Previously, in Trip's Life...

29 February 2020 - Saturday

Happy Leap Day!

Today was a routine Saturday with no one in Tahoe or oppressed by cleaners or otherwise thrown off-kilter, yet I still did not get anything done.


Watched:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 196: Oh no! As befits the last season, the boss is the most dangerous enemy yet! But maybe the three teams shouldn't have split up to attack her.
  • RWBY 7.5-6: Robyn Hill and her Happy Huntresses and her run for Council.
  • Chihayafuru 3.19-20: The Master and Queen challenges conclude! Mostly the Master challenge. People who concentrate on karuta too much are weird and don't give good interviews.

Read:

  • "The Next Invasion" (Robert Reed):

Words: FAIL.

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28 February 2020 - Friday

Watched:

  • Leverage 2.9-2.10: The one introducing Sophie's replacement, and the one where Parker is not the worst model ever even if she is probably below average.

Read:

  • PS I Still Love You (Jenny Han): Sequel to To All The Boys I've Loved Before. The boys in this serie are somehow not so terrible that I root for Lara Jean to run away with her best friend, despite being teenagers.
  • "A Tall Tail" (Charles Stross): A late entry in the ancient genre of "improbable but theoretically not impossible things heard at a convention". I would not ride on any of those rockets.

Words: Check, ish.

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27 February 2020 - Thursday

Work.


Read:

  • My Androgynous Boyfriend vol 1 (Tamekou): Slice of life, a manga editor dates a boy who is so fashionable and cute that the uninformed think he's a girl and the lightly informed think he's gay and dating his fellow male model.
  • "The Case of the Somewhat Mythic Sword" (Garth Nix): Cursed younger brother of Sherlock Holmes deals with a haunted pub cellar. Casualties are higher than expected.
  • "Dislocation Space" (Garth Nix): Murdery Russian lady post WWII fits through narrow and alarming spaces.
  • The Devil You Know (KJ Parker): Secondary-world equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci makes a deal with the literal devil.
  • "What Makes a River" (Deborah Coates): You can never stop being a monster hunter.
  • Killing Gravity (Corey J White): Renegade corporate-engineered telekinetic vs the galaxy, with a hapless crew that would be the main characters in another book dragged along in her wake.

Words: FAIL.

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26 February 2020 - Wednesday

It's time for 13th Age Glorantha and Indian food! Kelsey showed up this time, so the fight with the horrible Chaos dogs got even worse, but somehow we did not all die even though the Trickster gave away the escalation die at +4. Eventually we even escaped the Dog Hills, and probably only have a couple of encounters left before we get home.


Read:

  • Imaginary Numbers (Seanan McGuire): The 97863495th "InCryptid" book, finally focusing on the cousin who is secretly a giant telepathic bug and the other cousin who is a half-incubus. I am dubious about some of the biology of the telepathic bugs, but whatever. At the end, they are all dangling from a very high cliff indeed.
  • Fire & Water (Alexis Hall): Further adventures of a lesbian paranormal detective who gets tangled up in all kinds of major supernatural plots. This time, the plot is the continuation of the one from last book, which is even more insidious than expected, and also the protagonist's life becomes even more of a wreck.

Words: FAIL.

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25 February 2020 - Tuesday

Hurray, Kickstarter has successfully voted to unionize! Now I can back a hundred million projects with a clear conscience.


Read:

  • The Unspoken Name (AK Larkwood): Recommended by pocket fronds, because lesbian orc assassin. It does not stretch the boundaries of the genre, but it is well done and has good numinous experiences.
  • False Value (Ben Aaronovitch): I thought the "Rivers of London" series had reached a natural conclusion, but apparently there is more! This is not the strongest book in the series; it could have been denser with cool creepy magic stuff. But it continues to head toward magic being revealed to the world, and has some Beverly. It might be time for the series to switch from Peter to Abigail, though.

Words: FAIL.

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24 February 2020 - Monday

I don't hate Monday, I just hate capitalism.


Watched:

  • Elementary 3.13: Well, that's one way to end a relationship.

Read:

  • Lord of Reavers (Harry Connolly): Another short piece of skullduggery and betrayal. There is in fact no honor among thieves.
  • O Maidens In Your Savage Season vol 6 (Mari Okada, Nao Emoto): My dude, that is exactly the wrong point to stop.

Words: FAIL.

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23 February 2020 - Sunday

Ugh, commuting to gaming. Why does everyone live so inconveniently?

The giant nuclear (but at least now it's future nuclear instead of past nuclear) robot having been defended from the Woodland Mammal Squad, Maxis is able to take it out for a spin during some inter-agency search and rescue exercises. All seems well, until Maxis reports that the controls are not responding and then he is ejected in the survival capsule while the robot runs amok! It attacks the Rollers with its high-pressure water cannon, its giant metal limbs, and a missile rack it didn't have before, and seems to have gained the ability to reassemble itself after the Emergency Limb Detachment Protocol is activated, but eventually Anonymouse gets into the cockpit and dislodges the metallo-organic alien that has taken control! No one knows where it came from -- lurking in Maxis's underwater base? -- but although it caused a lot of property damage, including sinking a Coast Goard ship, it didn't seriously hurt anyone, so the Rollers are able to take it into their own custody and try to open communications.

Technically there should be one more issue, but Dave declared this the end of the collection. Maybe we'll even remember to use our collection bonuses someday!


Watched:


Words: FAIL.

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22 February 2020 - Saturday

I'm pretty sure I support prison abolition since the underlying idea is "what if we made society so much less horrible that people didn't have to crime?".


Ayse and Ken have taken Jus and Nonny to Tahoe to experience snow, so we have only pizza and Marith showing Dave RWBY.

Watched:

  • RWBY 7.1-4: Finally, Atlas, and Ironwood's new beard and a rival NPC team who are taking up too much screen time.

Read:

  • "The Bone Orchid", "A Businessman of Pald" (Harry Connolly): More short fiction, skullduggery and betrayal in the fantasy city of Pald.
  • Interspecies Reviewers vol 3 (Amahara, masha): The hint of plot has been dropped and replaced with an entirely different hint of plot.

Words: FAIL.

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21 February 2020 - Friday

Why am I at work? Why am I not in bed? How have I managed to live my life so wrong?

Why are people using my laundry machines?


Watched:

  • Leverage 2.8: The one where Hardison is actually an okay Parker, with enough help.

Read:

  • Kill Me Softly (Sarah Cross): An orphaned teenager runs away from home to find her parents' graves, and falls in with a crowd fated to play out fairy-tale roles in the modern world, and not the Disney versions either. Exactly which fairy tales would be a spoiler, but love and death may be involved.
  • "Bad Little Girls Die Horrible Deaths", "Soldiers of a Dying God", "Another Man's Burden", "The Blood Cord" (Harry Connolly): Short stories, full of doom and death but sometimes hope (okay, maybe that's just "Soldiers of a Dying God", which is my favorite of these). These Kindle editions all have the first chapter of Child of Fire, which makes me want to reread it.

Words: FAIL.

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20 February 2020 - Thursday

I'm not too sick to go to work, or even stay at work until forever o'clock, but maybe it's for the best that it was a quiet day.


Read:

  • The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles (Andy Remic): Pretty much what it says on the tin. Omnibus trilogy of grim and doomed fighting-men struggling against the invasion of the clockwork cyborg vampires and horrible subterranean creatures and worse. Many people are traumatized, killed, or turned into monsters without regard for their personal merit. Not progressive in the slightest.
  • Komi Can't Communicate vol 5 (Tomohito Oda): Obligatory School Festival Sequence. Komi does say a few words, though.

Words: FAIL.

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19 February 2020 - Wednesday

Marith kindly did me a convey to get my computer from the Apple Store before I went to 13th Age Glorantha and Greek food. Eventually I may even have enough spoons to try plugging it in again, but right now there is only coughing.

As usual, Kelsey apologized for missing this week, promised she'd make it this time, and didn't.

This session, our intrepid Orlanthi got chased away by a bunch of rock-wielding Balazarings and their stinky dogs because they don't like people who get victimized by the local Lunar incubus-spirits, and then found a mythologically resonant ruined homestead full of Chaos dogs right where they wanted to go. Guess that's why this region is called the Dog Hills!


Words: FAIL.

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18 February 2020 - Tuesday

Monday + Tuesday = Bleah.

Apple Store called, they cannot reproduce my issue. I guess I'll take the computer back and see if being in the same horrible environment causes it to recur. If it does, I can take pictures or upgrade to a newer OS or buy a power supply or something.


Watched:

  • Orphan Black 2.5: I guess it's not like we didn't know Rachel is creepy and awful and Paul is a corrupt murderer.

Words: FAIL.

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17 February 2020 - Monday

Only slept in too much, instead of way too much, because I am feeling better. (Cough syrup may have helped.) Managed to go shopping in time to meet up with Ayse & Fam to go to the kitten cafe, but oh NO! Mini Cat Town is closed on Mondays now! No kittens for us!

I did some more shopping and got my cranial tendrils shortened instead, which was not nearly as fuzzy.


Watched:

  • Elementary 3.12: End of Kitty's plot arc, but maybe she will come back.

Read:

  • Aphos (Andrew Mar): 90% pictures of pretty and mostly naked angel/demon/satyr/fey/mermaid/etc girls, in monochrome pen and ink with sometimes accents of gold or red. Individually they are all quite nice, and I reblogged many of them when they appeared on tumblr, but almost none of them have a background or any context, so a whole book of them is a bit much. Also the artist has a weird thing where he doesn't draw noses dipping in at the bridge, which makes the faces less unique.

Words: Check, somehow.

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16 February 2020 - Sunday

Am I sick? I don't feel particularly sick but all night I had that thing where all temperatures are either too hot or too cold and some are both at once. I tried sleeping in, but that didn't seem to help.

In the afternoon we took my poor sick iMac to the Apple Store, but of course the problem had demanifested so they had to take it into the back and will let me know if they figure anything out after letting it run for a couple of days.


Watched:

  • Birds of Prey: All my pocket fronds said this move is great, and they did not lead me astray! It is definitely a villain show, Harley is a terrible person at the beginning of the movie and maybe only a little better at the end, but her enemies are so much worse that we root for her anyway. The fragile male is not treated with any respect, there is not much cheesecake, the hyena is properly adored. Much ass is kicked. Multiple tentacles up!
  • The Good Place 2.4: Wait, what? Is that... foreshadowing?

Read:

  • Cthulhu in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, Kent David Kelly): What it says on the tin. It's not actually like neural net output, it's too well interwoven for that. Like Someone turned Alice in Wonderland into a book-length Mad Lib, and then someone filled it in from The Complete Works of HP Lovecraft.

Words: Check, kinda.

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15 February 2020 - Saturday

Hurray! My new transit card finally arrived! Now I can stop having to remember to fulfill prerequisites!


Yes, good customers! Stay quiet while I am on call!


Watched:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 195: Oh no! The final villain is here! And Usagi's dumbness about Mamoru is now revealed! Doom for everyone on every level! Especially Jus, who wants to keep watching but has to go to bed!
  • RWBY 6.13: Ruby saves the day! But not by herself. And is it really going to matter in the face of Salem's winged monkeys?
  • Chihayafuru 3.17-18: Master and Queen matches continue, with strategy and tactics and also Suo's tragic secret revealed!

Words: Check, I guess.

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14 February 2020 - Friday

Three different people brought donuts for the office today. I did my part, but that's a lot of donuts!


Since Avalon ghosted me, I guess I'll celebrate Valentine's Day by changing my phone wallpaper to something other than a picture of her.


Watched:

  • Leverage 2.7: The one with the rival team.

Read:

  • An Easy Death (Charlaine Harris): Alternate-history Western, where the US fell apart in early C20 and the exiled Russian royalist took over the West Coast because they have actual wizards. The main character is a young gunslinger who gets mixed up in Russian intrigues, and is just as badass as any male action hero ever was. I think it would make a good movie.

Words: FAIL.

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13 February 2020 - Thursday

Ugh, I figured my lost Clipper card that I reported on Saturday should be here by now, but no.


Read:

  • Rosewater (Tade Thompson): An ex-thief infected with psychic powers tries to live his life in future Nigeria, in a city built around an alien biodome. The aliens are very incomprehensible, making the world quite bizarre. Very similar voice to The Murders of Molly Southbourne.

Words: FAIL.

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12 February 2020 - Wednesday

As usual, Kelsey bailed at the last minute, but the rest of us gathered for 13G and Mexican food. (Because it turns out pig meat is not much worse for the environment than bird meat, and way better than cheese, I had a carnitas burrito. I didn't not enjoy it, but I think I don't mind having bird meat instead most of the time.) This session, we found out what happened to Jornandona when she accidentally took flight after stealing a magical bird suit (blown by the wind, captured by giant hawk, rescued by surprisingly non-terrible giant hawk rider of Balazar, returned mostly unscathed), and encountered something that seduced Mernyr by taking the form of the Lunar from the Mad Sultanate who was nice to them. This was Not Okay, no matter what she might have yelled at the time, but the illusion+chaos+life+law creature was able to discorporate so she couldn't tear it limb from limb. This time.


Read:

  • Silent Hall (NS Dolkart): Five teenagers get a divine quest just ahead of a massive divine curse, adventure and dragons and crippling injury and unprotected sex and annoying wizards and other such fun stuff. By a friend of a pocket frond.
  • Honor Lost (Rachel Caine, Ann Aguirre): Conclusion to the trilogy about a human criminal who manages to become friends with a psychic space whale. In the second book, our heroes discover the vast universe of aliens that had been hidden from them for dubious reasons and cause a lot of havoc that gets cleaned up in this one. The plot from back on Earth in book one also comes home to roost, although I kind of would rather have seen it be negligible on the new scale. Also, three-way with psychic space whale.

Words: FAIL.

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11 February 2020 - Tuesday

At least it's not Monday any more.


Watched:

  • Orphan Black 2.4: Oh good, they didn't write Felix out! And they hinted that something more is up with Sarah and the rest. But we could do without torture scenes.

Read:

  • Paladin's Grace (T Kingfisher): It's like fluffy romance, only with doom and more doom and conspiracy and perfume and monsters and tragic grief and PTSD and small fluffy mammals, because Ursula Vernon!

Words: FAIL.

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10 February 2020 - Monday

Boo, Monday.


We tried to take my poor broken computer to the Apple Store, but the line was too long so we made an appointment for Sunday and went back home and ate leftovers and died in a pit. Just one pit, for me. No pits for Marith.


Words: FAIL.

no pits by marithlizard (Wed Feb 12 20:14:30 2020)

You're just saying that because you know I don't like avocados. :)

Re: no pits by Trip (Thu Feb 13 21:39:11 2020)

You don't know that you don't like avocados! Or modern Brussels sprouts!

re: avocados by marithlizard (Thu Feb 13 22:08:03 2020)

I do know! The space penguins assured me!

Re: avocados by Trip (Fri Feb 14 21:05:09 2020)

And the space penguins are always reliable.

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9 February 2020 - Sunday

It's a good thing I like gaming, or I would never commute to Palo Alto an extra day every fortnight to play SCRPG and eat cuñapes.

The Atlantic City Rollers get their contact The Midnighter to analyze the records they got from the warehouse last issue, and he traces the shenanigans to a couple of locations, an industrial site on the edge of town, and an office park in a nearby city. Anonymouse goes in undercover to check out the industrial site, and finds a hidden, secured location with an elevator leading to a secret base under the river! Successful businessman John Maxis intercepts her there, and graciously shows her around the secret supervillain lair he found abandoned and fixed up, including the giant nuclear robot that he had inherited plans for and always wanted to build, because giant robot! He even invites the rest of the team down to see it, and explains that he has no intention of doing anything with the robot, he just wanted to build it. Feathers and The Mechanic cannot fault his logic, and even Moth understands the appeal of Giant Robot, despite not liking either billionaires or unregulated nuclear reactors in her hometown, never mind secret bases with giant robots that attract supervillains.

At this point, the small-woodland-mammal-themed supervillain team appears, brandishing a paper that says they own this base and everything in it and are authorized to use force to evict squatters. That is not how any of this works, and too many people present know it, so the leader has his goon with powered gauntlets throw Moth through a wall, and the fight is on! This is the first time the Rollers have fought an entire superteam, and it's not much fun, but electric bracelets, a knight-themed jerk with a huge shield standing in front of the leader, and egregious sadism cannot stand up to justice!

Title of this episode: "Nuclear Robot III: All Your Base Are Belong To Us".


Watched:

  • RWBY 7.13: Season finale. Apparently there is great discourse about this episode on tumblr. I think I'll stay over here.
  • The Good Place 2.2-3: In which Michael's plan really really doesn't work, so he makes a new one and it isn't immediately seen through.

Words: FAIL.

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8 February 2020 - Saturday

For the first time in... IDEK, a couple of years? I got up and showered before the cleaners came, so I was ready to go shopping as soon as they left (which was not in good time, but I'm not going to complain, it beats doing my own cleaning). But then I spent too long talking about tarantulas keeping pet frogs on Slack and almost missed the bus and did somehow lose my bus pass (and also my keycard for work, which was attached).

Ordering a replacement pass was as easy as it should be, but I will have to manually pay to go places for some unknown number of days. Blah.


Watched:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 193-194: Oh no, the villains figured it out! And the Starlights have accomplished their goal, so now...?
  • RWBY 6.12: Huntresses vs giant robot continues, but now we know why they even have that robot.
  • Chihayafuru 3.15-16: No wonder nobody likes Suo, he has the most annoying play style ever! But will Harada-sensei be able to take the title from him anyway?
  • Chihayafuru 3.15½: Silly recap episode. Not sure what it's doing between 15 and 16, but whatever.

Words: FAIL. I should have done something with the afternoon, but I did not, because I am too stupid and also can't write about feelings.

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7 February 2020 - Friday

It's Friday! We made it!


Watched:

  • Elementary 3.11: We knew there was going to be a plot twist, and also that Watson wasn't going to end up sticking with the thing, but I wasn't expecting that!

Read:

  • Far From You (Tess Sharpe): YA love, trauma, addiction, death, grief, murder, drugs, and other feelings-inducing events. I can read about feelings, but this is one of those books that reminds me I have no idea how to write about feelings.
  • Shadow of the Demon Lord (Robert J Schwalb): Much like recent editions of D&D, although not quite, and harsher (insanity and demonic corruption accumulate as well as damage and any of them can take you out; no short rests; little in the way of extra hit points from levelling; etc), and a D&D-like setting with extra emphasis on demonic incursion, moral decay, and general grimness. Apparently has a huge number of small supplements. This PDF had some random blank (unrenderable?) pages, but I don't think they ate anything important.

Words: FAIL.

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6 February 2020 - Thursday

I was supposed to do work today, but I don't think I really did. At least I stayed in the office until forever? (Not really forever, I just suck.)


Read:

  • Uzaki-Chan Wants To Hang Out! vol 2 (Take): It seems like they might actually get together, someday, unless Male Lead flees in terror introverted annoyance.
  • The Raven and the Reindeer (T Kingfisher): Retelling of "The Snow Queen", with not only animals, but plants, bandits, old ladies, magic both formal and informal, and determination.
  • The Seventh Bride (T Kingfisher): This really feels like a fairy tale retelling, but although it has many of the elements, I think it is original. It's definitely more horror than most of the other Kingfisher stories, but still full of practicality and determination and also hedgehogs.
  • Arkad's World (James L Cambias): It should have been interesting, but the characterization was very meh (especially the romance subplot) and there was a big revelation that made things less interesting.

Words: FAIL.

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5 February 2020 - Wednesday

Brooks is sick and Kelsey never shows up, so we had no 13G, but we did have Gloomhaven and Costco pizza. Since my murder rat retired, I started playing the tiefling paladin, who is alleged the best tank in the game. Unfortunately I did not have time to look up what the best higher-level cards were, and the first-level cards have some deficiencies, like no attacks. Nevertheless, we completed the adventure, due to some amazing use of loss cards by the more competent characters. Wheee!


Read:

  • The Halcyon Fairy Book (T Kingfisher): Half obscure fairy tales with Ursula Vernon commentary, half the complete text of her retold fairy tales collection Toad Words. Why am I not this funny?

Words: FAIL.

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4 February 2020 - Tuesday

Blargh, work. Nobody likes work. Work does not go baaa.


Watched:

  • Leverage 2.6: In which Parker is probably not actually the worst magician's assistant ever.

Read:

  • Stars Uncharted (SK Dunstall): Space adventure, oddly unsatisfying. One of the main characters is an expert in using a particular piece of fictional technology that is central to her plotline at least, but although the author can sort of convey what it it's like to work with a machine, how the machine works is very fuzzy. My disbelief was not suspended.
  • Upright Women Wanted (Sarah Gailey): Post-peak-oil-future Western, queer librarians against fascism.
  • Irontown Blues (John Varley): Eight Worlds × Noir Detective, plus enhanced dog PoV. Follows on from Steel Beach, so pretty early on in the timeline. Insufficiently transhuman, despite the dog.

Words: FAIL. Still no computer. Still no brain.

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3 February 2020 - Monday

Boo, Monday! But I did get up successfully, and also did some work in a not-completely-incompetent fashion, so yay?


Eaten:

  • Cream garlic spinach gnocchi!
  • Parsnip fries
  • Asparagus

Watched:

  • Orphan Black 2.3: Huh, I thought he would have been more random than that, but I suppose the show is about family a lot. Also about murders.

Read:

  • The Darkdeep (Ally Condie, Brendon Reichs): Four middle-schoolers find a mysterious thing in a creepy place, and use its powers for their own amusement until everything goes horribly wrong. Also, a Radish Festival.

Words: FAIL. It's not my fault, my main computer is on the fritz! Until I take it to the Apple store to get defritzed, I have no Scrivener capability!

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2 February 2020 - Sunday

Apparently I can outwit my lethargy simply by putting my phone where I can't reach it without getting out of bed. (I did then go back to bed after doing a bit of morning stuff, but that was because I determined that I was still tired from sleeping poorly, and it ended up not even being that satisfying.) Who would have thought?


Watched:

  • RWBY 7.12: That was just dumb. Even I write better than that.
  • The Good Place 1.13: The big reveal! Go Eleanor!

Read:

  • Count Fujiwara's Suffering (Mahito Aobe): Two sisters, a hikikomori livestreamer and a middle-schooler with a sister complex, as seen by their poor oppressed cat. Raunchy, but does have kind of a plot arc, or at least a resolution.

Words: FAIL. I still don't know what to do, or how to do it.

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1 February 2020 - Saturday

Because I am still the worst at getting up, I wasted the entire morning and part of the afternoon before doing anything useful, and then had no time to not do things. Bah.

Ayse and Jus and Nonny are over being sick, but Ken is still in the middle of it and does not feel up to dealing with food in any way, so I brought Chinese takeaway and at least Jus and Ayse and I were happy.


Watched:

  • Sailor Moon Stars 191-192: Is it Chibi-Chibi? Or is it her new incense burner? Or is it Usagi's broken heart?
  • RWBY 6.11: YAY BUMBLEBEE! Oh, and there was some giant robot action, or something.
  • Shirobako 6: That guy still sucks, but at least he was not able to prevent traditional animators and CGI animators from bonding.
  • Chihayafuru 3.14: Old guys for the win!

Words: FAIL. But Ayse had things to say about kids and going to adults for help with minor issues like fractured bones and supervillain attacks.

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