I WINE, YOU WINE, WE ALL WINE FOR A REFILL

I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty sure that wine is what fuels the Earth’s core and keeps us happily rotating around a bright, hot ball people call the Sun. After all, sunlight helps plants grow, such as a vine. Which, last time I checked, looks a lot like a plant. It has a brown stick looking thing and some green leaves. Green leaves that also happen to produce juicy, delicious little orbs in multiple colors. If you carefully handle the vine, retrieve the orbs of goodness, gently place them in a barrel, then smash them all up it gives us the syrup of the sun: wine. Seems to me like a perfect lifecycle. In summary: wine makes the Earth go around the Sun, who in return for our never-ending presence, abundantly continues to produce the ingredients. Science.

The Sun is surprisingly human in this theory. It doesn’t want to be alone. Relatable? Yes. If you thought no, might I recommend making some friends? Nobody wants to be alone. So like a typical human, the Sun buys happiness and friendship with grapes…for wine. In case you forgot what this post was about. Relatable? Meh, I personally am not rich enough to buy my entourage so strangely enough they just like me. The Sun is a big star though so we probably live totally separate lives. It has over a million Twitter followers. Wait, sorry, that’s a London newspaper. The REAL Sun account only casually has like 13.5K, but follows NOBODY. Not sure how the other planets feel about this…seems like we could be nearing a revolt. Where everyone breaks off to find a better leader. One who follows back. Like a real friend. Although we have established the Sun simply buys planets with alcohol so I guess it’s not super genuine.

Coming back in from the black hole I just fell into, wine! If you don’t like wine, first of all you’re a liar. More importantly, now is a good time to start, don’t let the experts scare you off. Second, I don’t trust you. If I can’t drink two entire bottles of wine with you (one for each of us because I have restraint obviously) then how can I tell you any of my secrets. You’ll remember all of them. Mmm, nope sorry that would be two bottles of something either clear or brown. 

With wine, everything just sounds less serious and adult-y. Plus, wine comes in fun, approachable, warm colors: red, pink, and white. The colors of love. I mean, what else do you want?! You can literally drink love. Feeling stressed? Drink some love and feel better. Going through a bad breakup? Get some love in you. Lost your job? Pour a little love on those tears. I’m calling BS on anyone who doesn’t want more love in their life. So, in other words, everyone is a wine drinker. Even if you’re a closeted wine drinker. When you’re ready to admit that to the world, we will welcome you with open arms and a bottle of wine. 

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am no wine connoisseur. I could not tell you how old it is, where it came from, what the flavor palette consists of, which foods go best with it, etc. Mostly because I don’t care. I have simple criteria:

  1. Is there alcohol in it?
  2. Do I like the way it tastes?
  3. Can I find it on the bottom few shelves at the grocery store?

Apparently there are five steps to drinking wine (five!) and only one actually involves the drinking portion (or, the important part). If you are a well-seasoned wine drinker, then you can skip over this section. For all the blooming grape leaves, here are the recommended steps to enjoying your glass:

  1. See
  2. Swirl
  3. Sniff
  4. Sip
  5. Savor

That seems like four unnecessary actions here. Can I taste the hint of oak in there? No, because, believe it or not, I don’t go around tasting different types of tree bark. Sorry, not sorry that I prefer human food. There’s actually a term for this: barkstripper. I have to be honest, that does NOT sound like an innocent animal that gets its nutritional needs from a tree trunk. If you’re curious, there are seven types of barkstrippers:

  • Tree squirrels – makes sense
  • Beavers – also makes sense
  • Black bears – now I’m lost, just eat the honey
  • Field mice – are they strong enough to strip the bark?
  • Mountain beavers – this is oddly specific
  • Porcupines – I didn’t really think of these are needing to eat, more of just predators, but maybe that’s what the spikes are made of
  • Rabbits – I thought they ate vegetables…

I’m so curious now about what exactly the barkstrippers gain from eating wood. Is it an essential vitamin or mineral? Surely it’s not fat, carbs, or protein? Do they prefer certain tree types over others? Are certain trees the “upscale” bark and do those come at a higher price? Just why? There seems to be a lot of other options available.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know a wine drinker, pass this along so they can appreciate all the wine love. If you know someone who doesn’t (publicly) drink wine, share this so they can stop being ashamed. Thanks for reading!


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WHO NEEDS LOVE WHEN THERE’S CHOCOLATE

V Day. No, not like that, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about love, and sex, and magic…ok, so maybe it is like that – Valentine’s Day! The original Hallmark holiday. The only day of the year where you’re publicly allowed to express your love for your partner. Well, maybe not the only day. Obviously you are allowed a bit of PDA on your wedding day, too. Otherwise, though, keep that nonsense locked down. Nobody wants to see that! 

Wait, I’m sorry. For some reason I was thinking we were still in the Victorian Era where ankles were risque and it took people all day to get dressed just so they could take it all off and go to bed. Alone. In separate rooms. With no goodnight kiss or hug. No verbal commitment of love. Like Cupid always hoped for.

Nowadays privacy is a term that doesn’t really exist. After sex selfies? Of course your followers want to see that – hi mom! Posts of every time you text each other? I was feeling a bit left out of the relationship so thank you for giving me detailed updates. Overly detailed scenes in all movies PG-13 and up? Kids have to grow up someday, might as well start the conversation early. 

Thank goodness we have a day to do all of those private things in front of others. Nothing says you’re my favorite person in the whole wide world more than a dinner that costs as much as rent. And of course a present, probably something special like a piece of jewelry that costs as much as a car. Then to top it all off, a night cap, which happens to be free, because money can’t buy love. The holiday comes at a super convenient time, too. You’ve just finished paying off your credit card bills for all the holiday presents you had to buy for everyone you’ve ever smiled at. What better time to start fresh! You have the whole year to pay it off. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There’s your anniversary, and each other’s birthdays, and summer vacations, and the Memorial Day / Labor Day blowouts and fall tailgates and then it’s holiday season again.

So that’s the coupled up version. The single version can be cheaper, it can also be just as much. Who else is going to treat you if you’re by yourself? Might as well go ALL OUT. Like someone who just paid off their student debt, all-inclusive vacation HERE. I. COME. And what would the special day be without chocolate?! Well, then, and only then, would it be sad. 

Chocolate plus a tropical vacation with good looking people waiting on your every need is a form of love. Self-love. Chocolate love. Arguably the best kind of love. Chocolate won’t hurt you. If anything, it will help give you love handles. If only those were as nice as they sound…on the bright side they do help protect you when you fall abruptly on your side. I guess that’s where the name comes from. Surely it’s that innocent, what else could it possibly be? What about the heathens who don’t like chocolate, you may be wondering? Listen, unless you’re allergic, there’s not really a good excuse to just simply not like chocolate. Doesn’t sound like we would get along. Or be compatible. So you can “celebrate” with kale, I guess, and I’ll live my best life. 

All this love is overwhelming. No wonder we keep it wrapped up to a single day. Our hearts, and our waists, cannot handle anything else. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, taken or nah, it’s best to wait until the 15th when everything is on sale. Chocolate included, kale not so much though.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who lives for Valentine’s Day, acknowledge their feelings, then kindly let the 14th pass without fanfare. You can buy more chocolate on sale then you can at regular price – just saying. Thanks for reading!


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ALL I WANT IS A REALISTIC SERVING SIZE

What even is portion control? Do people actually do that? How does it work – do you longingly stare at what you want and hope that imagining the taste of that delicious treat is just as satisfying? Or do you avoid food altogether and hype yourself up on some sort of liquid diet to “feel full” and “energized”?

I’m all for leading a healthy lifestyle (that’s why I balance my eating with exercise…duh!), but I have zero control. Shoutout to all the people with more willpower than me though. You can portion control for the both of us. Because let’s be honest, if I’m going to treat myself, I’m going to freaking TREAT MA SELF (know what I’m saying?). Family size? More like family of one size. King size? Yes, me being the king of my own castle it is just my size. Great for sharing? Well, that’s just your opinion marketing team – I’ll share with me. Fun size? Get that sh*t out of here, I want a real snack, there’s nothing fun about a tiny sample.

Here’s how I look at it: I’m already blowing my calorie count and destroying my health kick for the day so I might as well go all in. Oh, who am I kidding, this is not an occasional thing. This is a daily occurrence in my life. And also in the lives of people around me, so I think it’s one of those awkward ‘it’s not me, it’s definitely 100% you’ type of situations.

Whose fault is it then, you may be thinking. The FDA, or the food manufacturers, or the nutritionists…I DON’T KNOW! Whoever decides what the portion is that’s who! Side tangent – can we think about how unnatural it sounds to call them food manufacturers? What are you feeding me? Why would you not be food producers? What manufacturing is taking place? It doesn’t sound natural or healthy, but my goodness it is satisfying. Is there a reason you have to create food “products” as opposed to just giving me “real” food? What is the difference – how do I even know what’s real and what’s fake anymore?! Almost like with people – are there people manufacturers?! This is getting too creepy, I need to take a hard pass on finishing my train of thought there.

We’ve established who is to blame and I feel the need to express my…dissatisfaction with their operation. What better way to do that than with an open letter?

Dear Subjective Food Portion Deciders:

I don’t know who you are, but more importantly, I don’t know where you came from. In my country, 2 cookies or 13 potato chips or 1 piece of bread or ½ cup of ice cream or ⅓ bottle of juice or ½ a banana or 18 pretzels or ¼ cup of shredded cheese or (I will stop for brevity, but just know that I could go on and on and on and on) are not an accurate representation of how people choose to consume those products. Let me emphasize here – whatever you are doing is not working because we keep getting fatter and our recommended portions keep getting smaller!

Are you hoping that by making the calorie count smaller it will make us eat more? Do you know how psychology even works?! If I see a lower calorie count, I WILL EAT MORE because I don’t feel as bad. For example: if 2 cookies is 140 calories, but next week you tell me that 1 cookie is 70 calories, I will still eat approximately 16 cookies…see my problem? Who has time to multiply 70 by 16? That’s too much effort so clearly those calories don’t count. 8 * 140 is a little easier, but still who tracks anything after 400 anyways?!

Why don’t you just give me what I want to know? How many calories are in the WHOLE THING? Then I’ll be more likely to just eat part of it and (bonus!) I’ll feel so so so much better about myself! For example: if all 32 cookies are 2,240 calories, but I use my stealthy self-control and only eat half the package, I’ve only consumed 1,120 calories and feel like I’ve done a good deed for the world that is my body. 

Still with me? I think I might have lost you. Point being that no one (seriously, what monster only eats 2 cookies and genuinely feels satisfied – live a little) eats like a bird. We are creatures of the supersize system and have been trained to eat until we can’t anymore. So, for all of us just trying to relax and de-stress from our days with a whole bag of chips while drinking (for fun let’s just say juice), stop ruining this for us! That is all, good day.

-The Restless (and forever hungry) Professional

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who believes family size, king size, sharing size, etc. are simply opinions, pass this along so together we can unite and try to get this ridiculous serving size nonsense back to a realistic number. Thanks for reading!


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YOU CAN LOOK AT THE MENU BEFORE IT’S YOUR TURN TO ORDER, NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU

Waiting in line is simply the worst. Sure, you can check email, browse all your social media accounts, play 10 levels on your favorite game, check your bank statement, find potential flights for your upcoming vacation, register for a local event, check current sport scores, send some beautiful selfies of yourself to your friends, make a to-do list, see what the weather will be like this weekend, get directions to the nearest bakery, connect with people you just met in line on LinkedIn, order a car to pick you up after you’re done waiting in line, read some motivational quotes, make your selfies professional looking with photoshop, learn a new language, manage your blog…oh my goodness who even needs computers anymore?!

Let me start over. Waiting in line may be the most productive place on the planet. Productive, or not, though, does anyone really enjoy it? Like to the point where you just hope that you get stuck in a line? If so, kudos to you and your patience. For everyone else (who is normal) it’s still no fun. Especially when you’re waiting for food. Did I stress that enough? When you’re hungry, or hangry, waiting in line is THE WORST!

So if I feel that way, and you feel that way, how then are there people who think it’s acceptable to stand in line and not even look at the menu until it’s their turn to order?! It’s one thing if you walk into a restaurant, and there is no one waiting to order and so you stroll up to the counter and read every item on the menu like you’re going to be tested on it. Totally fine! You’re not impeding anyone from their destiny of fulfillment.

That, however, is the one acceptable scenario here. If you enter a restaurant, there’s no one in line, you stroll up to the counter, pore over the menu in depth, but refuse to let someone who entered after you order first – well that’s just rude. Unlike you, I frequent this establishment and the cashier knows my order by heart so please make way. Not sure what that says about my choices in life, but when you’re hungry there is no better feeling than giving that high school worker a nod and a smile and have everything you want brought out to you quickly.

Although, worst case is that you have to wait a few tortuous minutes for the noob to make a decision. So it’s kind of acceptable. In the spirit of kindness or something like that. If, however, you enter a restaurant and there’s a long line, then people continue to pile in behind you, do all of humanity a favor and use your time to run through the different meal scenarios in your head. Instead of say, sending another ermahgerd face to someone who will likely screenshot it and blackmail you at your wedding or some other unfortunate time.

What exactly are you waiting for? Do you think the food will be fresher if you wait to look at the menu? Sorry I have to be the one that explains this, but the menu does not create the food. People do. In a kitchen. Behind the menu. Like Keebler elves. You tell a middleman what you want. They relay that in a secret code to the magical humans in charge of the grill. Then, like magic, it appears. Sometimes instantaneously. But it isn’t magic. It’s literally just people cooking. And, like good cooks, they meal prep. So chances are whatever basic thing you want was made a while ago and is just toasting its buns in a warming oven somewhere.

Thus the concept of fast food. And large font sizes. It’s not just for fun, it’s functional. Someone, somewhere, spent a lot of money (and probably time) researching how to speed up the line. It’s fine though, I’m sure that doesn’t frustrate them at all to see their hard work get rejected for Instagram.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you tend to procrastinate making food decisions, then try switching it up for a change and skip the niceties with the cashier. ‘Hi, I want A, B, and C, have a good day.’ Thanks for reading!


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