The Minstrel

Day number six sans cigarettes.
February 18, 2008, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Travel

The upside: I feel, actually, great. I don’t have cravings; I don’t feel gross or smelly; my eyes are not yellow or bloodshot; I run with higher energy, and don’t cough afterwards. I am, generally, in a better mood.

The downside: No one mistakes me for a “bad boy.” I have nothing to do with my hands, except knit, which is not sexy, but helps when I want a smoke. I look ten years younger.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad.

Travel: I figure, the way to reward myself for quitting smoking (for six whole days, no less) is to do my favorite thing in the world–travel, a whole fucking lot. This month will be busy, with trips to Knoxville, TN, Boone, NC, and San Francisco, CA. Then, a month later, Short Mountain, TN. The summer excursion to Europe is still not definite, but will (I hope!) include a trip to Barcelona and Lausanne. And possibly, (hopefully!) Montreal. Yes, I’m a busy boy! Can you keep up?

Update: Montreal is considered Europe, right?! 😉


Summer Plans, Already
January 8, 2008, 10:11 am
Filed under: Travel

Already, I’m scheming my summer excursion. I would call it simply “planning,” but sometimes I believe that even though all of my plans are harmless (except, maybe to me–for example, my plan to smoke a cigarette when my day gets stressful), they’re still schemes. There’s an element of this-plan-isn’t-tempered-with-moderation. That nagging angel on my shoulder–moderation. I should knock her to her knees. At any rate, my scheme:

Of course, my scheme involves another trip to Europe. Well, not just involves–it is another trip to Europe. I want to go so badly–to shed the bore of a daily grind and replace it with beaches and piña coladas. I think my first stop will be Barcelona–the perfect place for beaches and piña coladas, then perhaps I’ll revisit my Parisian friend who presently has undertaken a theatre job in Marseilles. Southern France this time; although it will be difficult to enter the country without endeavoring to go north to Paris. That wonderful place–Paris. The city haunts my dreams. I’m sure to revisit, perhaps on a more permanent basis, but that’s later in life. Maybe, this time, I’ll work my way up the coast to Juan-les-Pins, instead. Afterwards, I’ll happily visit old friends, Jason and John, in their hideaway in the Swiss Alps–I have no idea where–I think somewhere near Lausanne. Who cares about the location; I’ll be nestled with loved ones in the environ of snow covered mountain peaks and lake filled vales. At the end of the journey, I hope I’m able to take a long-ass train ride to Berlin. Berlin–this city was the reason I began scheming at all. However, the scheme seems to be taking a different shape at this point. Maybe I’ll fly to Berlin.

For a plethora of good reasons, even moderate reasons, I’m strongly considering an application to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands for an LLM in international human rights and criminal justice. More on that later.

Update: Perhaps, I should call my own attention (and the attention of my sparse reading audience) to the fact that my last scheme began with Istanbul and ended with the Greek Islands (not a bad trade). I guess what I’m saying is this: It’s January. I’m restless. These plans are subject to change, but maybe I should just solidify by buying a plane ticket to London, after which, at least that’s settled. Ugh, I hate London–that too-fucking-expensive gateway city. I’m using the word “hate” here. Anyway–ending on a positive note: of course, as always, I vow to live in interesting times.

October 22, 2007, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Travel

My friend’s brother’s photography opening provided me with an adequate excuse to skip town for a few days and fly to the Big Apple.  I leave Wednesday for NYC.  Interesting times continue in this fast lane, rock and roll, life of mine.

Escape to Europe
September 14, 2007, 3:26 pm
Filed under: Travel

And the world feels different–no, is different.

The stories are so endless, I hardly know where to begin. “Once upon a time,” doesn’t feel quite right. My friend, and co-worker, recommends this opener: “I met a boy in Paris.” Which, I did. But, I’m getting way ahead of myself.

To begin with, the part about Istanbul, well, it didn’t even happen. We never made it to Turkey, but instead tried out Holland, Greece (the islands) and Paris, with a few nights interspersed in places like London and Dusseldorf, Germany.

London! I was actually ambivalent to the London experience. I could take or leave it. Or actually, I’ve decided that London is not on my list of places to return any time soon. Maybe I was just bitter because everything was so damn expensive. We stayed there only one night, which was all we cared to afford–saw Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, ate Indian, slept at a nice-ish hostel, and went on our merry way to Amsterdam for five days.

Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Bike rides and windmills. And, of course, the red light district. (Details about Amsterdam noticeably absent.)

Greece! The islands were so beautiful–Santorini and Mykonos. The sunset brought tears to my eyes. And the people, lord, they never sleep. We stayed awake until the sun came up more nights than I care to recount. Mykonos–it isn’t called the Greek Ibiza for nothing.

But, Paris. Sigh. J’ai laissé mon coeur à Paris avec un garçon appelé Nicolas. (Perhaps, that was too much detail.)

Aaron in Paris

There’s me–pretending not to notice the camera, and losing myself on some Parisian street in the Hôtel de Ville area.

Last few hours in the USA
July 24, 2007, 10:06 am
Filed under: Travel

At this point in the morning, everything is nicely folded in my lumberjack of a backpack. My passport, tickets, etc., are tucked securely away–but not so securely as to prohibit easy access–and I am sitting in my bed room, waiting–no, fretting. And waiting. Thinking. I fold my hands one way, then cross my legs. Then, I fold my hands the other way, and sigh. And fold, and sigh again. Attempting to anticipate and prepare for travel hiccups. Or worse, travel speed bumps. Or worse yet, travel blockades. My ride to the airport is on the way. Will I get there in time? Will my carryon be too large? Probably. Haha, it always is. Will I forget something dreadfully important, like my __? I don’t know, stamp collection? Mom called and said not to forget my raincoat, which actually, I intentionally forgot. Oops. At the very least, I have my passport and my ticket. That’s enough to get me there. Wish me well, and bon voyage! I’m off! And the times, I promise, will be interesting.

European Travels in my near future.
June 18, 2007, 11:20 am
Filed under: Travel

I bought a ticket to London this morning. I’ll be in Europe from July 24 through August 15, during which interval I vow to live in interesting times. My first destination is Istanbul, and after that, well, I haven’t really decided. Maybe, I’ll trail through Switzerland, backpack in tote. Ride double on a Vespa with some handsome Grecian doctor on the Isle of Mykonos. Be drawn, as a moth to a flame, to the neon lights of Amsterdam. I plan to let the destination be what it may, and say yes to life.