Santorini gave me a hand with Romance.

 

Santorini, Greece is one of the most beautiful and romantic places I have ever been in my life.  Which is why I brought an old flame to this island of love. I’ve been on and off with Palmela since I was a teenager and we somehow always end up with each other. She can be a handful at times but all in all I wouldn’t want to be on this island of romance with anyone else.

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Santorini has some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ve ever seen. So we started our romantic getaway by going to the northern part of the island called Oai which is known for the best sunsets on the island and possibly the world. Damnnnnn! Get ready to cry with all the gorgeousness happening around you, which made my little lady Palmela putty in my hands.

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Romance had just begun especially after Palmela saw the AirBnb we were staying in. Welcome to the love palace. The place used to be a wine cellar that they transformed into a house. And Palmela loves wine so I knew this would a cherry on the sunset. Her black marker eyes grew wider as she was blown away and it just made me more intoxicated in love with her.

We went to Kamari beach the next day. It’s called the Black beach because the sand is made from black volcanic rocks. This place was rad you get a little beach bed and they bring you drinks and food as the sun smothers you with kisses. And Palmela smothered me with kisses too as our dormant love began erupting again. There is no other gal I would rather do a pathetic duck face selfie with.

For dinner we had romance served on platter in the form of another gorgeous sunset and Volkan local beer. As I stared at Palmela we spoke in unspoken sunset talk. Which is basically, “booyyyyyyyy you soooo crazy I want to have your baby!!!” I was like slow down girl, let’s just enjoy the sea bass and as I stared at her I wondered is this the one. Are we going to grow old and have hand babies together with cute little baby hand mittens? Is this island all we really needed.

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That night we went into Fira, the main part of town, and we put down shots of Uzo and drafts of Myros. Palmela was dancing on the bar. That girl can dance. And then I remembered why we never worked out. She started to peeing on the bar. She started to makeout with strangers and I just laughed at how stupid I was thinking that we could have little hand babies together as she’s high fiving any dude around her.  This is both of us waking up faded from a wild night of uzo and beer.

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Our last day was on a sunset cruise. We saw the red and white beaches and bathed in the volcanic hot spots. And we talked. And as beautiful as our love started it faded away like every sunset on beautiful Santorini. But every sunset turns out beautiful because as our love set I met another girl on the boat, her name was Alhandra…

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Go Cubs! From a bad ass old Wagon.

**I know the Cubs aren’t travel related. But I’m thousands of miles away in Croatia and my baseball team is in the World Series after a million years. So I got to sing a song about them.**

I became a Cubs fan over 30 years ago after my father kept calling me “Goose.” Why he called me that I have no clue. But the Cubs had a great relief pitcher at the time named Rich “Goose” Gossage who had a bad ass moustache. I don’t know if that’s why I started rooting for them or that I only had two choices on TV WGN Cubs or TBS Braves.

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I grew up with Bottle glassed Harrey Carrey narrating the stories of ball and stick with Ryan “The Ryno” Sandberg, Andre “The Hawk” Dawson, Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Zambrano, Shawn Dunston, Sammy Sosa and more. I loved being a Cubs fan, we were the loveable losers who somehow always had hope.

I remember when we had, in my mind, the best pitching staff in Baseball with Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Greg Maddux, and Zambrano. I knew we were going to go far. And then injury year after year made us suck more and more. The Cubs have kicked me in the nuts a lot.

The Steroid era, the $$ lockouts and my team sucking balls year after year didn’t help my love for baseball. The only thing close to my team being a professional ball club for a while was them being professional at sucking balls.

So I made a rule, based on my pain of losing every year, that I’d only watch the Cubs if they were over 500 by the All Star Break. That basically meant I didn’t’ watch them for years. There wasn’t anything lovable about them for awhile. Till a point where I just stopped even looking if they were over 500.  My love for baseball just faded.

Till the past couple years, the Cubs have resurged and now are in the World Series. And now I feel bad that I didn’t go through the years of hell with them. Like I don’t deserve to be happy or excited. Like I’m being a band wagoner by rooting for them.

But screw that shit, my wagon is 30 years old. My wagon has a hood ornament of Rich “Goose” Gossage’s moustache on the front. My wagon can get speeds up to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior’s fastballs. And have you seen the wheels on my wagon? They are gigantic, they aren’t road legal because they are roided up Sammy Sosa style with the sweet control of Greg Maddux and and a sun roof with glass thicker than Harry Carey’s glasses. Also there’s a Rhino Hawk painted on the hood of my wagon. Imagine a Rhino that has hawk wings and can fly, it’s bad ass as bad ass as Sandberg and Dawson. It’s got a sweet Ivy green paint job with a bobble Head of fat boy Don Zimmer bobbing on the dash. Yes, that’s my wagon bitches! And I love it. It may not be the most up to date wagon, you still have to roll the windows down by hand. It ain’t no 2016 or 2015 wagon with AC and heated seats, it’s a little uncomfortable at times.

But it’s my 30 year old wagon and I love it. And even if I don’t know the players as deeply as I did 30 or 8 years ago. My wagon is still running on the spirt of one thing “hope.”

Go Cubs!

Belgium will Charm the Pants off you.

The reason there’s a naked boy peeing in Belgium. It’s because his pants were completely charmed off. It’s a real problem here all the people walking around pantless. But a problem that I’m willing to deal with as I took a 3-day weekend to Leuven and Brussels in Belgium. One of the Europeans I’m traveling with in Remote Year, Brecht, wanted to introduce his traveling family for the year to his family back home. I visited Brussels like 9 years ago and loved the charm it had. And when I returned the charm was still there like it had been waiting all this time to make love to my eyeballs again.

TRAIN TO LEUVEN: I took one of those super fast cheetah on steroids trains.  2 hours from London in the blink of an eye and a nice nap. And when I was booking my train trip the business class to Belgium was actually the same price as standard class. So I went business class. Since I’m an extremely dapper dresser (just jeans and a T-shirt) the ticket checkers questioned my seat twice thinking that I belonged in another class, I guess they thought I was Royalty class instead of Business. Simple mistake that many people make it. They fed me and gave me wine. And wanted to make sure I was comfortable the whole time. Made me consider paying 10 euros extra to take business back because I’m fancy and stuff. But I’m going cheap this year and trying to stretch my money so I held back on luxury on the return. Bob and Mary joined me on this choo choo journey.

LEUVEN: Leuven is a charming city. I loved the cobblestone streets and picturesque houses. I spent the day walking the city and writing in cafes. It’s a dream here.

STELLA BREWERY TOUR: For Starters this tour starts with vests. Bright neon vests that make people looks super hot. And its good preparation because they will then take you to a bunch of hot ass rooms and explain how beer is made and it’s really boring and hot. Prepare to sweat and glisten all over your body.  All I’m thinking is get me to the end of this damn tour so I can drink beer. I did learn a couple cool historical things. Stella was originally called Horn till Artois bought it but he kept the horn in the logo. Stella which means star was originally a Christmas beer. But people loved it so much that they continued it and it ended up being the flagship beer. So that is all the interesting shit so you don’t have to go on a sauna tour.

However the tour ended perfectly with all you can drink beer. We were also taught how to do the perfect pour and they brought out cheese and meat plates for us to enjoy with our beer. The tour wasn’t free so don’t think we were in lala land with free booze.

TWO FAMILIES COME TOGETHER: Brecht organized a BBQ where he brought his Remote Year family and his family and friends in Leuven. His friends and family were hilarious. Brecht even gave a speech.

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BRUSSELS:  On the last day we took a train to Brussels. We did a walking tour with a tour guide that looks like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. This guy was an eccentric to the max and all of us were extremely hung over from the night before. We saw some great sites like churches, statues, and one of the oldest bars in Brussels. And enjoyed some pieces of Street art while taking the tour.

PEEING BOY…..AND GIRL: We saw the famous Peeing Boy. He’s a lot smaller than I imagined, that’s not a dick joke either. The statue is smaller, get your head out of the gutter. Apparently a prince peed in public back in the day and the commoners were so impressed that a prince pees just like them. So the Peeing boy statue was erected.

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Here’s something I didn’t know existed. There’s a peeing girl too. You have to go down an alley way back and it’s kinda hidden but she’s there peeing away. She has no shame.

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FOOD AND BEER: Belgium is known for their Beers. When I visited 9 years ago I think I sampled every beer they had form Duvel, Trappist Monk, Chimay, La Chouffe, Stella, Leffe, St. Bernadus, Delirium to Hoegarden. Probably some of your favorite beers are from here or beers you haven’t fallen in love with yet. I love Delerium, Hoegarden and Chimay. This time I just stuck to simple lagers like Stella which I kinda regret as I’m writing this.

For food they are known for their Moules (Mussels) and Frites (fries). Unfortunately the mussels I had were just plain average and underwhelming. Their Fries are served in a cone here and they put a variety of sauces on it from mayo, ketchup, curry sauce and more. And you eat it with a little baby fork because fries in a cone is fancy. Waffles are a dessert and are topped with a variety of things from Nutella, ice cream, fruit and more.  They are also known for chocolate but I’m not a chocolate dude, that’s more for the ladies.

OVERALL: Going to Belgium and getting to see it from a local’s eyes and meeting all his friends and family is a great experience. He probably could have lived in Idaho and I would have enjoyed it. But thank god it was in a city that charmed the pants off of me. Also apologies for putting an image of me pantless in your head.

Belgrade Crib with Serbian Patrick

Here’s a tour of my monthly Crib in Belgrade, Serbia. This is another nice apartment I’ve stayed in so far with Remote Year. I had two roommates and we rock paper scissored for the best room with a sweet balcony. I came in last place and got the room that had a view of a cement wall. In Serbia they smoke everywhere and I mean everywhere. So Serbian Patrick will give you this tour while he smokes 800 cigarettes.

Prague Short films: “Princess” and “Hippy Hollow”

For the month of Prague I asked my fellow travel companions to submit ideas for short films in one paragraph. Then I picked my favorite to write and shoot this month in Prague. Well I actually picked two favorites. Both are very different than each other and different than my normal style. So it was nice to mix it up with two different film ideas. Below are both films “Princess” and “Hippy Hollow.” So this is my 6th and 7th short film out of 12 this year, at this point I will have 13 short films by the end of the year.

“Princess” is a story of Princess searching for her Prince in Prague from the dark mind of Matt Sherwood.

The second short is “Hippy Hollow” which is about 3 roommates, 2 weirdos and 1 love from the minds of David Baum and Kirsten Westeinde.

Goodbye Cunts

For those of you that I may have offended with this headline. I just need you take a Kangaroo hop to Australia where the word “cunt” is a word of endearment and affection to friends. It’s a word my Australian friends Tom and Tanya used a lot as American’s shuddered when they hear it. And these two cunts (Tom and Tanya) have left me and Remote Year to do their own thing. It’s been 3 months since they left and this is my love letter or blog post to them telling them: “Hey, I miss you cunts.”

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I became friends with these cunts as they both starred in my first short Film in Cordoba, Argentina called “The Moister.” And a filthy movie name is fitting for these cunts as we came up with the idea together on a river 7 months ago.

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TOM: One of the funniest cunts I’ve ever met. Pure Joy and kindness. I’m always happy around this cunt and can talk about the stupidest things and I need that interaction to actually be alive. This cunt partied as hard as anyone and always tried to get me to go out. Tom’s 10 years younger than I am and when I try to keep up with a man who runs on cerveza and Fernet Branca I realize I run on the tears of me crying in the corner because I’m an old man that smells like fermented moth balls. But he kept me young and excited. Tom felt like a little brother to me. And I know when you say little brother it sounds kinda shitty like you are above them. But that’s not what I mean, what I mean is he felt like a brother and I was fucking old as shit with balls that hung down to my knees like a clock tick tocking back and forth. That is all.

TANYA: This cunt is a life coach. And I’m gonna be real, when I hear life coach I kinda shake my head and I’m like ok, sure, you can give me life guidance. What makes you a fucking knowledge person on life? Please. But Tanya is amazing. As a friend I didn’t realize I was getting free life coach lessons over lunch and coffee. There are people that get human beings and can help them move forward in a genuine way. That’s not fake. That’s real. These people are rare. And Tanya is one of those cunty gems. If you need a life coach or considering one, hit her up here http://www.merakicoaching.com. I don’t know what she costs because I’ve been getting my shit for free apparently.

These cunts helped me be me by still being able to explorer outside of myself. Probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m just trying to say that they were my people. Fun. Smart. Stupid in the best way. Kind. Irreverent. I’ve never been good at goodbyes which is probably why I’ve put off this blog post for the past 2 months. I’ve grown up as a Military brat and we moved a lot so I had to deal with a lot of goodbyes. And they suck. So I shrug goodbyes off more than I should, probably a defense tactic to protect my little cunty feelings from being hurt.

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But I know I’ll see these cunts again. Dancing like a party parrot on the dance floor. Stupid conversations that we pretend to take seriously without breaking character. Making another short film together. Going out for only two beers, I swear only two…Zumba dancing all the way to accidentally going to a 12 year old hip hop dance class where we were mocked. Till the day I’m the Reverend at their weddings that don’t exist yet. Until then I’ll say a short goodbye because hopefully it’s only a short time till I see these cunts again.

Goodbye Cunts. I miss you more than being able to unapologetically say cunt.

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P.S. The night Tom left he asked me in his last words to make sure the word “cunt” didn’t die while we traveled. Tom, I got the word cunt 21 times in this blog post. I’m keeping it alive brother. Miss you cunts. Now 22 times.