So, last March I went to the Grand Canyon.

As I rev up for my next adventure, I feel obligated to give thanks for my last one. I can’t decide what was more beautiful: the Grand Canyon, or the fact it was work trip, so my job covered most expenses.

The Grand Canyon is just one of those places that you’ve gotta visit. (Especially, if you live in the United States and think all the interesting stuff is overseas.) Anybody that tells you otherwise is unable to think beyond the mediocrity of their puny lives. The real ones will be in awe in the canyon’s presence. You’re not visiting the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon is letting you gaze upon it. Or not.

I rode with my co-worker for more than three hours to reach the south rim, stopped in the visitor center, and then had the guy tell me, “it’s completely covered in fog, so your best chance of seeing it is down this way.” He pointed to the far end of a map that showed a mile of the canyon. They had my time, they had my money; I was gonna see the Grand Canyon. My homie and I decided to walk it.

The old man behind the desk inside the visitor center has excellent intel because, within five minutes of gazing upon that vast, inhuman hole in the ground, it was completely covered in fog. Not like the fog you drive through to get to work in the fall, but the kind of fog that stops traffic. Imagine being at the top of the most fatal cliff edge you could visit and not being able to see if there was a ledge to catch you. Or imagine looking at a hole that is almost 300 miles wide, and not being able to see a single foot of it.

That didn’t stop me from tearing up. When I caught a glimpse of that big, beautiful beast, my eyes watered like I was meeting my firstborn child. “Who am I in the big-ass universe?”

Perhaps the fog made it even better. It gave the Canyon some Alfred Hitchockian suspense, and I love me some Alfred Hitchcockian suspense. I walked along the Grand Canyon in thirty degree weather for a mile with only glimpses of what was hidden beyond that fog. Then, finally, I reached my destination, and the sky cleared up like it was time for the grand finale. That’s where I got the good pictures.

A few minutes later, I said, “Damn. How are we gonna get back to our car?” Thank God for the blue bus, because my feet were aching and frozen. A few tips for the wise:

  • Don’t eat at the Grand Canyon. The food there is wack. Eat steak someplace else because you deserve it.
  • Fuck unpredictable weather. If you got time to see the Grand Canyon, you go see the Grand Canyon!
  • The drive to the southern rim is long. You can do what people suggest, and take an even longer scenic route through Sedona. Or you can do what I did, and go with a friend who loves carpool karaoke.

I finally watched Pulp Fiction.

I know, I know. I should be ashamed to tell anyone I went more than 25 years without watching Pulp Fiction. Will it help if I tell you I tried to watch it a couple years ago and I fell asleep? No? Didn’t think so.

I kept hearing about this movie. I knew Quentin Tarantino. I recognized that provocative cover. I just didn’t know why I had to watch it. I literally didn’t even know the plot to this damn movie. Plots.

I knew I needed to find out more about that “bad mother fucker” reference, but I was afraid. I was afraid of that feeling I got when I forced myself to watch Cruel Intentions, and then Bridget Jones’ Diary, and then Blade Runner (fight me; that movie was boring). That “wow, I guess I had to have seen it two decades ago to appreciate it” feeling. I was scared that I wouldn’t be invigorated.

I’m happy to report that all the rumors are true (if you have the stomach for it). I made a date with my TV, set aside a few hours, and buckled in for the ride of my life. “Trippy,” as Jody would say.

For your amusement and my own, I’ve compiled a list of my thoughts while watching Pulp Fiction for the first time from beginning to end.

**Spoilers beyond this point.**

  1. Nobody told me this movie had Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, and Ving Rhames on top of Uma, John, and Sammy Jack! I could’ve been known this movie was a classic.
  2. Wait, is this where the Amsterdam craze started? I wondered how potheads found out about that.
  3. I love Tarantino films. Between this random-ass dialogue, these cutthroat scenes, and random time jumps, I’m feelin’ it.
  4. John Travolta was right about foot massages. They definitely mean something.
  5. “This is a tasty burger!” I can’t wait for my next opportunity to toss that into a regular conversation.
  6. I’m super tickled that the subtitles (and script, I presume) really called that dude “Flock of Seagulls.” I later googled the full rationale behind that name and it made it less funny.
  7. “I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?” This is quintessential Sammy Jack, and I wouldn’t mind hearing this phrase in his voice every day for the rest of my life.
  8. Did the black kid die? Awww, he didn’t have to do him like that!
  9. More great stuff: “My name is Paul, and this shit’s between y’all.” When Paul was out, I knew Mia was trouble. (Is there a final verdict as to whether Mia’s responsible for that dude’s speech impediment?)
  10. I appreciated every random conversation in this movie. When John said catching the dude keying his car might’ve been worth getting his car keyed, I felt that.
  11. I was so distraught when Mia made a rectangle instead of a square. But I also loved the effects. Tarantino doesn’t follow the rules, he makes the rules.
  12. I wasn’t under the influence of anything while watching this movie, but I still d i e d laughing when Mia told that Fox Force Five joke. (If you haven’t seen the movie, but you read this far because you live for spoilers, comment and I’ll tell you the joke. But I fear it’s been built up too much.)
  13. While pondering the fact Butch’s father kept that watch up his ass for several years after it had already been up another man’s ass for even more years, I realized how significant things up peoples’ asses was that whole section of the movie. Brilliant.
  14. Is this why dudes don’t trust females? Because they forget to pack the watch? Either way, Butch handled that like a G. Men, take notes.
  15. Whew, I’m so glad Sammy didn’t die.

I think I’ll watch Inglourious Basterds next. What do y’all think of that one?