Friday, February 8

I Got Dumped By A Fictional Character.


Just a quick reminder that all those participating in the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade should have their mixed mailed out by Monday, February 11. Make someone's Valentine's Day all the more awesome! Any questions, comments or concerns should be sent my way immediately.

Let's move on.

Friday Night Lights, despite its slightly outlandish and borderline-sellout second season, is still one of the best shows on network television (second only to Lost, if you axe me). This is one of those rare television shows about High School and small-town life that really resonates and feels genuine, and part of its success is the outstanding cast and semi-realistic character development.

Recently completing a three-episode arc on the show was the character of Jean Binnel, played adobably perfect by breakout actress Brea Grant. Now, when I say 'adorably perfect,' I mean 'I, Ryan J. Zeinert, wholeheartedly proclaim Jean Binnel to be my single most desired female character in the history of television.'

Had I met a girl like Jean in high school, I would have not known what to do with myself. Her hair was perfect. Her glasses were perfect. The way that she smiled and looked up into Landry's eyes with nothing but awkward sweetness was perfect. She was unapologetically into Grindcore and Power Metal. Obsessed with mixtapes. She even invited Landry over to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000, which I believe is the only time in history that MST3K was mentioned in a fictional TV drama. She liked guys like me. Whoever sat down to write up the character map for Jean Binnel must be a whole lot like myself, because this girl represented everything that I could ever superficially* want in a young woman. I didn't even think she could exist in fiction.

(*My wife provides all of the core values needed to sustain a lengthy and passionate marriage. It needed to be mentioned.)

So, when Jean was ditched by Landry last week, I knew that I'd never see Jean again on my TV, which hurt me deeply. In fact, I felt like I was being dumped, too. This is a character that I've been waiting 15 years to watch, and I wasn't going to just let her up and leave me after three lousy episodes. My 1997 dream girl was walking out on me, and I needed to do something, anything, to keep her around for a minute longer.

After clicking around the Interweb for awhile, I found the official website of Brea Grant and shot her an e-mail. I told her that I enjoyed watching her on Friday Night Lights, and to keep up the good work in her future endeavors. Nothing creepy ('can I pay you to come to my house and act like Jean Binnel?'); just positive and professional. Sure, I knew that the real Brea Grant was probably nothing like the character of Jean Binnel, but it was as close as I was going to get to making a connection with the perfect projection of female awesomeness. Furthermore, she's a really good actress and deserved the praise. The fourth wall had been broken; we were officially working without a net.

A few hours later, I received an e-mail in my inbox:

Hey! Thanks for your support!
-Brea Grant.

It wasn't exactly the epic that I was secretly hoping for, but you know what? It's all good. I was happy. I also seriously thought this was important enough to warrant its very own post, which in retrospect, might have been a mistake.

Who is your most desired television character? Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

(If you're lucky, and I mean really, really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of Brea/Jean on tonight's episode of Friday Night Lights, airing at 8pm Central time on NBC.)

The reason you don't see those characters on TV is because networks and studios don't think they exist, and/or they don't think anyone wants to see them. It's the same reason why I leave the word "nerd" out of any pitch I'm doing, because you still run up against the nerd = loser issue. STILL. Bah.
And when networks decide to create a 'nerd' character, it's completely unbelievable and absurd. Jean was a rare breed.

I'm going to spend most of my day in my bedroom, laying face-down on the bed in the dark and listening to Explosions In The Sky on a constant loop.
By the way, Slackmistress rules for reading and commenting on my page so early this morning.
I'm super-glad that Landry went back with Tyra. That other girl seemed like someone I'd like to punch in the mouth. I get Tyra. Jean Binnel just seemed like what a late-20's TV-writer's idea of a perfect high school date for a nerd would was contrived, IMO.
Brea was really thinking "Ew, creepy guy!"

Mrs Hoss and I have really gotten into Monk lately. Nothing realistic about it, but it's just fun. Natalie (the Girl from "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place") is a much better assistant than Sharona ever was. She takes no crap from Monk.

They could have let Monk do the same shitck show after show, but the last couple of seasons have been less about the mystery and more about Monk and his relationships.

This doesn't answer the most desirable TV character, but that's because I don't have one. So there!
This doesn't answer the most desirable TV character, but that's because I don't have one. So there!

That a good husband :)
My answer is Paul London playing himself on Friday Night Smackdown.

But if we have to pick a real character, the obvious answer is John Stamos on Full House. Duh.
Before you forget. CDP vs. PETA must be added to your getting to know me section. A really good quality post there.

I can't think of any television characters that I would be attracted to in real life. Physically yes. Everyone on tv is physically attractive. Television characters are almost unanimously shallow or poorly developed. The ones that have depth and personanlity are always deeply flawed or disturbed. This may make them interesting but not relationship material.
Hathery, I'll take your Jesse Gadsopolous and raise you one Chandler Bing. Because I, unlike my husband, have a few desirable TV characters. It all started with Kirk Cameron.
I just got an email from my wife asking me how my morning was. My response:

"my day was going fine . . until my I found out my wife would leave me for Chandler. Joey I could see -- but Chandler???"
Kelly Kapowski was perfect.

Insanely hot? Check.
Smart? Class of '93, Bayside High
Motherly? She brought that damn kid to school, didn't she?
Physically fit? She was the head cheerleader. What more do you need?

And here's the kicker...She had 8 brothers and sisters. Her father was broke. She was HOT and POOR, so she never rubbed her S*!^ in your face.

I'd have married Kelly Kapowski.
HATHERY - Stamos was kind of a selfish jerk on Full House, but yeah, he sure was purty.

He's got nothing on London, though. Paul London should play drums for the Beach Boys.

HOSS - People keep telling me to watch Monk, but I always forget. I'm sure it's an awesome show; it's one of the highest rated cable shows out there.

Matthew Perry. What can I say, ladies still love that guy.

BLU - Added!

I hear what you're saying. If a TV character is deep enough to be understood, chances are that they have serious problems. Look at Lost, for example.

GINA - I'd pay to watch Chandler and Jesse duke it out...and so would you!

MOE - Man, that takes me back. Good times, good times...

Hi! I am real-life friends with Brea. I have a google alert tracking her character's name so I can find any mentions of her on the internet. She really does appreciate your support! If you loved her character so much, why not write NBC and the producers of FNL a letter asking them to keep her on, and asking them to keep the show on the air?
Whoa, real world creeping into comments section. YOU'VE HIT THE BIG TIME, CDP! ;)

Also, I can't name my "most desired TV character" because it would surely result in me losing what little credibility and respect I've managed to build for myself here.

What? None? Well, I'm still not telling. *crosses arms* So there.
Isn't it the horse-face chick on BSG?
Hello, Neesha! Thanks for taking the time to sing in and comment!

That's a great idea, and I will take you up on it. There's a good chance that tonight's episode of Friday Night Lights might be their last, so if anyone wants to jump on the petition bandwagon and make some noise, there's no better time than right now to do it.

I am currently in the process of composing a letter to NBC to consider sparing FNL for the remainder of the post-strike season.

In addition, I'll contact the producers of FNL and request that they pretend that Landry's idiotic and nonsensical decision to leave Jean for Tyra never freaking happened. This means that Brea comes back to my television, the character of Jean continues to expand and the world somehow makes sense again.

I'm all over it. Thanks!
EMILY - One of the best parts of gaining in blog popularity is that for every negative letter I get from PETA, I get something neat like this. Rad.

I'd like to hear your guily television pleasure. I don't know what problem the Missus has with your BSG friend, but I think she's pretty okay. Perhaps if I saw her character, I'd fully understand.
Sorry, she has a jaw like an old mare. Maybe her character is interesting, though...I shall never know, for I will never watch BSG.
Who's responsible for that cartoon, BTW?
HATHERY - Hey, your loss. And actually, her character is second on my list and not at all embarrassing, thankyouverymuch. The top spot is actually shared by two characters who worked as a duo, if that gives you a hint.

CDP - While I think Katee Sackhoff is good looking, it is the character that catapults her into totally hot territory.
It is in the eye of the beholder as to whether not watching BSG, let alone finding a character on it attractive, is embarassing... :) hehe (I jest because I love)
The top spot is actually shared by two characters who worked as a duo, if that gives you a hint.

Please say it isn't Cagney and Lacey.
HATHERY - You really need to keep a handle on saying mean things with little or no provocation. Like at the Pub Quiz last night; I thought I was going to have to punch my way out of there. Funny? Of course. Still scary, though.

Oh, and the cartoon comes to us from the brilliant and insightful He actually got me thinking about doing caroons again.

EMILY - It's not Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari from Bosom Buddies, is it? I sure hope so.

Sometimes the character brings out the inner hotness of an actor or actress. It's part of the reason why I can never tell if I like Drew Barrymore or not. I'll see her in a romantic comedy and be all swoony over her, then I'll see her dumb ass on Leno and change the channel.
No, sadly not Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari from Bosom Buddies, and not Cagney and Lacey. I think my choices may technically be even more embarrassing. They're also from a television show that had its last season in 2000.

C'mon, just think about my predilection for sci-fi and fantasy shows, and strong female characters, and go from there. And think really embarrassing.
All I can think of is Mulder and Scully from The X Files, but that show went off in 2002, and it was far from embarrassing. In fact, it was the last sci-fi show I ever cared about.

Mulder and Scully = Yummy.
Agreed. They were an awesome TV duo, and would easily make my top ten list.

OK, no more hints. I'm thinking that all of these wrong guesses are just a sign that I should get out while I'm ahead. Anyway, I should pack up the drums and get outta here. Pray for good weather in Minnesota, and have a great weekend!
HATHERY - You really need to keep a handle on saying mean things with little or no provocation. Like at the Pub Quiz last night; I thought I was going to have to punch my way out of there. Funny? Of course. Still scary, though.

Those kids were total nerdlingers, and they deserved my whimsy. Yes, you heard me: whimsy.

I was also very tired from clogging. Yes, you heard me: clogging.
Good luck in MN! Seems like their weather has been better than ours.
Drive carefully, dear. Rock hard and often.
Speaking of rocking, I seriously need to stop rocking out to my own mixtape and mail it to Bruce. This is getting un poco riducolo!
Riducolo? hmm.
My mix needs a lot of work this weekend. I've got it down to 60 tracks.
Trim the fat, brotha. TRIM it.
Sooo...we're not supposed to talk about Lost at all yet??

I don't have any good answers to most desired tv character, at least for current shows, since I haven't been watching that much tv. Maybe just Jim from The Office. And I know how lame that is. It used to be Fox Mulder, once upon a time though.
Scott Baio as Chachi on Happy Days. Well before my time, but I watched the re-runs religiously in Middle School and was absolutely OBSESSED with Scott Baio. I even created my own language called "Chachinese"...I'm not even kidding. I have friends that can verify this. I heart Scott Baio.
We haven't watched Lost yet :(
Tonight's a big night, as we get to experience Lost, for the first time, in 5.1 HD.

I'll have to order a pizza.
Better yet, make it TWO!
EMILY - Ben Browder and Claudia Black.

CDP - She is very fast with the mean comments, but it makes the compliments that much sweeter. I on the other hand prefer to flatter everyone so my mean comments feel like acid in the eyes.
It's the subtle differences that mean the most, Blu.

Emily e-mailed me her Secret Crush Duo, but she's on her way to Minnesota now, and I wouldn't feel right talking about her when she's not around.

Translation: I ain't tellin'. It's pretty funny, though.
Will you acknowledge a correct guess?
It's Ren and Stimpy. Final Word.
Yes, I will acknowledge a correct guess.

For realsies.
TV in HD is either a truly sublime or utterly terrifying proposition. On the one hand, you've got things like Discovery HD, with breathtaking videography. On the other, you've got your local news broadcast where the female anchors (and some of the men) have resorted to spackling on the makeup with a trowel in order to be even presentable. And you can still point out every facial little line and hair out of place. We have a longtime anchor who is covered in freckles and getting rather jowl-y, and I honestly think she's given up trying to cover any of her "imperfections" for the HD feed.

Oh, and since we can't actually talk about Lost, can I at least say that Eli Stone taken as a whole is horrible. But Johnny Lee Miller as the title character could just be my tv crush if the show lasts long enough.
Yeah, I could tell that I wasn't going to like Eli Stone. I don't have time for another short-lived drama, George Michael cameos or otherwise.

I agree with the HD thing; local news teams must absolutely hate it. It's like, "Who replaced the weatherman with a zombie?"
A zombie Al Roker might be fun. He could point to the weather map and moan "Stoooorms". Instead of hurricane force winds knocking him down during a field report, he'd lose his upper torso. Win-win!
Al Roker: Proof that bariatric surgery doesn't work.
Landry had to go back to Tyra, that's his true love. Right now, anyway. And she's the only character besides Tim Riggins that's evolving at a level worthy of the show. But I liked the offbeat little weirdo and the MST3K mention. If they don't show her maybe it's because she doesn't fit in with the tone of the show. Juno maybe, here, not so much.
And Adam Chandler of course. He hasn't found the right woman because he hasn't found me!
Let me go on record as saying that the Madison CBS affiliate has the ugliest news crew of anyone on the air today.
I agree with Jeanna...a girl like that could never survive in Dillon.
HATHERY - You really need to keep a handle on saying mean things with little or no provocation. Like at the Pub Quiz last night; I thought I was going to have to punch my way out of there. Funny? Of course. Still scary, though.

Those kids were total nerdlingers, and they deserved my whimsy. Yes, you heard me: whimsy.

I was also very tired from clogging. Yes, you heard me: clogging.

Damnit, I have to hear the rest of this story.

As for most desired TV character, as a child it was Scarleet from G.I.Joe, as a junior high kid it was Aunt Becky (Lori Laughlin) on Full House, and now it's Crush on Gladiators.
Lady Marian from the new Robin Hood series on the BBC.

Strong. Sexy. Incredibly Intelligent.

Unfortunately, she's dead...unless you're into that.
Strong words from an alleged cannibal.
She's dead in real life or on the show?

As for the story, not much to tell. At the PubQuiz last night, one of the teams at the table behind us was an annoying group of nerds. Ryan thought some of my purposely-loud-and-meant-to-be-overheard jests were a bit mean and unnecessary. Pish posh! If nerds didn't LIKE being teased, then why don't they SHUT UP? Chew on that, I say.

And I started taking clogging lessons last night.
Because they know things about topics no one else cares about and they want some validation. But they're sensitive and the harsh and critical words of the less nerdy wound them. I've been told.

Oh, and my husband's grandparents are into clogging. And bluegrass. And being old.
Clogging rules. Most the people in my class are my age or younger.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Clog.Ging. Rules.
Moe and Maus, try to understand. There are two kinds of people: jocks and nerds. As a clogger and therefore a jock, it is my duty to give nerds a hard time.
Can you honestly fathom the balls that it takes to make fun of someone after returning from clogging lessons? It's seriously giving me a headache.
Can you fathom the balls that it takes from someone to not only make fun of someone after returning from clogging lessons, but to make fun of nerds by customizing a SIMPSONS quote to do so? The gall. The sheer intestinal fortitude.
My sister is quite the accomplished clogger. I am not making this up.
Dance-off. Now.

I'm an accomplished blogger. Does that count for anything?
Crush is attractive until she speaks. Maybe it's the mouth guard, but she sounds like a twelve year old girl talking to the cute boys at the mall.
I'm an accomplished blogger. Does that count for anything?

According to Hathery, only to the nerds.
Nah, being a blogger is cool. Not as cool as a clogger though.
My sister is quite the accomplished clogger. I am not making this up.

Does she compete?
BLU - Crush is always too cool for the room. I may get sick of it if I had to live with her, but I'd like to find out just to be sure.
She used to compete, now she just clogs when she gets drunk.
I believe that's the fate of most cloggers.
Do you guys polka at all in the South, or is that just an up nort' thing?
I think you should narrow that to a north-central thing. This kind of sounds like swing all over again.
I'm sure I live more northern-ier and I've never seen a polka...not that I haven't wanted to.
Catching up:

HATHERY: About eight years ago I was at a gas station on Sunset Blvd. filling up my car before heading out for a Saturday evening. It was semi-late, and as I got out of my battered VW Jetta, I noticed SCOTT BAIO! pumping gas ahead of me.

He slowly looked me up and down and said "NICE TITS!"

I smiled back and said "Thanks, Chachi!"

He drove away incredibly pissed off.

That story is my favorite celebrity encounter, tied only perhaps with the time Fred Savage told me I had a great ass. But he and I were actually having a conversation, so it doesn't really count.
I think that washed-up celebrities are going about picking you up in the wrongest way possible. Can't imagine why Baio has a hard time keeping a relationship.

I mean, I'm certain that Mr. Baio and Mr. Savage's statements are 100% true, it's just that a little tact goes a long way. I've found that 'hello' often does the trick just fine.
He will always be Charles to me.
I wan, I want, I want Charles in charge of me.
Yeah, seriously, get that Hedgehog Love Mix out in the mail already! :-P

I have my mix down to 94 tracks. I have some work to do over the next 36 hours to bring it down to something less than a 4-cd box set.

There are so many I don't want to part with. It's tough. Some of these songs, I'll have to give the "it's not you, it's me" line. "Maybe on another mix at another time, it would work. But the timing's just not right."
That was the show that taught me hot girls could carry off really goofy names.
Slackmistress, you just successfully ruined my childhood.

Bruce, I'm a spazzbot and accidentally deleted the email with your address in it. Can you sent it to me again so I can mail your mix out? Thanks :)
HATHERY - Chachi was just being a random jerk, Fred and I were actually having a conversation about girls' asses and complaining that the style in Hollywood had become to have a flat ass. He then asked if I wanted to buy his hot gay car. Well, I added the hot gay* part.

CDP - Merci. Also, in a small world moment, Hellga from AG and I used to share the same masseuse and she wanted us all to train together. So it's kinda like rubbing oil on each other through a middleman.

*He's not gay, he's married and clearly hetero, and why I'm writing about these stories here and not blogging this I have no idea. Maybe later.
"Hellga from AG and I used to share the same masseuse and she wanted us all to train together. So it's kinda like rubbing oil on each other through a middleman."

Well, I'll be in my bunk.

On a side note, JT just drunk-called me. He's a really nice guy.
Hellga is one beutifully sturdy lady.
SLACKMISTRESS - You really should write about these celebrity encounters, for they are hilarious. Mine? Not as amazing. I once served coffee to the guys from Garbage, and one time I got to interview Tori Amos. That was pretty cool, just not as funny.

CDP - I appreciate you keeping my terrible secret. I'm actually a little amazed that no one has guessed it yet, given that my earlier hints were (I thought) pretty obvious.

Great show in MN Friday night. Met some nice musicians, the venue was great, and we didn't die on the drive back. Huzzah!
Yes, yes I did. I warned you that that would happen when we exchanged phone numbers for the interview.

Your package should be on the way tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I have had a major setback in the mix tape trade. While attempting to (drunkenly) pare down my list yesterday, I accidentally deleted the entire list. My mix tape will still go out, but it may ship a day later, and I won't have as much time to fine-tune the list and artwork.

Damn damn damn.
My tape may not arrive by Valentines either. You can never really count on over-seas shipping from the UK, so this is an advanced apology if anything goes wrong.

On the topic of celebrity encounters, my cousin happens to be going out with the lead guitarist from the Arctic Monkeys. He's a suprisingly down-to-earth guy, but he's pretty quiet for a indie icon.
EMILY - Good to see that you had a good show and arrived back to Madison safe and sound. I'll work like crazy on your mix tonight, and I'm praying for a Monday/Tuesday ship-out date.

JT - Looking forward to it!

DUFF - Wow, the Monkeys are like, the biggest UK act on the planet right now. They seem like interesting, down-to-earth young men that happen to be tight musicians and ridiculous songwriters. I'm putting a Monkeys track on my Love Mix.
JT - I feel your pain. I've been having format issues between iTunes and Media Player of late. Coupled with the sad reality that most of my music is still undownloaded to my computer, I am in tough shape.
Two hours of work this morning evaporated into the ether and has me more than a little bummed.

I WILL meet my deadline though! Gonna be a late night.
Same here, I really need to buckle down tonight. I spent the last two days drinking and playing Rock Band, and I'm just wrapping up Lost Monday as we speak.
Well, I worked steadily at recreating my list today between house cleaning and loads of laundry, but now it's off to work, so I anticipate finishing tomorrow and mailing it Tuesday.
I'm done. A 21-track masterpiece.

You may be saying to yourself, "What a hypocrite. The CDP said that any mix longer than 18 tracks is overkill!"

That may be so, but my mix is designed to be played over the course of a full week, 3 songs a day, 7 completely separate parts. It's ambitious, and perhaps just a little too much work than should be expected of my recipient.

I'm mailing it out Tuesday morning; I'll be finalizing the artwork tomorrow.
I should mention that I'm mailing out my mix 1 day after the deadline because my recipient lives about 10 miles from me.
CDP - That's no excuse. Hmph. Although I'm still excited about it.

Mine? Just finished and burned, and I'll be doing the artwork tomorrow, mailing it out tomorrow afternoon. So, in theory, BluStaCon, you should be getting my wee masterpiece by weeks' end. I hope 14 tracks will suffice, as my CDR's wouldn't hold any more.
I have no problem with that.
Duff: That's okay. I know that the pigeons over the pond are pretty slow these days -- especially with Homeland Security doing strip searches on them
I finally brought mine down to 23. That equated to 70 cuts in the last 24 hours, to hit that point.

No artwork. But I've forced my own iTunes Celebrity Playlistesque blurbs with each song choice.

So BREAK UP ... JUST TO MAKE UP: THE LOVE MIX will go in the mail on Monday to both, Heather in California and to the CDP.

It's ... eclectic, to say the least.
We here at CDP Headquarters look forward to receiving and listening to your mix. Same goes for anyone else who wants to send a copy my way:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Thank you in advance for the free music and sex jams.
Is it wrong that the first thing I think of after reading "sex jams" is a delicious fruity spread to be used while making love?

No, I don't think it is.
I think we just stumbled onto an entreprenureal goldmine.
Late to the party, and you probably noticed this already, but: the headshot on Ms. Grant's "gallery" page is actually a resized-in-html 5+MB monster of a file. Such pictures, I'm told, are suitable for use as desktop backgrounds on the personal computers of the virtuous and wise.

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