Mix & Match Monday: Maybe This Will Catch On?

Introducing “Mix & Match Monday”: random observations and a look ahead at the week coming up because you never know what’s gonna blindside us these days.

Well, it is the week before Memorial Day weekend. When I was a kid, the upcoming weekend was the signal that school was going to be winding down within the next week or two and summer was right around the corner.

I am now on the cusp of turning 32 and have a job where I’ve worked major holidays the past several years, so Memorial Day weekend is more about remembering those who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. military and less about me looking forward to three months of doing nothing.

Two years ago, with some luck, I got Memorial Day off and took in a day-night doubleheader as my Pittsburgh Pirates were in Cincinnati to face the Reds. Several hours in the sun and several beers later, I was burnt to a crisp. To this day, I always take sunscreen with me if there’s a chance I’ll be out in the hot sun for a while.

Here’s your Mix & Match Monday: Week of May 24th Edition

Ever since the C.D.C. made recommendations that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in some cases while indoors, I, someone who has been fully vaccinated for weeks now, began to explore what it would be like in Ohio.

Kroger this past Thursday started allowing customers to go maskless if fully vaccinated. I took my mask in with me, strapped around my wrist, and did a quick 5 to 10 minute shopping trip without it on. After months of wearing one in that particular Kroger, it almost felt like I was naked. Some went without a mask, others kept them on.

I had a mixed reaction since you have no way to know if someone without a mask has had two or more weeks since their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The C.D.C. essentially made it an honor system and how the hell do you assure someone in the produce aisle that you’re fully-vaxxed and reaping the award of trusting science?

In the end, I put my insecurity out of mind, got my stuff, did self checkout, filled my reusable bags and left. Maybe me helping to reduce the use of plastic bags shows I’m fully vaccinated?

Smaller, indoor places like convenience stores, coffee shops and restaurants, I still wear one for now. Ohio’s mask mandate goes away for everyone on June 2, so we’ll see what happens.

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-Since I’m fully vaccinated, I have five chances to win $1 million in Ohio’s Vax-A-Million lottery. The giveaway is a way to see how greed can make a vaccine skeptic get inoculated with safe, life-saving vaccine other countries are begging to get while we sit on a surplus because you read garbage conspiracy theories. The “Bill Gates wants to inject micro chips in all of us to track us” conspiracy is the gold-standard. Too bad the smartphone you carry in your pocket already does that, idiot!

Anyway, I got the Pfizer vaccine just because I wanted to see my family for the first time in 14 months, but if my name is one of the five drawn, I’ll take the $1 million without thinking twice.

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-I‘ve watched more soccer the last two weeks than I have in the past year or two. Mainly, The F.A. Cup, English Premier League and Major League Soccer.

Liverpool’s turbulent season ends with a 3rd place finish and stay in the Champions League for next season, Leicester City choked and Chelsea F.C. owes a favor to rival Tottenham Hot Spurs for beating the Wolves after Chelsea fell to Aston Villa on Sunday. Chelsea takes on E.P.L. champion Manchester City this upcoming weekend for the Champions League title. I’ll be watching, hoping to see American Christian Pulisic come off the bench for Chelsea and get the winning goal, giving me confidence that he can give the U.S. Men’s National Team a pulse for the future.

Also, if F.C. Cincinnati just played C.F. Montreal each week, they could finish the season near or at .500.

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The season finale of Saturday Night Live was well done.

The cold open reflecting on what it was like to do live television during the COVID-19 pandemic was both hilarious and a little emotional. I remember watching the “SNL at Home” shows to conclude the previous season and then a return to doing the show in its regular format in the fall of 2020 was interesting to watch.

Weekend Update saw Colin Jost and Michael Che swap jokes again, a tradition between the co-head writers.

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-The Pittsburgh Pirates just put a lot of pressure on the Penguins to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this summer after the Pirates were outscored 37-9 by the Atlanta Braves, losing three of four this past weekend. Has anyone changed the Pirates Wikipedia page to Ronald Acuna Jr. yet?

After watching the Penguins help the Islanders score three of their four goal in Game 4 Saturday afternoon, I hope Pittsburgh remembers to help out their goalie and which net to shoot on going forward.

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-The Washington Capitals were bounced by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Boston won the series 4-1. Whether you’re a Penguins fan or Islanders fan, you probably preferred facing Washington in round two.

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-With Memorial Day weekend coming up, I’m reminded that I used to eat Tootsie Rolls that were thrown from fire engines during a parade in my grandparent’s town. If it wasn’t for that, what would the point of going to the parade be for a chubby kid?

Enjoy the upcoming three-day weekend, stay hydrated, put on the sunscreen and if I become a millionaire Wednesday, have a good life.

Just kidding. I’ll still post junk.

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