The Friday High Five
New injuries, old hobbies, and a super low-key birthday
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. 🙏🏻
Couple of things right off the bat…
I’m still watching the 3 shows I mentioned over the last few weeks: Dead to Me, The Crown, and True Detective: Night Country. I try not to talk about the same shows every Friday so as not to repeat myself, which means I sometimes need to get creative to fill-out the week’s 5. As you’ll see.
I wasn’t going to bother with this week’s High 5 because we lost Internet just as I was starting it. We were without for around 4 hours, which doesn’t seem that bad but is basically the worst thing while it’s happening. It’s a problem, I know. Anyway, I took that as a sign from God to take this Friday off, buttagged me on a note asking about the whereabouts. So blame her, basically.
As for the in-progress shows: Dead to Me is an addictive mix of comedy and mystery; The Crown is damn good TV; and Night Country is going off the rails.
Also: I finished writing this after 10 PM my time. The words were blurring so I’m not responsible for typos. Blame Sheila.
My Favorite Thing This Week Was…
Lunchtime Dungeons & Dragons
We spent an hour and a half this past Monday playing D&D during lunch. We’re taking a more old school approach, focused entirely on delving into a dungeon and finding as much treasure as possible. The tight timeframe means we need to cut right to the heart of the game. No time for shopping, minimal time in town. If you are familiar with Critical Role, it’s basically the exact opposite of that.
We initially planned on playing bi-weekly, but after the first session, we’re already talking about playing every Monday. This is the best news all year.
Other Things I Enjoyed This Week
Ace Cold Compress
At the risk of outing myself as a klutz, I’ve injured myself again in less than awesome circumstances. The culprit was the slow and steady erosion of my flesh, more commonly known as Middle Age. I’m starting to understand why men in their 40s buy fast cars. When the mere act of bending over can throw out your back for days at a time, even a fender-bender is almost certain to maim. Better to get the fastest car possible, then, so your body will just come apart at the seams upon impact.
After, I lay upon the coach like a bloated Robert Baratheon, begging my wife to give me something for the pain and to let me die. She was not ready to let this golden goose go. Instead of something useful like a morphine drip or a gun, she gave me an ice pack and offered to make homemade cookies. I declined the cookies (see: bloated, above) but the mere promise of warm chocolate chip cookies brought me back to life. It was basically like the Bible story where Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb.
My wife tells me my love languages are gifts and affirmations, which sounds right because I like getting presents and also desperately crave positive reinforcement. I’m basically a puppy. Give me a treat and tell me I’m a good boy. Maybe toss in a belly-scratch while you’re at it. That said, food should 100% be a love language.
Anyway, I’ve been using a cold compress all week and it has definitely helped my back.
Super Nerdy Forums
Due in part to the lunchtime D&D game, but more so because I am an insufferable nerd, I’ve been spending a lot of time on D&D forums lately. Just sort of lurking. Reading what other people are doing. Getting excited about other people’s games. The D&D bug has bit me bad and thus I scratch it however I can.
I eventually found my way back to one of the greatest things I’ve ever read online—one Dungeon Master’s account of playing the old D&D rules wherein the players take on the roles of the Lord of the Rings characters. He called it The Fellowship of the Bling, and it’s easily the best such thread I’ve ever seen.
Fair warning, if you dare click: It’s long and also a bit inside nerdball. I don’t know how much someone will get out of it if they’ve never played D&D before. But for people of a certain persuasion, nothing beats watching these classic characters struggle as 1st level characters. Struggle and die. There’s a lot of dying.
My birthday was yesterday. I took the day off and spent the first 2 hours playing Baldur’s Gate 3.2
My wife and I got lunch. We watched a long movie (below). She beat me at Mario Kart. I did some reading, and spent a couple of hours finishing my article on The Mosquito Coast. We got takeout with the kids and hung out for an hour.
It was a completely uneventful day. So uneventful that I feel a bit self-conscious whenever someone asks me what I did. I did nothing. On purpose. Per design.
I’m actually having a birthday party in a few weeks. Like for real. There will be pizza and cake and 7 or 8 hours of D&D. It’ll be like I’m turning 12 again.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
I finally got around to watching the newest (and likely, last) Indiana Jones movie nearly a year after it came out.
I think my reluctance was due to a sense that the movie wouldn’t be the same. Not that it wouldn’t be good—it is—but that it couldn’t match up with the films from the 80s. Dial of Destiny does a good job confusing the matter due to some eerily-good (and sometimes just eerie) CGI work that transforms Harrison Ford to the 30-something he’d been at the time of the first film. But the entire time, I couldn’t shake a feeling of sameness. Of ‘been there, done that.’ There’s nothing new here. It’s the third swan song for the character.3
I liked Dial of Destiny, but I didn’t love it.
Indiana Jones films, ranked:
The Last Crusade. Raiders is the better film but Crusade is my favorite.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Temple of Doom
The Dial of Destiny
The One With Shia and the Monkeys
Paid readers will get the whole story next week, as well as some general observations of life on the wrong side of 40.
I actually played for 3 hours, but 2 hours sounded less hopelessly dorky.
When I heard they were making Dial of Destiny, I wrote a satire article called Indiana Jones and the House With Too Many Stairs. It’s pretty funny. I started revising it for the pop culture book.