Friday, February 1

Twenty-Six Things That Suck About Turning 26.

Busted In 1986.
(Two black eyes and a broken nose in 1987. To this day, my nose is slightly crooked.)

Today is my twenty-sixth birthday. In all of my life, I've never celebrated such a mundane, uneventful, apathetic and craptastic occasion. Nobody cares about 26; not even I care about 26.

So, instead of singing the praises of not stepping in front of a cement mixer or drinking ammonia for another year, I decided to be honest with myself and determine exactly why the age of 26 is the worst yet for everyone that experiences it. You can take this as either words of wisdom, or the bitter ranting of someone who's at least 33% dead. Tally-ho!

1. There's nothing left to look forward to concerning laws that pertain to age. When you turn 25, you can legally rent a car, but that's pretty much the end of it. All I have left now is the option to run for President of the United States when I turn 35, and my odds are looking a bit sketchy at the moment, to be honest.

2. Teenagers and mothers of teenagers no longer want to have sex with you. You've gone outside the box of acceptable age for rebellious teenagers and lonely housewives alike. The ship has sailed, grandpa, and if you weren't already on it, the best you can hope for is a postcard from someone that was.

3. When you were 22, you were only four years removed from High School. Your opinions concerning fashion trends, pop culture, music and film were still relevant in the eyes of the young. Now, you're eight years removed, and you instantly know nothing. You might as well be jitterbugging with Ginger Rogers and listening to Herb Alpert on the Victrola*, because you are old and obsolete.

(*I do listen to Herb Alpert records on my turntable from time to time.)

4. It's difficult to enjoy professional sports when the athletes become younger than you are. When you're a child or teenager, you look up to these superheroes; you tape posters to the wall and pretend that you're them on the playground. Now, I find it increasingly harder and harder to care if some 8-foot tall, 17 year old will enter the NBA Draft a year early. How can you honestly say "You're the man!" to someone that's almost a decade younger than you? You know, assuming you're not a complete douche noozle*?

(*Go ahead and start using 'douche noozle.' It's okay.)

5. Nobody knows how old you really are. Every day, I hear people estimating me at somewhere between 19 and 30. At some point after college, you just become another faceless, MTV Generation turd that looks like he was born at some point in the early 80's. This may be true and well-deserved, but does our mediocrity need to be rubbed in our faces so much?

6. Everything sucks all over again. When you were a youthful, rebellious teen, you would reject all things mainstream, because you wanted to embrace the scene of the underground and appear cultured (if you were cool, that is). When you're 26, you once again attempt to buck the status quo, merely because nothing entertains you like it used to or should. It's a bleak, mediocre world out there. The underground sucks, the mainstream sucks, the tastemakers suck there's no scene left for you to crawl back to. Good luck with all of that.

7. You no longer get a free pass. You're an adult now. No borrowing money from mom. No paying bills late (not that I ever have, but still). No getting drunk on a Thursday; regardless of if Lost is on or not. No excuses, no safety net and no bitching. For the next 20 years, don't expect anyone to do absolutely anything for you, for any reason. If you're lucky by the time you're 45, you'll have kids that are in High School, and you'll get to start the vicious Circle of Poop all over again.

8. Your job has to be more than just a job. In school, anything that netted you a paycheck was considered welcome, acceptable and free of ridicule from your peers. When you're 26, grilling 'Sammies' at Quiznos just makes you look like you're missing a chromosome. Your employment is now your new social status scale; it's the first thing that anyone will ask you when you meet them. Fortunately for me, I can tell people that I'm an author and actually mean it, never mind the mere pennies of income it has netted me over the last four years.

9. If she's under 18 and you're talking to her, you're branded a pervert of the highest order, end of story. Case in point: Cargirl. I like Cargirl. She's sweet, intelligent, funny, well-written, has a good direction and point of view, and I think she'll be doing great things by the time she's out of college. However, every time I speak to her, I can feel Chris Hansen's frigid index finger tapping me on the shoulder and holding the transcripts. If I were pantsless and waving a teddy bear out the tinted window of my Chevy Van, it would be one thing, but I'm not and I still feel like I need a shower sometimes. Not cool; I blame my Catholic upbringing.

Cargirlita.

She's not helping things, either.

10. You start to buy albums that your parents listened to. U2. Stevie Wonder. Michael Jackson. Led Zeppelin. Pink Floyd. Even the Bee Gees. These are all timeless and brilliant musical artists that everyone should probably own, but when you were younger, there was no chance in hell that they were ever going to show up in your CD collection. How do those words taste?

11. Things continue to hurt after you hurt them. Pull a muscle playing Wii Sports? Tweak your knee doing the Soulja Boy dance? Dehydrated after a marathon lovemaking session*? You're still going to feel it in the morning, Icy Hot or Vitamin Water be damned. 26 certainly isn't 46 in terms of aches and pains, but if you don't take care of yourself on a base level, the ibuprofen and Valium won't know the difference.

(*Your lovemaking sessions may vary.)

12. You've done nothing with your life. The dude that started Facebook is 23 years old, and he's a freaking billionaire. LeBron James is 23 years old, and he's being compared to Michael Jordan in terms of popularity and prowess. You know what I did when I was 23 years old? THIS! I sat on my ass, wrote funny stories, put on 30 pounds, drank whiskey, watched wrestling, read Entertainment Weekly and played Guitar Hero four hours a day. The 10 year old Me expected far greater things from the 26 year old Me. I'm letting him down on an hourly basis, and he really deserves better.

13. Everyone has heard all of your stories. Unless you're single or an astronaut, chances are that you've exhausted every interesting thing that has ever happened to you by this point in your life.* Your friends don't want to hear it, your spouse is tired of hearing it and strangers couldn't care less about it. You're out of memories; make more.

(*Not me, though. I still have hundreds more for you. Good ones.)

14. Vices are no longer cool. Hitting the casino for 16 straight hours? Chain-smoking a carton of Marlboro Mediums in your parents' basement? Riding that second ecstasy wave while lapping a Red Bull Bomb off of a Coyote Ugly dancer's taut tummy? Guess what? It's uncool and unoriginal. That kind of behavior was expected of you years ago, and now it's akin to the lonely guy at the club, leaning against the wall and tapping his foot out of sync with everything. Sure, it's still a lot of fun, but nobody else thinks it is, which is exactly why it isn't.

15. Nobody cares about your achievements. Learned to play an instrument? Well, there's an infant down the block that makes your guitar playing look like Stephen Hawking hitting himself in the head with a tambourine. Just got the new high score on XBox Live? Enjoy it for the three seconds before it gets trounced by some 10 year old Asian that did it blindfolded. Face it; you're too old to be proud of stuff. Just do it the best you can, exhale, and do something better next time. Put on a happy face for your mom, though; she's proud of everything you do.

16. Your parties are boring. When you were a kid, your parties were all about video games, music and candy. When you were a teen, your parties consisted of booze, nudity and louder music.

When you're 26? Yup, more video games and candy. It all comes full circle, but at least you have a nicer TV now.

17. You will do anything to remain youthful in the eyes of the young. If that 16 year old girl at the Buckle thinks that you look cute with the $250 Fossil watch around your waist, you'd better buy two of them and keep that gut sucked in. When your world revolves around High School, 26 is considered 'old.' Honest to God, old. Never mind that this is the same 26 year old that became the youngest person ever promoted to his current employment position. The truth is that each phase of life has its own sacred code, and you'll fight tooth and nail to cling to each passing one.

18. Your life is at least 33% over. If you're lucky, you'll make it to your 80's, but when's the last time you've been lucky about anything? Nope, your pie graph is engulfing upon itself, and no amount of hair gel or The Hills is going to change that. Start exercising for your body, doing sudoku for your mind, and taking Lexapro to stop the voices that remind you of your impending doom. You're dicked.

19. You flat-out stop remembering stuff. The Missus told me that when I was in the second grade, I did a magic act for the school talent show that she was in attendance for. Not only was this the first time that I was made aware of this story, but it was also the first time someone told me something about myself that was 100% unverifiable by me. I don't remember a second of that day. It's not foggy, it's not hazy and it's not vague; it's non-existent and it never happened in my brain. This is frightening to me, because if I don't remember that, what else don't I remember? Who should I try to avoid at the next reunion? How am I going to keep all of my lies in order if my head gets soft?

20. You're constantly hassled about starting a family. Me and the Missus don't want children right now. We'd much rather have a nice house, accompanied with nice things to put inside of said house. Our superficial tastes far outweigh our parental instincts right now, and I feel that at the very least, we're being honest. Better to get the hedonism out of the way early, as opposed to being a selfish parent later on. Children are always an option; I can adopt a kid on my death bed if I so choose. In fact, that'll probably be around the time I'm ready to accept that sort of responsibility. Stop asking; I don't care about children.

21. It's impossible to make new friends. How many friends have you made after the age of 25? I don't mean 'surface, outer-circle' friends, either. I'm talking about good, solid, 'hang-out-every-weekend with pillow fights and secret-sharing' friends. Probably not too many. That's because it's freaking hard. I'd have better luck going to a bar and finding random women that want to sleep with me, as opposed to a regular dude that just wants to talk about football and music, and that's just sad.

22. You measure your life differently. When you were younger, you'd save your money for the weekend. For a new video game. For a party. Now (if you're responsible), you save your money for retirement. For investing. For a new home. The Big Picture has taken over and swallowed the little goals and accomplishments that used to be so damn fun. You used to plan ahead to be happy a few days from now. Now, you plan ahead to be happy 40 years from now. What happened to the space in between? Where's the fun? It's still there, right? Right?

23. You're too responsible. Every purchase requires a moment of reflection, projection and quick subtraction. For example, I'll be buying an HDTV and 5.1 Home Theater as a birthday present to myself today. You'd think it would be impossible to keep my excitement discreetly tucked away in my pants, but nope. I'm miserable, because I'd rather the money go towards my credit cards. I owe this to myself, but I can't bring myself to be happy about it. How in the hell can you be depressed when you have a Home Theater? Unbelievable.

24. You can't enjoy remakes of movies, the Nintendo Entertainment System was released over 20 years ago, and your Woodstock festival was an embarrassment. Your nostalgia is starting to become a distant reality. The 80's have been thoroughly mined for pop culture gems, and they're coming for the 90's next. You'll realize this soon enough, but believe me when I say that it was far easier for our parents to explain the 80's away than it will be for us to explain the 90's to our kids. It's a ludicrous decade, Clinton or not.

25. When you were a kid, it was as good as Christmas. Now, you're lucky if your office's 'Sunshine Club' remembers to tie a mylar balloon on the wall of your cubicle. And you'll like it, too. You'll thank them profusely and carry that stupid balloon home for your wife to see. That's who you are now, and it's absolutely hilarious, even if you do contemplate suicide hourly.

26. If you think 26 sucks, 27, 28 and 29 are even worse.

That's it for me, kids. Lost was amazing, and I'm working on the Season Premiere of Lost Monday as we speak. Keep working on your mix-tapes, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. Happy Birthday to me.

MONDAY: LOST MONDAY.

Thursday, January 31

I Wrote Five Different Things For You To Read.

Thanks for the blazer, mom!

1.
If you're someone familiar with Madison culture (or just like to rig ballots), it would be lovely for you to vote the CDP as 'Madison's Best Blog' for the 2008 Best Of Madison Awards. You'll have to vote for at least half (53) of the 106 categories, but make sure you list Ryan Zeinert and theCDP.net as Madison's Best Blogger! This is a very spur-of-the-moment, never-gunna-happen thing (the deadline is tomorrow), but who knows; we just might shock the city. Thanks in advance.

I'm watching you, Stride.

2. An Open Message To The Creators Of Stride Gum:

Listen. I enjoy your gum, but the whole concept is really starting to creep me out.

I mean, I didn't initially buy into your 'ridiculously long-lasting' ad campaign, but after I received a few packs of your product in my Christmas stocking last month, I gave it a whirl. As it turns out, your flavor does last an extremely long time; more so than any gum I've ever chewed before. This is high praise, as I'm an experienced gum chewer from all the way back to 1986. I've rocked them all.

Hey, remember Fruit Stripe? The flavor in a stick of Fruit Stripe was gone before the wrapper was even off of it. Direct exposure to oxygen all but turned it into a strip of soy bacon. Nope, your gum is the real deal, which is why I'm starting to get concerned. In fact, I put a stick of Stride in my mouth at 7am this morning, and I'm still enjoying it at 10:21am. At this pace, I might have to skip lunch.

I'm a logical guy, and I'm smart enough to know that you didn't just crack the code on some long-hypothesized chewing gum flavor mystery. I'm quite certain that your team of scientists didn't hit some 3am, Willy Wonka-esque breakthrough on how to make a stick of gum last an entire day. My theory is that you're using some experimental, borderline-toxic preservative that's causing a grapefruit-sized tumor to form on my brain stem, along with the collective brain stems of all Stride chewers.

Clean up your act, Stride. I'm watching you.

HDTV for MEEE

3. Me and the Missus spent over an hour eyeballing the HDTV sets at Best Buy last Sunday. I guess at some point during the weekend, it was mutually decided that our tax refund would be better spent on an updated entertainment system than our credit card bills and that artificial hip I so desperately need to walk again. After all, who needs to be mobile when you have 5.1 Dolby Surround?

More importantly, we got to the bottom of the HD discussion and figured out what we need to make the switch. I looked into HD Cable, debated LCD/Plasma, 720pi/1080pi and took a measurement as to what was the largest television I could put in my living room without suffering a brain hemmorhage approximately eight seconds in. I could theoretically mount a 72" in the breakfast nook if I knock out the retaining wall between the bedroom and master bath. Who cares if we rent? I get to watch the UFC in High Definition!

Will it happen soon? Doubtful, but we're ready to go. I should also mention that the Missus is not hindering this purchase in any way. In fact, I think she wants to upgrade more than I do. I need to remember to take her out for a nice dinner on Valentine's Day; she's alright.

I smoke money.

4. When I was younger, I was into whatever Alternative Press said was cool. As I got into college, I was into whatever Pitchfork said was cool. When I turned 22, I got into whatever Paste said was cool. Now that I'm a few days away from 26, I do whatever Esquire says is cool.

Esquire is like Playboy without all the pesky nudes and short fiction; the ultimate guide to living like a true discriminating gentleman. I've changed my attitude, manner of dress and codes of conduct to better suit the Esquire lifestyle. Sure, it's bankrupting me, but at least I don't look like a douche anymore while I'm eating 39-cent macaroni and cheese right out of the pan.

I'm an author, damn it! A small-business owner! I'm doing interviews, shaking hands, establishing a brand, for Christ's sake! I needed to ditch the emo sweaters, black-framed glasses and navel-gazing, post-haste! It was for my own good; real confidence is never found wearing an ironic t-shirt and hanging out in the back of an Of Montreal concert.

Of course, I'm joking. However, I still am adopting an Esquire lifestyle, one step at a time. My current item on the path of gentleman-ly evolution is ditching my wallet for a cigarette case. As someone who cannot stand having things in his pockets, a slim, metal cigarette case is just what I need to keep the panic attacks down (maybe more so than actual cigarettes). Just the essentials will accompany me; cash, credit cards and out-of-state oil change coupons. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Anyway, I'm not cliche'.

5. My studded belt has seen better days. The studs are falling off of it in mass quantities, the metal is poking into my stummy when I sit down and the sharp edges are tearing up my pantaloons. I need a new one, so teenagers will still think that I'm cool. Actually, when I wear my studded belt with my faux-leather jacket, I pretty much look like a 'Leather Daddy,' which is appealing to no one I'd care to speak with outside of an ironic costume party.

Hot Topic is the only place where I see studded belts on a regular basis (and just $20), so I popped in for a few minutes. As I scanned the abysmal t-shirt wall, I saw a nice-looking Misfits shirt staring down at me. Ruh-roh.

I was then hit with a serious moral decision.

Do I buy the Misfits shirt at Hot Topic and ignore the sound of my 17 year old self commiting suicide at the thought? Do I not pay attention to all contradictions, and logically see it as nothing more than a nice shirt that I want to wear? After all, the mere thought that I'm conflicted is far more punk than the Misfits ever were. This is a band that licensed their logos out for more merchandise than KISS, for God's sake. It's not my fault that they're whores for money; why should I deny myself a t-shirt because of the time, location and circumstances surrounding its existence? Have you ever even heard 'Astro Zombies?' I mean, have you?

In the end, I just couldn't bring myself to it. Mainly because there was a design on the back of it that was really retarded looking. For future reference, I'm still conflicted and I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision on that day. Another time, perhaps. Maybe when I'm older.

There you have it, a handful of stories for the last day of January. Today is also special, because it's my sister's 21st birthday. Happy Birthday, Alissa; I love you and hope you're not too embarrassed by your oaf of a brother. Your present is in the mail.

TOMORROW: THE CDP TURNS 26. UH-OH.

Wednesday, January 30

The CDP's Lost Season 4 Preview.

CDP Lost Season 4 Preview.

Season 4 begins
Where Season 3 had left off;
Baffled confusion.

Welcome to the CDP's Lost Season 4 Preview. We have much to discuss.

You know, sometimes it seems like the cast, crew and production staff of Lost are genuinely cursed. They've fought through timeslot changes, accusations of not knowing where the storyline was going, on again-off again episodes and repeats, and now a writers strike that will cut Season 4 in half. They really should have just listened to the natives; don't take Hawaiian lava rocks back to the mainland with you! It's bad luck!

Hardcore fans, however, tough through all that crap. We know that Season 4 is a new beginning for Lost. Season 1 was as groundbreaking as television gets. Season 2 was so overloaded with action and mythology that I couldn't believe it was on mainstream national television. Season 3 faltered slightly, only because the writers needed to tread water as they worked out a scheduled end date for the series (all was forgiven after the finale). Now that they know exactly how many more episodes they can produce, new life springs forth, and the story will be told exactly as it was planned.

Vincent can dig this one.
("So it's settled. Charlie doesn't deserve a funeral. Who wants dinner?")

Speaking of which, where are all the Heroes crybabies now? When Heroes burst onto the scene, millions jumped ship, claiming that Lost had abandoned its direction and was being written with as much foresight as a David Lynch screenplay. Heroes knew what was up. Heroes was going to save the day. Heroes could lift a house. Heroes was Superman.

As it turned out, Lost had everything all planned out, and for six amazing seasons at that. It was Heroes that crashed and burned no more than two episodes into their second season. Sad, really.

So suck it, Heroes. Suck it hard, and consider yourself no longer welcome to the inner Lost Fan Circle. You will no longer receive invitations to my cocktail parties and ice cream socials.

Based on early reviews, interaction and spoilers, Season 4 of Lost looks to be absolutely insane. More action, more corpses, more mythology, more flashbacks/flash-forwards and more characters to monopolize all of your free time. The most intelligent, engaging, deep and brilliant television drama in recent history is back, bitches, and y'all betta' recognize.

THAT'S for saying I had a small weiner!
("THAT'S for telling everyone that I had a small wiener!")

What you need to know, first and foremost, is the Season 4 schedule. Eight of the sixteen Season 4 episodes have been shot and will be aired back-to-back until late March. The second half of the season will be in limbo until the strike is resolved and everyone gets back to work. The new timeslot is Thursdays at 8pm Central, which means that American Idol won't be around to boot their viewership square in the knob and run off with their insulin money. Pretty sad, considering that American Idol is officially more scripted than Lost is.

Now pay attention, or you'll miss everything. I will not repeat myself.

1. There will be an 'enhanced' re-airing of the two-hour Season 3 finale ("Through The Looking Glass") tonight at 8pm Central, loaded with Pop-Up Video-esque bits of trivia and whatnot to get you all soggy for tomorrow night's premiere. Sounds great, and we all could really use a refresher.

2. Thursday night's festivities will kick off with "Lost: Past, Present & Future" at 7pm Central. It's an hour-long recap of the essentials leading up to the premiere. Finally, "The Beginning Of The End" airs at 8pm Central, blowing minds and causing nosebleeds from coast to coast.

There, that should take care of the technical side of things. Now, let me grip your clammy hand and lead you into Season 4.

Ranch dressing ahoy!
(Hurley risks his life to salvage a 'Cool Ranch' Dorito he accidentally dropped into the ocean.)

There are three big stories going into Season 4 that will be addressed in the upcoming eight episodes. They are:

1. The fact that a freighter is coming to the island for a potential rescue, or potential slaughter, depending on what side of the argument you're on (please be slaughter, come onnnn slaughter...).

2. The addition of flash-forwards to the storytelling device, proving that the show doesn't end just because we know that a few people are about to get off of the island. In fact, judging by the way the Season 3 finale ended, Jack might actually be on his way back to the island. Presumably to hide from all the Speed Racer backlash he's about to receive.

3. Charlie's death and Jack's amazing flash-forward beard; I can't tell which plotline is more important right now. On one hand, you have the death of a major character. On the other hand, you have a beard.

Beard Power!
(I've seen the future, and it's a world without razors.)

That being said, here is a SPOILER AND JOKE-FILLED preview of the first eight episodes of Season 4. You've been warned.

Episode 1 - "The Beginning Of The End."

1. This episode is Hurley-centric and will feature flash-forwards of more than one character. Of course, I count Hurley as two separate characters (that's Hurley Fat Joke #2, for those keeping score at home).

2. In island time, the episode will focus on the Losties dividing into two camps; those who think the rescue boat is just that, and those who are pretty sure they're about to get chopped up with an electric mixer of some sort.

3. Written by Cuse and Lindleof, this episode will get Season 4 off to an awesome and confusing start. Anyone who calls me between the hours of 8 and 9pm will be removed from the address book and annual 'Zeinert Family Newsletter.'

Episode 2 - "Confirmed Dead."

1. This episode will contain flashbacks from those who have arrived on the 'rescue' freighter. Wow, I hope the satellite phone gets its own flashback. It's like an iPhone if it were invented in 1994.

2. As you can imagine, this will shed a lot of light on what exactly the 'boaties' want with the island. My theory? Free Hi-Def cable and the freshest kiwi around.

3. If my calculations are correct, this episode will represent December 25, 2004 on the island. Merry Christmas, losers! We only have a few more months of President Bush on the mainland; it just hasn't been your year, has it?

Episode 3 - "The Economist."

1. This episode will be Sayid-centric and feature flash-forwards of his life post-island. Yeah, I guess even Sayid's going to make it out alive the first time through. In fact, I could see a pretty decent Sayid spin-off show once Lost has run its course. He'll play a vigilante chef in 1980's USSR.

2. ABC's official press release reads as follows: "Locke's hostage may be the key to getting off the island, so Sayid and Kate go in search of their fellow castaway in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful deal." Damn, Locke has a hostage? Expect an explosion. Explosions follow that guy around so much that I think he's actually a professional wrestler.

3. In this episode, there will be more spying on the Boaties and a few spats as to the best way of finding out their main objectives. What is this, a middle school dance? Just ask them already!

Episode 4 - "Eggtown."

1. This is a Kate-centric episode that will feature flash-forwards. The scoop from TV Guide reads: "When Kate eventually gets the flash-forward treatment, expect the episode to address how the freckled fugitive was free for that teary reunion with Jack. How is it she's not in jail? Did she already serve her time? Was she pardoned when she got back? Another burning Kate question: Who is the "he" referred to by one-time commitment-phobe Kate when she implied to Jack that someone was waiting for her at home?"

Thanks for the info, TV Guide; both your magazine and television station are terrible and lacking substance.

2. Expect to see Jack show up in her flash-forwards, but not the same disheveled Jack we saw in the Season 3 finale. The ending for this episode is going to be incredible, from what I can tell. This is only a theory, but I expect Jack and Kate to be in some sort of romantic relationship for a short period following their rescue from the island.

Or not. What am I, Kreskin?

3. The bulk of the flash-forwards will center around Kate's murder trial. Expect a cameo appearance from the charred husk of her step-father, as he takes the witness stand in the breathtaking climax.

The only two cast members that still have valid drivers licenses.
(Here we see the only Lost cast members that still have a driver's license.)

Episode 5 - "The Constant."

1. This episode appears to be Desmond-centric, but there's no verification on the backstory. Even if there was verification, we all know that Desmond-centric episodes are about as coherent as a fever dream, so why bother?

2. The shooting script of this episode calls for a character that's narcoleptic. Wait, what?

3. I wonder if they'll ever address why Desmond can see the very immediate future. I didn't really like that aspect of last season's storyline, mainly because it was ridiculous, even for a show like this. Supernatural monster made of smoke that can murder people and read their thoughts? Sure, no problem! A guy that's sort of clairvoyant? Balderdash! Piff-poff!

Episode 6 - "The Other Woman."

1. This episode will be Juliet-centric and show more flashbacks of her time on the island. Hopefully wearing something besides a filthy tank top.

2. The word around the campfire is that the relationship between Jack and Juliet will get all icky this week. Meh, I'll allow it. Whatever keeps Claire and her alien baby off-camera.

3. Expect to see Goodwin, Ethan and Tom ('Zeke') pop up in Juliet's flashbacks. Good, I was beginning to miss Ethan, what with him being a googly-eyed raving lunatic and all.

Episode 7 - "Ji Yeon."

1. This episode is Sun & Jin-centric (really?), and appears to be told via the flash-forward. Expect to see most of Sun's scenes filmed in my basement, where I currently have her hog tied.

2. Ji Yeon is the name of their baby, which will probably make an appearance at some point. In fact, Ji Yeon gets her own flashback at some point, which consists of mostly darkness and the sound of fluids rushing around her.

3. Is it just me, or is anyone else slightly bummed out that most of the cast is going to get off the island unharmed? Not that I want the bulk of the main cast to be offed or anything, but maybe the nerds were right that this kills a bit of the suspense. Food for thought; more poop jokes are on the way, though.

Episode 8 - (Title Unknown As Of 01/30/08.)

1. All you need to know about this gem is that it's Michael-centric, and will get us up-to-date on what happened to him when he double-crossed everybody and got off the island with Walt. Wow. I need a change of pantaloons.

WAAAAALLLLLLT!!!!1!

Well, there you be. Not only are you ready to roll for Season 4, but you have the scoop on the entire first half of the season. Send all thank yous and handwritten love notes to:

theCDP.
PO Box 865

Sun Prairie, WI 53590


Thanks for reading; sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

TOMORROW:
IS THE CDP THE BEST BLOG IN MADISON?


Monday, January 28

CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Exchange #2 Drawing.

Mix-Tape Exchange #2.

It's go time, kids!

After extensive laboring, uploading e-mail addresses and building one of those spinny-wheels with the Bingo balls in them, I have come up with the 24 pairings for the CDP Nationwide Mix-Tape Exchange #2. Everyone that signed up has someone that they will create a mix-tape for, and in tune, they have someone who will make one for them.

The pairings are as follows. The drawing was random; a co-worker picked a number, and I eliminated the names, 'MASH'-style. Because there were more guys than girls, there are a few situations where a married guy will be making a love-themed mix for another married guy. Don't fret, it's not going to turn you gay or anything, I promise. Here we go.

1. The Missus will be making a mix for Bruce Dierbeck.
2. Emily Mills will be making a mix for Blustacon.
3. Sherry will be making a mix for Carrot Duff.
4. Julia Rubin will be making a mix for Caveman.
5. Kenny Frankly will be making a mix for Moe Greene.
6. Cargirl will be making a mix for Jesse Russell.
7. Vic will be making a mix for The CDP.
8. Heather will be making a mix for Scott Fendley.
9. Daniella Maria will be making a mix for Morgan Dempsey.
10. Kate Carillo will be making a mix for Will Betheboy.
11. JT will be making a mix for Sherry.
12. Moe Greene will be making a mix for Kate Carillo.
13. Jesse Russell will be making a mix for Domsar.
14. Carrot Duff will be making a mix for Mike Hoss.
15. Will Betheboy will be making a mix for Benjamin.
16. Blustacon will be making a mix for The Missus.
17. Morgan Dempsey will be making a mix for Cargirl.
18. Caveman will be making a mix for Kenny Frankly.
19. Bruce Dierbeck will be making a mix for Heather.
20. Domsar will be making a mix for Vic.
21. Mike Hoss will be making a mix for Julia Rubin.
22. Scott Fendley will be making a mix for Daniella Maria.
23. The CDP will be making a mix for Emily Mills.
24. Benjamin will be making a mix for JT.

Wonderful. Here's what we all do next:

1. I will be sending e-mails out to everyone over the next few hours (give me until around noon today to finish), reminding them who they need to create a mix-tape for, and what that person's e-mail address is. For example, your e-mail from me will look a lot like this:

"Vic, you will be making a mix-tape for the CDP. His e-mail address is communistdance@yahoo.com. Please contact him and get his mailing address."

2. It will then be up to the creator of the mix-tape to contact the recipient and get their physical mailing address. For example:

"Hey Kenny, it's Caveman. I'm making you a mix-tape, so give me your mailing address so I can send you some sweet-ass tunage!"

3. One you get the mailing address of the person you're sending a mix-tape to, MAKE IT AND SEND IT! Everyone has a buddy; it would really suck if someone gets left out because you suddenly decided to go deadbeat on them. My goal is to have ALL MIX-TAPES MAILED OUT BY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11. Now that you know who you're making a mix for, you should have plenty of time to whip it up and get it mailed out within two weeks. If someone gets left out, I'll feel personally responsible, so please don't make an ass out of me.

4. If you're having a problem contacting anyone, an e-mail address is dead or anything else goes wrong, feel free to contact me and I'll sort it out. I'm pretty neat like that. If everyone gets their mixes mailed out by the week of the 14th, everyone should get their packages in time to celebrate Valentine's Day in style. Of course, once you receive your mix-tape, sound off in the comments section so we all know the status of everyone's packages.

5. Here are some assorted FAQ's about the Trade:

Q: Does it have to be on a CD? I want to go old-skool, and put it on a cassette!
A: Although your recipient might not like it, you're more than welcome to go totally 80's and make a mix-tape the way God intended.

Q: What should I put on the mix-tape?
A: For Mix-Tape Trade #2, we're going with a Valentine's Day, love-themed mix that covers at least one of the following two categories:

1. Your favorite love (or anti-love) songs.
2. Your favorite songs to get it on (or think about getting it on) to.

Also, get creative with hand-written liner notes, instructions for listening or your personal thoughts on each track. The less sterile it is, the more it will be enjoyed (and the more fun it is to create).

Q: I don't know the person I'm sending the mix to? What should I do?
A: Well, this is really the point of the whole Trade. Express yourself and say hello through your mix. Who knows? You might make a new friend out of the deal. But probably, you'll just realize that your taste in music is horrid. Be creative or be lazy; just do something and mail it out in time.

Well, I think that's about it. Wait for my e-mail and go from there. Any questions, comments or concerns? Sound off in the comments section or drop me an e-mail. Let's freaking do this!

WEDNESDAY: LOST SEASON 4 PREVIEW.