Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Downton Crabby

Let's talk Downton. Everybody loves to hate a certain character - be honest, you're not above it and neither am I. Here's my dilemma - I can't decide who is THE WORST character in season three. Just when I think that one character (O'Brien) can get no more reprehensible (O'Brien), they come back and redeem themselves just enough to confuse me (still O'Brien).

So, shall we lay out the facts to determine who is the chiefest of the Downton villains?

1. O'Brien.  

A typical day in the life of O'Brien might include sabotaging other household staff members, empty flattery, and/or chain smoking.

O'Brien's most heinous offense was leaving a slippery bar of soap outside the tub for pregnant Lady Grantham to trip on. This led to the tragic miscarriage of the unborn Grantham son who would have solved Downton's pesky heir problems.

Her redeeming qualities include an ability to think on her feet, fierce loyalty to those she cares about, and her ability to keep Thomas at bay.

2. Thomas

"Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife, hide yo' husband!" Or maybe just that last one.   On a typical day, you may observe Thomas making unwelcome advances toward house guests, staff etc. Since he is forever an unrequited lover, a failure at black market entrepreneurship, a petty-thief, a coward on the battlefield and a dog-napper, we may be able to overlook his tobacco addiction.  Taking these into consideration, I can't even begin to narrow it down to a most heinous offense. He's sneaky and manipulative. I mean, just look at that face.

A redeeming moment happened, in my opinion, when he wept over Sybil's death. Perhaps he has a soul after all. Perhaps.

3. Branson

A typical day in the life of this former chauffer would undoubtedly include heated political debates, "marrying up", attending nationalist rallies, and occasionally burning down the homes of wealthy noblemen.

Branson's most heinous offense was leaving pregnant Sybil to fend for herself and sneak her way back to Downton while he ran from the law.

Seasons two and three show few redeeming qualities for whiney Tom, but your heart goes out to him when his sweet wife dies after childbirth. We all really liked season one Branson, too, so that has to count for something.

4. The (late) Mrs. Bates

A typical day in Vera Bates' life would show that she is a vengeful wife, a thief, a blackmailer, and a murderer of true love. In a word - she's SCARY.

Her most heinous offense is allegedly suicide with the intent of framing her husband, John Bates, for her murder. The jury is still out on that one.
Pun intended. :)

I can't tell you if she has any redeeming qualities, but she certainly can't get any worse from here on out!

5. These Guys

A typical day in the life of these guys would involve a collaboration for running drugs in prison. I think. I'm super confused about them, actually, but they seem menacing. FREE BATES! (Sorry, had to say it.)

Most heinous offense - stashing drugs in Bate's bed to frame him.

Their inadvertent redeeming quality is that Bates is totally manning up under the pressure they're putting on him!

6. Molesley

A typical day in Molesley's life would probably render you comatose. Just the name "Molesley" conjures feelings of "bleh". He's so blasted boring and occasionally sniveling. I feel for Molesley what Michael Scott feels for Toby Flenderson. This probably means I'm a closet bully or something, but he needs to be stuffed in a gym locker for the rest of the season.

I honestly think I'll have to wait until the end of the season to truly know. Will Thomas and O'Brien get on the patch and change their ways? Will Branson mellow now that he's a father? Will Molesley detect dangerous levels of radon at Downton and save them all? Is it next Sunday yet so I can see what happens next?!

Today's post brought to you by Carson (and Jenni)

Today I realized some things that I will miss about this particular phase of Carson's life. Isn't it true that the quirky little thing that they do day in and day out, they one day wake up and never do again? That's heavy stuff - it makes this momma want to weep!

One of Carson's "things" is that every measure of time, if it's not RIGHT THIS SECOND, is "last week" to him. I love, love, love it. Also, he ends about half his sentences with "I guess". A therapist may tell you that reflects uncertainty and yadda yadda.  Since Carsie knows we think he's totally awesome, I think it's just a cute thing he does. :) I asked him to tell me a story so I can remember it forever. Here goes:

"My cousins were here last week and a tree fell on Gramma's house. Firewood fell on the ground and there were deep holes in the grass. I saw it when I was playing on the iPad. My friends were at my house, and Poppa chopped down the tree on Gramma's house while I was sleeping. I got flowers for Mom. I went to the pool last week and there was a slide there, a fast one and a really big one. It wasn't dark in there, and um, I was playing with my Dad. The End. Hey mom - it's the end. That was fun!"

There you go. Most of those things are true, they just didn't happen last week. :) I guess.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What are these things called?

No, actually, it doesn't matter. I'll still hate them just as much, even if I know what they're called. :)

Should we break it to our copywriting friends that no one thinks about copywriters ever? It's nothing personal. There are plenty of perfectly respectable professions that nobody ever thinks about. I would give some examples, but... well...I can't think of any. I rest my case.

(The best part of this one is the "Buddhist Boot Camp" at the bottom. What would that look like? Really, now I'm intrigued.)


  Okay, fine. I was a TEENSY bit amused by the metal detecting one. :)

But then I got to the teenage ones. I LOVE teenager stereotypes.
FALSE. I do not love them, they are the second worst thing ever.
 Right after whatever-these-are-called. 
Let's throw in lack of regard for spelling/grammar/capitalization/punctuation (third worst thing ever) and we have hit the TRIFECTA, my friends. 

Note: I realize these are not, in fact, the worst things ever. However, I'm hoping my extreme scorn will influence the general population and hasten the day when whatever-these-are-called are no more. :)

Saturday, January 05, 2013


On this fifth day of 2013, I'm thinking back on 2012. it was a big year for us, and we were all sick enough over the holidays that I didn't put enough energy into my yearly retrospection. Here are my "Big 12" for 2012.

1. Our second son was born the morning of February 3rd!!! He narrowly escaped sharing the birthday/holiday spotlight with his dad and Punxatawney Phil.

2. We became landlords. This was, and continues to be, one of my least favorite things ever in life.

3. Child #1 was finally successfully potty trained!!!  Potty training this particular child ranks just below "being a landlord" and just above "what I imagine a root canal would feel like" on my list of least favorite things.

4. We had an epic summer of family traveling (we love traveling!) This included:
  • Four trips in an airplane with a three-year-old and an infant. These went remarkably well!
  • A historical and seaside visit to Boston. May I recommend Nantasket Beach Resort to anyone staying in Massachusetts? Picture snuggling in front of a fireplace, watching the ocean roar just outside your balcony. Sigh...
  • A big, long stay with six awesome Koehler cousins in Philadelphia.
  • A daytrip to D.C. We saw some cool historical stuff, got two parking tickets, and spent half the day pushing the double stroller around the city looking for the place our rental car was towed. You can't win 'em all. Would you believe the day was still fun?
  • A fun two-day trip to Springfield. I'm the proud momma of a now four-year-old who can tell you quite a bit about "Ingaham Blincoln".
5. This really falls into #4, but in August we all four had our first trip to Disney. We usually travel on the cheap, but we are now a little enamored with the whole magical, expensive, touristy Disney gimmick!
6. I started running again! I'm real wimpy and don't run in harsh winter conditions, when I'm pregnant, or when I have broken lower appendages, all of which happened in rapid succession in 2011- 2012.

7.  God did something unexpected and cool. He gave my husband a new job opportunity in his hometown with Community Christian Church. We had done some networking with this church the past couple of years and we were impressed! Aaron taking this job meant leaving our jobs, our home, and our church family. It was a big deal, but we are loving CCC Yorkville, and the people in it!

8. We put an offer on a house...and we didn't get it! We decided that was actually a good thing, just in time for curt and rude-ish realtor man to call back and ask us to make our offer again. Thanks, but no thanks, bro.

9. We ate only whole, real foods for the month of September. I look at food differently now. I cook differently. I shop differently. It was a great month for our family, and I recommend doing something like this, for about 36.5 different reasons. It won't even make you too weird! ;) I just ate a Twizzler, but with the awareness that it's probably one molecule away from being plastic, I stopped at one! 

10.  On a related note, I have developed a taste for food documentaries. No pun intended. This one, "Forks Over Knives", particularly captured my attention and challenged my thinking.

11. God also used this book to challenge my thinking even more. Just when I think I'm getting things figured out, He usually shows me I'm not even close. It's good - it keeps life exciting!  

12. We decided, for several different reasons, that we will homeschool, for at least the first few years of our kids' schooling. This decision has been so validated, especially the past month. 

It was a good year, and I'm looking forward to the adventures 2013 holds for us!