Give Me All The Pomade You Have.

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It took me until about the age of 20 before I realized that you could get your hair cut at places that were stationed outside of a mall. As a man that didn’t pay attention or care too much about the quality or well-being of his hairstyle, I had always just gone to the easiest, cheapest place.

For the better part of a decade, this destination was exclusively Cost Cutters.

Going to Cost Cutters deep into in your teen years feels similar to the last few Halloweens you celebrate before you start to become acutely aware of your age. You begin to take notice of the clientele around you; notice the relative age of the stylists versus the customers. Once the realization hits that maybe you should start frequenting a different barber (say, the Master Cuts by the Aqua Massage kiosk, perhaps), it feels akin to being naked in public. All you want to do is disappear.

I remember the last time I ever set foot in a Cost Cutters. I was alone, reading a magazine in the red-and-yellow waiting area (it always looked like a McDonalds in there), when a grown man came shuffling through the door. He looked to be in his mid-to-late 40’s, wiry-thin with glasses and a ragged outfit on.

Hello,” he said to the pre-teen working the counter. “Is Sarah working today?

I’m sorry,” she replied, “But Sarah has the day off.”

Good,” the man muttered back, turning slowly to his left to reveal a massive bald spot that was seemingly gouged out of his scalp by accident. Presumably by Sarah. He took a seat next to me and exhaled deeply.

He was defeated. He didn’t care. He was me in ten years.

Without making a scene, I gently set the Store Copy of People magazine on the table and hit the road. It had been a decent enough relationship, but at that moment, I knew that Cost Cutters and I were officially through.

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CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 7 Deadline!

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If you are one of the many folks fortunate enough to participate in the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 7, remember that today is the deadline to have your Mix in the mail. If you feel that you may be a day or two late, please contact your Mix recipient with a damn good excuse. If you’ve decided to go deadbeat altogether, I may have to hunt you down and kill you.

Also, any Mixes that are sent to me by the end of March will make you eligible for a contest to win a Free CDP T-Shirt, so don’t forget to mail a copy my way. I’ll begin reviewing mixes next week, with the winner being announced during Lost Friday on April 9.

Not an incredible amount to report over the last week. Work has been hectic (something it usually is not), home life has been busy in a good way (not a lot of time for writing, unfortunately), and us Wisconsinites are more than ready for the warm weather to show up for good. Following the Mix-Tape reviews of April and wrap-up festivities of Lost Friday in May, I’m looking forward to devoting a large part of the Summer towards my next book. I have a great first draft in the works, but I still want to add about a dozen new essays into the fray. If I stay on schedule, it will give me Autumn to handle all of the editing and compiling, keeping me well on pace for a late 2010 release. I shall remain confident until December 31.

Thanks once again for participating in the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 7. From what I’ve seen and heard so far, the bar has once again been raised due to your creativity and fantastic musical tastes.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Lost Friday – "Ab Aeterno."

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Season 6 – Episode 9: “Ab Aeterno.”

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss…like did we just see the greatest episode of Lost in series history?

For five years and over the course of about 80 different recaps, I’ve written hundreds of pages about the absolute best and absolute worst of this TV show. And for as much as I think that Lost may be the greatest television drama I’ve ever watched, my job is always a lot easier when it’s swirling around in the toilet bowl, giving me plenty of ammo with which to pulverize it. It doesn’t happen often, however, and it certainly didn’t happen this week.

With ‘Ab Aeterno,’ we’re once again reminded why we love Lost. From the writing, to the method of storytelling, to the mythology, to the overarching themes, to the stellar acting, to the time periods that they can seemingly jump in and out of without skipping a beat, ‘Ab Aeterno’ was nearly perfect. Sure, it’s nothing like what we’re used to with Lost, but in a way, that makes it everything we’ve come to expect. If you’re a fan of this show, and didn’t come away fulfilled, enthralled or emotionally effected in a least some capacity, then I have no idea what you’ve been waiting for.

Yes, you can argue it wasn’t the best episode in series history (I’m partial to ‘Orientation,’ ‘Pilot’ and ‘Live Together, Die Alone’ myself), but…damn, it’s right up there.

Let’s KNOCK IT OUT!

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WHAT? – 1867 Flashback.
WHO? – Richard Ricardo Ricardus ‘Ricky’ Alpert.
WHERE? – Socorro, Tenerife, Canary Islands Waterpark & Good Time Fruitcakery.

Richard’s wife, Isabella, is dying. And I don’t mean dying of Alpert’s sexiness, either. She’s really, actually on the verge of dying a dead death. It is in Richard’s best interests to prevent this from happening (she makes a killer stew), so he offers to retrieve the nearest doctor so she can get patched up. He brings along with him all the money he has, including Isabella’s golden crucifix, to convince the doctor to help him.

Upon reaching the doctor, this Mutton Chopped prick remarks that not only does he have no intention of riding through a storm to reach Isabella, but that the medicine that can save her is worth more than Richard is able to afford. This guy must be one hell of a doctor, however, as he seemed to know what medicine could cure Isabella without even asking Richard what was wrong with her. Nevertheless, this display of arrogance angers Richard, the two get in a scuffle, and the doctor ends up dead. Alpert grabs the medicine and skedaddles back to his place, just in time to find that Isabella has already died of the mystery illness. He doesn’t take it too well.

This entire Act is proof positive why Universal Health Care is a good idea. No more doctors with monocles and pocket watches, no more throwing golden crucifixes to the floor in a disgusted huff, no more murders; it’s all taken care of now.

Needless to say, Richard is in trouble. He’s about to be hung for his crime, but his mastery of the English language makes him better suited for slavery than the gallows. Magnus Hanso pays the fee, busts him out of jail and tosses him onto the Black Rock. Typically, speaking English is what usually keeps you away from slavery, but hey, 1867 was a different time.

While on the Black Rock, a massive storm somehow slingshots the ship 200 feet into the air, blasting it straight through the statue and planting in smack in the middle of the Island in a heap of scrap wood and soggy beards. Say what you want, but those slave ships were built to last.

Once everyone comes to, the Captain starts offing slaves when the Black Smoke shows up and puts an end to the stabbery. Smokey seems to evaluate Alpert, decides to let him live and skitters back off into the distance. This is how I feel every time my supervisor comes into my cubicle.

For what seems like forever, Richard is chained up in the Black Rock. He starts seeing conjured images of his dead wife (who convinces him that he is in Hell), a boar starts eating the rest of the dead slaves and worse yet, he refuses to share any of his flesh bounty with Alpert.

Selfish-ass boar.

Eventually, the Man In Black appears to Richard, whispers him sweet secrets, tells him what he wants to hear and frees him from his chains, in exchange for Alpert murdering Jacob for him. Good luck with that. If I had a nickel for every time a mysterious stranger coaxed me into stabbing a trusted friend with a diamond-encrusted dagger, I’d be eating nickel soup. Alone.

Jacob catches Richard before he has a chance to knife him, and pretty much lays a first-class ass whipping on him. Jacob explains to Alpert that he had been lied to; he is not in Hell, his wife is still long dead, and he is still very much alive (he proves this to him by attempting to drown him).

Back on the beach, Jacob lays it all out for Richard. Jacob brought the Black Rock to the Island, and explains that the Island is the only thing keeping evil (presumably the Black Smoke) away from everything we hold dear (like Siamese cats and the Milwaukee Brewers). He states that the Man In Black believes everyone can be corrupted because it is in their nature to be bad, and that Jacob brings people to the Island to prove Old Smokey wrong. When questioned on whether or not Jacob has brought people to the Island in the past, Jacob replies that he had but they are all now dead. Jacob states he wants people to know the difference between right and wrong without being told.

In all fairness, this sounds like a terrible plan. Repent or die? Who is he, Old Testament God? Screw you, man, I’ll be finding my own way. You can keep your cork; I want to die in a hospital bed.

Jacob offers a job to Richard; that of a representative or intermediary for Jacob to the people he brings to the Island. You know, Middle Management; the perfect place for a guy who speaks English as a second language. When Richard says that he wants his wife back, Jacob admits he cannot help, and neither can he absolve him of his sins. However, he can help with Richard’s third wish, to live forever and never die. Really? Immortality is a snap, but confession is off the menu?

Richard returns to the Man in Black who realizes that Richard didn’t kill Jacob. Richard gives him a white rock, a gift from Jacob. The Man in Black tells Richard that his offer of joining him will continue to stand, he gives Richard the crucifix and disappears. Richard buries his wife’s crucifix and says goodbye to Isabella for the third time.

After his meeting with Richard, The Man in Black is seated on the beach while tossing away the white stone. Jacob joins him. When Jacob asks about the gift of the stone, the Man in Black tells Jacob not to gloat. Jacob asks whether The Man in Black sent Richard to kill him. The Man in Black says he did it because he wants to leave the Island and asks Jacob to let him go. Jacob tells the Man in Black that, as long as he is alive, that won’t happen. The Man in Black says that is why he will someday kill Jacob, to which Jacob replies that someone will just replace him. The Man in Black then says that he’ll just kill them, too.

Jacob says infinity, Man In Black says infinity plus one stop.

Jacob says that he’ll see the Man in Black later and gives him the wine bottle he used to describe the Island to Richard as a gift to pass the time. Jacob says that he’ll see him around. The Man in Black says to himself “sooner than you think” and then smashes the bottle.

WHAT? – Flashback.
WHO? – Ilana Squareface McGee.

Ilana is in a hospital with her face heavily bandaged (I’m assuming she was attempting to have her head de-squared). Jacob visits her and they speak in Russian. Ilana is very happy to see Jacob, who then asks for help. Jacob explains that there are six people she is to protect, and that their names will be on his list. He explains that this is what she has been preparing for and that the six are the remaining Candidates.

Some time later Ilana is speaking with Jacob. She no longer is bandaged and still quite square. She asks what she should do after she has brought the Candidates to the Temple. Jacob tells her to ask Richard who will know what to do next.

WHAT? – Present Day Timeline, 2007.
WHERE? – Beach Camp, Order Of The Midnight Society.

Jack, Hurley, Sun, Frank, Miles, Ben and Ilana are crowded around a fire, with Richard standing close by. Ilana and Sun explain that Sun, Jack and Hurley are Candidates to replace Jacob. Ilana admits that she doesn’t know what comes next, but that Richard does. Richard says that he has no idea. He claims that everything Jacob has ever said was a lie. He says that all of them are literally dead and that they are in Hell. Richard says it’s time to stop listening to Jacob and to start listening to someone else, and heads off into the Jungle.

I assume this means that he’s now going to start listening to Sawyer. Why not, right?

Jack asks Ilana who Richard is looking to talk to. Sun says that it’s probably Locke. When Jack says that Locke is dead, Ben explains that it is not “exactly” Locke. Ben then says to Ilana that going after Richard is useless as he doesn’t know anything. Ben states that he’s known Richard since he was twelve. Frank asks if they’ve known each other since childhood, and Ben explains that Richard looks the same as he did then. Frank realizes that Richard doesn’t age, which Ben confirms.

So to anyone out there that was expecting some major, crazy explanation as to why Richard doesn’t age, you were probably left disappointed. Jacob granted his wish, BOOM, it was so.

In the jungle, Richard has been trekking all night and into the next day. He returns to the spot where he buried Isabella’s crucifix and digs it up. Distraught, he asks whether the Man in Black is listening to him and that he changed his mind, that he was wrong. He calls out asking whether the offer still stood, referring to the ‘150 Year Limited Warranty’ the Man In Black allowed him.

Hurley walks out of the jungle and asks Richard what offer he is speaking of. Richard angrily pushes him away, reminding Hurley that he doesn’t know anything. Hurley asks him to calm down and as Richard starts to yell, Hurley blurts out that it is Richard’s wife, Isabella who has sent him. He tells Richard that she is standing right next to him. She wants to tell him it wasn’t his fault for her death, but that it was her time and that he’s suffered enough. He tells her he misses her, would do anything to be with her again, and says goodbye to her for a fourth time.

Hurley reveals that she also said that he has to stop the Man in Black from leaving the Island, because if he doesn’t, “We all go to hell.” In the background, the Man In Black watches the conversation and bites his knuckle in disapproval.

Smash Cut, episode over.

It goes without saying that this was not only one of the most interesting, surprising and well-executed episodes of Lost of all-time (and that’s saying a lot), but that the performance of Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert was jaw-droppingly phenomenonal. I was seriously riveted by the job he did; I had absolutely no idea how theatric he was capable of getting. Judging by all the online buzz I’ve been reading, I’m not alone in saying this.

Enough emoting, here come THE NUMBERS!

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4. ‘Ab Aeterno’ is Latin for ‘From eternity.’ The phrase is used to mean ‘Since the beginning’ or ‘For long ages.’

8. Richard’s home island, Tenerife, was later made infamous by the deadliest plane crash in the history of aviation on March 27th, 1977.

15. There is a legend in the Canary Islands which tells of an Eighth Island called “Isla de San Borondón” (St. Brendan Island). This Island has apparently been seen several times in history; there even exists some ancient maps where the eighth Canary Island is shown. Stories about the mysterious island had been told by sailors who claimed to have landed on the beaches.

16. The subtitle at the beginning of Richard’s flashback places the events in 1867, yet the Black Rock was thought to be lost at sea following its departure from Portsmouth, England on March 22, 1845, and the ledger was discovered in 1852. Continuity error?

23. This is the first episode of Season 6 to feature flashbacks instead of flash-sidewayseses.

42. Remember when Richard was chained up on the Black Rock, and the nail he was using to help him escape fell just inches out of his reach? Remember how pathetic he looked as his face and hands were struggling to grab it? Well, his legs and feet weren’t chained, so why didn’t he just retrieve it that way? Another mystery of the sea, methinks.

Hey, who said they had to be funny?

There you have it, another Lost Friday in the books. Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your weekend and catch up on every Lost Friday of the season by checking out the following links. Go Kentucky.

Season 6 – Episode 1/2.
Season 6 – Episode 3.
Season 6 – Episode 4.
Season 6 – Episode 5.
Season 6 – Episode 6.
Season 6 – Episode 7.
Season 6 – Episode 8.
I’m On Twitter.
I’m On Facebook.
Surviving 815.

CDP Wayback Machine – Around The House Edition.

Floor 1.
(Originally published 04/03/08.)

STORY #1 – “You Should Probably Get That Fixed.”

Being a Home Inspector seems like a pretty sweet gig. You get to spend the bulk of the inspection explaining to the homeowner all of the things that you’re not allowed by law to monkey, tinker or fiddle with, and if you see anything that appears to be broken, you just look at the owner and say “You should probably get that fixed.” Don’t get me wrong, our guy was great and took strides to help us out, but I now feel confident that I could do similar work with no less than 20 years worth of training. It’s a money bin, damn it, and I’m diving in.

I honestly wasn’t prepared for how nerve-wracking the inspection process of our new place was going to be. You don’t want to find out that you purchased a lemon made entirely out of tin foil, hair and carbon monoxide, so every time the inspector tilted his head or furrowed his brow at an outlet or appliance, my body ran cold and I simultaneously clutched my wallet and heart. For all I knew, there was an expensive and elaborate deathtrap lurking around every intricately-drywalled corner.

As someone with absolutely no experience in the art of keeping a house from collapsing in on itself, my only concern for any error was the fear of my house exploding. It’s the only thing that made sense to me as a direct detriment to my well-being.

INSPECTOR – “It looks like they’re running gas through copper piping. That’s strange.

ME – “Will it make the house explode?

INSPECTOR – “See that crack in the foundation? It’s no big deal, but…

ME – “Is the house going to explode?

I also put on an Oscar-worthy acting performance as he explained to me the furnace and water heater. You would have actually believed that I understood even a microsyllable of what the man was saying. I swear to you, the day I move into this place, I’ll feel a level of isolated loneliness and frightened despair the likes of which I’ve never known. If anything breaks, no matter how small and simple to patch, it’s all over. I might as well board up the windows and join up with a traveling carnival, because I’m never coming back to fix it.

Floor 2.
STORY #2 – “Come Back To Me, Sherilyn Fenn.”

Why don’t they make dishwashers with an triggered light inside, like a refrigerator? I’m tired of reaching my hands into a darkened dishwasher every night, only to stick myself with a fork or some other undesirable glob of non-rinsed foodstuff. Come on, dishwasher technology! Evolve! Everything should have little automatic lights in them. Cabinets, toilets, closets, drawers, the whole lot.

The Missus, in her quest to convert every bulb in the house to fluorescent, has done a good job of saving energy and money, in that I don’t even bother turning lights on anymore. Seriously, what’s the point? Fluorescent bulbs take so long to warm up, that by the time they finally decide to lurch and flicker into action, I’m already napping in a different room. Furthermore, they click and buzz so much that I always feel like I’m in a David Lynch movie. At any moment, I expect some chalk-faced goon to show up at my door with a videotape of myself watching the very same videotape that he handed me.

(EDIT: I’ve recently been informed that some newer dishwashers have lights inside. Way to go!)

Floor 3.
STORY #3 – “If Calories Were Cash, I Would Still Be Dead.”

Before sitting down with our mortgage lender last night, I was asked to make a copy of my most recent bank statements. Not being one to pay close attention to where my money is going, I saw this as a good chance to dig through my 2008 purchases and see where I could tighten the belt a little. What I saw shocked, embarrassed and forced me to vacate my bowels in anger.

No less than $150 spent each month on sub sandwiches, bagels and ice cream. Seriously.

Sub sandwiches.

Bagels.

Iced creamery cream with cream sauce.

$150 a month.

Don’t bother wanting to jump through the screen and punch me right now; I’m digging a bent paperclip into my wrists as I type this. I absolutely could not believe how wasteful I was concerning office lunches and desserts alone.

Never mind all the alcohol and concert tickets. Never mind the HD cable and internet. Never mind any other luxury. By simply bringing a salad to work and saying no to that Mint Oreo Blizzard every night of the freaking week, I could save enough money to either power my house for a month, score a good amount of cocaine or snag myself an hour with a low-end escort.

I’m sorry. I really am. Just to prove how sorry I am, I will be putting a dry-erase board in my new kitchen to remind me just how much money I’ve pissed away every week in empty calories and honey-nut cream cheese. My Esquire lifestyle shall continue unhinged, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to keep allowing so much cash to be pooped away for no reason. How disgusting, especially considering that I don’t even like bagels all that much.

Jesus.

Floor 4.
STORY #4 – “Like MacGyver, Only For Poop.”

Part of the reason we spend so much money dining out is our laziness when it comes to grocery shopping. It’s a necessary evil, and I don’t even mind it all that much, but when the food runs low and the apathy begins to skyrocket, dragging yourself into the Pick & Save is about as difficult as beating Duke University in a ‘suck’ contest.

Yes, I know that I recycled that joke. I didn’t think you’d mind.

Me and the Missus theoretically go grocery shopping once every three weeks. We buy big, stock the cabinets and take comfort in knowing that we won’t have to do it again for awhile. Our neighbors and contractual Best Friends Ben and Sherry, on the other hand, shop on a many-times-a-week basis, much like the Italians or French. Most afternoons, I can spot Sherry riding her bicycle home from the market, sporting a sundress with a stick of bread and fresh vegetables protruding from her pink basket.

She rings the bell and I wave kindly from the porch.

I don’t know if you’ve ever waited over a month to buy groceries, but it’s quite the feat of human achievement. You’ve reached a point in your de-evolution that not even the instinctual threat of starving to death will peel you from the couch to easily remedy and ward off disaster. It gets sad towards the end, however, when you’re digging through the remnants of your pantry, deciding between boiling up the dented can of white hominy or the Spaghetti-O’s with the fuzz on them. Still though, laziness and apathy trudge forth for another 5-7 days.

Unavoidably, the grocery store strike always comes to a bitter end. Not when you’ve finally had enough of eating crap that was too embarrassing to even donate to the Food Drive. Not when you’ve run out of money to order pizzas every night. Not even when you start to eye up the moist cat food in the basement.

Nope, the strike truly ends when you run out of toilet paper.

Game over, dude. You’ve lost. Look, I’ve gone a day without food. I’ve also gone a day without toilet paper, and I can say without a shred of uncertainty that I would rather temporarily starve than to glance over to the bathroom rack and see a bare, plastic toilet paper holder. What a helpless and tragic moment it is to know that you’re about to do something horrible. Congratulations; you’re MacGyver now. Good luck getting out of this jam. It’s why I no longer own any white socks.

Typically, all I need is about one life-altering experience in a toilet-paperless house before I leap in the car and head for the nearest market. Preferably one with clean stalls.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

CDP Wayback Machine – Local News Is Awesome.


(Originally Posted On 03/10/09.)

My Top 5 Local News Bloopers (On YouTube).

It’s hard to produce a local news broadcast. You’re live each and every day, everyone is underpaid and underappreciated, and even the most banal of stories must be reported like the Apocalypse is upon us. Taking that all into consideration, it comes as no surprise that local news broadcasts are a veritable goldmine for some of the pants-peeingest live television moments in history, and thanks to YouTube, we have been able to virtually immortalize this moments for lifetimes to come. Here are just a handful of my personal favorites.

Honorable Mention – ‘Pretty Much Everywhere, It’s Gonna Be Hot.’

We can’t really chalk this Haitian news segment up as a ‘blooper,’ as it honestly looks like this sort of thing goes on every day at that particular television station. This clip has sort of a hypnotizing effect on me; the more I watch it, the funnier it gets in completely different ways.

Honorable Mention – ‘Chip Maxham, Child Molester.’

What I admire most about this blooper is the subtlety. In fact, I’d venture that about 90% of those watching the live broadcast had no idea that anything was out of the ordinary at the time. The humor lies in the realization.

#5 – ‘A Medical Miracle.’

http://www.miloop.se/playerns.swf?mID=200811141030190&mName=Woman+struck+by+lightning+SPEAKS%21&version=0130
more movies at www.miloop.com

This clip has the Holy Trinity of what makes a local news blooper work. It has a somewhat tragic or uplifting story, a major technical glitch of some sort, and a head anchor that can maintain composure for all of a tenth of a second. You really couldn’t ask for a more perfect production error considering the story, and the look that the anchor gives the camera when they cut back to him (before he loses it) is about as good as it gets.

#4 – ‘Killer Lizard Jumps News Man.’

This reporter is clearly afraid of reptiles, so he’s already significantly outside of his comfort zone when asked to handle a massive snake. When a nearby lizard leaps onto his jacket, dude loses it in the most embarrassing way possible. What absolutely kills me in this clip is not just the fact that reporter is about as frightened as a human being can be while still remaining conscious, but that he almost instantly turns from ‘credible newsman’ to ‘ghetto’ in about three seconds.

#3 – ‘Weather Is Funny.’

Laughter is contagious. Funny laughter is unbelievably contagious. And funny, uncontrollable laughter coming from an elderly man on live TV attempting to stumble through the weather? Well, that’s about as funny as you’d imagine it being. I swear to you, I’ve watched this clip almost 100 times, and I tear up on every single viewing. This will make any bad day a little sunnier.

#2 – ‘Always A Professional, No Matter What.’

The reason I like this clip is its originality. Anchors cracking up or accidentally swearing seemingly happen all the time on live TV, but this instance is perfectly special. This guy apparently skips ahead in reading the teleprompter, inexplicably melding together his announcement of the co-anchor getting the night off with the gruesome top story. Once you piece that together, the straight-forward delivery almost seems psychotic in nature.

#1 – ‘Weatherman Hit By Lightning.’

I break out laughing just thinking about this clip. The footage on YouTube is from one of those ‘Most Outrageous Moments’ shows, so there’s a faint laugh track in the background, but it won’t hinder the pure, unbridled happiness you’ll feel upon watching. Maybe one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, ever, on the Internet.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Lost Friday – "Recon."


Season 6 – Episode 8: “Recon.”

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss, but first, a word from my Anxiety.

If you recall from last week, my cat Rory decided to piss on my living room couch. No matter what we tried, we couldn’t seem to get the smell out enough to stop Rory from re-discovering the mark and giving it another go. Finally, we decided to attack the problem head on, and purchase somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 worth of harsh urine cleansers and disinfectants from the local pet supply store.

Following the directions…sort of closely, we then proceeded to pour somewhere in the neighborhood of two gallons of disinfectant into every pore and angstrom of the micro-suede couch. We saturated the damn thing; it’s been soaking and untouchable for two full days now. While we wait to see if the chemicals did their job, we’re keeping the windows open and spooning on the loveseat. The stench of the cleanser, coupled with the volume used in such close quarters, is giving me a headache every time I set foot in the living room, and the cats have more or less been hallucinating since Monday.

This, as you can assume, is driving me insane. I take pride in a clean house. I sometimes stroll from room to room just to make sure that things are remaining clean, so this urine issue is wrecking havoc on my patience, comfort and blood pressure. Either the disinfectant works and Rory stops using the couch as a toilet, the disinfectant doesn’t work and we buy a new couch (and cat), or I die of a heart attack. These are the only possible solutions. Until then, I wait.

The Missus knows to stay out of my way when I get like this. As it was her decision to essentially undermine me and make Rory a member of the household, she knows the onus is on her to make things right. However, this still doesn’t take into consideration the fact that I feel completely not-in-control of my house, and I exist merely to clean up after animals and to hell with me being uncomfortable. Part of me has grown accustomed to the fact that she values the well-being of the cats to my own, but another part of me thinks that it’s a borderline-insane, selfish behavior befitting of a woman who looks forward to a long life of nothing but taking care of cats.

We’re working through it, one compromise at a time…by me. For the time being, my eyes are swollen from the disinfectant, and I watched Lost while sitting on the floor Tuesday night. This also marks perhaps the first time in CDP history where I openly bitched about a squabble between myself and the Missus, which almost certainly makes me look like a jerk, and automatically sides you with her and the cats. It’s all good, man; I just wanted to vent a little. Lord knows I’m no picnic to live with, piss-soaked couch or otherwise.

Let’s get down to business.

Alternate Timeline (2004):

We start this week’s episode with Sawyer doing what he does best…chicks.

We get the sense that his Alternate Timeline story is the same as his last one: Con Man woos woman into selling out her spouse for fun and profit, but NO! Turns out Sawyer has seen the light, and is using his powers of dimple-intoxicated intercourse for the LAPD, as a grifter-gone-good. We find out that his partner at the Department is Miles of all people, the same dude that was his right-hand man for so long on the Island.


(“That was one HELL of a Saved By The Bell marathon.”)

This got me to thinking. The magic of Lost is in its character depth, a depth so rich and creamy that each person on their own could carry an interesting television show (Locke for sure). However, the one Lost-spinoff I’m absolutely begging for is the Sawyer/Miles Buddy Cop Dramedy. Just think about the endless possibilities: Sawyer is a reformed Con Man who’s seeking revenge on the man that destroyed his family. Miles is a wise-cracking Asian that can communicate the thoughts of the dead. It has awesome written all over it; you’d think that the USA Network would jump at the idea in a heartbeat, wedging it somewhere between Psych, White Collar and Burn Notice. Possible titles include:

The Dead Con Back!
Sex Bomb & The Grey Asian
Ford & Toyota

Let’s move on.


(“Sex Bomb & The Grey Asian: It’ll Be Miles Of Fun!”)

Back at the police station, James Ford is conducting his hunt for ‘Sawyer’ in private, refusing to let Miles in on the shenanigans. Miles looks freaking amazing in a bullet-proof vest, and sets Ford up on a blind date, as he doesn’t want him to wither up and die alone or something. Sure, because the life of a renegade cop that gets paid to sleep with beautiful women isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Clearly, whoever wrote that episode hasn’t been married for six years.

Turns out, James’ date is with Charlotte, which I feel is a big step down from being alone.


(“You have nothing to be afraid of. I’m just a reincarnated zombie that can manifest myself into the form of black smoke, and I just murdered everyone you’ve ever known. Please stop crying.”)

James works the charm, Charlotte whores it up, and soon they’re back at Casa De Garden Level, banging it out on what I can only assume are long-unwashed bachelor sheets. While fishing for a t-shirt with which to hide her pale, English shame, Charlotte stumbles (ie: snoops) upon Ford’s ‘Sawyer’ file, to which Ford finds slightly upsetting, to the point of kicking her bare ass to the curb.

“I hope he got his blanket back,” I wondered to myself as we went to commercial.


(“Hello, this is James from Charter Communications. I just want to know why you don’t think you need to pay your cable bill?”)

The next day, James and Miles fight over the way he treated Charlotte, and the fact that Ford has been lying to Miles about his hunt for Sawyer. They break up. That evening, while enjoying the bachelor life with a beer, TV dinner and Little House On The Prairie, James attempts to make it up to Charlotte, who respectfully declines. Furthermore, to have the balls to show up at a woman’s doorstep with a sunflower and a six-pack in an attempt to win her back…wow. If I did that, I’d be shot at least twice. Just one of the many advantages of being beautiful, I guess.


(“Mmm…tastes like REVENGE!”)

The next day, James reveals everything to Miles, and they remain partners on the force. Just then, they’re broadsided by a car and give chase. When Ford catches up to the perpetrator, he discovers that it was Kate, the same woman he helped evade LAPD back at the airport.

I then see another commercial for that shrimp taco at Taco Bell, and I poop in my mouth a little bit. I’ve really got to try this thing, though.


(She’s a great catch, if you’re into facehuggers.)

Original Timeline (2007):

Sawyer is kicking it at Claire’s Old Fashioned Good-Time Cookery And Skull Museum. He gives Jin his word that they will round up Sun before they leave the Island. Just then, Fake Locke and his army of the bearded and relatively unknown set up shop.

Kate brings up the rear, because that’s how she likes it. Hey, I just write the facts.


(“Do you want me to turn off the lights so your skin doesn’t melt?”)

Fake Locke tells his followers that they need to keep moving. Cindy wants to know what happened to those who stayed behind at the Temple, and Locke replies that they have been processed into Island Chili. Kate asks Sawyer what he’s doing with Locke, to which Sawyer replies that he’s not with anyone. In private, Locke tells Sawyer that he’s the Smoke Monster, and he gave all those at the Temple a chance to not be killed. Locke and Sawyer share a common bond in that they both want to leave the Island, and they both prefer Blatz over Schlitz.

I prefer Billy.


(Locke: His Pimp Hand is strong.)

Fake Locke sends Sawyer on a recon mission to Hydra Island. Apparently, he knows that there’s some bad people over there, and he needs to know what he’s dealing with as they form a battle plan to gain control of the Ajira plane and escape the Island. Sawyer is not happy about the potential danger of the situation, but he really wants to go back to the polar bear cage he was locked in and retrieve the box of ‘Nilla Wafers he accidentally discarded therein.

Once there, he spots the dress that Kate was made to wear when they were prisoners, and reflects on the time they spent together. I have to say that, on the Grand Scale of things, having sex in an animal cage is about as weird as it gets. I think the weirdest place I’ve ever had sex was on a waterbed. But hey, Lost Friday isn’t about me.


(“I’m beautiful! You’re the one who’s drunk!”)

Back at Locke’s camp, Kate sits down to chat with Sayid. He’s absolutely broken, and doesn’t attempt to help when Claire finally goes completely dingoshit and tries to murder her. Locke intervenes, PIMP SLAPS Claire and settles everyone down right proper. Kate goes to cool off, and Claire makes Locke a goddamn sandwich.

On Hydra Island, Sawyer walks into a trap set by Widmore’s team. Oops.


(Out of all the ways Sawyer thought he’d die on the Island, runaway airplane was not one of them.)

At Locke’s camp, Locke apologizes to Kate and, like he’s been doing the entire time, tells her the truth about why Claire wanted to hurt her. He promises to keep everyone safe, and offers to show her where Sawyer is. There, he laments to Kate about living with a crazy mother, and taking a lifetime to work through the pain and suffering; pain and suffering that could have been avoided if things had been different.

I hear you loud and clear, dead man. The yet-unwritten book about my mom is my Retirement Plan.


(James reenacts the cover of Black Flag’s Damaged.)

Afterward, Claire seemingly apologizes to Kate for the time being. Something tells me that this isn’t the last we’ll see of the Kate/Claire/Aaron saga. In fact, I sincerely believe that Claire’s going to end up dead at some point in the near future, but that’s just me. I’ve always despised Claire.

Sawyer meets Widmore on the sub, but not before noticing that his crew is setting up anti-Smoke Monster pylons. If they don’t explain in borderline-pornographic detail what exactly this thing is, I’m going to renounce this show to anyone who ever asks me about it again. Sawyer and Widmore make a deal: Sawyer leads Fake Locke to Widmore, and Widmore let’s Sawyer and his people leave in peace.

They shake hands, and I silently wonder where in the hell Desmond is.


(Claire is actually tearfully hugging her gun; Kate just got in the way.)

When Sawyer gets back to the beach, he’s totally honest with Locke about what he told Widmore, as he’s true to his word to stay loyal to Locke in exchange for escape from the Island. That night, he explains to Kate that he wants Locke and Widmore to ‘fight it out,’ and escape with Kate during the ensuing melee.

How either of them plan on navigating a submarine is anyone’s guess.

Smash Cut. Episode over.

Well, there you have it, another Lost Friday in the books. Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your weekend, and check out the following links if you get lonely. I’ll see you soon.

Season 6 – Episode 1/2.
Season 6 – Episode 3.
Season 6 – Episode 4.
Season 6 – Episode 5.
Season 6 – Episode 6.
Season 6 – Episode 7.
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The CDP’s Top 20 Television Themes.

As Television continues to evolve, we see certain trends and ideas come and go. For example, the 21st Century currently sees Television competing with the Internet and TiVo for ratings, advertising revenue and entertaining content (it caused a strike, for Christ’s sake). We also see an even split between ‘Traditional’ and ‘Modern’ Sitcoms in the case of the Laugh Track and three-camera cinematography.

Something we’re also seeing the phasing out of is the Theme Song. Sure, it’s still out there, but we’ve seen it evolve several times over the last 60 years. The initial point of the theme song was to inform viewers that a particular show was about to begin, set a specific mood, and in some cases, actually explain the premise of the program within (see The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). The Television Theme Song, like so many other facets of the medium, has its roots in Radio, where Theme Songs were far more important when it came to letting listeners know what they were listening to.

Today, the Theme Song exists, but it’s all over the board, and arguably irrelevant. As networks have squished the number of content minutes per-half hour, many shows have done away with it altogether, as they need the precious time to drive a story along. Other shows seemingly do it as an homage, while others still carry the flag proudly. For those of us you live in an On-Demand household, the Theme Song is generally something you just skip over anyway.

While I personally don’t want to frequent a Television landscape that’s void of Theme Songs, it seems reasonable to assume that they’re only going to get rarer and rarer. Which is what inspired me to sit down and compile a list of my 20 Favorite Television Themes. I chose these for a number of reasons, the most of which was the overall goodness of the tune, juxtaposed with the intro sequence and the show being broadcast. It’s a delicate dance, and I feel these 20 shows did it near-perfectly.

Also note that I left out most ‘So Bad It’s Good’ themes, such as Full House, Family Matters, Saved By The Bell and Charles In Charge.

If I could recommend a way to read this list, it would be in a calm, quiet space for about 45 minutes, where you can see all of the clips in their entirety, and take a reasonably-nostalgic trip at the same time. There are plenty I missed, and they’re all proportionate to my own tastes, but some of these are absolutely universal.

Let’s go!

HONORABLE MENTION – The Twilight Zone

20. Metalocalypse

19. Get A Life

18. The Avengers

17. Mission: Impossible

16. The Greatest American Hero

15. Dallas

14. Friday Night Lights

13. Twin Peaks

12. Magnum, P.I.

11. Hawaii 5.0

10. Malcolm In The Middle

9. Aqua Teen Hunger Force

8. The Flintstones

7. Unsolved Mysteries

6. Knight Rider

5. Tales From The Crypt

4. The Kids In The Hall

3. The Adventures Of Pete & Pete

2. The Wonder Years

1. Mystery Science Theater 3000

I’m outta here. Lost Friday arrives in less than 48 hours.