Hawking His Book for a Good Cause (Presumably His Beer Money)

If I could offer you 2 pieces of brilliant advice on this fine Monday morning it would be this:

  1. Absolutely under no circumstances should you drink apple juice after brushing your teeth.
  2. Also, you must go buy Ryan Zeinert's new book now because I said so.

But don't just take my word for it. </Reading Rainbow>

Ryan himself stopped by for an interview here at Thought For The Day in the middle of his WorldWide Promotional Book Tour to fill you in on just what type of quality entertainment you can expect when you pick up his masterpiece. You may recognize Ryan from his blog Communist Dance Party or the tyrannical overloard of the CDP Mixtape Project. But I 'm sure you've been dying to know more about the man behind the hilarious wit, pale complexion, and sensitive glasses. So let's get right to it.


22 Questions With Ryan Zeinert.

1. Do I have to be a Communist to Dance at your Party? Does it help?

Nope, not at all. However, when I was a teenager, I was one mouse click away from becoming a card-carrying member of the actual Communist Party. I thought it would be funny to whip out at parties, but I realized that if there were another Red Scare in our nation, Iíd have a hard time finding work. I go to great lengths for a joke, but nationwide scorn isnít one of them. Statewide? By all means.

2. What would/will be on the inner jacket summary of your new book?

While thereís nothing on the inner jacket of the book (itís paperback), the back cover has a pretty decent introduction to the world of 65 Poor Life Decisions. Thereís even a photograph of me on there, for all your secret nighttime smooching pleasures. It wonít kiss back, but neither will the real Ryan Zeinert.

3. What was one of your Ď65 Poor Life Decisionsí and why was it so poor?

I have a story in the book about almost getting killed during a riot at my high school started by a friend of mine. I didnít know what he did, yet I stood up for him anyways and almost left on a stretcher. Looking back, I think the worst thing Iíve ever done was destroying my very first drum set at the age of 5, Keith Moon-style. It was a Muppet Babies kit with a picture of Animal on the kick drum, and I put a Phillips-head screwdriver through it. Iíd give anything to have that back again.

4. For the uninitiated, those who haven't visited any websites in the last week, and the Amish, can you explain how we can purchase a copy of this fabulous new book and whatnot?

You got it. There are two easy ways to purchase 65 Poor Life Decisions. First, you can VISIT THIS LINK and order it directly online for $15.95, or you can send $21 (well-concealed cash or money order only) straight to me, and Iíll send you the book, including shipping, autographs and some CDP merch for good measure. My PO Box is:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Just remember to include a return address, the name you want me to make the book out to, and an e-mail address for delivery confirmation. Itís an amazing deal; Iíve done the math. Itís also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but I get almost nothing in royalties through them, so forget I said that.

5. Which famous comedian's style do you most resemble?

You know, I donít really know who I resemble the most. I admire stand ups like George Carlin, Patton Oswalt, Bill Hicks, Demitri Martin and Brian Regan, but Iíd be the first to admit that my voice isnít anything like those guys. From a literary standpoint, I look up to David Sedaris in a big way, because he writes books that I want to emulate the most with my own personal experiences. Also, if youíre a fan of Michael J. Nelson from MST3K, youíll notice that his book is laid out almost exactly like mine. Not a coincidence.

If I ever did a spoken word tour or anything, Iíd probably be a lot like Henry Rollins. Just telling interesting stories, funny or otherwise. Whatever resonates with the audience; whatever they can relate to in some fashion. Like the time I killed that one guy in the abandoned hospital.

6. So this blog and its readers tend to be heavily into music (and somewhat snobby about it, personally speaking).... can you fill us in on your musical background and current leanings?

Sure. Music is what itís all about for me. I donít read too many books, go to too many movies or partake in things that youíd think Iíd be doing in a regular basis. I do, however, own over 2,500 albums and possess a college degree in music business, production and sound. I literally have an ear for the business.

Iíve been in bands, released albums, toured the Midwest for 3 years and wrote over 100 songs in my late teens. I focus all of my time on essays now, but writing music is always in the back of my mind. I used to record hours of music off of the radio in the late 80ís and memorize every word. It was a good thing I didnít have friends back then, otherwise I wouldnít have been able to do that. ErÖ.

7. What's your most embarrassing CD purchase? Mine was the second Ace Of Base CD I bought after the first one was scratched.

That first Ace of Base album was great. So many hits that sounded exactly the same. To this day, Iíll rock out to any Ace of Base song that crosses my path. Being drunk doesnít hurt.

I have many embarrassing CD purchases, but buying two Limp Bizkit albums is about as bad as it gets. Not only that, but I bought a Limp Bizkit shirt at Hot Topic once, and actually went out on a date while wearing it. Thanks for reminding me of that memory; I think Iíll go and set my den on fire now.

8. Is Guitar Hero and Rock Band turning everyone into ďmusicians?Ē What's your best song/score?

People who are unaware or donít know how to play Guitar Hero always feed me the same crap about ďpicking up a real instrument and playing real music.Ē To me, this is the same feeling I get when people tell me that professional wrestling is fake. You think? Guitar Hero is an entertaining rhythm game that has encouraged thousands of kids to take up guitar and appreciate different kinds of music, and is about as much fun as you can have on a gaming system; what is wrong with that? Furthermore, you donít see anyone telling kids to pick up a real gun and murder prostitutes in the city for drug money, do you? Ludicrous. I can play guitar. I can play the drums. I play Guitar Hero because itís an absolute blast, not because I have delusions of treating it like a real instrument.

I donít know what my highest scores are, but Iíve won the first 3 games on Expert, and am working on mastering Guitar Hero III as we speak. Nothing is more fun than playing ĎMore Than A Feelingí on the original, though. God help me, I love that song more than just about anything.

9. As a fellow proud Wisconsinite, what are some cool things about living here?

I honestly love this state, and fully understand how lucky I am to live here. Sure, Iím currently snowed into my home, but itís almost worth it for the remaining 8 months of the year. We get to experience all four seasons, we have Madison (one of the best cities in the nation, bar none), our economy is decent, we donít have toll ways and the Green Bay Packers are owned by the stockholding fans (including myself). Once I moved to Madison and experienced the inner workings of the Dairy State, I became far more appreciative of my home.

Oh, and the BoDeans! WHOOO!

10. What's your favorite thing about me?

Domsar, I respect you as a fan of my page, as a Milwaukee resident, as a lover of good music and as a stand-up, uber-intelligent guy that appreciates what he has and is willing to reflect upon it. Youíve been good to me concerning the release of my book, and itís beyond me why we havenít met up for a beer yet.

Was that good? Should I say that youíre handsome too? Because you actually kind of are. Good on you!

11. What's your favorite thing to do outside of the house?

Outside of the house? Thereís an outside? Sorry, I donít really know what youíre talking about.

I love going out for nice, Italian dinners with my wife and friends more than just about anything. I enjoy good times with good company, just anything relaxing and away from the computer. When the weather is nice, going downtown is a must, and spending every penny I have on hipster things that will be completely out of style in a matter of minutes.

12. What's you or your wife's favorite vegetarian meal to cook and when are you having me over to eat it?

Celia makes an amazing vegetarian lasagna, and her fettuccine alfredo is getting better every day. Most days, weíre in a take-out or microwave-it sort of mood, but she can throw down an awesome dinner when she has the time. Iím not a very good cook, but Iím considering taking classes to learn. I think Iíd be good at it, and it would make the Missus happier than almost any diamond. Almost.

Youíre welcome over anytime. Weíll play Mario Kart; itíll be sweet.

13. Do you have any advice for new bloggers/writers?

Find your voice. Try everything you want to try. See what works and what doesnít; see what makes you happy and what doesnít. Refine as necessary until you hit that perfect balance of personal happiness and reader appeal. It might be quick, but chances are it will take a couple years. It you truly love to write, youíll take the bumps and be patient.

If youíre looking for a shortcut, just drink lots of whiskey and write when you should be in bed. That works, too.

14. How does it feel to finally achieve something / reach all your goals / find your pot of gold ... etc?

To me, this is just the beginning. True, itís been an amazing experience and honestly one of the neatest things Iíve ever had the pleasure of taking part in, but this is merely Step One in myÖerÖbook.

Every time my mom calls me, she asks me why Iím not happier. I try to explain to her that I am indeed happy as a Christmas clam, but I have so much more work left to do. She thinks I should revel in my current success, but Iím only really happy when Iím creating new things. Itís been humbling and incredible, but weíre just getting started. I have a lot more stories to tell, and Iíd like to think that Iím only getting better with my storytelling.

15. Freaks or Geeks?

I prefer geeks. Freaks are all about the attention; geeks canít help but be anything else. No matter how I wear my hair, no matter how much I exercise, Iíll never be able to shake my argyle sweater past. In all honesty, I donít want to.

16. What's the best injury you've ever sustained?

When I was 9, I took a header into a decorative rock and tore a ton of skin and cartilage off of my nose. I looked like the Crypt Keeper for three weeks, and thereís still a definite crook in my nose at the point of impact. It didnít hurt all that much, but it was about as disgusting as you could imagine.

17. Tell me your favorite band, TV show, and movie that no one's heard of.

Unknown Band Ė Algebra One (Jawbreaker-esque grunge from Virginia in the mid 90ís)

Unknown Show Ė 120 Minutes (On VH1 Classic at midnight; old episodes of 120 Minutes)

Unknown Movie Ė Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (I watch this almost every Christmas)

Note: I fully understand that everyone has heard of these things at some point; I know Iím not some trendsetter.

18. Our lady-readers have been clamoring to know... boxers or briefs?

Iíve worn boxers since the age of 14. I tried silk boxers for awhile, but they were the least comfortable things on the planet. I expected so much more from that experience. I also had silk sheets, and every night felt like sleeping on ball bearings. I had to strap myself in to keep from slipping out of the bed.


19. You have a very "average joe" or "guy next door" charm to your blog. Is that why we like you? Is it a clever ruse?

First off, thanks. As much as people try to tell me differently, itís not a ruse. I consider myself a very normal, middle-of-the road guy. Iíd like to think that lots of people can relate to me and my experiences, and I want people to know that Iím warm, approachable and easy to get along with. Sure, I have serious psychotic hatreds and severe anxiety issues that eventually ruin every friendship that Iíve ever had, but hey, at least Iím aware of it.

Iím a big fan of Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs. I love his personality; heís a total pro, guys want to have a beer with him and girls find him interesting and approachable. Thatís what I want to be like, and I think Iím almost there. I like sensitive, hipster stuff, but I also enjoy pro sports and stiff drinks. I read autobiographies and listen to classy music, but Iíll squirt milk out of my nose watching AFV. Overall, I think the main way to create an Ďaverage joeí aura is to appreciate everything, but also understand exactly why itís stupid. Check your ego at the door.

I also keep my swimming pool full of money private. That would ruin the image a tad, you know?

20. What's the best thing about your wife? (Just helping you score points, buddy.)

Thanks, man. Gosh, where to start? Sheís brilliant, makes me laugh every day, throws more love and support at me that I could ever handle or deserve, has great musical taste and is the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on. To be blunt and simple, Iíd be absolutely nothing special without her. Every day on the CDP would be another depressing journey of misery and heartbreak, but not in a funny way.

21. If you could start one (false) rumor about yourself and have it spread like wildfire (which it will now), what would it be?

I was actually the ghost in that one scene in 3 Men & A Baby. Freeze-frame it; youíll see.

22. When the worldwide promotional tour for the book is over, I ________.

Will take a week off, and start working on Book #2, and it will be ten times better than the first.

Domsar, thank you so much for setting up this interview. I really appreciate it, and hope it was to your liking.

Once again, to order a copy of 65 Poor Life Decisions, either order online through THIS LINK, or by sending $21 (well-concealed cash or money order only) to:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Again, please include a return address, the name you want me to make the book out to, and an e-mail address for delivery confirmation.

Posted by heydomsar

go back | random brainstorm | go forth

Rachel Ray - 2009-05-03
The cold wind was the reason - 2009-03-02
The Collected Wisdom of Angela Chase - 2009-02-15
All's well that ends well. - 2009-01-07
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - 2008-10-04

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