Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mobile Blog: I Need to Join AA...

well, it's official: after the morning I had today, I can tell you without a doubt that I need to join AA.

that is, American Airlines' official fan club! because let me tell you how much they rock! for starters, their planes are guaranteed to fly some of your luggage to where you need to go, just as soon as they can get around to it. do you need them to fly you somewhere? well chum, today is your lucky day, because if you need flown someplace, AA will send two planes to fly you! the first one to show you how special you are to them as a client by having it show up 40 minutes after your scheduled departure time, then they'll ship that plane off for "maintenence." and just as soon as you can say "I paid $500 for this?", they'll have your second plane there, lickety split, barely an hour after the first one left! what service! and are you tired of not paying fifteen US dollars to check your bags? well fret no more, friend, because AA has that covered, too! every time you want to pay $15 for AA to lose your bags, they will! count on it! how about seats so small that Gary Coleman wouldn't be able to fit? no worries there, 'cause the second you plop down on that plush 1/8 inch of cushioning that covers every single barely-reclining AA chair, you won't feel like you're in America, you'll feel like you're in the magical land of Oz, and it's your turn to be the mayor of Munchkinland! hope you brought your lollipop guild!

don't pinch yourself, you're not dreaming, your just flying American Airlines: everything purgatory was desinged to be and more!

also, I need to join Alcoholics Anonymous. Merry Christmas Eve.

Mucho holiday love,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mobile Blog: Live from the 405 (That Wasn't Meant to Rhyme)

I had a really great idea the other day. And like most of my great ideas, it turned out to be someone else's idea that I intend to take full credit for. Dennis and Kate Hodges recently had a son named Darren, and when Kate went into labor, she started blogging about it from her iPhone, with pictures and everything (that's less gross than it sounds). I believe her labor process took about 9 hours or so. Since that's about the same amount of time I spend on the 405 in any given day, I thought I would follow Kate and Dennis' lead. So I got a girl pregnant and now I'm being sued for something involving the large jars of military-grade chlorophorm in my garage. No but really, I'm gonna start spicing up my blog life with mobile blogs! Like this one! Hooray!

Ok, traffic wasn't bad enough today, so now I'm already at work and it's time to slam some Chipotle before I head in.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Netflix VS. Blockbuster Online

I was going to write a blog this afternoon before work. But before I started, I was gonna sign up for netflix real quick just so I could get a couple movies sent that I've been meaning to see.

Hours later, my blockbuser online queue is at 348 moves.



California: Even our cloudy days are beautiful. These were the last clouds I've seen since August.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scott Bakula No Longer Hoards the Word "Quantum"

In what experts and critics around the globe are referring to as “Friday,” the hype for this season’s biggest British Secret Agent action/drama finally culminates into an explosion of Michael-Bay-esque proportions. Tomorrow/today (we need to find a better word for that part of the night where it’s technically the next morning, but you haven’t gone to sleep yet and don’t plan to for awhile, so it feels odd to refer to it as “today” when you plan on taking a 7-9 hour nap before beginning the rest of your “today.” Somebody work on that word and get back to me) marks the release of the only James Bond sequel I’ve ever cared about: Quantum of Solace. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Bond franchise, it’s the canon of movies that started out as an elaborate series of practical jokes that Sean Connery was playing on the rest of the world; then during the 70’s transformed into something fun to watch while on acid (but really, what wasn’t in the 70s?); then in the 90’s became the basis for a very popular video game for the N64 that let you act out a day in the life of Pierce Brosnan; and then in the modern era, became the final resting place of Halle Berry’s esteemed acting career. However, this franchise’s fall into mediocrity angered the god of Bullets, Cars and Explosions: Daniel Craig, and he saw fit to step down from his throne high atop Mount Aston-Martin and personally create a miracle that would set the bar for all other action movies of the time. This blessing not-so in disguise (grossing almost $600 million dollars worldwide) was called Casino Royale. And it was very good. But just as God saw fit to give us the New Testament after he saw how well the Old Testament was selling overseas and on dvd, so too has Daniel Craig decided to bless us with another 120 minutes of his soulful blue eyes looking unflinchingly into the camera whilst babes and buildings buckle in the background (albeit for very different reasons). May the world rejoice. My only complaints with this movie are that I can’t see the 12:01 showing with Bond-incarnate and former roommate, Nick Caruso (shaken, not stirred); and that I can’t join the British Secret Service because Mi6 only accepts applicants who have “British citizenship,” whatever the hell that means. Oh well.

In other news, I’m considering spending large amounts of money that I don’t have on some things that I don’t need — rather than save it or spend it on things I do need (food, rent, gas, Christmas presents for my family, etc.). These purchases include (in this order):
+a PS3
+a new guitar
+a new iPhone
+a new digital camera
+a new shaver
…and probably other things that I don’t need, but have forgotten what they are for the moment — I’ll likely remember what these things are the next time TV tells me.

Now here’s a quick breakdown of why I need these things I don’t need, and feel free to hook a brother up with any advice on how to acquire them. Or if you’d prefer to just write me a check for some or all of the money I’d need to buy these things, that’s cool too.

=PS3: I gave up my PS2 (along with my PS1, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, 3DO, Atari, my chessboard and my television) when I left Ohio for LA in order to remove the unnecessary distraction from my life so I could focus on rebuilding myself out here and finding a job and whatnot. But that was almost a year ago, and I miss having superheroes beat the crap out of each other for my entertainment. It’s time for a relapse.

=New guitar: I’ve been pretty well-behaved as far as not buying a new guitar whenever the whim struck me, but my uncle and I were talking music last time we were hanging out, and he recently purchased the exact kind of guitar I was looking to own. His buddy at a local Palm Springs music store might even be able to get me a deal. Good stuff.

=New iPhone: I like the way the white ones look. Real shiny.

=New digital camera: This one’s been a long time in the making, since I’ve had my old digital camera since back before they invented color photography. Also it would be nice to have something with a slightly higher megapixel count (mostly because whenever I say “megapixel” it makes me think of some sort of spandex-clad superheroine. And superheroes kick ass. And the female ones tend to be really hot).

=New shaver: I just need to man up and get something more top of the line — anyone who shaves as rarely as I do shouldn’t have to put more than a couple minutes into it, and I can no longer tolerate a shaver that’s just trying to sandbag me all the time.

Ok, time for me to go and get some of that sleep everyone keeps talking about. Keep hope alive.


If looks could kill...although I imagine he'll stick mainly to using bullets to kill in the new movie. Either way, it's gonna be a hell of a body count.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apparently “Scampi” Translates into “Massive Headache”

This time of year brings about a special holiday that holds a very special place in my heart. It’s an occasion that I love to share with family, friends and loved ones. It’s the one holiday we can all rally behind regardless of race, gender or creed. I am speaking, of course, about Endless Shrimp Fest, available only at Red Lobster. I arrived at the local Red Lobster with my two roommates in tow (both forced to participate against their will to some degree). Upon entering the fine dining seafood establishment, we were informed that there would be a 25 minute wait. But in the spirit of Endless Shrimp Fest, I was able to perform an ESF miracle and get us a table mere moments after we’d put our name on the list. We sat down at our table at approximately 7:10pm, PST. At 8:44pm, the three of us had consumed 318 various varieties of shrimp, three fully-loaded baked potatoes, two salads, and three baskets of garlic cheese rolls. Somehow we did this without anyone puking or having to go to the ER. For those of you keeping score at home, the individual breakdown was as follows:

Aaron — 101 shrimp, one loaded baked potato, one salad, several garlic-cheese rolls
Jason — 102 shrimp, one loaded baked potato, several garlic-cheese rolls
Dustin — 115 shrimp, one loaded baked potato, one salad (with bleu cheese dressing), one side of rice pilaf, several garlic-cheese rolls

There are equal parts pride and shame that sweep over you after performing such a feat of stomach-expanding magnitude. I’m particularly proud of myself for locking down the MVP award for the night’s activities, but the roomies should get honorable mention for really digging deep and coming through when it counted most. You learn a lot about yourself after consuming 115 lemon-butter soaked shellfish. Maybe a little too much about yourself. Personal, esoteric discoveries aside, I also discovered that shrimp scampi start to give you a wicked headache right around number 65. A headache that won’t go away for three hours (and counting). But it’s so worth it…when you get in that zone — the “Shrimper’s High” as I like to call it — all you can do is focus your energy on the next batch of hand-breaded shrimp and the accompanying cocktail sauce. On the upside, I believe that because of this event, I now have the power to breathe underwater indefinitely. So that’s a bonus.

I wrote and recorded a new song today on my Mac. About halfway through this process I realized that the song I was writing and recording was actually a very famous Beatles song. This didn’t stop me from finishing the recording, just in the same way it won’t stop me from taking credit for writing the song on the off chance I can find someone to play it for who’s never heard of The Beatles.

On the hard-drugs front, I’m watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas right now, and I’m not sure how I feel about the movie in general, aside from it confirms my belief that I would not enjoy doing drugs of any sort. I’ll stick to classy self-medication like doing shots of Nyquil in the bathroom of my local CVS. I’m kidding, Mom (because I know you read this and take everything too literally for my own good).

Happy shrimping,

P.S. I will pay ten American dollars to anyone who can give me a legitimate reason why the world needs a "Best of Hilary Duff" album. There's an extra five euros in it for you if you can tell me how it must make her feel to have already accomplished the "best" of her life's work by age 21. And does that work include anything from her days as Lizzie McGuire? Methinks not.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Ton of Hotties Live in Tiny, Rural Kansas Cities

I’m celebrating Obama’s overwhelming presidential victory in the same way I celebrate all political victories: doing my laundry and watching Smallville on dvd while eating Thai food. I don’t make fun of America’s lame traditions (voting, persecuting minorities), so don’t make fun of mine.

So nevermind why, but earlier today I was googling Jonathon Taylor Thomas (of Home Improvement and Lion King fame) and as I was doing so, I accidentally typed his first name as Jonathor. Obviously this was a typo, but it did open my eyes to an awesome name for my firstborn son. Jonathor sounds like it could be something from a Greek war story or something. I definitely think that it’s the kind of name that will help my son gain acceptance from the world, and definitely not the kind of name that will perpetually get his ass kicked by his peers from ages 4-27. This name joins the list of baby names I’ve compiled over the years that include (but aren’t limited to) Dustin Jr., Li’l Dustin, The Human Torch, Barack, Lion-O, Dustin 3 (pronounced Dustin Three, not Dustin the Third), Dustin III (pronounced Dustin the Third), Dustin-Dustin, and DJ Dizzy D-Town with D1 Steak Sauce. I’m sure my future wife won’t mind any of those boy-names, especially since I’m giving her my permission to name all of our girls Sally Jesse Raphael.

-The Recession is in Session-
Experts agree that we’re in some sort of something called a “recession.” My vocabulary is pretty much to limited to swear words, double entendres and the phrase “that’s what she said,” so I thought I’d break down this new word for everyone so that we can all learn together.

The word recession is obviously made up of two words: recess and ingression.
>Recess, meaning to go and play on the playground for about 15 minutes and throw rocks at girls while simultaneously trying to avoid being infected by their cootees.
>Ingression, meaning when a planet moves into the next sign of the zodiac, coinciding with changes in moods and spheres. Unless of course you’re not a new-age, crystal-loving nutjob, in which case this word doesn’t exist. For all you non-nutjobs out there, we’ll just say that this word means “s’mores.”

Given these definitions, we can infer that the word recession means 15 minutes of s’mores. That was easy to figure out, but what I can’t figure out is why all these financial people and business folks are so worked up about getting an extra 15 minutes of s’mores. Oh well, I guess some mysteries weren’t meant to be solved.

-Fantasy Updates-
League 1: The Left Coast Losers took another one on the chin this week, dropping to 3-6 on the season, but Rivers is back from his bye week, so hopefully we’re back on track.

League 2: With six of my twelve players on bye this week (poor planning on my part), The Los Angeles Larcenists still have empty slots at QB and RB that need to be filled before Sunday. Here’s hoping the waiver wire is kind to me on Thursday so I can improve my 6-3 record.

League 3: Frodo’s Frozen Brogurt is stuck at 2-6-1, but we’re at full strength and we’re ready to pounce upon Matt Fullen’s team Megatron.

Ok team, I’ve got laundry-folding and Cavs-cheering to do (tip off at 5pm, PST). Catch you on the flip side, as the cool kids say.

I don't care much for candy, but I still got plenty of sugar this Halloween...wink.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One-Man Biker Gang

Blogs are stupid. Oh yeah? Well, you’re stupid. So there.

If you need more proof than that to convince you of how idiotic the concept of blogging is, then your name might be Miss Teen Louisiana. However, if you insist on subjecting yourself to the biased and unedited thoughts of others in lieu of forming your own thoughts about things, here are two blogs that I recommend: — This is my brother’s freshly started blog. My guess is that (like most of his projects) he will work at this until he loses interest or something shiny catches his eye. But maybe if we can get enough people reading, he’ll stick to it more loyally than his first three colleges. — This blog is that of a pretty good friend of mine, who I believe wants to remain mildly nameless. His stuff is good, it’s funny, and it’s more frequently posted than mine. My guess is that his readership is large enough not to need the meager boost that this post will give him, but gosh darnit, it just feels right to give homeboy some props. Consider yourself propped, Holy Juan.

Fantasy Corner: I kicked some major ass in all my leagues this week, putting me at 3-5 in the Cowtown League; 6-2 in the XMFFFL, and an embarrassing 2-5-1 in the Bros and Hos League. Hopefully I can keep my win streak alive until Tony Romo heals completely.

Also, for those of you who remember this blog, the very same Olympic athlete that I mentioned in the latter half of my post must’ve been googling herself recently (as I often do myself…don’t judge me) and found my post, then added me on facebook. This will go down as the single greatest moment in my life. Awesome.

My advice for the week:
+Read my bro’s blog
+Don’t see Eagle Eye (sober)
+See Pride & Glory (don’t believe the reviews, it’s good)
+Get out of the house every once in awhile
+Say hello to your mother for me


You don't mess with me when I'm on my hog. Very badass.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Rock Out with Your Barack Out

“Blah blah blah, recession, blah blah, bailout, blah debates, blah blah, crackwhore.” That’s a recent quote from Vice Presidential candidate Joe Blahden commenting on one of his opponents, Sen. John McBlah. Politics are lame, politicians are uncool. But mostly I’m just jealous that there are people out there getting paid big money to fabricate half-truths and rewrite history to make themselves look better and I’m not one of them. And all that cynicism and negativity was BEFORE I realized that the debates are preempting a new episode of The Office. Imagine how cheery I felt after not getting my Dwight fix. Luckily, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a new one tonight, so maybe they’ll save me.

-Quarter-season FFL Updates-
Left Coast Losers: after getting shafted on losses of less than 1.8pts, the Losers live up to their name and drop to a 1-3 W-L record. However, it was a massive day of trades as I swapped out pretty much the entire team for a collection of guys that should be able to perform better in the long run.

Los Angeles Larcenists: Things are shaping up a little better for this team, as we’re at 3-1 so far — hopefully we’ll keep going strong.

Frodo’s Frozen Brogurt: I can’t figure out why exactly, but this team is getting dominated week after week, and I’m pretty much the league bitch at this point. With both of my starting quarterbacks on bye this week, it looks like it’s gonna be more of the same. I’m just glad this team is in the league where we play for pride and not money, since I can afford to lose pride…money, not so much.

-San Diego SuperChargers-
If you haven’t had a second to peruse my latest picture albums, I had a pretty baller trip to San Diego last week to see THE Brett Favre and his new green team of costars fall to San Diego’s hot-footed #21 and the unstoppable offense of the Chargers. As if seats just a few rows off goal line weren’t enough to get excited about, Mr. Thomas Murray (personal friend and benefactor for all Charger-related endeavors) even hooked it up so we could score a trip to the broadcast booth and spend a couple quarters hanging with Marv Albert and Dennis Green (subbing for my lifelong idol, Boomer Esiason). Basically I don’t have a better word than “awesome” to describe this day and event, so I’ll just leave it at that. It was awesome. And Tom Murray, wherever you are, I owe you one. Big time.

-The End is Not the End…It’s Just the Beginning-
House of Heroes has a new album out called The End is Not the End. I have no higher endorsement for any band or any music anywhere than for these guys and their latest masterwork. These is something on this album for everyone, but it does it without being the broad, pandering crap that largely dominates the pop charts (I’m looking at you, Katie Perry). This album is Queen’s Night at the Opera for the iPod generation, and anyone who likes great writing, awesome melodies, tight harmonies, purposeful songs, catchy hooks and good, ol’ fashioned, sing-along rock will love this album. It’s 15 tracks for less than $10 at the iTunes store, or you can pick it up from the guys directly at any of their live shows (which are also awesome). They’re touring with pop-punk sensation Relient K for all of October, and you can find more info at or — as an added perk of knowing these guys I’ve had an early copy of the album since late last year, and it still barely leaves my CD player, almost one full year later. If you’re really into owning a hard copy of the CD, you can also buy it online at Trust me, you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t pick this one up ASAP.

Ok guys, time to rock out some late night happy hour at McCormick & Schmick’s. It’s time to get tasty.


Go Chargers! Buy Barbasol!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exposé: Ohio State’s QB Pryor Revealed to Be Michael Vick in Disguise

Columbus, OH — In a shocking turn of events, true freshman Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was revealed to actually be recently-incarcerated felon and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, Michael Vick, in disguise. The revelation came as a huge shock to fans, players, and media alike, and has added yet another scandal to Vick’s already lengthy rap sheet. Pryor/Vick, who started in his first game as OSU’s first-string quarterback Saturday, ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third in their 34-12 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers before an observant Ohio State Buckeye student with a scarlet “block O” painted on his chest questioned aloud, “Hey! Isn’t that Michael Vick?” after Pryor removed his helmet on the way to the locker room after the game. Video, fingerprint, and DNA confirmation all corroborated the anonymous student’s accusation. “Well, I’m just flabbergasted,” OSU coach Jim Tressel said of the star athlete who was 6’6” and 235-pounds, despite supposedly being just 18 years old. “Gee willickers,” Tressel added. Other members of the sports community were equally stunned. “I really didn’t recognize him without that goatee and the long hair, but I could totally see it after they showed Pryor’s and Vick’s team photos side-by-side,” said former Miami Dolphins quarterback and current NFL free agent, Marcus Vick, Michael’s younger brother. Upon hearing the news, the Atlanta Police Department immediately checked Vick’s prison cell — only to find several pillows wadded up and covered by a blanket on Vick’s cot, next to a tape recorder playing snoring sounds on a loop. When reached for comment, Atlanta PD Police Chief Richard Pennington replied, "Really? So does this mean I can pick him up in my fantasy league? I really got hosed after [injured New England Patriots quarterback Tom] Brady went out for the season.” Vick was unavailable for comment, but eye-witness accounts say that seconds before he was forcibly shoved into the back seat of a Columbus PD police cruiser, Vick said, “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” referring to the approximately 50,000 Ohio State undergraduate students in attendance at the game. In an unrelated story, an unidentified OSU fan was found mauled to death by what police think was “some sort of feral pitbull” in an alleyway just outside of the Horseshoe, OSU’s football stadium, with only the block-O on his chest still barely recognizable. The investigation into who this male in his early 20’s was, and who would have motivation to attack him, is ongoing.

Reporting for the Los Angeles Gazette Times Tribune Dispatch Herald Informer Chronicle Examiner Register Times Post Journal, I’m Dustin Heveron.

“The LA GTTDHICERTPJ, your number one source for news.”

The 18-year-old star athlete, revealed to actually be the 28-year-old felon on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dustin Does Dallas and the 30-Day Detox

I’m done apologizing to you ingrates for not having enough time to write, so let’s just leave it at this: if I can find enough time to cram food, sleep, work, social activities and sports into any given day, and there’s any time leftover, then I’ll write. If not, I won’t. The suspense is killing you, I can tell.

Things you should care about this week (in order of importance):
+Dustin’s Fantasy Football Teams (won games in two of my three leagues this week)
+Massive Power Outages in the Columbus, Ohio area
+USC decisively spanking OSU in the City of Angels
+The Return of New TV Shows
+The Death of Golden Grahams
+The National Debt

And here’s why.

The national debt is gross. Debt is the opposite of money. And if I learned one thing in all my years of education, it’s that money is the root of all happiness. Or maybe it was that money can’t buy evil. Either way, I know for certain that you don’t want owe money to the Chinese. It’s science.

Fact Number Two: other than Banana Nut Crunch, Golden Grahams is the greatest cereal of our generation, and yet for some reason, it’s been discontinued. I asked my friend Internet about this in order to find out more information, but other than a vague Wikipedia entry, there’s literally no information about when or why Golden Grahams has gone the way of the buffalo (you get the reference, PxPx-ers?). If you or anyone you know has information about the whereabouts of Golden Grahams, or knowledge of how their demise came out, please hook a brother up. I need to know that they didn’t give their cinnamon-baked-with-a-touch-of-honey life in vain.

A decent percentage of my readership is Ohio-based, so I’m going to try not to harp on this…but I was at The Coliseum (or in the parking lot, rather) for the OSU/USC debacle, and I must say that as a U of M fan (go Wolverines) whose season was over before it even began, it is a small comfort to see that OSU’s season has been similarly destroyed by a loss to USC and a more embarrassing almost-loss to OU. Obviously I would prefer that Michigan was winning, but if that can’t happen, I’ll settle for OSU losing. God bless college rivalry.

And now that I’ve done a sufficient amount of gloating, I wanna switch gears for a second and offer my sincere support to all the lovely folks of Columbus, Ohio who are still without power after the winds of Ike tore through town. And I mean support in the spiritual sense of the word, not the monetary sense, so don’t get too excited. Although, I guess since all of them are without electricity, they can’t really read this, so really I could promise anything and not have to follow through on it. So with that in mind, I hereby swear to give every single person in Columbus, Ohio and its surrounding suburbs a check for $500,000 and a back massage to go along with it. Suck on that philanthropy, Bill Gates! Where you at, son?! You got nothin’ on this charity!

And now, for a quick trip to…Fantasy Football Corner. A chance for you guys to hear about how I’m turning an innocent love of a pro sport into a way to sink several hundred dollars into a collection of loosely-concealed gambling rings.

League 1: The Left Coast Losers — After a disappointing loss in the first week of league play, the Left Coast Losers rallied in week two with a 143-109 victory over former league champions, The Schlitzkrieg (helmed by Mike Ulring). Brandon Marshall wins the MVP of the week award for his 40-point fantasy performance. Our W-L record so far is 1-1

League 2: The Los Angeles Larcenists — Despite a last-minute bye week that negated two of my top starters (Willis McGahee and Andre Johnson), my team overcame a 70-point deficit to win the game 136-134 against The Dakota Sioux (coached by Steve DeWeese, who was actually visiting LA the very weekend our teams played). W-L record is 1-1.

League 3: Frodo’s Frozen Brogurt — As usual, the “Bros and Hos” league that I’m in with my former roommates and their significant others has been less than kind to me, as I got trounced again this week by (former roommate and landlord) Phil Nagy’s team, the Quail Hollow Jumping Cars. The final score for the game was 96-154, putting me at 0-2 for the season thus far.

I see that ESPN360 is about to start, which means I need to shower off the leftover sand that’s clinging to me from my earlier beach trip and get ready to start the night’s activities. Remember, friends don’t let friends root for the Yankees. Also, I might be giving up drinking for 30 days just to say I did it, and it’ll be a nice way to get my tolerance down a little bit before my 25th birthday comes around. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Until then, cheers,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maybe We Should Start Seeing Other People

Look, we need to talk. I know I’ve been kind of distant these past few weeks, but I’ve just really needed some time to get centered, to readjust — it’s not you, it’s me. Honest. Not that you haven’t been great to me. You’ve always been there for me when I needed you, and I’ll never forget the good times we had. When it’s all said and done, I just really hope that we can still be friends. Maybe you’ll leave a comment about one of my notes, maybe I’ll mention you on occasion in one of my blogs…it’ll be better this way for both of us, I promise. You’ve got a lot of great qualities, and anyone would be lucky to have you — you need to find someone who can take care of you like you need, and treat you how you deserve. You need someone who will blog once every day or two, rather than someone like me who only seems to write when it’s convenient for me, without consideration for your schedule. Ultimately, you deserve the commitment of a writer who can be there for you when I can’t, a blogger who thinks of your needs first, and an author with whom you can really forge a consistent, long term reader relationship. And I just don’t think that’s me. I’m sorry. I’ll still be here, sharing with the world as I have time, but I’m just not in a place where I can commit to consistently writing for you more than 1-3 times per week. I hope you can forgive me.

-Back in Blog-
Ok, so I’ve been MIA for a few weeks — were you really that surprised? The first rule of virtual, blogging life is that it doesn’t take priority over real, actually-happening life. Or sleep. Sleep has become a much higher priority now that I’m out of college and staying up till 3am doesn’t mean I was out partying with friends, it means I probably just stumbled onto a Mythbusters marathon and couldn’t pull myself away from the mystery of the frozen underpants (busted) or the myth of the exploding facial hair (confirmed). However, all this time of being too busy means that I probably have lots of exciting stories and whatnot to discuss (busted), I may have been dating some über hot babes (busted), and that I have probably been spending too much time playing Super Mario Galaxy on my roommate’s Wii (confirmed).

-Tropic Thunderstruck-
What Tropic Thunder lacked in sheer, piss-your-pants hilarity, it made up with in the chemistry of the main characters. It’s rarer than you might think to see comic superstars work together who actually look like they’re having fun. Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr. and comedic-anchor Ben Stiller all performed at the levels of humor you’d expect, but the resulting film is greater than the sum of its A-list parts. Regardless of whether or not it was true, these guys seemed like they really enjoyed working with each other, and that’s plays a lot better to today’s (somewhat) more sophisticated audience than the lame fart jokes and cheap sight gags of some worthless “comedy” like Disaster Movie and its predecessors.

-You Shook Me All Season Long-
Football. College, professional, videogame, fantasy, backyard, etc. Tonight is THE official kickoff of the NFL’s season, which means for the next six months or so, I can have football as often and in as many different ways as I want. This is heaven in HD. And yet for some reason, the Bengals look just as crappy in high definition as they did in regular broadcast. Oh well, I guess DVR can’t fix everything.

-Interstate to Hell-
They did some random construction on the 405 the other day, and as usual, made no effort to tell the beach community residents who have to trudge up and down that accursed freeway to get to and from work…on the upside, I bought a bunch of new CDs that I’ve been meaning to get for a while, so I had plenty of entertainment for the car. The moral of the story? Life’s really not so bad, once you decide as much.

-The Shaver’s Edge-
I’m just gonna put it out there: I need a new electric shaver. The one I currently own is old and dull (sounds like my last relationship — ba-zing!), and since it doesn’t look like I’m gonna get to stop shaving anytime soon, I think it’s only proper that I try and make it as pleasant of an experience as possible. Any suggestions for a brand and/or model to try would be more than welcome.

-Not-So-Dirty Deeds Done Not-So-Dirt Cheap-
For those of you too busy/uninterested to find out on your own, I have once again pulled the ol’ job switcheroo, moving from my current place of employment to a club/restaurant about 100 feet away. It’s called Rush Street, and it’s named/designed after a supposedly swanky part of Chicago (though I’ve yet to confirm this with any Illinois residents). This job lets me use my classic charm and wit to con people into buying superfluous bottles of wine and giving me 20-25% of their meal’s cost. God bless America. If you’re local and want to come visit, it’s in the Culver City part of LA and you can google directions. If you’re not local and want to come visit, you can crash on my couch and I’ll buy you a meal or two. That’s worth the price of a plane ticket, right?

-Hell’s Belles-
Aside from being a great name for an all-female AC/DC tribute band (no offense to the members of AC/DShe), it seems like people in showbiz are finally adopting/acknowledging the femme fatale as a legitimate figure in film and television once again. Obviously this is not a new concept, since the term was coined in a time when sliced bread hadn’t been invented yet, but it seemed like for all the supposed feminism and equality of the 70s, 80s and 90s, our female screen stars mostly reflected traditional and occasionally outdated stereotypes with very few exceptions (I don’t know that G.I. Jane really did equality any favors). But now with megastars (like Angelina Jolie) and average-size stars (like whoever the lady from the Underworld series of movies is) making some real money in Hollywood, it seems to be expanding the industry’s ability to think outside the box and come up with better, more original stories — rather than trying to peddle the same old characters and plot to us over and over again. This is good news for moviegoers the world over, and I just thought I’d share my little observation with you. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re really, really hot.

-For Those About to (Pass the) Rock, We Salute You-
So I’ve never been a Seattle Supersonics (former NBA team) fan, per se, but they deserved better than to be discarded like some clingy girl’s phone number and shipped to Oklahoma City under a new moniker and new management. And as if losing their storied tradition wasn’t enough of a blow, the new Oklahoma team’s mascot/nickname is the Thunder. The Oklahoma City Thunder. Dude, that is awful. It sounds like it should be the nickname for some AAA League Baseball team based in Des Moines, Iowa, not the mascot of a top-tier professional basketball team. We’ve already got the Miami Heat, and we don’t need our NBA games to start sounding like weather forecasts (“Well Stuart, we can expect to see some major Miami Heat roll in this weekend, followed by some weak Thunder out of Oklahoma City. Chance of scattered showers, 60%. Back to you.”). If you all write your local senator, maybe we can get the name changed to something really cool like the “Oklahoma City Dustins.” I mean, out of all the potentially badass mascots/nicknames out there, why go with the Thunder? Just so they can use “Thunderstruck” as their theme song? Anyone that desperate to make an AC/DC reference should probably go outside every once in a while and get a life.

Well gang, it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll, so I’m gonna head out now and get a head start. See you at the top.


P.S. I know this is where the picture usually goes, but...I just wrote two and a half pages of AC/DC puns for you — do you really want a picture to go with all that? My next post will be funnier and shorter, promise.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Phelps, Schmelps — Whatever Happened to the Thorpedo?

According to most major news sources, Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer, the greatest athlete, and the greatest human being in the history of the planet. Ever. If Mahatma Ghandi was such a great person, how come he couldn’t break Phelps’ time of 4:07.82 in the 400m individual medley? Nelson Mandela might’ve spent almost 30 years wrongly incarcerated for his beliefs, but did that earn him over 11 gold medals? I don’t think so. Sure, Mother Theresa was a nice lady, but there’s no Olympic event for “World’s Best Nun” — and if there were, Michael Phelps would’ve found a way to win it. They could discover the cure for cancer tomorrow, and no one in the world would care unless Phelps had found it himself after swimming his leg of the 800m freestyle relay. With Phelps drawing so much attention and media coverage that you could practically drown in the flood of water puns (no pun intended?), I decided it would only be fair to spotlight some of America’s unsung heroes in the 29th Olympiad.

-Team USAnonymous-
Today’s unknown hero is Essex Junction, Vermont resident and anchor of the US Women’s Olympic Weightlifting Team: Carissa Gump. At a svelte but sexy 5’1” and 138lbs, Carissa’s favorite TV show is House, her favorite food is fettuccine alfredo, and her favorite husband is her husband, Jason. Carissa’s a decorated collegiate and national champion in her event, and according to the official Team USA website, her signature move is the “clean and jerk” (this “that’s what she said” moment brought to you by NBC’s The Office, new episodes starting this fall. Check your local listings). You’re probably asking yourself right now, “how much less important is Carissa Gump than Michael Phelps?” The answer is: so much less important that the OFFICIAL Olympic website has two entirely different birthdays listed for Carissa’s on her profile page (one says she was born June 23rd, ’82; then two lines further down it says her DOB is August 24th, ’83). Whereas on Phelps’ profile page they have everything so meticulously catalogued that even his English bulldog’s name (Herman) is listed. Come on guys, we sent over 600 athletes to these games, and only one of them is named Phelps. Let’s try and spread the love around a bit more, ok?

-Pineapple Excess-
You’ve heard the story a million times: a much-hyped movie that starts out looking great in the trailer and gets a lot of good release buzz, then proceeds to provide 90 seconds of laughter instead of 90 minutes’ worth, and you leave the theater feeling disappointed, let down and — worst of all — sober. Though I’ve never smoked the ol’ wacky weed myself, going to college still gave me a pretty good gauge on movies that are supposed to “be pretty funny when you’re high,” and this was definitely not one of them. It was bad, it was boring — and though I’ve always thought Seth Rogen (or Hulk Rogen as I like to call him) was overrated since his Knocked Up days, this was even worse. The sole point of hilarity in this movie was Danny McBride, who provides some awesome comic relief that will hopefully boost viewership for his forthcoming pilot on HBO (I’ve seen the pre-air cut of the pilot, and it’s amazing. American TV is in for a treat).

Call me a jerk, call me unsportsmanlike, call me a racist — but I’m off to root for USA (and against China) with every fiber of my being. Me no likey communism.


Carissa Gump: No pain, no vein.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Thursday morning at 9:13am; I found myself reading a web-based scan of a book called The Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works of Henry Thomas Buckle. It was at that moment that I realized there might be a better way to spend my day off than reading the literary works of someone whose material wasn’t written until after his death. So here I am, twelve minutes and one bowl of Banana Nut Crunch later, using my time and talents to write down my thoughts for you (although truthfully, I probably won’t write my best works until after I die. Henry Thomas and I have a lot in common).

-They Say It’s Your Birthday-
Yesterday’s was my Dad’s birthday, and though I’m bummed I couldn’t celebrate it with him in person, I spent a while on the phone with him last night, and it sounds like he had an awesome time despite my absence (or perhaps directly related to that. Kidding). Which brings me to my next point: HAPPY FREAKIN’ BIRTHDAY, DAD!!! As if 24 years of listening to me wax on about myself wasn’t enough, surely someone who was born the same year “Rock Around the Clock” was the top hit single deserves a day to just take it easy and be thankful for his life. I know I am.

-John Williams Should Win the Gold for “Most Bitchin’ Olympic Anthem, Ever"-
Every year when the NBA finals are over, there’s a little part of me that dies because I know that once basketball season ends, I will be without any decent sports (note the word “decent” — baseball doesn’t count as a sport unless you’re playing or you’re attending a game in person, wasted) to watch for the next couple of months. Oh sure, every few years you’ll get a World Cup to take in, or a couple extra weeks to watch Manchester United dominate the Champions League, but it’s never enough to fill the two-month gap prior to the NFL preseason games. However, the wait for athletic action, stats to parrot back to my friends, and sportscasters to quote is officially over because today starts the first wave of NFL preseason games (not counting the HoF game last Sunday), and tomorrow begins the ’08 Olympics. Bonus features! Hopefully the U.S. will put on a good showing in most events, and absolutely dominate the competition in the basketball event. At the very least, maybe we can get to the medal round of the official Olympic Foursquare tournament. Unfortunately, China will probably beat us in the “Willfully Break Child Labor Laws” event and the “Government-Controlled-Media Information Relay” (400 meter).

-I Don’t Really Like Popcorn-
Ok, so I haven’t put pen to paper (or rather, pizza-sauce-covered finger to keyboard) about movies lately, so here’s a shotgun overview of everything I’ve seen that I haven’t written about yet:

The Dark Knight — Where do you even begin? The most hotly anticipated movie of the year (and possibly our generation) definitely meets (though doesn’t exceed) the hype. The story: amazing. The quality of production: amazing. The direction, effects, etc. etc. etc: amazing. Heath Ledger’s performance deserves an Oscar based solely on his talent and performance, and not pity for the tragedy of his demise. I saw this movie in the theater twice over the span of about 20 hours (with two different groups of friends, and on two opposite ends of the country). It was great, and I felt myself selfishly disappointed that we wouldn’t get to see Ledger’s character recreated for the sequel. Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman is as spot-on as ever, and I continue to try and comprehend how the man behind that mask is the same person who sang “Santa Fe” into the camera so longingly and convincingly all those years ago. Superhero AND musical theatre star = awesome.

Swing Vote — A decent chemistry between the lead characters (Costner and the kid who plays his daughter, whose name escapes me) and some well-played presidential candidates (Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopkins) carry a weak premise about 90 minutes further than it could've gone (the movie is 100 minutes long) without their talents. Cheers to the creators for not taking any sides or getting too preachy in the film, but this movie probably would’ve fared better if it’d been marketed properly (or at all) and released in the early fall (when election heat will be at peak capacity). Although I might have felt more harshly about this film if I hadn’t seen it for free at the Arclight in Hollywood, so make sure to take that into account as well.

Step Brothers — Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly substitute their trademark Talladega Nights humor for a lot of gratuitous swearing in their latest joint venture, and not always with positive results. I mean, I get a kick out of seeing Mary Steenburgen drop the F-bomb as much as the next guy, but Talladega Nights had me in stitches with laughter, whereas Step Brothers just had me in butterfly band-aids with chuckles. That said, there are some pretty funny moments, and what the movie lacks in story and creativity, it makes up for with…Mary Steenburgen dropping the F-bomb. Luckily, Ben Stiller’s first comedy in years that actually looks funny is coming out next weekend, so hopefully that will be the movie to break August’s awkward silence with some much-needed hilarity.

Ok, time for me to go play some sports, watch some sports, and then watch some SportsCenter immediately after. Ah, it’s good to be back.


Just a couple of sportsbrahs, used for athletic support on the upper deck. Wink.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blog, Brah

In any given day, I’m stopped on about two-dozen different occasions and asked how I manage to keep my physique in such superior shape. Out of a combination of kindness and generosity, I’ve decided to compile the Dustin Heveron method of buffness here for everyone to see and use in their own lives. You’re welcome.

Step 1: Be naked.
Or if you’re someplace where nudity is frowned upon, just be as scantily clad as possible. I just spent the week on staff at a church camp in little more than a pair of compression shorts and a smile, and the feedback was incredibly positive (not from the campers or staff, but everyone else there). When you are nude or semi-nude, people look at you and assume that you are in great shape, regardless of whether or not it’s true. Not wearing clothes is a nonverbal way of saying to the world: yes, I meant to look like this…impressed?

Step 2: World’s gym.
How are people supposed to know you’re buff if they never see you working out? That’s why I don’t belong to a gym; I use the world as my gym so that I can show everyone, everywhere exactly how buff I can be. Most days I’ll just hang out on busy sidewalks or bike lanes on streets and wait for some hot girls to walk by. As soon as I see them coming, I’ll drop down and do a push up. Since I can only do about one push up every 274 minutes, I have to save this method for only the very hottest ladies. Don’t want to waste all that manliness on someone who’s under a 6/10, right? But don’t limit your workout, either. Maybe you can do a sit up, or a crunch, or just a little running in place, flashdance style. Anything to show the world how in shape you are, and how committed you are to working out anywhere and everywhere. Other good places to workout: nude beaches (combines steps 1 & 2), elevators, port-a-potties, subways (both the mode of transportation and the restaurant), the DMV, the 405 during rush hour, and birthday parties/funerals.

Step 3: New friends.
If you accidentally find yourself in a gym with all the yuppies, you’ll notice something: for every 50 people on a treadmill, bike, or exercise ball, there will be three dudes in the corner in tank tops, trying to press the entire weight tree with one arm and screaming at each other to just “crank out one more rep” until every vein in their neck is visible. These are the people you want to be friends with. Because just like you, these are the people who believe that personal health and fitness is the most important thing in life, and should be achieved at any cost — even if that cost is the loss of your own personal health and fitness. You should only approach these gentlemen and introduce yourself between sets; if you say hi while they’re in the middle of pressing, your presence might keep them from putting up maximum reps and you will be immediately dismissed as a player hater. Once you’ve met, you’ll notice that all your new friends have the same name for each other. That brings us to our next step.

Step 4: Brah.
Step four, brah. Start referring to everyone as “brah,” and start punctuating all of your sentences with the word “brah,” regardless of whether that sentence was directed at a specific person or not. What is a brah? A “brah” is like a “bro,” but way better. A bro is the dude you knew in school who always tried to be cool by selling drugs to the football team or womanizing ugly chicks. While it’s undeniable that those things do make someone cool, a true brah is way cooler, because he’s the one buying drugs and womanizing average-looking chicks. If you’re someplace where clothing is required, you can still spot a brah because he will probably be wearing a polo shirt with his collar popped. This polo shirt will either be pink or have pink stripes, because a true brah thinks it’s ironic to wear pink when he’s clearly so masculine. Anyone who tries to point out that the pink polo thing is really more cliché than ironic is a player hater. You’ll know for sure you’ve found a true brah if you get close enough to hear him speak and he’s talking about all the chicks he’s going to get with, while simultaneously surrounded by butch, beefcake dudes wearing pink polo shirts. Anyone who tries to point out the irony of this situation is a player hater.

Step 5: Protein, brah.
Nothing says “I overcompensate for a lackluster personality by exercising too much” like consuming protein in as many unnatural ways as possible. Protein pills, protein powder, protein shakes, Metamucil (fiber is pretty much the same as protein, and anyone who calls you out on this is a player hater), and protein enemas are all great ways of getting an exorbitant amount of unnecessary protein into your diet — and if you time it right, you can use protein consumption as another way of publicly displaying your commitment to fit…ment. When someone says they’re going on a Starbucks run and asks if you want anything, just laugh in their face, shove them in the chest, and whip out a packet of protein powder. Tell them that they’re wasting their life on that coffee garbage, then snort several lines of protein powder and flip them off between each line. Then everyone in the vicinity will know that you’re really in great shape by how you belittle everyone else. You may lose friends, but you’ll gain sinus infections. Totally worth it, brah.

Step 6: Be sweaty.
The final step in the Dustin Heveron method to being buff is to be sweaty. All the time, everywhere, in every situation. When you’re drenched in sweat, people will automatically know that you workout like mad, all the time and in an intense way. In fact, the more out of place your sweat and stink is, the more it will be implied that you workout harder than everyone else. Anyone can be sweaty at the beach after a run, but when it’s the middle of the workday and you’ve sweated through a three-piece suit and pitted out your undershirt AND dress shirt, people will know that you are the biggest brah in the office. When people ask you why you smell so bad or sweat so much, just laugh and say to them “hey, don’t sweat it.” This is kind of a disgusting pun, but is really more of a way to show them that they can’t have a normal conversation with you or get a straight answer out of you. This, combined with the smell, will cause them to walk away from you, and 17-out-of-43 times, they will go straight to another coworker and start talking about you (and probably about how much you sweat/smell). No publicity is bad publicity. This step works when you’re out at a bar or nightclub, too. When you approach a pack of women while you’re covered in sweat and stank, they will assume that you are the kind of man who drinks sugar-free redbull and will pay for their shots all night long, on the off chance that doing so will convince them to endure a sweaty, smelly cab ride home with you and have a short-lived sexual encounter that will probably end with you in tears after failing to get to second base. And that is a relationship. Anyone who disagrees is a player hater.

Cheers, brah.

True brahs don't smile.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Do You Put Up, Brah?

Right now I’m racing against the MS Word Auto-Updater, which is currently downloading an update for my MS Office. The challenge is whether I can complete this literary vomiting I call a blog before it finishes downloading and installing — which I’m pretty confident will delete everything I’m writing right now. Here’s hoping.

-Crazy Kids-
I pulled in to my folks’ house with my siblings in tow last night around 2:30am or so, having completed another fun-filled year of camping at Timberwolf Lake in Lake City, Michigan. The week was awesome, as always, but it wasn’t the mountain biking, hiking, swimming, running, tomfoolery, or my lack of clothing that made the week awesome; it was the people I was there with. This will be somewhere between my third and fifth year taking the 50-ish middleschoolers I used to work with at UALC up to TWL, and it was kind of sad to “graduate” some of the students I’d been going with for several years. It’s crazy for me to see people start out in sixth grade — pretty doe-eyed and still very child-like — then transform in just a couple short years from that to the high-school-ready ninth graders who are pretty capable of making their own decisions and choices about everything from friends and music, to religion and money. At first, part of me finds it fascinating that people change so rapidly at that age, but then as I think more about things, I wonder if people are always changing that rapidly, and maybe they just show it less on the outside. If you were to compare the Dustin of 2005 with the Dustin of 2008, we’d probably look relatively similar on the outside, but there are eons of change and life experience that have taken place in that short amount of time. I keep waiting for (dreading?) the day or the year that I’m gonna wake up and feel like I’m not a kid anymore, that I finally hit “grown up” mode or whatever, but really, after almost a quarter-century on this planet, I just don’t think it’s going to happen to me like it happens to other people. And what’s more, I think change is kind of the key to that. What makes kids kids is that they’re constantly changing, learning, adapting, micro-evolving to a system that’s totally in flux from physical and emotional changes, to social and psychological ones. I think the only people who become “grown ups” in life are the ones who start to resist or reject that change, in favor of a safer, more familiar sedentary lifestyle where they’re more comfortable with themselves and their surroundings. I know I’m just talking out my ass at this point, but I hope I never get to that stage where I’d rather chose ease and latency over change and challenge. I’m not afraid of getting older, but I don’t think that “older” should be synonymous with outdated. I know my time is limited until facebook becomes “so five years ago” and videochatting cell phones are “totally last season,” but maybe if I embrace the same kind of change my middleschool brethren have thrust upon them, I can get older while staying young. At the very least, maybe I can get a date to prom out of all this. Kidding.

-Anticipation is a B****-
I have been waiting to see The Dark Knight since the credits started to roll on Batman Begins, and in T-minus two hours, that wait will finally be over. I have gone to great lengths to prep for this movie without setting my expectation too high, but really, I trust this team of actors/directors too much to really think it’s going to be anything except awesome. Expect my full, spoiler-free thoughts on the film in the next day or two.

-Butterflies Got Nothin’ on Me-
I have barely had a free second to call my own on my vacation, but really, that’s how I prefer it — I’m not here to rest, I’m here to catch up with friends, family and loved ones the only way I know how: by auctioning every available minute of my time to the highest bidder. I know that makes you want to call me a social whore (and you wouldn’t be wrong), but really, I don’t do it to try and seem faux-popular or anything, I just love the people in my life, and want to squeeze as much love into a short amount of time as possible (and no, that’s not slang for anything). If somehow you got neglected on this trip, then rest assured you’ll be top of my list next time I come back. Much love. Oh, and thank you all for being the awesomest group of dudes and dudettes this side of the equator.

Ok, pooltime, dinnertime, movie-time, drankin’ time. See you on the flip side.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Enjoy Your Spaghetti

I can’t/don’t/won’t cook at my own apartment in Cali, so one of the nicest things about being home (aside from seeing family, friends, loved ones, and not having to go to work) is Dad’s cooking. It’s delicious and wonderful and beats the pants off of my own homemade cuisine. One of pop’s signature dishes (and a personal favorite) is his spaghetti and made-from-scratch sauce. It’s delightful on a level that words can’t describe. If any of you are ever up for adoption, I suggest getting my parents to adopt you and having dad cook for you. It’s a treat.

-Days 5 & 6-
I’ve been catching up with people en masse since I’ve been home, with plenty more to come. It’s weird to try and explain to people out here what I’ve been up to in Los Angeles, and why I love it so much…everyone asks me what I’m doing “out there,” and after repeating a similar version of the story about 9,024 different times, I’ve realized that essentially, what I’m doing “out there” is identical to what I was doing “out here.” That is to say, I’m living the life of a young and unhindered 24-year-old, working to make a living and a name for myself, and trying to cram as much nonstop fun into things as possible. People look me over and expect to hear or see some dramatic kind of change, or about some instantaneous success in the entertainment world, and it simply isn’t there. Aside from a slightly darker complexion and some sideburns (which have gotten pretty mixed reviews from the home crowd), I’m the same person I was seven months ago. That said, the effect works both ways, and so even though it feels like no time has passed in my personal life, it also feels like no time has passed in most of my friendships, and it’s been awesome to pick up right where I left off with a lot of my friends and laugh and joke as if I’d only been gone for a week or two, rather than a half of a year.

That’s really all I’ve got time for today, as I’m already late to happy hour…followed by a cookout…followed by a get together. I really don’t miss Ohio (the place, geographically speaking), but I really do miss the people, and it’s nice to have such a wonderful pool of friendships to visit out here. I live in LA, but my home will always be in the hearts and thoughts and prayers of the people who live in and around Upper Arlington, Ohio.

God bless,

Now doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Are Your Eyes Puffy or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

“We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not” is the tail-end of an old adage referring to putting up with crappy atmospheric conditions, but I think I’ve got a better one: “Weather sucks? Move to California.” It’s short, sweet and to the point — and perfect for anyone who finds themselves longing for the eternal sunshine (of the well-tanned body), like myself.

-Day 4-
In what authorities are calling an “unprovoked and unmitigated assault” on my boyish good looks, I woke up this morning with swollen, bloodshot eyes. But this wasn’t the usual kind of bloodshot that your eyes get after a night of heavy drinking or cocaine use, this was something much less healthy-looking. A thorough examination from Drs. David, Vella, and Nicholas Caruso couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the inflammation; I hadn’t eaten anything unusual (chick and potatoes for dinner, doesn’t get much more American than that) and I didn’t drink anything my system wasn’t used to (a few gin and tonics, capped off with a vodka gimlet or three), but it was clear that something was causing a reaction. The diagnosis was cut short when something more interesting caught our attention (the Tour de France was on), so we decided that it was an allergic reaction to something unidentifiable and went on with our day. A few minutes later I passed out and started having violent seizures while coughing up blood. …Just kidding, but wouldn’t that have been hilarious?

-To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Quotient-
Picking up friend-of-a-friend David Alpert (famous for being the only Jew in New York City) and visiting Barnes and Noble were the only big items on the agenda today, as most of the energy in Caruso-ville was being stored up for a certain someone’s 85th birthday party tonight (I’ll give you a hint: it’s not me). After a 66% successful trip to B&N, I’m now the proud owner of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity and Michael Chrighton’s (sic) Terminal Man. I was mere moments away from purchasing Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight (the basis for a decent-looking movie being released in December), but a last second lack-of-faith in my friend Meredith’s taste in literature for males kept from picking it up on the off chance that it’s a romance novel (Lord knows I already own too many of those…er, wait…I’ve said too much). However, if anyone with both chromosomes out there has read it, please send me your opinion on whether or not I should get it, since I’m always on the market for a good story by a current author (Shakespeare’s great, but he hasn’t released anything in forever…slacker). Anyone who wants to earn Super Bonus Friendpoints can suggest to me which of the two newly-purchased novels I should read first.

With new movies, new iPhone software and new siblings on the horizon, I’ll truncate this post in anticipation of more writing over the weekend. You’re excited, I can tell.

Much love,

If anyone wants to get me one of these for my birthday, I'd like one in red.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bite Me

Number of mosquito bites acquired after seven months in Los Angeles = 0.

Number of mosquito bites acquired after 31 hours back in the Midwest = 14.

It’s good to be back.

-Day 3-
All faux-griping aside, Day 3 found California trying to catch up with me a bit, as I woke up to a beautiful, sunny day and a bowl of granola. The house is filling up a bit with the arrival of a delightful Aunt-and-Uncle duo (also visiting from California…what’re the odds?), but I still have my batcave of a bedroom in the basement, and if I didn’t already owe my soul to a southern Californian landlord, I’d definitely consider owning a summer home in Muskegon, Michigan. I took the morning pretty slow; slept in, snagged some breakfast, talked cars for a bit (or rather, eavesdropped on people who actually know about cars while I nodded in agreement), went for a bit of a run and got my thug workout on (gotta work off those alcohol calories…alcoholories?). Another mild workout lies just over the horizon as our assignment for the day is to move some tables from point A to point B in anticipation of a party that’s being thrown tomorrow night. After some light investigation, I found out that this party isn’t actually being thrown in my honor, but rather in joint celebration for Nick’s dad (66) and his granddad (85…different sides of the family), which brings me to my next point:


Don’t ask me why I know his middle name. But I digress. Once we finish birthday dinnering, I’ll be off to catch a show at the Hope College Summer Repertory Theater, which I’m certain will be an amazing performance.

-Engaging Conversation-
In other news, it’s been officially summertime for a few weeks, but it also seems that we’re right in the middle of another important season: engagement season! People the world over are realizing that they are either A) deeply in love and want to take the next step in their relationships, or B) that they probably won’t be able to date anyone hotter, so might as well settle down. Just kidding, it’s just funnier to be pseudo-cynical (to me, at least), but I’m actually incredibly happy for all of my engaged and pre-engaged friends out there, and I wish them nothing but my most heartfelt congratulations and prayers for long and happy marriages. Also, I strongly encourage them all to invite me to the wedding — especially if they have attractive younger sisters (18 and up, please).

-To Hell in an Eddie Murphy Vehicle-
Hellboy 2(officially Hellboy and the Golden Army, since all the good moviemakers have stopped using numbers to keep track of their sequels) and Meet Dave both come out on Friday, and let me tell you right now what I’m going to think of each of them: Hellboy will be epic and amazing, and tell as good of a story as the first one, but with a bigger budget and better effects. Meet Dave will be an awful hodgepodge of bad voices/characters and leftover props from the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series of movies. It will not be good, and Eddie Murphy will continue to chip away at what little respect I have left for his career. It will be a sad day for people who loved Beverly Hills Cop, Raw, and 48 Hours. It will be a great day for people who loved Norbit and Dr. Doolittle. Le Sigh.

Ok, off to move those tables and snag some lunch, I’ll be back with more as soon as I feel like it


Bell's Brewery: It'll cure what ails you...or rather, it'll ale what ails you. Which is just as good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Up, Up, and A…Wait

I awoke in seat 34-B of a Northwest Airlines flight next to a grizzled old man in a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt. He was furious. Our flight was going to be about a half hour late, and this fact infuriated my row-mate to no end. That’s how I knew it was going to be a good vacation; because anytime you have a fuming-mad 70-year-old in a tropical T-shirt, swearing about an extra half-hour’s worth of flight time, it’s going to be an entertaining trip. Period.

All waitings and delays aside, here is what I’ve been up to thus far on my holiday (from real?):

-Day 1-
The Muskegon, Michigan airport is more of a glorified foyer than it is an airport terminal. When I rounded the corner from my prop-jet plane and crossed through the “security” barrier (an unmanned plastic gate that said “Be Careful” on it), I saw my host and friend waiting for me on the other side — literally the only human to make use of the waiting area since the Nixon administration. A decision to relax and catch up over a beer turned into us polishing off a case of Blue Moon while critiquing reality television and discussing our lovelives (how the dating scene is in California, how his girlfriend is doing in NYC, etc). In between flights and time changes and variations in when the sun sets, I’ve had literally no idea what time it is anywhere I go, but I gather that we called it a night after it was officially considered “late” in all timezones, and I retired to my now-standard area in the Caruso family basement (which has been redone again since my last visit). This is the best sleep I’ve had in months. Cheers.

-Day 2-
I pull myself out of bed at what I guess is a reasonable time, with some delicious granola-cereal my treat for being up before lunch. A leisurely shower and a quick facebooking session later, I’m ready to head up to the Lake where Papa Caruso is working on redoing the family cabin. A social call to the cabin (which is clearly going to be an amazing property once completed) quickly turns into a couple of capable young lads flexing their youth and vigor by moving a dock from one property by the lake to another. This sounds easier than it was, but as I said, our combined powers proved more than a match for the soggy wooden dock, and within minutes we’d earned our Bear’s Burgers lunch (a local dining establishment, complete with frosty mugs of Bell’s Oberon). Next up was a quick jaunt to Mrs. C’s elementary school for another small dose of manual labor, followed by more family bonding (California relatives had just arrived in town), and a wonderful meal at an upscale Greek restaurant that served me an amazing, custom Italian meal. Post-dinner was a trip to visit a friend at Western Michigan University — drinks and good conversations were as abundant as the Bell’s Brewery beers served on tap.

And so there was evening, and there was morning, the first two days. I’ve yet to see the sun, and I was quickly reacquainted with some Midwest nuances that I’d forgotten about (i.e. humidity, cloud cover, mosquito bites, and paying less than $15 for a drink…all in all, not a bad trade).

More coverage comes tomorrow, in the meantime, I’m too busy enjoying myself and the company of my best friend and his family.

Much love,

Love them ponies! The Carusomobile right before the sun came out and we put the top that's living.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

America's Age: 232 is the New 194

Famed author Charles Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Pessimist. If I were going to write a novel about cities, and I wanted people to stay interested, I’d write something like, “It was the raddest of times in this one city, but then in this totally unrelated other city, it was the awesomest of times as well, so it’s really a win/win situation no matter which one you go to.” And that’s why Charles Dickens was never a very good travel agent.

-Putting the “Musk” in Muskegon Since 1984-
In a little less than 36 hours from now, I will be traveling to a city in Michigan that a lot of you have never heard of, and will probably never have the opportunity to visit yourselves. With a bi-line like that, you might be worried that I’m in for a week of boredom and early bedtimes, but what you don’t know is that for the moment, Muskegon, Michigan has this man on loan from New York City:

“Who is that?” you ask? Very simply, he is a robotic android sent from the future, whose sole purpose to keep me either entertained or inebriated (preferably both) for the duration of my visit. In this task, he cannot fail — the world depends on it. Also, I need a decent picture of him for my iPhone contact listing.

-Wanted, Dead or…No, Just Dead, Actually-
In my mountain of verbal praise for Wall•E last week, I forgot to mention that I saw (and loved) the movie Wanted as well. I love the shoot ‘em up genre of movies in general, but Wanted also added a decent enough storyline that the movie wasn’t purely eye candy (although Angelina Jolie certainly was). I really like “superhero” movies that feel close enough to the realm of possibility that they could actually happen to someone in real life (say, me, for example), and Wanted distorted the line of believability just far enough that it came off as cool and real-feeling, instead of far-fetched and cheesy. And that’s no easy task (just go visit the offices of the guys who made Daredevil and the Eric Bana version of the Hulk…if they still have jobs, that is).

-Maybe If I Were a Bit More Mild-Mannered…-
On an unrelated note, I am still pretty convinced that I going to develop superpowers at some point in my life. I don’t hold this to be true on the same level that I believe in God, or gravity, but it’s still pretty high up there. If I were to rank it on some sort of Personal Belief Scale about my life, I would put it right between “going to get married someday” and “will have at least one son who is worse at sports than me, so I can mock him openly in front of his friends and school him at basketball.” I’ve had some close calls and near misses to super(hero)stardom in the past (there was the super-hearing era of the mid-90’s…and who could forget the freeze-breath incident of ‘89?), but nothing concrete yet. In fact, I can pretty easily recall a time when I was convinced that the only reason I hadn’t developed any superpowers yet is because, historically, all that stuff doesn’t really start happening till around your 18th birthday or so. You can imagine how depressing my 18th birthday was when I hadn’t started to fly or shoot lasers from my eyes or ANYTHING. But, like the amusingly-naïve man-child that I am, I refuse to give up hope. With my physical body nearing what will probably be its peak condition (don’t laugh at that, you wish you were this skinny), and no noticeable powers to speak of (unless you count being able to type 70WPM and quote every line of dialogue from Arrested Development), now I’m forced to rely on the much less predictable “accident scenario.” Basically, for those of you who didn’t spend your formative years trying to systematically eliminate everything cool about yourself by watching superhero movies and playing with action figures, the ol’ “accident scenario” is a situation in which I find myself having just stumbled into the right place at the right time. Classic examples of this are Spiderman’s “an escaped radioactive spider bit me because I happened to be touring a museum” bit, and the Flash’s “my beaker of wacky chemicals was hit by lightning right as I was being doused by them” fiasco. So over the next few months, I plan to spend a lot of time wandering aimlessly around nuclear testing facilities, touring experimental military technology warehouses, and falling haphazardly into some good, old fashioned vats of unstable, boiling chemicals (that will probably be glowing various shades of green and red). If anyone’s interested in joining me on these junkets, just let me know and we’ll see what we can arrange — after all, every superhero needs a sidekick, right? Besides, if none of that works out, I’ll be forced to resort to the very last option for becoming a superhero: just do a lot of working out and somehow become a billionaire (Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark know how to do it…I’ve always wondered why Bill Gates and Richard Branson haven’t developed some kind of technology or something to make themselves superheroes, but that’s a thought for another post).

-I Can’t Think of Any Puns for This Subtitle That Aren’t Dirty-
To jump back to movies for a second, I saw Hancock on the Fourth of July, and it was awesome. Probably not geared towards those of you who loved Hitch, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot twist at the end is a little suspect, but other than that it’s a great Fourth of July kind of movie, and is set to gross $100 million in its first week or so (exactly as I predicted in an earlier post). I don’t think it’s physically possible for Will Smith to become a bigger, more respected superstar than he already is, but I hope for the sake of the viewing public that Will Smith being at the pinnacle of his success and talent doesn’t stop him from creating great movies and sharing them with us. Also, Will, if you need a nerdy-but-lovable sidekick for Hancock who’s comically lanky, I know just the guy. And yes, Will Smith reads this blog.

As usual, I’ve found myself with tons more writing left in me…but the nighttime calls my name and this post is long enough as is. So with that in mind I wish you a happy and safe holiday weekend, and I promise to scintillate you all with posts during my travels.

Good luck and God speed,

Jason Bateman + Will Smith = awesome.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wall•E World

I know my thoughts can get lengthy, so I will spare you all my normal preamble and get straight to the point: go see Wall•E. It’s a great movie made by great people, who I can only assume are going to make a great deal of money off of this talking robot (maybe even enough to buy a gold-plated Johnny #5), and rightfully so. Sometimes, my entertainer-sense kicks in and I can tell that a movie is going to be good long before I see it. Wall•E was one of those movies (Pixar’s history of awesomeness doesn’t hurt, either). But even with high expectations going into it, Wall•E still blew me away. The visuals are spectacular on a level that only Pixar seems able to achieve, the story is as beautiful as Romeo & Juliet, and the plot keeps you interested for the entire 90-ish minutes — all this with only a few pages of dialogue in the whole movie (a real “F you” to anyone who’s ever whined about acting, writing or directing a non-dialogue movie…myself included).

-America’s Next Top…Friend-
So I was making one of my 472 daily visits to facebook the other day, and I noticed that the “Top Friends” application on my profile page was gone. Now, a little while back I pretty much banned all facebook applications because most of them are poorly made, ugly, or both (I don’t want to be a vampire, ninja, werewolf, pirate, zombie, Jedi, or Jet Fighter; I don’t want to join your mob; Bumper Stickers hasn’t ever worked for more than 14 seconds in a row; and I appreciate you giving me a title of nobility in your court, but I’m going to have to decline, Baron Jackass). The only exceptions to this rule are the Top Friends app (because nothing builds friendships like ranking people as if they were college football teams) and the NES Retro Gaming app (because seriously, it’s so awesome — it’s like having a Nintendo for your computer. Amazing). But like I said to kick off this paragraph, this Top Friends app mysteriously disappeared from my life today, so I was forced to find another Top Friends app to replace it. This in and of itself was a pain in the ass, but it also unearthed another problem: I need a new ninth-best friend. Don’t ask me why, but I like having the symmetry of three rows of three friends right underneath my main picture — and I recently decided to boot my previous ninth-best friend off the list, so this leaves one spot up for grabs. I should also mention that the ninth-best spot is typically reserved for a girlfriend or something along those lines, but since I’m single right now, that means it’s really up for grabs by anyone. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Dustin, how can I snag the coveted ninth-best spot on such a revered and elite list of people?” The answer is that frankly, I don’t know. I can’t say exactly what it will take to secure your spot at the bottom of my top friends, all I can say is that it when I see it, I will know. Until then, I just encourage all of you to try your best and be creative — and keep in mind that even if you don’t make it into the top 1% of my friends, that you still are my friend…and that’s winning in and of itself.

-LA Film Festival…AKA: the Best Fest in the West, No Jest-
I was fortunate enough to get into a couple screenings at the LA Film Fest last week, and in a word it was: festive. When you’re surrounded by as many struggling actors/writers/directors/producers as I am, it’s easy to lose track of the good and positive things that happen within — and as a result of — this industry. It’s so uplifting to see moviemakers who aren’t obsessed with the money and fame of the movie industry, but rather just truly care about making a good film. It’s weird for me to remember that movies didn’t start as superstar-laden cash cows whose sole purpose was to line the pockets of studio execs, they started art. Sure, some of the LAFF’s contributors are pretty well-off, financially, and a lot of the people who had films screened at the fest will make a lot of money…but it still felt like I was closer to the original passion that spurred the first film-artists into making a “moving picture,” then lovingly winding their film through a projector so they could share their passion and joy (and their accomplishment) with their friends. And that’s a cool feeling.

-Are You Having a Laugh?-
I’ve always thought that the British —though superior at making teas and other flavorless foods — were awful comedians. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s funny to laugh at them when they do stereotypically buffoonish things, but that really doesn’t count because it’s not intentional on their part. But the thing is, I’ve never been able to figure out why the British are so unfunny. The answer to this question has eluded me endlessly…until just recently. But lucky for you, I finally figured it out, and here’s my theory: Stephen Merchant (Gervais’ longtime friend and constant entertainment partner) is an alien. I’m not having a go at him when I say that, I really mean it.If you haven’t seen what he looks like, go google a picture of him, because this is what you’ll get: Stephen Merchant is about 11 feet tall, 135lbs, pale as the moon, and wears glasses to help mask his all-seeing alien eyes. Many moons ago, Stephen Merchant came to earth in his spaceship, and went from country to country having a laugh with all the people of the world. But when he got to England, he saw that the people there weren’t nearly as funny as the rest of the world. Rather than let the British people go without the laughter the rest of the world was already experiencing, Stephen Merchant used his superior alien technology to transfer all the humour and comedy of every British citizen into one man. And that man was Ricky Gervais. So now, despite not having the ability to be funny on their own, the British citizens would at least have the gift of true laughter and comedy delivered to them from the British Santa Claus of comedy, Ricky Gervais. The BBC version of The Office has long been hailed as comedic gold around the world, Ricky’s show Extras is the most underrated comedy of our generation, and Gervais’ stand-up comedy tours are definitely worth youtubing if you’re interested in giving your abs a good workout. Watch it, and tell them Dustin sent you.

Ok gang, time for me to go do some in-person real-life, one-on-one, face-to-face blogging with some friends (also known as conversations). I’ll let you know how it goes.


Stephen Merchant: Proof that there is intelligent life outside of earth...and that it understands sight gags.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bros Before Prose

Hey! It’s been a busy weekend, Get Smart wasn’t that great (although it wasn’t too bad, either) and I’ve yet to see Love Guru (and I’m not sure if I will just based on what I’ve heard so far…I might just save my time and money for Wanted/Wall*E this weekend). More importantly than any of that, I was doing some grocery shopping today at my local Albertson’s, and they had BANANA NUT CRUNCH!! If you are out of the loop with my eating habits, Banana Nut Crunch is like my fave cereal ever, and they didn’t have it at the grocery store by my old house. Seeing those boxes of BNC stacked in the aisles of Albertsons was like getting my Christmas presents six months early…if my Christmas presents were a bunch crappy boxes of mass-produced cereal, that is. I haven’t really been eating breakfast since my freshman year of college, but maybe BNC can get me back on the wagon (or off the wagon, whichever means what I’m trying to say).

-LA Loses Two Great Men…For Very Different Reasons-
I’m pretty sure Rob Robol is too busy to read this blog, and I know George Carlin didn’t, but both were LA residents that are no longer with us — Rob is a good friend of mine who is moving back to Ohio, and George Carlin is the famous comedian who sadly passed away a little earlier this week. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Rob for many years, and hope he knows that we will miss him out here. I’ve only met George Carlin a couple of times (he came to the restaurant for his birthday recently, among other visits), but he was very gregarious and friendly and full of life — even remembered my name. His loss is truly a palpable one, and — love him or hate him — his impact on comedy was massive. Rest in peace.

-Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Crappiness-
I had Chiptole for lunch today, and several In N’ Out Burgers for dinner…it was a bad day for the toilet-paper holder to break, is all I’m saying.

Ok, the rest of this blog will be in silence to memorialize Misters Carlin and Robol, full blog(s) later on this week.

God bless,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It’s a Good Week for Green Puns

The rebirth of the Hulk movie franchise has been a wild success, the Boston Celtics have won their first NBA championship in a couple of decades, there’s plenty of potatoes in Ireland, hybrid cars are finally catching on, and somewhere, Seth Green is getting paid to play with dolls for his crappy stop-motion TV show. Basically, if you’re green, you’ve got it pretty good right now. In an effort to join in on the recent success of all things green, I’ve worn my green polo shirt to work for 17 days straight without washing it. Unfortunately, all that tactic has gotten me so far is demoted to a job as a landscaper, working with guys who don’t have their green card. Yikes.

-You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Eric Bana-
Since the first day production was announced on this new Hulk film reboot, the public has openly wondered why Marvel would remake a movie that was so awful the first time it came out. The answer is that now — five years removed from the original big screen, live-action Hulk modernization — Marvel finally knows how to make a movie that doesn’t suck. The X-Men franchise stopped being good about halfway through the second film of the trilogy, Daredevil was a joke, and Ghost Rider was just an excuse for Hollywood A-listers to dress Nicholas Cage up in leather chaps and write “for a good ride with a flaming guy, call Nicholas Cage” in all the studio bathrooms. But Iron Man and the new Hulk are two of the best superhero movies I’ve seen in quite some time (Iron Man is slightly better, but both are definitely worth paying theater prices for). This whole film reeks of Edward Norton’s sheer talent just overtaking the entire movie-making process and producing the best-possible product (Eddie even wrote the final draft of the script, though some pretentious WGA a-holes denied him official writing credit for it). The only thing I would change about the movie is Liv Tyler’s level of attractiveness…maybe they can fix it in the sequel.

-Gem Garnets are Red, Kevin Garnetts are Green-
Right before the start of game six of the NBA Finals, Kevin Garnett got himself fired up to win, and headbutted the goalpost — which apparently knocked the baskets into Garnett’s team’s total submission for the night as they walloped Kobe and the Lakers by almost 40 points, winning their fourth game of the best-of-seven series and becoming the 2008 NBA Champions. I’m not recommending that any of you go all Zinedine Zidane on a metal goalpost next time you want to win a pickup game of knockout with your friends, but you can’t argue with results, and that’s exactly what the Celtics got. Now I know there’s a lot of anti-Boston sentiment out there right now (especially in LA), but believe me, this is just how things needed to shake down. Since the beginning of the playoffs I’ve said that we were going to see a Lakers/Celtics finals, with the C’s coming out on top. I pride myself on being right 99.9% of the time, so naturally this had to come true. I don’t know if I believe that God really cares about sports one way or the other, but from the beginning of this season, it’s seemed like the Celtics were just predestined to win it all. And to all you Boston haters out there, think about it this way: with Boston winning the NBA Championship, we’ll only have to put up with their gloating for a week or two. But if they’d gotten to the Finals and LOST, we’d be hearing about how cursed their town is (the Red Sox falling apart, the Patriots blowing their perfect season by losing in the SuperBowl, etc.) for the next 20 years. Because if there’s one thing Boston fans (in any sport) like even more than winning, it’s whining about how they should’ve won, why their team(s) got ripped off and blah blah blah. Trust me, this outcome is going to be better for all us non-Boston sports fans in the long run.

-Flower Power-
The Happening is bad. I was going to put some sort of clever joke as the start of this paragraph to kind of ease you into things, but really, I just needed to come right out and say it. I can’t speak for the rest of America, but for me this was M. Night’s last chance to prove to me that he had any real talent or ability as a movie-maker, and he did just that. He proved that he used up all his skill in making his first two hit movies, and now he’s out of talent-juice. On the ill-advised chance that you’re going to go see this movie I won’t spoil anything for you, but let’s just leave it at this: the acting is bad, the writing is bad, the directing is bad. And unfortunately, M. Night has no one to blame but himself (the price you pay for being the sole writer/producer/director on a movie). I saw the movie for free and still felt like it was overpriced. Just like the namesake of Michael Jackson’s number one single from 1987, this movie is bad. On the upside, we have nothing but guaranteed hits on the movie horizon, so it won’t be long before we can collectively wash the taste out The Happening out of our mouths and replace it with the sweetness of Get Smart, Love Guru and Wall*E. Yum.

Well, my creativity just tanked like Kobe after the first quarter of last night’s game, so I’m gonna head out and have some fun.

Stay green,

Separated at birth, maybe? Certainly can't deny the similarities...