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      From the Wall Street Journal: China's economic plan these days reads like a massive security plan. Food security. Energy security. Raw materials security. Supply chain security. Data and tech security. Behind the security obsession is a fundamentally changed relationship w/US https://t.co/1gvtF2DwLG via @WSJ — Lingling Wei 魏玲灵 (@Lingling_Wei) January 13 […]
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Things To Do Instead Of Watching The Inauguration

boredSince many of us would rather pull our lips up over our heads and secure them in place with vice grips than watch a minute of the travesty of the overlong, overblown, overindulgent, overpriced installation of the Mass Marketed Messiah as president of our country, I’ve decided to offer some fun alternative activities to fill the next few interminable days (or, put another way, the next excruciatingly long, infinitely numbered seconds, minutes and hours) without access to television or any other normal news sources.  All are welcome to share their own suggestions with a sure-to-be grateful PUMAsphere.

First, many PUMAs, especially those of us who are of a particular age, could benefit from a good wax.  Shaving, depilitating, arching, and/or plucking unwanted stray hairs from every surface of one’s body where the unruly bastards insist upon growing (especially that one where the gray ones you can only see with a mirror and get to by contorting yourself into positions younger cheerleaders would envy) can provide hours of distraction, with the added benefit of a smooth, hairless body ready for love when you’re done.  Win-win.

Next, along the same lines, clip the toenails of every living being in your household.  Not only will you be kept busy, wood floors will subsequently go unscuffed, family members’ socks will last much longer, and spouses and lovers will be slightly more tolerable bedmates when they place their cold, scruffy feet where they’re not appreciated.  Additionally, think of all the extra calories you’ll be able to consume guilt-free after chasing small children and pets for hours.

The next suggestion will be met with skepticism by some, but bear with me.  Clean.  I know, I hate housework, too, but look at it this way, when will there ever be another time when scrubbing toilets is a preferable alternative to anything?  See, makes sense, huh?  I’m sure there are closets that need organizing, floors that need scrubbing, windows that need washing, and hundreds, if not thousands of little crevices that would benefit from the application of a little elbow grease with a toothbrush, even in the cleanest abodes.  And, for people who have fussy-clean houses like that, give the help the day off and do something yourself.  That should make time fly for you.

Alphabetize your internet files.  I have no idea what possible good that will do, but at least while you’re doing it, you’re not doing anything else, which is the point.  You could also measure your head, as well as the heads of all your friends and family members, sew up the legs of all the underwear in the house, microscopically examine things that come out of your face, make random lists, and read back copies of old magazines cover-to-cover.  Make up silly songs and corresponding dances, then attempt to teach them to strangers at random bus stops and Starbucks locations.  Wander aimlessly.  Drink.

Those of you who like to cook could create new inauguration-inspired recipes from ingredients past their freshness dates and forgotten leftovers.  Read the phone book.  Teach yourself whatever language they speak in Uzbekistan.  Do all your laundry by hand.  Eat.  Learn to use all the tools and appliances received as gifts over the years and stored in dark places in the back of other unused stuff, even the Flow-Bee and the BeDazzler.  Watch your CrockPot cook.  Grind coffee beans one at a time in a mortar and pestle.  Sleep.  Make those “special brownies” you haven’t made since college and won’t go to jail for now, eat them and giggle.

Have a bad ’60’s movie marathon, followed by listening to any old LP’s and 8tracks you still have the ability to play.  Figure out your neighbor’s taxes.  Window shop.  Give yourself an online physical.  Scour the house looking for pencils to sharpen.  Study ancient art history.  Teach a stray dog new tricks.  Fly paper airplanes.  Doodle.  Play board games.  Smell every surface in your home.   Take something apart and see if you can reassemble it.  (Note: only do this with disposable things you can do without, not your new Lexus.)  Write a letter to somebody you fell out with years ago and tell them why.  Whether you send it or not, you’ll feel better and be amazed how long it took to remember the details.  Read the Bible.  Backwards.  Take photos in very low light from weird angles with somebody else’s phone.

I’m sure if you think about it, you can come up with hundreds of innovative ways to get yourself and the rest of us suffering PUMAs through the next few days without losing too many of us to a lifetime of blank staring, mindless babbling and drooling through our tears.

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