Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Everyone Loves a Good Pie Joke

Today, Mr. Porter proposed an intelligent-design theory saying that god was a woman.
Being a borderline athiest, I said:
"A woman? This is the world we're talking about, not a delicious pie!"

Brett Cox, son of Scott Cox, the man known to some of us as Larry Forbes

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Championship-Caliber Weekend

The old boy Ryan came up from San Diego -- by bus! -- on Saturday for a day or so of L.A. time. After chowing on some Pig 'n' Whistle (we met in Hollywood), we walked over to Amoeba for the weekend's first highlight: a free live show by the electric Rodrigo y Gabriela. I had no clue two people with acoustic guitars could sound like a five-piece ensemble. The percussion they got out of their instruments was just as amazing as what they were doing on the strings. And they played with major passion ... at 2 p.m.! The day after a show! Champs, those two.

The musicality continued at the Avalon that night with an Of Montreal show. For this one, we were joined by the Muzios and Kayla Delano, an old friend of the Muzios. This show was also triumphantly rad. They rocked the crap out of tons of songs, a great mix of classic stuff and stuff from their new album. O.M. has a nutso stage presence, what with the flashy costumes, big Godzilla-lookin' thing, 10-foot wizardy getup, and half nudity. Again, champs!

After that, we decamped to Canter's, where Micah shocked the waiter by ordering a cherry egg cream. No one, and I mean no one, orders more fanciful drinks than Micah Lee Muzio. This, as well, was champion in nature.

Side note: As you could tell by my recent post, I was incredibly ramped up after downing that cappuccino. So much so, in fact, that I was dropping an inordinate number of "f"-bombs on the way to the show. This, after meeting Kayla five minutes prior. I'll stick with the tea from now on.

On Sunday, I walked R-Dub to the Metro stop, with promises to meet up again real soon (can you believe I've known the guy for close to a quarter century?). After an enriching nap, I motored over to the Muzios' abode to work on a for-now-secret project associated with Hudson & Gaines (episode 10 of which, by the way, is in production). Then Micah and/or Evie had the champion's idea to hit Garden of Taxco in West Hollywood. Food event of the weekend, by leaps and bounds. Anyone who comes to visit me henceforth will be taken to this I-can't-believe-it's-this-good Mexican joint. Dude, they basically sing the menu to you. Chicken mole to make your mother weep.

What a city. Now if only the damn sun would come out ...
Any Southern Californian who's waxing poetic about this cloudy, rainy weather can go take a leap off Santa Monica Pier.
A proper post is just around the bend, but until then, take a look at this trash.

Saturday, January 27, 2007




Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday: 100% Gaines

You ever have one of those days where you actually accomplish everything you set out to do? No? Me neither, until today. I wrote me a little list this morning, and I'll be damned if I didn't tick off every item:

  • Freelance stuff
  • Prep for the next Hudson & Gaines episode
  • E-mails looking to scare up more freelance work
  • A li'l bit o' investing
  • Send out some invoices
  • Borrow the Huds' Aero bed
  • Start new workout program at the Y

All of 'em! Every last damn one! And if you must ask, yes, I'd love a cookie. Preferably a peanut butter cookie with a huge chocolate chip on top.


Jeffrey Starmichael fears he may have gotten off on the wrong foot at The Star Blog.


I tell ya, Wordpress is better than Blogger, hands down.


My laptop is on the fritz. Anyone know how to fix an "unmountable boot volume"?


Not only did I have a great day, I made a great dinner. Remember pork chops? I know! They're great!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Blog Is Born

Jeffrey Starmichael, known to loyal Hudson & Gaines listeners as the proprietor of beloved gag gift shop Num-Num's, has launched his own blog!

The Star Blog is going to keep readers wired in to what J. Starmichael thinks about stuff, and about great deals at Num-Num's. Joyousness reigns!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


What was the first song you were ever obsessed with?

Rocket Fever Recommends

I know Chad Swiatecki is going to e-mail me and say he saw these guys when they were on that one legendary tour way back when, but, dammit, I listen to music on my own time. Which means years after the band ceases to exist. Thus I've just discovered the amazing Joe, Marc's Brother. I guess they used to be a Nashville thing. All I know is they play my kind of rock 'n' roll. No two songs on Around the Year With sound alike; each is catchy but have a durability that invites multiple listens. And just when you think the band is going too soft and melodic, they start rocking again. Not to mention, this is one of the few times my novice's ear actually pays attention to the drumming.

And I know Ma is going to tell me she read this years ago and did so in one hourlong sitting, but I'm also going to give a shout to Mark Winegardner's Crooked River Burning. Yes, a big reason I like the novel is because it's set in Cleveland, and lovingly so, but it's also shaping up to be a grand story. He takes elements from the North Coast's rich history -- East-Side-vs.-West-Side, Eliot Ness, Alan Freed's Moondog Coronation Ball, the Sheppard case, Short Vincent, Jackie Presser, Celebrezze, Screamin' Jay Hawkins -- and weaves them into a decades-long tale about a rich girl from Shaker and a middle-class guy from Brooklyn. Pick it up, regardless of whether you give a damn about C-town.


Not a bad weekend, really. Friday featured drinks and talk with various good work folks and then a nightcap with the Sooner kids. Saturday saw me pleasantly hung over for much of the day. Today I watched some football and then attended a neat little musical whose singers were festooned in items found at the 99¢ Only Store. I had to leave the AFC game early. I assume the Pats ran away with it ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dandy Rumble

After the dust had settled, the street was a heap of torn britches, ripped songbooks, and crumpled innocence. A pleasantly harmonized chorus of groans -- mostly in falsetto -- filled the air. In the distance, one could hear sharp cries of "That was cracking!" "Smashing good joust that was!" "Oh, I'm not worried, Father will clean up any unpleasantness!"

The city was San Francisco. The night was New Year's Eve. The happenstance was the worst dandy rumble since the Princeton polo team crossed swords with members of the fearsome Barrington C.C. of Arlington, Va.: a group of San Francisco prep-school boys had laid waste to the famed Yale vocal group the Baker's Dozen.

The cause of the conflagration is still unclear. It's certainly not, as the cheeky Times of Los Angeles put it, "maybe over women, maybe over beer." No, the root was likely something deeper, something more purple: A crack about SAT scores? A comparison to the Nylons? Like the first shot at Lexington, it's lost to the mists of time. All we know is that, as 2006 was passing the baton to 2007, there was slapping and scratching on the streets San Francisco.

As members of workaday society, we'll never be able to understand the machinations of the rich and dandy. These swells speak their own language and abide by their own code of conduct. Like the Pashtun of Afghanistan, once dishonor has befallen one of them, revenge must be meted out -- the only difference coming in the choice of weaponry: the Pashtun employ the gun and knife, the dandy, the spaghetti-elbow smack.

So as you pack your lunchbox tomorrow, remember to keep eyes averted at first glance of a blue blazer. You never know when you may encounter the wrath of high society.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This is "dodging a bullet" in Lansing. (Photo from Lansing State Journal)

This is an all-out crisis in Los Angeles. Ice! Ice in Los Feliz! Right down the street from me! I mean, shouldn't we tell someone about this?


Speaking of cool, that's how I'd term Friday night, which was spent in the cozy confines of Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park. The occasion was a show by L.A. and Norman's own London Broil. The band employs a complex mix of drums, guitar, bass, a touch of organ, and a heaping of leg kicks and fist pumps to get the proverbial house literally rocking. I then had the good fortune to hang out with the band and friends, as I was there with former co-worker/current friend Courtney Fitzgerald, who functions as the band's bassist girlfriend/marketing guru. Good times, even though I knocked down the Jenga tower on the first go-round.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Buy Kate's Book

Kate will have to eat this dog if you don't buy her book.

As I sit across from a guy illustrating his own comic book at the Los Feliz Branch Library, I come across this MySpace bulletin from the incomparable Kate Cosgrove. Do as you're told:

I finally put together a BOOK of the first years of my comic strip WhiteGirl (published weekly in the Lansing NOISE).

For those of you who can't get the NOISE due to living elsewhere, lack of skills in magic, or perhaps mental retardation ... you can now buy the book on Cafepress for just $7.50!

I'll even autograph it for free ... I'll even autograph YOU for free ... so pick up a copy, it's so funny-- it'll make milk come out your nose ... even if you're not drinking milk while reading it.


Friday, January 12, 2007

January Is Austerity Month

After a couple months of -- to me, anyway -- rampant spending, I've called for austerity measures during January. Namely, this means not going out to eat. A third into the month, I've been pretty good at following the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. The Hudsons were good enough to buy me dinner the other night, so I'm not counting that against myself. We'll see how well I do during the rest of the month.


I will, though, temporarily suspend those measures when Ryan and his girlfriend, Caitlin, are in town in a couple weeks. This should be a fun trip, which'll include an Of Montreal show and possibly a trip to a Santa Monica gallery to see a show of Tijuana art.


The hits keep coming in February, when Jake and Bridget Cooley visit Los Angeles for a month. I'm geeked to see these kids, especially in L.A. They're both appreciators of great cities, and I'm certain L.A. won't disappoint.


I've also been really good about what I've been eating. Lots of veggies, including tomatoes, which is huge for me. And pasta. Whole wheat pasta.


It seems Pop's computer has arrived, so I'd like to officially welcome him to the World Wide Web. Ma, of course, has been a faithful Rocket Fever reader for months now. Say hi to my mom, everybody!


I think I busted my camera when I was home. Something about having it out in the rain.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rocket Fever Caption Contest!

Combine a couple kids dressed like a Happy Meal on the Walk of Fame with a Scientology building in the background, and what do you get? A Rocket Fever Caption Contest!

Photo by L.A. Weekly photoperson Rena Kosnett

Saturday, January 06, 2007


What recorded song would you have
most wanted to see live?

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Kids and the Future

What it's all about.

The home dirt felt good beneath my feet.

My trip back to Lansing came at the perfect time for me, and came through at the exact pitch I was looking for. Six days of family hospitality, family conversation, family introductions have left me rested and recharged for 2007.

The highlight, and general theme of the trip, was kids. Specifically, my two nieces, Ivie and Elly Kirby, whom I'd never met. These two impossibly well-behaved little shavers stole every scene they were in. Especially Ivie, who has the advantage over her little sister of being able to walk and talk. It was fascinating to witness the energy level rise at family gatherings when you throw in a couple children. The conversations were livelier, and no one was nearly as sedentary, considering Ivie’s predilection for climbing up and down the stairs, repeat, ad infinitum.

The family Christmas on New Year’s Eve day was the best. Normally, my step family slows the present-opening process to a ritualistic pace, one sibling opening a present … then another … then another … zzz. But this year, Ivie Kirby ran a clinic on how Christmas is supposed to go down: She grabbed a present, sprinted to the middle of the room, tore open the present, held it up for everyone’s approval, then dove right back in. The entire family followed suit. Christmas was over in 15 minutes. It was great! The room was a mess of presents and wrapping paper, everyone was jabbering on about what they’d gotten, and the midget blue-eyes toddled about all the chaos. This, friends, is Christmas.

Other highlights of the trip included:

  • Seeing Sister, who has not picked up an English accent
  • Visiting my grandparents’ new place in East Lansing, which looks like their Grosse Pointe home in miniature
  • Watching old, embarrassing family videos
  • Eating
  • Helping my pop buy a laptop
  • Seeing various Lansing friends, although not as many as I would have liked
  • Stomping around the old neighborhood
  • Taking the Michigan Flyer shuttle back to Metro. It’s the only way to go!

As I said, all this goodness has my raring to go in the new year. Let’s make this the best 2007 ever!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Good News for Gaines, Buckley

From the Daily Mail (UK):

Dr Alias's research, which focused on medical students in the United States, showed that 45 per cent of male doctors in training were "very hairy", compared with less than 10 per cent of men overall. In a region of southern India, research among medical and engineering students and manual labourers found that both groups of students had more body hair on average than the manual workers.

Further investigations showed that when academic ranking among students was examined, the hairier men got better grades. Taking this study one step further, Dr Alias studied 117 Mensa members (who have an IQ of at least 140) and found that this group tended to have thick body hair. Some of the most intelligent men were those with hair on their backs as well as on their chests.

Words of Wisdom

"I'll never quit."

--Matt Millen, a man who most certainly should quit

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Push Play: A New Year's Treat

With Gaines out, I found something for you to dine on.

A certain percentage of the RF Nation will smile. Some will only notice that the microphone is bigger than the play-by-play guy. Hee hee.

Raise the "Roof" y'all.