Above the Fold

A digital 'zine by Original Fuzz about creativity and making stuff.

★  Jul 21, 2024  ★

Mark's Mailbag: 90s Country, Steak, and Old Friends

This month our resident advice columnist, Mark Harrod, reflects on the beauty of 90s country, how to cook a steak, and his best friend. 

 Got a question for Mark? Throw it in the pile for next month's issue here.


What have you been listening to in the car these days?


Atlanta, GA

Greetings, Anne. There's a new country station in Nashville—new to me at least—whose program director is giving this town a heavy dose of 90s country and I can't get enough. Tonight, they went back to back to back with Diamond Rio, Randy Travis, and Alan Jackson.

And I went,


I made it clear how much I like 90s country on that preposterously long 90s country playlist podcast I recorded with Lee—In Barnstable, Massachusetts of all places—so, I don't need to detail all that again. If you've got a few hours to kill give that thing a listen.

Also, huge shoutout to the guitar player in the Diamond Rio music video for having a matching pick guard, guitar strap, and vest.


What's the best way to cook a steak?


Sedona, AZ

That sounds like the set-up to a joke and I'm not falling for it, Jim. The answer to your question is, in a cast iron pan on your stove then, maybe, finished in the oven if the smoke detector starts going off. This method results in the tastiest steak, but has a real downside of your home smelling like the inside of a Waffle House for a while. And I'm not besmirching Waffle House, it's just unsettling to come home from work the next day and think, "Oh yeah, I have leftovers," purely off of that smell. The day before Original Fuzz moved to it's current shop there was sort of a friends-and-family taco night at their old place and I cooked steak in a cast iron pan for the group. I hope they didn't have the security deposit inspection the next morning.

Ever cry at any commercials?


Amarillo, TX

Well, since you brought it up, I can't recall full-on crying while watching a television commercial, but I've gotten close.

Recently, Orvis released a three minute short film-commercial about a dog named Luck who is getting old and slowing down. It's predominantly a testimonial from Luck's owner about what he has meant to her, and how happy she is to have him. It might make you cry.

Some long-term readers may have noticed the bio at the bottom of Mark's Mailbag changed last Fall. There isn't a reference to me walking a golden retriever named Brad around my neighborhood in there anymore. That's because Brad was diagnosed in September with advanced-stage Lymphoma and had to be put down just a few days after the diagnoses. It was devastating—even more so than I expected it to be. Of course, we know that dogs don't live forever, but it absolutely feels like they have been a part of your entire life at the moment you lose them. Brad definitely made my life better, and I'm so grateful to have had him.


Mark is a former lawyer who lives in Nashville. If you see a guy that looks like a former lawyer in Germantown, feel free to say, "Hi." You can also find him on the internet at basketofchips.com and @cmharrod.