Friday, September 30, 2011

What to do when you're alone

Sometimes we all need to be alone.
ROUTE 1 readers describe their favorite solitary activities by answering this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What do you like to do when you are alone?"
RICK T. -- Play on the computer.
KERI M. -- Yoga.
MARY N.P. -- In lovely weather, walk through our gardens, followed by cats and listening to the bird songs. In inclement weather, read, cook, make jewelry or (especially) play/read on my iPad...
SANDYE V. -- I like to stretch out with a good book --- outside on my swing/glider, weather permitting, or (and I think this season is fast approaching) on the couch with a fire crackling in the wood stove and the cat behind my knees.
KERSTIN H. -- normally i like to read but lately i love to sleep... you no now that i think about it i really dont care who is around i'm sleeping!
SASKIA M. -- Either surf of play games on the laptop while listening to music or peeking over to the TV.
ERIK H. -- I like to listen to music with my eyes closed. I catch more of the nuances that way.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still digesting a wild night of baseball

What a wild night of BASEBALL.
I'm still trying to digest all that happened:
* Down 7-0 against the YANKEES heading into the eighth inning, the RAYS rallied and eventually won, 8-7, on Evan Longoria's 12th-inning homer.
* Up 3-2 against the ORIOLES, the RED SOX completed a dismal September collapse by losing, 4-3. The two results combined to knock Boston out of playoff contention.
* The CARDINALS dominated the ASTROS, 8-0, behind pitcher Chris Carpenter.
* The PHILLIES finally put the BRAVES out of their misery, 4-3 in 13 innings, to complete a spell in which Atlanta lost 20 of its final 30 games to miss the playoffs after appearing to be locked into a wildcard spot.
It almost made me forget the rather whimpering end to the GIANTS season (6-3 losers to the ROCKIES).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sobering view of the Ramones

I watched "END OF THE CENTURY" last night on DVD.
It's the documentary chronicling the rise of the RAMONES, the pioneers of punk.
Viewers learn about the youthful days in Queens of John Cummings (JOHNNY RAMONE), Douglas Colvin (DEE DEE RAMONE), Jeffry Hyman (JOEY RAMONE) and Thomas Erdelyi (TOMMY RAMONE).
The film explores the music and conflicts of the band -- Johnny and Joey quit speaking to each other for the band's final 17 years in operation.
The Ramones were also prophets without much honor in their own country. The band would sell out large arenas in Europe, only to return for gigs in the small, American clubs where they had always played.
Drugs and cancer also took their toll, claiming the lives of three of the four founding members.
It was a fascinating and ultimately sobering view of the Ramones.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eliminating the unnecessary

"Eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the substance," is how Tommy Erdelyi (TOMMY RAMONE) described the credo of THE RAMONES.
I thought about this credo this morning, as KERSTIN and I listened to the band's landmark, debut album en route to her driver's education class.
It's becoming harder to imagine the Ramones as revolutionary, now that their songs are so prominently features in movies and TV commercials.
We would hear an "ooh ooh ooh" chorus and I would explain to Kerstin that the band decided to reject the lengthy guitar solo pretensions of the current music scene, returning to the simpler, "fun" era of early rock 'n' roll and girl-group pop.
It all sounded so raw for two reasons: They consciously rejected virtuosity and, quite frankly, they were just learning their instruments.
Even the iconic cover lives up to the credo. It's in black and white, it's just the band standing in front of a wall, and the only word is "Ramones" emblazoned on the top.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Solitary sounds for the early morning

There weren't many other vehicles on the roads this morning.
There were garbage trucks, a few empty school buses beginning their rounds. I guessed some of the cars on the otherwise deserted streets must have contained early morning workers heading to their shifts at manufacturing plants.
I wondered how many of the few cars I encountered contained people like me, fathers driving home after their daughters drove to a driver's education class at a high school. It must have been at least a couple.
OK, then, how many of that small group were listening to a FREDDIE HUBBARD trumpet solo?
That probably limited the field to just one -- me.
I heard Hubbard on "Idle While," a JOE CHAMBERS song on the 1965 BOBBY HUTCHERSON album "DIALOGUE."
The sound was perfect for driving on this morning's lonely streets, when I felt solitary because of my task and my choice of music.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tailor-made day for jazz

Cloudy, rainy, cold.
Today was tailor-made for bundling up with some JAZZ.
I listened to a number of albums, including "LEONARD FEATHER PRESENTS BOP," a 1957 album produced by the titular Feather, a well-regarded jazz annotator and record producer.
Pianist GEORGE WALLINGTON leads a group that includes alto-saxophonist PHIL WOODS in a collection of songs meant to recreate the atmosphere of the 52nd Street clubs of New York in the late 1940s, where the be-bop jazz form began.
It was warm music for a rather dreary day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What makes *YOU* feel old?

Just in time for the FRIDAY QUESTION, ROUTE 1 has an eye doctor appointment today -- for reading glasses.
This makes us feel O-L-D.
"What makes you feel old?"
RICK T. -- Waking up in the morning and feeling your bones crack and pop. Seeing your friends you grew up with looking so old and remembering that you're their age.
MIKE D. -- Realizing that I'm old enough to be the parent of many of my co-workers. And the fact that my beard grows out gray even though the rest of my hair is relatively dark.
BEKAH P. -- My nephew telling me that I was too old to know about Star Wars. After all, he said, old people don't watch cartoons.
MARY N.-P. -- What'd ya say Sonny - Can't hear ya... Seriously, what make me feel ancient are all of the daily reminders that this body (and mind at times) is a mere shadow of the vibrant, young, take-on-the-world self that it once was and it's getting older, sorer and slower every day (God, I just talked myself into a major depression!).
ROSEANNE H. -- Having a son that needs reading glasses.
BRIAN M. -- Two things stick out: 1. Having peers that are grandparents, and 2. seeing a whole wall of new musical acts that not only are foreign to me but don't interest me in the slightest.
KERSTIN H. -- My back.
JOHN S. -- Interns that have a birthdate later than my high school graduation.
BRIAN C. -- Knowing that Paul McCartney is 69 years old. Remembering when I had a choice of five TV channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, WGN and public TV. Remembering when cars did not come with seat belts as standard equipment.
KERI M. -- Having students in my class whose parents I taught.
SANDYE V. -- Aches and pains -- joints that crackle like gravel.
ERIK H. -- Besides the reading glasses, my seemingly inverse appreciation of jazz music makes me feel old. When I was younger, the only jazz I found palatable featured a mainstream sound and relatively safe improvisations. As I age, I become more attracted to jazz that introduced elements of the avant-garde -- music I once shunned for seeming "unlistenable." My favorite song I've heard this week is "Gazzelloni" by the relatively experimental Eric Dolphy (1928-1964). His flute playing is so sweetly extraordinary, it sounds like some hipster songbird was invited into a studio to record a jazz album.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eyes closed, stumbling around to Steely Dan

Last night was a good night for STEELY DAN.
I had to wait for ANNIKA to complete her dance class, so I walked around the deserted streets near the studio, listening to the 1975 album "KATY LIED."
It was difficult walking, because I would occasionally close my eyes to better concentrate on what I was hearing.
DONALD FAGEN and WALTER BECKER brought in some talented guests on "Katy Lied." RICK DERRINGER plays guitar on the song "Chain Lightning," and PHIL WOODS' saxophone is a stunning highlight on the song "Doctor Wu."
Toss in Jeff Porcaro, Larry Carlton, Elliott Randall, Victor Feldman and even Michael McDonald on backing vocals, and it's as if an all-star cast had been employed during the recording process.
Actually, forget the "as if." This crew was an all-star cast, and it was good enough to make me stumble about last night, trying to walk with my eyes closed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Manics fan in the family?

I have always admired the MANIC STREET PREACHERS.
The Welsh band can wed catchy, punk-influenced tunes with thoughtful lyrics, and they remain one of the few bands for which no song topics are off limits.
The Spanish Civil War, the Holocaust, anorexia, depression, maltreated zoo animals and the last words of Vincent Van Gogh have all made appearances in the Manics' songs.
KERSTIN and I listened to the band's under-appreciated sophomore album, "GOLD AGAINST THE SOUL," en route to her driver's education class this morning.
Lines such as "White liberal hates slavery/Needs Thai labour to clean his home" don't appear on the lyric sheets of many other bands.
Kerstin seemed to like the album, too. There might be another Manic Street Preachers fan in the family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recommending "The Hunger Games"

I've just finished "THE HUNGER GAMES" by SUZANNE COLLINS, and although you will find it in the "young adult" section of the local bookstore or library, I recommend the novel for adults, too.
The story concerns a post-apocalpytic world where a Capitol keeps its civil war-vanquished provinces in check by pitting children from 12 districts against each in the fight-to-the-death, televised extravaganza.
There's romance, action and plenty for adults to consider.
Collins seems to have taken America's current preoccupation with REALITY TELEVISION and extrapolated it to its terrifying, potential conclusion.
"The Hunger Games" is relatively quick read, with the added benefit that once you've read it, carrying on a literary conversation with a nearby 12-year-old becomes vastly easier.

Monday, September 19, 2011

That must make Wisconsin our "Marin"

ANNIKA just walked up a steep (too steep, if you ask her) hill to go to school in the fog and I just finished reading about the GIANTS (winners) and 49ERS (losers) in the newspaper.
Maybe the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES is right?
The paper dubbed DUBUQUE "THE SAN FRANCISCO OF THE MIDWEST" in a weekend travel story. Here is the link.
To perpetuate the premise (or perhaps to keep fooling myself) I am listening to the 1959 album "THE CANNNONBALL ADDERLEY QUINTET IN SAN FRANCISCO."
Critics hail the album for helping to launch the "soul jazz" subgenre. I just love it because it's an enjoyable listening experience.
Now, I just need to find good sourdough bread and some crab...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Worth staying up for this one

I stayed up way past my bedtime last night, but the film I watched on DVD was worth it.
I was struck by the power of the film when I first saw it in the cinema decades ago.
Last night's DVD viewing so many years later did nothing to dim my appreciation.

The cast is great, Coppola is a great director and the film's premise is intriguing: A special operations officer (MARTIN SHEEN) is dispatched deep into Indochina to kill a renegade Special Forces colonel (MARLON BRANDO).
Sheen's character reaches the renegade's camp, but realizes his prey might not be as insane as their superiors had presumed.
One of my favorite pieces of dialogue by Brando's character, Col. Walter E. Kurtz, describes an earlier event he witnessed during the war:
"We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out; I didn't know what I wanted to do! And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it... I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us."
Sure, he sounds a little crazy, but he's probably also correct.
Film's that play like satisfying, complicated novels are worth the missed bedtime.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Equaled, maybe, but never bettered

"Thinkin of a master plan. Cuz ain’t nuthin but sweat inside my hand. So I dig into my pocket, all my money is spent. I dig deeper but still comin' up with lint. So I start my mission -- leave my residence. Thinkin' how could I get some dead presidents."
I still can't think of a better lyrical flow to open a hip-hop song than the beginning of "PAID IN FULL," the title track of the 1987 landmark album by ERIC B. & RAKIM.
I've been listening to the classic record often.
Eric Barrier and Rakim (born William Michael Griffin Jr.) were innovative twice over.
Eric B., because he was one of the first DJs to regularly incorporate funk and other samples into his beats. Rakim because of that aforementioned lyrical flow. He would routinely utilize internal rhymes and other poetic devices in his songs.

I am admittedly OLD SCHOOL, but I have heard more recent examples of hip-hop -- I have teen and tween daughters, remember? -- but I have yet to hear anything that has bettered "Paid in Full." Equaled by a few, maybe, but never bettered.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Autumnal Friday Question

ROUTE 1 HQ saw the first patchy frost of the season this week -- a sign of an early autumn, perhaps?
Readers discuss the fall by answering this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
How do you plan to enjoy this autumn?
JOHN S. -- Watching the Panthers go all the way to number 1!
ANNIKA H. -- Not over-heating in Jeff.
BEKAH P. -- My goal (cross-my-fingers, here) is to go camping for the first time (as an adult, although I think my child experience of sleeping in my backyard in a tent doesn't really count.) My husband and I live close to the Appalachian Mountains now, and there's this fantastic state park with the largest waterfall in the eastern U.S. There's a great campground there with fantastic trails, etc., and I'd really like to go. But if this falls through, I'll be completely satisfied with Oktoberfest.
KERI M. -- Working, spending time with my boyfriend and maybe sneaking in a Rider game.
ROSEANNE H. -- Wishing it was still summer.
RICK T. -- I'll be enjoying my first autumn in Florida this year. Warm weather yesssss!
BRIAN M. -- Watching to see if the Portland Timbers can make the MSL playoffs in their first year... schlepping around rural Southern Oregon to see if the Triad Timberwolves can surpass the state 8-man semis this year... and fretting over my Oregon State Beavers, who seem to have started off on the wrong foot.
ERIK H. -- Lighting some evening fires in our new backyard chiminea!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From chattering teeth to tapping toes

It's too early to have a wind-chill reading!
Apparently not: Our current wind-chill reading is 30 degrees.
KERSTIN and I drove to her driver's education class at the high school early this morning and it marked the first time this season that my teeth were chattering.
The sun is coming up now, and the daytime high temperature should rise to a slightly more palatable -- but nonetheless unseasonably cool -- 59.
In honor of that special number, I am listening to an album recorded and released in 1959 -- "BEN WEBSTER MEETS OSCAR PETERSON."
It features a pair of jazz giants, the Canadian pianist Peterson and the American tenor saxophone player Webster.
Webster, a.k.a. "The Brute," starred with DUKE ELLINGTON before spending his final years in Europe, where his influence expanded throughout the continent's jazz players.
I've always loved his sound -- it invariably prompts me to tap my toes.
I'm hoping his toe-tapping sax playing helps me battle these chilly temperatures. If I start tapping my toes, perhaps warmth will spread from my feet on up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warming up with Kirsty MacColl

It's chilly in the house this morning -- I just pulled on a sweatshirt -- but forecasters say there is colder weather to come. They've issued a FROST ADVISORY for tomorrow night.
I am warming myself up with some KIRSTY MACCOLL.
The late singer-songwriter's debut album, "DESPERATE CHARACTER," always makes me smile while it turns up the emotional heat.
Catchy, memorable songs such as "(I'm Just a Lonely Alcoholic) Teenager in Love," "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" and "See That Girl" seem only funny on the surface. Listen more closely, and the songs are raging against crumbling or abusive relationships.
That was MacColl's signature -- she could take desperate, harrowing tales and set them in the most delightful musical settings.
It helped, of course, that she had such a wonderful voice.
Blankets, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts -- I'm bringing them all out to help ward off the chill. I've already brought out the Kirsty.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Frazzled music for a frazzled day

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a noisy record.
"PERFECT SOUND FOREVER" was the third release by STOCKTON, CALIF., indie band PAVEMENT. It was released in 1991, a year before the band made a bigger, more noticeable splash with its debut album, "SLANTED AND ENCHANTED."
It was an EP, now included in the Pavement compilation, "WESTING (BY MUSKET & SEXTANT)."
I listened to it in the car today.
The music is a splintered, frazzled collection of tunes, which fit my mood perfectly today. I felt frazzled, too.
I have always loved how Spin Magazine described "Perfect Sound Forever," in a September 1991 review:
"Listening to Pavement is like trying to listen to three radio stations at once. One is playing Simon and Garfunkel, one is playing the Bobby Fuller Four, and the third one's just static."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spoilt for choice, I choose the Niners

The NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE season opened today with unprecedented choice.
We decided to spend $60 and purchase the DIRECTV package that includes all NFL games.
Thanks to that television freedom, we watched this afternoon as Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns within a minute to help lift the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS to a 33-17 win over the visiting SEATTLE SEAHAWKS.
I can't remember the last time I was able to see San Francisco play on an opening-day Sunday. Living in the Midwest, we are presented those regional games on television -- not the Niners.
It was a fun way to spend a one-day weekend -- shortened from normal because I worked yesterday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stoke under siege

It was the ENGLISH FOOTBALL equivalent of a tight pitchers' duel in baseball. Jonathan Walters scored a 21st minute penalty, then STOKE CITY defended as if their lives depended upon it and held on for a 1-0 win against visiting LIVERPOOL today.
Stoke defenders Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Matthew Upson, Marc Wilson, Andy Wilkinson and Bosnian/Canadian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic withstood all the offensive firepower Liverpool could employ, including dangerous Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt.
I watched today's stirring performance on television before leaving for a Saturday shift at work.
The victory lifted Stoke to an improbable fourth place on the PREMIER LEAGUE table, one ahead of Liverpool.
It was tense and exciting, like the analogous pitchers' duel.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Cheer up! It's Friday Question time again

We all feel down sometimes -- just ask SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS fans this season.
ROUTE 1 readers offer some positive tactics by answering the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"How do you cheer yourself up when you're feeling down?"
BEKAH P. -- Some yoga, some fancy and expensive cheese and chocolate, some emotional rom-com.
ROSEANNE H. -- Go shopping.
RICK T. -- I go on Facebook and see how much other people are having a more worse day than me.
SANDYE V. -- Usually by working on a puppetry project or spending time in the garden (weather permitting) or reading a really great book.
KERI M. -- Play with my dog, hang out with my boyfriend or do Yoga. Sometimes all three at the same time!
BRIAN C. -- I check out Route One. If that doesn't work, read about people who have experienced real tragedy and your problems are trivial by comparison.
JOHN S. -- I go for a bike ride.
ANNIKA H. -- Dance.
JIM S. -- Seeking solace from a pet often has helped me, from my younger days with Ching and Chang (our Siamese cats), to Jabbar a mutt dog, to Billie the Boston Terrier to Tabby (for almost 18 years) and now kittens Leah and Woody. It's unconditional love - except when the cats would rather not!
MIKE D. -- Look at photos of great times from the past. Or, if I'm in my car, turn on the radio and listen to some classical music to sooth me or head bang with some 1980s heavy metal to rock my cares away.
ERIK H. -- I listen to music and go for a walk.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Praising a real classic

The music of BOZ SCAGGS seemed to float through the background of my CALIFORNIA childhood.
It always seemed to be there, but I scarcely paid it the attention I now understand it deserved.
I'm listening to Scaggs' wonderful 1972 album "MY TIME" in the car today. It's the perfect accompaniment for a day with blue skies and warm-but-not-humid temperatures.
The album opens with a quartet of stunning songs: the irresistibly catchy single "Dinah Flo," the country rock ballad "Slowly in the West," the rocking "Full-Lock Power Slide" and a soulful (could it be anything else?) cover of the AL GREEN song "Old Time Lovin'."
Toss in a cover of ALLEN TOUSSAINT'S "Freedom for the Stallion," and "My Time" becomes a truly classic album.
Scaggs would score big hits later in the decade -- and I love "SILK DEGREES" -- but "My Time" is my favorite.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Hangover's funny older brother

Last night I watched one of the funniest films we own on DVD.
"OLD SCHOOL" is a 2003 film by comedy auteur TODD PHILLIPS, made three years before "THE HANGOVER."
Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell star as three men in their 30s who launch a fraternity to maintain ownership of a house on campus.
Jeremy Piven plays the villain of the film -- the college dean constantly scheming to shut down the fraternity.
"Old School" does sound like a reworking of "ANIMAL HOUSE," and there are certain similarities.
The main difference is the comic situations created when you place family men into a partying college environment.
Ferrell is big difference, too. He specializes in a type of stupid/sweet persona -- used to great effect in "Old School."
Like "The Hangover," it will keep you in stitches.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

iPod: Death and (slow) resurrection

I didn't expect to spend the fifth of my FIVE DAYS OFF repopulating an IPOD, but accidents do happen.
My iPod was connected to the desktop computer last night when one of the girls accidentally knocked it to the hardwood floor. The impact converted the thousands of songs from "music" to "other," rendering them useless. The damaged iPod also caused iTunes to crash, making it impossible to restore it to its factory settings.
Oh well. Like I said, accidents do happen.
As luck would have it, JILL had an iPod identical to mine in capacity. She no longer uses it since she received an iPhone.
As bad luck would have it, most of my CDs were on iTunes... on our deceased laptop.
Oh well. I will probably get a new laptop at Christmas.
In the meantime, I will fill the new iPod with purchased music and slowly add CDs.
Today, I decided to make sure all our music by five bands are on the iPod:
I'll also try to get as much JAZZ on it as possible.
Don't you think that's as good way as any to start?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Celebrating Freddie

We celebrated JILL'S dad's birthday last night. My father-in-law MARK is 65.
That's the age FREDDIE MERCURY would have been today.
I celebrated by listening to a pair of QUEEN albums today -- "SHEER HEART ATTACK" and "LIVE KILLERS."
Listening, I realized that I couldn't think of another band that had merged flamboyance, hard rock, opera and pop quite like Queen.
There really hasn't been any other band quite like them, although many have tried.
I was also pleased to see the GOOGLE DOODLE paying tribute to Mercury today.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

"Desperado" and the desperation of a Ducks fan

I'm listening to the EAGLES album "DESPERADO" this morning.
It's providing a melancholy soundtrack, as I reach the bitter conclusion of the DON FELDER autobiography, "HEAVEN AND HELL: MY LIFE IN THE EAGLES" and I recover from watching last night's 40-27 victory by LSU over MY BELOVED OREGON DUCKS.
Louisiana State were difficult opponents, but this game was without doubt one of the worst Oregon performances in years.
The Ducks committed four turnovers leading to 20 LSU points, were called for 12 penalties resulting in 95 yards lost and quarterback Darron Thomas (31-54 passing with many balls thrown behind the receivers), De'Anthony Thomas (fumbles on consecutive touches in the third quarter) and the rest of the players seeming nervous, awed by the occasion or similarly ill-prepared to play.
The Felder autobiography is even less cheery, as the narrative has reached the egos-and-acrimony stage of the Eagles' career.
One could argue runaway egos and paralyzing acrimony always beset the platinum-selling band. However, in Felder's telling, the tale darkens considerably during the resumption of the band's career in the 1990s.
Felder always resented being cast as a sideman in a band that launched with egalitarian, "no stars" principles. Funny how money and drugs can sour those noble aims. Well, it wasn't funny to Felder, who eventually became embroiled in lawsuits against his former bandmates.
Is there anyone a disappointed Ducks fan could sue this morning? Last night's game did noticeable harm to my mental well-being! No? OK, I'll continue listening to "Desparado."

Friday, September 02, 2011

New food? Was it good?

Is a question still "a question" if you are stringing along essentially three questions and simply placing a question mark at the end?
Perhaps that query will be answered next week. This week, ROUTE 1 readers respond to what looks suspiciously like a three-part enquiry by answering the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"When was the last time you tried a new food, what was it and how did you like it?"
BRIAN M. -- This clearly won't be as exotic as others' "new food," but I tried smoked oysters for the first time last Christmas. I was skeptical, but these were flavorful and chewable.
ANNIKA H. -- Last night I tried spaghetti squash and i liked it.
KERI M. -- I tried fried baked bannock on Friday and loved it!
BEKAH P. -- Well, the most recent food venture is thanks to you, Mr. Route 1. You posted a picture on Facebook of toasted ravioli, and about two days later, I was at this restaurant and saw they served those as an appetizer, and I ordered. Yum. But on the whole, since moving from the Midwest to a coastal state, I've been trying more fish. I've since had shark, squid, alligator and various versions of crabs and oysters. My reaction? Well, let's just put it this way: I miss good ol' Iowa pigs and cows.
INGER H. -- Probably the last time I tried anything completely new was when I had uni (sea urchin). I had heard that it was the kind of thing that you either really liked or found completely disgusting. I liked it. Similar to oysters, it tastes like the sea. Not seawater, but a kind of summation of everything in the ocean.
SANDYE V. -- I had a vegetarian egg roll at Taste of Dubuque and it was excellent!
MARY N.-P. -- Actually it was just two days ago when a woman bought cucumbers from us at the Bellevue Farmers Market and we asked what she was going to make with them. She peels and slices them, then mixes them with a little mayo, garlic and curry powder. It sounded great to us, so we mixed up a batch when we got home and it's a new favorite around our house.
ERIK H. -- I had never tried spaghetti squash until we made it for dinner the other night. After baking the large squash, you scrape the insides out and the flesh of the squash becomes stringy like its namesake noodles. You serve it with a marinara sauce, and it is good.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

An Eagle describes his bandmates

I'm enjoying reading the DON FELDER memoir, "HEAVEN AND HELL: MY LIFE IN THE EAGLES (1974-2001)," in which the guitarist details his career path with the platinum-selling rock band.
Here is how Felder described his bandmates when he first joined, during the recording of the "ON THE BORDER" album:
GLENN FREY: "A rebel without a cause from the Motor City, with his reflector shades, flipping an unlit cigarette in his hand and catching it, offering quick one-liners while constantly flicking his hair back off his forehead. Later I heard that his mother once said he was so ambitious he reminded her of a rattlesnake."
DON HENLEY: "A soft-spoken, introspective songwriter. He was an English literature major and wrote wonderful prose. He'd sit scratching away at his legal pad, constantly listening to the last track or editing what he'd just penned. He was fair, rational and levelheaded, if a little moody sometimes."
RANDY MEISNER: "The nicest guy I ever played with in a band. No matter what went down, you could hang out with 'Meis' and have a laugh. Naturally shy and quiet, he hated it when the attention was focused on him or his playing, but there were few occasions when I saw him unhappy."
BERNIE LEADON: "So brilliant musically that you could forgive him almost anything. He was also high-strung and extremely headstrong. His argumentative nature and lack of diplomacy sometimes made him unpopular with those who didn't understand or know how to handle him."