Friday, January 20

The CDP In Review: 2010

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(Originally published 12/20/10. I didn't do a 2011 Review, so this is the last one of these you're going to get. More cool stuff next week, though.)

What did 2010 mean to you? Seriously, I'd like to know. While I accomplished much, I feel like I may have sleepwalked through the bulk of it, zombified by my own deadlines and routine. Judging by the current mindset and mentality of those around me, we're all skidding collectively into 2011 on fumes; exhausted, beaten and completely unsure of what tomorrow holds.

It's like an epic film, only in real life, that's not as fun as it sounds. Mostly we're just tired all the time.

In January, I made my intentions known to publish my second book by the end of the year. This became my top priority, dropping me into a self-imposed Boot Camp that I only emerged from just a few weeks ago. I think I wrote some good posts over the last year, and I'm certain that things happened on a national scale that effected me personally, but I'll be damned if I can remember any of them right now.

I got up (most days), went to the office, went home, wrote a few pages and went to sleep. For nine straight months. I also may have drank a few cups of coffee, gotten drunk a few hundred times and took a shower or two, but that has to be the extent of my deviations. When I commit, I commit like a psycho. I created something in Aerating The Mashed Potatoes that I'm pretty fond of, but just like when I wrote Book #1 in 2007, the blog tended to get neglected at times.

Fortunately, The CDP Year In Review is here to remind us exactly what went down over the last 350-some days. Read along, click the links and have fun. You might learn something; I know I did.

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January 6 - Kicking off the year in style, I have four impacted Wisdom Teeth removed. I almost instantly develop an addiction to muscle relaxers, which actually may explain why I don't remember too much about what else happened this year.

January 14 - I revisit a childhood memory: Digging a hole straight through to hell.

January 18 - Turning down the chance to murder another living thing says a lot about the character of a child.

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February 5 - The first Lost Friday of the final season, another thousand pages of jokes and captions. The only people on the planet that wrote more about Lost were the writers of the show themselves.

February 16 - The CDP turns 6. Its baby teeth are all messed up, but in a cute way.

February 24 - The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #7 arrives to much cheering and acclaim from music nerds on every coast.

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March 12 - My first (and last) Lost Friday Liveblog. This is fun to do, but I get the sneaking suspicion everyone else hates it.

March 17 - My Favorite TV Theme Songs. I'm officially out of things to rank.

March 26 - The greatest episode of Lost ever? The greatest Lost beard ever?

March 31 - Why (sane) adults don't go to Cost Cutters.

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April 2 - Another great Lost Friday as the series begins to wind down. We started to come to the sad realization that almost none of our questions would be answered, which I actually found hilarious. Joke was on us.

April 20 - A little write-up I did about the Lost producers visiting Madison. They also wrote the new TRON movie, too.

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May 21 - Lost Friday - 'What They Died For.' So many deaths.

May 28 - Lost Friday - 'The End.' Faith wins the 'Science v. Faith' argument, but only in a fictional sense.

May 31 - Now that Lost is out of the way, I start catching up and focusing on the book. I debate calling Book #2 Pinkerton, but the Missus talks me out of it because she likes it when I make money.

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June 9 - Buy my old book before you buy my new one. Not the other way around, please. It's a fine book, but I don't want you to step backwards through my evolution as a writer. Then again, my mom liked the first one better, so I could be wrong on this.

June 14 - Speaking of mom, here's one of the better essays featuring her dysfunctional relationship with me.

June 30 - Nothing like a borderline Nervous Breakdown to make you re-evaluate stuff.

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July 12-16 - My Top 30 TV Shows of the 90's. Melrose Place mysteriously absent.

July 19-23 - My Top 100 Movies of the 90's. It's Pat!: The Movie mysteriously absent.

July 26-30 - My Top 150 Albums of the 90's. Toad The Wet Sprocket mysteriously absent.

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August 2 - The 8th (and final) Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade. For now.

August 16 - My 2010 Emmy picks. I did very well, yet won nothing. I got what I deserved.

August 23 - My Annual Fall TV Preview delivers the goods once again. This is usually one of my favorite posts of the year.

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September 6 - I announce the title of my almost-finished book. The world collectively shrugs, says, 'Wuh?' and goes back to cleaning the refrigerator.

September 20-24 - My Top 50 Ska Albums of All-Time. I'm an expert; don't dispute me.

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October 4 - The Walking Dead Friday replaces Lost Friday...for a little while. I commit to recapping 6 episodes, thinking for sure that the show would flop and be canceled. It becomes the biggest basic cable hit of all-time.

October 18 - The book is done. I have patience. I have drive. I have determination. Another goal accomplished...ladies.

October 22 - The cover of Aerating The Mashed Potatoes is revealed. The literary world scrambles to catch up with its pure beauty and Pop Culture brilliance. Lawsuits are flung from every corner of the globe.

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November 2 - Aerating The Mashed Potatoes is unleashed to an unsuspecting (and still unsuspecting) public. Apparently, people don't like laughing until they piss their pants anymore.

November 5 - The debut of The Walking Dead Friday. I miss Amy already.

November 15 - My celebrity status can't even sell out a Chuck-E-Cheese.

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December 10 - The Season 1 Finale of The Walking Dead Friday. Goodnight, sweet zombie.

December 13 - My favorite Tracks of 2010. Young Money's 'Bedrock' is criminally overlooked.

December 14-17 - My favorite Albums of 2010. Not a fantastic year, but decent nonetheless. Just like the CDP.

Well, there you have it. 2010, revisited through the eyes of the CDP. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

Thursday, January 19

The CDP In Review: 2009


(Originally published 12/14/09.

2009 was pretty far from the Worst Year Ever, but most of us would have a damn hard time justifying it. I mean, it makes sense that the closing year of the 'Decade From Hell' or 'Lost Decade' would continue the process of stomping our faces into the mud for just a little while longer. When I look back on it personally, it feels like everyone either failed, died or let me down in some way; or a little of all three in a few occasions.

But hey, we have to stay positive if we're to make the '010's any better. We need to once again pull ourselves up by the collective bootstraps, wipe the crust out of our eyes and get some work done. For me, 2009 was about nailing down everything that I intended to keep, leap headfirst into a ditch and hope that most of what I've worked for remained intact after the Apocalypse. For the most part, it did, but for a lot of us, it did not.

Yeah, me and the Missus were each furloughed at our respective places of employment, a State money-saving measure that probably took somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500 directly out of our pockets so far. We missed this money, had to tap into our savings at times, and really cut back on the unnecessary puff and fiffle that we normally blow our hard-earned cash on. While I still want that cash back, I can say that being more broke more often has reminded me to appreciate having any money at all, and forced me to be more wise with my investments. I grocery shop more intelligently. I've learned to handle my checkbook like a pro. I'm doing more with less, which has to be the American motto for 2009 (if you're a normally-functioning human being, that is).

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.


(My buddy. My Nephew. Evan.)

Who knew that eels were so terrifying?
Every liquor changes me in some drastic way.
Ziggy's chubby hand of fate ruins my day.
Lost Friday returns for Season Five!
I get the worst virus of my life; vomit streak ends.


(I've never drank more than I have in 2009. I blame the economy.)

The CDP turns 5 years old. Can't legally drink, but still does.
This kind of thing only happens on my birthday.
Jack and Kate do it.
I compose the greatest motivational speech in history.
I quit blogging forever...for three days.


(I lost one cat and gained two more this year. Here's one.)

Local News is hilarious.
Actual, photographic proof of the paranormal!
QVC is hilarious.
A new batch of MySpace Poetry for your aching soul.
WRENCHES!


(Sometimes I get bored at work. Pac-Man Scone!)

One of my funnier Lost Friday captioning sessions.
The Missus busts her elbow all to hell during a roller skating session.
I partake in Digital Detox Week; local media finds this interesting.


(I miss you.)

I survive Digital Detox Week and return to tell the maddening tale.
The best Lost captions from Season 2, Season 3, Season 4 and Season 5.
Relive the Lost Season 5 finale with one of my better recaps.
Remember, it's all okay.


(If you ever need to know what I'm doing, chances are it's this.)

June was 'Simpsons Month,' where I became your new best friend by painstakingly counting down the 100 Greatest Episodes Of The Simpsons, including 30 Honorable Mentions and my choices for the Worst. Episode. Ever.


(This photograph wasn't staged.)

Nothing ruins your night faster than a rabid hedgehog.
I go missing. Hit the road. Blow this pop stand.
My Top 20 Super Nintendo games.
My Top 20 Sega Genesis games.
My whereabouts are finally tracked to Iowa.
My Top 25 UFC moments. Quite a good list, actually.
Captured.


(If I keep using my iPhone so much, I'll need glasses like these for real someday.)

What am I doing at a casino?
What am I doing on the Mississippi River?
Is this the greatest toy store on Earth?
What am I doing in Dubuque?
The 2009-2010 Fall TV Preview is my biggest and best yet.


(I try to keep my workspace interesting. This is all overflow from my home office.)

The CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #6 was a huge success.
The Forward Music Festival rolls into town. I see nobody.


(Damn! Hip-Hop Scone be draining my iPod!)

I spent the month of October personally reviewing each and every Mix-Tape that was sent to me for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #6, as well as gearing up for the first-ever CDP Decade In Review.


(I don't remember when this was from, I just hope I wasn't by myself.)

My favorite instantly-cancelled TV shows of the decade.
The most popular TV shows of the decade.
The worst TV shows of the decade.
My favorite overall TV shows of the decade.
My favorite films of the decade.
My favorite music videos of the decade.
My favorite books of the decade.
My favorite concerts of the decade.
My favorite video games of the decade.


(I'm working on a surprise.)

My favorite albums of the decade (75-51).
My favorite albums of the decade (50-31).
My favorite albums of the decade (30-11).
My favorite albums of the decade (10-1).

Well, there you have it. 2009, revisited through the eyes of the CDP. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

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.

Tuesday, January 17

The CDP In Review: 2007

2007 CDP Year In Review.
(Originally published 12/21/07. There was no 2006 Year In Review because I was in a bad mood the week I was supposed to do it and pretty much deleted the entire thing. It happens.)

2007 was a monumental year at the CDP. Web traffic tripled across the boards (2500 people will read this post before Christmas; 2800 before Kwanzaa). Content and essays were about as good as you could expect from a borderline-reclusive with crippling ego issues that doesn't do anything for anyone anymore. Pop Culture pundits collectively took their dignity back from Perez Hilton and proclaimed me the current King of the Castle, which is about as mixed of a blessing as having a hot stepsister. Hell, I even published my first book, the profits of which allowed me to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping this year (I sure hope everyone likes pennies and string!). Friends were made, enemies were crushed into powder and gallons of brandy were injected straight into my liver.

2007 was also the year that the Madison Cultural Elite welcomed me into their world with open arms, hoisted me onto their collective back and ran me around town while I giggled and tried to hold the pee in. Local press has shined upon thee, hip tastemakers proclaimed me to be 'in,' and I was successful in not getting fired from my job for the fourth year running. I spent hours in line at the Post Office due to the loyal fans that wanted an autographed copy of my book, and turned my home office into a monument of receipts, Priority mailers and packing tape. I've been told it's all tax deductible, even the bubble wrap.

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.

January 2007.

January 2007
3 - I attempt to get edgier with my fashion sense. It doesn't go well.
5 - Evan, the Official Spokesbaby of the CDP, takes a vacation.
8 - Morphing into a genetic freak takes more work than I'm willing to give.
9 - Randy Orton's head explodes on national television.
22 - Alcohol and karaoke: an American institution.

February 2007.

February 2007
1 - I turn 25 years old. Teenage girls officially find me 'creepy.'
9 - Lost Friday returns for 2007. Hilarity and beards ensue.
14 - The CDP turns 3 years old; finally stops pooping itself.
15 - "What the hell is in our driveway, honey?"
21 - I learn a hard lesson about fatherhood: It sucks ass.

March 2007.

March 2007
7 - I once again create a Mad-Lib. Traffic reaches all-time low.
12 - I have cybersex against my will; Chris Hansen isn't amused.
14 - The five stages of grief, updated for the 21st Century.
28 - Me and the Missus have a language all our own: Annoying.
30 - Lost Friday rolls along. Phrase "Bulletproof Breasts" enters lexicon.

April 2007.

April 2007
2 - I don't have any black friends.
4 - Thanks to good fortune, I almost die in a fiery car wreck.
5 - One of my first (and best) interviews ever.
16 - The very first Live Video Chat takes place. Chat #2 yet to happen.
24 - I make an effort to not be the least responsible person alive.

May 2007.

May 2007
1 - How many times do I have to repost this essay before people care?
7 - The CDP & Pork Tornado: The Golden Spike of humor blog excellence.
15 - I love having drunken, emotional breakdowns at public functions.
21/22 - The best Lost captions of Season 3. Oh, the huge Manatee!
28 - The 65 Poor Life Decisions process begins with a whimpering bang.

June 2007.

June 2007
13 - My annual visit to the House on the Rock. Abject terror ahoy!
15 - The CDP gets a glowing review; my ego takes out an entire city block.
25 - Sometimes I miss my old car, then I realize that I actually don't.
27 - Live Video Chat #2 is cancelled due to nobody giving a crap.
28 - 65 Poor Life Decisions is in full swing; I'm in full depression.

July 2007.

July 2007
5 - Welcome to Devil's Lake. Go to hell.
13 - My single greatest contribution to society, hands down.
16/18 - I teach you how to make a Bomb Pop in my YouTube debut.
23 - I suffer the worst injury of my adulthood thus far.
31 - Bon Jovi visits the family corn stand. Wait, what?

August 2007.

August 2007
1 - Heinz ketchup is magic!
9 - I break my iPod, along with the spines of everyone at the Apple Store.
20 - The aftermath of the worst vacation of my entire life.
23 - My best friend was a 40 pound cat. No Photoshopping required.
29 - My pain is your belly laugh. Enjoy.

September 2007.

September 2007
3 - The CDP Fall Television Preview, pre-strike and full of wide-eyed hope.
10 - I'm not known for physical humor, but...here you go.
24 - We visit the Lodi Corn Maze and get all grabby with stuff.
25 - Ken: By Request Only. An Internet mystery solved by me.
28 - The Missus gets a new car. Hipsters everywhere shed a tear.

October 2007.

October 2007
5 - Dropping a bomb at the EAA.
10 - Geek.Kon PWNZ every N00B in Madison.
12 - I answer everything you ever wanted to know about First Base.
17 - 20 photographs of my Door County vacation. Apple-scented, of course.
24 - An awesomely epic rant on loneliness, aging, the scene and my friends.

November 2007.

November 2007
6 - 65 Poor Life Decisions is finished. Lock up your nerdy daughters.
13 - The Nationwide Mix-Tape Trade reviews start. Friends are lost.
27 - I give you a behind-the-scenes peek into the last six months.
28 - 65 Poor Life Decisions is locked and loaded, and so am I.
30 - The Single Greatest & Most Important Day In CDP History.

December 2007.

December 2007
5 - If only for a fleeting moment, I was your king.
6 - You'd assume I was smart enough to handle the Post Office. Nope.
7/14 - Positive press for my book continues. Blushing at an all-time high.
17 - I name my favorite albums of 2007. Any and all cred is destroyed.
18 - I expose myself to friends and fans. A collective 'ew!' chimes out.

There you have it; an entire year of my life, condensed and organized for your careful scrutiny. Take your time with this post; check out the links, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.