Anything is Better than Nothing

I… haven’t got much going on right now. Don’t get me wrong, I have goals. Both long- and short-term. I know what I want to do in the abstract but making any of those ideas reality is challenging. Not because of roadblocks or anything, I’m just… lazy. I’m working on it. My current mantra is “Anything is better than nothing”.

Like, going to the gym and struggling on the elliptical for 30 minutes while smiling maniacally at a Friends rerun is better than being pestered by cats while I sit on my couch playing Dylan O’Brien 2048 while watching a rerun of Friends and smiling maniacally.

Or, researching grad programs is better than re-reading my favorite fic. Eating yogurt, blackberries, and cheerios for lunch was better than going downstairs to Chipotle. Making my own gifs of my favorite shows and posting them on tumblr is better than scrolling through tumblr lamenting the lack of gifs for my favorite shows.

Anything is better than nothing.

Which is also why I participated in Camp NaNo this year. It was the first time that I participated in any NaNo event because NaNoWriMo is in November and until very recently that was the lead-up to finals and, well, that wasn’t going to help me be any more productive or write any better. But now, now that I’m out of school and have all of this free time, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t “win”. To win NaNo you have to hit a specific word count. In November, for National Novel Writing Month, that means writing 50,000 words of a new novel. For Camp NaNo, participants can set their own goals. I set mine at a much more modest 15,000 words. I did not write 15,000 words. I added about 10,000 words to my draft in the month of April. I wrote another 1300 words or so as part of an outline, but that doesn’t count.

So I didn’t “win” Camp NaNo. But I wrote. I wrote a lot. I wrote in DC and Virginia and even in Boston.

I wrote up to the climax and then I froze.

Which is dumb. I’ve known how the climax will play out in this novel/draft/manuscript/whatever you want me to call it for ages. I know what’s going to happen next and I even have it written out in what is, for me, a surprisingly detailed outline. I just need to write it.

So that’s where I am. Trying to be a more productive human. Trying to finish this goddamn draft even though it’s already 99k words and I haven’t even written the climax. Trying to figure out what programs I’ll apply to for graduate school.

But I am working on those things. I’m being proactive instead of reactive. I’m writing, and planning edits, and thinking up the outline of a short story. (I’ll need something to work on after this draft is finished and I shelve it for a month or two to really let it ferment before I cut it to hell and back.) I’m still madly researching grad programs, and thinking of which professors to ask for recommendations. I’m making gifs. I’m occasionally going to the gym and trying to eat healthier. I’m reading books and impatiently waiting for new ones to be ready for me to pick up at the library. I’m marathoning TV shows to be prepared for ATX Festival in June. I’m looking for concerts to go to. I’m planning game nights with my friends and day trips to amusement parks and paintballing, and to trampoline parks.

Anything is better than nothing.

One More Page

photo

Look at all the pretty.

So, alright, this is one resolution broken. I had a list of totally manageable New Year’s Resolutions, or so I thought. One of them was to blog once a month. Once a month! That’s not even difficult! And I kind of equivocated with “yeah, but February is the shortest month” but that’s bull. I just didn’t do it. I put it off until the last minute, like always, and didn’t follow through. Instead of blogging on February 28th, I spent it watching Teen Wolf with my best friend. So I don’t regret the decision, necessarily, but I could have blogged while we watched (I had my laptop, after all) or I could have, you know, just not procrastinated. [See: me finally finishing this post on March 31st.]

And yeah, I did my usual roundtables over at Off Color TV, [uh, okay, no. Nope. I’m behind on Parks and the last few eps of Teen Wolf fell through the cracks.] but that was contributing to a post, not actual blogging, and… you don’t care.

Anyway, BOOKS! I’m kind of glad this post got delayed because I have even more book-related stuff to talk about. Y’all know that I love books. Love, love, love ’em. I’ve been buying them more and more, which is wonderful. There’s a certain sense of joy and also comfort in having shelves lined with books. I keep mine organized by color because they’re my books and I can do what I want. Also, I’m more likely to remember what the book looks like than the author or the title at any given moment. It’s my system, it works for me. And gives me some pretty cool looking bookshelves.

So the last month or two have been more bookish than usual. It’s glorious. I’ve been going to the library more often because it’s just through the park and it’s a really nice walk. Sure, the loan-period isn’t very long and the renewal limits are even worse, but books! Free books! And they have a rotation of books for sale that are never more than a dollar. So far I’ve already acquired The Age of Miracles (Walker), Great House (Krauss), Middlesex (Eugenides) and Telegraph Avenue (Chabon). I also wanted to get the copies of Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and send them to friends as a fun project, but alas, when I returned they had already disappeared.

But I’ve also made more of an effort to buy new books. Because, as much as I love second-hand books – books that have had their pages turned, that have a life of their own – authors don’t get those proceeds. So I’ll still use the library or my Kindle to find books and authors I adore and admire and then once I feel that tug of connection with a book, or an author, or just a sentence that was so beautiful you wonder how someone managed to write it, I have to buy it.

I’ve recently fallen in writer-love with Maggie Stiefvater. She seems amazing, her life seems cool, and her books make me want to die a little bit. But in a good way. I once pulled up a review of The Raven Boys on my phone in the middle of a bar to show my friend Kate one of the (many) amazing sentences that filled its pages. Since I read TRB, I’ve been picking my way through her other books. I bought Forever at a Half Price Books when I was visiting my parents over Thanksgiving. It’s the third in a series, though, so it sat prettily on my shelf while I worked through the first two. Shiver I got from the library. A day after I picked its sequel, Linger, up from the holdshelf at the library – while I was still carrying it around in my purse – I bought a signed copy from One More Page, an independent bookstore where my friend Kate was participating in a reading/author panel. (Don’t worry, I bought the anthology she appeared in, too!)

There’s some small addiction in buying books. I love to see my shelves fill up, to support authors, to know that I can read any of them, any time I want. I can’t suddenly drop everything to follow the assassination trails of past presidents or skip a little league game to save the world from Coyote, but I can pick up these books and be transported into those situations and that’s kind of thrilling.

So, I’m going to read Kate’s short story and give her some feedback before diving back into Forever. And then tomorrow Camp NaNo kicks off and, though I don’t really understand how it works, I’m hoping to finish the first draft of my novel. The novel I have been working on for two years and then end is in sight, people! Maybe one day, in a year or even ten, I’ll have my very own novel to add to my bookshelves.

Oh, I also picked up a few galleys when One More Page had their 3rd anniversary party. I got:

  • The Unnaturals (Barnes – whom I follow on Twitter and kind of adore)
  • Etched on Me (Crowell)
  • Be Safe, I Love You (Hoffman) [I actually got this book as the result on Buzzfeed’s What New Book Should You Read This Spring? quiz]
  • The Remedy (Goetz)

Epistolary, Minus the Novel

I cannot, in good conscious, call myself a ditz. I can, however, use many synonyms thereof: scatterbrained, silly, foolish, brainless, capricious, etc. Because I did a thing. Not quite bad enough to be called stupid or negligent, but kind of dumb. Let’s take it back to the beginning.

Maybe it started when I learned to communicate with the world. But that couldn’t be it because I was a painfully shy little girl. (Don’t worry, that didn’t last long. Though my disdain for strangers hasn’t at all diminished.) Or perhaps it was when I learned to read and write in 1995? No, it must have been much later. Surely, it was 2001 when my mother got a job at the local library. Maybe it was an on-going thing, my grandmother faithfully writing me letters throughout my childhood, fostering my love of correspondence. Which explains why, after I stopped writing to my friend sophomore year of college, I have ever since have wanted a new pen pal. Whatever it was, the result is this:

Kristen moved to Portland. One of my best friends moved 3000 miles away and while that was painful, I was happy for her. It was exciting! And I saw an opportunity. I finally had someone I could write letters to again! So a couple weeks ago, I started doing just that. I pestered her and pestered her until she gave me her new address and I started writing letters.

Let me just say, I’m not the best letter-writer. There are a combination of factors: I kind of insist on writing in cursive, I’m not very punctual, and, well, to be honest, there’s not much going on in my life worth writing about. But letters have a kind of magic to them – there’s a reason #4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrrey was filled with scores upon scores of letters instead of the Dursley’s house phone ringing off the hook. There’s something inherently personal about letter writing. They prove that more thought and care has been taken than any other form of communication I can think of. (Except perhaps semaphore. That takes some serious commitment.) Letters are tangible; they have a life to them. They are keepsakes and memories. And it’s a lot more fun to mail your friend weird cut-out news articles than it is to forward it to them via a bit.ly on twitter. Trust me.

[I once mailed my friend Anne a care package that included, among other things, a news clipping about a bear that, after sniffing peanut butter on the steering wheel of a car, got trapped in the drivers seat and rode the car into a ravine. A shallow ravine. More of a ditch, really. Or maybe it drove into a tree? Either way: the bear got into a car accident whilst in the car.]

So, when I have time to kill or when I have something to say, I sit down and write Kristen a letter. I did so a fortnight ago while waiting for a friend so that we could get dinner after work. I sat myself down in a Starbucks, pulled out a pilfered legal pad, and wrote. And when it was time to meet my friend, I absentmindedly tucked the letter into my purse and carried on with my night.

Which would have been fine. It would have been fine except for the fact that I tucked the letter beneath the cover of the book in my purse. The book that was already woefully overdue from the library.

See, here’s the thing. My mother works at the local library back home. Which is great for any number of reasons. For me, it means my library requests are delivered directly to me. It is a library where books can be renewed ad infinitum. And a library at which, for a beautiful decade, I never, ever had to worry about late fees. Which means that I absolutely got into the habit of not worrying about late fees.

So a fortnight ago I had Amanda drop me off at the library, for no other reason than we had possession of her mother’s car that day. I went inside with no other agenda than to return my woefully overdue books, pay my fine, and pick up whatever it was I had on the holdshelf. (A really good haul, actually: Season 1, volume 1 of Everwood; Mo’ Meta Blues by Questlove; The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater.) And then I scurried home to hang out with friends. I put it out of my mind, content to watch the perfect double-feature of Bring It On and Pitch Perfect before muting the Bama vs. LSU game and watching a whopping 2.5 hours of Brotherhood 2.0 on my laptop.

Out of sight, out of mind I guess. Which is why it took a day for me to realize that, d’oh!, I had absolutely slipped Kristen’s letter into one of the books that I had returned to the library. But our library is closed on Sundays, so it was a waiting game. But then it was closed on Monday as well, for Veteran’s Day. I would have been bothered, except for the fact that the library being closed meant there was no way the book I had left the letter in had been checked out or shipped off to another patron or branch.

So, Tuesday after work I marched myself to the library and made a beeline to the stacks, intent on emerging victorious, Kristen’s letter safe in my clutches. But when I got to the shelf, the copy of the book (The Age of Miracles, which I didn’t get more than 20 pages into) I picked up didn’t have my letter. It did, however, have a reminder for some woman’s (I’m assuming it was a woman’s) OB/GYN appointment. I slipped it back on the shelf and went up to the circulation desk.

The guy working was the most helpful. Every other time I’ve been into the library I’ve had an elderly woman helping me, but this time it was a middle-aged dude. I explained my predicament, and told him how the book was from this branch but not currently on the shelf and he dug around in the back and FOUND IT. He returned with the letter. I thanked him profusely and may have done a happy dance. I left with a smile and a few more DVDs.

So today, at long last, Kristen’s letter was mailed. It’s already been through quite the adventure. I hope it has a good transcontinental journey as well.

Pretty Perfect Weekend

If you know anything about me, you will recognize that this weekend was maybe the most quintessential Molly weekend I could have had. Despite my plans for a Harry Potter movie marathon in a blanket fort with pizza aplenty falling through, I still had a pretty excellent weekend. Here’s what went down:

Friday: Y’all know my feelings about my job, so I was pretty excited to get home on Friday and just veg, especially after the mini freak-out on the Metro platform about leaving my Kindle at the office. So when I got home Amanda and I caught up on The Mindy Project before Megan came over and we watched Perks of Being a Wallflower. Full disclosure – I never finished the book. I had been reading it over a break from school, but I had to go back and the library loan was up, and I just never got around to finishing. And you know what? I’m not that broken-hearted over it because while I found the main character in the book to be almost unbearably naive, I thought the movie was really well done. The acting was fantastic, especially Ezra Miller, but Logan Lerman, as well. Not finishing the book meant that I was genuinely surprised about the plot-twist and ending of the movie, which I hadn’t predicted at all. I enjoyed it. After the movie I retreated to my room and hammered out a few more pages on my most recent WIP. Oh, and of note I recently passed the 50,000 word mark for the first time in any WIP. I’m pretty excited about it.

Saturday: I’ve lived in my new place for four months, so I figured it was about time to visit the library. It’s only a ten minute walk, door to door! The path includes cutting through a park! It was all very exciting. The local branch of the library looks kind of sad, both inside and out. Just, severely outdated, a weird floorplan, and a lot of different shades of beige. I did really enjoy the Nerdfighter poster in the YA section (but not so much the admin sign that read “this area is reserved for teens (and their guardians)”. Were they trying to intimate that I’m too old to be reading YA? Because you’re never too old to be reading YA). I ended up getting a lot of titles I hadn’t been able to download from the library’s e-catalog for my Kindle. I ended up walking home with 5 books (4 YA and one adult, just in case the circulation assistant made a fuss). When I got back to the apartment Amanda and Megan had already started the re-re-re-watch of Star Trek: Into Darkness. When that ended, I made a batch of cookies and settled in to watch the Bama / Texas A&M game (Roll Tide!). After that I ended up going on an impromptu, and pretty short, midnight monument tour. By pretty short I mean we basically went to the Lincoln and lounged in the back, where we spent an hour laying down, trying to figure out which of the 5 visible lights in the sky were stars, and which were airplanes. Round-trip was less than two hours.

Sunday: A lazy day. I slept in, made a giant egg sandwich for lunch, continued my Greek marathon before switching over to re-watch season one of The Vampire Diaries. I’ve seen most of Greek already, and all of TVD, so I kept busy by starting a new book (The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater). Reading was interrupted when a friend that happens to live in my apartment building called me from her sister’s phone and asked me to drive her into the city so that she could pick up her phone which she had left at a bar. Upon my return, I climbed back into my hammock and watched the Season 2 finale of The Newsroom, which resulted in a lot of Tina Belcher noises (see below). Then read until I fell asleep.

That was my weekend: baking, books, football, movies, television marathons, and weird road-trip-y favors for friends. It was a nice, low-key weekend before the craziness of this weekend which will feature out of town guests and FreeFest.

Now enjoy a song that was stuck in my head all weekend:

I don’t hate my job…

but I don’t love it. This week marks the 3-month anniversary of me being hired, and the end of my probationary period. The end of the probationary period really just means that I can start accruing paid time off at an entry-level rate. And so, with these 90 days of experience behind me, I’ve been thinking a lot about this job and what I want for my future.

It’s weird to think that this is the point I’ve been working towards all my life. Entering the work-force – the one comprised of adults, those working full-time that have to commute and dress in business casual clothes instead of a uniform, those that aren’t simply filling the seasonal employment void – was the first thing I wasn’t prepared for, even though life up to this point was on on-ramp for success. Merging proved to be the difficulty, as it always has been for me. Am I going fast enough? Too fast? What if I cut someone off? What if I fuck up and wreck? I worried about everything that could go wrong, had contingency plans for contingency plans, but I never really stopped to think about what life would be like when everything went right.

Getting a college education was the first step. Years of indoctrination in public schools had prepared me for the classes; I knew I could handle the homework. Making new friends terrified me, but living with people I had already vetted via Facebook helped. I could handle living in a new city because I was ready to leave my hometown. The thought of only seeing my parents on a sporadic basis was difficult, but it’s not like we couldn’t call each other, and email, and videochat. And when it came time to graduate, well, I’d seen friends do it; I braced myself for how difficult it could be to find a roommate, to find an apartment, to be able to afford an apartment, to find jobs to apply for whose descriptions didn’t sound completely awful and like something I might like to spend my life doing. Everybody told me about the importance of internships and a good resume, GPA and references.

But no one really told me about the shift from the academic life to the ‘real world’. Graduating and getting a job didn’t suddenly change my perspective on life, the universe, and everything. My life isn’t that different – I have the same friends, I drink the same alcohol, I go to the same places, I can only make the same dozen basic dishes.

I always knew that waking up five days a week at 7am was going to be a bit of a problem. I’ll own that I still hit snooze four times before rolling out of bed 10 minutes before I need to leave for work. (I shower, pick out my outfit, and pack my lunch the night before.) I still struggle to go to bed before midnight. But I make it work.

The thing I wasn’t prepared for wasn’t finding the balance of business and casual to get ‘business casual’. It wasn’t the commute, or using a Windows computer, or drinking coffee regularly.

The thing I wasn’t prepared for is how mundane my day can be. The rote tasks, the vaguely uncomfortable swivel chair, the lack of natural light – I never knew how much I liked natural light until I was put in a walled-off office space, with my dual-monitors and fluorescent lights as my only sources of illumination.

In preparation for my 90-day evaluation, my coworker mentioned that my boss is considering the possibility that I’ll keep this job and work through library school and work here indefinitely. But I don’t think that’s what I want. This was a position with which I was familiar from my work-study experience and knew I could do well. I expressed interest in the field, knowing full well that in a year or two I’d want to leave to pursue a Master’s degree, potentially in the Library and Info realm. But it was never definite. And the more time I spend here, the more I’m sure that, even if I do end up with an MLIS, I don’t want to work in law again. I’ve seen the reference requests and they don’t pique my interest. To me, they aren’t something I think I would find fulfilling.

 

The other day I was told that my paid time off (PTO) accrual between now and the end of the year would be 6.5 days. The PTO at my office covers vacation, sick, and personal days. And it wasn’t until I realized I’d only have 6.5 days available for my use that I realized how badly I want to go home and visit. I didn’t realize how badly I wanted to go home until I figured out that I don’t know when the next time I’ll be able to is. I realized that I have to sacrifice going home for Christmas because, what with the way the calendar worked out this year, Christmas is the only day I get off. Most likely, I will go for longer than a year without seeing most of my extended family.

I realize that I kind of want to quit. Even though I’ve only surrendered a few times in my life I start thinking ‘is this even worth it?’. And I know it is. I know this job I don’t like is paying for that apartment I really do. This job is the thing that’s keeping me surrounded by friends instead of living at home with my parents (where, let’s be honest, I’d be way more miserable than I am now). And really, and I know this – not even deep down, but superficially! – my job isn’t bad. I like it.

I know that this job is a stop-gap. It’s giving me the time to decide what I want to pursue for my Master’s degree and will give me a bit of a financial cushion when I do take that plunge. It’s giving me time to write, paying me a better salary than I expected, getting me out of the apartment five days a week. So I need to suck it up. And I will. It’s just taking some adjustments.

Things I Did: Graduate College

The past fortnight – the past month – has been so crazy I don’t even know where to start. Do I go back to the beginning of spring semester when I thought I had all the time in the world? Or maybe midterms when I started to freak out about my grades and finding a job and an apartment? Or maybe that gap where I worried no one would want to live with me? What about that short period I thought I would leave DC, all of my friends, and take a year-long fellowship in Detroit?

See? So much has happened.

The last month alone has been the most action-packed of my life and I’m not even being hyperbolic! But the thing that I find most strange about it all is that I wasn’t even all that stressed. I really think the saving grace here was that I honestly just didn’t have time to feel stressed. I knew I would be able to pass all my classes. Amanda graciously agreed to be my roommate. We only looked at three apartments before we found one that we could agree on. I applied to a job, was qualified for it, did well in the interview and was hired.

I just… May was insane. I worked part-time during finals. I moved out of my dorm and into my very first apartment. I rented a car, went to Ikea for the first time, bought a bed and a mattress, and transported them to my new home. I went to 9 of the 10 Daze parties. I introduced my brother to my friends, went to two graduation ceremonies – on of which was ON THE NATIONAL MALL.

But it was all over so quickly. Do you know how quickly ten days of parties pass you by? Very quickly. Especially when you spend a significant portion of your day sleeping/moving/trying to figure out what you can wear that will fit that night’s theme. It’s exhausting. In a really good way.

So on top of all the parties and the hectic moving the graduation thing actually happened. Despite some reservations, Kerry Washington was actually a kick-ass commencement speaker (and a fellow GW alum).

And then, because I am a dumb-dumb, I started work at my full-time job the day after commencement. The day after. At 8:30 am. I have to COMMUTE now. That’s so weird. I moved to Virginia and ended up getting a job basically on campus of my alma mater. So weird (not the late-90s Disney show). But I live four metro stops away so I really can’t complain. Like, at all.

So now I have a job. That I’m good at. In a law firm (in the library, but still). It’s weird. And kind of easy. And has absolutely no relation to that shiny new degree I just earned next door. But I get paid! When they decide to pay me on time I can afford my rent and food and clothes for said job and, I don’t care what you say, yes, I am going to put a hammock in my apartment because that’s just not really an acceptable piece of furniture outside of your early 20’s, so…

I’m happy, I think. It’s been awhile since I felt this way. No homework, no stress. Time to read books again, and watch tv, and just lounge about talking about dumb shit with my roommate and our friends. I joined the firm’s softball team. I play slow-pitch softball on the ellipse of the White House. Our game last night got paused because the Secret Service made us clear out. My apartment complex has a pool so I just bought a new bathing suit. Things are looking up.

So I guess my only question is, what’s next?

Blanket Fort Manifesto

On those hot, blustery days where the heat index tops out at 108 and you’re stuck in a dorm room, chilled to the bone thanks to the cranky thermostat you’re afraid to turn up in case you’ll never feel cool again, you need something to do. And it doesn’t matter that it’s Harry Potter Weekend, because that happens at least once a month and, besides, you can stream those movies online any damn time you want. What you can’t do any time is build a blanket fort. That requires a significant surplus of free time, an amenable roommate, and a damn good reason to not set foot outdoors for at least a few hours.

I firmly believe that you’re never too old for a blanket fort. What is a better well of childhood nostalgia? The only thing better about building blanket forts at 21 instead of 8 is that now your juice boxes can be alcoholic. But of course a blanket fort, like every good compound, needs a set of rules to operate by. With no further ado, the Blanket Fort Manifesto:

1)    On Construction:

  1. Exterior

i.     Though called a blanket fort, the actual materials used to construct the fortress can include: blankets, comforters, sheets, quilts, and throws. Pillows are acceptable, but should be limited to increasing comfort of in-fort activities (see section 3). And remember, a successful fort is one that blocks most, but not necessarily all, ambient light from outside of your citadel.

ii.     Be smart when deciding on where to place your fort. If possible, it should be in the living room. However, if you are living in a dorm room, that might be impossible. If able, you should place your fort in the same room as a television. Then again, we live in the age of streaming video, so this isn’t really as necessary as it was a decade ago. You can just fire up your laptop and pull up your Netflix Instant. But don’t be that guy. You’re in it for the nostalgia, right? Hunker down with some of your favorite Disney movies. Your neck cramps won’t last forever.

iii.     A blanket fort need not be a free-standing structure. Acceptable supports include, but are not limited to: couches, beds, chairs, desks, and dressers.

iv.     Under no circumstances are you to use tape, glue, yarn, thread, clips, etc. to fasten blankets together. You’re better than that.

2.  Interior

i.     Comfort is the name of the game. Sleeping bags, couch cushions, and pillows can all be considered fair game.

ii.     Proper lighting is important. As you don’t want a lot of ambient light filtering through your blankets and into the interior of your fort (that would show shoddy craftsmanship), you may find yourself wanting to see once you’re inside. As good at setting an atmosphere as candles can be, they’re fire hazards. Act accordingly. Battery powered lanterns, strategically placed flashlights, or that Yule log youtube video are excellent alternatives.

3.  Location

i.     Blanket forts are most successful when built as an excuse to stay indoors. Periods of excessive heat or cold are perfect reasons. Doesn’t the thought of cozying up inside a blanket fort in the wake of a thunderstorm/blizzard/heat wave sound fantastic?

2)    On the admission policy

  1. Be exclusive. You want your fort to be the coolest place you’ve ever imagined. Those daydreams you had of tree houses way back in the sixth grade? Well unless you’re the coolest parent ever, you probably don’t have one waiting in your future. This is your chance, buddy! Go crazy. It should be a privilege, nay an honor, to be invited into your fort. Invite visitors accordingly.
  2. Listen, this is your fort, your sanctuary. It’s a given that it will have limited square-footage that will rival the studio apartment you’re barely able to afford. Ergo, you can be as picky as you want. No boys allowed? Fine. No girls allowed? Okay then. No redheads? I don’t know who in their right mind would make that call, but sure, if that’s how you feel.

3)    Acceptable In-Fort Activities

  1. Marathon movies and television shows. It’s absolutely a great idea.
  2. Cuddle. Admit it, a blanket fort is a small, cozy, dare I say intimate space. Chances are you can’t fit more than two people inside without resorting to close human contact regardless. It’s nice to cuddle with a good friend or significant other. But listen, you’re not a little kid anymore so if you want to make out in your blanket fort, go for it. Who’s going to stop you?
  3. Tell stories. Share your favorite misadventures, wait until 2am and make up scary ghost stories, reminisce about the recent past, and enrapture your friends with those wacky urban legends only people from your lost-on-the-map hometown have ever heard of.
  4. Play videogames. Scavenge your old Gameboy and pop in that Pokémon Blue you’ve been meaning to beat for a decade now. Set up the N64, crack a beer, and play Mario Kart. Let your boyfriend teach you how to play that first-person shooter you’ve never heard of before.
  5. Read. What a novel idea. Crack open a well-loved book or break the spine of a new one. Utilize your local library, or borrow a dog-eared, marked-up beater from a friend. Trudge your way through a classic or breeze through an easy-read. It doesn’t matter if you’re picking up a piece of literature you never actually got around to reading in high school English or that new Fug Girls book (which is great, btw), the point is you’re reading. I can’t endorse this activity enough.

4)    Deconstruction

  1. Set a time limit for your fort. Preferably no longer than 48. The fact that you only have so long to enjoy it makes your haven all the more magical. Nothing good lasts forever, right? Besides, if properly constructed, your fort is taking up a significant portion of your living space. You’ll probably be too tired come Monday morning to want to take precious time navigating your way around it while trying not to be late for work.