Dear Dust

Sarah Palin is officially running for president. Sarah Palin!

That is all.


Dear Dust

I’m a forty year-old guy, divorced once, now seeing a great woman. Let’s call her Wendy. I’m not ugly, but it’s not like before I met Wendy other women were falling all over me. I’m a little out of shape and I have a pretty lousy job. But Wendy is OK with it and I accept her for who she is too. In most every respect, I’m as happy as I’ve ever felt I have a right to be. But here’s the problem. Wendy’s a big dog lover. Like, she gets dog magazines and has dog pillows and her whole house smells like dog.  All of which is annoying, but I could live with it if her enormous German Shepard didn’t come into the room every time we’re fucking. It pushes open the door with its nose since there’s no lock, and it sits there and watches. The shit freaks me out. The dog has these flat dead eyes. I can’t tell if it’s enjoying it, or if it wants to kill me. I swear, I go soft just thinking about his face. I tell Wendy, but she says I’m being uptight. I bought a lock at the hardware store that she wouldn’t let me install. She says the dog is harmless. She gets all bitchy when I bring it up now. Last night it watched us again.

Am I being unreasonable here? I’m ready to put that dog in a fucking sack and drop it in the river. Or find a new girl.

Home Alone

Dear Dust

Sports are terrible now. The NFL is in the middle of a lockout because the millions they’re all making isn’t enough. MLB has seen two no-hitters this year and fans continue to stay away from ballpark. Even the media are having a hard time to find compelling stories to highlight. The NBA is a joke — players collude in the off season to determine what team to play for, demanding salaries that could relieve entire nations of health and medical problems. Tiger Woods was the reason to watch golf and now he can’t make it through nine holes. Seriously, do sports suck so hard?

All Blows

Dear Dust

So Bin Laden is dead about nine minutes and suddenly everyone around me is all conspiracy this, perfect timing that. I’d say about half of my friends think Bush knew where he was all along, and the other half think Obama killed Osama to distract us from the birth certificate. I’m confused. Do any of these theories have merit? Please un-confuse me.

Miss Lu

Dear Dust

Why can’t I quit smoking? I feel so sad without cigs, and they are killing me. Am I nuts? I can’t sleep or even work without them. Help.


Dear Dust


A year ago my girlfriend OD’d. At least I think that’s what happened. The medical end of things concluded that she committed suicide. But, in a way I just don’t believe she’d walk away from me like that. Without a word. I know it’s selfish, to maybe embrace something that’s false, but part of me is sure it was an accident. When I tell my friends this, they roll their eyes and act like I’m deluded. No one wants to talk about it anymore and they change the subject when I bring it up now. The subtext is always “What, you’re not over it yet?” My question is, what do I do when the answer is still “No, not yet. Not even close.”



Dear Dust

Lately I have developed such an incredible attraction for Katy Perry. Even though I hate her voice and her songs are uniformly awful, I still buy her cds and watch her on the net endlessly. If it were twenty years ago, I’d have a lunchbox with her picture on it and a poster on the wall. Is this wrong? Am I a bad person? I used to make fun of people like me, and now I am one.



Dear Dust

My girlfriend maintains friendships with several guys that she’s dated in the past and whom she meets with for coffee or lunch from time to time. There are no trust issues here–almost all of them are in their own relationships and I’m not suspicious that there’s any malfeasance going on. However, I maintain a friendship with a woman I once lived with, which my girlfriend has recently asked me to “phase out.” It has been many years since I lived with this woman, who now has her own family. I cried foul that a double standard is being invoked. Current girlfriend insists that the fact that I lived with this woman is a sufficiently distinguishing factor to render our comparative situations into apple and orange categories. And so I ask you- 1) is there indeed a double standard in play here; and 2) what is an appropriate policy for exes within a current relationship?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Nik Helle

Dear Dust

I am so sick of technology. I have an iPad and an Android and a Nook and a Gateway desktop. They all constantly need updating and downloading and tweaking and new peripheral gadgets. My camera is out of date, my music files are degrading, my thumb drive is infected with a worm. Who said all this stuff was an improvement? And don’t even get me started on tweeting and checking my Facebook status. It’s a deluge of input, most of which seems to make my life harder instead of easier. How do I get out from under this avalanche of silicone?


Dear Dust

I’m a 20 year-old college student who is taking a year off to travel around the world, and I want to bring five books with me. I hate Kindles, so no Kindle. Just five great books to get me through the down times. What should I bring?

(me and my friends all have a crush on The Dust. Just thought I’d share!)


Dear Dust

I can tell by reading your column (I came in a bit late, but have since gone back and caught up on them all) that you are not an avid Republican. Even though that’s how I would describe myself, it’s fine with me that we don’t always agree. I like your writing style, and I like to have my assumptions challenged, even if I end up sticking to my guns! So thanks for delivering! But I have to respectfully wonder if you can come across to my side a bit now that we are celebrating what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. Can you admit, in retrospect, that he may be the greatest president we’ve ever had? Curious what you think.


Jerry R.

Dear Dust

Get a clue, asshole. You’ll never write anything half as good as Fountainhead. Ayn Rand spelled it all out fifty years ago and if your [sic] too dumb to get it, then you can fall back in the mud with the rest.

The Light in The Cave

Dear Dust

Unemployment is really high across the nation, but seems particularly bad in my state. Won’t say which one, mostly cause it doesn’t much matter. I’m getting old, my trade has been sold off and become more or less obsolete. My prospects for a job anytime soon are lousy. It’s okay. I’ll get by. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. It’s not so much like my family’s gonna miss meals, it’s that I feel pretty much invisible now. A man without a job might as well not exist around here. My wife would never say it, but I know she’s thinking it. Even my kids. I want a check, but I also want people to know I’m still here.

Thanks for listening

Les Pell

Dear Mr. Dust

I recently discussed the effects of disruptive technology on the publishing business with a well-regarded novelist friend. Let’s call him “Mitch.” Well, Mitch went on and on decrying the demise of proper publishing gatekeepers, bitter about the fact that younger “talent’ no longer has to put in their dues, they can just pimp themselves out to the masses without regard for depth or quality. He drew an analogy to the music business, talking about recently being the only customer in a large record store. Do record stores still even exist? Also, why bemoan the demise of traditional publishing? Real talent will always benefit from disruptive technology. Isn’t it better to go directly to market than be judged on your ability to schmooze executives at Harper Collins?

The Nook

Dear Dust

Why is this country such a racist shithole? From immigration to health care, it’s really all about making sure brown people don’t get a free ride, even though they work harder than most whites. I was so happy for about a month after Obama was elected. For a minute I actually thought things might change. From Boehner to Tea Baggers, calling Obama “socialist” is just a safe way of calling him “black.” Why won’t anyone say it out loud? A big part of this country still don’t want any part of black, period. They’re just better at clever ways of grinning in your face while they slide the knife in your back. Man, I’m almost done. Like ready to move to Denmark.

No shit, Dust, is there any hope?