Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
I want everyone to wish Ma Kirby, who can kick anyone’s ass while simultaneously making delicious shortbread, the happiest of birthdays. She’s the hardest-workin’ mutha in the Rust Belt, and she deserves all the good vibes in the world.
What’s this? More good news for
The Rocket Fever Universe was rocked by another outstanding weekend in Hades-hot
On Saturday, I bought a birthday present for Mom and a pair of jeans for myself with assistance from the Rocket Fever Style Team of Ryan Ward and Naz Arandi. They helped me pick out a great gift for Ma, and a pair of jeans that cost approximately what I’d think a human life is worth. After buying them, I ran outside to check whether rivers of blood were running through the streets. After confirming that I hadn’t summoned the End of Days, I enjoyed my new pair of pants. Many thanks to my artist friends for their counsel.
Later that day, Hud and I went to see “Four Brothers” at Mann’s Chinese Theater (the crappy one, not the great one). It had lots of great
On Sunday, I went to a street festival to check out some music with Ryan and Warren, a friend of ours who works with Mike at Edmunds. We went during the effing hottest part of the day to check out The Leaving Trains, a longtime
Hud and I went to another movie that night. This time, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was way better than I thought it’d be. Steve Carrell is a really gifted actor. After watching him for years on “The Daily Show,” I expected him to be as intense in this movie. But he turned out to play his role with a lot of sensitivity and restraint, which made his more outrageous scenes glimmer. Catherine Keener was also great and is tremendously hot.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thanks to Katie M. Rexrode for the link.
Congrats to M. Zawacki, who has already received a promotion at GIE Media. He's now in charge of even more titles and will someday own that town. No other man can both turn around a trade pub and elegantly renovate a bathroom the same way that the Zawackster can.
My GLP sources tell me the Snack Drawer is pitifully low. Hellfire and tarnation, people! I didn't allow you cretins to spend hours on end in my office munching on Little Debbie snacks just to denigrate this fine tradition! Get your asses to Giant Eagle!
Thursday, August 25, 2005
"One Lamb Log to Rule Them All"
"There's Something About Lamb Logs"
"How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Lamb Log"
"Lamb Log 1/2"
It's now time to consider the lamb log. This newfound delicacy, lovingly pressed into shape and roasted at a Mediterranean restaurant hidden in
Back in the proofreading room, I immediately trained my focus on the lamb log. My lone plastic fork struggled to tear off a piece, furthering my skepticism of this homely morsel. But all suspicions were dispatched upon my first bite. This wondrous find, this lamb log, was the food equivalent of a white dwarf, so densely packed with all matter of
The first wave brought my palette the sober, slightly gamey
My senses reeling from their first meeting with the formidable lamb log, I raced on to successive bites, at times wedding a forkful with hummus or egg plant puree. Other times I’d opt for an original, simple-complex, naked bite. After finishing the lamb log, the rest of the meal — while serviceable — was a coal miner’s chore. Each mouthful took me
Regardless, I beseech all of you to seek out a lamb log and take part in its mystical goodness. If I cup my ear now, I can almost hear one calling to me in the night …
Mike & Beck are back in the sunny confines and pleased as punch to be home. The sky is perfectly clear, the smog is gently undulating and everyone is wearing sunglasses. Ahhhh...
But let's give Michigan its due for the past week of fun. The Tigs were on a tear, our friends are some of the best people on Earth and ain't nobody gonna hate on the Grande Danske Festival in Greenville, Mich. (Update for Gaines: Mike's weight before: 163. Mike's weight after: 167.5)
For once, leaving the Great Lakes State didn't feel good. It felt kinda sad. Me and Beck both realized that after 20 months of being proud Angelinos, there's still a little Michigander in us. And considering how awesome all the people that we know there are, that's an honor. Kind of.
Here's a good 'un of a recap for vous (with total amount of sleep in parenthesis). Read it or don't. I don't care. I'm going out to the ocean for a bit.:
Wednesday, Aug. 17 --DETROIT/EAST LANSING--
- Midnite PDT: Red-eye to DTW. (2 hrs)
- 9a EDT: Breakfast with the Lacy's @ Niki's in Royal Oak. Greek omelet. Still best.
- 11a : About six pitchers of Labatt @ The Town Pump by Comerica Park.
- 1p: Tigers v. Red Sox @ Comerica Park. Hot dog. Chix fingers. Big 32 oz. Labatt. Tigs Win!!!
- 4p: Sleeping it off in parking lot. (1.5 hours)
- 7p: Meet the Rexrodes! Lil' Jackie, Katie & Joe @ The Blue Gill Grill in Haslett. Blackened grouper sandwich. 22 oz Millie Lt.
- 9p: Chillin @ the Rexies'. Danny Boy shows up w/ Pizza.
- 1a: Out. (7 hrs)
Thursday, Aug. 18 --EAST LANSING/GREENVILLE--
-9a: Tour of E.L. New Spartan Stadium looks solid.
-10a: Breakfast @ Big Boy in Ionia. Big Boy's Favorite Breakfast!
-11a: At home with the Hudsons. Fun.
-3p: Meet up with Steve & Erin & Willie & Annie. Buzz. Seaman Charlie Kemp makes an appearance.
-6p: Dinner with Mom @ The Corner Bar in Rockford. Three Chili Dog plate. Miller. Best on Earth.
-8p: Beers with Stever and Chuck @ The Winter Inn in Greenville. Lotsa 32 oz. beers.
-3a: Out. (4.5 hours)
Friday, Aug. 19 --GREENVILLE/ DANISH FESTIVAL--
-9a: Breakfast with the whole fam. Patrick, Ruth, lil' Keith, ol' Keith, Jean, Beck, Beck's mom. The old gang @ Big Boy. Breakfast bar.
-11a: Walking the Danish Fest w/ Beck & her mom. Saw Sierra and countless other friends. Hangin' with the Kemp Insurance gang. Buzz.
- 2p: Back home. Nap. (1 hour)
- 3p: Aunt Lynne & Cousin Danielle, the Spartan master's student, arrive from Arizona.
- 5p: Dinner @ St. Charles BBQ Competition. Best BBQ in Greenville history. Seriously.
- 7p: Kid's Parade. Danish Band Concert. Dee Cook meet and greet!
- 8p: Beers @ The Winter Inn hosted by Div. III hoops great Katey Peacock. Pat Kulas!
- 10p: Beers @ The Beer Tent. Hangin' by the Port-o-Johns.
- 2a: Charlie Kemp ships off to active duty. Go get 'em, pal.
-3a: Out. (4 hours)
Saturday, August 20 --ANN ARBOR--
-8a: Ran the Danish 4 Miler w/ Chrish & Julia Dodd. Won a medal for 4th in age group...
Noon: Gas station hot dog. Uncle Ray's Coney Island flavored chips. Best.
-1p: Becky Marshall's wedding in Ann Arbor.
-3p: Lunch @ Zingerman's Deli. BEST! Pastrami, lemonade. $20. Worth it.
-6p: Reception @ U-M Student Union. Elise, Charlie B., RJ, others. Beers. Ravioli. Tigers win in 13th inning!
-1a: Drive back to Saginaw.
-3a: Out. (5 hours)
Sunday, August 21 --Oscoda, Mich.--
-9a: Leave for Scotty's Cottage on Lake Huron.
-11a: Arrive. Beautiful beach in back yard. Sunny day. Jump in cold water. BLT & coffee.
-12p: First beer. Cheese and sausage dip. Assorted meats and cheeses.
-1p: Floating around the lake on giant inflatable chair. Beer. Sausage. Sports Illustrated.
-3p: Fun run to beer store #1.
-5p: Fun run to beer store #2.
-9p: Camp fire.
-10p: Last beer, maybe # 15 or so.
-11p: Out. (A wonderful 8 hours)
Monday, August 22 --Oscoda, Mich.--
-7a: Good day begins. Coffee by the mugful.
-11a: Trip to town to get some decaf.
-12p: Beck's extended family arrives. Beers, brats, salads, etc.
-3p: Discovered the magic of the Sudoku!
-5p: Golf w/ Scotty. Michelob.
-7p: Dinner of leftovers. Fan cans of Labatt Light.
-10p: Scrabble with Becky and her mom. Hud wins!
-11p: Camp fire. Smores.
-2a: Out. (6 hours)
Tuesday, August 23 --Detroit--
-8a: Time to leave the cottage. McDonalds. Egg McMuff meal w/ decaf.
-11a: Lunch in Saginaw. Leftovers. Coffee.
-1p: Leave for Detroit.
-3p: Decaf mocha latte & Sudoku #2 @ Caribu Coffee in Royal Oak.
-4p: Crash @ Heather & Erin's in Birmingham. Amstel Light. Crossword.
-6p: Dinner w/Charlie, Auria and godson Andrei @ BD's Mongolian BBQ in R.O. Stir-fry. Salad. 40 oz. Miller Lt.
-8p: Mandy, Graham, JenHerm and many more for drinks and pool with the DetNews gang @ Fifth Avenue. Miller Lite.
-12a: Out. (6 hours)
Wednesday, August 24 -- Detroit/Los Angeles--
-6a: Up and showered. Coffee.
-8a: Breakfast w/ Sheri & Paul @ Some Diner in Plymouth. Waffle, eggs, sausage, bacon, ham.
-10a: Break through picket line to get to Northwest Airlines flight.
-Noon: Depart for L.A. w/ McDonalds Premium Chicken Sandwiches.
-2p PDT: Arrive @ LAX. Meet Gaines who is standing with sign saying "HUDSON" near the baggage claim.
-3p: Meet and greet with Buckley, Wallace, Kitty.
-4p: Fall asleep to podcast of Jim Rome show.
-8p: Light refreshments @ Alcove. Roasted chicken sandwich with mustard.
-10p: Out. (9 heavenly hours)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Jamie Cook returned from a prolonged absence at JC's Turf with a biting post on the Woodward Dream Cruise and Colorado. Welcome back, Cookie.
The Huddies are flying back to L.A. right now!
Lamb logs, people. Lamb logs.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
We lost our Gray Lady this week. Harriet came into our life when she walked into the (Ingham Medical?) ER and Joe brought her home. She instantly took over 2828 Fernwood, making it clear to the Original Cat, Ozzie, that he had become second fiddle. No one argued with her position on this; she was a beautiful, slight bundle of gray hair and purrs. It wouldn't be long after you laid down on the couch to watch TV that Harriet would alight onto your chest, kneading your sternum and staring you straight in the face. If there were a group in the family room, she'd sample each resting place until she found what she was looking for.
Sadly, Harriet's final few years were difficult. Diabetes slowly drained the life out of her and made her an antagonizing little bugger. Mom reports that this week she laid in the same spot for days. She was in obvious pain, so Joe took her to the Humane Society. It was obviously for the best.
Here's to you, Harry. Thanks for the memories.
WEEKEND MARKED BY QUIETUDE, SLIGHT ODDNESS
Friday night was lost to sleep. This had been a long week, and I didn't mind dozing myself away.
Saturday was an archetypal Craig Day. I woke up earlyish and had another great hike in Griffith Park. I walked a bit longer than I wanted; I took a wrong turn on my way down and didn't realize my mistake until I was at the bottom of the trail. The remainder of the day was spent napping, going to the library (reserving a Patricia Highsmith, "White Noise" and a reader's guide of same, Raymond Chandler; borrowing DeLillo's' "Underworld"), eating tacos, and reading.
The early part of the evening was well spent watching "Donnie Darko," which I'm sure most of you have seen. If so, see it again. I don't know what it is about twisted high school movies, but they do it to me every time. I think it's that I can so easily put myself in their environments (fighting a shizoid-induced demon bunny might be a stretch, but I digress). I always develop a crush on the girl, always sort of want to be in the hero's shoes, always deeply hate the bad guys.
I then ventured out into the night and met R. Ward, Naz, and (apologies in advance for possible misspelling) Senu, a childhood friend of Naz's who lives in Pasadena. We met in the L.A. Weekly parking lot and planned to walk over to the Cat & Fiddle, a vaguely British pub-ish bar. But seconds after letting the parking-lot door close, Ryan asks me, "Do you have your access card?" Well of course I didn't, silly. That would just allow us back into the parking lot. What good would that do? After much foot-stamping and a few lame attempts by your hero to scale the lot's fence, Naz called some guy named Greg who lives next to the Weekly. Greg, some sort of superhot photographer ultrahot urban cowboy guy, walked out of his apartment and -- without breaking stride -- hiked himself over the fence and opened the door for us. In a single bound, Super Greg allowed us access to our cars and proved to all present that I was a Grade-A Puss. All about true to form.
The rest of the evening was spent enjoyably, fueled by my good friends Bourbon and Conversation. Ryan and I discussed various characters we knew in L.A., and I regaled Naz and Senu about my time in Section 8 housing while in Roanoke. Good times.
Sunday carried over elements from Saturday, primarily reading and napping. I threw in a trip to the grocery store and a couple of grilled turkey sausages for variety.
Which brings me to now, and which brings us to the dawn of another week. Happy traveling, my friends.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I think I've found The Thing Everyone Has To Do In L.A. Before They Die: Drive up to Griffith Observatory, park your car, and then hike your ass off (and then go home and order Thai delivery). The 360-degree views, which are all L.A. as far as the eye can see, give you this odd feeling of displacement: You're on some big damn hill that's almost a mountain, looking out for rattlesnakes and catamounts, but stretching all around you is an urban gigantous. Trust me, it's cool. Just do it sometime.
I knew there was a reason I always sort of liked the White Sox.
Did I go to high school with a guy named Rudy Valdez? I'm so bad about this stuff.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Hey, guys! Are you here?
Ha ha. Real funny. You can come out now. I know this whole thing about you guys going to Michigan and leaving me alone in California was a big joke
OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M ALL ALONE IN LOS ANGELES!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO?!?!?
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Gaines, that's who.
That's right, the Huddies are flying to Michigan tonight for wedding revelry, and I'm staying here to hold down the fort. That means making my own food, feeding the pets, walking the dog, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with invaders, wooing fare damsels, making backroom deals, finding a cure for cancer, and getting our space program all back on track.
Or maybe just feeding and walking the pets. Whatever.
I wish Michael and Rebecky bonnest voyage on their journey back to the Mitt. May the clouds be plentiful, the humidity unbearable, the company enjoyable.
So there will be a party at the Hudsons' this Friday ...
Monday, August 15, 2005
Friday night saw Mike and me at the Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard for a presentation by the editors of Dirty Found magazine. Various Midwesterners should be familiar with Found, which started in Ann Arbor a few things ago. Found and Arthur Miller are the only two worthwhile things to ever come out of that godforsaken town, so this was a fun night. The Found boys decided to launch a sistah publication after getting tons of submissions too risque for the regular edition. Hence Dirty Found and hence the presentation Mike and I went to. They showed some of the crazier photos that were sent it and read from some of the sickest e-mails and "love" letters ever written. If you find a copy of this fine publication, buy it (and demand a brown paper bag to put it in).
The event of the weekend, needless to say, was Saturday night's celebration of All Things Ward, a sensual feast at the Authentic Cafe featuring gin martinis, fair-to-middlin' tacos, and conversation with the Birthday Knight, a cool old-school rocker, and various engaging Persians. We had a tremendous waitress who didn't mind splitting the bill in a manner that required her to pull out an abacus and a slide rule.
The birthday event was preceded by a lovely afternoon at a little-slice-of-heaven of a bar, about which more later.
Then there was Sunday. Oh Sunday, would that there were more -- six more? -- of you in a week. This baby consisted of a pleasant morning walk and stop at a yard sale, a smidge of work to make myself feel productive, two excellent baseball games on TV, perfect guacamole by Mike, and tasty turkey brats washed down with some crisp Pacificos.
This weekend was brought to you, and me, by the Hudson Institute for Hospitality and the awe-inspiring state of California.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I hope this eternally troubled community can come to some kind of compromise about what to do with the wall. The city wants to raze the abandoned building that holds up the wall; the community wants to retain its memorial. E.C. says it doesn't have the money to move the wall itself. There has to be someone in Northeast Ohio with the chops to move the memorial to a location convenient for everyone. Both sides just have to give up a little bit, but sometimes that's too much to ask of people.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Everyone at Rocket Fever wishes Ryan "I Was in L.A. First" Ward the happiest of birthdays. We're all super happy that we've gotten to hook back up with RW out here. He's a classy cat and a helluva lot of fun to hang out with. Huzzah!
Some upstart named JKraft calls RF "interesting, but not necessarily in a good way." Thanks for reading, JK.
Becky, who recently drove a stray dog to Burbank to save its life, reports that her very own dog, Buckley McBuckstersons, has received a clean bill of health from the vet. But it looks like no more human food for Buck: He's a bit on the hefty side.
Another RF Huzzah for the Other California Ryan, Ryan Ahrens. He's in the process of moving to a sweet loft in San Diego near many entertainment and eating facilities. Good times will surely be had when I go to visit the old boy in the next few weeks.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Err...what I meant to say was: "Woof! I'm a Little Champion! Woof!"
GROUNDED: Cingular Wireless LLC, for consistently providing the most frustrating service I've experienced. It always takes forever to talk to someone, they often don't know how to help me, and they've made the same mistakes many times. How hard is it to send my bill to the correct address? Huh? Tell me! YOU TELL ME! YOU BETTER BE GLAD THIS GUY IS HOLDING ME BACK, MAN, BECAUSE I WILL BREAK YOU!!!
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I only said goodbye to this little champion a few weeks ago, and he's already almost unrecognizable to me. JTR is developing quite a head of hair, and reports are that he's only days away from walking. Next time I see him, he'll probably be wearing a leather jacket and tooling around on a Harley. They grow up so fast ...
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Rebekah is doing really well, loving NYC, excited about getting married to Noam Chomsky's best friend and her impending nuptials-at-sea. We both waxed ecstatic about life on the Coasts, and then revealed that neither of us had Saturday-night plans. Perfect.
Becky, say hi to Justin Bilicki for me.
Here's our media personality catching up with my favorite news chick, Kate Snow, on GMA about cars and such. Note the assured face, the confident body language, the stylish -- but not too stylish -- clothing, hair, and glasses. This, my friends, is media perfection.
But in all seriousness, Mikey did a phenom job. He was going on two hours' sleep, had dozens of people shouting instructions at him, and had to keep calm about being mere inches from Mrs. Snow. We all wish we would have gotten more Hud and less Snow (although the Snow wasn't bad), but we'd probably say that regardless, right?
A few other notes from the weekend (I now officially can't decide on my weekend update format; excuse the dust during this time of mental reconstruction):
1. I spent a chill Friday night with R. Ward -- aren't they all chill with this guy? -- at the Kibbutz Room, watching a couple rich kids get their hip-hop on, after which we retired to the Ward Abode for our continuing series of remembrance and historical analysis.
2. After a lazy day, I took a great walk Saturday night, stumbling upon Barnsdall Art Park, replete with Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and an outdoor Shakespeare production. I spent a few minutes watching the players, atop a hill, bathed in a cool breeze. A little treasure of an evening. We then welcomed Hudson home with a tickertape parade.
3. Sunday was spent catching up with S'newser Alethia Calagias, dropping by the happy Glarum household, and consuming appropriate measures of Miller Lite and Myrtle Burgers at Ye Rustic.
I actually can't wait for next weekend. How peculiar.
Monday, August 08, 2005
During his quick trip to NYC, Hud was kind enough to get me this sketch of the Notorious B.I.G. Sweet!
Friday, August 05, 2005
As has been reported, Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Mike "C." Hudson will appear on "Good Morning America" on Saturday morning (he's on the Web site's promo box!). We're not sure of the time. So everyone get a good night's sleep and tune in tomorrow!
---Should be around 7a or so, maybe 8a. Maybe 9a. Or maybe later. Or earlier. This is of course subject to change. It's probably listed at abc.com somewhere.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The Clevelanders in the crowd should take a few minutes today to read this LAT piece about Brook Park losing 19 soldiers in Iraq. It calls to mind Bedford, Va., which lost the most soldiers per capita in the D-Day invasion (the same number as Brook Park has lost). I've honestly stopped reading these types of stories; repetition invites apathy. But when the story hits close to home, I always stop. This was a well-done piece whose ending gave me chills.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
1. Good luck in Detroit, kids. I'm not too optimistic about what this megadeal means for the Detroit News. Ceasing to publish on Sundays is murder, and I've never been impressed with any MediaNews paper I've seen. Just to give you an example, this was the L.A. Daily News' headline the day after the first London bombings: "Bloody Hell." Yikes.
2. I'm eating more fruit than I expected in California and fewer tacos. I'm going to have to up my taco count. More on that as things progress.
3. I've become a bit obsessed with the Fruitbats CD "Mouthfuls" (courtesy of Sister, who hasn't updated her blog in a long damn time). Ever listen to a CD that makes you a bit sad and then makes you want to stay that way for a while? That's what this CD does. The first two tracks and last track are notable.
4. Mike is taking karate lessons. I'm buying Mace spray. (Mike tells me this move is an inward block. Impressive, no?)
5. The ignition in my car finally died. It was after Becky and I finished grocery shopping at Albertson's. Curses! I found a locksmith who replaced the damn thing, but had to miss what would have been my first kickball game. Double curses!
Best quote from a Newser: "All I know is I've got a Sunday story due...so can I just skip it now?"
Hats off to all of you. In the long run, this will probably be a good thing. And just because Gannett isn't around anymore doesn't mean you shouldn't mainstream, use the first five, think about target markets and always practice Real Life, Real News.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
And I guess that's my hair all over my forehead. And, yes, that's a big, nasty soul patch under my lip. Craig Schmidt, who now has a mohawk(?), left, and Greenville's own Paul Drake round out the shot. This was taken at the Peanut Barrel, I'm thinking in the summer of 1999.
I've decided to do away with the Weekend Wrap. It was getting cumbersome. So I've decided to replace it with the nimbler Weekend Highlight. Here goes:
Saturday: I went to this outdoor world music thing downtown with Ryan Ward, Naz, and a whole mess of other Iranian kids. While we missed the act we came to see, we did see these super-cool African guys. One of them was playing this instrument that looked like a flag pole sticking out of a globe. Crazy.
Highlight bonus: Mike and I saw "The Aristocrats." If you're a comedy enthusiast, you must see this movie. Leave the kids at home.
Monday, August 01, 2005
This first one features Adrian Rogers and yours truly discussing something way too complex for any of you to understand.
Many thanks to all those who put up with our drunken dialing and text messaging on Friday. A special shoutout goes to Amos. Why? Just because.
Also, an unforgivably belated happy birthday to JACKSON THOMAS REXRODE, who turned 1 on Friday! Joe reported on Saturday that young Rexy celebrated by shredding a birthday cake beyond all recognition. Way to go, Jackie!