Friday, July 29, 2005
I'd like to thank Mike Zawacki for introducing me to StuffonmyCat.com.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
And give Schmidt a big kiss on the lips for me.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Here's an update on some of the new additions:
The State News is where is all began.
Paul Drake is a Greenville buddy of Mike Hudson's who's into world travel, California, and hiding the fact that he went to the University of Michigan.
Charlie Baase is a friend from The State News, so you know he's got it goin' on.
L.A. Weekly is kind enough to employ me. 'Nuff said.
L.A. Observed knows where you live and what you had for breakfast this morning.
PostSecret is a creepy-cool blog that Mike Zawacki introduced me to. Boy, some people have some effed-up skeletons you-know-where.
Sweet Fancy Moses is no longer current online, but its archive will supply you with hours -- nay, days -- of enjoyment. They're now printing quarterlies, of which I will buy at some point in the undetermined future (Or "some undetermined point in the future"? Probably the second construction is better, huh?).
By the by, Sister has a nice account of Tim and Christine McCarty-Wyman's wedding. I'm still sore that I had to miss that affair. Best of luck to two supercool kids.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
These westward moves are in addition to mine and cousin Molly's move to Santa Clara for college. This new Western faction joins Uncle Joel in Sonoma and Aunt Chris in Seattle. When everyone's settled, the geographical face of the Mellinger clan will be radically different from its Eastern/Midwestern traditions. This exodus from the Midwest and East, which actually follows the country's population trends, spreads the family even farther from its epicenter in Grosse Pointe.
I'm betting that as my cousins get older and graduate, more of them will join us out here. Just a hunch.
1. Friday night: A fun and quiet night was spent at Ryan and Naz's apartment, drinking beer and marveling at the new MTV '70s reality show. Ryan and I went to Whole Foods to pick up some grub; this is the place to be on a Friday night! Electronic music was pumping and the place was packed. I half-expected one of the bag boys to offer me some Ecstasy.
2. Saturday: Mike and I trucked up to Malibu, in horrible traffic, for a day of seafood and more beer. Neptune's Net, situated on the Pacific Coast Highway with a stunning view of the ocean, is a food destination everyone should experience. We ordered a mess of fried seafood -- crab cake, shrimp, fish, scallops, calamari, clam strips -- and suds. My friends, there are few days better than eating great food, watching surfers on a beautiful ocean, and drinking 32-ounce cans of Miller Lite. If you know of comparable days, please let me know. As we drove back South to L.A., the endorphins swimming through my bloodstream whispered, "That's niiiiice."
3. Sunday: After some work in the morning, Mike, Becky, and I headed for the Valley, zeroing in on the Glarum household and more specifically their pool. After a complex game led by Evan, in which Mike was the bad guy -- big surprise -- we spent a few minutes chatting with Sivert and Mary, which is always time well spent.
Mike and I then ate an early dinner at the original Big Boy -- ask me sometime about the Madman of Toluca Lake. The rest of the day was spent reading the LAT and relaxing. Not bad.
For those of you with cable, this should be a great show. Bourdaine's Food TV show -- and accompanying book -- was great.
I know someone who writes for The New York Times! I know someone who writes for The New York Times!
Katie Rexrode reports that Pat Muir, in Michigan right now, is looking and doing well.
Check out this feature on my cousin Devin!
Monday, July 25, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
So now we know that one of the stories the PD was sitting on was about alleged corruption under former Mayor Mike White (Cleveland's mini Coleman Young). The weekly Cleveland Scene ended up scooping the Plain Dealer because the paper feared running the story in the Era of Patrick Fitzgerald. That must burn the PD crew pretty good.
Greg White, the U.S. attorney who's looking into who leaked documents to the publications, was the county prosecutor when I worked in Lorain County, Ohio. The man does not like to be effed with. If the Justice Department tells him to direct the investigation rather than a special prosecutor, expect him to methodically collect the scalps of everyone involved in this leak. Yipes!
I hope that the embarrassment of being scooped by a weekly will push the PD to run the other story they've got the willies about. Now that you're in the soup, you might as well open the crackers, right?
Friday, July 22, 2005
Rocket Fever will be in official mourning for the next few days over the death of James Doohan, "Star Trek"'s Scotty. Not only was he a great TV character, but he was also the basis for an office-conduct theory Mike Zawacki and I cooked up while at Inside Business. The Scotty Principle states that if a boss gives you a task, never make it seem as if it will be easily accomplished. Always give the impression that you'll be able to complete the task, but that it will take considerable time and effort on your part. Hence Scotty's habit of always telling Kirk that he'll be able to get the Enterprise up to warp speed, but it won't be easy. To wit:
In ["Next Generation"], Mr. Scott expressed astonishment at the approach of that ship's engineer, Geordie LaForge, to telling his captain how long it would take to work through a particular problem. "Oh, you didn't tell him how long it would really take, did you?" When Mr. LaForge said he had, Mr. Scott replied with exasperation, "Oh, laddie, you've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!"
James Doohan-Montgomery Scott, Rocket Fever salutes you for "giving her all she's got."
I'm liking the job, but -- some of you in Cleveland will be shocked to hear this -- I'm feeling a bit odd about not being in total control of the Weekly's production process. Am I some sort of control freak? Who knew?
Becky and I might join a kickball league. Stay tuned.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Our collective march toward adulthood took another step forward recently when Jon Brunt and Adrian Rogers bought a house in Spokane. Congrats, kids! Now I'm sure there will be a guest room for me to crash in when I FINALLY make that trip up there I've been promising for months and months.
Reports out of Spokane indicate that if Joe Rexrode ever visits, Jon will BY NO MEANS allow him to watch "The Simpsons."
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Bon Voyage to Mikey, who's going off to some godforsaken territory to test cars for the next couple days. Or, at least that's where he claims he's going ...
This post has been brought to you today by the punctuation mark Ellipsis.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Friday, Mike and I went to this Japanese place right around the corner. I love sushi.
Saturday, I was going to wake up early and go for a hike. But, um, I woke up at 10. So no hike. Instead, Hudson and I went to a thrilling Dodgers-Giants game. They were tied in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. The Giants had just walked Jeff Kent to get to Jason Phillips, who I'm not a big fan of. After getting a generous call on a check swing -- but the umps don't win or lose games! -- Phillips singled in the winning run. This Giants fan in front of us went nuts, pointing middle fingers at the field and getting into it with anyone who'd make eye contact with him. Rivalry sporting events are always the best, even when both teams basically suck.
Sunday was a typically lazy one. After again failing to wake up early for my hike, we all went out to breakfast. The rest of the day was spent dozing, reading the LAT, and going to Ye Rustic Inn for dinner (by the way, the photos on that link make the Rustic look a lot hipper than it is -- think hair metal dive bar meets neighborhood dive bar). After a quick jaunt over to Santa Monica, where I bought "The Right Nation" and "The Oxford Essential Guide to U.S. Government," it was back home for a great night's sleep.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Back in my newspaper days, I wasn't a big fan of photographers. I thought they were often needlessly egotistical and fussy about working with the copy desk. The relationship was especially tense at The Roanoke Times, which was often run more as an artists' colony than a newspaper. The photo staff was really good, but sometimes they'd give us these shadowy, arty shots and insist we run them.
Luckily, it was only like that part of the time. Usually, they gave us pretty stunning shots, like this one above (go to Roanoke.com for a bigger version) by Sam Dean. It's accompanied by a nice story by John Cramer about soldiers coming home from Afghanistan. The story is part of a special report the RT did about a National Guard outfit in Afghanistan.
No matter your position on our current military endeavors, you can't look at this photo and not feel a ton of happiness and pride for this family.
Well done, RT.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Adam Graham, a reporter at The Detroit News who frequented machines such as the LIZ and Freezur, performed a rap directed at the vending machine company bemoaning the change Friday afternoon in the News cafeteria.
”First off, f--- your machines and the clique you claim, Det News when we ride come equipped with game,” he said. “You claim to be delivery man but I f----- your wife, we bust on Bad Boys, old Machines for life.” The rap also included a bizarre dis against Chino XL.
When reached for comment, XL said “What? I loved those vending machines too, man,” and had milk running down his chin. (DEVELOPING...)
Graham proceeded to greet the new machine guys with a "New machines, huh?" only to be met with silence.
"New machines equals new guys, too?" Graham complained, recalling an era when two young Newsers were rewarded with free Sobe Orange Carrot beverages for their trouble.
At about 1:15 in this news story, pay attention to the young man sitting in the background. Who is it? Why it's everyone's favorite Michigan Senate Republican aide, Fred Woodhams!
The best thing about having a shaved head is that no one can tell when I don't take a shower. That and it makes me look like a sexy bitch.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The actual event was mostly good for free burgers and a few laughs. Mike and I stood for a while in the press area, where we supposedly were going to watch the stars come down the "red carpet." There were some beautiful people, but I didn't recognize anyone. After an hour, we got hungry and went in search of some free In 'n' Out burgs: second best part of the night.
Then the fun began: Shaq (I guess it was easy to tell who was in the photo) appeared as the celebrity host. The emcee was Funk Master Flex. Then for the next hour or so, stars drove up (the event was held on this faux New York street set) in all sorts of GM cars. Clipper Corey Maggette had the best car: some SUV with acrylic seats and 15 video screens.
There were some OK entertainment stars, but my coolest spot was Warren Moon, who was sitting right behind us just watching the festivities. Bad.
Movie studios ... stars ... cars ... free food and drink ... just another night in L.A.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
If Doug Clifton is telling the truth, observers of this need to make the distinction that the writers are willing to sacrifice for the story and the paper's executives aren't. I'm guessing the folks who actually produce this paper, whose news side I generally admire (ask me what I think about the editorial page someday), are devastated about this.
Has anyone else heard of papers admitting to this?
(Thanks for MLJ for the link.)
1. Saturday: We packed up the Lexus hybrid SUV Mike's driving right now and blasted off at 5:30 a.m. The trip was fairly uneventful because there's actually not too much between L.A. and the Bay area. We pulled into Oakland's Jack London Square in the early afternoon and checked into the Best Western. After decamping for the weekend, the Huddies took a nap while I went out to the pool to catch up on some reading. As I entered the pool area, I passed this guy who seemed to be talking loudly into a phone headset and writing in a notebook. I couldn't follow the conversation, so I thought he was talking to someone about a screenplay. He kept talking about Narnia and different celebrities and that he was a warlock. I didn't think about it much at the time, except that later I realized that was no headset. The dude was talking to himself. Ah. He was asked to leave shortly after.
In the afternoon we took a quick jaunt into San Francisco, which Becky had never seen (Aaron, if you're reading this: I'll hit you up when I have more than an hour in town.). We didn't do much of note, just drove around and took some pictures with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
After that, we headed back to Oakland to eat at this barbecue place near the hotel. Very average. We were expecting more.
A quick note on Oakland: I like the area we were in. It reminded me of one of Cleveland's cooler neighborhoods, just much more high rent since it's next to S.F. There's lots of little shops and restaurants along relaxing tree-lined streets. It seemed to be a very straightforward city.
2. Sunday: We woke up early and got Becky down to Lake Merritt for the regatta. She was in three races that day, performing excellently for someone in her first competition. I predict that once she gets a few more of these under her bet that she'll be a helluva competitor.
Between races, Mike and I drove around Berkeley, which is a pretty cool college town. After walking on campus for about five minutes (we kept hitting construction dead ends), we turned around and found a cheap Mexican place for lunch. Then it was back to Oakland to watch Becky's final races.
Her races complete for the day, we packed up the car, made sure there was no poopy on the dog, and headed south, completing the first of what will be scores of fun California weekends.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
My fingers are covered in disgusting hangnails. Why?
I've forgotten what clouds look like.
We called Craig Schmidt at a very late hour last night. He was most agreeable about it. Good man.
I bought a new printer/scanner/fax. It's an HP. I'm sure I'll use the fax at some point.
I'm probably going up to Oakland this weekend to watch Becky take part in a rowing competition. Go Becky!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
But little connections are made. New things are learned. Take, for instance, this vlog (video blog: cool!) produced by a friend of Alex's: 29fragiledays. I don't pretend to be anywhere as cool as this guy. I just love his imagery: Lots of soft focus that often renders his subjects more as moving shapes than just people. I'll be spending some more time at this site, and I hope you will, too.
I hate the fact London's unique personality might change because of these attacks. The city really is alive, with a character you get to know as well as any of its inhabitants. It's been badly wounded today, but a combination of resilience and obstinacy will bring it back to full health soon.
Damn right. Tonight, let's all raise a glass to a bruised but proud city.
Mike, a graduate of Greenville High School and Michigan State University, lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca, pets Buckley, Kitty, and Wallace, and long-term house guest, me.
Please join the RF management in welcoming Mike to the team!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I just scored a major victory (I think) just a minute ago when I finally figured out how to do this wireless Internet thing on my desktop.
In other news, we had a spectacular Fourth of July at Sivert and Mary Glarum's house. Sivert is Mike's cousin who until very recently wrote for "King of the Hill." He and his whole family (who I've written about before) could put on a hospitality clinic. They did a killer barbecue for a bunch of neighborhood friends after getting everyone gussied up in RW&B for the community Fourth Parade. Too much fun.
Take some time to check out the links. I've added a couple L.A.-inspired ones.
Thanks to Katie for the phone call the other day.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Wednesday: I left in the early evening after getting my car back from the shop that afternoon. I had a momentary conniption when my dad told me my breaklight was out, but the good folks at Story Body Shop fixed it for me in a jiffy. I then sped home, threw my life in my car, said my goodbyes, and began my spirit quest.
For about the first 30 minutes, I was convinced that I was making the worst mistake of my life. Depressed that I was a divorced rambler rather than a happily married man, sad that I was leaving my family, frightened that I would be a horrible failure in
After making my goal of passing
Thursday: The Focus and I broke asphalt promptly at and proceeded to lay waste to the great states of
I dispute the fact that
I crossed into
I finally pushed into
Friday: The serious part of the trip saw me taking off again at 7. My car was in for a hell of a day. The
I crossed into
For the first hour. At hours two, three, and pushing into four, it was monotonous, uninviting, maddening. I wanted this state to be over. But instead it insisted on pulling my car up these miles-long grades that sent my odometer creeping back toward zero.
Up … flat … up … flat … down …
Then, in late afternoon, my eyes dry and my head pounding, I came across Beaver,
I checked into the Best Western, splashed around in the pool and hot tub for a few minutes, ate at the
Friday night: Except that crisis was about to hit. After dinner I wanted to check the car’s mileage. I went out to the car and stuck the key in the ignition. Said key only went in half way. No. I tried again. Still stuck. No. Nope. This wasn’t happening. Got my other key. Still stuck. No. No. This wasn’t happening. Got a paper clip and jammed it into the ignition. Tried the key again. Stuck. No, no, no, nononononono. Noooooooooooooooo.
Not now. Not here. Not in Beaver Goddamn
No. No. No.
But yes. I was effed in a cosmic way.
So who saved the day? Who got me back on course? Bucked me up?
Mike C. Hudson. That’s who.
I called the old boy and told him I was preparing to set up residence in
I found a smithy in the Yellow Pages. He came out the next morning, fixed me up, and I was on my way. Brett Hansen, The KeyMaker of Cedar City, Utah, you are my hero.
As are you, Mikey.
Saturday: Determined to get the hell to
I blasted my way, regularly pushing 85 mph, right through this bone-dry region. I stopped at a McDonald’s in
After making my way though my first official
I parked on Ambrose, thanked my car for a job well done, and walked up to what will be my address for the next few months. There was a smiling Mikey. I had