Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 May 2002 - Thursday

I don't want to be at work. I want to be at home, reading The Scar.

* * *

Ha hah! Marith got reviewed! Ha hah!

* * *

I had a plan of extraordinary cleverness for getting comics and making it to anime on time, but then we had a more exciting and annoying event than usual at work, so I didn't escape until 17:00. With more optimism than calculation, I attempted to execute my plan. I succeeded! (This is not a point in favor of optimism, since even with quick scuttling from Lee's to Middlefield Rd I had to jaywalk egregiously to not miss the bus; another thirty seconds of standing in line for comics and I would have been hosed.)

Fortunately, power to the office didn't go out until after I left.

* * *

I have finished The Scar. As expected, it is marvelously inventive and makes me want to die in a pit. It is also amazingly dark, not just in plot (no one who shows any general good intent, never mind actual heroism, comes to a good end) but in every detail of the setting (squalor, decay, ancient terror kept from returning by current oppression) and characterization (names like Coldwine and Carrianne). I do recommend The Scar, but those prone to nightmares should only read it between dawn and dusk on sunny days.

Marith! by liralen (Fri May 31 13:39:54 2002)

Okay, not knowing Marith's Other Names, which is the review of her??

Re: Marith! by Trip (Fri May 31 13:44:20 2002)

She's referred to as Marith! You might need to scroll up or down the page to find her. Stupid stupid blog creatures.

Ah ha!! by liralen (Thu Jun 6 12:18:47 2002)

Stupid, stupid blog creature.

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29 May 2002 - Wednesday

Here, make some undignified chorkling sounds.

* * *

In a fit of efficiency, I got off the bus early to shop, so I only had to walk home from the store, instead of going home and then walking to the store and back, but I am completely melted anyway. Blup.

But when I got home, my copy of The Scar was waiting for me, just as I predicted.

* * *

It looks as though Dave will replace Emily in AQoJ, unless Earl a) sends email about it (not very likely) and b) objects to gaming with Dave (very unlikely).

* * *

I must be getting old. I put down The Scar and went to bed even though I could have finished it and still gotten a good five hours of sleep!

kitties! by liralen (Thu May 30 11:31:21 2002)

How cute! And crazy! grin

Melted. Hmph. It's low 90's here! And a mere six days ago it was SNOWING!

How crazed is that?

Re: kitties! by Trip (Thu May 30 12:33:38 2002)

I still make undignified chorkling noises when I look at the picture. :)

The sky gods stole your drugs!

sky Gods by liralen (Fri May 31 13:40:37 2002)

They did! All the good ones, too! Yeesh

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28 May 2002 - Tuesday

Editing my web habits page to accomodate more entries has not produced an aesthetically pleasing result. Sniff.

* * *

Today's suggestion for a sociology paper: Regional Variation in Design of Paper Airplanes.

* * *

Using   to make HTML treat "Neilsen Hayden" as a single word makes my columns somewhat more equal in length, as well as being the Right Thing.

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27 May 2002 - Monday

Last night I dreamt about building a stairway of words because I'd told Soula I would, and it went way up in the air even though I kept having to take it apart or delete it and redo it better.

Then I dreamt about clockwork countries: big gears, miles and miles across, suspended horizontally in the sky, with smaller gears around the edges to drive them. One had a city under it, where flight was forbidden, but I created a flying spell anyway, and got busted when I crash-landed on a huge statue where the person who had originally gotten flight outlawed had crashed, and got locked up in a prison high up, just under the gear itself.

I escaped, or got sprung, and had to skip town, to another gear that was divided into twenty-four sectors of different terrains, and which sector you came up to and went down from determined where you ended up across at least twenty-four widely-separated regions. Along with an athletic blonde angel and a dusky-temptress-type brunette demon, I went to a third gear, the entire top of which was a city, and became ruler pretty much by stepping into a vacancy. Apparently certain powers went with the position, since when we arrived in the city, we were all several times larger than the inhabitants, but quickly figured out how to reduce ourselves to mortal stature.

The rulership had apparently been vacant for a while and not filled very effectively before that, because the city and the gear it was on needed a lot of upkeep, but otherwise it went pretty well, and the angel and the demon (who didn't have real names, just "Ange" and "Dev") and I settled in to life as the royal family. At some point, the ex-wife (widow?) of the previous ruler joined us, which was sort of awkward, but we all got along so we figured it would work out.

There were some problems, like breaking one of the subsidiary gears when trying to rev it up to keep the main gear rotating, but also some breaks, like getting to go hunt enormous louse-vermings that infested some of the remoter gears, so overall it was going pretty well when I woke up.

* * *

Yay national holiday! But I had to get up at a relatively sensible time anyway, to catch the holiday-scheduled (ie, runs every hour or two, if you're lucky) train up to Millbrae, where I mostly talked to Norm about multiple personality disorder and not about parasites being too lame to get chicks. Then I ate at the okay Thai restaurant between Norm's office and the train station and got to the station twenty minutes before the once-every-two-hours train arrived.

It is very hot today.

Dreams by Dor (Tue May 28 06:55:07 2002)

You dream fascinating dreams, Trip.

dreams! by liralen (Thu May 30 11:29:58 2002)

Mmmm... gears. I really enjoy your dreams, Trip.

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26 May 2002 - Sunday

Oof, stayed up until almost 02:00 reading Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton. I don't know that it was really good enough to justify it, but it kept seeming like it was getting to the really cool climax...

* * *

Today was the Multi-Purpose Party: the Bertani-Youngs' housewarming, Ambar's birthday (Ambar for President!), Ambar's shiny new AS degree in Mathematics, and probably one or two more events I'm not recalling. There were many many people, some of which I knew, and insane quantities of insanely good food produced by Ambar's boy Richard and divers others. Very little of it was anything I should have eaten, but I sampled pretty much everything anyway, and it was Good.

I stayed through the tail of the exponentially decaying party, convincing Chrisber to really make a TT character and getting briefed a bit more on the whole Ayse-Hope-et-al situation, but finally had to leave when the host and hostess ran off to take the hottub reservation Ambar and Richard were too wiped out to use.

* * *

The Vampire Princess Miyu TV series keeps seeming like it's going somewhere, but very very very slowly, which is a little frustrating. The individual episodes are good, though, and I still like the opening music and closing song a whole lot.

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25 May 2002 - Saturday

Blorf. Lethargic parasite. But I have done some reading, including Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, which Earl recommended and amazon.co.uk provided. It was in fact pretty good post-cyberpunk noir, because Earl wouldn't lead me astray. Much.

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24 May 2002 - Friday

I met up with DaveChristyChrisberMarithAyseJim for yummy Thai dinner, and indeed, it was yummy! Then there was some confused attempt to get tea, gelato, or some combination, which was less successful. We met one of Ayse's other personalities, Hope, which was confusing and alarming, because no one ever warns me of these things ahead of time.

Just a parasite.

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23 May 2002 - Thursday

Kit's page crashes my browser again.

* * *

Now Kit's page doesn't crash my browser, so either she fixed it again, or it was actually a coincidence that my browser crashed just then. Anyway, now I can read a first-hand account of the terrible end that bipedalists come to.

* * *

We have now watched all extant episodes of Those Who Hunt Elves. This is not quite the same as finishing it, but I suppose it will have to do.

Defining quote from Record of Lodoss War (said by the cleric to the fighter): "Never pass up a chance for experience!"

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22 May 2002 - Wednesday

amazon.co.uk claims to have shipped my copy of The Scar. Judging by the last order, it should arrive on the 29th. I guess we'll see.

But I am not distressed, because I have "The Amazing Screw-On Head" by Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame), who is hereby promoted to the rank of Twisted Genius. Buy it. Read it. Your life will be richer for it.

Also, although I had a weak deck and made some suboptimal choices, I won Mythos because everyone else got terrible draws.

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21 May 2002 - Tuesday

My huge pile of British SF from amazon.co.uk arrived! China Miéville's latest, The Scar, did not arrive because amazon.co.uk are idjits, but hopefully it will arrive in the near future.

I sort of miss the days when I had an hour-and-a-half commute each way.

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20 May 2002 - Monday

Work? Yah, I guess I did some of that. But more importantly, I bought Nobilis!

* * *

Also, I watched the first five episodes of Saber Marionette J to X, but I am not motivated to purchase more.

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19 May 2002 - Sunday

I slept in to the last possible moment before meeting the other Sovereign Powers players for lunch at Bueno Bueno Burritoria, because I could.

Chrisber finished writing up his mentalist Total Recall, and we got the crap beaten out of us by someone with radioactive mutant caterpiller powers. If we hadn't had the egoist, we would have been so toast.

Vaguely triumphant, we went with 12057295 people to eat sushi. It was very loud.

I finished watching the first DVD of Real Bout High School which was somewhat entertaining despite the high frequency of GPS.

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18 May 2002 - Saturday

If Marith had spent a mere three minutes less wandering aimlessly in search of breakfast, or Rebecca hadn't forgotten her gaming stuff, we would have arrived in Roseville before anyone expected us! Oh well.

Amazon Quintet of Justice IIIb: "Attack of the Zombies!"

Last month: Our Heroines had found a ruined temple in which to cremate the fallen villain, hopefully luring the other set of necrotheologians in to be ambushed. Sophia and Serenity volunteered to serve as bait, since they needed to give the deceased proper last rites anyway.

After some time, a small band of armed men made its way through the rubble, under the watchful eyes of the hidden Amazons. When they reached the temple courtyard, Sophia called on them to surrender. One produced a wand and let fly with an impressively useless Color Spray, and then fell to the ground with an arrowhead in either atrium of his heart.

The rest of his party attempted to flee, but Amaryllis conjured a dirt elemental to block the narrow path through the rubble, bottling them up long enough for Solara to reach them. One of them tried to do something rash with a wand, and lost his hand for his troubles, whereupon the rest surrendered.

Meanwhile in the courtyard, a huge flaming infernal equine appeared as it broke its invisibility by attacking Sophia, Serenity, Alyssa, and Hearth Lady, shortly followed by several necrotheologians (including the one who escaped the previous ambush) and their horde of zombies.

The shield-maidens of Pelor formed the core of the fight, assailed from all sides by all manner of villains but never yielding ground, while the rest of the Amazons took advantage of the villains' unguarded backs (Alyssa, Solara) or unleashed arcane missiles and acid arrows from afar (Amaryllis). The zombies, bolstered by the dark will of their master, were difficult to turn, but Fresa put a few to flight, and made a few of the living villains into prisoners instead of corpses.

Most of his companions defeated, the main villain took to the air to escape. Arrows and sling stones followed him until he was out of range, and Amaryllis flew after him, scoring a few more hits with long-range spells. Then he blinded her with a curse, pummelled her with a morningstar, and sent her stumbling back to her comrades. With another Fly spell and a potion of Expeditious Advance, Solara gave chase, but eventually was paralyzed by a spell, which didn't remove her ability to fly but did prevent her from being able to do anything when she caught him, so she also retreated.

Our Heroines gathered up the prisoners and hurried back to their camp, where they laid low. Dwayne, the villain who had surrendered most abjectly succumed to heroic dialogue from Solara during the interrogation, and attempted to join the forces of good. After he spilled the beans about Lord Octavian and Lord Carleton and where their wagons were and so forth, he was put on probationary probation.

The next day, after Moradin's grace had restored Amaryllis's eyesight and everyone had their spells and hit points back, Our Heroines (and Dwayne) went to the wagon train of the refugees, where they were greeted by Lady Octavian (who knew of their coming from the one villain who had made tracks all the way back to the wagons), who graciously volunteered the Quintet to escort her party back to town: since Lord Octavian and Lord Carleton had been carried off last night by someone who matched the description of the flying evil cleric, those not so deeply committed to the necrotheological cause were heading back to civilization. Stephen was with them, having been originally kidnapped by the evil lords but not rekidnapped by the evil priest. While considering the issues over lunch and a bit of interrogation, Our Heroines were set upon in another dastardly attack!

Zombies shambling out of the woods to attack the noncombatants and fire arrows shot into the wagons caused a lot of chaos, but the few remaining able-bodied fighters with the wagons (including Runaway and Dwayne) and Thad, backed up by Serenity, held the line against the zombies while Kara and Solara dealt with the devil bats. The others concentrated their efforts on the cleric who had conjured the rest, and with the destruction of his protective and enhancing magics by Fresa's spell he was quickly brought down.

The vanished lords Octavian and Carleton were among the zombies, so the Amazon Quintet concluded that the necrotheologians had been thoroughly extirpated, and returned triumphant to town.

While Our Heroines were preventing the resurrection of ancient dark gods, Connor's party was rescuing a strayed princess, in celebration of which the royal family was holding a grand ball. As saviors of the city, the Amazon Quintet will of course attend...

* * *

I returned home with Earl and Emily, which became more exciting when we encountered the sign saying "680 closed"! The 238 then betrayed us by turning to run parallel to and between the 680 and 880 instead of connecting them, but finally we saved ourselves by using the 84.

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17 May 2002 - Friday

The very clever plan of driving up to Roseville tonight so we can be bright and crazed for AQoJ tomorrow has fallen through because the airline has cruelly betrayed Rebecca. So we will have to get up early tomorrow and go up in the morning, hopefully not arriving much later than we would have gotten up anyway.

So I can sleep in my own bed tonight, and maybe even go to bed early (hey, it could happen!) and not be quite as dead for the rest of the weekend.

* * *

I have decided I like Songs in Red and Gray, Suzanne Vega's most recent album.

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16 May 2002 - Thursday

At least watching Record of Lodoss War prepared me for D&D on Saturday.

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15 May 2002 - Wednesday

<TBG>

Woot! Spiffy new shield, spiffy new warp drive, acceptable new cargo pod, and extra favor income of all four types!

</TBG>

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14 May 2002 - Tuesday

Hey, cool, Kit's new page crashes my browser.

* * *

Devil Hunter Yohko is very silly. And also cheesy.

page by kit (Tue May 14 17:43:46 2002)

not anymore! er. well. at least the main page. don't try to leave comments. :) i haven't gotten that fixed yet.

Re: page by Trip (Wed May 15 13:12:55 2002)

It's a very pretty page. But yah, if you send bad HTML, you should not expect browsers to be able to render it. (Crashing is a bit much, though, it's true.)

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13 May 2002 - Monday

Betrayed! Cruelly betrayed by my mushroom soup!

At least the IT guys didn't mock me too much when I had to ask for a new keyboard.

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12 May 2002 - Sunday

Ice Age had some good side bits, but the main story was, as Chrisber put it, very American. We shall have to flog Adam for giving bad advice. (Okay, maybe we'll let him off on a plea of advanced age.)

Having dinner with Chrisber and Christy and Marith is fun. I should do it more often. I should probably not eat quite so much dairy while doing so, but how can one resist carmelized pear & gorgonzola pizza?

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11 May 2002 - Saturday

Just got back from seeing The Scorpion King with Chrisber. (Sniff! He only pays attention to me when Christy is out of town!) It was much as advertised: good guys, bad guys, lots of fighting, chainmail bikinis. But it didn't take itself too seriously, and how can you go wrong with Akkadian ninja?1

1: Clearly researched by the same historians who brought you Xena.

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10 May 2002 - Friday

Okay, now I've seen all three endings for Neon Genesis Evangelion (original, "Death & Rebirth", and movie), and I still have only the faintest idea what went on. I'm pretty sure the movie ending was much like the original ending except with more visuals; I'm entirely uncertain about "Death & Rebirth".

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9 May 2002 - Thursday

Today, I broke everything at work. Er, except for the things that my cow orkers broke. This has not been a glorious day for Ops.

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8 May 2002 - Wednesday

This is pretty cool.

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7 May 2002 - Tuesday

Look, entries now are labelled with day-of-week! Isn't that cool?

* * *

Angie noticed that I was wearing a new shirt today. I hesitate to assign significance to this fact. :)

* * *

After much too long, the Lettergame lives again!

* * *

Gretchen reviews the things she reads, instead of just giving them a one-character rating. This is because Gretchen is cooler than I am.

days of the week by kit (Wed May 8 10:13:40 2002)

Days of the week! cool!

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6 May 2002 - Monday

Oops, there was a planned power outage over the weekend, which I completely failed to shut down my unix box for. It doesn't seem to have suffered any catastrophes as a result, though.

But, to make up for that, a couple of important disks filled up over the weekend and exploded many of our SSH keys, making our servers so secure that even we couldn't get into them. But we have l33t 5y54dm1n 5k1llz, so everything is better now, and the ticket queue is clear, and everything. We're so cool.

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5 May 2002 - Sunday

I was earliest, but everyone else was early for brunch too, so I didn't have to sulk. Then we rescued twenty-six innocents in twelve seconds flat, or at least the other PCs did: Fulgurite couldn't use his power without setting off the building early, so had to settle for saving the raccoon minions and innocent little kittens and some evidence from the villain's lab. Then we flushed the villain out and beat the snot out of him in about three seconds, because Fulgurite stunned him with mighty pheromones so everyone hit the first time instead of missing. Warden got hold of him, and that was pretty much it.

Then I successfully coordinated with Rebecca, Dave, and Marith to eat salad and go see Spider-Man. As advertised earlier, it was not great but okay. It did focus a lot on the personal, rather than superheroic, aspects of the story, but from what I know of the source material, that's pretty accurate. And Kirsten Dunst does a remarkably good job of looking like an old-style four-color comicbook chick. There were parts where it dragged, though, and the effects were only so-so in a lot of places. But overall, worth seeing1.

1: Bonus points for Kirsten Dunst being thoroughly soaked and awfully cold, if you like those sort of things.

* * *

Nothing I did today is even remotely like grocery shopping.

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4 May 2002 - Saturday

Amber High School today, whee! Our Heroes went up the moonlight stairs to Tir na Nogth, the reflection of Amber in the sky, where they had assorted spirit-journey experiences which mostly told them to walk the Pattern, but not just yet. Then there was dealing with the fallout from that, and then we ended on a cliffhanger: first day of classes, first day of Cadet Officer duties!

Something I snacked on during the game didn't agree with me, and my Cajun blackened catfish at Fish Market was somewhat too blackened, but I didn't actually die.

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3 May 2002 - Friday

<TBG>

Extrawoot! I successfully swapped a fighter I couldn't maintain for a yummy shield-enhancing artifact, and paired with the person I need to give stuff to!

</TBG>

* * *

But this is the real wootage!

* * *

GURPS Cabal is great! It's got the thirty-six Decans! And the ten Sephiroth! And the four Realms! It has a vast ancient magical conspiracy, but avoids the two WW traps of making every single incident in all of history the work of nonhumans and of anti-rational ranting! It has bizarre and frightening magical ecologies springing up on the underside of the bridge that leads across the Abyss to Heaven! It admits that Hermetic magic was invented by taking a bunch of stuff, stirring it together in a big pot, and seasoning to the individual magus's taste! It has astrological modifiers!

It is a work of genius1! Buy it! Read it! Use it for evil!

1: But not twisted genius; it is too well-rooted in "real" Hermetic magical theory for that. But perhaps that just means it's genius of a higher order, like The Stress of Her Regard and Declare!

* * *

The first three episodes of Oh My Goddess! were very cute, but not as interesting as the manga; less characterization, especially of the goddesses. Skuld was a pretty good obnoxious pre-teen, though.

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2 May 2002 - Thursday

The four victims for Tokyo Tower appear to be Christy, Marith, Chrisber, and Carl. I'm so doomed!

But I can't be thoroughly doomed until they send me characters and image choices and rationalizations for image choices and some idea of what they each want in the game.

Hint. Hint.

* * *

Yay! Christy sent me a character for Tokyo Tower! Her image is the three apples! Yay! Perhaps other people should learn from Christy's excellent example!

* * *

Angel Links has been removed from the Whisman Station Anime schedule by a vote of 1-0 (6 abstentions). We don't yet know what will replace it.

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1 May 2002 - Wednesday

I made an extra 100 seconds' pay by interpreting the relevant man page to tell Bruce why his script wasn't working. Yay me! :)

* * *

Unsubscribed to four comics, subscribed to one (which may have been on my list already). Definitely a step in the right direction.

* * *

Marith doesn't love us because of work, Jim and Cera love each other more than they love us, and Rebecca and Angie and Ray are just plain antisocial, but we had Fun anyway. So there!

Devil Bunny didn't get a ham, per se, but might have been able to improvise something from the remains of Dave's second sous-chef.

Fun by Tamago (Thu May 2 10:37:42 2002)

And I proved that, really, all you need is Love... and some help from the other players.

Re: Fun by Trip (Thu May 2 11:14:40 2002)

Yah, Christy loves us! Or we love her! Or something.

hey! by Angie (Fri May 3 07:55:23 2002)

I was just differently social! Five people came over and watched hockey and ate pizza at my place, that's quite social. ^_^ Wednesdays will just be all hockey-busy until the playoffs are over, which hopefully won't be for a good long while.

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