By request

…the stripey-sleeve shirt I referred to yesterday. I hate the stripes. Hate them. Am I overreacting?

The Winston Box: #review

I don’t usually do disclaimers, but let’s put this front and center: This isn’t any kind of sponsorship/influencer thing. They aren’t paying me, and I bought my clothes like everybody else.

A couple of weeks ago I became aware of The Winston Box. You’ve probably heard of similar services; this is one of those subscription box thingies where every so often at an interval of your choosing they send you what is effectively a blind box with some clothes that they picked out for you. You specify a few options regarding color and style choices and then you’re basically rolling dice. The hook with these guys is that they specialize in big and tall sizes. As someone who has sized himself out of entire stores– more of them than I care to admit, frankly– this was attractive. There’s a Fat Man Store out by the mall where I buy clothes from periodically, and they’ve got nice stuff but they’re expensive as hell— think $25 for a plain T-shirt, $75 for a sweater level– and the idea of a $75 box that would include two or three items that were likely to fit me seemed like it might be worth a shot.

Plus, and I cannot emphasize this enough, coronavirus. I’m pretty sure I just got involved in this because of my seething need for novelty and entertainment. So, fuck it, here’s $75; send me some shit.

This is why I was so mad at FedEx yesterday, by the way.

So that’s my box. It looked a little on the small side at first, until I thought about just how little space clothing takes up when it’s vacuum-packed. As it turned out, there was plenty in there. But hell, let’s open this thing!

Okay, I admit it: a lavender winter hat as the first item out of the box did not excite me, both because we had damn well better be well out of winter hat weather until next November and … yeah, lavender hats aren’t really my thing? But this was my first box, and they let me know there would be some extra stuff in the first box. So okay, Becky can wear the branded winter hat. I mean, it felt soft and warm, and all that. I’m sure it’s a fine hat.

I figured out pretty quickly that taking pictures of stuff in the bags wasn’t very interesting, so everything else is unpacked, in the order it was in the box:

ITEM THE FIRST! This t-shirt, featuring a vaguely phallic, vaguely Mesoamerican dude. I mean, I wear t-shirts. Like, all the time. I’m not over the moon about this one but I’ll wear it.

Now, this item, on the other hand:

homer drool dot gif, y’all. I will wear this. I will wear this a lot. It fits great and it’s super comfortable and it’s absolutely something I would have picked out for myself. I’m actually kind of mad that we’re moving out of hoodie weather for the year right now, but I expect to live in this thing for the rest of the weekend. Thumbs up A+ will wear. Honestly, this all by itself convinced me to stick around for the next box, because this would have been $100 at the fat man store, easy.

And then there’s Item Four:


At first glance, this was a huge no. One, I don’t wear sweatpants. I have one pair of what I think of as Comfy Pants(*) that I sleep in when it’s really cold, but I don’t even wear sweats around the house. Two, and it took my wife pointing this out for me to realize it, but I have very different rules for colors in shirts than I do for pants. I have at least two shirts very similar to this color, and I wear them as often as anything else I own. All of my pants? Jeans, except for the shorts I wear to bed, which are black.

These are sweatpants and they are baby blue. They are never going to get worn outside the house under any circumstances and I’m really not the laze around in sweatpants guy. Even when I’m lazing about the house, I do it in jeans.

Then I touched them, and … yeah, okay, I’ll sleep in these tonight and see how I feel. I’m a little concerned about the size, since I feel like my waist and inseam measurements for jeans are going to be massively oversized for something with an elastic waistband, but I’ll find out tonight, I suppose. Also, they had a $75 price tag on them, which, again, was the cost of the entire box.

So, one thing I’ll wear constantly and already love, one thing I’ll wear but am kind of meh about stylistically, one thing I immediately gave to my wife, and To Be Determined. Fuck it, bring on Box #2 in a couple of months.

(*) What makes them Comfy Pants and not Sweat Pants? No cuffs at the ankles. I dunno why that makes a difference to me but it does.

In which I’m dumb again

School was back in session today, finally, albeit with a two-hour delay to let the last of the below-zero temperatures bleed away before the kids had to be outside waiting for buses. Unsurprisingly, facing a shortened Friday after three days off something like 48% of the student body opted to not bother coming to school, so it was really peaceful around the building today.

I showed up for work today in a button-down grey shirt, sleeves rolled up (I always roll up my sleeves; I despise the feeling of fabric on my lower arms for some reason,) with a blue-and-purple Jerry Garcia tie and a brand-new purple sweater vest. It marked the first time in my life I’d ever deliberately worn a sweater vest, and my last thought after looking in the mirror before going to work was I have never looked more like a middle-aged middle school teacher in my life than I do right now.

I didn’t mean to buy the goddamn sweater vest. It was literally a stupid accident. I was at the fat man store last week sometime buying T-shirts (as it turns out, my policy of buying shirts at the cons I go to has put me in a position where most of my wearable T-shirts are con shirts now, and I needed to reassert the proper solid-color balance) and I saw the sweater on a table on the way out. I liked the color and the subtle pattern and I bought it on a whim, not realizing until I got home and unfolded it to hang up that it was a damn sweater vest. I don’t even know why I dislike sweater vests so much; it’s an irrational prejudice but I still have it.

A sensible person would have just returned the sweater; I’m keeping it out of spite. Against, apparently, myself and my own bad decisions.

And then two different kids over the course of the day compared me to Rick Ross, who, if you don’t know, is the dude in the picture up there, a picture I obtained by Googling “Rick Ross sweater vest”. One might think that that might be a sign that sweater vests are perhaps his thing, but no, it turns out shirtlessness is more his thing, and I will never as long as I live be photographed shirtless, full-body torso tattoos or not. I think the kids probably thought they were making fun of me, but I feel like any day where I walk out of the house thinking I could not possibly look more like a middle-aged middle-school teacher and then get compared to a famous and wealthy rapper is a good day even if the main point of comparison is that we’re both fat and bald and have bushy beards. I’ll take what I can get, dammit.

On that coat

c251b02839a49bab76294010e9a3ab40.jpgYou may recall that I bought a new winter coat on The Amazon the other day.  This is the coat in question, the Carhartt Men’s Big & Tall Arctic Quilt Lined Duck Traditional Coat.  Which is a hell of a name, but then it’s a hell of a coat.

We had subzero air temperatures yesterday morning (yesterday? Monday? Hell, I don’t remember) and way subzero wind chills and I had a variety of out-of-the-house errands to run, so I wore the new coat.

With a T-shirt on underneath it, and the coat not zipped up.  I had the hood attached.

I was overheated– not quite sweaty, but almost– by the end of the excursions.  This sounds like a bad thing.  It’s not.  It means that this sumbitch gives neither a damn nor a fuck about wind in the -20 degree range.  Which means it is exactly the coat I wanted.   There are plenty of pockets, the cuffs at the wrists are perfect— a frequent problem with oversized coats, since my arms don’t exactly match my chest and stomach– and the fabric on the outside is tough as hell and looks like it could probably stop a knife in addition to cold.

My only problem right now is that the hood is a little stiff and driving with it attached is kind of obnoxious because of how it pushes my neck and head away from my seat, but I assume that’ll loosen up and the hood is removable anyway.

Four thumbs up would wear again.  You folk who have Actual Winter where you live should seriously think about this thing.

One of these things is not like the other

I shop at a local fat man store from time to time.  They call themselves a “Big and Tall” store, but I never see tall guys in there and tall guys generally don’t need 5XL shirts, which is most of what they carry– I’m at the small end of the distribution in that place.

They send emails. Lots of emails.  I got one today, in fact.Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 2.59.53 PMI was a little confused as to what this had to do with Large Person shirts and pants until I saw the capacities down in the corner there.  I need a portable chair that can support a thousand-pound human.  I need it for science.

There was more to the email:

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 3.00.03 PM copy

This part, I have to admit, confused me; I don’t go to the beach as a general rule but if I did I can’t see that I’d want to bring a beach tent.  I didn’t know beach tents were a thing; if you’re a beach person and you would want such an object, fill me in.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 3.00.03 PM

Back to the chairs.  There’s no capacity listed for the Picnic Time Portable Fusion Backpack Chair, but holy hell does that thing look heavy-duty.  No price listed, either.

And then the email went completely off the rails, as they forgot who they were marketing to:

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 3.00.09 PM

I don’t know what the overlap is between “people interested in portable chairs with a capacity of half a ton” and “people who need neoprene wetsuits,” but it most certainly does not include me.  I’m glad the zippers are heavy-duty, though.