Friday, March 14

The Walking Dead Friday - 'Alone.'

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Season 4 - Episode 13: 'Alone.'

After a couple of weeks off, Walking Dead Friday returns with another batch of captions for you to glaze over without even slowing down your scroll bar. Ingest it quickly and move on with your life; you're a busy person. Enjoy!

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Despite having plenty of rations, Bob insists on eating a jar of industrial hand soap.

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"Bob, you taste like confetti cake, and I am not complaining."

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"Here's a new song I'm working on. It's called 'Age Of Consent Blues.'"

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Disgusting! Diet soda?

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The mystery of the night was who allegedly drove off with Beth. Can we zoom in on the driver's-side window and enhance, please?

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Oh no.

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"Well, three more episodes until I'm horribly murd-erm...until the Season Finale, I mean."

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"Terminus. Sanctuary for all. Community for all. Those who arrive, survive. No outside food."

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Maggie's no longer attempting to hide her narcolepsy from the group anymore.

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"Can you hit the lights and close the lid when you're done out here?"

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"I genuinely enjoy making you uncomfortable, Daryl."

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"Well, here's as good a place as any to bury you."

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"So then I said 'Bitch, what do you mean I can't pay with Sacagawea dollars? THEY'RE LEGAL TENDER!'"

Sound off in the comments section, click around and enjoy your weekend.

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.
Season 3 - Episode 15 Review.
Season 3 - Episode 16 Review.  
Season 4 - Episode 9 Review.
Season 4 - Episode 10 Review.

Wednesday, March 12

2004 Flashback - 'Fondue For Two.'



This weekend was the first one in a long time that the Missus and I have had to ourselves. Sure, we always enjoy our time away from the monotony and drudgery of work, but having some alone time is vital in keeping a relationship enjoyable. So I told Celia to plan us a day trip to anywhere she wanted to go. For the longest time, she wanted to visit the town of New Glarus, a Swiss settlement about 40 miles southwest of Madison. As the story goes, about a hundred or so Swiss settlers colonized in New Glarus in the early 1800’s, and set up shop. Since then, it has basically remained the same place, complete with original buildings and more Swiss antiques than you could ever imagine. I was sold.

You immediately notice a few things upon entering New Glarus. First off, there’s painted cows everywhere.



What business these cows serve is really beside the point, because they look beautiful and are fun to touch. So much fun, in fact, that you are specifically instructed not to do so.



Being the rebel I am, I could not help myself.



Another wonderful thing about New Glarus is the attention to detail. While most of the buildings are from the original time of settlement, there are going to be new ones that pop up from time to time. Being a tourist town, they took care of that, and made sure that every new building adapted to the Swiss culture.



After the initial taking-in of the scenery, we went miniature golfing. The Swiss know how to run and properly maintain a mini-golf course. It was certainly one of the prettier courses I’ve played on this year. And hey, check this out!



Goats! On the golf course! They were well-fed, well-maintained, friendly and eager to please. Celia and I both finished well under par and continued on our venture.

Now, everyone has their fantasies. Some guys wonder what it would be like to sleep with two women at the same time. Others think about what it would be like to win the lottery.

My fantasy has always been to play Mini-Golf and then go Bowling immediately afterwards.



Fantasy no more.

Swiss Lanes reminded me of an older, smaller, older, more run-down, older version of Marble Park Lanes in our hometown of Winneconne. We entered the place thinking it was closed, due to the fact that all of the lights were off and nobody was there. We saw an old woman playing an illegal gambling machine in the corner, and an old man smoking a cigarette and staring off into space behind the bar. We asked him if we could bowl, and he said yes, once he went back and “turned it on”.



8 ancient lanes, dark as night, and not a single person around. The alley was ours, and we couldn’t be happier. The lanes were so warped and crooked that you had to forget everything you knew about physics before you rolled. For example, if you wanted to aim for the center pin, you had to start your throw, say, 4 lanes over. Check out my killer form:



My score suffered because of this.



Nevertheless, it was coolest game of bowling I’ve ever played. We thanked the old man, and continued on our lovely Swiss journey. Next stop on the tour were the souvenir shops.



Handmade Swiss dresses, Cuckoo clocks wall-to-wall, beer steins as big as console television sets. We took in store after store of these wonders, while Polka music filled the air, seemingly following us everywhere throughout the town. I, of course, sought out the music section, which didn’t fail to impress.



Here’s the best part: they were only 20 bucks each! I grabbed an armload of them, and headed for the register.

After blowing most of our budget on yodeling tapes, we decided to take in some of the beautiful architecture. Like this Church, for example.



After several hours in New Glarus, I started to feel jealous. I wanted to be Swiss, or at the very least, live in Little Switzerland. These people represented everything I loved in a culture. Non-violence, fine wines and cheese, land-locked for minimal contact with water. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to spend the rest of my life thinking that I was not only Swiss, but that I was actually living in Switzerland. I made a promise to myself that I would always spell “house” as “haus” from now on. It was the least I could do to remember such a neat place.

But the day wasn’t quite over. We treated ourselves to an authentic Swiss dinner at the New Glarus Hotel.



We got there too early to see the polka band that plays there nightly, and the festive dance that’s sure to follow, but it was great nonetheless. We shared a massive Swiss fondue, and a dish of traditional cheeses. I have yet to go to the bathroom. I finished off with a piece of mint-chocolate cake, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Little Switzerland. We stopped at the local winery, got a bottle to remember our trip, and headed back to Sun Prairie.



Goodbye New Glarus. We’ll be back soon, but not soon enough.

Monday, March 10

Play Don't (CDP Wayback Machine).

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(Originally published in 'Aerating The Mashed Potatoes,' a hilarious book that I wrote and you should purchase. I've been Watching the WWE Network pretty much non-stop for the last two weeks, so you'll have to make due with another rerun while I get my shit together. I have a lot of fun CDP stuff planned for Spring. Enjoy.)

When I was around the age of 10, my mother grew exhausted with our almost-daily screaming matches and took us both to see a therapist. Although I never asked her the exact reason for this, my assumption was that she chose therapy in an attempt for us to learn a little more about each other on a deeper level, and try to form some sort of alternate connection, instead of engaging in a constant battle of manipulation and passive-aggressive superiority. All I knew for sure was that I got the day off of school, so I was in without objection.

There was one moment from that day that sticks out more prominently than anything else; a memory I may never forget. The therapist gave my mother and I each a can of Play-Doh (she got a blue can, I got a red one), told us to sculpt something that reminded us of the other person, and explain our reasons why. This seemed like a decent way to open up and share feelings that were currently buried under a pile of baggage and clever wordplay. A chance to complement each other without feeling like we were somehow conceding victory in our Cold War.

Mom went first; she molded an adorable Teddy Bear. Round little ears. Bulbous nose. Hemispherical mitts. It looked like a fluffy, blue Teddy Graham. She then went on about how much she loved and treasured me as a son, how she’d do anything for me, and so on and so forth. She broke into tears expressing just how much she cared about me; it was a very touching and heartfelt moment.

Then it was my turn. I produced a cherry-red, foot-long, coiled snake.

Could you tell us why you made a snake?” the therapist gently inquired, quite certain that she had stumbled upon a demon seed.

Well…” I stammered for a moment while I crafted my story. “Well…whenever me and mom fight, it’s…it’s like…um, THIS!

I then proceeded to mimic the snake obliterating my mom’s Teddy Bear representation of me. I had the snake bite off the round ears. I made it tear apart the hemispherical mitts. I coiled it around the bear’s midsection and squeezed the entire works together in my hands, forming a wad of mutilated, blue-red hamburger. I then slapped the entire works back onto the therapist’s desk and pounded it flat with my fists.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

The therapist’s pencil holder and picture frames vibrated across her glass desk like an air hockey table as I put the exclamation point on my impromptu production. It was quite the performance. It was also the first and last time I ever saw a therapist with my mother. She has never once brought it up.

I know what you’re thinking. That was a frightening, worrisome and heartbreaking tale about a mother desperately attempting to establish a bond with her vile, degenerate, cursed son. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but please listen, as I have a confession to make. A confession for the you, the reader, but mainly a confession for my mother.

I’ve never been artistically inclined, and the logical fact of the matter was that I didn’t know how to make anything but a snake with Play-Doh. It was all I could construct. At the time, I was too embarrassed and insecure to admit this creative lapse to the therapist or my mother, so I just made the only thing I could and bluffed my way through the rest of the session. I didn’t mean a word of it, I was just too superficial and petty to admit that I sucked at Art.

And so it goes. It took me a long time to realize that my lifelong struggles with anger and emotional manipulation were never even close to the lifelong struggles I’ve had with vanity, ego and constant attempts to ward off public humiliation. While my mom and the therapist saw an angry kid pummeling the living shit out of a wad of modeling compound (and incorrectly affirming their theories about me), I had my own personal revelation concerning my deepest fears of embarrassment and pride, flaws that nobody knew I had. I learned something important about myself that day; unfortunately, everyone else in the room merely thought I was destined to become a serial killer.

In short, I’m really, really sorry, mom. I never thought you were a snake. I just didn’t know how to make anything out of Play-Doh that showed how much I love you.