My mom was never big into having her picture taken. She had an ideomotor reaction each time a camera was whipped out. Her palm would open and cover her face as she turned her shoulder away from the camera. For a long time I was the same way until a girl who ended up punting my fragile heart into a fire pit told me over MySpace that I was cute. Even if she was lying, it got me to finally accept a picture of me isn’t worth a thousand repugnant swear words like I grew up thinking. At the same time I am humble enough to realize most pictures of me suck. Most pictures of most people suck. Staying specific to myself because like a teenager on Maury might you may say, “You don’t know me,” these are five reasons why I should never be photographed.

group+selfie

(Can you find me in this picture? I’m the guy a couple thousand miles away avoiding the camera)

1) Pale Skin

My full name is Timothy Michael Boyle. The only way to get more Irish than that would be Drunky McPotato O’Boyle. I have naturally pale skin which never works well with a camera’s flash. Pictures of me need really soft lighting where everything has a yellowish tint to it or I come off looking like the surface of a fresh snowfall. How did I manage to make my pale skin sound so elegant and beautiful? In contrast to darker things than my skin, like an eggshell, I look even paler in photographs than I do in real life. The only thing pale skin is good for these days is getting a nominee for the Republican party and that’s not really my goal in life. I just want to look pretty in pictures without a giant white glow coming off my forehead.

2) Blue Eyes

My blue eyes are one of my best features, which may or may not say a lot about the rest of me. I have had strangers come up to me and say they were lost in my eyes and never returned once entering them. I should really contact their families. Blue eyes are wonderful until a picture is snapped. I look terrifying in many photographs. I get red eye all of the time. Combine that with the white glow from my skin it becomes demonic. The only solution I have come up with for this is always keeping my eyes closed whenever a picture is taken. Whenever I do this it looks worse, but at least nobody is questioning whether or not I am the spawn of Satan. As an aside, I think I am for other reasons.

3) My Face

Let me be a little self-deprecating here for a moment. My face is fine. There are plenty of wonderful things about it and some people enjoy it. At the same time, there are things that could be fixed. What’s up with the rash that shows up on my right upper lip once a week? Why must the veins in my forehead stick out whenever I am even the least bit exhausted? Don’t even get me started on my nose. From a distance there’s nothing strange going on. Up close it looks like the floor of a dog kennel. Lucky for me I have those wonderful blue eyes and a great smile that distracts people from the other disasters going on around my face. Too bad a picture lasts forever and can be zoomed in on. I really don’t want people noticing how gross my skin really is.

4) Unnatural Ability To Look Happy

I would say I smile on average for real five times a day and that is because I eat three meals and usually see two people get physically or emotionally hurt. In pictures I believe you should always do your best to look natural and happy. Unless the picture is taken candidly, I always look stiff. I never know what to do with my hands other than point. Maybe this is why teenage girls squat down with their hands on their knees? There are plenty of pictures of me in existence smiling. Most of the time though it’s just for show and I’m feeling dead inside.

5) Nobody Cares

I’m sounding like a real downer here, but that is not my intent. I hate to waste photographic space on me, somebody who has no stalkers. There are exactly zero people in the world excited to see pictures of me doing anything at all. The most likes I ever got on a Facebook picture was one and he unliked it after he realized his mistake. I am also not one to ever really brag about the things I have done in life, not that there has been much anyway. When you post a picture online of you at the Grand Canyon or a friend’s party, it’s your way of saying “Hey, I matter and people like me.” I don’t matter and a few people think of me as a neutral party. Photographs of me usually float around in picture viewing purgatory without anyone doing more than a quick glance.

I’m still in my 20s. It feels like I’ve been in this decade of life forever. I barely remember 19 and 30 still feels real far away. I suppose your 20s are supposed to be the best, right? You’re at your physical peak and you have quite a bit of disposal income because odds are someone hasn’t/you haven’t sat on your/someone’s semen and gotten pregnant.

After living enough of my 20s, I have come up with a list of the worst moments from this decade of pestilence excellence.

The Worst Moments From Your 20s

Whatever you decide to do with your life or force your kids to do with theirs, just make sure you never lie to those who choose differently; unless you want to. What do I care?

When I was a teenager everyone kept telling me things would get better once I hit my 20s. They lied. From 20-29 there are enough horrible moments to make me wish I was back to being a pimply-faced teenager with no direction in life. That was not a good time and to say I would sometimes rather be back there than where I am today says a lot about how hard “the greatest decade of our lives” can be.

1) When An Ex Gets Married:

Some of us wish our exes well. Others wish our exes would go to hell. It doesn’t matter what your relationship with your ex is after separating, seeing an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend get married to someone else can really sting. The best way to get through this is to remember that marriage is a bond that is very expensive to break. Your ex is either going to be stuck with the same person for the rest of their life or have to get a second job to pay to end it. Loneliness never seemed so perfect.

2) When A Secret Crush Gets Married:

This is even worse than when an ex gets married. At least with the ex you had the chance to experience what life with them is like. When a secret crush you were stuck in the friend zone with for years finally seals the deal and removes their chastity belt for someone else you will literally feel your soul fly out through your mouth. You will have so many horrible thoughts racing through your mind. The only positive is that you will find the opening wedding massacre scenes to the Kill Bill movies really hilarious.

3) When College Ends:

In theory, college is supposed to prepare us for the real world. No. College delays progression into the real world. When you are in college everything seems so bright and hopeful for the future. When it comes to an end you hear Axl Rose’s voice in your head screaming “Where do we go now?” College’s finale opens up a lot of opportunities. Most of those opportunities involve job rejection, increased responsibilities, and bill paying. Suddenly, the Van Wilder movie makes a lot more sense to you.

4) When A Parent Dies:

When you are in your 20s your parents will on average be in their 50s or 60s. This is the age when parents begin to die. My mom died when I was 23. Blink-182 was kind enough to inform me nobody would like me at that age, but they skipped out on letting me know how much it sucks when a parent passes away. Perhaps worse than your own parent leaving this world, is when it happens to a friend. You have to look up the definition of empathy then learn how to show it. Remember, you’re in your 20s. Empathy and compassion are not your strong points.

5) When Friends Ditch You:

At some point in your 20s a good friend is going to cease contact with you. Heck, several will. You may even feel the need to do it to some of them. In your 20s you finally begin discovering who you are. Your first ten years you don’t care who you are. The teenage years are spent confused and alone. By the time you’re in your 20s you have a good grasp on things, or so you believe because you read some sociology book. There is nothing wrong with having new friends and moving on when the old ones run out of interesting things to say.

6) When You Reconnect With Old Friends:

One of the most overrated moments in life is the reunion. Your late 20s is your high school reunion, something I suggest avoiding. I am already plotting on how my high school reunion will be filled with stories about how I went crazy and live in the mountains now. I may have to hire a guy for that to spread the rumors. Reconnected with old buddies is fun until you see how old they got. Chances are, you got old too. If you ever see me together with old friends, watch your step. The floor is covered with broken dreams.

7) When You Find Out How Old Celebrities Are:

Nothing and I mean nothing can break a person’s spirit more than looking up the age of a celebrity, athlete, or musician they are a fan of then realizing the celebrity is younger. I feel as if I have to quit being a hockey fan because most of the superstars would have been freshmen when I was a senior in high school. The most constant celebrity I think my generation looks to is Kurt Cobain. It’s hard to accept that I am older than Cobain was when the Nevermind album came out. By no means am I an old person, but I feel as if my time at ever becoming a rockstar has already passed. I probably should have learned how to play the guitar if I wanted it that bad.

8) When Your Friends Have Kids:

Lucky for me none of my friends have had kids yet. My friends have enough trouble getting a reply on OKCupid let alone having another person interesting in starting a family with them. When people have kids, especially younger ones, they change. Their life becomes all about protecting those runny nosed mini-clones. Granted, I think your life should be about that when you become a parent. It is one of the greatest undertakings anyone can make. The bad comes in when you are the outside observer. Everything comes back to the children. You are forced to look at hours of photographs of the baby doing the same thing, practically nothing. For the sake of making everybody’s 20s a little bit better, I plan to wait until at least 30 to have children. There’s no way I plan to have a child until I at least stop behaving like one.

9) When You Look In A Mirror:

Recently I was browsing Facebook and saw the page belonging to someone who used to make fun of me for being fat. He was shirtless in a picture and he was fatter than I am now. This is something that happens to a lot of people as they age, they put on weight. In your 20s you don’t have to worry about much else other than the weight gain and slight balding. I am one of the lucky few who look a lot better now than I did a few years ago. To be fair I had nowhere to go but up. Mirrors are still my enemy. They are a blunt friend who never cares about your feelings. They are the first girl I ever dated.

10) When You Look At Your Bank Account:

Nothing is more important than money. I don’t say this in an “I’m all about the money” way. I really would rather never have to deal with money. Unfortunately I do not live in a country where body hair works as currency. The problem with money and being in your 20s is you finally have some and for the most part have no clue how to spend it the right way. Few people in their 20s have their careers set, especially in the first half. Many bank accounts belonging to people in their 20s have a number lower than their weight, which is already at an all-time low for some because food isn’t cheap. Keep in mind, each time you check your bank account the odds of them making an error and putting a million dollars in there increases drastically, so check it often. I’m being sarcastic. You have to wait until you’re in your 30s for them to ever make that mistake.

freddie-prinze-sm

(“This makes no sense to me. I shot myself in the face when I was 22.” – Freddie Prinze)

I’ll keep this brief because I already wasted about 2 hours of my night just trying to get home. I’ll elaborate more because I want some content on the Internet about how much the PATH Trains suck.

First let me give you details on how my daily commute goes:

I walk about 25 minutes to get to the PATH train. I tend to arrive at around 8AM. I take the train 1 stop and transfer to another train on this lovely rail system. Usually I arrive in New York at 8:35-8:40. I then walk another 20 minutes to work.

Coming home it’s everything in reverse so read like a Chinese person (they read backwards) and figure it out.

Last Wednesday though, while traveling home I got to my transfer station. After about 10 minutes of sitting (or standing because these trains are more packed more than…well I guess PATH trains are the metaphor usually used, so that) they made an announcement that all service was suspended indefinitely. They gave us no option other than to go backwards and use a different train system. So I did it because you can’t rely on anyone.

I wrote a nasty letter to PATH which I have yet to send during my commute back to New York then back to New Jersey. In total it took me 3 hours to get home, more than twice the length it usually does. I also had to pay more money because the train more convenient for me to take home wasn’t the one honoring a switch-over.

This same thing happened again today. At first they blamed Amtrak, but apparently it was another signal problem. I’m not sure what a signal problem is. Were the tracks giving the PATH trains “fuck me eyes” and the PATH train mistakenly flirted with them? That’s the only way I can think signals could get crossed. Did the PATH conductor think the coach told them to bunt? Signals shouldn’t fail. Signals can be as simple as a color-coded switch. You can have homeless people with flags out there doing this job yet there seems to always be signal problems with this train system.

I’ll have plenty more to say about this, but it’s almost 9 o’clock and I’m still really angry about how this incompetent train system stole away my night of watching Warehouse 13.

So please, excuse me while I spend the next few blog posts seriously complaining about how much I hate my commute to work because other than my dangling toenail on my left foot on my pinky toe this is the most frustrating thing I have going on.

path-train

(Trivia question: How many people were elbowed or had coffee spilled on them by fellow passengers while boarding this train?)

My apologies for sticking with the theme of educate themed lists and why childhood is awful. This just happened to be the next on my list of things I originally posted and I’m not about to change!

I attended Community College and during that time I stayed in touch with a few friends who went to four-year colleges. Many of these friendships continued through broken promises and consistent lies. I’m not sure what happened to most of them. My guess is they never existed and I’m nothing more than a dying war veteran living an illusion.

Ten Lies University Students Tell Their Community College Friends

1) “We’ll still hangout a lot.” – Half of my friends went to a four year school and half went to community college. I didn’t see a single one of my four year university friends after they went left town to continue their education ever again. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I saw one or two of them and it was only because they ended up dropping out. The rest of them disappeared off the face of the earth. These were really good friends of mine too. My guess is they have high security government jobs. There’s no way they stopped talking because I have personality flaws, right?

2) “I’ll be home every weekend.” – Do you know what the only thing worse than a friend ditching you for a new life is? It’s a friend ditching you for a new life and still living five minutes away. Coming home every weekend changes to once a month and then it changes to only coming around on holidays. Then when you ask them to do something they are too busy with their family or worse, they actually do hang with you and they don’t shut up about college.

3) “The people here are great.” – I may have never attended a four year university, but I have begged for change on campuses enough to know a bit about the culture. College kids are not any better than anyone else. I think as a freshman it may seem like you are meeting a lot of diverse personalities. Reality is you’re meeting a lot of the same people who just have a different hometown listed on their license. By the time a college kid becomes a junior, they start to realize their friends aren’t as cool as they once were.

4) “It’s a lot of work.” – Is it? College seems to be 30% drinking beer, 30% sleeping around, and 30% cramming because you spend 60% of your time drinking and sleeping around. As for the missing 10%, I think that’s spent on the phone with your friends at home telling them lies.

5) “You wouldn’t understand.” – When a university student becomes an elitist it’s time to cut them off. College seems to either help people appreciate things more or it turns them into real life Lisa Simpsons. Unfortunately the latter seems to happen a lot more frequently. Sure, a lot of university students are more intelligent than their community college counterparts. That does not mean I am incapable of understanding metaphysical science. If there’s a Wikipedia page for it, there’s a chance I can learn it.

6) “This is a great story.” – No great story ever starts off with those words. Did the opening text to Star Wars have those words in it? Nope. That carefully chosen opening text was placed there for a purpose and was incredibly helpful. I’m not saying community college kids don’t lie about stories being great. I do believe stories about community college are better though. Community college students fall down a lot more often. A story about falling down is closer to greatness than a story about getting accepted into a graduate program. Who wants to hear about other people succeeding?

7) “The living arrangements are comfortable.” – Sleeping in a small room with someone of the same sex is comfortable? Sign up for the army if that’s your cup of tea, the Danish army. I’m not sure why I have it out for the Danish. They make a great breakfast treat. The college living arrangements could make a cockroach leave town. Communal bathrooms, shared housing, and lack of privacy are all human rights violations. While all of my university friends were sharing a room with someone else I had my own room with an empty bed and no one to talk to. Okay, this one might be a draw.

8) “I’ve hooked up with so many people.” – I don’t doubt university hooking up is a lot higher than at community colleges. I believe the average age for a community college student to receive their first kiss is 34. Still, I find it unlikely that some of my friends made-out with as many girls as they claim. The closest I came to kissing a girl at community college was the time when I was talking to a girl who spit when she talked.

9) “I’m going to get a job right after I graduate because I worked hard and am qualified.” – And then they see the equally as qualified and experienced millions competing against them. That’s the moment they text me for the first time in four years asking how I am and if I know anywhere hiring. I wish this one was made up. I hate that guy.

10) “You didn’t miss much at college.” – Are you kidding me? The way people I know who went to four year schools talk about it I would swear my life will always have that empty void. I mean, it’s great not to have any debt. At any moment I could go live off the grid. When you pay to go to college you aren’t just paying for the education. You are also paying for the experience. I’m not sure you can put an actual price on an experience. I missed out on fraternities, pranking the dean, legendary red cup parties, tuition meetings, pregnancy scares, and everything else that makes up the college experience. Don’t patronize me. Community college was delightful for what it was, a cheap alternative. Community college is like the direct-to-video film Snakes on a Train while a four year university is like the cult classic Snakes on a Plane. Both have a lot of awful things about them; one is just a little bit better and more rewarding. Will I send my current non-existing kids to a four year college? You better believe for my wallet’s sake I am going to do everything I can to make my kids outstanding athletes or vocational school bound.

commuity college map

(According to this chicken pox inspired map, there are more community colleges in Alaska than Nevada. I’m not surprised either. People in Nevada actually invited Carrot Top to go there and perform every night)

It has been a full month since I last blogged here. A lot has changed in that time. I’ve become a Born-Again Christian, sinned on my first day so I gave up and went back to a life of wickedness, ate some food (to survive), bought a new pair of shoes, ate some food (for pleasure), and slept once.

I could go into more serious detail on what I have been up to although my interests lie elsewhere at the moment. Instead I’m going to slowly and painfully re-post old articles I wrote for Yahoo Voices over the last year. This first one is about ten things I wish I had done in high school.

Ten Things I Wish I Did in High School

Life is full of regrets. One period of my life I regret a lot are the four years I spent in high school. There were so many things I wish I had done and never did. Here are 10 of them.

1) Throw a Big Party: It is the dream of every high school kid to be popular and well-liked. I consider being popular and well-liked two different things because they are. My parents never let us have friends over due to the fact we lived in a very messy house. I should have taken advantage of having a messy house. When my parents were away, my mother in the hospital for depression and my father away doing things I am afraid to realistically confront without a therapist nearby, I could have had the entire school over and not had to worry about cleaning up the mess. I am a terrible person for not realizing this until now.

2) Ask a Popular Girl on a Date: There were more dates in my date and raisin oatmeal I had for breakfast this morning than ones I went on in high school. At the time I always thought the girls were cruel. Now I know the girls were probably too intimidated by my awkward silence and excessive weight. My facial eczema made them think I was already taken. I probably could have gotten a pity date at one point if I bothered to try. I was a really nice kid and they all knew I would have done their homework for a year if they went to the movies with me once.

3) Join a Sport Squadron: In middle school intramurals I was a beast when it came to flag football. In high school they stopped using flags and instead started using steroid filled shoulders to stop a running back. I was on the high school football team for approximately two practices before I realized I was going to die of an asthma attack before the homecoming game. The cruel part of high school sports is not everybody can make every team. For sure I could have been decent at football and the wrestling team was always looking for fat kids to fight fat kids from other schools. Who knows how much different my life could have been if I had a suffered a spinal cord injury during my teenage years? I might have more character.

4) Start a Food Fight: I may respect food too much to ever throw any at another person. I try not to waste food. When a waitress at a restaurant brings bread over, I make sure I eat every piece. A school food fight though could have been epic. To shout those famous words “Food Fight!” then be the first one to fire off a cardboard pizza at a classmate would have made my every tear I have shed in my life worth it.

5) Beat Up a Bully: I stood up to enough bullies and threatened one, but I never gave one a good pounding. There were few fights in my high school career between anyone at all. I think by that point kids settled their differences by saying insulting things on MySpace instead of with their fists. What happened to us?

6) Flirt With a Teacher: There are always films or moments on television shows where a cute new teacher shows up and romance becomes a possibility. I’m not saying all of my female teachers were extras on The Walking Dead. All I am saying is that none were worthy of a plot point where she has to eventually sit me down and tell me that our age difference is too much and she would lose her job. Why can’t life be more like television? I want a sexy chemistry teacher to ask me to stay after class to help balance equations.

7) Get Carried on People’s Shoulders: Whether it comes after winning the big game or because my performance in the Battle of the Bands was so tremendous that people wanted me on top of them, getting carried on people’s shoulders is something I really missed out on. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any kid in my school ever get rewarded with this. The administration frowned upon any form of public affection. Their plan worked out and now everyone I went to school with is a cold human being, fearful of being touched by others.

8) Discover Something Unique About Myself: The only thing unique I discovered about myself was that I could eat pizza for breakfast every day for a year and not put on weight. I would have rather discovered that I was Superman or could stop time. Most of my high school lessons involved making me more pessimistic. All of the studying, hours of doing homework, and working hard on essays only got me into a community college. Go figure. Money means everything.

9) Have a Fun Nickname: I had plenty of nicknames in high school. None of them would be appropriate to repeat in front of a vulgar sailor because they were so mean. Let’s move on before I start crying.

10) Win: It doesn’t matter what it is. High school for me was spent losing a lot. I was basically the school’s 1962 New York Mets. So much of high school is about winning, and I just didn’t do it. I never won the girl. I never won in sports. I never won when my final average was a 79 percent where the teacher should have totally rounded up and given me the B, but he didn’t because he was a spiteful man with a lazy eye. When high school finally ended for me, it was like a dying light bulb. There was a flicker then it was over. There was no walking off into the sunset knowing I had been accepted into my dream school or anything triumphant like that. High school ended and with it went my chances at being a high school legend. Well, I guess I did win. I got out.

fancy

(I also regret not going to this high school where random fat black guys can sit next to the popular girls while drinking their orange sodas and not be asked to move)

While I was minding my own business and getting involved in other people’s I shouldn’t have, I received a Facebook message I was not expecting. Unlike most random Facebook messages it didn’t go to my “Other” folder which is filled with pretty girls confessing their love for me. Unfortunately many of them committed suicide before we could begin a romance. Several of them even blamed me for their decision to end their own lives. There are also a bunch of invitations to events I had no interest in attending so not everything is really sad there.

The message I got went something like this:

Hi Tim! I found your fb page through a friend’s list.
I’m currently recruiting people who want to go to Israel next summer for free! The trip is sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia and it’s similar to Birthright except it’s longer and while there, you would take classes at Yeshiva/seminary, which is very interesting! In order to qualify, you must be Jewish and between the ages of 18 and 29. I got back from the trip a couple weeks ago and speaking from personal experience, it’s definitely the trip of a lifetime If you qualify and it’s something you might be interested in, feel free to message me back and I’ll be glad to send you more info. I hope to hear from you soon!
P.S. I know this may seem like a scam but I promise it’s not! If you would like to meet in person to discuss the trip, I would be more than willing to.

I can’t just ignore this kind of bullshit. This is the worst type of marketing I have ever seen. There was no attempt to possibly establish if I was even qualified for such a, what sounds like, terribly awful moment of my life. On my list of places I would like to go to Israel is probably near the bottom next to Afghanistan and work on Mondays.

As soon as I read it I wanted to give several smart ass responses. I was furious. It’s like when people in Times Square try to sell me rap CDs. I don’t listen to rap. In fact, I don’t even listen to my own thoughts thanks to my new prescription antidepressants I am currently abusing (with alcohol).

I took the high-road though and responded with:

I’m Chinese so I don’t qualify

Clearly I am not Chinese. I am as far from Chinese as a person can get; unless you ask a Japanese person because they insist they are the opposite of Chinese. I don’t think they are. I think they are like blueberries and raspberries. They are very similar. It’s like the Irish and English would be more like apples and bananas. I pair apples and bananas together because both allow the eater to have something to throw out the car window if they so choose. In my humble opinion, you should always choose.

Then she responds with:

So that means you’re not Jewish?

Something was not getting through. I’m not even sure why there was such an eagerness to put me in harm’s way. Isn’t there a current mass of suicide bombings in the Middle East right now? I swear I saw it trending online. Or maybe it was the Midwest. I always forget which one of those places is backwards and puts too much blind faith in a god.

Then I said:

Yes

And she cuntilly (is it one L or two?) added:

Ok, thanks for responding anyway.

To sum it up, please avoid sending me silly messages like this without doing a little bit of research first. She is very lucky I didn’t say something mean to hurt her feelings. I still would like to know what she thinks a Chinese person looks like if I’m passable.

Here are links to places you can find other works of mine.

cleat report

The Cleat Report: Anything baseball related

phalse philly sports logo

Phalse Philly Sports: Philadelphia sports satire