Six Dubiously Constructive Ways to Beat Blizzard Boredom

If you’ve read my latest book Freak of Nurture, or been around me for more than 45 seconds, you already know that I grew up in Wisconsin pre-global warming. Thus, there was snowcover from November until March, I sometimes went to school on a snowmobile, and a polar bear was my best friend.*

My EXTREME FAMILY: SIBLING EDITION (I am the youngest of seven) and I knew that if we bugged our parental units too much, they’d be reminded “Hey, what’s the use of having a herd of kids if you’re not using them for free labor.” We would be then assigned some horrible chore that only rural parents can devise for their offspring, invariably involving muck, poo (those are related in some cases), cleaning, clearing, being outside in the subzero cold or even–one long winter–handling a great deal of rapidly rotting homemade sauerkraut.

So we became tiny annoying experts at creating ways of amusing ourselves, something that has come in handy since I’ve been in seclusion while in recovery from my (hilarious) knee replacement.  If you were you not blessed with a childhood in which the penalty for muttering “I’m bored” was a chore that might lead to acquiring antibiotic resistant cabbage pox, don’t worry. I’ve got some suggestions to share with you:

1. Bundle up, head outside to where local children have been playing and turn their snow angels into snow devils. There are lots of ways to do this: you can apply food coloring, paprika, or laminated witty evil captions, or my favorite, simply lay down a piece of beef liver where the snow angel’s liver would be. Don’t bother to do this where pets are permitted off leash or you will be engaged in an different activity called Turning Snow Angels Into Places Where Places Dogs Fight and Every Dog Owner In the Neighborhood Gets Mad at You.

Do not worry about traumatizing children with this action. Children love gross things, even That Certain Type of Park Slope Child Who Has Had the Soul Parented Out of Them. In fact, these children especially need access to practical jokes involving rotting meat. Your action alone may save them from a lifetime of insufferability. Which is not a word but should be.

2. While you are waiting outside to see if local bloggers to come take photos of your snow devils and make you an anonymous viral superstar, you’ll need something to occupy your brain besides: “I am so so so so so so cold. Is this weather cold enough to kill me? Will it lower my sperm count? Make me lose IQ points? Develop a cat allergy? Why did my parents get divorced? Was it because my snow angels weren’t good enough?Man, it’s so cold” etc etc.

Your next boredom fighter task is pick a sibling and craft a conversation in which you can drive them to homicidal rage using an extremely limited number of texts. For example:


3. Frozen? Bloggers never showed? Go back inside and watch Will and Grace with your friend who has a doctorate in queer studies.

Okay that’s a joke.

You should never ever ever ever watch Will and Grace with your friend who has a doctorate in queer studies.

4. Text all your friends asking to borrow their netflix streaming login and passcode . Log in but don’t create a separate username. Then pick 20 movies that your friend would HATE and watch the first five minutes of each of them. Assign them a five star rating.

Their Netflix recommendation algorithm will be off forever.

It's one thing for Netflix to think you like Spongebob Squarepants. It's another thing to be accused of finding him "hopelessly romantic."

It’s one thing for Netflix to think you like Spongebob Squarepants. It’s another thing to be accused of finding him “hopelessly romantic.”

5. Watch  the pilot of Showtime’s  new series Masters of Sex with the audio muted while you stream the audio from any episode of Big Bang Theory. Much like the mystery that is Amazing Grace sung to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme song**, you will be amazed at the nerd-synchronicity that results.

6. Make affirmation cards that will help your friends work through their most difficult faults and foibles. Snail mail the cards to them.

Anonymously. Of course.

Anonymously. Of course.

Once you’ve affirmed all your friends, move along to your favorite celebrities.

Obviously this card is headed to Miley Cyrus.

Obviously this card is headed to Miley Cyrus.

If these don’t seem practical, you know what else you could do? Just go ahead and order Freak of Nurture. If you get the ebook it’s only like three clicks between you and starting the first chaper! It’s really funny, and also kind of sad, and maybe you will absolutely hate parts of it. But I promise you will not be bored.

*Only one of these claims is a lie.

**It really works. Try it.

Dude, Why A Funeral Home?

When we were making the plans for the NYC Release Party of Freak of Nurture I talked with the lovely women at the Sealy Cuyler Funeral Home* about having the reading there. They sagely asked “Why a funeral home? Are you at all worried that this will make people uncomfortable?”

The short answer is : Yo, I’ve had two partners die in a period of seven years. Of the same disease. At the same exact age. I make people uncomfortable by walking in the room. Let’s have some fun with it!

If you’re still not down with the idea of coming to a funeral home for a book party, I came up with a list of reasons why it’s going to be awesome. Pick your favorite:

1. Opportunity to see the inside of a really cool, bright green funeral home without someone you love dying.

See? Totally cool looking.

See? Totally cool looking.

2. Deal with your own fear of death for free instead of paying your sliding scale therapist  to say annoying things like “how does that make you feel?” when it’s already 100 percent obvious how you feel.

3. Be able to cruise for a date in a funeral home setting without being a complete anti-social jerk.

4. Laugh really hard at the readings I’ll be doing and thus reinforce neural pathways that deal with trauma AND help you remember where you left your apartment keys.

5. Have something cool to do on a Saturday afternoon so you can go home and watch teeveee on Saturday night with a clear social conscience.

6. Space is all ages and wheelchair accessible and vegan. Well mostly it’s vegan because you can’t serve food there on account of the board of health prohibiting eating & drinking at funeral homes. So much for my funeral home/frozen pizza theme restaurant idea.

7. Cause you’re a badass.

8. Cause you’re a New Yorker and you think things like this are cool and you might even wear your skinny jeans and flannel shirt just to show how ironically not ironic about being ironic you are.

9. Cause you want to support me on my big day, and you know I’m never going to have a wedding because of my Black Widow reputation. I mean, not saying I CAUSE cancer, just saying you probably shouldn’t get married to me if you’ve ever been a smoker or worked in an asbestos factory.

10. Because you’re going to laugh your head off. But not literally. But even if you did literally laugh your head off, no worries because you’re totally already at a funeral home.

The NYC release party is Saturday, May 18th at 4 pm at Sealy Cuyler Funeral Home 1084 Pacific (C or S to Franklin Avenue) Brooklyn NY 11238. Totally free. More details and updates on the facebook event.

* Sealy Cuyler is women-owned, and POC owned. And they’re really kind and caring and knowledgeable and LGBTfriendly. So if your plans call for use of funeral home, I bet they’d be a good pick.