Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Strategic Partner?

One step closer to Rocket world domination?

*****

Our law-enforcement officers get no R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

*****

Sheri and Paul are off to San Diego for a few days of conferencing and surfing. On behalf of Southern California, I'd like to apologize for all the rain, but those cats are troopers and had fun anyway. Can't wait to see them again in a few says.

*****

I'm intrigued as to why Left is trouncing Right in the poll. Is it a political thing? It's not a political question. Do most people think Left is the more "different" answer? It's obviously the most common answer. I picked Left because I'm left-handed. Weird.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Best BR Contest!

Jon Stein just e-mailed me about a best restroom award contest that includes a Lansing restaurant! More details at Jon's blog.

Look to this space for another bathroom-related discussion later this week.

*****

We're in the midst of a fantastic visit by Detroiters/Brits Sheri and Paul. Details and photos will follow, but rest assured they are ace people.

*****

Two quick notes of remembrance on the death of Don Knotts:

1. My mom and step-dad will watch an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" anytime, anywhere. It doesn't matter that they've already seen the episode a dozen times. They're obsessed, and Deputy Barney Fife had much to do with that.

2. For some reason, "Andy Griffith" was always on the newsroom TV when I worked in Virginia. That song's opening whistle always brings me back to my happy days at The Roanoke Times.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

These Are ...

... what killer Persian food (thanks, Naz!) looks like ...

... what eye-popping Brazilian salad looks like ...

... and what a boy and his dog look like.

*****

In a disappointing upset, Mayo beat Miracle Whip, 14-12. Now turn to the next poll.

I'm Sorry But This Needs to Be Said...

The U.S. Ski Team can all just get bent. Especially you Bode, you pile of crap.

Leave It to the Alt Weekly

A huge Rocket Fever Huzzah for the Lansing City Pulse, whose cover story this week is about Tim Barrus, the fraud memoirist who posed as a Navajo. As you all know, because I babble on about it incessantly, Barrus is a Lansing native who graduated from my alma mater, Eastern High School.

Writer Lawrence Cosentino does a great job answering some of the questions a local reader would have on this story. He spoke to Barrus' classmates and gave the reader some color on his high school days. Best of all to an Eastern alum, he spoke with English teacher and LHS legend Hugh Spagnuolo, who recently retired. Spag, who never had Barrus as a student, did give some of his students one of his books (when he was Tim Barrus the writer, not "Nasdijj"). All these details do a wonderful job giving this story a local voice.

I'm really pleased someone in that town had the sense to write about this story. Well done, City Pulse.

*****

I could go on and on about Detroit's screwing up of the zoo situation, but I'll just send you to Jon and Lauren Stein's blog. Jon writes about this much more eloquently that I could.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Hits Keep On Coming

Welcome back from the Presidents Day "holiday," posers.

*****

This weekend brought me two exquisite examples of the dd. The first, which made contact at the end of dinner on Friday night, came from the American Northwest. Its author, Patrick Muir, was celebrating his birthday and -- I'm honored -- thought to call me. Pat, his voice rough with drink, was foul-mouthed, loud, brash, bordering on inappropriate. In other words, pure Pat (Matt Pure?) and pure dd. Pat received an assist from his girlfriend, Adriana (sp?), which gave the call the touch of class it needed to reach legendary status. Well done, my friends.

Dd No. 2 came Saturday night from the East, its author originating from the even farther East. Ilya Perchikovsky, global citizen, lover, environmental soldier, philosopher, conversationalist, called me while he was getting some (cold) air at a party somewhere in the Metropolis. Where Pat's dd was a Mailer brawl, Ilya's was an O. Henry embrace. Emboldened by strong New York air and a few libations, he summed up our entire friendship in a single, clean paragraph, and I love him for it. Making dd co-pilots a weekend trend, Ilya passed the mic to some kid from Brooklyn who freestyled for about a minute and then signed off with "one love."

Indeed.

*****

Let's transition to the world of sport:

1. I watched five minutes of the All-Star Game, and couldn't have cared less.

2. The Winter Olympics has been a bore save for two exceptions:

  • Snowboard cross, which is easily the most exciting thing about the WO. Speed, physicality, and strategy make an addictive combination. This will be the sport that brings snowboarding to the masses. There isn't as much room for the slacker aesthetic, and Lindsay Jacobellis' fumbling away of the gold will be looked back upon as a watershed moment for the sport. She's getting slammed right now, but it shows that people in this country -- not just the X Game minority -- care about snowboarding. It's an uncomfortable time for Jacobellis and her colleagues, but, hey, welcome to the bigs, as Bill Joyce would say.
  • Curling, which is fascinating, and I'm not just saying that to be cool. Are you a true sports fan? Do you really care about strategy and mental competition? Curling will be your test. Combine elements of bowling and chess with the brainpower of baseball, and you have curling. It doesn't hurt that the Americans, with the cute Johnson girls and the lovable pizza maker Pete Fenson, have performed admirably. It's no snowboard cross, but it's a damn fine sport. NBC's announcers, Don Chevrier and Don Duguid, are also perfect ambassadors.

3. Michigan State's win over Michigan on Saturday was very satisfying, for a few reasons. First, Maurice Ager put it all together for the first game in quite a while. Second, Shannon Brown had no fewer than three -- and I may be forgetting one -- amazing highlight plays. The topper was the best alley-oop I've ever seen. Here's the breakdown:
  • Brown, with the ball at the top of the perimeter, passes to Drew Neitzel
  • Using a Marquise Gray screen, Brown loses his defender, freshman guard Jerret Smith, as he drives to the right
  • Neitzel lofts the ball two steps before Brown leaves his feet
  • Brown, jumping from his left foot, pivots 180 degrees in the air to catch the ball with both hands as he continues to ascend
  • With his back still to the hoop, Brown dunks with the ball with his left hand
The whole thing was as smooth as a parabola, and I wouldn't be surprised if Brown has practiced that move. "SportsCenter" saw fit to only show the dunk once in its highlight package, and neglected to put Brown in its Top Ten list that night. Call me partial, but that's questionable judgment.
Paul Davis played with confidence the whole game, and Drew Neitzel formally inducted himself into MSU's new Big Four, earning his first career double-double. I think Neitzel, and specifically his shooting, will be huge in the tournament. Losing Matt Trannon is important, but let's just hope that it'll make for Gray's coronation. Or Goran Suton's ...

*****

In polling news, I can't believe mayo is beating Miracle Whip.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Now, Really ...

It's a very uplifting story and all, but you're telling me no one at the Lansing State Journal questioned using this photo?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!

I told y'all a while back that we at the corner of Commonwealth and Ambrose were healthily obsessed with the "SNL" "Lazy Sunday" video, which we watched primarily through the Web site YouTube. Now NBC is making YouTube stop showing the video. Just when I thought I was going to give "SNL" another chance, because "Lazy Sunday" was so brilliant, I'm right back to being a hater. For NBC to threaten action against a Web site that gave great pub to its pathetic show is just one more indicator that we're still in a 'tweener era, not quite fully accepting of the Internet Age. Or, at least, NBC's lawyers aren't.

So, in honor of YouTube's greatness, check out this rad Chuck Norris montage, from his CBS show.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hey, Ryan

Heh heh.

Altogether now: Awwww

Now isn't Mikey the sweetest?

*****

1. The Rexrodes bought a house!

2. Got a call from Freddy Kreuger last night. Or was it Craig Schmidt?

3. Don't ask me to predict a sports season ever again. But Schmidt already knows this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New Poll

"40-Year-Old Virgin" beat out "Wedding Crashers" 13-8. Hecky yeah!

Bite into the new poll, courtesy of Kevin Base-On.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fresh Redux 2006


Bovs on your respective tees.

So What Does a Vice President Say After Shooting a Guy?

It was quiet weekend at the ranch, seeing as the loudest cowboy was snowboarding in Colorado (photo to come once Blogger gets its act together). Errands, an MSU loss, drunk dials, freelance work, YMCA visit, pizza with Becky, and curling filled the days off.

*****

Well lookie, lookie, it's Justin Bilicki.

*****

This is where I live. I live here.

*****

I need a new poll idea. Anyone?

*****

Leslie Rotan's Africa blog is quickly becoming a favorite. This is highwire blogging without a net.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Family Moment

Sister called me, drunk as a hobo, last night while celebrating her birthday. It had all the essential elements of a dd: It was out of the blue, a little touching, a bit inane, with lots of laughing and just the right amount of crowd noise, and not a bit too long.

Well done, Hay. No go forth and dd again and again.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rocket Fever + Sister = Happy Birthdays!

Today is sort of a cultural holiday here at RF: The blog is 1, and Sister is 24! Both have grown so much in the past year: Sister has traveled far and wide and is on the verge of grad school, and Rocket Fever has gone from a humble blog to the world's single most powerful media entity. Mazel tov to the both of you!

Santa Monica Beach, where my L.A. story began

Sister, wearing Babe the Blue Ox hat

Me, squinting in the Utah sun

*****

As your mental soundtrack cues your favorite remembrance tune, feel free (no, I insist!) on perusing some of RF's greatest hits over the past year:

The First Post
I Quit My Job
I Return to Lansing
Notes on "Spring Break Shark Attack"
My First Trip to L.A.
I Announce My Move
Car Accident Delays the Trip
And I'm Off!
Officially in L.A.
My Account of the Harrowing Journey
Hud Joins Rocket Fever
Hud Appears on National TV!
In Which I Swoon Over the Lamb Log
DirecTV is Here! DirecTV is Here!
Sister and I Discuss the One Celebrity Siting I've Cared About
An Account of Maybe My Best L.A. Weekend
I Deconstruct a Lansing State Journal Graphic
Hud Gets a Haircut
My Favorite Intersection
Shrimp Dip
New Year's Fun!
"The White Shadow" Drinking Game
Gaines Reconnects With Ahrens in S.D.
In Consideration of the Drunk Dial

*****

Thanks for reading, everybody.

*****

As of today, here are some Rocket Fever stats (note: I actually didn't start tracking this the day I started the blog, but we'll just ignore that fact):

Visits
Total ....................... 15,221        
Average per Day ................. 50
Average Visit Length .......... 1:57
This Week ...................... 349

Page Views

Total ....................... 31,639
Average per Day ................. 93
Average per Visit .............. 1.9
This Week ...................... 650

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Growing Season

More 'stache fun at Cookie Day.

Rotan in Africa

E-MAIL FROM LESLIE ROTAN:

Hi everybody!

We are leaving Wednesday evening for Africa and I've created a blog to document the goings-on! I'll put new posts up every day or so, so please check in if you're interested! I'm new at the blogging thing, so please forgive me for being unskillful! Here's the link:

http://www.communityofallbeings.blogspot.com

If anyone wants me to bring something back, just send me an e-mail and I'll do my best!

Love you!

Leslie


*****

Oh, boy. Can anyone say "international incident"?

Safe travels, Rotan! Rep us well!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

RRRRaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhh(!)

The dog is barking, and someone is insisting on having loud gardening work being done during the day (the buzz is somewhere between a chain saw and a wood chipper, and it is going to drive me to distraction soon), so I take a break for a post that will probably be as disjointed as I am.

*****

The weekend was a mash of working, grocery shopping (which I've been doing a lot of lately), and Super Bowling. Mike and I put ourselves and the hospitable mercies of the Glarum clan, and we were richly rewarded. My meager contribution of shrimp dip was joined by various other forms of dip, pizza, beer, and fudge that's so good it's illegal in four Southern states (fudge courtesy of Mary's sister Erin).

Seriously, can we cut out the buzzing?

The game itself was a bit of a wash, although I did get to enjoy it in crisp HD on Sivert's new screen. The refs blew that interference call on the Hawks, but you deserve to lose when your kicker misses two field goals and your receivers drop some cupcakes.

It looks like Detroit had itself a merry time during the week. Anyone in the D have any Super Bowl stories?

Please, please, please shut up with the buzzing.

Thanks again to Mary and Sivert for a helluva time.

*****

Congrats to Becky Amos, who is fleeing the cutthroat world of New York-area real estate to return to the warm embrace of journalism. Becky will be an editorial assistant at something called Wiley Publishing in Hoboken. Congrats, Amos!

I'm begging. Please cut it with the buzzing.

*****

In further Becky news, Becky H. caused massive rowing carnage this weekend with two successful races, one indoors and one in the water! Beck came home from the Saturday indoor race (which are performed on machines called ergs) with a shiny medal! Woohoo, Beck!

My ears are starting to bleed. My vision is blurring.

*****

And look out, world, because here comes Mike. Hud will be flying first class to a bunch of different places during the next week. I stopped listening to him after awhile (he does tend to go on), but I gather he'll be in Vail for a -- ready for this? -- snowboarding function. Then he'll be in Atlanta for some other nonsense. Safe travels, Mikey.

I will shove shards of glass in my ears if that's what it takes. Sweet mercy. Make it stop.

*****

Here's something I want to get off my chest: Windshield wipers. Seems like they start to streak just weeks after buying the things. And they're not cheap either. Why, just the other day --

[Hey, guys. Becky Hud here. I heard a loud crash a minute ago and ran upstairs to find Gaines curled up in a ball on the floor. The side of his head is bleeding a bit, but I think he'll be O.K. I'm not sure why he took this nasty spill, but he keeps mumbling something about "the men with the buzzy noisemakers." Whatever. Hey, did anyone catch "Puppy Bowl II" on Animal Planet last weekend? I can't decide what I liked better, the puppies or the kitten halftime show. I'll tell ya, though that poodle pup ...]

Monday, February 06, 2006

Willie Glarum Says ...


"A more complete weekend roundup will come tomorrow, because Craig is allegedly too 'busy' to do a proper post today. But, take it from me, Super Bowl Sunday was tons of fun even if the game itself stank to high heaven. Now excuse me while I go admire my rocket pj's some more."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Doing Us Proud


Rocket Fever and the entire Spartan family would like to congratulate MSU communication junior Jessica Bialick on her selection as a server at Maxim's Super Bowl party in Detroit. Huzzah, Jessica!

Breaking the Addiction

Watch this space in the coming weeks for news about two nice Jewish boys' plans to help President Bush break the U.S. addiction to petroleum. Here's a hint: You may want to start eating more at McDonald's. ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Found Rocket Fever Vol. I!

I lost the mix CD Sister and I put together for my trip out here almost immediately after arriving in L.A. It was under the driver's seat the whole time. Happy! I'm about to throw together RFV.II in the next few days. It'll be a handy compilation of all the songs I'm obsessed with at the moment. That way I can just listen to them all a million times, get sick of them, and be over with it.

*****

In the way back, I wrote about my embarrassing half-shake with Kate Cosgrove boyfriend Chris, a solid dude if there ever was one (and fellow Lansing School District alum). I now have another weapon in my arsenal of shame: the hand crash.

I executed the hand crash last week at my volunteer gig. I had just gotten done talking to another solid dude named Robert, one of the employment specialists there. At the conversation's end, we went to shake. But instead of the usual firm grasp, the tips of my fingers crashed smack into his palm, forcing him to awkwardly grab my digits and shake them. It was a simple case of missing the target. Thankfully, Robert observed the guy code of never calling out a failed shake, and further loss of face was avoided. But I'm going to have to find another reason to shake with him so he doesn't think I have some nerve disorder.

*****

I mean, doesn't it make sense that the Journal would do its own piece on a national story with an unbelievably strong local tie?

*****

Detroit: Get over the Kimmel joke.

*****

Bet you jerks never knew about my double life as a Utah police officer. Well now you know. Eyes on the road.

(And if you're wondering whether I found this through doing a Google image search of myself, I can't tell you how offended I am by that implication.)

*****

Hey, Joyce, did you know this?

*****

Pie edged out Cake, 11-10, in The Sweets Poll. Have fun with the next one.

Question for Lansing Folks

Has the Lansing State Journal had anything, a wire story even, on the fake Navajo memoirist who is from Lansing and graduated from Eastern High School?

Anything?