Today I woke up to thunderstorms and torrential rain and thought “wow, what a perfect excuse to do nothing.” Or, perhaps more accurately, a perfect excuse to not leave the house. I’ll do plenty: start my new book, start my coursera.org class, read some magazines, potentially bake something and catch up on episodes of Chopped. Who says you can’t be “productive” in pajamas? (Productive is in parentheses ’cause you’ll note that nowhere on that list is there job searching or GRE studying–the rain sapped me of all true productivity)
So, in honor of being unemployed and wearing pajamas all day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things to do on lazy rainy days (the broad categories and the specifics of this particular rainy day).
1.) Read a book. Pretty much the list could stop there, since I’m of the opinion that finding a comfortable chair and reading all day is the best use of a rainy day. I’m just starting Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and have read good things about it. Before that I finished Cannery Row, part of my annual Escape into Great American Literature plan.
2.) Bake something. As anyone who’s ever lived with me knows, baking is my answer to both anxiety and boredom, and it’s a perfect gross weather activity. I’ve been eyeing this recipe from Ezra Pound Cake for Drunken Blondies. They’ve got coconut, pecans, chocolate chips and bourbon–I’m on board. For the more baking impaired there’s always the slice and bake approach.
3.) Learn something? Okay this is my inner nerd coming out again, but whenever I have a chunk of time where I’m not doing anything and I’m not hungover I like learn the stuff I’ve been meaning to learn, from tackling more coding or language learning to reading up on all the news issues that slipped by me in the previous week. Then, when I actually interact with other human beings I can say, “I know things.”(There I go with my liberal elitism, I like knowing things)
If you’re equally as nerdy but don’t like Wikipedia-fueled education like me, there’s a great website called Coursera where you can take 6-12 week classes on a topic. The assignments are totally optional and the classes are mostly just there for people who want to learn about something, so they’ve got lectures and readings you can do on a particular topic. I’m signed up for one on the Affordable Care Act (I don’t think I need to further drive home the point that I know how nerdy I am).
4.) Get lost in music. Along the same lines, I like to use rainy days for finding new music, listening to that music I downloaded a month ago and never got around to considering, or just going back and busting out some CD I haven’t listened to in a while. Currently I’m cycling through all the Outkast on my computer, and I don’t hate it. ATLiens is my one of my favorite rainy day CD’s, but I’m not quite sure why.
*There are some good mixes of this song I like too.
5.) Go to a movie by yourself. Before you tell me that I’m a huge loser, let me defend my love of going to movies alone. Yeah I like to go with friends too, but really if you’re gonna do anything alone, seeing a movie is the thing to do. It’s a silent activity, one with pretty much zero participation. The entire two hours is spent in the dark. Plus, you’re entertained (hopefully) even though you’re not with anyone. I’m planning a solo trip to see Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom either tonight or tomorrow night, and I’ve only heard good things about it. A wise man told me, “Do it. You won’t regret it.”
If you’re super not into that I suppose you could watch a good movie at home. Watch something off the AFI Top 100 that’s not The Godfather or Rocky, I dare you.
6.) And the ultimate “I’m Bored” game: playing with magazines. Go through Rolling Stone and circle every overly-glowing or pandering-to-the-hip review. Go through any fashion magazine and make a collage of all the side-boob. The options are endless if you leave yourself open to snark and banality. If we’re talking rainy night (or you’re tryna drunk weather the storm? to each his own) these can of course be made into drinking games, although if you’re going there I recommend thisWicker Mandrinking game–delight in the wonder that is Nic Cage.
Things not included on my rainy day list: exercise (too active), naps (obvious and inevitable), cooking (one word: delivery), zoning out and doodling (too specific to my life), watching TV (oh don’t you worry, that’s coming).