Diphenhydramine lingers in my system from the cold medicine I took last night. As a result, I'm sluggish on this cool October day, like a reptile waiting for the sun to stir. This is the slowest my mind has moved in the last four weeks. From descending on Japan for a frenetic seven days and experiencing as much as possible of its beautiful and alien culture, including my photoshoot with a porn star, to an intense 22 hours spent driving and standing to see Pearl Jam in concert, this has been a busy month. Sandwiched between those notable bookends, I won a local tournament in one of my many hobbies and I have been cramming as many horror movies into my nights as possible. These have ranged from a 1940s classic (The Uninvited) to the ultra-campiness of 1988's Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Before taking medicine last night, I watched Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching and Bitching on Netflix), which turned out to be an excellent horror comedy from Spain. Wedged into my lunches at work or between games of Candyland or Legos with my daughter, I've read another C.J. Cherryh book (Downbelow Station, her 1982 Hugo award winner).  Whew! Things have been busy!

I have taken time to write a little bit related to these events, and those two writeups finally pushed me over some notable E2 milestones. I finally joined the ranks of the C Noder club, cracking 100 writeups. This took a long time to accomplish for someone who has been here for over 13 years, but a couple of asamoths and multiyear breaks tend to have that effect. I also pushed above the 10,000 XP ceiling. Since the system changed to no longer grant XP for voting, I've always considered the 10,000 XP mark to be a really notable achievement. I think when I returned around 2010 or 2011 my XP hovered around 3000 or 4000. None of these numbers mean anything to anyone else, of course, but as someone working against a significant computer-usage issue, they mean something to me.

Here in the Valley the trees have quietly exploded in color. The mornings are cool and the evenings are perfect. I have mown the yard for what I hope to be the last time this year, wrapped the faucets, and look forward to time with my wife's family.

I will of course not be participating in Iron Noder, for obvious reasons, but I look forward to reading the many submissions entered by you all. Good luck, but don't forget to submit a couple more horrorquest writeups in the next week. I've got a pocket full of Chings I'm just dying to use on good horrorquest entries.

-- corvus

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