Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 December 2020 - Thursday

2020 is almost over! 2021 has got to be better in some ways, I think, but there's still so much potential for doom.

Marith went to bed at a sensible hour so that she won't die when she has to go to work at 5:00 on Tuesday morning. I probably should have done similar but instead I stayed up until after midnight so I could yell with my pocket friends.


Watched:

    Hilda 2.4-5: The one with the Vikings, and the one with the windmill. I'm glad it's not either of the female characters who is lacking in the spirit of adventure.

Read:

  • Princess Jellyfish (Akiko Higashimura) vol 5: Business is still hard, even if romance weren't getting in the way. Also Amars is definitely going to revolt at some point.

Baked brie with honey and cranberry plus baked brie with balsamic onion thyme mustard sauce wrapped in crescent roll dough. It was festive and yummy! But it would have gone better with the fondue that we didn't have because 2020.


Words: Check. I wrote some words in the usual way, and then I tried Write or Die. I did write the words I set it for, well within the time I set, so in that sense it was a success, but I feel like I meandered too much in the service of getting words out. I guess that's what editing is for? Or maybe the 2k to 10k method of planning what to write before writing it.

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30 December 2020 - Wednesday

Last Friday of 2020, even though it's Wednesday!


This week in Eclipse Phase, the PCs manage to explore a bit more both physically and psychosurgically, and now have a pretty good idea what is going on and who is responsible. Chi knows what needs to happen next, but implementation may be difficult. Also their teammates may not agree.


Read:

  • The Bear and His Daughter (Peter Fane): Another story in the "Canon of Tarn" series, also about a girl with a unique animal companion who gets entangling in the violence inherent in the system of the multiworld fantasy empire. There is a symbolic dream very similar to the one in The Blind Dragon, which is interesting but not explanatory.
  • Shadows of the Fall (Glynn Stewart): Eighth book in the series, more interstellar corruption, more archaeological terror.
  • The Summoning of the Old Ones (Jeffrey Thomas): Three points of view on a Cthulhoid happening in Punktown.
  • Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower (Tamsyn Muir): A witch imprisons a princess in a tower with a different monster on each of its forty floors, and then things don't go as anyone expected.
  • How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps (Andrew Rowe): I would appreciate this more if I'd played the Zelda games, but I'm always up for subverting tropes even if I only know them through cultural osmosis.

Chicken with seven spices. It was good, but I think it would have been better with some vegetables, to make it a whole dish instead of just chicken.


Words: FAIL.

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29 December 2020 - Tuesday

Spent all day working on a customer issue which went away as mysteriously as it arrived. Bah. But no meetings!


Read:

  • Relics of Eternity (Glynn Stewart): Yep, that's some doom that will probably make its way to Earth at some point.
  • Darker Worlds (Jeffrey Thomas): Three even more horrific stories.

Microwave food only slightly past the best-by.


Words: Check, somehow. I need to work less or eat less or play fewer pad games or flounder stupidly less in the evenings.

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28 December 2020 - Monday

Last Monday of 2020!


Read:

  • Shield of Terra, Imperium Defiant (Glynn Stewart): Books five and six, finishing up this plot line but revealing even more doom that will doubtless fall upon Earth in future books.

Leftovers.


Words: Check, I guess.

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27 December 2020 - Sunday

I meant to wake up early, or at least not late, and do useful things before gaming, but we all know how that goes.

Once again, I completely sucked at Scum and Villainy. Many characters had a bunch of stress, but no one was even slightly killed. I can't help going "yeah, okay, that should work". I think I need to come up with a bunch of things that could go wrong and keep them in reserve so I don't have to invent them on the fly. Although I am pretty happy with them ending up a month in the past after trying to beat the speed of light, but I need to figure out concrete consequences to breaking spacetime.


Read:

  • Uncanny Valley (Jeffrey Thomas): Three creepy and horible short stories about creepy horrible happenings.
  • Darkness Beyond (Glynn Stewart): Fourth book, more doom related to the new enemy from last book. But look, I know this is Srs Military Adventure SF, but if you're going to say that some aliens are hot to humans and humans are hot to some aliens, you cannot then fail to write about interspecies boning. I am very disappoint.

My pocket frond made me very hungry by talking about baked brie with sauteed onions, but all I could find to eat was Chinese takeaway.


Words: Check.

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26 December 2020 - Saturday

Despite being a useless lump, I did manage to go shopping and run Zoomwarts.

I successfully threw a wrench into Bella and Rosamund's plan, now I need to figure out how to make them go through with it anyway. Muahahahahahaha.


Watched:

  • Dennou Coil 2-3: Mysterious transfer student!
  • RWBY 8.3: Oh dear, I think Penny is doomed.

Read:

  • Duchess of Terra (Glynn Stewart): Second book, more alien invasions.
  • Terra and Imperium (Glynn Stewart): Third book, getting deeper into galactic politics and also perilous archaeology. I'm not sure why humans find the caterpillar monsters more upsetting than the squid monsters.

Thai takeaway.


Words: FAIL. There is no excuse for me.

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25 December 2020 - Friday

A Nifty Newtonmas to all!


Read:

  • The Terran Privateer (Glynn Stewart): I ran out of the other series, so I switched to another one. Tentacle monsters conquer Earth, the intrepid captain of the remaining starship has to explore the galaxy for a means of freeing her planet and make some very unpopular decisions.
  • Flesh for Punktown (Jeffrey Thomas): Three more shorts, themed around bodies and things that can happen to them in the horror future.

Marith made pancakes and bacon at brunchtime and then we ate the Christmas feast of duck, chicken, maple-pecan-butternut, mashed spuds, brussels sprouts, chive rolls, and apple pie.


Words: Check.

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24 December 2020 - Thursday

I slept in forever because I am extremely useless and then none of the restaurants I wanted to get food from were open, so I just suck completely today.


Watched:

  • Little Women, 2019 version: Marith says this was a pretty experimental version, and it was definitely out of order, but she thinks Alcott would have approved.

Read:

  • The Service of Mars (Glynn Stewart): Ninth and latest book in the series, finally getting back to the conspiracy plotline, which looks like it could take several more books to resolve.
  • Nights in Punktown (Jeffrey Thomas): Three shorts in the author's long-running dark future Punktown setting, with copious amounts of sex, violence, greed, aliens, and weirdness.

What is food, really?


Words: Check, just barely.

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23 December 2020 - Wednesday

I get a four-day weekend, which makes this like TRIPLE BONUS FRIDAY!

I celebrated by getting some work done, or something.


Even though it is practically Friday, we still had Eclipse Phase because for some reason no one is out of town or occupied with family. Despite no one ever stopping talking, the PCs somehow got past the first room of the habitat and got into a fight with a bunch of severely deranged egos sleeved in neotenic morphs, which was just great for everybody's SAN.

I was already wanting to convert Eclipse Phase to Forged in the Dark, and this session we had that phenomenon that boring-failure games encourage, where one person failing a roll means everybody else wants to try, and FitD solves that no only by making failure not a no-op, but by having actual rules for multiple people doing the same thing, and it not being free.


Read:

  • Sword of Mars (Glynn Stewart): Yep, called it.
  • Mountain of Mars (Glynn Stewart): Well, at least the author isn't too attached to his characters!

Microwave enchiladas.


Words: FAIL.

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22 December 2020 - Tuesday

Fortunately customers seem to be hibernating this week.


Read:

  • Judgment of Mars (Glynn Stewart): Book five, more conspiracy.
  • UnArcana Stars (Glynn Stewart): Book six, back to the war. I am pretty sure I know what the enemies' secret weapon is, and there is too much space battle with numbers and italics, but this is apparently what my brain wants to read here at the end of 2020.

Microwave food.


Words: Check.

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21 December 2020 - Monday

It's Monday, but at least it's a short week. And a Spiffy Solstice to all!


Read:

  • The Infinite Pieces of Us (Rebekah Crane): Mainstream YA, full of feelings and unhelpful adults and feelings and secret hideouts and feelings and family discord and lust and unhelpful adults and friendship.
  • Alien Arcana (Glynn Stewart): Fourth book in the series, introducing a horrible new conspiracy.
  • Centralia: Epicenter (ed Cullen Bunn, Heath Amodio): The theme of this anthology is "all towns named Centralia have an ancient evil hidden beneath them". What the evil is and what kind of unusual people fight it is not consistent from story to story, though: literal demons, hyperdimensional entities, ghosts, etc.

Leftovers.


Words: Check.

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20 December 2020 - Sunday

I was up and showered and dressed and even technically awake by... 13:00. Okay, maybe not that great of an accomplishment. But I did walk the long way around to do extra shopping. Apparently I do remember how to walk, but not very quickly.


Watched:

  • Hilda 2.2-3: Boat race! Secret base! Hilda's class is definitely rogue.

Maple-glazed salmon, squash, spuds, and salad.


Words: Check.

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19 December 2020 - Saturday

Not much plot development in Zoomwarts, but the players are noticing, so I guess I need to oppress Bella more.


Watched:

  • Dennou Coil 1: We have seen this a couple of times, but now we are showing it to the new generation of anime-watchers. Jus likes it but it is weird and confusing, which seems fair.
  • RWBY 8.1-2: Carrying directly on from the end of season 7, everything is a huge mess and probably about to get messier as humanity utterly fails to unite in the face of an overwhelming threat.

Read:

  • Voice of Mars (Glynn Stewart): The theme of this series is definitely "the reward for a job well-done" so now our hero has to stop a war and not just by defeating both sides.

Microwave food.


Words: Check. Still on the wrong project.

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18 December 2020 - Friday

End of the last full work week of the year.


Read:

  • The Blind Dragon (Peter Fane): Dragonriding knights both valiant and treacherous, an unusual dragon, battle and intrigue and rulers from beyond the gates. Apparently there are other stories in this setting, which might be interesting.
  • The Bosch (Neal Asher): The author says this was based on a nightmare, and it definitely shows.
  • Hand of Mars (Glynn Stewart): Second in the "Starship's Mage" series, our hero and his alarming abilities get mixed up in politics and corruption and revolution and doom. Lots of doom, and also unwanted battlefield promotions.

Microwave food and too many snacks.


Words: Check.

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17 December 2020 - Thursday

I got Kit onto the Slack and now she is a Pocket Frond! It went well because everyone involved is very nice and no one involved has any chill.


Read:

  • The Coming of the Old Ones (Jeffrey Thomas): Three short Cthulhoid pieces with varying levels of apocalypticness, SAN loss, and murdering.
  • Starship's Mage (Glynn Stewart): I think the premise is "Many standard features of space opera are so disconnected from how the universe works that they might as well be magic, so what if they were actual magic and you needed wizards to travel faster than light, create artificial gravity and forcefields, &c?" It's a good excuse for the main character to have a bunch of personal power to go with his good character and terrible luck, anyway.

Microwave food.


Words: Check.

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16 December 2020 - Wednesday

Finally the Eclipse Phase characters farted around enough to be willing to take action, and hired the creepy haunted-house lady to take them to the moon of doom. (Because they're pretending they don't know each other, they had to pay her twice, but whatever.) Everything is not okay.


Read:

  • The Killing Fog (Jeff Wheeler): Pseudo-Chinese post-magical(?)-apocalypse fantasy with martial arts and ancient magic weapons and doom from the past. It was okay, but could really have used some editing for length.

Microwave food and also sausages and leftovers.


Words: FAIL.

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15 December 2020 - Tuesday

Did I fix the customer that has been dragging on for weeks? Maybe?


Watched:

    Avatar: The Last Airbender 1.20: Season finale! Now we understand how the Avatar can affect wars! Also it sucks to be Sokka. Hilda 2.1: Yay, more Hilda! And a worthy adversary who we can cheer the eventual defeat of.

Tomato thyme balsamic chicken, roasted vegetables, garlic bread, salad.


Words: Check.

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14 December 2020 - Monday

Monday the 14th, very bad luck. That's why I didn't do anything at all today.


Microwave food.


Words: Check.

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13 December 2020 - Sunday

New episode of Scum and Villainy, in which the daring scoundrels double-cross somebody and manage to get paid twice. Surely the brain-link Way-energy perceptotron thing will only be used for good, right?

Next session: buttering up the person they double-crossed by doing a job for him.


Read:

    Princess Jellyfish (Akiko Higashimura) vol 4: Why yes, starting a business is hard! But, fashion!


Did I eat anything today? I guess I probably did. Whatever.


Words: Check.

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12 December 2020 - Saturday

Waking up early to let the cleaners in always makes me go "oooogh" but then the apartment is clean, so that's nice.

In Zoowarts, Bella reconciled with the girl she duelled with over the right to fling herself at Harry Potter and now they are best friends and start terrible rumors about Rosamund. It's so sweet.


Watched:


Pizza.


Words: Check.

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11 December 2020 - Friday

It's Friday! Time to switch from work stress to hobby stress!


Read:

  • Mieruko-chan (Tomoki Izumi) vol 1: A high-school girl can see y&omacron;kai and tries to not let it ruin her life, but these are legit terrifying supernatural apparitions, not like some manga with this premise.
  • Wintergate (CE Murphy): The Snow Queen, plus the perils of travel in Faery, plus a lot of old protagonist not having a lot of patience for her younger self or other youths.

Leftover balsamic pear chicken.


Words: Check.

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10 December 2020 - Thursday

In shocking news, Corporations have too much power.


Watched:

Read:

  • Vintage Worlds 2-3 (ed Zendexor, John Michael Greer): Sadly the quality falls off sharply from the first volume, to the point where large parts of the third book were barely skimmable. Oh well.

Balsamic pear chicken (since we came into a windfall of pears), risotto, yellow squash, and salad.


Words: Check, technically..

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9 December 2020 - Wednesday

Marith's sister sent us a huge holiday snack basket, from Harry & David which I guess is a big name in food baskets? Anyway it's a lot of snacks!


This week in Eclipse Phase, Svafa got to be creeped out by the haunted space hab ladies and their haunted space hab, and the team figured out that X was really a cover for Y and something is up with Z, so now they really want to go to the place and find out what's up with the thing.


Read:

  • Vintage Worlds (ed John Michael Greer, Zendexor): Random short stories set in the Solar System as people hoped it was a hundred years ago, with all planets habitable and inhabited. None of the stories are great, but they are mostly amusing.

Microwave food.


Words: FAIL.

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8 December 2020 - Tuesday

Customer, why do you not believe us when you tell you best practices?


Marith stayed up late to FaceTime with Nonny, but he never showed. 8-year-olds are not good at scheduling.


Read:

  • Desdemona and the Deep (CSE Cooney): Secondary world, suffragettes, goblins, toxic capitalism, quests, patronage of the arts, metamorphosis.

Microwave food.


Words: Check.

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7 December 2020 - Monday

Why am I so full of yawns?


Read:

  • Acheron Inheritance (Ken Lozito): Moderately generic space opera. The main character has abilities similar to Murderbot, but without the personality.
  • Hunger Pangs: True Love Bites (Joy Demorra): Disabled werewolf meets sarcastic vampire, sparks fly. There is worldbuilding and plot and a quest, all perfectly good, but that's probably not what most readers are here for. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Also I really like the vampire because he has snark, and hates the horrible people. Although this book concludes, there is apparently a whole second half coming now that the author is not dead.

Microwave food, but including vegetables. I have not done a particularly good job of not snacking on carbs today. I blame the marzipanstollen.


Words: Check.

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6 December 2020 - Sunday

I slept in until forever and then got up and did nothing. Because I suck.


Read:

  • Princess Jellyfish (Akiko Higashimura) vol 3: Fashion is the answer! Also, love triangles.
  • The Quantum Magician (Derek Künsken): It has the almost certainly bogus thing where consciousness is quantum physics, and the definitely bogus thing where quantum entanglement allows instantaneous comms, but otherwise is a good mix of philosophy and interstellar heist action, with extremely creepy modified humans.

Leftover pizza.


Words: Check, just barely.

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5 December 2020 - Saturday

Wait, how is stuffing Thanksgiving-only? Do other people not want to eat warm fluffy warm stuffing all winter? What is wrong with them?


Watched:


Shrimp pizza.


Words: Check.

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4 December 2020 - Friday

Yay, Friday?


Read:

  • A Time Traveller's Best Friend (WR Gingell): Primary female lead has the same energy as Pet from the "Between" books, but if there is a plot, it is not apparent in the this book. Also the secondary male lead's flirting technique appears to be a court-martial offense.

Leftover salmon and stuffing, so that's Thanksgiving-like.


Words: Check.

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3 December 2020 - Thursday

Thursday. Need more brains.


Watched:

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender 1.16-17: The one with the firebending master and the one with the air temple. I remember thinking this was pretty swell at the time, but I think kids' shows have gotten better in the past decade or two.

Read:

  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend): More doom, for a variety of people including Morrigan. So much doom. So much. Why is the fourth book not here yet?

Creamy dill salmon pasta, stuffing with bacon and pine nuts, roasted vegetables, and salad.


Words: Check. But I almost forgot Cat Day!

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2 December 2020 - Wednesday

All Eclipse Phase sessions are investigation, but this one even more than most. We are pretty sure where the Maguffin is, but not at all sure why. Eventually we decided we needed Kelsey's character and her Titanian Science Police authority, so maybe next week we can get murdered by singularity seekers.


Microwave food.


Words: FAIL.

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1 December 2020 - Tuesday

Holy crap, it's already December?!


Read:

  • Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend): Second book in the "Morrigan Crow" series, in which Morrigan faces some more tests, gets into a lot of trouble, foils some schemes, and makes everyone around her go "augh". Some of this is pretty dark!
  • Tomo-chan is a Girl (Fumita Yanagida) vol 8: Triumphant conclusion! With dates!

Leftover Thanksgiving, now with extra gravy.


Words: Check.

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