Monday, June 5

The Champ Is Back.

Link Party - Summer Edition.

1. "Hey, what's going on?"

Plenty. I enjoyed my very first blog vacation last week, but it's good to be back. I've got a lot of things lined up over the summer, so tune into the CDP each day; it's like an ice-cold glass of Awesomeade, and the flavor's always Blue Raspberry.

The biggest thing I'm hoping to undertake this season is Grilled Cheese Wisconsin, which will be a video series documenting my road trips to some of the smallest towns in the state, taking in the sights and searching for the greatest grilled cheese sandwich in the Dairy State. I already have a few interesting places lined up, including taking part in a cheese curd eating contest* and visiting the self-proclaimed 'UFO Capitol of the World.' It was nice to call these people up and ask "Are you still doing UFO Days this year?" without sounding completely insane. I'm looking forward to it, and so are you.

*(The cheese curd eating contest fell through last weekend, due to false advertising. Let's just say that the town of Little Chute wouldn't know an actual 'cheese festival' if it was firmly latched to their spinal cords. I rolled tape for five minutes before I realized that it was nothing more than a 4-H sponsored carnival. Live and learn.)

May was the biggest month ever here at the CDP, with over 13,000 people tuning in to chat about the Lost and American Idol finales. That's amazing to me, and a big thank-you is in order (last May, I had 400 total hits). The June hit total will tank now that summer's here, but it was a sweet run while it lasted.

As for the 11,994 of you who choose not to sound off in the comments section, there's no better time than right now to stop in and say hello. I'm not nearly as big of an ass as those negative TV ads would have you believe; I'd love to have a conversation with you, provided you're not a complete idiot, the current President, or both.

The Twilight Zone, fool.

2. "Hey, what are you watching?"

Nothing, jackass.

Actually, I'm using this time to watch all of the DVDs and TiVo'ed programming I've accumulated over the year but never had the time to watch. For example, I TiVo'ed the entire second half of Supernatural's first season, along with a bunch of Twilight Zone episodes I'd never seen before. Add that to my Seinfeld Season 3&4 DVDs, my Simpsons Season 6 DVD, my Adventures of Pete & Pete Season 2 DVD and Looney Tunes box set, and I'm more than prepared to deal with the summer rerun season. So You Think You Can Dance? can take a bullet train straight to hell, and so can natural sunlight.

(In addition to this, I'll be working over 40 hours a week, writing until all hours of the night and visiting most every town in the state, so please save the 'go outside' crap. Trust me, there's plenty of time to do all the things you want to do, provided you're a workaholic/insomniac with messed-up ambitions, like myself. That's what's known as a 'pre-emptive strike.')

Islands, fool.

3. "Hey, what are you listening to?"

Here are the last 10 albums I've listened to:

1. Return To The Sea - Islands
(This could be the first must-own album of the year. Fantastic stuff.)

2. In With The Out Crowd - Less Than Jake
(This is quite simply LTJ's worst album ever. Pure pop drivel.)

3. Power Destiny - VCR
(Not nearly as manic as their debut EP, but still fair enough.)

4. Everything All The Time - Band Of Horses
(Moody and ambient, yet structurally sound and sonic. Quite good.)

5. Exhibit A - The Features
(Why don't you own this album yet? Impossible not to love.)

6. Hot Nuggets! - IfIHadAHiFi/Modern Machines
(The Hi-Fi's third major release contains mostly covers done better. Wisconsin's best band.)

7. Pray For Mojo - Mustard Plug
(I bust out the ska albums every summer; makes me happy.)

8. Sound The Alarm - Saves The Day
(I had high expectations, but STD comes off a bit too forced this time around.)

9. We, The Vehicles - Maritime
(Like The Promise Ring? Like Maritime.)

10. Illinois - Sufjan Stevens
(The best album of 2005? Yeah, probably.)

Laika, fool.

4. "Hey, what are you Wiki-ing?"

Instead of reading actual books with pages that turn, I've been quenching my thirst for Total World Knowledge by reading every Wikipedia page one at a time. Here are the last 10 articles I've checked out on said greatest page on the web; they are all great reads in their own right:

1. The art of Cold Reading.
2. Clever Hans, the horse that learned to cold read.
3. James Randi, magician and skeptic overlord.
4. Laika, the doomed Russian space dog.
5. The disastrous Stanford Prison Experiment.
6. The groundbreaking Milgram Experiment.
7. The biography of Uri Gellar.
8. The best show TV you've never seen, The Prisoner.
9. Dr. Strangelove, the best Kubrick film ever?
10. London After Midnight, the most famous 'lost' film ever.

The CDP, fool.

5. "Hey, how much you weigh?"

I tipped the scales last week at 153, finally putting me over the 150 lb. mark that I set for myself many a year ago. As you may remember, my goal last year was to run that 5.5-mile race; this year, I just wanted to get heftier. After taking in about a hundred grilled cheeses this summer, I plan on not only breaking the 165 lb. mark, but also having a heart attack and dying.

So, what's my secret to packing on the pounds? Carbs and calories, baby.

I'm a vegetarian, so when I'm not at home, you can usually find me at an Italian restaurant, shoveling plate after plate of pasta and ricotta down my maw. I eat pasta more than probably anything else, and that's really nothing but flour and water. Add about a gallon of Alfredo sauce and subtract all heavy lifting, and you have a recipe for weight gain.

The biggest problem hindering my growth was my metabolism. It was lightning-quick, and I was eating about 8 small meals a day just to satisfy it. That had to stop, so I gave up breakfast and stuck to nothing more than two large meals a day (note: I'm eating less than I used to). I won't eat anything until noon or later, opting to drink about 40 ounces of water instead (it's good for you and calms your appetite; I also fear kidney stones).

Finally, when lunch rolls around, I break the 16 hour fast and take in a meal that contains fruits, vegetables, soy proteins, grains and sugar (the essentials). If I pack a lunch myself, it normally consists of two bananas, mandarin oranges, applesauce, some sort of main course (a vegetable meatloaf with potatoes and corn, or pasta with broccoli does the trick) and some sort of a snack. Or if I'm feeling lazy, I'll just eat a 16-inch veggie sub. I'm not Tony Little or anything.

This holds me over until dinner. We usually go out to eat, so I tend to get pasta or a veggie burger, depending on where we are. With this, I make sure to get a salad and something with potatoes in it. It's a shock to me that I'm not actually bigger than 153, although it would seem that I eat healthier than most people I know. Them's the breaks for being so sexy, I guess.

So, there you have it. The Summer Of The CDP has officially begun, and I thank you for tagging along. Sound off in the comments section about your plans for the season; I'll see you along the way.

TOMORROW - 06/06/06:
(and Ben's birthday.)

If you're in doubt, rub it against a piece of paper. If the paper turns clear, it's your window to weight gain!

Welcome back, CDP.

Ever listen to Page France? I've been listening to their Hello, Dear Wind a lot lately. It sort of sounds like a cross between Sufjan and Death Cab. Or not at all.
You should also eat more from the chart of Neglected Food Groups, such as the Whipped & Congealed groups.

Thanks, it's good to be back.

I've not heard of Page France, but I've heard of Sage Francis, and I can safely assume they sound exactly alike. I'll give them a try; Sufjan & Death cab are two great tastes that taste great together.
Gaining weight is easy, it's the losing weight that's tough. Trust me I know. That whole heart attack thing isn't funny, if you continue to eat like that you will have a heart attack and who hates hospitals and needles more than you? Don't make me say I told you so, you know like you always want to say to me.
My diet is superb.


How do you spell that again?

Anyways, I eat well enough. I have a post coming up next week all about my diet, which I'm sure will boost the hit count considerably.
We're trying out a new drummer this week! Finally got a response to our Entertainer ad...

Down to Madison soon... gotta pick up Ovshak at the bus station. Vader in Edgerton, staying down there tonight.
Good luck with your new drummer; those jerks are really hard to work with.
Welcome back CDP! I'd like to see the expert take on the good ol' grilled cheese.
I'm pretty particular myself and would never order a grilled cheese in a restaraunt. I cook them myself, slice them in half while still in pan and then lean them on edge on the plate (house of card style) to prevent the underside from getting soggy.
So my question is this: Do you address the soggy bottom issue? or has WI taken grilled cheese to the next level and somehow prevented this from happening?
Surprisingly enough, I haven't had very many grilled cheeses with soggy bottoms. Us Wisconsinites flip, and flip often.

It's good to see you putting so much pride into your grilled cheese creation. You can tell a lot about someone by the way they make a grilled cheese; it's like a food version of an inkblot test.
Well, the drummer decided Winneconne is too far to drive on a regular basis, and cancelled. However, I met a guy at the show from Fondy that is interested... plus, he used to work for Metal Blade Records, and still has connections... meaning we'd have an in to playing with some bigger names, and possible getting signed. AK! His old band even opened for my favorite band on their first US tour back in '97.
Well, there you go. Even if it doesn't work out with this guy, keep him in your Rolodex when you decide to record a demo.
How can you be listening to the Features and Band of Horses when they're in MY cd case in MY car RIGHT NOW? ha!
I heard Band of Horses in your car, and I was listening to The Features on their page (with their new track).

You shouldn't end your sentences with "Ha!" or "So there!" It makes you sound like a four-year old.

Ryan said-
You shouldn't end your sentences with "Ha!" or "So there!" It makes you sound like a four-year old.

I thought-

Ryan suggested-

I thought-

Is someone trying to get me to comment by chance? My superhero-like pre-emptive comment was supposed to be funny. I make myself laugh way too much. Today, I bought Ben some Star-Wars-themed balloons from Factory Card Outlet, and while I was standing in line, I couldn't keep from smiling and chuckling to myself thinking of how funny it was to buy a 26-year-old Star-Wars-themed balloons for his birthday. People probably thought I was crazy- which I may or may not be.
The balloon idea was very sweet of you; I bet he enjoyed them plenty.

I would ask the Missus to get be birthday balloons in the style of my favorite movie, but I don't think they make mylar ballons with Pulp Fiction stills on them...yet.
They didn't have much of a selection of Mylar balloons. At least, not much of a selection for our demographic. I had to settle for the only Star Wars balloon that they had, and it was obviously meant for an 8-year-old to have.
You told me Mylar balloons were a stupid gift, Ryan, so I never got you any. I know what someone's getting for Valentine's day next year...

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