Nineteen.

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This is my sister. Her name is Alissa, and she probably looks much better than you. Don’t let that bother you, though; I’ve had to deal with this harsh reality for most of my life. I can, however, usually defeat her in Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, so at least that’s something.

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I only bring this all up because she turns 19 years old today. That’s a pretty good age to turn, if I remember correctly. It’s the last year of being a teenager, which is both depressing and exciting. For me, it was 365 straight days of Hardware Store customer service. 19 is really an awful age.

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Upon seeing Alissa for the first time, you may wonder why I didn’t acquire any similar good looks from my mother or father. This is still a baffling mystery to me, and I’ve consulted many adoption agencies over the years. As it turns out, I’m adopted, but only a little bit.

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I mean, why can’t I be a model? Why can’t she be a struggling writer? Being a man of small victories and leverage, I’ve decided to put all these pictures of her up as some sort of jealous retribution. I feel better already, but it only drives the point home that I’m small and ugly, inside and out.

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She checks out the CDP frequently but never posts, apparently because Chuck Norris jokes and the word ‘oot‘ don’t really attract that ’14-19 female’ demographic that MySpace seems to have cornered. Fair enough, though, it only adds to her mystique. We both strive to be ultimately ignored and forgotten, so it’s viewed by many as a poor career choice for us to become a model and internet phenomenon. I bet Salinger never had a blog.

Here’s a small bit of trivia for you. Our birthdays are 1 day short of 5 years apart. For those keeping score at home, this means that I turn 24 tomorrow. Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

Happy birthday, Alissa. Our family is pretty lucky to have us, because we freaking rule.

(The answers to ‘Fact or Crap?’ will arrive tomorrow, I think.)

Fact Or Crap? – CDP Edition.

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Gather ’round, now. Here’s how you play ‘Fact Or Crap? – CDP Edition.’

I’m going to tell you 10 interesting or odd facts about myself. You are going to decide which one or many of them is a lie, and let me know in the comments section. After a day or two, I’ll reveal the answer(s) and give mad props and respek to the winner (I don’t have any CDP merch to hand out…yet). Simple as that.

Put on your thinking caps, it’s time to spot the lie:

1. In my early teens, I was a nationally-recognized Foosball player. In 1997, the National Championships were held in Oshkosh, WI, and I placed 5th in the 17 & Under tournament. During that tournament, I lost a match to Billy Pappas and won a match against Tony Spredeman. They are now recognized as the #1 and #5 ranked players in the world.

2. In the 5th grade, I was known and respected in my class for a weekly essay entitled, ‘The Stupid Dork.’ Each week, students would wait to feverishly pass around the latest exploits in the the life of ‘Re T. Ard,’ the title character in question. I wrote 15 of these volumes before they were discovered by my teacher and instantly destroyed.

3. I once went 52 straight hours without sleep as a teenager. I woke up at 6am on a Friday, and didn’t sleep until 10am on Sunday morning. It should be noted that somewhere around hour 28 of my insomnia, I played a grueling 3 hour tennis match, with me emerging victorious in the final set. I eventually passed out, sleeping well into Monday.

4. When I was 8 years old, I wrote a horror story entitled ‘Rampage in the Tower,’ about a group of guests at a party getting horribly dispatched, one at a time, by the sadistic host. Some of the highlights include three women getting mauled by dogs, a man getting decapitated by an axe, and in the head-scratching climax, the host being released from jail after serving for one month. Many years later, the movie ‘Saw’ was released, proving that an 8-year-old can indeed write a Hollywood blockbuster. As an addition, I submitted the story to Disney Adventures magazine for their annual Halloween story contest. I was never contacted, although I can’t imagine why Child Protective Services was never notified.

5. One summer day as a child, I tripped over a decorative rock at my Grandparents’ house and landed nose-first on the pavement. This happened in mid-sprint, mind you, so most of my nose looked like it had been sandpapered off. For the next few weeks, I looked like the Crypt Keeper, as my crimson stump of a nose naturally healed. It broke, but never bled. To this day, if you look at my nose close enough, you can tell it had been broken.

6. I’m left-handed, and I don’t believe in case-sensitivity. For example, if you were to receive a handwritten letter from me, it would either be in all upper-case or lower-case. No letter deserves treatment over the other when my pen is involved. Almost everyone on my mom’s side of the family is left-handed and has the exact same writing style. It’s crazy; you can’t tell any of them apart.

7. When working on the farm as a child, if a calf or cow were to die in our care, we would truck it to the ‘Cow Cemetery.’ This was essentially a huge mass grave, deep into the marshy area behind the farm, generally upwind. We would load the dead cow into the back of a truck and drive it out there, throwing it onto a 50 year pile of skeletons and rotting flesh. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since; it simply has to be what hell looks like. Growing up in a farming and hunting family, I’ve seen tons of animals in all states of torture and mutilation, but the Cow Cemetery made my stomach turn the most.

8. Speaking of the worst thing I’ve ever smelled in my life: My Dad was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper, and liked to tinker with experimental baits and lures in his shed. He succeeded in creating what is generally known in these parts as the most foul and wreched scent ever bottled. ‘Gutbuster’ was the name of a trapping lure he concocted, consisting of a special blend of God-only knows what. When you opened a bottle of this stuff, a puff of smoke would escape from the top. Many of these lure brainstorming sessions ended with my Dad running from his shed and throwing up. This was a lot funnier than I can really explain.

9. During study hall in my senior year of High School, I sat directly behind the Missus’ ex-boyfriend. Every day, I would positively channel my rage and write a song or two about how much I couldn’t stand him. By the time I gradutated, I had a binder with over 100 awful songs in it. We’ve never spoke.

10. The very first hand of the very first game of poker I ever played was a true Royal Flush. 13 years later, and it hasn’t happened since.

There you go. Think it over, and share with us what you think is a load of bull rip.

Man, I seriously need to consider writing an autobiography. Not like that silly ‘unofficial fan’ one that Tiger Beat ran in 2002. Much of what they said was taken entirely out of context. Same with the front-page article I did for Beardin’ magazine this month:

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Sheesh, advertising. What won’t these people do for a buck?

Hey! Before I go, I have a Commie Award to hand ‘oot!

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Speaking of fictional autobiographies, this week’s award goes to James Frey and his book, A Million Little Pieces, basically because it’s the last award he will ever win. Ever. Again; For the rest of his meager life, before he gets back on the sauce and does himself in for good. Nobody likes a liar, James, and when you lie to Oprah freaking Winfrey, your career is as good as cashed and spent. You’ve made a powerful enemy, dude.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why people turn into selfish monsters and liars over something as superficial and trival as a few bucks. I guess that’s what separates me from the losers. Talk to you later.

Lost Friday – "Fire + Water."

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Season 2 – Episode 12 – “Fire + Water.

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

Wow. This episode was, how you say…a bit rough. Mainly because the emotion and subject matter brought out the worst in a lot of people, but also because the episode itself was centralized and, well…weak. For a show that takes pride in breakneck storytelling and deep character development, ‘Fire + Water’ was a break from the usual stride of the show, and that may or may not be a good thing.

ACT I.

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(In a drunken stupor, Charlie makes the horrible mistake of breaking into John Shaft’s loft.)

First off, let’s talk about the episode itself. This Charlie-centric episode focused on his family past, specifically when Drive Shaft was all but washed up, and his brother Liam was a walking shell of a man. His haunting thoughts of the past, coupled with getting kicked out of Claire’s tent and his urge to hit the smack again, led to one of the more tripped-out Lost episodes we’ve seen in a while.

It breaks down like this. Charlie is having dreams about saving Aaron from who-knows what. These vivid dreams are coupled with his past with Liam, trying to clean him up to be a good husband and provider to his new daughter. The main theme of the episode was betrayal, abandonment and faith (as is usually the case here), and in the end of the flashbacks, Liam headed off for Australia to clean up, while Charlie was left alone to pick up the pieces. Well, that takes care of that.

Back on the island, Charlie’s not making any friends. His increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior give everyone the impression that he’s back on the sauce, and Claire continues to push further and further away. This angers Charlie more, and he sinks to drastic measures to ‘save’ Aaron.

During a heated conversation with Locke, he takes the remaining Mary statues away from Charlie and explains to him that he ‘lost the right to be trusted.’ The downward spiral continues through the entire episode, with Charlie doing something crazy to win back the trust of Claire and respect of Locke, and ultimately messing up and sinking lower.

The climax of the episode is when Charlie starts a fire in the jungle to grab the attention of the castaways. When they head off to put the fire out, Charlie snatches Aaron and tries to get him baptized. This leads to a confrontation in front of the entire crew, with Claire running off with the baby, and Locke essentially busting his punk ass up. Later, Charlie promises to Jack that this will never happen again, Aaron and Claire get baptized by Eko, and the show ends.

But wait. One of the last things we see is Locke changing the locks to the gun cellar once again, this time placing the remaining statues inside. What? We’re left staring at Charlie as he puts his hood up and stares menacingly into the fire, much like ‘The Moth,’ where he takes his hood off and does a similar thing.

What They got Right.

Okay, here’s what they got right on Wednesday.

They solidified more of Charlie’s story, giving us a much-needed background on how he got to where he is now. Trust, abandonment and family are very important to him, and it eventually led to his fall from grace. This is directly reflected on the island, where the very same issues ruin his weekend. Charlie had been lurking in a shadows for a few weeks, and it was nice to shed more light on his problems. He claimed that he didn’t use the hidden smack, although he wanted to.

Here’s the thing about Charlie, though. He’s a damn liar. He’s been lying to everyone since the show started. He lied right to Claire and Locke’s faces, betraying them and harming Aaron in the process. A lot of people online are angry with Locke for knocking him out, but what would you do if you were in that position? Locke might not be a person that you can trust, but Charlie is making life miserable for Claire and Aaron, so a whooping might have been in order.

On the other side of the coin, where does Claire get off shutting Charlie out of her life? After all, this is the guy who almost got killed trying to save her, murdered Ethan for her, and set out towards the black smoke to steal Aaron back from Rousseau. When a guy does that for you, you may want to consider giving him a break or two. I’ll leave that argument up to you.

Another thing people are talking about is Locke. The rumor is that he’s working for the Others now, or there’s something evil and sinister he’s hiding from the rest of the castaways. Judging by his recent behavior, that could be very true, but not yet determined. The next Locke episode won’t be for several weeks, so sit tight, let the story unfold, and watch him slowly get crazier and crazier.

What They Got Wrong.

Now, let’s talk about why this episode was lacking.

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(“Let’s get outta here, Freckles. This episode sucks.”)

First off, everyone should know by now that Lost airs two different sorts of episodes. One is known as a ‘Mythology episode,‘ and another is known as a ‘Character episode.‘ You can’t expect the writers to keep dropping island weirdness and secrets on us every week, so a slower-paced ‘Character episode‘ is a good way to break up the non-stop action and confusion. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of the mythology episodes, but I appreciate and understand why they need to slow it down and explain a character’s actions every now and then. No problem.

This character episode was full of characters acting far differently than we’ve seen them in the past. Personally, I think this had everything to do with thin writing and a weak story arc. When the episode starts, Charlie isn’t trusted and becomes exiled from the group. When the episode ends, he’s in the same position. There’s no resolution, the story doesn’t move an inch on all fronts, and we’re left wondering what just happened. Normally, character episodes exist to slow things down and take in more of the underlying issues, but this week’s episode brought the train to a screeching halt. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the episode enough, but there were more flaws in it than usual.

The brief conversation between Jack and Ana was the closer for me. They’re talking about what happened in the jungle between the hunting party and Zeke last week. Ana asks him what happened, and Jack tells her that Zeke held Kate hostage until they chose to leave.

Ana’s response? Well, you saw the episode, you know what she said.

Does that sound at all like something Ana would say in a situation like this? The Others have absolutely terrorized her for two months, killing people and stealing children. Ana impaled one of them, for Christ’s sake, and she’ not the least bit concerned about any other details? She’s a loose-cannon cop, and I completely expected her to head off in search of Zeke by herself.

Remember ‘The Other 48 Days?’ Remember the hiking and ordering around? Did she forget all the things that are going on around her? I cannot stand it when the castaways don’t share vital information with each other, and in this case, the writing was flat-out dishonest to a strong character. She’s not Hurley, for crying out loud. As a saving grace, I will argue that Jack and Ana have this light-hearted conversation, because they’ve spent the last few days in the jungle setting traps and a ‘training course’ for their soon-to-be-decided Army.

Same deal with Sawyer. Last night, Zeke held Kate hostage and Sawyer vowed revenge. Today? They’re awkwardly flirting and doing physical therapy on the beach. Come on!

I’m done complaining, make with the numbers!

ACT II.

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(Aaron is one ugly, filthy baby. Thought I’d just throw that in.)

4. So, what’s going on with Locke? I don’t know, but like Charlie said, ‘That bald wanker knows something.‘ You could almost feel his slow descent into evil during the episode, much like when Boone died in Season One. Why did he keep the statues? Why did he change the lock on the gun cellar without telling anyone? I mentioned before that Charlie is a liar, but Locke has done his share of lying as well. It was his dishonesty about the hatch that led to the death of Boone. He’s complicated, possibly crazy, and I’m confused. Let’s move on.

8. Where are they getting all the tarps? Do airplanes normally stock up on those things?

15. Libby, Libby, Libby. Here’s the deal with her. She’s 100% completely nuts. Hurley knows her because they were probably at the mental hospital together. She’s not a doctor, she was a patient. I did like the comment about the new washer and dryer in the hatch; confirming theories and suggesting that Dharma & Hanso are still functioning to this day. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the Dharma Food Delivery Guy shows up in a few weeks. Hopefully, he’ll bring another gallon of ranch dressing.

16. When Charlie’s dreaming about Aaron being in danger, the dove flying out of the frame looked and sounded exactly like the drug plane in Locke’s vision last season. Interesting.

23. Next week is a re-run of ‘The Numbers.’ This seems to state that they are leading back into Hurley/Libby/Number territory in the upcoming weeks. We will find out why Hurley’s not losing any weight, among other things.

42. Spoilers Ahoy! By the end of Season Two, we will find out loads more on Dharma, the answer to the Michael/Walt question, why the plane crashed and what happens when you don’t push the button. What they will save for Season Three is beyond me.

The next new episode will be broadcast on Wednesday, February 8. Episode 13 will be entitled ‘The Long Con,’ and will be a Sawyer-centric episode. From the looks of it, we’ll be going back to Other territory, as Sun gets attacked in the night by who-knows what. It makes sense that the Others would want Sun, because she’s a good person and would probably make very pretty babies. The monster will return, we’ll find out more about Sawyer’s past, and the Jack/Kate/Locke/Ana power struggle will heat up. More on that next week.

ACT III.

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(“I will not baptize Aaron. Keep me out of your weak episode.”)

Now, just because this week was a ‘Character episode,‘ that doesn’t mean that the CDP can’t drop some mythology on you. The following theory piece on the Dharma Initiative has been submitted to me by BluStaCon, CDP member and Lost fan. He explains his theories concerning the different stations of the Dharma Initiative, what they’re used for and if we’ve seen them in action yet. My comments are in parenthesis:

The Hanso Life-Extension Project:
This has already been hinted at within the website, but has yet to really make an appearance on the show. This is where my Black Rock survivor theory comes into play. Zeke does look like he could have been a pirate. If I remember correctly there were skeletons on the ship. This leads me to believe something pre existing on the island may be involved.

(The theory here is that some of these Others have been living on the island for a lot longer than we might think, thanks to Hanso’s breakthroughs with self-preservation. Could Black Rock survivors still be wandering the island? My opinion is that it’s a stretch, but you never know.)

The Hanso Foundation Electromagnetic Research Initiative:
The Hatch is definitely involved in this one. I think that’s a given. What it is, I have no idea. The “Incident” mentioned may have something to do with why the island doesn’t seem to exist on any charts. And why planes from Australia and Nigeria can make it there.

(I agree with this one. The Swan station is certainly the electromagnetic center of the island, and it’s still fully functional, thanks to the castaways and Desmond. I’m sticking with my satellite theory on this one, which says that they are preventing rescue by hitting the button, as it causes the island to go invisible in the eyes of watching satellites. It explains how Dharma has gone on for so long without detection, the reason for the button, and the reason for the ‘incident.’)

The Hanso Quest for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence:
Possibly a quest into what caused the island’s mysterious properties. Also may explain the controlling force that is bringing these seemingly random people close together.

(This might also have to do with the ‘monster,’ specifically, what gives it its powerful killing power. However, if they happen to stumble across an alien or UFO on the island, I’ll seriously never watch again.)

The Hanso Mathematical Forecasting Initiative:
A way to predict the future with numbers. Might be involved with The Numbers. That would explain why Hurley could win the lottery playing them. They could be one of the products of the research. When they are used together they may unlock some kind of power on their own. That is why the results of their use are wrapped up with bad events, like Hurley’s life.

(In my opinion, the Numbers are one of the biggest mysteries on this show. Think about it. They were being broadcast from the island longer than 16 years ago, led people to depression, wealth and suicide, are linked with every castaway, and act as a sort of siren song, drawing people to the island. That’s just weird, and I don’t know if the writers will ever be able to fully explain what they mean.)

The Hanso Cryogenics Development Imperative:
I think we may meet some interesting characters from the past with this one.

(I don’t even want to get into this one. The show is complicated enough without frozen corpses coming back to life. Besides, do we really need another character?)

The Hanso Juxtapositional Eugenics Development Institute:
Aaah, the most interesting one of all. Here are two definitions from the wikipedia. Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc. Eugenics is a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through social intervention. The goals have variously been to create more intelligent people, save society resources, lessen human suffering and reduce health problems. Proposed means of achieving these goals most commonly include birth control, selective breeding, and genetic engineering. Critics argue eugenics is a pseudoscience, that it has a potential for “objectifying” human characteristics, and that historically it has been a means whereby social thinking culminated in coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, even genocide.

(If you read and understand that, you can pretty much piece together exactly what the Others are up to. Utopian societies need new, ‘good’ people to continue the bloodline, and the Others are making sure their work will not die.)

Good work, BluStaCon!

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(I threw in Chuck Norris roundhouse kicking a guy just to boost morale around here.)

Wow, this was a long post. As always, here are links to every last one of my Lost Friday writings. Sure, they’re nice to have around for entertainment purposes, but after a while they start to get needy, drunk-dialing you three times a week and begging for you to take them back. Sheesh, let it go:

SEASON TWO – EPISODE 11 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 10 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 5
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 4
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 3
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 9 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 8 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 7 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 6 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 2
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 5 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 4 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 3 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 1 REVIEW
SEASON TWO PREVIEW

Post #300.

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Well, well, well. Here we are.

Almost two years in, and the CDP has reached Post #300. Thank you for stopping in, sounding off and contacting me over the last 23 months; I really appreciate it and hope it continues.

In the first month that the CDP was launched, I got 4 actual hits that weren’t from myself or the Missus. As of January 2006, the CDP brings in an average of 300 hits a day, and an average of 9,000 hits a month. That may be embarrassingly low in comparison to more popular blogs, but considering that the CDP consists entirely of my obsessive ranting and raging egotism, it means a lot to me. I’m a sucker for small victories, so I’ll take them when I can. The taste is always smooth, never bitter.

The CDP celebrates its second birthday on February 12, so we can talk more about the page then. For this post, I wanted to look back on the 300 posts that got us to this point. If this were a TV show, you’d probably call it an episode guide. However, this is not a TV show, it’s a blog. So instead of an episode guide, you’d call it a disappointing blog clip show. Enjoy the boring goodness, while I take another day off.

February 2004 – (15 Posts):
2/27/2004 – Ulcers Be Damned!
2/26/2004 – 40 Degree February.
2/25/2004 – Idiot Box.
2/23/2004 – Infant a Go-Go.
2/20/2004 – (Untitled.)
2/19/2004 – Here Comes the Science.
2/18/2004 – (Untitled.)
2/18/2004 – We Love the Subs!
2/17/2004 – Comments Abound!
2/16/2004 – Sheet Envy.
2/13/2004 – (Untitled.)
2/13/2004 – (Untitled.)
2/12/2004 – (Untitled.)
2/12/2004 – Questions? Comments? Concerns?
2/12/2004 – Hey you!

March 2004 – (12 Posts):
3/31/2004 – This Is The Sound Of Settling.
3/24/2004 – Top Ten List – Part 1.
3/22/2004 – Butter Your Buns.
3/19/2004 – A New Man.
3/17/2004 – 3 Years Ago.
3/16/2004 – 2% Skim.
3/15/2004 – Punching Out.
3/10/2004 – Terror Alert: Elevated
3/08/2004 – Clear!
3/04/2004 – Tinted Aviator Glasses.
3/03/2004 – Tom Landry’s Hat!
3/02/2004 – Damn Smarch Weather.

April 2004 – (14 Posts):
4/29/2004 – INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON
4/28/2004 – The Wizard Needs Food Badly.
4/26/2004 – My Head A-Splode.
4/22/2004 – Gone Screenwriting!
4/19/2004 – KA-BOOM!
4/16/2004 – Pleasing Bat Boy.
4/15/2004 – We’re On Cloud Nine!
4/13/2004 – “Girl-Dude.”
4/09/2004 – Celebrity Fan Mail!
4/08/2004 – Good Eye, Sniper.
4/07/2004 – Mission Accomplished.
4/06/2004 – Error!
4/05/2004 – “Good Morning, Dark Lord.”
4/01/2004 – The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

May 2004 – (12 Posts):
5/27/2004 – Sinneslochen Syndrome.
5/23/2004 – The Polybius Legend.
5/17/2004 – 8 Hours In.
5/14/2004 – Everything Is A-OK.
5/12/2004 – New Wave Jacket!
5/10/2004 – Ta-Daa!
5/10/2004 – Yeee-Haw!
5/07/2004 – Da’ System…Is Down.
5/07/2004 – Mr. Fancy Stamps.
5/05/2004 – PHASE II
5/04/2004 – One Dollar, Bob.
5/03/2004 – Albino Rhino.

June 2004 – (7 Posts):
6/28/2004 – Fool Me Once…
6/24/2004 – 06-19-2004
6/16/2004 – We’re As Dead As Disco, Baby.
6/13/2004 – Paid Endorsement.
6/09/2004 – Bring Your Mitten Clips.
6/08/2004 – I’ll Mess With Texas.
6/04/2004 – Casual Friday.

July 2004 – (7 Posts):
7/27/2004 – SKA-mmunist Dance Party!
7/25/2004 – Upside-Down Exclamation Point.
7/20/2004 – “Janna Has A Chin.”
7/15/2004 – Hear You Me!
7/14/2004 – Search Me!
7/09/2004 – Sick Day.
7/06/2004 – My Pet Goat.

August 2004 – (9 Posts):
8/30/2004 – I Am The Secretary.
8/27/2004 – Casual August.
8/23/2004 – Fat Kid Dunk Tank.
8/16/2004 – Dagger Vision.
8/15/2004 – Fondue For Two.
8/09/2004 – Marinated String Cheese.
8/06/2004 – American Idiot.
8/04/2004 – Sick Day – Part Deux
8/01/2004 – Candy Mountain.

September 2004 – (7 Posts):
9/28/2004 – New Wave Mustache.
9/24/2004 – Back For The Attack!
9/17/2004 – White Collar Concussion.
9/14/2004 – Bat Boy Sez…
9/10/2004 – My September 9-11.
9/06/2004 – Stairs Make A Man Mean.
9/01/2004 – My Day Off.

October 2004 – (13 Posts):
10/28/2004 – 20 Scariest Movie Moments!
10/28/2004 – Lifting The Curse.
10/27/2004 – Pure Filler.
10/25/2004 – Bush: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
10/22/2004 – Country Mu-Suck.
10/21/2004 – Wicked Good.
10/19/2004 – Letting Off The Happiness.
10/15/2004 – Polk!
10/12/2004 – Taboo Corduroy Photo Shoot.
10/10/2004 – The Price I Pay.
10/08/2004 – Haiku Friday.
10/04/2004 – Jitterized.
10/01/2004 – Electile Dysfunction.

November 2004 – (14 Posts):
11/29/2004 – The Last Wobbler.
11/26/2004 – Tofurkey Depression.
11/23/2004 – Roses Taped To Your Windshield.
11/19/2004 – I’ve Got Perfect Words To Say.
11/18/2004 – It’s Killing My Buzz.
11/15/2004 – Monkey Is Not A Color.
11/12/2004 – Scott Peterson Guilty.
11/10/2004 – Violence Good! Sex Bad!
11/09/2004 – Meet Me When We’re 10 Years Older.
11/07/2004 – I’d Kill For A Pool Table.
11/05/2004 – Post #100.
11/02/2004 – I Reject Your Reality.
11/02/2004 – Right Now.
11/01/2004 – I Have A Plan.

December 2004 – (15 Posts):
12/31/2004 – Top 10 Of Everything.
12/29/2004 – We Got A Winner!
12/27/2004 – A Cure For Insomnia.
12/23/2004 – Worst Christmas Ever.
12/23/2004 – My Project Jacket In The Attic.
12/19/2004 – Just Like Heaven.
12/18/2004 – Fingers Touching Knees Through Holes Of Ripped Jeans.
12/16/2004 – Your Boyfriend Sucks.
12/14/2004 – C.D.P. Year In Review!
12/13/2004 – Peterson Sentenced To Death.
12/10/2004 – The Best & Worst Of 2004.
12/09/2004 – Wilhelm Screamroller.
12/06/2004 – Communist Cuddle Party.
12/03/2004 – Yesterday Is My Day.
12/01/2004 – Sweeps Month.

January 2005 – (10 Posts):
1/31/2005 – Tainted Lovespell.
1/27/2005 – January Photo Colonic.
1/26/2005 – Biggest Downer Ever. (Welcome Back!)
1/21/2005 – Cool Water Air Freshener.
1/17/2005 – The Midnight Rant.
1/14/2005 – The Routine.
1/12/2005 – More Than You Needed To Know.
1/10/2005 – I Just Don’t Understand.
1/07/2005 – Faster Than A Shorthand Bullet.
1/03/2005 – Monday – January 3 – 2005.

February 2005 – (10 Posts):
2/26/2005 – My First Job. (Part IV – “Customer”)
2/24/2005 – We’ll Never Be Like This Again.
2/22/2005 – My First Job. (Part III – “Explosion”)
2/20/2005 – My First Job. (Part II – “Death”)
2/18/2005 – My First Job. (Part I – “Intro”)
2/17/2005 – Mr. Electric Shock!
2/11/2005 – You’re Still Here?
2/09/2005 – It’s Still Summer Somewhere.
2/06/2005 – Who’s Going To Be The Odd Man Out?
2/03/2005 – I Won’t Remember Anyone Anymore.

March 2005 – (1o Posts):
3/29/2005 – No Room For Humans.
3/26/2005 – Weather’s Here, Wish You Were Beautiful.
3/23/2005 – Mapless In The Open Sea.
3/21/2005 – Chinese Sky Candy.
3/16/2005 – Duke Sucks/Adventures In Broadcasting.
3/11/2005 – The Search Is Over.
3/09/2005 – 5 Miles In 52 Days.
3/07/2005 – Smarch!/My Mini-Vacation. (Part 2 of 2)
3/04/2005 – My Mini-Vacation. (Part 1 of 2)
3/01/2005 – Let’s Go Away For A While.

April 2005 – (14 Posts):
4/30/2005 – I’m Going To Puke My Pants.
4/29/2005 – You’re Creepy.
4/27/2005 – Our Girls Were Looking So Good.
4/24/2005 – She Is Your Marrow, And Your Ride Home.
4/22/2005 – Cooler By The Lake.
4/20/2005 – This Is How These Things Get Started.
4/18/2005 – Double Nerd Score.
4/15/2005 – A Dozen Bad Stories.
4/14/2005 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine.
4/11/2005 – A Killer Game Of Crisco Twister.
4/08/2005 – The Rusty Taste Of Failure.
4/04/2005 – I Can’t Look You In The Eye.
4/03/2005 – Springing Forward.
4/01/2005 – Spring’s Untold Wonders.

May 2005 – (13 Posts):
5/31/2005 – Walk Toward The Light.
5/28/2005 – Uderbraten.
5/27/2005 – A Little Off The Top.
5/26/2005 – E=MC Hammer.
5/24/2005 – I’m Your Only Friend, I’m Not Your Only Friend.
5/20/2005 – I Could Beat Shaq At “HORSE”.
5/18/2005 – Baby, You Got A Stew Goin’!
5/16/2005 – Thunderstorm Grilling Techniques.
5/11/2005 – Motivationizal Seminizar.
5/09/2005 – Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.
5/07/2005 – We Got Movie Sign!
5/05/2005 – My Time Off. (Two & Two.)
5/03/2005 – Let’s Pretend We Don’t Exist.

June 2005 – (10 Posts):
6/29/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Three.
6/28/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Two.
6/27/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day One.
6/16/2005 – Mountie vs. Fishing Guide.
6/14/2005 – Two Thousand Days & Counting.
6/11/2005 – Where’s My Promotion?
6/09/2005 – It’s Like Stealing Television!
6/08/2005 – I Don’t Dream Good.
6/05/2005 – Why Can’t I Have One For Myself?
6/03/2005 – Hired Goons.

July 2005 – (14 Posts):
7/28/2005 – Everybody Knows That Girls Love Robots.
7/24/2005 – Grilled Cheese America.
7/23/2005 – Dead Men Don’t Tell Secrets, Do They?
7/21/2005 – I Was Almost Beautiful Once.
7/17/2005 – Post #200 – Part 3 Of 3.
7/17/2005 – Post #200 – Part 2 Of 3.
7/17/2005 – Post #200 – Part 1 Of 3.
7/14/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Seven & Eight.
7/10/2005 – Freelance Ahoy!
7/09/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Six.
7/07/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Five Point Five.
7/05/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Five.
7/03/2005 – Halftime. (Drink & Regret.)
7/01/2005 – Toronto Diary – Day Four.

August 2005 – (11 Posts):
8/30/2005 – Bring It On, Mr. Little.
8/28/2005 – We Will Become Silhouettes.
8/26/2005 – Wood Paneling Conservatory.
8/22/2005 – Raise Your Glasses.
8/19/2005 – “The Sky Just Exploded.”
8/18/2005 – Dirt Nap.
8/14/2005 – Football Fantasy.
8/11/2005 – 50 Signs Of My Apocalypse.
8/08/2005 – That Was A Washboard Break.
8/04/2005 – Six Smaller Bold Headlines.
8/02/2005 – Anesthetic For The Amputee.

September 2005 – (11 Posts):
9/28/2005 – Neighborhood #5 (CDP)
9/26/2005 – “You?”
9/24/2005 – The Red, White & Black.
9/21/2005 – Insect Karma Revolt.
9/20/2005 – Link Party.
9/16/2005 – Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate.
9/14/2005 – Lost: Season Two Preview.
9/10/2005 – The CDP Fall TV Preview.
9/08/2005 – Checks Will Not Be Honored.
9/05/2005 – Talk Nerdy To Me.
9/01/2005 – Increase Speed, Drop Down, Reverse Direction.

October 2005 – (16 Posts):
10/30/2005 – Puttin’ On The Moustache.
10/28/2005 – Lost Friday – Rerun Edition.
10/27/2005 – Best News EVER.
10/26/2005 – Return Of The Link Party.
10/23/2005 – You Make Me Sick.
10/21/2005 – Lost Friday – Volume 3.
10/19/2005 – The Wayback Machine.
10/18/2005 – The Perfect Cartoon.
10/16/2005 – Ask A Cheap-Ass Pirate. (Volume 2)
10/14/2005 – Lost Friday – Volume 2.
10/13/2005 – “It’s My Costume.”
10/10/2005 – Rinse And Spit.
10/07/2005 – Sweet Merciful Crap.
10/05/2005 – Rejected Advice Columns.
10/03/2005 – This Is Just Mean.
10/01/2005 – Final Fantasy.

November 2005 – (20 Posts):
11/30/2005 – I Don’t Know Where Everything Is.
11/29/2005 – CDP Wayback Machine: Drunk Edition.
11/27/2005 – Twenty-Two.
11/25/2005 – Lost Friday – “Collision.”
11/23/2005 – 50 Things I’m Thankful For.
11/20/2005 – “Did They Take Her Kidneys?”
11/18/2005 – Lost Friday – “The Other 48 Days.”
11/16/2005 – Men Are Stupid: Example #180,986.
11/15/2005 – Game, Set & Munch.
11/13/2005 – Let’s Go To The Mall.
11/11/2005 – Lost Friday – Episode 6.
11/10/2005 – CDP Wayback Machine – Sexy Results.
11/09/2005 – Support Your Local Cat.
11/08/2005 – Intro-Feedback-Setup-Punchline-Repeat.
11/07/2005 – Link Party – Tired & Lazy Edition.
11/06/2005 – Wayback Machine – Angry Left Wing Edition.
11/04/2005 – Lost Friday – Son Of A Rerun Edition.
11/03/2005 – Chink In The Armor.
11/02/2005 – Off The Record.
11/01/2005 – No Comment – 2004 Edition.

December 2005 – (17 Posts):
12/29/2005 – The Party’s Over. (Year Of The Me!)
12/27/2005 – CDP Year In Review.
12/23/2005 – Lost Friday – Christmas Edition.
12/22/2005 – Take Out Your Short List.
12/21/2005 – Best & Worst Of 2005.
12/20/2005 – Please Stand By.
12/19/2005 – Top 20 Albums Of 2005 – Part 4 Of 4.
12/17/2005 – Link Party – Year End 2004 Edition.
12/16/2005 – Lost Friday – Rerun Edition Rerun.
12/15/2005 – Top 20 Albums Of 2005 – Part 3 Of 4.
12/14/2005 – Top 20 Albums Of 2005 – Part 2 Of 4.
12/13/2005 – Top 20 Albums Of 2005 – Part 1 Of 4.
12/11/2005 – Razor Burn.
12/09/2005 – Lost Friday – “Rerun Edition Strikes Back.”
12/07/2005 – The Not Top 10.
12/04/2005 – Bold & Brassy, Texas-Style!
12/02/2005 – Lost Friday – “What Kate Did.”

January 2006 – (19 Posts and counting):
1/25/2006 – Post #300.
1/24/2006 – Link Party – Post #299 Edition.
1/23/2006 – 53 Random Facts About Chuck Norris.
1/22/2006 – Sunday Conversation-Sponsored By Ford.
1/20/2006 – Lost Friday – “The Hunting Party.”
1/19/2006 – Jeep Pizza. (FOX Sucks.)
1/17/2006 – 10 Stupid Jobs.
1/16/2006 – I’m Having A Dream.
1/13/2006 – Lost Friday – “The 23rd Psalm.”
1/12/2006 – New Pantheon Shortlist Revealed.
1/11/2006 – Would You Be Mine? Could You Be Mine?
1/10/2006 – Sucks To Be You. (I Know, I Know.)
1/09/2006 – On Getting My Head Chainsawed Off.
1/06/2006 – Maybe The Bluths Aren’t Worth Saving.
1/05/2006 – CDP Playoff Preview.
1/04/2006 – Year Of The Snake.
1/03/2006 – Harry Potter-The IMAX Experience.
1/01/2006 – The Resolution.
1/01/2006 – Welcome To The CDP!

If any of those sound interesting to you, hit them up in the archives. This was quite cleansing for me; I think it’s what a colonic might feel like. For you, it’s like watching white paint dry.

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The CDP…Flawless!

Happy 300th Post to me. Start the conversation in the comments section; Lost Friday saves the day in 48 hours.

Link Party – Post #299 Edition.

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(Rocking harder than an Alien interrogation.)

1. Hey, what are you watching this week?

Tuesday
American Idol (FOX) – 7:00-9:00pm
(The first-round auditions continue across the nation.)

Wednesday
American Idol (FOX) – 7:00-8:00pm
(Presumably, this will be the end of the first-round auditions.)

Lost (ABC) – 8:00-9:00pm
(Season 2 – Episode 12 – “Fire & Water.”)

Mythbusters (DISC/TiVo) – 8:00-9:00pm
(The triumphant return of the Death Ray!)

Thursday
That 70’s Show (FOX) – 7:00-7:30pm
(I can’t stand this show, but I watch it out of habit. Hooray for the last season!)

Everybody Hates Chris (UPN/TiVo) – 7:00-7:30pm
(Best series on UPN, hands down. That’s not saying much, but who doesn’t like Chris Rock?)

My Name Is Earl (NBC) – 8:00-8:30pm
(Do I really need to tell you about this show?)

The Office (NBC) – 8:30-9:00pm
(Seriously, let the Office into your home. You’ll thank me.)

2. Hey, what are you reading?

Blink, the same book I’ve been crawling through since Christmas, and the latest issue of Skeptic magazine, featuring the Mythbusters! I’m about one puzzle into my new Sudoku book, which has me reeling for some reason. I used to knock them out in minutes when they were in Games magazine, now my brain seems to have shut down in that sector. It probably has something to do with when that back-alley drug deal went bad, and those 15 kids dragged me out of my car and beat me with baseball bats.

3. Hey, what are you listening to?

Here are the last 10 albums that have been sung along to in the CDP Mobile. Feel free to mock and judge:

Coheed & Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV
The Gadjits – At Ease
Supersystem – Always Never Again
Blue Oyster Cult – Agents Of Fortune
Juiceboxxx – Are You There God? It’s Me, Juiceboxxx
Run-D.M.C. – Greatest Hits
Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea
Matt Pond PA – Several Arrows Later
Josh Rouse – Nashville
Polysics – Polysics or Die!!!

4. Hey, what’s the rest of the CDP Network talking about?

Before you go clicking on other CDP Network links, you should make sure you’ve read everything here for the month of January. I’ve been pretty happy with the material and layout since I changed the format at the start of the year. Make sure you’re all caught up, because I’m incredibly witty and talented, and you’re not going to want to miss out. I even got myself a sponsor this month.

Once you’re done with that, head on over to The Girl From Mars, where the Missus sounds off on her new job as well as her brother’s new band. She hasn’t had a lot of time to update or post here in recent weeks due to the nature of her job, so make sure you pop in and say something nice to her.

I Think This Is My Exit sounds off on alcohol, music, books and exploits; not necessarily in that order. He’s been updating the page almost as much as me, which is borderline obsessive and sick.

Sandbox Films lets us in on his best-of 2005 list. He updates about once every fiscal year, so there’s really no rush here.

Same deal with Let’s Eat Paste. He has a rerun up concerning one of his earliest (and funniest) posts. I think we’re still waiting on his first post of 2006.

Swimming In An Ocean talks about life in the armed forces, Chaotic Ryan talks about work and relationships, and Todd’s Cavalcade Of Whimsy takes us to a hockey game, but not before we dig deep into what people are searching for when they find his page.

Finally, Tyler Maas, my latest addition to the Network, shares with us the essays he writes for his college paper. He’s funny, and can get away with a lot more stuff than I can here.

5. Hey, what’s going on this week?

Not much, I don’t think. The Missus is going to a co-worker gathering on Thursday, leaving me home alone and succeptable to an ambush Chuck Norris attack. I need to go shopping for my Sister’s upcoming birthday, and I owe myself a haircut so I don’t look sloppy. Last weekend, I treated myself to an armload of shirts from Express and the Buckle, when what I really needed was a tie, some new shoes and khakis for work. My collection of sexy, small shirts continues to mount, while I honestly think I own 3 pairs of decent pants.

Come to think of it, I have no idea why I should continue to purshase ties until I learn how to actually tie them on my own. The ties that I do have in my closet are ‘pre-tied,’ which means I had my Grandpa tie them for me over a year ago, and I’m just really careful about not yanking them apart. I’m working on trying to reverse the dress code at my place of business, as I tend to dress a lot classier when I’m wearing jeans. Khakis don’t work on me, and they hinder me from utilizing a lot of nice clothes I have. I actually look far more presentable on Fridays.

6. Hey, when’s your 300th post?

My next post will mark #300 for the CDP, just a couple weeks before its 2nd birthday (February 12). Stop in and say nice things so I don’t blow my brains out.

Ahoy!

53 Random Facts About Chuck Norris.

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(Becoming an Internet Phenomenon, one mistake at a time. I’ll never show this photo again.)

I know I’m a little behind on the Internet Phenomenon that is ‘Random Facts About Chuck Norris,’ but better late than never, ‘eh? It’s really about time that we, as a nation, embraced a true icon of American TV and film, in all his roundhouse-kicking glory.

Never one to miss out on a chance to increase my traffic, I’m on board. I’ve compiled this list by sifting through hundreds of Norris facts and selecting the one’s I thought were the best. Because I know funny, this is pretty much the best collection you’ll find on the web.

This list is hilarious; if one doesn’t get you, the next five will. Enjoy, while I take the day off.

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(Feel the crippling power of Norris!)

1. Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

3. Chuck Norris does not hunt, because the word ‘hunting’ infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

4. Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.

5. Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

6. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

7. If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can’t see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.

8. Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming ‘Law and Order’ are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

9. Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.

10. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

11. Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, Chuck met all three bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK’s head exploded out of sheer amazement.

12. President Bush DID have a sure fire plan to end the war in Iraq; However, Chuck Norris was busy that day.

13. When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

14. Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.

15. As a teen, Chuck Norris impregnated every nun in a convent tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Nine months later, the nuns gave birth to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated team in professional football history.

16. A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris’ shoe. Chuck replied, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Chuck Norris!” The mere mention of his name cured the man’s blindness. Sadly, the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse kick delivered by Chuck Norris.

17. If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the hell down.

18. Chuck Norris’ action figure has slept with more women then most men.

19. Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

20. Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

21. Oxygen requires Chuck Norris to live.

22. Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.

23. Chuck Norris appeared in the “Street Fighter II” video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this glitch, Norris replied, “That’s no glitch,” and proceeded to kill them with a devastating roundhouse kick.

24. Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.

25. Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren’t the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made.

26. Chuck Norris once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45 minutes having sex with his waitress.

27. At birth, Chuck Norris came out feet first so he could roundhouse kick the doctor in the face. Nobody delivers Chuck Norris but Chuck Norris.

28. Chuck Norris was the fourth Wise Man. He brought baby Jesus the gift of “beard.” Jesus wore it proudly to his dying day. The other Wisemen, jealous of Jesus’ obvious gift favoritism, used their combined influence to have Chuck omitted from the Bible. Shortly after, all three died of roundhouse kick related deaths.

29. When Chuck Norris plays Oregon Trail, his family does not die from cholera or dysentery, but rather roundhouse kicks to the face. He also requires no wagon, since he carries the oxen, axels, and buffalo meat on his back. He always makes it to Oregon before you.

30. After much debate, President Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima rather than the alternative of sending Chuck Norris. His reasoning? It was more “humane.”

31. Chuck Norris once shot a German plane down with his finger, by yelling “Bang!”

32. The original theme song to the Transformers was actually “Chuck Norris–more than meets the eye, Chuck Norris–robot in disguise.” It starred Chuck Norris as a Texas Ranger who defended the earth from drug-dealing Decepticons; and could turn into a pick-up. This was far too much awesome for a single show, however, so it was divided.

33. If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, “Two seconds till.” After you ask, “Two seconds till what?” he roundhouse kicks you in the face.

34. There are no disabled people. Only people who have met Chuck Norris.

35. Chuck Norris can win a game of Monopoly without owning any property.

36. There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.

37. In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records, it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone has ever gotten.

38. In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.

39. Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

40. Chuck Norris has two speeds: walk and kill.

41. When Chuck Norris jumps into a body of water, he doesn’t get wet. The water gets Chuck Norris instead.

42. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

43. A Handicap parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.

44. Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.

45. Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry; the man ate an Indian.

46. Chuck Norris once bet NASA he could survive re-entry without a spacesuit. On July 19th, 1999, a naked Chuck Norris re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, streaking over 14 states and reaching a temperature of 3000 degrees. An embarrassed NASA publically claimed it was a meteor, and still owes him a beer.

47. When Chuck Norris was denied an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s because it was 10:35, he roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a Wendy’s.

48. In honor of Chuck Norris, all McDonald’s in Texas have an even larger size than the super-size. When ordering, just ask to be “Norrisized”.

49. Chuck Norris can believe it’s not butter.

50. When Chuck Norris talks, everybody listens. And dies.

51. Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

52. The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked one of the corners off.

53. An anagram for Walker Texas Ranger is KARATE WRANGLER SEX. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds awesome.

I’ve read this list like, 8 times now, and it’s still funny. Create your own ‘Random Fact About Chuck Norris,‘ or just sound off in the comments section.

Before you go, I have a Commie Award to hand out!

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The lastest Commie Award goes out to Head Coach Bill Cowher and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are the first #6 seed to reach the Superbowl. More impressive still, they are the first NFL team to beat the #1, #2 and #3 teams on the road (Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver, in that order). Amazing. Look for them to make history when they beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Extra Large Bowl.

Okay, I’m outta here.

Sunday Conversation-Sponsored By Ford.



“Dude, what’s with the banner ad?”

Okay, so here’s the deal. Last week, I was ranting about all the good shows that FOX has cancelled over the last few years. One that I forgot to bring up was Grounded For Life, which ran on FOX for about a season and a half before they pulled the plug on it.

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If you’ve never seen the show, it ran for 2 seasons on FOX, smack-dab in the middle of their amazing Sunday night lineup a few years ago. Me and the Missus seriously watched every episode of Grounded until FOX canned it. It was eventually picked up by WB, but the first season remains by far their best work, in my opinion.

The show is simply about a young couple raising their 3 kids in suburbia. The writing was hip and current, the characters were flawed and believable, and the woman who plays Claudia was and still is super-cute. Even the Missus liked this show, which is far more of a selling point than I could ever make on my own. Plus, the guy from Office Space that gets paralyzed is on it, and he’s always funny.

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Surprising enough to me, the CDP was being watched by someone who does promotion for Anchor Bay, the production company for Grounded. Because the CDP takes in a fair amount of hits from people looking for TV and pop culture-related business, they wanted to know if I would mention Grounded‘s upcoming DVD release, and made me an offer for the ad space.

The offer? A 2-pound bag of M&M’s and a guest spot on an upcoming episode of ‘That 70’s Show.’ Well, not really. It was actually a little better than that.

Now, you know me. I’m not a salesman. I’ve made attempts in the past to get rid of all advertising on this page, even when I was sure it would make me money. However, in this case, I really do like Grounded For Life. It’s not every day that you’re propositioned to talk about something that you’d gladly talk about for free. I jumped at the chance, and here we are.

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If you’re interested, click on the link and give it a look see. There’s a lot of clips and whatnot to check out.

Oh, and another thing, the guy who plays the Dad on this show used to play ‘Jimmy the cab driver,’ that sweaty, jittery guy that did those great MTV PSA’s in the 90’s:

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And just in case anyone else is reading, here’s a brief list of 10 things that I would also enjoy talking about:

Mini Coopers and the MINI corporation (see sidebar link)
Arrested Development & Imagine Television (see sidebar link)
Lost & Bad Robot Productions (see sidebar link)
Godiva Chocolates & Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream
The 2006 Porsche Boxter
Veridian Homes
Nintendo, Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo Revolution
Alienware Computers
OBEY Clothing & Propaganda (see sidebar link)
Express Men, Target and Best Buy stores

Later. I’ll be back with this week’s Commie Award, and the funniest post I didn’t write.

Lost Friday – "The Hunting Party."

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Season 2 – Episode 11 – “The Hunting Party.

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

Where do I start? I had been looking forward to this episode for weeks, knowing that it would finally set off the plotline that would lead us to the story behind the Others. Well, the fuse has been lit, the barrier has been broken and all bets are off. The stage has been set for an all-out battle between the castaways and Others.

Normally, this is where I’d paste Wikipedia’s viewer-submitted synopsis of the episode. Not today. Not only do I think I can do a better job, but I’m doing this on a Wednesday night and there’s nothing up on Wikipedia yet. Besides, I’m going to be busy for the next few days, so it’s now or never.

And away we go:

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(“I’m going to blow you apart like a gallon of ranch dressing.”)

Michael goes completely off of his nut and knocks out Locke, taking a gun and heading off in search of Walt alone. Beforehand, he makes sure to lock up Jack and Locke in the chamber that’s holding the weapons. Eventually, Kate and Sawyer come into the hatch and save the day. Sawyer, Locke and Jack get strapped and head out to bring him back, telling Kate to stay behind and man the computer. She obviously doesn’t listen and heads out without them knowing.

Personally, I don’t think that Michael is conversing with anyone on that computer. If he is, I don’t think he’s talking to Walt. If the Others wanted Michael, they would have taken him when he was on the boat, or again when he was with the tailies. He’s not being led into any Other-induced danger; he’s just wandering around because he’s losing his mind.

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(“Hey, have you seen my big-ass Dharma medallion anywhere?”)

Anyways, before Michael takes off, he mentions to Locke that he knows things about the computer that he does not, and actually threatens to shoot it. When Locke starts to track Michael in the jungle, he realizes that he’s headed in a different direction; obviously being directed by whoever the person on the other end of the hatch computer is (if anyone). After hearing some shots, they lay low and keep their eyes peeled. We still don’t know who fired the shots and for what reason; Michael has yet to be found.

Meanwhile, back at the hatch, Charlie and Hurley listen to some obsolete albums and talk about random things. Hurley mentions that he might have a shot with Libby; with which Charlie encourages him to make his move. Why Charlie doesn’t bring up the Smoke Monster incident is beyond me, but he gets an episode next week, so we shouldn’t have to wait long. I also wonder why they didn’t bring Sayid and Eko along for the hunt. Who better to bring on an Other-killing spree than the guy who obliterated two of them with a big rock?

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(Looks like a band of Others, if you axe me. I think the DeGroots are on the cover.)

In flashbacks, we see the demise of Jack and Sarah’s relationship. Due to long hours at the office and their lack of contact and affection (not to mention failed attempts at having a child), Sarah informs Jack that she was leaving him for the man that she had been seeing for some time. This man isn’t shown yet, but there is still plenty more to the Jack and Sarah story. Jack is clearly heartbroken, and we’re left with him watching his wife walk out the door.

Personally, if my mate made six figures a year, I’d be a little more compassionate when they worked late and didn’t have much time to talk. In the poker game that is a relationship, talking about feelings is three of a kind, making a ton of money is a straight flush, and making a paralyzed woman walk again is like, 6 aces. She sounds ungrateful if you ask me, and you most certainly did.

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(“I can’t believe I was on ‘Party of Five’ for 7 years.”)

It should also be noted that in the flashbacks, people start to look to Jack as some sort of miracle worker. As news of his work with Sarah spread, people began seeking him out to operate on the inoperable. This aspect of living up to expectations is great insight into the ‘Man of Science’ Jack has become.

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(John Madden was found on a deserted island last week…)

Back in the jungle, the hunting party gets surrounded by Others, as we hear the unmistakable voice of the man on the boat who stole Walt (Mr. Degroot, perhaps?). Sawyer, who’s now been shot more times than 50 Cent, fires a round at the man and has it ricochet back into his damn ear. A forcefield-affect seemed to be the culprit, which is just freaky enough to not be considered silly. The man informs the hunting party that ‘this is our island,’ and ‘you live because we let you live.‘ He then orders them to leave their weapons and go back to the beach, clutching a freshly-captured Kate as collateral. They reluctantly oblige, and Jack is clearly furious with Kate the entire hike back.

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(“Hand over your weapons, or I’ll waste this completely disposable and unlikable character.”)

When I heard the man’s voice, along with him knowing the castaways by name, my jaw dropped open. I knew this episode would go good, I didn’t think that we’d come face to face with the boat guy again. This is a huge moment in the course of Lost, as we now have established battle lines, and a confirmation that the Others are real people with a real goal.

During this conversation with the man from the boat, he informs us that Walt is fine, and is a ‘very special boy.’ That’s pretty much all the information we get from him, before he disappears again into the shadows. He clearly wasn’t afraid of the gunfire, as he knew he was being protected by whatever was surrounding him (Electromagnetics saves the day again!).

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(“Mention ‘Party of Five’ one more time. I dare you!”)

Back on the beach, Sawyer and Locke try to shake off what happened to them, now knowing that they might actually be outnumbered and outskilled by the Others. Meanwhile, Jack talks to Ana Lucia on the beach, and remarks to her that he wants to turn the castaways into an army, presumably in the hopes of claiming the island for their own. Things are about to get wild.

Fade to black; make with the numbers!

4. Who was Jack’s wife seeing? Internet rumors are saying that it could be anyone, from Jack’s Dad to Desmond. It would seem like the viewing audience would already know this mystery guy, but we’ll have to wait for the next Jack-centric episode to confirm or deny.

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(The Others’ torch technology is light-years ahead of our own.)

8. Also, a lot of people online were wondering who shot Sawyer. Almost nobody brought up what I saw from the start; he shot himself. ‘Zeke’ wasn’t afraid of the castaways and their guns one bit; he even remarked a few times that the guns weren’t going to do anything. When Sawyer took his shot (and who wouldn’t?), it bounced off of some shield that ‘Zeke’ had up, and got sent straight back to Mr. Ford.

15. I don’t know if you caught this or not, but when ‘Zeke’ orders a fellow Other to haul out Kate, he says, ‘Bring ‘er out, Alex!‘ If you remember, Alex was Rousseau’s baby that was kidnapped by the others about 16 years ago. Is it the same person? Wouldn’t make much sense to put that name in the script unless it meant something, so there’s a good chance this is the Alex we had been hearing about.

16. ‘Zeke’ also says, ‘From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity.‘ This is a quote from Alvar Hanso, who provided the DeGroot’s with the funding necessary to start the Dharma Initiative. This proves that ‘Zeke’ knows Alvar, and could very possibly be Mr. DeGroot in the flesh.

23. Who in the hell is Geronimo Jackson? Sounds like a clue to me. The only real group close to that name was Geronimo Black, which was founded by one of the members of the Mothers Of Invention. One of their songs was called “Other Man,” so take from that what you will (Ethan Rom).

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(Charlie finds a piano made completely of heroin on the shoreline.)

42. Charlie seemed mad jealous wen he saw Locke snuggling up to Claire and Aaron at the end of the show. This is a perfect lead-in to the next episode, ‘Fire & Water.’ Here’s the press release straight from ABC:

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(Eko teaches Claire the art of the super-fly baby cornrows.)

“When Charlie’s vividly surreal dreams lead him to believe Claire’s baby, Aaron, is in danger, Locke suspects Charlie may be using again. Meanwhile, Sawyer encourages Hurley to act on his attractions to Libby.”

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(“So, you ever been with a huge guy before?”)

There you have it. Another Lost Friday in the books. Start the discussion in the comments section and feel free to e-mail the CDP at CommunistDance@yahoo.com.

As always, here are links to all of the CDP‘s Lost Friday posts. They’ll put hair on your chest. Unless you’re a girl, in which case they will gently wax your upper lip and bikini line:

SEASON TWO – EPISODE 10 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 5
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 4
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 3
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 9 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 8 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 7 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 6 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 2
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 5 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 4 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 3 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 1 REVIEW
SEASON TWO PREVIEW

Jeep Pizza. (FOX Sucks.)

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When FOX decided to cancel King Of The Hill after 10 great seasons, I was upset, yet I understood the business behind it. When they decided to pull the plug on That 70’s Show after 4 great seasons and 3 terrible ones, I again understood completely. Even now that Arrested Development is biting the dust after 3 of the greatest seasons in TV comedy history, we only have ourselves to blame.

But now I see that Malcolm In The Middle will air its final episode this season, and I’m left to wonder if FOX is purposely trying to become the worst network on television.

Malcolm, like King and Futurama, became the latest casualty of the “Football Death Slot,” essentially pre-empting and cutting their new episodes in favor of bonus football programming and postgame analysis. This happens to a new show each year; causing viewership and ratings to taper off into oblivion. Instead of doing something about it, the network merely casts these shows aside, as football draws better ratings than sitcoms.

American Idol can’t run forever. Prison Break, 24 and House are doing great, but three dramas does not a good network make. Even the rumor that Futurama will return can’t save FOX now; they have axed their varsity squad. What they’re left with are third-rate comedies, horrid reality programming, Cops and the 17-year-old Simpsons. Good jorb, Rupert.

I give FOX credit for taking chances with groundbreaking shows. However, other networks are catching on, and FOX is starting to look washed up amongst the heavier hitters. What was once an edgy and hip network is looking long in the tooth and cranky, throwing cats at you from their front porch.

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Malcolm In The Middle was once the highest rated comedy on FOX. It raked in 15 million viewers a week, which is huge for FOX comedy standards (AD rakes in about 2 mil. at the most). For 7 seasons, Malcolm never waivered, giving fans a brilliant episode every single week. It surpassed the Simpsons in wackiness and writing, yet remained completely believable and charming. Instead of praising the countless Emmy wins and incredible strength of show, FOX took them for granted and tossed them around the lineup like a Jeep Pizza (reliable, yet tossable and tasty). Malcolm is essentially one of the most underrated comedies of all time.

The FOX Sunday night lineup ruled a few years ago. Futurama, King, Simpsons, Malcolm, Family Guy and Arrested were all shuffled around for 2 good years. Since then, every show but one has been cancelled, with Family Guy coming back for no reason other than money.

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This Malcolm news angers me more than the February 10th Series Finale of Arrested Development. Shows like that are doomed from the start, as they will never attract a big enough following on national TV. Malcolm would fit right in on any network, and has one of the best casts on the small screen.

So, here’s my proposal to NBC: Turn your ‘Must-See Thursday’ night lineup into what FOX used to have; good, funny shows. Call it, ‘Must-See, No Laugh Track Thursday Night, Sponsored By Ford:’

7:00-7:30 – Scrubs
7:30-8:00 – Malcolm In The Middle (Sign them to a 1-year deal. The kids are getting too old, but at least give them a chance to go out in style.)
8:00-8:30 – My Name Is Earl
8:30-9:00 – The Office
9:00-9:30 – Arrested Development
9:30-10:00 – New Episodes of Seinfeld (Force the cast to perform at gunpoint; no laugh track.)

I’m only half-kidding about this. Enough ranting, here’s the FOX story, straight from Yahoo:

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Fox brings back “Idol” as curtain falls on sitcoms

Fox television, roaring back to prime time with mega-hit “American Idol” on Tuesday, said it was likely to scrap Emmy-winning ratings dud “Arrested Development” even as other networks made bids to pick up the comedy.

The News Corp.-owned network also said it was formally bringing down the curtain on two veteran comedies, “That ’70s Show” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” both of which will get their series finales in May.

Speaking hours before the premiere of a fifth edition of “American Idol,” the No. 1 U.S. TV show last season, Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori voiced disappointment that “Arrested Development” was headed for the chopping block.

“It’s highly unlikely the show is coming back, but no definitive final answer has been made on that,” Liguori told a gathering of TV critics in Pasadena. “It’s regrettable we couldn’t find an audience that the show deserves.”

A spokesman for the network’s sister studio, 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, said two other networks — ABC and Showtime — had approached producers with bids to carry the series next year.

“We are currently considering the offers on the table,” the spokesman, Chris Alexander, told Reuters.
Added Liguori: “It (‘Arrested Development’) is a studio property, and there is interest at other networks. It’s the studio’s right and (the executive producer’s) right to put that up to bid.”

He suggested that “Arrested Development” might be an especially good fit for premium cable channel Showtime, where the comedy’s current average audience of just over 4 million viewers would rank it as a major hit.

“From a numbers standpoint, if Showtime were able to migrate the numbers ‘Arrested’ gets on Fox to Showtime, that would be by far its No. 1 show,” he said.

The quirky comedy about a dysfunctional family has been a critical favorite since its launch in 2003, but has continued to flounder in ratings. A two-hour season finale, which is expected to be the show’s swan song, is slated to air February 10.

As for “That ’70s Show,” Liguori said Fox is in talks with original stars Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace to bring them back to the May 18 series finale. “Malcolm in the Middle” will air its final episode on May 14 after seven seasons on Fox.

Fox, which has been lagging in the prime-time ratings so far this season behind its three larger network rivals — CBS, ABC and NBC — is expected to enjoy a big boost with Tuesday’s return of “American Idol.”

The program was the most-watched show on U.S. television last season, averaging more than 27 million viewers for its Tuesday night broadcasts and leading ratings among viewers aged 18 to 49, the group most prized by advertisers.

Done and done. Talk TV in the comments section. LOST FRIDAY blows your mind tomorrow.

10 Stupid Jobs.

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Unless you’re handicapped or some kinda jerkass, you have to work for a living. You have to do it; I have to do it; the American People have to do it. It’s nothing I’m too happy about, but I take pride in knowing that about 85% of the population probably hates their job more than I do. That alone is refreshing enough to get me through the day.

I’ve got a pretty decent handle on my job. I make important decisions and change peoples’ futures by the mood I’m in. I get to write expensive checks and charge them to Wisconsin taxpayers like myself. Sometimes I have to wear a tie. On Friday of last week, I used a Magic 8-Ball I keep in my cubicle to solve a problem I was having (‘outlook not so good’).

Even though things are going fine enough, I had much bigger plans for myself than to become an Exam Administrator. I feel bad that somewhere out in the workforce, there sits a guy who’s only goal in life was to work with state codes and statutes pertaining to professional regulation, and I’m not appreciating it nearly as much as he would. It’s not fair to either of us.

Even if I could get paid boatloads of cash to write full-time, I’d probably still find a way to be miserable. It’s just the way I operate. Even the freelance stuff I do chaps my hide, mostly because it turns my hobby into a profession; which instantly sucks the life out of anything you enjoy. I don’t care what you do for a living; chances are you’ll get sick of it after a while.

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Do you honestly think that Babe Winkleman likes Bass fishing every day of his life? Not even millions of dollars, Blu-Blocker sunglasses and that sweet beard can keep a guy happy day-in and day-out, especially when he’s coming home to his family reeking of dead fish and about 10 bottles of Blatz. It’s just not logical, folks.

In my life thus far, I’ve had 10 jobs. Some of them didn’t earn me a penny. Most of them didn’t earn me a penny. I’ve quit 90% of them, and I’ve never been fired. I may have liked two of them, tops. I’ve had to do things I don’t wish on anyone. I’ve also met some of the biggest weens alive.

Allow me to share my sordid employment past with you.

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Job #1Helping Out On The Olson Farm.
Length Of Service1989/1994
Salary$0.00/hr.

I grew up on a farm; so when I didn’t do a good enough job of busying myself away from prying eyes, I had to put my ratty clothes on and do chores. I fed calves, shoveled various feeds and animal excretions, herded cows and drove tractors. Seriously. Most of the time, I found various ways to almost turn myself into a double-amputee, but those are different stories for a different time.

For all the hard work, I learned a lot about a very difficult and thankless profession. I also got to hang out with hundreds of cats and bottle-feed baby calves, so it wasn’t all bad. But for every baby puppy I got to hold, there was a cow that was all set to kick the taste out of my mouth, so it was a life and death trade off for most of the duration.

One summer, my Dad caught me and my cousin using my new golf clubs to hit rocks on the road, so we were subject to a week of ‘hard labor,’ baling hay in the 90-degree heat. It was the worst week of my entire childhood. Sunburns, every muscle aching and varying rashes on my body made it clear to me early that I wasn’t going to be carrying on the family business anytime soon. I’m clearly not built to be a farmer; even hauling a gallon of milk to my car is a massive chore for me. Eventually we moved away from the farm, and I was allowed to throw away my filthy ‘barn clothes’…

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Job #2Handing Out Flyers For Aluminum Siding Company.
Length Of Service1995
Salary10% Commission On Sales ($0.00/hr.)

Over summer vacation in the 7th grade, I went door to door, bothering people and sticking flyers everywhere for a home improvement business in Appleton, Wisconsin. I did most of my work in Winneconne, where I went to school. For those three months, I dragged around my then-girlfriend in the blistering heat, ringing doorbells and having shotguns pulled on me. I was shocked beyond words when she dumped me mere weeks later.

Every day, I would walk down every street, steaming with heat lines, as she trailed behind me with an ice-cream cone. I kept telling her how much money I was about to be making, and she did her best not to smash the cone in my face and walk home by herself. I can’t remember what I was wearing at the time, but I can figure it was unappealing and sad. I wish she would have told me then that I was getting screwed over by this businessman. She obviously knew, but didn’t feel like sharing.

The guy in charge of the business assured me that I would see hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in commission should anyone bite on the flyers. I know now that he was staggeringly full of crap and a total fraudulent businessman. I had no choice in the matter then, however, because my Mom was living with this guy at the time. See, this is why I don’t like to talk about the past a whole lot. I tried to quit once the summer was over, but Mr. Fraudulent Businessman had a bigger and better job waiting for me…

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Job #3Odd Jobs, Lawnmowing In Neighborhood.
Length Of Service1996
Salary$10/lawn.

Freshly dumped and living with an aforementioned fraudulent businessman, I did what any teenager with dignity would do. I took my shirt off, put on some cut-off shorts, cried and mowed lawns all day. I mowed my Grandparent’s lawn, the lawn at the Post Office where my Mother worked at the time, along with the lawns up and down my street in Appleton, Wisconsin.

We lived on a street full of duplexes in Appleton, next to a Hmong family of about 29, and a sad, single woman who used to watch me when I went rollerblading. Once, one of the Hmong girls broke her arm in front of my place. Before the ambulance got there, I took a good look at it and it was shaped like the letter ‘S’. I almost threw up. Another time, I was selling pizzas for school, and I knocked on the sad single woman’s door. She answered wearing a towel, and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen up to that point. Way better than the broken arm. Let’s get back to the story.

The first two lawns in question used a push-mower, but the neighborhood job allowed me to use a monolithic Golf Course-sized mower (see photo). I was given approximately 10 seconds of instruction on how to use the thing, then I was left on my own to handle about 60 acres of grass. Within 5 minutes, I had gone right over the top of someone’s brand-new baby tree (with them watching me, I might add), and within 10 minutes, I took a hard turn and crashed right through the fence separating the backyards from the busy highway. All true. I again got to quit once my Mother wised up and we moved out of the city…

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Job #4Cleaning The Steerhead Saloon.
Length Of Service1997
Salary$20/day.

Back in my hometown, I started working for my Dad at the bar he owned. (Doesn’t this all just SCREAM ‘Wisconsin!’ to you? I can’t wait for Sufjan Stevens’ take on the dairy state.) As it was, he also set aside the family farming business for a life of booze peddling. He needed someone besides himself to make sure the bar was in pristine condition before 8am, so it could turn into a vomit-soaked nightmare by 2am. Every early morning during the summer, I would bike a mile to the bar and get a move on.

Clearly, cleaning up a redneck bar is one of the filthiest jobs you can imagine. Stocking the coolers, wiping things down and scraping ashtrays is one thing. But scrubbing toilets and mopping up is yet another. Any and every bodily fluid was located in the bathrooms. Blood and teeth were mopped up on the dance floor. Ashtrays has spit in them. Everything was sticky. I damn near had a breakdown every morning. I took to making myself drinks and stealing quarters to play pool just to make the job seem worthwhile.

I didn’t want to do the job anymore, but it was hard to tell my Dad that I didn’t want to work for him anymore. Instead, I just started doing a progressively worse and worse job until he started to get angry. Every morning, I would plead with him to fire me, but he knew that would mean having to clean the bar himself. Eventually, we worked out a compromise…

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Job #5Bartending At The Steerhead Saloon.
Length Of Service1998
SalaryMaybe $50 a week, tops.

My Dad was known for making borderline illegal business decisions, and hiring his 16 year old son to bartend seemed to be one of those choices. In fact, there’s no ‘borderline’ about it. He needed some additional help during football season, and he didn’t want to have to pay anyone anything, so I was on the top of the list, throwing caution and child labor laws to the wind.

When you work in retail, there’s a line of people who all need service. You help the people by who’s next in line, and that works pretty well. When you bartend, there is no line, just 50 drunks waving empty glasses at you. Learning to make the drinks was hard; learning to assert myself around these people was much harder. Fights would break out. Vomiting was a nightly occurrence. Breasts that were never meant to be seen again were seen by all. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and by age 16, I was freaking Superman.

I took in next to nothing in tips, despite being the youngest bartender in the nation. I had to quit after the stress started messing with me, and the football season was over. I certainly didn’t want to end up like the people I saw there every night, so I jumped ship and went looking for work in the city…

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Job #6Movie Theater Usher For One Day.
Length Of Service1998
Salary$0.00 & One Free Movie.

I got hooked up to this job by a friend at school who worked there. I didn’t really want it, but anything was better than bartending. Besides, if I couldn’t find anything different, I would be right back at the Steerhead Saloon. My opinion was that cleaning a filthy theater was still worlds better than cleaning up a backwoods tavern.

The interview/training was unlike anything I’ve been a part of. It was basically 2 hours of training tapes about how movie theaters make 100% of their revenue through concessions, and that I needed to sell tons of them at all costs. Tickets meant nothing, and nobody cared who snuck in, as long as I moved product. I was offered the job, and accepted. I then spent the rest of the night taking in the luxury of a free movie, which was the Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho, arguably one of the worst movies ever made. I was fitted for a sexy usher’s outfit, and was all set to return the next week.

Problem number one came up because I didn’t have my own car. Borrowing my Mom’s car every day for work just wasn’t going to fly, and I didn’t have money to buy my own. Of course, nobody around me had any money, either. Problem number two (the closer) came when I found out that I had to work on Christmas day, which is a big day for losers to go to the movies and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with a Jennifer Aniston flick. I quit over the phone, and sent the usher’s outfit back with the friend that got me the job in the first place. Dejected, I hung my head low and looked for something closer to home…

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Job #7Clerk At A Hardware Store.
Length Of Service1999/2002
Salary$6.25/hr, tops.

The Larsen Co-Op was right across the street from the Steerhead Saloon, so I didn’t make it quite as far away as I wanted to. They were opening a new hardware store, and needed a nerd to run computers and make sure nothing blew up. My Mom got me the job, as she worked at the Post Office that was also right across the street from the Steerhead (Yeah, I’m from one of those towns).

For the next four years, through high school graduation and right up until I left for college in Madison, I wasted away there. You’ve read some of my accounts of the place in the past, and I honestly think I could write an entertaining novel about the stretch of time I was there. Things exploded, people died, sexual harassment was rampant, a 17-year old was having an affair with a married man with a hook for an arm. The rotten underbelly of Anytown, USA was alive and well in Larsen, Wisconsin. I lived on a steady diet of candy bars, Mountain Dew and microwavable hamburgers until I was 20.

I worked 13 days on, 1 day off, full-time after graduation, year-round. Seriously, I put a lot into that job. I was able to buy my first two cars because of the job, and have a steady, bill-free income to spend on the future Missus. In terms of expendable income, I’ll never have another job that comes close to what I had there. I left there in the summer of 2002, and I haven’t set foot inside since…

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Job #8College Student.
Length Of Service2002/2004
Salary$22,000 debt; out of pocket.

I consider being a college student a job. Who wouldn’t? Following a long line of doing things for myself because I had to, I bought myself another reliable automobile, got a tiny apartment with the Missus, and wrote a hefty check for a two-year music, sound and business program in Madison. Sometimes I went to classes. Sometimes, I slept until noon and never wore pants. Sometimes I went to classes without pants.

I did well. Very well, in fact. I got to learn a ton about music and music business, produced a few albums on the amazing equipment the school had to offer, and eventually got some writing work based on my degree. Sure, I’ll be paying off the loans for the rest of my life (6 figures after interest), but what else could I do? The big city was calling, and I’m not down with suckling on the Government’s (or anyone’s) withered teat. I was getting sick of people thinking I was spoiled or lazy (based on what you know about me now, does that honestly sound anything like me?), and I had been taking care of myself for this long, so I have no regrets in the matter. The best way to handle things is to do them yourself, and there was no way in hell I was going to stay at the hardware store for another year.

I don’t really talk about the college thing much, mainly because it was kind of a blur and it’s not incredibly exciting to anyone but tech nerds like myself. The most important part of those two years were me and the Missus adjusting to roommate and independent life. We pulled it off without a hitch, and that’s so much more important than my silly degree. Eventually, the loans started to take their toll and the Missus wasn’t bringing in enough cash for our lavish lifestyle, so I used my charm and zero office experience to land a position at the State level…

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Job #9Receptionist/Mailroom At State DRL.
Length Of Service2004/2005
SalaryDude, I worked in a mailroom. You figure it out.

In trying to get into state service, I blew a ton of interviews before getting the formula down right. One particular interview had me sitting bleary-eyed and delirious in front of a room full of suits. They asked me what my biggest flaw was, and I scoffed and murmured, “Modesty.” They got my ass outta there pretty quick. Eventually, my current office hired me and I started on the ground floor, answering phones and opening mail all day.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice enough job. It’s just that I’m not built to answer 300 phone calls per 8-hour day. I don’t like talking on the phone, although I was decent enough at it. Usually I did mailroom stuff, which allowed me to meet a lot of the higher-ups and establish contacts. People started to notice how efficiently and super-awesomely I got work done, and supervisors started fighting over me. Everyone, including myself, wanted me doing a job where I could use my brain and make decisions.

After a year of this, I interviewed for, and was offered a few higher-paying jobs downtown. I was loyal to my office, however, and played hardball for a job that I wanted in-house. Eventually, the bargaining paid off, and I took the position in the Examination Office that I hold to this day…

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Job #10Exam Administrator At State DRL.
Length Of Service2005/?
SalaryJust enough to not have to burn my cats for warmth.

Well, here we are. This was the State job that I fought for, and I’m settling in quite nicely. For the time being, it will pay the bills and keep the household happy. I’ve talked about this before, but basically I work with state testing for professional licensing. Doctors, Chiropractors, Real Estate Agents, Engineers, Nurses, Accountants, almost anything that you pay someone else to do for you, they go through me.

I keep quiet in my corner cubicle, bringing in another toy from the rumpus room every day for flair. The crew here is good, and my Exam Office only has 4 other employees, so that rules. I work under an ‘Examination Specialist’ that’s on the verge of retirement, so if they decide I’m game to take his place, I can look forward to a salary of about $50,000 a year. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t take it even if they asked me. My job is stressful enough as is; I don’t need the damn Governor and about 10 TV stations yelling at me because a serial killer got issued a Medical license.

We had a big Medical Board hearing here several months ago in the matter of a Doctor who sexually abused patients and colleagues. He was also an honest-to-God midget. When I got to work, there were protesters and news crews everywhere, waving signs and blocking the doorway. After the hearing was over, the midget in question was drowning in microphones and lawyers, and he started freaking the hell out. He was pushing people around and shouting obscenities. Some days here are better than others.

So, what have we learned about me? Well, I’m not all that lazy. In fact, I’m very goal-driven and task-oriented. I’ve had a lot of crappy jobs, most of which foreshadow equally crappy life experiences. My autobiography is a best-seller that doesn’t exist yet, and I can’t trust anyone else to take care of me but myself. I’m not a professional writer yet, but maybe it’s better that way.

What have I learned about life? Well, I learned that Golf Course mowers need experienced drivers behind the wheel. Babe Winkleman is a fraud. A good way to die is to work on a farm. A good way to die inside is to work at a bar. All siding salesmen are terrible people. You can sneak into movies without getting into trouble, provided you buy some popcorn. Small towns are just as seedy as huge ones, if not seedier. College isn’t so bad, and Hmongs have brittle bones. Those are rules to live by, people.

So, what will be Job #11 on the list?

Bikini Inspector, God willing.