Mel utilized a number of listservs and asked people what they do when they’re not watching the teevee. She was most interested to discover that no matter how many suggestions people made,everyone unanimously listed “masturbate.”
So, once you’ve gotten masturbating off the agenda for the day, consider the following:
- Climb trees.
- Dance. Do it in your kitchen, outside, at a club, with your kids, with your friends and a boom box in a parking lot.
- Do a sport. Go to the park and join a game, hit or kick a ball against a wall, sign up for an organized team. Form your own. Kickbox, wrestle, box. Take self-defense classes.
- Exercise. Go to the gym, run up and down the stairs in your apartment, jump on the bed, carry groceries for people who need help.
- Go to the city. Or the country. Sit and be still and watch the world.
- Snowshoe, play in the snow, make snow angels, build a snow animal.
- Play with kids. Teach them something they don’t know how to do.
- Play tetherball, swing, use the monkey bars. Challenge someone to four-square.
- Run, walk, jog. Train for a marathon. Run one.
- Ride a bike or unicycle, skateboard, rollerblade. Learn stilting.
- Ride a bus, boat, train, or ferry and see where it goes.
- Yoga. Pilates.
- Clean the house. Scrub the corners, dust the blinds. Shine the bathroom.
- Clean out your closets. Give stuff away.
- Decorate yourself. Dye your hair, paint your jeans, put on lots of makeup, try on all your clothes, change your gender expression.
- Decorate your room. Change your sheets, paint your furniture, carve tattoos into your end tables.
- Delete spam emails, go through old receipts, recycle your cans.
- Do laundry, wash the dishes, shine your shoes.
- Shovel snow, sweep the porch, rake leaves.
- Take a bubble bath. Scrub. Cut your nails. Brush your teeth.
- Become active in groups or organizations that help people and/or the planet.
- Buy a beautiful vibrator and get busy.
- Call your lover, partner, mother, father, grandparents, family, and friends.
- Go visit your grandparents. If you don’t have any, borrow some. Go to a nursing home.
- Go out to dinner with your friends. Make them dinner.
- Have sex (alone or with friends!).
- Meet people. Join groups.
- Sit down and talk. Start a conversation/chess game with a neighbor.
- Volunteer to sit at the front desk at your local hospital. Or volunteer somewhere else. Spend some of that teevee time doing something positive.
- Write a love letter to yourself, your family, friends, or some random person. Check your email.
- Bake cookies or cakes and distribute them to the homeless folks, librarians, or fire department in your neighborhood.
- Cook. Try something you’ve never had before. Allow yourself to cook because you want to, not because you have to.
- Garden. You can join a neighborhood garden, start your own in your yard or in a window box, or offer to help someone who already has a flourishing garden.
- Knit or crochet a sweater, blanket, scarf, or potholder. Maybe a little doggy outfit!
- Make soup, jam, or pickles. Try your hand at canning.
- Make a documentary about your life, your neighborhood, your family, your job. You’d be surprised at the things people are willing to do on camera!
- Make candles. All you need is wax, wicks, and molds.
- Quilt, sew, mend. Fix up those holey socks instead of tossing them out.
- Paint a picture, a wall, yourself, a brick . . .
- Put together a puzzle. Glue it together and hang it on your wall when you’re done.
- Learn about the stars. Get a map of constellations and see how many you can find. Try out a telescope.
- Debate. See what kinds of ways you can push yourself with new ideas.
- Do a crossword puzzle. It’s not cheating to use the internet to find answers. Especially if it’s the New York Times Sunday puzzle.
- Learn a new skill. Teach yourself to type, to make a campfire in the rain, or to stand on your head.
- Learn to speak another language. The library ideally has all kinds of language tapes and workbooks that really help begin a language journey.
- Read. Anything. Books, newspapers, magazines, old journals, lists found on the sidewalk.
- Research spiders on the internet. Or at the library. Research anything. Anywhere. Never stop learning.
- Take classes. Check at community centers, schools, art studios, or wherever your interest is.
- Think. Daydream.
- Take apart cheap children’s toys and rewire them. This way, you can learn about electronics without paying hundreds of dollars for a class.
- Watch movies and observe art. You can do this at a theater, at a museum, or on the street. Especially if you live in or near a city, there are wonderful street artists doing all kinds of beautiful work.
- Write a poem, a novel, an anti-christmas jingle, or a journal entry. Journaling is a great way to keep yourself grounded.
- Work on a new skill.
- Bird-watch, people-watch, tree-watch.
- Camp out on your roof.
- Have a talk at a coffee shop.
- Change your socks.
- Play video games at an actual video arcade.
- Meander around the twenty-four-hour grocery store.
- Listen to music or the radio.
- Lie on the floor and look at the ceiling. Lie down outside and watch the clouds.
- Meditate. Pray. Give thanks.
- Paint your toenails and fingernails.
- Play cards or board games.
- Rest, relax, nap.
- Write an awareness letter to an editor, manufacturer, congressperson, or anchorperson who perpetuates racist lies. Mel created a fabulous form letter to copy, fill out, and send to anyone who sucks:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to inform you that your:
- public policy
- newspaper or magazine article
- television show or movie
- other __________________
is offensive and racist, and as such, I will no longer:
- vote for you
- buy/read your newspaper or magazine
- buy/use your product
- watch your show or support your advertisers
- buy your product
- other ___________________
You should be aware that I, and many other (consumers/voters), have decided that we are no longer going to buy into the (companies/politicians) that perpetuate racist stereotypes, thus forwarding a white supremacist Amerikkka that looks and feels like one built on ignorance, hate, and selfishness.
Until you decide to change the way you conduct yourself and your (company/policies), you are personally contributing to a racist environment where innocent people and whole communities are kept in cycles of oppression; maimed physically, emotionally, and spiritually; and even killed, lynched, and bombed. The time has come to recognize your part in upholding white power, however seemingly insignificant it is to you.
Please contact me within the next seventy-two hours to describe your plan of action in correcting this matter.