Thursday, January 29, 2004

This semester, I'm in a Jogging class.

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, for 30 minutes, I run around a track in the Fieldhouse. The track's pretty short, so I end up going around 30 times or so.

As for my fellow classmates, the class is mostly filled with girls, but there's 3 other guys with me. This male/female disproportion usually seems to be the case in the other Phys. Ed. courses I've taken at the University of I-o-waaah - those being "Fitness Walking" and "Rhythm Ballroom Dancing" (a.k.a. "The Worst Class In the History of the Universe's Galaxy")

Strange thing happened in class this morning. Everybody's running around the track, right? And I feel myself noting how the other males are doing. And I realize I'm running much faster than them. And how I don't stop to walk like they do. I was, in essence, "beating" them.

So I start running harder. And faster. And I start lapping them. In fact, I got so zealous about it that when one guy started to catch up with me... I ran harder, so he wouldn't pass me.

Sure, this sounds like your basic run-of-the-mill competition. And I'm sure that was at play, but I think it could be more aptly described as a "nerd revenge fantasy." All these guys were bulky and muscular and I'm sure I took some pride in showing them up - like I was proving I could be the more athletic male.

But what the hell, Paul? This was a class. And people were running for health/recreation. It wasn't the 100 Meter Dash at the Hershey Track Meet. Why was I getting so much satisfaction from such an unimportant event? I doubt those other guys even noted the situation.

I don't know. Maybe it's my pathetic way of making up for the previous class...

On Tuesday, in Jogging, we had a fitness exam. Overall, I did well. But then came the "strength test." We had to squeeze this grip-thing with our hand and a dial measured how strong we were. My results? My score was smack-dab in "poor." In fact, I compared it with the girls' chart and my score was just 1 above what's considered "poor" for girls.

Yeah, I gots no strength. But I can run around a track 30 times - without anyone giving a damn.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I wrote a play! Do you want to see it?


Written by Paul Rust
Directed by Spencer Griffin
Starring: Lucas Salazar, Chris Witaske, Alex Elliott-Funk, Danielle Santangelo

Three twelve year-olds live in a treehouse. An unexpected guest enters. A bird talks and delivers mail.

Monday, January 26, 2004

So, Adam and I had some fun on the IMDB web-board after we acquired our user-name.

And we made a bunch of posts and replies.

Here they are.

You have to CLICK ON THE NAME "BIGKEVINSMITHFAN" to see a list of all our posts. GO FROM BOTTOM TO TOP. That's how we wrote them and they make more sense that way.

I could just link you to the list, but on my computer, the URL also shows our secret profile information and I don't want folks to be privy to that.

It's pretty amazing how many people actually buy into these obvious jokes though.

This town needs an enima.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Last night, Adam and I devised a scheme. We went to Danielle Fishel's (Topanga from "Boy Meets World" fame) page on and left a post on the message board. In it, we said that we had her personal email address. We then shared it with the world.

But... shhhh. We used an email we created on hotmail - specifically for Topanga. With luck, we'll get numerous, desperate emails from rabid Topanga fans. If we do, I'll post their emails on my weblog for you to enjoy.

To post on the imdb message board, however, Adam and I needed a username. We chose "bigkevinsmithfan."

Kevin Smith is so funny!

He doesn't care about offending anybody. That's what makes Kevin so great.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Whew. Look at me. I blog endlessly during Christmas break, then I get back to school, and... poof. I stop. But not for long, duuuude!

Today, I had to interview potential RA's. There were supposed to be six interviewees. However... there were three "no-shows," so that gave me a lot of free-time.

To nap.

I laid down on the floor of Rienow Lounge (floor 11) and slept for two hours straight. When I woke up, my hair was all bed-headed. And I had a big, red mark on my forehead. And the darkest circles under my eyes that I've had in years.

Did I look like shit? Or was I adorable?

You decide!

Cuz I was thinking about it... there's some people who are at their most attractive right after they wake up. Glam eye- bags. Gorgeous tired-eyes. They wear their sleep deprivation well.

Like insomniac movie-stars! My, oh, my! That Farrah Fawcett-Majors needs to stay up watching "Full House" more often!

But there's some people who do not wear it well at all. My sister Amy being one of them. When she wakes up, she looks like an abused wife. Like that movie "The Burning Bed"... starring Farrah Fawcett-Majors! It all comes together, folks. Whether it's lack of sleep or spousal abuse, you'll always be Queen Pretty-Bird in my book, Farrah!

Similarly... lack-of-sleep-creating-beauty is akin to crying-creating-beauty. Some people are stunning when they cry. Others look like they are constipated.

Which one are you? Personally, I think you are pretty when you cry!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I just put up a bulletin board for my floor.

The title was:

(Note: I found these in an old, dusty RA storage box marked "January 1953")

- Do not waste your time dreaming the impossible: that man will someday walk on the moon
- Relax by watching a new movie - "Abbott and Costello Meet the Wolfman"
- When playing football, wear one of those leather helmets with straps and no face-mask
- Take comfort in the knowledge that America will never fight a war in Vietnam
- Imagine the day when we no longer have to live in black-and-white
- Eagerly anticipate the birth of future RA Paul Rust: April 12, 1981

Some rejected tips were:
- Impress friends with new expressions like: "That shirt is cooking with gas!" or "Cool."
- Keep your eyes open for communist sympathizers and report them immediately to the US Army
- Buy fashionable clothes for that special lady: a poodle skirt, corset, and Hypercolor t-shirt

Monday, January 19, 2004

Long time, no rock.

That changes with MY BUSINESS FAILED IN THREE WEEKS (the band I'm in) playing on...

8PM doors/9PM (we take the stage)
w/ Coach Mahler and The Athletes

9PM doors/$6 admission
w/ Appleseed Cast, Genital Hercules, The Reacharounds

This week, the Iowa City rock drought ends. Quench your thirst.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

A couple days ago, I had RA ("Resident Assistant!") training. I was at one workshop seminar known as "Rockstar RA's" where RA's have the opportuinity to speak with noteworthy RA's within a panel discussion. Before the beginning of the workshop, another RA (from a different dorm) sat down beside me. I had spoken with her last semester, so I struck up another conversation to kill time before the workshop began.

Sometime during the short chat, she mentioned that she was interested in poetry and that's why she was going to school. Then the workshop began. What sucked was... so whenever I'm bored (i.e. in class, on plane trips, at RA workshop seminars), I pull out a piece of paper and draft lyrics for My Business Failed in Three Weeks. It makes time by go fast and that way, I have new lyrics for the next time we get together and rehearse.

But I couldn't do that because she just told me that she was interested in poetry. And if she looked over and saw me writing poetry, I'd seem like the most transparent individual on the face of the earth. It'd be like:

HER: Oh... what are you doing?
ME: ("non-chalantly") What? Oh, nothing. Just... you know, writing my words.
HER: You like poetry, too?
ME: Like it? I love it. It's my life-blood. Isn't that amazing how much in common we have?

I didn't want this to happen.

So, instead, I began writing my No Shame piece for January 30th. Cuz that's the other thing I do when I'm bored and I find a pen and paper in my hand.

Doodling's for squares!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

As a kid, I had a hard time separating between television and real-life. And I don't mean in some dorky "All our lives are a narrative!" business. I'm saying the wall separating TV and reality was broken down.

For instance, I thought "The Facts of Life" girls lived in an apartment a few blocks from my house. I'd drive by it with my mom and each time I'd see it, I'd imagine the girls inside - not doing anything particularly sitcom-y, but just... you know, hanging out. Maybe eating. Maybe talking.

I'd like to think I grew out of this, but...

A few hours ago, I was talking to a couple of friends about "Full House" and I was sharing how sometimes I imagine myself as a cast member on the show and I think about how I'd deliver certain lines and give a certain performance.

Granted, it's not the same as thinking that a television character lives next-door to you, but it's not too far from it either.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to pretend this bag of sugar is my baby. It's a zany scheme devised by my intruding neighbor. Later, I will give birth to it in a stuck elevator.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Back in Iowa City.

Re-shooting scenes for the movie.

"Bubblegum Brigade" rehearsal begins today.

Last night, I nearly won a gorilla (wearing boxing gloves and heart-designed boxer shorts) from a Super Wal-Mart claw machine.


Afterwards, I watched the newly released "Freddy Vs. Jason" DVD.

If you want Freddy to win, cheer real loud. If you want Jason to win, cheer real loud.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

A new installment in the Paul Rust Annotated Script Archive.

I just found out that my friends in LA are going to a taping of "America's Funniest Home Videos."

I'm not just envious.

My envy turned into hatred...

And then into...


Have fun, fellas!

Over break, I saw a lot of movies in the theatre. Here they are in the order I saw them:

1. Stuck on You
2. Paycheck
3. In America
4. Faces of Death 4
5. 21 Grams
6. Big Fish
7. The Station Agent

Yesterday was a double-bill of "Big Fish" and "The Station Agent."

For the fourth time in a row, Tim Burton has disappointed me with one of his most recent movies. It's sort of bummer considering that he was my favorite director as a young lad (age 9-15). To its credit, "Big Fish" had about two or three really great sequences, but all in all, I had to sit through a lot of trite, mismatched junk to get to it. Ah, well. Another childhood hero gone to waste. Tim Burton, meet your new friends: Ryne Sandberg and Senator Paul Tsongas.

Then I went to "The Station Agent," which was excellent. So excellent, in fact, that it's currently fighting for the #1 position on my Top Movies of 2003 list. Once this list is finalized, it will be printed in my nationally-syndicated column "Nuts for Bolts: The Whimsical World of Paul Rust."

Why was "The Station Agent" so great? Well, lots of reasons, but mainly... it was simple (i.e. not GODDAMN OVERWROUGHT). Seriously. I am so tired of "BIG MESSAGES" and "GRAND EMOTIONS" and "STUPID SHIT" in so-called "important" movies. "Big Fish," "In America" and "21 Grams" all fell apart underneath their own self-imposed dramatic weight. I don't need magic or mysticism or a "clever" narrative structure to get me to like your movie. I just need an idea and a little insight. Strip away the bells and whistles of "21 Grams" and all you got is a 2nd-rate soap opera melodrama.

"The Station Agent," on the other hand, observed 5 characters - in small strokes and quiet moments. And I left the movie with a greater understanding of human behavior than all your grams combined.

Shut up, loud movies.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

A few friends and I went back to my high school today. Our goal was to eat an authentic Gehlen Catholic lunch. Did we achieve this goal?


It was "breakfast for lunch" - french toast, sausage links, peaches, and milk. Blast from the past. Tasty, too.

After lunch/breakfast for lunch, my old teacher Mr. Seivert invited us to his classroom. He introduced my friends and I to his students who were having class. One student named Josh was particularly wily and in front of the class, asked me a question. The following exchange occured.

Josh: Hey, Paul.
Paul: Hey.
Josh: Do you remember when I was in 8th grade and you were a senior? You pulled me into the bathroom and said, "Look, Josh... Bernardo's baking brownies."
Paul: What? (laughs) I didn't say that.
Josh: Yeah, you did. You said, "Bernardo's baking brownies."
Paul: ... I don't even know what that means.

I honestly don't recall ever doing this. This means there are three possibilites:
1) Josh was making this up
2) Josh truly believed I did this (even when I didn't) - perhaps because it seemed like "something Paul would do."
3) I did indeed do this and I've forgotten about it

But how is that possible? I got a good memory, right? I mean, who is this Bernardo? I don't even remember a Bernardo. I'm assuming a foreign exchange student, yes?

And "baking brownies?" What's that mean? Pooping? Does it mean "pooping?" I've never used this expression in my life.


Pulling someone into a bathroom and saying, "Hey, Josh... Bernardo's baking brownies" is pretty funny. I hope I did do this after all.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Wax in my ears!

This is nothing new.

The Male Rust Dynasty has been cursed with excessive ear wax since the beginning of Tide. Why? Is it in our genes? A natural adaptation to ensure our safety? Were our caveman ancestors constantly besieged with baby pterodactyls infesting our ears?

The answer is "YES!"

(I have extensive records and solid documentation to prove this. If you care to read it, go to:

Cursed by evolution, I have to deal with this ear-wax problem every few months. It collects and builds and plugs up my ears. As a result, I get instense pain in my ear canal. Sometimes, a chunk will drop off and land on my ear-drum. Then I can't hear anything! I can't even hear shit!

And no, I don't have ear-wax problems because I am "dirty." I do not sit on the "filthy snowhill in the grocery store parking lot." I don't "wear Orlando Magic team jackets long after they've ceased being popular." I practice good hygience. I clean my ears regularly. I'm just a victim of my own genes.

So, on Tuesday morning, I went to the doctor's office because I had a pain in my left ear I could no longer ignore. The doctor surmised that it was indeed due to "excessive ear-wax build-up" (or "EEB" in the medical world). To fix it, the doctor informed me I would have to get it washed out.

When the doctor left, I started to kick my feet against the examination table in absolute glee. This was gonna' be great! I've gotten my ears washed out before and it is one of the most pleasurable feelings in the world. Honestly.

So, a few minutes later, the nurse came in, turned on this water-pick, and put it in my ear. And what it does is... it shoots high-pressure, hot water straight into your ear canal. And like a jackhammer, it drills that ear-wax clean out. It feels sooooo good. Seriously. I mean, it sort of hurts, but... like a good hurt?

You know what I'm talking about...

Masochism. Through and through.

Therefore, I have come to believe that there's a direct biological connection between the ear canal and the crotch. One giant vein from lobe to junk. Check imdb for more details.

Unfortunately, right when it was feeling the best, the nurse turned off the water-pick. Grrrrr. Seriously, this nurse had no sense of pleasure-giving whatsoever. So selfish.

Whatever. It was all made up for when afterwards, I looked into the tiny container that I held underneath my ear during the procedure and I got to see all the prizes that fell out of my head. Inside, there were little splecks of gold and... two nickel-sized gobs of black wax! Yay!

Here are some follow-up questions for my readers:

Have you ever gone to the doctor? Were you scared? What are some other words for "doctor?"

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

On Monday, January 5th, 2004, the following happened...

1. I was in a McDonald's where a female employee asked her three fellow female employees, "Do you know what I did today?" They said nothing. Taking this as a firm "YES," the employee began to share the events of her day. Somewhere between "after I got home from school today..." and "... I didn't take a nap," her co-workers started to disperse and talk amongst themselves, totally ignoring her. I mean, they flat-out quit listening to her. Despite this, she kept talking and talking... but eventually, around the 2nd-minute mark, she realized their negligence and quit sharing the day's events. I watched it all. It made me uncomfortable.

2. In a movie theatre with my dad, it occured to me that I will be the first male Rust to ever graduate from college. Cuz neither my dad, nor my uncles, nor my older male cousins, ever did. I'm breaking Rust Family ground... with my mortar board and fist!

3. This morning, I was shaving my face in the bathroom. Naked. My sister Amy (outside of the bathroom) told me I need to hurry up. I said, "Okay." A moment passed. And then I farted. Because I was naked, the fart was able to make a more audible sound. The interesting thing is... the fart matched the same tone, pitch, and timbre of my sister's voice, so I thought she said something else to me. Even though I clearly felt the fart come out of my butt, I thought it was my sister talking instead. Then I paused. And I let my senses come back to me. And then I realized... Paul, it was a fart, not a sister.

One more time:

It was a fart, not a sister.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Another installment in French-Kissing a Picture of Myself: The Paul Rust Annotated Script Archive.

Last night, I went to a midnight movie! Yay! Midnight movies are fun! I'm trying to remember all the ones I've been to (and I'm talking revival movies, not any of those early premieres like "The Phantom Menace," "Matrix Reloaded," or "IQ"). In memory, they are:

1. Reservoir Dogs (April 1995 with big sis Amy in Chicago - black man in audience makes audible grunt when one reservoir dog drops the "n word")
2. Waiting for Guffman (in summer 2002 with Johnny-n-Denise Muller in Omaha - one particular audience member attempts to say lines with characters onscreen, but is always three seconds off, leading another audience member to yell, "Shut up!")
3. Fight Club (December 2002 with Johnny Muller in Omaha - majority of audience laughs at jokes I never liked and consequently makes me not only question the cult value of this film, but also my own relation to it)

Is that it? It feels like I've been to more midnight movies in my life. Remind me in my guestbook (to the right) if I have.

So... what was the midnight movie I went to last night/earlier today? Hold onto your Samuel L. Jacksons...


It was awesome. I saw AUTHENTIC footage of REAL DEATHS! Like a mutant leech eating a woman's arm and horses tearing a Russian man apart. NONE OF THIS WAS FAKED! ALL TRUE! I also saw devil worshippers, dog-eating Asians, and dolphin bones! Terryifying!

Afterwards, I received a certificate that proved I made it through watching "Faces of Death 4." Guess who it was signed by? That's right! The Angel of Death himself! Weeeee!

Later, I sunk 5 dollars into a claw machine at Perkin's. I didn't win anything, but things could be worse. I could be Russian and torn apart by horses.

Or have to see dolphin bones in real life!


Saturday, January 03, 2004

Thursday, January 01, 2004

I spent New Year's Eve/Day in Harlan, Iowa - with some pals. It was a good time. By the end, 2003 was crying that he had to go. We eventually got rid of him by throwing some popcorn onto the front yard and when he ran out to get it, we slammed the door behind him and locked it tight. It was a little sad - seeing him bang on the door, begging for us to "let him in - at least for some more popcorn," but after an hour-and-a-half, he gave up and stepped into a nearby forest - never to be seen again.

Granted, we saw him the next morning at Perkin's, but we avoided him by looking the other way. Funny. I think he looked away, too.

One hightlight? There's this video place in Harlan called... yes, "Video Place." It's the greatest video place (and "Video Place") in the whole wide world. You know how most video stores throw out (or sell) their videos after they become less popular? Well, not only does this video store not do that, but they get videos no other place would get in the first place. For instance, we rented an early 80's sci-fi sex comedy "Spaced Out" (featuring a computer that's programmed to talk dirty!), children's classic "Return to Oz" (the disturbing sequel to "Wizard of Oz" that you only remember when forced to), mid-80's meta-sex comedy "Hardbodies 2" (featuring an endless barrage of tan-linned titties) and the first two episodes of "Fraggle Rock" (featuring an endless barrage of fully-tanned titties).