Monday, September 24, 2007

Yeah, I'm Still Here

So it's been a pitifully long time since I've posted. Let's just say Rocket Fever is in the middle of a seasonal transition. I have been so freaking busy for the past month. Not that I'm complaining. It's just too bad the old RF has to suffer because of it. So until I have it in me to write a proper post, let me pass along these notes:

  • A hearty huzzah to Michael "Spotty" Karpus on his marriage to Dana. I was lucky enough to have lunch with the old boy in Miami. I can't think of anyone who better deserves the designation "stand-up guy" than Spotty does.
  • I had a great, typically awesome time in Miami. The Gaines family is a small one these days, but the room always seems at capacity when we're all together. The trip featured a fitting tribute to our patriarch, Harold Gaines. We shared some stories about the man that I should commit to this here blog. There was also much eating, watching of football, and Sapo playing.
  • I'm stupid excited to go home next week. Not only will it be a chance to laze around during early autumn in Michigan (which represents one of the most perfect time-place pairings you'll find on Earth), but I'll also have the honor of officiating the wedding of Beth Maier and Barry Cook. Guys, I swear I'll have my speech to you soon.
  • My body is not in tiptop condition. After working all summer to achieve the basic likeness of Adonis, I'm back to having no muscle definition and a doughy belly. I note this with sadness.
  • Michigan State beat Notre Dame. Even though it's not that extraordinary to beat ND anymore, it still gives me whole galaxies of happiness.
  • Finally, let us all pause and mark the passing of Oscar Gaines, a good cat who lived a good life. Pop was good enough to welcome Oscar and his brother Hitchcock into our home many years ago. Hitchcock, who also goes by the names Hitchie and Mr. Fluffy, normally attracted the lion's share of popular fascination due to his wild mane and years-long battle with diabetes. But Oscar was happy to go about the business of being a cat in a more straightforward manner. He wanted nothing more than to constantly follow Dad around the house, decimate the furniture with his claws, and enjoy all the small joys and privileges attendant with being a feline. I'll never forget the day Oscar and Hitchcock came home with us. They were both little gray fuzz balls who held no compunction with doing very cute kitten things. After exploring the house for a bit, they walked over to where I was sitting on the floor. One of them climbed up on my head, the other on my shoulder, and promptly fell asleep.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A very happy birthday to the main main, my Pop, Eric Gaines. You may think the days of renaissance men are over, until you meet the esteemed gentleman who can introduce you to NASA TV, score a rare Sapo, and convince you that Jon Kitna is the right man to lead the Lions’ offense (and, after yesterday’s performance, I have to agree).

Cheers, Dad.

20 Episodes, Hundreds of Laughs!

In the latest installment of the worldwide leader in podcasting, Hudson & Gaines, Mike and Craig talk turkey with a representative of Centralia Airlines, which is "competing" for use of Great Haven's air space. But there might be one problem ...

As always, we're also available for download on iTunes. Just search "Hudson & Gaines" on the iTunes podcast page.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm back from a great trip to Miami Beach. A full report will follow, but first things first:

Congratulations to the Rexrode family! Let's all give Brennan Fredrick Rexrode a big huzzah!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hud's brother, Patrick, fires this shot
in the Condiment Wars.
(I assume this is in Chicago)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day and Memorial Day are quickly gaining on Thanksgiving for favorite-holiday status here at Rocket Fever. If I have a few more blissed-out weekends like my summer bookends, it'll be no contest. This past three-day stretch was pitch perfect, every endeavor an unqualified success, high temperatures and lack of car (more on that later) notwithstanding.

We kicked things off nicely on Saturday with a Beach Blanket Bingo party co-hosted by the Muzios in Long Beach. The king's feast (including star-worthy croissants baked by Karis Eklund, the Official Archaeologist of Rocket Fever) was accompanied by flaming drinks, fun games (bean-bag toss featuring bean bags crafted by Evie Muzio!), a costume competition, a screening of Beach Blanket Bingo, and Micah Muzio in shorts that will doom his mother's hopes for grandchildren. (Gosh, I almost forgot to mention that, earlier that day, State won big in its opener, Notre Dame got pasted, and ... uh, MICHIGAN LOST TO APPALACHIAN STATE.)

Sunday morning got off to a musical, cheerful start as I was a visitor for the bilingual service at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, where Karis' dad is pastor. You show me another minister who can transition between English and Spanish in the same sentence and play a mean harmonica, and I'll bake you a sheet of brownies. After hot dogs and hamburgs in the church courtyard, Karis and I braved the SoCal sun at an African arts festival in Baldwin Hills. After looking in every stall, pawing through every heap of beads, and interrogating every vendor, we finally found a present Karis has been searching for for quite a while. Labor Day success! ... After all that, we escaped to the air-conditioned, thoughtless bliss of Rush Hour 3, which is better than I anticipated but not really worth your time. I must point out that we intended to see The Simpsons Movie, but it wasn't playing at the theater. It was nice, though, that Chris Tucker mentioned the Magic Johnson Theater and Crenshaw Boulevard during a movie we were watching at a former Magic Johnson Theater on Crenshaw Boulevard.

But all this was a prelude for Monday, a day that I'll remember forever as the day I faced down one of my nastiest phobias and beat it worse than Appalachian State beat Michigan. I boarded the Kara DΓΌ in Marina del Rey a trembling boy, but returned to shore a victorious, sea-worthy man. Thanks to the Eklund family, I will never again break out in sweats and shakes when I discuss boating! Seriously, what a great way to spend a hot day: Eating snacks, reading the paper, rocking gently, taking in cool sea breezes. I understand the whole thing now. I get it. After a life-changing day at the marina (which included a trip on the sail boat and a zip around in their inflatable dinghy), we ended the weekend at a chic, sausage-oriented barbecue hosted by some of Karis' neighbors.

So, with all those good vibes stored up, I'll race through this week, and then fly off to Miami on Saturday. September should be a memorable month.


My car: Some dude bashed into it while it was parked. It's been out of commission for two weeks as the shop has fixed more than $4,000 in damage. I'm getting it back today. The subway was fun, but I'm ready for vehicular independence.


Michigan lost to Appalachian State. Just so you know.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

For all she knows, this is how every season starts. Let's not tell her.

Enjoy the holiday from the Huds!

Saturday, September 01, 2007