Monthly Archives: July 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.
Dustin


True brahs don’t smile.

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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.

Cheers,
Dustin

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,
Dustin

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

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,
Dustin

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

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:

HAPPY 66TH BIRTHDAY DAVID ANTHONY CARUSO!!

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

Cheers,
Dustin


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

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