fun

My Google Search History (Part 6)

If I’m being honest, I truly thought I was “getting better” at not hoarding internet windows on my phone. I don’t know what gave me this impression—aside from perhaps blind optimism—but when I lost an internet window I was looking at because it got shuffled into the 67 other open windows, it was clear that I was mistaken.

*sigh*

Oh well.

Here are some notable searches from this round of hoarding:

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1) How many currencies are there in circulation?

Why I Googled this: Sometimes questions just pop into your head for no reason and you have to know the answer—which in this case is 180.

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2) How many earthquakes happen every day?

Why I Googled this:  My family has felt way more earthquakes than usual over the last few months and we weren’t sure if this is because more are happening or if quarantine’s sedentary nature has simply made us more aware of them. As a result, both my mom and sister have download earthquake tracking apps, and consistently update me on what’s happening in Southern California and around the world. It should also be noted that my sister seems to have developed what I have started referring to as “quake-sense,” as she can seemingly feel an every earthquake, no matter how small it is. So I guess if 2020 brought us anything, it’s a sixth sense for my sister.

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3) Canceled or cancelled?

Why I Googled this: While driving one day I saw a sign stating that an upcoming concert had been canceled, but canceled was spelled “cancelled”, and I made a passing comment about the editor’s clear lack of spellcheck. But then when I started to think about it, both seemed correct, and when I did a Google search, I found that both are correct. Apparently “canceled” is more common in American English while “cancelled” is more common in British English. While typing this, I honestly can’t decide which one looks more correct and I honestly have no idea how I’ve written it for my entire American life, especially when “cancellation” has two L’s. So excuse me while I have a minor identity crisis.

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4) Birds in clothes

Why I Googled this: It was late. A couple friends and I were talking about my sister’s fear of birds and the question came up of whether birds would be more or less scary in clothes. You can decide for yourself:

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5) Knock you naked brownies

Why I Googled this: Because once you hear about this recipe in passing, you have to find out what all the fuss is about. In my case, I just copied the link and politely sent it to my sister because she is the baker in the family. And while I can truthfully say that I did remain clothed while consuming these brownies, they were in fact delicious.

You can find the recipe here.

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6) Stefan Tiger King meme

Why I Googled this: After weeks of refusing to watch the widely talked about documentary Tiger King, my sister and I eventually gave in. Shortly after we finished, I came across this meme, which not only called on one of my favorite SNL characters of all time, but gave a hilariously accurate summary of the chaos we had just witnessed.

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7) Which “character” are you personality quiz

Why I Googled this: My sister heard about this quiz that compares your personality to characters found in popular movies and television shows and then gives you your closest match. Obviously, I had to know.

You can find the quiz here.

You can also find more personality tests in this blog post from last week.

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8) “Shitting the old block”

Why I Googled this: While on a zoom call, my cousin told me a story that included this phrase, which she used as a hybrid of “making something up” and “talking shit.” I immediately flinched and asked her to repeat it because 1) I was 99% sure this wasn’t a phrase and 2) if it was a phrase, I wanted to get on board. As of now, the internet claims it doesn’t exist, though everything has to start somewhere.

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9) Rocking chair

Why I Googled this: I have absolutely no idea. Did I want a rocking chair? Was I curious of how much they cost? Had I temporarily forgot what a rocking chair was? The world may never know.

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10) Stodgy

Why I Googled this: My sister and I have recently gotten into a British cooking show on Netflix called “The Big Family Cookoff,” and sometimes the judges make comments regarding the dishes using words we’ve never heard before. “Stodgy” is defined as “heavy, filling and high in carbohydrates”—or what I would probably describe as “dense.”

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11) Hummingbird mating ritual

Why I Googled this: My mom had mentioned to me that a hummingbird kept showing up in the backyard and flying in these big, sweeping patterns and so we took to Google to figure out why. According to this article, when courting a female, a male hummingbird will do “insane aerial moves to show her how strong, controlled, and just general fantastic he is.” So, go off, Mr. Hummingbird. Get your girl.

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12) Would You Rather questions

Why I Googled this: It’s summer now, which means (at least in my family) there will be a lot of barbecuing in the backyard while talking, drinking and watching the sun go down. And sometimes it’s fun to throw curveballs into the conversation. One night I scrolled through this list of questions and my family and I spoke animatedly about how we would answer them. Our favorite (and most dividing) question: Would you rather find your true love or a suitcase with five million dollars inside?

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13) How to water a prayer plant?

Why I Googled this: My dad gifted me a prayer plant a few months back and I have been desperately trying to keep it alive. Though, if you read this post from a few weeks back, you’ll know this is not necessarily my specialty. Nonetheless, I’m trying my best.

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14) Trapper Keeper

Why I Googled this: Some friends and I were talking about school supplies and someone mentioned having a “trapper keeper.” The name didn’t sound familiar and instead sent me on a tangent thinking about “tracker jackers,” which are genetically engineered wasps mentioned in the Hunger Games trilogy. Upon seeing pictures, I realized I did know what they were, however, I had no idea that is what they are called.

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15) Corfu

Why I Googled this: Because nothing makes you want to travel more than being temporarily banned from traveling. And because the pictures are pretty and when I close my eyes I can almost pretend I’m there instead of at work.

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And just like that, all my internet windows were closed again.

Until next time.

Because let’s be honest there will probably always be a next time.


 

You can read the previous episode of this series here. 

If You Have Time to Kill, Take These Personality Tests (Part Two)

One of my favorite ways to kill time—quarantine or not—is to take personality tests. I love unlocking new sections of my mind, gaining a new understanding of my psyche and defending myself against results that seem too dead on to be possible.

So, if you are looking to get to know yourself (or your friends and family, your dog or maybe a houseplant you’ve started openly talking to at this point) a little better, and start arguments that are sure to expedite the time between sleep and snacks, take these tests for a spin.

You can also check out this post from last year with even more personality tests, including one that tells you what kind of potato you are, which I personally think is a VERY important thing to know.

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1) What character are you?

This will tell you which fictional character you are most like.

My Result: Rosalind Walker

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Also, if you scroll down and click “show all” next to full match list, it gives you 800 other characters that you bear some resemblance to. I highlighted a few of my favorite top matches:

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And a few that I was very glad to be very dissimilar to:

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Find the test here.

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2) Visual DNA Test

This test uses images in the place of text for you to choose from to answer each question. (And to be honest gives you scary accurate results.)

My Result: The Olympian

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Find the test here.

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3) Color Personality Test

This test asks you to select colors first based on your most favorite to least favorite, and then least favorite to most favorite. I have absolutely no idea how it calculates your personality from this, but science is weird.

My Result:

Color test results

Find the test here.

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4) See My Personality IQ Test

This test will make you feel like you are back in school again, which for me was not extremely enjoyable, but it was fun to stretch my brain a little.

My Result: 119

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Find the test here.

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5) Which artificial flavor are you?

This test gives an answer you’ve clearly been looking for.

My Result: Blue raspberry

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Find the test here.

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Once again, I cannot and will not claim any responsibility for any emotional confusion/identity crises that may result in the taking of these quizzes. However, it is worth stating that blue raspberry is the best flavor of Jolly Rancher without any competition at all. So I personally I am walking away feeling pretty good today.

May/June Favorites

Hello friends! We are back with another addition of favorites, and we’ve got some good stuff!

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Podcasts

It has been a dark time without sports, and I have particularly missed baseball, but Off Air with Joe & Orel has helped fill the void. If you are a Dodger fan who has both missed the boys in blue and is excited they are finally coming back this week, this is the podcast for you!

Also, a big goal of mine for this year has been to get to know myself and find a better foundation in my values, beliefs, opinions, etc. To do that, I have made an effort to better educate myself on the different stories, perspectives and opinions of others. Over the last couple months, there has been a surge of resources, both in the news, on social media, and among friends and family and 1619 was definitely a standout. It is a well made, very thought provoking podcast that follows the start of slavery after the first ship carrying African slaves landed in Virginia in the year 1619.

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Books

While I don’t always have the patience for suspenseful books (because I just want to know what happens NOW) The Woman in the Window was worth the read and especially worth the wait. It follows Anna, a psychologist who is currently unemployed and living alone due to a mysterious onset of agoraphobia. I listened to the audiobook  and I definitely had a few moments where I stopped dead in my tracks and gasped out loud.

Speaking of reasons to gasp, I am now listening to a book about dead bodies. Stiff is a book I started a while back and LOVED but never got the chance to finish. It is a very scientific read, but also finds a way to be quite funny as you learn about the lives (?) and history of cadavers, as well as the decomposition process as a whole. I will admit, it is not a book for everyone, but I think it’s absolutely fascinating.

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TV Shows

Depending on what you’re in the mood for, I’d first and foremost recommend Dark, which is a sci-fi show on Netflix that I’d love to explain and summarize for you but it is one of those shows that you just have to watch to understand. I was hooked after one episode and was constantly sending my brother (who recommended it to me) texts loaded with caps lock and explanation points as I watched the story unfold. Note: it is in German, but you can choose to watch it with subtitles or dubbed in English. Personally, I preferred the subtitles because I liked being able to hear the actors’ real voices. (You can find it on Netflix.)

Next, Normal People. Based on the book by Sally Rooney, this show follows the story of Connell and Marianne, who fall in love in high school, but have a lot of growing up to do  before they can find truly find their way to each other. It is beautiful and sad and a little frustrating at times, but so so good. Plus, I love any show that takes me to Ireland. (You can find it on Hulu.)

On the lighthearted, funny, and undeniably witty side: Never Have I Ever. I was pretty much sold on this show the minute I saw Mindy Kaling’s name on it, and it did not disappoint. The episodes are short and charming and often made me laugh out loud, I look forward to (and hope for!) another season. (You can find it on Netflix.)

And finally, my biggest commitment of the last couple months: The Last Kingdom. This was another recommendation by my brother, who has slowly become my Netflix guru. I was unsure at first if I could get into a show about Vikings in the middle ages, but by season three I was calling my brother, complaining that one of the characters didn’t even get to “die a warrior’s death.” So. It’s safe to say, I got into it. (You can find it on Netflix.)

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Music

I have mostly been in the mood for some slow, calming music these last couple months, but I have also had bursts of wanting to dance around to some fun, summery goodness. That being said, these are some albums that have given me both.

Lady Like by Ingrid Andress

Go Somewhere by John Splithoff

Patrick Droney by Patrick Droney

Golden Hour by Kygo

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Aveda Shampoo

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I have long been at war with my hair and I had reached a point where I thought it was as good/clean/healthy/etc. as it was going to get, but this shampoo from Aveda has changed the game for me! It popped up as a recommendation for me after looking for shampoos that can help with the ever fun combination of a dry scalp and oily roots and it has truly made all the difference! Pro tip: wash your hair twice.  (You can find it here.)

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The Daily Page Planner

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If you are someone who 1) loves being organized and 2) often has trouble staying organized, this planner is for you. It was recommended to me by someone I follow on Instagram and it is truly a treat. It helps you track your goals for the day, your water intake, your meal planning, and pretty much anything else you just want to write down and get out of your head. I like to sit down each morning and do it as I eat my breakfast, and even if I don’t get to check every box throughout the day, it is a great resource to better organize the jumbled mess that is my mind. (You can find it here.)

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Tangle Newsletter

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This is perhaps one of my favorites of my favorites because it is something that I have been looking for for a very long time. I have subscribed and then unsubscribed to a number of e-newsletters, constantly discouraged by the one sided nature of the content or overwhelmed by my lack of understanding of the content. While I want to stay informed and aware of where I stand on important issues, I find it hard to form a valid opinion when someone is essentially telling me that if I don’t agree with every aspect of their opinion I am a terrible person. Thus, I bring you Tangle, a bipartisan newsletter that gives a good roundup of important facts and figures, and then focuses in on one important issue each day and breaks down the opposing arguments.  I am currently subscribed to the free newsletter, which sends you an email every Monday-Thursday, but there is more content available with a paid subscription.  (You can find it here.)

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Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

Learning Internet Slang (Part 5)

It’s that time again, my friends.

Time to search the corners of the internet for the strangest slang terms in circulation and then see if my friends and family have any idea what they mean. As always (in my opinion) the guesses were better than the actual answers, and we even decided to completely redefine one of the terms—at least in the confines of our family.

Here were the results:

1) Speaking cursive

Urban Dictionary Definition: speaking so abstractly it sounds like gibberish; usually performed when intoxicated.

Dad’s Guess: Being very elegant and precise when you talk. Because cursive is impossible for me.

Natalee: You have the most “print” style writing ever.

Mom’s Guess: Quoting someone else.

Natalee’s Guess: Talking fancy? Like, “Now you’re speaking cursive.”

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2) Simp

Urban Dictionary Definition: someone who does something nice for the person they have feelings for in the hopes that it will make that person want to date them.

Natalee’s Guess: I put “so important.” As in the “s” from so and the “imp” from important, and you would say, “that’s a simp thing to remember.”

Mom’s Guess: Simple. “That’s so simp, I could do that in a minute.”

Natalee: That’s where my head went first too, but then I thought, “That’s too simple.”

Mom: Too simp?

Natalee: Exactly! That’s so simp!

Dad’s Guess: I did the same as mom. I said easy, as in, “I could do that for you, it would be totally simp.”

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3) Big yikes

Urban Dictionary Definition: a situation that has evolved from a “yikes” to a more severe type cringy, uncomfortable, embarrassing or otherwise unfortunate moment.

Mom’s Guess: Holy moly! Big yikes! Something bad.

Natalee’s Guess: Oh no. Wowza. That’s a bummer. Big yikes.

Dad’s Guess: Super scary but in a stupid sense. Like if my parents almost caught me with alcohol when I was younger, big yikes.

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4) Wheeling

Urban Dictionary Definition: used to describe the phase before two people start dating

Dad’s Guess: When you decide you’re down with being a third wheel on a date, you’re just wheeling.

Natalee: Hey guys, I’m wheeling tonight.

Everyone: OOHH I like that!

Natalee’s Guess: Following someone or going after them in a pining or obsessive way. Like, “I’m wheeling for you.”

Mom’s Guess: “I’m taking off, I’m wheeling to the beach.”

Me: *gives real definition*

Natalee: I like dad’s way best.

Me: I agree, do all parties agree that this is our new definition?

Natalee: Motion carries.

Me: *bangs imaginary gavel*

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5) Periodt

Urban Dictionary Definition: when you finish a sentence and you know you were damn right, another way of saying, “and that’s final.”

Natalee’s Guess: End of story.

Mom’s Guess: Over it. Periodt. Done.

Dad’s Guess: Mine’s horrible. I thought it was something a guy would say to his friend about how he was on his own tonight because his gal is on her cycle. Like “period time.”

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6) Curve

Urban Dictionary Definition: to ignore, avoid or sidestep someone’s obvious expression of interest through flirting or any means of advance.

Natalee’s Guess: An unexpected turn. That took a curve.

Dad’s Guess: When someone’s telling you to change the subject fast. Like if I was talking to Troy (my brother) and he saw mom coming and thought I should change the topic he would say, “curve.”

Mom’s Guess: Twisted. She cray cray. She is curved.

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7) I’m dead

Urban Dictionary Definition: you died of laughter; something was so funny that you laughed so hard you died.

Mom’s Guess: That’s when I’m in trouble with my mom. Big trouble.

Natalee’s Guess: When you are so over or cringed out by a conversation that you are dead.

Dad’s Guess: Anytime that something affects you so much that you can’t take it anymore.

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8) JOMO

Urban Dictionary Definition: Joy of Missing Out; when you cherish moments of aloneness.

Natalee’s Guess: It’s the opposite of mojo. When you’ve lost your mojo, that’s when you’re jomo. “I feel really jomo right now I need my mojo.”

Mom’s Guess: I don’t know, something with motion? Like, join the motion.

Dad’s Guess: Well that’s funny, because mine was join the movement.

Mom: Come on, jomo with me!

Dad: We’re going to the park today, come on jomo!

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9) A Karen

Urban Dictionary Definition: the kind of person who is unhappy when little things don’t go their way; the “can I speak to your manager?” kind of gal.

Mom’s Guess: Is it the opposite of bye Felicia? Instead of I’m over you, bye Felicia, it’s *smirk* hellooo Karen.

Natalee’s Guess: She’s like that voice command in your car that always goes, “please fasten your seatbelt.” She’s such a Karen. Like, she’s such a bitch.

Dad’s Guess: It’s the boomer version of a female. When a younger person feels that they are out of touch with reality or too set in their ways. “Don’t be such a Karen.”

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10) Clout

Urban Dictionary Definition: being famous and having influence.

Mom’s Guess: If you have clout you are respected.

Natalee’s Guess: Yeah, you carry weight around here. You’re important.

Dad’s Guess: Reputation that elevates your status.


 

You can find the previous version of this post here.

My Quest to Find a Morning Routine (Part 2)

Just about two months ago I posted a blog explaining my want/need for a better morning routine, namely on weekdays. I have long been a chronic snooze pusher, and am often completing my morning responsibilities at somewhat of a jogging pace, and so I thought it was about time to do something about it.

To prepare, I did some research and found a handful of recommendations I could try and add to my routine in order to make it more productive, more efficient, and perhaps even *gasp* more enjoyable?

The suggestions were as follows:

1) Stop pressing snooze/try using “SmartWake” on Fitbit

2) Dream Journal

3) Stretch

4) Review your schedule/to-do list for the day

5) Do a crossword puzzle

So, let’s see how we’re doing.

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1) Stop pressing snooze/try using “SmartWake”

I won’t waste any time in telling you that I have absolutely not stopped pressing snooze. Which is a grim opener, I realize. I did turn on the SmartWake feature on my Fitbit, which is supposed to track your heart rate and use it to wake you up between sleep cycles by vibrating on your wrist. This is a very strange sensation, and it constantly confuses me. And while it was supposed to act as a bridge to no longer pressing snooze, it has instead become a bit of a crutch, in that if my alarm goes off before my SmartWake, I decide I can probably go back to sleep.

It should be noted however, that in the last week or so I changed my alarm tone from the obnoxious pre-loaded selection that came on my phone, to a song I actually like called “Tilted” by Christine & the Queens.  It has a slow, breezy start, and it wakes me up gradually rather than shockingly, and since I changed it I have not only pressed snooze less, but I find that I wake up feeling far less attacked, and thus, slightly more ready to start my day. So that’s something.

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2) Dream Journal

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever looked at a pen, let alone a journal in the opening minutes of my morning. In fact, if someone arrived at the side of my bed and demanded I write down what I dreamt about or face the pain of death, I’m honestly not sure if my morning motor skills would provide me the ability to stay alive.

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3) Stretch

I have been trying to do one big stretch as a way not only to start my morning, but tell myself that we are getting up now. I will admit though, this demand from myself usually makes me annoyed at myself.

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4) Review your schedule/to-do list for the day

I still like this idea, and I have been doing it as a part of my morning, but not necessarily the first part, and that’s okay with me. I am someone who will continue to remember things I want/need to do as I move around—it’s what makes me such a tornado when I clean. So I like getting to my to-do list after I’ve been up and moving for a while. Oftentimes once I get to work I will pull out my notebook and jot down some ideas for things I want to get done once I am off, and that has been working for me.

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5) Do a crossword puzzle

This one is just a no. I love crossword puzzles and I love the fantasy that I could sit up, stretch, let out a yawn and then crank out the LA Times daily crossword before I get ready, but that’s just never going to happen. I can add this one to my afternoon to-do list, and see if maybe I can get it done before/while I cook dinner, but it’s just not going to happen in the morning.

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So all in all, while I can’t say I have a solid morning routine, I have definitely taken some strides—my favorite being the alarm tone change. My brother is the one who suggested the change, explaining that his friend makes it a point to set his alarm to a song he likes because “it’s like your theme song and it’s what starts every new episode”—which slightly blew my mind and ultimately made me change it immediately.

200 Day Time Capsule Blog #5

I am usually prone to forgetting about the arrival of this letter arriving in my inbox, but about a week ago I remembered that it was getting close and I laughed out loud. While my last time capsule post was in October, I didn’t actually write my next letter until Januaryroughly two months before all hell broke loose. So it’s safe to say my answers and predictions are going to be slightly, if not horrifically, off.

But they should be interesting nonetheless.

To start things off, it’s clear that I was feeling a little feisty in January, because I start the letter with, “It’s a new decade bitch, make it shine.”

Okay, girl.

How about we relax?

Let’s see what else past me had to say.

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1) What day is it?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): January 14th, 2020 (YIKES, I’m so behind.)

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2) What’s the weather like outside?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): It’s sunny, but a little on the chilly side (for Southern Californians at least). I’ve been living in my sweaters for the last month and it has been bliss.

Ding dong, the heat’s back. Your jackets have now been put away—save for the couple you still wear in the office at work because the air conditioning has started cranking full blast and turning you into a popsicle.

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3) What did you do today?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): Today all I have done is work so far. But in a few hours I am headed to the dentist to get my wisdom teeth out. Bleh. I’m excited to receive this in the future when it’s all over and done with.

You survived, girl! It was a rough couple days of recovery, but overall not that bad. That is…except for the ongoing mystery of who the hell put your sweatshirt back on. 

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4) What’s your favorite song right now?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): Pretty much anything by Maggie Rogers.

Still true. Maggie is a queen and her music is a lifeline I often turn to when I’m in need of a pick me up. Some of my favorites are “Burning”, “Love You for a Long Time”, and “Fallingwater.”

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5) What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): I saw Little Women on New Years Eve and it instantly became one of my favorite movies ever. Loved it.

This was such a good day! My best friend and I went to breakfast at one our favorite neighborhood restaurants, and then hit the movies for a $9 morning showing because we have reached a point in our lives when saving $10 feels like winning the lottery. 

Also, after the movie ended and the lights went up we slumped down in our seats and sat, with still damp tears on our face, unable to come up with coherent sentences to express how much we loved it. So needless to say, I recommend it.

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6) Who did you text last and what did you say?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): I texted my sister “I’ve gotten three emails from that gym I noticed while we were driving yesterday,” to let her know that technology is officially taking over.

Later that day I got home and said, out loud, in the earshot of my phone and my Alexa that I was “NOT INTERESTED IN THAT GYM” and then the emails stopped. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe it was 100%, definitely the robots listening. You decide. 

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7) What is your biggest goal right now?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): To finish writing a book.

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8) What are you most excited about?

I kept in my answer from last time just because I thought it was necessary to break down how hilariously sad both of them are. First we have this answer from March of last year, when I was excited about the start of the 2019 baseball season.

My answer from the last time capsule (3/25/19): There are a lot of exciting things on the calendar for this year, but I think right now I’m most excited about Opening Day. It’s this Thursday and it’s the very first time Natalee and I have ever gone. I’m so excited!

-Then we have my response:

Note to past Kim: Good news, girl, the Dodgers set a record for most games won in franchise history! Also, we made the playoffs and are currently fighting our way through the NLDS. I can only hope the next time I hear from you we will have won the World Series, but for now, one step at a time. 

2 things:

1) GIRL, that playoff run was ROUGH.

BUT.

2) GIRL, the Astros AND the Red Sox were accused of cheating in the two previous World Series. Also this video was born, so there was still some fun to be had:

Now, on to my answer from January.

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): I’m excited about the potential of this year. If that makes sense. I have a lot of fun things planned on the calendar and I think a lot of good things are on the horizon and so I am feeling excited and optimistic about the potential this year (and hopefully this decade) has for me and those around me.

And again I say, GIRL. 

You poor thing. 

Everything on the calendar is cancelled. This year is a disaster. The grocery stores are empty and people are literally selling toilet paper like drugs on the dark web. I’d like to say that the decade can truly only improve from here, but I’m not looking to jinx us. 

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9) What are you most worried about?

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): To find myself at the end of this year (and ESPECIALLY) this decade in the exact same place.

Right, right, I get that, but how about the fact that we’ve been mandated, for seven weeks, to stay in one place, at all times, every day?

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10) Tell yourself a really bad joke.

My answer from the last time capsule (1/14/20): Absolutely not.

Way to stick it to the man yourself two years ago. 

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You can check out this page to see the growing archive of all of my time capsule answers. And don’t forget to check out this post to find out how you can create your own time capsule.

Our next delivery date is: Friday November 13th, 2020

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Here’s hoping that when I read my next letter we’ll be on the other side (or at least our way to the other side) of all of this, and we’ll all be back at our favorite restaurants, finishing breakfast and heading out to catch those morning movie showings.

If Someone Wrote an Article About Me & My Puzzle

By: Reporter Kimberlee K.
Published April 9, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Calif.— With days of heavy rain sweeping through the cities and suburbs of Southern California, many people quarantining and working from home have turned to inside activities to keep them busy.

One such individual, Kimberlee Koehn, a twenty (though nearly thirty) something in Los Angeles county, has turned her attention to a puzzle that she has called, “ridiculously hard.” But while she has deemed the puzzle “unlikely” to finish before the mandated quarantine is lifted— “or before I die, probably”—that hasn’t stopped her from spending hours on her couch, fitting piece after piece together.

Koehn is a longtime puzzle completer, and while she couldn’t come up with an exact number of the puzzles she has completed in her lifetime, she said she enjoys them because they keep her calm and give her something to focus her energy on.

“Usually,” she said with a laugh, as this puzzle in particular, a picturesque scene of a lakeside cabin at sunset, could very well, “drive her over the edge of insanity.”

“It’s the trees,” she said, pointing at a pile of pieces patterned with multiple shades of green leaves. “I’m ignoring those pieces for now and trying to put in work elsewhere.”

The 2000-piece puzzle sits on her low set living room coffee table, which currently stands a mere inch or two from her beige couch. “I like to be almost on top of it,” Koehn said, as she climbed over the arm of the couch to take her preferred puzzling position.

When asked about breaks—for stretching, snacking, trips to the bathroom, etc.—Koehn said she has found that the puzzle helps her from compulsively eating the chocolate covered pretzels she bought on impulse while quarantine grocery shopping, and has even aided in her quest to eat dinner later, rather than her preferred time of 5:00 p.m. On the negative side of things however, she explained that the puzzle has also caused minor pains in her neck and back due to the hunched posture she takes—one that is undoubtedly unrecommended by medical professionals. “I also have a bruise on my leg, from leaning my elbows on the tops of my thighs for too long.”

Our reporter did not comment on this because it is ridiculous.

For now, Koehn says she is trying to use the puzzle to her advantage. “It’s a nice way to wind down, and I’ve been able to catch up on some great movies while I work,” she said. When asked which current movies she would recommend to our readers, Koehn blushed, stating that by “catch up” she meant rewatch movies she’d already seen before, but for the 10th or 11th time.

“The puzzle has to be my main focus, you know? If I get distracted and put two pieces together that look like they belong but don’t actually belong together, I could derail the entire process, making hours and hours of my time ultimately a waste.” Koehn’s eyes grew wide and slightly terrifying during this explanation, but then after blinking a few times she was back to her friendly, if not slightly anxious demeanor.

In the coming days and weeks, Koehn says she will take it day by day, piece by piece.

“It’s a puzzling time,” she said, nodding, “which is why I will keep puzzling.”

Things to Do with Alexa in Quarantine

Since we live in a time that is full of technological companions (e.g. Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etc.) and many of us might be finding ourselves with little more than their company these days, I think it’s about time we start utilizing them to their full potential.

This past weekend, as my sister and I were sitting on the couch eating donuts we ordered from our local shop, we decided to talk to Alexa. After buying our Amazon Echo about three years ago, I started getting weekly emails from Amazon that provide a list of fun prompts that you can give Alexa, but I’ve more or less ignored them—until now.

Note: if you have a Google Home, check out both this article and this one for prompts. If you have Siri, check out both this article and this one, and if you have neither, I’d recommend Facetime, Zoom, or, if all else fails, this:

No judgment, times are weird.

Anyway, here are some of our favorite things you can do with Alexa:

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Play Jeopardy

Say: “Alexa, play Jeopardy.”

Each day you are given 12 trivia questions that you have to answer Jeopardy style (what is, where is, who is, etc.) Weekdays you are given extra questions from the same categories showcased in that day’s televised episode, and then Saturdays are College Jeopardy and Sundays (my favorite!) are Sports Jeopardy.

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Play Puzzle of the Day

Say: “Alexa, open Puzzle of the day.”

This is a crossword puzzle that you play in the style of a word game since you don’t have a paper in front of you. Alexa gives you a clue and the number of letters in the answer, and then you try to guess it. If you have trouble, you are able to ask for a letter, but you lose points by doing so—which may not matter to you, or may matter more than anything. I land somewhere in the middle.

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Make Fart Noises

Say: “Alexa, make a fart noise.”

I will just leave this one here.

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Look up the Spelling and/or Definition of a word

Say: “Alexa, spell ______” or “Alexa, what is the definition of _______”

Sure, I could Google it, but she does it faster, and asking almost makes me feel like I’m back in high school with no responsibilities or pandemics to speak of.

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Set a Reminder

Say: “Alexa, remind me to______.”

If you’re working from home, it might be hard to find a good routine, which makes it easy to forget to do things like drink enough water, or take necessary medications, or stop looking at Instagram. That’s where Alexa can come in as an accountability partner. Set reminders, as many as you want, about anything you want. Maybe it’s to put on pants, maybe it’s to refill your water bottle, maybe it’s to go outside, maybe it’s to move to a different section of the couch so you can blob evenly. Whatever you need, she’s there to remind you.

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Use Announce and/or Simon Says

Both of these functions make Alexa repeat something that is being said.

If you say, “Alexa, announce it is time for lunch,” she will play back a recording of you saying, “it’s time for lunch.”

But if you say, “Alexa, simon says it’s time for lunch,” Alexa will say, “it’s time for lunch.”

So it’s really your preference on that one. If you’ve ever wanted to actually hear yourself talk to yourself, now is your chance. Or if you’re someone who lives alone and needs a voice other than your own to whip you into shape, Alexa can do that for you. Again, no judgment.

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Learn Something Weird

Say, “Alexa, tell me something weird.”

Then strap in.

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Hear a 20-second song

Say, “Alexa, sing a song for twenty seconds.”

It has been a widely spread recommendation to (constantly) wash your hands for (at least) twenty seconds. In an effort to make that easier, people have been on the hunt for songs and choruses of songs that are approximately that long so we can get a better idea of the timing. But please look no further than your Alexa, who will sing you a song that (at least when I’ve asked) rhymes and lasts exactly 20 seconds. Also, good luck not having that song stuck in your head.

10 Brackets to Fill Out During Quarantine

In a traditional year, with traditional social interaction, March is usually month full of sports, gambling, and most notably, brackets.

According to this article, the American Gaming Association estimated that a total of 149 million brackets were filled out for the 2019 March Madness tournament, which totaled about $4.6 million dollars in bracket based wagers.

Needless to say, there is a bracket sized hole in many lives this March. The good news is, the people of the internet are here to help. And there is something for everyone!

So, should you find yourself in need to kill some (or lots) of time, why not take a deep dive into opinions you might not even have known you have?

Happy bracketing!

Download Bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

Submitting My Friendship Resume

To Whom it May Concern,

Seeing as we are in a strange time, one that encourages not only kindness and politeness, but undeniable kinship and unity, I have come to the conclusion that we should be friends—from afar obviously, because, well, YOU KNOW.

That being said, I’ve attached my resume for your review. If the contents appear up to par, I’d like us electronically agree, from our own homes, that we are in this thing together, and will at no point physically or emotionally harm one another in order to get the last package of toilet paper or container of oatmeal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Attachment: KimK_ResumeforFriendship

 

Kimberlee K.

kimberleek.com

Education:

Hiking Trails in Southern California

May 2014 – Present

Various Locations

Major: Keeping a Steady Pace

Minor: Heavy Breathing

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Facts No One Should Know

August 2006 – Present

News Articles, Assorted Googling, Neighboring Conversations, Etc.

Major: “Did You Know?” anecdotes

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Limited Slang

One day in Middle school – Present

Peers, Urban Dictionary, “Kids these days”

Major: Stealth Research

____

Work Experience:

Adult

Legally 2008 – Present

Various Locations

Concrete Identity Pending

  • Dresses self for a variety of formal and informal occasions.
  • Feeds self a variety of meals, both in controlled and uncontrolled portions, in order to sustain life.
  • Attempts to take on and maintain responsibilities
  • Cries periodically
  • Often says, “Thanks, I got it at Target.”

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DIY

September 1995 – Present

Usually the Floor

Project Creator & Artist (of sorts)

  • Formulates a wide variety of projects capable of being made on one’s own
  • Fails miserably during the first attempt and throws it on the ground/in trash
  • Completes second (or third or fourth) try and shrugs at result, calling it “good enough”
  • Learns to love project with whole heart
  • Creates new project and starts the cycle over again.

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Watching Movies

September 1990 – Present

Various Locations

Memorizer of Noteworthy Comedic Quotes

  • Watches a variety of movies both in theaters and on VHS/DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming services
  • Enjoys nearly all movies thoroughly
  • Chooses a number of anecdotes from the films to quote numerous times a day.

____

Other Work Experience:

Instagram Stalking

July 2012-Present

Hidden on the Internet

Creep

  • Follows curious thoughts into the depths of social media, often losing one’s mind in the process.
  • Becomes extremely knowledgeable in persons and events that bear no relation to me.
  • Audibly gasps often.

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Introverting

February 2002 – Present

Various Locations, Primarily Home

People Avoider

  • Often enters state of desire to be completely and utterly alone
  • Cancels all plans and stays indoors, making little contact with the outside world
  • Has minor moments of clarity regarding the benefits of creating and maintaining meaningful friendships, then makes a meal, turns off the lights and continues to introvert.

____

Awards/Achievements:

Summited Mt. Whitney

Has not broken a bone

Once made a triple decker bologna sandwich

Has vomited due to motion sickness in various major cities

Once hooked a mudsucker by the tail while fishing in the Owens River

Member of 2016 Winter League Championship bowling team: Beer & Waffles.

Has twice defeated The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Hasn’t died yet*

*Note: void when dead.

____

Strengths:

Sarcasm

Smiling politely

Requesting Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at weddings

Making excel spreadsheets for every occasion

Committing to puzzles

____

Weaknesses:

Mini golf

Making omelets

Overcommitting to puzzles

Forgetting to bring toothpaste on vacation

Often drops phone for no apparent reason