CHEERS TO THE THREE DAY WEEKEND

I’m not sure who is in charge of time, and years in general, but they seem to not have gotten the memo that it’s 2021. Get with the program. COVID was so last year. Actually, it was obviously just an election hoax. Yet here we are. Still in the middle of a raging pandemic with scary high death counts and new cases reports. All the people who keep extending the hard stop for this disease based on unrelated events remind me of the doomsdayers. Who, ironically, may be the only people not affected by the ‘vid since I’m pretty sure they’re still hunkered underground from the 2012 end of the world scare.

As if having 2020’s devilish tentacles slither into a fresh year isn’t bad enough, America is still hanging on by a thread. Literally. If you’ve ever visited Washington, DC, you understand how hard it is to get into a public restroom at Shake Shack, let alone the freaking Capitol Building. I mean, so many questions here. Why being the main one. Followed closely by what. As in, what even did I just witness? 

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a political person, but our “leaders” are trying hard to keep me invested. You know what I miss? Just plain old work stress. Not being worried about dying from some ridiculously contagious virus. Or about my general safety, not just until January 20th, but beyond, if we’re being honest, after recent events.Remember the good days? When you could go to work and get stressed, then come home and only be worried about not wanting to go back the next morning? What a life that was. It must be a good time to be a therapist. That has to be the most lucrative job in the world at the moment. With incredible job security as a bonus. 

With all the craziness that’s happening, it’s easy to forget the little things. Like how Monday is not a workday! What?! Holy guacamole, bless the three day weekend, it cannot get here soon enough! I know, I know this feels like fake news. But it’s true! The first three day weekend of the year is upon us. At the same time that it is every year, yet, it somehow feels like we could be deep into April showers and I would be none the wiser. 

This has been a weird two weeks and I have to believe I’m not the only one looking forward to doing nothing on Monday. Other than the usual. Staying hydrated. Catching up on my social status points by binge-watching Bridgerton. Spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling social media and looking at everyone else doing normal, adult things. Eating all of my meals as takeout, because who has time to cook. Procrastinating on my responsibilities. Just a standard day in the life. Sans work. And the stress that comes with that.

So, let’s dive into the time anatomy of a three day weekend. Because that is something I’ve had lots of time to think about. 24 hours, specifically. Three whole workdays, in case you missed that reference. It starts on Thursday evening. Some might argue that it starts Friday evening, but I have to disagree. Almost all good things start on Thursday, for one. Weekends, if you have the right mindset. Being thirsty. Golf tournaments. Vacation, if you know how to do it right. Anyways, we have Thursday evening. Which is when we mentally begin to prepare for an entire extra 24 hours of freedom. For all the Sunday evening festivities that we won’t feel guilty about. This is also the time where we start to understand what our wrap-up tasks are for Friday.

What’s a wrap-up task? Easy. Something that you have to get done to enjoy a stress free long weekend. Typically people think in terms of work here, but I also like to add chores to my list. Because, again, this is basically a staycation and who has time for chores on staycation? Once you have your list, and you wake up on Friday, you should be ready to hit the ground running. Sprinting, actually, to get all your wrap-up tasks done since the earlier you finish, the earlier your weekend starts. Unless you’re required to stay at work until a certain hour. At which point, my thoughts and prayers are with you, young Jedi.

Once free from a to-do list, you can engage in whatever sort of relaxation you would like. Starting Friday afternoon. Burning hot through the night and all through Saturday. Your fire may get slightly dampened on Sunday morning as the routine side of your brain thinks you have work the next day, but never fear! You will quickly find your feet again as you realize that it’s basically second Saturday. Saturday squared! Which is rarely a bad thing. Anyways, you crush Sunday like a relaxed boss! 

Sunday night is when you can choose to begin the descent from your mental high, or you can take the approach of that being a problem for future you. Not going to tell you how to live your life, but I prefer the latter option. It’s more fun. For present me, anyway. Then there’s Monday. Historically a fairly dreaded day of the week. The worst day of the week, some might argue. I think it depends on the week, but you can get all my thoughts on which days are the best days in THIS POST. Anyways, you get Monday off and there’s the official breakdown. That’s a three day weekend at its most basic level. Enjoy yours!

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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WHY YES, I WOULD LIKE A STRANGE MAN TO BREAK INTO MY HOUSE, EAT MY FOOD, AND LEAVE ME PRESENTS

Ah, Christmas … excuse me, the holidays. Thank you politics for continuing to ruin all good things. Such a magical time of year with the lights and wrapping presents and cookies. SO. MANY. COOKIES. I think it’s funny when people say they’re dieting or “watching their sugar intake” anytime between mid-October and January. What is even the point? Do you hate yourself that much to deny all the best, most peanut-buttery Reese shapes? To choose not to eat a piece of the yule log, or peppermint bark, or anything pumpkin flavored?

I’m a big believer in finishing what you start, so if it’s Q4 and I still haven’t decided to take my diet seriously, then it’s just not going to happen. Finish strong! Besides, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? Why bother during the three consecutive holidays whose main themes are food? I mean, look, Santa pretty much only eats cookies and he seems to be doing alright. He’s basically immortal. I’m trying to hop on that diet train for freaking sure. He can also fly, and train reindeer, and has a memory that could even make IBM Watson scared. He knows everyone. IN. THE. WORLD. That alone is impressive, but good old Santa is like ‘you know, I can do better than just knowing them … I’m going to keep records of all their actions too’.

Now, this sounds all innocent and cute and what not, but I see what’s happening here. You can’t fool me jolly old Saint Nick. Since the beginning of time, everyone has wanted to know how he does it. How is it possible that one man and eight reindeer can deliver presents to everyone in the world in one night? Not one month, not one week, not even one day … one night. 

Enter the naughty and nice list. Why give everyone presents when we can easily play God and judge the actions of others? If they’re naughty, scratch that name off the list. One less house to visit. Now repeat this for all the people clearly dating Satan and trying to impress his demonic self. That’s a whole different topic – some people just need a hug, a smile, and a whole lot of Jesus. Anyways, so we’ve started to weed people out. Satan be gone! Who’s next? Well all the people who made bad decisions – so every adult ever. Boom! Knocking off suckers left and right! Anyone else? All the kids who don’t believe because they’re trying to be “cool” and “grown up”. News flash: growing up is not as cool as it looks. Just trust me on this.

Who does that leave? Literally only anyone under 5 because even Santa has a little bit of a soul and knows they are so innocent they can’t really do anything massively wrong. Problem solved. Santa stalks us and waits to see that one little slip up because you had just broken up with bae and were confused and that couple was all about the PDA life and it was just too much at that time so you told them to eff off and get a room. Welp, congratulations! Your name just earned a huge strikethrough. Good thing I’m an adult now and can buy myself presents to make up for the lump of coal I’ll be getting from the big man. 

In a shocking twist, I have some serious concerns, though, about Santa’s delivery method for the people that are lucky enough to remain on the nice list. When I order something, from say Amazon, the package shows up at my front door. I owe the delivery person nothing. The delivery person has never set foot in my house. Life is good. On Christmas, however, this is not the case. Front doors are too visible, I guess, for Kris Kringle, so the chimney is his vessel of choice. And not just to throw the presents down – that would be too easy and law-abiding. No, Santa chooses to break into the house. And we all welcome it! We actively leave snacks for him as a reward for committing a crime. What is this teaching children exactly?

Moving past this blatant disregard for human safety. An unknown man is in our house (because, let’s be honest, nobody really knows who he is), eating food that we paid for, and leaves us gifts that he knows we want since he stalked us. Putting it like that doesn’t sound so ho ho holly jolly now does it? What if he wasn’t a happy old fella and was actually disgruntled and angry? That would be a very different story Christmas morning – why is our living room trashed and all our valuables missing? Mmhmm makes you think, doesn’t it. He could be a serial killer. Yet it’s more important that we have someone else come up with gifts for our offspring than to just go buy something for them. But happy holidays! 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you also feel weird about the conspiracy that’s coming from the North Pole, best to keep that to yourself. As weird as it is, the big man seems sane and happy for now so no need to stir that pot. Thanks for reading!


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HOW PREDICTABLE ARE HALLMARK MOVIE PLOTS?

Have you ever watched a Hallmark Channel movie? I won’t make you raise your hand since that’s something we still aren’t openly admitting to in society. It’s a fun little secret between you, your TV, and your cable provider. Similar to those who watch Lifetime and QVC. Or when we buy a pint of ice cream and tell ourselves it will be at least two servings when we know good and well it will be gone tonight. We’ve all done it, just maybe not publicly. 

If you’ve never seen a Hallmark Channel movie, you’re missing out on a whole amazing genre. The predictable dramance category. It’s truly an experience. An experience that can happen once and then you can use your knowledge to make highly educated guesses on all future endeavors into the category. In other words, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And everyone has seen a Hallmark movie. Or a Hallmark movie commercial. Or been friends with a basic who mentions watching a Hallmark holiday movie. One and the same really.

So it’s been established that everyone has seen, heard of, or had a general knowledge of the existence of the Hallmark Channel movies. Now, I love a good Hallmark holiday movie. They always have happy endings and what better time than the holidays to lie to ourselves about the only possible outcome for life – happiness. Also, their winter themes are on point. Kudos to the set team who always brings the magic of the holidays to the screen. Winter wonderlands, white Christmases, perfectly decorated Hannukahs, holiday lights, adorable children, courteous and caring adults, zero family drama, perfectly cooked meals, the protagonist working in their dream job making no money but living in a beautiful historic home with endless hours off work, a gorgeous, on the inside and out, character that they will fall in love with. Everything is so believable and realistic. 

Just in case you are not aware of the Hallmark movie experience, let me give you a quick run down. This plot can be taken and applied to every single movie shown on that channel. I’m guessing the writers cut corners and simply have a plot template where character names and backstories can be written in to create a “new”, “fresh”, and “unique” movie. Clearly they never worked part-time at Wendy’s or they would know not to cut corners. Square burgers are simply better. More surface area. More burger. Less bun. Does life get better? Yes! With sea salt seasoned fries. Ugh, fast food burger / fry combo perfection. I’ve made myself hungry and lost the direction of this post. My apologies.

Anyways, let’s break down the plot template. Protagonist has either just moved to town, or is a native. They either are working their dream job, or are struggling in their peasant job while constantly day-dreaming and others about their dreams constantly. They are single. They are looking for love. They are gorgeous. They are either in the holiday spirit, or have been traumatized by love around the holidays and now hate this season. They are always wealthy, despite the same job in real life barely meeting the poverty line. Supporting characters may be family, friends, older town residents (potentially former babysitters?), children, pets, or strangers. Antagonist is always the direct opposite of the protagonist. Have either just moved to town, or is a native. They either are working their dream job, or are struggling in their peasant job while constantly day-dreaming and telling others about their dreams constantly. They are single. They are looking for love. They are gorgeous. They are either in the holiday spirit, or have been traumatized by love around the holidays and now hate the season. They are always wealthy, despite the same job in real life barely meeting the poverty line. Supporting characters may be family, friends, older town residents (potentially former babysitters?), children, pets, or strangers. The set is always in a cute little holiday town where everyone goes all out and is just tickled for it to be winter. It always ends happily ever after for all characters involved.

There you have it! And despite the same story getting told over and over by simply changing character, and town, names we can’t get enough. It’s not the holidays in our house if you don’t watch at least one corny Hallmark movie. Because deep down we like that they all end in happily ever after. Especially during the holidays. There are no problems during the holidays. If there are, you aren’t drinking enough eggnog – know what I mean? Too much amazing food and drinks to not be able to put yourself in a good mood. It’s the best time of year after all! Put a smile on! Even if it’s fake.

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 WATCHED CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES TWO AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

THIS IS A SPOILER POST! If you haven’t seen Christmas Chronicles Two, and were planning on it, I would not recommend going through these observations. 

Netflix recently dropped the sequel to everyone’s favorite Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Claus family portrayal. And who doesn’t need more of Kurt and Goldie in their life? I mean really, they’re adorable! Anyways, like with all holiday movies, some things don’t fully add up to … well … reality. Here are all of my holly jolly hiccup moments with this movie:

  • In any movie with elves, there’s always an angry elf. At least one and this one happens to have the name Belsnickle … what is a Belsnickle?
  • Belsnickle plots his revenge in a dark cave. AKA, the South Pole living conditions
  • Interesting choice in location for the mere humans starring in the movie. Cancun: where the drinks are plenty and the memories are few
  • Kate is what, 12? And all her friends are throwing parties? Pause – where are their parents
  • Bob is just casually a great singer, ok sure aren’t we all?
  • For a teenager who clearly is worried about missing social events, standing on a beach talking out loud to Santa isn’t necessarily the way to up your popularity
  • 10 minutes into the movie and I can call the ending – Kate’s heart gets changed, she ends up loving Bob and they all have a very merry Christmas together
  • No child willingly admits to being a brat and can call an airline to change their flight. They would still be having a meltdown. This scene is fake news
  • So, let me get this straight, the parents willingly leave their kids alone at a resort in Mexico on Christmas and assume the teenage brother will “watch” them. Smart
  • Kate just trusts a random resort “worker” who says he can get to the airport in half the time with zero questions? She deserves to be kidnapped
  • Two pre-teens, who are dressed for a vacation in Mexico, end up at the North Pole and aren’t shivering? They’ll die before they find Santa – that’s very un-jolly
  • Is one of Santa’s superpowers supersonic hearing? Since when? How did he hear Kate and Jack’s cries for help?
  • In his free time, does Santa just hunt leopards in the tundra portion of the North Pole? Adds up to none of the stories
  • Let’s talk about basic physics where a sleigh traveling super fast would not stop within 10 feet of entering a barn
  • I’ve never been able to make any sort of warm drink in 5 seconds and yet here we are in th reindeer barn with a custom tea / herbal / medicinal / whatever ready immediately
  • Why are all the elves a cartoon mouse / rabbit hybrid looking thing? What is this based on? Furbies?
  • These kids supposedly wake up in the North Pole and don’t think they’ve maybe been roofied? Because my first thought would not be to hug the strange man who looks like Santa
  • Why are there cannons in Santa’s Village? Why? To get snow in? That’s a stretch
  • Nice diss on all the major shipping companies. Combine all their production, quadruple it, and it might be close to what Santa’s Village does in a day? Mmkay
  • Santa codes video games now? What copyright laws does that violate? All of them probably
  • If you had an employee who was eating the inventory, would you keep him on the candy cane production line? With all that temptation? No
  • Dinner is all desserts? That’s not the way to live 1700 years. Also, painting a cake green and calling it broccoli doesn’t make it broccoli
  • Even in the north pole Kate is being a bit of a brat – she better end up on the naughty list
  • Has no one else noticed there’s another human in the village? Or that head elf Mina is missing? Strong observation skills these elves
  • So Santa Claus and his forest elves travelled from Turkey to the North Pole? Seems doable
  • A little bit of the Hulk action going on with Belsnickle’s transformation into a human
  • Was there no security on the star? You know, the thing that protects ALL of Santa’s Village? Again, smart
  • Blue powder makes the elves bad? Similar to the Despicable Me 3 movie a bit? I think so
  • You ever break something super important? Like the Star of Bethlehem maybe? Whoops
  • Maybe the North Pole has different snow, but when I slow roll a ball it doesn’t pick up speed and get bigger
  • Why did the elves even own chainsaws? How did that come up? They’re magical. In what scenario would they need a chainsaw?
  • Apparently Santa also visited the Matrix at some point – dodging all those arrows like an f boy dodges the word relationship
  • If someone sends you on a quest, a time-bound quest mind you, would you casually stroll along the path to find the end? I would hope you would put some pep in your step
  • Why is Hocken thanking Santa? Santa has done nothing except hold the star while a “dangerous” beam lit it up
  • Belsnickle’s “reindeer” look like the hyenas from the Lion King
  • Please just leave your sleigh and reindeer on the tarmac of a major international airport. They’ll be fine, I’m sure
  • Just when you think it can’t get any better, surprise! It’s also a musical, because why not?
  • There happens to just be a stage and a choir and a band at Boston Logan all at the same time?
  • Another huge twist, there’s a Back to the Future reference! And Kate meets her dad when he’s a teen – what other movies are we going to pull from?
  • Two teens are able to break out of airport jail? Meanwhile, there’s a Christmas concert happening in the terminal? I can’t keep up
  • And just like that, the song ends and all flights are now on time … makes perfect sense
  • One way to make someone need therapy is to call them dad when you’re the same age while crying and hugging them like they’re dying
  • Are there a million elves in the village, or thousands? A bit inconsistent on our estimates here
  • Is the solution to shoot the elves one at a time with a Nerf gun? How … how is that going to work? At all? There’s an unknown number of them
  • Exploding gingerbread cookies, though – incredible invention!
  • Mrs. Claus has the hairstyle of a who, so there’s our Grinch reference
  • We need to talk about Nerf gun range, too, apparently, since it’s not however far Jack shot it at the drone
  • I think that Belsnickle really just needs a friend, or a therapist
  • How old do you have to be to get a sleigh license? Santa is 1700 and Jack is what? 11? That’s a wide gap and yet both get to “drive”
  • Forgetting someone from time to time is as it should be? Where? With who? Why? What?
  • I’m scared to jump off, but I’ll get over that by backflipping off a highly elevated flying surface
  • Who has a caroling party in front of the ocean with no spectators? Who are they singing to?
  • Why is Belsnickle the only fat elf?
  • As a surprise to no one, it ends happily ever after with everyone singing a christmas song from the dinosaur age

Takeaway: if you have young children they’ll probably think it’s cute. If you have kids over the age of say, 7, this might out-age them. Interesting story line, but the first one was way better. A good background Christmas movie while decorating – not a must-see however.

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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DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

It’s the holiday season! And who doesn’t love the holidays? I mean, I’m sure there are some people. I’ve heard stories about actual Scrooges, but have yet to meet one in real life, thankfully. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle it. My absolute joy during this time of year fighting with their absolute dread, and hate, for this time of year sounds like a collision I don’t need. That’s like the ultimate holiday rivalry. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Carolina versus Duke. Emotions running high. Things get said that you can’t take back. Nope. 

I need to take a deep breath for a moment. Whew. Ok! Needed to clear that out of my mind. I have space for light shows, gift giving, cookies, and friends / family this time of year. Oh, and of course my dog. She’s an all year round treat, but at the holidays the decorations confuse her and that makes me laugh. Anyways … one of the biggest parts of the holiday season is getting gifts for other people. Some people love this. Some people hate this. Most people still do this, however.

Not everyone takes the same approach to purchasing gifts. Not everyone even puts the same amount of effort into finding gifts, if we’re being honest. Is there a right way to holiday gift shop? Certainly not! But I, at least, find it fascinating to examine the different approaches. And thus, deeply over-analyze them. Because clearly I have no life and this is as good as it gets as an adult. What can I say? I lost all shame for these types of posts a while ago. So get ready – we’re about to deep dive into what makes each individual shopper unique. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself on the list. Maybe you won’t. We all lie to ourselves sometimes, it’s fine.

The Prepared Shopper

Picks up gifts throughout the year so they don’t have to rush during crunch time

The Last Minute Shopper

Literally is trying to finish getting all their gifts the night before, or the morning of

The Thoughtful Shopper

Really puts an effort into the gifts they give to people and does a good bit of research, both on products and by talking to the gift receiver

The Leftover Shopper

Will pick up whatever candy happens to be in the checkout lane just to present you with a gift

The Online Shopper

Orders everything online so they can get the best range of colors, styles, and availability

The In Store Shopper

Enjoys not having to wait for items to ship, and thus, the potential that it never arrives so takes their chances in stores

The Gift Card Shopper

Either doesn’t like the list they received from you, or simply doesn’t want to buy anything on that list, and gets you a gift card instead … so that you can buy your own gift

The Highly Stressed Shopper

Goes exactly by the list – no room for error if you wrote that you wanted a 25oz water bottle by mistake (since that isn’t really a size) they will not buy anything unless it’s specifically what you want. 24 oz simply won’t do

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 DON’T ALWAYS EAT UNTIL I CAN’T MOVE … WAIT, YES I DO!

The holiday season is probably the most divisive three months of the entire year. Sure, it’s a time to be thankful, and joyful, and giving, and terrified (you can get my full thoughts on Halloween’s place in the season HERE), but it’s also a time to pick a side and fight for it. No, I’m not talking about a political side, or a side of the dinner table, or a side of the family – those can be chosen at any time of the year. You don’t need pumpkins, dead turkeys, or cookies to do that to yourself.

Obviously I’m talking about when it’s acceptable to begin decorating for Christmas and playing some classic carols non-stop. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

  • Thanksgiving is a full on holiday and I don’t even get merry for Christmas until Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving is just a happy accident on the way to the best holiday of the year
  • All holidays are the same and should be treated equally

I’m not even going to touch that last category – you’re just wrong and that’s not true at all. Don’t be that person. Pick at least one to go all in for! Personally, I tend to fall into the middle category and if you’re with me, let’s drink some eggnog and play All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat. For everyone else, the ones in the first category in case you couldn’t keep up, I do not understand you at all. ‘You can’t skip Thanksgiving! It’s a time to be thankful and eat all of the food!’ – Thanksgiving lovers.

Mmkay … first of all, you should just be thankful like all of the time. If you need a holiday to remind you of that then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Yes, you get to eat … a lot. You know when else you can eat a lot though? THE ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Which is 12 days long traditionally, 25 days if you’re Freeform, or year round if you’re like me so why do I want one day to eat when I can have multiple? I’m a big fan of eating (THAT’S NO SECRET), but Thanksgiving is just one day. 24 hours. That’s it. Nothing more. What is the appeal of that? 

Might I also point out that the Thanksgiving meal is shockingly similar to Christmas dinner. But without all the delicious cookies and holiday drinks. Makes no sense to me. I don’t need someone to tell me it’s ok to eat until my pants start to feel way too tight. I’m a grown adult, I can do that any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I love having those days off work and seeing my family. But it does bother me that both Thanksgiving and Black Friday are company holidays while only Christmas day is. Christmas Eve is just as big a deal. Corporate America never ceases to confuse me.

Anyways, to be clear, this is not a post complaining about Thanksgiving itself. It’s more of a general confusion around all the people who wait until the day after to begin celebrating Christmas. Can your spirit literally not handle double the joy and excitement? Why get excited for one holiday when you can be psyched up for two? Again, this is very simple math. 2 > 1. 12 > 1. 25 > 12 > 1. 365 > 25 > 12 > 1.

I have zero shame when it comes to Christmas. November 1 I take in my desk decorations and it’s a miracle I hold out until then because, if we’re honest, it’s never too early to be put in a hella amazing mood by looking at Christmas lights. It’s always a fun game to see how long after the New Year that my co-workers tolerate me keeping it up … my current record is February 8 and I think next year I’m going to beat that. Mostly since my main co-worker at the moment is my dog and she doesn’t care. Then it’s basically time to get stoked for that year’s Christmas so I don’t know why I even give in to peer pressure and take it down. I am a peacock, let me spread my wings and be merry!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you love Christmas as much as I do, let’s debate who sings the best versions of each classic Christmas song. If you are a Thanksgiving turkey, then you may have your holiday, but come Black Friday, you better be jollier than Santa stealing cookies from random houses all over the world. Thanks for reading!


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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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CINCO DE DRINKO: ANOTHER UNOFFICIAL HOLIDAY FOR DAYTIME DRINKING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL

Rabbits don’t lay eggs. Seems like a gold mine of a starting point for all the confusing inconsistencies of Easter. Yet, every year, a random, gigantic bunny rabbit breaks into people’s homes and/or trespasses on their property to hide eggs (that are obviously stolen – see sentence one) for children that they don’t know. I’m going to go ahead and call it since no one else seems capable, but STRANGER DANGER! My main question is, how does the bunny know which houses have children? All I’m saying is I don’t remember the last time there were eggs hidden at my house, which happens to be full of legal adults. 

If there was ever an applicable lesson about not taking candy from strangers, Easter would be that lesson. The whole creepy minivan is getting a bit outdated anyways because, let’s be honest, the minivans of today are luxurious. An opinion for another time, though. So far, we have established that the beloved Easter Bunny is a thief, a stalker, and a liar. Don’t let the floppy ears or cute bow tie fool you. This is no saint. ‘Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, right? It’s Easter’ – all the candy-lovers of the world who enjoy free treats. Well if we played two truths and a lie against the law edition, that would be ⅔ bad. That’s over half. And if we worked at Twix, we would torture the public by forcing them to decide which half of the adorable bunny was evil and which part was good. Left or right? Right or left? Nobody cares, please find a new marketing campaign.

Well, holiday candy-lovers, I have some not-so-great insights for you. Eggs are usually filled with a baby chicken (or a yolk, at least). Creepy bunny’s eggs are filled with candy. Making the creepy bunny also a murderer. Where are the baby chicks? Was the chocolate really worth animal sacrifice? Also, how do we know this candy isn’t tainted? Is it safe to eat? Peter Cottontail is known for a long list of crimes – why not add food tampering to the list.

Sure, the candy comes in plastic eggs. Now. Was anyone alive in 1682 when Germany made this a thing? Probably not, unless Back to the Future is real and we’re all just living next to Marty McFly without even realizing it?! Plastic was invented in 1907. I’ll let you put the pieces together here. Actually, I’ll help you – non-law-abiding animal, the Easter Bunny, started this operation in 1682 with eggs. 225 YEARS LATER, plastic was created. 71 YEARS LATER the plastic Easter egg was invented. I’m no math expert, but that is a large gray area for interpretation.

Moving past the actual hiding of the eggs, let’s discuss what the deal is with hunting for them. I feel as if, at this point in the post anyways, hunting is not the correct term. Finding? Searching? Discovering? Unearthing (sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do)? Acquiring (for all the future business tycoons out there diplomatically getting their candy from the efforts of others)? So many good options here. Yet we feed the behavior and host egg hunts all over the world. For fun, though, because Easter is a time for joy and celebration! Could have fooled me. 

Easter egg hunts are the epitome of Spring as a child, if I’m being honest. The competition to find the most is what still fuels my drive today. Oh wait, no, I forgot that now everyone gets only a certain amount of eggs so nobody feels left out. Personally, my future children will be on a survival of the fittest type of hunt. If you get less than your brother, you’ll learn for next year to be either quicker, smarter, or more clever #lifelessons. Mmkay well then you might as well just buy each child a bag of Hershey’s Kisses and tell them Peter dropped it off. That’s a win-win situation right there. Ban the bad influences from your property / family and not have to worry about setting “rules” for a competition. Unless that rule is to win by finding the most. That would be ok.

To wrap things up, what’s with the Easter color scheme? Every other holiday has a set number of colors, usually one to three, that are associated with them. Valentine’s Day – red, pink, and white. St. Patrick’s Day – green. Fourth of July – red, white, and blue. Labor Day – white. Halloween – orange and black. Thanksgiving – orange, red, brown, and yellow (because they had to be different). Christmas – red and green. Enter Easter – all of the pastel colors. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Well that’s confusing. Too many options, just tell me. Purple and yellow? Fine. Green and pink? Awesome. Blue, orange, and yellow? Go for it! But the whole palette? That’s a bit overkill – pun intended. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you now have concerns over what’s happening behind-the-scenes during Easter, I apologize. But also I’m glad you’re aware and can keep others safe. In all seriousness, though, it’s an awesome holiday and always great for the family. Thanks for reading!


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