HOW EARLY IS TOO EARLY? HOLIDAY MUSIC EDITION

You already know what time of year it is! Holiday season is in full swing. The weather wants to get colder, but some of us in the South are still living in heavy after-effects of summer. Much to the disappointment of our northern brethren probably. Football season is, for the most part, happening. The Masters just wrapped up. Themed store displays, and candy, are everywhere. Halloween was less terrifying than usual due to social distancing at haunted houses. Pumpkin flavored everything is available. The news is talking about how to enjoy a virtual Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Or, for the daredevils of the world, how to safely meet in person. You know, just a standard year filled with standard holiday happenings. 

One of my favorite things about this time of year, outside of the lights, is the holiday music scene. Well … let me rephrase. One of my favorite things about any time of the year is holiday music. It just brings a whole new hype level when we’re actually within the 55 day mark. Which, of course, is HALLOWEEN. A most ironic symbol. Terrifying horror stories kick off the final countdown to love, peace, and joy. And fresh starts. I think for most people, all we want for Christmas is for 2021 to finally arrive. But also the iPhone 12 because we still have people to impress on social media.

Despite my personal feelings on the matter, I’m very aware that not everyone is in the same sleigh here. Everyone has their ‘it’s too early’ line and are rarely willing to cross it. Which then begs the existential crisis of a question – how early is too early? I tend to think that your answer to this very much depends on where you stand on Thanksgiving. Specifically on the following questions that I have answered to help clear up any confusion:

  • Is it a holiday? 
    • Yes! Of course it’s a holiday – some 401 years ago someone landed here and ate to celebrate. And so we continue to celebrate their miraculous sea voyage out of respect
  • Is it a holiday that needs a buildup? 
    • Definitely not! It’s a meal. At the end of the day, it’s simply a family meal. A typical Sunday lunch for some people. Just with more effort involved in cooking and cleaning
  • Is it a holiday we decorate for?
    • Nope! What would you do? Throw out some gourds, put leaves on your walls, and place a fake cornucopia in the middle of the table? So basically if you were decorating for the leaves changing colors then, ok
  • Is there specific Thanksgiving events that would lead to an intense hype? 
    • There are! Turkey Trots anyone? Because deep down we know what kind of annihilation we’ll be bringing on our stomachs later in the afternoon so we try to get ahead of it
  • Is it really just a few days off work? 
    • Technically, yes! It’s just part of the standard holiday days at most companies. Along with Black Friday because we’re all too full to move still. And thus productivity would be non-existent
  • Is it simply another excuse to supersize our meals? 
    • For sure! There’s literally zero reason that Thanksgiving dinner needs to have more food than a normal family would prep in a week. Also, what’s with the skipping lunch tradition? Hard pass – I still want 3 meals that day regardless of how it happens
  • Is it just an old tradition that involved food so we stuck with it? 
    • Probably! What other holidays survived? Ones that involve eating, or drinking in some fashion. Give the people what they want!
  • Is it necessary? 
    • 100%! If we didn’t have Thanksgiving we would just have this weird almost 2 months between Halloween and Christmas where panic would ensue. There would be no clear, this is now Christmas time, for all the people who believe Thanksgiving deserves 3+ weeks of buildup. When would they start listening to holiday music? When would they decorate with trees and snowmen and elves? Would they just accidentally miss Christmas?! The horror
  • Is there an exchanging of gifts?
    • If you’re asking this question, you clearly are the person who listens to All I Want For Christmas is You one time and plays Silent Night before bed on Christmas Eve. Then preps for New Year’s. Gifts? Of food maybe

Not sure if that clears up your dilemma on when you believe it’s socially acceptable to turn those holiday jams on. But if you agreed with any of my answers, jump aboard the 55 day train and blast some Mariah, some JB, some Kelly, some PTX, or anyone else you enjoy! If you feel bad about Thanksgiving, don’t. There’s still plenty of people out there who are giving the turkeys their fair share of time. Besides, it’s not like you’re not going to celebrate it? Thanksgiving will still get its day of love and full bellies. 

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


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I WAS HOPING YOU WOULD JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND A TREE WITH A CHAINSAW AND CHASE ME

Fall is just the best. The leaves change colors, it gets colder (helllloooo flannel weather), football season is in full swing, pumpkin lives everywhere and in everything, desserts become the main food group, Thanksgiving is coming – what is not to love?! That was a rhetorical question for all you readers out there right now thinking one, or more, of the following:

  • I hate the cold, I’d rather it be so hot I can’t tell the difference between the inside of my car and an oven
  • Flannel makes me look like a lumberjack and buttons are for The Pussycat Dolls, not real adults 
  • Pumpkin is the worst food and I hate all pumpkin tasting things
  • Football is confusing, sports are dumb, I wish that schools would do away with athletics and invest the money in useful things like underwater basket-weaving
  • The leaves don’t change color, they die! And then I have to rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake and rake them out of my yard
  • I’m on a diet and I don’t “dessert” right now
  • Thanksgiving is just an excuse for our country to get fatter and spend all their money on things they don’t need

Alright all you negative Nancys, gloomy Gregs, cynical Cindys, and pessimistic Petes – I don’t know who threw you into a leaf pile as a child and left you there, without a jacket on, to cry all cold and alone, but I am not here for it. Therapists get paid a lot of money to listen to your traumatizing stories … and last I checked, I am not a therapist. Nor do I even pretend to be, so I’m going to need you to take your sad sack self somewhere else. Or at least fake your happiness for the next few minutes.

Quick tangent (that should make you doubters smile, or at least twitch one side of your mouth slightly): pumpkins belong to the same food family as cucumbers and squash. Get ready for this: it’s the cucurbita family! What a fun word! It’s latin for gourd – also a fun word, but not as freaking fantastic as CUCURBITA. Sounds like an adult beverage … I’ll take one cucurbita margarita, por favor señorita.

Anyways, so we have Fall – this wonderful, magical time of year. Yet, like many (almost) perfect things, there’s always that one little head-scratching quirk you could do without. Enter Halloween – the actual devil’s holiday where we aim to frighten people (of all ages, mind you, because evil doesn’t discriminate) with the most awful, horrific, terrifying creatures and actions we can think of. Nothing is off limits apparently, because it’s the one time of year where vicious acts of violence are not only fantasized on television, but actively praised by audiences.

‘What a great movie, my favorite part was when the killer MURDERED EVERYONE!’ 

‘That movie scared the crap out of me! Especially when the possessed child ripped out the doctor’s throat and MURDERED EVERYONE!’ 

‘I love horror movies because the characters make terrible decisions and EVERYONE GETS MURDERED!’

‘I want to dress up as the grim reaper this year. I really admire his ability to effectively MURDER EVERYONE!’

You sick, demented, souls. How can you like that? Your idea of fun is watching a movie depicting one of the worst sins of all time, and you want to be scared while doing that?! Call me crazy, but I like sleeping peacefully at night. Without thoughts like: ‘I hope the zombie isn’t hiding under my bed waiting to spread the killer plague to me’ or ‘I hope that the loose serial killer isn’t standing behind my shower curtain waiting to end me’ or ‘I hope that there isn’t someone with a chainsaw standing behind this flickering street light waiting to chase me to my death’.

Ugh, Halloween is not for me and I was over it a long, long time ago. Is the candy good? Yes, but I’m an adult now and can simply walk into a safe, well-lit, Target on a Saturday morning and purchase as many bags of Reese’s Pumpkins as I wish (ok, well, actually, only like 3 because they’re expensive and I’m not trying to drop $50 on chocolate). I’m not ashamed, I’ll own it, I’m a bit of a wimp. I get scared way too easily as it is in normal life, I don’t need an extra reason to have a minor heart attack. Judge me all you want – I’m the one safely inside with my three bags of Reese’s watching a feel good Christmas movie while you’re out there running for your life, hoping chainsaw boy isn’t faster than you.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone, or are that someone, who loves Halloween, I highly doubt we would ever be good friends because how could I trust you? Your idea of a good time is enjoying life’s creepiest creatures from the deep, dark depths of hell. Hard pass from me, but thanks for reading!


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WHY EVERY ADULT NEEDS A ONESIE

Quick! What comes to mind when you think of a onesie? Babies? Pajamas? Soulmate? A king size candy bar? I clearly can’t read your mind, not only because I can’t see you, but because we simply have not evolved to that stage of living as a species yet. If you thought of an adult, however, you are clearly a MILLENNIAL. Not everyone has embraced the adult onesie mindset / lifestyle yet, and that makes me a little bit sad. Stop sleeping on onesies, because, in my opinion, every self-respecting adult should own one.

The obvious argument here is Halloween costumes. If nothing else convinces you to consider purchasing a onesie, think of Halloween. How annoying is it to figure out a costume each year? Very. How challenging is it to find the costume you decide on? Very. How original is your costume idea? Probably minimal. How warm will your costume keep you? It won’t. How many times can you reuse this costume? Never. How manageable is standing / walking in the shoes that go with your costume? Not at all. Catching my drift here? Halloween costumes are impractical. They’re overpriced. They usually come with parts, or makeup, that is meant for a one night use only. They aren’t built for keeping you warm, despite the end of October bumping up into winter. And they don’t account for people being on their feet for extended periods of time in them.

Enter the adult onesie. They’re easy to get. They’re affordable. They come in a somewhat disturbingly wide variety of styles. They’re warm. They pair nicely with sneakers. They’re perfect for extroverts because it’s a conversation starter. They’re perfect for introverts because they come with hoods. They’re easy to hide snacks and drinks in … and I guess trinkets from the house you’re at if that’s the lifestyle you’re choosing to participate in (but shame on you if you use that precious food space to steal a vase). They can morph into a half onesie, half whatever shirt you decided to wear, or not to wear, underneath it. They can be sexy, if that’s your criteria. But above all of those amazing features, they’re versatile.

Think pajamas! Think girls night! Think tailgating! Think camping! Think boudoir photos! Think work from home outfit! Think birthday parties! Think holiday parties! Think zoo visits! Think conventions! Think family holiday card photos! Basically, whatever you do, you can do in a onesie. Except use the bathroom easily. All great things have a flaw and needing to visit the restroom is the onesie’s kryptonite. Since it has to be unzipped, or unbuttoned, far enough to be able to get your arms out and pull the torso section down out of harm’s way. Which, realistically, only becomes an issue the more hydrated you are – and I don’t mean with water. So it’s kind of a glass half full versus glass half empty argument. Is it annoying? Yes. Is using the bathroom in general annoying? Also, yes. You decide what the root issue is here.

Let me wrap this up, because some people out there are probably getting very concerned for the millennial generation as a whole by this point. In summary, adult onesies for the win! There’s just no good excuse not to have one in today’s society. Especially if you have children. Get matching ones and make it your holiday card. We’re a progressive breed and this is clearly a train that’s going to stick around for a while. Couple pro tips I want to offer for all the first time onesie buyers before jumping off:

  • Amazon has a great selection, but plan on about 5-7 days shipping (even if you have Prime)
  • Purchase in Incognito Mode, or you may end up with some targeted ads that you didn’t ask for
  • Always buy a size bigger than the size chart indicates you are for maximum comfort and loungeablitiy
  • If it costs more than $40, you’re overpaying for that onesie
  • Purchasing after Halloween, or at other random points throughout the near not within a month of Halloween, provides best pricing options
  • Get the option with a tail and a high quality hood, otherwise you’ll look cheap and like a total onesie noob
  • Confidence is the outfit sidekick to the onesie, own it when you wear it
  • Never sleep on the thought of purchasing a onesie, if it isn’t mildly impulsive it won’t be as fun

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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WE NEED TO STOP TAKING UNWRAPPED CANDY FOR GRANTED

Think about this for a second: unwrapped candy. How does it make you feel? Angry, upset, annoyed, bleh, ugh, nothing? Those are all incorrect feelings. You should be feeling excited, joy, surprised yet intrigued, curious, pumped, ecstatic, overjoyed, filled with hope. Why? Um, because it’s candy. That comes unwrapped. Does your dessert life get any better than that? No, not at all! All of the tedious effort that was present before, has been eliminated from the equation. This is innovation and efficiency at its finest.

We all know that grocery shopping is a beautiful social experiment, and clearly highly suitable for JOB INTERVIEWS and first dates. If this is the first you’re hearing about this modern phenomena, welcome to the future of problem solving, creative thinking, and flexibility challenges to prove your worth. Grocery stores are kind of a hidden gem – there’s so much happening in those aisles. While each one has its place, this post is going to get laser focused on one aisle, specifically. The candy aisle. The most exciting, but also the most guilt-inducing, aisle in the whole store.

I don’t always travel down the candy aisle, but when I do, I end up with a cart full of sweets and the guilty look of a puppy who just chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. Self-control isn’t even part of my vocabulary. There’s just so many fun things to try! New M&M’s flavors, new Reese’s shapes, new Twizzlers flavors, new Hershey Kisses flavors, new Kit Kat flavors, you get the point. If no one ventured to try the new candies, they would all disappear off shelves forever. Which would truly be a tragedy. So I like to take it upon myself to support the lifecycle of whatever new concepts have appeared on shelves for the good of everyone.

Imagine if no one had taken a chance on unwrapped candy options. We would forever be stuck trying to peel those ridiculous Reese’s paper wrappers off the mini chocolate. Or have to trust that our Kit Kats, York Peppermint Patties, and Twix bars (despite their ridiculous feud over left and right sides – more on my Twix thoughts in THIS POST) had wrappers that weren’t going to do the most to protect its contents. Enter the best thing that has ever happened to sweet tooths worldwide. The removal of wrappers.

Why did we need wrappers in the first place? I get the King Size bars at the registers. Those are their own package and once opened, contain unwrapped candy. But why put a bunch of smaller versions of the same candy in a package where they were individually wrapped in another layer of defense against … what? Air particles? People’s thoughts? Who approved that? What a ridiculous workflow – open a package, select an item, open that item, then you can eat it. Nope. That’s too many steps. 

Thank goodness candy manufacturers leveled up and got smart. Save money on packaging and save time from package to mouth. There are zero losers in the new scenario. Plus, all the packages are now resealable too! What does this mean? You will no longer lose stray candies that venture too close to the edge of the bag without permission. Not that this feature is usually necessary, but if there are people out there who don’t eat the whole bag at once this could come in handy. Wow. How is everyone not losing their minds over this?! Pure genius. Less stress. Less obstacles to consumption. 

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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DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD … UNLESS IT’S A PUMPKIN

Fall is great! The seasons G.O.A.T, if you will. What’s not to love? Sweater weather, pumpkin flavored everything, cooler temperatures, football season, one of the two best Reese’s shapes reappears, corn mazes, apple picking, lumberjack fashion is in style, there’s a pair of boots for every outfit, the leaves change colors, your A/C bill becomes negligible, you can run at any time of day and not have to wake up at 4AM to beat the humidity, and holidays centered mostly around food are right around the corner – to name a few. 

It’s also one of the only times where it’s acceptable to play with your food. No one will yell at you. No one will scold you. No one will take away your dessert. No one will lecture you about not playing with your food. No, instead they will actively encourage it. What a fun twist of fate that is! All year long you’ve been carving pictures in the butter container, decorating your pancakes with syrup art, rearranging your peas and carrots into a sad face to no avail. Only an extra helping of vegetables and an indefinite suspension of your knife privileges. 

There’s whole businesses dedicated to selling the one food not intended to be consumed after picking. Entire block parties where people come together and compete for the best designs. Food Network shows where professionals show off their skills. Pause. How does one become a professional? How many practice attempts were needed? How do they have endless time to slice, dice, and create next level designs in a food? How does one get into this profession, and why? At what point do you wake up and decide that your next hobby will be food mutilation? How much money does this cost? What am I even talking about?

Pumpkin carving, of course! Every kid’s food dream. And, apparently, some adults’ as well. What happens if you carve a beautiful piece of art into the side of a pumpkin? You probably get some candy as a celebratory treat. You definitely get bragging rights over your siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors – whoever is judging their artistic abilities against yours. This fall tradition is hilarious to me. So many interesting choices for an “activity” and I have questions on how it began.

Think about this for a second: at some point, someone was bored (I’m assuming) and decided to take a knife and carve a design into the side of a pumpkin. After cutting the top off and removing all of the pumpkin guts, of course. Then, they decided to put a candle in it at night to show off the disturbing jack-o-lantern to everyone within a visual radius. Wut? If a friend came up to you today, handed you a jagged knife, and asked if you wanted to hollow out a watermelon and carve a design in it you’d probably smell their breath for traces of liquid influence. Or question your taste in people. To clarify quickly, cutting the top off a fruit and filling it with liquor is not the same as mutilating it for strictly visual entertainment.

Such a fascinating experiment in human decisions when left alone for too long, don’t you think? Makes you wonder what new “traditions” we may see when COVID finally decides to go back to its spaceship and travel to a different planet. Of all pastimes, I usually avoid ones with sharp objects. As a general safety rule. I’m more of a go to the pumpkin patch, pick out a perfect small to medium sized pumpkin, and use a modern decorating approach to simply place it on my porch. If I’m feeling crazy, I might draw on it. Feels more humane.

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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THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF BEING A SPORTS FAN

The sports industry is massive. Everyone puts out a different estimate of its total worth because, if the government has taught us anything, it’s that agreement is not a correct answer, but everyone has the value somewhere in the billions. With a ‘b’. That wasn’t a typo. So it’s kind of a big deal. A LOT of people are invested, physically, monetarily, and emotionally. If you aren’t one of those people, you might not understand anything that I’m about to write.

Let me backup for a second, though, how can you not be a sports fan? What do you do with your time if it isn’t spent screaming at people through the television? People who obviously can hear you and care about your opinions on your performance. Also, everything is a sport now. The traditional ball, basket, and jersey don’t always apply anymore. Do you do nothing? If you don’t consider yourself a sports fan, why not try one of these “hobbies-that-are-somehow-considered-a-sport”:

  • Wife-Carrying – like a road trip but on feet with the passengers on your back
  • Ferret-Legging – think ants in your pants, then up the danger component by turning the ants into an angry, scared, trapped ferret
  • Yukigassen – simply a massive snowball fight
  • Bog Snorkeling – because the most fascinating species live at the bottom of a bog
  • Cheese Rolling – one would think that Wisconsin invented this, but no, our brothers from another mother across the ocean started this. Careful though, the cheese can get up to 70 MPH
  • Competitive Sleeping – a single player game invented in California, probably by a millennial
  • Extreme Ironing – take this already fun chore and do it on top of a moving vehicle
  • Face Slapping – great way to relieve stress, or anger
  • Giant Pumpkin Kayaking – if you don’t like kayaking you clearly have never done it in a massive pumpkin that’s been carved out
  • Lawn Mower Racing – if high speed BMX frightens you, play it safe in a low speed lawn mower
  • Toe Wrestling – for those with ridiculous control over every single toe’s movement, this is for you

See, there’s something for literally everyone! No more excuses, you are a sports fan. Now that we’ve settled this debate – being a sports fan is emotionally exhausting. The mood you’re in each day is a direct correlation for how your team performed the night before. Oh, your team was off? Then you should be in a GREAT mood. Why would you not be? They didn’t lose. They didn’t play like a youth recreational team. They didn’t forget to step off the plane. They didn’t score for the other team. Life is good, your team is good, everything is peachy. 

On the other hand, coming off a loss can go one of two ways. Was it a good loss? You feel alright then. They played well. They weren’t expected to win. They fought hard and look poised to make a run at some point. Was it a bad loss? An upset perhaps? A rivalry game? Everyone else better hide because the feelings are about to hit the fan. I mean, really! How can you lose to THAT team?! Were you trying to throw the game?! The refs were terrible, though, so at least we have that. But still what the actual hell were they thinking?

Thank goodness it ends after the season. Uh, no sorry that’s highly incorrect. The off-season and pre-season are almost more stressful. In the immediate off-season, you’re either one of the lucky ones on a championship high, or you fall with the majority into the long wait of regret, frustration, and disappointment. As pre-season approaches, your fan ego gets stoked to the MAX and every piece of press can be turned into good press … at least in your mind. You get so hyped and talk a big game to all your friends, co-workers, doctors, strangers, etc. And a big ego never gets crushed. Never. So you’ll ride that high through the first-week funding games and then be slammed back down to reality. For the love of the game, repeat this cycle infinitely.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a sports fan and seems to be forever in a salty mood, do a quick check on how their team is performing. I bet it’s sub-par. Then pass this along so they can understand that everyone is the same. Thanks for reading!


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