If you live on the East Coast, you've probably spent the last 24 hours purchasing backup power sources for your cell phone, braving seemingly never-ending grocery store lines, scouring every drugstore still open for flashlights and settling in for a two day Hurricane Sandy-mandated house arrest.
Sandy -- or "Frankenstorm" as the hurricane has been dubbed -- is of course a serious natural disaster which has already wreaked havoc on the lives thousands of Americans. (For live updates and safety information click here.) However, those of you forced into an impromptu "Hurrication" might be plagued more by boredom than life-endangering circumstances.
If you're lucky enough to be in the latter category (safe, stocked up and trapped), it's tempting to pass the time doing what so many of us do so well -- complaining. But as we were engaged in our own bellyaching early this morning, we realized that there are probably better things we could do with this time. After all, how often do you get an unplanned 24 complete hours at home to do whatever you please? Why not use the free hours to your advantage -- spruce up your apartment, spend some time on a personal project that daily responsibilities keep pushing to the wayside or just relax for once. When will you have a better opportunity to make yourself a well-deserved cocktail and catch up on your DVR back-log?
LOOK: 14 Things To Do While You're Inside During Hurricane Sandy
1. Have that TV marathon you've been talking about for months. It's the perfect time to pile on the blankets, veg out in front of the television and watch the first 17 episodes of "Homeland." We also suggest "Revenge" (full of great death stares), "Girls" (I mean, duh) and "Downton Abbey" (British accents, period costumes, Dowager Countess one-liners) if you haven't indulged in them yet.
2. Read the book that's been sitting on your nightstand looking pretty and intriguing -- and unopened. Books make nice eye candy, but 36 hours stuck inside is the perfect excuse to lose yourself in a new novel.
3. Catch up on sleep! There's a reason that white noise machines often include a "hard rain" option -- this is really great sleeping weather. (Just make sure your place is secured and no candles are burning before you dose off. Also try not to nap right next to a window if you're in an area where winds are reaching dangerous speeds.)
4. Have some good old-fashioned hurricane sex. If you're lucky enough to be stranded with a significant other, why not get some ... exercise while you're trapped inside?
5. Dig into the ice cream and/or fro-yo in your fridge. After all, you wouldn't want it to melt if you lose power.
6. Get in touch with your inner 10-year-old and play some board games with your roommates. This is your chance to prove once and for all that you are the reigning Apples to Apples champion of the world -- or at least the apartment.
7. Cook something delicious. If you still have power, you can get fancy and make that dish you've been dying to try. If you need some ideas, take a cue from these hurricane-ready meals already posted on Instagram. (Seems like people are REALLY into chili right now.)
8. Bake cupcakes and decorate them like the Halloween costume you a) would have worn if you'd thought of it by Saturday; b) would have worn Saturday but were afraid was lame, then realized was exactly as brilliant as you originally thought when you saw everyone else's or c) were planning to wear Wednesday until Sandy made everyone forget all about Halloween.
9. Clean out your closet. If you're stuck spending 36 hours in your room, you might as well make yourself useful. Go through all of your clothing, try it all on and make piles of things that you haven't worn in the last year or don't fit anymore. Not only do you get to put on an impromptu personal fashion show, but you'll feel oh-so-productive after.
10. Day drink. Here in New York City, liquor stores seemed to be experiencing a boom in business on Sunday afternoon. If you stocked up on booze, make yourself an afternoon cocktail at your home office. You'll feel very "Mad Men."
11. Come up with some great Hurricane-related pick-up lines and text them to all of your friends to cheer them up. Our first suggestion: "I'll be the Sandy to your Danny."
12. Tweet every text your mother sends you. We'll retweet.
13. Play the "Which 'Downton Abbey' character are you?" game. Fight with your roommate over who gets to be Lady Sybil.
14. Create your own "Hey Girl" meme. Clearly this is what we do in our down time, Sandy or no Sandy, but for this special occasion, we decided to open it up. If you actually make one and send it to us, and it is excellent, we will feature it on HuffPost Women. Disclaimer: Regardless of the brilliance of your creation, Ryan Gosling will probably not come visit you or otherwise communicate with you. We've finally made peace with this unfortunate reality, and you'll have to do the same.