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Thirty Years Ago "Hell, you want to know what flat broke is? Flat broke is when I had to walk seven miles home because I didn't have a penny left. Lost every cent. There was a time when I'd rather raise the pot than eat." [T]here are quite a few men who try to make a living at poker. "They'll hit a lucky streak, quit their job, get all puffed up, and turn professional. But when that streak breaks, they go down the tubes." -- "LIFE & DEATH IN THE CARD ROOM," Jim Mullin, May 20, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago Few things can clear a room full of people quicker than experimental music. Composer Pauline Oliveros discovered this when, as a composition student at San Francisco State College some twenty-odd years ago, her classroom presentations of her works caused an exodus of students that left three willing stragglers.... It is no coincidence that UCSD's Center for Music Experiment, which Oliveros helped establish, has since become one of the leading experimental music performance centers in the world. -- "FAREWELL TO OLIVEROS," John D'Agostino, May 21, 1981

Twenty Years Ago To find the metallic wood-boring beetle, it is wise to visit a jojoba plant in the early morning, carrying a beating sheet and an instrument for beating. Hold your, beating sheet -- a two-foot-square piece of canvas stretched taut on a wooden frame -- beneath the jojoba's branches and rap the bush with your beater. Chances are the metallic wood-borer will tumble onto your sheet, still sluggish from the morning chill and therefore easy to grab. -- "THE MAN WHO LOVES BUGS CRAWLING," Gordon Smith, May 22, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago I've never felt there was much I could do about making love happen, that is, getting the goods delivered to my door when I needed it. When I tried to force things, went about seeking a mate, the results were stilted, inauthentic, unsatisfying, and I learned, over years, it was better for me to tend my own small vegetable patch and await better days. I forget that this is 1991 and that I live in America, which means: "WHY WAIT? YOU WANT IT? WE GOT IT. WE ARE WHEELING, WE ARE DEALING. CASH, CHECK, OR CREDIT CARD." -- "ONLY THE LONELY," Patrick Daugherty, May 23, 1991

Ten Years Ago My most unusual recollection of El Bizcocho relates to the evening I brought my ex-husband there in an attempt to persuade him to attend our elder son's wedding. Because I had so much riding on the evening with my ex-husband, I made as few comments as possible. When he suggested the Chateaubriand (tenderloin steak prepared for two), I hastily complied.

As we reached my door, I remarked casually, throwing away my line as if it had just come to me, "It would be nice if you came to the wedding. You don't have to stay more than an hour."

I credit the mellowness of El Bizcocho's food and wine for helping my ex-husband in his decision. He arrived just as the ceremony was to start. -- RESTAURANTS: "NIGHTS OF WONDER," Eleanor Widmer, May 16, 1996

Five Years Ago Others have pointed out that baseball functions in the realm of possibility, in what might have been and what might be. Unless you root for the Yankees, to be a fan is to live in a diaspora. The fan leads an alienated life; we love the Kansas City Royals or the Detroit Tigers, but we call neither city home. Unable to watch our home teams, we struggle with garbled Internet broadcasts and the whimsical managers of rank sports bars, who choose which games to tune in on their expensive satellite dishes. For relief, the sad, isolated fan turns to online versions of print publications for kinship. It's never enough. -- SIGHTSEER: "BULL PROSE," Justin Wolff, May 17, 2001

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