Neighborhood #5 (CDP)

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Minneapolis beckons. The CDP will be back with all-new stuff later this weekend. Until then, chat it up in the comments section. September is shaping up to be the busiest month ever here, and I don’t want a silly vacation to spoil that. Internet traffic makes me strong, just like Flintstone vitamins.

Arcade Fire plays at 6pm, and Architecture In Helsinki is playing in a different room of the venue at 8pm. If I could see them both, my head would most certainly implode. Not explode, mind you, because I wouldn’t want to get any brain matter on my two new favorite bands. It’s not respectful.

In the meantime, check out this link regarding the Wisconsin Realtors Association’s policy to reveal to prospective home buyers if a house is haunted or not. It was found by the Missus, and is 100% accurate. I love Halloween, and you can expect October to be jam-ass-packed with autumn splendor.

Lost is on tonight. Lost is on tonight. Lost is on tonight. Lost is on tonight.


Here are 10 things you missed during the Lost season premiere:

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1. On the medicine bottle that Desmond injected himself with, it had CR4-815-23 42 on the top.

2. Desmond has natural light coming from his windows. Where in the hell is that coming from?

3. We’ve now seen the second person miraculously recover from being paralyzed. The connection is Desmond. When Jack went back in to talk to Sarah, he hadn’t cleaned himself off yet. Could Desmond have healing powers that “rubbed off” on Jack? How does Locke fit in? Desmond said that he was in a “race around the world” and “was almost a doctor”.

4. When Desmond logs into the computer, he uses the numbers. On his exercise bike, he’s traveling exactly 16 miles per hour.

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5. The last number of Desmond’s safe combination was 42.

6. The man who died on Jack’s operating table was Adam Rutherford, age 57. He is surely the Dad of Shannon, stepdad of Boone. At some point, Shannon will realize that Jack was involved with the deaths of both of these people.

7. The time of Rutherford’s death was 8:15.

8. Desmond is apparently a great athlete or physical specimen. Ethan was the same way. Also notice that there are bunk beds in Desmond’s room. Perhaps he and Ethan lived together. Desmond certainly does not live alone.

9. Ethan came into the camp unnoticed because he came up through the water. This must be where the entry and exit to the hatch is. It could also explain the cord that runs into the ocean.

10. Did you miss the season premiere? Don’t worry; it’s re-airing before the new episode at 7pm central time. You really don’t want to miss this one.

The new episode on Wednesday will focus entirely on Jin, Sawyer and Michael, as they fight for their lives and try to get back to shore.

Coming Soon: Rejected Advice Columns.

Insect Karma Revolt.

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I was leaning against the door frame of a co-worker’s office, chatting about Lost, when I heard someone yelling my name from across the room. A quick scan of the cube farm brought my gaze to a young intern named Anna. She was staring a hole in my head.

“Come here, quick!” she said, muffling the receiver of her telephone, which she was simultaneously using while summoning me.

I quickly skipped across the perimeter, approaching her cube and wondering why on earth she would need me so urgently. Anna and I don’t really talk to each other, as she resides on the second floor; I only go up there to talk with people about things like television and beer. As I peeked into her cube, I saw that her face was a light shade of red, and she was slowly tucking her knees under her chin, folding herself up in a fetal position on her chair.

“What’s going on?” I asked, sincere and mystified.

“There’s a…aaaugh!” she shot back, sticking her right leg straight out and kicking her desk drawer shut to reveal a millipede inching along the wall of the cubicle.

I should have expected nothing less. I’ve been the designated killer of insects and vermin since I started working here over a year and a half ago. It wasn’t that I necessarily minded the side job; it was just disconcerting to know that Anna was aware of this role that I played. It’s not something I’ll be using on a resume anytime soon. Nonetheless, I grabbed a few pieces of Kleenex from her embroidered tissue cozy and did what needed to be done. After a deep sigh, she thanked me.

“You know,” I said to her, “when the step ladder was invented, I was convinced that women no longer had any use for men, seeing as they could now reach high things on their own. But as long as there are spiders around, I’ll always mean something to someone. It’s why I’m married.”

Anna laughed, I didn’t look like too much of an ass, and I gracefully left the second floor like a war hero. I was feeling pretty good about myself, and thought that it would be a good time to eat lunch. After all, nothing celebrates the murdering of an innocent millipede than by enjoying a butterscotch Snak-Pak.

I shut the door to my office and settled in for 45 minutes of silence and eating. On the menu today was a plate of instant macaroni and cheese, two butterscotch Snak-Paks, a single serving of cinnamon applesauce and a bottle of Aquafina. It’s surely no surprise to you that I am the picture of health for a 23 year old. I put on a Talking Heads album, and started reading the newest issue of the Onion, which features a fantastic interview with documentary filmmaker Errol Morris.

It should be noted that, since my promotion, I’ve been residing in my own personal office. I’ve temporarily graduated from cubicle half-walls to wood paneling and an honest-to-God door. I’m not bragging by any means (I said it’s temporary), it’s just pivotal to the story.

I had just gotten to the part of the interview where Mr. Morris was discussing his oscar-winning The Fog Of War, when I heard the buzzing. It sounded like one of the fluorescent lights had suddenly gone wonky, so I looked up for an inspection.

It was then that I saw the largest horsefly I had ever seen. He was clinging to the low ceiling, focusing on me with his 90-some odd eyes, and humming like a massage chair.

Allow me to interject for a brief moment.

Is it at this point where most rational people would open his or her office door, allowing the lumbering beast to exit the room with a minimal level of welts and bloodshed. I, however, am not a rational person. I was smart enough to know that once I opened my door, I had immediately absolved any and all existing lunch rights, and people would start bothering me with work again. To open the door would mean to lose my temporary sanctuary, and I was not willing to give this up. Not today.

The horsefly was in for a fight. I nick-named it “Buzzy”.

I slowly got up from my once-peaceful lunch, rolling up the newspaper behind my back, so Buzzy couldn’t see what I was doing. He was looking at me, trying to figure out what he could do to finish my macaroni and cheese. I was hungry though, and with the killing of a millipede still fresh in my mind, I wasn’t in the mood to share.

I took a half-jump into the air, skimming the ceiling with the newspaper. I missed Buzzy by at least a yard. He took off, but in a 7 by 8 office, he didn’t have too far to go. He flew over to a side wall, trying to blend into a map of Wisconsin that the previous employee had taped to the wall. He was perfectly still, residing near Janesville on the map when I spotted him.

I wound up and took a mighty swing at Buzzy, whiffing entirely and colliding with my applesauce on the backswing. Buzzy once again fled the scene, but my Mott’s single serving wasn’t so lucky. I made the unfortunate mistake of taking my eyes off of Buzzy for a fraction of a second, making sure that the applesauce wouldn’t spill on the floor (it most certainly did). I no more than turned around when I again made eye contact with this massive sting monkey, making a complete beeline straight for my left eye.

It’s not often that a gnat decides to attack you, but I believe that he saw the urgency of the situation. Buzzy knew that one of us was going to die, and he rightfully didn’t want it to be him.

Seeing this bottle-cap sized, winged disease machine attempt to kamikaze itself into my ocular jelly sent me into a panic. I yelled out loud and dropped to my knees in an attempt to dodge the beast. I blindly and frantically tomahawked into the air with my newspaper, Talking Heads calmly muffling the sounds of the horrid struggle now taking place in my office. I raked my fingers feverishly through my hair to see if Buzzy had decided to burrow himself into my scalp. By doing this, he could camp out for the day, and kill me as I slept this evening. Smart horsefly.

As I stumbled back to my feet, I tried to collect myself. I used the spilled applesauce as a crude war paint for my face (okay, so I didn’t), and stood perfectly still. I quietly reached over to the stereo and paused the disk, listening intently for the trademark hum.

“Come on, Buzzy,” I whispered. “Show yourself.”

Once again, I caught him in the corner of my eye, making another mad dash for my face. I took a baseball swing at him and connected, sling-shotting him across the room and onto my computer desk. He lay there, twitching and missing a leg, but very much alive and dangerous. I gave him another shot for good measure, and he stopped moving. I didn’t want to touch him, so I used the sticky end of a Post-It note to transport Buzzy into my trash receptacle.

Exhaling deeply, I cleaned up my mess and tried to put the trauma behind me. I didn’t have anything to read now, but I could still finish my lunch because….

What the hell was that noise?

Looking over to the trashcan, I saw Buzzy crawling up the side of the discarded newspaper. I swear to you that he was flipping me the bird. Horrified, I threw my spilled container of applesauce at him, and he disappeared. He’s was no longer in the trashcan, and he wasn’t anywhere else in the office either. He simply disappeared.

That meant that he was on me. He had returned from the grave to finish the job.

Whipping myself into a frenzy, I did a rain dance in the office, pulling all of my clothing in every direction while messing up my already psychotic-looking hair. No sign of Buzzy whatsoever.

He made it out. He beat me.

Flabbergasted, I threw myself onto my chair and blinked hard. This was karma for killing that millipede earlier. I tampered in God’s domain, and I got what I deserved. In this case, what I deserved was to be mercilessly tormented by a horsefly the size of an apple fritter.

Well, back to work.

Link Party.

So, what are you watching tonight?
8:00 – House (FOX)
8:00 – Supernatural (WB)
8:00 – My Name Is Earl (NBC)
8:30 – The Office (NBC)

So, what are you reading right now?
The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions
The Book of Sudoku

So, what are you listening to right now?
Clap Your Hands Say YeahClap Your Hands Say Yeah
Broken SpindlesInside/Absent
The WeakerthansFallow
The Good LifeAlbum Of The Year
(Various) – Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault: A Tribute To Jawbreaker
The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night
PiebaldWe Are The Only Friends We Have
Talking HeadsThe Best Of Talking Heads
Beastie BoysPaul’s Boutique

So, I have a question for Mutton Chop.
Send it to

So, I have a mixtape suggestion.
Send it to

So, I have a question about something else.
Send it to

So, when does Lost start again?
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8:00pm central time. It’s proceeded by a Lost special at 7.

So, what’s going on elsewhere in the CDP network?
The Girl From Mars shares her unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.
Let’s Eat Paste finds spooky contraband in a spare bedroom.
I Think This Is My Exit gets nostalgic and talks like a Pirate.
Teaonnie goes to military prison.
Finding Yourself Despite Yourself runs down her weekend.
Todd’s Cavalcade Of Whimsy takes pictures in public places.

So, how do I get linked on the CDP?
Just link the CDP on your own Blog, and let the reciprocation begin. That, or come up with something that impresses me enough to link you. Send requests to

So, tenth and finally, what’s coming up on the CDP?
COMING UP: Rejected Advice Columns.

Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate.

(Ask a Cheap-Ass Pirate is a column designed to increase awareness of the Pirate lifestyle, in addition to promoting responsible spending and living within one’s means. Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate began when marauding roves of pillagers began to go hungry and poor after burying, and naturally forgetting where they placed their stolen treasure. Eventually, it was voted upon that an advice column devoted to slim living was the most optimum way to continue their horrid escapades. Those who chose to vote against this option had molten gold poured down their throats.)

(Ask a Cheap-Ass Pirate is syndicated nationwide in over 250 publications, including “Forbes”, “Fortune” and “Murderer and Looter Weekly.”)

By: Mutton Chop, A Pirate.

Dear Mutton Chop,

Hello there! Long time reader, first time writer. I want to start off by telling you how much I enjoy reading your column. After a long day of clipping coupons and slitting the throats of innocent civilians, I can always look forward to your home-spun wisdom.

Anyways, my question is this. Planks are so darn expensive these days. Do you have any alternative ways to execute evildoers while still remaining true to tradition. Thank you, you rock!

Plankless In the Pacific

Dear PAP,

Yaarrrr! Thank ye’ for the kind wards. It makes me day.

Moving on to yar question. Ye’ mustn’t use the store-bought planks, nor the ones ad-varr-tised in catalogs. A simple flarr-board from the poopdeck should do the trick. If vandalizing yar own vessel isn’t yar thing, a quick slice to the belly with a diamond-encrusted swarrd will work as a nice al-tar-native. That way, you can rid the warld of the weak, and save a few rupees to boot.

Dear Mr. Chop,

I’m a stock broker from Wall Street. Every day I deal with constant pressure and stress, and sometimes I can’t help but take some of that stress home. This causes me to spend lots of money on extravagant things I really don’t need, in an attempt to make myself feel better. Granted, trading stocks is a far cry from looting entire villages before engulfing them in flames, but I believe that the attitude and mindset is basically the same. When you’re feeling down, what’s the best way to cheer up, and at the same time keep yourself away from the checkbook?

Stressed In the City

Dear SIC,

Yaarrrr! I don’t envy yar choice of employment. I had a white coll-arrr job once, and I hated me supervisor. An evil scourge, she was. I was fi-arred one day when I cornered her in the break room and cut her fin-garrs off one at a time. To this day, I can’t eat at Long John Sil-varrs.

When I want to cool off after the sun goes dark, me and me mates engage in frugal hobbies. I have an ear collection from those who have wronged me, far example. I paid nothin’ for ’em! Sometimes I mix up some Mystery Berry Kool-Aid, but I wa-tarr it down so I can quench the thirst of me entire crew. Remem-barr, hobbies arrr expensive, but interests arrr always free. Think about it.

Yo, Choppy!

I just graduated from college, and I have a ton of student loans to pay off. I haven’t found a job yet, and the looting and pillaging have been low since my roommate moved out. I can’t move back in with my parents, because they would lynch me in the public square for shaming them. What can I do to get through this rough patch?

Broke like a cheap Joke

Dear BJ,

Yaarrrr! Congrats on seceding from the union. Or, in yarr case, getting out of yarr parent’s basement and getting a degree. I raise me blood-stained sword to thee.

My parents are dead, so I don’t have much of a place to hang me head should I fail. It’s my fault, though, because I killed em’ meself. They de-sarr-ved it, though, always telling me that I had to finish my vegetables before I could watch Press Your Luck. My Mother was a whore, she was!

In conclusion, you should kill yarr parents, hollow them out, and live inside of them until the loan sharrrks get off ye’ back. That’s what I did.

(Got a question for Mutton Chop? Send it to

Lost: Season Two Preview.

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On Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm central time, the season 2 premiere of Lost will finally air. For fans of the show, this will hopefully put to rest a year of questions, theories and speculation as to what in the hell is going on. With 12 Emmy nominations, an abundance of online secrets and clues, spectacular script writing and a cult-like obsession brewing amongst the fanbase, Lost is without question one of the most engaging and addictive TV dramas in the last ten years.

For those who are not familiar with the show, this will probably not be too interesting. In fact, I’m surprised that you managed to read this far down already. If you’re curious, however, I’ll break the plot down as simple as I can.


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48 passengers survive a plane crash en route from Sydney to Los Angeles. They wind up stranded on a mysterious island that seems to have a life (or philosophy) of its own. According to the pilot (before he was sucked out of the plane by a “monster” and left mutilated in a treetop), they were 1,000 miles off course before they crashed, and any search parties are looking in the wrong place.

From the initial 48 survivors, we closely follow the unravelings of about 14 of the main characters. We find out what they were doing before the crash, as well as how they handle the struggles placed upon them, along with those they brought with them. As the story unfolds, we begin to see that all of these people were “lost” before the plane itself actually left them stranded.

Then things get a little weird. The island itself is full of bizarre findings, leading people to realize that perhaps this all happened for a specific reason. As we begin to figure out how the lives of the survivors were intertwined before the crash, we’re led to speculate the reasons why these people were brought to such a place, and if they can ever leave. The discovery of a “hatch”, a ship planted smack in the middle of the island, a crashed cargo plane carrying smuggled drugs, the appearance of the “others” and the killing of a polar bear are just a few of the events that seemingly add up to nothing thus far.

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If you’re interested in figuring it out on your own, don’t read the rest of this post. Get the Season One DVD and watch it for yourself. You seriously will not be disappointed.

Still with me? Okay, then.

The CDP has spent the last couple months meticulously analyzing the episodes and clues, and here then submits the following information for your enjoyment. There are plot points, theories and spoilers abound, so tread carefully if you’re still considering watching the episodes yourself.


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The season finale’ (Exodus) left us with a bevy of cliffhangers. Most importantly, perhaps, was the opening of the hatch. Having seen the “numbers” on the side of the hatch, Hurley (as well as Walt) begged Locke not to open it, but he did so anyways, unleashing who knows what evil onto the island. The presence of the numbers on the hatch, along with the presence of the numbers in the lives of all of the main characters, lead us to the realization that they were all led to this place for a specific reason.

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The second big moment of the finale’ was the destruction of the raft, and the subsequent kidnapping of Walt. Where we left off in the water, Walt was taken by a group of strange men (the “others”, possibly), and Sawyer was shot and went overboard (with Jin diving in to save him). Michael was also overboard yelling for his son, and the raft exploded after being fed a Molotov cocktail by the “others”. Rousseau was convinced that she could offer the “others” Claire’s baby in exchange for the baby they took from her long ago, but it turned out that they were looking for Walt instead.

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As far as flashbacks go, we are left to wonder several things about the characters. To best organize the chaos, I’ve broken down the cliffhangers on a person-by-person basis:

Jack – Partly responsible for opening the hatch. Flashback-wise, we’re still left to wonder what happened to his marriage and the significance of his tattoos, among other things. If you notice in this picture, he got the tattoos sometime after his wedding.

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Kate – Also responsible for opening the hatch. We still don’t know what she initially did to end up on the run from the law, or why her Mother was terrified to see her.

Sawyer – Shot by the “others” and thrown overboard. We’re clearly under the impression that he wants to die, disgusted by himself for the life he chose to lead, and what brought him to Sydney.

Claire – After giving birth to Aaron, she gets it temporarity taken away by Rousseau. We haven’t yet learned who the couple was in L.A. that wanted the baby, and what exactly happened to her when she was kidnapped by Ethan Rom. The importance of the baby is yet to be discussed.

Michael – Thrown overboard from the raft after having his son kidnapped, Michael is not having a good day.

Walt – Walt has just been kidnapped by the “others”, and we’re left to wonder why. No doubt, Walt is “special”, and we still have a lot to learn about what his gifts are. He was aware of Locke’s plans to open the hatch, without even knowing that there was a hatch to be opened. Walt’s powers are a big part to the whats and whys of the island.

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Locke – Responsible for opening the hatch. Since being healed of his paralasys, he’s clearly taking orders from the island now. He was the only one who saw the “monster”, and seems to understand that this is all destiny. We have yet to find out how he originally lost the use of his legs, and if anything else happened between him and his parents.

Hurley – Feels responsible for the crash, as he believes that he spreads bad luck to everyone around him. After going to Sydney to find the source of the numbers, he finds them on the hatch just before it’s blown open. We have yet to find out why he was institutionalized when he was younger. He is the best chance in finding the truth behind the numbers.

Sayid – After being tossed aside by Shannon after refusing to kill Locke, Sayid is keeping a close eye on Rousseau. His motives appear genuine, although he has the abilities to outfox almost everyone on the island. He continues to act as the “professor”, and was responsible for the radar on the ill-fated raft.

Boone – Dead. It’s obvious that Locke offered Boone up as a sacrifice to the island after he started to lose the feeling in his legs. Locke understands the give and take of the island, and may keep doing this in order to achieve what he was put there for.

Shannon – After almost killing Locke, Shannon is keeping distant from everyone now. She’s taking care of Vincent for Walt.

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Charlie – After kicking his addictions, he (appears) to be back off the wagon after the discovery of the cargo plane. What choices he makes are going to be very important in regards to his survival on the island.

Jin – Went overboard in an attempt to save Sawyer. Reconciled with Sun just before leaving. Found out that there was no way to escape the web spun by Sun’s father.

Sun – Reconciled with Jin just before he left. Has no idea what her father has Jin doing, and assumes that Jin isn’t looking out for her well-being. This, of course, isn’t true.

This should give us about another season worth of tying loose ends. I have a headache.


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There are a lot of theories going around concerning the island, some of the characters and the “master plan” fated to each of the survivors. By taking those theories into play, along with some rumors and downright spoilers, here are the top 10 things to look for early on in the season.

1. At least one of the main characters will die, and at least one will be a woman. Personally, I feel that Shannon offers no importance to the show whatsoever, so I’m rooting for her corpse to be scattered all over the damn place by the end of the first episode. That being said, Charlie may lose his life should he give in to his demons.

2. The tail section of the plane is on another part of the island, along with additonal survivors. When Jack met Ana Lucia in the airport bar, she was seated in the tail section. Bernard, Rose’s husband, was also in the tail section. The significance to Rose telling Jack, “My husband is alive” is quite prevalent. Any significance to Titanic, however, is purely coincidental. When Boone said “We’re survivors of flight 815”, the voice on the other end said, “We’re survivors of flight 815.” It’s a fact, kids. Expect new characters, including Ana Lucia, to start coming out of the woodwork.

3. Locke is either working for good or evil, depending on how you view the island. This guy was paralyzed from the waist down, missing a kidney, and still is the coolest guy on the show. He understands the balance of good and evil, much like Walt, and is giving the island what it asks of him in exchange for the continued search for his destiny. Locke “looked into the eye of the island” and “what he saw was beautiful”. He also sabotaged the triangulation of the radar as well, and clearly knew that Boone was going to die. He is different from the rest of the survivors, and his intentions will become clear very quickly.

4. We will find out that the reason for Kate initially being on the run was her involvement in a sort of “mercy killing” involving spiked orange juice.


Think about it. The Marshall asked her “are you sure you don’t want more juice?” with such contempt and meaning, that can’t be a fluke. Also, the first person she saw after the crash was Locke, who flashed her an “orange” smile. We also had her involved with Sun in poisoning Jin’s water, which was mistakenly ingested by Michael. When the Marshall was dying, he asked Kate “are you going to do it?” in response to putting him out of his misery. Equate that to the horror her mother was in when she returned to the hospital, and the orange shirt she always wears, and you’ve got yourself a decent theory, right there.

5. Speaking of oranges, Hurley owns a lot of things. He owns a box company, presumably the one that Locke happens to work at. He also owns an orange company, presumably the oranges that Locke was eating on the plane. In fact, if you look into Oceanic Airlines, you’ll see that it’s a “Reyes Company”. Is it possible that Hurley also owned Oceanic?

6. Walt’s coming back. Expect to see him show up on the island during the premiere. The four other people on the raft are coming back, too. We’ll follow them for a few episodes as they try to get back to the island after the disaster they just went through. Sawyer was indeed shot, but he will survive for now.

7. Vincent will be a bigger part of season two, perhaps even getting a flashback of his own. He will be party responsible for locating Walt once he returns, and an important tool in getting inside Walt’s mind.

8. Kate will go into the hatch in episode 1. In fact, she’s going to fall right into the damn thing. She will live, but it’s not going to be pretty. We won’t find out exactly what’s in the hatch until episode 3 or 4. They are going to find something that will solidify the fact that they will not be leaving the island anytime soon. This will lead to deeper relationships between characters, specifically between Shannon & Sayid, Claire & Charlie, and Jack & Ana.

9. What’s up with the “monster”? Well, according to Rousseau, it’s a “security system”. Does this system have to do with the cable running into the ocean? Did Locke actually see it? Does it exist to keep people on the island forever? These answers will not show up soon, but they will be tackled once the hatch situation gets somewhat settled.

10. So, what’s in the hatch? I think I may have a crazy idea. If you consider how every episode starts (an opening eye), and how the season finale’ ended (descending into the hatch), and you start to consider what Locke said about “seeing the eye of the island”, you start to wonder if that hatch IS the “eye of the island”. Not so much a supernatural explanation, but maybe some sort of command center. Just a thought.

So, there you have it. I obviously left out a ton of information, but there’s a ton of places to go online if you’re still antsy. I hope that this sparks conversation amongst the Lost nerds here at the CDP, and perhaps gets a few new people into the show.

Let the debate begin, and remember, the premiere is Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm central time. Everything happens for a reason.

The CDP Fall TV Preview.

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Don’t know what shows to check out this fall? Here’s a rundown of what the CDP will be watching. The TiVo will be smoldering every night during that all-important prime-time hour (7-10pm), and your best bets are right hither.

NOTE: Friends, family and work will do nothing but get between you and your precious television, so don’t let them tell you otherwise. If they got the chance, they would kidnap and murder your TV just as soon as look at you. Protect and nurture your television. After all, look at all the wonderful things it has done for you. The moon landing, Lee Harvey Oswald, Cop Rock. It’s your only true friend, and it will never leave you for another. Keep it dusted and shiny, free of fingerprints and CBS. Love your TV like it loves you, and never let it go, not even for a second.

(The selected shows are mostly milked directly from the 6-network teat, with one or two cable shows sprinkled within. All times central.)


7:00Arrested Development (FOX) (Starts 9/19)
8:00 – Monday Night Football (ABC) (Starts 9/12)
9:00 – Cheap Seats (ESPNC) (Starts 9/19)

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You have to hand it to FOX. They’re not making too much money with Arrested Development, but after an Emmy win and a rabid fan base, they’re giving it the lead-off spot on Monday night. Season 3 will pick up right where season 2 left off: complete freakin’ chaos. This is the smartest, funniest, most well-written 30 minutes on TV; certainly the best since Seinfeld. If the cast of Arrested Development did a cameo appearance on the island with the cast of Lost, my brain would explode.

Al Michaels and John “Complete Drunk” Madden return for the 94th season of Monday Night Football. The fact that they air this at 8pm means that it always runs until midnight, so it’s sort of a pain to have a Packer game on a Monday night. Fortunately, nobody cares but me.

Saying that Cheap Seats is the most popular show on ESPN Classic isn’t really saying much. In fact, a lot of you are saying, “Do I even get ESPN Classic? Does it really exist?” All you need to know about Cheap Seats is that it’s like Mystery Science Theater 3000 with bad sports programming instead of bad sci-fi movies. After a shaky second season (which featured a terribly unfunny live studio audience), the Sklar brothers return to mock sporting events like the Scrabble championships, spelling bees and arm-wrestling tournaments. It’s funny, it really is.


7:00 – Cops (COURT) (Starts 9/13)
8:00House (FOX) (Starts 9/13)
8:00 – My Name Is Earl (NBC) (Starts 9/20)
8:00 – Supernatural (WB) (Starts 9/13)
8:30 – The Office (NBC) (Starts 9/20)

9:00 – Seinfeld (TBS) (Starts 9/13)

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Put on your favorite mustard-stained wife beater and settle in with an hour of Cops at 7. These are just reruns, but it’s really the best thing going for that time slot.

House returns for a second season of being an ass and saving people’s lives. Hugh Laurie was nominated for a Best Actor Emmy, and I think he totally deserves it. If anything, for that convincing American accent. House left us last season with the return of his former fiancee’, which will no doubt give us some sexy results. Apart from that, this is a good show to jump right in to, because you don’t have to really catch up on anything important. If you haven’t seen this show yet, now is a really good time.

Going up against House at 8pm is My Name Is Earl, starring Jason Lee. This may or may not suck, but I’m willing to give this brand new series a shot, because I enjoy the work of Jason Lee. Through a stroke of good fortune, loser Earl decides to repent for all the bad things he’s done over the years. Hilarity ensues.

Another new show that’s competing against House is Supernatural. The CDP has never watched anything on the WB before, but this ghost-hunting, X-Files-esque drama actually looked pretty scary from the previews. If you can only choose one show, however, watch House.

Once again, The Office comes in at 8:30, when most of us will still be watching House. If you’re not aware of the American re-make of this British series, don’t bother watching it, because you won’t find it funny. I’m sure there are plenty of things on CBS right now that you’ll find knee-slappingly hilarious. The American version stands perfectly well by itself, and is a shining example that American comedies are starting to catch up (rip off) to the Brits.

Your best bet at 9pm is an hour of Seinfeld on TBS. This was the funniest non-animated show ever, and I can only see Arrested Development even coming close to de-throning it. You’ll be amazed at how current and funny it still is.


7:00 – That 70’s Show (FOX) (Starts 11/2)
8:00 – Mythbusters (DISC) (Starts 10/5)
8:00Lost (ABC) (Starts 9/21)

9:00 – Invasion (ABC) (Starts 9/21)

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I am completely and totally convinced that the new season of That 70’s Show will suck out loud. Why wouldn’t it? The last two seasons were awful, and with Topher Grace gone we’re left with nothing but a funny accent to generate laughs. However, I continue to watch this show because it showed so much promise in the first few years on the air. Besides, any time that Tommy Chong can find acting work makes me happy.

Mythbusters is the best show on cable television, and this season might be their destruction. Why? Well, most of the people who watch Mythbusters watch Lost. Now that Lost is being bumped up an hour to 8pm, most people will gladly choose against Adam & Jamie. Nonetheless, Mythbusters is a show where they scientifically test out popular Urban Legends to see if they could actually hold up in reality. I go out of my way to tell everyone I know about this show, so check it out, and don’t be afraid to be entertained by science and folklore.

The addictive, completely out of control ratings explosion that is LOST returns with a new time slot, and about a million unanswered questions. My next post will be devoted completely to this show, so I’ll save the obsessive analysis until then.

Due to the massive popularity of Lost, there have been a lot more “supernatural” shows hitting the airwaves this season. One such knock-off is Invasion. This show takes place in the aftermath of a hurricane, so ABC hasn’t been airing previews for this show anymore out of respect for the victims of hurricane Katrina. After the storm hits, things start to happen, and the brain-sucking aliens come out of the woodwork, or something to that effect. Personally, I’m not incredibly interested but I’ll give it a shot, because I didn’t think I would be interested in Lost, either.


7:00Not The O.C. (FOX) (Starts 9/15)
8:00 – Night Stalker (ABC) (Starts 9/29)

9:00 – Cheap Seats (ESPNC) (Starts 9/15)

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Kick off your Thursday night by not checking out the new season of The O.C. If you want action, romance and plot-twists galore, then I strongly recommend not watching this huge FOX hit. Last season left us with a lot of cliff-hangers, so not watching the premiere is certainly a must. If you want to catch up, I suggest you not purchase the DVDs.

Once again hoping to cash in with the success of Lost, ABC gives us yet another supernatural, ghost-hunting thriller. I think the only show Night Stalker is up against is WWE Smackdown! on UPN, so maybe it will drawn in some viewers who have nothing better to do. Like myself.

If you’re into the new season of Cheap Seats (Monday), finish off Thursday night with an hour of said show’s reruns. See what you missed, and go to bed knowing that watching ESPN Classic at 9pm does NOT make you the most depressing human being on the planet.


7:00 – Bernie Mac (FOX) (Starts 9/23)
7:30Malcolm In The Middle (FOX) (Starts 9/23)

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Teetering on the brink of cancellation for a year now, Bernie Mac returns through nothing short of a miracle. Will it recapture the intelligence of the first season, or will it become as stale and unfunny as the second season? Only the lord Jesus Christ knows for sure; and so will you if you watch it.

Malcolm in the Middle is the most underrated comedy on television. Every week now for 6 years, they throw everything in the book at you, complete with an amazing cast, Seinfeld-esque plots and absurd climaxes. No matter how weird things get on this show, it all seems possible, due to the strong acting and unflinching seriousness portrayed by the cast. I’m glad that it was finally separated from the “Animation Domination” lineup, where it can be appreciated by a different, more intelligent audience. People have always said that Malcolm was like a live-action Simpsons, and I can definitely see that.

After Malcolm, the airwaves turn into an all-night crapfest. Go out with friends or drink in the corner alone, just do something that gets you away from the television. I won’t tell you what me and the Missus do together on Friday nights, but let’s just say that it involves sleeping. Actually, we just sleep.


7:00Cops (FOX) (Starts 9/17)
8:00 – OPEN
10:30 – Saturday Night Live (NBC) (Starts 9/17)

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For their 17th straight season, Cops takes you back into the crack-whore infested nooks of America, emerging with great television to boot. The city of Madison was very excited to hear that Cops would be filming here this fall, but the deal fell through at the last minute. Nevertheless, this is a great time to see places and faces that make you happy to not be an addict. The best episode last season was “Tazed & Confused”, which featured takedowns that all ended with someone getting tazed. Brilliant.

From 8 to 10:30, step away from the TV, go to the bathroom, put on a clean shirt and enjoy the evening. Drink a box of wine, kill a bum, anything that gets you out in the beautiful autumn weather. You won’t miss anything on TV, I promise.

Saturday Night Live is back, and that’s always a good thing. No matter how bad it gets, you’ll still watch it. When I was younger, I was voted “Most Likely to Host SNL One Day.” This will probably never happen, but I was admittedly a lot funnier in the 4th Grade. Hey, if Nancy Kerrigan can do it, I sure as hell can.


6:00 – America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) (Starts 10/2)
6:30 – King Of The Hill (FOX) (Starts 9/18)
7:00 – Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) (Starts 9/25)
7:00The Simpsons (FOX) (Starts 9/11)
8:00 – Family Guy (FOX) (Starts 9/11)
8:30 – American Dad (FOX) (Starts 9/11)

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(This picture is so funny, I used it twice.)
Start your night off early with the 14th year of watching grown men getting racked in the groin with baseball bats. I don’t care what humor level you function at, AFV always makes me tear up with laughter. It’s the idea of catching people at their most vulnerable, exposing their weaknesses, and having them be okay with it that really make me enjoy it.

King of the Hill is like a Golden Retriever. Loyal, dependable and always there when you need it. For a while, King of the Hill was consistently funnier than the Simpsons, priding itself on an animated show that could be shot live action with little to no changes. The anti-cartoon, if you will. Mike Judge is a genius, and he shows that with incredible subtle dignity on this show.

Ty Pennington is contractually obligated to take his shirt off every week on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Watch as him and his crew of whining crybabies build an amazingly beautiful home for someone who will be dead in six months anyways. Nah, I’m just kidding, I really like this show. Mainly because they really do build some great houses. Every time I’m done watching it, I always spend hundreds of dollars at Sears for some reason.

The Simpsons is a new animated series in the vein of Family Guy. It’ll never last.

Family Guy & American Dad round out the evening, although I personally will not be watching either of them. They do exist, however, so they’re there if you want them.

Now, shut off the TV and go to bed; you’ve earned it. An entire week wasted.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Serious Concerns? Sound off in the comments section.


Checks Will Not Be Honored.

First off, here’s what happened during my weekend. I think it’s condensed; I’ll let you decide. If you don’t care what happened, scroll down to “Now, the important stuff” for just the important stuff. Thanks.


Some acquaintances and I saw the Architects on Saturday. They played at a Christian coffeehouse in Madison, although the only Christians on the bill were the headliners (Number One Fan). You can tell if a concert venue is Christian by the floor. If they have carpeting, it’s Christian. There’s no alcohol, no cigarettes, and sometimes no shoes. I like those shows, although I went to a Stavesacre show at a church when I was 16, and got my ass beat. I seriously have never been roughed up more at a show in my entire life.

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The opening act was Awesome Car Funmaker, Madison Area Music Award 2005 winner for best rock band. They were a blast to watch, combining catchy guitar-and-keyboards rock with amazing stage presence and overall silliness. I picked up their CD and waited for the Architects to take the stage.

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Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for these guys. They almost got their van towed, a circuit blew out all the power for a bit, and Awesome Car Funmaker had to play in the dark for at least ten minutes. Once the Architects started playing, though, they blew the place apart. Their new material is straight-ahead, brick to the nose rock and roll, and Brandon has never sounded more energized. His microphone kept getting rocked right off the stand, so me and Ben had to stay close to jump up and fix it when needed.

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When the show was over, we met up with the band outside, and started chatting. We’ve known these guys for years now, and we actually played a couple of shows with them (when they were previously known as the Gadjits). They shared some stories from the road, and discussed married life and creeping maturity. I asked Brandon when the new album was coming out, and he said “Do you want to hear it?” I said “absolutely”, and before you knew it, me and the kids were all cramming into the Architects van with them to check out their latest demos from the studio.

The tracks sounded really fantastic, and before you knew it, we had to file out, say our goodbyes and hit the road. This was due mainly to my parking meter being up. With three minutes left to spare, we left downtown Madison and headed home. Me and the Missus were done for the night, but we dropped off the kids for an extended evening of finding new and creative ways to abuse their livers. Good for them.


Me and the Missus met up with Lindsay and Anthony at the UW-Madison Union to see Of Montreal. We had been waiting a long time for this show, and it certainly did not disappoint. The crowd was large, but respectful and civilized, something you normally don’t see on campus. The first act was the Management, who was described by Kevin as “A modern-day version of Wham!” They lived up to it, mixing 80’s pop with electronic beats and sickly sweet harmonies. It was funny, but too good not to be taken a bit seriously.

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(I can’t get the photos off my phone, so this is the best picture I can get of these guys.)

Kevin Barnes was in full rock star mode, as Of Montreal rocketed through most of the Sunlandic Twins and Satanic Panic in the Attic, leaving no time to stop the white-boy dancing and hand-clapping. They were amazing, the new tracks sounded great and they closed with “Jennifer Louise”, quite possibly the greatest pop song ever written. All my thoughts about work the next day, about money and responsibility disintegrated as I watched Kevin dance around like a damn shirtless fool. They made my night.

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(Not my photo. You get the point.)

Afterwards, I (very) briefly talked to Kevin, reminding him that I was the one who had done the interview and write-up for the show. We grabbed a new t-shirt, and were in bed by 11pm. Perfect.


I don’t think I sat down for more than 30 seconds at a time on Tuesday. I had a lot of work to do, and no time to do it. This was my first “official” day with my new jorb, and I was tired and bleary-eyed to boot. After a full day of non-stop running and catching up, I was out of the hole and satisfied. I went immediately to Best Buy and picked up the Lost Season One DVD. The retail price was $60, but it was $40 at Best Buy, and $35(!) with my Rewards card. Not only that, but there was an exclusive eighth DVD sold only through Best Buy, loaded with more features and whatnot. It was a steal, and not the bad kind, either.

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So I took it home, and we watched the final six episodes, thus completing our duties to ABC Television and Bad Robot Productions. We watched 90% of the extras last night (interviews, bloopers, audition tapes, tons of deleted scenes and flashbacks, on-location stuff and a horde of Easter eggs), and plan on watching the entire series over again in preparation for the September 21 premiere. I will devote an entire post to Lost: Season 2 very soon, so look for that.

Now, the important stuff.

Last night, before I went to sleep, I was kicking around ideas in my head concerning writing. I thought about how I wanted to write, how I’ve been writing, and how I used to write. Frankly, I was getting quite bored and disgusted with myself. I thought about what I had in mind when I started doing this, and took a peek at where it had gone wrong.

The simple fact of the matter is this. My life isn’t incredibly exciting or worth documenting. This is through my own choice, mind you. I was never skilled (or adequately enthused) when it came to writing about the things that I’ve done shortly after I’ve done them (see above). I never kept a diary when I was younger, because I never thought I had anything worth saying or keeping. It was at that younger age when I realized my talent was in the concept of creativity.

So why am I not doing it now?

I can understand (and support) the idea of talking about interesting things that one comes across in the course of a day or weekend. In recent weeks, however, I’ve been talking specifically about nothing in general, and I feel as if I’m becoming creatively stunted; stuck in a sea of self-absorbed laziness. When life doesn’t throw you a story arc, you can either autobiographically shoe gaze, or you can actually do something about it.

I’m so sick of talking about myself, I could spit. In fact, I just did. I get nothing out of it; it’s a chore to rehash memories from two or three days ago, and NOBODY CARES, including myself. It’s a waste of time and effort, and everyone (including myself) deserves better.

Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes used to write fictional songs, with fictional places and characters, because he was worried about putting himself on the line. He thought that if he stayed in a fantasy world, the criticism wouldn’t hurt him as much. Eventually, he learned to be true to himself and write as he pleased, allowing himself to get more personal and in touch with his feelings.

I’m going in the opposite direction.

When I think about the best stuff I’ve ever written, it never has anything to do with my own personal reality. My earlier posts reflected this, but somewhere along the line I got a bit self-absorbed, thinking that what I currently had to say was actually important. It’s not, it really isn’t. I want to do more things that not necessarily challenge me writing-wise, but just do something that I can enjoy, something funnier and more non-sequitur. I’m not writing fantasy or anything (I can’t stand the genre); I just want to take a huge step away from the diary business. That way, when I actually DO have an interesting piece of autobiographical drivel to share with you (and I will, trust me), it will be…well, better.

Look, I’m still me. I’m still an egotistical nightmare, I’m still an anxious basket case, and I’ll never stop injecting everything I write with my personality and (limited) life experience. I just find myself completely separating myself from what makes me happy when I write. When you touch a hot stove, you learn a valuable lesson, and when something isn’t fun anymore, you tend to stop doing it. I’m not there yet, and hopefully I’ll never be.

You’ll like what I plan on doing, I promise. So, from here on out, the CDP will be offering you 75% less me in almost every post!

If that’s not a selling point, I don’t know what is. Later.

Talk Nerdy To Me.

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(This is what I have to wear to make money. It’s humiliating.)

Very, very soon from now, you will be treated to a massively entertaining and lengthy post about my extended Labor Day weekend. There will be pictures and stories to share concerning the Architects show on Saturday, the Of Montreal show on Monday and everything in between. No doubt, I’ll also be wetting my pants in delight over the release of Lost: Season 1. I’m actually looking forward to reading that post myself.

Until then, to tide you over, here are some phone pictures that you’ve never seen before. They have recently been discovered deep in the CDP photo vault, and are being unearthed for the first time right here.

Or, I was having problems with my phone, and I couldn’t get them to you until now. Either way, it is specifically designed as filler, and fill it will. Enjoy these hunks of blurry goodness for the next day or two.

“The Motel.”

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I think this photo, shot in January of this year, captures the stifling depression of a Wisconsin winter. Motels like this don’t exist too much any more, and for a good reason. I’d like to know how many people killed themselves in one of those rooms. For the record, this particular establishment greets me every morning on my way to work. It’s much less depressing in the summer.

“The Blur.”

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A few months ago, I had long hair. I also took shaky pictures of myself at work. Those days are behind us now. I was getting sick of clogging my shower drain with 8-inch long strands of black hair, and having my immovable curls laugh in the face of even the most hardcore of straighteners. A change was in order.

“The Trim.”

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The Missus shot this photo of my final follicle resting place. You can tell that I go to a very high-class salon by the capri pants and flip-flops that my stylist is wearing. I think she was 18, and wouldn’t stop talking to me for any reason.

I soon realized that when getting a haircut, you can’t really end a conversation early and leave the premises. If you were to do so, you’d be toddling down the corridors of the mall with half a haircut, leaving a trail of clippings and wearing that foolish cape. Nope. You have to listen to every angstrom of what this woman wants to say to you, no matter how inane the topic. If you decide to tell her that you’d rather not engage in conversation, she may stab you in the brain stem and pour barbicide into the gaping wound. No thank you. Give me the boring conversation any day of the week.

“The Flight.”

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This is what an airport looks like in the middle of the night. We were there to pick up a friend who was coming in from Minnesota, and the flight was running a bit behind. Something like, 8 days behind.

For my money, nothing is more depressing than an airport. Everyone there is either saying hello of goodbye to someone, they’re always crying and are usually holding a sad novelty mylar balloon. Worse yet, some people have nobody to say hello or goodbye to, which is in another league altogether. There’s absolutely nothing to do but sit and wait (there’s no arcade at an airport), the bar’s never open when I’m there, and there aren’t enough people around to play a game of “spot the terrorist“. It’s a game I invented where you look at the people around you and determine how they would take down an airplane. For legal reasons, I cannot share with you how I would do it.

“The Rory.”

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Here’s a shot of Rory from the Communique show a month or so ago. As you may remember, I was still reeling from the interview I had written before the show, more so concerning how the editors sort of chopped it up (read it in the writings section!). I tracked down Rory after the (fantastic) show, and asked him if he got a chance to read it. He told me that he had and enjoyed it, which made me happy enough, regardless of if he was lying to me or not.

So, there you have it. Another dip into my very soul. Again, the Labor Day weekend post will be here in record time, and don’t forget to check out the new articles in the “Writings” section. They are the only things on this page that pay my bills, so support is always appreciated.

What did you do this weekend? The conversation continues in the comments section.

Increase Speed, Drop Down, Reverse Direction.

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Screw internet phenomenon, I want to be a castaway. Too subtle?

My new articles will be up in the writings section before you know it. You’re going to love them.

The three-day weekend is upon us, use it wisely. I’ll return with many a story, including full reviews of the Architects and Of Montreal shows in the next couple days.

Season 2 starts on September 21. I’m throwing a party at my house in honor of the occasion, and you’re not invited. In fact, it’s so exclusive, I’m not even invited. I bet it’s going to rule, though.