Tim vs. Past Tim/Future Tim(?) It’s about 9 PM in the fringe area of Paris that’s not the Eiffel Tower or some tiny village outside the Parisian life. It’s not even dark yet outside the hotel, but I’m already in bed after a day of walking. I found myself along the Seine again and then I went up the Champs Elysees to the closing (but still painfully expensive) Virgin Records megastore and the Arc de Triomphe. 
Do you know that feeling where you simply write something out to confirm it actually happened? It’s not bragging, but it’s just this weird, excited need to commit to writing what seemed like the impossible at one point in your life. A year ago right now, I bought a Coachella 2013 ticket and decided I was going to study at a school in Southern California. And then, within those twelve months, I saw the Eastern world instead. I still occasionally try to wrap my head around all of these facts since it seems so odd and wonderful.
There’s a lesson here, maybe. I’m the one that downed beers and a massive glass of wine in about nine minutes at dinner tonight before passing out in this hotel bed I currently write to you from, so maybe I’m not the best lesson guy you could ask for. I feel like I owe it to myself though or, rather, the version of me that started this blog about a half-year ago just wanting to go far away from New Hampshire and the known world for a while to explore some other worlds. So, here it is, in an oddly final-post-feeling swoop, here are some things I’ve gathered or just pop into mind now before I render this blog a thing of the past:
You will get homesick all of the sudden and miss the shitty New Hampshire town with the Walmart juggalos, vapid bitties that still YOLO even though (I’m pretty sure) Drake doesn’t even YOLO anymore, subpar education, and even more subpar bro culture that you call your college town. Embrace it. You did leave some pretty rad friends, a sweet radio station job, articles of clothing, and good memories there, so allow yourself some emotions.
Being a gentleman over being the guy that tries to hook up with the foreign girl with a boyfriend is much better for your emotional wellbeing if you like your self-worth, but can put up with sleeping in an empty bed for another night.
If there’s no signs of boyfriend, hesitation, or rejection, go for it.
Don’t order any salad in Paris without consulting the hell out of the waitress. Odds are, the lettuce leaves will come a) cooked a bit in water for some soulless reason, b) covered in greased, cooked potatoes to make the lettuce just that much more soggy, and c) topped with two layers of weird cheese and pretty decent pizza cheese. Don’t play safe; just get a bunch of fatass foods while you’re in Paris or learn the language. I recommend the former.
Make mental notes of good little places/day trips around the world. In the immediate sense, it’ll serve as a reminder that you didn’t spend the entire semester clubbing and watching movies with British kids. In the long run, you’ll have this weird list of places to go and people will think you’re interesting at parties and give you high fives and dates. The long run has yet to be tested though at the time of writing this.
Drink shitloads of Sangria in Barcelona and live forever.
Realize #6 is an awful suggestion the next morning when you realize all of life must end some day, the sunlight was designed to burn your eyes out, and life is terrible sometimes.
I repeat, if there’s no signs of boyfriend, hesitation, or rejection, go for it. If you get rejected, hesitated on, or told she has some fiance in the south of France, revert immediately back to “genuine gentleman” mode and don’t be a shit about it.
If a tourist treats you like shit in the Louvre, get a shitty picture of them in retaliation. I got flicked by some woman when I walked by her/her husband taking a photo of her, so this was the result. Honestly, look at this woman. This is a person on holiday. I bet she eats children.
Taking photos of tourist behavior = a new pastime for me.
Save a few stories to tell friends. The first night you arrived in York and all your floor mates pulled you out for a snowball fight even though you were jetlagged as all hell, the concerts, that night they kept blaring the fog machine at the club so much that people couldn’t see the hand in front of their face, Frankfurt junkie fights, trains, wine nights, pub crawls, vicious matches of pool on the snooker table, the pull chart, new friends, monetary enemies, and other bits and pieces I don’t even feel like glossing over on this here blog…save some. You need something to prove those friends you left behind that it was all worth it, even though you miss them so terribly.
And, so, with that…I dunno. Those are alright lessons at best, but I guess I don’t want some of this to end is all. I love endings up until they actually happen because, in the moment, I can embrace the place I’m in and the friends I have before they’re gone. But now, I have friends flying off to other parts of England, Cyprus, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France, western America, and places I never got around to spelling right. My dorm room is packed in three suitcases. I’m seeing good friends again and beginning what should be the best/final year of college. And everything is happening.
I figured I would have something great to say at the end of this, but I think the summation of this all is I am overwhelmed. I am so overwhelmed by everything I’ve seen and the things that can happen within these days that make up the rest of my life, but beneath my tired-homesick-scared-anxious-stupid-confused shell, I am happy and I am fulfilled. And I suppose I did clear my head some since that’s what this whole thing was about.
Goodbye, pond and all of the lands across it. You are no longer a mystery to me.

Tim vs. Past Tim/Future Tim(?) It’s about 9 PM in the fringe area of Paris that’s not the Eiffel Tower or some tiny village outside the Parisian life. It’s not even dark yet outside the hotel, but I’m already in bed after a day of walking. I found myself along the Seine again and then I went up the Champs Elysees to the closing (but still painfully expensive) Virgin Records megastore and the Arc de Triomphe. 

Do you know that feeling where you simply write something out to confirm it actually happened? It’s not bragging, but it’s just this weird, excited need to commit to writing what seemed like the impossible at one point in your life. A year ago right now, I bought a Coachella 2013 ticket and decided I was going to study at a school in Southern California. And then, within those twelve months, I saw the Eastern world instead. I still occasionally try to wrap my head around all of these facts since it seems so odd and wonderful.

There’s a lesson here, maybe. I’m the one that downed beers and a massive glass of wine in about nine minutes at dinner tonight before passing out in this hotel bed I currently write to you from, so maybe I’m not the best lesson guy you could ask for. I feel like I owe it to myself though or, rather, the version of me that started this blog about a half-year ago just wanting to go far away from New Hampshire and the known world for a while to explore some other worlds. So, here it is, in an oddly final-post-feeling swoop, here are some things I’ve gathered or just pop into mind now before I render this blog a thing of the past:

  1. You will get homesick all of the sudden and miss the shitty New Hampshire town with the Walmart juggalos, vapid bitties that still YOLO even though (I’m pretty sure) Drake doesn’t even YOLO anymore, subpar education, and even more subpar bro culture that you call your college town. Embrace it. You did leave some pretty rad friends, a sweet radio station job, articles of clothing, and good memories there, so allow yourself some emotions.
  2. Being a gentleman over being the guy that tries to hook up with the foreign girl with a boyfriend is much better for your emotional wellbeing if you like your self-worth, but can put up with sleeping in an empty bed for another night.
  3. If there’s no signs of boyfriend, hesitation, or rejection, go for it.
  4. Don’t order any salad in Paris without consulting the hell out of the waitress. Odds are, the lettuce leaves will come a) cooked a bit in water for some soulless reason, b) covered in greased, cooked potatoes to make the lettuce just that much more soggy, and c) topped with two layers of weird cheese and pretty decent pizza cheese. Don’t play safe; just get a bunch of fatass foods while you’re in Paris or learn the language. I recommend the former.
  5. Make mental notes of good little places/day trips around the world. In the immediate sense, it’ll serve as a reminder that you didn’t spend the entire semester clubbing and watching movies with British kids. In the long run, you’ll have this weird list of places to go and people will think you’re interesting at parties and give you high fives and dates. The long run has yet to be tested though at the time of writing this.
  6. Drink shitloads of Sangria in Barcelona and live forever.
  7. Realize #6 is an awful suggestion the next morning when you realize all of life must end some day, the sunlight was designed to burn your eyes out, and life is terrible sometimes.
  8. I repeat, if there’s no signs of boyfriend, hesitation, or rejection, go for it. If you get rejected, hesitated on, or told she has some fiance in the south of France, revert immediately back to “genuine gentleman” mode and don’t be a shit about it.
  9. If a tourist treats you like shit in the Louvre, get a shitty picture of them in retaliation. I got flicked by some woman when I walked by her/her husband taking a photo of her, so this was the result. Honestly, look at this woman. This is a person on holiday. I bet she eats children.
  10. Taking photos of tourist behavior = a new pastime for me.
  11. Save a few stories to tell friends. The first night you arrived in York and all your floor mates pulled you out for a snowball fight even though you were jetlagged as all hell, the concerts, that night they kept blaring the fog machine at the club so much that people couldn’t see the hand in front of their face, Frankfurt junkie fights, trains, wine nights, pub crawls, vicious matches of pool on the snooker table, the pull chart, new friends, monetary enemies, and other bits and pieces I don’t even feel like glossing over on this here blog…save some. You need something to prove those friends you left behind that it was all worth it, even though you miss them so terribly.

And, so, with that…I dunno. Those are alright lessons at best, but I guess I don’t want some of this to end is all. I love endings up until they actually happen because, in the moment, I can embrace the place I’m in and the friends I have before they’re gone. But now, I have friends flying off to other parts of England, Cyprus, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France, western America, and places I never got around to spelling right. My dorm room is packed in three suitcases. I’m seeing good friends again and beginning what should be the best/final year of college. And everything is happening.

I figured I would have something great to say at the end of this, but I think the summation of this all is I am overwhelmed. I am so overwhelmed by everything I’ve seen and the things that can happen within these days that make up the rest of my life, but beneath my tired-homesick-scared-anxious-stupid-confused shell, I am happy and I am fulfilled. And I suppose I did clear my head some since that’s what this whole thing was about.

Goodbye, pond and all of the lands across it. You are no longer a mystery to me.

Tim vs. Comfortable Bedding and Farewells.

This is the first comfortable bed I’ve slept in since January. No turning over and over to find that sweet, comfy angle on a twin sized mattress anymore.

I’ve had a day and a half worth of decent food that doesn’t taste anywhere near the overcooked, rubbery “food” sustenance they serve in the YSJ canteens.

My brother is passed out in the hotel bed next to mine snoring and I guess that’s better than having screaming floormates running around the halls outside at 5 AM fucked up on acid.

I’m trying to remember the bad before the good right now.

It’s an awful sounding thing to do, but I’m too overwhelmed by these last 48 hours. I want everyone back. I wish I didn’t have to wish my friends farewell at the train station this morning. We cried before she got on the train and it’s weirdly warm to think I mattered that much to a person, but I wish it didn’t have to happen. I don’t want to change many things about my time here, I love and hate it, and I think that’s a problem for my emotional guts to work out. This was one of the best decisions of my life coming to York. And tomorrow at 2:30 PM, I will get on a train and every late night restaurant, local friend, and some memories I had here behind. 

That felt so awful to type. I’m just going to pretend like I can think of bad stuff before the good again. Good night. 

Also, I’ll be in London and Paris before flying back to America, so I’d say this blog has a few more posts left in it before I call it a day here. This is the unofficial end of my York travels though, so hurrah hurrah, I guess.

Tim vs. The Last Days. Somewhere outside, these girls keep screaming. Drunkenness and just loudness have been pretty constantly around me for the past few days, so I figure that’s what the screaming’s all about. Lots of rolling suitcases going by my dorm today, a few friends leaving. My bags are half packed already (I can’t figure out how to fit my shoes in, so I’m waiting like a helpless fool for my mom to come to my dorm and help me out) and I’m saying more goodbyes tonight.
I’m trying to write this as matter-of-factly as I can because I don’t know how to contain this happy/sad/anxious/nostalgic/frustrated/peaceful feeling combo I’ve got going on right now. I miss people from home. I miss people here already. I want a few more chances to do a few more things. Some mornings now, I wake up and wish I was already back in America. I need more time. I need time to hurry up and bring me back to where I belong. It’s difficult, really. The new album from The National isn’t helping (note: it’s sad and beautiful and sad once again), so I just sit in the music building (above) for a little while every day and hit keys on the pianos until it sounds like something.
Agh. If anyone can decode my brain right now, it’d be much appreciated.

Tim vs. The Last Days. Somewhere outside, these girls keep screaming. Drunkenness and just loudness have been pretty constantly around me for the past few days, so I figure that’s what the screaming’s all about. Lots of rolling suitcases going by my dorm today, a few friends leaving. My bags are half packed already (I can’t figure out how to fit my shoes in, so I’m waiting like a helpless fool for my mom to come to my dorm and help me out) and I’m saying more goodbyes tonight.

I’m trying to write this as matter-of-factly as I can because I don’t know how to contain this happy/sad/anxious/nostalgic/frustrated/peaceful feeling combo I’ve got going on right now. I miss people from home. I miss people here already. I want a few more chances to do a few more things. Some mornings now, I wake up and wish I was already back in America. I need more time. I need time to hurry up and bring me back to where I belong. It’s difficult, really. The new album from The National isn’t helping (note: it’s sad and beautiful and sad once again), so I just sit in the music building (above) for a little while every day and hit keys on the pianos until it sounds like something.

Agh. If anyone can decode my brain right now, it’d be much appreciated.

Tim vs. one of the shittiest thrash/metal bands I have ever heard. I went to see my friend’s band play last night and this was the band after them.

I was going to make a jokingly long post, detailing exactly how terrible this band was. The bassist was playing porno bass riffs a ton, the drummer looked like he was on loan from an indie band, and the guitar was like shreddddd brah, but all attention was on that singer like a shitstorm vortex. This guy had blond dreadlocks, shirt with nonsensical innuendo on it (“Just smile and say, ‘Yes, Mistress’”…he kept pointing at it during the set and asking people if they got it; nobody got it), and his nightmarishly bad circular tattoo that was below his bellybutton. Not around it like a circular tattoo should could do, but below it heading down that happy trail. Also, he made the five people moshing crowdsurf him. Yeah.

But no, this video of them exists apparently, so I’ll let this do the talking. I only got about 2 minutes in and quit. If you watch the whole thing, I will give you a prize. (Hint: it will be my pity)

Tim vs. Horses and British Class. I have this weird part of me that tries to create memories by doing awkwardly goofy things in public places. Like, for example, bring a Captain Morgan buccaneer hat to a classy British horse race. “It’s funny, I swear, all the women are wearing the feathery pin-cushions that barely cover their heads, I’ll take a picture with them”, I say. And then phase two of my dingus sense of humor kicks in, the realization that this joke is just weird and nobody wants a picture with me. My friend actually stole the hat and got a couple of positive cheers from some old guys, so maybe I should’ve rocked it a few seconds longer. But for the 10 seconds I had a buccaneer hat on at a classy British horse race event, I finally felt that painfully awkward feeling that I am, after months of residency in York, still a dumbass tourist.

Actually, most of the day was a series of realizations that I have no clue about gambling, British politeness, or horse races. Firstly, betting on horses is like an SAT question come to life and it’s kinda fun until you realize that. You’re like calculating percentage of the #5 horse to the #12, the ground’s softness, and the odds and then…you realize this is what your 7th grade math teacher prepared you for. Gambling. Thanks, Mr. Buckley, for encouraging potential gambling addiction.

Also, the British are at their most polite and classy at the start of these horse races. Like, posh hats and £7 beers in a swanky lobby area-classy. Once the horses come down the track…nope, screw it. Yell at those sonofabitch horses until they make it to the finish lines, which is funny because all the horse names are ridiculous and an entire bandstand in formal wear yelling, “C’mon, Dutch Masterpiece!” is hilarious. And then I realize I bet on the horse that finish in last and I throw my bet receipts in the air like shitty, £2 confetti that wasn’t worth my money ugh. 

So, in conclusion, look at my face in that picture above. Look at it. That is the face of a good day.

Tim vs. British Slang.

Saying “I just want to go home, take off my pants, and surf the internet until all the finals disappear” to American college friends = understandable. Everyone is tired. We get it.

Saying ”I just want to go home, take off my pants, and surf the internet until all the finals disappear” to British uni friends = pants means underwear here, it just sounds like you’re going back to your room to get naked and masturbate yourself into a coma, you are now super creepy.

Lesson learned.

Tim vs. Tiny British Choirs. This picture is from my first week in York, but I’m only using it because we couldn’t take photos inside once the choir begun.
I honestly don’t know what I got myself into. I assumed I’d be going to a choir’s concert in the York Minster, but an “Evensong” is like a condensed service with intervals of tiny British child choirs singing. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually, found the whole event rather peaceful, but a few thoughts popped up during the singing and reading of lessons:
Why do horror movie trailers feature tiny children singing something vaguely religious when something bad is about to happen? Because this is nice and I am not anticipating the arrival of Freddy Krueger at any point?
I’m pretty sure this song was featured in a Harry Potter movie.
Also, this one too.
Actually, I’m pretty sure any British children singing have been trademarked by the JK Rowling Corporation and my brain just assumed it’s from Harry Potter.
"And thus ends the first lesson, we will begin the second lesson shortly" - the female priest in an epic British accent after reading the first passage. Imagine it. Yeah, it was about 2x cooler than how you’re picturing it.
OH NO OH NO OH NO I DON’T REMEMBER THE APOSTLE’S CREED I AM MUMBLING RANDOM WORDS NOW. WAIT, THERE’S A PART WHERE EVERYONE TURNS THEIR HEAD TO THE PAINTING OF JESUS, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? 
That Jesus painting is quite contemporary. Interesting brush strokes there.
As I said, it was a good time. Thought-provoking, relaxing. I recommend it if you’re in York.

Tim vs. Tiny British Choirs. This picture is from my first week in York, but I’m only using it because we couldn’t take photos inside once the choir begun.

I honestly don’t know what I got myself into. I assumed I’d be going to a choir’s concert in the York Minster, but an “Evensong” is like a condensed service with intervals of tiny British child choirs singing. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually, found the whole event rather peaceful, but a few thoughts popped up during the singing and reading of lessons:

  1. Why do horror movie trailers feature tiny children singing something vaguely religious when something bad is about to happen? Because this is nice and I am not anticipating the arrival of Freddy Krueger at any point?
  2. I’m pretty sure this song was featured in a Harry Potter movie.
  3. Also, this one too.
  4. Actually, I’m pretty sure any British children singing have been trademarked by the JK Rowling Corporation and my brain just assumed it’s from Harry Potter.
  5. "And thus ends the first lesson, we will begin the second lesson shortly" - the female priest in an epic British accent after reading the first passage. Imagine it. Yeah, it was about 2x cooler than how you’re picturing it.
  6. OH NO OH NO OH NO I DON’T REMEMBER THE APOSTLE’S CREED I AM MUMBLING RANDOM WORDS NOW. WAIT, THERE’S A PART WHERE EVERYONE TURNS THEIR HEAD TO THE PAINTING OF JESUS, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? 
  7. That Jesus painting is quite contemporary. Interesting brush strokes there.

As I said, it was a good time. Thought-provoking, relaxing. I recommend it if you’re in York.

TWENTY THINGS I PRAY FOR MY SONS

1. Play a recreational sport.
It will teach you how to win honorably,
lose gracefully, respect authority,
work with others, manage your time
and stay out of trouble.
And maybe even throw or catch.

2. You will set the tone
for the sexual relationship,
so don’t take something away from her
that you can’t give back.

3. Use careful aim when you pee.
Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.

4. Save money when you’re young
because you’re going to need it someday.

5. Allow me to introduce you
to the dishwasher, oven,
washing machine, iron,
vacuum, mop and broom.
Now please go use them.

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

7. Don’t ever be a bully
and don’t ever start a fight,
but if some idiot clocks you,
please defend yourself.

8. Your knowledge and education is something
that nobody can take away from you.

9. Treat women kindly.
Forever is a long time to live alone
and it’s even longer to live with somebody
who hates your guts.

10. Take pride in your appearance.

11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do.
This includes her having a successful career
and you changing diapers at 3 A.M.
Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir”
still go a long way.

14. The reason that they’re called “private parts”
is because they’re “private”.
Please do not scratch them in public.

15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.
Be a good leader and others will follow.

16. Bringing her flowers for no reason
is always a good idea.

17. It is better to be kind
than to be right.

18. A sense of humor
goes a long way
in the healing process.

19. Please choose your spouse wisely.
My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me
spending time with you and my grandchildren.

20. Remember to call your mother
because I might be missing you.

My mom sent me this over chat for Mother’s Day. I’m framing it one day.