Friday Fives – somehow ends up being about Alice in Wonderland again

alice cover

What’s your “I can’t believe they got away with this in a kid show” moment?

I am reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’ again… slowly (on the toilet) and it holds up SO well.  Its my favorite  book in the world!.  I say that with a literature degree!  Anyhow, the books reminds me of Spongebob, in that it is clearly designed for both audiences.  You probably know the book is famous for a LOT of druggy psychedelic references.  You probably know that Grace had a VERY big hit with this song singing for the Airplane.  You probably know it was written clearly in the 60s.  It was.  The 1860s!  By a motherfuckin’ Reverend!  Not just a reverend but a published math wiz.  He isn’t called Lewis Carroll, either.  Dodgeson was so embarrassed by his writings of ‘Alice…’ that he used a fake name.  The man you know as Lewis Carroll is Rev Charles Dodgeson.  Also, Alice was a very real person… Alice Liddel.  Here are pics of her, which is SUPER cool.  And stop saying pedophile jokes.  Dude was a family friend, and he was never alone with Alice.

So… what does any of this have to do with the question?   Alice in Wonderland is a pretty f’d story composed almost entirely of antagonists.  Not sure it is should be a kids book.   Tell what what, if I ever get our kids back from the state, we’ll test it one of them.  Another reason this came up is legit, a couple weeks ago I got this in the mail.  Reminds me of the time I read this, when I found a Steadman copy.  To me knowledge, the Steadman editions are not currently available, and may have never been.  I got one, and it was a stolen library book.  Still worth it.

What’s the darkest secret you found out about a family member/ relative?

I have one, and if it were truly personal or bad, I would never share it with the likes of you.  Years after my pops passed away, I learned he briefly owned a toupee shop.  Needless to say, I have SO SO SO many questions.  No one seems to have answers.

Headphones or earbuds, which do you prefer and why?

All things being equal, it would be over the ear headphones.  These are more comfortable, and offer more sound protection.  Generally, if I am wearing headphones I am doing something very loud.  Running the tractor, woodworking, mowing… whatever.  The first job of the headphones is to protect my ears and hearing.  Also cool if it plays music.  

BUT… having said that, I just got some new in ear headphones that have incredible sound.  So which wins?  Won’t know until tomorrow when I am out spreading the horse poo.  These earbuds are so new I haven’t done any loud work with them.

What are your current go-to lazy meals?

A box of mac and cheese (any brand, who cares), a protein bar, some yogurt.  Alternatively, your sister!

 Who’s your favorite comedian?

That changes often.  Most recently, John Mulaney and Jimmy Carr.  Historically, it would be Mitch Hedburg and Brian Regan (got to see both of them live).  If we are to talk about comedy specials > it would be Delirious, and then anything Brian Regan ever did.

*** wait – why aren’t we still talking about Alice in Wonderland still?  YOU started it, Dad. You think I would just glance past an opportunity to talk about ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and move forward?  Ever ask your Uncle what makes Steely Dan so great?  Do it, I dare you!  and get comfy as he goes all ‘Uncle Rico’ on your ass for 35 minutes.  ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is actually two books.  Neither of them are called ‘Alice in Wonderland’, either.  The first book (and truly the most iconic on every level) is called ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’, and the second book is called ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’.  That second (and last) book?  It is also a playable chess game.  Serious.  I’ll let someone smarter than me explain it

The 64-Square Grid Design of ‘Through the Looking Glass’

The sequel to Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland was designed to be a playable, albeit whimsical chess problem

ALICESL PG 028

One two one two and through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He game galumphing back

And hast thou slain the Jabberwocky?

come to my arms, my beamish boy… calhoo, calhay!

THAT – I just recited from memory.  Its about the Jabberwocky, a poem/story in the book that is unique as almost every word is total nonsense.  The poem is longer than that above, am just curious how I did.  Let’s look.  Above is my rickety ass memory, below is a cut and paste verbatim.  Think I nailed it!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

Third week in Chelsea – ever watched a band break up?

Even heard a band break up?

I don’t think you have.  You have watched a band break up, sure  The Beatles did that magnificently in ‘Let it Be’.  Maybe its been referred to, or coyly alluded to. However, its certainly never been done as perfectly and beautifully as Jorma Kaukonen did with Jefferson Airplane.  A quick and obligatory set up. Jefferson Airplane was a big San Francisco success that gave us ‘Somebody to Love’, and ‘White Rabbit’. It is NOT the band that brought you ‘We Built this City’.   That is Jefferson Starship. BIG difference. All the people are different, except Grace Slick. Plus, that was 15 years later after this.

The Airplane had a LOT of people in the band, five.  Frankly, it’s too many. See, like every band, they got big and famous and most of them became intolerable, drug addled, assholes.  Paul Kantner, I am looking squarely in your direction. Also, according to absolutely everyone who was there (Grace included), Grace became a raging alcoholic monster.  Also leading to the strife is ‘who’s band is it really?’ You have NO idea how big this one is. It is what broke up the Beatles, and Guns and Roses.

(recently deceased) Marty Balin started the band.  It was his band. I will always think of it as his band.  Grace wasn’t even in the band for years. Thing is, once Grace dropped it… it propelled them to greatness.  She became the focal point for the band, as all great charismatic front men do. Grace got to basically run the show.  But with whom? Again, it depends who Grace was banging in the band at the time. I am serious, and (again), Grace has admitted to this.

Jorma is their awesomely talented guitarist, one of like 6 in the band.  As the are getting big, Jorma is tired of all of it… the rock star-ness, and egos, and clashes, and drugs.  We are lucky that Jorma and Jack (bass player for the band) are still around. And… still touring… together… in their goddamn 70s!  Jorma wakes up on day on tour in Manhattan and just kinda snaps. He writes this ode, ‘Third Week in Chelsea’. I won’t bore you with all the lyrics, but they are here.

What I will bore you with is some key lines.  Again, usually songwriters cloak their feelings in obtuse metaphors.  Not Jorma, god bless ‘im!

So we go on moving trying to make this image real

That what they read in the Rolling Stone has really come to be

And trying to avoid a taste of that reality

All my friends keep telling me that it would be a shame

To break up such a grand success and tear apart a name

But all I know is what I feel whenever I’m not playin’

Emptiness ain’t where it’s at and neither’s feeling pain

Well now what is going to happen now is anybody’s guess

If I can’t spend my time with love I guess I need a rest

Time is getting late now and the sun is getting low

My body’s getting tired of carryin’ another’s load

Oh man, that smarts.  Look at that last time.  “My body’s getting tired of carryin’ another’s load’.  No subtext there.

This song reads to me like.  Like he quit, and the band asked him to stay… and he comes back with this letter.  Can’t argue these lyrics.

And that isn’t even my favorite part of the song.  Btw, the song is GREAT. That is the most important part.  It could be a hummingbird shit, the song stands on its own mightily.  My favorite part is that Grace sings the whole song with him. NOTE: this is him deciding to leave the band because Grace has become insufferable.  I also don’t doubt that the others ‘load he is carrying’ is another reference to Grace. Grace didn’t play any instruments, which means she didn’t write songs.  YET… she is getting all the fame and probably most of the money. What does Grace do when she sees the song? Fire him? Shoot him? Discredit him? No, she embraces it and sings along.  Just because of that, I have endless love and respect for Grace. Ok, wih all that… let’s have a listen, eh?

Friday Fives – you know… that thing?

What would you do if a random stranger gave you a bouquet of roses?

I don’t know. I think that would be pretty swell. Something like that happened when I was a wee lad… early high school. It was Valentines day, and so the spirit team or activity club or whatever they were called (these groups run high in ‘Beckys’) were delivering roses. You could buy a rose from them for a $1 and they would deliver them during 4th period… or something like that.

These gals came on their delivery and handed me ten roses – one at a time. This was in front of the whole class. Clearly someone liked me. I was super duper puzzled. I had zero idea. I looked around class and saw a girl wink at me – just like in the movies, I swear to you. Well, that was pretty goddamn great. We were briefly boyfriend and girlfriend. I can’t say anything like that has happened before or since. I highly recommend it, though.

 What is the most commonly used color in your house?

Green. Love green. Wife loves green. It bring the outside indoors, and celebrates the mountains and pine trees and all that is good about Colorado. There is a reason why out license plates are green. Green is good! Specifically, dark green. Like, a forest green. Whatever color my truck is, I like that color.

What color is your favorite t-shirt?

There is a grey (or is it gray?) one and a green one. The color isn’t what the most important part is. It’s the softness. Polo makes these light weight cotton t shirts that I use as under shirts. They are the softest thing in the world. They are also incredibly well made. I have ones that are ten years old that get worn almost once a week and are still in good shape. So… Very… Soft. Ever been hugged by god? Tell you what; this is what it feels like. I am generally wearing one of these shirts at all times. If it is warm out, I am just wearing that shirt. If it is cool out, I am wearing that shirt under whatever you see.

I think the shirts are fairly expensive… maybe $30 of $40 a pop. It’s worth it, though, I swear! Here is the deal, though, I go to the Polo outlet (pretty much my favorite place on Earth) in Castle Rock and get them on sale. Once they are at the outlet, they are already half off. So, they run about $20 a pop. Once a quarter, though, they cut those prices and sell them in all colors for $10 a pop. At this time, I buy like crazy.

It’s not collared, or anything like that. Even better is they now silk screen the tag. So, there is no tag. I know everyone is doing this, but I really love this development! I can’t find the shirt online. They have zillions of different shirts, of course. So, I found a picture from Facebook of me in a grey one. If you look, you will see just about every picture of me has me wearing one of these. I have four grey and four black ones. Treat yourself to one of these, it will change your life! It’s like a great pillow and great sheets and a nice bed. You are going to spend a third of your life in bed, make it comfy!

 If you could go back in time, what time would you live in and where would you live?

San Francisco about 1966-67, Monterey Pop era. You might be thinking San Fran 1969, but you would be dumb. By then, San Fran was overrun and overexposed. Every deadbeat kid from the entire country had set up camp in San Francisco by then, expecting to be taken care of. The great and iconic San Francisco bands were national now, and so not playing around the corner at the Matrix anymore. The Hells Angels had flooded the city with meth, too. So, it was mostly tweakers everywhere.

Wanna know what San Fran was like before then? It was heaven, and paradise. By 69, though… well… just read George Harrison’s account of it. He was disgusted.

 I thought it was gonna be all these groovy kinds of gypsy people with cool shops making works of art and paintings and carvings, but instead it turned out to be just a lot of bums, many of them who were just very young kids who came from all over America and dropped acid

For the 70s, Manhattan would be pretty great!

 If you could have any ONE thing in the entire world (not including money) what would it be?

A cool old beater convertible, just to cruise around the country in. nothing nice, mind you. Like… a $3,000 car. Not a classic car, by any means. Nothing anyone would ever bother to ‘restore’. Just something timeless and cool. It was someone’s grandma’s car.

Something like this.

OR… how about a thing? You know, Volkswagon Thing? Just ugly and unsafe and unreliable. This car says “know what? I am cool! I am cool because I don’t care if I am cool or not… and that makes me cool, right?” Just that they called it the ‘thing’ is brilliant. What else was in the running? The Volkswagon Aw Fuck it? The Volkswagon This Kid is Never Gonna Get Laid? Perhaps the Volkswagon This Seems structurally unsound and dangerous to give to a teenager.