Rainy Monday: Cookies, Nerdfests & the Outkast Discography

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.

Summer reading

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.

“Skinny’s not worth as much as these delicious cookies” -not Kate Moss

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).

Don’t those glasses scream, “I know things”?

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.

Also on my current rainy day rotation (not necessarily together): The Roots – You Got Me, Emeli Sandé – Daddy*, Bob Dylan – Buckets of Rain, Tiësto & Wolfgang Gartner – We Own the Night.

*There are some good mixes of this song I like too.

Just two dope boyz..

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.

Can’t go wrong with Wes Anderson

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.

Justin Bieber on Rolling Stone

“Super Boy” indeed

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).

(Image Sources: 1 Beautiful Ruins, 2 Cookies, 3 JT, 4 Outkast, 5 Moonrise Kingdom, 6 JB)

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Beach Wish List

Summer is smiting us all for daring to say that anything before the solstice counted as summertime. It was 95 out last I checked, and 95 feels particularly bad when your car has a black leather interior and a broken air conditioner. I was basically sticking to my seat and trying to drive with my head out the window.

That said, the warm weather does mean some good news for us in the Ocean State: beach season. Nothing I love quite as much as baking in the sun until you can’t stand it any more and then diving into the freezing ocean. So in the spirit of beach season, I’ve put together my beach wishlist. Clicking any of the images will take you to the website where you can find them.

1.) Mara Hoffman underwire cami bikini: I love the bright and fun pattern, and a cami top gives a little bit more coverage. Plus I like to think the pattern will confuse the seagulls. I was traumatized by a rogue seagull who stole my lunchables pizza once, so naturally we don’t get along.

2.) 6 Shore Road one piece: I’ve been looking for a good one one-piece since they’re so great for swimming (and hiding last night’s food baby) and I love the way this one has the slightly less fitted top and the sleek bottom. Sadly I’m not sure it would be very flattering on my body, but it’s like that guy you date who all your friends say is bad news and secretly you know he’s bad news but he’s cute and you wanna date him anyway–ignore your instincts and wear it (er, him?) anyway.

3.) Roberta Roller Rabbit Coral Coverup: As someone who burns like crazy I always have to have something to put on when I get red, It’s perfect that this coverup has longer sleeves for those of us who will burn and will spend the next few days picking at the burnt skin. Coral is so great for summer, plus the silver trim jazzes it up a little.

4.) Big Floppy Beach Hat: I’ve been dying for an oversized hat to wear to the beach. They’re very Faye Dunaway meets Kentucky Derby meets nesting grounds for local birds. Naturally I couldn’t settle on just one. I love how absurdly large the black Jessica Simpson one is, but I also love white in the summer, hence the Echo hat.

Echo Braided Floppy Hat in White

5.) J Crew Beach Bag: I’m usually attracted to anything with bright colors and bold patterns, but this feels like a bag I could get a lot of mileage from. It’s got a nautical feel and the rope handles make it beach-perfect. Plus I could definitely fit in 5 or 6 different kinds of snacks and not look fat to the naked eye; you’d have to dig down to the bottom to hit my stash of snickers and Orangina.

6.) Calypso Beach Blanket: I usually just lie out on a towel but I’ve been searching for a good beach blanket. I can’t stand when your towel gets sandy on the ground and then you have to dry off with it and then you get sandy and then your blanket is still sandy when you lie down and somehow three days later there’s still sand everywhere. Enter beach blanket. This blanket is cute and looks big enough to fit a couple of people lying out.

It may not win for most cohesive list, but everything falls under the category of “I want I want I want.” The next step is clearly me photoshopping a picture of me with all these things on.

Of course there’s all the other beach essentials I didn’t include: water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, book, magazines. I recommend getting one of the Brita self-filtering water bottles ’cause they filter the taste on the go. Ice water is my best friend on days like today.

I’ll be spending the rest of the day darting from air conditioned room to air conditioned room. Stay cool!