A Ziploc Bag Full Of Chocolate Chip Cookies.

A Ziploc Bag Full Of Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Yesterday, as I was packing my lunch for work, I threw in a Ziploc bag full of chocolate chip cookies. I had purchased a tub of the soft, silver dollar-sized cookies from the market last week, and thought they would bridge the Hunger Gap between lunch and when I leave for the day. This gap is normally bridged by either a Twix or vending machine egg salad, both of which usually lead to me spending the better part of the afternoon on the toilet.

I have a tender tummy.

I’m typically a creature of habit when it comes to my meals, but I’ve been taking strides to not eat out for lunch so much, as it’s bankrupting me and making me heart attack-y and chubby (I’m this close to having to buy Medium-sized shirts). I needed to find a way to spice up my lunchtime routine, and the Ziploc bag full of chocolate chip cookies would be a perfect tonic to my monotony.

As my workday trudged forth, I forgot all about the Ziploc bag. I was so bogged down with phone calls, meetings and paperwork, that it became a distant memory. So when 2:30pm rolled around, and I pulled open my desk drawer to look for a Sharpie, imagine my shock when I rediscovered the Ziploc bag full of chocolate chip cookies, shining like a white-collar beacon in my otherwise dreary day. My eyes lit up, and I leapt at the bag like Dobby the House Elf snatching a bag of gold coins. What a delightfully grand surprise!

As I sat there, shoveling the factory-made treats into my maw, I became intensely self-aware as to how funny the situation was. Here I was, at the relatively young age of 26, sitting in a cubicle at a State office, wearing tan khakis and a polo shirt, cramming cookies down my throat like they were the antidote to all of my abject misery and depression.

When I was six years old, it would have taken a Nintendo Entertainment System to instill this much joy in me. When I was 17, I’m quite certain that there was nothing on Earth that would have made me as happy as I was at this moment. Everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve learned and all the strides I’ve made as a man and a member of the human race have boiled down to this; damn-near whizzing my pants at the forgotten prospect of eating a Ziploc bag full of chocolate chip cookies. As image-conscious as I normally am, it was probably one of the saddest revelations of my life.

I started laughing. Hard. After all, it was pretty hilarious, and it sure beat crying. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut; crumbs and bits of chocolate chip were spilling down the front of my shirt. That only made me laugh harder. I started wheezing and snorting through my nose, eventually dropping the bag into the trash and busting into an all-out guffaw that attracted the attention of those around me. Tears welled up in my eyes and I took in the absurdity and triviality of the Human Experience.

In less than a minute, I had learned a powerful life lesson. I also had a mess to clean up.

Don’t be embarrassed of what makes you happy. Even if it’s just a Ziploc bag full of chocolate chip cookies, dig your fat ass in and enjoy the moment. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter how much money you make and it doesn’t matter what you thought this life was going to bring you, rest assured that this is all we have, and waiting for any other joy to arrive will be considered a waste when the last page is turned, I promise.

Happiness is a cookie. Happiness is getting five green lights in a row on your way to work. Take the time to admire the sadness in the realization that it’s the honest truth, then allow yourself to enjoy it with every fiber of your being.

Let the crumbs fall down your shirt; you deserve it.

Lost Monday – "The Shape Of Things To Come."

Season 4 – Episode 9: “The Shape Of Things To Come.”

After a short hiatus, Lost, Lost Monday and the CDP itself has returned for glory and gentle kisses. We have much to discuss; it’s good to be back.

I decided to take last week off for a number of reasons, the most honest being that I was getting sick of hearing myself talk. The egotistical nature of Bloggers (well, the good ones, at least) dictates that they always have to be their own biggest fan, and that just wasn’t happening, what with my busy schedule outside of the CDP and short posts and whatnot. That, coupled with my freelance work and an upcoming home purchase, made it clear that I needed to take a few days for myself. I don’t remember if I’ve ever done that before, and it felt pretty decent. Maybe I’ll do it again in five years.

Still, I was busy last week. On Tuesday, I cleaned out a filing cabinet that had been silently and willfully collecting every slip of paper me and the Missus have ever seen for the last six years. Every receipt, every check stub, every service warranty and every letter ever addressed to us had been stuffed into that poor thing, and two garbage bags later, the nightmare was over. However, if you happen to be in a Madison landfill and come across a giant Hefty bag full of personal and vital information concerning the identity and credit history of a certain author and humorist named Ryan J. Zeinert, do the right thing and leave it alone. You don’t want my life, I can assure you.

On Wednesday, me and the Missus headed to the Sundance Theatre for the Lost Pub Quiz. My team (Named ‘WAAAALLLLT!!!’) ended up finishing 4th out of about 15 squads, which was a disappointment, but also a triumph considering the sheer amount of nerditude emanating from that building. I got to meet the alluring, bubbly and well-scrubbed Emily Mills, drank a little too much Jameson and gorged on sweet potato fries. No matter what the theme of the quiz is, it always ends the same for me; drunk, angry, sweaty and finishing 4th (although not necessarily in that order). I’m officially retiring from the Pub Quiz effective immediately, for my own good, and for the good of my wife and close friends.

Whatever, you damn nerds; I still get paid to write about Lost, so suck it.

Don't Talk To This Man At The Bus Stop.
(Jack Shepard. Doctor. Hero. Mildly Retarded.)

On Thursday, I ventured to Milwaukee for a date with one of my favorite hardcore-turned-emo-turned-Elephant 6-turned angry-turned-confused bands of all-time, Saves The Day. I also got to see Cargirl there (I got to say hello to two different CDP Alumni in back-to-back nights! Rapture!), and drunkenly yell in her ear for at least three hours. The six Captain Morgan and Cokes that I sucked back had an annoying effect on me; as Rum makes me goofy and caffeine makes me a babbling fool. I apologize to anyone that had to listen to me ramble that night, and special thanks to Benjamin for driving me home, Cargirl for being a sweetheart and Sherry for not spilling her burrito in the backseat of my spotless car.

One of the opening bands for Saves The Day was Metro Station, a band that featured a guy by the name of Trace Cyrus on guitar and backup vocals. I just now realized that he is the older brother of Miley Cyrus, who is best known as the face of the unspeakably popular and wealthy Hannah Montana franchise. And his dad is Billy-Ray Cyrus! How cool is that? I’d rip on him, but they were actually pretty catchy and non-threatening, as I had assumed they would be.

So, as you can surmise, I didn’t see this week’s episode of Lost until Friday evening, and it didn’t disappoint in the least. In fact, it was one of the craziest and most action-packed episodes in the entire series of the show. We got some good old-fashioned bloodshed, a surprise death of a popular character, mythology abound and Benjamin Linus teleporting (more on that later). This strike-shortened season 4 has been cruising at breakneck speed, and the only shame is that there’s merely four episodes left.

Put on your bib, it’s time for The Thick & Meaty!

Thick And Meaty!


Kate opens the show with some side-boob teasing, as Jack tries to pretend that his appendix isn’t about to burst out the side of his abdomen. The dead body of the Freighter’s doctor washes ashore with his throat slit, and when questioned, Daniel once again speaks in fruity prose and riddles.

If I could kill one character before the Season 4 finale, I can’t think of a better candidate than Daniel. He talks like a coked-up Yoda. Just complete a normal sentence, ya’ jittery douche!

When Daniel is forced to send a Morse Code message back to the Freighter, he lies about the response he receives. According to the Freighter, the doctor is safe and sound on the boat. Fortunately, Bernard is a former Eagle Scout, and calls him onto the table for his shenanigans. Daniel reveals that it was never their intention to rescue anyone from the island, and Jack’s intestines pop out at the revelation.


(Even dentists like Bernard suffer from TMJ every now and again.)

The captain of the freighter, along with a few of his camouflage-clad dirtbags pop a cap into Karl and Rousseau, and are now holding Alex hostage as leverage to capture Benjamin. As it would appear, Ben didn’t set those three up at all (score one for pure evil!). The captors make Alex disarm the sonic fence surrounding the barracks, which she does…sort of.

In fact, she sent a distress call that alerted the Barracks, notably Locke, Sawyer and Hurley. When they check with Ben to see that the warning means, he pulls a shotgun and announces ‘They’re here!’ Wow, I pity the first Jehovah’s Witness that knocks on that dude’s door.

Stuttery McUnnecessary.
(“You could say that…um…well, speaking coherently is not my…um…primary concern.”)

As Sawyer darts over to Claire’s cabin to save her, three unnamed castaways get shot and killed, in a scene so comically slapstick that it could have been an homage to the Three Stooges. We all take a second to mourn these complete strangers, and then return to the action. Just when the gunfire and corpses can’t cascade any faster, a goddamn RPG slithers into frame, vaporizing Claire’s cabin with her inside.

Claire is okay, and just as whiny and annoying as ever. Sawyer gets her back into Locke’s cabin with the rest, and Miles arrives with a walkie in which to communicate with the Freighter’s captain. Initially, Ben wishes not to speak with Keamy, but finds out that Alex has been taken prisoner. After some wordplay and general weener waving between Keamy and Benjamin, Keamy has heard enough of Ben’s heel-dragging and shoots Alex dead.

What a bastard. In fact, this was such a total dick more on the part of Keamy, that he wins the first-ever Lost Monday ‘Jerk Of The Week‘ Award.

What A Jerk.

Congrats, you worthless asshole. Rest assured, however, that Keamy will receive swift and brutal retaliation in just a few minutes.

Benjamin, in total shock, utters the phrase, “He changed the rules,” and retreats to a secret room, containing a stone wall covered with hieroglyphics. Some time later, he shows back up, looking like he just changed the oil in his car. He orders everyone to run into the forest, presumably into incoming gunfire. As the castaways start to question his judgment, the Smoke Monster, larger and angrier than we’ve ever seen, bursts in and seemingly tears the gunmen to shreds. As the survivors head out into the forest, Ben takes a moment to say goodbye to his daughter (that he kidnapped from Rousseau as a baby and has kept prisoner for 17 years).

This most recent Smoke Monster appearance was pretty awesome. I mean, we’ve seen it do some crazy things in the past, like eviscerate the Pilot, bash Mr. Eko to pieces against a tree, and attempt to suck Locke into an abyss, but it sure seemed on a direct mission this time. Also, it seems logical to theorize that it can be controlled by whatever Benjamin was doing in his secret bunker (the island has hundreds of them; apparently the Dharma folk were a paranoid bunch). This brings us to this week’s 5 Awesome Things.

5 Awesome Things.

5 Awesome Things…You Could Do With Your Own Personal Smoke Monster.

1. Cut your morning commute to the office in half. Or, just cut your office in half.

2. No more Girl Scouts, trick-or-treaters and solicitors to your home. Ever.

3. Tree and stump removal at a fraction of the cost.

4. Stop the war in Iraq and execute the President for his crimes, all in less than 18 seconds.

5. See to it that none of Brett Favre’s quarterback records are ever broken.

Yeah, I agree with you; it wasn’t that funny of a list this week. Oh well, back to the Thick & Meaty.

Locke and Ben need Hurley to come with them, as they believe he knows the location of Jacob’s cabin. I guess they need further instruction from Jacob, and Sawyer is having none of it. He, Miles, Claire and Aaron are heading back to the beach. They exchange quick pecks on the cheek and go on their separate ways.


He Tried To Remove His Own Thyroid.
(The doctor tried to operate on his own thyroid.)

Benjamin wakes up in the middle of the Sahara desert, wearing a parka with a previously-unseen Dharma logo on it. It is at this point, that I fully realize that this is one of the best Lost episodes ever. I mean, come on. Dude just teleported from a Dharma station on the island! Are you kidding me? I guess that explains how he leaves the island, never mind that “I took Desmond’s boat” crap that he gives Sayid later on in the episode.

Ben checks into a Tunisian hotel, where he asks the clerk for the year (hilarious!), and spots Sayid on television, hounded by the press, telling them that he ‘just wants to bury his wife in peace.’ I guess that Sayid worked quick in finding and marrying Nadia when he got off of the island, only to see her killed weeks later. We’ll see that story fully explored in Season 5, I assume.

Ben tracks Sayid down, and claims to know who it was that killed his wife. He manages to convince Sayid that it was one of Widmore’s men, which sends Sayid into a trademark rage, essentially giving Benjamin his own personal hitman for life. Ben is a guy that’s pretty good at getting what he wants; one of the most manipulative and ruthless characters I’ve ever seen on television, next to Ryan Seacrest.

Oh No, I Loved....THAT Guy!
(Not the guy in the pink shirt! I loved that guy!)

Sayid, with Ben’s help, tracks down and kills the man that (according to Ben) killed his Missus. This is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship, and it looks as if he’ll be killing many more of Widmore’s men as the months roll along.

In one of the most important scenes in Lost history as far as mythology and history go, Ben shows up in Charles Widmore’s hotel room in the middle of the night. Widmore, who’s now speaking with an Australian accent (d’oh!), awakes and listens to Ben accuse him of murdering Alex. Ben then vows to kill Charles’ daughter, Penelope, telling him that he’ll make him ‘wish he hadn’t changed the rules.‘ Widmore counters that Ben will never find her, and that he wants “his” Island back. Ben says he will never find the Island, and that the hunt is on.

Smash cut, episode over. I had almost nothing to make fun of this week; it was damn-near television perfection. Don’t get too used to this breakneck pace, however; it’s just due to the writers and producers cramming 16 hours worth of season into 13 hours of show. Season Five will be around 19 episodes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if almost all of them merely set the stage for the final Sixth Season. That being said, they’re making up for Season 3 in a huge way. Bravo.

Enough ego-stroking. Let’s Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 – There’s a good chance that the jacket Benjamin was wearing during his Sahara Desert excursion was from The Orchid, which appears to be the final Dharma station yet to be revealed. It’s probably also the home for all of the time-travel weirdness that seems to be the highlight of Season 4.

Now, this whole ‘Ben jumping through space and time’ thing brings us to the most recent installment of Question Of The Week.

Question Of The Week.

If You Could Teleport To Anywhere At Any Time On Earth, Where Would It Be?

A. NCAA East Regional Final, 1992. Distract Christian Laettner seconds before his buzzer-beater victory over Kentucky.

B. Nuremberg, Germany, 1928. Kick Adolph Hitler so hard in the balls that he gives up his political aspirations for the quiet life of a needlepoint enthusiast.

C. Skywalker Ranch, 1993 or 1994. Kill George Lucas with a shovel, to prevent him from writing the Star Wars prequels.

D. High School Prom, 1998. Spare yourself that half-bottle of Smirnoff in the limo, so you don’t throw up on Christina Cook’s shoes during Coronation (this one’s mainly just for me).

Of course, the correct answer is E: May 2010. Watch Lost Series Finale and die happy. Now let’s continue with Break It Down!

George Bush Makes Toast.
(John McCain takes a lie detector test.)

8 – One of the Bedouin in the Sahara Desert points out how Ben does not have a trail. The other replies, “Where did this guy come from? Down from the sky?” More proof that Ben is teleporting. Bleep gleep glop glorp.

If you recall from last month, I wasn’t a huge fan of ‘The Constant,’ mainly because I didn’t like the inclusion of impossible theories like time travel or jumping through space. That all being said, if done correctly, it would explain a lot of things and not seem like too much of a cop out. I can’t deny that I thought it was awesome last week, so I’ll continue to trust the producers and writers on this one.

15 – When Jack was searching for pills to calm his bursting appendix, he chows down on some Amoxicillin, which makes sense for a doctor to do. Now you know. What I want to know is, how could there possibly be any of that stuff left on the Island? Everyone takes Amoxicillin!

16 – Taken directly from Lostpedia: “This was the first episode of Lost to feature footage filmed outside of the United States. The London scenes between Ben and Charles Widmore were filmed in London due to Alan Dale performing on stage in the West End during filming of the second block of Season 4.”

Amazing to think that all of these desolate locations and avenues have all been shot within the good old United States. Wow.

He Really Should Be Used To This By Now.
(When your life has been ruined as many times as Sayid’s, you pretty much always look like this.)

23 – As it would seem by Ben’s trip to his secret lair, he has at least some control over the Smoke Monster. This means that he’ll probably be able to offer some insight into it at some point this season (or the next). What’s even more badass, though, is that the man keeps a shotgun in his piano bench. I bet Victor Borge did that, too.

42 – At least five people died on camera this week, with approximately another five or six dying off-camera. That has to be some kind of record, even for a show that racks up as many corpses as Lost.

Spoilers ahoy! Cover your eyes! Here comes The Preview!

Something Nice Back Home.

1. Episode 10 will be titled ‘Something Nice back Home,’ and it will be Jack-centric. I’m not sure what the ‘something nice’ is referring to, but it sure as hell better not be Kate. Gahh.

2. The official press release from ABC reads: “When Jack’s health is seriously compromised, Kate and Juliet must learn to work together in order to save him; and something goes wrong as Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles continue their trek away from Locke’s camp and back to the beach.”

3. Expect Jack’s appendix to burst, and for Juliet to take charge and attempt to fix him. According to the actress that plays Juliet, “After reading this episode, I realized that Juliet really does truly love him.”

4. Flash-forward-wise, this should be a big one, centering around Jack and Kate, mainly between his island rescue and his bearded-emo phase. “We’re starting to close the loop on the end of last season,” says Matthew Fox. “Jack in the future is a man marked by weakness, but the Jack of the present is strong. You’re going to understand how he made that transition.”

5. This bit of information comes to us from some on-set troll. “Lost returned to film another scene at the “Santa Rosa Mental Institute.” Filming took place inside, with Jorge Garcia and Matthew Fox. But also featured prominently was John Terry (Christian Shepherd). Brief shots were filmed at the clinic’s front desk, and inside Dr. Jack Shepherd’s office.” Rad.

Well, there you have it. Another Lost Monday in the books. Start the discussion in the comments section, send all erotic photography to communistdance@yahoo.com, and enjoy your day. Also, feel free to catch up on the entire Fourth Season of Lost Monday by clicking on the links below. Thanks for reading, nerds.

Lost Monday – Episode 1 Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 2 Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 3 Pop Crunch Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 4 Recap.http://feeds.feedburner.com/%7Es/blogspot/TheCDP?i=http://communistdanceparty.blogspot.com/2008/02/lost-monday-eggtown.html
Lost Monday – Episode 4 Pop Crunch Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 5 Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 6 Recap.
Lost Monday – Episode 7 Recap.

Record Store Day.

Tomorrow is National Record Store Day! This is a day to support and take pride in your local independent record store. Stop in and buy something, anything, as a way to say thanks and keep local business alive and awesome.

In Madison (home of the CDP), my favorite establishment is B-Side Records. As it stands, every time there’s something I just can’t seem to find anywhere else, they’ll have it at B-Side. Why I don’t just start looking there in the first place remains to be seen, which I’ll admit is a little ridiculous of me. I’ll use tomorrow as a way to apologize and right this injustice.

B-Side Records.
(B-Side Records – Madison.)

Like most of us, I’m addicted to iTunes. I’m addicted to their ease of use, their cheap prices and instant satisfaction. However, there’s nothing cooler and more rewarding than discovering a band at a brick-and-mortar locale that takes you by surprise, blows you away and reminds you that there’s a lot more out there than ‘Recommended Picks’ through Apple and random celebrities. Rifling through stacks of albums at an independent is akin to finding things out about yourself that you may have otherwise forgotten. Old bands are rediscovered, new bonds are formed, and you get to be part of a scene that relies on your support.

EarWax Records.
(EarWax – Madison.)

Another cool store in downtown Madison is EarWax, if only because they’re so hardcore that it scares me. Everytime I walk in that place, I feel like I’m about to be butchered, which is absolutely rad to me. The last time I visited EarWax (which is almost hidden in a second floor room off of State Street), I had just come from work and was wearing a tie, which officially qualified me as the sorest thumb on Earth for Metal Record Store clientele.

Radio Kos Records.
(Radio Kos Records – Stevens Point.)

Statewide, my #1 favorite store is Radio Kaos Records in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Even though I’ve only become aware of it in the past year, I plan on making an annual trek there for splurging. Their selection was absolutely incredible; they had armloads of albums that I had all but given up on looking for. I kid you not, the last time I visited Radio Kaos, I walked out with fifteen records, including two albums that I’m certain were illegal to sell. That’s the kind of place you’re going to want to go back to.

Sound off in the comments section, talk about your favorite local record store and enjoy your weekend.

5 Easy Fashion Tips For The Lazy Bastard.

(I like to wear a blazer around the house so the cats don’t judge me.)

Like most guys out there, I don’t like to try very hard when it comes to the clothes I wear, but I also prefer to make an effort to not look like I’m missing a chromosome. Here are a handful of easy tips that I follow when it comes to keeping it classy.

1. Never underestimate a clean, white collar shirt with a narrow tie and jeans. It works for almost every occasion, and people will notice that you look slightly less homeless than usual. A simple go-to outfit when you’re unsure of the manner of dress for a dinner or night out. Make sure your jeans are long enough to cover the laces on your shoes, but not long enough to trip over. If you can’t tie a tie, go here or ask your Significant Other for assistance. Don’t wear a black t-shirt under the collar shirt; keep it white and tight.

CDP-Approved Examples:
BKE ‘Tyler’ Jeans – The Buckle – $72
White ‘1MX’ Shirt – Express – $59
Assorted Narrow Ties – Express – $39
Fitted White ‘Stretch’ T – Gap – $16

Blaze On, Bitches.
(Disregard my complete and total lack of pigment.)

2. Every guy should own at least one nice blazer. It works with slacks and jeans alike, and can be worn over almost any graphic t-shirt or solid-colored collar shirt. A painless way to feign effort when you’re lazy; I usually keep a black blazer in my car, just in case. When you’re looking for the proper fit, hold your arms straight out to your sides, and the sleeves of the blazer should be about an inch higher than where your wrist bone is. Anything longer makes you look like you’re wearing your Dad’s clothes. Keep it fitted and make sure the pinstripes aren’t a noisy deal-breaker.

CDP-Approved Examples:
Black 2-Button Stretch Wool Jacket – Express – $198
White 2-Button Stretch Wool Jacket – Express – $198
All-Wool, 2-Button Black Blazer – Men’s Warehouse – $230

Black And Tight 24.
(This is the 300th time that I’ve used this photo, huzzah!)

3. White socks make you look like a tourist, and match almost nothing. Convert to black and simply keep a few pairs of the white socks around for when you’re exercising or hanging around the house. Never wear white socks with black pants, and God help you if you wear them with sandals (in fact, just never wear sandals, ever). When in doubt, always go with solid black.

CDP-Approved Examples:
Classic-Ribbed Black Socks – Gap – $6

I'm Extremely Intoxicated Here.
(I was extremely drunk when this photo was taken, so…yeah.)

4. This all means nothing without a decent belt, watch and pair of shoes. Just keep the belts black, the shoes scuff-free and the watch polished. Also, go with leather if you can stomach it; when it comes to belts and footwear, I don’t screw around with cloth and hemp. Wearing a watch that isn’t set to the correct time is worse than wearing no watch at all; this happens to me all the time, and women constantly notice that kind of stuff. It makes you look disorganized and lazy.

CDP-Approved Examples:
Assorted Belts – Express – $34-$39
Any shoe by Skechers; they’re cheap, sharp and never seem to wear out.
I’ve been wearing Fossil watches for years; they’re amazing.

Or A Wife, If You Must.
(This is the face of justice and halfway-decent tastes.)

5. When all else fails, get yourself a girlfriend. This is the easiest way to make sure that you never leave the house looking like an extra in a David Fincher movie.

CDP-Approved Examples:

To recap, by purchasing just one pair of jeans, one pair of slacks, two ties, three collar shirts and a black blazer, you’ve essentially improved your wardrobe by dozens of mix-and-match outfits that will function under a multitude of social settings. Keep ’em wrinkle, lint and spot-free, and you’re pretty much set for the rest of the year.

Don’t say I never did anything for your dishevled ass. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

This Day In History – April 15.

Hermione What?

1865 – Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth.

1912 – The RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic.

1947 – Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

2008 – British actress Emma Watson, best known for her role as ‘Hermione Granger’ in the Harry Potter film series, turns 18.

We shall never forget. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Gabelstapler Fahrer.

Look, you know me.

You know that I wouldn’t put a nine-minute clip on here unless I knew without a shred of uncertainty that it would be nine of the most well-spent moments of your week.

Four words: Instructional. German. Forklift. Safety.

You think you know what you’re getting into. You think you understand. You do not. Unless you’ve already seen it (it’s quite popular), you have absolutely no idea what you’re in for.

Be patient. Don’t cop out or fast-forward. Allow yourself these nine minutes to remind you exactly why the Internet exists. I can almost guarantee that you’ll be thanking me later.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

We Can’t Start It Again For Thirty-Seven Hours.

Calibrate your signal to mine.

Today, 65 Poor Life Decisions became available at many retailers nationwide, including Barnes & Noble, Target and Amazon (click the links for proof, yo). As I will not be breaking ground on my next book until June at the earliest, it’s good to know that I’m still getting fresh mileage out of my debut.

Friday, April 11, 2008, will hereby be remembered as the day that award-winning blogger, author and humorist Ryan J. Zeinert became a millionaire. I’d like to thank all the little people; midgets in particular. The first thing I’m going to do with my newfound free time is to go to every Target in Wisconsin, ask them to order 10 books for me, and never come back to claim them. That way, whenever I go to a Target with friends and relatives, it’ll look like 65 Poor Life Decisions is flying off the shelves.

People keep asking me what the next book is going to be about, which always stuns me. They act like I’ve been hoarding a Sci-Fi epic or period piece about postwar France in the Middle Goddamn Ages. I can assure you that the next book will be another steaming batch of personal tales drenched in failure, rejection, goofy nostalgia and getting hit in the pants with a clown hammer. Only this time, they’ll be funnier, longer and more expensive to purchase.

Also, it would be nice to not have to handle my own distribution and accounting, so I’m working on the technical aspect of things as well. When I first started writing, I didn’t think that I’d be walking stacks of hand-packed books to the post office 4 days a week, only to save every receipt and log all purchases into the most complicated Excel spreadsheet ever devised by man. I think that I’ve probably cheated myself out of a billion dollars through Auto Sum formula errors alone.

Which reminds me. I have exactly 4 (four) copies of 65 Poor Life Decisions left at headquarters, which means that I will only be able to personalize and directly handle four more orders. Once they’re gone, Lulu and the other listed retailers will be the best way to buy the book, although they will not be autographed or contain any free CDP merch. Click here if you forgot what the process was to order a piece of history.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), the Missus will be seeing Hanson(!) in concert, which means that I will be free to any and all suggestions that you may have concerning extracurricular activities in the Greater Madison Area. Let me know if you wish to have me make an appearance somewhere; preferably somewhere that makes a good Manhattan.

Thank you for reading. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

I’d Like To Five-Star You In Performance Mode.

Any fantasies of me becoming a Nerdcore artist vanished completely a few days ago, when I laid my eyes upon the above (fan-created) video for ‘Nrrrd Grrrl’ by MC Chris, who manages to say everything that I’ve ever wanted to say in a rap song in just under three minutes. Watch, listen, allow yourself to be amazed and find yourself humming it constantly on your way to work. It’s my new favorite song, and I’ve already listened to it 10 times since Tuesday.

When I went to Geek Kon 2007 last year, I kept my eye out for a girl like this. A girl like the incomparable Jean Binnel on Friday Night Lights. I wanted to see if my interpretation of the Perfect Geek Woman was actually attainable without compromise, fibbing or cosplay.

I learned something that day, and it’s a similarity that both the girl in the MC Chris video and Jean Binnel share, besides the cute hair, emo glasses, flawless tastes and everything else that makes them beautiful and worthy of my relentless stalking.

These women don’t really exist.

They never did. There’s no such thing as the perfect geek girl. You’re lying to yourself.

Jean Binnel is a fictional character on Friday Night Lights, played by the versatile and charming Brea Grant. And that girl in the MC Chris video? Well…I don’t know what she does for a living, but it sure isn’t wearing a Boy Scout uniform and forcing Star Wars figurines to kiss. Most women who look like this couldn’t care less about graphic novels and video games, and merely turned geek culture into a fashion. On the two occasions that I thought I had stuck oil, one girl was gay and the other one was a drug addict. That was the day I realized that geeks and ravers look stunningly similar at first glance, albeit polarizing when it came to musical tastes and the dilation of their pupils.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘What about the Missus?’ While the Missus is indeed the perfect woman for yours truly, she’d be the first one to tell you that she doesn’t fit this category in any regard. She’s not a geek; she’s a punk. She takes clogging lessons, stomps my teeth on the curb when I deserve it and doesn’t care about what you have to say concerning fashion. That’s hot in a completely different avenue; she has chunks of geek girls in her stool, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My point is rambling, mainly because I was just looking for a way to share that amazing MC Chris track with you, but it should be considered a public service to not embark on the expedition to nowhere that I’ve launched a hundred times, looking for something that’s not real.

And if you are real, please contact me with photographic proof, and I’ll write a song about you.

1,000 Words On Last Week’s SNL.

(Because I could rant about the history of SNL for 9 straight days if people found it entertaining.)

Christopher Walken’s most recent hosting stint on SNL was legendary; one of the best episodes I’ve seen in years. Nearly every sketch delivered, and had they booked a respectable musical guest (instead of the unfortunate Panic At The Disco), this might have been the best Walken SNL ever. Sketches like ‘Walken Reunion,’ ‘Surprise Party,’ and ‘Gardening Tips From A Man Who’s Very Afraid Of Plants’ were significantly funnier than their titles would suggest.

This was Walken’s first hosting stint in over five years, which I had to actually look up on Wikipedia to confirm for myself. It seems as if he hosts every year (he’s hosted 7 times, and according to Lorne Michaels, can host whenever his schedule permits).

Walken’s SNL brilliance lies in the fact that he’s amazingly skilled at live performance and stage. When he acts as if he’s off-script or about to break the sketch with his scatterbrain delivery, he’s actually fooling you. This guy knows exactly what he’s doing at all times, and it’s one of the reasons why we love the guy so damn much. Ever since he became known for being ‘the weird guy,’ younger generations seemed to forget just how brilliant of an actor Walken was and still is. Sure, Balls Of Fury didn’t help the argument any, but I won’t dispute a man that likes to work.

I also admire that they didn’t beat a dead horse and revive ‘The Continental,’ a once-brilliant sketch that has been running on nostalgic fumes since 1996. Most don’t know that ‘The Continental’ is a parody of the 1952 CBS series of the same name, which used a subjective camera view as lead actor Renzo Cesana spoke directly to the females in the audience. I’m sure it would have been a passable sketch, as Walken can solo-command any scene he chooses, but it wouldn’t have fit in with the theme of last week’s cast-heavy episode.

It doesn’t hurt that the current SNL cast is one of their more talented ensembles in a very long time. Bill Hader is a premiere impressionist, Andy Samberg is single-handedly bringing the YouTube fanbase back to the show, Kristen Wiig is on par with Gilda Radner as the funniest female in the show’s 33 year history, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis are extremely versitile in their straight man/wacky man roles (I find Sudeikis to be my favorite cast member, frankly; his delivery is consistently hilarious and he reminds me of a smarter Will Ferrell), Darrel Hammond is the seasoned veteran, Amy Poehler practically stars in every sketch, Fred Armisen can quite simply play every ethnicity and role perfectly, Seth Meyers has stepped into the Head Writer position seamlesly and newcomer Casey Wilson is doing her best to keep up.

Keenan Thompson has been a strong performer since he was a child, but doesn’t always receive decent material to shine with. Same goes for Maya Rudolph, who actually left the show during the strike. Having the entire cast come out and do their own Walken impression during ‘Walken Reunion’ was hilarious and brilliant, in that they all sounded pretty good (Hader was uncanny as always).

I am, however, growing increasingly irritated with the obvious pro-Hillary stance that SNL has been taking since the Strike ended. For a show that’s quite aware of the effect they’ve had on past elections and overall swaying of the social landscape in favor of one popular candidate or the other, all they seem to be doing is a detriment to Barack Obama and his future presidential campaign against John McCain. I can only hope that SNL is swaying in this direction merely because Amy Poehler plays a good Hillary, and Fred Armisen drew some controversy (for whatever meager reasons) when he played Obama. The bottom line, however, is that the sketches are not funny, which is the main thing they should be focusing on.

McCain is playing it cool right now. That old, lumpy bastard is chilling in Europe, while his competition tears each other to shreds until there’s nothing left to do but swoop in and pick the bones. He may be tempermental, he may be old enough to die at any second (hell, he might have died while I was writing that sentence, for all I know), but he’s not an idiot.

I find Panic At The Disco adorable. Not ‘adorable’ in that I want to hug them until they break and bleed, but ‘adorable’ in that their recent attempts at being taken seriously have faltered into a rut of predictability and unoriginality that I should have seen coming from a mile away. I love it when a pop-rock band discovers acid and Sgt. Pepper, and all of a sudden they’re dropping the unnecessary punctuation from their name, wearing paisley and being accompanied by a horn section. That’s adorable to me, in that we’ve seen this no less than a billion times in the last 30 years. We’re all way ahead of you, Panic. You guys deserve a gentle pat on the head and a cluck of positive reinforcement; good luck being taken seriously, although, I must admit that I find ‘Nine In The Afternoon’ to be a fairly catchy number.

As a statement to how hard they’re rolling with this new ‘we’re older, more mature and ripping off the Beatles…just like everyone else!’ formula, they performed ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ as their second song on SNL, only with a slower tempo, acoustic guitar and shuffling drums. It was seriously awful; one of the worst SNL performances I’ve seen since Ashlee Simpson 23-skidoo’ed her way into YouTube immortality. If you’re a pop-punk band, just be one. Don’t pretend you’re Brian freaking Eno. Write your catchy song, wear your eyeliner and make your money. Spare us your pipe dream of mining talent from a dry well, and don’t disrespect your fanbase by slagging your previous work. That’s what desperate people do. You should hear me belt out ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ when we sing karaoke, though. I flat-out destroy that thing.

My time is up. Sound off in the comments and enjoy your day.