Friday, March 29

The Walking Dead Friday - 'This Sorrowful Life.'

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Season 3 - Episode 15: 'This Sorrowful Life.'

The penultimate Walking Dead Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss; I’m limping all over the house.

A couple of days ago, I started experiencing pain in my left instep. I’ve been doing a lot of general walking around over the last week in a feeble attempt to stave off the Reaper for another pointless year, so I figured I just overexerted myself a bit and it would heal on its own with adequate rest. Then I promptly forgot all about that and spent the entirety of Wednesday afternoon briskly sauntering around downtown Madison.

I’m an idiot when it comes to pain. Once something that was hurting me stops hurting me, I sort of assume it will never come back again, and that’s how I treated my foot on Wednesday. I was pinwheeling, grapevining and Electric Sliding my way through the city (as is my custom), eating expensive cupcakes and sampling the most disgusting of cheeses. It’s how I prefer to spend my afternoons alone.

When I went to sleep Wednesday night, I felt okay. When I woke up and stepped out of bed Thursday morning, my entire leg nearly collapsed as if it were ravaged by termites. My left foot was nearly useless, and I had to spend the entire day Tiny Tim’ming it up just to get from place to place at work.

I guess I tore a muscle in my instep or arch or something. All I know is that it hurts like hell and my limp is borderline scary to see; if I went to the doctor they’d probably give me crutches, or in true Tiny Tim fashion, one short, crudely-cobbled crutch. Oh, and one of those adorable newsie caps that old people and lesbians wear.

Wow,” my wife said on Thursday morning. “You’re really limping around.”
Yeah, I think I tore a muscle.”
That happened to me once. In both feet.” (Advantage: Missus)

Oh yeah? What did you do for it?
Nothing. Just rest and aspirin.

So, that’s where I’m at. If you happen to see me gangster-leaning down the streets of Sun Prairie this weekend, please don’t make fun of me, and please don’t ask me to run down to the Poulterer’s and buy the prized turkey that’s ‘as big as me whole body.’ Let’s move on.

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was fairly unexpected (to me, at least). In a season filled with the predictable (the death of T-Dog) to the pleasantly surprising (a phenomenal episode centered around Morgan), we got a set up for the finale that we wanted, but not in the way we predicted.

I mean, we knew that Rick was going to have a change of heart regarding giving Michonne up in exchange for a truce (although I cannot believe he actually thought it would work). We knew that the battle lines would be perfectly set for a final showdown between Rick and the Governor (although there are others who have a bigger gripe and justification for being the one to actually murder the Governor).

What we didn’t know that this would be the week we not only mourn the death of a major character, but get one of the all-time best TWD acting performances from a Mr. Michael Rooker. And goddamn did he deliver.

Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer is one of the bleakest, rawest and most disturbing serial killer movies ever made, but it’s also probably the best (I say ‘best’ considering the subject matter). If you’ve seen it (and you should for historical purposes), you’ll understand immediately why there was nobody else on Earth more equipped to play Merle as Rooker. I remember renting the VHS from Express Video as a kid (they didn’t give a shit about ID in my hometown), and it broke my brain for a few days. Good movies do that sometimes, although I don’t own it nor do I have any intention of ever watching it again.

Rooker’s filmography is absolutely massive, but I still don’t understand why he hasn’t been handed more critically-acclaimed and potential award-winning roles (the Mickey Rourke parts, if you will). This man seemingly does well in everything he touches, and I’m hoping his time as Merle Dixon refreshes the collective memories of casting directors the next time they’re looking for a demented older guy. On a zombie show that somehow put together a classically-trained group of powerhouse actors, Rooker could roll with any of them in any circumstance.

RIP, Merle Dixon. In your honor, I drank straight from a bottle of Jack Daniels last night while blaring Motorhead from my 1986 Buick Somerset (I would’ve done this regardless, however). Now let’s get to The Green And Leafy!

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Merle died.

Smash cut, whiskey drank, episode over. Now let’s Break It Down!

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1. Sunday’s episode did a 10.99 rating, which is still astronomical but lower than their all-time series high of 12.26. Even in the face of March Madness, this show is still watched by more people than any other on cable television. To once again put this into perspective, WWE Monday Night Raw normally pulls in a rating of 3.5, which until the premiere of The Walking Dead, was enough to make it the highest-rated show on cable nearly every week. It’s a statistical anomaly to say the least.

2. ‘This Sorrowful Life’ was written by Scott Gimple, who will serve as the showrunner next season, replacing Glen Mazzara (who replaced Frank Darabont). Mazzara was heralded for being the guy that finally got Rick and company ‘off the farm,’ and here’s hoping that Gimple keeps things moving at a breakneck pace once they flee the prison and hit the road.

3. Andrea is the only main cast member to not appear in this episode, which by proxy makes it the greatest episode of any television show in history so far.

4. This episode also marks the first death of a main character since Lori Grimes bit it (and got bit) in Season 3, Episode 4.

5. The Season 3 finale, ‘Welcome To The Tombs,’ will air on Easter Sunday, which I find highly entertaining for a number of reasons. First off, on a weekend where no other new shows are airing (for fear of a holiday ratings hit), The Walking Dead couldn’t give a shit less. Secondly, I like the connotations of a ‘dead rising from the grave’ show airing on a holiday where that supposedly happened in real life.

That’s all I have for you this week. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. Next week on the CDP, I’ll have more new stuff and an extra Walking Dead Friday post as we celebrate the Season 3 finale.

Later, ‘taters.

Season 1 - Episode 1 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 2 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 3 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 4 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 5 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 6 Review.
Season 3 - Episode 9 Review.
Season 3 - Episode 10 Review.  
Season 3 - Episode 11 Review. 
Season 3 - Episode 12 Review. 
Season 3 - Episode 14 Review.

Wednesday, March 27

We're Making Bank Tonight, Baby.

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Miss Carly Casper, a CDP Alumni if there ever was one, has recently picked up a guitar and started writing songs. Swarming Things is the culmination of about six months of guitar practice and (I assume) a lifetime of singing and writing lyrics.

I wasn't entirely sure what I was in for when I listened for the first time, but you know what? I really like it. Her guitar playing will only get better and eventually catch up with her voice and songwriting, and I can't imagine she won't be ten times as good a year from now. Check it out and give her a listen; I always have encouraged peeps to use any available outlet to express yourself, and the fact that she's only been putting stuff together for six months is quite impressive, in my opinion. Good on you, little lady.

This has also reminded me that I need to add CDP Alumni links over in the sidebar again, and I'll get to that soon (before the end of the year, at least). It'll totally happen.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day. The Walking Dead Friday arrives in less than 48 hours.

Monday, March 25

Give Me All The Pomade You Have (Again).


(Busy couple of weeks; I'm refinancing the house, the Missus got a new job, my Photoshop won't work for some reason, and I've got a SECRET AWESOME THING to show you once I jump through all the hoops in which to obtain it. So I've got to lay sort of low for a bit. Until I'm back on the bike, enjoy this Wayback Essay from 2010. Thanks!)

It took me until about the age of 20 before I realized that you could get your hair cut at places that were stationed outside of a mall. As a man that didn’t pay attention or care too much about the quality or well-being of his hairstyle, I had always just gone to the easiest, cheapest place.

For the better part of a decade, this destination was exclusively Cost Cutters.

Going to Cost Cutters deep into in your teen years feels similar to the last few Halloweens you celebrate before you start to become acutely aware of your age. You begin to take notice of the clientele around you; notice the relative age of the stylists versus the customers. Once the realization hits that maybe you should start frequenting a different barber (say, the Master Cuts by the Aqua Massage kiosk, perhaps), it feels akin to being naked in public. All you want to do is disappear.

I remember the last time I ever set foot in a Cost Cutters. I was alone, reading a magazine in the red-and-yellow waiting area (it always looked like a McDonalds in there), when a grown man came shuffling through the door. He looked to be in his mid-to-late 40’s, wiry-thin with glasses and a ragged outfit on.

Hello,” he said to the pre-teen working the counter. “Is Sarah working today?

I’m sorry,” she replied, “But Sarah has the day off.”

Good,” the man muttered back, turning slowly to his left to reveal a massive bald spot that was seemingly gouged out of his scalp by accident. Presumably by Sarah. He took a seat next to me and exhaled deeply.

He was defeated. He didn't care. He was me in ten years.

Without making a scene, I gently set the Store Copy of People magazine on the table and hit the road. It had been a decent enough relationship, but at that moment, I knew that Cost Cutters and I were officially through.