About kstehr

I'm Katy, and I enjoy puns, hair dye, and cats, among other things. Expect talk about music, events, food, and the surrounding Tacoma area, along with a truly frightening amount of wordplay. I am a history major with a gender studies minor. Join me as I talk about what we do here at UPS! :)

Post-Finals Playlist!

Victorious — Panic! at the Disco

tonight we are victorious, champagne pouring over us// all our friends were glorious, tonight we are victorious 

Anna Sun — Walk the Moon

we got no money but we got heart// we’re gonna rattle this ghost town 

Nine in the Afternoon — Panic! at the Dicso

back to the place where we used to say//man it feels good to feel this way 

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs — Fall Out Boy

thanks for the memories// even though they weren’t so great 


Miss Missing You — Fall Out Boy

baby, you were our biggest fans//I miss missing you now and then

Such Great Heights — The Postal Service

they will see us from such great heights//”come down now”, they’ll say

Bonus Track (because Rachel insisted*)

We Are the Champions — Queen

we are the champions- my friends//and we’ll keep on figthing//till the end 


* She also said to please note that she called me very emo. I am noting this because it is true and I am unashamed.



Things I Accomplished This Semester (and a Few Things I Didn’t Do So Well)

Well, we’re here. At the end of the semester. Most of our exams have come and gone*; memories were had, friends were made, and we are slowly coming to the process of goodbyes, both for those of us who aren’t coming back next semester and for those who have had all of their finals and returned back to their homes to prepare for another semester of learning.
I personally accomplished a lot of things; I will use this space to reflect on them. Seeing as I am leaving for Prague in a little more than a month now, I thought I should consider what I have done and what I should do better next time around. Here goes!

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To Do List: No Negativity

This is the thing I wrote at the bottom of the actual to-do-list that I have tacked up on my wall. I wrote down “get good grades” and underneath I wrote a caveat for one of my classes that I feel like I haven’t done so well in. When I noticed that, I crossed it out, and wrote “NO NEGATIVITY” in capital letters at the bottom.

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The Winter-Funtime-Non-Denominational-Gift-Giving-Extravaganza of 2015

It’s like a Secret Santa, but it’s not. Rachel called it that last year, and the name stuck. Me and my friends do this in the interest of getting one another more than just fuzzy socks and candy canes.*

Because Hanukkah just finished and because Christmas is coming up, I thought I would share the saga of my gift-giving adventures with you.

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10 Tips for Reducing Anxiety and Stress Before Exams

Hey guys! Since it’s the first day of Reading Period and you all already know how close exams are, I’m going to cut to the chase and write down some tips to help reduce some of that anxiety and stress that happens before exams. So, here goes!
1) DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. I know, I know, everyone says this, but it is so massively important that this is number one on the list anyway. Reading period is here for a reason! Take advantage of it!
2) Do a little bit of work every single day. This might not be as feasible if you have an 8 AM final on Monday, but if you start now, then your studying will be a lot more effective than if you cram for an hour before the test.
3) If you have a big paper, outline it! I know — who does outlines anymore? But if you have multiple massive papers, it might be a good idea to just throw some things down in a separate Word document like your thesis, your main points, and the evidence you’re going to use. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but it takes loads of time and energy off of your final paper, and it will be better organized too!
4) De-stress yourself! Yes, I know, I just told you to do some work every day, but it’s up to you how much you do. Do just a bit, and do some activities that you’ll enjoy as well! Otherwise you’re going to burn out before taking the test, and nothing is less fun than taking a test that you absolutely could not care less about at that moment in time because you didn’t take ANY time off.
5) Building off of that, keep all-nighters to a minimum. I myself have stayed up three days in a row one finals week, and I don’t plan on doing that again if I don’t have to; while my school work turned out okay, I was a wreck for at least a week after doing that. In some cases, it’s necessary to stay up to get work done or because you can’t sleep because you’re worried about the test and literally can’t, but in cases where it’s not absolutely necessary? Don’t.
6) Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum. Caffeine may be the nectar of the gods, but too much of it can impair your focus. Sleep when you need to, and leave just a little bit of coffee for when you REALLY need it.
7) Drink water! This is especially relevant advice for Reading Period. Staying hydrated can help with a lot of things, including dehydration headaches and improving your focus.
8) Eat at least one meal of actual food a day. I know that everyone is busy, and that it’s just easier to eat the entire package of Oreos lying around in your room than go to the sub, but it’s much easier and more helpful to get actual nutrients in your system if you’re going to be using your brain a lot.
9) If you can’t sleep before an exam (like me), you can do one of two things — first, you could just prepare to go to bed like you’re actually going to sleep, and just lay there with your eyes closed. Attempt to empty your mind, even though it’s difficult. Then, just do that for the few hours you have before your exam. The other thing you could do is channel that energy into studying, which, while it could help, works better for big papers than actual sit-down tests. Either way, do not just stay up doing nothing and drinking caffeine, that will make you an actual zombie when you take your test; if it were me and my test, I would avoid that.
And finally, 10) Do whatever works for you! A lot of these tips are just things that I personally find helpful — this means that if you have something even more effective than this, go ahead and do it!

Good luck on your exams, everyone! <3 I wish you the best grades and the least amount of stress!

How to Make People Think You Are A Wizard (When Really, You’re Just Good at Mixing Colors Together)

One of my interests that I listed in my biography is hair dye. In the interest of ignoring all of the work and research I have to do in the next few weeks*, I’m going to tell you about it.

A picture from when I redyed my hair a few weeks ago.

A picture from when I redyed my hair a few weeks ago. Notice the paper towel underneath it so I don’t get pink everywhere.

I’ve been dying my own hair for a few years now, and I’ve recently started dying some of my friends’ hair when they asked — they think that I’m magical or something because it always turns out stunning but really, in the interest of full disclosure, hair dye is just guesswork. The actual dying part is easy, because all you have to do is paint it on the hair with either a brush or your fingers**. So is mixing the dye. You choose either a color or colors, and maybe some white conditioner if you want to make it lighter, and mix them all together before dumping it on someone’s head. The proportions are what’s difficult though. It’s choosing the proportions of colors to put in the mix that involves the most guesswork.

Do I want one drop or two of the reddish-purple? Do I want to put a little or a lot of purple into the blue? It all depends on what color you want, and, potentially, whether you mess up and put more color than you were expecting to into the mix (sorry Rachel. I did not mean to make your hair reddish purple instead of orchid).

It’s a pretty simple thing, actually. I might make a post about bleach later, because that is much more difficult and can be legitimately dangerous if you do it wrong. But dying hair? Is just painting. And, if you do it enough and speak confidently enough about different colors and stuff, people might just think you’re a wizard when their hair magically turns purple.

* I am definitely going to do it, and I am pretty well prepared for it. Sometimes it’s good to take a break though!

** I would definitely recommend using disposable gloves if you’re going to do this at home though and especially if you’re going to use your fingers instead of a brush to paint your or your friends’ hair — no one wants bright blue hands for a week. No one.***

*** I may or may not be speaking from experience about that.

Leverage: A Show That I am Thankful For

So, now that it’s almost Thanksgiving, I thought it might be best to recommend a TV show that I am not only truly thankful for but that everyone must see because, really– this is the best show ever and I am so upset it was cancelled after five seasons.*

“What is this show?”, you might ask. Well, friends and classmates, this is a show called Leverage. The main premise of the show is that a team of criminals– Nathan Ford, a former insurance agent and the team mastermind, Sophie Devaraux, star grifter, Alec Hardison, hacker extraordinaire, Eliot Spencer, their retrieval specialist, and Parker, the world’s best thief– must break the law in order to serve justice to those who were not able to secure it through legal means.

This show? Is literally the best show that has ever existed. It’s like a spy thriller and a comedy and drama had a baby all together. The characters are amazing and lovely, especially Parker, who is flawless** and wonderful and I love her, and the character development for all of them? is so good. While the episode structure does get a little formulaic at times, it actually helps for when big, status-quo shattering events happen, because the disruption of the general structure tells you, as the audience, “this is bad. Like, really bad.”

In short  (since I am trying to keep closer to 300 words in this post), this is an amazing show, I love it so much, and you all need to watch it because it is amazing and I need people to be as upset about its cancellation three years after the fact as I am.*** It’s on Netflix! So you should do the thing, if you have the time.

*I blame my friend Rachel who will see this post and laugh at me because she was trying to get me into this for SO LONG before I finally broke down and watched it.

** Parker is not actually flawless– she does have character flaws. But I love her, so I am using this figure of speech to showcase this diamond of a character. Because she’s flawless.

*** I didn’t even mention all of the side characters, or the amazing dialog, or like. A lot of the other stuff that makes Leverage great. But it is a fantastic show, and, in conclusion, I heartily recommend it