I Wrote Five Different Things For You To Read.

Thanks for the blazer, mom!

1. If you’re someone familiar with Madison culture (or just like to rig ballots), it would be lovely for you to vote the CDP as ‘Madison’s Best Blog’ for the 2008 Best Of Madison Awards. You’ll have to vote for at least half (53) of the 106 categories, but make sure you list Ryan Zeinert and theCDP.net as Madison’s Best Blogger! This is a very spur-of-the-moment, never-gunna-happen thing (the deadline is tomorrow), but who knows; we just might shock the city. Thanks in advance.

I'm watching you, Stride.

2. An Open Message To The Creators Of Stride Gum:

Listen. I enjoy your gum, but the whole concept is really starting to creep me out.

I mean, I didn’t initially buy into your ‘ridiculously long-lasting’ ad campaign, but after I received a few packs of your product in my Christmas stocking last month, I gave it a whirl. As it turns out, your flavor does last an extremely long time; more so than any gum I’ve ever chewed before. This is high praise, as I’m an experienced gum chewer from all the way back to 1986. I’ve rocked them all.

Hey, remember Fruit Stripe? The flavor in a stick of Fruit Stripe was gone before the wrapper was even off of it. Direct exposure to oxygen all but turned it into a strip of soy bacon. Nope, your gum is the real deal, which is why I’m starting to get concerned. In fact, I put a stick of Stride in my mouth at 7am this morning, and I’m still enjoying it at 10:21am. At this pace, I might have to skip lunch.

I’m a logical guy, and I’m smart enough to know that you didn’t just crack the code on some long-hypothesized chewing gum flavor mystery. I’m quite certain that your team of scientists didn’t hit some 3am, Willy Wonka-esque breakthrough on how to make a stick of gum last an entire day. My theory is that you’re using some experimental, borderline-toxic preservative that’s causing a grapefruit-sized tumor to form on my brain stem, along with the collective brain stems of all Stride chewers.

Clean up your act, Stride. I’m watching you.


3. Me and the Missus spent over an hour eyeballing the HDTV sets at Best Buy last Sunday. I guess at some point during the weekend, it was mutually decided that our tax refund would be better spent on an updated entertainment system than our credit card bills and that artificial hip I so desperately need to walk again. After all, who needs to be mobile when you have 5.1 Dolby Surround?

More importantly, we got to the bottom of the HD discussion and figured out what we need to make the switch. I looked into HD Cable, debated LCD/Plasma, 720pi/1080pi and took a measurement as to what was the largest television I could put in my living room without suffering a brain hemmorhage approximately eight seconds in. I could theoretically mount a 72″ in the breakfast nook if I knock out the retaining wall between the bedroom and master bath. Who cares if we rent? I get to watch the UFC in High Definition!

Will it happen soon? Doubtful, but we’re ready to go. I should also mention that the Missus is not hindering this purchase in any way. In fact, I think she wants to upgrade more than I do. I need to remember to take her out for a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day; she’s alright.

I smoke money.

4. When I was younger, I was into whatever Alternative Press said was cool. As I got into college, I was into whatever Pitchfork said was cool. When I turned 22, I got into whatever Paste said was cool. Now that I’m a few days away from 26, I do whatever Esquire says is cool.

Esquire is like Playboy without all the pesky nudes and short fiction; the ultimate guide to living like a true discriminating gentleman. I’ve changed my attitude, manner of dress and codes of conduct to better suit the Esquire lifestyle. Sure, it’s bankrupting me, but at least I don’t look like a douche anymore while I’m eating 39-cent macaroni and cheese right out of the pan.

I’m an author, damn it! A small-business owner! I’m doing interviews, shaking hands, establishing a brand, for Christ’s sake! I needed to ditch the emo sweaters, black-framed glasses and navel-gazing, post-haste! It was for my own good; real confidence is never found wearing an ironic t-shirt and hanging out in the back of an Of Montreal concert.

Of course, I’m joking. However, I still am adopting an Esquire lifestyle, one step at a time. My current item on the path of gentleman-ly evolution is ditching my wallet for a cigarette case. As someone who cannot stand having things in his pockets, a slim, metal cigarette case is just what I need to keep the panic attacks down (maybe more so than actual cigarettes). Just the essentials will accompany me; cash, credit cards and out-of-state oil change coupons. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Anyway, I'm not cliche'.

5. My studded belt has seen better days. The studs are falling off of it in mass quantities, the metal is poking into my stummy when I sit down and the sharp edges are tearing up my pantaloons. I need a new one, so teenagers will still think that I’m cool. Actually, when I wear my studded belt with my faux-leather jacket, I pretty much look like a ‘Leather Daddy,’ which is appealing to no one I’d care to speak with outside of an ironic costume party.

Hot Topic is the only place where I see studded belts on a regular basis (and just $20), so I popped in for a few minutes. As I scanned the abysmal t-shirt wall, I saw a nice-looking Misfits shirt staring down at me. Ruh-roh.

I was then hit with a serious moral decision.

Do I buy the Misfits shirt at Hot Topic and ignore the sound of my 17 year old self commiting suicide at the thought? Do I not pay attention to all contradictions, and logically see it as nothing more than a nice shirt that I want to wear? After all, the mere thought that I’m conflicted is far more punk than the Misfits ever were. This is a band that licensed their logos out for more merchandise than KISS, for God’s sake. It’s not my fault that they’re whores for money; why should I deny myself a t-shirt because of the time, location and circumstances surrounding its existence? Have you ever even heard ‘Astro Zombies?’ I mean, have you?

In the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to it. Mainly because there was a design on the back of it that was really retarded looking. For future reference, I’m still conflicted and I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision on that day. Another time, perhaps. Maybe when I’m older.

There you have it, a handful of stories for the last day of January. Today is also special, because it’s my sister’s 21st birthday. Happy Birthday, Alissa; I love you and hope you’re not too embarrassed by your oaf of a brother. Your present is in the mail.


63 thoughts on “I Wrote Five Different Things For You To Read.

  1. In an attempt to subtly change the subject, I just read that the 8th episode of the new season of Lost will be titled <>Meet Kevin Johnson<>. God knows what crazy reason for that is, but I struggle to see how a long-awaited Michael episode could be at all bad.


  2. I’m also invoking JT right now. He has been conspicuously absent from this thread. Let’s see how long it takes for him to show up.If it’s longer than two hours I will try again. Only I will have to sacrifice a chicken.*<>*(I won’t really, I will count the one in my egg foo yung as given up for sacrifice)<>


  3. BLU – Sorry to leave you hanging, man. THe little lady and I are both sick with the Martian Death Flu, and I spent most of my day in bed with her – and not in a fun, monkey-sex way. More of a “who will get up and find the medicine this time” kind of way.It’s also the reason that Spork Nation hasn’t been updated all week.It’s hard to be funny and creative when your brain is dripping out of your nose.Damn, I missed some good commenting today.CDP, since I have yet to ship your moonshine, in honor of your birthday, I’m going to take it up a notch and make you a batch of Atomic Cherries. There will also be another surprise in the package. (a yearlong subscription to Buttman)/longest comment ever.


  4. WILL – We totally were, and it was awesome. A great ‘welcome back’ episode that set the stage for the first half of Season 4. I was pleased, and the Hurley flash-forwards were really great.SPORK – I hope the both of you get better soon. I know what it’s like; it’s damn hard to be funny when you’re truly miserable. Keep yer’ head up.I’m expecting enough illegal alcohol to kill me ten times over.


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