It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
BINGE (w/ Friends on Zoom/WhatsApp): The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Hemingway went off to war and came back a cynical alcoholic. But Tolkein — who fought in the Battle of the Somme — came back from the battlefront believing in the power of friendship and human decency to see us through even the most trying times. And boy are those ideas all over these movies.
Last weekend, several friends and I did a Zoom/WhatsApp marathon of the Extended Editions of all three films. Let me tell you: they hold up. Yeah, some of the CGI looks a bit dated. But these movies get what a lot of blockbusters today simply don’t: that good stories are about people and their relationships; that being a person can sometimes be really hard; that we all sometimes feel lost; but that if we lean on each other, we can overcome even the most difficult challenges. Maybe fantasy isn’t your jam. I get it. But if these movies were as much of a part of your teenage years as they were mine? Now’s a great time to revisit them, with some pals, via the power of the internet.
READ: The Power of the Dog
A decade ago, I read Don Winslow’s Savages. I liked it. A few years back, I read The Force, which I really liked. But this? This is an absolute masterpiece — a thriller about the War on Drugs that’s massive in scope and written in flawless, economical prose. High-octane doesn’t even begin to describe it. A plot as tight as a Swiss watch. Characters who are constantly forced into impossible situations. Dialogue that is pitch perfect. Just be warned: this is the kind of book that’ll grab you by the throat, and won’t let you go until you’re done.
RELAX: Hot and Cold Showers
Not gonna lie, gents. I miss my monthly trips to the Korean Spa. There’s something about sweating it out in a 200+ degree sauna and then jumping into a cold pool that’s wicked relaxing. But you know what? Turns out you can get almost the same effect using your shower. The method’s pretty straightforward. Hop in the shower. Turn it as hot as you can stand it. Hang out there for a while. Maybe a minute or so. Then — and I know this is hard — turn that nozzle to cold. And hang out there for a minute or so. Then back to hot. Back to cold. Rinse. Repeat. Back and forth, however many times you can stand. Yeah, that first blast of cold water feels… not so good. But you know what? It’s not gonna kill you. And by the time you get out of the shower? I bet you’ll feel pretty relaxed. An especially great way to to cool down your muscles after an at-home workout.
RIP, TEAR: Doom Eternal
Hot and Cold Showers are super relaxing. This? This is not. ABSOLUTELY BLOODY INSANE would be a better way to describe Doom Eternal — emphasis on the bloody. The game has a massive arsenal of weapons and jumps and moves — most of the time, you’re flying around levels, burping rockets at Hell Knights and firing grenades into the mouths of Cacodemons and ripping the limbs off of Imps while barely clinging to life. It is frenetic, stressful, white-knuckled, crazy gameplay — but if you are in the mood to shoot some demons, you’re gonna love it.
MAKE: Pizza (from scratch)
Pizza is a perfect food. And there’s something empowering and soothing about learning to make it yourself. Maybe this is the weekend you get your hands dirty with a little flour. Make some dough. Give it a few good kneads. Toss it in the air a bit, put on some sauce and cheese, and throw it into a hot oven. If you want to make New York or Neapolitan style pizza, you’ll need a baking steel (or a pizza stone, but trust me, the steels are better) and a pizza peel. Don’t have either handy? There are all kinds of ways to approach this, some of which only require a cast-iron skillet.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.