From the ages of 16-20 years old, I went to four concerts. Three were for Dave Matthews. See, my best friend Cristina was absolutely, legitimately and completely obsessed with Dave Matthews. She owned like fifteen CD's for her car. They were all Dave Matthews. I don't think it ever occurred to her to listen to anything else. Naturally, being the best friend, I got dragged into the whole thing. Cristina got her mom to buy us tickets to every concert Dave Matthews performed within the greater Los Angeles area for a few years. I saw him at Dodger Stadium. I saw him outdoors at Glen Helen Pavilion where we sat in the back on blankets and couldn't get over the amount of marijuana smoke around us. And now that I think about it, I can't even remember the other venue. That's a bad sign, isn't it? I do remember meeting Ryan Seacrest after the Dodger Stadium concert. He wasn't big time like he is now. Back then he was just our local radio deejay for Star 98.7, my favorite station. He was short. That's all I remember.
Suffice it to say I listened to Dave Matthews a lot as a teenager. Have you ever listened to him? He can be a bit odd. Examples 1, 2 and 3, are excerpts from some of his most famous songs.
Crash Into Me-
I watch you there, through the window and I stare at you, you wear nothing but you wear it so well, tied up and twisted the way I like to be, for you, for me, come and crash into me, baby. Craaaash into me. Crash into me. Crash into me. Ooooh, you know, I'm the king of the castle, your the dirty rascal, crash into me. Yes, I see the wave come and crash into me.
Crazy, how it feels tonight. Crazy how you, make it alright, love. Crush me, with the things you do. And I'll do for you, anything too. Oh, sitting, smoking, feeling high..and in this moment, oooh, it feels so right. Lovely lady, I am at your feet, oh God I want you so badly, and I wonder this: Could tomorrow be so wondrous as you there sleeping? Lets go drive till the morning comes. Watch the sunrise and fill our souls up. Drink some wine till we get drunk. Yeah, crazy I'm thinking just knowing that the world is round, and here I am dancing on the ground, am I right side up or upside down? And is this real? or am I dreaming? lovely lady let me drink you, pleeeease.
Satellite-Satellite. In my eyes, like a diamond in the sky, how I wonder. Satellite, strung from the moon and the world your balloon, peeping tom from the mother station. Who's the king of your satellite castle?
Dave Matthews has to be on drugs...right? And he is a little perverted, no? What do these lyrics even mean? Alright, so I get the whole beautiful artistic side, but as an outsider he really does seem to be pretty warped. I like him still, and the more I listen, the more I remember how much ("#41" live at Radio City Music Hall and "Say Goodbye" are absolute perfection and both get stuck in my head like no other) but am not the biggest everyday fan despite my three concert visits. Or am I? I did go see the movie "Black Hawk Down" ONLY because they used Dave's song "The Space Between" in the previews. Well, that and for Josh Hartnett. Anyone remember him? He was Danny in "Pearl Harbor". Remember Pearl Harbor? I loved that movie! But I loved both Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck so maybe it had something to do with that. No, it couldn't be because it was an awesome movie, too. And I think about and quote it quite a bit, so there, take that Rodger Ebert. To this day, Ben Affleck is still my number one. Go ahead, make fun of me- I know you guys are all nuts for Brad, Ryan (Reynolds and Gosling), George and Colin, but I only have eyes for Ben. Don't tell me you didn't fall head over heels in "Armageddon". You did. Don't even try and lie.
Whoooo-wee, where were we? Ben gets me all flustered (sorry, honey). Oh yes, Dave Matthews. So many of my memories are tied up in his songs. One night Cristina and I were giving ourselves pedicures when we thought we should partake in some red wine. Now, we were only about seventeen, and I have no idea where we got ourselves a bottle, but Cristina had just gotten back from Costa Rica (where part of her family lives) and they allowed her to drink some while she was there. We figured, what was the difference? Cristina was mad for red wine and it had been all she would talk about since she got back. It was inevitable. It was also the first time I remember ever drinking before I was supposed to. My mom would allow me to have a half a beer or to take a few sips of something before, but this was the first time I actually drank unsupervised. We were semi-responsible and didn't get crazy with it, but I remember feeling tipsy. This whole evening, and I mean the WHOLE evening, we listened to Dave Matthew's "Crush" on repeat. I went into that evening knowing nothing. I came out of it with every single lyric of that song forever burned into my memory, nice nails, and a taste for good red wine. I guess you could say a have a confusing sort of love for Dave.
This overnight Greek salad has nothing to do with The Dave Matthews Band, but I'll try and tie it all together by the end. We will see how that goes. I first made this salad one night last summer after I discovered that raw onions were so much better after they had pickled and soaked in a vinegar mixture for a while before adding it to food. Likewise, I thought a salad would have a lot more flavor if the vegetables could soak and marinate in the dressing for a while before adding it to the lettuce. So I tried it. Success. Not only does it cut your prep time to nothing, since chopping is done the night before, but it tastes better having set. There is also no real recipe or ratios since it is so downright simple and very customizable. Swap out the garbanzo beans for cannelini, feta for mozzarella, then add some chopped salami and you have yourself an overnight Italian salad. Options are limitless and this one will fix what ale's you, even if you are being moody like Dave Matthews. Oh, he's moody, let me tell you. You think a woman who's seen him perform three times wouldn't know this? He got so mad at the audience one time because they were not listening to him attentively enough (I think they were smoking too much pot) and we are pretty sure he cut his concert short and ended with the song "Ant's Marching" on purpose with no encore. The last words in the song? "Lights down, you up and die." Coincidence? I think not.
Overnight Greek Salad
1 -2 heads Romaine lettuce or a mixture of romaine and arugula, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips (from a jar)
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 small English cucumber, sliced into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
bottled balsamic vinaigrette, greek dressing, red wine vinaigrette or Italian
salt and pepper
Optional additional mix in's or toppers: Grilled shrimp or chicken, salmon, salami or prosciutto.
The night before you want to eat this salad, place cucumber, feta, olives, red pepper strips, artichoke hearts and garbanzo beans in a ziplock bag. Pour as much salad dressing as you would guess you need for the salad over everything. When in doubt, go with about 1/2 cup or more. Chuck the bag in the refrigerator.
The next day, chop your lettuce and place in a large salad bowl. Empty the vegetables in the dressing over the lettuce (if there is a lot of watery liquid in the bottom of the bag, try and keep it out of the salad and discard because it's most likely water the vegetables gave off.) Season with salt and pepper, add a splash more salad dressing to freshen everything up, and toss. Serve plain or with protein of your choice. For a hearty vegetarian option, try tossing in cooked quinoa or couscous.