28 Days Prior

Not just the title of my can’t-miss, coming-of-age screenplay about a young zombie’s foray into the world of competitive ice-dancing, it also happens to be exactly 28 days prior to my exodus out west. And with 1/11 right around the corner, I find myself with plenty of new info to share with y’all, so sit back, take a sip of your Chai Tea Latte (they taste like Christmas), and prepare to have more Dustin thrown at you than is legally allowed in some states (I’m talking to you, Iowa).

Well boys and girls, it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve spoken to the internet, so I’m dedicating most of today to (in order):
+Writing a new blog
+Responding to ignored emails
+Commenting back to everyone I’ve neglected on facebook/myspace
+Setting up some sort of group or event to get people my new phone #
+Uploading pictures from the wedding, etc.
+Potential Party-Planning
+And much, much more!
I hope you realize how much I go through just to make you guys happy! Now, on to the blog!

-AAA Commercial-
For starters, I want to say thanks to everyone for being awesomely supportive of my most recent faux-acting endeavor. For those of you who don’t know, I was recently featured in a national commercial for AAA (the Auto Club) as Chris Kringle’s teenage son, Zak Kringle. The commercial was an entirely improvised shoot (shot in September) where they pretty much just put me in a beard and a costume and said “go.” A couple of hours later, they had enough material to cut a duo of 30 second TV spots together, and apparently enough extra footage to launch www.zakkringle.com — a website featuring videos, games, pictures, etc. based on the character that I created. Check it out if you have a free second, and keep my residuals coming. And though it’s a supposedly national commercial, I think it’s only running in places where winter driving happens, so apologies to my Cali brothers and sisters who will probably miss this rare gem (luckily I’ve linked to this commercial like mad, so you can still get the full experience! God bless narcissism!)

-Zak in Real Life-
And speaking of superfluous material, the people at the ad agency for whom I portrayed Zak Kringle thought it would be cool to give Zak facebook and myspace accounts, as well as a blog — which you can find respectively at:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=790718488
http://www.myspace.com/zakkringle
and http://zakkringle.blogspot.com
Now even though I went a little self-promotion crazy when the ZK stuff first went to air, it’s important for me to stress that the person/people behind Zak on facebook, myspace, youtube, etc. is/are NOT ME. So while I fully encourage you to friend them and check out the material for a good laugh, it’s important that you don’t leave them overly-personal comments like, “Hey dude, remember that one time we almost got caught sneaking heroin into the country from Mexico?” or anything else that you wouldn’t want a perfect stranger to know about you or me. Because remember the First Rule of Logic and Reason: if it looks like me and talks like me, it’s me — except on the internet.

-As Nick Swardson Would Say…-
Party. If I had a nickel for every person who’s suggested to me that I throw some kind of going-away bash/fundraiser/party/event, I’d have enough money to throw a party/event/bash/fundraiser. Suffice it to say, I’m actually considering the idea, but I need you internet-dwellers to help get me past a couple of hurdles first.

+For starters, where? I’m not the captain of the football team or anything popular, but none of the places I live or have lived are big enough for me to open the doors to everyone I’d want to invite. So where’s a good place to host upwards of 100 people on a Friday night or something?

+Second, when’s a good time to schedule it? If I go pre-Christmas/New Year’s, will most people be too busy to attend? Or if I go after, will people be too partied-out to attend?

+Third, theme. Should there be some sort of theme to the gathering (the “ugly Christmas-sweaters” theme is being done to death this year, by the way), or is kicking me out of town reason enough?

+Lastly, is it tacky to put out a tip jar at your own party? Having recently left my job has put a real damper on my income, but would anyone actually toss in a buck or two to the “Ditch Dustin” fund, or should I just sell lemonade instead?

I’ve got questions, you’ve got answers. Now get to it.

-I Phone, You Phone, We All Phone for iPhone-
You’ve heard me beg. You’ve heard me whine. You’ve heard me plead on deaf ears. Well I’m hear to tell you, my cries for justice have been satiated, because earlier this week, I purchased an iPhone that I intend to love, cherish and honor till death do us part. So far, I love it, but I’ll try to keep you guys updated on the pros and cons of iPhoning in case you’re on the fence about whether or not to drop 500 Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers on buying one. Also, as I briefly mentioned above, I have a new number (for reasons that are too long and boring to discuss here, I decided to leave my old number in Ohio), and if you want this brand spankin’ new number, be sure to hit me up on here or via email for it or something.

-Housing Projects-
When I last wrote, I had zero (0) places to live in LA, CA. But I’m happy to report that as of this writing, I have two and a half (2.5) potential living situations that are all very do-able, with very do-able people. Since I know you’re all riddled with suspense, I’ll break these options down for you:
~Opt. 1) Getting a place with my buddy AC (an actual person, not an air conditioner) on the “nicer side” of USC’s campus.
~Opt. 2) Living with the fine fellows of Manhattan Beach until Sharvin kicks me out.
~Opt. 3) Living rent-free in one of my uncle’s beach houses in San Clemente till I find a place of my own…this would be option 1 except for San Clemente is about two hours south of LA, and since that makes it about a 17-hour commute with traffic, I’d rather not.

-It’s a Whole Chicken/Egg Situation-
The subtitle of this part is actually a reference to me getting a job (Flight of the Conchords faithful should get the joke), specifically the fact that I don’t have one lined up out West…and that I’m not 100% sure that I want to line one up before I go. Now, as you all should know by now, I’m not a worrier in general…but if there’s any aspect of my move that has me nervous, it’s my employment status post-move. I’ve decided that I’m not going to apply for a job till either I know for sure where I’ll be living in LA, or until I actually move out there and get settled first. This plan is probably a bad idea for a couple of reasons: January is a notoriously slow economic season due to the mass-spending everyone does at Christmas, and since every original show in LA is about to go dark because of the latest failed Writer/Studio strike negotiations, there will be lots of extra competition for the jobs that are available. So like I said, I’m not worried, just mildly nervous. Any suggestions, prayers, positive encouragement, or job offers would be welcome.

-Going to The Chapel, and We’re Gonna…Be Groomsmen-
Last weekend marked the penultimate wedding of 2007 for me, and the last one where I’m a member of the wedding party. I’ve spent more money on tuxedo rental than I have on healthcare this past year, and though I’ve had a blast at each and every ceremony (congrats to Tony/Molly, Isaac/Melanie, Phil/Sarah, Joe/Sarah, Emily/Steven, Paul/Katie, and the dozens of others that I’m forgetting) I will be glad when the final “I Do” of ’07 is uttered next weekend (pre-congrats to Allie/Bobby). Anyway, the moral of this paragraph is simple: if you’re a recent grad (I’m looking at you, Meredith), do yourself a favor and get a frequent flyer membership at After Hours Tuxes or David’s Bridal (or wherever it is that bridesmaids’ dresses come from) NOW, because it wasn’t too long ago that I laughed in the face of an associate who tried to sell me on a FREE membership where I’d receive a free rental for every $500 I spent. “Ha,” I thought, “When am I ever going to spend $500 or more on tuxes in a year?!” Now, after almost $1,000 of tuxedo-laden good times, methinks he’s the one doing the laughing.

Well gang, there you have it. That’s my two cents for the time being, feel free to add your two cents as well via comments or texts or emails or whatever…and if we have enough of them, maybe we can all chip in and buy a cup of coffee or something. And in an effort to make these things less long, wordy, and boring, I’ll try to give shorter, more concise updates in the coming four weeks. God bless anyone with the fortitude to read this far who isn’t related to me.

Much love,
Dustin

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