CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time – #29.

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #29.
“Hired Goons.”
(Originally published 06-03-05.)

I’m in a bit of a creative rut right now.

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Personally, I blame the weather. Who can focus on anything longer than 4 seconds when you’re constantly peeling yourself off of the furniture? I have an anniversary coming up coupled with a week-long trip to Canada, and I can’t for the life of me think of anything entertaining to talk about. Perhaps this vacation is just what I needed.

Don’t get me wrong, sitting around the house is great. However, I’ve been feeling mostly worthless lately. Not only because my creativity has taken a backseat to humidity, but because I’m dropping the ball around the homefront as well. Normally, I’ll get home and clean the house before the Missus shows up. I pay the bills, balance the checkbook and sometimes even make dinner before she arrives from a job that’s much more difficult than mine (she works on the kill floor of a turkey slaughterhouse). I’m happy with the routine, and the Missus is content.

Nowadays, I come home sweaty and ripe. The humidity makes me feel as if I’m walking through broth, and the only thing I want to do is sit down until dinner is ready. The most I do before the Missus arrives is play a little Mario Kart on the GBA, and change from khakis to jeans. Lazy.
I’ll get out of this rut, I always do. The problem is that I still feel worthless. What I need is a little motivation.

What I need… is Tony Little.

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If Tony Little can’t motivate you, then you’re already dead, brother. This guy was a two-time national body building champion who almost lost everything in a horrible automobile accident some time ago. Since then, his Ab Isolator along with his Gazelle (pictured) have changed his life and the lives of millions of others (quoted directly from memory, I watched a lot of late-night infomercials in the 90’s).

Quite simply, this guy’s going to whip you into shape, or at least scream in your ear until you write him a large check. I was on board.

After some light travel and dining arrangements, Tony was on his way to my house. I was worried that he would be disgusted by what I had become, but I knew that I was doing the right thing for myself. This was going to get me back to top form, and maybe I’d get a cool Gazelle out of the deal. I tried one of those at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few months ago, and I tore my groin so badly that the assistant manager could hear it snap all the way over by the pool tables.

I was laying on my couch with a bottle of New Glarus Spotted Cow beer, when Tony Little kicked in my door, leaving splinters and scattering cats in his powerful wake. He wrestled the beer from my tight grip and smashed the bottle over his head, shaking the shards out of his beautifully groomed, curly blonde hair.

Then he kicked my ass.

It felt like an hour. Maybe two. Turns out it was only a few seconds, but I swore I was going to die. The last thing I remember was Tony raising his massive “Mr. America” trophy over his head, and then everything went dark.

When I woke up, I was a new man. Tony was gone, and he even cleaned up the house (it was included in the fee). The only proof that he was even there came in the form of an Ab Isolator, sitting on my kitchen table with a red bow on it. I was stunned, and most importantly, I was a man again.

It’s only going to get hotter as the months roll on, but thanks to Tony Little and his beating me to within an inch of my life, I’ll function like it’s October all year round. What can’t that man do?

Read. That’s what Tony Little can’t do. Tony Little can’t read.

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time – #30.

CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time - #30.
“Good Morning, Dark Lord.”
(Originally published 04-05-04.)

Mediocre At Best - 2001.

I’m only going to tell this story one more time.

Not only does this week mark the 3rd anniversary of Mediocre At Best’s historic trip to Marquette, Michigan, it also marks the 100th time I’ve told the story of the events. So listen closely, please.

It was April 7, 2001. We had been invited to Marquette by a wonderful young lady named Mercedes. She was doing her best to keep the Upper Michigan punk scene alive by booking bands from further and further south. We had met her at a show in Green Bay some time back, and were more than happy to make the trip. Her folks owned a nice little roadside diner and motel, so we all got to stay there for free. This was all we needed to hear, so we packed our equipment, and hit the road.

We had to take 2 seperate vehicles for the drive. The Missus (‘the Girlfriend’ at the time) and Aaron rode in the van, and me, Ben and Sherry went up in the Chevy Lumina (RIP). The idea of an all-day drive without the Missus nearby was more than a little annoying, and I spent the whole day telling Ben and Sherry that it was so. I got over it, or eventually bitched myself to sleep, or had a ball gag put on me, I can’t remember.

The drive north was beautiful. There was still snow on the ground, lush forests, and no civilization for hours at a time. On the way up, we spotted an out-of-business drive-in with a giant chicken on the top of it. Sensing a great photo-op, we snapped the picture you now see atop this post. Once we started seeing the Canadian flags, we knew we were getting close. Having never been to Canada, I’m sure that Marquette is the closest thing to it that we have in the states. It was a really neat, surreal place.

We get to the motel, meet Mercedes and the two other Wisconsin bands that were on the bill for tonight’s show. First on stage was the Green Bay ska nightmare known as the Kremlin Conspiracy. Then, Milwaukee’s Day Kepler was up, followed by yours truly. The headliners were the local heart-throbs known as Milton. We didn’t get to meet them until we got to the venue, which wasn’t much of a lost opportunity. The Kremlin Conspiracy opted to stay in a different hotel, because they wanted to swim in a pool and steal towels. This bothered me none.

We chatted a bit with the Day Kepler folks, and got along as well as strangers could. After some dinner, we headed out to the Aurora Underground, deep in the heart of Marquette.This venue was great, but a building can only do so much. It was the inhabitants of the building that we had some trouble with. First off, security wouldn’t let Sherry in early because she wasn’t in the band. We pissed and moaned for a while, but being the nice guys we are, just let them go on their power trip, and threw her out into the cold. Sort of. The kids in attendence were just as bad. They valued image over talent, and refused to be impressed by anything, not because they were critical and intelligent, but because they wanted to be jerks. Not only that, but the long drive had taken it’s toll on us too. We were all pretty much fighting with each other most of the night so far.

I had just turned 19; the Missus was 17. Damn

So with everyone mad at each other, and everyone in the crowd already angry, the Aurora Underground was in for an interesting night. The Kremlin Conspiracy came and went, the crowd didn’t care much, and more or less booed them off the stage. Sensing animosity, Day Kepler knew what they had to do. They stepped up there, and unleashed a non-stop barrage of insults and jokes at the expense of Upper Michigan. There were boos, things were thrown, and good rock music was played. It was hilarious, and actually got most everyone there in a better mood.

The band was doing this thing where they would dedicate every song to Satan for some reason, as confused onlookers shrugged and flipped them off. However, people starting moving around and enjoying themselves. I was surprised that Day Kepler left without injury though.

So, when we took the stage, we also knew what we had to do. We didn’t give them a chance to dislike us, because we immediately started freaking out. We channeled a day’s worth of anger and uneasiness into the most energetic show of our short careers. People were hurt, blood was shed, things were thrown, and the crowd loved it. The set ended with me throwing my cymbal stand (and myself) through the drumset. We were liberated, happy, and done. We sold a few CD’s, listened to an overrated Milton play, and headed back to the motel.

The next morning, I rang up Day Kepler (pretending to be Satan), wishing them a safe drive home, and thanks for playing with them and whatnot. Mr. Bojangles, the resident cat of the motel, greeted us in our room and almost got kidnapped by us. The five of us then went to the downstairs restaurant for breakfast before we headed home. The place was full of people, and we stuck out like a sore thumb. There were about 50 or so after-church, conservative, republican breakfast munchers there.

We began talking about last night’s show, and about how funny we thought the “Satan” bit was.


Now, there’s some controversy about what happened next, but I can say with relative certainty that Ben was talking about ‘Satan’ way too loud around these people. Some people think that it was me doing the talking, but it wasn’t. I only started talking when people started to yell at us.

My friends are big babies when it comes to being assertive, so I had to take the reigns and fend off the protest. After some dirty looks and harsh words, someone came over to our table with a Bible or some type of scripture book, telling me to take it with. Say whaaaat?

Here’s where my friends are split. They think I should have just taken it, said thanks and left. But I know I did the right thing. This person had no idea what we were talking about, had no idea that we were totally kidding, and had no idea what kind of people we were. They were completely overstepping their boundaries, and I absolutely hate it when people do that. I slam my door on preachers, and that’s what I did here. I basically told her to go away, and to leave us alone.

I was diplomatic but firm. I could have just as soon told them all to go to hell, made devil horns to the whole damn diner, and left knowing I’d never have to see any of them again. But I didn’t, yet I still come off like an ass.

Eventually, this woman’s Husband restrained her, and we all got back to finishing our breakfasts. We left Marquette, seperate cars and all, never to return. Memories.

Epilogue: 2 members of Day Kepler would go on to form a band called Chevalia Manta, whom we would play another infamous show with some time later. They then went on to a band called the New Blind Nationals, who still play around Wisconsin to this day. Check them out, they’re good.

Milton, The Kremlin Conspiracy and Mediocre at Best would eventually break up in later years. We lasted the longest though, and made the most artistic progress.

Mercedes was never seen or heard from again. We still have a picture of Mr. Bojangles on our refrigerator.

CDP 2006 Fall TV Preview.

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With the Emmy awards over, the 2006 Fall Television Season officially begins. Here’s your guide on what to watch and avoid, courtesy of your friends at the CDP.


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(The Simpsons is older than most of my friends.)

6:00-6:30 – Everybody Hates Chris (CW)

Easily the funniest show on the newly formed CW Network (UPN and the WB are harnessing their powers in an attempt to compete with the ‘Big 4’), we get more Wonder Years-style nostalgia comedy (except with black people!). Here’s hoping a newer and earlier timeslot will give this show the attention it deserves.

6:00-7:00 – America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

Still rolling strong in their 17th season, AFV has delighted us in more testicle-related injuries and public humiliations than any other show in television history. Lowbrow or otherwise, I watch AFV when I want to remorselessly laugh as hard as possible. I’m not even close to sorry.

6:30-7:00 – King Of The Hill (FOX)

After rumors of a cancellation last season, King returns for what will probably be their actual last season. Mike Judge has proved for two decades now that he is the master of subtle culture satire, and King, although lacking in the later seasons, refuses to compromise. Also, I met a guy this year that looks and acts exactly like Dale Gribble.

7:00-7:30 – The Simpsons (FOX)BEST BET!

At the age of 18, The Simpsons is officially old enough to vote, and will be celebrating their 400th episode towards the end of this season. Little else is known about this FOX animated series; if you have any information, please e-mail me.

7:00-8:00 – Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

Do you like terminally ill people? Folks that have it harder than you? Folks that pretend to have it harder than you so they can get a free house? Watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition! It’s all worth it for the last 15 minutes, as you get to see the beautiful finished product that the family won’t be able to afford once the electric bills show up. Honestly, if you can’t work or properly function, how will you be able to keep the lights on in a three-story house?

7:00-10:00 – Sunday Night Football (NBC)NEW!

John Madden & Al Michaels make the jump from Monday to Sunday nights with NBC’s new NFL contract. Watch as Al continues to be the best broadcaster in the business, all while trying to cover up the fact that John Madden’s been drinking in the Maddencruiser all day.


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(Dear Michael Rappaport: Stick to Woody Allen films.)

The War At Home (FOX)WORST BET!

Malcolm In The Middle is out, The War At Home is in. Ever feel like you’ve been cheated? This All In The Family knockoff (with a FOX attitude!) lacks in that it’s not nearly as funny or groundbreaking as All In The Family, which wasn’t all that funny to begin with. If I wanted to listen to ignorant white men rant about ethnic stereotypes, I’d go to more family reunions.

American Dad (FOX)

Seth MacFarlane needs to harness his energy into just one show that sucks, instead of two.

Family Guy (FOX)

I cannot, cannot, cannot believe this show is back. Family Guy reminds me of when Married…With Children was in its last season, and every episode looked like it was written in real-time. Story arc? Character development? Anything even remotely resembling a three-act production? Nope. Family Guy continues to molest the ‘one-off’ joke that The Simpsons destroyed over a decade ago.

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Yes, this show does win the emmy for Best Reality Program every year, but honestly, that’s like winning 10 cents in the lottery. As is the case with most reality programming, the slew of knockoffs have rendered this show stale and saturated. Like everything else on CBS. Get a new idea, folks.

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

If you have serious celebrity issues like I do, then you’d never be able to fully enjoy Housewives. Thinking of all the backstage squabbles and petty spats about money makes me sick, and it completely overshadows the interesting writing and throwback atmosphere. Besides, I heard that the last season sucked out loud; regardless of how purty Eva Longoria is.


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(“Hi, do you have any hand sanitizer I could use?”)

6:30-7:00 – Cheap Seats (ESPNC)

MST3K + Terrible old sporting events = Cheap Seats. If you’re not sold on that, you’re an idiot. I wouldn’t tell you to watch something on ESPN Classic for any old reason.

7:00-8:00 – Deal Or No Deal? (NBC)

Watch in horror as greedy Americans destroy their chances to walk away with a fair amount of cash, and enjoy Howie Mandel trying very hard not to touch anything. Deal!

8:00-10:00 – Monday Night Raw! (USA)

I started watching Raw in June, and God help me, I’m hooked again. Don’t try to save me; I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. The most popular show on cable television is also the best guilty pleasure (and the most entertaining) show on Monday night. Whooo!

8:00-11:00 – Monday Night Football (ESPN)BEST BET!

I’m a little upset that Theisman and company get to take over MNF this year, but if anything, it’s a chance to watch the Packers lose on a whole other network.

9:00-10:00 – Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (NBC)NEW!

Much like 30 Rock, Studio 60 deals with the behind-the-scenes events concerning a late-night sketch comedy show. This show seems to be taking a more dramatic approach, however, and it will be interesting to see how viewers respond to Matthew Perry in a non-sucking role.


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(Everything > The Bachelor.)

Prison Break (FOX)

They just got out of prison now? How much longer can this 1-season idea drag out?

Two And A Half Men (CBS)

Don’t let Charlie Sheen near any children. Growing up is hard enough already.

Wife Swap (ABC)

Want to revitalize this show for a new audience? Make the swap permanent.

The Bachelor (ABC)WORST BET!

Show #2 of the ‘Shows For Women Who Don’t Care What They Watch’ Trilogy is just as tired as Show #1. This sort of reality programming is about as fresh as a corpse.

What About Brian (ABC)

I watched the pilot episode of this program. When it was over, I remembered nothing. Then I realized that I had been in a coma for three weeks. Don’t make the same mistake I made.


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(Exploding eyeballs, testicles and hearts, oh my!)

7:00-8:00 – Standoff (FOX)NEW!

Follow the action-packed lifestyles of hostage negotiators. Plus, that dude from Office Space is in it! I must say that I’m already disappointed with this show. At first, I thought the entire season revolved around one standoff, when in reality they have a new one every week. Not captivating; you need a hook!

7:00-8:00 – American Idol (FOX-Midseason)

It’s back to destroy you in January. If the new group is even half as talented as last year’s crop, I’ll be a happy guy. Also, can’t Katharine McPhee just stop by every once in a while to demonstrate how devestatingly hot she is?

8:00-8:30 – The Knights of Prosperity (ABC)NEW!

Here’s the official release from ABC:

From the creators of Ed comes a sweet, hilarious, tale of haves versus have-nots. For almost 20 years, Eugene Gurkin has dreamt of opening a bar, but his dead end job on the late, late janitorial shift won’t even fund a bottle of premium booze. Call it divine intervention, call it a dumb idea, but whatever it is takes hold of Eugene and soon he recruits a group of misfits into his “gang” for a heist to finance their dreams. The target: Mick Jagger’s super-luxe Central Park West apartment. Working together, this band of new-age Robin Hoods, who have never even shoplifted a candy bar, are soon casing the joint and prepping for their crime.

I’m there.

8:00-9:00 – House (FOX)BEST BET!

Last season’s finale had Dr. House clinging to life after being shot by a disgruntled patient. The commercials claim that he won’t return the same way we remember him, which leads to my theory that he’ll be replaced by a robot within five minutes of the premiere. House is the gold standard for medical dramas, and the fact that it stands out from the giant pack is amazing. Hugh Laurie is the best male actor on television, hands-down.

8:00-9:00 – Dirty Jobs (DISC)

Mike Rowe is a hilarious guy. He spotlights (and participates in) some of the lowest, most vile jobs on the planet, all while maintaining respect and humor for the work. Next to Mythbusters, this is probably the best show on cable right now, so check it out while you can.

9:00-10:00 – ECW (SCIFI)

Sometimes, after a hard day at work, I like to come home and watch a guy get his forehead torn open with a barbed-wire bat. Maybe you’re like me, maybe you’re not. I don’t care; I’m still watching ECW.


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(Welcome to the ‘has-been’ show!)

Gilmore Girls (CW)

Wait…this show is still on? Aren’t they Gilmore Women by now?

Boston Legal (ABC)WORST BET!

William Shatner and James Spader can both go to hell for winning Emmys last year. Anything that takes recognition from Lost is an enemy of mine.

Dancing With The Stars (ABC)

Scientists and statistitians are still trying to figure out why so many people watch this show. As if dancing isn’t boring enough as is, throw in D-list celebs and you have a bona-fide crap sandwich.

The Unit (CBS)

Hooray! Another crime drama! Oh, thank you for the crime drama, CBS! I’m ever so grateful!

Law & Order: Anything (NBC)

Next season, watch for the premiere of Law & Order: Preschool Hall Monitor.


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(It’s on like Donkey Kong, fools.)

7:00-8:00 – Jericho (CBS)NEW!

I’m super-excited about this one. Here’s the press release from CBS:

Thirty-two year old Jake Green plans a brief return to his childhood home in rural and isolated Jericho, Kansas, to much fanfare from his mother and friends, who have had only intermittent contact with him. Jake appears to be hiding something, as each of his interactions with one of the town’s citizens elicits different explanations of why he was out of touch for so long. Despite objections from his mother, Jake plans to leave Jericho as quickly as he arrived.

During Jake’s exit from town, the electronic equipment in and around Jericho begins to fail. At the same time, a mysterious, possibly nuclear explosion occurs to the west, and a mushroom cloud suddenly becomes visible above the Rocky Mountains.

With communications and power out, Jake and the small town of Jericho face the challenge of being physically and psychologically isolated from the outside world – not knowing what is left of that world, or how many others are still alive – and of finding a means of survival in the midst of panic and chaos.

7:30-8:00 – 30 Rock (NBC)NEW!

This is the show that Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch both left SNL to produce. This looks to be one of the funniest shows of the new season; a mockumentary, behind-the-scenes look at the production of a late-night comedy show. Audience or not, I expect this show to be a critical darling.

8:00-9:00 – Lost (ABC)BEST BET!

On October 4, it all begins again. Expect a full Season Three Preview in the upcoming weeks.

8:00-9:00 – Mythbusters (DISC)

Adam & Jamie set out to put each and every Urban Legend to bed on Mythbusters. Watch as they create ingenius contraptions and use brilliant logic to take down some of the most bizarre stories ever told.

8:00-9:00 – Ghost Hunters (SCIFI)

Roto-Rooter plumbers by day, paranormal investigators by night. This is clearly not your typical paranormal show. The TAPS crew goes into haunted places with the intent to debunk and explain away the happenings. Over the last few years, Ghost Hunters is responsible for some of the most amazing paranormal footage ever captured.

9:00-10:00 – The Nine (ABC)NEW!

After being hostages in a foiled bank robbery, the lives of nine people suddenly become interconnected. Shows like this rely 100% on if you like the character or not, so as long as Brad Garret’s not in it, we should all be good to go.


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(Fat is the new Embarrassing. Even I didn’t get that joke.)

The Biggest Loser (NBC)WORST BET!

You want to know who the biggest loser is? You, if you watch this show. Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.

America’s Next Top Model (CW)

Until gay men stop controlling the supermodel market, I will not pay any attention as to what they have to say concerning beautiful women. Sounds like a conflict of interest, if you axe me.

The Loop (FOX)

What was once a promising FOX comedy has descended into the ranks of the ‘poop joke/boob joke/repeat as necessary’ formula. The guy who played Detective Bookman is on this show, however, and often has the best lines. There are far too many good shows on Wednesday nights, however, to waste any time on The Loop.

Criminal Minds (CBS)

Thanks for the new forensic crime drama, CBS. Really, I can’t imagine life without a billion of them.

Lost (ABC)

Hey…wait a minute…


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(“I’m gunna drop a deuce on everybody.”)

7:00-7:30 – My Name Is Earl (NBC)

One of the strongest comedies on TV returns for a sophomore season. Jason Lee continues to cross his past mistakes off of his list, while his wacky group of friends get in the way. Oh, the hilarity.

7:30-8:00 – The Office (NBC)BEST BET!

At the end of last season’s finale’, the ‘will they or won’t they’ tension between Jim and Pam reached a head. This may or may not spell disaster for the returning Funniest Show On Television, but as long as Steve Carrell is at the helm, you shan’t worry.

8:00-9:00 – Supernatural (CW)

I honestly don’t know if I’ll have the time to watch Supernatural this year. It’s a good, spooky and well-written show (for teens, mainly), so if you’re down with a little X-Files Lite, this is the show for you.

9:00-10:00 – Six Degrees (ABC)NEW!

From the producers of Lost, comes a show about the inter-connecting lives of people living in New York City. Wait…this is being produced by the Lost crew? Then who cares what it’s about?


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(Dear O.C.: Die in a fire.)


If you need an explanation, screw you, man.

Survivor (CBS)

They’re splitting up the tribes by ethnicity this season. Shhh, do you hear that? It’s the sound of a dying reality show.


The forensic ratings explosion is back for another season of dead strippers and gratuitous camera angles.

Smallville (CW)

A lot of people care about what life was like for a young Clark Kent. They’re called ‘jackasses.’

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

Grey’s Anatomy has about as much to do with a hospital as American Idol has to do with gymnastics. It’s the same group of beautiful, sex-starved 30-somethings we see on every drama, only this time they’re wearing scrubs.


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(I got the Little Bastard’s autograph. Seriously.)

7:00-9:00 – Friday Night Smackdown! (CW)BEST BET!

Some people don’t need 5 hours of Sports Entertainment per week. I am not friends with these people.

9:00-10:00 – 20/20 (ABC)

I miss Hugh Downs, and the way he would fall asleep when Barbara walters would talk.


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(I miss MST3K more than I miss you.)

Damn Near Everything (MISC.)WORST BET!

When wrestling is your best bet, you should probably use Friday night to call up a friend and go play air hockey or something.


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(I could watch Cops all day. In fact, I have a few times.)

7:00-7:30 – Cops (FOX)BEST BET!

The greatest reality show of all time (and the ONLY reality show), comes back for another season of tazerings, high-speed chases and full-blown alcoholism. Or, just another day is Wisconsin.

7:30-8:00 – Cops (FOX)

Because one episode just isn’t enough.

7:00-8:00 – Dateline (NBC)

They could catch pedophiles every single week on Dateline, and I’d TiVo each episode twice.

8:00-11:00 – Saturday Night College Football (ABC)NEW!

If you live in a college football state, you’ll know how big of a deal this is. I saw the coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in a Wal-Mart last week. It ruled.

10:30-12:00 – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

With Tina Fey stepping down as head writer (to be replaced by Seth Meyers), SNL may be headed into another dark period. Will you still watch? Yes you will.


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(TiVo > Friends.)

Reruns Up The Wazoo (MISC.)WORST BET!

Use this limited time to step away from the television and make a sandwich. Or, watch everything you’ve TiVo’ed over the past week.


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(Man, Flatliners was a great movie.)

Andy Barker, P.I. (NBC)NEW!

This Conan O’Brien-produced comedy stars Andy Richter as a Private Detective. This should suffice.

24 (FOX)

Hey, 24‘s back! I don’t watch this show, but I know that it exists, and people enjoy it.


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Arrested Development (FOX)

Any long-time fans of the CDP know that we’ve supported AD from day one. So long, AD; the world wasn’t meant for something as beautiful as you.

Bernie Mac (FOX)

Sorry Bernie, you stopped being funny after a remarkable first season.

Sons & Daughters (ABC)

I honestly don’t want to talk about this. I just hope that S&D can release their amazing 10-episode run on DVD for us nerds. This comedy was very ahead of its time, and too good for ABC.

Invasion (ABC)

In their absence, they will be replaced by 10 more Lost clones.

Will & Grace (NBC)

Don’t care, not even a little.

Well, there you have it; you’re guide to the new TV season. Start the debates in the comments section and get your TiVo ready. The CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time is locked and loaded for the month of September, to be followed by the LOST SEASON THREE PREVIEW. So long, I’m going on vacation.

Don’t You Know Who I Used To Be?

I am somebody!

Yes, I made this.

Yes, I’ll be turning it into a poster and selling it at the CDP Webstore. You really should stop buy and purchase something from there. Madden ‘o7 is out now, and quite frankly, I don’t want to pay for it with my own money.

Let’s move on. I wanted to bring you up to speed on what to expect from the CDP over the next few weeks. As the summer dwindles away, the CDP is getting ready to launch into the fall TV season with a slew of new material. I’ve been jacking myself up on multivitamins and Red Bull just to get back into proper Blogging shape.

First off, the CDP Fall TV Preview arrives next week. It’s huge, ambitious and huge. If it looks interesting and is airing on TV this season, I’ll be talking about it. I’ll also be letting you know what the absolute worst new shows on television are as well, saving you from wasting as much time as I tend to do on a daily basis. Look out for that, it’s gunna destroy you.

Outside of the CDP, me and the Missus are moving to a new place on September 1. This is obviously going to take a lot of work and whatnot, so I won’t have a lot of time to post during the month of September. So it makes sense that I’ll be taking on my most ambitious project yet during that time. Wha? Zuh?

You see, I will be devoting the entire month of September to the Top 30 CDP Posts Of All Time. There will be posts every single day of the month, counting down the best the CDP has ever had to offer over the last few years and 430-some posts. This will all culminate at the end of the month with the #1 post of all time and the long-awaited LOST SEASON THREE PREVIEW, launching us head-first into the fall TV season.

The countdown was chosen by the only person that matters- me. To recap:

Next WeekCDP Fall TV Preview.
All SeptemberCDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time.
September 29Lost: Season Three Preview.
October 6The Return Of Lost Friday.

Don’t you be goin’ nowhere. Sound off in the comments section and tell me how good my marketing skills are. Then, head on over to the CDP Webstore for some swag.

Monday Morning Mini-Donut Hangover.

See you in your nightmares!

First off, a little housecleaning. Literal and figurative. Then the big news.

1. The CDP Fall TV Preview will arrive at the end of the month. It will give you the lowdown on over 60 new and returning shows, along with the Patent Pending brilliance and wit that only the CDP can provide. Don’t choose what you want to watch; let me do it for you.

This also signals the official end of the summer, and a rebirth of fast and furious CDP updating. Thanks for sticking it out with me during the dry spells. I know it got pretty bad for a while.

2. Supersystem, Cursive and Of Montreal all have albums coming out on Tuesday; along with Madden NFL ’07 for all major gaming systems. Is this the quickest way to spend $100 at Best Buy? Giddy-up.

3. Me and the Missus are starting to move things into our new place. If anything interesting happens (eg. I drop the treadmill on my ween somehow), you’ll be the first to know. I’ll be taking photos that will arrive on whatever day I’m too lazy to be funny. Like today.

4. Merch should be ready to roll in less than a week. The Missus has been helping me out, and the current stuff is looking pretty good. I wanted to make sure this got done before the thousands of Lost fans started flocking back here in October. Speaking of which, the Season Two DVD comes out on September 5, giving you plenty of time to re-live the last season once or twice before the premiere. Otherwise, the LOST: CDP SEASON THREE PREVIEW will arrive shortly thereafter.

According to the Lost writers, EVERY hanging question from Season Two will be answered by the sixth episode of Season Three (the last episode before their extended break). Mercy me.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get down to bidness.


Meet Evan. He’s the newest addition to the CDP family, and this is the first photo of him ever taken. Share collective “ooooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” in the comments section.

Him and Mom are doing just fine, he has a full head of brown hair and weighs in at a staggering 5 pounds, 11 ounces. I’ll offer up no more personal details, other than the fact that Mom was in labor for 21 hours. I’m sure she’ll love me saying that. I’m officially an uncle, yo.

He is also the Official Spokesbaby of the CDP. Accept no substitutes!

Uncle CDP.

The CDP - 1981.

When my life is over and the book is finally written about me, let it be known that I was always out there, putting my ass on the line for you people.

I’m not a bystander in the game of life- no, I’m behind the wheel, constantly putting myself at great personal risk and danger for the greater good. Sure, there was a time when I was content to stay on the sidelines, dip my toes ever so gently into the water and soforth, but no more! I do things for entertainment that would send most people running for the hills. I travel far and wide, looking for something, anything to allow me to make sense of this troubled world.

I’m sort of a hero. You should donate money, the link’s on the right.

I know what you’re thinking. “Why are you bringing this up? We already know how amazing you are; we saw your special on the Biography Channel. That James Earl Jones can narrate like a mo-fo!”

That’s all well and good, but something happened to me on Monday that changed my life forever. Maybe it will change yours, too.

I went to a baby shower.

That’s right. In what might be the first documented instance of its kind, the CDP– a grown man with male reproductive organs- was invited and welcomed to a gathering that’s historically known for being women-only. I wore no disguise and came right through the front door.

Perhaps some backstory is in order. Comin’ right up.

You see, my sister (hereby known as the Sissus) is having a baby boy. She’s due in about two weeks, and the family couldn’t be more excited or mortified. I’ve chosen to omit this sensitive information from the CDP for the last eight-and-a-half months out of respect for the mother-to-be (it’s really not my news to be sharing, after all). Of course, now that she’s as big as a Dodge Dart and has more of a hormonal imbalance than Barry Bonds, all bets are off.

I’m about to share this information with you as more of a public service than anything. I know that the bulk of my readers are males, and have no idea what sorts of shin-diggery transpire when 20 mothers congregate in a small area. Sure, we’ve all seen artist’s renditions and blurry Polaroids, but I showed up in the flesh. Of course, this is dangerous work that I don’t recommend trying at home. Remember, I do these things so you don’t have to.

I was personally invited to this shower by the guest of honor. Initially, just the Missus was attending, until the Sissus decided she wanted me there for moral support and general Big Brother-esque duties. In reality, I think she just needed someone to carry the gifts to the car. Nonetheless, I was there for her.

One by one, the guests arrived. It was the same pattern for each of them. They would greet my sister at the door, set their gifts on a table, walk into the living room and stop dead in their tracks upon seeing me.

Guest“Oh! ….Hello. I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Me – (After taking a long sip of fruit punch) “I was invited. How’s it hangin’?”

The personal invite was my all-access, VIP pass into the secret realm of the suburban Mother and Housewife. I wore it like a badge and flashed it periodically when I needed to cut in line at the buffet. These women know how to eat.

Once all the ladies got over their general disgust of my presence (I’m kidding, they were all very kind to me; I was fetching drinks like nobody’s business), the baby shower kicked into gear.

The first thing I quickly realized is that a baby shower is more or less a roast for the Guest of Honor. All of the moms in attendance bust out their “A” material- the most horrific baby stories they have- as a way to frighten and emotionally scar the mother-to-be. Tales of diapers, bodily fluids, rashes and the like. Save for one of the guests, who proudly exclaimed to the crowd that she didn’t have a uterus.

I’m leaving.

I had the car keys in my hand and was heading for the door when my eyes caught a tray of deviled eggs in the kitchen. They had me trapped; I wasn’t going anywhere. I sat back down with an armload of said eggs and listened to the next round of horror stories.

When groups of people that share a common bond get together (especially women), they always have to try to one-up each other with their tales. When it comes to a room full of moms, it’s the same deal, only far worse. If Mom #1 was in labor for 18 hours, then Mom #2 was in labor for eight days. If Mom #1’s baby was born with the cord around their neck, Mom #2’s baby was born inside-out. Stuff like that.

Next up were the games. We played a Scattergories-style game where we had to come up with as many baby-related words as possible in two minutes. My list consisted entirely of brand names (Huggies, Gerber, etc.), due to me being a consumer zombie that has no concept of what a living baby actually is. I lost this game.

We all ate before the Sissus opened her gifts, and I finished off what was left of the deviled eggs. I ate about 9 of them, and they’re still making their way through my system as I write this. I’d like to go on record in stating that it was totally worth it.

For the next hour, I watched my sister unwrap thousands of dollars worth of items necessary to maintain, groom, heal, nurse, raise and wash a newborn infant. She got things that I had never seen before, nor would I ever want to see again. I also got a detailed and scientific description on how much excrement a baby produces every hour. All this did was solidify my joy of living in a child-less home. Each night I pray that this doesn’t change for at least a few more years. I’m seriously considering having myself fixed just to hedge my bets a tad.

However, as I watched my sister well up with tears and profusely thank all of the women (and me) for their generosity, it became very clear why I was there that day. In a few short weeks, the life of my family will change forever. I will never simply visit my sister and mother again; from now on, I’ll visit my sister, mother and nephew. Family photos will have to be updated; outlets and sharp corners will have to be protected at all times. I’ll be doing everything I can to not get in the way, not to screw up any details.

She’s been such a good sister and daughter, I see no reason why she won’t be an amazing mother. I’ll be watching your back, just in case.

So, what gift did I purchase for the new baby?

A t-shirt that says “She shakes me” on it. Everyone got a good laugh.

Hump Day Filler.

The Office Spouse.

Here’s a quick story about where I work.

As I was walking back to my office after a meeting, I popped into the cube of a female co-worker. We’ll call her “Pam.” I enjoy talking to Pam; she’s bright, witty and has an amazing laugh. I often talk to her just so I can hear said laugh.

Our conversations are usually full of restrained character; we continuously try to out-do each other with snappy, apathetic one-liners and intelligent observations. Pam is the type of person that comes off as sort of flirty when she chats with people, although her intentions are never sinister. She’s a total sweetheart.

As far as bizarre one-liners go, I think she took me out behind the woodshed today.

My last name starts with the letter “Z,” so when she saw me walking through the office, she yelled “Z!” to get my attention. What followed was this exchange of dialogue:

ME: “I like it when you refer to me as ‘Z,’ it makes me feel like a superhero.”

PAM: “Or like Zorro.”

ME: “Right. I should start carrying a sword around with me.”

PAM: “I don’t think anyone would notice the difference.”

Now, I don’t know exactly what that last line meant, but it sounded insanely dirty. Food for thought.

I’ve got a brand-spanking-new essay coming up tomorrow. It delves into a secret ritual, hidden from all men for hundreds and thousands of years…until now.

You’re not going to want to miss it.

Tackling Reggie White.

Acme Packers - 1928.

With the 2006 NFL season on the horizon, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite personal experiences with football royalty. Even if you’re not into sports, I think you’ll still enjoy this.

Is this story better than the time I got Brett Favre’s autograph, only to have my then 6-year-old sister destroy it with a Sharpie? I believe so.

If I may digress for a minute, I don’t hold ill will towards my sister or anything. I’m sure there will come another time when I’ll be able to sit down and talk with the single greatest quarterback ever to play the game; a man that won a Super Bowl, three MVP awards and my unwavering worship for the last 14 years. I mean, I’m certain that you get more than just one chance to meet your idols over the course of a lifetime. I’m not too worried about it; never mind all the crippling nightmares I’ve had about the situation since I was 10.

No, this story is about the greatest defensive player in NFL history, who just so happened to play with the Green Bay Packers for six seasons.

The Minister Of Defense.

Reggie White. #92. The Minister Of Defense.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick history lesson. It’s only a paragraph long, so read it:

(Some quick football terminology for you. When a quarterback is tackled before he can throw a pass, it’s called a ‘sack.’ You’re going to need to know that, otherwise the following paragraph would sound horribly obscene.)

Reggie White averaged 1.75 sacks a game, and has a lifetime total of 198. He has had more sacks than the number of games he has played. This amazing record still stands today, along with his franchise sack records for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. He’s been to the Pro Bowl an astounding 13 times, and won 6 different NFL Player Of The Year honors. He won the Super Bowl with Green Bay in 1997, has had his number retired with three different organizations, and was selected for the NFL’s All-Time Team in 1994. Off the field, he was a husband, father, minister and Evangelical Christian that devoted his life to what he believed in.

In short, Reggie was the baddest-ass mo-fo I’ve ever seen on a football field. If you know even the slightest bit about the game, then chances are you share my sentiments. Off the field, he was a mild-mannered, soft-spoken giant. On the field, he was a monster. He could knock 400-pound linemen off of their feet with one arm. Watching him run around with the Lombardi Trophy after Green Bay won the Super Bowl is etched into my memory forever.

Reggie died at the age of 43, on December 26, 2004. He had suffered from sarcoidosis for many years, and it had caused a cardiac arrhythmia that stopped his breathing in his sleep. I remember waking up the day after Christmas, turning to ESPN and watching grown men cry as they related the news to the public. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see someone like him go at such a young age.

Super Bowl XXXI.

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get to my story.

In 1993, my family went to Green Bay to watch the Packers practice at Training Camp. They have an area set up for the public to watch the team run drills and prepare for the upcoming game. This was a chance for people to see their* team up close and personal, and considering that Packer season tickets are nothing short of impossible to come by, this was the best chance most Wisconsinites got.

(*The Green Bay Packers are the only professional sports franchise in the nation that does not have an owner. They are a community-owned team with 112,000 stockholders in tow. They are owned by the fans; my family being one of them. If I have to explain to you why that rules, we’re no longer friends.)

The big news this season was the acquisition of Reggie White from the Philadelphia Eagles. Already the most prolific lineman in the game, we were all very excited to see what he would do to revolutionize our lacking defensive line. There we stood, faces pressed against the chain-link fence, watching our beloved Packers do wind sprints and pass patterns.

As an 11-year old, this was amazing to me. I had never been to an actual game before, and seeing these people up-close was a dream come true. Everyone was huge; even the Kicker was larger than anyone I had seen in real life. Frankly, they could have all been doing crossword puzzles behind that fence and I still would have cheered them on.

Reggie White was a beast. Despite proving himself every single week, he worked as hard in practice as he did on the field. Every play, he would explode across the line, leaving a scattered pile of rookie linemen in his wake. As far as I was concerned, he should have been wearing a cape. I was in awe.

Now, the Packer practice facility was on the other side of the street from the stadium, where their lockers and showers were. That meant that when practice was over, the entire team would walk across the parking lot together, wade into the crowd and chat with the fans. Some of the kids would often lend their bikes to the athletes, so they could bypass the crowd and get to the stadium quickly. In exchange, the players would give the kids photos and autographs, as well as the dream of riding along with their favorite Packer player.

Old Lambeau Field.

When practice was over and the team migrated off of the field, they were instantly swarmed by the hundreds of people in attendance. I felt like I was on the steps of a high-profile court case; it was absolute chaos. I was there with my cousin at the time, and we were just looking around for any Packers that were kind enough to sign autographs. Some were more than willing to give you a few seconds of their time; most of them just wanted to take a shower and go home.

Children, adults and giant athletes were everywhere, waving pens, helmets and anything else they could to get one another’s attention. In the midst of the insanity, I lost track of where my cousin was. I became disoriented and started looking everywhere, anywhere for a familiar face. People started pushing and shoving, so I attempted to make a beeline out of the crowd.

As I made my way out of the unruly mob, I made the mistake of taking my eyes off of the oncoming human traffic for a fraction of a second. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a herd of fans, snapping flashbulbs, and what looked like police officers. One of the cops was shouting, “Give him room! Give him room!” Everything started going in slow-motion.

I turned around just in time to see a giant, green mass with the number ’92’ imprinted on it.

I hit the ground and everything went dark.

Seconds later, I looked up to see Reggie White, The Minister of Defense, and about fifty people looking down at me. While every other Packer did what they could to avoid the crowd, Reggie was doing his best to sign every piece of paper that was thrust in his direction.

He also ran right into me in the process, knocking me straight off of my feet. I didn’t have a prayer; I could have used one of his pant legs as a sleeping bag.

“You alright?” Reggie asked me.

I looked up at him, in a balled-up heap on the pavement of the Lambeau Field parking lot. He was already a massive guy; from this view, he was positively God-like.

“Uh…yeah…I think.” I stammered back. I quickly got back to my feet and ran out of the mob.

I met back up with my family, where they griped a bit about not getting any autographs. They asked me if I got anything signed. I told them no, but that it really didn’t matter to me. I didn’t need a piece of paper to remember what happened to me that afternoon.

It was the day I was sacked by the greatest defensive football player of all time.

Hall Of Fame Induction.

Last Saturday, Reggie White was officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, which is what reminded me to share this story. The plaque under his name will say that he sacked 198 people, but I’d like to think of myself as #199.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.