Sunday Morning Stuff 12/05

Summer is coming, probably, but for now we’ve been seeing more rain than sun. Perfect excuse to stay indoors and read a bunch. And listen to music. And play games. And watch films. And run.

But on a treadmill, of course.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the week gone and ask, what have I been…

reading?

I intend to post about one of the Great American Novels in the coming week, aka the most famous book I’ve never read, aka The Great Gatsby, but I’ll save my thoughts until then.

Sword of Destiny, the second of the two short story collections in the Witcher series, (which I talk about here) has motivated me to move quickly onto the first novel – Blood of Elves.

I always intended to begin trawling through the Game of Thrones series once the TV adaptation ended (arguably the “adaptation” ended a while ago) and with that end in sight, there is a lot of fantasy reading on my horizon.

listening to?

Last week I explored curious old music, which was new music to me, whereas this week I’ve been treated to a lot of new music which is new to everyone, with a nice selection of my favourite contemporary artists putting out some straight up bangers.  

Alex Cameron is back, and it is beautiful and oh my god he is singing about eating ass. His recent live album brought me right back down into his atmosphere, and I’m slick as a baby seal in anticipation of a new LP.

Denzel Curry just keeps doing it and on Ricky he is at his aggressive best, delivering huge energy over a similarly huge beat. Despite all this hugeness Curry leaves the typical braggadocio at the door and focuses on family values, on the advice that he received from his parents growing up. It’s a straight up gut punch sure, but Curry brings some interesting lyrical content to sweeten the pot.

There is plenty more too. Carly Rae Jepsen has a new album around the corner, and her latest release is straightforward catchy pop magic. I have also been loving new stuff from IDLES, Com Truise, Alex, Timecop 1983, and Hello Meteor. So click away on those names for a few tasty musical presents, from me to you.

watching?

Episode 3 of GoT split the audience and I was on the side of positivity. I felt like a shining ray of sunlight on a cloudy day. I thought some fans were being harsh, even a little entitled. I trusted the decisions made in that episode, as risky and divisive as they were, and thought that they would pay off in the remaining three episodes. Episode 4 made me doubt myself. Suddenly I found myself looking back on the first half of this season with different eyes. I like it when things end. I prefer the British tradition of ending shows two or three seasons in, a manageable story ended at the right time, with interest peaked. In America it seems shows more regularly play on and on and on until interest and creativity peters out around the double figures – and then it plays on some more. Despite that, I think Game of Thrones needed more time. I hope come Monday evening I’ll feel differently.

Me looking at John Wick 3.

I also re-watched John Wick Chapter 2 again and with Parabellum out next week I, once again, am slick as a baby seal in anticipation.

playing?

Ah. So, ah.

Fallout 4.

I have more bad than good things to say about this game, but here I am, another play through began. Every now and again I feel a calling to Bethesda games, and I have returned to Skyrim, New Vegas, and Fallout 3 since I last had Fallout 4 installed, so I suppose it makes sense. It is the most fun, mechanically speaking, and with a few console mods the combat becomes a particularly addictive, violent game of purposeful dismemberment. Is it wrong to enjoy blowing the arms off a raider and watching them flap around? Probably. But it’s the post-apocalypse! All those radioactive TV sets don’t actually tune to anything.

It’s a shame that it’s difficult to get as many varied role-playing experiences from the game when compared to previous efforts. It feels like my stat selections mostly result in variations in the combat experience rather than in variety in terms of decision making and problem solving, which is what 3 and New Vegas did so well. Also the dialogue system sucks. But everyone knows that. And I’ve put so many hours, so many, oh god so many, into this game that something must be good about it right?

And at least it’s better than 76? HAHAHAHAha haha ha h a.

I never actually played 76, and I don’t think I will. I do believe that individuals should make individual judgements on individual products, but if there’s ever a game I felt like I have seen enough of without ever having a direct experience with, it’s Fallout 76.

I’m happy enough to revisit the Commonwealth until later in the year when I can get my hands-on Obsidian’s Outer Worlds.

Until then, or next week I guess, that’ll be that. I have been training, maintaining, but unlike last week I don’t have anything particularly interesting that I can screengrab and humble brag about, so I’ll leave the running talk out.

I’m off to listen Alex Cameron eat something like an oyster for the 1,768th time since Miami Memory was released.

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