May 24

One paragraph of weather, 900+ words on everything else

It was a damp and chilly and otherwise gray and rainy day here today. It also sprinkled. And moisture just simply hung in the air, like we were looking out over a moor. And it was also grey and dreary and it drizzled and it was cold. Furthermore, it was dank and slippery and nothing in the distance, such as it was, looked appealing. The clouds, not content to just pass lazily by, ground to a halt, and then lowered themselves upon all of us. It was the sort of day you might best address with hot tea and a horror story. Ridiculous for the second week of May, but ideal for sitting around and taking it easy. And, anyway, the pest control people were due between noon and 4 p.m.

He arrived at 4:35.

So it was good, then, that it was a day for blankets, because if we’d sat around and did nothing on a beautiful day waiting on that guy to show up and wave his high pressure sprayer around … that would have been a real … buzzkill.

Anyway, he got some spiders and ants and wasps. We will see if I should remain skeptical.

But while we visited away the afternoon, my mother had some serious cuddles with the cats. I realized that I inherited the “an animal is sleeping on me, and thus I can’t move a muscle in fear of disturbing the creature” thing from her.

Poe took a lot of naps.

We watched King Richard. It was OK. Two or three great scenes where you wonder if they were real, dramatized or Disneyfied. Probably a movie about Venus and Serena Williams, specifically, would be more engaging, but Will Smith can’t play those parts yet. AI can’t do everything, you.

We also watched the first episode, of three, of the new documentary on the Boston Marathon bombing.

I was driving to campus one fine, sunny Monday when those bombs exploded at the finish line in Boston. And I remember listening to the Boston et al scanners online in my campus office later in the week, and wishing people would stop trying to “report” from what they heard on scanners.

Scanners are endlessly fascinating. I grew up listening to them. For my entire childhood my grandparents had one sitting in the living room and it was either on, or I’d turn it on. But that’s where the sausage is being made in the first responder’s world, and that doesn’t at all make it valuable information for a regular audience, particularly in the most stressful circumstances, like, say, a vicious gunfight after a week-long manhunt.

That, too, was fascinating to hear, in an intense and morbid way, but that doesn’t always merit continually commentary from everyone else.

Anyway, the documentary is in three parts, and they’ve got a substantial handful of the key law enforcement types as prominent interview subjects. They are all speaking pretty candidly, which is delightful. The documentary will have to at least touch on the online sleuthing for suspects, but they surely won’t spend a lot of time there. I bet they won’t talk about the scanners at all. I bet David Ortiz makes it into the documentary.

They did not talk about the best part of the whole horrible experience, the one detail I’ll always shoehorn into a conversation about that particular story, and the part I hope to never forget.

NBC Sports reported people crossed the finish line and kept on running, running to Massachusetts General Hospital, where they donated blood for victims.

That’s just the most beautiful damn thing.

Then, so many others were moved to donate blood that Mass General and the Red Cross temporarily stopped accepting blood donations.

Regular people, working in the interest of helping other regular people. That’s why the bad guys can’t win. We won’t let them.

Out in the backyard, the black cherry (Prunus serotina) is flowering nicely. And, if you would, I’d just like you to stop for one brief moment here and contemplate the focal plane of this photograph.

This is how it worked. Our sellers left us a list of all of the wonderful growing trees here. It’s terrific, really. And on that list, it simply said “Cherry trees.” They were very helpful in many ways, the sellers, but I think a little map would have been fun. It would have eliminated some mystery.

But the discovery is the fun, you say! And you are right! And we are still discovering things!

Late last summer I figured out which of the two trees were the cherry trees. That sounds ridiculous, it’s not like we have 400 acres here or anything, but these particular trees don’t look like how I remember, or envision, cherry trees. These are big. Then one day late last season I had this great idea: look for trees with fruits growing on them.


So there are the two cherry trees out back. Tall as can be. I thought they were chokecherry trees, but then I began reading about that species and these two guys are much bigger than those. So I’ve now decided they must be black cherry trees. To be fair to me, according to what I’ve just read, the two species are related.

See? Still discovering things. (And I love that part.)

I’ll try to eat more of them this year.

Speaking of eating, for dinner tonight we went to a local Indian restaurant. This is a new-to-us place, but well regarded, and widely so. It sits in an old bank light to look like a new age church and people come from far and wide to try the food. Indeed, when someone who’s been around here a long time asks where we moved, and we tell them, they ask us if we’ve been there yet.

And now, having gone, I’m quite disappointed it took us almost a year to go.

This was so good.

I had the lamb biryani.

The menu describes it as “Fragrant basmati rice are layered with a spicy and delicious Lamb curry made of succulent chunks of lamb leg to make this classic flavorful rice entree.” That’s enough for two meals, easily. And so that’s dinner tomorrow, and I’m sure it will be even better in that way that the best spiced dishes often are.

My lovely bride and my mother each tried different chicken dishes, pronounced them both incredible, and we were all quite pleased. Especially since the guy said “We only do reservations on the weekend, but come right this way.”

Every plate that passed by looked intriguing. Most of the things on the menu was calling out to me. We’ll be back there, and probably quite soon.

Have a great weekend! We’re going to do something this weekend we’ve never done before!

May 23

Press the long one on the right

Reading a site regularly gives you great insight into its habits and routines. The page, when consistently produced and consistently read, at least, can certainly have a personality. For example, when you see a hastily composed and carefully cropped photo — shot from the hip and edited for more than 11 seconds — like this …

… or another shot, with tint and flares like this …

Then you know we’re on the road. I suppose the long weekend was another clue. Anyway, we’re headed south for the Memorial Day weekend. Family, sun, good fun, some time by the pool, and … BARBECUE.

It is the little things — like slow slow-cooked meat — that you miss the most when you don’t have them close at hand in in abundant supply. But over the course of this trip, I’m getting barbecue at least twice.

And so we drove all through the afternoon, stuck in traffic at the Kentucky border, near a place where authorities are presently looking for an escaped murderer, and slowed down again several times north of Nashville because of the hour, picking up some ‘cue from Jack’s a proper little joint right there in the Gulch. We finally exited the interstate for exiting the interstate at a quiet little part of Tennessee, where the community is named as a portmanteau in honor of the guy who either influenced or bribed lawmakers to get the train to run through the area.

In the day’s dying light, we glided through 11 miles of a U.S. highway that, if you were ambitious, would carry you some 2,300 miles from where my sister is in North Carolina to a place in Arizona where no one I know is. We were racing daylight, because we still had 22 miles to go on a little county road up in the hills where the darkness comes early. You pass through towns that show up on a map, but not in real life. Then there’s the state line store, and the big right turn, past where some of my family is buried, on roads that seamlessly put you into another unincorporated place that stretches to each horizon before, finally, there’s a four-lane road straight and true, one more turn, and then there’s the warm light shining in my mother’s yard.

She’s got the hugs. We’ve got the barbecue. And that’s how we started the weekend.

Apr 23

Anybody have some chips? Or peanuts? Or a burrito?

I’m hungry. Quite hungry, really. I was just thinking, yesterday, that I am due a don’t-eat-much phase, but it seems I’m going the other way. This is a deep, can’t-ignore-it hunger. Lunch didn’t touch it. All the snacks stored away in my office? Not a dent. It is a considered-second-lunch-at-4 p.m. hunger. (Pizza sounded sooooo good.) I dared not to stand too close to anyone wearing a microphone in the studio this evening, lest my tummy start chiming in. After dinner, still hungry. I didn’t even have a big workout today. Makes me wonder how I’ll feel after a bike ride tomorrow morning.

I met a guy from Hearst Television today. The broadcasting giant sent two recruiters to campus to meet students. They did one-on-ones with interested students, I told him I could tell him to hire some of the young men and women he met, right away. They also did an under-attended info session, too.

Turns out the guy was from Savannah. I told him my wife and I got engaged there, and that we got married there. He knows the place. Everyone there knows the place. He lives just up the road, he said. He told me about the owner of the place where we got married. I told him we were just there in December, did the bridge run. Told him we go every year, that we don’t even do the tourist stuff anymore, but just walk around and enjoy the pace of things. I asked him if he had a job for me there. He asked me if I wanted to be a news director. The guy that was the news director in their Savannah shop just moved. I say, who doesn’t want to be a news director?

I wonder how many people he meets every year. How relentlessly positive he is, because he was profoundly optimistic, and energetic. Good traits, I’m sure, for this type of recruiting.

He left with my card. But, most importantly, he left having met a lot of talented students. A few of them might wind up within their company. They’ve got almost three dozen stations to fill, after all.

Let’s dive into the Tuesday feature, the Tuesday Close Your Tabs feature. I have so many open tabs this has become a regular thing. I’m not sure if we’re calling it that, or if we should. But it’s my site, so I can decide I guess … Anyway, here we are, the Tuesday Close Your Tabs feature. Yeah, we’re not going to call it that. Anyway, I have a lot of open tabs, and not everything should be closed, lost and forgotten forever. Better to memorialize a few of those pages here.

Anyway, I got sucked in, last month, by the title of this post. There’s always something Buddhism can show you, seems like. How to bear your loneliness: Grounding wisdom from the great Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön:

Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment. Cool loneliness doesn’t provide any resolution or give us ground under our feet. It challenges us to step into a world of no reference point without polarizing or solidifying. This is called the middle way, or the sacred path of the warrior.

Same website, same general concept for me: of someone is writing about them, lichens and moss deserve at least a skim.Lichens and the meaning of life:

Lichens come alive as an enchanting miniature of the miraculous interconnectedness of nature in biologist David George Haskell’s altogether fascinating book The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (public library).

Having previously written beautifully about the interleaving of life, Haskell details the ecological and evolutionary splendor of lichens as living symbiotes:

The quietude and outer simplicity of the lichens hides the complexity of their inner lives. Lichens are amalgams of two creatures: a fungus and either an alga or a bacterium. The fungus spreads the strands of its body over the ground and provides a welcoming bed. The alga or bacterium nestles inside these strands and uses the sun’s energy to assemble sugar and other nutritious molecules. As in any marriage, both partners are changed by their union. The fungus body spreads out, turning itself into a structure similar to a tree leaf: a protective upper crust, a layer for the light-capturing algae, and tiny pores for breathing. The algal partner loses its cell wall, surrenders protection to the fungus, and gives up sexual activities in favor of faster but less genetically exciting self-cloning. Lichenous fungi can be grown in the lab without their partners, but these widows are malformed and sickly. Similarly, algae and bacteria from lichens can generally survive without their fungal partners, but only in a restricted range of habitats. By stripping off the bonds of individuality the lichens have produced a world-conquering union. They cover nearly ten percent of the land’s surface, especially in the treeless far north, where winter reigns for most of the year.

Having so mastered the art of unselfing, lichens emerge as living testaments to the visionary evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis’s insistence that “we abide in a symbiotic world.”

Now that we’ve thunk deep thoughts, let us enjoy the idea of a delicious pie.No-bake Lemon Icebox Pie:

My Southern sweet tooth can never resist an icebox pie — a class of pie that earns its namesake from simply chilling the pie layers, so there’s no baking involved. They’re wildly simple to assemble, and lightly sweet with a crisp graham cracker crust and the most stately pile of whipped cream on top. With fillings, the flavors are endless, from strawberry to coconut to chocolate. Lemon ranks at the very top for me — fresh lemon zest and juice in this pie contribute to its natural lemony flavor, with no artificial colors or extracts required.

And now I’m hungry again. I’ve been hungry all day.

Maybe I should distract myself with a hyperbolic headline. A leak at the bottom of the sea may be a harbinger of doom/a>:

The team discovered the leak after spotting plumes of methane bubbles nearly a mile below the surface of the ocean. After sending an underwater drone to investigate, they discovered that water with a different chemical composition from the surrounding seawater was seeping into the ocean from a hole in the ground “like a firehose,” Evan Soloman, a fellow UW oceanographer and a co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “That’s something that I’ve never seen and to my knowledge has not been observed before.”

Further analysis found that the water was 16 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the seawater around it. The authors suspect that the fluid’s source is roughly 2 miles below the ocean floor at the CSZ fault line where temperatures sit around 300 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is that a big deal? The researchers say that the fluid might be acting as a kind of pressure regulator between the continental plate and the ocean plate. The more fluid that is in the cracks of the faults, the less pressure there is between the two plates as they smash into each other.

So less fluid means there’s more pressure building between the two plates. This can create a lot of stress on the region and a whole lot more potential energy that could unleash itself as a devastating earthquake.

I wonder if this is happening, in actuality, in other places and we just don’t know it yet.

Something we do know: how many tabs, 28, I still have open on my phone’s browser. That’s pretty decent progress. Still hungry, though.

With a quick dash of a video or two here, we’ll be caught up on the Re-Listening project. For just a moment. That’s the way it works. I’m listening to all of my old CDs, in the order that I got them, in the car and writing something about them here. I live just 4.5 miles from work, but it is a 20-some-minute commute, somehow. These CDs, then, come and go pretty quickly.

We’re in late 1998 here, with a by-design one-hit wonder. New Radicals released this one record, fronted by the high-toned Gregg Alexander, but Alexander and his writing partner, Danielle Brisebois, ended the project before the second single was released. The album ” Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too” was topical, critical, and pulled from all sorts of influences to make a modern pop record. The record made it to 41 in the US, and landed in the top 20 on charts in Austria, Canada, and the UK. You might remember the top 40 hit single.

That’s an artist’s song.

In the liner notes to her 2004 compilation Artist’s Choice, the Canadian songwriter Joni Mitchell praised “You Get What You Give” for “rising from the swamp of ‘McMusic’ like a flower of hope”. In 2006, Ice-T was asked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien about what he has heard, besides rap music, in the last few years that really grabbed him and his only reply was “You Get What You Give”. In a Time interview, U2 lead guitarist the Edge is quoted saying “You Get What You Give” is the song he is “most jealous of. I really would love to have written that.”

I always liked the album, but it’s starting to show it’s age.

The first track has, has always had, a terrific energy. And when it came on — even though I am playing all of these discs in order I’m not always sure which one is going to appear next — I was quite excited for the rest.

A bit later, this one isn’t bad. The bit about obscure bands is hale, hilarious, hipster:

The rest … today it just feels like it’s trying to find it’s voice, while trying to be a meta-album, while trying to channel Prince and, among others, Hall & Oates. The 1970s came back in 1997, basically.

New Radicals signed in 1997 and called it in the spring of 1999. Alexander went back to producing. Seems the touring was part of the problem. They went platinum along the way, though.

Apr 23

There’s a nice, easy recipe here — goes well with jazz

I attacked the morning with zeal. Zeal, I say. That was what the morning was attacked with, zeal. And urgency, and enthusiasm. The first alarm went off and I got up and put on the bike riding clothes and I went downstairs and rode on Zwift for 96 minutes, putting 36 more miles under my shoes.

One of the routes I did today included Neokyo All-Nighter, the fever dream of some poor game designer. What even is that thing floating in front of me?

The 2023 Zwift route tracker: 95 routes down, 34 to go.

Later in the morning, I found myself reading copy aloud so a student could master the teleprompter. My voice was still thin in that way that’s difficult to control after a big workout. The was just coming from the back of my throat. There was no projection, no commanding news voice, no soothing tones, just a bleating, busted reed of a sound. Didn’t sound like me at all, especially to me. Even though I know it happens with a big workout, and in an hour or two I’ll sound more like myself, it’s always a tiny bit unnerving. What if it takes too long? What if this is the way I sound now?

But it was only a practice, for someone else. For some reason it got a polite bit of applause.

“Huzzah! He’s literate!”

That happened to me in a newsroom once, too. New job, second day there. The news director was the anchor, he pitched to me for my first story and I glanced over at him just in time to see a wide-eyed, stunned look on his face. “He can do that?”

And I thought, If you’re surprised, why did you hire me?

I googled this tonight, why my voice does that, not the former news director. (He’s in sales now.) It apparently has something to do with exertion and the way the muscles get used. But people seem to have different responses to this. Some people’s voices get deeper after a big workout, for example. This was a medium workout for me, though, and when I found that different people have different reactions, I knew it was time to close the tab.

Speaking of which …

While I closed that one to avoid diagnosing myself via Dr. Duck Duck Go, I am closing these tabs because … I don’t need this many open browsers in my life. The information could be useful, so I’m keeping the notes here for me, and sharing them with you, just in case.

I did an overdue phone upgrade late last year and, surely, there’s something useful to do with the old one. 10 ways to reuse your old iPhone in 2023:

Recently upgrade to a newer iPhone? We bet you have your old one stuffed in a drawer left to gather dust because you can’t figure out what to do with your old iPhone. But, lucky for you, we’ve got some fantastic ideas to reuse your old iPhone.

It is sitting on my desk, waiting.

I wanted a light and bright pasta one night the last time I had a bachelor weekend. I started pulling things out of the cabinet and then though, No, I’m hungry, not feeling experimental … and found this recipe, which was almost exactly what I was imagining. Light & easy garlic lemon pasta for two:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
enough cooked angel hair pasta for 2
salt & pepper, to taste

I ate that two nights in a row.

This came up right after the first balloon craze last month. When China shot down five U-2 spy planes at the height of the Cold War:

The U-2 has a long and storied history when it comes to espionage battles between the US and China. In the 1960s and 1970s, at least five of them were shot down while on surveillance missions over China.

Those losses haven’t been as widely reported as might be expected — and for good reason. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was responsible for all of America’s U-2s at the time the planes were shot down, has never officially explained what they were doing there.

Adding to the mystery was that the planes were being flown not by US pilots nor under a US flag, but by pilots from Taiwan who, in a striking parallel to today’s balloon saga, claimed to be involved in a weather research initiative.

And, after closing these three, I am down to just 34 tabs on my phone.

I am still catching up on the Re-Listening project — playing all of my CDs, in order, in the car. These aren’t reviews, but mostly just an excuse to share good music and write about whatever comes to mind about it, the time, or whatnot. And right now we are somewhere in early 1998, I think, when I was adding a bit of jazz to the collection. Most assuredly I was trying to bring some class to my collection.

So today we’re listening to Charles Fambrough’s 1992 The Charmer. This is the second album from the late, great bassist and composer. This still plays as a great easy jazz listen.

I don’t have the education or jazz vocabulary to appreciate the composition — or the talented interplay between the musicians — as I should, but reading comments online I have come to understand it was apparently under-appreciated in it’s time.

To me, this is perfect for ambience — say you’re making a nice lemon pasta — or as something quiet in the office, or simple and unobstrusive for the car. Which sells Fambrough short. He appears as a contributor on 17 other records, plus releasing nine records of his own between 1991 and 2003. He died, at just 60, in 2011. One of his obituaries called this record the high point of the CTI label’s 1990s output. It also used two exclamation points and the word “splendiferously” in the same paragraph. This was, one presumes, written by someone with a much better sense of musical appreciation than I have.

And so, for your musical appreciation, here is the complete Charles Fambrough album, The Charmer.

I attacked the deal with zeal; I will end the evening with the jazz.

Feb 23

Seriously, I want this bread, very much

I walked into the studio this evening for the news recordings and watched two young women deliver the news. A young man did a weather forecast, which he we wrote and produced over in the atmospheric sciences. Another person delivered a tightly written around-the-world segment. They have two co-directors of news, and they each pitched to pre-recorded packages to stories they’ve recently produced. It’s all quite impressive.

The impressive part, to me, though, was one of the young women sitting at the news desk. One has been there a few times and she does a nice job with it. The other, this was her first time anchoring. After, I told her, a not insubstantial part of what we do at the desk is about delivering with confidence and poise, control and power. Her face fell a little bit right then. But, I said, a very interesting thing happened as you went through that show just now, your poise and confidence grew with each story you read through.

She was pleased. Everyone was.

Please enjoy the weekly effort at reducing the number of files I have open in my browser. It seemed a good week to have a theme, so let’s have a theme! The theme is food. Bookmark these links for yourself, but, whatever you don’t, don’t just leave these open in your browser.

This one is a recent discovery. Please don’t share this one with anyone I know, lest they make it and I have to eat it and learn it is, in fact, amazing.

Chocolate peanut butter skillet brownie.


1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 10 to 11-inch oven-safe deep saute pan/skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, turn off the heat and whisk in the sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, making sure to quickly combine them so they don’t cook. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt. Add it to the skillet and stir until combined and on lumps remain. Stir in the chocolate chips. Dollop the peanut butter all over the batter then swirl it in with a knife.

Bake the brownie skillet for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is just barely set. You don’t want to overcook it! When it comes out of the oven, you can sprinkle with chocolate chips if you wish.
Let cool slightly then serve topped with vanilla ice cream.

Feel free to copy it from here, saving yourself the postmodern angst of having to scroll through 500 words and a ton of photos to get to the good stuff. Ironic, I know, and you’re welcome.

If you want something more healthy, 10 fruits you should eat every week, according to a dietitian:

Did you know research published in 2018 in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mSystems shows that eating up to 30 different kinds of plants in a week can positively benefit your gut microbiome? Having a healthy gut can improve heart health, boost immunity and even benefit mental health. Eating more fruit is an easy way to increase the number of plants you’re eating in a week to keep your gut bacteria happy—and these 10 fruits pack in a plethora of health benefits with every bite.

From increasing your fiber count to boosting your body with crucial vitamins and antioxidants, here are the fruits recommended to consume every week, backed by experts and research.

Now if I can get two or three more refrigerators I can keep all of these fruits close at hand.

When we went to Washington in June of 2021 — our first non-family anything since Covid began — we discovered the Cottage Bakery in Long Beach. At that time I wrote:

I discovered the joy of a locally made bread I’ll never be able to try again, one so full of flavor and appeal that I described it as a sommelier does a wine (with a lot of complimentary adjectives). They describe it as “A multigrain bread we developed for that special beach flavor! Sweetened with honey and molasses and full of whole grain taste.”

They’re underselling the bread.

It is called Willapa harvest bread. Sadly, they don’t ship across the country. But this bread, y’all. So I started looking for the recipe. A recipe. Any recipe. I think this might be close to what I’m after. Now I just need to try it. Honey molasses whole-wheat bread:

Tested size: 12 servings; makes one 9-inch loaf

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the whole-wheat and bread flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, oil, honey, molasses and buttermilk in mixing bowl. Stir for 75 strokes, so all the dry ingredients are moistened, then pour into your loaf pan, spreading the batter evenly.

Bake (middle rack) for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a moist crumb or two.

Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

If you want to sweet talk the nice people at the Cottage Bakery in Washington state and see if they’ll share a few tips with someone a.) not in the bakery business and b.) well removed from their customer base …

Closing those three, I now have 40 tabs open on my phone browser. I seem to be stuck on that number.

It is time for another visit to the Re-Listening project. This is a stroll down memory lane, all of my CDs, in order, in the car. Today we’re somewhere in early 1997. Live’s fourth album came out that February. I liked the third one, everyone did, so I got the fourth one. The first single came out in January and it was immediately a big draw for an early 20-something.

The memory I have with that song is an open road and an odometer needle that points just a hair over toward the right. I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed the string section at the end. It stuck out to me on this listen. It’s a dissonance that doesn’t really work, at least from here.

But back then, that song went to 35 on the US Radio Songs chart, topped the Alternative Airplay chart and made it to number two on the Mainstream Rock chart. This was the most successful single on the record, and that makes sense. When you listen to the whole thing, by the time you get to the 10th track, or May, when this was released, you couldn’t be faulted for thinking this entire record was produced on a dare.

Try as I might, and this is of course a silly thing, I can’t think of a memory of listening in this in the daytime. I did used to make most of my long trips in the darkness, but that’s a weird lack of recollection on my part.

Of the whole record, this is the second, and other, lasting song on the album that captures my attention. It’s a stripped down and live performance of Live, from November, 1997. Or maybe it was April. Some international dating conventions are tricky.

“Secret Samadhi” topped the weekly charts, and the album finished at 42 on the year-end chart. It was certified double platinum in Australia, Canada and the US, but the misses outweigh the hits for me.

These days, after allllll of their internal drama, Live, with nine records in the catalog, is still touring, though the only original member is lead singer Ed Kowalczyk. When is an old band a new band? How long can a band swap out players and use the same name? This is, admittedly, a lame Theseus’ paradox, but it is hard to imagine Live without Kowalczyk.

In our next visit to the Re-Listening project we’ll check out a breakthrough smash from a little band from Gainesville, Florida.

But, for now, I have to go rock out iron a dress shirt for tomorrow.