Welcome Back.

The calm before the storm. No, more like the calm before the story.

I love these moments at the edge of the precipice. We teeter back and forth, our heart bungee jumps to our head, our palms sweat, our voice trembles, our hands shake, and the unknown bares its teeth and invites us to tumble onward.

Welcome back.

I’m facing about thirty hours of travel time before I enter a brand new world where “I” becomes “We” and “my” turns to “our” – a change reflected in Manny and I’s new joint venture – SuperGrilledTravels.

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Escaping From the New York Winter to the Beaches and Sunny Skies of Northern Europe

Okay, I’m excited. In between the hustle and bustle of getting one of my trips under way (Saying farewells to friends and family, collecting the spare change in my room into a plastic sandwich baggy, attempting to sell said loose change sandwich baggy at karaoke bars [Nope] and regular bars [still nope] before one of my friends graciously steps in to purchase it from me…) I never seem to realize what is actually about to happen until I’ve found my way onto my plane and settled in for all of the complementary Johnny Walkers the flight attendants feel comfortable giving me.

So, we’re a couple hours early this year. (Grateful for arriving waaaaaay too early for my flight and finally getting time to post!)

I gave up my room on Dec 1st, and since then I’ve been a nomad in my own city, from couch to couch to bed and back, the trip begins this year with a week of bouncing between my amazing friends and family. THANK YOU ALL. I seriously have the best friends and family ever. You  people are too damn cool.

Drooling over friends finished, if you have been refreshing this page continously the past two years as you await my return to rambling confessionals, I apologize for the delay. If you have taken a vow to never read another word by any writer whatsover until I return from my self-imposed alphabet exile, then holy crap, I am extremely disturbed and supremely impressed. Please, for the love of whatever God you subscribe to, take me down from that pedestal, I am afraid of falling and spraining one of my preferred body parts.

(All of them.)

Jokes aside, welcome back. Or welcome for the first time. Or for the last time if this is it and every following word further shores up your decision to delete me as a Fbook friend and excise myself from the ranks of your memory. Or possibly for the last time because perhaps I’ll blow off writing anything for the entire time I am abroad and will be forced to have this tangent-soaked re-introduction stuck at the top of my stale site in perpetuity.

We shall see.

In any case, I at least plan to start out a couple travel projects and see how they go. The first will be a series of selfies with the constant stream of friends I make while traveling. I want to be able to look back and see those golden moments when a momentary connection turns a stranger into a friend. Into someone you would invite into your home, to share ideas, break bread, break down social norms and expectations.

Travelers are well accustomed to the transient life. Always on the move, always on the hunt for the next thrill, the next city seems even brighter than the one in which you stand… but no one likes to leave a friend behind.

Moments flash past on the cycle of life, and we are passing spectators. I’d like the opportunity to remind myself of each beautiful person who crosses my path. Days to weeks, months to years to decades and still a flash remains, permanently etched into the minds of its participants. Or it would be if not for our pesky minds choosing to fill up on childhood television theme songs and Internet memes.

(Work, mind, damn it!)

So, when the brain refuses to work as we would like, a snapshot of a connection is the best time-travel at our disposal. I’ll gather these snapshots and post them to my new project specific Instagram, FriendsBeyondBorders.

Love you all and see ya in a jiffy –

Amsterdam in 12 hours!

Why is Everyone Always Watching Me!?!

Fact: Will Smith wrote “Just the Two of Us” because he prophesied Jesse Eisenberg would star in The Double.

Fact: Will Smith wrote “Just the Two of Us” because he prophesied Jesse Eisenberg would star in The Double.

As a child, I used to spend hours trying to imagine what my identical twin was doing on the opposite side of the world. To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t (and I don’t) have an identical twin, but that little bit of information had no place in the world of a child’s imagination. I simply reasoned that on a planet of six billion or so people there had to be someone who looked and acted exactly like me.

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Please Don’t Recommend ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ to Me

"I should have made Tropic Thunder 2..."

“I should have made Tropic Thunder 2…”

I went on a date the other day. We can call it a first date though it could also just as easily be known as a last date because I highly doubt I will ever see her again. In fact, I can even imagine a scenario where she would send me a very expletive and CAPS LOCK filled text message if she ever has the misfortune of stumbling across this particular editorial.

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Sometimes I Have to Apologize for Leading My Friends into Experimental Tom Hardy Films

“I may have a lot of problems, but at least I can grow a magnificent beard.”

“I may have a lot of problems, but at least I can grow a magnificent beard.”

Seeing as I live in the terrible abscess of culture and art that is Central New Jersey, I don’t often get the chance to do simple things like go to museums, take DJ classes, or go to the movies. (There are plenty of opportunities for having deep metaphysical conversations with trees, so if you’re into that you should come hang out with me in my woods.) The closest movie theaters are about 45 minutes away if you drive the speed limit or an hour away if you spent a considerable amount of time living abroad and are now afraid of automobiles. (Everything just moves so fast now!)

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Hazy College Days, a Big Tattoo, and a Failed Love – Five Years of Watching Princess Mononoke


Unless you’ve seen me naked sometime in the past three years, you probably don’t know about the giant homage to Princess Mononoke that adorns my stomach. I’m a relatively inconspicuous young man, my most notable other features being a thick, scraggly beard and a pair of extremely plump red lips, so most seem to be a little surprised when I take off my shirt and they are faced with a piece of art that takes up approximately 50% of my torso.

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Watching Titanic Stoned Is Not Nearly As Much Fun As It Sounds


Don’t believe the hype, Rose.

The first time I watched Titanic also happened to be the first time I saw a pair of large naked boobs staring at me onscreen. They were Kate Winslet’s large naked boobs, of course. I was a confused young boy of nine sitting in the corner of the very first row of a Central New Jersey theater: my father to my right, my older sister to my left, and me and a rapidly mounting sense of awkwardness in the middle.

(Ahh… should I look? Should I not look? What’s everyone else doing? Oh god, something is happening in my pants!)

Fifteen or so years later I found myself again watching Titanic in a completely sold out theater, but this time from the corner of the last row, with very different company and about as far away from New Jersey as one can get without either burrowing to the Earth’s core or flying to the moon.

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A Beautiful Day

So, you want to meet my mother you say? Sure, sure I think we can arrange that. You’ll have to find that bastion of liberalism that she and my father live upon. It’s a hill overlooking a small pond and two fields in the middle of the cow and horse and chicken and Republican country of Central New Jersey. Oh, it’s beautiful – no doubt about that – and what it lacks in nearby facilities that would entertain a teenager, it more than makes up for with its beautiful seclusion and the leafy trees that hide my childhood home from the neighbors for about three quarters of the year.



Changes in the site, changes in the life.

If you’re new here: Welcome. If you’ve been here before: Welcome back.

So, I’m developing the details of my next travel excursion. Let’s just throw away that whole thing about “settling down” and moving into New York with things like leases and apartments and gym memberships that go unused and cheap sofas that have metal bars in all the most uncomfortable of places and making plans with people and being forced to come up with a whole variety of new excuses as to why you can’t come to this bar or that house party or that National Bowling League match (“Uhh… man I would, but I have a rule that Tuesdays are my ‘Wallow Alone in Drunken Misery’ nights. Yeah… yeah, you wouldn’t want to see that. I’ll catch up with you next time.”). Sure, that was the plan (and I guess that still will be the plan if I get offered some sort of amazing job), but times have changed.


Specifically, I just visited my French Canadian friend in Montreal, and – God Damn – but I seem to have gone and stuck myself with the needle of that most addictive and life-altering of drugs: Adventure. The thirst for newness and the quest for an escape from the stale and the fixed and the placid and the mortuary-like day-to-day existence of most of America, most of the Earth.

Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.


Hangin’ With The Homies

Today I have a sore ass.

I assume it is because yesterday I went on my first bike ride of the new year and not as a result of some sort of violent sexual assault that happened after I went to sleep last night. I was visiting some friends of mine, so you never know.

We headed to a local bar (local for them, just a bar for me) and had a drink and watched the middle-aged cover band play songs so the middle-aged crowd would have an excuse to sway their hips and lift their feet and move their elbows and hands in the rhythmic motions most commonly known as ‘dancing.’