The State Of The CDP Speech – 2007.

State Of The CDP 2007.
(Before reading my State Of The CDP Speech, please head on over to Spork Nation and read the glowing book review for 65 Poor Life Decisions!)

2007 is somberly over. It’s been good to me; one of the better years on record, if I may say so myself. No bankruptcy, no prison time, no divorces and no brain-damaging injuries.

PIES! PIES! PIES! PIES! PIES! P–

Sorry about that. As it turns out, I actually did suffer a brain-damaging injury a while back.

Moving on, I wanted to take this time to spotlight the goals of the CDP for 2008. 2007, while amazing and far exceeding my expectations, was relatively unplanned and fly-by-night. Next year, I want to be aware of the changes made before they happen, as I can have more of an iron-fisted handle on my rise to Worldwide Mediocrity.

For your consideration, here are the five major changes I will be making to the CDP over the course of January & February 2008, which will then be implemented throughout the year:

1. Completely redesign the merch. I’m changing printing companies, which will allow me to do more things and get more creative; hopefully coming up with some things you’ll want to buy. No more of this ‘CDP BBQ Apron’ crap, if I wouldn’t want it in my own house, I don’t plan on designing it.

This has always been the case, but it bears repeating that any profits I make off of merch sales and donations go straight back into the CDP. I’m not putting that money towards my student loans, I’m paying domain costs, funding promotional stuff and using your money to make the CDP a better place to be entertained. I couldn’t bring myself to spend it any other way.

2. Completely redesigning the links section. I want the CDP to be more of a place to promote myself and my upcoming writing work (‘cuz I’m an egotistical ass), so I’ll be doing away with random links that I like to visit on a personal level (ie: Snopes, Fark, places that don’t need my seal of approval). In its place will be links to interviews I’ve done, press, classic CDP posts and of course, the almighty CDP Network, which will be expanding to almost freakish levels.

Speaking of the CDP Network, I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a collaborative blog with members of the CDP Network functioning as freelance writers. This idea came to me when I noticed that many funny people didn’t have time to start blogs of their own. I said to myself, “I should start a blog for these people!” The jist would be that I get 10 people or so that are willing to write funny stories for free two or three times a month, and just go to town. That’s a far-off goal, however; I’ll keep you posted.

3. Redesigning the look and feel of the site. 2007 was the only year I didn’t overhaul the design, and it’s due for one. I plan on making very slight changes to the overall landscape that will hopefully attract new fans and please existing ones. The main focus of the page is, and will always be, the writing and reader interaction, so that will not change a bit. What I do want to change is the raw appearance; perhaps even add a message board to accommodate the increasing community. That would be amazing.

I can’t pretend that nobody reads my blog anymore. I had 16,000 hits this month and sold almost 100 copies of my debut book in just three weeks. I run a small business now, for better or for worse, and I need to do what I can to make it great. Most of it lies in generating entertaining stuff that people want to read. Some of it lies in just making the site nice to look at. Check and mate.

4. Do more reader-interactive things. The Mix-Tape Trade was a huge success, and the amount of mail order I’ve been doing with fans suggests that people really want to be a part of this ever-growing cult atmosphere. Expect more Trades, more Madison Meet-Ups and more Live Video Chats. We can take this thing to a different level next year, and it really isn’t all that hard.

Call me a jerk, but I never was a fan of getting to know people that read the CDP in the past. It was mainly due to my low self-esteem and fear of coming off like a terrible person. Now that I’ve been given the opportunity to meet creative, like-minded people and grow as a writer, it would be foolish of me to avoid these chances when they arrive. We’re all different, but we come together for a specific reason, and I’m going to try to create new and interesting things to cultivate that.

5. Compete with the elite. The CDP has reached a point where it has risen above the bulk of most personal ‘hobby’ blogs, and is now sitting just below ‘major’ blogs; the ones that are full-time, hire writing staff and have lots of sponsorship cash and ad revenue behind them. While I’ll never turn the CDP into a fountain of ads, hired staff writers and marketing goals (ie: a serious business), I think we can compete with those folks and rattle their cages a bit. We’re the dark horse, the underdog, the turd in the punchbowl. They’re the top of the heap. We can invade without compromise. I believe this wholeheartedly.

Any time I notice a mediocre page getting more traffic than me, it’s almost always due to mainstream attention. This is usually because the page in question is quirky, trashy, cashing in on the flavor-of-the-moment, or all of the above. Personally, I’d rather have 10 devoted fans than a million superficial ones, so statistics matter none to me. What I do care about is the fact that we can find a million devoted people out there, simply through the hard work and word-of-mouth that’s gotten us this far. Every year, traffic for the CDP has almost doubled. If we can do this again in 2008, there will be absolutely no more denying our presence in the Blogopshere.

Sounds like a plan to me, kids. Moving on, by the end of 2008, my goal is to accomplish at least one of the following on a personal level:

1. Maintain a weight of around 155 pounds (lightweight) through minimal exercise and paying closer attention to what I shovel into my head. Get back to size Small shirts fitting nicely, as opposed to producing that unsightly pooch whenever I sit down.

2. Make a bare-bones effort to learn guitar, as it would make me appear more literate, attractive, sensitive and attractive. Give myself the opportunity to write songs and perform before I turn 30 and officially lose any marketable appeal I once had.

3. Have the first draft of my next book completed. I already have 20 essays in pre-production, and they’re some of the best stories I’ve ever written. The next book will be completely separate from the CDP; 100% original stuff that will make me the most popular author since James Frey. Wait, what? He did!?

4. Learn from my spending decisions and save at least $50 a month more than I did in 2007. Build up the savings account and allow myself to sleep more peacefully at night. Learn that weekly pay-per-views, constant unnecessary purchases and going out to eat every night is not the way that people in my tax bracket should live. Buy an iPhone to stay on track.

5. Take whatever sucks about having me as a husband, and make it a little better than it was last year. What sucks about having me as a husband is yet to be determined, if you ask me.

So that pretty much does it. 2007 has been incredible, and 2008 will be even better. The CDP is pushing 4 years of age, Post #700 is fast approaching, my book is still selling well and I haven’t yet messed it all up somehow. If you need me, I’ll be taking a much-needed vacation at a B&B in Annandale Minnesota for the next few days, free of television, internet connections and phones.

Thank you all so much for a great year. Sound off in the comments section; the CDP will return with regular programming on Monday, January 7.

COMING JANUARY ’08:
New Site Redesign!
All-New CDP Merch!
The Return Of Lost Monday!
More 65 Poor Life Decisions Press & Reviews!
Oh, Maybe Some Funny Stories, Too.

The Best Christmas Post Ever.

The Best Christmas Ever.

This is a photograph of me on Christmas Day 1988, unwrapping the Nintendo Entertainment System. I’ve never been quite the same since. Good thing I was wearing my stone-washed jeans, because they hid the ever-growing pee stain.

You know, as we all spend the next few days celebrating with loved ones, sucking back egg nog and pretending not to be completely freaking miserable, we should all take a second to remember what it’s all about. A moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas; the reason we get together every year and share our happiness and unity with others.

As I’ve done every year for the past three years, I want to share with you the Greatest Christmas Blog Post In History, courtesy of Let’s Eat Paste. It’s become a tradition here, and I thank Mr. Paste in advance for allowing me to share it with my audience.

It reads as follows. You may want to dim the lights to enhance the mood:

A few years ago, my friend Jim sent me a Christmas card, and he had scribbled the following message inside. I talked to him a few months later, and he didn’t remember what he had written.

Dear Paste,

Remember: Whenever we say “Christmas,” Christ always comes first. And whenever we say “X-mas,” X comes first. Not many people know that Jesus Christ’s real name is “Jesus Little.” He changed His name to “Jesus X” to show that He was His own person and didn’t need the white man’s slave name… He was His own man. Which explains the meaning behind X-mas. It’s just short for “X-Man’s.” Because the X-Men had superpowers… just like Jesus.

Jim

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the CDP. We will return after the holidays with the final post of the year. You’re not going to want to miss it.

FRIDAY: THE STATE OF THE CDP SPEECH – 2007.

The 2007 CDP Year In Review.

2007 CDP Year In Review.

2007 was a monumental year at the CDP. Web traffic tripled across the boards (2500 people will read this post before Christmas; 2800 before Kwanzaa). Content and essays were about as good as you could expect from a borderline-reclusive with crippling ego issues that doesn’t do anything for anyone anymore. Pop Culture pundits collectively took their dignity back from Perez Hilton and proclaimed me the current King of the Castle, which is about as mixed of a blessing as having a hot stepsister. Hell, I even published my first book, the profits of which allowed me to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping this year (I sure hope everyone likes pennies and string!). Friends were made, enemies were crushed into powder and gallons of brandy were injected straight into my liver.

2007 was also the year that the Madison Cultural Elite welcomed me into their world with open arms, hoisted me onto their collective back and ran me around town while I giggled and tried to hold the pee in. Local press has shined upon thee, hip tastemakers proclaimed me to be ‘in,’ and I was successful in not getting fired from my job for the fourth year running. I spent hours in line at the Post Office due to the loyal fans that wanted an autographed copy of my book, and turned my home office into a monument of receipts, Priority mailers and packing tape. I’ve been told it’s all tax deductible, even the bubble wrap.

So, if you’re just catching up, or can’t get enough of what I’m bringing to the dance, let’s take a look back at the year that was, through the eyes of the Little Blog That Could; the CDP.

January 2007.

January
3 – I attempt to get edgier with my fashion sense. It doesn’t go well.
5 – Evan, the Official Spokesbaby of the CDP, takes a vacation.
8 – Morphing into a genetic freak takes more work than I’m willing to give.
9 – Randy Orton’s head explodes on national television.
22 – Alcohol and karaoke: an American institution.

February 2007.

February
1 – I turn 25 years old. Teenage girls officially find me ‘creepy.’
9 – Lost Friday returns for 2007. Hilarity and beards ensue.
14 – The CDP turns 3 years old; finally stops pooping itself.
15 – “What the hell is in our driveway, honey?
21 – I learn a hard lesson about fatherhood: It sucks ass.

March 2007.

March
7 – I once again create a Mad-Lib. Traffic reaches all-time low.
12 – I have cybersex against my will; Chris Hansen isn’t amused.
14 – The five stages of grief, updated for the 21st Century.
28 – Me and the Missus have a language all our own: Annoying.
30 – Lost Friday rolls along. Phrase “Bulletproof Breasts” enters lexicon.

April 2007.

April
2 – I don’t have any black friends.
4 – Thanks to good fortune, I almost die in a fiery car wreck.
5 – One of my first (and best) interviews ever.
16 – The very first Live Video Chat takes place. Chat #2 yet to happen.
24 – I make an effort to not be the least responsible person alive.

May 2007.

May
1 – How many times do I have to repost this essay before people care?
7 – The CDP & Pork Tornado: The Golden Spike of humor blog excellence.
15 – I love having drunken, emotional breakdowns at public functions.
21/22 – The best Lost captions of Season 3. Oh, the huge Manatee!
28 – The 65 Poor Life Decisions process begins with a whimpering bang.

June 2007.

June
13 – My annual visit to the House on the Rock. Abject terror ahoy!
15 – The CDP gets a glowing review; my ego takes out an entire city block.
25 – Sometimes I miss my old car, then I realize that I actually don’t.
27 – Live Video Chat #2 is cancelled due to nobody giving a crap.
28 – 65 Poor Life Decisions is in full swing; I’m in full depression.

July 2007.

July
5 – Welcome to Devil’s Lake. Go to hell.
13 – My single greatest contribution to society, hands down.
16/18 – I teach you how to make a Bomb Pop in my YouTube debut.
23 – I suffer the worst injury of my adulthood thus far.
31 – Bon Jovi visits the family corn stand. Wait, what?

August 2007.

August
1 – Heinz ketchup is magic!
9 – I break my iPod, along with the spines of everyone at the Apple Store.
20 – The aftermath of the worst vacation of my entire life.
23 – My best friend was a 40 pound cat. No Photoshopping required.
29 – My pain is your belly laugh. Enjoy.

September 2007.

September
3 – The CDP Fall Television Preview, pre-strike and full of wide-eyed hope.
10 – I’m not known for physical humor, but…here you go.
24 – We visit the Lodi Corn Maze and get all grabby with stuff.
25 – Ken: By Request Only. An Internet mystery solved by me.
28 – The Missus gets a new car. Hipsters everywhere shed a tear.

October 2007.

October
5 – Dropping a bomb at the EAA.
10 – Geek.Kon PWNZ every N00B in Madison.
12 – I answer everything you ever wanted to know about First Base.
17 – 20 photographs of my Door County vacation. Apple-scented, of course.
24 – An awesomely epic rant on loneliness, aging, the scene and my friends.

November 2007.

November
6 – 65 Poor Life Decisions is finished. Lock up your nerdy daughters.
13 – The Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade reviews start. Friends are lost.
27 – I give you a behind-the-scenes peek into the last six months.
28 – 65 Poor Life Decisions is locked and loaded, and so am I.
30 – The Single Greatest & Most Important Day In CDP History.

December 2007.

December
5 – If only for a fleeting moment, I was your king.
6 – You’d assume I was smart enough to handle the Post Office. Nope.
7/14 – Positive press for my book continues. Blushing at an all-time high.
17 – I name my favorite albums of 2007. Any and all cred is destroyed.
18 – I expose myself to friends and fans. A collective ‘ew!’ chimes out.

There you have it; an entire year of my life, condensed and organized for your careful scrutiny. Take your time with this post; check out the links, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

‘Lost Friday’ Has Become ‘Lost Monday.’

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Cancel your plans and mark your calendars, because it’s back.

Here’s the skinny, and everything you need to know about Season 4 of Lost.

Season 4 was supposed to be 16 rerun-free episodes in a row, but only 8 were filmed prior to the strike. ABC, desperate for new entertainment, will air these 8 episodes back-to-back. The creators were not too happy about this, as Episode #8 isn’t necessarily a ‘cliffhanger’ for the season, so to speak, and they were promised 16 episodes in a row. The writer’s strike changed all of that. More specifically, greedy studio executives changed all of that.

So, we will get the first half of Season 4 in the form of the first 8 episodes. The remaining 8 episodes will be taped and aired depending on when the strike ends. This could be as early as Fall of 2008, or stacked atop Season 5 in 2009, essentially giving us a 24-episode fifth season.

Does that all make sense? We’re going to get new Lost episodes, but only 8 of them, and another long wait before the second half of the season is unveiled. It’s better than nothing.

Now, onto the time slot change. LOST WILL AIR THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9PM EASTERN, STARTING ON JANUARY 31. The creators are said to be happy with this slot, as they will not be shadowed by American Idol, and the rest of the Thursday night lineup will be riddled with reruns and reality. This is a good place for Lost to be, even if it’s not the Wednesday slot we’ve grown used to.

Good. Done. Settled. Almost.

With the announcement that Lost is moving to Thursdays, this also changes the time slot of the CDP‘s World-Famous ‘Lost Friday.’ From here on out, ‘Lost Friday’ will officially become ‘LOST MONDAY.’ There’s no way I can do a recap in three hours; it’s far too intensive and awesome to be rushed.

So, there you go. The Season Premiere of Lost is Thursday, January 31, and the Season Premiere of Lost Monday arrives on February 4. Direct any questions or concerns to the comments section, and enjoy your Thursday.

TOMORROW: THE CDP YEAR IN REVIEW.

(NOTE: Tomorrow is also ‘World Orgasm Day,’ so let’s celebrate a little unity tomorrow!)

60 Truths.

60 Truths.

Here are 60 truths about me. Stream-of-consciousness, top-of-the-head, no internal filtering. I did this because I enjoyed the concept of it, found it therapeutic and thought it would generate a lot of chatter. Please enjoy and start what will hopefully be a lively discussion in the comments section. Who knows? You might learn something new and awful about me.

Let’s go.

1. Sometimes, I really miss eating meat. I know that it’s wrong, but I can’t help missing it for some reason. I keep trying to convince myself that shrimp is okay to eat, because I honestly don’t care if they live or die. As you can imagine, it’s not doing the trick. Around the holidays, there’s a lot of shrimp abound at my family’s house, and it’s almost excruciating to not dive in. I won’t, though, because I’m above that crap.

2. I despise my bedroom mattress so much that I sometimes have to sleep on the floor. I’m buying a new one once the snow melts, for my back’s sake. The Missus loves the soft pillowtop, but I’ve never quite adjusted to anything other than firm and rigid. Maybe we’ll get a Sleep Number bed; those look pretty amazing.

3. I’m putting all of my book profits into a savings account, where I’m collecting every penny I’ve ever made throughout my writing career. I don’t want to spend any of it, because I don’t feel that I deserve to right now. There’s so much more to be done, and I need to be reminded of that constantly. Spending what little money I make through this amazing hobby will get me nowhere creatively.

4. I enjoy writing poetry, but I don’t like to read poetry and understand the fruity stigma that surrounds it. To compromise, I write poetry that makes fun of poetry, and everyone is happy.

5. I absolutely cannot wait to start writing my next book. I’m already drafting over 25 new essays, and it’s without question the best stuff I have ever written, chronicling some of the best stories I could possibly tell you. I want to start in Spring of 2008.

6. When people approach me with positive comments about my book, I never know what to say to them. I never thought I’d start cringing when I heard compliments, but it leaves me feeling awkward and embarrassed. Understand that I appreciate it more than anything, but it probably won’t appear that way.

7. I watch, purchase and attend professional wrestling events. I consider it an underrated and extremely underappreciated form of live entertainment. I don’t talk about it very much, because there’s a certain stereotype that surrounds it. I’ve come to terms with this.

8. If my wife asked me to kill someone, and had even a slightly convincing argument, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

9. Speaking of my wife, I understand the sentimental value in buying flowers for someone you love, but I consider it a waste of money. Instead, I spend thousands of dollars on diamonds and jewelery, and then have to hear from my wife that I never buy her flowers. This hurts me more than she knows, and it makes her come off as spoiled, when she’s really not. Or maybe she is; I guess I don’t know.

10. By the way, in the 8 years we’ve been together, I’ve bought flowers for the Missus no less than 7 times (and I have the vases to prove it). Simple math dictates that seven is slightly more than ‘never.’ Okay, rant over.

11. I’m extremely liberal when it comes to gay rights, gay marriage and complete political and economical equality in regards to homosexuality, yet I still use the term ‘gay’ as a way to insult various things. I feel hypocritical and unintelligent about this, and I’m taking steps to eliminate it entirely from my vocabulary.

12. I sometimes wonder why certain people haven’t bought my book yet. They hold no favors to me, yet it irks me that they haven’t purchased a copy. I think this is my ego coming through loud and clear. Nobody owes me anything at this stage in my life.

13. I only pay attention to the fortune cookies that tell me what I want to hear.

14. I sometimes feel that it’s wrong to make money by writing about things that have happened to me. Other times, I hope out loud for a book deal that will set me for life. My punk aesthetic and my adulthood responsibilities are clashing, and I’m attempting to straddle the line as best I can, so I can sleep at night without thinking I’m a whore.

15. I maybe see three new movies and read three new books every year. I don’t have time for them, and they don’t excite me for the most part. I’m not a big fan of fiction and I can’t stand congregating with strangers. It keeps me away from the bars, too.

16. On the other hand, I purchase no less than 50 CDs every year. My collection is at around 2000 right now, and it’s the most prized possession that I own.

17. However, I’d watch it all melt into a puddle if the house started on fire, because I would be too busy carrying my two cats to safety. In fact, even if I knew they would both die five minutes afterwards, I’d still sacrifice everything I own for that period of time. I mean that.

18. One of my goals for 2008 is to become popular enough locally to host a sold out blogging/writing panel at Geek Kon. I think that would be really neat for some reason.

19. I have never seen the original Star Wars trilogy, nor will I ever. After all the scrutiny I’ve taken due to this, it is now my life’s mission to die without ever watching them. Mainly out of spite. I don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything, and it has already been thoroughly ruined by their insane fans.

20. I think that my essays would work well in television show format. Failing that, I want to one day shoot short films based on some of them. Mainly, I’d like to do casting for the poor kid that would portray me.

21. I can rap well. I’m seriously good at it, although there will never be an instance where it would be socially acceptable to display it outside of a humorous light. I can deal with this; I don’t think people are ready for something so uncomfortable.

22. I sometimes play my wife’s bass guitar when I’m alone in the house. It sounds awful and I have to hold it upside-down, but it makes me happy. Meanwhile, my drums remain untouched in the basement, even though I have 13 years of experience under my belt.

23. If my blog posts don’t generate at least 10 comments a day, I feel like I haven’t done my job properly. That’s the superficial and egotistical barrier I surround myself in every waking moment.

24. If my wife knew how much money I spent buying myself lunch every week, she’d probably start putting me on an allowance, which I should probably be on anyways. It would make my life so much easier to be told what I can and cannot buy.

25. I sometimes become intensely aware of my adulthood responsibilities; my home, my wife, my job, my expenses and profits, and convince myself that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I start thinking that it’s only a matter of time before I’m discovered as a fraud, and they throw me back into school. Then I stand in front of an open refrigerator for 10 minutes, eat cookies before dinner and remind myself that I’m entirely in control of my destiny.

26. I want to get my ass kicked, just to see if I can take it. This is not permission to hit me if you meet me in person, mind you.

27. Before meeting my wife at age 17, I had kissed almost every female friend I’ve ever had.

28. The more popular my writing gets, the less people care about the essays, and the more they care about me as a person. For as personal as my essays are, I honestly never wanted it that way. I want fans of my work, not fans of how I live my life, even if the two overlap at times. I hope that made sense, and didn’t portray me as arrogant.

29. I don’t own a single Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen record, because I honestly think that the bulk of their work is terrible.

30. When I weighed 110 pounds in high school, I would joke about putting on 60 pounds and bulking up. Now that I’ve achieved that, I feel more out of shape than ever.

31. This summer, I sustained a stress fracture, shin splints and a soft tissue injury to my right leg. I haven’t been able to run since, and I fear that I might never be as athletic as I was before the accident. This is the first time in my life that my body refused to let me do something that I was once capable of doing, and to me, it symbolizes my mortality. That scares me.

32. I think about and miss my Grandfather every day, in some form or fashion.

33. All of the haircuts that I like never work on my head. I just go with whatever’s the least embarrassing.

34. Even my deepest and most secretive fantasies aren’t all that filthy. As it turns out, I’m a pretty tame guy. Strange, because as a teenager, I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. Thanks to the Internet, I know that I’m doing okay.

35. I’ve never wanted anything more than to make at least one person laugh every day.

36. I think that a lot of my readers are significantly funnier than I am. Ambition defeats talent any day of the week; those that write are not always as genius as those who do not want to write.

37. If I lost my wife tomorrow, I’d be finished in every sense of the word. Even after 8 years together, I’m still convinced that every day with her saves me from an unimaginably negative fate.

38. I’ve accepted that I’ll never be rich. I now strive to be comfortable.

39. I don’t know if I’ll ever look better than I do right now, and that’s just Goddamn awful.

40. If you were to ask me for a ten minute cultural analysis on why Mystery Science Theater 3000 was one of the most significantly important comedy shows in television history, I’d oblige and then some. If you were to ask me what I ate for lunch yesterday, I wouldn’t be able to remember.

41. This summer, I took a week off work and devoted all of my time towards writing my book. There, I got to experience what it would be like if I wrote for a living; if it were my job. It was one of the best vacations of my life. I had never been so productive. I woke up early, scheduled breaks for myself and accomplished everything I had set out to do. It was then that I realized I could easily accomplish anything that I was truly passionate about. Absolutely divine.

42. On any given week, I take in anywhere from 3 to 7 hours of Mixed Martial Arts on television. I would love to talk to you about it, if you were interested.

43. I don’t know you on a personal level, but I’m pretty sure I could destroy you in Tetris. I know that everyone thinks they are great at that game, but I’m fairly certain that I’m better. It’s the game that gave my OCD something positive to do.

44. ‘There is no sword to be feared more than the learned pen.’ I’m getting that phrase tattooed somewhere on my body next year.

45. As much as I come off as someone impossible to offend or embarrass, it happens to me on an almost-daily basis. I merely don’t show it, as not to ruin my image of the guy that you can say anything around. I dislike side-stepping around topics when I converse with someone who’s easily-offended, so when the shoe is on the other foot, I’d rather just lie about it than make people feel bad about voicing their backwards-ass opinions.

46. I love it when people tell me that I should go on a radio or television show to promote my book, like it’s simply a matter of making a phone call and booking a flight. Their wide-eyed concept of the entertainment industry never ceases to amaze me, and I almost wish I believed what they believed it took to get on their television. To be that ignorant must be a blast; it has to make CBS sitcoms more humorous, at the very least.

47. If you are a somewhat-comparably aged woman that I have met or conversed with at any time over the last 15 years, there’s a good chance that I’ve thought about what it would be like to sleep with you. This is an incurable disorder, and it is suffered by every man that you have ever met in your entire life. Most women, too.

48. I pick my battles wisely when it comes to not taking crap from people. I let a lot of things slide that would bother most, simply because when the time comes to really put your foot down, you can’t look like you’re crying wolf. When you show true displeasure in something, you don’t want people to laugh it off. Pick your battles; let things slide. It will earn you the clout to make more things go your way in the long run.

49. If I knew how to play the guitar, I’d be rich. Emotionally and monetarily, absolutely no doubt about it. The question then is, ‘Why don’t you learn?’

50. Whenever I’m near the Adult section of a DVD or magazine aisle, I always leave when I notice someone too embarrassed to make a purchase due to my presence. I think it’s rude to wreck a stranger’s afternoon for no good reason.

51. When I was a young teen, I’d always have adult women give me the ‘If you were 10 years older…’ line. I’ve never forgotten how much that angered, belittled and embarrassed me. Now that I’m pushing 26 years of age, I understand what it feels like to be on the opposite side of the equation. In the past few years, I’ve received no less than five different e-mails from young women talking about how they’ve been ‘stalking’ me, ‘obsessing’ over me and dreaming about me (with descriptions of said dreams, to boot). I’m extremely glad that I’m married now, so I don’t have to give them the ’10 years older’ line. I haven’t forgotten how much it sucks.

52. My muse doesn’t read my stories, and that’s tragic.

53. When I was 18, I got into a serious argument with the Missus and shattered my car’s windshield with my fist (spiderwebbed the entire thing; no joke). I tore my left index finger open in the process, which got infected and almost required surgery. I’ve had a permanent scar and occasional joint pain in the knuckle ever since. She apologized to me almost a year ago, and while I downplayed the hell out of it, I silently celebrated one of the very few times I’ve been right in an argument. It only took me having to punch a motor vehicle to pieces to prove it.

54. The only lasting thing I’ve gotten out of being raised Catholic is a constant feeling of guilt, shame and impending doom. Thanks for that.

55. If just one more kiosk owner at the mall grabs my wife’s hand and tries to bully her into buying moisturizer, I’m going to absolutely destroy him. I don’t care how unbelievably sexy he is.

56. If you are a smoker under the age of 30, you are an idiot. I will not argue with you about this.

57. I never understood how aficionados and alcoholics could drink straight hard liquor, but I’m finding that my booze-to-mixer ratio is getting more and more booze-heavy as I get older. The way I see it, I’ll be drinking straight hard liquor exclusively in less than three months. I think it just runs in my family.

58. I’m giving up my Health Club membership so I can afford an iPhone. In my opinion, that is the very definition of defeat. “Screw exercise; I can download porn in church!”

59. I’m a better driver than you.

60. I haven’t thrown up since September of 2002. This has to be some kind of record.

FRIDAY: THE CDP YEAR IN REVIEW.

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2007 – 5-1.

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Here we are again, kids. The CDP‘s choices for the Top 5 albums of 2007. As always, the list is compiled only of albums that I have purchased (not borrowed, browsed or stolen) and were released in 2007. I am not a music critic, I am a music fan, and the list is personal preference and opinion only; not a chance to boast my hipster cred. Ready? Let’s do this.

Before we get down to business, here are five 2007 albums that I have not yet purchased. Had I owned these albums sooner, perhaps they would have been on the list.

The NationalBoxer
Saves The DayUnder The Boards
The Good LifeHelp Wanted Nights
Shout Out LoudsOur Ill Wills
The Go! TeamProof Of Youth

I created the above list specifically to preemptively address why Boxer wasn’t on my list. Now you know.

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5. The WeakerthansReunion Tour
Read about the album here!

Even at their most mediocre, The Weakerthans can smoke most bands out of the water with their brilliant lyrics and emotional melodies. While Reunion Tour wasn’t on par with their 2003 Album of the Year, Reconstruction Site, it proves that they’re still one of the best in the business. ‘Night Windows’ instantly takes its place among one of the best songs they’ve ever written, thus making it one of the best songs you’ve ever heard.

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4. Streetlight ManifestoSomewhere In The Between
Read about the album here!

This was the album that was supposed to suck. Thomas Kalnoky was finished; creatively unable to write an original song. Cashing in on past fame. Nope. Somewhere In The Between smashes all dead-scene stereotypes about ska-flavored punk and gang melodies, boasting one of the most monumental and towering artistic statements of the year. The horns are some of the best I’ve ever heard. The lyrics are insightful and the multiple vocals are fist-pumpingly powerful. Overall, I’m just really proud of these guys.

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3. Patton OswaltWerewolves And Lollipops
Read about the album here!

Not just the funniest album of the year, but honestly one of the best stand-up albums I have ever heard. Patton has the ability to take simple things and make them epic. If you think that’s an easy task, it freaking isn’t (it’s what I try to do almost every day on the CDP). If you’re not one that purchases stand-up performances on CD, it comes with a DVD, as well. Brilliant, current, indie and worthy of envy.

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2. PolysicsKarate House!
Read about the album here!

Look, we all know that Polysics have held the title of Greatest Band In The World for quite some time now. While Karate House isn’t their best album (the untouchable For Young Electric Pop), you still cannot even approach these guys in any realm of punk, new-wave, noise or power pop. It was my honor to finally see them live this year, and it was worth all of the hassle it took me to get to them. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, Polysics.

Before we get to the CDP‘s pick for 2007 Album Of The Year, here’s a quick look back at previous CDP Album Of The Year winners:

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2003 Winner: The WeakerthansReconstruction Site
2003 Runner-Up: The Postal ServiceGive Up

Reconstruction Site and Give Up are two of those albums that never seem to go out of style for me. Give Up was underrated in that it pretty much created and revolutionized a genre, and Reconstruction Site has been consistently voted one of the best Canadian albums ever made (proving once again why we all need to move to Toronto as soon as we can). I stand by these choices wholeheartedly.

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2004 Winner: Arcade FireFuneral
2004 Runner-Up: CommuniquePoison Arrows

Communique formed in the ashes of Lookout! mainstays American Steel, and while they’re currently on hiatus, Poison Arrows did the dance-punk genre right, with just the right mix of heart, attitude and booty-shaking to stand above and beyond the rest. Funeral is quite simply one of the top 5 greatest albums I have ever heard, period.

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2005 Winner: Of MontrealThe Sunlandic Twins
2005 Runner-Up: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

I think most of us got caught up in the CYHSY! craze in 2005. I can’t say that I listen to this album anymore; in fact, it sort of annoys me nowadays due to playing it raw all that year. The Sunlandic Twins represented the perfect balance of the old and new Of Montreal sound, and it’s still probably their best album, start to finish.

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2006 Winner: The Velvet TeenCum Laude!
2006 Runner-Up: P.O.S.Audition

POS put together the best hip-hop album I’ve heard in the last 10 years, and I still bust it out almost every week at one point or another. His punk mindset, flow and intelligent anger is breathtakingly poignant and worth everyone’s time. Awesome stuff.

I’ll be completely honest with you about this. Cum Laude! is essentially sexual intercourse on a CD. For most of my life, I’ve been looking for an album that could pull this surreal fantasy off convincingly, and The Velvet Teen accomplished something that I really didn’t think was possible. This album will transform you, if you let it. Done.

Okay, can I get a drum roll, please? Oh, and maybe a shield to protect myself from flying vegetables?

The CDP’s pick for the Best Album of 2007 is…

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1. Arcade FireNeon Bible
Read about the album here!

Neon Bible is no Funeral. In fact, I had a very hard time choosing the album of the year, due to me not being able to find that one stand-out album in 2007. In the end, I chose Neon Bible for a number of reasons, the most of which being that it’s the best beginning-to-end album that I’ve heard all year. Some tracks lag slightly. Some tracks are incredible. They all serve a purpose, however, which makes the listening experience worthy of your start-to-finish attention.

‘Intervention’ is one of those songs that makes you remember what purpose music should serve in your life. The mere opening blast of the century-old pipe organ resonates in a staggering and sobering way, leading you into one of the most emotional and orchestral tracks the band has ever created. The familiar ‘No Cars Go’ has been revamped to describe the recent evolution of Arcade Fire, reminding you just how far they’ve come in a few short years. Other stand outs like ‘Black Mirror,’ ‘Keep The Car Running,’ ‘Antichrist Television Blues’ and ‘My Body Is A Cage’ keep Neon Bible as soild as possible until the very last note.

Neon Bible. The best album I’ve heard all year (also, #1 on many other respectable lists, including The Onion). Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

(NOTE: Cargirl over at the Cargirl News Minute has proclaimed me to be the 2007 Person Of The Year! I consider this to be a pants-peeingly awesome achievement, and I strongly encourage everyone to head over there and peek at the list. Thank you so much!)

How Do You Afford Your Rock & Roll Lifestyle?

Buttman. Will Buttman.
(Here we see Will Betheboy, enjoying his copy of 65 Poor Life Decisions.)

I’ve interrupted the increasingly boring Top 20 Albums of 2007 with some amazing recent press and acclaim for my debut book, 65 Poor Life Decisions. For those just tuning in, 65 Poor Life Decisions was published on November 30; a collection of the best humorous personal essays from the last four years of the CDP. It’s lemon scented with failure and defeat, and it’s funny as hell, too.

As seen in this monumental post, press and attention for the book has wildly exceeded my expectations and left me sold out of books (Never fear; I got a new batch in the mail today). After the initial wave of reviews, interviews, sales and kind words, I figured things would die down and get back to normal around here before the holidays. Not the case. In fact, things are busier now than ever, thanks to Madison Journalist Extraordinaire and friend, Nathan Comp.

Nathan recently gave 65 Poor Life Decisions a glowing and flattering review on Dane 101 yesterday, and I beg of you to click the link and check it out immediately. In addition to that, a photographer from Business Watch magazine will be stopping by Headquarters tonight to snap a few pictures of yours truly for an upcoming feature/interview, conducted by Mr. Comp himself. He is worthy of admiration and a beer, both of which he will receive from me the next time I see him (I’ll direct everyone to the Business Watch interview the second it’s published).

As a writer and potential recluse, I’ve been losing my mind over this photo thing. What should I wear? What is the message of the photo? Should I smile? Look serious and business-minded? Wear a tie in my own house? Hell, I wasn’t even sure I was running a business until a few weeks ago. When the photographer asked me over the phone what exactly it is that I do, my mind blanked out. “Um…I write a humor blog,” I stated, no doubt causing her to shake her head on the other line and wonder why she’s wasting her time with me. It wasn’t until the Missus came home and reminded me that I was indeed a real-life author that things became slightly clearer.

That’s right, I am an author,” I said quietly. “I didn’t know.

In either case, I got a haircut and dye job for the occasion. I hope Business Watch likes cinnamon brown Caesar cuts.

I'm A Favorite!
(Here we see the winner of the CDP’s ‘Jailbait of the Year’ award, Cargirl.)

In addition to that wonderful bit of news, Cargirl from the Cargirl News Minute has proclaimed my blog one of her Favorite Things of 2007. Also, and I’m crossing my fingers on this one, I’m anticipating showing up somewhere on her Top 10 People of the Year list, which should be up sometime today. Keep an eye out for it, I’ll throw a link up when I see it.

So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t purchased a copy of 65 Poor Life Decisions yet, you need to do so now so you can receive it before Christmas! You can order it online here, or you can order it directly through me here. My plan is to sell books like crazy right up until the end of the year, so help me make it happen.

Thank you. Sound off in the comments and enjoy your weekend. The conclusion of the Top 20 Albums Of 2007 arrives Monday.

(PS – Today is Blog Crush Day! Sound off in the comments and declare your Blog Crush to the CDP faithful!)