Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site

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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

5 Most Recent Comments
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
2019-02-11:  "computer woes" by marithlizard

24 May 2019 - Friday

Today I determined that we can't do the thing, which is not really surprising, but there was a huge thing so the person I wanted to ask about a rumored workaround for the thing was superbusy and I did not accomplish anything at all.

I have been at this job for months or weeks or what even is time anyway and I am still useless and probably they will compost me soon.


Oh, hey, look, even crazy vampires want to know their leader still has two brain cells to rub together.


The Sword of Summer, The Hammer of Thor, and The Ship of the Dead (Rick Riordan) are the "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard" trilogy, which like the author's other works is about teenage demigods. Having lulled the Establishment into a false sense of security with the whitebread characters of his earlier books, he can now put in Muslim valkyries and genderfluid einherjar and elves with disabilities and dwarven fashion designers and they can't do anything about it because money!

These books are for preteens, so they have absolutely no sex in, which is kind of awkward when it comes to things like "Where did Freya get all this jewelry?".


Words: FAIL. I meant to do some but then it was a million o'clock at night.

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23 May 2019 - Thursday

I missed my chance at another ticket at work. Ugh.


Words: 181.

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22 May 2019 - Wednesday

No Mike, but we had everyone else, so Ken started us through the Eclipse Phase 2E playtest scenario. EP is a game that requires a lot of infodumping, and then we had to pick characters and get a mission briefing, so we had not reached the stage of rolling dice by the time we had to stop having fun, but everyone was having a good time and looking forward to doing more when Mike inevitably blows us off again.


Words: FAIL.

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21 May 2019 - Tuesday

Today I facilitated a customer meeting, which mostly involved wrangling a senior person, but then I got to listen to him rant about the product for an hour, so that was educational.


Apparently Marith spends her time reading about what people on the Internet like, and they still really like Castlevania, so we tried starting the second season. At least now they're doing something, instead of just trying to get the PCs together. It's still weird for animated characters to say "fuck", though.

Elementary was the "oh, looks like Julian Assange and Anonymous are a thing this week" episode.


Words: FAIL.

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20 May 2019 - Monday

I almost did a ticket today, but the guy who gets to all tickets right away got to it first. Bah.


Apparently Rotten Tomatoes likes Castlevania, so we watched the rest of the first "season" (really more of an extended pilot), but Marith still sees nothing in it. I liked the bishop-eating monster, but it didn't last long.

Elementary didn't get P=NP entirely wrong, just wrong for all practical purposes and also technically wrong (which must be the best kind of wrong).


Blood Echo (Christopher Rice) is the sequel to Bone Music but does not address any of the issues related to the behavior of bodies. Also their entire endeavor could use an ethicist. Maybe several. With shock prods.

Loot Harder is another treasure (meaning magic item) supplement for 13th Age. Many of the items have interesting descriptions, but are hampered by being written up in the 13th Age paradigm.


Words: FAIL.

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19 May 2019 - Sunday

Since we finished Jeremy's campaign, this week Dave ran the first part of the Sentinel Comics RPG starter kit! I'd already played it when Robert ran it in Roseville (but also only the first issue) so maybe I was kind of helpful, but anyway Dave explained everything and we chose characters (Deirdre: Absolute Zero; Edie: Wraith; Jeremy: Legacy; Rachel: Bunker; Trip: Unity) and figured out the mechanics with the aid of many small sticky notes and beat up the spiderbots. Everyone seemed to like it, so we will try the second issue next fortnight! Poor Hazel will get stuck with Tachyon, because she was visiting colleges or something silly like that.


Based on Earl's recommendation, we tried watching Castlevania, but after two episodes Marith decided it was too much grossness for not enough interestingness. Instead we started S2 of Elementary, which had some character growth. Also tourist shots of London.


Gleipnir (Sun Takeda) is about strange transformations and terrible people and mysterious tokens and a vending machine of surreality. It deserves the M rating, but I want to know what is going on!


Words: FAIL.

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18 May 2019 - Saturday

I meant to do the thing early, but I was lazy so I ended up doing the thing at the normal time. Oh well.

In the evening, Eurovision! We had Earl and Cat as well as the usual suspects, and we ate many hummuses and Cat and Ayse got somewhat tipsy and we listened to many songs and the snarky BBC commentator (VPN for the win!) and eventually it was very late, but Eurovision called people all across the world to get numbers and added them up and the wrong song won, so we went home to sleep. Eurovision!


Words: FAIL.

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17 May 2019 - Friday

There was a happy hour thing at work, but I completely failed to mingle because I suck at humaning.


We failed to game on Wednesday for various germ-related reasons, but we called tonight's Gloomhaven scenario a gaming night and had delicious Thai food in accordance with the ancient prophecies (extended dance remix). I got a ride down to San Jose with Brooks because he was out of work early, which was very nice of him but confirms my belief that driving is not the way to go.

We did a cave full of drakes that ended in a TPK before, but that's because they didn't have a murder rat. (Recountings of the first room differed, but I choose to believe the one where it took ages to get through the fire demons' retaliation and damage reduction, because it makes mind controlling one demon to shoot the other and take the retaliation more impressive.) It did take until 23:00, so it's for the best that we didn't try to play on Wednesday.

Now the murder rat has enough money to add +1 Move to Scurry, which is ¾ of the way to completing her personal goal! I think the class that she unlocks is already unlocked, though.


Bone Music (Christopher Rice, who is apparently Anne Rice's offspring but we shouldn't hold that against him) starts off like a thriller but is at least a technothriller once the maguffin appears. So far it's all about the serial killers, and none about the fact that bodies just don't work that way (in either the biochemical or Newtonian sense), so maybe it should be filed as superhero fiction, which is always fantasy no matter how many mad scientists are involved. Bonus points for gay people being just as stupid as straight people, I guess?

A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (ed Jennifer Brozek) is an short anthology of teenagers vs the Mythos, in various forms. Sometimes they are steadfast teenagers, sometimes they are corrupt teenagers, but most of the stories are good. I plan to look for more stuff by some of the authors!


Words: FAIL.

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16 May 2019 - Thursday

I now have the power to make changes to documentation on the website! But there's still reviewers between me and ultimate power, boo.


Hey, look, I'm caught up on this stupid blog! Also I have configured my phone to bug the absolute crap out of me about going to bed. It's not really adulting, but it's something.


We have finished the first season of Elementary! Holmes vs Moriarty, in brain-to-brain combat!


I keep reading books by Stephen Hunt because they're almost good, but then they don't quite make it, and Empty Between The Stars is no exception. I think it might be good if the enhanced intellects were actually smarter than unaugmented humans, but really it's just a James Bond movie in the future of AI gods: dashing male agent, plenty of gadgets, named female characters are either comic relief or are superlatively beautiful and drag him into bed, dead bodies littering the landscape. The ideological divide was good, though.


Words: FAIL.

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15 May 2019 - Wednesday

Sitting up to use the large monitor seems to make me less sleepy than hunching over the laptop, which is good.


No gaming because everyone is busy or dead or something.


Elementary is entering the end-of-season death spiral with the antepenultimate episode. That's a cliffhanger, all right!


Alysha's Fall (MCA Hogarth) are the first book and prequel in one of the author's earlier "Peltedverse" series. It turns out Alysha's backstory is in fact every bit as horrible and traumatic as Second implies, but she might have gained wisdom from it.

Hell Divers (Nicholas Sansbury Smith) is basically a summer blockbuster movie in book form, right down to the plucky kid and the unnecessarily glowing equipment. It would probably be an okay movie, but that's about the level of worldbuilding it has.

The 13th Age Book of Demons starts off with a demonologist class that, like all 13th Age classes, is an interesting idea implemented with too many fiddly bits that don't make enough of a difference and then goes into bunch of hellholes in varying levels of detail, all of which would make great adventures, and ends with a description of a possible First Triumph (terrifying and fascist) and suggestions for the Diabolist's lair (terrifying and surreal). Great ideas dragged down by a system that (to be charitable) I just don't get.


Words: FAIL.

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14 May 2019 - Tuesday

Now I have a regular weekly one-on-one with my supervisor (I think she's not technically my manager, just team lead), just like a real employee. But I am still not very smart.


In the first volume of Witch Hat Atelier (Kamome Shirahama), a young girl ends up being apprenticed to a magician because she found out the dark secret and the "real" apprentices all hate her and there is some intrigue going on with how she found out and the art is very pretty.

The Child Prince (Honor Raconteur) is also about magic and magicians and not D&D. It's what would have been standard fantasy before D&D ate everything, with a cursed prince and a wizard living in a giant earth elemental and dragons and everything. Definite bonus points for having magic that is fairy kisses and crystallized sunlight, not reskinned electricity.

All The Different Shades of Blue (WR Gingell) is a pretty short piece in the "Between..." settings, which lets us see Pet from an external perspective, and she's really kind of terrifying.


We aren't even done with the first of six seasons of Elementary and it looks like the Moriarty plot is about explode. What will they do for five more seasons?


Words: FAIL.

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13 May 2019 - Monday

I still have some coughing, but not as much, so hopefully I was less offensive to my coworkers today. Also I tried doing a ticket, but I did it wrong, so it's just as well the person who knows what he's doing is the one who actually responded to the customer.


Apparently it's not only the viewers who think that something fishy is going on in the Land of the Lustrous, but the season ended before Phos could actually find anything out, or even find out what momentous pronouncement Sensei had!


Make Me No Grave (Hayley Stone) has fantasy elements, but it's mostly about redemption and moral ambiguity and gunfights, because it's a Western.

The art style of Yuri Bear Storm (Ikunigomakinako, Akiko Morishima) makes it look like standard high-school shoujo, but really it's super gay and I don't mean in some subtextual or metaphorical way and everyone remembers their childhood as fairytales and some people can see the secret truth that everything is made of lesbian bears that want to date and/or devour human girls and as of volume 2 the sex is definitely real and the anthropophagy hasn't been ruled out!


Words: FAIL.

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12 May 2019 - Sunday

Finally I managed to see Avengers: Endgame! I might have seen it sooner if I had anyone to go with, but Marith never saw Infinity War and no one else watches movies.

It was pretty good! I'm not sure I support how everyone ended up, I think some people should have done better and some worse, but overall it was good. Also, [SPOILER], wow.


I texted my mom for Mother's Day, and ended up talking awkwardly to her on the phone for like an hour. I am so bad at phones.


Watched more Elementary. Finally, they have a housekeeper named Hudson! Also clever criminals, and Joan is getting better at detection because Holmes is being less of a butt.


O Maidens In Your Savage Season (Mari Okada, Nao Emoto) is about high-school girls who end up reading novels with sex scenes for their literature club and get in a tizzy about sex and then more of a tizzy because sex is actually a thing that other people do and then angst because of so much tizzy &c. But no yuri in the first volume, what is even wrong with these people?


Words: FAIL.

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11 May 2019 - Saturday

I still have the coughing, so I wimped out and rode the bus to grocery shopping. This would have been more indulgent if I hadn't had to run the last block to catch the bus that was rerouted due to some thing happening in Willow Glen.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 156: I think this is the first target we've seen that didn't have even a standard pink magic soul. Maybe that's why whatsertoes was able to blandish him?
  • RWBY 1.11-15: Jaune's secret, and Blake's secret. Also, Penny.
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 12-13: The emotional and triumphant end!
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 5: I remember the "Tohru goes back to her horrible relatives" arc taking longer in the manga, but for her sake, I'm glad it only lasted one episode!

Pet develops even more alarming powers and her Behindkind are even bigger gits in Between Floors (WR Gingell).


Words: FAIL, but Ayse may have persuaded me to watch less TV with Marith and banish her to her bioexclusion zone so I can write and/or go to bed at a sensible hour. Maybe.

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10 May 2019 - Friday

Today I had less mucus, but more coughing. I watched a lot of training videos, so presumably now I am not less ept than a customer.


We watched some more Land of the Lustrous, and yikes! Phos was kind of annoying before, but I don't think this new improved Phos is better!


Words: FAIL.

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9 May 2019 - Thursday

Today I evolved into a being composed of 100% hand-crafted artisanal mucus. I feel bad for the person at an adjacent desk.

There was a technical meeting, but my brain is too small.


Sherlock Holmes is not just the worst roommate, but the worst mentor.


Smokin' Parade (Jinsei Kataoka, Kazuma Kondou) is very meh. I mean, it has cyborgs fighting monsters, and naked women bathing in tubs full of eyeballs and blood, but it doesn't speak to me.

On The Shoulders of Titans (Andrew Rowe) is the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. It does address some of the plot threads already in existence, but mostly by adding more mysteries. This is not a bad approach.


Words: FAIL.

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8 May 2019 - Wednesday

I got some extra brain from special training session, but people are so busy I don't have much chance to feed on their neurons.


Brooks doesn't work where I thought he did, so I can't easily carpool with him, but it turns out the extended dance remix of my regular commute gets me to gaming at the same time as him.

This week, we annoyed the lamia until she noticed us breaking in and used the Gong of No Saving Throw to disable us while she scarpered. Then we broke in very slowly and cautiously, accomplishing little. At least I got to turn into a giant spider, but no one really cared next to Mike's character doing as much damage in one round as the entire party has in hit points. Because D&D.


Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Andrew Rowe) is in the very specific subgenre where the author creates an involved and numerically quantifiable magic system and the main character learns it. Part of this involves giant structures full of impossible architecture, contrived puzzles, and monsters with no means of support, but on the other hand, ace and genderfluid representation.


Words: FAIL.

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7 May 2019 - Tuesday

I didn't fall asleep during the scrum meeting this time!


In Between Shifts (WR Gingell), Pet has to go undercover at a supermarket, because more monsters. She still doesn't give any supernaturals any respect whatsoever, because they don't deserve it.

The Singularity Trap (Dennis E Taylor) is about humans surviving alien attention through game theory and general obnoxiousness. It does have some modern stuff, but really it feels like a story from some decades ago.


Another couple episodes of Land of the Lustrous. Hm, that's interesting!


Words: FAIL.

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6 May 2019 - Monday

I went to work and did um something. Read docs, I guess. It was not actually that exciting.


Watched more Elementary. Ah, the drama of rent-controlled apartments in New York.


Between Jobs (WR Gingell) is the story of a nameless, off-the-grid teenager in Tasmania who gets adopted as a housekeeper/pet (not like that!) for a trio of monster-hunting monsters. She does not give them the respect they feel they deserve because frankly, they're all gits. Also something weird is clearly going on with her. Good descriptions of the multiple levels of reality blending into each other.


Words: FAIL.

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5 May 2019 - Sunday

Little did we know when we planned to meet for PAD&D5 today that it was going to be the grand finale of the campaign!

First we played the battle of the [SPOILER] who were stuck to the walls last session, along with Hazelrae and Lance, to take back their clockwork spaceship from the [SPOILER]. The drink dispenser was a complete writeoff, but the chupaqueso dispenser and the ships's cat lizard mascot survived intact. Plasma cannon for the win!

Once the disposition of the spaceship was settled, we switched back to the rest of the Heroines of Redlarch, who were in an infinite void with infinite quantities of [SPOILER] pouring into the abyss beneath them and infinite quantities of [SPOILER] somewhere infinitely far that way, and a huge creature representing each of those there to eat the Heroines (and everything else). There were also additional [SPOILER] who needed to get back to the looming spaceship to bring it to full combat effectiveness.

The Heroines collectively have the tactical sense of a rutabaga, but it just so happens they decide to focus on one huge beast first and let the spaceship (with Hazelrae and some [SPOILER] keep the other busy, and it turns out to be the right thing to do. Hardly anyone gets swept over the edge into the abyss, and Akrá gets rescued by Lance and conveyed to the spaceship to man one of the secondary weapons (somehow we determined it was the chupacabra machine, I accept no responsibility for this) so it's all good.

Having now defeated all four [SPOILER], the Heroines of Red Larch are deemed the winners, and the world is saved! No one expected that, but there it is!

Next, Dave will run the Sentinels of the Multiverse quickstart pack and we'll see if people like it. If so, we will punish him by making him run more.


We watched some Elementary and some Land of the Lustrous. One of these involved a giant snail.


Words: FAIL.

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4 May 2019 - Saturday

The cleaners are only once a month at this point, which doesn't seem to have made Marith explode, but I don't know that she'd tell me. Maybe she spends all the time I'm at work huffing the filtered air from her atmosphere cleanser.

I meant to go shopping on time, but was distracted by reading, so everything was terrible.


  • RWBY 1.10: Ruby's first leadership crisis!
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 10-11: Hurray, they made it to the base! And it hasn't been taken over by shoggoths! Their youtube comments might have been taken over by social climbers, though.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 8: Aww, Reina taking care of sick Kumiko!
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 4: Kagura's violence no longer seems as funny, for some reason.

I'd read the beta of the 13th Age Book of Ages (Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan) and the published version seems substantially identical. It's still full of great ideas, I just don't want to use D&D to play them!

In Empowered and the Soldier of Love (Adam Warren, Karla Diaz), Empowered has to save the city (again) because her teammates are useless (even more than usual) from a magical girl with the powers of love and a magic pangolin. This goes about as well as you might expect. Notable for not having Adam Warren art because, according to the author notes, he can't draw frilly stuff and would probably die if he tried, which seems legit based on his existing art.


Words: FAIL.

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3 May 2019 - Friday

After four days of wearing grown-up shirts, I ran out of ones that I like, so I tried wearing a tshirt with my slacks. Apparently I use my forearms for cooling but not my calves, because I felt about 73% less stuffy. Also no one pointed and laughed (especially not the guy sitting one row in front of me in the office, who wears cargo shorts and cusses like a sailor but is the VP of Eng), so I think that's about as much of a grownup as I can be for now.


I'm surprised it took this long for Elementary to introduce Col Sebastian Moran and Moriarty, but clearly they are in this for the multi-season haul.

As advertised, Land of the Lustrous is about living gems, but is nothing at all like Steven Universe! It is very mysterious, in fact, but also nonbinary (although it's hard not to see the gems as female a lot of the time). We'll have to see where it goes.


The latest book from Eva Darrows, Belly Up, is not genre like The Awesome but I liked it a lot anyway. It is about a teenaged girl who ends up pregnant, but it is not horrible because she has an awesome family and best friend. Surprisingly, it is not even as intense as Dead Little Mean Girl.


Words: FAIL.

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2 May 2019 - Thursday

The first event was a little later today, and also I knew what I was doing, so I was able to sleep in more than yesterday, but not as much as I would have liked. Also the train didn't work quite right, but I couldn't do anything except wait for them to get their act together, so overall the morning could definitely have been worse

This second (and thankfully final) day of the user summit was presentations by customers about what they were doing with the product. Some of the presentations were pretty bad (poor English, which as a monolingual I can't actually condemn, but it might have been better to have someone else deliver the presentation; terrible unreadable slides; general scatteredness), but others were good, even if I did sometimes think, "wow, the capitalism is really piling up in here". But someone has been running the product for eight years without downtime, which makes supporting it seem both more and less doable. Also, the new nonvolatile memory from Intel looks really slick.

I undoubtedly should have stuck aorund to network, but my brain hurt after two days of conference, and the food wasn't as appealing, so I left right after the last scheduled thing.


Today's commute reading was Last Bastion (Rachel Aaron, Travis Bach), the sequel to Forever Fantasy Online. Unfortunately, this volume is also all about the immediate battles (and Roxxy being a butthead), not about how this predicament came to exist for them to even be in, and not even much about suddenly being in new different bodies. The very last line suggests that we might get some of that in the next book, but is probably false cake.


Words: FAIL.

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1 May 2019 - Wednesday

I didn't want to, but I got up at 4:30 to walk to the train station to ride the train to San Francisco to ride a bus to the hotel where the user summit is being held. It actually worked out just fine, which is good, because I'm not sure I could have handled any deviations from the plan.

The summit had many people, and it was very warm, and a lot of people don't know how to give presentations, but except for when I was falling asleep it was reasonably informative. The morning was mostly technical stuff, which I need to know, so that was good. Also they gave us plenty of food, with a buffet including dim sum for dinner.

On the commute home, I finished Spinning Silver (Naomi Novik), which was very good. It is the best version of Rumplestiltskin but it is also Beauty and the Beast and several more fairy tales combined into one coherent narrative and all the women are brave and smart and all the men are beautiful gits and it is great! Also Jewish.

Then when I finally got home, we watched the last two episodes of Planet With, which were a bit Gurren Laganish. I think the series was a little long, there was too much fighting and not enough philosophy, but I do not demand those six hours of my life back or anything, and it's always good to see compassion and forgiveness espoused as virtues.

I have to get up again tomorrow.


Words: FAIL.

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30 April 2019 - Tuesday

Hm, this commute gets even more annoying if the bus for the first leg is late. Bah!

But I did get to work, and managed to follow simple instructions, which people professed to be amazed by. They didn't even fire me!


Avalon is still alive, but her work is even crazier. One might think a boss who teaches classes in giving feedback could do a performance review sanely, but apparently one would be sorely mistaken.

I meant to go to bed early, but didn't do a very good job.


Words: FAIL.

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29 April 2019 - Monday

It takes about an hour and a half to get to work, which is certainly not the worst commute ever, or even in living memory, but does seem like it after my 20-minute commute at my last job. Bah.

I shook many hands, and got assigned a lot of reading, and also learned that I need to be at the customer summit in San Francisco on Wednesday and Thursday.

The summit starts at 8:00.


Words: FAIL.

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28 April 2019 - Sunday

Ken invited me to play Gloomhaven, but I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, so I sadly declined. I did not accomplish anything else today, either.


We finished the demiseason of She-Ra, and it continued to be good. Also, doomed.


Words: FAIL.

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27 April 2019 - Saturday

Today I went to "Spring Fling" at Jus and Nonny's school. (Marith did not go because there was sun and allergens and also she is made of stress.) There was also running, although not as much as last year on Jus and Nonny's part. Jus's friend ran at least 17 miles, though, which is just crazy for a 3rd-grader!

Then I went shopping and tried to meet up with Marith to go to anime, but she betrayed me by already being there to talk to Dave about her computer and also show him a bunch of RWBY! But I made it anyway, so there!


Words: FAIL.

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26 April 2019 - Friday

Yay, the new season of She-Ra is out! We only managed to watch the first four episodes because my brain is so small, but it was good! Poor Scorpia! Poor Adora! Shadowweaver backstory! Hordak backstory and goals!


Words: 360, but my words do not count as success. Marith's do, though.

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25 April 2019 - Thursday

We watched some more Elementary, but wanted something to contrast it with, so we watched Planet With from the computer. Finally, the [SPOILER] Faction makes their big move!


Words: FAIL.

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24 April 2019 - Wednesday

Ken's germs are less alarming this week, so we had everyone available for Kelsey's D&D5 adventure! This session, our heroes(?) managed to obtain camels and other essential supplies and travel into the desert, where they ended up at what they're pretty sure is the Screaming Place. No, overly friendly monster, we would not like to come in and enjoy your hospitality!


A Memory Called Empire (Arkady Martine) is about brains, culture, diplomacy, identity, poetry, treason, and all sorts of other good things! It is definitely in the same sub-genre as Ancillary Justice, and the cover promises sequels!


Words: FAIL.

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23 April 2019 - Tuesday

Ugh, Planet With is in the new format that doesn't work on the ancient Crunchyroll app on my ancient Apple TV. Maybe I should upgrade to something that's not abandoned by the manufacturer.

So we watched like three episodes of Elementary, and Holmes is still the worst roommate ever. Also some people died.


Words: FAIL.

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22 April 2019 - Monday

Since I have a signed offer letter, I called the other company that wanted to interview me and offered condolences that they wouldn't be able to hire me this time.


After some delay due to not being very smart, I read volumes four and five of Made in Abyss (Akihito Tsukushi). Well, that was dark and terrifying!


Words: FAIL.

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21 April 2019 - Sunday

Finally the germ count is low enough for Jeremy to run PAD&D5, but Deirdre has broken a crown and must seek emergency dental care on Easter Sunday, which sounds like the exact opposite of fun. :( But if we have N-1, we must game!

Since none of us were at the last session, Jeremy summarized how, with the help of [SPOILER], we successfully assaulted [SPOILER] and destroyed it with [SPOILER], but then everything collapsed and the tentacles came. (But Hazelrae was abducted by multidimensional rings of light just before everything went to hell, again.)

The former Heroines of Red Larch, now hanging out in a water-filled place of bad angles as the chief lieutenants of the Divine Masters (aka [SPOILER]) have to compete with each other for status and power. When the struggle inevitably turns violent (coughMaracough), the Heroines reduced to 0 HP wake back up in their right minds, courtesy of the Crystal Dragon. Then they have to deal with their erstwhile minions, but that's not very difficult. There's a reason those guys were only minions.

But, near the end of the battle before Lamthanc has been cured, a hideous demon grabs her holy axe and runs off with it! The Heroines chase it into another place full of bad angles and also tentacle monsters and foul water. As usual, Rimardo complains about being useless and then pretty much wins the encounter single-handedly, so Lam does get her axe back, although it has demon cooties all over it. Also, the [SPOILER] who helped them last session are stuck to the walls of the place with tentacles (boo!) and still bear the marks of being servents of the [SPOILER]. And if that wasn't enough, this is clearly all taking place back [SPOILER]! The Heroines are in quite a pickle, and time to save the world is running out!


Even though I hate cars being used for only my benefit, I let Ayse and Ken talk Marith into coming and fetching me from gaming, because there wasn't any other way I was going to make it to Easter dinner. (She drove Dave too, but he doesn't eat, drink, or make merry, so he was just a bonus.) So I did make it, and Earl and Cat were there, and Ken made me delicious salmon to eat instead of ham, and then we watched an episode of Love Death + Robots that I think was by John Scalzi and everyone went home because some people who are not me have to go to work tomorrow.


Words: FAIL.

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20 April 2019 - Saturday

The kids made eggs bright pastel colors, because it is that time of year.


This is the fourth day in a row I've been at Monkeycats'.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 154: Venus, Jupiter, do not fight over the cute guy! It only plays into the enemy's hands!
  • RWBY 1.1-2: Since we ran out of things to watch while Ayse and Ken are busy, we're showing Dave RWBY. He doesn't hate it yet!
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 1-2: Hurray for the new Furuba! I have not read the manga as many dozens of times as some people, but it seems like this anime is sticking pretty close.

Words: FAIL.

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19 April 2019 - Friday

The actual offer letter arrived today, and none of the questions I had would actually make a difference to whether I signed it, so I did. Now I provisionally work for Aerospike unless someone calls them up and tells them horrible things about me before I start on Monday week.

This is both less stressful, in that now I know I'm not doomed, but also more stressful because I have a definite thing that I have to do and it involves new people augh!


Ayse and Jus are out doing Girl Scout camping, leaving Ken bereft (after Nonny goes to bed), so we had more Gloomhaven. Unfortunately, after about an hour I rushed forward too aggressively and things went so badly that we decided to restart the scenario. We technically finished before midnight, but then I had to get home, so blargh. Also the new 4th level card didn't get to be amazing, because the enemies were strung our in a line instead of clumped up.

Ken completed the life goal he drew for the Cragheart, which was to murder X number of vermlings, so we got our first character retirement!


I finally finished reading the existing nine volumes of Ms. Marvel (G Willow Wilson, Ian Herring, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, et al), and it was about as good as people said! I mean, it's a comic, so many parts are kind of silly, but Kamala is awesome and her friends and family are awesome and it is about modern problems like old people ruined the world and gentrification and AIs learn about humanity from the Internet and creeping fascism. It is sad that the things Kamala does in other comics aren't also collected, but I blame capitalism.

Anyway, now I want to play Masks: A New Generation!


Words: FAIL.

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18 April 2019 - Thursday

Marith's computer broke, so I dashed over to my old workplace to take them up on their offer to sell me my old laptop for $100 before it expired. Then we took the broken computer over for Dave to look at, which occupied some time but produced no immediate results.


Words: FAIL.

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17 April 2019 - Wednesday

I talked to the guy from the company on the phone, and he made me a verbal offer which sounds pretty good! Of course I need to keep looking until I have an actual offer letter signed, but perhaps I will not die in the gutter as I deserve!


Ayse need someone to watch Nonny while her and Jus did Girl Scout stuff in the afternoon, so I went over to the school and chased him around going "RAAR" and chased some of his friends around and chased some kids he had never met before around and eventually we went back to their place for dinner and gaming.

Everyone except Mike was scared of the germs, so it was just the four of us (I don't care about germs and Ken and Dave live there), which is coincidentally the right number for Gloomhaven.

I finally bought my murder rat some enhancements as suggested by the Internets (+1 range on a stunning attack, strengthen as a bonus on a self-heal), so now she(?) is halfway to retirement! That's the easy half, since getting more enhancements requires either raising the town prosperity by a lot or getting a lot of money to double-enhance actions, but someday perhaps it can be done.

Not today, though, because in exchange for two checkmarks, I gave up all looting. Those checkmarks and finally reaching level 4 got her two perks, though, so I think it was probably worthwhile. Also, I killed the boss!


Words: FAIL.

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16 April 2019 - Tuesday

I had another video interview with the company I visited yesterday, with the hiring manager's counterpart in the EMEA region, who is also the person designated to ask the "tell me about a time in your career when X happened and what you did about it" questions. I think that went pretty well.

I did another phone call with a recruiter, which may or may not go anywhere, so that was two job-hunting things in one morning.


To provide contrast with Elementary, we started watching Planet With because it was highly recommended by Anime Feminist. It is definitely in a specific genre, but I cannot think what the defining examples are. Maybe I'm imagining it. Anyway, it is pretty silly even though the future of humanity is ostensibly at stake.


Words: FAIL.

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15 April 2019 - Monday

Today is the day of interviews! I started off the day with the phone interview that had been rescheduled from Friday. It was okay, but I'm not sure I want to do more front-end stuff. I also don't want to starve in the gutter, though.

Then I put on long pants and a button-up shirt and dragged my sorry butt to Mountain View for an in-person interview with the company that sent me the training materials last week. It took a long time to get there, which could be a problem if I want to work there, but I'm pretty sure I can optimize the route better.

Anyway, I spent about an hour on video with the manager of the position for which I am applying, and an hour in person with her manager (who is also the one I did the video interview with last week). I think it went pretty well, or at least I did not appear stupider than I actually am, and they seem like they want reasonable things from an employee, so I am somewhat optimistic.

Then I had to trundle home, which also took forever, because San Antonio is one of the Scorned Stations.


When I got home, we watched some Elementary, the one where Sherlock Holmes is a recovering drug addict in New York and Joan Watson is his sobriety minder. It is not hard mystery, but then the original Holmes wasn't really either.

Holmes is always the worst roommate.

Words: FAIL.

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14 April 2019 - Sunday

Normally today would be PAD&D5, but everyone in Gollubland is sick, so no gaming for us.


We finished The Promised Neverland, which had plans and reversal and doom and reversal and finally the thing! It's a good place to leave it, although I bet the manga goes into what happens after that.


Words: FAIL.

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13 April 2019 - Saturday

  • Sailor Moon Super S 152-153: Jus was good, so we got two episodes! One about Mars getting an admirer, and the Infamous Dentist Episode.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 12: The end!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 5-6: Victory! But there are still more victories that need to be won before Reina and Kumiko can rule Japan with iron fists smooch take home a national trophy.

Words: FAIL.

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12 April 2019 - Friday

The guy from the place was supposed to call me about job stuff, but failed to do so. Apparently a thing came up, which is hardly unknown in the support field. He will try again on Monday.


Words: FAIL.

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11 April 2019 - Thursday

I finished going through the training materials, and it mostly made sense although I think they could have been clearer. But, I know a little bit about databases and Linux, so I figured it out. Then I did the InterviewMocha test, which was very stressful because it was timed and apparently deliberately set so that you can't finish unless you are really very good indeed. Ugh.


The latest comic Carl has been taken by is Die (Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles). He loaned it to Ayse, who loaned it to me, and it is pretty good, at least the first four issues. (I am pretty sure there have to be twenty issues in total.) Crazed DM makes players incarnate as their characters using cursed dice, they never tell anyone about the experience, decades later they are sucked back in and everything is even worse this time, in every conceivable way. It's not stock (or even misinterpreted) D&D, the writer is a long-time gamer and invented an extra-dark fantasy world and system and then provided essays on how he developed all of this stuff that make me realize I am not qualified to either game or write. Bonus: cross-playing not treated as a joke.


Netflix is working again, so we finished Hilda. It remained pretty awesome all the way to the end!

Then we watched more Promised Neverland, which is so full of doom. Even more doom than we may have originally thought.


Words: FAIL.

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10 April 2019 - Wednesday

I started going through the training materials, and taking notes on the questions I had which were not answered. Overall it was pretty clear, though, and I was able to figure out the installation process.


Kelsey had to bail out of gaming, so instead of getting the horrible doom of her adventure, we started Mike's 13th Age Glorantha! The doom was not horrible, although that's probably coming since we've been sent on a heroquest by a cat. (Okay, really by Kallyr Starbrow, but the cat is the one giving us instructions.)


Words: FAIL.

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9 April 2019 - Tuesday

I think the video interview went well. The position seems a lot like my job before last, which I liked until there was large company stuff. Now I have some training materials and some EC2 instances so they can see if I can figure out how to install their product on my own. Also some kind of online test thing, which I heard from my former coworkers is becoming more of a thing in the hiring process.

I have a phone interview with a different company scheduled for Friday morning. They don't seem as promising, but we'll see.


Netflix isn't working, so we had to watch The Promised Neverland instead. Well, that's a lot of doom. No, really, so much doom!


The Girl From the Other Side (Nagabe) seemed cute at first, with Teacher and Shiva doing domestic stuff, but by volume 5 it is pretty darn dark. I don't see how this can possibly end well.


Words: FAIL.

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8 April 2019 - Monday

I had a couple of phone calls about jobs today. Just recruiters, but one set me up the video interview with an actual hiring manager tomorrow, which sounds promising. Also I took a key back to the office and worried about money but could not get a severance check today.


We watched more Hilda, it was still wonderful even though Hilda's mother is oppressing her horribly.


Words: FAIL.

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7 April 2019 - Sunday

I managed to find a copy of my resume from when I applied to Arcadia, so I don't have to start from scratch, but it's terrible. On the other hand, my resume has always been terrible and people sometimes hire me anyway. Ugh.


Date night with Avalon! We did the watching-videos-simultaneously thing, and it worked pretty well, except that the video we chose was Unicorn Store, and it was not good. Like, unwatchable. So we switched to The Office and watched like four episodes. Fortunately almost everyone in that show is equally terrible, so watching them scheme ineptly against each other is funny instead of tragic. (Although I suppose it might be metatragic.)


I have finally, so long after Carl recommended it, read The Unstoppable Wasp (Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson), and it is pretty good! Wasp is so good-hearted and loves people so much and the deck is so stacked against her but G.I.R.L. will triumph! Also, "snappy dresser" is apparently code for "lesbian", which everyone knew, right?


Words: FAIL.

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6 April 2019 - Saturday

I had to admit to Ayse and Ken that I can no longer afford to provide them with many treats every Saturday. I am a poor friend!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 151: Ami has artistic skills too! And now, more power!
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 11: I wonder when this is supposed to be set? I can't imagine a town large enough to have a bus not having a cell tower in the current decade!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 3-4: Finally we learn Taki-sensei's dark past! Also, Nozore is seaworthy again.
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 8: Sea travel can be exactly as horrible as it's cracked up to be! But icebergs.

Words: FAIL.

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5 April 2019 - Friday

Last day. No one did anything, we all just sat around in the office in shock, leavers and remainers alike. (I refrained from saying, "And the living shall envy the dead" to the people who now have to handle the customer base of a company three times the size, but I sure thought it.) Eventually we all trickled away.

At least now I can file for unemployment.


Hilda continues to be adorable and somewhat surreal, even after Hilda's mother condemns her to a horrible fate.


The hero of Black Torch (Tsuyoshi Takaki) has the power to talk to animals, but after the ninja and youkai parts of the plot take off, that's almost neglected. Too bad, it's an interestingly non-attack power for a monster hunter.


Words: 86, so FAIL. I didn't even write a new resume.

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4 April 2019 - Thursday

Mandatory all-hands meeting on one hour notice? Eh, I'm sure it's nothing important.


So, uh, my last day at this job is tomorrow. Same for about 2/3 of the company.

In terms of head count, this puts the company back to where it was when I was hired four years ago, so although it's not actually the same set of people remaining, I don't take it personally that I'm not in that core. Nevertheless, this could have happened at a better time (like not right after I invested all my money in cat organs).

Well.


Words: FAIL.

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3 April 2019 - Wednesday

More of Kelsey's D&D5 adventure! We travelled by sea, beat up some dinosaurs, and arrived in a foreign land where they don't like our kind. Also my character got to use the Radula spell and turn into a fine dog.


Now I'm caught up through vol 6 of Flying Witch (Chihiro Ishizuka), and it is still super-adorable.


Words: FAIL.

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2 April 2019 - Tuesday

I went to a different doctor than last week. She was actually busy so I saw an NP instead, but the NP was very pleased with my existence, so that was good.


We watched the second episode of Story of Ming Lan, but it still wasn't grabbing us, so we switched to Hilda, and the first two episodes are awesome. The art style seems very Scandinavian, although I'm not sure I could say why, and Hilda is awesome and not a boy. It might be a little bit scary, but I bet Jus and Nonny would both like it.


Words: I reread some, but mostly FAIL.

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1 April 2019 - Monday

I dreamt that the angels wrote on the sky in letters of fire, "The gospel can no longer be expressed in SQL. Please see the last version at [mysterious celestial glyph]." A few years later, "The gospel can now be expressed in SQL with finite recursion. Please see the latest version at [mysterious celestial glyph that might be subtly different]."


We finished season 1 of gen:LOCK. For TV SF, that was actually pretty good! The characters do not have a philosophical foundation for the life they are living, which makes things interesting.


Words: 112. So technically not a fail, but it's not any better then before.

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31 March 2019 - Sunday

No gaming. I did manage to go shopping a bit, which is, um, something? Also we watched some more gen:LOCK. One of the plot twists is something that would be a cliche in a setting with more mature uploading tech like Eclipse Phase, which is kind of cool.


In volume 14 of Yotsuba&! (Kiyohiko Azuma), Yotsuba goes to Tokyo and saves the Earth from aliens! Also we see more of her family. (We saw her grandma in vol 13.)


Words: FAIL.

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30 March 2019 - Saturday

Ken is not up to cooking, so instead Ayse got us all Vietnamese food. Roast duck soup with extra noodles was too much, but I regret nothing. Nothing!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 150: Finally, we see the Amazoness Quartet in action! They are much more efficient than the Amazon Trio.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 10: Hurray for Renge!
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 7: Well, they made it out of Japan, and even on to a ship, despite their brains' best efforts! I totally symapthize with not liking it when people are considerate of you, though (even though I don't think it's actually a good thing).

Finally, I have finished rereading all thirteen previous volumes of Yotsuba&! (Kiyohiko Azuma). They are all adorable.


Words: FAIL.

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29 March 2019 - Friday

Ken has survived the Medical-Industrial (or should that be Medical-Financial?) Complex, hurray!


Instead of watching more Story of Ming Lan, we watched the first few episodes of Gen:LOCK, which is by the same team as RWBY but is cyberpunk mecha and has what I consider to be an excessive number of male characters. As always, the fight choreographers have not taken scaling laws into account for mecha combat, but the writing seems to be not quite as stupid as most visual SF about brain stuff.

Words: FAIL.

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28 March 2019 - Thursday

I was off-kilter all day because I went to the doctor for an annual checkup in the morning instead of going to work right away, but I did manage to kind of document a thing for a customer. Also I finished the birthday pie Ken made for me.


Neither Marith nor I had ever seen The Goonies, so we tried watching it, but the first ten minutes had approximately zero characters we didn't hate, so we gave up and instead watched the first episode of The Story of Ming Lan, which has at least one character we can root for. (It is by the same team as Nirvana in Fire so although I am not into it yet, there is considerable hope.)


Forever Fantasy Online (Rachel Aaron) is LitRPG, but something is definitely going on and there are consequences to having treated it like a game and I'm pretty sure there's going to be even more and worse doom in the next book and also catgirls.


Words: I sort of want to write pointless smutty fanfic involving some of the catgirls from FFO, but I am too old and full of antidepressants and also generally terrible, so FAIL.

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27 March 2019 - Wednesday

Ken was waffling about gaming, but finally succumbed and also provided barbecue foods to eat while Kelsey continued her D&D5E one-shot. Finally we are together and on our way!


Words: Still FAIL.

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26 March 2019 - Tuesday

Ghirardelli

12th Ocober 2003 -- 26th March 2019

He Will Always Be Missed

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25 March 2019 - Monday

That Ain't Witchcraft (Seanan McGuire) wraps up this story about the third Price kid and the horror she has gotten mixed up with. Of course the good guys win, but the collatoral damage is pretty low for McGuire! The ebook includes The Measure of a Monster, which is about the middle kid and some humans who deserve what happens to them.


Crunchyroll (or at least the app on my old Apple TV box) is failing us, but we managed to work around it to watch another couple episodes of AKB0048. Marith and I would totally be up for this if Ayse wanted to watch it at anime night!


Ghirardelli can't make it to the litterbox any more, which is the point I decided on. But it is late, so I will snuggle him for one more night and take him in in the morning.


Words: FAIL.

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24 March 2019 - Sunday

PAD&D5 time!

It's time to charge for the end of the module, so the Heroines of Red Larch leave the residents of Red Larch in a hopefully-safe place and head for the nearest enemy power source. The torrent of bad mojo pouring out of it makes this annoying, but also points them in the right direcation, so after a lot of dragging themselves along, they arrive at the heavily-defended bottleneck right before their goal. Unfortunately for the defenders, the Heroines now have AoE attacks, and the narrow space is turned against them. Muahahahahahaha!

Unfortunately for the Heroines, this takes long enough that everyone they want to clobber has escaped through the magic portal to the Temple of the Crystal Dragon and all they can do is dive after them. The collapsing portal spits the Heroines out elsewhere, but they make it back to the temple before the enemy leader can finish desecrating it, and engage the remaining enemy forces!

Despite Lam getting swallowed by a sewage elemental, the Heroines don't have much trouble cleaning up the enemy. They probably could have done it several levels ago, if they hadn't been busy with so much other doom. They even have enough money to pay for their temple to be steam-cleaned and have some new windows put in, having been saving up since the last time they visited Yartar 1d8-3 weeks ago.

Level UP!


Now that we have no more Gravity Falls, we tried watching The Magicians, but although it was cool, it did not have much in the way of sympathetic characters. (Maybe that's why it's so critically acclaimed?) After one episode, we switched to AKB0048, which Ayse spoke highly of. It is about interstellar battle idols, and is what the kids these days call "extra". So extra. And sparkly.


Words: FAIL.

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23 March 2019 - Saturday

Ken very kindly made the turkey chili I like and also parasite chocolate cream pie, and Jus and Nonny gave me handmade cards. Awwwww!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 148-149: So much for the *-Eye villains! But their arc did get resolved.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 9: Still heartwarming.
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 5: Finally, they depart Japan!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 2: More on the Great Apostasy of the previous year, but only a little more toward Reina and Kumiko smooching.

Words: FAIL.

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22 March 2019 - Friday

That was quite a finale, but now we are done with Gravity Falls! What will we watch now?


Ghirardelli is still hanging in there. He has a few purrs when I cuddle him.


Words: FAIL.

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21 March 2019 - Thursday

Naked sword swallowing (not a euphemism; from We Hunted The Mammoth).

Automated smartphone app generation.

Synthetic purring.

My, the Internet certainly is full of things.


I used the synthetic purring to comfort Ghirardelli. I think he liked it, although he is so listless it is hard to tell. He laid down right next to it, anyway.


Today is my birthday, but mostly I spent it online complaining to Avalon and Sean that my cat is dying. Not very festive. There was virtual cake, though. And Marith made shrimp-tomato pasta yumminess.

Friends are nice.


Words: FAIL.

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20 March 2019 - Wednesday

Ghirardelli is still barely eating, but he is hanging in there. I think that is still good. We gave him a little fluids, maybe that will help.


In the evening, I went to Ken's for Thai food and, er, D&D5??! We finished making characters and Kelsey ran intros to get us all involved in the problem and on our way to Baldur's Gate. Dave is the only one who made an actual investigative character for this mystery-oriented adventure, so I will probably just die in the first encounter, but whatever.


Words: FAIL.

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19 March 2019 - Tuesday

We couldn't get a vet appointment, so I went home after lunch and we took Ghirardelli in as an urgent care patient. He got seen fairly promptly, although maybe not from the perspective of Marith who had to sit in the car to avoid the fur. Unsurprisingly, he has lost even more weight, and his kidneys are not doing that well. I got a different appetite stimulant and anti-nausea medication for him, and we'll see if those help, but the vet did not think he was going to make it more than days to weeks, and he might stop being a cat before being obviously in such bad shape that I bring him.


We petted and petted Ghirardelli while watching Gravity Falls up to the point where the final boss makes its move. Three episodes to go! And then we'll have to find something else to watch, I guess.


Words: FAIL.

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18 March 2019 - Monday

Ghirardelli did not do the noms today. He seems alert, and watched some kitty TV, but he is so skinny. I think he needs to visit the vet again, and I don't know if he will be coming home this time.


Words: FAIL.

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17 March 2019 - Sunday

In the morning, I made the trek to Mountain View to get the pro-nomming medicine for Ghirardelli from the 24/7 vet office, but when I gave it to him, he did not eat. That is not good.


Marith and I went to see Captain Marvel, because everyone says it's suitably awesome, and it is! For all the reasons that make Nazi heads explode, and also general awesomeness and lack of compulsory romance subplot (although it would have been fine if Carol and [SPOILER] had been a couple) and Young Fury and tentacles!


When we got back, I tried offering Ghirardelli some sardine, and he eated it! Not much, but some! Good job, kitty! I will give you more medicine tomorrow, and perhaps you will keep eating! Also, we love you even though you do not have tentacles!


Augh, Gravity Falls! Augh! We finally found out Stan's backstory! Augh!


Words: FAIL.

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16 March 2019 - Saturday

I bought Ghirardelli tasty smelly sardines and trout bits, but he did not eat them. I contacted the vet, who prescribed medicine to stimulate his appetite, and recommended giving him a tiny dose of human medicine to settle his stomach. I guess I can try it, there's not much to lose at this point.


Ken very kindly made me fish so I did not have to be complicit in pot roast. But it smelled really good. Sometimes it is hard to remember that even though what I do as an individual can't help the world much, it's still not okay for me to just throw my trash on the ground.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 147: Makoto was clearly having the most fun when she was dancing with Ami. Boys are completely unnecessary!
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 8: This episode: crafting skills. Also: most oblivious senpai ever.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 1: Just smooch already!

Hm, apparently I need more yuri fic.

We would have watched more Euphonium, but Nonny had like five separate meltdowns. Apparently it's hard being a kid.


I keep meaning to read more of my huge manga backlog, and today I kind of did! While giving Ghirardelli pettins, because he is the best kitty.

Volume 2 of Fairy Tale Battle Royale (Soraho Ina) shows the first layer of doom hiding behind the monster-slaying and kingdom-destroying, and it's pretty dark. I don't know if it's interesting enough doom to keep reading, though.

I first read Tomo-chan is a Girl (Fumita Yanagida) on a scanlation site, but now it's out officially, so I threw them some moneys and reread the part that's available. I can't claim it's any good, but it amuses me. Gender roles are so messed up.

And, new volume of Yotsuba&! (Kiyohiko Azuma), so I have to reread the existing thirteen volumes first!


Words: FAIL.

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15 March 2019 - Friday

A bunch of people from the other office came to this office to drink for Irish People Are White Now, We Guess Day. Apparently that office is going away, to be replaced by something else, because commerical real estate reasons or something, I don't even know. Probably that means some of them will be coming here on a regular basis.

Apparently I don't like humans today. Pie is okay, though.


Hurray, I got paid, now I can afford more vet appointments for Ghirardelli. I just don't know whether I should.


Avalon is not dead! Tired, but not dead.


More Gravity Falls S2! [SPOILER] is back from the first season, and has a good point! Also, Globnar.


Words: FAIL.

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14 March 2019 - Thursday

Less brain, but more Gravity Falls! Huh, I hope they come back to that.


My Hero Academia: Vigilantes (Hideyuki Furuhashi, Betten Court, Kohei Horikoshi) is a spin-off series about some people with less-impressive quirks who cannot resist helping people despire their lack of hero licenses. This is not legal, but is somewhat socially acceptable. Fight scenes ensue.

There's a secondary character who is a sociology grad student specializing in the era when quirks first appeared, so there should be some good worldbuilding.


Words: FAIL.

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13 March 2019 - Wednesday

We won regular 13th Age, so now I guess we're moving on to the variant, and also burritos. (We would have done 5E, but Kelsey was absent yet again.)

This week, we used some version of Runequest (I think) to create the backstory of the clan for the "home team". To make a long questionnaire short, we mostly stay out of the way and let trouble flow past us. Also, we're good at fishing.


I did not like The Raven Tower (Ann Leckie) nearly as much as the "Ancillary" series. It's not bad or anything, it's like Bronze(?)-age Hamlet in second person with interestingly constrained gods and trans representation. But I did not appreciate the imagination as much as in her earlier works. I hope this does not mean her evolution as a writer is taking her out of my zone of preference!


Words: FAIL.

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12 March 2019 - Tuesday

Bah, Tuesday. Ghirardelli seems okay, although he still needs to eat more. He's too skinny! (We gave him a little fluids, but that's not the same thing!)

Gravity Falls remains very silly, but is also getting kind of dark. The long-running romance subplot was handled nicely, though, and no one had to get eaten by gnomes.


Words: FAIL.

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11 March 2019 - Monday

We (meaning Marith, since she has the car and I am useless) took Ghirardelli to the vet, which was much too expensive, but his heart is doing very well! I mean, he is still an old cat and this is not the sort of thing that goes away, but the vet said to bring him back in 3-4 weeks, which implies his expected time could be significantly longer than that. Good job, kitty!


RWBY episodes are short, so we have already run out of season 6. Woe! But the protagonists have made it to their destination, and perhaps the motorcycle Bumblebee has been replaced by the ship Bumblebee.

Using AirPlay to show video from Rooster Teeth's annoying streaming site is not that great, alas. It doesn't (as far as I can tell) let the Apple TV remote control things, so I have to run back to the computer all the time.


Words: FAIL.

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10 March 2019 - Sunday

Ugh, no more standard time, now we have to save our daylight. But not our sleep.


It's PAD&D5 time again! But no Deirdre, she has germs.

Having finally arrived back at Red Larch with the rescued prisoners, the Heroines try to get some sleep, but are woken in the wee hours by reports that [SPOILER] is encroaching on the town. Evacuation and temporary fortifications to buy enough time to rescue major pieces of infrastructure ensue, while the Heroines repulse the initial assault by giant ugly [SPOILER]. Like, really ugly.

When the Heroines scout the evacuation path for the townspeople, they are notified that this is the work of [SPOILER], who they are nominally conspiring against. The townspeople are not important to the villain plan, so they can be allowed to flee, but the Heroines must fight and make it look good so the collusion is not revealed to the other villains before they attack.

Naturally, although the environment is no longer to their advantage, and the enemy is larger, faster, or both, the Heroines win with style. However, they need to shut down the [SPOILER] immediately if there is to be any world to save!


More RWBY season 6! That was actually pretty creepy. Also, humans are dumb.


Words: FAIL.

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9 March 2019 - Saturday

All my funds are tied up in cat futures, so I had to have Marith pay the cleaners this fortnight. Embarrassing.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 146: Princesses should not skive off official events! Are you taking notes, Usagi? (No.)
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 7: Maybe don't let the 1st-grader write the notes if you want other people to know what's going on.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 13: Regionals! The End! Kumiko and Reina did not smooch, boo.
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 4: Apparently this is an accurate depiction of orienteering.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 14: Side story about the band members who did not get picked to play at regionals and what they did to help the band. Heartwarming!

Words: FAIL.

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8 March 2019 - Friday

Because eating while watching RWBY is difficult for stupid capitalism-related reasons, we watched the first episode of Gravity Falls S2. For some reason I thought it was going to be the next summer, but no, it continues on pretty much from where S1 left off. The plot might be finally going, though. (Really it started at the end of the last episode of S1.

Then we huddled around the iMac to watch more RWBY S6. Yep, that was an expository flashback, all right! And it was kind of the thing Marith was hoping it wouldn't be, but only kind of. There's plenty of legitimate doom to go around, anyway, and also higher powers suck.


Words: FAIL.

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7 March 2019 - Thursday

Ghirardelli continues to be mostly interested in lying in one place, but he watched some kitty TV while we watched human TV. There might have been pettins.

The end of season 1 of Gravity Falls was quite something! But at least [SPOILER] got his!

Then, since we had more evening, we started watching RWBY season 6. They're in a frozen wastelend, maybe they'll have to snuggle up to conserve heat? But it looks like first there will have to be a Flashback of Great Doom!


Words: Continued FAIL. I need to start writing again at some point, but it seems overwhelmingly pointless because I am so bad at it.

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6 March 2019 - Wednesday

I stopped by home to give Ghirardelli his evening medicines and pettins, and he was awake and alert, so I do not have to make any quality-of-life-related decisions today! Also he looks very silly with the shaved parts on his arms from being in the ICU. Poor undignified kitty!

Despite taking that time, I was still the first person to arrive for 13th Age and pho (not counting people who live there).

Wait, that's it? We defeated the main villain that we've been fighting against/over/in for the whole compaign in battle, and we win? Huh.

Yay us!

I guess I better work on that 5E character for Kelsey's one-shot now.


Words: Continued FAIL.

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5 March 2019 - Tuesday

I skipped out of work early so we could eat dinner during rush hour and then drive up to Mountain View to get Ghirardelli. I had to stand up Avalon, but now Ghirardelli is home and, well, not great, but awake and alert. He also looks very silly with a shaved ring around each arm. Poor kitty!

Marith continues to be a Hero of the Revolution.


Words: Continued FAIL.

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4 March 2019 - Monday

When I got home from work, Ghirardelli was sitting in the litterbox like moving was too much work, and even after I scooped him and cleaned him, he didn't want to move, so we took him in to the vet. They did some tests and it looks like his heart is not so good. Also he was having trouble breathing, so we took him up to the larger hospital in Mountain View to spend the night in the oxygen booth and get started on heart medication (which coincidentally is exactly the opposite from the treatment for his kidney disease).

None of the vet people said anything about time, but it doesn't look like Ghirardelli has much of it left. Poor kitty.


Words: FAIL.

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3 March 2019 - Sunday

Ken lured me over to play Gloomhaven again, and we actually did not die from lateness!

The scenario we picked was not part of the main plot, but it delivered the promised riches (and also vermling kills for Ken, which I should possibly object to since my character is a vermling, but fuck those guys, they wear the wrong sunglasses). I was the richest going in and it still doubled my money! Now I can have the Internet tell me what enhancements to buy for my murder rat's own retirement goal.

In retrospect, it might have gone more smoothly if Ken hadn't kicked in the door of a room with seven enemies on the round they drew the "make ranged attacks at the top of the round" card, but these things happen.


As of vol 2 (of a projected three), Fruits Basket Another (Natsuki Takaya) is not grabbing me the way the original did. Points for realistic depiction of depression/social anxiety due to horrible parenting (unlike Tohru's personality, which I recall as seeming a bit contrived), but it feels very rushed and not like it's really going very far anyway. I would put it in the category of fanfic, since the point mostly seems to be to show where the characters are a decade after the original series; it just happens to be written by the original creator.


Words: FAIL.

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2 March 2019 - Saturday

Yum, adobo chicken!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 145: Usagi, you need to buy up your Dex before you can be a ballerina!
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 6: Jeez, just tell her embarrassing stories about your sister!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 12: Oh no, our main character has not spent enough points on Perform (Euphonium)! Can she get more points from growing closer to Reina?
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 3:

It looks like there are actually 14 episodes of Hibike! Euphonium and then a whole second season, so we need to adjust the schedule. After we definitely run out of Hibike, we still plan to try Shirobako.


Words: FAIL. I have installed Scrivener, but not managed to use it. (This was easy because the email with my license key was in gmail, not stored locally. There is no ethical disaster recovery under capitalism?)

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1 March 2019 - Friday

The Jury Duty website says: "You are released from Jury Duty at this time. Your service is deemed complete and you will receive a one year exemption. Thank you for your services to the Court this week."

I'm a little disappointed, since I've never juried, but I'm sure it would be mostly boring and frustrating in practice.


Words: FAIL.

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28 February 2019 - Thursday

Marith made a fritatta, which is probably not as complicated as it sounds, but go her anyway!

Also we watched some Gravity Falls and gave Ghirardelli fluids and encouraged him to eat his kidney foods.


Demon's Lure (L Rowyn) is about a girl who has the divine gift to make demons happy by being happy around them, and the demon who decides to keep her as a pet. So, kind of problematic for serial-killer-redemption and Stockholm syndrome.


The Jury Duty website says they don't need me first thing tomorrow but I have to check back tomorrow at noon for breaking news. Uh oh.


Words: FAIL. I thought about installing Scrivener but didn't manage to do it.

frittata by marithlizard (Fri Mar 1 16:00:38 2019)

It was pretty complicated, if only because of all the vegetable prep!

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27 February 2019 - Wednesday

It's time for 13th Age and pizza!

As usual, we had only time for half a fight, but there was much running around and breaking things and screaming and dying and at the very end of the session, we broke through to the trap where the second half of the fight will probably kill us.


The Jury Duty website says they don't need me tomorrow but I have to check back tomorrow after 17:00 to see about the next day.


Words: FAIL. No time to set up Scrivener, there was gaming to wait for.

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26 February 2019 - Tuesday

Hurray, my computer is fixed! And Ayse has some kidney gooshyfood that Aime doesn't need, that we can try Ghirardelli on since he doesn't seem to be eating much of the kidney crunchyfood.


We successfully got both my computer and the gooshyfoods and brought them back home, where one was plugged in and the other was devoured with surprising gusto. Good job, kitty! Eat the nourishing food!

Then we watched some Gravity Falls, which I still like quite a bit, and I worked on getting my computer set up again. Fortunately I put all my passwords into Lastpass, so I still have access to all the websites I got stuff from originally.


Tumblr implies that we should watch Hilda. Maybe after Gravity Falls, or maybe we could watch it at anime night since we're probably going to need more things that are Jus-friendly.


The Jury Duty website says they don't need me tomorrow but I have to check back tomorrow after 17:00 to see about the next day.


Words: FAIL. Most or all of what I was writing (except for the one night when the computer exploded) should be backed up in Dropbox or on idiom, but I have to reinstall Scrivener and hope everything really is still there.

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25 February 2019 - Monday

Ew, Monday again. And my computer is apparently still not fixed, bah!


Gravity Falls comes out strong in favor of silliness! Also the important line, "That sounds like something no responsible parent would allow. Good thing I'm an uncle.".


Volume 2 of Ran and the Gray World (Aki Irie) has even more doom and also magical shenanigans. We get to see more of Ran's dad and people from the magical side of things in general, and why they do what they do, and also there is a boy who likes Ran even when she's not a smoking hot 20-year-old, but her inability to control her magic might mess everything up.


The Jury Duty website says they don't need me tomorrow but I have to check back tomorrow after 17:00 to see about the next day.


Words: FAIL.

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24 February 2019 - Sunday

After a long delay due to plague, it is time for PAD&D5 again!

The Heroines of Red Larch try to escort the people they've rescued back to Red Larch, but after half a day of hiking through the hills and considering petitions brought by [SPOILER], they discover they are in that horror story where every time they check, there are fewer people than before and no one knows who's missing. Then, a giant attacks! And explodes! But once all its components are defeated, and the beautiful snake-woman who comes to explain things springs her ambush and is defeated in turn, the Heroines realize they are back in [SPOILER]! Aaaaaargh! It's another time loop!

The Heroines go back to [SPOILER], as the closest thing to a safe place in this horrible realm, where they meet [SPOILER] who apparently doesn't know them, but is happy to use conversation to learn from them everything that he will tell them when they will have met him for the first and second time. (Fortunately, only a few of the Heroines have a high enough Int modifier to wonder where this information really came from.) After a week of hiding in the cellar, they make it back to [SPOILER] without having caused any further damage to the universe (probably) and rejoin their escortees who are perfectly fine, and the giant who is very friendly and hopes to find work in the Red Larch quarries.

Jeremy says we have only a few sessions left, so probably we will be done by summer when Edie leaves to do... summer stuff. I suspect squirrels are involved. Anyway, we'll have to figure out what to play next.


On Ken's recommendation, we have started Gravity Falls, which is extremely silly. It reminds me of Invader Zim, a little.


Roadqueen: Eternal Roadtrip to Love (Mira Ong Chua) is an adorable romance comic about motorcycles, revenge, and being a decent lesbian. I am pretty sure the creator watched Utena; some of Leo's plans might as well have been snails in the pencil case!


The Jury Duty website says they don't need me tomorrow but I have to check back tomorrow after 17:00 to see about the next day.


Words: FAIL.

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23 February 2019 - Saturday

I hoped my computer would be fixed today, but no such luck.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 143-144: Wow, Fisheye had an actual plan! It didn't work, but it was a good plan.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 5: I think it's like paranoia: just because the fortunes are all bad doesn't mean they aren't true!
  • A Place Further Than The Universe 1-2: We like it! (Obvious way to get onto the crew is recognized as obvious and ridiculous.)

Words: FAIL.

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22 February 2019 - Friday

Jus came to my office to sell cookies, but I was in a meeting! With my boss! It was very sad, but apparently people bought copiously anyway, so hurray for Girl Scouts!


The season 3 finale of The Good Place was sad, but hopeful, so that's okay. And it ends at a place where a fourth season (although devoutly wished for) is not required.


Dragon Pearl (Yoon Ha Lee) is whatever the age bracket down from YA is, so it has 0% romance, but lots of adventure and space fantasy based on Korean mythology, so it is still pretty awesome.


Words: FAIL.

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21 February 2019 - Thursday

Ghirardelli is just not interested in the kidney food. I guess we'll go back to free feeding the thyroid food. Why are you so difficult, kitty?


Oh no, we are already out of The Dragon Prince again! At least [SPOILER] found out about [SPOILER], and [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] are cute, and [SPOILER] made a reasonable decision and also the wicked vizier is completely [SPOILER].


Words: FAIL.

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20 February 2019 - Wednesday

We tried to gather for 13th Age and Greek food, but Kelsey is dead from germs, so instead we did some background randomization for Mike's upcoming 13G, and played Roll for the Galaxy. I didn't win, but I didn't come in last place, and in a game that didn't have both Dave and Ken, my score would have been perfectly reasonable.


Words: FAIL.

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19 February 2019 - Tuesday

Boo, Monday!


When I got home from being stupid at work, we watched like four episodes of The Dragon Prince. That was a pretty good Dark Power Point presentation by the vizier, and now we know more about how the late king became a widower. Also about how badass his wife and the lesbian queens of the neighboring realm were. The writers had to kill all of them off, because they wouldn't be taking any of this elven assassin, wicked vizier, dark magic nonsense!


Words: FAIL.

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18 February 2019 - Monday

It's President's Day! I should be out protesting the thing that is currently squatting in the White House, but I lack energy.

I did manage (with Marith's help) to make my appointment at the Apple Store, but after poking around a bunch more, they concluded the drive really is dead and needs replaced. At least it's free because I got the warranty thing. I thought about coughing up a couple hundred extra bucks to hold on to the old drive and flash memory, but that plus the cost of data recovery times the probability of my ever doing anything with it didn't make the cut.

Replacing the drive should take 1-3 days for parts shipping and 1-3 days for labor, so hopefully I can pick it up when we go to anime on Saturday.

In the evening, we took Ghirardelli to the vet for a progress check, and he is doing well! His weight has remained stable, so he's obviously eating something even if he sneers at the kidney food when I shove it in his face, and his kidney and potassium numbers have moved significantly in the right directions. What a good kitty!


At some point during the day, I worked on my self-evaluation form, but I wouldn't promote anyone based on what I wrote. (So maybe it's for the best that no promotion or raise is contingent on this.)


We've run out of RWBY, but the new season of The Dragon Prince is out! Still so much doom, and the wicked vizier has found a new source of doom because there wasn't enough.


Words: FAIL.

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17 February 2019 - Sunday

Did I manage to do anything today? I did not, because I suck! Well, okay, we went shopping, but meh. Anybody can go to Target.


Oh no, we have run out of RWBY! I think season 6 is in progress, but it's not available except on the Rooster Teeth website, which is less convenient to watch.

So much doom! But very pretty visuals!

Did we really have to wait 50-odd episodes for explicit LGBT representation, though? And still only hints of bumblebee?


I felt bad about not having accomplished anything, so I stayed up too late on a support chat with Apple, but although the support person was very helpful, we did not end up accomplishing anything. I will have to lug my computer into the Apple Store tomorrow.


Words: FAIL.

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16 February 2019 - Saturday

Ayse and Ken are sick, so we brought them food from Taiwan, and everyone was happy!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 142: The foodie episode.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 9: Jus stayed up to watch this with us, although I don't know how much she got out of it because it's a middle episode of a series about complicated feelings. But she got to watch anime with the grownups!
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 4: The circle of life!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 10-11: It's more sympathetic that someone else was causing the trouble on her behalf, I think. Also, yay, more Kumiko/Reina!

Words: FAIL.

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15 February 2019 - Friday

I don't seem to have stopped procrastinating on my mandatory voluntary self-criticism annual self-evaluation form, which was sort of due today. I guess I'll do it over the weekend.

Also my computer still doesn't work.


Words: FAIL.

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14 February 2019 - Thursday

Holy crap.


Avalon is still hanging in there, but ugh. Life.


I meant to try to boot up my broken computer while I had an Apple person on chat, but my brain was too small. I did make another account on my work laptop so I could have a separate browser to do gmail with a keyboard (and also tumblr), but mrgh.


Words: FAIL.

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13 February 2019 - Wednesday

Today, 13th Age and Indian food! We finished the fight against the undead hell mastodon and its riders with appropriate soundtrack, blew up a maze, and found what claims to be the final boss.

Kelsey wants to test a D&D5 adventure she's making on us, so we have something for a few weeks between defeating the Stone Thief and starting Glorantha.


Words: FAIL. Computer still broken. Brain still broken.

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12 February 2019 - Tuesday

Fortunately I managed to get some kind of MUD client installed on my work laptop, so I was able to have the scheduled date with Avalon even though my real computer is still toast.


Words: FAIL. I haven't yet installed Scrivener on my work computer, that seems like it's crossing a line in a way that a network client isn't.I do not claim that this makes any sense.

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11 February 2019 - Monday

Words: Ack my computer stopped working! I did my writing and then tried to save, but the operation hung and failed, and now it won't boot up! I think the hard drive (which is actually some complicated combination of disk and SSD) is dead.

computer woes by marithlizard (Thu Feb 14 12:13:25 2019)

I'm so proud of you!

Re: computer woes by Trip (Thu Feb 14 13:07:54 2019)

What, for not going into a complete toddler-style meltdown when deprived of my Internets?

Re: computer woes by marithlizard (Thu Feb 14 16:01:50 2019)

No, for not claiming that the computer spontaneously broke from having to host your writing! :) (And you can't claim it retroactively, it's too late.)

Re: computer woes by Trip (Fri Feb 15 21:49:52 2019)

I didn't think it needed to be said!

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10 February 2019 - Sunday

No gaming, Jeremy is full of germs. Only Zuul. But I did get a larger Instant Pot so Marith can make even more exciting food!


As of volume 5, the manga of My Hero Academia (Kohei Horikoshi) is still pretty similar to the anime. Some of the fight details might be different, but I think that's about it.

Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions (Henry Lien) continues in the same vein as the first book: Peasprout is kind of insufferable in a very teenaged way, and finds out more about how the city of Pearl works. Also, skate fu!


Words: 100. I lost the actual number, but I know I did writing, so meh.

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9 February 2019 - Saturday

Blrgh. I'm sure I breathe better when I'm asleep now, but that doesn't make me want to get up to let the cleaners in any more.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 141: Minako, that's not how you ethically play the field! You should probably learn from Pearl.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 3: Someday, Renge will be terrifying.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2.11-12: The end! Of Bon, which I guess is technically a spoiler, but not of rakugo!

Words: 135.

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8 February 2019 - Friday

Start of RWBY season four! Poor Yang, all her bumblebee dreams crushed. (I hope the writers aren't trying to set up Blake and Sun, but they probably are.)


Tried warming up the fluids for Ghirardelli tonight, but it didn't seem to make him any more or less happy than room-temperature solution. His appetite and energy are still better than before we started fluidizing him, though!


Words: 117.

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7 February 2019 - Thursday

Back to the vet, this tim with just Aspen, to try to get a urine sample. But once again, her bladder defeats multiple highly-trained vet techs armed with multi-thousand-dollar machinery!

Ghirardelli did not have to come to the vet, but when we got home, we tempted him with special kidney food (he ate it, yay!) and then oppressed him with subcutaneous fluids.

Marith is a still a Hero of the Revolution.


That was quite a conclusion to RWBY S3! But we have relatively few bodies, so who knows who will be in next seasion?


Words: 127.

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6 February 2019 - Wednesday

The news about Ghirardelli is not good. It's not terrible, but he definitely has kidney issues, because he is an older cat. Tomorrow we will have to go pick up some supplies for giving him subcutaneous fluid, and also switch him from special thyroid food to special kidney food. Meep.


This week, we are back to 13th Age (and also Thai food). But we are so slow and start so late that we only had time for about three rounds of combat before we had to call it a night.

Next week, we'll finish off the undead hell mastodon for sure!


Words: 190.

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5 February 2019 - Tuesday

There is snow on the hills. I won't say that's not okay, because I actually don't mind cold much, but it's certainly noteworthy!


Oh no, Avalon has to go to more doctors! At least she lives in a civilized country where she will not have to sell her house to get medical care.


More RWBY season 3. The plot, it thickens and thickens!


Words: 113. Do I need to work on something else? Do I need to outline? Do I need to stop pretending I can write? Do I need to stop watching TV in the evenings? Do I need to die in a pit?

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4 February 2019 - Monday

Ghirardelli has been off his feed, and Aspen has been failing at litterbox, so I finally took them in to the vet. Or rather, prevailed upon Marith, Hero of the Revolution, to take us all to the vet and wait and bring us back, which took like three hours.

Ghirardelli has lost one of his four remaining kilograms, which is not a good sign, but we will have to wait for results on the bloodwork to know why.

Aspen is more metabolic, but apparently she is forgotten about scratching, because some of her claws have grown so far they curl around and poke her pawbeans! I cannot leave her to her own devices any longer! Also her bladder defies the best efforts of vet-techs.


Words: 153.

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3 February 2019 - Sunday

I guess I managed to do shopping and drink Diet Dr Pepper today, but mostly I was useless. I even forgot to my cranial filaments neatened.

Marith made orange maple chicken, which was messy to make but tasted really good. We ate it while watching the middle part of season 3 of RWBY, the part where they suddenly introduce [SPOILER]. Huh, [SPOILER] has kind of a suspicious name in this new context, don't they?


I actually own the first N volumes of the My Hero Academia manga but only read a little bit way back when, before the anime showed me the true awesomeness. But while I'm sitting around being useless on Sunday, I might as well read manga! The first two volumes (which I read before) are substantially similar to the beginning of the anime.


Another thing I have had for a while but not gotten around to reading until just recently is The Human Dress (Graydon Saunders). This is the novel he called the doorstop, and it is indeed quite large, something like 1400 pages (according to Google Play, but they seem roughly similar to paperback pages). 1400 pages of Vikings and dinosaurs and magic and romance and [SPOILER] and revenge! Although it's not obviously related to the "Commonweal" books, the magic is very Graydonian, and so is the prose. In fact, it is even more oblique, sometimes to the point of opacity. I don't normally consider myself a poor reader, but I was not able to follow everything. I also have no idea who the other person hanging around with [SPOILER] was, or really what the last scene meant at all. But overall I still liked it a lot. (Did I mention the dinosaurs?)


Words: 145.

Weekly total: 988. Ugh.

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2 February 2019 - Saturday

Oh no, the restaurant with the five flavors of Diet Dr Pepper has no DDP today! Woe!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 140: Fashion! And even though Fisheye is the most sympathetic of the three villains, they still cannot pretend to be a decent person for even a few minutes at a time.
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 2: In the country, you have to make your own entertainment, I guess?
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 9-10: It's not like we don't know this is going to be a tragedy, but that would be ow.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 8: What do you know, this actually is a yuri show, not just a show with yuri subtext!

Words: 102.

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1 February 2019 - Friday

Finished the first season of RWBY (that was not nearly as successful as they hoped, and also was Emerald hitting on Ruby?) and started the second (there always has to be a tournament arc).


Words: 154.

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31 January 2019 - Thursday

Watched more RWBY, include the trailers. I'm not sure how representational the trailers are supposed to be, but they do seem like they could be full of meaning.


Words: 203.

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30 January 2019 - Wednesday

No 13th Age tonight, because Kelsey has the Sick. But the rest of us gathered and ate grasshoppers and other Oaxacan food and talked about 13G until suddenly Mike made us play Between Two Castles.

It falls into the heresy of D&D stats, but this Glorantha World seems like it could work. Except not for Mike's game, because he is not down with "play to find out what happens".


Words: 114.

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29 January 2019 - Tuesday

I finally got my act together enough to use the brain inflator last night. According to the respiration computer (am I a part-time cyborg now?), I breathed correctly, but that doesn't mean I slept well. Hopefully I will get used to having something stuck to my face.


Marith made really yummy chicken sun-dried tomato chicken stuff (I bet it would be even yummier on fettucine instead of rice) to eat while we watching some more RWBY S2. Look, Bumblebee!


Words: 157.

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28 January 2019 - Monday

Marith levelled up her cooking skill with paprika shrimp and sausage risotto and snap peas! We devoured it while watching the rest of season 1 and the start of season 2 of RWBY. Huh, apparently the ship names come from their combat maneuver names?


Words: 113.

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27 January 2019 - Sunday

We are back on the regular schedule for PAD&D5 now.

This session, the Heroines of Red Larch fight the forces of [SPOILER], which turns out to be more like a mosh pit with the risk of gruesome death (so, a good mosh pit?). There are actual monsters trying to eat them and environmental hazards and so forth, but things don't quite add up, and at the end, it is revealed that [SPOILER]! And then [SPOILER] shows up to explain about [SPOILER], which mostly boils down to how the Heroines shouldn't have left the other [SPOILER] only half-defeated. Time to go back and clean up those dungeons!


I meant to do things after I got home, but instead did nothing. I barely managed to feed myself, since Marith is asleep and/or dead.


Monster Wrestling vol 1 (Ganmarei, Tyataniyou, Takeo Aoki) definitely has well-endowed monster girls, pro wrestling, and tentacles, but despite the M rating it's not that raunchy, and the art style is not entirely to my taste. Points for making the monster girls slightly more monstrous than usual, though.


Words: 153.

Weekly total: 1241.

Not actually a [SPOILER] by Jeremy (Wed Jan 30 12:24:14 2019)

Incidentally, I notice that you collectively seem much more willing to trust a [okay, SPOILER] when the forces of Hell implicitly vouch for it. There's got to be some fun to be had here....

Re: Not actually a [SPOILER] by Trip (Thu Jan 31 13:48:41 2019)

I blame Mara 100%.

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26 January 2019 - Saturday

It's a good thing we have cleaners, or I would have to get my own rubber gloves!


Look! My new spectacles are in! My vision is still hardly perfect, but it's probably as good as these eyes will support.


  • Steven Universe 5.29-32: Quadruple length grand finale! Steven's heart vs dysfunctional space family! Can he do it?
  • Non Non Biyori Repeat 1: Now we will cover different incidents during the same school year, unless we get bored and watch something else.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 6-7: Someone quit the band! But someone else is getting fired up!

Creatures of Want & Ruin (Molly Tanzer) seems Lovecraftian, but isn't actually. It does have mystery and doom and a tough lady bootlegger and rich people who don't get enough of what's coming to them and also various sorts of tragedy and loss.


Words: 129.

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25 January 2019 - Friday

Most depressing all-hands meeting ever today. A coworker who I have worked with for quite a few years but didn't know at all well died earlier this week. He was 72, I think. Meep.


RWBY episodes are so short we almost finished the first season while eating dinner and drinking cocoa. How did those ruins survive this long?! Well, not an issue any more.

Judging by tumblr, Ruby/Weiss and Yang/Blake are the most seaworthy ships.


Words: 198.

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24 January 2019 - Thursday

The Good Place continues to be pretty swell. Also, let's hear it for replicable social experiments!

But we only had one episode, so after that we watched the first few episodes of RWBY (chosen via the infallible "what has fanart on tumblr" method, which would suggest that the replacement for BBK/BRNK be Darling in the FranXX). Marith says they're basically the same story (and animation quality) as ancient Final Fantasy games. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.


I finally got the distilled water I need for the face inflator, but now my face is full of mucus and my cranium is empty of brain.


Words: 252.

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23 January 2019 - Wednesday

We got food from Old Spaghetti Factory because they're doing some kind of school donation thing, but also we played 13th Age. This week, things got so complicated that Ken was forced to draw a map to explain which parts of the floor were lava and which were only rock monsters. But we did make it through that combat and to the start of the next one, only a little over time.

On the way home, Mike's car demanded blood sacrifice, which is surely not an omen for next week at all.


In vol 4-5 Raven: The Pirate Princess (Jeremy Whitley, Christine Hipp, Xenia Pamfil, Justin Birch), we get more infighting, (queer) romance, failed romance due to buttheadedness, and impending magical doom.

Your Name. Another Side: Earthbound (Jyunya Nakamura, Makoto Shinku, Arata Kanoh) is a spinoff of an anime movie which I haven't seen, but I picked it up for the body-swapping. It wasn't bad or anything, but maybe I should have seen the movie first or something.


Words: 118. Writing, how does it even?

And! by marithlizard (Thu Jan 24 14:29:05 2019)

You forgot the important detail that I made multiple vegetable-based dishes and they were actually tasty and foodlike!

Re: And! by Trip (Tue Jan 29 15:58:14 2019)

Very true! Om nom nom nom!

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22 January 2019 - Tuesday

Wait, what? There are only nine episodes of The Dragon Prince? But we only just now got [SPOILER]! And what about [SPOILER]?

Oh, next season is Feb 15. That's not so bad, probably.


Words: 254.

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21 January 2019 - Monday

It's MLK Day, when conservatives and other racists are cordially invited to shut up forever! Also, company holiday.

I meant to be productive today, and I guess I was, or at least I made all the shopping trips that I intended to, but meh. I did not feel very accomplished. Maybe I need to stop reading tumblr, as well as get rid of all pad games.


Words: 137. I had a first line, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

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20 January 2019 - Sunday

Finally, 2019 includes PAD&D5!

After realizing they are actually in [SPOILER], and have not escaped the location of the mental battle, the Heroines of Red Larch understand the true horror of their fate, and also proceed to fall for basically the same trap a second time. Despite the monsters having favorable terrain and reinforcements, though, it ends up not going any better for them than the first time.

The Heroines' combined mental power is not enough to get them out of a paper bag, let alone [SPOILER], so they are forced to look around for another way out. Fortunately (?) they soon meet a [SPOILER], who though not native to the area was there about the same monsters they fought. Ominous allusions are made, and offers that can be refused are, but finally a deal is struck and the Heroines find themselves in the [SPOILER] that they should probably have been going to already.

Going all the way to Palo Alto is actually kind of a huge pain (two hours each way, more or less). I wonder if gaming at Dave's place would work instead? I'd even provide food, although it wouldn't be fresh-baked.


Avalon is not dead! Although she has weird working hours and has to get people to quit fucking up because they are idiots and she is not. It doesn't sound like much fun. I blame capitalism.


Words: 108.

Weekly total: 1102. Ugh.

Gaming at Dave's place by Your friendly neighborhood DM (Wed Jan 23 18:35:43 2019)

Alas, I suspect we'd lose Deirdre by doubling her commute. Also, who'd be here to feed fancy cheese to the dog?

Re: Gaming at Dave's Place by Trip (Thu Jan 24 11:10:30 2019)

Bummer. Why must people live in such inconvenient locations? (Spoiler: It's capitalism. It's always capitalism.)

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19 January 2019 - Saturday

Marith wanted to go over early to run No Thank You, Evil!, but Jus is full of Girl Scout Activity, so we only gamed for a little while. Beep boop!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 138-139: Although there are certainly problematic elements, I am glad to see girls can have a variety of beautiful dreams that are not standardly feminine! Also, go Ami with the practical skills! car, sword
  • Non Non Biyori 12: Wait, you can just eat plants? That grow in the dirt? That doesn't seem safe at all! Anyway, so much for the first season. Not sure what to watch next, maybe second season, or maybe Nodame Cantabile.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 8: What unrefined government thugs! But the voice actor for Kikuhiko is doing a great job.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 5: Sunfest and victory! Well, at least not defeat. Can they make it to nationals in 7 episodes?

Words: 195.

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18 January 2019 - Friday

Words: 231.

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17 January 2019 - Thursday

Quite dull day, but in the evening we had risotto and cocoa and episodes 3-5 of The Dragon Prince. Intrigue! Magic! Disabled representation! No romance!


Hey, I'm finally caught up after spending the holidays not recording my pointless little life!!


Words: 169. I finished writing the Horrible Incident, so now I know more about how my protagonist is Scarred For Life, and can rewrite the stuff I already wrote only better ugh maybe I should just gnaw my fingers off instead.

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16 January 2019 - Wednesday

Neither rain nor more rain nor inept drivers shall stay us in our appointed 13th Age and pho (or banh mi for more enthusiastic carb-eaters, although to be fair my pho had plenty of noodle)!

It was a very D&D fight, with lots of statuses that kind of overlapped or didn't overlap or did or didn't affect particular actions, yadda yadda yadda. It would have taken a third the time and been twice as fun (for me, and I bet for at least some others) in Dungeon World.

Also I did some random background generation for my character in Mike's increasingly-imminent 13th Age Glorantha game. I can possibly make a character sheet now.


Words: 121.

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15 January 2019 - Tuesday

Oh, hey, there's more The Good Place! In 3.10, Michael has an important insight, and Eleanor is weird and horny. So, A+ for consistent characterization! Also, we understand more of how things are the way they are, and it makes perfect sense if you make certain assumptions.

But there was only one new episode, so then we watched a bit of The Dragon Prince. After the first episode, I was all "this fantasy product is both extruded and lumpy", but Marith wanted to watch more, and the second episode was much better. Also the animation is quite pretty.


Words: 124.

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14 January 2019 - Monday

Now I have a CPAP machine, obtained on a harrowing quest into the depths of Los Gatos! It is much smaller and lighter than my previous one, and also has a fancier interface. We will see what happens.

But I did not set up the machine tonight, because I was up until a million o'clock playing Gloomhaven with Ken and Dave and Brooks, and eating Somali food. I need to remember to get the injera next time, the chappatti is not that interesting to me.

I guess Gloomhaven is the sort of thing you can have spoilers for, isn't it? So I shouldn't say too much about the scenario except that that disembodied voice is a jerk. Also, either I don't know how to play (definitely true) or I cleverly picked the weakest class (possibly true).


Words: 154.

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13 January 2019 - Sunday

After being a slug all morning, I went to see Aquaman because Dave said it was good. It wasn't bad! Nothing had a sensible design, but I liked the riding mosasaurs anyway, and, well, it was a comic-book movie. The realities of water resistance are not what people were there for.

I often say, "What is even the point of male characters?", but I would accept "Jason Momoa" as an answer.


When Marith was no longer dead, we finished She-Ra. I continued to like it a lot, even though it is for a young audience, and hope there will be a second season soon!


Speaking of princesses, I read volume 1-3 of Raven: The Pirate Princess (Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins, Ted Brandt), a spinoff of volume 3 of Princeless because I guess everyone liked the martial arts pirate princess. Now she has a crew of (mostly queer) lady pirates, and they are going to stomp some people who need stomping!

Also read: volume 1 of Ne Ne Ne (Shizuku Totono, Daisuke Hagiwara), which is about a young woman who ends up married to an older (but quite unworldly) man who always wears a mask and parleys with unseen beings. It is pretty cute, and a little like Ancient Magus' Bride but much much less angstful and no one is doomed. At worst, some people are awkward.


Words: 157.

Weekly total: 1182. Ugh. Maybe I need fewer pad games as well as fewer evening activities.

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12 January 2019 - Saturday

In the morning, cleaners. In the afternoon, trying to go over to Monkeycat Mountain to game with Jus, but Marith did not make a plan, so instead we went over at the regular time and ate burritos.

  • Steven Universe 5.27-28: "Together Alone" and "Escapism"! Gems are completely dysfunctional! Connie and Steven function in heretical ways! Watermelons!
  • Non Non Biyori 11:
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 7: I don't know if it's actually mandatory for the narrator of a story about storytelling to be unreliable, but I lack counterevidence.
  • BBK/BRNK 4: The promise of worldbuilding has not been followed up, and nothing else is any good, so we are dropping this one.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 4: I think they got the skeptics on their side? Or at least promoted some unit integrity?

Words: 146.

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11 January 2019 - Friday

Marith made fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. They were good. But they did not make my brain larger.


Words: 241.

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10 January 2019 - Thursday

The finale of Ancient Magus' Bride! Hm, that's kind of dark, although not as bad as it could be. I hope there is a second season!


I have finally caught up enough to calculate the yearly total for 2018, which was not that great. I should probably increase my daily quota, but I keep having things that take up almost my entire evening. I blame Ken for moving a long ways away and then refusing to game until late in the evening, but if we had more evening, we'd probably just game more.

Words: 160.

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9 January 2019 - Wednesday

Once again, it's 13th Age and Indian food!

Vaatu pulling the mysterious lever causes the cube to go rocketing around the cavern while the Secret Master inside summons up hook demons in French maid outfits, but they're not actually very impressive demons and the fight is won by the time the cube lands in something explosive and everyone has to bail out.

In the confusion, the PCs sneak into the secret chamber of disgusting magical power, which is probably adjacent to the place they need to reach to complete the entire campaign, but of course there are guardians.


Words: 130.

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8 January 2019 - Tuesday

I failed to escape from work at a reasonable time (mostly because I was too stupid to stand up from my desk, not because of terrible customers or anything), so instead of watching the end of Ancient Magus' Bride, we watched a bit of She-Ra while feeding. Tuxedo! Dancing! Rescues! Let the Catradora shipping commence intensify greatly!


Words: 225.

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7 January 2019 - Monday

What, work again?


All Tomorrows (Nemo Ramjet) is a future history of human biology over the next 100 million years or so (including a long stretch under the rule of aliens who like to genetically engineer their subject species for having the temerity to object to being conquered). It features many pictures of creatures that obviously derive from humanity and yet are not human, which is pretty cool. I'm not sure about the timescales of some bits, but whatever.


Words: 123.

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6 January 2019 - Sunday

Apparently Sunday is still the day for staying in bed and reading comics until 23489562394659024 o'clock in the morning.

I'm now up to volume 6 of Princeless (which is all that's out so far), and it is full of obnoxious princesses, dragon-back fistfights, family drama, utterly mad dwarves, queer representation, pirates, and other good things. I like the art style less as it goes on, but I blame Rumiko Takahashi for my weird old-fashioned tastes.


We're almost to the end of Ancient Magus' Bride, and things are definitely even darker and scarier and more doomed. How is Chise going to survive this one? How is Elias's sapience going to survive?


Words: 305.

Weekly total: 1400.

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5 January 2019 - Saturday

Yay, it's Saturday! That work week was much too long!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 137: Finally, Fisheye gets a chance! But is still evil and not romantic.
  • Steven Universe 5.26: I mean, SU is pretty much always great, but this episode had less greatness than usual. Setup for the next super-great episode? Steven did change clothes, after all!
  • Non Non Biyori 10: Flashback episode! Yes, apparently Renge has always been like that.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 3: And there's the obstacles internal to the team orchestra that they have to overcome to get VICTORY!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 5-6: Meep!

Words: 233.

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4 January 2019 - Friday

More AMB! Chise makes a friend, fairies cause problems, Elias discovers a new emotion, Chise takes damage from doing magic (again).


Hex Vet: Witches in Training (Sam Davies, of Stutterhug fame) is an adorable comic about apprentice magical veterinarians and magical creatures in need of care. It does have dialog, but that's okay, really!


Words: 304.

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3 January 2019 - Thursday

I finally went to see a medical professional about a prescription for a CPAP machine. Since I was on one before, I do not have to do a sleep study or anything, just make an appointment at the CPAP vendor.


More Ancient Magus' Bride. All about love, and also taking lethal damage as a side-effect of doing magic (or having half-naked fairy chicks living in your garden). Plus, changelings, Silver's backstory, shopping, and kisses.


Words: 204.

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2 January 2019 - Wednesday

Yuck, work. Although the really bad part is how early in the day it happens!


First 13th Age of the new year! Also, Mexican food not actually made of either iguanas or kaiju.

Really, what did Xian think was going to happen when she pointed out a mysterious and enticing lever to Vaatu? (Answer: not what actually happened!)


Words: 113.

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1 January 2019 - Tuesday

Hey, look, it's 2019! This year better suck less, or I will shake my puny fist at the uncaring sky.

"Begin as you mean to go on", so I did um absolutely nothing today. Except lie in bed and read manga.

(I actually read this last year, but whatever.) Made in Abyss vol 1-3 (Akihito Tsukushi) is the story of a girl and this robot she found, on a one-way descent into a vast pit full of strange creatures and ancient artifacts, in search of her mom and also knowledge. It has some problematic elements, but also a lot of pretty cool stuff and plot twists and such. I think there's an anime, maybe we should watch it on Saturdays. (It might even leave out some of the more problematic bits.)

Going beyond imaginative into cracktastic, we have Dr.STONE vol 1-2 (Riichiro Inagaki, Boichi). One day, all humans and sparrows on Earth are turned to stone! 3700 years later, the two high-school students we've been introduced to recover, one because he kept conscious by counting seconds (which is how he knows how long it's been) and the other because he kept conscious thinking of the girl he had been about to confess to. One has maxed his Int and Science stats, and is working on recreating all of C21 civilization single-handedly, the other has maxed Strength and Stamina and is doing all the grunt work. Things start going wrong when they revive the high-school student who can punch lions to death and he has different ideas about the future of the humanity. It is so ridiculously over-the-top! But it fails at female characters.

My Pretty Vampire (Katie Skelly) is meh, probably mostly because the art style didn't grab me.

I read volume 1 of Princeless (Jeremy Whitley, M Goodwin) before, but now I am set to read the next 5 volumes that my local indie bookstore has delivered to me. Because if we must have princesses, they shouldn't need rescuing!/p>


Words: 139.

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31 December 2018 - Monday

This time Marith and I successfully saw Into the Spider-Verse, and it was pretty good! Now I understand Miles's powers in MPQ. I wonder if we'll get this version of [SPOILER]?

In the evening, Earl fondue (not made out of real Earls), as is the New Year's Eve tradition. This time we broiled the meat portion, which was logistically much better, and we still had the cheese and chocolate death courses for dipping with brain forks. There was some discussion of watching things, but mostly we searched for the lost art of conversation until it was time for toasting and then home-going.

We are so old and sedate that there was almost no one on the roads yet by the time Marith andI drove home.


Words: 102.

Yearly total: 91474. That's actually not completely dreadful. These are all first-draft words, and not very good ones at that, so it's a long way from being anything even if they were all the same things, but there are probably published books that are not much longer than that. I probably need to increase my quota for the new year, though.

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30 December 2018 - Sunday

Marith and I tried to go to a movie, but failed because the only seats were in the front row, which is not workable. (But apparently other people paid for those seats. Necks, how do they work?) We got better tickets for tomorrow.

In the evening, I went over to Ken's and even though we had no Dave, we had Mike and Brooks to play Gloomhaven. Splitting the party worked, mostly, and I got my murder rat up to 3rd level, so I can have even better cards that slowly trickle out of my hand, never to be seen again.


Words: 126.

Weekly total: 1560.

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29 December 2018 - Saturday

I was too lethargic to let the cleaners in, but we eventually got things sorted out and do not have to live in squalor.


We thought about doing board games because Dave isn't available to watch anime, but no one had enough brain.

  • Non Non Biyori 8-9: Poor Komori. Someone should tell her that being an adult isn't worth it.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 4: Aw, rakugo for kids! (It's probably not a dead art form if kids like it!)
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.12: Rewatch for Ken and Marith. Still cute.

Words: 305.

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28 December 2018 - Friday

Today, I got out of the house and did some things! Like getting my hair cut for the first time in approximately my entire life, and ordering new glasses.


More Ancient Magus' Bride, more doom! I mean, Chise seems to mostly come out okay in the end, but there's still a lot of doom.


Words: 160.

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27 December 2018 - Thursday

In a possibly futile attempt to seem like we didn't spend the entire holiday season as somnolent lumps in our separate caves, Marith and I went to the big library downtown. It is certainly very large, but not prosperous in fiction. I did get a library card (because the librarian was more helpful than the one at my local branch) and check out Step Aside, Pops (Kate Beaton). Kate Beaton rocks.


New She-Ra 5-7: soggy princess, terrifying princess, and magical aunt.


Words: 239.

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26 December 2018 - Wednesday

It's Boxing Day, which I guess is the day when Santa goes to Australia in his sleigh drawn by pugilist kangaroos?

More The Ancient Magus's Bride. Every girl needs a giant terrifying black dog with a tail longer than its entire body!


Words: 218.

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25 December 2018 - Tuesday

A nifty Newtonmas to all!

Ayse and Ken fed us many tasty foods (yay duck!) and also there was great sloth.


The Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle (Kagiji Kumanomata) is there because the demons have kidnapped her to hold hostage and now have no idea what to do with her as she runs roughshod over them in her pursuit of a good night's sleep. She cuts up the living rugs of smothering to make bedsheets, steals priceless magical artifacts to adjust the temperature of her quarters, breaks through walls to get better ventilation, and generally crushes the demons underfoot without even realizing. There is little if any ongoing plot, just one ridiculous scheme per chapter, so it may eventually get old, but after three volumes it's still pretty amusing.


Words: 124.

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24 December 2018 - Monday

Watched some more She-Ra, otherwise hid from the capitalist frenzy of Newtonmas Eve.


Ran and the Gray World (Aki Irie) is about a young girl (upper end of elementary school, maybe?) who is sad because her mom, a glamorous sorceress (possibly the glamorous sorceress) is always away on important sorcery business, leaving her stuck with her dad and big brother. She has a pair of magic sneakers that turn her into a grownup. Adventure ensues!


Words: 388?! Where did all this typing come from?

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23 December 2018 - Sunday

Marith and I started watching the new She-Ra, which is actually pretty good! It is definitely for kids, so very simple in some ways, but none of it makes me want to fling things. Also I see why there is so much Adora/Catra shipping.


Words: 163.

Weekly total: 1157.

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22 December 2018 - Saturday

Ayse has decided to learn to make Swiss rolls. There may be imperfect attempts that need to be disposed of.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 135-136: More monster-of-the-week, but the villains have plans. I don't think Jus understood the jealousy over Mamoru, which is good. That's a trope that can die with this generation!
  • My Hero Academia 61-63: Rewatch for Ken, since he missed the end of season 3 the first time around.

Words: 124.

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21 December 2018 - Friday

Last day of work for the year! We got free food, as well as backpacks of a somewhat strange design, and company logo socks. I actually did some work for a change.


Now Marith is caught up on Hibike! Euphonium.


Words: 256. I tried writing in Comic Sans as recommended by tumblr for extreme productivity, but it has no italics, so it didn't work for me. Maybe sometime I will try using bold instead.

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20 December 2018 - Thursday

Marith is still full of Connecticut germs. It is very sad.

Avalon does not have germs, but does have work. However, there is a puppy at work.


I believe the Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan is only mentioned once in a single Lovecraft story, but that limited source material didn't stop someone from fleshing it out for Call of Cthulhu!

It's 5000AD. Cthulhu has risen, and taught humanity new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves. All the earth is aflame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom, except for the Empire of Tsan Chan, which keeps that kind of madness at bay with massive magical wards, brutal repression, and unwholesome bargains. It's not a pleasant life, even for the mutants and cyborgs and liches at the top, but at least most of the population still have their own minds. Mechanically, the philosophy/religion/indoctrination gives you a second Sanity track: as long as either SAN or the Way is above 0, you can be a functional human being, and the Way isn't reduced by the horrors you encounter in day-to-day life in Tsan Chan.

There are plot hooks/campaign seeds for every stratum of society: commoners, military, the travelling magistrates of the judiciary run by the liches that founded the empire, the divine hybrid nobility, the eunuchs who have been ritually mutilated and modified to be able to survive the Empress's presence, even the allied Serpent People or ghouls. They would all be extremely grim, but what are you playing CoC for?


Words: 152.

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19 December 2018 - Wednesday

13th Age extra Thai food!

Without Mike's strong vision of what we should be doing, we had to resort to simple measures like disguising ourselves with stolen cultist robes and sneaking back to scout around some more. Sadly, the cultist robes did not grant darkvision, or the ability to pass through the labyrinth unhindered by assorted horrible monsters. Ow.

No gaming until next year!


Words: 103.

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18 December 2018 - Tuesday

Avalon is busy being oppressed by aunts and work, so instead of a date I spent the evening watching anime with Marith.

  • The Ancient Magus' Bride 5: Chise really should not be surprised about that, since the entire show about is about the bittersweetness of transient things. Also, splendid cat king is splendid.
  • BBK/BRNK 3: Rewatch to get Marith caught up.

Also I returned to tumblr, which really is mostly still there, but has a very desolate feeling anyway.


Words: 158.

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17 December 2018 - Monday

Hurray, Marith made it back! With pictures!

We celebrated by ordering pizza and watching two more episodes (3-4) of The Ancient Magus' Bride. Yikes, that is quite a cliffhanger!


I avoided tumblr completely today, and anecdotally, my notifications of people I follow posting stuff or my posts getting reblogged, were way down. I wonder if Oath (can you get any more obvious that corporations are an invention of Nyarlathotep, guys?) will notice.


Words: 201. Maybe I should stop writing and just die in a pit forever.

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16 December 2018 - Sunday

It seems like barely a week ago that I made the trek to Palo Alto, but it's already time for PAD&D5 again! Except no Deirdre, who apparently has to work all month while her boss goes to holiday parties.

The Heroines of Red Larch have to take the people they've just rescued back to Red Larch, so more than another day passes before they can reach the site where they hope to rescue everyone else, and of course by the time the villains and their captives are long gone. However, while searching the area for clues, the Heroines encounter a lone [SPOILER], who tells them that many of the children were taken away separately, to a local place of ominous reputation. It is dusk, and everyone knows terrible things are always scheduled for midnight, so there is no time to waste!

On the way into the deep dark woods, the party is assaulted by random [SPOILER] wielding [SPOILER], but Rimardo uses his Pink Sugar Crystal Dragon attack to get rid of them with little effort.

Finally, the Heroines reach the Ominous Location, and their ninjas locate the missing children, along with the expected enemies and a surprising [SPOILER]. Just as they're ready to bust in and do some good, one of the enemies reveals that it's a trap! But Mara is already out of sight of everyone else, so she can claim she was mind-controlled by the [SPOILER] when she tries to remove Rimardo's kidneys. Despite all this, the Heroines manage to defeat everyone who turns out to be an enemy, and save everyone who needs saving. What are [SPOILER] doing here, though? Aren't they ruled out by the campaign premise?

No more gaming until next year.


Tomorrow is International Fuck Tumblr Day, so I tried to close all my browser tabs that were open to tumblr. I spent multiple hours doing this and I'm not sure I actually succeeded, since some tumblr blogs have their own URL, but I certainly closed very many of them!


Words: 105.

Weak total: 969. Ugh. Maybe I need to find a different wall to bang my head against? Maybe one with a plot. Or something.

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15 December 2018 - Saturday

Marith is away, and Ken and Jus went to Ken's work party, so it was just Dave and me and Ayse and Thai food for anime this week.

  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.12: Awww! And we only have one out of three straight relationships (assuming [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] ever admit they're a couple). The End!
  • Hibike! Euphonium 1-2: Before I knew the Pettersons, I would have thought a sports anime about band was weird.
  • BBK/BRNK 3: More history of the worldbuilding, but character interaction needs to get better.

Words: 117.

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14 December 2018 - Friday

Marith assures me she is not dead and her niblings like their presents, or at least their parents approve of the presents, which maybe be a completely different thing.


Croma Venture (Joel Shepherd) is the 5th book in the "Spiral Wars" series. Despite the pretty big triumph of the previous book, the Phoenix keeps going further and further from human space and getting involved in more and more alien political betrayals, because the situation is always worse. The new aliens are not that interesting, but we are getting to see some of the previously-introduced aliens act alienly.


Words: 119.

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13 December 2018 - Thursday

Marith has departed for Connecticut, where she will be oppressed by her relatives, as is her filial duty.


Words: 113.

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12 December 2018 - Wednesday

Time for Greek food and 13th Age! We had a fight with some obnoxious cultists, who our necromancer now proposes to desecrate for information and disguise. No one else thinks much of this idea.


Bryony and Roses is T Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon)'s response to Beauty and the Beast. It has a practical heroine, a sarcastic Beast, and roses seen from a gardener's point of view.


Words: 152.

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11 December 2018 - Tuesday

Marith and I watched the first two episodes of Ancient Magus' Bride, because we don't have to wait for Saturday! Oh, right, there was that bit in the beginning where she is sold as a literal slave to someone who talks about her being his bride, but after that it's magical creatures and English scenery. (So far it seems to be following the manga pretty closely.)


Humans, still not as sapient as they think.


Words: 222.

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10 December 2018 - Monday

Yay, new book from T Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon)! Swordheart is set in the same universe as Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine, and features some of the some places, but is not otherwise related. However, it does have snarky characters, and also a magic sword, a rat priest, a gnole, and a road trip.

The Mortal Word (Genevieve Cogman) is the fifth book in the "Invisible Library" series, and it looks we may be finally getting to the fundamental underpinnings of reality. Or maybe that was just a red herring. Also, less sympathetic dragons and more sympathetic fey.


Words: 141.

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9 December 2018 - Sunday

It's the yearly gingerbread party! The party was kind of thin this year because apparently a lot of people were sick, but I listened to people talk, and ate way too much Party Snack™ and even decorated half of a house. I am still terrible at parties, though.


Interspecies Reviewers vol 1 (Amahara, masha) is a little bit sexy but mostly ridiculous, because how can reviewing brothels in a fantasy setting be otherwise? It's also mostly straight, although they at least acknowledge there are women and queer people &c. Also, bonus points for knowing that hyena girls are better hung than you.


Words: 127.

Weak total: 986.

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8 December 2018 - Saturday

Hurray, it's turkey chili!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 134: Maybe Chibi-Usa didn't imagine Pegasus after all!
  • Non Non Biyori 7: There must be many dedicated and competent teachers in Japan, but you wouldn't know it by watching anime.
  • BBK/BRNK 1-2: No one hates it yet!
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.11: Still adorable.

Words: 153.

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7 December 2018 - Friday

Hurray, there's a new The Good Place! The major plot twist makes it seem like a season finale, but it's only episode 3.9! Were there three double-length episodes earlier? It's tagged as #36 overall, so maybe. I haz a confuze.


Words: 137.

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6 December 2018 - Thursday

Words: 162.

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5 December 2018 - Wednesday

After missing two weeks due to holiday gluttony and the opposite of fun, we (minus Brooks) gathered to eat Korean food and 13th Age. We were successful at one of these, but less so the other. I guess you do need a brain for gaming, otherwise you end up making plans like falling over dead and exploding into flames while in disguise and then running away.


Words: 122.

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4 December 2018 - Tuesday

Avalon is still alive, but her job is still horrible. :(


EDENS ZERO (Hiro Mashima) is a new series by the same person who wrote the wildly popular Fairy Tail, and seems to have the three important elements for shounen manga: a male character with improbable fighting skills, a female character with breasts, and an animal mascot.


Words: 108.

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3 December 2018 - Monday

I don't want to get up and start a work week, I want to stay in bed forever, because it's December.


Words: 177. New keyboard is loud, because mechanical, and a little confusing because I'm used to my old keyboard that had the CMD key in the wrong place, but otherwise very satisfactory. Which it should be, for that price!

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2 December 2018 - Sunday

Once again, it's PAD&D5!

Having survived both the fight scene where the ground was literally lava (monsters) and the following epic "Yo Momma" competition, the somewhat hungover Heroines of Red Larch set forth to rescue the innocent hostages in the encounter when they were flung into the elemental planes (weeks ago in their personal time, later this morning by objective calendars).

Unfortunately, despite Mara's abuse of the rust bag of tricks to get a riding lion for herself and a riding goat for Hazelrae, the Heorines are still on the road when they encounter many of the people they hope to rescue, dragging a seige engine under guard by [SPOILER] and associated monsters. The enemy riders race back, presumably to fetch reinforcements, leaving the Heroines to defeat a bunch of [SPOILER], a few [SPOILER], a surprise [SPOILER] that almost eats Rimardo, and the horrifying [SPOILER]. It's not an easy fight, but eventually the Heroines rescue Rimardo and do away with the [SPOILER] and all the other enemies. None of the hostages are even hurt much! However, they do need to be escorted to safety, and the Heroines need to regroup and recharge before going to rescue the others.


Words: FAIL. I can't be expected to work without commas!

Weak total: 1158.

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1 December 2018 - Saturday

Nonny had his birthday party with other kids today, so the usual evening schedule was disrupted, but he was so happy with his new mermaid tail blanket that we can't complain!

  • Non Non Biyori 6: This is not the show in which things happen, is it?
  • My Hero Academia 61-63: Yep, that's pretty much the only way Bakugo can express his feelings. But they are valid feelings! And now it is the end of season 3, so we will have to watch something else until season 4 is out!

I had more thoughts about not-Starfinder, but what even is the point?


Words: 47, because my keyboard suddenly stopped producing commas! (And less-than signs, but I don't write HTML by hand as much now that I have Scrivener.) This is awkward.

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30 November 2018 - Friday

Words: 177.

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29 November 2018 - Thursday

We tried watching some Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but apparently Marith has gone off it.


Because I'm still not very sensible, I was thinking about aliens and inventing details of the star dragons and their three life stages of which the middle one is playable, but then I realized that's not the indie way. Give the players just the core, and some leading questions about what's probably important, and let them go from there.

"Dozens of non-sapient (but adorable) juveniles of your species merged to form you. You are larger and stronger than most sophonts, even humans, but without the hyperactive need for constant motion. The right single action at the right moment is more effective than any amount of warm-blooded scurrying, and in the meantime, there is contemplation to be done. Someday, if you live long enough, if you are worthy, the correct action will be to merge with thousands of others to form a star dragon, glorious and terrible and with concerns that your present self cannot imagine."

"Questions: What is your species like? Reptilian? Insectile? Crab-like? Amphibian? Pick two capabilities you have: (list of things like natural weaponry, really big, breath underwater, etc). How do the juveniles live? Who takes care of them? Juveniles can do something you can't; what lost ability do you miss? Who decides when you are worthy to ascend? How do they judge you? How do they decide who you will merge with? What mystery of the universe is associated with the star dragons?"

Only, you know, better written.


Words: 245.

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28 November 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, Ken is sick. Neither Marith nor I is, so probably it's not something he got from Roseville? Who knows, though.


Oh, that's how the doom of Over the Garden Wall is resolved. Well, okay, then!


Bring the Fire (Craig Schaefer) wraps up the "Wisdom's Grave" trilogy and in fact brings all four of the author's fantasy/horror serieses to a conclusion in which all mysteries are explained and many villains get their comeuppance. It is a little too concrete and mundane in some ways for the subject matter, but it does wrap things up, and set up for a vast future of [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] and despair, so that's... good?


Words: 220. Maybe it will work better this way?

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27 November 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 211, still meh.

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26 November 2018 - Monday

Boo, Monday!


Hurray, Avalon! Although her life is very frustrating because of humans.


Hurray, Mars Mole!


Marith and I managed to watch the next four episodes of Over the Garden Wall. Wait, there are only like two more?! But, the doom! How will the doom be resolved?


Because I am very foolish, I had to think about better ways to do Starfinder. I mean, other than just taking all the D&D out.

D&D is always, "humans can be any class, can have a bonus to any stat are super-diverse, but nah. If other species have to be stereotyped, then humans are space orcs. Give them extra hit points or harm slots or whatever, or let them keep rampaging for a bit after being mortally wounded, or both, and maybe some extra strength; they already have the belief that honor and glory come from murdering other sophonts and the inability to form bonds with anyone they haven't met in person.

Since all other species are being made up from whole cloth, we can add to the effect by making them some combination of smaller, more physically specialized, or less vigorous than humans. Like, a giant lizard alien that's stronger than human would be okay if it were also pretty torpid. Oh, and any specialization should not be long-distance running, let humans have one bonus that's not murder-related.

It's no longer the 1950s, so we don't have to believe that the 6' tall, strong-jawed American man is the evolutionary optimum all other planets vainly strive for, but probably playable species should be somewhat humanlike. (Rats with flamethrowers, for example.) Since we're in the fantasy genre, we can blame this on supernatural forces (which also shortens the timeline so it's reasonable to have comparable species coexisting). Maybe the Universal Mother Goddess has a face like a human's (for compatability with existing fantasy art, probably breasts too). Maybe the stars in the local cluster formed from a nebula with a high concentration of the Man rune. Maybe the Ancients put like with like when they stocked habitable planets so that every species would have somewhat compatible neighbors. Etc.

Ugh, too much thinking about something no one cares about! Blargh.


Words: 258, but meh.

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25 November 2018 - Sunday

I did some shopping and stuff, like a responsible adult, but nothing interesting.


Words: 159.

Weekly total: 595, but it was only a fraction of a week.

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24 November 2018 - Saturday

Roseville Thanksgiving! As usual, Al and Sherilyn were wonderful hosts, and I was a mediocre guest.

Besides the important events of eating ridiculous amounts of food and taking kids to the park, we played Azul (I'm still terrible at it) and Roll for the Galaxy (still terrible at this too), and broke open and played Sagrada (a new thing to be terrible at). Some people played Gloomhaven, but it only has room for four players, so I read Lies Sleeping.

Marith played a little bit of games with us, but mostly she slept. She was better at sleeping than me, though, so I can't complain.

On Friday night, Robert ran the Sentinel Comics RPG quickstart adventure with pregen characters. It went pretty well! The system is simple and not rigorous, about like Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (from which I suspect it is partially descended), and also like any of the Marvel RPGs, it seems intended mostly for playing characters from the comics, written up by the developers. It's just that the Sentinels comics don't actually exist. Anyway, many spiderbots were defeated and a good time was had by all. (I am terrible at playing a speedster/gadgeteer, but in a different way than I am terrible at board games. Or maybe the same way.)

Because he is into Pathfinder, Al had the Starfinder core book lying around and Dave, Ken, and I all flipped through it to varying degrees. The cover art has a rat with a flamethrower, which is promising, and the game does have some ideas that are not terrible at first glance, like the bug people who are a defective offshoot of the Hive-Mind Space Locust Menace, and the star/black hole-themed space paladin class, and hyperdrive that tears pieces off other planes, but it also has hit points per level and spell slots per day and endless lists of weapons and feats which are almost all useless because there are only a handful of optimal builds. Space fantasy could be interesting, but not if I have to slog through D&D to do it. (Scum and Villainy would probably work with little change if you didn't mind the mission-oriented structure.) Also, more game designers need to read tumblr so they don't feel obliged to make stereotypical hulking lizard guys with a brutal yet somehow honorable warrior culture to be space orcs when humans fill that niche perfectly.

I thought I was doing okay after about two days of sleeping not in my own bed, but then I yelled at Ken over something completely trivial. Probably this means I should always stay home and never visit again.

When I got home, I actually had energy like you're supposed to after a vacation! But I used it all on chores and saving Marith from a giant bug.


Lies Sleeping (Ben Aaronovitch) is the seventh and apparently last of the "Rivers of London" series. At least, it wraps up the plot threads from the first book until now, even though there is clearly a lot of other stuff that is or could be happening in that world. A series with Abigail, and maybe witch girl from the sixth book and some of the younger rivers who are not down with the status quo, could be awesome.


Words: VACATION.

Useful and important by marithlizard (Wed Nov 28 19:31:14 2018)

Saving me from the giant bug was EXTREMELY important and useful! And I did worse than you at the games we played, so nyah, or something. And Robert seemed very happy about the Sentinels game, so you were a good enough player to support rather than traumatize the relatively inexperienced GM :)

Re: Useful and important by Trip (Thu Nov 29 13:23:29 2018)

It was definitely a very impressive bug.

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20 November 2018 - Tuesday

Last Dragon Standing (Rachel Aaron) wraps up the "Heartstriker" series. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying it is pretty much a happy ending, but there is a lot of drama where one failed roll could have ruined everything. Also, there may be mushy stuff.

The new "Rivers of London" book is out, so I reread The Hanging Tree (Ben Aaronovitch) to make sure I'm ready. Oh, that's how that worked out, right!


Words: 222.

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19 November 2018 - Monday

Out of a probably self-destructive desire to not miss too much work, I took the earliest eye doctor appointment I could, which meant getting up an hour and a half early. This did not lead to keeping my eyes wide open, but eventually they were certified as "no worse than expected" which really is probably about the most I could have hoped for.

Now I can try to get glasses that are not ancient and terrible. (I don't need my eyewear to be +10 levels, really.)


A Dragon of a Different Color (Rachel Aaron) is the fourth book in the "Heartstrikers" series. The antagonists' plans are really getting going now, but most of the book is cosmology and talking to spirits, so that's cool.


Words: 214.

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18 November 2018 - Sunday

No gaming, only Zuul. And a new microwave.


Since we're all caught up on The Good Place, Marith and I watched the first four episodes of Over the Garden Wall. Well, that was spooky. And also nonsensical. And what's up with the turtles?


The second omnibus of Dragon Half (Ryusuke Mita), containing the original volumes 3-4, continues well past where the anime ended and not very productively. It seems like side quests on side quests, which offer lots of room for gags, but at least the in the previous omnibus it seemed like the gags were in service of something.


Words: 147.

Weekly total: 1113.

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17 November 2018 - Saturday

Nonny's wish for his birthday dinner was sushi with videos and capsules, and so that is what we did! Then he got presents and also cake!

  • Sailor Moon Super S 131-132: More monsters oppressing girls' beautiful dreams, but it does them no good. As usual, the biggest threat to Sailor Moon's success is Usagi.
  • Non Non Biyori 4: Wow, an airplane!
  • My Hero Academia 53-56: Apparently there's a reason UA has the reputation it does. (And it's all because Eraserhead is such a tsundere.)

Words: 181.

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16 November 2018 - Friday

Yay, more The Good Place! In 3.7 and 3.8, we get to see how weird humans are, how annoying demons are, and how awesome Janet is.


Words: 139.

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15 November 2018 - Thursday

Ken lured me to play Gloomhaven, but although we successfully defeated a large map full of annoying monsters at difficulty +1, it took until almost 23:00. This just does not work.


Minimum Wage Magic (Rachel Aaron) is the first of a spinoff series from the series about the dragons in a not-at-all-Shadowrun future of returned magic. Mostly it is about a young mage with a complicated backstory trying to make her way in the sketchy city-of-no-laws. There is a hot guy, and also annoying loan terms.


Prism is a hard game to describe. It's very simple and diceless, everyone is merperson and probably queer, it's about conflict resolution and relationships, the art is sexy (because yes, that kind of relationship is definitely included) but too abstract to be NSFW. It is not an action-adventure game.


Words: 141.

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14 November 2018 - Wednesday

Once again, it is time for 13th Age and Indian food!

This session was spent entirely in exploration of a creepy cave city full of magical nonsense and deranged cultists. We're pretty sure it's the right place, we just need to figure out what to do to it.


Words: 144.

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13 November 2018 - Tuesday

Ghirardelli has been off his feed a bit lately, so Marith helped me cart him to the vet. Highways are difficult, but we made it eventually, and Ghirardelli was very well-behaved and did not give the vet or the vet-techs any trouble at all. (Because he is an excellent kitty.)

Now his neck lump is drained, and tomorrow we will know the results of his blood work, and he did eat some when we got home, so probably he will be okay.


Words: 206.

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12 November 2018 - Monday

It's Veterans' Day (or Remembrance Day, if you're in a country that prefers peace to war), so no work for me. Instead I went shopping, and then went shopping some more. Now my clothes have a better place to live than a laundry hamper. Also I had to throw away a bunch of old clothes, so they are no longer taking up space in my closet.

It's Holiday Candy Season at Trader Joe's.


Words: 155.

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11 November 2018 - Sunday

The air is still full of smoke, so Dave and I walked less briskly to PAD&D5, but were not overrun by fires.

As the Heroines of Red Larch finally emerge from the depths, their new friend [SPOILER] is surprised to be abducted for a talking-to by [SPOILER], but it's not really the Heroines' problem. They hardly knew the guy!

Their great tour of the planes of existence has returned them a couple of days before they were banished, so the Heroines consider averting the whole somewhat embarrassing episode, but decide to leave the fabric of time intact for now and instead head for Red Larch, where they know trouble is about to happen.

Fortunately, Red Larch has levelled up militarily since the Heroines first visited, but unfortunately, the trouble knows that Red Larch has Heroines, and has laid a clever ambush for them. As the Heroines approach the gate, suddenly EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE! This is extremely inconvenient in many ways, but although things look bad for a bit, the Heroines manage to defeat the enemy leaders and the ambush falls apart. The town is saved! (More saved than it would have been on its own, anyway.)

After an all-night victory party (long rests are for wimps!), the Heroines head out to rescue the village that was taken when they were banished. Surely the enemy will not expect them to attack immediately after the banishment!

Next session is 2018-12-02, it looks like.


Words: 166.

Weekly total: 1237. Ugh.

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10 November 2018 - Saturday

No shopping, only sleepiness. And pizza.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 130: Oh yeah, they claimed points for that DNPC, didn't they?
  • Non Non Biyori 3: To a farmer, all kids are free labor, doesn't matter whose they are.
  • My Hero Academia 50-52: We didn't get to see Froppy's ultimate move! Maybe next time, when they take the provisional test.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.10: Can a Magical Girl keep both love and chuunibyo in her heart? Will we get the poly ending?

Words: 149.

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9 November 2018 - Friday

Today the office celebrated Diwali, which means free Indian food, but also a lot of people being loud and festive, so meh.


The life of an Avalon is always intense! Possibly because she works for an organization that employs humans.


Words: 116.

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8 November 2018 - Thursday

My plan for this evening was to play Gloomhaven with Ken and Dave and Brooks, but then President* Shithead tried to obstruct justice again.

In theory I should have been able to ride the light rail right to downtown, but in fact there was a problem with the electrons and a lot of messing around with bus bridges. I blame Republicans for this too. But almost everyone on the train was going to the rally.

Despite that, the rally was not very big, only a few hundred people (I think), but it was 17:00 on a weekday with one day's notice, so that's not surprising. Also, fuck Trump and his entire unqualified grifty mob.

The rally broke up by 18:00, so I went to Monkeycat Mountain after all, and ate leftovers and waited for Brooks to show up and eventually played Gloomhaven late into the night. We could totally have done that adventure at level 2.


Words: 124.

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7 November 2018 - Wednesday

Now that Halloween is safely past, it's time for Thai food and 13th Age!

Despite the confusion spell and general horribleness of the battle, the PCs did much better this time than last time they faced the giant golem of lasers and death. Victory! Long rest! Incremental advance!

Also there was more discussion of Mike's upcoming 13G campaign, which sounds like it is going to be extremely railroady.


I finally got caught up with the "Laundry Files" series so I could read The Labyrinth Index (Charles Stross), but sadly I did not like it as much as the past few. Mhari is not as engaging a narrator as Bob or Mo or even Alex, the whole thing felt like a complete sidequest, and what we were shown at the heart of the OPA was not horrifying enough to support how they've been built up. Maybe [SPOILER] being in charge makes everything worse even on a meta level.


Words: 177.

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6 November 2018 - Tuesday

I gave in and signed up for a real Hulu account so we can keep watching The Good Place. 3.5 and 3.6 are still good. I'm not sure whose family is worst, but they are, indeed, all fucked up in different ways.


Words: 193.

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5 November 2018 - Monday

Date with Avalon! For very sedate values of "date" because I am old and it is late at night for her and also because Internet.


Reread The Delirium Brief (Charles Stross), in which the enemy scores a critical hit using Bureaucracy skill. Now I am ready to start The Labyrinth Index again!


Words: 312. That's something, I guess?

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4 November 2018 - Sunday

Wow, my leg that I banged up last week is a remarkable shade of purple now.


Today all I did was reread The Annihilation Score (the one from Mo's PoV) and The Nightmare Stacks (the one partly from Alex's PoV). Only one to go before I can start on the new one!

I guess this is what they call resting, but it's terribly unproductive. Worse than usual, I mean.


Words: 123. I realized I should have done something different from the beginning, but don't want to go back and change the existing chapters (and not only because I don't know how to count that against my quota). I guess I'll just go forward as though the changes have been made and pretend like there could be a rewrite later?

Weekly total: 1302. Bad trend.

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3 November 2018 - Saturday

Hurray for weekend routine! Boo for being a person who like routine!


Hurray for apple cider chicken!


  • Sailor Moon Super S 128-129: A pegacorn! Dead Moon Circus! A new round of soul extractions begins!
  • Non Non Biyori 2: Did they ever figure that out?
  • My Hero Academia 48-49: Wow! That was quite a plot development! Ganbatte, Midoriya!

Words: 106.

what's wrong with liking routine? by marithlizard (Tue Nov 6 09:45:56 2018)

If you don't have a control established, how can you properly judge whether or not you like it when you try something different?

Re: what's wrong with liking routine? by Trip (Thu Nov 15 12:56:16 2018)

Liking routine is the opposite of creativity and interestingness! All popular culture assures me of this!

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2 November 2018 - Friday

The new "Laundry" book is out, but as often happens with later books in a series, when I started it, I realized I didn't remember the previous book well enough, and then when I started that, I realized I didn't remember the one before that, etc. This time, the curves of "how many times I read this" vs "how long ago was the last time I read this" intersect at The Rhesus Chart, which is the one about the wunch of bankers who accidentally quant in too many dimensions and make everything increasingly worse. Also Bob gets hosed.


Words: 144.

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1 November 2018 - Thursday

I finally walked home the usual way, and my leg was fine. Now I feel slightly embarrassed to have ever mentioned it. It's not like I did martial arts so hard my tibia exploded and I had to be rushed to the hospital for surgery and transfusions, or anything.

Avalon is doing fine. :)


I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I failed last year and I'm not any less lame or busy this year, so there doesn't seem much point. I will stick to my (extremely) slow and (more-or-less) steady routine.

Words: 234.

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31 October 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, it's Halloween!

By the time Marith and I made it over to Monkeycat Mountain, Nonny was done being in costume for the day (after school party and public trick-or-treating), but we got to admire Jus as Hermione. So adorable! Then we played Azul until Marith's brain fell out and admired Jus's haul from second trick-or-treating and went back home.


Words: 220.

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30 October 2018 - Tuesday

I once again avoided walking home by riding the bus to try to buy parts to fix the toilet seat I broke when I olded.


Words: 157.

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29 October 2018 - Monday

It is pure coincidence that having to go grocery shopping today to make up for going to Pumpkin Extravaganza on Saturday is keeping me from walking all the way home on my abused leg. (It is not actually that bad, but taking it easy for a couple of days is unlikely to hurt it worse.)


Words: 318.

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28 October 2018 - Sunday

I am now officially A Oldz, because I slipped getting out of the shower and banged up my leg. At least I didn't break my hip or throw my back out! I did shear off the toilet seat, though. Stupid plastic bolts.

That made going to PAD&D5 less fun, or at least less quick, but whatever. I offered Dave the chance to leave me to be eaten by wolves, which is all I'm obligated to do in that situation, right?

This week, the Heroines of Red Larch turn on their captors! The Fire Nation I mean [SPOILER] attacks, and while the [SPOILER] are lounging around decadently, going "Oh, look, blood and agony, how... quaint", Hazelrae (who due to absence-related shenanigans is mixed in with the attackers, seizes her chance! It might have been better if she had let the two sides wear each other down, but in the end the Heroines hold the field. Some of the [SPOILER] escape, but no one is fussed about that. Surely they have learned their lesson.

On the way out of the depths, the Heroines fall into a cunning trap laid by [SPOILER] and have to fight a bunch of [SPOILER], but even though Lam gets subverted for a bit, justice prevails! Also the rumored treasure is obtained.

It looks like the next session will be in a fortnight, continuing the off-phase forced upon us by life.


Words: 236.

Weekly total: 1321. That's better than last week, but that's about the most I can say for that number.

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27 October 2018 - Saturday

Today was Pumpkin Patch Day, with corn maze, terrible (I assume) food, a very short train ride, and um the other thing. But Jus and Nonny liked it, and that is who it is for!

Afterwards, we Doordashed some sushi and had cakes for the trinity of October birthday-havers, Ayse, Marith, and Cat. Hurray cakes! Happy birthdays!

  • Sailor Moon S 38: The end! But now we're set up for Super S!
  • The Disguiser 1: This has most of the same actors as Nirvana in Fire, and I think the same director, but is otherwise more like Peking Opera Blues with the Japanese invading and the KMT vs the Communists together against them and all that. Also, doom. I have no idea what's going on, but that was true after the first episode of NiF as well.

Words: 191.

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26 October 2018 - Friday

There was some amount of festivity at work today, so I snuck out. Fun, who needs it?


I finally managed to cancel my account at Large Unethical For-Profit Bank! Now I am a proud member of the Credit Union-Using Commies!


Words: 232.

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25 October 2018 - Thursday

For no particular reason, we watched The Road to El Dorado. It wasn't terrible, and also it had Chel. But all the other characters were guys, so bah.


Words: 133.

Road to El Dorado by marithlizard (Mon Oct 29 21:37:54 2018)

They were entertaining con men with a good rapport and not a complete lack of morals, what more do you want? :) But I had misremembered the portrayal of the Aztecs/Maya/whatevertheyweresupposedtobe as less cringeworthy and more "everyone here is on to you, we're just going along with it for our own ends." Also wow, gur vzcyvrq sngr bs gur uvtu cevrfg jnf cerggl njshy for a PG movie.

Re: Road to El Dorado by Trip (Tue Oct 30 07:47:07 2018)

Maya, I think. I thought the [SPOILER] was on to them from pretty early on, but the unnamed characters were pretty shallow.

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24 October 2018 - Wednesday

13th Age and Italian food.

Since we only get an hour or so to play, this session was mostly spent fighting flying architecture on narrow stairways over a vast pit (we r0xx0red them), and then admiring the gigantic doom waiting at the bottom of the pit and poking it with sticks.


Words: 194.

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23 October 2018 - Tuesday

Hey, I finally caught up journaling about the con!


The Consuming Fire (John Scalzi) is the second in the "Interdependency" series, following The Collapsing Empire, and contains many interesting plot developments, some with ramifications yet to be explored, and some outright cliffhangers. Also Kiva remains awesome, and I think she may secretly be a Zen master.


Words: 162.

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22 October 2018 - Monday

Avalon is still alive! Mostly.


Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes (Cory O'Brien) is the book version of Mythos Retold!. Need I say more? I need not.


Words: 173.

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21 October 2018 - Sunday

I'd like to think I'm recovered from the con, but I didn't actually manage to do anything today, not even move boxes in off the balcony, so maybe not. Or maybe I just suck. Or both!


Hinowa ga Crush vol 1 (TAKAHIRO, strelka) has a female protagonist but is very shounen, and also has the most disgusting limitation on the Deduction skill that I have ever seen. Seriously, ewww.

I saw the Dragon Half anime years ago and though it was cute but sadly incomplete. It turns out there is a manga (by Ryusuke Mita) as well, recently translated, and it is just as silly and somewhat raunchier (as you might expect).


Words: 167.

Weak total: 1013. I think I need more ideas. Or brains.

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20 October 2018 - Saturday

Yay, Ayse has started watching The Good Place and likes it and has Theories. Marith and I tried to look innocent.

  • Non Non Biyori 1: It's like Higurashi without any of the genre elements! Also kind of adorable, although not any more eventful than Laid-Back Camp.
  • My Hero Academia 46-47: After every super battle, there must be a recrimination phase. At least Iida is showing his leadership potential by making the PCs get a plan other than "sneak in until we're spotted and then charge". (Why are we not playing Masks?)
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.9: Rikka will prove that love and chuunibyo can live in the same heart! Just you watch!

Words: 111.

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19 October 2018 - Friday

Finally Marith and I watched some more The Good Place and are all caught up through 3.4. "If you take all the juice out, they're dead!"


Words: 116.

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18 October 2018 - Thursday

A customer wanted a thing (which is only an issue because they completely ignored the other thing I did for them earlier) so I had to stay at work for an extra couple of hours. This is hardly traumatic in the grand scheme of things, but bleah. What if I had important tumblr-browsing to do during that time?!


The Swallower of Souls is a quickstart for the currently-kickstarting Chronicles of Future Earth. I backed the kickstarter because I like distant-future things, but the adventure is not that novel, and I don't think using d6-d6 instead of 4d3-8 for Fate Core overcomes my inability to use it.

The Indie Hack also uses d6-d6, but it's more like a stripped-down version of Dungeon World. Every two points above a net 0 lets you declare one detail (which could be a point of damage), every two points below lets the GM declare one. When your damage track is filled up, you have to face one of the three goddesses of death, who might make a deal with you. It's a general system, not specific moves like in DW, which I would once have preferred even though I was looking in the direction of moves a million years ago. Ah well.


Words: 132.

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17 October 2018 - Wednesday

After the con, it's back to the modified D&D of 13th Age and Greek food. We've reached the part where the dungeon is collapsing around us, that's got to be a good sign, right?


FTL, Y'all! (ed C Spike Trotman, Amanda LaFrenais) is an anthology of diverse short comics around the premise "what if anyone could build a hyperdrive for $200 in parts?". Almost all of the stories are slice-of-life from after that point, about people who are bopping around finding weird things to vlog or doing legitimate research or trying to remediate Earth's environment after everyone left or scavenging from earlier generations of starfarers. Almost none of the art styles really grabbed me, alas. I think I might be A Old.


Words: 144.

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16 October 2018 - Tuesday

Ew, work. I like going to cons and resting up from cons both better.


Words: 199.

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15 October 2018 - Monday

I must be getting old, going to a single con and even getting six or seven hours sleep every night still wiped me out.

So what did I learn from this year's Big Bad Con? That I need to bring:

  • Snacks! Everybody likes the person who brings snacks!
  • Index cards, for making all kinds of things, although for nameplates specifically, the folding dry-erase things the lady in the Scum & Villainy game had would be even better.
  • Protein bars, because sometimes the restaurants are made of fail or there just isn't time or brainpower to hunt down food.
  • Dice that don't roll for crap!

    Also a brain and the spirit of volunteerism, because I am sure I can run at least as well as the first two GMs I played Masks with. Masks seems a little complex for a first try at can GMing, though, I'll probably go with Dungeon World.

    I definitely want to play Masks more, though. So far I have been making characters up on the spot, but Kevan (who played Miss Miracle in Carl's game, apparently not for the first time) mentioned he has character concepts and names already worked out for all the playbooks, and that seems like a clever thing to do. Superhero names are hard!


    Words: 144.

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14 October 2018 - Sunday

I didn't have anything scheduled for the morning session, so I could have slept in, but that would mean wasting one of my few precious chances to ever play a game that's not D&D, and it turns out that was enough to overcome staying up past midnight twice in a row.

My card was drawn fairly near the beginning of the Gaming on Demand allotment, so I was able to get into a game of Scum & Villainy (Blades in the Dark × (Star Wars − trademarked terms)) with some other random people. By GM fiat we were a Rebel crew and had to break out of the prison we had gotten ourselves thrown into as part of our plan, but that was fine, it's not like he gave us pregen characters or anything. I played an ex-military repair robot, and we also had a treasonous noble, a snake-lady Muscle, a silver-tongued Scoundrel, and a murderous Jedi space wizard. The noble was best, she was Organized. "You couldn't get the door open? I guess we're on to plan D, then. You do remember the flowchart, don't you? And this will definitely be brought up in the after-action debriefing." Despite our general inability to roll anything over a 4, we did escape prison and hack the communications relay, and had time left over to steal an experimental new stealth ship.

The GM was really good about calling out whether situations were desperate, risky, or controlled, and whether actions would have a reduced, normal, or greater effect, which I found very helpful. These concepts are probably as central to S&V/BitD as "to do the move, do it" is to DW.

The last game of the con was Masks vs Parental Expectations with Carl, and it was probably the best of the con. (I say only "probably" because I was getting pretty frazzled after 24 hours of gaming in two days.) This was the only game out of seven that had no women at the table, but fortunately we had only the good kind of male players, not the obnoxious kind. (I found the Peeper obnoxious, but only until I realized Cy(?) was playing a 14-year-old boy perfectly.) I played the Bull, Titania, raised and cyborged by crazy machine cultists who were very disappointed in her clinging to outmoded human ways. It's hard being a brick when you want to be an elegant gothic lolita. (Did you know there are geeks who had never heard of loligoth fasion?!) We also had the Janus, Miss Miracle, who of course could only field-test her amazing invention by going out and using it to fight crime; the Legacy of a deadbeat speedster who wanted to restore honor to the Cyclone line; and the Peeper, a Beacon with stealth and phasing and an inability to stay out of the newspapers. (This is the same powerset as my Beacon yesterday, but having a good player makes all the difference.) It was awesome, we spent almost as much time on the flashback to the fight where they all met as on the actual adventure because it was fun. I want to grow up to be this good a gamer someday.

If I were a nice person, I would have gone to dinner with Carl and Liralen and everyone, but instead I went home and died in a pit.


Words: VACATION.

Weekly total: 389, but four days of vacation.

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13 October 2018 - Saturday

I'm almost certain I used to be able to get out of bed before 8. Like, yesterday.

This was the day of experimental games (also known as the day when I couldn't get into the games I really wanted because phased signups ensured they were all full). First was The Far Vale, in which we were D&D-style adventurers who had died while looking for the Unicorns' Graveyard and found themselves in an unexepected afterlife. It was run using the WiP/playtest version of Tox, a nominally generic and fairly simple and abstract system. I think I mostly figured out how the dice worked, but some people didn't, and I never really understood what was included in my "Seer" training card. We managed to have fun anyway, probably by being loons.

In the afternoon, it was Craft Your World, Defend It 'til Death using Heroic Dark, which apparently is still in too early of a development phase to even be on the Internets. It is not as abstract, although still quite generic; everything you can do is lumped into a few categories like attack, maneuver, gain information, etc, and powers let you do action X (or foil enemy action Y) with skill Z in situation W. You roll 5d6 and hope for 6s, with some bonus 6s from skills/specialities and a number of rerolled dice equal to your stat, which I found frustrating because I can't roll for beans. If some of this sounds like Fate, apparently that's not an accident.

There is a somewhat Microscope-like section at the beginning of the game, where the group determines what kind of world this is, what the darkness threatening it is, and what the people living in the world are doing about it. The magical girls were completely my fault, but not the steampunk!

My character was a random girl who got bonked on the head with a magical girl artifact that fell as part of the meteor storms and was then attacked by monsters and had to fight them off with her new unicorn-dragon-thing. We also had a steampunk inventor (Tony Spark) with powered armor who wanted to integrate magical girl power and steampunk power because neither could defeat the darkness on its own, a disillusioned magical girl who thought steampunk was the way to go, the perfectly normal engineer who got pulled into all this because she wasn't going to let a 12-year-old run around fighting monsters on her own regardless of whether she had a unicorn-dragon-thing, and a crazy shouting old guy with an unhealthy attachment to his scooter. It was tricky (until we found out you could spend heroic points for +3 successes, which is a good deal in a one-shot), but we did manage to defeat the Dark Lord of Apathy and save the tin foundry. Hurray!

Rather than trying to find a new place to eat in the short time between afternoon and evening games, I went back to the pho joint and ate more tasty, tasty noodle soup.

Back to known games for Urban Dungeon World, DW characters going on a heist in a city instead of a quest in a dungeon. This GM actually understood PbtA and asking questions, so once I infected the group with the idea of a city built on the skeleton of a dead dragon, we had some worldbuilding and economic catastrophe due to the marrow mines playing out and the Man keeping the halfling down. My halfing defender of the oppressed had the chain from when she was on a chain gang in prison as her signature weapon, and it carried all the spirits of those who had died while shackled (though she never had a good opportunity to call on them). We also had a humanist priest, a noble bard, a wizard who flamed out of magic school, and a dwarf who tried really hard to assimilate with the humans. Someone hired us to steal a thing from a guy and promised to share the ultimate power with us, and nobody liked the guy who had the thing, so we did the heist. We actually got through the traps and frog-goons okay (although the dwarf did get his fancy golden teeth ripped out by a rock monster), but it ended up with the bard taking the Maguffin and sacrificing himself to renew the marrow mine, and everyone else had to go report partial failure and then head off to join in the revolution. It was pretty swell.


Words: VACATION.

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12 October 2018 - Friday

In the morning slot, there were no games I had wanted to sign up for (or maybe no games still open at all, I don't remember), so I went to the panel on sexuality and romance in gaming, which turned out to be more about relationships and intimacy and the bankruptness of the romantic subplot railroad compared to the idiosyncratic ways actual relationships progress from intimacy to intimacy. There was also some about how to talk to people you find attractive, with mention of the disintegration of social networks after WWI that I would have liked to hear more about.

I tried to go someplace picked out of the restaurant guide in the con schedule for lunch, but it didn't seem to exist, so I ended up at a diner called ButtercuP and had chicken marsala because Trader Joe's no longer sells marsala sauce for me to eat at home.

There was enough time to peek in on the panel on Modern Imagination (be respectful when yoinking culture, appreciate your sensitivity readers) and pillage the dealers' room for hardcopies of things I had only backed in PDF on Kickstarter and then regretted, before my first actual game of the con started.

In Masks: Homecoming, I played the Beacon, but did not do a very good job. I am proud of making her a Muslim cheerleader with headscarf and covered legs (plus it meant she could wear her superhero costume under her cheerleading uniform at the big game), but phasing and stealth are maybe not as flamboyant as a Beacon should be. Or maybe it's me that's not as flamboyant. Yah, that seems pretty likely.

The GM had a clever idea about custom moves when your character's favorite song is playing during the homecoming dance, but that ended up not being the scene for the climactic final confrontation, so it fell a little flat. More importantly, I don't think he got the important PbtA principle of "to do the move, do it", or at least he didn't explain it at all. The pacing was also a little slow. On the other hand, Sarita, who played the vampire who sucked my Monsterhearts character dry last year, was playing the Bull in this game. She's cool.

For dinner, I tried to get Japanese food, but they left me sitting for half an hour without taking my order, and I didn't have time for that nonsense. I ended up going back to the hotel restaurant, which was not great, but it was food so that I did not die. I guess at a con, you take what you can get.

In the evening slot, more Masks! Stop Toying With Us was another school-dance-oriented session, and bizarrely had pregen characters. I've never seen that in a PbtA game! I ended up with Trent, the Legacy speedster, lacrosse team captain, BMOC, and boyfriend of the head cheerleader, also a PC (another role I am not suited to play). I can't deny that pregens are quicker, but they were much less engaging, not just my character who I didn't get to create, but all the other characters who weren't created by the group.

I'm almost certain I used to be able to stay up until midnight without imploding.


Words: VACATION.

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11 October 2018 - Thursday

Getting to Walnut Creek by transit takes a long time, but I made it and got checked in and everything without incident. Carl was doing something with his secret cabal of indie gamers, so I went with Liralen and her friend Kevan and Kevan's husband Greg (who is very quiet) to have pho. Pho is good, even though I avoided it for a long time because I am a messy eater.

Tonight was mostly socialization, not serious gaming events, but a bunch of people playing a two-player game and switching partners after every round is like socialization. Thank You Kindly is a game in which two characters interact for a few minutes, and then the players decide which one was more like Red Riding Hood and which was more like the Big Bad Wolf. There were four rounds, but after the third round I ended up talking with my partner(? - not opponent!) Patrick for so long that we missed the fourth round. I don't know that I need to play this game again, since I already knew I am rubbish at being the Wolf.

After that was the Soda Pop Social. I brought many strange sodas (even my small local Bevmo had quite a few, although not as many as the big one in MV) but only drank a few because none of them were diet.

While I was waiting for Liralen, I must have looked lonely, because one of the BBC staff, Jeremy, came over and started talking to me. He was pretty cool, actually! And then Liralen arrived, and more people started to accrete, including Meguey Baker, and some people named I think Sasha and Montse. It was quite the happening table, for a few minutes!

On the principle of "begin as you mean to go on", I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

That trick never works.


Words: VACATION.

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10 October 2018 - Wednesday

Ken is, bizarrely, back from Portland, so we played 13th Age, but the food we got from Mint & Basil was not edible by anyone named Shields, so although our wizard blew up all the skeletons and the minorog, we could not really call it a successful evening.


Words: 153.

Escaping from Portland by marithlizard (Tue Oct 16 16:19:44 2018)

Why bizarrely? Did you think Ken would become trapped in the sinsister clutches of Voodoo Donuts, requiring an enormous ransom of powdered sugar for his return? *eyes last week's shopping list in sudden suspicion*

Re: Escaping from Portland by Trip (Tue Oct 16 20:18:41 2018)

I figured Ayse would just start living in Portland and make him stay there forever.

Re: Escaping from Portland by marithlizard (Wed Oct 17 02:49:43 2018)

Thank goodness for the anchoring properties of hous^H^H^^Hproperties!

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9 October 2018 - Tuesday

It's like Monday, on Tuesday! Or vice versa.


Avalon's life is very strange.


Words: 125.

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8 October 2018 - Monday

I only managed to do a few things today, but I did manage to get to Chef Chu in Mountain View for dinner with Liralen and Carl (who I will see at Big Bad Con) and also Earl and Cat (everyone else bailed for silly reasons like work or germs). Yay, Peking duck!

Mountain View is not very conveniently located.


Looks like my boss has been promising customers support on a company holiday.


Avarice (Annie Bellet) is fantasy police procedural, with two partners who have dark pasts and nothing in common, because of course. It is allegedly part of the "Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division" series, but the other books don't seem to exist on Amazon, so I don't know.


Words: 111.

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7 October 2018 - Sunday

I did not manage to do any things, except reach the daily limit on reblogging leftist rants and half-dressed anime girls on tumblr.


Words: 275 on the new project.

Weekly total: 2199, but it probably doesn't count.

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6 October 2018 - Saturday

Franken Fran (Katsuhisa Kigitsu) shows that biomedical horror is the most horrible horror. Even if Fran herself is cute in a horrible way.


  • Sailor Moon S 36-37: Jus had a good theory, which was then not supported by the actual writing. Perhaps this is the day on which she counts as a fan.
  • Laid-Back Camp 12: The End! Although I hear there's a season 2 coming.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2.3: Mammalian reproduction is the pits.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.8: I think we could have done without the Predatory Lesbian trope, but that's pretty much my only complaint.
  • My Hero Academia 44-45: End of this villain attack! But it couldn't happen to a nicer more deserving rival.

Words: 385 on new project.

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5 October 2018 - Friday

More Gloomhaven! We succeeded, and I got two checks for not using any items, even though it caused me to pass out on the last turn.


Words: 209 on new project.

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4 October 2018 - Thursday

Avalon is very tired, but alive!


Marith cooked salmon with dill and lemon, and it turned out very well!

Also we watched The Good Place episode 27, the double-length opener for season 3. It was definitely with signing up for Hulu's free trial on the card I'm going to close soon for, although not as great as some past episodes.


Words: 222.

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3 October 2018 - Wednesday

Even though Ken is in Portland, those of us who had not already made other plans (so, just me and Mike) hung out with Dave. We talked about running a game in Glorantha, but did not have a quorum to either accept or reject 13th Age Glorantha, so were restricted to higher-level discourse. We agreed that PCs should lose powers if they don't properly worship the gods with their community, and that flashbacks are a good way to introduce Glorantha stuff to n00bs. Also we ate Indian food (I think this is the one).

Once the table was cleared off, we tried introduce Mike to Gloomhaven, and mostly succeeded. Even though we were replaying a scenario, it took forever to set up, because there are not just a million piece, but a million different kinds of pieces. Then we failed to have the boss do anything except summon elite minions, so we could not get to the treasure chest behind the door that only he could open, and eventually had to give up because it was late and Dave's brain was imploding and probably we would wipe even if we played out the rest of the fight. Bah!


Words: 120.

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2 October 2018 - Tuesday

The doctor seemed approving of the results of my life choices, and if I can manage to get lab work done, I might even have fewer pills to take. Also I am about 5kg less than before, which always makes doctors happy.


While trundling back and forth to the doctor's office, which is not very conveniently located, I read the fourth Murderbot story, which pretty much wraps things up. Hurray for Murderbot!

Also I read a short story by Scott Lynch, "The Effigy Engine", which was fine but not amazingly astounding. It did have a nice breadth of magic, with almost every spell cast on-screen being unique (although some were clearly not unique overall).


Marith and I went to see the My Hero Academia movie, because it was unexpectedly playing at a local theater tonight. It was okay, but suffered from being episodic and not tied into the main plot or character development. Also, they introduced a new female character just for the movie, and while I'm okay with Deku getting all the chicks, I couldn't help thinking that every moment she was onscreen could have been spent on Froppy instead.


Words: 165.

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1 October 2018 - Monday

Words: 823 on new project (total 1399). Only a few zillion more and I can show it to people!

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30 September 2018 - Sunday

I was so useless today! Even more useless than that!


Because I had the DVD from Netflix, I watched Hancock. That was kind of a strange movie. But it presented not being an asshole as a good thing, which we need more of.


Words: 576 on a completely different project, which I will count anyway.

Weekly total: 1535.

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29 September 2018 - Saturday

Sword & Backpack is awfully cute, but I'm not sure I know anyone who could play it successfully.


Unicorn on a Roll (Dana Simpson) is I guess the second collection of comic strips about an unspeakably vain unicorn and the 4th-grader who wished for her as a best friend. It is pretty adoable.


It turns out everyone likes apple cider donuts.

  • Sailor Moon S 35/124: Things look bad for the good guys, but we have three more episodes for them to get even worse!
  • Laid-Back Camp 11: Was Japan a nation of everyday alcoholism before the US occupied them? Maybe it just goes with the baseball.
  • My Hero Academia 42-43: Some people's quirks are just gross.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.7: Only the truly exceptional have room in their hearts for love AND chuunibyo!

Words: 175.

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28 September 2018 - Friday

Coworker M's going-away party was this afternoon. I went, to pretend like I can function in human society, but then left early, because it's not a very strong ruse.


Words: 124. I have no excuse, I just suck.

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27 September 2018 - Thursday

Had to do a work thing for a customer after hours, and it ran until almost 23:00. Bah, customers.


Words: 151. I blame customers.

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26 September 2018 - Wednesday

Ken was afflicted by train delays (it's almost as though railroads aren't particularly safe), and Kelsey was entirely thwarted by capitalism sucking out her life force, but we still managed to have Indian food and a little 13th Age. Mostly we just planned what to do next in our quest to save the world from being eaten. Fortunately this friend we've made would never betray us, right?


Even Mike thinks 13th Age Glorantha is too complicated!

Ken made faces at the idea of using Dungeon World, but I think this idea has traction, even if I can't adequately explain to Mike how DW works. (Possibly a sign that I don't fully understand it myself.)

Glorantha World isn't quite a reskin of DW, but if we go the minimal route, instead of "fixing" everything that's "wrong" with DW, I think we only need to change last breath and end of session of the basic moves. We'll need all new playbooks, though.


Even though I don't like D&D any more, I like reading OSR stuff for the gonzoness, and Gathox Vertical Slum definitely falls into that category. A crowded city built on the back of a god that wanders from world to world, picking up random science-fantasy weirdos who form gangs to seize territory, is not innately very D&D, but it is gonzo.


Words: 135.

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25 September 2018 - Tuesday

Marith did cooking again. It was even tastier, maybe because there was more marination.


Words: 237.

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24 September 2018 - Monday

It's not like my weekend was strenuous, but it involved a lot of people all the time. Do I really have to go to work?

Yes. Yes, I do.


Even in Canada, capitalism annoys Avalon with jobs full of horrible coworkers. Bah.


Marith did more cooking, so I did not starve!


Even if I take all the D&D out of DW, I think it's still DW because I'm not changing the GM rules, and those are arguably the core of the system.

Game design is hard, let's die in a pit.


Words: 137.

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23 September 2018 - Sunday

Deirdre is full of germs, but we had PAD&D anyway.

The party after last session's great victory is suddenly interrupted by word that the Heroines' way home has become unstable and they need to go right away! [SPOILER] leads them through the fortress to the [SPOILER], tossing them some loot as thanks for their hard work. They get through just in the nick of time (sans Hazelrae, who has been sent on another interdimensional adventure), ending up at the [SPOILER] of the recently defeated enemy, much nearer to home. Some of the enemy's servants are there, but wounded, dispirited, and now disappointed that the Heroines can't get them back to their master's stronghold since they are trapped by invaders from the depths. (Serves them right for taking over a [SPOILER] for their lair.)

Since the former enemies are willing to repent, and maybe convert to worship of the Crystal Dragon, the Heroines take them with as they fight through the slimy and multi-[SPOILER] problems from the depths. It is enough of a struggle that they understand why the former servants weren't willing to face it, but they are the Heroines of Red Larch!

Sadly, it turns out that those problems were fleeing something even worse, and the Heroines see no alternative but to surrender to decadent but heavily armed [SPOILER]. However, it is not much after that when another problem shows up, and if only Hazelrae can reappear, perhaps they will be able to make their escape and resume saving the world!


Signup for Big Bad Con is almost fully open, so I filled up my remaining slots with random stuff.


No one could stand to wait another week to see end of Nirvana in Fire, so we all gathered back at Monkeycat Mountain. Who cares that we have to work tomorrow?

  • Nirvana in Fire 53-54: Earl opined that it could have ended after the Climactic Conversation, but I think the denoument was important.

Words: 142.

Weekly total: 1526.

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22 September 2018 - Saturday


  • Sailor Moon S 34: Well, that's not going to help Mugen Academy's graduation rates.
  • Nirvana in Fire 51-52: Finally, the climactic confrontation that has been building for more than fifty episodes! But we have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happens, because we could not watch four episodes in one night.

Words: 106. Good thing I haven't increased my quota from 100!

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21 September 2018 - Friday

Ken heard my complaints about how inconvenient it was to travel to his place to play Gloomhaven until late in the night, so he honestly tried to arrange things better, but then Brooks was an hour late so I was up until a million o'clock again. I didn't completely fail at playing a board game, though. At this rate, my character might have his (its?) first perk by the time Dave's character has his fourth!


Exo (Fonda Lee) is unusual for dystopian YA SF in that it has a male protagonist, who is an up-and-coming jackbooted enforcer police officer for the aliens who have conquered Earth as part of their internal strife. Naturally he doesn't think of the world as dystopian, but there is the underground resistance and conflicted family ties and a cute resistance fighter and a lot of doom.


Words: 167.

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20 September 2018 - Thursday

Marith is still sick, but on the mend, and also bored stiff of hiding in her bioexclusion zone recuperating, so we watched Wreck-It Ralph. It was pretty cute, although I think I missed a lot because I did not really play video games in the 80s.


So really what I'm trying to do is take all the D&D out of Dungeon World, but there's a lot of it. When I first saw the iconic DW move, defy danger, I was pretty dubious about a move that didn't have a fixed stat to roll, and when I learned a bit more about PbtA games, I was dubious about a move for overcoming random environmental hazards, but it does work well with the D&D-style stats, because it's the "make a skill check"/"save for less damage" move. The closest equivalent in Apocalypse World is act under fire, which is always rolled with +cool because it isn't about whether you can do the thing — if you couldn't, you wouldn't even be rolling — but whether you will fuck it up by freezing or panicking. To me, one of these questions seems better for an RPG and the other better for a tactical wargame, but then it's 2018 and people still want to play D&D, so what the hell do I know?

Talking about AW always requires cussing.


Words: 262.

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19 September 2018 - Wednesday

The plague has passed, so it's time for 13th Age and Thai food!

Maybe jumping on the orcs with pikes was not a great idea, but they totally deserved to be dismembered and kicked into the bottomless pit.


Apocalypse Power is anti-generic, but recently I've been thinking about converting both regular 13th Age and 13th Age Glorantha, and last year I was thinking about weirder fantasy, so maybe a core set of stats, basic moves, and other common elements for fantasy would not be an abomination.

As far as stats, for 13G I was looking at Fierce, Wary, Stubborn, Charming, Thinky, and Touched (last three names not final). A year ago, for WFDW, I had Aggression, Focus, Tenacity, Intelligence, Awareness, Charisma, which is pretty close, but doesn't have a single stat for magic stuff. (Focus would cover anything like concentration or visualizing the runes, but any of Tenacity, Intelligance, Awareness, or Charisma could apply to stuff that falls under "magic".) I think I'm leaning toward the newer ones because they're more personality and less ability, but I might want to kick out Touched in favor of something else and have magic distributed across multiple stats.

Ugh, game design is hard. Or maybe I'm just stupid.


Words: 184.

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18 September 2018 - Tuesday

Marith has been taken over by a swarm of microbes. It is very sad.


The Book of Ages for 13th Age is a supplement for fleshing out the history of the 1st through 12th Ages. This pre-release PDF is still in the "see page XX" and "<<layout element>>" stage, but otherwise seems both complete and workable. Each player gets a faction (explicitly not the same as an icon), maybe the GM gets some, each faction gets some events (overall high point, overall low point, crossover, etc) and independently assigns them by die roll to the range of Ages. Then, starting from the earliest Age with events, everyone goes through the Ages in order and the GM takes the roll of a chronicler asking experts leading questions about what happened to the various factions in that age. ("I heard your faction's greatest stronghold of the 4th Age was here, but now there's just a big crater. What happened?") There are lists of leading questions for GMs who can't think of any, and a pile of premade Ages for those points in the calendar where no one has any events. (The premade Ages come with not just icons, but also sample monsters, spells/powers/talents, and magic items.)

My interest in 13th Age is somewhat revived, but the system still bugs me, so now I'm thinking about what it would take to add Apocalypse Power to 13th Age and still be distinctively 13A. One Unique Things are absolutely fine, they aren't supposed to give you any powers, just be something that is fictionally true about your character. There are no skills in DW, so backgrounds are not relevant. Classes are mostly the same, because D&D.

DW has alignment, which 13A doesn't, and has both fewer and less significant races, but switching to drives and backgrounds and making race just a descriptor should cover both of those.

Magic items in DW are to magic items in 13A as magic items in 13A are to magic items in D&D3, which is probably fine.

Icon relationship dice are the trickiest because they are so metafictional. "Bag of books" and "adventuring gear" in DW have a little of that nature, but they are sufficiently constrained by the fiction ("You had what in your backpack? Get real.") that it's not an issue. Icon relationship benefits, at least at our table and possibly everywhere based on what I see on the Internets, are completely open-ended within the vague theme of the Icon. Contacts? Gear? Secret knowledge? Highly-specialized magical powers? It's all possible, and there's not even the minor downside of taking up inventory space. Of course this could be shoehorned into DW as-is, but that's like saying you can type any letters in any order: you can do it, but that doesn't mean the result will be aesthetically pleasing or even legible.


Words: 157. No TV, but apparently too much Love Nikki.

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17 September 2018 - Monday

Things I managed to do today:

Things I did not do:

  • Get sick even though my flatmate is full of germs
  • Watch TV
  • Any significant amount of work

Words: 508.

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16 September 2018 - Sunday

I managed to do a little bit of shopping, but that was about it.


Netflix had Lilo & Stitch, which they hadn't last time we looked, so we watched it. There was more alien hijinx than I remembered. Later, tumblr told us about the final fate of Pudge the fish.


AW has moves like seize or hold by force, which is much more interesting than DW's hack and slash. But, I thought, if the PCs are trying to seize something by force, who makes the roll? And then I had the important insight that AW PCs are all major characters in the same story, but they are not a team, and are at least sometimes antagonistic to each other. (It's not like this is a secret, just read the examples, but I hadn't realized the significance until now.) In AW, a move can be the whole plan, or at least a big chunk of it, but in DW, a move has to be just one person's part of the plan, which is a much smaller part of the action.

I think there's probably still some room to raise the level of moves for Glorantha, but maybe not very much, and it might be more trouble than it's worth. I mean, "kill them to death" is a perfectly valid goal for many fights in Glorantha (like broos).


Words: 223.

Weekly total: 1582.

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15 September 2018 - Saturday

Why, oh why, does Apple not just display a time stamp with every text? It can do it for literally every other event that happens on a phone, but not texts? Gaaaaaah.


Boo for not setting an alarm! Hurray for turkey chili!

  • Sailor Moon S 32-33: You can tell we're getting close to the end of the season by the way Witches N is decrementing faster and faster.
  • Laid-Back Camp 10: I expected Rin to go with the "we're not camping together, I'm just camping in the site next to yours at the same campground", but no.
  • My Hero Academia 40-41: No, in fact you cannot take these kids anywhere without supervillains attacking. Also my brain hurts because in my WiP, "pussycat" is a racial slur against catgirls.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.6: Those two are just about the cutest ever. Also Dark Flame Master is remarkably non-horrible for a teenaged guy in anime. Maybe he can give Mineta some tips on not deserving death.

Words: 215.

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14 September 2018 - Friday

Coworker M, who is in NC (but well inland) reports he is doing okay. Whew!


  • The Good Place 23-26: Wow, excitement and bonding and smooches and jurisprudence and reboot! That's the end of season 2, I wonder what season 3 will bring?

Words: 183.

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13 September 2018 - Thursday

Giant bug robot!


  • The Good Place 22: Wow, teamwork!

Marith cooked food again! It was entirely like dinner, although we both agreed it could have used more alliums.


I was actually wrong about the Ernalda priestess's favors of the earth. It has only at-wills and dailies, but it's random which ones you get to use, so still annoying.

Anwyay, the basic equation is, impress the priestess with your mightiness and she'll give you some mojo. This is very different from the usual D&D formula, so that's good. But how does it translate into DW?

Details of a die roll don't matter, the trigger has to be something like "bring me the head of the goblin chief", or something equally significant if not as murdery ("bring me the regalia of the heretical temple"). Can we rely on the player to choose reasonable things, and not "bring me that rock"? Probably not, but I'm not sure how to word the requirements.

In 13G, the favor gets awarded to the next person to do the thing, but there are multiple favors per battle, so theoretically the mojo couldn't be hogged by one person. DW has shorter battles, which could lead to more competition, which is probably Orlanthi (warriors, not soldiers), but do we as players want that? But on the other hand, DW doesn't have an initiative clock to show who was first if multiple acts ("bring me a goblin head") could trigger the favor, so maybe that's okay?


Giving other people mojo is also not a big DW thing, but healing is fine, and +1 forward is also a thing. It could even be +damage or +armor forward, if we want to get really crazy.


Words: 328. Probably because we only watched one episode of The Good Place tonight.

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12 September 2018 - Wednesday

The thing that didn't work yesterday works today, for no reason. The Random Tech Support Excuse Generator says, "someone changed DNS". I figure it has at least a 0% chance of being correct.


13th Age is cancelled, Jus has the Regurgitations and no one wants to risk getting those. Except me, because I don't care about common or garden germs, but I don't want to be out playing Gloomhaven until a million o'clock on a work night, so all fun is still cancelled.

Instead I watched TV with Marith.

  • The Good Place 19: This is one of the other episodes that was nominated for a Hugo. Poor Chidi.
  • The Good Place 20-21: I am glad Janet's subplot is getting continued. I like Janet.

I could use runes for PbtA Glorantha stats, actually, since the Orlanthi have a reasonably small set of runes they are associated with (Air, Movement, Man (because human), Earth (from Ernalda), Harmony (likewise), Life (because not undead)), but I think then non-Orlanthi playbooks would have to have different runes and probably different moves, which sounds like a lot of work.

Moving on to classes, the Earth Priestess in 13G has three main schticks: at-will summoning of one Earth spirit/elemental to fight for her, occasional spellcasting (a couple of dailies), and favors of the earth: she announces that the next one of her allies to do X gets buff/healing Y, where X is some combat thing like score a crit or reduce an enemy to 0 HP, and Y is one of a list of buffs/heals with varying recharge. (I've already ranted about the long lists of powers with limited recharge.) I like favors of the earth, but DW doesn't really do buffs, that's what aid another is for, and healing is not that exciting, so I'm not sure how to translate it. (Sure, I could invent a bunch of buffs, +1d4 damage forward and whatnot, but I don't think that would really be appropriate for DW.) It also doesn't have critical hits or other fiddly little mechanics things to hand the rewards on. Bah.

The Trickster is also a problem. Their powers are a dozen variants on doing something stupid and ineffectual to give an ally a bonus or let an ally escape harm, and I don't think I can build an entire class around a single basic move. I don't say no one can, but I'm pretty sure I don't get the Trickster, probably because I have no sense of humor.


Words: 131.

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11 September 2018 - Tuesday

I spent like four hours on the line with a customer whose thing was not working after he took it apart and put it back together (with software, it's harder to see whether there are pieces left over; you have to look under the sofa), and did not even get it working, although we did get past many intermediate errors on our way to the day's final error.


I did a date with Avalon, but we were both lethargic, so it was not that sparkling.

Marith made fried rice with chicken marinated in soy sauce and honey, which is probably more advanced cooking than has ever happened in this apartment.


I thought about renaming the stats for PbtA Glorantha for the kinds of people who exemplify them, Fierce/Wary/Stubborn/Charming/Thinky/Touched -> Warrior/Scout/Farmer/Chief/Sage/Priest, but that seems like it could lead to confusion with the class names. I also, of course, thought about naming them for runes, but that would definitely be confusing when runes come up in some other mechanical context (even though I don't yet know what context that would be), and also it seems wrong to use just a subset of the 20-odd runes that apply at a human scale. Maybe verbs are good? Attack/Spot/Endure/Lead/Know/... See (as in seer)? Transcend? Perhaps I can't come up with a verb that covers everything lumped fuzzily into that one stat because it really needs to be some other number of stats. But even though magic is common and not necessarily well-delineated from other parts of Gloranthan life, it feels wrong to just say that social skills work the same on spirits as they do on people. Magic needs to be at least slightly numinous and uncanny, right? Or at least magician and face should be different character types.

If I'm using active verbs, maybe I should look at Blades in the Dark-type actions? There are more of them than stats, so using runes could be a possibility. But BitD is a much more constrained game, so a set of essentially twelve basic moves works okay there where it would probably not in a more wide-open game, so probably not. (Also I like specialized moves.)

Bah.


Words: 336.

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10 September 2018 - Monday

Yuck, Monday.


A new playbook for DW should have at least three starting moves (not counting race/alignment/background/drive), but I've only been able to come up with that many for a couple of the simplest Glorantha playbooks.

The Storm Bull berserker:

You start with these three moves:
Sense Chaos: Add to the list of questions for discern realities, "Is Chaos manifest here?"
Berserker: When you roll 10+ on hack & slash, you must take the option to do more damage.
Smash It!: <cut and past from the Fighter's Bend Bars, Lift Gates>

The Humakti:

You start with these three moves:
Deathbringer: When using your personal blessed sword, your damage die is d10 instead of d8.
Death is Near: When you reduce someone to 0 HP, they are just dead. They don't get to make the take a mortal wound move, they can't be healed, they're just dead. The same goes for you when you drop to 0 HP.
Bond of Truth: When you parley, your oath as a Humakti counts as concrete assurance, because they know what happens if you break it.

But at least one move for each is a passive two-edged sword, so this probably isn't enough, and that's not even considering advancement moves (although I'm using AW-style advancements, so +1 to primary stat, +1 to either secondary stat, or +1 to any stat are all valid entries, which cuts down on that a little). Maybe I don't know enough Glorantha lore, or maybe it just matters that I know there is Glorantha lore to be known. ("Draw Maps, Leave Blanks" doesn't really work for Glorantha, when legions hundreds? of fans have spent fifty years filling in all the blanks. But that's only a principle, a technique for following the Agenda ("Portray a Fantastic World", "Fill The Character's Lives With Adventure", "Play to Find Out What Happens"), so I don't think DW is completely undone by this. I might be wrong.)


Words: 166.

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9 September 2018 - Sunday

After a month without, we have PAD&D5 again!

Having struck some kind of deal with their enemy [SPOILER], who turns out to not be as invested in the villainous plan as some others, the Heroines of Red Larch travel to [SPOILER], where they encounter a steampunk space hamster (named Bruce) and some assorted locals (also named Bruce, except for Stephanie) who introduce themselves as a recon squad of the resistance against the local depradations of one of the Heroines' enemies from the Red Larch area. The Heroines are immediately drafted into the resistance, because they have a magic item associated with the enemy that they picked up a while back (when Rimardo stared down a [SPOILER]). Of course they are up for that!

After a quick ambush to get the pursuers off their tail and avoid giving away the location of the Redoubt, the Heroines arrive and are introduced to the leader of the space hamster resistance, their old frenemy (and possible admirer of Lam), [SPOILER]. They are just in time for the massive assault on the villain's headquarters by the entire resistance, because it has go forward immediately now that the Heroines have brought the [SPOILER] back into the region.

While the mass combat plays out across the surface of the airless mesa, the Heroines and [SPOILER] assault the main fortress, only to meet the Big Bad and his two hulking minions (one with shoulder-mounted brother of [SPOILER]) out front. Akrá has the implement of boss-slaying, so they're the designated boss-slayer, while everyone else tries to distract and flank and harry. Surprisingly, it works (it helps that Rimardo can still banish one of the minions), or at least [SPOILER] gets beat down enough that [SPOILER]'s mom can appear and crush the Big Bad. Overwhelming victory!

After the victory party, the Heroines will finally get to return to [SPOILER]!


Marith made raviolis more tasty by breading and pan-frying them, which seemed like a lot of work. Good results, though!

  • The Good Place 16-18: Wow, Michael is really not very competent if he can be outsmarted, even a fraction of a percent of the time, by Jason.

In Under the Pendulum Sun (Jeannette Ng), Victorian missionaries try to take Anglicanism (which is of course synonymous with Civilization) to Fairyland. This goes about exactly as well as you would expect.

Also the author is probably an escaped Love Nikki character.


Words: 124.

Weekly total: 1297. I suck.

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8 September 2018 - Saturday

I wanted to play Masks with Carl at Big Bad Con so I can learn how to suck less at the Apocalypse, but that meant being home at 12:00 on the dot to click the "Sign Me Up" button as soon as it appeared, so my daily routine was all thrown off and I didn't get to the grocery store until things were selling out.

I did sign up for Masks vs Parental Expectations, though!


  • Laid-Back Camp 9: Oh no, germs!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2.1-2: After the 10-episode flashback, time seems to be moving ahead faster, but I'm not sure just how fast. Rakugo is definitely in dire straits, though.
  • My Hero Academia 39: A recap episode and a pool episode are both mandatory, so they're just being efficient. Also not much fanservice.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.5: Finally, Kumin gets to shine!

Words: 218.

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7 September 2018 - Friday

Everyone, go get your flu shot! Protect the kids of antivaxxers so they can grow up to become sensible people!


I went over to Ken and Dave's to play Gloomhaven again, to give it a fairer try. I failed miserably by running out of cards, but we did win the second scenario on normal mode, even if we didn't get the chest that was probably full of clues.

I would be up for playing more, but if we don't even start until past 20:00, then I don't get home until a million o'clock because someone moved further away to make gaming less convenient.


Words: 118.

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6 September 2018 - Thursday

Hey, I caught up from Worldcon!


A couple of good parodies of yesterday's NYT kerfuffle (both from We Hunted The Mammoth): McSweeney's, and Slate.


Marith is now all caught up on Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju.


Ah, it was the finale of the first season of The Good Place that was up for a Hugo this year (and an episode from second season which we haven't seen yet). I was spoiled for the big reveal, but how it played out was still good. I like how the consequences are being played out in the first part of the second season, too. Go Eleanor!


The Dreaming Stars (Tim Pratt) is the sequel to The Wrong Stars, which brings the alien menace somewhat more on-screen and thereby diminishes it. But people still don't escape unscathed in body or mind, so that's good. (Except for them.)

Rebecca Roanhorse won the Campbell award for Best New Writer, and seemed awesome, so I picked up Trail of Lightning and it was pretty good, a combination of post-apocalytic with Navajo mythology (which I know a tiny bit of from growing up in New Mexico, but is not something I have seen much of in books since perhaps Eye of Cat). The main character is definitely a badass monster killer, perfectly capable of dealing with mythological annoyances, and so very unprepared to have a hot guy foisted on her.


Words: 144.

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5 September 2018 - Wednesday

Once again, it is time for 13th Age and CPK (which we would probably normally spurn, but there's some kind of fundraiser thing for Jus and Nonny's school). We managed to avoid all the fights this time, although we did get dropped into a pit by an enraged earth elemental, and pinned most of the evils of the world on Mike's character. A good evening's work!


Words: 168.

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4 September 2018 - Tuesday

Hurray, Avalon is alive! And spent the weekend productively, unlike me.


Words: 219.

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3 September 2018 - Monday

I did not do anything useful today. I did not even join a union.


Instead of watching Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju like we were supposed to, Marith and I watched more of The Good Place. Well. That was terrifying in a different way than I expected, but I am glad Eleanor was paying attention during class. Also, I am surprised by Janet's subplot.


Chococat made me lie down and snuggle him, and while I was down there, I read Weird Little Games vol 1, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Want to be an Azumanga Daioh girl with the serial numbers filed off? Want to be a member of the US Presidential Line of Succession (Extended Remix) in a mecha? Want to be the soul at risk in a Chick Tract? Ewen Cluney has you covered.


Words: 306.

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2 September 2018 - Sunday

After being super-useless all day (I even took a nap!), I went over the in evening to play Gloomhaven with Ken, because he is super-excited about it. I feel like a bad friend for not appreciating it enough, but despite the flavor text, it's just a tactical combat boardgame, and one with a core mechanic that is designed to produce frustration (you start out with good cards, and have to slowly discard them, never getting new ones). Also, I played it when I was hungry and grouchy, so I wasn't as happy about being a weird little ghoul-rat with brain powers as I could have been.


So how do I make 13G more palatable? Add some Apocalypse Power, of course!

Dungeon World is good for a base, but the D&D stats (both in the sense of Strength and Dexterity being stats, and of having a vestigial 3-18 value) must go. New stats: Fierce, Wary, Stubborn, Charming, Thinky, Touched (names not final, okay!), on the usual PbTA -1 to +3 scale. Also levels should go away, advancements and advanced advancements are fine. Hit points and damage dice can stay, no need to revert to the harm clock.

Most of the DW basic moves are fine, tweaked for the new stats. Ditch Final Breath for Take a Mortal Wound (unconscious but stable/unconscious and dying/dead), add one for coming back from the dead. I don't think we need specific moves for general battle magic, that's just the excuse for why a PC has like three times the hit points and twice the average damage of an NPC with similar job description. Maybe make magical healing a basic move, as in 13G, since healing magic isn't as restricted as in D&D.

What are the playbooks? One per cult is obvious, but I don't think that's right. 13G has like four classes based on Orlanth, which is legit because Orlanth is both the primary god so has a portfolio that includes a lot of stuff and is the god of rampaging around going out and getting things done, which covers all kinds of adventuring. I am dubious about troll PCs, so we can leave those classes out for now, but that still leaves Orlanthi warrior, Humakti murderhobo, Storm Bull berserker, Orlanthi rebel, Orlanthi storm sorcerer, Ernalda summoner priestess, Eurmal asshole, and Ernalda/Yelm shield-based martial artist. I'd also like to see Lhankor Mhy sword sage, Babeester Gor avenging daughter, Yinkin hunter, maybe Issaries messenger? That's twelve, which seems like a lot, but probably a reasonable start? Okay, really the reasonable start would be to write a paragraph about each and then only create moves for the ones that people want to play (which is none of them, because people only play D&D).


Words: 114.

Weekly total: 1348. Meh.

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1 September 2018 - Saturday

Marith very kindly woke up well in advance of work to make sure I was not sleeping through my doctor appointment. She is a hero of the revolution.

Having my ear vacuumed was quick and produced a great bounty of cerumen, but it was like an action movie where the edge of the cliff is crumbling away in different-sized chunks, only happening inside my ear canal.


  • Sailor Moon S 31: Down to Witches 3!
  • Laid-Back Camp 8: But ghost stories are an essential part of Japanese camping!
  • My Hero Academia 37-38: Victory: the protagonist!
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.4: I can't argue with Dekomori's logic: if reading the holy texts causes someone to writhe in pain, they must be a bad person.

Jade City (Fonda Lee) is the first book of a secondary-world wuxia gangster epic set on the one island in the world that produces the jade that gives people of the local ethnicity wire-fu powers. Conflict ensues. Despite being secondary-world, it's at a mid-C20 level of civilization: banks, cars, landline phones, military-industrial complexes. Family intrigue, family expectations, combat-drug addiction, white people trying to exploit the local resources, all the usual gangster stuff.


Words: 280.

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31 August 2018 - Friday

Because my ear doesn't work, if I sleep on the wrong side, I can't hear my alarm. This is bad.


Three more episodes of The Good Place. Michael seems to be showing character growth, but I don't trust it. Also, I am personally offended by the Bad Place people, even though they have a train.


Heroine's Journey (Sarah Kuhn) is the third book in the series, the one the author read the beginning of at Worldcon. It is from the PoV of yet another member of the superhero team/found family, the former annoying-little-sister who is now all grown up, really. Like the other characters, she is pretty messed up, because how can you even write about humans who aren't? But these romances are way too straight.

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist (SL Huang) is the queer reversed "Little Mermaid" that the author read from at Worldcon. It has all the important bits, including complete doom.


Words: 217.

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30 August 2018 - Thursday

I skipped work in the morning to go to urgent care and have a very nice nurse irrigate my ear, but it remained barren of sounds. I will have to go back on Saturday for a specialist, because I am just that defective.


Troika is a super-minimal RPG, old-school but not OD&D-based. It has like two stats, and a mandatory roll on d66 for a character background that sets skills (and spells). Pretty much the whole setting (such as it is) is encoded in the backgrounds, for example, 14 Cacogen You are Those Filthy Born, spawned in the hump-backed sky lit only by great black anti-suns and false light. Your mother was sailing on the golden barges or caught in some more abstract fate when she passed you, far from the protective malaise of the million spheres. You were open to the power and the glory at a generative time and it shows in your teratoid form. or 16 Claviger The key masters wander the universe fathoming the workings of all entry ways they can find. Though they're quite fascinated with simple chests and doors, they are most excited by metaphysical and metaphorical barriers. You might find small conclaves of clavigers camped around the feet of demon gates, debating appropriate methods of attack or building obscure machines of entry. Seems cool, and I'm not even sure I'd have to convert it to PbtA.


The Good Place 4-6: Now we know what's up with [SPOILER], but the characters don't seem to be addressing the obvious question that raises. Once again, divide and conquer is the MO of the overclass. (Not that the overclass is coming off as all that superior, extra dimensions aside.)


I've been slowly reading through 13th Age Glorantha, but although I like many of the ideas, I'm not sure I like it as a game. Even more than standard 13th Age, it relies on a profusion of small, slightly useful, special case rules that only come up once in a while. A good example is the standard bonus for a rune gift in the healing category: it gives you an extra recovery, but you can't just increase your max recoveries by 1 and carry on, because this recovery is Special and has different rules than all other recoveries, so you have to track it separetely and decide, every time you heal with a recovery, whether this is the right time to use it. And everything is like that: rune gifts (the equivalent to magic items) and class abilities are almost all "daily" or "recharge" abilities, meaning you get to use them once or an unpredictable but small number of times every few sessions (a month or more of player time) and have to keep track of their availability and decide which one to use at every opportunity. Class abilities (spells, etc) at least give you some amount of bang in exchange for the cognitive load, but rune gifts are just large enough that you'll suffer if you try to blow off the system.

I expect that Dave, Mike, and Ken will all love this, because it's very board-game like and they like finding the synergies among ten million different rules, but the idea feels me with a deep lack of interest in jumping through those hoops. Or playing D&D at all, really. It's 2018, FFS!


Words: 110. I blame capitalism television.

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29 August 2018 - Wednesday

My ear seems to have stopped working. I tried both water and over-the-counter stuff, but no dice. Unless it spontaneously clears up overnight, I guess I will have to go to the doctor tomorrow. Like an old defective person who is falling apart.


No 13th Age, Ken is something.

Marith shared her raviolis with me. She is a good flatmate.


Words: 226.

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28 August 2018 - Tuesday

Heroine Worship (Sarah Kuhn) isn't the book the author read from at Worldcon, but comes between that one and the one I read. It's from the PoV of the person the protagonist of the first book felt steamrollered by, because of course she has her own emotional burdens to bear. Also there's a plot, or something, that's not really the point of the book.


Words: 181.

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27 August 2018 - Monday

No date tonight, Avalon's brain is exploding. 8(


Words: 220.

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26 August 2018 - Sunday

No PAD&D5 today, Jeremy has been afflicted with humans at work or something.

I don't think I accomplished anything at all today. Because I pretty much suck.


Words: 253.

Weekly total: 1408.

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25 August 2018 - Saturday

A routine Saturday. Well, alternate Saturday, since we had cleaners.


  • Sailor Moon S 30: Well, that's not ominous at all.
  • Laid-Back Camp 7: Ghost stories are important!
  • My Hero Academia 36: Of course we had to cliffhanger before Deku's exam.
  • Love, Chuunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.3: The Boop episode!

Words: 248.

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24 August 2018 - Friday

Yay, Avalon is still alive!


Snotgirl vol 1 (Bryan Lee O'Malley, Leslie Hung) is about a fashion blogger in LA who is kind of a terrible person, but probably all you need to know to decide whether to read it is that it's by the Scott Pilgrim guy, but is mimetic rather than magical realism.


Words: 150.

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23 August 2018 - Thursday

I don't seem to have any brain at all this week.


Marith and I watched the first three episodes of The Good Place, because two episodes (of a later season) were up for Hugos. Now she has Theories.


Sworn to the Night and Detonation Boulevard (Craig Schaefer) are the first two of a trilogy that seems to be tying together the author's two related urban fantasy/horror series and one secondary-world series. I'm here for lesbian antihero romance struggling against doom from before history and also rich assholes getting destroyed, but the interdimensional fantasy stuff doesn't seem to fit very well with the horror stuff, even though it's pretty dark fantasy.


Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Henry Lien) is about as adorable as the title. It is about girl power and figure-skating-style martial arts and political intrigue.


Words: 169.

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22 August 2018 - Wednesday

We had everyone for 13th Age, so we finished the sword-smithing fight and ate Wuhan food.


Cool, my 13th Age Glorantha are here! This makes it more likely that we will play 13G after Eyes of the Stone Thief wraps up.


Words: 165.

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21 August 2018 - Tuesday

Boss K is in town, and made me and coworkers S and T go to dinner because talking work at work is not enough. No one knew where to go, so I guided them to Taiwan. They weren't overtly repulsed, and I got to walk home conveniently, so I guess it worked out okay.

Coworker S's new Tesla 3 is pretty spiffy, but seems to have some software issues.


Words: 142.

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20 August 2018 - Monday

There was a little more Worldcon programming today, but I needed a day to be passively useless and do things like grocery shopping and laundry and drinking too much Diet Dr Pepper.

Marith, who went to anime on Saturday instead of abandoning most of her friends, got me all caught up on My Hero Academia.

  • My Hero Academia 33-35: Beginning of the finals! Froppy and Cool Bird Boy are still best! Sticky Head Bulbs is still the worst, and should get fed to a supervillain! All Might is surprisingly scary when he's not being cheesy!

The Harbors of the Sun (Martha Wells) ties up the plot that started in Edge of Worlds, while opening room for many more. I mean, surely no one will be upset by [SPOILER], right?


Words: 281. Of course, now I have to write something that takes everything I may have learned at Worldcon into account, so I'm still doomed, but being around other people who were talking and thinking about writing has improved morale.

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19 August 2018 - Sunday

Fourth day of Worldcon!

  • Macro to Micro: Worldbuilding Workshop with NK Jemisin was more geography-building, on spherical planets, and then deriving culture from that, with audience input, so I was not that interested, even though possibly I should have been, and bailed out halfway through.
  • The conclusion from We Dressed Those Girls: Subverting Tropes or Reinforcing the Status Quo? was that subverting tropes is hard, and claiming that acknowledging the tropes constitutes subverting them and people who don't understand are the Real Sexists™ does not count.
  • Body Language - How to Improve Your Awareness and Use It in Fiction had a cartoonist as well as some writers, so that was an interesting additional perspective. Anyway, body language is a huge deal, people don't even know they're reading it, everyone should definitely include it in their dialogue all the time. Watching humans is good for learning how humans do body language.
  • All the panelists who made it to How Hollywood Gets It Wrong were doctors, so it was very medically focused, but "every way possible" probably holds for most other fields. Useful takeways for oppressing characters: everything takes longer to heal than they show on TV, and the best place for a disabling but nonfatal wound is the thigh, to the outside of the femur.
  • YA vs Adult Fiction: Defining Boundaries was mostly panelists who have written both, so there was a lot of talk about what they thought the differences were vs what their agents thought the differences were, and how most of the dividing criteria are flexible anyway because writing, man. It would have been better without the white guy on the panel talking over people though.
  • Reading: Kat Tanaka Okopnik was only okay. I think her work is not entirely to my taste, which is fine. (I think Cat liked it more.) She is down with social justice, which is good enough for me.
  • I think all the panelists for Disability in the Future were disabled, so it was definitely a better perspective than might have been found in the past, and I think they were right that there will always be disabilities of some kind ("Sorry, ma'am, your neural architecture is just not compatible with the ISO cyberware standards."). But it felt like they were most interested in what was coming out nowish alleviate their particular ailments, and less in how those ailments could be eliminated altogether. (Some of them said that they wouldn't want their disability to be gone, because having it made them the person they are today.) I understand this, but I think it made the panel not as future-oriented as would have been interesting to me. Maybe we do need to be not terrible about disabilities now before we can have a good discussion about the future, but that wasn't the stated goal of the panel. I dunno, I'm relatively able-bodied, I probably don't get a say here.
  • Earl and Cat escaped before dinner, so I had to go eat very unhealthy things all by myself. Sniff!
  • I tried to go to another Mary Crowell concert, but it was mysteriously cancelled in favor of a scary old lady telling people what to filk.
  • And finally, the Hugos! Unlike the masquerade, the results are already known, and the MC was Efficient, so we got through the entire slate in about two hours. Lots of women, some PoC, no obvious Nazis (suck it, Sad Puppies!). Rebecca Roanhorse, who is black and indigenous, got both the Campell and a Hugo, NK Jemisin got her third Hugo in a row for the third book in her recent trilogy, which everyone agrees was well deserved, Murderbot got a Hugo, Bujold got another Hugo, all was good. Hurray!

THE END!


Words: FAIL.

Weekly total: 545, but that's with four days off for Worldcon. Without that, I would have broken 1000 for sure! Probably!

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18 August 2018 - Saturday

Worldcon continues!

  • Research Rabbit Holes was pretty entertaining. Ann Leckie knows of the Tiffany Problem!
  • The Richard Kadrey reading failed because the author bailed via twitter, but new author I'd never heard of, Henry Lien, had props and music for reading from his book about girl power and figure-skater style kung fu. Hey, look, there's wireless in here, I can instantly!
  • Why Pluto Was Kicked Out of The Planet Club and What We are Learning About It Today was more basic than I hoped for, but on the other hand, glaciers of solid nitrogen!
  • I wandered around until I found pho to eat for lunch. It was good, but messy.
  • Alien Minds: What is Possible and What Can We Do with Them? had most of the same panelists as yesterday's panel on alien life. The focus was on communication, which some panelists thought would have to be feasible in some fashion, but others thought would be impossible, since humans can barely communicate with each other. No conclusion was reached, which probably shows something.
  • Reading: Campbell Finalists was Rebecca Roanhorse (part of a short urban fantasy story about a deer woman and murder), Sarah Kuhn (the beginning of the third book in her series about Asian-American superheroines in San Francisco, which was funny enough to make me get the second and third books even though I was only so-so on the first one), and Jeannette Ng, who is probably an escaped Love Nikki character (the beginning of Under the Pendulum Sun, in which British missionaries travel to a marvelously surreal fairyland, which is bound to go well).
  • The Body and the Shadow of the Imagination did not convince me that describing characters is unnecessary, but I can't argue that a telling detail is worth any number of listed features. (I probably knew that, but it never hurts to be reminded.)
  • The Literary Beer with Linda Nagata was held not in the convention center but at a nearby bar, which meant it was terrible, because bars suck. I bailed after just a few minutes.
  • This time we went to the Indian place right next to the Malaysian place for dinner. Mmm, naan.
  • Saturday Evening Concert: Alexander James Adams and the Canticles was okay, but not as good as I remember Heather Alexander concerts being. Is that because the performer has changed, or because the audience has changed?
  • The Masquerade was okay, but I am not a costume geek. The winner was clearly "Alien Queen", which broke the MC for extra bonus points.

    Words: FAIL.

worldcon readings by marithlizard (Mon Aug 27 02:11:29 2018)

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword sounds pretty adorable!

Peasprout Chen by Trip (Thu Aug 30 13:31:29 2018)

It is a pretty adorable book. And I guess other people thought so, since there is a sequel coming out at some point.

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17 August 2018 - Friday

More Worldcon!

  • Young Adult: Looking at the World Through a Skewed Lens at least helped me understand what the vital characteristics of YA fiction (to extent that any rules in writing are vital): fast-paced, immediate (first-person or deep third), young protagonist. I wonder how making things fast-paced works?
  • Pronouns Matter - Gender Courtesy for Fans was mostly stuff I know, but had some insights I had not previously considered. For example, in some cases you may have to misgender someone for their own safety (relatedly, do not ask people in Omaha for their prounouns), and the neutral forms of aunt/uncle and neice/nephew might be nuncle and nibling. Ann Lecki was on the panel, but she did not build a Dyson sphere while we watched.
  • Because it has the same name as the company I work for, and also is right next to the convention center, I went to Arcadia for lunch. It wasn't that great, so I should tell the CEO we need to destroy them as unworthy of the name.
  • Signup for kaffeeklatsches was a fiasco, but there was no way I would have made it into the Ann Leckie one anyway. I went to the one for SB Divya on Earl's recommendation, though I have not read any of her work. She seems cool, and is a Techer, so we hung around after the kaffeeklatsch and she and Earl talked like smart people.
  • Ethical Responsibilities to Alien Life was mostly about simple life, because that is what most people expect to find in the next few decades. There was general agreement that we should not stomp all over anything we find, although taking samples for scientific or business purposes was not ruled out.
  • Playing For a Better World: Social Activism in Games was mostly about video games, because kids these days. However, one of the panelists is doing a FATE sourcebook for how to play disabled characters, so that's something.
  • Erin Mittmann is young and bright, there's no way she should be going to the same panels as me, but she was in like four of the panels I went to today. I think she must be defective.
  • I bought a few things in the dealers' room, for people. The books are all still very papery, though, and although there are some board games, there is strangely no RPG stuff (okay, one small box of Pathfinder, that's like no RPG stuff).
  • Earl, Cat, and I picked IPOH Garden Malaysian off the con's restaurant guide. It was pretty good! Malaysian food is similar to Thai, but different.
  • In Reading: Hugo Finalist BookSmugglers Kate Elliot read a short story from I guess one of her series? I don't know, she's not an author I follow; SL Huang read part of a super-queer reversed "Little Mermaid" story but did not finish so we have to go find the story; and Foz Meadows read from a WiP that she describes as "big gay hockey idiots in space with aliens". We didn't get to the aliens, but the rest of it is spot on, and hilarious.
  • Music of Past, Present and Future! featured some Spider Robinson performing songs he wrote for his wife of many, many years (now recently deceased), which was touching, and then a random old filk guy, so we left after that. (Last time I was at Worldcon, I would not have found his songs problematic, so I guess I am more work now? Ridiculous as that seems.)

Words: FAIL.

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16 August 2018 - Thursday

Now, it is time for Worldcon 76! Because I had the good sense to move to San Jose, it was only a short bus ride to get there, not an international plane flight, and I arrived well before the registration rush. Go me!

Perhaps I will present this in the form of bulleted list. Bang!

  • The dealers' room had many many books, but they were all very papery, and many many jewelries, but I am not adornable. Still, they were interesting to look at, and perhaps I will buy some of them.
  • For no reason I can discern, there was a large picture of Chrisber, Tamago, and their offspring in the costume exhibit area. I mean, they were in costume, but I lack the skill to tell whether their costume was truly that amazing, and there was no explanatory plaque.
  • Across the Gender Spectrum did not tell me much I did not already know, but it was nice to see people being of good will.
  • Beyond Yaoi: Trends in LGBTQ+ Representation in Anime & Manga also was not super-novel, but they did talk about Utena and Yuri!! On Ice and conclude that things are getting better.
  • Hey, look, Earl and Cat are at this con too! (This was not a surprise.)
  • I didn't succeed in paying full attention to Chinese SF/F and its Fandom because I had a schedule to work out, but it sounds like fandom in China is booming, partially because SF is the Literature of the Future, and China is all about the future. (Fantasy and the supernatural, maybe not so much.) They can even get nationally important people to show up at their cons!
  • Mary Crowell was pretty filktastic. She has a song about dump stats.
  • Ozu Sushi gave us food. I had tofu udon, which was a little messy but otherwise nice.
  • Mirror's Revenge billed itself as a sequel to Snow White. It was, um. Well, it was clearly the director's labor of love.
  • I could probably have gotten home using light rail, but Earl and Cat gave me a ride.

Words: FAIL.

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15 August 2018 - Wednesday

Mexican food and 13th Age (although it turns out that La Vic has terrible nachos)!

The orcs were all defeated, and we got into the next room mostly still alive, only to find that this was where the swords waiting to have our names engraved on them were being kept. If we survive, though, we can write the names of people we don't like on the swords!


How To Treat Magical Beasts vol 1 (Kaziya) definitely has a "magic and knowledge are antithetical" position, but it's not as annoying as I expected.


Words: 219. But they are all about how I am very stupid and cannot write at all. I mean, I could work on a different project, but those are all stupid and horrible too. Maybe more horrible, because I am pretty sure guys should not write smut (except Chuck Tingle, and then maybe only titles). How did I manage to write a whole novel that wasn't NaNoWriMo and so had some kind of a plot, even if not a very coherent one? Maybe my brain was not so old and decrepit. I certainly didn't have any kind of outline or even an ending, although I did have a goal for near the end and an excuse to just keep throwing in more monster girls (hey, I was ahead of my time!). It was a very simple plot, not worthy of a novel, maybe not even of a novella, but I did at least know one place it was going, which is perhaps what I need now. Except I need to be better, and have character development, not just plot progression, I really really really really don't want to do outlining, because it will make me want to not write the story (it's already complete!), but maybe it's what I have to do. But I don't want to kill the story! Aaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh.

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14 August 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 171, about how I can't write and should die in a pit.

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13 August 2018 - Monday

Edge of Worlds (Martha Wells) continues the adventures of the shapeshifting dragon people who just want to live in their giant tree but keep getting mugged by adventures from the distant past. Once again they are haring all over the Three Worlds trying to keep untold doom from befalling their people. This time: ocean! And doom. And cliffhanger!


Words: 155. Glaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh. None of this is working. I've tried rewriting this from the beginning about a million times, or at least half a dozen, but it never works. I started writing this because I read Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain and thought inadvertant middle-school supervillains was a great idea to mix with the Mythos-based supers setting I was already thinking about, but apparently I don't have an actual story. I have characters (the protagonist with her mutatedness and sneaky superpower, the best friend with her lack of modesty and terrible secret that I've never gotten far enough to reveal, the supervillain with a built-in dungeon, even some male characters although I'm not really sure what the point is), I have backstory (the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad date with Peter Stonebreaker, Slink and Mina Tauros's grudge), I have setting (the city built near the ruins of Columbus OH after aliens bombarded it), but it's not adding up into a story that goes anywhere. Glaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh.

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12 August 2018 - Sunday

This week, we have everyone for PAD&D5!

Although they barely escaped with their lives, and are now majority slug-mutants, the Heroines of Red Larch must go back in to retrieve the quest object so that they can continue on their way to retrieve the other quest object so they can get help getting back where they belong. Despite their foes having gotten more slimy, scaly, and generally loathsome reinforcements, things go much better this time (especially when Rimardo puts up a damage shield and lets the enemy berserkers all have a shot at him). The enemy leader wriggles away, but the Heroines recover everything that was stolen as well as the quest item and return triumphantly up the quest stack to Walter (who has extra tentacles of suspicion but eventually accepts that the Heroines have not been suborned).

Now they can continue with the quest to retrieve [SPOILER] for [SPOILER], which they do in the most ham-handed heroic way. Although Akrá is swallowed by a giant lobster, for the most part the slimy, scaly, loathsome (yet different) opposition is no match for the Heroines, and they make off with [SPOILER] (reified as a giant pearl).

Alas, victory is not yet in sight, as it turns out [SPOILER] was their enemy [SPOILER] all along! [SPOILER] is apparently not committed to the great conflict, though, having found out too much about their place in the planned endgame, so a deal is struck. Surely there will be no betrayal later.

To no one's surprise, the Heroines' way home is in another castle [SPOILER].

Next session in 4 weeks, it looks like. :(


My flatmate has not died of cat dander (yet), so we watched some more Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Today: Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Words: 122.

Weekly total: 1696. Better than last week, I guess?

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11 August 2018 - Saturday

I have finally finished Paradise Residence (Kosuke Fujishima), which is only three volumes long (unlike Oh! My Goddess). It is cute and all, but not that interesting.


  • Sailor Moon S 26-27: Haruka, people might listen to you more if you ever stopped to explain things instead of just giving orders.
  • Nirvana in Fire 48-50: Everything is spiraling inwards as more people find out more things that had previously been secret (whether or not they believe them), and there are only four episodes left for the horrifying collision.

Words: 176. Ugh, up so late.

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10 August 2018 - Friday

Yay, it's Friday.


Words: 284.

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9 August 2018 - Thursday

Words: 233.

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8 August 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, too many people are sick or busy.


Look, Avalon is still alive! She texted me!


The third "Murderbot" story, Rogue Protocol (Martha Wells) is out! Murderbot is still adorable, and other people are still not quite as hellish as it believes. It looks like the plot will actually come back around to the beginning in the next story.

Then I had to go back and reread All Systems Red and Artificial Condition, because Murderbot is adorable.


Words: 220.

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7 August 2018 - Tuesday

I skipped out early from work and dashed home, because Avalon is not dead! But she was afflicted with many irritating humans who sapped her will to live. I'm glad that's over!

We tried watching Netflix together, which worked pretty well. Dark Tourism is morbid and probably exploitational in some fashion, but perfect for a death lord, and at least the guy seems properly appalled by what he finds.


Bridging Infinity (ed Jonathan Strahan) is an anthology with the themes of engineering and sensawunda. The world being what it is, the near-future stories are mostly about terraforming Earth, but there are ones about various sorts of large-scale engineering (Dyson spheres, sun drills, etc). None of the stories was horrible, but none of them grabbed me really strongly.


Words: 377.

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6 August 2018 - Monday

Blaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh.


Children of Time is by Adrian Tchaikovsky, so it is not surprising that one of the two intersecting plots is very chitinous. The other is full of doom, so it's good when they bounce off each other, but mostly I like the chitinous one better. It has biology.


Words: 284.

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5 August 2018 - Sunday

HAPPY HAPPY RACHELDAY (observed)!!

Instead of being in Rachel and Jeremy's house like previous years, the party was at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (which Rachel is on the board of). It was much the same party, only more conveniently located for me and with more space. Also there was some art on the walls, but the current exhibit was mostly kind of meh. That's fine, there were people to talk to there. (There were also people to look at, I think I'll die in a pit.)

After hanging out for a while, I went home watched a little Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Marith.


Words: 124.

Weekly total: 1403. Not as bad as last week, anyway.

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4 August 2018 - Saturday

  • Steven Universe 5.25: Just what it says on the tin, but does anything good ever come of going there?
  • Sailor Moon S 25: I hope Jus isn't learning to stalk celebraties from watching the Mimet episodes.
  • Laid-Back Camp 6: Secret lake camping!
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.2: My comment on the the previous episode turns out to be what this episode is all about! So adorable!
  • My Hero Academia 31: Superhero battles have consequences?!
  • My Hero Academia 32: Yay, almost a whole episode of Froppy!

Words: 169.

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3 August 2018 - Friday

Words: 287.

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2 August 2018 - Thursday

Marith was home at a compatible hour, so we watched episodes 5-7 of B99. That was pretty entertaining.


Dreadful Company (Vivian Shaw) is the second "Greta Helsing" book. This time, our unwillingly intrepid monster doctor takes a vacation in Paris, which turns out to be full of unregulated vampirism and other supernatural issues for her to get mixed up in. Like the previous book, this one is... humane? Sometimes violence is called for, after wrongdoers have failed to knock it off, but it's not portrayed as anything other than awful and terrifying, and many of the problems arise from people not being taken care of emotionally. The protagonists don't want glory, or to save the world (unless it really needs saving, but even then, there are probably people whose job that actually is), they want friends and home and lives. I guess the genre is emotionally realistic urban fantasy.


Words: 215.

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1 August 2018 - Wednesday

For once, we started 13th Age before 20:30, because Ken ate his Indian food expediently and also Kelsey was not excessively late! We are back in the Stone Thief, finally, and a Koru behemoth is coming to frolic on it. Sadly, our way to the lower (less frolicked-upon) levels is being blocked by a giant lake of lava and flaming bile. Also orcs. I hate those guys. (Really, it's on my character sheet!)


Words: 163. Ugh. So late. So tired. So bad at writing.

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31 July 2018 - Tuesday

Since the Internet has been all abuzz about it for ages, I gave money to Amazon for the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Marith and I watched the first four episodes. It was pretty entertaining, and I even didn't want to strangle Jake all the time after a few episodes. (Also I see why the Internet has a crush on Diaz.) But I still feel faintly dirty for watching cop-humanizing propaganda.


The Expert System's Brother (Adrian Tchaikovsky) is kind of a retro story, of humans living in a strange environment and behaving strangely and how they got to be that way, but with a slightly more modern sensibility.

On the other hand, The Descent of Monsters (JY Yang) is kind of cracktastic. It follows on from The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune, with more Asian fantasy intrigue and no explanation of the weird things going on. That's a lot of doom, though.


Words: 260. No, this is all terrible. Even in the character's voice, infodumps are still infodumps. I should die in this pit now.

Words: FAIL.

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30 July 2018 - Monday

Words: 185. I still don't know what to write. I've tried starting this at a million different points, but none of them seem right. Maybe it's because I don't have a plot, and writing without knowing where you're going only works the first time. Or maybe I'm just stupid and can't write. Yah, that seems pretty likely.

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29 July 2018 - Sunday

No Deirdre, but we had everyone else for PAD&D5.

Having escaped [SPOILER] at the end of last session, the Heroines of Red Larch find themselves in yet another labyrinth (without Hazelrae, who is borrowed by a passing vatch), but a helpful surf [SPOILER] directs them to the sort of hive of commerce they had been hoping to find at their last stop. Hurray! An extended shopping sequence ensues, at the end of which the Heroines have exchanged hundredweights of gold for several exciting magic items (Lam has her shield of missile attraction!) and a conveyance to get to where they hear they could get home if they can deal with... Walter. They also have discovered a [SPOILER] in need of saving from an arranged marriage, who tempts the Heroines with knowledge of a better way home, if only they can retrieve [SPOILER] for her. The reward is enough for the sidequest!

Before they get anywhere useful, their craft is attacked by Walter, a [SPOILER] of extraordinary magnitude, who demands another side quest. At least he hangs on to the [SPOILER] as a hostage, so it's only an item retrieval quest, not an escort quest.

Unfortunately, the creepy ruins turn out to be inhabited by [SPOILER]s, which can take people out of the fight with one bad roll (our speciality!), and also [SPOILER], so although by the numbers it should have been quite doable, the Heroines are ignominiously crushed, stripped of their water-breathing items, and left to drown. Naturally they escape to their vessel to plot revenge, but that escape seemed awfully easy. Something is up!


I still don't know what I think about having another person in my apartment, but at least instead of staring blankly into empty space tumblr all evening, we got Marith caught up on MHA.


Words: 152.

Weakest total ever: 1177.

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28 July 2018 - Saturday

No Marith for anime, she is dead from work. Jus is very distraught, and also Marith is missing marshmallow toasting.

  • Sailor Moon S 24: Outer Senshi, stop being such snobs!
  • My Hero Academia 29: In case we forgot this is a shonen show: two-episode-long fight scene! But, superheroes. And it's not like the fight scenes aren't where the character development happens.
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 2.1: They say they're dating, but...

Words: 104. I had to trundle home at a million o'clock at night and also I don't know what to write because everything is stupid and maybe I should have stuck with what I had before.

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27 July 2018 - Friday

Black Helicopters (Caitlín Kiernan) follows from Agents of Dreamland, I think, or at least one or more characters seem the same. It is pretty hallucinatory, and mocks your notions of linear time and personal identity, for obvious reasons.


Words: 124. I don't know how to write. I don't know what to write. I spent most of my writing time reading through stuff I wrote before, and, well, it's mostly spelled correctly. That's about the best I can say for it. Maybe I should die in a pit.

(Okay, it's not quite that bad. Reading a page often makes me want to read the next page, but reading something I wrote is such a different experience from reading something someone else wrote that I don't know whether it means anything.)

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26 July 2018 - Thursday

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Becky Chambers) has even less derring-do than the previous books in the series. It's slice-of-lives set in the Exodus Fleet, which we had heard about in the previous books but not seen. The Fleet isn't fully-automated (increasing automation is one of the social problems they have to deal with, in fact), and it's the opposite of luxury, but it's definitely queer space capitalism. People still definitely have problems (many related to being young), but it's an interesting egalitarian and sustainable society.


Words: 148.

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25 July 2018 - Wednesday

No one complained about the Thai food I got for 13th Age, so yay me.

This session, we managed to finish the rest of the fight from last week, without getting exploded or losing what we came to steal, and met up with an undead white dragon the size of a castle, who got someone to give us a ride to where we now know the Devourer is rampaging. If we ever got to start gaming before 20:30, maybe we'd be able to finish this campaign!


Reading things that are not by middle-class, middle-aged white guys is always good, so once Prime Day (and presumably the Spanish strike, although it's hard to tell from English-language sites) was over, I picked up Nnedi Okorafor's "Binti" series (Binti, Binti: Home, and Binti: The Night Masquerade). I liked them, but I'm really not sure what genre they're in. They are ostensibly SF, but more like fantasy in terms of individual power. But at least they don't explain things! (The distinction between genres is probably a colonialist construct anyway, and I'm not being entirely facetious there.) Seeing a different perspective on family, war, higher education, and alien technology was definitely worthwhile, even though humans don't necessarily come off well.


Words: 165.

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24 July 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 239. What do I write?!

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23 July 2018 - Monday

Earl described Medusa Uploaded (Emily Devenport) as "generation-ship Gothic" and that seems pretty accurate, although the main character is the thing that comes in the night for depraved aristocrats, rather than an aristocrat herself. But it's dark and lonely and everything is layers of secrets, not just about what people are doing but about the entire context of everything. Tentacles are definitely involved.


Words: 245. I need something interesting to happen!

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22 July 2018 - Sunday

Marith somehow missed ever seeing Mulan, but Netflix was willing to show it to us. Hm. Well, it was twenty years ago, people were not as woke. But it would better if it were more like Nirvana in Fire.


I think Competence (Gail Carriger) finishes off the "Custard Protocol" series. At least, all the major characters are paired off, except the one who's not that into it. I guess there was some plot stuff, too, but really it was all about the werelion romance.


Words: 251.

Weekly total: 2473. Not too bad, considering I don't know what to write next.

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21 July 2018 - Saturday

Being more organized and less stupid about shopping works better, surprisingly.


Instead of the usual Chinese food, I had four flavors of diet Dr Pepper (and also a chicken sandwich) and 80s music to go with my pad games.


Nirvana in Fire was so much fun last week that we decided to do it again this week! But first we had to eat many tasty foods and let Jus watch anime.

  • Sailor Moon S 22-23: Yay Hotaru! Oh, and some plot stuff. And Mimete, who Jus likes the most.
  • Nirvana in Fire 46: There's the hook for Nirvana in Fire II: Historic Boogaloo!
  • Nirvana in Fire 47: Awww! But now many people know the Awful Truth, and more suspect it. The last seven episodes should be very exciting.

Volume 3 of Astra (Kenta Shinohara) is the beach episode, but does finally get back to the mysterious mystery and ends on a cliffhanger. (I understand the market demands long manga, but I think there could be more cliffhangers.)


Words: 241.

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20 July 2018 - Friday

Yay, I avoided the work picnic. Now all my coworkers hate me. But at least I'm not sunburned.


For lack of anything less productive to do, Marith and I watched episodes 4-7 of Galavant. It is very silly. Also, Galavant is a terrible judge of character.


Words: 442.

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19 July 2018 - Thursday

In The Blood (Nancy A Collins), sequel to Sunglasses After Dark, is just as 80s and just as violent. Also, thinly-disguised Winchester Mystery House. There are two more books in this collection, but I'm not going to bother to read them now. Maybe later. Maybe not.


Words: 438.

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18 July 2018 - Wednesday

I think we've forgotten how to play 13th Age, or maybe everyone was just too cranky (despite the ample supply of pizza). It is not the game where we should be spending an hour and a half arguing about plans. We barely managed to finish the E1 round, after lying our way in until we got spotted and then charging resulted in a big fight.


A commenter on WHTM recommended Sunglasses After Dark (Nancy A Collins), and I vaguely remember Earl having read it approximately 1000 years ago, so I snarfed the series from Amazon (this was before the Spanish strike). Much 80s. Very angst. Wow.


Words: 128.

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17 July 2018 - Tuesday

Words: 652.

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16 July 2018 - Monday

Deep Roots (Ruthanna Emrys) gets several indescribable appendages up. Once again, Aphra talks to sophonts, and somehow does not die. (There is not much fighting, although there is plenty of danger.) We get to see more advanced sorcery, more of Audrey's family, more exotic sophonts that are not as malevolent as Lovecraft might lead one to believe, and Deep One smooches.

But then I was out of Emrys, so I read Agents of Dreamland (Caitlín Kiernan), which is much shorter and more doomed Cthulhu Mythos, in which everyone is much less sympathetic and there is more mycology. Bad mycology.


Words: 321.

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15 July 2018 - Sunday

PAD&D5 again?! Madness!

After a sky-sailing montage, the Heroines of Red Larch get dropped off at [SPOILER], where they hope to find a way back home. However, everything is shut down due to impending weather, so all they can do is try to get an audience with the local ruler, who promptly imprisons them all for having a descriptor in common with his ex. (Because what's the point of being an absolute monarch if you can't take out your personal frustrations on random travelers?)

After being locked up together for a subjective eternity, the Heroines are freed on the word of someone they helped before, who turns out to be a minor personage locally. However, the closest thing to a way home on offer is being kicked out of the city and left to hike to [SPOILER]. That obviously beats staying locked up together for any more time at all, so the Heroines set out just as enemy forces assault the [SPOILER]. Although the attackers are related to an enemy of theirs, the conflict is not on a scale they can affect, and the locals were rude to them, so they break through the enemy lines and make good their escape.

The invaders pursue the Heroines into the trackless [SPOILER], but are soon left behind, at the minor cost of getting completely lost. Selûne's power guides them to where they need to go, though, and despite the hostile wildlife, manage to get through into [SPOILER], where they can probably survive for as much as several hours while they look for a way home.


Words: 191.

Madness by Jeremy (Sat Jul 21 14:16:04 2018)

Madness? THIS IS PALO ALTO!!!!!

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14 July 2018 - Saturday

We may have too much stuff in our apartment, but at least we have cleaners!


Earl and Cat (who has a fabulous new dress) made the trek down from Palo Alto, but first, there was Steven Universe!

  • Steven Universe 5.23: Awwwwwww! (Also, cartoons have levelled up!)
  • Steven Universe 5.24: That is exactly the mode of combat I expected. But now there is another cliffhanger! Arrgh!

Jus was so good about not spoiling us!

  • Nirvana in Fire 43: This is the episode in which people stay behind to cover other people's escapes!
  • Nirvana in Fire 44: This is the episode in which armies clash! (Sadly, none of their armor seems to do anything. I think they bought from the same arms dealer that supplies Storm Troopers.)
  • Nirvana in Fire 45: This is the episode in which the awesome princess shows up again! Also, Sir Su explains trolling, and the beast of Jiu An Mountain.

Something about the art, or maybe just the cover art, made me hope that Monster Tamer Girls (Mujirushi Shimazaki) would be awesome like Alien Nine, but no such luck.


The Kickstart has completed, so the Champions Now alpha release (Ron Edwards) is available for backers to playtest. Lacking a group to play with, though, all I can do is read it.

Mechanically, it is very similar to Champions 3e (incidentally, PDFs of Champions 3e are part of the Kickstarter rewards). PD and ED are combined, SPD is not figured and only goes up to 8, and the table-based powers (Telepathy, Mind Control) are probably different, but all the clunky bits (VPPs, 11-DCV+OCV, phases, 1+adv/1-lim) are still there. It's definitely less changed than OSR is from OD&D, but that's probably because even that long ago, Champions was more of a system and more polished than OD&D.

I'm not saying I don't want to play it, but so far I'm not seeing a lot of value added over republishing Champions 3e with a book of GMing instructions. (This probably means I'm doing it wrong, which is fair, since I've pretty much always done Champions wrong.)


Words: 181.

Weekly total: 2785.

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13 July 2018 - Friday

Friday the 13th, an excellent day for rereading books about heroic Deep Ones! (Deep Roots (Ruthanna Emrys) is out, but I could not remember who all the characters named in the first chapter were, so I reread Winter Tide. It is still awesome and I should probably be recommending it to more people.


Oh no! Someone else has figured out that Friday is the best night to do laundry! Now it is not the best night to do laundry! Well, except possibly all the others are still worse.


Words: 422.

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12 July 2018 - Thursday

I never could get the hang of Thursdays? Nah, it's a pretty unexceptional day.


Words: 280.

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11 July 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age, Ken has audits. We could possibly have gathered to do something else, but no one made a concrete proposal.

Instead, I admired how I gained a flatmate while I was at work! The balcony is now full of boxes, which all need to be processed before the damp weather starts, but Marith has mostly moved in! I hope she will not die from cats.

We watched the first two episodes of Galavant, which was very silly. "It's 1256, these 'your mom' jokes are getting pretty old."


Words: 397.

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10 July 2018 - Tuesday

I had to work from home to let the cleaners in to decontaminate Marith's space so she can move in tomorrow, and that threw me off completely so I didn't accomplish anything else today.


Gate Crashers (Patrick S Tomlinson) is in many ways a standard first-contact, humans must step up their game to deal with the aliens, military SF book, only mixed with Douglas Adams. It works pretty well, because the aliens don't need to be taken entirely seriously.

In The House of Aryaman, A Lonely Signal Burns (Elizabeth Bear) is a mid-future police procedural, in a non-white, ecologically-aware, somewhat biopunk future. With brightly-colored talking cats, so I'm down with it! It reminds me a bit of the nearer-future Stross I've read, only wilder.


Words: 314. Concentrating doesn't help when you don't know what to write next.

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9 July 2018 - Monday

Now that planking is done, we have moved to sun salutations for wellness exercise at work. It is much less strenuous.


Words: 550.

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8 July 2018 - Sunday

Finally, after untold ages (or at least 7 weeks), we have PAD&D5 again!

After wrapping up the seige of [SPOILER], the Heroines of Red Larch head to [SPOILER], which they believe to also be under attack. It is, and has already fallen, its people taken captive and most of the buildings burned. The Heroines try to infiltrate and pick off the outer forces, which goes well until they discover it is all... a trap! The enemy, tired of their interference, has prepared a ritual to banish them to [SPOILER]! With last-minute interference from their allies, they manage to avoid being cast into whatever horrible fate has been prepared for them, but at the expense of being sent off course into [SPOILER]. Fortunately, after plummeting for a while, they encounter a pirate battle and join the side with fewer tentacles (in accordance with the Crystal Dragon's gospel). Having made friends, they then undertake a quest that the pirates are not high enough level for, which involves trouncing a [SPOILER] and returning loaded down with loot. Next, to the place where they might be able to find a way back home, because the Dessarin Valley still needs saving!


Words: 641. It's almost like multitasking doesn't work.

Weekly total: 1437, but I didn't have space or equipment or peace to write in Roseville.

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7 July 2018 - Saturday

Yesterday I had mostly to myself, so today I was able to face people again.


  • Steven Universe 5.19-22: Hurray Ruby and Sapphire! And Amethyst!
  • My Hero Academia 26: Choosing names was pretty adorable. Go Froppy! Bakugo needs serious counseling, though.
  • My Hero Academia 27-28: I hadn't thought of it like that, but UA is really a vocational school. Also, terrifying old master is an important part of any show about learning to fight.

Words: 119.

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6 July 2018 - Friday

Because Dave did not go back with Ken, the car was full of kids and people who keep kids from exploding instead of riling them up and I had to ride the train home. All by myself. With nothing but an electrical outlet and WiFi. The horror. The horror.

When I got home, all of my cats were still alive, so Marith must have done a good job taking care of them!


On the train (besides playing way too much Empires & Puzzles), I finished Starless (Jacqueline Carey), which is something almost unimaginable in the modern world: a world-saving fantasy epic complete in one volume. Also, [SPOILER] protagonist. It's a pretty good setup for fantasy adventure: the stars are gods, but they've all been cast down to earth, where they physically inhabit their individual islands, inevitably shaping both the environment and the local culture according to their divine natures. I may have to steal it.


Words: 263.

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5 July 2018 - Thursday

HAPPY HAPPY JOSH-DAY!!

During the day, we went to the fabled Taylor's, so that Ayse could get a Dr Pepper freeze, which she certified as being completely 90s-tastic. But then, eventually (fourteen people, four of them kids, nothing moves quickly) we went to Josh's birthday sushi, and then, after disposing of the kids, played Cities and Knights of Catan until it was too late and we had to declare Josh the victor.

But we did not have Ken for any of this, because he had to go back to San Jose and work like capitalism. (Dave thought he was going to have to work, but decided not to.)


Words: FAIL.

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4 July 2018 - Wednesday

After the usual indolence, we managed to play Caverna (a descendent of the Agricola clade, I think). Even though it involves dwarves and digging and getting food from the outside world, it is not actually Dwarf Fortress: The Board Game, but a low-randomness worker placement game. I went heavily into rubies and sheep, which somehow got me second place. Alas, I did not have enough sheep to justify building the Cuddle Cave, which holds one sheep per dwarf. (Maybe if I had successfully bred extra dwarves earlier...) Then there was grilling and fireworks, because GFY Donald Trump King George Day.

The usual fireworks have been discontinued due to I don't even know what, so we had to drive to a nearby town to get Jus her yearly does of explosions, and it was quite an experience. Apparently it was too small of a town to have anyone responsible for safety, because the launchers were pretty much right at the edge of the park full of onlookers, and a fine rain of ash punctuated with larger bits of debris fell on us throughout the show. But fireworks are amazing from that range.


Words: FAIL.

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3 July 2018 - Tuesday

Ayse and Dave took Jus and Nonny up to Roseville in the afternoon, but Ken and I were burdened with capitalism and had to go up separately in the evening. We had ramen while waiting for traffic to calm down, and Alice Isn't Dead 2.9-3.2 on the way up, so it wasn't all bad!


Words: FAIL.

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2 July 2018 - Monday

Monday is Monday, but at least tomorrow is virtual Friday!


Words: 414.

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1 July 2018 - Sunday

Since I was protesting putting kids in concentration camps yesterday, I had to go grocery shopping today, and then work on putting things in places. I haven't completely moved over to the new bedroom and bathroom, but I'm much closer. I just need to throw away a bunch of stuff.


Words: 280.

Weak total: 1475.

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Previously in Trip's Life


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