Wednesday, March 31, 2004

NGOX Benefit
w/ Genital Hercules, Jack O'Wilder & the Serrated Blades, and Public Property
(suggested donation)

Indulge me...

I was thinking last night about all the stuff I've written and two things occurred to me:

1) I've never written a hero or villain.
And I don't mean heroes in the bullet-proof, save-the-day sense or villains in the hand-wringing, cackling sense. This also includes heroes who actively "fix the problem" and villains who purposefully "cause problems." For the characters in my work who come closest to "hero" status, they are too flawed to do anything just or fair. And for those characters who are closest to "villain" status, they are basically doing things out of their own attempt to be satisfied with life. They got their own reasons and aren't intentionally trying to screw things up for people, so they can't be blamed for their actions.

This probably has something to do with the fact that I get really bored with plays/movies where there's no moral ambiguity. That's not to say my work itself isn't "moral." It is moral - almost to a fault sometimes. But how interesting is a "morality play" when there's no grey areas? I ask you this.

2) I've never written a "conventional" boy-girl heterosexual relationship.

First off, I rarely feature characters who are dating each other - or even mutually "crushing" on each other for that matter. Most of my "relationships" are either familial or friends. And if in the rare opportunity you are dating or are married, it is either statuary rape ("Prom") or hidden homosexuality ("Thick"), respectively. Furthermore, sex never exists between two characters in my work. If it did, it was long ago and not within the current world of the play/movie. And no "hooking up" will occur within my work either. Characters are either enamored (and intentionally oblivious to it) or completely ignored.

Why? Because writing about "the way boys and girls meet and love and break up" is quite possibly the most boring thing for me to write. Seriously. If you ever catch me writing about how nutty the young people's dating world is, then... Jesus. God. Stop me. Please.

I should note, however, that this does not make me "better than you." I'm not "above it all." These are my own personal-writing hang-ups and they certainly do not reflect my own viewing habits and tastes in other works. Obviously, some of the most satisfying stuff I've ever seen has clear-cut villains ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit") or predominantly features heterosexual courting ("Manhattan"/"Punch-Drunk Love").

But then again... in my favorite movie "ET"... the love is between a boy and his alien and the guy you think is a villain just turns out to be a compassionate patriarchal figure.

So go figure.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I'm on the verge of editing a major sequence for "David Mows Yards." I've captured all the footage onto my computer and now it's just a matter of assembling it all. Actually, it's more than "just a matter" because it'll be pretty difficult, but... you know... it's an expression!

First and foremost, there's a lot of footage to deal with. Since the sequence jumps from space to space in a quick manner, I had to gather footage from a variety of different tapes (as opposed to one scene's footage usually being on one single tape). In the end, I took footage from 15 different tapes. So that's about 15 different locations I'm using in this 8-minute sequence alone. Gouche.

Before I begin editing that, however, I'm going over minutes 40-through-80 all over again and fine-tuning it. This means tightening certain spots, adding beats, giving more force to transitions between scenes. Basically, there were just too many weak spots eating at me and I couldn't go on editing in good conscience unless I fixed them.

Five more segments left to edit.

Let's go!

Monday, March 29, 2004

I just spent the last five minutes thinking about what I would do if I were trapped in my room for the rest of my life.

This line of thinking began when I was eating nachos. Halfway through my second plate, I found a cheesy nacho chip on the floor. It would have been good enough to eat, but... it had hair and fuzz all over it. So I decided to myself, "Paul, you are not going to eat that nacho. It is gross." So I set it off to the side.

But then I started thinking...

"What would happen if you were starving? Then would you eat the nacho chip?"
Well, of course, I would. But I'd probably wash it off first.
"Wash it off? Say goodbye to all the chip's delicious salt and grease. It'll go right down the drain with the fuzz and the hair. You might as well not eat the chip at all."
Good point. But... but... but why would I ever starve? I got lots of food in my room.
"Ah, ah, ah. What if you were trapped in your room? You wouldn't have much to eat then, would you?"
You're right. All I got is Toast-'Ems, a can of sliced peaches, and a jar of Jif. That's not enough at all.

And that's when I started to panic. I genuinely became frightened by the idea that if I ever got trapped in my room, I wouldn't have enough food to keep me from swallowing my own tongue.

But then I relaxed.

"Paul," I said to myself, "You're crazy. You can just ration your food when you get trapped in your room."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Today, while working at the Burge front desk, I saw a guy wearing a shirt that read: "No, I Will Not Fix Your Computer."

I want this shirt.

So badly.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Cuz you were getting sick of reading about my movie...


First job: Hy-Vee Food Store (stockin' shelves, sackin' groceries, witnessin' the full extent of LeMars' have-and-have-not's every Sunday morning)

First screen name: Bananafish (that's right, fellow ICQ users, i'm a J.D. Salinger fan! makes me pretty cool, doesn't it?)

First funeral: my cousin Andy's grandpa (not our shared grandpa, mind you, but the one i was unrelated to - when they fired guns in the cemetary, it scared the shit out of me)

First pet: Joe (black lab - gave away for tearing up our yard - got killed on a farm and didn't find out until months later)

First piercing/tattoo: None (my body is my temple!)

First credit card: For those in the know, a "credit card" is when you slide your hand between somebody's butt-cheeks. In this sense, I have had over 500 credit cards.

First Kiss: On a grassy hill with Carissa Campbell (age 5 - i recall asking her if she wanted "to park" because i had just seen it done on "Back to the Future")

First Kiss that mattered: On a basement couch with Jill during "Edward Scissorhands" (age 15 - August 1996 - she had to ask me, "Do you want to kiss me?" i'm so bashful!)

First love: aforementioned Jill (summer 1997 - i tell her "I love her" on her backyard swing - i believe the phrasing was, "Becaue... you know... I... I do love you")

First enemy: Nixon!

First big trip: Florida 1988 (on the airplane, i am shocked when father refers to orange juice in the super-cool fashion of "OJ")

First concert: Smashing Pumpkins w/ opening band Fountains of Wayne (January 1997 - enforced seating requires friends and i to "rock out" by hopping in one place)

First musician you remember hearing in your house: Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" (radio on top of the fridge while mom's in the bathroom)


Last car ride: Sunday afternoon (went to Wendy's with Michele, ate a burger)

Last kiss: Your ass (circa 1987)

Last library book checked out: The Bristish Filim Institute books for "Eyes Wide Shut," "Blue Velvet," and "Jaws" (did you know that "Jaws" is about the struggle between text and subtext? of course, you did. that's why it scared you so much)

Last movie watched: "Superman 3" (robot-lady will kill you)

Last food consumed: Cod sandwich (not to be confused with famed Olympic swimmer Todd Grandwich)

Last phone call: DJ Ruden in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (will we go to "The Ladykillers" tomorrow? onlytomorrow's bloggy knows for sure!)

Last CD played: Bright Eyes' "Fevers and Mirrors" (tony bright-eyes is sad! he said so in this album!)

Last soda drank: Coca-Cola Classic (i heard they used to put Ecstacy in it)

Last ice cream eaten: A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard (every word must be capitalized)

Last shirt worn: white t-shirt i've worn since Tuesday when I last showered (it's so filthy, it's off-white)

Last website visited: (formerly "")


1) Sex: Man, goddamit!
2) Birthday: 4/12/81 (happy birthday, claire daines!)
3) Sign: Aries (sign of the carrot)
4) Siblings: Amy Leigh and Anne Marie (they fight crime together)
5) Hair color: Brown-town
6) Eye color: Deep Blue Something
7) Shoe size: the width of your ass!
8) Height: 11''3'


1) Wearing: Velcro shoes, stinky socks, green cargo shorts, and that aforementioned filth-white t-shirt
2) Drinking: Water
3) Thinking about: what i should title tonight's No Shame piece ("Los Puentes" or "October 26th, 1985?")
4) Listening to: Travis' "The Man Who"
5) Watching: a bird lay an egg on my couch
6) Feeling: itchy head, greasy hair
7) Wanting: for this entry to end! geeeeeze!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Isn't "Saturday Night Live" hilarious?
Well now you can get twice the Kevin Nealon's with...

(new sketch comedy featuring No Shame valentines Jamal River, Paul Rust, Michele Thompson)

It's the "Welcome to Mooseport" of sketch comedy!

In other news...

The first 75 minutes of "David Mows Yards" are done. A few scenes need some touch-ups in regards to smoother editing and more interesting "sound-scaping," but all in all, it's complete.

When a project is this far along, one thing I like to do is look at the "time breakdowns." I break the video into equal sections and then take a look at what the movie's doing at those points. So, if this movie is indeed 100 minutes long (as I plan), then that would be five 20-minute sections - or put another way, "5 acts."

I did this. I looked at each 20-minute mark (20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, and soon 80 minutes) and I'm happy to report the video is "structurally sound." At every 20-minute mark, a new "act" begins. It's nice how well this worked out. I was a little worried about the movie being lopsided - lingering on certain sections while others got totally ignored - but I think it'll be alright.

That doesn't mean the audience won't be completely bored though, which I think is my major concern. But I keep hacking away - hoping to keep it as engaging as possible.

Seven more segments left to edit.

Collect them all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Yesterday, I was in the Cinema Department's editing room, capturing footage for "Wet Cotton." While I was there, a couple other folks were editing as well - and as I messed around with the video deck, I would occasionally hear their video projects on their computers. To the right, a girl was doing a video about... from what I could gather... a lesbian couple that was breaking up. And to the left, a guy was doing a video about... from what I could surmise... a pizza boy with an over-demanding boss.

And, of course, as any person is prone to do, I started analyzing and critiquing their videos in my mind. And, of course, as I'm prone to do, I got a little pissy in my judgments. At one point, in one of the videos, I heard a character say something, then laugh uncomfortably. And then another character joined in, laughing uncomfortably as well. And when I heard this, I thought to myself, "Oh, this is somebody trying to be clever with an "observation on daily life" by doing one of those hackneyed "characters laughing uncomfortably" routines."

Pat yourself on the back, Paul. You are so dead-on in your critique. This person's video is obviously not as good as yours.

And then I stop.

And then I realize...

It was my footage playing on that guy's computer. Apparently, I patched the cables wrong and my sound was coming out of his speakers.

So... I got that rare opportunity an artist always craves: the ability to experience your own work with no notion of your own hand in it.

And guess what? I mocked it.

This either means: A) If I was a passerby and saw my own work, I would hate it OR: 2) I'm too quick to put down other people's art.

Either way... it makes me feel like a quality individual!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Today, I began editing my Honors Thesis video project "Wet Cotton" (as I simultaneously finish editing "David Mows Yards").

So far, it's been going well. I've decided on an all-Pixies soundtrack, so that's pretty cool. I was going to make my own musical score, but I knew I'd be going for a "Pixies feel" with the sound anyway and I just decided, "Well, if I want the Pixies, I might as well use the real thing." Why give Don Bluth when everybody wants Walt Disney, right?

Besides, I've come to find out through the UI Cinema Dept. that "copyright worries" are for suckers. I used to think it was super-required on the ol' video-festival circuit. But apparently, it's common procedure to lie and say that you have copyright permission when you submit something. So... since everybody else is doing it, why can't I jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, too?

But back to the Pixies soundtrack... Why them in particular? Because... they fit. For me, early Pixies songs ('87-'89), which I'm primarily using, have a really warm sound. Earthy. Tex-Mex. At least, the guitars. But then the bass-and-drums are really cold and enamel-y. And the setting for my movie? A men's public restroom that is alternately cold and sterile (the tiles, porcelian) as well as warm and womb-ish (the lighting, flesh-and-skin). So the music fits the setting. Look what a cinema degree taught me!

Plus... a lot of the early songs are about bones and injuries and all that... which... say it with me... "tie in with the themes."

And most of all, the Pixies rock and rockin' music can make a shitty video less shitty.

Look sharp!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Paul, what movies have you seen recently? Well, bloggy I'm glad you asked!

1. "Twisted" (Cinema 10 Theatres - Panama City, Florida)

Ashley Judd is a hot lady-cop in San Francisco. Why, she can pull me over anytime! She can also give me polygraph tests anytime! And what? You want to take my fingerprints for evidence? Sure thing, lady-cop! Have a nice day. Bye, lady-cop!

2. "Dawn of the Dead" (Campus Three Theatre - Iowa City, Iowa)

It's too bad this movie didn't have a zombie-baby in it. I'm really disappointed by the overall lack of zombie-babies in this film. Oh, wait!

3. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (Campus Three Theatre - Iowa City, Iowa)

Yay! I can count about three times when I was totally floored by a scene or a performance or even a single line. And that's about three more times than 95% of the movies I see. So that's pretty cool. Yay to being floored.

(And for all you Hillary Duff fans: Good news! There's only a few moments when you are distracted by an overly self-conscious Jim Carrey performance.)

4. "Superman 3" (Paul's Dorm Room - Iowa City, Iowa)

"Twisted" had lady-cop. "Deader Dawn-Dawn" had zombie-baby. "Supe 3" got a robot-woman. Did robot-woman scare you as a kid? Did Richard Pryor make you laugh? Is "Superman 3" the best film of the series? The answers to all of these questions (and more) is: "Douche!"

See you at the movies!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Editing resumes on "David Mows Yards"...

This afternoon, I cut out an entire scene from the beginning of the movie. It occurred to me how un-necesarry it was. Sure, the scene clarified plot-points and fleshed out the dynamics between David and his mother, but it also slowed down the beginning. Fortunately, those plot-points can be gleaned later in the movie and if anything, by not showing David and his mother in this particular situation, it adds more power to the scenes you do see them in.

In general, the beginning of the movie has been victim to many cuts. Two "first customer" scenes and an entire montage have been scrapped. And one scene was trimmed of nearly three minutes. Why? They were all "throat-clearing." Now, with the edits, the real "hook"/foundational concept of the movie is introduced by the 17-minute mark. Which may still sound like a lot... but it could have been 30 minutes. Or 35.

I suppose all of this has been one benefit of the prolonged editing process. If I had rushed getting the movie done, that scene I cut today would have still existed in the final cut. And later, I'd regret it.

Which is good... because as I've said before, this movie cannot go over 100 minutes. By taking my time, I'm making it as lean as possible.

It will stand at 6'2'', 145 pounds - I promise you.

Friday, March 19, 2004

I just got home from Panama City: Spring Break 2004.

Todd F. Internet never laid his cables into the Florida soil, so I couldn't blog while I was there. Apologies to blog-readers who tried and failed - or died while trying.

I was in the car for 18 hours today - either drivin' or ridin' or readin' countless BFI books.

Now I'm back in the "C" of "I" and I'm wired hot. I can't sleep.

P.S. Great times in sunny Florida. I swam in a real-life ocean and saw three real-life boobs in a bikini show. This is everything I imagined Spring Break to be.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

It's the bitterest of colds here in Iowa City,
but I couldn't be happier...
'cuz that will only make Panam City, Florida so much sweeter.

White-sand beaches and electric-blue waters for me.

Tomorrow, at 1pm...
Gilbert, Louis, and Judy go to Babylon.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Monday, March 08, 2004

(scroll down)

Green Dragon
You are a green dragon! You are small and fast,
the sprinter. You are smart, and you know how
to get what you want. You rise to mate more
often than the larger queens, but you do not
lay eggs. You tend to speak your mind and
express your emotions freely. You work
extremely well when paired with a female human
partner. You are the most common color of
dragon, sometimes making up as much as a full
half of a clutch of eggs.

What color of Pernese dragon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I always suspected that I was a green Pernese dragon, but now it's official!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

A new, long-overdue installment in The Paul Rust Annotated Script Archive.

And if that's not enough arrogant self-examination, here's...

A list of every "album" I've ever "recorded"...

1. Paul Rust - "Bored" (1996)

At age 15, newly-christened singer/songwriter Paul Rust ruminates on loneliness, ex-8th grade girlfriend Bobbie Jo Langel, and yes, boredom... in this extraordinary 7-song cassette-only EP. Musical instruments include a bass guitar and one singular voice. But wait, Paul? Didn't you just pick up the bass 5 months ago? And didn't your voice deepen within the last year? Yes! Why should this stop me?!

Influences: Nirvana (followed closely by Nirvana and... Nirvana)
Song Highlights: "Because No One Likes a Bragger," "Insisted Sleep," "Sending Out the Troops"
Choice Lyrics: "You wanna' guy who has big muscles/You wanna' guy who's so damn hot/You wanna' guy who has three brain cells/You wanna' guy who will treat you like shit!"

2. Wuss - "Operation Wuss" (1997)

Gehlen Catholic freshmen Jake Livermore and Paul Rust beat "Indie Rock: Circa 2002" to the punch with their own two-person rock outfit "Wuss." Although most songs utilize familiar pop structures and 4/4 timings, drummer Livermore and bassist/vocalist Rust widen the musical landscape (and consequently grace the hem of prog-rock) with... xylophones and audio samples from "2001: A Space Odyssey!" As expected, it blows everyone's minds. In terms of lyrical content, the songs follow the same path as Rust's earlier work "Bored," in that... it's about having an ugly face that no girls like!

Influences: Nirvana, Pixies, Weezer
Song Highlights: "My Commie Girlfriend,"Narcoleptic Insomniac," "Weezer"
Choice Lyrics: "I see you, then you see me/and I fall to pieces at the comparison"

3. Suzanne - "Lovesick" (1998)

After a year of heavy rehearsals and sporadic gigs at school functions, community centers, and RAGBRAI events, LeMars' second-favorite band Suzanne (named after the beloved Weezer b-side) finally get their act together and release this groundbreaking 14-song concept album. Adding to the previous "Wuss" line-up, bassist/vocalist Paul Rust and drummer Jake Livermore join guitarists Ben Kurth and John Henry Muller for this rousing mix of infectious pop-rock. Lyricist Rust challenges himself and makes sure that every song is simultaneously about both love and sickness (hence, the title) and references to mutilation abound. The main concept? That two people with self-diagnosed psychological problems are meant to be together. Whether this unhealthy world-view was influenced by Rust's then-current relationship with his high school girlfriend or not... has never been argued (it was already painfully obvious to everyone involved).

Influences: Weezer, Foo Fighters, Nirvana
Song highlights: "Crush Me with Your Crush," "Beauty Pageant," "Catholic School"
Choice Lyrics: "When we're older, there's no curfews/And our "I love you's" won't have to be hushed/And we'll be glad we kept our morals/When good-night kisses won't be rushed"

4. Next Wednesday - "Born to Disappoint" (1999)

After the tumultuous breakup of Suzanne, members Rust and Muller took solace in their new project, Next Wednesday (named after director John Landis' frequent use of the phrase "See you next Wednesday" throughout his films). Recorded with a 4-track recorder and a newly-purchased stereo, guitarist Muller and vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Rust tested the limits of pop music by freely experimenting with drum loops, feedback, and audio samples. Songs centered on the boredom of small-town life, the perils of lost innocence, and the agony of Catholic guilt.

Influences: Velvet Underground, Eels, Sonic Youth, Pixies
Song Highlights: "Absolute Solution," "Vacant Parking Lots," "Nine Secrets" (a 17-minute feedback-drenced, "Sister Ray"-inspired scorcher, which dares to list every small-town secret Muller and Rust ever knew)
Choice Lyrics: "Behind the picket fences of people's closet doors/lie Lynch-ian insects and hidden skeletons/with secrets said in whispers, rumors in hushed tones/of things no one knew and wished they always had"

5. Paul Rust - "Promises, Regrets..." (2000)

After a 4-year hiatus from his solo career, Rust treats his long-waiting fans to another album of sad-sack bedroom classics. Recorded in the basement of his father's store basement, Rust flexes his instrument muscles by not only taking on bass and vocal duties, but also, keyboard and guitar duties as well. Drummer DJ Ruden rounds out the outfit. After repeated listenings, the careful listener discovers that the track-listing was intentionally sequenced to follow the arc of conventional post-breakup behavior (from the initial feelings of abandonment to... the final feelings of abandonment).

Influences: Jonathan Richman, Sebadoh, Weezer
Song highlights: "Earnest as Ever," "My Broken Halo," "I Should Have Listened to My Heart"
Choice Lyrics: "And you may say I'm being melodramatic/but someday you will crave what you call melodramatic"

6. The Subordinates - "The Subordinates" (2001)

Not a band to rest on their laurels, The Subordinates write and record this entire album even before their first (of 5) live shows ever occurs. Rust drops his instruments and concentrates solely on lead vocals as he hooks up with fellow University of Iowa freshmen (and near strangers) Justin Putney (guitar), Peter VanRybrock (bass), and Louie Doerge (drums) on this 10-song album. Old-school, back-to-basics rock-n-roll set the stage for songs primarily focusing on Rust's childhood experiences (i.e. his fear that he would be sucked down the bathtub drain, his secret desire to be kidnapped), which rest uneasily next to more adult-themed suject matter (i.e. Rust claiming that he "don't like blowjobs and big world wars").

Influences: The Clash, Pixies
Song highlights: "Brood for Love," "1983," "Older Sisters"
Choice Lyrics: "Well, I could just be an asshole/for you to love me true/but I think I love you too much/to do that shit to you"

7. My Business Failed in Three Weeks - "My Business in Three Weeks" (2001)

Citing dissatisfaction with the dull and complacent Iowa City music scene, Rust (bass, vocals) reunites with past collaborators DJ Ruden (guitar) and Jake Livermore (drums) on this epic concept album. Its stark, minimalist album cover (designed by John Henry Muller) is matched only by the stark, minimalist production of Al "Scoop" Shrank, an old friend of DJ Ruden's father. The majority (if not all) of the lyrics are what would be commonly considered within the music community as "goofy" and/or "retarded." It is believed this change in Rust's lyrical content was the result of his realizing that the overly-emotional and confessional lyrics of his past 5 albums were becoming embarrassing and would eventually grow to haunt him.

Influences: Japanese pop, Michael Jackson
Song highlights: "Oh, How Those Days Draaaag," "Hugh Downsizing," "I Don't Want a Boss"
Choice Lyrics: "Did you see Kramer fall last night?/Ha ha ha ha ha ha/I hope Ross and Rachel get together/Oo la la la la la"

Crap. I used to be on a roll. Since 1996, I'd have one "album" out every year. Now, three years have passed and... nothing. I promise you though. "Chinese Democracy" will be released.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

For an internship application, I have to write a 5-page scene from a current television show.

This is difficult.

The only current show I watch is "The Simpsons" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." But I'm 500 miles away from the caliber of those shows.

So I don't know. Maybe I'll write a scene for "According to Jim."

Belushi would approve!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I'm remembering an interview I read with award-winning "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World Part 2" director Peter Weir. He was discussing his film "Mosquito Coast" (which I've never seen) and he talked about the difference between protaganists in American films versus European films.

He mentioned how in American films, the protaganist is someone who starts off lowly, but has qualities that eventually make him a hero. However, in European films, the protaganist starts off as a hero, but his heroic qualities are eventually what unravel him into a failure.

You can guess which one I find more interesting. I think everything I've written follows the latter's path.

The only danger about this is... your characters become victims of their own virtues. And they end up looking like martyrs. And no one likes that, right?


My votes for "American Idol?"

It's a tie between Suzy and Jasmine!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Two things I've never written a No Shame piece about:

1. Catholicism
2. How I've never drank or drugged

To be sure, I've mentioned once (maybe twice) before in a No Shame piece that I don't drink or do drugs. And certainly, the overwhelming guilt, anxiety, and repression of Catholicism has fueled every single piece I've ever written at No Shame Theatre, but I've never explicity addressed either subject in a No Shame piece.

Which is odd...

Because... you know, these subjects take up a major part of my life. My choice to not drink or do drugs has had a pretty big effect on my social/personal life and although I'm not a very "religious" or even say "spiritual" person, I know that 13 years of Catholic education and weekly mass-attendance must have made some impact on me.

So why don't I write about it? Not just at No Shame, but at all? Like in this weblog, for instance.

It's definitely not because they don't interest me. There's some fairly-interesting stuff going on w/ my refusal to partake in alcohol or drugs. What scares me about it? What drives me to do it? And why do I refuse the label "straight edge?" Oh, wait. I know. Because it's lame-ass.

And clearly... Catholicism is, by far, the coolest religion on the block. Show me another religion that's so rich in pain and pathos. Or try this: imagine a Martin Scorsese movie as if he wasn't raised Catholic. Actually, don't. I'll tell you. It's called "One Night at McCool's." And it sucks. Hard.

I guess I probably don't write about these things because... they're so much around me that I don't even find it necesarry to talk about it. Like I've never written about being an RA. Because... well, that's your job. And what can you say about your job that you can't say to your co-workers?

I say this, but I guarantee you that this week's No Shame piece will be entitled "I'm an RA Who Knows the Stations of the Cross, but Has Never Drank a Schlitz."

Just you watch.