DEAR COUNTRY ROADS: YOU, OF ALL PLACES, NEED LIGHT REFLECTORS

Taking the path less traveled is a popular thing in today’s society. Physically and metaphorically. You can be whoever you want to be, regardless of how things looked in previous generations. Actually, though. Whoever you want to be. Girl, boy, both, neither, inanimate – whatever your soul is telling you. And then of course physically exploring the hidden gems of the world is usually a fan favorite for the Instagram. Because we all want a piece of that exclusivity.

Like most things in life, someone has to be first. Who was the first person that looked at a jackfruit and thought, you know what, I bet that’s delicious! I’ve seen a jackfruit and I have to say, if I saw it in the wild my first thought would be that the dinosaurs are back. It’s gigantic. And looks prickly. And it’s called a jackfruit … as in jack and the beanstalk? Did the giant drop that too? Don’t even get me started on the inside of it. I mean, think about how lucky we are that it’s safe to eat. How many casualties have occurred because of curious minds and weird looking things in nature?

Alas, I digress into the realm of the mind less traveled. Much like how it feels to drive through country roads. Not country as in we’ve left the obvious city limits and are in the suburbs country. I’m talking about when you see one house and it will be minutes, driving minutes, before you glimpse another one. The cow to people ratio favors the bovines. Heavily. And the “traffic” jams involve you getting stuck behind a slow moving tractor. Are you with me? Better keep up because if you get lost in this field I might never know where to find you.

Country roads are … not for me. They are endless. For some reason there is never a posted speed limit. I guess you have to be born into that secret. Most of the time the road signs have either vanished, or never existed in the first place. Or it’s just State Road and some random number. The cell service is also mysteriously missing. Everyone has satellite dishes. And there are no light reflectors. None. Not because they’ve been worn off over time. They just never existed. Sometimes there are barely even lines. 

Have you ever tried driving down a country road at night? There are minimal houses so the only light comes from the solar system and your high beams. Under normal weather conditions, this is not acceptable but it’s kind of fine. It’s a ride at your own risk adventure, especially at night, so you should have left earlier. If, however, you happen to get unlucky and experience even just a slight rainfall, well good luck getting out of there alive.

Rainfall on most roads at night while driving is the worst. During a drizzle, people’s headlights reflect off the rain on your windshield and you’re blinded. Get a steady rain and it reflects off the light poles and you’re blinded. Drive into a downpour and the rain falls so heavily that you’re blinded. It’s a lose lose lose situation. Regardless of rain power. But that’s with other light sources and people helping you make educated guesses about the road. Eliminate your two phone a friend lifelines and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Rainfall on country roads at night while driving is a suicide mission for those of us from the ‘burbs and beyond. During a drizzle, the rain is distracting and makes it annoying to see the road because there are no light reflectors indicating where the middle lines are (or are supposed to be). During a steady rain, it’s almost impossible to see where the road ends and the fields begin because, again, no light reflectors. During a downpour, you might as well stop and plan to camp with the cows. Unless your plans for the night also included off roading and getting stuck in some corn crops. 

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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PORTA POTTY FEARS

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.

Imagine if there hadn’t been a porta potty available in your most desperate moment? What would your options be then? Public indecency? That could result in jail time and AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Trying to find a slightly wooded area where you can quickly relieve yourself before another person wanders by? Best of luck to you – sometimes it pays off and other times we’re back at the naked in public issue. Hold it? Well, sure, but Murphy’s law will undoubtedly put some liquid sound, visual, or thought into your immediate space so this becomes harder by the second.

Unless you’re packing adult diapers in your pocket for emergency situations, it usually ends in the decision to suck it up and enter the portable toilet. And no matter how mentally prepared you are entering it, I believe every human goes through a certain set of fears regarding the time they will spend both in the potty, and immediately after. Those fears are as follows:

  • Porta Potty tipping over with you inside
  • Porta Potty being loaded onto a truck, with you inside
  • Forgetting to lock the Porta Potty
  • Not being able to lock the Porta Potty
  • Having no toilet paper in the Porta Potty
  • Having no hand sanitizer in the porta potty
  • Dropping your phone, keys, or wallet into the hole
  • Physically touching any part of the seat
  • If it’s over 60 degrees outside, the internal heat the interior will be packing
  • If it’s over 70 degrees outside, the internal smell it will be emanating
  • Not being able to unlock the Porta Potty
  • Realizing that you forgot to lock the Porta Potty
  • Finding a way to disinfect your hands, in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Finding a way to disinfect everything that could have touched something in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Exiting to find a long line of people waiting for said Porta Potty

My exact fears every single time. Hours later I’m always thankful I wasn’t forced to hold it until the UTI stage set in, but wow, in the moment it doesn’t always feel like a blessing. Especially at big events where there’s a line and it’s just been a non stop flow of humans in that tiny space. The things we do for entertainment and to wander around in nature is peculiar. And yet, we will gladly take the porta potty any day over alternative options.

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


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

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. 

While we’re on this subject, why is the floor of every public restroom just constantly wet? My bathroom at home enjoys a dry floor 99.99% of the time. The only time it does not, is when I exit the shower. Is there a reason this doesn’t transfer to public places? Last time I checked, most public restrooms do not have public showers as well. And yet, puddles. All the time. It never dries. It’s stagnant. It is standing water and thinking about it gives me the chills. This is a crisis and I would like to know who is doing this to the restrooms of the world. It is not acceptable. It never was.

Wow, I could write an entire rant on that. I have so many more questions. But alas, that is not the journey we were destined for today. No, today we examine the crisis of cheap, tiny, circular objects found near humans all around the world. Don’t be fooled by how easy they are to acquire. It’s like a computer virus – shockingly simple to click on, but it will eff you up for a while. Days, weeks, months. It’s an all out commitment to seek out and exterminate it.

Enter the seemingly innocent physical viruses known as couscous, glitter, and artificial turf. If you’ve ever had the pleasure, nay the horror, of dealing with any of these things, you know what I’m talking about. If you have never dealt with them, well, have you never met a girl somewhere between the ages of 2-99 in your life? Because I blame the Disney princesses for the glitter issue. And the social stigma that girl and glitter must be soulmates since you can’t spell glitter without girl.

How does it not wash off? How can I clean it off all spaces, including myself, and still wake up and find it places? It’s made 50% of glue I have to believe. You barely touch it and all of a sudden it’s a part of you forever. It will show up in rooms that you never went into during your foray into the sparkly rainbow world. How? Magic? No. Demonic craft supply companies. Play with glitter, they say. It will make your life sparkly, they say. Yes, but then it won’t leave.

While glitter is probably the more well known craft curse, it is not lost on me that in recent years outdoor athletes have had to deal with an equally traumatizing experience known as artificial turf. It gets in your shoes. It gets in your bag. It somehow always ends up in your pants. It hides so nicely in a carpet. It will live under your insole for years. It’s everywhere. It is a disease. You can vacuum. You can sweep. You can shower. But it will never leave you.

And then, we have the edible portion of the post: couscous. If you’ve been keeping up to this point, you know the storyline here. It just appears. In the sink. On countertops. In the cabinets. Why? How? Make it stop. The kitchen has been scrubbed. It’s been deep cleaned. It has not seen a box of couscous in months and still … still! They pop up from time to time like the gremlins that they are. 

I don’t know who, or whom, is responsible for any of these creatures. I don’t believe they are inanimate objects. They must have some sort of advanced technology embedded deep into their tiny, miniscule little earthly bodies just to torture us. They were Siri, and Google, and Alexa before it was cool to spy on people. I bet they’ve been listening to us for years. But without a helpful counterpart which is the targeted ad.

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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RANKING POPULAR HARD SELTZER BRANDS

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.

Alright, enough pregaming, let’s get to it! There are many, many, many … many options on the market right now, but some are better than others. Some are also better than most. 3, 2, 1 cheers! Here are the rankings of current hard seltzer brands. According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. There are definitely others, but for the sake of space, my sanity, and my health, sticking to more popular options:

  1. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Signature Flavors
  2. Press Premium Hard Seltzer
  3. Crook & Marker Spiked Seltzer
  4. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Classic Collection
  5. Truly Punch Hard Seltzer
  6. Bud Light Seltzer Retro Pack
  7. Bud Light Seltzer Remix Pack
  8. Bud Light Seltzer Holiday Pack
  9. Smirnoff Seltzer Rose Pack
  10. Natty Light Hard Seltzer
  11. Vizzy Hard Seltzer
  12. Bud Light Hard Seltzer
  13. White Claw Hard Seltzer
  14. Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer
  15. Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer
  16. Truly Hard Seltzer
  17. Jose Cuervo Tequila Seltzer
  18. Seagram’s Hard Seltzer
  19. Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer
  20. High Noon Hard Seltzer
  21. Truly Tea Hard Seltzer
  22. Truly Extra Hard Seltzer
  23. PBR Stronger Seltzer
  24. BON V!V Spiked Seltzer
  25. Wild Basin Hard Seltzer

Believe it or not, 25 only dents the currently way over-saturated seltzer market. This is my blog and I don’t feel pressure to justify, but I do think it would be fun to dive in deeper. And you can’t stop me, so here goes! Michelob and Press are clearly winners and everyone should buy them. I can, and will, drink them all day every day. Crook & Marker is a close third and very flavorful. Truly averages the bottom half of the list, but their Punch Pack is a gem. Not sure that tea is the same as water, so is it really a seltzer? Marketing says yes, but it still tastes like a Twisted Tea to me. Bud Light has found their true calling and has released several killer collections that spice up any time of year. Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo couldn’t be outdone by beer companies and make decent options as well. The rose collection is more for crisp seltzers / borderline cider fans, however.

Natty Light is the biggest surprise on this list. While I would never again subject myself to the watered down toast that is a regular Natty Light, their seltzers are surprisingly on point and their flavor combos are unique – which says a lot in the current market. Vizzy and White Claw are good, but forgettable among new competition. Seagram’s and Mike’s are known for disgustingly sweet drinks and their seltzers are no different. Still decent flavors, though, and who doesn’t love a good Mike’s Hard in the summer? Rounding it out, High Noon and BON V!V I can take a hard pass on. While their flavors sound good, the taste is nowhere near expectations. Finally, the new Truly Extra and PBR Stronger taste more like liquor than a refreshing seltzer. Though still both better than Wild Basin which tastes exactly like the name implies.

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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DEAR TOILET PAPER COMPANIES: WIPE AWAY YOUR MARKETING GAMES

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. 

It’s also most curious how a lovely 2-ply 1000 sheet roll is slightly bigger than a nice, plush mega roll (the size of FOUR regular rolls in case you’ve already forgotten). What is this nonsense? And where did the four multiplier come from? And that’s just one of the options. Then there’s the jumbo roll, which, apparently, is even bigger. The size of five regular rolls one could say. At what point did mega become the standard? It for sure wasn’t recently enough where we can still use it in marketing. Surely.

Did people in the past not wipe? How many rolls came in a regular, fits under the sink, pack? 48? Was it simply a commodity? Is that why the rolls were so tiny? I cannot comprehend how we would have survived the COVID TP crisis with mere regular sized rolls. And that’s only half of the puzzle when it comes to paper of the toilet. After you’ve blown your mind and stressed yourself out deciding if mega will even be enough for your family, then you have the soft versus strong issue. Why can it not simply be both?

I’m going to say it, I don’t understand this marketing scheme. It’s a lot like the left Twix, right Twix DEBACLE. Soft toilet paper is like a luscious paper towel and is too thick. Strong toilet paper is not as nice to the places you’re wiping. I don’t want one or the other, I want both. I need one that is both soft and strong so I can enjoy the go as my favorite modern day care bears keep wishing for me. To make matters worse, they now have ultra soft and ultra strong. Like, I either want to wipe with a blanket or an axe – there’s no in between. And what do each of those new distinctions get us? Higher prices! Because it’s shiny and new and “better”.

Can I just say that I’m over it. I feel like our marketing efforts started with good intentions, then became a competition, and have gone awry. How much softer can ultra soft possibly be than soft? At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper that will get used to wipe your unmentionables and then flushed into the sewer system. Think about that when a T-Rex roll comes out in a scented, plush style. 

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


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I JUST REWATCHED THE PRINCESS DIARIES AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

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:

  • The opening credits have a very 90s animated movie type, but it was 20 years ago so I’ll let it slide (unlike Clarice)
  • Imagine living in a refurbished fire station … your alarm clock could be the siren
  • Their neighbor is Mr. Robitussin? Like the cough medicine?
  • I see electric scooters were cool even in the the early 2000s 
  • Lana, Anna, and Fontana give off pre Mean Girls Mean Girls vibes
  • Why does Lilly carry around a rubber band ball? Did they not have stress balls back then?
  • Imagine if debate was a required class in high school. The absolute trauma as if high school isn’t stressful enough
  • Is rock climbing an approved future princess exercise? I would have guessed yoga or pilates
  • I wish someone would tell me to meet them somewhere with zero context and give me the address to a consulate
  • Mia’s social skills are impeccable all throughout the movie
  • You’ve got pears in your flowers’ – yes, good eye detective Amelia
  • I admire Mia’s ability to be 100% herself even in the presence of royalty, part one
  • Kind of them to accept the challenge of turning Mia into a princess, like they had another option
  • Why open the gate if she’s running away? Why not keep her locked in?
  • The Thermopolis home looks like a modern art museum
  • Is Mia qualified to be a princess owning a cat, not a dog? Pretty sure that’s the main dealbreaker to lead people … someone should alert Clarice
  • Does San Francisco not have safe drinking water? Why open a water bottle to pour it in the cup?
  • Not sure I would put Spain and Portugal on hold until a teenage girl gets over their current mood swing. Could be years before they even out
  • Mia in a limo for the first time is me with every new piece of technology I get
  • Good thing Mia is a princess because she definitely isn’t going to be a professional athlete
  • Does Mia not know how saliva works? It definitely doesn’t work like glue
  • Cringe moment! The mom is dating a teacher? Come on mom! You might as well kill all of the (little) social potential Mia had
  • Who keeps putting Mia on sports teams? She clearly is not capable in that area of life
  • I’ve never put on pantyhose, but it sounds dangerous’ – Joe, and every man ever who has experienced a woman putting them on
  • Paolo, Gretchen, and Helga – the Charlie’s Angels of the fashion world #GenoviaStyle
  • Why does everyone wear sunglasses indoors in the early 2000s? Was that acceptable then? Because it still isn’t acceptable now
  • Eye for an eye. Glasses for a brush. Seems fair to me
  • Michael has an OG High School Musical Zac Efron vibe going on
  • Lilly doesn’t seem to be best friend level in tune with Mia’s emotions most of the first half of the movie
  • Mia’s sense of self never ceases to amaze me in this movie. Truly the best part of the whole thing, part two
  • Not the friendship charm! In the dirt?! That’s too far Lilly
  • Why has no one created a business from throwing darts at paint balloons? We have trampoline parks and DIY pottery, but no dart painting? Smh
  • Does Mia ever do homework?
  • Gupta’s phone conversations are the definition of efficiency
  • Is Paolo the equivalent of Judas? Hollywood version and #GenoviaStyle?
  • The school announcements are so great. Don’t submit assignments virtually, stop rearranging the lawn tables, etc.
  • There always has to be a villain trying to get their face on postage stamps
  • We’ve all accidentally set something on fire at a fancy dinner, haven’t we? Why must there always be candles? We have electricity
  • Were there no dinner etiquette courses during Mia’s training?
  • How did Mia find the creepiest arcade in the whole world to take Clarice too?
  • Look at Clarice, sneaking out of a ticket with that famous womanly charm and made up titles
  • And, just when you think Mia is growing up, her 15 year old brain kicks in and she falls for the popular boy’s ruse. Bailing on Lilly AND Michael – rude
  • Who would have guessed that Josh would double cross Mia? Literally everyone
  • Can Mia be any more naively trusting of the worst people in school? She did it to herself I don’t feel that bad about the sailor Josh and Banana triplets incidents
  • Wait … Grove high school has a soft serve ice cream machine in their courtyard. I really missed out in public school
  • Why do Mia and Lilly keep going back to sports? It’s been established that they’re more of the artistic type well before this rooftop apology scene
  • Not sure I agree with the choice to waste an entire ice cream cone to make a point. Could have used anything else and saved the ice cream
  • What is the purpose of taking the cat to Colorado? It can’t climb the rocks with you. It can’t hike with you. It can’t go anywhere with you. It would just be a mooch
  • Of course there is a pear juggler because why not
  • Pretty sure pizza and M&Ms do not go together in the same bite
  • At what point do you stop putting money into a car and count your losses?
  • Shocking tear jerker moment when Joe shows up to rescue Mia from the storm and save all of Genovia – my emotions were not ready
  • And with one speech we crush the uprising of the evil Baron and Baroness … and their postage stamps
  • The queen just awkwardly leaves Mia in the middle of the dance floor to find her own partner? What if Michael had not shown up? Would Jeremiah have been chosen? Joe? Some rando?
  • 20 years later – still a fantastic movie with an even better lesson, part three

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


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WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A KLONDIKE BAR?

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! 

Regardless, ice cream, in any form, far outweighs any of the other options, however. Put it in a cake, in between cookies, with donuts, with fruit, with more sugary things, cover it in chocolate, eat it plain, serve it soft, serve it melted – do what makes you happy. But think about this, what would you do for a Klondike bar? If you don’t know your answer right off the top of your head, are you even an American? That’s one of the best marketing campaigns from the millennial childhood. It’s one of the few that stuck with me all these years, anyways.

If we’re being honest, I wouldn’t do that much. Klondike bars are ok, but when I want ice cream I don’t want a nicely proportioned serving size where the chocolate to ice cream ratio is not ideal. Think about it – if you took all the ice cream in a single bar and put it together, it would be about a scoop. And I can’t tell you the last time I only ate one scoop of ice cream so, ergo, there’s a lot I would not do for a singular Klondike bar.

Some people feel differently. Some people would do a lot of things for one scoop of ice cream. One $2.50 scoop of ice cream. Steal a toy from a kid, throw a phone out the window, unfollow all of their friends online, kick your significant other in the shin, etc. and no judgement. Ice cream is the top of the dessert food chain. Switch the question from Klondike bar to a frozen custard concrete, though, and I too would be in the above actions. Shamelessly. I’m all about the soft serve ice cream with some extra mixins life.

So, I’m curious, what would YOU do for your favorite dessert? It can be anything within the legal realm. Well, anything is strong. But anything within the legal realm that you wouldn’t mind laughing with your grandmother about in a few months. That’s how I base most of my decisions as a full on adult. Would grandma think it’s funny? Go for it! Would grandma hate it? Maybe time to rethink. Would grandma not get it? Definitely go for it! Deal with potential regrets later.

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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MY PARENTS WATCH SQUIRRELS, WHAT DO YOURS DO?

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. 

Sound familiar? Squirrels kind of remind me of the animal version of us. Always wanting what someone else has. And sometimes going to extremes to be like those people. Including, but not limited to, scaling greased poles, making daring leaps from fences towards the greased pole, waiting on the ground to catch crumbs that fall down, using a buddy system to scale the greased pole, etc. Ok, sure, those examples are highly specific to the squirrels, but use your imagination to apply it to the greener pastures we often chase.

Besides being cuddly looking and spending the majority of their time thinking about food, what else do squirrels really do? Become an invasive species on college campuses everywhere? Practice their hide and seek skills? Go on tree branch jumping adventures? Adorably tackle other squirrels as they try to climb trees? Pause. Let’s talk about how much I love seeing a squirrel come out of nowhere and absolutely wreck another squirrel’s journey up a tree. To what I’m assuming is a hidden nut stash. No sexual pun intended. Do you think they do it maliciously or are they playing with each other? Hard to say.

Now feels like a good time to point out that prior to about a year ago, I never really paid attention to squirrels. Or thought that much about them. They were just living their lives and I was living mine. Then, my parents decided to put a bird feeder in their backyard and the morning quarantine ritual became drinking coffee and discussing the ridiculous attempts by the squirrels to eat the food they bought for the birds. Discussing might be a generous way to put it. Imagine eating a peaceful breakfast with your father, only to have him space out in the middle of your conversation and, without any indication, leave the room to go out on the back porch and yell at the squirrels.

COVID gave a lot of us more time at home, and a chance to re-center. My parents chose to re-center and become the people who get annoyed with the ‘damn squirrels!’ I chose to re-center and thoroughly just enjoy those moments. And also accept that my parents have entered that phase of their lives. Sipping coffee and grumbling about squirrels. Spending countless hours thinking of ways to deter them from the bird feeder. But I love them anyway!

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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NO LEFT TURN LIGHT SHOULD ONLY HAVE THREE OPTIONS

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?

For the first time ever on TRP, I actually asked a traffic engineer about this. Did some actual research. And their answer was mildly acceptable. Apparently, not every left turn is in a place where it’s safe to let people make their own decisions on if it’s safe or not to turn. On the one hand, ok. Yes, we, as a species, have not necessarily proven our decision making and focusing skills while on the road. On the other hand, though, how easy is our driving test where we aren’t confident that licensed drivers can make an appropriate decision about when it’s safe to turn, and when it isn’t? If there is a car coming, then you must wait. Basic physics and basic laws of traffic.

This is what I heard from that conversation: people can’t be trusted. I don’t know that I agree with that sentiment, though. Trust people until they give you a reason not to is my motto. I think a good solution here is to maybe have the penalty for poor left turn decision making being a suspension of your license. And / or a remedial class on how to use common sense to not turn in front of someone else. Because that would make life better for all. Imagine if at every left turn, it lasted the entire length of the straight arrow, plus the bonus turn only green? Left turns wouldn’t suck nearly as bad.

The amount of times that I’ve sat at a red left turn light while there were absolutely zero cars coming from either direction all because of a few bad apples … oh my goodness. It’s infuriating. Does it make you angry too? I’m not going to encourage breaking the laws of traffic, but I often wonder what would happen if I just decide to go on red anyways. Which, at that point, are we any worse off than just letting people make their own decisions at a flashing yellow? I have to believe no. People at least wouldn’t be thinking about running red lights that way so that, in and of itself, is a positive.

Long story short, I think we need to eliminate the three light left turn option. For everyone’s sanity. For the integrity of our traffic laws. To help reduce driver stress, even if only in that one area. To force people to think about their actions. To add more flashing yellow lights in the world and yellow is the color of happiness and who doesn’t want to be happier? It just makes sense.

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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LET’S TALK ABOUT MOVING WALKWAYS

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.

Traveling isn’t always perfect, let’s be honest. Sometimes you get a layover that’s longer than comfortable. Sometimes you don’t get a layover at all. Sometimes you end up having to book a new flight because someone cancelled on you at the last second without warning. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to get your point across. What I’m trying to say is that air travel and relationships are clearly analogies for each other and / or maybe the same thing. 

Anywho … moving walkways. I’m no expert, but if I had to guess I would say that they were designed to help you get from one end of the terminal to the other in a quicker, more efficient manner. Which is fine, I guess. A bit boring, honestly, but logical. Are those the requirements for use, though? In a rush and needing to traverse a great distance in minimal time? Because if so, I have not once used them correctly. I’m what one would call a walkway rebel. If I’m j chillin’ at my gate and have to use the bathroom, I’ll use the walkway. If I come out of a terminal store and happen to be positioned in the middle of a walkway, I’ll walk to the end just to travel back towards where I started at the store. If I’m trying to waste time, I’ll walk up and down the terminal using every moving walkway just for kicks and giggles.

As great as moving walkways are, there are still courtesy rules. Well, really there’s just one. Don’t stand on the moving walkway. First of all, wut? The purpose of the walkway is to speed you up, not slow you down. Standing is making you move like a sloth. A real life Zootopia demonstration. That’s a new level of laziness. Why walk at regular speeds when you could stand on the slowest possible moving surface and barely move at all? Do you have time to kill? Great – do it somewhere that isn’t in the way of my fun, entertainment, and terminal joy. But if you need to, for reasons unknown to me, then by all means squash yourself up on the side of the railing like a bug. You get half of a normal person’s allotted space (more on walking space allotments in THIS POST) since you are the one in the way. Your suitcase can, and will, count against you. Make like Stanley and flatten up! 

Long story short, I am a moving walkway slut. If I see one, I will ride it without hesitation and without shame. If you’re standing on the moving walkway, you better channel your inner thinness so I can zoom zoom right by you like I’m in a Mazda commercial.  If you’re on the side of the moving walkway, I will judge you and question your decisions. 

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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