Waaay OT - Workaholic seeks advice on required day off

Submitted by Butterfield on June 24th, 2013 at 2:33 PM

My organization's Fiscal Year '12-'13 ends June 30th.  Over the course of the past year, I have been extremely busy and as a result, did a really poor job of using my PTO.  I find myself stuck with 2 extra days I have to use (today and tomorrow) or else I'll lose them come July 1st. 

The first half of today has been excruciating.  I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing on a weekday when I'm not at work (and when my GF and other friends are all working).  I beg you, MGoPopulous, give me some ideas so I don't jump off my balcony out of boredom. 

A little background may help.  I live in Phoenix.  It's 112 today so my desire is to keep it indoors, especially since I golfed and got a wicked burn this weekend.  I don't drink alone.  It's been so long since I've been unemployed that I can't remember how to pass time on my own.  So those things considered, help!!!


Edit:  Thanks to all for your great suggestions!  I don't have enough time to do everything suggested, but that's better than having too much time with no ideas!  Even those of you who contributed snark, I appreciate that - it's part of what makes this place so wonderful!




June 24th, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

I have always wanted to go to a movie by myself, but, never had the opportunity (or the courage to do it).   This seems like the perfect excuse to sit by yourself with a large popcorn in a cool theatre. 



June 24th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

I actually did this for the first time in my life a month ago when I had about 4 hours between the end of a conference and my flight home from San Diego.  Saw Gatsby all by myself in an empty theater at noon on a Friday and it was quite enjoyable.  Not into the action/superhero/WWZ genre - any more nuansced movies out there anyone can recommend?


June 24th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

I enjoy reading, but since my job is very reading/research oriented, I find myself wanting to rest my eyes on my personal time.  That said, I could be up for a good book.  I like non-fiction, true crime, passions are UofM, architecture and design,  history (cities and 20th century mainly).  Any recommendations?


June 24th, 2013 at 3:41 PM ^

Cities you say? Hopefully this list is helpful (with Amazon links)

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs is a 101.

Cities of Tomorrow by UM's own Peter Hall is also great.

Wrestling with Moses is a great follow-up to Death and Life.

Devil in the White City is sort of a historical-fictionish retelling that combines urban sociology, history and a crime story.

Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser is about the contemporary rise and importance of cities.

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis is a great urban history / dark reality of world cities.

The Option of Urbanism by Chris Leinberger, also a UM guy, tells of how America has traditionally incentivized auto-oriented suburbanism.

Finally, Rise of the Creative Class and Who's Your City by Richard Florida are a nice mix of urban-trends and geek-out stats, and fall sort of in the pop-urban non-fiction.


June 24th, 2013 at 4:11 PM ^

If you love architecture, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson is a must read. The book is a thriller about a murderer at the World Fair in Chicago. However they go quite into depth about the architecture firms behind making the world fair possible. let me know what ya think if you decide to read it.



June 24th, 2013 at 6:17 PM ^

I have an architectural background and it was an awesome read for that reason alone. Plus it's about grisly creepy murders to boot, so how can you go wrong?

Of course, there's always porn.



June 24th, 2013 at 3:20 PM ^

Jesus do NOT start doing that again!  However, I think "drinking by yourself" can easily mean grabbing a couple beers; as most of the members around here would suggest, brewski does not mean a bud light/busch light.  Find yourself some quality craft beers, stuff you've never had, and venture down the "drinking by yourself" road via this method.  A few beers are not the same as pulling off a bottle of whiskey for hours.

Also the whole movie by yourself thing is easy as hell.  A few years back I went through a phase of doing this and there's nothing to it; at times it's even better, especially after a movie's been out a week or two and you get or nearly get the place to yourself.  Hell I drove into Chicago last week by myself for the day for a concert in the evening.  Attended said concert solo and spent the day "solo".  I'm not sure when society started maintaining social event's status quo need be met by multiple people together (yes, the fact they're social implies that in a way, but, I maintain my stance).

Also, any baseball around you?  Definitely outside but catching a A/AA/AAA ball game alone could be another easy/fun thing to do.


June 24th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

It's like an animal who stayed at the zoo for too long.  When PETA comes and opens all the cages, the animals just sit there and blink.

As for suggestions, shave every square inch of your body hair, get drunk, then pass out in your girlfriends underwear.  When she gets home from work, she'll think it is HILARIOUS.  Trust me.  It's what us normal people who use our vacation do for fun.


June 24th, 2013 at 3:25 PM ^

He's from Arizona, not sure where you're from, but I used to live there myself. There is such a time where it is too hot for playing a round, and that time would be while the sun is up during summettime in Arizona.


June 24th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

I actually stopped playing when I moved to Arizona (as backwards as that sounds because the amount of incredible courses and perfect weather in the winter).  I went to Grayhawk once during one summer because a good friend (and a diehard Sparty fan) was a pro there.  It was absolutely beautiful and worth doing it at least once, but never again.


June 24th, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

This is my eighth summer out here so I've acclimated.  That first summer I was playing a round as a single and experienced dizzyness and chills as I putted on the 9th green, went home after 9 and didn't feel "normal" for two weeks.  In Michigan (when I was a student or unemployed) I could play 5 straight days - I've learned that you can't do that out here.  2 rounds a week max during the 4 1/2 months of 100 degree temps. 


June 24th, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

Yep, have played both - Troon North actually has 2 18 hole tracks (Monument/Pinnacle) and they are both beautiful.  TPC is okay, but it's designed for massive crowds, which means a lot of very playable open shots when you don't deserve them. 

If you come down here, my top 4 in no particular order:

1)  Estrella Mountain Golf Club (Nicklaus design, gorgeous scenery)

2)  Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain GC (Accenture Match-Play course), about an hour from PHX

3)  Troon Monument

4) The Boulders

Nick Sparks

June 24th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

Aside from watching any movies and tv shows that you have to catch up on, how about all of the little things that you have to do that you don't have time for because of work?

That closet you've been meaning to clean, the leaky faucet you've been meaning to fix, the email you have to write that you've been putting of, the minor but annoying issue that requiers you to be on hold for at least a half hour before finally talking to tech support, etc.

Whatever little things pile up for you, they begin to weigh on the back of your mind, causing your overall focus and energy to become clouded. Knocking them out will make you feel like a thousand bucks. 

Maybe you're the kind of guy who takes care of these little things immediately as soon as they pop up... in that case, maybe there's a new skill, hobby, or project you've been looking to start but haven't had time.

If none of these and you're not leaving your home, well yeah, all I've got is movies and TV.


June 24th, 2013 at 2:45 PM ^

Seriously? You can't think of anything to do? Go to a movie. Rent a movie. Go to the library and get a book. Buy a playstation or Xbox. Go for a swim. Go for a hike. Build something for your house. And honestly, get over the drinking alone. There is a world of world class beers out there for you to sample and enjoy. Go to the store, get a 750 of Le Fin Du Monde (one of my personal favs), sit on the porch, enjoy, relax and think about whatever you want to. There's a world out there to enjoy that's not work.


June 24th, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

Don't get me wrong - I do have hobbies and interests - it's just that most of them either A) involve the outdoors (e.g. golf) or B) are more fun in the company of others.  Looking for something "different" to do today, not a lifestyle change :-)


June 24th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

That's the problem - I spent all weekend outside, got a good burn, and would like to stay in a climate controlled environment if possible.  Sitting at home on the couch watching tv sounds awful. 

It's summer in Phoenix.  Nobody sits on their porch and does anything enjoyable this time of year.  Your cold Le Fin Du Monde becomes bathwater in about  10 minutes. 


June 24th, 2013 at 2:59 PM ^

That's what refrigerators where invented for.  And besides, a good tripel shouldn't be drank ice cold.  A nice cool/cellar temp to start is the best if you want to be all proper.  And honestly, if you're not willing to go outside, and stuff inside sounds awful, then I don't know what to tell you.  It sounds like you're being intentionally difficult.  You could always get on of the wooden cups with a ball attached to a string and try and get the ball attached to the string into the wooden cup buy throwing it up and catching it in the wooden cup.  Provides hours of fun.


June 24th, 2013 at 4:58 PM ^

Drive 1.5 hrs in any direction and you'll be in the mountains. Crank up some music on the drive and open your windows to feel the cool mountain air once you're close to Payson, Prescott, Flagstaff, or wherever. Try the gravy/cheese fries at Flagstaff Brewing. 

I lived in Tempe for 6 years and found the place absolutely unbearable in the summer...had to get into the mountains every chance I got. 


June 25th, 2013 at 4:51 PM ^

Have been once, the first year I lived here.  It's one of those things that you need to see once (and only once) unless you're just really into nature or an avid hiker/rafter.  It's also a pretty long drive from Phoenix, a few hours past Flagstaff if I remember correctly.

What AZ does have in spades is great little towns (Prescott, Jerome, Sedona, Payson, even Flagstaff though bigger) up in higher elevations that are good day trips during the summer, as the temps drop significantly as you get out of the valley. 


June 24th, 2013 at 2:47 PM ^

A little advance warning and you could have had a drinking partner, Butterfield.  Given that it's a lovely 112*, might I recommend the patio misters at 5th and Wine in old town, a Bison Burger, and a good book like Smart Football's latest?  Scottsdale Gun Club (indoor range) and rent a firearm?