DEAR TOILET PAPER COMPANIES: WIPE AWAY YOUR MARKETING GAMES

Marketing teams are like shopping ninjas. Out to murder your budget. Just when you think you’re going to stick to your list BAM! Sales! Bonus items! Mega rolls! Celebrity endorsements! Colorful packaging! Cute animals! Health buzzwords! Targeted ads! You name it, I can almost guarantee a marketing department has tried it. Why not, though? That is quite actually their job. To make you buy a certain product over its competitors. Or, in other words, to pay for the marketing people’s jobs. It’s a very survival of the fittest kind of career.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to their stealthy skills. I would actually classify myself as a marketer’s dream purchaser. Swayed easily by packaging, deals, and special ads that clearly are a result of the Internet listening to my private life. I don’t care. Listen, I’ve ended up with some amazing products that I didn’t know I needed in my life thanks to targeted ads. In fact, I now actively start vocalizing bigger purchases weeks in advance so I can get a nice coupon. Although, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t have to be big. If I need more food I throw that out into the universe as well. Google’s fuzzy privacy laws have yet to let me down is all I’m saying.

Where was I going with this? Oh, right! Gullibility! So the other day I was in the toilet paper aisle and it dawned on me that I don’t know what a regular sized roll is. Does anyone? Every single company, let me repeat, every single company has a mega roll as their baseline product. Which, supposedly, is 4 regular rolls. And I would kindly like to call bullshit. Literally since as early back as I can remember in life, the so-called mega roll is a regularly sized roll of toilet paper. If I cut that down by 4 I would have 25% of a normal roll left. That’s it. There are no extra sheets in there. 

It’s also most curious how a lovely 2-ply 1000 sheet roll is slightly bigger than a nice, plush mega roll (the size of FOUR regular rolls in case you’ve already forgotten). What is this nonsense? And where did the four multiplier come from? And that’s just one of the options. Then there’s the jumbo roll, which, apparently, is even bigger. The size of five regular rolls one could say. At what point did mega become the standard? It for sure wasn’t recently enough where we can still use it in marketing. Surely.

Did people in the past not wipe? How many rolls came in a regular, fits under the sink, pack? 48? Was it simply a commodity? Is that why the rolls were so tiny? I cannot comprehend how we would have survived the COVID TP crisis with mere regular sized rolls. And that’s only half of the puzzle when it comes to paper of the toilet. After you’ve blown your mind and stressed yourself out deciding if mega will even be enough for your family, then you have the soft versus strong issue. Why can it not simply be both?

I’m going to say it, I don’t understand this marketing scheme. It’s a lot like the left Twix, right Twix DEBACLE. Soft toilet paper is like a luscious paper towel and is too thick. Strong toilet paper is not as nice to the places you’re wiping. I don’t want one or the other, I want both. I need one that is both soft and strong so I can enjoy the go as my favorite modern day care bears keep wishing for me. To make matters worse, they now have ultra soft and ultra strong. Like, I either want to wipe with a blanket or an axe – there’s no in between. And what do each of those new distinctions get us? Higher prices! Because it’s shiny and new and “better”.

Can I just say that I’m over it. I feel like our marketing efforts started with good intentions, then became a competition, and have gone awry. How much softer can ultra soft possibly be than soft? At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper that will get used to wipe your unmentionables and then flushed into the sewer system. Think about that when a T-Rex roll comes out in a scented, plush style. 

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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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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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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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WHILE BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR

Elevators are an invention. A way to assist in moving vertically with minimal effort. Or if you are physically unable to use stairs, which, in that case, this post is not for you. As a mildly claustrophobic person, you can imagine that elevators are rarely my first option for getting between floors in a building. While I do regret saying this to the whole world that is the Internet, and thus, is forever, I am a stairs first kind of kid.

Stairs have a lot of advantages over the metal death box that is the elevator. For one, it will never fail on you electrically. It will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. It will continue to be the emergency exit route in case of fire … or when you find out there’s a BOGO at the taco truck down the street and you need to get in line yesterday. It will always be a better form of exercise. It will not require awkward silences with strangers. Overall, a solid option considering there are usually only two at any given time.

I think now is a good time for emphasizing my point. Stairs will never fail on you electrically and they will never stop unexpectedly in the middle of the ascent, or descent. Elevators, however, will and do. At a shockingly high rate. Their stability and built-in “safety” measures for when you shift your weight from one foot to the other way too quickly leave a lot to be desired. And in case it was unclear from the title of this post, one of my nightmares came true recently and I got stuck in an elevator. Not even a nice, big service elevator either. Just a standard hotel, can maybe fit 6 people pre-COVID, elevator.

Never have I met someone who has wanted to get stuck in a confined metal space with minimal decorations and no cell service, so I have to believe everyone can relate to my rollercoaster of thoughts, emotions, and panic, during my 90 minute experience. To truly pull you into my mental state, I would like to set some initial background context. I, thankfully, had my significant other with me, but it was just the two of us. It was late at night. We were stuck in between two floors and thus hanging helplessly by the elevator cables in a floating box of death. And with that, please enjoy my survival story:

  • Did … did the elevator just stop?
  • Why are the identifying floor numbers stuck on 3?
  • Did … did the elevator lady just say that we were experiencing technical difficulties?
  • Why are the emergency lights coming on?
  • How do we get out of here?
  • Oh my, we are actually stuck
  • None of the buttons work – are the buttons supposed to work?
  • I can hear the alarm when I press the button, but no one seems to be responding to our cry for help
  • Resist the urge to panic
  • The call button says we’re being connected to the elevator company and … we’re on hold?
  • Why are we on hold? How many elevator emergencies happen at 11PM?
  • The operator! Finally!
  • Oh dear, we’ve been disconnected
  • Call back and we are somehow STILL ON HOLD?!
  • Clearly the call button is not going to be useful. Like the alarm button. Why even have those in there? What kind of sick false hope is this?!
  • Which one of us has a cell signal?
  • I see my cell service doesn’t extend into elevator shafts
  • Time to embrace that the inside of this elevator might be the last thing I see
  • Thank the heavens, my SO has one bar!
  • Is one bar enough to call the hotel? Apparently, yes
  • Not sure that this is the right moment for my SO to make small talk with the hotel clerk so … HELP US! WE ARE STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR!
  • Message received, maintenance is coming. I might live to hit another rooftop bar tonight after all
  • The amplification of noise inside an elevator car is shocking. One would never know unless they were forced to stay in one place for a while
  • Why is everyone in this hotel accessing the other, working, elevator from this floor?
  • If the maintenance guy tells one more person that we’re stuck in the elevator I’m going to hulk smash through the door
  • I see that throwing the breaker 10 times didn’t fix it so what’s next?
  • And, we’re back to having to contact the elevator company
  • Thank goodness I used the bathroom before we got on this death ride
  • Is it getting hot in here? Is there even fresh air flowing in?
  • How do people successfully trick their minds to be in a happy place? Because right now my mind is hella aware of where my body is
  • Breathe. In and out, in and out, in and out
  • The elevator company apparently responds to phone calls but not emergency signals from the inside of the elevator. Interesting
  • Someone is coming to get us out in a cool 45 minutes
  • Where is the company located that it’s going to take 45 minutes? Do they not get police level speeding privileges for this? I could be having a panic attack
  • If we called the fire department, would they arrive sooner?
  • Should we call the fire department?
  • Would the elevator company be mad if we called the fire department?
  • Guess we will wait, it’s been almost 45 minutes already so … what do we have to lose? Besides phone battery
  • Did I lock my car door?
  • What late night eats will be open when we are finally able to get out of this thing?
  • Never in my life have I craved being in my home on a Zoom call as much as I am right now. Free to roam around
  • Why do the new Starbucks store designs look like weird shipping containers?
  • How much emotion exists for a fish? Like what is that spectrum?
  • If I had known we would have been in here for so long, I would have brought my cake leftovers
  • What … is that? Is that the door finally opening?
  • It’s the elevator man!
  • And the hotel staff who want to take us to the lobby … on the other elevator … like the stairs aren’t an option

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 WONDER WOMAN 1984 AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Wonder Woman. Enough said. She’s a woman casually saving the world and making it look so effortless. Makes us ponder the age old dilemma: can women have it all? I think Diana Prince has given us a strong yes to that question, especially as we get a look at her superhero journey and struggling between love and saving the world. Despite all the wonderfulness that is this movie, I still had hella observations and gnarly questions:

  • Starting off strong – what parents let small children roam aimlessly through endless forests? Seems unsafe … animals eat children
  • I realize now why I will never be a superhero. I am unable to do anything remotely gymnastics based other than tumble into the soft block pit
  • If someone could explain the rules, and / or purpose, of the beginning contest to me and why a child would be competing against grown adults that’d be great
  • Life lesson #1: no true hero is born from lies
  • Is Diana not tired after all the warm up running she did before the competition and then, you know, the whole competition?
  • Are you even at a mall if it doesn’t have a JCPenney’s?
  • I think we all would like Wonder Woman to come deal with some of our exes, or maybe a co-worker, or maybe the line at the DMV after the beatdown she put on at the mall
  • Barbara is all of us at one point or another and she’s my favorite character. So awkward, so genuine, so innocent
  • Have to love the random gusts of air inside a building in the movies. The realism is insane
  • Life lesson #2: talking behind people’s backs is rude. They can hear you
  • Have you ever been in love?’ ‘So many times, yea. All the time’ – me every time I’m about to eat cheesecake
  • Who goes to bed in full makeup? That’s how breakouts happen you’d think Wonder Woman, of all people, would know that
  • New pickup line option: ‘I have a great relationship with Sears
  • Is Barbara not suspicious of her newfound attention from men, and people, in general?
  • Who was in charge of casting Maxwell and Allister? I don’t see the resemblance
  • Walking in heels should be an Olympic event
  • Did … did Steve look different when first talking to Diana? 
  • Life lesson #3: futons are not comfortable and should be cancelled
  • Have you ever been caught in bed stuffing your face with Pop-Tarts? If not, did you even go to college?
  • Why were swimsuits the gym fashion of choice for females? What did they wear to the beach?
  • 80s fashion was truly a sight
  • Good to see the DC Metro looks the exact same that it did 40 years ago
  • Did anyone else know the extensiveness of the Smithsonian career network before watching this movie? I, for one, thought they were purely for visitation …
  • Life lesson #4: the truth is bigger than all of us
  • Imagine getting to spend some time in the future. We would all be Steve
  • Where on the National Mall is there a hidden airfield? How did that happen? How did they get there? Do those planes even work?
  • How terrifying would it be if a giant wall just appeared where you were trying to drive?
  • Did the taxi driver not think to ask for a ride after losing his car? Where is he going to go in the desert?
  • Does Diana always pack her superhero suit? Or is she always wearing it?
  • I wish I could just jump on a trampoline half as gracefully as Wonder Woman vaults through the air after being flung from a tank
  • Those children would not be ok after falling onto the pavement from that height and at that speed. Hollywood lies, I see
  • Is it just me, or did Diana change outfits during the Cairo trip? I remember seeing no luggage on the plane
  • Even Wonder Woman isn’t immune to the kryptonite of love
  • What is the decor theme in Maxwell’s office? What does it have to do with business, or oil?
  • Who brings a sword to a gunfight?
  • Where is the White House security team during the gunfight, by the way? Does this raise no alarms?
  • Oh dear … Barbara has turned evil in an unsurprising, but still disappointing, twist
  • And there’s the White House security team. 3 years later
  • I appreciate the nice creative twist on the worst case Cold War outcome, though
  • Life lesson #5: true love lasts the test of time
  • Steve is the true hero of the movie. If he hadn’t convinced Diana to renounce her wish the world would have imploded
  • How does Diana’s hair not get so incredibly tangled while literally flying?
  • Wonder Woman takes ride the lightning to a whole new level
  • Again, where does the gold suit come from? Did she have to go home and get it? Does it magically pack down into a portable size?
  • Why does Barbara look like a cat from your worst nightmare? She could have been anything
  • I take back what I said about Barbara being my favorite
  • Even though we all knew the ending was coming, I still loved it
  • Life lesson #6: greed is not the path to happiness
  • Did everyone just forget the chaos that occurred and the almost end of the world? Or do they just have holiday amnesia?
  • What happened to the guy whose body Steve took over while Steve was in it? Did he go into a coma? Did he miss all the insanity?
  • Does she ever miss her family?
  • A brief Asteria appearance at the end … what does that mean?! Is she still alive?! Where has she been?!
  • Is love your kryptonite?

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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DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

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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NO, I’M SORRY, LIFE DOESN’T GIVE OUT PARTICIPATION TROPHIES – GROW UP

Where did we go wrong? The next generation of “adults” have been raised to believe that everyone is a winner. Um … everyone is not a winner. There has to be a loser. That’s how this works. I understand that all of us aren’t into sports, but that’s no excuse not to brace your children for the reality that is life. If we all got what we wanted just for waking up and putting on clothes, though, the world would be chaos. Everyone would be in their dream job, married to their celebrity crush, and financially very well off.

For those of us born before 2000, we can remember a time when there was no gray zone. If you didn’t win, you lost. And you may have been sad, you may have cried, but you learned from that. You learned that you had to be better. Or you would not win. You would not get a trophy just for being there and taking the team picture.  No one would lie to you about your potential in that particular field. Life was good.

Then, at some point earlier this century, someone decided that their kid was not a loser. And no one could tell them that they were a loser. Parents started putting their children’s feelings in a perfect little bubble so they could never be sad. But then school started, and those kids had a social awakening and life, as they knew it, was over. Enter the participation trophy. Return the sheltered children to where they belong – in a fantasy. In my head, the participation trophy is something that will be heavily examined by the future humans of Earth. Much like our fascination with the caveman and their discovery of fire.

In my (limited) experience as an adult, here is how the real world works once one outgrows their youth, laid out in several fun and traumatizing scenarios:

  • Missed Project Deadline
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Declined for a Promotion
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Late to Work
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Waiting in Line for the New iPhone, but they Run Out
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Failure to Meet your Goals
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Rejected by Your Crush
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be dating them

In summary, you get in trouble, possibly fired, and have to suck it up because the world doesn’t care about your tears. I could go on, but I believe those get my point across. Participation does not teach lessons, it prevents important lessons from being learned. And outside of youth recreational competitions (sports, spelling bees, science fairs, chess tournaments, mini golf, the arcade down the street, etc.), it doesn’t really apply. Losing is a good thing! It’s an external factor giving immediate feedback that what we did did not work. Which leads to progress and change and, eventually, winning! For real, though, like in a way that you actually earned. And that is the most rewarding feeling ever.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who actively promotes the “participation” game, tell them to stop it! Or, better yet, share this informative post with them so they can understand why they should stop it. The kids will thank you, but more importantly the world will thank you. Thanks for reading!


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LIFE LESSONS FROM GAME OF THRONES

If you’ve never seen Game of Thrones, what’s wrong with you? Read this, learn your lessons, then park yourself in front of a television for the next week to catch up, binge-watching style, with the rest of humanity. For all the GOT faithful, I’m about to strike a nerve with a bunch of you, but I actually liked the way that it ended. How else would you have wrapped that up? Kill everyone? I guess then the lone dragon could summon dinosaur friends and kick off history. That would be a fun twist to our species! You could be a Targaryen, or a Stark, or a Lannister, or a Dothraki…probably wouldn’t be an Unsullied though. I’m guessing that part of the peace initiative would have included putting an end to torturing small children so they could be hard-core warriors.

For a few minutes there I was trying to figure out which house I descended from and then I remembered that I definitely made that up. Thank goodness for online quizzes. I’m a Greyjoy so that answers my questions. I always wanted to be a sailor, better put in my two-week notice at work tomorrow, then buy some ships and an isolated island. And probably a suit of armor because my people love to fight.

Anyways, watching the series helped me learn some valuable life lessons that I feel compelled to share…despite my people being on the more selfish side. Look at me breaking molds and forging my own path in life. My mom would be so proud.

Some Battles Are Not Worth Fighting

If the dead are coming, run! There’s no need to fight death. That’s a losing battle and the things you see will scar you forever. If you must stay, befriend a slightly psychotic girl who fears nothing, then find an amazing hiding place.

Maximize your Time Each Day

You can get anywhere in a day if you really want to, or if you are a television director and have lost touch with reality – across the castle, across town, across the ocean…doesn’t matter, it’s all the same.

Trust your Gut

Arya was with one man and decided she’d rather spend the rest of her life on a ship sailing to the end of the Earth. Gendry clearly did not keep her coming back for more.

Politics are Everywhere

There’s always going to be a small group of people making decisions in “your best interest”. Names are the only thing that really change – glad our long lost ancestors gave our government a solid template to copy.

If You Want to be in Charge, Get a Dragon

This seems self-explanatory. Find a dragon, train it (like a dog I’m assuming), and learn how to fly it. You’ll help save the environment by not using fuel so that will make people happy, but if they aren’t buying in you can threaten them with fire…from your dragon. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Being Cold is Mental

Like OG eskimos, a significant amount of characters lived in winter all year round…on purpose. I’m hoping that stone structures are surprisingly warm, despite their gray and freezing look. What if the whole story was just a delusion from a frost-bitten, almost frozen wildling?!

Act Confident

No one in the show seemed to be suspicious of a stranger dressed in black and wearing a hood. Confidence will get you far, even into a heavily guarded castle without anyone giving you a second thought.

Lead by Example

The head honchos of war frequently appear at the front of a battle sans helmet. Seems unsafe. I also find this interesting since all their henchmen do have helmets. Who is correct? Probably the henchmen, who tended to survive.

Everyone is Human

Battles never seem to start until after the staring contest is over. Is this because they are all hoping one side will surrender and they won’t have to spend hour after bloody hour fighting for their lives? Dunno. Seems like just getting the thing started will make it end quicker.

Treat Other People’s Things Like your Own

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect for other people’s property. Specifically castles. Is it possible to win a war without destroying every piece of infrastructure in a city? My gut says yes, but the show says no. If I’m going to take it, I want to be able to use it. Otherwise it’s just a pile of stone and bricks.

Everyone Can be an Influencer

Constant drinking is a sign of great wealth and power – alright, check, I’ve got that going for me at least. Look out world! 

Know When to Move On

In certain situations, it’s best to cut your losses and move on. Not calling out anyone specifically, but if a dragon is lighting up your city, it may be best not to watch from the tallest window in your castle. Just saying – a white flag works well too.

Materialism is Alive and Well

Metal chairs with zero padding are most desirable and you should stop at nothing to own one.

Always Apologize

Even when a building is collapsing, you have time to hug, make up, reconcile your lifelong differences, apologize, forgive, kiss, go through every detail of how you get here, make a baby, etc. Might I suggest getting out and saving yourself?

Small Talk is Underrated

Some people are not good at small talk. That’s ok – just throw some ridiculous statement onto the table and see how people react. Need a suggestion? The king of small talk, Tyrion Lannister, has you covered: ‘I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel’. I have so many questions.

Walls Only Divide People

Our ancestral tribes had a wall to keep the dead, and the wildlings, out of their country. How did the dead and the wildlings feel about this though? Well, they tore part of it down so I’m thinking not great. Side note: where did the wall come from? Did someone build it? Did nature put it there? How does it not melt when winter ends? It’s ginormous!

Know your Worth

Jon “The Virgin” Snow was supposedly an outcast and undesirable at the start of the show, yet had zero trouble picking up the only wildling who knew what makeup was and Westeros’ most eligible bachelorette like a pro. He knew he was worth it. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who hasn’t watched GOT, shame them. Then make them watch it. Otherwise, take the wisdom from the people of Westeros and go forth into the world. Thanks for reading!


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