Monthly Archives: January 2008

Facebook is the Cocaine of Our Generation

Hey guys, Dustin here, happy to be back on the habit since we now have cable and internet in our house, thanks largely to Aaron “Let’s Get This Done” Covington.

First off, I’ll point out the obvious: that I made it safely to LA, I have a bed and clothes and things in a room that’s all my own, and yes, it’s warm here (special apologies to those of you living in the 614, where the high temperature will be a whopping 13º on Sunday). I am still unemployed (cue the naysayers’ snickering softly in the background), but have some decent prospects ranging from casting director for a reality TV show, to Starbucks barista (my top preference at this point) and everything in between.

To give those of you who are unfamiliar with the city some incentive to visit me, I’ve found out firsthand, that all the “bad” things about LA, really aren’t that bad. The traffic is heavy, but manageable (also, any city where U-turns are kosher is tops in my book); the gas prices are higher, but only slightly (I just filled up for $3.19 a gallon…not unreasonable); and there are no other flaws with this city, period. My house is pretty centrally located to everything (20 minutes away from south bay, maybe 5 or some from Hollywood and downtown, and 15 from Burbank, Studio City, Culver City, and two seconds away from USC campus, etc.), so it’s been handy for re-learning my way around town.

It’s been nice to see my Cali friends, though there’s still a few I’ve yet to catch up with (I’ll make it down to San Diego soon, Kyle, I promise); and my roommates have been solid thus far.

Other than that, I’m still the same old me, just wearing flip flops more often. Your guys’ phone calls, texts, emails and prayers have all been vital in keeping me going, so thanks in advance to all of you for being the best posse ever (regardless of the state).

I’ll update with new info as I have it, and I’d be happy to go into more detail in any area you’re curious about if I haven’t covered it here already.

Much love,
Dustin

…Apparently I still have some unpacking to do.

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Overconsumption of Sobe Energy-Drinks Makes Your Urine Neon-Green

Not to be confused with the short-lived 1970’s TV show of the same name; Benson, Arizona, has what I believe to be the ONLY Dairy Queen in the nation that is still a cash-only establishment. After double-checking with the DQ attendant on duty that I was still in 2008, and that I hadn’t accidentally been time-warped to some point in history where credit and debit technology hadn’t been invented yet; I quickly decided to make the Wendy’s down the street my dinner-supplier (normally Wendy’s would’ve been my first choice, but I’d just eaten there for lunch, and I don’t like to repeat fastfood joints in the same day if I can avoid it). As it turns out, customer service at the Wendy’s in Benson (Arizona), has really gone downhill since Dave Thomas pulled up to the next drive-thru window in the sky. The apathetic individual working the window managed to mess up my order on three different occasions in a span of about five and a half minutes. If he could’ve seen my interaction, Dave would’ve been flipping over in his grave like a Wendy’s all-beef patty is flipped on an industrial-sized electric grill.

Poor food service aside, it was another superior day on my Quest for the West (catchy, eh? I just came up with that). Covered 724 miles in a little less than 11 hours — unfortunately, most of the journey was in the half of Texas that hasn’t been given the gift of cell service yet, so I didn’t have the bonus of the random phone calls and texts that have brightened my days thus far, but I survived nonetheless.

The hands-down high point of the day was an interaction I witnessed from afar, somewhere in Bufu, Texas (population: 3 gas stations and an Arby’s), where a tourist in a minivan stopped a local resident to ask him for directions. The twist? The helpful local resident just so happened to be mounted on his white and tan horse at the time of the incident. That’s right, this particular country gentleman (fully clad in the kind of exclusively denim-and-leather outfit that would’ve made The Dukes of Hazard say, “maybe try not to be such a stereotype, ok?”) just happened to be spending his Sunday afternoon strolling around town on his calico horse, dispensing directions and fashion advice to anyone in need. Only in Texas, boys and girls, only in Texas.

Before I sign off for the night and focus on more important things (Sportscenter and Super Troopers, in that order), let me just add this special bonus message for all my friends in the trucking industry: Semi-Truck Drivers, YOU DO NOT NEED TO PASS ONE ANOTHER ON A TWO-LANE HIGHWAY!!! I don’t know if it’s some giant point of pride in the semi-trucking industry when your rig can pass someone else’s, but when I have my cruise control set at 88mph (just fast enough to activate the flux capacitor in case I get hit by a bolt of lightning), then have to slam on the brakes because you and your truck buddy felt the need to have a slow-motion drag race, it makes me hate Al Gore for inventing the wheel. I don’t know if truckers get paid by the hour, or the mile, or the number of flannel shirts they own, but whatever the system is, I’ll double it if you guys can just please stay out of the fast lane when I’m around. Ok? Ok.

Tomorrow’s the last leg of my journey, and I’m not sure if I’ll have internet access when I arrive, but if I do, you can expect a full update on everything from how awesome my new place is to how awesome the weather in California is. You’re excited, I can tell.

Much love,
Dustin

Very Few Attractive People Hang Out at Truck Stops

A big howdy to y’all from the mighty town of Abilene, Texas. Today’s drive (clocked at just under 10.5 hours) was pleasantly uneventful, so I’ll just give you the highlights while I watch the New England Patriots extend their 16-game streak of untouchability against the Jacksonville Luxury-Cars.

Highlights from Day 2:
+Got even better gas mileage today than Day 1.
+Made two-fewer stops today (Hardees for lunch, Subway for dinner, no dedicated bathroom stops. Probably a bad idea in retrospect)
+Declared Arkansas the worst state ever.
+Tried a different kind of Sobe energy drink today. Not thrilled with it, but I’m going to keep giving these guys a shot because the regular Sobe drinks are so freaking good, at least one type of their energy drinks must be decent.
+Ran over a cat doing about 80 miles an hour on the freeway. That is, I was doing about 80 —I don’t think the cat could’ve been going much faster than 10mph or so. On the upside, it was actually a Jeep that first hit the unlucky tan-and-white puffball and launched it into my path (the cat had decent hangtime) before I could react, so I’m pretty sure that it was already dead from that Jeep’s first hit, thus leaving my conscience clean and my PETA membership safe from revocation. +More awesome texts and calls today, keep ‘em coming! But note that I don’t respond to texts while I’m driving, so don’t take it personally if my reply-time is slower than usual.
+Drove through the first (and only) patch of rain thus far at the TexArkana border.
+Avoided all rush hours in all cities! Hooray!

And that’s about it. Be sure to come back tomorrow night to hear the latest from the trip and get an exclusive look at my new 12-step program on how to become an alcoholic. It’s guaranteed to change your life.*

Much love,
Dustin “I Don’t Actually Belong to PETA” Heveron

*Disclaimer: Guarantee for changed life does not necessarily imply that the aforementioned change will be for the better. Dustin Heveron Inc. assumes no responsibility for problems/fines/diseases incurred as a result of the program, including (but not limited to): alcoholism, herpes, leprosy, puppies, all felonious and/or criminal charges, “sexy dance moves,” herpes, tax-evasion, road rage, and herpes. All rights reserved. Friends don’t let friends text and drive.

I’m (Jay)Walking in Memphis

At approximately 8pm Central Time (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific), I wrapped up an 11-hour day of driving (stopping only to eat some Taco Bell, urinate twice, and purchase one Sobe energy drink) by checking into room 225 at the Hampton Inn located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. And after all these years I finally realize what Mark Cohn was talking about in his 1991 hit song that shares its name with this blog post. What I used to think was just a mediocre-at-best tune about someone who liked Elvis a little *too* much, actually turns out to be a mediocre-at-best tune about the ridiculous jaywalking problem that is running rampant in the city. All I have done in this town so far is drive to the nearest SonicBurger, then back to my hotel. A total roundtrip time of maybe 2-3 minutes of road travel. Yet in that 2-3 minutes, I almost ran over —not one —not two —not three, but TWO different pedestrians who were jaywalking across a heavily-trafficked Memphis road in the middle of the night at two different points about a mile apart from each other. And this wasn’t the kind of jaywalking like you do on special occasions like New Year’s Eve where it’s you and a bunch of your friends in brightly-colored, sparkly clothing quickly sprinting across the street when you know for sure that the cars aren’t traveling faster than 6mph, and that you’re in no real danger. Quite the contrary; I’m talking about the kind of jaywalking where gentlemen who were clad head-to-toe in entirely black or dark gray clothing slowly meander diagonally across the middle of a four-lane highway (where the posted speed limit is 55mph) with all the urgency of someone in line to pay their taxes. This wasn’t jaywalking, it was suicide walking. It took all of my cat-like reflexes to avoid the first guy; and it was just sheer luck I missed the second guy…and I probably ran over four or five other jaywalkers along the way that I didn’t even know about. The moral of the story is: I don’t care how poor or homeless or lazy you are, if you’re gonna jaywalk, just invest the 45¢ it costs to buy a neon-orange construction vest with reflective strips…or if you really do have a deathwish, at least have the decency to hop in a bath with a plugged-in microwave like a normal human being, rather than do something that’s gonna result in me spending 15-20 years in a Tennessee maximum security prison for vehicular manslaughter. Try not to be so selfish, ok?

Ok, I’m off to the pool for a bit, then it’s time to crash in preparation for another 650-mile journey tomorrow. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more Dustin-y goodness, and a rant on why the Teletubbies would make better drivers than most Kentucky natives (no offense, Sarah Hiance).

Much love,
Dustin

P.S. Adrian Jones is on the coast, and Dustin Heveron is in Tennessee? Something isn’t right here…

Second Star to the Right and Straight on Till Morning

Well gang, after all the hubbub and hullabaloo and shenanigans, the day has finally arrived, I’m mere moments away from walking out that door and not coming back (except for frequent visits, of course), and I must say, I feel a little bit like Peter Pan returning to NeverLand. And if LA isn’t a true Neverland, I don’t know what is…in fact, I can already almost hear the LA folk saying, “You never should’ve come out here,” “You’re never going to make it,” “You never paid February’s rent,” etc. Cynics. And just like the delusional, green-tight-clad sprite himself, I feel that this trip is partially my attempt to never grow up — I left a great “real” job, watched the bulk of my friends get married and start their grown up lives, and saw others march decidedly into adulthood; giving up the fancies of children for the hard facts and cold realities of the “real” world. Dreams dismissed, flights of fancy balked at, and no more flying across the night sky in your pajamas just to have a nightcap on a clock tower with a few of your closest friends.

But the question I leave with you even as I myself am leaving is this: what if it’s all true? What if “growing up” is more of a mean prank the world plays on you than something mandated by the number of years you’ve been around? What if right around the corner is a world where all your dreams come true and you’re the king of your own destiny? What if happy thoughts are all it takes to fly? Well I can’t answer for any of you, but I can say without a doubt that if there’s even the slightest chance that any of that is true, then it’s a chance worth taking.

And so with that I make my aim geographically LA, but my actual destination is my own personal NeverLand that waits for me right around the corner. That might all sound naïve and absurdly optimistic to all of you…but if “naïve and absurdly optimistic” isn’t the definition of NOT being a grown up, then I don’t know what is. So this Pan gets his last hit of fairy dust (coffee), prepares to not become a Lost Boy (one wrong turn in Texas and I could end up in an ocean), and consume a lot of Wendy’s (Jr. Cheesburger Deluxe, no onions). I’ll try and update nightly once I’m safe in the Wi-Fi of my hotel so that you know I’m okay, and as always, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated as I try to take a little joy to a city whose main hobby is extinguishing the light from those who enter its walls. I love you all.

Dustin

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