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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I JUST REWATCHED THE PRINCESS DIARIES AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Genovia, the land I call my home! Genovia, Genovia, forever will your banner wave! And all of your outdated rules about how a princess should behave. Despite some questionable requirements for royalty, who doesn’t love a good rags to riches story? With the glow-up of the century to boot. Mia embodies a true confused millennial spirit as she is presented with the throne of a country and as much as I love this story, there are moments that confuse even myself – a fellow confused millennial. Please enjoy all of my questions and observations presented by official TRP decree:

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

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


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WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A KLONDIKE BAR?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Especially when it’s warm outside. And what is happening outside right now? You guessed it, the warm has arrived. Not just the warm, though. The humidity. That stagnant heat wave that follows you around. A never ending torture fee we all pay to enjoy a nice, natural tan, and swimmable water temps. It’s time to sweat like we’re melting. Drip like an ice cream cone. Heat up like Stephen Curry at the 3-point line. It’s summer. 

Summer is … one of the seasons. I’m not going to say where I would rank it in a list of the seasons since everyone feels differently, but it isn’t my first choice. It does have vacations going for it, at least. It also has higher electric bills, painful sunburns, and hair that don’t care. Despite some of it’s obvious flaws, nothing is perfect after all, we do get graced with frozen dessert treats. Which are like regular desserts just way better. They’re good all year long, if I’m honest, but something about eating something ice cold when it’s boiling hot is like dessert ASMR.

There are different levels to frozen dessert options. With the rise of food blogs, anything can be a frozen dessert now. Frozen dessert casseroles, frozen yogurt, frozen mousse, frozen parfait concoctions, frozen cakes, frozen fruit, etc. most of them are amazing. Sherbert on the other hand, is really only good for punches and I’m not sure why it’s marketed as a dessert … but for another time that adventure! 

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

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

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

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

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


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MY PARENTS WATCH SQUIRRELS, WHAT DO YOURS DO?

Remember the incredible GEICO commercial where some secret agent is trying to escape via helicopter and his ride is late … then his phone rings and he answers it, expecting to talk to his companion, only to hear his mom on the other end talking about how ‘the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time’. Are you familiar with this 30 seconds of commercial genius? Arguably one of the best commercials GEICO has put out. It makes the gecko look a little dull if we’re honest.

If for some reason you are not able to recall the commercial I’m referencing, no worries. I’m clearly fantastic at illustrating the most minute of details and you should have a good understanding of what it’s like visually. It’s also not overly critical to my point here. Well, I guess a little bit, but not in a major way. The real star of this post is the squirrels. As it should be. Who doesn’t want, nay, need, more squirrels in their life? The answer is nobody except my parents.

Squirrels are a curious creature. Aesthetically, they are not the ugliest fur covered animals that exist. Believe it or not, ugly fur covered animals is a predefined Google search and there are some horrifying creatures that are living among us. I fully regret my decision to click on the link that specified ‘with pictures’, but here we are. Besides their physical appearance, because true beauty is found on the inside (duh), squirrels are a simple creature. In my experience observing them, there’s only two things they want – nuts and whatever the birds are eating. 

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

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

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

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

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


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DO YOU EVEN HAVE A SOUL?

Stopping to smell the roses is more than just a cute social media tag. It’s a way of life. An approach to any stressful, frustrating, annoying, irritating, angering, sad, disappointing, etc. situation. Because sometimes things happen, people say something they shouldn’t have, or you find out that it’s another workday, but that’s no excuse not to find a reason to smile. Unless, of course, you don’t have a soul. In which case, you may just be running to escape a downwind draft. Which is a crappy way to live, literally.

Clearly I’m no happiness expert. Or life expert for that matter. If you’ve read any of the previous posts you’re well aware of this fact. You may even be curious how I’ve survived this far as a professional without serious repercussions. If you haven’t, well, why the heck not? What else are you doing? Looking for a reason to smile? Let’s talk about it. Pretty much every situation has some plus sides, if you look hard enough. For example:

  • You don’t like grocery shopping, but it’s a necessary evil (and a great way to INTERVIEW PEOPLE) – are there new Oreo flavors out, though?
  • You don’t like shopping, but got dragged out by your significant other – go smell some of the new Yankee Candle scents!
  • You’re outdoors and it starts raining – does it smell like springtime, though?
  • You accidentally went on a nature walk and got lost – try to see a fun bird, or better yet, a butterfly!
  • You have to go to work – are you getting paid, though?
  • You recently got let go / fired – use all your new time to finally start that hobby!
  • You opened a box and the item you ordered was broken – haven’t you been trying to work on your patience, though?
  • You’re on hold with CUSTOMER SERVICE – dance around to that catchy hold music!
  • You’ve been in a car accident – do you get to meet a new person, though?
  • You have to deal with insurance – at least you have insurance!

I feel pretty confident that no one asks for any of the above scenarios. Yet, we probably have all hit the majority of this list at some point or other. And a lot of them suck! Car accidents just back up traffic in BOTH DIRECTIONS, nature isn’t always as pristine and cooperative as television makes it appear, shipping doesn’t always go as planned, and you may not be into shopping, but it happened. Can’t change the past so you might as well try to find one good thing. Otherwise, do you even have a soul?

Small things are usually the most exciting because they’re unexpected, or often unnoticed for a while. What a fun little surprise it is when you step into Target and they have a fully stocked cereal aisle. Or when you go to the mall and accidentally walk by a Bath and Body Works and smell love, relaxation, and sweet pea. Or when you’re outside and see some flowers in bloom. Or when you’re driving at night and see all the lights as festive. Or when you’re at work and your favorite song jumps into your playlist. Or when you’re at a restaurant and they accidentally make you a Medium milkshake instead of a Small so you get upgraded for free. Or when you’re at a restaurant and tell the wait staff it’s your friend’s birthday to embarrass them. Or when you’re watching TV and a hilarious ad comes on for once. So many reasons to smile. Life is weird. Life is funky. Life is unpredictable. Life is too short to not have a soul.

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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THANKS FOR READING, PLEASE LEAVE A TIP

On this beautiful day, let’s participate in a quick thought exercise. It won’t be hard, I promise. And I don’t break promises, so from the almost nothing you know about me, and that statement, there’s zero reason for you not to trust me. Ok, let us wander down memory lane to a time when you could buy things, anything really, and simply pay for it. List price plus any sales tax. That’s it. You pay for it, and then you grab the bag and leave feeling satisfied. How far back in time did your mind travel? 

Actually, pause, I think we should address the question in your head. Was I supposed to go far back? Technically, I gave you no real instructions other than a time you spent money, so I guess not. My bad. But, if you think about the last time the custom additional payment line was added to a receipt, it may have been a while. That’s right, I’m talking about tipping! And America, I believe we have a tipping problem. Not the tipping you experience from consuming maybe one too many adult beverages. No, I’m talking about the tipping that comes from your wallet. The tipping that you have to do math to get to. The tipping that is optional, but mandatory. 

Are you picking up what I’m leaving on the table? When was the last time you weren’t asked to leave a tip for someone? It’s getting consistently more difficult to find examples of plain old pay and walk away. We tip for everything now. Not just when eating out, back when that was a more mainstream, and safe, adventure, but we’ve gotten to a place where almost every business feels it’s acceptable to ask you for a tip. You can count on it with any food adventure. It’s almost guaranteed for any type of experience you participate in. Don’t think that retail isn’t trying to hop on this bandwagon either. Where did we go wrong?

Since this is an opinion based blog, I would like to take some time and dive into my thoughts about being asked to make additional payments on things I spend money on. If this is your first time realizing there are zero factual backings to any of these posts, I apologize. But, also, we may need to discuss your ability to interpret sarcasm. Anyways … moving on … tipping! Or robbing, you decide. I think there are limits to the number of “services” that can acceptably ask me to spend more money than my receipt says.

If you give me a fantastic tour of a distillery, then of course I’m going to tip you – excellent service pays off. If you’re refilling my drink before I even know it’s getting empty, then of course I’m going to tip you – hard work pays off. If I order food and you drive it to me, then of course I’m going to tip you – not being lazy pays off. If I, however, pick out all of my own groceries and place them on the conveyor belt, then why would I leave the cashier a tip? You’re just doing your job. And I did all the hard work, so, what is that about?

For starters, why not just factor my tip into my bill? Then I wouldn’t care. Make me calculate it, though, and all of a sudden it’s an extra expense (and an annoyance). Use mind tricks with people – make us believe that was always going to be the total. Basic math equations aside, if I do all of the work and you simply are working at the register, what on earth is making it acceptable for you to ask for a tip?

Don’t get me wrong, tipping is not something that I see as an employee problem. In fact, I actually support adding extra money so they don’t have to make whatever absurdly low hourly rate their business has decided is appropriate. The main problem is that we still have places paying people less than half the minimum wage and banking on the fact that tips will push them, on average, to the federal minimum. How horrible would it be for you to start their pay at minimum wage and allow them to earn much more than that for their hard work? Why is that like asking for the moon?

Second imagination station train of the day. If you’re at your job, and have a meeting with your manager, what do you think their reaction would be if you asked for a tip / bonus for meeting the basic requirements you were hired (and are already paid) to do? You may be job hunting the next day. You may get laughed off as a joke. You may get the silent stare of terror. You may get a snarky comment. Small chance you get a tip, though. I feel like that should be no different in the consumer industry, but maybe that’s just me.

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 S’MORES: YOU MAKE ME MELT

Can you think of a better pairing than graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Cinnamon graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Chocolate graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows?! Wow, I just about up and went for an overnight trip to the woods. S’mores are really the highlight of any camping trip. The most exciting part about them is that the camping part of the equation is 100% optional. So, in other words, s’mores are the highlight of being outdoors.

Hold on, back up a quick second. S’mores, for sure, are the highlight for outdoor adventures. But thanks to, I’m not actually sure who … the Internet, food bloggers, food companies, millennials, Mother Nature, electric companies? Anyways, at some point, the brilliant idea was formed and distributed widely to the general population of the world that s’mores could be an indoor activity. Mind freaking blown. No need to expose yourself to the creatures that will wander over to try and nab the delicious-looking, perfectly burned, marshmallows. 

Oh, and the smoke. Listen, I love a good bonfire, but I hate the bonfire smoke and will actively move continuously around the circle to avoid it. There is nothing worse than going outside to enjoy a nice, contained and non destructive, fire only to return to the house smelling like a tobacco factory. Hard pass. That smell is something awful and is like a leech on your clothing. Even the Snuggle bear struggles to get it fully out the first time through the wash. Then you start to get weird looks and questions from people close to you – are you doing alright? Are you managing your stress in healthy ways? Are you having a MID-LIFE CRISIS? Yadda yadda yadda.

What a fun tangent we just journeyed on together! In short, I will risk smelling like a smoker if it means I can eat a s’more. However, that is not necessarily a required evil of the process anymore. Because we’re a progressive species and have things like ovens, and toaster ovens, and microwaves now. Which all happen to live where? In the doors! And require what? Zero fire! I would like to take this moment to point out that graham cracker packaging has not kept up with the innovative times in the food industry. What is happening with the packaging? How is it still awkwardly 9 (nine?!) crackers to one non-resealable pack? Who is using 9 graham crackers at once? Why is 27 an appropriate number of graham crackers? Is that 3 per person or is someone not getting a second. I’m so concerned.

Unlike the graham cracker manufacturers, Hershey’s has decided to keep up with Jones’ so to speak. Their chocolate bar packaging now conveniently has directions for making s’mores using one of the predetermined four cooking options. How cute! Like we don’t know how to make a s’more. I mean, come on, are we sea creatures? Even the cavemen had fire – shoot, they probably invented the s’more! There is not a simpler food to make, other than maybe milk and cereal. Cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, then another cracker. 

S’mores have but one instruction. Make sure the marshmallow is warm. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, that is a suggestion. You could eat a cold s’more. It’s an ice cream flavor so it’s clearly been done before! How warm your marshmallow should be is a hot debate in the camping dessert world. I like my marshmallow to be completely burnt, other people like a light toasting, others like a pure white, massively expanded one from the microwave. No judgement, you do you. Burn that ‘mallow, melt that chocolate, and fill your insides literally glow with excitement over what is happening on your tastebuds.

If s’mores aren’t your thing, clearly you need better Google searches. Because the days of the OG chocolate and marshmallow are over. They ended the minute people started becoming millionaires as food bloggers. Anything that has any of the three iconic ingredients and can be eaten as a handheld option, can classify as a “s’more”. Why stop there, though?! Any dish can be s’more flavored now because that’s the beauty of modern day cooking. S’mores dip! S’mores cereal! S’mores lasagna! Go freaking nuts! Add peanut butter! Add caramel! Add bacon … idk whatever will make you smile.

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 TWIZZLER FLAVORS

Candy is delicious and there is always a time for candy. Not all the time, but in certain moments you crave a sweet treat not involving chocolate. Which, for the record, is the real winner 99.99% of the time. But occasionally you get a craving for something more fruity and artificial by nature. Something colorful and fun. Something not in the shape of a demonic child, though – seriously what is with SOUR candy? I have never been a fan. When I want dessert, I don’t want to feel like I’m scrapping my tastebuds off one by one before I can finally get some teeth sticking gummy texture happening.

Same with hard candy … again, what? If I wanted to break a tooth I’d use my mouth as a bottle opener for the best, and most convenient, party trick around. I wouldn’t do it for a peppermint. There isn’t enough mint flavor packed into those to cover up the amount of physical and emotional pain they bring. I guess hard candy is better suited for people with patience. Similar to cooking. Why spend an hour cooking when Stouffer’s has frozen options that are easier? Why take hard vitamins when they make delicious, gummy alternatives? Why eat hard candy when you could not?

Thoughts on what does, and doesn’t, constitute real candy aside, there seems to be some candies that have stood the test of generations. One of those being the infamous licorice. It’s been around for literal centuries. And was apparently used originally to brew beer so if you weren’t on this bandwagon before, what excuse do you have now? It’s part alcoholic … well, not actually, but you can convince yourself of anything if you want to. In all seriousness, I would try a beer that had been flavored with licorice. Especially if it was cherry flavored because that is clearly the superior option.

I guess it isn’t fair of me to assume that everyone likes fake cherry flavoring. I’ll happily admit that outside of food, I too think it’s awful. Basically anything they make into liquid medicine is awful. Anywho … let’s get our opinions tangled up and rank Twizzler flavors! According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. Hershey now proudly makes 18 varieties of flavors and shapes since the OG strawberry twist wasn’t good enough, I guess. Here they are, brutally judged from best to why:

  1. Cherry Bites
  2. Cherry Nibs
  3. Orange Cream Pop Filled Twists
  4. Cherry Pull N’ Peel
  5. Watermelon Pull N’ Peel
  6. Strawberry Twists
  7. Strawberry Smoothie Filled Twists
  8. Cherry Twists
  9. Strawberry Filled Bites
  10. Strawberry Untwisted
  11. Rainbow Twists
  12. Mystery Twists
  13. Zero Sugar Strawberry
  14. Sweet & Sour Filled Bites
  15. Sweet & Sour Filled Twists
  16. Chocolate Twists
  17. Black Licorice Nibs
  18. Black Licorice Twists

While I don’t feel a need to explain myself, even I was a little shocked at where I placed some of these. Cherry, no surprises there dominates the first third of the list. It’s just freaking great! The cherry twists do lack some of the same flavor as the nibs, but still a solid choice overall. Orange Cream Pop and Strawberry Smoothie filled twists were surprisingly spot on taste wise and I’m a huge fan. You can’t go wrong with original strawberry or a fruity watermelon string-cheese like fun adventure.

Rounding out the back two-thirds of the list we start to get into the more questionable variety adventures. For example, why untwist the strawberry? The flavor was still there, but the fun was not. Rainbow twists, a lot like their Froot Loops and M&Ms counterparts all taste the same, but the vibrant colors are exciting at least. Mystery is … mystery. Hit or miss and why take the chance when so many other great options exist? Zero sugar, need I say more? Just don’t eat sweets then. We’ve previously established my dislike of sweet and sour “candies” so hard pass on those from me. The chocolate ones were by far the most disappointing since it’s chocolate … from Hershey … and a Twizzler … but alas, no. And then, of course, I have yet to meet someone who actually enjoys black licorice. At least the nibs are a smaller dose of what I’m assuming is minty molasses flavor than the twists.

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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TIMELINES ARE OVERRATED

Everyone loves a good deadline. An estimated time of arrival. Tracking information. A saved date. Any sort of deadline that helps you understand when you will get what you want. Because then if it’s late, you have a justified reason to be annoyed. Or frustrated. Or sad. Or any sort of feeling you need to feel. Maybe you’re excited – there are probably deadlines that would be appropriate to celebrate a swing and a miss on. How long a loved one is expected to live? That feels like a good one to exceed.

My favorite kinds of deadlines involve food. Uber Eats. Doordash. Any sort of pizza delivery service. Wait time to get a table at a restaurant. Wait time to get into a restaurant. The amount of baking time left on pretty much any sort of dessert item. The amount of cooking time left on pretty much any food item, really. Be it 30 seconds in the microwave or 75 minutes in the oven. I. Am. Ready. For the food. To eat the food. I love the food. The food doesn’t always love me, but that’s how it goes with humans too so I might as well get to eat something delicious before the storm.

Speaking of 75 minutes in the oven, hello Stouffer’s reps … what is happening with your frozen meal options? I opt for frozen meals when I want to eat quickly. Why are most of your products 45+ minutes of bake time? For that, I could make something from scratch. And the whole point of submitting myself to who knows what chemicals and an ungodly amount of sodium in the frozen meal is to not have to put in any effort. And yet, here you are with a cruel mindgame of a grocery option.

Regardless of my newfound annoyance with my previously favorite macaroni and cheese brand, we all want to know when things are happening. Clearly my need for a timeline leans towards the digestive system, but another fun option is shopping. Right? Especially today when online shopping is basically the cornerstone of our economy now. Who needs to put in effort to drive to a store that may, or may not, have what you want when the Internet for sure does. All the sizes, in all the colors, and in all the styles. What’s not to love? Other than the waiting part for your box to arrive, obviously.

As much as I also enjoy a solid delivery date, I find most timelines for life to be overrated. You know the ones I’m talking about. The non-tangible deadlines. When you should start dating, when you should graduate college, when you should find a career path, when you should get engaged, when you should get married, when you should have kids, when you should get a house, when you should have a LIFE CRISIS, when you should retire, when you should move into a retirement home, etc.

Aren’t those fun? Feeling the unspoken judgement of people. I’ve never been good at following the timelines, because I think they can end up leading to settling. If you feel like you have to find your soulmate by a certain age, you’ll find someone by that age. Soulmate, or not. You will find them. I personally think life tends to work out better when you just go with the flow. Maybe that means you are your last single friend for … a while. Maybe that means you take a few victory laps to get your degree. Maybe that means you bounce around to different jobs because you like learning new things. Maybe it’s deciding that you want to rent forever. Maybe that’s deciding to retire in your 20s and travel the world working odd jobs. 

You do you. Don’t let other people dictate your actions. Don’t let societal pressure make you settle because you feel like if you don’t, no one will take you seriously. Don’t care what other people think. It’ll work out when the time is right. The universe can’t be rushed no matter how bad you want it to speed up. Just breathe. Relax. Kick up your feet, crack open a cold one, and chill.

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


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MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A KANGAROO

Kangaroos do not get enough love. Unless maybe you’re in Australia, but I can’t say for sure since I’m not an Aussie and would just be guessing. Is it a love / hate relationship? Is it more of an exotic fantasy relationship, much like we are with the rarely seen squirrel? Just kidding, squirrels are EVERYWHERE! It’d be more of a rarely seen flip phone kind of fascination. Is it an indifferent kind of relationship? I’m so curious how the Asutralians feel about the one of the most Chuck Norris level animals on the planet.

Clearly I may be a little biased, but I think kangaroos are the number one creature that slaps … or is amazing for everyone over the age of 16, myself included. What is not to love? Other than the occasional dog murder as Google so rudely likes to make appear in the first search result. My guess is that those dogs provoked said kangaroo in some way and I’m 15% positive they were either chihuahuas, or a rottweiler. One size extreme or the other. I have to believe the kangaroo didn’t see some random dog and think to itself ‘today is the day, this dog has got to go’. Unless it’s a psychopath, in which case I would need to rethink my whole concept of animal character traits.

Anyways … back to why kangaroos are super chill and I wish they would make good pets. Let’s start with the obvious. A built in snack pouch. Need I say more? Never again worry about forgetting a coat with big enough pockets for the king size candy bar, or your purse. You can always sneak some snacks around when it’s literally attached to you. And big enough to hold a baby ‘roo too so you could fit some dinner leftovers in there probably. Who’s to say? Endless opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Some people are not the snacking type. To which I can confidently say I do not understand. We are not the same. But no worries! Listen, if you would rather do things other than eat, totally great. Second phenomenal trait – power propulsion. I mean, we’ve all been late to something at some point probably. Imagine if your car had a fifth wheel injected with some nitrous to make acceleration easy peasy. Or, if you were running, probably because a bear is chasing you, why else would you be running, and you had a tail that could propel you forward faster, and more efficiently than your legs? You would beat the bear for sure. For sure is probably a bit strong, but you would have a chance.

Those two reasons enough are why I feel a strong spiritual connection with the kangaroo. But alas, not everyone is satisfied so let’s keep going rapid fire style. They’re the closest living relative to the T-Rex. Zero part of that is factual, but look at them. Big legs and tiny arms it just makes sense. Apparently most of them are left handed, which is rare in humans but that means that us right handed pleebs would be the cool unique exceptions among them. A group of them is called a mob and if that alone isn’t intimidating watch me run with my tail pogo stick. Or watch me balance on it while I round kick you in the face – your choice.

It also brings me great joy to know that their children are called joeys. They were gender neutral before it was cool. Joey just also sounds a bit more like the cool kid on the playground than child does. All around, it sounds more fun than child. Child is just so … corporate … while joey is the startup. In a shocking twist, they are also good swimmers so it brings me peace to know that Michael Phelps’ spirit animal is probably also the kangaroo. One of the kangaroo species is the Wallaby and my most comfortable pair of shoes is also the Wallabee. Coincidence? I think not. No other soles are as springy.

Above all these fun kangaroo knowledge bombs, they’re also just super adorable. Up top, they look like rabbits, but down under? Tyrannosaurus rex! Like the mullet of the animal kingdom, if you will. Clearly a progressive species who doesn’t have time to deal with others. Unless forced to do so as in the unfortunate dog scenario. Let them live and they’ll be chill. Unlike say, the hornet who will seek you out just for kicks and giggles. And yet what mascot gets used more?! Clearly the more evil of the two.

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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