Traveling

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

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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

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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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Ch-Ch-Changes

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.

Chaaaaanges.

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.

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13 Assassins (2010)

8.5/10 – Grilled Seal of Approval

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Ah yes, the classic “Let’s get a bunch of guys together to go kill some other guys.” Never fails to be an entertaining plot.

One of my all time favorite films is The Street Fighter, with the sequel, Return of the Street Fighter, following close behind. The Street Fighter movies have nothing to do with 13 Assassins with the single exception that they are all Japanese productions, but I’m going to talk about The Street Fighter anyway because I don’t give a fuck.

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Julie the Fortune Teller

I had a few interactions with death during my time abroad. One Cambodian friend was drunk and drove his dirtbike into a wall. An expat I knew in Cambodia succumbed one day to his many ailments. Everyday he had come to the bar at 6am, sat in the exact same spot, took out his book for the day, and then drank and smoked until nightfall. Every single day. I’m told he had been holding this schedule for the past five years. The day came when he wasn’t there for the opening shift of the bar. We knew what had happened, and we left his spot at the bar open for him.

And then there was Julie.

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Rush (2013)

8.5/10 – Grilled Seal of Approval

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Some of my greatest memories from Asia are from my motorbike trips. Whenever I visited a new town I rented a motorbike and tried to get as lost as possible. One of the best trips was riding from Da Nang, the biggest city in Central Vietnam, to Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam.

As you ride north up and down and up and down the brilliantly green mountains, the ocean stretches out wonderfully to your right. The sun cooks your skin, but there’s a cool wind billowing around the mountain and you feel fine. You’re getting a little concerned about running out of petrol, so at the top of every mountain you turn off the engine and allow yourself to glide down at the speed of gravity.

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‘Hunters’ of Asia

I turned on Facebook earlier this evening and – wait, wait, wait – turned on? That’s an odd way to talk, Dom. You sound like you’re a grandmother.

Alright, logged on then. Is that better?

Ehhh.. just say, “I went on Facebook. That’s all you need.”

… So… So, I went on Facebook earlier this evening… I mean, I go on Facebook everyday, multiple times per day. It’s not like today was a special day for Facebooking or anything. No, it was a regular day. Facebook is boring now. Have you noticed that? Maybe I’ve just exhausted my patience for other peoples bullshit. If I want to read about a bunch of bullshit I can just log onto my own site (har, har, har).

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Tales of the Spanish Girls

There were a few months from 2012 to 2013 when I traveled with a group of Spanish girls. I met them through a German friend of mine and it always impressed me how they could stand to travel together for longs periods of time. They were five. Three sisters, each half-Spanish, half-Saudi (a very attractive combination), one of their Spanish friends, and a Colombian girl who lived in Spain. Five girls traveling together for months through some of the dirtiest places on Earth.

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Transitory Relationships and ‘Weekend’ (2011)

9/10 – Grilled Seal of Approval

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A nice little gay love story for the whole family. No, really it’s great. Realistic, passionate, well-acted, and involving. The plight of two gay men who only have a handful of hours to spend together before one of them leaves the country. I can identify. I’ve been there. No, I’m not gay (well, probably not), but I am an old soul when it comes to brief, wonderful, and transitory relationships.

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Stay Out of Trouble

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It’s been said that I can be a, “pain in the ass to watch a movie with.” I’m not going to attribute that quote to any one particular person, partly because I made up the quote, but also because I can imagine any of my exes telling me that. The sentiment, either in those words or similar ones, would be carried out in an exasperated tone and I would scribble a mental note to keep myself from falling into a similar situation again. I have some very particular preferences for enjoying a film, all of which are related to losing yourself inside the created piece for the entirety of its duration. So, no lights, no talking, and absolutely no questions will be permitted during the film. I’m not a masochist though, so I usually just watch movies that I don’t feel the need to invest myself in if there will be others in the room. Therefore, if Anchorman is on the screen, quip away, quip away. Comedies are fine, terrible movies are fine, mediocre movies are fine, Hollywood movies are definitely fine; in fact, the majority of movies that people usually want to watch are fine. The problem is I don’t usually watch the movies that are most often watched. I’m watching bizarre foreign films, indies, and strange experimentals that may require more than one viewing and at the minimum at least a fully attentive audience to fully understand.

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