Monday, February 26, 2007

Mr. Deity

I was all set to come home and write a post about what a king-hell mood I've been in all day. I mean, they just fired a friend of mine at work, I got a parking ticket a few days ago, I'm still horrified over the Andrew Anthos slaying, and watching the Oscars at the Glarums was great fun, but seriously -- that's about 30 minutes of good TV surrounded by more than two hours of crap.

But before I could go ballistic about all that stuff, I checked out this podcast I've been meaning to look at: Mr. Deity. And it's hilarious. The show has God as a Hollywood producer type, with the holy spirit as his assistant, a young stud as Jesus (whom Mr. Deity constantly refers to as Jesse), and a nag of a woman as Lucifer ("Lucy"). The Bible is the script and all existence is the movie. This is pitch-perfect comedy. They're doing it bimonthly and hoping to get a TV deal. It gets my vote.

Biggest laugh so far: Larry (the assistant) calls from the 13th dimension to ask exactly how dark Mr. Deity wants dark matter to be. "Yeah, take that all the way to void, and then back it off a skoch." I'm telling ya, pitch perfect.

You can check it out on their Web site or subscribe to it on iTunes. Enjoy.


I really did have fun watching the Oscars at Glarum Central, even though I didn't win the Oscar pool (that would be Becky, whom I suspect benefited from "expectant mom" sympathies by her ballot scorer) and Evan Glarum came from out of nowhere to call Happy Feet as Best Animated Feature. The room was going Cars all the way.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The True Dreamer

Anyone who's lived in Lansing during the past two decades knew Andrew Anthos. We might not have known his name, but we knew he was the Dome Guy. The guy with the gently nutty dream of lighting the Capitol Dome in red, white and blue one day a year to honor military vets. I talked to Mr. Anthos several times, always agreeing to sign his petition. His soft voice and gentle demeanor were incongruous to his determination to light the dome. Every time I saw him, he talked about how he'd just had a meeting with the governor or some state senator, and that he knew lighting the dome would happen one day.

Andrew Anthos was a true dreamer. Maybe the first pure, true dreamer I ever met. I've never encountered someone on a consistent basis who had such a singular purpose for so long. He fought to get that petition signed for years. Would it be chintzy to our Upper Midwestern sensibilities to light the dome? Maybe. Was the idea weird and unattainable? Yes and probably. But was it based in nothing but love and pure enthusiasm? Unquestionably. He was a dreamer! Dreamers are nuts! But they're the ones who break through the gray and paint our days in the crazy, brash colors that make us smile and laugh and shake our heads! Long live the dreamers!

All of this, and Andrew Anthos meets the darkest of endings. Beaten to death on a Detroit sidewalk. Reportedly, because his assailant thought he was gay. It's especially sickening when the people "with it" enough to retain a sense of love and wonder about the world run smack into the world's blacker elements. In the World's Great Ledger of Good vs. Evil, a big check has just been made in the evil column.

Andrew Anthos won't be pleasantly pestering people around Lansing to sign his cockamamie petition anymore. He won't be knocking on doors throughout the Capitol. He won't be explaining to kids like me why it'd be so wonderful to light the dome in honor of the military veterans he held in such high esteem. And the lights get dimmer, and the world grows colder.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Called It

Or, at least, "Gaines" called it. Those of you who listened to the global-warming episode of Hudson & Gaines will note that Great Haven Community College's study forecasting life in Great Haven once global warming plunges us into hell on Earth included this prediction: Primates will rise up against human beings, leading to interspecies warfare.

As you can see from this story, they're already laying the groundwork. If they're fashioning spears today, it's only a matter of time before they're buying enriched uranium from Iran. Is there room for a fourth member of the Axis of Evil?


Speaking of evil, the Lions are considering drafting a quarterback, possibly Brady "Won't Win" Quinn:

If the Lions actually draft a quarterback with the second pick, it would likely be JaMarcus Russell of Louisiana State or Brady Quinn of Notre Dame. The Oakland Raiders could take a QB with the first pick.

Martz said Russell's and Quinn's records in college spoke for themselves.

"These guys have played at a high level under these programs that are under focus and there's a lot of pressure and there's a lot to that," he said. "They're very productive players at great institutions that have won."

If they draft Quinn, I might finally make the break with the Lions I've been meaning to make for years. Let's just call him the Great White Ware.


Attention, Detroit kids: The Cooleys have some great celeb-sighting stories for you.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Please allow for the fact that I love this Web site.


I have won the Style Council caption contest. The rest of you are just pretenders.


The Cooleys are loving L.A. I'm devising a plot to spirit them into the Santa Monica Mountains and hold them captive till they agree to stay for good. Today we hit the Venice boardwalk and then tooled around Santa Monica for a bit.


Be on the lookout: The new Charlie Don't Shake album is very close to existence.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shades of Wallace

I love Sister's response to this story about Novi's selling municipal naming rights to companies:

I think this is actually a really interesting idea, and it could work in different contexts as well. Think of the funding schools could get, for example, if each individual child were sponsored. And for that matter, the popular kids could get to be sponsored by cool things like Camel and Smirnoff; the nerds could be sponsored by IBM, Macintosh, universities; the uncool goth kids would get the local D&D shop or their abusive stepdad's auto-repair shop. Fights would break out between Pepsi and Coke, McDonald's and Burger King; the GM kids would run after the Toyota kids with baseball bats. And a merger between two companies could be mirrored by those two students dating. Or being physically fused together. Or one could just be "disappeared" like it's 1980s Guatemala. For more money (and greater visibility) students would shed their individual sponsors when joining a team (or at least during games) for whatever the team's sponsor is. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?


The Grosse Pointe Cooleys are in town this week, and we've been having a blast. Looks like we're off to the Eames House tomorrow.


Check out my TOSC post on my crisis of identity.


Then check out the real Style Council's caption contest. You geniuses must have something to say about this nutso image. (Note: Vaguely not safe for more conservative work environments.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I just need to say that I love Jamie Cook. I have to think Pat Muir will especially love this image.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The most remarkable people are the ones who can disrupt what's seemingly a black-and-white issue by forging a third argument, one based on a rare, objective principle. Mark Jennings Daily is one of those people.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Afternoon Notes

1. Someone really should have changed the channel in the men's locker room today when The Tyra Banks Show came on. Really.

2. Rocket Fever recommends Acme California Pale Ale. Goes great with guacamole. Available at Trader Joe's.

3. Check out the podcast the show with zefrank.

4. And then check out French Maid TV. They're basically little commercials, but they're done, um, well. You ain't seen nothin' till you've seen French maids rock-climbing.

I'm Beginning to Have My Doubts About The City Desk

R.J. White's City Desk project has made two serious errors. It now lists me as a contributor, and today it posted a short piece I wrote.

Click over to the site now, before I single-handedly bring it down.


I've decided to declare a two-week moratorium on writing about Lansing. I need to explore other vistas like, say, my neighborhood. We'll see how it goes. Biddle City always beckons ...


How fun was bowling on Sunday? Super fun! How bad was I? Way, way bad! Check the pix at the Flickr page.


Saw Pan's Labyrinth on Saturday. Seriously great movie. I hope to never see it again. I've never felt so awful after seeing a film. The trailer makes it seem like something almost good for kids. Man, I'm 28, and I almost couldn't take some of those scenes. Damn.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Episode 10 of Hudson & Gaines is online and ready for your listening pleasure!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rocket Fever's Biggest Day of the Year!

Happy birthday to Hayley E. Gaines, who is on academic assignment somewhere in the jungles of London! Sister, I hope you celebrate your day in a socially responsible, vegetarian, nondairy fashion.


Happy second birthday to Rocket Fever! As of today, RF has had 30,760 visits. We average 46 visits per day. October was our best month last year, with about 1,500 visits. This here will be RF's 705th post. Thanks, friends, for reading, commenting, and linking. It's a neat little neighborhood we've created in Internet City.



Welcome to Rocket Fever TV. It consists of about seven shorts taken with my crappy digital camera's video function, but I might just be upgrading that whole mess in the near future. In the meantime, consider the graininess of the images as texture. Yeah, I meant to do that. What I didn't mean to do is shoot so many of them sideways. I didn't anticipate that YouTube only plays its images horizontally. Duh.

So far, the most popular videos are of the famed nacho fountain at Dan and Garland's Super Bowl party last weekend. Science and technology have finally made it, folks: We now have the means of conveying mass quantities of nacho cheese in fountain form. You know Great Haven would love that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

If this were Bo's name on the door...

...Ernie Harwell would be inside getting fired.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Starmichael Strikes Again

The Star Child has a disease, and he's going to beat it -- with Great Haven's help.

Monday, February 05, 2007

See the post below for some Hud news.


I'm not the only one who thought it was funny.


It's become apparent lately that I write about Lansing way more than I do about L.A. What's odd is that I didn't really start this examination of home until I moved 2,000 miles away. I wasn't nearly as interested in it when I lived in Roanoke or Cleveland. There must be something about its being more intriguing to me when it's less accessible.

Distance helps give me better perspective on Lansing. Like looking at a painting from across a room reveals more than looking at it up close. Only here in the relative Mars of Los Angeles can I so objectively consider the Capital City. Until now I've never had anything radically different to compare it to with any authority. As I slowly gain an understanding of L.A., so does my picture of Lansing become more whole.


GREAT NEW WEB SITE: The City Desk, brought to you by the fine mind of R.J. White, a proud (I assume) graduate of Michigan State University. I'm struck by the similarities it has to Hudson & Gaines. Time well spent.


Evie, if you're wondering whether I'm trying to avoid this little six-quirky-things-about-me thing, you're right. But I won't let you down.


A note on It seems the Feedburner page isn't working for Firefox PC users. Our apologies. We're looking into this. In the meantime, try Explorer or everyone's favorite iTunes. And Episode 10 is right around the corner. Promise.

Back to Biz-Nass!

THE VALLEY, Calif. -- Former hipster Mike Hudson was seen parking in a corporate park, eating at a chain restaurant, using a bathroom key, closing his office door for a meeting and wearing a silk garment around his neck on Monday.

His jacket matched his pants.

Sources say Hudson is hopeless. Hudson, busy setting up lunch meetings for tomorrow, could not be reached for comment.

News From the Obvious!

Best headline of the day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lansing: Scam City

I had some weird ideas as a kid. One of them was that my hometown didn't exist, or at least it didn't to the outside world. I paid attention to the papers from an early age, and no big stories ever seemed to come out of Lansing. But it's the state capital, I thought. Magic Johnson's from here! But Lansing seemed to be at perpetual .500 -- never losing, never winning. So I carried around this paranoid little delusion from elementary school and on.

I'm happy to say this feeling has vanished, especially now that I can look at the Capital City from 2,000 miles away. In fact, some of my co-workers mention how they started hearing about Lansing all the time after they met me. So yes, Virginia, there is a Lansing.

But then I came across this Wikipedia entry and learned that ... Lansing never existed in the first place! It was an illusion from its very origins! Read for yourself:

The area that is now Lansing was originally surveyed in 1825 in what was then some of the thickest, wildest woods in the region. There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.[1]

In the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it "Biddle City." All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during most of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to New York, specifically Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist. They told the residents of Lansing, New York that this new "city" had an area of 65 blocks, contained a church and also a public and academic square. A group of 16 men bought plots in the nonexistent city and upon reaching the area later that year found they had been scammed. Many in the group too disappointed to stay ended up settling around what is now Metropolitan Lansing. Those who stayed quickly renamed the area "Lansing Township" in honor of their home village in New York.[2]

Fascinating! My hometown was a real estate scam from Day One! The settlers were disappointed in where they settled. And yet they stayed. They stayed. One has to wonder how this founding story has colored this city through today. Does it say anything at all? Wasn't Manhattan a land scam as well? Yes, but that was a case of people getting scammed out of land. The first Lansingites were scammed into it.

I see this as ultimately inspiring. Lansing's forefathers were sold empty plots of marshland, but did they return to Lansing, New York? No, they stayed in Biddle City, and started building the proud town we all know and love today. They were the first in a long line of hard-working, pragmatic Midwesterners who've given Lansing its distinctive saltiness.

Lansing should celebrate its founding story. Or, maybe better, certain Lansingites should celebrate it. It could be a rallying cry to Lansingites of a certain generation or persuasion. If Vegas can be Sin City, why can't Lansing be Scam City? The place has always had a kind of roguish charm to it, with a strain of fine black humor running among the community's intelligentsia. The "Scam City" sobriquet would help describe Lansing's peculiar circumstances, and do so with a biting wit. That kind of idea can go a long way in uniting a community and getting attention from like-minded souls in other parts of the country.

Who wants to design some "Lansing: Scam City" T-shirts?