Author Archives: ashleekarin

The Great Hack

When I was buying a house, I cannot tell you how many mortgage lender, realtor, etc ads i had seen since I had started house shopping.

If they can pay to target me with new home ads when they know I am shopping for a new house, then they can target you with divisive extremist ads for the left or right political spectrum to cause you to become emotionally charged at “the other half” of the American population.

You’re a liberal?

Suddenly you are seeing memes with stats on how conservatives hate college and want to take away higher education.

You’re a conservative?

Suddenly you are seeing memes with stats on how liberals want to take away your guns.

Then our liberal/conservative friends naturally are appalled with how “the other half” of the American population thinks. They share this meme. And the next one. And the next one. *gasp* Republicans want to murder immigrants *share*. And the next one. And the next one. Suddenly walls of people who you know and love are also sharing these extremist views because they are scared of “the other half” of the American population.

Even if they aren’t sharing this information – they are seeing it.

And Subconsciously they go…

Go watch the Netflix documentary “The Great Hack”. The manipulation is real and it is scary.

Tell me what you think in the comments.


Stop waiting for your dreams to wake you up. Dreams don’t wake you up, you do.

2019 Bucket List Recap

New year, new me can be replaced with new decade, new … ? I’ve got nothing. So this is 2020. Anyone feel different?

Well Happy New Year (again) 🎉🥳

Without further ado, here is what I did in 2019:

Completed Items:

Completed in 2019:

Get Engaged (2019)

Get a puppy (2019)

Okay, so neither of those things were on my list before… and sadly I’ve got nothing to move up. Maybe 2020 will be a year of “more”.

Previously completed bucket list items:

Buy a house (2018)

Learn 100 Basic American Sign Language Signs (2018)

Go For Walk in Central Park (2018)

Have a Picnic in Central Park, New York (2018)

Attend a Broadway Show (2018)

Eat Fish and Chips in London (2018)

Eat Greek Salad in Greece (2018)

Eat Olives in Greece (2018)

Build a Website (2018)

Complete a Painting in One Day (2018)

Become a Programmer (2018)

Learn a Computer Programming Language (2018)

Know the Alphabet Backwards (2017)

Attend a Beach Bonfire (2017)

Complete an Online Class (2017)

Attend a Poetry Reading (2016)

Experience the Grand Canyon (2016)

Get a Self Portrait in Italy (2016)

Go on a Gondola in Venice (2016)

Go Shopping in Milan (2016)

Go to Egypt (2016)

Climb a Pyramid (2016)

Cross Country on a Train (2016)

Visit the Grand Canyon (2016)

Eat Pasta in Italy (2016)

Attend a Cirque Du Soleil Show (2016)

Be Photographed Beside the Pyramids of Giza (2016)

Have a Cup of Coffee With a Stranger (Achieved 2015)

Dine in the Eiffel Tower (Achieved 2015)

Be Smiling in a Random Persons Photo in the Back (Achieved 2015)

Jump into a Fountain (Achieved 2015)

Drink Champagne in France (Achieved 2015)

Drink Guinness in Ireland (Achieved 2015)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland (Achieved 2015)

Eat Chocolate in Belgium (Achieved 2015)

Eat Crepes in France (Achieved 2015)

Get Lost in a Foreign Country (Achieved 2015)

Dance Like No Ones Watching (Achieved 2015)

Don’t Use the Phone For a Day (Achieved 2015)

Attend a Yoga Class (Achieved 2015)

Become an Early Riser (Achieved 2015)

Do a New Year Dip (Achieved 2015)

Do a Boudoir Photoshoot (Achieved 2014)

Cut my Hair and Donate It (Achieved 2014)

Become a Film Maker (Achieved 2014)

Fly a plane (Achieved 2014)

Be in 5 Magazines (Achieved 2014)

Eat Cajun Food in New Orleans (Achieved 2014)

Go Ice Skating (Achieved 2013)

Drive around Big Sur (Achieved 2013)

Cross-Country Road Trip (Achieved 2012-2013)

View the Golden Gate Bridge (Achieved 2013)

Drive Along Route 66 (Achieved 2012)

Drive Along the Pacific Coast Highway (Achieved 2012)

Drive from Home to the East Coast (Achieved 2012)

Go to Colorado (Achieved 2012)

Become a Runway Model (Achieved 2012)

Stay in Death Valley (Achieved 2012)

Eat a Lobster in Main (Achieved 2012)

Eat Ribs at an American BBQ (Achieved 2012)

Be a Vintage Model For a Day (Achieved 2012)

Be on the Cover of a Magazine (Achieved 2012)

Bake my Own Bread (Achieved 2011)

Incomplete Items:

Climb a Rock Wall

Drink Only Water For a Year

Achieve 1,000 Goals

Add a Picture /video/blog of all my Goals

Attend a 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Course

Attend an Inner Awakening Retreat

Be a Mentor to Someone

Be a Part of an Important Movement

Be a Part of Habitat For Humanity

Be Blind For a Day

Be on Stage in Front of Thousands of People

Be Part of a Disaster Relief Team

Be Part of a Peaceful Protest

Be Passionate About a Cause

Become Courageous

Become First Woman President

Break a Guinness World Record

Build Schools For Women and Girls in Developing Countries

Buy a Stranger a Meal at a Restaurant

Change Someone’s Life For the Better

Completely “Unplug” For a Week

Create a Travel Journal

Do 365 Random Acts of Kindness in a Year

Do a Buddha Meditation

Do a Favor For a Stranger on the Scale of “Pay It Forward”

Do a Twenty-Four Hour Silence

Do Charity Work Abroad

Do Something Crazy For Charity

Do Something New Every Month For a Year

Do Something Nice For a Homeless Person

Do Something Nice For Someone Who Will Never Find Out

Coast to Coast Train Trip

Couchsurfing in 10 Countries

Cruise Around the World

Cruise Mexico

Cruise the Caribbean

Cruise to Alaska

Cruise to Antarctica

Drive Around Australia

Explore Africa

Explore Asia and the Far East

Explore Australia and New Zealand

Explore the Amazon Rainforest

Explore the Desert on a Camel Safari in India

Explore the Galápagos Islands

Get a Lei in Hawaii

Go Backpacking Through Europe

Go on a Real African Safari

Go Swimming in the Dead Sea

Go to a Big Medieval Fair

Go to a Big Time Movie Premiere in Hollywood

Go to a Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

Go to Brazil

Go to China During Chinese New Year

Be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Become a Cheese Connoisseur

Become a Freelance Writer

Become a Published Author

Become a Supermodel

Become a Translator

Become a Travel Writer

Become a Wine Connoisseur

Become an Author a Successful Blog

Travel By Seaplane

Backpack Across Europe

Backpack Across South America

Backpack Across the Himalayas

Backpack Appalachian Trail

Backpack South East Asia

Backpack Trough Australia

Backpacking Through New Zealand

Camp in the Backyard

Travel the Amazon River

Climb a Mountain

See the Northern Lights

Hike in Nepal

Visit Yosemite National Park

Hike Machu Picchu

Bake a Cake For Someone For No Reason

Cook 30 Recipes from 30 Different Countries in 30 Days

Cook an Entire Meal from Another Culture

Eat a Gyro in Greece

Eat a Six-Course Meal That I Prepared

Eat a Traditional Food from Every Country

Eat Apple Strudel in Vienna, Austria

Eat Chinese Food in China

Eat Curry in India

Eat Maple Syrup Pancakes in Canada

Eat Mexican Food in Mexico

Eat Poi in Hawaii

Eat Sushi in Japan

Eat Using Chopsticks in Asia

Create Passive Income

Establish my Business Before I Turn 40

Gain Financial Freedom

Go an Entire Month Without Spending Any Money

Invest in a Stock

Invest in Gold

Invest in Real Estate

Invest in Silver

Invest in the Stock Market

Save $10,000

Stay on a Strict Budget and Save For a Goal

Attend a Presidential Inauguration

Attend a Sydney Opera House

Attend a TED Talk

Attend a Writing Class

Become Bilingual

Become Fluent in French

Become Fluent in German

Become Fluent in Italian

Become Fluent in Spanish

Complete a Course to Become a Photographer

Complete a Novel

Complete a Rubik’s Cube

Complete all the Books from ’1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die’

Do Crosswords Every Day For a Month

Do Sudoku Every Day For a Year

Get a Scholarship For University

Get a TEFL Qualification

Get Certified As a Lifeguard

Go on a University Exchange

Learn a Burlesque Routine

Learn a Form of Martial Arts

Learn a New Language and Speak It Fluently

Learn a New Word Every Day For a Year

Learn a New Word from an Unknown

Language Every Day For 30 Days

Learn a Trade

Attend a High School Reunion

Attend One Wine Tasting a Month

Create a New Family Tradition

Grow Old With the Love of my Life

Have 50Th Wedding Anniversary

Have a Romantic Flight in a Hot Air Balloon

Apply to Be a Jeopardy Contestant

Apply to Be an Amazing Race Contestant

Attend a Charity Ball

Attend a Concert As V.I.P

Attend a Film Premiere

Attend a Lantern Festival

Attend a Masquerade Ball

Attend a Paint Party

Attend Carnival

Be in Time Square on New Years Eve

Build a Snowman Taller Than Me

Celebrate the 4Th of July in Washington DC

Dance Salsa in Rio Di Janeiro

Dance With an African Tribe

Dine in the Dark

Drink a Glass of Red Wine in Chile

Drink Rum on a Caribbean Beach

Drink Tequila in Mexico

Act in a Movie That Hits Theaters Nationwide

Act in a Short Film

Appear As an Extra in a Drama

Appear in a Music Video

Appear on Television

Attempt a New Recipe Once a Month For a Year

Be a Part of New York Fashion Week

Be on More Than 4 TV Shows

Become Great at Playing Guitar

Build a Computer

Build a Functioning Solar Still

Build a Giant Sand Castle

Build a Gingerbread House from scratch

Live in a Log Cabin

Put together a complex Puzzle

Build a Sauna in my Home

Build an awesome Tree House

Build Affordable Green Communities

Complete a Wine Journal

Create a Children’s Book

Create a College Photo Album

Create a Documentary

Create a Publication

Put together a Scrapbook

Create an Iphone Application

Create Melted Crayon Art

Decorate a House

Capture a Tornado on Film

Circumnavigate the Globe By Sail

Climb to the Top of a Rope in a Gym

Cross a Country With Bicycle or By Foot

Do a Firewalking

Do a Polar Bear Plunge

Do Human Bowling

Go at the Top of the Highest Building of the World

Go Bull Riding

Go Dog Sledding

Go Go-Karting

Go Into a Zero Gravity Room

Go Storm Chasing

Go White Water Rafting

Go Zip Lining

Hang Glide

Have a Nascar Experience

Arrive at an Airport and Take a Flight Randomly

Attend a Beach Party

Attend a Mind Reading Show

Attend an Event at Buckingham Palace

Bathe In Chocolate

Bathe In Milk

Bathe In Oil

Be a Contestant on a Game Show

Be a Couchsurfing Host

Be a Flashmobber

Be a Member in the TV Audience

Be a Street Performer For a Day

Be a YouTube Star

Be an Extra in a Television Show

Be in Two States at Once

Be Inside an Igloo

Be Interviewed By Jay Leno

Be Interviewed On Oprah

Be Invited to the Playboy Mansion

Be Listed As One of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People

Be Nude on a Nude Beach

Be on a Radio Show

Be on the Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Be on the Front Page of a Major Newspaper

Be on Webcam With Someone For Twenty Four Hours

Become Ambidextrous

Belong to a Secret Society

Blow Bubbles in the Rain

Buy Someone’s Groceries Just Because

Call Someone, Tell Them to Look Out Their Window, and Be Standing on Their Front Lawn

Celebrate my Birthday in Another Country

Change Clothing in a Phone box

Climb a Light House

Collect a Coin from Every Country I Visit

Collect a Jar of Dirt from Every State

Collect a Penny For Every Year I’ve Lived

Create a World Map With Pins of Where I’ve Been

Dance all Around the World

Dine at Sanyou Cave Hanging Cliff Restaurant, China

Do Everything With my Left Hand For a Whole Day

Do Something Absolutely Spontaneous

Do Something Unexpected

Don’t Talk a Whole Day

Draw Funny Faces on all the Eggs in my Fridge

Age of Censorship

Welcome to 2020. We just left the last decade of lies marketed as it’s prettier narrative “false news”. We start the new decade by media giants censorship under the guise of fact checking.

Censorship under the guise of fact checking.

If haven’t seen this censorship yet, here is an example post where Facebook blurs out the photo (like they do with flagged violent posts), where you can click to go to an alternate explanation of the photo or in small print you can reveal the labeled-false photo:

The site Africa Check site claims they have partnered with Facebook to combat fake news and false information on the social platform.

The site continues on that content rated as “false” by fact-checkers will be downgraded in news feeds meaning fewer people will see it.

I should lead with I am not against fact checking.

I would prefer instead of hiding the meme like it’s some violent crime that the fact check hyperlink was just present at the bottom of the image (where the ‘show picture ‘ icon is listed).

I also do not think Facebook should suppress the viral nature of a meme.

Whenever I am presented with information, I go to find articles about what’s being stated so it’s nice that one article is instantly available. I like having this option to think for myself, and not to have this false hope that people should trust Facebook all of a sudden for their “protection” *cough* censorship *cough* against false news

This is where I find the irony of Facebooks “third party fact checkers”. Facebook censors the viral posts of the general public, but are still okay with taking money for political ads forced into unsuspecting individuals news feeds that present false narratives to spin their own agenda.

To me it just feels like a false bravado of “oh look at me – I’m Facebook and I’m so socially responsible by flagging memes with lies in them…. just not the ones people pay me for”

Who do I want to be?

It’s three years in the future, and future me is dead. I am lying in an open faced casket. While this is how I am seen at that moment, it wasn’t how I was remembered. How I died was as important at this point as the black balloons, chosen flowers, and the black coordinating dress everyone wore as they stifled their cries.

My mother, the embodiment of strength I’ve always known her for, was called up to the podium to speak. She stared longingly at the open casket, as if waiting for me to wake up. As if I were only going about one of my many long naps. Everyone was quiet. She turned to the crowd, and began to speak, “My daughter, Ashlee. Asheepoo.” The was enough to cause her voice to crack. “She fought hard to stay alive when she was just an infant in my arms. Always positive. Always looking for the future. She was strong in ways I’ve always admired; I knew she was her mother’s daughter. Ash had a way about her to get wherever she was going, no matter what. She never let anyone stand in her way. She gave second chances, but never a third. She knew how to move on, so that when people she cut off looked back at her, they saw only the trail of success she left on her way up. And successful she was. Not just in her career, because she definitely worked hard in that, but also in her sense of adventure. She was going somewhere…” At that, my mother let out a small sob and buried her face into a handkerchief. Scottie, my partner, came up and held her by the elbow and laid a gentle hand on her back as he guided her back to her seat.

Next to walk to the podium was my sister. Beautiful and alive as ever. If anyone carried down the genes of strength of our mother, it was her. So strong, so proud. She looked tired from crying, but she wouldn’t let that sadness stop her from speaking today. “I remember,” she began, “coming home to find teenage Ashlee curled up asleep on the couch everyday after school. She loved sleeping. I think it’s from all this sleep that she really dreamed up the future and where she was going. We weren’t that close when she was a teenager, because after all, how many teenage sisters are? But not too long after she moved to Florida did we really start to connect. I loved finally having someone to talk to, who not only listened, but also understood. We lived different lives, but we were still one blood. Ashlee would check in, she always knew when something wasn’t right. She would tell you how it is, blunt – even if they weren’t the words you wanted to hear at the time. She didn’t coddle her opinion. But no matter what, she was in your corner. I now understand how sisters are the friendship that never fades. Even in her death, I know she is here in my heart. A part of me. That is how she would want to be remembered; as an integral and meaningful part of our lives that even in death never stopped beating passion and drive to push us forward in our own goals. So, Ash, this isn’t good bye – but see you later.”

Danielle sat down. A few other people got up and spoke. The list of speakers was long, so everyone was brief. Whether it was a memory from childhood, or school, or work – everyone wanted to say a word or two. My closest and best friends talked about or travels or high school. They talked about my love for life, even when I couldn’t quite see it myself.

Scottie’s turn came up to speak. His love for me was pure, and came out everyday in gestures, kindness, patience, and love. As I lay there in the casket, eyes closed, he laid a hand on my hand and wiped a tear from his eyes. Everyone loved Scottie, and it was easygoing to listen to him speak and be around him. Even if this moment of sadness and loss, he made everyone’s spirits rise. “Ashlee meant everything to me. When I saw her for the very first time, I knew that one day I would marry her. Which was a bit awkward, because she was married to someone else.” He said in jest, and a small laugh traveled through the crowd. “But I waited patiently from afar, as the only thing I truly cared about was her happiness. As her world at the time crumbled around her, and her marriage hopelessly fell apart, I waited. As I knew she would come out the other side just as strong and beautiful as I remembered. And she did. Not to say, unscathed. But that’s the world, isn’t it – it can be unkind and even cruel; but not Ashlee. She was kind, loving, patient, humble. She’d ask me everyday why I loved her so much, and I wish I had known the words to tell her then what I can see so clearly now. I loved her because she was bold, brave, strong. I loved her because she was quiet, sweet, and small. I loved her because she was loud, proud, and so smart.” He stopped to look at me again. “I loved her because no matter what she came up against, she came out on top. Never, ever letting the world harden her. She only wanted to be loved and to be love, and so she was.

So she was.”

—- Eulogy Writing Prompt from: —-

“Here’s a small mental exercise. Imagine that it’s three years in the future, and, sadly enough, you’ve passed away. Take a moment to visualize your own funeral. Imagine your loved ones – your partner, your best friend, maybe your dearest colleague – giving eulogies. Now ask yourself what you’d like them to say. What sort of person do you want to be remembered as? For what do you want to be remembered?” – The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person

A long winded post to say:

What sort of person do you want to be remembered as? Always positive. Always looking for the future. Forgiving, but not a doormat. An adventurer. Not afraid of a challenge or the unknown. Empathetic. Straight forward. Blunt. Supportive of others. Strong. Beautiful, inside and out.

For what do you want to be remembered? Pushes through hard times. Successful; not just in my career, but also in other aspects of my life. That my family and friends can count on me.

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