Thanks to Andrea and via Cindy, we’re going to try a participatory thing today, a meme about a letter of the alphabet and what it means to you. Here’s how it works: You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.
For Eternity, let’s say.
When I commented on Cindy’s post yesterday, she game me the letter E. A few things came to mind immediately, but it took a little thinking to fill out a list of ten.
So let’s begin. With skiing.
Epic. Yes, the primary meaning of this word has to do with narrative poems; for my purposes, we’re going to use a much narrower definition. When conditions warrant, the Ski Patrol at Aspen Highlands pulls out a flag they fly just a few times a year — the Epic flag. Skiers know they’re in for a full day of fun when they see that flag. I’ve been lucky enough to get in a few epic days out west; the first was during my senior year of high school, when Juan and I skied Arapahoe Basin, above the treeline, during a dump, and most recently on the powder day I wrote about on our last trip to Snowmass. Note that epic conditions are relative. An epic day at Seven Springs can be very good, and although it ain’t gonna match an epic day in Colorado, you’re still pretty happy to be there.
Erin. This is my sister. She’s a great sister, and a great wife and mother. She’s also apparently her neighborhood’s social instigator. I can’t wait for her family to get up to Pittsburgh — now that they have a place to stay — for a few days this summer.
Estimated > Eyes. One of my favorite Grateful Dead song combinations, in part because of how neatly it illustrates the differences between rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. “Estimated Prophet,” the Weir song, is all quirky angles and abrupt turns. Its reggae background is wedged into a bizarre time signature, and it has a built-in peak towards the end, a bombastic instrumental section that Garcia didn’t always take advantage of. “Eyes of the World,” the Garcia song, sounds and feels much more organic — it flows like a brook trickling down a hillside. It can reach monstrous peaks as well, but those occur if and when the boys feel like getting there. It’s always a cool juxtaposition to hear them back to back. And yes, I’m counting this entry as two.
Enchiladas. I like ’em all, but I’m especially fond of the stacked enchiladas with chicken, tofu and black beans at Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio. I haven’t had once since 2005, I think, and I miss them — and everything else about Casa — terribly.
East End Brewing. Despite a couple of recent closures, Pittsburgh has a thriving craft brewery scene, and East End is the best of the bunch. Owner/brewer/lone employee Scott Smith consistently nails the styles he tries, and comes up with excellent results when he’s working on something new. Next time you’re out, ask your bartender if there are East End products on tap; if they have something, be sure to give it a try. Or head out to the brewery, in Homewood, and pick up a growler. You won’t find better Pittsburgh-brewed beer anywhere.
Epicurious. A great cooking and recipe site. This is where I found the recipe that served as the starter for my crabcakes. You haven’t had my crabcakes? Ask me nicely and I just might make them for you.
eMusic. One of my favorite sources of digital music. eMusic is a subscription service that’s heavy on independent artists — not the ones you’re going to hear on commercial radio. It’s my go-to source when I come across a band I’m not familiar with; it also features an enormous classic jazz catalog. The basic service costs $12 a month; you get 50 tracks a month for your money. It’s also free of DRM restrictions; when you buy a track, it’s yours.
Editorials. For one year in Athens, writing the editorial for The Post was one of my primary responsibilities and I haven’t done nearly anything in journalism that’s been as satisfying since. The editorial runs without a byline; it is the voice of the newspaper and its editorial board — in the case of The Post, all the staff editors get a say. As managing editor, I switched off days with the editor in chief; on my days, I tried to bring a fully-formed idea to the daily budget meeting and sell everyone else on its merits. Sometimes — not often — I was voted down, for another issue or, a few times, in favor of a position that contradicted my own. And that’s an exercise in persuasive writing, boys and girls — putting together a convincing opinion piece that pushes an opinion you don’t support. But the best part was always overhearing discussions about the eddy the morning it runs. I know from listening to those discussions that I wasn’t able to convince everyone to agree with the newspaper’s position, but I loved the fact that they were talking about what I was writing.
Employment. If you work in my business and you still have it, you’re thankful every day.
Want a letter of your own? Leave a comment, and I’ll hook you up.