Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site


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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

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2018-05-23:  "experiment" by marithlizard
2018-03-13:  "pie" by marithlizard
2018-02-28:  "Re: Flavia" by Trip
2018-02-28:  "Flavia" by marithlizard
2018-01-20:  "Re: rakugo" by Trip

25 May 2018 - Friday

[ . . . ]

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24 May 2018 - Thursday

[ . . . ]

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23 May 2018 - Wednesday

The problem with going grocery shopping once a week is that when work randomly changes my dinner (yesterday) or lunch (today) plans at a later minute, everything is thrown into confusion! Cats and cats living together, statues weeping marinara sauce, etc.

After being out late last night, I was dubious about going to gaming, since we have neither Brooks nor Kelsey and would be reduced to Terraforming Mars, but then Mike mentioned Ethiopian food so I showed up to eat enormous quantities of injera and suck enormously at board games.

Tonight Marith tried out living in an apartment with cats but with cat-free rooms! Results to be announced tomorrow.

"The Flowers of Vashnoi" (Lois McMaster Bujold) is #barrayar #ekatarina #bugs #timeoftroubles #tragedy.

Words: 228.

experiment by marithlizard (Fri May 25 17:42:21 2018)

Results: Achoo!

Well, I didn't have a major attack, which is the thing I'm most worried about. But it was not optimal. Next step, try again with a HEPA filter and a separate set of safe-room vs outside clothes (the latter to be quarantined).

Bah, if we have such amazing toys and materials science in this timeline why can't we control our immune systems yet?

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22 May 2018 - Tuesday

Rachel recommended Strange Practice (Vivian Shaw), so I moved it up the queue. It is unquestionably urban fantasy, including mysterious deaths, multiple types of vampires and the terrifying things you find in London's Underground, but it is not action-packed. I mean, things happen, several of them violent, but mostly the characters keep their upper lips stiffened and carry on, rather than engaging in overwrought histrionics. I'm not sure I'm explaining this well, but it was definitely an interesting tone. Also, that was an extremely terrifying thing in the Underground.

Instead of being useful this evening, I hung around the office until my boss, who is in town to placate a customer, and one of my coworkers were available for a work dinner. We went to Orchard City Kitchen and ate American tapas and talked about shaping the product by advocating for customers, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds like.

Then I had to walk home because the bus was no longer running and try to write a tiny amount before dying in a pit.

Words: 169. I said it was a tiny amount!

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21 May 2018 - Monday

An Accident of Stars and A Tyranny of Queens (Foz Meadows) form one story, although there is a definite stopping place at the end of the first book. They are modern portal fantasy, where other dimensions are not populated entirely by culturally-uniform patriarchal straight white neurotypical people, even a terrible high school doesn't prepare one mentally to fight to the death against the evil usurper's goons, and sometimes people die unjustly. And let's not even go into all the fun magical initiation can be. So it is pretty awesome, if not entirely happy for the characters.

Words: 281.

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20 May 2018 - Sunday

This week's PAD&D5 session was mostly fighting, but that's okay. We like fighting, and also getting loot and XP.

While the Heroines of Red Larch are still picking up the pieces from the previous battle, Akrá receives a sending from [SPOILER] about villainous attacks all along [SPOILER]. Pausing only briefly to notify the authorities, stock up on potions, and spend hit dice, the Heroines head out to investigate!

The first information they get is the composition of the forces chasing a caravan that is trying to escape to Yartar. A fight ensues, but the bigger they are, the harder they do, indeed, fall. After the battle, Mika manages to recruit a few of the enemy grunts by being visibly more awesome than their hated former leader; perhaps they will become the temple guard of the Crystal Dragon.

After finally taking a long rest, the Heroines approach [SPOILER], which the sending specifically mentioned as being in trouble, and find a small army besieging it. There are too many for the Heroines to fight directly, but they send Hazelrae and her winged boots in to coordinate with the defenders, and then attack the enemy leaders when they begin their assault. Once again, Rimardo saves the day with banish! The leaders are defeated and, despite their protestations that it was all in the cause of a just society (where those who are naturally taller lead those who are naturally shorter, and all artisans get a fair wage), are sent packing.

However, there is no time to spend the captured payroll, too much evil needs thwarted!

We didn't walk back to the train station because timing (seriously, one train every 90 minutes?!), and then I didn't walk back from the train station because my phone was asleep and I couldn't tell Avalon when to expect me. So, I have mostly failed at generating energy for Walkr, but on the other tentacle, I think I have only one more planet to collect.

Avalon is hampered in her ability to cut toxic people out of her life. This is very unfortunate. 8(

Words: 176.

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19 May 2018 - Saturday

After cleaners came and dusted the spare room, I had to do a work, which ended up taking more like three hours than the half an hour I was hoping, so the whole day was thrown off. Eh, who needs grocery shopping anyway?


Still no Eurovision, but we caught up on Steven Universe and then watched some Nirvana in Fire (and also My Hero Academia because Marith's laundry wasn't done when Earl and Cat had to drive home.

  • SU 5.17: Aw, Lapis.
  • NiF 41-42: More and more of the awful truth is coming out, which seems fair since we're like 80% through the season now. But it's not going to do any of the characters any good, I'm pretty sure.
  • MHA 13.5: Recap of the first season.

Words: 164.

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18 May 2018 - Friday

Recursion (Marion G Harmon) does not appear to follow on from the previous book in the series, but that is because being a superhero is always confusing.

The novella Coming To You Live (Mira Grant) returns to the main characters of the original "Newsflesh" trilogy, some years later, but it doesn't have anything to do with the plot, because that's not what it's about. Can an author write fanfic of their own work? That's what this is like, fanfic about what happened to these characters after the trilogy concluded.

Stone Mad (Elizabeth Bear) is a sequel novella to Karen Memory, which apparently I don't remember very well at all. But there are cute lesbians and also a mystery, so that's good.

Words: 286.

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17 May 2018 - Thursday

Last Man Out (Elliott Kay) shows that the previous four books in the series were not just an extended series of flukes, and the main character in fact cannot go anywhere without pissing everyone off and having everything explode. But we get to see more of the alien parts of the setting. Admittedly while they're on fire, but still.

Words: 376.

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16 May 2018 - Wednesday

This week, we had Wuhan-style Chinese food to go with our 13th Age, but no Kelsey. Apparently Wuhan province is right next to Szechuan, and is famous for chili oil and fish, but Ken mostly ordered beef foods. It was pretty good, after I picked out all the death peppers.

Gaming was mostly intrigue and skullduggery, which my character is not great at, but she got to find the guy who had been stuffed into a closet while Ktangs chatted with an imposter.

The Soldier (Neal Asher) continues to doom the Polity future history with even more alien bug monsters and horrifying technology and cyborgs screwing around with civilization-ending artifacts.

Words: 183.

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15 May 2018 - Tuesday

That's it for the manga, I think. Nine boxes to be donated, still a few piles of stuff on the floor. The spare room looks much more like a room, but isn't empty yet.

Rowena's Rescue is apparently the first book by DD Webb (of The Gods are Bastards fame). It's always good when a princess rescues herself, although this isn't quite that, or at least she does it with a lot of help. On the other hand, humans always do things with a lot of help, so maybe it still counts. Anyway, I am sad the other books in this series don't seem to have ever materialized, but TGaB is better.

Words: 306.

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14 May 2018 - Monday

Converted three more boxes into two boxes for donation, and cleaned up some of the piles on the floor.

Words: 232.

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13 May 2018 - Sunday

I think the girl at the bus stop by the grocery store was secretly a Love Nikki character: thin, blue hair, miniskirt/overalls, black cap with a band of studs. Clearly a good omen!

I converted ten boxes of manga and art books into five boxes for donation and a bunch of unsightly piles all over the floor. Also I saw that tumblr is full of MASSIVE SPOILERS for Steven Universe episodes I haven't watched yet.

Words: 269.

Weekly total: 1786. Not as weak as I feared, considering how much book sorting I did. But still pretty weak.

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12 May 2018 - Saturday

Instead of my boring old Saturday routine, I spent the middle part of the day taking 16 boxes of books to Thrift Box so they can go to good homes and maybe benefit a children's hospital along the way. That's a total of 20 boxes removed from the spare room, and pretty much all the prose books, but I still have boxes and boxes of manga and art books and gaming books and I don't know if the Thrift Box even wants them (the person who could make that decision wasn't available). Physical objects are so annoying.

The only version of Eurovision that Ayse accepts was not available, but Earl and Cat were, so we watched...

  • Nirvana in Fire 38-40: It turns out being paranoid and suspicious doesn't make you harder to manipulate. Who would have guessed? But is Mei Changsu going to complete his design before he runs out of Constitution?

Words: 305.

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11 May 2018 - Friday

I went to the doctor about the weird lump on my head, and she said it can totally come right off, so I made a followup appointment.

Hurray, there's a new Murderbot book (Artificial Condition, Martha Wells) out! Hurray, Murderbot made a soaps-watching friend!

Hugging would be completely inappropriate, but I want to send Murderbot hundreds of hours of media of people being nice to each other.

The 6th book in the "Dire" series by Andrew Seiple, Dire: Hell, is pretty much what it says on the tin, or at least what naturally follows from the cliffhanger at the end of the previous book: powered-armor gadgeteer versus literal Hell and all its demons. It goes about as one might expect.

Words: 198.

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10 May 2018 - Thursday

Wow, the Canada Gooses hanging out on the creek path where I go home are fearless. I guess that's good, they'll be easier prey when civilization collapses.

Also there was a lizard sitting on the path, which seemed like a good way to get run over, so I nudged it until it scampered away. That it didn't leave until then makes me think it was sick, so probably I should keep other lizards away from my shoes in case it's catching.

I have approximately a zillion boxes of books that need to move out of the spare room by Saturday week. I managed to get the library to take four boxes that I had already staged out of the spare room, so um now there's more room for processing more boxes in the living room? This would work better if I were more organized.

Marith's glasses fell apart and she imploded, so I had to help her find the missing lens. But it all worked out in the end, and she said nice things about me on tumblr.

Death's Bright Day and Though Hell Should Bar The Way (David Drake) are the Nth and N+1th in the series about the intrepid starship captain and the murder librarian. The latter is actually from the PoV of a different character, though, which is unprecedented. Also, Barbary pirates in space.

Words: 180.

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9 May 2018 - Wednesday

Even though my arm has been feeling okay for the past few weeks, I went to my long-scheduled PT appointment today and got some exercises that I should do to keep it from hurting again. It was much more interesting than going to work.

Today, we have noodles to go with our 13th Age, and also Kelsey is back because they let her out from the thesis mines occasionally now.

This session, council hijinx, which don't devolve into violence because of the magic of Concord. Kazannethorim even talked to an orc!

Maybe I shouldn't have made a less political character.

Words: 135.

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8 May 2018 - Tuesday

Yay, it's Avalon!

Words: 388.

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7 May 2018 - Monday

The under-sink hot water heater that feeds the office sink and dishwasher exploded over the weekend. Bummer.

Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her (Richard Roberts) is the conclusion of Bad Penny's story, which is bad because I like reading about Penny, but good because resolution. As a book, though, it seems to fall a little short of the previous four. The action doesn't really escalate; it's a series of events that sort of happen without strongly leading into the next, and then a final battle. The characterization doesn't seem consistent, although to be fair the first-person narrator is in a very different position relative to most of the characters than in previous books. Likewise, I'm not sure Penny's attitude toward them is reasonable, but then she's under kind of a lot of stress. Also this book definitely needs proofread, which is minor but another hint that it did not get properly edited.

Not that I could do better, mind you.

Words: 311.

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6 May 2018 - Sunday

We had everyone for PAD&D5 this fortnight! Also, we were all unfocused and ridiculous, which is better than only some people being unfocused and ridiculous, and the rest being frustrated.

Having survived last sessions's Wonderland sequence, the Heroines of Red Larch can now try to interact with Yartar the way they meant to, but of course they are foiled again. A delegation from [SPOILER] has come to town to arrange a prisoner exchange, with the same kind of destruction that the Heroines have already saved Yartar from once (on two different occasions) as leverage. This perfidy cannot be allowed!

A set of unintentionally wacky hijinx ensues, but the Heroines manage to rescue [SPOILER], untangle the intrigues of [SPOILER], and finally trigger a three-way battle at the [SPOILER], which the Heroines win handily by having brought a 9th-level cleric to a sorcerer fight.

I ate way too much cheese.

Words: 204.

Weekly total: 1953.

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5 May 2018 - Saturday

  • Sailor Moon S 11: Poor Sailor V, who has to save the world instead of chasing volleyball boys!
  • Laidback Camp 1: Camping! With scenery and exposition! Jus is watching this with her mom, so it can go in the bedtime slot, probably followed by Non Non Biyori.
  • Flip Flappers 12-13: The End! The very disturbing end that leaves important questions completely unanswered, or perhaps unasks them! Really, no one expected more resolution, right?

Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis (Richard Roberts) is the last reread. Now I can start the final battle!

Words: 228.

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4 May 2018 - Friday

Reread Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up The Moon (Richard Roberts), the second book, in which the main character gets taken for a supervillain by an entire separate set of people.

<spoiler> Aside from telling everyone she's a supervillain, she ostentatiously uses the powers of two known inimical forces, so that when anyone else uses those powers for evil, she gets accused of being in cahoots with them. </spoiler>

Also reread Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen (Richard Roberts), but by this point supervillainy is taken for granted.

Words: 313.

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3 May 2018 - Thursday

Finally finished rereading Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain (Richard Roberts), in which some perfectly nice(ish) 8th-graders inadvertently become supervillains. Can I learn anything from this? (Okay, okay, "if I were capable of learning", whatever.)

<spoiler> They start off by stumbling into a trap laid for supervillains. They don't want the bait, the setup of the trap just annoys them, but anything a supervillain trap catches must be a supervillain, especially when they are caught on video defeating a superhero. Then an aspiring supervillain (from a family of villains) calls them out, and the same superhero and her friends fight them again, with witnesses. At that point, their fate is pretty much sealed, and established villains start inviting them to hang out, hooking them up with fences, giving them gigs, etc. </spoiler>

In summary, judgy superheroes (or other authority figures?) seem key.

Words: 487, but most of it was description so detailed as to constitute an infodump, which will have to be exploded with fire.

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2 May 2018 - Wednesday

Because I ended up stopping by home before 13th Age and Indian food, I was able to taunt Ken with The Book of Demons. However, this session was all about trying to get the magic spear from the crazy monster in the basement without getting our asses kicked again, and then cutting to some political intrigue. Might be demons there, I suppose.

Words: 240.

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1 May 2018 - Tuesday

Hurray, Avalon had an evening free! For smooches! Well, remote smooches, anyway.

Words: 220. I know that the bit where I restarted earlier is not far enough back, but if I go further back, what do I do? Maybe I just have to write the however much preamble and later delete everything before the story begins.

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30 April 2018 - Monday

Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe her, the fifth (and allegedly last) book in the series that started with Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, is out, so obviously I must reread the entire series from the beginning. Especially since this is the series that made me want to write teen supers in the first place. Perhaps it will help me figure out what I am doing wrong (besides "everything").

Words: 261. I think I need to start with more school and normal stuff before dumping my MC into the labyrinth. *writes some words* Meh, before that even. Not that I want to rewrite PDTMPIaS, but that doesn't mean I can't learn from it.

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29 April 2018 - Sunday

Another useless Sunday. Which wouldn't be bad if I ever accomplished anything on other days!

I often don't read any of the 98634895 RPG projects I back on Kickstarter until they are finished, but Vagabonds of Dyfed has an almost-complete prerelease version, so I read through it. It is OSR × PbtA, to which you might say, "Isn't that Dungeon World?" but this is a slightly different approach It doesn't have moves, it has a resolution mechanic (or I guess you could look at it as Defy Danger grown to take over all other moves). It also doesn't have playbooks, or even classes, just a bunch of abilities that can be taken in pretty much order, one per level. Possibly most interestingly, it doesn't have stats. What it has are more like aspects from Fate: a phrase or sentence for each of your general approach to conflict, your goal/cause/ethos, your gimmick, your background, your current profession/occupation, and something you aren't good at. Each of these you can claim as applying to a roll gives you +1 (or -1 for the weakness) on your 2d6. Equipment and whatnot can also be tagged for ±1 per tag, although more commonly it gives or denies permission to even make a roll.

Seems like it could work.

I actually read some of my vast backlog of manga (from before I boycotted Barnes & Noble for firing all their people), but what I read was the first four volumes of Murciélago (Yoshimurakana), which is pretty much lacking in redeeming social value. It has lots of violence and lesbian lechery, though. Also random Lovecraftian references, although it is in no way a Mythos story, or even overtly supernatural.

Words: 276.

Weekly total: 2303.

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28 April 2018 - Saturday

Today Jus's school (and Nonny's school, starting in the fall!) had their walkathon festival thing. Jus and Nonny, especially Nonny, did not need any encouragement to walk (run!) approximately a million miles each! It was really pretty impressive, especially Nonny.

Then there had to be grocery shopping but I came back for stew and anime.

  • Flip Flappers 11: Oh, that's Mimi. Yikes.
  • My Hero Academia 1.12-13: Triumphant conclusion of the first season!
  • ACCA 5-6: One doesn't usually think of massive train wrecks in terms of political drama, and yet it makes perfect sense. Also, bread and hereditary nobility.

Words: 154.

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27 April 2018 - Friday

The Sea Without A Shore (David Drake) is 985628935642th in the series about the intrepid Age of Space Sail captain and his terrifying librarian partner, which I am still reading. My, history really is full of things.

Words: 406.

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26 April 2018 - Thursday

Today I was kind of productive at work, but only because Huge Customer X made me.

Words: 348.

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25 April 2018 - Wednesday

13th Age and Thai food!

I don't know why, but this was a much more energetic session than most, possibly because we had a concrete, specific obstacle to overcome, and also a deranged ancient cultist to negotiate with. Also my character got embedded in stone and half-petrified, and now the others are trying to decide whether to help her directly, or kill her and resurrect her. Implementing both plans at once seems both suboptimal and inevitable.

Words: 212.

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Previously in Trip's Life

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