Ramblings

TREADMILLS ARE MODERN DAY TORTURE DEVICES

TL;DR: Why do people run? I’m not sure, but I know that a treadmill is the least preferable option to torture yourself with.

It’s summertime, which means that it’s warm outside and the humidity devil is well upon us. And who wants to run in a literal sauna? Not me, that’s for freaking sure. I usually don’t want to run in general because there are so many other options today in the fitness industry that are not as boring. Yet I still do it from time to time so that I don’t feel as bad about eating entire pints of ice cream by myself or missing 100% of my stand hours during a work day.

Until recently I genuinely believed that no human looked forward to the humidity. Except for those who willingly choose to live in Florida, of course. You might as well put yourself in an oven and bake – that’s how it feels every time you step outside in the deep deep south. Regardless, I finally met someone who prefers 100% humidity over any other weather. And the kicker is that they live up north. Like north, north. So I’m not fully connecting the dots there, and I thought I was super weird, but now I realize that there are some even weirder than I.

But I digress. Running. Heat. Humidity. Bleh. For the sane of us, we tend to look inwards when faced with this challenge. Inwards to the gym where there are running devices that prevent us from having to lose every ounce of water weight we have in 30 seconds. I’m talking about the treadmill. I have to be honest, when you look through the cardio section and see treadmills stacked up next to stationary bikes, ellipticals, stair steppers, rowing machines, etc. they look very unassuming. Like an awkward shaped L with no pedals, or fancy buttons, or preferred form, or anything. That’s how they get you.

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SHOULD YOU BE IN THE FAST LANE? A QUESTIONNAIRE

TL;DR: Likely not, except for a brief moment in passing. How fast do you need to be moving to be in the fast lane? Faster than the fastest slow cars.

Driving is an adventure today, isn’t it? You never really know what you’re going to get with other drivers. It could be a day of luck where everyone finally understands how traffic works and remembers the rules of the road. In that case consider yourself a leprechaun because clearly you just found the end of the rainbow. Most days, however, tend to be a stressful mess where you are constantly wondering if the daydreamer in the lane next to you will start drifting into yours.

I’m not sure why STAYING IN YOUR OWN LANE is as difficult as the majority of licensed drivers in America make it seem. Weren’t we taught as literal children to stay inside the lines? Back then it was a design competition, but as adults it becomes a more dangerous excursion into someone else’s realm. A matter of life and death in some cases. It’s fascinating to me that almost every time I finally get ahead of whoever is living in the literal clouds they’re almost never watching the road. Which … is a rant for another time.

One of the more frustrating things as a driver is when you get caught behind slower traffic. If you’re trying to whip around some cars fast and furious style in the slow lane, this is on you. However, more and more often I find that I’m getting stuck behind slower traffic in the far left lane. And pretty much every lane between the fast and the slow lane come to think of it. Ironically, the lane that offers the most freedom tends to be the slow lane. And like … what? That is the exact opposite of how the system should be working.

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IF MY DOG HAD A LINKEDIN

TL;DR: My dog is a lot of things, but a professional is not one of them. She likes to get what she wants when she wants and the diva in her doesn’t make her a good candidate for a real job.

Dogs are amazing. We love them. That is really the theme of my life and I don’t know why everyone is not on this train. Then we have the opposite of the bliss that is a puppy, which would be work. Little devil that is my Monday through Friday routine. With work, you have to deal with fun, professional, technologies. Such as Slack, an HR platform, some sort of organizational tool, Google Sheets, and obviously LinkedIn.

As many of my hardcore fans are aware, I’m not the biggest fan of LinkedIn lately. It is professional SPAM. And who has time for that? Not me. I have a financial advisor. I have insurance. I am not in charge of decisions for apps that my company uses. I am not actively job hunting. Stop bothering me. Let me come to you if I have questions, or any possible life needs. Side rant aside, LinkedIn is a thing if you have ever been in college and been in hunt of a job.

To recap, us humans use the LinkedIn. Imagine for a second, though, that our lovely pets had a LinkedIn account. What would they even do on it? How many connections would they have? Why would they need one? What kind of engagement would they have with it? How would they even create an account since they can’t read … and don’t have thumbs? Why would I even be thinking about this? Lucky for you, I spend my free time, and my work time, thinking about these kinds of things.

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VIDEO CALLS: YAY OR NAY?

TL;DR: Let’s reflect on the past year and the rise of virtual meetings. Are you on board with the trend, or not? There is no right answer, but there is a pro / con list.

It’s been over a year of working from home, wearing masks, and upping our loungewear game. So much time for a new normal to set in and make it hard to remember what life was like pre the ‘vid. Things that now seem so strange and truly horrible. Like having to appear at the office in person every single day of the week … the mental energy alone to plan actual outfits that don’t involve stretchy waistbands is exhausting. Who has the time now? Honestly, if I appear somewhere in jeans and t-shirt today it’s a win. And that’s only a very small margin of victory over a hoodie and sweats.

Then there’s the whole fashion industry of masks. I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t hate wearing the mask. It’s not always ideal. For example, if you ate something delicious that didn’t agree with your breath and is making you an actual dragon you have to suffer with that for the entire length of the mask experience. On the flip side, though, what if something gets stuck in your teeth? No one, but you, will know. You don’t ever have to smile in pictures. Because no one can tell. You also don’t ever have to smile at strangers after making awkward eye contact with them. You can mutter sweet, angry, nothings to the person who thought they could cut in line. There are pros for sure.

There are also cons – have you ever been to the gym and been required to wear a mask to workout in? Why make that process more horrible than it already is? I struggle enough to breathe sans mask during an exercise routine, so there is no way that adding in a breathing inhibitor is going to enhance my fun. The ability to get fresh air is basically impossible. I would rather lay on the pavement during the height of summer than continue that requirement. On that note, if you need the mask for more than about 30 minutes at any given time, it may be best to rethink where you’re going. Flights, doctor’s visits, the DMV … maybe not the best time for those.

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PORTA POTTY FEARS

TL;DR: In emergency situations, there’s always a way out. It might be a small, hot, gaudy, rectangular box, but it gets the job done. Not without some fear thrown in the mix, though.

Have you ever been to an event and needed to use the bathroom? Or been in a city and needed to use the bathroom? Or really just been anywhere outside of your home and been hit with the urge for a bio break? Some places you can count on to have indoor plumbing. The cleanliness usually varies between gas stations and educational buildings, but nonetheless, you know where you can find a toilet in case of an emergency. Unlike some of the more socially aware businesses, however, not everyone offers a restroom option. 

Granted, when you aren’t in a physical building, it becomes harder to provide human waste outlets. For example, parks. City sidewalks. Trails. The woods. Any business in a giant tourist city. Most outdoor places come to think of it. Which, honestly, can’t come as that much of a surprise. Part of nature’s beauty is the absence of human tampering. But alas, we have been gifted with the beautiful, convenient, adaptable to any environment construction that is the porta potty. What says natural more than a blue, or green, plastic box designed for special moments?

Despite their unappealing exterior, porta potties are a necessary evil. Think of the last time you used one. I have to believe it was out of necessity and not out of a strong desire to be in the crap sauna. If there had been another option, in any sort of normal brick and mortar building, regardless of the indoor plumbing setup, my gut says we would all choose the more traditional and, arguably, hygienic version. But maybe not, I don’t know you. I know without a doubt what my preference would be though.

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WHAT DO COUSCOUS, GLITTER, AND ARTIFICIAL TURF HAVE IN COMMON?

TL;DR: More than you would think … they’re all indestructible, but not in a good way. They will haunt your dreams by being everywhere, all the time, for no reason whatsoever.

You know what’s super fun? When you live through a moment and then that moment just simply resides somewhere in your memory for the rest of time. Or until you lose your mind, whichever comes first. You experience it and then all traces of it leave your immediate surroundings for the rest of time. It’s the circle of life. The Lion King demonstrated this perfectly with Mufasa’s death. He lived on in spirit, but he wasn’t really there. And so should most things in life be. 

Certain things are good to have around after the fact. If you’re missing your significant other, for example, and they happened to have left some things at your place. If you eat the most amazing piece of cake and then the person who brought it leaves the leftovers for you. If you watch the best sports game ever and the after show just shows replay on replay of all the great plays. You get it? Occasionally it’s great to have some remnants leftover. Occasionally being the key word.

Regular things are ok to just dip out when their time in the spotlight has come to an end. Things such as food prep, outdoor materials, and craft supplies. And toilet paper … why does it always end up on the floor? Who is throwing it on the floor? Is it putting itself there? And why is it always in a shredded piece on the floor? Never like a full square. Just a wolverine on a rampage type shred. Also, why is it all of a sudden incredibly sticky when it’s on the floor? It will stick to anything, namely the rubber sole of your shoe.

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RANKING POPULAR HARD SELTZER BRANDS

TL;DR: Who doesn’t like to drink and stay hydrated at the same time? I mean, assuming you aren’t drinking water anyways. There’s options for everyone now so what are you waiting for?! Join this train.

Hard seltzers are a whole mood. Nothing says I’m here to have a good time for a long time like a hard seltzer. I mean it’s basically water after all. Just with some “natural” flavors and some sort of non-water added. Presumably alcohol, although who’s preventing someone from coming out with a hard LaCroix and scamming people. The Internet. That’s who. All the trolls and people looking to make a quick buck. Which in this case works out very well for all of us looking to get our buzz on.

Unlike beer, wine, or mixed drinks, you can drink hard seltzers all day. There’s a reason White Claw is the new unofficial Corona of the beach. Have one, have four, have a case – you can still go to dinner afterwards and feel great! In other words, it’s like drinking hard liquor without having to actually drink hard liquor. Because why do we do that to ourselves? It ends the same way every time and we never learn. Peer pressure is a true threat to the health of my liver, but still I can’t say no.

For everyone who thinks hard seltzers are for the weak, come talk to me after trying to keep up with your 7.5% IPA. Bubbles and carbs are not a good combination for efficiency in a timely manner. But this post is not about volume. It’s about quality and, like most things in life, not all hard seltzers are created equally. They are all created equally on the outside, however. I have yet to find a hard seltzer in a bottle. I have been given the option of a hard seltzer on tap, though, and I have to be real – that’s too far. A hard seltzer should come in a can, so I can take it anywhere, and be refreshing to the point where I’m not really sure if I’m drinking juice, regular seltzer, or something for adults only.

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DEAR TOILET PAPER COMPANIES: WIPE AWAY YOUR MARKETING GAMES

TL;DR: We all go, why not stop getting sucked into the marketing craziness of the toilet paper aisle that’s making us not enjoy the go. Soft or strong? Mega or jumbo? Frankly, there’s too many options for something that’s ending up in a sewage system.

Marketing teams are like shopping ninjas. Out to murder your budget. Just when you think you’re going to stick to your list BAM! Sales! Bonus items! Mega rolls! Celebrity endorsements! Colorful packaging! Cute animals! Health buzzwords! Targeted ads! You name it, I can almost guarantee a marketing department has tried it. Why not, though? That is quite actually their job. To make you buy a certain product over its competitors. Or, in other words, to pay for the marketing people’s jobs. It’s a very survival of the fittest kind of career.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to their stealthy skills. I would actually classify myself as a marketer’s dream purchaser. Swayed easily by packaging, deals, and special ads that clearly are a result of the Internet listening to my private life. I don’t care. Listen, I’ve ended up with some amazing products that I didn’t know I needed in my life thanks to targeted ads. In fact, I now actively start vocalizing bigger purchases weeks in advance so I can get a nice coupon. Although, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t have to be big. If I need more food I throw that out into the universe as well. Google’s fuzzy privacy laws have yet to let me down is all I’m saying.

Where was I going with this? Oh, right! Gullibility! So the other day I was in the toilet paper aisle and it dawned on me that I don’t know what a regular sized roll is. Does anyone? Every single company, let me repeat, every single company has a mega roll as their baseline product. Which, supposedly, is 4 regular rolls. And I would kindly like to call bullshit. Literally since as early back as I can remember in life, the so-called mega roll is a regularly sized roll of toilet paper. If I cut that down by 4 I would have 25% of a normal roll left. That’s it. There are no extra sheets in there.

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I JUST REWATCHED THE PRINCESS DIARIES AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: If your grandmother randomly appeared to give you reign over an entire country, with just a few behavior stipulations, how would you handle it? Better than Mia? Unlikely – her grace is unmatched.

Genovia, the land I call my home! Genovia, Genovia, forever will your banner wave! And all of your outdated rules about how a princess should behave. Despite some questionable requirements for royalty, who doesn’t love a good rags to riches story? With the glow-up of the century to boot. Mia embodies a true confused millennial spirit as she is presented with the throne of a country and as much as I love this story, there are moments that confuse even myself – a fellow confused millennial. Please enjoy all of my questions and observations presented by official TRP decree:

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WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A KLONDIKE BAR?

TL;DR: No answers are off limits. Some will make me question your choice in dessert and your choice in morality, but technically, nothing is off limits.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Especially when it’s warm outside. And what is happening outside right now? You guessed it, the warm has arrived. Not just the warm, though. The humidity. That stagnant heat wave that follows you around. A never ending torture fee we all pay to enjoy a nice, natural tan, and swimmable water temps. It’s time to sweat like we’re melting. Drip like an ice cream cone. Heat up like Stephen Curry at the 3-point line. It’s summer. 

Summer is … one of the seasons. I’m not going to say where I would rank it in a list of the seasons since everyone feels differently, but it isn’t my first choice. It does have vacations going for it, at least. It also has higher electric bills, painful sunburns, and hair that don’t care. Despite some of it’s obvious flaws, nothing is perfect after all, we do get graced with frozen dessert treats. Which are like regular desserts just way better. They’re good all year long, if I’m honest, but something about eating something ice cold when it’s boiling hot is like dessert ASMR.

There are different levels to frozen dessert options. With the rise of food blogs, anything can be a frozen dessert now. Frozen dessert casseroles, frozen yogurt, frozen mousse, frozen parfait concoctions, frozen cakes, frozen fruit, etc. most of them are amazing. Sherbert on the other hand, is really only good for punches and I’m not sure why it’s marketed as a dessert … but for another time that adventure!

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MY PARENTS WATCH SQUIRRELS, WHAT DO YOURS DO?

TL;DR: Squirrels are cute when you’re young, but apparently the devil as you age. At some point we will all end up simply watching the squirrels and wondering how to get rid of them.

Remember the incredible GEICO commercial where some secret agent is trying to escape via helicopter and his ride is late … then his phone rings and he answers it, expecting to talk to his companion, only to hear his mom on the other end talking about how ‘the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time’. Are you familiar with this 30 seconds of commercial genius? Arguably one of the best commercials GEICO has put out. It makes the gecko look a little dull if we’re honest.

If for some reason you are not able to recall the commercial I’m referencing, no worries. I’m clearly fantastic at illustrating the most minute of details and you should have a good understanding of what it’s like visually. It’s also not overly critical to my point here. Well, I guess a little bit, but not in a major way. The real star of this post is the squirrels. As it should be. Who doesn’t want, nay, need, more squirrels in their life? The answer is nobody except my parents.

Squirrels are a curious creature. Aesthetically, they are not the ugliest fur covered animals that exist. Believe it or not, ugly fur covered animals is a predefined Google search and there are some horrifying creatures that are living among us. I fully regret my decision to click on the link that specified ‘with pictures’, but here we are. Besides their physical appearance, because true beauty is found on the inside (duh), squirrels are a simple creature. In my experience observing them, there’s only two things they want – nuts and whatever the birds are eating.

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NO LEFT TURN LIGHT SHOULD ONLY HAVE THREE OPTIONS

TL;DR: Waiting at a red left turn light when there’s no one coming in any direction is the most fun thing in the world as a driver. Nothing makes me want to break the law more than that.

I know you know how much I love traffic. Specifically, how much I love other drivers. If this is the first you’re hearing about this, well, surprise, I guess. Maybe hit pause and go check out my other traffic posts. They might be relatable, or they might not be and that’s concerning. Because then you may be the person I’m talking about so … this is awkward. And yet here we are. Maneuvering the intricacies of life in an almost successful way.

Mmkay, circling back: traffic. Specifically traffic, what’s the word, hardware? Enhancements? Not sure so let’s just call it what it is. Traffic trash. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the left turn light with only three lights. Just three. Like a normal traffic light. Except it’s not a normal traffic light at all. It’s a left turn light! Where you should have the option to turn if it’s safe, otherwise, you’ll be there indefinitely since we all know that a left turn green is not the same length as a straight green. At least if you take the average across all traffic lights ever. I think.

This is one of the most perplexing things to me, as a driver and overall human being. Specifically where there’s new road construction. It’s one thing to have it there from the before times when the only option was a heathen version of the left turn light. Although, back then it was new technology so it was probably pretty revolutionary at the time. Anyways, as we move forward with the age of tech and have other options, like a four light left turn light for example, why would we not implement those … everywhere?

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DO YOU EVEN HAVE A SOUL?

TL;DR: Have you ever walked down the candle aisle at Target and not stopped to sniff a single one? Have you ever not been excited about a new Oreo flavor? Have you ever seen a butterfly and not cared? My goodness, what even makes you happy?!

Stopping to smell the roses is more than just a cute social media tag. It’s a way of life. An approach to any stressful, frustrating, annoying, irritating, angering, sad, disappointing, etc. situation. Because sometimes things happen, people say something they shouldn’t have, or you find out that it’s another workday, but that’s no excuse not to find a reason to smile. Unless, of course, you don’t have a soul. In which case, you may just be running to escape a downwind draft. Which is a crappy way to live, literally.

Clearly I’m no happiness expert. Or life expert for that matter. If you’ve read any of the previous posts you’re well aware of this fact. You may even be curious how I’ve survived this far as a professional without serious repercussions. If you haven’t, well, why the heck not? What else are you doing? Looking for a reason to smile? Let’s talk about it. Pretty much every situation has some plus sides, if you look hard enough. For example:

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THANKS FOR READING, PLEASE LEAVE A TIP

TL;DR: Tipping has gotten way out of control. Everywhere I go, someone wants a tip. If you’re just doing your job, why do I have to pay the list price, plus sales tax, plus a tip? Why is that not just part of the list price? Stop robbing me!

On this beautiful day, let’s participate in a quick thought exercise. It won’t be hard, I promise. And I don’t break promises, so from the almost nothing you know about me, and that statement, there’s zero reason for you not to trust me. Ok, let us wander down memory lane to a time when you could buy things, anything really, and simply pay for it. List price plus any sales tax. That’s it. You pay for it, and then you grab the bag and leave feeling satisfied. How far back in time did your mind travel? 

Actually, pause, I think we should address the question in your head. Was I supposed to go far back? Technically, I gave you no real instructions other than a time you spent money, so I guess not. My bad. But, if you think about the last time the custom additional payment line was added to a receipt, it may have been a while. That’s right, I’m talking about tipping! And America, I believe we have a tipping problem. Not the tipping you experience from consuming maybe one too many adult beverages. No, I’m talking about the tipping that comes from your wallet. The tipping that you have to do math to get to. The tipping that is optional, but mandatory. 

Are you picking up what I’m leaving on the table? When was the last time you weren’t asked to leave a tip for someone? It’s getting consistently more difficult to find examples of plain old pay and walk away. We tip for everything now. Not just when eating out, back when that was a more mainstream, and safe, adventure, but we’ve gotten to a place where almost every business feels it’s acceptable to ask you for a tip. You can count on it with any food adventure. It’s almost guaranteed for any type of experience you participate in. Don’t think that retail isn’t trying to hop on this bandwagon either. Where did we go wrong?

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THE MYSTERIOUS ZAMBONI AND IT’S MAGICAL HEALING POWERS

TL;DR: Hockey is underrated and more people should be aware of its greatness. Specifically the magic that happens in between periods. Purely satisfying and nothing can compare.

Well it’s chuck the puck season and that is exciting. I love the irony of watching a winter sport in June. You start your adventure in the summer, enter the arena where suddenly it’s winter, then leave and immediately start sweating because your layers are way too much for the humidity of the late evening air. It’s like time traveling, but without leaving the present in any form. The only real downfall is the attire portion. How do you plan for it? Short answer: you don’t.

Hockey is a great sport. I recently got very into it and my only regret is that I didn’t give it enough love during my youth. It’s all the best parts of football, soccer, and lacrosse and then on ice. Fights, goals, strategy, big hits, fast pace, shots, penalties, referees constantly in the way, dope jerseys, sticks, skates, and, of course, alcohol. Well, not for the players, but for myself anyway. Why I spent my whole life counting down from February to September to see grown men destroy each other when all along I could have been getting a hit fix all the way through June, I’ll never know.

As a whole, hockey is much more exciting in person then on television. I think most sports are this way. Baseball, for sure, should only ever be watched in person where you can be distracted by more enticing elements like the food stands, the bouncy castles, the fast pitch games, and, of course, the fresh beer. But I digress. Hockey games are lit. Especially during playoff season. For starters, the advanced graphics that teams are now displaying on the ice is unreal. One of my favorite parts of technology. Because on ice, it just looks cooler than it ever will on a basketball court. Sorry, not sorry.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT MOVING WALKWAYS

TL;DR: Moving walkways are the best things ever. No debate. If you can walk on one and not smile a little bit, even on the inside, I feel 115% certain that we would not be friends.

You know what’s great? Dark chocolate Oreos and Chewy Chips Ahoy! What’s better than delicious cookies? Football season! What’s better than football season? Waking up on a Monday to find out it’s a holiday and you don’t have work! What’s better than a paid company holiday? Vacations! What’s better than a vacation? The moving walkways in the airports that take you to your blissful destination!

We live in a fast world. Have you ever waited more than five seconds for an Internet site to load? No, because nobody has time to wait. You’ve gone back to your Google search and are moving on with your life! Same concept in meetings. Have you ever waited endlessly for someone to start talking? No, because we all have a million other things on our to-do lists and don’t have time to wait for someone to grow a pair and say ‘good morning’ to the team. Thankfully airports have also adopted this mindset. Why walk like a normal human being when you could straight up become the Flash and travel at supersonic (walking) speeds? 

I’m actually asking all the people who are forever casually strolling by the Jedi of escalators like they aren’t aware of the magic on their left. Is it like a real world Harry Potter concept where not everyone knows it’s there? Do you have to have a “gift” to see the moving walkway? Or are you actively choosing to remain mortal? Maybe I’m a bit impatient, maybe I still have an inner child well and alive in my soul, maybe I don’t spend enough time in airports, maybe I should plan my terminal transition better so I don’t need to use the walkways, maybe I simply enjoy moving plastic contraptions with railings – I don’t know. What I do know is that I never, and I do mean never, miss a chance to take a moving walkway.

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DEAR S’MORES: YOU MAKE ME MELT

TL;DR: Give me s’mores, or give me death! There is not a single season where the iconic s’more does not have a place. Be that at a campfire or inside in the microwave. Whatever fits your style.

Can you think of a better pairing than graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Cinnamon graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Chocolate graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows?! Wow, I just about up and went for an overnight trip to the woods. S’mores are really the highlight of any camping trip. The most exciting part about them is that the camping part of the equation is 100% optional. So, in other words, s’mores are the highlight of being outdoors.

Hold on, back up a quick second. S’mores, for sure, are the highlight for outdoor adventures. But thanks to, I’m not actually sure who … the Internet, food bloggers, food companies, millennials, Mother Nature, electric companies? Anyways, at some point, the brilliant idea was formed and distributed widely to the general population of the world that s’mores could be an indoor activity. Mind freaking blown. No need to expose yourself to the creatures that will wander over to try and nab the delicious-looking, perfectly burned, marshmallows.

Oh, and the smoke. Listen, I love a good bonfire, but I hate the bonfire smoke and will actively move continuously around the circle to avoid it. There is nothing worse than going outside to enjoy a nice, contained and non destructive, fire only to return to the house smelling like a tobacco factory. Hard pass. That smell is something awful and is like a leech on your clothing. Even the Snuggle bear struggles to get it fully out the first time through the wash. Then you start to get weird looks and questions from people close to you – are you doing alright? Are you managing your stress in healthy ways? Are you having a MID-LIFE CRISIS? Yadda yadda yadda.

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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WHILE BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR

TL;DR: Elevators are where certain nightmares arise. Sometimes they work and other times, they choose to take a little PTO and never on the first floor where someone can easily get you out.

Elevators are an invention. A way to assist in moving vertically with minimal effort. Or if you are physically unable to use stairs, which, in that case, this post is not for you. As a mildly claustrophobic person, you can imagine that elevators are rarely my first option for getting between floors in a building. While I do regret saying this to the whole world that is the Internet, and thus, is forever, I am a stairs first kind of kid.

Stairs have a lot of advantages over the metal death box that is the elevator. For one, it will never fail on you electrically. It will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. It will continue to be the emergency exit route in case of fire … or when you find out there’s a BOGO at the taco truck down the street and you need to get in line yesterday. It will always be a better form of exercise. It will not require awkward silences with strangers. Overall, a solid option considering there are usually only two at any given time.

I think now is a good time for emphasizing my point. Stairs will never fail on you electrically and they will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. Elevators, however, will and do. At a shockingly high rate. Their stability and built-in “safety” measures for when you shift your weight from one foot to the other way too quickly leave a lot to be desired. And in case it was unclear from the title of this post, one of my nightmares came true recently and I got stuck in an elevator. Not even a nice, big service elevator either. Just a standard hotel, can maybe fit 6 people pre-COVID, elevator.

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I JUST REWATCHED WONDER WOMAN 1984 AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: Imagine a bad chick, with a good heart, and a desire to help people. If that doesn’t raise any questions in your mind, you and I are not the same. How did she get here? Why isn’t her suit more reflective of her hometown? Is this what perfection looks like? What more could you want?

Wonder Woman. Enough said. She’s a woman casually saving the world and making it look so effortless. Makes us ponder the age old dilemma: can women have it all? I think Diana Prince has given us a strong yes to that question, especially as we get a look at her superhero journey and struggling between love and saving the world. Despite all the wonderfulness that is this movie, I still had hella observations and gnarly questions:

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LIFE OF A BUG

TL;DR: What do bugs think when we just yeet them off of us or swat them out of a car window? Just minding their own business and we flick them away. Like the giant monsters that we are.

Sometimes, when I’m outside, I like to watch little bugs take forever to travel the same amount of distance I can travel in a single step. Outside being the key term here. Because I find it fascinating watching all those little legs move so quickly. Working so hard and barely getting anywhere. What a strange life. Your whole goal for the day being to not be in the same place that you started at. Scavenge for some other bugs to eat. Climb some “trees” AKA plants. Fly around somewhere between 6 and 10 feet off the ground if you’ve been gifted by the bug gods. The usual, I suppose.

That’s outside, though. As in outside of the home. The residence. The abode. The lodgings. The main place of living. Do you understand where I’m going with this post? Bugs are fascinating in their natural habitat. Nature. The great outdoors. The environment. Mother Earth. As long as they stay out of my human sized personal bubble. Let me make this statement very clear before moving on any further: I am NOT a bug fan. I don’t like bugs. I think they’re gross. I think they’re pests. I think they’re kind of freaky. I don’t fully understand why we couldn’t have survived with more puppies. I would be fine not interacting with another bug again.

As soon as a bug gets bold, or takes advantage of a literal open door, and enters an indoor space … game over! This is a slightly controversial take in today’s world, but I will kill a bug. I do not kindly put it on a piece of paper and set it free on my patio. I do not open the front door and try to shoo it out with love and kindness. The only kindness I’m showing is that of a quick exit. Into bug heaven. With the sole of my shoe. If that bug wanted to live, either stay outside, or stay out of sight.

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RANKING TWIZZLER FLAVORS

TL;DR: When things get twisted in life, there’s only one solution: buy all of the multiple varieties of Hershey Twizzlers and rank them. Be warned, though, not all of them are winners. Not all of them taste edible. Some of them are magic.

Candy is delicious and there is always a time for candy. Not all the time, but in certain moments you crave a sweet treat not involving chocolate. Which, for the record, is the real winner 99.99% of the time. But occasionally you get a craving for something more fruity and artificial by nature. Something colorful and fun. Something not in the shape of a demonic child, though – seriously what is with SOUR candy? I have never been a fan. When I want dessert, I don’t want to feel like I’m scrapping my tastebuds off one by one before I can finally get some teeth sticking gummy texture happening.

Same with hard candy … again, what? If I wanted to break a tooth I’d use my mouth as a bottle opener for the best, and most convenient, party trick around. I wouldn’t do it for a peppermint. There isn’t enough mint flavor packed into those to cover up the amount of physical and emotional pain they bring. I guess hard candy is better suited for people with patience. Similar to cooking. Why spend an hour cooking when Stouffer’s has frozen options that are easier? Why take hard vitamins when they make delicious, gummy alternatives? Why eat hard candy when you could not?

Thoughts on what does, and doesn’t, constitute real candy aside, there seems to be some candies that have stood the test of generations. One of those being the infamous licorice. It’s been around for literal centuries. And was apparently used originally to brew beer so if you weren’t on this bandwagon before, what excuse do you have now? It’s part alcoholic … well, not actually, but you can convince yourself of anything if you want to. In all seriousness, I would try a beer that had been flavored with licorice. Especially if it was cherry flavored because that is clearly the superior option.

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SHOULD YOU GET A DOG? A QUESTIONNAIRE

TL;DR: Yes.

I love dogs. That should be obvious if you’ve read any of my previous posts. If this is your first experience here, welcome! Now pause for a few minutes, or hours, I don’t know what kind of time you’re working with, and explore the history of TRP. How did we get to this point? Specifically this post – why am I asking you if you should get a dog? Because I love them. More than most people honestly. They’re the best pet. The best animal. The best personality. The best all around really.

So here we are. Should you get a dog? Yes. Not much else to say here. Get a dog, they’ll make your life infinitely better! Maybe I’ll end the post here. Be a super straight to the point kind of day for both of us. But … that’s not that fun. Instead of letting you off the hook in paragraph two, let’s play one of my new favorite games. The questionnaire. Should you [BLANK]? Well, there’s only one non-scientifically backed way to be sure. This post, obviously. Enough with the pleasantries, let’s figure out if a pandemic pup is for you:

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TIMELINES ARE OVERRATED

TL;DR: Life’s timelines are just figments of our imagination. There is no deadline for when you figure out who you are, what you want, and when you’re going to chase it.

Everyone loves a good deadline. An estimated time of arrival. Tracking information. A saved date. Any sort of deadline that helps you understand when you will get what you want. Because then if it’s late, you have a justified reason to be annoyed. Or frustrated. Or sad. Or any sort of feeling you need to feel. Maybe you’re excited – there are probably deadlines that would be appropriate to celebrate a swing and a miss on. How long a loved one is expected to live? That feels like a good one to exceed.

My favorite kinds of deadlines involve food. Uber Eats. Doordash. Any sort of pizza delivery service. Wait time to get a table at a restaurant. Wait time to get into a restaurant. The amount of baking time left on pretty much any sort of dessert item. The amount of cooking time left on pretty much any food item, really. Be it 30 seconds in the microwave or 75 minutes in the oven. I. Am. Ready. For the food. To eat the food. I love the food. The food doesn’t always love me, but that’s how it goes with humans too so I might as well get to eat something delicious before the storm.

Speaking of 75 minutes in the oven, hello Stouffer’s reps … what is happening with your frozen meal options? I opt for frozen meals when I want to eat quickly. Why are most of your products 45+ minutes of bake time? For that, I could make something from scratch. And the whole point of submitting myself to who knows what chemicals and an ungodly amount of sodium in the frozen meal is to not have to put in any effort. And yet, here you are with a cruel mindgame of a grocery option.

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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WHILE UPDATING MY COMPUTER

TL;DR: Few things make me more nervous than a software update on my computer. Will we ever be able to use it again? One can only hope.

Technology is kind of the sh*t. We all use it, but we all have a strong love / hate relationship with it. Some days bring more love and most other days bring the hate on strong. Think about it, when was the last time you went an entire day without using some sort of technology? If you’re reading this right now, you need to think further back because this wonderful thought exercise of mine is powered by le technologie. How fun for both of us, am I right? Living the dream through other people. 

What went wrong for us as a species? How did we end up so consumed in stuff from the magical world wide web? Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question and you should subscribe to this blog for the ultimate entertainment (sent straight to your favorite inbox twice a week). While our endless black hole into living vicariously through highly curated content is an exhilarating ride in the moment, it’s not as exciting when it ends. Yet we keep going back. Ergo, technology is one of the most addictive drugs on Earth. Not as deadly as others, but addictive nonetheless.

One of my, it’s hard to say favorite because like with children (I’m assuming), that title gets bounced around to different techy devices on an almost hourly basis. But … typically that distinguished privilege falls on my laptop. Depending on pending updates. Because if there’s one thing I hate more than a SOUR PATCH KIDS, it’s operating system updates. Why are there so many of them? It’s always a super exciting emotional game to play when you take the leap of faith into going through with an update. On that note, here is a mostly comprehensive list of my thoughts (and probably yours, as well) while enduring the pain that is an operating system update:

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PARKING GARAGE COURTESY

TL;DR: In a shocking twist, even parking garages have driving rules. Rules that really are the same as any two way traffic road. Stay on your side and be courteous to other drivers. Why is that so hard?

Parking garages are … an invention. Logically, I understand their purpose in cities where space is more coveted than followers. Let’s be honest, they are space savers. You can fit more cars in the same amount of land if you build vertically than you can on a ground level only surface. That’s just common sense. Taller equals more capacity. This is true for houses, ice cream cones, beer glasses, mohawks, the new Starbucks shipping freight container looking stores, anything really. Build up – it’s the future. They say shoot for the stars, so why not start closer to them?

Aside from the logical purpose of these structures, they suck. Basically the seventh level of Dante’s inferno. Never in my life have I been excited about the chance, or the requirement, to park in a garage. Where to even begin? The beautiful concrete architecture? Sure, because apparently we are still in the brutalist movement. They’re all giant striped rectangles made out of the world’s most bland material. Concrete. I’m sure there’s some structural reasoning behind that, but aesthetically? Bleh. You can never miss a parking garage, that’s for sure.

I’m going to give the architects the benefit of the doubt with the material they are limited with. Let’s move on to the next awful thing about the invention of the parking garage. Attendant booths. In other words, a way to charge you for parking. Why? Because how else would we pay for the cost to build the beautiful monstrosity? Does anyone look forward to paying for parking? I mean, you’re paying to leave your car somewhere. Somewhere that is not even responsible for what happens to your vehicle while you’re not in it. What kind of scheme is this?

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DEAR LINKEDIN: IF I WANTED TO BE SPAMMED, I’D ANSWER MY PHONE

TL;DR: Once upon a time, there was an awesome social networking experience. Then the villainous sales people came in and ruined it.

We are all familiar with LinkedIn, right? The social media version of professional networking. A beautiful blend of fun, connection, and the potential for future employment. Supposedly. I think when it first started it was a great way to meet other professionals in your space, or in a space you were hoping to break into. It was easy to use the people you knew to help you reach out to people you were hoping to know. Got it? You got it! Glad we’re all on the same page.

Like most good technology ideas, somewhere over the years it’s turned into the newest way to get spam messages. And I am 100% not here for it. I’m not talking about the recruiters. The recruiters are the foundation of marketing LinkedIn as a rival to Indeed when it comes to landing the next job to help you live your best life. Through the people you already know, obviously. But also probably through a more elaborate version of your resume and cover letter on your profile. 

Recruiters are cool, I have no beef with them. They’re trying to help you after all, and if it isn’t the right fit for whatever reason just hit ‘No, Thanks’. Better yet, mark yourself as not actively open to new positions. Literally could not be easier to opt out of those. What I have an issue with is all the other business development representatives, or financial advisors, or anyone in a mildly sales related role. Stop spamming me.

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FLYING GETS ME HIGH

TL;DR: People who don’t like to fly confuse me. It literally gets you high and I’ve been told that being high is a pretty great feeling … ergo, flying is pretty great.

Here’s a fun fact about me: I LOVE flying. More than I love Chewy Chips Ahoy (read about that HERE – Nabisco should be paying me for all this free press, I swear) if you can believe it. What is not to love? For starters, you get to be at an airport and airports, in general, make me excited. No lie, just dropping someone off at the airport gives me a bit of an adrenaline rush. Think about it – these super miniature cities are like being back in college. Everyone is in a confined area with overpriced food, cheap souvenirs, and a wide diversity of people. Unlike college though, almost everyone you see is going to be in a different city, probably a different state, and maybe even a new country in a matter of hours. INCLUDING YOU! (I got excited just writing that)

I understand that my love of airports and the terminals is a bit on the extreme side, though. There’s the security line and there are delays and eventually you’ve seen every store available and are STILL waiting to board and you’re tired and cold and broke because you spent all your money on a sandwich with chips, etc. Yes, alright, I hear that. Sometimes the terminals feel a bit like prison. But that is simply the beginning my friends. If you don’t feel a tad VIP walking through the boarding bridge then I question your ability to find joy in life. My favorite ones are glass so you can see the airplanes (like a fun preview of what’s to come), but can also look back at everyone still stuck inside and secretly smirk because you’re about to be a fly motherf***er. The enclosed ones feel a little more secretive, like they’re hiding me from all the groupies wondering where I went so those are almost equally as cool.

Still not convinced? Alright you drag, well now you get to board the plane and leave your terminal troubles behind. First of all, the whole crew is smiling and welcoming you aboard, like thank you, I AM excited to be here! How did you know? Now there are two types of flyers – the people who need the aisle so they can get a little extra room and the window people who understand what this journey is all about (wonder and amazement, obviously). Bet you can’t guess which one I am … anyways you’re in the seat finally being taxied out to the runway (I could write a whole post on getting to the runway, but for length, I’ll paraphrase here) then you get cleared for takeoff and literally this is why I fly everywhere that I can. The little gravity dip that happens right after you leave the ground (when your stomach drops) makes me smile – I’ve tried not to, but I can’t help myself.

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MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A KANGAROO

TL;DR: Obviously, deep down I wish I were a kangaroo. Who has not had that thought? They’re majestic. They’re quick. They’re mysterious. They have a snack pouch. What more do you need?

Kangaroos do not get enough love. Unless maybe you’re in Australia, but I can’t say for sure since I’m not an Aussie and would just be guessing. Is it a love / hate relationship? Is it more of an exotic fantasy relationship, much like we are with the rarely seen squirrel? Just kidding, squirrels are EVERYWHERE! It’d be more of a rarely seen flip phone kind of fascination. Is it an indifferent kind of relationship? I’m so curious how the Asutralians feel about the one of the most Chuck Norris level animals on the planet.

Clearly I may be a little biased, but I think kangaroos are the number one creature that slaps … or is amazing for everyone over the age of 16, myself included. What is not to love? Other than the occasional dog murder as Google so rudely likes to make appear in the first search result. My guess is that those dogs provoked said kangaroo in some way and I’m 15% positive they were either chihuahuas, or a rottweiler. One size extreme or the other. I have to believe the kangaroo didn’t see some random dog and think to itself ‘today is the day, this dog has got to go’. Unless it’s a psychopath, in which case I would need to rethink my whole concept of animal character traits.

Anyways … back to why kangaroos are super chill and I wish they would make good pets. Let’s start with the obvious. A built in snack pouch. Need I say more? Never again worry about forgetting a coat with big enough pockets for the king size candy bar, or your purse. You can always sneak some snacks around when it’s literally attached to you. And big enough to hold a baby ‘roo too so you could fit some dinner leftovers in there probably. Who’s to say? Endless opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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MY MOM THINKS I’M A HOE BECAUSE I MET SOMEONE ONLINE

TL;DR: Stigmas are fun, aren’t they? Like how eating ice cream all the time makes you unhealthy and how Tinder is for all the thirsty people. Interesting, though, how stigmas aren’t facts.

The older I get, the more aware I am of all the social stigmas that exist in society. And there’s a lot of them. A lot a lot. An unnecessary amount of things that other people use as some sort of basis for judging your life. You know what I’m talking about, right? By what age you should be married. How old is too old to have children. What is an acceptable job coming out of college. What is an unacceptable job coming out of college. The amount of drinks you should consume at once, and in a week. How often you should use the microwave to make a meal. The list goes on and on.

It seems to me, that one of the biggest categories for these stigmas is the dating world. Especially in today’s society where we have these fun little things known as dating apps. Not all of them are winners, but there are definitely options for everyone. And I do mean everyone. Yet, as with pretty much all things in life, people feel a certain type of way depending on what name you drop when asked how you met your current significant others.

I also think people like to assume that using dating apps means you’re hindered in the personality department. Since meeting someone casually in a random bar and striking up a conversation and falling in love isn’t overly common today. Because we have smartphones. And, thus, no longer have a need to talk to strangers at a bar. We wait for our friends to arrive. Or, more accurately, we play on our phones until we finish our drink and then leave. I don’t know a single person who would go out and just willingly approach other social groups to introduce themselves with zero reason other than to hopefully make a new friend.

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POLLEN IS MY LEAST FAVORITE CAR COLOR

TL;DR: What is yellow and green and awful? That’s right! Pollen. Nature’s evil twin that escapes its flower cell for about a month each spring to torture humans and make them question their choice to be outside.

In case you haven’t noticed that the outdoors have been a little more colorful recently, or if you live in a pineapple under the sea, or if you’re allergic to looking out a window – it’s pollen season. The worst of all the seasons. In the midst of the blooming flowers, warmer weather, and upcoming vacations, we have to deal with the cockroach of the spring. A yellow cloud of inevitable allergies. One of the quickest ways to change the color of your car, your outfit, and anything left outside. Pollen. Ugh.

Does anyone like the pollen? Sure, it gives us the beautiful flowers and I guess the bees like to frolic in it, but other than that … it’s kind of the worst. You don’t even have to step outside to see how invasive it is. Just look through the blinds and you can see it everywhere. Everywhere! In the air. On the trees. On the patio furniture. On the cars. On the sidewalk. On people. On pets. On water. In your house. Nothing is safe. You aren’t safe. Your favorite animals aren’t safe. Your things aren’t safe. It is the devil of nature.

Apart from being in all the places, all of the time, for weeks, nothing makes me feel like a smoker than being outside in the pollen storm. Even with our fashionable COVID masks it still somehow gets into my mouth, nose, and throat until I start hacking. Want to run outside in the first traces of warm weather since last year? Good luck not breathing. Oh, you want to stroll through the trails with your dog for some Vitamin D? Be prepared to spend the next several hours hiding so you can cough in peace without fear of being ostracized by all humans for the next 14 days. Trying to relax on your porch after work with some beverages? Enjoy your gin and pollen.

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THINGS SPORT ANNOUNCERS SAY THAT LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE COULD ALSO SAY

TL;DR: ‘What they’re trying to do here is win’ – is anyone not trying to win? ‘If you ask me, they need to score more points’ – well, no one asked you, but also duh. ‘Coach does not look happy’ – quite the astute observation there Sherlock Holmes.

Sports are a way of life. Not for all people, certainly, but for a lot of people. Because who doesn’t love getting overly invested in the performance of your favorite team and favorite players? Probably people who enjoy more stress-free ways of living or low blood pressure. It’s irritating when your team is not playing well, or worse: losing, or even worse: losing to your rival. In those moments you learn a lot about yourself as a person – where your priorities truly lie, how you handle stress, what you’re like under the pressure of trash talk, whether or not you’re a gracious loser, and how competitive you are regarding things that you have less than zero control over.

While sports have a lot of positives, there are some negative aspects that you have to deal with. Rioting, losing friendships, scandals, losing money, cheating, drugs, etc. And then, of course, you have the announcers. Sport announcers are there to say helpful things and aid in the viewing experience of the game. Supposedly. There is a most curious breakdown of things that can, and will, come out of an announcers mouth during the period of play. Ask any sports fan and they have announcers that they like, announcers that they tolerate, and then announcers they cannot stand.

Regardless of how you feel about the announcer, their dialogue can best be summarized as follows. Usually they throw some fun statistics in there and some inspiring story about the team, or a specific player. Constantly they will talk about what can best be described as sport conspiracy theories regarding playoffs based on the team’s performance to date. This includes, but is not limited to, previously played games, the current game being played, upcoming schedule of games, and what both a win and a loss mean going into the next day. It’s great to hear when they’re talking in favor of your team, and it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world when it’s against your team.

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MINIONS ARE THE ULTIMATE SOULMATE

TL;DR: People usually have unrealistic expectations for who they are going to end up with. Luckily, Pixar has created the perfect soulmate to meet everyone’s expectations.

Finding real love is hard. Some people don’t ever really find it. Some people find it every other week. Some people find something close enough to what they wanted, so they make it work. Some people get lucky and do find the kind of love they always dreamed about. Wherever you fall along Cupid’s arrow, I think we can all agree that people want to find love. I would argue that most people want to find their soulmate. Whether it’s one of many that will walk into their lives, or the only one, feeling that connection is special.

Feeling that connection with dogs is too easy. Easy enough that I fall in love with every cute little pupper that I see. Why? Because it’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die! Is this a problem? Some people in my life might think so. However, as much as we all know I could talk about dogs for pages and pages, this post is not about falling in love with our pets. It’s about the challenge of finding that strong feeling for human people. Whaaaaaaaaaat?! Indeed. Love between two human beings.

If right now you’re thinking, ‘you got to be kidding me’, totally valid. Hear me out, though, I believe that Pixar has solved all of our issues when it comes to soulmate expectations. Sure, sure, there are plenty of movies out there that do the complete opposite and fill our heads with thoughts of how our love story should look. Realistic, or not, it’s our current reality. Thank you social media and technology and Hollywood. It leaves a lot of us confused. Or worse. But instead of going down that rabbit hole of something awful from the past, let’s instead talk about happier times.

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I JUST REWATCHED MONSTERS, INC. AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: Remember your favorite monsters, Mike and Sully? Fluffy, scaly, adorable, missing a normal amount of fingers and toes, etc.? We need more of their compassion, friendship, communication, and one-liners in our lives.

Nobody likes having monsters under their bed at night. At least not until we learned how absolutely lovable they are! I think monsters have gotten a bad reputation in the human world for some time, and thankfully Mike and Sully helped shed some valuable insight into the reasons behind the scare. Despite the questionably logical approach to energy creation in Monstropolis, I have some unanswered questions, and plenty of observations from this adorable film:

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YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN

TL;DR: Hey, you. Yes, you, all tomato faced with steam coming out of your ears – you need to calm down. You’re killing my vibe and frankly, your anger is not validated … in any way. So stop complaining and move on like the adult you are (or look like you are anyways).

We have all had an unpleasant encounter with someone who is just irrationally angry, at some point. You know, the people who call you up, or (even worse) are face-to-face with you, and have this need to tell you exactly how they feel in the most offensive and hurtful way possible? These people make me sad. For one, I had no part in whatever it is you’re upset about – I don’t even work here. But mainly, how unhappy are you in life that you feel a need to blow something trivial way out of proportion? Are you trying to ruin someone else’s day?

Want to know a fun fact? You aren’t ruining my day. No, to be honest, I’m not even really listening because you’re talking yourself in circles and not making sense. Plus, you’re just being loud, so I’m going to let you wear yourself out first. My favorite part about these people, is most of the time it’s user error. Oh, so your upcoming flight isn’t showing up on your calendar? Did you add it to the calendar? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – it’s hard to see something that you never created! Oh, so your burrito costs more because it has guacamole on it? Did you not listen when the Chipotle employee told you it would cost extra? Or did you not read the board with that same information very clearly printed on it? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – seems like a very personal problem.

Personally, I choose to live my life by this amazing quote: ‘Don’t let idiots ruin your day’. Check. Don’t worry, I’m still going to have an amazing day because happiness is a choice. My favorite part about these interactions is when our irrational friend realizes they screwed up. The face stays red, but subtly moves from the angry lobster red to embarrassment blush red. Now, I’m not a vengeful person, but can we all agree that feeling is satisfying? Granted, in a slightly evil way, but we aren’t the ones trying to make the girl behind the register cry so we can get out of paying, now are we?

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AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT

TL;DR: Pity parties – ain’t nobody got time for that! Cry it out, drink away the pain, beat up a boxing bag … find what works for you, but quit whining to everyone else and move on already.

Some things in life suck – breakups, getting fired, paying bills, when your team gets upset in the March Madness tournament, ripping your pants, losing the TV remote, running out of Chewy Chips Ahoy (READ MORE on my love for these cookies), cleaning a mirror to find streaks left behind (I think this is THE WORST – find out why HERE), etc. How do you react when it happens? Me, personally, am a pity partier. I’m not proud of that, but sharing is caring. Then one day someone gave me the best advice. They said ‘Let it go already! Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ And my first thought was ‘You’re my therapist … I’m paying you to have time for this’. But in reality, no, nobody has time for that! Not me, not you, not my therapist, apparently. 

What is even the purpose of a pity party? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a pity party is defined as ‘an instance of indulging in self-pity or eliciting pity from other people’. That’s all nice and dandy, but let’s dive deeper. What is pity? Well, if you ask the Oxford Dictionary (AKA a Google Search for pity) it’s either ‘the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others’ or ‘a cause for regret or disappointment’. 

Literally just typing that made me feel like a terrible person. What is wrong with us as a species? Why do we think it’s ok to force our sadness and misfortunes on unassuming people who were probably having a great day until you started moaning about the sandwich you ordered only being medium warm instead of hot out of the oven? Newsflash: NOBODY CARES! We get it, you’re sad. You know what won’t make you happy? Constantly reminiscing on how your life sucks right now and you’re in a tough spot. You know what will make you feel better, though? Well, Chewy Chips Ahoy for one, but also moving on and realizing that you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

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HULU’S COMMERCIAL ALGORITHM: THE ULTIMATE TROLL

TL;DR: Have you ever wondered what your television preferences say about you? Even if that answer is no, Hulu will stereotype you anyways and “target” advertisements towards your supposed lifestyle. Isn’t that fun?

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.

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DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: THAT’S A NO FROM ME

TL;DR: Ugh, here we go again. Doomed to several days of confusion and not knowing when bedtime actually is. Is it based on time, or how my body feels? Better stock up on the melatonin gummies.

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.

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NAPKINS ARE THE MUTTS OF THE PAPER GOODS INDUSTRY

TL;DR: Paper towels are better than napkins. Tissues are better than napkins. Basically, a napkin is a weird cross between those two with an equally confusing purpose and execution.

If given the choice between a paper towel, or a napkin, which would you choose? Because it’s not really a choice. There is a correct answer and an answer that will get you a confused Nick Young look. According to Google, millennials have been killing the paper napkin industry over the past few years and I find this interesting. One, because I identify as a millennial (it is, after all, truly just a mindset and ANYONE COULD BE A MILLENNIAL) and two, because I didn’t realize paper napkins were still a thing, to be honest. Who is still using paper napkins? Who is upset that the paper napkin industry is supposedly being killed? Who is unable to find an acceptable alternative to the paper napkin? So many questions for literally zero concerns.

In my mind, the napkin is merely a mixed breed in the paper goods industry. A cross between a paper towel and a tissue. Made in a neat square that is never enough real estate when eating, especially when eating something with your hands, and fragile enough to not hold up for those of us who like to clean our fingers as we eat to maintain some semblance of social expectations. Where did these even come from? I think the only useful thing about the napkin is it’s unique square shape since it folds perfectly in half to either be two rectangles, or two triangles. And that is paper folding asmr right there! But when it comes to practicality, my euphoria can’t overshadow the amount of napkins it takes to stay clean during a meal.

To be fair, though, there is a range of even napkins. As there are with paper towels and tissues as well. You get what you pay for. Are there different thicknesses to napkins depending on what quality you buy? Sure. But think about even a low quality paper towel and it’s comparable to an overpriced napkin. Are there more absorbent napkins depending on what quality you buy? Definitely. But think about how much more absorbent a low quality paper towel is just by sheer absorbency space over that of a napkin.

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THINGS MY DOG DOES THAT ARE SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE FOR HUMANS TO DO

TL;DR: We all know that dogs are the superior pet. We all also know that dogs do some things that only a dog can get away with. If a human did it, we would feel differently.

I’d like to start this post off by saying that I love my dog very much. Just in case she somehow learns how to read. Then just in case she figures out how to use a computer, and the Internet, and learns how to read my mind to figure out which blog I write. And then just in case she actually accesses this site only to discover my thoughts about her often curious behavior. Am I judging some of the things that she does? A thousand percent! Dogs are weird. And we love them anyways. Which is a good lesson for how we should treat ALL PEOPLE, really. 

Now that I’ve reiterated for the thousandth time how much I love my dog to all of the Internet, we can move on. Dogs, as a species, are shameless. Full of love and loyal to a t, but absolutely shameless – in the best possible way. They’re also an animal. So that combination of zero cares and having the mind, instincts, and habits of a creature is entertaining, to say the least. What exactly am I getting at? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Let’s talk about all the things our pets do that make us do the confused head tilt:

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SOME THINGS IN LIFE ARE UNSATISFYING

TL;DR: There’s nothing more unsatisfying than spending time cleaning only to finish and find out the windows are streaky … still.

I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t like cleaning. It’s one of those necessary evils in life. If you don’t do it, eventually, bad things happen. Like roaches. And hard, hard, hard pass on that. Does anyone actually want roaches? Or who knows what other rodents come with a dirty place of living. Let’s not go down that fun train of thought on an otherwise rodent free day. At least for me, I guess it’s not fair to assume that’s the same for everyone. Some people have rats as pets. Why? I literally have zero idea. 

Anyways, sure, I feel so great and very adult after cleaning. Who doesn’t? It’s like organizing your life at the most basic level. You are taking something and making it brand new. Think of it as a new year’s resolution for your stuff. They have all that time where mistakes are made. Things get spilled. Dirt gets dragged in. The recycling piles up. It happens. It’s life. And then, like a ball drop, you come in and give them a chance to start fresh. Start clean. No big deal. Clean the crumbs off the counter. Take out the trash. Vacuum the carpet. Wipe down the windows.

Wipe the windows? Wait a second. Is it just me or is cleaning windows the most mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging cleaning task ever? You spend all that effort and finally get the windows clean only to find out that there are what? Streaks! The absolutely most frustrating thing in the history of adult things you can partake in. You clean to get rid of the streaks. Except they don’t go away. They come back. Like a leech. Or a stray cat.

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ALL OF MY EMOTIONS DURING A HALF MARATHON

TL;DR: Some people enjoy running. Some people are crazy. I’m not here to judge, but let’s just say that running is not my most favorite thing in the world. And if it’s 13.1 miles of running, it’s my least favorite thing in the world.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: running sucks. I do not enjoy running. I do not look forward to going on a run. I do not wake up excited for a workout involving a run. I do not like the monotony of it. I do not need the knee and shin pain that comes from a run. I do not want a constant reminder that my endurance levels are maybe not in an adequate range. Yet, I do it anyways. Because I know that it’s a great workout and because I’ve been doing it since high school, which was long enough ago for me to technically be a 10,000 hour expert at it. But it’s not a desire of mine to quickly move my legs, struggle to breathe, and give everyone I pass a mental image of me trying not to die.

It’s no secret that there have been times in my life where my decisions have been questionable. A bit of a head scratcher, if you will. Normally it’s other people who are confused by what I do. Recently, however, I shocked myself, which doesn’t happen as often as you would think. Despite some of my previous posts. In a weird twist, I agreed to run, not one, but two half marathons with some people that I care very much about. TWO?! What is wrong with me? That alone is cause for concern given how long a half marathon is, and my current struggle to complete a run that’s a mere third of that distance.

Here’s the kicker, this is not my first half marathon. No, sadly I agreed to run one a few years ago and I hated it. When I say I hated it, I was on the verge of tears near the end of it. Not because I’m an overly emotional person, but because it was a traumatizing experience. Now here we are, in the year of the vaccine and a hope for normalcy, and one of my first big decisions is to suffer through 13.1 miles of pain. Again. Twice. Why? We don’t know. Do I have regrets? More than you know, but I’m no flake so here we are. Can you get PTSD from a bad run? I certainly think so! I’m no medical expert, but let’s go through all of my emotions from half marathon numero uno to make my case:

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DEAR TRIVIA: I THOUGHT I WAS SMART, THANK YOU FOR THE EGO CHECK

TL;DR: Nothing makes you question the worth of your brain more than trivia night. An endless stream of unrelated questions that apparently everyone should just know. It’s a good way to keep yourself in check, that’s for sure.

Have you ever wondered how smart you are? Not book smart, per se, but life smart? How much general knowledge do you contain about things that may, or may not, be helpful to you in some capacity throughout life? If your answer is no, then why even continue? I have to believe you can guess where this post is going and it’s pretty much strictly for anyone ever who thought, I need to prove my brain skills against strangers at a local bar on a weeknight – AKA trivia night.

I know for a fact that my general knowledge, and overall trivia skills, are pretty much worthless. There isn’t a lot of room in my head for random tidbits of things. Because it’s full of other items like how to do my job, how much I love my dog, figuring out how to feed myself a healthy amount of times each day, remembering to do chores, memorizing every single Chipotle location within 15 miles of where I live, etc. You know, crucial survival skills basically. 

However, my job title makes people believe that somehow my IQ is at least average, if not exponentially above that mark. And so they frequently tell me how smart I am. Which causes some internal dilemmas until my ego takes over and I make poor decisions … like smack talking other trivia teams. Despite knowing deep in my soul that I’m not able to back it up. Remember growing up when there would be kids who would crush school and kids who would crush life? Book smart versus street smart. And I always believed you were somewhere on that spectrum. Until I became an adult with free evenings and friends.

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HELLO, MY NAME IS [BLANK] AND I’M ADDICTED TO CHEWY CHIPS AHOY

TL;DR: Let’s all agree, Chewy Chips Ahoy are basically cookie crack! It’s almost like eating cookie dough, but without the salmonella risk – what more could you want?

Everyone has that one food that they can’t resist under any circumstances. You could be coming straight off a Thanksgiving dinner for the ages, but if someone asks if you want to eat blank you’ll be like yep, let’s do it! Because it’s the one item where you have no control and don’t even pretend to. Your go-to cheat day meal. Your motivation while working out. The subject of your deepest, darkest food fantasies. Your food bae, essentially.

You know what I’m talking about. You can pretend like you don’t, and that’s a lie that you’ll tell yourself. For some people it’s something salty. For other people it’s something sweet. For yet others out there it’s a straight up entree. Probably a very specific entree from a specific restaurant and the same order anywhere else simply won’t do. For the rest of the population that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, it’s either a drink or something healthy. Both are questionable options for a fantasy food, but you do you.

For me, that food is Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies. Not Chips Ahoy, those are only ok and I think one of these days I will go deeper into the correct way to make a cookie, which, of course, is chewy, but today is simply not that day. Chewy. Chips. Ahoy. What?! Yes, I’m talking about the ultimate store bought cookie. The absolute God of drunk party food options. The all day, everyday, ultimate dessert option. I love these cookies so much that their serving size and the amount that I can fit in my mouth at one time are equal. It’s the one food that I don’t even think about calories with. Because everyone knows that when you’re in love, calories don’t count anyways.

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WIPERS ON, LIGHTS ON … HOW HARD IS THAT?

TL;DR: Who doesn’t turn on their lights when their wipers are on? Selfish people. Think about all the stress, panic, and lives that could be saved if you let other drivers know where your car is. What a concept.

Some things in life are a challenge. Figuring out which one of the hundred remotes turns on the cable box, remembering to not stand up during video calls (unless, of course, you have pants on), choosing the right size tortillas in the grocery store, trying to understand anything about taxes or insurance, using your self-control to only eat four Oreos in one sitting, COMMUNICATION, anything work related, folding fitted sheets, knowing when you have the right of way as a DRIVER OR PEDESTRIAN, etc.

Other things in life are so easy you do it without realizing. Binge watching sessions, multitasking during video calls, picking up the large box of Goldfish at the grocery store, trusting that the insurance agent has your best interest at hand, hiding your favorite candy in the pantry so no one else eats it, calling in sick to work, avoiding any type of real responsibility, putting off cleaning until it’s a problem, checking how many likes your latest flex post has, turning on your lights when your wipers are on … wait. Do people do that? No. Thus this post.

As a self-proclaimed traffic expert, and considerate driver, I think this is a concept that should just be obvious. But in case it’s not, it’s also a traffic law! How fun for us. Where do laws come from anyways? Stupid people. You don’t end up with a warning about hot contents on a coffee cup unless someone sues the company claiming they weren’t aware how steamy the hot, fresh coffee they ordered was. AKA stupid. I’m convinced this specific road rule stems from the same general pool of people.

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I JUST REWATCHED LADY AND THE TRAMP AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: Who doesn’t enjoy a good love story? Who doesn’t enjoy dogs? Who doesn’t enjoy spaghetti and meatballs? Ergo, who doesn’t enjoy a dog love story where the most memorable scene includes spaghetti and meatballs? Nobody!

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:

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FLOWER NAMES NEED A PROTEIN SHAKE

TL;DR: It’s a whole new world and time for the flower industry to catch up with everyone else. Yes, that’s right, the need to be more gender neutral and inclusive for all. Starting with their names.

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:

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

TL;DR: When I want to binge, I usually prefer the comfort of the one I’ve been going steady with for a while – Netflix. Every now and then I visit my mistress, Hulu, but Amazon Prime was my one-night stand that I’m fine not calling up again.

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.

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PICTURES ARE WORTH MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS

TL;DR: How did people react to things before emojis and GIFs? I’m seriously wondering because I don’t know how else to realistically express my emotions over text without the help of pictures.

Communicating with people can be a challenge. Let’s not lie to ourselves. Especially when it’s done in any form that isn’t face to face. Which is pretty much the only thing we do now-a-days. Send text based messages to friends, family, co-workers, clients, significant others, love interests, enemies, random people on the Internet, etc. There’s so many ways to relay a message where the recipient is left to interpret the tone and delivery all by themselves. What could possibly go wrong with that? So. Many. Things.

Before going further, I think we need to take a quick rest stop and think about the different kinds of communicators that exist. Because there are several and they are not the same. At all. In fact, the range from direct to detailed is huge and all of them leave so much room for interpretation. Here are my 6 main categories, but many people flow between several depending on their mood:

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STAY IN YOUR LANE

TL;DR: For anyone familiar with online dating, there are a lot of different options out there. Some for serious relationships, some for very brief relationships, and some that accommodate whatever you’re looking for. The only rule is to stay in your lane and understand that Match and Tinder are not one and the same.

There’s a lot of unwritten rules in life. If you know them, you will save yourself a lot of awkward, frustrating, and / or embarrassing moments. Leave it in better condition than you found it. Look at the menu before it’s your turn to order (so you don’t hold up the line, obviously – more on restaurant ordering rules in THIS POST). Replace the toilet paper roll if you use it up. Free flowing right hand turns mean you don’t have to stop (they are not a yield sign either, KNOW THE DIFFERENCE). Greasy foods taste better after you’ve been drinking. Walk right, pass left (how is this so complicated, it’s the golden SIDEWALK RULE). Pick up after your dog. Wine is better out of the bottle (it’s also the OFFICIAL DRINK OF LOVE). Don’t show up on Christian Mingle looking for a one night stand.

I could go on, but I believe you get the point. Some things are simply courteous. Others are respectful. And yet others are downright intuitive. How do you feel when you go to wipe and the person before you decided it was beneath them to put a new roll on? Like you want to leave your present somewhere for them probably. Or when you go to frolic around in your luscious yard and find that someone let their dog have their way for you to clean up? 

Better yet, how obnoxious is it when you’re looking for something real, like a consistent ice cream date, or love, and the other person is like ‘oh, yea, I’m only interested in a short term deal’. Bruh, this is Match, what are you even doing here? That’s not how this works. While life may have a lot of rules, online dating really just has one: stay in your lane. Everyone with the tiniest bit of social knowledge can understand how the different platforms work. They all have their unique reputations. But just in case you haven’t heard about this very special app phenomenon, I am here to guide you down the yellow brick road of love. Since I like categories, and I’m the one writing this, let’s examine the different tiers that exist and where each popular platform falls among those:

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THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOUR DOCTOR

TL;DR: Nobody likes going to the doctor. If you do, you’re a special kind of weird. But the visit gets infinitely worse when the doctor says things like ‘Huh? That’s new’ or ‘I’ve never seen that before’.

Does anyone else absolutely avoid making doctor’s appointments? The whole thing is kind of a hassle and I, for one, just don’t like going to the doctor. Because when do you have to go to the doctor? When you’re not feeling well. When you’re injured. When you need an annual “check-up” where they can offer “helpful” suggestions on how to change your lifestyle. When you need a prescription refill (and continue to take your chances with the SIDE EFFECTS). When another doctor refers you. When your kid falls into any of the aforementioned options. 

Ok, I think you get it. Typically you aren’t just hitting up the doctor’s offices the same way you would a grocery store – on a weekly basis and in an excited fashion. For starters, the DECOR OPTIONS are interesting. Then, making an appointment is almost always a hurdle. You just have to be available indefinitely over the next year to hopefully get scheduled. And never at a convenient time. Always at like 1:15PM on a Thursday where you have to rearrange work meetings, figure out when you’re going to eat lunch, and then remember to put on pants. 

Finally, you arrive at your appointment and then the real waiting game begins. You wait to be called back to a room. You wait for the doctor to come in. You wait for the checkout person to schedule your next visit. You wait at the pharmacy to pick up your prescription. You wait for the copay to hit your credit card statement. You wait for your test results to come back. You wait for the bill to be mailed. Fun times all around, really!

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I JUST REWATCHED BACK TO THE FUTURE AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: The future is now! Well, actually, it was 6 years ago and yet I’m still waiting for certain technologies to appear. Specifically flying cars since we’re way behind where Doc and Marty thought we’d be.

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

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IF MY DOG HAD SNAPCHAT

TL;DR: You ever think about what it would be like if our animals had access to some of the same things we do in life? Like social apps? Specifically everyone’s favorite photogenic ghost, Snapchat? No? Lucky for you, I do!

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

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

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

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

TL;DR: Some things in life are obvious. Some things in life have blurred lines. Some things in life are unclear. If it’s confusing or unclear, proceeding without thinking is generally not recommended.

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

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

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

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CHEERS TO THE THREE DAY WEEKEND

TL;DR: What’s that? Another three day weekend coming around the corner? Bless the business world holiday schedulers because two weeks in and I need this break.

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.

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DEAR CFP: STOP SHOWING RERUNS

TL;DR: Is anyone else absolutely over the College Football Playoffs? It’s honestly just a been there, done that kind of deal at this point. Let’s cool it with the reruns and get some fresh content.

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

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

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

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RANKING MONTHS OF THE YEAR

TL;DR: Remember the calendar? With months and weeks and days? It’s a fun system, but honestly not all of the months are all that memorable, or exciting. Some are fantastic and some are duds – this is their official ranking.

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

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

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

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WORKWEEK SURVIVAL PLAYLIST

TL;DR: What?! It’s a weekday morning … again?! Not sure how this keeps happening, but here’s the survival playlist you need to make it to Friday. Or at least Thirsty Thursday. Or really just until Taco Tuesday because tacos and margs will make the rest of the week better.

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

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

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

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, NEW SHOES, NEW DO

TL;DR: If we stuck to our New Year’s resolutions we’d all be living our best lives right now. It’s like the calendar’s version of natural selection.

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.

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IF 2020 HAD PLAYED NICE

TL;DR: Oh 2020, you have not lived up to any expectations and, frankly, I want my time back. On the bright side, every single person alive right now will forever be remembered in history books. At what cost, though?

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.

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

TL;DR: Christmas is by far my favorite holiday, but can we all agree that having Santa spy on us all year to determine if we are worthy of actual presents sounds a little stalker-ish, and, frankly, doesn’t help me sleep at night.

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.

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RANKING DAYS OF THE WEEK

TL;DR: We all know that you have a favorite day of the week. You prefer one, or two, or maybe more, of them to the rest. Like with children, I’m assuming.

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.

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HOW PREDICTABLE ARE HALLMARK MOVIE PLOTS?

TL;DR: Hallmark movie plots are wild. Wildly predictable that is. Watch one and you’ve basically seen their entire lineup. Some people find this frustrating. I find it entertaining – every movie is a new competitive chance to correctly guess which character is playing which role and what “twist” will bring them together.

Have you ever watched a Hallmark Channel movie? I won’t make you raise your hand since that’s something we still aren’t openly admitting to in society. It’s a fun little secret between you, your TV, and your cable provider. Similar to those who watch Lifetime and QVC. Or when we buy a pint of ice cream and tell ourselves it will be at least two servings when we know good and well it will be gone tonight. We’ve all done it, just maybe not publicly. 

If you’ve never seen a Hallmark Channel movie, you’re missing out on a whole amazing genre. The predictable dramance category. It’s truly an experience. An experience that can happen once and then you can use your knowledge to make highly educated guesses on all future endeavors into the category. In other words, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And everyone has seen a Hallmark movie. Or a Hallmark movie commercial. Or been friends with a basic who mentions watching a Hallmark holiday movie. One and the same really.

So it’s been established that everyone has seen, heard of, or had a general knowledge of the existence of the Hallmark Channel movies. Now, I love a good Hallmark holiday movie. They always have happy endings and what better time than the holidays to lie to ourselves about the only possible outcome for life – happiness. Also, their winter themes are on point. Kudos to the set team who always brings the magic of the holidays to the screen. Winter wonderlands, white Christmases, perfectly decorated Hannukahs, holiday lights, adorable children, courteous and caring adults, zero family drama, perfectly cooked meals, the protagonist working in their dream job making no money but living in a beautiful historic home with endless hours off work, a gorgeous, on the inside and out, character that they will fall in love with. Everything is so believable and realistic.

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RESPONSIBILITIES AREN’T GOOD PARTY FAVORS

TL;DR: I don’t know about you, but I don’t show up to parties hoping to leave with new responsibilities. I show up for the food and drinks to forget about my responsibilities.

I love a good party. I really love a good party where I receive gifts. I really, really love a good party where I receive a gift just for showing up. What genius decided that party favors should be a thing? I genuinely want to know so I can personally thank them. Take this example to truly understand what a beautiful service this is for society:

Party Host: I’m going to have a party! I have to plan out a theme and a date and a location and everything that goes into it. Then I have to spend my money to buy decorations, food, drinks, a venue perhaps, etc. Since all my time and actual real life money is clearly meaningless, I’m also going to spend time thinking of a gift for my friends to entice them to come. Then I’m going to actually buy that gift and give it to them … for free!

Party Guest: Oh, sweet! A party! I’ll probably start to get ready at the stated start time and roll up fashionably late. I’ll eat a free dinner and drink (lots) of free drinks. Then I’ll leave and let the host clean up because I’m a great friend. And, oh! Holy sh*t! You’re going to give me a present?! For what?! I mean, thank you – was I supposed to get you something? Remind me of your name again?

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I JUST WATCHED CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES TWO AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: What’s the holidays without corny holiday movies? Well, that’s simple – it’s not really the holidays! And what makes a holiday movie a true holiday movie? Unrealistic storylines, of course, that always end up with a holly jolly ending.

THIS IS A SPOILER POST! If you haven’t seen Christmas Chronicles Two, and were planning on it, I would not recommend going through these observations. 

Netflix recently dropped the sequel to everyone’s favorite Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Claus family portrayal. And who doesn’t need more of Kurt and Goldie in their life? I mean really, they’re adorable! Anyways, like with all holiday movies, some things don’t fully add up to … well … reality. Here are all of my holly jolly hiccup moments with this movie:

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

TL;DR: Every person is unique. But every person’s holiday shopping habits certainly are not! I’ve narrowed my observations into 8 categories that I feel embody the spirit of modern holiday shoppers.

It’s the holiday season! And who doesn’t love the holidays? I mean, I’m sure there are some people. I’ve heard stories about actual Scrooges, but have yet to meet one in real life, thankfully. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle it. My absolute joy during this time of year fighting with their absolute dread, and hate, for this time of year sounds like a collision I don’t need. That’s like the ultimate holiday rivalry. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Carolina versus Duke. Emotions running high. Things get said that you can’t take back. Nope. 

I need to take a deep breath for a moment. Whew. Ok! Needed to clear that out of my mind. I have space for light shows, gift giving, cookies, and friends / family this time of year. Oh, and of course my dog. She’s an all year round treat, but at the holidays the decorations confuse her and that makes me laugh. Anyways … one of the biggest parts of the holiday season is getting gifts for other people. Some people love this. Some people hate this. Most people still do this, however.

Not everyone takes the same approach to purchasing gifts. Not everyone even puts the same amount of effort into finding gifts, if we’re being honest. Is there a right way to holiday gift shop? Certainly not! But I, at least, find it fascinating to examine the different approaches. And thus, deeply over-analyze them. Because clearly I have no life and this is as good as it gets as an adult. What can I say? I lost all shame for these types of posts a while ago. So get ready – we’re about to deep dive into what makes each individual shopper unique. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself on the list. Maybe you won’t. We all lie to ourselves sometimes, it’s fine.

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ACCEPTABLE WORKOUT EXCUSES

TL;DR: Trying to decide whether or not it’s acceptable to skip (another) workout? Only some excuses are “valid”, but that seems like a flexible term.

Have you ever wanted to hate yourself and love yourself at the same time? Do a workout. The warm up sucks, the actual workout is challenging, and the cooldown is a demonic way to delay the finish … but the after effects are addictive. Addictive enough to give you temporary amnesia to forget how much fun you didn’t have during the hard part of exercise. Which, of course, is the exercise itself. What a fun life this is! Get in shape to live longer. Punish yourself to get / stay in shape. Is it enjoyable enough to make the extra years worth it? That feels like a personal decision. 

So why do people workout? I don’t feel qualified to answer that question for all of humanity so let’s pull the scale way down. Why do I workout? Ugh, because food mainly. And also because my doctor keeps not-so-subtly hinting about how great it is for my overall health blah, blah, blah. If we’re being honest with ourselves, though, not everyday is going to be a workout day. Not for recovery purposes. Nope. More from a ‘why cry when I could eat Goldfish, the snack that smiles back, and watch TV’ standpoint. Besides, have you ever wanted to hate yourself and love yourself at the same time? Sit on the couch all day eating snacks.

Regardless of your thoughts on working out, we have all made excuses at some point. Some more “valid” than others, but that’s all dependent on your viewpoint. For example, a valid excuse to skip a workout for Serena Williams is probably not the same as whatever random event you’re using as a way to lay in bed longer. But this is not a post for professional athletes. If you’re getting paid to workout, you and I are not the same and, thus, we do not have the same expectations on consistency.

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TRAFFIC LIGHTS SHOULDN’T BE A THING AFTER MIDNIGHT

TL;DR: Nothing is more frustrating than sitting at a red light late at night with nobody coming in any direction. Can we not turn off the sensors after midnight and help everyone out?

I hate red lights, you hate red lights, we all hate red lights! Because they’re the worst. They’re a straight up vibe killer. You’re rolling down the road, minding your own business, jamming to your best carpool karaoke song, or gaining some knowledge from your favorite podcast, and simply don’t have time to hit the brakes. And yet, traffic lights don’t care. There’s never a fun time for a red light. Either you know it’s coming and have to go through the long, slow, demoralizing braking process, or you think you’re going to make it and then, at the last second, the yellow disappears in half a millisecond and you have to slam on the brakes since you’re too far to make it, but too close to be smooth about it. 

What do we do when that happens? I scream, you scream, we all scream for it to turn green! So we can literally move on with our lives. Green is just a better color than red anyways. It means go. It’s a symbol for money. It’s the color of nature. It’s what the inside of mint Oreos looks like. It’s 50% of the Christmas holiday color scheme. It’s great! Red, on the other hand, not so much. It means stop. It’s a symbol for anger. It’s the color of fire. It’s what the inside of a tomato looks like. It’s 33.3333% of the singles awareness holiday color scheme. It’s the worst!

Then there’s yellow. A perfectly mediocre color in every sense. In my, obviously correct, opinion, seeing a yellow light is worse than a red light. Have you ever wondered if you’ve had a LIFE CRISIS? Have you ever had to play the will I / won’t I make it game with a yellow light? Then yes, you’ve had a crisis. What a cruel world we live in where traffic lights are a tease. Because not all yellows are the same length of time. Which makes sense, I guess. If you live on the moon! What?! It’s either half a millisecond or ten seconds or somewhere in between. We don’t know.

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I DON’T ALWAYS EAT UNTIL I CAN’T MOVE … WAIT, YES I DO!

TL;DR: Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. Thankful that America doesn’t believe in portion control and has a whole day dedicated to eating until you can’t move and have to unbutton your pants.

The holiday season is probably the most divisive three months of the entire year. Sure, it’s a time to be thankful, and joyful, and giving, and terrified (you can get my full thoughts on Halloween’s place in the season HERE), but it’s also a time to pick a side and fight for it. No, I’m not talking about a political side, or a side of the dinner table, or a side of the family – those can be chosen at any time of the year. You don’t need pumpkins, dead turkeys, or cookies to do that to yourself.

Obviously I’m talking about when it’s acceptable to begin decorating for Christmas and playing some classic carols non-stop. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

  • Thanksgiving is a full on holiday and I don’t even get merry for Christmas until Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving is just a happy accident on the way to the best holiday of the year
  • All holidays are the same and should be treated equally

I’m not even going to touch that last category – you’re just wrong and that’s not true at all. Don’t be that person. Pick at least one to go all in for! Personally, I tend to fall into the middle category and if you’re with me, let’s drink some eggnog and play All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat. For everyone else, the ones in the first category in case you couldn’t keep up, I do not understand you at all. ‘You can’t skip Thanksgiving! It’s a time to be thankful and eat all of the food!’ – Thanksgiving lovers.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DOG

TL;DR: Dogs are just the freaking best. Always happy to just be alive, nothing bothers them for more than a few seconds, and getting a treat (no matter how big) is the highlight of their lives. We can all learn from them.

Oh, to be a dog. Literally. Not a dog in the sense that you lead on multiple people at once and have zero moral feelings about playing with other people’s emotions. Those types of dogs have some karma coming for them. But actually dogs … for sure I want that life! Zero responsibility, zero shame, zero regrets, zero stress. What is not to love about that?! It’s the epitome of living in the moment and only in the moment. There is no concept of past, present, or future. There is just you and whatever has captivated your current attention. Which could be anything.

If you’re not a dog lover, then I guess the next best thing to picture is probably a television dog. Because, let’s be honest, no other animal compares to the love, loyalty, and happiness that is embodied by dogs. Cats definitely do not. Fish most certainly do not. Hedgehogs, snakes, rabbits, goats, horses, etc. also do not. I know what some dog owners may be thinking right now, though. My dog has been hella needy lately since I’m home all the time and sometimes I just can’t. Hmmm … this is a valid feeling. But let’s back up for a second.

When you come home from anywhere (even from just going to get the mail), who is more excited to see you? Your spouse or the dog? Hands down, zero question, the dog! When you haven’t been to the gym in a while, because who has free time at the moment, who will force you to get some exercise? Your spouse or the dog? Again, absolutely the dog! Your spouse might drop not-so-subtle hints, but the dog has to use the bathroom somehow. When you’re deep in an issue at work and are frustrated, stressed, and hangry, who will come put their head on your lap and give you that look? I’m not going to ask spouse or dog because it could go either way. But for fun let’s say only the dog!

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LOTS OF SKILLS AND NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM

TL;DR: Thinking about all the money I spent learning very applicable life skills in school makes me feel some type of way. If GED’s are required for graduation, they might as well make them the tiniest bit helpful.

General education development. GED’s for all you acronym lovers out there (talking to myself mostly, but I know there’s some other weirdos out there, too). What a fascinating use of our education system. If I listed all of the times that I put my Gen Ed to use in the real world, it would take up literally zero space. Say it ain’t so! Yes, unfortunately, all of my current knowledge comes from Google. When I don’t remember something, I turn to Internet Einstein. The all-knowing search engine that only sometimes lets me down. Although usually the let down is a personal ineptitude in search keywords, so I guess I can’t really blame that on someone else. I go more into my feels on the Google, and how literally anything is Google-able, in THIS POST.

College did teach me a lot of things. Mmm … wait, let me rephrase. College forced me to take classes across a disturbingly wide variety of topics in the hopes that I would learn a lot of things and be “well-rounded”. Things like the history of ancient ruins in early Rome. Creative writing and scientific research – conflicting concepts, one assignment. The life of Beyoncé (ok this wasn’t actually a waste, let’s be honest). How to be a wizard – spoiler alert: it’s more difficult than Harry and Hermoine make it seem. The American prison system. Modern day mathematics. All the tree species in rural Africa. So many, what’s the right word, curious offerings.

Still not really sure how those are helpful in navigating real-life issues. Such as filing taxes, applying for health insurance, receiving feedback at work, correctly bagging groceries in self-checkout (when do I have to bag and when is it alright not to? It’s so confusing!), how to remain calm in a highway parking lot (more on annoying traffic patterns in THIS POST), navigating the strange world of online dating, etc.

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HOW EARLY IS TOO EARLY? HOLIDAY MUSIC EDITION

TL;DR: One of the greatest debates, probably ever, is when it’s acceptable to begin listening solely to holiday music. There’s multiple different viewpoints, but only one is correct. Obviously.

You already know what time of year it is! Holiday season is in full swing. The weather wants to get colder, but some of us in the South are still living in heavy after-effects of summer. Much to the disappointment of our northern brethren probably. Football season is, for the most part, happening. The Masters just wrapped up. Themed store displays, and candy, are everywhere. Halloween was less terrifying than usual due to social distancing at haunted houses. Pumpkin flavored everything is available. The news is talking about how to enjoy a virtual Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Or, for the daredevils of the world, how to safely meet in person. You know, just a standard year filled with standard holiday happenings. 

One of my favorite things about this time of year, outside of the lights, is the holiday music scene. Well … let me rephrase. One of my favorite things about any time of the year is holiday music. It just brings a whole new hype level when we’re actually within the 55 day mark. Which, of course, is HALLOWEEN. A most ironic symbol. Terrifying horror stories kick off the final countdown to love, peace, and joy. And fresh starts. I think for most people, all we want for Christmas is for 2021 to finally arrive. But also the iPhone 12 because we still have people to impress on social media.

Despite my personal feelings on the matter, I’m very aware that not everyone is in the same sleigh here. Everyone has their ‘it’s too early’ line and are rarely willing to cross it. Which then begs the existential crisis of a question – how early is too early? I tend to think that your answer to this very much depends on where you stand on Thanksgiving. Specifically on the following questions that I have answered to help clear up any confusion:

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STAGES OF LIFE: AS TOLD THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

TL;DR: Ask anyone what social platforms they use most often and you can probably get really close to guessing their age. Or, at the very least, their generation.

Social media is everywhere. On our phones, on our computers, on our watches, on our TVs, in our cars, in the office, on every website, on QR codes hanging from any and all surface areas, on voice activated home assistants, etc. And it comes in many different forms. There’s professional social media, flaunt social media, rant social media, unprofessional / expressive social media, discussion social media, evidence will last forever social media, and evidence only lasts as long as you specify social media. So many options, there’s a platform for everyone!

One of my new favorite hobbies is to ask strangers what their most used social media app is and try to guess their general age range. In my head, of course, because there are certainly outliers to this data set. Like with all good, non-research conducted, totally opinionated based on the researcher’s experiences, non-scientifically backed in any way studies. Also, that would be rude if I just blurted it out. Especially if it was wrong, or if they’re embarrassed, or if they don’t want everyone in Bed, Bath, and Beyond knowing their age.

For all of my introverted readers, you’re probably melting at the thought of participating in this hobby. That’s fine, it’s not for everyone. But, I have learned some interesting things that I can share with you. Without any need for social interaction on your part. Let’s examine some data I found / collected / assumed about the 9 most common social platforms that people use today (*NOTE: zero part of this has actually been researched and all information presented is my take on life):

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DEAR MECHANICS: STOP ADJUSTING MY SEAT SETTINGS

TL;DR: Does anyone enjoy having to take their car in for service? No. Every part of it is an inconvenience. Especially when you get back in your vehicle to find every setting has been tampered with. They weren’t that way for a reason or anything.

Like most good things in life, even cars have their downside. Gas is not free. Traffic and other drivers are the worst (you can read all about my traffic thoughts in THESE POSTS). Any sort of service, or repair, is the most inconvenient thing I’ve ever had to do on multiple occasions. Car commercials set up FALSE EXPECTATIONS which is disappointing. And it takes a minute to get all the settings adjusted perfectly. Especially if you drive a newer model, it’s almost like setting up a computer. So many choices, so many buttons, so many console options, so many seat adjustment levers – ugh.  

Unlike some people, I enjoy driving. It’s thrilling. It’s always an experience. It’s a high risk situation that requires focus. I do not, however, enjoy riding. I’m a terrible passenger. There’s not anything to do but look out the window and judge how close the driver likes to ride the line. Car karaoke is fun, but there’s less pressure as the driver. If you suck, blame it on the fact that you’re paying attention to the road, not on your future singing career. As the passenger, though, you have zero excuse. If you’re not about to belt it out like Carrie Underwood, get out. Someone once asked me how I embodied the restless spirit and I told them to just drive me around. Are we there yet? I’m that passenger.

None of that is really relevant, but here we all are. Having read that paragraph just wondering how it relates to the rest of this post. It doesn’t. I probably won’t tie that loose end up. Not sorry. Anyways … let’s talk about the most annoying / frustrating / time-consuming / expensive (pick your adjective) part of having a car. Having to visit the mechanic. Zero part of that process is convenient. First, you have to schedule a time to either drop off, or wait, on your vehicle. All of the car dealers put baby computers in the cabin now, yet the schedule service form is from the first round of the Internet last century. Why?

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SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SOUR PATCH KIDS

TL;DR: Personally, I don’t like Sour Patch Kids – I think they’re gross. The candy, but also the people. You know, the ones who are overly sour at first then abruptly turn sweet when they realize they’re wrong?

Marketing South Patch Kids as candy is a straight up lie to all the poor, innocent, suckers of the world. How do I know? Well, for one, I am not a poor, innocent, sucker and only buy real candy (i.e. gummy bears and Swedish Fish). Side note: chocolate is not candy because it’s so amazing it’s in a class all its own. Feel free to @ me, I don’t care what you think because I’m right and you’re wrong. Yet, for some reason, those horrible bitter little children are “popular”. Let me help you out. According to Google, candy is defined as ‘a sweet food made with sugar or syrup combined with fruit, chocolate, or nuts’. I will admit though, that sometimes Google is not all knowing, so I took my search to the OG dictionary, and Merriam-Webster defines candy as ‘something that is pleasant or appealing in a light or frivolous way’.

Last time I checked, Sour Patch Kids are not sweet … initially, I know they supposedly sweeten up after destroying your taste buds with that awful sour punch, but I think that’s just your mouth returning to a normal palate. They also have nothing to do with fruit, chocolate, or nuts so not off to a good start here. Continuing down the candy definition, they are NOT pleasant OR appealing in a light and frivolous way (they’re sticky and heavy and gross).

I’m just now realizing, though, that the point of this post was not to rant about my major dislike of sour candies, really, the kids just fit best in the analogy. No, in fact it was to talk about how much I dislike people (real, live people, not candy people) that act like Sour Patch Kids. The ones who are sour at first and absolutely ruin your appetite for no reason. Like, I don’t know who peed in your Cheerios this morning, but I did not do whatever it is you’re upset about to you. I’m not some voodoo doctor stabbing your doll person and shouting out curses on you and your family. Believe it, or not, I have much, much, much better things to do with my life. These people are so sour it’s mind-numbing … literally. They don’t even know who they’re supposed to be angry with so they pick the first available person. Regardless of their role in the situation.

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I JUST REWATCHED TWILIGHT AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

TL;DR: Remember everyone’s favorite teenage vampires, the Cullens? Where their translucent son starts a forbidden romance with a depressed human and causes some family drama? Those were fun times, but not everything adds up.

Have you ever sat at home on a cold, rainy day and thought to yourself ‘wow, I’m basically in a Twilight movie’? Me neither, but when the weather sets the mood, you have to just go with the flow. Full disclosure: I’m not really a Twilight saga fan. Pretty much not a fan of anything that deems itself a saga because we all know that saga and drama go hand in hand. Anyways, I decided to rewatch the start of all our vampire fantasies and I have so many shiny questions and observations:

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I WAS HOPING YOU WOULD JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND A TREE WITH A CHAINSAW AND CHASE ME

TL;DR: What is even the purpose of Halloween? Right in the middle of the most beautiful, family-friendly, loving time of year is a holiday whose sole purpose is to scare the sh*t out of people. Why? At least you get free candy.

Fall is just the best. The leaves change colors, it gets colder (helllloooo flannel weather), football season is in full swing, pumpkin lives everywhere and in everything, desserts become the main food group, Thanksgiving is coming – what is not to love?! That was a rhetorical question for all you readers out there right now thinking one, or more, of the following:

  • I hate the cold, I’d rather it be so hot I can’t tell the difference between the inside of my car and an oven
  • Flannel makes me look like a lumberjack and buttons are for The Pussycat Dolls, not real adults 
  • Pumpkin is the worst food and I hate all pumpkin tasting things
  • Football is confusing, sports are dumb, I wish that schools would do away with athletics and invest the money in useful things like underwater basket-weaving
  • The leaves don’t change color, they die! And then I have to rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake them out of my yard
  • I’m on a diet and I don’t “dessert” right now
  • Thanksgiving is just an excuse for our country to get fatter and spend all their money on things they don’t need

Alright all you negative Nancys, gloomy Gregs, cynical Cindys, and pessimistic Petes – I don’t know who threw you into a leaf pile as a child and left you there, without a jacket on, to cry all cold and alone, but I am not here for it. Therapists get paid a lot of money to listen to your traumatizing stories … and last I checked, I am not a therapist. Nor do I even pretend to be, so I’m going to need you to take your sad sack self somewhere else. Or at least fake your happiness for the next few minutes.

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WHY EVERY ADULT NEEDS A ONESIE

TL;DR: What’s the most versatile piece of clothing ever invented? An item that lives in your closet and can make an appearance at most casual occasions? Something so comfortable, sophisticated, customized, and practical it shouldn’t be possible? Yes, it’s obviously the adult onesie.

Quick! What comes to mind when you think of a onesie? Babies? Pajamas? Soulmate? A king size candy bar? I clearly can’t read your mind, not only because I can’t see you, but because we simply have not evolved to that stage of living as a species yet. If you thought of an adult, however, you are clearly a MILLENNIAL. Not everyone has embraced the adult onesie mindset / lifestyle yet, and that makes me a little bit sad. Stop sleeping on onesies, because, in my opinion, every self-respecting adult should own one.

The obvious argument here is Halloween costumes. If nothing else convinces you to consider purchasing a onesie, think of Halloween. How annoying is it to figure out a costume each year? Very. How challenging is it to find the costume you decide on? Very. How original is your costume idea? Probably minimal. How warm will your costume keep you? It won’t. How many times can you reuse this costume? Never. How manageable is standing / walking in the shoes that go with your costume? Not at all. Catching my drift here? Halloween costumes are impractical. They’re overpriced. They usually come with parts, or makeup, that is meant for a one night use only. They aren’t built for keeping you warm, despite the end of October bumping up into winter. And they don’t account for people being on their feet for extended periods of time in them.

Enter the adult onesie. They’re easy to get. They’re affordable. They come in a somewhat disturbingly wide variety of styles. They’re warm. They pair nicely with sneakers. They’re perfect for extroverts because it’s a conversation starter. They’re perfect for introverts because they come with hoods. They’re easy to hide snacks and drinks in … and I guess trinkets from the house you’re at if that’s the lifestyle you’re choosing to participate in (but shame on you if you use that precious food space to steal a vase). They can morph into a half onesie, half whatever shirt you decided to wear, or not to wear, underneath it. They can be sexy, if that’s your criteria. But above all of those amazing features, they’re versatile.

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WE NEED TO STOP TAKING UNWRAPPED CANDY FOR GRANTED

TL;DR: Technology has blessed us with lots of awesome life improvements. Someone, somewhere, in the food industry leveraged that to the absolute best of its ability and gave us unwrapped candy from our favorite brands. What a time to be alive!

Think about this for a second: unwrapped candy. How does it make you feel? Angry, upset, annoyed, bleh, ugh, nothing? Those are all incorrect feelings. You should be feeling excited, joy, surprised yet intrigued, curious, pumped, ecstatic, overjoyed, filled with hope. Why? Um, because it’s candy. That comes unwrapped. Does your dessert life get any better than that? No, not at all! All of the tedious effort that was present before, has been eliminated from the equation. This is innovation and efficiency at its finest.

We all know that grocery shopping is a beautiful social experiment, and clearly highly suitable for JOB INTERVIEWS and first dates. If this is the first you’re hearing about this modern phenomena, welcome to the future of problem solving, creative thinking, and flexibility challenges to prove your worth. Grocery stores are kind of a hidden gem – there’s so much happening in those aisles. While each one has its place, this post is going to get laser focused on one aisle, specifically. The candy aisle. The most exciting, but also the most guilt-inducing, aisle in the whole store.

I don’t always travel down the candy aisle, but when I do, I end up with a cart full of sweets and the guilty look of a puppy who just chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. Self-control isn’t even part of my vocabulary. There’s just so many fun things to try! New M&M’s flavors, new Reese’s shapes, new Twizzlers flavors, new Hershey Kisses flavors, new Kit Kat flavors, you get the point. If no one ventured to try the new candies, they would all disappear off shelves forever. Which would truly be a tragedy. So I like to take it upon myself to support the lifecycle of whatever new concepts have appeared on shelves for the good of everyone.

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DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD … UNLESS IT’S A PUMPKIN

TL;DR: Remember how you were always told / always in trouble as a kid for “playing with your food”? Funny how that doesn’t seem to apply when mutilating a pumpkin each fall.

Fall is great! The seasons G.O.A.T, if you will. What’s not to love? Sweater weather, pumpkin flavored everything, cooler temperatures, football season, one of the two best Reese’s shapes reappears, corn mazes, apple picking, lumberjack fashion is in style, there’s a pair of boots for every outfit, the leaves change colors, your A/C bill becomes negligible, you can run at any time of day and not have to wake up at 4AM to beat the humidity, and holidays centered mostly around food are right around the corner – to name a few. 

It’s also one of the only times where it’s acceptable to play with your food. No one will yell at you. No one will scold you. No one will take away your dessert. No one will lecture you about not playing with your food. No, instead they will actively encourage it. What a fun twist of fate that is! All year long you’ve been carving pictures in the butter container, decorating your pancakes with syrup art, rearranging your peas and carrots into a sad face to no avail. Only an extra helping of vegetables and an indefinite suspension of your knife privileges. 

There’s whole businesses dedicated to selling the one food not intended to be consumed after picking. Entire block parties where people come together and compete for the best designs. Food Network shows where professionals show off their skills. Pause. How does one become a professional? How many practice attempts were needed? How do they have endless time to slice, dice, and create next level designs in a food? How does one get into this profession, and why? At what point do you wake up and decide that your next hobby will be food mutilation? How much money does this cost? What am I even talking about?

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LIFE LESSONS FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE

TL;DR: Gah, people are so much fun to talk to! Especially when they’re in that mood … you know, the one where everything is hitting the fan at once and they need a scapegoat. Speed dial to your company’s support line happening in 3, 2, hello?

Working on the front lines in a customer facing role feels like a crucial life skill that everyone should experience at some point during their working lives. It gives you a certain viewpoint and helps lead to empathy, patience, and kindness towards those workers in the future. For normal people anyways. How could you not want to be kind to a customer service representative if you’ve had the chance to be on the receiving end of the call? Especially knowing how unpleasant some customers are to deal with.

Let’s clear the air and set one thing straight. Rarely is it even the customer service worker’s fault. Did they break the product? No. Did they send out a marketing email promo that doesn’t work? No. Did they go on the coffee run and get your order wrong? No. Did they decide to completely pivot the business model screwing over current customers? No. Did they decide to acquire a rival company? No. Did they make empty promises during the sale? No. Did they fail to complete a thorough product test before shipping the update to production causing a major bug? No. Did they conjure up a storm that knocked out power, and thus the Internet, causing you to lose access to unsaved changes? No. Did they deliver the shipment in a careless way causing damage? No.

I could go on, but I feel like the main point here is very clear: the person you are talking to is merely a middle man attempting to help you, despite it not being their fault. Saints. Granted, you usually can’t go straight to the source, which, honestly, is the smartest thing companies ever implemented. That doesn’t make some of the responses warranted, though. But this post is not about how some of us really need to calm down. No, it’s about what working in the customer service industry teaches an individual.

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THINGS THAT ARE OUT OF STOCK, BUT SHOULDN’T BE

TL;DR: It’s a hoarders paradise today. No more judgement for keeping 10 dish wands and 100 packets of yeast in your kitchen anymore. Because deep down, we’ve all become hoarders and have enhanced the materialism mindset. What better time than a pandemic to completely refurnish your home, though, am I right?

For all the aliens that recently arrived on Earth, we are (still) in the middle of a pandemic. A pandemic that over 6 months ago everyone thought would disappear with a 14 day recommended stay at home order. Not a quarantine. No strict enforcement. No accurate timeline on when things would be back to normal. No real initiative from leadership. No clear decision. Blah, blah, blah we all have feelings. We’ve all probably voiced those at some point, or other. It is what it is now. Many moons later we’re still confused on when masks will stop being a fashionable accessory to everyone’s outfit. Apparently, we are also still confused on purchasing patterns.

In case you missed the memo, toilet paper and paper towels are back in stock! Yay! That was a stressful time for everyone. But, thankfully we’ve managed to get through it and can now enjoy the go once more (as long as your toilet is UP TO THE CHALLENGE). I’m not sure if living in a constant state of unstocked panic is our main takeaway from the past few months, but it sure seems to be on the forefront of people’s minds. Hoarding habits are still going strong and for, honestly, some very strange items. Certain products are pretty much indefinitely out of stock, but shouldn’t be. And I have thoughts on all of them:

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MOST INCREDIBLE COVID HIGHWAY SIGNS: A COLLECTION

TL;DR: Not all highway signs are fun to read. Delays, accidents, construction, missing people, only an Arby’s food option, reduce speed ahead, etc. COVID has brought out all the DOT jokers, though, and they didn’t hold anything back.

What’s the best part of driving down the highway? Not the traffic signs, that’s for sure. They’re usually just so bleh. Exit 386 towards city one, via route 19 towards city two, passing through city three, who wishes they were bigger like city 4, but they aren’t, isn’t it sad, and making a brief passing under an I40 bridge that leads to city 5. Mmkay, first of all there should never be more than 2 city options on a highway interchange. Frankly, two is usually one too many. Because my map lady is not a fast reader and she always comes on during my favorite song which is a major vibe killer. My carpool karaoke skills are obviously top notch but my voice rarely meshes with the non-existent beat of an automated map robot.

If it’s not just a standard, “where am I” sign, they’re announcing bad news and no one needs that when you’re on a straight road where the speed limit is 70 MPH, but you’re currently STOPPED. If there’s congestion for the next 20 miles, just throw a pixelated rendition of the poop emoji up. Feels more humane than knowing how far I have to go before I can begin using my gas pedal again. My least favorite highway signs are the exit food signs with zero options. Zero?! Why even make the blue sign? What is the purpose? Who are you helping by doing this? Not my emotions, that’s very clear. I guess that’s just one of the road crews OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOKS for the development of said rural exit.

Despite some ‘smack my head against the wall’ type of signs that have been the norm for pretty much ever, COVID has brought out all the clowns. And I’m here for it! A (very, very small) silver lining from the current worldly chaos. Let’s break down a few of the absolute gems, and also examine some non-COVID related, but general WUT signs for fun:

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YOU MIGHT BE A MILLENNIAL IF …

TL;DR: The year you were born is just a number. To be a true millennial you have to act like a millennial, walk like a millennial, talk like a millennial … this is starting to sound like a Jungle Book song.

Have you ever wondered if you’re a millennial? Maybe you’ve recently discovered how much you love working from home, or more accurately the lack of a commute, and feel conflicted. Maybe you tried avocado toast over the weekend and had a eureka moment, and now feel confused. Maybe you bought a bottle of wine with a twist off cap, on purpose, and now feel bewildered. Maybe your phone autocorrected yes to yee and you felt fine sending it anyways and now you feel disoriented.

Do any of those things on their own make you a millennial? How do you want me to answer this? Technically, number-wise, no. But I think the beauty of the millennial generation is the embracement of mindset. Your mindset is a powerful thing. A good mindset can change your entire life. Literally. It can make the crappiest of moments bearable and the best moments even better. A bad mindset makes you the human version of Oscar the Grouch. So if you’re wondering why no one wants to hang out with you, then I have some bad news. Circling back, though, yes, those thoughts and actions would put you in the millennial mindset. Thus making you an honorary millennial. Does that make you happy or sad? You get to decide. Embrace it!

There are obviously some very millennial things that people do today. No denying it. In fact, not all of them are flattering to be known for (hello TINY HOUSES and not taking vacations). Some of them are interesting to put it nicely. Other things are innovative. Look at that. Even in our actions we are all over the map. Unfocused, as some would say. Not living in reality, older generations might believe. That’s ok. I don’t care. Because we made working from home cool before COVID-19, so we had much less trouble adjusting to the new, virtual world.

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TWO SUITS PLUS A POWER TRIP EQUALS A HOT MESS

TL;DR: The first presidential debate is officially in the books. Or should I say, the first pathetic debate is officially in the books. Chaos was expected, but even expected no one could have prepared for what happened to our country Tuesday night. Neither candidate stood out. Feels like a level playing field at this point. Is Canada still taking new citizens?

RIP America. It’s been a fun ride. I’m a bit shocked we’re ending so soon, but it is still 2020, so I guess all is fair during the end of the world. Am I the only one still a bit in shock from what happened on Tuesday night? Too bad it wasn’t a Netflix comedy special because it was hilarious. Until you remembered that these were our two leading candidates for President. Of the United States. Yikes! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, so I just drank. Like a fish. Rose and Sprite. Vodka and Sprite. Passion Fruit Rum and Sprite. Turns out, if you water down your drinks with Sprite, you can drink longer. Which was great since our drinking game kind of hit the wall from the very first segment. It started strong and, like a train without any brakes, just kept going full speed towards a cliff.

Here’s the deal … despite the questionable approach, there was a clear winner to the debate. It was Chris Wallace. Mighty moderator and authoritative figure with enough power to silence the BICKERING CHILDREN. Also, whoever vacuumed the carpet was a winner. Those lines were sharp enough to slice a pizza with. I feel like they deserve a shoutout. As is the rule of life, if you have a winner, it implies that there was a loser. America was that loser on Tuesday. Pretty sure the podiums were the most stable things on stage. Is this really the best we can do? Please send somebody else. What if this is all a big ruse so that RBG’s ghost can come back and take the White House by force to be our fearless leader?! That would honestly feel right given everything else that’s happening in the world lately.

I have to respond. He said something so I have to respond. What we witnessed was a clear battle between unfiltered and unhinged. On the one hand, we have someone who isn’t afraid of interrupting. Even when their party agreed to give each candidate an uninterrupted 2 minutes to answer the questions. On the other hand, we have flustered FloJoe who can’t always say the words. Because words are hard when you’ve got white noise blasting in your ear constantly. Although, Joe did it to himself on more than one occasion. If he had just said law AND ORDER, we could have avoided a whole 7 ish minute filibuster. Trump was asking for something simple. So simple. All you had to do was say it. Could have saved us all, but no! The party loyalty runs deeper than the American people’s patience.

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WHY I PRACTICE YOGA

TL;DR: Yoga has a lot of amazing health benefits: reduced stress, improved energy and vitality, protection against injury, anxiety relief, and better quality of life among other things. Who wouldn’t want any of those things? Especially with so little sacrifice on your end.

In case you’ve never opened an Internet browser ever, yoga has kind of taken over the world. It’s a huge buzzword in the fitness community, but its benefits impact all aspects of your life. With literally zero effort and preparation you can knock out a quick yoga sesh anytime, anywhere, with anyone, wearing anything. There are no rules to it, which is probably part of the appeal. I guess the only rule is to focus on your breathing and the mind, body, soul connection. But who would really know if you opted to daydream about all the vacations you’re going to crank out once our American travel ban is lifted by the rest of the world.

Like with most good things, there are critics who have “concerns” about the actual energy expenditure to physical toning equation and are “skeptical” of the health benefits. And thus you get a couple of different mindsets on the matter. The yogis, who are not only invested in practicing the yoga techniques, but are passionate about teaching others and spreading the word. The post-workout yoga stretchers, who see the benefits and like to supplement other, more intense workouts, with a good re-centering exercise to finish off. The yoga is the exercise devil group, who are very vocal about their dislike for everything yoga related and find joy in tearing yogis away from their one true love.

Feels a bit extreme, doesn’t it? I fall in the middle group, but would like to ride the yoga mat levels up to yogi. Everytime I practice yoga, I feel my stress disappear, my anxiety relieves itself for the time being, my energy levels spike, and overall my quality of life improves. It’s also a great way to protect myself against future injury. Not to humble brag or anything, but I’m kind of a yoga stud. I’m an absolute pro at yoga. Not everyone has mastered it in the way that I have. No mat needed. No awkward animal positions that are supposedly relaxing, but really just point out all the ways you aren’t remotely flexible. No overpriced leggings – any outfit will do. Did I lose you? Yo, ga to the next paragraph and catch my drift.

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DEAR POLITICIANS: IF YOU CAN’T WALK THE WALK, DON’T TALK THE TALK

TL;DR: Political ads and campaigns are … the worst. How about instead of focusing on what your opponent has, or hasn’t done, why don’t you tell us about what you’re going to do? Better yet, how about you follow through?

I’m not really a political person. And by that I mean I avoid politics like I avoid anchovies on pizza. I will straight up toss a conversation in the trash without a second thought. Because politics are evil. They tear people apart. This side, that side, the middle. Who cares? What do the sides even do anymore other than use their resources and energy trying to block the opposite side? It feels more like an offensive line than a government unit. That’s a football term for my non-sport fans. The offensive line has one job – protect the quarterback. Let no one get to him and if they try to, level them. 

Which works great in football! It makes sense since you’re trying to win a game. A game that doesn’t impact millions of peoples’ access to healthcare. Or educational initiatives. Or the environment. Or tax cuts. It does impact the economy, though. In a positive way by bringing people into your city. Similar to how Hamilton can make any town a booming metropolis just by showing up. We, the people, want entertainment. 

It’s not even politics itself that I have an issue with. Democracy is a good thing and I value my right to vote. What I do have questions about is our current approach to politics. Specifically during elections. Maybe it was a dream I had, but I thought there used to be a time when political ads would focus on the candidate that approved them instead of the person they were running against. Did I make that up? Doesn’t really matter – the point is I can’t stand whatever finger pointing game is happening on my tv right now. Sally said this. Jill did that. Karen, well she’s a Karen, are you really surprised? I don’t care! What are you going to do?!

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MAKING MY PARENTS PROUD, MY SIBLINGS ARE

TL;DR: That feeling when you do something great (like getting, and keeping, a job), but then your sibling announces they’ve been named National College Student of the Year and your mom asks why you can’t be more like them. Yep, THAT feeling.

I’m going to start by saying that I love my siblings very much. Just needed to put that out there so I don’t get blackballed from future family gatherings / gift exchanges. It has, however, recently been brought to my attention that I am the least successful sibling. Which is interesting. Because I don’t remember when I went from first to worst. Last time I checked I was riding a solid middle of the pack wave.

At some point, fairly recently, I clearly fell down the totem pole. Could it have been because the rest of my siblings are annoyingly successful at everything? Probably. They’re those people who could get pushed backwards out of a first story window and land on their feet. That’s barely possible for cats. Who are known for their nimbleness and immortality. Do you know someone like this? No? Then you’re probably this person. Own it! Not all of us have been blessed by the life gods. 

Nothing like accomplishing something you didn’t think was possible, like landing a real adult job after graduation, only to have your freaking sibling pipe up right after to announce they’ve been invited to have dinner with the Prime Minister for their dedication to inclusion with the international students on campus. What?! Excuse me, but this is not your sharing time. I am now officially contributing to society at the lowest possible level a college degree will get you. Go somewhere else with all that. Maybe the UK? They seem to want to talk more about what an amazing human being you are.

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DATING APPS ARE OUT OF CONTROL

TL;DR: The dating app market caters to everyone. Every single little standard that you look for in a partner. Want someone to plow your fields and harvest some vegetables for dinner? Hay-ll yeah that exists. Are you attracted to clowns? Honk your nose because there’s a site for you! What I believe we have here, is a problem.

Why is love so hard? Well, it doesn’t have to be! We all have a set of standards and expectations that are used to filter out potential partners. Good familial relationships, excellent cook, no aspirations of a dad bod, compassionate, 6’2”, has a job, gives strong preferential treatment to dogs over all other pets, has friends, etc. You know what yours are. In my experience this list of requirements varies greatly between each of us. The majority of the list makes sense since they are values that are important to you. Or at least help aid your agenda of producing the next Stephen Curry. 

But if you’re honest with yourself for a split second, there is probably at least one item on there that is more of a suggestion. It would be great if they didn’t judge my afterwork habits. It would be great if they showed up at my door just to drop off a package of Chewy Chips-Ahoy cookies when I have a bad day … and then of course leave me alone with my cookies and feelings. It would be great if they drove a sports car, or at least had an interest in owning one someday. Blah, blah, blah. These aren’t so much dealbreakers as dealmakers. When you’re trying to decide between several potential candidates and it comes down to the little details. 

Thankfully, several different companies have popped up to target all of your oddly specific criteria for a partner. In my opinion, some of them make sense since they still allow for a broad enough range of options outside of the main focus. A lot of them, however, simply saw the line (the ‘you’re taking it too far’ line) and flew right by it without even blinking. For those of you not overly familiar with the online dating options, or for those that like to play it safe with the most popular options, let’s look at what all is available to you (according to Google – and GOOGLE KNOWS ALL) ranked from most sensible to ‘wut?’:

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DEAR TWIX: NOBODY CARES, STOP MAKING US PICK SIDES

TL;DR: Left or right? Right or left? I’ll just go ahead and say that everyone is over it. I’m not sure why it’s lasted this long, I’m not even really sure how it began, but please make it end.

We all know commercials. The ones that inconveniently interrupt your binge-watching session so that someone can profit. Is it the TV provider? I certainly hope not! My bill is high enough so if you’re getting commercial revenue in addition I would like a discount. In actuality, I think it’s mainly for the shows, or movies, or reality stars, or puppy bowl participants, to make money. Which, ok, on one hand this strategy makes sense. You spend millions of dollars per episode and that has to come from somewhere! I’ve never owned a million dollars and would happily work for a few hundred, so if it’s a payroll problem hit me up. On the other hand, though, we live in a modern age. An age where promotional consideration is everything. So, why can your promotional products not pay for what I’m watching? Apple is doing just fine, they can bankroll your movie if you opt for the iPhone look over Samsungs. 

Maybe I don’t know enough about how the screen world works. I will admit, these could be both accurate and incorrect assumptions at the same time. What a fun paradigm that is! Hypothetically, if you’re both wrong and right, are you actually wrong? Is right even a thing? Is it possible that two wrongs don’t make a right, but one wrong can? I have a million questions for the philosophers behind morals now. I believe I’ve found the loophole to life! Wasn’t where I thought this was going just a paragraph before, but wow! I’ve shocked myself and that doesn’t happen often.

Life lessons aside, commercials are a part of life. They mostly suck. Some commercials are absolute gold, though, and worthy of my time. The Snickers feed the world Super Bowl spot, for example. Progressive’s parental life coach is also on that list along with another premium insurance one – that, of course, would be GEICO’s “well, the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time” ad. When that first came out, I simply thought the tagline was excellent. Since then, however, my parents have become obsessed with the squirrels in their backyard. This is a true story. They drink coffee and watch the squirrels. If you’re in a conversation with one of them, and they see a squirrel in their peripheral, they’re no longer listening to you. It’s an experience. I’m sure it will be a whole post very soon.

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YES, YOU CAN MAKE A TURN WITHOUT COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP

TL;DR: An object in motion tends to stay in motion – basic physics. So, when driving, your car (in motion) will make the turn easier in motion. No need to fully stop and then start again … unless of course the light is red or there is a CONFUSING STOP SIGN present.

If bad drivers are my pet peeve, slow turners aggravate me to no end. We live in a society that puts high value on fast – fast food, fast service, fast relief, fast workouts, etc. Yet, for some reason, a significant portion of people don’t believe the fast mindset should apply to turning. Sure, high speed turns are probably not the safest option, but make a normal paced one at the very least. Why do certain people come to an almost complete stop before going through the full motion? What is happening here? Turns are not stops. They are simply a way to change the direction your front bumper is facing. 

Is it a turn radius issue? Because I believe that even older cars are still fully capable of making a regular turn with some sort of speed on the wheels. If, however, you opt to only partially turn the wheel then yes, that certainly is a turn radius issue, but a user generated one and not a mechanical oversight. If you turn the wheel all the way, though, it’s fascinating how efficiently your car will pivot without you having to stop and readjust the wheel alignment somewhere else. Once moving, simply remove your foot from the gas pedal, turn the wheel (not partially, get that crap out of here), and accelerate into the turn. Otherwise you’re holding up traffic and making people angry. Horn angry in a lot of cases. 

There’s three main issues with slow turners:

  1. They feel a need to basically stop completely at each turn – this is rarely necessary
  2. They don’t give into the turn radius – your car can handle it, it’s been well tested
  3. They finally complete a turn and fail to pick up any sort of speed out of it

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WHY TUESDAY IS BETTER SUITED TO START THE WEEK

TL;DR: Mondays are so blah and they’re pretty much only great on vacation. Tuesday is much better suited to handle all the burden of starting the week off with a bang. Food specials, drink specials, evening entertainment, one less day of work … what the heck else would you want from day one?

The traditional business calendar officially recognizes four long weekends every year. One starts on a Friday while we’re all still in food comas and, conveniently, don’t even know, or wouldn’t be functional otherwise. The others, thankfully, fall on Mondays, which is really what the human spirit needs. Monday is probably the day of the week least suited to start a workweek. What does Monday bring to the table really? Nothing. Endless planning meetings. Moody customers. Five whole days of work ahead. Weak food and drink specials. What a resume! 

I believe that Tuesday was created to kick off our weeks and, somewhere along the way, we goofed up and accidentally started on Monday. I’m guessing since we were just so excited to get out of the house and into the office. Clearly this happened a very long time ago, when technology wasn’t a thing, so the office was a social gathering of sorts. You could get away from all of your responsibilities and make some money. Kind of an appealing sales pitch, honestly. Our gungho spirit pushed us into the office one day too early and instead of admitting the mistake, we just stuck with it. Like the proud Americans that we are!

Hindsight is always 20/20, though, and I’m ready to argue for why we need to put Tuesday back in its rightful place. At the beginning of the work week. Because Tuesday is everything that Monday is not. Tuesday has taco and marg specials, for one. Tuesday also gives everyone an entire extra day of rest each weekend so the workweek isn’t as daunting. Meaning people aren’t as moody. And if they are, throw some $2 tacos down their throats, because I have yet to meet someone who can be angry and eat a taco at the same time. Pretty sure it’s physically impossible! There would also have to be fewer meetings since the work week would be an entire day shorter. No more unnecessary shooting of the wind just to hit the hour mark. Get in, get out, get to work. Efficiency at its finest!

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THE SUBTLE ART OF CHOOSING NOT TO REMEMBER

TL;DR: Some people forget, some people choose not to remember. Some people are trustworthy, some people are liars. Is there a connection, most definitely.

The dictionary defines forgetting as a failure to remember. An innocent act where a task, thought, sentiment, etc. flies away from our easily distracted minds on accident – never to return. Well, that’s not entirely true. It returns in full force when someone gets mad that you forgot their birthday, or to get cheese at the store, or that you were supposed to pick up their kid from swim practice, or that you love them, or any number of things. In other words, forgetting is bliss. Until it becomes an intense panic.

While there are certain times when forgetting is a valid excuse, I find that a lot of people simply choose not to remember. Failure, after all, is merely a lack of being prepared. So if you aren’t prepared to remember, or don’t care enough to remember, then that’s on you. It’s not an acceptable reason to pick up a pack of store brand graham crackers at the grocery store on your way home because you didn’t realize it was Tuesday and I expect my weekly present. I mean, if you’re going to get me anything from the grocery store as an afterthought, it would be Chewy Chips Ahoy obviously. Or did you also forget how much I like those? Don’t be cheap and don’t be a liar.

Don’t believe me? Ok, I’ll prove it to you in a series of highly relatable examples. It’s fine if you start to blush, or get a little embarrassed reading through these, nobody’s perfect. I, for one, often choose not to remember when my daily morning meeting starts in an effort to send the subtle hint to my boss that they are not my favorite (like a real adult). I have also been known to actively choose non-remembrance when my doctor asks how my diet has improved since the last visit. Hard to say how much was sugar versus healthy … it was definitely a pyramid though so I should get points for staying within the geometric shape.

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NOT ALL TOILETS ARE CREATED EQUAL

TL;DR: There’s no easy way to jump down this hole … so let’s just dive right down the drain! Not all toilets bring the same power. Some are top of the strength chain, others are running steady in the middle of the pack, and some, well, they aren’t ready for the big stage quite yet.

Let’s get awkward. Everyone has to use the bathroom. Women included. Why is that a relationship milestone? Comfort level: the girl uses the bathroom … just like me … interesting. I have so many questions on this, but that’s not really the point of this post. Ah, but I can’t resist, let’s address a few of them really quick. Number one quick. What do you think is happening in women’s restrooms? How else would they clear their systems of Taco Bell? Do you understand how human digestive systems work? If so, do you also understand that men and women both have digestive systems? That isn’t a one way street. It’s not a level up prize for part of the human species. Ok, I have to stop before I get further down this drain.

Are diapers considered toilets? Disposable toilets? One and done dump stations? Technically, they are engineered for one purpose. Which, of course, is containment. Although they don’t go into the sewer system … so are they just trash? Disgusting trash, but I guess technically still a stinking piece of garbage. On the other hand, it’s a designated area for the business. I’m genuinely curious now. According to the top hit on a brilliant Google search, they are merely a back-up and “not full-time toilets”. I don’t have children, you’re welcome universe, but I have friends with children. Who I’m sure would argue that the diaper IS a full-time toilet until a grown-up, plastic, potty training toilet can be introduced. What parent out there is using diapers as merely a backup option? You’re telling me that you spend the day closely monitoring the child and hoping to correctly guess at which point to rush them into the bathroom? No. No, I don’t buy that. We are all much too busy to be observant to someone else’s bowel schedule.

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THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF BEING A SPORTS FAN

TL;DR: If you care about sports at all, you understand that your emotions are directly tied to how well, or how poor, your team performs on any given day. Then, for all the non-championship winning fans, you hold on to your anger, and regret, throughout the off-season. Like a normal human.

The sports industry is massive. Everyone puts out a different estimate of its total worth because, if the government has taught us anything, it’s that agreement is not a correct answer, but everyone has the value somewhere in the billions. With a ‘b’. That wasn’t a typo. So it’s kind of a big deal. A LOT of people are invested, physically, monetarily, and emotionally. If you aren’t one of those people, you might not understand anything that I’m about to write.

Let me backup for a second, though, how can you not be a sports fan? What do you do with your time if it isn’t spent screaming at people through the television? People who obviously can hear you and care about your opinions on your performance. Also, everything is a sport now. The traditional ball, basket, and jersey don’t always apply anymore. Do you do nothing? If you don’t consider yourself a sports fan, why not try one of these “hobbies-that-are-somehow-considered-a-sport”:

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LIFE LESSONS FROM COLLEGE

TL;DR: All the useless knowledge you were forced to learn to become a “well-rounded” adult is all going to benefit you in some way in the future. HA! Just kidding, it was a total ploy to take your money.

Let’s talk about all the times I use my degree today. Ok, that was fun, moving on. Remember college? Move in with a stranger, who will obviously become your best friend, after a touch of drama, a dorm room bigger than your kitchen at home, classes like once a month, and classy parties where everyone accepts you immediately and you eventually become the hottest human on campus within a week. No? Not your experience? That must just be the Hollywood portrayal, I guess.

What about actual college? The real life version. College was amazing – on the weekends when there were millions of hours to work on my Monday assignments and I had zero cares about anything. I learned so much from my time there. Socially. Also academically, but that has yet to transfer very applicably to life. If we look past the price tag that could buy the entire Tesla S3X lineup, there were some very valuable takeaways:

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BACK-TO-SCHOOL SURVIVAL PLAYLIST

TL;DR: Going back-to-school is great – EVERYTHING is on sale! Backpacks, clothes, food, technology, books, music, games, yoga mats … anything you can think of really. But the actual school aspect gets old after about the first hour so you need a solid playlist for all of your back-to-school adventures.

Can we all agree that back-to-school shopping is the best thing about actually going back to school? Your parents are happy because everything is (slightly) cheaper than it was in July and you’re happy because you’re about to roll up on day 1 like a freaking rockstar in your fresh clothes and accessories with the tags still on it. Back in my day, which was longer ago than I’m comfortable admitting to the Internet, we always got new spiral notebooks (because the composition ones were so last generation), super fancy pens/pencils/highlighters/markers/anything that marks a piece of paper basically, the good erasers (the ones for the art students that could erase anything – including the bad memories of having to erase the entire writing test and start over because you realized at the end it had nothing to do with the ridiculous given prompt), some sort of binder, at least one new outfit, and if we were lucky, a new backpack. By lucky, clearly I mean if we were clever enough to “wear out” our one from the previous year with the rigorous demands of learning.

Today, however, I’m assuming the children roll up on hoverboards with their smart backpacks containing the latest, greatest smartphone, tablet, and TI calculator (the ones that essentially pass math for you). Most likely with a smartwatch on their wrist, and shoes that cost more than my grocery bill. Nothing makes you feel less successful than seeing a child have better style, and technology, than you … a hard-working, money making adult. It’s fine, whatever, I’m over it. At least I can drive myself to Target whenever I want and buy all of the Chewy Chips Ahoy for “sharing” with others. And by others I clearly mean my mouth and my stomach

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DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

TL;DR: Watching the NCAA trying to make decisions lately is a lot like watching a chihuahua attempt to boss around a pack of Rottweilers. Shockingly, it’s an ineffective strategy. Who would have guessed?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

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NO, I’M SORRY, LIFE DOESN’T GIVE OUT PARTICIPATION TROPHIES – GROW UP

TL;DR: Who decided that everyone needed to get an award for just showing up? They clearly never won anything, or they would know how ridiculous that idea is. Tell the kids like it is – winners get awards and if you’re not a winner, try harder!

Where did we go wrong? The next generation of “adults” have been raised to believe that everyone is a winner. Um … everyone is not a winner. There has to be a loser. That’s how this works. I understand that all of us aren’t into sports, but that’s no excuse not to brace your children for the reality that is life. If we all got what we wanted just for waking up and putting on clothes, though, the world would be chaos. Everyone would be in their dream job, married to their celebrity crush, and financially very well off.

For those of us born before 2000, we can remember a time when there was no gray zone. If you didn’t win, you lost. And you may have been sad, you may have cried, but you learned from that. You learned that you had to be better. Or you would not win. You would not get a trophy just for being there and taking the team picture.  No one would lie to you about your potential in that particular field. Life was good.

Then, at some point earlier this century, someone decided that their kid was not a loser. And no one could tell them that they were a loser. Parents started putting their children’s feelings in a perfect little bubble so they could never be sad. But then school started, and those kids had a social awakening and life, as they knew it, was over. Enter the participation trophy. Return the sheltered children to where they belong – in a fantasy. In my head, the participation trophy is something that will be heavily examined by the future humans of Earth. Much like our fascination with the caveman and their discovery of fire.

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NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY, BETTER BRING AN UMBRELLA

TL;DR: There is ALWAYS a chance of rain – don’t let the lack of clouds, or the 0% chance weather forecast, fool you.

Some things in life are certain:

  • The sun will come up tomorrow
  • The new Oreo flavors will continue to be both questionable, yet delicious
  • The radio will ruin your favorite song by playing it non-stop for 400 weeks in a row
  • The Detroit Lions won’t make the Super Bowl this year
  • And there is always a chance of rain

It’s kind of like an ironic miracle every time the weather decides to throw a little self-pity party and literally rain on our parade. If there is full sun and no clouds, where does the rain even come from? Angels? Maybe, but it seems to me like angels don’t get sad … that’s the point of heaven right? Is the sun crying? Are the satellites leaking? Is it the aliens? I have so so so many questions on how this is even possible.

Think about it for a second. Clouds carry moisture, so even a white cloud has some possibility of rain. That makes sense. But when there are no clouds, where, oh where, is the rain coming from? More importantly, is it sanitary? I have a lot of concerns on where this mysterious sky water could be falling from and most of them make me question my choice to just sit there and take it.

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BOY MEETS GIRL, GIRL MEETS BOY, BOY MEETS BOY, GIRL MEETS GIRL … ETC.

TL;DR: You can’t choose who you fall in love with, but more importantly, you can’t choose who other people fall in love with. Besides, why do you care so much? How is them being a couple impacting your life? You need to CALM DOWN.

Love looks different for everyone. Some people love men, some people love women, some people love themselves, some people love food, some people love their dogs, some people love their cats. But no matter where your heart lies, it’s your business. Who, or what, you love is your decision. This is not a one-way street, though. If you get to enjoy zero judgement from other people on where you choose to shoot Cupid’s arrow, then you don’t get to judge other people.

That’s the definition of pot calling the kettle black. Hypocritical to the max. I, for one, do not have the mental, or emotional, capacity to get worked up over what other people do. I’m trying to remember where I parked my car. I can’t also be trying to remember when was the last time I saw Billy date a girl. Who cares? Seriously, how is it any of your business? It only impacts you if you constantly think about it, complain about it, go out of your way to voice your opinion about it, you get the point. It’s a choice to be angry. Which I don’t understand at all. Why would you not choose to just be happy? Happiness > Angriness. Basic math. First day of kindergarten. First day in Sunday School. First life lesson we all learn. Life is better when you’re in a good mood.

Let’s use food as an example because I don’t know anything more relatable to humankind as a whole than the concept of food. We all have different preferences, right? Some of us like sweet foods, some of us like salty foods, some of us like healthy foods, some of us like to drink our meals, etc. Doesn’t mean that we will all like the same things. For example, I still like to hang out with my friends who eat vegetables and support their cooking adventures by showing up for dinner and finding creative ways to feed their dog. Even though my go to food is chocolate.

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AUGUST IS THE MOST OVERRATED MONTH

TL;DR: At any stage in your life, August is overrated. As a kid, it means school is coming back. As an adult it means summer vacation season is ending and you still have to work. As a retiree, you probably don’t even know it’s August, so who cares anyways?

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.

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

TL;DR: Opinions make the world go round. Wait, no, facts make the world go round, but opinions make the journey so much more fun. If no one had opinions, we would all have the glazed doughnut look that comes from listening to someone read you an encyclopedia, but all the time.

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.

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JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE UNREALISTIC

TL;DR: There’s no worse feeling than reading a job description and realizing they want more years of experience than you’ve even been alive … for an entry level position.

Job hunting is fun – said no one ever. Trying to find a job is a job. A full-time position in resume crafting, cover letter tailoring, interview prepping, interview clothes finding (I can’t remember the last time I wore anything nicer than jeans, so it’s a full on treasure hunt to the ends of my drawers) … and that’s after you find one you’re qualified for. Investigating all the Internet hiding spots of open positions is it’s own adventure. Between job sites, company career pages, recruiters, freelance profiles, Craigslist propositions, etc. there’s a lot of “options”. Or so they want you to believe. On second thought, I would say it’s probably not safe to take a multi-million dollar a week salary doing basically nothing for someone you’ve never before interacted with out in the middle of South Dakota from a Craigslist proposition.

PSA Recap: Craigslist may not be a viable place to find a job. One less thing to stress about, then! You’re welcome. That, unfortunately doesn’t do much to diminish the stress from all the legit sites out there. Let’s break down the various ways one can find a job to apply for, and hopefully, get paid for. The original job hunt where you spend time searching all the different variations that one specific job could have as a title and attempt to filter through the results. Filtering by location, experience level, salary, company, etc. Filters for everything that still, somehow, return 10’s of thousands of results. What? I thought that was the point of filtering? To narrow down the list I had to go through? To, you know, make it easier for me to become employed? And contribute to society? And be an “adult”? Clearly, I’ve been confused about the point of a filter, or the ones on job sites simply don’t work.

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SIDEWALK RULES: WALK RIGHT, PASS LEFT

TL;DR: Like most things in life, there are courtesy rules that everyone should follow when walking on a sidewalk. Move right, pass left – as with every other form of movement. How hard can it be?

In case anyone forgot, it’s 2020. That means it’s been 150 years since the first sidewalk was paved in America. Why is there not a centennial golden jubilee celebration planned anywhere for this?! I’m a bit disappointed honestly. Whatever, it’s fine. I will move on with my life. Maybe I’ll go outside and draw a chalk cake on the ground. But with the candles that just have the numbers on them – you know, the cheater candles. The product invented so someone didn’t have to math before a party. That’s why your cake just has two candles to spell out your age and not one for each year. Take it personally. If they really cared about you they would have taken the time to count out each year you’ve been alive.

Sidewalks probably don’t have feelings like humans do. They probably don’t feel sad when someone forgets their birthday. Someone who uses them constantly and never acknowledges their worth. Just stomps all over them without so much as a thank you. *Probably*. We don’t know. Supposedly plants have feelings, so why can’t concrete? Or brick? Or pavement? I, for one, care about the sensitive side of our sidewalks. Specifically where they may be caving in a bit so I know where not to step and blow something small into a big issue. I don’t need to twist an ankle and miss a week of adult soccer. My whole social life would be in disarray. 

Kind of like the confusion that happens when a sidewalk abuser doesn’t follow the one rule necessary to participate on said piece of concrete. Surely, you know what rule this is. It’s the same rule that is in place on pavement all over the country. One that everyone can (mostly) follow while operating a motorized vehicle. Frustratingly, though, when you take someone out of a machine and have them use their own legs, or some sort of leg powered transportation method, all chaos breaks loose. Walk right, pass left.

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THE LANGUAGE OF STARBUCKS

TL;DR: Barista: Tall, Grande, or Venti? Me: Um … medium water? Barista: One grande purified clear roast locally sourced from the streams of the tallest mountains. Me: … no, just a water will be fine, thanks.

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? S-Bean? 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.

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IF MY DOG HAD A TINDER

TL;DR: You ever think about what it would be like if our animals had access to some of the same things we do in life? Like dating apps? Specifically the fire of the desire, Tinder? No? Lucky for you, I do!

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.

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DEAR BANK TELLERS: LET’S BOTH ACCEPT THAT I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO FILL OUT THOSE SLIPS OF PAPER … PLEASE STOP ASKING IF I HAVE ONE

TL;DR: Why are banks forever stuck in the last century? I don’t even know the last time I used a pen – who writes things on paper still?! So, did I correctly guess which one piece of paper I needed, out of the 50 options, and then fill it out? No, no I did not.

What a time to be alive. Smartwatches, self-driving cars, every restaurant available for delivery, no shame for laying on a couch all day to watch TV, Chewy Chip-Ahoy. So much progress. So much technology. So much innovation. So much delicious food. So many choices for which piece of paper to fill out when you walk into a bank. Did that entire sector of the economy miss the memo? Did no one tell them that it isn’t 1879 anymore? Why are they always the last ones to know … everytime?

For starters, how long did it take banks to get useful online applications up? Too long. How long did it take for banks to finally jump on the happy app train? Too long. How long did it take for banks to do everything in their power to have minimal interactions with customers? Well, this is to be determined since they still seem to love face to face awkward money conversations. Self service is the future. Why talk to an angry, or confused, customer on the phone when they could read an article, or talk to a robot, and figure it out themselves? Anyways, I digress. Back to what’s really important here, which is how confusing it is to write on paper at the bank. It’s the only time I actually write something that doesn’t involve a screen and a cursor.

Some financial institutes have graciously allowed app users to deposit checks via picture. Genius. One less interaction and one less stressful choice at the paper counter. Choosing a slip is somewhat almost kind of intuitive. They’re all different colors. Then it’s usually an educated guess based on the two words I know: deposit and withdrawal. One is exciting and the other is sad. When in doubt, go with the more positive choice. That’s the easy part, though. After you have carefully selected what you hope to be the right check-sized piece of paper, then you have to fill it out. Who knows their bank account number off the top of their head? I don’t even memorize phone numbers, you think I’m going to memorize my bank number? Hard pass.

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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WAITING IN THE CHICK-FIL-A DRIVE-THRU LINE

TL;DR: Drive-thru lines are the worst. Now more than ever and waiting in them, for food to relive your case of the hangries, is a social experiment in patience. Chick-Fil-A does a lot of things right, but their drive-thru waits are legendary and not in a good way.

Like a good Southerner, I understand that Chick-fil-A is part of the food pyramid. Not the whole base, but the second biggest tier for sure. Combined, of course, with Bojangles’ and their legendary sweet tea. In essence, people living south of Virginia are 50% chicken, 10% sweet tea, and 10% seasoned fries. The remaining 30% is gravy, banana pudding, and mac n’ cheese #math.

Since our sustenance relies heavily on the big red C, it’s imperative that I make regular appearances. Except on Sundays because the owners are clearly good southern christians and leave one day a week for home cooked meals at Grandma’s house. Unfortunately, I am not the only one living with this gratitude mindset. For all of the genius that is the CFA kitchen, their parking lot layouts leave a lot to be desired. Specifically the drive-thru portion of the design. Everyone, and their mothers, know that there is never a dead period at CFA. Everyone except the car space architects apparently.

It does not matter what time of day you get a hankering for waffle fries and magical chicken, there will be a full drive-thru line. 3:45PM on a Tuesday? Packed. 11:15AM on a Thursday? Can’t even get in the parking lot. Anytime before 10:30AM? Forget it! People will fight to get their Chick-n-Minis before the breakfast menu shuts down. They are also the only restaurant I know with an all day lunch rush. How is that even possible?! How is the whole world eating both an early, on time, and late lunch every day of the week every week of the year? That’s not possible.

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TINY HOUSE, MIGHTY PROBLEMS

TL;DR: Remember when tiny houses were all the rage? Reduce your footprint by reducing your space, your sanity, and everything you’ve ever loved. All in a convenient box that looks modern on the outside and barely holds a toilet on the inside, but with enough space to stand 75% of the way up!

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.

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CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

TL;DR: Happy Birthday, America! Let’s grab a supersized meal, some cold beers, and celebrate appropriately in a way only we can – with fire.

Drinking and fire is a combination. Not an ideal one, but one nonetheless. Probably because alcohol and confidence go hand in hand. I have found, though, that confidence and cockiness often get confused and I think the real issue is that alcohol and cockiness go hand in hand (more on that dilemma in THIS POST). Enter the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Which, at some point, was probably a historical celebration. I’m not sure when that changed, but now it’s a bonus day off work and yet another excuse to drink (because who doesn’t need another one of those?!).

Official, and unofficial, drinking holidays are essentially the modern calendar. A millennial edition, so to speak. When you know that a giant cookout themed with the American flag, and its respective colors, is this weekend, you understand exactly where you’re at in the year. No question. Beginning of July. Over halfway to Christmas. One month into summer. One month until school starts … but not for me because I’ve crossed into the “adult” realm and have, wait for it, another month of work. Three months until Fall starts, which is obviously the best season of the year. Since alcohol usually leads to a fall at some point. Thus, more drinking!

And obviously, once one has started drinking, the pack mentality kicks in, and everyone else follows. Unless you’re at a party with children, in which case, some are allowed to have fun and others are stuck “parenting”. This brings one main question into my mind, which, of course, is was there no babysitter available? If not, is there no allowance-dependent pre-teen in attendance who would gladly take your money to sit in the same rooms as the children and watch TikToks all night? Because I feel like the latter is always a great bailout.

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CONFIDENCE V. COCKINESS – THE STORY OF A FINE LINE

TL;DR: Being confident will take you far in life. Being cocky will get you punched in the face. A lot. Know the difference, live the difference, be the difference.

Everyone strives to be confident in life. The feeling where you are self-assured and nothing can get to you. How you dress, how you act, what you do, what you eat, how much you eat, how little you work out, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – everything. Is that person throwing the side-eye and definitely hard core judging you? You don’t care. You’re cool as a cucumber. Fly as a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. Swiping like a boss. It’s sexy. It’s healthy. It’s strong. It’s a good way to be successful … well, at least according to Hollywood.

Sometimes, though, very unfortunately, confidence crosses the line into an entirely different territory known as cockiness. Now, I understand how this is confusing to people. Both start with a ‘co’, both have 9 letters, both have 3 syllables, both have kind of similar letters, both inflate your ego to where you wake up and love seeing who’s staring back at you in the mirror, both kind of sound the if you say them quick enough for an extended period of time. 

As a blogger, I feel a need to educate the public on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of cockiness to keep everyone in the happy, healthy, goal-attaining place that is confidence. Let’s start with the symptoms. How can you tell if someone has crossed the threshold into cockiness? Well, for starters, they’ll tell you all about it. How great they are, how beautiful they are, what they do for work, what they’ve got going for them, how everyone wants them, how the world simply doesn’t see their potential, etc. Then, they’ll walk away mid-convo because you aren’t worth their time anymore. Sound like someone you know? Is that someone you? Don’t worry, there are treatment options.

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IF MY DOG HAD A JOB

TL;DR: Everyone loves their job, right? No? Well, surely, everyone would love it if they approached work the way that a dog would. Blazing your own trail, not stressed about deadlines, and completely ignorant to all co-workers unless they have food or a toy.

In honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, I took some precious work hours to imagine what life would be like if my dog had a job. How does she stay focused? What would she do? Would it be strictly for money, or would she actually enjoy her field? Does she have bills she has to pay? Is that why she has a job? How does she type? Does she even have a computer? Is it less of a tech-y role and more relationship building? How is she working remotely? Who taught her to use a computer and the webcam? Is she a contributor, or does she stare at her beautiful self on camera all day? How has she not been fired? What are her goals and how is she focused enough to meet that? How does she communicate with her co-workers? Do they speak dog?

I could keep going, but for the sake of time, and post length, let’s start with those and see what fun path we end up on. For starters, my dog’s attention span is negative. Unless you have food or have a squeaky toy. In both cases, she is laser focused. This poses several problems in a work environment. One being that no one could keep snacks at their desk because co-worker Dog would be at their side all day and, thus, not contributing her fair share of the work. Another one being that most people would get annoyed at the constant sound of a high pitch squeak from a questionably clean ball. The other major issue is that what happens when neither of these attention grabbers are present? She’s a loose cannon. Nobody knows. Could be sleeping on the carpet. Climbing on a desk. Begging to be pet. Sniffing a chair for the thousandth time. So many potential options.

Given the lack of productivity, what would she do? I’m thinking brand ambassador for something like pet food, pet supplies, or Windex (because there is no spatial awareness between her wet nose and the glass, let’s be honest). Clearly she isn’t in it for the money – she’s a dog. What would she do with money. Probably try and put it in her mouth which is a separate issue. Besides, being a brand ambassador comes with perks. Depending on the industry she could get free food, free squeaky toys, or free attention. Her three favorite things.

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ARE CATFISH THE LAZIEST OF FISHES?

TL;DR: Catfish live in holes at the bottom of the river waiting for curious creatures to venture in so they can eat them. What? That’s another level of lazy – but also, how do I get a job similar to theirs?

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.

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WHAT DO COVID AND VOLDEMORT HAVE IN COMMON?

TL;DR: Well, three letters for starters. But also a lot of other interesting connections that have left me unconvinced it’s not one and the same. Fiction meeting reality. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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.

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ROLLING UP IN SWEATS BECAUSE THAT’S JUST WHERE I’M AT IN LIFE

TL;DR: Sometimes life is calling you to just lounge. Take off the jeans, put on the sweats and sit on the couch like no one is watching.

I’m not sure why we didn’t make loungewear first and then decide to boycott all other forms of clothing. If the Victorian era folk could only see us now, they would be speechless – either from our choices in fashion or because their corset’s were too tight, maybe both. They’re probably rolling over in their graves. Women who don’t wear dresses that turn them from a normal, healthy size, into a quadruple 0 everyday? Blasphemy! Men who don’t wear three piece suits just to go walk around outside? Sacrilegious! Children who wear onesies? Adults who wear onesies? Loose fitting clothing? Oh my heavens, it’s the apocalypse for sure!

Meanwhile, I don’t remember the last time I wore real pants. You know, like jeans. Clearly doing my best to court a suitor in these outfits – sweats and t-shirts. My sneakers are always the most polished part of my outfit, like a true millennial. Working from home, or not, my sneakers better be clean and they better match the rest of my outfit. I take pride in that, kind of like how men used to take pride in their top hats. Don’t touch my sneakers! The only downfall to having a great sneaker collection, is having to wear non-sneakers to work. This is a problem. For starters, what difference would it make? I’m not client-facing – throw me in the back room and let me wear some comfortable shoes. Sneakers feel more versatile and also have much more personality than run of the mill “dress” shoes. Anyone can rock black and brown, but not everyone can rock teal and pink. Just saying, it’s a gift. 

They’re also easier to run in for all the times that your favorite food truck is about to close up shop. Or for when you’re about to miss the bus because somehow the alarm clock decided (all by itself) to snooze seventeen times, which is weird – AI has gone to a whole new level. While we’re at it, if I don’t have to wear real shoes, then I should be able to apply those principles to my whole outfit. Pretty sure a smart person once said that comfort leads to productivity … or motivation … or nicer human beings in general … or to more appropriate lunch servings (because comfort clothes are stretchy!). I might be thinking of a binge-watching marathon. Anyone can be a binge-watching pro – I talk all about how to crush your next couch day in THIS POST.

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PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

TL;DR: Stop means stop and yield means you can keep going, UNLESS someone is coming, then you have to stop. Save someone the stress of wondering if you’re going to follow the rules, or not, and know the difference.

There is nothing that irks me more than bad drivers. I can’t stress that sentence enough: bad drivers are my pet peeve! The reason I scream at my windshield and take my hands off the wheel to throw them up in frustration. The reason I usually show up at work stressed out (ok, this may be somewhat related to other circumstances … like the fact that I’m driving to work), but you get the point. I’m always amazed at how the overall quality of driving seems to decrease overnight. Every. Freaking. Night. Has the driving test gotten easier to pass? Is it now a pay-to-drive scheme where you just have to show up with cash and the person at the DMV is like ‘OK, let’s take your picture – you have 3 hours for that right?’.

I’m not going to say how many years it has been since I took the driving test, but for fun let’s say enough for my parent’s car insurance to drop down and they no longer have to sell their souls so I can drive. I almost failed my driving test before I left the parking lot because the radio was on and that is “distracting”. Literally turned the car on and the employee gave me this how dare you look and said ‘Really?! That’s how you want to start this test?!’. Being the clueless, snarky, idiot that I was, I replied, ‘Well, it’s hard to drive without turning the car on’. Which technically, is very true, but I should have known better and just brown-nosed it because my freedom (from having to be driven everywhere) was now in this (angry) employee’s hands. As you can imagine, it was a stressful drive and my every move was criticized. At one point when turning left, I looked left first, then right … is that incorrect? Not sure, but apparently it was that day.

Anyways, I digress. I have a lot of thoughts on the stupid things some drivers do, however, today I want to just put it out to the world that yield signs and stop signs are not the same thing. At all. In fact, they serve very different purposes. Let’s start with the obvious, one is an octagon that says STOP and the other is a triangle that says YIELD. That alone should be enough, but unfortunately, it is not so let’s go a little deeper.

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DEAR CUSTOMER SUPPORT: YES, I’VE TRIED RESTARTING IT

TL;DR: Every customer support call with AI: Representative. Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Select a menu option of say Representative. Representative. Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Select a menu option of say Representative. REPRESENTATIVE! That’s not an option – goodbye!

This is for everyone, everywhere, who has ever had to get on the phone with a customer support agent. For all the time wasted listening to one jazz song on repeat over and over and over again endlessly. For all the poor souls trying to navigate through the dizzying maze of menus with only their voice. For all the phone batteries trying to keep up with the unusual increase of constant background activity. For all the family members who will get to relive the experience whenever their loved one is set free, or hung up on. For all the unresolved issues that will endlessly sit in the AI cloud because either the speaker was not able to successfully get to a representative, or they accidentally got yeeted out of the system by the robot for too many unsuccessful attempts to speak with a human – or because they gave up. For all the doodles that are created while waiting in the queue of troubled customers. And for all the food and alcohol that is stress consumed from being “on hold”.

You are not alone. I’m here for you. Having to contact customer support is one of the worst things that can get added to your to-do list. Besides, obviously, cleaning out the gutters, vacuuming the baseboards, and killing the spider that has decided to take up residence in the bathroom. Because you never have to get in touch if everything is just peachy. It’s usually due to a problem, or a frustration, right? Which puts you in an ideal mindset to have an adult conversation where good problem solving can occur and your active listening skills are professional level.

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#SURVIVETHENIGHT … MORE LIKE #SURVIVETHEYEAR

TL;DR: Life has taken a turn recently. Borderline Purge-like fashion. I, for one, am not a fan of scary things and thus am not a fan of that franchise. I can always appreciate an opportunity to mock cinema, though, so let’s talk about all the questionable things from the trailers.

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.

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HINDSIGHT MAKES 90’s TOYS CREEPY

TL;DR: Maybe it was because they thought the world would end, but toy makers in the 90s had a twisted sense of fun. In hindsight, it could have been that us kids were just dumb enough to play with anything.

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.

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ARE YOU DTT?!

TL;DR: F and T are very different letters, get your mind out of the gutter – are you down to Target?! We need to talk about what happens to our minds when we enter the Bullseye zone because I, for one, lose all sense of control and end up with a full shopping cart not containing what I actually went in to get.

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?

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IN MEMORIAM: MEMORIAL DAY

TL;DR: In honor, and memory, of Memorial Day – one of the true weekend heroes throughout the year. Often known as the official kickoff to summer, it never fails to offer up good food, good booze, and good moods.

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.

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DID SOMEONE SAY THREE DAY WEEKEND?

TL;DR: No matter what phase of life you’re in, three day weekends are a gift. It’s an entirely different mentality. I mean an extra 24 hours to not have to do something you don’t like?! Looking at you work and school! It feels like winning the time lottery.

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.’

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DEAR COLLEGE: I ALREADY SOLD YOU MY SOUL, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE YOU

TL;DR: How is it that in college I have to pay just to be alive and yet, after I’ve given everything I have and then some, the school thinks it’s moral to spam my phone asking for more money? How is that legal? Seems like a pyramid scheme.

I miss college. All of the social activities, sporting events, parties, friendships, constant eating, freedom, and the general lack of real responsibilities. It was a great time. Sure, occasionally there were unfortunate obligations like class and exams and homework, but for the most part it was awesome. What I don’t miss is the amount of bills that I knew, but didn’t really know, I was racking up. That should really be part of the high school curriculum – financial planning. What are loans? What is debt? What are bills? What does the health insurance paperwork mean? How do you file taxes? So many actually helpful things that could be taught.

Because now I have these monthly payments that are no fun at all to make. They most certainly are not awesome or a great time. So many other things I would like to do with that part of my paycheck, like travel, shop, drink, eat, have an experience, donate to charity, etc. Literally anything other than paying back the school that gave me a piece of paper. Go to college, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get an education, they said. This way you can get a job, they said. It’s going to cost you everything, they didn’t say. Did I go? Yes. Was it fun? Most of the time. Did I get an education? Yes, but not the kind they probably had in mind. Was it the magic door to getting a job? Haha, absolutely not. Did selling my organs on the black market cover the cost? No, no – it was way more.

So, in other words, I spent all this money to get a job in the field that someone printed on a piece of paper. Some call it a diploma, but I would think that to be considered a big, fancy diploma, then they could have at least printed it on glossy paper. I mean, at this point, you can just add an extra $10 or so to my bill. I won’t even know. Ironically, what I do now could not be further from my field of study. And I’m not the only one. At some point, I was informed that employers care more about seeing that you can finish something. I feel like there are a lot of cheaper ways to do this…but clearly I’m in the minority on this one.

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COMMUNICATION IS ROCKET SCIENCE

TL;DR: Communicating with people is a lot like reading a book that’s missing half the pages. Funny thing, if you don’t actually say (or write) something, then how is the other person supposed to get the memo and know what you were thinking?!

When did talking to people get so hard? Has it always been this way? Or is this another thing millennials have ruined? Seems like it used to be easier – back before cell phones, and online dating, and airplanes, and the Internet, and indoor plumbing, and sliced bread … you get it. I have some theories on why, which I know you are oh so curious to hear, so ready or not, here they come!

  1. The Grass is Always Greener – I don’t believe this has changed at all since the dawn of humanity. Everything seems so darn peachy for everyone else so maybe it just feels like they were better communicators when in reality they sucked too
  2. Simpler Times – maybe they were better communicators because some of the obstacles that exist today were so not a thing. Looking at you King Boo
  3. Adapt and Survive – hard to have bad communication when the only way you can do it is face to face or via a letter that takes weeks to arrive. It’s easy to hide behind a screen. Hard to avoid tough questions when you’re staring someone in the eyes
  4. Can’t Make Something From Nothing – maybe they just didn’t talk to each other. Like ever. Was that a thing? Socializing?

Regardless, whatever happened along the way, we have become absolutely awful at communicating. With co-workers. With friends. With enemies. With significant others. With family. With our pets. With ourselves. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but despite all the technological advancements, we still can’t read someone’s mind. What?! I know, I know, it seems strange given that our cars drive themselves and our watches can call people. We also can’t put thoughts into someone else’s mind. No matter how bad you want them to say or do something, ultimately they control their own thoughts and actions. How can this be?! That would be weird if that happened. Pretty sure that would take dictatorship to a whole new level.

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SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE THE GERBER BABY

TL;DR: We all know the Gerber Baby: adorable, photogenic, and a total non-contributor to anything Gerber does outside of being the poster child. I can relate – adorable is not an adjective I typically use to describe myself and I’m only kind of photogenic, but I frequently feel like a total non-contributor to my company.

Have you ever sat at your desk and just watched your co-workers be productive? You know, the days when you’ve been at work for 5 hours and still haven’t been able to close out of BuzzFeed (because that addiction is TOO REAL). Don’t get me wrong, the online content is much more entertaining than any of your upcoming deadlines, but it doesn’t provide the same sense of accomplishment on the drive home. That and it also doesn’t do you any favors when your manager asks for a status update and you have none…from the past two weeks.

Nothing makes you question your value to a company more than when you realize everyone else is working and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. Is it similar to sports where if the coach (i.e.: your manager) isn’t yelling at you and hovering over your shoulder like a leech all day that they don’t care about you? Because your future there is non-existent? Or they don’t think you’re capable of doing anything more than what you’re currently doing?

It’s a weird feeling – you’re slacking at work, but actually feel guilty and have some strong internal urge to seek out work. I know, I also can’t believe I just wrote that. I thought that playing the poster child role would be more exciting. Look at me! I get paid to do NOTHING! And yet, nothing is only fun for a few months. Actually, only a few weeks. Ok, fine! It’s really only fun for about a day and then the adult in me comes alive and decides that being productive in society is my purpose in life and where, oh where, can I find something to do?! Darn conscious

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WHY DO I WORK OUT? TO EAT MORE…OBVIOUSLY

TL;DR: Wait, people go to the gym for reasons other than to eat an entire pizza afterwards? Seems like a lot of pain and effort for zero reward at that point.

Working out is an experience, not really sure how else to put that. It can be super intimidating because of the old-schoolers who still believe in the NO PAIN, NO GAIN mentality despite all of the research out there proving otherwise. Those people need to go somewhere else, preferably not at my gym. Maybe try some backyard “challenge” course your buddy built himself? Or, I don’t know, Crossfit? Better yet, create your own little niche franchise because we definitely are NOT oversaturated there yet.

If you’ve ever been to the gym, you’ve most likely realized the great divide that exists. Gymism, as I like to refer to it. There’s the weights area and then there’s the cardio section. And would you believe that those areas house very, very, very different kinds of exercisers?! Well, even if you don’t believe me it’s the truth so jump on board sailor. I can’t forget about the game courts where all the kids get stored while their parents suffer upstairs, but that’s more of a happy accident than an actual, conscious exclusion.

I’m all for staying in your lane in certain areas (online dating, though, am I right?!), but at the gym I like to switch it up. Balance is key in any routine – diet and exercise, strength and cardio. Listen, if you missed the title of this post, I hate to spoil it in the middle but it is most certainly NOT about balancing your diet. However, it’s hard to do that when a wall of literal human Hulks are blocking the free weights. On the flip side, it’s hard for these unnecessarily ripped humans to fit within the treadmill arms and do anything less than an hour-long intensive sprint workout sans judgement.

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CINCO DE DRINKO: ANOTHER UNOFFICIAL HOLIDAY FOR DAYTIME DRINKING

TL;DR: Not even halfway through the year and it’s unofficial drinking holiday numero tres. Number four, if you’re single. What makes this one unique is all the only drunk food that always pairs so perfectly with your mood: Mexican.

The start of May is always a pretty great time of year. January resolutions are long gone so we can all stop trying to fake like we’re changing our lives and giving up sweets. February was but a blip of time that we forgot before it was even over. March Madness kept our stress levels high and our trash talking game on point. Well … in a normal year anyways. This past March was a bunch of pre-Spring weather and learning new words and terms like social distancing, coronavirus, cancelled, closed indefinitely, stay at home, restricted travel, free government money with no strings attached, etc. Then of course April came with its showers so now we have May flowers. Whoop whoop!

May comes in like a tank with the festivities. First, you bring out your inner wookie and deadly lightsaber skills with Star Wars day. Most people love May the Fourth because it’s simply just fun to say. May the Fourth be with you. With you, May the Fourth be – for all of you who, like me, find Yoda to be their Star Wars spirit animal. Baby Yoda by the way, can we just pause for a second and revel in what a gift to television sets everywhere that character is. Just when I thought I couldn’t love Yoda anymore I got him in child form! Kind of like in Finding Dory where Pixar gave us Baby Dory – oh my goodness her little eyes! Same with Baby Yoda. Maybe they just take away age lines and increase eye size to be 50-75% of the face? Whatever the science behind the youngerization of characters, I am here for it! And, to be honest, there are several characters that could use the baby makeover. A few that come to mind immediately:

  • Chewbacca (from Star Wars)
  • Cruella de Vil (from 101 Dalmations)
  • Mickey Mouse (from everything Disney)
  • Buzz Lightyear (from Toy Story)
  • Beast (from Beauty & The Beast)
  • Baloo (from The Jungle Book)
  • Roz (from Monsters Inc.)
  • Bruce (from Finding Nemo)

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GROCERY STORES: FUN, OR NAH?

TL;DR: There are people who love to shop for food and there are people who absolutely dread it. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, grocery stores are a fascinating social experiment in problem solving, navigation, and managing expectations.

What’s the best time of day? Food time, obviously, so for me basically every hour is amazing. It’s the little things that get you through the workday and I’m not ashamed to excuse myself from meetings to use the “restroom” – know what I mean? In case you’re not smelling what I’m cooking, it’s code for the kitchen and some sort of snack, meal or dessert. I don’t have a medical issue where all the important things in my life get put on hold for a quick trip to the bathroom like the drug commercial makes it seem. 

Speaking of drugs (the legal kind), what is up with the side effects? Everything is deadly (you can read all about my pharmaceutical questions in THIS POST), which, now that I think about it makes sense because I’m basically dead inside if I spend my life in a bathroom stall and not doing fun things, like walking around a grocery store. Well I, for one, find it fun. How else would I know that Cheez-Its released a cheesier version of their product? I literally did not know that was possible. I’m also disappointed that they weren’t maximizing cheesiness from the beginning.

Or how would I be able to feel what type of bread was calling my name for the week? There are way too many bread options and, like a good supporter of the food industry, I feel a need to try them all. But it would be ok if like 80% of the choices disappeared. Would anyone even know? What even is the difference between whole wheat whole grain and enriched whole wheat whole grain? Do I need 5 grains, 7 grains, or 12 grains? How many grains are too many grains? I thought oatmeal was much smaller and potatoes rounder, yet both are bread so which one is the lie?

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DEAR SUCCULENTS: IF I WANTED TO TAKE CARE OF SOMETHING, I WOULD GET A DOG

TL;DR: Apparently even succulents need love and attention. I thought that was the point? That you got all the benefits of having a plant with none of the responsibility. Turns out, not the case and they can die.

I have a confession to make…I have committed a terrible sin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed to tell you what happened, but I feel like we’re on that level now, you and me, so here goes nothing:

In an apartment, not too long ago, a tragic homicide happened. A human (let’s call them a restless professional) was living their best life, minding their own business, not giving a care in the world. Now this human had been gifted a succulent. Mind you, no one asked said human if they were prepared, or even if they wanted, to take on the burden of caring for another living thing. To commit to ensuring that this plant would be fed and loved. No, there was no asking just a bold statement followed by the heavy click of the ball and chain now trapping the free-spirited human into responsibility.

So now the human had an (unwanted) succulent. The human, tending to look for the best in any situation, thought: ‘Well, plants have lots of health benefits so maybe this will be good! Besides, worst case scenario, my roommate is growing a small, thriving, forest on our balcony so they can help me out.’ And so the human took the succulent and put it on the windowsill (because everyone knows that plants need sunlight. I mean, come on, the human isn’t that clueless!). There the succulent lived happily in the warm, direct sunlight for a day, then two, then three, then a week, then two weeks, then three weeks, etc.

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THAT QUESTION SEEMS VERY GOOGLE-ABLE

TL;DR: Do I know what year some obscure thing happened? No. Or how to get somewhere I’ve never been? No. Or what the weather will be next week? No. You know who will know, though? Google – ask there instead.

What makes you think I know the answer to your question? Does my face scream “walking encyclopedia of all the knowledge”? Because I’ve seen myself in the mirror and I’m giving off more of a “confused about what even APR is and why they can’t just say interest” vibe. I find it interesting that this is a massive problem in my life currently. Usually I’m dressed like the retired high school jock who isn’t able to quite move on from the glory days and yet somehow that tells people that I want to answer their questions…nay, I KNOW the answers to their questions.

Despite my best efforts to convince strangers that I’m not the source of all truth in the universe, I get questions like:

  • Which chemical elements have to combine to form magnesium phosphate? Mag and Pho obviously, it’s the newest dining craze
  • How many seconds are in 4.5 months? A lot
  • What is the secondary material in dry fit clothing? Fabric
  • How many miles long is South Beach? More than one
  • When was the DMV founded? At some point in the past
  • Are Oreos safe for a dog to eat? Probably not, but I’m not an expert here
  • Is it possible to eat a large pizza by yourself? Wait, I do know the answer to this one! Absolutely
  • How would I create a replica electrical circuit that turns on a light? Why would you want to do that?
  • If my car engine is screaming at me, what does that mean? Well, not anything good
  • Can you give me the exact number of people who attended the 1984 Super Bowl? Let me think…no
  • Did we leave the oven on? Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to this. We have a 50/50 chance
  • Who ate all the chocolate? I also know the answer to this … but if I tell you I’d have to kill you. Death by chocolate
  • How would one repair a shoe sole? Buy a new shoe

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THE OPTIMISM OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION CREWS

TL;DR: Why does road construction always take forever? Because the crew spends time paving lanes that go nowhere. Why? I don’t know, I’m not in charge (obviously).

I’m all for optimism – it makes life so much more fun! Don’t agree? Alright, you pessimistic son of gun, clearly you need a hug and some Chewy Chips Ahoy (because they are everything that’s right in this world). Then you probably need to be slapped because no one else needs your negativity. Keep that mess to yourself.

Anyways, I digress, like a turn lane with no road to turn onto. Have you ever noticed how many turn lanes lead, well, nowhere? Who put them there? More importantly, what higher up approved the paving of said turn lane? And of course, who pitched the idea? Who woke up one morning and thought ‘This new road is going to be great, but if we put some random turn lanes in the public will think we plan to come back and maintain the road for future development’? Because that is what you think, right? Oh, clearly they are going to build something there, otherwise why put a turn lane in? And if they’re building something new they will want to make sure the road stays in decent shape to attract all the young, hip people to make this town a global hot spot for the yuppies .

The funniest part is you never see one of these stag turn lanes that have been freshly paved. They’re all slightly faded, the paint is cracking – clearly it’s been there for awhile and still it leads into the always desirable wooded area where a serial killer is probably waiting for you to wander in like the curious being you are. Or it goes to a swamp which is most intriguing because what on earth is being built there?! A water park?! A pool?! Last I checked solid structures on a liquid foundation don’t work…outside of Venice of course, which should be a wonder of the world.

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

TL;DR: Everyone has different standards for what they consider to be good interior design and what is tacky. Yet, can we all agree that furniture, wall art, and even floor design patterns in medical buildings can only ever be considered appropriate in that setting?

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.

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

TL;DR: Feeling confused? Lost? You might have dementia and should consult a medical professional. OR you can pass it off as another silly little life crisis.

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.

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HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL

TL;DR: Does no one else find it creepy that a giant bunny hides candy for children and lures them into fields to search for it? Good old Peter Cottontail, a modern day Hansel and Gretel witch.

Rabbits don’t lay eggs. Seems like a gold mine of a starting point for all the confusing inconsistencies of Easter. Yet, every year, a random, gigantic bunny rabbit breaks into people’s homes and/or trespasses on their property to hide eggs (that are obviously stolen – see sentence one) for children that they don’t know. I’m going to go ahead and call it since no one else seems capable, but STRANGER DANGER! My main question is, how does the bunny know which houses have children? All I’m saying is I don’t remember the last time there were eggs hidden at my house, which happens to be full of legal adults. 

If there was ever an applicable lesson about not taking candy from strangers, Easter would be that lesson. The whole creepy minivan is getting a bit outdated anyways because, let’s be honest, the minivans of today are luxurious. An opinion for another time, though. So far, we have established that the beloved Easter Bunny is a thief, a stalker, and a liar. Don’t let the floppy ears or cute bow tie fool you. This is no saint. ‘Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, right? It’s Easter’ – all the candy-lovers of the world who enjoy free treats. Well if we played two truths and a lie against the law edition, that would be ⅔ bad. That’s over half. And if we worked at Twix, we would torture the public by forcing them to decide which half of the adorable bunny was evil and which part was good. Left or right? Right or left? Nobody cares, please find a new marketing campaign.

Well, holiday candy-lovers, I have some not-so-great insights for you. Eggs are usually filled with a baby chicken (or a yolk, at least). Creepy bunny’s eggs are filled with candy. Making the creepy bunny also a murderer. Where are the baby chicks? Was the chocolate really worth animal sacrifice? Also, how do we know this candy isn’t tainted? Is it safe to eat? Peter Cottontail is known for a long list of crimes – why not add food tampering to the list.

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

TL;DR: We live our lives plugged in…to the wall. Constantly seeking an open outlet so we can recharge our batteries and cruise through endless social feeds of other people’s lives. What an ironic cycle that is.

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:

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WEATHERMAN JOB PERFORMANCE STANDARDS v. EVERY OTHER FIELD

TL;DR: If you get paid to give me the weather, you better be accurate…anyone can look out a window and guess.

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!

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DEAR CAR COMMERCIALS: PUT IT IN PARK

TL;DR: I love watching the fictional story that is a car commercial. Oh, there’s no traffic anywhere that you’re driving, even though it’s clearly in a major city? Interesting. Wow, look, is that an open parking spot in front of wherever you’re going? Seems like fake news.

We live in a world full of expectations. Everything has an expectation attached to it. How to dress, who to hang out with, when to get married, how much money to make, which side of the Earth the sun will rise on, how much is a “single serving” of food, etc. I have a lot of thoughts on the current state of “serving sizes” and how unrealistic those are (you can read more on that in THIS POST), but I don’t want to derail in the opening paragraph.

Personally, I like to defy social expectations – sometimes by choice, usually based on external factors, and occasionally because I’m simply oblivious. For example, apparently there’s an unspoken rule where if you (an adult) are in a line and there are children behind you, you (the adult) are supposed to let the children cut in front because…I don’t actually know why. Because they’re rude and have no manners?! Do they have priority? What gives them this priority? I’m older, smarter, more successful, less messy, better mannered, educated, a social contributor to the economy, I can go on and on. Besides, learning patience is a valuable skill, so I definitely do not let their tears sway me. Wait your turn, like the rest of us, to pet the owl. 

However, there are certain expectations that are just the worst when they don’t turn out how you imagined in the land of rainbows, unicorns, and no bills. Can you guess what the most frustrating one is? Yes! Car commercials! I believe we are all on the same page here. Let’s talk about the massive amount of expectations that car commercials put on the consumer. And then all the let downs that come from that.

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YOU’RE BEING SPIED ON ANYWAY – JUST EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

TL;DR: Believe it or not, that app would be more helpful if you just accepted the permission settings and let it do what it was built for: to make your life easier.

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… I talk about the social media cycle HERE), 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.

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EXTREME QUARANTINE: GLASS HALF FULL OF EMERGEN-C AND A SUNNY ATTITUDE

TL;DR: It’s an unprecedented time – the world is shutting down to protect our lives. There’s a lot of brutally honest, sky is falling, news going around and it can be hard to spend all day errday with the fam. Amidst the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, though, I think it’s important to keep a glass half full approach to life.

Life is uncertain right now. Probably the most uncertain it’s been in a very long time. How long is this going to last? How long will I not be able to leave my home? How long until I can travel again? Go to work again? Take the daily my-life-is-better-than-yours selfie again? Sit down in a restaurant again? Go to the gym again? Well…that is not a corona issue. More of a life choices issue.

Point being that no one really knows. We can guess. Guessing is great on tests, but not so great on life-threatening diseases. In no way am I trying to belittle what’s going on. It’s very serious and I do think that it’s important everyone come together and do their part to help knock this out and move on. I’m merely here to give you great suggestions on how to fill this blessing of free time that has been given to you by nature. Some people don’t like free time – if you feel blessing is not the correct noun here, then you would fall into this category. 

Personally, I’m not a huge fan, but it would be a shame to spend the next month (hopefully that’s it?) in fear and complaining about not being able to get away from your family / roommates / evil cat / etc. That is a recipe for broken relationships. So, to avoid the “I used to know that person, but now they’re dead to me” feeling, you have to be prepared. Specifically you need enough activities to keep everyone happily occupied for the duration of the quarantine period.

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HOW PRODUCTIVE WOULD I BE IF BUZZFEED DIDN’T EXIST?

TL;DR: The BuzzFeed blackhole of endless content is almost as solid as the options on YouTube. Great for wasting time, not so great for being productive.

You know all those times when you’re at work and you’ve been there all day, but that lying SOB the clock says you’ve only been there for 15 minutes. You know, like every Monday through Friday. Maybe the clock is broken? It is on the wall after all – didn’t they stop making those about 20 years ago? Must just be outdated technology…those times are the literal WORST though! Because you’ve already done an entire’s day work – much too efficiently apparently. So what’s going to fill the remaining 7 hours and 45 minutes of your time until you can leave the office without having to sneak out the bathroom window so your boss doesn’t catch you and lecture you about being committed and earning your salary and we don’t pay you to play and blah, blah, blah.

Well, naturally, since you’ve finished your work for your day, you turn to the Internet’s black hole of written context – BuzzFeed. Why not YouTube, you may be wondering? Ah, yes, the best way to waste an entire day and not even realize it. It’s simple really: have you ever gotten caught browsing a mind-numbing, unproductive site? Specifically, have you ever gotten caught by your boss on one of these sites during work hours? Clearly not if you’re asking why I’m not wasting my time on YouTube.

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KISS ME, I’M IRISH…BUT ACTUALLY

TL;DR: Any holiday celebrating drinking is fine by me. Especially one with green as the official color. So chug your beer, find a shamrock, and kiss an Irish stranger.

Erin go Bragh! Sláinte! That would be Ireland forever and cheers to all you non-native Irish speakers. Ireland speaks English, technically, but in a very Irish way and I mean that with all the love in the world. Kind of how Southerners have created their own language, bless their hearts. So raise a pint because it’s St. Patrick’s Day – the best adult holiday on the planet! I’m not sure if minors celebrate this day or not. What would you do? Permanently dye your mouth green with all the “naturally” flavored treats in the shape of a shamrock? Go around pinching people for not wearing green? Sounds like a good time.

Thankfully, I am a legal adult in every single country on this beautiful planet. At one point in my life, I was not, but several (legal) St. Patrick’s day celebrations have caused me to forget my entire youth. Well, not the entire thing. Just the boring parts like thinking I was cool for pinching other people. If I was really trying to punish them, a backhand would have worked better. Because it should be a crime not to wear green today. It’s the one requirement all year. Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. If you do nothing else, you must wear green. Unless you’re a Mean Girl, in which case, on Wednesdays you wear pink.

A true historian would roll over in their grave, though, because blue was the original color of this celebration. It became green when people started associating it with Ireland and all it’s rolling green hills, jolly green giants, Lucky Charms, green beans…wait. No, it’s the shamrock. That’s Ireland’s official emblem. How lucky. No wonder the Earth blessed them and banished all the snakes from the island.

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TWELVE TROLL OBSERVATIONS FROM THE TROLLS WORLD TOUR TRAILER

TL;DR: They’re fuzzy, they’re tiny, they have strong genre opinions, and they’re not scared to give strangers hugs, and they’re back. Get ready for the only world tour that you’ll be able to see from the comfort of your own couch – the new century version of the Smurfs…it’s the TROLLS!

It’s been a few years since Dreamworks turned back time and decided that the troll “action” figures needed to be animated in their own entire feature film. Of all the popular toys, though, from the late 1900’s, this was probably the safest choice. Also, the children of today have no smurf-like characters to compare tiny things to. As an “adult”, I didn’t hate it. Didn’t love it enough for a World Tour, but the children have spoken so here we are.

There’s a LOT to unpack from the official 2 minute and 46 second commercial. Easter eggs galore that I really hope expand into the movie itself – maybe Easter egg is not an appropriate metaphor here since they’re bigger than a troll. Pebbles? Music notes? Whatever you want to call it, if the movie is anything like the trailer, it will be confusing, highly predictable, yet somehow addictive and catchy.

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SWIVEL CHAIRS ARE THE SLICED BREAD OF OFFICE FURNITURE

TL;DR: Someone (let’s call them a genius) decided that office furniture was about as boring as the work you are doing with it. Enter the swivel chair and endless opportunities to fidget, get distracted, work out, waste time, etc.

Think about your job for a second. I know, I’m sorry to take you there, but play along. Trust me. Now, think about your office building – specifically your desk. What do you love about your desk? Is it the pictures of your friends/family that prove you have a life when you leave the building? Is it the holiday decorations that you refuse to take down because who says you can’t have a cheerful spirit all year? Is it the snack stash that you have for “stressful” times (AKA, every second of every minute of every hour of the work day)? Is it the dividers blocking you from having to actually *gasp* talk to your co-workers?

Sure, those things are all fine. But think more superficially and less emotionally. Think about your desk chair. Are you blessed with a swivel chair? Then you, my friend, are blessed enough! Swivel chairs are my favorite part of the office. Arguably, my favorite invention. Who doesn’t love a good swivel chair?! Monsters, that’s who.

Are there crappy swivel chairs out there? Sure. There’s crappy cars, crappy phones, crappy streaming services, crappy memes, crappy tacos. And yet, we still have a deep connection with all of those things, yes? When you eat a taco that is not your favorite, you don’t go back to that place. You find a better taco joint. When you see a mediocre meme, you keep reading through memes until you find one you can’t stop laughing at. When your streaming service decides to drop the handful of channels you actually watch, you cancel your subscription and level up to a better one.

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WHAT IS EVEN THE PURPOSE OF A FITTED SHEET?

TL;DR: Fitted sheets confuse me. How do you fold them? Which side is the bed width versus the bed length? Can I not just use another regular sheet, is the fitted one special? Too many questions for a bed linen.

Sleeping on soft, clean sheets is such an amazing feeling. Because you don’t know who I am, I won’t lie and say I wash my sheets every day – although if the bed making process weren’t so complicated I would be more inclined to act like an adult and get clean sheets more often. Regular sheets make sense. Don’t want to sleep straight on the mattress. You’d wake up with all those fun sleep lines, but amplified based on your mattress pattern. Your leg would look quilted. Luckily that’s “in” right now in the fashion world so at least you wouldn’t look completely ridiculous.

Comforters also make sense. If you just had a sheet you’d be cold. And to avoid being cold you’d curl up into a tiny little ball. Then in the morning, unpretzeling yourself would be quite the adventure with noises and popping on par with having aged 50 years overnight. If that isn’t convincing enough (because you make noises anyways…mid-20s going on 90, am I right?!) just think of how sore you’ll be all day long from sleeping in such an unnatural position for 8 hours…ok 7 hours…no, fine, 4 and, maybe a half, hours, but still a long time!

You know what else makes sense? Pillowcases. I mean, you could just sleep on the pillow I guess. But anyone who saw your bed would hard core judge your decisions. Of EVERYTHING on the bed, pillowcases are the cheapest things…and they come with the sheet sets. Did you throw them away?! Why don’t you have any?! You have sheets on the bed, so what’s the deal here?!

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IF PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY, THE GYM HAS TAUGHT ME I HAVE ZERO STRENGTH

TL;DR: Why can’t I do a workout that leaves me feeling supercalifragilisticexpialidocious the next day? Why do I have to hurt in places I didn’t know existed? The pain game is the worst and I’m NOT here for it.

‘You know it was a good workout when you can’t feel your legs the next day’ – all the fitness gurus. ‘If I can’t feel my legs, that seems like a serious medical condition’ – Me

Pain is weakness leaving the body. Who came up with that phrase?! What weakness are you removing? Are there no other ways to get stronger? This seems like a backwards mentality – if you workout until you are in pain, then yes, eventually you’ll get stronger after you fully heal. On the other hand, if you push yourself without crossing the pain threshold, you’ll wake up feeling normal and will be able to do another workout…the very next day. Not 4-6 weeks later.

I mean sure, DOMS is satisfying (if you don’t know what DOMS is, it stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), but soreness is the key word here. This isn’t DOMP for a reason. Pushing through pain leads to injury which leads to recovery AKA time spent on the couch doing little physical activity, but still eating like you’re training for the Olympics. (because we’re Americans and have ZERO CONTROL).

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I’M SO GLAD I’M PARKED ON THE HIGHWAY FOR AN ACCIDENT ON THE OTHER SIDE

TL;DR: You know what’s super fun? When drivers think it’s acceptable to slow down so they can look at an accident on the other side of the road. Fun fact: that has nothing to do with your ability to keep moving forward at the speed limit. Keep the pedal to the metal and carry on.

We’re a curious species aren’t we? Always needing to know what’s happening regardless of what we are doing at that moment. Even if it’s something potentially dangerous like, say, driving, or entering the nuclear codes. 

Let’s take a journey to imagination island. Imagine if you were driving at a high speed (maybe…on a highway) and there are other cars all around you, because it’s rush hour, and something happens on the other side of the road (let’s say a fender bender, which has ZERO impact on your drive by the way). How do you react? Do you:

A. Keep your eyes on the road and maintain your speed because it’s dangerous not to

B. Glance briefly and hope everyone is ok, but keep on keeping on at your speed

C. Stop and stare

Just to be clear, C is not an acceptable answer in this scenario. I get it – you want to be nosy and feel a little better about being a good driver and paying attention. Oh, the irony there kills me. How can you judge the person who caused the accident when you yourself are about to cause another one?! Spoiler Alert: going from 70 to 10 on a HIGHWAY is not something the driver behind you is expecting. You might very well be the next fender bender victim. Who knows, maybe the first one was caused because one of the drivers saw a bird, or new construction starting (you can get my thoughts on road construction in THIS POST) and slowed down to get a better look.

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DEAR AIRLINES: PLEASE DON’T TREAT MY LUGGAGE LIKE YOUR EX

TL;DR: ‘I love how carefully the airlines place my checked baggage on the luggage belt, then gently put it in the cargo bay of the plane’ – said no one ever.

Who reading this has ridden in an airplane? Who reading this has ever checked baggage with an airline? Who reading this has ever stressed out endlessly over the safety of the fragile items in said checked baggage until you were able to confirm there was no damage (hopefully)? If you answered yes to any of those questions (hopefully in your head or you might look a little crazy speaking to a computer) then you understand the brutal epidemic that is occurring right now when it comes to transporting luggage from one place to the next.

How hard is it to be just a little more careful when handling my bags? There’s no need to treat it like someone you’re angry with (an ex per se) and throw it away. For one, I’m paying extra money to bring this bag so you should be extra gentle with it. If it was free, I might be a little more understanding. Also, can we talk about general respect for people’s property. Like my uncle says ‘Don’t be afraid to treat it like your own’. Ah, the sound of wisdom.

Not to call out any specific airline, but recently I was traveling and had a checked bag so I took it to the counter. I smiled, tried to be friendly and polite with the airline representative through small talk, then gave her my bag. I wish this next part was a joke, but sadly, for the glass items in said luggage, it is not. She took my bag, lifted it onto the luggage belt (wheels down, so it was standing up), took two steps back, drew in a deep breath, moved forward and pushed (with all her strength plus the added weight of her momentum…remember the back-up) my luggage down. The sound of my 35 pound luggage crashing from its perch, ~2 feet tall, all the way down onto that belt turned my stomach. A lot of things shock me, but that took the cake. I just stood there with my mouth open until she looked past me and said ‘Next’ (with a smug smile on her face too).

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LIFE LESSONS FROM CRIMINAL MINDS

TL;DR: There are some not so good people who roam the streets. Thankfully, a small team based in DC is here to save us from all of them. Where would we be without the BAU?

Hollywood has never been accused of exaggerating, or lying, in their television series so it’s safe to assume that everything is 100% accurate with how the world works. Same as with things you read on the Internet. Totally factual. This is why I binge-watch (and am good at it, you can read more about how to do it like a pro in THIS POST). Purely for the knowledge and zero other reason. 

Some shows have been around since the dinosaurs. You know which ones I’m talking about. Anything in a double digit season, or on their fifth farewell season, or the ones where you think you’re watching a rerun, then realize that the description says it came out last week and you wonder if you invented time travel overnight successfully. I love playing the guessing game of whether or not this is really goodbye. You say this is the last time, and yet here you are…again…broadcasting all over my screens that you’re coming back for more. Then, when the end does come, your emotional bank is empty and you’re just left feeling confused, without direction for the evening ritual of mindlessness.

Criminal Minds is one of those shows. Unless you haven’t turned on a TV since 2005, you’ve seen Criminal Minds. Even if you didn’t realize you were watching Criminal Minds. It’s everywhere. I always forget that they’re still actively catching the world’s most disturbed individuals (because crime doesn’t stop). Well, that’s not entirely true. This is the year that it stops. Right? If the show is ending, have they caught EVERYONE? If not, then you better saddle back up cowboy and finish the job. How am I supposed to have any sense of safety in life sans my fictional saviors? It might be time to start preparing for the end of the world.

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

TL;DR: Who doesn’t love a good glass of wine? Minors, because that’s illegal. For all the adults in the room though, don’t be bashful. Connoisseur, casual drinker, or sorrow drowner – let’s all agree that life is better with more wine.

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

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

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

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WHO NEEDS LOVE WHEN THERE’S CHOCOLATE

TL;DR: Virginia is for lovers – so is Valentine’s Day. Personally, not a fan. If you’re single it’s a hard slap in the face, but if you’re in a relationship there’s all the pressure to make a grand gesture. You can’t win, but you can eat all the delicious chocolate treats without judgement so I guess there’s that.

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

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

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

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I LOVE MY DOG MORE THAN I LOVE YOU

TL;DR: I think honesty is important in any relationship – so I’m always very upfront: I will love my dog more than I will love you. If you can’t handle it, then I can’t handle you, please close the door on your way out.

Dogs are simply the best. That’s it, that’s the whole point, no need to go any further with this post – dogs are awesome and more people should have them. Think about all the adorable, fluffy, happy-to-just-be-alive puppers you’ve ever been graced with meeting and if that doesn’t make you smile then I don’t believe you actually have a soul.

I’m not naive, though, for all the joy that dogs bring to humans there are a few exceptions to enjoying the presence of a dog. If your excuse is not listed here, then I’m sorry but it’s not a valid excuse for not loving dogs:

  • Ugly Dogs (we all know which breeds I’m talking about, but in the spirit of inclusion I won’t call any of them out on here)
    • Yes, there are ugly dogs. I, a self-proclaimed and always right, dog lover will admit that certain dogs make me cringe a bit and it takes all my will-power to not look away immediately, but to smile and make it feel somewhat loved still
  • Mean Dogs
    • Maybe you’ve had an unpleasant experience with a mean doggo that scarred you and has left you unable to forgive the entire species. Take a step back for a hot second and realize that no species is perfect and there’s always the idiots who bite people for no reason and make everyone look bad. Don’t judge a book by the ones around it – kick that son of a b*tch (literally, get it) in its snout and move on to find the millions of cuddly, loving dogs out there
  • Allergic to Dogs
    • This is probably the most valid excuse, but just because you’re allergic to real dogs doesn’t mean you can’t look up amazing, life-changing GIFs of cute puppies from time to time to make you feel complete

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WARNING! SCARY COMMERCIAL COMING

TL;DR: How is it that you can’t get into an R rated movie by yourself until you’re 17, but those commercials just play freely on TV without any warning? Those could scar children…or adults who frighten easily.

It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of HALLOWEEN – more specifically, I’m not the biggest fan of frightening things. I don’t like to be scared…it’s not my idea of a good time. People who like to be scared confuse me. There are plenty of other ways to have a mini heart attack and induce nightmares for weeks that don’t involve creatures from the deepest, darkest, depths of hell.

I mean, really, where do people even come up with some of these ideas?! Kind of seems like they take something that’s supposed to be calming and happy and they turn it into a devil that terrorizes innocent people because why? Because they can? Where do these people even come from?! What happened in their childhood to make it so that their joy is derived from the terror of others? I honestly don’t even understand how one gets to that state mentally.

My list of questions about who is creating this content, why they think it’s acceptable, the people who pay money to partake in this, etc. are endless. Regardless of my feelings on the matter though, scary movies are wildly popular. All year long. Even during seasons that are supposed to be purely delightful, pleasant, and merry. I won’t even get started on the Christmas horror movies that have appeared recently. No, just no – those need to die.

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ALL I WANT IS A REALISTIC SERVING SIZE

TL;DR: Let’s be honest, I’m not here to only eat 2 cookies or 13 potato chips…how many calories are in the WHOLE package/bag?

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

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

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

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HONKING WON’T MAKE TRAFFIC MOVE ANY FASTER

TL;DR: Wow, your horn suddenly activated my gas pedal and made all the cars in front of me disappear! Thank you for finally opening the road so I can move forward! I thought I’d be here forever, but you’ve found the traffic cure.

The car horn can save lives…when used correctly. Unfortunately, like most things with good intentions, it gets abused. Heavily, obnoxiously, unnecessarily abused. Despite popular belief, the sound of a car horn is not pleasant and doesn’t instill feelings of confidence, peace, and joy. No, the car horn usually evokes feelings of panic, fear, and anger. So why do so many drivers think it’s acceptable to play a little horn karaoke during every commute that they take?

This may come as a surprise for our horn-loving friends, but your horn is not all powerful. In fact, it cannot do any of the following:

  • Make ALL the cars in front of the one you’re stopped behind move
  • Clear up an intersection traffic jam
  • Make a lane blocking accident disappear into thin air
  • Change a light from red to green
  • Make a highway parking lot suddenly move
  • Force the pedestrian to walk faster
  • Make the muscle movement to take the foot off the brake and put it on the gas any faster than immediate when the light turns green

If any of those surprise you, or if you just disagree, then you are a horn abuser and need to chill. Clearly you are hoping to accomplish one of those things, right? But you can’t. It’s impossible. That’s not how the car horn works! Let me enlighten you on the PROPER ways to use your horn:

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LIFE LESSONS FROM GAME OF THRONES

TL;DR: The battle for the Iron Throne was very entertaining to watch. It also brought to light some fascinating life lessons that can help you get whatever it is that you deserve – a one-way ticket to Castle Black, a crown, death…I don’t know what choices you’ve made in life.

If you’ve never seen Game of Thrones, what’s wrong with you? Read this, learn your lessons, then park yourself in front of a television for the next week to catch up, binge-watching style, with the rest of humanity. For all the GOT faithful, I’m about to strike a nerve with a bunch of you, but I actually liked the way that it ended. How else would you have wrapped that up? Kill everyone? I guess then the lone dragon could summon dinosaur friends and kick off history. That would be a fun twist to our species! You could be a Targaryen, or a Stark, or a Lannister, or a Dothraki…probably wouldn’t be an Unsullied though. I’m guessing that part of the peace initiative would have included putting an end to torturing small children so they could be hard-core warriors.

For a few minutes there I was trying to figure out which house I descended from and then I remembered that I definitely made that up. Thank goodness for online quizzes. I’m a Greyjoy so that answers my questions. I always wanted to be a sailor, better put in my two-week notice at work tomorrow, then buy some ships and an isolated island. And probably a suit of armor because my people love to fight.

Anyways, watching the series helped me learn some valuable life lessons that I feel compelled to share…despite my people being on the more selfish side. Look at me breaking molds and forging my own path in life. My mom would be so proud.

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

TL;DR: Menus are printed in huge font for a reason. Don’t be the person that waits to read it until you’re at the front of the line…no one likes that person.

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

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

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

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DEAR UBER DRIVERS: LET’S JUST ASSUME I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET THERE

TL;DR: Maybe I don’t fully understand how Uber works, but if I order a ride, then I also expect you (as the driver) to be fully in charge of getting me to my destination. Don’t ask me how to get there – that’s why I’m paying you.

Ride-sharing programs are wildly popular right now. For good reason though – it eliminates the need for you to drive somewhere. Whatever that reason is to you, worry no more! Some rando is about to come pick you up! Sounds disturbingly similar to the warnings I used to hear as a child about stranger danger, but good for the entrepreneurs who decided to capitalize on the tragedy of others, I suppose.

If you think too much about the concept of Uber, or Lyft, or a taxi (first of all, don’t because it gets weird) you’ll probably freak yourself out and choose to walk everywhere instead. Remember the warning about not taking candy from the person with the creeper van or the story about the “friendly” couple who lost their dog and wants you to help them find it? Same concept, except instead of getting candy, or to play with a cute puppy, you have to pay. Actual money. That you’ve worked (way) too hard to earn because companies today expect the world but opt not to pay for it. Feel me? Dream opportunity: work a minimum of 80 hours a week and we will pay you minimum wage so you never pay off your debt to the government and are forever obligated to continue working…forever. Goodbye fun, goodbye friends, goodbye happiness. Different topic – I digress.

So we’ve gotten past the potential for abduction with these programs and have opted to (*gasp*) pay for it. Kudos, though, to all those companies for taking the security of passengers and drivers seriously and continuously making adjustments so you can feel safe (not trying to get sued here because that sounds hella expensive). Now, there are multiple reasons why one would need / want to be chauffeured around:

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NOT FEELING WELL? TAKE THIS MEDICINE, SIDE EFFECTS: DEATH

TL;DR: Isn’t it great when you aren’t feeling well and the recommended medicine could make you feel so much better? Or, it could kill you – who’s to say, really?

Pharmaceuticals. What a weird word. Why is it so gigantic? Is that necessary? No, I’ll go ahead and answer that. Drug is easier to say. It’s also a much more versatile word – it can be interpreted to suit each person’s unique tastes. Pharmaceutical is just so…one-sided? Stuck up? My way or the highway? Yes, yes, and yes. There’s only one thing that is referring to. Disgusting “grape” flavored cough syrup or a horse pill falsely labeled as a “softgel”. One only gets a pharmaceutical when it’s the last resort. A drug…well, I will not go further into this metaphor. Use your imagination.

I think that maybe drug companies, excuse me, pharmaceutical companies, get paid for each letter that goes into their documentation. How else do you explain the extremely complicated names for the medicines that exist on the market today? Honestly, who is in charge of this? Is it the scientists? Scientists are an entirely different breed of humans, excuse me, homo sapiens.

For anyone who has ever looked at the label on their pharmaceutical, you understand where I’m coming from. Ibuprofen is actually (RS)-2-(4-(2-methylpropyl)phenyl)propanoic acid…what in the actual effing hell is that?! Tylenol / Advil – oh, you know, if they’re feeling casual it’s Acetaminophen, but when it’s a black tie event they’re all N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethanamide. I literally cannot with this, but it’s kind of fun so here’s the real identity of some of our favorite drugs:

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I’M NOT A HOARDER, I’M SENTIMENTAL

TL;DR: I don’t have trouble throwing things away – I just prefer to shove them in the closet or under the bed and keep them forever. I’m sure you can relate.

You know how the saying goes: the more space you have, the more space you’ll fill up. I think that’s how it goes…but now that I’m thinking about it there’s a good chance I made it up. The concept is what’s really important here though – that being that you will “grow” into whatever extra space you have. Why is that? Seems like a very first-world problem where we have this need to fill the emptiness in our lives with something.

That just got way, way, way too deep for this blog so I’m going to take a massive step back into borderline nonsense territory before I scare some readers away. Anyways, back in the comfort of the half-joking, half-serious, and fully sarcastic world that I live in, I have noticed that I do tend to fill every last inch of space that is in the place where I’m living, or working, or eating lunch, or being chauffeured around in, or anywhere really that I ever am (regardless of whether or not I own said space). 

Extra shelf in the linen closet? Seems like the perfect place to store all the exercise equipment I’m not using. Extra drawer in the kitchen? Obviously I should put whiteboard markers in there just in case I ever buy a whiteboard for my fridge. Extra space on my desk? Seems like a good day to take an “extended lunch break” and see what goodies lie in the Amazon universe of office accessories. Extra seat next to me in the Uber? Clearly meant to put my backpack, coat, water bottle, keys, cell phone, lunchbox, and camera on (because putting them in the backpack would be ridiculous).

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I FREQUENTLY COMPLETE MARATHONS…BINGE WATCHING MARATHONS

TL;DR‘Marathons take a lot of dedicated training and persistent effort to complete’ – long distance runners of the world. Agreed.

Marathon runners confuse me. Actually, runners in general confuse me. I’ve done my fair share of running and can’t say that I find it enjoyable. Every time I have to go for a run, I try to find a GOOD EXCUSE to get out of it. With all the different options available for cardio, it’s not my top choice. Or even in my top few choices. It hurts my knees.

Running a 5K is hard – that’s why there’s so many couch to 5K training plans out there. Because it isn’t easy. Anything past that is pure torture. Why run 6.2, 10, or 13.1 miles when you could just not? You could just choose to bike, or swim, or stair step, or use an elliptical, or do strength training, or HIIT, or literally ANYTHING else! And those are just the tip of the running iceberg.

I don’t even like driving 26.2 miles as that is just a long ways. So why on Earth would I want to run that distance?  Spoiler alert : I do not. For the elite, that takes what, 2 hours? 2 HOURSOF RUNNINGWITHOUT A BREAK! I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ran for 2 hours in a week, let alone at one time. But that’s the elite – it takes normal people much longer.

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