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Category Archives: Music
I live in the Halloween-i-est town in the world. You could call it “Halloween Town.” And people have. And made movies about it. Before we set out for a night of trick-or-treating, here’s a spooky Halloween playlist for you!
Rules for a Long Life
Satchel Paige was a remarkable fellow in more ways than I could possibly do justice to here. He had some rules for a long life, which I think are wonderful in so many ways.
“Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.”
“If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”
“Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.”
“Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society—the social ramble ain’t restful.”
“Avoid running at all times.”
“And don’t look back—something might be gaining on you.”
And here is the Heptone’s beautiful Book of Rules.
Each must make his life as flowing in
tumbling block on a stepping stone
While common people like you and me
we’ll be builders for eternity
each is given a bag of tools
a shapeless mass and the Book of Rules
“She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. … Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy?
And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray … my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. … But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”
It is remarkable how certain sensations can transport you instantly back to a specific time in your life. The taste of Dr Pepper makes me feel like I’m 9 years old, sitting in a country club in Salina Kansas. I’m eating a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips, trying to figure out what all the adults are talking about.
Music works that way as well – songs are associated with periods in your life to such an extent that you can’t listen to them without all of the pain or pleasure you felt at that time resurfacing in you. When I was a teenager, I used to hear Mozart’s clarinet quintet in my head whenever I felt anxious. I listened to it recently, and, rather than elevate me away from my anxiety, it somehow stirred all the anxiety I had tried to escape. It’s still ridiculously beautiful, though.
Is there some food or some song that works as a time-traveling device for you?
I don’t cook much with onions. I prefer shallots, smaller, sweeter, milder. Just the right amount of onion flavor. Wonderful roasted and caramelized.
Here’s MF Doom’s take…
Do fries go with that shake?
Here’s a mid-eighties offering from the inimitable George Clinton. Did you know he worked in a barber shop in Plainfield, NJ? It’s true!
You’d be surprised at the amount of songs about sofrito. A testament to its deliciousness. This is my favorite…
It’s by Mondo Santamaria, and like sofrito, it’s a slow cooker, but once it gets going, it sizzles!
Here are some songs to listen to while you cook.
This is dedicated to the truly tiny tomatoes on the farm, gamely hanging onto their plants in the face of oncoming winter…
And this is just juicy…
Any other tomato songs out there?