Downton In Review

First off, I would like to solicit some applause for myself:  despite having received the Downton DVDs in the mail (I had completely forgotten that I’d pre-ordered this season for myself for Christmas…So, I check the mail this week and: best.surprise.ever.), I am NOT cheating and watching ahead.

So, I watched tonight’s along with everyone else (and by everyone else I mean everyone else who normally watches and whose priorities were not screwed up by the Stupor Bowl….Today is one of those days when I am actually so incredibly glad to be single–no pretending to want to watch pro football).

That said, I don’t have much to say about this week.  After last week, it was rather low-key, which was good.  I needed that.

-Still feeling terrible for Branson, but, oddly, I feel worse for Cora (which is weird because normally I find Lady Grantham just, “meh”)

-I’m pissed at Carson this week, but I’m pretty sure anyone with a vagina and/or some human decency is ready to smack him.

-I’d like to say I’m absorbed in the f’d up love quadrangle happening below stairs with the garden girls (really, is there some rule that the kitchen maids at Downton have plant names?) and the footmen, but I find myself wishing this were something they would hurry up and resolve (like some things that happen on this show), instead of something they drag out (which sadly, it’s looking like this one is going to keep going for a bit).

-Love seeing William’s Dad.  He’s adorable and sane and everyone on this show should be visiting him for regular therapy.  The only other person that speaks half as much sense as him is the Dowager Countess (but she’s a lot more acerbic about it, generally).

-Yes, she is generally acerbic, but the Dowager Countess kicked me in the shins with her turn to the nice and tender side when talking with her son about his loss.  Every week, I go in not needing anyone to tell me she’s awesome, and every week, she decides to prove it again anyhow.

-Am I the only one who felt more rallying around Ethel’s situation than around Ethel herself?    I just can’t muster the give-a-damn about Ethel, but at least this week, the whole feminist rumbling offered something that piqued my interest.

-Lord Grantham needs his ass kicked.  I’m sorry he’s being forced to face the fact that he’s not all that and a bag of chips, but he’s mostly coming off like a petulant child.  Honestly, I think I’m still bitter over that damn situation with the maid.  If he hadn’t f’d up there, maybe I’d be able to pity him having to face the reality that his son-in-law is way smarter at business than he is.

-Anna and Bates….FINALLY.  Let’s get this guy out of the clink.  I want them to be sickeningly happy for the remainder of this season and into the next.  I want sacchrine cuteness out of these two, and I’m not apologizing for that.

All in all, it may not have had quite the impact of last week, but it beats the hell out of watching pro-football and pretending to be entertained by advertisements.


Superbowl Conversations

Just to summarize some conversations I’ve had with coworkers about the Superbowl this week.

Co-Worker 1:  You got plans for the Superbowl?

Me:  When is it?

Co-Worker 1:  Are you for real?

And later:

Co-Worker 2: Who’re you for in the Superbowl?

Me: I dunno.  Who’s playing?

Co-Worker 2: You don’t know?!?!?

Co-Worker 1 (passing in the hall): Go easy on her.  She didn’t even know when the Super Bowl was happening until yesterday.

Then I got to talk to one of my really vapid co-workers:

Co-Worker 3:  So are you going to watch the Super Bowl?

Me:  Nah.  Not my thing.

Co-Worker 3:  Me neither,  I’m just going to watch the commercials.

Me: I’m going to the bookstore.

Co-Worker 3:  Are they playing the commercials there?!?!?

Me:  Oh, God, I hope not.

And even later:

Co-Worker 2 (who has a cube full of Green Bay shit):  So if you did have to pick who would you go for?

Me:  Pittsburgh.

Co-Worker 2:  WHY?!?!  Do you even KNOW anything about the teams?

Me:  Yes.  I know Pittsburgh’s coach was once on the cover of my William and Mary alumni magazine and that too many people from Wisconsin have been smug assholes about winter weather and my cool uncle from Pittsburgh never has.

[Note: I’m hoping this co-worker 2 will think twice before he gives the rest of us shit when we have a snowstorm here]

Yeah, so I don’t keep up with pro football.  Per my usual, I didn’t even realize it was Superbowl until the first conversation above happened on Thursday.  Which is better than last year when I got out early on Sunday to do my grocery shopping when the stores were empty….except for some weird reason they weren’t.  It wasn’t until I got down to the beer aisle and saw a lot of jerseys and guys with arms full of chips and snacks that I figured it out.

And to all y’all who give me the commercial-watching thing, please don’t try to sell me.  I did turn the TV on for a while last year thinking I would finally try this whole thing watching the Ads……and they were all boring.  By the end of the first quarter I was back to watching movies.  I don’t see much reason to waste any time this year.  So, after having been snow-and-work-bound all this past week, I’m going to take advantage of the low crowds in stores and get out for some book store browsing–I just need to find out when kick off is so I can maximize my use of the game time.

Sucking my Time Away… From the Couch

In today’s time vampire is in a little different vein.  It’s not a game or a vast compendium of knowledge or humor or lists.  It’s a blog.  A blog that is a times a vast compendium of knowledge, humor, and lists.  And where I have lost a lot of time

The blog in question is The Couch Gymnast.  At one point the tag line for the blog read: “Gymnastics and Lists:  Two of my favorite things” (paraphrased from memory).  It just so happens that Gymnastics and lists are also two of my favorite things, so clearly me and the blog are like *this*.  (The new tag line is  “Where the rant never ends” which is delightful, but slightly less descriptive of me.  Maybe.)  I used to describe my love of gymnastics as “my strange fascination with gymnastics” since it struck many people as odd that I am so borderline obsessive about a sport I never participated in.  Then it occurred to me that many football fans have never participated in football and Cammy’s fixated on biathlon though as far as I know she’s never even put on a pair of skis.  So I refuse to apologize for my love of gymnastics anymore.

Anyway, back to the time vampire at hand… It is a blog about gymnastics by a fellow non-former gymnast who is also a fellow graduate student.  She hails from Australia and I believe her name is Bridget.  She is not the Bridget who occasionally comments here; that’s my former roommate.  Unless my Bridget has been hiding the fact that she’s secretly an Australian gymnastics blogger, which would be weird.

I follow a couple gymnastics blogs, but Couchy is my favorite by far, largely because she brings the funny.  And because of a few features she rotates through on a somewhat regular basis.  By far my favorite, and I’d guess the one she might be best known for, is her “World’s Worst Leotard” contest.  Seriously, I thought that team USA’s hot pink concoction in Beijing were bad.  Couch Gymnast has shown me they could be SOOO much worse.  My second favorite feature is a sort of “what are they thinking” kind of thing where she captions what gymnasts/coaches are really thinking in photos, with high-larious results.  (example )  Then she does this “Cartwheels in…” feature where she explores gymnastics programs in countries that never make it to television.  This reminds us that there are girls who work their tushies off (literally) for years and years without the chance of making it onto a Wheaties box.  And that Couch Gymnast is just as big a nerd as I am.

So anyway, check her out.  I don’t think you have to know a thing about gymnastics to understand how hysterically ugly some leotards are.