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(Your) Kids Say the Darndest Things

I don’t have any kids yet. (Thank goodness.)

I love them, and want them someday, but right now I survive primarily off of pasta and granola bars and I recently lost my favorite pair of pants inside my dresser drawer, so it’s safe to I need some time to, you know, grow.

When the time comes, you can pretty much guarantee I will be one of those people constantly posting about every single thing my kids say and do, because to me it will be HILARIOUS and life changing, where in reality it will just be burping into a spoon. Until that time however, I’ve decided to take note of the hilarious things that other peoples’ kids have said to me. I’ve also thrown in a few of my favorites from when my brother was little, enjoy!

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Kid: “When I bump my head, my brain gets hypnotized.”

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Kid: At my house, I saw a rainbow with only 2 colors

Me: Well that doesn’t seem right, how many colors should a rainbow have?

Kid: 400 or 10 or 9

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Kid: They’re making a new Star Wars movie!

Me: Cool! When will it be out?

Kid: In about 13 minutes

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Kid: The new me is going to be a Ghostbuster

Me: When is the new you arriving?

Kid: 13 days

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Kid: On Saturdays when I grow up, I’m going to be a dentist

Me: Only on Saturdays?

Kid: Yeah cuz on Sundays I’m going to be a scientist, and I’m going to work with you Monday through Friday

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Kid: Hey can we shoot this pomegranate with a bb gun?

Me: No, I don’t think so.

Kid: hmmm, okay, I think I’ll just throw it across the yard then.

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Me: Hey look, this cheeto looks like the letter “F”

Kid: Yeah! *pulls another cheeto out of bag* hey look, this cheeto looks like my grandpa wearing a hat!

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Kid: “Did you know that when people die they can still fart for a few hours?”

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Kid: Hmmm, that’s funny, this gutter smells like chicken.

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Sometimes I wish my brain still worked like theirs. Though, honestly, sometimes it still does.

You Won’t Win Unless You’re Willing to Lose

In October of 2017, as he was training for the 2018 Winter Olympics, Shaun White had a horrible crash that resulted in 62 stitches in his face. In an interview a few months later, he was asked whether the crash gave him doubts about his ability or willingness to continue, especially in pursuit of a spot on the Olympic team. He nodded his head, saying that while he looked in the mirror at his nearly unrecognizable face, he realized that by agreeing to continue, agreeing to step back out there and try again, he was more or less accepting that this could happen all over again.

At first, this statement seemed obvious to me. Being a complete outsider to the sport, the corresponding danger is constantly at the forefront of my attention. I mean, they are literally throwing themselves through the air, flipping and spinning and twisting at high speeds, all the while hoping they’ll land flat on a thin piece of fiberglass. With that in mind, of course it could happen again, Shaun! Honestly it seems like it should happen more.

But as the weeks went on and the Olympics came and went, the quote sat with me, churning around in my brain the way all lessons waiting to be learned tend to. Eventually I started thinking about the risks I take in my own life. Both small and big. I thought about my writing, both on this blog and outside it in pursuit of other projects, accolades, etc. Every time I write a blog post, I accept the fact that people might not like it, or that it might not do well. Every time I submit a piece to a contest or a magazine or a publisher, I accept the fact that it might lose or get rejected. Every time I try to succeed, I accept the fact I can fail.

After a while, I realized this mindset can apply to almost every aspect of our lives.

In relationships, every time you make yourself vulnerable you accept the fact that you could get hurt.

In finances, every time you make an investment you accept the fact that it could fall through.

Plans can fail. Accidents can happen. Hearts can break.

In this world, there is a lot to be afraid of, there is a lot that can go wrong, and there are a lot of opportunities to fail. But every day we get up, every day we step outside, every time we accept those fears and try again, we give ourselves the change to succeed, to win.

On February 14th, after spending months both recovering from his injury and working his way back into the physical and mental shape needed to make the Olympic team, Shaun White won the gold medal in the Snowboard Halfpipe event, making him the most decorated snowboarder of all time.

In many ways it was expected, hoped for, anticipated, both by Shaun White and the millions of people tuning in to the competition. But the only guarantee would have come from him not trying, not taking that risk, not stepping back into the sport all those months ago. The same goes for anything you hope for, I dream of, we all aim to accomplish. So even though failure is hard, vulnerability is terrifying and losing sucks, it’s worth the risk. Not only because it brings you one step closer to success, but because it makes you stronger, braver and smarter than you were before. And although it might not feel like it, trying and failing will always show more courage than avoiding failure all together. So take the risk, make the try and see where it takes you.

It’s Always Sunny in Seattle & Canada (At Least When We’re There): Spring Break Day 5&6

Day 5

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I’d like to consider me, Natalee and Mel pretty similar. For example, when we come across a highly recommended restaurant online and its menu includes things like “homemade biscuits” and “chocolate fudge waffles,” we’ll all agree it is a must taste. That being said, it wasn’t really a question whether we’d wait out the line in front of Jam Café on Wednesday morning.

It was our first stop of what was sure to be a full day, so after spending a solid 40 minutes waiting in the crisp Vancouver air, we sat down and ordered exactly what our hearts desired. For me, that included a chocolate milk and this masterpiece known as the “biscuit breakfast.”

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Animated GIF-downsized_largeFrom there we made our way up the highway to the Capilano Suspension Park, which was one of our most anticipated sights.

First order of business: crossing the bridge.

While none of us are afraid of heights, it is impossible not to wobble on this bridge, as the entire thing literally wobbles as you cross. To be honest, it kind of feels like standing up from a stool at a bar and realizing you’ve had too much to drink but are determined not to show it, so you try your best to walk straight, only to zig zag your way straight into a stranger.

Once we were in the middle of the bridge, we made sure to take a bunch of photos and videos, both to commemorate the experience, and to deviously show to my dad later who is terrified of heights. #sorrydad

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Awaiting us on the other side of the bridge was a series of paths that led us up amongst the trees and offered us views of the river down below. We walked slow, looking up and down and all around, trying to soak in as much as possible, knowing any pictures we took could never completely showcase the beauty of what we were seeing.

Back on the other side of the bridge, we took a final turn that looped us around on an even thinner path—again, sorry dad!—and then we made our way back to the car. Seeing as we’d soaked in a heavy dose of nature, we thought it was only fitting to head into…more nature!

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So, we drove back into town and rented a few bikes (we used Yes Cycle) to take a personal tour of Stanley Park. The loop around the park was about 5 miles, and we did it in an hour, which included stops to take pictures, say hello to Canadian geese, etc.

By the time we returned our bikes, it was about 3:30 p.m., and since we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, we thought the perfect spot for dinner would be Granville Island. So, after dropping our car back at our hotel, we walked the whopping 5 blocks to the dock and took an Aquabus across the water.

OriginalPhoto-543368639.672033Once inside the market, we had a few things we wanted to accomplish. First, we did a quick lap, taking in all the options both for dinner, dessert, and everything in between. Our waiter at the Jam Café had told us to “follow our nose.” But with the amount of sugary, salty and sweet smells, blindly following that advice would have left us running in circles for the rest of the day. So, after eating everything we possibly could with our eyes, we sat down for dinner on the top floor. From there we did a second lap around the market, this time making stops for a honey dip donut from Lee’s Donuts (a personal recommendation from our waiter), some caramel corn (which I’m currently munching on as I write this), and some red velvet cake (which Mel said was DELICIOUS.)

On our ferry ride back, we were all beginning to fade, but after a solid hour-long veg session, we rallied and made our way to the Shameful Tiki Room, another recommendation from our waiter at Jam Café.

As he promised, the outside of the restaurant was completely blank and easily missable for the average passerby. Once we walked inside however, we were transported into a zombie-fied tiki haven that was as dark and foggy as it was vaguely Hawaiian. The three of us opted to split “the mystery bowl,” a drink served in a large shell that was lit on fire and delivered in precession with the ringing of a gong.

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Note: it was far less poisonous and far more delicious than this picture might suggest. These reactions were primarily provoked by the flash, which in the moment felt like a direct attack on our corneas.

After we finished our drink (which was approximately 4 minutes later) we talked about our favorite parts of the trip, each of us remembering different moments than the other. And as we made our way back to the hotel, there was again a bittersweet air that hung around us, except this time it was mostly bitter.


 

Day 6

On our last day in Vancouver, we were in a bit of a time crunch. Since we were all flying out around 3:00pm and wanted to have ample time to return our rental car, we knew that any last minute adventures had to be timely and organized.

So, with Mel fully loaded with Wi-Fi researched and copied down directions, we pulled away from our hotel for the last time and made our first (very Canadian) stop at Tim Horton’s for breakfast.

Now, it should be noted that of the 5 days we’d been gone, this was the first and only day it rained. But when I say it rained, I mean it rained. Clearly Vancouver was as upset at our leaving as we were. Nevertheless, we proceeded with our sightseeing marathon, never hesitating to run out into the rain and take a picture.

First on the list: the Gastown Steam Clock.

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Next was the Olympic Village, though after following an address to a town square that had street names like “Athletes Way,” we didn’t find much else that memorialized the 2010 Olympics. (Note: we later found out the Olympic Rings are actually in Whistler)

IMG_3853Our final stop was the World’s Largest Tin Soldier. A delightfully tall and unexpected international WRLA! He stood overlooking the Fraser River, both welcoming us and wishing us well as we made our way back to airport.

Once we were on the plane—Natalee and I on one and Mel on another—I took my seat and looked out the window, wondering if I could see any of the sights one last time before we took off. A few minutes later, a family boarded and took a seat in front of us. It was a husband and wife and their three children. They were all on their way to Disneyland for the first time. The kids excitedly looked out the window, amazed at the prospect of flying and propelled by the promise of their first big adventure. It made the sting our adventure ending a little dimmer, as it reminded me of the promise that new adventures are always around the corner.

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It’s Always Sunny in Seattle & Canada (At Least When We’re There): Spring Break Day 4

Tuesday morning had a bittersweet taste to it. We were sad to leave Seattle, but we were excited for part 2 of our adventure: Vancouver!

Around 10:00 a.m. we made our way to the airport to return our rental car and rent a second one that would take us across the border. About two hours before we reached the border however, we made our first pit stop: The World’s Largest Paper Airplane!

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Similar to a few of the other WRLA’s we’ve found over the last couple years, this one was in quite an ordinary place. We spent a solid 10 minutes standing on the lawn in front of an office building, each of us taking a turn in posing with the airplane, until suddenly a woman from inside the office came out and offered to take a group shot.

“Do people come by often?” we asked, slightly embarrassed.

“All the time,” she said with a smile.

With another WRLA crossed off the list, we piled back into our car and headed for the border. Once successfully across—and only minorly traumatized by the border patrol agent—we headed to the Vancouver airport to return our rental car and rent, you guessed it, ANOTHER rental car. This would be our third and final one and would provide us with the perfect disguise (i.e. a BC license plate) to blend in with the locals.

Cut to a half hour later: we realized we didn’t have any service in Canada, meaning we couldn’t use Google maps, so we had to rely solely on the paper map we were given at the rental desk. Now, I understand this is how people have traveled for hundreds of years, thus it should not be terrifying, but it was. Thankfully Mel is a directionally gifted map whiz (a.k.a the ideal Amazing Race partner) and she was able to get us to our hotel (and around the city for our entire stay, thanks Mel!).

First order of business in Vancouver: dinner.

We were staying at the Holiday Inn-Downtown—which I’d highly recommend if you’re ever in the Vancouver area!—so we had access to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Just a block down from us was Firecrust Neopolitan Pizzeria, which we all collectively agreed was the obvious choice.

From there we walked to our hotel to regroup—and to get Wi-Fi to figure out where everything else was. We skimmed the list of things we wanted to do in Vancouver and came across Lighthouse Park.

“Do you think we could make it there to see the sunset?” Mel asked.

We all looked at our watches: 6:45. Then looked up the time for sunset: 7:25. In unison, we stood from our beds.

“We could try!”

Grabbing our jackets, we ran downstairs to the car and immediately jumped on the road.

“Okay,” Mel said from the backseat holding the map in both hands. “You’re going to make a right and then a left to go over that bridge up there, then you’re going to take another left and that should eventually loop us around to the park.”

“Sounds good, let’s do it!”

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So, we oohed and ahh-ed our way through Stanley Park and across the Lions Gate Bridge, then we hung a left on Marine Drive and drove up the coast until we saw a sign for Lighthouse Park.

By the time we parked the car, it was 7:15.

Knowing we were short on time, we looked quickly at the information kiosk. Comparing her finger length to the distance scale at the bottom—I’m telling you, she’s an icon—Mel estimated we were about a half mile away from the point.

“I think we can make it!”

We started powerwalking, but when the road sloped downward, we took off running, desperate to catch the sunset in time. To fully immerse you in this moment, let me remind you that 1) we were all horrendously full of pizza and 2) we were not dressed for strenuous physical activity. For example, Natalee was in a jacket with a faux fur hood and I was in leather boots. Nevertheless, we made it! And as we stood looking out at the Strait of Georgia (panting) it began to sink in that we were actually in Vancouver!

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Walking back to the car—which was not nearly as fun, especially going up all the hills we ran down—we looked up at the trees and laughed at ourselves, wondering what we might have looked like to the people we ran past on our way in.

Spoiler alert, we looked like this:

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Worth it.

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Back in the city, we stopped at the Yaletown Distillery for a drink. Immediately after walking in, I thought about making it my permanent address, as it played classic movies on repeat and was directly adjacent to an ice cream shop. Mel and I ordered the Caipiroska, which neither of us could say correctly, even after the bartender repeated it to us, and Natalee ordered a Johnny Walker Red. As we sipped our drinks, we looked through the pictures from the first half of our trip and we laughed at all the inside jokes we’d already formed.

Once we were finished, we paid a visit to Mister, the ice cream shop next door (a.k.a my new neighbors) where Mel and I both ordered life-changing desserts. Mel ordered the S’mores bar, which is chocolate ice cream dipped in magic shell chocolate, rolled in graham crackers, coated in marshmallow fluff and then torched, and I ordered the “double Oreo” which is chocolate ice cream with Oreo chunks inside, stuffed into a chocolate waffle cone.

Yes, friends, these creations do exist right here on earth.

Observe:

 

It took me about three seconds to be transported to absolute bliss. While I know that sounds dramatic, it’s true. Case in point being that when we arrived back at our car and found a parking ticket on the dash, I practically laughed it off and threw it in the back seat.

“I can’t even be mad about the ticket,” I said as we pulled back into the driveway of our hotel. I rolled down the window to scan our room key and as I waited for the gate to the parking garage to open I turned to Mel and Natalee, ice cream in hand. “What can I say, life is just better when you have ice cream in your—”

It was at this point that my affection for the ice cream cone became so great that I squeezed it too hard and it cracked in my hand. In the seconds that followed, I was overcome with feelings of panic, protectiveness and sheer instinct. With my window down and our car a mere 20 feet from the lobby doors, I dropped a giant f’bomb and contorted my body into an ice cream catching shield. Having finished her s’mores bar, Mel handed me her empty cup and I scooped my ice cream pile inside just as the gate completely opened.

All in all, the death toll was low. And once we parked our car, three good things happened.

  1. Despite some minor cone loss, I was able to again reach peak bliss with my ice cream as we made our way back up to our hotel room.
  2. After doing some research into why we got our ticket, Mel was able to call and get us out of the ticket
  3. We laid out our plans for the next day, which was bound to be incredible.

It’s Always Sunny in Seattle & Canada (At Least When We’re There): Spring Break Day 3

With the three of us being Southern California natives, it became a daily ritual to check the weather each morning in Seattle. Was it going to be raining? Was it going to be freezing? Should I wear everything I packed just in case?

Monday morning, as we got off to another (wonderfully) slow start, we layered up for a cold day, but made sure our clothes had a little extra give in order to prepare us for our first activity. Among the seemingly endless benefits of getting to stay with/know/love the Beliel’s is their access to a baseball facility equipped with turf, batting cages and pitching mounds. Being the baseball lovers/ex-softball players that we are, we were anxious to take advantage of such a place. We mostly wanted to hit, mostly to see if we still got it, mostly to pump our retired though still prominent egos.

SPOILER ALERT: We still got it.

SECOND SPOILER ALERT: After hitting 6 buckets of balls each, we would wake up the next morning feeling like we were collectively run over by a truck and would spend most of the day groaning.

From the hitting facility we made our way to The Matador to meet Darryl for lunch. Now, the website for this restaurant notes it as being a “local bar chain serving classic & contemporary Mexican dishes, plus cocktails, in a stylish space.”

Let it be known that all of this is true.

I however, do not feel I can give you a completely accurate personal review of the restaurant, because after binge eating the pre-meal chips I ordered a meal that was too spicy for me to completely enjoy. In fact, after taking a few bites of the street tacos (which were loved by everyone else at the table, by the way) I realized that I, a giant wuss, was not properly equipped to enjoy them, and began trying to scrape some of the sauce off with a chip—which I quickly began referring to as my “safety chip.” Yes, this IS a completely ridiculous thing to do, however, it does work and I’d like to officially submit it as a lifehack for those similarly afflicted with baby tastebuds.

Around 2:00 p.m., the four of us wished Darryl goodbye and headed to Flatstick, a pub chain native to Washington known for its craft beer and indoor mini golf. Since we were all full—or in my case, still slightly aflame—from lunch, and were worried we wouldn’t be physically ready for all the bending and moving involved in mini golf, we opted for some beers and some Duffleboard.

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You read that right: duffleboard. It’s basically the love child of shuffleboard and mini golf. You play to 21, but you have to get exactly 21. If at any point you go over, your score drops back down to 15. If I were to give you my best piece of advice, it would be: pay attention. It is so easy to get caught up in getting your form right or worrying about where your ball is or isn’t that you completely forget there are other players and then suddenly they have 21 and you only have 9 and the game is over.

This lesson took me about 15 games to learn. And of the near 30 rounds we played in total, I still only won two games. Thankfully, Flatsick also has Nintendo 64, where I was able to get some of my mojo back playing Mario Kart. My inner six-year-old was living. for. it.

Once we’d successfully completed every course of Mario Kart, we decided it was finally time for mini golf. Unfortunately, a private party had the entire course booked until 9:00 pm, and since it was only 6:00 p.m.—because yes, we spent 4 hours in the mini golf bar, not playing mini golf—we decided to go home, regroup and come back later.

In that time, we created and completed our own version of the Hot Guy March Madness bracket, this time crowning Channing Tatum as the winner, and ate Wendy’s in the Wendy’s parking lot like the classy adults we are.

When we arrived back at Flatstick around 10:00 p.m., we all grabbed a club, took to the course, and showcased some solidly sub-par mini golf abilities. Afterwards, we returned to the duffleboard table—where we may or may not have accidentally broken the club—and we sipped beer and laughed. At one point we talked about the plans we had made for that Monday. There was a ferry we were supposed to take. There was a park we were supposed to explore. There were sights we were supposed to see. But as we all leaned over the table, talking trash and watching the night tick by, we didn’t regret a thing.

As we lay down to sleep that night, knowing it was our last night in Seattle, Natalee, Mel and I kept saying the same three things:

1) We needed to make our own duffleboard at home

2) We wished we didn’t have to leave in the morning.

3) This trip was already everything we hoped it would be.

It’s Always Sunny in Seattle & Canada (At Least When We’re There): Spring Break Day 2

While it’s common on vacation to want to get up and out and on the road as soon as you can so you have ample time to do as much as you can, there’s something to be said about moving slow and cruising out and going where the day takes you. While preparing for our trip, we made a loose plan of what we wanted to do each day, but were all in agreement that we didn’t want to be locked down by that plan. So Saturday morning, as we all yawned our way out of bed, we smiled, knowing the day was ours to own.

OriginalPhoto-543093134.401059Since this was Mel’s first time in Seattle, the Space Needle was definitely a must on the to-do list. Unfortunately the Speedle (as no one calls it) was under construction, so while we did get to go to the top, there was a whole section closed off and a lot of wood and cardboard lying around. Thankfully it was another sunny day so the views (almost) made up for it.

Just down the road from the Speedle (which I’m now calling it forever) is the Armory. Home to a wide variety of restaurants on an average day, this particular Saturday it also happened to be the hub of an Irish Heritage festival. As we walked through the double doors we were met with Irish accents, foods, and souvenirs. And when we took a seat to eat lunch, we were gifted with some Irish dancing.OriginalPhoto-543098255.940794

With our senses then peaked, we made our way to Chihuly Garden & Glass, home to a collection of glass work done by artist Dale Chihuly, where we spent a solid hour dragging our jaws around on the floor. Honestly, if we were given a nickel every time we said, “wow,” this trip would have paid for itself in the first 20 minutes we were inside. It was such a different kind of art and the pieces always took you by surprise. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d say the Persian ceiling. Over the last year, after noticing how much we all have a tendency to look down when we walk, I’ve tried to make it a habit to consciously look up, be it at the ceiling, the sky or the trees. That being said, turning the corner to find this above me brought an immediate smile to my face.Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 10.34.39 PM copy

Around 2:30 we were back in the car, heading to an equally important, though not nearly as exciting destination: Safeway. You see, when I travel I always—ALWAYS—forget toothpaste and tend rely on my travel mate(s) to back me up. When packing for this trip however, I made it a point not to repeat history and focused nearly all my energy on remembering it. This however, proved fatal, as in doing so I forgot my toothbrush. And since (remembered) toothpaste on the finger can only work for so long, a trip to the grocery store was rudely in order. Luckily Safeway came through in a major way, not only providing me with a toothbrush, but with a Star Wars light saber toothbrush that lights up and includes sound effects. Needless to say, I’ll never leave home without it.OriginalPhoto-543105850.493854

Next on the agenda was Kerry Park. After traversing our way through the hilly streets of Seattle, we parked our car and looked out at the city from a new vantage point, again silently savoring the sunny weather. Just up the road from the park—and down the road from Meredith Grey’s house!—we found a sign for an open house on the prestigious Highland Ave. It was a modest 4 bed, 4 baths, 5,000 square feet with a view of Kerry Park and the Speedle. We took a tour, asked for the details, and put a cool $4 million dollar (cash, obviously) offer on it, figuring it could be, you know, a casual summerhouse or something.

Then, with a new tour guide in tow, we went to see the hottest guy in Seattle, the freakiest guy in Fremont, the brawniest brute to ever live under a bridge, Timmy* the Troll. (*More commonly known as the Fremont Troll, however, “Timmy” has yet to be  disproven)IMG_1558

This handsome devil didn’t come up in our searches prior to the trip, so seeing him ended up being a perk of knowing a local. We popped in, took a photo, and kindly asked him not to haunt our dreams.

From there we went to Gasworks Park, which is green and hilly and overlooks Lake Union. We spent a solid hour and a half there, just sitting in the sun, making easy conversation and watching planes go by. A few days later, when our trip was coming to an end and we were talking about our favorite parts, this place and this whole day, really, would be a common choice. We were just existing, not worrying about time or responsibilities, and none of us were looking at our phones. It was a quiet kind of happy that I can still feel when I look at the pictures.

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For dinner we made our way back into the city to Li’l Woodys. We all opted to build our own burger, and Mel and I split a big order of crack—French fries with a milkshake for dipping, which DEFINITELY lives up to its name, by the way.

To cap off our night, we headed to Roxbury Bowl, where we learned three valuable lessons:

  1. I have a future as a sideline reporter. (Unfortunately all footage of my exhilarating work is lost to the Snapchat black hole, but let’s just say ESPN should keep their eyes open)
  2. Tickets won in arcade games can be used wisely.
  3. In life and in bowling, it is important to let go, let live, and keep it loosey goosey. (There’s really no explanation I can give for this one other than, you had to be there. But let me suggest that whenever you’re feeling down or stressed or in need of a strike in the 10th frame, just lean back and shimmy those shoulders and feel the pressure melt away.)

Ideas that Never Became Blog Posts (For Good Reason) – Episode 2

In November of last year I wrote this post to honor some ideas that were not only bad, but also somewhat confusing, as over time they’d lost all sense of, well, sense. And since my mind continues to be somewhat of a creative yet chaotic mess, there’s probably never going to be a shortage of bad ideas coming out of this thing. So I figure we might as well keep getting a good laugh out of them, right?

Let’s see what I came up with in the last few months

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“Thank yous for likes”

I vaguely remember writing this down thinking it could be some sort of commentary on the “likes” you garner on social media, but I can’t tell whether it was going to be geared in a positive or negative manner. I also can’t decide whether the giver of the “like” was saying thank you or the receiver of the “like” was saying thank you. When I think about it now, it kind of seems like they both do. Which may or may not have been the point all along.


“Inanimate objects l’d like to thank”

Now THIS would have been interesting. I must have been feeling an extreme amount of gratitude towards a specific thing and decided it would be easy/entertaining enough to make a list of them to thank. But what was I so grateful for? A water bottle that hydrated me? A pair of socks that kept my feet warm? And why did I think anyone would want to read an entire blog post about it?


“Weird is timeless”

I don’t know where this came from, but I want it on a T-shirt, STAT.


I’ll have you know

Committed

Plot Reveal

This was written just like this in the middle of a page in my notebook. There were no other notes and there was no followup. It’s worth noting that it was written extremely sloppy, which usually means I pulled my notebook out at a red light to jot down an idea that popped into my mind while I was driving. It is assumed that when I get to my final destination I can return to my notebook and flesh out the idea, but clearly that didn’t happen.


“Punch in the face change names told”

WHAT?! I mean…WHAT?!?! This looks like someone was drunk but trying to sound sober, so they used predictive text to write a sentence for them, smiled proudly to themselves and then hit send right before they threw up in a bush.


Vowels in the still

Crescendo

Again, I’m at a total loss. But I have to say, I’m kind of invested in whatever I was trying to work out. “Vowels in the Still” would be a great title of something. So if anyone out there is looking for some creative inspiration, consider this one of those vague prompts you get from competitions and make something! No need to compensate me when you start making your millions, just invite me to your premiere or send me a copy of your novel.


 

And so concludes another edition of “Kim, are you alright?” Thanks for tuning in to this and to anything, ever. Here’s hoping good ideas continue to pop up amongst these bad (and damn right strange) ones.

We Are All Complex Characters

In a world bustling with digital content, especially sitcoms and dramas available on both mainstream television and a number of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc., it’s safe to say we’ve been introduced to a wide variety of characters in recent years. Some we can relate to, some we can’t; some we love, some we hate. Regardless, we feel like we get a sense of who these characters are, and depending on how long we binge their show on the couch, we sometimes even forget they’re not actually a part of our lives.

I have this problem constantly. When I watch a show I get completely attached to the characters and I talk about them as if they’re my friends or family rather than fictional characters created for entertainment purposes. It’s even worse when I read books.

One thing, perhaps, that makes these characters so real, is a show or book’s ability to give us a nearly 360-degree view of who they are and why they are the way that they are. We can sympathize with decisions they make because we know what’s going on in every facet of their life. And we can root for them because we know the inner workings of their hopes and dreams.

In real life, it’s often hard to remember that we and the people around us are just as three dimensional as fictional characters. We are what they are based on! We, like them,  are all complex and constantly changing and adapting, sometimes to seemingly unbelievable circumstances. We all have individual whys that define who we are and what we do, even if not everyone will be able to see them, or if we are never able to fully identify them within ourselves.

As we go through our day-to-day lives, we will often come into contact with people who rub us the wrong way. And while it’s important to stand up for ourselves and stand firm in what we believe in, I also think it’s important to remember that we don’t know anyone’s “whole story.” We don’t have the 360-degree view. We don’t know how their morning went or how their yesterday treated them and they are equally as ignorant to our lives. So before we jump to conclusions, it couldn’t hurt to give them a little patience.

The truth is, we are all complex characters plodding through our own unique, sometimes over dramatic sitcoms. Some episodes will be good, some will be bad. And just like any multi-season series, you can’t start in the middle and assume you know everything. You have to appreciate that just like you, they’ve probably gone through a lot to get where they are and still have a long road to get where they’re going, and we could all use a little help along the way.

January/February Favorites

It has been a minute since I did my last favorites post! 126 minutes to be exact. That is, if we count “minutes” as days. A lot has happened since October and as such, a lot of new favorites have been made! So, in the interest of saving time, let’s dive right into these new favorites so you can start making them some of your new favorites.


 

Apps

While I wouldn’t consider myself someone who is glued to her phone, in the last few months I’ve found a few things that make it a little more addicting.

 

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Plant Nanny

It wouldn’t be the slightest exaggeration when I say that I tell almost everyone I come into contact with about this app. Honestly, the people at Plant Nanny should be sponsoring me at this point. But I can’t help it! This app is so adorable! Similar in nature to other apps that help you drink more water, this app steps it up by using your water drinking efforts grow digital plants. When you drink water, the plant grows and eventually moves into the “garden” to live out the remainder of its life in sunny glory. When you don’t drink enough water however, the plant DIES. I’m talking x’s over the eyes, withered in its pot type of death, and let me tell you, it is AWFUL. The threat of death however, is far outweighed by the adorable plants you can grow. I mean, look at my little collection. This is the nicest garden I will ever have. (Find it here)

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If you haven’t heard of this one, I apologize in advanced for introducing it to you. HQ is a live trivia game that runs twice a day at 12pm and 6pm (PST). Each game consists of 12 multiple choice questions and if you get through all 12 questions, you win the prize money, or split it with the other winners. On weekdays the prize is about $2,500, while on weekends it tends to be higher. Yesterday, in honor of the Oscars, the prize was $50,000! If you do end up winning, feel free to send me some money in thanks. (Find it here)

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Do you remember the computer game Spider Solitaire? Yeah, well, this app is the exact same thing, and has become somewhat of a point of contention between my sister and I. We’re constantly competing to see who can win a game in the least amount of moves—which is currently me, by the way, with 108—and can spend a good amount of time procrastinating side by side in the chairs in our living room. It’s a good time waster as well as—at least I like to tell myself—a good brain exerciser. Plus, I’m a fan of any app that can make my sister yell “YOU’RE A MONSTER” from the upstairs bedroom. (Find it here)

 


 

MoviePass

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I know this might sound dramatic, but THIS IS THE GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME. As someone who loves seeing movies in theaters but can’t really afford to do so on a regular basis, discovering this was a true gold mine. MoviePass lets you see as many movies as you want (the only rule being you can only see one per day) for a monthly payment of only $10. (There is actually a promotion going on right now for $7.95/month!) Once you sign up, they mail you a card that is connected to your account and then whenever you want to see a movie, you drive to a participating theater, check in to the movie you want to see using the app, and then swipe your MoviePass card and get a ticket. With the prices of movie tickets being what they are these days, as long as you see one movie per month, you save money. I’ve seen three movies so far—I,Tonya, Call Me By Your Name and Maze Runner: The Death Cure (all of which I’d recommend)—and each time the process was a smooth as can be. (Find it here)

 


 

The Dollop Podcast

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If you are in the market for a new podcast, may I suggest that you add this to the top of your list immediately. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s unique and oftentimes extremely educational. Hosted by comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, each episode consists of Dave finding a relatively unknown story in American history and then telling it to Gareth, who has absolutely no idea what the story is about or how it ends. Throughout the telling of the story, both Dave and Gareth give commentary on it, the result of which has left me laughing out loud during my morning commute on more than one occasion. (Find it here)

 


 

Roman Holiday

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One of my goals last year was to watch every movie that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture. In the process of doing so, I shamelessly fell in love with Gregory Peck, who starred in Gentleman’s Agreement as well as Audrey Hepburn who—well, DUH. After completing my goal, I sought out both of their filmographies which led me to Roman Holiday. Before you say anything, I KNOW I’m way behind the times on this one, but that was kind of the whole point of watching the Best Pictures in the first place. So if you happen to be someone who, like me, is looking to be with the times, or if you’re someone just looking for a feel good, classic film with a handsome man and an iconic lady, this is your movie. (Find it here)

 


 

Godless

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In perhaps the starkest contrast of genres, I recently watched the Netflix western miniseries, Godless. And since I can’t give a better summary than IMDB, this is how they describe it: Frank Griffin, an outlaw terrorizing the 1880s American West, hunts down Roy Goode, his partner turned enemy. Roy hides out at a ranch as Frank’s chase leads him to La Belle, New Mexico – a town mysteriously made up almost entirely of women.  The funny thing is, that’s only the skeleton of the show. There are so many good characters and intersecting storylines that hook you. I finished the series in two days, but spent a good handful more thinking about it afterwards. (Find it here)


 

BoomChickaPop

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I’ve heard about this popcorn for a while now, but never had the chance to try it until I recently developed an addiction to kettle corn. To make matters worse/better, upon finding this brand at Target, I discovered it has a bunch of different flavors! So far I’ve only tried the purple (Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn) and green (Light Kettle Corn) but I can almost guarantee I’ll be making my rounds. I’ll report back with the best flavor! (Find it here)


 

Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

28 Good Things that Happened in February

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) This dog took a detour

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2) This girl discovered the wonder of books

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3) This couple took some incredible engagement pictures in Bolivia’s Salt Flats

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4) This pig got creative

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5) These choir students joined together to sing the national anthem.

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6) This boy brought his valentine flowers

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7) This spiderman put on a show

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8) This woman found a miracle

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9) The Winter Olympics!

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10) Mr. T discovered curling—and gave all the athletes some encouraging words.

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11) And this family caught their own share of Olympic inspiration

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12) This couple proposed to each other at the exact same time

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13) This professor said hello

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14) Jamie Dornan from 50 Shades and James Corden made an incredible collaboration

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15) This man learned to use a cellphone

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16) This man drew honest portraits of his family

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17) This woman had fun with her trainer

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18) This student wrote a letter to his teacher after her dog, Charlie, died

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19) This family rapped together

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20) Drake bought everyone’s groceries

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21) David Harbour (a.k.a Chief Hopper on Stranger Things) danced with penguins

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22) Tiffany Haddish met Oprah

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23) Olympic favorite Adam Rippon, showed what it’s like to a be a good teammate

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24) Shaun White got to watch fans react to his gold medal winning run

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25) This 4 year old boy donated his bone marrow to save his twin brothers.

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26) This baby was comforted by one of his mommy’s shirts

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27) After living in 24 different foster homes throughout his life, this man was finally adopted. 

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28) Will Smith sang La Bamba

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what March brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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