It Hasn’t Even Been September for Two Seconds And I’m Already Sick

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I don’t want to take away from the firefighters and school teachers, but I wouldn’t object if you called me a hero for writing this. Sunday morning at like 3 a.m. I woke up with a scratchy throat and I feared I might be getting sick. Unfortunately, I’m always right, and now here I am, the proud owner of a cold. Very annoying! The temperature dropped to 60° for the first time since probably April and I immediately get sick. Talk about S.A.D. I’m sniffling and coughing left and right. I’m single handedly keeping the tissue industry afloat and freebasing cold medicine. And I’ve been on a big orange kick, too. For the last like, two or three weeks I’ve been eating an orange a day. I though vitamin C was supposed to help prevent colds? I can confirm that I don’t have scurvy, which is a plus, I guess.

Needless to say, this has put me in quite the bind. I’m faced with difficult decisions everywhere I turn. For one, it’s hot again. It’s 80° as I right this, and my house gets way too hot. But whenever I turn on the AC or a fan, it just inflames my sensitive sinuses. So I have to just sit here sweating like an idiot. The second pickle is that usually, when I get colds, it’s actually cold out, so I put on my most comfy sweatpants and a sweatshirt. However, it’s been established that it’s currently too hot for that, and I have a strict no-sweats-before-the-NFL-season-kicks-off policy. So I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but because it’s so hot I’m still hot and sweaty. It’s terrible. Lastly, and probably most importantly, is that I need to leave the house, but leaving the house is the last thing I want to do. I need a haircut. I don’t have any food left. At some point I might need to work again (the only positive part about having a cold is that you can say “oh, I don’t want to get everyone else sick” and it’ll buy you a couple extra days off). But I can’t leave. I can’t go in public looking and sounding like this. I have a reputation to uphold. If people saw me in this weakened state, how would they ever fear or respect me again? And how could I be expected to drive while being hopped up on NyQuil? But what am I supposed to eat? My arm? Frankly, I don’t know which way to turn. The timing of this is terrible, too. How am I going to get a cold at the beginning of fall? I die a little inside every time I think about the smells I’m about to miss. The first bunch of fresh apples. The smell of the leaves as they slowly decay. The first pumpkin spice flavored anything. The smell of football! And I’m missing all of it. Dear God, why have You forsaken me?

In an effort to expedite my recovery, I’m stuck trying all manner of cockamamie cold remedies that have next to zero chance of working. But one glance at what the internet has to offer has me troubled. I mean, take a look at this, a dime-a-dozen slide show that’s the first Google search result. Honestly, this is some messed up shit. Listen to jazz? I’m not pretentious enough. Put on a pair of wet socks? I’d rather be dead. Work out? Please. Eating raw onions is something I’ve heard before, but I’m not really looking to do that. I need something radical. I need some Old World holistic remedy that makes me puke everywhere but is effective nonetheless. Only problem is my family is all American. The only ties I have to Europe are centuries old, and not from the right part, either. I need some shriveled up grandma who just got off the boat from Romania to give me some ancient concoction that her village has used for generations. Some ground up leaf that doesn’t grow here that tastes like a three week old compost heap that I have to drink while upside down or something. I’m tired of slugging water and sleeping all day, I want a quick fix ASAP. Slothing around playing entire 16 game seasons of Madden in one day is only satisfying for so long. I can’t live like this much longer. Last night I did two fantasy football drafts at the exact same time while courageously battling illness. It was an impressive, Herculean feat, but I’m not looking to repeat those kind of heroics every time I feel like doing anything besides sitting down. If anyone has some stupid remedy they use, let me know. I’ll pretty much try anything.

What Could Happen During the Eclipse

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There’s an eclipse today. Don’t know if you’ve heard. It’s all anyone can talk about. Eclipse this, eclipse that. Were I someone else, I might complain of eclipse fatigue. But, while most of the country is content to merely risk their eyesight by staring directly at the sun for minutes at a time and leave it at that, I recognize the significance of an eclipse. Sure, it’s not as fun or mystical as a blood moon, but an eclipse can still shake up the natural order of things. What’s up becomes down, left becomes right, inside becomes out. Eclipses only last a few minutes, but can still have lasting effects. Before you start panicking and start preparing like it’s Y2K again, take a deep breath and relax, because, as usual, I have all the answers. Sometimes people can be caught off guard by the topsy-turvy nature of eclipses, but I have foreseen all of it. Here are just a few things to look for in the couple days to come.

Animals Will Start Acting Crazy

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It’s common knowledge that animals don’t like eclipses. Dogs will start barking, cats will get all upset, the whole deal. But don’t expect Fido to just go back to normal after the eclipse. Maybe he’ll start walking on his hind legs all the time. Maybe horses will want people food. Maybe cats will start swimming. Maybe the dogs will start walking people. Perhaps, because of the bizarre power instilled in the animals from a solar event lasting mere seconds, the oxen and beasts of the field will shed the yoke of labor and force it on their former masters. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the fact that in the new post-eclipse world it will be impossible to distinguish between the supposedly civilized humans and the feral creatures of the wilderness. I can only relay the messages I get from the crystal ball, not interpret them.

People May Accomplish Feats of Great Strength

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Again, this isn’t a blood moon and I live in the realm of reality, so I’m not going to predict everyone is going to momentarily gain super powers or anything. But that doesn’t mean something special won’t be in the air. Don’t be surprised if you’ve got a little extra pep in your step when you’re clanging iron in the gym or if that jar opens a little easier than usual. There might be a hundred home runs hit tonight across the MLB. Seeing a solar eclipse sends signals to an old, animalistic part of the brain that is dormant for pretty much every second of your life. But when activated by the eclipse, it stimulates your muscles and releases special pheromones that increase natural strength levels to supernatural proportions. It’s science. It’s a fleeting strength, gone after a few moments, so don’t try anything too dangerous. I don’t want to hear about anyone getting caught under a vending machine tomorrow.

Bad Quarterbacks Will Become Good

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I know what you’re thinking. “This is such a specific and odd thing that affects a minuscule portion of the population there’s no way it can be true.” I assure you, it is. The same way the eclipse raises our strength, it also improves our abilities to throw objects accurately and read defenses. It’s already happening, too. Trevor Siemian was just named Broncos starter. The Jets are confident about both Josh McCown and Christian McCaffrey. The Browns traded for Brock Osweiler solely because they knew an eclipse was coming and were hoping this brief moment of clarity would unlock all that potential once and for all. I know it sounds far fetched, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL somehow orchestrated the eclipse to help build parity throughout the league.

Food Will Taste Worse

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Look, I’m dealing in cold, hard facts. No one wants to hear that their food is going to taste bad, but, unfortunately, it is. We’re losing out on valuable minutes of sunlight, here. Who knows what that will do to fruits and vegetables that need the sun to grow. Now instead of getting picked at the perfect time, they’re getting picked two and a half minutes early. I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s a big deal. Say goodbye to ripe fruit for a while. No more crisp, healthy veggies on your table. Not to mention the fact that all the aforementioned animals that you like to eat like to eat the fruits and vegetables that will now be a little less ripe that ideal, potentially compromising their own flavor. It’s a good thing my diet is primarily comprised of synthetic and processed food, otherwise I might be a little upset.

Ballers Will Become the Best Show On TV

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Oh, wait, it already is.

(Just a quick Ballers aside, it might legitimately be the most impressive piece of world building ever put on screen. I mean, think about all the absurd things that have happened just this season (spoiler alert, but let’s be honest, you’ve already watched every episode): the supposed third best defensive tackle in the league (and maybe worst actor in history) would willingly give up multiple millions of dollars to get a $20,000 sponsorship from a weed company. Ricky Jarrett lost over $2 million playing craps and then got picked up a nasty case of CTE like you would catch a cold. The head coach of the Dolphins, one of the most historic, rich, and popular franchises in the NFL, wears generic Under Armour gear when coaching as apposed to, you know, Dolphins stuff. One of The Rock’s sexual partners wears a shirt from his real-life Under Armour line, only in this universe there is no Rock since The Rock is Spencer Strasmore. Spencer, a random sports agent, is the driving force behind the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and still the least realistic thing to happen is that Jerry Jones, who may or may not exist in the Ballers-verse, would ever concede decision making power to anyone, let alone Shooter McGavin. I love this show.)

You Will Forget About the Eclipse Two Seconds After It Happens

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Of all the predictions I’ve made, this is the one I’m most sure about. Part of the reason I even wrote this was so that I myself would remember it happened. Eclipses bring lots of arcane magic with them that I don’t fully understand, but none of it is as powerful as their capacity to make everyone forget they happen the moment they end. Come tomorrow, you will forget Eclipse 2017 was ever something that captivated the nation. This will all seem like a dream, if anything. A distant memory from another life. A brief phenomenon that didn’t change your life whatsoever. Hope you kept your receipt for your eclipse glasses, because you may not even know why you got them, soon.

I’m Already Sick of this Darn Heat

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I know it’s only May 19th and I’m digging myself an early grave here, but it’s just too hot. My phone says it’s 89° right now. 89°! Sweltering!! That’s too hot for May. It’s impossible to escape. As someone without central air in my house, I’m forced to decide between staying in The Brian’s Den with the AC blasting all day or downstairs with the windows open. Normally, that’s a no brainer, but someone has to pay for all that electricity. I’m sitting in a dark room with a million windows open and a fan going but I’m still glistening with sweat. No matter how many Refreshingly Delicious glasses of Simply Limeade® I drink, nothing can cool me down (limeade is easily the most underrated summer drink. Everyone loves lemonade, and for good reason, but don’t sleep on its superior cousin). And don’t even get me started on what’s going on outside. I can cancel those sauna plans I had because I can just sit in my car. Luckily all of my flowers are in the shade so they aren’t being vaporized by the heat. As someone who’s #blessed with Irish DNA, heat and sunlight are my mortal enemies. My alabaster skin can’t take the kind of beating days like this dish out. It’s obviously a double edged sword. Summer is prime Hot Dog and Bud Light Lime season, which can’t be overlooked, but the first heat wave of the year always reminds me why my Season Power Ranking looks the way it does.

I get a lot of flak from my friends when I tell them Summer is my least favorite season. “How?” they ask, “there’s so much to do! Great weather, great food, you can swim, etcetera etcetera.” Yeah, there’s plenty to do in Summer. And I don’t hate all of Summer either. I’m a very positive person when it comes to seasons. There’s good aspects of all of them. But, Summer still ranks last for me. Sorry not sorry.

Season Power Rankings

  1. Fall- Autumn is the unquestioned number one, and if anyone has anything else as their number one, odds are they live in somewhere south of Indiana and have things like “nice weather all year round” and “night life” and “tons of distractions besides sports.” Fall has everything: perfect weather (absolutely nothing can beat sitting inside on a rainy October day), football, playoff baseball, football, Thanksgiving, and football. I pity anyone who didn’t grow up in a place where the leaves changed. Fall flavors are tough to beat too. Apple, cinnamon, and every basic’s favorite Pumpkin Spice is a murderer’s row of limited time options. I had to search pretty hard for downsides, and the only one I came up with is raking leaves. And if you’re football team stinks, but I can’t identify with that.
  2. Winter- Easily my most controversial pick, but I’m a huge Winter guy. Huge. Everything happens in Winter: my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s, the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Weekend, Valentine’s Day, what else could you ask for? I love snow, and, in my mind, a beautiful, moonlit snowscape is one of the most stunning visuals you can find. Some all time flavors, too. Nutmeg, peppermint, eggnog (not my favorite, but still beloved), and no season has a bigger claim to owning chocolate than Winter. Some weak minded people will say the cold is an issue, but I’d much rather be cold than hot. And snow days are the ultimate adrenaline rush, no matter how old you are. You can always add more layers, you can’t always take them off. Only thing keeping it from the top is the fact that shoveling is a huge pain and driving becomes a near-death experience with all the people that don’t know how to drive.
  3. Spring- I do often go back and forth between Spring and Summer, but, if you haven’t noticed, the basis of these rankings is pretty much primarily what sports are on at the time, and Spring has some of the best things in the world- March Madness, Baseball Opening Day, NHL and NBA playoffs, and the end of the soccer season for my fellow footy fiends. Spring has warm weather, but it’s pleasantly warm, not overbearing. Flowers start blooming. All the animals come out of hibernation or return from migration. Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day aren’t the best holidays, but Easter has some very solid food options. I’m not sure if Spring really has any signature flavors besides different variations of sugar. Maybe peanuts and berries. Rain is the biggest downside, and the lack of football to watch during the day really accentuates it. Another negative is how sometimes Spring lasts for like a week before a bit more Winter. When I put shorts on for the first time, they’re on. I don’t go back to pants until September at the earliest. So when it’s 60° March 13th, I switch to shorts. Then I wind up wearing shorts during the last snow flurry like an idiot.
  4. Summer- I’m not a blind Summer hater. There’s a lot of things I like about Summer. The afore mentioned Hot Dog and BLL SZNs. I can emulate one of heroes Dom Toretto and knock back Coronas. You can only truly eat my favorite dessert, key lime pie, in summer. Ice cream and frozen novelties reign supreme. In fact, if you combine all of that with the wonder of barbecue, and summer probably has the most consistently strong menu of any season. There’s always some great movies in theaters. I’m a big water guy, too, and summer is obviously prime swimming and boating season. But everything is just so exhausting. It’s so hot at night, even sleeping is tiring. And when you just want to stay inside, there’s nothing to watch on TV besides the dog days of baseball. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Interact with other people? Read? No thank you. You need to take a million showers a day because you get coated in sweat the second you dry yourself off. And it’s super humid where I live, and humidity is the worst thing ever. It’s just unpleasant in the Summer. Sorry for being honest.