How to never be bored (or how to avoid things that you’re supposed to be doing)

Whenever homework bores me (always), this is what I do:

1. Clean your room

For those of us who didn’t inherit the Mr. Clean gene, this may seem a little counter intuitive, and yes, I know I’m not your mother.  BUT when you get down to the nitty gritty, you find the coolest/funniest things you forgot you had!  That picture of you and your college roommate (with whom you later got in a huge hair-pulling girl fight that was broken up by the campus police ) striking cheesy poses, dressed up as pirates: ruffly collars and hooks and all.     Or an awesome note that someone passed to you in class years ago: the one that sparked the inside joke to end all inside jokes.

The things you find in hidden places are always the best (old binders, the back of your desk drawers, etc.).  And everything you find is guaranteed to bring back fun, happy, awesome, hilarious memories because we all hold burning ceremonies immediately for the things that bring back bad memories.  Right? By the time you have to go back to the “real world, you’ve been entertained for hours and have a half clean, half torn apart room.  Not bad.

2. Go to the library

I personally dream about the library.  I want to someday live in a library.  Something about all those books makes the creative part of my brain feel like it’s on crack- it seriously needs to take a jog around the block.  A few times.  Maybe even a cold shower.  And everyone who goes to the library is probably just like me.  And I know that every time I consider borrowing a book, I flip through the pages first.  Just to see if there are any hidden gems: notes in the margins, business cards, dollar bill bookmarks, doodles, love notes.  I pray for there to be a love note.  Doesn’t everyone?

So why don’t we write our own love notes?  Find the book with the oldest, most tattered looking spine, string together the  sappiest, gushiest, most cliche words on a pretty piece of paper, and shove it in there somewhere.  Bonus points for signing it with a bright, red lipstick kiss!

3.  Learn to write songs

Nothing hardcore;  you don’t need to have a degree from Boston Conservatory to write your own music.  you don’t need to know anything about music at all.  Just pick a melody that you already know, one that’s easy to sing to and make up your own words.  Even cleaning the toilet is fun when you describe what you’re doing to Hit me baby one more time.  Okay, maybe cleaning the toilet is never fun but some things doodoo need to get done. (Couldn’t resist).

If you’d really like to accomplish something with your voice, head on over to this guy’s youtube for some good voice warm ups and full lessons. For FREE!

4. Always daydream

I’m really not a funny person in real life.  I try sometimes, but people usually only laugh when I’m trying to be serious.  And that just offensive, guys! But for some reason, when I daydream, I’m the funniest person in the room.  No matter where I am in my daydreams, people are cracking up at me.  And unlike Real-life Jenn, Daydream Jenn never thinks it’s because there’s a piece of lunch left stuck in her teeth.  In fact, Daydream Jenn knows she’s truly hilarious.  So the next time you’re bored and lazy, get to work on the newest comedy flick starring yourself, premiering inside your creative little mind.  Everyone needs a good laugh every five minutes!

5.  Find the blind spot in your eyes

Believe it or not, your eyes don’t actually see everything that you see.  A tiny part of your peripheral vision is filled in by your brain.  To find it, make a small dot on an index card and cover one eye.  Stare at the index card, putting it as close to your face as possible, and without shifting your focus, move the index card away from you.  You may have to move it to the left or right.  It’s usually at a distance of 10 to 14 inches, and on a slight diagonal. You’ll see the index card, lines and all but without the dot you drew.  You could also try this, right on your computer.  Freaky, huh?  And you look pretty hilariously stupid to the people walking by! Everyone needs a good laugh every five minutes.

6. Make something

Make anything.  Invent a new flavor of cupcake using things in your fridge.  I like to use different flavors of coffee mate in place of milk when I’m baking.  Head over to Trash to Couture if you like sewing.  :-) Make a skateboard/longboard/shlongboard. Put together a photo album or scrapbook of your favorite trip.  Make a plain old mess (I think that’s fun).  If you need more ideas, visit Make Something Mondays!

7.  Freshly Pressed

Duh.  There goes a whole day!

Postcards for Papere

(Thank you to Halley :-) for giving me the answer!)

Almost exactly one year ago I made the craziest spontaneous decision: I was fed up with the monotony of my life. School, Work, Study. Bed. School. Work… I decided to drain my bank account and book a flight to Spain with my best friends for the coming July.  (I only have fun when I leave the country and I work hard while I’m here, why shouldn’t I?)

Summer came, July came, I finished vacation shopping, less than a week until departure, and then I got the phone call.  I was on lunch break at work.  Nana had had a terrible stroke, she was being violent toward the nurses out of confusion so they sedated her and moved her into Boston.  She might qualify for surgery when she wakes up.

However, when I was finally allowed to visit her, the reality of it was revealed to be less hopeful. Throughout my Nana’s stay my Papere was distraught, beside himself. But there was one moment of happiness, one enjoyable moment for him:  one day my Nana’s respiratory nurse came in, did his thing, said something to us that I can’t remember and then left the room.  My Papere looked at us, excited, and said, “Did you hear that!?”, “Hear what?” we asked.  “Did he have a French accent?”  And with that he was off in the hallway chasing the nurse.  “Parlez-vous Francais?” I heard him say “Oui” replied the nurse and they laughed and chattered away.

“You have to go” my aunts and uncles told me.  I knew I did, but the morning of my flight I knew what that would mean.  I almost didn’t leave her that day.  I spent the whole day with her, I took the 5:50 AM train into Boston and spent every second by her side, telling her about all the food I was going to eat, and all the pictures I was going to take for her.

When I came back my mom was at the airport.  She hadn’t been told when my flight was landing, I had a ride planned with my friend’s parents and then I would call her.  I knew something was up.  And then there was the emerald ring on my mom’s hand.  The ring that wasn’t hers.

We visited my Nana’s grave on our way home.  Seeing my Papere was the hardest, he was playing cribbage with my dad on the patio in the backyard.  Everyone cried.

After that I wanted to make sure my Papere still had good things to look forward to and fill his days.  One day during lunch with him I asked him if he liked speaking French or English better.  French was his first language so it must come more naturally, but he has only spoken English for so long because so few people in America speak French.  He said he enjoys speaking French but he doesn’t mind English because that’s what we all speak, his family.  That wasn’t a good enough answer so to gauge his thoughts a little better I asked it a little differently: “So when you dream, is it in French or English?”  And he laughed at me!  I was serious!  But it was great to see him laugh. (He didn’t know the answer, dreams can be hard to remember).

This led me to ask him about his travels, both with my Nana and without,  I asked if he had ever been to France: “No, but I would love to go! I’ve always meant to go!”

AHA!

And there it was.  I had to send my Papere to France.  But I had just spent all my money on Spain.  It had taken me two years to save up that much money. And I’m a college student…

That’s where YOU come in!

ANYONE living in, or visiting France: if you are willing to give me some of your time; give my Papere some of your time, send him a postcard!  Include a picture of something important to you and write your favorite thing about France.  Your favorite food, your favorite event, favorite person, thing to do, place to visit, etc.  (In French, if possible).

Realize that in doing this, you are spreading happiness in such a simple way!

If you would in any way be interested in participating in this act of love then please comment!  I’ll update you with a P.O. Box to send postcards to.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

xo Jenn