There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Commutable Diseases

Every morning and afternoon I step on the train I risk becoming an excessively grumpy customer as I am confronted by the excessive rudeness of a large number of humans. Like the guy this morning who really needed his personal space to very slowly read the top stories in his reader on his iPhone. Yes, I'm belittling his reading pace. He also seemed grumbly about my being as close as I was. Well, see my friend, in the morning at standard commuting hours (let's call them 7:30-9:30am) you run the risk of public transit being crowded. Hey, I don't love it, hence much of my griping in this here blog, but it would be better if people stuck to certain rules of politeness.

Someone is exiting the train, and you are blocking the doorway. You step off the train and get back on. I know it's a mad rush, and others are trying to storm on from the new stop, but you'll get back on. And then you want to keep that space right where you were, except that the new folks need to get in there, and that requires getting around you. Simple concept, but complicated enough it would seem that walking and train riding could become Olympic events.

Anyway, since I've written probably those exact paragraphs above probably a half-dozen times in here, let's talk about Taylor Swift and have me point out that we should stop talking about Taylor Swift, the old Catch-22. Try as I might to avoid her though, I'm sure to see her peddling goods at Walgreen's, further proof that for however much I understand marketing, I'll never approve — unlike Ms. Swift, who I guess approves all sorts of Walgreen's goodies.

But hey, she's got a formula, it works. I did find it amusing when my girlfriend and I saw her on the cover of one of those big time magazines at the grocery checkout and there was a headline about her dating a Kennedy, which she's already no longer doing. It's sad that a) I know any of this and b) this magazine's December issue was prepared apparently so far in advance that this story that must have been written ages ago would just now be seeing the light of day.

As for the light of day, there are all kinds of nice lights these days, as it is holiday season. I can be a bit of a Christmas grumpus, but the lights look damn nice, and I think they warm the soul through the otherwise bleak winter (which technically doesn't even start for 3 weeks). Some pleasantness must be there in the hibernatory months. What's that, hibernatory not a word? Oh well, if I just keep typing hibernatory, perhaps some bloke'll toss it into the dictionary. Maybe I can be the top hit when people search "hibernatory."

See you in December.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


As in where has it gone. Blah blah blah, perception of the passage of time, but really, this month has come and gone in a hurry, which only means 2012 is damn near coming to a close and —if you believe some prognosticators — the whole world with it.

When I consider my little self-appointed quota of monthly postings, I know I'm not alone in setting arbitrary volumes of content for which there is little in the way of quality payoff. This oatmeal comic sums up the freelancers conundrum/my own struggles with content production damn well.

Speaking of oatmeal, now that the weather's turned chilly (although it was quite warm today), it means I'm getting down with the warm breakfast cereal Wilford Brimley was spokesperson for when he wasn't talking about Diabeetus.

I was crossing through a crosswalk today and a lady in a Range Rover very nearly just kept on going through the space my body was considering occupying. I gave her a long stare, and once she felt my gaze, she displayed shock and mouthed "sorry." And that's all it takes for me to no longer be frustrated with someone nearly running me down. We all make mistakes and have lapses in attentiveness. If we're lucky, nothing really bad results, but either way we just have to remember to be accountable.

That preachy paragraph aside, belated joyous Thanksgiving times bestowed upon all thee.

That's enough out of me for now, this turkey's cooked.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ma[i]licious Intent

For some reason when I choose to ship packages, I opt for the US Postal service. I'm not exactly sure why since I can ship for essentially the same cost at FedEx and UPS, and the dudes at the UPS store by me, in particular, are awesome. And of the three FedEx locations I've been to in my time in the city of wind, every employee has been a delight.

In general the USPS gets low reviews, but this location really takes it to a new level. It may even trump my local branch. I should know better by now, but even after being forced to buy an entire roll of tape just to use the tiniest amount (I get that they can't just give away packing tape completely free or some might taken advantage — which is why I asked if I could pay for just a small amount; this might even boost their revenues and would certainly reduce frustrations), I went right on rolling through with the rest of my transaction as the woman I dealt with treated me as if people generally did not ship packages from the post office. I should have taken her hint. Three weeks after my last attempt, I'd had my package returned to sender and they told me I'd have to wait in a long line to send again and pay, again, for shipping. If it can go all the way to its intended location and back to me for one fee, it seems that it can go back out for no additional cost. Still, at least my life frustrations are this simple.

For me, along with realizing I shouldn't use the post office for these types of things, it's about trying to get at just what it is that makes everyone who works there so ornery. I don't think it's a chicken or egg scenario. Are people annoyed to wait in long lines at the post office? Surely. But the fact that virtually everyone working there is rude, and treats all standard requests as if they are extremely unusual and unique special cases, blows my mind. Perhaps they are trying to discourage anyone from going there so they can just sit around. I don't really know what it is. Perhaps the next time I can just ask why they are so rude and ornery. Even when I hate waiting in line, I'm always calm and polite when I get there. Hell, once you arrive they'll generally tell you you're missing some integral information or form necessary to complete your transaction and they'll usually push your right back to the back of the line. It's not even simply my personal experience, it's observing all of the other transactions ahead of me.

The post office doesn't have to be Hell, but I can't see this trend being anything but perpetuated. Shitty experience and shitty delivery? Seems to be an unfortunate package deal.

As is generally the case when I write any of this stuff out, the moment the post is finished it drives home how little it matters. Boy I hope I find something interesting to blog about next time.

Stay fresh.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chan[n]el No. 5

A little bit of
Brad Pitt
on a sign, a little bit of
at one time, a giant effing bus ad's what we need. Want to buy some Chanel? Plant the seed.

I'd pass the Knightley face above, daily (not Daley, I get off before that) on my walk from the train, and then on my walk to the train, and perhaps on my walk to and from seeking out some lunch. Recently she was replaced by old Brad up there, whose quizzical, far-off look can likely be accounted for by his confusion that a giant perfume bottle is super-imposed in front of him. "Do dudes even wear this?" Brad Pitt doesn't care. Hollywood, a couple of roles in some nutter films (Seven, 12 Monkeys), Gwyneth's head in a box only to discover you're still dating in real life, and then a female Jon Voight eventually on the scene, with a gaggle of children, adoptive and biological. Life's different for you, wear what you like.

In simply googling those images, there was a swath of articles (really, I chose swath?) describing these ads. People are confused they say, but it's attracting attention. It certainly is. It's just crazy enough to work. My fragrance use won't go beyond whatever scent my Old Spice deodorant happens to be, but this may very well chan[n]el in some new sales.

Welcome to November folks. Seven weeks left in the world.*

*some say
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.