Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 May 2017 - Wednesday

No Dungeon World this week; Mike cancelled and other people seemed meh. I blame the long weekend.

Preparing a lot was obviously the wrong move last time, so I need to either prepare less, or prepare differently. Or make an actual Front, but that doesn't seem like the right move for this tiny adventure that will certainly never go anywhere.

Instead of gaming, Avalonhugs!

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30 May 2017 - Tuesday

Work. Meh. I like holidays better.

I finally finished season 1 of Dark Matter. Well, that's some doom! But at least now we know the individual shapes of everyone's doom, except maybe Three.

There are still some goofy bits, but overall I continue to like it, and will continue to watch.

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29 May 2017 - Monday

Back from Roseville, despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth! My cats are fine. My apartment is still unburnt. It is too warm outside, but I went grocery shopping anyway.

The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (Viola Carr) is the third in the "Electric Empire" series, in which even more Victorian SF is spindled, folded, and remixed to make Dr Jekyll/Miss Hyde's life horrible. This could be end, as many major elements are resolved, but on the other hand, the setting is still kind of screwed up.

Apparently in the early 19th century there was a plan to import hippos to the southern US as a good source of meat. This plan inexplicably failed to move forward in our timeline, but in River of Teeth (Sarah Gailey), there are so many hippos. Some of them are domesticated (well, tame), but many of them are ravening. Because hippos. I'm not sure if this technically counts as steampunk, as the most anachronistic tech is [SPOILER], but it's basically a steampunk/weird west caper with riverboat gamblers, nonbinary assassins, unfortunate orphans, and explosions. And hippos.

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28 May 2017 - Sunday

I managed to go out for a walk and swim for a while, instead of sitting indoors with a tablet all day, so go me! Also I drank enough water to not get the headache I usually get in Roseville, which was a lot of water.

Today we played Guillotine (I did not win), Sentinels of the Multiverse (everybody won), and the first half of RoboRally (I did not tag the second flag before we called it, so I was in the bottom secontile, but was close! So close!). Also Al showed his wilderness map generator for his long-running Rogue-like project, which was pretty nice.

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27 May 2017 - Saturday

Ken is off at some con doing Vampire LARP until his brain falls out or something, so the rest of us went to Roseville to see our friends! Dave squished into the back seat between Jus and Nonny, which seems way above and beyond to me, but it let me entertain Ayse instead of taking the train. (Marith could not come because she is WORKING, so no second car.)

Somehow, we departed in good time and traffic was not too awful, so we got there in the early afternoon and no one threw a screaming fit. Not even me!

Holy crap, Josh grew!

We played 7 Wonders (I did not win) and Lords of Waterdeep (I... won?!) and heard about Band Parent Drama because that is what one's life is full of when one has kids in band. (Hey, at least their life is full of things! Like the Earth!)

I thought Dave might push for playing Masks, but no.

Marith survived a day of actual work (not just orientation) and did not die! Yay Marith!

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25 May 2017 - Thursday

Hurray Marith! Marith has a job! It is not the job she wants, but it is a job that provides money and also keeps her from hiding in her apartment forever like I tended to do when I was unemployed!

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24 May 2017 - Wednesday

I tried to get Somali food, but they are closed on Wednesday, so there was only Thai food to go with Dungeon World. At least the food was good, because the gaming was awful.

Re:Monster (Kogitsune Kanekiru, Haruyoshi Kobayakawa) could have been interesting (assuming there was ever an explanation for the game elements or the backstory of superpowers), but the main character was so evil I gave up by the second volume. Bleah.

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22 May 2017 - Monday

Coworker C helpfully invited the customer representatives to the far office for a meeting about revitalizing their usage of our product, so I had to go up there on a Monday. All the fun of commuting and working in the wrong office, but no free food, and on the way home, the shuttle to the train station was stupidly different and the train was delayed by a couple of hours.

Boo San Mateo!

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21 May 2017 - Sunday


The Heroines of Red Larch save the town again, although they only meant to stop by briefly in the course of completing their escort quest. ([SPOILER] were doing okay, but [SPOILER] are just too mighty for them.) However, some random [SPOILER] steal two [SPOILER] and the Heroines have to go back to [SPOILER]. There are too many [SPOILER] to be cleaned out, but the Heroines do make a successful escape with both prizes, so the day is saved!

I went to the book store on the way home, because I was too lazy to walk back from the train station in the heat. Yuck, summer.

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20 May 2017 - Saturday

  • My Little Pony 11-12: In the "teaching kids to live in modern society" theme: the importance of project management! Also, everyone climbs the stairway to adulthood at their own rate. (I wonder if cutie marks ever change?)
  • Durarara!!x2 11: Looks bad for Namie!
  • Vision of Escaflowne 17: Finally, the Mystic Valley! And the horrible truth behind Hitomi's fortune-telling!
  • Koimonogatari 3-4: Senjyogahara and Kaiki continue to battle it out for a common goal. Also, Nadeko's character, and the sudden reappearance of Hanekawa (who is awesome)!
  • Steven Universe 2.14-15: Pearl, that was not cool. Garnet was completely justified in fracturing with rage.

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19 May 2017 - Friday

The place where I get my bagels on the way to work each morning appears to have caught fire. The word is that no one was hurt, at least. I guess it's Noah's Bagels for me.

Horizon (Scott Westerfeld) is about teenagers, but seems written for a younger audience (which is fine). Is mysteriously vanishing aircraft the new "lost Roman legion"? Anyway, the protagonists end up in an unearthly jungle littered with strange living things and strange apparently inanimate things, where much is not as it seems but some is awesome. It is definitely the start of the series, although it would need substantial plot twists to be a very long one.

In volumes 3 and 4 of 7th Garden (Mitsu Izumi), we finally get the hero's backstory, and see more of the villains in a way that fails to make it clear what genre we're in. (I know, I know, "genre" is an invention of small-souled white guys from the early C20.)

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17 May 2017 - Wednesday

Yummy Indian food and more Dungeon World! This time with green elves, ritual combat, a labyrinth of trees, and at least one slug-monster. People claimed they had fun.

Volume 4 of In/Spectre (Kyo Shirodaira, Chashiba Katase) is mostly hitherto-unexplicated backstory about the likely villain and how the heroes are connected to them. This is important information to have, but it doesn't actually advance the plot.

Punks vs manifestations of the uncaring mechanistic universe! The Unnoticeables and The Empty Ones (Robert Brockway) are the first two books in (probably) a trilogy of secret cosmic horror and those who have no choice but to fight it even if they'd rather be drinking and getting into fistfights.

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14 May 2017 - Sunday

The theater by work has closed for renovationings, but it turns out there is one just a half-hour walk from my lair (less if I wimp out and take the bus, but it only runs every half-hour, so what's the point?), so I went to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It was pretty swell, at least if you liked the first one, and there was some kind of character development in addition to exploding. Baby Groot is the most adorable of course, but Mantis is adorkable. I wonder if the repercussions on Earth will show up in future MCU? I guess when you live in a universe with stupid aliens, things like that just happen sometimes!

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13 May 2017 - Saturday

Once again, it's Eurovision! This year it is hosted by the Ukraine, so Russia withdrew in a snit, but who cares? It is sad that there were not as many flashy acts this year, though.

Ken went to "the Slavic store" and asked for Ukrainian food, and they gave him many breads and things to put on them and we also had whatever the Ukranian variant of little dumpling things is and people who are not me or Dave (such as Ken, Ayse, Marith, Cat, and Earl) may have become quite merry.

None of us were happy about who won, so the voting segment was not as merry, but a good time was still had by all.

(Azerbaijan was robbed! Cyprus was good too, and several of the others were okay, but just not as awesome as last year. I blame a major non-European power for trying to turn the world into a giant dumpster fire and sucking all the fun out of it.)

I think All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries is Martha Wells's first science fiction (as opposed to fantasy, as the terms are commonly used, no genre border conflicts plz!) story. It turns out that gaining free will does not make a murderbot even slightly socially ept, which seems way more reasonable than most robots-gaining-free-will storylines. Let's hear it for murderbots who just want to hide in their recharge cubicles shipping popular video entertainments! Sadly, this is a fairly short piece -- barely a novel, if that -- so I hope there will be more.

The Gods of Saggitarius (Eric Flit, Mike Resnick) is wacky SF adventure (no surprise given the authors) about some humans and aliens who independently go looking for the mysterious elder beings who ruled the galaxy before modern sophonts but are inexplicably no longer doing so. The search starts on a planet that humans call Cthulhu, but the book is more lightly Lovecraft-seasoned than anything. At the end, things look even worse for the galaxy, so there will probably be a sequel. Hopefully the incomprehensible alien artifact that makes snide comments will continue to play a major role. (Remember, it's not a plot hole if none of the characters have any idea what's going on!)

On the shoujo-ai manga front, Bloom Into You (Nakatani Nio) is pretty cute. It has the "well, I'm not into girls, but I guess it's okay if you like me" setup (is that a trope? I just assume everything is by now) which I guess I approve of? Questioning and becoming more open is good, right? I dunno, man.

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10 May 2017 - Wednesday

Burritos from La Victoria and Dungeon World! Kelsey has abandoned us to do something productive for the next month, by which time we'll probably be ready to return to 13th Age for the climax of Eyes of the Stone Thief.

After retconning much of last session, I finally did what I should have done from the start and started with the PCs already busted for their maguffin-stealing ways, and sent them off to find the Bishop of Ivory. Apparently some fun was had, although there was not a lot of conflict. I think I need to do more descriptions.

I like the "Doctor Dire" series by Andrew Seiple (at least the first four books, Dire: Born, Dire: Seed, Dire: Time, and Dire: Wars). They are not super-amazingly written, but they do have an element of social justice to them, and pretty much support my suspicion that (at least in the US) "superheroism" is exactly equal to using superpowers to support the status quo. Of course, that means everyone else gets lumped into "supervillainy", which is not necessarily a pleasant bucket to be in. Plus, it's all Tesla's fault!

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7 May 2017 - Sunday

Nonny's birthday is in November, but with one thing and another (holidays, diseases, scheduling...), he did not get a party until today. But now he and a dozen of his school friends (kids these days don't have friends outside of school or other scheduled activities) have been to Pump It Up and had a great time with foam and inflatables and sugar.

Much children. Very screaming. Wow.

No PAD&D5, we are missing two players out of six. I am sad to not have gaming, but happy to not have to do anything with humans.

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6 May 2017 - Saturday

Naturally, the cleaners were scheduled for the day after my mom left, so she saw my apartment in its grungiest state.

Somehow I was into seeing people again by evening time, so I went to anime!

  • My Little Pony 10: I understand the importance of the lesson that you should listen to everyone's perspective, but if Pinkie Pie had just explained what she was doing, the episode could have been a lot shorter. Metalesson: use your words!
  • Durarara!!x2 10: Oh no! Dotachin!
  • Vision of Escaflowne 16: Mystic Valley backstory!
  • Koimonogatari 1-2: Senjyogahara vs Kaiki! For some definition of "versus".
  • Steven Universe 2.12: Finally, more Stevonnie! And Rose Quartz/Greg backstory! (Awww!)
  • Steven Universe 2.13: What is this strange flesh-being activity you call "sleep"?

This One Summer (Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki) is one volume of slice-of-life comic about two young girls on vacation (with their families) at the beach. I guess I can see why it got banned in some places; in the imaginations of fundies, 13-year-old girls would never think about puberty or be aware that older teenagers are having sex and/or getting pregnant. Shock! Horror!

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5 May 2017 - Friday

There was a lot of sleeping, since my mom has been staying on the couch at her sister's, where apparently some people stay up until all hours and other people get up at the crack of dawn, but that's okay. Eventually we went to Bill's. Then we arranged to meet Marith later and went to SJMA, where I have never been because I have no culture.

We saw beautiful monochrome photos of water! We made oscillation draw spiragraphs! We looked at a strange object of mixed materials! The Marith showed up, so we looked at some of it again with her, and also looked at some pretty depressing stuff.

But there is no time for depression, there is a rose garden to look at! (Apparently a municipal rose garden is just one of those things cities have, like a water treatment plant or a traffic court.) Much roses! Very color! Wow!

When we were too dehydrated to admire roses any more, we had expensive sushi because my mom lives too far inland to get sushi very often. It was successful! But then we had to take her back to the train station so she could catch the bus to Fresno.

Anyway, that all was a thing that happened. I'm not sure how I feel about it, except that I should have done better or been better or not failed so much at humaning.

Momvisit by marithlizard (Sun May 21 23:38:00 2017)

I don't think you failed at humaning at all! You housed and fed and entertained your mom and were nice to her and didn't sell even one of her organs on the black market (right?), and you didn't make her wash dishes to pay for the expensive sushi. She even seemed to be having fun.

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4 May 2017 - Thursday

Strangely enough, my mom is here! She is visiting her siblings and their descendents in the Fresno area, but that is close enough that she could pop over for a couple of days.

It is strange because I haven't seen her in... twenty years? Some of my faded memories match, but she is almost a stranger now. Once again, I fail at basic humaning.

Anyway, I took her to Taiwan Restaurant for lunch, and then we went to visit Ayse & Ken & Jus & Nonny & Dave. Everything went well, I guess?

My couch is actually quite comfortable!

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3 May 2017 - Wednesday

Dungeon World! Also Chinese food!

After Brooks made a gray elf storm mage (there are gray elves! they have weather magic! they sail!), the PCs immediately leapt into a wacky caper involving a complete lack of teamwork, which left Dave's character bewildered and unengaged. It also left me somewhat confused, and I did not manage to brain well enough to destroy everyone as they deserved. But, the woodblock print was stolen and hardly anything was on fire afterwards, so I guess it was a win for the PCs?

I am really dreadfully bad at this.

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! vol 1-22 (Kate Leth, Brittney L Williams, Natasha Allegri, Megan Wilson, Rachelle Rosenberg) seems more cartoony and more self-consciously modern than what I remember of 4-color comics (from times that were, um, less modern), but is pretty cute even though I'm not entirely fond of the art style.

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