1. Completely clear your schedule. For the next few weeks, nothing else matters but work, food, sleep, and Olympics.
2. Stretch your jaw muscles well prior to watching the opening ceremonies. Who doesn't remember the shock of seeing the Industrial Revolution rise out of the ground during the London games? Who didn't nearly faint to realize mid-way through the Beijing ceremony that the movable-type blocks were being controlled manually by nearly nine hundred performers in perfect synchronization? Stretching your face muscles prior to viewing will prevent straining during those unexpected jaw drops.
3. Stock up on junk food. Nothing says Olympics quite like a crock pot full of quietly bubbling Velveeta and a lap full of tortilla crumbs.
4. Prepare to engage in supremely ironic criticism. While you sit on your couch eating chips and watching world-class athletes in peak conditions parade around in skin-tight uniforms like young gods, don't be surprised to find yourself feeling supremely critical. You will watch these amazing athletes performing feats of athleticism that you can't even understand, only to be unimpressed because "he wobbled a bit on the landing." Never mind the fact that if you attempted it yourself, you would do much more than wobble on the landing. You would probably die. But it doesn't matter. Everything about these young Adonises comes up for summary judgment: everything from bushy eyebrows, close-set eyes, weird moles, and oddly-shaped ears will be subject to your critical evaluation. Don't feel guilty about this. It's part of the Olympic spirit.
5. Learn to forego sleep. Although you will tell yourself that tonight you won't stay up as late.... that tonight you will content yourself with just the first few rounds of competition.... that tonight it will be different!!!.... know that in the end, the clock will always betray you. The next thing you know, you'll wake up on the couch in the wee hours, chip crumbs stuck to your face, with Bob Costas still droning in the background making empty promises to reveal the final results after one more commercial break.
If you're a fan of the Olympics, then you know that watching the Olympics can in itself feel like an Olympic sport. After all, it takes a lot of energy to prepare enough snacks, to ensure that you've gathered everything that you'll need before the events come on the air (pillow, throw blanket, food, drink, remote, cell phone, etc.), and to employ your skills as an armchair critic.
Whatever your 2014 Olympic experience may be, I think we call can agree that no matter how much we may love the thought of international travel, this year we're all happy to be watching from the comfort of our own homes rather than from Sochi itself.