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. 1. Sorry, couldn’t be bothered to vote because of the whole 53 things thing. I gotta go see what Britney is up to today. My time is precious.2. I don’t chew gum, and I discourage the activity in others. I like you so I will spare you the harangue.3. I, too, want to spend my tax refund/rebate on home entertainment. I think you would be doing yourself and America a favor by getting the most obscene setup imaginable. I want to see the lights dim in Kentucky when you fire up that bad boy.4. Very classy. I might steal that idea when my wallet dies.5. I think you were mistaken to forgo the Misfits t-shirt. I’ve been a Misfits fan for a decade or two now, and even though they are kind of silly, devolved into something even more ridiculous after Danzig left, and have been milking their glory days for more than 20 years, they still rock my socks off. Even though I am closer to 40 than 30 now, I want to totally rock a black Misfits skull hoodie. I realize what a douche bag I will look like, yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, but that’s the way I roll.Cheers and happy birthday.


  2. Hey CDP, if you’d like out-of-staters (or even out-of-Madisoners) like me to vote for you, I’m going to need some help with the other 52 votes on that list. The BoM compilers will see right through an entry that names you as the Best Burger in Madison.


  3. <>JEANNA<> – Thank you! Don’t be a stranger to the <>CDP<>!<>ED<> – As it turns out, we might be getting our new Home Theatre sooner than later. After chatting with ‘Thad’ for about two hours at Best Buy last night, we’re closer than ever.The cigarette case idea came from The Missus before it came from <>Esquire<>. I wanted to mention that before she did.You’re also probably right about the Misfits shirt; I would have bought it if it weren’t for the stupid design on the back. There are many days where you can find me rocking an old hoodie that’s riddled with buttons and patches; it’s cool no matter how old you are. It’s fun to yell at the skateboarders in my driveway when I’m wearing it.LOTT – Wouldn’t that be hilarious if I received a certificate in the mail that recognized me as Madison’s Best Burger?Here’s the thing. I’m too lazy and morally sound to cheat on this thing, so only vote if you can at least fake your way through it. I appreciate everyone’s patronage, so we’ll just do what we can and see what happens.‘Funniest Blog In Wisconsin’ still applies to the <>CDP<>, regardless.


  4. I actually didn’t come up with the cigarette case idea—your sister did. She gave me the case as a Christmas gift when she lived on Marco Island, and I’ve used it with love and devotion ever since. It has a buxom woman being carried away by a robot!!


  5. -The HDTV is a great way to go, CDP. I work at the former nerd paradise Radio Shack and it’s the number one way to go. Make sure you got your HDMI cables for solid video quality.-I’m stealing that cigarette case idea ‘fo sho’-I just bought a 70’s Zep’ tour shirt and a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour shirt from Hot Topic the other day…pretty decent quality.


  6. <>HATHERY<> – Tru’ ‘dat. It’s shockingly hip.<>CAVEMAN<> – HDMI cables are go! We’re looking at a 40″ Sony LCD with accompanying 5.1 surround <>(receiver and powered sub, too)<>. I’m also getting the wireless thing that makes it so you don’t have to run cables to the back of your living room. We already have an HD-ready cable box, so it’s a matter of upgrading to Charter HD and rocking out. I stood in front of this setup at Best Buy while <>The Matrix<> played, and it was really something special.The shirts at Hot Topic are fine; I own quite a few of them. The problem arises when they sell ‘pre-faded’ shirts; especially when I have the original, ‘faded by age’ shirts at home. It’s like buying pre-ripped jeans.Cigarette cases are the new hipster status symbol. When I say ‘new,’ I mean ‘new to me.’


  7. People still chew gum? I’m shocked and appalled. Definitely time to pick up smoking and start preparing to fill your forthcoming case…Oh, and definitely go LCD. The plasma screens just don’t hold up as well – especially the bigger you go.< /de-lurking >


  8. LCD is where the shit is at bro’. Watching the first 20 minutes of <>Saving Private Ryan<> with Dolby-McDigital-Surround-Sound-HD Ready, has got to be one of the greatest experiences of my my life. Period.


  9. “Dolby-McDigital” 🙂Sounds like a 5.1 system manufactured by McDonald’s. haha. Their burgers suck, so they’ve decided to move into other ventures 🙂


  10. I have a wallet. It has a bicycle on it and was made in the UK. It looks < HREF="http://www.stabo.co.uk/image/wallet/Dwp%20Wh%20BB%20Blk.png" REL="nofollow">much like this<>, but in dark red. Your talk of cigarette cases makes it sad, but that’s OK. It still makes me feel cool.


  11. I used to have a wallet with a chain, because I was that bad-ass. I said I’d never carry a purse…NEVER. Then my mom bought me a fuzzy leopard-print purse, because she’s sly that way. She tricked me. I’ve carried a purse for a long time now.


  12. CAVEMAN – I’m in the bloodstream now. I’m everywhere.KATE – Putting cigarettes in a cigarette case is very faux-ironic. I’m in! Welcome aboard, by the way!CARROT – You’re all making this decision pretty easy for me to make. Thanks for helping throw my money away.EMILY – That’s a pretty rad wallet, I must say. I’m not anti-wallet, I’m just sick of mine and need a slick upgrade.HATHERY – I have a leopard-print credit card…with a ZERO BALANCE.Hey, <>Lost<> is on tonight.


  13. 1. Will writes a magazine. 2. In that magazine, Will states that you shouldn’t do what magazines say, but rather what Will says.3. What do you do?This, my friends, is a paradox.


  14. Whoah CDP, I feel like I just went back in time and killed my grandparents. Hathery – It’s your standard photo of a boy holding a giant piece of meat.


  15. I used to do the cigarette case thing. I now use one of < HREF="http://www.zni.co.za/cms/galleries/large/Paper%20clamps.jpg" REL="nofollow">these<> clips as a “money clip.”Also, I purchased a Star Wars jacket at Hot Topic and felt no shame.… okay, maybe a <>little<> shame.


  16. I’ve had the same wallet for the last 13 years. My wife bought me a new one after noticing the neon yellow Body Glove wallet I got from my Godmother when I was 12. I guess she didn’t like it or something. I had tastefully removed the velcro so it wouldn’t make that horribly loud rip when I opened it.A cigarette case wallet sounds really hip. Do you keep it in your blazer pocket or your man-purse?


  17. <>Hathery- Oh I see how it is now.<>I simply cannot trust someone on the suitability of “safe for workedness” who not only knows of the existence of a magazine called Buttman, but <>owns a copy<>.


  18. Hey, if it’s safe for Buttman, it’s alright by me.<>BLU<> – Blazer pocket, jerk. 🙂The mere rememberance of a velcro, Body Glove wallet made me laugh. Anytime I see someone over the age of retarded with anything velcro on them, I shake my head in disbelief and snicker.<>MORGAN<> – Every now and again, I’ll pick something up at Hot Topic. They have non-threatening vinyl, a few good shirts and keychains and whatnot. I went from thinking it was an awesome store, to hating it, to being acceptant of it within the course of the last 10 years.


  19. I thought you’d appreciate that. Ragging on someone after admitting you owned a bright yellow wallet has a certain sharp knee’d elegance about it. But I’m too modest to point that stuff out.


  20. Here’s the big question: If Will reads <>Buttman<>, yet doesn’t want people to do what magazines say, then does he really like butts at all?/Is a lifetime subscriber to <>Weinergirl<>.


  21. <>WILL<> – I feel the same way about Kelly Ripa.Having a magazine called <>Boobman<> is about as redundant as a television network for men./UFC 81 in HD on Saturday!


  22. Hathery – Only the specialty mags call out the subject. Haven’t you heard the Patton Oswalt bit on Piss Drinkers magazine. (I feel like the dirty uncle of the CDP today)


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