Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category
Sick all weekend and most of Monday, I sought out some relief at Superdrug where the closest thing to a Goody’s powder I’ve seen over here caught my eye. Beechams are VERY disappointing: they’re FLAVOURED and, moreover, it’s with some sort of anise essence and a sweetener (Goody’s taste like caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen like God intended). Vile concoction.
I also got some nasal spray. I chose this one because I think every third person you meet in Alabama, Georgia, or South Carolina has an Aunt Otrivine:
I have started — but, never finished — The Magic Mountain annually for over 30 years. I did lighting once for a student production of Strange Interlude but whenever I hear the title I think of Groucho Marx. But, as Nobel Prize Winners in Literature go, Bob Dylan holds a place in my heart that the others can never approach. I have attended literally dozens of his shows, some of them actually good and two or three of them among the best experiences of my life.
So there I was, no shit, when an email arrives from Jackie with the subject, “this is not a joke.” Inside, it had two lines which read
“Bob just won the Lit Nobel,” and
“Sooo boring at work today.”
Assuming she’d been reading some parody website, I replied,
“Ain’t it just like the web
To play tricks
When the library’s
She shot back,
“No, no, no,
It ain’t fake, babe.”
I checked it out and the ridiculous and sublime Bob-head had actually been elevated to Nobel Laureate. I came into work an hour and a half early and had toiled through lunch so I didn’t think twice (it’s alright) to leave a half hour early to find a bar with either an appropriate soundtrack or some other Dylanesque trait.
My train arrived in Hammersmith at sunset. It was time for my boot heels to be wandering. The first stop would be the Queen’s Head (approximately). The quest continued at the Jameson and the Bird in Hand before a most remarkable success at the Havelock Tavern.
Sort of related, I seem to reference Bob in these pages more than any other writer or musician:
A photo that looks like the cover of “Bringin’ It All Back Home”
Quoting “On the Road Again” in re: a trip to the States
Quoting “Outlaw Blues” for a Toronto Mayor’s obituary
Quoting “Like A Rolling Stone” in my Citizenship announcement
A tourist trip past the site where the film version of Subterranean Homesick Blues was shot
A plethora of Dylan lyrics for a house move post
A weird one about the move from Cambridge Uni to the U of Oxford
Nudity, beer, and a tiger refuge in Tennessee
Mis-heard lyrics from “On the Road Again”
And, “Bringin’ it All Back Home,” again, on a birthday run write-up
It was the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny in Swindon but the new digs means that, as we start preparing the bar for the Autumn Drinking Season, we are also going with a new name. This time, it is
The Slug and Whip-It
because that’s the primary debris I see on the walk to the Underground station every morning. Garden parasites and hippy crack, literally, but I also like the puns: a ‘slug‘ as a unit of alcoholic measure and the iconic working class dog.
Picking up the morning paper in the shop run by the Yoda-like woman, I noticed these sweets on the shelf (“acid drops, he does,” would be the troll-Jedi phrasing). I was similarly amused about Old English Mince when this popped into my head:
Old English Mince, indeed.
I was eight years old and my family had just moved to a former fishing camp my dad bought about 6 miles outside Griffin Georgia (which is to say 10 miles from the middle of nowhere and quite the asshole of the Universe). My sister was ferrile, but as my folks were going back to Atlanta to clear out an apartment (we had moved from Hawaii in the spring) they entrusted her with my care for the day. She then stole their other car and loaded me up to go camping with some of her friends.
300,000 of her friends, as it turned out. We went to the misnamed Atlanta International Pop Festival at the Byron Raceway another 60 miles south from our new house.
She also loaded up some records hoping to get some autographed. One, in particular, was Are You Experienced which she left on some grass outside our tent. Dew covered, some microdots melted on it resulting in the stains. She considered the album ruined and gave it to me; I still love the record and have laughed my ass off watching every friend to whom I have related this history over the last 45 years lick the cover.
Sadly, that’s what I remember of the show — I was only eight years old and overwhelmed by the crowd and excited to be camping in south Georgia nearly where I was born but also exotic to me as I hadn’t been ‘home’ since I was in swaddling clothes. I knew it was noisy and there were a bunch of stinky hippies everywhere, but nothing about the musical line up registered at all nor would it have made any difference to me had it done.
So, this past weekend I put on what I thought was a straightforward Hendrix documentary called Electric Church (my cat loves Jimi) only to find that it was a concert film of his performance in Byron. Jackie thought she’d be able to follow it by sound so I started while she mixed drinks in the other room. The film opened with white text on a black screen describing the date and location and I stopped breathing. Shit: I’ve been to a Hendrix concert. Most of the other acts I would want to see (the Allman’s, BB King, Johnny Winter, Richie Havens) I eventually did, years later; others, I let slip by (including Grand Funk Railroad, Mott the Hoople, Procol Harum, Rare Earth, and Ten Years After). I even worked with Colonel Bruce Hampton (Hampton Grease Band) in Atlanta briefly in the 80s.
I guess it means nothing, even less to non-fans. To me — and, I’m sure, to those few of you out there who have left spittle on my Jimi record — it puts another piece in the puzzle. Or something.
Tim’s clearcoat cured well and he looks lovely. I wandered around looking for the best place for him and spotted this other gnome I acquired on a birthday run a few years ago. I spray painted him gold to make him look valuable but his freakish features gave Jackie the willies and he never acquired a name (although, when she didn’t refer to him as “that freak-ass gnome” she sometimes called him Shatner).
With Tim back on duty, it seemed reasonable to tidy up the other little feller. He had a bunch of bubble flaws and I fixed the ones on his hat and some on his tunic with caulk but eventually gave up as he got a bit messy.
I wanted to keep the psychedelic theme started with Tim (although I was tempted to paint this one into a Star Trek outfit or with the jockey silks’ colours of my Grand National pick this weekend or even a Cubs uniform), and initially was going to use Jerry Garcia as my model but he doesn’t look much like Jerry and I didn’t fancy trying to paint one of those dancing bears on his shirt or hat. Instead, I went with a Ken Kesey in Merry Pranksters motif.
Kesey is garish, as seemed appropriate, and the tie-dye tunic went through several iterations before I was satisfied with it — not exactly happy, but satisfied. The first daubs were leftovers from the shoes and trousers so Jackie asked if I was giving him a camouflage look; “yeah, camouflage at a Packers game,” I answered before explaining the long plan.
Mid-way through the process
The hat was going to be based on a striped top hat I saw Garcia wear at a show in DC, but I decided to make it a wrapped up American flag after some deliberation. The ice cream/gelato is pistachio, by the way.
Tim, the day before smartening up began…nice ass for a gnome, eh?
For the first twenty years after we met, every time I walked past a display of gnomes with Jackie I would insist on stopping to inspect. “Just BUY one, already,” she pleaded but they were never right; “nah, they aren’t gnomey enough. I KNOW what I’m looking for and these ain’t it.” To her credit, she instinctively understood my aversion to the Disney Seven Dwarves styled versions and I would try to explain that a good gnome needed to be doing something gnome-esque but also had to have a gnomish knowingness to their countenance. I had something specific† in mind but avoided describing lest she think anything matching the description† would work or even that it might be the only option. Eventually, I was able to say, “you know, like the evil duck,” which we got in Holland in 2002; thereafter, she finally seemed to get it.
And, so it came to pass that my birthday present in 2006 arrived in the form of Tim (named after Professor Leary for the sake of the mushroom and the dilated eyes); he was perfect. Tim supervised our gardens lo these last 10 years; he is made of cast iron and the intense sun the first 3 years had already faded his colours before the damp of England started corroding his sub-structure. I have been threatening to paint him for 3 years and finally got around to buying some acrylics and brushes. Here he is after the rust and oxidized bits of paint were abraded with a wire brush and some coarse sandpaper:
Day One was plagued with intense rain so the primer coats had to wait until Day Two. The first coat highlighted the manufacturing flaws that were probably filled with household putty at the gnome factory; I used some epoxy putty for a more permanent repair but allowing time to cure meant ending the day with only the final coat of primer (which had to dry 4-6 more hours) done:
Day 3, morning: For the first paint layer, all the large areas would get a coating but I was anxious to go ahead and do the hair and beard detail all at once. I got a nice shade of gunmetal grey by mixing the almost black “Paynes Grey” equally with titanium white; once that was tacky but not dry the brush was dipped in each of the two components and darker and lighter highlights applied for the salt-and-pepper look. All the other colours were as they came from the tubes except the blue jeans which were a 1:3 mix of phthalo blue and blue lake. The flesh tones don’t want to adhere so they may need three coats before the detail work starts.
Finalizing: Tim took a creepy turn as the details got started:
But, now he’s as finished as I’m capable of making him with my meagre talents. Drying overnight, sealing with a clear coat tomorrow and let that cure for 24 hours then he’s back on duty in the garden:
† A lifetime ago (or, two, as it turns out), a close friend — who committed suicide later that year — stole a plastic gnome-riding-a-rampant-goose and gave it to a recently wheelchair bound friend (who, coincidentally, committed suicide a few years later). That goose riding gnome and Tim seem to have the same mischievous look about them. The little freak in the wheelchair told me that if anything happened to him he would want me to have the goose/gnome but I guess he never really thought to put it in a last will and testament. Damn my luck.