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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

5 Things I’d Do if I Were Rich

When you have a lot of time to yourself, especially a lot of uninterrupted time that you might otherwise be spending out and about, or procrastinating because you have the option to be out and about, you have a lot of time to think. And one thing that tends to happen to me when I have time to think is a lot of daydreaming.

I put myself in different scenarios and live out different lives, all from the comfort of my favorite chair. It’s magical really. Especially when it’s no longer considered detrimental procrastination, but instead successful social distancing.

One thing that I’ve found myself thinking about recently is what I would do if I were rich.

Now, for the sake of a carefree exploration, I’m taking out the option to donate to charity/start a foundation/do anything good and helpful for other people/causes. I’m talking about 100% selfish things I would do if I were rich, had already made successful allocations to worthy causes, and still had boatloads of money left.

This is what I came up with:

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1) Adopt a highway (or 5)

Ever since I was little I loved the idea of having a concrete child made of miles and miles of well maintained, trash free glory. I also like the idea of just writing “Kim” underneath “This highway was adopted by:” because I like to imagine that people driving by would ask, “Who is Kim?” It’s just so vague and mysterious, and I think it would cause the Googling statistics of me and my Kim counterparts to spike.

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2) Become a member

These days it seems like there are so many things to join, so many things to try, so many things to spend money on, but I pass on most all of them because, who has money for that? But if I were rich, I’d just join everything. I like to think it would make me very cultured and inevitably secure me an invite to be a board member of something, making my title upon death be something out of Game of Thrones.

Kim of the house Koehn, blogger under her name, friend to everyone, club member of everywhere, a trier of most everything, she was rich, damnit. May she rest in peace.

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3) Have someone sort my puzzle pieces

My absolute least favorite part of doing puzzles is the initial separating of the pieces. If that isn’t the biggest buzz kill when you are pumped up to PUZZLE. I hate flipping each individual piece over. I hate when you find two pieces that are not quiet separated. I hate when you are setting aside the edge pieces and you come across a few that, even when you hold them up to the light, you can’t tell if they have an edge or not. I just want to get to the good stuff, you know? And by the good stuff I mean the mostly calming though occasionally rage-inducing activity that is puzzle-ing—the verb, not to be confused with the adjective, puzzling. So, if I were rich, I would have someone (who was very well treated and accommodated and loved endlessly) who would separate the pieces for me, and then maybe ring a dainty bell that would suggest, your puzzle is ready, girl. To which, I would come running.

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4) Have someone buy/pick out my clothes

I hate shopping, and if there is anything I hate more than shopping, it’s reviewing my past purchases every morning when I get dressed. It is amazing how excited you can get about something when you try it on in a store, only to find yourself wanting to light it on fire when you pull it out of your closet to wear later. I would love to find myself in a position where I could have a stylist who not only dressed me in cute, comfortable outfits every day, but who knew me so well that they could do all the shopping for me as well. And I don’t just mean with fancy clothes. If they could come home with a very stylish pair of pants and a big cozy hoodie that I could blob out on the couch with, I would give them all my money.

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5) Take a down day

It’s no question that I would travel like mad if money wasn’t a concern. I would double the size of my bucket list and start crossing things off left and right. On top of that, I would make my trips a little longer. Oftentimes I find myself looking for just the right window to travel. When the flight are the cheapest, the hotels are the cheapest and the overall rates are, well, the cheapest. Then, when I get wherever I’m going, I always feel that pressure to go go go immediately upon landing/arriving, because I only have so much time there and I have to make the most of it. If I was rich, I’d always allow myself to have the first day/night, especially after a long day of travel, to just hang out. Maybe order room service at the hotel and go to bed early, or take a long shower, binge eat everything I could find in the vending machine and then go to bed early. Then the next day I could wake up feeling refreshed and actually, truly, ready to go go go.

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What would you do if you were rich?

Note: if you are already wealthy, please consider donating to my “puzzle piece separator fund” it’s a worthy cause.

 

My Google Search History (Part 5)

Something terrible has happened.

And by terrible, I mean unhealthy.

Apparently Apple has increased the limit for the number of internet windows you are allowed to have open at one time, which has caused me, my Googling habits and my search window hoarding to spiral out of control.

While trying to figure out what I wanted to write for my blog this week, I thought, I haven’t done a Google Search History post in a while. And then I opened the internet on my phone to find upwards of 75 windows open.

Hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Plus, I like to think I can avoid some judgment by saying that many of those windows were UPS tracking on packages that were coming to my house—though that could also open a new discussion about online shopping, so we won’t go there.

After scrolling through and closing most of my open windows, these were some of my favorite searches from the last eight months or so:

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1) Chris Harrison Net Worth

Why I Googled this: This man takes over most of my Monday nights throughout the year with the best-worst show on television. His job consists of wearing suits, making rose puns and declaring every season of his show as “the most dramatic season EVER.” So naturally, I wanted to know what the guy is worth. For anyone else who is curious: it’s 12 million dollars. 

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2) This bridezilla story

Why I Googled this: I came across this insane story one day and I remember purposefully keeping the window open so that I could copy, paste and send the link to absolutely everyone I could work it into a conversation with.

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3) Desserts at Dodger Stadium

Why I Googled this: During baseball season, Dodger Stadium is practically a second home for my sister and I, and that 7th inning stretch comes in HOT with its sugar cravings. This website was a clutch find for more than just dessert cravings, as it gave us the lowdown on all kinds of eats around the stadium, including carne asada nachos and fried oreos.drooling-face_1f924

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4) Ashlee Piper Little Black Book

Why I Googled this: Last year I read a book called Give a Sh*t: Do Better, Live Better, Save the Planet and in it the author, Ashlee Piper, gave a link to a specific page on her website that provides a list of her favorite “eco-ethical, cruelty-free, animal-friendly products and resources.” I’m someone who wants to be more eco-conscious and so I was excited to find a list like this that can direct me in making more eco-friendly purchases.

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5) That Peloton commercial

Why I Googled this: I mean, I had to know what all the fuss was about.

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6) “Dramatic effect”

Why I Googled this: Do you have those words that for whatever reason you can’t remember the correct spelling and/or use of? I always struggle with past vs. passed (among others) and my sister struggles with affect vs. effect. One day she texted me asking if “dramatic effect” was correct and I quickly said, “yes!” but then double checked my work because suddenly I forgot everything I ever knew about the English language.

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7) Starbucks sizes

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Why I Googled this: I am not a coffee drinker, and it is a rare occasion that I ever find myself at Starbucks without an experienced coffee companion. However, one cold morning I decided to do some writing at a Starbucks before hitting a yoga class and I found myself craving a hot chocolate. Not wanting to look like a complete idiot (or accidentally order a five gallon bucket of hot chocolate) I did a quick search to remind me which size I was looking for. (image credit)

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8) “10 best inexpensive hair dryers”

Why I Googled this: I’d reached a point with my hair dryer where I wondered not if but when it was going to spontaneously burst into flames, and so I thought it was in my best interest to buy a new one before that happened. After looking around, I ended up settling on the InfinitiPro by Conair and I have been loving it!

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9) Homemade warm compress

Why I Googled this: I got my wisdom teeth out last week and it was recommended to me by the doctor to ice for the first 24 hours and then apply warm compresses to reduce the swelling. Having gone into the surgery with little to no planning, I didn’t have any warm compresses, so I took to Google in the hopes that I could make one. Thankfully this one was quick, easy, and it didn’t involve sending my sister to the store (again).

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10) Easy overnight oats

Why I Googled this: I had long been looking for an easy, make ahead breakfast that I could feel good about eating. Not being a fan of oatmeal, I brushed recipes for overnight oats aside, but then I eventually reached a point where I decided I might as well give it a shot. Ever since that *shot*, I have made the “base” recipe (+ a handful of chocolate chips) from this website countless times. It is delicious, filling and always comes through when I’m running late in the morning.

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And there we have it! Let us all rest easy knowing that I am no longer hoarding open search windows (for now) and pretend for a moment that I’ll get better at not doing so in the future. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

 


 

You can read the previous version of this series here.

Trust Me, it Works

When I was six years old, my parents gave me a Nintendo 64 for Christmas. And for many many weekend mornings after that, I would wake up early, sneak into the living room, and play Zelda: Ocarina of Time alongside my brother and sister for as long as our parents would let us hog the television.

Now, if you’ve ever played Nintendo 64, you’ll know that it takes a very delicate touch to get a game to work. Unlike many video games today that don’t even require discs, N64 games were thick, plastic bricks that you had to blow into the bottom of before you pushed them into the top of the console at just the right pressure. If it didn’t work the first time, you would pull the game back out, blow on the bottom again, this time in a harmonica like fashion, and then place the game back into the console, perhaps with only two fingers or with a series of delicate taps. Even at age 6, I quickly learned the series of techniques that worked for my particular console, and will utilize them in exact order, even to this day, without fail.

It’s funny how we can become inadvertently trained to operate things in a specific way without ever realizing that it’s peculiar, ridiculous or borderline ritualistic.

For example, my back door has a tricky doorknob. In order to lock both the knob and the pad lock, you have to shut the door, then pull and twist the knob, not so much that it reopens the door, but enough to engage whatever didn’t engage when you initially shut it.

To get my phone to play music in my car, I plug the auxiliary cord into the bottom, unlock my phone, then press play, pause and then play again.

I once had a hairdryer that only worked if you held it at a certain angle, so I would rotate my head in accordance with the limits of the hairdryer, which was great for stretching my neck, but terrible for giving me any kind of acceptable hair style.

To put on my favorite pair of jeans, I squat down into a catcher-like stance, and then jump up, repeating until they wiggle their way up into place. If I choose these jeans when I’m getting ready in a hurry, this process could almost be considered a round of cardio.

We all have a part of our house or our work that we’ll walk towards or lean against in order to get the best Wi-Fi signal, we’ve all had that phone or television that still worked if you banged the side of it, and we’ve all had a window that you have to prop open with a cup, aptly named the “window cup”, when you’re looking to let in a cool fall breeze.

Okay, that last one might just be my roommates and I. But you know what I mean.

Somehow, some way, we fall into these routines and methods that we only realize are strange when we have to explain them out loud to somebody else. And even then, even after we hear it back and think maybe we should, I don’t know, get a new hairdryer, we just shrug it off and move on, because starting a new routine, even if it might be easier, sounds way more complicated than just keeping with what’s familiar.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn my ceiling fan on level two, because on level one it clicks, and then I’m going to tip toe my way to the bathroom, using precise footing across the floor so it doesn’t creak, because it’s late and I don’t wake up my roommates.

It’s not weird, it’s polite.

September/October 2019 Favorites

I am probably definitely biased, but I found some good stuff over the last two months. Which might explain why they flew by so fast and we are suddenly in the November! (?!)

Here’s hoping the next two months are just as exciting, though a little slower, because CHRISTMAS.

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Podcasts

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I have only seen The Office all the way through one time (so far), but I can imagine that if you are a diehard fan this podcast will truly be something special for you. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are rewatching the series from the beginning and sharing behind the scene facts and secrets from each episode. It’s super fun to listen to and there have only been a couple of episodes so far, so it’s easy to catch up!

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Books

These books couldn’t be more different if they tried, but they both easily top my list for the last two months. Where the Crawdads Sing is a fiction book that follows two different timelines. One describes the life of a girl named Kya who lives on her own in a house on a marsh in North Carolina, and the other investigates a murder in the same town. As the book progresses the timelines slowly weave together and I was hooked the whole time. Beautiful on the Outside is a memoir written by Olympic medalist Adam Rippon. It chronicles his incredible journey to the Olympic stage and is honestly one of the funniest books I have ever read.

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TV Shows

I don’t consider myself someone who watches a lot of TV, but when I was trying to figure out a favorite or two for the month, I realized I’d watched so many good things over the last two months! If you’re looking for a comedy, I recommend Fleabag and The Politician. If you’re looking for love (in many forms), I recommend Four Weddings and a Funeral and Modern Love. If you’re looking crime/suspense, I recommend Mindhunter.

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Music

I have also found a bunch of new music over the last few months, namely new artists (to me) that I have been listening to on repeat. Some of my favorites include: Free Yourself Up by Lake Street Dive, Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers, Cheap Queen by King Princess, and Sing to Me Instead by Ben Platt.

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This Leg/Butt Workout

Remember when I recommended that arm and back workout? Well, over the last two months I’ve also worked this workout into my routine that focuses on your legs and butt and HELLO, I. AM. SORE. But that’s a good thing. I think.

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Dark Chocolate Oreos

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This last one technically shouldn’t be on this list because I tried them in November. But I feel like it would be more disrespectful not to tell you about these immediately than to abide by a rule that absolutely no one is enforcing. They are just so chocolatey and delicious. Definitely one of the best new Oreo flavors in a while.

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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.

How to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

Since the holidays are coming up, there’s a good chance you might (hopefully) get to plan a weekend getaway. Are you wondering what you should pack for said weekend getaway? Well, you came to the right place.

As a well-experienced packer, I have made an easy to follow guide for how to achieve packing success. Just set those worries aside, take a few notes, and soon you will be on your way!

Note: these guidelines do not apply to outdoor camping, as outdoor camping should probably require you packing your entire home because you are in the wilderness and there is danger and animals and rain and also that overall damp feeling that you never get rid of, so really just pack everything or don’t camp, preferably the latter because who doesn’t love a roof?

Step 1: Bring up your need to pack for your vacation approximately six times in the week leading up to your departure, but don’t actually start packing until the night before you leave.

Step 2: Envision yourself walking in slow motion, in perfectly put together outfits, for the entirety of the vacation.

Step 3: Forget everything you envisioned and stare teary eyed at your closet, criticizing yourself for ever buying a single thing you see before you.

Step 4: Pack your favorite shirt, the one you bring on every vacation, first, then tell yourself you should branch out and take the shirt out of your suitcase.

Step 5: Repeat step 4 up to seven times.

Step 6: Remind yourself that you’re only going to be gone for two days, then pack nine shirts, three pairs of pants, those shorts you’ve never liked but always thought you should try, 17 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks, 1 pair of thick socks in case a blizzard rolls in, those shoes you’ve been meaning to replace, two bathing suits, pajamas, and a raincoat—regardless of the weather forecast.

Step 8: Imagine yourself having the desire to workout and pack workout clothes.

Step 9: Laugh, knowing there’s no way in hell you’re going to workout.

Step 10: Pack another workout shirt.

Step 11: Invent at least 5 different turns the weekend could take that might provoke the need to bring shoe options, and then pack accordingly.

Step 12: Look up the weather forecast for where you’re going and regret everything you packed.

Step 13: Step away from your closet and move into the bathroom to gather your toiletries.

Step 14: Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash and makeup—even though you know you’re going to need most of it tomorrow morning before you leave.

Step 15: Pack a book, then picture yourself reading the entire book in one day and decide to pack three more.

Step 16: Pack your phone charger, then unpack it before bed to charge your phone, and then forget it all together.

Step 17: Zip up your suitcase and decide you are finished so you can go to bed because it’s almost definitely 1:00 a.m. at this point.

Step 18: Lie awake for about an hour wondering if you should pack more socks or if maybe you should bring a flashlight or goggles or an earthquake kit.

Step 19: Wake up to brush your teeth and realize you’ve already packed your toothbrush.

Step 20: Become frustrated while picking an outfit to wear because you packed everything you like, regret everything for a solid half hour, and then throw your hands in the air, zip up your suitcase and roll it out the door.

Notes I Found on My iPhone

Creativity and inspiration (to write, in my case) can sometimes be slippery fish. Sometimes you’ll put in all the effort to be productive—you’ll clear time, sit down at your computer, stretch your fingers and say, “okay! I’m ready! Bring me the words!” and then, nothing. That cursor will blink and blink and your document will stare it’s blinding white screen back at you until your eyes hurt but still: nothing.

This is why I almost never leave the house without a notebook. It’s my way of keeping track of ideas the moment they come (which too often is while I’m driving) so I can come back to them later—hopefully with the same enthusiasm I had while scribbling them down at a red light.

When I don’t have my notebook, I’ll type up notes on my phone. But more often than not, I forget these notes exist, so by the time I come back around to them, I’ve lost all connection to the random jumble of a thought, and it’s become far less inspirational or witty than it is strange and confusing.

Seeing as it has been a solid two years since I’d last gone through my notes, I thought there was a pretty good chance to find some of these lost souls and boy did I. Here are just a handful of the 60 notes that were sitting idly on my iPhone:

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This abandoned story idea that sounds like bad spin-off of The Hangover series:

“Story about someone finding a cash out receipt and the journey to cash it”

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This proposed menu my roommates and I made for a new holiday were going to celebrate:

Post Thanksgiving Friends-Giving

-Macaroni & Cheese + Hot Dogs

-Pigs in a blanket

-Hot Cheetos

-Tater Tots

-Pancakes

-Snowcones

-Rice Krispie Treats

-Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets

-Ring Pops

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These noted conversation points I took down during a bar crawl:

Can you slurp potatoes?

Bananas?

Doubtful.

Whose ears are bigger?

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This apparently important moment that took place at the International House of Pancakes:

Natallee: IHOP = the POPOT

The place of pancakes of truth

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This list of companies I wanted to give me money/free stuff:

People I wouldn’t mind sponsoring me

  • Target
  • Amazon
  • Popsicles
  • Boom chicka pop

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This, which I assume was supposed to be a list of fears I had regarding therapy:

Dumb questions I’d probably ask if I ever went to therapy

  1.  My left shoe always comes untied, do you think that means something?

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This recipe:

Paprika Chicken with Crispy Chickpeas & Tomatoes

12oz tomatoes

8 cloves garlic, smashed in their skins

1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

Kosher salt & pepper

4 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tsp paprika

Heat oven to 425F. On rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes, garlic & chickpeas with 2 tbsp oil & 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper. Roast 10 min. Heat remaining tbsp oil in large skillet on medium. Season chicken with paprika & 1/2 tsp salt & pepper and cook until golden brown on one side 5-6 min. Flip and cook 1 min more. Transfer to baking sheet with tomatoes & chickpeas and roast until cooked through, 6 min more. Before serving, discard garlic skins.

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This list of movies I was told I HAD TO SEE (which I’ve made almost no progress on):

Primal Fear

Identity

5th Element

Snatch

The room

What If

Comet

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Overall, while these are funny, weird and slightly confusing, they’re not all that surprising, 1) because this is exactly what my brain sounds when it thinks it’s on to something and 2) because I have 5 moleskine notebooks full of thoughts exactly like this and I don’t foresee that ending anytime soon.

So if you happen to drive up next to me at a red light and see me scribbling something down in a notebook, just let it happen. Also, maybe say a prayer that that idea grows up into something great one day.

I Can’t Pee in the Ocean

You’ve read the title. You know what we’re here to talk about.

It’s an overshare, but we’re moving on.

I, Kim, cannot pee in the ocean. This is a fact of not only my adult life, but my life for as long as I can remember. Or at least since the day I figured out that the ocean is kind of scary and may or may not swallow you up if you aren’t careful.

The ocean just gives me a lot of anxiety.

The beach? Love it.

What’s not to love about a place where it’s not only encouraged to lie around without pants on, but to do so with snacks and a drink close by, AND to nap at least once while you’re there?

If you give me a book, some pretzels and a hoodie, you can do whatever you want in the ocean and I’ll be right there waiting for you hours later—most likely sunburned in a place I could have swore I put sunscreen on, and wondering if there’s a popup ice cream shop somewhere. All of this comes crashing down however, when there are no bathrooms.

Which was the case this past weekend.

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon. My sister and I had made the (only slightly) trafficky drive to the beach and were set to spend our afternoon there. Since it was later in the day, we hadn’t brought any snacks because we didn’t want anything to take away from the tacos we were planning on devouring that evening.

We were at what you might call a secret spot so there were no bathrooms in sight, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I didn’t realize I had to pee the moment we stepped onto the sand.

“It’s fine,” I said, “I’m fine.”

She was not fine, said the narrator.

For the next half hour or so, we lay in the sand, my sister studying for an upcoming test and me reading a chapter of a book I will definitely have to reread.

“Do you want to walk down to the water?” my sister said, faux casually.

I thought about saying, “yeah, sure, I just love the water,” but we both would have known I was full of garbage and we also both knew that my only thought for every single one of the last 30 minutes was: I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee.

Needless to say, we walked down to the water.

I was feeling roughly 0% confident, seeing as my record of peeing in the ocean in the last, say, 10 years of my life was 0. But I had to go, you know? And so I trailed behind her, wondering how many of our fellow beach patrons were pointing and saying, “she’s definitely going to pee in the ocean, let’s watch.”

If they were watching—which, gross­—they would have seen little more than me hopping around, quietly shrieking and gasping and unnecessarily cursing. At one point a wave came in higher than I thought and water splashed up into my eye. Another time I thought I might maybe kind of a little bit go pee, but then I saw a flock of birds and got distracted and so it went away.

Eventually, after thirty minutes of not being able to pee in ocean, I trudged up the beach, lay back down on my towel and re-opened my book.

The good news was that the exorbitant amount of anxiety the water had given me had essentially scared the pee into some back corner of my body. So for the next hour I was able to lie there and read without wondering if my bladder was going to explode, causing Shonda Rhymes to use my story on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The bad news was the breeze picked up and my pantsless, unable-to-retain-body-heat existence started to shiver the pee out of hibernation. Thus, around 6:00 p.m. we packed up our bags, made the walk back to our car and drove totally over the speed limit to the taco joint. #criminal #gottafleetofreethepee

In conclusion, I peed.

It wasn’t in the ocean and it probably won’t ever be, but I peed.

To everyone out there whose bladder has got no motion in the ocean, you’re not alone. And to everyone who can’t relate to this story in any way,  you know a lot about my bladder now and I apologize.

If You Have Time to Kill, Take These Personality Tests

This past weekend my sister and I dove into the world of personality tests.

While I like to think we know each other pretty well, and we know ourselves even better, you can never really know enough, you know?

Us humans are complicated things, so it’s nice to gain some insight into why we might do the things we do, in the way we do them, at the time we do them. And while therapy is a necessary and wonderful thing, sometimes it’s nice to put entirely too much trust into tests on the Internet and then evaluate your entire life as you sit in your living room watching a baseball game.

So yeah, you could say we had a wild weekend.

If you are looking to learn a little bit more about yourself, or just have 20-30 minutes to kill, give these a try.

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1) Your Love Language

This will teach you about what you consider to be love and how you need it to be expressed/shown to you.

My Result: Quality Time

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Find the test here.

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2) Enneagram Test

This will tell you about your personality and where it fits in to the nine major types.

My result: Type 3, “The Achiever”

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Find the test here.

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3) Enneagram Test with Instinctual Variant

This is a shorter version of the enneagram test that asks you to rate yourself on specific personality traits.

My result: Type 3w2 with a Self Preservation Variant

Find the test here (just below the last one)

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4) The 16 Personalities Test

This is essentially an extension of the enneagram test that measures your personality against 16 different types.

My result: The Advocate (Type INFJ-T)

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Find the test here.

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5) Which Type of Potato are You?

Because, well, don’t you want to know?

My result:

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Find the test here.

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I cannot and will not claim any responsibility for any emotional confusion/identity crises that may result in the taking of these quizzes. I will, however, take full blame for anyone craving potatoes at work today. I’m looking at you, scalloped.