Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 January 2018 - Wednesday

Now that the germs are (mostly) vanquished, it is time for 13th Age and Thai food. Mostly Thai food, since Ken only has about an hour to game before people have to start the long northward trek. This means about one scene per week; this week, it was a fight against an amorphous ectoplasmic blob. But we got a cursed spear.

Words: 165. Still no plot.

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30 January 2018 - Tuesday

Heroines of the Last Age is a hack of Heroines of the First Age (or maybe a variant, since it's by the same people?) for far-future space opera, when the moribund STL empire of humanity and descendant/allied species is suddenly revived by the invention of FTL. (Despite the Galactic Flow (sort of a cross between zero-point energy and the Force), this is slightly harder than a lot of space opera games, but still no Orion's Arm.) The PCs are movers and shakers, who will have to deal with interstellar warlords, entire alien species, ancient artifacts larger than worlds, and the mysteries of the Galactic Core, in epic HotFA style. It reminds me of Strange Stars, in the combination of pulp craziness and modern SF tropes.

After reading some non-genre stuff with smooches and happy endings, I have started Pact (JC McCrae), which I guess is technically urban fantasy, but is more like rural occult, being about pacts (duh) and binding of supernatural creatures and the secret practice of magic. The main character starts out at zero, and after the first arc, it looks like he has learned just enough to have an inkling of how completely and utterly screwed he is. In later arcs, no doubt he will come to see the greater and greater depths of his doom.

Words: 326. I still need a lead to the plot, which means I need an actual plot, not just the main character wandering around using her enhanced senses on people.

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29 January 2018 - Monday

Words: 422. I need more idea.

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28 January 2018 - Sunday

Hurray, Deirdre is back for PAD&D5 (and for, you know, her entire life in California, but who cares about work and family?)!

After setting up a temple to the Crystal Dragon in Yartar (taking over the old temple of Bane, who is no longer worshipped by anyone at all ever) and staffing it with people who will definitely not fall into heresy and corruption as soon as they're unsupervised, the Heroines of Red Larch head out to assault [SPOILER], so their ally [SPOILER] doesn't have to waste any more of his time keeping it bottled up. Along the way, Lamthanc has oracular dreams, which apparently relate to the overarching problem with [SPOILER]. By the Will of the Gods, Lam commits a terrible faux pas when the Heroines meet their ally, which doesn't offend him but does distract him from guarding the front door to [SPOILER]. Since he is busy, the Heroines rush down to keep the forces of evil from coming up, and fall into a cunning trap, which Lam defeats with her mighty thews. Mika, who avoided the trap, overhears the enemy plotting to take a hostage against their ally, so the Heroines dash off after them. Lam and Hazelrae, on Honk-Sneeze, dash ahead and make it to the target ahead of time, but will have to defend against the enemy with the help of only a few NPCs until the rest of the Heroines catch up next session.

During a break in the action, I showed everyone octopus communication. This was particularly appreciated because one of the tenets of the Crystal Dragon is "boo tentacles".

Solve for i (AE Dooland) is a spin-off of Under My Skin/Flesh & Blood, about one of the secondary characters who has realized that she is madly in love with her extremely straight best friend. Some moderately poor decisions ensue, along with near-fatal blushing (because red-headed introvert), but it does work out in the end. This story seemed weirdly retro, because even though Tinder (and the configuration thereof) was a major plot element, there was also a subplot of work drama involving a union! Even though everyone involved works in an office! Truly Australia is a strange and alien land.

Words: 353.

Weekly total: 2247. This number keeps decreasing, which should probably concern me. (The lower it is, the less damage I am doing to world literature!)

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27 January 2018 - Saturday

The cleaners were timely and efficient this week, which is good because their rates have gone up (the San Jose minimum wage has increased, so I can't complain).

No Marith for anime, because Jus and Ayse are full of germs. I ate her share of the chili.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.9-10: Now Hotaru and Chibi-Usa can be monster-out-into-grown-ups-and-try-to-murder-Daddy buddies!
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 7: Nozaki's obliviousness to all things that are not shoujo manga is really quite something. Poor Sakura.
  • My Hero Academia 1.3-4: Finally our protagonist has stopped being oppressed by society and has reached the elite hero academy! Surely all his troubles are over, now!
  • Flip Flappers 1-2: A foolish rationality is the hobgoblin of small audiences!

Words: 309, which is not much but better than usual for a Saturday with shopping and anime and assorted nonwriting activities.

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26 January 2018 - Friday

Another week successfully survived!

The main character of Under My Skin (AE Dooland), Min Lee, is talented and attractive, and only a few years out of college already has a high-paying job, a handsome and kind boyfriend who is even the right ethnicity to satisfy her controlling mother, a plum assignment reporting directly to the CEO, and an increasing dread of having to put on skirt/bra/makeup to go to work each day. One (slightly drunken) evening, she posts a painting of herself looking pretty androgynous to her Deviantart account, which causes one of her long-time followers to try to meet her in person, and her entire life starts unravelling from the gender binary outward. Apparently this is the sort of thing I like, because I liked it a lot despite the complete lack of spec-fictional elements. Maybe I just like the main character's deadpan jokes.

In the sequel, Flesh & Blood, Min makes many terrible decisions, and has to deal with the consequences. If the theme of the first book was that figuring out what gender you are and what gender you want to smooch will make your life 75% less terrible, the themes of this one are that cutting toxic people out of your life will help a lot with that remaining 25%, and honest communication is key in any case. I still like it, although I had to scream at fictional characters a lot while reading.

Words: 146. I had a clever plan, I know I did, but now I can't remember what it was and also I'm too stupid to write.

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25 January 2018 - Thursday

Words: 410, but I may have to rewrite a bunch of them tomorrow.

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24 January 2018 - Wednesday

No 13th Age! No Thai food! Monkeycat Mountain is a house of plague, into which no one except me (and the people who live there) dare set foot!

There were half a dozen epilogue chapters for Worm, which cast some of what went before in a different light but mostly are "where are they now" in the following years. Now I have to decide whether to move on to Pact immediately, or take a break from having my aortic arches stomped on.

Words: 316. I um did not successfully focus (by which I mean "stop playing MPQ), and I probably should to write this part, since it may contain Feelings.

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23 January 2018 - Tuesday

Yay, I fixed a customer!

I stayed up too late finishing Worm, because I couldn't stop there! That was a pretty hard ending to read, though. Did Taylor deserve what happened at the end? On the one hand, she was at least instrumental in <rot13>fnivat nyy bs uhznavgl</rot13> but on the other, she did once <rot13>svyy n thl'f rlronyyf jvgu znttbgf</rot13>. It was a hard ending, anyway.

Two tentacles up!

Words: 365, but why do I even bother?

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22 January 2018 - Monday

Monday already? I think I liked that other weekend better. Roomier.

Words: 348.

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21 January 2018 - Sunday

No gaming today, so I should do something useful! Like... uh... maybe... or... Oh, never mind.

A demo of steampunk martial arts.

Hurray, it's volume 2 of Kill 6 Billion Demons (Tom Parkinson-Morgan)! The visuals on this are still so amazing, and the protagonist is finally getting her act together. Maybe if I eat this guy's brain, I can have an imagination like that?

Apparently there is now a Kill 6 Billion Demons RPG!

Words: 640.

Weekly total: 2545.

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20 January 2018 - Saturday

I completely failed to be useful this morning, so I had to ride the bus to grocery shopping instead of walk. Bah!

Marith was at anime, despite the germ risk, so we caught her up on Lars of the Stars/Jungle Moon and episode 9 of Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.8: Julia: "I like her better when she's evil." Everyone else: "We know."
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 8: Love? Bah, there is only rakugo!
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 6: Ah, the mysteries of screentone. I've never worked with it, but I suspect that it alone would make digital art a thing.

Words: 119.

rakugo by marithlizard (Tue Jan 23 13:50:36 2018)

I am confirmed in my suspicion that Kiku is a big jerk!

Re: rakugo by Trip (Wed Jan 24 13:34:56 2018)

There's probably some horrible saying for it, like "art before tarts", but yep.

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19 January 2018 - Friday

Words: 275.

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18 January 2018 - Thursday

Words: 567. But I have nothing to say, and wouldn't say it right if I did, because fuck horrible old white guys.

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17 January 2018 - Wednesday

Once again, it is time for 13th Age and Italian food! This week, Koru behemoth exploration! Creepy, fungusy, disgusting, and loaded with superweapons. Also everyone's soul is tied together, just in case.

I don't think other people appreciated octopus communication as much as Ken and I. They are philistines who just bought eight tickets to the gun show.

I've now read up through vol 19 of Worm (JC McCrae), which ties up some major plot threads (but only revs up others). Now I want to play supers (although probably not Champions, more likely Masks) and also never write again.

Words: 124. But I finally figured out why everything is so weird since the Gravekeeper bombardment. It's not just all the previously-hidden weirdness being forced to the surface. (This has no bearing on the current story.)

octopus communication by marithlizard (Fri Jan 19 08:28:07 2018)

That is hilarious, and I am somewhat relieved because I would have had to revoke their funding.

Octopus communication by Jeremy (Sun Jan 21 19:00:12 2018)

This is extremely likely to win best video shown in the Gollub house in 2018.

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16 January 2018 - Tuesday

Bleah, work. Sleep is better.

Words: 604.

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15 January 2018 - Monday

No work, MLK Day! Although honestly I would be okay with white people having to work today and PoC getting the day off.

Hardly any Avalon.

Words: 216. You'd think I could do better on a holiday. But you'd be WRONG!

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14 January 2018 - Sunday

First PAD&D of 2018!

Jeremy skipped us ahead weeks? months? in the campaign to where the Heroines of Red Larch had reached 8th level but everything was terrible and they were making a doomed last stand using all the weird stuff that had happened in the intervening time, and then the Crystal Dragon sent her two popesses back in time to where the Heroines had knocked fate off the rails, which turned out to be the confrontation with the [SPOILER] in Yartar. We got to replay that, but with an extra ninja (Mara hadn't been there the first time), and people yelling "Nooooooo!" at dramatic moments, and it all went much better. Plus, the Heroines are still 8th level!

Apparently there is some doubt as to whether Deirdre will come back within the life of the campaign (for unrelated reasons). Bah!

Words: 355.

Weekly total: 2666.

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13 January 2018 - Saturday

Bah, cleaners were late and slow (short-handed, apparently), so I did not get to go grocery shopping at a reasonable time. But wait! I have Monday off, I can go shopping then! Today, I can be useless.

No Marith, she is flat from work.

  • Steven Universe 5.11-12: Lars of the Stars!!!
  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.6-7: Chibi-Usa's new friend's dad isn't creepy at all.
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 4 (rewatch): This is so episodic that catching up isn't necessary, but so funny that making sure to watch all of it is.
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 9-12: #chunibyo4life #adorable #superadorable

Words: 149. I think I will follow Kit's example and try to write at least 100 words every day, even if the day is otherwise eaten up with stuff. That's only a paragraph or two, I should be able to do it even if it doesn't seem like much.

All my words are still terrible, though.

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12 January 2018 - Friday

Still no Avalon. Healing takes a lot of energy.

Words: 253.

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11 January 2018 - Thursday

Words: 493. I'm getting bogged down again, and my characters are having second thoughts about calling in the authorities. No! Don't wimp out now!

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10 January 2018 - Wednesday

This week, we were prepared for people to not show up, so everyone arrived in good time for 13th Age and BBQ!

This session, my character was completely useless because it was all about talking to people and I couldn't afford any Charisma. But that was okay.

Hurray, there's a new "Twenty Palaces" novella, The Twisted Path (Harry Connolly)! I think it suffers from not being novel-length, because things are a little too neat and not built up enough, but I still like it a lot.

Words: 0, because gaming.

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9 January 2018 - Tuesday

There was almost some Avalon, but no, there was only Zzzuul.

Words: 1063.

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8 January 2018 - Monday

Eww, Monday.

I spent too much time reading vols 7-8 of Worm, which continued to make me feel bad about what I'm writing even though it's not really the same. Probably I should reread Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have a Nemesis instead.

Words: 353.

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7 January 2018 - Sunday

I actually got up and made it to the lab to phlebotomized before it got busy!

No PAD&D5, Deirdre is out of town and Rachel is physically unwell.

There is no gaming, there is only tumblr.

One doesn't expect redeeming social value from light novels, but by sexualizing the practice of medicine, Monster Girl Doctor (Yoshino Origuchi, Z-ton) may achieve the opposite. (But maybe I'm just showing my ignorance of medical/hospital-themed romance novels.)

Words: 642. It's almost like not stressing out about meeting an arbitrary deadline is bad for creativity! (Except we know that can't possibly be true, because America.)

Weekly total: 3664.

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6 January 2018 - Saturday

Finally capitalism relented enough to give Marith some free time, so we went to see SW: TLJ. It was a flawed movie (the technical and military stuff was garbage, because Star Wars), but it had some good bits, including female characters, so fuck off, MRAs. I do not demand my 2 hours and 35 minutes back.

Anime: FAIL, because Crunchyroll FAIL! Instead Dave and Marith caught up on some of the Nirvana in Fire they missed, and then we taught Marith Roll for the Galaxy.

Words: FAIL.

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5 January 2018 - Friday

Today, I managed to do... laundry! Um. Yah, okay, I got nothin'.

I read the first 6 arcs of Worm (JC McCrae), because Twig was so awesome, and it is also good, but it is teen supers so now I understand how much I have failed by giving my main character only a puny amount of adversity to overcome.

Words: 818. Still terrible, and now I know how terrible.

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4 January 2018 - Thursday

No Avalon, she is still 1000% busy all of the time. Maybe more so, now that she has the busted leg and has to find different things to do.

After some number of months, I have finished with Twig (all 20 volumes) and the epilogues. Yikes, that was a lot of doom, and I'm not sure the ending was actually less doomful. I liked it a lot, because I like weird settings and cleverness, and the viewpoint character is all about cleverness, but it is pretty dark. Do not read this story if you have trouble with terrible things happening to minors, mental illness, body horror, tyranny, or unnatural attraction to cake.

Words: 608. Also I did some administrative stuff. Equal-length chapters are for wimps, apparently.

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3 January 2018 - Wednesday

Kill All Angels (Robert Brockway) wraps up the trilogy that started with The Unnoticeables and The Empty Ones, but it does not introduce enough new material to deserve an entire book. The climax is pretty much what could have been predicted in the middle of book 2, and I really would have liked it better if there had been at least one major plot twist.

We tried to gather for 13th Age and burritos, but Brooks and Kelsey failed to appear in a timely fashion, so we broke out Roll for the Galaxy to get them to show up. Brooks showed up just in time to get dealt in, but Kelsey never made it. (Mike won, to no one's surprise. I came in dead last, also to no one's surprise, but not by that much.) Once we finished up, we did a little planning for next week (Hellspears, here we come!) but then imploded.

Kelsey couldn't make it because her skeezy landlord was trying to swindle her out of her cleaning deposit, so fuck that guy.

Words: FAIL.

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2 January 2018 - Tuesday

Wait, I have to get up in the morning? I'm not sure about this 2018 thing...

A lot of customers (and coworkers) seem to still be on vacatino.

Words: 496.

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1 January 2018 - Monday

Starting the year off by being lazy is okay, right? Anyway, nothing is on fire yet, so, so far, so good.

I don't know what my daily quota should be, but today I made 1100 words, so that's probably plenty.

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