The Top 30 CDP Essays Of All-Time (2006-2008).

Here are the Top 30 CDP Essays Of All-Time from 2006 to 2008, in bite-sized form. Click at will and enjoy in moderation.

#30 – “I Can See Your Butthole.” (07/07)
#29 – “I’m Not Here To Serve You.” (11/06)
#28 – “Twenty Photographs Of Door County.” (10/07)
#27 – “1989 CDP Evaluation.” (02/08)
#26 – “The CDP vs. PETA.” (02/08)
#25 – “Eat Me, Cake.” (02/08)
#24 – “The Geek.Kon Aftermath.” (10/07)
#23 – “My iPod ‘Asploded.” (08/07)
#22 – “The CDP’s Top 15 NES Games Of All-Time.” (05/08)
#21 – “A Ziploc Bag Full Of Chocolate Chip Cookies.” (04/08)
#20 – “Who Wants To Date An Internet Has-Been?” (08/08)
#19 – “Do You Know Who You Are?” (03/08)
#18 – “Shove That Crystal Ball Straight Up Your Chute.” (01/07)
#17 – “Evan Takes A Vacation.” (01/07)
#16 – “Snap, Crackle, Poop.” (08/07)
#15 – “Your Karma Ran Over My Legma.” (04/07)
#14 – “Kickin’ It With Cliff.” (11/06)
#13 – “26 Things That Suck About Turning 26.” (02/08)
#12 – “Praying For The End Of Time.” (05/07)
#11 – “Grumble, Alone, Grumble, Polysics.” (10/07)
#10 – “A Life Without Tires.” (04/07)
#9 – “Talking Sex With The CDP.” (10/07)
#8 – “Adventures In Cyber Sex.” (03/07)
#7 – “Free MySpace Poetry.” (10/06)
#6 – “Everything Plus One.” (06/08)
#5 – “You Have No Idea What ‘Having No Idea’ Means.” (03/08)
#4 – “Meet The New American Gladiators.” (01/08)
#3 – “Don’t You Go Forgetting About Me.” (12/06)
#2 – “Boom Goes The Spider Bite.” (09/07)
#1.5 – “Lost Monday – ‘There’s No Place Like Home.’” (06/08)
#1 – “65 Poor Life Decisions – The CDP Book.” (11/07)

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #1.

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#1 – “65 Poor Life Decisions – The CDP Book.”
(Originally Published November 30, 2007.)

Click Here To Buy The Book!

There are two ways you can order copies of 65 Poor Life Decisions, my debut book:

1. Directly through Lulu, by clicking on the above link, banner link, OR THIS LINK. It’s safe, secure and simple. Cost is $15.95. If you’re feeling charitable, feel free to leave me a 5-star review or any kind words while you’re there.

2. Directly through me, which includes a copy of the book, shipping to anywhere in the nation, autographs/personalization and free CDP merch. Cost is $21, and we will accept money orders or well-concealed cash (no checks). Contact me beforehand, however, because I may be sold out of books at the time and may need to reorder.

Send the $21, along with a return address, name to make the book out to, and e-mail address for delivery confirmation, to:

theCDP.
PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

If you are requesting a copy through me, and you live outside of the United States, please send $25 to cover extra shipping charges. American money or International money orders only, please.

If you are paying via money order, please make orders out to Ryan Zeinert, not ‘theCDP.’ Also, while money orders are traceable and secure, I can’t be held responsible if your cash payment doesn’t make it to my PO Box.

Thank you so much in advance for liking my dumb little stories; I can’t thank you enough. This is honestly one of the neatest days of my life, and I have each of you to thank. Cheers.

Buy The CDP Book Here!

UPDATE #1 – The almighty Kevin Palmer from PointlessBanter.net has put up a ‘5 Questions’ interview with me concerning the release of the book. It’s hilarious and informative, you can check it out right here!

UPDATE #2 – HoneyFlora over at 10 Links A Day has allowed me to guest blog and list my top 10 favorite humor sites on the web. I even give a shout out to CDP alumni Pork Tornado, Pointless Banter and the Cargirl News Minute! You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #3 – Cargirl over at the highly underrated and hard-working Cargirl News Minute has posted a brief reminder/plug for 65 Poor Life Decisions. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #4 – JT from Spork Nation posted one of my absolute favorite interviews concerning the book. It was done ‘live chat’ style and the questions were great. It’s about as personal as I’ll get in an interview, so please take a look at it if you want to read something slightly more insightful than what I’m used to. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #5 – Since we’re going interview-crazy today, here’s a good one conducted by Jesse Russell for Dane 101 awhile back. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #6 – Will Betheboy has been so kind as to plug 65 Poor Life Decisions on his blog. Now if I can only convince him to upload a photo of him or Nina kissing the book…hmmm… You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #7 – Kenny Frankly is plugging 65 Poor Life Decisions on her blog, Topping From The Bottom. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #8 – On Friday afternoon, I met up with a few friends, signed a few books and had a few drinks.

Release Party Coaster.

At least I know that my book is good for something.

UPDATE #9 – Maus from Idle Neatness posted a brief plug for 65 Poor Life Decisions, complete with sexy banners and links. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #10 – Vintage Caveman just put up a link to my site, a link to the book, and some kind words concerning 65 Poor Life Decisions. He’s going the mail-order route; choosing to conceal his cash in a box of Mike-n-Ikes. I have the greatest fans in the world, hands down. You can check it out right here!

UPDATE #11 (12/03) – This weekend has been busy, but also very refreshing to my burnt out self. I’m amazed to say that I sold 30 books in the last three days, strictly hand-to-hand. What I mean is that I sold 30 books in person, not counting any online or mail orders. This is incredible to me, because I was quite certain that I wouldn’t sell a total of 30 books.

With this good news in my pocket, I’m fully recharged and ready to spend all week fulfilling your mail order requests, as well as taking on more interviews and local press. Expect to see more of those in the upcoming days this week. I’ve been snowed in since Friday evening, but I’ll be driving to the Post Office every single say, making sure that everything is being taken care of the instant it gets in my hands. It’s the least I can do for such supportive and generous readers.

Now, send me some money, please. Rock Band for the PS2 comes out in 10 days.

UPDATE #12 – HeyDomsar just posted a fantastic (and lengthy) interview with yours truly over on his Milwaukee-based blog, Thought For The Day. This is a good one; You can check it out right here!

NOTE FROM THE CDP: So, the CDP Top 30 ends with a sentimental favorite. The release of 65 Poor Life Decisions encompassed the last five years of blogging, essays, hard work, long nights, copious alcohol consumption, depression and most of all, my attempt at telling the funniest stories I possibly could. I felt it deserved to be #1 for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that it’s been one of the biggest accomplishments of my adult life.

Thanks for reading, thanks for showing up during Rerun Month, and if you’re new to the CDP, please stick around; all-new material returns Monday. Happy Halloween; sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #1.5

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#1.5 – “Lost Monday – ‘There’s No Place Like Home.'”
(Originally Published June 2, 2008.)

Lost Monday - 'There's No Place Like Home.'
Season 4 – Episode 13/14: “There’s No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3).

The final Lost Monday is upon us. We have nothing left to discuss.

Going into Season 4, we knew that things were going to be different for Lost. Storyline-wise, the addition of the flash-forwards added a new depth to the plot, character development and Harvard degree one needs to fully comprehend the show as a whole; the concept that yes, people were rescued from the island, and no, that doesn’t mean the show is necessarily over. The Oceanic 6 had problems of their own, there were hints that the island may exist on a different plane of time than the rest of the world, and Jack Shepard’s Future Beard had a nation captivated. It was good times.

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(“Face it, Sawyer. We’re never getting our Frisbee back from Richard’s yard.”)

However, from a more technical (ie: boring) aspect, Season 4 of Lost was also different. The Writer’s Guild strike shortened the run of the show to just 13 episodes, with a huge hiatus between the 8th and 9th episodes (known at CDP Headquarters as ‘Black April’). The patience of the viewers was tested, but the producers managed to cram about 20 episodes worth of story and development into those 13 short weeks, giving us a season of television that couldn’t have possibly been expected after the scattershot and roaming Season 3.

No question about it, Season 4 brought the pain in a big way, overcoming the odds and succeeding when they probably shouldn’t have. I’ve come to expect nothing less; Lost has become the Chicago White Sox of television; continually being awesome even though everyone wants them to fail miserably. All we need now is Ozzie Guillen showing up on the Island every week to deliver a profanity-laced tirade about nothing in particular.

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(“Why didn’t they just kill me off in the Pilot episode like they wanted to?”)

So, what’s to make of this? Personally, I thought that the Season 4 finale did everything it needed to do (like all of the finales that proceeded it). They answered the questions of Season 3, raised new ones for the future and set the stage for a Season 5 that is nowhere near anything that we could have predicted a few years ago. Locke is the leader of the Hostiles? Where is the island, now that Ben warp-whistled it to the middle of nowhere? What dangers and conspiracies are about to befall the Oceanic 6? Are any of the survivors actually ‘good’ people?

All this speculation is making my wee-wee hurt. Strap in and prepare for the Green & Leafy!

The Green And Leafy!

As a longtime vegetarian, displaying a large piece of steak every week to introduce my detailed Lost recap was a very tongue-in-cheek way of introducing the hilarious, historic and world-famous satire that was about to invade your loins like the lemon-scented crotch of Zeus Himself. However, because this is my last Lost Monday, I’m going out a winner. A weak, protein-deficient winner who never gets invited to barbecues because his tofu dogs taste like ass. Let’s make it happen.

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(John McCain takes a lie detector test.)

AROUND THE ISLAND, WHERE EYELINER AND RUM IS PLENTIFUL.

Jack and Sawyer catch up with Hurley and Locke at The Orchid, where John is looking for a ramp large enough to jump over a Dharma-stamped shark. Locke explains to Jack that whomever gets rescued would have to lie about their experiences on the Island in order to protect it, as Jack tries in vain to stuff his intestines back under his t-shirt. It works, but only for a little while.

Jack, Hurley and Sawyer head back to the helicopter, where Hurley is reminded that he shouldn’t be eating so many saltine crackers when water is a limited commodity. Was there any reason why those stupid crackers were referenced three times in two weeks? It wasn’t that funny.

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(Nobody steals Alpert’s makeup and gets away with it. Nobody.)

AT THE HELICOPTER, WHERE SAYID BECOMES BRUCE GODDAMN LEE.

Keamy is hauling Ben back to the helicopter for transport, when Kate bursts out of the jungle, claiming that Ben’s men are chasing her. Keamy forms a battle plan, when the Hostiles spring out and start straight-up wrecking stuff. Ben and Kate run off during the fray, as gunfire and general awesomeness reigns supreme. For a group of people guaranteed to never age or get sick, those Hostiles sure know how to kick an ass or two.

As Keamy tries to catch back up with Kate and Ben, Sayid takes him out like the Iraqi torturer we used to know and love. A nearly two-minute long fistfight ensues, with Sayid and Keamy taking turns hitting each other in the head and multiple ribular stabbings. A tree branch is brought into the fray, as it has now become a No Disqualification Match. Just as Keamy gets the upper hand, Richard shows up and caps him four times in the back. Never let it be said that Richard isn’t an opportunist, but shooting someone in the back is a pretty cheap victory, regardless of how evil of a bastard Keamy is.

Ben proceeds to hop into Richard’s arms like a puppy with a thorn in its paw, and they let Kate and Sayid have the helicopter in exchange for helping them out. Ben returns to The Orchid, as Locke continues to struggle with anything even remotely resembling tact or initiative.

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(“My kingdom for a frozen donkey wheel.”)

ON THE BEACH, WHERE AUXILIARY CHARACTERS TALK ON CAMERA.

Daniel lets Juliet know that the Freighter is getting closer to the island, as they get more groups ready to be taken aboard. Damn, I just realized how few Oceanic Flight 815 survivors are still on the island. There’s like, five of them left.

Daniel lets Miles and Charlotte know that getting off of the Island is important, as it’s about to be hurtled through space and time like a change-up pitch to David Ortiz (two baseball references in one recap? Boo-yah!). Miles decides to stay, and Charlotte decides to stay, although it’s implied that she may have a serious birth connection to the island. More to come in Season 5, I presume.

Also, I don’t care about Charlotte, so this storyline is unnecessary and wasteful. Carry on.

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(“Yeah, I play starting forward for the Pistons now. MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”)

IN THE ORCHID, WHERE IT ALL COMES INEVITABLY CRASHING DOWN.

Ben and Locke take the elevator down to the Orchid Station, and I’m left frustrated because there was no Muzak playing in the elevator. This was a great opportunity for the same sort of dark humor displayed when Ethan was about to slice Claire open in the Medical Station, but to no avail. Quick Comedy Tip: Muzak is always funny.

Once in the Station, Locke sees a The Fly-esque device, asking Ben if it’s the ‘magic box’ he was telling him about before. Ben says no, and makes him watch an educational videotape, slightly winking at the viewing audience with his humorous delivery. I quite enjoyed that moment, to be honest.

In the video, Dr. Mark Wickmund/Marvin Candle/Edgar Halliwax explains that the Orchid is pretty much a place where they send bunnies through time. Fair enough. Ben looks to sabotage the vault-area, and as the elevator starts to ascend, Locke and Ben realize that they’re about to have a visitor. Probably one that is none too happy about digging bullet residue out of his spinal cord.

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(“Man, I can’t wait until I’m in that coffin.”)

Keamy shows up in the Orchid, and delivers a monologue about how he’s not really dead and that his heart is hooked up to a monitor that will make the Freighter go explodie-time if he were to be killed. He then starts making fun of Alex’s death, which is about the least-classy thing I’ve ever seen someone do on national television (minus anything ever uttered by Billy Packer), even if it was towards a sniveling douchenozzle like Ben Linus. Locke pops in and distracts Keamy long enough for Action Linus to spring into frame and stab the crap out of his neckhole. Keamy dies, and when Locke scolds him for allowing innocent people to be vaporized on a freighter, Ben doesn’t seem to mind all that much.

Welcome back, you evil asshole. We’ve all missed you.

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(Michael comes to terms with the fact that he has ruined the lives of everyone he ever came in contact with.)

In a terrific scene, Ben goes on to tell Locke that he made a mistake in killing Keamy, and that Locke should try to be a better leader of the Island. Ben explains that by moving the island, he will not be allowed to return to it, and that Locke will be in charge from here on out. Locke is confused, the audience is confused, and Ben apologies for making John’s life so miserable. Hey, get in line, buddy. You’re probably the best thing that ever happened to him.

After the Ben-caused explosion of the vault of the Orchid, a pathway is opened up to the interior of the Island. For whatever reason, this section of the Station is frozen and covered in hieroglyphs. Across from Ben is basically a frozen donkey wheel, which Ben attempts to move while declaring to the sky, “I hope you’re happy now, Jacob.

Um, okay, dude. At this point, I looked at my reflection in the mirror, just to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming or dead. This is the same show I started watching at 8pm, right?

As he begins to turn the wheel, the room begins to get brighter, now beginning to resemble the same circumstances as when the Swan Station imploded at the end of Season 2. Outside, the Island emits a shrill noise and a light envelops the island before everything freaking disappears, including about five million viewers.

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(Daniel represents the future vision of Lost: Random, senseless and possessing patchy facial hair.)

ON THE FREIGHTER, WHERE THE CORPSE POTENTIAL IS GROWING.

Michael, who will from this point forward be known as ‘Black McGyver,’ finds a canister of liquid nitrogen and explains to Desmond and Jin that he can temporarily freeze the battery leading to the C4 explosive, buying them some time to either defuse it or haul ass for the mainland.

With Keamy dead and the bomb armed, Desmond leaves for the chopper and Jin hangs back with Michael for a bit. Michael convinces Jin to leave because he’s about to be a father, but Jin doesn’t make it to the helicopter in time. Christian Shepard appears to Michael, let’s him know that his work for the island is done, and he’s finally rewarded with that sweet, sweet death that he’s been hoping for since he first got back from the Island. The freighter blows to pieces, killing Michael, Jin and presumably everyone else on board.

Well, maybe ‘Black McGruber‘ is more like it.

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(“I sure hope that thing was the bathroom, ‘cuz I just peed in it.”)

ON THE HELICOPTER, WHERE HURLEY CONTINUALLY ASKS FOR PEANUTS.

There’s about 6.5 people in the helicopter heading for the freighter, when Frank realizes that they’re leaking gasoline. He tells the passengers to throw out anything that isn’t bolted down, so some toolboxes, parachutes and Aaron are tossed into the ocean. This still isn’t doing the trick, so Sawyer decides to be noble and, after whispering something indecipherable into Kate’s ear, throws himself overboard and swims back to the Island.

It’s a damn good thing he got back to the Island before it decided to move itself. Hell, he’s lucky the Island didn’t land on him.

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(“I’m so glad Lost Monday is over; the fat jokes will finally cease.”)

Once on the freighter, Desmond warns them that a bomb is about to go off, but Frank lands anyway and fuels up the chopper. Everyone hops on board, including Sun, and when the helicopter takes back off, Sun loses it over the fact that Jin has now become food to the very same fish he grew up catching with his father.

So poetic. Oh, then the Island disappears right in front of them.

With nowhere to land now, the crew braces for impact and crashes into the ocean. They all make it into the life raft and are pretty much stuck in the middle of nowhere for the time being. They cut to commercial, and I check my pupils to make sure I didn’t recently suffer a concussion. Am I really seeing this?

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(“Psshems mmmmffrrrt frazzakle pwwpwwweet.”)

BACK ON THE BEACH, WHERE JULIET DRINKS ALONE AND GETS ALL EMO.

Sawyer washes ashore and asks Juliet why she’s displaying such public alcoholism. Juliet points to the remnants of the Freighter, and Sawyer seems to think that everyone on the helicopter is now dead. On top of that, his pants are extremely uncomfortable after such a long and tiring swim. This is a bad day for everyone, it would seem.

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(“DAAAAANCE CONNNNTEST!!!!”)

AFTER THE ISLAND IS MOVED, BUT BEFORE THE CANNIBALISM.

The Oceanic 5 (plus Frank, Desmond and Aaron), continue to aimlessly float on the life raft. Hurley proclaims that, yes, Locke really did succeed in moving the island. Jack, agitated and sick of being wrong, tosses Hurley overboard just as Frank notices a nearby ship. At this point, Jack decides that Locke was right, and lets everyone know that they should probably lie about everything that has happened to them on the Island, for the good of those who were still on it.

Also, he didn’t want anyone on the mainland to know about the time that he was caught pooping in Sawyer’s pillowcase. Something like that could get your Medical license revoked.

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(“Jin had my keys in his pocket! NOOOOO!”)

As fate (or lazy screenwriting) would have it, the boat happens to belong to Penny Widmore. A teary reunion takes place, as Jack tells Penny that they need to talk; presumably about planning their staged rescue. It’s amazing that Penny decides to go along with this, but then again, I’ve never thought she was all that bright.

One week later (did you notice that?), the Oceanic 6 depart from Penny’s boat with a well-established cover story, while Desmond and Frank stay behind (with a happy ending; never to be seen again?). The conversation between Jack and Desmond seems to state that Penny let them all know just what Charles Widmore is capable of, and the 6 castaways hop on the raft and head for the island of Sumba, which is known for their fishing exports and finding of plane crash survivors.

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(“Hi folks. I’m James Ford, for Cool Water cologne.”)

FLASHFORWARDS ARE THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE!

JACK – Picking up where the final scene of ‘Through The Looking Glass’ left off, Kate seems less than excited about the prospect of going back to the Island with Jack. She tells Jack that Locke (Jeremy Bentham) had met with her, too, and she knew that he was crazy and not about to help him by going back to the island. Jack claims that he trusted him because he thought it would protect Kate and Aaron, but Kate is having none of it, and speeds away.

Aaron makes a cameo and flips Jack the bird.

HURLEY – Waaaaaallllllt visits the institution where Hurley is staying, asking him why nobody visited him after they were rescued. Walt claims that Locke visited him, and asks Hurley why everyone is lying about the crash. Hurley tells him that they’re lying to protect the people on the Island, and Walt seems to think that his dad is currently alive and well. Hurley decides not to upset him with the truth, as Walt is now six-foot-nine and at least 27 years old.

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(This wheel just spins the dessert tray in the Dharma break room.)

SAYID – Sayid visits Hurley and wants him to come along where it’s ‘safe.’ Sayid claims that ‘circumstances have changed’ now that Locke was dead, and assures Hurley that they are not going back to the Island. Hurley accompanies him, but not before owning Zombie Eko in a game of chess.

I called shenanigans here, mainly because I don’t think Hurley can beat Eko in a game of chess, zombified or otherwise.

SUN – Sun tracks down Charles Widmore in London, and pretty much makes him look like a silly, Australian tool. She wants answers, and lets him know that she’s ready to listen when he’s ready to talk. Snap!

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(The CDP takes his shirt off.)

KATE – Kate, dreaming, answers her phone to hear the message ‘The island needs you; you have to go back before it’s too late,’ spoken in reverse. As she goes to check on Aaron, we see Claire in his room, telling Kate not to bring him back to the Island. Kate wakes up, heads to Aaron’s room and profusely apologizes for being such a terrible faux-mother.

JACK, AGAIN – Jack heads back to the funeral parlor, only to see Ben. According to Locke, some ‘very bad things’ happened on the Island after the Oceanic 6 left, and it was Jack’s fault for leaving. Locke also added that he needed to come back.

Ben is there to tell Jack that everyone pretty much needs to come back to the Island before things get even more wonky, and Jack claims to not have the resources to gather up the rest of the Oceanic 6. Ben offers to help, and specifies that everyone must return, even the corpse of Mr. John Locke.

Smash-cut; everything over. Wow. How about that?

In honor of the Season Finale, I think that this episode deserves its very own haiku.

The Haiku.

Moving the Island
With a frozen donkey wheel.

Why is this awesome?

Hey, truth be told, this episode was awesome. And hey, let’s not get all sad because the show has crossed the realm into the absurd and ‘you have to believe in Time Travel to continue to enjoy this madness;‘ let’s attempt to focus on the positives here, with 5 Awesome Things!

5 Awesome Things.

Here are 5 Awesome ThingsAbout Being Able To Move An Island Through Space & Time.

1. Every night is pizza night…somehow.

2. You could move it somewhere cooler during the Summer months. It could be like a three season room, minus all the elderly people and wicker furniture.

3. Remember when you used to play Super Mario World, and you could pause the game just
before you died and reload your previously saved progress? Yeah; just like that!

4. I’m not entirely sure, but I’d rig it so I’d somehow never have to do laundry again.

5. It makes your once-amazing and respectable television show a helluva lot easier to write for.

One more time, for the kids, let’s Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 – As a way to keep the spoiler heat off of the writers and producers of the show, two alternate endings for the ‘funeral parlor’ scene were shot, featuring Sawyer and Desmond in the coffin. This was presumably done to prevent the secret ending from leaking early. Other television shows have done this in the past, such as the Seinfeld finale, or the ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, these are pretty much the only two shows that are better than Lost.

8 – Apparently, what Sawyer said to Kate was the same thing that we had presumed he had said to her, which was: “I have a daughter in Albuquerque. You need to find her; tell her I’m sorry.”

Go ahead, rewind it and listen. I’ll wait.

See?

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(“My only line of the Season Finale is in a dream sequence?”)

15 – For the fourth season finale in a row, the action centers around a big-ass explosion. In Season 1, the Hatch and the raft exploded. In Season 2, the Swan Station met its fate. In Season 3, dynamite was used in mass quantities to kill a batch of the Others. This week, the Freighter was vaporized. Kaboom.

My current prediction is that in the Season 5 finale, Sun’s baby will explode, and in the Series Finale, my head will explode.

16 – From Lostpedia: “This episode features the first instance of a lapse of time during the continuous present-day narrative, notably, the caption of “One Week Later” after the life-raft crew are found by the Searcher.”

I’d like to know what they did on the Searcher for that week; preparing their stories and whatnot. Furthermore, I pity the poor person who had to sleep in the room right next to Desmond and Penny. They had some catching up to do, and I bet they weren’t shy about it.

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(“Yup, that’s my dad, always ruining people’s lives in the worst fashion humanly possible. Pie?”)

23 – Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage blows the entire ‘C4/liquid nitrogen’ conflict out of the water:

“The 500 pounds of C4, that whole movie thing about “dummy triggers” and fake tripwires—it’s all a load of crap. Nobody does that. At least that’s what my friends at the FBI tell me. Would you want to set up explosives so that pretty much anything you did would make them go off? It’s just like guessing and cutting one of the wires in the movies: Nobody would survive using that technique for very long, including Keamy and his crew. The whole training of a bomb tech is to work safely with explosives, not dangerously. There are too many ways to mess it up. Also, I’m pretty sure that C4 isn’t conductive, which it would need to be to set up its wiring as a resistance feedback loop that could tell if you started to pull out the detonators. And if freezing the battery works, why not just disconnect it? Oh, right, the monitored feedback loop. But wait, C4 isn’t conductive … never mind.”

Also, bear in mind that the monitor that Keamy was wearing could never continue to work once he descended into the rocky underground of the Orchid Station. Either communication would have been lost, or the Freighter simply would have exploded as soon as he got out of range. Of course, this is a show where we’re supposed to believe that entire masses of land can disappear and reappear at will, so perhaps we’re digging into a a little too deeply.

….Lost!

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(“Maybe the numbers would go away if I ate them?”)

42 – What do you think happened to Faraday, and those who were on the raft during the Freighter explosion? Do you think they made it back to the Island before it disappeared, or are they simply floating around in the middle of nowhere, much like the Oceanic 6 were before their rescue? Personally, if they could just give me a shot, just one second of a shot, showing Daniel Faraday floating aimlessly in the ocean by himself, then this entire finale would have been worth it.

Suck it, Faraday. I’m through with you, and I’m done with Lost Monday.

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(Breaking into a funeral home makes about as much sense as an Amish guy stealing an extension cord.)

And with that, our Lost journey comes to an end. When I started doing this in 2005, I had no idea it would turn into what it did, and that I’d care so much about putting it to a halt in 2008. I want to sincerely thank everyone for all of the e-mails and kind words, and once again remind those of you who only check out the CDP for Lost Monday, I’m a published author! This was just a small section of what the CDP is all about; please stick around and allow me entertain you with poop jokes and snark.

Please start the conversation in the comments section, send anything you want to communistdance@yahoo.com, and enjoy the following links to every Lost Monday…ever.

Thank you. I’m taking a nap now.

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(“If my beard were made of scotch, I’d totally drink it.”)

Season 4 – Episode 1 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 2 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 3 Pop Crunch Recap
Season 4 – Episode 4 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 4 Pop Crunch Recap
Season 4 – Episode 5 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 6 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 7 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 9 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 10 Recap
Season 4 – Episode 12 Recap
Season 4 – Finale Edition 1
Season 4 – Finale Edition 2
Season 4 – Finale Edition 3
Season 4 – Finale Edition 4
Season 3 Preview
Season 3 – Episode 1 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 2 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 3 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 4 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 5 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 6 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 7 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 8 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 9 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 10 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 11 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 12 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 13 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 14 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 15 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 16 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 17 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 18 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 19 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 20 Recap
Season 3 – Episode 21 Recap
Season 3 – Finale Edition 1
Season 3 – Finale Edition 2
Season 3 – Finale Edition 3
Season 3 – Episode 22/23 Recap
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 23/24 RECAP
SEASON TWO – FINALE EDITION 2
SEASON TWO – FINALE EDITION 1
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 22 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 21 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 20 RECAP
SEASON TWO – CLIP SHOW EDITION
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 19 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 18 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 17 RECAP
SEASON TWO – TEMPORARY EDITION
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 16 RECAP
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 8
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 7
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 15 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 14 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 13 RECAP
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 6
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 12 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 11 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 10 RECAP
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 5
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 4
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 3
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 9 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 8 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 7 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 6 RECAP
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION: VOLUME 2
SEASON TWO – RERUN EDITION
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 5 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 4 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 3 RECAP
SEASON TWO – EPISODE 1 RECAP
SEASON 2 PREVIEW

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(“Thank God it’s finally over.”)

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #2.

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#2 – “Boom Goes The Spider Bite.”
(Originally Published September 10, 2007.)

Yes, this was the same spider I'm talking about in this post.

It was about 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon. I was at work, just about to lock the door of the private bathroom I had stepped into. I often used the private bathroom because I’m strongly opposed to defecating in the same room with someone else at the same time. There’s something extremely wrong with that, and I prefer to avoid it at all costs. Even though the public stalls are 100 yards closer to my cubicle, I always make the trek for the greater good.

With the door locked, I sat down and began my business. No less than a few seconds later did I notice what appeared to be the largest spider in Wisconsin recorded history, staring right back at me from the door. It was about two feet away, clinging at eye level from my vantage point.

The bathroom itself is more like a Porta-Potty than anything. It’s about 4 feet wide by 4 feet long, cramming only a toilet and sink into the cramped area. Me and Spider were trapped together for the time being, and I tried very hard not to make any sudden movements. The last thing I needed was to lose sight of this thing with my pants around my ankles. I would have had no reservations darting out of that room with reckless abandon, dangling like nobody’s business while prominent businessmen and wealthy getabouts stared on in abject terror.

As I wrapped up my duties, I kept a death-gaze on the spider. I knew that he was waiting for me to turn away for a mere second to pull up my pants, and then BAM! He would latch directly onto my Naughty Place, sink his fangs in and slowly digest me from the inside-out. I wasn’t ready to accept this fate just yet. Or ever, really.

I stood up ever so slowly, pulling up my boxers and khakis one inch at a time, all while focusing hard on the spider. If he would have darted in any direction at this point, I probably would have screamed and knocked myself out on the back of the toilet. He was already inside my head, and I needed to get my wits together immediately.

Up came the khakis, on went the belt, and before I knew it, I was 6 inches away from the spider, looming over it as he now skittered over to the side wall. I shivered as I saw how big he actually was. It was more like a doughnut with teeth. The kind of spider that you see in nightmares when you’ve had too much to drink. I had to kill it; it was the only way I would ever be able to bring myself to use the private bathroom again. The mere thought of having this thing sneak up on me in the future was enough reason to never urinate again.

Because he was on the drywall, I couldn’t just step on it as if he were on the floor. Besides, he was so big, he could have probably gone for a double-underhook takedown as I was rearing up. Nope, because he was on the wall, I thought of a brilliant way to nail him with a flat-footed stomp, eliminating all chances of a near-hit or worse, a total whiff with violent spider retaliation. I decided to stand with my back to the spider, bracing myself by putting my hands on either side of the sink, and mule kicking backwards to smoosh the spider with all of the pressure on the bottom of my shoe. That way, I didn’t have to monkey with it to get it onto the floor. No fuss, no muss.

One swift kick, one smashed spider, and one happy guy that just took a poop. Seems foolproof.

I turned away from him, but kept peering over my shoulder to make sure he was in the same spot. I clutched onto the sink with both hands, took a few practice kicks and started lining up. I was going to demolish this spider. Pulverize it. There was no way he was coming back from this one.

I wound up and sent a vicious mule kick towards the spider, my foot completely smashing through the drywall all the way up to my ankle. Horrified, I tried to yank my leg back out of the hole, but the tip of my shoe got caught and tripped me up, sending me head-first towards the toilet. I thrust my arms out to prevent myself from a self-administered Swirlie, my left arm grabbing the seat and my right arm plunging straight down into the bowl.

So there I was, very much alone in a tiny bathroom, experiencing something altogether new to me. My right leg still stuck inside of the hole I had just kicked in the wall, my left knee on the filthy tile floor, my left arm clutching a public toilet seat, and my right arm soaked to the elbow with poop water. The only way it could have gotten any worse was if my First Grade teacher had walked in, peered down at my sweaty face and said, “See? I told you you’d never amount to anything.”

Just then, I saw it. The spider. Climbing up the opposite side wall, just inches away from my face. I was completely helpless. Stuck. Even with all of my destruction, I had actually missed the damn thing, and now he was eying me up for the kill.

“This is how it ends for me,” I said to myself. I grimaced and prepared for all of the jokes and press coverage my bloated corpse would receive upon discovery.

Just then, my foot rattled loose from the wall, giving me the leverage I needed to pull my hand out of the toilet and stand myself back up. Dripping wet, my pant legs white with drywall, I grabbed a wad of toilet paper and stood before the spider. One of us was going to die in this room, and although I honestly thought it was going to be me due to my own baffling stupidity and luck, the tables had turned and business was about to pick up.

One thrust later, and it was all over. I had won this battle, but at what cost?

I spun around and surveyed the scene. One shoe-sized hole in the wall? Check. One dusty, white pair of khakis? Check. One arm completely submerged inside of a public toilet? Check. One dead spider mashed against the wall? Check and mate, bitch.

Concerning insects, I’d say that we’re even now. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #3.

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#3 – “Don’t You Go Forgetting About Me.”
(Originally Published December 18, 2006.)

Only losers wear backwards baseball caps.
(If you want to skip this news article, complete with witty banter, it’s your loss. But please, for the love of God, take the time to scroll down to where it says ‘STORY!’ You’re not going to want to miss this. Also, reading the news article will enhance your enjoyment of said story.)


FORT COLLINS, CO. – High school teacher Carrie McCandless carried on a romance with a 17-year-old student, which included the exchange of 76 text messages in a single day, according to her arrest affidavit.

(Hey, what grown woman wouldn’t be lust-struck by a 17-year old boy? The way their acne shines off of the fluorescent lights, the way that they constantly smell like French fries and Brute, the way that everything on the planet gives them an erection. It’s like Spanish Fly with a crooked baseball cap.)

The teacher also supplied the students she was chaperoning on a late-October field trip with alcohol and “did everything except have sex” with the male student during the outing, the affidavit said.

(Everything? Did they go hang-gliding? Did they play dueling pianos? Was there a Yak somehow thrown into the mix?)

McCandless’ behavior during that weekend ultimately led to felony charges against her of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by providing at least one student with alcohol. The 29-year-old was fired from the Brighton Charter High School where her husband, Chris McCandless, is principal.

(This story just keeps getting better. You thought that the students treated the Principal like a douchebag before this incident? Well, let’s just say that the respect won’t be arriving in droves after these facts get out. For a student, screwing around with the Principal’s wife is just about the greatest thing you can do, second only to airlifting his Lexus onto the school’s roof and setting it ablaze.)

McCandless was formally advised of the charges against her in Larimer County District Court on Tuesday. The affidavit, which was unsealed after the hearing, details what allegedly happened on the overnight hiking trip with about a half-dozen students and how the school reacted to the situation.

(What school allows a teacher to take 6 kids on an overnight hiking trip? Just 6?)

School officials did not report the incident to police, who first learned about it from a television reporter. Former school board chairman David Mundy Sr. has been charged with tampering with at least three witnesses or victims and failing to report child abuse.

(Oh, I see. This is the kind of school we’re talking about. Essentially, every school I’ve ever attended. Corrupt, rich, bald, white guys with a stick up their ass and a complete disdain for youth.)

Mundy resigned from the board on Friday. The remaining board members have reassured Brighton school district officials, who hold their charter, that similar incidents would be reported immediately in the future.

(So, they’re pretty much admitting that this sort of thing will happen again. I love Fort Collins!)

The boy has told police that he started calling and text messaging McCandless in early October, when they started planning the trip and was “very excited.”

(Teacher Rule #1 – Don’t give your cell phone number to students, unless you plan on giving them “everything except sex.”)

Phone records reveal that McCandless and the boy exchanged 76 text messages on Oct. 10, according to the affidavit.

(Student Rule #1 – STOP SPILLING THE BEANS, YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE. I know it’s exciting and all, but if you tell someone, the fun will end. It’s a fact of life.)

In one exchange, the boy wrote that he was cold, and she responded, “Just pretend you’re here, sweating with me.”

(Okay, that’s seriously the hottest thing I’ve read in a long time. Can we get a mugshot, anyone?)

On the afternoon before the school trip to Estes Park, McCandless and the boy “made out” in a car outside a Sam’s Club for about 45 minutes, he told police.

(They made out in bulk, and saved lots of money! I suppose they had to move all the 5-gallon drums of Mayonnaise out of the backseat beforehand. They’re bulky, but cheap as hell; just like this teacher! ZING!)

The next morning, Carrie McCandless, the boy, and about a half-dozen other students drove to Estes Park and went on a hike. During the hike, McCandless and the boy lagged behind, the affidavit said.

(You’d be tired, too, if you spent all last night making out in bulk. My personal record is 18.4 seconds.)

The boy brought a bottle of Everclear grain alcohol on the trip, and he told police “they were all drinking.” He said McCandless also “brought up a bottle of Jack Daniels for them to drink” and shared it with him.

(Clearly, the boy isn’t as innocent as the prosecutors want him to be portrayed as. This is probably going to be the single greatest experience of his teen life, so why send people to jail over it? Everclear is essentially poison, by the way. Don’t drink it.)

Other students told police that they observed McCandless and the boy sneaking away repeatedly, presumably to smoke and drink, for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

(This McCandless woman isn’t a very tactful and experienced seducer. Get creative; don’t just sneak away! Fake a heart attack and have him ‘drive you to the hospital.’ Where’s the excitement?)

That night, after the other students had gone to bed, McCandless and the boy “made out” on the floor in the front room of the cabin, where another boy was sleeping on a nearby couch. The boy involved with McCandless later told police that they simulated sex with their clothes on.

(Okay, forget what I said before. This is the hottest thing I’ve read in a long time. If I were the boy that was pretending to sleep on the couch, I would have sprung up and outed them like nobody’s business. There’s no way I’m going to let this chance at a free ‘A’ pass me by. Blackmail makes the world go ’round.)

They “did everything except have sex” and it was obvious to everyone what was going on, a friend of the boy’s told police.

(Seems pretty obvious from here, as well. Perhaps she wanted to get caught, as a way to get back at her Principal husband for some reason. Beats me, but I need a shower.)

Hey, we found a photo!

Well, there you go.

Interesting. Very interesting. Allow me to share a quick theory with you.

Women like Carrie (or any of these female teachers, for that matter) aren’t in love or even lusting after these teenage boys that they educate. They’re not trapped in a loveless marriage or living a life of lonely singlehood. All of these teachers have been reasonably good-looking, and would have no problem picking up any guy in any bar in any city in the nation. For women like Carrie, meeting men who want to sleep with them is not a problem. Hell, for any woman, it’s not a problem.

There’s only one reason someone would risk their career to do something like this. There’s only one reason a woman would negate meeting adults the normal way, and carrying on a typical relationship like we all do. There’s only one reason someone would do something like this.

They’re crazy. Plain and simple. That’s the only way this makes sense. Let’s elaborate, shall we?

STORY!

Rockin' the vest.
(A blurry photo of the CDP in Grade 8. I was too lazy to run this through the scanner.)

When I was in the 8th grade, I met a student teacher named Sheila, who had arrived from a neighboring college. Over the course of the next several weeks, Sheila and I bonded; mainly in that I was the only student mature enough to have a decent conversation with her. She was learning the thankless ropes of the Middle School, she wasn’t getting through to the students and faculty, and she longed for someone, anyone to share typical thoughts and feelings with.

We swore in front of each other. We talked after class and walked in the halls. We even sat next to each other at some of the football games. I was starting to like Sheila as more than a teacher, but was still smart enough to know that I was in the 8th grade. Clearly, she was humoring me, or simply being nice to the one student that she ‘got through’ to. I wasn’t an idiot; I knew that this was sort of a weird relationship we were having, and soon it would end. I mean, she was only a handful of years older than me, but the difference between 14 and 20 might as well have been an eternity.

As the weeks rolled on, something interesting started to happen. Thinking that Sheila was solely being nice to me from a student-teacher perspective, I started to ignore her. I stopped trying to run into her in the hallways, and I stopped chatting with her after class. I didn’t want to look like an idiot with a crush, so I decided to stop leading myself into inevitable heartbreak (I later went on to lead myself into heartbreak multiple times in High School). Amazingly enough, she then started to seek me out, wanting just to talk about things that had nothing to do with school. This relationship was now being initiated by her, and quite astonishingly, she was no longer acting like my student teacher.

This conflicted me to no end, as you can imagine. It made no sense whatsoever. For a teenage boy of my age, this kept me up all night, frantically attempting to understand the validity and nature of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, it was exhilarating, but mostly just confusing as hell.

Students had been talking about me and Sheila for a while at this point; it was difficult to overlook that I was spending more time around her than I was with my friends. I recall one night at a football game, me and her were sitting together and talking in the highest row of bleachers, when a couple of my friends showed up. They asked me if I wanted to leave the game early and spend the night at one of their houses. I politely declined, as I was getting to know Sheila better and almost always chose women over close friends. A minute after they left, she gave me a hug, silently thanking me for choosing her over them. The next day, the same friend that invited me over said, “You’re either doing one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, or one of the coolest.” Then he started getting saying filthy things, and I tuned him out.

Sheila’s last day at my school culminated with a dance in the gymnasium. She was there, acting as a chaperone for wee children like myself. I was feeling down, mainly because I knew I would never see her again. Regardless of how she may or may not have felt about me, I was still sad to see her go. Part of me felt like she was merely screwing with me; using me as a martyr for all of the other students that treated her like crap. Because of their folly, I would suffer. Still, another part of me felt as if she genuinely liked me, and I was about to miss out on the chance of a lifetime. Yet another part of me thought that she was mistaking me for a Special Need student, and she was merely doing her part as a humanitarian to make sure I didn’t swallow my tongue.

I did my best to act as invisible as possible that night. I didn’t dance, I didn’t run around like crazy with my friends, and I didn’t spend all of my Mom’s money on candy bars. I sat under the bleachers, keeping my eye on Sheila at all times, wishing there was something I could do to temporarily stop time. When I saw her interacting with all of the students, saying goodbye and mingling, I felt deflated. That’s when a friend came over to me, and broke the news.

“Hey, did Miss _____ find you yet?”

“What? No. Why?”

“She’s been looking for you all night, dude. She’s asking everyone where you are.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. You better go talk to her.”

I really didn’t want to talk to her. I mean, what was the point? One of two things was about to happen. Either she would thank me for being such a good student and walk away, or she would throw her arms around me, kiss me, and still walk away. No matter the case, I’d be hurt, regardless of how much I prepared myself not to be. There was no getting out of this one.

When Sheila saw me walking toward her, her eyes lit up as she ran in my direction. Just then, a slow song started blaring through the gymnasium, as couples started to pair off.

I don’t have anyone to dance with,” she whispered. “Where have you been?

I was all set to say, “Well, I’ve been hiding under the bleachers like a child because I have a crush on my student teacher who’s been sending me mixed messages for three months and I don’t want to look like an idiot and I wish I knew what was really going on but you’re leaving tonight and I’m never going to see you again and I’m just a dumbass kid that doesn’t understand how to act in situations like this so I’m just going to call my Mom and have her pick me up and take me home.”

I didn’t have a chance, though, because as soon as I opened my mouth, she grabbed me by the arm and kissed me.

Shocked, I took a couple of steps back. I looked around to see if anyone else caught a glimpse, but it appeared as if the coast was clear. Sheila again stepped closer, staring me down and acknowledging the slow song by tilting her ear to the ceiling and saying, “Do I hear you calling my name?

By this point, the song was all but fading out, but she still interlocked with me and swayed until there was silence.

“I’m going to miss you,” she said. “Don’t you go forgetting about me.”

“Me, too” was all I could muster. Looking back, I’m well aware that it made no sense.

As we said goodbye to each other, I (in a moment of bizarre bravado and charm) held her right hand and kissed it, chivalry-style. It was simultaneously the strangest and most romantic thing I’ve probably ever done as a teenager.

Before I knew it, one of the weirdest chapters of my life was over. Sheila was gone, and I never saw her again.

Do you want to know why?

Because she was quite obviously crazy, that’s why. My aforementioned theory works, because I’ve experienced it first-hand. Looking back, I remember the way she acted very clearly. And yes, she honestly did like me as more than a student, but it was because she was nuttier than a squirrel’s breakfast.

That doesn’t make it any less amazing, though. It was a lot of fun while it lasted. I also realize that I end a lot of my essays with “…and I never saw her again.”

However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken more advantage of her than you could ever imagine. I consider it a lost opportunity, and I also consider myself an asshole with no moral compass.

Just recalling this story is making me shake my head in disbelief.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #4.

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#4 – “Meet The New American Gladiators.”
(Originally Published January 4, 2008.)

American Gladiators Is Back!

When ESPN Classic started airing old reruns of American Gladiators, I was embarrassingly excited. As a kid, AG was my absolute favorite show; I’d watch every tournament, every season, to see who would emerge and walk away with the $10,000 grand prize for not being killed by some jacked-up bodybuilder with anger management issues.

When I saw that NBC was reviving American Gladiators for 2008, along with snagging the ‘Immortal’ Hulk Hogan to host, I almost combusted. For me, this show would be the ultimate 80’s flashback. The only thing cooler would be if they pulled Larry Czonka himself out of retirement, handed him a microphone and told him to go nuts with the Nestle’s Crunch ‘You Got Czonked!’ Replay of the Night. I was pumped for the return of AG, and I didn’t care who knew. I couldn’t wait to see if it would be a hit with others in my generation, and now the day is almost upon us.

American Gladiators was the only game show I can think of where the fans wanted the contestants to lose on a regular basis. Audience members would create signs for their favorite Gladiator and wax poetic as to why him or her was the most perfect specimen on the planet. When Hawk or Gemini would turn someone inside-out during ‘Breakthrough & Conquer,’ the arena would explode as the hapless competitor would lay very still, patiently waiting for emergency medical staff to put his femur back inside of his leg.

In preparation for the long-awaited return of AG, I’ve assembled a handy guide to the new faces you’ll be seeing in Gladiator Arena. Consider this your scouting guide and preview of what very well could be the single greatest thing to ever exist on television without actual, talented writers.

Titan.

Name: Titan

Strengths: The unfathomable reality that this guy can possibly be alive after all the anabolic steroids he’s slammed directly into his freakish hocks.

Weaknesses: Quick, non-deliberate movements. Non-lycra shirts. Holding his unit when he pees. Things that aren’t illegal drugs.

Finishing Move: “The Roid Rage,” where he begins lamenting about his shrinking testicles and wild mood swings, screams, picks up his opponent sideways and breaks him in freaking half over his knee. Repeat until everyone in the studio audience is in two pieces. Dead.

Scouting Report: This guy cannot be a real human being. He looks like an AG cyborg, built by NBC for the sole purpose of holding a giant Q-Tip and making grown men cry. One of these days, his head’s gonna fall off, and the explosion of sparks and wires will finally assure me that I was right.

Siren.

Name: Siren

Strengths: Having really, really nice hair. Knows all the words from every Toby Keith album, for whatever reason. Currently the Xbox Live online leader for Dance Dance Revolution.

Weaknesses: Being loud at parties. Evanescence. Bass Ale. Guys who drive Trans Ams. Herpes and the men who harbor it. Her baby daddy.

Finishing Move: “The Real Siren,” where the original Siren shows up and gets instantly hit by a bus, because she’s deaf and didn’t hear the bus coming.

Scouting Report: When I look at Siren, I know two things for certain. First, I’m sure she’s really good at shooting pool and could drink me under a table. Secondly, I bet she’s strangled a guy with a phone cord in the bathroom of some rundown motel on at least one occasion.

Militia.

Name: Militia

Strengths: Traveling from town to town, spreading the good news and word of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Always has literature and pamphlets on hand.

Weaknesses: Liberals. Birth control. Self-empowered women. Unitarians. Whoever wrote The Golden Compass. The gays and the Jews.

Finishing Move: “The Holier Than Thou,” where he rises up to Heaven while you rot in perish for eternity in the horrid sins you’ve created for yourself.

Scouting Report: I might be way off about Militia. Perhaps he’s more of the ‘Y2K Survivalist’ type, hoarding himself up in a shack during the offseason, carefully manufacturing pipe bombs and writing his latest manifesto of how Tom Hanks and Jennifer Garner are tapping our phones.

Fury.

Name: Fury

Strengths: The superhuman ability to lay in a tanning bed for weeks at a time. Extensive Scrunchie collection. Always smells like coconuts.

Weaknesses: Botox injections. Septum so deviated she gets to park in handicapped spaces.

Finishing Move: “The Horseface,” in which she delivers a devastating mule kick to a downed opponent while eating a Red Delicious apple.

Scouting Report: Maybe I’m being too hard on Fury. Who knows, she might emerge to be one of the more popular, charismatic and athletic Gladiators in the tournament. Or most likely, she’ll be instantly forgotten and delegated to ‘Hang Tough’ for the duration of the season. ‘Hang Tough’ is the Canadian Football League of American Gladiators.

Justice.

Name: Justice

Strengths: Constantly mistaken for Tracy Morgan, he has been invited onto the set of 30 Rock an astounding 18 times.

Weaknesses: Baseball caps. Looking like a jacked-up Chris Tucker.

Finishing Move: “The Rush Hour,” where he teams up with an aged Asian martial artist and gets progressively less funny as the years pass.

Scouting Report: Remember The Fifth Element? Wasn’t that a great movie? I tell you, Luc Besson is an absolute cinematic genius, regardless of the genre he decides to take on. It’s a shame he’s retired now. As for Justice, he doesn’t remind me at all of Luc Besson.

Crush.

Name: Crush

Strengths: A legitimate Mixed-Martial Artist and trained athlete. Being almost too hot to watch without a certain level of depression and stomach pain.

Weaknesses: The silky smooth caress of a certain Wisconsin humorist and author named Ryan J. Zeinert. Lounging around the house, reading the newspaper while wearing my shirt on Sunday mornings after breakfast.

Finishing Move: “The Reality Check,” where she destroys Layla Ali in seconds, once again reminding the world that boxing is a deader-than-disco pseudo-sport run by the mob and talentless thugs.

Scouting Report: Crush’s real name is Gina Carano, who is currently boasting a 5-0 MMA record in EliteXC and a former Muay Thai record of 12-1. On a far more serious note, she is my super-secret girlfriend times a billion and a half, but she nor my wife must never know. Shhh.

Mayhem.

Name: Mayhem

Strengths: Taking down The Man. Can battle against the females in a pinch if there’s an injury. No haircuts means extra spending money.

Weaknesses: Kinda looks like a freakishly strong woman. Finding casual pants that are loose in the thighs. The Man. Airport security.

Finishing Move: “The Jax.” Remember how in Mortal Kombat 3, Jax would take his fists and just pulverize some dude’s head? Yeah, that.

Scouting Report: With a name like Mayhem, I’m expecting nothing less than complete and total insanity from this guy. I don’t even want him speaking English; I just want to see screaming, carnage and piles of dead contestants. Wait, you mean they’re not killing contestants this season? What?

Helga.

Name: Helga

Strengths: Blueberry jellies and jams. Was the backup Defensive End for the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. Might have a wiener.

Weaknesses: Allowing the unoriginal producers of the show to name her character Helga, specifically because she’s thick and blonde. Vikings.

Finishing Move: “The Oktoberfest,” where she drinks nine pints of ale and makes off with the smallest man she can carry back to her hut.

Scouting Report: Helga reminds me a little bit of Beth Pheonix, the current WWE Women’s Champion. The only difference between the two is that I would move Heaven and Earth to have Beth Gorilla Press Slam me, and Helga most assuredly has a wiener that I don’t want to see.

Toa.

Name: Toa

Strengths: The ability to have his eyeballs switch sockets with a moment’s notice. Because they’re extremely close together, you see.

Weaknesses: Peripheral vision, finding glasses that fit. See, I’m making fun of his terrifyingly narrow eyes again.

Finishing Move: “The Rock Bottom,” blatantly crossing the copyright infringement line with The Rock and WWE, just to see who’ll notice.

Scouting Report: Toa is the real-life cousin of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, which is very exciting for me, because if he ever decides to bust out a ‘People’s Eyebrow,’ I might laugh until I pee the couch. You see, his eyes…they’re just way too close together.

Venom.

Name: Venom

Strengths: Looking like a pin-up girl from the 40’s or 50’s that could snap your neck without even spilling her Cherry Coca-Cola.

Weaknesses: Prescription medication. Hair dye. John F. Kennedy. The smooth-shaven, Swiss Army-scented neck of a certain young, American humorist named Ryan J. Zeinert.

Finishing Move: “The Consumption,” where she unhinges her jaw and swallows opponents whole. Not nearly as great as it sounds.

Scouting Report: Next to Crush, I think I like Venom the most. I’ve always had a hidden fantasy for female bodybuilders, and finding one that looks like Marilyn Monroe is just icing on the cake. I’m not saying I like it when women beat me up, I’m just…well, maybe just a little bit. I sure hope she has a deep voice.

Stealth.

Name: Stealth

Strengths: The ability to crush a man’s head between her thighs, causing their brains to spoot out like a tube of Pillsbury biscuits in the noonday sun.

Weaknesses: Bizarre lack of knees. Denzel Washington. Constantly asked if she’s “that bitch from The Apprentice.”

Finishing Move: “The Shut Yo Mouth,” where she gets right up in your grill, requesting that you shut your damn fool mouth.

Scouting Report: It’s a true sign of a poor comedic talent when they go straight to jokes about race when they run out of originally funny things to say about something. For this observation alone, I shall offer no scouting report on Stealth. She’s black and scares the ever-loving whiz outta me.

Wolf.

Name: Wolf

Strengths: Wearing wolf-pattern shirts to formal events and gatherings. Being absolutely awesome, no matter the circumstance. Hunts for food when he’s not even hungry.

Weaknesses: Due to his unfortunate resemblance to Dog the Bounty Hunter, gets feverishly hassled by the NAACP. Electric razors. New moons.

Finishing Move: “The Midnight Howl,” where he tears out opponent’s throat and marks territory by peeing on their husk.

Scouting Report: Forget the 80’s version, Wolf might be my favorite male Gladiator of all-time. Seriously, look at this dude! If he wasn’t so busy shooting tennis balls at people, I’d fully expect him to be hunting bison with a Swiss Army knife. He’s boss and totally knows it. I want an uncle like Wolf.

Well, there you have it. You’re officially caught up and prepared for the strike-crippled Television event of 2008. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #5.

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#5 – “You Have No Idea What ‘Having No Idea’ Means.”
(Originally Published March 20, 2008.)

You Don't, You Know.

When I was an criminally underweight Freshman in high school, there was this girl that I spent a large amount of time with, we’ll call her ‘Margaret.’ My friendship with Margaret was solid and rare; we cheated off of each others’ tests, we exchanged idiotic notes throughout the school day and advised each other through short-term relationships, crushes and obsessions. It was a pretty decent and worthwhile arrangement; one of those situations where everyone naturally assumed that we were a couple, and we would just nod and play along, certain that our platonic agreement was cooler and stronger.

Now that I’m older, I know for a fact that platonic relationships are impossible. You cannot be friends with someone of the opposite or desired gender without wanting to sleep with them in some capacity.

So, as these stories go, our solid friendship was to be short-lived, thanks in part to the contents of my pants. I eventually fell hard for Margaret, far outside the reaches of what a strong friendship could provide, and felt it necessary to destroy the good thing we had going for the chance at a more physical and advanced form of bodily communication. I knew going in that it was sabotage, but something had to give. I couldn’t look at her anymore without wanting to tell her. I couldn’t hear another story about a bad date without begging her to let me make things right. I couldn’t even eat or listen to the radio. Surely, a friendship this strong would only be strengthened by this revelation, right?

I actually believed that. I also listened to Marilyn Manson, so… yeah.

As detailed in the classic CDP essay, ‘No Scents Whatsoever,’ my attempt to cross into this forbidden territory was tragically shot down by what could be accurately described as a gaffe of Shakespearean proportions. Margaret turned me down in the most unexpected way possible, our friendship hit the wall and I almost ended up getting arrested for indecent exposure.

‘No Scents Whatsoever’ is also featured in 65 Poor Life Decisions, which you should order right now. In fact, you should read that essay in order to get all caught up. Go on, I’ll wait.

Ready?

‘No Scents Whatsoever’ only told the funny part of the story, though. The ‘let’s all laugh at the poor kid who whizzed everything down his leg at the football game’ part. What happened the next day was far more interesting, deep and somewhat damaging.

Upon returning to school, I knew I had to do something, say something, to hopefully justify my actions and attempt to get things with Margaret back to the way they once were. We almost instantly ran into each other; the once-simple transitions and conversation now awkwardly vacant. We both had some serious explaining to do.

ME – “Hey. We should probably talk.”

MARGARET – “Hey. I know.”

ME – “Look, I’m sorry for messing everything up by trying to mine something that wasn’t there. I didn’t think it through, and I know it’s going to be impossible to go back to the way things were, but…”

Margaret cut me off.

MARGARET – “I just…I can’t go out with you right now. I’m really sorry.”

The tone in her voice suggested that she wasn’t necessary believing the words she was saying. This conflicted me, but more than anything, it pissed me off.

ME (still frustrated and embarrassed) – “Well, why the hell not? Because I know your secrets? Because my jaw clicks all loud when I eat? Because I wear the same stupid cologne that your dad wears? Why can’t this work?”

MARGARET (incredulous and saddened) – “Ryan, I can’t go out with you because you don’t believe in God.”

My eyes got wide, and I shut down. Right there, in the middle of a crowded high school hallway, the two of us hit a moral and emotional crossroads that was still probably years out of our league to correctly tackle. Somehow, through our several months of wonderful friendship and happiness, we never allowed a massive topic like religion butt in and ruin the party with its polarizing attitude and smug grin. However, this was clearly an issue that Margaret took seriously. Seriously enough to turn down a relationship with someone close to her.

MARGARET – “I…I just can’t do it. I’m sorry. It’s not like I don’t want to…I just can’t.”

I didn’t know what to say. Part of me wanted to beg her to shake it off and give this oily heathen a chance. Part of me wanted to hold her and praise her for being so deeply rooted and mature in her faith. Yet another part of me wanted to know how she was so sure I was an Atheist. I had never mentioned my beliefs to her explicitly; I’m assuming she simply took a cue from all my terrible jokes and constant mocking of organized religion. Either way, she jumped the gun.

If you asked me if I believe in God right now, I’d say ‘not really.’ Had you asked me at the age of 14, however, I probably would have said yes. In any case, how do you respond to a statement like that? It’s not like Margaret told me she disliked my haircut, or that I listened to terrible music. I couldn’t remedy the situation by saying ‘I’ll try harder next time!’ or ‘I can learn!’ This was serious. An issue of faith that had no room for a guy like me. I could be her friend, we could even grow to love each other as friends, but she would never be mine unless one of us drastically changed their spiritual views.

I was dumbfounded. I had reached the Boss Level with no cheat codes. It was over.

ME – “Are we going to be….okay?”

MARGARET – “Yeah, we’re cool. We just can’t…you know.”

ME – “Yeah, I know…I think.”

Wow. All that stuff I did for her to show that I was quality best friend and boyfriend material wasn’t even close to cutting it. She didn’t need someone who was willing to borrow her a shirt after a lunchroom food fight covered her own with pineapple juice. She didn’t need someone that bought her an ice cream cone every day after school. She needed someone to pray with. Someone to attend church with. Someone to court her. A jock or preppie guy was the usual sort of challenge I was used to overcoming when it came to women, but this?

Jesus Christ, why didn’t any of this come up earlier?

As previously stated, I knew I wasn’t possessing the mental facilities to properly re-evaluate my entire stance on spirituality during my Freshman year. If you need proof of my immaturity, know that at the time of the argument, I was wearing a shirt that said ’69’ on it. All I knew was that I wanted to go out with her, and this new roadblock driven between the two of us wouldn’t go away until our friendship was completely off the rails. I had to do something to keep Margaret close, protect our bond, slap God directly in the face and prove to everyone that I was able to go to the next level for her.

For most women, this would be a show of gratitude; like meeting her parents or ceasing communication with ex-girlfriends. For Margaret, this meant church.

And I was in.

There was a teen-centered church service that Margaret liked to go to every Wednesday night in the city. It was one of those places where the minister wore blue jeans, boasted a goatee and desperately attempted to phrase the words of Jesus in a way that apathetic teens would understand and care about. Decent music was played. Coffee was sold. Candles were lit in the darkened, small conference area, and I was there with Margaret, wondering just how far I’d go to prove a point or see her in her bra.

I tapped my feet and hands simultaneously under the table, trying to ward off a panic attack as claustraphobia and religious anxiety sank in. I looked over at Margaret, who was saying hello to friends and placing her order.

MARGARET – “Coffee?”

ME – “Uh, no. I don’t drink coffee.”

MARGARET – “Wow, I had no idea!”

I thought to myself, “You clearly have no idea what ‘having no idea’ means. I’m sitting here, waiting for Mr. Biblepants McGee up there to start blowing smoke up my ass about the paradise of accepting God’s love, when all I really want is yours.”

Instead, I just said:

ME – “Well, you learn something new every day. I’ll take a bottle of non-blessed water, please.”

MARGARET – “Oh, you’re hilarious.”

Fun Fact for you. I was raised Catholic. Catholic mass, for those out of the loop, is basically an hour-long punishment every Sunday morning. You show up, exclaim to the world that you’re a worthless and flawed human being, beg forgiveness and give thanks to God for allowing you to live. At the age of 14, this was the only religion I knew, and I was preparing for more of the same as I chewed my nails to the marrowbone and wondered if this was all really worth it.

I’ve done a lot of things to win the affection of women. I’ve written beautiful songs and poems. I’ve driven hundreds of miles and talked for hours on end. I’ve spent money I didn’t have for gifts I didn’t understand. I even got punched in the face a couple times. But none of that compared to the uncharted, uncomfortable waters I was wading into. I peeled the wrapper off of my water bottle and the service began.

Of course, the night went well. The pastor did a good job of reminding me that Jesus was a fairly amazing guy, and no matter what I believe concerning my mortal soul in the hereafter, it wouldn’t hurt to try to remember some of the interesting teachings and words of the Big J. Same goes for other visionaries, like Buddha or even Martin Luther King. That, I could honestly handle, and even now as an adult, I hold a certain amount of faith in the words of prophets, just not the way they are perverted, twisted and used as a weapon by some of his closest followers.

I feel the same way when an e-mail floats around that was incorrectly attributed to George Carlin or Kurt Vonnegut. Stop disgracing the name, people!

Throughout the night, I was on my best behavior. I bowed my head when everyone else did. I shredded my napkin to bits when I got bored. Each time I heard something that I wanted to dispute with every fiber of my cynical and humanistic being, I just looked over at Margaret and thought about what I’d be missing out on by being an asshole. “Get your mind right,” I reassured myself. “It’s for the greater good.”

I ended up going back to the church with her for most of the Summer after my Freshman year. Our friendship bloomed back into the rare and wonderful thing it used to be, and we both settled into the harsh realization that we’re better friends than lovers. By the time Summer was over, we were both seeing other people, and we were happier for it.

I’m glad that I was pushed out of my comfort zone, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. I knew that she knew, too, and she made a point to let me know that she appreciated it. We both knew that I’d never be the guy to complete a successful courtship. The guy to save his virginity until marriage. The guy that voluntarily gave his time to organized religion for any reason other than a friend’s companionship. At the end of the day, we both emerged a little smarter, a little further apart, and a little more aware that we were absolutely horrible for each other. When Sophomore year started, we were too busy and preoccupied to speak to each other.

Six years later, while I was working at the hardware store, Margaret walked in. We exchanged a few words and e-mail addresses, with the mutual promise that we wouldn’t lose touch with each other again. That was the last time we spoke.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #6.

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#6 – “Everything Plus One.”
(Originally Published June 19, 2008.)

High School Graduation.
(Me and the Missus at my High School graduation in 2000. I was as awkward as you’d expect me to be at 18, and the Missus was looking unbelievably hot in her Band uniform.)

Today, me and the Missus celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. Allow me to reflect upon this in the nostalgic, personal and hilarious manner you have grown to expect and appreciate from Wisconsin author, blogger and humorist, Ryan J. Zeinert.

The very first time I became aware of the Missus’ existence was when I was a Junior in High School. The Missus had an older brother named Tyler that I always found intriguing and intimidating, and we shared a Business Enterprise class during his Senior year. Tyler was a pretty hardcore punk; he wore the same hoodie covered with patches every day, screamed his guts out in a local metal band and appeared as if he was constantly high (he was). This always interested me, and I was perpetually looking for ways to talk to the guy; to infiltrate his world. Now that he’s my brother-in-law, he’s no more than a really nice guy I see from time to time that is endlessly interested in the Civil War and has a fear of loud noises and balloons. Funny how things turn out.

Anyway, I remember one day in the Business Enterprise class, while working on the latest copy of the School Newspaper, our principal barked over the P.A. with a list of people that needed to come to the Front Office. One of the names was one that I had never heard before, but her last name was the same as Tyler’s. “Could it be that Tyler has a sister?” I thought to myself. “And how fast can I make it up to the Front Office to confirm this theory?

As it turned out, Tyler did have a younger sister; a Freshman named Celia that I had somehow never noticed until the day her name was announced to me over that loudspeaker. I immediately needed to get this girl into my life somehow, and the whole thing started rather creepily, if I may say so myself. A friend of mine gave me a photo of Celia, which I hung in my locker before even speaking to her. There’s a great song by a Milwaukee band called The Benjamins which contains the lyric: “I’ve got a picture of you that you didn’t give me. Be careful.” I didn’t really understand the emotional worth of that line until I became a living example of it. Chances are that I was going to push Celia away before even saying hello to her, which was my style at the time.

The first time I laid eyes on her, I knew that I was instantly in trouble. She was alluring as hell; her eyes sparkled with rebellion and intelligence, and her hoodie was also covered with patches, but for bands that I actually listened to. She seemed angry all the time, and was a National Honor Society member that loathed the distinction and shunned anything that brought attention to her accomplishments and 4.0 GPA. This girl was dangerous, and it was as if she fell out of the sky to complete me. Truth was, however, that this wasn’t the first time she had this effect on yours truly.

If you recall from my legendary essay, titled ‘The Homecoming Quadrilogy,’ you’ll remember a chapter titled ‘J. Crew & The Mystery Girl.’ To give you the short version of the chapter in question, there was a beautiful girl that I had never seen before at my Homecoming Dance, and while I spent over an hour attempting to muster up the courage to ask her to dance, I realized that she was actually there with her boyfriend, leaving me heartbroken and destined for loneliness until the rapture. The M. Night Shyamalan twist to this tale was that the mystery girl in question was the Missus, and I would eventually go on to see her naked and marry her. Staring at her photo every day in my locker failed to click the connection in my cloudy, 17 year old head, but meeting her in person made me realize that fate was seeing to it that we end up together.

Apart from worshipping Celia from afar, the first time we officially spoke was in the Summer of 1999. Me and my friends ran into her and her friends at a punk show in Oshkosh, and I truly became smitten with her. She was bright and funny, tentative and shy. Reserved with moments of wide-eyed astonishment. She was either very deep, or astoundingly bipolar; either way, I was going to find out. I invited her to a concert that my band was to be playing later that month, and when she showed up, I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. Only problem was, she still had a boyfriend; the very same Mr. J. Crew that ruined my night at the Homecoming dance.

We all know what it’s like to want someone that you can’t have. It’s a feeling that unites all of us in solidarity; the wretched, helpless, emotional longing and overtly-whiny pain that comes with wanting so badly to love and be loved in return. To combat this pain, you do what all teenagers (and adults) do when faced with such a cruel fate. You start acting really, really weird. You lock yourself in your room all day. You stop eating. Your poetry output increases by 400%. The Smiths suddenly become your favorite band, and you sit on your roof, shaking your fist into the night sky, wondering why God would put such a perfect human being in your life that you couldn’t touch. To this day, few feelings are more dense, affecting and crazy annoying.

That night, at my band’s concert, we did a cover of Green Day’s ‘Basket Case,’ and I invited Celia onstage to belt it out. As I sat behind the kit and watched her studded jacket sway in front of about 50 of the drunkest kids I have ever seen, I felt way worse than I should have. This sucked. I wanted her.

When the show was over, I slurred in her ear, “Do you believe in fate?” I honestly can’t remember how she answered, but it didn’t matter. I believed in fate, and that’s all that counted.

2001
(Me and the Missus (along with two other guys) conquer Wisconsin in 2001 with the power of Punk Rock.)

After the concert, I started to develop more of a speaking relationship with Celia. I became friends with her friends, we wrote letters and may have even exchanged a phone call or two. In retrospect, it’s clear that Celia liked me at this point, but she was smart enough to know that friendships are ruined by relationships, and besides, she had a boyfriend in another city that was older, handsomer and richer than me. I hadn’t a chance, so I stayed polite and remained the quirky background noise in her life.

To pass the time and dull the unbelievable pain this was causing me, I tried out other relationships that were almost instantly ruined by the obvious fact that I was hurting. I wanted to be with nobody but her, and it showed. My emo phase was at critical mass, only it was real, legitimate emotion (besides, the term ’emo’ was barely a blip on the radar at the time). The peak of this came while I was at a concert with Celia and her boyfriend, and I had to stand behind them for the majority of the evening and not puke all over the bar. Soul-crushing, this was.

Fortunately, the cards were in my favor, mainly because Celia’s boyfriend was an absolute prick with little-to-no redeeming social values. It was only a matter of time before he shot himself in the foot, and Celia took this opportunity to get out while the getting was good. She dropped the news on me while I visited her at the supermarket where she worked (which had the brilliantly original name of ‘Food Mart’).

MISSUS: “Hey, I wanted to let you know that I broke up with ____.”

CDP: “Oh wow, really? Gosh, I’m really sorry about that.”

(In reality, my stomach had gone ice cold, as I realized that nothing stood between us. It was scary as hell, and as someone who has never been dealt a fair hand, it almost made no sense.)

MISSUS: “It’s okay. I’m happy.”

CDP: “Let’s go out for dinner.”

MISSUS: “Okay.”

To this day, Celia’s ex-boyfriend is one of only three guys whom I would pummel with my bare hands if I ever saw in person again (The other two will be revealed at a later date). You may think that this is due to a long-standing and completely unnecessary grudge I hold against him for keeping Celia away from me for so long. Truth is, it has to do with a verbal confrontation we had shortly before they broke up. I won’t get too far into it, but the guy didn’t take too kindly to his relationship fizzling out, and he did some things to the Missus that I see no need to forgive. Furthermore, it’s been a long time since I’ve hauled off and cracked someone that deserved it, and I think that my Homecoming story deserves a more heroic ending, even if it is nine years after the fact.

That night, me and Celia went out for a dinner at the best Italian restaurant I could afford with a $6 an hour job; Fazoli’s (say what you want, those breadsticks are incredible). We spent the next few hours getting to know each other beyond the music, preening, posturing and various other crap that kids do to maintain the image they want to present to others. It was that night that I became aware that me and Celia connected on a far deeper level than what bands we thought were cool. Sure, I had no idea that she would be doing my laundry a couple of years later, but I still thought it was a good talk.

We tried to stay cool about everything. We tried to pretend that we weren’t becoming a couple. We tried to act like all normal friends wrote ten letters a day to each other and drove to graveyards in the middle of nowhere just to talk. Truth was, we were hopelessly falling in love with each other, and it was so effortless that I felt as if it was almost too easy. The girl that I worshipped from afar, the girl that was always just a little bit out of reach, was now calling me. Writing me. Kissing me before classes and hanging my photo in her locker. It was too good to be true.

2001
(The Missus mocks my haircut in 2001, and I mock her choice in soda.)

The next few months were the most romantic and memorable of my life, as me and Celia took our love to the streets and became inseparable in every way. Food tasted better. I could listen to pop radio without crying. We made fun of everyone and everything in our path. Nudity was commonplace, and the sky rained down gifts of forgiveness and acceptance onto my person.

The feeling of suddenly loving someone and being loved back is the most addictive and potent feeling in the world; it’s what married folks refer to as ‘The Spark.’ We all want to experience ‘The Spark’ non-stop, that’s how amazing of a feeling it is. Hell, marriages end because of people jonesing for ‘The Spark.’ For the time being, our Spark was cresting over us like the second wave of a DMT trip, and it was unlike few things I’ve experienced. We had built this dream together and were standing strong forever; nothing was going to stop us now.

But there were roadblocks.

For one, I had a lot of bad habits to shake off. The women I had previously dated allowed me to get away with such obnoxious habits as wearing bowling shirts, listening to Rap Metal, not reading books and generally being a douchebag. Celia, on the other side of the coin, was prone to bouts of craziness. Many a night, I would have to sit on the phone for hours and take barrage after barrage of accusations that, in retrospect, had almost nothing to do with my moral character. Mostly, they were just because I would forget to call or something.

Hmmm…maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

I could imagine Celia’s late-night revelations, while sleeping on the floor of her constantly-messy bedroom. “My God, I’m dating a…..dude! A real-life, acne-speckled, Limp Bizkit-listening dude! I’m so much better than this! I’ve read The Catcher In The Rye 18 times! There’s a Screeching Weasel patch on my jacket! I saw the Descendents live when I was 12 years old! How could I have possibly ended up with this lowlife?

Back at my house, I was having similar moments. “I should have known she’d be insane. I mean, look at her. She’s beautiful, she’s too smart for her own good and she sees through absolutely everyone. Nobody like that can stay uncrazy for long; it’s impossible. It’s only a matter of time before she stabs me to death with an Olive Fork, and I’ll deserve it for trying to hard to acquire her. Fate is a cruel bitch, and I had it coming.

The fights we had during the first year of our relationship were some of the worst we’ve ever had. I punched walls. She broke antiques. I cried a little. She cried harder. The arguments were more so than any fight about money, work, time management or any other ‘adult’ problems we’ve faced since then. Teenage emotions cannot be reasoned with, and the superficial things we argued about in 2000 seemed worlds more important than the crap we shuffle around in 2008. That’s the way it always is; when adults tell you that you’ll look back on the things you worried so much about as a teen and get embarrassed, don’t listen to them, because at the time, they’re the most important things in the world. Hindsight is for losers; live in the present, and never feel bad about the things you hold dear, regardless of how big of a pansy it makes you look like.

2002.
(In 2002, the Missus was still beautiful, and I was still wearing braces. Ignore this, please.)

Anyway, me and Celia had experienced our first year of courtship, which had taken us from the top, to the bottom, and back to the top as far as our love for each other went. I graduated from High School in June of 2000, and decided to do absolutely nothing with my life until she graduated in June of 2002. During that time, I worked at the Hardware Store and socked away enough cash for us to move to Madison and go to college. Who said I’m not responsible?

Well, I’ll be paying off the student loans until the end of time, but hey, we own a house, so suck it.

In the span of those two years (2000-2002), we had started a band and toured all over the state of Wisconsin. We released an album, experienced celebrity on the lowest of levels and got engaged. I began to realize that we were capable of taking on anything that stood before us, and I knew we were ready to take the next few steps into eternal adulthood: Living together, College and Marriage.

In 2002, we moved to Sun Prairie, and the rest is history, it would seem. As you’re well aware, I graduated college in 2004, launched the CDP in February of the same year and married the Missus that June. I also realize that I don’t have a single CDP essay about my time in college. Weird.

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(In 2008, the Missus owns you, and I’ve done what I could to salvage my dignity.)

We’ve been married for four years, and we’ve been a couple for almost nine. I’m proud of this, and I’m proud of my wife. Never mind the fact that she buys me groceries and makes sure I don’t leave the house with grape jelly on my pants, but I’m proud of what she made me. If you, the CDP reader, find me the least bit interesting, alluring or worthy of sharing a beer with you, you can thank the Missus for whipping me into shape. In tune, the Missus can thank me for turning her into a more patient and logical soul, even though I still always have to help her calculate the tip everytime we go out to eat. We’re still working a few kinks out, it would seem.

I will spend the bulk of our anniversary in my garage, itemizing a ton of old clothes and pants that we’ve accumulated and subsequently discarded over that last decade. As I do this, I’m reminded of an episode of The Simpsons, where Marge and Homer spend their anniversary at the dump, looking for a new motor for their refrigerator. It makes me laugh, and as I look at the remnants of our past, comprised of faded shirts, CD’s, books and toys, I’ll do so with the comforting thought that I’m one of the luckiest guys that I know.

If you had asked me in 1999 where I’d be in ten years, I would have given you some dumbass answer that I actually believed was the truth. I would have told you that I’d be a sports broadcaster for ESPN, or perhaps still working at the hardware store, making six bucks an hour and living in my grandparent’s basement for eternity. In reality, I live in a big, new house with my wife of four years, and my non-intrusive office job gives me the financial security and free time necessary to pursue my ever-evolving career as a writer. None of this would exist without the Missus, and quite frankly, it can all go away forever as long as I still have her with me.

2007.
(Taken the first day we got our iMac in 2007. We’re the biggest idiots you’d be privileged enough to meet.)

This essay was more than a little masturbatory and probably uninteresting to anyone who isn’t Celia, but screw it, this one’s just for her. Just consider yourself lucky that I don’t write stuff like this every day, because I totally could and I totally wouldn’t get sick of it.

Happy 4th Anniversary, Celia. I love you more than everything plus one.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #7.

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#7 – “Free MySpace Poetry.”
(Originally Published October 9, 2006.)

Free MySpace Poetry!

Are you a sensitive boy or girl on MySpace? Are you pining for that perfect piece of poetry or prose that will perpetuate your pathetic pomposity? Do you want to appear emotional and deep, but just don’t have the effort and creativity?

Look no further!

We here at the CDP have composed Free MySpace Poetry just for you! Simply choose the piece that best represents your suffering, lifeless and eternally tortured soul; then copy, paste and watch the friend requests roll in!

Beginner Section.

BEGINNER SECTION.

Example #1 – Four-Line Sonnet (ABCB):

My heart cries so loudly,
From the tower, I shall fall,
And wait for my sweet Prince(ss),
To suck the tears from my eyeball.


Example #2 – Haiku (5-7-5):

Never say goodbye
To the girl (boy) you hold so dear
Just kill them instead.

Example #3 – Limerick (AABBA):

My soul is a flawed creation,
When it’s padded with pink insulation
That makes my skin itch,
And I cry like a bitch
When my TiVo records the wrong station.

Example #4 – Rubaiyat (AABA):

Tonight I’ll slit my wrists in two;
Anything to prove that my love is true.
But I suppose I should just begin
By simply saying hello to you.

(Fact: MySpace is owned by the Fox Network.)

Intermediate Section.

INTERMEDIATE SECTION.

Example #5 – Cinquain (ABABB):

The moon was as full as my tummy
When we left the Chinese place.
The Egg Foo Yung was yummy,
Even though I despise their race.
(I need a pointed hood to hide my face.)

Example #6 – Terza rima (ABA BCB…):

I’m sporting gorgeous Emo hair;
Admiring my reflection in the mirror.
Why is life so unfair?

Why has God put me here?
With my expensive clothes and credit cards?
Everyone thinks I’m a queer.

Example #7 – Ottava Rima (ABAB AB CC):

You have to take those photos down
From your gallery on Flickr.
Your Elementary School graduation gown
Is making my heart beat quicker.


Your profile says that you live in my town,
And now I’m feeling a bit sicker.

Please don’t let me end up on Dateline.
No, please don’t let me end up on Dateline.


(Fact: 35-54 year olds make up 41% of MySpace users.)

Yep, that was me.

ADVANCED SECTION.

Example #8 – Rondelet (A4b8A4a8b8b8A4):

When I’m with Mom
She buys me things I can’t afford.
When I’m with Mom
Not Communist like Vietnam.
A hat, some gum, a new skateboard
I’ll tell you, sir, I’m never bored
When I’m with Mom.

Example #9 – Petrarchan Sonnet (A8BBA8 A8BBA8 C8DE C8DE):

This girl’s been on my mind again.
Last name Portman, first name Natalie;
Cooler than a million Mortal Kombat fatalities,
But I can’t use cheat codes to win.

She rules over my heart again.
Like a sovereign principality.
Ying to my Yang in this duality.
Sieze me like eminent domain.


I saw her on the bus today.
I said “I loved you in The Professional,”
“For a twelve year old, you looked quite well.”

She blasted me with pepper spray.
And I headed over to the confessional

Because Catholic boys go straight to hell.

Example #10 – Shakespearean Sonnet (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG):

When the world comes crashing from above,
I’ll meet my maker, face to face.
He’ll ask me how I lived and loved,
And I’ll reply, “On MySpace.”

I’ll tell Him how I stayed indoors,
Adding friends and searching names.
Taking photographs of liquor stores,
With my tears just out of frame.


“MySpace is no more than spam!” He’ll exclaim.
Brushing the black hairs from my eye.
“In all My creation, I’ve never seen something so lame.”
“I’ll see to it that Tom’s friends all die.”

I understand now, why He was so stern with me.
From now on, I’ll only visit the CDP.

(Fact: He who dies with the most friend requests…still dies.)

Feel free to use as many of these as you want; I’ll leave it up to you if you want to credit theCDP.net or not. I’m just here to help.

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time (’06-’08) – #8.

Photobucket Image Hosting

#8 – “Adventures In Cyber Sex.”
(Originally Published March 12, 2007.)

The following post is rated:
The following post is rated TV-14.
For sexual content and dialogue.

PART 1 – THE PRESENT.

During a lunch break last week, I was playing pool on Pogo, as I’m sometimes known to do. On the rare occasions when I play against another human player, I refuse to chat with them in the sidebar, as I’m far too focused on winning the game and voiding myself of all human contact. I’m far too old to be ‘chatting’ with anyone, let alone someone who lacks all basic grammar skills and wants to beat me at pool. Both pride and dignity are on the line, here.

As luck would have it, this day was a little different. I was minding my own business, shooting pool against my silent robotic opponent, when it was suddenly replaced by a living, human being. The screen name was like, xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx, or something to that effect. I took limited notice and continued my game, as she started yapping to herself in the sidebar:

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: hay baby

Silently, I focused on my game. I knew she was trying to confuse and disorient me, thus giving her an advantage on the pool table. Little did she know, she was dealing with a skilled and unshakable veteran of the green felt. I wasn’t going to be like all those other losers. Not today.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: wanna cyber?

Just as I was focusing on nailing the 9 ball in the side pocket, my right eye slowly wandered over to the sidebar and noticed this little nugget of sinister information. Against my best judgment, I spoke up.

theCDP: No. I want to play pool.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: RUgay?

theCDP: That’s not important. I’m on lunch and want to play pool.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: i wanna play 2 lol.

That’s it,” I thought. “I’m outta here.”

This particular game of pool was for all-important Ratings Points, however, so I didn’t want to leave and get a loss put on my record (I already know that my priorities are messed up, so don’t bother mentioning it). Instead, I remained calm and continued playing.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: wat do u waant to do 2 me?

theCDP: I want to finish this game and eat a Pop Tart.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: nooooooo

theCDP: Yeah, that’s what I’m into these days. Pop Tarts are all the rage.

At this point, I knew that I was either being screwed with by a messed-up woman or a very messed-up man, so I just stayed coy and toughed it out. If you ever think that you’re conversing with a beautiful woman who likes to talk dirty to strangers in Pogo chat rooms, you might want to seriously re-evaluate your life.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: im horny

By this point, I was looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody was around. I’ve never felt dirtier playing a game of pool in my life, save for that one time at my Dad’s bar, when I was playing against a drunk woman whose tube-top fell around her waist about three shots in. True to drunken form, she refused to remedy the situation until the game was over.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: i said im horny.

theCDP: You know, I seriously doubt that.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: oooooh i am baby

Shaking my head, it was now my objective to out this person for the fraud and impostor that they were. I really don’t like being manipulated, especially considering that I’ve never met someone who was a better manipulator than myself. You just can’t beat the master.

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: how old RU?

theCDP: How old are you?

xXxSk8erBaBy996xXx: 14

Instantly, ice water filled my veins. It was as if someone had dangled a gargantuan spider in front of my computer monitor that had TNT for legs and cocaine where its body should be. I shot my legs out and flew back in my chair, clicking on anything that even remotely resembled a red X. I’ve seen Dateline; I know what they do to horrible people like me in jail. I’d be passed around like currency, nicknamed ‘Vasoline Dream’ and fitted for a pink riding crop.

I was already imagining Chris Hansen showing up at my house that night, clutching the Chat Log and asking me just what I thought I was doing acting this way.

I just wanted to play pool! Why, God? Why?”

I did nothing wrong, but I was still too sick to eat that Pop Tart. My afternoon was ruined.

Yahoo! - 1994
(This is what Yahoo! looked like in 1994, in case you weren’t around for it.)

PART 2 – THE PAST.

The main focus of this post was to tell the story I’m about to tell you now. What happened last week merely reminded me of this long-forgotten tale.

This must have happened, gosh, over 12 years ago. It was in an AOL chat room during the early days of the Consumer-Friendly Internet. It came during a time when I was at least willing to attempt to be a completely different person online. An alter-ego that wasn’t afraid of women, didn’t mind getting naughty and knew exactly what to say.

You know, an asshole.

I should interject here and state that I’m simply awful when it comes to Dirty Talk. I can’t do it; I never have and I never will. There are just some words out there that make me blush and giggle like a schoolboy every time I hear them (titmouse, woodcock, titpecker), and it will probably always be that way. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I’m an absolute stud when it comes to each and every facet of gettin’ it awn, but we both know that’s just not true.

At the end of the day, the Missus doesn’t need me to be shouting obscenities or whispering sweet nothings, because she usually likes to ball gag me, instead. I married her because she knows that I cannot play The Mating Game to save my sorry, dumb ass, and she’s totally cool with it.

Sometimes, she even lets me stay up late and watch TV. With cookies!

Internet-wise, I’m not capable of typing something that I wouldn’t be able to say out loud to someone. I’m a man of facts, not a man of fantasy, and slipping into a fake and dirty persona is almost impossible for me. Even in 1995, when I couldn’t wait to be a different person than the loser I had become.

I guess that’s how I was raised; stacked to the rafters with guilt and shame, pushing all lustful feelings into the pit of my stomach until I eventually went out and skinned some hooker alive.

But on this night, I was ready to dip my toes into the fast-evolving world of cyber sex. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had no business being in the pool in the first place.

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: A/S/L?

theCDP: 18/M/CA, you?
(In reality, I was 13 and lived in Larsen; an unincorporated town in Wisconsin.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: 21F/MA

theCDP: Das’ cool.
(Go Red Sox! I was feeling better already.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Wat u do for a living?

theCDP: I’m a writer. You?
(Okay, the lies were coming easier now. I was in the zone!)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Stripper
(Beautiful! The role playing had begun, and I was poised at the ready. She was probably a 45 year old man, but I wasn’t in the mood for reality at this point. Lie to me, baby!)

theCDP: Rad!

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Did u jus say ‘RAD?’
(I sometimes forgot that I was the only kid in the world who said ‘rad’ in 1995.)

theCDP: Sorry. I guess I’m an idiot.
(That was strike one. I really didn’t want this super-hot fantasy stripper to ditch me, so I had to focus.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: um….ok

theCDP: So…do you have implants?
(I wasn’t going to waste any more time with 80’s surfer talk and chit-chat; I went in for the kill. Besides, that’s a tactful enough question to ask a stripper, right?)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: nope, 38DD all natural.
(Now we’re getting somewhere. I put in Green Day’s ‘Insomniac’ album and shut off all of the lights.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: and I’m only 5’3″
(Um, okay. Even as a rookie in the cyber-sex game, I still think that she should have throttled back a bit. Either she was completely full of it, or she was 400 pounds, fantasy or not. I left it at that.)

theCDP: Wow.
(This was the sound of me officially running out of things to say. I honestly never thought the conversation would go this way. Furthermore, I was feeling ickier by the second.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Yea, they like bowling balls, lol

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Wanna go bowling?
(Oh, what a move! A metaphor! I get metaphors! Of course I want to go bowling!)

theCDP: Hells yeah!
(It took silencing every intelligent voice in my head to write that. Sometimes you have to write like a typical idiot if you want to be treated like a typical idiot. This was one of those times.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: So….wats your avg bowling score?
(What? Average bowling score? What was she referring to? Did I misunderstand? Were we actually talking about bowling now? Gosh, this cyber-sex stuff is hard! Not wanting to look like an idiot, I came up with the best answer I could think of.)

theCDP: Oh, about 280.
(That’ll turn her on.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Wow, u must like big girls!
(Oops, strike two. I silently nodded my head and began to wonder what I was doing here in the first place. How could it be that I was actually a far smoother talker in reality than in fantasy?)

theCDP: Sorry, I lost track of the metaphors.
(Stupid me, breaking character again. Why is this so difficult for me? Think man, think! You’re a writer, damn it! Get literal!)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: well, try and keep up or youre gunna miss out!

theCDP: Yes, ma’am.
(Even in a fantasy world, I was coming off like the biggest loser alive. Maybe there was just never any hope for a guy like me.)

SexyInsomniakGrrrl: Sooo….wat you wanna play?

theCDP: I don’t know.
(I was getting depressed at this point, because I really didn’t know. Scrabble and Jeopardy were my top two choices at this point, as there was no chance whatsoever I was going to make this work for me, despite all the effort in the world from my new stripper friend. I guess I was just a loser, and no amount of distance between me and the world was going to hide that.)

*SexyInsomniakGrrrl Has Signed Off.*

Take your fantasy and shove it.

PART 3 – THE FUTURE.

Do people honestly chat anymore? I had no idea that these avenues still existed in such a massive quantity until I started watching the Dateline specials last year. I guess no matter what my ego may convince me of, trends don’t simply disappear just because I’ve moved on from them (see: Punk Rock, Meat, Zubaz).

What was once a mecca and cornerstone of the Information Superhighway now resembles more of a graveyard than anything. Chat rooms now are full of young people who have just connected to the Internet for the first time, and older people that possess a 6-figure porn collection. In that regard, I guess it’s just like the old days, only much creepier now that I’m older.

As far as I go, I never fully learned how to properly seduce a woman with my words. Sure, people tell me that I have a halfway sexy radio voice and I can make anyone laugh, but I just can’t help but use these powers for good instead of evil. If I’m not allowed to be honest, I crash and burn, and everyone around me knows it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better for me this way.

When me and the Missus started dating, we spent a lot of time together chatting online. As our relationship and feelings for each other grew, so did the overall tone and mood of our conversations. This came naturally for me, as everything I was saying was the truth, and I knew what was waiting for me on the other end of the fiber-optic cable.

Perhaps my unwillingness to adapt to fantasy and suspension of disbelief is an illness, instead of an advanced evolutionary trait? Perhaps I shouldn’t feel sorry for everyone able to turn off their conscious every once in awhile; perhaps they should feel sorry for me?

I don’t know for sure, but I’ll tell you this:

I’m never playing pool again.