1. What I’m about to write may very well turn you off from reading this site for the rest of your internet-using life, but it’s the honest-to-goodness truth: I have never been a fan of Halloween. I love fall foliage, I love the baseball playoffs, I love wearing warm sweaters, I love that it’s finally decorative gourd season, I really love candy, and I am hopeful that I will finally find a halfway decent gluten-free pumpkin pie this year. But Halloween has never been my bag.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that the older kids in my suburban neighborhood really got into the pre-Halloween vandalism routine, and even as a little kid it kinda pissed me off to find eggs and toilet paper all over the trees, driveways and mailboxes of my street. Halloween is “scary”, sure, but this felt legitimately dangerous and personal. This eventually put me off trick-or-treating altogether, and the honest truth is that I was happier handing candy out than I was going out and begging for it.
The second is that I was terrible at costumes. Had no brain for it, no passion for it, and while my mom tried her darnedest, I never quite got the hang of it.
All this being said, I am determined to prevent my curmudgeonly attitude from rubbing off on my kid. If he wants to enjoy Halloween, I will put my big-boy pants on and make sure he has as much fun as he can.
2. I got impatient and decided to buy the digital download version of Shadow of Mordor yesterday afternoon, but it had only downloaded about 68% of itself when I finally got a chance to turn on my PS4. This ultimately meant that I could only play the first 10 minutes – the early tutorial, right up to the delayed title screen – before the game kicked me back to the main menu. Obviously I can’t offer much in the way of impressions, though I will echo Carolyn Petit’s annoyed and astute observation that, yet again, a woman has to die so that the (male) hero has something to do. Someone else on twitter also pointed out (and I’m sorry I can’t remember who) that it’s only the wife whose death is shown on screen – the camera moves away from the necks of the son and the father.
3. So I ended up going back to Destiny, where I puttered around for an hour or two; ran some patrols, cashed in quite a few bounties, and finally started 2 exotic weapon quests. (One quest requires me to visit the weekend merchant; as I’m away this weekend, that’ll have to be postponed for another week.) As it’d been a while since my last visit, I wasn’t consumed with any particular feeling towards it (beyond impatience at SoM’s slow download progress – and I’m sure that being online in Destiny held up the works considerably, too), and so I was able to turn off my brain for a bit and just shoot things to death. Destiny is a much better experience when you have no expectations and don’t care that nothing makes any narrative, logical sense. Indeed, this is why it can be pleasurable to zone out to Diablo 3, too; you relax and elect to simply concentrate on your mechanics and technique and before you know it a few hours have gone by. The bummer of it all is that even after the few hours I sunk in, I still didn’t pick up any gear with keeping, which is why it can be hard to not feel like I’m literally killing time.
4. Speaking of mindless grinding and killing time, it’s been 3 days and I am fully addicted to Clicker Heroes, this year’s edition of Cookie Clicker. I urge you to be careful of clicking that link. If you have already clicked that link and are in the throes of paralysis as I am, well: I’ve gotten to level 100 and ascended, and now I’m already up to level 50 on my second run, and the whole goddamned thing is absurd and I don’t understand why it’s so compelling and I need to switch my tab over to make sure I’m properly leveled up please god help