February Doldrums

The February doldrums have got me in a headlock, and they show no interest in letting go. Every so often they’re throwing in a noogie to add insult to injury. I’m defeated. Come evening I have no struggle left in me. There’s nothing I can do, but throw myself onto the couch, snuggle under a blanket, and test my knowledge against the contestants on Jeopardy. Yes, my life has been reduced to that.

But the good news is I’m apparently pretty smart. Or else know a lot of random facts. I’d consider going on Jeopardy myself, but then I always consider how embarrassing it would be if you were in the negatives when Final Jeopardy rolled out and you got the boot. Mortifying. All the senior citizens I know would see it.

Anyhow, I usually intend to get off the couch after Jeopardy, especially seeing as it comes on here at 7 p.m. (what the heck is that? does this happen anywhere else or just in NC?), but for the past week the Olympics with their tragedy, triumph, and tear-inducing biopics have sucked me into a bottomless pit of television watching. What is it about the Olympics that does that? Is it that they allow for overt patriotism, the kind that ends with chanting things like U-S-A, U-S-A? Is it witnessing first hand that we all really can get along (at least for the most part)? Is it seeing the enthusiasm and exuberance of the athletes as they march into the the stadium, photographing and videotaping the whole experience? It is a morbid fascination with crashes and last-minute meltdowns, proving that these athletes are human too? I think it’s probably a little bit of all of this (and honestly, from a marketing standpoint, they know what they’re doing holding the Olympics in the most boring month of the year), because any other time, if I turned on the TV to find a bunch of guys cross-country skiing around a course and then stopping every so often to shoot their guns, I’d find something else to do. This week, though, I’m all “Ohhh, biathlon. Got to watch this.” I can’t explain it. I’m just accepting it.

So yes, you’re now realizing this post has dippity-do to do with travel. Sorry. This rotten weather cancelled my planned trip to Kentucky, so I don’t have any interesting stories to tell about covered bridges or barn quilts or the other fascinating sights of Northern Kentucky. But I didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten you. Thus this post.

And here, you can have a photo too.

It’s from the Galapagos. Look at the color of that water. Look at the sunshine.


I’d give you a few more, but they’re taking forever to upload, and I’ve got to run. It’s time to watch people sweep the ice (aka curl).

(Check back Monday for a real post… I promise.)

3 Replies to “February Doldrums”

  1. The reason I don’t go on Jeopardy – other than I would probably not qualify – is that I’m scared shitless of, say, a “Victorian Literature” category. During the “contestant introductions,” Alex would say, “and here we have Matthew Dowell, a professor of English at [choose your university.]” We’d do some talking about WRITING (hopefully) and it would all be good until that “Victorian Literature” category came up. I’d probably never buzz in 1) for fear of being wrong and 2) because I don’t know anything about Victorian Lit! So, the English professor would screw it all up, the video would prob end up on Youtube, and then I’d have students and, worse yet, students’ parents questioning my credentials. Little would it matter if I said, “You see, my disciplinary knowledge is composition pedagogy.” That would be splitting hairs invisible to most people. Not to mention, I’d totally nail one category (baseball, Kentucky Derby, college mascots, you know the important stuff), an achievement that would ultimately be nothing more than keys in a lava flow…

    …you may think all of this is irrational. But, it’s not. And it’s not just Victorian Literature. God forbid the category be “Avant Garde Poets” or “In Middle English.”

  2. Jeopardy comes on at 3:30 in Chicago. That’s a real, WTF. Imagine if you didn’t get off the couch after sitting down to watch Jeopardy in Chicago. Don’t worry, I DVR it and save it for a rainy day marathon.

    I nailed the “NFL Logos” and bombed “Inorganic Chemistry” on Jeopardy College Tournament. Jeopardy would definitely be feast or famine for me but damnit I’d certainly know how to wager on a Daily Double.

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