ImageEither I really have my shit together, or I have the pleasure of witnessing people who have just ventured into public for the first time…everywhere I go.

I’ve written a lot here about my displeasures with the United States Postal Service, and this rant will be no different. I’m just going to cut straight to the chase. Today I had to make a stop at the Post Office to mail something to a friend, this is my story.

This trip begins much the same as any other. A 15-deep line full of old people who have nothing else to do at 5:45 PM on a Tuesday, with a slight smattering of deer-in-a-headlight looking people who look like they just realized they were in a post office and forgot why they were there. I stroll in, grab myself a box, fold it, toss the contents inside said box, seal, address, line, boom.

My ears immediately tune-in to the second teller, a tall, reluctantly-aging, bearded hipster who settled into being a postal worker because his mom said working for the government is the easiest way to earn a guaranteed paycheck and not work on having an actual career or skills of his own. He asks the woman at his window if she “would like any stamps this evening”, to which she replies “I don’t know”. She didn’t know. She seriously didn’t fucking know if she needed stamps. She probably thought she was ordering Taco Bell for all I know. He chides back “well ma’am, if you don’t know, then you probably don’t need any stamps”. This guy was on his game. 

While this is going on, I also key-in to the couple at the third window. The gentleman customer looks like an overly-enthusiastic middle school gym teacher accompanied by his leather-skinned wife with a New Jersey accent and Fran Drescher laugh. I’m instantly transported to my own personal version of hell on Earth. I look at my watch, 3 minutes have passed. 1 customer has been served (literally and figuratively). 

I watch in agony as each customer is served painfully slower than the last. The gym-teacher and his wife are still at the same window after 10 minutes now. Their postal servant carefully places each of their 3 boxes on the scale, and every time he or the customer has something to say, he quite literally drops everything he is doing to politely and thoughtfully address each inane fucking thing each of them banter back and forth about. 

15 minutes pass. I’m finally 4th in line! My stress level begins to rise, I incessantly check my phone as if to briefly transport myself away from the stupidity flooding the room around me. I fart, and it begins to fill the air, like the way the smell of a fart builds under a bed sheet (I’m not that great at metaphors). I calmly stare at inanimate objects around the post office, as if I am formulating a really important plan, while my methane gas dissipates. As soon as I think I had gotten away with it, I suddenly realize I am in line with about a dozen of people who list ‘prunes’ as their favorite food and my nostril is invaded by a smell that I can only describe as rotting flesh and dog breath combined. I learned my lesson not to get into a farting war with octogenarians who have nothing else to do all day.

25 minutes pass, I am next in line. The gym teacher and his wife are stillllllll at the third window, somehow. It truly is one of life’s greatest mysteries as to how it takes some people so long to do the simplest tasks. I have very rarely gone anywhere and not known for what purpose I was there. I very much dislike being in situations where I am unsure, perhaps its the perfectionist in me that doesn’t like to feel like I don’t know what is going on, a character trait that apparently 5% of humans actually possess. I digress.

I finally receive my turn in line. I place my parcel on the scale, I say the package is all set, i pay my $5.80, receive my change, thank the portly, miserable teller, and I’m on my way. IN LESS THAN 30 FUCKING SECONDS. Seriously, what the fucking fuck. Why is it.. no HOW is it that everything takes so long for other people to do that takes me less than 30 seconds?? I even cracked a little joke while I was having my turn in line, and guess what? I didn’t waste anyone’s time. And guess who was still at the third window? Captain kickball and his parrothead wife. How? Why? What is actually wrong with you?

I wish life had an EZ-Pass lane where I can just breeze by everyone else who is having a hard time negotiating life’s little things; like checking out of a grocery store, using an ATM, ordering a drink, or simply getting a cup of coffee. Life really doesn’t need to be so difficult. 

To the 5% of you that have your shit together, keep it up, we are out there! We shall inherit the Earth!

This is the true story of what happens when someone tries to out-crazy me on eBay

This god damn wok

Oh Herro! Our little tale begins in early December, when I decided to sell an abundance of cheap Chinese appliances that my mom had been hoarding around her house like they were a bunch of priceless antiquities. You know, real useful stuff that every millionaire housewife probably needs.. like s’mores makers, Bluetooth headsets, 5-speed can openers, brownie makers, and this damn electric wok (pictured). 

As you can probably see, its pretty straight-forward, judging from the picture. The manual clearly states it is an “Electric Wok Set” (which I can only assume is also the brand name), its housed in a pretty unimpressive looking Styrofoam container with all the additional inclusions tucked neatly inside this little wok, accompanied by an equally-unimpressive-looking, plain white box, which sort of resembles a pizza box from a really shitty pizza place. 

Considering this wok had no discernible name brand, and I had no frame of reference as to how I was going to price this fucking thing, I decide to just throw it up on eBay for $12.99. Quite the steal for such a fine piece of culinary wonderment. Much to my surprise, eBay buyer: witchyldy218, purchased said wok within a few days of listing. I should have known from the username that she was going to be a huge problem, but honestly, I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. I even left her my usual lame witty feedback to seal the deal, which unfortunately I can no longer change into negative feedback, with malice intended.

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I have been a solid member of the eBay community since 2001 with a near-perfect track record, and even though I may dick around with the occasional customer, I try my best to accurately and honestly represent my items. When a customer is dissatisfied with me, I do what I can to reasonably accommodate them, unless I feel that they are trying to pull a fast one on me. Unfortunately for bitchyldy218, she seemed to have a problem with the ‘box’ the item was shipped in. For full disclosure purposes, and as you’ll see below, I admit that I removed the wok from its original shitty box, so it would fit in the shipping box I had on-hand. However, bitchyldy was having NONE OF THIS.

I’ll also admit, that I get a bit embarrassed when a claim is opened up against me. It gives me a sense of anxiety and uneasiness, because I frankly do not like when people are upset with me, so naturally I may get a bit defensive. This is the stinging allegation that was forwarded to eBay from bitchldy, and my rebuttal:

ImageImage As you can see, I may have taken a bit of a defensive tone, however, I tried to reasonably accommodate the mix up, because in all honesty, it was “my bad”. However, this irritated bitchyldy even further:

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That’s it, now the gloves are coming off. I tried being reasonable, but now I’m just downright pissed off. I decide to turn the tables on her, being as she is going to accuse me of such masochist behavior like I’m some kind of animal. At this point, I don’t even fucking care if I get banned from eBay, but I refuse to give bitchldy a box or a free wok, so here goes:

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I guess this shut her up because I did not hear back from her from this point on:

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So to anyone on eBay that wants to try to scam me into giving them free shit, think twice. I will be having none of it. And if you can’t hang with trolls like me, then get the fuck off the Internet. 

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Left, A typical Pittsburgh Male. Dressed for all occasions.

Left, A typical Pittsburgh Male. Dressed for all occasions.

Hey again! After a long hiatus, I’m back. Let’s see how this goes..

So, you woke up this morning, you reek of day-old Axe body spray, there’s a half eaten bagel bite face-down on the sheets, but you had a fucking awesome time with your bro’s last night, so that’s all that matters anyway…right?!

You turn on the news and see its going to be an unseasonably warm December day. Wow, what a treat! I mean, days like this only come like, 5 months out of the year. But hey, summer is over, and you haven’t quite gotten around to putting those cargo shorts away for the long winter. You knew this day would come, you just fucking knew it would.

That day where you could say “fuck it” to the world. Throw your middle finger at every rational thinking human being who dressed appropriate today, because after all, summers still aren’t 40 degrees in the early-morning/late-evening hours. But hey, you make the rules, and who gives a shit about rules.

Yes, that’s right. Spray another layer of Axe, pull out those wrinkly khaki cargo shorts that you haven’t worn since that “sick” Skrillex concert, spray some wrinkle-reducer on your finest plaid and/or Polo shirt, throw on a respectable backwards cap of some school that you’ve probably never even set foot on, and you are ready to make some females tremble in their pants from excitement! Nothing says “I’m dressed for any occasion”, quite like you.

While I’m not the most fashionable male out there, I do recognize the absurdity of bro-fashion. You can spot them a mile away in the summer, and in the right conditions, from 10 miles away in the winter. Nothing screams “douche” more than cargo shorts and a plaid/Polo shirt (not even people who imitate/idolize the Jersey Shore characters), but especially in the fucking winter.

This type of fashion can only be described as the “Pittsburgh Male Syndrome”. I coined this term after several years of intense research while traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or I as presume, “The Bro Capital of the US”. Every knuckle-dragging, Miller Lite guzzling, mouthbreating, Big Ben supporting “Yinzer” follows this universal code for fashion: Cargo + Plaid (or Polo) = Sex(?) I’m still trying to figure out the solution, hence the question mark. Is it simply lazy fashion, or have people devolved into some kind of disgusting light beer swigging race of useless breeders hellbent on reproducing an entire race of jackass primates and Steelers fans? I hope not..

In conclusion, I know it is hard to resist the urge to dust off the cargo’s during an Indian Summer, but just don’t do it. Go back to wearing visors or backwards pants some other god-awful mindless trend. Not even Leonardo DiCaprio can make that style look good. So do us all a favor and just fucking dress warm in December, you douchers. Otherwise, people will think you’re from Pittsburgh or something..

Its an awful look, just stop it.

Its an awful look, just stop it.

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Myself in cargo shorts circa 2007.

Cargo shorts are leaving us. Actually, they’re done. There have been many fads for the generation that is now in their twenties, but none lasted as long as the cargo short. Others sprouted up but faded away much quicker. The mid to late 90’s brought the baggy jeans era, from 2000 to about 2005 was the era where all of us sported the brand of our clothing directly on our shirts as if it were a statement (Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister). Baggy Jeans came and went quickly in the late 1990s but left in its wake a trail of loosely fitted pants for years to come. Thankfully, hipsters have helped shift the pant fitting paradigm towards the tighter side, placing us in a time where pants fit appropriately. If you threw out all dignity and embraced the market of ripped jeans, then I have no respect for you. Ripped jeans are a balmy abomination of taste, and not so much a trend as a national regret on par with Saved By The Bell: The New Class. No trend will make us cringe more in 15 years than purposely ripped jeans. Things like skinny jeans, flannel, and polo shirts will go out of style again but then come back into style and our kids will be fawning over how cool we looked back then. But ripped jeans can never stay cool and will never stay cool, no matter what. It may again be cool again sometime in the future to wear brand names on shirts, even if ironically so, like what we see in hipsters. By the way, if you wanted to make a nice argument at a party, you could argue that wearing brands on casual apparel is a true sign of the extremes of consumer culture. We bought shirts with the brand name prominently displayed on it (think Idiocracy), then wore it, and then we were convinced it was cool! That’s Clockwork Orange manipulation.

Throughout it all, cargo shorts have remained constant. Always the standard bearer of laid back, the Cassius Clay of casual, these pocketed clothing chameleons successfully bridged your adolescent life and your adult life.  Since about the year 2000 cargo shorts have maintained some sort of stylistic relevance.  Shia Laboeuf’s entire acting career has been within the millennial Cargo short era. Look at a picture of yourself circa 2002 and you’ll find you or one of your squad dressed in a pair of these over-pocketed parachutes. They were perfect, weight neutral and with the ability to carry so many things, and let us not forget, stylish at the same time. All types of people wore them: preps, athletes, gothic, metal underworld, oversexed nerds, undersexed nerds, dudes/ladies without a crowd, lesbians and even those simply unwilling to part with the traditional short-alternative, the jean short. The cargo short, made out of khaki material, could confidently be embraced by jean-short-wearing skeptics. The haters were silenced when test after test showed that the cargo short waistline was substantial enough to support a clip-on walkman. But it’s over now, and if you are saying it isn’t, then get yourself out of the Pac Sun outlet you are currently in.

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Tim in cargo shorts circa 2011

Cargos were the ultimate beer/beverage transporter for Gen Y. While other generations before us had a very lax police presence that yielded their reckless behavior, for us the cargo short was our way of circumventing a domineering police state bent on ruining all types of poor decisions that are crucial to any child’s upbringing. Because our parents fucked it up for us by laughing at the very unfunny (yea, I said it) Cheech and Chong and getting high and naked and then covering themselves in mud at a concert and then romanticizing it later, our generation had to suffer the consequences. Whether it’s our parents’ fault or not, we still had to deal with the repercussions and guess what? We handled it the best. The greatest generation of World War II would have just lamented the situation and wrote to “a girl back home,” which, by the way, is uncomfortably someone’s current grandma. The Vietnam Era would have just burned their driver’s license and told us to fuck off. While those who were teenagers in the 80s were too busy writing the nerd-gets-the-girl plotline that has infected every movie since 1995.  But we, Generation Y, having no other way to have fun because our Mom is drinking a Paxil, Rum and Coke in the next room and screaming about Ryan Seacrest, had to improvise in the only way we knew how: we wore our condition.

The success of embarking in any form of substance between the ages of 15 and 19 is really all about utility. How can I make the most out of this situation? I need to get booze into my system but it’s illegal for me to purchase. Also, let’s say you do acquire booze? Most decent parents do not approve of you drinking around them. Therefore, you must do it in the cover of basements, wooded areas, bushes, or bleachers. This all requires a bit of ingenuity and cunning, both characteristics which are aided by a decent sense of utility for all the things around them. This is where the cargo short really shined, it had incalculable value in terms of transporting and hiding substances. It was genuinely a short meant to carry cargo. There was nothing better than just feeling the coolness of a beer pressed up against your leg while it sits in your lower side pocket of your shorts. Picture yourself 7 years younger than you are now.  You are either at a high school sporting event or a less-eventful basement party somewhere. Someone in your crew is staggering around with these Samsonites as legs, and their packed with beers. If you had a good cargo short, the lower side pocket not only held 2 upright unopened beers but opened ones as well without spilling. When you reach 21, there is no reason to hide beers on your person, and now that you’ve grown up, you’ve discovered the coming-of-age joy of preparing a perfectly packed cooler, so the cargo shorts are moot.

The cargo short was diverse. People wear them with a button-up shirt, and for those harder, just a beater. For the smelly kid at gym class, it was an acceptable gym class short. However, this was based on the technicality that it was closely related to the jean short, which was given way too much leeway in the athletic wear department. By the transitive property the cargo short was viewed as an athletic short, but much to this commentators chagrin. It should be stated that the only criteria for the kid who never brought his gym clothes was not that he was poor or lazy, but that he was smelly. Think about it.

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The cargo short was the perfect blend of utility and style, grace and performance if you will. Clothing can be ruined by too much utility and not enough style (the zip-off pant leg, transition lenses), or killed by style and not enough utility (the baggy pant, unseasonable scarves). The cargo short, however, seemed to play both roles well. So it was a sad day for me when I realized that I had to give up the cargo short. I reached into my closet while preparing for a beach trip and grabbed a wrinkly portal the past that I hadn’t worn in a while, with that vague military color that goes with anything, and I just knew it was over. I just knew it.

I think it’s that we’ve grown up. We no longer require large pockets. We need less cargo, although ironically life was a bit simpler when we needed more. Makes you think. But now cell phones aren’t large, no more thick charcoal bricks of flip phones and Trac phones.  The tri-fold wallet has gone the way of the dodo while the clip has ably stepped in.  We carry less, while also carrying more. Think again.

My options for iced coffee on my morning drive to work are pretty limited, given the inherent ghettoness of the hour long drive I must endure each morning. Apparently small locally-owned coffee shops don’t fare as well in destitute neighborhoods, which leaves room for the corporate powerhouse chains to swoop in and corner the coffee market in these areas. I guess the main bullet point of this paragraph is that Dunkin Donuts is really my only option for iced coffee in the morning. Moving on.

Dunkin Donuts has been getting pretty crayzy (purposeful misspelling) recently with the additions of mocha-flavored iced coffee in combination with the likes of almonds and caramel. I must admit, they are decent. Today as I drive-by I notice a sign for “Oreo Iced Coffee”. Naturally, I’m intrigued, mainly because the advertisement shows an apparently delicious-looking beverage with magical flying Oreo cookies surrounding it. Just the mere thought of flying cookies has me sold on the endless possibilities of this product.

Let me be the first to tell you, fuck this coffee. Here is an illustration to introduce you to this debauchery:

First of all, when considering this drink, I figured it would taste more-or-less like a cookies-n-cream iced coffee, if such a thing exists. That was my first mistake. The second mistake was actually trusting Dunkin Donuts to not fuck up a perfectly good idea for an iced coffee. I take my first sip, it tastes like a regular black iced coffee. I stir and shake it up a little bit, and MUCH to my surprise, my mouth is inundated with slimy chunks of Oreo cookie.. not the creamy center parts either, the nasty chunky chocolate bits. My mouth is in a serious state of “what the fuck was that” at this point. I should have noticed the chunks from the original advertisement, but to my credit, they did appear to be evenly dispersed in this milieu, not all completely settled to the bottom like someone licked off all of the cream, crushed the cookies, threw them in the bottom of a cup and poured coffee over it (wait, that’s really what it is).

So to recap: Iced Oreo Coffee from Dunkin Donuts

A) Entire Oreo cookies will not magically appear and float around you.

B) It does not appear nor taste as delicious as it looks in the advertisement.

C) It sucks, don’t waste your money.

On a side note.. Do people not drink black coffee? You know, minus the whole cream & sugar thing. I feel like every time I respectfully decline the option for cream and sugar, the servers get so offended or look at me like I’m from France or something. I don’t get it. Its bad for you and, at least to me, offers nothing but wasted space that could have been filled by coffee. Maybe I’m weird.

Anyway.. more to follow, I’m sure.

Barry in Space

It took me quite a bit of time to come up with a title to this article. Mainly because I’m still not 100% sure what to make of this. Are some celebrities time travelers? Are they just ‘undead’ (I won’t call them vampires outright, because vampires are totally stupid) or were they part of some top-secret jumpers program like Obama supposedly was in his youth? You may have to research that last one on your own, because I can talk ad-nauseum about this (and I want to stay somewhat on topic). Or could this be something completely different altogether? Perhaps our current timelines are converging with those of an alternate, or MANY alternate universes and seeing Nic Cage as a Civil War-era chap is just the repercussions of this merging. With 2012 reaching its midpoint, our solar system hurling through a region of highly-magnetized ‘fluff’ that stretches several thousand light years through our galaxy, our Earth being blanketed with nuclear fallout from Fukushima and our material world completely shitting the bed.. I kind of wouldn’t mind going back to the past and fucking with some timelines as well. I think I’ve been watching too much Twilight Zone and Dr. Who. I didn’t really have a point to this introductory paragraph, so I’m just going to move on to the evidence.

Nicolas Kim Coppola, AKA Nic Cage

For full disclosure purposes, I am a huge Nic Cage fan. Despite having some of the most atrocious hairstyles in his movies, he almost always plays a solid role. I say almost because if you’ve ever seen The Wicker Man, you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, Nic has played a lot of extremely smart or ahead-of-their-time-type characters (National Treasure, Knowing, Con Air..kidding) and I never really made the connection til I saw Civil War Nic Cage. The reason he knows it all, is because he’s sort of ‘been there/done that’. So maybe he really did find a National Treasure and was part of a massive psy-op/cover-up to make people think its all fiction, but really, its based on a true story. It also doesn’t hurt that he NEVER seems to age either.

Keanu Charles Reeves, AKA Keanu Reeves

Thousands of years ago in the future, there was a man named Keanu Reeves. One of the more entertaining examples, as it appears Keanu may be more than just a time traveler, but perhaps the MASTER of time travel. This is also entirely believable since he never appears to age and has seemingly regressed to his old 1530s pirate look as of late. The 1875 version was coincidentally (or not) a French actor named Paul Mounet who was also noted for his emotionless, deadpan acting style. Interestingly enough, he also died under mysterious circumstances in which no body was ever recovered, allegedly. Maybe The Matrix isn’t as far from reality as I may have thought originally.

John Joseph Travolta, AKA John Travolta

This one actually creeps me out a little bit. Not the time travel thing, but more-or-less the creepy “I’m going to grab your cock and then tell you about how the Jews run Hollywood” kind of look he’s giving in both pictures. I don’t think Travolta is of the undead-variety like Nic Cage, mainly because he seems to be aging really poorly. But maybe that’s just to throw everyone off the proverbial trail. There really is no explanation for either of these pictures. Maybe they were time assassins sent to stop John Wilkes Booth from assassinating Lincoln, or maybe JT was just a male prostitute. Who really knows. While these two are interesting examples, the next one really blows my mind.

Thomas Jacob “Jack” Black, AKA Jack Black, AKA Paul Revere

This is perhaps the most uncanny reference of them all. Paul Revere, the man who supposedly warned of an upcoming British invasion during the Revolutionary War, or if you are Sarah Palin you probably believe something entirely different. Frankly, I don’t really care. Judging on Jack Black’s persona, this is also probably the most believable example as well.

John Burke Krasinski, AKA “Jim Halpert” 

Most commonly known as “Jim” from the office, bears an uncanny resemblance to human rights activist Carl Adolph Feilberg from an 1835 portrait painting by Christen Kobke.

Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, AKA Sylvester Stallone, AKA Sly Stallone

The most recent time travel reference to make the rounds. Sly appears to appear in this 16th Century painting by Raphael, peering stoic-ly at Pope Gregory IX. This is part of a larger painting which is housed at the Vatican. While some may argue that Sly has rather common Italian features and that this is just some kind of coincidence, I beg to differ. When viewing the painting as a whole, several other celebrities ‘appear’ around Pope Gregory IX. So what was so special about this? And was Raphael trying to tell us something, much like Da Vinci, but trying to warn us to avoid shitty movies in the future?

 I would have thought the Stallone reference was just a coincidence, however, it appears that this is more of a group photo than anything. From left to right: Sylvester Stallone, Christopher Walken, Napoleon Bonaparte (?), Anthony Hopkins (Pope), Steve Buscemi, Joe Pesci, Louis CK (or Vincent Van Gogh), Liam Neeson and an older Gerard Butler (kneeling).

Perhaps these are just random occurrences. After all, there have been billions of people/humanoids on this planet throughout history, so there a bound to be similar faces as well. I am sure there are others, as there are certainly a few suspicious celebrities who never seem to age, such as Will Smith. And when you consider the types of movies people like Smith make, you can totally relate it. Anyway, as our timelines seemingly continue to converge to a point, maybe we will see more of these occurrences, which I will be sure to document. I will close with one final comparison, although I am not convinced as much as I am with the evidence above. It is of Michael Jackson. We saw MJ grow up into a beautiful woman, but all jokes aside, he was very much ‘aware’ in terms of conspiracies and the occult and I believe he also ‘died’ very mysteriously. So maybe we will see him again in the future!