The State Of The CDP Speech – 2010.

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On the last nice day of Summer in Madison, I met up with local blogger Jesse Russell on the outdoor patio of the High Noon Saloon. We had a couple beers and talked Politics, Pop Culture and relationships, with a constant recurring theme of ‘despite all that’s wrong with the World right now, there’s so much that’s going right.’

It was discussion about coming to terms; fighting the good fight while prioritizing what was really important in day-to-day life. Jesse seemed to be in a really good place; he was dropping superficial anxieties in some areas while refining passion in others. There were goals, missions and final destinations. When something started getting him down, he’d stop to mention all the cool stuff he did that overshadowed the annoying minutiae. Perhaps this is the definition of Wisdom. I don’t know for sure, but I had a good time.

So, what’s next for the CDP?” he sincerely asked. I like it when people are genuinely interested in my projects, even if it embarrasses me to talk about them in real life. Even after two books and seven years of essays, I would never think to introduce myself as an ‘author,’ or even ‘writer.’

I’m quitting in February,” I said. “I want to focus on writing books full-time. Because of Social Networking and how we take in our information nowadays, nobody has time to read blogs anymore. I don’t even read blogs anymore. My traffic has slipped a bit, and it’s gotten to the point where it might actually be getting in the way of bigger and better things.”

My desire to take the next step towards full-time author was at a fever pitch this Summer. My second book was almost done, and I had a feeling that it was going to be a big deal (in a tangible sense). I had put a lot of effort, time and emotion into it, and it gave me a feeling of pride I don’t think I’ve ever really had with anything else I’ve ever created (even with the poop stories). It was a feeling that said “I want to do this for the rest of my life.” I’m assuming this is what Pride is; I don’t think I had ever felt it before.

And while the book didn’t exactly fly off the shelves like I wanted it to (‘politely dribbled’ might be the more appropriate term), the accolades have been universal and the kind words have been staggering. I make people laugh, I’m making a little money and I accomplished a goal that most do not. All in all, I was pleased with the outcome, and I’d like to do it again in a couple years. As far as blogging was concerned though, I felt that it had run its course.

So yeah, I’m quitting,” I said.

That’s what you say every year,” he smirked back. He was right. I think I’ve made this same threat for the last six years straight. I’m like the Mick Foley of Bloggers.

Yeah, but I really mean it this time,” I said in an empty threat sort-of-way to convince myself more than anything.

Give it one more year,” he said. “Think it over.

Okay.

Here’s the thing. Even when I started the CDP in 2004, just two weeks after turning 22, I knew I didn’t want to be blogging when I was 30. My aspiration was to accomplish certain writing goals within those eight years, challenge myself and have fun.

So I wrote.

I wrote books. I wrote essays. I wrote songs. I wrote poems. I wrote lists (and even more lists). I wrote more Pop Culture stuff than I could ever remember. I wrote letters and e-mails to hundreds of people. I wrote my first screenplay when I was 23. I wrote freelance essays. I wrote free essays. I wrote scripts for a web series. I even created a (somewhat regrettable) political cartoon and wrote over 70 strips. I wrote everything I possibly could, save for erotic Fan Fiction, but it’s still a real possibility I might whip something up along those lines. The Harry Potter franchise didn’t end the way I had envisioned, so I have a few ideas clanging around.

The point is, I’ve written a buttload of stuff, and while it was fun, I think I’ve more or less run my course in this kind of environment. It’s a decision I’ve mulled for a while. So here is what’s on tap for 2011:

1. 2011 is the last year of the CDP. I will not continue to do this into my 30’s. This isn’t any sort of disparaging remark towards anyone; it’s just my own personal benchmark and promise I need to keep. This is not a new revelation; it was always something I knew I was going to do.

2. While I currently have a 25-page outline for my next book, I have no intentions of doing any non-CDP writing in 2011. Like years past, I intend to make the CDP my top creative priority in 2011. In short, I want to make it as good and fun as it’s ever been. Revitalize the community, write quality over quantity and give you something you’ll want to come back for.

3. I have no format, schedule or plan for 2011. No lists, no recaps, no Mix-Trades and no deadlines. I will be writing funny stories I think you’d like to read, and that is all. I spent this entire year working feverishly towards a deadline I set for myself, and I have no intentions of doing anything of the sort for the CDP‘s last year. It’s more of a Victory Lap than a race to the finish.

That’s it. Let’s do this one more time. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. I’ll be back in 2011 with the introduction to the CDP Victory Lap. Until then, thank you very much, and have a good one.

-Ryan J. Zeinert

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The CDP’s Top 10 TV Shows Of 2010.

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I particularly enjoy today’s header design. I do awesome things every now and then, even if it is just slapping my logo over a retro photograph. It’s sometimes more fun than actually writing stuff.

Anyway, I hope everyone is currently enjoying a safe and happy Holiday weekend. The 2010 State Of The CDP Speech arrives on Monday, which is both the final essay of the year, but also a huge announcement concerning the very future of this-here CDP. I hope you come back for it; egg nog and smoked salmon will be served to those who request it.

Now, my 10 favorite TV shows of 2010. Enjoy!

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10. Mythbusters

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9. Conan

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8. The Office

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7. Community

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6. Louis

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5. Lost

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4. 30 Rock

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3. Modern Family

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2. The Walking Dead

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1. Friday Night Lights

I don’t care what you have to do, finding a way to get into Friday Night Lights will be worth your time and efforts.

You’re officially dismissed for Christmas break. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. The CDP returns Monday with a huge State Of The CDP Speech 2010.

The CDP Year In Review – 2010.

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What did 2010 mean to you? Seriously, I’d like to know. While I accomplished much, I feel like I may have sleepwalked through the bulk of it, zombified by my own deadlines and routine. Judging by the current mindset and mentality of those around me, we’re all skidding collectively into 2011 on fumes; exhausted, beaten and completely unsure of what tomorrow holds.

It’s like an epic film, only in real life, that’s not as fun as it sounds. Mostly we’re just tired all the time.

In January, I made my intentions known to publish my second book by the end of the year. This became my top priority, dropping me into a self-imposed Boot Camp that I only emerged from just a few weeks ago. I think I wrote some good posts over the last year, and I’m certain that things happened on a national scale that effected me personally, but I’ll be damned if I can remember any of them right now.

I got up (most days), went to the office, went home, wrote a few pages and went to sleep. For nine straight months. I also may have drank a few cups of coffee, gotten drunk a few hundred times and took a shower or two, but that has to be the extent of my deviations. When I commit, I commit like a psycho. I created something in Aerating The Mashed Potatoes that I’m pretty fond of, but just like when I wrote Book #1 in 2007, the blog tended to get neglected at times.

Fortunately, The CDP Year In Review is here to remind us exactly what went down over the last 350-some days. Read along, click the links and have fun. You might learn something; I know I did.

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January 6 – Kicking off the year in style, I have four impacted Wisdom Teeth removed. I almost instantly develop an addiction to muscle relaxers, which actually may explain why I don’t remember too much about what else happened this year.

January 14 – I revisit a childhood memory: Digging a hole straight through to hell.

January 18 – Turning down the chance to murder another living thing says a lot about the character of a child.

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February 5 – The first Lost Friday of the final season, another thousand pages of jokes and captions. The only people on the planet that wrote more about Lost were the writers of the show themselves.

February 16 – The CDP turns 6. Its baby teeth are all messed up, but in a cute way.

February 24 – The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #7 arrives to much cheering and acclaim from music nerds on every coast.

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March 12 – My first (and last) Lost Friday Liveblog. This is fun to do, but I get the sneaking suspicion everyone else hates it.

March 17 – My Favorite TV Theme Songs. I’m officially out of things to rank.

March 26 – The greatest episode of Lost ever? The greatest Lost beard ever?

March 31 – Why (sane) adults don’t go to Cost Cutters.

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April 2 – Another great Lost Friday as the series begins to wind down. We started to come to the sad realization that almost none of our questions would be answered, which I actually found hilarious. Joke was on us.

April 20 – A little write-up I did about the Lost producers visiting Madison. They also wrote the new TRON movie, too.

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May 21Lost Friday – ‘What They Died For.’ So many deaths.

May 28Lost Friday – ‘The End.’ Faith wins the ‘Science v. Faith’ argument, but only in a fictional sense.

May 31 – Now that Lost is out of the way, I start catching up and focusing on the book. I debate calling Book #2 Pinkerton, but the Missus talks me out of it because she likes it when I make money.

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June 9 – Buy my old book before you buy my new one. Not the other way around, please. It’s a fine book, but I don’t want you to step backwards through my evolution as a writer. Then again, my mom liked the first one better, so I could be wrong on this.

June 14 – Speaking of mom, here’s one of the better essays featuring her dysfunctional relationship with me.

June 30 – Nothing like a borderline Nervous Breakdown to make you re-evaluate stuff.

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July 12-16My Top 30 TV Shows of the 90’s. Melrose Place mysteriously absent.

July 19-23My Top 100 Movies of the 90’s. It’s Pat!: The Movie mysteriously absent.

July 26-30My Top 150 Albums of the 90’s. Toad The Wet Sprocket mysteriously absent.

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August 2 – The 8th (and final) Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade. For now.

August 16 – My 2010 Emmy picks. I did very well, yet won nothing. I got what I deserved.

August 23 – My Annual Fall TV Preview delivers the goods once again. This is usually one of my favorite posts of the year.

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September 6 – I announce the title of my almost-finished book. The world collectively shrugs, says, ‘Wuh?’ and goes back to cleaning the refrigerator.

September 20-24My Top 50 Ska Albums of All-Time. I’m an expert; don’t dispute me.

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October 4The Walking Dead Friday replaces Lost Friday…for a little while. I commit to recapping 6 episodes, thinking for sure that the show would flop and be canceled. It becomes the biggest basic cable hit of all-time.

October 18 – The book is done. I have patience. I have drive. I have determination. Another goal accomplished…ladies.

October 22 – The cover of Aerating The Mashed Potatoes is revealed. The literary world scrambles to catch up with its pure beauty and Pop Culture brilliance. Lawsuits are flung from every corner of the globe.

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November 2Aerating The Mashed Potatoes is unleashed to an unsuspecting (and still unsuspecting) public. Apparently, people don’t like laughing until they piss their pants anymore.

November 5 – The debut of The Walking Dead Friday. I miss Amy already.

November 15 – My celebrity status can’t even sell out a Chuck-E-Cheese.

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December 10 – The Season 1 Finale of The Walking Dead Friday. Goodnight, sweet zombie.

December 13 – My favorite Tracks of 2010. Young Money’s ‘Bedrock’ is criminally overlooked.

December 14-17My favorite Albums of 2010. Not a fantastic year, but decent nonetheless. Just like the CDP.

Well, there you have it. 2010, revisited through the eyes of the CDP. Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your holidays and spend some time digging around and checking out some things you might have missed. We will return on Friday with a bonus post on December 24, as I count down my Top 10 TV Shows Of 2010. Then gear up for the 2010 State Of The CDP Speech on December 27, as we end the year with a big announcement.

Thanks much.

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2010 (5-1).

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The end of the year is approaching, which means that you’re probably currently inundated with thousands of lists and end-of-the-year countdowns concerning all sorts of cultural achievements. Well, here at the CDP, it’s no different, as today we finally conclude our list of the Top 20 Albums Of 2010.

Just a quick word on the validity of this list. It’s by no means a ‘definitive‘ or ‘good‘ list; merely a list of the 20 best albums purchased by me this year. I’m not Pitchfork, I don’t get free albums, and I don’t actively seek out things that would boost my indie cred. I’m just a dude, dudes, so take it for what it’s worth and enjoy.

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5. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

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4. The National – High Violet

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3. Sleigh Bells – Treats

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2. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt

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1. The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever

There you have it. Quick note: There were a lot of albums I didn’t listen to this year, which you’re more than welcome to tell me about in the comments section. However, please don’t explain to me in detail why this list is garbage. I don’t have the time or patience necessary this week to explain to you just how much of an asshole you’d sound like. I have a cold.

Before we wrap for the weekend, here’s a look at previous CDP Album Of The Year winners:

2003 Winner: The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site
2003 Runner-Up: The Postal Service – Give Up

2004 Winner: Arcade Fire – Funeral
2004 Runner-Up: Communique’ – Poison Arrows

2005 Winner: Of Montreal – The Sunlandic Twins
2005 Runner-Up: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

2006 Winner: The Velvet Teen – Cum Laude!
2006 Runner-Up: P.O.S. – Audition


2007 Winner: Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
2007 Runner-Up: Polysics – Karate House

2008 Winner: Girl Talk – Feed The Animals
2008 Runner-Up: Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

2009 Winner: P.O.S. – Never Better
2009 Runner Up: fun. – Aim And Ignite

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

Monday – The CDP Year In Review.

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2010 (10-6).

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The end of the year is approaching, which means that you’re probably currently inundated with thousands of lists and end-of-the-year countdowns concerning all sorts of cultural achievements. Well, here at the CDP, it’s no different, as today we continue to count down the Top 20 Albums Of 2010.

Just a quick word on the validity of this list. It’s by no means a ‘definitive‘ or ‘good‘ list; merely a list of the 20 best albums purchased by me this year. I’m not Pitchfork, I don’t get free albums, and I don’t actively seek out things that would boost my indie cred. I’m just a dude, dudes, so take it for what it’s worth and enjoy.

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10. Girl Talk – All Day

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9. Josh Ritter – So Runs The World Away

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8. Ra Ra Riot – The Orchard

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7. Fang Island – Fang Island

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6. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

What? Arcade Fire’s not #1? Not even in the Top 5? Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; the countdown concludes tomorrow.

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2010 (15-11).

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The end of the year is approaching, which means that you’re probably currently inundated with thousands of lists and end-of-the-year countdowns concerning all sorts of cultural achievements. Well, here at the CDP, it’s no different, as today we continue to count down the Top 20 Albums Of 2010.

Just a quick word on the validity of this list. It’s by no means a ‘definitive‘ or ‘good‘ list; merely a list of the 20 best albums purchased by me this year. I’m not Pitchfork, I don’t get free albums, and I don’t actively seek out things that would boost my indie cred. I’m just a dude, dudes, so take it for what it’s worth and enjoy.

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15. The Thermals – Personal Life

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14. Ultimate Fakebook – Daydream Radio Is Smiling Static

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13. Delta Spirit – History From Below

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12. Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

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11. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day. The countdown continues tomorrow.

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2010 (20-16).

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The end of the year is approaching, which means that you’re probably currently inundated with thousands of lists and end-of-the-year countdowns concerning all sorts of cultural achievements. Well, here at the CDP, it’s no different, as today we begin to count down the Top 20 Albums Of 2010.

Just a quick word on the validity of this list. It’s by no means a ‘definitive‘ or ‘good‘ list; merely a list of the 20 best albums purchased by me this year. I’m not Pitchfork, I don’t get free albums, and I don’t actively seek out things that would boost my indie cred. I’m just a dude, dudes, so take it for what it’s worth and enjoy.

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HONORABLE MENTION – Weezer – ‘Pinkerton (Reissue)

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20. The Futureheads – The Chaos

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19. Vampire Weekend – Contra

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18. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

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17. Shout Out Louds – Work

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16. Stephen Egerton – The Seven Degrees Of Stephen Egerton

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day. The countdown continues tomorrow.