Friday, December 28, 2007


65 Poor Life Decisions: The Review


Some of you may wonder why I am reviewing this book. The reason is simple. No one ever visits my page unless I write about the almighty CDP. He is like a god to me, and I routinely mail him naked pictures of my roommate sleeping to appease his wrath. Sorry, Kyle.

No, in all actuality, it is because he is the first person I know that has written a book, and done a damn fine job of it. He has taken what he considers his best essays from his site, theCDP, and compiled them all into one book for your reading pleasure. This had to be a terribly difficult task, as he had almost four years worth of material to go over, edit, cut, burn, and ritually defile before coming up with this one-pound piece of literary gold.

Since I have read all of his essays, starting from February 2004, for me this was a trip down memory lane. And, like most trips, it had its highs and lows...what, you didn't think I was going to do nothing but verbally fellate theCDP, did you? Hells, no, I'm going to drag my teeth occasionally. I would like to apologize to Jeebus for the previous sentences, but it makes me giggle too much to erase it.

Let's just start out with a swift kick to the CDP's nuts, with my negative remarks, and then we'll give him an ice pack, a Capri-Sun, and turn on MST3K later to make him feel all better, mmmkay? Have no fear, CDPeons, this will be over before you know it (that's what she said.) Now might be a good time to mention that I'm drinking while I wrote this, so it's all downhill from here...

Before I launch into this, I should note that the essays that I dislike are still very well-written. Truth be told, it's not that I actually dislike them, it's just that they don't provide as much interest for re-reading as others do. It's Chapter 6: All Aboard the Rant Train! Choo Choo! It's not even that I don't agree with him on most points (except the vegetarian thing, but I like that he points out he's not trying to sway anyone.) I just feel that the rants are best left as a one-time read. In other words, for those of my loyal readers that haven't read them, you'll probably laugh until you shart.

/end negative comments

Now, let's get to the fun part. Maybe I should have put this first (actually, in the first draft of this, it was first,) but I didn't want to end the review on a negative note. The other 6 chapters are great. They're full of some of my favorite past essays, including my 100% absolute favorite CDP essay ever, Tackling Reggie White. Go read it. Now. I'll wait here patiently until you get back...was I right? Thought so. He also shares past humiliations, triumphs, and just general lessons he has learned the hard way (which is the only way a lot of us seem to know how to do it.) I won't link to anymore full essays, because I really think that this is a book worthy of purchasing. Sure, you could buy something off of Oprah's book list. The books may be quality, I don't know.

What I do know: Oprah came to visit Columbia, and a film crew came into the Village Idiot to film us making pizza for some contest. I was filmed throughout the whole process, and the pie I made was perfection. We were not chosen, so now Oprah and I are mortal enemies. Someone should probably tell her, so she's not surprised when she asks me for my autograph later in life and I instead sign Daffy Duck.

/end Oprah rant.

Part of the appeal of the book, to me at least, is that, by reading this, it really highlights how similar a lot of us are. theCDP is 25 years old, married, vegetarian, from Wisconsin, with somewhat indie musical tastes (for lack of a better least I didn't say "hipster."), he prefers cats over dogs, and he's never had a drop of moonshine in his life (recently my fault. Sorry, CDP.) I'm 28, divorced, from the deep South, 143% carnivore, have two dogs, and have had more moonshine in my life than most (except people who live in Kentucky or Tennessee.) If you put the two of us in a room, you would expect us to have nothing to talk about. We might even engage in a slap fight.

Despite all of this, I manage to identify with what he's feeling in 93.721% of all of his essays (if you're going to make up statistics, you may as well be specific.) Truly, didn't we all experience the same things growing up? I don't give a damn if you're from Idaho, Texas, Maine, or California. We've all gone through the same things: heartache, jubilation, grief, angst, being unsure of who we truly are...the whole gamut of growing up, trying on different personas, and finding the one that works best.

Not only that, but he manages to make himself the butt of all of the jokes. The laughs are all at his expense, he throws no one else under the bus. That's the mark of a truly good person in my book. Take a situation, make an ass of yourself, and make others feel better. It's what Mother Teresa did (I'm going to hell for that sentence alone, regardless of my many other transgressions.) Seriously, though. He takes all of the bullshit we went through growing up, using himself as a protagonist, and makes us all laugh along, recalling how much none of it matters now, but how much it all did then.

These are the memoirs of someone who is not famous now...but who may be one day. Especially if his next book is as good, and he puts a picture of my junk on the cover.

Go buy it.

JT out*.

*I would like to nominate this post for excessive comma usage.

Late night edit: For the first time in a year, I was swung on by one of our drunk patrons. He fell off of his bar stool twice, I asked him to leave. He stood up, squared off, and gave it his best shot. I moved to my left, and he missed by a mile. He promptly fell on his face. I offered him my hand to help him up. He stood up, swung again, and missed again. I barely moved. He fell, and his head connected with a table. His friend advised him to stay down. I offered a cab. He ignored both, stood up, and swung for the fences. This time I caught him mid-swing, marched his ass to the stairs, and dropped him rather unceremoniously down them. He did not come back up.

I can fairly claim that this is the first fight I have ever won by just moving slightly to my left twice. Hope his head hurts soundly where he hit it on the table and the stairs on the way down. Hope he's fine. I was just trying to close.

"I can fairly claim that this is the first fight I have ever won by just moving slightly to my left twice."

Little Mac would like to have a word with you.

This review pwnz. Thanks for all the hard work; I'll link it right away.
...except I never swung. Not even a little.
Awesome review!

I would have loved to see that "fist fight." That guy is probably going to feel like he was in a real brawl when he wakes up...wait until his friends tell him what really happened.
Extra style points for you my friend.
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