HULU’S COMMERCIAL ALGORITHM: THE ULTIMATE TROLL

Hulu has crashed onto the streaming services scene and has really been making waves. Offering a live TV option. Giving you the fastest access to current seasons. Beginning to rival Netflix’s quality and quantity with their Hulu Originals. Having one of the best color schemes in television apps. Green is honestly superior to red. It’s the color of money for one. And half of the Christmas color scheme. Supposedly, according to my BIF (best Internet friend) Google, our minds associate it with life, nature, energy, growth, freshness, safety, and ambition, among other things.

Despite all the good things going it’s way, though, Hulu has a dark side. Some might think that’s their default advertisement tier. Those people would be partially right. I mean, sure, there is the option to pay for Hulu with no ads. But who has that kind of frivolous spending in their budget? It’s twice as much. And then I would lose my built in bathroom, and snack, breaks. In other words, for more of my money, I would physically have to pick up the remote to pause what I was watching to take a break. That feels backwards. A little unfair, honestly. Thus, I am but a Hulu peasant living with their commercial breaks.

Side tangent aside, the commercial breaks are a necessary evil in my current lifestyle. If you’re living the 1% life and don’t have the basic plan, then you may not be able to relate to the one major downside to Hulu. Which, of course, is their commercial algorithm troll. During my PH years – that’s pre-Hulu in case it was unclear – I thought I was kind of an average, normal-ish millennial. Sure I had my quirks, but overall believed I was in the same general range as my peers. From a lifestyle and preferences standpoint.

However, after leveling up to multiple streaming services and adding the big green H to my TV apps, I’ve realized that I am both a middle aged soccer mom and a lonely college student. I am neither a mom, nor am I middle aged, nor am I lonely, nor am I a college student. At least, I didn’t think I was. Enter Hubert the Hulu Troll. In my mind this algorithm is an angry old man, so I figured Hubert best fit that analogy. Hubert made me realize that I’ve basically been living in some weird dream as a mid-twenties millennial. 

I’m no algorithm expert, but I know that at a basic level it takes your viewing preferences and suggests commercials based on what category it thinks you fall into. Oh, and obviously your smart TV, and any other devices with your Hulu app, listens to your conversations and throws out commercials based on your conversations. So it takes the data it has, steals data from private conversations and stereotypes you. How fun is that?! 

If it feels a bit creepy, that’s because it is. I’ve been talking about adopting a new puppy since the fall. Simply talking. And texting. With my friends and family. On my phone. Which doesn’t have the Hulu app. Yet, guess who keeps getting Petfinder and Hill’s Pet Nutrition commercials? Correct, yours truly. Although, if we’re being honest, it could have been a much worse topic for them to take from my non Hulu related activity, so I guess there’s a silver lining. I get to see adorable dogs on my commercial breaks. On the flip side, though, it also thinks that I have children. I get a disturbing amount of Pull-Ups, minivan, and Hornitos tequila commercials. If Hulu is listening, please just send me more puppies.

Like all good technology, it doesn’t always get it right. Occasionally I get commercials for Meow Mix and I know you don’t know me, but I’m not a cat person. I don’t own a cat. I won’t own a cat. Stop trying to sell me on the impossible. I also find it funny when I get whiskey commercials since I hate whiskey. And all of my private conversations would indicate that. Maybe my significant other is whispering sweet nothings in Hubert’s ear to try and get me on the brown liquor train. But I will stand strong. 

My favorite part about Hubert, is that for a while I naively believed it was just random placements of ads to the highest bidder. Then my siblings, one who is in college and one who just graduated from college, informed me that they got Trojan, Tinder, and Tito’s commercials. At which point I realized that Hubert genuinely believes that I’ve outgrown my youth. I have not received a single commercial for any of those products. And I love a good moscow mule so what’s up with that?!

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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DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: THAT’S A NO FROM ME

Oh, look. Another daylight savings time has come and confused our biological clocks like the demon it is. Why are we still observing this not once, but twice a year? What purpose is it serving? Does it boost the economy? Is it a way to keep the calendar in sync? I would like answers from whoever controls this. Who does control it? Father time? Mother nature? Please tell me it’s not the government. Regardless, it needs to go.

If this happened once a year, it would still be annoying. On the scale of which version is better, spring or fall, that clearly goes to the fall option. I have yet to meet anyone who gets excited to lose an hour of their lives every spring. Time goes fast enough, I don’t need some arbitrary time rule eliminating an hour every year. Thus why the fall is preferable, since I gain that lost hour back. Although, if we’re being honest, that hour would be more useful to me during the summer vacation season instead of during winter.

Let’s break down why this is the worst, and then argue to send it back into the fiery pits of the south where I feel confident it originated. Spring forward. What? Why? It’s 1:59AM going on 3AM. How absolutely exhilarating. Especially since it happens overnight. You go to sleep. Life is normal. Time makes sense. You understand when to wake up and when to sleep. Life is good. Then, BAM! Time change! And all of a sudden you are late to all of your Sunday activities. Your phone says it’s one time, but all your other dumb household appliances say something different. It’s so stressful.

And what if you forget to change all of the possible places that display the time in any sort of fashion? Well, first of all, everything does not need a clock. I would like to throw that out into the innovation universe cloud. If you decide that what you’re building is going to display time, then you better make sure it knows how to sync with the actual time as well. I’m over trying to adjust my microwave clock like I live in the 20th century. I literally don’t have the time. I’ve lost an entire hour.

Circling back, what if a clock is off? Well, in my experience, the clock I usually forget about lives in my car. Which is truly just unfortunate. Am I late? Am I early? I left the house on time, or so I thought. The amount of times I second guess my decision about when to leave in the days following a time shift is astronomical. Usually for the first half of the ensuing week I’m late for every meeting on my calendar. How I still have a job, you and I both wonder. 

In other musings, why is it always a Sunday? A Friday night going into Saturday would allow for more adjustment time. I never know when to go to bed on the night of the incident. My phone says bedtime, but my body says binge time and that is an internal struggle I still haven’t figured out how to resolve. Meanwhile, who has a Saturday night bedtime? It’s more of a fall asleep when you fall asleep kind of vibe. Or if some external circumstances cause you to lose consciousness. No judgement. 

You might be thinking, yes springing forward is my least favorite form of exercise, but then we get to fall back in just a few months. Well I’m here to say that I enjoy falling back as much as I enjoy trust fall exercises. Which is not at all. Do I trust a stranger to catch me? Absolutely not! What if they feel their phone vibrate and are waiting for a text back from their crush? If that was me, I’d sneak a glance for sure. Anyways … falling back is more confusing. Your bedtime syncs up with your grandparents momentarily. And then you’re awake before sunrise and everything is dark and you aren’t sure if you’ve been abducted and sent to Alaska or not.

My last feeling about this, not final though, just going for a somewhat concise post, has to do with our poor animals. Whom we adore. Maybe not all animals, but definitely our dogs. They too don’t know what to do with daylight savings time. Think about it, their internal clocks are synced with the actual daylight – not just the concept of day versus night as presented to us in the form of four numbers separated by a colon. Or Google it, some very smart, scientific, people have researched this extensively while I have merely thought about it for a few moments. 

Mmkay, so overall emotion towards this ritual is not great. I would propose solutions, but there’s only one thing I would like to do with it. Make it disappear. Send it the depths of the ocean where those creatures have never seen daylight once. Fly it into outer space, I think time is relative out there anyways. I don’t care. Just take it away from me. Arizona and Hawaii are looking like excellent options for my next place of residence. 

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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I JUST REWATCHED LADY AND THE TRAMP AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

We all know everyone’s favorite spaghetti memory involves two dogs in love. Right? If you’ve never wanted to share the iconic meal on a date night to casually go in for a quick smooch, do you even have a soul? Anyways, I decided to rewatch the best dog love story created by Disney, to remind myself how great a dog’s love is, and have so many questions and furry observations:

  • The intro basically tells the entire plot through storyboard type drawings so why even watch the movie?
  • The fact that it’s dedicated specifically to dogs brings me more joy than it should
  • Remember mid-1950s animation? What a treat! But, also, thank goodness we’ve evolved technology wise
  • Lady’s Christmas present box has no air holes – she should be dead from the very start
  • Does Jim Dear actually think putting down a piece of newspaper is all it takes to house train a dog? And that it will ‘go right to sleep’? Were dogs not pets pre-1955 or is he just naive?
  • Let’s talk about all the dogs that can successfully only sleep on the bed for one night and then be fine sleeping somewhere else. And … we’re done. That’s not a real thing
  • Why would you give the dog coffee?! Are we to assume that it’s decaf? Because caffeine is poisonous for them
  • If anyone has ever owned a dog, you know that their dreams are the cutest thing in the world
  • What do we think they mean by getting the dog a license? Pretty sure you can buy a tag at anytime not just at the 6 month mark
  • How did the Tramp get in so good with all the restaurant owners? How do I also get them to know my name and give me free food?
  • Jim Dear and Darling are having a child, but they can’t still love their dog? Or even take care of it? Someone’s priorities are off
  • Why is Trusty going through the birds and the bees talk? Surely dogs don’t have sex ed
  • How does Jock know that babies are expensive?
  • Jim Dear is decorating a baby room for a boy while Darling is writing down baby names for a girl. They are not on the same page
  • Their baby shower feels more like a formal dinner party. Going to give the 1950s benefit of the doubt here – part one
  • Why are Lady’s inner thoughts presented as a song? Am I the weirdo whose thoughts are spoken?
  • They had a boy, but the baby blanket is pink. For what reason? The 1950s were not that progressive
  • Aunt Sarah is a monster. Not appreciating Lady in the slightest
  • Ah, well that’s because she’s a crazy cat lady. Problem solved
  • The siamese cat song will haunt my dreams
  • How many animals do the Dear’s have? I’ve seen Lady, a bird, and a fish
  • Who does Aunt Sarah think she is? Buying a muzzle for a dog that isn’t her own? But also, how do Jim Dear and Darling not know how much she hates dogs and just send Lady to the kennel? Like responsible owners
  • Since when can dogs read?
  • If Tony loves the Tramp so much, why not adopt him?
  • How many customers are waiting for food while Tony uses his attention to give the dogs a full fledged date night?
  • Ah, the iconic spaghetti noodle scene is still beautiful
  • And shocker, by the time we get to Lady and the Tramp on the hill staring at the moon, we have seen all the important scenes from the storyboard intro appear in animated form
  • Are we supposed to infer that their relationship was sealed, so to speak?
  • What is Pidge? And how did Lady get that nickname?
  • The depiction of the dog pound is traumatizing. The Humane Society would have a field day with those conditions
  • How is Lady supposed to emotionally trust the Tramp after hearing Peg’s beautiful rendition of his lifestyle?
  • What kind of a love story is this? The Tramp is a pimp and Lady is just his current interest
  • Who keeps the windows open in a rainstorm? For starters, that’s how rain gets in. Apparently, that’s also how rats get in
  • Trusty magically recovers from losing his smell … we’re supposed to believe that? Or he was a liar in the beginning. We may never know
  • So Lady and the Tramp had time to have a litter of puppies, but Trusty is still in a cast?
  • Why don’t the puppies look more like a blend of Lady and the Tramp? Going to give the 1950s benefit of the doubt here – part two

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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FLOWER NAMES NEED A PROTEIN SHAKE

If there’s one thing that everyone knows, it’s that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Round out the possy with chocolate and flowers and you’ve got yourself a clique. A clique who wears pink on Wednesdays. And where there’s a clique, there’s a group of outcasts. Who are not allowed to wear pink on Wednesdays lest they be smited with a look from the queen of the clique herself that will render anyone friendless for all eternity. The outcasts in this scenario would clearly be all other apology presents. Including, but not limited to, fish, books, cake, your time, center court NBA tickets, and succulents (seriously, why is this still A TREND?!).

Not really sure where I was going with that analogy but get in loser, we’re going shopping! Shopping for flowers that is. What even is happening with flower names? Clearly they were named by dinosaurs who felt that only half of the humans were allowed to receive them as a socially acceptable gift. How do I know this? Well, it’s October 3rd. And on October 3rd, he asked me what day it was. If you’ve never seen the movie Mean Girls, this post may feel confusing to you. I think that it’s best to pause here for exactly 97 minutes and catch up socially to all of the millennials living in the world today. 

You go, Glen Coco! Welcome back! You wanna do something fun? Wanna go to Taco Bell? First, this should never be a question. If someone ever simply asked me if I wanted to do something fun, there’s a good chance IHOP or Taco Bell would immediately pop into my mind. What’s more fun than all you can eat pancakes, “bean” burritos, and poor decisions? Nothing. I literally can think of nothing. Except, of course, mocking the biological genera of flowers. Starting off strong with genera instead of genus like the cool things of the world. She doesn’t even go here! In my, professional, opinion, flower genera can be broken down into the following (very female oriented) categories:

Human Names

Buttercup, Lily, Hibiscus, Dahlia, Rose, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Rhododendron, Sage, Violet, Magnolia, Petunia, Iris, Azalea, and Periwinkle. I’ve heard all of those names used within the female gender at some point. They’re kind of common and kind of a mood as a parent. Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.

Insults

Milkweed, Begonia, Knapweed, Snapdragon, Tickseed, Columbine, Foxglove, Hellebore, Fleabane, and Crocus. Feels very self-explanatory here – how pissed would you be if someone directed any of these harmful words at you? Feels awfully convenient for having to deliver an apology gift. Just saying. Something to think about late at night when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Adjectives

Sunflower, Snowdrop, Pink, Laceleaf, Passion Flower, and Lavender … feels awfully convenient to just name a flower after what it looks like. Uncreative much? Your face smells like peppermint!

Lazy (aka Observations of Human Traits / Actions)

Tulip, Peony, Lady’s Mantles, Dancing-Lady Orchids, Blackeyed Susan, California Poppy, Dusty Miller, and Marigold. Wut? Capital U. Just your everyday observation of the world and then casually naming an entire plant species after it. Because you know, why not?

Tasks

Spurges (like sponges … and, you know, the kitchen / cleaning), Gardenia, and Carnation (awfully similar to incarnation). This must have been done by a man. In the dinosaur ages, only the men would have been so subtle at giving hints. I’m guessing, I’m not a dinosaur, but the way the history books frame them, ay, chihuahua! The limit does not exist.

There’s a 30 percent chance that it’s already raining. Raining on the parade of what you once believed to be an industry that catered to everyone. How many of those genera would be used to name a baby boy? Or describe the actions of a man? Or insult a male persona? Zero. I think what the world needs more than anything, in this clear time of crisis, is to give flower names a protein shake. Let’s rename all of them, the entire species and subspecies, to be more neutral in everyday language! Who’s with me?

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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NETFLIX IS BAE, HULU IS THE MISTRESS, AND AMAZON PRIME IS THE ONE NIGHT STAND

There’s no better time than right now to go on a binge. A television binge, that is. Because what else are you doing? Working? Please. Working out? Let’s stop lying. Eating? Maybe, but eating is to bingeing as peanut butter is to jelly. The perfect complement. So there’s no good excuse not to find the remote, turn on the big black box, and be transported into a magical new world of your choosing. In other words, streaming services are the real life version of Narnia. Mythical creatures included if that’s your cup of tea. Villains a plenty if you prefer to live a stressful and dramatic adventure. And characters who make questionable decisions regardless of what selection you make.

Where were we? My mind can’t move past the image of Mr. Tumnus and his curious mashup of human and goat. Real quick, why a goat? Why not stick with the classic centaur? If I had the choice between the speed, grace, and majesty of a horse or the stubby, awkward, bleating of a goat then my choice is very clear. Not that I have anything against goats! Goat yoga is my jam and baby goats falling over are the cutest GIFs on the planet. But … I want to run. I want my leg muscles to absolutely shimmer when I move. I want my mane to flow behind me like an ancient goddess. I want to be the horse, if that was unclear.

Now that we all know where I stand on the clearly controversial horse or goat topic, we can return to the main programming. Streaming service options. Not all streaming services are the same. Mainly since not all of them have the same selection of offerings, for one. There’s also the obvious price differences, ads versus no ads, color scheme, app performance, etc. Those are boring though and any Google search will result in hundreds of comparison articles. This is not one of those articles. I’m comparing nothing. I’m very biased and am choosing one over the others. Because it is my favorite. And this is my blog.

In case you weren’t able to pick up on it from the title, I’m a Netflix kid through and through. I like that they were first. I like that they’re color scheme is dangerous, yet intriguing. I like that they’re basically their own TV network at this point. I like that they have no ads. I like that the stand up comedy selection is better than the Gotham Comedy Club. I like that they give me the most absurd and ridiculous categories for things. I like that their suggestions are sometimes just the top 10 things streaming because that means marketing is getting their voice heard in company meetings. But most of all, I like that every single remote for a smart TV has a Netflix specific button so that my life of bingeing can be achieved easily.

This is not to say that the other companies just suck. It’s 2021, that would be a lie. We live in the golden age of technology – the competition is doing just fine. They’re just all pretty clearly in second. Well, Hulu is in second anyways. I like cheating on Netflix from time to time because as great as Netflix is, it’s timeline for getting the hot new releases of TV series and movies is sometimes slower than waiting in line at the DMV. This is where Hulu shines! They’re speedy. They’re quick. They’ve got a fresh green color scheme that calms me. All of their categories make sense. And yet, once I finish what I was watching on Hulu I’m usually like cool. I’m done and can return home. To the land of zero commercials, ever. Regardless of my subscription level. $5 per month so I don’t have to watch ads?! Wow that’s almost a pint every month and is simply not worth it.

And then there was Amazon Prime who is … trying. If you are made of money, and would like to rent absolutely everything, then this is the service for you. If you aren’t on the ‘Included with Prime’ section, though, there is a zero percent chance that what you’ve chosen will be free. This service is really only good for the other s, shipping. 

Since there is a newcomer on the scene, I’d rank Disney Plus somewhere between Netflix and Hulu. It does come with a pretty great NSFW slang slogan so I guess there’s that. It also features pretty much everything Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. So there’s also that. And as an adult, there are times when I want nothing more than a feel-good Disney show or movie. Sometimes. Other times I want something rated above PG-13 and that’s where I once again land back in my trusted lover’s arms.

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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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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RANKING DAYS OF THE WEEK

Honesty is important in most things. Not all things, but the majority. Like if someone from your favorite team’s rival school asks if you can be friends it may be best to smile and nod even though you know you’ll never hang out. Or if your significant other goes grocery shopping and brings home regular Oreos instead of double stuffed it may be best to say thank you and eat them anyways. It is still an Oreo. An inferior Oreo, but an Oreo nonetheless. Or when you lose a game and tell the other team / player they played well even though they’re being obnoxious and you know you lost it, they didn’t win it. Know what I mean?

Those are obviously just a few examples, you can probably think of some from your life I’m sure. In pretty much every other situation, though, honesty is usually the best route. You can choose to lie, but in my experience that only comes back to bite you in the butt. One of those situations is not picking favorites, however. The whole point of picking favorites is to be biased and rank the list based on your current feelings. It’s an honest sentiment on what things you like and don’t like.

So let’s rank some things! What’s something that every human has to deal with? Days of the week. I like to believe that animals don’t since they don’t go to school and learn the calendar system so they probably just live in a state of bliss. Sun comes up, sun goes down. It makes no difference to them if it’s a Monday or a Friday. Also, they don’t work, so a workweek is not a major stressor in their lives. I’m assuming. That all could be inaccurate, I can’t say I’ve spent any amount of time looking into this other than observing my dog.

Enough about how animals choose to live their best lives, let’s break down the best, and the worst, days of the week. According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and that’s fine. Not everyone can be right. I do think it’s important to recognize that there is a big difference between vacation days and work days. That being said, there will be two rankings: a regular workweek days of the week ranking and a vacation days of the week ranking.

It’s a Workweek Ranking

  1. Saturday
  2. Friday
  3. Thursday
  4. Sunday
  5. Tuesday
  6. Wednesday
  7. Monday

Obviously the weekend is prime real estate during the week since that typically means no work. Saturday is clearly the superior weekend day. Friday is the next best thing because it’s the end of the week and that means that the best day, Saturday, is tomorrow. Some people may be wondering why Thursday ranks above Sunday? Simple. Thirsty Thursday comes before Friday which comes before Saturday. What does Sunday come before? Monday, bleh. But it is still a weekend day so it makes the top half of the list. Taco Tuesday just comes with a whole slew of fun evening events for your enjoyment. Wednesday is, honestly, overrated – hooray you’re halfway done. Not as encouraging as it should be. There’s still half the workweek left. Monday feels self-explanatory. 

Vacation Elation Ranking

  1. Sunday
  2. Monday
  3. Tuesday
  4. Wednesday
  5. Thursday
  6. Friday
  7. Saturday

When you’re on vacation, you want the week to slow down! A Monday means you have so much time to not do things like work. It’s fantastic. That’s why I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe the person who created this lineup was on vacation when doing so? What would your rankings look like? Similar? Vastly different? No preference? I don’t believe that for a second.

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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