Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lost Opportunity

I drove by this sign every day for more than a year. Why didn't I take this photo?

Irish Mucus; The Beard Answer; Best Band Name!

Did anyone else notice that Charlie Weis' nose was running like Carl Lewis during the Stanford game this weekend? And that ABC insisted on flashing many tight shots of his damp, mucus-saturated face?

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The answer to yesterday's beard question: It was a funny picture of a guy with a beard. The beard itself was pretty standard-issue, so that wasn't funny. And the guy was wearing a suit, so he's some important big shot and therefore not funny. But the overall picture is undeniably funny.

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One of the joys of my job is proofing ads for rock venues. It's fun because I'm always amazed at the band names these folks come up with. Let's vote for the best one among last night's top three:

Explogasm
Goatwhore
Vagenius

Post it!

*****

An RF HUZZAH is in store for the Official Doctor of Rocket Fever, Joe Frey. Joe, GLP's Web czar for the past few years, is on his way to a new job at Key. Congrats on the move, Dr. Web Site!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Roundup

The LSJ has a great profile (colorful writing in the Journal!) on EPIC-MRA's Ed Sarpolus. I actually worked on a poll with him while I was in college. Cool!
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Izzo defends Mooch!
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A few of you may remember Jon Stein. I met him during my Hedrick days. The guy has a wit dryer than toast, dryer than I like my martinis. Ilya Perchikovsky sent this Freep story my way.

A1 Becky!

Becky Hudson is doing a stint on the L.A. Times' national desk these days, and her meteoric rise is blowing away even her most ardent supporters. One day after polishing off her first A1 story, Becky handled an LAT Column One story, which is the most prestigious piece of editorial real estate in that paper. Further, Becky's headline for today's story, "Offering Abortion, Rebirth" was exceedingly difficult to write, as it was in Column One's usual one-column-wide format. Becky's A1 story from yesterday was "Border Activists Draw Line in Suburbs."

Becky, I'm honored to present you with this ROCKET FEVER HUZZAH!

*****

This is a funny picture of a guy with a beard. Or is it a picture of a funny guy with a beard? Or a picture of a guy with a funny beard? Return to this space tomorrow for the correct answer.

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Kitty in a basket! Kitty in a basket!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving: Best Holiday, By Far

I hope everyone out there had a memorable Thanksgiving. I certainly did. Cousin Caitlin Slattery took a break from massage school in Tempe to jet in for the weekend. The Sivert Glarum family once again ran a clinic on hospitality, opening their home, dinner table, and hot tub to us. Evan Glarum made everyone personalized table mats, Willie Glarum declared his love for everyone (even Becky!), and the entire crew enjoyed "This is Spinal Tap." Copious amounts of thanks go to Sivert and Mary for inviting a couple holiday orphans into their homes.

Cuz also got a taste of Hollywood, saw the sights in Santa Monica, enjoyed The Grove, and saw "Walk the Line" for the second time (and well worth a second look it was). Before flying back, we fit in a Griffith Park hike to get some good shots of the Hollywood sign (photos to come once I can find the GD USB cable).

Enough with the words. Let's tell some of the story in pictures:

THANKSGIVING AT GLARUM CENTRAL

The definition of trouble: Evan and Caitlin.

Caitlin tries to find mention of herself ...

Someday Evan will appreciate how cool it is that he has this hanging in his bedroom.
Happy Thanksgiving, from the Hudsons (hiccup).


CAITLIN IN SANTA MONICA

They built a jungle gym near the Edmunds building to keep Mike occupied.

CES on SM Beach.


FUN AT THE GROVE

See, in L.A. they make fake snow. Don't ask me.


SOME RANDOM EXTRAS

This was the view from the parking lot at the DMV. Capitol Records building in the distance.

I love Daily News headlines.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gator Geek

Remind me to not sit next to this guy next time I'm at a football game.

Turkey Bits

Now the Detroit News is coming out with a Web site redesign. Thoughts? Who's better: Freep or News?

*****

Despite the team's 1-2 record, I'm super-duper excited about MSU's basketball season. These early losses are meaningless, and only serve to put fire in their bellies come Big 10 season. Goran Suton, who hails from a Lansing city high school that produced another memorable Spartan (no, not me), should take his missed layup in the Gonzaga game to the bank and use it to inspire him for the rest of the season.

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Speaking of MSU sports, Joe Rexrode recently wrote an incisive piece the team's football program. The page was shown on TV during the Penn State game. Worth a read.

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Cousin Caitlin is due from Arizona tomorrow for a Thanksgiving family microreunion. She's taking time out from hanging out with cadavers at massage school to eat turkey with Cuz Craig.

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My favorite new birthday CD so far? Beulah's "Yoko." I might have to return to Amoeba, though. I just remembered I want to stock up on classic Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet.

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What's everyone thankful for? Here's my short list: Coach Izzo, California weather, Hudsonian patience with my extended residency here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Today, I Become a Californian

Who wants to guess what my California license plate number will be?

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Interesting little controversy brewing at The State News.

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By the way, the conversation on the vocal mashups needs to continue. This stuff is gold! Let's get some more suggestions! Think of what a great party game this could be!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Two in the Top 10!

From the AP:

Most Dangerous Cities:
1. Camden, N.J.
2. Detroit
3. St. Louis
4. Flint, Mich.
5. Richmond, Va.
6. Baltimore
7. Atlanta
8. New Orleans
9. Gary, Ind.
10. Birmingham, Ala.

If this wasn't about murder, it would be nice to be able to laugh off -- like LA being the smog capital. Oh well...as we used to say in Detroit, "This place is bad, but it ain't Camden!"

Friday, November 18, 2005

Vocal Mashups

Just a minute ago, I did the Rodney King quote ("Can't we all just get along?") in Bill Clinton's voice. It worked. That got me to thinking about other vocal mashups:

Foghorn Leghorn doing FDR's "We've nothing to fear but fear itself."
Jimmy Durante doing Nixon's "I'm not a crook."

What would be some other good ones?

Story of the Week 5

"Benefit game is diverse, if a bit demented," by Maureen O'Connell of the Chicago Sun-Times

The winning Welshman, Morgan V. Lewis Jr., opines:

Funny little story out of Chicago. Jews and Indians battle in an annual bowling contest. Could this be the answer to peace in the Middle East? Probably not ... No, definitely not.

I always dig stories about cultural mishmashes, and this one is a gem. These folks have a healthy view of ethnic/cultural identity. They're proud of who they are, but even more proud to have friends from different backgrounds. And MLJ shouldn't sell short the diplomatic powers of sport: The U.S.-China pingpong tournaments of the 1970s wiped out communism and totalitarianism forever. Well, maybe not, but ...

The runners-up:

Frey (You might need to launch external Windows Media Player. It's very much worth it.)
Schmidt
Sister

*****

I know I still owe everyone a Miami report, but in the meantime, Sister has an excellent post on the bar mitzvah itself.

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Stay tuned later today or in the next few days of a tale more suited to Halloween than Thanksgiving: The night Hollywood went all "Young Goodman Brown" on Mike and me.

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S'newsers: Does this story sound familiar?

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I'm still waiting for someone to stick up for the Raelians in the discussion below.

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BAR MITZVAH IMAGE NO. 4

Three cousins, two nerds, one friend of P. Diddy: me, Brian, Sister.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Battle of the Century

Who would win in a war between the Raelians and the Scientologists?

Discuss.

Bury My Hompoonis at Wounded Knee

Eric "Pop" Gaines underwent successful knee surgery yesterday to repair his damaged meniscus. Gaines, a second-string shooting guard with the Washington Generals, came down awkwardly on Curly Neal's foot while driving the lane in a Generals-Harlem Globetrotters game last week. The last-second layup gave the Generals their first win over the Globetrotters in decades. But the cursed team was prevented from celebrating as their teammate lay on the court, writhing in pain.

Pop called this reporter soon after popping a vicodin, and didn't have anything intelligble to say. He was able to report that his daughter had rented a Muppets movie for him. Sources say he drifted into a drug-induced reverie soon after the call.

Gaines is expected to be out two to four weeks.

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I blew $114 in birthday cash yesterday at Amoeba Music. My booty list:

The Apples in Stereo, "Velocity of Sound"
Beulah, "Yoko"
The Black Keys, "The Big Come Up"
Fruit Bats, "Spelled in Bones"
The Hives, "Barely Legal"
Luna, "Pup Tent," which is currently playing
Metallica, "Metallica"
The Minus 5, "Down With Wilco"
Southern Culture on the Skids, "Dirt Track Date"
Hank Williams Sr., "Country & Folk Roots"
Ulysses (apparently a Robert Schneider project), "010"
"American Gothic -- Bluegrass Songs of Death and Sorrow"
"20 Bluegrass Favorites -- Volume 3"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Michigan State Basketball!

Rebounds! Defense! Ball movement! Perimeter play! Strong inside game! Whack-job coach!

There's only one season preview you need to read, and here it is.

*****

Back in the day, I worked at a paper that survived solely on stories about political malfeasance. Speaking of which ...

*****

Congratulations to Samir Singh, who's been biding his time as E.L.'s mayor pro tem for a decade. Sam, welcome to the hot seat.

Michigan State Basketball!

Rebounds! Defense! Ball movement! Perimeter play! Strong inside game! Whack-job coach!

There's only one season preview you need to read, and here it is.

*****

Back in the day, I worked at a paper that survived solely on stories about political malfeasance. Speaking of which ...

*****

Congratulations to Samir Singh, who's been biding his time as E.L.'s mayor pro tem for a decade. Sam, welcome to the hot seat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

10,000!

Last week, Rocket Fever hit its 10,000th visitor! It was someone at GLP in Cleveland. Alas, I don't have more details than that, because my Site Meter (available to anyone by clicking the box icon at the bottom of this page) only stores info on my last 100 visitors. But whether it was Frey, MLJ, Slepro or some other member of the family, thanks for being No. 10,000!

And thanks to everyone else for clicking over to this silly little blog. See you at our first birthday on Feb. 9!

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Hud points out that the Freep has a new Web site. Thoughts?

By the by, during his interview with Charlie Rose, Sulzberger slipped in the fact that the NYT will be relaunching its site. Charlie let it go right by, but I'll be interested to see what they do.

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Bar Mitzvah Image No. 2


The bar mitzvah boy (right) gets all saucy with Liza Minelli.

The All-Hate Front Office

That one's easy: the Sacramento Kings.

*****

Click back later today to read about an important milestone for Rocket Fever!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rocket Fever NBA All-Hate Team

I spent a good part of last week (10 minutes) assembling my NBA All-Hate Team, composed of players whom I can't stand either for their attitudes, playing styles, or both. But I'm still searching for a point guard and a coach. I'll take any suggestions. Here's what I have so far.

G Ricky Davis (talented, but exhibits maturity of a 6-year-old)
F Danny Fortson (ugly thug; stupid hair)
F Kyle Korver (seems to have an allergy to the paint; isn't a very good 3-point shooter)
C Kwame Brown (sucks; crapped out on team last year during playoffs)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Story of the Week 4

"The Kalamazoo Promise: college tuition for all grads," by the Kalamazoo Gazette

Craig Schmidt, the winning nominator, says:

Not only is this act the most ridiculously magnanimous act I have ever heard of, it gives me hope that there are rich people in that state who have good ideas about how to help Michigan get out of the effing mess it’s in.

The questions about this story are endless: What effect will this have on the quality of education in K-zoo schools, now that the entire school district can be thought of as college prep? Will more teachers want to locate there? What sort of population change will occur? What will be the secondary economic effects? Can such a secretive, important group operate in secrecy forever? What sort of crazy legal stories will ensue? Will other communities copy this? Will there be more pressure on kids or less? What will an entire community of parents do with the money they were going to spend on their children's college education?

The other nominators:

MLJ
Frey (first item)
Becky

*****

A full Florida Trip Report will follow, but until then, here's Image No. 1 (thanks to the Huddies for letting me use their camera):

After the bar mitzvah boy, Roxy Gaines was the party's main event.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Editor's Note

Due to technical difficulties (my being in Miami Beach), SOTW 4 will be delayed by a few days. In the meantime, help yourself to some chicken.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Family That Pukes Similarly, Stays Together

First off, I'd like to congratulate new Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who has inherited the Virginia executive's job from my 2008 presidential pick, Mark Warner.

*****

I love visiting Miami, because I always pick up a few bits of knowledge about the Ginsbergs/Gaineses. So far, I've learned that my dad's cousin Peter had Confederate flags on his bar mitzvah yarmulkes, my great-grandfather Papa Ben was born in Maryland, and that the Gaines men all puke very loudly.

That last one needs a bit of explaining. I said yesterday that I was going to work out with the Miami Gaineses' personal trainer, Hillary. Aunt Karen, cousin Daniel, and I met Hillary in the carport on Prairie Avenue for an hour of ass kickage. It didn't treat me so well. About halfway into the workout, which included lunges, pushups, lunge thrusts, and other sadistic maneuvers devised during the Inquisition, I crapped out. While watching Karen and Danny from my seat on the cooler, I started to feel less than hot.

After the workout, I staggered into the TV room and collapsed onto the couch. It was then that I noticed that my hands were starting to severely cramp and that my stomach was churning like Hurricane Wilma. Before I knew it, I was projectile-vomiting into a toilet. A few swigs of orange juice later, my hands loosened up and I started to feel better.

By then, my forever-supportive family had gathered around me on the Miami Gaineses' yellow sectional. My Aunt Karen commented, "You Gaines boys sure do puke loudly." The next few minutes were spent recounting stories of how Dad, Uncle Jon, Daniel, and I vomit. Loudly. I can confirm that this is true about my dad. When he pukes, it sounds like a water buffalo is being turned into hamburger meat while still alive.

Much hilarity ensued. Then we ate pizza, capping another legendary Miami Beach night.

New Column For VOUS

Seriously now, what is going on in France? I'm going to San Fran for the rest of the week to test hybrids -- out!

In the meantime, enjoy this column in today's Detroit News from your oldest pal, Hud.

(Ding, ding!) Roni, bovs.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

About to Work Out

Hold your breath, ever'body: In about an hour I'm about to do a session with a real-live Miami Beach personal trainer. I fully expect her to kick my skinny ass. Report to follow.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Three's a Good Number, Huh?

1. Miami Beach is fantastic. The bar mitzvah was pretty much indescribable, which will make my post on the subject hard, but I'll reach into the Rocket Fever well for you, the reader.

2. What's that weird design thing on the field at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play?

3. I hate -- hate -- the Detroit Lions.

*****

Later this week: Craig's NBA All-Hate Team!

A Poll



Did anyone see "The Boondocks" premiere last night on Cartoon Network?

Whaddya think?

Weekend Wrap: Beck Wins!



















Howdy gang. The freshness is back in the Hudson household as Beck-tastic brought home the gold at the "Head of the Marina" regatta in lovely Marina Del Rey on Saturday. She also snagged a bronze on Sunday at the "Newport Autumn Rowing Festival" or NARF in Newport Beach. (First place there went to a boat of former Olympians.)

The event was the women's coxed four, aka the Hudson.

In the pic, Beck is the tiny one, third from the back. Boo-yah.

So Gaines-a-saurus is enjoying Miami with Shaq-fu and the rest of the gang while we're keeping it real here. No reports yet, which is always a good sign.

For those not paying attention:

1. France is coming apart at the seams.
2. MSU Football. Oh no!
3. I ran into the In-N-Out Truck this weekend, but didn't even buy a burger.
4. The USC Trojan Crew Team hit me in the head with their boat. I was honored. Fight On!
5. Craig "NoSleepTil" Schmidt has yet to update to my satisfaction on the White Sox experience.

Oh, and we saw that fat red-headed catcher from "The Sandlot" -- our famous first celeb of any note from when we first moved in 2004 -- at the Beachwood Cafe near the sign. He's lost some weight. Then, his movie was on HBO23 or something.

Sun is out. Hud is bovvvvvs.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Story of the Week 3

"Former NHL coach Demers admits in new biography that he is illiterate," by the Associated Press

Nominator Becky Hudson says:

It's amazing what he was able to accomplish.

I wish I could comment on this more intelligently, but I'm beat. So,

1. Illiteracy is a problem.
2. Demers used to coach the Wings.
3. I'm not a hockey fan, but still.
4. Remember when he made the refs check that guy's stick for being too curved during the Finals that one year?
5. Human intelligence appears in many forms. Most people would never be able to overcome such conditions.
6. I'm tired.

*****

The runners-up (in order of SOTW worthiness):

Hud
MLJ
Joe
Sister

*****

Mike's going to be minding the blog while I'm in Miami. I'll check in once or twice, but you all listen to Hud, OK? He's in charge till I get back. Behave.

Forget SOTW, This is SOTY!

Why Does Detroit Rule? Three words.

BUD. BOWL. XL.

http://www.freep.com/news/metro/journal3e_20051103.htm

Palm Trees, Here I Come!


Shoot. Now I'm trapped in this chilling pixelated universe. I'm going to be super bummed if I don't find my out of here by tomorrow morning, when I fly to Miami Beach. Well, wish me luck.

*****

Before I was sucked into this vortex, I did get to watch my top two NBA teams open the season by steam-rolling their opponents. I got so pumped up that I was cheering during the Cavs' team introductions! One cool touch (thanks to Usher?): They had a drum line lay down some tight beats before the light show began.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ouch

Sucks to be this guy, huh?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Absinthe

I drank this stuff, probably a cheap knockoff, when I was in London. Had lots of fun. My good friend Ilya forwarded me this gem.
Saturday was shaping up to be a pretty quiet day. MSU was rolling over Indiana (big deal), Mike was lying low, Becky was on her way to work, and I was puttering around the house. Then Paul Drake called and all hell broke loose. Drake, a fellow Greenville alumnus with Mike, does top-secret work for the DOD out here. I'm not even sure if "Paul Drake" is his real name. But that doesn't matter, because the guy is 100 percent fun.

Paul's friend Jemelle (likely spelled horribly wrong) was in town from Miami, escaping the mess left by Wilma, and the kids were looking for fun. So obviously they called us. Before I knew it, we were taking Mike's loner Audi up the PCH to the one and only Neptune's Net in Malibu. We commenced to drink beers, eat seafood, and swap tales of California, the Midwest, and Belize, Jemelle's home country.

After a quick tour of Paulie's plush Venice apartment, Mikey and I headed home, where those two afternoon beers sent me quickly to sleep.

I met up with Ryan, Naz and two of her friends on Sunday for another trip to Venice. We had breakfast at the Venice Farmer's Market, a combination produce bazaar/food court/freak fest. I ate my breakfast wrap amid the sounds of guitars, bongos, and flutes. The guy with the T-shirt showing Bush and Hitler that read "Same shit, different asshole" added a nice touch.

After eating, Ryan and I wandered into the coolest antique shop I've ever seen. Jadis is only open on Sunday, and I gather that most of its business comes from selling its wares as movie props. It's like walking through a mad scientist's laboratory. Tesla coils, spinning gears, crazy test tubes, black boxes with gauges and knobs and switches. There was even the thing you put on top of your castle to harness the lightning that will give your monster life. It was the coolest, coolest thing I've ever seen. It was made that much cooler when I ran into Paul and Jemelle again in the shop.

Later that night, Mike and I caught "Shopgirl" at the ArcLight. It's not exactly my kind of movie, one of those relationship drama-comedy things, but I like it the more I think about it. I usually get peeved when movies get all out of proportion and try to include too much in a story. But this film didn't stretch too much or slip into stock love-drama. It was just a simple, clean story. Not bad.

*****

In other news, I'm going crazy this week trying to finish a freelance assignment before my trip to Miami Beach on Friday. My e-mail account going down isn't helping matters.

The Florida trip is for my cousin Daniel's bar mitzvah. It's sure to produce a lush blog post down the line. I can't wait. It'll be good to see the Gaines family again; it's been too long.

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How funny is it that the Blogger spell check thinks "blog" is misspelled?