COFFEE v. TEA

Ah, the morning, afternoon, evening, and late night drinks of choice for a disturbing portion of the population. The addiction that people literally cannot live without. At least not without soul crushing headaches and patches of exhaustion scattered at non-normal times throughout the day. Among other things, I’ve heard. I, to the horror of my colleagues, friends, and family, do not participate in the liquid caffeine. I’m one of those wake up, get dressed, ready to go kind of people. What can I say, I’m a natural.

Now despite my morning routine, I know that I’m an endangered species. With Starbucks popping up faster than grocery stores, our whole culture has embraced the coffee and tea movements. More than even the bacon movement. Which is probably a good thing. Certain things don’t need to be related to bacon. Including, but not limited to, bacon flavoring, bacon scent, bacon images, or adding bacon. I, also, am not a bacon fan. I’m basically an alien, I think.

Ok, moving on from the very glaring things that make me a weirdo, coffee and tea and all the caffeine! While both will give you your morning fix, there are very real differences between the two. Starting with the obvious: coffee is an addiction while tea is a hobby. Coffee is seen as more of a habit that people get hooked on and can’t seem to kick. A problem, so to speak. On the other hand, tea is healthy. It’s a good medium between needing caffeine and the no caffeine extreme.

Let’s talk about coffee first. Since c comes well before t in the alphabet, it just seems right. Most coffee that I’ve seen people drink ranges in color from black to light brown. Although, are the light brown ones really coffee, or are they milk with a dash of coffee? I have to believe it’s the latter. Which … why drink coffee if you have to add more sugar, milk, creamer, ice, flavor pumps, etc. than there is actual coffee? Why not just drink a milkshake at that point? This is what I don’t understand about coffee drinkers. Or people who go to STARBUCKS. Genuinely a question I would like someone to answer for me.

Then we have tea. Which, if I’m being honest, I think is all different variations of clear. Since it’s basically water. With some leaves thrown into it. It tastes like someone dipped the Flintstones multivitamins in hot water. There are “flavors”, but there aren’t really. Let’s not kid ourselves. You take a scoop, or a bag, or literal things from nature. They could be mistaken for certain drugs. Just saying. 

My big question around both of these options, though, is why it’s so freaking complicated. They took something simple – hot water and beans or hot water and leaves – and made whole new languages around them. I don’t even know how to order coffee, or shop for tea. There are too many options. A few would be great, but we’re at a different level. Stressful amounts of options. And everyone who participates is always so impatient to get their energy levels up that any hesitation on your part leads to multiple new enemies behind you in line.

I, personally, prefer a calmer way to start my mornings. A nice cup of water. Maybe some juice, if I’m feeling frisky. Food. Then on with whatever adventure awaits me. No coffee. No tea. No angry people. No ridiculous amount of choices. No waiting for water to heat up. No getting diabetes from my drink. Flavor. All I want. All I need. But no judgement against all of you who ride the bandwagon. There are a lot of people in my life on that path and I still love them very much.

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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BECOMING AN ADULT: EXPECTATIONS v. REALITY

Remember being in college and wanting so badly to just be an adult already? Start making the money instead of selling the devil your soul to be able to afford tuition each semester? Oh to be young and dumb again! In hindsight, I would like to make college last as long as possible. A victory lap if that’s what it would have taken to prolong becoming an adult for an extra year. But alas, that’s how life works isn’t it? The grass is always greener somewhere else. 

There are definitely perks to being a full-blown adult, though. Namely, the money making part. Also the no homework part, the no exams part, the do what you want when you want part, the bigger and better vacations part (because you now have the money part), and the adult relationships part. Specifically the part of said adult relationship where you, and society, feel comfortable rescuing a puppy together. Which is really the goal of life, I think. Get to that stage and what could be better?! Kids? Mmm, ask me again in 10 years. It’ll be a close call.

By now, you know that I think dogs are angels sent to make all the bad times seem meaningless compared to the joy that we are capable of experiencing. Thus, there really is no flip side to that part of the adulting phase in life. There is, however, a flip side to the dolla dolla bills portion of it. Disappointments, really, that no one, not even Hollywood, prepared me for. Frankly, I’m disappointed that growing up they fed us lies that high school would be Wildcat wonderland, college would be the equivalent of doing your favorite thing in the world day after day, and then, seamlessly, we would blossom into well-mannered, brilliant, funny, personable, desirable, and social adults. Like a caterpillar emerging from it’s college cocoon. 

Granted, you can never expect too much from the film and TV industry. Guidance counselors, though, where were you? Department heads, where was the curriculum to prepare us? I have a lot of RANDOM SKILLS, but I would have liked to have had some practical skills and realistic expectations from my colorful coursework. Maybe a course on what is health care. What all the hundreds of papers you have to sign are referencing when buying a car. How to do your taxes. The basic art of cooking for one. Anything along those lines.

Among the list of biggest disappointments are the following:

  • Work
    • Just in general, I’m already over this
  • Being Tired on Friday Nights
  • Cooking for Yourself
    • This is harder than it seems when you’re growing up and it was just always there
  • Having to Make Your Own Appointments
    • You have to know your calendar, and the commute time, and you have to talk on the phone with someone … just not great all around
  • Bills
    • A disturbing amount of the money from that fun work thing goes to paying other people for basic things like the Internet
  • Student Loan Payments
    • A cruel form of bills as payback for not preparing you for being a real-world adult without a trust fund
  • Responsibility
    • All of it – it’s overrated
  • Communication
    • People expect you to magically be a poet laureate and beautifully articulate in every email, Slack message, personal thought, etc.
  • Vacation Days
    • A novel concept, but there is somehow never enough to make up for the 3 months of summer break, 1 week of fall break, 1 month of winter break, and 1 week of spring break that you are now lacking. In other words, I would need a minimum of 18 weeks PTO to be comparable
  • Sales People
    • And suddenly, spam! Spam everywhere! Leave me alone, if I want to buy something I know how to search on Amazon for it

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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TREADMILLS ARE MODERN DAY TORTURE DEVICES

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

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

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

Treadmills are evil. They draw you in with their guise of quick and simple to use while failing to mention you will be on the most monotonous ride of your life. Literally, you go nowhere. Part of the appeal (strong word, I know, but it’s on the pro side) for running is getting to explore, be outdoors, and get to move about. The manufactured machine removes all of those options from the overall experience. There is no exploring. There is no outdoors. There is no moving about. It’s all simulated in screens that take you through foreign lands and beautiful trails, or towns, to trick you into thinking you’re having a good time.

While I appreciate the technological advancements, and drone footage hours, that lead to perceived exploration, it’s not the same as being on those trails. Staying on this topic a bit longer, why are so many of the covered areas uphill? Why would you trick me into thinking I have to exert more energy? I constantly find myself getting closer and closer to the screen because my incline is on 0, but in my mind I’m climbing a mountain. 

Also, why are all of the trails so narrow? Why do none of the people who accidentally get caught in the filming process never know the drone is there until it’s literally on their head and they get startled? That startles me! I like to give fellow people a good berth when running so they don’t think I’m trying to pickpocket them. Or scare them as the technology version likes to do. Share the road, SHARE THE SIDEWALK, share the airspace, just share. I have to believe that whoever is flying them can see the people ahead and have the ability to avoid them … but apparently that is also incorrect. 

If the fake nature isn’t your jam, you can always turn to the TVs in the gym for mindless entertainment. Although they always, always, are on either the news, some ridiculous drama, a cooking show, or a sports network. The news is as boring as running and is always so depressing – hard pass. Dramas are my least favorite option anyways – the world has enough drama, I don’t need fake drama. The cooking shows always make me hungry, which is not ideal in the middle of a workout. And the sports networks remind me that I’m a mere peasant in the fitness world compared to the professional athletes out there who get paid to run indoors. Basically, all of those options suck too.

I guess you could also watch people, but you have to be sneaky about it. Have you ever caught someone running on a treadmill hardcore staring at you? It’s terrifying. The intensity of the glare, mostly because they’re running and it’s hard to look like you don’t hate everything when you’re running, combined with the sweat and heavy breathing is honestly a bit creepy. In short, there are not good eye wandering options indoors on the treadmill. There’s really no good reason to get on a treadmill. If you must run, go outdoors. But know that it’s 2021 and there are lots, I mean LOTS, of better alternative cardio 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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SHOULD YOU BE IN THE FAST LANE? A QUESTIONNAIRE

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

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

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

In the spirit of education, I thought it would be a good exercise for all of us to think about our use of the fast lane. To help solidify whether we should, or should not, be in the fast lane, I came up with some very simple yes or no questions to ask yourself as you embark on any interstate. Or any road with two or more lanes for that matter. The best way to take this questionnaire is quickly – go with what your guy says and trust the process. Ok! Enough waiting, let’s get to it! Should you be in the fast lane?

  • Are there people behind you moving faster than you are? 
    • Yes? Move over
    • No? You’re all good then!
  • Are there people passing you on the right, AKA, a slower lane?
    • Yes? Move over
    • No? You’re all good then!
  • Are you doing at least the speed limit?
    • Yes? See the first two questions and make a fast judgement call
    • No? Move all the way over
  • Do you have a left hand exit, or turn, in the next half a mile?
    • Yes? You may stay, but at least hit the speed limit
    • No? See the first two questions and make a fast judgement call
  • Do you have a left hand exit, or turn, at some point in the future?
    • Yes? Is it within a half mile? If not, and you’re not at the minimum speed, get yourself all the way to the right. Otherwise, see the first two questions and make a fast judgement call
    • No? See the first two questions and make a fast judgement call
  • Do you need to pass someone who is going slower than you?
    • Yes? You’re all good then! For the passing period, then see the first two questions and make a fast judgement call
    • No? See the first two questions and make a fast judgement call

There you have it! Six simple reasons why you should, or should not, be in the fast lane. As you’ll note, it wasn’t a typo, most of the answers circle back to the first two questions about reading the room. If there is a car, or many a car, moving slightly faster, or significantly faster, than you are, chances are good that you should move to the right. Nothing wrong with being in the slower lanes. Some people like speed, some people like making it to their destination without a ticket. Zero judgement … as long as you aren’t slowing me down.

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


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IF MY DOG HAD A LINKEDIN

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

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

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

I have a strong feeling that my beautiful puppy would not be able to create a LinkedIn account. I think if she somehow figured out how to use a computer in general her first social media account would definitely not be a professional networking option. But, if for some reason she decided that she needed to get paid for all the fabulousness that she is, I guess she could end up writing a resume and seeking out people she might have jumped on at some point.

In my mind, my dog would use LinkedIn to solely promote herself. It’s hard to imagine that she would want to actually post business related branding materials, so it would probably be more like a Twitter feed. Ironically, I think her genuineness would garner a huge attention and her number of followers would be gigantic. Her connections, on the other hand, would be 0. Because she doesn’t have time to accept connection requests. She’s too pretty for that.

Basically, she would leverage LinkedIn the same way some people do and use it for attention. And nothing else. Which is ironic since the last thing she needs is more attention. Let’s be honest, even when she doesn’t want to be loved, we can’t keep ourselves away for long. She’s too adorable and soft and fun to make chase balls and fun to just dog watch in general. Especially when she’s doing weird things like trying to catch flies that are on the outside of the window when she’s on the couch indoors.

Most likely she would harass people to make playdates with her. Or to give her human food. Her puppy dog eyes are irresistible so I think that the Internet would not be able to resist. She may even end up with a GoFundMe for a backyard makeover that she could use to play with her puppy friends. Other than that, I have a hard time believing LinkedIn would be her jam. Especially if you bring the squeaky ball out. Then it’s game over for the Internet.

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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VIDEO CALLS: YAY OR NAY?

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

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

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

Mask assessment aside, any professional, student, or job candidate is probably way too familiar with video meetings. The conference room. The Zoom link. The Microsoft Teams setup. A Webex interface. Hanging out on Google. Whichever platform you prefer, or your company dictates that you will prefer, video calls are deeply ingrained in our work culture now. In person meetings feel like an outlier. Why meet face to face when you can only put clothes on one half of your body and have HULU up on the second monitor?

Some of us are all about virtual meeting culture. Some of us go back and forth depending on the day. And some of us would be happy if virtual meetings died with COVID. Where do you fall on the love / hate spectrum? Yay or nay? I would like to play devil’s advocate and argue for both sides of the equation. Then you, as the reader, are free to decide. You may have your own opinions already. You may be set in stone one direction or the other. But, regardless, I would like to hash out my current dilemma between yes or let it burn so you’re welcome.

YAY / IN-PERSON IS OVERRATEDNAY / LET IT BURN
1. Pants are optional1. Work / life balance is questionable
2. Virtual backgrounds2.   Need to hide your actual background
3. Camera on is optional … sometimes3.   Camera on is required … sometimes
4. Multi-task like a pro4.   Easier to miss important information
5. No commute time to a meeting room5.   No time to debrief between meetings
6.   Screen sharing and collaboration6. Less interaction
7.   Give presentations and not be the center of attention7. When giving presentations there are so many awkward silences
8.   Work from anywhere8. Sense of disconnection from team
9.   Eat at anytime regardless of if you’re actually hungry9. Eat at anytime and not when you’re actually hungry
10. Your cup could have anything in it10. Less attentiveness as the day goes on

And there we have it. The top 10 things that came to mind for both the yay and nay side. In retrospect, and after re-reading both columns of the table, I think I’m torn on which is more ideal. As much as I love connecting with my coworkers, though, my heart loves the in-person is overrated side of this table. It gives me the freedom to travel and work from anywhere in the world. It minimizes my need for a diverse wardrobe. I have freedom to be creative in what professional background I will have each day. My stage fright has disappeared. And my stomach / liver have never been more well-fed. Yay for video calls!

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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