Since I’ve moved to New York in 2005, this winter has by far been the coldest, windiest, and most blizzard-y one. Now more than ever I feel myself much less inclined to step outside, especially when the wind sounds like something in Misselthwaite Manor, a la The Secret Garden. Though, in this case (Spoiler Alert!), it is actually the wind, and not a stubborn wheelchair-bound child named Colin whose ability to walk (and sense of whimsy!) is reengaged by the spirit of Mary Lennox.
What do do, then, if not face the outside world? I’m not going to advise things like “clean your room”, because, that’s in no way remotely fun, and my mom would always say that shit if I told her I was bored. Here’s MY two cents, as Kent Brockman would say, on potential indoor activities:
Have a Crafternoon [(c) Alex G.]
As Kate pointed out, it’s never too late to learn how to knit. Aside from that, you can definitely make some holiday, birthday, or Valentine’s day-inspired cards for all your friends, enemies, and old people that are easily amused! You can even make this into an old timey tea party from your imagined days of youth as a Victorian child. I know Alex G. (of Broke Ass of the Week fame) and I will.
Read A Book for Longer than 20 Minutes
Apart from holiday travel, etc., it seems the only time I have to read is on the subway, which is generally, no more than a 20-minute period. Though the book of essays I’m reading now, Chuck Klosterman’s IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, is perfect for subway reading (however long it may be), I’m the type of person who, no matter which way the material is divided, would much rather invest a more significant amount of time into whatever I’m watching or reading. Now’s the time to start reading Infinite Jest, for real this time.
Download New Music
As much as I like music, the act of aquiring new music is a total pain in the ass. A couple of less painful methods in aquiring music: (1) Gather a bunch of “Best Of” lists from your favorite websites & blogs, peruse, and search mp3s from there, (2) Pick a genre of music you’ve been wanting to get more into, do some internet research on key tracks, and proceed. I actually did this accidentally, via reading AV Club’s Nathan Rabin’s Nashville Or Bust column.
Catch Up on Unanswered Emails
I actually like corresponding with friends in faraway places (aka not NYC), and the only reason I don’t do it more often is because I rarely have time to respond as thoughtfully as I’d like. I think winter was made for times like these, otherwise, I think Abigail & John Adams correspondence probably wouldn’t have been so voluminous and rich– despite the fact that I’m speaking about it as though this is a shampoo commercial.
This may be fairly obvious, but let’s face it: you’re burning calories, it’s fun, and it passes the time. Also, you may even learn something new about yourself that you may not have otherwise had the time to discover.
Pop Culture Education, Netflix Style
If you have not yet figured out how to activate your instant queue on Netflix, do thineself a favour and activate this feature immediately. For reals, this is probably the most efficient way to watch movies, and the best movie-watching invention of the past 20 years. I have a friend that actually reserves Sunday night specifically for watching things on her instant queue, as a sort of pop cultural catchup– she was forbidden as a child to watch many of the movies that shaped a generation of 80s babies, such that she (somewhat jokingly) refers to Back to the Future as “The Movie With The Car”. It’s beyond me how she’s managed to avoid the numerous times all three of the films in this epic story have aired on USA and various other networks, but regardless, thanks to Netflix, she can now understand all those Crispin Glover references all the kids are making these days!
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