Well, I still haven’t sneezed.
At this point I’ve stopped worrying about the fact that I can’t sneeze and have decided to set my sights on inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015.
I mean, setting some sort of world record for being sneeze-free has never been an actual goal of mine, but everybody’s gotta be good at something, you know?
Today is our first post-Christmas day back in the real world – with real alarms and real responsibilities and real schedules – and while I was definitely enjoying our more laid-back pace (not to mention all the Parenthood episodes I’ve watched over the last three weeks), I am one of those people who does much, much better with a day that errs on the side of structured. Someone asked me not too long ago how I managed to write my book while working full-time, and my immediate reaction was that it’s the only way I could have done it. There’s nothing like a little pressure to make me more productive. However, if you give me four wide-open weeks with nothing but time, glorious time to work on whatever deadline is at hand, odds are that I’ll find several new Bravo shows to watch while I’m completely overtaken by an urgent need to cook many new varieties of meat.
Seriously. I know my weaknesses. This past weekend I cooked prime rib when my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews were visiting, and I could not quit talking about the whole meat-cooking process. Everyone gather ’round while I sear the meat! Now watch me flip the meat! Wait! I will transfer the meat to a roasting pan! Behold the smell of the meat as it cooks! Look at the glorious color of the roasted meat! Now let us slice the meat! ISN’T THE MEAT TASTY?
It really was delicious. But I probably could have dialed down my enthusiasm a notch or seven in the interest of everyone else’s sanity.
After Brother and his people headed back to Memphis yesterday, I promptly put on my pajamas at 2 in the afternoon and settled in for a day-o-rest. In addition to knowing that it was my last rest hurrah before real life resumed today, I wanted to make sure that I was completely relaxed and stress-free for the season three premiere of Downton Abbey last night. I watched the first two seasons online this past summer, so watching each week on PBS is new for me, but I am up for the challenge. And oh my goodness, last night’s episode did not disappoint.
Here are a few of my favorite moments (SPOILER ALERT for those of you who haven’t watched yet).
(No kidding: SPOILER ALERT.)
(Last warning: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.)
1. Shirley MacLaine was everything I hoped she’d be.
2. It dawned on me about halfway through the episode that Edith Crawley is Jan Brady with a British accent.
3. Mary’s wedding gown was absolutely beautiful. And that comb / feather / tiara thing that she wore? Stunning.
4. When Isobel Crawley shouted, “WELL SAID!” at the dinner table, I cackled. She tickles me with all her social crusading.
5. When Daisy kept having trouble with the oven, I was afraid the castle was going to burn down. So I was relieved that the only ill-effect was that the guests at Downton were forced to enjoy a cold-cuts buffet and some awkward song-leading from Martha Levinson.
6. I am worried that things aren’t going to end well for Anna and Mr. Bates. Just a feeling.
7. When Sir Anthony told Edith (aka Jan) that he’d be back the next morning to ask Lord Downton for her hand in marriage, I halfway expected for him to be killed in a car crash on the way home. Isn’t that awful? But it would totally fit in to the way things typically go for Edith, wouldn’t it?
8. I loved all the conspiring between Mary and Dowager Countess.
9. The guy who slipped something into Tom’s drink? I DID NOT CARE FOR HIM. And I was proud of Sir Anthony for standing up to him.
10. Maggie Smith can communicate more by blinking her eyes than most actors can by saying 10,000 words. She is brilliant.
Did y’all watch, too?
(And while I don’t want to encourage cultural whiplash, let us remember that the season premiere of The Bachelor is tonight.)
(Certainly we’ll need to pace ourselves after the two-hour Downton episode, but I have full confidence that we can handle it.)
(Be sure to stretch beforehand and drink plenty of liquids.)