Here we are… 2022! It has been a challenging 2020 and 2021 so it is a bit daunting to think about what 2022 will bring. However, one thing I have learned in life is that you have to deal with whatever comes and soldier on. “You can not stop the clock.” You have to “embrace the suck”. Remember that, “It ain’t nuthin’ but a thang.” “Pain is only weakness leaving the body.” And plenty of other pithy military fortune cookie witticisms.
I have seen a stream of year end holiday season blog posts, often with very similar themes. Most folks seem to be doing well but with a lot of unfinished projects. Most of these blog posts seem much more organized and planned than what I do. Spreadsheets, bullet points, pie charts, graphs, rank upon rank of painted and unpainted miniatures. I feel a bit bad not being quite as thorough in this blog post but I am just not that well organized.
If you have been following this blog you know I have a very ambitious desire to play a lot of different games, painting miniatures and terrain to suit… perhaps too ambitious. I really need to pare a few things down, the challenge is deciding what.
Frostgrave has been progressing well for me and Mrs. GG. We definitely need to finish our Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Battle Companies campaign. Also, we have to get our Core Space gaming started! However, free time together has been the biggest challenge to our gaming.
But we have gamed, at least a bit.
And Little GG has joined us for his first ever role playing game yesterday, Little Monster Detectives.
We investigated a monster infested house and Little GG saved the day with great courage… earning a badge to acknowledge that achievement.
Speaking of other Little GG firsts…. he painted his first miniature and gave it to me as a Christmas gift! Proud Papa here!
Completely his own three year old artistic vision with the paint scheme, apparently he was resistant to aesthetic suggestions from Mrs. GG, although he took a little help with the base…
…..still, it warms even my grumpy Gnomish heart every time I see it on my painting desk.
As for other painted gifts…
Mrs. GG and I have been very fortunate with the generous gifts from our families.
Of course that means we have an even bigger backlog of work to do now though!
I have been remiss with not sending out snail mail Christmas cards this year. Is this a custom going out of fashion thanks to the Internet or is it just me? We did not get as many cards as previous years but I think that is in part due to my last few years of self-imposed hermitage and departure from Facebook. Covid lockdowns do not help either.
The third vaccine shot has me feeling a bit poorly but it is a necessary sacrifice in my opinion. As is the isolation… which I realize is easy for me to say as a 50+ year old grumpy, Gnomish Hermit.
One place I have been reaching out is the new Wargames Atlantic Forum. It would be great to see and hear from you folks there.
In other news we watched Jungle Cruise which was an enjoyable mashup of African Queen, Romancing the Stone and Pirates of the Caribbean. The only thing we really did not like was the casting choice and writing for Prince Joachim, Jesse Plemons is a decent actor but he did not make for a compelling enough villain and was easily overshadowed by all the other villains in the movie… even his own crew.
I have to admit I really like the Rock… which is why I think I also enjoyed Jumanji: The Next Level.
Hardly great cinema but entertaining in a popcorn snacking adventure kind of way.
The Expanse and the Witcher continue to do a good job of entertaining us. Some annoying bits in each but mostly really good shows, especially considering so much of the competition. I will be particularly sorry to see The Expanse come to an end.
Wheel of Time by the final episode of Season 1 was a dismal failure for me. Mrs. GG was not quite as critical but for me it has ended up only marginally better than the Shannara TV series. Hopefully it gets better in future seasons but I doubt it unless they replace the showrunner.
Here is a spoiler filled interview with the showrunner explaining changes they made from the book and why….
Warning, possible spoilers to follow but I will try to avoid big ones.
The first episode reminded me of the Mandalorian… in that it is filled with tropes but at least the tropes are generally well done. This is a changed Boba in my mind, more empathetic. It looks like they are going for more of a redemption story than I originally expected.
I am not a fan of glamorizing criminality in general but I am not blind to how the world works. As a former cop I have had my runs ins with a lot of different kinds of criminals. I prefer those with certain personal standards or rules compared to the truly random, utterly selfish types.
And to be honest for some reason I have thought Boba Fett was cool since I was a kid. Cool but very much still a villain in my mind… in the original trilogy that is. Which is interesting because he is a law abiding bounty hunter not a criminal assassin.
To be honest I was unsure how I felt about the Jango backstory with the Prequels but casting Temuera Morrison in the role helped sell it to me. Then the Clones over the course of all the movies and TV shows have helped me empathize even more with Boba. Although to be fair I thought he was not a Mandalorian but rather that the armor was a trophy like his Wookie scalps… something somewhat controversial.
And now, at the very least I expect him to end up an anti-hero from this TV series from what we have seen so far.
It was nice to see some stereotypes broken. Older (and also some heavier) fighters fighting to a decent standard but at a cost and perhaps not quite like they used to. Boba is a badass of sorts but not a crazy good, some might say unrealistically skilled, fighter. As he said in The Mandalorian, “I was aiming at the other one.”
There was a lot of exposition, perhaps a bit much from Boba himself as it seemed odd to see him talking quite so much after decades of only a couple of sentences from him. But I like him. I like the actor and the character. I can identify with him.
The writing could be a bit tighter. I was a bit confused about just how close Boba and Fennec have become as their dialogue is a bit inconsistent in their intimacy with each other… but perhaps that is intentional.
Boba surviving the Sarlaac Pit felt a bit like art school cinematography 101 for “character change through a new rebirth moment”, especially as one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy, the guy who can talk back to Darth Vader without consequence, now seems to have a soft spot for underdogs. I took the first episode as showing Boba has been knocked down a few pegs by his experience, that he has some new empathy and humility compared to his previous life experiences. And I am ok with that. I like flawed protagonists…. I say protagonist because I am struggling a bit to think of Boba Fett as a hero… even an anti-hero.
And as I was writing this blog post, looking for videos to link I came across this one…
… sounds like I was not far off base.
But what do you think of these things? Games, movies, books, whatever… share your thoughts in the comments.
I am going to leave you with a music video from my best friend Paul, who is the lead singer for the band “The Gathering Crowd”. As children we were inseparable. Sadly, we do not see each other much these days with an ocean between us but he is still my brother from another mother… and he sings much better than I do.
And I hope you have a brilliant 2022 ahead of you!