The Friday High Five
Every Friday I share 5 things I enjoyed this week. Also, high fives are inherently cool, and I think we can all agree Friday is the bestest day. Hence the Friday High Five. 🙏🏻
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It’s not because of my fetish for colonial-era garb (buckles on hats?! Ishmael—fetch a bucket that I might dunk my junk and cool this nascent burning). I don’t even really like pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is family, food, and football. What else do you really need?
Look—I love Christmas too. The lights, the music, the presents. The anticipation! For pure razzle-dazzle, Christmas is undefeated. Not even the pomp and circumstance of New Years can approach it.
If 2023 was a teenage romcom, Christmas would be the hot cheerleader and Thanksgiving would be the attractive girl who goes overlooked because she wears clunky glasses and formless sweaters.
Christmas is an entire movie genre. Thanksgiving is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
For everything Thanksgiving lacks in splendor, it makes up in simplicity. There’s no shopping. There’s no gift wrapping. There’s no real decorating. Food, family, football. That’s it. That’s everything.
By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will be over and hopefully my Detroit Lions will be 9-2(!). All the same—Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Last week’s poll was tightly-contested. I’m personally happy to see Scum and Villainy come out on top. As Jabba once said, 33% of you are “my type of scum.”
This week’s edition is a bit more seasonal.
5 Things I’m Thankful For
A slight departure from the typical High 5, for good, seasonal reasons.
I’m omitting the traditional things from this list—family, health, my roguish good looks—in order to inject some variety.
The internet has given rise to all sorts of problems that couldn't exist otherwise. But on the balance, the internet is a huge net positive. I think it's easy to overlook how miraculous it really is.
Thanks to the internet, I can publish my writing at places like Substack and Medium. My digital film library and streaming sites like Netflix means I have something great to watch wherever I go. Podcasts are great. Big fan of YouTube.
These words are being written on the internet and delivered by it. That’s pretty damn cool.
Working from home
I’ve been working from home for 4 years. I started before Covid made it fashionable, which means I wasn’t pressured to return to the office once things returned to normal.
It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.
Downside—sometimes I spend all day in my pajamas. I mean, I don’t consider it a downside. That’s a clear perk, falling somewhere between not following Duane into the bathroom after he’s had Taco Bell and not having to pack a lunch. But it turns out a lot of my personal hygiene rituals were triggered because I left the house, and in the absence of that stimulus, I’ve resorted to my base tendencies.
Working from home is freeing. But sometimes it means standing in the kitchen in 3 days-old sweatpants eating potato chips at 10 AM. No ragrats.
I picked up my first MacBook about 3 years ago. It’s the greatest laptop I’ve ever used, let alone owned. And I just bought the cheap* base model.1
I’ve always been a Windows guy. Built my own PC. Fluent in all Microsoft programs. Etc. Here’s how much I loved Windows—you remember those “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials? They were made by Apple and you are clearly supposed to side with the hipper Mac (i.e. Justin Long) over the Bill Gates-esque dweeb (John Hodgman), but I still came down on the PC side.
We needed a new laptop after ours started dying prematurely. I decided to get a MacBook for the same reason I started buying Moleskine journals—as a writer, I felt obliged to, even if I couldn’t exactly articulate why. It’s the device I do all my writing on.
All the leaves are gone
As long-time readers know, I utterly despise leaf blowers. The rapid onset of December means all our trees now stand naked. It’s ugly. However, the blowers have mercifully fallen quiet. You don't often realize how precious silence is until you're forced to deal with it's complete absence.
This is only a brief respite. My neighbor uses his leaf blower to clear the driveway of snow flurries for reasons I don’t understand. But I’m enjoying the silence while it lasts.
Everyone reading this
It still blows my mind that there’s a captive audience for my writing, to the point that people willingly provide their email address so they don’t miss anything.
I started my first newsletter 10 years ago—at that time, for readers of my fiction—so the concept isn’t exactly new. But when I stop and think about it, the whole idea is rather humbling.
At the risk of descending fully into sentimentality: Of everything I listed above, this is the thing I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
In the Apple ecosystem, cheap is an oxymoron.
That’s an affiliate link. Consider it an experiment. I don’t intend on pimping stuff unless I genuinely love it.