a few photos

here are a couple photos i snapped yesterday. a couple of us international students, who have been here for a week, got together and had a picnic and a day down in city center. tres bien!

apparently there is a massive wind turbine in hull.
myself and danielle, the other student from WWU

hull city center - martime museum
this is in hull city center. the beautiful pale building behind everybody is the maritime museum. continue past the museum on the right and you'll eventually walk into old town and towards the white harte.
from left: eliza (italy), eleonora (italy), beto (mexico & my roommate), amanda (malta) and georgia (italy)

the new flat
on the steps of the new flat.

cheers. more to come.

-e pics n' things!


White Harte

To elaborate.

i am experiencing a not so strange sense of displacement, like water pushed out of a puddle by a large rock. i don't feel as though i would be any drops taking part in the violent splash but rather more like a ripple across the surface that touches the other bank and soaks into the dirt, blending peacefully back into its surroundings. the drops in the violent splash are friends i've known to jump head first into a country without knowing much of its language. they didn't travel to study through a school but instead to study through their own means, to perform their own cultural surgery. sometimes they were thrown out of their puddle and landed with both feet on the ground and sometimes the sutures from the surgery were never healed right and the trip came off quite wrong. i am not a drop, but a ripple. smooth and gliding across the surface waiting to come in contact with something solid so as to gain a foothold. i am waiting, in a sense, for the feeling that i belong to this community - waiting to blend into the surroundings.

i am, also, violently aware that these feeling are completely natural.

additionally, i can't find a cup of coffee to save my life. shops are more than happy to brew me an americano (leading to many cups of undesired and just-quite-exactly-not-satisfying bean squeezings). but finding a cup of damned drip coffee is impossible. i feel like moses, here. the difference being that i haven't found a cup of coffee worth waiting 40 years for. that's the only difference. between me and moses. in this circumstance. right. lots of similarities.

but i digress.

keeping in mind that i wish to feel more connected to this community, yesterday danielle and i went downtown to the city center. after grabbing bangers & mash for lunch at an awfully modern sidewalk cafe we decided to pay another visit to the white harte. dissapointed in my first trip to the pub, i felt a return to glean more first hand history would be prudent (and by "dissapointed" i mean "it was so great i wanted to go back"). the waitress recognized me and poured me another deuchars without my saying so. beautiful, i think. the taps are perfect - they're real taps. two massive, firm, smooth pulls are required to fill the pints and when the foam settles the nozzle is put just below the head and a small top-off pull is taken. it sounds silly but you can tell attention has been paid. the young woman asked if we were new to the area. i said that yes i was, a student at the Uni, actually. a history major, even. she inquires if we have had the tour of the building and, like the fucking idiot that i am i say no, but i did a report on this bar before coming (i neglected to elaborate making me look like a 10th grader). but that would be rather fantastic.

after two pints we were approached by an older gentleman, perhaps in his 50s, in a nice suit and tie wearing a wool topcoat. would you like to have a poke about the place? so this wonderful man shows us around and explains that events set in motion in the White Harte began the english civil war. he goes on to show the room that the parlimentarians were in when the decision was made to raise the gates of the town and not let the king in. it turns out the man lived at the bar for a year and works for Hull City Council. wow. i got some community right here for you, my brain sez to itself, how you like them fucking apples, sherburne?

so we drink. and chat. and drink. and chat. and smoke cheap castella cigars. 8 hours later i find that his name is patrick o'malley and, on top of his duties for the City Council, manages the Harte. his friends buy shots and before i know it danielle and i are surrounded by james, tony, craig, alan and others, raucous jolly friends of patrick's buying rounds and discussing world affairs. patrick and i get into a protracted discussion about world war ii and he was very interested in my 499 thesis from last spring regarding wartime Soviet propaganda.

at midnight danielle and i get a cab back to our respective flats and so ends one of the most beautiful evenings i have had in as long as i can remember. a cool, clammy evening in the smallest, most lush beer garden that is crammed across the smallest alley i've seen from one of the most historically important venues in north england. smoke floating up, though the tree branches, mixing and playing with the dense fog setting in. ahh. england.

i feel like my ripple is absorbing into the damp banks. (take that out of context and you have yourself some kind of strange ass sentence.)

also, what kind of "prepare'd" traveller wanders and stumbles across an ocean and forgets his usb cable? damn you apes!


patrick o'malley's four steps to perfect beer:
1. cellar temp of 50℉
2. clean lines from the keg or cask
3. the pour - leave the glass to settle happily after two or two.5 pulls and put the tip just in and top off the beer.
4. a good brew - not in your hands
pics n' things!
too many hours at ye olde white harte.


pics n' things!


funny stuff.

i was wrong. england is, indeed, a third world country. i am finally connected to the internets in my flat. but. it's dial-up. these are flats owned by the university as a part of their international and grad student housing offerings.

dude. dial-up. seriously. my flickr is absolutely hating life. i haven't heard a dial-tone since 1932. that, for the record, is before the modern computer was put into use.

we went for a walk around downtown hull today but, being a horrible tourist, i was caught off guard before the tour and neglected to bring my camera! but, being a great tourist, as we were walking about with our student-leaders i was keeping my eye out for decent shopping. there are a lot of clothing stores here in hull. this isn't any different than the US (we even have an H&M in our town centre [eeeee!]) but it feels especially strange when you can walk from Burton Suit and Men's Fashion labels to the King's Ale House (more on this to come shortly) to the Holy Trinity Church, england's largest catholic church. the latter is a beautiful building with as many flying buttresses and spires as one would expect from a chapel built in the 1200s. but, back to the matter at hand, for as many superficially appealing clothing retailers, they all have product that is somewhere between American Eagle, H&M and Urban Outfitters. i.e. the denim is soulcrushingly pre-distressed and sold in horrid light washes. the shoes, sweaters, scarfs and selected t-shirts are pretty cool, however. that's alright, though, i hold hope for cool stuff in York.

i finally ticked off a big "to-do-before-i-die" today, though. after the 30 minute tour we were all unleashed to go our seperate ways. i made my way to Hull Old Towne and enjoyed a couple pints of Deuchars IPA (3.8%) at www.yeoldewhiteharte.co.uk/">Ye Olde White Harte, a pub i've had my eye on for quite some time. it's rumoured to be one of the oldest in the UK, therefore probably one of the oldest in the world. it is a great little place, dark, low and sans pretense. accessed through an unassuming alley shoehorned in between a giant HSBC and other more modern businesses. it's a wonderfully quiet place with a lovely little beer garden and old ass stained glass windows.

following this i enjoyed lunch at the King's Ale House across from the Trinity Church. as recommended by tradition, my brother Tim and a strangely insatiable appetite for the terminally unhealthy, ordered the pub's fish and chips. for 4.95 i ended up receiving a plate that resembled a hub cap (in sheer size) piled high with homemade chips, hot mashed peas, lettuce & cucumber and, i am shitting you not!, a whole deep fried fish.


ah, i think to myself, there must be some mistake. the cook must take things very literal or something. when they saw "fish and chips" it had not occurred that fish might be plural and not, indeed, an entire fish. but no, my cod had been pulled fresh from the fryer and placed on my large smooth, white, porcelain hub cap for my enjoyment. enjoy, indeed.

also. i have a sink the size of a large watermelon in my room. and a little mirror above it. it's way cuter than it sounds.

you'll think i'm an ass and a lier. but guinness is best from english taps.


ps. my dial-up just hung up on me because "The Other Side is not Responding." after several failed attempts a notice came up with the helpful note that "Authentication Failed". i've had the internet in my room, officially, for about 40 minutes. fuck England.

pps. i didn't mean that last bit.

ppps. here’s a funny ass picture morgan sent to me. i will not bother with the image’s background as I am plenty sleepy but instead i leave it to you to interpret the many levels of composition along with the play of the light and shadow on the emotions of the protagonist’s anguished look that underlies the greater message of suffering in any given place in the world. in short, take a look at what bigfoot must look like when we’re not filming him (crude alert. follow link in photo for "large" one. har!):

bigfoot pics n' things!


damp n' shit.

this marks a special occassion. i am making my first blog post from england. this means that i have just spent my first day in england. just because it was the sorriest excuse for a "day" that i could possibly have mustered, it still counts.

flight time: 13 total hours, ~10,000 miles. my current calculations show that i haven't had more than 5 total hours of sleep in the last 36. put some interesting jet lag, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, dehydration, and two stiff pints of guinness upon landing (i promised two peoples i would drink honorary english pints) on top of that and you get the witch's brew that is my brain right now.

today, other than the long ass flight times, has been a little interesting. there was only one "hitch" and that was i didn't have a housing assignment the second i rolled into the university of hull's international office to check in. for 15 minutes i was homeless with a bike box and two large checked bags. for 30 minutes after that i was going to be in temporary housing that was going to be so temporary that it would've made sense to just sleep in my clothes. for 10 minutes after that i was in regular temporary housing with a couple guys from australia and, finally, the housing office found that i had indeed(!) filled out my housing application in june. i am now in my permanent digs for the next 4 to 5 months and it's a little bigger than the dorm i had my first year at evergreen. the room is quite a bit wider and, fortunately, fully furnished. the verdict is still out on the merit of the mattress, sheets and pillow they've supplied me. yikes.

i have yet to tell somebody that "we saved your ass in world war II" but i also haven't been exposed to the types of people whom might find the humour in such a tasteless comment.

a few observations:
-shops on street level and flats on the second level. all stores are small and have apartments above them and they exist in block long chunks of brick and mortar resulting in a really strange uniqueness despite the total homogeneity of the streetfronts.
-the dutch and the english seem to be plenty friendly. i have not run into the "ugly american" stereotype except for when i brought it up in conversation.
-one should know when to let dead horses lay.
-you could plug a washer or dryer into any standard wall outlet here, apparently.
-hull appears, so far, to be a rusted-out-but-rebuilding centre of industry in the middle of mudflat river plains and hedgerow countryside (to the north, beautiful).
-despite non-smoking signs to the nth degree placed on Airbus A330 intercontinental planes, they have friendly little ashtrays in the bathrooms. really, this is psycho and drove me kind of crackers. they're so all about not smoking on the fucking aircraft that you start believing that maybe they're pumping pure ether into the cabin rather than oxygen and if somebody so much as farted the explosion might shift earth's orbit 3 feet to the left. they even tell you, outloud to your face during flight prep, to not smoke in the fucking bathroom or so help them god they will throw your smokes out the door and toss you into the spinning turbine and then not send a hey-we're-super-cereal-sorry-about-that-little-mishap-check to your next of kin just to make a point.
-there are a lot of get-food-fast type shops. they all sell pizza, burgers, kebabs, falafel, and meat pies and are all "______'s Continental Takeaway". yeah, nothing quite so continental as a bunch of foods that america butchered and then pretended to have primogeniture on.

morgan asked if i had been asked, so far, to explain the US. i have not been asked to explain the actions of the states or the country as a concept rather than god's lazily planned experiment. the closest i have come to this was a briefly discussing the election with a nice gentleman from holland on the flight from amsterdam to humberside. i couldn't decipher him because he was very thoughful but was on a work trip for Total oil company.

okay, enough. sleep tonight and tomorrow begins five days of orientation. i'm holding my breath hoping it's more than icebreaker games.

big ups to spencer for driving me in to seattle at ungodly hours of the morning.



photos to come, folks. we'll head out on a little walking tour of kingston upon hull soon.
pics n' things!


airport stop #1

though they are presented as friendly hubs of commerce and travel, airports are liars.

they are intended for the terminally wishful.
they are, alternatively, mainly utilized by the type of person who stands on the wrong side of the moving sidewalk.

hopeless, in other words.
amuzing, in yet other other words.

i'm in seattle and waiting for my 12:50 flight to amsterdam.


pics n' things!



no, really, thanks god. i wanted strep before hopping on a 12 hr flight abroad.

what up, penicillin?

pics n' things!



last week i invested in a new road bike through discover bicycles, my shop in hood river, oregon. the 2009 Giant TCR Alliance is half-carbon, half-aluminum, half-inexpensive and all fast. with a longer top tube than any other road bike i've owned or ridden it stretches the shoulders way out over the front. it makes even the slowest rider, me, feel like the most aggressive.

Giant TCR Alliance

i'm taking this bike to england next monday and, hopefully, i'll have some decent riding tales to post. also, assuming england isn't a third world country with shit wi-fi, i'll be posting more consistently.

here's to leaving in 6 days.

pics n' things!