Halloween may be my favourite holiday. Not to the extent that Dinosaur Dracula and The Sexy Armpit love it, but it’s definitely the annual occasion that plays to the most of my interests. You’ve got candy, you’ve got monsters, you’ve got pumpkins. All the best things that modern life has to offer. Also, it takes place in autumn, the best season of all.

And yet, I feel like in 2016, I’ve really pooped the bed in regards to celebrating Halloween properly. The fact that my house remains undecorated is more of a by-product of me not knowing if I’d still be living there come October 31st, but I could certainly be dabbling in other ways of showing my appreciation for the best season of all. That said, it’s time for a play-by-play of all the Halloweeny things I’ve done so far.


  • I’ve eaten more Oreos over the last six weeks than throughout the rest of the year, and while most of them were Pumpkin Spice flavoured, which is only mildly Halloweeny, there was a pack of actual Halloween Oreos in there. You know, the ones that are just plain Oreos, but with the amazing neon orange filling? Pretty great.
  • I bought a pack of Pillsbury ready-to-bake Pumpkin Spice cookies. While they were maybe not quite appropriate for the holiday, they were the amazing.
  • There are two packs of Pillsbury ready-to-bake sugar cookies in my fridge, and they are in the spirit of the season. One has pumpkins, and the other black cats. I intend to make them next weekend.
  • I bought a box of Coffin Crisp to keep at my desk at work, but that’s been it for Halloween-themed candy. It seems like interesting ‘Ween editions of established candy is getting harder an harder to find. At least here in stupid Canada, where fun junk food is illegal.
  • While at a craft show, I purchased a pack of skull-shaped cookies. They were frosted in an assortment of neon colours, and they were delicious. Not really $1-per cookie delicious, but as a one-time thing, not a bad buy.
  • There is a box of Spookylicious Pop-Tarts in my cupboard that I have yet to break into. I am under the impression that they are regular chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts, but with orange frosting and fun bat-shaped sprinkles.
  • My mom bought me a single box of Franken Berry, which I appreciated greatly. But during all of my travels, I haven’t been able to find another box, or any of the other monster cereals. What awful luck I have.


  • I have played exactly one good horror-themed video game so far this season, and that is Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location. And really, if you’re only going to play one scary game, it’s… decent enough. Like, I think it’s a great game, but there are many more substantial options.
  • I also played one terrible scary game, and it’s called Haunted Hotel. It was garbage.
  • There’s still time to pop in a couple quick horror games, though. I do intend to make a run at the first Silent Hill, as I can reliably finish it in a single sitting. Really, I should have put Paper Mario: Color Splash on the back-burner this month and focused on one of the many horror-themed Steam games I’ve not played.
  • The Shallows and Black Mirror: White Christmas are dramas that lie somewhere on the ‘frightening’ scale, but don’t really fit the spirit of Halloween. But I don’t think I’d feel quite right watching the latter as a Christmas movie either.
  • Emelie and The Invitation are a little closer to the right kind of spooky, as they don’t take place on a beach or during Christmastime, but they still aren’t overly Halloweeny. Definitely a disturbing pair of films, however.
  • I did watch Creepshow and Creepshow 2 back in late September, which are A+ as far as Halloween spirit goes, but honestly, I wasn’t crazy about them. A couple of the stories were really good, but others bored me to tears. I’d recommend looking up “Something to Tide You Over” and “Old Chief Wood’nhead” independently, rather than watching the entirety of both anthologies.
  • The VVitch was really great! So good that I wrote a number of words about it!
  • I really, really watch to watch The Babadook, but just the Google image results have been giving me nightmares for weeks. I don’t think I can hack it.
  • Other movies on the docket, that I probably won’t find time to watch: Hausu, Alien, Burying the Ex, Zombeavers, etc, etc…


  • I suppose it falls under media, but I choose to note that I’ve been following the Purple Stuff Podcast in this section because it’s a little empty otherwise. Anyway, Matt and Jay have put out a couple Halloween-themed episodes this year, but not nearly as many as they did in 2015. Maybe I’ll just have to listen to those old ones again.
  • My house is so sparsely decorated this year. It’s sad. There’s a weird aluminum pumpkin by the door, and a lights-and-sounds door knocker… on the wall downstairs. That’s it. By the time I knew I’d still be living in the house for Halloween, I had already given up on decorating.
  • I do have a candy corn-scented candle that has been out and lit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a very strong scent, so it’s more about mood lighting than anything else.
  • My search for better Halloween candles has come up empty-handed. Of course, I haven’t been looking especially hard, but you would think that this kind of thing would just be jumping off the shelves at you during this time of year.
  • I don’t have a costume or plan for Halloween night. I’ll probably spend it the same way I do every other Monday night: at my parents’ house, watching The Bachelorette Canada. Which, you know, is totally fine by me.
  • I haven’t even been to the Spirit store this year. I am the worst Halloween fan ever.
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Metal Gear Mario

In the year 2016, a Mario game features an unmistakable homage to Metal Gear Solid.

I love it.

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Other things that happen

I’m fairly well-known as the kind of person who doesn’t like to do things that require effort and/or pants. But last weekend, I did a whole lot of things! New(ish) things! Including but not limited to:

  • Talked to the greeter and took the time to craft my own burger at McDonald’s
  • Ate at McDonald’s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (I’m not proud of this one)
  • Went on a late-night Pokémon Go expedition to the zoo
  • Met and played with a new puppy
  • Checked out an annual craft show for the first time
  • Bought expensive artisanal mustards
  • Was disappointed that I didn’t find a candle that I liked
  • Performed an “Irish Goodbye”
  • Helped my grandparents move into an apartment
  • Went through a regular checkout lane instead of the express checkout at Safeway because I wanted a specific cashier

What an exciting life I lead!

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A stray observation

You know how in some shows, a character will ramble to themselves very specifically about whatever situation they’re in, as a way to tell the audience about what’s going on? I think it’s a pretty common thing, at least in family-friendly cartoons, but I’ve never really thought about it before so I can’t say for sure how prevalent it is.

Lately though, I am finding that it drives me completely bonkers. The “Exposition Monologue” trope, where a character explains their situation to nobody but themselves (and the audience), is a terrible way to shoehorn in some information. It’s very annoying, and really takes me out of whatever I’m watching. Like, I get that you don’t have the time or money to always show everything, but at least throw a second character in there. It’s still obvious, but at least the exposition doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb when one character is explaining the thing to someone else.

Anyway, this little quibble comes up thanks to a notably bad episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), where the first few minutes are made up of an incredibly annoying character that just keeps chattering to herself. This could have been taken care of in the cold open teaser, but no. And this episode is sandwiched in the middle of the otherwise stellar Season 3, which makes it seem even worse. Oh well. They can’t all be winners.

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TE Movie Time: The Shallows

It’s October! Time for scary movies! Right? While it isn’t exactly the Halloweeniest movie out there, I decided to skip school last night to watch The Shallows. Totes worth it!

The film is about a young lady who goes surfing at a secluded beach somewhere in the depths of Mexico. Or, I suppose, on the fringe of Mexico. Whatever. It’s out of the way, and a secret to everybody who isn’t a local. If you know nothing else about this movie yet, I recommend that you stop reading here and go watch it. The less you know going in, the better.

If you aren’t interested in actually watching it, yeah, might as well keep reading.

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Watch your follow-through

‘Member last week when I said that I transferred an old article from the Angelfire TE to WordPress TE? ‘Member how I made you guess what it was? If you didn’t care enough to figure it out, here is the answer:

TMNT2: Battle Nexus (GBA)

This is important, because something related is just around the corner. You may want to read up now, to make sure that you’re ready.

Also I got wrapped up in the moment and transferred a couple more “gems” over to the current site. I won’t mess around with you this time. Here are the links:

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

The Three-Foot Six-Pak (Part One)

If you haven’t read these before, one is kinda like mehhh, and the other one is a beloved TE classic. Try to guess which is which!

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Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up – September 2016

Birthday month! Also, month of all the games. My 3DS was already in constant use since July thanks to Monster Hunter, but now it’s just flooded with huge, awesome games that tickle all of my fancies.

~ Game Over ~

KickBeat (PS3) – A game about punching endless waves of goons to the rhythm of angry nu-rock. Surprisingly, I really liked it!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA) – I’m going through a TMNT thing right now, okay? Replayed this for the first time since like 2004, and I am convinced that the Shredder fight is literally impossible without cheating.

Jotun: Valhalla Edition (WiiU) – Wherein you play as a Viking warrior who must earn her place in Valhalla after suffering an inglorious death. This is done by finding and slaying a number of elemental giants. It’s a really great game!

NEO-NOW! (PC) – A pretty boring Early Access game. Maybe it’ll get better in time? I don’t really care and am just calling it a wash. To the “Done Forever” pile with you!

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You Should VVatch The VVitch

I watched The Witch on Netflix the other night, which was not the first spooky movie that I’ve watched this fall, but easily the best so far.

Before we move on any farther, I’d like to note that the title is stylized as “The VVitch” in most promotional materials. As a result, I always pronounce it “The Va-Vitch” when I say it out loud, and find it hilarious every time. Honestly I decided to write this entire post just to share that tidbit.

An unusually good modern horror movie, The Witch is not scary, but it is horrifying. There is a scene near the beginning wherein a baby is stolen and… you know what? Let’s not spoil it. The point here is that the scene was gruesome (though mostly off-camera) and truly shocking and I couldn’t do anything but stare, unblinking and slack-jawed, for the five minutes or so that it was happening.

Once that is over, things even out for a while. The story takes place in, oh, I think probably the Days of Yore? It’s about a religious family that abandons their church because of the father’s pride, and attempts to run their own little secluded farm to get by. Things go horribly askew and the farm produces only garbage crops. The children are all getting into assorted kinds of trouble, and also there’s the baby-napping. These are not good times.

Our main character is the eldest daughter, Thomasin, who is a budding young lady and happened to be watching the baby when it was yoinked. This creates oodles of tension between her and her mother, and things just keep escalating as she gets blamed for more and more unfortunate events. Right up until the end where it all comes to a head (literally).

The other characters are as follows: The aforementioned parents, who are struggling to make it in the big city middle of nowhere. The tween brother that is constantly salivating over Thomasin’s rack. A set of super annoying twins who may or may not have made a pact with Satan. A black goat named Phillip. A rabbit that shows up mysteriously here and there. With this hodgepodge cast, obviously things are going to go amiss.

I don’t really want to say much more about The Witch, because you should definitely go and watch it yourself. It’s a coming-of-age story that really doesn’t have very much in common at all with any other coming-of-age stories that I am aware of. Also it’s not that kind of horror movie. The titular Witch is real, but she never ever once jump-scares you. It’s much more frightening in the sense of seeing the events unfolding around this family and how awful life must have been back on those days. Especially for women. Sure, the supernatural elements might not exactly hit, but there’s plenty of other unsettling stuff in there that folks could easily relate to.

If there’s one gaping flaw with the film, it’s that it is so very incredibly hard to make out what anyone was saying. The dialects and accents are so thick that I had to turn on subtitles ten minutes in because I simply could not make heads or tails of the dialogue.

On the whole, though? Super good movie. It was not at all what I was expecting when I turned it on, and I’m so glad that I watched it. I’ll likely be telling people about this one for the duration of the 2016 Halloween season. Maybe even longer.

Here’s one little spoiley, because I need to type out this sentence: Someone literally gets ground into paste. But I won’t say who. *wink*

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What is filler? We just don’t know.

Hey so September’s been a pretty quiet month vis-a-vis blogging.

Here’s an update: I moved over an old article from the Angelfire site. Which one? Stay tuned, as you’ll find out in three days!

Will I do any others? Ehh, maybe. I’d like to clean up the stragglers, but I don’t see myself being so motivated as to actually follow through.

(This is very much a 2003-style post.)

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