My Diary #135

Dear Tigey,

We are moving! Soon!

Entry #135 (Mar 10 2024)


Ahh, daylight savings weekend (it was on the morning of Sunday, March 10 this year). What a sleepy week. Both my parents had their birthdays last weekend. It’s very serendipitous that their birthdays are just one day off of each other, even though they’re four years apart in age, but that has also made it very difficult for me to remember exactly which days their birthdays are (or rather which order they come in) in the past, and I’m still sometimes plagued with doubt when that time of year rolls around. The obvious answer to this dilemma is to wish them both happy birthday at the same time.

Don’t tell them.

On Tuesday, I was summoned down for a meeting at the rental office with a lady named Desiree, who was a property manager for Rent Midwest‘s southern Edmonton properties, or something like that. Basically their boss, said Michille, a leasing agent who was also present in the meeting. This was as a result of the email I sent to the central leasing email last weekend, after another round of noise from my upstairs neighbour.

This meeting went really well, as I started off by saying that I was not blameless either, explained basically everything that happened, and she seemed sympathetic to it all. I was half-expecting to be yelled at but that didn’t happen. The gist of the outcome is that Desiree agreed to approve me for a move to another slightly smaller apartment, for the rest of the 6-7 months of my contract, plus a couple extra months if I need them before I move on. This will cost $1335 or so, as compared to my current $1299/month, and will most likely be a 9th floor or 11th floor bachelor suite in one of the neighbouring apartment buildings.

I was happy with this, as this was one of the options that I had asked for. It’s technically a “smaller unit” than my one-room apartment, but my one-room apartment is smaller than other one-room apartments as it doesn’t have a storeroom anyway, so if that one has a storeroom then it’s not much of a difference. And if not, oh well. One-room apartments here are now apparently going for $1500+, and the one they were originally offering me was $1685/month (she was willing to waive the one year term on it but not the price difference) because it was on the top floor of the apartment building and apparently rental units get more expensive the further up in floors they are.

These units are in the same apartment building as the one that was described to me two weeks ago as having cement walls and floors. Despite the end of my last paragraph, they’re also both apparently exactly the same price as each other. They also both have linoleum floors, as do the units above both of them, so I’m slightly worried about that, but as long as the neighbours are normal I’m reasonably confident it’ll be fine. It at least won’t be the specific psychotic Ukrainian living above me anymore.

This move will supposedly take place at the end of the month, and I will have 1, maybe 2 days to do the move. I’ll have to pack my stuff and I will have to hire movers (they suggested a couple) and apparently cleaners too (they also said they have suggestions for this, and said I could do it myself, but because I have to clean things like under the fridge and stove as well and I cannot move the fridge by myself, I think it’s a better idea to hire). It will cost some $$, but it will also make me much more ready for my planned move later this year again, while being near enough to the current apartment that I can go back and forth and rectify any mistakes, retrieve mail, etc more easily if needed. And the peace of mind and sanity will hopefully be worth it. And it will be nice to see this apartment complex area from a different point of view.

Plus the upstairs neighbours are still noisy — I banged a couple times on the ceiling as usual this week, but not a whole ton, and I didn’t have any residual stress from it since I don’t feel trapped anymore. Imagine being such a hecking moron that your neighbours have to move out because they cannot deal with your presence. I hope he gets his comeuppance someday. One of the goals I have in moving out is that, while I feel bad about the next person who moves in here after me, I need someone else to come in and live here as well and independently make complaints about the neighbour above to vindicate the complaints that I’ve made to the eyes of the rental office. And only then might they finally get kicked out or something.

In more interesting news, I met an older lady at the checkout aisle in Safeway this week who was showing off her newly-done nails to the cashier, and she showed them to me and allowed me to take a photograph of them as well.

I’ve never done my nails and I intend never to, but they were nice. I asked for her name and she said she was Liz, and I asked where she had gotten them done. She said that she went to a nail salon called Famous Nails, next to the nearby Italian Centre, where I had gotten “UFO Sauce” from nearly three years ago now, and where I had taken my video camera for a test walk two years ago. Though the nail salon itself isn’t in the video. How time has flown by.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that a friend from SGDQ a few years ago, Quintopia, invited me to attend Japan Jam Festival 2024 with him due to our shared interest in an anime-based band that would be performing there. Tickets to that are apparently being given out by lottery, and he had done the legwork to put in the initial application for himself and a guest this week, and I submitted my guest application after he sent me the documentation and link for it. He even had to secure a local phone number that was able to receive SMS messages or something, and did so via a local friend that he had, but thankfully I didn’t have to do that step.

This festival is scheduled for Apr 28 – May 05, and if we win that ticket lottery then I will build a trip itinerary around it. If not, I will probably skip the April timeframe for a trip and look toward June to plan a trip, or just cancel it entirely this year. I like having an external “divine fate” excuse.. er reason for going or not going either way, Or a central piece to build my trip around. Also it’s nice not having to make the actual decision by myself.

I’m not sure how many lottery rounds there are in total, but I do know that this round we applied for is the fourth lottery round. The results will apparently be released around the 15th of the month, and he’ll let me know one way or other around then.

I was watching a couple of Twitch streams this week that featured vloggers in Singapore, in particular spending some time on a channel called Awkwards_Travel as the lady on the channel was spending the latter part of the week and the weekend in Singapore’s Chinatown, walking around and watching street performances and visiting overpriced souvenir shops and eating and drinking while talking live to Twitch Chat. This gave me a strong dose of nostalgia, even though she largely stuck around a very touristy trap area.

I noticed that my vacuum’s suction was starting to suck (in a bad way) again, and I knew that this was due to hair getting stuck in the roller part of the vacuum. This has been an ongoing problem with a lot of my vacuums, but outside of the suction issue, the current Shark vacuum I have (and that I bought a scant four months ago) has been perfectly fine, so I went in search for solutions for the suction issue. I landed on this site (local) and ended up buying the exact tool that they recommended for the job, a Stanley Wrap Cutter. It arrived a couple of days later and I tried it out on the vacuum. It didn’t go as absolutely flawlessly as the site seemed to suggest, but it did work quite effectively, I was able to remove about 95% of the hair wrapped around the roller and I think the vacuum works a lot better again now. And there was no risk of cutting myself either due to how the blade was shaped. So that was nice.


I spent a lot of the week playing Modded Minecraft, specifically exploring the realm of public servers. I ended up for now on a server host called Craft Down Under (local), which has a bunch of public servers on it. Speciflcally, I’m playing a modpack called MineColonies: Dimensional Adventure (local) right now, though I’m not yet super invested in the specific pack.

This is my first foray onto an openly public server, and it oddly isn’t particularly bad, likely because there’s a difficulty and knowledge level in even installing a modpack and connecting to the server in the first place, especially since it does not run on the 4GB default memory that Minecraft default settings tries to reserve for itself. It’s kind of a neat experience though, in that I get to see things that I’ve never seen before. Like other people’s half-done builds everywhere, a chunk claim system (to prevent other people building in or messing with your area) and player ranks that are tied to online time across all the servers on their network, a server voting system (you vote for the server on public ranking sites) that gives rewards in game, constant garbage cleanup scripts that delete things dropped on the ground every now and then, and so on. By and large the community has felt very positive so far as well.

The server network also cycles old modpacks out and brings new ones in now and then, and does server wipes when required now and then, and all that is kind of interesting too. It reminds me of an article talking about digital historians on virtual worlds that I read somewhere once. Even the modpacks themselves have changed over time too, since the last time that I played Minecraft a couple of years ago, so even though a couple of mods are familiar to me, parts of those mods have evolved or been modified as well.

I also ran into a couple bugs, the most egregious one being a crashing issue that prevented me from logging in, but the network’s Discord server is also very organized and has a ticketing system. I put a ticket in and it was resolved by someone telling me that I had to remove a mod that was installed by default by the modpack, because it was currently broken. It was a very friendly and quick interaction, completed from start to end within half an hour. Then there was a modpack update late in the week that caused some lag and caused plants to grow instantly, and grass, trees, and sugar cane to grow instantly when planted.

Here’s a couple of random pictures from my screenshot folder, the first one of some hot-air balloons and blimps that someone made:

And the second a nice sunset that I saw as I wandered around along the canopy of a forest:

And here’s a side view of the start of my MineColonies town at the end of the week. The Tigeytown town hall is on the middle right and my temporary player hut/storage is on the middle left of the below picture. There’s a guard tower and tavern “behind” me in the screenshot, and a builder’s hut and forester’s hut on the other side of the town hall. Those sugar canes sure know how to grow, huh.

Satinel and I finally finished our associated class stories in SWTOR this Monday. She did the Imperial Agent class story and I did the Bounty Hunter one. Despite bugs, lag, and general boredom, we pushed through and achieved our goal! Those characters and the game as a whole will now be set aside for some time, though I’m not against returning to it sometime in the future.

The game was so buggy that I was not able to complete my planet storyline quest on this final planet (each planet has a standalone storyline quest that is loosely part of the entire game’s plotline, and is separate from your character’s personal quest that also spans every planet) due to a stuck quest objective, and an inability to pick the quest back up after I had abandoned it after trying everything eise to try to fix it. Satinel also then refused to finish it in solidarity with me.

Plushie of the Week #131

I don’t personally know much about this plushie, and I don’t think we siblings collectively have any information about where he came from or what his story is. I don’t even know for sure if he was an Edmonton 4012 era plushie (though I think that he was).

What I do know about this plushie is that he gets compared to both Cruiser and a burrito, so he gets called Burrito, and possibly sometimes a mini-Cruiser as well. I only have a couple of pictures of him, taken a couple of years ago, and they are presented below.


Side, and Tag 1 Outer:

Underside, and Tag 2 Outer:

Tag 1 Inner and Tag 2 Inner:

Song of the Week #108

Title: Ring of Magic
Artist: Gary Stadler
Album: Fairy of the Woods (1996)

It’s been a while since I featured a song from my New Age collection on Spotify, so I decided to spotlight this song today, one of my more beloved New Age tracks and artists and a song that’s very quintessentially New Age to me.

I added this song on Sep 16 2012, the day I started my New Age Spotify playlist (called A Celtic Fantasy), and the song itself thus largely reminds me of that era, a time when I was still in the beginning stages of my gender transition and had just moved out by myself to stay on my own in this apartment that I will shortly be leaving. The song also evokes pretty much the kind of scene that is displayed in the cover of the album below (the image in the thumbnail of the video, assuming the video link hasn’t broken yet), a quiet, mystical, moonlit forest in a high magic world with fairies and pixies fluttering around, and a female mage or druid (me) surveying the peaceful land before her.

Writing Prompt of the Week #51

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“My first crush was…”

I don’t really know where the line crosses from liking someone and wanting to be their friend to having a crush on someone, especially due to my gender identity and dysphoria that’s affected me long before I actually knew what being transgendered meant.

In Dunman, my secondary school, Huihan was the person I was “romantically” involved with, and this came about due to Operation Sokrates when she basically put me at the top of her list, combined with how she was in my top 3 as well. I’ve written about her in quite a few blog entries already, and I missed her quite a bit and would have moved the world for her if I could. But does that mean it was a crush, or actually romantic feelings? I’d have done that for a lot of my friends too. I don’t know. However, she’s probably the upper bound in terms of what the answer to this question could be — I didn’t “like” anyone more than her in what I thought a romantic sense could be, after I moved to Canada.

Besides Huihan, other people I supposedly had crushes on in class were Sandra and Rachel, two girls from the other GEP Class next door, but I very much liked and would have been happy with any of the girls in our class as well, especially as I got to know them and talk to them over the couple years that I was there. Again, I have no idea where the line between a crush and a desire for a platonic relationship was back then for me.

Going back even further, I don’t remember specifically liking anyone in a crush sense in Rosyth, although the girls that stood out there were basically Eileen and Huihan. At that age, “teasing” Eileen by dropping pebbles down the back of her pinafore could arguably have been the manifestation of a crush. Or perhaps it wasn’t.

Going back even further than that, in Peiying, I remember “liking” two girls named Constance and Shuyi, both of whom I briefly highlighted in my Peiying writeup. Can one actually have a real crush at 7-9 years old though? What version of “like” was that? It’s so long ago that I don’t even remember either of their surnames anymore, nor any stories at all specifically involving either of them.

Memory Snippet of the Week #115

Being an English-based society, Singapore by and large has cultural exposure to a good number of comic strips and comic books that the Western world has too, at least the more popular ones. The newspapers we read in Singapore had comic strip sections similar to the ones in the Western world — I distinctly remember reading the sports and comic sections and skipping the rest of the newspaper — and syndicated stuff like Garfield and Peanuts and FoxTrot and so on were certainly not unknown to us by the time we came over to Canada, where we found that many of the same strips were still present, mixed in with new ones that we had never heard of.

Besides those newspaper comic strips, which I always felt reflected more of an American influence, the childhood comic scene also had influence from the British world, since Singapore was a former British colony. As a child, I remember having a couple of The Beano comic books in hardcover, and The Dandy is familiar to me as well. There were likely others too that I don’t remember at this time.

There’s one comic series that I remember (and have written about before) but have long lost the name of to the ashes of time though. It was an unrealistic boys’ football/soccer series in the digest size book format — similar to the Archie comic books and stuff like Reader’s Digest and Farmer’s Almanac books that one might find tucked at checkout counters in a grocery store to try to entice people to grab them on their way through the queue.

One match I particularly remember being featured in this football/soccer comic book was the final match of a competition where the opponent team was far stronger than the protagonist’s team and was a very dirty team to boot — various comic panels showed the opposing team sliding in with dangerous tackles and injuring basically half of the protagonist’s team. Somehow though, the ball got passed to the protagonist, who went on to evade past all the sliding tackles thrown his way, and curled the ball past the outstretched fingertips of the diving opposing goalie and into the corner of the net, to let their team win 1-0 or 2-1 or something like that.

I have attempted a bit of research on this one but have as yet been unable to find out what the name of this comic strip was. I don’t think it was Singapore-specific or anything like that, and I don’t think I owned many comic books in this series, so I can’t say for sure that it was something that was very popular. We probably ended up with it because I liked watching soccer as a child.

Another comic strip that was local but that we liked very much was Lat. I don’t think this was a newspaper syndicated strip, but they were fairly popular in book format and could be found in bookstores all across Singapore. Lat was the name of the author of the comic, but the books themselves were also colloquaially referred to as Lat books. “Lat, the Kampung Boy” was the full title of the comic series, apparently. Despite that, the main character in the book was actually named Mat, not Lat, though it was certainly meant to be a bibliographical self-insert character representing the author.

Anyway, this was a Malaysian comic, but it had plenty of cross-cultural references relevant to Singapore too since we were neighbouring countries, and was very accessible even to our younger generation despite the author drawing from experiences that were more relevant to our parents’ generation than to us.

A couple comic strips from Lat stick out to me to this day. The first one is two tourists visiting Malaysia. They pass by a man seated by a mat with goods that he was selling on the side of the street, ringing a bell and saying “dua ringgit” (two dollars). One tourist comments to the other that it’s strange how the man is already ringing the bell even though he’s asking if he should be ringing it (“Do I ring it?”‘).

The second comic strip is of two housewife women visiting a supermarket, and seeing a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal or something that would save them some amount of money. They get excited once they realize that they could save even more by buying more at once, so buying ten at once would save them ten times the amount of money, and they could make a fortune by buying 1 million dollars worth of the item because they would then also save 1 million dollars and be millionaires. Something like that.

Mar 04 2024
  • Dad and I drove around in a car which we upgraded into being able to use fountain teleporters to shift and travel back through time to different zones.
  • The story or game had Chapters, and in the first Chapter there was a school scene where some of my friends were lining up outside a school gym to collect something, but I was one of the first people to arrive there and collect it before the line started becoming long, so when I later had a question about whatever thing I collected from it, I just skipped the lineup and went right to the front to ask one of the attendants about it instead as my friends looked on.
  • Later on, Dad and I travelled onwards to the second chapter, which was a trip back in time to our Singapore era, and we went to a HDB flat that might also have been partially converted into a hospital. Ah Ma lived there with Auntie Doris, and Dad was looking forward to visiting them again, especially Ah Ma, who he hadn’t seen in years.
  • Auntie Doris was down in the elevator lobby repairing one of the elevators, which was apparently loosely attached to a winch and was at 20% battery power. She mentioned to Dad at one point that she was happy with her lot in life taking care of their mother now. Anyway we had to use that elevator to get up to her apartment though, and it seemed dangerous, so she went first alone, then Dad went without me. I stayed down in the lobby and guarded the elevator against other strangers using it, as there were other elevators that they could use too.
  • Between Chapters 2 and 3, the car gained another upgrade, but it had something to do with a hand of cards and Dad wanting to keep a specific card in the hand even though it could not be used in conjunction with any other card that we had to form pairs, flushes, or straights. There would be no way to gather cards in this next zone, either, but it was a tribute card from Chapter 2 that he nonetheless did not want to discard.
  • We teleported onto a wide open road at the start of Chapter 3 and I sighed with relief as I hadn’t been sure that the teleport would work or how far back in time it would have brought us. We drove by the intersection below my Yishun 723 HDB block and I looked up to see the junior college there as it was in the distant past, and I exclaimed that I wasn’t even sure the Yishun 723 apartment had been built in this era yet — we saw it as we passed by it though.
  • We came to a stop in a car park and Dad was getting out of the car when another larger van came barrelling toward our parking spot, so Dad turned the steering wheel and pressed a button, and the car turned its wheels and strafed left several parking spots to get out of the way. Once both vehicles were parked, Dad and his companion, which used to be me but was not me at that specific moment as I was watching the scene from an overhead camera, got out of the car and started walking toward a coffee shop for food.
  • The two occupants of the car got out and grabbed his companion, dragging her out of sight to interrogate her for something. Dad walked almost all the way to the other end of the carpark before looking back and realizing that his companion was gone. The two occupants had not made any real effort to escape other than to drag the companion behind their vehicle and put her in a spatial box that was like a small portable prison cell, so Dad sauntered back and released her and they went on their way again.
  • Later on in Chapter 3, the two of them/us found an artifact, but we could not use it because we found out that it required two other artifacts, a cloak and a pair of gauntlets, to be combined with the one we had before we could use it. The other two artifacts were back in Chapter 1, and were obtained by toggling the exit fountain teleporter from its default state to two other states, both of which would have led to different Chapter 2 zones. The two missing artifacts would have appeared on the outer rim of the fountain in each of its other two states. We had no idea at the time that the fountain was even toggleable, and we had already known what Chapter 2 map we were going to be going for, so we had missed out on those artifacts and the achievement associated with it without realizing it.
Mar 07 2024
  • Snippet: All I remember is a member of one of my streamer communities giving the streamer in question that we were watching, Nomakk, a copy of the game Balatro, and then everyone watching him as he slowly figured the game out. I believe I was physically in a room by myself while watching it, and the room felt like a hospital room although I do not think I was admitted as a patient there.

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