Lately, strawberry shortcake has been a nightly affair.

What a beautiful seed packet.

Charlie hits the post?

What lovely items Gabe at 105-1 Charlie FM mailed me as thanks for participating in Charlie on Demand! That's not just a key chain there in the middle right: it's also a bottle opener! And, yes, that tube just above the bottle-opening key chain is lip balm. With SPF 4! Kenneth likes the magnet (bottom right). He has a point. I may stick a piece of masking tape over Blondie and revise as follows: "Guess Who Styx Erk? 105-1 Charlie FM."
P.S. - Apologies to Jason for not knowing how to link to his comment re: "hitting the post."



On Saturday, Bradford fussed at me for not taking and posting a picture of the saffron ice cream (w/ pistachios and cherries) that I made and served in cacao nib florentine bowls: "These sound like beautiful things; why aren't they on your blog!?" The saffron ice cream is long gone (and was so expensive to make that it will be a long time in coming again), but in an effort to fulfill my public's endless demands (I'm constantly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of comments posted on the blog...jk), here are some recent meals, none as beautiful as the ice cream with its unearthly color nestled in dark brown cookie bowls.

Memorial Day alfresco: grilled endive with sauce gribiche, pissala tart, and grilled shrimp and vegetables with pearl couscous

Another Salad Ni├žoise (with asparagus, which was very much in season, rather than the traditional green beans, which-- at that moment-- were expensive, flown in from CA, an unappetizing shade of green, and a tad bit shriveled). We eat this salad constantly.

Just last night: a very rustic Algerian pepper tart, lentil salad with zucchini and arugula, and cold soup of peas and mint. I neglected to get a photo of the strawberry shortcake we had for dessert....


Radio waves have life

Tomorrow morning at 7 am, I'll be on 105.1 Charlie FM here in Madison. My entry for "Charlie on Demand" was selected. Generally, Charlie broadcasts sans DJ and plays a mix of "everything" (their version of everything, of course, excludes much... rap and hip hop, for starters. Despite such short comings, the jumble of tunes is generally great. In fact, Charlie definitely contributed to my new radio phase. I know that's where I was first arrested by Missing Persons, whose song I later requested on WSUM). But at 7 am and 5 pm each work day, they play a cluster of five songs proposed and then DJ'd by a listener.

Below, I've transcribed what you'd hear if you listened tomorrow morning.

Erk: Hey. This is Erk in Madison. I got one hand in my pocket and the other one's adjusting my dial to 105.1 Charlie FM-- Charlie on Demand.

Hand in my Pocket by Alanis Morissette]
[Love Will Bring Us Together by Captain and Tennille]
Erk: This is Erk in Madison with a big thanks to 105.1 for playing my songs on Charlie on Demand. Here's Heart with Barracuda [said w/ appropriate imitative intonation]

[Barracuda by Heart]
True Faith by New Order]
Erk: Hi, I'm Erk in Madison. My main man Kenneth and I love listening to Charlie: it's the perfect soundtrack to our lives, so I'd like to dedicate my little Charlie on Demand song cycle to Kenneth. Now, give us some Boz Scaggs: how about Low Down...
[Low Down by Boz Scaggs]

I'm not sure about the order, but... that's everything I know and everything Gabe recorded over the phone this morning. Charlie switched up my original proposal, substituting two of the alternates I provided (True Faith and Hand in my Pocket) for Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart (which I have heard on Charlie) and In the Street by Big Star (which I haven't).


There the green Infants in their beds are laid,/ The Garden's Hope, and its expected shade.

Painful sign of last year's disaster when my okra patch was weed-eated.

My heirloom tomato plant; Clara recommends that I name the tomatoes.

Lettuce peeping out from the porch; okra growing in fenced off area.

Kenneth: "It's an opulent household that ties up tomato plants with strips of Polo oxford."


Which would you rather have for a friend: the moonbeam in the morning or the light of the sun in the night, in the night?

How did this-- perhaps my favorite album cover ever--

get revised into this (a fine cover, but desolate in comparison):


The former was what I had in mind when I claimed Chromatics captured a Boz-Scaggs inspired moment:

Perhaps another such moment:

Or perhaps it's unfair to simply associate the speedo with Boz (in the initial comparison, I had in mind not only the suit but also the composition, the shadowiness of the men's faces, their hairiness, their trimness, etc.).

Either way, Chromatics and the speedo: both silhouettes I can get behind...

The sunglasses appear in alternate photos.



When Kenneth and I moved in together in our current apartment, my relationship to music shifted. I all but stopped listening to recordings. I believe I did this in part out of respect: "Maybe Kenny doesn't want to start off this Saturday morning with Klaus Nomi on repeat..." Partly, Kenneth became the house DJ. Mostly, something more mysterious occurred-- an alteration in my habits, modes of operation, and so forth. Perhaps it had nothing to do with Kenneth: biorhythms or a long silent period in my astrological calendar?

When Bradford asks me what I've been listening to, he regularly gets a crest-felling response of "Nothing. Nothing. Nothing."

But, then I began to listen to WSUM webcasts while working at Madison Hostel.

Brian, a student of mine, has a rockabilly/psychobilly show on the station-- a fact he announced when he introduced himself during our class's second meeting (I thought this was really cool, btw). I tried to catch his show early in the semester but didn't manage to get the time right until the semester concluded and, actually, his slot shifted to its new time (Tuesday @ 6pm). Prior to this, I'd tried out WSUM on a couple of Monday nights at the hostel, but I just couldn't manage the reggae show slated during the quieter, more sedentary span of my shift. When I began working doubleshifts on Tuesday instead of Monday, I caught Brian's Rockabilly Rituals and Psycho Sacraments, followed by You Hear Dead People and Shouting from the Shingles. I instant messaged requests, got all giddy about interactive radio, and fell in love with this trio of DJs. Melted into a teenage reverie by the new wave tunes of Shouting, I flirted with Joe Rooftop, who-- I suspect-- believed I was a female because my AIM handle is bridgetallworthy (a Henry Fielding reference, btw). It was a thrill. Carolyn Byrne plays only "the music of those who are now dead," so she sends out Judy Garland followed by The Ramones followed by Peggy Lee followed by Joy Division followed by T. Rex... The whole concept really thrilled me. In an IM, CB complained that no one good has died recently. I did research: House of Freaks's Bryan Harvey was murdered along with his entire family on New Year's Day of 2006... I emailed notes to myself...

But suddenly, lots of folks at WSUM were on vacation, forcing me to listen to computer selections or unscheduled broadcasts of Maurizio Bianchi. Then, I shifted back to Monday night shifts. I never requested House of Freaks, and I thought I might wilt without a post-punk pick-me-up.

Chromatics celebrate a Boz-Scaggs moment
After an hour of two of free baroque webcasts from Holland, I discovered East Village Radio. I download recordings of the most recent broadcasts and now listen from noon to 9pm, putting the music on hold when I leave the hostel office to clean, etc. So far, This Side of Nowhere is my mainstay, but I've begun to branch out. I recently caught Andrew Andrew's Sound Sound's 6/6/06 show, featuring only devilish tunes: The Sugarcube's "Delicious Demon," Van Halen's "Running with the Devil," Eartha Kitt singing "I Want to be Evil"-- how good it that!? I've discovered new bands & new old bands, I've added them as myspace friends, I've ordered CDs and have begun to figure out how I might go computer-age with my music collection and download it all onto my new computer. I'm imagining a CD I could burn for Bradford... I'm feeling the beat...

Radio isn't dead-- at least, not to me.


Not an euphamism for whoopie

My ass is throbbing. I was stung repeatedly by a nasty yellow jacket. It had somehow gotten inside my mesh shorts, and, while I was taking a reservation at Madison Hostel this afternoon, it began its assault. "Oh my God!" I said to the women who will lodge at the hostel in early July, "I'M BEING STUNG!!"

Tee by Banana Republic, Nike shorts, and briefs by Paul Frank.

Near the end of my shift, I discovered an afflicted yellow jacket stumbling across the office rug. I smashed it first with a freshly laundered and very newly folded hand towel and then with a baseball bat, which-- for some reason-- we keep under the front desk. I am not an animal: repeatedly beating an insect with a baseball bat is, at least in its details, a mighty refined activity.

Summer Reading

Hooray! Mike C. is bloggin'. Checks hims outs.


I rooted...

for Federer ("Fey-da-rah!"), but I knew all along that Rafa Nadal's ass was the big winner in today's match.