Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site

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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

5 Most Recent Comments
2019-06-18:  "Re: The Mummy" by marithlizard
2019-02-28:  "frittata" by marithlizard
2019-02-11:  "Re: computer woes" by Trip
2019-02-11:  "Re: computer woes" by marithlizard
2019-02-11:  "Re: computer woes" by Trip

25 August 2019 - Sunday

Because I am tired all the time, I tried sleeping way way in and not doing it by hitting the snooze button ten thousand times, but even though I slept for like eleven hours and kept my brain inflator on the whole time, I did not feel energetic and alert when I got up. Also I had wasted most of the day being useless. Well, begin as you mean to go on, right?

I did manage to go shopping a little, mostly for comics, and it turns out the first N-3 volumes of Astro City are quite hard to come by. Am I going to have to use Amazon? That would suck.


Veronica Mars 1.3: Never take teenage boys along when you're doing anything important. Even if you have amazing driving powers.


Words: FAIL.

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24 August 2019 - Saturday

I actually managed to get up and showered and everything before the cleaners, so I could go shopping early, even though I don't need to get back and be on call. Yay me, I guess.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 173: What?! Two separate groups of Sailor Somethings running around!?
  • RWBY 3.6.5-3.7: Mostly backstory for the horrible thing involving Pyrrha.
  • AKB0048 8: Ayse pointed out that it's quite unusual for shoujo to have a leader not sacrifice all her dreams for her followers.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 20-21: Hiro is really the master of the false dichotomy. I think we need an ancient Greek philosopher to smack him over the head. Or maybe just Hanajima to emit waves at him.

Words: FAIL.

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23 August 2019 - Friday

I made it to Friday, but after Wednesday night and Thursday night, I am pretty lethargic. I did a work thing, but only one.

I had no brain and Marith didn't make a decision, so we watched Elementary. They might be slipping genres. Also, isn't Mycroft supposed to be the smarter brother? His plan must be very subtle in that case.


Read:

  • The Book of Secrets, The Book of Peril (Melissa McShane): First two of a series about a young woman who unexpectly inherits a magic bookshop and is roundly hated for it. She also has to deal with horrible monsters, factionalism among people who should be fighting the monsters, secrets, lack of documentation, and terrible guys.
  • Ms Marvel vol 10 (G Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, et al): It's pretty sad when you can't even have a slumber party without supervillains showing up!

Words: FAIL.

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22 August 2019 - Thursday

And this little piggie went snorb snorb snorb all the way home. And then had to hydrate and inject and dose the cat and eat dinner, which is nto like going to bed.


Read:

  • Magic For Liars (Sarah Gailey): People have been talking about this on the Slack, so I finally bubbled it to the top of the list and read it, and it was quite good! Synopsis: A muggle PI has to investigate a murder at Hogwarts where her sister teaches, and feels ensue. So many feels, and also lies to hide the feels, and some magic, and more feels. I cannot write.
  • The Agony House (Cherie Priest, Tara O'Connor): YA about a haunted house in post-Katrina New Orleans and a mysterious comic book. Despite the actual serious threats to the characters, it doesn't feel very tense, and I'm not sure why. No romance.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur vol 6 (Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain): Wait, who is what now? Did I miss some other Marvel series? Or did I just miss vol 4-5 of this one? I think it's the latter.

Words: FAIL.

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21 August 2019 - Wednesday

Birthday barbecue for Ken! Also, because Mike is busy doing something like having a wedding anniversary, we played more href="https://rpggeek.com/rpg/43545/eclipse-phase-second-edition">Eclipse Phase. Apparently my character's past fork was not good at leaving notes, so I'm trying to do better this time. Also, robot bug flirtation! (I can't flirt at all.)


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 3: Telling Tales, Skeleton Key vol 4: Cats And Dogs (Andi Watson): I mean, there's a lot to be said for hopping vampire hockey, but otherwise I feel I have evolved beyond this. Or maybe I'm used to comics that have evolved beyond this. Or maybe I just don't like the art style.
  • Sefira and Other Betrayals (John Langan): It's not Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror, but it has a lot of the same vibe, especially the title story and also "Bloom". Tentacles up!
  • The Lore of Prometheus (Graham Austin-King): The problem with any "human experience/faculty X is the key to magic" setting is that we should either be swimming in magic now with 7G+ humans on the planet, or it should never have happened in the past when there were hardly any humans.

Words: FAIL.

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20 August 2019 - Tuesday

It's only Tuesday, and the bus has made me miss my train twice this week! I blame the tens of thousands of parents who have to each drive their child to school in a separate SUV, while texting.


No brain. Watched more Elementary. They could have gone so much deeper into the wacky world of sovereign citizens. (Maybe they do in a later episode, we're not even through the second season.)


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 2: The Celestial Calendar (Andi Watson): Not as good as I remembered it. I think after this readthrough of the series, I will send them to a good home.

Words: FAIL.

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19 August 2019 - Monday

HAPPY HAPPY KEN-DAY!!


Because no one had any brain, we watched Elementary instead of anything cool. Also I made a root beer float with salted caramel ice cream, because that's all I had. It was okay.


Read:

  • Skyward (Brandon Sanderson): Possibly ties in to Sanderson's overarching cosmology, but I don't care. Teenage girl becomes a fighter pilot on a doomed planet despite her family's terrible history. Lots of banter and trash-talking, not much romance, many mysteries and revelations, Doomslug the Destroyer, M-Bot, people objecting to highly militarized society even when there's an external enemy. Also feelings.

Words: FAIL.

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18 August 2019 - Sunday

Last year about this time I was all, "I'm gonna get a passport and then I can go to Worldcon in Dublin and see Kit and it will be great" and now I'm all, "Wait, it's Worldcon?" So uh maybe I kind of suck. A lot. I didn't even go to the Extinction Rebellion meeting with Dave, because I wasn't up to commuting another four hours on one day's notice, which is really pretty lame of me.


On the advice of our pocket fronds, we tried watching Parks and Recreation. The pilot didn't grab us, so we skipped to the second season, which is supposed to be better, but meh. Marith thinks she may be off sitcoms for good, since she can't stand "humor" where people are ridiculed for not being cool.


Read:


Words: FAIL.

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17 August 2019 - Saturday

I guess it finally had to happen that being on-call required me to help customers, but bleah.

I did manage to shop expediently and bring the makings for figs with goat cheese to Ayse and Ken's, though.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 171-172: The left-overs from last season are now finally dealt with! We know it's for sure this time, because new adversaries are appearing in the previews!
  • RWBY 3.5-6: Yang! How could you?
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 18-19: Kisa! Ritchan-san!

Read:

  • Komi Can't Communicate vol 2 (Tomohito Oda): More friends for Komi! Also social situations! But her friend group is getting large enough to have internal conflict, and she's only a fraction of the way to her goal. Poor Komi!

Words: FAIL.

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16 August 2019 - Friday

Yay, I made it through another week! Although I still suck and can't do anything with computers. (Let's not even mention doing something productive with computers.)


I don't remember how much Veronica Mars I've seen, but the second episode seems kind of familiar. Also it makes me want to guillotine all rich people, or maybe just all white people.


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 1: Beyond the Threshold (Andi Watson): I started rereading this because I remembered as being good. But now I also remember the first volume was kind of meh.
  • Gunsmoke & Glamour (Hillary Monahan): A US Marshal with a sixth sense for magic falls in love with a faerie con artist even though he's supposed to arrest her as soon as she leaves some evidence he can't ignore, befriends a trans doctor and a ridiculously horny faerie, offends witches, and generally gets into trouble in a magical West. (Okay, more of a South.) Contains lots and lots of sex, and also doom.
  • Lucifer's Star (CT Phipps, Michael Suttkus): Grimdark space opera. Everyone named character, including the first-person protagonist, has the blood of innocents on their hands, everything they find out about what's going on shows the universe is a worse place than they thought, rampant betrayal, torture, etc.
  • Exhalation (Ted Chiang): I skipped reading "The Life Cycle of Software Objects" because I've read it and it gave me too many bad feels, but all the other stories in this collection were equally amazing. The gate! The parrots! The predictor! The prisms! The philosphy! The entropy! I Kermit flail!

Words: FAIL.

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15 August 2019 - Thursday

Ugh, Thursday night commute. If anyone has a brilliant idea for overcoming this ("use a car" is not brilliant, and "nurture the gig economy" makes it the opposite of better), I'm open to suggestions.


Read:

  • Treason of Hawks (Lila Bowen) wraps up the series about everyone's favorite trans multiracial monster-hunting were-vulture cowboy. Unfortunately, although the big threat of this book does link back to the first book and bad things Rhett did, the lack of references in the intermediate books makes the big reveal feel kind of flat, and I don't like the way some characters were killed off-screen.

Words: FAIL.

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14 August 2019 - Wednesday

We successfully played the Home Team branch of Mike's 13G game, while eating the traditional Indian food of Brooks. This session, in addition to explaining a tiny bit of the decades of accumulated Glorantha lore to Kelsey, we chased a kite through an adjacent clan's tula with the power of bribery, and tried to avoid a fight with weird Lunar barbarians.


Read:

  • Medusa in the Graveyard (Emily Devenport): The ship finally gets where it was going, the weird stuff from the end of Medusa Uploaded comes to fruition, Oichi must decide whether murdering everyone with a robot squid is the way she wants to live her life, and then things get trippy.

Words: FAIL.

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13 August 2019 - Tuesday

Well, at least Tuesday isn't Monday. And I only actually have two meetings, one of them short and the other requiring no input from me (although other people asked the question I thought of, after I thought it, so I guess I could have contributed, but meh, no one wants to hear from me).


No watching, I am trying to be useful this evening (and not succeeding).


Read:

  • Man-Eaters vol 1 (Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, Joe Caramagna, Lia Miternique): Menarche has a small chance of turning a girl into a ravening were-panther. Femininity gets an even worse image, the Establishment dopes the drinking water with birth control pills to prevent menstruation (opening a vast market for Manly Water, and in fact Manly Everything, No Girls Allowed), everyone lives in fear. We see a lot of in-world propaganda informational materials, which is a great way to do tonal world-building.
  • The Citadel of Weeping Tears (Aliette de Bodard): Space opera with the empire based on Vietnamese culture instead of Roman. Feels a little bit like Yoon-Ha Lee's "Hexarchate" series but definitely different, less sharp-edged.
  • On A Red Station, Drifting (Aliette de Bodard): Backstory of one of the secondary characters from The Citadel of Weeping Tears, showing the less glittery parts of the empire.
  • Dept.H vol 1 (Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt): Murder and mystery and family drama on a deep submarine station, with weird art that doesn't do it for me.

Words: FAIL.

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12 August 2019 - Monday

The train was randomly late, but today was not too busy.


The Internet made Marith want to see Veronica Mars, so we watched the first episode. Compost the rich. Also, compost men.


Read:

  • Giant Days vol 7-8 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, Liz Fleming): Christmas! Susan's family (which explains so much)! McGraw, how could you?!
  • The Raptor & The Wren and Vultures (Chuck Wendig): Last two books of the "Miriam Black" series which is about birds and death and extremely poor life choices and cussing. As far as I can tell from my dim memories of the previous four books, all the plot threads do come together and tie up in a gigantic knot of doom, which Miriam handles with cussing and wanton violence.
  • The Promised Neverland vol 11 (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu): Eh, that wasn't a very cunning plan, even if it does move the characters another step toward their ultimate goal.

Words: FAIL.

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11 August 2019 - Sunday

After missing two fortnightly sessions, we once again gathered (minus Deirdre, but with Edie who is back from camp) to play Sentinel Comics RPG! We are on the fifth issue (last of the three unordered ones) from the starter kit and Dave is still managing to beat them into shape. I don't want to spoil a published adventure, but what this issue promised, it delivered on! Even if Dave had to nerf it to keep us all from being killed.

I figured out what was going on right away, but none of us could roll better then double 1s to persuade the NPC, so it didn't matter. Sheesh.

Everyone is having fun, so we plan to make our own characters and force Dave to run original material once we finish the starter kit. Apparently we need to read Astro City...


I had no brain because it is too hot, so we just watched some Elementary. Sadly, I don't think they're exaggerating about the pettiness of what people will murder over.


Words: FAIL.

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10 August 2019 - Saturday

I have my Saturdays all worked out, but today was a mess because Aspen's vet appointment was right in the middle of shopping time. We did get her taken in and ultrasounded and sampled and admired, though, and I rushed through shopping and got home in good time to be on call all afternoon.

I did not have to do anything while on call, so I was useless and didn't even manage to do laundry correctly, and we were late getting to Ayse and Ken's for chicken chile verde.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 169-170: Mirrored doom finally abducts Mamoru, with predictable effects on his future offspring!
  • RWBY 3.4: Coco and whatsisface get defeated in the tournament by the Evils.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 16-17: Uotani's troubled past and new fangirl.

Words: FAIL.

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9 August 2019 - Friday

Yay I made it to Friday!


This season of She-Ra only has six episodes (so it should really be like 2b), but the last two go harder than we expected from a kids' show! I hope they are not too much for Jus.


Read:

  • Wicked Saints (Emily A Duncan): Very goth. Divine mages vs maltheistic blood mages, only the entire magic system is probably built on a lie (to be explained in later books). Love and betrayal and hot evil boys.
  • Reticence (Gail Carriger): Fourth and probably last in the trilogy about the new generation. Final major character who didn't have a squeeze gets paired off, and new supernaturals get discovered.
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (P Djeli Clark): Hey, it's more in the world of A Dead Djinn in Cairo! The snappy dresser is only a bit character in this one, but multi-ethnic cross-dressing nerd victory!
  • Saga vol 4-9 (Fiona Staples, Brian K Vaughan): Not the end, but the comic is on hiatus for at least one year from last August, so who knows when there will be more? Hopefully if there is, there will be some thematic development, because it's getting to be just more and more of the same doom. My current theory is that every named character except Hazel is going to end up dead.

Words: FAIL.

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8 August 2019 - Thursday

Thursday stuck at work forever, but I accomplished a few things and didn't actually die. Much.


Read:

  • The Private Life of Elder Things (Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald, Adam Gauntlett): Stories about assorted creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos. Very canon in the monsters, but it gives a little tiny bit of insight into their thinking. Lose 1d10 SAN.
  • Alien: Echo (Mira Grant): It's got all the important Alien bits: xenomorphs, colony planet, acid blood, ovipositors, idiots who don't believe in the threat. Also queer female protagonist!

Words: FAIL.

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7 August 2019 - Wednesday

Aspen's kidney numbers are not great. I need to take her in again on Saturday for ultrasounding and more blood and urine draws.


After the kerfuffle about D&D5, we have returned to Mike's 13th Age Glorantha game, and spent the session making up characters for the home team. I think I will be an Orlanthi ninja, because that's not ridiculous. Anyway, Mike started it when he offered the chance for our tribe's history to include "hid in No Wind during the time of darkness". Also Thai food.


Read:

  • The Moon Etherium (L Rowyn): Post-scarcity fantasy, conspiracy and magical intrigue and romance and invstigation.
  • Terminal Uprising (Jim C Hines): Sequel to Terminal Alliance, heroic ex-zombie janitors continue to investigate the aliens who are saving humanity from the zombie apocalypse, and continue to find out disturbing things.
  • Saga vol 3 (Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples): Finished rereading what I had read before. Yep, that's the sex and violence and doom I remember!

Words: FAIL.

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6 August 2019 - Tuesday

Today everything was thrown off and I was completely useless because I had to work from home so we could take Aspen to the vet at noon. Bah.

But Aspen was such a good kitty even though she got poked and prodded and cruelly oppressed! She even had some urine in her bladder so the doctor could get a sample! I don't think it was because she was too unwell to resist, because while I had her wrapped into a purrito and we were waiting for the terribly understaffed vet techs to come back, she was craning her head around and looking out the window to see what was happening in the hall and stuff. But she needs to be a good kitty who eats more.

Anyway, probably her kidneys are old, but we will have to wait for the test results. In the meantime, subcutaneous fluids every evening.


More She-Ra! Entrapta is still working for Hordak, that is sure to go well.


Words: FAIL.

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5 August 2019 - Monday

Hey, there's a new season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power! First two episodes, new ship!


Read:

  • The Affair of the Mysterious Letter (Alexis Hall) is part genderbent Sherlock Holmes pastiche, part Cthulhu pastiche, and all New Weird. The consulting sorceress Sheherazad Haas is kind of over-the-top, but maybe I'm just not remembering original Holmes well enough. Her housemate/partner/straight man John Wyndham is a good barometer for what is normal, so we can see just how crazed SH is. He may spend too much time apologizing for her foul mouth, though. Six tentacles up!

Words: FAIL.

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4 August 2019 - Sunday

So useless! More useless than that!

So useless I watched two episodes of Elementary! (Okay, Marith helped.) The return of Lestrade. Also, chickens.


Read:

  • Satan's Secretary vol 1 (Kamotsu Kamonabe): Meh. Demon Lord (JRPG style, not the Christian Satan) kidnaps a terrifyingly efficient human secretary, and workplace reform ensues.
  • Skyward vol 1-2 (Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, Antonio Fabela, Simon Bowland): The premise is that one day, "Earth's gravity drops to a fraction of its former strength", which certainly is cinematic and allows for exciting microgravity action scenes, and is an obvious hook for a plot, but I can't help recognizing that absolutely nothing works that way.
  • Our Dreams at Dusk vol 2 (Yuhki Kamatani): More issues of gender and identity, with a maybe-trans kid. Main character's gay crush may be noticing him back, but no idea whether that's good or bad. No one knows what's up with Someone-san.

Words: FAIL.

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3 August 2019 - Saturday

Why is it so hot? I didn't order this!


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 168:
  • RWBY 3.2-3: First appearance of Qrow, which makes it Marith's favorite episode.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 14-15: Visiting a grave, then visiting a lake house. Momiji's tragic backstory.

Read:

  • Tomo-chan is a Girl vol 4 (Fumita Yanagida): He's definitely seeing her as a girl now, if not as a romantic prospect.

Words: FAIL.

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2 August 2019 - Friday

Yay Friday! Boo capitalism!

The internet told Marith that Megamind is good, so we watched it, and it actually is! I was worried when it got to the bit about the romantically-frustrated white guy, but it worked out!

Also I did laundry, and then extra laundry because Aspen is not good at using the litter box. Good thing she's going to the vet on Tuesday!


Read:

  • Giant Days: Early Registration (John Allison): At the beginning of the series, Esther and Daisy and Susan all know each other and have some backstory. The references are enough, so in some sense this volume didn't need to exist, but it's always good to see them being wacky.
  • Ancestral Night (Elizabeth Bear): Space opera about socialism and mental health, or at least involving socialism and mental health during the downtime in the space chases and star whale encounters. Also pretty good "everyone is a cyborg now".
  • They Promised Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded (James Alan Gardner): Sequel to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, and with a different member of the team as first-person narrator. I'm really dubious about the Watsonian explanation for superhero tropes, but hopefully it will tie into some overarcing plot. (Since there are four superheroines on the team, there must be two more books.)
  • Saga vol 1 (Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples): Reread, so I can read the new volumes. Wow, I forgot how much language, sex, nudity, and violence there is. Also, it looks like racism and war might possibly be less than ideal.

Words: FAIL.

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1 August 2019 - Thursday

Ugh, late work night. Thursday coming right after Wednesday is a pain, but at least it makes Friday even happier? Tonight I had leftover Ethiopian, because I actually managed to take lefotvers home and eat them!


Read:

  • Giant Days vol 6 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming): Oh no, I am almost out! Will I ever learn whether Esther defeats Ingrid in an iron cage death match?
  • The Merciful Crow (Margaret Owen): It's American racism (down to being hunted by white-robed assholes with torches) but in a fantasy land with a completely different reasons and also mammoth riders. Certainly it shows that racism is garbage, but I don't know if it shows it more than another approach would.
  • Because Internet (Gretchen Mcculloch): No, communication in the internet age is not degenerate, it is a amazing and creative and emojis fill the role of gesture and punctuation and capitalization fill in for tone of voice because we are now so literate that writing is as common and informal and nuanced as speech! Get back on my lawn!

Words: FAIL.

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31 July 2019 - Wednesday

We did more of Kelsey's D&D5 game, completing two whole rounds of combat. There's nothing wrong with Kelsey's GMing style, D&D is just that awful. I think Ken is joining me in this belief. But at least we had Ethiopian food!


Read:

  • Honor Bound (Rachel Caine, Ann Aguirre): Sequel to Honor Among Thieves, but now that the main character knows what the hell is going on, she can get to kicking the ass that needs kicking. It's like Joyride in being an Earth criminal girl having adventures in space, but so much better because the main character is not an idiot. Also, space whales and potential poly.
  • Minor Mage (T Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon): Apparently editors don't think this is a kid's book, even though it's about a twelve-year-old wizard and his armadillo familiar saving everyone, just because there are angry mobs and ghouls and serial killers. Weird.
  • The Ascent to Godhood (JY Yang): 4th book of the "Tensorate" series, mostly fills in backstory rather than adding to the strangeness of the world.
  • A Dead Djinn in Cairo (P Djeli Clark): Steampunk with decadent djinn, deranged angels, and policewomen in snazzy suits. I would read more in this universe.
  • Giant Days vol 4-5 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming): Still adorable! Go Daisy!

Words: FAIL.

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30 July 2019 - Tuesday

I feel like I am doing useful stuff at work, and no one has said otherwise, but I should be doing more.


Why does Sherlock get so much action in Elementary and Watson hardly any? Bah!


Read:

  • Outlaws and Aliens (James L Cambias): Two stories involving crime and aliens, not otherwise related. Being a criminal is not safe, it turns out.
  • Six Sacred Swords (Andrew Rowe): Spinoff from Sufficiently Advanced Magic and On The Shoulders of Titans, where one of the secondary characters tells his backstory to the main character and friends. The teller is not terrible, and the magic sword and the dragon are adorable.
  • The 5th Gender (GL Carriger): Alien-human gay(ish) romance and murder mystery, with much exposition of the alien gender system and also seriously NSFW gay sex.
  • Giant Days vol 2-3 (John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar): Still adorable and hilarious! Now I have reread everything I read before, so I can move on to the new material!

Words: FAIL.

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29 July 2019 - Monday

There was a company all-hands in the morning, but it was not announcing the dissolution of the the company. In fact, even if you take into account execs being paid to make things sound good, things sound fairly good.


No, Elementary, that's not how paleontology works.


Read:

  • Black Bolt vol 2 (Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward): It's never as easy as just escaping Inescapable Space Prison! But getting to Earth at least gets Boltagar Blackagon some new allies to finish dealing with the problem. Apparently the end of the series, since Blinky (who is Best) is going off to have her own adventure.
  • A Year and a Day in Old Theradane (Scott Lynch): Magical heist, much higher-magic and less gritty than the "Gentleman Bastards" book. The city ruled by crazy wizards reminds me of Glen Cook's "Garrett" books a little.
  • The Tower of Zhall (CT Phipps): Sequel to Cthulhu Armageddon. Is there ever a good reason to summon Cthulhu? Or even make deals with shoggoths? Maybe, if the world has already been destroyed. But it needed more Jackie.
  • Cthulhu Kaiju (Ahimsa Kerp): Cthulhu eats Portland (and the rest of Oregon). But it has Derleth's Elder Gods, so it is a failure as a Mythos story.
  • Giant Days vol 1 (John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar): Still funny and adorable!

Words: FAIL.

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28 July 2019 - Sunday

Gaming was cancelled, so I did nothing today. I mean, I kind of went shopping, but mostly I just sat around going blblblblblblblbl.


Wow, I thought Elementary would draw that plotline out further, but nope, done after just a couple of episodes.


Read:

  • Gleipnir vol 3 (Sun Takeda): I understand that one of the themes is that everyone does awful things, but that does not excuse perpetrating the Predatory Lesbian trope. Bah. But there are several ways this could go after the final scene, most of them horrific.

Words: FAIL.

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27 July 2019 - Saturday

I was on call from 13:30 to 19:30, but nothing was on fire, yay!


Nigh-Weekly Anime:


Read:

  • Yuri Bear Storm vol 3 (Ikunigomakinako, Akiko Morishima): The problem with having the sins of the previous generation repeat with the new generation who not only look like their moms did at that age but dress and look similar, is that I get very confused. But I think it worked out in the end, even if no one said the word "polyamory"? It looks like the anime might cover more? Maybe we should try it.

Words: FAIL.

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26 July 2019 - Friday

I could not watch this episode of Elementary without picturing the "Search Terms: elementary moriarty watson" results count whirring upward.


Read:

  • Girl Underground is the superset of Alice of Wonderland, Labyrinth, Summer in Orcus, and all other books where a young girl finds herself in a bizarre magical land and must fix what is broken while learning about herself. Unlike other games, where princesses can be boys, the Girl has to start off as a girl; it is very much about gender, and what girls are not allowed to do, and doing it anyway. Because this is what the game is about, everyone plays the Girl, usually a different person in each scene, and everyone else (except the GM) plays the companions. PbtA, so pretty much all the non-GM rules are in the playbooks.
  • Black Bolt vol 1 (Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward) clearly follows from a bunch of other comics that brought the title character to this point, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment because it was obvious what was going on now (in the space slammer? break out!), and the main character's interior monologues explained everything I needed to know. The art was not exactly to my taste, but it was very effective, and Black Bolt's facial expressions are great, so I give it a tentacle up.

Words: FAIL.

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25 July 2019 - Thursday

I was even later getting out of work than usual for a Thursday, because the person I had to hand over to was late getting in, but it didn't make any difference to the time I got home. It always converges on that last leg from Diridon to home.


Read:

  • Dead City, Blue Moon, and Dark Days (James Ponti): Cute trilogy about a middle-school zombie slayer in NYC. The zombies are not actually explained, but they have (New York-specific) backstory and limitations so that it seems like they have an explanation that hasn't been discovered yet. There is no romance at all for the main character, although a couple of the secondary characters might be going out between the lines.
  • The Orphans of Raspay (Lois McMaster Bujold): Another adventure of Penric (who is older yet somehow hotter) and his best demon (who is still snarky). It's always fun to watch Penric be terrifying, but it doesn't seem like this story added much to his character arc.
  • Destroyer (Victor LaValle, Dietrich SMith, Joana Lafuente): Frankenstein × black ops × black lives matter. Do not mess with someone who has been sitting on an iceberg for 300 years.
  • Joyride vol 1 (Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcus To, Irma Kniivila): Like Astrid, this has some good bits, and a comic about humans hijacking a spaceship and running around the galaxy should be fun, but it has too many SF tropes thrown in a pile without being connected at all. Also the main character is like the "Chaotic Neutral" D&D character that everyone hates and wants to kick out of the game. The others have some personality, though.

Words: FAIL.

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24 July 2019 - Wednesday

Randomly, I ran into Cesar on the train in the morning! I tried to make small talk, but am terrible at it. He seems to be doing well, anyway, although he kind of looks like an ex-biker.


Everyone made it to gaming, so we had D&D5 to go with our pizza! Kelsey's hand-drawn maps are pretty sweet, although it would have been better if they had been deployed earlier, but as usual an hour of our 90 minute gaming time was taken up with rules minutiae that added nothing to the gaming experience for me.


Read:

  • Angel's Sigil (L Rowyn): Sequel to Demon's Lure, in which our hapless heroine is tried for capital crimes and also doom comes to demonkind.
  • Astrid: Cult of the Volcanic Moon (Kim W Anderson): There's a difference between not sweating the details and going out of your way to make all the details bogus. But realizing the system doesn't deserve your devotion is important.

Words: FAIL.

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23 July 2019 - Tuesday

Since we're out of The Umbrella Academy, we had to watch Elementary. Wow, Sherlock was almost like a functional human being there!


Read:

  • Sentinel Comics beta rules and character creation chapters. The rules are pretty much the same as in the starter kit, although the list of possible twists would be very helpful if an idiot like me were running. The character creation rules probably will not make Jeremy or Dave happy, because they are not at all about building a unit for a tactical wargame and then adding a story. I don't know what I think about them, but they seem like they should work within the paradigm of the game.
  • Trees vol 1-2 (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard): I had forgotten almost all of this. Wow, they're so doomed. I wonder if volume 3 will ever come out?

Words: FAIL.

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22 July 2019 - Monday

Boo, Monday. Boo, capitalism. Boo, bus not showing up. Boo, train being late.


Finale of The Umbrella Academy! We called the general form of the doom ages ago, but I was not expecting the specifics, nor that kind of ending. I hear a second season is planned, but it would be kind of cool if they just left it there.


Read:

  • "Cthulhu Attacks!", book 1 (The Fear) and book 2 (The Faith) (Sean Hoade, Byron Craft): "What if I wrote a book where encyclopedic knowledge of Lovecraft's work was actually a useful skill?" But apparently the first author's brain fell over dead partway into the second book and someone else had to finish it, so the ending is wrong.
  • Cthulhu Armageddon (CT Phipps): Post-apocalypse where the apocalypse was the Great Old Ones. Planet is a mess, humans survive only in small groups, cultists and mutants everywhere, one strong but flawed man has to save his people, you know the genre.
  • Paper Girls vol 5 (Brian K Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher): [SPOILER] changed her mind awfully faster there, but to be fair, [SPOILER] was pretty impressive. Plus it made the cliffhanger ending even more upsetting. But now I have to wait for volume 6 to be released!
  • Plutona (Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Jordie Bellaire): Wow, that was seriously messed up. Especially for middle-schoolers. But it seemed emotionally plausible.

Words: FAIL.

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21 July 2019 - Sunday

I did managed to go shopping, but was only vaguely successful because I am as stupid as I am ugly.


But I'm not as doomed as the characters in The Umbrella Academy!


Read:

  • Flying Witch vol 7 (Chihiro Ishizuka): Still adorable, and I'm not just saying that because this is the hot springs episode.
  • Made in Abyss vol 6 (Akihito Tsukushi): Not as much fucked-up body horror as last volume, but while the adventurers are in Philosophy Dungeon, things are looking bad for everyone else everywhere.
  • Prism Stalker vol 1 (Sloane Leong): On one level, a girl gets drafted for a prestige assignment on a distant planet of the biotech-based multispecies empire; on another, colonialism inevitably destroys the culture of the colonized, leaving them adrift in society. Lots of aliens and also mysteries.

Words: FAIL.

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20 July 2019 - Saturday

Yikes, someone burned down the office of the studio that made Hibike! Euphonium! What the fuck, other countries, can't you be less horrible than the US?


  • Sailor Moon Super S 164-165: Just because it's not all punching doesn't mean there isn't a final conflict that takes multiple episodes!
  • RWBY 2.12: Victory! End of the season!
  • AKB0048 6: That really does seem like a very Japanese-girl way to conceptualize haters. Well, SF is always about the present, right?
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 11-12: Augh! Akito! The only person who can make Tohru be physically violent!

Little Miss P (Ken Koyama) is about the visitor who shows up every month or so to punch women in the groin (and sometimes extract a bunch of blood, or just beat the snot out of them), and women who are trying to live their lives when this happens, and also the people who brought modern feminine hygeine products to Japan in the 60s. Do I feel that am more able to write female characters now? Eh, maybe.


Words: FAIL.

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19 July 2019 - Friday

Antepenultimate Umbrella Academy, yikes! Hargreaves did it wrong and stupidly, as usual, but I see why he did that.


Motor Crush (Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart) is about the best motorcycle racer around, a performance-enhancing drug for engines, illegal gladiatorial races, the drug trade, mysterious backgrounds, mysterious mysteries, and very pretty girls in small bits of spandex. Alas, it seems to have stopped coming out just after the second collection, so we may never find out what the hell is really going on.

Five Unicorn Crush (TJ Berry) is the sequel to Space Unicorn Blues and follows on pretty directly from the end of it, showing that the Big Event did not actually solve much of anything in the face of determined sophonts, which might have been the point.

The prose of Here There Be Monsters (Tim Curran) is even more purple than Lovecraft, and the main characters have better odds of surviving intact, but most of the stories are very pastichey (it's a word now!), and at least one is a direct sequel to a Lovecraft story. So, I guess, if you needed more Lovecraft than actually exists, this would be your book? I prefer new takes on the Mythos, but these are at least competently done, kind of.


Words: FAIL.

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18 July 2019 - Thursday

I guess I am getting used to this late night commute of doom, but that doesn't mean I like it.


Volume 2 of Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles) skips ahead to WWI, but it's still about Death and her servants and human family and people dying all over the place as mortals do. I'm not sure it's entirely my thing, but I can admire how well it is done.

Space Unicorn Blues (TJ Berry) is about, well, space unicorns (and dryads and elves and whatnot) and the horrible things humans do when they find out what magical creature parts are good for, despite having just been told to play nice. As SF, it's not entirely coherent, but the protagonists are a well-done miscellaneous lot of non-heroes (lots of representation), and the human fascists are unpleasantly topical.


Words: FAIL.

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17 July 2019 - Wednesday

Unprecedentedly, we had everyone at gaming, so we had some D&D5 to go with our Chinese food. Sadly, Kelsey forgot the hand-drawn artisanal maps she made for us.

Next time we play, we might actually meet the villain!


Today's OSR reading: Teratoscope. Carnivorous colleges! Tribal champions that take on the forms and powers of distant dimensional cognates to battle over the shape history will have! Voice-stealing dragons! Several varieties of ogre that have no arms but get things done with their voices! The Hunting Hand! Mountains of alien meat that fall from the sky! Orca-were capitalists! Things from the haunted forest so dangerous it had to be imprisoned in paintings locked in an impenetrable vault! Alarming hints that Hell might be empty now! Like the best OSR monster books, it is also a world book, and I want to know more about this world. Although not too much, because Dungeon World.

Dangerous to Go Alone is in a genre of video games I haven't played, Legend of Zelda, so I probably don't appreciate it fully, but it is very simple and very cute. The GM is called the Princess, pretty much your only stat is how many hearts you have (which get filled up with emotions or tiredness and then you have to rest, or filled up with hurt and then you reappear at the last hearth where you felt safe and comfortable), combat involves rolling papercraft dice at each other, character creation involves writing down three things that people would expect of your race and profession and then crossing out one and writing in how you aren't like that at all. I am not the target player, but I think people who are would be pleased?


Words: FAIL.

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16 July 2019 - Tuesday

HAPPY HAPPY AVALON-DAY!!!

I even got to see her tonight, because Tuesday is a good night for that. Hurray Avalon!

Only nineteen years until it's not creepy for me to be dating her.


I missed more transit connections than my commute is even supposed to have, bah.


Super Destiny High School Rumble is basically TfOS powered by the Apocalypse. Not exactly, it draws more from Sailor Moon and other recent anime than from Urusai Yatsura, and there isn't any metaplot provided to explain why aliens and magical girls are at this high school, so the energy isn't quite the same, but I think it could be good.

The Lesser Key to the Celestial Legion is tables to randomly generate gods and rites and angels, nominally for DCC but easily transferable to other OSR games, if you care enough. Meh.

Also nominally DCC, but with more tentacle gods in the form of orbital death satellites and elevator-based spells and general weirdness: Terror of the Stratosfiend vol 1 vol 1.5.

Dust Bowl Galaxy says it's space western, but I don't really see how, except that cattle are mentioned as a possible cargo for the PCs' ship that they build out of modules using a card-based system to explore the war-ravaged galaxy beyond their tiny refugee colony. Also card-based: ship combat, personal gadgets, and the many terrible things that can happen if you use the psionic powers that vatches higher-dimensional beings are happy to grant you. Inventing new aliens does not require cards!

I picked up Paper Girls (Brian K Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher) because someone on the Internet said it was awesome, and it actually is! Middle school girls from 1988, through time and space! Bonus points for giant azhdarchids, further bonus points for tardigrades. Sadly it looks like there are only three more volumes before it finishes, even though I want to keep reading it forever.


Words: FAIL.

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15 July 2019 - Monday

Wait, work, what? Can't I have another Sunday? Okay, it's not like I did a great job with the last one, but this time for sure!


Tonight's episode of The Umbrella Academy was the natural other half of yesterday's episode, and also removes a lot of any sympathy I might have had for Chacha. Also, is that really what young people do at parties these days?


Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles) is definitely mythic or fairytale Western. I mean, Death is a character, and falls in love with a human woman. It's pretty much all downhill from there for most of the characters, because Western.


Words: FAIL.

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14 July 2019 - Sunday

Today I was completely useless! I wanted to go shopping, but was too lazy and stupid and only managed to lie around the apartment all day going blblblblblblblbl. Also Avalon cancelled date, but it was because she's not feeling well, not for the much more sensible reason that I suck.

In the evening, Marith and I watched more of The Umbrella Academy. We are more than half done, and up to the episode that every show with time travel should have.


Finally I got Empowered (Adam Warren) volume 10, but it was not as satisfying as other recent volumes, more like vol 1-2 where it was just vignettes from the life of Empowered. Until the cliff-hanger ending, at least!

Also I have finally read volume 3 of Kill Six Billion Demons (Tom Parkinson-Morgan), after starting and realizing I had no idea how Allison and Cio got to where they were and having to reread the first two volumes. It's okay, no one was really using that multiverse anyway. But go Allison! And go Cio!


Words: FAIL.

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13 July 2019 - Saturday

Riding the bus to shopping is a lot less sweaty than walking, but not as healthy.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 163: Trapped in a mirror labyrinth! But what are the Amazoness Quartet up to?
  • RWBY 2.10-11: You can't have an fighting show without a fight on a train. It's just the rules, sorry.
  • AKB0048 5: Apparently Akibastar is not Fully Automated Luxury Queer Space Communism after all! But they do have Pheromones.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 9-10: Haruhatsu! And Valentine's Day, but mostly Haruhatsu.

I read volume 2 of We Never Learn (Taishi Tsutsui). I think that was funny fanservice instead of terrible fanservice, but is any fanservice actually not terrible?


Words: FAIL.

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12 July 2019 - Friday

Friday always seems hard after Thursday, but I survived another week!


The Orchid Gown (Mason Frey) is a collection of dark fantasy stories that are atmospheric but don't quite end. It's not "Lady or the Tiger", it's more "Here are two doors, there's probably something behind at least one of them". When it's not Prime Boycott Day, I should see if the author has any longer works.

But mostly today I went through the 300-odd Kindle samples I have, deleting a bunch of them and putitng some of them into my wishlist for later.

In additional Kindle news, I managed to download 200 books at a time to my local compute for Calibreation, which wasn't too bad. It only took like 15 batches.


Words: FAIL.

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11 July 2019 - Thursday

Stayed late at work again. I really want to find a better way to get home, but transit doesn't seem to do it, and I am pretty sure I don't think Uber or Lyft should exist. Blurgh.


Beings From Beyond is nominally for