CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

Drinking and fire is a combination. Not an ideal one, but one nonetheless. Probably because alcohol and confidence go hand in hand. I have found, though, that confidence and cockiness often get confused and I think the real issue is that alcohol and cockiness go hand in hand (more on that dilemma in THIS POST). Enter the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Which, at some point, was probably a historical celebration. I’m not sure when that changed, but now it’s a bonus day off work and yet another excuse to drink (because who doesn’t need another one of those?!).

Official, and unofficial, drinking holidays are essentially the modern calendar. A millennial edition, so to speak. When you know that a giant cookout themed with the American flag, and its respective colors, is this weekend, you understand exactly where you’re at in the year. No question. Beginning of July. Over halfway to Christmas. One month into summer. One month until school starts … but not for me because I’ve crossed into the “adult” realm and have, wait for it, another month of work. Three months until Fall starts, which is obviously the best season of the year. Since alcohol usually leads to a fall at some point. Thus, more drinking!

And obviously, once one has started drinking, the pack mentality kicks in, and everyone else follows. Unless you’re at a party with children, in which case, some are allowed to have fun and others are stuck “parenting”. This brings one main question into my mind, which, of course, is was there no babysitter available? If not, is there no allowance-dependent pre-teen in attendance who would gladly take your money to sit in the same rooms as the children and watch TikToks all night? Because I feel like the latter is always a great bailout. 

Thanks to Heineken, everyone can drink, but not all drinks have alcohol. And this is perfect for Independence Day. Specifically for the designated person, or group of people, known as the fireworks lighter. Because, have you ever considered that maybe the person in charge of lighting the fireworks should not be the same one holding an open beverage? Seems like an interesting decision. I’m not really a fire fan in general so I definitely don’t trust others with flames. Especially when I don’t know the sobriety levels of said individual(s).  

No matter, though, fireworks are but a small portion of our celebratory weeks / weekends. An optional one. Sometimes an illegal one. The main draw here is clearly the ridiculous use of American themed decorations. You can buy anything in the flag pattern. And I do mean anything. Feel free to use your imagination on some of the most extravagant, questionable, straight up weird, items and I guarantee they come themed specifically for this day. Flag leis, flag solo cups, flag swimsuits since it is summer after all and clothing is not mandatory, but masks are. Luckily you can also get themed masks.

Never has there been a holiday where the Red Solo Cup is a more appropriate addition, or acceptable drinkware. Outside of anything planned / scheduled prior to your quarter-life mark. That’s one of three colors done automatically, if you’re opting to decorate sans actual flag decorations. A chance to flex your creative side. Which just leaves blue and white to round out the festive atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you happen to be attending a celebration on some sort of water, blue is in the bag as well. If not, will there be clear skies? Still no? You’ll have to get creative with one of the food dishes, or table accessories. White is the same color as napkins so as long as you’re not treating guests like cavemen, a third strike! 

If this sounds like any weekend at the lake, day at the beach, party at your friend’s house, that’s because it probably is very similar. The only real difference is a free PTO day with which to either recover, or pre-game. In other words, we love Independence Day so much we celebrate it constantly. Year round to be exact. Sometimes we swap the flag for pumpkins, or trees, or hearts, but deep down we’re still celebrating the same thing. Freedom. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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CONFIDENCE V. COCKINESS – THE STORY OF A FINE LINE

Everyone strives to be confident in life. The feeling where you are self-assured and nothing can get to you. How you dress, how you act, what you do, what you eat, how much you eat, how little you work out, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – everything. Is that person throwing the side-eye and definitely hard core judging you? You don’t care. You’re cool as a cucumber. Fly as a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. Swiping like a boss. It’s sexy. It’s healthy. It’s strong. It’s a good way to be successful … well, at least according to Hollywood.

Sometimes, though, very unfortunately, confidence crosses the line into an entirely different territory known as cockiness. Now, I understand how this is confusing to people. Both start with a ‘co’, both have 9 letters, both have 3 syllables, both have kind of similar letters, both inflate your ego to where you wake up and love seeing who’s staring back at you in the mirror, both kind of sound the if you say them quick enough for an extended period of time. 

As a blogger, I feel a need to educate the public on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of cockiness to keep everyone in the happy, healthy, goal-attaining place that is confidence. Let’s start with the symptoms. How can you tell if someone has crossed the threshold into cockiness? Well, for starters, they’ll tell you all about it. How great they are, how beautiful they are, what they do for work, what they’ve got going for them, how everyone wants them, how the world simply doesn’t see their potential, etc. Then, they’ll walk away mid-convo because you aren’t worth their time anymore. Sound like someone you know? Is that someone you? Don’t worry, there are treatment options.

If you, or a loved one, or a random stranger who approached you, are experiencing the above symptoms, here are the (unofficial, and not scientifically, or medically, backed) treatment options. The most recommended one is to simply remove all sources of arrogance and conceitedness by deflating the ego. One can be creative here, but verbal cues that a cocky person is not who they think they are tend to be effective. However, you will need examples to back this up. ‘No, you don’t have a music deal about to come through because you have never once recorded anything.’ ‘I understand that everyone wants you, but somehow you blow up my phone every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights because you’re bored.’ ‘Oh, that makes sense, you were the greatest pole vaulter in school history. Except that the team cut you on the first day for not attending tryouts.’ Adjust to match your specific situation.

Another option is to encourage said person to help others. Volunteering, seeing the world in a new light, being helpful towards other human beings in a way that doesn’t involve talking about yourself, all can help soften a heart and open the eyes. Help someone to help yourself. If they are highly against doing some volunteer work or community service, Jesus is always a solid option as well.

If the above treatment options don’t work, you can pretend to get on their level and attempt to out-cocky them. A word of caution, though, once you reach that level for an extended period of time you could become confused on what’s happening to you and also turn into a meathead. Hopefully there are people who care about you and can bring you back to reality.

Finally, prevention. This sounds like something everyone should avoid so how can we prevent it in ourselves? Listen before speaking. Think before speaking. Try targeting what’s in your head at yourself and see if you receive it well, before speaking. Care about others. But, like, actually care. If someone is feeling some type of way, be there for them, listen to what they’re struggling with, and sympathize with that. All the while, not caring if it means you have to miss out on another party. Funny thing about preventing cockiness, is you’ll probably pick up that confidence along the way. You’ll trust yourself and the decisions you make. That is essentially the condensed Google definition so I don’t know what other evidence you need.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is experiencing the devastating symptoms of cockiness, pass this along and they can reach out if they don’t agree. If you yourself are concerned about falling into the black hole, follow the prevention methods and you’ll be golden. Thanks for reading!


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IF MY DOG HAD A JOB

In honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, I took some precious work hours to imagine what life would be like if my dog had a job. How does she stay focused? What would she do? Would it be strictly for money, or would she actually enjoy her field? Does she have bills she has to pay? Is that why she has a job? How does she type? Does she even have a computer? Is it less of a tech-y role and more relationship building? How is she working remotely? Who taught her to use a computer and the webcam? Is she a contributor, or does she stare at her beautiful self on camera all day? How has she not been fired? What are her goals and how is she focused enough to meet that? How does she communicate with her co-workers? Do they speak dog?

I could keep going, but for the sake of time, and post length, let’s start with those and see what fun path we end up on. For starters, my dog’s attention span is negative. Unless you have food or have a squeaky toy. In both cases, she is laser focused. This poses several problems in a work environment. One being that no one could keep snacks at their desk because co-worker Dog would be at their side all day and, thus, not contributing her fair share of the work. Another one being that most people would get annoyed at the constant sound of a high pitch squeak from a questionably clean ball. The other major issue is that what happens when neither of these attention grabbers are present? She’s a loose cannon. Nobody knows. Could be sleeping on the carpet. Climbing on a desk. Begging to be pet. Sniffing a chair for the thousandth time. So many potential options.

Given the lack of productivity, what would she do? I’m thinking brand ambassador for something like pet food, pet supplies, or Windex (because there is no spatial awareness between her wet nose and the glass, let’s be honest). Clearly she isn’t in it for the money – she’s a dog. What would she do with money. Probably try and put it in her mouth which is a separate issue. Besides, being a brand ambassador comes with perks. Depending on the industry she could get free food, free squeaky toys, or free attention. Her three favorite things.

This is clearly the right title for more reasons than her attention span and ridiculous cuteness. If given a computer, she would just try to sniff it, lick it, or bite it. Again, we’re talking about a dog without opposable thumbs. Or the capacity to perform computer type tasks. I love my dog (MORE THAN I LOVE PEOPLE) and she is fairly intelligent, but imagine asking your pet to turn on a computer and open the Internet. Pets work on routine. Computer tasks are not routine. If they were, a robot would do them for us. So relationship building it is! Can’t think of a more perfect role for an outgoing pup. Meet new people … constantly. Get them to like you, and we’ll give you a treat. 

With the current situation in the world, you’re probably wondering the same thing as me. Which, of course, is how brand ambassadors are working remotely. Video calls / appearances? Probably works well for humans. But remember how we’ve been over the less than ideal scenario that is your pet using a computer, or a phone, or a tablet, or a smart watch, etc. In an alternate reality, let’s pretend that a human friend (the owner, perhaps) has set up the video call for the dog. What a nice thing to do, you may be thinking. I know my dog, though, and if she saw herself on camera it would be game over. She spends a ridiculous amount of time staring at herself in the mirror so add a bunch of unrecognizable noises coming from the reflection and her head would be in a constant curious tilt. Probably wondering how she could be so beautiful that the reflection wants to talk to her. 

Which, then would beg the question how she has not been fired? There’s only so many times you want to see a dog’s nose right up close and personal in the camera before you realize she isn’t listening to a word you’re saying. She’s in her own world. Has met zero goals. Has no strategy for changing her behaviors and getting back on track. Just a pup entranced by the sight of herself.

Out of this entire scenario, the part I find the most mind-boggling is how she would communicate with her co-workers. Do these humans have a gift I do not of reading the minds of a dog and interpreting their barks? Are they able to respond? Because as far as I know the only words she answers to currently are her name, food, walk, and outside. Seems like a limited choice for making coherent, work related, sentences. Imagine if you were trying to get through her thick skull and accidentally said a trigger word – all progress would be lost. She would be spinning in circles running back and forth to either her food bowl or her leash. And, just like that, all focus is once again lost and someone (probably the owner) would be taking a brief exercise lap around the block for the third time that morning.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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ARE CATFISH THE LAZIEST OF FISHES?

Animal species vary greatly, not only in appearance, diet, and fatality, but also in levels of activity. What kind of creatures do you think of as being active? Go ahead, picture that real quick. I would bet a portion of my savings, not all of it because I’m not a mind reader and humans will say anything to make a quick buck, that you didn’t think of cat or fish just now. Nope. Those are the first two I think of whenever someone asks me what a lazy animal looks like. Well, if someone ever asked me that, those are two I would think of. Shockingly, that question has not come up in conversation yet over the course of my life. I clearly need better friends.

For all the cat lovers out there, I am going to warn you, not apologize, about the following content. For your sanity, and overall calm, it may be best to not keep going. I wouldn’t call myself a cat person, per se. We had a cat growing up. He was chill. I liked him. He also acted like a dog so I think there might be some things that we could read into that. But alas, I’m not a therapist and don’t feel properly educated to share those connections with the Internet. Fish lovers … I actually don’t know anyone who is a self-proclaimed fish lover. Fish as a food, sure, but fish as an animal, nope. 

No matter, onwards and upwards. To places a cat could climb, but a fish would not survive. Where were we? Oh right, lazy animals! Cats expect food, pets (only when they initiate it though), someone to clean up their crap, and unlimited reign of the house. Shall we break this down? We shall. Food: you have to buy them food and treats with your own money. But then they expect little nuggets of human food (chicken, milk, what not) because they can’t be bothered with “cat” food. Dry? Wet? Yes. To both. Because they have to eat a little bit of each for optimal nutrition. Supposedly. Most cats look like they are leaving a lot to be desired in the nutrition department. Then, after you spend more time and money prepping their meals, they want to be pet. Only until they decide they’re done, though. Then watch out because they can and will bite you. Up to this point, I don’t see the appeal. Is it that you get to scoop their litter box? That’s what makes owning a cat rewarding? Or is it that they have zero sense of personal space? Shower? Here I come! Working? I’ll sit on the keyboard to help you. 

That feels like enough to hate on the felines for now. Moving under the sea. Fish? Fish owners get zero value out of these. They get an emptier wallet for sure. Unless you’re keeping fish to eventually eat? In which case, what even? Are you running a baby slaughterhouse? Take the humane approach and buy it post-mortem. Watching fish swim is … an experience? A waste of time? Mind numbing? Heartless? Take your pick. You put a living creature in a very small container where they can swim laps for years until they give up and swim towards the ceiling light. Surely they’re bored. At least bored of staring at your giant face pushed right up against their entire living room wall.

Fish pretty much spend their whole lives searching for food. Despite how great of a movie Finding Nemo was, I feel like it was a bit dramaticized. If you spent your whole life wandering around the kitchen searching for pellets to eat, people would call you lazy. So it only makes sense that fish are lazy. You can argue that they’re at least exercising constantly because they have to move the fins to just stay in place. Mmm … ok, sure. We also move when shifting around the couch to find the optimal position. Is that also exercise? Exactly. 

Let’s wrap this up. You have cats, which are selfish, moody, and lazy. You have fish that are lazy and solitary. Then you have catfish – the epitome of laziness. All the weird cat traits mixed with fish traits. They hide in holes and wait for curious animals to wander in so they can eat it. On the one hand, that’s clever because every species has the few that wander into dark places to “explore”. That never ends well. What do you think is in there? Lucky Charm himself? A talking dog? Piles of diamonds? I have so many questions. On the other hand, live a little. Explore the riverbed you’re burrowed in!

In summary, catfish expect to be fed, they have no sense of personal space, and they’re moody – have you ever seen a picture of one? I don’t know who fed them a bad algae, or if they’re just having a bad hair day, but wow. They don’t look like cats. They don’t look like fish. Maybe that’s why they look pissed off? They don’t belong with anyone they’re supposed to! The personal crisis they must face daily must be excruciating.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WHAT DO COVID AND VOLDEMORT HAVE IN COMMON?

Unless you’ve been living underground for the past six-ish months, more than likely you’re aware about the pandemic happening throughout the world. COVID-19. Coronavirus, if it’s feeling fancy. There’s a lot to be said about how our lives are being changed daily in response to the incredibly rapid spread of the ‘Rona, but I’m not super interested in the facts or political aspect of it at the moment. Like most people, it’s been on my mind a lot. Unlike most people, I’ve been trying to find how it’s different from Voldemort and have been wildly unsuccessful.

When you really put some thought into it, I think that you too will be left unconvinced that this is not the magical moment Harry Potter fans have been waiting for since 1997. Magic in the muggle world. And with that, the possibility that you, or me, are secretly wizards about to receive our Hogwarts summoning. Some of you may already own wands, robes, and house colors. Like any good wizard trapped in a muggle body, though, you are well aware that your love for a certain color combination gives you zero preference with the sorting hat. I would venture that some of you need to brace yourselves for that reality.

How to become a wizard is a fun discussion topic and one that I, obviously, have a lot of thoughts and questions on. But, unfortunately, today is not the day to jump on that train. No, we are here to examine cold hard facts that our suffering is being caused by You-Know-Who. Is it really so hard to believe that this would be his next choice of form? What is dead may never die (thank you GAME OF THRONES for teaching us that lesson) and clearly his soul has been dead for a long, long, long time. Besides, of all ways to finally kill Harry Potter, this seems like the most unsuspecting and overall destructive. 

Ok! Enough with the build-up – what do COVID and Voldemort have in common? Aliases, choice in profession, hobbies, relationship status, adaptability, reputation, and personality. As we do here at TRP, let’s break those down for clarity:

Aliases

This feels like a good starting point, because it’s obvious. Voldemort and COVID are nicknames. Tom Marvolo Riddle and Coronavirus are their given names. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and ‘Rona are how they’re mostly known by those with no personal connection. And of course, one is You-Know-Who while the other is You-Know-What.

Choice in Profession

Voldemort’s profession is hunting Harry Potter and anyone who stands in his way. COVID’s profession is also hunting Harry Potter and anyone who stands in its way. In other words, what they do does not come from a college degree. It comes from having no soul or empathy.

Hobbies

Master death and become immortal. One of the two has successfully achieved this and it isn’t a supposedly fictional character. Coincidence? No, I think it was just a matter of time before the Dark Arts progressed enough to get on this level. Thus, we have Tommy Boy in tiny virus form everywhere.

Relationship Status

If hearing that everyone’s favorite noseless monster is single surprises you, I’m deeply concerned about your ability to read other people. I would venture to say that Corona is also not the romantic type and tends to fly solo, stealing love from others.

Adaptability

Voldemort has taken on many forms so who are we to deny the most current one being a deadly, highly contagious, virus. COVID has been disturbingly adaptable to all methods of prevention and treatment. Only a monster would keep switching things up to avoid being put down. And we all know that Voldemort is a monster.

Reputation

For the wizarding world, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is infamous and known by everyone, but not in a popular way. More of a fear-instilling, stay far, far away, type. For the muggle world, we all know that not even limes can make Corona better and are not thrilled about its persistence.

Personality

Tom clearly suffers from a lack of a soul, or I guess, technically, a damaged soul. I believe that COVID has no soul. Which, clearly means that Tom has finally split his soul so many times seeking immortality that it has been destroyed. Also, from a visual standpoint, a very closeup image of a ‘Rona virus has the same “skin” color as Voldemort and red “eyes”, like Voldemort. Plus interacting with either one of them is basically a death sentence so all the signs match up.

If you’re still on the fence, you must not know who Voldemort is. This connection is so obvious. Or … oh my. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you’re a muggle. That is the only logical explanation. Us wizards are able to see what’s happening because we have the gift of sensing when evil is around us. Don’t worry, though, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Just watch out for the death eaters: coughing, shortness of breath, and fever. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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ROLLING UP IN SWEATS BECAUSE THAT’S JUST WHERE I’M AT IN LIFE

I’m not sure why we didn’t make loungewear first and then decide to boycott all other forms of clothing. If the Victorian era folk could only see us now, they would be speechless – either from our choices in fashion or because their corset’s were too tight, maybe both. They’re probably rolling over in their graves. Women who don’t wear dresses that turn them from a normal, healthy size, into a quadruple 0 everyday? Blasphemy! Men who don’t wear three piece suits just to go walk around outside? Sacrilegious! Children who wear onesies? Adults who wear onesies? Loose fitting clothing? Oh my heavens, it’s the apocalypse for sure!

Meanwhile, I don’t remember the last time I wore real pants. You know, like jeans. Clearly doing my best to court a suitor in these outfits – sweats and t-shirts. My sneakers are always the most polished part of my outfit, like a true millennial. Working from home, or not, my sneakers better be clean and they better match the rest of my outfit. I take pride in that, kind of like how men used to take pride in their top hats. Don’t touch my sneakers! The only downfall to having a great sneaker collection, is having to wear non-sneakers to work. This is a problem. For starters, what difference would it make? I’m not client-facing – throw me in the back room and let me wear some comfortable shoes. Sneakers feel more versatile and also have much more personality than run of the mill “dress” shoes. Anyone can rock black and brown, but not everyone can rock teal and pink. Just saying, it’s a gift. 

They’re also easier to run in for all the times that your favorite food truck is about to close up shop. Or for when you’re about to miss the bus because somehow the alarm clock decided (all by itself) to snooze seventeen times, which is weird – AI has gone to a whole new level. While we’re at it, if I don’t have to wear real shoes, then I should be able to apply those principles to my whole outfit. Pretty sure a smart person once said that comfort leads to productivity … or motivation … or nicer human beings in general … or to more appropriate lunch servings (because comfort clothes are stretchy!). I might be thinking of a binge-watching marathon. Anyone can be a binge-watching pro – I talk all about how to crush your next couch day in THIS POST.

No matter, I have lost all shame for my choice of outfits. Oh, we’re going to the grocery store? Sweatpants and a hoodie. It’s time for a doctor’s appointment? Sweatpants and a t-shirt (for easy access to the blood pressure machine – have to stay thoughtful). Do I want to go shopping? Definitely! Joggers and a hoodie for that upscale comfort. You better believe by date 3 the sweats have come out and will most likely stay out. It is what it is. Not trying to set false expectations for the long-term. It looks a lot like this: sweatpants, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, leggings, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, jeans (what! I know it happens once in a blue moon), leggings, etc. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I wore a pair of khakis if that gives you any indication of my current life crisis mood (the life crisis struggle is too real – you can read more about the various stages in THIS POST). It was definitely pre COVID-19. 

Some of you are probably wondering why? Why do millennials insist on dressing like a gym locker room? Plenty of reasons. Mainly because it allows you to sit in the MOST comfortable positions without any concern for rippings your pants. Also because it instills a mindset of exercise. At any moment I could bust out some push-ups, or lunges, or go for a run. Who knows? You gotta go with the flow of the day sometimes. Usually that exercise flow hits hard after I eat the whole package of Oreos … again … for the third straight day … and my brain is like STOP IT! Have some control, you animal.

It also feels like freedom. Yes, I’m going to work, but in my loungewear … so is it really work, or is it my choice to do some things today? Because it feels more like my choice. The real reason, though, is so that when we do dress like the adults we pretend to be, everyone notices. And I do mean everyone. Strangers, your relatives who live in a different state, the neighbor’s cat (who never once tried to be nice to me, but all of a sudden I bust out the black jeans and they want to rub their white fur all over my calves), the weather (oh, you wanted to look nice? Here’s some pouring rain and high winds … you’re welcome), your boss (who thinks you might be an interviewee, they’re so confused), and most importantly the bartender (free drinks?! For wearing jeans?! I should do this more often).

Regardless of your personal style choice, own it. Clearly mine is the latest catwalk fashions. In my mind anyways, in reality it’s a bunch of workout clothes and some killer sneakers to tie it all together. That’s just where I am in life and I’m owning it for sure.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

There is nothing that irks me more than bad drivers. I can’t stress that sentence enough: bad drivers are my pet peeve! The reason I scream at my windshield and take my hands off the wheel to throw them up in frustration. The reason I usually show up at work stressed out (ok, this may be somewhat related to other circumstances … like the fact that I’m driving to work), but you get the point. I’m always amazed at how the overall quality of driving seems to decrease overnight. Every. Freaking. Night. Has the driving test gotten easier to pass? Is it now a pay-to-drive scheme where you just have to show up with cash and the person at the DMV is like ‘OK, let’s take your picture – you have 3 hours for that right?’.

I’m not going to say how many years it has been since I took the driving test, but for fun let’s say enough for my parent’s car insurance to drop down and they no longer have to sell their souls so I can drive. I almost failed my driving test before I left the parking lot because the radio was on and that is “distracting”. Literally turned the car on and the employee gave me this how dare you look and said ‘Really?! That’s how you want to start this test?!’. Being the clueless, snarky, idiot that I was, I replied, ‘Well, it’s hard to drive without turning the car on’. Which technically, is very true, but I should have known better and just brown-nosed it because my freedom (from having to be driven everywhere) was now in this (angry) employee’s hands. As you can imagine, it was a stressful drive and my every move was criticized. At one point when turning left, I looked left first, then right … is that incorrect? Not sure, but apparently it was that day.

Anyways, I digress. I have a lot of thoughts on the stupid things some drivers do, however, today I want to just put it out to the world that yield signs and stop signs are not the same thing. At all. In fact, they serve very different purposes. Let’s start with the obvious, one is an octagon that says STOP and the other is a triangle that says YIELD. That alone should be enough, but unfortunately, it is not so let’s go a little deeper.

The STOP sign (with 8 sides, remember from up there?) is where you have to come to a complete stop – wheels aren’t moving. You can safely look both ways and then proceed from 0 MPH as you please. Funny how people usually forget the one action item here, which, of course is to STOP! As much as I enjoy that moment of panic when I’m driving by a stop sign and the other car decides to read stop as roll (this isn’t a fire drill – it’s just stop, there is no drop, and there is definitely no roll), I much prefer the relief that comes with someone fully stopped and not moving at all. What does it say about drivers, though, that I now expect people to roll and get pleasantly surprised when someone doesn’t? I mean, in their defense, stop and roll both have four letters and both have an o in the middle(ish) of the word. So, yes, I guess I could see how that would be super confusing. If only the sign was clearer.

Now that we are through the complicatedness that is a stop sign, prepare yourself, because we are about to look at the YIELD sign. Unlike the stop sign, you do not have to stop at a yield sign if no one is coming. There’s a lot to break down here, so let’s start with part numero uno. I realize that the sign is red (like a stop sign) and has a similar shape being a triangle (almost like an octagon, just with 5 fewer sides), but you do not have to stop! In fact, people aren’t expecting you to stop, so when you do, someone has to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting your selfish rear-end. Look at it this way, stopping at a yield sign is basically the same thing as deciding to stop in the middle of the freaking road. Which is not safe driving!

But wait, there’s more to this epidemic: you don’t have to stop, IF NO ONE IS COMING. In other words, if someone is coming, you do not have the right of way and you have to stop. I realize this is very confusing for people – maybe that’s why they stop at all of them? Fewer things to remember. Keeping it simple, stupid as that is. Deciding to merge full speed into traffic is rarely a good idea and I do not recommend it. Especially if I am the driver with the right of way. Those people are the reason I have to constantly know who’s in the lane next to me, who’s behind me, etc. so I can know if I have an escape swerve option or not. Them and also the safe rules of driving.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is suffering from stopield confusion then, by all means, share this post with them and help get them back to leading a normal, safe driving lifestyle. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR CUSTOMER SUPPORT: YES, I’VE TRIED RESTARTING IT

This is for everyone, everywhere, who has ever had to get on the phone with a customer support agent. For all the time wasted listening to one jazz song on repeat over and over and over again endlessly. For all the poor souls trying to navigate through the dizzying maze of menus with only their voice. For all the phone batteries trying to keep up with the unusual increase of constant background activity. For all the family members who will get to relive the experience whenever their loved one is set free, or hung up on. For all the unresolved issues that will endlessly sit in the AI cloud because either the speaker was not able to successfully get to a representative, or they accidentally got yeeted out of the system by the robot for too many unsuccessful attempts to speak with a human – or because they gave up. For all the doodles that are created while waiting in the queue of troubled customers. And for all the food and alcohol that is stress consumed from being “on hold”.

You are not alone. I’m here for you. Having to contact customer support is one of the worst things that can get added to your to-do list. Besides, obviously, cleaning out the gutters, vacuuming the baseboards, and killing the spider that has decided to take up residence in the bathroom. Because you never have to get in touch if everything is just peachy. It’s usually due to a problem, or a frustration, right? Which puts you in an ideal mindset to have an adult conversation where good problem solving can occur and your active listening skills are professional level. 

When you’re frustrated, what’s something that won’t make you feel better? Giving commands to an AI machine. And not just giving commands – it’s more like one of two things: being given a multiple choice question where none of the answers are correct or talking to a brick wall. The menu is a million options long and none of them involve my most basic request to see what the current exchange rate of the Yen is?! Who is in charge of this? Or when you’ve made the educational guess that you belong in zero of the available categories and would like to speak to an actual human being so you can be more detailed about your issue (a.k.a really voice ALL of your complaints at once to someone who has to listen). Why is that harder than figuring out what in the world a jackfruit is? Where did it come from? How do you cut into it? What does one eat it with / how do you prepare it? Why is the outside so bumpy? Is that its protection from predators? What sorts of animals are endangering this fruit? Why does it look like it’s having a melon identity crisis? Is it more cantaloupe or honeydew? How do they get so big? Who first saw it and thought, you know what, that looks delicious and I want to eat it? These are all the questions I’m currently waiting on hold for to ask The Jackfruit Company. This one fruit is an endless sense of distress in my food life.

Anyways … when you finally get to speak to a representative, they usually ask you all the same things the robot just tortured you with. Account verification, what the issue can be generalized as, what the issue can be sub-generalized as, what the issue can be sub-sub-generalized as, if you’re a current customer, what your favorite color is, where you got those amazing new pants that show off all the work you’ve been putting in during leg days, when was the last time you ate a fruit, or a vegetable, did you try restarting it, etc. So … what was the point of going through the automated process if you have absolutely zero of the information that I’ve already provided? Do I have to now start my whole process over? Re-explain exactly why I’m calling? Try to ask for help without a hint of sarcasm, or hangriness, or giving away how annoyed I am?

Being a customer is challenging. Probably not as challenging as the customer service representative job, though. You get to experience every personality type … and mood. Whether you want to or not! My patience levels do not make me a good candidate for those types of positions. Didn’t stop me from trying for a few years, but I can’t honestly say that I miss it. Which is why I always try to remind myself that it isn’t their fault that I had to call in. They didn’t make, or break, the product that I’m currently unhappy with. They simply got stuck having to take my call. Meanwhile, I’ve upgraded my job status to one of those employees who is directly responsible for breakage and upset customers. Wow that is prime irony. Is that like the circle of jobs? Regardless, to all customer service representatives: I sincerely appreciate you, you are the real rockstars, and I apologize for all the work I will inevitably cause you and / or have caused you.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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#SURVIVETHENIGHT … MORE LIKE #SURVIVETHEYEAR

Anyone else feel like this year has been a lot like drinking spoiled milk? Straight sour. Of all years that could be flushed down the toilet, I would not have guessed one that seems so appealing number wise. 2007? Sure, sounds questionable. 2013? Yep, unlucky number thirteen is a definite swerve. But 2020? So even. So round. So doubly delicious to write. And yet, this has been the year from hell. One thing after another with only a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

It started pretty normal, all things considered. At least for like a week anyways. Granted, mine took an early dive bomb with a concussion. Without going into details, I’m now a big supporter of helmets in all activities – winter or otherwise. I also think that ski resorts should not legally be allowed to charge extra for a helmet. If you’re renting equipment, just make it part of the cost, I won’t even notice. Make it extra, though, and all of a sudden I’m invincible and filled with the liquid courage of a college student on Spring Break. It was definitely a personal problem, I will admit. Nonetheless, that was about the extent of a TRP only related issue.

We all know what happened over the next few months. To summarize in a word: death. That’s never really how you want to look back and remember a period of life. Everyone has dealt with the events on differing levels and I’m not going to dive into that. Recently it feels like our reality has turned into something borderline Purge level. If you’ve never seen that movie franchise, you’re not missing anything except stress, fear, and a high level of untrust towards people everywhere. The basis is that there is a 24 hour period where no laws apply and people can live their wildest fantasies. Sounds pretty nice … in theory anyways. I, for one, would get a yacht and cruise along the French Riviera with bottomless bellinis and shrimp cocktails. Much to my disappointment, however, this is not the same image the movie characters have in mind.

If you were given a full day to do anything you wanted, would your first thought be murder, rape, or theft? I would hope not! Do people really lay awake at night dreaming of taking someone’s life? I literally cannot even process that thought. Yet, we have a giant cast of characters, in multiple iterations of the movie, that want nothing more than to terrorize and spread hate. They all happen to have those disturbing masks (you know, the clear doll ones with colorful outlines on the eyes, noise, and mouth). They go out looting stores and houses and generally destroying things just because they can. They want to hurt people because they think it’s entertaining, I guess.

Now, I have a lot of questions about #SurvivingTheNight that I want to put in your head so that you too can spend your days wondering about fictional things. Prepare yourselves, here they come:

  • If you knew the Purge was coming, because it is announced in advance, why would you not go somewhere far, far away to stay safe? Like, I don’t know, the middle of upper Canada or rent a sailboat and anchor down somewhere long from any shoreline?
  • Does everyone just have creepy doll masks in their houses or just demons? Is that the warning sign for your gut instinct that maybe you won’t get along with this person? 
  • How does the doll mask industry prep for the high demand? Do they even know it’s coming? Do the employees willing mass produce these knowing they will be part of acts that are literally unlawful, thus the point of the Purge?
  • Why doesn’t anyone do normal things like steal all of the Chewy Chips-Ahoy and illegally stream Disney Plus off a neighbor’s account?
  • What happens when you recognize someone and you both survive? How do you not judge that person forever for what they consider to be a deep dark fantasy?
  • Who is in charge of stopping the Purge and how is that enforced? Like do law enforcement officers suddenly appear from the graveyard and start arresting people?
  • Why don’t the Purge offenders target law enforcement? Then their beautiful, twisted, world could go on forever with no one to stop it?
  • After knowing about these movies, and about other events in the world today, why on Earth do you not / are in the process of getting an underground bomb shelter?!

Those were all of my questions just from the trailer, so if I actually watched the full film I’m sure we could 100x that list. But, alas, scary movies are not my jam so I stick hard and fast to my rule that if the commercial freaks me out I will in no way be watching the movie. Scary commercials really should come with warnings before hand – it still confuses me that those can be shown to anyone but as soon as someone says sh*t the bleepers earn their pay. You can read my whole post on that nonsense HERE.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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HINDSIGHT MAKES 90’s TOYS CREEPY

We all remember the 90s. Probably for different reasons, but we still remember the 90s. For example, I remember being put in timeout in daycare. It was traumatizing, which is why all these years later it lives vividly in my mind and I feel a need to share the audacity with the Internet. What even is the purpose of isolation for children under the age of 3? They have to learn social behaviors and how to follow the rules. Not sure what sitting alone at the window watching all the other kids play on the playground taught me, other than resentment. Sure, the teacher told us to be quiet while she went to get craft supplies from the closet, but I, even at the tender age of 3, was a budding social butterfly. Also, again, what? You’re gone for a minute and we have to be quiet? That is prime make friends time – quick, and with a hard stop in case things don’t go so well. 

Ok, enough about my terrible experience at daycare. That pretty much sums up the 90s, though, right? Irony. In my case, getting punished for being a child. In a general population sense, creating the World Wide Web then being afraid it was going to end all of humanity on midnight of 01/01/00. Maybe that’s why the “popular” toys were all … what’s the right word … creepy. As we do on TRP, let’s overanalyze the heck out of this.

  • Troll Dolls
    • Ah, the troll doll. Hard to play with, but hard to forget since they’ve been reincarnated in animated form for the youth of today
  • Tamagotchi
    • Nothing says responsibility like managing to keep a digital pet alive. Alternatively, nothing says trust me like managing to kill a digital pet
  • Furby
    • AKA Lucifer in toy form. If you haven’t had a Furby randomly come to life in the middle of night and give you a heart attack, are you even human?
  • Hit Clips
    • Why millennials are bad at commitment – 30 seconds and thank you, next. Besides, who didn’t want to pay for the free iTunes preview of a song? Only suckers would pass up that deal
  • Polly Pocket / American Girl Doll
    • One you carry around in your pocket, like a hostage. The other you dress up to look exactly like you. And they wonder why we’re obsessed with followers today
  • Mr. Potato Head
    • What really can you say about this toy. The whole point is to mutilate the face of a potato. A potato? Of all possible things. The starchiest vegetable that sprouts it’s own growth if left alone long enough
  • Bop It! / Simon Says
    • Well, at the very least you learned how to listen. You also learned who was a follower and who wanted to blaze their own path in life
  • Easy Bake Oven
    • LOL if this wasn’t a read between the lines toy I’m honestly not sure what is! Oh, drugs are a problem in our generation? I wonder where those thoughts originated from
  • Tickle Me Elmo
    • Elmo is my favorite Sesame Street character, but this toy makes me scratch my head. Or rather my belly. What’s more fun than tickling a stuffed toy’s stomach? Literally everything

Luckily, those were so last century. Some have, mysteriously, outlasted both Y2K and the 2012 saga to still be present on shelves today. With a modern twist, of course. For example, Bop It! Now comes in Olaf edition which laughs when you poke it … similar to … yes! Tickle Me Elmo! Who is approving these? Have we not spent the past 20 ish years innovating every other industry? What’s up with the toys on the shelf today? They seem to be regressing. Pack the Alpaca? Hatchimals? Dope or Nope? What a time to be alive.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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