Previously, in Trip's Life...

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.

Words: FAIL.

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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.

Words: FAIL.

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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?

Words: FAIL.

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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.

Words: FAIL.

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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.

Words: FAIL.

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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.


Words: FAIL.

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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.


Words: FAIL.

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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?


Words: FAIL.

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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.


Words: FAIL.

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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?


Words: FAIL.

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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!


Words: FAIL.

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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.


Words: FAIL.

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