Modern technology is amazing, I cannot extoll the virtues of video chat more when it comes to making you feel connected with other people. Aside from Dustin, with whom I used to work, I have only met the other members of Team Torta in person once each. But seeing them every week on my roll20 screen has enabled me to get to know them in spite of our vast (now even vaster now that I’ve moved to Maryland) geographical distance. Angel, Jess, Kay and Dustin are some of the best people I know, and I’m excited that this show means I get to see and play with them every week. I also enjoy knowing that Kay and Angel are currently rolling their eyes at my lack of Oxford comma in the previous sentence. Fight me. Also, I love you and here’s why.
Dustin and I have been friends for 7 years, and actually met when he hired me for my very first job out of college at the animal shelter where he did fundraising work. We worked in a big bullpen with a bunch of other animal loving dorks, where you can’t help but get to know your co-workers well and BAM! Instant friendship.
Dustin is a doer – he literally can never sit still or he gets seriously bummed out. This makes him one of the only people I know who matches my energy level and enthusiasm for going outside and trying new things, whether it be a road trip to some random point in the woods he found on Google Maps or a 40’s junkyard or a weird new bar or a food festival. Dustin is always game for an adventure – and I adore that about him.
We owe Dustin everything for this podcast, it is truly his accomplishment. He’s been the guy driving this car while the rest of us take turns either napping in the back or attempting to passenger seat drive (God D, sorry for the continued Dad metaphors they just keep coming to me). If we’re having fun, it’s because Dustin creates the environment for it. If we have success, it’s because Dustin planned this out so well. If we make it big someday, it’s because Dustin put in the work.
Dustin is a brilliant and practical man. He always does his research, is always learning and careful to make sure the path ahead is well plotted, all to guide his friends/coworkers/employees/players what have you through their trials with lots of hints and creative solutions without trying to restrict their choices. He’s also an incredibly sensitive, loving and whimsical sort of person. This makes him a naturally wonderful friend, mentor and DM – and I’m beyond lucky to be one of the people he takes such good care of.