Friday, December 29, 2006

On to Lansing

It was a year of gains and losses, containing periods of upheaval and stasis. To take 2006 into proper consideration, I'm going back to where it all started: Lansing. If you're looking for me, I'll likely be next to the fireplace in my mom's basement, possibly sipping on some bourbon and eating something bad for me.

Here's to a bright 2007.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

OPEN QUESTION

Greenville Mayor Lloyd Walker with then Minority Leader Ford in 1969 at Kent County Airport. (From the Greenville Daily News.)


Image of Ford with these, uh, guys originally found here.


How would have Gerald Ford handled Sept. 11 and its aftermath if he were president at the time?


Mercy Mercy, the Beat Goes On

Which, of course, means Episode 8 of Hudson & Gaines has officially dropped on the Internet waves! I have to say, this one is a gut-buster.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Harold Gaines, 1919-2006

Harold Gaines was a character in every sense of the word. He was a cutup, and an arch jokester. But leaving it at that would be selling the man short. My grandfather was a walking picaresque, a collection of tales that, put together, told the story of a loving, street-smart rascal that rivals anything Mark Twain ever wrote.

Dialogue with my grandfather was always in this story form, told in his resounding, Foghorn Leghorn Carolina timbre. It might be better to call it a monologue, though. The man was a world-class talker, and he was always so deaf it was much easier to let him do the storytelling. Before his Alzheimer’s started to silence him around 2000, he’d tell me the same collection of tales every year when I’d go down to South Florida for a visit. After a while, I’d be correcting him on details of the stories his flagging memory would let through. They never got stale.

How could they? Who else has experiences involving exploding dynamite caps on the Fourth of July, seeing George S. Patton the day Ike called him on the carpet for slapping a shell-shocked soldier, driving around Joe Williams, lunching with Jackie Robinson? He ran a soldiers’ cantina in Italy after the war, and won opportunities to sit in on drums for Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Whiteman.

The putty drawing all these stories together, though, was his vibrant personality, his complete sense of presence. You always knew when Grandpa was around. The room didn’t light up when he entered it so much as grew louder, faster, more alive. I’d sit back and watch the man operate at family affairs, his booming voice telling a joke, singing a song, ordering someone to speak into his good ear, laughing so damn loudly. There was always a sense of pride in being with him – he was the fun one, the one who, after the details of polite conversation with others had faded, you always remembered.

And it was so fitting that he was a drummer. Because, while he would belt out tunes to stop the show, the cadence, the rhythmic qualities of his voice are what stand out for me. He’d start one of his war stories in a steady, slow tempo, gradually building tension. As the story heated up, his voice would pick up the pace, finally delivering the punch line with the vocal equivalent of an ending cymbal crash.

It’s also worth mentioning that he was the classic zany grandfather, a fun father who I’m sure at times tried his sons’ patience – especially in public – and an utterly devoted husband. His antics endlessly drove my grandmother, Ida, up the wall, but he always knew he was the drummer to her band leader. Most of us can only hope to match the level of commitment my grandparents had to each other.

As a present to my sister and me sometime in the mid-’80s, Grandpa sat down at a tape recorder and spun a nutty, almost anarchic telling of how Santa Claus came to be. Clyde Claus, a McDonald’s executive who harbored an obsession with Santa Barbara, Calif., was sent to Antarctica (rather than Ann Arbor, as he thought) with his wife, Bea Claus, to open a new restaurant. After a few adventures with his reindeer friends Rudolph, Leroy, Hart, Schafner & Marx, he turned his back on the corporate life and became the bearded fella we all know today. It was a bravura performance by a master storyteller, and I think I’ll go listen to it right now.

Harold Gaines, 1919-2006


Thoughts to follow.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Egg Photos

Eat 'em up.

F-ES: The Wrap

I'm going to enjoy this for the next 15 minutes, then regret it for the next 10 hours. Worth is in the eye of the beholder.

The sandwich suffered from the lack of that distinctive crunch real bacon gives you. And the cheese would have been much better had it been a member of the Velveeta family. Meltiness is crucial. Sharp cheddar doesn't melt well. Known fact.

In the end, this was a roughly hewn metaphor for a true fried-egg sandwich. I've had the world's best fried-egg sandwich, and I know I'm capable of matching that level, because the ability is in my blood. Like father, like son.

Photos to follow on the Flickr page.

Yes it does, Derek.

F-ES10

First bite: Needs more ketchup and Tabasco.

Second bite: Perfect.

F-ES9

Egg assembled. Time to eat.

F-ES8

Sandwich in midassembly. Just awaiting bacon, which I think is ready.

F-ES7

Ketchup on bread. Bacon close to done. Egg done, cheese not very melty. I anticipated this: it's sharp cheddar. Earlier, I'd doused some Tabasco on the egg.

F-ES6

Bacon and egg flipped. Egg probably too done. Now melting cheese. Bacon doing fine.

F-ES5

Egg cracked. About to flip bacon.

F-ES4

The fake bacon is in the oven. (Photos of all this TK.) Turning my attention to the egg, I'll wait a minute, heat the pan, and then fry the egg.

F-ES3

I've sliced the cheese (three pieces) and have put away the rest of the cheese. I'm very conscientious about this while cooking: Put away the ingredients after using them! I'll probably now put the fake bacon in the oven.

F-ES2

The oven is preheating at 350 degrees. The fake bacon will take 12-14 minutes. I need to flip it halfway through. I'm also going to start slicing the cheese. And maybe getting out the pan for the egg.

Live Blogging: Fried-Egg Sandwich

Okay, I'm going to make a fried-egg sandwich with cheese and Morningstar fake bacon and ketchup. First item: preheat oven for bake bacon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pop, I've Found Something Better Than Duct Tape


It's called mounting puddy, and it's a revelation. Just tonight, I've used it to hang a bunch of pennants in my kitchen and afix a piece to my broom handle. How will I use it next?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"It looks like a rabbit jumping over a cactus."


--My boss, David Caplan, giving the best impromptu description of the Mitten State I've ever heard

Carmelo >> Whatta Punk


I've been ignoring sports since baseball season ended, and I especially hate it when nonsports stories permeate the sports media, as seems to be happening so much these days. And it's incidents like this that have me paying more attention to a presidential race that hasn't even begun than to the NBA.

If you put incredibly intense, amped-up athletes on a field of play together, there's going to be some spats a couple times a season. Fine. But the thing that gets me about the Knicks-Nuggets brawl is Carmelo Anthony's sucker punch (pay attention starting at 30 seconds into this clip -- if it's still up). Not only did 'Melo sneak in on the side to punch Mardy Collins, but he then backpedaled furiously to his own bench. Dude, if you're going to pull that kind of garbage, at least be man enough to stand in and take your lumps.

Maybe 'Melo can get some brawling lessons from Nolan Ryan during his 15-game timeout. What a douche.

Do they put Venezuelan winter league ball on TV?

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Maybe I'm Just Bizarre"

Well, that's most certainly the case. Watch this piece, produced by a paper I used to work for outside Cleveland, and try to tell me life in the Midwest is boring. I dare you.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Weekend >> Satisfactory!

SUNDAY: The Muzios certainly know their way around a theme Christmas party. This time it was their annual "Santa Conquers the Martians" party, featuring fun folks, mind-blowing snacks, beer (no adjective needed), and a classic "MST3K" episode. Expectedly great times. More photos here!



SATURDAY: One final hurrah for Court Dog, Gaines, and Lawrence, who's cashing in his L.A. chips and moving on to other corners of the country. Special shout to Dr. Pringle for ordering the Thai food. Larb! Everyone needs to order chicken larb! Safe journey, LEF.

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Curious about Hudson & Gaines but haven't listened to an entire episode yet? Come get a taste at our MySpace page!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

More L.A. Sensory Cues

  • The smell of a far-off forest fire.
  • The sound of police choppers overhead.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

HUDSON & GAINES: EPISODE 7

It's real and now!

Want to be a part of Great Haven? E-mail us at goatlord44@gmail.com! Let us know what's going on in your neck of G.H., and we'll work it into the show! Plus, we love getting feedback.

Thanks to all who've downloaded the show on iTunes or listened on the Feedburner page. In the coming weeks, look for the unveiling of hudsonandgaines.com.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How 'Bout a Big Round of Applause for the Hudsons?

Now, on to our regularly scheduled blogging.

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For steak and other fine red meats, there's only Taylor's.

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Tune in to Everett Lawrence's take on the whole N-word combustication.

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Funny to say, but I can't wait to leave town for a few days. I'm starting to learn something about life in L.A.: I need to get out of town about three to four times a year. The city is so dense with people, cars, movement, sound, stimuli, sky. I internalize all these electric elements, and at some point the hard drive becomes full. So I need a semiregular respite in one of the country's quieter corners to release some of what's become pent up inside me. Without fail, I return to L.A. ready to process more of what the world's greatest city has to offer.

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I can't believe it's been nine months since I gave up drinking coffee. (God, nine months is such a long time. I can't imagine having to go through any process that lasts nine months. I mean, nine whole months? To do anything? Forget it. That's nuts.)

The coffee purge has been one of the best moves I've ever made. I've saved tons of money, I feel better, and I get to feel morally superior to this country's amped-up, addicted zombie monkeys. But one of the difficulties of the coffeeless life is getting fully into the day. It takes me much longer to completely wake up. For the most part, I don't mind: It's probably how your body should be, and that slower start translates into a clearer head later in the day.

But I do want to get to optimal RPM quicker than I have been. Enter the Rocket Fever Morning Routine. Here it is:

  • Push-ups

That's it. Push-ups. Right now I'm at three sets of 10. It gets my heart rate up, circulates all that stagnant blood, and gives me reason for some good old-fashioned morning grunting. I highly recommend working the RFMR into your day. You'll thank me.

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I think Rocket Fever has a new Democratic presidential candidate, but I'll need to run it past Rocket Fever Political Adviser Fred Woodhams. More on this to follow.

(Here's a hint: It ain't Hillary.)

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Finally, I'm so damn proud of my high school alma mater. The kids didn't like how the school board was negotiating with its teachers (an issue I'm completely ignorant of), so they held a peaceful, well-run, media-savvy second-hour protest. This freaked out all the haters around town who see Lansing Eastern as a gang-infested hell hole, so they blasted the kids on the Lansing State Journal's discussion board. I added a few choice comments, but, honestly, the students defended themselves more eloquently than I could have. Go Quakers!

Monday, December 11, 2006

HUDSONS ANNOUNCE COMING “THIRD HUD” TO WORLD


MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Craigory Schmidt

neveronceagaininsomuchas@212stoddard.com


INVESTOR INQUIRIES:

James W. Jackory

feve@jackorysmithandmcgwire.com


DECEMBER 11, 2006

For Immediate Release

LOS ANGELESRebecca “Becky” and Mike “Mike” Hudson are proud to announce that one of them is pregnant. At the moment, it appears the person in question will be born around late June.


Pictures taken with a tiny camera inspected by the couple show a peanut-size deal with hands and a head. The peanut refused comment as to its expected height, weight, sex or ultimate intentions.


“Happy doesn’t begin to describe how I feel,” Mike Hudson said. “Scared pretty much nails it.”


Rebecca then gave Mike a look.


--80—


SMOOT-HAWLEY, ALIEN AND SEDITION ACT PROVISION

The preceding statement contains forward-looking statements. Investments and friendships involve risk. Friendships with Mike tend to include high rates of aggravation with low rates of return. Becky tends to be easier to get along with.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

NYT in Cleve-Burg Again!

Neat story about Cleveland surfers. That's right. Cleveland surfers.

Thanks again to Joe Frey.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Cleveland Story

Neat li'l piece in ye olde NYT today.

Link courtesy one Joe Frey.

Monday, December 04, 2006

M&M's Are Great

Listen to "Pat Brown." Do it. Do it. There needs to be more sports imagery in rock 'n' roll.

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Plain. Not peanut.

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Billy Wirth. Remember the name.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Welcome to the Week

Now stop foolin' around and check out the latest episode of Hudson & Gaines.

Saturday-Night Bloggin'!

Whoever tells me Sumday by Grandaddy is overrated is a fool.

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Good seeing Sharon Terlep and her girlfriend, Rachel, at a hamburger joint in West Hollywood. Hamburger Mary's. That's what it was called. Also good driving to the joint in Hud's weekend Porsche.

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I know I'm repeating myself, but I'm firmly against those baby carriers all the parents have these days. Listen, I don't want to hear your wining about it being difficult to carry the baby. You had the baby, you take responsibility for carrying it. My parents didn't need fancy carrying mechanisms to schlep me around. And I was a fat baby. Ten pounds at birth.

Further, I predict that these kids are going to grow up into a generation of sociopaths. I swear they're being denied an important type of parental contact. And they're all going to become public enemies because of it.

You read it at Rocket Fever first.

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Also went to the Magritte exhibit at LACMA with Ryan and Naz. [Insert intelligent comment about art here.] Then had bang-up Ethiopian food right around the corner. Damn good.

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Further, had a helluva time at the Red Lion with soon-to-be-departing Everett Lawrence and the one and only Court Dog on Friday.

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I'll be home for a few days around New Year's. Probably won't be making it to Detroit, but I'd love to see some Lansing kids.

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Holy crap the weather was amazing today.

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This Jamie Cook anecdote from April is one of the funniest things I've ever read. It happened when he was in L.A. on a movie press junket for Real Detroit. I remember the when and where I was at the time of reading it. I was still living with Mike and Becky, and I yelled down to Mike to read the post right away. We both laughed our asses off for the rest of the morning over it. If you have any experience with Jamie Cook, you'll understand the deep humor in this story. It simultaneously exists in several dimensions. That's all I can say 'bout it.

The morning consisted of roundtable interviews with the screenwriter, a really cool secret service consultant, Eva Longoria and Michael Douglas. Things went well, though people asked some stupid questions. Eva Longoria is tiny, tiny -- like 4-foot-1, 80 pounds. She was really sweet, though, and didn't seem too phony. A bearded Michael Douglas was our last interview; his voice alone is cause for a brief spine tingle, but seeing how much he looks like his dad and recalling how much I loved him as Jack T. Colton and Gordon Gekko made the experience a great one.

After it was over, I headed to the elevator, and wouldn't you know, Michael and Eva jump on with me. I tell Eva (who's dating Spurs guard Tony Parker) that I came in from Detroit and she shot me a faux evil look and said, "Yeah, we don't talk to you people." I then got on her case crowing about the Pistons, and Michael Douglas jumped in because he's a Heat fan, so suffice to say I riled up two celebrities -- plus I farted right when I got on the elevator, and I'm positive the Desperate Houswife smelled what I dealt. It was fantastic.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Irrefutable Truth That USC-UCLA Is a Weak Rivalry

SCENE: Saturday morning, Hollywood/Wilshire YMCA lockerroom

MAN 1: You know what time the USC game is today?

MAN 2: Nope. (To entire lockerroom:) Anybody know what time the game is today?

LOCKERROOM: (Silence)

The End