My Diary #119

Dear Tigey,

It feels like fall is making a resurgence again. If only Edmonton was always this mild during the winter months. It was +10 yesterday (Friday) and today (Saturday)! In November!

Entry #119 (Nov 19 2023)

Life

I’m still deleting spam pages created by bots on our poor Shiarapedia Wikimedia site. It’s been over one full week of queued spam deletions since I can only delete 1,000 at a time. Well, more or less. I actually discovered that I could queue deletions for 1,000 user pages and 1,000 general pages at a time, so at one point I was deleting 2,000 spam pages every cycle when I noticed that it had stopped, but I eventually ran out of user pages to delete, so I’m now doing the last 9,000 pages or so that can only be deleted in chunks of a thousand at a time. These non-user pages seem to take less time to delete though, so I should be done by this weekend.

But these deletions will still leave some terrible residue afterwards (like all the user accounts are still there, just not their pages, as well as a bunch of other weird wiki stats that will never be accurate again). Jah doesn’t seem to be able to just restart the wiki’s database again, which would be so much easier (on my end) and safer way to avoid other problems down the road as not everything can be deleted cleanly via this manual process, but I guess it would take more effort on his part.

I reported the couple living above me, and their incessant opening and closing of the balcony door and many, many loud thumps along my ceiling, to the housing management, who said that they would “look into it”. Then I banged on the ceiling with my broomstick a couple times midweek when they were making too much noise, and the woman upstairs came down to knock on my door.

She introduced herself as Valerie and said that she and the person she lives with are home all the time except when they work their afternoon/evening shift and yes, they smoke, and she also has a limp on her foot due to some injury that’ll take another 2-3 months to heal and that’s why there’s always a lot of footstep noises upstairs, because of the way she walks or something. All this is rubbish, since I can hear rapid thumping footsteps all the time that isn’t someone “injured” walking around, and not once did she make an apology for the noise they make (though the frequency has dropped slightly since the management evidently spoke to them). When I pointed out the balcony door kept opening and closing even through the evenings, she said that sometimes her (husband? boyfriend? I don’t remember) also comes back early and that was probably it.

That all sounded like excuses to me. She basically wanted me to stop the thumps on the ceiling, and I was sympathetic to her alleged plight so she even brought me down some biscuits on a plate as a gift, though they were very dry biscuits and obviously from an assortment of cheap snack packets from some shop or other. Still, we parted somewhat amiably, and I had the biscuits (and some soup) for lunch that day, cause why not.

“We’re smooookers.” she had said in a slightly-condescending tone, when I complained that the balcony door opened too frequently at all hours of the night. As though that means they have some sort of god-given right to open and shut that damned balcony door 60+ times a day (so 120+ noises, since the opening is one dragging noise and the closing right after is another). Smoking is not a right. One of her first few lines was also “Is your.. kid sleeping?” as though I am only allowed silence if I had a kid that was sleeping.

The frequency and sound might have dropped a little over the week/weekend, though I’m not sure if that’s just due to coincidence or the weather or as a response to the complaints. I still fully intend to file more complaints if the frequency continues to be high though. And though I did stop the thumping, I’ll probably start it again once I feel like it has crossed a line again. Although I feel very dirty and immoral saying this, it would also be nice if a harsh winter rolled on in to Edmonton soon, which would of course prevent them from using their balcony as much (or suffering a lot more if they did).

Or I could leave the country. I got a second confirmation again this week from my CMPB officer contact that I should be safe to travel to Singapore still, even though ICA themselves, the border security, have yet to answer the email ticket I filed with them or the reminder email that I sent afterwards, even though they acknowledged receiving both. I think it’s probably worth it at this point to start seriously planning and even likely booking my potential trip and include Singapore though, perhaps as early as over the next week or so. I could do late January to mid-late March for my trip, skip out on the Winter Festival in Sapporo, and get Chinese New Year in Singapore and the Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Or I could go later, after spending Chinese New Year at home (since Kel might be back to visit the family anyway), go just before my birthday to see the Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan, then go to Singapore and Australia and elsewhere for a bit, then end my trip with a stop in Japan for another music convention in late April, similar to one of those that I visited last year.

I don’t go out much in the colder months, but the temperature was fairly nice through this week, so I went out here and there. Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, we had some nice, clear blue skies that reminded me of summer:

I would never have guessed that that was Edmonton in November, except for some of those trees missing their leaves.

Earlier that morning, I also had a couple of visitors:

Birds, two of them (although only one is pictured), that landed on my balcony and strode around for a while. They both flew off when I tried to come closer for a better picture.

The lit-up tree in our housing complex had been shut off for several weeks now, but came back to life yesterday, the night of Nov 17/18 2023, and was even on through most of the night I think since I only noticed it on at around 2am or so, whereas before they turned it off for good last month it was always on a schedule where it would be on during the evening but turn off around 11pm or so. I guess it’s moved into Christmas mode now though. Maybe. I used to dislike and feel depressed around Christmas, but that doesn’t really happen as much anymore, and that neighbourhood tree is one of the parts of the year that I look forward to.

So yay, the tree’s back! This is a shot at 2:18 am on the morning of the 18th.

And a shot from the front at 7:34 pm on the 18th.

On the way there, I saw a rabbit staring at me from the comforting shadow of a tree.

In Work news, it was a holiday on Monday so we had a short week this week, and my boss contacted me on Thursday to tell me that everyone else on the admin side of my team had the day off due to previous commitments, sickness, or emergencies that had come up. So not counting him, our team of 5 was down to just 1, me, for that day. I had actually been considering taking the day off too but decided not to based on that, and I was rewarded with a rather satisfying day where I got to run the team queue and found two things that both gave me a bit of accolades and a fair amount of satisfaction.

One of them was a bug with our new ticketing system, whereby tickets that are created under people’s email aliases would not be visible to them in the system because the system logs them in with their base username (which came with your base username as an email address but you could request a different email alias on top of that). Several people had noticed the sporadic error with clients but not the common thread tying them together. The project team came out the next day and declared it a “known issue”, which wasn’t true up till that point at all but whatever, at least they acknowledged it.

The other was a major and sensitive bug that impacted one of the password reset systems and led someone to gain access to someone else’s account inadvertently. Thankfully, the person realised it and contacted us immediately, and the bug was a very new one as well that had just been accidentally implemented the day before, so it was reversed and everything was audited without further incident after the root cause was discovered (independently at around the same time by both one of our devs as well as me). My boss was like “Thanks so much for finding this!!!” and “GOOD WORK” and even our Office of the Chief Information Security Officer sent a thank you, apparently.

Satinel and I have spent the last few Fridays working on game development projects or tutorials and such, and I’m about 80% of the way done my first course on Gamedev.tv, the “Complete C# Unity Game Developer 2D Online Course” beginner course (local). That course is divided into five mini-courses where you build different types of simple games and get experience in using different aspects of Unity, and so far it’s been pretty great. Hopefully one day I graduate from this stuff and get enough know-how to make my own games. I also worked on this a little bit during almost every night this week, after my nightly game sessions with Satinel and prior to my own game sessions before bedtime, so there wasn’t much time left over to put into any other endeavour like scanning or archiving/uploading stuff.

Games

Satinel and I continued to play a lot of Heroes of Hammerwatch this past week. We completed the regular game, though we’ve been farming it for money and ore to upgrade our main (and alt) characters before we head into the New Game+ modes.

In solo play, I finished Neon Chrome‘s base game as well early in the week, it turned out to be not very long at all. There’s also a continuous New Game+ thing where it seems like you have to fight against your last hero that beat the boss and became the new boss, but I haven’t tried out that stuff, nor have I farmed any of the remaining achievements. I played a bit of Let’s School, which was fun enough, but the early game is a bit slow. I do plan to go back to that at some point when I’m more in the mood for building simulators again.

I purchased and played two other games this week, the first being Backpack Hero, whose core mechanic is fun but the game itself needs several UI passes, navigating around and finding things in town for example is a pain, figuring out what things do based on item descriptions can be trial and error sometimes, and at least one random event in the dungeon was completely broken and didn’t give me a reward for giving up something. The town unlocks and the way that they did it were things that I liked though, like one basically had to bring back specific items (like “Wooden Sword” or “Rose of Thorns”) or item categories (like “rare Accessory” or “uncommon Bow”) from the dungeon to unlock things, which means you had to complete a successful run using those items, which let you keep them, and then you could spend them toward unlocking those upgrades. But again the UI for spending and unlocking them is rather wonky and messy currently.

The second was Shadows of Doubt, for which I’ve only played the (lengthy) tutorial and then one more case in a randomly generated world thus far, but it was quite fun. Also not without its bugs though, like someone who was shot dead in front of me eventually getting up and walking away in front of me after some time (apparently they were only “out cold”), and people forgiving you even if they see you commit a crime as long as you leave/escape, even if you come back right afterwards, and sometimes evidence not linking/unlocking properly until you find a specific piece of evidence that connects the two even if it’s very obvious (like a telephone number in the house not being linkable to the owner of the house until you find documentation about it even if you’re right in the person’s house and the telephone is right in front of you), or some skills (sync disks) that seem to be broken, but nonetheless I liked the game concept and knew that it had weird bugs like that before going in anyway.

Also, while lying in bed at night, I restarted and have been playing some Dysmantle on my Steam Deck, as I figured that it might be a good and somewhat relaxing or drowsiness-inducing pre-bedtime game since it seemed to have some somewhat repetitive elements to it. Although it’s still the very early game and the map seems pretty huge, I’ve unlocked a couple of things that I hadn’t gotten to in my first playthrough, and figured out how to prevent zombies from respawning in certain areas, so I’ve been slowly working on all that.

Plushie of the Week #115 – Secret Dragonfly and Squid

This week’s featured PotW is actually a set of two plushies, that according to Kel, she “secretly” bought at some point without Mom knowing. They have been together ever since, and live together in a green bag in the box of ignored plushies in the family house. The first I heard of them was in January last year when I went down to the family house to take some photos of all these plushies, so I am not aware of (and don’t think there are any, since they were supposed to be “secret”) any idiosyncracies or names or backstories given to these two. Still, secret plushie purchases are always neat. Maybe I did one this week as well. Who knows.

The two of them, in their green bag:

They’re both Ty 2000 plushies, and the first of the two plushies is a dragonfly named Glow. Front:

Tag 1 front:

Tag 1 inside:

Tag 1 back:

Tag 2 front:

Tag 2 back:

Tag 3 front:

Tag 3 back (and belly of the dragonfly):

The second plushie is a squid named Wiggly. “Front”/top:

Other side plus Tag 1 front:

Tag 1 inside:

Tag 1 back:

Tag 2 front:

Tag 2 back/Tag 3 front:

Tag 3 back (blurry):

They were possibly bought in 2000 or 2001, as their tags say, though it’s not impossible that they were also just bought from a garage sale or something later on. Definitely in Canada though, sometime in the early to mid 00’s.

Song of the Week #92

Title: Acchuuma Seishun!
Artist: Nanamorichu☆Gorakubu
Album: YuruYuri San☆Hai! OST (2015)

This song reminds me of when I first started watching anime, and hit a phase where I knew exactly what kinds of shows I liked, while having pretty much the entire back catalog of anime in terms of choice to watch still, since I had barely watched anything at that point. These days, I’ve watched most of the “good” acclaimed shows in the categories I care about, so a lot of it is watching whatever new is airing each season or digging for older or more underrated gems, and a lot of the newer experience is somewhat tarnished by comparison of the shows that I’ve already watched and experienced (a phenomenon that I consciously try to fight back against when personally judging a show). But back then there was a ton of wonder and exploration going on for every show I watched.

Yuru Yuri, the show that this song comes from, was a franchise/series that I started watching on Dec 30 2018, just slightly over a month after I actually started watching anime (Nov 23 2018). It was around the 35th-40th show/series that I started, so still pretty early on. It was a three season show, but after blazing through the first season and a half, I liked it so much that I dragged out the rest of the show for pretty much forever, only watching it when I was in certain moods where I needed a positive pick-me-up in the evenings, since the show seldom failed to make me laugh. It wasn’t until June 15 2019 before I finally finished it, about 80 series or so into my anime watching career. (Coincidentally, I first started watching what I consider to be my current favourite show, Hidamari Sketch, on Jun 17 2019, so one could say that finishing this show, which is also in my top 20 list, led directly into starting that one as well.)

Anyway, this song is the ending song for the final season (Season 3) of that show, and I ended up not only liking the upbeat song but attaching a bunch of melancholy and nostalgia to it as well, not only because I didn’t want the show to end, but also because the song itself has themes and undertones of the fleeting silliness of youth and how it will all too quickly come to an end. That linked in all too well to the demons I had back then with my secondary school (that have since been resolved with me getting in touch with my childhood friends again and visiting some of them/my old school last year). But on top of all that I just found it a very catchy and poppy song overall. I do generally like a chorus of girls singing songs in this upbeat manner. An English translation of its lyrics can be found here (local).

Writing Prompt of the Week #35

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“Discuss how you learned about giving to others.”

I’m not sure this was a childhood thing at all. I don’t think I was particularly giving back then. Sure we did volunteer work and stuff, especially as part of clubs or school activities, or we shared food with classmates and so on, but Singapore as a whole was (and still probably is) self-described as a very kiasu society, where that kiasu word is a compound Hokkien word that means scared (kia) to lose (su), and I remember things like losing a bag of games on the bus, which affected me for quite a long time and prevented me from being charitable to others.

I’m not sure when I’d say this changed. I don’t think I cared about much through my school career as well, all the way through my first University stint and maybe even until I started work. At some point along the way, I guess I started making better friends, both online and at work, and experienced proper kindness and was able to start reciprocating as such once I had my own income source as well. I remember things like receiving Steam gifts for Christmas for friends and being very happy to be able to buy stuff in return for them as well. I also remember receiving some gifts from workmates now and then though I never really reciprocated that.

I don’t think I’m a particularly giving person still though, at least in terms of money, especially since the economy is busy taking a nose-dive these days. Time is something I’d be far more happier to give out, or anything else that gives people happiness, especially if I determine that it’s something I don’t particularly need. That sounds kind of crass, but what I mean is that I feel like if there’s a reasonable way to make a small net positive in the world, even if that positive might not directly affect me and will only affect someone else, then that’s still something I should do.

I still have to protect myself, my needs and wants, my finances, my friends and family, and so on, but there should be a lot of wiggle room around those parameters still, and I believe that I don’t purposely hold on to something that will benefit someone else just for the sheer reason that “it doesn’t benefit me to do this” like supposedly others sometimes do. I do still do cost-benefit calculations like everyone else, but I don’t just take into account whether it affects me positively or not, but also whether it affects others positively or not, and put all that on the same side of the equation (though perhaps not to the same degree). I believe that’s important to be a good member of the human race. Although sometimes I still am lazy or stingy etc. Also part and parcel of being a human I guess.

I do remember some relatives, like Auntie Doris, being described by my Dad as being very generous and charitable, sometimes to the point that she was taken advantage of by others who would owe her lots of money and still ask for more. I also remember one snippet where Eileen had a birthday and her parents invited us (her classmates) out to a birthday celebration, all paid for by them. I thought that was upside-down since I thought it was the birthday kid that was supposed to receive presents. I also didn’t go to that one, because at the time we had a directive from our Goddess of Mercy family medium that we were supposed to avoid birthday and wedding cakes and celebrations (this pretty much lasted from when I was young until we came to Canada), and also meant that our immediate family never had birthday cakes. Not that any of us cared.

Memory Snippet of the Week #99

There was a programming conversation in Discord one evening this week, which got me thinking that I should put my related programming memory snippets here too. Not that there’s much to talk about it, but I think the first bit of programming we ever studied was sometime in 1995-1996, in Primary 5-6, when we did some Turbo Pascal and Visual Basic for Computer classes.

The more interesting thing was that in 1997-1998, I took part in a program called JSIST, or the Japan-Singapore Institute of Software Technology. Every week on Wednesday, about 7 or 8 of us from Dunman High would travel to Singapore Polytechnic after school, I believe via chartered bus, and have a programming/computer-related class in late afternoon for about two hours or so in a computer lab with a few kids from the other three GEP schools. I think Dad would then fetch me home via motorcycle right from the school after that because it was quite late by the time we were done, and the university was even further from home than our high school was. I remember some really odd snippets from this, for example:

  1. We (the Dunman High crew) really enjoyed hangman games and would exchange little pieces of paper with anagrams of words on it for each other to solve.
  2. There was a tuckshop/canteen in either the Singapore Polytechnic or the nearby National University of Singapore which had really, REALLY good fried noodles. I had that every week and thought it was like heaven. I couldn’t wait to go there just to eat that. I think it cost $2 for a big plate. I’ve wondered if I could find the canteen if I went to those places again — I have a dim mental picture of how part of the canteen looked like — but it is likely to have been significantly renovated and changed by now so I probably would not recognize it anyway even if my memory was accurate, which it likely isn’t.
  3. The air-conditioner in the computer lab room we were in was very cold. At least twice, I sat at the computer desk right in front of it and got a fever the next day. I believe I actually wanted to get a fever during those occasions to avoid something the next day though, haha. So I tried to make myself “absorb” the cold during the lecture/lab.
  4. And finally, there was a wireframe tank game that we played in the lab sometimes, along with some of the students from the other schools and with the teaching assistants or the professors, before class or if the class was shortened that day. I had no idea what this game was for the longest time, but I remembered liking it very much. Eventually, Nak helped me find this game from a description of it — it was Battlezone, or some similar implementation of that.

I have a couple of folders of things to scan for this still, but they’re quite far down the scan priority list, as they’re just lecture notes and such. Still, they’re rather interesting so I should definitely scan and upload them at some point still. They cover topics like Database Management, Artificial Intelligence (back in 1997-98!), Application Development, Computer Network Security, Computer Graphics, Novell Netware, some math stuff, and more. There was some programming stuff too but I don’t seem to have handouts for those.

I don’t remember everyone that went to this, but I do remember it was 7 people or so, and there was only one girl – Sandra. The guys included me, Allen, Yaoxiang, and Yucheng for sure.

In early University, back in 2003-2004 or so, I took a couple computer programming classes at the U of Alberta as well, and back then they were using Java for everything in the labs. They’ve moved on to better programming languages like Python and C++ now.

Dec 21 2023 edit: I found and uploaded a couple of things from this. The first is now on archive.org, but I’m crosslinking the individual pictures here, This was an invitation to the course-ending Certificate Presentation Ceremony, and was a four-page document:

According to the handwritten note in the top right of the first page, we apparently actually RSVP’d to the letter one day late, oops, but can you really blame us? The date on the second page says November 23 instead of September 23, which makes no sense since the ceremony was on September 30. We had more pressing things to take care of at this time, like oh, preparing to uproot the family and move to Canada in three months time.

The letter also gives some background about the program, confirming that it was 2 years long (I wasn’t sure up until this point) and that it was done as part of a Singapore governmental initiative called the National IT2000 Plan. It also includes a 1998 map of Singapore Polytechnic on the very last page, which is sort of cool — it’s probably very different now since Singapore develops and renovates very quickly.

I did end up getting my certificate, and I uploaded it directly onto my blog, not onto archive.org. It’s over here:

There is likely still more to upload and update this with. Someday.

Edit Feb 01 2024: Like this consent form I found this week!

Dreams

I had an 8/10 dream this week, the one on November 14th where I ended up dancing on a stage and summoning aurora and rainbows while auditioning for an anime musical group that I liked. That made me very happy. Not for the first time, I’ve wondered about rating all the dreams I have written down in my diary, instead of just the 8/10 and above ones. 8/10 and above would give them a special highlight bookmark in my Dream Diary page once I finish filling that in someday, but there haven’t really been a ton of those over the years. There’s only ever been one or two 10/10 dreams, and a tiny handful of 9’s. The ratings for the dreams this week would have been 6, 8, 4, 3, ?, 6, 6/7.

Nov 13 2023
  • Part of my dream involved a group of wizards living separately in my world. One of them was “evil”, and had sealed away another male wizard who was “good” but had went over to live with him because they were lovers. The sealed wizard had a seven-letter name, and was represented in the evil wizard’s spellbook by an orange gem, next to another orange one in the summoning spell section of the book. Each different spell school had a different gem colour but there were just two orange spells in that book.
  • The wizard almost accidentally set his boyfriend free at some point by casting that boyfriend spell instead of the other one, and he had an “Oops.. wrong spell, I almost set him free.” mini monologue to no one in particular. The other wizards did suspect him of getting rid of the other “good” wizard but had no proof for this.
  • As part of this dream, there was also a school segment where I was trying to climb over some obstacles and reach a classroom on the third floor of a building to deliver them something, but I don’t remember the details of this part. My siblings were also around in the dream.
  • Later I was looking at a Chinese MMO with some online friends, the MMO had a magazine ad that a couple of us had saw and I said that it was probably really boring as it was free to play and had a really low population count. Besides ads, the magazine itself featured children’s reviews of games, and each printed review also had a typed and printed comment reply from an editor, as well as pen comments from another editor who added his comments on top of the first reviewer’s. The second editor either made a lot of mistakes or changed their mind a lot, and a lot of the pen marks were squiggly circular cancellation marks of things that the second editor himself wrote.
  • The game itself had a two word name, 6 and 5 letters, I believe it was called Shadow Realm. I played it nonetheless, and formed a group with three other random new players. We entered the first corridor of the first level of the first dungeon and started to kill things there to level up. Apparently each class only had one useful skill, and two other skills which were completely useless but which could be pointlessly levelled up anyway. One of the other players spread his or her points around so both those useless skills also had a level in them, and s/he regretted it before we were even out of that first passage. I also was defeated and died at some point, and while another party member was trying to resurrect me, I just respawned and appeared back at the door without any loss of experience points.
Nov 14 2023
  • I was walking with Dad along the streets of one city, hoping to get to another nearby city. We weren’t too familiar with the streets, and found ourselves in a situation where we needed to cross a city block to get to the road on the other side. To achieve this, we entered a darkened warehouse with exits on both ends, and walked the length of the long, rectangular building in the dark toward the far exit. The warehouse was full of spices of some kind, with a weird, but homely smell.
  • This was still technically trespassing, and we waited at the far end of the warehouse for a truck belonging to the warehouse company to pass by before leaving the building. Dad said that he would quicken his pace for a little bit, and he wanted me to walk at a slower pace to create a bit of separation just in case either of us were seen and going to get caught for trespassing. Once we were sure that no one had seen us or was following us, then we would meet up together again.
  • When I finally caught up with Dad, he was standing by an open garage door and talking to a man who was repairing a carriage that we had apparently used from a previous dream or a previous visit to the country. We had not seen the carriage on the minimap though, which was why we had walked instead, and the man said that the carriage had been impounded for some reason and he had recently freed it, and had taken it here to be repaired and serviced in his shop.
  • The man said that he wasn’t sure why it had been impounded, as we had left it within a legal jurisdiction. He showed us a map of the country we were in, which was apparently Germany, and in particular there were four cities that formed a vertical parallelogram. We were in the top left city, Dusseldorf, and we were trying to get to the top right city, Munich, which was X distance away from us to the east. Far to the south of Dusseldorf, about 4x distance away or so, was Hamburg, the bottom right city where we had started off, and about X distance to the west of Hamburg was Berlin, the bottom left city of the parallellogram.
  • The man said that as long as we left the carriage in the right-side triangle, between Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and Munich, it should not have been impounded, which was why he took the liberty to rescue the carriage and bring it here even though we had actually left it back in Hamburg during our last use. He also encouraged us to use it again if we were headed east, and both of them looked at me as if waiting for my decision. I said that I didn’t want to risk it and we had walked all this way already, so we could continue on foot for now, since we would then have to park it in Munich and risk it being impounded again, but that we would probably use it on our way back south later.
  • Once we reached the eastern city, Dad faded off into the background of the plot and I visited a University to take yearbook photos with my Dunman High 2L and 2K classes. I saw our year 2 yearbook from a previous year and saw scenes of what had happened back then, where we were the last two classes so there was barely any time left for us to complete our pictures before the end of the school day. The 2K class ended up taking several different combinations of people seated on a bench in front of a well, but various people kept photobombing the bottom left corner of their pictures. The 2L class ended up grouping people up for a mini soccer game and taking pictures of that, but we had wanted to do 4 different games for a mini tournament, and there was no time for that, so instead the winning team in the first game was considered to have all 4 wins instead.
  • I don’t remember if we were in year 3 or 4 this time, but we took our photos without incident this year, although we were the last classes again. After the photos, a school announcement was made that recess was being abolished and would be replaced by a series of 10-minute beer breaks where we could line up at an indoor beer garden stall to buy some sort of fizzy beer. I had no interest in that, and someone in our class that I didn’t recognize had a twin of his from another class come by, and they chatted briefly about how without a recess block and with classes getting staggered 10-minute breaks, they’d never see each other at school again.
  • For now though, the school day had come to an end, and I stopped by the general office, where I saw a woman from my workplace sitting at one of the back desks. She smiled at me and I told her that I had seen something about a Christmas concert announcement, even though it was only November, and was wondering if she knew where I could get tickets for it. She asked if I had meant the concert by the U149 group from The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: U149, and I said yes, and she pointed out the doors and around the corner to the left.
  • I thanked her and followed that route, where I found the ticket booth. Tickets for the concert were $149, but I was very excited for this and bought one anyway. I wondered if the girls would be alright in this English-speaking world, and I wondered if they were recruiting temporary helpers or even performers for the concert. I had a vision of actually performing on stage, though I had concerns about my vocal range.
  • However, in the vision, I was holding two things that looked like foam sticks, except they were made of a more rubbery material, and I was apparently very good at blowing into them to cause aurora and rainbows to appear high up above the stage, much better than the other girl who tried. I could also leap high up in the air and then float down gently as part of my performance, and when I landed on the stage and cupped my hands together, Tigey would fall into them. The vision of the performance left me feeling very happy, like I was actually joining the troupe.
Nov 15 2023
  • I was playing a newly-released MMO and was grouped with some guy I met while also hopping zones to kill bosses with another guy I met who I was exchanging instant messages with. One of the bosses in question was a tiny ant with a red nameplate that moved really quickly for his size along the ground beneath our feet. We killed it and couldn’t figure out at first why the quest didn’t autocomplete, but the quest turn-in was located at a nearby flagpole. At the same time I was trying to maintain relationships so the guy I was grouped with didn’t feel jealous of the ungrouped guy.
  • Separately, at one point I was driving around a classically shaped UFO that allowed me to land on top of building roofs even if they weren’t level, exit via a hatch up top and stand on the body of the UFO, and gaze at the view from there. I also occasionally picked up other people when I landed on the ground near them, though I couldn’t tell if it was them voluntarily entering the ship because it looked unique or if the ship sucked them in. The inside was like a car or taxi and they would appear in the back seats. I dropped three women off at a suitable destination near one of their homes though. One of the women then went to pose for a portrait painted by a man who was trying to draw a UFO-themed painting in the garden of her home.
Nov 16 2023
  • Snippet: All I remember is one specific scene where I was in a stylized version of outer space and returning to Earth while seated astride on a rocket-like spaceship with two other people. Another being was trying to prevent us from using that spaceship to return to Earth out of safety concerns, but I said that I had figured out how to ride it so it would be fine.
Nov 18 2023
  • I was in a classroom by myself over an assembly period that I had decided to skip. Everyone else from class was at this assembly session in a school hall. I had a TV monitor so I could view the proceedings anyway, and it turned into a math contest that I had wanted to skip because I felt like it was wrong for someone 20 years older than them to compete with actual school-age students as I would most certainly crush them.
  • The dream then became blurred as I thought about scenarios where I might actually be able to compete. The math contest turned into a three-round contest, two rounds of a best-of-three and then best-of-five chess match with an expert player who was playing several differnt players on different boards at once, and then a third round of a 10-player poker table where a version of me that I was watching, the chess expert, and some other third person were the last three to join the table because this imaginary version of me had stretched the second chess match with the expert to five games in order to win.
  • The final two people at the poker table were Julius and me, and I “won” this tournament by feigning that I was a bad bluffer on a hand where I actually had really good cards, and causing Julius to keep on raising me.
  • The scene changed back to the classroom, where a plump male teacher came in, asked if I liked plushies, and gave me an orange bird plushie. I brought out Tigey to meet it, and he laughed, then said that it was for the class. He took the plushie from me, looked around the room, and ended up placing it behind a glass jar on a shelf behind the teacher’s desk. He then left the room. – Our actual form teacher, Mrs Shu, came in, and asked if I had enjoyed the assembly. I said that it had been interesting.
  • While I had been in the room by myself, I had started to work on a jigsaw puzzle and was more than half done. The bottom left side of the puzzle was a slate wall with many similar but different horizontal line patterns, and the bottom right side of the puzzle, past where the wall turned off into the distance, was a parking lot facing east.
  • Both parts of the puzzle had a couple of missing pieces, and I had put other replacement pieces in there whose shape fit even though they weren’t part of the actual puzzle in the first place, but their colour was off, with Minecraft-like gold and diamond textures as well as other shades of grey walls. I eventually decided that I didn’t like it, and began to dismantle the puzzle from the left to the right, putting the pieces back into the box while separating the side pieces into a small plastic bag.
  • There was a half-full bag of popcorn on the jigsaw as well and that had apparently been moved there by someone else. Angie was seated on a nearby chair and staring at that and she asked me if I had bought popcorn. I said no and that she could have it if she wanted. She said that she had left a bag of popcorn on the floor and it had been moved away by someone else and that that was probably it, so she gladly took it from me.
  • Some students who sat next to me and who had by now returned to the class stopped me from dismantling the puzzle though, and said that there was a way that I could fix those pieces. They showed me that there was a special rule piece in the wall section which would spread its grey colour to any other rule pieces that it was connected to, and that I could make a line of those across the wall section to all the missing/replacement wall pieces, and they would all turn into the correct colour with some variance for aesthetics.
  • They also said that while it was tougher to do that for the parking lot area, we could probably do the same thing by changing the surrounding outline of the parking lot to also use the same grey shade as the wall. We had to get permission from another girl in class to do this though as she was the one who had put the parking lot area together a couple of days ago, but it worked.
  • Snippet: I also remember sitting down next to Mom, who was seated on the floor with her back against the wall, and chatting to her about something or other at one point, though I don’t remember any more context than that.
Nov 19 2023
  • I was at a nursing student and magic exhibition in a university hospital which featured an admission area and then a loop around a set of corridors and past various rooms with exhibitions. The school had a Singapore vibe to it, but was also definitely set in a fantasy land with magic and aspects of game programming and game systems like player stats. As I walked around the exhibition, I also noticed a couple of glass sliding doors that led in and out to other parts of the University that were not guarded and thus seemed like entry points from which students could gain admission to the exhibition loop without actually paying. I found that to be an odd loophole.
  • One of the exhibitions I visited ended up with me falling asleep on a large leather swivel chair facing a desk and a wall. The chair obscured the view of people passing by the corridor behind me from actually being able to see me, which was good as in this particular scene the “I” character was shaped like a tiny hunchbacked gremlin, slouched over in a lazy posture, and I had two outfits I could toggle between, one where I was bare-chested (and flat-chested) and a second one where I was just wearing a bra. While asleep, I somehow borrowed a spell from a mage on the other side of the corridor, which apparently cut down the center of the room, and that spell made it seem like a shirt was draped over me as a blanket. But a little later on I heard that the spell was just a demonstration spell and wouldn’t continue to properly work without payment, and also that Mom was coming by to do inspections. I was awake at this point, but while still feigning sleep, I slipped my hands into a proper shirt and then slipped that over my head safely before finally “waking up”.
  • Another room in the exhibition involved me programming a for p = 0, p < 3, p++ loop that was supposed to do 3 things, one of which was to iterate through an array of numbers and raise a piece of foam up into the air along a diagonal rail. The code was very simple but didn’t seem to be working, and Satinel helped me troubleshoot the issue too with no luck at first. I eventually figured out though that the loop called an array of integeers from 1-20 but then tried to perform a float operation on it, so I added an f after every number in the array to turn them into floats and that fixed the issue with the code.
  • In another scene in the exhibition, I was marching along with a troupe of scouts while also eyeing a cockroach or some similar bug skittering along the grass. The person in front of me and the people behind me were marching very smartly but no one seemed to care that I wasn’t. The person in front of me eventually led us all to a scout troupe leader, stopped in front of him, then assumed a kneeling and bowing pose with only the balls of his fist and his lower legs touching the ground, bowed head pointed at the troupe leader. Everyone else followed as well as I wondered where the cockroach was, since we were both headed in the same direction. I then split the scene timeline, imagining a scenario where I was actually sick and where this awkward posture made me tremble in pain and topple over. In that ensuing commotion the actual me got up and left the room.
  • I remember passing by an abjuration mage who was selling his services with what I thought was a particularly catchy selling phrase, though I don’t remember what it was anymore. Abjiuration magic is a defensive school of magic in Dungeons and Dragons lore, and his catchphrase tagline was something similar to “Bang! Whiz! Boom! Ouch! Or you could protect yourself with abjuration!”
  • The corridor loop also included a school canteen, and I passed by a number of food stalls there and people eating in the canteen, though the crowd was somewhat sparse. I heard two off-duty police officers talking to each other about the exhibition and possibly plotting something, but I ignored them.
  • There was an attached washroom too, where I eventually found myself stuck in the guys washroom and unable to get out because the door handles were pull to open and I didn’t want to dirty my hands in doing so. I was hoping someone else would come by and use the door but no one did, even though there were other people in the washroom. I eventually gave up and pulled open a door, only to find another set of toilet cubicles on the other side of that door. I went to another door and pulled that open and that one did indeed lead back out. Propping the door open, I washed one hand and then the other under a sink before leaving.
  • One last thing I did in this exhibition was to recruit some apprentice mages for my guild. We apparently needed 6, who would be trained by another head mage that we had. I was largely looking for people with really good magic potential, I think. I recruited a level 2 gnomish-looking short male and two level 3 guys who had assisted with solving a puzzle in some room, and then later on I found two level 20 girls who knew each other but had been somehow miscategorized by the University system and had been assigned to janitorial duties instead of nursing/healing duties. One of them was holding a stinky bag of garbage, and I got her to go near to a group of three nurses who were standing by the door where the other girl I wanted was before she threw that bag away. Those three girls were somewhat hostile to both of those level 20 girls as well as me. The presence of the garbage bag drove those three girls away, and I was then free to recruit the other girl as well as the first one without further incident. I’m not sure who the sixth apprentice mage was, it might have been me, as I was definitely present in the next scene.
  • Either way, once the 6 of us were assembled, we returned to my guild hall. We had a master blacksmith in our guild who wanted to forge something for us, but needed to first forge three ancient forges so that he could create those things. Those ancient forges each required 6 sheets of Grade-C charcoal from a very specific mountain. We had lots of charcoal from that mountain, thankfully, and each one was wrapped in a book cover with a random book title on it as well as displaying the grade of charcoal that it was.
  • A group of guild members read the names of various book covers out loud from sheets of paper that they were holding as they sorted through the piles of “books” to find the Grade C ones, and one guy who wasn’t paying attention ended out reading a very long and embarrassing book name that made everyone else laugh. Eventually though they gathered enough charcoal and there were three piles of coal sheets in front of the blacksmith, 6, 6, and 7 tall, though it seemed like each sheet had slightly different length and breadth from every other sheet. I was sure that it was fine, but I did notice a small Grade-B book/sheet of charcoal mistakenly put in with the others in the pile of 7, so I removed that one to even things out.

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