Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Something Sunday

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I have a confession to make. I'm not watching the Super Bowl today. I can hear what you're saying: "Julia! You're a New Englander! And the Pats are playing!" First off, I've never been big on pro football. College ball, yes - I've spent many a happy Saturday enjoying SEC teams whomp the heck out of each other, (I'm a Bama fan.)

But here's the real reason: I live alone now. and despite generally enjoying the heck out of the experience, there's one area that falls flat when you're solo: watching football. Football particularly. I don't know why it more than other sports, but it's true, and I've barely seen any college games at all this fall. I've missed the NFL season entirely. 

So what if you're like me, and for whatever reason, you're not doing Super Bowl Sunday? You're in luck, dear readers, because I have a few alternatives for you.

1. Start your book. You missed NaNoWriMo in November. You've been thinking about writing it and just haven't gotten up the nerve to sit down and tackle the opening paragraph.  What better time than a long Sunday when everyone else is glued to the tube. Yo can't distract yourself on social media - Twitter, FB and Instagram will be all football, all the time. You could have the first chapter written by dinnertime. 

2. Take a nap. If there's anything better than a lazy Sunday afternoon nap, I don't know what it is. The fact it's cold out makes snuggling beneath the quilts even more pleasurable. Plus, the news has been full of new scientific discoveries letting us know that not getting enough sleep is basically going to kill us, so it's good for your health as well.

3. Go to the gym. Another thing that's good for your health. You know that cool high-tech elliptical machine you never manage to get on unless you stand there beside the current occupier, looking like a jerk? Go right ahead, it's all yours today. Tired of having to cut in to swimming lanes and match your pace to the former high-school champion coming up behind you? You've probably got the whole pool to yourself this afternoon.

4. Clean out the closets. Go ahead, Marie Kondo the $#*% out of that room. I'm not going to gender sports watching, but if your spouse is deep into the game - or better still, over at your neighbor's Super Bowl party - he or she isn't going to notice how many of their holey pants, 30-year-old concert Tees and ugly acrylic sweaters are going into the Goodwill bag.

5. Go out to dinner. Especially if you live in New England or Los Angeles! Sure, your service might be a tad slow as the wait staff takes breaks to watch the TV in the kitchen, but that's a small price to pay for getting into that hot restaurant that was featured in Condé Nast Traveler  and now has a four month wait list for reservations.

6. Bow-chicka-bow-bow. This is for you folks living with teens and twenty-somethings. Give your kids a few bucks and point them to the nearest sports restaurant. Or offer to drive them to a friends Super Bowl party. Either way, the house is clear for once. Bonus points if you murmur football lingo in a sexy tone of voice to each other. "Let's scrimmage, baby." "I like your tight end."

7. Do those internet chores you never have time for. Update your passwords and clean out your inbox. Use Friend or Follow to tidy up your Twitter list. Figure out how to reset your privacy settings on Facebook. Actually unsubscribe from all those corporate/ nonprofit/advertising emails you hate, rather than just deleting them and moving on. Yes, they're boring tasks, so feel free to fix yourself a nice drink and enjoy it while muting your third cousin from Des Moines who sells Amway.

8. Get some culture! In Boston, you can see the Carol King Musical, Blue Man Group or a dozen live musical acts ranging from hip-hop to folk. The Huntington Theatre, which hosted the Jungle Reds, is performing A Doll's House, Part II. The MFA, the Children's Museum and the Boston Aquarium are all open Sunday. And for something really different, the Omen Psychic Parlour and Witchcraft Emporium is hosting a free Candlemas event with the Traditionalist Covens of New England. The point being: if you can find a full calendar of events happening in Boston on Super Bowl Sunday, you can find then anywhere.

9. Do your taxes. Boring and frustrating, but think how good you'll feel when you've finished.

and finally,

10. Watch the best Super Bowl ads online. Because everyone loves the Budweiser Clydesdales. 

How about you, dear readers? What are your plans for today?

78 comments:

  1. We aren’t planning to watch the Super Bowl, either. I have a really good book I’m planning to read . . . .

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    1. I didn't suggest that because I knew it was the first thing the Jungle Red crowd would think of!

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  2. We have withdrawn from football entirely the last few years, Patriots be damned - the sport sanctions concussions and that's just not right. I'll be reading and deleting 16000 gmails (why can I never do it on the spot??). Taxes? Ugh. Later.

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    1. Edith, the emails multiply like rabbits, don't they? it's so frustrating!

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    2. This intrigues me. I empty my e mail boxes daily, always have, and I do the same with text messages on the phone. About once a month I either archive or delete everything on Messenger, too. I'm sure this will come back to haunt me when I go on Judge Judy and need documentation of some nefarious scheme I got caught up in, but until then, my mailboxes et al are clean.

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    3. I do too—I delete every day. It’s very satisfying.

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  3. We're going to a party at a neighbor's house. It's perfect for me as I can chat through the first half, eat the yummy food at halftime and then come home! My assignment is dessert--I'll be baking a pineapple upside down cake. mmmm

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    1. Pineapple upside down cake request filed. Do you need the address?

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  4. I'm going to watch kitten bowl and check out the ads online. Other than that, I plan to do some reading and yes, a nap is required.

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  5. "Go ahead, Marie Kondo the $#*% out of that room." OMG, I can't stop laughing!

    I'm going to grade today's quota of college writing papers (truly, the excitement never ends at our house), then enjoy ME time. I'll curl up and read or knit while listening to an audio book.

    It's in the 40s and raining today in Michigan. We'll also be keeping an eye our basement for leaks. See, fun?

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    1. If I do turn on the game, it will be for the commercials. As you, gotta see the Budweiser Clydesdales!

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    2. Cathy, I wait for the "Best of" compilations to show up on YouTube. All the good stuff, none of the terrible sexist GoDaddy ads.

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  6. Julia, I hear you! My first husband was a football fanatic, and would ignore me completely if a game was on. Frankly, he could have taught me the finer points of the game (as he later did for our daughter), and we could have had fun together, but nope. One of my favorite things about Steve is he enjoys watching a football game or two now and then (college bowl games are his favorite), but he actually played the game in high school and college, and long ago left any gladiator fantasies he may have had.

    We usually join friends for the Big Day. The husband is a football fanatic, but most of us just enjoy each others' company, since we have shared histories that go back as much as forty years. There will be lots of good food, and I might even watch a commercial or two, but I can never hear them as well as on YouTube later. Steve is smoking a big hunk of salmon, and I'm making a couple of sauces to go with it. Yum.

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    1. Skimming the comments, I thought I read "Steve is a smoking big hunk" and thought, "Oh! Karen's Super Bowl plans just took and unexpected plot twist!" Sorry, Karen.

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    2. Me, three! I thought, well, there was the first husband, and now there's smokin' hunk Steve. Go, Karen!

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  7. I'll enjoy the Big Thaw today, watch Man City v. Arsenal followed by Puppy Bowl. And sort tax papers and figure out my February goals and deadlines. I'm one of the sulking Saints fans.

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    1. Margaret, you must have heard about the Saints fans who are suing for "loss of faith and emotional distress!"

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  8. I can't imagine not watching the Super Bowl although it will be the only football game I watch all season. I don't care who wins, as long as it's not the Patriots!

    We have a bit of food laid in, wings and pizza. I'll pass on the former and possibly the latter, preferring those peanut butter pretzels I spied on the top of the pantry shelf.

    And no doubt I'll finish the current book and start another, because reading is my favorite indoor sport. Or outdoor for that matter.

    When I retired, naps became a thing of the past, no longer needed or wanted. But I understand how wonderful they can be. My trouble is that once I fall asleep, I'm pretty much good until the next morning, so daytime dozing really gets me turned around. Since I'm still getting over the effects of anesthesia, sleep isn't an issue. Until last night. When both dogs insisted on sleeping on top of me in an over-heated room. Over-heated because our single digit temperatures are so last week. It's like flipping spring out there. I finally got up and turned the furnace off.

    The best part about watching the game is explaining it to Julie. Not a product of a mid-west childhood, she doesn't have a clue. So once again I shall instruct on the concept of first down, second down, etc. And the part about defense and offense. And why it helps to under-inflate the ball.

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    1. Ann, I was the Julie in our relationship - no pun intended. My dad is evermore NOT a sports guy, so I grew up with almost no sports-watching experience. Every game, Ross would explain what was going on, what the ref calls meant, etc. I think he enjoyed it - I know I did.

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    2. Of course he did. It’s the one day a year I get to be the (relative) expert on something like football.

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  9. My day will be football less. Like Edith, I decided to boycott football because of the CTE problems. On the other hand the kitten bowl sounds promising.

    I am currently re reading the Travis Magee series, am up to book 3 (Purple Place for Dying). Will do some reluctant housework - dust bunny elimination, and live stream my Buddhist Sunday Morning Sangha.

    The kid and I will be going on a burger run, We plan to do a burger competition this month. Today's choice will be Isaac's World Famous burgers --bet you never heard of them, so how can they be world famous? One ponders. We are going to compare 5 burger places. Will let you know the winner in March.

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    1. A burger competition sounds like a BRILLIANT way to get through the last months of winter, Coralee!

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  10. No Super Bowl watching for me either. I would much rather take a nap!

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    1. Sunday naps are the best. I don't need them nearly as much as I used to, but when I had kids in the house, it was the high point of my week.

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  11. The Super Bowl is on today? Oh. Okay.

    I grew up in a sports-free home, and even after all these years in Texas I have only the vaguest notions of what's going on on the gridiron. So, yeah . . . No.

    But the nap sounds nice, and I really do need to scan some documents and start organizing my tax information. If the temps stay warm, I should get out to my front garden and prune some things. It's good to have a rehearsal-free Sunday now and again.

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    1. I'm looking forward to those warm temps hitting Maine starting tomorrow, Gigi. Right now it's in the low 30s, but tomorrow it's supposed to be 48 and Tuesday will get into the 50s!

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  12. We just moved and have been invited to a neighbor's Super Bowl watching party. I hope to be meeting more new neighbors than watching this year's game that I really don't have a stake in. If push comes to shove, then I'm rooting for New England. Whether you watch or not, and Julia has wonderful suggestions for those not watching, I hope everyone has a great Super Bowl day ~

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    1. Celia, that sounds like a wonderful opportunity to get to know your new neighbors! Have fun, and yes, please do root for New England.

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  13. We used to eat out at whatever restaurant was impossible to get into on an average Sunday. Then we realized the chef who made it so great was probably taking the night off. Today we'll be home tuning into the clock's "last five minutes" of the game which always goes on for at least an hour and, if past experience serves, is completely riveting. For my level of fandom, that's all I need for the year.

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    1. There could be a real market for a TiVo'd version that edits the game down to 30 minutes of highlights. Heck, I'd watch it.

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  14. SO. TIRED. OF. THE. PATS. I know. I should just turn in my Native New Englander badge right now. But really, Tom Brady is revered like a saint here. Yes, he's been at the top of his game for a long time and he's a hard worker. I do respect that. But I have more respect for people who've done it long term for crap pay in my social work field. Or many other different fields.

    I've never really been a football fan, except maybe in high school, but I understand the hoopla and parties are fun. But I am tired of all the Tom/Giselle brand worship.

    Sorry. I'll get down from my soapbox now. My dd and I usually go out to dinner during the super bowl. We usually have the place to ourselves. Grocery shopping is also good. No one in the store! Since we just adopted two little cocker spaniels, though, we will have a nice dinner here and snuggle with our new furry friends!

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    1. I hear you, MaryC! The whole revering of sports figures thing is ridiculous.

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    2. I save my sports adulation for the team that needs it - the Red Sox. The Pats always win. That's not actually the New England way - we're more about exulting in our suffering.

      Also, yay for snuggling with furry friends! (As long as they're not hedgehogs, per the CDC.)

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  15. Thanks for the great suggestions, Julia. My home is also a Super Bowl Free environment. Today I will be in the kitchen cooking some of the random treats I picked up at the Italian deli. I have a packet for making "Classic Italian Minestrone" which the label assures me is "Artisan made in Italy". And, I'm going to make polenta for the first time in my life. I purchased the polenta because I fell in love with the pretty graphic on the front of it's package. Yes, I'm "that" shopper.

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    1. Polenta is the best, Lyda. It used to intimidate me, until I realized it was just corn pone with a fancy European name.

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  16. Oh Julia you are a woman after my own heart. My mother-in-law went to Alabama so Roll Tide! We like to watch some college games but not so much the pros.
    There are the usual Sunday chores to do. My husband may watch some of the game and I can join him and needlepoint through the plays to see the ads. We have another TV so I can watch whatever I want if I want. I am making chili and cornbread because it's that kind of day but I mostly disapprove of all the hoopla and am eager for them to leave and let us have the city back. Oh I know we made money (or someone did) but they closed so many streets in downtown and midtown that I never made it to church (streets closed all around) and those living in the neighborhoods around the stadium are still poor and underemployed.
    Fortunately I love to read and I have all of those lovely Reds books. I introduced a friend to your blog and she in addicted also and is in the middle of Deborah and Rhys and Julia's books now.

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    1. Thanks for passing on the recommendation, Atlanta! And I hope you get your city back soon. It always seems odd that everyone in city X is inconvenienced because of the fans of teams Y and Z!

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  17. We always have to watch with the family. It's fun with kids involved especially one who plays football. But once I secured tickets to a sold out show. Guess what, I said we're going to see X. You ho, John said. It's the Super Bowl. ,

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    1. What happened? The show or the Super Bowl?

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  18. No Super Bowl for me either. I have no dog in that fight. I’ll catch the cool ads on my computer tomorrow. I will be reading. I will watch Victoria on PBS tonight and anything else that looks interesting. And I think I’ll lop some suckers and errant branches off the crape myrtle.

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    1. I should have mentioned "Watch Masterpiece Theatre," Pat!

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  19. I have never, ever seen a football game in my entire life. When the first Super Bowl game was planned my thought was that there would never be another one; who could possibly be interested? Clearly, I am not a psychic! Also, you can add me to the list of people who don’t like the way the players bodies are abused.

    This afternoon friends and I are going to a play and then out to dinner. When I get home I plan to read.

    DebRo

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    1. Sounds like a perfect day, DebRo! I hope you're getting good weather for it.

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  20. Um, what time is the Super Bowl? We are not football watchers here, although I do kinda/sorta like to watch the Super Bowl, at least for the ads and the half time show. Today I'm having my granddaughter over as her parents are going to watch the game at the local hangout, so I've said that Wren and I will have our own Super Bowl party. Mainly this is an excuse to bake wings, which have been brining overnight. I suspect we will end up watching Frozen. Again.

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    1. Oh, the joys of very little ones. Who want to watch their favorite movie over and over and OVER again. I suspect I could still enact all of ALADDIN solo, I saw it so many times.

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  21. Um, we are watching the Super Bowl. Yikes, I had no idea I was so in the minority. Should I be embarrassed?

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    1. No, and though you may be in the minority here, generally you are among the many millions who will, for whatever reason, watch the game.

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    2. I agree with Rick. JRW attracts a lot of bookish nerds. 100 million people are expected to tune into the Super Bowl, so you have your finger on the pulse of the nation, Hank!

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  22. À chacun ses goûts . . . Happy Superb Owl Day -- I love this designation, and these cakes, including the calico one and the Always cake topper.  I'll be snug and reading, but y'all enjoy whatever is in your plans.  ( I used to propose giving each side their own ball so they don't have to fight.  Students told me "you just don't understand."  Exactly).
     http://www.cakewrecks.com/home/2019/2/3/10-superb-owl-cakes-for-super-bowl-sunday.html

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    1. Clever idea, Mary - I would order one on purpose!

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  23. My husband is from Philly and a huge Eagles fan, so we (very tensely) watched the whole thing last year. This year: what delicious freedom! Maybe we'll go out for dinner or engage in some bow-chicka-bow-bow.

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    1. Sounds good, Victoria. Don't forget the illegal touching and to keep the backfield in motion. :-)

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  24. Youngest played football in middle school and some in high school--until he got a concussion--he made the decision with his doctor to give it up--focused on track and his music--BEST DECISION EVER. Football on tv takes forever, is almost as boring as watching golf on tv, and thus I have never seen a Superbowl game and never plan to do so. Warm weather here--so a long walk is in order as well as some reading/writing/quilting as the day wears on. Whatever you all do today--enjoy!!

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    1. It's the taking-forever part that makes it so boring to watch alone, I think. When we watched as a family, there was so much conversation, we sometimes lost track of the game!

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  25. My husband and I will watch the game, not the halftime show. This is a sports event -- leave politics out of it. Our teams didn't make so it will be nice to not be emotionally involved in the outcome. For snackage, I've made 7-layer Greek dip for me and Steve likes Ritz and Velveeta. For dinner, I'm crock-potting (a verb!) two different kinds of meatballs (one with cheese in them) with a soy/teriyaki sauce and garlic bread. We'll check out the commercials and, of course, the Puppy Bowl.

    It's interesting, I was pondering this yesterday as I drove home from getting grocerie: the Superbowl is one and done and yet in baseball and hockey, it's best out of seven. Who makes these rules?

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    1. PK, I asked Ross that once and he had a LONG explanation that I can't remember. Personally, I suspect with the TV ratings for the Super Bowl, the don't NEED to stretch things out!

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    2. In pro football, they can only play a game a week. The playoffs have been going on for nearly two months, and this is just the culmination. Consider it the Game 7 of pro football.

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  26. Great ideas! I want to hibernate though I cannot sleep. I am reading Five Feet Aoart for a book discussion on Instagram. I finished Learning to See by Elise Hooper for another future book discussion on Instagram.

    The SuperBowl ads are more fun than the football game! Never have been a fan of American football, though I enjoy World cup soccer. In Europe, soccer is called football.

    Is anyone watching Cat Bowl instead of SuperBowl on Hallmark today?

    Happy Sunday!
    Diana

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    1. Diana, yes, and in the past there's been a Puppy Bowl as well!

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  27. Yes, I'll be watching. I started watching football with my grandfather in the Fifties, both UCLA and the L.A. Rams. We were a real Pac 8, Pac 10, Pac 12 family: USC, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona. I enjoy watching football, though often the commercials drive me up the wall, but usually they are better during the Super Bowl.

    Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are Seahawks fans, which has nothing to do with today's game. Go Patriots.

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    1. That family connection with football is wonderful, Rick. Ross and my son watched games together on Saturdays and Sundays for years, and I'm sure, if they get the transmission on their ship, he'll be watching the Super Bowl today.

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  28. Hubby is in Texas (Killeen, Ft. Hood) for work right now, so there won't be Super Bowl here today. Not sure there would be even if he were home. I do get the enthusiasm for it, not that I'm into football, but when March Madness for college basketball comes around, you'll find me basketball crazy. College basketball, especially our University of Kentucky Cats, is important to hubby and me both, as we met at UK and graduated from there way back when.

    My plans today include tooling around online a bit and then continue reading The Victory Garden by our wonderful Rhys. I've only just started it, but I am thoroughly hooked. I might fit in some episodes of Schitt's Creek, which I finally watched last night. I'm still on season one, but I should have know that its cast would make for some great hilarity.

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    1. Kathy, I hadn't heard of Schitt's Creek until I was listening to an interview with Daniel and Eugene Levy on NPR. When I heard the cast, I thought, "I have to try this!"

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  29. By the way, Gladys Knight will be singing the National Anthem, so I will be sure to watch that part, prior to kickoff!

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  30. Awesome! And perfect for Atlanta, as well.

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  31. DEADLINE! BOO HOO HOO! Thanks for the list, Julia. If I ever finish this book...

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    1. You can do ALL the things as soon as you're finished, Jenn!

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  32. Okay, I think I'm probably the only one who has spent the day all in prep for the Super Bowl today.

    I was out at a party with friends last night so once I crawled out of bed at 11am (and without having had any alcohol since I don't drink), I got ready for the day and set about my first task.

    That would be calling in my order for a Crowd Pleaser sized order of Boneless Wings that I won as part of a Super Bowl Snack Prize Package at the local 99 Restaurant where I play trivia each week. I also take part in the weekly football pick 'em during the regular season and each time you play, your name goes into a drawing for one of 16 prize packages for the Super Bowl. I won one of them.

    Of course, I'm not having a party, so those got bagged up and will be lunch and dinner for a few days.

    Then I went to the 99 in my town for lunch with a friend and to pretend to annoy her daughter in law that works the bar there. Oh, and to flirt with the exquisitely beautiful Kayla, a friend of the D-I-L, who has the good sense to not be interested in me.

    Julia, I'm a big fan of Alabama as well. As for my plans for tonight, I've been going out to another local restaurant the last couple of years to watch the game. Like you, it hasn't been as much fun to watch the game at home because of the passing of my mother a couple years ago. We used to watch the game together. So a friend invited me out a couple years ago and cinched me doing so with the most wonderful phrase in the English language..."Free Halftime Buffet".

    Sadly this year, she's joined the unwelcome club of losing a spouse that she used to watch football with.

    I loved your list of alternatives to watching the game even if I won't be doing any of them. The one that made me chuckle was your mention of Candlemas. At first, I was thinking you forgot the second "s" and wondered why you were promoting a concert by a Swedish doom metal band, but then I remembered what you were actually talking about.

    So that's my day. Hopefully at the end of the day I will be cheering in joy, not moaning in agony.

    With that I finish with this...GO PATS!

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  33. I will be watching the game. But I'll be taking care of stuff online while I do like spending some time at Netgalley and scheduling my reviews for the week (assuming I get them edited first). There might be a nap involved at some point, too, although we shall see.

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  34. Some of the Cat, Kitten, and Puppy Bowls, Midsomer Murders, and Victoria. Of course, reading. Also working a jigsaw puzzle.

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  35. I actually started writing this post and somehow my Facebook, which is how I get into the blog, collapsed and I lost it and had to find you all over again and get to rewrite what I wrote. Okay stop laughing, it happens to everyone, doesn't it?

    So actually it's 5:20 in California so the Super Bowl is actually on and I've watched maybe 2 or 3 minutes of it because that's just the way it is this year. I'm just surfing over to check out the score, which, last time I checked, was really low. I'm not watching halftime show. I may be an old fuddy-duddy but I really miss marching bands. And, yes I know marching band come with high school and college football but I just miss them.

    Today's goal was to clean out the refrigerator of dead food which I have accomplished. Since I no longer cook for my mom on Sundays and like Mom, I kind of a problem cooking small. And when I do cook and try to freeze it and I have to remember to unfreeze it and reheat it and since my apartment doesn't have a microwave that means getting out of pots and putting it on the stove which I love to do but just not today. No naps, if I take a nap, I won't sleep tonight. I'll try to get another 10 to 20 rows I'm crocheting done on the baby blanket I'm making for a colleague and do some reading but that's about it.

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  36. PATRIOTS WIN 13-3 for their 6th Super Bowl Championship!

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