Tainted Lovespell.

Me and the Missus spent the weekend in Green Bay with Ben & Sherry. Celia was meeting her friends there for a much-belated gift exchange and dinner. Afterwards, we would all retire to Ben & Sherry’s place for drinks and mingling. After the disaster that was Celia’s 21st birthday party, I made a vow to myself to stay responsible and coherent throughout the night.

Here then, is the night in pictures.

The ladies returned with more alcohol than I had ever really seen, matching the already obscene amount in the fridge. They all seemed rather excited to get down to the business of getting down. Before you knew it, the blender was running non-stop, they were running out of clean glasses, and people were starting to get sloppy.

For such pretty and mature young women, they can sure be persuasive. On their own, they can be reasoned with, even engaging in a decent conversation. Together, they become something altogether different. A roving mob bent on rampant alcoholism and destruction.

I remained calm.

Aaron drank.

Franklin was less than amused.

R2-D2 started to hit on the ladies a bit, but eventually retired to the corner, alone and rejected.

I had more to drink than I really wanted to, but was nowhere near the mess I was last time. Sherry got smashed, which was funny, considering she had a recital at the Weidner Center the next morning. It seemed like comedy in the making.

Before you knew it, Sherry was trying to tug off the pants of each guy in the room. She scared Aaron so much that he left. Once the insanity wore off, drunken conversation and general staggering took over the apartment. Crank phone calls were made, multiple ween conversations were had and I was punched in the gut by Erin, who I can no longer invite anywhere, as she is a bad influence on me.

The night came to a close at about 1 or 2, and we fell asleep on Ben & Sherry’s floor. The next morning, we got up and headed out to the recital. It was funny to watch the once primal and animalistic Sherry transform into the bowing and proper musician at UWGB. The perfect crime, I suppose.

She did a great job, then the 4 of us headed out to the most desolate and depressing mall in the world.

There was, however, one nice place there.

After milling around for a couple minutes, we went back to the apartment, shot some pool and left on the long journey home. Somewhere along the way, I got the flu, and that brings us to the present day. I’m sick as hell and I can’t remember any more of what went on this weekend.

So, what have I learned?

Well, lots of things. I learned that even though someone can devote their entire life to bullying nice people, it’s never easy for those nice people to rise up and knock this person off their high horse. Here’s hoping that ends soon. Stay strong.

I learned that Whiskey sets my stomach aflame, and Erin could drink me under the table any day of the week. She usually tries to, and it hurts more every time.

I learned that every Dean from every College in the nation looks exactly alike.

I learned that hundreds of people can flock to an abandoned mall on a Sunday for no reason.

I learned that some people have a lot more interesting things to say when they’re tipsy.

I learned that “TWL” is a club that I’m eligible for, yet not participating in. Men, never let a woman tell you that your gender is more vulgar and willing to talk about sex than theirs. Get more than 3 women together, and they become nothing short of a permission-slip-only health class.

I learned that my Wife will yell at strangers from a 4th floor window for no reason other than to call them “Bananas”. I have yet to understand why this transpired.

I learned that we need to do these things more often.

If you have any good memories whatsoever of the weekend that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section. I’m off to Milwaukee tomorrow for the Streetlight Manifesto/Voodoo Glow Skulls show, so we’ll talk again on Wednesday.

Coming Soon: The CDP “Bloggie” Awards!

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January Photo Colonic.

I’m headed back home to Larsen this weekend, then we’re cruising up to Green Bay to spend some quality time with Ben, Sherry and about 4 other random women. I have a $100 bill in my wallet, and I intend to spend every penny of it by Monday (on bills).

I thought that tonight I would clean out the photo vault a little bit, and show you 5 pictures you’ve never seen before, or never really wanted to see. That first picture was from my cube at work. After being employed there for 8 months, I finally got my own little name stand. It lets everyone there know what my full title is, so they can properly address me when they want me to sweep out the supply room. I’m respected!

Hey, here’s Saturn!

He’s a beautiful boy. Upon closer examination, I think he was mixed with a feline that’s not domestic. Seriously, he’s huge and more exotic than you can really tell. Sadly, his owner never fixed him, so he warbles all day long, desperate for a mate. He makes the same noises that I made from age 12-18. PLEASE have your animals fixed, or they might end up like me.

Hey, here’s a snow-covered wiener!

I swear, those Oscar-Meyer people are following me all over this great city. It was no more than a few months ago that I found the damn thing in my parking lot (I took pictures, check the archives). I told you people, I’m not eating your products anymore! I’m different now! Judging from the snow on the roof, they must have been doing some sort of stakeout from this remote location in East Madison. How did they know I was in the area? I think Oscar-Meyer has bugged my home.

Hey, here’s a dog of some sort!

This is my sister’s dog, Bailey. He’s got some behavior problems, and he loves to piss on your carpet, but he’s just a puppy. Show me any creature under a year old that doesn’t like to whiz on shag, and I’ll give you a dollar. You can squeeze him into cute outfits like this, and it makes you want to kick him less. But I kid Alissa. It’s her birthday on Monday, and she’s turning 18. In honor of this, I was going to put some sort of humiliating photo of her up. Instead, I’m putting up a humiliating photo of my Mother.

This picture isn’t really humiliating, but she is holding a massive jar of peanut butter with a somber look on her face. She said she really wanted peanut butter for Christmas, because she eats toast 4 meals a day. I came through, scoring her the second biggest tub that Jif makes for commercial retail. I didn’t have a membership to Sam’s Club, so I couldn’t snag the 5-gallon bucket. She claims it was one of the best presents I’ve ever given her, but she fails to remember that I bought her a DVD player and a handful of movies a few years ago. If I knew then that $7 of peanut butter was better than $300 of movies, I’d be better off because of it.

Well, I feel cleansed. I’ll be back with some stories tomorrow, as the CDP pushes towards its first birthday. 1 Blog year roughly translates into 21 human years, so expect the CDP to be good and hammered come February 12. To tide you over, please check out Boycott Unity. I’m there every damn day making myself laugh, you’re more than welcome to join me.

Biggest Downer Ever. (Welcome Back!)

The time has come to talk about death.

Well, that wasn’t the right picture at all. Oh well, I’ll fix it later. Besides, it lightens the mood a bit. It’s best to talk about death over muffins and your favorite breakfast beverage. Not death in general, or the death of you, for example. This is much more important, because it concerns the death of me.



I decided to crunch some numbers and attach some sort of equation to my mortality. Knowing me, you’ll understand that I have to do this in order to get an accurate grasp of something like this. I’m not trying to be too depressing, and I sure as hell don’t want this to turn into some chain e-mail, like “Cherish these moments!” It’s just that I find myself wasting a lot of time during the day, either willingly or otherwise (work + sleep, for example). Every week, every day and every hour adds up, so pay attention to where they all go.

Let’s get started.

God damn it.

The average passing age of a person living in the US is about 74 years. This breaks down to about 27,010 days in a lifetime. I’m a non-smoker, vegetarian, a rare drinker, and I don’t do drugs. I do, however, suffer from crippling stress and have a family history of serious medical problems.

I’m figuring I’ll make it to 70, barring an accident, of course. Anything beyond this has always been considered bonus time in my book. Making it to 2052 sounds like a decent enough goal.

This means that I will have 25,550 days in which to live my life. Problem is, I’m already pushing 23 years old. Doing the math, that leaves me with 17,155 days left. I’ve already used up 8,395 days in my couple decades on the planet, averaging to about 33% of my life already being over. That’s ONE-THIRD! Make a pie graph out of that, and you’ll see how much of a segment that is. Did I use that 33% of my life wisely? I think I was more responsible with my first 22 years than most. Plus, it got me to where I am now, which is better off than I ever thought I would be. If it was pass/fail only, I can look back and honestly say that I passed. I have few regrets, a few traumatic moments and a few really good moments. I’m satisfied enough.

So, I have 17,155 days left. What am I going to do with them?

Well, before I start rationing out how I plan to spend the rest of my time here, we have to subtract a few necessary functions.

I sleep about 6-7 hours a night. I can’t function without it anymore. I’m sure this number will only get larger as I get older. For the sake of argument, let’s say that throughout the rest of my life, I will sleep an average of 8 hours a night. That’s 33% of your day, and 33% of your life spent unconscious on a mattress.

17,155 days quickly turns into 11,437 days. Woah, I need a muffin break.

(Munch,munch) You know, 11 thousand and some odd days isn’t that much time, and we’re not even close to done subtracting crap yet. Let’s talk about eating, for example.

We spend at least 2 hours a day just eating stuff. You can’t live without food, so I suppose it’s good that we devote that much time to Cinnamon Toast Crunch and grilled cheese. Sure, we use this time to converse with each other and watch “Cops” on FX, but the bulk of this time is purely spent shoveling grease into our collective maw. Doing the math, it seems that I will spend at least 22,874 hours eating food. That averages out to 951 days, almost 3 full years spent doing nothing but eating. My total amount of days has now dropped to 10,486.

You know, that food has to come out at some point. You’d be amazed at how much time you spend in the bathroom on a normal day. Taking into consideration expelling of waste, shaving, showering and preparing for Inaugural balls, I spend at least an hour a day in the can. That’s being mighty conservative, too. This translates into 437 total days, and my number has now become 10,049.

Do you have a job? I sure do. It makes me sick to think that I spend more time during the day with total strangers than with my Wife and family. For 5 days a week, I spend 8 hours and 45 minutes at my job, essentially getting paid to not see my Wife. Assuming that I have a full-time job until the age of 55 (Jesus, I hope not), this will translate to a whopping 2805 full 24-hour days spent at work. My death clock has now spiraled down to 7224 days. Considering that I’ve already been alive longer than that, it’s starting to get a little sobering.

Here’s something I’m a little hesitant to admit. I watch a whole assload of television. Actually, I think I watch at least 24 hours of television a week. That equals 2248 hours of television every year, and 2444 entire days watching the tube. This leaves me with 4780 days left, kids. (Notice that I didn’t say anything about cutting back on it.)

Speaking of television, I spend a lot of time on the computer outside of work, too. I would argue that I spend an average of 10 hours a week on this thing. This translates into 520 hours of computer time a year, and 1,018 total lifetime days spent looking up useless trivia and Googling my own name. I don’t plan on giving this up, and my death clock is now ticking down to 3762 days.

I like the blueberry ones the best, but I don’t like blueberries on their own. Interesting.

When I get home from work, I can’t just sit on my ass and drink Wobblers until Celia comes home. I have to balance my checkbook, change the cats’ crap-boxes, make the bed, things like that. I would figure that on any given day, I spend at least 2 hours doing things that I really don’t want to do. We all spend many hours doing things that we’d rather not be doing, but have to. This translates out to 728 hours a year, and a lifetime total of 1,426 days spent doing things that we hate. It’s truly unfair, and it makes my amount of usable days tick down to 2336.

How’s my math? I’ve been checking and double checking, but I keep thinking that something’s wrong. Turns out that my math is correct, It’s just not very pleasing. Don’t doubt me, I have a calculator and I passed Algebra II with a D-minus.

So, what am I missing? Plenty! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have a car and I live in Madison. I spend more time behind the wheel of a car in a day than most people do all week. It’s sort of like the slogan for the Marines, only for driving. There’s no doubt that I spend at least 10 hours a week driving around. It’s an average, and it’s conservative. Throw in a few trips back home, and one week will more than make up for a quiet week spent locked up in the apartment. That’s another 1,018 damn days behind the damn wheel of my damn car, and I’m down to 1318 days.

So, what are we left with? According to my calculations, by subtracting just the bare minimum of normal things that I do on a daily basis, I’m left with a little over 1,300 days in my life which I can use however I like. I didn’t consider health problems, I certainly didn’t consider having children, I didn’t consider anything that wasn’t certain. Best case scenario, I have maybe 3 years left in my life that are currently unclaimed. These bits and scraps of totally free time will be handed to me in 30-second chunks sporadically over the next 47 years.

Woah. What am I going to do with them?

Well, for starters, I’ll analyze it until it’s gone. I’m doing that right now, and it keeps me happy. Secondly, I’ll do a lot of general worrying and venting about everything. Life is interesting, and I’ll never stop finding faults with it. Everyone does it, and you know it.

If you’re younger than me, you probably have more free time. If you’re older than me, well…sorry I brought this up.

Have a muffin.

By the way, I’m sorry I took so much time off this week. It’s not going to happen again for a long time, and there are bigger and better things planned here at the CDP. Don’t be a stranger, we’re turning 1 year old soon!

(PS – Don’t E-mail me or comment about the math errors, because I know there’s a few of them. Considering how lax I was with the numbers though, I still think I’m mighty close to accurate. Besides, you’d be missing the point, jerk-ass.)

Cool Water Air Freshener.



(In case you’re wondering who threw that snowball at Dick Cheney’s sweet ride, it was me, all the way from Wisconsin. I’m a snowball crack-shot when I’m furious.)



Get angry! Get frustrated! Then get over to Boycott Unity, and ironically laugh your troubles away. Stick figures tend to put biased political slap-fights into perspective, don’t they?

Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we’re in the process of accumulating anywhere from 4-12 inches of snow over the next few days. It’s times like this that I wish I worked out of my home, or was held up at home with a work-related injury, God willing. Anything to keep me in front of the fireplace, instead of scraping the ice off my Escort so I can risk my life in downtown Mad City.

It’s times like this that I wish I had my old car.



This was the biggest and best picture I could find. Apparently, 1987 Buick Somerset vehicles are a little rare in the auto world. Not only that, but my car could travel through time, as well. That being said, I can’t believe I sold it for $150. I could’ve made billions!

I guess I don’t want my car back, but I do wish I had that time in my life back. Not so much personally, but globally. Those few years before 9/11 were pretty decent, and the nation was more or less content with what was going on. Perhaps that was just my jaded-teenager view at the time, but I sure knew I was happier then when I watched the news, you know?

Speaking of the TV show “Cops“, they were supposed to film in Madison this spring, but the city said no at the last possible second. The reason they gave was the same as Celia’s. Madison is one of the safest cities in the nation, and they probably wouldn’t find anything interesting enough to air. Not only that, but if they DID find enough garbage to air, it would tarnish Madison’s reputation a bit. Well, there’s always Janesville and Milwaukee. I’m still mad, though.

If you don’t have “Soundtrack to a Midwestern Winter” by Big Big Furnace, I suggest you pick it up. Particularly if you’re currently in the middle of a Midwestern Winter. They were a band from Milwaukee that broke up a couple years ago, and they made the perfect emo concept album for freezing nights. It can get a tad cheesy at times, but it’s one of the best CD’s to ever come out of Wisconsin. If you find it at an exchange store, buy it.

This weekend, I plan on staying warm and snowed in. I’ll mill around the house, call my Mom, write a new batch of Boycott Unity cartoons, and pay all my bills again. This is the extent of my ambition when the snow starts to pile up.

I’ll be back this weekend with more interesting things to say. Seriously, I have many stories to tell. No more of this shoegazing boring crap for a while, It’s time to get down to business. Isn’t that right, Vlad the Impaler?



“You tell ’em, buddy!”

The Midnight Rant.



(Note: This post was typed in the middle of the night by a very tired Ryan. Forgive him as he drifts along, seemingly making an effort to sound like an autistic person. Do not judge him by this writing alone. In fact, do not judge him at all. Ever.)

It’s about 1am on Monday morning, and I can’t sleep to save my life. 3-day weekends are a wonderful thing, but they tend to ruin your physical clock when it comes time to set it back to your work schedule. Nonetheless, I shall catch up on my sleep sometime tomorrow, and be good and rested for the shortened work week.

Before I get to anything else, I’m urging you to make The Arcade Fire‘s “Funeral” your next CD purchase. They not only live up to their own hype, but they far surpass the hype of all the others in 2004 (you hear me talking, TV On the Radio?). Give them a chance, the album is flat-out beautiful. My only regret was not buying it sooner. Speaking of music reviews, I’m waiting patiently for my CD review to grace the pages of Core Weekly. Once it shows up there, (or if I get immediately canned) I’ll let you know.

I have the song “Experimental Film”, by They Might Be Giants in my head right now. The song is hilarious, mainly about experimental college filmmakers and how amazing their first movie is going to be. They have a “music video” up at Homestar Runner, featuring Strong Bad and company. It contains all the usual “experimental” film aspects: Sad guys looking into bathroom mirrors, bare swinging lightbulbs on strings, not a script to speak of, and so forth. It’s a shame that my first movie fell through, because I really wanted to prove you could make a zero-budget college film without falling into that asinine trap of gratuity for the sake of “art”. It can be done, it just needs talent without the pretention. Just because you own a gun doesn’t mean that you have to shoot somebody with it, and just because you’re making your own movie doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to watch it with your Mother. Just my opinion.

Since we’re on the topic of me being better than most, I’ll have you know that I’m working on a children’s book. You can keep your weird for the sake of being weird, because I’m doing something for the kids! I’m setting my goals nice and low, so it should be all done by Halloween. I also plan on doing something in the distant future with Boycott Unity. I’m trying to keep myself completely immersed with writing and whatnot, because if I stop for more than a second I’ll realize that writing is not my real job. Then I’ll have to take a realistic look at my actual job that’s going absolutely nowhere, and I’ll have to hang myself in the laundry room. So, until I say otherwise, I’m a professional writer that works in the Mailroom of a state agency strictly for the life experience.

Can you tell that I’m getting tired?

I donated $50 to Planned Parenthood of Dane County, which will be coming out of my work wages over the next few weeks. I didn’t bring this up because I wanted praise (I do), I just wanted to prove that I actually put effort into things I believe in. I didn’t give any money to the Tsunami relief fund, because I doubt any of my cash would make it to where it was needed. Even so, natural disasters are something that you just have to deal with as they come. They can’t be prevented or controlled whatsoever. It was horrid and awful what happened, surely one of the worst disasters we will see in our lifetimes, but no dollar amount will ever suffice regardless. But if my money can go into helping out one confused girl, or prevent one more unwanted child from getting lost in the system, that will make a world of difference to someone around here. You can’t put a condom on a tidal wave, but it can still prevent a disaster. Hey, I’m going to pitch that catchphrase to the Durex people, maybe they’ll cut me a check.

I’m obviously ready for bed now. I have to get undressed in the living room though, because I’m afraid if I wake up the Missus with my stumbling around, she’ll kick my ass. She sleeps so heavily though, I could probably get shot by an intruder and she wouldn’t even shift. She kicks and punches in her sleep so much, I’m suspecting it was her who caused my neck injury last week. (I pulled a muscle in my neck, and couldn’t move it for 3 days. I was a vegetable, and I couldn’t shower or wash my hair.) I very clearly remember her opening her eyes one night, looking directly at me, and punching me in the face. Now, that couldn’t have been an accident.

According to her, I freak the hell out in my sleep. I scream, whimper, swing myself around, laugh like a serial killer, and even slip into an impression of a southern preacher (Jee-sus-ah!) Perhaps we should videotape this, although she told me that it wouldn’t be very funny, only scary and confusing to me. God bless her, so knows I’d be afraid of myself. All I know is that if I hurt myself sleeping like I did last week with my neck, I might as well buy a good motorized wheelchair right now, because I’ll be worthless. (Sweet Je-sus-ah!)

I told you I was going to bed an hour ago, but here I am talking your ear off. That reminds me of old Middle School phone conversations with people. Refusing to hang up until the other person hung up first, actually falling asleep on the phone, your ear swollen and red from mashing the receiver against it for 6 hours. That might be why I hate talking on the phone now that I’m older. Have you ever fallen asleep while talking to someone? It’s the strangest feeling in the world. Just hang up and go to sleep!

Goodbye.

The Routine.

If you don’t know me that well, or just don’t listen very closely, you should know that I get into flashback mode every January since 2000. It stems from the depression of the bitter cold, horrid cabin fever, and the idea of turning another year older. More positively, however, it stems from the fact that 5 years ago in January, me and Celia became a couple.

In retrospect of this, I’ve compiled a mixtape for the first winter of 2000. The soundtrack to winter nights at age 17, finding new love and new friends in a very old car. Never mind how tired, played and downright unlistenable these songs are to you now; just enjoy them because of where they put you when you hear them.

So come along with me. I’ll open the door to my Buick and pull the seat up so you can jump in the back. Then we’ll leave school and head to the practice room for cover songs and cookie dough. The space heater tends to act up a bit, so we’ll all have to use blankets and friction to keep warm. We can play music until 10, but then we have to keep quiet until curfew.

Take off your mittens and press play.

DISK #1:

1. Mustard Plug – Go

2. Reel Big Fish – Somebody Hates Me

3. The Aquabats – Red Sweater

4. The Impossibles – Widowmaker

5. Goldfinger – I Need To Know

6. Edna’s Goldfish – Veronica Sawyer

7. Spring Heeled Jack – Pop Song (Green)

8. Showoff – Tell Me

9. Zebrahead – Someday

10. MxPx – Tomorrow’s Another Day

11. Face To Face – Disconnected

12. The Benjamins – Couch

DISK #2:

1. The Gadjits – Traffic Tickets

2. The Chinkees – She’s My Friend

3. My superhero – So Wrong

4. Catch 22 – Day In, Day Out

5. Jeffries’ Fan Club – She’s So Cool

6. Mad Caddies – The Bell Tower

7. Goldfinger – Superman

8. Reel Big Fish – The Kids Don’t Like It

9. Less Than Jake – Al’s War

10. The Ataris – San Dimas High School Football Rules

11. Showoff – Ralphie

12. The Impossibles – Always Have, Always Will

(It should be noted that even though “Great American Zero” didn’t technically exist in January of 2000, it should probably get a spot on the CD somewheres.)

So, I need suggestions. What songs remind you of January 2000? (Ben? Sherry? Little help?) Stories are always welcome here, as well. Of course, most probably couldn’t or shouldn’t be shared.

I’m in a good mood, because I’m an hour away from a 3-day weekend. It’s so crazy to think back 5 years ago, when I would pick Celia up from school and take her to my house, then drive through the ice and fog to drop her off at 10pm. The only difference now is that I’m picking her up from work, and I never have to drop her off again. I’m simply floored by the directions a life can take you in the span of a few years. You could never predict the future for yourself, and it would seem as if fate is more twisted and complicated than we could ever comprehend.

When I met Celia, one of the first things I asked her was, “Do you believe in fate?” Now that I’m older, I don’t know what I believe, but frankly it doesn’t matter anymore. I got what I wanted. If it was my choice or someone elses, I’m just glad that it happened.

More Than You Needed To Know.

(New Streetlight CD Release Coming Soon! Keasbey Nights 2?)
(Incomprehensible Rockhead on Vocals! Amazing Horn Section!)
(Played With Mediocre at Best!)
Tuesday, February 1
Doors – 4:30 / Show – 5:00
$10 Advance – $12 Door – All Ages
Mad Planet – Milwaukee