This week’s new Dustinland comic was inspired by my last trip into the city for work. I was walking to the office when I had this realization that I could be unfairly assuming everyone is awful. I mean, they could be, but is that the best way to live? I remember this graduation speech that David Foster Wallace gave, where basically he said sure, we can assume the worst of everyone, we may even be right about it… but we should strive to not see the world that way. After all, will it make us happier to live in protective bubbles of cynicism and disdain, or will it make us hate life and everyone around us?
Now, I’m not saying I live in the happy rainbow world either. But we’re always evolving and I think at least I’m more and more aware of my thoughts and sub-thoughts, and all I can do is strive to be better and happier.
Also weed girl in the comic is not a real person. I just thought it would be a funny way to end the strip so I made up this stoner friend. I do actually know someone like that but he’s a pretty normal looking dude and I didn’t feel like drawing that. High five.
I can’t believe it. I really can’t. In fact I did a whole new Dustinland comic on it, but I decided to run this one instead because I became more fascinated with the first frame of that one, and turned that into this comic.
Man, I guess if it were ever high time for a change, it would be these days.
This week’s comic is my latest work for The River Journal. If you live in a suburban town, I think you’ll be able to relate — even if it’s not Westchester. That being said, there is a certain New Yorkness to this comic. This town always has had a bit of “if you’re not here, you’re nowhere” to it. One thing I don’t understand is why so many people can’t except other people’s choices. It always has to come back to a subconscious defense of their own lifestyle. Why? Why can’t we like different things?
Posted in home owernship, New York
Tagged buying a house, house, im new here, irvington, moving, new york, new york city, NYC, sleepyhollow, suburbs, subway, tarrytown, westchester
I’ve been drawing a new comic called I’m New Here for a local newspaper called The River Journal. They cover a bunch of towns up here in Westchester, including mine. I say up here because Westchester is north of NYC, and that’s sort of where everything is judged by around these parts. Anyway, you can see the first four strips here. There’s certainly a theme, as you can tell from the title. I grew up in an apartment in Queens so being new to the suburbs provides endless ideas. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Hudson river town, you get the printed version delivered right into your mailbox. Good times.
Posted in home owernship, marriage, New York, parenthood
Tagged deer, dobbs ferry, garden, home ownership, house, im new here, irvington, lawn, marriage, mulch, new york, new york city, NYC, parenthood, sleepy hollow, suburbs, tarrytown, ticks, westchester
Let me get into the interesting details behind this week’s Dustinland comic.
See, I drew the first half based on my daily annoyances that are pretty well spelled out in the strip. But then, after it was all done and even uploaded, this morning I listened to an episode of This American Life, which I never do on my commute, because I never do the podcast thing, always opting for music instead. And this episode, it was about a French comedian trying to make it in America. At one point Jeff Garland is critiquing his set, and just goes off. “He’s a craftsman, but he’s not an artist because I don’t care about what he’s talking about. He doesn’t care! Talk about what you care about! That’s interesting!”
And I was inspired to go deeper with this strip. Because as you can see, I do care. It’s about the principle. Not just the bag, not just the minor inconvenience. Every time this happens, I think about all this stuff, all this human nature misery. It riles me up. That’s why I care. And now you know. Thanks, Ira Glass!
Posted in New York
Tagged commute, commuter train, commuting, hudson valley, irvington, metro north, MTA, new york, new york city, NYC, river towns, subway, tarrytown, train, trains, westchester
This week’s Dustinland comic is basically a combination of all the discussions I’ve been having in the real world. I moved to the burbs about 5 months ago and so now everyone wants to hear my take on it. It’s like when you get married or have kids or get back from a big vacation. Everyone asks you the same things—for good reason. But it does get tiring having the same conversation over and over again. Although there are some subtle nuances that can be more interesting if you really dig into them. Like seeing skunks and fearing ticks. That’s when I enjoy the conversation more.
And man, I really did see a skunk this weekend, crossing the street in front of my house. A skunk! I live 40 minutes from NYC! Later I showed my kid a picture of a skunk and told him, hey, if you ever see this animal, STAY AWAY. And then a neighbor told me, oh boy, coming out in broad daylight, could be a rabid skunk. Man, that’s not cool. Skunks are bad enough. Now it’s a rabid skunk!
But yeah, I do like it out here.
Posted in home owernship, New York
Tagged buying a house, home, home ownership, house, money, moving, new york, new york city, NYC, parenthood, parenting, parents, tarrytown, ticks, westchester
This week’s Dustinland comic was inspired by the NYC bombings. I pretty much say all I have to say about the subject in the strip. This is more of a place for people to discuss it. Aside from the 5,000 social media channels I engage on as well. But yes, these last 15 years or so sure do make you wish for the days when the worst thing on the news was the president getting a blowjob.
Posted in environment, politics, pop culture
Tagged 1990s, 90s, bombing, new york, new york city, nostalgia, NYC, philosophy, politics, terror, terrorism, terrorist
Man, as I said in this week’s Dustinland, I really thought the Mets had it this year. After a shitty first half they had such an amazing second half, ended on a bright note, then had a killer first two rounds of the postseason. Things were so magical — how did KC just stop us dead in our tracks?! I guess they had their own magic that beat ours. Kind of like a game of Magic The Gathering except not.
Man, losing all the time SUCKS. What a downer. I’m so tired of expecting to lose. I don’t know how Cubs fans deal with it. Or how Boston did. I guess that’s what made Boston’s first World Series in a zillion years so fulfilling. But I mean, I really don’t want to wait decades. I think since 1986 is more than enough. Especially in a town like NYC where there’s another team—one that wins every other year and spends twice what the Mets does, since they’re not bankrupt and we are. Damnit. I could go on all night but it’s too late. Stupid sports.
The holiday season has officially begun, and I already picked out my Christmas tree, one week earlier than I normally do. And that’s what inspired this week’s Dustinland comic. The happiness generated by my new tree reminded me of the time way back, depressingly over a decade ago, when I bought my own secret private tree that I spitefully hid from my roommates. And don’t get me wrong, we were all on very good terms before and after that. I just got pissed off and reacted in the heat of the moment, and then decided to go with it as some sort of weird sort of funny lesson. I doubt anyone learned anything from it, besides me, and all I learned was how to put a Christmas tree using a crappy $5 metal base (it ain’t easy).
Anyway, I do love the holiday season. As I said in another comic a year or two ago, one nice thing about having kids is that it brings some fun back into the season. Sure, it’s always pretty and nice and cozy, and there’s that whole thing where there are actually several days when you don’t have to work, but overall, as you get older, it starts to lose its magic. But you become a parent and suddenly Santa is back in the picture and things are exciting again. See, there you go, some positivity, right after I bah humbugged and somehow manage to turn the act of buying a Christmas tree into something spiteful. Now that takes talent, no?
This week’s Dustinland comic was inspired by my buddy Russ. He’s an authority in vaping aka e-cigarettes. Basically the dude smoked for years and years and never was able to quit. Then e-cigs came along and boom, he’s done smoking. Sure, he still vapes all the time, but he feels great. Anyway, I recently heard that he’s supporting a lawsuit against the city claiming their soon to be enacted e cig ban is actually illegal, so I called him and asked what the deal was.
You can find out more about that from Russ’ podcast Click Bang! Me personally, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Never have. And I was so happy when they banned smoking from bars. But this… this just seems stupid. Here’s something that people are using to kick the habit, and we’re going to make it more difficult for them? Why? Well, that’s what the strip is about, so no need to get into it again here. But yeah. NYC. Come on. Bloomberg is out. Enough with the nanny state thing.