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The Friday High Five
On Jungle Fever, Jedi, and Jim Halpert: Master Spy
Every Friday I share 5 things that brought me joy 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. 🙏🏻
This week’s unrequited high five comes from How I Met Your Mother. I never actually finished HIMYM; we fizzled out somewhere in the middle, right around the time Barney and Robin get together. Not sure exactly why we stopped watching but since my kids aren't listening, let's blame them.
In truth, we'd aged out of the post-college friend-group hijinks demographic. We were pushing 30 and had two kids, and while HIMYM remained funny, it no longer hit me where I lived. No great tragedy—that’s the TV circle of life, which eventually ends with me watching Matlock reruns in my easy chair. A few years earlier, I’d stopped watching the Real World on MTV because it got stupidly sophomoric. Or maybe it always was and I’d only just started noticing.
Anyway, have a great weekend! High five!
5 Things I Enjoyed This Week:
My Local Library
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Some time back, I polled newsletter readers to see which project I should undertake after Point Break. Which, in retrospect, seems kind of like a joke because I’m not sure there is an after Point Break. The project is starting to feel like something that will outlive me. I should just rename it ‘It Which Must Not Be Named’ because it won’t freaking die. Every time I think I have it corralled, I think of some fun new thread to explore.
Coincidentally, I’m now writing a Point Break book.
I decided to watch Predator this week, thinking I could at least start the rewatching/note-taking/researching process, so I’d be ready to write when the time came. But a funny thing happened: I discovered I didn’t really care to write about Predator.
That’s not entirely true. I feel compelled to write about almost everything I watch; my brain is forever thinking of interesting angles and funny observations mid-viewing. That’s my superpower and my curse.
Predator didn’t strike me as a film that required a vigorous inquiry. That's a good thing! If every film I revisit turns into a book, that's going to seriously hamper my output. My instincts on that might be suspect—I am the guy writing a book about Point Break—but the main thing that struck me when watching was the utter hilarity of a bunch of guys shooting up the jungle just because their buddy is doing it.
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My Local Library
Even though I own books I haven’t yet read, I love going to the library. There is something so comforting about the atmosphere. Our library has been closed several times in the past few years due to flooding, so going feels especially sweet.
My style is basically to just wander stacks and pull down whatever looks interesting. I try to limit myself to 4-5 books because I probably won’t even read them all before they’re due.
Here’s my haul.
From top to bottom:
The Luke Skywalker book seemed similar to the style of writing I do
The novel-reading professor sounds pretentious—I’m picturing pipe smoke and tweed—but it looked promising
Ursula is one of the greats
I’ve known about this book forever, randomly found it when looking for a book on Michael Jordan
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Last week I lamented that I seemed unable to play any games that didn’t involve me demonstrating my stick skill superiority (or dying in embarrassing ways). Turns out, all I needed was the Force.
My son got Star Wars Jedi: Survivor for his birthday—from me, if you must know; it was not a self-serving gift but sometimes things work out for the best—and after giving him free reign of the Xbox for several weeks, I finally fired up my own lightsaber. It’s early days—I’ve maybe played for 5 hours, which is long enough to get through the involved tutorial/introduction and into the first real bit of exploration—but I’m totally loving this game. It feels like a better, more refined version of the last game (Jedi: Fallen Order).
And by more refined, I mean you can finally slice and dice Stormtroopers as the good Lord always intended. Great fun!
We enjoyed the first two seasons of this show and then stopped watching because we decided to drop Prime. We’re currently on a free 30-day trial because my version of gift-shopping involves waiting until the last possible minute and then freaking out that I’m not going to get the thing in time.
Jack Ryan is not a smart show. It desperately wants to be, and season one sorta was. But my memories of season two are basically: lol, yeah right. Hard to say yet which way season three will go, but I’m enjoying it, mostly because of my ongoing head canon that Jack Ryan is the assumed identity of Jim Halpert.
I’m not 100% sure what possessed me to rewatch this film. Blame it mostly on the 30-day free Prime membership, seasoned liberally with my love for mid-2000s Vince Vaughn. But I found it while scrolling and remembered the funny-gross yoga scene—in part because a guy at a golf outing a few years ago kept quoting it—and thought, what the hell?
It’s a fun movie, but not really funny. Does that make sense? I don’t think I laughed once while watching it, but I enjoyed the experience.
Mostly it made me really want to take a tropical vacation.
What are you into at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know!
If you enjoyed this, please like it and share it with someone. It’s the best way to show your appreciation and it would mean a lot to me. :)