Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 September 2019 - Monday

I ran into one of my coworkers from my previous job on the train. He has a new job and is not dead, so that's good.


There are so many things I should be doing to prep for running at Big Bad Con, and yet I am doing none of them, even though Marith is too bleah to watch TV.


Read:

  • Demons of the Past: Revelation (Ryk E Spoor): Space adventure + Atlantis + demons. Possibly related to Princess Holy Aura, but probably not.
  • We Never Learn vol 3 (Taishi Tsutsui): More fanservice, more misunderstandings, more awkwardness.

Words: FAIL.

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29 September 2019 - Sunday

I slept in until 34895640 o'clock and then did nothing useful all day.

Watched:

  • Elementary 3.4: I can see Sherlock being a biochauvinist, but otherwise their foray into AI philosophy was not amazing. Not as bad as magnets, though.

Words: FAIL.

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28 September 2019 - Saturday

Ken and Ayse and Jus and Nonny have all flown away to Portland to have fun and waffles!

Marith wanted to go over anyway, which seems fair because it is the only time she ever sees other people, so we ate pizza and watched anime with Dave.

Nigh-weekly anime:

  • RWBY 4.3-10, 4.6.5, 4.9.5: Look, it's season four! Plus Schnee Dust Co and the Great War. (Okay, it's not all of season four, we have like two episodes left.)

Read:

  • Rando Splicer (Joel Shepherd): The party having been split in the last book, each part gets through their own battles and finally rejoin after blowing up a bunch of unpleasant aliens. Apparently they have to go even further, into more danger, before they can save humanity. Also, poor Skah.

Words: FAIL.

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27 September 2019 - Friday

Oh, now it's Friday. But that means we can watch The Good Place!

And here we see that the demons are a poor metaphor for Republicans, since they experience consequences for their shenanigans.

My mouth is getting better, so that's something.


Read:

  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur vol 4-5 (Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain): Moon Girl vs Girl Moon! Moon Girl and the Fantastic Three vs the end of the world!
  • Uncrowned (Will Wight): Every martial arts epic has to have a tournament arc, right? Although in this case it's going to take at least two books. At least the main characters have begun to consider the possibility that they like like each other. After seven books.

Words: FAIL.

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26 September 2019 - Thursday

I didn't have to stay at work late tonight! But I've gotten home late two nights in a row, which means this is Friday, right? Right?

My mouth still hurts when I try to do silly things like chew or swallow.

Watched:

  • Elementary 3.3: Sherlock might not be 100% terrible, but that doesn't mean you can just go around thinking he knows what friendship is.

Huh, all the games at Big Bad Con are full. Maybe I shouldn't have spaced so long on the third round of signups. Well, a couple of slots free for Games on Demand or resting or dying in a pit isn't bad.


Read:

  • The Book of Betrayal (Melissa McShane): Fifth in the series about the random lady who ends up in charge of a magic bookstore. The external conflict is escalating apparently without limit, but the internal conflicts are sort of being resolved. With smooches.
  • Die vol 1 (Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles): I read #1-4 as individual isssues, but this collection includes #5 and its horrifying revelation. Apparently the RPG wasn't released until after #5, so I guess it's not a spoiler for the game.

Words: FAIL.

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25 September 2019 - Wednesday

My mouth still hurt this morning, so I blew off work and went to urgent care. The doctor thinks I have a blocked parotid duct, and all I can do is wait it out (and suck on lemon drops). Great.


Dave was busy in San Francisco today, Kelsey was as usual not available, and Brooks was meh, so instead of 13G to go with our tacos, Mike and Ken and I had Gloomhaven. We got a few more cultists for Mike's character's retirement goal, and some money, so that was good. The new 5th level murder rat card is pretty sweet, but it's a multiattack, so it didn't help with my scenario goal of taking an enemy to -4 health. Bah!


Read:

  • The Girl From The Other Side vol 7 (Nagabe): This seems like a monotonically increasing doom!
  • Chilling Effect (Valerie Valdes): Space adventure with WOC protagonist. Reminds me a little of A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, with the spaceship crew as found family and the enthusiastic interspecies romance. Way more landspeeder chases and explosions, though.

Words: FAIL.

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24 September 2019 - Tuesday

I swapped with Coworker T, so I stayed late tonight. It was about the same as usual, except I am even grouchier because the inside of my mouth hurts and eating is a pain.


Read:

  • The Girl From The Other Side vol 6 (Nagabe): I can tell that this is enormous doom, but I don't know where it's going. I might be able to figure it out if I could keep track of the details from five volumes ago.
  • Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #1: Professor Gargoyle (Charles Gilman): Middle Schoolers vs alarming, somewhat Mythos-related goings-on at school. The middle schoolers are not, themselves, Mythos-related. Mostly.
  • Gate Quest (Lindsay Buroker): Fifth book in the series, has a middle-book feel. But one of the potential couples did an affection!
  • Castaway Odyssey (Eric Flint, Ryk E Spoor): I liked the previous book in the series okay, but the explaining in this one was too much. Also, for the first three quarters of the book, there is a total of one (1) female character and she is in a coma. This is so there can be more heteronormativity when they meet up with the cast of the previous book, which was almost all women, but still gross.

Words: FAIL.

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23 September 2019 - Monday

Watched:

  • Elementary 3.2: No, you can't do that, and it wouldn't work that way. Even if you got the thing to happen, the requirements and side effects would be unmistakeable, not mysterious. Just, no.

Read:

  • Sankarea vol 10-11 (Mitsuru Hattori): All is explained! The end! It is pretty dark, although not quite as bad as I thought it might be.
  • Defying Destiny (Andrew Rowe): Last of the trilogy that started with Forging Divinity, leads right into Six Sacred Swords (which in turn is a story being told by someone in On The Shoulders of Titans).
  • Paper Girls vol 6 (Brian K Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher): The end! It is not an unusual or inappropriate ending for a time-travel story, especially with the way their time travel works, but I still found it a little unsatisfying. Oh well.

Words: FAIL.

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22 September 2019 - Sunday

First full session of Dave's Sentinel Comics RPG campaign! As threatened, the entire adventure was built around a single play on words, in this case "drain the swamp". After forming a team, we started with a mayoral campaign and ended up saving the city from a shambling swamp. But we did save it!

I suck, so I didn't have a new character sheet, but my old one was good enough. Mostly I just suck, though.


Watched:

  • Carol & Tuesday 3: No. This is not doing anything that couldn't be done in New York in 2010, and it wouldn't be interesting then.
  • Elementary 3.1: Huh, new character. Wonder if she'll die horribly before the midpoint of the season?

Words: FAIL.

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21 September 2019 - Saturday

The cleaners were extra-early today, blargh. Then Marith was dead, so we didn't go shopping until the afternoon, and then she was dead some more. Since Ken and Jus and Nonny are all sick, we cancelled anime, but I went over for a little while to deliver chocolate donuts and cinnamon bun spread, and appreciate the bread that Ayse and Jus made from scratch. It was good!

I spent the evening trying to rewrite my character for tomorrow's game, because I didn't do that at any point during the preceding two weeks, because I suck.


Words: FAIL.

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20 September 2019 - Friday

I skipped out of work early to go to the climate strike, in a probably futile effort to show The Yout' Of Today that some old farts don't want to murder them. Anyway we walked from the train station to city hall and there was really bad singing and some speeches and it was 98346923° out and the mayor of San Jose seems okay but the guy who is trying to displace Pelosi by talking about the "Criminal Intelligence Agency" seems unlikely to get anywhere.

I sound unenthused because it was too hot (...wonder why?) but actually I was glad to see the young people being motivated.


We tried watching Carol & Tuesday because the Internet says it's the best thing since forever, but at least the first two episodes really aren't. The dub is so-so, the plot is uninspired, and there is no visible reason to put it on Mars or in the future.


Read:

  • Sankarea vol 3-8 (Mitsuru Hattori): This is as far as I got last time. Am I a bad person for being more upset about the cats who were harmed in the making of this zombie love story than any of the humans?
  • Sankarea vol 9 (Mitsuru Hattori): New material! The present doom is intensifying, and it looks like we might find out about historical doom.
  • Underlord (Will Wight): Finally the main character and his friend have made it beyond the levels that he knew existed at the beginning, which means they're at the bottom of the next tier of powers in the world. Also the higher-level plot that we see in glimpses is heating up.

Words: FAIL.

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19 September 2019 - Thursday

Boo, Thursday.


Read:

  • Ghostwater (Will Wight): Dungeon crawl, where the treasure is more powerful martial arts, and the monsters are other martial artists.

Words: FAIL.

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18 September 2019 - Wednesday

Grey morning again, but no rain and not particularly cool, so I didn't feel more than the usual urge to go back to bed.


I carpooled with Ken again. I still don't know how to talk to people in cars, but we made it to San Jose without dying or starting a revolution.

Kelsey is off amazing and astounding her colleagues at a conference, so we played the "away team" of Mike's 13th Age Glorantha again, still trying to get out of the Lunar Empire. We disgusted some Yelmalians, avoided having villagers try to rob us, and then stumbled into the Mad Sultanate. Where by "mad" we mean "Chaos". At least we had Indian food.


Read:

  • Blackflame, Skysworn (Will Wight): Next two books in the series. Our Hero is discovering that what his people thought was the pinnacle of martial arts power, attained only by legendary masters, is considered the basic level for any adult in the wider world. There are hints that the even wider world is even more levels ahead, too. But at least he has a mentor willing to torment him into learning forbidden arts, and a best friend who he might be aware is a girl.

Words: FAIL.

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17 September 2019 - Tuesday

I tried to switch to a slightly less terrible phone carrier, but they won't do business with me because Equifax (yes, them) says mean things about me. They won't say what the mean things were, apparently only one bit actually gets transmitted, but sometime in the next three weeks I should be getting a better explanation from the credit oligopoly. Then at least I'll know why I'm stuck with AT&T.


Both my games at Big Bad Con are full, so I can disappoint Liralen, Jet, and eight more people all in one weekend!


Grand finale of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance! Huh, that wrapped up less than we expected. But the credits did say S1, so I guess they're hoping for two more seasons from Netflix? Maybe by then the gelflings can develop some sort of martial skillz, because they sure don't have any now.


Read:

  • Sankarea vol 1-2 (Mitsuru Hattori): Been sitting on my shelf for ages since I finished collecting all 11(?) volumes, but now I am reading it because I have Too Much Commute. So zombie. Very fan service. Wow. But the main characters do have some kind of personality.
  • Unsouled, Soulsmith (Will Wight): Young is born deficient in the magical martial arts power that is all-important to his people, has to make his way up through the enumerated ranks to get unprecedented power through gumption and cunning. First two of a series.

Words: FAIL.

Full games by marithlizard (Thu Sep 19 00:45:30 2019)

YAY!

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16 September 2019 - Monday

When I got up, it was cloudy and cool and raining a bit, which is perfect going-back-to-bed weather, but it's Monday. Boo!


Read:

  • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes vol 4 (Hideyuki Furuhashi, Betten Court, Kohei Horikoshi): The showdown between Knuckle Geezer and Bee Girl! Also, the Band Episode!
  • The Legendary Inge (Kate Stradling): What if the person who killed Grendel was a young commoner girl? Not exactly, there are castles and standing armies and such, but close enough. There are a lot of revelations over the course of the book that make it more plausible that she did it, which might be over the top. Het romance, but he's sarcastic and cool.
  • A Boy Called Hawk (Kate Stradling): Dystopian near future, mysterious government schools, children with Mighty Brains, protagonist tries to be nice with mixed results.

Words: FAIL.

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15 September 2019 - Sunday

I meant to get up and do things, but instead I slept in until 23956923 o'clock, and then when I tried to get up, I accidentally stopped moving which threw me into some kind of sitting doze with more dreams about work (not my actual job, but a combination of several jobs and surreality), and then I read terrible manga and went to lunch. Ayse said she would text me if there was an expedition to their local art and wine festival, but that never happened (kids, probably) so I spent all afternoon staring blankly at Tumblr.

The Kickstarter union-busting story is spreading. I am happy that I recognize so many of the names on the list. I did tell one company that I wouldn't be able to back their upcoming campaign because no scabs, but no response yet.

The creators on that list aren't asking for a boycott yet, so I don't feel a need to cancel my current pledges today.


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance continues to get more doomed, although the good guys might finally be getting their act together. They surprised a prophet, anyway. Only two episodes to go!


Read:

  • Interspecies Reviewers vol 2 (Amahara, masha): Still no redeeming social value, but about three panels of plot. This volume: golems, amateur egg-laying shows, real succubi, and magical clones. Don't read this.

Words: FAIL.

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14 September 2019 - Saturday

I meant to do things today, but no.


Nigh-weekly anime:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 177: Uh oh! Someone is making moves on Usagi while Mamoru is out of town!
  • RWBY 4.1-2, 3.5, 4.5: This is why normal people don't walk anywhere! Also, faunus genetics is weird. 4.4.5:
  • Fruits Basket (2019) 23-24: Finally, Kyo's horrific backstory and traumatic revelation!

Read:

  • Yuri Life (Kurukuruhime): One-page slice-of-life comics about lesbian couples, a dozen or so per couple, all young and cute and happy. Each set ends with "And they lived happily ever after!". So, not much plot or drama or even a whole lot of characterization, but there are definitely people out there who need this representation.

Words: FAIL.

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13 September 2019 - Friday

I should be coming up with a letter to Kickstarter, but I have no brain, so I watched The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance with Marith instead. Yikes! That is not okay!


Read:

  • Silver Spoon vol 9-10 (Hiromu Arakawa): Now definitely past the anime, but Hachiken is still very much a Hachiken. Maybe he can say no sometimes, though?
  • Stealing Sorcery (Andrew Rowe): Sequel to Forging Divinity. Slightly less annoying demigods, murder mystery, more conspiracies and betrayals, some flirting but still no actual romance.
  • Eye for an Eye (Erik Scott de Bie): Prose supers but would probably work well in comics form. Maybe related to other series but I couldn't tell and didn't need to know.

Words: FAIL.

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12 September 2019 - Thursday

Marith waiting on making dinner until I was close to home so it would be warm and sociable when I got in, but I was not at all appreciative because I suck. :(

While eating the very nice shrimp dish Marith made, I found out that Kickstarter is union-busting. Well, I shouldn't be spending so much on Kickstarter campaigns anyway. But now I have to figure out how to write a Strongly Worded letter to Kickstarter.


Read:

  • Silver Spoon vol 7-8 (Hiromu Arakawa): The Doom That Came To Komaba.
  • Forging Divinity (Andrew Rowe): Same universe as the "Arcane Ascension" series, but different time and place. Well-defined magic as you'd expect from an RPG setting, cool guy with a magic sword, secret societies, asshole demigods. Lots of violence, very little smooching.

Words: FAIL.

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11 September 2019 - Wednesday

The restaurant failed us by being sold out of both duck and mango, but that could not stop us from having Thai food while trying to play 13th Age Glorantha. I don't know why I had no trouble being decisive with my character in the other team but can't do anything useful with this character even though by both stats and fluff she should be much more of a natural leader. Maybe it's that we have no clear course of action here, or that recognizing a clear course of action would require knowing lore than only the GM really knows and only another character can roll for, or that I'm dumber than usual tonight. I sure hope it's not because the other character is a guy. Maybe I'll just sit in a pit and never game again.


Read:

  • Seed (Ania Ahlborn): Horror. Do not read if you object to bad things happening to children, or if you want anyone to survive. Actually, unless you're a hardcore horror fan, just don't read.
  • Scourge of the Realm (Erik Scott de Bie): The great hero who liberated the kingdom from the evil tyrant has become corrupt, and the princess must assemble a band of antiheroes to overthrow him. Betrayal, treachery, hidden motives, sex-positive religion, song-based magic and martial arts, gross patriarchal monotheism, heroic sacrifices, and backstabbing.
  • Silver Spoon vol 6 (Hiromu Arakawa): There is something weird about Mikage's face. Maybe she needs more nose?

Words: FAIL.

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10 September 2019 - Tuesday

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance continues to be very pretty and very doomed.


Read:

  • Silver Spoon vol 4-5 (Hiromu Arakawa): Hachiken is such a hachiken!
  • A Swift Kick in the Asteroids (Edward Zajac): Apparently from the school of non-genre-aware writers who think parodies of Ralph 124C 41+ defined SF.
  • Odd Essays (Jan Siegel): Subtitled, Twelve Extraordinary Stories of Sex, Travel and Tentacles, which is true, but does not explain why it took me so long to recognize the conceit. Gets points for pale skin being freakish and for words where you can see the bogus etymology. Loses points for gender roles being the same as modern.

Words: FAIL.

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9 September 2019 - Monday

Boo, Monday.


Read:

  • Silver Spoon vol 2-3 (Hiromu Arakawa): It feels like this is going faster than the anime did, but we keep getting to things I remember, so I guess not!
  • The Queen's Gambit (Jessie Mihalik): On the level of Star Wars. Het romance. It's interesting how much direct neural links have become standard in stories with even the thinnest trappings of SF, though.
  • Cloud with a Chance of Dropbears (WR Gingell): Another short piece showing how terrifying Pet and her fae are from the outside.

Words: FAIL.

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8 September 2019 - Sunday

Now that we've finished the starter kit, we can make our own characters for the Sentinel Comics RPG and Dave can make his own adventures! No one can stop us, no matter how much they love the existing Sentinels fake continuity! (No offense, Robert.)

The best character is Rachel's time-travelling uplifted velociraptor supersoldier gadgeteer. Second best is Jeremy's Maserati cyborg ex-gangster and his brother the sports car. Edie made an ex-cop with a bow who likes to perch in high places, and we're not sure about Hazel's character because she turns invisible.

I don't know how to make characters.


Marith was dead from biology, so we didn't watch anything or cook any dinner beyond chicken strips or do anything else requiring a brain.


Words: FAIL.

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7 September 2019 - Saturday

When I stopped petting Aspen and went to the other side of the apartment to do something, she followed me and demanded more pettins!


Ran into a coworker from previous job on the way to grocery shopping. She has bailed to Netflix, so I gather there's not much left of the company that laid me off, or my stock grants. Bah!


Dave went to an Extinction Rebellion meeting because he is not a loser like me, but then he lured Mike down to play Gloomhaven with Ken while Ayse and Jus are away getting eaten by bears camping. (Marith very kindly entertained Nonny, or at least sat with him while he watched his iPad for 39456 hours straight.) Murder Rat did a murder! In fact we cleaned up scenario #7 pretty handily, which opens up scenario that will get Mike's character what he needs to retire. Murder Rat got a special item that improves her(?) deck and levelled up, so that was good.

Also we had some pizza and Marith and I watched a little RWBY with Dave.

  • RWBY 3.10-12: Battle of Beacon! Ruby explodes! Yang explodes in a different way!

Words: FAIL.

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6 September 2019 - Friday

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance continues to be full of aesthetics and also rock monsters and killer dinosaurs!


Read:

  • Silver Spoon vol 1 (Hiromu Arakawa): The anime, which I saw ages ago, follows it pretty closely, so no surprises so far, but it's still good. Arakawa character designs are weird in a non-FMA manga.
  • Knight Protector (Lindsay Buroker): Short piece set in the "Star Kingdom" universe with one of the few hereditary nobles of greater than zero worth, a het love interest, some derring-do, and low-income housing.
  • The Key of Apollo (Riley D Brady): Greek myth bloodlines in the modern day, with extra supernatural beasts. Biracial protagonist, no romance, some rehabilitation of the Titans' image.

Words: FAIL.

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5 September 2019 - Thursday

Usual Thursday commute doom. At least Aspen doesn't need to get fluids every day now, so I can go to bed more expediently. Except dinner.


Read:

  • Wayward vol 4-6 (Jim Zub, Steve Cummings, Tamra Bonvillain, Marshall Dillon, Zack Davisson, Ann O'Regan):
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate (Becky Chambers): Not related to A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. All about the emotions and experience of ethical exploration. I understand why some people don't like the end, but I think it works.
  • How To (Randall Munroe): ...accomplish all kinds of normal tasks, like dig a hole or provide electricity to your house, in the most ridiculous or impractical way possible. You know how xkcd works!
  • Star Nomad (Lindsay Buroker): The "Star Kingdom" books weren't terrible as SF (mostly), but this was pretty much Star Wars. Asteroid belts where you can practically walk from rock to rock, space wizards, het romance, Alliance vs Empire, etc.

Words: FAIL.

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4 September 2019 - Wednesday

I was going to try to carpool with Ken as alternative to dying of the commutes, but his car needs the frammistat replaced and it took him half a day to successfully navigate the hell of car rental, so I only rode back to Monkeycat Mountain with him. It worked okay, and was somewhat faster than transit, but traffic is terrible and I hates it.

Once we were there, we found out Kelsey was cancelling again, so we ate Chinese food and tried to finish the heroquest. Victory! Wait, aren't you supposed to come out of the hero plane where you went in...?


Read:

  • Wayward vol 3 (Jim Zub, Steve Cummings, Tamra Bonvillain, Marshall Dillon, Zack Davisson): Wait, Ireland, what?
  • Dragon Spear (Jessica Day George): This time, the dragons are being mind-controlled the old-fashioned way, by being raised by assholes.

Words: FAIL.

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3 September 2019 - Tuesday

I worked from home today, so I was stupid and unproductive. Boo. But I was able to go to the vet with Aspen (instead of making Marith do all the work) and the vet confirmed that she is doing much better. She still has the kidney infection, though, so she needs to get more mouth squirts. Weeks and weeks of mouth squirts. It is so hard being a kitty!


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance 3: Still plot! I really don't understand how the Skesis have not already murdered each other by bits and pieces.


Words: FAIL.

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2 September 2019 - Monday

It's Labor Day, so I joined the Wobblies. Unions for all!


I now know when I am running things at Big Bad Con: 9-13:00 on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th! (I could have known earlier if I hadn't been scared to look.) Fortunately there is no way this can end poorly.


More The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Yikes! I would not show that scene to kids!


Read:

  • Heartless Princess Adventure Kit (Aaron King): "All the worlds ended, literally broke apart, but the Heartless Princess saved the bits she could, embedding her icy city at the top of a new patchwork planet made of the fragments of the old. You are her trusted aides and servants and envoys, and today she has a request." There is other material too, like the bits that didn't get assembled into the patchwork world and are still orbiting it, and the ocean where a goddess raised islands in the shape of letters so voyagers spell out a message to her estranged lover. Written for D&D5 mechanics, but good OSR feel. A collection of ten zines in a box with oracular lining.

Words: FAIL.

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1 September 2019 - Sunday

Another session of Sentinel Comics RPG, finishing the six issues from the Starter Kit! Previous sessions have run short compared to previous games, but this one ran long, probably because it was full of exciting things that would be spoilers to describe. It was very comic-book, though, and we got right down to the end of the scene tracker before we triumphed.

Everyone wants Dave to keep running, so we will try to use the beta character creation rules to make our own characters and fight crime. Perhaps it will even work!

Got home late, but did not actually die.


We started watching The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and it is very pretty. Except the Skesis, they're gross, as they should be. I completely don't remember the original movie, which I haven't seen in like forty years, but this seems to stand okay on its own merits. I'm not sure I'd show it to a kid, though.


Words: FAIL.

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