WHAT DO COVID AND VOLDEMORT HAVE IN COMMON?

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

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

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

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

Aliases

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

Choice in Profession

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

Hobbies

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

Relationship Status

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

Adaptability

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

Reputation

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

Personality

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

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

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


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

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.

No matter, I have lost all shame for my choice of outfits. Oh, we’re going to the grocery store? Sweatpants and a hoodie. It’s time for a doctor’s appointment? Sweatpants and a t-shirt (for easy access to the blood pressure machine – have to stay thoughtful). Do I want to go shopping? Definitely! Joggers and a hoodie for that upscale comfort. You better believe by date 3 the sweats have come out and will most likely stay out. It is what it is. Not trying to set false expectations for the long-term. It looks a lot like this: sweatpants, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, leggings, sweatpants, running shorts, joggers, jeans (what! I know it happens once in a blue moon), leggings, etc. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I wore a pair of khakis if that gives you any indication of my current life crisis mood (the life crisis struggle is too real – you can read more about the various stages in THIS POST). It was definitely pre COVID-19. 

Some of you are probably wondering why? Why do millennials insist on dressing like a gym locker room? Plenty of reasons. Mainly because it allows you to sit in the MOST comfortable positions without any concern for rippings your pants. Also because it instills a mindset of exercise. At any moment I could bust out some push-ups, or lunges, or go for a run. Who knows? You gotta go with the flow of the day sometimes. Usually that exercise flow hits hard after I eat the whole package of Oreos … again … for the third straight day … and my brain is like STOP IT! Have some control, you animal.

It also feels like freedom. Yes, I’m going to work, but in my loungewear … so is it really work, or is it my choice to do some things today? Because it feels more like my choice. The real reason, though, is so that when we do dress like the adults we pretend to be, everyone notices. And I do mean everyone. Strangers, your relatives who live in a different state, the neighbor’s cat (who never once tried to be nice to me, but all of a sudden I bust out the black jeans and they want to rub their white fur all over my calves), the weather (oh, you wanted to look nice? Here’s some pouring rain and high winds … you’re welcome), your boss (who thinks you might be an interviewee, they’re so confused), and most importantly the bartender (free drinks?! For wearing jeans?! I should do this more often).

Regardless of your personal style choice, own it. Clearly mine is the latest catwalk fashions. In my mind anyways, in reality it’s a bunch of workout clothes and some killer sneakers to tie it all together. That’s just where I am in life and I’m owning it for sure.

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


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PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

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.

The STOP sign (with 8 sides, remember from up there?) is where you have to come to a complete stop – wheels aren’t moving. You can safely look both ways and then proceed from 0 MPH as you please. Funny how people usually forget the one action item here, which, of course is to STOP! As much as I enjoy that moment of panic when I’m driving by a stop sign and the other car decides to read stop as roll (this isn’t a fire drill – it’s just stop, there is no drop, and there is definitely no roll), I much prefer the relief that comes with someone fully stopped and not moving at all. What does it say about drivers, though, that I now expect people to roll and get pleasantly surprised when someone doesn’t? I mean, in their defense, stop and roll both have four letters and both have an o in the middle(ish) of the word. So, yes, I guess I could see how that would be super confusing. If only the sign was clearer.

Now that we are through the complicatedness that is a stop sign, prepare yourself, because we are about to look at the YIELD sign. Unlike the stop sign, you do not have to stop at a yield sign if no one is coming. There’s a lot to break down here, so let’s start with part numero uno. I realize that the sign is red (like a stop sign) and has a similar shape being a triangle (almost like an octagon, just with 5 fewer sides), but you do not have to stop! In fact, people aren’t expecting you to stop, so when you do, someone has to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting your selfish rear-end. Look at it this way, stopping at a yield sign is basically the same thing as deciding to stop in the middle of the freaking road. Which is not safe driving!

But wait, there’s more to this epidemic: you don’t have to stop, IF NO ONE IS COMING. In other words, if someone is coming, you do not have the right of way and you have to stop. I realize this is very confusing for people – maybe that’s why they stop at all of them? Fewer things to remember. Keeping it simple, stupid as that is. Deciding to merge full speed into traffic is rarely a good idea and I do not recommend it. Especially if I am the driver with the right of way. Those people are the reason I have to constantly know who’s in the lane next to me, who’s behind me, etc. so I can know if I have an escape swerve option or not. Them and also the safe rules of driving.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is suffering from stopield confusion then, by all means, share this post with them and help get them back to leading a normal, safe driving lifestyle. Thanks for reading!


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

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. 

When you’re frustrated, what’s something that won’t make you feel better? Giving commands to an AI machine. And not just giving commands – it’s more like one of two things: being given a multiple choice question where none of the answers are correct or talking to a brick wall. The menu is a million options long and none of them involve my most basic request to see what the current exchange rate of the Yen is?! Who is in charge of this? Or when you’ve made the educational guess that you belong in zero of the available categories and would like to speak to an actual human being so you can be more detailed about your issue (a.k.a really voice ALL of your complaints at once to someone who has to listen). Why is that harder than figuring out what in the world a jackfruit is? Where did it come from? How do you cut into it? What does one eat it with / how do you prepare it? Why is the outside so bumpy? Is that its protection from predators? What sorts of animals are endangering this fruit? Why does it look like it’s having a melon identity crisis? Is it more cantaloupe or honeydew? How do they get so big? Who first saw it and thought, you know what, that looks delicious and I want to eat it? These are all the questions I’m currently waiting on hold for to ask The Jackfruit Company. This one fruit is an endless sense of distress in my food life.

Anyways … when you finally get to speak to a representative, they usually ask you all the same things the robot just tortured you with. Account verification, what the issue can be generalized as, what the issue can be sub-generalized as, what the issue can be sub-sub-generalized as, if you’re a current customer, what your favorite color is, where you got those amazing new pants that show off all the work you’ve been putting in during leg days, when was the last time you ate a fruit, or a vegetable, did you try restarting it, etc. So … what was the point of going through the automated process if you have absolutely zero of the information that I’ve already provided? Do I have to now start my whole process over? Re-explain exactly why I’m calling? Try to ask for help without a hint of sarcasm, or hangriness, or giving away how annoyed I am?

Being a customer is challenging. Probably not as challenging as the customer service representative job, though. You get to experience every personality type … and mood. Whether you want to or not! My patience levels do not make me a good candidate for those types of positions. Didn’t stop me from trying for a few years, but I can’t honestly say that I miss it. Which is why I always try to remind myself that it isn’t their fault that I had to call in. They didn’t make, or break, the product that I’m currently unhappy with. They simply got stuck having to take my call. Meanwhile, I’ve upgraded my job status to one of those employees who is directly responsible for breakage and upset customers. Wow that is prime irony. Is that like the circle of jobs? Regardless, to all customer service representatives: I sincerely appreciate you, you are the real rockstars, and I apologize for all the work I will inevitably cause you and / or have caused you.

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


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#SURVIVETHENIGHT … MORE LIKE #SURVIVETHEYEAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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HINDSIGHT MAKES 90’s TOYS CREEPY

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

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

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

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

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


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ARE YOU DTT?!

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

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

Dear Targetians (tar-gee-tians): 

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

Sincerely,

TRP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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IN MEMORIAM: MEMORIAL DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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


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DID SOMEONE SAY THREE DAY WEEKEND?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

All of this is annoying, and frustrating, but in hindsight, I should have expected it when they asked me to pay a registration deposit and give them rights to my first-born child to attend. Alright, fine, that’s on me and my teenage innocence. What I’m not a fan of, nope too passive…what I absolutely loathe, is when they have the audacity to call me and ask for a donation. I’m sorry, I know you have my records still because you always seem to find my new address to spam with letters. So you would know that I am paying you. Still. From all those years ago when I actually was there. I’m what one would call, a mandatory donor. I wouldn’t say I have a giving spirit towards my alma mater, but more of an, I’d like to maintain a respectable credit score and not get audited type of spirit.

It would make slightly more sense if you asked me for money after I finished paying off my loans. Then, at least, I would be contributing nothing on a monthly basis so it would make sense that I might want to keep that bleeding train of dolla, dolla bills going. Because an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Honestly, the things I plan on doing with all that extra cash each month is not nearly as generous or productive as donating to support the education system. Might as well keep on giving. But now you’ve pissed me off. We both know that if I could afford to donate, I would have paid off my loans. Or simply chosen to pay for school upfront. Either way, I should not be the target demographic for the donor office student cold-callers.

Let’s take a quick second to break down why I’ve been a donor for so long:

  • Air is free everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Meals can be relatively affordable, depending on your choices, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Learning is free, or reasonably priced (unless you’re in private school, but if that’s the case, this post is not for you)…except on college campuses
  • Nature is free to enjoy everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Sports are free to watch (as long as your friends with someone who pays) everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Hobbies vary in price, but can be pretty cheap, everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Exercise can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses
  • Reading can be affordable everywhere in the world…except on college campuses

Seems like there’s the issue. You want to wake up today? $427 fee. You want to eat lunch? $28.37 fee. You want to walk on our sidewalks everyday? $13,078 fee. You want to buy books? $5,396 fee. You sneezed? $4.76 fee. You want to submit an assignment on our Wi-Fi and use our mandatory online portal? $28,340 fee. So, to answer your question, do I want to donate today? Bye, Felicia!

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


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