Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 December 2017 - Sunday

As has become traditional, I went to Ayse and Ken's, and we had fondue with Earl and Cat. This year we had no Marith, because it's hard to get both holidays off when you work retail. (It was probably hard enough to get just Christmas off.) So I really can't complain about just being a fifth wheel for an evening, at least no customers were involved!

Earl's fondue was, as always, superb. I probably gained about five pounds.

2018 better suck less, or I'm going to demand a refund.

I have officially failed at NaNoWriMo extension. I am still writing, but at this point I should probably just switch to a daily quota.

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30 December 2017 - Saturday

Well, now my apartment is cleaner, but I'm not any more productive.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.4: Oh no, kissing!
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 8: Now Marith is caught up, so we can resume when Dave gets back.
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 4-5: Dating sims! Mixers! Editors! Bento!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 6-7: Kiku finds his motivation! Which is apparently the opposite of finding love.

NaNoWriMo extension: 42962/50000.

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29 December 2017 - Friday

Apparently being useful two days in a row is my limit.

I read some new manga that fell into my bag when I went shopping the other day, because I don't have to move to do that.

  • Gabriel Dropout (Ukami): Unexceptional high-school otaku shenanigans, doesn't make use of the supernatural angle.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What? (Asahiro Kakashi, Okina Baba, Tsukasa Kiryu): Teenager sucked into an inexplicably videogame-like world where she must negotiate the levelling and skill system, but she's incarnated as a spider monster. Cute, but not for arachnophobes.
  • Spirit Circle (Satoshi Mizukami): Definitely the best of the three, middle-schoolers inheriting grudges (and spirit minions?) from multiple past lives, where they each seem to have been in the wrong sometimes.

Also read today:

Redeemer (by everybody's favorite Kit, CE Murphy) is Rosie the Riveter × Buffy the Vampire Slayer × Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. Weirdly, it also has a person I know as a secondary character, which hurts my brain, but whatever. People who don't know that person will probably like the character, but I had too much cognitive dissonance. That aside, it is pretty good 1940s and awesome female characters and butt-kicking. Everone should read it!

NaNoWriMo extension 42961/50000. It is not awesome.

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28 December 2017 - Thursday

I didn't get up quite as early as I meant to, but made it to Mike's gaming day no later than many. There were enough people that there were two, sometimes three, games running in parallel, but the ones I played were Tales of the Arabian Nights (a new edition since I played it like 20 years ago; Erin beat me but only because she had more statuses), Betrayal at House on the Hill (I survived and the traitor didn't, so I guess I won?), and then some Tsuro of the Seas (supports up to 8 players, no deep strategy, maybe I should get it for Ayse and Ken's family to play with Jus).

Eventually I was bloated with gaming munchies and it was getting dark and cold out, so I crept back to the train, but people were still gaming when I left.

NaNoWriMo extension 42069/50000.

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27 December 2017 - Wednesday

Today I managed to get up and go to breakfast, do laundry, and even shop for New Year's presents!

I also upgraded to Scrivener 3, which incidentally counts words in a different manner that robs me of 200 words!

NaNoWriMo extension 41713/50000.

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26 December 2017 - Tuesday

Today, I was useless again.

In Arcadia (Andrea K Höst) is the second epilogue to the "Touchstone" series (Stray, Lab Rat One, Caszandra ), and is mostly just goopy mush. But there is some of what happens after the protagonist makes it back to an unsuspecting Earth. Also, hot psionic space ninjas.

NaNoWriMo extension 41007/50000.

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25 December 2017 - Monday

Ayse and Ken and Jus and Nonny were kind enough to have me over to Christmas dinner along with Marith and Cat and Earl. There was ham and brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and leeks and happiness, and then after the kids went to bed we watched some Nirvana in Fire (still without Dave, but we were equal to the task).

  • Nirvana in Fire 28-29: Uh-oh, Prince Yu is Suspicious!

NaNoWriMo extension 40443/50000.

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24 December 2017 - Sunday

Today, I did nothing of any use whatsoever, not even emergency Christmas shopping. (I meant to, but then it was cold outside, and getting dark, and the stores would suck anyway.)

NaNoWriMo extension 40278/50000.

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23 December 2017 - Saturday

Even though Dave is not here, we had anime! And because Jus was so good at washing dishes, we had Sailor Moon even though she was very sleepy.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.3: Mysterious academy! Witches Ever-Decrementing! Male pronouns for Haruka!
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 3: Shenanigans with the president and star of the drama club!
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 5: In which the main character finds out that he is good at bawdy stories and crossdressing, neither of which befits his dignity.

NaNoWriMo extension 39481/50000. That's pretty much FAIL.

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22 December 2017 - Friday

I didn't like Stiletto (Daniel O'Malley) as much as The Rook, because the main characters were not quite as engaging, but it was still good. Plus, the [SPOILER] reminds me of Twig, which is not a bad thing.

NaNoWriMo extension 39478/50000.

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21 December 2017 - Thursday

Hurray, Avalon is not dead, and finally had time to see me among all the work and recuperating and other work!

NaNoWriMo extension 39000/50000. A nice round number, only a few thousand behind where it should be. Maybe dying in a pit would be better.

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20 December 2017 - Wednesday

For probably the last time this year, 13th Age and Thai food! Apparently this is the part of the adventure where we fight monsters that hit on a 5 or better, and do enough damage to outright kill most of the party in one shot. I don't know about this game...<

I read The Rook (Daniel O'Malley) on Ayse's recommendation, and it is pretty good! It's somewhere between "The Laundry" and supers, and seems quite British but more on the eccentric-tradition side than the Laundry's bureaucracy humor. It actually reminds me more of Simon R Green's "Shaman Bond" series in the way people randomly have supernatural abilities, although it's not nearly as over the top. It is also quite funny in places, when it is not being alarming.

NaNoWriMo extension: FAIL.

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19 December 2017 - Tuesday

The office passed inspection, so all our rewiring work yesterday must have paid off.

In Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E Spoor addresses the important question, can a mahou shoujo team be run ethically? It is very mahou shoujo: talking animal companion, why teenage girls, transformation sequences, dashing mysterious man, whence world-threatening monsters, elemental affinities, how no one remembers the ancient evil rising or being defeated before, catchphrases, opposing elemental team, etc. Bonus points for diversity in race and wealth. The twist is that the first person the talking animal selects to save the world is a geeky, financially-struggling, gamer... grown man. As the author admits, this is potentially extremely bad, but I think it was done reasonably non-badly. It's not the focus of the book in any case. Anyway, PHA is not artfully written, but I liked it pretty well.

NaNoWriMo 38412/50000, which is better than yesterday, but still not anywhere near caught up. I think this all started going off the rails when I couldn't come up with a good reason for the PCs to not turn everything over to the grownups and go hide under the covers forever. I have a bad reason, but it's just getting them into more trouble without making abdicating responsibility seem less appealing. Maybe I need to invoke more deus ex machina, because it's supers?

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18 December 2017 - Monday

Today the Appropriate Authorities finally noticed that our office is powered entirely by daisy-chained power strips that are probably one thunderstorm away from exploding in flames and issued an Edict. Fortunately we are a small company, and our office manager just went to Fry's to get more appropriate power strips that we installed by the end of the day.

NaNoWriMo 37694/50000. Ugh. I need a plan. But I have no plan, only dumbness.

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17 December 2017 - Sunday

No gaming, only gingerbread! I was not that amazing, but I stayed until the last train that wouldn't involve exceeding the bounds of scheduled hospitality, and even talked to Susan about a writing a little. (She is an actual writer, not like me.)

NaNoWriMo extension 37025/50000, which is only two days behind. But still not going anywhere.

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16 December 2017 - Saturday

As usual, I meant to get up early so I could go shopping right after the cleaners finished, but failed miserably. This week's excuse is that I was out playing board games until like 23 o'clock.

  • Sailor Moon Crystal 3.1-2: Jus is now watching this with us, at least until it becomes too scary. So far it is not, although there are very ominous shots of the Outers.
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 2: The "basing characters on people Nozaki-kun knows" episode!
  • My Hero Academia 1.1-2: We have just gotten to the part where All Might acknowledges the main character's potential. Ken hates this show, for reasons that I do not grasp, but maybe he will change his mind when they get to the superpowered tactics bits. Or not!
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 8: The Priestess may be awesome, but it's not clear she's a great parent.

NaNoWriMo extension 36281/50000, which is not quite FAIL. Technically.

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15 December 2017 - Friday

Instead of laundry and writing, I went to Monkeycat Mountain to play board games. Mike and Brooks from Wednesday night gaming were there, and Mike's daughter Erin who is on break from college, and some games were played. I tied with Erin at Dominion, and then she crushed us at Roll for the Galaxy. Some other people also played Tzolk'in, and Mike crushed them. Also there was pizza and Indian food.

NaNoWriMo extension: FAIL.

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14 December 2017 - Thursday

NaNoWriMo extension 36159/50000. But the plot is not advancing, because I don't know where it should go, because I am dumb.

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13 December 2017 - Wednesday

13th Age, featuring chili and cornbread cooked on-site by Brooks!

The PCs managed to get to the flying island of storm giant philosophers, talk to them about the doom that is coming, and get access to their library. Then the murders orc assault began, requiring the PCs to discard all of their reasonable plans and start trying to steal the Stone Thief's other eye.

At this point, Nonny exploded, so we had to cut gaming short.

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12 December 2017 - Tuesday

From today's Internet:

NaNoWriMo extension 35281/50000. I am technically caught up through tomorrow (when I won't have any writing time), but only by having too much detail again.

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11 December 2017 - Monday

After a long break, I have finally finished chapter 16 of Twig (Wildbow). Oh the doom. And dismemberment. And romantic tension. And Helen, who is some combination of all three. (Helen is the best.)

I finally have spent the mountain of stamina I got from blowing all my diamonds on the star event in Love Nikki!

NaNoWriMo extension 34127/50000. Better than yesterday, I think.

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10 December 2017 - Sunday

The published version of PbtA, so that's all good, but it doesn't have quite the tightness and evocativeness of the best PbtA games. So, you know, only better than I could do myself, not inexpressibly better.

I spent most of the day futzing around on the computer and intermittently writing, making it up to 33186/50000, but I think today's words were even more terrible than usual. Specifically, too much unnecessary detail, probably due to being unfocused and also a terrible writer (and generally stupid).

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9 December 2017 - Saturday

Ken and Ayse and Jus went to Ken's work holiday party, so there was no actual anime tonight. Instead we watched Whisper of the Heart, which I have seen, and Dave thinks he has probably seen but didn't remember and Marith had not seen. It was as low-key as I remembered. Bonus points for the middle-class Tokyo family not living in a veritable mansion.

Persepolis Rising (James SA Corey) picks up the story of "The Expanse" some decades after the last book, when the new regime has stabilized and most of the main characters are getting on toward retirement age. Suddenly, a new problem arises! It was probably inevitable, given the situation they were left in, but it is a doozy, and will be the focus of at least one more book, if not the end of humanity (one way or another).

NaNoWriMo extension 31580/50000.

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8 December 2017 - Friday

I'm sure I meant to do something useful today, but without success.

NaNoWriMo extension 31538/50000.

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7 December 2017 - Thursday

Avalon is stuck in bed, which is bad for working, but good for napping.

NaNoWriMo extension 30355/50000. I am still just barely on track to finish by the end of the month. Well, to reach 50000. No idea if that will bring an end to this horrible novel.

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6 December 2017 - Wednesday

Avalon has had surgery on her leg and is not dead even a little bit, although she is not very happy right now.

This week, everyone is healthy and present, so we played a little 13th Age. Only a little, because we can't start until well into the evening after Jus has been put down, and because we apparently cannot focus worth beans (or sessions are so short that the time it takes us to focus leaves almost nothing for playing). Also, it's still D&D.

Maybe I'm just disgruntled because I ate too much Italian foods.

NaNoWriMo extension 29770/50000.

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5 December 2017 - Tuesday

Avalon's accident was martial-arts-related (and now I know why the dojo I went to only taught those techniques on "silly kicks night"!), but apparently bad enough that she needs surgery. That is not okay! Avalon, take better care of your bones!

NaNoWriMo extension 29707/50000. No one has a good plan. Everyone is doomed, including the author.

Meep! by marithlizard (Thu Dec 7 05:38:31 2017)

Poor Avalon! I hope her leg heals fast and she has the good pain drugs!

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4 December 2017 - Monday

I have know Rachel for many years, so I understand that broken bones are just a thing that happens in martial arts, and I will not get too worried about reports that Avalon has broken her leg.

The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune (JY Yang) are advertised as being independent, and they probably could be read in either order, but interally they are in that order. They seem like Asian fantasy (pugilists, mountain monastaries, kirin and naga) with magic that is almost sufficiently advanced, but also famliar physical laws and an oddly unEarthly world. Also, all children are of undeclared gender (with medical support) until they explicitly decide to be a girl or boy. Political machinations and strange magic ensue.

There are supposed to be two more pieces coming out next year, which I hope means early in the year and not endless months from now.

NaNoWriMo extension 28877/50000. This is the point where I need a good reason for my characters to not turn the matter over to someone qualified to handle it. And then the characters need a good plan to avoid that happening anyway. Because grownups.

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3 December 2017 - Sunday

Not Your Villain (CB Lee), the sequel to Not Your Sidekick, is okay on representation, but the writing style seems to embody "tell, don't show". Also, we already know what to do about storms and solar panels, so worldbuilding/research failure. Meh.

NaNoWriMo extension 27903/50000.

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2 December 2017 - Saturday

I meant to get up and ready before the cleaners came, but that trick never rarely works. So I was super-useless.

  • My Little Pony 25-26: End of the season! I'm not sure even Jus is enjoying this that much, so I don't know if we will go on to watch the second season.
  • Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun 1: This is our new show to watch while Ayse & Ken put Jus to bed. It is pretty funny, and also kind of adorable. I'm surprised the main character hasn't thought to rehearse her confession, but that would just ruin things.
  • Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 4: Why is being a responsible and functional member of society so much work?
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions 6-7: Aww, Rikka has a tragic backstory. I can sort of guess how the rest of the season will go, but it will probably continue to be adorable. Also I kind of ship Nibutani and Dekomori.

MLP by marithlizard (Mon Dec 4 18:24:27 2017)

What would we watch instead in that slot though, to keep Jus included? Back to Sailor Moon? Convince her parents that the first part of Avatar:TLA might be okay? Investigate that Adventure Time thing people talk about?

(I'm not particularly thrilled with MLP, but don't mind it either at this point, and I think Jus enjoys being the resident expert who knows all the spoilers. Plus people keep saying it improves in later seasons.)

Re: MLP by Trip (Mon Dec 4 19:10:27 2017)

I don't know, do I look like a parent?!

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1 December 2017 - Friday

The NaNoWriMo progress tracker only works until the end of November, so I have to use the Scrivener wordcount which is a little higher (I'm guessing hyphenated words, but I don't actually know), at 27215/50000. I guess at this rate I might be done before the end of the month, perhaps. Dying in a pit still seems like a better gift to the world of literature, though.

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