Breakfast Served Anytime.

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Wisconsin is for lovers. Lovers of cheese, scotch and fireworks mainly, but lovers of all kinds are welcome. Your money spends the same regardless, and our taxes are quite reasonable.

THURSDAY.

On Thursday morning, me and the Missus packed our bags and traveled 50 miles west of the Twin Cities to Annandale, Minnesota. The five hour drive is a wonderful trip through the scenic and lush countryside of western and northwestern Wisconsin. If you’ve never had the opportunity to do so, I suggest you devote a weekend to it sometime before you die. Unless, of course, you plan on dying soon. Then, you may want to consider spending your final precious hours in other ways. I recommend bowling or having your pet spayed.

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(The 356 mile killing spree has begun.)

If you remember from back in the day, me and the Missus got married at the very same Bed & Breakfast we were headed back to. It was the first time since the wedding that we got to spend some time there, and it was really quite overdue. We had reservations for Thursday and Friday nights, along with a 1-hour psychic reading on Thursday evening. Not to mention, this all came with the promise of some of the best food I have ever eaten. The woman who runs the place is a gourmet chef (along with being a psychic, seamstress, ghost hunter and caretaker), and she has yet to make something for me that wasn’t amazing. I always forget to take pictures of my food, as I’m usually too busy sneaking large handfuls of it into the Missus’ purse.

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(“Room 201: Where the magic happens.”)

We showed up and unloaded in ‘The Renaissance Room,’ which according to the summary on the page, contains:

A queen-sized bed, electric fireplace, an old-fashioned claw-footed soaking tub with shower and a pull-chain commode. This room can be busy with ghostly activity, however, if you choose not to have visitors, tell them and they respect that.

Done.

Our psychic reading wasn’t until 8pm, so we headed out into downtown Annandale for some dinner. We found a nice place on the river that made a mean Alfredo and a strong daiquiri, so we were pretty much set for the night. We got back to the B&B just in time to watch American Idol, and eventually settled down for our reading.

This was the second time we got a reading here (the first was a year before we were married), and this one was decidedly more positive. This makes sense, because around the time of the first reading, we were in a rather negative place. Weather or not psychics exist or are the real deal doesn’t mean that much to me, because this person in particular is incredibly logical and intuitive, and you’d probably learn something about yourself no matter what. For example, turns out I like socks a whole lot. Who knew?

Consider the following, however.

Me and the Missus have been talking almost every day about buying a house. Essentially, we’ve been going on about the logistics, finances and reality of owning a home by this summer. This has been the main topic of conversation between the two of us as of late, although we made no mention of it in the B&B. Our desire to move out of our apartment grows more urgent with every sleepless night spent listening to the neighbors canoodling like junkyard rabbits.

Before the reading, Sharon (the reader) will ask you to write down three questions each that you would like answered at some point during the reading. Me and the Missus wrote these questions down during dinner on the lake, stuck them in our pockets and didn’t even mention them to each other beforehand. My number one question was if she could foresee us moving in the near future.

So, fast-forward to the reading. Me and the Missus gather into her office, and before we even sat down, she looked at me and said, “Thinking about buying a house, aren’t you?

Instead of instantly walking out like I wanted to, I slowly nodded and became damp in the pant area.

“It’s coming up real quick for you, probably this summer.”

Now, speaking logically and skeptically, it would make sense for her to think that we were looking to buy a home, considering that we have been married for almost two years and whatnot. However, it’s still quite the impressive feat. Take from that what you will. As I said, the readings went quite well. What did we talk about? Not telling. Afterwards, we played a game of Scrabble (I owned the Missus) and went to bed.

A quick word on ghosts. This place is haunted. Really, truly haunted. The B&B has been featured in many books and TV shows concerning haunted places, which is why we found out about it in the first place. Most of the guests of our wedding claimed that one thing or another had happened to them during their stay. Some of these things I experienced firsthand, otherwise I wouldn’t have believed them at all. The B&B is a renovated railway motel, and it’s simply crawling with energy and overwhelming creepiness. Just off of the tracks, the trains blare through the town about every hour throughout the night, springing you out of bed and casting shadows across the walls. That all being said, it’s pretty much the neatest place I could recommend to you, and the beds are nice and comfortable to stay up all night in, scared to death of closing your eyes for fear of being eaten.

The trick with the ghosts is that you have to invite them into your room if you want havoc to ensue. If you prefer not to poop the bed, it’s best to let them know that you want them to stay out. Even though I’m a skeptic until I’m proven otherwise, I made it a point to properly exorcise my room before going to sleep. Neither of us experienced anything odd during this most recent stay, which was great, but kind of a bummer at the same time. Nonetheless, I brought a few spare pairs of pants and boxers just to stay on the safe side.

FRIDAY.

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(Sadie was the resident cat, and for $25, she’d spoon with you for the night.)

This is Sadie, one of the two cats that live at the B&B. You’ll notice that she’s on our bed, where she stayed for the duration of our stay. She rules like that. She’s also a good 25 pounds.

At 9am sharp, we were showered and sharply-dressed, because you do not want to miss breakfast here. As we happened to be the only ones in the building on Friday morning, we had the entire dining area to ourselves for the most important meal of the day. On the menu was French toast with assorted fruits, lemon muffins and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. It completely and totally kicked my ass. It’s one of those meals where you almost don’t want to eat anything for fear of messing up the expertly-designed creation. Then, once you start eating, you cannot stop until everything has been digested. It’s a love/hate relationship; much like the one I have with Ryan Seacrest.

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(“Wha-WHAT!? No guns! What kind of Orwellian dictatorship is this!”)

With our stomachs bursting with food and drink, we headed east to the Mall of America in Bloomington. We had money to spend and an entire day to spend it. I also had my Mom’s Express charge card burning a hole in my pocket. She gave it to me as a small gift for the vacation, and I honestly felt like a dirty trust fund baby charging things to it, but she rules for letting me do so. Besides, I bought some sexy clothes, so everyone wins. Thanks.

Here then, is the day in pictures. I appear in most of them, and for that, I apologize.

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(Here we see the CDP re-evaluating his hipster status.)

The Apple Store didn’t have anything I could bring myself to buy; even a holder for my Shuffle was $35. It did, however, rekindle my interest in purchasing a laptop for writing on the fly. Maybe I’ll get one for Christmas. Hell, if they would have sold laptops at Express, I could have just charged it to my Mom.

At Macy’s, I found a wool Calvin Klein sweater marked down from $80 to $30. I couldn’t afford not to buy it! As a side note, they don’t have sales tax on clothing, so $30 means $30, and that’s good news. I’d gladly pay sales tax in their state, though, if it meant that the endless construction would end. Wisconsin taxes are through the damn roof, but at least our roads are nice. The next time you get stuck in a traffic jam in Wisconsin, let me know and I’ll send you a CDP t-shirt and a billion dollars, cuz’ it ain’t happening.

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(“6 Jerks and a Jerk,” a conceptual piece by: the CDP.)

Why are all the mannequins at stores headless nowadays? Is this how the retailers see consumers now? Nameless, faceless torsos? Beats me, but I bought one of everything.

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(How many times can I take this type of photo before it’s not funny? Answer: Unlimited.)

Honestly now, what does this even represent? A stock boy not doing his job, that’s what. In truth, I bought nothing at the Gap, because their pants suck and they never have anything nice in a small but t-shirts that I already own. They need an original idea, or at least do better at the one they’ve been milking all this time. I can’t believe how gay I sound right now.

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(The women who work here smell like a sexy chemical explosion, and also look the part.)

The Missus disappeared in Sephora for a while, dragging her forearm across the shelves and catching everything that fell into her shopping bag. While she was satisfying her cosmetic needs, I was filling up on truffles at the Lindt store and trying not to look suspicious.

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(So many bunnies on the table. So many bunnies.)

40 truffles for $10? Are you kidding me? I’ll take the entire south wall, and giftwrap it, please.

A Truffe store to me is much like what a porn store is to most other men. I walk around, looking shady and amazed at the new products and arrivals. “Wow, they’ve got them in Peanut Butter now? Can they do that?”

Not finished with my Japanese candy fix just yet, I had to stop at Suncoast to grab some Pocky for the road.

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(Proud sponsor of Fighting Seizure Robots!)

When you’re eating the best candy in Japan, you’re eating the best candy in the world. Pick up some Pocky today. I was not paid to say that, but it would have been a lot cooler if I was. I ate a box of them just writing this last paragraph.

As if I wasn’t splurging enough today, I decided to do something very kind for myself and pick up a new watch. The one I’ve been wearing for the past year and a half has treated me well, but my left wrist was in the mood for a change in style. Besides, I bought my right wrist a DVD player for Christmas, and I didn’t want them thinking I played favorites. The Fossil store had just what I wanted. Check it ‘oot:

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(“Women come from blockz-n-blockz, just to get a taste of my left wrist rocks.”)

Diamonds and steel, baby. It’s as close to being a pimp as I can get without the Missus making fun of me. I quietly put the giant belt buckle, ‘crunk ice tray’ and ‘Thug Life’ medallion back on the shelf, and stopped pressing my luck.

Finally, I reached Express and put the charge card to good use, picking out a nice outfit for those special occasions with my Mistress that the Missus doesn’t know about, but eventually will run into at a socially crippling time, like a funeral or hospital visit.

Such a funny sentence.

I got a new pair of ‘producer pants,’ a new tie, belt and dress shirt. What do you think?

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(Daddy’s home from the salt mines, and he wants a little sugar.)

That’s right, you just became slightly more sexually attracted to me than you were when you saw me in the Gap store photo. I dig it, and I won’t hold it against you in the future. Also, it may not show up well on the photo, but what I’m wearing isn’t just all black and monochrome. You’d have to ask the Missus for material and design details, but she assures me that it looks good, so into the bag it went.

The total for the outfit? $220. Thanks, Mom. I won’t even bother coming home for Christmas.

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(Tucci Benucch is Italian for “Curly Fries.”)

Before we left the mall, we stopped at Tucci Benucch for the finest Italian cuisine you could get within 15 feet of Camp Snoopy. It was quite good, but I was actually still stuffed from breakfast, so most of my Spinach-Garlic Gnocchi ended up in the trash. Not cool, but still very tasty and memorable. Where else can you get a complimentary appetizer from the chef while watching someone cut up the Dance Dance Revolution machine?

We got back to the B&B, and I instantly called my Mom to apologize before she checked her statement online. We then played another game of Scrabble (the Missus destroyed me) and went to bed. It’s amazing how good you can sleep when there aren’t neighbors invading your every waking second. I was already thinking about how much I didn’t want to go back home to them.

SATURDAY.

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(“Hey, I’m Gabe. Did you miss me? I puked on the carpet again.”)

Once again, we were awake and ready to go by 9am, as breakfast wouldn’t wait for mere mortals like us. On the menu today was a quiche with assorted fruits in a yogurt sauce, complete with cajun spices and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. Darn, that’s all?

Shortly after breakfast, we loaded up the car, thanked Sharon profusely and headed back home to Wisconsin. We wanted to get back home before night, so we would have time to put everything away and clean the house up in preparation of a Sunday spent doing nothing.

Was that a run-on? I never know.

The five hour drive back home was peaceful and quiet. We chatted about the good time we had, listened to a few albums and made a point to stop in every backwoods rest stop on the Interstate for some reason. I set the cruise at 80, and we were home in record time.

It’s good to be back. What did you do while I was away? Sound off in the comments section.

The Perfect Spring Is Waiting Somewhere.

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The CDP is taking a mini-vacation to the Twin Cities, and will return early next week.

Where are we going, you might ask? Well, the haunted Bed and Breakfast where me and the Missus got married is calling our names, and who are we not to answer? I mean, really, who are we? We’re looking forward to a few days of rest, relaxation, a psychic reading, ghosts by the truckload and the Mall of America, in that exact order. It’ll also be nice to get away from the neighbors for a while. Who knows? Maybe when we come back, she’ll finally be pregnant. The neighbor, I mean. Not the Missus.

There will be no Lost Friday this week, as they showed a re-airing of the two-hour pilot episode. I’ll be back next week with photos and witty banter; along with ghost stories, a brand new Lost Friday and the assorted goodness you’ve come to expect here at the CDP. I’m actually just taking this vacation to gather new material.

Until then, fill up the comments section with random chatter, and take care of the place while I’m gone. See you soon.

Man Your Battle Stations.

The following post has once again been rated:
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For sexual content and dialogue. Please make it all stop, I beg of you.

Loud Neighbor Update – Part IV:
‘A New Hope.’

If you’re just catching up on the ongoing, wide-awake nightmare that is my loud neighbors, let me get you all squared away. I have neighbors who like to get loud in the bedroom, and I don’t mean by playing Scattergories, yo. Exceedingly loud. FAA citation loud. If you want to start from the beginning (which I recommend), you can read PART ONE, PART TWO and PART THREE right here. I can wait; I’ve got nothing but time.

Ready to continue? Splendid!

Approximately two days after the neighbors (presumably) received the ‘shut the hell up’ note from the leasing office, we saddled back up in the bedroom to see if we could finally attempt a decent night’s sleep. We had assumed they should have gotten the point by now, after putting on such a show for the last two months. I was getting some writing done that night, so the Missus went to bed a little bit before me. I tucked her in, smooched her forehead and clicked off the light switch.

No less than five minutes later, I heard her come out of the bedroom.

I can hear them,” she called upstairs to me.

Damn it,” I muttered under my breath. “Are they as loud as they usually are?

What?

I mean, are they making an effort to be more quiet?

What? No!

Damn it. Honey, I really don’t know what to do. I guess we can give them another day and check again with the leasing office.

Well, I need to get some sleep. Goodnight.

Goodnight.

She closed the bedroom door, and three seconds later I heard the unmistakable sound of the Missus slamming her fist feverishly on the bedroom wall. It had finally happened. We were making our voices heard.

I’M SICK OF THEIR CRAP!” She yelled.

Upstairs, I cringed. I honestly felt some sympathy for the neighbors. After all, it would appear like they are trying (and failing) to get pregnant, and that can’t be a good thing. That being said, this 24-hour a day freak show can’t continue on any longer. They’ve firmly ignored two cease-and-desist letters now, including one sent by the leasing office. After the Missus’ tirade, I didn’t hear them again for the rest of the night.

She showed them. For now.

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“Yeah, baby! This post is Tony Little approved! You can do it!”

Over the next few nights, it was tolerable, but not pleasurable. You could tell that they were making a conscious effort to (sometimes) tone down the exclamations and whatnot, but we could still hear everything. The main problem is the wall that separates us. I mean, we can hear them just talking through the damn thing, so there’s nothing they can do in that bedroom that’s going to go unnoticed by us when we’re directly on the other side. The same goes for us pertaining to them. It’s a real pain, considering the leasing office told us the walls were ‘soundproof’. Bull roar!

We honestly thought about moving. We thought about turning the downstairs bedroom into the new rumpus room, and moving our bedroom goods up to the loft.

All of this sounded like far too much work, however, so we put in some earplugs and turned the fan on full blast.

So, here we are. Sleeping with earplugs in. We keep the bedroom door closed to keep the cats out, which in turn, leaves all the heat out. Keep in mind that it’s currently 15 below outside, and we now have a running fan to deal with. I don’t know how long I can keep this deaf, shivering charade up, but it’s a good quick fix for now. Also, if the house starts on fire, I know I’ll just sleep right though it.

We’re starting to come to the harsh realization that these two bedrooms are always going to be linked and paper-thin. I like to consider ourselves good neighbors, doing what we can not to annoy them like they have annoyed us, and once they have this baby, we’re thinking the 24-hour party people will finally give it a rest for a spell. It’s not the solution I wanted. Hell, it’s not the solution you wanted, but as long as the Missus gets her 8 hours in, I’m a happy guy.

However…

That all being said, this matter is far from over. These people are continuing to bother us, so if we just plain get sick of masking the noise, we’re going to march right over there and confront them face-to-face. We also plan on audio recording the goings-on; heck, we have a lot of weapons at our disposal. They have no idea what we can do to them.

You might want to stick around. We’re down, but we’re far from out. That battle is just beginning.

What would you do? Sound off in the comments section, and draw up a plan with me.

Subbin’ It Up.

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(Yes, this entire post is about sub sandwiches. Sure, it’s humorous and informative enough, but I’ll understand if you want to skip it. Please don’t, though. I’d be just shattered.)

I love subs about as much as legally possible. Believe me, the law is not flexible on these things.

I’d eat them 3 meals a day if I could survive the lethal strain it would put on my heart. For my money, they are as close to perfect as food can be. You have great tasting, soft bread (Garlic Herb is my favorite), a thick, artery-sludging inch of heavy mayo, expertly sliced cheeses of your choice, fresh shredded lettuce and crisp, red onions to top off this most wondrous creation. As I don’t eat meat, that’s all I take in my sub, and it’s all I will ever need to be truly happy.

I could go for one right now. In fact, I’ll be right back. Hang on a minute.

Okay. As I was saying, sub sandwiches make me happy. However, because they cost money and aren’t good for me at all the way I like them, I’ve been restraining myself to only one per work week for lunch. The remaining four days, I’m stuck with frozen pasta or macaroni and cheese. Believe you me, I look forward to ‘sub day’ like I look forward to payday.

In Madison, we have approximately 68 million different sub franchises. Cousins, Subway, Blimpie, Milio’s (formerly Big Mike’s), Sub’s Ahoy!, Yellow Submarine, Tubby’s Subs, Sub-Machine, Rub-A-Dub-Subs, George Michael’s Sub Machine; the list goes on forever (I might have made the last few up, I can’t remember). It’s one of the reasons I’m never moving, along with the fact that my wife and cats live here. This abundance of sandwich goodness makes them all very hard to resist, but it has given me a great cross-section to sample and rate. I’ve been to every sub shack in this fine city, and have become a pro when it comes to the beautiful dance that is sandwich creation and consumption.

I’m offering today’s post as a public service announcement to other fellow sub lovers. Heed my words, I’m about to make your next sub experience worlds more enjoyable.

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Let’s get right down to it. When it comes to the bottom-of-the-barrel, lowest common denominator, absolute worst sub franchise in America, Subway wins this contest, hands-down. It may be the biggest and baddest franchise in the nation, but overall, they can’t hold a greasy candle to anyone else in the game.

For starters, their portions are out of touch. They’re still sticking with the tried-and-true 6 and 12-inch styles. For the same price, you can get a 7 and 14-inch sub at Cousins or an 8 and 16-inch sub at Milio’s (a Dane county staple). That’s an extra 4 inches for free! That should be enough right there to send you elsewhere. I’ve been known to cross state lines just to get the sandwich I happen to be craving at the time.

Secondly, they have the worst customer service I have ever seen (not to mention, the ugliest store design on earth). Every single time I walk into a Subway, I’m instantly reminded of why I should never go there again, and feel like I’m about to be shot in the back of the head.

For some reason, Subway always seems to hire one of two types of terrible employees.

The first type is the attitude and angst-ridden high schooler. This young boy or girl hates their job so much that they refuse to even look at you during the course of the entire transaction. They talk openly about hating their job, even as they make your sandwich, and will take frequent breaks to do other things during the process. Because of their lack of eye contact, you’ll need to tell them what you want on your sandwich a half-dozen times, and they’ll still get it wrong. Eventually, they’ll spot a friend of theirs, and spend the next five minutes talking to them while your lunch slowly spoils behind the sneeze-guard. For the time it takes them to construct this ragged masterpiece, I could have jumped behind the counter, killed everyone wearing an apron and still made the sandwich faster.

That’s another thing I can’t stand about Subway. The ‘Sandwich Artist’ buttons those employees have to wear. It’s not an art form to put edible things in between bread for the purpose of consumption. Besides, I have never been handed a sub that made me want to place it behind a velvet rope for viewing. At least, not one from Subway.

The second type of employee is the attitude and angst-ridden middle-ager. Clearly, I’m not being judgemental concerning age here, because the young and old can equally suck at making my sandwiches. This specific type of person makes your sandwich with such staggering contempt and apathy, you think they’re going to slit your throat or pass out, whatever’s easier for them at the time. They don’t even try to hide the fact that they hate you with the flaming intensity of a thousand suns.

It never fails. I’ll walk into a Subway, and a 6 foot 4, 600 pound Sandwich Artist will stand there with her hands on her hips, looking at me as if I wasn’t wearing pants. Head cocked, eyes wide open, just counting down the seconds in her head until she can take her break and never see me again.

What you want?

Um, a foot-long, please. Just lettuce, cheese and mayo.

(She’s not making eye contact with me, therefore she’s not hearing a damn word I’m saying.)

Hmmm!?

Um…just lettuce, cheese and mayo. Foot-long, please.

(At this point, she starts constructing my 6-inch sandwich. Without even looking up at me…)

Lettuce?

Yes, lettuce.

You want cheese?

Yes, please.

6 inch?

No, a foot-long, please.

(At this point, she looks up at me like I somehow made a mistake that completely and utterly destroyed her day. Now angry at me for supposedly changing my mind about the length of my sandwich, she exhales loudly and starts over.)

Want sprouts?

No, thank you. Just lettuce, cheese and mayo.

(Another heavy exhale. The phone rings, and as she walks away to answer it, knocks my entire half-made sub into the vat of sprouts. Later, she pretends it didn’t happen, seemingly forgetting that the barrier between the two of us is made of glass. I say nothing, for fear she will yell at me. I’m running late as is.)

What else?

What? Nothing, thank you.

It is at this point where she wraps my sandwich up in paper, but realizes that she put way too much lettuce in it to close properly. Instead of rectifying the situation, she just flattens the sandwich temporarily and wraps it up as quickly as possible, essentially spring-loading the damn thing to surprise me later. When I take it back to the office to enjoy, I notice that the sub package is all but vibrating with pressure, waiting to explode all over me. All it takes is for me to put a slight tear into the side of the paper for the entire sandwich to come sproinging out like a worm-filled can of novelty peanuts. Lettuce and mayo covers my important documents and newspaper. Thanks, Subway.

It should be mentioned that everything I just said has happened to me at one point or another.

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Look, it’s not all bad, though. Mainly because every other sub joint in the city is amazing. Cousins is my favorite.

Why? Because they hire ex-convicts.

Former inmates make good sandwiches because they don’t want to go back to jail. They put far more pride into their work than teenagers, and understand efficiency and assembly-line ethic from their prison and factory experience. They were tailor-made to make sandwiches for a living.

They always call me ‘sir,‘ and talk nice and loud. They’re usually missing a tooth or two, so they whistle when they talk.

Isss that all, sssssir?

Yup, that’ll do it, thanks.

Sssssix sssssixteen, sssssir! You wanna reccccceipt?”

Thanks!

They really shine when it comes down to the science of a sandwich. They are quick-draw ninjas with the condiments, and keep the mayo in a holster.

Ex-ssssstra mayo, sssssir?

Sure!

(He then pulls a bottle of mayo from the holster in his side-pocket, twirls it three times and splorts it liberally onto my Garlic Herb bread before twirling it again and placing it back in its chamber. It’s usually at this point when I place a dollar or two in the tip jar. It’s worth it, because I didn’t just get a sub, I got a show!)

Speaking of which, should you tip at fast food places? Some people think not, because they aren’t doing the normal tasks of a waiter at a restaurant. Personally, I tip when they do a good job. For example, if I go to a place so many times that they know my order by heart, that just earned them an extra dollar. way to go!

In conclusion, I don’t like Subway. Sub sandwiches rule; you might want to consider eating one for lunch or dinner today. Tell ’em the CDP sent you; they probably know who I am. Sound off in the comments section, and tell me what you like on your sub.

Very Emergency.

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How do you cope? Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy your Monday.

Before you go, I’ve got some hardware to hand out.

Image hosting by Photobucket This week’s Commie Award is being given to the entire United States Olympic Team. They’re receiving this award mainly because it’s the only accolade they’re going to be getting this time around.

Every two years, I can always look forward to the inevitable choke that is the US Olympic Team. Thank you for once again not letting me down. Enjoy your award, and make sure everyone gets to spend a night alone with it, crying and wondering where it all went so very wrong.

Okay, now you can leave. See you tomorrow.

Lost Friday – "One Of Them."

Season 2 – Episode 14 – “One Of Them.

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

This was an odd episode. Odd in that it was important, heavy and extremely conducive to the plot; however, this was all accomplished with a handful of characters and only three storylines. A true Lost rarity, considering their cast is a little over two dozen at this point.

What they did this week they did very well, throwing just the right amounts of mythology and conflict into a truly exciting and dark episode, on the heels of yet another week of reruns.

So, how’d they pull it off? For that, we go to the skinny, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In flashback, the 1991 American invasion of Iraq is underway. Sayid is seen ordering soldiers to burn and shred documents. Some are resisting, and as Sayid’s commander orders them to continue, American troops burst in and attempt to identify the commanding officer. Sayid informs them their commanding officer has abandoned them.

Sayid is held captive by the Americans, who have captured his CO. Acting as a translator, Sayid attempts to get his CO to reveal the location of a captive American pilot. Sayid’s CO tells him to grab the American’s gun and kill as many as he can. Pressured by the Americans, Sayid resorts to torture and learns that the pilot was executed. Though he is thanked by the Americans, who are pulling out, Sayid vows never to torture again.

On the island, Ana-Lucia takes Sayid into the jungle and he tells her to go back after seeing a woman walking nearby. Sayid follows the women quietly; it is Danielle. She tells him she was looking for him and was going to come to his tent that night. She asks him to follow her, but he doesn’t trust her, since the last time they met she set up a diversion and stole Claire’s baby. She gives him her gun as a symbol of trust.

She takes him to a man she captured, who is in a net hanging from a tree. Danielle tells Sayid not to let him go, because she thinks he is “one of them”. The man identifies himself as Henry Gale from Minnesota, saying he crashed in a hot-air balloon on the island about four months ago. Sayid frees the man, who attempts to flee before Danielle shoots him in the back with an arrow. When Sayid says she almost killed him, she replies that if she wanted to kill him she would have done so already. She says that he must be tied up and brought to their doctor.

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(Rousseau and Kate giddily discuss boys, hair products and pillow fights.)

Meanwhile, Sawyer is unable to sleep due to a chirping noise coming from the jungle. He asks Jin to help him but he ignores Sawyer. Sawyer goes into the jungle and finds Hurley eating from a hidden stash of food from the hatch. Hurley says a tree frog is making the noise. Sawyer blackmails Hurley into tracking the tree frog, agreeing not to tell anyone else that Hurley has a secret stash of food.

Sayid brings Henry to the hatch and tells Locke the man claimed he and his wife were in a hot air balloon that crashed on the island. Jack interrupts and notices Henry’s injury. Sayid says they wanted to learn as much as they can about the man while he is still wounded. Jack intervenes and treats the man by removing the arrow from his shoulder. Sayid asks Locke to change the combination so he can find out more by torturing Henry. Sayid tells Jack to put him in the armory so no one else will see him. There, Sayid closes the door behind him, locking out Jack and Locke.

Sayid interrogates Henry, who says he and his wife were in a hot air balloon crossing the pacific ocean when they crashed four or more months ago on the north shore. He said he was rich because he owned a company that mined for non-metallic minerals. He met his wife at the University of Minnesota. She got sick with a fever and died three weeks ago. He describes his hot air balloon and says he dug his wife’s grave near where they crashed.

Meanwhile, Sawyer and Hurley find the frog. Hurley offers to release it deeper in the jungle, but Sawyer suddenly kills the frog in his hand.

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(Under an HMO, this is usually the best hospital you can get.)

Henry is unable to recount the specific details of burying his wife. Sayid believes he is lying about his identity, stating he would know everything about digging his wife’s grave. He beats Henry as Jack and Locke listen from outside. Jack takes action by holding Locke, telling him he will only let him go if he opens the door. The timer goes below a minute and Locke complies by unlocking the armory. Locke arrives at the computer and begins typing the code. However, in his haste he mistypes and has to waste time correcting it. As the timer passes zero, Egyptian hieroglyphs are displayed accompanied by the sound of a machine “spooling up,” like a jet engine turbine. Locke presses two buttons on the computer which are presumably the code, resetting the clock and causing the sound to die down. Jack stops Sayid and locks Henry back in the armory.

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(Man, Claire gets scooped up so much, she should come with handles.)

Sayid is back on the beach talking to Charlie about what happened in the hatch. He thinks Henry is an “Other” because he feels no guilt about torturing him. He states Jack and Locke will never understand that feeling, because they have forgotten what the Others have done to them. He asks Charlie if he remembers that the Others hanged him from the tree and that the Others are merciless.

Well, there you go. There’s a lot to pick apart this week, so let’s go to the numbers.

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(What is she holding under her arm? A trout? Just curious.)

4. The first big easter egg of the episode was the realization that Kate’s dad was responsible for the initial capture of Sayid during the Gulf war. If that didn’t hammer the point home hard enough, we were treated to a nice (real) photo of Kate when she was younger. The big question is if Kate and Sayid will ever make this connection.

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(“For British eyes only.”)

Speaking of the flashbacks, take a look at the top secret footage that was shown to Sayid. You’ll notice that the code numbers on the frame read 23108-42. Yet another little writers secret that will keep me up at night, speculating.

Personally, I believe that Henry Gale is an Other. Sayid’s right; he would have remembered burying his wife in perfect detail, considering that he apparently did it three short weeks ago. Also, it should be noted that Sayid beat the living hell out of him; truly one of the more violent scenes we’ve seen on the show. That little smirk that Henry shoots Sayid just after Jack restrains him was enough to make me want to jump through the TV and kick him in the face myself. This was a good episode for Naveen Andrews to show off his acting chops; he was incredibly convincing.

8. Henry Gale is the name of Dorothy’s uncle on The Wizard of Oz. Take that into consideration when you think about the hot-air-balloon connection. Another argument that Henry is lying.

15. I’m firmly convinced that the writers included the Dharma ranch dressing into the show as a jab to those of us who were complaining about it a few weeks ago. If you remember, a lot of nerds like myself were upset that Michael would shoot a perfectly good gallon of dressing on an island with limited food as is. Now, we see that either Dharma really enjoys ranch, or Desmond really despised it. Your call.

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(As Charlie rambles on, Eko secretly wonders how fast he could saw him in half.)

16. The ‘frog’ scene with Sawyer and Hurley existed for one reason: To prove that Sawyer was an a-hole, plain and simple. He’s such a likeable jerk, that they had to do something to prove he was really mean. Now, Sawyer has the goods on Hurley and Charlie both, so he can use that to dangle over their heads in the future. I especially liked Sawyer’s “ranch dipping” comment.

23. Okay, let’s pick apart this hatch business. The clock hit zero, the other 5 hatch symbols started to pop up (minus the Swan hatch, which they are in), and Locke hit the button just before all hell broke loose. That’s what we know.

The 6 hatches seem to be represented by the 6 stations of the constellation Orion. They are the Goblet, the Arrow, the Swan, the Serpent Handler, the Hunter and the Crow. I looked it up. So far, we’ve seen two of these hatches. When that clock hit zero, it would seem like the other 5 hatches were being ‘called up’ in preparation for whatever happens when that button’s not pressed. The sound was like something big was revving up, perhaps the blast doors were getting ready to drop.

Now, let’s get creepy for a minute. The symbols themselves make enough sense in astrological and symbolic terms (also referring to the experiments that Dharma does in each hatch), but it was the order in which they came up on the clock that are cause for alarm. Heiroglyphics tells us that these symbols are essentially a command to die, or “Cause to die.” See for yourself:

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(Well, something tells me that this will all end quite nicely.)

Does this prove that it’s a self-destruct command, perhaps? Who the hell knows, not me.

42. If you haven’t been a regular viewer of this page, you’re probably not aware of my theory. Everyone has one, but mine still has yet to be disproven. In fact, after last night, it became even more of a possibility. Okay, here goes. Stay with me on this.

My theory is that the numbers are entered every 108 minutes to prevent satellite detection of the island. As long as the numbers are entered in the Electromagnetic hatch, the field it sends up is capable of making the island disappear to radar. This would allow Dharma and Hanso to do whatever they wanted on the island, and keep up the experiments essentially forever. The ultimate irony is that the castaways are essentially avoiding rescue by continually pressing the button.

In Dharma’s mind, when the button’s not pressed, that means that the station must be unmanned or what have you. Instead of an ‘incident‘ (being finally detected and having their utopian society shut down), the clock simply ‘wakes up’ the other 5 hatches, drops the blast doors and self-destructs the whole damn works. No fuss, no muss. It’s not a very exciting theory, but it makes more sense than any other theory I’ve heard so far. Prove me wrong.

If you’ve noticed, almost all of the photos this week are from the next new episode, entitled “Maternity Leave.” This will be a Claire-centric episode, and from the looks of it, is going to be all kinds of crazy.

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(“Welcome to Dharma Hospital. Cash only, please.”)

Here’s the breakdown on “Maternity Leave.” Aaron gets sick. Claire starts to remember what happened to her when she was kidnapped by the others. Determined to find out what’s wrong with Aaron, she tracks down where she was taken, which appears to me a medical-based hatch. Sort of like the Dharma Hospital. True, it doesn’t fit in with the supposed symbols of the 6 hatches, but since it’s a medical facility, it probably can be assumed that it’s separate from the rest of the experimental hatches. From there, Jack and Locke try to keep quiet about the prisoner they have locked in the armory, and continue to attempt to get some answers.

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(A hatch inside of a hatch? You just blew my mind!)

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you next Friday, if you happen to be one of those turds that only reads my page once a week. Sure, Lost Friday has been continuously recognized as the best weekly Lost recap on the net*, but my other stuff is pretty good, too. Check it out; you’ll only be moderately disappointed. Contact me at communistdance@yahoo.com with any questions or nerd mail. As always, here are links to every Lost Friday on the planet:

SEASON TWO – EPISODE 13 REVIEW
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 6

SEASON TWO – EPISODE 12 REVIEW
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

*Sources not yet verified.

Skyrockets In Flight.

The following post has been rated:
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For sexual content and dialogue. The saga continues…

Loud Neighbor Update – Part III
‘The CDP Strikes Back.’

If you remember from this post, and this one that followed, we’ve been having some issues with our next door neighbors, with which we share a bedroom wall. Since late December, they have kept us up at night with their loud, almost acrobatic and Vaudeville-esque intimate moments.

For the first month, I ignored it and the Missus didn’t even know it was happening. In January, it became a round-the-clock sex-travaganza that was impossible to escape from, driving me completely up the wall and into a bout of insomnia and irreversible alcoholism. In February, it started to attract the attention of the Missus, who isn’t to be messed with when she’s trying to get some sleep. Knowing that I’m about as productive as Duke in a ‘don’t suck’ contest, she grabbed this matter by the short hairs and starting getting things done.

Finally, after two months of being annoyed, we wrote a firm-but-fair letter that we slipped in their door, politely telling them to stop bringing us into their sexual exploits. For those too lazy to go back and read it, here’s the note that the Missus sent them:

Hello-

You don’t know me, but I also live in this apartment complex and share a wall with you. You may not be aware of this, but the wall we share is paper thin. I appreciate the fact that you are a loving couple and therefore do what all loving couples do in the comfort of their bedroom. Unfortunately, I’m getting a bit tired of being made a part of it night after night. This is a polite request to perhaps watch the volume on your nighttime escapades. It is beginning to cause me a considerable amount of difficulty in sleeping and also, quite frankly, it’s a bit uncomfortable to become unwillingly part of such an intimate part of your life. Thanks for your understanding!

Wouldn’t you know it, the letter did the trick. We didn’t hear them at all from that point forward.

For about three days, tops.

Now, the neighbors are back with a pornographic vengeance, and we’re actually sleeping in the living room because they’re so loud. I’m starting to think that they both have Tourette’s Syndrome over there; and it makes me wonder how they convinced their respective families that they could function independently.

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(Bill Cosby sez: “Oh, no they didn’t! With the yellin’ and the kissin’ and the shazza-frazza-blazzah! Eat your pudding.”)

Yesterday, we stopped screwing around and took the issue to the leasing office. We’re far too refined to start banging on the wall; we’re going straight to the top, here. So, the Missus goes into the leasing office, and tries to be as tactful as possible with her story:

MISSUS: Um, I’m having a problem with my neighbors. At night, they-

LEASING OFFICE: You can hear them having sex, right?

MISSUS: Yes.

The Missus goes on to say that the noise started in late December, that we wrote them a note to no avail, and it’s so loud we can’t even sleep in our bedroom without getting charged $2.99 a minute.

So, the girl at the leasing office punches their apartment number into the computer, and makes an interesting discovery. First off, they have lived over there for three years. Keep in mind that I never heard so much as a peep or giggle from that side of the wall until after Christmas. Maybe they got something really exciting as a gift, and they’re still celebrating it. Maybe a TiVo or a CraftMatic Adjustable Bed or something.

But, here’s the kicker. They just got married…in late December. Interesting. This leads me to one of two possibilities.

1- They’re trying to have a baby. This is what my first assumption was, considering that they were getting it on anywhere from 4:30 am to 4:22am on any given day of the week. A lot of couples try to get pregnant right after the wedding, as a way to instantly ruin their lives in one fell swoop. This is probably the most logical conclusion. I’m beginning to question their fertility, however. If she doesn’t have a bun in the oven by now, it ain’t never happening. In fact, we’ve become so ingrained into their lovemaking that I’m afraid the Missus is going to get pregnant by osmosis. If this were to happen, we shall name the baby ‘Ungh!’ in honor of the neighbors that made it all possible.

2- They waited until they were married to get it on. This concept is complete and utter bull rip. You don’t live with your fiance’ for three years, and choose to stay celibate until after the wedding. That’s preposterous, and statistically impossible. It can’t be done. Furthermore, if that’s what you believed in, you wouldn’t have moved in together before the wedding anyways. No way.

Well…maybe, I suppose. Almost impossible, but it seems highly unlikely. Judging from what I hear them say through the walls in the heat of passion, they don’t seem like very religious people. I hear the mention of a God or Gods every now and again, but it’s usually taken way out of context, and peppered with blasphemy.

So, it would seem like they are trying to get pregnant over there, and before the post-wedding decision to have a baby, their lovemaking was just too sparse to be noticed by me and the Missus. Good for them! However, like I have said in the past, I can deal with this situation a lot better than I can deal with a crying baby all the time. I cannot stand children; I probably won’t be able to stand my own (I’m half-kidding, here).

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(Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage sez: “Ooooh, yeah! The Macho Man is gunna take those fools down a peg or two! Are you gunna finish that sandwich?”)

But look, baby or not, they are in violation of their lease by making so much noise in the middle of the night. Our leasing office wrote them up a letter, and they should be getting it when they come home from work today. I hate to rain on their baby sex parade (there‘s a search term I’ll be seeing soon on my stats page), but I like to sleep, and their neighbors are far more mindful than ours when it comes to the business of getting down. Hopefully, upon getting a letter from the people they rent from, they will take it a bit more seriously than our pitiful attempt at a compromise.

Now, I didn’t get a chance to see what the leasing office letter’s going to say. Frankly, I’m very curious as to how they will tactfully word it. I know for a fact that I get home from work about 20 minutes before the neighbors do, so maybe I can sneak over there and read it before they come home. Of course, getting caught would mean almost certain death, but I really want to see this letter. Maybe I’ll even have time to scan it and post it here. Oooh, scandal!

More information as it develops. If they don’t stop making so much noise after this attempt, we’re going to start audio recording them, and posting it right here on the CDP, along with names, addresses and phone numbers. Then we’ll slip the web link under their door in the middle of the night. Or better yet, I’d be more than willing to help out in any way I can to finally get this girl pregnant. Blasting Death From Above 1979 through the walls should do the trick; you can’t listen to that album without becoming 92% more fertile.

UPDATE!

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(Bill Cosby sez: “Update!? You got the updatin’ and the not waitin’ and the frizzah-blizzah-blazzah! Eat the puddin’.”)

I came home from work a little early with the specific goal in mind to snag that letter from their door before they got home. I wanted to read what the leasing office had to say, if they mentioned who made the complaint, and how they tackled the delicate issue. I knew that what I was about to do was borderline illegal and certainly a breach of privacy, but the neighbors obviously threw those cares out of the window the day they decided to rock the casbah all hours of the night.

So, I pull into the driveway to see the neighbor guy’s car already there. “What the…hell?” I mutter to myself as I’m putting the car into the garage. Not only can I no longer snag the letter, but he’s almost certainly read it by now, and is crying like a little baby in his echo-blast chamber of an apartment. This was a moment I wanted to be a secret part of, but like every other game in life, I get screwed over more than this guy’s wife.

Dejected, I toddle up the steps to my apartment. Upon reaching the second floor, what do I see?

I see a suspicious-looking envelope from our leasing office…stuffed in the wrong door.

Oh…crap,” I said out loud, looking around to see if anyone else was on the floor. I thought for sure that the leasing office thought that this particular apartment was the one giving us trouble, when in fact it most certainly was not. I could imagine the backlash, as some elderly single man gets a threatening letter, stating for him to keep his sexual activities down. This was something I couldn’t allow to happen; not on my watch.

I got right up to the door, SWAT team-style, and snagged the envelope without standing in front of the peephole. The envelope was sealed, but it was mighty thick, so I’m assuming now that my fears were for naught, and this was just a harmless envelope to a random attendant. Unless, of course, the leasing office decided to enclose a brochure entitled, ‘How to have really quiet sex.’

I still don’t know if the loud neighbors got the letter or not, and it’s only a matter of time before we see how they react to it, or how the wrong apartment renters react to it. It’s amazing what I know about these people, even though I’ve never even seen them before. I guess it must be what it feels like to know so much about me through this page. Far more tactful, however, with less moaning.

What do you think about all of this? Sound off in the comments section with suggestions and stories.

Hey, before I go, here’s some upcoming US releases I’m looking forward to. Henceforth, so should you.

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Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – 02/21

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Architects – Revenge – 02/21

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Smoking Popes – Live At The Metro – 02/28

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Polysics – Now Is The Time! – 02/21

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Streetlight Manifesto – Keasbey Nights – 03/07

Lost Friday will be torn from my loins tomorrow. Five posts in five days? Believe it, baby.

Seriously, someone needs to start paying me to do this stuff. I can rock a deadline like nobody’s business.