Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas Cheer

Dear Gaines,

For Christmas I didn't know what to get you all.
So I donated a goat on your family's behalf which was entered in the 25th annual Buccoo Goat Race Festival. Your goat (#8) won!!!

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Cousin Joel

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Afterglow

Good to be home for the holidays and we can't wait to get back (trip2). Feel free to drop me a line on google chat since I'll be in the office the next two days, while you all are just RELAXING (not jealous). If you're looking to "waste" some time try these out:

SNL - Narnia Rap (a nationwide phenomena article)

Dallas Willard Interview - I was telling a few of you about this, I think he is incredibly insightful and his thoughts on contemporary adults (20-somethings) is dead-on, and was a bit of a wake-up call for me. more articles

Maybe we should be thinking about our verses or goals for the new year so can we can share them together. GO BLUE!! Talk Later.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Stormin' Norman sprints out of the gates!


After a quick 6 games...
NORM = 5-1 with Akron to win Motor City tonite.

Doc Georgiou
Steve = both 4-2 (they have Memphis in Motor City)

The big middle at 3-3:
Jeff, Wes, Andrew and Jake (not too worried yet, much to play still)

The bottom UNO:
Ben = 2-4 (should be alright...has some sleeper picks coming up)

Jake, I still need your "Total Points for the GAME" for USC vs. TEXAS for tie breaker (taken: 41, 63, 72, 52, 66, 51, 55).

Should we all throw in a dollar or two or is this for braggin' rights till March Madness?

Here's the skinny: The way I see it, it could go down to the last game. I have scoped everyone's picks and everyone has a few sleeper/diverse picks but there's much parody as well. We'll see stay tuned. A clincher could be that Norm is the only one to pick Nebraska over UofM (and that includes me! Go UofM!) That game could give Norman some steam down the stretch.

I'll chime in a few more days and let the games play out a bit. Until then, this is your bookee, C-units daddy sayin' "Keep it real, Tis' the season to be Merry, Happy B-day Jesus!, We love you Santa, and Jacob has Centauron (spelling?) fantasies (Narnia)." Much love, see you soon! Steph, Caleb, baby in the oven and I will be in Detroit till 28th, then headin' back to the B-town that morning.

Steve and I are lookin to get Normy to open up Maltby for some 3v3 tourney/all the ninos from EL running around etc. etc. New Year's EVE hang-out, too? Keep in touch. Much love.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pop Quiz!

Dad, this if for you. What this picture is and what is going on? Anybody else have any guesses?

Spreading Christmas Cheer in San Diego

Anniversary in San Diego
Originally uploaded by jacobgaines.
Here's a picture of my lovely wife in her ol' stomping grounds of downtown San Diego where we celebrated our 7th anniversary!! We just got back from a wonderful two days where Jack Frost was anything but nipping at our noses. We had record heat today as temps pushed into the high 80s (cue Stuart: "Hey, somebody's got to live here!") and yet there was still outdoor ice skating at Horton Plaza.

On Tuesday we meandered through Cleveland National Forest up to about 4000ft where we had lunch in a little moutain town called Julian (made famous for their 19th century gold mining and still famous apple pies). We then made tracks for SD where we stayed near the water at the Hilton and had quite the time taking in the night life in the Gaslamp District before catching "Walk the Line" at the local theater. Great movie!

This morning we had bagles, split an OJ, then finished our Christmas shopping before heading north to LA. Let me take this chance to publicly thank my wife for 7 of the best years of my life. She's the best!

We look forward to seeing the rest of you Midwesterners real soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Two American Guys

Two American Guys
Originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Winding down the year. I'll be back in Michigan in a few days and I'm super excited! I hear there's some snow there. Is that true? It's been about 9 months since I've been back so I can't wait to see the changes. Jeff & Steph y Calebito. Steve and non-pregnant Shea. Norm Clause and Deborah. Anybody up for hitting U-hill? Ice skating at the Karabelski's? Dad snowblowing at 5:00 AM. Mom sliding off the road and into a ditch. All these things. So I'll leave you with a picture of me and my best friend Patrick from our Hollywood days. See you all soon!

What did Santa ever do to you, Tom?

Ah yeah, How can we forget about the ole' Santa-BCC confrontation when Norm stormed into the pastor's office and threw his bag of toys and goodies on top of T-Elliot's desk and demanded an apology for the bellow-the-gut hit he took on Christmas Eve before his joyful journey of bringing goodwill and tidings to the little ninos. Classic.

Santa is no match the Main Man, the Savior of the World, but just remember this holiay season...Our Lord works in mysterious ways, even using a chubby, old, jolly soul like my Normy...I mean Ole' St. Nick.

Jefe See ya'll soon

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's been a while, What's up Andrew

Hey there family. Goodness where have I been. I haven't talked to many of you in a while. Wes I always enjoy our googleicious discussions on the Talk. "Gotta Go boss is coming." Anyway, What's all this favorite movie music stuff. I've realized now that I'm married to a woman who would rather watch Monster-in-law, Legally Blonde 2, or Christmas with the Kranks over Cinderella Man, my taste in movies is quickly fading toward cheesy. All in the name of love. I do have my five favorite artists though. the same as last year and the year before (Crowder, Redman, and rcently Coldplay You know the usual). You are thinking "Get a life Steve and get out of the box." I tell you I have. I have found a new enjoyment for....... (drum Roll) Oh yes, Kelly Clarkson. I love it. Once again, all in the name of love. She belts chords comparable to a young Whitney without Bobby Brown days. She even writes some of her own stuff. Andrew stop laughing right now. I'll burn you a cd and you will find yourself riding your sweet new bike to work with a big Kelly Clarkson smile on your face. Everything else is going great in mt. P. Got some stuff to tell you all about later. No, Shea is not Pregnant. Love you all. Go Kelly Clarkson. Stop laughing.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Uncle Joel - part deaux

"Who the heck is that! Why did you wake me up in the middle of the night to check out this spazz? This better be the only and last time this punk wakes me up. My sleep is muy importante!" - Roger

William Roland Jinkins
born December 19, 2005

(Anna, apparantly works at the "Baby Factory..."
"one day, my husband came up to me and said 'Anna, are ya busy'...")

New wheel

new wheel
Originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Check this out. I built this wheel on Friday night at a wheel building class offered by the Bicycle Kitchen in Los Angeles. The class took about 5 hours and I constructed this wheel from start to finish. This is a pretty unique wheel because I put a track cog on it. This means that I have only one gear and I cannot coast (when the wheel's moving, the pedals are moving). I now have a fixed gear bicycle. Read more about it here:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mad Hot Ballroom, anyone?

Has anyone seen Mad Hot Ballroom? If not, it'd be a fun one to watch together while we're all home if we're all sitting around.

Even Gramie will like it. (At least she'll like it better than "Lord of the Rings" but not as good as "Shall We Dance").

Friday, December 16, 2005


Well it has been a little over a year I guess since the passing of Grandpa Fritz and I thought I'd post a song in memory of him. I was just thinking of Grandpa's funeral last year and what a great reminder it was of the impact he made on everybody.
Miss you Gramps.

Jeff Buckley - Satisfied Mind


So I never forward any emails or anything like it but I really think this one my sister got from another family who adoped a child from Etheopia is worth us all reading and perhaps responding to. Its a little long but it brought me to tears...I hope we can help.
Merry Christmas

Hope is eight years old. We adopted her in 2003, and since then we
have had an unusual challenge every Christmas. You see, Hope is a
precious, polite and very well behaved young lady. Our challenge is
not Hope, it is fulfilling her annual Christmas wish.

Each year we ask our three daughters to choose three things they
would like to receive for Christmas. Hope's two older sisters do
well listing things they would like to receive. Hope, however,
presents us with wishes that no toy store, book store or Gap outlet
could possibly provide.

Last year, Hope told the mall Santa that she wanted "peace on earth"
and nothing else. I failed miserably at fulfilling that wish. The
year before that, her first year with our family, she asked
for "enough food to feed all the hungry children who live in
orphanages." Again, I could not grant Hope's one wish. So this year
I offered Hope some ideas for her Christmas list. I suggested a
Furby, a new Barbie, or a hundred other toys that have invaded our
home via the television over the past month. But, to my dismay, this
year none of those would do. "This year," said Hope, "I wish for
eleven sisters from Africa."

I explained to her that eleven children is a lot for one family.
But, since we know several large families, eleven doesn't seem too
large to her. I explained the logistics of adopting eleven sisters,
but this still didn't deter her from her one and only Christmas
wish. Finally, I pleaded with her to name just one other thing she
would like to find under our Christmas tree this year. "OK," she
replied. "I wish that every child at the Layla House orphanage in
Ethiopia receive three pair of new underwear." I'm not sure why she
chose three pair, but in her mind, that seemed just about right.
Hope added that she would ask God to help me, since this was a
pretty big wish, and she would understand if I couldn't grant this
wish for her.

Now here it is, less than two weeks until Christmas, and I know I
can't do this alone. I'm confident that with your help, I can
finally grant Hope this year's Christmas wish. Please help me give
Hope the underwear, in various sizes, that she wants to take to
Ethiopia. (We are currently waiting for a referral).

If any of you would like to help, please send the underwear to:
Hope, 6790 Moonlight Circle, Sun Prairie, WI 53590. We could all
bring joy to a very special little girl that has a heart as big as
the world. It is indeed the season of giving, joy and selflessness.
This we learned from a child over two thousand years ago, and are
reminded of the same from my child, my Hope...our Hope.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Best of 2005

Best cousin = the Lone Ranger

Best movie = Mad Hot Ballroom

Most played album = O - Damien Rice (3 years running)

Most overrated band = Coldplay

Best album = Shins - Chutes too narrow

Best artist/concert = Sufjan Stevens

Best book read in '05= franny and zooey - jd salinger

Best quote of '05 ""I don't have time for your small talk Yoda! Cause I'm about to make a scene."

Ah man - bring on 06

Bill's Picks in 2005

Best movie: Hoosiers
Best Friend: My wife
Best cook: My wife
Best wife: My wife
Best Book: Bible (pause for a Holy Moment)
Best TV Show: Hannity and Colmes
Best City: Milford
Most enjoyable moment: When I am with my family and close friends
Favorite daughter-in law's: A-B-S
Favorite sons: J-W-B-A
Best friends: N-D
Favorite food in 2005: Ritters cookie dough whatever it is called (Been so long since I could have one)
Favorite Sermon: Jacob, Wes and Rob Marmion tag team
Favorite school: USC or Texas
That's it!

Sarah's Picks

Best Album:
Silver Jews "Tanglewood Numbers"

Best Children's Book art-wise:

Best Book I Read, By Far:

Best Movie I Saw:

Best Photo Found in Birmingham:
Funniest Moment of the Year:
Watching Wes play tambourine with a Beatles coverband at a breakfast place in Chicago last weekend while everyone from his work clapped and danced to "mr. postman". Talk about an "Office" moment.

Andrew's Best

1. Animal Collective – Feels
2. Sufjan Stevens- Illinoise
3. Kanye West- Late Registration
4. Broken Social Scene- self titled
5. Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary

Honorable Mention
Gorrilaz – Demon Days, Beck –Guero, The Go! Team –Thunder, Lightning, Strike, Cocorosie – Noah’s Ark, Antony & the Johnsons –I am a Bird Now, The Fiery Furnaces –EP, M.I.A. – Arular, Feist – Let it Die, Small Sur – self titled, Ben and Bruno –self titled, Sigur Ros –Takk, Devendra Banhart- Cripple Crow

Top 5 Movies I didn’t see (yet):

Only good movies I did see
1. Me and You and Everyone We Know
2. The Life Aquatic (technically 2004)
3. Walk the Line

Best shows:
1. Animal Collective –The El Rey Theatre
2. Sigur Ros – Hollywood Bowl
3. Arcade Fire/David Byrne –Hollywood Bowl
4. Broken Social Scene/Feist –Henry Fonda Theatre
5. Microphones/Little Wings/Bobby Birdman – Troubadour

Top moments:
1. Japan- hot springs, train rides, country living, Tokyo at night by motorcycle, great food, warm people, rice farming, onigiri at 7-11, Buddhist Temples, Shinto Shrines, being continually lost, a land of contrasts.
2. The Blue Team APU Intramural Basketball – I think Jake said it best, “This team will be remembered for years to come, not because of their highflying antics and bigger than life aurora. But, they will be remembered because they brought hope and inspiration for their fans and foes alike. They were the embodiment of what's right in college sports today. They were fearless and selfless. I think they have something to teach us all!”
3. Graduating from college! – Everybody was there, I gave J.Dub a hug, off into the real world!
4. The Real World – I got a job that I actually like, I have my own place, I live in a city that I love, and I have great friends.
5. Hollyweird – Living in Hollywood with DJ Kid Millionaire (Steve Aoki) was a weird and memorable experience. Sharing a closet space with Patrick, being on ‘the list’ for parties, meeting celebrities, answering the door at 3:00AM in my underwear for his supermodel sister, weird weird weird! I’m glad I’m out of Tinseltown.

1. Love in the Time of Cholera –Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3. Blue Like Jazz – Don Miller
4. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky –Noam Chomsky
5. Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

More to come…

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Best of 2005

Here you go:


Best New Albums:
  1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
  2. Sigur Ros - Tak
  3. Coldplay - X&Y
  4. Ryan Adams - Jacksonville Nights
  5. Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
Honorable Mention: British Sea Power - Open Season, Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation

  1. Broken Flowers
  2. No Direction Home (Bob Dylan Documentary)
we didn't see too many new movies so let me guess your favorite:
(all in good fun)

Andrew: Motorcycle Diaries
Norm: Kung Fu Hustle
Jeff: Coach Carter
Jacob: Middle Earth or Narnia (toss up)


Dad and I quite enjoyed 1776 by David McCullough
also read Maus
by Art Spiegelman (should be required reading in history class)

Best Photos found at gramies


Inlet of Transistion by Jack Frost

That's all I can think of for now... what's on your list - wg

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bright Christmas

bright eyes
bright eyes,
originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
OK, I dug up that Bright Eyes Christmas album I was talking about and threw the best tracks on here. It's a nice twist on some old Holiday favorites. Like hashbrowns, mixed fruit, breakfast sandwiches and tang at the Christmas service at BCC. Oh, I can't wait!

Away in a Manger
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
The First Noel
White Christmas
Silent Night
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a Mery Christmas and a wonderful hoilday season. It is a tad cold in Michigan. 6 degrees at times with the wind chill. They don't have wind chill in California. Spent the weekend with the family. Jeff Steph went to staff party and Debbie and I babysat. It is great to see Caleb grow and start to talk. Steve abd Shea blessed us and came down for two days. We do not get to see them often. Debbie and I are looking forward to seeing our other four sons and their wives. Jeff wants me to tell everyone how grat the Spartans are. I was told by him that the minor college b-ball teams in Indiana at in for trouble. I think my brother Bob is going to the Rose Bowl this year. You can go to his home anytime for swimming and a meal. Middle school boys b-ball is fine. I have a short team, but quick. Maybe this year, we will be able to beat Scranton. I'll sign off . See you soon. Norm

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Are you tired of the same old Christmas music?

I am spoiling a surprise for Wes, but I thought I'd share my newest discovery with you all. As I continued on my neverending search for good Christmas music this morning, I stumbled across Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs!! I couldn't find anywhere to buy the album, but you can download them for free HERE

Please check them out, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" is phenomenal!

(don't worry, Lena, I still like Amy Grant!)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


"I don't have time for your small talk Yoda! Cause I'm about to make a scene."

Happy Birthday Joel! - From your cousin.

Write your own caption and wish Joel a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Voice of a Mountain

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Some of you may have met my good friend Michael. He's the fellow with red curly hair from my basketball team and a very special friend. Well, he just got back from a 5 month trip to Guatemala where he was working with coffee farmers and making a documentary film. This was a huge project for him as he's never made a film before and he wanted to use this to raise money and support for the farmers who have been displaced. Read more about it on his website and check out the preview and think about helping out when the time comes. He's going to release it in March. It's amazing!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Vamos a Bowling!!!

Hey everybody!

The bowl games are set; so let's gamble! For bragging rights, no? I'm not sure if there is a bowl challenge on ESPN (like March madness), but let's fill out bowl chart (wins and losses + total points in championship game) and send it tio my e-mail. I'll print it off and keep track of everyone, ok? Mail it to me (616 Moorland East Lansing, MI 48823) or e-mail ( Let me know if you have any other ideas. The sooner I get yours the better. Game on! Go Sparties, yeah right!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Its Game Time, part from dad (Bill)

Jacob, you are very prophetic. How did you know my favorite college football team(s) were USC and Texas. You basically got them all right. You forgot Two:

College Hockey - Michigan Tech
Womens College Basketball - Baylor

Regarding the NBA, the piston's are #1 with the Spurs being a close second.

Glad to be home, dad


Most of you know by now that Abigail went under the knife this week for some outpatient surgery called a laproscopy and hysteroscopy. She's now 3 days out and recovering quite well. The surgery was quite impressive with a scope being sent through her belly button and another incision about 6 inches below. I got to see some pretty cool pictures of my wife's internal plumbinb including her uterus (wow!) The surgery was mostly exploratory in nature and they were able to remove a few spots and scar tissue that may have been causing her pain. Her pain tolerance far surpasses mine and I've marveled at her positive attitude through a trying week. Thanks for your continual prayers. She hopes to get out and try a short walk tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Where is Joel?

I've shaved my head and become a monk.
Here is a pic from the 2005 Tibetan retreat.
"Ohm on 3!!!" - Much fun was had by all!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

New style

Hey Wes, don't you think the blog needs a new look? Let's try something new. And where did cousin Joel go?
Dad is a bit of a fair weather fan. I wonder if he's wavering on his allegiance to different Belgium soccer teams right now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

don't shoot the messenger

a statement was made by someone that my husband has been a bit antagonizing on the blog lately . . . not that he told me to say this or anything, but

though the Hoosiers came up short tonight
Marco Killingsworth is unstoppable

uhhhm. yeah. and that knocking you hear. . . is tom izzo's knees.


Mr. Ager
I will say this and this only (to Wes). Watch what you say about Pdiddy (Davis). BTW, he's not even our go to guy (3rd or fourth man, i.e. Spencer Mackuenik). Watch ESPN tonite for a double header 7:00 - 9:00 and 9:00-11:00. You will get a good look at the 2 top teams in the both the Big Ten and ACC. For all you haters alike of MSU this year, you may want to check ou Mo Ager. 46'' vertical. Oh yeah, that's right, Jason Richardson sucks too. Whatever. We'll see in MArch. BTW, Wes has gone all Indiana for sports...oh wait..except UofM. How convenient.

I'll be finishing up my master prog final papers and watching the the spartys hit the hard court, win or lose. Note to Jake: You can only have one loyalty and we know you're a dukie (I saw the tear and the bird you filled IZZO last march at uncle Bob's oasis. As far as I'm concerned, the only one who has some form of green is Benny's half semester tuition he payed. Remember when we saw the MExicans almost knock off the National Champs. Chispas. I'm out.

In jest and jeer,


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gramie Goes to Work!

Taking her cell phone problem into her own hands, Gramie goes to work for Cingular Wireless! "Now I want the seamless internet browsing of the Blackberry but also be able to jam my tunes like the Rokr." Whateva...a Thanksgiving to remember in Birmingham. Like always Hoosiers, football, family, and one-liners from Gramie.

v. Indiana on Wednesday, the Hoosiers are stacked this year, watch out Coach K!! IU will contend for the Big Ten this year mark my words. Paul Davis is no match for Killingsworth. Bring it on Sparty! cue Black Eyed Peas "Let's get it started..!"

Thursday, November 24, 2005

with a greatful heart

for a great family scattered all over the country at this point. For the Lampi's, for you joel, and for anybody else who reads this blog, I give thanks. Wes, go get your guitar.
A. Michael Gaines

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

college b-ball time

Watching the MSU Gonzaga game last night got me pumped up for college B-Ball. Tough one for Sparty to handle but a great game. Spartans were done in by Adam Morrison (who has the sweetest stache) after being bailed out three times by Maurice "Ager" Bomb. Anyways, watch out for our Hoosiers as a silent killer in the Big Ten Marco Killingsworth is huge!! More on sportscenter...any predictions? put it on the line right now. Out-

Monday, November 21, 2005

I blog the line

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Has anybody seen 'Walk the Line' yet? I was thinking about going to see it soon and I wanted to hear some thoughts. Maybe we could all go see it and have a forum on the blog. Well, I'm going to go check it out.

Gaines Kids Christmas Gifts

Hey Crew! Whats up? What if for the Christmas gift exchange we just gave to the person or couple above you, ie Andrew gives to Ben and I, We give to Wes and Sarah, Wes and Sarah give to Jacob and Abigail and Jacob and Abigail give to Andrew...what do you think? Next year then we could just go to the next person in line:)
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2005

More Platinum News

As our California family knows, mom and my Northwest flight to LAX was 2.5 hours late last week. NWA just sent each of us a letter telling us how sorry they were that our travel plans were disrupted and that our frequent flier accounts would be awarded frequent flier miles.

Mom (non-platinum) = 1,000 miles
Dad (Platinum) = 2,500 miles

Echo Park Store

Echo Park Store
Echo Park Store,
originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
This is a new store that just opened up in Echo Park. I thought it looked pretty sweet so I took a picture and blogged it. We now have over 80 stores! We're putting a store in Santa Monica where the Gap used to be (The Gap went out of business), a store in East Lansing coming soon, Royal Oak, who knows, maybe we'll open up in the Fort!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We don't need no stinkin' baths

I haven't blogged for awhile, so I thought I'd show you a picture of what we think June and Pete's band photo would look like if they were in a band together. I wonder what their band name would be?

This picture was taken last week before we took them to B-Town for the weekend and ended up giving June two baths--one for rolling in a surprise pile of nastiness in the meadow, and one for jumping into the Lampi's leaf-filled pool (we still don't know how she managed to get out).

We missed you guys this weekend and wish we could've been in california too.
Anyone have any idea which direction the christmas-gift rotation is heading this year?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Feliz CUMP, mi'jo mediomexicano

HAPPY 25th! I hope you enjoyed your day. I am a bit belated...wish there was some warnings for us forgettfulls. Anyway, everybody pretty much covered solid Ben moments, so I will just share a couple. Ah yeah, MSU when you told ole' roomate MIKE "Not this time" after he stumbled in slobbering all over looking for a hand with his case of Labatts. "Don't put that in my fridge, man!" INTEGRITY. Little did we know next year was your 21st and you would do 21 shots of Tequila in his name! J/K
Also, when you woke up after spending a lonely nite at my crib during the MSU years..year. You weren't on the floor next to my air mattress, but somehow YOU were the one that kept my fragile body war that cold November nite.
I'll continue with more later...My wife just gave me the call to get her a BIG APPLE BAGEL HAM AND EGG ON WHEAT BAGEL WITH LITE CREAM CHEESE etc. I'm out.

OH yeah, go to this site...Happy Birthday Bulldog

Friday, November 11, 2005

And it Don't Stop

We had to take advantage of being at home to look for some good pics of Ben. This one has always been a favorite, Ben always liked to party!! More classic Ben moments: how he'd help himself into the Newbergs house, his drum solo for the school musical, only Gaines to play football, convincing Dad that you steered the car on the way to school while I slept. Good Times, wish we could be harvest partying with y'all. Have Fun!!

wes and sarah

Today's the Best...It's Harvest Fest!

I as well am only kidding, because though tonight we will dine on some of the best harvest food west of Iberia, today is about Ben's big day turing a quarter century. We've already had Plaza French Toast at Village Eatery as well as a snazzy trip to TJ's (Trader Joe's) in B & B's phat new ride. I too share similar fond memories of Ben's life throughout the years. Here's some of my favorites... Ben was always a Gaines trend setter donning the first ever black and teal wicked high tops with jams hanging far below the knees. Ben's record setting year in T-ball where he challenged Barry Bond's HR record...If I remember right his first plate appearance was complete with a towering D. Ford-esk blast from Field I to Field H. And he did it all with "the patch." Ben's reaction about age 6 after mom shatters a jar on top of the fridge, "Oh Sh#@!!" I think some soap followed. Ben's epic Daniel Laruso moment in the BCC kitchen after Wes comes high and wide with a kick to the side and soon has his legged nearly snapped as Ben shows moves that only the Cobra Kai sensei could be proud of as he puts Wes' knee out of comission. In all seriousness...Ben moving to SoCal to give me some family when I was feelling way out of the loop. Ben showing up on our doorstep with a ring on Becky's finger just after proposing and getting to experience that joy with them. Being honored to baptize Ben at BCC after the ghost of McFadden finally got him! Ben is certainly one of a kind. Today we celebrate you!

P.S. Wes and Sarah we miss you and wish you were here!

Happy Veteran's Day!

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Just Kidding! Happy Birthday Benny! You're awesome, man. These are some of my fondest Benny memoirs.
When you decorated your entire room in Mexican motif. When you used to drive me to school every morning. When you used to invite me to go swimming at Adam Sunday's and we would run accross the meadow. Whenever you would design and implement crazy projects around the house. When you used to put hot sauce on everything. When you helped me and Steve distribute a u-haul full of brush all around Livingston County. When you jumped out of the car after I kicked it in neutral I was nervous at the time but now I think it was awesome. When you hit a Home Run off Mike Deford in Wolverine. When you sacrificed your body for the team and took that wicked hit from that South Lyon kid. When we were roommates in College. When we went to Mexico for Spring Break and I got really sick and you took me home. When you married Becky. When we would go to Burger King after church and you would make the best 'suicide' ever. Ah, hiking and biking and sledding to suicide and U-hill. When I crashed your car and you were not mad. Your love for T-Bone and all his bilingual demon killin'. Your middle school fear of Kathy Tait. Big pimpin' in your new Volvo. and on and on and I'm forgetting so many things. But Happy 25 Benjamin Lee. Now let's give it up for #76, one last time, King Jesus is All!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Hello, my name is Joel

I work in the tax preparation factory

One day, my boss came up to me and said

Joel are you busy

I said no, so I prepared the 1040 with my right hand

Hello my name is Joel .....

This is my work photo. Who's that sexy korean?

JDE -JOURNAL, TAXES-The Tax Magazine, November 2005 vol. 1

Are your tax savings plans in line as we approach the end of the calendar year?

Advice from the family expert:

Andrew - Don't file your 1040. - Your federal tax dollars go straight to a government that supports large corporations and is controlled by the political donations of the capitalist machines that put those politicians into office. All the while, ignoring global economic issues, the marginalized of society and spending your tax dollars on a war that the rest of the world does not support, while our educational system at home is falling apart and our own citizens are unable to pay for medical needs because of a health care system that is in shambles compared to the rest of the world.

Jacob & Abb - You're taking way too much on your housing allowance - watch out for the IRS - Just cause you prayed before your meal at the restaurant doesn't mean it qualifies as a clergy deduction

Uncle Bill - You need to cut back on those capital gains

Aunt Lena - Don't let uncle bill get caught up in those get rich quick investment schemes

Wesley & Sara - withholding nothing on your paychecks for taxes is NOT acceptable nor wise -

Ben & Becky - having a child is a great tax savings plan, not only do you benefit from the dependent deduction and exemption you also qualify for the child tax credit. Just ask Anna and David. You think it's just chance that they're having another baby before the close of 2005? Tax deduction baby -His name is going to be Reitoff (writeoff) Jinkins

Gramie - sell, sell, sell!! Southern hasn't done didley for you in years. At what price did you buy IBM? MY WORD!!!!!

- by Joel Eisleben, CPA

*Mr. Eisleben is not liable for any of the afformentioned advice if acted upon by the reader of this article - also if you have read this article you will receive a bill in the mail based on the amount of time it took you to read it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Broken Social Scene/Feist

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
It don't stop! The funny thing about Los Angeles is the plethora of music that passes through this town. And I've devised this clever little scheme of getting into every show for free. It's really amazing and it works everytime. Last night Broken Social Scene was in town with Feist at the Henry Fonda in Hollywood. Patrick and I rode our bikes down to the show parked out front and began the hussle. I got the first ticket within 3 minutes. Then Patrick got one soon after but we still had some more time so we decided to try for a few more just for fun. We ended up scoring two more tickets so we called up some friends and they ran down and met us out front. We ran into the show (after they searched my new fancy bag through and through) and weasled up to the front right as the show was beginning. The show ended up being a total blast. Feist is simply amazing and Broken Social Scene was so much fun, they had about 10 people in the band. Patrick and I got the crowd into it with our insane dance moves and the show didn't end until about 12:30. It was a long bike ride home. I've put some tracks down here for a listen. One from each band. Wes can you doctor these up. Ok, gotta go. Rolling Stones tonight!

Stars and Sons


Lets' hear it for Pirates of Pinkney who won the Michigan State cross country championships. Must be that Spanish teacher who encouraged all those runners to run.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Oye everyone!

Hey, got some free seconds here to shoot and idea at y'all. Knowing that this is the first in many years that during the holidays EVERYONE (i think) will be around the B-town area. I know the Lampis' are headedn to Chi-town for a couple of days after Christmas, but will be back in town before New Years. wondering if we can have a FIESTA like the past over at the Lampi's Casa in B-town for the New Years Bowl Games. I know our perspective schools probably won't be bowling on that day (if even ever STATE!!! que paso?), but it might be fun to get everyone punch drunk j/k. and to catch up. What do you think?

Also, wanted to know if everyone would like to, when they (the bowl brackets) come out, have a little competition like the NCAA b-ball tourney. You can fill out your bracket early December and send it to me through an attachment via e-mail ( I'll be the bookee...sp? Bragging rights till April for the winner (and NO NEWMAN!). BTW, things will slow down a bit for me after December 2 with MSU holiday recess and semester finishing, so I'll be able to focus on priorites like BCS bowl brackets. HA! How are your classes, Abigail! Mucho reading, no?

Just thinking about everyone and how much we miss you guys. Paz y armonia.

Love ,


Friday, November 04, 2005

Pee wee

Pee wee
Pee wee,
originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Oh, I was not spared the embarassment of my Pee Wee year!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

20 years later

originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Well, thank you to all for the birthday wishes. 'Twas a nice birthday and I'm happy after 23 wonderful years.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Originally uploaded by stevelamps.
Alright, so here are some plants. Confused? Here are some hints. Brown Van, Reverse, steve/Ben bail, Andrew ruins landscaping. These looked a lot like those poor little plants. Here's to you Andrew, keep up the good driving. Love ya. Happy B-Day!

steve and shea

A Black Dog in the Dark

A Black Dog in the Dark
Originally uploaded by jacobgaines.
23 years and still none can hide 'em any better than Andrew. Keep up the good work. This one is way inside. Blessings to you on your b-day bro. Much love to a guy who is not afraid to risk and who is loved greatly by his family in G-dora. Come back and complete the Gaines Triangle!

Happy 23rd Birthday

Birthday wishes to the best hider of black dogs in the dark
the best rider of bikes at Brighton State Park
the youngest of four, now 23
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to Thee!

Hippy Halloween

Petey and June were going to dress up for a "Happy Birthday Uncle Andrew" photo, but June was throwing a terrible-two's tantrum and Petey, well, he said he doesn't even know who you are.

Hope your day is going swell, oh corporate man that you are, and that you don't overly exert yourself--relax, you deserve it. You're such a funny, adventurous, unique brother (in-law).

Never change.

Cheers Andrew

Heres to another great year! Cheers!


Happy 23 Andirooo!!! Here is a "Guacamole Alien" to help you celebrate with. This was my dish at the company Haloween Lunch. I won a copy of Texas Chainsaw Massacre for best dressed dish. Are you passing candy out at the new place? Have a good day, we'll give you a call.

wes...have fun with this HIP HOP DEBATE between G. Bush and J. Kerry (Bye Bye Kerry is my favorite)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Play entitled "The Sweetest Victory of my Life"

The Scene: K-Mart where Wes and Sarah proceed toward the exit, Wes first, passing by an arcade Crane Game.

Wes continues through automatic doors, pulls out a quarter, and buys a gumball.

Sarah: (glancing into cranegame as she walks by) "No way! There's a Max stuffed animal in here! I've never seen one of those. Wes, get over here."

Wes: "Who's Max?"

Sarah: The little guy from "Where the Wild Things Are." I'm going to try to win him."

Wes: "Sarah, those games are rigged. I've never won at one of those. Just use your two quarters to get gumballs instead of wasting them on a game."

Sarah: "But I think I can get him. Look, he's so cool. Stand on the other side and tell me how far back to move the crane."

Wes sighs yet complies. Telling her to keep moving back, no forward, no. . . back.

At the last minute Sarah realizes she's run out of time and the crane drops before she's got it all lined up. Oh no! It grabs with it's loose jaws, and pulls back up a Mad Max stuffed animal. Wes's jaw drops open. He begins laughing hysterically. Sarah falls to the ground in disbelief. The crowd at K-Mart is watching them. Sarah reaches into the hinged door and pulls out Max. Oh sweet victory.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Greetings Family, friends, and Cousin Joel,

The blog seems to be getting a bit idle so I thought I'd send in a quick update and then maybe you will too. It's Friday afternoon, 1:41 pm, and I just ate a plate of california and spicy tuna rolls. It feels good to finally have a still moment to sit and think and write a little bit about what has been going on lately.

I've been working hard lately completing this survey for the AQMD (Air Quality Management District). Because we have so many employees working in one building in downtown we have to comply with Rule 2202 which states that we have to have an AVR (Average Vehicle Ridership) of 1.75 or higher between the hours of 6:00-10:00AM. Basically they want to make sure that people aren't driving by themselves to work to ensure that air quality improves. To do this we had to have every employee to fill out a survey form, which is no easy task when you have more than 3000 employees and 90% of them don't speak English. We hired two translators and we surveyed groups of 40 employees from 8:00am to 9:00 pm every day for a week and a half. I explained the same thing in Spanish over and over and over. 'Esta es una encuesta de transporte', Over and over. But this was an awesome opportunity to meet and talk to all of our employees. There are some really amazing people working here. My friend Emily came out here to help translate as well and she ended up intervewing for a job while she was here and yesterday she called and told me she was offered the position and she accepted it. The position is titled Environmental Programs Representative and she will be working on a bunch of different projects to make American Apparel a more Eco friendly company. So Emily will move out here and begin work right after Thanksgiving.
So Emily will move out here and begin work right after Thanksgiving.

I also recently moved from Hollywood to East LA. My new address is 602 Moulton Av, Los Angeles, CA, 90031. Do a google maps search and check out my new neighborhood. I live right on the edge of the Industrial District in a place called 'The Brewery'. It actually is an old brewery that they've converted to loft apartments and art gallerys. Supposedly it's the biggest artist community in the USA and twice a year all of the artists open up their studios for an art showing. There's an Art showing on Nov 11-12 if any of the West Coast core would like to check it. I still share a place with my friend Patrick but we both have our own bedroom now and we have plenty of space. It's simple and nice and there's a picture on the wall of my 3 brothers and our second favorite cousin, Brent.

Patrick is out of town for about a month so I've compiled a list of things I want to do while he's gone. Some of the items on the list are learning to make sushi, taking a class on jewelry making, and completing my list of books to read.

There's this band I've been listening to all week that you might want to check out. They're called 'Animal Collective' and they sound different than anything I've ever heard before. I can't really describe it, you just have to listen to it and I will probably not be getting this for Uncle Eddie for Christmas. You gotta check it out:

Did you see the words?
Banshee Beat
Leaf House

I played pick up basketball in Echo Park for the first time in months last night. It evoked memories of The Boys in Blue and our legendary days in APU intramural basketball. I'm sore.

Hmmm, that's good for a Friday afternoon update. I've gotta finish up here and work on my Halloween costume. I'm going to be an iPod.
Ok folks.

Monday, October 24, 2005

DJ WES' picks

Here are some links to some songs that have been getting a lot of playtime at the Fort.

To Be Alone With You - by Sufjan Stevens, a soft, subtle love song about Jesus.
Jenny Wren by Paul McCartney, his best post Beatles work.
Just be Simple by Songs Ohia, a song touting the simple life.
I Wish I Was the Moon by Neko Case, its been spinning a lot in the ole Accord lately.
The End from Ryan Adams - Jacksonville Nights. I might get Uncle Eddie this one for X-mas. Some well written, beautiful country music
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel - great musical saw
That's all from DJ WES

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Utter Devastation"

see link

and read article

also pics of our sister village

Happy Fall!

Hey everyone! Just some pics from last Sunday's Harvest Party at Jami and Ben's parents' house. I'll send more later.

P.S. Anybody agree with me Caleb tells stories through his "drawrings"??? The one with the dog in it, I drew the truck and dog, and he came over to finish it.????????Amazing

Friday, October 14, 2005

Jingle Bells batman smells

Hello, everyone. Sorry to bring this up so early, but do any of you know what you are doing for Christmas? Anyone coming to the Midwest?

Days off around the holidays are hot commodities here, so I have to get my days off soon.

hope to be together!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Here is the requested video. Link


Today I got pulled over and ticketed for not wearing my seatbelt for the third time (cue Gramie, "Now that's pitiful"). That brings Wes's grand total up to about 15 traffic violations. Not bad; awful. With each subsequent seat belt violation I have become more Libertarian. Come on Smoky! Get off my case, its my life.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Wes was right, this does sound like what you'd hear when you enter into heaven. Listen to it again ( I think Wes put it on the blog before).

Sigur Ros - glósóli

Listen Here

Thursday, October 06, 2005


originally uploaded by andrewgaines.
Last night was the epic Sigur Ros show at the Hollywood bowl. Jake and I were the Gaines representatives for this show sitting comfortably in the Terrace section under the stars. This band surprises me everytime I see them. They started off playing behind a curtain which was pulled away after the first song and then pulled back for their last song. They played a great mix of songs off of every album and the new songs they played were amazing. I don't really know what else to say other than it was a beautiful show and I wish you all could have been there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Astrocamp & Worship Night with The DCB

Fresh 2005
Originally uploaded by jacobgaines.
Just checking in from Astrocamp located in Idyllwild, CA at about 6,000ft. It's amazingly beautiful sitting in a green meadow surrounded by mountain peaks with tall pines and periwinkle blue skies. The only thing that would make this better would be for Abigail to be able to come hang with us. The air is cool and crisp and the junior high students are in classes so I had a few minutes to blog some recent happenings.

Saturday night we (Abigail and I) took 120 students and parents to a night of worship with the David Crowder Band and Erwin McManus from Mosaic in LA. This year they had probably around 15,000 students show up and the DCD certainly didn't disappoint. This is the 2nd year we've done this and the highlight for me is seeing my students set free in worship. For many of them this is their first time experiencing worhsip in a larger setting like this and at first you can tell they don't know what to think. But 2 songs in they were jumping and dancing and just enjoying the Lord.

My other highlight this year was getting called by the promoter the night before asking if one of my students would share a testimony before the DCB band played. I was so proud of one of my 8th grade girls who pushed through her fear and did great in front of such a huge crowd. Jeff said I had to blog about my interaction with David Crowder backstage as we waited for her to go on stage. We sat there and made small talk about Sunsets and Sushi for about 10 minutes...then...awkward silence and a prolonged pause in the conversation. Carly (my student) looks at me like say something so I come up with the only thing on my mind which was...

Jacob: "How bout that Lady Bears B-ball team?" (Referencing the 2005 NCAA championship team from Baylor U)

Crowder: "Yeah, we was pretty stoked about that team"

Jacob: "Didn't they beat MSU?"

Crowder: "Sure did"

Jacob: "Yeah, I got some friends from there"

Crowder: "Cool"

Back to awkward silence!

Anyways, it's about time for dinner at Astrocamp so I gotta run. Much Astrolove to all!

Early Christmas wish - FYI - Uncle Bill & Andrew

I was checking out American Apparel online and came across this fashionable outfit that I would love for Christmas.

Uncle Bill - possibly it comes in Michigan colors or with the Michigan logo. (hint, hint)

Just in case you had plans for this coming Christmas and had me in mind.

I think it would go well with my Michigan earring.

Love you all,