Friday, April 11

We Can't Start It Again For Thirty-Seven Hours.

Calibrate your signal to mine.

Today, 65 Poor Life Decisions became available at many retailers nationwide, including Barnes & Noble, Target and Amazon (click the links for proof, yo). As I will not be breaking ground on my next book until June at the earliest, it's good to know that I'm still getting fresh mileage out of my debut.

Friday, April 11, 2008, will hereby be remembered as the day that award-winning blogger, author and humorist Ryan J. Zeinert became a millionaire. I'd like to thank all the little people; midgets in particular. The first thing I'm going to do with my newfound free time is to go to every Target in Wisconsin, ask them to order 10 books for me, and never come back to claim them. That way, whenever I go to a Target with friends and relatives, it'll look like 65 Poor Life Decisions is flying off the shelves.

People keep asking me what the next book is going to be about, which always stuns me. They act like I've been hoarding a Sci-Fi epic or period piece about postwar France in the Middle Goddamn Ages. I can assure you that the next book will be another steaming batch of personal tales drenched in failure, rejection, goofy nostalgia and getting hit in the pants with a clown hammer. Only this time, they'll be funnier, longer and more expensive to purchase.

Also, it would be nice to not have to handle my own distribution and accounting, so I'm working on the technical aspect of things as well. When I first started writing, I didn't think that I'd be walking stacks of hand-packed books to the post office 4 days a week, only to save every receipt and log all purchases into the most complicated Excel spreadsheet ever devised by man. I think that I've probably cheated myself out of a billion dollars through Auto Sum formula errors alone.

Which reminds me. I have exactly 4 (four) copies of 65 Poor Life Decisions left at headquarters, which means that I will only be able to personalize and directly handle four more orders. Once they're gone, Lulu and the other listed retailers will be the best way to buy the book, although they will not be autographed or contain any free CDP merch. Click here if you forgot what the process was to order a piece of history.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), the Missus will be seeing Hanson(!) in concert, which means that I will be free to any and all suggestions that you may have concerning extracurricular activities in the Greater Madison Area. Let me know if you wish to have me make an appearance somewhere; preferably somewhere that makes a good Manhattan.

Thank you for reading. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 10

I'd Like To Five-Star You In Performance Mode.

Any fantasies of me becoming a Nerdcore artist vanished completely a few days ago, when I laid my eyes upon the above (fan-created) video for 'Nrrrd Grrrl' by MC Chris, who manages to say everything that I've ever wanted to say in a rap song in just under three minutes. Watch, listen, allow yourself to be amazed and find yourself humming it constantly on your way to work. It's my new favorite song, and I've already listened to it 10 times since Tuesday.

When I went to Geek Kon 2007 last year, I kept my eye out for a girl like this. A girl like the incomparable Jean Binnel on Friday Night Lights. I wanted to see if my interpretation of the Perfect Geek Woman was actually attainable without compromise, fibbing or cosplay.

I learned something that day, and it's a similarity that both the girl in the MC Chris video and Jean Binnel share, besides the cute hair, emo glasses, flawless tastes and everything else that makes them beautiful and worthy of my relentless stalking.

These women don't really exist.

They never did. There's no such thing as the perfect geek girl. You're lying to yourself.

Jean Binnel is a fictional character on Friday Night Lights, played by the versatile and charming Brea Grant. And that girl in the MC Chris video? Well...I don't know what she does for a living, but it sure isn't wearing a Boy Scout uniform and forcing Star Wars figurines to kiss. Most women who look like this couldn't care less about graphic novels and video games, and merely turned geek culture into a fashion. On the two occasions that I thought I had stuck oil, one girl was gay and the other one was a drug addict. That was the day I realized that geeks and ravers look stunningly similar at first glance, albeit polarizing when it came to musical tastes and the dilation of their pupils.

Now, I know what you're thinking. 'What about the Missus?' While the Missus is indeed the perfect woman for yours truly, she'd be the first one to tell you that she doesn't fit this category in any regard. She's not a geek; she's a punk. She takes clogging lessons, stomps my teeth on the curb when I deserve it and doesn't care about what you have to say concerning fashion. That's hot in a completely different avenue; she has chunks of geek girls in her stool, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

My point is rambling, mainly because I was just looking for a way to share that amazing MC Chris track with you, but it should be considered a public service to not embark on the expedition to nowhere that I've launched a hundred times, looking for something that's not real.

And if you are real, please contact me with photographic proof, and I'll write a song about you.

Tuesday, April 8

1,000 Words On Last Week's SNL.

(Because I could rant about the history of SNL for 9 straight days if people found it entertaining.)

Christopher Walken's most recent hosting stint on SNL was legendary; one of the best episodes I've seen in years. Nearly every sketch delivered, and had they booked a respectable musical guest (instead of the unfortunate Panic At The Disco), this might have been the best Walken SNL ever. Sketches like 'Walken Reunion,' 'Surprise Party,' and 'Gardening Tips From A Man Who's Very Afraid Of Plants' were significantly funnier than their titles would suggest.

This was Walken's first hosting stint in over five years, which I had to actually look up on Wikipedia to confirm for myself. It seems as if he hosts every year (he's hosted 7 times, and according to Lorne Michaels, can host whenever his schedule permits).

Walken's SNL brilliance lies in the fact that he's amazingly skilled at live performance and stage. When he acts as if he's off-script or about to break the sketch with his scatterbrain delivery, he's actually fooling you. This guy knows exactly what he's doing at all times, and it's one of the reasons why we love the guy so damn much. Ever since he became known for being 'the weird guy,' younger generations seemed to forget just how brilliant of an actor Walken was and still is. Sure, Balls Of Fury didn't help the argument any, but I won't dispute a man that likes to work.

I also admire that they didn't beat a dead horse and revive 'The Continental,' a once-brilliant sketch that has been running on nostalgic fumes since 1996. Most don't know that 'The Continental' is a parody of the 1952 CBS series of the same name, which used a subjective camera view as lead actor Renzo Cesana spoke directly to the females in the audience. I'm sure it would have been a passable sketch, as Walken can solo-command any scene he chooses, but it wouldn't have fit in with the theme of last week's cast-heavy episode.

It doesn't hurt that the current SNL cast is one of their more talented ensembles in a very long time. Bill Hader is a premiere impressionist, Andy Samberg is single-handedly bringing the YouTube fanbase back to the show, Kristen Wiig is on par with Gilda Radner as the funniest female in the show's 33 year history, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis are extremely versitile in their straight man/wacky man roles (I find Sudeikis to be my favorite cast member, frankly; his delivery is consistently hilarious and he reminds me of a smarter Will Ferrell), Darrel Hammond is the seasoned veteran, Amy Poehler practically stars in every sketch, Fred Armisen can quite simply play every ethnicity and role perfectly, Seth Meyers has stepped into the Head Writer position seamlesly and newcomer Casey Wilson is doing her best to keep up.

Keenan Thompson has been a strong performer since he was a child, but doesn't always receive decent material to shine with. Same goes for Maya Rudolph, who actually left the show during the strike. Having the entire cast come out and do their own Walken impression during 'Walken Reunion' was hilarious and brilliant, in that they all sounded pretty good (Hader was uncanny as always).

I am, however, growing increasingly irritated with the obvious pro-Hillary stance that SNL has been taking since the Strike ended. For a show that's quite aware of the effect they've had on past elections and overall swaying of the social landscape in favor of one popular candidate or the other, all they seem to be doing is a detriment to Barack Obama and his future presidential campaign against John McCain. I can only hope that SNL is swaying in this direction merely because Amy Poehler plays a good Hillary, and Fred Armisen drew some controversy (for whatever meager reasons) when he played Obama. The bottom line, however, is that the sketches are not funny, which is the main thing they should be focusing on.

McCain is playing it cool right now. That old, lumpy bastard is chilling in Europe, while his competition tears each other to shreds until there's nothing left to do but swoop in and pick the bones. He may be tempermental, he may be old enough to die at any second (hell, he might have died while I was writing that sentence, for all I know), but he's not an idiot.

I find Panic At The Disco adorable. Not 'adorable' in that I want to hug them until they break and bleed, but 'adorable' in that their recent attempts at being taken seriously have faltered into a rut of predictability and unoriginality that I should have seen coming from a mile away. I love it when a pop-rock band discovers acid and Sgt. Pepper, and all of a sudden they're dropping the unnecessary punctuation from their name, wearing paisley and being accompanied by a horn section. That's adorable to me, in that we've seen this no less than a billion times in the last 30 years. We're all way ahead of you, Panic. You guys deserve a gentle pat on the head and a cluck of positive reinforcement; good luck being taken seriously, although, I must admit that I find 'Nine In The Afternoon' to be a fairly catchy number.

As a statement to how hard they're rolling with this new 'we're older, more mature and ripping off the Beatles...just like everyone else!' formula, they performed 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' as their second song on SNL, only with a slower tempo, acoustic guitar and shuffling drums. It was seriously awful; one of the worst SNL performances I've seen since Ashlee Simpson 23-skidoo'ed her way into YouTube immortality. If you're a pop-punk band, just be one. Don't pretend you're Brian freaking Eno. Write your catchy song, wear your eyeliner and make your money. Spare us your pipe dream of mining talent from a dry well, and don't disrespect your fanbase by slagging your previous work. That's what desperate people do. You should hear me belt out 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' when we sing karaoke, though. I flat-out destroy that thing.

My time is up. Sound off in the comments and enjoy your day.

Monday, April 7

Disintegration (Is The Best Album Ever).

McGovern's. Within stumbling distance from CDP Headquarters.

For the last few nights, I've been able to sleep with the windows open.

After five straight months of snow (over 100 inches worth; a Madison record), I cannot fully explain to you how good that feels. The beginning of April brings Spring, warm rain, moonlit walks and other assorted dashes of emo symbolism that represent a collective rebirth here in the midwest.

The end of April will also bring new responsibilities and freedoms for yours truly. I remember that there used to be a commercial on television here that advertised homes, and they always showed a young couple dancing barefoot in the living room of their first house. It might be the rain (or the whiskey) talking, but I'm totally going to do that the first chance I get.

It's been a rough Winter, but we're all still alive and gracious.

Move to Madison and have a drink with me.