Ninja Quest

The adventure started in Colorado. Actually, it started with a goodbye-bonfire in LA with Kiley, Bigfoot, Priest, Alejandro and others ("a weekly tradition!") Aaron, my travel-companion-friend, met me at SLC and we flew into Colorado Springs together Wednesday. A shiny Land Rover pulled up to meet us with Mama-D at the wheel. After Thai food (CO is famous for it's Thai food*) 
Mama D drove us up to her mountaintop mansion in a ranch community over an hour from the closest town and/or McDonald's. On the tour, she revealed a shooting range in her barn. I won a duel against an unarmed black guy!

The sun went down and we took it inside the barn for some archery. Aaron was 100X more accurate than either Mama D or me, so I'm not putting any pictures of his shots up just to spite him. 

Delta called Aaron in to work early, so unfortunately the poor guy had to hop on a flight the next afternoon. We were up at 6am for white-water rafting. A fun activity, but a little too mellow. I think kayaking is more my speed. Aaron was at the airport after lunch (Chinese food, obviously)

 Mama D got roped into substitute teaching at her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym, so after Chinese massages and then the best Mexican food-stand-food EVER, I attended a Ninja/Hardcore Wrestling class with Mama D. Due to the preciousness of my face, I was only allowed to "roll" with Mama-D and one of her teaching students Tyler... who was way too good looking for me to keep from giggling the entire time.

Mama-D took a video, but it will never see the light of day because (A) I got my ass handed to me and (B) I'm not trying to run a niche porn blog.  It looked something like this, but with a lot more of me crying:

My agents called me in for work on Friday to do a scene on How I Met Your Mother where I get molested by Wayne Brady. I had to leave Colorado the next morning. How could I say no to that?!

Back in SoCal, I managed to sneak into Comic Con that weekend with my ninja friends Bigfoot and Priestly.

We spent two days making Priest's nerd-fantasies come true.

Okay, and maybe some of my own fantasies, too...

Priestly even got onstage that night at midnight for the light-saber Star Wars re-enactment ballet!

 We started getting frisky around the wrong crowd, however.

We were banned from Comic Con for life. We would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!!!


Viaje Mysterio

It’s been an intense summer. I’ve bought a new motorcycle and taken a sublet near the beach in Los Angeles for three months. Some of that time has been shared with Chicago as well. The original plan was to be only in Chicago, closer to The Beej. Unfortunately, one visit from Ohio proved that the minor reduction of distance didn’t ease the costs and aggravation of visitation. It’s okay for “Airport” to be your middle name, but it’s a personal purgatory when the airplanes never go anywhere new. Even California isn’t far enough anymore.
Two years of dating long-distance has proved too much to handle. It’s weird to break up with someone when you’re still in love with. As a consolation, I’ve gained a “Companion Pass” on Delta; which means free standby flights! Hopefully I’ll end up rebounding with foreign countries rather than foreign people.
            On Thursday, July Fourth, I went to the airport with a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, motorcycle jacket and passport. It was anyone’s guess what flight would be available on America’s third-drunkest holiday. After failing to get three different flights to Hawaii, the stewards suggested a less crowded red-eye to San Jose, Costa Rica. It’s a good destination, especially since the chances of getting back from Hawaii in time to shoot a “Crocs” commercial on Tuesday were slim to none. There was a seat available in first class! They don’t have the same whiskey selection as American Airlines’ first class, and their caviar is sub-par, but it’s hard to complain about such things when bringing a tent in carry-on. As we took off from LAX, California said goodbye with an array of coastal firework demonstrations.
            A chatty Costa Rican woman with monstrous fake lips was seated beside me. She must have taken a few Valium before the flight because she fell asleep in the middle of my explanation as to why I plan on catching and bringing home a pet sloth named Wooby... Nice lady, though.
            The plane landed at 6AM Friday and I grabbed a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of rice/beans/plantains/eggs at McDonald’s (“They have Wifi, alright?!”). My friend/guide/surf guru/Spanish teacher Juan Jose had a class in town until noon, so after spending two hours screaming at the worst drivers on the planet (excluding Miami), I took a nap in a hammock at a Costa Rican chain restaurant called TacoBar.
            We decided to visit Arenal Volcano National Park for a night before heading to Juan’s house on a surf spot called Playa Hermosa.
            Two years ago, my older brother had his bachelor party in Playa Hermosa and rented our usual house in the neighborhood Juan Jose manages. It was a fun-filled adventure full of surfing, psychedelic waterfall hiking, drinking games and strippers with C-section scars. One night at a beachside bar, Juan Jose confessed that he was attracted to me. Rather than reveal this information in private, Juan got incredibly drunk and chased me around the bar, trying to grab my ass. I’ve been told that’s simply how it’s done down here.
            Since then, I’ve been clear with Juan about only wanting a platonic relationship. Despite this fact, I could tell there was still a glimmer of hope that night as we were swimming in the hot spring. Fortunately, I got food poisoning from my Costa Rican McDonald’s breakfast. Nothing cuts sexual tension quite like involuntarily spewing bodily fluids from every orifice.
            Saturday morning was spent recovering and then hiking as many waterfalls as possible before heading south to the black sands of Playa Hermosa. We went for a swim at sunset. Ten-foot waves crashed a quarter mile out as Juan and I bodysurfed the shore-break and practiced Spanish profanities. After Argentinian empanadas and a couple Imperials, I was asleep by 9PM.

            Juan had work until 11AM on Sunday, so I attempted to paddle out in Hermosa’s massive surf, despite being the only idiot in the black water. Later we surfed a southern spot called Esterillos, using boards from the development’s rental shop.  It started storming around 3, so we hit one more waterfall; a secret one without a name. It had pools deep enough to jump into from above each of it’s three massive tiers. I didn’t take a picture or video of the falls because (A) it was raining and (B) I just told you it’s secret, duh! Even though Juan is not my type, it’s difficult not to french kiss your companion (Nicholas-Sparks-style) when you’re both encased in tons and tons of never-ending barrel. I resisted the urge this time*. I may be a lot of things (actor, model, timewaster, badass, moron) but ‘a tease’ is no longer on that list.

            To cap the adventure, we finally saw a sloth on the hike back! I texted The Beej to tell him that I found Wooby, “...but Wooby told me I’m not ready to have a pet” since the closest thing I have right now is a bamboo plant in New York… and last time I checked, it was hanging on by a thread. The Beej still hasn’t texted back yet.
            Luckily, the two-hour drive to the airport this morning was in total darkness. If the sun was out, I’d most likely miss the only flight today in order to find another sloth and convince him to let me take him home.
            It’s hard to lose someone as irreplaceable as the Beej, but this newfound freedom to have the career and adventures I’ve always wanted is more than a consolation. It’s like a 16-year old who’s just received their first car. The world is magically open and available for the taking like never before. It’s insane to think that this is only the first of these adventures. Usually there’s a personal or financial obligation (such as a modeling contract) when travelling, but now it’s a whole different ball game. The world is my oyster: I’m gunna shuck the hell out of it and then take heaps of pictures… and then put them on the Internet for strangers to see!
Please stay tuned, and enjoy. 

Love only.

*Sorry about that last time in the Caribbean, mom.