Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 May 2018 - Thursday

Marith does not appear to be dead. Perhaps the atmosphere cleanser worked.

Mucus levels down to about 68%.

The lab results came back, and the horrible thing removed from my head the other day is just normal horrible, not special horrible.

Words: 318.

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30 May 2018 - Wednesday

Today I am approximately 73% mucus by volume.

We had no Kelsey, but everyone else was there for 13th Age and yummy Thai food, so we did the thing. This session was more talking, although we did get to bury Brooks's character in a shallow grave and pour libations on his headstone.

Marith tried another allergy test, this time with an atmosphere cleanser for her cat-free space. We will see if she is dead tomorrow!

Smoke Eaters (Sean Grigsby) is sort of a cross between Reign of Fire and Ghostbusters. Dragons have burst up out of the ground and burned down civilization, and also there are vaguely electrical ghosts associated with them. The main character is a firefighter (the kind who puts out fires, even if they were started by dragons) who gets recruited by the elite antidragon forces. Doom ensues. Also, in this timeline, Canada is weird. Bonus points for heroic firefighters, and for a main character who is both old and married. The technology and worldbuilding are very cinematic, though, and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

Words: 137.

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29 May 2018 - Tuesday

Monday is extra-sad when it comes on a Tuesday, somehow.

Today I got sweaty by trundling over to the vet to buy special cat food. I hope the beasts appreciate it, although they probably don't.

Also I have a sore throat, origin unknown. Glrgh.

In Xenotech Rising (Dave Schoeder), aliens have come to Earth to do business and sell exciting alien technology, which definitely requires on-site tech support. Our main character, in true American entrepreneurial fashion, has formed a startup to provide these services in the Atlanta area, but actually seems to mostly use his knowledge of alien languages and user interfaces for thwarting plots and rescuing alien princesses. I mean, I have nothing against heroic tech support, but there's a lot of heroism for someone with a day job.

Words: 189.

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28 May 2018 - Monday

Another lazy and yet sweaty day, but at least this time I avoided a bookstore accident. Only groceries were successfully hunted.

Mostly what I did today was lie in bed and read the manga I bought yesterday. There may also have been a small amount of napping.

  • Astra (Kenta Shinohara) vol 1: Several teenagers with poor characterization try to go camping on a safe alien planet but get eaten by an unexplained glowing orb that teleports them somewhere else. Some of the alien creatures are interesting, although not workable from a physics standpoint.
  • Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction (Ino Asano) vol 1: Tokyo has been invaded by flying saucers (and aliens, although we haven't seen what the aliens look like), so people could randomly be zapped at any time. Two somewhat eccentric schoolgirls attempt to liver their lives in this environment without losing their sanity.
  • Slumbering Beauty (Yumi Unita) vol 1: She's a schoolgirl who sleeps way too much. He's a spirit charged with making sure everyone goes to sleep and wakes up correctly. They fight sleep deprivation and crying babies.
  • The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu) vol 1: Young kids at an apparently idyllic orphanage discover the horrible truth, which is horrible, and must use only their mental stats to survive (because 11-year-olds have terrible physical stats).
  • Magical Girl Site (Kentaro Sato) vol 1: Badly abused schoolgirls get magic items from a dodgy web site. And then the murders started continued.
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Asari Endou, Marui-no): Not technically manga, but translated light novels get an honorary classification. More dark magical girls, or at least darkness in which magical girls are entrapped.

Words: 636.

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27 May 2018 - Sunday

Today I was very lazy, but then spent a lot of time walking around in the hot sun, because I am dumb. But, while failing to use public transit successfully, I did manage to visit the new indie bookstore and have a small accident. Also I bought an atmosphere cleanser which might make things better for Marith, ate fully-toxic ice cream (too rich, gah) and became extremely sweaty.

Don't Meddle With My Daughter vol 1 (Nozomu Tamaki) is two generations of superheroines vs hentai villains, and has no redeeming qualies whatsoever.

Words: 455.

Weekly total: 1738, which is a dozen gross plus ten.

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26 May 2018 - Saturday

This year again, while Ken was at KublaCon, the rest of us took the kids to Fanime to admire the cosplayers. Nonny found the con overwhelming (which is totally fair, it's a lot of loud people!) so eventually Dave had to take him over to the Tech Museum to look at things. Jus, however, has become a cosplayer, which is ideal for someone who likes attention but is shy. All she had to do was be dressed as Peridot, and people wanted to get their picture taken with her! It was the best thing ever!

Next year, perhaps we will get memberships and actually go all through the con, not just visit the nonrestricted areas.

There was no Ken and also no Marith, so Ayse and I Doordashed some delightful catfish and duck with cashews and watched some anime with Jus and Dave.

  • Sailor Moon S 12-13: Aw, we all knew Haruka was a big softy! But now it's time for Wtiches 5!
  • My Hero Academia 14-15: Setup for the sports festival arc. Whatsistoes is going to be a tough rival.

It floated to the top during the recent Great Sorting, so I reread Glitter Kiss (Adrianne Ambrose, Monica Gallagher), which is about boys suffering poetic consequences for being mean to girls. They do learn, but I would still be okay with using teenage boys for fertilizer, and I say this as a former teenage boy myself.

Words: 132.

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25 May 2018 - Friday

I went to the doctor this afternoon, and she cut open my head and pulled gross things out. Then I went home and did laundry.

Words: 258.

Meep! by marithlizard (Tue May 29 06:51:35 2018)

I hope it went okay and she did not steal any of your brains!

Meep! by Trip (Wed May 30 10:05:15 2018)

How would you tell?

deductive reasoning by marithlizard (Wed May 30 11:30:05 2018)

Well, I guess if you were suddenly confused at anime night because you forgot all the plot reveals of one of the shows, then we'd know what was being stored in the bump.

(On the plus side, you'd be able to enjoy it for the first time all over again!)

Re: deductive reasoning by Trip (Thu May 31 11:30:53 2018)

I don't know, I've always been pretty bad at keeping track of the details. I am a poor audiencer.

Re: deductive reasoning by marithlizard (Thu May 31 12:37:54 2018)

That has not been my experience in discussions!

(Also, it is probably good for the universe that not everyone lives on the planet of Hyperfocused Deconstructive Squeeing Fans with me. Some kind of 'conservation of chill' physics principle.)

Re: deductive reasoning by Trip (Thu May 31 15:45:38 2018)

But the squee is so important!

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24 May 2018 - Thursday

I finally got around to reading The Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine (T Kingfisher, who is secretly Ursula Vernon), They are a stand-alone duology, not related to anything else she's done, as far as I know, but very Ursula Vernon. Many of the scenes and characters were obviously painted in her style. Also, the main characters are a ninja accountant and a fallen paladin. They may be adorable.

Words: 215.

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23 May 2018 - Wednesday

The problem with going grocery shopping once a week is that when work randomly changes my dinner (yesterday) or lunch (today) plans at a later minute, everything is thrown into confusion! Cats and cats living together, statues weeping marinara sauce, etc.

After being out late last night, I was dubious about going to gaming, since we have neither Brooks nor Kelsey and would be reduced to Terraforming Mars, but then Mike mentioned Ethiopian food so I showed up to eat enormous quantities of injera and suck enormously at board games.

Tonight Marith tried out living in an apartment with cats but with cat-free rooms! Results to be announced tomorrow.

"The Flowers of Vashnoi" (Lois McMaster Bujold) is #barrayar #ekatarina #bugs #timeoftroubles #tragedy.

Words: 228.

experiment by marithlizard (Fri May 25 17:42:21 2018)

Results: Achoo!

Well, I didn't have a major attack, which is the thing I'm most worried about. But it was not optimal. Next step, try again with a HEPA filter and a separate set of safe-room vs outside clothes (the latter to be quarantined).

Bah, if we have such amazing toys and materials science in this timeline why can't we control our immune systems yet?

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22 May 2018 - Tuesday

Rachel recommended Strange Practice (Vivian Shaw), so I moved it up the queue. It is unquestionably urban fantasy, including mysterious deaths, multiple types of vampires and the terrifying things you find in London's Underground, but it is not action-packed. I mean, things happen, several of them violent, but mostly the characters keep their upper lips stiffened and carry on, rather than engaging in overwrought histrionics. I'm not sure I'm explaining this well, but it was definitely an interesting tone. Also, that was an extremely terrifying thing in the Underground.

Instead of being useful this evening, I hung around the office until my boss, who is in town to placate a customer, and one of my coworkers were available for a work dinner. We went to Orchard City Kitchen and ate American tapas and talked about shaping the product by advocating for customers, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds like.

Then I had to walk home because the bus was no longer running and try to write a tiny amount before dying in a pit.

Words: 169. I said it was a tiny amount!

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21 May 2018 - Monday

An Accident of Stars and A Tyranny of Queens (Foz Meadows) form one story, although there is a definite stopping place at the end of the first book. They are modern portal fantasy, where other dimensions are not populated entirely by culturally-uniform patriarchal straight white neurotypical people, even a terrible high school doesn't prepare one mentally to fight to the death against the evil usurper's goons, and sometimes people die unjustly. And let's not even go into all the fun magical initiation can be. So it is pretty awesome, if not entirely happy for the characters.

Words: 281.

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20 May 2018 - Sunday

This week's PAD&D5 session was mostly fighting, but that's okay. We like fighting, and also getting loot and XP.

While the Heroines of Red Larch are still picking up the pieces from the previous battle, Akrá receives a sending from [SPOILER] about villainous attacks all along [SPOILER]. Pausing only briefly to notify the authorities, stock up on potions, and spend hit dice, the Heroines head out to investigate!

The first information they get is the composition of the forces chasing a caravan that is trying to escape to Yartar. A fight ensues, but the bigger they are, the harder they do, indeed, fall. After the battle, Mika manages to recruit a few of the enemy grunts by being visibly more awesome than their hated former leader; perhaps they will become the temple guard of the Crystal Dragon.

After finally taking a long rest, the Heroines approach [SPOILER], which the sending specifically mentioned as being in trouble, and find a small army besieging it. There are too many for the Heroines to fight directly, but they send Hazelrae and her winged boots in to coordinate with the defenders, and then attack the enemy leaders when they begin their assault. Once again, Rimardo saves the day with banish! The leaders are defeated and, despite their protestations that it was all in the cause of a just society (where those who are naturally taller lead those who are naturally shorter, and all artisans get a fair wage), are sent packing.

However, there is no time to spend the captured payroll, too much evil needs thwarted!

We didn't walk back to the train station because timing (seriously, one train every 90 minutes?!), and then I didn't walk back from the train station because my phone was asleep and I couldn't tell Avalon when to expect me. So, I have mostly failed at generating energy for Walkr, but on the other tentacle, I think I have only one more planet to collect.

Avalon is hampered in her ability to cut toxic people out of her life. This is very unfortunate. 8(

Words: 176.

Weekly total: 1723.

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19 May 2018 - Saturday

After cleaners came and dusted the spare room, I had to do a work, which ended up taking more like three hours than the half an hour I was hoping, so the whole day was thrown off. Eh, who needs grocery shopping anyway?


Still no Eurovision, but we caught up on Steven Universe and then watched some Nirvana in Fire (and also My Hero Academia because Marith's laundry wasn't done when Earl and Cat had to drive home.

  • SU 5.17: Aw, Lapis.
  • NiF 41-42: More and more of the awful truth is coming out, which seems fair since we're like 80% through the season now. But it's not going to do any of the characters any good, I'm pretty sure.
  • MHA 13.5: Recap of the first season.

Words: 164.

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18 May 2018 - Friday

Recursion (Marion G Harmon) does not appear to follow on from the previous book in the series, but that is because being a superhero is always confusing.

The novella Coming To You Live (Mira Grant) returns to the main characters of the original "Newsflesh" trilogy, some years later, but it doesn't have anything to do with the plot, because that's not what it's about. Can an author write fanfic of their own work? That's what this is like, fanfic about what happened to these characters after the trilogy concluded.

Stone Mad (Elizabeth Bear) is a sequel novella to Karen Memory, which apparently I don't remember very well at all. But there are cute lesbians and also a mystery, so that's good.

Words: 286.

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17 May 2018 - Thursday

Last Man Out (Elliott Kay) shows that the previous four books in the series were not just an extended series of flukes, and the main character in fact cannot go anywhere without pissing everyone off and having everything explode. But we get to see more of the alien parts of the setting. Admittedly while they're on fire, but still.

Words: 376.

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16 May 2018 - Wednesday

This week, we had Wuhan-style Chinese food to go with our 13th Age, but no Kelsey. Apparently Wuhan province is right next to Szechuan, and is famous for chili oil and fish, but Ken mostly ordered beef foods. It was pretty good, after I picked out all the death peppers.

Gaming was mostly intrigue and skullduggery, which my character is not great at, but she got to find the guy who had been stuffed into a closet while Ktangs chatted with an imposter.

The Soldier (Neal Asher) continues to doom the Polity future history with even more alien bug monsters and horrifying technology and cyborgs screwing around with civilization-ending artifacts.

Words: 183.

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15 May 2018 - Tuesday

That's it for the manga, I think. Nine boxes to be donated, still a few piles of stuff on the floor. The spare room looks much more like a room, but isn't empty yet.

Rowena's Rescue is apparently the first book by DD Webb (of The Gods are Bastards fame). It's always good when a princess rescues herself, although this isn't quite that, or at least she does it with a lot of help. On the other hand, humans always do things with a lot of help, so maybe it still counts. Anyway, I am sad the other books in this series don't seem to have ever materialized, but TGaB is better.

Words: 306.

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14 May 2018 - Monday

Converted three more boxes into two boxes for donation, and cleaned up some of the piles on the floor.

Words: 232.

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13 May 2018 - Sunday

I think the girl at the bus stop by the grocery store was secretly a Love Nikki character: thin, blue hair, miniskirt/overalls, black cap with a band of studs. Clearly a good omen!

I converted ten boxes of manga and art books into five boxes for donation and a bunch of unsightly piles all over the floor. Also I saw that tumblr is full of MASSIVE SPOILERS for Steven Universe episodes I haven't watched yet.

Words: 269.

Weekly total: 1786. Not as weak as I feared, considering how much book sorting I did. But still pretty weak.

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12 May 2018 - Saturday

Instead of my boring old Saturday routine, I spent the middle part of the day taking 16 boxes of books to Thrift Box so they can go to good homes and maybe benefit a children's hospital along the way. That's a total of 20 boxes removed from the spare room, and pretty much all the prose books, but I still have boxes and boxes of manga and art books and gaming books and I don't know if the Thrift Box even wants them (the person who could make that decision wasn't available). Physical objects are so annoying.

The only version of Eurovision that Ayse accepts was not available, but Earl and Cat were, so we watched...

  • Nirvana in Fire 38-40: It turns out being paranoid and suspicious doesn't make you harder to manipulate. Who would have guessed? But is Mei Changsu going to complete his design before he runs out of Constitution?

Words: 305.

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11 May 2018 - Friday

I went to the doctor about the weird lump on my head, and she said it can totally come right off, so I made a followup appointment.

Hurray, there's a new Murderbot book (Artificial Condition, Martha Wells) out! Hurray, Murderbot made a soaps-watching friend!

Hugging would be completely inappropriate, but I want to send Murderbot hundreds of hours of media of people being nice to each other.

The 6th book in the "Dire" series by Andrew Seiple, Dire: Hell, is pretty much what it says on the tin, or at least what naturally follows from the cliffhanger at the end of the previous book: powered-armor gadgeteer versus literal Hell and all its demons. It goes about as one might expect.

Words: 198.

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10 May 2018 - Thursday

Wow, the Canada Gooses hanging out on the creek path where I go home are fearless. I guess that's good, they'll be easier prey when civilization collapses.

Also there was a lizard sitting on the path, which seemed like a good way to get run over, so I nudged it until it scampered away. That it didn't leave until then makes me think it was sick, so probably I should keep other lizards away from my shoes in case it's catching.

I have approximately a zillion boxes of books that need to move out of the spare room by Saturday week. I managed to get the library to take four boxes that I had already staged out of the spare room, so um now there's more room for processing more boxes in the living room? This would work better if I were more organized.

Marith's glasses fell apart and she imploded, so I had to help her find the missing lens. But it all worked out in the end, and she said nice things about me on tumblr.

Death's Bright Day and Though Hell Should Bar The Way (David Drake) are the Nth and N+1th in the series about the intrepid starship captain and the murder librarian. The latter is actually from the PoV of a different character, though, which is unprecedented. Also, Barbary pirates in space.

Words: 180.

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9 May 2018 - Wednesday

Even though my arm has been feeling okay for the past few weeks, I went to my long-scheduled PT appointment today and got some exercises that I should do to keep it from hurting again. It was much more interesting than going to work.

Today, we have noodles to go with our 13th Age, and also Kelsey is back because they let her out from the thesis mines occasionally now.

This session, council hijinx, which don't devolve into violence because of the magic of Concord. Kazannethorim even talked to an orc!

Maybe I shouldn't have made a less political character.

Words: 135.

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8 May 2018 - Tuesday

Yay, it's Avalon!

Words: 388.

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7 May 2018 - Monday

The under-sink hot water heater that feeds the office sink and dishwasher exploded over the weekend. Bummer.

Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her (Richard Roberts) is the conclusion of Bad Penny's story, which is bad because I like reading about Penny, but good because resolution. As a book, though, it seems to fall a little short of the previous four. The action doesn't really escalate; it's a series of events that sort of happen without strongly leading into the next, and then a final battle. The characterization doesn't seem consistent, although to be fair the first-person narrator is in a very different position relative to most of the characters than in previous books. Likewise, I'm not sure Penny's attitude toward them is reasonable, but then she's under kind of a lot of stress. Also this book definitely needs proofread, which is minor but another hint that it did not get properly edited.

Not that I could do better, mind you.

Words: 311.

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6 May 2018 - Sunday

We had everyone for PAD&D5 this fortnight! Also, we were all unfocused and ridiculous, which is better than only some people being unfocused and ridiculous, and the rest being frustrated.

Having survived last sessions's Wonderland sequence, the Heroines of Red Larch can now try to interact with Yartar the way they meant to, but of course they are foiled again. A delegation from [SPOILER] has come to town to arrange a prisoner exchange, with the same kind of destruction that the Heroines have already saved Yartar from once (on two different occasions) as leverage. This perfidy cannot be allowed!

A set of unintentionally wacky hijinx ensues, but the Heroines manage to rescue [SPOILER], untangle the intrigues of [SPOILER], and finally trigger a three-way battle at the [SPOILER], which the Heroines win handily by having brought a 9th-level cleric to a sorcerer fight.

I ate way too much cheese.

Words: 204.

Weekly total: 1953.

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5 May 2018 - Saturday

  • Sailor Moon S 11: Poor Sailor V, who has to save the world instead of chasing volleyball boys!
  • Laidback Camp 1: Camping! With scenery and exposition! Jus is watching this with her mom, so it can go in the bedtime slot, probably followed by Non Non Biyori.
  • Flip Flappers 12-13: The End! The very disturbing end that leaves important questions completely unanswered, or perhaps unasks them! Really, no one expected more resolution, right?

Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis (Richard Roberts) is the last reread. Now I can start the final battle!

Words: 228.

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4 May 2018 - Friday

Reread Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up The Moon (Richard Roberts), the second book, in which the main character gets taken for a supervillain by an entire separate set of people.

<spoiler> Aside from telling everyone she's a supervillain, she ostentatiously uses the powers of two known inimical forces, so that when anyone else uses those powers for evil, she gets accused of being in cahoots with them. </spoiler>

Also reread Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen (Richard Roberts), but by this point supervillainy is taken for granted.

Words: 313.

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3 May 2018 - Thursday

Finally finished rereading Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain (Richard Roberts), in which some perfectly nice(ish) 8th-graders inadvertently become supervillains. Can I learn anything from this? (Okay, okay, "if I were capable of learning", whatever.)

<spoiler> They start off by stumbling into a trap laid for supervillains. They don't want the bait, the setup of the trap just annoys them, but anything a supervillain trap catches must be a supervillain, especially when they are caught on video defeating a superhero. Then an aspiring supervillain (from a family of villains) calls them out, and the same superhero and her friends fight them again, with witnesses. At that point, their fate is pretty much sealed, and established villains start inviting them to hang out, hooking them up with fences, giving them gigs, etc. </spoiler>

In summary, judgy superheroes (or other authority figures?) seem key.

Words: 487, but most of it was description so detailed as to constitute an infodump, which will have to be exploded with fire.

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2 May 2018 - Wednesday

Because I ended up stopping by home before 13th Age and Indian food, I was able to taunt Ken with The Book of Demons. However, this session was all about trying to get the magic spear from the crazy monster in the basement without getting our asses kicked again, and then cutting to some political intrigue. Might be demons there, I suppose.

Words: 240.

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1 May 2018 - Tuesday

Hurray, Avalon had an evening free! For smooches! Well, remote smooches, anyway.

Words: 220. I know that the bit where I restarted earlier is not far enough back, but if I go further back, what do I do? Maybe I just have to write the however much preamble and later delete everything before the story begins.

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