The out sound from way in

Does anyone else remember that funny moment in the early 90s when the hot sound of the decade was the Hammond B3 organ?

Yeah, I thought not. But it was for real. It was the Charlatans, from Manchester, later renamed the Charlatans UK (my suitemate said puzzled “why is it the “Charlatans Suk?’”) to avoid copyright confusion in the US, who brought the noble Hammond back from its lingering slow death on thousands of late sixties Verve recordings into its proper place. As, um, a rhythm instrument.

So I’m listening tonight to their first album, Some Friendly. And it is an album. As in, vinyl. As I had to explain to Lisa tonight, WTJU was having a fundraiser. And the pledge prize was an LP. I got to rifle through boxes of LPs outside the studio, in the basement of Peabody Hall. The irony was, I had to find someone in the dorm with a record player to make a copy on tape, because I couldn’t listen to it otherwise.

So the sound. It stands up kind of well, in a nostalgic kind of way.

Sharing the love

It almost escaped my attention this morning; as much as I love reading Moxie’s work, I don’t usually read her writing about reality TV. (Disclaimer: I am lying through my teeth. Others are addicted to the shows; I’m addicted to Mox’s write-ups.) However, I did read her note about the season finale of The Bachelorette this morning, only to find that she asked her readers to, quote, “go give some good lovin’ to Jarrett House North” endquote.

I don’t feel worthy of all that good lovin.’ For one thing, my blog already gets plenty of lovin’; for another, so do I. So I would direct any good lovin’ that you want to give this blog to some of the fine sites in the left hand side, who are collectively and individually a lot more worthy than I.

Nevertheless, thanks to Moxie for making my morning.

Rubbing elbows over rustic Italian food

Lisa and I went to an event last night at the Dahlia Lounge in celebration of Micol Negrin’s new cookbook, Rustico Cooking. The seating was billed as “festival,” which usually means you get seated with either an alarming assortment of loners or a party intent on making a good time by ignoring you. Not last night: our table-mates included the proprietor of a lavender farm in eastern Washington, the wife of a wine maker from Chateau Ste Michelle and her charming mother, and a salesman and collector of cookbooks (“I’m up to over a thousand now. I need to buy some more bookshelves. But on the plus side, I don’t have to buy other new furniture, I just sit on the books”). A fabulous night, and a fabulous meal composed of recipes from the book.

Appetizers: Sicilian olives marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and garlic; fresh fried sardines with slow cooked onions and sultana raisins; a seafood salad with scallops, scampi, potato, cauliflower, and egg covered in a salsa verde. First course: three-meat agnolotti (rabbit, lamb, and veal). Second course: rabbit with pancetta stuffed fennel over kale. Sweets: chestnut fritters with honey and mascarpone. Cheeses: taleggio, a truffle cheese, and gorgonzola. Each course had Italian wines selected by the proprietor of the Pike and Western Wine Shop (whose mailing list alerted us to the event).

Perks: getting to meet Tom Douglas. Getting reintroduced to Micol, whom we had met previously at a similar event in Washington DC sponsored by La Cucina Italiana, her previous employer. Meeting our tablemates. Tasting the Col Solare that one of our table mates brought from her husband. Convincing Micol that, despite her not having had any food, she had to try a glass with some of the taleggio. A good night all in all.

Digging through Virginia

Esta breaks what was for me a five-year-old cone of silence and gives a peek inside her year as a professional contract archaeologist. Her job had her contracting to the state of Virginia, digging (per state law) at sites where the state planned to construct new public works to make sure that nothing of historical significance would be disturbed. A really cool job, right?

The constant traveling wore thin quickly, but the honeymoon would have lasted longer if not for the minimum wage, lack of decent benefits, creepy bosses and that thing about telling people their houses were going to be bulldozed.

Still, it taught her to swing a shovel. And gave her fantastic grist for the writing mill:

Rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. to get to the site on time and make the most of the sunlight. Living in longjohns, ripped jeans, flannel shirts, wool socks and beat-up boots. Staying covered in a poison ivy rash for nine months straight. Scraping deer ticks from my jeans with a trowel. The infamous black widow bite that didn’t kill me but made me wish it would. Eating lunch wherever we could, with preference given to rural gas stations that serve fried frogs legs and potato wedges, all-you-can-eat Mexican buffets that didn’t mind mud on their carpets, and diners with good pie.