able to just keep a bunch of flying noodle strands out just by kicking them as they came flying toward me, so Mart eventually figured out that that clear/invisible item was hidden there as well and helping keep that space clear. At that point, I told him that I had plans for that space and he relented and placed the noodles somewhere else.
  • Soon, all the items were sorted, and he declared that the anime music season had come to an end even though I knew that there were still several weeks to go in the season. Apparently no more music would be released though. The mall radio started playing songs from the trees, and we both sat down along with the other dozen or so people around to listen to the music. I didn’t recognize a couple of the songs being played, but then had a nagging recognition on the third one, and I used Google Assistant on my phone to identify the song, which turned out to be a song from a special 2023 OVA of an old show called Onii-sama e, or Dear Brother, as Google called it in my dreams. I looked over at Mart and noticed that he also had used his phone’s Google Assistant to find the name of that same song, since that was also a way of tracking it so that we could listen to it later at home.
  • After a while, I left the mall and went to the boy’s house with Saki and the boy again. This part of the scene played out almost identical to the first time, except that on the next day, both Saki and the boy were waiting for his parents at the front door as they came home this time, and Saki was holding a small glass vase of flowers that she brandished at them as a symbol to show their love for each other. They had planned to show it to his parents once they arrived back at the front door, but she had been too excited so she was waving it around even as his parents were crossing the carpark from their car to get back to the house, so he had to shush her to get her to hide them again until they walked over.
  • Once they arrived, she again brought out the vase and gave them the flowers, and they thanked her for the gesture but completely misinterpreted it as a thank you gift from her in relation to her birthday, which had been the day before, and which the parents surmised the three of us must have celebrated in the boy’s house in the form of a birthday dinner party yesterday evening. The boy explained their relationship to them and corrected the meaning of the flowers though, which were more along the lines of a “please accept me as your daughter-in-law” sort of thing, and they again accepted.
  • Snippet: In the second loop, I was counting something through the dream, from the mall scene and through the house scene. I don’t remember exactly what, though somehow I had it in my head that I was counting ghosts. I don’t actually remember seeing any though, but my final count was 17.
  • Snippet: There were also two snippets from outside the dream that I remember. The first one is that at one point I was plucking fruits from trees in a meadow and found a thunderstruck tree, a rare shrivelled tree from ArcheAge that was worth a lot of money. No one was around, although I knew that someone had just walked past nearby a few minutes ago and completely missed it because it was hidden over the curve of a small hill, so I harvested it.
  • Snippet: The other snippet was that I was sleeping in a larger version of my Edmonton 205 room, my mattress was where it was in the living room but Mom and one of my siblings were also sleeping there. Mom in particular had her bed lined up parallel to the heater next to the window, and there was a lot of space on the heater to place potted plants, so she had about twenty or so of them in clay pots on top of it. However, either the heater or the plants were attracting bugs as well, and she complained that she had about 40 mosquito or bug bites between her bed here and the hospital that she had been in. I sympathized and said that I didn’t get any, and did she want to move elsewhere? She said no, as she liked the heat, and I agreed that where I and my sibling were, the heat was more uneven at night, especially on our legs, and it would sometimes get a little chilly. I said that we could try moving or getting rid of some of the plants instead, especially the ones that were leafy, to see if that would stop attracting bugs too.
Nov 11 2023
  • I was waiting with some friends and starngers at a bus stop, but the bus was late. A trigger was supposed to fire and cause a bus to come to us when there were over 20 people at the bus stop, but there was no bus at the scheduled time even though I counted and saw 27 people at the stop. I pulled out my phone to check its route, and saw that the last bus seemed to have skipped us because it had become full a couple of stops back, and everyone was a bit annoyed at this. The next bus was coming, but it was still about 10-15 minutes away, was marked as “very full” already, and the weather app said that the temperature outside the bus stop was 44 degrees Celsius, so we were worried that we would not get to board that second bus, too.
  • It did eventually arrive though, after a total wait of around 40 minutes, and despite the very full warning, there was only one other person on the bus besides the driver when it reached our stop. We all boarded, and I put my bags down near the front of the bus. I was headed to a University school festival with two friends, which was a few stops away, but when the bus arrived at the stop and I started to gather my bags, neither of my two friends made a move to exit the bus so the door closed and the bus moved on.
  • I asked why they had done that and they said that they had no idea that that was the stop. I said that that was fine — that first bus stop was by the University’s front gate, but the next one was by the University’s back gate, and that gate was right next to the festival so it was technically more convenient anyway. We’d have to walk through a good chunk of the campus if we had gotten off at that first stop, even though that was a nice walk along a road that went under some buildings.
  • We got off at the next stop and went into the festival. I don’t remember much about it except that it used a mix of Japanese and English languages, and at one point we stopped off at a couple booths including a stall with a small fish tank and a fishing minigame where we had to fish out robot fish. It closed temporarily just before we got to play it though, because the girl manning the store had to take a phone call.
Nov 12 2023
  • I visited a number of different, discrete scenes with Satinel and a couple of other friends, but I only remember little bits of each scene. We arrived at the first scene I remember via an overhead game map where we were an army icon taking an unguarded castle from our enemies, then waiting for them to attack us from within the walls of the castle. Once they did, the dream shifted to a first-person perspective scene with an open meadow full of dinosaurs of various species and sizes. Most of them were relatively harmless, and we could pause and rewind to take screenshots of the one angry T-rex in the middle of the scene as well. After a few seconds though, a Bezelgeuse and another monster from Monster Hunter World also landed and started causing chaos by attacking the dinosaurs, and Satinel went out to try to attack it but changed her mind after seeing the chaos, dodged around the danger, and returned to the rest of the group after a few seconds.
  • Another scene we visited was a factory that was still being operated. We went in through some sort of employee entrance and my friends poked their heads into nearby rooms, as we wre looking for money, wood, ore, and other resources in there. I saw a blue plastic file sitting on top of a box with operational notes for the factory, and I picked that up, wanting to take pictures of its pages to put on my blog. One of the factory workers saw one of my companions in an adjoining room though, so we all had to flee from the factory. But because I hadn’t left the initial room yet, there wasn’t any suspicion on me, so I walked out to the main entrance room, past the receptionist at a check-in desk, and right out a set of sliding doors, before I went to meet up with my group.
  • Lastly, a scene we visited after that was a garage with an opened door, within which four teenage girls were building a small aircraft, about six feet in length and four feet in wingspan. It was for some sort of competition where teams had to build a model aircraft that could take flight on its own, and they were the only all-female team in the competition and quite proud of that factoid.

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