I JUST REWATCHED BACK TO THE FUTURE AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Marty McFly – the name synonymous with zero shame, bad decisions, and questionable friendships. Dr. Emmett Brown – the name synonymous with crazy, but genius. What an interesting character combo. If my only friend was the town “scientist” who was much older than me, my parents wouldn’t have been so nonchalant about it. Anyways, I decided to rewatch the start of all our current reality let downs and I have so many questions and observations:

  • Is the beginning a scene from Back to the Future or part of Captain Hook’s nightmare. Clocks everywhere, but there is a nice foreshadowing clock with the man hanging off the arm
  • In 1955, Doc’s mantle featured pictures of 4 famous inventors, but his modern 1985 abode only retains Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, and Albert Einstein … why?
  • Does it bother no one else that the coffee pot is missing? The water would have spilled all over the floor
  • I like my smores marshmallows burnt, but not as burnt as the toast Doc supposedly eats for breakfast
  • It’s nice to see Doc is following top notch safety measures with a key hidden under the doormat
  • Where’s the one place people usually look for missing things? Under the bed. And yet, that’s where the plutonium is being stored
  • Where was the giant amp hidden? And how can Marty still hear anything after getting destroyed by a wave of sound? Don’t get me started on the damage to Doc’s place
  • Doc’s warehouse is casually “hidden” by the Burger King. This is accurate. Had it been a Wendy’s, this would have been a poor location choice
  • Pretty sure you can’t ride a skateboard behind a car. Just need to throw that out there
  • The encouragement from the school principal is … lacking. Also, slacker isn’t really an insult, I’m not sure it ever was
  • Only in high school would the excuse ‘you’re too darn loud’ be used to kick a band off stage
  • You’re telling me that Jennifer casually chose the bench with a Zales Jewelers advertisement on it to tie her shoe in front of Marty? She’s here for the long game
  • Was the crazy street lady really concerned with saving the clock tower or stopping public PDA?
  • How far away does Marty live from the town that he needs multiple different illegal car hitches to get there and arrives at dusk? In 1955 it said 2 miles. And he had a skateboard so what are we looking at – a 30 min trip? Max?
  • What does Marty do with his guitar during the day? Does it go in a music room? A locker? Doc’s place? He doesn’t have it at home, that’s for sure
  • Biff is just lovely in the original, non-tampered with 1985. ‘Who’s going to pay for this beer spill?’ So he’s admitting to drinking and driving? Which was also illegal in 1985
  • If Ralphie, from The Christmas Story, grew up, he would be George McFly
  • What is the fashion sense in the McFly household? Dave is in wannabe golfer outfits, Linda is dressing like a country club housewife, and Marty is sporting suspenders and all denim
  • I’m pretty sure Marty’s sleeping position is now a yoga pose
  • A parked van with smoke coming out of it in the middle of the night raises zero questions
  • OUTATIME – what a vanity plate! Instance #1 of great slogan placement
  • How can Doc see anything with smoke filling the DeLorean?
  • Poor Einstein. He’s like the space monkeys of time travel
  • Wouldn’t you want to get out of the path of the car coming back into the present at a casual 88MPH so it doesn’t hit you?
  • How did Doc and Marty meet, get acquainted, become friends, and decide to trust each other?
  • The date examples of important moments in history are broad: the signing of the declaration of Independence, the birth of Christ, and of course, November 5, 1955
  • Did anyone else notice that Doc was wearing a Hawaiian shirt underneath a jumpsuit with a radiation symbol on the back? Is Hawaii toxic? What is the purpose of this outfit?
  • I’m not an expert on stealing things, but I would bet that admitting you stole something on camera is a good way to get caught
  • Clearly plutonium must be handled with care, but Doc treats the yellow box full of samples a bit rough. Using his foot to open it, throwing things on it, etc. I’m concerned for his longevity
  • Who are the terrorists? Where did they come from? Why are they after Doc? What is this scene?
  • The terrorists have chosen a VW van as their assasination vehicle. Why? I have to believe you would want something with better handling and overall speed
  • Why a rocket launcher? That feels a bit extreme for the situation. Which is unclear
  • Marty has to know he has something on his head when exiting the DeLorean, right? He had to feel that
  • Also, Marty drives away in the middle of the night, says one sentence, and is all of a sudden in the middle of the day a short distance from where he started
  • Miller was clearly the beer sponsor. OG 1985 McFly’s had Miller Lite, but Hill Valley is sporting the Miller High Life truck since obviously, the Hill is higher
  • Why does Marty walk through the town square backwards? That’s a good way to run into people
  • Hill Valley town slogan: Please Drive Carefully! I’m dead – instance #2 of great slogan placement
  • Glad to see that Biff picked up zero new insults in 30 years
  • Imagine if you woke up and your mom, in her younger years, was hitting on you. No amount of therapy could fix that
  • Poor Joey – behind bars the whole movie. At least he seemed to enjoy it at 2
  • A nice foggy night is an ideal setting to be hunting for the hidden time travel in the middle of nowhere
  • Did Marty always show up and get Doc on the time travel path? Or, was Doc just smart and actually invented the flux capacitor?
  • How can a picture disappear? It’s a movie on time travel, not magic. The photo was already printed. Fake news
  • Best introspective question from Doc: why are things so heavy in the future? Where do I even start with 2020
  • Make like a tree and get out of here’ – so, so close Biff. Just like with Lorraine
  • George’s favorite TV show was Science Fiction Theater? Really?! What is that?
  • Lou, give me a milk. Chocolate’ since nothing says confidence like a glass of chocolate milk
  • Lorraine has zero cares about Doc being in the room while flirting with Marty. Good for her. Ask for what you want, girl!
  • What is teenage George’s haircut? Part combover, part lower bowl fade, part buzzed, part something else – I’m so confused
  • Where is Marty getting his 1955 wardrobe from? 
  • The police officer should be more concerned about what Doc is doing with his “weather experiment”
  • Won’t people from 1955 recognize Marty in 1985? Namely, his mother, father, and Biff?
  • The drama in George’s fight scene is too much to handle. Music, slow motion, evil laughter, a helpless woman, I mean, wow! And we get it again at the dance, my goodness
  • If Marty was really that good of a guitar player, he would have a record deal in 1985
  • Marty brings up a very specific, and clearly traumatizing, childhood memory to ask forgiveness for. 8 year old accidentally setting fire to the living room rug? Yes, bud, you should have been in trouble for that
  • Are we just going to breeze over the fact that Doc supposedly had a permit for the car and the weather experiment cables? We never saw proof
  • Great Scott! Absolutely iconic
  • I’ve found that when you’re on a very strict time deadline, it’s not a good time to get in an argument with someone
  • Will Doc connect the cable? Will Marty get the car started? Will it all work? My stress levels are low, but lots of good questions being asked here in the final scene
  • Is the takeaway that DeLorean’s are unreliable machines? Or that you shouldn’t mess with the past?
  • The cable can’t stand up to some wind but it can hold a ziplining Doc?
  • Why does Marty keep stopping the car when he knows it won’t start up again? Has he learned nothing in almost 2 hours?
  • Let’s think about sound. Specifically the sound the DeLorean makes as it disappears. So, no one in the neighborhood heard that and got concerned?
  • A Match Made in Space – instance #3 of great slogan placement
  • Poor Marty just can’t catch a break when he wants to kiss Jen
  • So Doc went to 2015 and got a flying car. We’re living in 2021 and I have yet to see a flying car
  • Did anyone else have date options that included going to the lake or traveling to the future in high school? Or did I just miss out?

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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IF MY DOG HAD SNAPCHAT

Take a picture, it lasts longer. Have you heard that before? Such a fun saying that usually is true. Usually. Enter a millennial who doesn’t like to be told what to do and all of a sudden you have Snapchat. Where taking a picture lasts exactly until you close it. And then it disappears forever into the cloud graveyard never to be seen again. Hopefully. Unless your friend takes a picture over your shoulder. Or if you screenshot it. Or if it happens to be in a chat and you save it. There’s always a loophole if you’re clever enough so, like with a disposable camera, always ask yourself if you want a stranger judging you from afar for years to come before hitting send.

Alright, mini lesson over! Snapchat is a thing. It’s meant to be a temporary thing, but sometimes the pictures do last longer. Use discretion. And we’re moving on. Now, as we are all probably aware, either through frequent practice or educated guesses, Snapchat is not typically the place for professional glamour shots. It’s more of a candid “this is me, deal with it” type of vibe. Sure, there are filters to up the enjoyment factor. Also to help add a little light touch up for all the times when you open the camera and do a bit of a double take at your face. Or if you like lying about the #nofilter snaps you send. No judgement, you do you. 

You may be wondering ‘how often should I be sending snaps?’ Clearly you don’t actively use your account, or don’t have an account, if this is a question. The correct answer, as all us ghost lovers know, is it depends. How bored are you and how humble-brag worthy is your current situation? Are you at work and having a, what you deem to be, hilarious Slack conversation? It’s Snapchat time! Are you on vacation? Doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where you went, open the app! Are you out to eat and just got your plate of food? Be the foodie you’ve always wanted to be! Are you feeling yourself and in a rare, no video required, work meeting? Take a break, take a pic! Are you laying on the couch doing nothing? It’s time to embrace the double chin and tell your besties you love them! Anytime can be Snapchat time if you try hard enough.

Knowing what we all now know about Snapchat, and how it’s used, imagine what would happen if say, your dog happened to get their paws on an account. We all love our dogs, right? And we all know what our dogs do all day, right? And we all know that our dogs will get entertained by the same disgusting rope toy day after day after day until it’s literally gone, right? And we all know how excitable our dogs are over little things like when we walk into the room, right? And we all know how much our dogs not so secretly love looking at themselves in the mirror, right? Are you fetching what I’m throwing?

I have zero doubt that I would be Snapchat best friends with my dog. While I like to believe we would be on the pink hearts level, I know deep down that my dog would have a smirking face for me and I would have the smiling face for her. Because she has never met a stranger and has zero shame. It’s admirable, really. I believe dogs would be the type of users that would never really respond to you, but just continue to send streak snaps whenever they felt like it. Regardless of whether or not you had opened, or responded, to their previous one. Like a dog-pile of snaps so to speak. 

Oh, you found your favorite toy? Better let everyone know. Wow, you’ve been blessed with the ability to go tan yourself on the back porch? Brag about it. Are you telling me that an actual human walked into the room just to see you? Everyone must know immediately. Are the squirrels back? Rally the troops for an attack. Did someone say ‘walk’? Make all your friends jealous. Is that a human food in your bowl? Well, life doesn’t get any better and you should tell the whole world. The humans are ignoring you? Make them feel the guilt of your sadness. You’re exhausted after a long day of nothing? Send that snap to let people know you’re going MIA for a bit. 

As you can see, our dogs would be superusers. King Boos. My dog would hit the six figure point status in no time and probably be featured on the Explore page for being just absolutely adorable. Is that the secret to winning Snapchat? Feature our pups instead of ourselves? Interesting … there are a lot of advantages to this. You get to see more cute dogs. You don’t have to retake a picture 15 times so you don’t look like a river troll because dog. You don’t have to think of a clever caption because dog. You don’t have to worry about people not liking it because dog. You basically are guaranteed a response because dog. On the flip side, if you receive a dog, you don’t have to see another backdoor brag from someone. You also don’t have to awkwardly watch a video on silent and act like you wanted to listen. All of the wins.

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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DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY? A PEDESTRIAN AND DRIVER QUESTIONNAIRE

Have you ever been driving and wondered if you had the right of way in your chosen course of action? Be it a left turn, a right turn, going straight, changing lanes, passing a crosswalk, etc. Actually, let’s back up. Have you ever been alive and wondered if you had the right of way in your chosen course of action? If your answer is no, I simply wonder what it’s like to live in the clouds. Oblivious to everything that is happening around you. I’m also very concerned for your general safety and the safety of those around you. 

But hey, I get it. Not everything in life is fun enough to be fully engaged in. Hello pretty much all of 2020. Just because it isn’t fun doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to tune out, though. We’re not children anymore, unfortunately. Last time I checked no one was making me dinner so another night of Goldfish it is! Specific activities require much more attention than others, too, so you have to stay on your game to make sure you’re not treating driving like Mario Kart. I’m all for an epic night of Mario Kart, flying down Rainbow Road like a mad person, but I also understand that Mario Kart and actual driving only have one thing in common: wheels.

Since not all of us have jumped on the self-driving car bandwagon yet, either, driving is still a very much need to be engaged task. Which means that anytime you choose to cross a street as a pedestrian, you too need to be engaged. Otherwise bad things could happen. You could almost hit a pedestrian and spill your coffee all over you. You could almost get hit by a car and drop your milkshake on the ground. Both scenarios are equally traumatizing. Think of all of the food and beverages that could be saved if people paid more attention. Smh. 

To help stop the spread of preventable food waste due to close calls involving vehicles, pedestrians, and roads of some kind (or anywhere a vehicle could go really), I’ve created a simple guide. This can be memorized, printed out and stuck on your bathroom mirror, taught in schools worldwide, set as the background of your phone – anything. Because it’s important. It’s simple. It’s common sense when you think about it. It can save lives. It, of course, is a questionnaire to determine if you have the right of way … in no particular order:

FOR DRIVERS

  • Am I at a red light trying to turn right? Well, is there someone coming down the road I’m trying to turn on? Yes? Then no. No? Then yes
  • Am I at a red light trying to go straight, or turn left? No, what? This is not even a way and also not how the most basic traffic laws work. Red means stop
  • Am I at a YIELD SIGN? Well, again, is there someone coming down the road I’m trying to turn on? Yes? Then no. No? Then yes
  • Am I in a free flowing right turn lane? Yes, and everyone expects you to keep going
  • Am I trying to merge into a free flowing right turn lane? Let’s review, check first and if no one is there then you have the right of way. If there is someone there you better check yourself
  • Am I at a stop sign? Is it all way and have you been there the longest? Yes, get moving! No? Wait your turn skippy! Is it a three way, two way, or singular way stop? If you still haven’t realized at this point that you need to check first I question how you obtained a license in the first place
  • Am I at a stop sign, trying to turn, with pedestrian crossings present? If there are pedestrians, then no. If not, then yes
  • Am I approaching a yellow light? Can you make it through safely without going at ridiculous speeds? Yes, by all means keep going. If you need to top 80 to make it, slow your roll speed racer and wait it out
  • Am I at a green light trying to go straight? YES! The easiest one to remember
  • Am I at a green light trying to turn right? Is there a pedestrian crossing? Better wait out grandma because she has the right of way. If not, shame on you for choosing a non pedestrian friendly city, but yes you do
  • Am I at a green light trying to turn left? Do you have a green turn arrow? Then yes. Otherwise, no wait for all the straight people to go
  • Am I at a flashing yellow turn light? This is the traffic light version of a yield sign so check yourself first before just jumping right out there
  • Am I trying to merge lanes? Kind of if you check your mirrors, check your blindspots, and check your mirrors again for other cars before proceeding
  • Am I trying to merge onto a highway? No. Nope, no one is obligated to let you in that is 100% on you. Assess your speed, assess the openings, and don’t wait until the end of the ramp to look around

FOR PEDESTRIANS

  • Am I at a random place on a random road with zero clearly marked pedestrian crossing zones? If you’re not at a crosswalk then whatever happens is on you. You only have the right of way in a crosswalk, or a pedestrian crossing zone. 
  • Am I at a crosswalk with a stop hand showing? No. Stop means stop no matter how you’re choosing to get from point A to point B
  • Am I at a crosswalk with a walk sign showing? YES! The easiest pedestrian answer
  • Am I at a crosswalk with no signage for go / no-go? Yes, but don’t start your adventure as a car flies through – wait until it’s clear.

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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CHEERS TO THE THREE DAY WEEKEND

I’m not sure who is in charge of time, and years in general, but they seem to not have gotten the memo that it’s 2021. Get with the program. COVID was so last year. Actually, it was obviously just an election hoax. Yet here we are. Still in the middle of a raging pandemic with scary high death counts and new cases reports. All the people who keep extending the hard stop for this disease based on unrelated events remind me of the doomsdayers. Who, ironically, may be the only people not affected by the ‘vid since I’m pretty sure they’re still hunkered underground from the 2012 end of the world scare.

As if having 2020’s devilish tentacles slither into a fresh year isn’t bad enough, America is still hanging on by a thread. Literally. If you’ve ever visited Washington, DC, you understand how hard it is to get into a public restroom at Shake Shack, let alone the freaking Capitol Building. I mean, so many questions here. Why being the main one. Followed closely by what. As in, what even did I just witness? 

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a political person, but our “leaders” are trying hard to keep me invested. You know what I miss? Just plain old work stress. Not being worried about dying from some ridiculously contagious virus. Or about my general safety, not just until January 20th, but beyond, if we’re being honest, after recent events.Remember the good days? When you could go to work and get stressed, then come home and only be worried about not wanting to go back the next morning? What a life that was. It must be a good time to be a therapist. That has to be the most lucrative job in the world at the moment. With incredible job security as a bonus. 

With all the craziness that’s happening, it’s easy to forget the little things. Like how Monday is not a workday! What?! Holy guacamole, bless the three day weekend, it cannot get here soon enough! I know, I know this feels like fake news. But it’s true! The first three day weekend of the year is upon us. At the same time that it is every year, yet, it somehow feels like we could be deep into April showers and I would be none the wiser. 

This has been a weird two weeks and I have to believe I’m not the only one looking forward to doing nothing on Monday. Other than the usual. Staying hydrated. Catching up on my social status points by binge-watching Bridgerton. Spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling social media and looking at everyone else doing normal, adult things. Eating all of my meals as takeout, because who has time to cook. Procrastinating on my responsibilities. Just a standard day in the life. Sans work. And the stress that comes with that.

So, let’s dive into the time anatomy of a three day weekend. Because that is something I’ve had lots of time to think about. 24 hours, specifically. Three whole workdays, in case you missed that reference. It starts on Thursday evening. Some might argue that it starts Friday evening, but I have to disagree. Almost all good things start on Thursday, for one. Weekends, if you have the right mindset. Being thirsty. Golf tournaments. Vacation, if you know how to do it right. Anyways, we have Thursday evening. Which is when we mentally begin to prepare for an entire extra 24 hours of freedom. For all the Sunday evening festivities that we won’t feel guilty about. This is also the time where we start to understand what our wrap-up tasks are for Friday.

What’s a wrap-up task? Easy. Something that you have to get done to enjoy a stress free long weekend. Typically people think in terms of work here, but I also like to add chores to my list. Because, again, this is basically a staycation and who has time for chores on staycation? Once you have your list, and you wake up on Friday, you should be ready to hit the ground running. Sprinting, actually, to get all your wrap-up tasks done since the earlier you finish, the earlier your weekend starts. Unless you’re required to stay at work until a certain hour. At which point, my thoughts and prayers are with you, young Jedi.

Once free from a to-do list, you can engage in whatever sort of relaxation you would like. Starting Friday afternoon. Burning hot through the night and all through Saturday. Your fire may get slightly dampened on Sunday morning as the routine side of your brain thinks you have work the next day, but never fear! You will quickly find your feet again as you realize that it’s basically second Saturday. Saturday squared! Which is rarely a bad thing. Anyways, you crush Sunday like a relaxed boss! 

Sunday night is when you can choose to begin the descent from your mental high, or you can take the approach of that being a problem for future you. Not going to tell you how to live your life, but I prefer the latter option. It’s more fun. For present me, anyway. Then there’s Monday. Historically a fairly dreaded day of the week. The worst day of the week, some might argue. I think it depends on the week, but you can get all my thoughts on which days are the best days in THIS POST. Anyways, you get Monday off and there’s the official breakdown. That’s a three day weekend at its most basic level. Enjoy yours!

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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DEAR CFP: STOP SHOWING RERUNS

Everyone loves a rerun. Sometimes. Sometimes everyone loves a rerun. And those times are not all of the time, nor are they in all things. Thus the definition of the word sometimes. At least eloquently refactored in a concise, millennial way. The legit Google definition is ‘occasionally, rather than all the time’ so I guess my version was actually more verbose. Which, in hindsight, one sentence later, is surprisingly fitting for the millennials as a generation.

English lesson aside, we all have reruns that we look forward to, some that we feel indifferent about, and others that we would be fine never seeing again. For example, all the Schitt’s Creek and Parks and Recreation episodes in the world could never be played enough and we will always stand up our friends for a good television marathon of those shows. Historic sporting events are hit or miss, depending on your level of emotional involvement, the overall outcome of the game, how long ago it occurred, and what our social calendar looks like at the time of the showing. Then, of course, there’s the no fly zone which includes making the same dating mistake multiple times, never learning how to study in college and continuing to use the ‘D is for degree’ mindset, and eating the entire piece of cheesecake from The (one and only) Cheesecake Factory by yourself. Again. And ending up not being able to eat for 24 hours. Again.

So we get it, right? Reruns are only as exciting as the context that comes with them. The College Football Playoff is not that context. For all who were wondering. Is anyone still enjoying it at this point? Other than the 3 schools that make the championship game year after year obviously. As a fan, however, this is not doing it for me anymore to be honest. We get it. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State have political pull, and maybe a lot of under the table money (I’m not here to judge), flowing to the ranking committee placing them in the top four each year. 

The problem here is that the top four, and only the top four, even get a chance at making the national title game. And that feels a bit unfair to the teams who happen to be in lesser known conferences. I don’t want to see the predictable. I want Cinderellas. I want upsets. I want an underdog to pull for. Which is clearly why the CFP will never compare to March Madness. Because unless you roll with the tide, think orange and purple is an acceptable color combination, or secretly enjoy sporting your love for Mary Jane, you don’t care about last night’s supposedly biggest game of the year. 

Don’t get me wrong, those teams are good. Clearly. But let’s back up a second and think about all the reasons that Ohio State shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs. Reason one: Ohio State did not play 6 regular season Big Ten games. Nope! They only played 5 so the playoff committee was like, all these other teams have double digit games, but sure put Brutus up in the top four. Reason two: Ohio State was not technically eligible for the Big Ten championship game, and thus, not eligible for the CFP. Say it ain’t so! Oh yes, the Big Ten Conference, as a whole, decided to waive it’s (up until that point) very strict 6 game limit to be eligible for the title game so that OSU could play. In place of Indiana, so Hoosiers fans, my heart is with you during this tough time. Reason three: other than the Clemson win in the semi-finals, I’m not convinced that a new challenger would not have knocked off the Buckeyes based on their measly 6 game record. Few of which were blowout wins, might I add.

Ok, enough hating on the Bucks for now. Let’s examine Clemson and Alabama. Sure, we know that both are capable of winning against teams in their conference. Shocker … since the ACC is not a football conference despite their best trash talking efforts and the SEC has been on the decline in recent years. The real football power conferences are the B10, Pac 12, and Big 12. Fight me. What would happen if the playoff included more than one rotating team? My guess, we would not always see one of the Three Musketeers playing in mid-January.

While we’re hating on the CFP, let’s talk about how a four team playoff is, frankly, a joke. It was always a joke. Since 2015 and the first year of this system. Before going further, I have to say that college football has long needed a better system for determining a national championship. Other than having whoever happened to be one of the top two teams duke it out. A playoff, for example. Similar to how every other sport does it. But four teams?! Who was in charge of that? Eighth at a minimum! If we really want a true champion, though, it really needs to hit the sweet sixteen mark. That’s over half the top 25. We’ll see how crimson, orange, and red fare against the full rainbow then.

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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RANKING MONTHS OF THE YEAR

Few things bring me more joy than taking something arbitrary, that almost everyone is aware of or deals with, and forcing my opinion onto it. Like the best kind of Oreos, for example. Or the best kind of subjects in school – there is but one right answer here and that, of course, is PE. Or what the best kind of animals to have as pets are – also only one right answer, that being a dog. You know, stuff like that where my opinion is not a fact, nor should it be. 

Coming off the holiday season and right into winter depression season, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on how I rank months of the year. You can probably guess, but I don’t think they are all equal! Not even close, in fact, I believe there are a handful of exciting and fantastic months and the rest are just there for build-up. Like a filler, so to speak. Think of a countdown clock. The fluff months are the countdown clock and the actual epitome of months are what you’re counting down to. In a loose analogy anyways.

Before getting started, there are a few things that I want to acknowledge so you, my readers, can get a somewhat better understanding of why this ranking is the way it is. First, I live in the northern hemisphere so I start each new year in winter. I’m a Christian and celebrate Christmas. I live in America so we celebrate 4th of July and Thanksgiving in November. I live in the southern part of America where we get temps similar to what I can only imagine to be the devil’s armpit during summer. Winter is my favorite season. And yea, I believe that’s all the crucial pieces of background information necessary here. 

Alright, let’s break down the best, and the worst, months of the year! According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. As a quick calendar lesson, there are 12 months in the year and I will be providing all 12 in this ranking (in case you were curious if there was one so bad I wouldn’t even grace my blog with it).

Show Me The Month(ey) Ranking

  1. December
  2. March
  3. May
  4. October
  5. November
  6. April
  7. July
  8. June
  9. September
  10. February
  11. August
  12. January

Obviously self-explanatory, right? No? Shocking that you can’t read my mind, but can so easily read my ranking. Here’s the quick and dirty version of it since neither of us have all day. December is THE holiday month. Kind of like Ohio State is THE Ohio State. Fun, family, and food. My 3 favorite f’s. March is a sports fan’s dream with March Madness keeping things interesting. May is spring and there’s Memorial Day which officially kicks off summer. Plus, Mother’s Day and who doesn’t love their mother? October and November are building up to December so bonus points there, but also we have the beautiful union of football season and basketball season. April is the beginning of spring and usually contains Easter / Spring Break. July and June are getting towards unbearable heat, but it’s still manageable to be outside and summer vacay season is firing on all cylinders. Bonus points for the 4th in July, thus it being above June who is just June. September is honestly so hot and disgusting. Sure, there’s Labor Day but that means that summer is over and the heat is not so who’s really winning? February is quick, which is why it isn’t last, but Valentine’s Day is a thing that I’m not here for. August is the most OVERRATED MONTH since it’s a build-up to work, school, and suffocating heat. Finally, January – the most disappointing month. Coming off a slew of massive holidays into a new year and gray skies. And then it lasts forever. It’s easily the longest month of the year somehow and always has five ish grueling weeks. Bleh.

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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WORKWEEK SURVIVAL PLAYLIST

I love working! Said almost no one ever. There are some of you out there who genuinely look forward to a Monday morning like it’s a free piece of cheesecake. You and I are not the same. I don’t hate my job, but I also always look forward to Friday evenings. When I’m done for the weekend. Like a normal person. With a life. And friends. And shows to binge.

Despite my feelings on work being a necessary part of life, it is still a thing. Until I stop getting bills, I think work is in my future. Which is what it is. That does mean, though, that unless COVID wipes us out like the asteroids did the dinosaurs, the workweek is very much still a part of our lives. Unless you’re a trust fund baby, or a royal, or a lottery winner, or just don’t care. I don’t know – there are always outliers. But for the majority of us, we are stuck with jobs.

Personally, I have to take my work days one at a time. Or I’ll get overwhelmed by how far away the weekend is. So to help myself make it, I look forward to milestones. Taco (and marg and trivia) Tuesday. Wine Wednesday. Thirsty Thursday. And then, of course, the ultimate milestone: FRIYAY! And what do I do to survive between workday checkpoints? Crank up my jams and dance like nobody’s watching! That’s right! I like to give myself inspirational playlists to not burn out and today I’m here to pass this ground-breaking, innovative, idea of themed music onto you, my readers.

We all listen to different types of songs, artists, and genres. I get that. Which is why I don’t like giving out specific titles for people. This is what I like to call a suggestion of song ideas that lead your mind down certain trains of thought. For work, specifically, we want survival, happy, breaking the glass ceiling type of vibes. But enough of this foreplay! Here are the themes that should definitely be on your workweek survival playlist, or we might find you crying in the broom closet on Wednesday morning:

  1. Songs about Personal Strength
    1. When you’re feeling drained, and exhausted, and frustrated, you need someone telling you that you can do it! You’ve got the power!
  2. Songs about Overcoming Hardships
    1. When your boss is yelling at you, and you just had a terrible quarterly review, and the CEO thought you were an intern, you need someone telling you that no matter where you’re at right now, it gets better! Chase those dreams!
  3. Songs about Doing The Impossible
    1. When you have to put out a massive fire, or a customer is yelling at you and your patience is running out, you need someone telling you that you can do it! This is your time to shine!
  4. Songs about Getting Money
    1. When you’re staring at a spreadsheet, or when you’ve been denied PTO, or when you just cried in your car before clocking in, you need someone reminding you of why you do the grind! Make that money!
  5. Songs about Being Great
    1. When you’ve been told by customers and co-workers in a not so subtle way that you suck, you need someone telling you that they don’t know you! You’re grrreeeaatttt! 
  6. Songs about Being Happy
    1. When you just feel pissed off because you’re at work, or when you’re sad because you didn’t get the promotion, or when you’re just bleh because, again, work, you need someone to snap you out of it! Don’t worry, be happy!
  7. Songs about Vacation
    1. When you’re about ready to chuck your computer at the wall, or shove your phone down the toilet, or shred all the important documents you made, you need someone reminding you that there is a paradise out there called Vacation. And you deserve it!
  8. Songs about Just Hanging Out
    1. When you’ve got so much work to do you forget to eat lunch, use the bathroom, and blink all day, you need someone telling you to take a breath and chill. Hang ten, baby, life will go on!
  9. Songs about Drinking
    1. When you’re just at work and anything, really, happens that doesn’t pump up your excitement or laughter meters, you need someone telling you that alcohol will always be there for you! The steadiest of friends!
  10. *Songs about Christmas
    1. *This one is optional, but highly recommended at any time of year. When you’re sad, and struggling to keep up your bubbly personality, and really just feeling stuck at work, and maybe in life, you need someone reminding you of the best time of year! It’s a holly jolly time!

What’s on your current work week survival playlist? If you’re more of a podcaster, I feel confident that in today’s market you can find podcasts for all of these themes. If you prefer sitting in silence, I mean, I’m not really sure what to say to you. Why, just why? What is that accomplishing? Focus? Really? Is that the goal? I don’t know. I like a little mood music when I’m doing something not by choice, know what I’m saying?

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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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, NEW SHOES, NEW DO

Fireworks, parties, friends, family, good food, better liquor, poor decisions – I’m talking about New Year’s! When the calendar resets and not so subtly reminds us to do the same with our lives. Snarky little devil that Father Time is. What was the arbitrary decision behind a 365, 12 month calendar year? Something about the Earth orbiting the Sun? In my professional opinion, just because the Earth starts over doesn’t mean I have to. Besides, the Earth just keeps going in circles and nothing changes, which seems like the complete opposite of everything we celebrate with a new year and a chance to start fresh down an entirely different path?

According to its all-knowing Wikipedia page, a New Year’s Resolution is ‘a tradition … in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.’ Ok, wow, that seems deep and highly targeted at all of the bad choices we have made at some point in our lives … why don’t we ever make resolutions like “I am the sh*t, I effing love myself, haters gon hate, this year I’m focusing on continuing to slay like the bad mamma jamma that I am

Aside from the questionable decisions I make on a daily basis, I’m basically living my best life. Aren’t we all, though? If a stranger came up to you, or stalked you on social media, you most likely wouldn’t slog through some sob story about your confidence levels and your entry-level position in a field completely unrelated to your degree or how your significant other doesn’t text you back fast enough and you’re having doubts about the whole relationship and on and on and on. NO! Because that stranger would leave your sorry page for something more exciting. We are selfish creatures by nature. Don’t believe me? You 100% thought of yourself telling someone that story while reading this paragraph.

So we show and tell our highlight reel to seem “fine” and “happy”. To make our closest friends, family, and random followers jealous. Life is funny like that. Enter the New Year celebrations and Father Time. You won’t openly address your failures or frustrations from the past year, so an entire holiday was created to celebrate just that. Oh, you didn’t find a job, that’s ok! Make it your resolution! I see, you wanted to stop dating f-boys, but you got lonely. Never fear, New Year’s is here! Makes total sense that you wanted to eat healthier, but it was cheaper and easier to just go with the processed stuff. I forgive you, and so does the calendar – resolution that sucker up! 

And so we all start off so strong: next year I’m going to cure cancer, solve world hunger, find my self-esteem, enjoy a life full of inner peace, lose every ounce of fat on my body, and get 10 different suitors for marriage. Super easy! Enter January 2: you know, I don’t want to stretch myself too thin so I’ll stick to positive affirmations and starting a workout routine. Oh the resolve that we all have. Research has shown that only 8% of people accomplish their resolutions. 8%?! Pretty sure that’s about the amount of real meat in a McDonald’s chicken nugget. What happens to the other 92% of us? Natural selection, that’s what.

If you’ve never seen one of those really informative documentaries on space and all it’s gajillion galaxies narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, let me summarize quickly so we are all on the same page moving forward: basically, you’re not special. Moving on … so the universe is supposedly infinite and we all exist in multiple different dimensions of reality. Do we subconsciously know this and are we simply chasing after the version of us that we want? What does that version of me set as a resolution? To keep moving further ahead? What a ho! I am you and you are me so we should both want to achieve bliss together, right? 

I’m starting to feel a bit like a conspiracy theorist so that seems like a good resolution for the upcoming year: stop overthinking stupid things I have no control over. I bet that will get me solidly through MLK day. After that, well if history is a good indicator, I’ll be one of the 92 percenters that give up and go back to the comfort of my current life – constantly confused about how the world works and why it is that way.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who sticks to their New Year’s resolutions then you should follow their example and try to boost our success numbers. Clearly they are doing something right and we can all learn from them. Thanks for reading!


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IF 2020 HAD PLAYED NICE

Never in my life have I been more excited for a new year. I think that’s probably a true statement for most people on Earth at this moment. This has been the year from hell. Can’t say I’d be overly surprised if 2020 became another numerical symbol for the devil moving forward. Because evidence lines up there. Was Lucifer just bored? Was there not enough evil in the world as is? Was the American obesity crisis ending? 

Not sure we’ll ever get answers, but to end the year on a more hopeful note let’s take a moment to imagine what would have happened if 2020 had played nice. Basically if COVID-19 simply wasn’t a thing. At all. If it was sent to the disease graveyard. Better yet, if it had never been born. Is that too harsh? My gut says no considering it’s current murder spree. And what’s with this incubation period? It’s bad enough being more contagious than cooties and it could be squatting in your body for up to 14 days until you show symptoms? That is natural BS on a whole new level.

Anyways, we all know what 2020 took from us. Loved ones, friends, celebrity crushes, role models, jobs, relationships, peace of mind, the gym, toilet paper, large gatherings, March Madness, sanity, etc. Let’s travel back in time to early January, though. Before the first sign and change the course of the year to be more normal. Since normal is the only thing I pray for now. Side tangent: remember when being normal was basic? And not so desirable? Mmkay I see you Mother Nature flipping the status quo here.

I think for starters, we would still have Black Mamba with us. Was that technically a COVID casualty? No, but it was a 2020 terror event and one that really started a seismic domino or events. Plus, who doesn’t want more Kobe in their life? Less specifically, February would have rolled around and the majority of us would already be back on the couch eating our sadness for not following our new year resolutions. March Madness would have been one for the ages. Of course, some Cinderellas would have been present, but I think we would have seen a stacked, yet somewhat predictable, Final Four, and a well deserved champion.

Instead of being on some weird, maybe this is temporary, 14 day partial kind of not really enforced shutdown in April, we would have been hunting Easter Eggs and living our spring break fantasies. The Masters would have gone off smoothly at a beautiful, spring kissed Augusta National. May would have brought graduation season, wedding season, another bomb celebration of mom, and of course the ultimate summer kickoff weekend. Full of alcohol, cookouts, friends, family, and poor decisions. Then summer would have hit as it always does. With welcome arms because ready or not, it’s vacation season! All those trips from extravagant to low key would have helped you relax and reset.

The NBA Finals would have dragged on for way too long per usual. Fourth of July would have been fireworks filled and American pride would have been high. Even if for a brief moment. August would still have been overrated, but, in hindsight, a return to school would have been a fun thing for everyone to look forward to. No more unexpected homeschooling. Football season would have started with all the hype and a whole lot of hope for your team’s performance. Labor Day would have given us that first, it’s no longer summer so here’s a day to embrace the fall, holiday. 

Then the fall would have come in strong as we participated in the classics: pumpkin patches, apple picking, tailgating, basketball season, etc. with pumpkin flavored everything. Halloween was on a Saturday so the whole weekend would have been absolutely lit! The election still would have been a thing, but probably wouldn’t have felt as life or death. Maybe more of a hey let’s make sure our voice is heard by voting kind of deal as it traditionally is. 

As we switched gears into the debate around how early is too early to listen to holiday music, the excitement for the end of year use them or lose them vacation days would be approaching. Thanksgiving would have seen family gatherings and a shared meal in person all over the country. We would have wrapped up with another way too social December leading up to the best holiday season of the year. Gift exchanges, holiday parties, light shows, plays, shopping, eating, drinking, laughing, etc. all of it in person and lived to the max. Prepping for the new year in the same way as usual – by thinking of what “change” we want to “permanently” make in our lives for January of the next year.

How nice does that sound? It used to feel monotonous sometimes, but honestly that sounds so absolutely incredible right now I’d give a lot to get that back. It’s funny how something like a global pandemic can put some things in perspective. For example, despite all of the sadness and frustration from this year, there have been some incredible moments from it. All the extra time at home with your pets and loved ones. The ridiculous speed at which the world switched to virtual work mode making the nomad lifestyle attainable for all. How people have stepped up to help each other. Voter turnout was at an all time high. I think our compassion levels grew 3 sizes over the year. We’ve learned that toilet paper does not need to be hoarded – trust the production process. But most importantly, every single generation is now almost tech savvy! Which is a huge win for the world. 

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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WHY YES, I WOULD LIKE A STRANGE MAN TO BREAK INTO MY HOUSE, EAT MY FOOD, AND LEAVE ME PRESENTS

Ah, Christmas … excuse me, the holidays. Thank you politics for continuing to ruin all good things. Such a magical time of year with the lights and wrapping presents and cookies. SO. MANY. COOKIES. I think it’s funny when people say they’re dieting or “watching their sugar intake” anytime between mid-October and January. What is even the point? Do you hate yourself that much to deny all the best, most peanut-buttery Reese shapes? To choose not to eat a piece of the yule log, or peppermint bark, or anything pumpkin flavored?

I’m a big believer in finishing what you start, so if it’s Q4 and I still haven’t decided to take my diet seriously, then it’s just not going to happen. Finish strong! Besides, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? Why bother during the three consecutive holidays whose main themes are food? I mean, look, Santa pretty much only eats cookies and he seems to be doing alright. He’s basically immortal. I’m trying to hop on that diet train for freaking sure. He can also fly, and train reindeer, and has a memory that could even make IBM Watson scared. He knows everyone. IN. THE. WORLD. That alone is impressive, but good old Santa is like ‘you know, I can do better than just knowing them … I’m going to keep records of all their actions too’.

Now, this sounds all innocent and cute and what not, but I see what’s happening here. You can’t fool me jolly old Saint Nick. Since the beginning of time, everyone has wanted to know how he does it. How is it possible that one man and eight reindeer can deliver presents to everyone in the world in one night? Not one month, not one week, not even one day … one night. 

Enter the naughty and nice list. Why give everyone presents when we can easily play God and judge the actions of others? If they’re naughty, scratch that name off the list. One less house to visit. Now repeat this for all the people clearly dating Satan and trying to impress his demonic self. That’s a whole different topic – some people just need a hug, a smile, and a whole lot of Jesus. Anyways, so we’ve started to weed people out. Satan be gone! Who’s next? Well all the people who made bad decisions – so every adult ever. Boom! Knocking off suckers left and right! Anyone else? All the kids who don’t believe because they’re trying to be “cool” and “grown up”. News flash: growing up is not as cool as it looks. Just trust me on this.

Who does that leave? Literally only anyone under 5 because even Santa has a little bit of a soul and knows they are so innocent they can’t really do anything massively wrong. Problem solved. Santa stalks us and waits to see that one little slip up because you had just broken up with bae and were confused and that couple was all about the PDA life and it was just too much at that time so you told them to eff off and get a room. Welp, congratulations! Your name just earned a huge strikethrough. Good thing I’m an adult now and can buy myself presents to make up for the lump of coal I’ll be getting from the big man. 

In a shocking twist, I have some serious concerns, though, about Santa’s delivery method for the people that are lucky enough to remain on the nice list. When I order something, from say Amazon, the package shows up at my front door. I owe the delivery person nothing. The delivery person has never set foot in my house. Life is good. On Christmas, however, this is not the case. Front doors are too visible, I guess, for Kris Kringle, so the chimney is his vessel of choice. And not just to throw the presents down – that would be too easy and law-abiding. No, Santa chooses to break into the house. And we all welcome it! We actively leave snacks for him as a reward for committing a crime. What is this teaching children exactly?

Moving past this blatant disregard for human safety. An unknown man is in our house (because, let’s be honest, nobody really knows who he is), eating food that we paid for, and leaves us gifts that he knows we want since he stalked us. Putting it like that doesn’t sound so ho ho holly jolly now does it? What if he wasn’t a happy old fella and was actually disgruntled and angry? That would be a very different story Christmas morning – why is our living room trashed and all our valuables missing? Mmhmm makes you think, doesn’t it. He could be a serial killer. Yet it’s more important that we have someone else come up with gifts for our offspring than to just go buy something for them. But happy holidays! 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you also feel weird about the conspiracy that’s coming from the North Pole, best to keep that to yourself. As weird as it is, the big man seems sane and happy for now so no need to stir that pot. Thanks for reading!


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