For the last six months or so, I’ve been a little obsessed with playing Words with Friends, the smartphone version of Scrabble. I had never actually played Scrabble before taking up WWF (seems impossible, given that I’m such a word nerd, but it’s true) and as a result, I was fairly terrible in the beginning and got crushed pretty routinely. In time, however, I got a handle on the strategic part of the game – triple letters, double word score, bonus for using the full tray, etc. All of which lead me to this the other day:


I’m pretty sure I’ll never get that lucky again, but it was fun in the moment.


According to some parts of the internet, thaasophobia is the fear of being idle or bored. According to other parts of the internet, however, such phobia lists are designed to be link spam. Judge for yourself, but it seems real enough to me.


I often joke when I get ready for a trip that I have a pathological fear of running out of things to do, so I always pack way, way more “entertainment” than any one vacation requires. After all, the point of most travel is to do something fun, right? The week I spent in New York involved a family reunion, a AA baseball game, a girls’ night vacation-within-a-vacation with Sionna, an all-day picnic with my college friends, and more, yet this is what I had with me to keep busy:

  • my iPhone, loaded with:
    • 3,000+ songs (more than seven days, without repeating)
    • 21 tv shows (more than 15 hours)
    • about 75 podcasts (something like 16 hours worth)
    • 1 audiobook (“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, 6.6 hours, unabridged)
    • 1 movie (the hockey classic “Slap Shot,” two hours)
    • eight games (10 if you count the two I keep on there for my nephews)
    • pretty much everything not involving Flash on the internet, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, and my RSS reader
  • three books:
    • “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Stieg Larsson
    • “Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth: A Novel of Ancient Egypt,” Naguib Mahfouz (actually on its second trip; I also took it to Egypt with me)
    • “Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard,” Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • two knitting projects (both socks, though)

As it turned out, I listened to only one playlist on my iPhone for the entire trip – my supremely awesome and extremely roadtrip-worthy Madonna-Lady Gaga-Glee mix. I did try to listen to the audiobook, but the combination of depressing subject matter and a maudlin reader made that a brief endeavor. I finished “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but instead of reading either of the two other books, I bought the sequel, “The Girl who Played with Fire,” in the airport for the flight home.  I didn’t knit a stitch and  I never got around to watching the movie or any of the tv episodes.

And yet, I was never bored. Or idle. Shocking, no?