IN MEMORIAM: MEMORIAL DAY

Remember Memorial Day? I hope so, it was only yesterday. Which means we are now officially in summer. Well, socially, at least. The calendar, and Mother Nature, per usual, have yet to catch up with what the people are doing. For example, when it snowed the other day. In mid-May. It’s both too late and too early for that nonsense. Also how we are technically a month from summer even though we are hitting the step outside and start sweating weather. Not the point, though, because we all know in our heads, and in our hearts, that it’s summer and with summer comes vacation season. Of course, we can’t forget grill season, swimsuit season, beach season, lake season, no school season, summer blend beer season, strawberry season, Bachelor / Bachelorette season, reality TV season in general, and more.

Summer is not the topic of this post, however. Today, we look back on another long weekend that has come and gone. On all the good times we had with our extra day of freedom. The chance it gave us to finally do one, or two, of the things we should have been doing every weekend, but simply can’t find the time around social-distancing activities. For some, it may have been another opportunity for an extra day of personal productivity washed away by alcohol, poor time management, and binge-watching. For others it may have been another opportunity to relax and get some personal projects started around the house – ideal hobby time. And for still others, it may have another opportunity to embrace Phase 2 and partake in gatherings like the good old times. Grilling, drinking, and playing games with friends. Maybe you don’t fall in any of those categories. Maybe you went to the beach, or the mountains, or shopping, or hiking, or anything that you can do in our newfound options. No matter where you fall on the opportunity spectrum, we all lived Memorial Day and are a day older because of it.

Yet here we are. With a new work week starting and admiring our great use of a gift by the universe and the business world. If you’re like me, you usually go into long weekends with high expectations for what you’re going to accomplish. True story (a brief synopsis from the past three years of my life):

  • 2018
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll teach myself how to be a professional cake decorator
    • Me, on Tuesday: Well, turns out sunscreen would have been a smart choice for spending three entire days on the lake, but at least my wakeboarding skills are still spot on #shred #lookinglikealobster
  • 2019
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll write a book
    • Me, on Tuesday: Well, the laundry got done late Monday night and my pantry is still empty, but I did attend 6 different cookouts and made so many new follower friends #popular #doitforthegram
  • 2020
    • Me, on Friday: I have so much time, I think I’ll chop down a tree and carve myself a canoe
    • Me, today: Well, I spent three times as much on alcohol as I did on food, but it turns out grapefruit hefeweizen are highly refreshing and my new favorite summer drink #refreshing #stayhydrated

As we say farewell to the last three day weekend until September, we know that we will enjoy the fun of Memorial Day once again. Next year. In 2021. Because that’s how life works. Also how a calendar works. If you simply can’t wait three and a half months, then use some of those precious vacation days and take a 9 day weekend. Another option, hear me out, take an indefinite vacation. Happening to a lot of us right now – embrace it, your weekend never ends! Until you find new gainful employment, obviously, because all good things must eventually come to an end.

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


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DID SOMEONE SAY THREE DAY WEEKEND?

Time is our most valuable resource. Everyone knows this by now thanks to the Internet and the exploding popularity of positive, encouraging, confidence building, hype starting, motivational sayings that are available everywhere. These quick hitters are the best. You can find one for literally anything you’re going through if you know how to harness the power of the search bar. Feeling a bit stressed out? Jump on that everything will be alright in the end, change your mindset, change your life train. Going through a breakup, or dealing with heartbreak? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of love to go around the you have to be good enough for yourself first, things happen for a reason, strength comes from getting knocked down carousel. Stuck in a cycle of failure and feeling left behind? Drink some of that you’ve got this, never give up, getting back up is the most powerful move smoothie. Just want a sudo hype man? Well, lucky you – who needs a person to hype you up when you could have infinite access to all the beast mode sayings people have ever said. Did your favorite pizza place shut down because of COVID? It’s, ok, take a bite out of the sometimes bad things happen to good people, there’s always a lesson if you choose to see it, the sun will come back out tomorrow pie.

So we are now properly motivated and bursting with eagerness to start every dream we’ve ever had. Enter the three day weekend. Or, as I like to remind all of my people on a daily basis when we get close to one: TDW FTW! You’re all smart, so I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. I’m feeling generous, though, because my time meter just tripled, so here’s a hint: TDW is in the latter part of the post title and FTW can be found immediately with a quick trip down GOOGLE LANE.

What is it that happens to us, exactly, when we know that Monday will be a holiday? Well, if you’ve read any other post on this blog you would know that I hate to generalize and assume things about people, so I’ll keep this to personal experience … at least I’ll try. First things first, Monday is not what one would consider the most popular day of the week. Unless you’re on vacation in which case it’s similar to when you run into an old acquaintance in public and have to pretend you were best friends at some point and genuinely care about each other. Yet, on a three day weekend, Monday gets a huge ranking upgrade. ‘Monday?! Is that you?! Gosh, it feels like forever since I haven’t dreaded waking up to you again. I’m sorry by the way – it’s just that I’m usually stressed out because Sunday ends too quick and I didn’t do my chores because they sounded boring and you know how it gets? Only two days to do things? What even, who can live like this? Anyways, great to see you, we should hang out more often.’ 

24 entire extra hours of leaving your commitments in the wind and saying adios to being responsible. It might as well be an extra year. So much time. Funny how the same amount of time on Saturday and Sunday never feel like enough, but increase that by 50% and all of a sudden you can do things you never thought possible. Like traveling someplace new. Or writing a book. Or starting and finishing an entire life crisis and coming out a brand new you. Or doing ALL of your chores for the week. Or watching all 8 seasons of GAME OF THRONES and feeling like you can now contribute to social conversations (although, I hate to break it to you, but Westworld is the hot topic now, along with Love is Blind, so I guess you’ll have to wait until September to be cool again).

However you choose to spend your extra day of freedom from things like work, and school, and parenting, ok, maybe not that last one since I don’t think it ever really turns off, enjoy it! Go to the beach, I hear those are open now for stationary activities like sitting. Go start that passion project. Go hiking with some friends and realize that the mountains aren’t so bad once you get past the snakes and the poison ivy. Go on a road trip (to a place that has lifted restrictions). Spend (even more) time with your family at home. You do you. 

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


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DOCTOR’S OFFICE DECOR STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER INHABITED STRUCTURE

Today is a good day. A good day to dive deep into what on Earth is happening inside doctor’s offices all over the world. A good day to put on our detail-oriented, over-analyzing, heavily sarcastic hats and share some opinions on how the decor standards make us feel. Well, the last sentence was really just for me. It’s a good day for you to venture down this winding spaghetti path of my thoughts and feelings, sit back, relax, and smile knowing deep down that you agree this is a problem desperately needing to be addressed at some point.

Blue and brown. Tile and wood. Dots and stripes. Pictures of happy, peaceful places and daunting medical journals. Lollipops and stickers. Let’s not forget the fish tanks. I would love to say that usually only one of these cringe-worthy sentences applies per office, but that would be a lie. No, ALL of these contradicting things seem to be present in every single doctor’s office building. Why is that? Is there a special interior design degree for the medical profession? Because if I applied any of those options to my home someone might report me to the fashion police. Think about this fun brain bomb: those combinations are not socially acceptable, yet no one questions them at the doctor. Not only that, we find it to be modern and in-style. 

To be totally transparent, I’ve never once walked into an office decorated in this questionable way and thought ‘oh my lord, this is a crime if I’ve ever witnessed one’. Usually, I start with wondering how long it will take me before I can leave one of my least favorite places for the entire next year. But then I look around (during all the free time of my 24 hour waiting room visit…I feel a need to dive into wait times at another point in time – this is not that time, however) and think ‘wow, very tasteful, this place has clearly been remodeled’. It makes me feel like whatever chair I’m sitting on is clean, that the staff will take excellent care of me, that I will most definitely be getting a big kid treat on the way out, that nothing can hurt me, etc. 

Let’s be very clear, though. If I went to someone’s house and the following was true, I would get the heck out of there:

  • The kitchen was blue tile, the living room hardwood, the hallway white tile with pink and green tiles on the edges by the wall, and the bathroom was hardwood
  • The chairs were hard, colored, patterned, fabric seats with polka dot backs
  • There was “free” lollipops and stickers in a bowl in the kitchen
  • The walls were covered in pastel art of flower fields and beaches, but the bathroom was stocked with everyone is dying medical magazines
  • There is a massive aquarium with the ugliest fishes alive

That sounds like a lair for something I don’t want to know about. It sounds like the Hansel and Gretel of the medical industry. Lure you in with something you can’t resist, such as the chance to watch fish swim around in a confined area and free candy. Then out of nowhere, things get real super fast. Go to the doctor, they said. They’ll make you feel better, they said. It’s good for your health, they said. You know what they didn’t say? How if you want to feel better and be “healthy” you have to get stabbed with a needle. And have a popsicle stick stuck down your throat. And a pointy black plastic object shoved in your ear. And a freezing metal object put on your bare back without warning. All for what? A sticker and a lollipop? Stickers never last (I always lose them at some point, maybe the stickiness is not lifetime lasting?) and lollipops, well, eventually those get gone. Besides, I’m an adult and can buy my own for less physical pain.

Also, less emotional pain. I can’t say I’ve ever been giddy for a doctor’s appointment. Usually I put off making it until they leave me passive-aggressive voicemails every day for weeks. Then, I reluctantly call (ugh) and talk to a real person (ugh) and schedule an appointment for my annual check-up, but on a three-year rotation (because I’m responsible and understand that eventually I need to be assaulted with a needle). And they wonder why I don’t like coming back … no amount of rewards can make me forget the terrifying minutes of the will they / won’t they find the vein on the first try.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean the world to me. Thanks for reading!


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TENTH-LIFE CRISIS, QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS, THIRD-LIFE CRISIS, MIDLIFE CRISIS, ALMOST-DEAD CRISIS…YOU GET THE POINT

Life is stressful. Like, I want to throw away all my tech, pack up my dog, and drive to a cabin in the woods kind of stressful. In the good old days, people would wait until around mid-life to have a crisis and make some (questionable?) interesting decisions. Father of four? Sure, trade in that mini-van and get a coupe because who needs to take kids places?! Walking is good exercise. CFO in line for an opening at a tech giant? No, I definitely understand that you want to be a mime and leave finance behind. I’m curious why one would voluntarily choose to enter the world of money anyways, but that’s a topic for another time. Money is so…complicated. There’s so many rules and regulations and expectations. It hurts my head – that’s why I just spend all of mine. Nothing left to deal with.

It’s at a point where I get concerned when someone doesn’t go through a midlife crisis. Do you feel nothing? Is stress just not a word in your vocabulary? Do you simply deal with things in a healthy, open manner instead of suppressing those feelings until the emotional bank is full and everything boils over at once? Teach me your ways stone-faced killer. Seems very un-American of you, though. Talking about things. Controlling what you can control and not worrying about the rest.

Doesn’t that sound nice? It kind of sounds like the future. A very distant future. As a millennial, I have not yet reached the age to have a midlife breakdown. It’s literally impossible. Even if I was born in the first year of our wave-making, life-ruining generation, I would be about 2 years shy. I have however, experienced my tenth-life and quarter-life crises. Both were eye-opening. Both led to drastic changes. Makes me nervous for my upcoming third-life crisis. Because surely that is what’s coming my way, right? There’s too much pressure not to have one. I love talking to my grandparents about life because their answer is always the same loving, caring, empathetic one you would hope to receive: You kids have it so easy today. You would never have survived back in my day because you’re all too d*mn lazy now. 

What?! I don’t think you understand that I have to constantly take perfect pictures of myself so I can make my life look a billion times more exciting than it is for all the randos that follow me on the Gram. Also, I have to “engage” with my followers online so that more people will want to follow me and I can maintain a high enough count to be deemed socially acceptable. On top of all that stress, I have to do this thing called work and they want me there from 9AM ALL THE WAY UNTIL 6PM! What even is life? There’s not even a good avocado toast shop near my apartment complex that has destroyed America’s housing market.

Just writing that I had a baby crisis. It’s a lot of pressure to single-handedly ruin everything the Baby Boomers and beyond worked so hard to create. If you’re blissfully unaware, take a quick hiatus from reading this and Google something along the lines of ‘things millennials have killed / ruined’. You won’t be disappointed. My favorite is napkins – how dare we care enough about the environment to demand non-paper napkins. Rude. Sorry, not sorry, that we want to live life somewhere without the word office in it. Is this actually a problem for the napkin industry? Are there companies out there who only make paper napkins and nothing else? Are we putting someone out of business here? I think not.

Lost my train of thought for a second, like a true unfocused, dare I say restless, young professional. My point is, that it’s the new normal to feel confused, lost, turned around, stuck, etc. wherever you are. Don’t take it personally, that goes back through ALL the generations and it’s something that we millennials have most certainly NOT killed off. In all seriousness though, it’s ok, no, it’s more than ok to express what you’re going through or voice your feelings before the volcano of tears and burning words appear. Take it from me, a well versed person in riding the storm of emotions that come when you let the air stir just a bit too long…that doesn’t even make sense. So let’s go with it – new age style!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has been through any stage of life crisis, pass this along so they can feel less alone in what they’re going through. If you don’t believe in crises, only exhilarating changes, well I admire your perspective. Thanks for reading!


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HOW MANY CHARGING CABLES DOES IT TAKE TO BLOW A FUSE?

Technology is a wonderful thing – it brought you this blog after all. What else does it get you? Constant access to other people’s lives and with that comes strong feelings of jealousy, sadness, loneliness, dissatisfaction, etc. Does no one else find it ironic that some part of our day usually involves scrolling through a social feed looking at other people’s posts on how amazing their lives are. More accurately, how amazing they portray their lives to be. In other words, we spend our lives watching other people live theirs.

Here’s a thought: instead of watching other people live, why not put your phone down and actually do something. But do something because you want to, not because you think it will get you a ton of likes. What would happen if the grid went down right now? If the Internet went out and technology went dark. If you had to actually find the answer to a question without Alexa’s help. To be honest, that scares me more than it should. I’m hooked on my tech like everyone else and I have a lot of concerns:

  • How would I get to Chipotle without Google Maps?
  • How could I humblebrag to my friends that I went out (on a Tuesday, what?!) by posting to my Instagram?
  • If I was sad, where would I be able to find adorable puppy GIFs?
  • How would my paycheck get into my bank account?
  • If I was bored, what would I do without the YouTube video blackhole?
  • How would I know when that hot new album had been added to my music library so I could listen on repeat for weeks?
  • How could I watch sports? Would I have to actually go out and play them?
  • Most importantly, though, how would I validate my self-worth by the number of followers I have?

As a millenial, I really have zero idea what the world was like before technology. My only memory of there potentially being a time without Google, was December 31, 1999 when everyone and their mom thought the world wide web was going to destroy the universe once 2000 officially came around. Funny thing about that though, is it was 20 years ago and here we are still plugging along. Literally plugging along. I don’t remember the last time I went through an entire day without charging, or plugging in, SOMETHING. Because everything needs to be charged now-a-days: your phone, your computer, your watch, your toothbrush, your headphones, your speaker, your scooter, your car, your all-knowing home assistant, your blender, your clock, your TV, your portable battery, your camera, etc.

I feel like my power outlets are getting kind of pissed at me and are going to go on strike. Have you ever had several things (ok, a LOT of things) plugged in at once and your meter is all like NOPE! I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS! So it blows a fuse and you’re all dazed and confused because your phone is at 2% and if it dies, you too might die. If you haven’t experienced that panic, let me just tell you that it is not fun. In fact, it’s the opposite of fun. It’s downright horrible. I, for one, don’t have a clue how to do anything if my phone is dead. Almost as if it’s my electromagnet helping me maintain the image that I’m an adult and clearly have some semblance of my ish together. But when it’s dead, all of a sudden I lose all common sense and forget how to navigate my own home. My IQ immediately drops down to zero and I become a child.

If I get hungry: what even is food? Where do I find it?

If I get cold: guess I’ll just curl into a ball and shiver until someone covers me with a blanket or brings me a jacket.

If I have a question: well, I guess I’ll never know the answer.

If I have to drive somewhere: do I need to go left or right? Left or right? Left…or…right? TOO MANY OPTIONS WHAT IF I CHOOSE WRONG!

My point is, technology does amazing things, but there has to be a balance. Go out and live your life! Figure out how to read a map, or at least memorize the drive to that banging pizza joint. Get a coloring book – it’s pretty much the only thing you can do when the power goes out. And of course, buy a portable charger because you never know when you might need it! 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a bit addicted to their technology, don’t pass this along – encourage them to get offline for once. Thanks for reading!


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WEATHERMAN JOB PERFORMANCE STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER FIELD

Weather might be the most unpredictable thing in our lives. Well, aside from that person you really like who is sending mixed signals with their choice to say hi instead of hey! – how am I supposed to take that?! You’re only mildly satisfied to talk to me?! You didn’t think I deserved a full on exclamation point?! I mean, you get all cute and flirty, then don’t respond for 8 hours….you may be at work, but we both know you’re checking your phone. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that’s frankly exhausting.

Full disclosure, in the middle of that tangent I forgot where I was going and was about to write a post about dating, but let’s climb that mountain another day because we have more important things to talk about – specifically, how in the world weathermen (or weatherpeople to be politically correct) don’t get fired constantly. Now, I am a young professional, wait, no that feels too mature for the way I’m approaching the work life…I have a job (that feels 100% appropriate). And in said job, there are certain performance criteria that I have to meet (over and over again, apparently, which is a separate rollercoaster of emotional pain). And if I fail to meet said criteria I will no longer have a job. Instead, I will have a lot of free time Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM-5PM. As much as I like to believe that I’m “special” and “unique” and “going places”, and all the other things that older generations think us millennials wake up and repeat to ourselves in the mirror daily, it turns out that EVERY job has performance standards. Not only that, but in ALMOST every job, those directly correlate to whether or not you keep said job (more so said income, am I right?). Funny thing about that though, is that apparently this isn’t true for all jobs – two come immediately to mind, one of which we are about to dive into so grab your umbrella and buckle up those rain boots because it looks like full sunshine today!

Meteorologists, more commonly known as the weatherman, seem to have no clear performance standards. They give us a wildly inaccurate forecast day, after day, after day, after day, etc. and somehow end up on billboards all across the country. One of the news channels where I grew up used to brag about having the most accurate weather around – at 90%. What about the other 10% you ask? Well you’re just S.O.L. for that part of the week because no one has a freaking clue. Although to their credit, they are incredibly clever. Have you ever looked up the weather and seen a 0% chance of rain? No, you haven’t because it’s always at least 10%…just in case the sun gets sad and starts to cry. Or, have you noticed that news channels always include a weather report after a Breaking News segment? Yep, it’s because 30 minutes ago they weren’t sure if it would be raining right at this moment, but now they are 100% sure it’s not raining outside currently. So better update the public and make the meteorologist seem like they’re earning their keep.

For all this hate, though, I honestly have a ton of respect for meteorologists. Have you ever gone to a science museum, or a kids museum more accurately, and played in the exhibit where you have to read the weather map while simultaneously trying to navigate a greenscreen live on camera?! Let me just tell you, it’s not easy – so they clearly have true talent…as actors. That exhibit, however, did teach me a lot about how they read the weather. They read it off a BLANK SCREEN. No wonder it’s never right. That’s like a doctor reading a patient their diagnosis from a BLANK PAGE. Or an Uber driver navigating with a BLANK APP. Or a restaurant giving you a BLANK MENU. In my experience, some sort of guidance helps…anything really.

We’ve established that weather accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. The hourly forecast for a day is questionable at best. And yet, several popular weather sites offer services where you can pay (ACTUAL MONEY!) for a 96-hour forecast. Listen, you come talk to me when the 48-hour forecast is a sure thing. Who’s paying for that is what I want to know? Not me, because I’m smart and I have a big person job and I have big person bills so I can’t be bothered with those frivolous lifestyle additions.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is a meteorologist please thank them for having the self-confidence to fail continuously, but look great doing it. Thanks for reading!


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YOU’RE BEING SPIED ON ANYWAY – JUST EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

There’s an app for everything now. Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Need someone to walk your dog? There’s an app for that. Looking for (incorrect) weather information (more on my thoughts about weather forecasts in THIS POST)? There’s definitely an app for that. Want a virtual shave? Yes, there’s an app for that. Wonder what it’s like to count a million dollars? You bet there’s an app for that. Have you always wanted to milk a cow? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s even an app for that!

Apps, apps, apps – Oprah would be in heaven. If you think about the apps on your phone, tablet, watch, computer, etc. right now most of them are probably a bit more productive than the cow milking one (maybe not though, I don’t know you). You probably have a navigation app, a weather app, some “work” apps to keep track of your calendar, expenses, documents, emails, and other adult nonsense, a social media app (or two, or three, or twelve), a “live-your-best-life” app, an app with no purpose other than to waste time, a game app, and maybe a travel app or a sports app. Sound about right? Of course it does! I’m a millennial after all – that basically makes me an app guru.

Which, for the record, being a millennial does not mean that I can troubleshoot your technological problems for you. I didn’t create or build these apps. If I did, I wouldn’t still be working my 8-8 that’s for freaking sure – I’d be living off of all the ad revenue from addicted users like yourself. So please stop asking me how to fix it. Those apps have a customer support team for a reason…ask them, it’s literally their job to help you. Someone PAYS them to help you. No one is paying me to help you.

Ironically, usually the app isn’t working correctly because you thought you could maintain some semblance of privacy in your life and decided not to let the app access your location, or your microphone, or your camera, etc. Funny thing about apps though, in my experience, they only ask to access things that are required for them to work properly. Oh, you need directions somewhere? Well it’s hard to give someone directions without knowing where they are starting from. So you want to go hands-free? Kind of hard for the phone to hear you if it can’t listen through your microphone. Are you in a foreign country and need to translate a sign? This app would do that if only it could see the sign through your camera.

Are you following me? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Are you riding my wave? Catching my drift? Snacking what I’m packing (wow the phrases that come out of a Google Search are fantastic)? Do you really think that telling an app it can’t use your location means you’ve gone off the grid and no one can see your location EVER?! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are sadly mistaken. Your technology is tracking your location, listening to everything you say, and (if it has a camera) it’s also watching you. Just not through the apps, but through the actual device. So all of your careful preparation to not allow your apps to work properly is really just a waste of time. You’ve only made your life more difficult. 

Embrace the technology! If it’s spying on you anyways, you might as well let it control the temperature in your house, automatically dim the lights, handle your grocery shopping, find a dog sitter, set a sleep schedule so you get the maximum REM cycles and feel amazing in the morning, etc. Otherwise it’s like buying a Tesla and deciding to always drive it manually…just a waste of potential and money.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is avoiding the full realm of possibilities with technology, share this post, freak them out, and get them to finally embrace all the available app power. Thanks for reading!


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