Friday, November 9

I Want To Hurt You With My Body.

Don't even pretend that you don't want a piece.

It's Friday. My book is in limbo, we're getting snow this weekend and I'm throwing away money as if it were ribbon candy. There's really only one thing to do, besides murdering a transient for no good reason; get together with some friends and relax. Enjoy today's massive (No) Link Party, and try to enjoy your weekend. I'll have a ton of book news next week.

1. "Hey, what are you listening to right now?"

Here are the last 10 albums to digitally spin in my iPod. Some of them are great, most of them are not. Like fruit cocktail, or episodes of Heroes.

a) The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place - Explosions In The Sky
One of the most captivating and beautiful instrumental bands I've ever heard. Just saw them on Austin City Limits, and they blew me away.

b) Feelin' Kinda Patton - Patton Oswalt
Oswalt has almost instantly become one of my favorite current comedians. He's very much a 'why didn't I think of saying it like that?' comic.

c) Werewolves And Lollipops - Patton Oswalt
More great stuff from a guy who writes his jokes with punctuated brilliance.

d) Planet Of Ice - Minus The Bear
Not their best album, but still moody, sexy and drunken. The perfect make-out band.

e) The Difinitive Collection - Stevie Wonder
You can't really ever go wrong with Stevie. Unless he's driving.

f) Bang! - Nightmare Of You
A self-released EP from a criminally underrated band.

g) Think Tank - Henry Rollins
The first of many spoken-word albums I'll be purchasing from Mr. Rollins, out of fear he'll crush my windpipe with his thumbs.

h) Under The Boards - Saves The Day
What happened to these guys? What used to be my favorite band has turned into a parody of themselves. Get it together, Conley!

i) Musical Apocalypse In 16 Steps - Mixtape By HeyDomsar
This is a really, really good mix. It has a very dusk, 'Milwaukee' feel. Thanks, Domsar!

j) Reign In Blood - Slayer
The thrash classic from the masters. This album is just brutally amazing.

2. "Hey, what are you watching right now?"

Almost nothing. In trying to eliminate as much excess television as possible, I'm down to about twelve shows that I never miss (besides sports entertainment, which I try to keep to myself). Thanks to mid-season breaks, cancellations and writer strikes, this number should dwindle down to about five by the end of the year. I'm done with the dramas (not counting Lost), and I barely want to watch these shows, either.

a) The Simpsons
I was on YouTube yesterday, watching some local TV promos from 1990, when I saw a commercial for a 'new' episode of The Simpsons. I sometimes forget how insane it is to have a scripted television show run for over 19 years. The Simpsons is older than Cargirl!

b) King Of The Hill
Forget Family Guy, this is the show that won't die. For a good reason, though. I know that the right people watch King Of The Hill, but more people should know that it's really quite fantastic. Mike Judge is a subtle, satirical genius.

c) Ghost Hunters
A current tradition at CDP Headquarters is for Ben and Sherry to come over and watch Ghost Hunters in pitch darkness, and walk home afterwards. I wonder how that's working out for them, especially considering that winter is coming.

d) Dirty Jobs
Mike Rowe needs his own talk show like you wouldn't believe. This guy is a classy, instantly-likable pro, all the way.

e) Mythbusters
Still on, still awesome and still pissing off the Missus, Mythbusters is consistantly one of the best shows on cable television, even though they pretty much gave up on Urban Legends years ago.

f) Kid Nation
I don't think I'll watch another season of Kid Nation, but I've been seriously enjoying this first one. If you can find a way to watch from the beginning, it's well worth your time. I never realized I could hate children any more than I already did.

g) Carpoolers
Fred Goss, Bruce McCullough and the fat kid from Stand By Me. Need I say more? Nope!

h) My Name Is Earl
What amazes me about Earl is how dirty it is. In fact, it might be the dirtiest show I've watched in years. Plus, the kid that played Telly from Kids is on there from time to time. Watching him in a comedic role almost negates how much I hated him from 1995 to 1998. Almost.

i) The Office
Have the writers and producers been spread too thin this season? Beats me, but The Office is still one of the funniest shows on television. I also just found out that John Krasinski is only 28 years old. What a bastard.

j) 30 Rock
I'll be honest with you, 30 Rock deserved the Emmy for Best Comedy over The Office. The writing is razor-sharp, the cast is insanely good and it's as close to Arrested Development as we're ever going to get. Plus, Tina Fey is always welcome in my home.

k) Saturday Night Live
I was looking forward to watching The Rock host for the third time this weekend, but it looks like the show will be held off due to the writing strike. Hopefully, they'll just air the episode of the last time The Rock hosted.

l) The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter is like American Idol, only the contestants are competing for a UFC contract, and win by beating their opponents into submission. Why aren't you watching?

3. "Hey, what are you reading right now?"

Now that I'm done reading my book for the 50th (and final) time, I can focus more on the stack of magazines I've been accumulating for the last few months. Me and the Missus are subscribers to Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Game Informer, Vegetarian Cooking, Esquire, Cat Fancy and probably something else that I'm forgetting.

I enjoy Esquire because it's catered to men who are slightly-to-obscenely outside of my Quality of Life range. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to live like these people, but I don't have nearly the cash or asshole attitude. I can't afford anything shown in the ads, I can't just waltz into town and purchase a $1200 suit, and I'm certainly not going to sell my car so I can buy a new watch, er- timepiece. Maybe someday, but until then, I'll continue to read Esquire in my pajama bottoms with a cat on my lap, and try really hard not to spill raw cookie dough onto the pages.

Finally, I recently read a Damn Interesting article on theories behind the 'Wedding Ring Effect,' and what guppies have to tell us about the prospects of snagging a potential mate. Good stuff.

4. "Hey, seen any good movies lately?"

Not really, but I did purchase the First Season of Metalocalypse on DVD. From Brendon Small, the creator of Home Movies, Metalocalypse is, in my opinion, the only reason to watch the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network. Hilarious stuff. Even more hilarious is that the soundtrack to the show, The Dethalbum, debuted at #21 on the Billboard charts, making it the highest charting Death Metal album ever. Wow.

Benjamin recently hooked me up with the 'Version Integrale' of The Professional (Leon), which I've been looking forward to watching for weeks now. I was frustrated when I saw the deleted scenes of the film that test audiences weren't too keen on, and the 'Version Integrale' restores the movie back into what it should have been. It makes it all the more better, which I thought was next to impossible for awhile.

Director Luc Besson = Genius.
12-year-old Natalie Portman's bob hairstyle = Chris Hansen-approved.

5. "Hey, what's up with the book?"

65 Poor Life Decisions is 'in the can,' as the kids say. I'm currently waiting for the publishers to put the wraps on a few things (ISBN, online distribution, copyright info, etc.), and it's all good from there. I had previously envisioned the book being released as close to the end of November as possible, and it's still a possibility, albiet an extremely tiny one. This is the first time that the book process has been completely out of my hands; now I'm just sitting and waiting like everyone else. As you can imagine, it sucks.

One burning question a few people have asked me is this: "Once the book is released, will you remove the original essays from, as incentive to purchase the book and reduce the number of cheapskates?" Truth be told, I don't know yet. To me, the CDP is what it is, and I've made next to no retroactive edits in the four years of its existence. However, the CDP might be taking on different forms and purposes in 2008; purposes which may require the house-cleaning of a considerable amount of backlog. As I move into writing books and other freelance articles full-time, the CDP might cease to function as we know it. To be safe, I'd just buy the book. Maybe two.

More updates as they come in, but I bought a bottle of brandy and a shotgun to keep me company in the meantime. I might as well get started on this whole 'self-destructive author' business while I have the free time.

6. "Hey, what are you doing this weekend?"

You know, I don't really know. For the first time in awhile, my weekend appears to be non-booked and open-ended, which makes me very happy. I figure I'll make the house slightly more spotless than it already is, pay my bills, balance the checkbook and go out to eat a couple times with the Missus and friends. Maybe eight hours of Guitar Hero III and a nap, just for good measure.

If the ISBN folks get back to me in time, I'll be receiving my 'test print' of 65 Poor Life Decisions in the mail this weekend, as the draft needs my final approval before it goes to print. Everything should be fine, unless I overlooked some key formatting issues, like margins or periods at the end of sentences

Such funny jokes. If anyone wants to meet up for a drink or go on a Toys-R-Us shopping spree or something, this would be a good weekend to snag me. In the meantime, I'll be checking local supermarkets to see if they're carrying Egg Nog this early in the season. Believe me when I say that sucking back that first glass of sweet, sweet nog is the greatest part of the winter for me.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

If you've included at least one essay dedicated to your enormous childhood cat, then I think I'm going to have to purchase a copy of your book when it comes out.

Because you can't spell dedicate without "cat" ... right?

I've got $20 hidden in a hollowed-out book in my apartment with your book's name on it. Unless you change the title. Then I guess it would have someone else's book title on it.
FYI: I spotted eggnog at the Jenny St. Market this week. Enjoy! Or, at least, don't gag too hard.
NICOLE- I will enjoy! This is an exciting moment for me, and it's one of the few things that keeps me from a killing spree during winter. I'll be noggin' it up in no time; thanks for the heads-up.

BWUUCE- Hang on tight to that $20. I don't have an essay about Shirley, but if you order directly through me, I'll include a photograph of her. That's the kind of personal touch I provide.

Oh, and I might sneeze on it, too. Only if you want, though.
My wife is an eggnog fanatic. The first of many cartons is in our fridge right now. She bought it yesterday and I'm surprised that there is still half left -- it's usually gone by now!

I love Esquire the same reasons the CDP does. It's so way out of my lifestyle, but it's still fun. My favorite part is "Man At His Best" in the front. Sometimes I just read that part and forget the rest of the magazine.
I think that the Esquire people are now publishing a magazine called Best Life, which is essentially Esquire for guys that don't have a net worth of over a billion dollars. I might have to check that out.
Why were you so mopey yesterday? further questions.
Crap. So many things I want to address. I'll summarize:

Nightmare of You: I like them a lot! I had their most recent album - I'll have to see if I still do. I may have loaned it out and not gotten it back...

Dirty Jobs: I can never get enough Mike Rowe up to his armpits in sewage or giving an ostrich an enema.

The Office: John Krasinski is often referred to as "America's Crush". :) I feel like a lot of the season so far is a little contrived and forced, by I'm trying to look past it.

The Professional (Leon): One of my most favorite movies in the history of anything (Natalie Portman's best work in my opinion, followed by Beautiful Girls...everything else she's ever been in: MEH). I MUST purchase that version. I shall not rest until I have it in my hands.

The debut Nightmare of You album is fantastic; really standing out of a pack of similar-sounding bands with great songwriting and wry sarcasm. Highly recommended, indeed.

Mike Rowe is the kind of guy every guy wants to be. Women dig him. Men dig him. He's funny, intelligent and unflappable. Exactly the type of person that you'd want to have a drink with. Besides me, of course.

The problem with The Office this season is that it has nothing to do with working in an office. The Dwight/Michael side-plots have gotten absurdly wacky and the rest of the cast is lost in the shuffle. Get more subtle, kids.

30 Rock, on the other hand, is doing everything right. They even made David Schwimmer look funny, plus a cameo by Al Gore!

Not only is The Professional one of my top 5 favorite movies, it's hands-down the best action film I've ever seen. You can get the Version Integrale through, I'm quite certain.

Typically, you're able to understand why certain scenes were cut from a film when you see them out of context. In this case, I was flabbergasted in that scenes were cut that actually made the movie better. I don't know who the focus groups were that took certain issues with this film, but they almost ruined it. I mean, I get it, but get over it, you know?
A photograph of Shirley included? It's a deal. You know my kryptonite too well.

Oh and maus, it's good to finally hear someone else sing the praises of Beautiful Girls. Great movie that has been overlooked too damn many times.
I only had eggnog for the first time last year. My boyfriend was horrified that I'd never had it, but we were not an eggnog family. I personally think it's a little too thick and sweet for me.

I think I'm over TV. I can't believe I'm saying that, but the only show I watch with any regularity is The Office. And like you said, this season with all the Michael zany-ness is just not cutting it for me. It seems to be slowly improving as the season progresses, so I still have hopes for it. I guess not having cable doesn't hurt either with the less TV thing. Half those shows you mention I never even heard of, although I'm sure I'd get sucked into them if I did have cable. I love those educational, yet entertaining type shows.

I have to read so much for school, that's about all I have time for these days anyways.
Julia, I sometimes wonder how much happier I'd be without cable. I'd get more reading done, save a ton of money and probably write a lot more stuff.

But then I think about Mythbusters, Ghost Hunters, Dirty Jobs, Monday Night RAW, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The History Channel, Subterranean, The Dive, Rob & Big, VH1 Classic and my DVR, and it pretty much shuts down the thought process right then and there.

Doesn't make it right, though.
Don't worry, the safety is... now it's on.

Is it just me or have they been systematically taking Jim down, rung by rung. Kind of sad to watch.
Too much Jim is a bad thing. His character isn't meant for so much wacky screen time. He's not great with conflict, has very limited depth, and now that he isn't feuding with Dwight, he's lost 95% of what made him funny.


The show is still very, very good, I'm just busting on it because it's beginning to show signs of being spread too thin.
Why don't you watch House anymore?
No time. Plus, I got a little bored with it. It's one of those shows I can pick back up on next season and not really miss a beat.

As far as original TV viewed per week, here's my chart:

Monday - 3 hours
Tuesday - 2 hours
Wednesday - 4 hours
Thursday - 4 hours
Friday - 3 hours
Saturday 3 hours
Sunday - 1 hour

That's down to 20 hours a week from over 50 last season. Woah.
Don't need to watch house. I already have every episode written up:

Person falls over in odd scenario...House's team brainstorms what is wrong with patient, House tells them they're stupid...House meets patient for the first time, they ask who he is...patient begins seizing or bleeding profusely...House makes simple diagnosis, team treats patient...patient gets much brainstorms other theories, comes up with 1 in a million disease...House suggests controversial cure, makes boob joke to Cutty...Cutty reluctantly approves treatment...disgusting treatment scene...House sees something miniscule and realizes what the patient's disease or issue ACTUALLY is...patient is wheeled out and says something profound...House contemplates life while music plays.

That is true, but House is soooo cute!
That....was incredible.
Best Stevie Wonder joke, I've ever heard.

Thank you, it took me literally a picosecond to come up with that one.

I just ate a sub sandwich, and I'm fixing for an afternoon nap under my desk.
I wonder how long it took Eddie Murphy to come up with the Stevie Wonder joke back in the 80's?


I still love you.
CDP, thanks for outlining what you're into. You have excellent taste. Especially in music. And especially since you listed my mix as a favorite. ;)

Explosions In The Sky, Patton Oswalt, Minus the Bear, Stevie Wonder, My Mix... all top notch choices.

Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, and the Office are mandatory. Even when Michael annoys me.

So if it reflects your taste in stuff like this, I think I'm going to like your book.
Thanks, Domsar. It really is a good mix. There's a copy of my book with your name on it.

Well, my name actually, but maybe your name is in it; I can't remember for sure...

Moe, that's what I was kind of getting at. 'Stevie Wonder is blind' jokes are always a permanent stand-by.
It's okay. I know I've been a Richard lately. It's all good. Looking forward to the book.

Enjoy the weekend.
The correct term is, "I know I've been a real Coach K lately..."

Same to you.
We have no money, so we will have to be cheapskates for the moment. All of my time is being dedicated to keeping TV away from the masses, anyway.

pee ess, Um, do you not watch Venture Bros?! The Boondocks? C'mon, man! Also It's Always Sunny should have a permanent place in your cold Wisconsin heart.
I'm a little light in the wallet, as well. Can you explain to me why this always happens just before Christmas?

You keep fighting the good fight with that strike, though. Me and the Missus are thinking of you, and sending a virtual thermos full of vegetarian soup and kindness.

As much as I know I'd love It's Always Sunny... I've never gotten around to actually sitting down with it. That's a poor excuse, but it's the truth, and I apologize.
For those paying attention, I'm wearing my Halloween costume in the above photo. The mask and chainsaw lasted about 10 minutes that night, when I finally gave up and started drinking heavily.
I just have a hard time believing that anything airing strictly on FX could be worth watching. I'm probably wrong in the case of It's Always Sunny, but that channel has really never screamed "quality content" to me.
As a basic cable subscriber FX is unavailable to me. A few years ago they ran 2 or 3 eps of It's always sunny in Philly on a Friday night or something. I must say I laughed myself wet in the pants. A co worker of mine has the first two seasons on DVD so I'll let you know about the rest of them.
I've only seen the commercials for it, so I really have no clue what it's about. Looks pretty wacky.
Anytime a show gets compared to Seinfeld, I'm interested. Especially considering that hardly ever happens.
FX has some of the best programming on TV right now. A lot of time a network won't let a writer write about the truly dark places - funny or not - in human experience, because they think people don't want to see that. Or people will get offended. Or people won't understand a character that's got more than one-note. I don't know who the execs are at FX, but it's like it's being run by writers instead of suits.

I've also heard The Shield is amazing but I missed the first few seasons so I'm waiting to get it on Netflix.
Yeah, I appreciate what they're doing over on FX. While I can't say I've seen Sunny, The Shield, Nip/Tuck or Rescue Me, it's good to know that they exist, push the envelope and allow writers to try something new on a national stage. Original FX programming is closest thing basic cable has to HBO, which is neat to me.
Did anyone see Arcade Fire on Austin City Limits?
I wouldn't watch Nip/Tuck if you paid me.
Or Rescue Me, for that matter.

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