Random Encounters – Priorities

Interacting with random Bloomsburg Townees is always an interesting experience. These moments typically occur in a few seconds, but they are definitely worth sharing.

Close your eyes for a moment.


If you listen closely you can hear the air currents swooshing with the flow of traffic. A low of active machinery rests in the background. Pistons firing, while engines madly churn with raw horse power. Your heart jumps at the piercing screech of a sudden stop, at the obnoxious honking of a horn, and the whining scream of a modified muffler. Without looking you can picture the black sedans, red SUVs, and gray mini-vans endlessly streaming through the road.

My apartment overlooks a busy four-way intersection. The scene above describes my current reality. Watching traffic drive by can be incredibly mesmerizing. This day I left my window open to let in the autumn breeze. Down below two women attempting to cross.

Jodi: “Should we go now?”

Vanessa: “No, not yet.”

Few seconds pass.

Jodi: “Okay, what about now?” Continue reading


Stolen Pizza

*Squawk* “Your order is almost ready!” *Squawk*

“Yippie! Did you hear that Barry! The pizza is almost ready!”


Cecelia only orders from Domino’s because they have the annoying online pizza trackers with the sounds. Her favorite order tracker is the tropical theme with the squawking parrot. After breaking up, Cecelia and I decided to stay friends. We made a tradition out of ordering a strange combination of toppings and cheeses on a large pizza from Domino’s. Sure, it’s expensive, but that’s where the emergency credit card Cecelia’s parents left her comes in handy. When your hungry everything is an emergency.

“Cece why do you like that parrot so much? He’s pissing me off.”

“I don’t know haha. Don’t judge me!”

Too late. Wayyy too late.

*Squawk* Your pizza is here! *Squawk*

YES finally!

Cece’s cell rang short after. A brief exchange later she hung up and stared at me. Continue reading

Rough edges

“Mom where are you going?”

13-year-old me felt serious separation anxiety when it came to Mom. Seventh grade sucked and we relocated back to Brooklyn so my sister could start school earlier.

“I’ll be right back. Your Aunt Rein will watch you.”


“MOM! NO! Why Aunt Rein?” I whined loudly in protest.

Mom turned in her office chair to look at me before defensively asking, “What’s wrong with Aunt Rein?”

More like what isn’t wrong with her! She’s mean, she makes fun of me, she yells a lot, she has an attitude, and she scares me.

“I don’t like her! She’s mean!”

Mom paused a moment to think. I knew she agreed with me. I saw it in her conflicted facial movements.

“Patrick don’t be like that. She’s just……. rough around the edges.”


This sugar-coated euphemism throw me into a bigger temper tantrum.

“MOOOOOM! No! Rough around the edges?! She’s rough around the whole perimeter!!!”

Basic geometry at work – Barry

Hot chocolate


A low chitter-chatter of socialization hummed throughout the hallways. The outside windows of the second-floor social lounge showed me a handful of people gathering in excitement. Pretty unusual for a Monday night.

I wonder what’s going on there? Doesn’t matter. Need to do homework.

Curiosity superseded responsibility, so I cautiously entered the social lounge. Packets of facial cleansers, moisturizers, and cucumbers neatly dotted every round table. An orange sampler box of herbal tea filled the window sill.

Karen greeted me immediately, “Hey! Glad you could make it!”

“Hi! What’s going on here?”

“It’s a spa night!”

Oh jeez. I’m in the wrong place.

Karen continued, “Do you want to try a face mask?” Continue reading

Mr. Nice Guy



Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash

Not goldie.

Not platinum-y.

Not stainless steely.

Not Iron Man.


I find it ironic that the people say, “I’m a nice person” are usually not. Oh, not at all. Genuinely nice people never feel the need to self-identify. There’s no official membership card that says, “licensed and certified to practice niceness”.

Story Time

A few days ago, I mentioned possibly selling my desktop and monitor for money. I changed my mind last minute and decided to give the computer to my brother. My brother arrives in the late afternoon to pick up the monitor. Sudden he recalls something urgent and yells, “I gotta buy something! I’ll be right back!”

Okay. Weirdo.

Fifteen minutes stroll by and my brother reappears in my living room. He stands there awkwardly staring at me in silence. At this point I feel something is up.

What do you do?

He must of heard my thought because he suddenly blurted, “I bought a computer monitor.”

*Insert momentary silence*

You did what?!

“Why the f-, WHY? Why would you buy a computer another monitor?!”

His face twirled with guilt, “You said you were going to sell it!”

I shut my eyes to avoid fully erupting.

Shit, I did say that. But that still doesn’t make any fucking sense! Why would I give you a desktop and no monitor!

I mentally repositioned myself after inhaling a deep breath, “Listen, you could have just asked me if I was going to sell the monitor. That was a really stupid of you to just run out and buy one.”

I didn’t want to make my brother feel too bad about his stupid decision so I offered a solution, “Look we can see if we can return this stupid thing tomorrow.”


I google Arcus Bros phone number and wait for an answer.

Arcus Bro: Hello?

Me: Hi, I just had a quick question.

Arcus Bro: Go ahead.

Me: What is your return policy?

Arcus Bro: What’s the problem?

Me: No problem, my brother bought a monitor and didn’t realize we already have on-

Arcus Bro: Listen NO REFUNDS, I’m a pretty nice guy but business is business! *click*

Me: Wait I had another ques, that bastard hung up on me!

Oh yeah totally a nice guy – Barry

Random Encounters – Tricks are for Kids?

Interacting with random Bloomsburg Townees is always an interesting experience. These moments typically occur in a few seconds, but they are definitely worth sharing.

Every year in September the Bloomsburg Fair rolls into town.

Image of the Bloomsburg Fair

Fun times

My mom, brother, two sisters and I stopped by to bask in the fair festivities. The allure of assorted fried foods could by smelt just outside the entrance gates to the fair. My sisters hopped and bounced excitedly as my mom paid for our tickets. The Bloomsburg Fair experience was new for everyone except me. Wiggling thorough the swarms of people gathered at the fairgrounds always raises my anxiety level to ten.

Our group participated in all the fair traditions: Curiously observing the showcase farm animals, riding the many amusement attractions, and reducing our life expectancies with dangerously delicious fried food. If you make it to the fair Bessinger’s Apple Dumplings with Ice Cream is a MUST. After overindulging and overspending I decided to head home.

Well that was fun!

I took Leonard street to walk back to my apartment. I walked two blocks before stumbling upon a trio of young boys were pushing a rack of Bloomsburg t-shirts. The oldest of them looked close to 11.

Look at that! A couple of young business men haha.

Still progressing slowly in their direction, I overheard their business strategy:

Kid 1: “How are we going to sell these shirts?”

Kid 2: “Say we’re raising money for breast cancer.”

Kid 3: “Don’t be stupid. That’ll never work! Say we’re raising money for Nana’s breast cancer.”

Kid 1 and Kid 2: “That’s a great idea!”

Oh. My. God! Did I just?…. Those kids!……. What!

Those little hustlers! I didn’t know whether to be appalled or impressed.

Damn kids! – Barry

How to Lose Friends and Interrupt People: Chapter 3

In the last two chapters in this guide I share fundamental strategies for losing friends. To get the best results apply these principles in everyday life. If uncertain takes a grip of you take a moment and ask the following question, “What would Barry do?” This simple question will help you to become more anti-social with repeated practice.

This section pivots into techniques for infuriating people. A seasoned anti-socialite knows that the best way to lose friends is not to make any. This philosophy is apparent in the following principle: Continue reading

A Barry Fly Scene

After fighting with procrastination, I finally arrive to a decision. I will start writing now. My computer is fired up and a blank page of Microsoft Word is open. Nothing can stop me now.

So, what do we want to write about today? Hmmm…

While brainstorming ideas my eye catches a teeny little fly dancing in the air around me. The impulse to get up and kill the critter is suppressed immediately.

Just ignore him, we still don’t have an idea for today. Continue reading

Questions for the First Secret Society Meeting


As many of you know, I recently became the newest member of a secret society (The Initiation). A few weeks of gone by since I’ve heard anything for them. My paperwork must be in the processing stages. Before becoming a full fledged secret organization member I have some questions for the first meeting:

  • Is there a new member orientation?
  • Do we get training manuals?
  • Are there membership fees?
  • Do we get cool uniforms or just robes?
  • Also, where can I buy a robe?
  • If no robes, can we get matching t-shirts? We could secretly match.
  • How secret is this secret organization? Can I put it on my resume? Can I induct friends? Do I get bonus points for recruiting more people? Wait, why are we secret?
  • Why do tiny sandwiches have toothpicks in them? Can we get rid of the toothpicks? Do people still use toothpicks? Toothpicks are kinda nasty and accidentally prick myself all the time.
  • Okay, last question: Do we get cool nicknames? Can I be “Spicy blue” or something like that?

I’m not picky, but “Spicy blue” is a pretty cool nickname. – Barry

Trash Can Carla

Warm streams of water jetted out the showerhead on my filthy bare body. Purification by water, also known as “showering”, cleansed both skin and soul. Isn’t it strange how simple experiences can feel so enlightening?

This is heaven!

Ten minutes goes by before I force myself out of the purification chamber, also known as a “shower stall”, before grabbing my drying apparatus. I partially dried myself then transformed the towel into makeshift skirt to hide my junk. While leaving the Men’s restroom I formulated my day plans.

Okay, just need to head back to my dorm. Maybe sleep some more, do homework, take a nap, finish up a season of How I Met Your Mother, sleep some more. Yeah, that sounds like a solid Sunday plan.

My shower shoes squeaked loudly as I waddled back to dorm. I was six feet away from my door when- Continue reading

Adventures in Learning: Business 101

*beep* *beep*

“Uggggggh shut up”


“Fine! I’ll wake up!”

A crawled out of bed to swipe shut off my phone alarm. Only fifteen minutes till Intro to Business class starts. I hated that class. Sorry let me rephrase that: I HATED that class. Yes, I was still a business major back then. I loved the content in the course. My professor? Not all that much.

I’m soo tired. Maybe I should skip? Just this once.

No. The professor already dislikes you. Don’t give her more reasons.

*Eye roll* Fine. I’ll be a good student, so annoying.

I waited for my roommate Austin and together we trekked uphill from Elwell to Sutliff hall. I set my things down at my desk and Austin plopped down in the sit behind me. Exhaustion continued to pull on my sleep strings.

You can do this! It’s only 50 minutes.

I clung to this thought and whispered, “I got this. Only 50 minutes.”

Austin somehow overheard, “You said something?”

“Hm, me? Nope.”

It’s only 50 minutes. It’s only 50 minutes.

Professor Star stood front in center to address the class:

“Welcome back students. Today I want you to show two short videos related to the topics of Marketing and Branding that we have been discussing in previous class. After each video discuss what you found important or interesting in groups of three”

Videos? Oh no. Continue reading

Food Spills

Whenever I have the misfortune to arrive upon a food spill my heartbreaks. Today a perfectly good bacon cheeseburger lay splattered on the curbside. A classic hit and run case. Ketchup oozing in an unsightly manner as fly feast on the carcass. The perpetrator failed to dispose of the evidence. That innocent burger laid there abandoned, just warm enough to let the bacon scent joyously dance in my nostrils. Unfortunately, no will enjoy that calorie-busting death wish. No one will sink their teeth into the warm sesame sprinkled bun. No one will revel in that playpen of savory flavors. It is lost to eternity.  Nature will carry away that delicious dream into fast food heaven. Do all hot dogs go to heaven? Do neglected ice cream cones ride the eternal banana boat into Valhalla? Do fallen funnel cakes ascend to the big carnival in the sky? Will justice be served (with pickles)?

One can only hope – Barry

Adventures in Learning: First day of Grad School

Last week marked my first day as a Grad student! The weeks leading up to then were extremely boring. I was itching to get started. My excitement eagerly pushed me to leave an hour early for class.

Okay. It’s five and class starts at six. Better get there early to survey the landscape and pick a good spot.

The entire walk uphill to Sutliff I devised and revised my master seating plan. I arrived at 5:11pm to a room filled with computers. Two girls chatted while I got myself settled down in a desk chair.


Is someone talking to me? Continue reading

“Your girlfriend is crazy!”


*vrrrr* *vrrr* NEW MESSAGE – Cecelia: Hey are you awake?


Me: Hey, I was asleep but I’m awake now. What’s up?

Cecelia: I needed you for something, but nvm! I took care of it 🙂

Me: Alright haha. Proud of you 🙂 See ya tomorrow, goodnight!

Next day mid-afternoon

Welcome to the most boring day in the universe. The weather was exceedingly normal. Not hot and not cold. Nothing interesting on Facebook, Insta, or Snapchat. Students remained strangely quiet on the way to class. What is going on?

I guess today is just one of those days.

I followed the stone walkway that wrapped around and upwards to the Student Service Center instead of the stairs. Still boring. I trudged along at a snail like pace.



From the shadows of my peripheral I saw Sam sprinting in my direction. I think Sam lived on the floor above mine. His eyes reeked of fear.

“Hey Patrick! Your girlfriend is crazy! She tried to kill me!” Continue reading

Facebook’s Secret Weapon


By Barry of NotReal News

Silicon Valley buzzes with speculation this week as Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces a new social media platform: Rantbox. In an interview with tech reporters Zuckerberg said this:

“Well, we were looking at the core demographic of Facebook and how people use this amazing social network. While most people use Facebook to connect we stumbled upon an interesting niche: Facebook Ranters.”


Zuckerberg says observing the growing numbers of Facebook Ranters is what inspired his development team to pursue the Rantbox project.

“There’s this growing need for people to mindlessly spew their opinions online. Our studies surrounding this phenomenon revealed three key findings. First off, we discovered rants on Facebook suck. No one wants to read them and they accomplish nothing. Next, we found that there is a diverse range of Facebook ranters. Categories range from “Expert” Political Scientists, Job Complainers, Not-funny Jokesters, Trolls, Keyboard Warriors, and Computer Screen Activists. Rantbox provides us a great opportunity to move these individuals off of Facebook.”

Rantbox certainly has big ambitions to revolutionize online interactions. Many people remain skeptical of the idea for the new platform. I asked how Zuckerberg handled criticisms around the idea.

“Yeah a lot of people are uncertain about it [Rantbox] right now. Ironically, news about Rantbox spurred several thousand Facebook rants about Rantbox. I see that as confirmation that we need this now more ever.”

Rantbox is set to release in 2117 – Barry