Friday, July 27In Defense Of Bread.
When I was a kid, I would often snicker and mock my parents for owning the Best Of Bread album. As a child, I thought this was the funniest thing in the world; the cover of the album alone was enough to send me into fits of laughter. I mean, who names their band Bread and expects to be taken seriously?
This, of course, was all taking place while I listened to my Vanilla Ice and Milli Vanilli cassettes on a constant loop. Sadly, both acts went on to win Grammys in the 90's, proving that the best idea anyone had at the time was sampled beats and Germans pretending to sing. Hey, it's still better than what's popular now.
My Mother assured me that Bread was amazing, and it was the album that everyone made out to in the 70's. I would just pinch my lips together, my face red with glee, and go back to shaving vertical lines into my sideburns. "Boy, I'm glad I wasn't born in the 70's," I thought to myself. "Their music sucked. Besides, then I wouldn't be able to look like this!"
Adolescence was a bit of a rough patch for me, as you'd assume.
Fast-forward to today. Yesterday, actually. For the first time in my life, I sat down and listened to the entire Best Of Bread album on my iPod. What I heard was nothing short of brilliant songwriting, absolutely beautiful and timeless songs, and a hard lesson in growing up.
Most of you know that Bread was a mega-platinum group that needs no argument in defense of their awesomeness. They practically invented the term 'soft-rock' and their hits will be played on the radio until the end of time, but it took me next to 16 years to finally figure this out. Ignorance and past-assumption will get you nowhere, and I warmly accepted this swift boot to the ear by Karma. I didn't deserve to hear it until I was ready to appreciate it.
Yeah, it was just an album by a band with a silly name, but I think it actually changed the way I think about stuff. For one, it's a reminder that I'm getting older and starting to give chances to things I never thought I'd care about. Also, it's a reminder of the innocence and image-conscious mentality of the early 90's.
While I can't say that I still don't care about how I appear in the eyes of others, I can safely say that I will defend Bread for the rest of my life. And when my kids start laughing at me for owning the album, I'll just nod and smile, knowing that I did my job. Also, when I heard Aubrey for the first time, I shed a tear. At work, mind you.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to call my Mom and apologize.
Sound off in the comments section, and have a great weekend. I'll update you on the Simpsons Trivia Contest on Monday.
Thursday, July 26Prepare For Glory.
Tonight is the night of the Wisconsin Simpsons Trivia Contest.
Tonight is the night I've been waiting 20 years for. The night that I've been preparing for since I was 5 years old. Tonight will be the culmination of all my hard work, sacrifice, dedication and two decades of devotion. I have been training long and hard for this very moment, and I will not let it pass me by. It is my life.
It is my destiny.
In honor of the equally-anticipated Simpsons Movie (which I will be attending a 12:01 premiere of immediately following the contest), 20 teams of the greatest Simpsons minds in Wisconsin will converge downtown, and only one will be left when the dust settles.
My team, "The Hank Scorpio Experience," consists of myself, the Missus, Sherry (who knows nothing) and contributing Isthmus writer, Nathan Comp. There was a 3-person minimum requirement, and I prefer nothing more than to go into battles as alone as possible. It puts the enemy on their heels and makes them complacent. Makes them weaker than they already are. They have no idea what humiliation is about to befall them. It's just the way I like it.
Furthermore, having a newspaper editor on your team means that your assured a spot above-the-fold sometime during the weekend. Especially once we win.
For the past few weeks, I've been putting my body through rigorous torture and conditioning, as a way to toughen myself up for the task at hand. I've been simultaneously playing Guitar Hero Rocks The 80's while the Missus asks me Simpsons questions, sharpening up my multi-tasking skills and dexterity. I've been eating raw eggs for protein, and building up my alcohol tolerance just in case I need to drink a few nerds under the table to boot.
Also, as a sign of devotion and respect to the Simpsons, I've shaved the beard I had been growing for two weeks. I had planned on keeping the beard until my big 5K race on August 11, but I realized that it would just be funnier if I wore a fake moustache instead of a real one. It's less molester-y, and it takes far less time to remove.
As you can see, my powers of logic are getting sharper by the second.
Male attire for The Hank Scorpio Experience calls for a blazer over a t-shirt with jeans; modeled after Hank Scorpio, the greatest character in Simpsons history. Luckily for myself, this is how I dress every weekend, so a large change was not in order. Furthermore, I need to be as comfortable as possible when I'm sending 100 Simpsons poseurs crying back to their mother's basement.
In short; bring it on, bitches. I'm right here.
Wish me luck and sound off in the comments section. If you bring up the fact that I published this a day early, you will be deducted 1 point. To tide you over, here's a clip of Homer doing the monologue on Leno last night.
Wednesday, July 25I'm On Facebook.
It was really only a matter of time before the CDP sold out.
I'm on Facebook, and I'm in the process of wrangling anyone and everyone that has ever spoken to me in the last 25 years to head on over to the CDP and say hello. Stay awhile. Buy a t-shirt, giggle and whatnot. If you're on Facebook and want to 'add' me, let me know. If you found the CDP through Facebook, sound off in the comments section and say hello.
Understand that every day, I add new friends until Facebook blocks me from continuing, so if I didn't get to you yet, I will. I promise. Scout's Honor. My goal is to increase and revitalize traffic on the CDP, and catch up with some new and old friends in the process. If you wanted to know what I've been up to for the last 4 years, you're in the right place.
Well, maybe not you...but come on. Like we ever talked anyways.
Tuesday, July 24Post #600.
In honor of the CDP's 600th Post, I've decided to not compile the best quotes from the last 100 essays, in favor of publishing the latest creation from Killer Sandbox Productions.
Heinz is holding a commercial contest, where the winner gets to have their spot aired, with a cool $57,000 to boot. This is Ben's entry; I assisted with extremely minimal editing and provided the voice-over at the end. Sherry did the bulk of the filming. If you get the chance, please do yourself the favor of heading over to Killer Sandbox and taking a peek at what he's working on; it's pretty rad. Also, we're making at least 2 more commercial entries for the contest, and they'll all be posted here as soon as they are available.
So....Post #600, eh? Wow.
Thank you so much for making the CDP part of your daily entertainment routine. I really appreciate it, and will do my best to stick around for another 600 posts. Or, whatever's easiest for me; what's important is that I'm happy.
Thanks, and enjoy your day.
Monday, July 23Yankin' It.
I blame the Fourth of July Parade.
I didn't want to go. I didn't want to swelter in the blistering heat. I didn't want to stand amongst all of the children and equally ill-behaved parents, fighting for scraps of candy and watching the local Clog Dancing Troupe plow through Joe Diffie's Pickup Man. I didn't want to fight for a space under the shade tree in the Wendy's parking lot. I was better than this; there was absolutely no redeeming value in attending this parade.
Nothing, except for the Missus. For such an intelligent woman, she loves parades and fireworks displays more than just about anything. I typically go on for hours about how much she should appreciate brilliant things like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and They Might Be Giants more, when all she really wants is an explosion followed by a clown on an irregular bicycle. I just cannot win.
So, before I could even mouth the words 'Dumbass Shriner Hat,' I found myself standing next to the Missus (along with Ben and Sherry) under the shade tree in the Wendy's parking lot, watching children and their equally ill-behaved parents fighting for scraps of candy. Funny, I could have sworn that I didn't want to go.
At some point between the 9th marching band and the 12th Model-A Ford, there was a group of people handing out fliers for the Fourth Annual Book'n It Fun Run To Promote Literacy. It's basically a 5K run (3.1 miles) through the park, with all proceeds going to the beautiful public library we have here in Sun Prairie, which is less than 2 blocks from CDP Headquarters.
Being someone who is literate and appreciative of all the things the Sun Prairie Public Library has done for the community (the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibits are nice enough), I started thinking to myself about dusting off my running shoes one more time. I'm no stranger to hitting the pavement, as my trials and tribulations with the 2005 'Crazylegs' Classic have been well-documented on this page; I honestly consider it one of my greatest athletic achievements. If I could run 6.2 miles in 45 minutes at the age of 23, surely I could run 3.1 miles in 22 minutes at the age of 25. Right?
Maybe I was just getting annoyed and bored. Maybe it was a touch of the heat stroke, I don't know. But something made me perk up when those fliers started getting passed around, and I knew that there actually was a reason for me to be there that day. It was time for me to run again!
"Ben, you want to run that race with me?" I said, slightly boasting.
"Uh....sure!" He shot back. I really didn't expect to hear that.
No offense, but when I think of Ben, I normally don't think 'dominating athlete.' I mean, he's 6'2", weighs at least 10 pounds less than me and has an impeccable diet, but I just never saw it for some reason. He's uncoordinated, walks crooked and is more of a creative genius than a force in the gym, but nonetheless, he wanted in on the Fourth Annual Book'n It Fun Run To Promote Literacy, and I wasn't about to stop him. After all, I needed a training buddy.
As you would assume, I started to get cocky. After all, who did he think he was, anyway? Did he honestly think he'd be able to roll with me? A guy that ran twice this distance with ease? A guy that still holds one of the fastest Mile Run times in Winneconne High School history (5:48)? A guy that owns running shorts? Come on!
"Care to make it interesting?" I blurted out, not quite sure of where I was going with this.
"Like, a bet?" Is what I think he said. Just assume that it was.
"Yeah. $100 to the guy who finishes faster." What the hell was I doing?
"Aaaaaallllright.....you're on." Crap; he totally called my bluff.
The bet was on. The stakes and dates were set. As the parade ended and we walked back to the car, I stayed quiet, thinking about the task at hand. I couldn't wait to get home; there was much work to be done.
Fast-forward to this week. I have shin splints in both legs, a pulled left hamstring and a compressed ligament in my ankle. I can't put weight on either leg, and I walk like a 90-year-old with a Thanksgiving-sized pantload. In the course of 7 days of running, I've destroyed my legs like they've never been destroyed before.
This has never happened to me, but it appears as if I put way too much shock on my legs for a little too long, and everything kind of sproing-ed and got all breaky. In the course of one week, I went from a man on a mission to the guy not wearing his exercise gear, walking around the park in jeans while Ben continues to shave seconds off of his time, preening and posturing like some sort of shirtless, bronzed God. I go to bed reeking of whatever lotion the Missus kindly massages into my legs, and I wake up just as hurty as before. I even have to sleep with my legs elevated, because it keeps them from exploding or something.
Well, maybe that's a little too dramatic. Ben's not all that tan, but that's really not the point. The point is that I'm screwed, humiliated, injured and out a hundred bucks. I feel like crap, I'm depressed, I'm ruined and I'll be lucky to walk the 3.1 miles come Race Day (August 11), let alone jog 'em.
This is what happens when you get cocky, kids. Karma comes along and sticks its massive finger deep into your butthole, teaching you a valuable (albeit painful and embarrassing) lesson:
Don't. Be. A. Dick.
The run is still 3 weeks from now, and I've adopted a more low-impact workout on my legs. Essentially, I walk a mile every day, and spend an hour working on cardio and upper-body stuff at the gym. Furthermore, I know that if I somehow snap my ankle at the race and wet my pantaloons, I'll probably make the front page of The Daily Cardinal.
Seriously, though. I blame the Fourth of July Parade. I'll keep you updated.
NEXT TIME: CDP POST #600.