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.

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

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

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

That alone is annoying. Pollen tastes like dirt. It’s not delicious on any spectrum. But that’s just one of the annoying parts. Can we talk about the color of pollen for a second? Is it yellow? Is it green? It’s color neutral, I guess. It wants to be both, although, in neither case is it a beautiful version of the chosen color. It’s a dull yellow and a putrid green. Put that together and it for sure doesn’t equal something I’d like to paint my walls with. Especially when it pools up on some gross, days old, puddle. Then it’s part blue and at that point I’m not even 100% sure it isn’t toxic.

So we have this … what is it even? Powdery substance according to the Wikipedia. Which could mean so many different things. A candy choice. Adult or child. Legal or illegal. Some sort of cleaning product. An ingredient for cooking. Dirt. I mean the options are endless. Anyways, so we have this powdery substance of an undesirable color. And where would you like to see something undesirable end up? Not on your car! It’s even worse than when a bird makes an appearance on your car too because no matter how often you wash it, it never leaves. The bad kind of persistence.

Regardless what color car you drive, during pollen season you drive an off yellow-green mess. And that color pairs well with none of the available colors known to man. Blue car, gray car, white car, green car, black car, etc. It looks bad. Maybe only the yellow cars can pull it off, but who is still driving yellow cars? Unless it’s a Corvette, that is the one kind of acceptable car to be in yellow. But alas, how many of us are driving yellow Corvettes? Even then, the green tint in everyone’s spring enemy throws it off. 

The worst part is that, unlike a nice powdery snow, it doesn’t blow off when you drive. It also doesn’t easily coat your car evenly and it certainly does not provide some semblance of cleaning when coming off. No. It’s splotchy. It’s streaky. It’s permanent. It’s somehow wind resistant. It makes no sense. If the bees love it so much why don’t they just hoard all of it in their hives? Save us. And just when you think you can’t take anymore pollen, it disappears overnight. Here one day, gone the next. I clearly don’t get nature.

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

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

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

Or when the family slander started to come out full swing. Ignorance is bliss. Joe blissfully forgot about his son Hunter. Until Trump kindly reminded him of his corrupt, addict behavior. At which point we saw what can only be described as a brief moment of paternal instinct where each man wanted nothing more than to defend his family. Which was almost admirable. Except, that was so unrelated to the COVID question and to how putting either or them in office would benefit us, the people. Excuse me, the China Plague question. 

For all the sane people who opted not to watch it, I admire your resilience. You did, however, miss some crucial points that I want to highlight here for you. Just so we can all be equally educated going into voting season. The worst season every four years brings us.  Probably a smart decision to just go to bed, but, as it turns out, not everyone is qualified to use the word smart. Especially not with Trump. Did you know Biden finished near the bottom of his class at nowhere Delaware State a million years ago? Me neither. Do you care? Me neither. A lot of us had college struggles and are doing just fine now. You learn. You grow. You become former Mr. Vice President. Or #2 as Biden was so fondly called on several occasions by #1 himself – Mr. President. Now to the key points, uninterrupted, good luck:

Key Point #1: Biden only made it to the debate because Pocahontas dropped out. That was an actual reference used by Trump towards Elizabeth Warren. Take it as you will, I didn’t realize Disney gave him copyright permission to use their character so freely in a serious debate and in clearly a non-offensive way

Key Point #2: When Biden gets overwhelmed, he loses his composure. Actual quotes include ‘would you just shut up, man?’, ‘keep yappin’ man’, and ‘you are the worst President America has ever had’. Clearly delivering well under pressure

Key Point #3: Trump has done more in 47 months than Biden has done in 47 years. Back up. Trump has only been a sworn in President for 44 months … so there’s that math discrepancy. But even if we are counting the three months before official inauguration day, that’s a big claim. And the debate did not clear up actual evidence to that being the case

Key Point #4: We’re still waiting to see Trump’s tax returns. But he said we would see them so there’s more hope. After four years. Of telling us we could see them

Key Point #5: The candidates are very much split on masks. Biden wears the biggest masks Trump has ever seen. But Trump does keep a mask inside his jacket. Thank goodness – it’s so helpful in there. Apparently the rally size differential is also unrelated to COVID. No, the reason Trump can sleep knowing that he has 25K – 30K people at rallies (not socially distanced) is because it’s outside. Not exactly how that works – NFL stadiums are still limiting their attendance crowds to way less than half of that number for CDC safety guidelines and that seems like a bigger priority, in my life anyways. And because the people love him. Biden, on the other hand, can only barely get 3 people to attend his rallies – it has nothing to do with keeping people safe

Key Point #6: Trump brought back football! Now this is probably the only point that I could relate to. It was clear. It was straightforward. No BS around it. No empty promises. No lies. Just good, old, truth, from jacket mask boy

Key Point #7: The actual election results could be delayed for days, weeks, or months. So instead of one stressful election day, we get to indefinitely drag it out so all the absentee ballots can be counted. And recounted. And probably recounted a few more times. How am I so confident about this? Well, apparently there were some ballots found recently in a wastebasket that were marked for Trump. Ok, I’m just going to throw the wut out here? First of all, who hasn’t taken the trash out in four years? That’s not a thing. Were they from this election? If so, who decided to go ballot hunting in the trash? How did they know those were in there? What is happening? That’s election fraud, so are we casually accusing people of breaking the law before early voting even officially starts. Strap in – it’s going to get rough

As off the wall as the first debate was, just wait until the next few come up! The Vice President one is shaping out to be just as entertaining with Harris and Pence each seeking vengeance for their ego wounded running mates. To cheer you up, though, imagine what would have happened if Kanye had made it this far. Trump v Yeezus … oh my. That feels like we somehow dodged a bullet.

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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