AUGUST IS THE MOST OVERRATED MONTH

Some months of the year are better than others. I’m just going to throw that out into the universe. Not all of them can be a March, or November, after all. This deserves a breakdown, don’t you think? What makes one month better than another? What makes a month overrated? What is the TRP ranking of the months? What facts go into these rankings? Let’s get that last one out of the way right quick – there is no factual backing to this post. Zero. This is merely AN OPINION.

What makes one month better than another? This may seem slightly unintuitive, but clearly a combination of weather, positioning in relation to major holidays, and amount of event options available to the people of Earth. So, by default, March and November reign superior to all other months. Cold, but not the coldest months of the year. One is coming out of the cold and looking towards Spring while the other is coming off the summer sauna and finally features a manageable temperature to enjoy the outdoors. Both host major holidays and are surrounded on either side by other very popular holidays (and every holiday is a DRINKING HOLIDAY if you do it right). Finally, there is zero shortage of events, or things to do, in either month. If you’re a sports fan, you understand that the overlap of major sporting events in each of these pristine months is something only the sport gods could have conjured up. If you’re not a sports fan, there’s still plenty of holiday events to attend including, but not limited to egg hunts, irish themed extravaganzas, potlucks, and light shows.

What makes a month overrated? Well, with every other thing that’s overrated (crispy cookies, Windex, and traffic circles come to mind immediately) people like it for no real reason. They just do. No one knows why. Take August for example. What even is happening with this month? It’s technically no longer than any other 31 day month, yet it always has five full weeks somehow and takes years to complete. The weather is like the devil’s breath. The only “holiday” is back-to-school and what kind of holiday is that?! That is the opposite of a holiday. It’s literally celebrating the end of vacation season. No sports really happen in August outside of a handful of golf tournaments and more baseball games. Honestly, what is the appeal?

What is the TRP ranking of the months? Based off the criteria above the months are clearly ordered like so (from best to August):

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

I do think that January and August are basically the same ugh wise. The one key separator is that January is the start to a new year so all those resolutions are giving you life and motivation. August is awkwardly terrible in the bottom half of the year when you’re ready to move on already. How would you rank the months?

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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THE MILLENNIAL CRISIS: I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING, YET I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT EVERYTHING

Have you ever met someone who can pull random old facts out of their brains on command? Fact fairies. Evidence elves. Truth trolls. No matter what you call it, they’re not of this world. It’s genuinely a skill – you’ll be mid-conversation about how efficient you are with conserving toilet paper on each trip to the restroom and they will throw out a gem like ‘every time you lick a stamp, it’s technically 1/10 of a calorie’. How does one respond to that? My opinions were focused on how many sheets are too many sheets and you’ve caught me off guard with calorie counting. I need a second, if you don’t mind, to slow this high speed spinning opinion and come back to where I left you.

Facts are harder to know. You need stuff like evidence, to make people accept it. To get this evidence, you have to research and with research you have to properly credit the source so there’s no risk of plagiarizing. Even if it’s a conversation between you and your dog – if there’s a hidden bug in the room and someone is really out to get you, they could take you down for not properly quoting the website on whence thou didst read it < taken from my limited knowledge of how some really old people used to write in a time long, long, long, long, long ago. Probably before the dinosaurs #reference #bibliography #facts.

Opinions, however, need zero backing. Zero proof of any sort of validity. They do, ironically, need the opinion reference to make sure no one asks for a follow-up on where these ideas came from. A simple ‘in my opinion’, ‘I think’, ‘that’s just my opinion’, etc. will do just fine. These statements are completely customizable to the user. 

The only real downfall to opinions, is that anyone, and I mean anyone, can contradict you. Then you run the risk of looking, well, a bit dumb if I’m honest. Guess that’s the price you pay for avoiding the effort of learning something. Some opinions are very insightful, though. You could actually get a new perspective, which arguably is more valuable than knowing how much the biggest pumpkin ever grown weighs. 

There’s a time and a place for facts. A good rule of thumb I like to live by is that if there is money involved, facts are probably recommended. Now, I realize this is a broad statement so I’ll clarify my opinion to help enlighten you. If you are paying to be there (hello college!), then the professors could care less what late-night epiphany you had on margarita Monday. Your friends, on the other hand, are probably all for it. They may even be contributing to your nightly indulgence to better enjoy their part of the experience.

Another scenario – if someone is paying you, and you are not a social influencer / celebrity / famous outside of your hometown / being actively sought out and followed by people you don’t know on the gram / etc. then facts are a safer bet. Unless of course you get paid to share your opinions, in which case, bravo! Are there exceptions to this theory? For sure, but I don’t care enough to explore them. If you’re stressed about which to use (fact or opinion), go with your gut. Better yet, don’t care what people think and live your life like nobody’s watching.

In theory. Like nobody’s watching, in theory. Because there are actually a LOT of people watching everything that you do. We’re all like zoo animals today except that you don’t have to actually leave your couch. You can see everyone online. Sort of like a horror version of Back to the Future – maybe that’s what the modern remake will be. We all know it’s coming, clearly all the “new” movies are based on timeless classics because the writers are where? On strike? Who knows.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who loves facts, tell them to stop one-upping you. If you, like mwah, love a solid opinion, know that we are in this together. Thanks for reading!


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THE LANGUAGE OF STARBUCKS

Languages have never been my strong suit, but there is one that I simply cannot understand no matter how many times I try. You probably guessed it. It, of course, is the Starbucks language of coffee. I’m not sure what class, or after school club, I missed in my education to pick up on this. How do people learn the little intricacies of their favorite orders? It’s not on the menu, believe me, I keep checking. It’s not on the website. It’s not on their commercials. It’s not on Google. If you don’t speak coffee, you better befriend a nice human who will teach you because otherwise you’ll be stuck standing at the front of the line looking like a deer in the headlights with angry, caffeine-deprived customers screaming at your back.

It’s a straight up clique. An original form of social distancing for those who haven’t proven their worth by passing the challenge of ordering a drink from the menu and then proceeding to change everything about it. Personally, I find the drive-through lines comical because that is way slower than waiting in the store line. You have to try and explain your custom creation through the highly efficient outdoor microphone. You know, the ones that pick up about a third of what you say. Then you get to play the ever fun phone tag, or microphone tag in this case, of you placing an order, the employee repeating it, you correcting it (because heaven forbid you get two pumps of caramel when you specified twenty), the employee repeating it again, you correcting it … again (because you asked for pumpkin spice not light ice), the employee getting a bit frustrated on round 3, you getting irritated over having to continue to repeat your daily order (how do they not have this memorized by now, all the money you’ve spent there?!), etc.

Rant over, I apologize for all the die-hard Starbucks fans in the world. What do you call yourselves? Starbucksers? Star-Warriors? Starbuck Chucks? Straight up Stars? SBean? Estarbucksso? Now that is a winner! I should trademark it, you are all welcome. Don’t say I never did anything nice for you. Judge you? Yes. Mock you? Definitely. Blog about you? Certainly. But alas, I have given your band of minions a catchphrase.

I understand the concept of customization in food. If you’re paying for it, it better be everything you hoped for and more. What’s the best way to do that? Make it your own! Most places have found a balance – a diverse menu that lets you make slight adjustments based on dining preferences. Burgers without ketchup, extra cheese on the nachos, double the oreos in the milkshake, re-heating the fries so they’re toasty by the time you get to them, combination of half lemonade and half tea, etc. Minor adjustments that don’t impact the overall cooking process. It is but a blip on the cook’s radar.

Starbucks has adopted the opposite mentality it seems. Create a menu, train employees how to make the small amount of available drinks, then allow customers to run wild with suggestions. Completely ignoring what people at corporate have deemed current feasible options. How this is a sustainable business model stymies me … oh, wait, it’s because they cater to both the 1% and the 99% all at once. In other words, the rarely seen 100%. Price: 1% model, hands down. Coffee drinkers: well there’s the 99-ers. It’s fascinating. Why even bother creating a menu? Why spend money and time and energy and sanity constructing beverages that people will look at and go, it’s fine and all, but completely change the recipe and I’ll drink it? 

You order a chocolate chip frappuccino, sans chocolate chips, without milk, zero sugar, and instead of espresso a black coffee pour over. Pretty close. You order a vanilla latte, but skinny edition sans flavor, additives, anything besides water, and low-fat whipped cream. You order a caramel macchiato, but with ten pumps of chocolate, just a quarter pump of caramel, milk steamed at exactly 152.5 degrees for slight froth, but not too much, and a whipped cream. I don’t even know what I’m saying but these are all things I’ve heard while waiting in line for my cake pop. Honestly, I don’t care – estarbuckssos, you do you. What I do care about, is having my order become unnecessarily complicated because the employees forget normal words like water. I have to order liquid, pulled from the coldest, purest creeks in Chile with ice, hand carved by farmers in the Swiss Alps. And, of course, a perfectly moist, aerated, sugar dough covered with the finest colors at the end of the Lucky Charms rainbow and topped with tiny globes of crunch.

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


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IF MY DOG HAD A TINDER

My dog is single and that makes me happy because it means she gives all of her love to me. All day long she follows me around and will set up a nap spot in whatever room I also happen to be napping in. Or occasionally doing work in, but if I don’t have a video conference call, who really knows how I’m spending my time? Besides my bi-weekly progress report. Not going to lie, I’m here for this level of loyalty and attention. It’s like being worshipped, but by an animal who doesn’t know any better. To be fair, I was the one who rescued her from the animal shelter and am, what one would call, the fun parent so it’s not all that unrealistic to be treated like her savior. Who takes her on walks? That would be me! Who has no control when the puppy eyes come out and ends up putting more treats in her bowl than kibbles? Unashamed, this is also me! Who will pet her constantly because her fur is so silky smooth? Sí, ‘tis mwah! Who disciplines her? This, most definitely, is not me – she’s an angel and does no wrong!

I was today years old when I realized that maybe I’m the one who’s whipped in this scenario … my dog may secretly be an evil genius. Stroking my ego by acting like I’m her favorite because she knows I’ll give in. I’ve tried to hold out – once or twice, but it only lasts about two seconds before I make up excuses to justify my behavior. We must not feed her, she wouldn’t beg if she wasn’t starving. Duh. Clearly, she doesn’t think we love her so I must constantly pet her and give into her desire to go on a fifth walk today or she’ll leave for a family that does. Obviously.

Anywho … I clearly need to work on my will-power, but that is an adventure for another time. There’s a lot of dating app options on the market right now (for humans, anyways). Pollinate with the bees, jump into the fire of desire, get struck by Cupid’s virtual arrow – there is one for literally everyone. Some are very specific, some are very expensive, and some just provide an eclectic mix of options with a wide variety of endings. Despite all that we have access to, I feel the canine population is being underserved here. Not felines, they don’t love anything except themselves. Actually, I take that back, they would be perfect candidates for Grindr.

Dogs, however, are capable of experiencing emotions other than dissatisfaction and anger. They also tend to be socialized and know how to interact with other animals in a playful / friendly manner. And I, for one, think that if my dog had a Tinder, it would be comedic gold. My pupper loves everything. Except fruit, because deep down she is a weirdo. What dog doesn’t like apples? Or pineapple? Or bananas? Or strawberries? The worst part is that I’m an idiot and every morning think she’s magically grown out of her ‘I refuse to eat fruit phase’, so I give her some of mine. All those wasted raspberries make me sad. 

Alas, I digress. If you’ve never used Tinder and don’t have a real point of reference for what this would look like, I will enlighten you. You make a profile, add some cute pictures of yourself, or not, fill out a brief bio on you, or not, and then get thrown into the flaming hot pit of love. Or whatever it is you’re looking for. Swipe left if it’s a hard pass. Swipe right if you’re mildly interested and / or are looking for a confidence boost. Swipe up to super like someone. That is literally it. Swipe culture at its finest. Judgement being thrown around at scary speeds. 

Knowing what we all now know about Tinder (and it’s eternal flame of connection), let’s pause for a second and imagine what it would look like for the creatures we love the most in this world to join the movement. I lied, don’t do that. I’ve already brainstormed this extensively for the both of us. Before we continue further, let me provide some very basic, but essential pieces of background information:

  • My dog is a female (surely you’ve picked up on this by this point in the post, but *just* *in* *case* you skipped the first part I wanted to reiterate. Also, how dare you?! Go back to the beginning and read the whole post!)
  • My dog is beautiful. Now this may seem biased, but I have it on record from friends, neighbors, strangers on Twitter, etc. that she could be a *dogel without any effort. She is also low-key all about the spotlight and will pose for pictures
    (*Dogel = dog model)
  • My dog is the equivalent of a human lovebug – she’s a cuddler, she loves people, she loves other animals, she doesn’t like to be by herself, she would be a hardcore romantic, I’m convinced
  • My dog loves to exercise and, if we don’t play with her enough, she will play by herself because she also has extremely high confidence

Mmkay! That was super fun for all of us I’m sure (maybe me more than you, but no matter). Moving on to the good part. Let’s take this wonderful ball of fur and put her on the market! She obviously has an amazing gallery of photos to choose from since she will sit so still when the camera is on and make sure you get her good side. She won’t put all 9 possible options up, because she needs to leave a little mystery, but a solid 6 will do. Two self-portraits, two doing something she loves (one with her squeaky ball and one on a walk) and two with yours truly because we’re a package deal. Her bio would be personable, but also intriguing enough to make potential matches need to ask further questions. Something like:

Just a dog looking for a walk buddy so I can go on twice as many. Chasing you is my love language. Curious spirit and will sniff any hole in the ground, fellow living thing, or the same piece of carpet I’ve smelled for years just to see if something changed. Bonus points if you like apples

Now for the best part – get those paws ready – we get to see what deck of animals Tinder is about to shuffle for us. Cat? Like! Bird? Like! Fish? Meh, pass. Squirrel? Super Like! Hedgehog? Like! Centipede? Nope, nope. Snake? Why not, like! Bug? Not today. Dog? OH MY LORD! Is it … is it another one of me? Stop the freaking car! This is a thing? Super Like times a billion! 

Unfortunately, her attention span is less than that of a goldfish so there wouldn’t be much get to know you type of convos happening with all the matches. More like, I haven’t been on a walk in at least 10 minutes – you down? Or, my idiot humans put apples in my bowl again – if you come over in the next minute you can eat it. Or, you look familiar – did you bite my nose when I stuck it down the hole you live in the other day? Or, remember how I used to chase you around the yard? That was fun – I’m down if you can meet me at the driveway in 10 seconds.

Haha she would be a wild thing on there! She doesn’t take any BS and would either call them out or go straight ghost. Her shame levels are negative, I’m pretty sure. But she’s my shameless, confident, little cuddler and I’m not going to let any other human, pet, or reptile take her away from me. What would your pet’s bio look like? During your next work meeting is the best place to think about, at least, in my experience.

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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TINY HOUSE, MIGHTY PROBLEMS

Good things come in small packages. Heard that inspiration before? I can see how in some situations this is applicable and would be a fun, everything will work out, sign. In other situations, however, this feels like anti-logic. Rather unhelpful. Because sometimes good things come in big packages. Take space, for example. The more space you have, the more space you fill up … but the less space you have, the less amount of essentials you have. 

Space is super prevalent in a lot of scenarios. Housing, the office, a car trunk, the refrigerator, any public place in the world currently. Imagine if you voluntarily took your current fridge space and cut it down to about a tenth of the size. Sounds a bit irresponsible – where is all of your cookie dough going to go? What about all the orange juice and champagne? How will you keep cheese sticks? Sacrifices will have to be made. So long produce. Adios dairy products. It’s been real lunch meat. If the thought of having to restrict the amount of refrigerated goods you can keep at any given time doesn’t make you sad, I can honestly say that we have very different priorities in life.

What about the amount of trunk space in your vehicle? Some cars only come with enough space to hold all of one backpack. On purpose. And some people buy these cars knowing that a “trunk” feature is basically a lie. On purpose. I have a lot of questions about how one is able to survive life without a trunk, but those are good questions for another time. For all the normal people in the world, a trunk is a necessity. It’s where you can hide your valuables on vacation. It’s also a great place to put suitcases for a road trip. Believe it or not, it’s also incredibly handy when shopping. For food, or clothes, or home improvement project supplies, or plants, or sporting equipment, etc. 

I, for one, would not know what to do if I woke up tomorrow and my trunk had disappeared. Well, more accurately, my trunk and the backseat of my car. Where would I put my golf clubs?! How could I ever take another trip to Total Wine?! So much panic. And yet, the tiny house market is still a thing. Tiny houses look a lot like a shed. I think, though, that they’re smaller. What does one keep in a shed? Extra items that don’t fit between the house and the garage. What does one keep in a tiny house? Everything they own. Wait, wait, wait. In one version, it’s more of extra storage and in the other version it’s the whole storage limit? How does that work?

If you’re also confused, it’s not just you. The need to downsize makes sense. Personally, my collection of things has gotten a tad out of hand. But it would basically be impossible for me to downsize to the tiny house point. In the same square footage as my current bedroom, I would have a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a living / dining area. What actually … is that possible? What if you were cooking fish? Then you would smell it in your dreams because less space means less room for disbursement. Or if you made a Taco Bell run after work. Oh boy, that’s another time when you’d be praying for higher ceilings. 

Imagine trying to have friends over. You could have two, max. So it would be like russian roulette – who do you like the best out of your friend group? They get to come over and nobody else. Don’t even get me started on trying to live there as a couple. If you had a disagreement, where would you go for space? The front porch? All of five feet away from the back porch where your significant other is taking time to themselves? That seems like a recipe for disaster. I guess what I’m confused about, is how much is too much when it comes to decluttering? Reduce your footprint by reducing your space, your sanity, and everything you’ve ever loved. That seems like a hard line between acceptable and a bit unhinged. But what do I know? I currently take up an entire master closet by myself. Space sharing is not really one of my better features. Alas, I also have a stress shopping problem so which issue needs to be addressed first? I like option C, neither – all is fine. I’m fine. You’re fine. Anyone not in a tiny house is fine.

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


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ARE CATFISH THE LAZIEST OF FISHES?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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WHAT DO COVID AND VOLDEMORT HAVE IN COMMON?

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

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

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

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

Aliases

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

Choice in Profession

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

Hobbies

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

Relationship Status

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

Adaptability

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

Reputation

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

Personality

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

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

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


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#SURVIVETHENIGHT … MORE LIKE #SURVIVETHEYEAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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HINDSIGHT MAKES 90’s TOYS CREEPY

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

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

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

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

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


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ARE YOU DTT?!

There isn’t a store in the world that I have more of a love / hate relationship with than Target. It’s always a weirdly magical shopping experience that feels wildly unsatisfying. Makes zero sense to me how I can spend hours in there and come out with everything I didn’t actually need to get. So my respect level for Target as a company is sky high. Their business model defies all human principles of money management and responsibility. And yet, they are thriving – as they should be, though. This is not an I Hate Target post. It’s an I’m In Awe of Target and How They Keep Getting My Money post.

In my humble opinion, Target is not maximizing its advertising with Spot. Sorry, Bullseye. That dog is adorable and is clearly very patient to always be dressed in a Target sweater and allow someone to paint Target’s logo over its eye. Because I know my dog would never let that happen to her. Hard to say who’s smarter, but one is definitely richer (hint: it’s not my adorable pup, but I STILL LOVE HER). Why isn’t it in every commercial and on every one of their buildings? I don’t want to see a container of Tide Pods – it makes me sad because it’s a reminder that I have chores to do. I would like to see a dog, though. Maybe I’ll write them a letter? 

Dear Targetians (tar-gee-tians): 

Please change Bullseye’s name back to Spot because that was better. And use him everywhere. 

Sincerely,

TRP

That’s really my only issue with Target. Their preference for human “models” over a dog. Seems a bit backwards, but then again I’m sure there is a reason behind it. Suckers like me continue to fork over money to them in hopes that it will bring back Spot. Because in my mind it’s a cash flow issue – Spot got too expensive – and I need to do my part to help. I see what’s happening here. Genius … yet again.

Do you think it’s the way their carts move like they’re on a cloud of air? Maybe it’s the way their floors make zero noise? In fact I think they absorb noise? Possibly that, despite having red (the color of anger) as their primary choice, I feel at ease and calm in the store? Could it be because their weekly ads are of surprisingly high quality paper? Or because they always have everything in stock all the time? Literally, I have never been disappointed. I wonder if when you enter the Bullseye vortex if they’re actually sending messages to your brain at sound waves that we can’t hear, but can understand? Coercing you to buy things that you didn’t even know existed until you turned down that one aisle you never go down. Next level sci-fi theories happening so I’m going to swerve on myself here.

I clearly have no clue how they do it. Probably some combination of all of those. What I do know is that I usually have what can only be compared to an out-of-body experience when I go shopping there. 

Me, in the parking lot: normal human being with restraint and control. 

Me, steps inside the Bullseye Zone: what even is the value of a dollar? I can buy something from every section in the store! It’s all so affordable! What if I never come back? Better stock up on Target-y things now. Forget budgets! Forget bills! What did I even need? If I can’t remember, better just GET IT ALL!

And that is how I frequently return home and unpack my Target bags to find that I didn’t get the one thing I went in for. It’s never an issue if I need multiple items, because by some money-spending universal law I’ll end up with those at some point in my manic spree. All except one. It’s always one stray item that has been forgotten. And it’s never something insignificant like vegetables. It’s always critical like toilet paper, Chewy Chips-Ahoy, or wine. And thus, I have to travel back to Target and try again. An endless cycle of brainwashing into forgetting things. In fact, that’s all I do. Go to Target, come home, unpack, realize I forgot something, go back to Target, come home, unpack, realize I forgot something, go back to Target, come home, etc. Like the song that never ends. Well played, Target.

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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