CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

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

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

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

Thanks to Heineken, everyone can drink, but not all drinks have alcohol. And this is perfect for Independence Day. Specifically for the designated person, or group of people, known as the fireworks lighter. Because, have you ever considered that maybe the person in charge of lighting the fireworks should not be the same one holding an open beverage? Seems like an interesting decision. I’m not really a fire fan in general so I definitely don’t trust others with flames. Especially when I don’t know the sobriety levels of said individual(s).  

No matter, though, fireworks are but a small portion of our celebratory weeks / weekends. An optional one. Sometimes an illegal one. The main draw here is clearly the ridiculous use of American themed decorations. You can buy anything in the flag pattern. And I do mean anything. Feel free to use your imagination on some of the most extravagant, questionable, straight up weird, items and I guarantee they come themed specifically for this day. Flag leis, flag solo cups, flag swimsuits since it is summer after all and clothing is not mandatory, but masks are. Luckily you can also get themed masks.

Never has there been a holiday where the Red Solo Cup is a more appropriate addition, or acceptable drinkware. Outside of anything planned / scheduled prior to your quarter-life mark. That’s one of three colors done automatically, if you’re opting to decorate sans actual flag decorations. A chance to flex your creative side. Which just leaves blue and white to round out the festive atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you happen to be attending a celebration on some sort of water, blue is in the bag as well. If not, will there be clear skies? Still no? You’ll have to get creative with one of the food dishes, or table accessories. White is the same color as napkins so as long as you’re not treating guests like cavemen, a third strike! 

If this sounds like any weekend at the lake, day at the beach, party at your friend’s house, that’s because it probably is very similar. The only real difference is a free PTO day with which to either recover, or pre-game. In other words, we love Independence Day so much we celebrate it constantly. Year round to be exact. Sometimes we swap the flag for pumpkins, or trees, or hearts, but deep down we’re still celebrating the same thing. Freedom. 

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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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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WHY DO I WORK OUT? TO EAT MORE…OBVIOUSLY

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

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

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

So what do you do? Pick a side forever and either be jacked or toned? Be destined to run endless miles or do endless curls? No! I would have thought as my reader base you’d be slightly more creative than this! Forget the gym and all their judgement (and their monthly payments). Buy a good pair of running shoes, get a handful of weights and use the most powerful tool anyone on Earth has – the Internet.

Anywho, we’ve gotten over the workout portion of this post. Step 1 (in case it was unclear): workout. Step 2: eat like a wrestler who just came off a weigh-in and has 24 hours to gain all the lost weight back. Can we take a quick detour? Wrestlers…just why? What is appealing? You have to run in FULL SWEATS and frequently fast to drop a bunch of weight quickly just so you can stuff your face to gain it back. Then, because that might sound pleasant to some, you put on what can only best be described as the male bikini, and have very intimate contact with another person in public. While getting aggressively punched, put in uncomfortable positions, etc. Who invented this sport? No, more importantly, how is it still popular?! Personally, I don’t see the appeal in any of the above but maybe I’m the odd one here.

Alright, so the best part of working out is obviously getting to eat afterwards. And what do you get to eat? Whatever the hell you want! You freaking earned that! Did you do strength? Earned it! Did you go for a run (distance irrelevant)? Definitely earned it! Did you walk up the stairs today (number of stairs irrelevant)? You, my friend, earned it! Did you put all of the grocery bags on one arm to just take one trip in? Yes, that also counts! Earning it is easy, why don’t more people participate in this?!

My point here is that I may have an unhealthy obsession with food. Hmmm that’s interesting and also not something I want to press into with my anonymous Internet fam so…my (new) main point is this: TREAT YOURSELF! If I did a workout, then denied myself the third slice of cake, what was even the purpose of working out?! Pretty sure I heard that calories after a workout don’t count. Could have come from my own head, but either way that sounds pretty freaking great to me. Dieticians everywhere are melting at this, I’m sure. The actual health nuts may be having mini-crises but I do not care. Living my best life…after my workout clearly because the build up is honestly something I would prefer to do without.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who also believes that food is the sole motivation for physical activity then please share this with them! Maybe we can start some sort of support group for surviving the workout portion of the equation. Thanks for reading!


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CINCO DE DRINKO: ANOTHER UNOFFICIAL HOLIDAY FOR DAYTIME DRINKING

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

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

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

Before I spend the rest of this post throwing ideas into the universe for baby everything, let us move on. In the hangover from Star Wars day, we get America’s third unofficial daytime drinking holiday of the year (fourth if you’re single) – Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Drinko if you’re a cool kid like my friends and I. Or if you only speak Spanglish because commiting to an entire language was part of a resolution that is but a fleeting thought from the B.C. era. Before Coronavirus that is. Now you have more important things to do like figure out how to spend endless hours at home with the same human beings, and/or animals day after day after day after day. 

For all the nonsense 2020 has thrown our way, it at least gave us Cinco de Drinko on Taco Tuesday so maybe not all hope is lost. Endless tacos and tequila! But for your takeout pleasure so think about how much you normally consume and triple it, just to be safe. Then you don’t have to figure out how to successfully order another round from a delivery driver while attempting not to fall off the couch. According to Urban Dictionary, Corona is the (un)official beer of this very young adult / quarter life crisis holiday. I am willing to wager that is not going to be the case for this year, but alas I have been wrong once or twice before.

To recap, or in case you genuinely don’t know what the other drinking holidays are, you start the year strong with New Year’s. Because why not ruin the first day of a new year with a killer hangover? If you happen to not like your date, or are self-partnered, you probably cruised into Valentine’s Day with something stronger than grape juice in that glass. Of course, the greenest day of the year pops up after love has ended since you might as well save the planet while you’re infatuated, or in need of a new project. Not that kind of green though – did you really think of Earth Day as a drinking holiday?! I question your judgement. Water, sure. Alcohol, probably not so much. It’s St. Patrick’s Day of course! So now you’re 25% through your year and 75% of it is a bit hazy. April is your chance to recover before May blasts onto the scene leading into vacation season, pumpkin season, and of course, holiday season.

What the heck else does May have, though? You may be wondering. Oh, you know, it’s also casually Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, National Moscato Day, National Dance like a Chicken Day, National Wine Day, graduation season, and it’s also prime wedding season (probably because of the flowers that the showers brought us). I think the question you should be asking is what the heck else DOESN’T May have?

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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KISS ME, I’M IRISH…BUT ACTUALLY

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

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

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

St. Patrick’s Day is an interesting holiday, because everyone associates it with Ireland, but St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He merely moved there for a job as one does. Also, until as recently as the 1970’s, pubs in Ireland were closed. If the pubs were closed, how did this become a giant keg stand throughout the world? What did people used to do it not drink? These are all good questions. I don’t want to try and assume what the people did, since you know what they say when you assume. If I wanted to go on an imagination journey though, down the rainbow to the pot of gold, I would say they ate. That’s what I would do if I couldn’t drink. Correction, that is what I do when I can’t drink.

Interestingly enough, Boston held the first American celebration in 1737. Now there is not documentation, that I could find anyways, indicating whether or not there were large quantities of alcohol present at this celebration. Having visited Brewston, though, I would like to say yes there certainly way…but only if I was journeying through the marshmallow forest with Lucky himself because we don’t assume. Despite Boston being first, Chicago does it best. If you thought that McDonald’s dying their McFlurrys and Shakes green was clever, Chi-Town decided to dye AN ENTIRE RIVER. Let me emphasize this. The Windy City turns a river (normally blue-ish) and makes it green. What?! I’m no color expert, but I’m pretty sure you have to mix yellow with blue to get green. What is in this dye? Is it…is it from a human? No wonder you’re not supposed to swim in the river.

In true American fashion, we spend over $6 billion celebrating. That’s billion, with a b. Is it all on booze? No! The themed cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc. and of course the traditional corned beef and cabbage probably all account for about 1% of that total. Bars everywhere will feature themed green drinks, but if you want to truly celebrate, you have to go with the staple. The most Irish of all beers. A bold selection brew. A Guinness. According to USA Today, 13 million (just with an m) pints of this bold-bodied brand will be sold around the world. Of all times to go with the status quo, it is most certainly March 17. So break out your green, find your ID, and head to a local bar. With or without friends. Nobody will judge you after about an hour. Or if you buy them a beer – whichever comes first.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who lives for St. Paddy’s day, then figure out why that person isn’t you and get excited! It’s a national holiday that office businesses just aren’t quite recognizing yet. Cheers, thanks for reading!


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