carpe the crepuscular diem
May 25, 2007 6:16 AM   Subscribe

6-11 pm filter: what do you people DO between these hours? I am tired of watching bad TV and drinking warm vodka.

I know my empty evenings are a luxury. I want to use them properly. Right now, I and significant SO spend most weekday evenings on the couch in front of the TV. There is modest but nonetheless routine use of alcohol and its edgier friends as well. This is okay for like maybe one or two nights a week, but what are some ideas for better use of this time?

I know it's summery and green, but I usually run after work anyway, so any further exercise is not totally welcome. I mean, sure we could throw a baseball around or kick a soccer ball. That's a good idea. And slow elaborate dinners can be fun occasionally. But what ELSE is there? I live in semi-suburbia with little 20-something nightlife in striking distance. (I also don't really care for 20-something nightlife).

So how do you keep 6-11 pm from becoming a waste of beautiful, glorious life?
posted by bluenausea to Grab Bag (73 answers total) 107 users marked this as a favorite
Read a book?
posted by GuyZero at 6:21 AM on May 25, 2007

Volunteer. I volunteered to tutor people for citizenship exams in the evenings and it rid my evenings of boredom and made me feel better about myself.
posted by redarmycomrade at 6:22 AM on May 25, 2007

Great question. I use it for exercise and eating, going through mail, reading magazines and the Internet. I did a lot of home renovations for about a year during these hours.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:22 AM on May 25, 2007

Volunteer for an organization or cause that really interests you.

Learn a new art, hobby or skill....stained glass, painting, a musical instrument you've always wanted to play.
posted by Jandasmo at 6:23 AM on May 25, 2007

You might consider:

-Taking up musical instruments.

-Trying some two-player video/computer games, if you like that sort of thing.

-Earning a(nother) degree through evening classes.

-Getting a decent camera and taking pictures of things. Start a photolog or a journal, or some such thing.
posted by gaiamark at 6:25 AM on May 25, 2007

I study martial arts. Adult classes are frequently held in the evenings, since that's when the free time is (as you've noticed). It can get me out of the house as many as 4 times a week, although it's been years since I went that frequently. Good workout, nice people, fun, potentially useful.
posted by MsElaineous at 6:27 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sometimes it's nice to sit and listen to an album together. Or maybe play cards.

Doing a personal project that really scratches an itch can be very satisfying as well - I wrote a Windows utility recently because I couldn't find another program that did what I wanted and it was the most fun I've had in ages.
posted by teleskiving at 6:32 AM on May 25, 2007

Reading Metafilter.
posted by normy at 6:32 AM on May 25, 2007 can be quite inspiring for a while...
posted by tomw at 6:34 AM on May 25, 2007

I watch movies and knit.
posted by web-goddess at 6:35 AM on May 25, 2007

watch movies together
bowling once or twice a week (league + practice)
homework for online masters degree
posted by muddgirl at 6:37 AM on May 25, 2007

How about this twist on reading? You and the SO pick up a book on a subject you both want to learn and take turns reading chapters. Then each of you "reports out" to the other and you have a conversation about the topic while you're at it. Works best for non-fiction, but I have done sci-fi with unintentionally hilarious results.

Or take on a project - anything from ripping all your CDs or scanning your vintage photos to learning a language or how to blow stuff up. A great source is going back to when you were a kid - what'd you always want to do? I mapped a motorcycle route across Europe, learned (some) Spanish and planned a veggie garden this way.

Or...sit outside in the dark and watch the world. Highly recommended no matter what your surroundings.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:38 AM on May 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

Also consider gaming of the non-computer variety. Here's a game guide that covers a wide variety of games, and of course there are the more traditional 2-person games like chess, go, etc.
posted by mikepop at 6:38 AM on May 25, 2007

We play games. Sit outside and listen to baseball. Garden.

Or, get a dog. Our dog provides hours of entertainment. And she's less responsibility than a baby!
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:40 AM on May 25, 2007

For heaven's sake - put your vodka in the freezer.
posted by plinth at 6:43 AM on May 25, 2007 [11 favorites]

Boardgames can be fun if the weather isn't nice enough to venture outside. Just the other night my wife pwned me in Monopoly.
posted by fallenposters at 6:44 AM on May 25, 2007

Surely properly chilled vodka must be the first suggestion (sorry, I just got a new cocktail book and my new fave is the Iceberg).

More seriously.. can you manage board games? My SO and I love RoboRally (but also play backgammon). It can be a PITA finding 2 player games, but when you get a good one, it rocks.

If by 'edgier cousins' you mean the odd spliff, then double the roborally recommendation. Makes it much fairer in my house, and more amusing over-all.

My SO is an inveterate reader, so she'll often be reading while I play frivolous computer games and promise myself I'll read more next week...
posted by pompomtom at 6:44 AM on May 25, 2007

do some low stress, low mentality chore that allows you to chat together.

Exercise together

Nap together

Have the neighbors over for a cookout

Walk somewhere together
posted by mmascolino at 6:46 AM on May 25, 2007

Go to a Washington Mystics game!
posted by Carol Anne at 6:47 AM on May 25, 2007

Grill out. Sit outside on a deck or porch and read. Join an adult kickball league. Play laser tag. Anything that involves being outside really.
posted by ND¢ at 6:49 AM on May 25, 2007

Get yourself a subscription to Make magazine and a few tools. That'll keep you busy.
posted by bondcliff at 6:51 AM on May 25, 2007

I sew clothes/costumes or read while my SO plays computer games or spins records. Starting next week, I'll be taking a summer class two nights/week. Together we make dinner, watch movies, play chess, cards or other games, have sex, clean up around the house, and take walks around the neighborhood/park and get dinner or Italian ice. We also meet up with friends for food/drinks/bar/club. During the winter I go snowboarding at night whenever I can. Hobbies are a lifesaver!
posted by infinityjinx at 6:51 AM on May 25, 2007

I turned the TV off and got an allotment. Love it.
posted by twistedonion at 6:53 AM on May 25, 2007

Play games.
Fix up the house.
Wash the cars.
Do some gardening.
Design your dream kitchen.
Build your dream kitchen.
Cook fancy meals in your dream kitchen.
Design your dream backyard.
Host BBQ parties in your dream backyard.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 7:01 AM on May 25, 2007

Take a night class
Dance Class, Language Class, etc.
Go to your local tourism office, find out what's around you and be a tourist in your own town (go see all the sights).
Museums, parks, malls
Yard Work
2nd Job
Join a community group, church, fraternal organization, etc.
Coach a little-league team
posted by blue_beetle at 7:03 AM on May 25, 2007

Best answer: If you can bear to actually get rid of your TV, the evenings almost magically fill themselves. We found that once the soul-sucking irresistability of the one eyed monster had been eliminated, it was much easier to relax into "real" activities, and just being together.

At a minimum TVs should be banished to a small, uncomfortable closet somewhere, so when there's something on the box which really must be seen the temptation to sink into mindlessness isn't so attractive. This goes double if there are kids.
posted by anadem at 7:05 AM on May 25, 2007 [10 favorites]

Go to the gym?
posted by gramcracker at 7:08 AM on May 25, 2007

Write songs, perform, go to gigs, record songs, take photos, edit photos, surf, blog
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:10 AM on May 25, 2007

I'm usually so busy during the day and early evening that I want couch time when I get home to decompress. However, I don't want that time to be an existential black hole, so I don't have cable TV but do have a Netflix account. Get a Netflix account, fill it with substantive viewing material and shut the cable off. Problem solved without even leaving the couch.
posted by The Straightener at 7:11 AM on May 25, 2007

Best answer: There isn't anything you'd like to do but haven't been doing? Anything you routinely say to yourself, "If I only had a little more time, I'd..."

Because this is that time.

Read, garden, watch Netflix movies, learn a foreign language, learn to cook really well, get a pet, make your own furniture, sew, knit, meditate, write, learn web design, go to the park, play some Scrabble.

Really, there's nothing?
posted by fidelity at 7:12 AM on May 25, 2007

Board/card games. Check out this thread for tons of recommendations.
posted by mkultra at 7:17 AM on May 25, 2007

Run (okay, I do this alone)
Go for a bike ride
Sit in the garden with a beer and the cat
Ukulele singalong
Work on stuff related to hobbies (with us, it's our bicycles)
Play video games-- he lives WoW, I like Need for Speed
Dink around online
Read, either separate books or take turns reading to each other from the same book
Watch Netflix movies or recorded shows
Discuss interesting topics relating to politics, history, philosophy or science
Have sex
posted by hollisimo at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2007

I agree that if you're looking for something that's more social than watching TV but are inclined to being a homebody, boardgames are a nice alternative. Some modern titles that work well with two players include Lost Cities, Blokus, Mr. Jack and Ticket to Ride.
posted by blueshammer at 7:20 AM on May 25, 2007

If your problem is motivation, paying for a class can be a big motivator! Pottery class was my pick. I'm not taking any classes now, but I have three of my weeknights filled with activities: an informal choral singing group, trivia night at a local bar, and watching Lost with a bunch of friends (TV can be social!). Obviously the Lost night will have to be filled some other way until 2008... But you get the drift.
posted by chowflap at 7:22 AM on May 25, 2007

Shoot the shit with friends
posted by benign at 7:25 AM on May 25, 2007

Best answer: Seconding Netflix, if you are not feeling ambitious.

Thirding Freeze your Vodka.

Fourthing read books. You can find a LOT of very interesting stories by going to the library or bookstore and picking out books from the history section almost at random.

If you are in suburbia, you likely have a yard. Take up gardening.

I used to have lots and lots of spare time. I started a side business. It got written up in the local paper. Now I don't have that boring evenings problem. I so, so crave (and enjoy, when I carve out the time) the opportunity to just sit in front of my TV and do nothing.

So, maybe start up a side-business. Do you have a skill that could be useful to common folk? Maybe you could learn one. Whatever you do, don't live your life so you regret your wasted opportunities when you are old and feeble.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 7:26 AM on May 25, 2007

All those boring hobbies that you hear about. That's what we do.

I have a friend who lurks a forum dedicated to alternative histories. I find it boring, but he's really passionate about that sort of mind play.

He has a friend who delights in making pizza. He'll haul a granite (or whatever) block over to friends' so he can make them the best pizza he can. And he blogs about it. I really don't understand the effort.

I'm teaching myself photography by listening to podcasts, browsing forums, and finding interesting amateur work on flickr. I also have a photo blog. I'm sure some people would find that tedious, too.

What do you find absolutely fascinating that others just don't 'get'? Cram yourself into an entertaining niche culture and take pride in being the best at whatever of anyone you know. Get obsessed.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:32 AM on May 25, 2007

Here's what I do in my spare time:

I am a big geeby role-player. I use that time to run Ye Olde Skoole table-top games. Running a game takes up heaps of time in research and preparation. My partner plays, too, so we get together time while smashing beasties.

I also read like crazy and blog what I read. I have been known to buy books more or less at random. Some of that time is also spent managing my library, as I seem to be default book repository for family and friends.

I keep Siamese Fighter Fish, or bettas. They want a tank clean once a fortnight or so.

I have taken up embroidery. I also modify clothes.

I paint.

I make elaborate lunches for the following day, currently in the form of the bento box. I also reverse engineer dips - I've taught myself to make hommus, french onion dip, tzaziki and a few others from scratch. Hell, cook from scratch. That takes up ages, and it's incredibly fulfilling. I used to be a horrible cook, the sort that people would make up excuses to avoid dining with. Now, I have a handful of signature dishes that are developing Reputations.

I spend way, way too much time on the Internets.

Oh, and put the freakin' vodka in the freezer.
posted by Jilder at 7:47 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Playing an instrument is an excellent task to fill part of the time. Practicing once every day, for half to one hour, is just the perfect amount of time for continuous learning, but feel free to exceed the one-hour and play all night! You'll really be amazed at how quickly you get better if you follow a consistent routine like this. If you've never played one, try acoustic guitar - you can be playing a simple few-chord song in a week. Plus then you can entertain your also-bored friends! By far my #1 suggestion.

If you enjoy sitting down and taking it easy, try picking up a desk hobby. Building ships in bottles is a bit cliche, but it's still something I'd love to spend time on. Painting miniature models is nice if you're into that thing, like Warhammer (somewhat classical fantasy)/Warhammer 40K (more science-fictiony)/Lord of the Rings (well, like LoTR), and there's plenty of smaller companies that do characters and scenery too. Plan out a teeny village/battle/recreation from a movie scene/whatever, buy and assemble models, paint em, set it all up. If you chew away at this for an hour a night, eventually you'll have your little city! However this can be a bit tedious for those hard of sight (the models are teeny, and require great hand-eye coordination to paint well).

Pick something you're not good at, and get better. Can you bake a cake from scratch? Experiment with a cake a week! Forgotten a second/third language you learned in school? Pick it back up (you'd be amazed at the online language learning communities nowadays), or better yet learn a brand new language!

I highly recommend ditching cable 100% and going with Netflix or online viewing/torrents. I've been "cut off" totally from television for the past half year, only acquiring shows that I have a true desire to see and watching them on my own time. It's too easy to fall into the TV habit - sit and watch TV, feel crappy and tired so continue to watch TV, etc. Instead of squandering my evenings watching old reruns of Spin City and Seinfeld, I now selectively choose to watch one, or two, or three episodes of a given show or combination of shows. Best part - no ads, so an "hour" of TV is now 42 minutes, "half hour" is down to 21/22 minutes, total control over pausing/stopping, it's on my own time instead of what NBC thinks is best, etc etc.

Sit down one night with a pad of paper, a pen, and (hopefully freezered) vodka, and just write down all the things you've wanted to do, any interesting hobby you know of that interests you, any improvements or modifications to your house, etc. Then pick a few, and continue to write what the next step is for starting them. This is a very important step, or else you'll wind up sitting on your couch watching TV, only this time with a list of what you could be doing but aren't. Thinking of the next step gets the ball rolling, hopefully one of your ideas will begin to snowball until you're so motivated to accomplish it that it starts to fill your evenings. Tada!
posted by Meagan at 7:48 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

6-11 pm filter: what do you people DO between these hours?

Here is what I do:

5:30-6:30 - run with baby (includes slathering him in sunscreen time on the front-end)
6:30-7:30 - eat with baby and wife (includes shower on the front-end and kitchen clean-up on the back)
7:30-8:00 - walk with baby and wife (includes playground time in the middle now that he can walk)
8:00-8:30 - play with baby and wife
8:30-9:00 - put baby to bed (on non-bath nights this is done by 8:45)

9:00-10:00 - watch something downloaded earlier

for variety or as dictated by necessity:

9:00-10:00 - listen to something downloaded earlier (mp3 player or wireless headphones) and do some work around the house.

10:00-11:00 - hang out in bed with wife (talk, watch tv, sex, or read).

it is the same every night. but it is beautiful and glorious. ymmv.

for your immediate purposes, the baby could easily be replaced with a dog and you would free-up 30 minutes.
posted by probablysteve at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2007

Some things I do or have done with spare time:

Start writing fiction/making music/shooting films/etc.
Learn a new language
Teach yourself how to cook fancy meals
Teach yourself how to program
Start a small business doing something you love
Find a subject you like and become an authority on it

Time is the one thing a lot of people wish they had more of, you should consider yourself lucky. I really find that, for myself at least, working on something that makes me more skilled or opens more of the world up to me leads to a great feeling, plus it often comes in handy.
posted by atomly at 8:01 AM on May 25, 2007

Go fly a kite. Seriously you and your SO can learn to fly Stunt kites. You are in the DC area. Contact your local Kite club. (Wings Over Washington)
posted by Gungho at 8:06 AM on May 25, 2007

My wife and I had this problem earlier and got some good ideas from the Green.

Now, our weekday nights are almost too full. Between her kung-fu, our adult ed classes, and my standing card night, we don't have a lot of time together in front of the TV.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:19 AM on May 25, 2007

Lots of theater in your area. Watch it or join it.
posted by JanetLand at 8:21 AM on May 25, 2007

Buy a copy of 1001 Movies to See Before you Die. Watch them, in chronological or alphabetical order. Read every book on the Time magazine list of the 100 Greatest 20th Century Novels. Learn to play Scrabble, competitively (there is a club in DC, and the game has enough depth that you could spend years just learning to be a middling player). Take a course online or by correspondence. Take a bunch of them and get a degree, or another one. Start brewing your own beer. Plant a garden. Build a doghouse. Learn how to throw pottery. Learn how to make pasta, or bread, or pizza dough, or home-cured sausages or how to smoke fish. Buy an inexpensive keyboard and learn to play a Ben Folds song. Adopt a Wikipedia entry and edit it ruthlessly.

The only reason that I can imagine being completely idle for six hours a night is because that's what my folks always did. I could fill 24 hours a day for the rest of my life and still need more time.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:36 AM on May 25, 2007 [3 favorites]

Possible evening activities that do not involve television:
- go for a walk (a hike at a local state park even, if it's the right season and there's one handy - take a digital camera with you if you have one, which makes you look at and enjoy the details of the natural world more closely even if the resulting pictures aren't Ansel Adams);
- go to a movie theater;
- read a book (or subscribe to some interesting magazines so they are handy for slack times);
- listen to music (possibly while reading a book even);
- take a class;
- run for local political office and spend a lot of time in long meetings trying to improve your town/village/city/county;
- volunteer for a local non-profit/agency/charity;
- meditate (there may be a local dharma/Zen/martial arts group that would help you get started);
- go to a local sports event (high school/college/minor league teams - free to cheap and usually more fun than pro sports);
- take up a hobby or craft (anything from pottery making to to drawing to woodworking to gardening - all time-consuming and often producing tangible satisfaction).
posted by aught at 8:42 AM on May 25, 2007

Become an activist: politics, environment, local issues, whatever - you decide!
posted by biffa at 8:44 AM on May 25, 2007

Just the other day I learned that indoor rock climbing gyms tend to have evening-friendly hours -- both of the major ones here are open until at least 10 pm, and one only opens at 4:30 pm during the week, staying open until midnight.
posted by mendel at 8:47 AM on May 25, 2007

Geocaching or activism.
posted by unixrat at 8:59 AM on May 25, 2007

Make bread.
posted by grateful at 9:05 AM on May 25, 2007

Best answer: community theater

it's so much fun
posted by Salvatorparadise at 9:29 AM on May 25, 2007

Work. I put in three-and-a-half 11 hour days.

... leaving three-and-a-half days for exploring.
posted by mmdei at 9:33 AM on May 25, 2007

Drop by your local public library and wander through the stacks, looking at anything that catches your fancy. (Many PLs have evening hours.)

If you have the least bit of singing ability there are community choirs in any town over, say, 10,000 inhabitants, not counting church/synagogue choirs. Concerts are often around the holidays and in the spring; go to a concert and then afterwards, stop and ask the conductor (the person who spent the concert waving his/her arms around) how to join. All types of people belong to choirs--people that you may never encounter otherwise. For me, choir rehearsals fly by--seems like we've just started and it's time to go home.

Above all, if you can remember limiting your activities because you want to do "what people my age are supposed to do" or "what cool/affluent/single/childless/pet-less/professional/etc. people are supposed to do", STOP. Watch that inclination in yourself, and squash it the second you think it. There is no "supposed to do". The ideas you may have of what is a correct activity and what's not, are fiction. If you don't have a dog, you can still run in the dog park. If you don't have a child, you can still shop in the toy store. And if you don't like reading, you can still hang out in the library. Doing what you don't feel you're supposed to do is how you learn--and how you avoid boredom.
posted by gillyflower at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2007

After work, between 6pm - 11pm I:

- read a good book
- watch a movie with my husband (yay, netflix)
- relax on the deck with a glass of wine and just think
- do crafty things like make cards or other random crap
- play with the cats
- cook a nice dinner while listening to music
- clean up while listening to music
- play games on my computer like wow or scrabulous
- go shopping
- go out for dinner someplace fun
- make phone calls

alternately, volunteering is a great idea, as is just finding someplace relaxing to peoplewatch. another idea is to sign up for an evening class at a local college - something artsy if you like that or a language class or anything that interests you.
posted by tastybrains at 9:56 AM on May 25, 2007

Swap the vodka for wine.

Buy some books about wine and get tasting. I started this a year ago and I'm loving it. Upsides are it's tied into food so I end up cooking a lot more and eating out a lot more. And I'm no longer daunted by restaurant wine lists. The tasting can be a laugh when done with your SO. You relax, cook food, talk a lot, laugh at each others descriptions of the wine and so on. Throw in some movies or music, wine-tasting events, planning trips to vinyards, board games, a little loving etc and your laughing.

Downside, drinking every night and hangovers ;)
posted by brautigan at 10:16 AM on May 25, 2007

I draw.
posted by RMD at 10:20 AM on May 25, 2007

Get rid of your cable (if there's something you have to watch, like a game, you can make an even tof it and go to the bar), but not the tv, so you can still rent movies. Oh and between six and 11, you can work to stop the war. That's not nearly as unfun as it sounds.
posted by history is a weapon at 10:30 AM on May 25, 2007

Read a lot. Teach yourself a foreign language. Research and plan a mighty road trip or overseas dream vacation. Visit relatives. Paint over grafitti and pick up trash at a local park. Take up birding. Assign yourself a topic and write a semi-scholarly paper. Set up a woodshop in the garage and learn how to make or refinish furniture. Clean out the attic and/or cellar. Start writing a family history and videotape the oral memories of your elders. Play boardgames (warning: the high-end ones these days are often $50+).

Personally, I like to undertake massively eccentric projects such as building my own hellmouth in my backyard. Or stalking my neighbors. Some of these activities may be frowned upon in your area.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 10:31 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

start a weekly group for something that interests you, like rotating potluck dinners, playing games, doing crafts or another shared hobby, discussing books or even watching movies together. it's nice if it's at someone's house because that allows it to be more leisurely and casual than a public club meeting. and if it happens with others on a regular basis you will have that much less planning hassle and that much more motivation to actually do it. even one activity buddy can really help with things that you'd like to do but can never quite seem to get up the motivation for.

also, my partner and i sometimes have fun with days where one of us chooses all the activities for us to do together. you can choose either ahead of time by planning a full schedule or as you go along, but it's fun because you get a buddy to do all the things you've been wanting to do, and there's less of the "what do you want to do?" "i don't know, what do you want to do?" feedback loop. then on another day, we swap.
posted by lgyre at 10:40 AM on May 25, 2007

Might just be my personality, but I find leisure time to be irritating. I'm happiest when overextended and working my ass off.

In that vein - why not ask for more hours at work? Or work after hours on special projects?

How about - carefully, if you're working for someone now - starting a side business? Invest some savings into it - do it right, plan to make a career.

If you're working out already - go nuts with it. Exhaust yourself.

Compete in something. Win!

Take on a huge, overwhelming project that people are counting on you for.

Life, in general, shouldn't necessarily be so easy.

When you've only got an hour or two a night to take a deep breath and relax, you won't mind turning on the tv for a few minutes before you pass out.
posted by milinar at 11:17 AM on May 25, 2007

I second (third? fourth? whatever) the suggestion to ditch your cable. Everything else follows from that. I can't for the life of me figure out how I used to find the time to watch TV.
posted by rusty at 11:49 AM on May 25, 2007

Find a sport you like, research it thoroughly, and put some money on the games.
Evening classes.
Learn how to make flash animations and put something entertaining or informative on the web.
Guitar Hero 2...I mean learn to play the guitar.
Find a sport you like and find a league or a gym where they have pick-up games.
Become an entrepreneur.
Invent something.

I tend to call my friends and do the 20 something scene.
posted by clearly at 12:46 PM on May 25, 2007

1) sign up for a porn knock-off of netflix,
2) have sex
3) combine 1 & 2 in fun and interesting ways.
posted by nazca at 12:57 PM on May 25, 2007

Cooking lessons. Plays. Be IN a play. Thats when most community theatres rehearse. You could also work on the technical aspects if you have stage fright. Go out and take pictures.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 1:27 PM on May 25, 2007

I have no source, other than what a leadership seminar speaker said last week: A person's success in life is determined by what he does between 5 and 10 pm.

Made sense to me. If I sit and veg out... every day is the same. If I use that time to take photographs, and work on marketing my art and design, then I stand a far better chance of meeting my goals.

Exactly WHAT you should do.... that's up to you to figure out.
posted by The Deej at 3:55 PM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

A few people I know spend their time "levelling up" their MMORPG video game characters. Do that, except to your real-world life ;-)
posted by -harlequin- at 4:14 PM on May 25, 2007

Watercolor painting. Horseback riding. Reading interesting non-fiction books. Cleaning the house with loud dancy music playing. Sculpting and painting finished sculptures. Teaching a hamster to dance. Going for nightwalks through the city or a cemetery or just back streets I've never been on before, getting to know my city, my home. Climbing trees. Making to-do lists for the next day. Making grocery or sundries shopping lists and going shopping. Learning to animate, and animating all manner of silly things. Writing emails to friends I haven't kept in good contact with from college. Writing real paper letters to my long-distance boyfriend. Going through my clothes and throwing out things I don't wear anymore. Rearranging furniture and lamps to make my house look different. Finding new genres of music and listening to them, then finding out more about their histories, artists, and the movements they were associated with. Attempting to figure out politics and follow them. Calling up Spanish-speaking friends to practice my Spanish. Memorizing the words to a song I'd like to know. Keeping track of my money. Taking a long, hot bath. Making plans for the future. Making fantasy plans for future vacations and road trips. Talking with friends on IM. Making lists of things I'd like to learn and do before I die, and making plans to accomplish those goals. Cutting off split ends in my hair. Learning about foreign places and peoples.

Those are some of the things I do, anyway.
posted by po at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2007

Write letters--- real letters--- to old friends. You can try not only to stay in touch in an now-old-fashioned (and therefore somehow more meaningful) way, but also reconnect with important people from your past who, (maybe) merely by circumstance, have fallen by the wayside.


Dance! At a studio, or couple-lessons... whatever. Dance is not only a great workout but also improves the way people carry themselves.
posted by liverbisque at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2007

Apparently I should have previewed on the letter bit; apologies.
posted by liverbisque at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2007

hmmmm ... marathon 5 hour sex sessions.
posted by jannw at 4:51 PM on May 26, 2007

We joined Netflix and have enjoyed watching movies that we've "always meant to see" as well as newer ones. Also I love to cross-stitch and find it very relaxing. If you think cross-stitching is just for grannies, check out Subversive Cross-Stitch which is what got me started. I do it while chatting with my beau or watching TV or just listening to music.
posted by radioamy at 6:13 PM on May 27, 2007

Have kids.
posted by ericales at 3:43 AM on May 29, 2007

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