Wednesday, January 18

The CDP In Review: 2008


(Originally published 12/22/08. I guess I took a lot of photos of myself this year.)

2008 was really something amazing. From the biggest Presidential election of our lifetime, to the beginnings of a major economic disaster, to The Dark Knight raking in almost a billion dollars worldwide, it was a year of big successes and even bigger failures.

From a personal standpoint, it was decent. I bought a house, continued to sell copies of my book, wrote a lot of good essays, stayed productive and attempted to be a relatively decent human being to those I came into contact with. If it were Pass/Fail, 2008 counts as a Pass, but just barely.

Here on the CDP, the tide ebbed and flowed. So, if you're just catching up, or can't get enough of what I'm bringing to the dance, let's take a look back at the year that was, through the eyes of the Little Blog That Could; the CDP. Take time to check out the links and dig in.



I kicked off 2008 with one of my most popular essays of the year, concerning the triumphant return of American Gladiators. As you may remember, the writer's strike was in full effect at the time, making way for such brainless nostalgia as this and Knight Rider. I also started the groundwork for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #2, which turned out to be a huge success and became a quarterly feature. The Lost Season 4 Preview was equal parts awesome and bittersweet, as it was to be my third and last season of skewering my favorite television show ever. I rounded out the month by pondering some superficial issues on the day before my birthday.



I hit the blogosphere running on the day of my 26th birthday, penning a massively-forwarded essay about the massive suckfest that is, well, turning 26. From there, things only got bigger as Lost Monday returned and I made the hilarious decision to take on PETA. After my Page 2 interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, I thought that nothing could top the high I was on, but that all changed after I started a long and beautiful relationship with Heroes supervillain and the single best thing about Season 2 of Friday Night Lights, Brea Grant. The CDP also turned four years old, officially meaning that it's embarrassing to me personally when it pisses itself in public. The new Cake album almost caused a Defcon 3-esque evacuation at CDP Headquarters, leading me into a depression that only my childhood self could shake me from. From there, I wrote another hilarious Lost Monday, dug up a particularly horrible evaluation of myself from the First Grade, and wrote an episode of The Soup, if The Soup were a three minute long, Internet-only show that focused on just Lost.



March brought problems. With all of the hoopla over 65 Poor Life Decisions more or less behind me, I focused on a big office promotion that left me conflicted and eventually right back to where I started from. I then took an online survey that led to me mocking smokers, causing an almost-instant nicotine-fueled backlash from the masses. I apologized, although I secretly didn't care. I waxed poetic about The Worst Song Of All-Time and the subsequent arguments I've had with the Missus about it, wrote another episode of the Pop Crunch show, and went back to my High School days to wrap up one of the most popular personal essays in CDP history. If this month wasn't strange and stressful enough, it rounded out with a legal battle over an album cover with a clinically insane preacher, and I decided to buy a condo for good measure.



It was no April Fool's Day joke; the success of 65 Poor Life Decisions helped me to buy my first house! And while this was a momentous occasion, it led to a few problems I've never faced before. Just to keep myself sharp, I wrote 1000 words in 30 minutes on a Christopher Walken-hosted episode of SNL, and even offered up some tips for lazy guys to remain fashionable. I wrapped it all up with a decent Lost review and one of the most optimistic essays I've ever done.



Hey, who's not interested in reading a comprehensive list of the Greatest NES Games of All-Time? Furthermore, who doesn't want to hear about falling down the stairs and busting up your ankle? Planning the most punk rock garage sale in history? The third CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade? Also, as the Lost Monday finale drew closer, I compiled a two-part collection of the best photo captions from the Season 4 that was.



June kicked off with the end of an era, as Lost Monday trumpeted its swan song. I also got serious and talked about the recent trend of completely pulling 'non-fiction' memoirs and essay collections out of your butthole. I also celebrated my fourth anniversary with one of the sappier essays you'll read all year. Say what you want, but chicks dig that crap. Then George Carlin had to go and die on me, which sucked about as hard as I figured it would. From there, I did a full-day Liveblog from the most rundown hotel in Madison while on assignment for work. And hey, because Summer is for nerding out, I did a countdown of the Top 30 Atari Games of All-Time, broken into two equally-awesome parts.



A lifetime of music is a hard thing to digest and regurgitate, but I did my best. Also, who can forget the most-commented-on post in CDP history? And, because my life is an open book for whatever reason, I even let you all into my house. The Dark Knight was so freaking amazing, I just had to give stuff away in its honor, and how often does a conversation with your mother turn into a killing spree? The Summer had begun to take its toll on my sanity, so I answered some questions that were asked of me and pondered quitting life.



August got off to a relatively positive note, as I had a nervous breakdown and drove to St. Paul to drink myself to death. Fortunately, I survived and came back home to find out that I was the least-dateable person on Earth. Wanting to turn the tables on the CDP readers, I gave you a little survey of my own to fill out, and got into the Olympic spirit. I then officiated another wedding, and almost ruined a few established marriages in the process. Oh, and I still think that using a computer in a public place is nothing more than a modern-day fashion statement.



If you had told me five years ago that I'd write over 800 online essays, I'd punch you in the face. Then again, I didn't think I'd get into a fistfight at a supermarket, either. And I certainly wouldn't believe that I would publicly publish a document of my experiences with the Kama Sutra of kissing. Getting back to what I do best, the CDP launched the First Annual TV Week in September, documenting my favorite shows for each year I've been alive, my Top 20 Shows of All-Time, a tribute to the Programming Block and my 4th Annual Fall TV Preview. If that wasn't enough, the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #4 was launched and I counted down the Top 30 CDP Essays from 2004-2006. Damn.



October was a month of reflection at the CDP, as we counted back the Top 30 Essays from 2006-2008 all month, 7 days a week. I suppose we'll have to do it again in two years, but between you and me, there's no way I'll still be doing this in 2010. I'm very much decade specific, sort of like Ralph Maccio or Boyz II Men.



Fresh off of a month-long blogging vacation (sort of), we launched ourselves into the biggest Presidential election ever, and I also wrote about beating the crap out of people for money. A brilliant High Schooler from New York wrote an English paper about yours truly that attributed to his eventual graduation, which probably excited me more than it did him. I started to fear Writer's Block, but that all changed as soon as I got my first piece of hate mail in years. Finally, a financial planning course that I attended through my place of work threw me into a spiritual awakening that forced me into thinking differently about how I piss away every penny I make. I also consider it the funniest and least-boring essay about money ever written.



No matter where I go, the CDP-proclaimed Worst Album Cover Ever continues to follow me. Cleaning an old filing cabinet led us to the historic week that was The Pre-CDP Essays, and by the time we emerged back to the present day, my sump pump had exploded and flooded my basement. I then capped off the year the way I always do; by counting back my favorite songs and albums of the year that was.

Which brings us right up to speed. Thanks for stepping back through this year with me again. I know it was bipolar at best, but we made it through, and 2009 looks to be equal parts challenging and rewarding. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

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