things to do in quarantine

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.”

In Case You’re Wondering About TikTok

One of quarantine’s biggest breakout stars (besides Tiger King) has been TikTok, a social media app that lets you share (up to) one minute videos of absolutely anything.

Most commonly, you’ll see choreographed dances, themed trends, and one person skits dubbed “POV’s” or “point of views”, but then there are also the wonderful, sometimes accidental, creative, weird, funny, and 100% rewatchable videos that you (or at least I) feel the need to share with friends and family whenever we are catching up.

This is not an ad to make you download TikTok, or a ploy to make certain people on TikTok famous—I don’t have that kind of reach (or sponsorship). All I know is that sometimes when I’m looking for a few minutes (or an hour) to kill, or to take my mind off things and laugh or cringe or say, “wait, what?” out loud to myself, I open TikTok and strap in.

So, I thought I’d share some of my favorites in case you’re looking for a) an introduction to what you might find on this infamous app, or b) a little something to kill some time.

My personal favorite videos on the app can be summed up into four major categories:

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1) Travel

Which I like to bookmark in the hopes that one day I’ll visit the place they are showcasing.

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2) Pranks

Which I feel bad for laughing at because I HATE being pranked but…I can’t help it.

@walker

Pranks wars has started with my mom 😱😂 #foryou #fyp

♬ original sound – walker

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@toshaamoore

Compilation of scaring my brother in the kitchen ☺️☺️😂#foryouu #foryoupage #scared #scares #imawful

♬ original sound – toshaamoore

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3) “Perseverance”

I get SO invested in videos where people set up elaborate obstacle courses, or try for hours to make trick shots. It reminds me of the afternoons my cousins and I spent in our grandparents living room throwing playing cards and poker chips into hats we found around the house.

@jordanwonder

it’s just cause @aleahlivingston plays basketball 🏀 🙄 #fyp #foryoupage

♬ original sound – jordanwonder

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@owen_kushtensen

this took many tries so please give it some love #fyp #wintersports #strangepets

♬ FML – Arizona Zervas

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4) Undefined Hilarity

These are videos that make me laugh so hard, sometimes for reasons I can’t understand. These are the gems that make the endless scrolling worth it (to me).

@williamscopetti

Volete che vi suono qualcosa in un’altro video? #italy #comedy #foryou IG: _risocantonese

♬ suono originale – williamscopetti

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@thatoneguy_2

asked my grandma if the shower in the guest room still worked#thingsthathappened

♬ original sound – thatoneguy_2

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If you’re looking for more recommendations, I highly recommend checking out this video where YouTuber Jenna Marbles plays some of her favorite TikToks, and her reactions are honestly better than the TikToks themselves.

Also, I apologize in advance if this post inspires you to download TikTok and you accidentally sit down on scroll through it for four days straight. It happens to the best of us.

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.