Monday, July 21

CDP Headquarters: The Photo Tour.

I'm never going to be on Cribz, so I figured this would be the next-best thing.

Approximately three months ago, I noticed a change in my sleeping patterns. I realized that I was no longer waking up from sweaty, screaming, pale-faced nightmares about going hopelessly bankrupt and earning additional income by spoon-feeding broccoli soup to billionaire businessmen in the bathroom stalls of the I94 interchange waystation near Oconomowoc. It seemed that, for the time being, I was feeling rather secure in my finances.

This optimistic feeling had to stop immediately, I proclaimed, so we moved out of our apartment and bought ourselves a condo. The idea of a condo was a perfect fix for us, as we wanted all the benefits of home ownership, but had no interest in lawn care, gardening, snow removal or anything else that needed to be done outside. It was a no-brainer.

I'm happy to report that the nightmares have since returned twofold.

We currently live in an unassuming little neighborhood in the deep, busy heart of the Madison area, which is just the way I like it. The street is buzzing with children, young couples and dogs, each making me happier that I don't have too many windows that face the street. I can walk to the park without being bothered by panhandlers, there are deer in my backyard and the geese appear to be multiplying at a freakish rate. Despite all of this, I'm never less than five minutes from the most urban recesses of Wisconsin. At its core, that's one of the beautiful parts of living here. Well, besides the fact that everyone here gets to drink PBR for free.

It's true; Wikipedia it.

Anyway, I had been getting a lot of questions from friends and relatives about our new place, and I decided that the best way to shut everyone up in tandem was to do an online photo tour. If eavesdropping and making fun of my material items is the sort of thing that you get off on, then this is the post for you. Otherwise, you might just want to skim through the photos and leave work early to see The Dark Knight. Whatever makes you happy.

Before we get started, I should mention that the following post might also be hell on a dial-up connection; it's about 25 photos total. Tally-ho!

The Living Room.

(I was watching a celebrity golf tournament when I decided to take these pictures. Jesus.)

Right off the bat, I should mention that the bulk of the decorating was done by myself with the Missus' approval. She typically knows that I'm looking out for the best interests of the house, and my modern tastes offend her a lot less than the bulk of my additional tastes for things, such as alcohol, emo music and clothing from Express Men.

(Damn, Ray Romano sure got fat.)

We're rocking 5.1 Surround in all corners of the room, Airport Express allows us to listen to our iTunes library in any room of the house, and the TiVo makes sure that I don't miss a minute of the million-plus hours of MMA programming there is on Spike TV. We purchased Wii Fit last night, so the coffee table has been moved in front of the fireplace so we can properly rock the yoga poses without breaking anything.

The Dining Room.

(Following the infamous 'Cheetos incident' of 2007, I'm no longer allowed to use the MacBook.)

Both the table and bar were purchased from the same place, and on the day of delivery, the company brought the wrong table to our doorstep; some cumbersome, massive glass monstrosity that wouldn't have fit in our relatively tiny dining area after a million years of clever interior design and HGTV tips. The bitch of it was that we had to live with it for a week while the company sorted the mix-up out. Side-stepping around it was a nightmare, because I knew that if I managed to fall through it, I'd be the new owner.

(The Dining Room seats 6, which is funny, since I don't know 6 people I'd want in my home in unison.)

The door on the right leads into the basement, which I didn't photograph for this tour. You pretty much know what a basement looks like; there are a couple of windows, a water softener, some litter boxes and about a hundred storage bins. The plan is to finish it in a few years; maybe throw another bathroom and den down there, but in all honesty, it'll have to wait until I have an extra ten grand to piss away.

(I couldn't tell you the wood or marble used on this bar, but I do know that it weighs 3000 pounds.)

No photos behind the bar, but I can assure you that it's fully stocked with various wines and whiskeys. I even intend on getting a mini-fridge back there so I don't have to run over to the kitchen to make drinks. Sort of defeats the purpose of a bar. The vintage glass bottles and ice bin were given to me by my Great-Grandmother, which I think is really cool. The coasters aren't visible, but they match the Lichtenstein print on the wall.

The previous owners of the home put the hardwood in, for which I am eternally grateful. It separates the living room from the dining room, matches the furniture perfectly and gives me a reason to tell people to take their shoes off before entering. The first person to scratch it will be cut with my sharpest knife.

The Kitchen.

(Monkey towel, meet penguin towel. Penguin towel, meet monkey towel.)

The kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the house. It's spacious, bright, full of storage and is the first place you step into when you enter the house. It goes right out to the garage for easy carrying of groceries, and contains a guest bathroom (not pictured) that keeps people out of my own. I didn't like the idea of a bathroom in the kitchen when I first toured the place, but now I think it rocks. The sink is at least a foot deep and the fridge has more features than my car, although it's constantly empty.

(For ruining my shot, Tinker will receive a serious beating this evening. For shame.)

In this shot, you can get a glimpse of the front door, the stairway, the kitchen bathroom and entryway into the living and dining rooms. Hey, there's a cat in there, too. The Salvador Dali print on the wall was purchased by me for the Missus on her 18th birthday. She had nowhere to hang it at the time, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before we were living together. Also, it would have looked slightly out of place next to all of her Hanson memorabilia back at her parent's house.

The Media Room.

(Sadly, these are no longer alphabetized. Some day I will return to you, gentle discs.)

Now that I no longer purchase CDs, I fear that this is all the larger that my collection will get. Even so, I don't want to sell any of these; I like to come up here and rifle through them when I'm drunk.

(Lookout! Records had very frame-able music in the early 90's.)

Our Media Room is on the second floor, in between my office and the master bedroom. Those Simpsons photos were painted by the Missus, which I really like. I don't have a ton of vinyl (maybe 100 total, only 30 of which aren't in the basement), but I like to keep the better ones upstairs so I can bust them out from time to time. I have a USB turntable in the linen closet, which currently serves me absolutely no purpose.

(When the Missus is gone, I like to come up here and pretend that I'm something more than a drummer.)

All of those marked VHS tapes in the bottom row of my DVD case are MST3K episodes that I've collected throughout the years. Every episode, every special, even most of the commercials are intact. I'm more proud of that than my electronic drum kit sitting just to the right of them.

I'm more of a TV guy than a movie guy, so you can tell that my collection is lacking a little bit. In fact, the bulk of those DVDs are television shows. There's more crap in the basement that I couldn't fit cosmetically into this room (the keyboard being the most vital), but the biggest compromise was not being able to play my acoustic drums in my condo (I mean, I could do it, but I'd be arrested in mere minutes). The electronic kit is a decent compromise, and you can see that I've hooked up my stereo speakers to it for maximum and proper rocking power.

(I use 'anti-vibe' sticks, if only because I think that sounds dirty.)

I've said this before, but I'm a lefty that plays a right-handed kit. I also normally play double-bass, but I haven't yet hooked my pedal up to this kit. I can run it through my headphones when I play late at night, and the iPod can be plugged into the AUX jack, so I can drum along to my favorite songs. The only downside is that there's a lot of different power sources surging through this outlet, and I tend to get slightly electrocuted from time to time. Small setback for rock stardom, I suppose.


(The toilet is in the middle cabinet.)

My bathroom is connected to my office, and it's more or less off-limits to everyone. I keep it as minimalist as possible, and the shower contains what could be the Holy Trinity of manly cleanliness: Bar of soap, body wash and shampoo. Nothing more, nothing less. On the counter sits only the necessities and accessories that I need to merely survive another day.

(Divert your eyes!)

I had to take a picture of our laundry closet, mainly because the front-loading washer is amazingly badass. I'm too scared to even look at it, and I refuse to learn how it works. It's one of two things that I flat-out refuse to do around the house, as opposed to the 50 that the Missus refuses. I consider it a fair trade.

(I made a point not to photograph the beautiful bathroom insanely cluttered with bottles of things.)

The Missus' bathroom was far too messy to photograph, so I just took a creative shot of her tub. She has a fancy-pants whirlpool in there, and I've been told that I'm not allowed to use it when she's not around. I'd rather not know her reasons.

The CDP Office.

(I'm a 26 year old man.)

My office also serves as a spare bedroom for those who...who am I kidding? I wouldn't let anyone spend the night at my house. It should also be noted that the Master Bedroom was not photographed, as I didn't want my other-worldly masculine pheromones to waft through the World Wide Web and spontaneously make every female reader pregnant.

(The CDP: Collector of gumball machines, lucky cats and heads.)

Although you won't see most of it, I tried to make my office a modern and mature version of what my bedroom would have looked like in 1988. Lots of toys, games and diversions, but nothing messy or out of place. In a way, I guess that's the theme of the entire house. Fun, yet refined in a completely unrefined way. Classy yet childish; like Stephen Colbert.

(PGA Tour Golf for the Sega Genesis is the most addictive game ever made.)

In the front corner of the room, next to the bed, sits this entertainment center that cost me $20 when I first moved out of my grandparents' basement. I can proudly say, however, that everything you see on the shelves (approximately 9 devices) is simultaneously hooked up to that television despite the lack of receiver. No waiting, no hooking things up and no digging for games (we'll get to that later); just the hum of electricity and a further shortening of my attention span. I daisy-chained everything. Why I take more pride in things like this, as opposed to...I don't know...changing the shingles or changing the furnace filters, is beyond me.

(A claw machine, WWE merchandise and a Japanese Pac-Man game. Ladies?)

This is my writing desk, and it faces a nature preserve (we'll see that soon) below. I mainly use this desk to balance my checkbook, mail letters and transfer stuff from my laptop. The view is nice enough, but I'm one of the few people that would rather open their windows in the morning and see a Best Buy mere inches from their face. I grew up in the country, and I left for a reason.

("What's the use in making fun of everything? We're all alone in this pathetic world anyway.")

Emo Tom Servo keeps an eye on everything while I'm away on business. Loves the Smiths.

One half of my office closet is devoted to a decent-sized hunk of my retro video game collection. The Wii and PS2 are in the living room, but upstairs is where the NES, Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Gamecube, Intellivision and ColecoVision get to shine. Before I moved, all of this stuff was disorganized and in danger of being lost forever. Now, it's nothing but quick access for instant gaming satisfaction. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I plan on throwing a retro video game tournament at CDP Headquarters before the year is out. Better clear your schedules for the rest of 2008, just to be safe.

Oh, and the other half of my closet contains filing cabinets, important papers and about a thousand pages of crap that I never should have written. It's not worth our time.

(Mac will rule the world someday...oh, wait, it already does. D'oh!)

I suppose this is where the magic happens. As you can see, I was in the midst of sorting through a stack of CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Exchange entries when this photo was taken. Also note the Zoltar machine in the upper-right hand corner (that really works!), and the MST3K mousepad. My computer wallpaper is a photo I took of the unimaginably endless and brutal Winter of 2007, mainly because it reminds me to enjoy the Summer and accomplish as much as possible while I still have the chance. When you live where I live, you're on an 8-month window of what you can feasibly get done each year.

(Plants. Nature's plant.)

The view from my deck is a protected Nature Preserve, which is something I wasn't aware of until after we bought the place. The Missus tells me that not only is it beautiful, but it's also good for the resale value of the condo. I take her word for it, because every time venture out there, I get bitten by at least a billion mosquitoes. This Fall, however, I plan on sitting out here every night with my notebook, writing my next book until either the ink runs dry or the snow starts to fall, whichever happens first.

So, there you have it; a decent and in-depth look at about 70% of CDP World Headquarters. Direct any questions, comments or concerns to the Comments section or my e-mail address at, and also direct any harsh criticisms of my decorating taste straight to my butthole. Thanks for playing, now get the hell out of my house.

Wednesday: The Dark Knight Poster Giveaway Finalists Are Revealed!

I guess I'm the first to say I am SUPER impressed. Honestly, your home is absolutely beautiful.

You guys are so, sniff, adult. I don't know if we can hang out anymore.
KATE - Hey, thank you very much! And if you think that I'm too adult to hang out with, just imagine me wandering through the place with my boxers on, and that should remind you of my overall maturity level.

Just a reminder that the Dark Knight Poster Giveaway is still going on until tomorrow night. If you still have a CDP Tagline to throw into the mix, you can do so here!
That house sho is perty. I'm glad I live there, too.
I also like that Tinker-bear managed to wander into 2 separate shots.
She kept following me around. I think we have her trained to pose whenever we bust the camera out.
Whoa whoa whoa. Boxers?!

Mr. Fancy Schmancy Pants here...
She kept following me around. I think we have her trained to pose whenever we bust the camera out.

Now if I could just convince the hedgehog to follow suit...
Wow...your photos just remind me of what a dump my house is. I spent the weekend painting underneath the basement stairs and mowing my own lawn. Every time we walk outside, the smell of dead fish wafts through the air because of the flooding-induced carp deaths in the neighborhood.

Oh yeah, and a renter from down the street has been sneaking into our backyard and stealing firewood. Blast! I feel guilty calling my house a dump. It is actually a beautiful house that was made slightly less effective by the previous owners. We have beautiful gardens in our extensive backyard, and we can go canoeing whenever we want.

I love those lucky cats. A student brought me one from Chinatown in New York, and the rest of my students proceeded to enjoy it to the point where its waving arm fell off. I still keep it on my desk at school to remind me that someone somewhere thought I was a halfway decent teacher.

Speaking of which...I should probably get ready for my students, who will be here in 8 minutes. Yowzah!
KATE - Paisley ones. Very ooh-la-la.

HATHERY - Laika poses just fine...for one of the most bizarre-looking creatures I've ever viewed.

HILBELINK - Painting underneath the basement stairs? I thought that was where all the paint cans were supposed to be stored. Why does that need to look pretty?

I own...let's see...five Lucky Cats. One at work, one in the office and three in the living room. I think the Missus might have a couple, too.

Stealing firewood? That ain't right.
Hathery-Having your hedgehog follow you around the house would be super sweet.

I want a hedgehog. I bet the bunnies would love a hedgehog, too.
CDP-Someday, you will meet my husband, and you will understand. Or you can at least ask his rationale. I have given up trying to understand. I just shrug my shoulders, turn on my mp3 player, and start painting.

I wish I had a lucky cat that still waved. Sad face.
Wow I got to get me some of that Pac-Man merch.
IZZY - Hey, welcome aboard, Izzy! Don't be a stranger. My Pac-Man collection couldn't hold a candle to most people's, but I do enjoy the Japanese hand-held game and the impossible-to-play board game.

My MST3K collection, on the other hand...

HILBELINK - Whenever I come up with some dumbass, OCD-fueled chore that needs to be done right away, the Missus has perfected the art of distancing herself completely from the issue.

"I need to organize the storage bins!"

"Mmm-hmm, I'm watching Cold Case Files right now, so you're on your own, weirdo."
The Firewall of Doom is blocking your pics so I'm just living on the words. I'll try to see the pics tonight.

I can't imagine why you don't want to do yard work. Here's what I did on Saturday:

* Cut up a huge branch from a neighbors tree that fell in my yard during a recent storm. I did get to use my new chainsaw for this!
* pulled up a legion of weeks in my garden, shrubs, and flowerbed.
* mowed the lawn. That's a pretty big job right there.
* A buddy came over and we loaded up said branches into his pickup and dropped them off at a tree-drop off place.
* Smoked a 14-lb turkey
* Enjoyed two Stevens Point Brewery Special Lagars.

What is there not to love in that? Chainsaw, BBQ, and beer. Oh yeah -- hard, physical labor in 95 deg heat with 95% humidity.

Carry on . .
Aw. All you cute houses-with-chores people.

The closest I have to yard work is climbing onto the roof and looking at trees in Brooklyn.
If there's one thing that Stevens Point does well, it's beer. And meth.

And hey, I enjoy a backyard BBQ beer bash as much as the next guy, but watching people spend all weekend working on their yards makes me realize that it's not the life for me. don't get me wrong, I think it's really neat, but I'm not cut out for lifting things and prolonged exposure to the sun.
KATE - That's so emo I could puke a black rainbow of awesomeness. Also, I now have a tingling desire to hear your Brooklyn accent.

No, no m'dear. I look at Brooklyn from my Manhattan apartment. If I ever sound Brooklyn or *egads* "Lawn Guyland", please put me down.

< / snobbery>
Just hearing the phrase 'Manhattan Apartment' made me go broke. Sweet merciful crap.
@CDP: Hence my X-treme droolage over your lovely home.

My whole apartment (shared with my better half) is about the size of your washer/dryer set.
I'm not gonna lie, I usually feel sick the day after doing yard work because all my medication tells me to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. But it gots to get done.

And, I am sure Scott has a good reason for everything that needs to be done. He is smart like that, though somewhat irritating. :)
KATE - Our first apartment was probably similar. I think there was about a handful of square footage that wasn't already covered with something. I feel for you.

HILBELINK - I need one of dem fancy doctor's notes dat sez' I need to stay inside all the time. Den' people wouldn't bother me 'bout it no more.

Seriously, five minutes out of the shade at the Fourth of July parade charred my forehead.
Unfortunately, the medical guidelines don't make the yardwork go away. I just get to take a nap on Sunday afternoons without too much harassment.

Does sunscreen help at all? Actually, there are studies showing that sunscreen doesn't really do any good. It basically just eliminates the appearance of a sun burn rather than blocking the sun altogether. That reminds me of something Lewis Black once said...
I think you just need to make sure and get the sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA.

Anyhoo, that sure is a pretty house you got there. Well done on being a guy with decent taste in furnishing and such. I'm weirdly psyched over getting an apartment all to myself for the next year, so I can decorate it however I damn well please (no roommates! woo!).
Cool digs! The red walls are particularly drool-worthy...would love to paint one wall gold, but the landlord would have a fit. So, I'm getting those stick-on wall pics. Since climbing out from all of my clutter, I want to decorate, decorate, decorate.
Where is the secret porn stash kept? I need to save time when I visit.
HILBELINK - Sunscreen helps me a little bit, but I'm better off not pissing off the sun. She typically owns me with a capital 'P' whenever we tangle.

EMILY - Thanks! I'm straight, too!

Few feelings are better than getting a sanctuary of your own to do with what you please. Enjoy it.

REESE - Thanks! Also, way to go on cleaning up the clutter and starting anew. That's gotta feel good.

I also hope that a small chunk of that Dark Knight loot is headed your way. You've earned it.

WILL - In the attic entryway in the Master Bedroom closet.
WILL - In the attic entryway in the Master Bedroom closet.

Oh, is that where it is? I shall have it all disposed of by morn.

I want a hedgehog. I bet the bunnies would love a hedgehog, too.

The bunnies might like the hog, but if the hog is anything like mine, it will despise all living beings except yourself...and Sherry.
Hathery - You just cost yourself a visit from me.
I can't be mad at Sherry as long as she has that haircut. Just can't bring myself to it.

I'm off to Einstein's for lunch. I've been craving a vegetable panini all damn day.
You got that look I've been trying to get since I moved to my current apartment...
It's official...I'm going to Wisconsin.
Late to the party, but you've got a nice place. I especially dig the bar (oh how I would love a wet bar of my very own) and Emo Tom Servo reminds me that I just bought 300 on dvd for the sole purpose of downloading the Rifftrax commentary.
CAVEMAN - Thanks! Keep reaching for that rainbow; it took me about six years to pull this off.

Next time you're in Madison, you can sleep behind the bar. I think there's vodka and poker chips back there to keep you company; at least that's how I occupy myself when I sleep back there.

MAUS - Thanks! Let me know how the RiffTrax is; I haven't really listened to too many of those, and really need to get on board.
I can't be mad at Sherry as long as she has that haircut. Just can't bring myself to it.

What? You've been mad at her (or at least rude to her) lots of times since she got her hair cut.
I suppose I'm always mad at her for one reason or another.
Vodka and poker chips?

Reminds me of when I was a baby...
Vodka soaked poker chips would be such a great idea for a baby teether!

I should be getting a call from Child Protective Services any minute now...
Frozen vodka-soaked poker chips.

I like the way you think. I'm going home.
If only I had heard of this vodka soaked poker chip idea before having my recent dental work done. I will need to keep some in the freezer for next time. Or, I will just drink some vodka.

Wait, I think I did do that after my crown. I just don't remember. It was kind of a blur between the gas and the vodka...and the crack.
I've had a few shots given to me at the dentist, and those work like an absolute charm, but I guess I'm one of those freaks that isn't effected by the gas.

I remember being hooked up to that business for hours without it doing anything for me. I'm sure it caused massive brain damage, but that's another story story stoey stoory.
This has nothing to do w/ anything we're talking about, but is giving away free Obama stickers if you hadn't heard...

I ordered one. I'm sure they'll spam me w/ political junk, but I just used the email address I don't use anymore! haha.

Yay for free Obama stickers! I will put one on my bicycle.
I shall tape mine to the inside of the window on my Mini. Ain't no sticker gettin' adhered to my Mini...even Obama. :)
One of my students was looking over my shoulder and recognized Tom Servo. Extra credit for him.
Wow, a young MST3K fan. Not too shabby for a show that's been off the air for eight years.


Damnit, and I had a good one that involved Magic Voice, gelato, going to Duke, and buttholes.

It was to be my opus!
I noticed the Ash, Misty, and Jesse figures in my office. I have a talking Pikachu, though my students like to hang him by his tail from the ceiling. I don't know why I take things to school.
EMILY - May I direct you to the case of Snoozers vs. Losers.

You're funny.
Add me to the Snoozers v. Losers list.
I'm still sending you a list though...

It was to be my opening-theme-to-a-reasonably-funny-80's-sitcom-where-the-main-character-is-a -monkey-or-a-puppet-but-not-a-monkey-puppet-because-that-would-be-terrible...
Those are my Pokemon figurines. I used to collect Pokemon stuff, until I realized there was such a massive quantity of it being produced that I could never keep up. Unless I was like that crazy Star Wars guy with the warehouse full of stuff.
Sega Genesis rocks! We had this sweet Jurassic Park game where you could either be Grant or a raptor... I was always the raptor.
CAITLIN - Oh, you know that I have that game!

I like how the Raptor says 'Sega' at the start of it.
Nice place, kids. I should also be a bit embarrassed by the fact that I have been promising a house tour for well over a year and you beat me to it.


I'm flying up for the video game tournament, by the way.

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