My Diary #136

Dear Tigey,

We are moving! Sooner!

Entry #136 (Mar 17 2024)

Life

I’ve been very tired this week, and this has really affected my dreams, I’ve had really poor dream retention the last couple of weeks due to sleeping late. I also have found myself nodding off during the day basically several times a day.

I now have my confirmation date for the move into my new apartment, Apr 05 2024. They will do an exit inspection on my current unit on Apr 08 2024, so I guess they aren’t renting it out this month. They didn’t actually waive the full move fee for me, only $100 out of $250, but they are also giving me a slight discount on my rent as I’ll be paying the rent for my old apartment, which is $30 cheaper, instead of the new apartment, for the month of April. That plus the shorter 6-8 month term with some flexibility on the ending date there means I save more anyway, plus I appreciated the later move-in date than originally projected as well. I still haven’t shopped around for a cleaning service, as I’m still waiting on the rental office to send me some contact info for someone that lives in the apartment that they suggested, so I’ll probably do that next week. Also moving services. I did fill in a bunch of paperwork forms this week relating to the pending move though.

In the meantime, for the first time in quite a few weeks I didn’t bang on the ceiling at all this week. The Ukrainian is still loud and obnoxious, for example on Saturday evening he was banging on something on his floor with a hammer while I was on my biweekly video call with Zian, but it is in my best interest in this time to encourage him to make as much noise as possible for the next person to complain about.

Quintopia, the person who arranged for our joint Japan Jam 2024 application last week, told me on Friday this week that we had won the lottery to buy tickets for the festival that we wanted to attend. So I will be going to Japan this year after all! The ticket costs about $120 CAD (13,275 yen) and he already went ahead and paid for them both. We arranged that I’ll bring him the money when we meet up so that we don’t have to navigate Paypal fees.

The festival itself is a 5-day festival in Chiba, which is adjacent to Tokyo, but that $130 ticket is only good for one day, May 4th, which is when the band that we wanted to see (Kessoku Band, from the Bocchi the Rock! anime and features a voice actress as the vocalist) will be playing.

Some of the other bands that day seem good too. So I’ll be planning a trip to Japan, Singapore, and possibly one or two other countries, probably starting near the end of April. April will be a very busy month for me! Also the rest of March! But see how everything worked out again — cancelling both my potential December trip and my potential February trip paved the way for this.

Outside of those two big pieces of news that were really continuations of last week’s blog, this was a quiet week — I largely spent my week at home playing games and that was it! We had some nice, warm days this week, hitting +10 Celsius a couple times, and it looks like this will continue until Tuesday next week, at which point it drops to about highs of -7 Celsius again for the rest of the week. But spring is just around the corner now. It was also misty when I went out for groceries earlier in the week, which I always think makes for pretty landscapes:

I also won a giveaway for a free mug from one of the streams that I follow, and in theory that should arrive in about two weeks. Had to send it to my Canada Post FlexDelivery free PO Box address to be safe though, since I wasn’t sure at the time what day I would be moving out and what day it would arrive.

And finally, I noticed that our laundry and dryer machine prices had risen in price, on top of all the other recent hikes in the cost of living. It now costs $2.75 per load instead of $2.50, when it was $2.00 just a few years ago. I don’t remember what the original price was when I moved in 11 years ago, I feel like it was $1.50 per load then, but I might be wrong. It just keeps steadily rising like everything else. Not sure who the money-grubbing scoundrels are here, whether it’s Midwest Rentals, my housing lease management company, or Coinamatic, the “new” (as of a couple years) laundry machine operators, though. We did get signage that this was going to happen a few weeks ago, but it hadn’t actually taken effect until this week.

Games

A good chunk of my spare time this week was spent on the same Minecraft puiblic server that I was on last week. I learnt, and saw other aspects of playing on one this week — namely that while the server is well-managed by the admin staff in general, they are also very susceptible to bugs introduced into their underpinning modpacks, as the one used on the server I play on received an update with a rather intensive mod that caused rolling timeouts throughout the week. And even with responsive staff members, there wasn’t a lot they could do about it, and people who went exploring (and there were a fair amount due to “new content”) would lag out the server and cause everyone to timeout. Then there was another one later in the week that caused the time to be stuck at 5:11 pm for an hour and for all crops and trees to grow continuously. That was an interesting experience that one just doesn’t get in solo or small group play. Either way, I donated a bit to the server since the staff have been very responsive to issues that I’ve had and the server and community seems nice in general.

Later in the week, the Steam Spring Sale started, and I bought Backpack Battles, a game I had been watching streamers on and off play for some time already. Especially my current night-time streamer du jour, Nomakk. I loved Backpack Hero and Backpack Battles is right along the same lines as well, although with asynchronous PvP, which I have mixed feelings about.

I am definitely very easily influeced by watching streamers or friends playing games though. The other main streamers I watch, which are currently SoEverdream in the afternoon and Dridlicious in the evenings, are playing Dark Souls and Heroes 3 respectively, and I want to play them all somewhat simultaneously with them too.

Plushie of the Week #132

The Plushie of the Week this week is a plushie I don’t actually recognize at all, but that we apparently have in the plushie box at our parents’ place. It’s a dog plushie wearing a muscle shirt that says “You’re Very Special” on it, and with a really worn down tag suggesting that it’s been through lots of manhandling in the past. We generally don’t buy second-hand plushies as far as I know though, nor do I remember this guy present in our Edmonton 4012 home or anywhere in our SIngapore childhood homes, so who exactly gave this plushie lots of love while growing up?

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Song of the Week #109

Title: Bananas
Artist: Lily La Roux
Album: Cities: Skylines OST (2017)

This song is apparently from a CD called Cities: Skylines Concerts, though I expect it might be in the actual main game itself too. I’m not completely sure, I only ever played a little bit of the actual game myself.

I’ve been jamming out to this song quite a bit over the past month or so though, since one of my daily streamers (SoEverdream) uses this as one of his intro songs in the song segment at the very start of his stream to allow people to wander in before he actually engages with the viewers. At one point I mentioned how much I liked the song, and another viewer there gave me the song name and artist so that I could add it to Spotify.  The streamer apparently likes and used to play Cities: Skylines quite a bit when he first started streaming.

For me, the song has no connotations or memories outside of the stream itself, and my last two or three chaotic months in this Edmonton 205 apartment when I always had to have some noise running in order to drown out the noises coming from the apartment above me, but nonetheless, for all the negativity of experiencing the actual monkey living above me, I can say that it’s also led to several really good silver linings, one of them being my exposure to some great new channels and communities on Twitch, and this song represents a lot of that.

Writing Prompt of the Week #52

This week’s writing prompt reads:

“My first heartbreak…” (This does not necessarily have to be romantic..)

Definitely no romantic ones here. My first heartbreak was probably my move to Canada, or the Chalet Incident a couple of months before, which I’ve already spoken about in places. It had a very long runway too since I was aware of our pending migration long before we actually went. Nonetheless, I don’t have a good alternate or new answer to this question. Thankfully.

What were you really good at outside of school as a young adult? Did you pursue it, and how?

Outside of more formal things like math contests, though those are basically kind of school things still, the answer to this would be list-making, and I’ve already spoken of or shown off several different types of lists that I kept.

Write about your first experience losing someone you loved.

Despite being 40 years old now, I’ve never actually lost anyone I’ve loved yet while I was still close to them. I hope this continues for another 40 more years. The closest to these would be Thrandor or Hirawyn passing away, or my paternal grandma and grandpa several years after we had already moved to Canada.

They were all busts but I went three pages further into the book this week!

Memory Snippet of the Week #116

I was watching a streamer play Might and Magic 7 a couple of weeks ago, and one memory I wrote down from that is that I actually have a minor character named after me in either Might and Magic 7 or 8 — I believe it was 7 — due to placing well in a trivia contest on the 3DO forums back in the late 90s, 3DO being the company that published the Might and Magic series (New World Computing was the developer).

I obviously don’t remember a ton about the contest, but what I do remember is that they would post a question on the forums once every few hours or at the top of every hour or something, and I believe we had to email their email address with the answer to the question as quickly as possible. It might have been a forum PM instead of an email — you’d think that would make more sense — but for some reason my memory seems to insist that it was emails that we were told to send instead.

The one question I remember out of the questions that were asked went something like this: “In Might and Magic 6, there is a zone called “The Arena”, but there is also another unofficial arena in the game. Where is it?” The answer was in Castle Ironfist, generally the second zone of the game that players visit, where there’s a teleporter in the main town that dumps you in the middle of a square mountain valley area surrounded by lizardmen and cultists. I knew it instantly and answered that one in first or second place.

The trivia contest did not just involve one or two questions though, I believe I finished in the top 3 in terms of my aggregated total of points over maybe a dozen or so questions in order to win the prize that I did. It was to name a minor character in the next game that they were publishing, and I believe I submitted the name of Shiara for that NPC. I also believe I found her once in game, and I think she was some sort of fire-themed character (either a Fire Magic expert trainer or just some NPC with a fire-themed last name) which I thought was apt because the Shiara character name I use originally came from the name of a fire witch (local) in a book called Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, which I believe was part of a book series I read shortly after I came to Canada in 1999. I never told them about that connection though.

But I don’t remember where in the game she was squirreled away, though I seem to remember a group of huts far outside a city somewhere, and I have not found her again since. One day I will replay the game, find and screenshot her name and location, and post it here

Dreams
Mar 13 2024
  • I remember being in another country with my family, possibly for some sort of race, when I stepped away from the group and went outside the building we were in. It was night time and there were bright lights in the sky, as there were aurora lights gleaming throughout the entire sky and what seemed like firework explosions covering up a part of the sky as well. I then went back in to tell my family about it.
  • There was also another part of the dream where we returned home to find our front door unlocked, so I took a stick and brought Kel with me, going room by room to make sure that there was no one in it, while posting Jon by the front door to make sure no one entered or left the unit. The room turned out to be clear in the end, so I reported to Dad that it was safe. I expected Jon to still be in his toddler form that I remembered him as when we came out of the rooms, but he was standing there in his grown up adult form, so I was a bit surprised at this.
Mar 15 2024
  • One part of my dream had a concept of sports teams or games, featuring Connor McDavid and a team very similar to the Edmonton Oilers, but the game in question was not ice hockey. I don’t remember what it was exactly, though someone did get suspended for one game at one point, which disappointed the fans of our next away game as the fans there wanted to see our player.
  • Somehow linked to that same dream, and likely the same game concept, was a scene where I was going down a street and looking into the glass front windows of houses with one or two other people, under the pretext of shopping for a new apartment or home that had no noisy neighbours. All the homes I saw were single room units with 1 or 2 people living in each one, packed side by side in buildings that were two storeys high, and most of them were bare rooms without any actual furniture inside.
  • Snippet: I also remember standing with Kel at a bus stop and chatting with her about something as we waited for the bus.
Mar 17 2024
  • Kel and I were leaving by train from a station in a city where we had solved a game level with some criminal case or other featuring a woman, a building, and some things that we took with us. Mom was on board too but went out at some point to snowboard next to the train instead, following its path and doing trick flips and spins through the air. I could control her flips to some extent. There was a weather UI display at the side of the screen while she was doing this, for us to let her know when bad weather was rolling in, which would cause her to miss her flips.
  • Kel managed to collect and upgrade four gooberts at one of the stations we passed, and needed a starberry to upgrade the four of them into a super rainbow goobert, and I saw a vending machine selling starberries in a station that the train was arriving at. We contemplated having Kel run out and grab that, but Dad, who was also on the train with us by that point, said that she wouldn’t be able to make it back on the train in time and to ignore that, as starberries were easy to find in general. We agreed and continued on our way, and indeed found some not long after we arrived at our destination.
  • Later on, Kel and I were travelling in a car with someone else on our way back to our hotel room. We parked the car somewhere along the way and Kel left the car to do something, and I also stepped out to take shots at five vultures in the air with a gun that the other woman in the car was not supposed to know that I had. The gun took down each vulture in one shot, whereas the gun that I was supposed to have would have needed two shots to kill each vulture. Luckily, the woman in the car didn’t seem to notice or question me.
  • Once we got home, we both walked into the house that we shared, with Kel carrying her rainbow goobert ahead of me. She pressed a button at the far end of the living room and a showerhead set on the wall about halfway into the room sprang to life, gushing out water. I happened to just be walking by the showerhead at that time, and so I got drenched. I laughed and told Kel that I was going to go shower first since I was already wet.
  • There was also a shop somewhere along the trip, possibly before we boarded the train for the first time, where they were about to get rid of their stock of posters that weren’t selling, but that might have featured me or something I liked. When I got wind of this, I took some of the posters and slid them into a cardboard box that I figured would not get thrown away, so that I could come back for them later.
  • Also, at one point I was in a house doing an investigation, when I met a distant relative from Singapore. She asked me what my favourite way of petting a dog was, I showed her Tigey and said that if the dog was docile enough, I liked putting Tigey on top of the dog and having him ride the dog around. She reached out for Tigey and I handed him to her, as she proceeded to then affectionately squeeze and pat Tigey before returning him.
  • Editor: A goobert is an upgradable slime pet from Backpack Battles, and a rainbow goobert is one of the ultimate upgrades for it. The starberry isn’t from any game or other media in particular though.

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