Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 August 2002 - Saturday

Overslept in until 14 o'clock. Blargh.

After a whole lot of doing nothing, I met up with people for the third going-away party of Bryant's that I've attended1: dinner with Marith and Chrisber and Christy at Peninsula Creamery, and then Charade at the Stanford. Cary Grant! Audrey Hepburn! Witty banter! Go see it!

1: And yet, he's still here! What am I doing wrong?

Still here? by Bryant (Mon Sep 2 01:30:51 2002)

It is prophecied that I may not leave the West Coast until I have read chapter 11 of Transmundane.

Re: Still here? by Trip (Mon Sep 2 10:03:09 2002)

Uh oh. I hope you haven't bought plane tickets or anything, then, because the likelihood of my finishing by next week is pretty small. :(

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29 August 2002 - Thursday

When I got up in the morning, my brain had ideas in. But then I was trapped in the NOC to cover for the person that our corporate masters had taken out and shot several weeks ago, and without a real computer I could not make any of my ideas into words. Grump.

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28 August 2002 - Wednesday

Only Dave and Al showed up for Wednesday Night Fun, but we played Fluxx and discussed d20 Glorantha and Al crushed us at Roborally. "Circuit Trap" is an excellent board for a small number of players, because it is easy to get trapped on a conveyer circuit and be stuck while other people show up to interact with you. The circuit near flag 2 was designated the Great Wheel of Karma for this reason.

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27 August 2002 - Tuesday

Not a day on which I changed the world much at all, I'm afraid. Mostly I uh stared blankly at my computer at work, then went home and worked on finishing up some of the many half-read gaming books littering my parasitelair.

Oh, and I thought up a vaguely Amber-like setting only with automobiles and firearms. Many details remain to be resolved.

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26 August 2002 - Monday

And tonight, Tokyo Tower!

Aieeeeeee.

* * *

Well, that was suitably awful. None of the NPCs expressed their personality (or at least not the personalities I had planned for them to express), there was no action, and I only barely managed to get the PCs anywhere near the adventure by the end of the session. Meep. :(

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25 August 2002 - Sunday

I guess sleeping in yesterday was good for me, because I woke up after about seven hours of sleep, and couldn't really oversleep even though I made a cursory effort at it. Yay me!

* * *

And what did I do with this bounty of time wrested from the grip of Somnos? I finished reading EABA, Greg Porter's latest game from BTRC, so that I may review it for you!

Like Porter's previous game CORPS, EABA is a general-purpose system with no hint of background attached. Also like CORPS, it is designed around PCs who, though possibly spell-casting or cybered-up, are fundamentally human. There are some rules that permit characters to transcend human limits, but they're the exception rather than the norm.

The mechanics are the mutant spawn of CORPS and (pre-d20) Star Wars, with maybe a bit of Torg thrown in. Everything, whether stat, skill, advantage, or disad, is rated in six-sided dice or thirds thereof (0d+0, 0d+1, 0d+2, 1d+0, 1d+1, 1d+2, 2d+0, ...) which are rolled against target numbers set by the difficulty of the task. Unless you have a specific and fairly expensive advantage, you only get to take the best three dice, so increments above 3d+2 aren't as useful as individual lower increments. Like many recent games, EABA has a Universal Master Chart giving times, speeds, masses, and so forth on a logarithmic scale, so that quantities can be easily corresponded.

The stats are much the same as in CORPS (Strength, Health, Agility, Awareness, Will) plus Fate, which can be used to add 1d+0 to any other roll if you make your Fate roll against a target number which goes up with every attempt. Fate is also the stat used for powers, whether magic spells, psionic abilities, or four-color superhuman might. Skills are pretty straightforward: the list is again pretty CORPS-like, but skills just give you dice to add to your stat rolls (or at least let you avoid penalties for being untrained).

Advantages and disadvantages are lumped together as Traits, which mostly either have only a role-playing effect (eg, Enemy) or give you more or fewer dice in specific circumstances. The only traits that aren't straightforward are the mythic archetype traits, which give all the PCs certain bonuses if they all take on the archetypes of a mythic quest (Hero, Mentor, Rogue, Companion, Goddess) and meet the stat and skill requirements for the various roles. Wacky, but interesting.

The part of EABA that I found most difficult to understand was the powers section. As in CORPS, powers are built up from a list of modifiers, but the EABA list is much longer, and the modifiers interact in ways that are not intuitively obvious. With the aid of the examples, I was able to figure most of this section out, but I fear having to ever explain it to someone who is even slightly rules-averse.

The rules for skill usage, combat, and such, are pretty straightforward. Points of damage accumulate, giving you increasing penalties to everything the more you have, and if you take too much accumulated or in one blow you have roll (with all penalties) to avoid passing out or going into shock and eventually dying. Bizarrely, penalties from wounds also apply to damge that you take (although you always take at least one point). The rationale is that once your arm has been broken, breaking it again isn't such a big deal, which I'm not sure I buy, but I've implemented mechanics with similar effect in some of my own creations, so I can't say this is definitively goofy until I've playtested it.

Overall, EABA looks to be a solid and not egregiously complicated system suitable for most low-powered campaigns. Anywhere you might be tempted to use GURPS, I'd recommend using EABA instead, but for a game where genre conventions or personal power allow PCs to regularly transcend human limits, you're probably better off with something like Hero or BESM.

EABA is available as a PDF file from Hyperbooks, either as a download or on CD, for $18. Assorted free downloads are available on the BTRC website.

* * *

Now I have seen xXx. Fortunately, it was only six bucks.

Okay, it was lame of me to expect much of anything, but but they made Vin Diesel's character cool in Pitch Black! And really, there was potential in the set-up, goofy though it was. It was just squandered by stupid Hollywood gits, who then turned the soundtrack way up to cover for the lack of dialogue.

Sulk.

xXx by Bryant (Sun Aug 25 22:11:15 2002)

Yeah. Conceptually, xXx was good, and the acting was all good, but the script and directing were so very weak. Fortunately there are three Pitch Black sequels on the way, envisioned as a coherent whole by the Pitch Black director.

Pitch Blacker! by Trip (Mon Aug 26 08:20:02 2002)

Woot! All involving Vin Diesel, I hope?

Pitchy Blacky Goodness by Bryant (Mon Aug 26 22:49:23 2002)

Yep. Um, can't find my writeup. Wonder where I put it?

Anyhow, yes, all Vin Diesel. The trilogy will focus on Riddick, Vin's character. Apparently the director pitched these after Pitch Black but they were deemed "too big" back then. Since LotR was a huge success, the studio changed its mind. People keep saying things like "the dark mirror of Star Wars." I have pleasant fantasies of Riddick tapping into his primal kickass self to fight even darker foes.

Woot! by Trip (Tue Aug 27 08:29:09 2002)

If you find the information you had, I'd like to see it!

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24 August 2002 - Saturday

Did I do anything today? Laundry, I guess. And watched the last DVD of Vampire Princess Miyu. It was the sort of ending that could be either a series ending or just a season ending, which means it wasn't very satisfactory as a series ending (which so far as I know it actually is). Pblt at the television industry.

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23 August 2002 - Friday

Today there was a final er debriefing session with Bryant before he moves back to Boston to hang out with regis. We held it at Armadillo Willy's, for obvious reasons1. Now I am bloated and lethargic.

1: "Use more barbecue sauce! Find out what he knows!"

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22 August 2002 - Thursday

Today was apparently "Company Spirit Is More Important Than Work" Day: we started off with an all-hands pep rally (summary: We're great, our executives know what they're doing, we've sucked up to journalists world-wide to get good press) and then got loaded onto busses and shipped to the depths of Palo Alto for Mandatory Corporate Fun.

Anyone who has been to a Team-Building Exercise will have a decent idea of what then ensued; I really doubt ours was exceptional in any way, especially since the company apparently paid professional Team-Building Exercise Consultants to build us into teams, and the TBECs probably have a standard package onto which they staple the client-of-the-day's rhetoric.

My team sucked, alas. Too much yelling, not enough organization. Also, we were divided on the cynicism issue.

As an extra bonus, the food (provided by the TBEC company, not by our own cafeteria) sucked. However, I did not get sunburned to any significant degree.

* * *

Because Ray is Just That Cool, we got to see the new Miyazaki film Spirited Away at Whisman Station Anime! The short description is "Miyazaki does Alice in Wonderland" with equal emphasis on both parts of the sentence. I strongly recommend Spirited Away to all!

PS to Carl: "Neener neener!"

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21 August 2002 - Wednesday

I ingest the formula... THUS!

* * *

The trend toward less sickness and less anti-cheerfulness continues. This is a good trend. I like it. It has permission to continue.

* * *

When I read Monday's Megatokyo, I predicted that Asmodeus would show up with handcuffs and lube, while Seraphim would show up with a chainsaw.

I was so very very wrong. :)

(Stupid STUPID camera angle creatures.)

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20 August 2002 - Tuesday

I think I am less ill today, although perhaps this is an artifact of having gotten out of bed relatively recently.

Less anti-cheerful, too, although that's not saying a whole lot.

* * *

Definitely less ill. Just not completely un-ill.

* * *

L14R hosage: Trip
L14R fixage: Marith

* * *

After sending lizards to gnaw on the feet of the Kaiserweasels, and brown kittens to steal all their sushi, I have finally extracted a verifiable promise to have my drugs waiting for me at the MV pharmacy (conveniently located a 20 minute walk from my parasitelair). Soon, I will know the shape and size of my doom.

* * *

Look, drugs! And with 1 refill, thus doubling the time until I need to leap through these hoops again!

After scoring my drugs, I thought to myself, "Why don't I go have dinner at Bangkok Spoon?" and there wasn't any reason why not except the leftovers in my fridge, so I went and I dined! However, this caused me to pass within the capture radius of Books Inc, so now I have many more books. Oops.

Also, I have Cardboard Heroes to cut out and use in Tokyo Tower, and a copy of Adventure! to pillage for ideas on how to let the players feel like they contribute to the world without letting them walk on the GM (since apparently it is those mechanics which caused Adventure! to win prestigious awards).

Adventure! by Bryant-chan (Wed Aug 21 15:38:56 2002)

I am curious to hear your thoughts on Adventure!, since I am still unsure about the whole Dramatic Editing bit.

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19 August 2002 - Monday

Christy browbeat me into hassling Kaiser for more drugs. It is still unclear whether I will even get the drugs, never mind whether they will do any good.

* * *

Hm, aliens seem to have abducted half the sysadmin team. Clearly this was not the right time for me to be sick and de-Euphorized. Let's hear it for Kaiser.

* * *

Being at work makes me feel slightly worse physically, but being out of the apartment and with something to do is infinitely better than staying at home with nothing to do except be ill.

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18 August 2002 - Sunday

I wonder if the vague nausea, moments of dizziness and head-static, and fever/chills are short-duration illness, withdrawal, or some underlying condition that the Artificial EuphoriaTM has been masking all this time? I suppose it doesn't really matter.

* * *

A can of rotten clams could come up with better ideas, never mind the actual GMs involved, but even I can figure out vaguely workable ways to free all the games I'm in from the burden of my characters.

Amaryllis is the easiest to do in, since D&D characters get eaten by wandering monsters all the time anyway. And, the PCs can not only get xp for killing the monster, but they get all her stuff, too.

Fulgurite can suffer a variant of anaphylactic shock never before seen in humans, go into complete metabolic shutdown, and be eaten by his giant raccoons when their raccoon chow runs out. "Killed by long-term side effects of his powers" isn't a core trope of the genre, but I'm sure Dave, Harold, or Brad could cite numerous examples from the primary sources.

I thought of having Tia do arcane theological calculations, determine that a mere human sacrifice won't do squat against the vampires of Charter, and have herself sacrificed, but that's way too noble for the genre. It's probably best if she tries to fight off a vampire with the spear she enchanted and gets ripped to shreds. Not only does this solve the primary problem, but it supports the characterization of the PCs: Justice wouldn't need an enchanted weapon to kill a vampire, Omar wouldn't put an ineffectual enchantment on something, and Chloe/Hamilton/Cloud would never fight a vampire personally in any case.

Nothing really needs to be done about Nikole; Thieves & Things has been dead for years, even if no one admits it.

* * *

Oh yah, Tokyo Tower. Well, it's not like plenty of campaigns haven't folded after the first session, and this one is certainly more deserving than most.

* * *

And there's L14R closed off, with everyone important living happily ever after. Now I just need to take all the stuffed animals over to Ayse's so they can be with Tansy and Horseshoe and Cally and everyone.

Not feeling well by Silkie (Sun Aug 18 14:44:56 2002)

hugs

withdrawal by mony (Sun Aug 18 20:55:38 2002)

Having not in the too distant past come off anti-depressents, I had none of the symptoms you are describing. It sounds a lot more to me like the flu. It should take a month or so for the antidepressents to leave your body, as I recall from my reading.

Re: withdrawal by Trip (Mon Aug 19 08:45:43 2002)

Must have been different antidepressants, then, because I can tell from both physiological as well as psychological effects that I am no longer all doped up on them, and I took the last one on Wednesday.

It sounds from your LJ (well, as of last Friday, anyway) that you aren't doing too badly without the drugs, which is good.

re: withdrawal by mony (Mon Aug 19 15:36:33 2002)

I was really amazed. The last time I went off them it was pretty obvious that I Was Not Ready. But this time, it all went pretty smoothly. I cut down my dosage by half for a month or so, and then did the every other day thing and then pretty much just stopped because I haven't the stamina or something to maintain non-habitual habits. :)

I get my moments, of course, but they aren't the big, deep, sucking, bleak, black holes of emotion that they were before and are, I think, thoroughly understandable given my current circumstances.

*hugs lots* I do hope, though, that you will take Kaiser to task and be able to speak to a doctor and get things straightened out.

Re: withdrawal by Trip (Tue Aug 20 13:07:05 2002)

Well, I made them a) promise to prescribe me weasels and b) actually give me a supervisory name and phone number, so there is some hope. I guess.

Overall, I think it's probably easier to be less anti-cheerful when one isn't also sick and dizzy and full of doom.

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17 August 2002 - Saturday

Still sick. I slept until 14:00, which did absolutely no good whatsoever. I had many many dreams, where were all stupid and pointless (duh, they were dreams).

* * *

Given that whatever effect an antidepressant has on brain cells requires it to assault them ceaselessly for several months, but a two-day respite is enough for them to regain their health, it doesn't seem worth the effort of trying to bludgeon Kaiser into doing anything. (Admittedly, I could get much the same result by changing health insurance ("You were depressed before you came to Billy Joe Bob's Bait Shop and HMO? Sorry, our lawyers say we're not allowed to treat pre-existing conditions.") and that would also eliminate any possibility of getting treatment for diabetes, but it would be too much work.)

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16 August 2002 - Friday

Wow, I am very tired and have no brain. I sort of hope the project that threatens to keep me trapped at work forever remains late and doesn't trap me until Monday.

I still have tiny fragments of the Boogiepop Phantom closing song stuck in my head.

* * *

Nope, the project has become on-time. No game-shopping, drug-buying, or laundry-washing for me.

* * *

Hee hee hee!

* * *

Apparently I'm not just tired and brainless, but actually sick. Not that I expect any of my cow orkers to believe that, but what are they going to do, infect me with some hideous microorganism?

Well, putting me on permanent oncall is more likely, but oh well. Maybe I'll care more when I feel better (currently expected to be late Sunday night or early Monday morning, of course).

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15 August 2002 - Thursday

Strange dreams. One, which I have mostly forgotten, was about a pseudo-Aztecan princess somewhat like my Amber High School character, only better at sorcery, but I don't remember exactly what she did. It was definitely a gaming dream though, because there was a lot of adding up plusses and rolling 2d6 (shades of Illuminati!).

The dream which tried to hide from my memory when I started writing but now has been ruthlessly exposed was about a MUD on which I long ago built a cool region but didn't save it when the MUD died, so I always regretted having lost it. Then I found out that Chrisber was running an old copy of the MUD database in an emulator of some kind, so we could log in and look around at the stuff we remembered from ages past. (This being a dream, only a tiny bit of the MUD showed up as text on a screen; most of it was like I was in the place being described, as when I dream about being in the worlds of books etc. This probably indicates something, but I'm not sure what.) Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to code up things like a telephone system and automated bartenders for the main hangout, and we could see the messages getting passed from one object (eg, a section of phone cable) to the next as they all clunked away at our arrival.

Sadly, I couldn't remember the name of the MUD, so Al and I went off to look for it. ("Is this reality now?" 'Um, yah, you can tell because there isn't a layer of words between you and it.') We didn't find it, and we never even did go explore the area I had built and missed; just peeked in the entrance and saw it was green and misty.

During the waking-up process, I thought vaguely about which MUD it might have been in the dream, but once fully conscious I realized that it was the area I had designed in a long-ago and even less-well-remembered dream about MUDding. But even though what I had built never existed, I missed it anyway.

* * *

Cool, I got email from my brother, who lives in New Hampshire and is now a lawyer. Okay, I dunno about the lawyer part, but it's good that he's still alive! :)

* * *

Maho Tsukai Tai (aka Magic Users' Club) is not just wacky, but extremely wacky. Not incoherent like Ja Ja Uma Quartette, but wacky nonetheless.

End of Record of Lodoss War! In a shocking twist, Good came from behind to put Evil down mere moments before the deadline. Plus, elf babe in shredded evening gown.

Next week, Cowboy Bebop, unless Ray follows through on his threat to make us watch Excell Saga ("Fools! You say Maho Tsukai Tai is wacky? You have NO IDEA!"). No '!' for Cowboy Bebop, because I've seen it already.

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14 August 2002 - Wednesday

Wow.

* * *

Woot! Amazon has delivered unto me the last DVD of Vampire Princess Miyua TV episodes! At least, I think it's the last; it goes up through episode 26.

No new anime I care about at Lee's, but many graphic novels. Oop.

* * *

In the ten minutes before people showed up for Wednesday Night Fun, I panicked and tried to do something about the horror that is my bathroom. I don't think it was enough to make it usable by my guests (sorry Christy!) but the effect produced by having a few somewhat clean surfaces inspires me to want to clean more, which is probably a good thing overall.

Then people did arrive, and we played Illuminati (since I own the latest Deluxe Edition and all). Poor Chrisber (UFOs)got hosed by a couple of bad rolls early on and never managed to catch up, but I (Discordians) got to go for the win twice and fail two successive 6- rolls, Al (Church of the Subgenius) got to set up for a try at the win, Dave (Zurich) got to go for the win but fall short by about 20MB, and Christy (Bermuda Triangle) got to crush us all like the insects we are.

At that point it was 22:30, so I made everyone go home.

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13 August 2002 - Tuesday

Sniff! Gamescape is out of Cardboard Heroes! But at least I have a battlemap for the Tokyo Tower PCs to meet their doom on.

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12 August 2002 - Monday

Now I sing the No Brain Song, which goes "No brain, no brain, no brain for me! No brain, no brain, no brain at all!"

* * *

I survived Tokyo Tower! The players did not smear me with tuna juice and throw me to the cat! Yay!

Actually, it went pretty well, although maybe a bit slowly. Everyone appeared to be having fun, anyway!

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11 August 2002 - Sunday

Yay! I have finished everything on my list of preparations for Tokyo Tower tomorrow! I still don't know if I will use any of it, but at least I have done what I can to imitate a well-prepared GM.

Aieeee.

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10 August 2002 - Saturday

Amber High School, yay! Tia gets to implement her plan to save the vampire Shadow! It was somewhat confusing to have Laura trying to play Chloe instead of Cera, but Cera did manifest enough, or something. It all went well.

Then we had Florentine's, which didn't make me explode, and after that I slunked home and watched more Bubblegum Crisis 2040 instead of working on TT. Bad parasite.

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9 August 2002 - Friday

Funny how I seem to be most productive right before coming home. But I have whipped SNMP into shape, at least to the extent necessary, so that's something.

* * *

My ToDo list for TT only has two items remaining (three if you count "print all this crap out")! I wonder how much of my preparation will be useful on Monday...?

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8 August 2002 - Thursday

This is not a day for accomplishing great amounts of work at AltaVista: company-wide meeting from 9:30 to 10:30, then company-paid movie from 13:10 until some later time in the afternoon. Wheee!

* * *

Okay, MIB II was pretty entertaining, if not quite up to the standard of the first. And the short before it was quite silly.

Dance Dance Revolution looks like a very tiring game.

Now I'm at home, because there didn't seem much point in going back to the office after the movie ended, but I am working from home (no, really!) while doing laundry, so that's okay.

Adam says he'll send me a character today, no really.

* * *

Adam sent a character! Now I can skip the Dying In A Pit phase!

* * *

The last two episodes of Battle Athletes Victory were not what I was expecting! But it was a reasonably satisfying resolution anyway, because the people who wrote it are smarter than me.

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7 August 2002 - Wednesday

No WNF tonight, since it is a Marith-in-Millbrae night. New comics tonight, though!

Adam has still not sent me a character for Tokyo Tower. Grrr. Sullen GM.

* * *

I spent an order of magnitude less on comics+anime this week than last week. Yike.

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6 August 2002 - Tuesday

Today I feel as though I have been productive, because I have closed a gnarly ticket that I had to guess my way throught, and one that had been scheduled for today since last week, and one that was almost gnarly but turned out to be only slightly tedious (I think; it may yet turn out that there was hidden gnarliness I didn't spot). Plus, I showed up for work, which I think makes me the only one of my group to have done so on each of the past four business days. :)

* * *

Woot! The shorts I ordered arrived! I will not have to wear long pants and die of heat!

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5 August 2002 - Monday

I discussed the hatred-of-scheduling thing with Norm, and reached the conclusion that I get very frustrated when I have bought into an expectation ("I should organize Wednesday Night Fun", "I should entertain my friends") and am failing (because no one will communicate with me, or because I really don't want to). Since this sort of situation will almost certainly come up again, it will be interesting to see if knowing what is going on makes any difference.

But don't take this to mean I don't hate people.

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4 August 2002 - Sunday

Today, I did not sleep in until after 15:00! In fact, by 15:00 I had already gone out for lunch, done my grocery shopping, and come home!

I am apparently a regular at Armadillo Willy's now, or at least the waitress remembered me, and brought me jillions of liters of water and a to-go cup so I wouldn't dehydrate on the walk back. It seemed rude to refuse, so I ended up sloshing as I walked to Trader Joe's, which was quite a peculiar sensation.

Blorf.

* * *

Then Marith and Christy and Chrisber lured me to Black Angus, where we had a more-or-less unsatisfactory dining experience. Ah well.

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3 August 2002 - Saturday

I woke up at 10 or so, but didn't really feel like getting up, so fell back asleep and didn't wake up again until after 15:00. Yike. But I didn't feel all blarghy like I often do from excessive sleeping, so I guess it must not have been excessive!

In the first part of my repose, I dreamt of three mercenaries (The Guy, The Chick, and The Kid) down and out in some European city, looking for work. Finally they stumbled across a plot involving a couple of elderly mom-and-pop shopkeepers who believed that some relics of the Empire1 were buried in the vacant lock behind their shop, and some villains who wanted said relics and had been hassling the shopkeepers. So the mercenaries went in and talked to the old guy and admired the blueprints for the tunnels he was going to dig to get the relics2 and then went away again, but left the kid lurking there to ambush the villains when they showed up. He shot all five of the mooks with his dart-thrower, but the master villain didn't fall for that (he had ceramic replacement bits where he had fallen for something like that on a previous run-in). Before things could get ugly, though, the other two mercs showed up and the master villain surrendered. Being an honorable type, he gave his parole and ended up working with the mercs to get the relics for the old people. Then the chosen heir of the Unseelie Queen showed up, looking like a normal young girl except for black on her nose and ears, where they were going to change to become more catlike.

1: Holy Roman Empire, it was implied but not stated.

2: Complete with  S  symbols for secret doors; Tokyo Tower must have eaten my brain!

After I went back to sleep, I had less plotful dreams about a future city called Arch'Town3, where people could make artificial duplicates of themselves4. There were half a dozen or so vignettes in the main part of the dream: an underwater war fought by duplicates in a flooded part of the city, a couple of different people on the run from the Duplication Police for unclear violations of the restrictions on duplicating themselves, and even less coherent bits.

3: Since other real-world places like Denver were mentioned, Arch'Town must have been renamed; the obvious guess is St Louis, but the surrounded landscape looked pretty West-Coast, and there was no actual arch.

4: Kiln People must also have eaten my brain! Hm, I wonder how I can cross it over with TT...

* * *

When Christy called to arrange for a viewing of Pitch Black, she mentioned that she had also slept in until after 15:00. But I only felt a little better, because she at least had the excuse of being sick.

* * *

Between afternoon and evening, I did laundry (so I can wear the wash-before-wearing shorts I got last week) and watched two episodes of Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, which is pretty straightforwardly magical-girl TFOS with extra bonus lesbian supertext.

* * *

Pitch Black was pretty good! The characters made some mistakes that no gamer would ever have made, but they were pretty reasonable human mistakes, and the setting wasn't hopelessly bogus. And Vin Diesel, who I had not previously seen in anything except trailers, proved to be cool enough for his name.

After the movie, I hung around for a while and supervised Chrisber putting together his most recent Lego set (Lego vampires! Lego key grips! Lego heads with cleft chins!), but eventually it was after midnight so I went home.

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2 August 2002 - Friday

Going-away lunch for the seniormost NOC person. Boy, some of my cow orkers are smartasses. But I'll put up with a lot for Chef Chu's!

Yay! Documentation beaniebaby! Bryant's legacy lives on!

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1 August 2002 - Thursday

Despite the stupid stupid network creatures, I made it to anime on time. (Which means half an hour before the last-arriving people, sigh.)

Boogiepop Phantom is still as weird and creepy as before.

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