It Was A Dream! We Live Inside A Dream!

Twin Peaks - Season Two.

It’s happening.

It’s finally happening.

For the first time in the United States, the second (and final) season of Twin Peaks will be released on DVD in April. Do yourself a favor, and make an effort to check out the show that influenced every surreal, mystery-drama (Lost, X-Files, Picket Fences, etc.) for the last 17 years.

I have a lot of things to do today, so sound off in the comments section and let me know how your Monday is going.

Shove That Crystal Ball Straight Up Your Chute.

Sylvia Browne.
An Open Letter To Sylvia Browne – By: The CDP.

Dear Sylvia,

Hello there. My name is the CDP. I want to talk to you about your job.

You know, Sylvia, people don’t believe in you because they think you have a gift. They believe in you because they want to think you have a gift. They may not know this, but it’s true.

Your gift gives them hope for the future. It allows them to think they’ll see deceased loved ones again. It allows them to think they’ll find their missing car keys. You are in the business of selling hope, which is always a hot commodity. Who doesn’t want something to believe in? Who doesn’t want to know there’s something else beyond their homemaker status, dumbass husband and filthy children? (Most of your fans are women, because men are less apt to put blind faith into something that isn’t a football team.)

Personally, I believe in a lot of things. I believe in logic, knowledge and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I have my faith and spirituality, but I’m fairly certain that the God I know wouldn’t bestow such a phenomenal gift upon a 14 pack-a-day smoker with 4-inch fingernails. He’s got a sense of humor and all, but there’s no way that he’d feel good about his decisions after watching you and your cement-mixer voice on Montel for a few minutes.

That all being said, people take pleasure in your words because it gives them something that they cannot get without you.

Well, sort of.

I mean, I could stand on stage and do the same exact thing that you do for an hour or two, and end up with a similar percentage of accuracy. Why? Because I’m good at psychology, magic and perception, and I can read people just as good as you can. There’s no doubt in my mind that with the right marketing and Minor key theme music, I could have a whole slew of followers hanging on my every word.

We don’t need to tell them it’s a trick; they’re not going to listen to logic anyways. Believe me, I’ve tried. People that believe in your gift are a stubborn lot, and for good reason. After all the money, all the hope and all the faith these people have put into you, it would be pretty disheartening to find out that you’re a fraud. That’s why your followers ignore your glaring examples of fault. Even a broken clock is right two times a day, and that’s all people need to cling to you like a dryer sheet to a down comforter.

Damn. Sylvia, your followers are more loyal than Cubs fans.

Here’s one thing I just don’t get, though. You also take a lot of pleasure in destroying lives. Never mind all of the money you’ve taken from losers, spiritualists and the terminally ill. You also seem to get a kick out of telling mothers that their missing children are dead, regardless of if this is the truth or not. I don’t know what kind of enjoyment you can take out of watching someone crumple in a heap, but you’re the psychic, not me.

You’ve blown a lot of calls, though. A whole lot. Way more than you’ve been correct. If you’re rattling off the names of spirit guides to a room full of nodding heads, it’s impossible to disprove your findings. Good work; you can’t be wrong if nobody can prove that you’re right. However, there have been a few times where you’ve told someone that their kid was dead, only to have them pop up the next week, alive and well. It’s a great ending to the story, and no doubt, the family will let you off the hook for speculating that their son or daughter was a corpse.

It pains me to see the look in someone’s face when they realize that you’re nothing. To watch the years of loyalty and faith melt off of their faces is a great awakening, but it comes at a depressing and somber price. Just yesterday, I watched a clip of a woman asking you if they would ever find the remains of her husband. You told her that he drown in the ocean, so no, they would never find him. She then informed you that he was a firefighter that died during 9-11. In an effort to save face, you told her that she was wrong.

Just before she sat back down, I saw the look in her eyes. The look that people get when they realize they have been duped. The look that people get when they realize that they have sacrificed their intelligence, credibility and emotional worth in exchange for false hope and faith. I’m sure you’ve never felt that, but it’s a bad feeling, I can assure you.

I’m not going to get into exactly why you’re a fraud, because most decent and intelligent people have already figured that out by now. You’re intuitive, you read a lot and keep abreast of current events. Cold reads and educated guesses are all you need to write a book, as John Edwards and many others have figured out. It’s a pretty sweet gig being a medium; but I guess you already know that.

Every year, me and my wife stay at a bed & breakfast that’s owned by a self-proclaimed psychic, and I’ve had three readings with her in the past three years. I enjoy these readings because the psychic in question is an incredibly intuitive and deep human being. For the most part, we talk about things in our lives and what we can do to better them for ourselves. Anything that she brings up concerning ‘the future’ is always taken with a grain of salt, and considered more of a suggestion than a fact. She makes certain that we know that, as human beings are capable of changing their lives any way they please.

Does this make her a fraud? Absolutely not. People pay her money for therapy, entertainment and guidance, NOT because they should shape their lives around her words and accept them as the gospel truth. Even she dislikes you, because ripping off the gullible isn’t her motive. She’s in the market of getting people to see that we can all be as happy as we choose to be, and I like that.

You know, in a strange and perverse way, I very much envy you. There are many days when I wish that I was cold and ruthless enough to take advantage of the stupid, faithful and grieving. There’s always money to be made at the hands of disaster and folly, and it’s all there for the taking; provided you have the unmitigated gall and lack of conscience required to snatch it all up. Yes, you most certainly have a gift that’s shared by very few people, but it ain’t predicting the future.

It’s almost not your fault. As long as there are people more than willing to give you money in exchange for hope, it would be silly of you not to take it. Hucksters have been around since biblical times, and they will be here until the end of the world. Preachers, faith healers, pyramid schemers, psychics, sideshow barkers, tonic salesmen and magicians make the world go round. I’m sure the money is great, but how can you sleep at night knowing what your job is? I can barely sleep as is, and I grade tests for a living.

In conclusion, I hope that your years of smoking give you a baseball-sized tumor right in the center of your chest. I also hope that it grows out in 9 different directions and you get the New Age doctor that doesn’t believe in anesthesia.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

There’s a special place in hell for people like you,

How did she die?
(Watch Sylvia blow the call with grieving parents.)

Where did he die?
(Watch Sylvia blow the call big time with a 9/11 widow.)

Is he really dead?
(Watch Sylvia tell parents that their son is dead. He’s not.)

Stop Sylvia Browne
(One of the better collections on the web.)

James Randi Foundation
(The greatest skeptic site in the world.)

Once More With Feeling.

Never let it be said that I’m not looking out for you.

Today, new albums have been released by Of Montreal and The Shins; arguably the two best Indie bands on the planet. They both have released videos for their respective debut singles, both of which share a ‘school play’ setting and are featured right here at the CDP.

The Of Montreal video was directed by The Brothers Chaps, the duo responsible for Please watch it before the Internet explodes, because it’s the most surreal and wonderful thing you’re going to see today.

Of Montreal
“Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse”
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

The Shins’ video is decidedly more somber and beautiful; a welcome introduction to this amazing group if there ever was one.

The Shins
“Phantom Limb”
Wincing The Night Away

I’m off to Best Buy. Sound off in the comments section and tell me that my tastes in music are horrible.

It’s Not Unusual.

Me Sing Like Fool.

Karaoke + Tom Jones + The CDP = Goodness.

This was probably the last gathering that Ben & Sherry were to throw in Green Bay, as they will be packing up and heading to Madison (home of the CDP and anything good about Wisconsin) in about a month.

Me Sing And Dance Like Fool.

When it was my turn to sing, I delivered. What I lacked in any sort of musical talent, I more than made up for with devastating dance moves. Ben served as my ‘hype-man.’

Franklin Sip Like Fool.

Franklin drank Sprite until he passed out. Cats are not supposed to drink carbonated beverages.

Sherry Sing Like Fool.

This all continued until about 4:30am on Saturday/Sunday. I was more than a little intoxicated, but not nearly as bad as Sherry, here. I think she peed her pants at one point.

Me Sing And Dance Like Fool Again.

American Idol Presents: Karaoke Revolution. Ask for it by name.

I fell asleep on Ben’s floor from about 5am until 1pm on Sunday. Me and the Missus grabbed lunch, got back home to Madison at around 6:30pm, ate and went to bed. I’m currently sitting in my office with the lights off, trying very hard not to move. I think I burned more calories swinging the microphone around and screaming than I normally do during a 90 minute workout.

So, how did you spend your weekend? Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy your Monday.

(NOTE: This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. The Arcade Fire, who just sold out 5 shows in London, Montreal and New York in 2 minutes, played a secret show in a High School cafeteria, which was only open to students and guests.)

CDP Link Party – "I Miss Katherine" Edition.

Never Forget.

1. American Idol’s back, and I’m more than a little concerned. After four hours of auditions this week, I think I saw one serious competitor that didn’t annoy me to tears. I fully understand that the first month of AI is the humorous ‘cattle call’ that we all love so much, but they usually show off at least some of the talent we’ll be seeing down the road. Not so much.

I was also glad to see that the best Wisconsin export thus far was a Crack Baby. Way to represent, Madison! The Missus used to work for the welfare office of Dane County, so every time we see a mugshot or Crack Baby on television, she exclaims “I know that person!”

This was no exception.

I Need To Hit The Tanning Booth.

2. In lieu of heavy writing and other various CDP projects, I’m still working out like a madman. Around Christmas time, my weight was somewhere around 153 pounds. Yesterday, I broke the 161 pound mark; my heaviest weight to date.

This is a good thing, however. I’m quickly gaining muscle weight and slowly losing ‘fat’ weight, which will counterbalance in a month or so. This is exactly where I want to be with my weight; now I just need to make sure that it’s due to as much muscle as I can pack onto my frame. I did take yesterday off from exercise however, due to a sore rotator cuff.

I wish I could write a funny essay about working out, but it’s been pretty mundane and run-of-the-mill. However, the day I pee my pants in front of my personal trainer, you’ll be the first (well, second) to know.

I’m also making small changes to my diet. I’m laying off of soda completely, in favor of strictly water or juice. Because I fear kidney stones like the apocalypse, I’ve been sucking down cranberry and pomegranate juice like nobody’s business. I should tell you, however, that it’s not wise to drink pomegranate juice quickly, or it will have an ‘ipecac effect’ on you. Learn from the mistakes of a guy that damn near threw up all over himself during an office meeting yesterday.

The Velvet Teen Is Better Than You.

3. Here are the last 10 albums I’ve listened to:

a) The BeatlesLove
b) BostonBoston
c) The ThermalsThe Body, The Blood, The Machine
d) Algebra OneThe Keep Tryst EP
e) Soul CoughingEl Oso
f) Catch 22Keasbey Nights (New Version)
g) JawbreakerDear You
h) P.O.S.Audition
i) Sufjan StevensIllinois
j) The Velvet TeenPlus, Minus, Equals

If you need 3 reasons why this month is awesome, look no further than new albums by indie supergroups Of Montreal, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Shins.


It's Raining Men.

4. I’ve been treating myself quite nicely this week. I’ve purchased four shirts, a nice wool jacket, a few CD’s and a John Locke collectible figurine. After work, I will be picking up Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol, because I like to look like an ass in front of my friends.

Also, expect to see the very first CDP podcast sometime next week, technical issuses permitting.

You Gotta Eat The Pudding.

5. In case you were wondering, here’s what I’ll be up to today:

6:00am – Wake up; shut off alarm. Go to closet. Fall asleep in closet.
6:30am – Missus wakes me up in closet. Prepare for work.
7:00am – Leave for work. Sing loudly and refuse to use turn signal.
7:15am – Arrive at work. Read Fark until co-workers arrive.
8:00am – Work. Repeat as necessary.
12:30pm – Eat veggie sandwich, potato salad, sliced fruit, one pickle and cranberry juice.
1:00pm – Continue to work. Leave when satisfied.
4:00pm – Arrive home. Change clothes and clean house. Pet cats.
5:00pm – Missus arrives home. Go to health club; work out for at least 1 hour.
6:30pm – Eat dinner consisting of more calories than I burned during workout.
7:00pm – Watch as much recorded television as possible. Sit by fireplace and snuggle.
10:00pm – Missus goes to bed. I stay up and play Fight Night: Round 3.
3:00am – Bed.

Later kids. Sound off in the comments section and let me know how you’re living.

What Have I Done To This City?

There’s More To Appleton Than Our Acclaimed Escorts.

This is the single funniest Onion article of all-time, and here’s why. Read this snippet from a CDP essay published in April of 2006:

-April 3, 2006 – “Fact Or Crap? – CDP Edition.”

When I was 13 years old, I did some web design for an escort service in my former hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. I became friends with the wealthy owner of the company, and was promised a free date with the girl of my choice when I turned 18, along with the keys to his Porsche Boxter for the night.

Fact Or Crap? – FACT!

I think I might have stumped a lot of people with this one. Truth is, this really happened back in 1995-1996. The internet might have been new at the time when it came to the globalization of information and commerce, but since day one, it was always a worldwide pornography and prostitution ring. Let it be known that I was there for the glory days.

I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know how I got away with it and I don’t know why my mom didn’t step in sooner, but it’s all true. This story ends peacefully and morally though, with the aforementioned rich owner getting arrested and sent to the clink for shady business deals; mainly because he was, you know, running a whorehouse (all true). I’ve since attended confession many times to right my past wrongs.

My Office Spouse Divorced Me.

And Use Bottles To Catch Your Blood.

All things considered, I don’t talk about work very much. Mainly, I do this so my readers have the opportunity to suspend their disbelief when it comes to the life of the CDP. I would much rather you think that I live the life of a reclusive novelist; wearing a smoking jacket and sucking on a bubble pipe in my study, swirling a glass of brandy whilst recalling somber memories of the past.

Truth be told, I’m only like that three days out of the week. Four, tops. Also, sucking on a bubble pipe might kill you, depending on what kind of soapy solution you’re using. To be safe, just stick to tobacco.

Another reason that I don’t talk about work is that I don’t like getting fired. I have a lot of co-workers that read my page on a daily basis; some even bookmarking the CDP in their ‘Favorites’ section. As much as I try to tell people not to turn the CDP into an office e-mail phenomenon, it’s already happened far too many times to keep secret. Countless times already, people have stopped me in the halls to quote something hilarious that I wrote, only to be left disappointed when I tell them I had no memory of even writing it. By that accord, I see no reason to step on the toes of people who sign my checks and keep brandy in my swirling glass.

The third and final reason I don’t talk about work is that it’s usually not very funny. When I say ‘usually,’ I mean ‘not ever.’ As a teenager, I spent four years at a hardware store that gave me enough humorous material for a full-length book and a follow-up compendium (available at most Barnes & Noble retailers). After three years in this office, I have enough amusing anecdotes to maybe get me through a five minute comedy set at the company Christmas party.

Even then, the jokes aren’t as much ‘ha-ha’ funny as they are ‘I’m only here for the free parking’ funny. The kind of funny that makes you reflect and cry later, when nobody’s around.

This has become unacceptable for yours truly. The start of the year is always the most difficult for me and my position, and staffing shortages have only increased the load and ulcer-causing stress. If I’m going to make it through the next two months, I’m going to need to create my own fun and wacky environment. If you can’t find a way to enjoy your work, you probably should look for a new job.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1. I’ve noticed that the new vending machine in our break room has incredibly sensitive keys. I’ve gotten into the habit of seeing how lightly I need to touch them in order for it to register.

Like a brain surgeon operating on the President, my index finger trembles and microscopically hovers over the “F” key with dead-on precision. Normally before I attempt this, I try to wait around the break room for a bit, until a small line forms behind me.

I don’t even want anything from the machine anymore; I just like testing the mechanical limits of its sensors. I typically just give the Pop-Tarts or Texas Grill Frito’s away to the first person I see in the hallway.

2. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I keep a Magic 8 Ball in my cube (along with a Japanese ‘good luck’ cat, a miniature candy vending machine, a Joey Ramone ‘bobble-head’ figure, a Simpsons gumball machine, a Super Mario Bros. plush novelty, a garden gnome, a several Rubik’s cubes, Tangrams, Sodoku and other brain teasers, a mechanical robot that holds pencils, 4 ceramic Buddha figures, 2 Slinky’s, a sumo wrestler ‘bobble-head’ figure, Mick Foley and Rey Mysterio action figures, 20 hand-framed photographs taken by me, Lost merch and about 10 other items).

I mainly keep these things at work because my Rumpus Room at home is already at critical mass. If anything, people stop by just to look at my photos, steal my candy and play with my toys. I used to have a chair in my cube, but I got rid of it because people were camping out for hours at a time. I can’t hang out on Pogo and watch movie trailers all day if there’s people around, ya’ buzzkillers.

Back to the Magic 8 Ball. I sometimes let it make important decisions for me. In my line of work, decisions need to be made quickly, accurately and without hesitation. Sometimes, that can take a lot out of a guy. When I’m feeling like I need a breather, I just sit back and let the 8 Ball do all the work:

CDP – “Hey 8 Ball, should I get a grilled cheese for lunch?

8 Ball – “Outlook not so good.

CDP – “Hey, I hear you. Maybe I’ll just get a bagel instead.

8 Ball – “No.”

CDP – “Fair enough. How does Chinese sound?

8 Ball – “All signs point to yes.

CDP – “Disco! I’ll get my keys.

3. Here’s are some quick lessons in Office Etiquette:

A) If you say ‘hello’ to someone at anytime during the day, another ‘hello’ is not necessary for the remainder of the day. You do not need to say ‘hello’ to this person every time you pass them in the hallways. Furthermore, you needn’t even acknowledge them in passing once the initial ‘hello’ has been administered. Any additional ‘hello’ is considered intrusive and annoying.

B) If you are about to go through a door, you must hold the door open for anyone 8 feet or closer to said door. Any distance further than this is unnecessary, as they would have to do that stupid ‘pretending to jog’ thing, which is insulting to both you and them.

C) I have a co-worker that does what I consider to be the Most Annoying Office Thing Ever. When I’m working on something in my cubicle and they want to show me something, they will come into my cubicle, push what I’m working on to the side, and present their documents to me.

Sure, I may be a neat freak, but something this stunningly rude and inconsiderate would be met with anger and disapproval from anyone that this happened to. I would never think this was acceptable behavior, let alone do it to someone three times a week. I’d like to find a kind and un-insulting way to explain to this person that I’m going to burn the building down if they do it to me again, but you know how I operate. I’ll put up with it until one of us dies.

Well, there you have it. Just a few suggestions to make your day at the office less…..bad.

As you read this, me and the Missus are probably halfway to Annandale, Minnesota, where we’ll be spending the weekend. We’ve got a two-night stay lined up at Thayer’s Bed & Breakfast, with a Mall Of America shopping spree sandwiched in the middle. I’ll give you a full report next week.

On Monday, I’ll be celebrating Martin Luther King day by liberating my alarm clock from the tyranny and oppression of having to wake me up at 6am. Free at last!

Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you do to keep from killing people at work.

You’ve Been Orton-ized!

Bow Before Or-Ton!

This is what happens when you freak out during a wrestling match and sever an artery in your forehead.

During Sunday night’s New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view, wrestler Triple H was legitimately injured when he tore his quad. This forced the remaining wrestlers to improvise their scripted finish, as it couldn’t go on as planned with Triple H hobbling about.

Kneel Before Or-Ton!

Somewhere during the chaotic melee that ensued, Randy Orton (pictured) cut himself way too deep while selling a chair shot to the head. He either did this because he wanted to save the match somehow, or he was freaking out too much to realize how deep he was blading.

Die Before Or-Ton!

This was where he ended up before paramedics took him to the back. Passed out on top of a destroyed Announcer’s table. He’s okay, but it looked pretty bad for a few minutes. The chaos of the unscripted, live ending was worth the cost of the PPV alone.

So remember this, kids. If you think you’re having a bad day, you could’ve been Randy Orton; passed out in front of 17,000 screaming fans while blood squirts out of your forehead.

From this point forward, I’m going to wear a bracelet that says “WWROD?”