Friday, October 1

The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 8 Wrap Party.


So, the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 8 came to an end a little over a month ago, and I want to once again thank everyone who participated and created such awesome pieces of art. Same goes for anyone who’s ever participated; I always appreciate the effort, and I’m consistently blown away by some of the neat things you guys come up with. It’s been a lot of fun.

The winner of the Trade this time around is TJ, for her ‘Write Back Soon!’ Mix. It was the perfect combination of artistic originality and superb track selection. As you may remember, TJ’s prize is a free, autographed copy of Aerating The Mashed Potatoes (my new book), which is set to be released by December. It was hard to pick a winner, but she really nailed it this time around. Great job.

Before, I said that this would be the last Trade I do- at the very least, the last one for a while. I’m still sticking to that for the time being for many reasons: I have a lot of other projects I plan on launching in 2011, I have a book to promote, and quite frankly, the Trade has left a bad taste in my mouth due to all the deadbeats.

If you were one of those people who always got a Mix sent to you on time, consider yourself lucky. If you were one of those people who sent out their Mix on time, every time, consider yourself awesome. However, there were people out there that got shafted every single time; people that put a lot of time and effort into their creations, only to get nothing in return. Conversely, there were people who signed up for the Trade and consistently made nothing. Even though I swore that I would publicly out these people, I never did (couldn’t bring myself to do it), but I saw it in the e-mail exchanges every time we did a Trade, and it bothered me. To put it another way, it infuriated me.

The late-senders and the excuses were always well-justified, and we all understood that. However, there were some who signed up knowing full-well that they had no intention of making anything for anyone, either because they were too self-absorbed to consider the feelings of their recipient, or because they sucked at organizing their lives so much that they couldn’t block off 45 minutes over the course of two weeks to whip something up and throw it in the mailbox. Anything was better than nothing, but they just couldn’t make it happen, even though they made a commitment to do so.

My tipping point was when I found out that one guy got shafted three times in a row by three different people. That’s straight-up bullshit, and I felt that sort of thing reflected poorly on me personally more than anything. I treated people like adults; I didn’t check up too much or send cranky e-mails to people. Apparently, I should have held more hands.

So yeah. In the end, the deadbeats ruined it for everyone. The 5% that pooped on the party. I’m not interested in ‘banning’ people from future Trades (I have no intention to run the CDP like a clique), but I can’t trust certain people to come through for the rest of you amazing Mix creators, so I’m going to throw in the towel for a while and let things sit. I’m also not interested in changing the format, so don’t bother sending me ideas to make the Trades more idiot-proof. Give me time to grumble, and I'll bring it back when the time is right.

It’s been a lot of fun, though. Personally, I’ve received nearly 100 Mixes, each more fantastic than the next. I’ve been exposed to dozens of new and classic artists, and I’ve held artwork in my hands that I would have never been intelligent enough to create on my own. The amount of heart and personality that goes into a well-crafted Mix is a thing all its own, and that was the whole point of the Trade to begin with. My CD cabinet, once a sterile and alphabetized affair, now looks more like a handwritten scrapbook compiled by interesting people from each corner of the nation. I didn’t think for a second that this would be the outcome of doing something like this, so each package in the mail was an extremely cool experience for yours truly.

The Trade was a natural extension of the CDP community, and the bulk of you nailed it with flying colors. Thank you for what you did for me, and what you did for each other.

I have a big announcement next week concerning an upcoming CDP project that I think most of you will really dig, and the book is so close to completion that I can taste it (it tastes mainly like paper). The remainder of 2010 is going to be a lot of fun; sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Monday, September 27

CDP Wayback Machine - Vroom Vroom Edition.

There's something in my eye.
(Originally published 09/27/07.)

Every once in a great while, the stars in the universe seem to line up in such a way that karma and fate smile kindly upon your being, blessing you with the impossible gift of a dream come true. This could come in the form of a job promotion, a new and rewarding relationship, or something as simple as a free latte at Starbucks. Whatever the case, you mustn't let these moments pass you by.

Personally, my dreams never come true, and it's probably a good idea that they don't. If I were to suddenly find myself locked in a room filled with pink cotton candy, miles of plush, down comforters and my beautiful Oral & Interpersonal Speech teacher from college, I'm quite certain I'd act much differently than I do in my sleep. In fact, I think I'd call the cops.

You are the one that I've been dreaming of.
(This is not the price we bought the car for. Ignore that.)

Nope, today's post is focusing more on the dreams and aspirations of the Missus. About a year-and-a-half ago, her Taurus was totaled in a rear-ending that left her with whiplash, weekly medical visits and no car to drive. For one reason or another, she didn't find it endearing to have me drive her to work every day. It might have had something to do with my tendency to sing at peak volume and drum the steering wheel for 22 straight minutes, but that's for the divorce court to decide.

Sure, she eventually got the fantastic Ford Focus, but she had always felt like she was driving someone else's car. She missed having a vehicle with personality; an attachment of herself, in a way. In a perfect world, she'd be able to buy whatever car she wanted, and when it came to fantasy car choices, there was only one that the Missus has ever longed for.

The 2002 Mini Cooper.

One, I'm biting my tongue.
(Contrast White top with a sunroof, comfy back seats and a trunk that you can actually put stuff in.)

The Missus is a MINI lover (hey, who isn't?), but the 2002 was her model of choice. Mainly, because this was the only year they manufactured it with the color 'Silk Green.' The BMW racing sprite boasts a plethora of stylish glosses and fixtures, but Silk Green was the only color she had ever wanted.

When she was bored, the Missus would go onto the official MINI web site and compile her dream car. Silk Green, chrome package, winter package, heated seats, the works. She did this for years, and was prescribed several medications to stop the addiction. I kept trying to explain to her that it was an unhealthy obsession. Nobody ever gets what they want in life. Nobody gets their dream car. Nobody.

Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!
(It's built like a cross between a tank and a go-kart. The crash safety is through the roof.)

Three weeks ago, we were driving home from the mall, when we saw it. A Mini Cooper with the same date, color and exact packages that the Missus had been pining for all this time. The 'For Sale' sign was in the window, and it was parked no less than 200 yards from our house. It was as if the fantasy car that she created online had come to life, drove all the way to CDP Headquarters and plopped itself down in our driveway. We were absolutely shocked.

Less than three days later, it was ours. These moments are fleeting, and must be taken advantage of when they arrive. The mere thought of someone else driving the car that she had created was not an option. They wouldn't love it like she could. They simply wouldn't understand.

What can I do?
(Yes, I will be attempting to get it up to 150mph. Don't even bother trying to stop me.)

We sold the Focus last week, and picked up this bad boy shortly thereafter, all at a price that the Missus was more than willing to afford. The standing agreement is that I get to drive it to work at least three Fridays a month. The pessimist in me is concerned that Karma might be screwing with us; causing the car to break down after two hours of driving. We did our homework, however, and the vehicle is tip-top and immaculately maintained. I couldn't ask for a 2002 car in better shape.

So, the Missus' dream has come true, and that's a wonderful thing. As for my own dreams, I'm still trying to track down my Speech teacher's phone number.