Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 October 2002 - Thursday

It's Halloween!

This year I am costumed as a human. Okay, so it's one I've used before, but it's got most of the bugs worked out!

I took pictures of Angie's belly-dance outfit, but she can't upload them until she gets home, so until then you'll just have to take my word for it that she looks great. (Oh, and the clothes are nice too.)

* * *

Candy bought: 2 bags.

Trick-or-treaters bribed: 3.

I expect the Ayseday party will be able to dispose of excess candy. :)

* * *

Fooey! The special stuffed-animal-cleaning fluid I ordered is out of stock!

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30 October 2002 - Wednesday

Geekity geekity geek geek!

* * *

See, it's the future !

* * *

Gwack! Angie is wearing a dress! I didn't know she really owned any! I mean, one hears rumors, but...

* * *

Hah. My work foo is triumphant, even when I'm not at work.

* * *

Eeep. Toenails 1, nail clippers 0. Snapped the lever right off. :(

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29 October 2002 - Tuesday

It's only a quarter 'til 9, and I've already found the quote of the day:

"Bother," said Pooh, as the tentacles rose from the pool. "I should never have worn this sailor suit."

I blame Genevieve.

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28 October 2002 - Monday

Blargh. Back to work. Since I spent most of the weekend away from my parasitelair, I don't feel sufficiently restored. Hmph.

But Mary Gentle followed up to a post I made to rec.arts.sf.composition! Woot!

* * *

Today's Millbrae work: striking up conversations with people. Perhaps I will get to practice at Ayse's Ayseday party on Saturday. Or perhaps I will die in a very deep pit, full of pomegranates.

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27 October 2002 - Sunday

There was a lot of lethargic flopping around, but eventually Marith and I escaped back toward Mountain View, pausing only for Marith to be sold a cellphone.

Music for the drive: lots, but most importantly, "Roads to Moscow" by Al Stewart.

* * *

When I got home, I found that Greg Porter had sent comments on my review of his new game EABA. Gwack. I'm not sure what I will say in response.

Then I watched the second DVD of Jubei-Chan: Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch. I'm still not sure if I like it enough to spend money on it.

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26 October 2002 - Saturday

Amazon Quartet of Justice Va: "Circus of Revenger"

Previously: Solara and Alyssa have left Tigris on their own business, and Fresa is in subterranean meditation. Amaryllis, Sophia, and Serenity attend a ball given in honor of Connor's party, who have rescued the little sister of the ruling prince and princess. Multiple sects of necrotheologians, assisted by an evil circus, try to kill the rulers or replace them with exact duplicates, but are foiled. Crazed dwarves are involved, as is a wood-elf of heroic nature by the name of Alyra, who Amaryllis befriends. At the behest of Stephen, Alyra and Amaryllis dupe the leader of the crazed dwarves into haring off to the ruined city, but then find out that there may be something there after all...

There is a brief recrimination phase when the Lawful members of the party find out what the Chaotic members have been doing for Stephen, but they don't disagree about chasing down Darrin before he gets himself killed or spills important beans to the necrotheologians. Over Fresa's objections, Sophia drags both Stephen and Hrogarth along (after prying Hrogarth loose from the royal library).

Darrin took quite an expedition, so is easy to track, especially since he's following the same route everyone took to the ruins last time. Apparently, another party with several large carnivorous animals is following that route as well, although not on the trail.

When they reach the rock where they were ambushed before, Our Heroines realize anew what a great ambush spot it is, and send Alyra to scout it out. Sure enough, someone is lurking atop the rock. Sophia rides forward to parley, and an arrow sticks in her shield. Battle is joined!

The attackers are two lions, two tigers, two bears, the druidess Ohmy, and the remaining crew of the Evil Circus, who turn out to be quite annoying. Amaryllis, from the air, tries to blind most of them, but only gets one lion. Then the melee combatants start getting mauled, so she opens up with the Fireballs. The circus is roasted, but not quickly enough to keep either Sophia or Serenity from being slain. The druidess and the last circus performer flee into the forest, but by the time Amaryllis catches up with them, something that (judging by its tracks) runs faster than a flying dragon has staved in both their skulls.

Fortunately, the temple of Pelor is able to raise its warriors from the dead. They refuse money for doing so, but the Amazons make an equivalent anonymous donation. Weapons are polished and inventories restocked while Sophia and Serenity recuperate, and then it's off to the ruined city again, now even farther behind Darrin. This time, Hrogarth is left to his moldy odes.

This time, Ambush Rock is already covered with corpses when Our Heroines get there. Fresa calls back the spirit of one to find out what happened and learns "They were so fast... they said they would stop us... but there weren't enough of them... we must succeed...".

The map Stephen pieced together from Darrin's notes indicates three locations in the city. The first one contains several large wagons and many corpses (killed in a more normal fashion than the ones at Ambush Rock), some of whom Alyra recognizes as Darrin's hirelings, but none of them Darrin himself. There are signs of excavation, but otherwise nothing interesting about the site.

The temple indicated by the second mark on the map is being excavated by four well-toned men who set off Sophia's keen moral sense. She parleys, but refuses a truce, so they spring over the temple wall and race away faster than the Amazons have ever seen anyone run. Amaryllis tosses a Fireball after them, but they step behind chunks of rubble at just the right instant to avoid being roasted, without breaking stride.

The third area is quite large, but a cautious search discovers a temple that is apparently deserted at the moment, but has been dug out enough to provide access to the interior, and there are many footprints in the dust. A not-very-secret door in the crypt provides access to even deeper caves, and it appears that someone has gone that way before.

Fresa's holy might returns the zombies to the dust from which they rose, and a little further along sets another sort of undead horror to flight and incapacitates a mummy long enough for it to be hacked up. Tracking the escaped monster leads the Amazons into a large cave chock-full of zombies, who fare no better than the others for all their numerical superiority. The monster that fled and another such are there also, but aren't much more trouble.

Exploring in the other direction, Alyra finds a group of four humans lurking in a cave. Sophia goes forward to parley, and the others vanish into the many tunnels before she even arrives at their location. Later, they spring out at Our Heroines, and get slapped down like the pikers they are. One of them, a mage, takes off into the darkness, but Amaryllis and Sophia chase her down and finish her off. Then Amaryllis notices the fragments of a very realistic statue littering the floor. A shadowy phantom pops out of the wall, but Alyra is right there with her magic swords. Sophia closes her eyes and advances to demonstrate her skill in fighting without sight, and between those two and a couple of Amaryllis's fireballs, the shadow and basilisk expire.

At this point, somewhat battered, low on magical energy, and with prisoners to interrogate, the Amazons decide to retreat to their hidden camp and rest up before continuing their exploration of the caves.

* * *

Next session: Thanksgiving!

* * *

By this time, it was very very late, so we decided to stay over another night rather than die in flaming wreckage on the freeway. Good thing I packed extra underwear and drugs!

Trip's Write Up by Silkie (Tue Oct 29 10:24:22 2002)

Very keen write up! You get a Dire Seal of Approval! :)

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25 October 2002 - Friday

Yummy Thai dinner with Ayse and her parents, who are just as silly as she is (though not nearly as hyper). We all approve; she can keep these parents.

Then driving and driving to Roseville, for AQoJ!

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24 October 2002 - Thursday

Stupid stupid work creatures.

* * *

Cowboy Bebop: Look, character backstory!

Maho Tsukai Tai: Magic wackiness!

Phantom Quest Corp: More magic wackiness! With bonus evil monks!

Crest of the Stars: Something happened! Weapons were discharged!

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23 October 2002 - Wednesday

WOOT!

The relevent bit from the editor's email:

And having read your story, it is high in contending to be part of the anthology. It is excellent!

Muahahahahahahahahahaha!

Of course, there are issues with the publication process (which I don't know if I can talk about, so I won't) but said editor is hard at work trying to resolve them. Wheeeeee!

* * *

Hip hip HOOORRAAAYYY! It's AYSEDAY!

* * *

Sniff! Wednesday Night Fun cancelled due to lack of people. But really it's okay, because I have new comics to read!

YAY! by kit (Wed Oct 23 10:13:19 2002)

Hooray for TRIP! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! BEAM YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Hooray! by Sarah (Wed Oct 23 10:35:09 2002)

Goooooooooooooooooooooo Trip!

Applause by Truth (Wed Oct 23 11:22:26 2002)

Woo hoo! Go Trip! That's fantastic and well-deserved! *mad applause*

Trip is great! Trip is best! Trip is way above the rest! by Marith (Wed Oct 23 11:25:42 2002)

*Marith and the cheerlizards perform a complicated little dance with pompoms and fling confetti all over Trip*

Good writer! Write more! Publish!

YAY!!!!! by Aberdeen (Wed Oct 23 12:00:57 2002)

Woot! Yay for Trip!

The Amazing Trip! by Silkie (Wed Oct 23 13:29:35 2002)

Three cheers for the Amazing Trip! We bask in his glory! We are in awe of his excellence!

Woot! by Lynx (Thu Oct 24 10:23:13 2002)

Hope you make it into the anthology! Then you'll have to convert your pit into a jacuzzi.

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22 October 2002 - Tuesday

Blargh! Got on-called at 5:00; so much for becoming non-zombie-like. :(

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21 October 2002 - Monday

Wacky.

* * *

Lethargic, zombie-like parasite. Blargh.

* * *

Sniff! No Tokyo Tower this week! I went over early to feed upon the cattlebeast-fungus-and-root stew Christy made, but then her lingering digestive problems flared up and we had to slink away into the night.

I hope she feels better soon. :(

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20 October 2002 - Sunday

I keep saying I'm going to get up early and do my shopping before Sovereign Powers, and finally I wasn't lying. Go me!

* * *

Team Justice kicks butt, by the simple expedient of bursting into the villain's apartments in the dead of night and clobbering them in their beds. When you're a sovereign power, you don't need a warrant!

* * *

Having already done my shopping, I could go eat sushi with many people. Yum! Then I watched two episodes of Tenchi in Tokyo, which was okay but not amazing. I think there is actually previous material in this continuity; possibly the boxed set of Tenchi Universe that I didn't buy?

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19 October 2002 - Saturday

I haven't done much today, but at least I've read Universalis, so I've furthered the cause of Experimental Gaming.

Unlike most of the games that claim to be "story-telling systems" Universalis is a story-telling system, unlike most games that make that claim. It is not a role-playing game in the usual sense; no one officially identifies with or even has sole ownership of any character. In effect, everyone is a GM and all characters are NPCs.

The Universalis system serves primarily to let the disparate artistic visions of the players mesh together without anyone throwing crockery or getting pushed out windows or anything. Each player gets a finite supply of tokens which he can spend to make statements about the game, or bid to challenge someone else's statements. Initially, the statements are about the genre and setting of the story, and any house rules the group wants, such as a fine for quoting Monty Python. Then people start bidding for the right to set up the first scene, and the winner starts spending tokens to put people, things, and places in the scene, and to give them traits which will hopefully be relevent later. Then other people take their turns adding story elements and having them take actions, limited by their finite token supplies and the possibility or actuality of other players objecting and starting a bidding war. Eventually the scene ends, and people can bid for the next one.

The dice come out when something in the game is declared an Obstacle to the characters in the current scene. Each side adds up all the relevent traits on the characters, props, and locations involved (some of which may count negative) and roll that many d10s. Whoever gets the most successes (roll of 1-5) wins, and gets tokens equal to the sum of their successful dice; the nonwinners get tokens equal to the dice they rolled, regardless of successes. The winner uses his tokens to narrate the results of the conflict, then the nonwinners use their tokens to add to or mitigate that narration. (Or they just keep the tokens, if they're running low.)

I haven't playtested Universalis, but it looks like it should work. Clearly, we must Experiment!

Universalis by Chrisber (Wed Oct 23 14:41:39 2002)

This really sounds like a more generalized version of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen to me. Maybe this is the system to run Nexus in!

Re: Universalis by Trip (Wed Oct 23 15:16:12 2002)

Yah, it's clearly along the same lines. I forget if the author specifically acknowledges tEAoBM in the forward or not. :)

I think it would be the right system to have run Nexans Who Matter in, anyway!

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18 October 2002 - Friday

Because I didn't have enough sugar-free parasite yummies already, Angie brought me a whole bag of butter toffee hard candies!

* * *

How long can you keep your satellite going?

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17 October 2002 - Thursday

I have successfully had my ichor drawn out for testing! There was a little complication in getting one of the other samples, but I drank a lot of water and watched several bad videos and some Kaiser hype, and then it was all okay.

Now I am home, so I can EAT!

* * *

Today's big lameness on my part: Not telling Dave and Ray that I would be skipping Whisman Station Anime in favor of fondue with strange Minnesotan fanfic writers. :(

* * *

Truth and Marith finally showed up to abuse me with sugar-free chocolate and stuffed mooses and silly writing. Aiiieeeeee!

Truth is in fact a babe. With excellent pants.

Marith and Truth do not appear to be having a torrid affair, which makes some people sad.

We showed Truth XXXenophile cards and played Fluxx and then went to meet Ayse and Chrisber and Christy at fondue.

* * *

It's sad that fondue is so expensive and so unhealthy, because it's very very yummy. Ayse ate most of an ostrich all by herself, or so it seemed, and blissed out. The geometry of the fondue table allowed Christy to talk to Truth extensively. She approves of Truth (and agrees that she's a babe).

Tud.

Mmm... by liralen (Fri Oct 18 13:56:58 2002)

Mmm... fondue...

Mmm... babes and fondue.

Strange Minnesotan Fanfic Writers by Truth (Wed Oct 23 11:25:35 2002)

I've got excellent pants! Go me! I shall store them in my office and they shall become my emergency pants, because they're obviously good for almost any occasion in which emergency pants might be needed!

Fondue was fun, and quite, quite yummy. The company was excellent and I had a wonderful time.

*distributes random glomps*

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16 October 2002 - Wednesday

Oh, and a pep rally this morning. Definitely no work for us.

* * *

Sniff! I have to stop eating by 19:30 so I will have unpolluted ichor to be tested tomorrow! Not even brains for me!

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15 October 2002 - Tuesday

Whew! I finally got mail back from the lady I submitted my story too, acknowledging that she did get it. Information like whether she hates it, how many large burly men with axe handles will come visit me for sullying her inbox, etc, will be forthcoming "within a month". Also, she says that the deadline isn't very dead, because she doesn't have enough submissions, so all you people who were going to submit and flaked, get to work!

* * *

At first, I said "Oh, man!" but then I realized that this really just means you all have to be nicer to Gretchen!

* * *

This is so not the week for work. Millbrae yesterday, vacation on Thursday, Mandatory Corporate Fun today, .... Fortunately I don't seem to have a whole lot of work that needs doing just now.

MCF was Knockaround Guys, an okay gangster flick with Vin Diesel and Seth Green. I wasn't as thrilled by it as Bryant was, but these things happen.

* * *

A grand total of 0 new tickets and 0 pieces of email regarding my existing tickets game in while I was at the movie. My conscience is clear.

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14 October 2002 - Monday

Truth seems to have arrived mostly intact, and neither she nor Marith is dead as of dinnertime tonight.

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13 October 2002 - Sunday

More anime! Tonight, Earth Maiden Arjuna (aka Earth Girl Arjuna aka Arjuna), recommended by Chris Siebenmann. It's pretty good, even though anti-nuclear ranting annoys me. :) (Not that there's much, really.) I have to say that my sympathies are pretty much all with Juna, though, not with the people harshing on her for not knowing how to use her powers. If they think she's pig-ignorant, they could try explaining something once in a while. (But perhaps this is the whole Zen enlightenment thing: you can't explain it, you can only put your shoe on your head.)

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12 October 2002 - Saturday

Amber High School today! Short session, because the GM has to leave early to get dressed for some sort of cultural event, like the opera or something. Sheesh, Europeans.

* * *

I watched the first DVD of Excel Saga tonight. Alas, the time would have been much better spent watching five new episodes of FLCL. Or, heck, five old episodes.

Although superficially of the same genre, FLCL is about at least partially comprehensible people coping with a surreal world. Excel Saga is just random wackiness strung together. Characterization? What's that? Continuity? Nope, never heard of that either.

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11 October 2002 - Friday

Yay Friday!

* * *

Woo, Evil Female Ranma! Corrupt me! Corrupt meeee!

* * *

And, for extra bonus anime, I finished watching the first DVD of His & Her Circumstances. Not a genre I usually go for it, but I like. I suspect I would like it better if I could get the subtitles for the apparently-random Japanese text that flashes on the screen to work, but I think that would require a more modern DVD player. (At least, the production notes say they stretched the DVD spec for the subtitles, so I figure that's more likely to be the problem than a bad disc.)

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10 October 2002 - Thursday

Yaaaayyyyy! It's MARITHDAY!

* * *

Hey, whaddaya know? Something finally happened in Crest of the Stars!

Whisman Station Anime is declining precipitiously in attendance, though, which is very sad. Ayse perpetually too busy, Kirby and Rebecca moved to Seattle, Neil and Stacy off honeymooning, don't know what happened to Michelle... Probably at least Neil will come back, though.

Marithday by Truth (Fri Oct 11 03:54:34 2002)

ARGH! *covers her eyes and chants* No. Nonononono!

It's 10/10/02 today. It'll be 10/10/02 tomorrow and it will REMAIN 10/10/02 until I get there.

I'm not going to miss Marith's birthday just because my stupid plane tickets and itinerary refuse to cooperate!

So there!

Re: Marithday by Trip (Fri Oct 11 08:42:06 2002)

Well, there's Marithday (actual) and Marithday (observed), so it's not that bad. Anyway, if you try to put back some of the days we lost during 1752, you have to have an iron cage death match with the Pope.

Re: Re: Marithday by Truth (Fri Oct 11 08:45:48 2002)

I suppose that I can live with Marithday (observed).

As for the Pope?

Word Processors at twenty paces and the first to bore the other to death wins a car and a free pass out of the cage.

I'm in.

Re: Re: Re: Marithday by Trip (Fri Oct 11 09:20:51 2002)

Well, I guess if nothing else the Pope is a lot older than you, so you'd probably win with those terms, but I suspect being Pope, as with being head of any large organization, involves 23 hours of a boring meetings a day.

The Pope by Truth (Fri Oct 11 10:10:41 2002)

Hmmmmm, that's a definite drawback. I'll have to come up with a terribly clever plan and get back to you, then.

See you on Marithday (observed) or thereabouts!

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9 October 2002 - Wednesday

Non-Euclidean Lego!

* * *

Beanstalks in Science News. Maybe this is the future after all.

* * *

The new Cheapass game, Freeloader, is pretty amusing. Plus, my life experience allowed me to win. Then I won Fluxx, so I quit while I was ahead and threw everyone out.

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8 October 2002 - Tuesday

Kit and Marith both approved highly of my story, so I sent it in.

* * *

AUGH! I submitted a story! For publication!

* * *

I wish the editor would write me back now.

Story submission by Marith (Wed Oct 9 10:33:12 2002)

You DID! Ahahahaha! Can't take it back now!

*does a little smug dance with Kit*

Re: Story Submission by Trip (Wed Oct 9 10:44:49 2002)

Meeeeeeeeeep!

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7 October 2002 - Monday

I am the only one of the four who expressed an intention to write by today who has actually done so (Kit is still writing, the other two have bailed entirely). I don't know if this makes me cooler, for doing what I said I would, or less cool, for spending effort and florning on something that's not actually important.

* * *

Sniff! No Tokyo Tower! Wires got crossed (dunno whose, probably mine) and Adam didn't show up, probably because he is still in whereverthehell. So I hung out with Chrisber and Christy and showed them Dragon Half so that now Christy knows why people keep asking if she's seen it and can say that she has, and admired their new bathroom furniture, and eventually went home.

I think you're cooler... by liralen (Fri Oct 18 13:52:04 2002)

... for having done what you'd said you'd do. And for being brave enough to submit it. Yay, Trip! Yay, Trip! Yay, Trip!

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6 October 2002 - Sunday

Morning: finished writing! Yay! 3300 words!

Afternoon: went to see Spirited Away with Marith, Christy, and Chrisber. It does gain something from the big screen, which I guess isn't surprising, since it was made for theater play to begin with.

More afternoon & evening: reread Ascending to prepare my brain for the new James Alan Gardner, Trapped. Or maybe just because I like Oar.

Night: watched first two episodes of FLCL (aka Fooly Cooly or Furi-Kuri or whatever else you want to make of those four consonants and a Japanese accent). This is the most deeply surreal anime I have seen in quite some time, from the factory designed like a cyclopean steam iron to the giant robots that spring forth from the main character's head. The somewhat comprehensible motivations of some of the characters only make it more bizarre. I think I like it.

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5 October 2002 - Saturday

Even more writing. But also some time to read comics and watch anime.

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4 October 2002 - Friday

More writing. Write. Write. Write. Kit isn't writing, because she can write her entire 10 000-word story between shower and lunch on Monday.

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3 October 2002 - Thursday

This is a very very bad day. :( In the morning, Angie learned that her grandmother had died, and had to make emergency plans to go home for the funeral, and generally was upset. In the afternoon, Christy learned that she didn't have a job any more, which makes being a half-home owner (really a quarter-double-home owner) awfully problematic.

No happiness. :(

* * *

I ground out 800 words tonight. Kit praised me greatly for writing. Then she went off and ACCIDENTALLY wrote 1800 words.

I'll just be here in this pit. With the bugs and worms.

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2 October 2002 - Wednesday

Hooray! It's LIRALENDAY!

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1 October 2002 - Tuesday

My hat is famous!

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