Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 December 2016 - Saturday

This year I have written 114k words, which could be an entire book if only they were the right words. But they aren't, because I wrote them.

We had the traditional New Year's Eve fondue (provided by Earl) and very limited festivities (provided by Ayse & Ken). It was not very exciting, but was very tasty. Also, good riddance to 2016!

Ayse showed us Polar Bear Cafe, which is very silly but probably will not get a slot in Nigh-Weekly Anime.

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30 December 2016 - Friday

Roseville was swell, although there was Enormous Child Drama, especially when Jus could not play with Elyssa 27 hours every day because Elyssa was sick on Wednesday and also because sleep.

Some grownups played the first 5/13s of Temple of Elemental Evil. That was as close as we got to roleplaying, but Al was amenable in principle to running the Slumbering Tsar megadungeon in Dungeon World at some point.

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which was pretty awesome. I finally understand why everyone likes Groot so much.

Al successfully addicted me to Pixel Dungeon, which is obviously derived from brogue but has more and different things.

My cats seem to have survived my absence.

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27 December 2016 - Tuesday

Marith did explode from travelling stress, or maybe just from daylight, so we didn't go to Roseville until late at night, long after Ayse & Ken & Jus & Nonni got there, but we did go and did not even die from traffic.

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26 December 2016 - Monday

Boxing Day is not a holiday here, but this whole week is holidays for Arcadia (aside from this being the comp day for Newtonmas being on a Sunday), so I did not have to be useful. I did go to Target and buy a lamp with a base that's a single big rock so it definitely will not fall over no matter what the cats do while I'm out.

Marith and I went to Christmas in the Park with Ayse & Ken & offspring, which was like a town fair with extra conifers and also shrieking children.

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25 December 2016 - Sunday

Nifty Newtonmas to all!

Marith and I went over to Ayse & Ken's to see them and Earl & Cat (but not Dave, who is in Seattle) and eat ham and be generally festive.

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23 December 2016 - Friday

I took today off, because I could, so there! (We have all next week off anyway.)

Marith and I saw Rogue One, which was definitely a Star Wars movie in the old tradition, with clunky and aggressively anti-ergonomic technology, but it was also a war movie in which many, many people died. Not recommended for kids!

Babylon's Ashes (James SA Corey) is probably the end of the "Expanse" series, or at least it resolves most of the outstanding major questions. There easily could be more books set in the future of this universe, though. Major bonus points for data mining as a weapon.

Cells at Work (Akane Shimizu) might be good for middle-school students who need to learn about the immune and circulatory systems, but otherwise anthropomorphized blood cells don't seem like they're going to be the next big trend in manga.

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21 December 2016 - Wednesday

No 13th Age this week, Jus is full of germs.

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18 December 2016 - Sunday

This week in PAD&D5, we discovered that the prisoner Lam carried away from last session's raid on [SPOILER] was not only the same person kidnapped by [SPOILER] and then interrogated and sent home by Our Heroes a few sessions ago, but actually a ninja investigating [SPOILER] on behalf of concerned citizens and therefore totally up for joining Our Heroes. (The new PC is played by Edie's friend Hazel, which causes immense confusion because Deirdre's character is named Hazel.) Because [SPOILER] was not actually well-guarded, and many of their combatants had already been beaten senseless, and one of their bosses had a weakness Our Heroes lucked into exploiting, and Our Heroes were able to divide and conquer, the upper level was fairly easily cleared out. Next year, into the lower levels!

Because last night was not anime, tonight we watched Nirvana in Fire 6-7. In one plotline, the investigator woman continued to be awesome, and in another, the main character had a multi-leveled conversation with a princess and tried to buy a house.

The latest 13th Age in Glorantha playtest packet makes me want to play or run it, even though I know my Glorantha lore and gaming power are completely inadequate.

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17 December 2016 - Saturday

No anime, because Ken had to go to a work thing. (I thought Ayse went too, but actually she hid in her room with a computer and no kids or other humans all evening, which seems like an extremely reasonable choice to me.) Marith wanted socialization, though, so she and I let Dave show us the musical episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots (very silly), then Dave and I let her show us the first episode of Yuri!!! on Ice (differently silly, but pretty adorable), and finally she and Dave let me crush them at Soulfall. I think Yuri!!! on! Ice! was the winner.

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16 December 2016 - Friday

I talked to Avalon again and she let me back into her cave, so that's something.

Without even by Avalon (Thu Dec 22 19:16:06 2016)

adding your skull to my collection. =)

Re: Without even by Trip (Fri Dec 23 20:45:35 2016)

I don't want to jinx it!

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14 December 2016 - Wednesday

This week we had Kelsey but not Brooks for 13th Age, which may or may not be related to the slightly higher level of humor. Also Chinese food provided by Ayse.

Despite it being a short session, our heroes managed to get trapped in a tiny cave for almost two weeks, then fail to bamboozle a weird cultist (or maybe ex-cultist) and have a fight against a huge stone statue backed up by various undead and a selectively-impenetrable forcefield that was not all that difficult to get through (although Claire had to steam-clean her soul afterwards). But finally, the Pit of Undigested Ages! Li's house is almost in sight!

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13 December 2016 - Tuesday

Even though it is the ill-omened Tuesday The Thirteeth today, I talked to Avalon a little. Nothing terrible happened, although it is still awkward.

I have managed to write a little since the month flipped over, but not at anything like the NaNoWriMo rate even though I am continuing that story (and making notes on how I didn't abuse my protagonist enough in case I managed to ever edit it). Perhaps I am lacking in will, though, and should be writing 1500 words every day instead of 600 words on days when I get to it.

The second volume of Immortal Hounds (Ryo Yasohachi) has a little less violence, a little more sex, and support for the notion that something is definitely going on, but no support for any particular theory.

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11 December 2016 - Sunday

No gaming, only gingerbread! And candy, so much candy. Actually, I ate relatively little candy, but way too much sour cream-onion dip on potato chips.

This year's theme was Fairy Tales, although the overall winner was Earl's sculpture of Pac-Man and the Ghosts. One of the Zable twins got an award for Best Use of Bears (Semi-Intelligent or Otherwise), which is always good.

There were not as many people as in past years, possibly because so many of the kids have become too cool for gingerbread parties or gone off to college, or possibly because everything is worse in 2016.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (Kij Johnson) is not as heart-wrenching as some of Johnson's other work ("Ponies, augh!), but it is a very good Dreamlands story, complete with ghouls and gugs and dramatic lighting, and also makes the cosmic horror personal in a way I had not seen before (although perhaps it's not fully cosmic, I think the principle applies). Recommended.

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10 December 2016 - Saturday


  • Durarara!!x2 9: Motorcycle goons and cheap suit goons collide! I suspect Izaya. Also Mikado makes his escape without actually having to say no, which cannot possibly return to haunt him.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 7: The end! Although some things were definitely accomplished, and the face of English magic changed forever (still no word on the other 99.975% of the Earth), there is a lot left unresolved for a potential sequel.
  • Nekomonogatari 6: I wonder if the original Japanese phrase is as ambiguous as "fooled around"? Because um. And I don't think that was even the Sawari Neko getting out to play.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 21: The evidence is mounting that Crystal Tokyo may only have been described as "perfect" to accord with the edicts of the Queen Who Never Leaves the Palace.

Volume 1 of many mangas!

Magia the Ninth (Ichiya Sazanami) is standard exorcist shounen, which uses the names of classical composers and their works pretty much only as exotic-sounding attack names and noms de guerre.

Just like the anime, Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan (Kenya Suzuki) is raunchy high school girls slice-of-life.

Interviews with Monster Girls (Petos) is approximately what it says on the tin: a school teacher who wishes he could have done his thesis on sociology of monster girls ends up at a school where there are at least four of them. Apparently the monster girls are all supernatural (vampire, yuki-onna, dullahan (what is with the Japanese and dullahans, anyway?), etc). They have lives and difficulties.

Of all these, In/Spectre (Kyo Shirodaia, Chashiba Katase) is definitely the win. The heroine was kidnapped by yōkai who removed her leg and eye to make her their "goddess of wisdom" (read: ombudshuman) because crippled gods are symbolically significant, but she doesn't let it slow her down at all. The hero terrifies yōkai on sight, which does get him down until he meets the heroine. Later, we meet the hero's ex, who could not deal with yōkai and them being terrified of her boyfriend, but does not get to live in a yōkai-free world ever again. She can probably become as awesome as the heroine, though, and maybe they can ditch the male character and run off together.

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7 December 2016 - Wednesday

This week in 13th Age: palaver with cultists, plotting with a dragon, and using dream magic to get across a bottomless chasm through the squalid depths of Vaatu's id. Poor Anwë managed to trap half of his masculine energy in a spirit bottle (no word yet on what the ghost in the bottle thinks of that) but then was overwhelmed. The jokes were sophomoric, so maybe it's for the best that this was the session that Kelsey missed.

Vick's Vultures (Scott Warren) is not actually good or anything, but the setup is old-fashioned underdog humans with low cunning and gumption vs the galaxy of aliens who can calculate FTL jumps in their head but have forgotten how to fight except in spaceships. It might work for an RPG, where the simplicity of the aliens can be overlooked.

Today's Cerberus (Ato Sakurai) is mental-issue-flavored magical-girlfriend shounen. The main character has what sounds a lot like depression after having part of his soul eaten by Cerberus, and Cerberus is three personalities in one body (which changes a little based on who's out, for easy reader identification). I'm not saying it's well-done or anything, but it's something.

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5 December 2016 - Monday

I did finally manage to write a little. Well, a lot by standards of the middle of the year, but meh.

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4 December 2016 - Sunday

Back on schedule for PAD&D5 !

This week, we got summoned by the dead to [SPOILER], where we saved [SPOILER] from [SPOILER] and got enough magic weapons for Mara and Hazel. Lam also got a magic weapon, but had to go to [SPOILER] and make seduction rolls talk to [SPOILER] to get its full power unlocked. (I don't know if any of this was in the module, the weapons seemed too well-suited to the PCs.) Then we continued tracking down the missing [SPOILER] and found the [SPOILER] that we had been talking about going to for several sessions, as well as what might be [SPOILER] or might be something else entirely. The NPCs were very rude, and eventually resorted to outright violence, but we whomped several times our weight in locals before retreating from the second wave. Because of Lam's awesome new power, we were able to keep them bottled up long enough to make good our escape (probably).

Dave seems sad that we are neither cunning and guileful spies nor straight-up murder hobos, but I think he is too pessimistic about our prospects of succeeding with limited murder-hoboism.

I Did NOT Give That Spider Superhuman Intelligence! (Richard Roberts) is a spinoff of the Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain series, with some backstory of secondary characters from the main series, when they were adventuring or having their origins during the 80s. I liked it well enough, but Goodnight is not quite as charming a narrator as Penny.

It's still way better than my NaNoWriMo-16, which was supposed to be in the same genre.

And, in further monster-girl news:

Volume 8-9 of A Centaur's Life (Kei Murayama) continue to demonstrate that hexapodia is the key. I'm not sure what's going on with the aliens or the portal fantasy plotline, though.

As of volume 1, My Girlfriend is a T-Rex (Sanzo) is almost what it says on the cover. Dinosaur-people for the win surreality! However, the main characters are not actually a couple yet.

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3 December 2016 - Saturday

I let the cleaners in, and later went grocery shopping. That is pretty much all I accomplished today.

Oh, and I made a small child cry, because I am in fact the worst.

  • Durarara!!x2 8: Apparently an Ikebukuro warehouse is the new equivalent of a mountaintop.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 6: Finally Strange gets what he wants, and can face his true enemy! But it takes place in Venice, which just makes all the talk of "English magic" even weirder.
  • Nekomonogatari 5: Apparently Senjyogahara is like that with everyone she lets into her lair.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 20: The awkward truth about Chibi-Usa's origins comes out! I like that Usagi is flipping out and then going "why did I flip out?". It seems very teenagerish.

This week's anime question: is it fanservice to show a female character in her underwear if she is deliberately being sexy at another character?

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2 December 2016 - Friday

Yay, Friday!

That is all.

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1 December 2016 - Thursday

Today I was all alone in the office, except for a brief period when Office Manager Teressa stopped by to drop off stuff for the guy starting on Monday. I completely failed to play loud music or even take a nap.

It's December, so I have now officially failed NaNoWriMo completely! I celebrated by arguing with Avalon instead of writing, because I am stupid and wrong, but I should probably not fall out of the habit of writing.

Also, I should resume dealing with the still-enormous pile of boxes in my back room. And make people tell me their holiday plans, so I can ask for time off work accordingly.

And die in a pit.

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