Friday, July 30, 2004

I'm sick.

I went to the doctor today and he determined it's a case of allergies. Ragweed, he said. Funny. Usually, it's Rag-time that gives me da' fever... in my feet!

And my heart, child. And my heart.

So, my nose is runny. My throat is cough-y. And my ears are plugged up.


Consequently, I don't feel like putting much time into writing a blog today. I just want to bitch-n-moan about my health.

Hmmmm. Nobody likes blog entries like this.

But don't worry... soon, I will be restored to full heel-clicking health and we can all sit back and laugh about the day Ol' Man Ragweed pulled a fast one on Pauly Dangerfield.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Despite the presence of the Democratic National Convention and the more newsworthy 2004 Plymouth County Fair, I am still finding a way to get my fat mug on local media outlets.  Yesterday, I was interviewed on KCAU-ABC's Live at Five program and was featured in pieces on KMEG-CBS' 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock news programs. 

The occasion?

The upcoming screening of David Mows Yards at the LeMars Community Theatre on Saturday, August 7th (at 7:30pm and 9:30pm).

It should be mentioned that these TV appearances existed through the iron-horse publicity work of Frances Krull - who plays "Carol" in the aforementioned movie.    Not only did she secure those opportunities for publicity, but these as well:

1. Thursday, July 29th (12pm)
    Interview on news

2. Tuesday, August 3rd (11:30pm)
    Interview on "What Now" program
    KLEM Radio (1410 AM)

3. Saturday, August 7th (8:30am)
    Interview on "Around Siouxland"

I am also being interviewed for articles in "trade papers" such as The Daily Sentinel, Sioux City Journal, and The Weekender.   You subscribe to these all.

Of course, the whole point of doing these things is to find a way to be a subversive, little ass, right?  Yes.   Before yesterday's TV interview, my friend Rick and I were brainstorming things that I could do such as:

1.  Answer questions in short, violent sentences ("This is a movie.  I made it.  It's called David Mows Yards.  I was in it.  It's about lawnmowing.")

2.  Refer to the interviewer as if you know his own personal history.  ("Well, Larry, this movie takes place in my hometown LeMars, but it's like anybody's hometown - like yours in Storm Lake, Iowa.")  Note:  It's best if newscaster Larry Wentz never grew up in Storm Lake, Iowa.

3. Give false information.  ("David Mows Yards is about a boy mowing older women's yards - all set against the backdrop of the Waco, Texas tragedy.")

Clearly, I chickened out and did none of these. 

Ah, well.  There'll be other opportunities.  Just like in life! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

On returning from their trip to San Francisco, my mother Jeanne and her mother Joan (GRANDMA JOAN!!!) had an unexpected lay-over in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Consequently, they must spend the night in "Sinners' City." 

I cannot say what will happen to these two women, but clearly, their story will be optioned by the folks in Holly-weird and made into a movie.  These will be the possible titles:

1. Joan and Jeanne: Two J's Kickin' A (As in "Your Ass")
2. Betting Big, Driving Sensibly: The Joanie and Jean-Dog Neon-Soaked Dilemma
3. Black Jack Joan and Gin-Rummy Jeanne: How the West Was Fun
4. Vega$: Where All the S's Are $pelled With Dollar $ign$
5. That's Why We Can't Have Nice Things (But We're Going to Change That): How J&J Stole Brewster's Millions
6. The Banger Sisters 2
7. Mamma' Joan and Momma Jean: I Bet When Our Respective Grandson and Son Thinks About Us in Las Vegas, It Makes Him Feel Weird
8. Uh-huh, Uh-huh... Yeah, Uh-huh: This is How We Both Talk on the Phone
Have you talked to your mother on the phone lately?  Give her a call.  I bet she'd love to talk to you.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

A 1989 Chevy Corsica has been an honorary member of the Rust family for 13 years.  And after all these years, Ol' Man Time-y Tutone has not been "nice" to this car.  

The air conditioning doesn't work, the driver's side door doesn't close all the way (and is prone to swing open when turning corners), and the engine dies when the weather's hottt.  Kids call it "a piece of shit." The Rusts call it "our piece of shit."

Most of the time, my poppa drives this car, but a few weeks ago, I drove it to work at Wal-Mart.

Hours later, as I'm driving home, the car inevitably starts sputtering and stuttering in the summer heat.  It stalls after I turn it on.  It stalls when I leave the parking lot.  It stalls while I wait for a traffic light.  This car's stallin' more than Lesley... Stahl.  Brah.

Still, I persevere.

But this whole time, I'm sweatin' - and not just because it's 97 degress out.  I'm worried that the car will stop dead-center in the approaching intersection.  I imagine the impending desturction...  

a cement truck barrels into me and then a garbage truck crashes into that, then a bunch of cars pile up, and a giant zeppelin falls from the sky and lands on it all. 
then, a bird farts.

But as can be expected by the "Paul-meister" (copyright - patent pending), I keeps my kool though the whole ordeal.  I tap the brakes just so and don't make any sudden movements and I pass through the intersection with no signs of fiery death.

Then... a few moments pass... a minute goes by...  and I realized that...

I'd been listening to Phil Collin's "In the Air Tonight" on the radio the whole time.

Jesus.  I hate that song.  It's the worst.  Ever.

I turned the radio off.

I'm beginning to realize that I only get bummed about things when I'm comfortable (and have the opportunity to nit-pick minor details).  When you're fighting for "survival," stuff like a bad Phil Collins song don't matter. 

That's why rich, priveleged people kill themselves and poor, life-day-to-day people don't.

Not a generalization whatsoever.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

If your mother is a junior-high teacher, I highly suggest you go into a local video store with her.

That way, you are with her when she runs into students.

My promise: They will stare at you as if you're an exotic creature unknown to this earth. 

Indeed, have you forgotten how weird it was to run into teachers in public?  They wear jeans?!  Or more shockingly:  They wear sweatpants?!   

Have you also forgotten how weird it was to see them with their "older kids" - the ones they would occasionally mention in class and you dared to conceive in your mind's eye?  I hear she does drugs!  Or more shockingly:  I hear she wears sweatpants!
Yes, I am the "older kid."  I may or may not have done that thing you heard I did.  Your older sibling may or may not have "known me in high school."  This is why I'm intriguing.  To all of you.
Insider's tip:  Act like you don't notice your mother's students.  It makes you seem cooler and more dangerous.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I've randomly chosen five movie stars and pitted the first two movies of their filmographies against each other.  Let the games begin (and the blood pour from the losers' throats)! 

1. Sigourney Weaver
Annie Hall (1977) vs. Madman (1978)

Some would say that Mr. Woody Allen is a Madman (considering how weird he can get)!  However, if I had a gun to my head (which I do), I would choose Madman as the clear-cut winner. 

2. Jeff Goldblum
Death Wish (1974) vs. California Split (1974)

For centuries, man has wondered who would win if Death indeed battled California.  But what about the far-more fascinating face-off between Wish and Split?  If I had my druthers (which I do), I would wish that my pants would split.  And then I'd get my period in my stone-washed jeans in front of Mark Palarro! 

Obviously, this is a tie.

3. Ned Beatty
Deliverance (1972) vs. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

Political pundits have agreed that the debate over these two titles will decide this year's upcoming election.  Insiders are whispering that Bush will be "pro-Bean" whereas Kerry's campaign insist he is not "anti-Deliverance."  Whatever the case, I'm sure Bill's O'Reilly Factor has something to say about it!

My choice?  I'm avoiding the whole debate and voting for Shadows in the Storm.  Gotta' catch it!

4. Dennis Quaid
Crazy Mama (1975) vs. 9/30/55 (1977)

Hands down, 9/30/55 wins this competition!  Admittedly, I am a little biased.  September 30th, 1955 always had a special place in my heart.  It was the day I lost my virginity... to Scrabble! 

I'll never know why that homeless man called himself "Scrabble."

5. Marie Dionne
The Country Doctor (1936) vs.  Going on Two (1936)

Talk about your tough decisions!  It's like asking me to choose between children!

As such, Going on Two is the child you brag about to your co-workers at Wells Fargo and The Country Doctor is the child you say overdosed while studying abroad.

Don't let somebody else decide for you!  Vote!



Monday, July 19, 2004

Every three hours,  my wrist-watch beeps.  Just one beep - very brief and very, very quiet.
"I need to fix that," I thought to myself.
And why - did I tell myself - did this watch needed to be fixed?
"So if I'm hiding from a killer, my watch won't beep, so the killer can't find me."
Yep, Paul.  That's why your watch needs to be fixed. 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sorry, blog-readers.
Vacation-time + inaccessiblity to computers =
But now I'm done eating my brownies and the regular blog-updating will resume.
Ciao, brownies! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

This Friday, my buddy Michele and I are going to Six Flags: Great America.

It's italicized because not only is it a theme park, but also, a big-budget movie.

It stars Kurt Russel and Thadie Newton as theme park security guards who have to stop a run-away rollercoaster - before it crashes into the sun.

Michele and I will be extras in the movie. We're going to stand outside the perimeter of scenes and look right into the camera. Then ol' Kurt and Thadie will say, "Stop the camera! Stop the camera! Can we do something about these two?!"

The director will nod yes...

And replace Kurt and Thadie with me and Michele.

Sweet justice, Russel and Newton! Sweet justice.

Speaking of Russel and Newton, I have to go. I'm adopting a Jack Russel Terrier dog and eating a big bag of Fig Newtons - at the same time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

This evening, my niece and Alexis went to the new movie Sleepover.

Did you ever wonder what Ferris Bueller would be like if he was a 14 year-old girl? Or perhaps - 4 separate 14 year-old girls? And did you ever wonder what it would be like if instead of sneaking out of his house for a "day-off," Ferris was actually participating in a scavenger hunt against a rival group of snobby girls? If so...

Then boy, do I got a movie for you!

The Bourne Supremacy comes out next week!

You could also see Sleepover if you wish.

My favorite line?

"Mom, for the love of carbs!"

You heard right. That's the line.

This will be my new expression... for everything. Exasperation. Fear. Love. You name it. "Mom, for the love of carbs" says it all.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Friday afternoon: it's hottt as the blazes, but I'm determined to run around the ol' track-and-field for some American-style exercisin'.

So I'm running - listening to somes tuuunes on my portable Compact Disc Player (TM) - and yes, it is very, very hot. I take off my shirt to cool down. Hot shit!

As I turn the corner of the track, I sees me a car - on the other end of the track, outside of the fence. And wouldn't you know? That sonuvabitch is slowin' down.

And it becomes clear to me that... yes, this automobile is goin' tortoise because the driver and passengers want to catch a glimpse of the fast-action Paul-bod. Hot-blooded teenage girls dropping the speedometer to 10mph, so they can witness a well-oiled machine in action. These voyueristic-girly-girls know one thing for sure: you can't experience biological perfection when you're goin' 35 in a 25.

And I'm thinkin'... that's right. I maybe scrawny - a body of bones and wires, but some girls - some foxes - dig this sweetness. This is a skinny-boy revolution. "Bones painted the color of skin" is the new Pumping Iron. Shoulder-blades and rib-cages are the founding blocks of Ladies-in-the-Mood Headquarters.

Up ahead, outside the fence, I see that despite its inconceivable slowness, the Teenage-Girl-Mobile is steadily reachin' its stop-sign (and consequently, their departure from the track). So I speed up my runnin'. I want them to get one close look at a masterpiece before the state's driving laws force them away. I owe that much to him. Besides the faster I run, the more I sweat - and damn, these foxes are thirsty.

Sweat and stench and spit and skin. American Hotness, not Old and Busted.

But then... I see...

The car is being driven by an elderly, married couple.

You see, old people drive slower, so they don't get in accidents and die.

I turn my head, wipe the sweat from my brow, and finish my laps.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Last night, as my pal Rick and I drive through the wooded highways of north Sioux City, we see a deer to the side of the road. He's eating grass.

We slow down. Look at it. Shine our headlights on its face.

As we drive away, Rick says, "That deer needed to get his shit together."


"I don't know," I say. "He seemed pretty cool."

Rick thinks, smiles, and laughs.

"Yeah, he did have his shit together, didn't he?"

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Everyday, throughout the entire world, people are told that they look like celebrities. For instance, ugly, strung-out women on "Candid Camera" proudly report that they look like Cher (and everyone in the studio audience laughs at their lack of self-awareness).

I know! I'll do that, too! Now presenting a brief list of all the celebrities people have told me I resemble:


This is the one I get most often. People say, "You know who you look like?" I shrug. And they shriek, "You look like Rain Man! Has anybody told you that?! You look like Rain Man!" I nod politely.

SIMILARITIES: In addition to our prominent noses, Dustin Hoffman and I both share a love for parasailing.
DIFFERENCES: Whereas Dustin Hoffman was the loose basis for Danny DeVito's character in Get Shorty, I was the heavy basis for Gene Hackman's character in the same film... as well as Mississippi Burning.


A close second (if these were listed in the frequency of which they were told - which they seemingly are).

SIMILARITIES: Like Edward Norton, I have had sex with Salma Hayek and Courtney Love.
DIFFERENCES: Unlike Edward Norton, I have had sex with both women at the same time.


I was just told this by a co-worker yesterday (specifically, that I "look like the guy from Can't Buy Me Love"). Interesting sidenote: After writing my own David Mows Yards, I realized it combined two Patrick Dempsey movies: the lawnmowing boy of Can't Buy Me Love and the multiple lady-clients of Loverboy. Uh-oh! Lawsuit-time!

SIMILARITIES: In Scream 3, Patrick Dempsey's character says the scariest movie he's ever seen is "My life." I, too, was also scared by the Michael Keaton 1993 cancer-weepie My Life.
DIFFERENCES: There are no differences between me and Patrick Dempsey.




A man in Perkin's once told me that I reminded him of Screech (whether this was because of similarity in physicality or behavior, I'm not for sure). Secondly, my friend Chris once told me he saw Happy Days on a TV in a laundromat and The Fonz reminded me of him (obviously, this was a case of behavior and not physicality).

SIMILARITIES: We all have nicknames! "Screech." "The Fonz." And "Ass-Face." I always felt bad that Henry Winkler had the nickname "Ass-Face."
DIFFERENCES: In life, I feel, it is better to focus on the similarities rather than the differences. By pointing out that Screech and The Fonz are white men and I am an African-American woman, nothing is gained.

Well, there's one thing this blog resembled... a good time!

And remember... you heard it here first on: Paul Rust and Leonard Maltin's Hollywood Scoops-and-Snoops.
Stay tuned, cinephiles!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Quiet! Do you hear that?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world is all a-buzz!

Another installment of TMNT is steadily in the works!

This morning, working at the Ameri-Host Hotel, I found what appears to be a top-secret, early draft of a new Ninja Turtles adventure!

But do not worry, dear readers. Wipe your foaming mouths. Here, I have faithfully re-written the treasure I discovered this morning. So grab them nunchucks and brace yourselves:

Ninja turtle got hit by mousers. Shredder shred some of the mousers. A school bus ran over a ninja shredder. Someone crashed into a ninjacon. Some of the ninja turtles caught one of the mousers.

Can you believe it?! Surely, this revelation will quiet all those TMNT fans on the Internet who proclaimed there would never be a "ninja turtle catching a mouser" plotline. And I'm so happy they're finally picking up on the "school bus ran over a ninja shredder" story that was so well-developed in the comics.

And to think, some hot Hollywood producer was staying in the LeMars Ameri-Host and left his important story notes behind!


His loss. Our gain.

And remember... you heard it here first on: Paul Rust and Leonard Maltin's Hollywood Scoops-and-Snoops.

Stay tuned, cinephiles!

Monday, July 05, 2004

Walking out of the bathroom at Super Walton-Supermarket, I saw a guy wearing a ratty, faded-black t-shirt. On the front was a logo for Mick's Menswear, a now-defunct men's clothing store in LeMars that specialized in "cool" clothes (i.e. Bugle Boy in the 1980's, Mossimo in the 1990's, and if it had stayed in business, Pizza Hut - Hydrated Style in 2004).

With this shirt, however, the regular Mick's Menswear logo had been modified to resemble the famed logo for hair-metal standouts Poison (specifically their landmark album "Open Up and Say Ahhhh"). Imagine hot pinks and fluorescent greens and "accidential" paint splattering.

Now, if you're confused by the exact time-frame for when this shirt was initially produced, look no further than the back, which read: "LeMars Community High School After-Prom Party 1989."

And I, of course, instantly felt bad for this guy - regarding him as someone who never lived past high school and still desperately wears his t-shirts of yore to reclaim days gone past. And yeah... this man could be completely happy with his life, but projection's the key here.

And as if that wasn't depressing enough, when I walked by him... he farted.

He looked around to see if anyone had noticed.

I acted like I hadn't.


Since you attended the crown-jewel of LeMars' Ice Cream Days festival (the fireworks extravaganza "Skyshow 2004" at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds), you already know that...

The magnificence began with a "moment of silence for those in the military." This "moment of silence" included a recorded rendition of Taps (featuring inserted jet noises) and loud firework explosions. It was so loud that I almost couldn't hear the moment of silence.

You also already know that my friends and I brought self-made signs to celebrate Sky-show 2004. This year's signs featured such time-worn patriotic phrases as: "Boom!", "We Did It!", "U.S.," "America Wins," "Firecrackers!," and my personal favorite - "The American Flag."

Finally, you also know that we sat there, cheering and hootin' and hollerin'. And behind me in the grandstands, I hear someone else - a woman also cheering along. And I think, "Wow. That's cool. Somebody else is getting excited for this just as much as we are." And then I look behind me and see that it's a 12 year-old girl who is mentally retarded.



First of all, before you read this, don't think this next thought has been influenced by any recent event. Often times, "bloggers" tend to write about "girl problems" when "bloggers" are having "girl problems." However, right now - single and at-peace in LeMars - I am not a "blogger" having "girl problems." Nevertheless, a thought occurred to me a couple days ago...

For me, the only times that a dating relationship has been successful and long-standing was when the girl initiated the courting. Even though I may have been secretly attracted to the girl, she was the first to confess it and take action. However, all the times I've been the one to initiate a dating relationship with a girl... it has been extremely short-lived, disastrous, and more often than not, humiliating.

Of course, this discovery (which has surprisingly taken me too long to figure out) leads to numerous points regarding myself and dating. Some of them are debatable, but there is one unquestonalable fact: I need to keep my goddamn mouth shut.


Think about fireworks. Avoid thinking about how this discovery takes you one step closer to being a cold, detached man.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Who said LeMars ain't cool?

Tonight, to kick off the annual 4th-of-July "Ice Cream Days Festival," there is a free, outdoor screening of Jaws. This is an awesome (albeit unlikely) choice.

I like the fact that the LeMars city council is organizing a 4th-of-July event that's about... a city council organizing a 4th-of-July event that goes horribly, horribly wrong. Nevertheless, I'll be there. Hopefully, no sharks will drop from the sky and attack me.

Then... on Friday night... I am attending a Class of 2000 reunion.

But, Paul, it's only been 4 years since you've graduated high school. Usually, 5 years is the arbitrarily-chosen marker for reunions.

I know, but Gehlen Catholic (my old high school) is having their big All-School reunion over this holiday weekend. So my class is getting our reunion out of the way along with it. It'll definetely be interesting. I've seen maybe only 10 people from my class since I've graduated, so there'll be a lot of new/old faces.

Who will be bald? Who will be fat? These are questions that will be answered.

Jaws and an ever-increasing awareness of aging, here I come!