Why don’t you watch National Geographic’s exceptional miniseries Kingdom of the Mummies? It follows Egyptologists Dr. Ramadan Hussein and Dr. Salima Ikram (who I adore) as they excavate an unusual complex in the Saqqara necropolis that turns out to be a funerary processing establishment…an ancient funeral home! Such a thing has never been seen before and it’s magical to see archaeology happen up close. But even better is the unintentionally hilarious narrator who talks about the “men jacking for five hours” and “holes that just keep giving” and “this is an exciting long shaft!” And since I have developed the sense of humor of a child thanks to a decade in public education, that was a hoot for me. I was sad that it was only four episodes long, but each one of them took me back to Egypt. 


Why don’t you revisit a favorite reality show and see what it still has to offer you? I became the man I am today largely thanks to The Simple Life. I have no shame in admitting that. It sculpted me. Another formative program was Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, that glorious show about a wonderful pageant family in Georgia. Y’all betta redneckanize! Recently, my sister and I have been watching the wonderfully insane spinoff, Mama June: from Not to Hot — FAMILY CRISIS (and isn’t that title just delicious!?); let me assure you reader, it is one of the best things we’ve ever done. The love we have for those people is so genuine and it’s been wondrous getting reacquainted. 


Why don’t you change your Apple Watch face to the one with Arabic numbers to force your brain to understand them at a glance? (And if you don’t have an Apple Watch, what are we going to do with you?) When I’m in Egypt, one of my favorite pastimes is trying to decipher the license plate numbers on the vehicles passing by. It makes me feel so learned, but for some reason, I’ve nearly forgotten. The last time I was at the British Museum, I came across a gorgeous watch in the shop with the Arabic numbers and I was desperate for it, but I wasn’t about to replace my beloved Apple Watch! I quite nearly cried when I discovered that this option was available. I’m dramatic.


Why don’t you go all over your yard and prune your trees? I’ve become passionate about tree shaping. This is another odd development of quarantine and self-isolating. I’ve become the Romanian hay farmer I always meant to become, though I’m not farming hay nor living in the Transylvanian grasslands. That’s still got to happen at some point! I spend my days now in a kind of bucolic wonderland where nothing matters but the land and the impact I make on it. It’s absurd. I roll my eyes at myself. Still, I find it wonderful to trim a tree up into a beautiful shape with branches that are just out of the reach of my hair. It brings me peace. 


Why don’t you start an intense fast? Did I talk about this already? I may have, but I’m absolutely enamored of intermittent fasting again and I’m taking it to a new extreme that is showing some really promising results. I do a thirty-six hour fast once a week, which sounds arduous, but is actually surprisingly painless. And I’ve never had an easier time losing weight. It’s absolutely wild. It gives me a huge amount of energy from god-knows-where and I feel healthy. It’s been a while!

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