Is there such thing as free time? We have some. But what little we have, it seems we’re using on other things like out-of-town weddings, birthday celebrations, bachelorette parties, etc…
According to research, 80% of us would rather start using our hard-earned vacation time for ourselves.
Research firm Mortar gathered results for travel company Flash Pack. It found that:
On average, 3.5 of our earned days off are eaten up by other people’s events. With 10 days being the average vacation time given to employees, that’s 35% being used to celebrate other people’s milestones.
25% of respondents took more than 5 days off in the last year for other people’s events. That’s half of their yearly allotment!
For 25-44 year olds, wedding season is particularly dreaded! 61% of respondents within this age group have had up to 10 local weddings in the last 3 years, 34% have had up to 4 destination weddings in the same time period.
Here’s a thought from Uncle Crack Wise: just say NO! It’s okay. Send a gift. Then go on a damn vacation for yourself! Or, we could show up at your house and smack the livin’ dixie out of you. Your choice.
The Illuminati. Some say this mystical, powerful, yet dangerous group exists and has forever—and controls the most famous celebrities. Some have claimed to have sold their soul in exchange for fame and fortune. What is the true story of the Illuminati?
ILLUMINATED: THE TRUE STORY OF THE ILLUMINATI dives into the fascinating group and shines a spotlight on the truth behind the mysteries. Johnny Royal ("33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry") directs the documentary, which reveals the true historical origins of the Illuminati by examining their hand-written documents from the late 18th century, along with faithful reenactments of the secret society's authentic rituals which have never been previously seen by the public.
The film will make its L.A. debut on July 30th.
We kind of feel like the Illuminati is creepily watching us read this story… but we realize we have nothing to offer the Illuminati, so….
Dating is difficult at any age. So. Many. Douchebags. And the older we get, the more our don’t-give-a-f&ck is in full effect. Plus, there’s no time to play coy.
Lumen is a free dating app exclusively for those over the age of 50. The goal is to help people make connections with true, genuine people. According to their mission statement:
“We know we’re not inventing the wheel. Senior dating sites exist. But they are dull, and boring and they just don’t represent the single over 50s we know. ‘Mature dating’ has become a euphemism for dry and boring, but once you get to a certain age, generic dating apps aren’t fun places to date either. Which is where we come in. Welcome to Lumen - the dating app designed just for you.”
Lumen is the first dating app to:
Photo-verify every single user: On sign-up, users are asked to take a selfie. This doesn't appear in their profile but is used to cross-reference against profile images.
Age-restrict: No under 50s. If you are under 50 the app automatically blocks your entry and sends you a polite message telling you that you are a spring chicken.
Safety is of importance: Users can easily block and report users for inappropriate behavior.
Download the app and get ready to mingle. You got this!
Most of us humans aren’t known for willpower. Over-indulgence is a way of life: food, social media, shopping, etc… All those things can be fun. Too much? Life-sucker.
“Self-discipline is an undervalued trait in a modern society that wants everything now,” said Dr. Robert Carter, co-author of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life. “It is, however, a skill that everyone can learn. Self-discipline is the skill that will allow you to reach any goal you set.”
Dr. Carter gives us these ways to develop self-discipline:
Be aware of your resistance. Resistance, Carter says, is the biggest obstacle to developing self-discipline, and it often comes in the form of discouraging internal self-talk such as, “I can’t do it” or “Why should I have to change?” “The next time you embark on a new project that causes resistance,” Carter says, “fight it by asserting or writing down your intended goal and the benefits it will bring.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll get to that goal-intending after watching Stranger Things 3 for the eighth time.
Plan for every outcome. Plans go awry when people let excuses get in the way. “An example is having a goal of running in the morning for 30 minutes, but you have bailouts such as it’s raining, cold, or you don’t feel like it,” Carter says. “Developing self-discipline is recognizing and planning for these self-created obstacles and actively choosing to work through them. So when you set a goal to achieve, have chart in place listing “Even ifs.” List the potential obstacles to achieving your goal and counter each one with a promise to yourself that you’ll achieve your goal even if these challenges arise.”
Crack Wise-dom: We prefer riding the stationary bike. More sitting is good. We just have to knock the pile of clothes off of it first. Oh! That’s where we put the latest issue of Health Magazine from 2015.
Prepare to give something up in order to gain. Carter suggests compiling a list of the pros and cons of sacrificing for a certain goal. “To reach your goal, Carter says, “you will more than likely have to impose certain limitations on yourself in order to gain something. These limitations could be less free time, socializing, money or television. The upside is that seeing the rewards of the sacrifice on the pros list will keep you motivated and disciplined.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll give up one of our seven “cheat days.” Feelin’ good already!
Reward yourself with self-compensation. “Rewards are an incredibly powerful tool for motivating yourself to reach your goals,” Carter says. “Consider them the carrot on the stick. Have a reward in place for when you achieve a goal or part of a goal, and make sure it’s appropriate.”
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll continue with plans for a mail order bride. #EverybodyNeedsLove
Break your goal down into manageable steps. “If you break your goal down into bite-sized steps,” Carter says, “you’re much more likely to stay disciplined enough to complete every sub-goal. Each step accomplished gives you an encouraging boost. Consider using SMART goals — specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timed. This makes the goal more definitive and puts the steps in tangible action.”
Crack Wise-dom: Bite-sized chocolate-covered Oreo minis are out?
Some people are crazy. And we don’t mean crazy like your ex. We mean cra-zy, as in why in the af aren’t you using your vacation days!?!?
A staggering 52% of Americans had unused vacay days last year.
If you can’t leave your homestead make at least a staycation your thang. WalletHub has the scoop on the best and worst cities for staycations.
The best city? Honolulu. Not shocking at all. Orlando is second, followed by Chicago. Here’s a tidbit-- Orlando has the most zoos and aquariums per square root population. All kinds of fun there.
What’s the worst city? Chula Vista, CA, followed by Oxnard, CA, and Yonkers, NY. All three of these places sound like armpits. Seriously. If an armpit had a universal sound, it would be the names of these cities.
Here’s where your city ranks when it comes to staying local for vacay:
Crack Wise-dom: We want to start a thing where you can buy a co-worker’s unused vacation days. Let’s say your co-worker, Hal is a complete suck-ass and thinks she’s so valuable that she can’t even fathom the thought of using all of her time off. You swoop in and realize: one—that vacations are necessary for good mental health; And two—Hal's an idiot. No one is valuable. So, you offer Hal $50 for one of her unused vacation days because your Uncle Larry is retiring and he’s traveling to Greece and wants you to join him for a visit. Everybody wins. Especially since Uncle Larry bought a one-way ticket and you never have to see him again. More winning!
Party, schmarty. Anybody can throw a party. But is your party the party? Oh, the pressure!
For us, a party is good food, good friends, lots of laughs, and maybe a themed decoration or two. No dress code. No frills. But, if you ever get a hankering for throwing a pro party, then take these tips from expert Jane Birdwell to heart. She has this company called Tablevogue, so she knows how to set a table and stuff. And—she believes anyone can throw a fab party. Take that, social media!
"Sometimes people aren't willing to entertain at home because Pinterest and other social platforms have raised expectations to such a high level," she adds. "I started Tablevogue because I want people to know anyone can pull off a lovely dinner party when they have a few basic foundational pieces and keep things really simple."
Preach it, Jane!
Feel the spirit of what Jane calls the “Dinner Party Revival” with these tips:
A beautiful table (or a few small ones). A beautiful table is not only the social centerpiece of any gathering—our physical cue to eat, drink, and be merry—it's the visual focal point for the room. Get the table right and everything else is easy.
Crack Wise-dom: Do we have to use a tablecloth, or will a bed sheet work? Multi-purpose rules!
It's fine if you don't have a big fancy house or even a dining room. Many people are ditching the formal dining room in favor of, say, a home office—and plenty of others just choose to live in smaller spaces.
Crack Wise-dom: What if we don’t have plates? Hand sandwiches, everyone!
Some yummy food (homemade or store-bought!). You don't need to spend hours preparing a home-cooked meal to have a great party and create a memorable experience for your guests (unless you just want to!). When you have a beautiful table, you can get away with store-bought food.
Crack Wise-dom: It’s a Ramen throwdown, then!
A group of good friends. Don't give in to the pressure to invite everyone you know to your gathering. Invite only the people you truly want to attend (no inviting people out of guilt or obligation). Whether that means you end up with four guests or fourteen, you're guaranteed to have a great time when you can genuinely enjoy all your guests. Finally, don't invite a full group of strangers; make sure at least a few of your guests have met before.
Crack Wise-dom: Only people we know can sit on our toilet seat. Bottom line.
A great playlist. You can create a fun and festive party atmosphere with some great background music. Feature a playlist of varied musical styles, like jazz, rock, reggae, and folk. If the group is roughly the same age, add some "nostalgia" selections.
Crack Wise-dom: No country. No jazz. No folk. Unless you want violence.
A relaxed atmosphere. It's normal for guests to be nervous when they arrive at your house—especially if they're the first on the scene. Set them at ease by giving them a task—maybe ask them to chop up veggies or even run to the store for an extra bag of ice. You might even ask them to help you do a quick clean-up when dinner is over.
Crack Wise-dom: Awesome. We need someone to get these stains out…
Ever feel gnawing guilt that you’re an un-environmentally-friendly swine? We, neither. But if you ever want to be more down with the environment, you might want to check this out:
The CasusGrill: Instant Biodegradable Grill from The Grommet.
It’s actually pretty amazing. The cardboard frame, bamboo grates, and lava stone lining quickly assemble and heat up in about five minutes and stay hot for an hour. When you’re done creating your masterpiece meal, toss the grill into the campfire or trashcan and sleep good knowing it will naturally decompose.
You’re only throwing away $14.95 per grill.
We like the one-off for camping. But when it comes to the homestead gathering, bring on the Weber.
While we’re on a roll with all things “America’s Birthday”, let’s get out the measuring tape and see who’s bigger… when it comes to patriotism.
WalletHub has determined through blood, sweat and research— 2019’s Most Patriotic States in America.
We love themetrics WalletHub manages to use for all its research. This time around, they took the 50 states and used 13 key indicators, including average number of military enlistees to share of adults who voted in 2016, and more.
New Hampshire is the most patriotic state, followed by Wyoming and Vermont. Who would’ve guessed that?
Here’s a cool stat to relish (like hotdog relish... HA HA HA!): Alaska has the most veterans per 1,000 civilian adults, 127, which is 2.4 times more than in New York, the state with the fewest at 54.
See how shamefully unpatriotic your state might be, here:
Depending on where your state has fallen, you may need to step-up your patriotic game. Do what you must. Change your state’s destiny. Just don’t do anything stupid or illegal. But if you do something that is, indeed, stupid—please get it on video. Please.
Soon, we shall gather ‘round to celebrate the birth of our nation. Some will have an epic picnic with a game of cornhole that will go down in history. Others will spend the day running around in red, white, and blue bathing suits. Some will injure themselves with fireworks.
Perhaps you want to spread your wings and fly off to another part of the country to see how they do the 4th. Well, lookie here. Our buds at WalletHub have just the information you need to make a good party decision.
If you’re gonna road-trip it. Then the Big Apple is the top place to celebrate, followed by L.A. and San Diego. The rankings in their 2019's Best & Worst Places for 4th of July Celebrations were determined based on how well the 100 largest cities in the U.S. balanced holiday cost and fun plus 20 other key metrics.
See how 4th of July awesome your city is:
Here are some other fun facts you can use to dazzle your pals:
150 Million: Number of hot dogs eaten each 4th of July.
$1.6+ Billion: Amount we plan to spend on 4th of July beer and wine.
47+ Million: Number of people who travel 50+ miles from home for the 4th of July.
Happy Birthday, America! You don’t look a day over 100…