Previously, in Trip's Life...

28 February 2018 - Wednesday

We successfully had 13th Age and Chinese food! First, we had to play Codenames because Ken and Kelsey hadn't arrived, and I still suck at it, but whatever. Then we finished the fight against the dire mantises, avoided the magical gate that leads to literally the tarot card "The Tower", and discovered that something has stolen the giant plant we want, without leaving any sign that it was there except for the giant hole where the plant used to be.

Two more "Flavia de Luce" books, The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley), and I am worrying about this girl. She doesn't seem to go to school, her father mostly ignores her, her sisters abuse her (she abuses them back, but still), her only friends are a bicycle and someone with massive PTSD...

Words: 295. Could have been more, but it was already 8734565932 o'clock at night (instead of only half-past 8734565931).

Flavia by marithlizard (Thu Mar 1 21:45:13 2018)

I am glad you are liking the Flavia de Luce books! They didn't ring entirely convincing to me after the first one, but it's been long enough that I don't quite remember why she seemed off to me. Alternately too smart/dumb/old/young as the plot required, I think. Also the sisters need their own passions and projects.

Re: Flavia by Trip (Fri Mar 2 19:31:53 2018)

Yah, there has been some of that. They are not perfect. But I still like them, so I will keep reading them, although I can imagine getting tired of them before the end of the series.

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27 February 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 381. Two good things have happened to my protagonist in this chapter so far, so I think I need to make things horribly awkward now. (She's 13, there is no situation that can't be horribly awkward.)

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26 February 2018 - Monday

I ran out of Taint to read, so switched to Trials by the same author. It is more LitRPG, but SF (kinda?), and funnier. When your protagonist has sold back their ability to make expressions in voice or speech, everything is deadpan humor!

Words: 503, but most of them are probably a huge lump of exposition that should be edited out.

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25 February 2018 - Sunday

Deirdre is sick, but we had PAD&D5 anyway!

After defeating last session's ambush by boldly leaping into the middle of it and daring the [SPOILER] to do their worst, the Heroines of Red Larch retreat to replenish their resources while the ninjas sneak back in to scout. However, their rest is interrupted by the two most dangerous members of the [SPOILER] Hostage Squad, who are coming to parley with the Heroines' friend about the hostage situation. One of the two has been a thorn in the Heroines' side since the first time they saved Red Larch, but the other, although fundamentally annoying, is polite enough, so they all go up to see [SPOILER].

Meanwhile, Mika and Mara, in disguise as low-ranking [SPOILER], have found a variety of interesting things and people in the [SPOILER] lair (including the probable leader), been volunteered for two separate Villainous Activities, and stabbed a few deserving [SPOILER]. Finally they manage to finagle their way to taking the hostage upstairs to confront the Heroines' ally [SPOILER].

The ninjas rejoin the rest of the group as Lamthanc is failing to prove her accusations on [SPOILER]'s body (fighters are totally OP), and when the thorn in their side sees the hostage, the fight begins.

Once the [SPOILER] are driven off, some secrets about the hostage are revealed, and [SPOILER] realizes the fruits of their recent intellectual labor and departs, leaving the Heroines to clean up.

Also I learned that one of the other players has a girlfriend, which has less than 0 direct impact on my life, but reminds me how much of my youth (and really the rest of my life) I have wasted by being me. Avalon not dumping me notwithstanding.

Words: 227.

Weekly total: 2231.

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24 February 2018 - Saturday

Cleaners: check. Grocery shopping: very heavy, but check. Brain: FAIL.

Turkey chili: YUM.

  • Sailor Moon S 1-2: Jus survived seeing this arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, so now Ayse is determined that she should see the correct version.
  • My Hero Academia 1.5: It's not a school adventure unless there's a teacher who hates the protagonist!
  • Flip Flappers 6: So what exactly is Pure Illusion, then?

Words: 278.

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23 February 2018 - Friday

I am not usually a mystery reader, but Avalon recommended the "Flavia de Luce" series (Alan Bradley) so I picked up the first one, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The protagonist is an 11-year-old girl in rural Britain in 1950, so it is very something. Flavia is pretty great, though. She will definitely grow up to be a supervillain.

Words: 308.

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22 February 2018 - Thursday

Taint is a lot like a shounen fantasy anime in text form, but with some Chinese elements, and a protagonist who is terrifying and not particularly sane. But it's hardly her fault, and regaining her humanity is at the main emotional plot. This may be more difficult when the supporting characters span the range from Chaotic Evil all the way up to True Neutral.

Words: 322.

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21 February 2018 - Wednesday

We knew Brooks couldn't make it for 13th Age and Burnt Rice (not actually burnt, but kind of slow and they messed up the order), but then Kelsey cancelled at the last minute again. Bah!

While waiting for Ken to become available, Dave and Mike and I played Codenames, a word-association game that uses completely different brain cells than most games. I played terribly, but it was fun anyway.

Terraforming Mars is a much more standard board game, although cute enough. We didn't finish, even though we played too late, but I would have done well on the next turn. Really.

She's a street rat from one of the world's few remaining dystopian cyberpunk slums. He's one of the psychic space whales that saved humanity. They fight The System. Honor Among Thieves (Rachel Caine, Anne Aguirre) is definitely not hard SF, but it is pretty charming.

Words: 241. But I stayed up too late writing them, since I couldn't start until after I got back from staying out too late playing Terraforming Mars. Bah.

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20 February 2018 - Tuesday

Bah, work. Can we have fully-automated luxury gay space communism now?

Words: 507.

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19 February 2018 - Monday

What, Trump hasn't been hauled off in chains? This President's Day is defective!

I petted Aspen and she purred! She was sitting in the Basket of Warmth +2, looked at me with big blue eyes like I might commit some horrible act of Thumbed Oppression at any moment, so I sat down beside her and petted her (as I sometimes do). She stopped watching me and eventually made a kind of strange noise, and she was definitely vibrating. What a good kitty!

Apparently Barnes & Noble suck the moose wang, so I did not go in search of manga. (The nearest independent bookstore is more than an hour each way by bus, blah.) I did hunt down an Instant Pot, because Ayse and Ken always use one to make tasty food. Perhaps I could make tasty food! Or, you know, die in a pit.

Words: 348.

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18 February 2018 - Sunday

Despite database failures (not mine!), Marith and I managed to go to Black Panther, and it was as good as people on the Internet said! (I don't understand what white people are complaining about, there was a white guy and he totally did an important thing almost entirely on his own.)

Hurray, Avalon is not dead even though she works too much!

Words: 470.

Weekly total: 2194. I seem to be doing about 300 words per day, on average, which is about 1/6 of NaNoWriMo speed. Bah./p>

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17 February 2018 - Saturday

We had anime even though Ayse has run away with Susan.

  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 10-11: Surprise!
  • My Hero Academia 1.3: Catchup for Marith.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 11: Reunited at last!
  • Flip Flappers 5: I think that might have been Spookytown.

Halcyon City Herald Collection is a supplement for Masks with setting bits, moves for those settings bits ("When you peer through the Time Specs, roll+..."), and some new playbooks. The setting stuff is presented as newspaper clippings, which I think do a decent job of concrete details to build on ("draw maps, leave blanks"), and also reminds people of the role of the press in superhero stories. The new playbooks are the Newborn, the Joined, the Innocent, the Reformed, and the Star, which are definitely advanced playbooks because they each have a very strong theme that could take over a game if left unchecked. Even though they are official playbooks and not wacky 3rd party material, I will sensibly not use them the first time I run Masks (if I ever get to). But I will admire them.

Words: 201.

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16 February 2018 - Friday

It took longer than I hoped, but finally I got the new cluster installed, and it works and is not on fire. So, yay?

Words: 245.

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15 February 2018 - Thursday

There seem to be a lot of entries in the "LitRPG" (person sucked into alternate dimension that is exactly like a computer game down to having literal character sheets), of which I have read only a tiny fraction, but by far the most interesting one I found is Worth the Candle. As soon as he gets dimension-shifted, the main character starts trying to figure out where he is, what "here" even is, and why so much of it looks like literal D&D games he ran. Also, leveling up at computer-game rates is properly viewed as completely terrifying by everyone else who has to learn things for real. Later, it gets kind of meta.

Words: 513, despite Wordscapes.

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14 February 2018 - Wednesday

It seems to be Valentine's Day, and yet there is still an entire continent and a national border between Avalon and me. Hmph.

Words: 387. This time I blame Worth the Candle.

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13 February 2018 - Tuesday

I spent all day trying to fix what I broke yesterday, until people above my (inexplicably not minimum-wage) pay grade decided it would be better to spin up some new servers and start over from scratch.

Oh no, I am caught up on Ward (JC McCrae)! Now I have to wait!

I have not been enjoying Ward as much as Worm (arguably a sign that it is better written, because I am a genre reader with no taste), but it is still quite good, and I want to find out what is going on with all the new characters. I also want many of the antagonists to die horrible deaths, which seems like something that could be in the cards, even if it's more likely to happen to the protagonists.

Words: 166. Bah. I blame TENX.

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12 February 2018 - Monday

Ambari was successfully upgraded last week, so now it's time to upgrade HDP! Or, more accurately, spend all afternoon and late into the evening failing to get it either upgraded or rolled back. On a major production machine. Um. I wonder if Finland is still doing the Universal Basic Income thing? I don't seem to be doing well at providing services for money.

Words: 212.

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11 February 2018 - Sunday

Look, it's PAD&D5! Dave was late, because he went hiking and the trails had changed without the maps or signage being updated, but he did eventually arrive.

The expected defense of Summit Hall against the [SPOILER] Hostage-Taking Squad is derailed by a literal song-and-dance put on by the Squad. Since the only Heroines of Red Larch on the scene are Lamthanc and Hazelrae, neither of them known for their cleverness, the ruse works, and the Retribution Squad escape with their target. Curses!

Even when they are gathered together, the Heroines don't think they can take the Hostage Squad, so they investigate the scene of the crime, and find out the probable target. Then they head back to their ally's location, which is what Lam had been saying they should do all along, so they have some recriminations to occupy their time during the journey.

[SPOILER] is still kind of flipped out, so the Heroines decide they have to handle this on their own, and head back down through the traps (which they can avoid this time) to invade the [SPOILER] lair, and end up fighting a chunk of the Hostage Squad, but fortunately a small enough chunk that they can prevail. Even after fishing Rimardo out of the chasm, they are in bad enough shape that they have to withdraw upstairs and try to rest.

(I didn't realize it until after, but when Jeremy was trying to warn us off the Hostage Squad, he missed a golden opportunity to wave his tentacles and deliver the line, "Are you sure you want to ride this train?".)

Words: 326.

Weekly total: 1847. Oops, still declining. Although if I somehow deserved the benefit of the doubt, I could note that this week had stupid annoying work stuff.

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10 February 2018 - Saturday

I did not manage to get up and functioning before the cleaners arrived, but at least they admired Ghirardelli properly. (Aspen is always hiding when there are humans in her apartment.)

When I tried to go shopping, I discovered that today is Nonny's birthday party! So after shopping and stuff, I went to The Little Gym and watched Nonny and Jus and a bunch of kids have a great time running around and climbing on things and eating pizza. There may have been hugs.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.13-14: The end! Also, cliffhanger for next season (if there is one). Hotaru's dad didn't do as well in this version.
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 9: Poor Chiyo and her umbrella. Poor Miyako and her tanuki editor.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 10: Finally, we see more characters from the framing story! Well, one adorable one, anyway.
  • Flip Flappers 4: "I've seen this episode of Evangelion!" "I've seen this episode of Steven Universe!"

Having run out of Pact, I am now reading Ward (JC McCrae), which is a sequel to Worm. The entire setting is a spoiler for Worm, since it takes place after all the events including the climactic battle, so don't read this first!

Ward follows one of the secondary characters, who had her life ruined and then got it back but now has to do something with it in the new improved world. Only a very few characters overlap with Worm, but these new ones are probably even more messed up. They may also be doomed.

Words: 199.

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9 February 2018 - Friday

With the help of Coworker J and Coworker C, I defeated Ambari. It is now a more recent version, and there's nothing anyone can do about it! Muahahahaha!

I thought it would be a lot longer, but finally I reached the end of Pact (JC McCrae). It turns out to only be about half the length of Worm, which still amounts to like a ten-book series. It is full of doom, because it wouldn't be a Wildbow story without the protagonist getting whittled away mentally, emotionally, and physically in pursuit of their goals, and Pact has some really abrasive surfaces for poor Blake to run into face-first. Or maybe soul-first.

If you like magical magic, and don't mind horror elements, definitely really Pact.

Words: 368.

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8 February 2018 - Thursday

Today's work thing had some more technical content, although it was still hampered by the inability of middle-aged guys to shut the hell up and listen to the presentation. We wrapped up at midday, but New Boss K didn't have to be at the airport until late in the evening, so Coworker J and Coworker S led us to the San Pedro Market, where we ate expensive foods (duck carnitas taco!) and Coworker S admitted to his compulsive ticket-answering disorder. Also I guess we filled New Boss K in on how we do things around (messily).

When I got back to the office, I ended up staying late to mess with stupid Ambari stuff some more. Bah.

Words: 192.

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7 February 2018 - Wednesday

I went into the office so I could at least work on the stupid Ambari thing at work, but was officially instructed that the company event is more important than Ambari, so I used the light rail to zoom straight to the hotel where it's being held, and spent all day being educated on Sales stuff. It was of dubious utility, but I did meet my new boss (and promptly forgot his face, because too many middle-aged white guys in one room), and it was definitely less unpleasant than Ambari.

I skipped out on the festive (read: drunken) company evening in favor 13th Age and Indian food. No Kelsey, but we came up with a good excuse for why her character wasn't there, and we only finished the E1 round of the fight so she can rejoin next week. Er, week after, since next Wednesday is Cute Couples Day.

No terrain stunt until round E4, bah!

Words: 166.

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6 February 2018 - Tuesday

I meant to upgrade Ambari in the morning and then go to the big company thing in the afternoon, but instead I spent all day and into the evening struggling feebly against Ambari before admitting defeat. And I did it from my apartment, which reminded me why I don't like working from home. Ugh.

Ambari sucks.

Words: 242.

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5 February 2018 - Monday

Avalon can walk on her own feets again! It will be longer before she can do jumping spin kicks, which is probably for the best.

Words: 354.

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4 February 2018 - Sunday

I meant to get up in a timely fashion and do the thing, and the other thing, and maybe some additional things. Instead I read Pact until my brain came out, tried to do one thing and failed on account of not being smart enough to ride a bus, and finally did another thing (not the most important thing).

Words: 291.

Weekly total: 2381. Hey, that's more than last week! Maybe I've levelled off!

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3 February 2018 - Saturday

Customers, do not break things on weekends!

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.11-12: Heroic disembodied soul action!
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 8: Prince Girl does not understand why everyone is reading shoujo manga!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 9: Despite the American influence, Japan at that time was not friendly to someone who wants to reshape culture to fit the future.
  • Flip Flappers 3: I don't think missing the first two episodes increased Marith's level of confusion any. Also, the villain from this episode is kind of like something from Kill 6 Billion Demons. Not really, but kind of.

Words: 175.

Marith gave me a good idea for my plot, so I can send everyone careening into a death spiral. I tried to give her a good idea, but I don't think it worked.

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2 February 2018 - Friday

Huh, apparently work has hired someone to manage me and coworker M. I find it somewhat concerning that no one mentioned this to us ahead of time, but I haven't been such an exemplary employee that I deserve special insight into what is happening. Also next week is full of stupid Sales stuff.

Words: 433.

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1 February 2018 - Thursday

Trundling to the vet was not as onerous as I remembered, but bringing back cat food would have been easier if I had thought to bring bags. Sheesh.

Words: 559.

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