Monday, July 28

Christ, The Donkey Is Back! Lock The Doors!

(The following phone conversation took place on Wednesday night, between my mother and I. She was probably significantly more compassionate than the following transcription will dictate, but I was too bewildered to properly register said empathy. Enjoy.)

CDP - "Hey mom. What's up?"

MOM - "Nothing much, just watching So You Think You Can Dance?."

"Wow...that's really terrible."

"It's fun. Besides, you can't watch anything longer than a minute when there's a baby in the house. There's no reason to view anything with a plotline."

"So I guess that means I can get back my Friday Night Lights DVD that I borrowed you?"

"Yeah; we didn't even open that thing."

"I figured. So what's new in town?"

"Well, Doug died. You remember Doug, right? He worked for the Fire Department. He had an inoperable brain tumor and died yesterday."

"Damn, that's awful."

"Yeah, it was pretty sad. The Fire Department saluted his coffin and everything...speaking of which, the Fire Chief from the neighboring city was just killed, too."

"No kidding? What happened?"

"Well, I guess that he got crushed between a moving fire truck and a wall. Poor guy; he was one week from retirement. Like 80 years old or something."

"Where is your God now?"

"Shut up; God is everywhere."

"...Except the Fire Department, I presume."

"Stop that. Oh, I quit my job at the Post Office last week."

"Damn! I can't believe that you tried to tell me that nothing was going on around there."

"Yup, I quit last week, but I stuck around a little longer because my boss's step-sister died."

"Wait...another person died?"

"Yeah. I guess she had leg surgery, and shortly after just tipped over and died, just like that."

"Oh man; that's crazy."

"Yeah, but listen to this. A week later, my boss calls me again and asks if I can stick around a little longer, because her step-brother died, too."


"Mmm-hmm. I guess he had a heart attack while his family was getting him lunch at the deli. They called him to ask what he wanted on his sandwich, and he didn't answer. Guy was already dead."


"I know. But it gets worse."

"There's more?"

"Yeah. A few days later, my boss calls me again and says, "You're not going to believe this." Her brother had a heart attack and died, too!"

"Are you kidding me?"

"Nope. I guess they found him right in the middle of the lawn. She lost three family members in three weeks."

"Well, you know what they say about death in threes...or fives."

"So yeah...I'll be working at the Post Office a little while longer while she straightens everything out, but then I'm going to start full-time at the other company."

"Yeah, tell me about that place. Are you going to get benefits and everything?"

"Yes, but I can't meet with my new boss because he's out of town right now. His dad died."

"For the love of...are you serious?"

"Yeah, his dad died of a heart attack. I guess he's had a condition for a long time, and they've been treating it with some expensive, experimental procedure."

"What's that?"

"Well, every few months, they send a huge amount of his blood to India."


"Yeah. They send a bunch of his blood to India, and doctors there pump it full of these stem cells and send it back."

"That can't possibly be safe under any circumstances."

"I didn't think so, either. I guess it costs $30,000 a pop, and they've done it at least three times."


"So yeah. But get this. The surgery required to get the stem cell-infused blood back into his system is currently illegal in the United States, so they have to fly him out to the Dominican Republic for the treatment."

"That can't possibly be safe under any circumstances. Do they know exactly what the Indian doctors are putting in the blood?"

"Not really. When I asked him about it, he said "You just have to trust them.""

"I have to be honest with you. That sounds like a really terrible idea.

"Well, it must have been, because the most recent time they did it, he got sick on the operating table and died."

"It really couldn't have ended any other way. How do you even make contacts with people to assist with such an insane thing? Did they even bother talking to American doctors about safer treatments?"

"I doubt it. They're a rich family and do weird things. He's dead now."

"Well mom, I have to say that this is a new record for you. We've been talking for 10 minutes now, and you've achieved a Body Count of no less than six people."

"I know; it's sad."

"Sad? Screw sad, I think you're cursed. I was going to come up there this weekend and buy a bunch of Ting Soda, but screw it. I don't think I'm ever visiting that town again; it's like a bizarre dimension of death and destruction."

"I don't blame you. It would be nice to see you, though."

"Forget it. Love you, mom."

"Okay. Love you, too. Goodbye."


I then walked over to the bar, poured myself a glass of straight Jameson on the rocks, and sipped in the dark silence for the next two hours.

I have a lot to think about.

Man. A cursed mom is even worse than cursed frogurt. What a bummer.
Another amazing feat -- your mother works/worked for the post office and none of these deaths actually happened there!
HOSS - True 'dat. I didn't even think about that amazing non-happening.

MAUS - As the conversation rolled on, I kept getting more and more incredulous; my mouth agape, swearing and whatnot. It's times like this that I'm glad I live in such a quiet house. I need time to gather myself after something like that.
The caption should read "between my mother and me." Always put yourself last, you egomaniac!

See what happens on the first Monday I do not have to go school. I have real grammar related issues.
I would just like to point out that "It can't possibly be safe under any circumstances." would have made a nice tagline entry.
I think that would have been a good tagline for the blog. :) Or on a CDP t-shirt. I would totally wear that.
That picture reminds me of a time when I was much younger and a turkey popped its head up to the car window. I basically pooped myself.
EPHLAND/HILBELINK - New CDP merch should arrive sometime this year, although I'll be the first to admit that I said that last year, as well. But I mean it this time!
That must have been one tall-ass turkey.
Crap. I never bought any of the original merchandise. Will there be a fire sale before you put up the new stuff?
Here's a little something to brighten everyone's (my) day: I'm doing really, really well in the 2008 Bloggers Choice Awards!

Best Pop Culture Blog:
Ranked #2 out of 1593!
(Suck it, Perez!)

Best Written Blog:
Ranked #4 out of 1098!
(Just behind Neil Gaiman!)

Best Blog About Stuff:
Ranked #3 out of 5337!
(Currently beating PostSecret!)

Best Humor Blog:
Ranked #9 out of 2439!
(10 votes behind The Sneeze!)

Thanks to everyone for voting, and if you haven't already done so, click on the sidebar links and do work, son! Every e-mail address you have counts as a valid log in, so maximize your voting potential for the good of the CDP!
MAUS - The old merch will still be up for a little while longer, and they're already about as cheap as I can manufacture them while still making a tiny profit, so now is as good of a time as any to secure some 'classic' CDP merch!

The CDP: Not Old, 'Classic!'
Turkeys have surprisingly long necks. They are like the giraffes of the poultry world.

We got the video game cabinet last night. Scott has some big plans for it, and the renovation of the video game room will officially be underway tomorrow. What I mean by renovation is that I will be painting it starting tomorrow. I need to start billing by the hour.
Remember to ventilate while you paint. When we moved into Headquarters, we forgot about that when we painted our Media Room. Within the hour, the four of us were all goofed up, and started getting grabby and rolling around on the floor.

Crack a window.
Well, I'll congratualte you on being ahead of PostSecret, although (dare I ask) - is that really much of a challenge? It's not like that blog is anything other than a bunch of scanned images and the occasional post about a book signing or college appearance. And it only gets updated once a week, anyway. Neat concept, and going through the mail to pick the postcards that will go up is probably a lot of work I suppose, but otherwise it kind of seems like something anyone could do.

Now, being second only to Neil Gaiman! - for that I will give you some hearty praise. Gaiman is a genius, and one of my top three favorite writers (second only to Philip K. Dick), and everyone should read his blog (his "journal").

Suck it, Perez!

*snort* (something inappropriate)*giggle*
MAUS - The thing about PostSecret is that the suicidal emo kids and faux-intellectual tea-sippers support that damn page with a blinding passion. In fact, PostSecret won the Bloggers Choice awards for that category in 2007.

Without question, PostSecret is a scam under the guise of an online brethren of crybabies, but I'll be damned if it isn't uber-popular. And also, I get a kick out of eavesdropping on people. Perhaps I should do a parody on the CDP someday.

That damn Gaiman is always beating me in these blog contests. I was told to read American Gods because I guess The House On The Rock plays a prominent role, but I never got around to it. Wenis.

Yeah, yeah...Perez would suck it, although I have yet to determine what 'it' is.
Well, here's the funniest thing you'll see all day:
I was told to read American Gods because I guess The House On The Rock plays a prominent role, but I never got around to it. Wenis.

The House on the Rock plays a huge role, as does the Center of America in KS. Culver's is almost mentioned.

Another reason why you should read American Gods is that it's a fantastic book. Neverwhere and Coraline are also great Gaimen books.

BTW, I'm a scifi/fantasy junkie. Especially in the book dept.
You have yet to determine? I guess it's time someone sat you down for "the talk"...

You see, sometimes when a pink-haired, talentless, attention-whoring fanboy who somehow manages to eek out a semblance of dubious fame by making poorly executed and not even remotely amusing captions over pictures of celebrities meets that special someone...

As far as PostSecret is concerned, personally I'm a pathalogical cynic, so I tend to think half the stuff that shows up on Sundays is fake, or is submitted by the same handful of sad, strange people.

I'd recommend Gaiman's short stories as a way to ease into his novels (sometimes he publishes stories on his site, too). My favorite book is Neverworld - I haven't gotten around to American Gods yet, so I can't tell you if it is any good or not.
HOSS - I'm addicted to the Culver's Caramel Cashew.

My major problem with literature is that I'm not a big fan of fiction. Any fiction. I've been through this with the Missus a billion times, and I'm well aware that it's a stupid way to live your life, but for some reason, I don't like to spend time reading things that aren't real. I've given fiction some liberties in the past, and I've been pleased many times, but I find it harder and harder to sit down with them as I get older.

Beats me, man. I do know that a lot of smart people whos opinions I value gave me the Gaiman recommendation (such as you and Maus), so maybe it's due time I find out why this guy keeps beating me in the Bloggers Choice Awards.

MAUS - Beh-heh-heh. Keep going.

Seriously. Keep going.


I, too, think that a lot of PostSecret stuff is fake, or at the very least, exaggerated to a pathetic extreme. Check out that lolsecretz site; you'll dig it the most.

CDP House On The Rock Photoessay.
I'm about to fall over from exhaustion (and happiness), but I wanted to make sure and thank you for the awesome Dark Knight poster! It came in the mail on Friday, and filled me with tinkly joy.
Hey, you got it; no problem!

I'm looking forward to your full Hot Mess review.
First, I do enjoy post secret, and I sent one in. It has not been posted. Bastards.

Second, I had the students in my smallest class last year send in post secrets. Those have also not been posted (although I am not supposed to know that because I swore I would not read their secrets).

Third, I also love the caramel cashew sundae, and I have a Culver's gift card that I have been using for them every time I am near one.

Fourth, the Culver's guy graduated from UW Oshkosh, so I am in delicious company.

Fifth, I am going to look into Gaiman. Now that I have all day off instead of just afternoons, I will be spending even more time at the library.

Sixth...actually that was it. I just got in a rut.
HILBELINK - This is proof that PostSecret is bunk!

Proof! Bunk!

Okay, maybe not.

My PostSecret submissions would be things like:

"I'm The One Who Ate The Last Cantaloupe...And I Hate Myself Every Day For It."

"I Never Used Those Jumper Cables You Bought Me For My Birthday...And I'm Not Sorry."

"Whenever I Look At You, I See You Naked...But Can You Take Your Clothes Off Just To Be Sure?"
The secret I submitted was pretty lame, but I think it would be fun to fabricate something irresistable to see how long it would take to be posted. Since I submitted with my class, my post card needed to be pretty tame as an example.

I am still hoping to see the post card that says "I wish my penis was small enough to fit inside a girl." I am so proud of my students.
That's just it. I think that people say grandiose things in order to see their postcard on the site. Pathetic as all get out, but you have to assume it happens all the time.

Whatever kid submitted that 'secret' deserves an A for the rest of his tenure with you. That is absolutely hilarious.
CDP: I don't like to spend time reading things that aren't real.

Is that why you read Sedaris?


I actually know plenty of people like that. I'm mostly the other way around, but there are a few non-fiction books that I do like.

If you, or anyone, wants to get into the most excellent Neil Gaimen, I'd recommend starting with Coraline. It's a Young Adult novel, so it's short and pretty easy reading, but it has elements that make up a great Gaimen story. For something more experimental, try his picture/childrens books -- "The Day I Traded My Dad For Two Goldfish" and "The Wolves In The Walls." Gaimen is seriously messed up and I love him for it.

For those out there looking for something else, try "The Man Who Was Thursday" or "The Napolean of Notting Hill" both by GK Chesterton. Gaimen has a lot of inspiration from Chesterton and so Gaimen fans will feel at home with these. And, really, Chesterton is a much better writer.

Thus ends MikeHoss' Book Corner. Please join us again next week!
Oh, since we've started an internet book club today, I'd recommend a bit of young adult fiction titled The Book of Lost Things (name of the author escapes me at the moment, sorry!) to any fan of Gaiman or actually anyone who is a fan of fairytales. The book puts a very interesting spin on a couple of the more obscure ones, and it is rather graphic in the violence department (if you're into that kind of thing).

I got a call this afternoon that my poster was delivered. Yay!
I got my poster on Saturday and was super excited! Wooo!

Also, I will have to check out Neil Gaiman ... I've never read any of his books, but I do enjoy sci fi/ fantasy, and I loved the movie Stardust ...
What's your mom's full-time job?
Harbinger of Death?
Okay...I just finished listening to "Peter and the Shadow Thieves" by Dave Barry and some other guy. It is a twist on Peter Pan, and seems to be the story of what happened before Wendy came along. Ironically, two days after I finished the mp3, Disney's version of Peter Pan was on. Coincidence? Probably, but it was a cool one.

It is not violent, but it goes along with the whole fairy tale/fantasy thing. I am currently listening to "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay, which is very graphic.
Dexter is such a good show. Amazing. I started to read the books, but was busy and only read one chapter and then had to return it to the library and never re-checked it out, blah blah blah ... but yeah, the show = awesomeness.
Hey, my Dad works for the post office!
It's a sweet gig if you can get it; you're off for every holiday and all the stamps you can eat!

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