Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2001 - Friday

Gretchen seems to have sucked everyone into TBG: Dave's handy reference page has ten people listed as of this writing, and I know there's at least one more not on the list yet. Most of us are roleplaying our ships as strange aliens with alien translators made by aliens, for aliens, and possibly of aliens (wumwumwumwumwumwum), because that's the kind of freaks we are.

* * *

Bujold's first fantasy novel was okay, but nothing spectacular. Now she has figured out how to write like Bujold and write fantasy, so you must all go and buy and read The Curse of Chalion RIGHT NOW.

* * *

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is very peculiar. And also very short.

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29 August 2001 - Wednesday

This is what I want to be when I grow up.

* * *

"Pokémon has one great aspect: Young people with concealed weapons going around helping people and defeating badguys. Morally speaking, it's a gun-control freak's nightmare!" --Bob_Robertson @ /.

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28 August 2001 - Tuesday

Yay, Amazon shipment! I had been combining all my orders into one huge order out of some vague sense of tidyness, but I finally got tired of waiting on the bits that haven't been published yet and changed it to "ship what you've got". Now I have the latest Bujold book, a couple of random fantasy novels, a book on user interface design, and CLAMP cheesecake.

I am in grievous danger of becoming a sweet-potato-chip junkie.

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27 August 2001 - Monday

Whee, first To Boldly Go turn today! I resisted spending all my money and also resisted becoming a pirate, and instead am mining chocolate from the asteroids around Algol. Hey, it's a living (maybe). Or, poorly translated from Parasitic, "wuwmwumwumwumw salt-baked space parasites interconvert chocolate with nonspecific resources wuwmwumwumwumwum".

It is Monday, so tonight will be Writing Night, but I have no idea where Transmundane goes next. This could be a problem.

* * *

I was pleased to notice while I waited for the bus home that my external brain still has half a battery icon left even though it's been more than a week since I last fed it. I am pleased not because it means spending less on batteries, but because it means I have been doing things the past week, instead of rotting my brain with endless Shisensho.

However, I still have no idea what to do with Transmundane. Maybe dinner will inspire me.

* * *

No inspiration to be found in roasted turkey breast and crackers with cheese, alas, so I flaked on Transmundane and instead wrote 1600 words of cheesy gaming stuff. But it was words, and some of it even grammatical English text, so I may sleep with a conscience only slightly murky.

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25 August 2001 - Saturday

Staying up excessively late caused me to sleep with vigor, determination, and grace, and I awakened on my own feeling much better-rested than on any previous morning this week, yet without the loginess that comes of oversleeping. Yay me.

This morning I also feel smug for keeping my record of my life on an antiquated, monthly-fee-for-services-rendered, ISP-hosted home page, because people can still read it, which is much more than can be said for LiveJournals.

Neener neener.

* * *

Transmundane episode 4 is finally done! Now I may fall over like a tired parasite who has written 1600 words tonight.

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24 August 2001 - Friday

I did go to bed not late, I did! But I am still tired, hmph. And I will be up until all hours playing Knights of Atlantis, or more likely being frustrated at being unable to play because everyone will be busy fawning over the new KITTENS.

Not that I'm skeptical about people's willingness/ability to focus on gaming instead of KITTENS, FLTD, and everything in the world that is not the game currently in session, or anything. Oh no.

Er. Not that I have any objection to KITTENS, I should point out. Just not while I'm trying to game.

* * *

Knights of Atlantis went as well as could have been expected, given the four month gap between sessions. The very low duty cycle of KITTENS for viewing prevented much disruption from that source, so I must hide my face in shame at being proven wrong, or something. There was some digression, but not too bad, and the villain was successfully defeated and devillainized and we at least have a concrete plan for scaring the last PC into realizing his powers.

Sadly, the propensity of websites which provide services without getting a revenue stream in exchange to vanish softly and silently away in the night has caused the wonderful character pictures Christy drew to likewise vanish. :( Hopefully she has enough in local storage to be able to recreate them without too much trouble.

* * *

Twelve-hour-old KITTENS are very very very cute

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23 August 2001 - Thursday

Iä! Iä! Shub-Claus! Dark beast of the Pole with a thousand blasphemous gifts!

* * *

Due to small brains and overloaded schedules and general lethargy, Infinite Sea was cancelled for tonight. I should have written, but instead I lay around like a slimy lump, reading Frumpy the Clown. Now I go to bed not late. Really.

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22 August 2001 - Wednesday

Today I am experimentally removing half the machines from the pool that provides a popular internet service, to see what happens. I never got to do that at my other jobs!

I guess it's for the best that my boss said all sorts of nice things on my performance review, or at least "Trip sucks less this year". Which really is about all you can expect out of a year.

* * *

I have defeated the Dishes! After ruling the kitchen from their sinky lair for mumble aeons, they have been overthrown and their lifeless skeletons stacked in the drainer! Their reign of terror is no more!

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21 August 2001 - Tuesday

I feel sort of guilty for not writing up anime nights here, but although they are pleasant, and involve walking probably three or four kilometers, they aren't really that exciting: we're rewatching Sailor Moon SuperS, which I've seen before, the people who show up are all people I see on a regular basis, and even if something exciting did happen, it would be FLTD plotting, so I wouldn't care.

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20 August 2001 - Monday

Small-brained parasite. I did write, but only about half the usual amount, so I will have to declare another Writing Night this week.

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19 August 2001 - Sunday

More inert lumpishness today, but at least I finished reading Exalted. I still like it. Maybe I'll run it. Maybe I'll come to my senses.

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18 August 2001 - Saturday

Last night, I actually ran Pokéthulhu, because there might have been some people who doubted what a giganticenormous freak I am.

Surprisingly, for a game run immediately after a long week of work, with a system and genre never intended to be seriously used, it went pretty darn well. Chrisber and Tamago are naturally extremely silly, so they got into it right away. Angie was sort of tired and defocused, but livened up once her character was assaulted by Mutant Fungal Clusters. Obnoxious teenager butt was kicked, thulhu were defeated, historic buildings were burned, and the world was made safe for monster-wielding hoodlums. Hurrah!

* * *

Today, while lying around as an inert, useless lump, I have been reading Exalted. Sure, it's White Wolf, and therefore philosophically dubious, but reading the introduction made me think, "Sure, I could game in this", and the list of inspiration fiction includes Sean Stewart books, Glen Cook's Black Company books, and the movies Swordsman II and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. White Wolf may be full of Rifkinites and over-inflated Web Artistes, but at least they have someone who knows good fantasy.

* * *

As part of my inert, useless lumpishness, I finished watching El Hazard 2, which wasn't bad, but was not nearly as good as the first OAV series, both in the art (character designs, anyway) and plot. I also watched the first four episodes of NieA under 7, which turns out to be a strange slice-of-life anime about a struggling Tokyo girl with an alien bum living in her closet. Not particularly my sort of thing, so I feel foolish for giving money to the sucking evil that is the MPAA, but oh well.

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16 August 2001 - Thursday

It's all Gretchen's fault that I have signed up for To Boldly Go. Hopefully I won't become one of those evil people who plays one turn and then gives up, causing the moderator to explode in frustration and despair.

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15 August 2001 - Wednesday

Why no update for yesterday? Because yesterday wasn't very exciting.

Tonight, however, I finished El Hazard. It remained pretty good throughout, so I am pleased. I really like Ifurita (and would continue to like her if she wore a higher neckline, hmph!). Although I hear that a friend of a friend read something on Usenet indicating that El-Hazard 2 is No Good, I am sufficiently pleased by the first OAV series that I will try watching it.

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13 August 2001 - Monday

Aieeee, it's Monday the 13th! Doom, dooooom!

Actually, I hear that in Latin America it's Tuesday the 13th that's considered bad luck, but I didn't get around to asking our Colombian hardware guru if that was true.

At work, I continued to block on input for most of my open tickets, and the one I did work on is being a horrible kludge.

I have mostly not sucked for Writing Night, though, even not counting the words I stole from Emma Bull. One more good writing night and episode 4 will probably be done.


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12 August 2001 - Sunday

Today was Random Sunday at Jeremy&Rachel's. I fled relatively early on because their quite small house is not really designed to have twelve gamers all talking over each other in the front room, but before my ignominious retreat I got to try out Munchkin. It was pretty fun, overall, and very very silly, but I think game duration scales as much more than N, because a) the Ph4t L3wts are more thinly spread, so you accumulate plusses more slowly, and b) the more other players there are in the game, the greater the chance someone will be able to drag you down when you start to get somewhere. A corollary of b is that ganging up is very effective: instead of N-1 players dragging you down, there are N-2 or N-3 or whatever size of cabal you've managed to form. I'd like to play again with only 3-4 players; I think it would probably be a lot more fun and less frustrating.

After wasting the rest of the afternoon and evening, I watched the rest of the first disc of El Hazard. It is still entertaining and pretty, and the plot continues to thicken at an appropriate pace.

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11 August 2001 - Saturday

Morning: Lethargic parasite.

Afternoon: Amber High School. That the people who had participated in last weekend's FLtD session might not have recovered and would have to lie around twitching had been predicted, and in fact it was so, if you consider remarkable silliness a form of twitching. Nevertheless, we completed a reasonable amount of intellegence gathering for our project of fumigating and culturally assimilating the Shadow Aunt Fiona had given us access to without being lynched as vampire collaborators, and got Omar back in time to finish his magic horseshoes. We then did as about well as we each had expected in finals, and Omar got to give the horseshoes to Lizzie and be all cutely embarrassed.

Evening: Immense, gigantic, titanic, very large amounts of inability to plan and execute dinner. Fortunately, before we were reduced to cannibalism we arrived at Rangoon and were fed. Sadly, the balachung that I ordered experimentally (how can you resist "grounded diced shrimp" with chili and garlic?) turned out to have a peculiarly ultrafried texture and excessively strong taste, but there was plenty of food anyway, and Ayse took the leftover balachung home to experiment on her cat.

Night: All of those people went off to geek about FLtD until their brains exploded, but I escaped to my lair and watched the first episode of El Hazard. The story had recognizeable elements in common with the manga version I've been reading, but was not actually the same plot and perhaps not even the same story. This is typical in Japanese fiction, apparently. But it was entertaining and the art was very nice, so I look forward to watching the remaining 10 episodes.

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10 August 2001 - Friday

Today I submitted my mandatory Voluntary Self-Criticism Form annual self-evalution review thingy. My boss desnided it, and suggested that I might want to blow my own horn slightly louder, but agreed in principle, which is probably for the best. I made the suggested revisions and now... I won't get a raise because no one gets a raise, but maybe at least I won't be declared Expendable.

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9 August 2001 - Thursday

Writing Night, finally. I thought episode 3 was going to be short, forming a worrying trend, but it turned out almost exactly the same length as episode 2. Perhaps I am not such a lame parasite after all.

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8 August 2001 - Wednesday

Since so many people ask: the sale of Temple Square hasn't gone through, but the current manager doesn't foresee any major changes. Also, I may have escaped having to clean my bathroom to a deadline. Hopefully this doesn't mean I will never clean it.

I am clearly lacking in moral fiber, however, because I have bought Yet More DVDs, pumping money into the pit of corruption and slime that is the MPAA. Maybe I can redeem myself by making many copies of El Hazard and Ceres: Celestial Legend and distributing them on the Internet.

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7 August 2001 - Tuesday

Cruelly led astray by the extra superdeformed material at the end of the last Ushio & Tora tape, I did not get to bed until Too Late, and then was unable to fall asleep for some time, so I am one again a Sleepy Parasite. Hmph.

Quick review of Ushio & Tora: It wasn't bad. I found the way Ushio is drawn to be kind of peculiar (no Beauty Man Garden bishonen here!) but not bad, and Tora is, as advertised, awfully cool. Asako is awfully cool too. (Okay, so is Mayuko. Heck, most of the characters are pretty cool, although it does seem to be an unwritten law of anime that all fathers have to be annoying). I have to wonder, though, whether the monsters are really from Japanese folklore or the writer just dropped too much acid in college ("Rotate me!"). Overall: recommended, but don't pass up Escaflowne for it.

* * *

I just learned from my landlady that the apartment building I live in is being or has been sold, as a consequence of which I have to clean my bathroom so it can be repainted. I don't follow the connection here, but whatever. I can't deny that my bathroom needs it. Since this needs to be done by Saturday, though, I'm not sure when I'll be able to have Writing Night this week. Bad BAD parasite.

* * *

I had a long rant prepared about today's philosophical discussion, but then I realized that all I need say is that within twenty minutes, both of these opinions emerged from the person I was discussing with:

  • Corporations desperately need to be reined in because an entity with no motive other than profit is terribly dangerous
  • I won't put my investments in the stock of corporations that take pains to be less environmentally damaging because they have lower ROI.

Pass that flaming liberal environmentally-conscious devoted Democrat an SUV; he's earned it.

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6 August 2001 - Monday

Tonight is Writing Night, but it is 19:40 and I have just now arrived home, so writing seems unlikely. Probably I will assemble some sort of dinner and watch the two remaining tapes of Ushio & Tora and then fall over splut like a tired space parasite.

Today is also the day my homework was due, and in proper geek style I didn't do it until the last minute (I marked up ads on the train to Millbrae). I did do it, however, and so am rewarded for my efforts by having to think about actually leaving a voicemail response to one or more of the three ads I circled. Augh.

Bonus points for guessing which three ads it was that I circled in this week's Metro. Points off for insulting guesses.

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5 August 2001 - Sunday

Not a very productive weekend, I'm afraid. Reading, watching anime, sleeping in way too much, and, er, well, that's about it. Not even improving books, just cheesy military SF.

Oh well.

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3 August 2001 - Friday

Now my head is all swelled up, for my clever solution to a work problem has been admired by a Real Software Engineer (not a Fake Software Engineer of the sort made common by the recent phenomenon). Yay me!

Or maybe I'm just easily flattered because my brain is all wobbly from being woken up at 02:09 by the NOC, who were panicked at not being able to reach any of the people they were supposed to escalate problems to.

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2 August 2001 - Thursday

I didn't actually go to bed early last night, but at least I didn't go to bed late. In consequence, I am relatively well-rested, and able to alertly apply the full power of my intellect to... waiting for email about my various tickets which are blocked on input. Hmph.

* * *

Christy has the Best Journal Entry ever.

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1 August 2001 - Wednesday

Whee, a new month! Now my archives look slightly less pathetic.

Today I initiated Tara into the mysteries of public transit. Aside from the required sacrifices to the Bus Gods, casualties were relatively light.

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