Trip's Brain-Sucking Web Site

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Trip's Life (Recent episodes)

5 Most Recent Comments
2019-06-18:  "Re: The Mummy" by marithlizard
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

25 August 2019 - Sunday

Because I am tired all the time, I tried sleeping way way in and not doing it by hitting the snooze button ten thousand times, but even though I slept for like eleven hours and kept my brain inflator on the whole time, I did not feel energetic and alert when I got up. Also I had wasted most of the day being useless. Well, begin as you mean to go on, right?

I did manage to go shopping a little, mostly for comics, and it turns out the first N-3 volumes of Astro City are quite hard to come by. Am I going to have to use Amazon? That would suck.


Veronica Mars 1.3: Never take teenage boys along when you're doing anything important. Even if you have amazing driving powers.


Words: FAIL.

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24 August 2019 - Saturday

I actually managed to get up and showered and everything before the cleaners, so I could go shopping early, even though I don't need to get back and be on call. Yay me, I guess.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 173: What?! Two separate groups of Sailor Somethings running around!?
  • RWBY 3.6.5-3.7: Mostly backstory for the horrible thing involving Pyrrha.
  • AKB0048 8: Ayse pointed out that it's quite unusual for shoujo to have a leader not sacrifice all her dreams for her followers.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 20-21: Hiro is really the master of the false dichotomy. I think we need an ancient Greek philosopher to smack him over the head. Or maybe just Hanajima to emit waves at him.

Words: FAIL.

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23 August 2019 - Friday

I made it to Friday, but after Wednesday night and Thursday night, I am pretty lethargic. I did a work thing, but only one.

I had no brain and Marith didn't make a decision, so we watched Elementary. They might be slipping genres. Also, isn't Mycroft supposed to be the smarter brother? His plan must be very subtle in that case.


Read:

  • The Book of Secrets, The Book of Peril (Melissa McShane): First two of a series about a young woman who unexpectly inherits a magic bookshop and is roundly hated for it. She also has to deal with horrible monsters, factionalism among people who should be fighting the monsters, secrets, lack of documentation, and terrible guys.
  • Ms Marvel vol 10 (G Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, et al): It's pretty sad when you can't even have a slumber party without supervillains showing up!

Words: FAIL.

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22 August 2019 - Thursday

And this little piggie went snorb snorb snorb all the way home. And then had to hydrate and inject and dose the cat and eat dinner, which is nto like going to bed.


Read:

  • Magic For Liars (Sarah Gailey): People have been talking about this on the Slack, so I finally bubbled it to the top of the list and read it, and it was quite good! Synopsis: A muggle PI has to investigate a murder at Hogwarts where her sister teaches, and feels ensue. So many feels, and also lies to hide the feels, and some magic, and more feels. I cannot write.
  • The Agony House (Cherie Priest, Tara O'Connor): YA about a haunted house in post-Katrina New Orleans and a mysterious comic book. Despite the actual serious threats to the characters, it doesn't feel very tense, and I'm not sure why. No romance.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur vol 6 (Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain): Wait, who is what now? Did I miss some other Marvel series? Or did I just miss vol 4-5 of this one? I think it's the latter.

Words: FAIL.

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21 August 2019 - Wednesday

Birthday barbecue for Ken! Also, because Mike is busy doing something like having a wedding anniversary, we played more href="https://rpggeek.com/rpg/43545/eclipse-phase-second-edition">Eclipse Phase. Apparently my character's past fork was not good at leaving notes, so I'm trying to do better this time. Also, robot bug flirtation! (I can't flirt at all.)


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 3: Telling Tales, Skeleton Key vol 4: Cats And Dogs (Andi Watson): I mean, there's a lot to be said for hopping vampire hockey, but otherwise I feel I have evolved beyond this. Or maybe I'm used to comics that have evolved beyond this. Or maybe I just don't like the art style.
  • Sefira and Other Betrayals (John Langan): It's not Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror, but it has a lot of the same vibe, especially the title story and also "Bloom". Tentacles up!
  • The Lore of Prometheus (Graham Austin-King): The problem with any "human experience/faculty X is the key to magic" setting is that we should either be swimming in magic now with 7G+ humans on the planet, or it should never have happened in the past when there were hardly any humans.

Words: FAIL.

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20 August 2019 - Tuesday

It's only Tuesday, and the bus has made me miss my train twice this week! I blame the tens of thousands of parents who have to each drive their child to school in a separate SUV, while texting.


No brain. Watched more Elementary. They could have gone so much deeper into the wacky world of sovereign citizens. (Maybe they do in a later episode, we're not even through the second season.)


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 2: The Celestial Calendar (Andi Watson): Not as good as I remembered it. I think after this readthrough of the series, I will send them to a good home.

Words: FAIL.

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19 August 2019 - Monday

HAPPY HAPPY KEN-DAY!!


Because no one had any brain, we watched Elementary instead of anything cool. Also I made a root beer float with salted caramel ice cream, because that's all I had. It was okay.


Read:

  • Skyward (Brandon Sanderson): Possibly ties in to Sanderson's overarching cosmology, but I don't care. Teenage girl becomes a fighter pilot on a doomed planet despite her family's terrible history. Lots of banter and trash-talking, not much romance, many mysteries and revelations, Doomslug the Destroyer, M-Bot, people objecting to highly militarized society even when there's an external enemy. Also feelings.

Words: FAIL.

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18 August 2019 - Sunday

Last year about this time I was all, "I'm gonna get a passport and then I can go to Worldcon in Dublin and see Kit and it will be great" and now I'm all, "Wait, it's Worldcon?" So uh maybe I kind of suck. A lot. I didn't even go to the Extinction Rebellion meeting with Dave, because I wasn't up to commuting another four hours on one day's notice, which is really pretty lame of me.


On the advice of our pocket fronds, we tried watching Parks and Recreation. The pilot didn't grab us, so we skipped to the second season, which is supposed to be better, but meh. Marith thinks she may be off sitcoms for good, since she can't stand "humor" where people are ridiculed for not being cool.


Read:


Words: FAIL.

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17 August 2019 - Saturday

I guess it finally had to happen that being on-call required me to help customers, but bleah.

I did manage to shop expediently and bring the makings for figs with goat cheese to Ayse and Ken's, though.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 171-172: The left-overs from last season are now finally dealt with! We know it's for sure this time, because new adversaries are appearing in the previews!
  • RWBY 3.5-6: Yang! How could you?
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 18-19: Kisa! Ritchan-san!

Read:

  • Komi Can't Communicate vol 2 (Tomohito Oda): More friends for Komi! Also social situations! But her friend group is getting large enough to have internal conflict, and she's only a fraction of the way to her goal. Poor Komi!

Words: FAIL.

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16 August 2019 - Friday

Yay, I made it through another week! Although I still suck and can't do anything with computers. (Let's not even mention doing something productive with computers.)


I don't remember how much Veronica Mars I've seen, but the second episode seems kind of familiar. Also it makes me want to guillotine all rich people, or maybe just all white people.


Read:

  • Skeleton Key vol 1: Beyond the Threshold (Andi Watson): I started rereading this because I remembered as being good. But now I also remember the first volume was kind of meh.
  • Gunsmoke & Glamour (Hillary Monahan): A US Marshal with a sixth sense for magic falls in love with a faerie con artist even though he's supposed to arrest her as soon as she leaves some evidence he can't ignore, befriends a trans doctor and a ridiculously horny faerie, offends witches, and generally gets into trouble in a magical West. (Okay, more of a South.) Contains lots and lots of sex, and also doom.
  • Lucifer's Star (CT Phipps, Michael Suttkus): Grimdark space opera. Everyone named character, including the first-person protagonist, has the blood of innocents on their hands, everything they find out about what's going on shows the universe is a worse place than they thought, rampant betrayal, torture, etc.
  • Exhalation (Ted Chiang): I skipped reading "The Life Cycle of Software Objects" because I've read it and it gave me too many bad feels, but all the other stories in this collection were equally amazing. The gate! The parrots! The predictor! The prisms! The philosphy! The entropy! I Kermit flail!

Words: FAIL.

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15 August 2019 - Thursday

Ugh, Thursday night commute. If anyone has a brilliant idea for overcoming this ("use a car" is not brilliant, and "nurture the gig economy" makes it the opposite of better), I'm open to suggestions.


Read:

  • Treason of Hawks (Lila Bowen) wraps up the series about everyone's favorite trans multiracial monster-hunting were-vulture cowboy. Unfortunately, although the big threat of this book does link back to the first book and bad things Rhett did, the lack of references in the intermediate books makes the big reveal feel kind of flat, and I don't like the way some characters were killed off-screen.

Words: FAIL.

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14 August 2019 - Wednesday

We successfully played the Home Team branch of Mike's 13G game, while eating the traditional Indian food of Brooks. This session, in addition to explaining a tiny bit of the decades of accumulated Glorantha lore to Kelsey, we chased a kite through an adjacent clan's tula with the power of bribery, and tried to avoid a fight with weird Lunar barbarians.


Read:

  • Medusa in the Graveyard (Emily Devenport): The ship finally gets where it was going, the weird stuff from the end of Medusa Uploaded comes to fruition, Oichi must decide whether murdering everyone with a robot squid is the way she wants to live her life, and then things get trippy.

Words: FAIL.

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13 August 2019 - Tuesday

Well, at least Tuesday isn't Monday. And I only actually have two meetings, one of them short and the other requiring no input from me (although other people asked the question I thought of, after I thought it, so I guess I could have contributed, but meh, no one wants to hear from me).


No watching, I am trying to be useful this evening (and not succeeding).


Read:

  • Man-Eaters vol 1 (Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, Joe Caramagna, Lia Miternique): Menarche has a small chance of turning a girl into a ravening were-panther. Femininity gets an even worse image, the Establishment dopes the drinking water with birth control pills to prevent menstruation (opening a vast market for Manly Water, and in fact Manly Everything, No Girls Allowed), everyone lives in fear. We see a lot of in-world propaganda informational materials, which is a great way to do tonal world-building.
  • The Citadel of Weeping Tears (Aliette de Bodard): Space opera with the empire based on Vietnamese culture instead of Roman. Feels a little bit like Yoon-Ha Lee's "Hexarchate" series but definitely different, less sharp-edged.
  • On A Red Station, Drifting (Aliette de Bodard): Backstory of one of the secondary characters from The Citadel of Weeping Tears, showing the less glittery parts of the empire.
  • Dept.H vol 1 (Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt): Murder and mystery and family drama on a deep submarine station, with weird art that doesn't do it for me.

Words: FAIL.

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12 August 2019 - Monday

The train was randomly late, but today was not too busy.


The Internet made Marith want to see Veronica Mars, so we watched the first episode. Compost the rich. Also, compost men.


Read:

  • Giant Days vol 7-8 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar, Liz Fleming): Christmas! Susan's family (which explains so much)! McGraw, how could you?!
  • The Raptor & The Wren and Vultures (Chuck Wendig): Last two books of the "Miriam Black" series which is about birds and death and extremely poor life choices and cussing. As far as I can tell from my dim memories of the previous four books, all the plot threads do come together and tie up in a gigantic knot of doom, which Miriam handles with cussing and wanton violence.
  • The Promised Neverland vol 11 (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu): Eh, that wasn't a very cunning plan, even if it does move the characters another step toward their ultimate goal.

Words: FAIL.

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11 August 2019 - Sunday

After missing two fortnightly sessions, we once again gathered (minus Deirdre, but with Edie who is back from camp) to play Sentinel Comics RPG! We are on the fifth issue (last of the three unordered ones) from the starter kit and Dave is still managing to beat them into shape. I don't want to spoil a published adventure, but what this issue promised, it delivered on! Even if Dave had to nerf it to keep us all from being killed.

I figured out what was going on right away, but none of us could roll better then double 1s to persuade the NPC, so it didn't matter. Sheesh.

Everyone is having fun, so we plan to make our own characters and force Dave to run original material once we finish the starter kit. Apparently we need to read Astro City...


I had no brain because it is too hot, so we just watched some Elementary. Sadly, I don't think they're exaggerating about the pettiness of what people will murder over.


Words: FAIL.

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10 August 2019 - Saturday

I have my Saturdays all worked out, but today was a mess because Aspen's vet appointment was right in the middle of shopping time. We did get her taken in and ultrasounded and sampled and admired, though, and I rushed through shopping and got home in good time to be on call all afternoon.

I did not have to do anything while on call, so I was useless and didn't even manage to do laundry correctly, and we were late getting to Ayse and Ken's for chicken chile verde.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 169-170: Mirrored doom finally abducts Mamoru, with predictable effects on his future offspring!
  • RWBY 3.4: Coco and whatsisface get defeated in the tournament by the Evils.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 16-17: Uotani's troubled past and new fangirl.

Words: FAIL.

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9 August 2019 - Friday

Yay I made it to Friday!


This season of She-Ra only has six episodes (so it should really be like 2b), but the last two go harder than we expected from a kids' show! I hope they are not too much for Jus.


Read:

  • Wicked Saints (Emily A Duncan): Very goth. Divine mages vs maltheistic blood mages, only the entire magic system is probably built on a lie (to be explained in later books). Love and betrayal and hot evil boys.
  • Reticence (Gail Carriger): Fourth and probably last in the trilogy about the new generation. Final major character who didn't have a squeeze gets paired off, and new supernaturals get discovered.
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (P Djeli Clark): Hey, it's more in the world of A Dead Djinn in Cairo! The snappy dresser is only a bit character in this one, but multi-ethnic cross-dressing nerd victory!
  • Saga vol 4-9 (Fiona Staples, Brian K Vaughan): Not the end, but the comic is on hiatus for at least one year from last August, so who knows when there will be more? Hopefully if there is, there will be some thematic development, because it's getting to be just more and more of the same doom. My current theory is that every named character except Hazel is going to end up dead.

Words: FAIL.

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8 August 2019 - Thursday

Thursday stuck at work forever, but I accomplished a few things and didn't actually die. Much.


Read:

  • The Private Life of Elder Things (Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald, Adam Gauntlett): Stories about assorted creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos. Very canon in the monsters, but it gives a little tiny bit of insight into their thinking. Lose 1d10 SAN.
  • Alien: Echo (Mira Grant): It's got all the important Alien bits: xenomorphs, colony planet, acid blood, ovipositors, idiots who don't believe in the threat. Also queer female protagonist!

Words: FAIL.

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7 August 2019 - Wednesday

Aspen's kidney numbers are not great. I need to take her in again on Saturday for ultrasounding and more blood and urine draws.


After the kerfuffle about D&D5, we have returned to Mike's 13th Age Glorantha game, and spent the session making up characters for the home team. I think I will be an Orlanthi ninja, because that's not ridiculous. Anyway, Mike started it when he offered the chance for our tribe's history to include "hid in No Wind during the time of darkness". Also Thai food.


Read:

  • The Moon Etherium (L Rowyn): Post-scarcity fantasy, conspiracy and magical intrigue and romance and invstigation.
  • Terminal Uprising (Jim C Hines): Sequel to Terminal Alliance, heroic ex-zombie janitors continue to investigate the aliens who are saving humanity from the zombie apocalypse, and continue to find out disturbing things.
  • Saga vol 3 (Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples): Finished rereading what I had read before. Yep, that's the sex and violence and doom I remember!

Words: FAIL.

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6 August 2019 - Tuesday

Today everything was thrown off and I was completely useless because I had to work from home so we could take Aspen to the vet at noon. Bah.

But Aspen was such a good kitty even though she got poked and prodded and cruelly oppressed! She even had some urine in her bladder so the doctor could get a sample! I don't think it was because she was too unwell to resist, because while I had her wrapped into a purrito and we were waiting for the terribly understaffed vet techs to come back, she was craning her head around and looking out the window to see what was happening in the hall and stuff. But she needs to be a good kitty who eats more.

Anyway, probably her kidneys are old, but we will have to wait for the test results. In the meantime, subcutaneous fluids every evening.


More She-Ra! Entrapta is still working for Hordak, that is sure to go well.


Words: FAIL.

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5 August 2019 - Monday

Hey, there's a new season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power! First two episodes, new ship!


Read:

  • The Affair of the Mysterious Letter (Alexis Hall) is part genderbent Sherlock Holmes pastiche, part Cthulhu pastiche, and all New Weird. The consulting sorceress Sheherazad Haas is kind of over-the-top, but maybe I'm just not remembering original Holmes well enough. Her housemate/partner/straight man John Wyndham is a good barometer for what is normal, so we can see just how crazed SH is. He may spend too much time apologizing for her foul mouth, though. Six tentacles up!

Words: FAIL.

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4 August 2019 - Sunday

So useless! More useless than that!

So useless I watched two episodes of Elementary! (Okay, Marith helped.) The return of Lestrade. Also, chickens.


Read:

  • Satan's Secretary vol 1 (Kamotsu Kamonabe): Meh. Demon Lord (JRPG style, not the Christian Satan) kidnaps a terrifyingly efficient human secretary, and workplace reform ensues.
  • Skyward vol 1-2 (Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, Antonio Fabela, Simon Bowland): The premise is that one day, "Earth's gravity drops to a fraction of its former strength", which certainly is cinematic and allows for exciting microgravity action scenes, and is an obvious hook for a plot, but I can't help recognizing that absolutely nothing works that way.
  • Our Dreams at Dusk vol 2 (Yuhki Kamatani): More issues of gender and identity, with a maybe-trans kid. Main character's gay crush may be noticing him back, but no idea whether that's good or bad. No one knows what's up with Someone-san.

Words: FAIL.

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3 August 2019 - Saturday

Why is it so hot? I didn't order this!


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 168:
  • RWBY 3.2-3: First appearance of Qrow, which makes it Marith's favorite episode.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 14-15: Visiting a grave, then visiting a lake house. Momiji's tragic backstory.

Read:

  • Tomo-chan is a Girl vol 4 (Fumita Yanagida): He's definitely seeing her as a girl now, if not as a romantic prospect.

Words: FAIL.

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2 August 2019 - Friday

Yay Friday! Boo capitalism!

The internet told Marith that Megamind is good, so we watched it, and it actually is! I was worried when it got to the bit about the romantically-frustrated white guy, but it worked out!

Also I did laundry, and then extra laundry because Aspen is not good at using the litter box. Good thing she's going to the vet on Tuesday!


Read:

  • Giant Days: Early Registration (John Allison): At the beginning of the series, Esther and Daisy and Susan all know each other and have some backstory. The references are enough, so in some sense this volume didn't need to exist, but it's always good to see them being wacky.
  • Ancestral Night (Elizabeth Bear): Space opera about socialism and mental health, or at least involving socialism and mental health during the downtime in the space chases and star whale encounters. Also pretty good "everyone is a cyborg now".
  • They Promised Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded (James Alan Gardner): Sequel to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, and with a different member of the team as first-person narrator. I'm really dubious about the Watsonian explanation for superhero tropes, but hopefully it will tie into some overarcing plot. (Since there are four superheroines on the team, there must be two more books.)
  • Saga vol 1 (Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples): Reread, so I can read the new volumes. Wow, I forgot how much language, sex, nudity, and violence there is. Also, it looks like racism and war might possibly be less than ideal.

Words: FAIL.

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1 August 2019 - Thursday

Ugh, late work night. Thursday coming right after Wednesday is a pain, but at least it makes Friday even happier? Tonight I had leftover Ethiopian, because I actually managed to take lefotvers home and eat them!


Read:

  • Giant Days vol 6 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming): Oh no, I am almost out! Will I ever learn whether Esther defeats Ingrid in an iron cage death match?
  • The Merciful Crow (Margaret Owen): It's American racism (down to being hunted by white-robed assholes with torches) but in a fantasy land with a completely different reasons and also mammoth riders. Certainly it shows that racism is garbage, but I don't know if it shows it more than another approach would.
  • Because Internet (Gretchen Mcculloch): No, communication in the internet age is not degenerate, it is a amazing and creative and emojis fill the role of gesture and punctuation and capitalization fill in for tone of voice because we are now so literate that writing is as common and informal and nuanced as speech! Get back on my lawn!

Words: FAIL.

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31 July 2019 - Wednesday

We did more of Kelsey's D&D5 game, completing two whole rounds of combat. There's nothing wrong with Kelsey's GMing style, D&D is just that awful. I think Ken is joining me in this belief. But at least we had Ethiopian food!


Read:

  • Honor Bound (Rachel Caine, Ann Aguirre): Sequel to Honor Among Thieves, but now that the main character knows what the hell is going on, she can get to kicking the ass that needs kicking. It's like Joyride in being an Earth criminal girl having adventures in space, but so much better because the main character is not an idiot. Also, space whales and potential poly.
  • Minor Mage (T Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon): Apparently editors don't think this is a kid's book, even though it's about a twelve-year-old wizard and his armadillo familiar saving everyone, just because there are angry mobs and ghouls and serial killers. Weird.
  • The Ascent to Godhood (JY Yang): 4th book of the "Tensorate" series, mostly fills in backstory rather than adding to the strangeness of the world.
  • A Dead Djinn in Cairo (P Djeli Clark): Steampunk with decadent djinn, deranged angels, and policewomen in snazzy suits. I would read more in this universe.
  • Giant Days vol 4-5 (John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming): Still adorable! Go Daisy!

Words: FAIL.

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30 July 2019 - Tuesday

I feel like I am doing useful stuff at work, and no one has said otherwise, but I should be doing more.


Why does Sherlock get so much action in Elementary and Watson hardly any? Bah!


Read:

  • Outlaws and Aliens (James L Cambias): Two stories involving crime and aliens, not otherwise related. Being a criminal is not safe, it turns out.
  • Six Sacred Swords (Andrew Rowe): Spinoff from Sufficiently Advanced Magic and On The Shoulders of Titans, where one of the secondary characters tells his backstory to the main character and friends. The teller is not terrible, and the magic sword and the dragon are adorable.
  • The 5th Gender (GL Carriger): Alien-human gay(ish) romance and murder mystery, with much exposition of the alien gender system and also seriously NSFW gay sex.
  • Giant Days vol 2-3 (John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar): Still adorable and hilarious! Now I have reread everything I read before, so I can move on to the new material!

Words: FAIL.

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29 July 2019 - Monday

There was a company all-hands in the morning, but it was not announcing the dissolution of the the company. In fact, even if you take into account execs being paid to make things sound good, things sound fairly good.


No, Elementary, that's not how paleontology works.


Read:

  • Black Bolt vol 2 (Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward): It's never as easy as just escaping Inescapable Space Prison! But getting to Earth at least gets Boltagar Blackagon some new allies to finish dealing with the problem. Apparently the end of the series, since Blinky (who is Best) is going off to have her own adventure.
  • A Year and a Day in Old Theradane (Scott Lynch): Magical heist, much higher-magic and less gritty than the "Gentleman Bastards" book. The city ruled by crazy wizards reminds me of Glen Cook's "Garrett" books a little.
  • The Tower of Zhall (CT Phipps): Sequel to Cthulhu Armageddon. Is there ever a good reason to summon Cthulhu? Or even make deals with shoggoths? Maybe, if the world has already been destroyed. But it needed more Jackie.
  • Cthulhu Kaiju (Ahimsa Kerp): Cthulhu eats Portland (and the rest of Oregon). But it has Derleth's Elder Gods, so it is a failure as a Mythos story.
  • Giant Days vol 1 (John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar): Still funny and adorable!

Words: FAIL.

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28 July 2019 - Sunday

Gaming was cancelled, so I did nothing today. I mean, I kind of went shopping, but mostly I just sat around going blblblblblblblbl.


Wow, I thought Elementary would draw that plotline out further, but nope, done after just a couple of episodes.


Read:

  • Gleipnir vol 3 (Sun Takeda): I understand that one of the themes is that everyone does awful things, but that does not excuse perpetrating the Predatory Lesbian trope. Bah. But there are several ways this could go after the final scene, most of them horrific.

Words: FAIL.

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27 July 2019 - Saturday

I was on call from 13:30 to 19:30, but nothing was on fire, yay!


Nigh-Weekly Anime:


Read:

  • Yuri Bear Storm vol 3 (Ikunigomakinako, Akiko Morishima): The problem with having the sins of the previous generation repeat with the new generation who not only look like their moms did at that age but dress and look similar, is that I get very confused. But I think it worked out in the end, even if no one said the word "polyamory"? It looks like the anime might cover more? Maybe we should try it.

Words: FAIL.

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26 July 2019 - Friday

I could not watch this episode of Elementary without picturing the "Search Terms: elementary moriarty watson" results count whirring upward.


Read:

  • Girl Underground is the superset of Alice of Wonderland, Labyrinth, Summer in Orcus, and all other books where a young girl finds herself in a bizarre magical land and must fix what is broken while learning about herself. Unlike other games, where princesses can be boys, the Girl has to start off as a girl; it is very much about gender, and what girls are not allowed to do, and doing it anyway. Because this is what the game is about, everyone plays the Girl, usually a different person in each scene, and everyone else (except the GM) plays the companions. PbtA, so pretty much all the non-GM rules are in the playbooks.
  • Black Bolt vol 1 (Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward) clearly follows from a bunch of other comics that brought the title character to this point, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment because it was obvious what was going on now (in the space slammer? break out!), and the main character's interior monologues explained everything I needed to know. The art was not exactly to my taste, but it was very effective, and Black Bolt's facial expressions are great, so I give it a tentacle up.

Words: FAIL.

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25 July 2019 - Thursday

I was even later getting out of work than usual for a Thursday, because the person I had to hand over to was late getting in, but it didn't make any difference to the time I got home. It always converges on that last leg from Diridon to home.


Read:

  • Dead City, Blue Moon, and Dark Days (James Ponti): Cute trilogy about a middle-school zombie slayer in NYC. The zombies are not actually explained, but they have (New York-specific) backstory and limitations so that it seems like they have an explanation that hasn't been discovered yet. There is no romance at all for the main character, although a couple of the secondary characters might be going out between the lines.
  • The Orphans of Raspay (Lois McMaster Bujold): Another adventure of Penric (who is older yet somehow hotter) and his best demon (who is still snarky). It's always fun to watch Penric be terrifying, but it doesn't seem like this story added much to his character arc.
  • Destroyer (Victor LaValle, Dietrich SMith, Joana Lafuente): Frankenstein × black ops × black lives matter. Do not mess with someone who has been sitting on an iceberg for 300 years.
  • Joyride vol 1 (Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcus To, Irma Kniivila): Like Astrid, this has some good bits, and a comic about humans hijacking a spaceship and running around the galaxy should be fun, but it has too many SF tropes thrown in a pile without being connected at all. Also the main character is like the "Chaotic Neutral" D&D character that everyone hates and wants to kick out of the game. The others have some personality, though.

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24 July 2019 - Wednesday

Randomly, I ran into Cesar on the train in the morning! I tried to make small talk, but am terrible at it. He seems to be doing well, anyway, although he kind of looks like an ex-biker.


Everyone made it to gaming, so we had D&D5 to go with our pizza! Kelsey's hand-drawn maps are pretty sweet, although it would have been better if they had been deployed earlier, but as usual an hour of our 90 minute gaming time was taken up with rules minutiae that added nothing to the gaming experience for me.


Read:

  • Angel's Sigil (L Rowyn): Sequel to Demon's Lure, in which our hapless heroine is tried for capital crimes and also doom comes to demonkind.
  • Astrid: Cult of the Volcanic Moon (Kim W Anderson): There's a difference between not sweating the details and going out of your way to make all the details bogus. But realizing the system doesn't deserve your devotion is important.

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23 July 2019 - Tuesday

Since we're out of The Umbrella Academy, we had to watch Elementary. Wow, Sherlock was almost like a functional human being there!


Read:

  • Sentinel Comics beta rules and character creation chapters. The rules are pretty much the same as in the starter kit, although the list of possible twists would be very helpful if an idiot like me were running. The character creation rules probably will not make Jeremy or Dave happy, because they are not at all about building a unit for a tactical wargame and then adding a story. I don't know what I think about them, but they seem like they should work within the paradigm of the game.
  • Trees vol 1-2 (Warren Ellis, Jason Howard): I had forgotten almost all of this. Wow, they're so doomed. I wonder if volume 3 will ever come out?

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22 July 2019 - Monday

Boo, Monday. Boo, capitalism. Boo, bus not showing up. Boo, train being late.


Finale of The Umbrella Academy! We called the general form of the doom ages ago, but I was not expecting the specifics, nor that kind of ending. I hear a second season is planned, but it would be kind of cool if they just left it there.


Read:

  • "Cthulhu Attacks!", book 1 (The Fear) and book 2 (The Faith) (Sean Hoade, Byron Craft): "What if I wrote a book where encyclopedic knowledge of Lovecraft's work was actually a useful skill?" But apparently the first author's brain fell over dead partway into the second book and someone else had to finish it, so the ending is wrong.
  • Cthulhu Armageddon (CT Phipps): Post-apocalypse where the apocalypse was the Great Old Ones. Planet is a mess, humans survive only in small groups, cultists and mutants everywhere, one strong but flawed man has to save his people, you know the genre.
  • Paper Girls vol 5 (Brian K Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher): [SPOILER] changed her mind awfully faster there, but to be fair, [SPOILER] was pretty impressive. Plus it made the cliffhanger ending even more upsetting. But now I have to wait for volume 6 to be released!
  • Plutona (Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Jordie Bellaire): Wow, that was seriously messed up. Especially for middle-schoolers. But it seemed emotionally plausible.

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21 July 2019 - Sunday

I did managed to go shopping, but was only vaguely successful because I am as stupid as I am ugly.


But I'm not as doomed as the characters in The Umbrella Academy!


Read:

  • Flying Witch vol 7 (Chihiro Ishizuka): Still adorable, and I'm not just saying that because this is the hot springs episode.
  • Made in Abyss vol 6 (Akihito Tsukushi): Not as much fucked-up body horror as last volume, but while the adventurers are in Philosophy Dungeon, things are looking bad for everyone else everywhere.
  • Prism Stalker vol 1 (Sloane Leong): On one level, a girl gets drafted for a prestige assignment on a distant planet of the biotech-based multispecies empire; on another, colonialism inevitably destroys the culture of the colonized, leaving them adrift in society. Lots of aliens and also mysteries.

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20 July 2019 - Saturday

Yikes, someone burned down the office of the studio that made Hibike! Euphonium! What the fuck, other countries, can't you be less horrible than the US?


  • Sailor Moon Super S 164-165: Just because it's not all punching doesn't mean there isn't a final conflict that takes multiple episodes!
  • RWBY 2.12: Victory! End of the season!
  • AKB0048 6: That really does seem like a very Japanese-girl way to conceptualize haters. Well, SF is always about the present, right?
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 11-12: Augh! Akito! The only person who can make Tohru be physically violent!

Little Miss P (Ken Koyama) is about the visitor who shows up every month or so to punch women in the groin (and sometimes extract a bunch of blood, or just beat the snot out of them), and women who are trying to live their lives when this happens, and also the people who brought modern feminine hygeine products to Japan in the 60s. Do I feel that am more able to write female characters now? Eh, maybe.


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19 July 2019 - Friday

Antepenultimate Umbrella Academy, yikes! Hargreaves did it wrong and stupidly, as usual, but I see why he did that.


Motor Crush (Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart) is about the best motorcycle racer around, a performance-enhancing drug for engines, illegal gladiatorial races, the drug trade, mysterious backgrounds, mysterious mysteries, and very pretty girls in small bits of spandex. Alas, it seems to have stopped coming out just after the second collection, so we may never find out what the hell is really going on.

Five Unicorn Crush (TJ Berry) is the sequel to Space Unicorn Blues and follows on pretty directly from the end of it, showing that the Big Event did not actually solve much of anything in the face of determined sophonts, which might have been the point.

The prose of Here There Be Monsters (Tim Curran) is even more purple than Lovecraft, and the main characters have better odds of surviving intact, but most of the stories are very pastichey (it's a word now!), and at least one is a direct sequel to a Lovecraft story. So, I guess, if you needed more Lovecraft than actually exists, this would be your book? I prefer new takes on the Mythos, but these are at least competently done, kind of.


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18 July 2019 - Thursday

I guess I am getting used to this late night commute of doom, but that doesn't mean I like it.


Volume 2 of Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles) skips ahead to WWI, but it's still about Death and her servants and human family and people dying all over the place as mortals do. I'm not sure it's entirely my thing, but I can admire how well it is done.

Space Unicorn Blues (TJ Berry) is about, well, space unicorns (and dryads and elves and whatnot) and the horrible things humans do when they find out what magical creature parts are good for, despite having just been told to play nice. As SF, it's not entirely coherent, but the protagonists are a well-done miscellaneous lot of non-heroes (lots of representation), and the human fascists are unpleasantly topical.


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17 July 2019 - Wednesday

Unprecedentedly, we had everyone at gaming, so we had some D&D5 to go with our Chinese food. Sadly, Kelsey forgot the hand-drawn artisanal maps she made for us.

Next time we play, we might actually meet the villain!


Today's OSR reading: Teratoscope. Carnivorous colleges! Tribal champions that take on the forms and powers of distant dimensional cognates to battle over the shape history will have! Voice-stealing dragons! Several varieties of ogre that have no arms but get things done with their voices! The Hunting Hand! Mountains of alien meat that fall from the sky! Orca-were capitalists! Things from the haunted forest so dangerous it had to be imprisoned in paintings locked in an impenetrable vault! Alarming hints that Hell might be empty now! Like the best OSR monster books, it is also a world book, and I want to know more about this world. Although not too much, because Dungeon World.

Dangerous to Go Alone is in a genre of video games I haven't played, Legend of Zelda, so I probably don't appreciate it fully, but it is very simple and very cute. The GM is called the Princess, pretty much your only stat is how many hearts you have (which get filled up with emotions or tiredness and then you have to rest, or filled up with hurt and then you reappear at the last hearth where you felt safe and comfortable), combat involves rolling papercraft dice at each other, character creation involves writing down three things that people would expect of your race and profession and then crossing out one and writing in how you aren't like that at all. I am not the target player, but I think people who are would be pleased?


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16 July 2019 - Tuesday

HAPPY HAPPY AVALON-DAY!!!

I even got to see her tonight, because Tuesday is a good night for that. Hurray Avalon!

Only nineteen years until it's not creepy for me to be dating her.


I missed more transit connections than my commute is even supposed to have, bah.


Super Destiny High School Rumble is basically TfOS powered by the Apocalypse. Not exactly, it draws more from Sailor Moon and other recent anime than from Urusai Yatsura, and there isn't any metaplot provided to explain why aliens and magical girls are at this high school, so the energy isn't quite the same, but I think it could be good.

The Lesser Key to the Celestial Legion is tables to randomly generate gods and rites and angels, nominally for DCC but easily transferable to other OSR games, if you care enough. Meh.

Also nominally DCC, but with more tentacle gods in the form of orbital death satellites and elevator-based spells and general weirdness: Terror of the Stratosfiend vol 1 vol 1.5.

Dust Bowl Galaxy says it's space western, but I don't really see how, except that cattle are mentioned as a possible cargo for the PCs' ship that they build out of modules using a card-based system to explore the war-ravaged galaxy beyond their tiny refugee colony. Also card-based: ship combat, personal gadgets, and the many terrible things that can happen if you use the psionic powers that vatches higher-dimensional beings are happy to grant you. Inventing new aliens does not require cards!

I picked up Paper Girls (Brian K Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher) because someone on the Internet said it was awesome, and it actually is! Middle school girls from 1988, through time and space! Bonus points for giant azhdarchids, further bonus points for tardigrades. Sadly it looks like there are only three more volumes before it finishes, even though I want to keep reading it forever.


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15 July 2019 - Monday

Wait, work, what? Can't I have another Sunday? Okay, it's not like I did a great job with the last one, but this time for sure!


Tonight's episode of The Umbrella Academy was the natural other half of yesterday's episode, and also removes a lot of any sympathy I might have had for Chacha. Also, is that really what young people do at parties these days?


Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles) is definitely mythic or fairytale Western. I mean, Death is a character, and falls in love with a human woman. It's pretty much all downhill from there for most of the characters, because Western.


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14 July 2019 - Sunday

Today I was completely useless! I wanted to go shopping, but was too lazy and stupid and only managed to lie around the apartment all day going blblblblblblblbl. Also Avalon cancelled date, but it was because she's not feeling well, not for the much more sensible reason that I suck.

In the evening, Marith and I watched more of The Umbrella Academy. We are more than half done, and up to the episode that every show with time travel should have.


Finally I got Empowered (Adam Warren) volume 10, but it was not as satisfying as other recent volumes, more like vol 1-2 where it was just vignettes from the life of Empowered. Until the cliff-hanger ending, at least!

Also I have finally read volume 3 of Kill Six Billion Demons (Tom Parkinson-Morgan), after starting and realizing I had no idea how Allison and Cio got to where they were and having to reread the first two volumes. It's okay, no one was really using that multiverse anyway. But go Allison! And go Cio!


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13 July 2019 - Saturday

Riding the bus to shopping is a lot less sweaty than walking, but not as healthy.


  • Sailor Moon Super S 163: Trapped in a mirror labyrinth! But what are the Amazoness Quartet up to?
  • RWBY 2.10-11: You can't have an fighting show without a fight on a train. It's just the rules, sorry.
  • AKB0048 5: Apparently Akibastar is not Fully Automated Luxury Queer Space Communism after all! But they do have Pheromones.
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 9-10: Haruhatsu! And Valentine's Day, but mostly Haruhatsu.

I read volume 2 of We Never Learn (Taishi Tsutsui). I think that was funny fanservice instead of terrible fanservice, but is any fanservice actually not terrible?


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12 July 2019 - Friday

Friday always seems hard after Thursday, but I survived another week!


The Orchid Gown (Mason Frey) is a collection of dark fantasy stories that are atmospheric but don't quite end. It's not "Lady or the Tiger", it's more "Here are two doors, there's probably something behind at least one of them". When it's not Prime Boycott Day, I should see if the author has any longer works.

But mostly today I went through the 300-odd Kindle samples I have, deleting a bunch of them and putitng some of them into my wishlist for later.

In additional Kindle news, I managed to download 200 books at a time to my local compute for Calibreation, which wasn't too bad. It only took like 15 batches.


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11 July 2019 - Thursday

Stayed late at work again. I really want to find a better way to get home, but transit doesn't seem to do it, and I am pretty sure I don't think Uber or Lyft should exist. Blurgh.


Beings From Beyond is nominally for D&D5, but it's pretty old-school, tables to randomly generate devils and their biomechanical minions and their giant war machines, demons and the horrific mutations they induce, incandescents (angels of GOOD + CHAOS) and their beautiful abstract forms and fundamental powers, or incarnates (GOOD + LAW) of any concept, plus assorted other creatures from the planes. You want a lion with a glowing pyramid for a head who freezes evildoers in time? A radially asymmetric eel demon with a voice that makes your ears bleed? A creature of living sound in powered armor? This book has you covered.

Forgotten, Forsaken, and Unforgiven (MR Forbes) are a trilogy that starts off with the head cop on a failing generation ship and then changes genre with every book. Pretty much everyone dies, especially characters who don't deserve it. Earth Unknown starts another trilogy in which the survivors of the first trilogy are secondary characters or even antagonists, but I had had enough by that point.

Empowered Unchained vol 1 (Adam Warren, et al) is a collection of all the specials that are not otherwise collected. It turns out I have read them all before, but now they can sit on my bookshelf taking up space in the physical world&emdash; I think I may be doing something wrong. But I liked Empowered anyway.

I generally like Seanan McGuire, so I got Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider vol 1 (Seanan McGuire, Rosi Ka:mpe, Takeshi Miyazama), but apparently I need to have read at least two complete series to know what the heck is going on, because mainstream comics.


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10 July 2019 - Wednesday

Kelsey cancelled at the last minute again, so Mike ran more of the Heroquest we are going through in 13G. Mike likes to play things out in fine detail, so this is taking forever. (I think he really should be writing for video games.) Also Indian food. Ken never orders, so Brooks has been getting him the same thing for like six months.


Books where magic and/or gods return to a major city and everything is terrible and the hero has to save people from magical threats are a dime a dozen when set in the US or UK, but I hadn't seen one set in Lagos, Nigeria, before David Mogo Godhunter (Suyi Davis Okungbowa). I'm sure I missed a lot of the depth, since I know almost nothing about Nigerian religions or magic systems, but that was definitely a hero who struggled.

I was sad to see that The Unstoppable Wasp was over after only two thin collections, but I guess people with money and power were also sad, because now there is The Unstoppable Wasp: Unlimited vol 1 (Jeremy Whitley, Gurihiru)! (I think there may have been some stuff in other titles in between, because mainstream comics, but whatever.) Supervillains! Tiny gay disasters (which apparently is a level up from Snappy Dresser)! Mental health representation! The power of Friendship and Science!


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9 July 2019 - Tuesday

Avalon is still alive, even though her Internet boyfriend is not great.


In a lot of ways, Wicked Fox (Kat Cho) is like a vampire novel (woe, I must feed upon humans!), but the Korean flavor makes it interesting. (I'm not sure I would be able to tell that Korean is in the same language family as Japanese if I didn't know.)

In the Shadow of Spindrift House (Mira Grant) is short and doomed and shows why no one should ever go near the Atlantic coast ever.

In volume 3 of Monstress (Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda), the threatened war is definitely revving up, and also we get to see more of Maika's predecessor's works, and why the Cumaea are so horrible. I'm really not sure about [SPOILER] getting more of a speaking part, though. But oh the doom!


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8 July 2019 - Monday

Oh no, I left my iPad at home! I had to do work when I was at work! And on the commute, I had to read the second volume of Monstress (Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda)! It is just as doomed as the first, of course. I am now more interested in looking up the writer's prose work, although it wouldn't be the same without the art.


The Umbrella Academy is still not explaining how Luther got to the Moon, but Klaus is showing that all aspects have a positive side. Diego is still a butt, but I do feel sorry for him.


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7 July 2019 - Sunday

Since yesterday was a bust, I had to go shopping this morning, and Sunday is the worst shopping day. Sure enough, I had to wait 55 minutes for a bus.

I was on call from 13:30 to 19:30 again, but nothing happened, including brain activity. I tried to catch up on El Goonish Shive, but didn't make it very far because reading requires concentration.


In episode 3 of The Umbrella Academy we learn more about Five's adventure and the hunters. And doom. So much doom.


Salvation (Peter F Hamilton) is very Hamilton, with corporate intrigue and interstellar travel not really used for the betterment of humanity but the aliens are suitably obnoxious and the far-future bits are interesting even if I really doubt the utility of bringing back genders


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6 July 2019 - Saturday

I was hoping to leave at a reasonable time in the morning so there would be some Saturday left after getting home. But at the reasonable time, Ken wanted to start Terraforming Mars, and Dave didn't want to leave until after everyone else so that when they inevitably realized they had forgotten something he could bring it, and then finally I lost TM (tied for last with Al, but Robert won even though he had never played before, because I suck completely) and people started to leave, but it was already so late I couldn't complain when Sherilyn sent Al to Target to buy Codenames and then the car key was someplace too safe for Dave to find it. We didn't even leave Roseville until 15:30, and then there was traffic, so there really was not much left of the day by the time I got home.

It was very kind of Dave to drive, but maybe I should just take the train next time. If I can decide what I'm doing more then a day in advance.


The second episode of The Umbrella Academy is not any less strange or doomed than the first one!


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5 July 2019 - Friday

HAPPY HAPPY JOSH DAY!!

Now Josh is eighteen, and will be going off to college in the fall, and has to be a grownup and stuff, but I am pretty sure he will vote the right way.


Because Ken will always push for board games over roleplaying games, this was a board game day. First we played Caverna, and I somehow managed to come in second, with almost 2/3 of Ken's score. Then, after a break for swimming and going to the gaming store (I bought the first Die collection for Ayse because she only had Carl's borrowed individual issues) we played Ken's shiny new copy of Terraforming Mars. I came in dead last, because I suck at all board games.

After Ken went to bed, Dave and I played Codenames with Al and Sherilyn, and Al turned out to be surprisingly good at giving clues. Since this is a cooperative game, it doesn't matter that I suck!


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4 July 2019 - Thursday

Because I can't get a real job (although at least I get paid ridiculously for being in support), I had to be on call all this afternoon right up until we took off to see fireworks, but nothing happened.

I didn't actually do anything today, except try to play one game of 6-player Super Nintendo Every Character Melee Brawl, or whatever it's called. Since I don't know how to play video games at all, this went even more poorly than I expected. (Also it turned out later I received the wrong instructions for attacking.) But it's a vacation! Ish.

We made Dungeon World characters because Al wants to try running it. I made a dwarven cleric who hatched from a stone egg and worships the What Lies Beneath with sacrifice, although maybe I should have used my dwarf fighter idea.

This was Nonny's first year of getting to stay up for fireworks. I think he liked it, although it was really very late for a smol Non.

The fairground where the fireworks are viewed has been massively upgraded from two years ago, so it's not just a huge dirt field, there are buildings and concession stands and grass and security goons and stuff. But the fireworks still go boom.


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3 July 2019 - Wednesday

Ken and Ayse and Jus and Nonny went up to Roseville for the holiday weekend during the day, but that filled up a car and I had to work, so I went up with Dave in the evening. There was some traffic, and also some heat, but we did eventually make it.

The Pettersons' new house is already full of stuff, because Sherilyn is always ready to survive the complete collapse of the scrapbooking industry, but it is so large that everyone had a room with a door except Dave (and the room I had was so big it could easily have held both of us and some additional people as well). Also I had my CPAP machine (which I didn't the last time we visited) so I kind of slept okay.


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2 July 2019 - Tuesday

I did see Avalon tonight, but I am still a pretty low-quality boyfriend.


We Never Learn (Taishi Tsutsui) has encouraging things to say about talent and effort, but is mostly just high schoo harem high jinx.

Valiant Dust and Restless Lightning (Richard Baker) are the subgenre of military SF that is Victorian colonialism with starships. Like, the major powers are not even disguised as Britain, France, and Germany. The colonized are sometimes depicted as bumbling, but the colonizers are pretty much always depicted as arrogant and greedy, so that's something. (The main character is from a client world himself, so not as inclined to jingoism.) The ossified, decadent, ancient empire of inscrutable aliens is maybe a little too much of a stand-in for China, though.

Unsung Heroine (Sarah Kuhn) is a shorter work about one of the secondary characters from Heroine Complex/Heroine Worship/Heroine's Journey, the team's unpowered but awesome martial artist/karaoke star, and how she finds true love or at least heart-warming girlsmooches.


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1 July 2019 - Monday

I did some stuff for capitalism. Probably I didn't do enough of it, and I'm sure I didn't do it very well, but I did it.


We watched the first episode of The Umbrella Academy, which was very superhero, much dysfunctional, wow. So far I like Five best. Diego is a butt.


Volume 2 of Witch Hat Atelier (Kamome Shirahama) is about dragons and disaster response and law enforcement. But our heroine seems to be bonding with her fellow apprentices, and learning better magic-drawing technique.

The Fifth Science (Exurb1a) is I guess a little like Lem? Only not really. It is short stories through the future history of humanity as it learns to make everything in the universe conscious. Clarke's Law applies from time to time. Humans are awful to each other and to robots. Some things are wondrous.


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30 June 2019 - Sunday

I complain about traveling four hours for four hours of gaming, so I was not all that pleased to travel four hours for like three hours of gaming (I'm pretty sure an SCRPG adventure takes o(N) time to play and Deirdre was out with a bad back and Edie was at Pride). But the gaming was fun while we had it!


In the evening I saw Avalon for the first time in forever, because I am a poor excuse for a boyfriend. She has been okay, though, and doing death lord stuff.


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29 June 2019 - Saturday

Now that the cleaners only come once a month, they threw my routine all off so I completely failed at almost everthing today. I did manage to shop for groceries, at least.



I finally finished rereading Empowered (Adam Warren) from the beginning, so I could read volume 9 (Emp continues to rock!) and Empowered and Sistah Spooky's High School Hell (art by Carla Speed McNeil). I probably should not like this series as much as I do.

Kaiju Girl Caramelise vol 1 (Spica Aoki) is not raunchy or violent at all, because the main character turning into a kaiju when afflicted by unrequired love doesn't make it not shoujo.


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28 June 2019 - Friday

There was a complicated plan where I would go home in the late afternoon and do the handover there (since I am doing it tonight as a swap with my boss), but it failed because the train was late and then there was a different train and it was generally horrible and also poorly air-conditioned. I ended up getting home at the usual time, which worked well enough, so I will probably not try this trick again.


I liked Shooting the Rift, so I looked for more books by Alex Stewart and found A Fistful of Elven Gold. It was only okay, alas. It reads more like an RPG adventure that was fun to play through than a novel.

Cinder & The Prince of Midnight (Susan Ee) is like a more horror-flavored Cinderella, with some Robin Hood thrown in.

Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects (ed John Joseph Adams) is exactly what it sounds like. Some of them are good as stories, some are only okay as stories, some I would contribute to, all will seem horribly dated in twenty years.


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27 June 2019 - Thursday

I got some love from Aspen! She did the rubbing against the table leg with her tail up thing while I was trying to get ready to leave, so I tried giving her some pettins, and she approved! What a good kitty!


I did some work, and stayed until a hundred o'clock at night to hand over to the India team and didn't get home until superlate and bleagh.


I though the word "imagineer" was trademarked by Disney, but apparently not. Anyway, the book Imagineer (Honor Raconteur) is about a teenage girl with anime-style useless absent parents who suddenly discovers she has vast magical powers and is welcomed by the secret world of magical creatures and there is a mystery and stuff. Unfortunately, past the opening chapters, there is not much tension.

The Warship (Neal Asher) is the second in the "Rise of the Jain" trilogy and therefore 390562349560th in the "Polity" universe, but it does not really add anything. The previous book at least told us more about the Jain and some other aliens.

I had never heard of Karin Tidbeck, but based on the short stories in Jagannath, I should seek out more of her work! It is very Scandinavian-feeling (to this completely-non-Scandinavian reader), surreal fantasy or magical realism or something. Anyway, I like them and maybe you will like them too.


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26 June 2019 - Wednesday

Surprisingly, we had Kelsey and not Mike (boo germs!) for gaming, but we were prepared with Eclipse Phase 2E! We finally made it on to the place my character's previous instance disappeared, and found out that something is definitely going on or there wouldn't be gossip bloggers trying to find out why he mysteriously vanished.

As usual, I am terrible at everything and yet talk too much.


Hexarchate Stories (Yoon Ha Lee) is shart pieces, some barely vignettes, in the past and future of the "Machineries of Empire" series. Just a minute, I have to go fling myself into a pit now.

I swear it's a complete coincidence that the other book I finished today was titled Hex-Rated (Jason Ridler). It is nothing alike, but is much 1970, very Los Angeles, wow, with sketchy mages and a porn studio and a PI who has magic but prefers to use fast talk.


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25 June 2019 - Tuesday

I managed to do one of the things I didn't do yesterday, the one my coworker didn't have to do for me. Also I got some more stuff to do, which is okay.


Hey, look, it's an episode of Elementary where Sherlock almost faces a consequence!


Part-Time Gods (Rachel Aaron) is the sequel to Minimum Wage Magic, and is still much Shadowrun, very mage/streetsam, wow. Opal's life gets better, kind of, but she is still so very doomed.

Now I've read all the The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu) I have, and it stops in the middle of a giant conflict where the characters have to come up with a really good plan right away! Augh!


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24 June 2019 - Monday

Because I am stupid, I failed to do the thing or the other thing at work, and one of my cow orkers had to do the thing instead.


We've reached episodes 5-6 of MIX, which I think is the halfway point, and now there is fan service and an obvious romantic interest and blah.


I didn't like Timebound (Rysa Walker) as much as the "Delphi" series, even though it has time travel and timeline alteration and period costumes. Meh.

The Last Supper Before Ragnarok (Cassandra Khaw) wraps up the "Gods & Monsters" shared universe thing, with suitable mysticism and doom and Rupert Wong.


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23 June 2019 - Sunday

Today I accomplished nothing because I was on call from 13:30 to 19:30. Unlike last week, no customers caused problems, so I spent the entire six hours scrolling through trumblr like the waste of otherwise-recyclable organic matter I am.

After I handed things over to the India team, Marith and I watched some more MIX. It's still not as good as Cross Game.


In volume 2 of O Maidens In Your Savage Season (Mari Okada, Nao Emoto), one of our protagonists gets a makeover, one of them tries to meet the person she's been having tinysex (sorry, "cyber") with, and all of them continue to flail about the fact that sex exists. I think Pigtails Girl and Blonde Girl are the most likely to not be straight. Short Girl is the cutest.

I found many volumes of The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu) at the bookstore, so I bought them in hopes of finding out more about the outside world, and indeed, the end of the anime is part way into volume 5. Everything past that point is new and exciting!


Words: FAIL.

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22 June 2019 - Saturday

No anime tonight! Monkeycats went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream last night, and the kids loved it so much they demanded to see it again, so that's what we did. This production is all women and had a strange 80s aesthetic (which means Puck had a very David-Bowie-Labyrinth wig). It was pretty cute! And Nonny liked the faeries so much.


The main character of Komi Can't Communicate (Tomohito Oda) seems cool and aloof and everyone worships her, but actually she just has such bad social anxiety that she can't talk when people are around, and she just wants to make 100 friends. Fortunately(?) someone has figured out her problem, and also her school is full of weirdos, so hopefully everything will be okay. (Komi is adorable.)


Words: FAIL.

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21 June 2019 - Friday

Tonight I did not get home in good time, because the train was horrible. Bah.


Words: FAIL.

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20 June 2019 - Thursday

We swapped around on-call, so I was able to get home at a reasonable hour tonight and we watched the first half of Going Postal. I don't remember the book well enough to be sure, but Marith says it is diverging drastically.


The Grand Dark (Richard Kadrey) is not like the other Kadrey books I've read, it is not cosmic at all. A working-class guy in a secondary-world analogue of the Weimar Republic tries to do his job and take his drugs and smooch his girlfriend, but robots are taking people's jobs and the secret police hate everyone and capitalists are making genetic monstrosities and there's another war looming and everything is unnecessarily horrible.

Creation Machine (Andrew Bannister) feels kind of Banksian to me, with the setting that's a patchwork of libertarian enclaves and depraved fascist dystopias and presumably someone sane somewhere but not on-screen (that's mostly Against a Dark Background) and superhuman forces that tumble the characters about but end up with pretty much the status quo.

Miniatures is a short collection of very short John Scalzi stories. They are all humorous, because Scalzi.


Words: FAIL.

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19 June 2019 - Wednesday

Somehow we had everyone in one place, so we managed to play some more of Kelsey's D&D5 adventure. I do not think it went well, but then I hate D&D. Also people who always interrupt when someone is trying to say something so they can say the same thing louder (yes, even when I'm the interruptor).

Mike, the fiend, stole my Thai food plan, so I have to think of something different next week!


The Empress of Forever (Max Gladstone) is like Guardians of the Galaxy does Journey to the West in a ruined transhuman galaxy, with the inventiveness of Three Parts Dead. Or maybe it is even more awesome than that sounds, because and it has relatively few male characters.


Words: FAIL.

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18 June 2019 - Tuesday

Marith had never seen The Mummy, so we watched it.I don't think she appreciated it as much as tumblr does, but that was pretty much the whole evening.


Now I have read The Ancient Magus' Bride (Kore Yamazaki), which covers pretty much the same ground as the anime, ending with Chise giving [SPOILER] the [SPOILER] status. In vol 10, a whole new arc starts, where Chise and Elias are both going to have to deal with Humans. I am sure there will be no problems whatsoever.

The Outside (Ada Hoffman) is about a physicist trying to live under the transcendent only slightly soul-eating AI gods when they have declared all the good parts of physics heretical just because they drive humans mad and may destroy the universe. The main character is explicitly autistic, but aside from sensory issues, it doesn't seem to affect things much, which may indicate that the author (who is autistic herself) is a better writer than I am a reader.


Words: FAIL.

Re: The Mummy by marithlizard (Sat Jun 22 09:42:38 2019)

It was a fun movie, and the leads were very cute! Just not enough to displace any of the current fangirl devotion objects. (Apparently these days we prefer characters with at least a millenium of backstory, to get that real angst-seasoned flavor.)

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17 June 2019 - Monday

Monday Capitalism. Bah.

Apparently everyone's first on-call shift has been terrible since forever, and usually it's not like that. We'll see.


MIX is a baseball anime based on a manga by the same person who did Cross Game. I guess the same people were involved in the anime, because the character designs are very similar and the story seems similar too.


Nowhere to Run (Elliott Kay) is the sequel to Run Like Hell, in which our band of intrepid humanoids fight against evil, and also some kind of demonic buried spirit thing. The humans suck worse, really. Also I ship the bugbear and the human.


Words: FAIL.

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16 June 2019 - Sunday

I didn't start being on call until 7:30, so in theory I could have taken a shower and started the day and everything, but I am too lazy. Also then customers sent email, and sent more email, and finally called with a tale of great woe that I had no idea how to deal with so I had to call my boss (which is technically fine, since she was my designated backup, but still annoying) and there was a huge conference call that lasted until my shift ended and my boss² took over at 13:30 and I had no lunch and generally it was awful. Maybe I should live in a cardboard box behind the bus station.

I did manage to go shopping, but still didn't find any pants that were even vaguely my size. Maybe I should die in a pit.


In the next episode of Elementary, Sherlock has the potential for personal growth but passes it by in favor of thinking he's better than everyone else in the world put together. Shock. Surprise.


Words: FAIL.

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15 June 2019 - Saturday

I walked so much on Thursday that I felt entirely justified in riding the bus to go shopping. Well, mostly justified.


Hurray, Ayse is back from Montreal and Quebec City! With pictures, and tales of paté! Ken is sick, but not too sick to make bouillabaisse. Children are shrieky.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 160: Finally the Amazoness Quartet get hip to area-effect attacks!
  • RWBY 2.4.5-6: Start of the school dance subarc.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 12-13: Nationals! Denouement! The end! Which means every chance for Kumiko to hook up with either Reina or Asuka-senpai has passed. Bah.

Then Ken fell over due to aforementioned sickness, but the rest of us watched one more episode.

  • AKB0048 4: Is AKB0048's home base an example of fully-automated luxury queer space communism? They have ideological fences, after all. Discuss.

Exorsisters (Ian Boothby, Gisèle Lagacé) is about comedy Hell, not horror Hell, so it can be cute and silly. And it is!


Words: FAIL.

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14 June 2019 - Friday

What's the saying, "You don't love Friday, you just hate capitalism"?


The first volume of Happy Sugar Life (Tomiyaki Kagisora) seems to exist for the sole purpose of giving yuri a bad name. I mean, sure, plenty of nominally romantic male protagonists commit murder and kidnapping to be with the severly underage girl they obssess over, but that's not really something to be emulated. Gah.

The Delphi Effect, The Delphi Resistance, The Delphi Revolution (Rysa Walker) are okay modern psionic teenagers vs evil government conspiracies, with bonus found family theme.

Antisocial wizard takes over a mountain full of undead dwarves, hires goblinoids and orcs that are being kicked out of the human kingdoms as guards, everything is great until adventurers show up with their self-righteousness and excessive magic and shouted attack names and slaughter almost everyone. Only half a dozen minions (and one prisoner) escape, by working together and becoming friends and also fighting off a metric fuckton of undead dwarves, as they Run Like Hell (Elliott Kay).


Words: FAIL.

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13 June 2019 - Thursday

Stayed at work forever again so I could do the handover. I managed to get an earlier bus on my way home, but that just meant I had to walk all the way home from the train station instead of walking most of the way until the bus caught up to me for the last few blocks. I don't think there's a way I can get home before 22:00, although maybe I should look into going to the MV station and taking the light rail.


Words: FAIL.

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12 June 2019 - Wednesday

Not quite as hot as yesterday, but the weather still does not meet with my approval. (I get to say that, I don't drive!)


Unsurprisingly, Kelsey cancelled at the last minute, so instead of D&D5 we had 13th Age Glorantha to go with our tomato soup casserole. Mike likes playing everything out in detail, so we only progressed a little further in the heroquest, but we did move forward. Also no one got surprise backstory.


The main character of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic (FT Lukens) wants to build up some money so he can go to college far away from his tiny Michigan town, so he answers a sketchy job posting and gets mixed up in the secret world of magical creatures and keeping that secret means lying a lot not only to his best friend but to the guy he really likes and there is doom everywhere oh god! I liked it pretty well.

Storm of Locusts (Rebecca Roanhorse) is the sequel to Trail of Lightning, in which everyone's favorite murderbabe has to travel more of the post-apocalyptic Southwest and meet more supernatural beings, and even worse, has to make friends. (My snark notwithstanding, it's actually still pretty awesome, drawing from a lore that hasn't been picked clean, the villain is creepy and horrible, and Maggie is trying to not kill people even though that's her actual superpower.)

It's a legitimate symptom of massive PTSD brought about by the literal end of the world, but the main character of Katrina Hates The Apocalypse (Russell Nohelty) works so hard to not care about anything that the reader can't care about any of it either.


I finally finished reading through the pre-release version of Lancer, which is partly by the guy who did Kill Six Billion Demons. Most of it is mecha combat using a system that is clearly strongly influenced by D&D4, but the character art is in the K6BD style, and it has setting bits like having to reboot your AI assistant every couple of years before it outgrows the shackles that keep it in the shape of a human mind and becomes a (possibly literal) god. It is even a reasonably positive future, despite the massive engines of destruction entrusted to people like the PCs. I don't know that I'll ever play it, but I approve of it in theory.


Words: FAIL.

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11 June 2019 - Tuesday

Why is it still hot? Why is there no wind? I blame people who drive cars!


More Hogfather, although really it's too hot to watch things.


Yuri anime and yaoi manga notwithstanding, modern Japan is not actually that great about gay people, which is why the protagonist of Our Dreams at Dusk (Yuhki Kamatani) is so distraught about being semi-outed at school. Fortunately he finds a crew of people who are also queer or at least socially noncomforming in some fashion, who are also a nonprofit that renovates the abandoned houses their town is full of. The art is kind of magical realism, or at least not always representational, but the story is very real-world.

Between Frames (WR Gingell) is the fourth "City Between" book, and Pet finally runs into the problem that having any sort of morals or ethics is inconsistent with Behindkind. And after she solved their mystery by using her "inferior" human brain, too! Poor Pet.

Brine and Bone (Kate Stradling) is a retelling of "The Little Mermaid" from the PoV of the prince's human fiancee. Yah, that's pretty messed up.


Words: FAIL.

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10 June 2019 - Monday

I went to work and did work but then there was a power outage, so I had to go home in the middle of the afternoon instead of when it was maybe slightly cooler. Uggggghh. Then I had to work at home, which was definitely suboptimal, but I did get some things done.


Today's TV: first episode of Hogfather. It is very BBC, and would probably be very confusing to anyone who hadn't read the preceding Death books. Like most TV adaptations, it makes me want to read the book again.


In the second and final volume of Slumbering Beauty (Yumi Unita), our somnolent and sleep-inducing heroine must decide whether she wants to leave her human life behind, and it's actually a question. I like that she realized that her parents loving her doesn't change that they made her really unhappy for a long time.


Words: FAIL.

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9 June 2019 - Sunday

Dave and I slogged through the blazing heat so he could run the third issue of the SCRPG starter kit, and it was probably worth it! Apparently Dave had to put a bunch of work into fixing their terrible adventure design, though.

No gaming next week or the week after.


When I got home I was too melted to decide what to watch, so we tried the first episode of Aggretsuko. I see why some people like it, but it didn't grab either of us, so we watched Elementary instead. Woah, watch out there, Sherlock, or people will expect you to have feelings all the time! Also, what the hell is your brother up to?


Words: FAIL.

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8 June 2019 - Saturday

No Ayse, she is in Montreal and other northern climes, so Ken has to wrangle Jus and Nonny all by himself, which seems to be a lot of work. Nevertheless, we did some anime.


Words: FAIL.

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7 June 2019 - Friday

Yay I survived the week! Kinda.


The cover to Infestation (William Meikle) shows a giant isopod eating a ship and it was free (Kindle Unlimited), so I had to get it. The isopods were not as impressive as advertised, but it was good enough that I read the next one, and that had bonus Carnacki and Electric Pentacle references, so I kept reading (they're short!) and eventually I had read eight stories about these stoic British special forces soldiers who keep running into monsters on missions that should be in an entirely different genre. (The author found a formula for the titles after the first one: Operation: Antarctica, Operation: Siberia, Operation: Amazon, Operation: Loch Ness, Operation: Syria, Operation: Norway, and Operation: Mongolia. You can probably guess several of the monsters they encounter.) Some of the monsters are natural-ish, some are blatantly supernatural, and some have a dubiously scientific explanation but are really magic, but no one seems to find them worthy of more than passing comment even though we never hear about any others. This failure of worldbuilding annoys me.


The protagonist(s) of Gleipnir (Sun Takeda) think the person giving the big reveal in volume 2 is full of crap, and they might be right, although I've read manga with less plausible excuses for superpowers. Not many with wackier superpowers, though.

In volume 3 of Ran and the Gray World (Aki Irie), it seems like Otaro is being set up as a more feasible partner for Ran, which is not okay. It might not be the case, so I'll keep reading for now because I like everything else.


Words: FAIL.

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6 June 2019 - Thursday

It's Thursday, so I was on call during the day and had to stay until late to do the handover. This time, I actually got a phone call from a customer! It was about a ticket they just opened, which wasn't actually a problem, so as calls go that wasn't so bad. But, despite trying to be more clever, I ended up not getting home until 22:00 again. That was not good, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.


The final volume of Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei) does in fact wrap things up, with suitable drama and various reasonably-deserved endings, and has a flashforward to years later. But did the author really mean to imply that the captain [SPOILER]? If so, it turned out okay.

I can't say this series is perfectly hard SF, nor that it's not problematic (especially around gender), but it's pretty good, and not 100 volumes long!


Keeper of the Lost Cities (Shannon Messenger) is like "Harry Potter" in that a pre-teen gets sucked into a secret world of magic and is faced with high-level problems and leaves their mundane family behind to go to school in the new world, but at least it's not a male protagonist. Also this is a much more brightly-colored world, if not less full of terrible things, and the conspiracies are actually conspiratorial, not just prophetic mumbo-jumo. Maybe Jus would like it?


Words: FAIL.

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5 June 2019 - Wednesday

No Mike and no Kelsey, so we had no gaming at all and were reduced to playing Lords of Waterdeep, which I somewhat enjoy but am terrible at. Also, Korean food (which I definitely enjoy, but am probably at as well).


Now through volume 14 of Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei), and the doom is intensifying! Of course the internal enemy who has been plotting since like volume 3 is making their move, as the Sidonia heads into the final battle against the gauna cluster ship, because they suck.

To Clear Away the Shadows (David Drake) is another "RCN" book that's not about the original team. This one is more like Darwin's voyage on the Beagle, or other C19 naturalists going to sea and getting mixed up with all sorts of imperialism. These characters are maybe not as sympathetic as the author might think?

2001: An Odyssey in Words (ed Ian Whates, Tom Hunter) is a collection of short stories in honor of the late Sir Arthur C Clarke, each exactly 2001 words long. I recognized what some of them were inspired by! All of them were pretty good.


Words: FAIL.

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4 June 2019 - Tuesday

How embarrassing, I got caught falling asleep in the team meeting. I don't know what's wrong with this office, but I am way more somnolent than I was in the other office.


We watched another Elementary, because neither of us is smart enough to find something better.


In Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei) vol 11-12, Tanikaze collects another female-presenting sophont, but she does not have a great impact on his life because they are entering the death spiral of the series.


Words: FAIL.

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3 June 2019 - Monday

Ugh, Monday. Nobody likes Monday.


But at least Monday has the conclusion of Good Omens! The biggest special effects scene was all the goofiest and least necessary, because BBC. And there was a lot of epilogue. Like, the whole of episode 6.


The October Man (Ben Aaronovitch) is very much like a Peter Grant story except it's set in Germany and the main character is sick of hearing about Peter Grant and the Nightingale and the Nightingale's newer, even more terrifying, apprentice. His attitude is very similar, though.

In an attempt to read outside my genre, I read Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Sara Gran), which is sort of a mystery but also mystical (not fantasy, the main character is just like that) and set in dystopian post-Katrina New Orleans. I did not hate it as much as one might think from the mysticism, but I do not feel a great need to read more about this protagonist.


For the past week or so, I have been rereading Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei), and I finally got through volume 10, which is where I stopped before (because the rest wasn't out then). Some of it I remembered, a lot was familiar once I saw it again, but some of it I had completely forgotten about. Now, onward to the five volumes I have never read.


Words: FAIL.

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2 June 2019 - Sunday

Today we played the second issue of the Sentinel Comics RPG starter adventures. Of course Hazel was there to play her gadgeteer character for the first time in a completely non-technological adventure, but I think it all worked out. Kinda. I think all of us experienced gamers need to make more room for the new gamers, but I'm not sure how to do that except by not gaming. Which is probably what I should be doing anyway.


I returned home in time to watch another two episodes of Good Omens. You know, these malign supernatural creatures are really pretty disturbing despite not having a huge amount of SFX. Good job, people with scary brains!

I really should reread the book, though.


Words: FAIL.

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1 June 2019 - Saturday

Ken is back, so we have regular anime again! But everyone is sleepy, so we don't have very much anime.


Words: FAIL.

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31 May 2019 - Friday

Oh no! I forgot my iPad at home! Woe! Dismay! I can't be expected to concentrate on work for an entire day!

But I did do some more cases, and also worked on knowledge base articles that needed cleaning up.


The first two episodes of Good Omens are pretty swell. It is very BBC, weird animated opening sequence and lack of gratuitous special effects and all, and there is really no heterosexual explanation for anything about Aziraphale and Crowley.


Words: FAIL.

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30 May 2019 - Thursday

Not only have I taken more tickets, but I finally closed one, so I feel like I am actually contributing and not just taking advantage of these people. Also I was on call today in case any customers tried to contact us by phone, but they knew better, and I stayed until a million o'clock to hand things over to the India team. Unfortunately that turns out to be exactly wrong for transit back to San Jose and I didn't get home until a million and three o'clock. I will need to do something more clever next week.


Words: FAIL.

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29 May 2019 - Wednesday

Kelsey bailed at the last minute yet again, so instead of D&D5e to go with our kabobs, we had 13G and the continuation of the Yinkin heroquest where Yelmalio gets the crap beat out of him while the PCs are useless (and also discorporated).


Words: FAIL.

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28 May 2019 - Tuesday

Today I successfully took a ticket! Also I am set up to be on-call someday, which is less exciting, but oh well.

Wow! Two nights with Avalon in the same week!


I don't know why I am reading so much 13th Age stuff now that I'm not playing it any more, but Bestiary 2: Lions & Tigers & Owlbears is pretty swell. Some of the monsters, like the fallen icons, are game-specific, but others (like the star masks, yes) would work well anywhere.

Also read recently:

  • A Wish After Midnight (Zetta Elliott), which is disturbing and upsetting as anything that involves race and poverty in the US must be.
  • Keep an Ace in the Hole (Andrew Seiple), a short story about some of the other villains in the "Dire" universe.

Words: FAIL.

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27 May 2019 - Monday

Today we did successfully take Jus and Nonny to the Children's Discovery Museum, which they are really too old for but enjoyed anyway, until they had to go home to accept Ken's offering of dumplings.

I went grocery shopping again, and ended up with more yummy food, but it still seems like I have not accomplished anything this whole long weekend.


Avalon is still alive! And for some reason still willing to listen to me complain about my life!


After Avalon went to bed, I let Marith out of her cell and we watched the end of Castlevania. Meh. I mean, it was an ending, but I'm not sure about the epilogues. Some of them didn't seem in character, some were just depressing. Overall, I think this show could have been done much better.


Troika! Numinous Edition is much like the version I read a while back, only with a surreal hotel adventure in the back. I have no idea whether I would like this game or not.

Monster Costumes by Jackson Tegu is a short game about young monsters and young humans dressing up to go trick-or-treating, and possibly being scared.


Words: FAIL. I meant to write some during the long weekend, but no, that would have been like accomplishing something useful.

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26 May 2019 - Sunday

For no very good reason, I went to the comics store Dave found that is not horribly far away, Space Cat. It is definitely a hole-in-the-wall kind of joint, an odd-shaped space with shelves all over and a confusing filing system, but they sold me some comics anyway.

Then I had a doro tibs (with collard greens) accident at Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant which is just a couple of blocks away, but it turned out okay because Jus and Nonny were too slothful or contrary to do anything like we planned. We will do the thing tomorrow!

So instead I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for clothes, which was not very successful because my body is defective and the wrong shape and capitalism hates me and I hate everything.


In the evening, we watched some Castlevania (Sypha is kind of terrifying) and some Elementary (Sherlock is kind of a jerk).


Words: FAIL.

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25 May 2019 - Saturday

I tried to go shopping early, but was thwarted by a cat who needed pettins.


We had no Ken, because he is at Baycon with the cool gamers, so we ate food from Taiwan instead of home-cooked, but watched anime anyway. Also we taught Jus to play Hearts, which she did so enthusiastically that we forgot to watch Sailor Moon!

  • RWBY 1.16: End of season 1! Weiss is being almost not terrible! Penny is terrifying!
  • AKB0048 1-3: Dave was the only one who hadn't seen these, but I think he liked them? How can anyone not like battle-hardened combat idols?

Volume 3 of Girls' Last Tour (Tsukumizu) reveals more about the world Yuu and Chi are trundling through, and it is very sad.


Words: FAIL.

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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.


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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?


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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!


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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?


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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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Previously in Trip's Life


This file was last modified by trip@idiom.com.