Friday, December 28

The State Of The CDP Speech - 2007.

State Of The CDP 2007.
(Before reading my State Of The CDP Speech, please head on over to Spork Nation and read the glowing book review for 65 Poor Life Decisions!)

2007 is somberly over. It's been good to me; one of the better years on record, if I may say so myself. No bankruptcy, no prison time, no divorces and no brain-damaging injuries.


Sorry about that. As it turns out, I actually did suffer a brain-damaging injury a while back.

Moving on, I wanted to take this time to spotlight the goals of the CDP for 2008. 2007, while amazing and far exceeding my expectations, was relatively unplanned and fly-by-night. Next year, I want to be aware of the changes made before they happen, as I can have more of an iron-fisted handle on my rise to Worldwide Mediocrity.

For your consideration, here are the five major changes I will be making to the CDP over the course of January & February 2008, which will then be implemented throughout the year:

1. Completely redesign the merch. I'm changing printing companies, which will allow me to do more things and get more creative; hopefully coming up with some things you'll want to buy. No more of this 'CDP BBQ Apron' crap, if I wouldn't want it in my own house, I don't plan on designing it.

This has always been the case, but it bears repeating that any profits I make off of merch sales and donations go straight back into the CDP. I'm not putting that money towards my student loans, I'm paying domain costs, funding promotional stuff and using your money to make the CDP a better place to be entertained. I couldn't bring myself to spend it any other way.

2. Completely redesigning the links section. I want the CDP to be more of a place to promote myself and my upcoming writing work ('cuz I'm an egotistical ass), so I'll be doing away with random links that I like to visit on a personal level (ie: Snopes, Fark, places that don't need my seal of approval). In its place will be links to interviews I've done, press, classic CDP posts and of course, the almighty CDP Network, which will be expanding to almost freakish levels.

Speaking of the CDP Network, I've been kicking around the idea of starting a collaborative blog with members of the CDP Network functioning as freelance writers. This idea came to me when I noticed that many funny people didn't have time to start blogs of their own. I said to myself, "I should start a blog for these people!" The jist would be that I get 10 people or so that are willing to write funny stories for free two or three times a month, and just go to town. That's a far-off goal, however; I'll keep you posted.

3. Redesigning the look and feel of the site. 2007 was the only year I didn't overhaul the design, and it's due for one. I plan on making very slight changes to the overall landscape that will hopefully attract new fans and please existing ones. The main focus of the page is, and will always be, the writing and reader interaction, so that will not change a bit. What I do want to change is the raw appearance; perhaps even add a message board to accommodate the increasing community. That would be amazing.

I can't pretend that nobody reads my blog anymore. I had 16,000 hits this month and sold almost 100 copies of my debut book in just three weeks. I run a small business now, for better or for worse, and I need to do what I can to make it great. Most of it lies in generating entertaining stuff that people want to read. Some of it lies in just making the site nice to look at. Check and mate.

4. Do more reader-interactive things. The Mix-Tape Trade was a huge success, and the amount of mail order I've been doing with fans suggests that people really want to be a part of this ever-growing cult atmosphere. Expect more Trades, more Madison Meet-Ups and more Live Video Chats. We can take this thing to a different level next year, and it really isn't all that hard.

Call me a jerk, but I never was a fan of getting to know people that read the CDP in the past. It was mainly due to my low self-esteem and fear of coming off like a terrible person. Now that I've been given the opportunity to meet creative, like-minded people and grow as a writer, it would be foolish of me to avoid these chances when they arrive. We're all different, but we come together for a specific reason, and I'm going to try to create new and interesting things to cultivate that.

5. Compete with the elite. The CDP has reached a point where it has risen above the bulk of most personal 'hobby' blogs, and is now sitting just below 'major' blogs; the ones that are full-time, hire writing staff and have lots of sponsorship cash and ad revenue behind them. While I'll never turn the CDP into a fountain of ads, hired staff writers and marketing goals (ie: a serious business), I think we can compete with those folks and rattle their cages a bit. We're the dark horse, the underdog, the turd in the punchbowl. They're the top of the heap. We can invade without compromise. I believe this wholeheartedly.

Any time I notice a mediocre page getting more traffic than me, it's almost always due to mainstream attention. This is usually because the page in question is quirky, trashy, cashing in on the flavor-of-the-moment, or all of the above. Personally, I'd rather have 10 devoted fans than a million superficial ones, so statistics matter none to me. What I do care about is the fact that we can find a million devoted people out there, simply through the hard work and word-of-mouth that's gotten us this far. Every year, traffic for the CDP has almost doubled. If we can do this again in 2008, there will be absolutely no more denying our presence in the Blogopshere.

Sounds like a plan to me, kids. Moving on, by the end of 2008, my goal is to accomplish at least one of the following on a personal level:

1. Maintain a weight of around 155 pounds (lightweight) through minimal exercise and paying closer attention to what I shovel into my head. Get back to size Small shirts fitting nicely, as opposed to producing that unsightly pooch whenever I sit down.

2. Make a bare-bones effort to learn guitar, as it would make me appear more literate, attractive, sensitive and attractive. Give myself the opportunity to write songs and perform before I turn 30 and officially lose any marketable appeal I once had.

3. Have the first draft of my next book completed. I already have 20 essays in pre-production, and they're some of the best stories I've ever written. The next book will be completely separate from the CDP; 100% original stuff that will make me the most popular author since James Frey. Wait, what? He did!?

4. Learn from my spending decisions and save at least $50 a month more than I did in 2007. Build up the savings account and allow myself to sleep more peacefully at night. Learn that weekly pay-per-views, constant unnecessary purchases and going out to eat every night is not the way that people in my tax bracket should live. Buy an iPhone to stay on track.

5. Take whatever sucks about having me as a husband, and make it a little better than it was last year. What sucks about having me as a husband is yet to be determined, if you ask me.

So that pretty much does it. 2007 has been incredible, and 2008 will be even better. The CDP is pushing 4 years of age, Post #700 is fast approaching, my book is still selling well and I haven't yet messed it all up somehow. If you need me, I'll be taking a much-needed vacation at a B&B in Annandale Minnesota for the next few days, free of television, internet connections and phones.

Thank you all so much for a great year. Sound off in the comments section; the CDP will return with regular programming on Monday, January 7.

New Site Redesign!
All-New CDP Merch!
The Return Of Lost Monday!
More 65 Poor Life Decisions Press & Reviews!
Oh, Maybe Some Funny Stories, Too.

Hey man, I wish you the best of luck with everything. And enjoy your vacation!

Also, I find this funny:
Learn that weekly pay-per-views, constant unnecessary purchases and going out to eat every night is not the way that people in my tax bracket should live. Buy an iPhone to stay on track.

So you're going to cut down on expenses by purchasing something that costs hundreds of dollars? Now that's my kind of logic. ;)

(also, first post!)
Curse you, Emily! First post is my territory! I'm losing my fast posting skills.

Anyway, I wish you all the best luck. I wish I had something better to say, but I really don't. I hate when people just wish me luck, because it always seems halfhearted. Really though, you work hard enough and you deserve to work hard for yourself too. I wish you luck, and I offer my insight for anything you would want.

Okay, I'm done being a fag. I can't wait for Lost Monday.
THERD POZT!!1! W00000T!

Thanks for the kind words, Emily. I only take one week off from the CDP a year (it's true; you can check), so I plan on using it to relax and come up with new ways to make a fool of myself.

The iPhone thing, while mostly a jab at my poor spending decisions, is completely true. I canceled my health club membership so I could afford one. How sad. How awesomely sad.

Cargirl, your post reminds me of Brian Regan's "Take Luck!" bit. Hilarious.

Thanks much. It's gotten to the point where I only need a few days to really get a hold of a new CDP project. Any longer and I start getting antsy. I'm ready to get things going, and I'll start as soon as I arrive back home on the 1st of the year.

Lost Monday will destroy you. I'll be sure to do a Season 3 Recap and Season 4 Preview beforehand.
Im not all too familiar with brian, but I know people like him.
I've been kicking around the idea of starting a collaborative blog with members of the CDP Network functioning as freelance writers.

I've had a lot of terrible ideas similar. Let me know. Also, the book review is posted. Bedtime.
Once I get the CDP the way I want it in January, I'll let everyone know the status of the Collaborative Blog.

I'll link to the review ASAP. Thanks!
Call me a jerk, but I never was a fan of getting to know people that read the CDP in the past.

JERK! Ah hahahahahaha!

What sucks about having me as a husband is yet to be determined, if you ask me.

You are a wonderful husbot, but I shall have the list prepared by day's end.
I've never heard of anyone, ever, driving 5 hours to vacation in lovely Annandale. Except you, of course.
Do you live in MN?
I grew up in Buffalo, 10 miles or so from Annandale. From what I remember, though, the B&B (if it's the one I'm thinking of) is a nice place.
Sweet! We got our marriage license in Buffalo. The B&B is amazing, although a lot of work has been put into it in the last few years so in the past it may not have been as amazingly awesome as it is now.
That makes more sense. At first I thought you picked Annandale with an errant dart throw, or something equally odd. Your explanation isn't quite that random, though. Sweet, indeed. :)
It might as well have been...a friend and I were looking up B&B's online and this one just caught my eye. I didn't realize how far away Annandale was, but I absolutely insisted on going for my birthday 5 years ago. It's haunted, has resident cats, Victorian decor, gourmet food, murder mysteries, and is run by a self-professed psychic. There is no way I wasn't going to check it out. It's been a yearly tradition to go back, and we ended up getting married there.
Wow IMS, you grew up in Buffalo and you didn't commit suicide? Good for you!

Yeah, it broke down like this:

1. The Missus found a haunted B&B she wanted to stay at 5 years ago, so we went.

2. We liked the place so much, we decided to get married there (see June 2004 archives, and just about every year since then; perhaps a word search will be easier).

3. Every year, we go back for a weekend, typically around this time. I enjoy the solitude of the place; nobody wants to go to a place that cold this time of year. We normally have the place to ourselves, bring some friends along, drop cash at the Mall Of America and prepare ourselves for another year.

If I ever get a huge cash advance to write a book, I'll shelter up at Thayers while I write it. you went and said the name. There's going to be an unruly mob of CDPeons outside the B&B all weekend.
Crap, I've exposed my sanctuary.
You suck at being a recluse.
I'm calling TMZ... telling them LinLo is there on a bender.
LinLo and RyZein?
Remember how cute she was in The Parent Trap? Was I the only one? Well, never mind then.

I should backtrack and mention that while I try to avoid TVs while on vacation, I'll be doing what I can to watch the Patriots/Giants game tomorrow.
Give in, Ryan. You know you cant resist the P/G game. I'll be watching in full-out tailgate mode.
Correct. There are no TVs in the suites, but there's one in the foyer area.

Ooh, better yet, there's a bar right next door!

Tom Brady will be partly responsible for ruining my vacation, I can feel it in my cockles.
"It was mainly due to my low self-esteem and fear of coming off like a terrible person."

Never be afraid to come off as terrible. Also don't fear turning 30, it's probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Trust me on this, you'll like it a lot. It's like being in you're 20's but the feeling of superiority will come from actual experience. It's nice.

Happy New Year.
Well now I want to be 30!
Damn, 30 does sound nice. Here's hoping I can make it to 2011 without dying in a freak accident of some sort.
2012, actually.
30's the new 20. Grow up.

I have Saturday night all planned out. Pepperoni pizza (maybe calzone) 12 pack of beer from around the world. i want this moment in history to be forever etched in my mind with permanent ink. It will be a day long remembered in the Empire...
I have Saturday night planned out too...laying on an expensive mattress, with a morbidly overbese cat that isn't mine. Ahhh...indulgence.
Damn damn damn. I may miss the game, as I'm going trout fishing this weekend and I'm not sur eif there is a TV where we're staying.
Troot fishing?
Yup. I'm not much of a fisherman, but it's for a bachelor party, so at least I'll be drunk.
BLU - What's your opinion on the few lone lunatics that think this season was tarnished by Spygate? What do you say to shut them up?

I always remind people that the tape was confiscated before the second half of the first game, and that normally does the trick.

HATHERY - It's always awesome, isn't it?

JT - What matters is that you're drunk, no matter where you are.
Troot fishing?

Was that some sort of thinly veiled Canadian/Minnesotan joke?

Anyway, what's all this about a football game on Saturday? I think I'm being forced to watch something involving the Packers on Sunday, but I'm going to follow it up with attendance at a super gay hockey game here in Madison so as to end the day well.
congrats on 2007! Enjoy the well earned time off. Im looking outside right now and Im seeing a possible 'Misery sequel. Have a safe trip
EMILY - Not having a standard 'midwestern' accent myself, I indeed like to assume the 'Northwoods Fisherman' character every now and again, and tell tales of troot fishing in the bootiful tranquility of Winter. It's good for a cheap laugh at parties.

The Patriots try to go 16-0 on Saturday; NFL history is being made! The Packer game is meaningless, provided nobody snaps their leg or shoots someone in the stands, both entirely possible, I suppose.

Is there a difference between Super-Gay hockey and Standard Hockey? Furthermore, did you know I was just cyber-stalking your Facebook profile?
SJZ - I just hope that the snow doesn't hinder our long drive tomorrow.

If we get snowed in at the B&B, it'll be more like a Shining sequel.
Troot fishing?

Was that some sort of thinly veiled Canadian/Minnesotan joke?

Actually, every time we go to Thayer's, Ryan launches into a long impression of a Minnesotan talking about trout fishing (troot fishing), which never fails to make me hyperventilate with laughter. So it was quite ironic that JT brought it up.
BLU - What's your opinion on the few lone lunatics that think this season was tarnished by Spygate? What do you say to shut them up?

I think being 15-0* speaks for itself.
They truly are lunatics if they don't think their own teams were doing the same thing or that teams were doing it for years. It was a practice the league wanted clarity on. They probably were looking for a game 1 example to set the precedent and they found it with the over whelmingly superior Patriots. I'm sure since Eric (pretty mouth)Mangini was embarassed being made to squeal like a pig in public, he didn't mind being the squealer on sideline taping.
I think the edge it provided teams was marginal to none. In the end it's down to getting the job done. wether it's making the play or stopping the play, it's still up to the players.

*Guilty of being undeniably AWESOME
BLU - I agree. It pissed me off when Don Shula came off like a bitter old man. This is the greatest assembled football franchise I have ever seen, consistently for the last 6 years.

I always get a kick out of the fact that Bellicheck appears to be more and more completely miserable as the season goes on. He's about to do something unprecedented, and he always looks like he's about to slit his wrists.

HATHERY - I plan on staying in character for the duration of the vacation.
CDP - The difference between Super-Gay hockey and Standard Hockey is a simple matter of the former's players being out, whereas I imagine most of the gay players in Standard hockey are sadly closeted. Sigh. Anyway, here's what I'm talking about: MGHA

Y'know, I had a strange, warm, tingly sensation a minute ago. Must have been when you were cyber stalking me.

HATHERY - I do a mean impression myself, but mostly because I'm native Minnesotan. ;)
Holy crap, it's an actual, honest-to-God gay hockey league. I had absolutely no idea; that's pretty rad!

There can't be nearly as much fighting, right? Right?

The CDP: Cause of more Warm, Tingly Sensations than any other Blogger working today.
I'm pretty sure that there's just as much fighting in the gay hockey league...maybe more. I base this on the fact that lesbian goalie once threw a drink at me.
I sat here pondering why anyone would think of segregating a sport into gay and not-openly-gay. I mean, what difference does it make. You don't play differently, why should it matter. Then I remembered that most sport clubs are only loosely involved in the actual sport and more a social club for people with the same hobbies. This means most clubs usually end up as drinking clubs with a sport passion. Having a gay team and a not-openly-gay-bi team would tend to make the choice of bar much easier.

BLUSTACON - I agree, on the surface it seems strange to have a segregated team. But the sad fact of the matter seems to be that most regular sports leagues/teams aren't terribly friendly to the GLBT crowd. In fact, a lot of the people who join gay teams were probably viciously teased and/or abused by jocks back in grade school, and may not have the best associations.

But you're right to think that, for the most part, sports teams/leagues are formed as a sort of social club. The MGHA isn't GLBT-exclusive, nor is the Madison Gay Rugby Team. They're inclusive, so you know what you're getting into when you join. And I think that's great. Someday, though, let's hope it won't be necessary.
I wasn't thinking about vicious jocks or anything. I had Pecker scenes running through my head.

We want bush!


HOLY CRAP!!! 16-0!!!

*passes out in corner*

Good to see things are moving along quite nicely for you, CDP. I for one fear change, but also really need it to happen. It's kinda like if you could have sex with fire.

You can see my dilemma.
BLU- I lost 100 dollars on that game. Damn my unlucky betting skills!

CDP- I got you package today. Let me assure you, your shirt will be put to good use. ;)
CG- Let that be a lesson to you! Trust in Tom.*

*consider yourself shunned for 7 days for the following offenses:
1. bet against Patriots
2. bet ON a team from New York
3. bet on a team with a Satan Manning family member

Don't worry, CG...I was behind you 100% on that one. Luckily I only lost $50.
Well as 2007 was a fairly average year in general, 2008's seeming better by the minute.

My God. This is by far the most boring New Years of my life. I'm spending it with my parents and grandad at home.

CARROT- How does it feel to be in the future?

JT- Thank you! The Giants really almost had it.

BLU- You're just jealous.
CG- Jealous of you and JT's poor decision making skills? Not likely.

JT. Brother from another mother. How could you? I'm hurt. On a game that meant nothing to the Giants and only meant another step toward history for the Patriots, I wouldn't think you'd go for the spoiler. I don't know who you are anymore.
You know who else bet against the Pats don't you...

sorry, had to throw that in there
BLU - Honestly, I went into the game fairly certain I would be backing the Pats. Since I don't follow pro ball that closely, it didn't matter to me much either way.

What swayed me? The table full of incredibly loud Pats fans at the bar where I was who were getting in Giants fans faces after every play, taunting them, and yelled at us for watching the Penn State game when we should have been watching a "real" game.

I know they don't represent all Pats fans. I know there are awesome Pats fans, such as yourself, out there, but they pretty much ruined any chances I had of enjoying the Penn State game and perhaps pulling for the Pats in peace.
I got a miniature alpaca replica made of alpaca hair at the Alpaca Connection at the Mall of America. Jealous?
JT- Nothing ruins being a fan more than other fans. understood. You'd think NE fans would learn, being such haters of the Spankees and everything. I may not be the smartest man, but I know what an A-hole is.

HATHERY- Real alpaca hair you say? jealous. maybe.
BLU - I'm fairly certain these were "bandwagon" Pats fans, since we were in upstate SC at the time. Unfortunately, this only makes them bigger douches.
Longtime Pat fans say:"Get off my bandwagon!"
HATHERY- Real alpaca hair you say? jealous. maybe.

Nothin' but the best.
I didn't see complete and utter world domination listed.....

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