Just Sailin’ Across the Breeze

I really enjoy seeing snippets from the morning news broadcasts displaying people enjoying the beach, lickin’ sno-cones, smacking golf balls into unfindable territory and sailboats giving a sense of scope to an otherwise endless blue horizon.

Speaking of the latter, my Dad owned a small (10 feet at best) Sunfish sailboat during the 1970’s leading to my teenage siblings and my sub-teenage self to think it’d be a swell idea to take the Sunfish out to various local lakes and sail away the day.  Conceptually, this struck the unsuspecting eight year old me as a great adventure and just the thing to do.

Having unsafely strapped the hull of our noble vessel to the top of my Dad’s station wagon and storing the various other needed accoutrements (mast, sail, rudder, etc…) in the rear of the vehicle, we set off. Arriving at the lake with all equipment intact and incurring no injuries to the general public thus far we felt emboldened to put ourselves and our assumedly seaworthy ship in the water. (I like how my Dad figured this expedition dangerous to the point where he was willing to let me go out there but only under the condition that I wore a life vest.)  Being too young to understand that the vest shoulda set off warning flags in my head we headed off onto the lake in a sailboat that The Three Stooges would’ve considered overloaded.

At first everything was progressing famously what with the slight breeze, open water and Admiral Tom competently manning the sail ropes while steering us to a triumphant trip upon an unimpeachably pleasant cruise.  That’s when the weather came up.

When the first high winds of the oncoming thunderstorm hit the sail of the Sunfish, we capsized with what I would call “authority”.  A mighty struggle ensued involving the crew flipping our now upside-down (and only means of transportation) back to it’s original state minus the mast and sail. (They’re probably still sitting at the bottom of the lake.)

Alertly sensing danger, Mom and Dad vehemently encouraged us to hang on to a vessel I now refer to as the “Andrea Doria” then swim back to shore in spite of sudden and strong lightning strikes.  Therefore, I made a few decisions about one or two aspects of my future life…

  1. Being violently thrown overboard from a vessel of any size has a high uncoolness factor.
  2. I gained a sudden preference for motor-driven vessels when it comes to water-involved means of transportation.
  3. Never trust any member of my family again when they say stuff like “It’ll be fine” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Anyway, I stumbled upon a few videos from the blues/country categories strangely based on themes for a TV show. If that’s what it takes to keep The Blues going then count me in…

Here’s a tremendous band called the Forest Rangers doing a number called “John the Revelator” followed by an equally impressive number dubbed “Forever Young” each featuring a different lead vocalist.

See u on down the road…

Jimmy

 

 

 

He’s Just Playful

Woke up this morning to check the weather, rustle up some breakfast and generally get prepared for my day when I saw a news report wherein a guy in New Jersey was accommodating 21 snakes (most of ’em venomous) in his apartment. Being an apartment dweller myself this got me thinking…

I’m all for Americans having as much freedom as possible, but shouldn’t there be a limit as to where and how many deadly critters you can keep based on sensible domicile limitations?    Maybe I’m overreacting here but I’m reasonably sure that I’d display more than a little concern to my neighbor knocking on my door at 4:00am stating that one of his cobras escaped and he’s pretty sure it’s hiding in my place somewhere. Consider the following conversation…

Neighbor (let’s call him Wally): “Hey Jim, sorry, I know it’s 3:30 in the morning but I was trying to feed a gerbil to my Egyptian cobra when, well wouldn’t ya know it, both of ’em managed to get away from me.  If you see either one can you be a good sport and return ’em?”

Me:  (still half awake) “#$%@*&!!! There’s a @*&%$ing cobra in my place?”

Wally: “See, I just knew you’d be an alarmist here.  Provided you can find him, all you have to do is gently grab the snake by the tail and drag him back thru the hallway, you know, like Steve Irwin used to do and then Bingo! Problem solved! Make sure that you don’t make any sudden movements, though.”

Me: “Problem not solved! Steve Irwin’s dead! And how am I supposed to refrain from making any ‘sudden movements’ while I’m screaming like a panicked schoolgirl?”

Wally: “There you go again with the negative attitude. If you DO get bitten, all ya gotta do is call an ambulance and get yourself to the hospital within fifteen minutes and they’ll probably be able to save your leg. Look on the bright side, once he eats the gerbil he’ll be really calm and sedated. To make it up to ya, why don’t you come over for a barbeque at my place tomorrow?”

Me: “That’ll be cool.  What’re we cooking? Unused gerbils”?

Wally: “No.  Don’t be ridiculous.  We’ll be having grilled snake excrement.  Can’t eat it though. You just rub it all over yourself.  It’s got wonderful medicinal qualities once you build up resistance to it.”

Next up, my daughter and I recently hadda similarly interesting exchange…

Kate: “Hey Dad! I want your guitar when u die!”

Me: “As much as I might look like it I’m not dying anytime soon, besides you don’t even know how to play the guitar. I’d rather leave it to somebody who does.”

Kate: “What difference does it make? You’ll be dead.”

This, my friends is my life. Don’t forget to hit on Kate’s wonderful piece called “Marrying Music to Art” and please do head on over to Mamemagazine.com for some entertaining music and inadvertent comedy like you’ve just read here.

‘Til next time. Thanks and God Bless. Ooh! Almost forgot.  Here’s a video of a buncha Carolina high school girls high-steppin’ their way thru “The Belle of Belfast City” in a wonderfully choreographed number.  Happy St. Paddies Day to ya and all the lyin’ little leprachauns in yer life. Love this video.  (I think it’s the little yips the girls call out from time to time that gets me.) Incredibly entertaining and soothing to an old Celtic soul…

Jimmy

 

They Called Him Flipper

I saw a story this morning about a wounded dolphin that was rescued and nursed back to health under high scrutiny by his/her handlers.  This is what humanity likes about itself insomuch as one dolphin can be saved while 5,000 are caught and die in fishing nets each year seeing as they’re suddenly denied the privilege of surfacing for air. What’s the term for that again? I think it’s called “collateral damage” where the dolphins are considered expendable for the sake of our seafood dining.

But I digress. The wounded dolphin was immediately dubbed “Flipper”. I for one think this reflects poorly on our species in as much as we can’t improve on the badly overused, stereotypical moniker already employed by the old TV show and the Miami Dolphins mascot.  I wonder what the actual wild, free-roaming porpoises think about this every time one is caught. (BTW-Are dolphins the same thing as porpoises?) Imagine this conversation:

Amy the Friendly Dolphin (halting her frolicking for a moment): “Omigod, This is a disaster! Gus just caught by the humans! What’re we gonna do?”

Stan the Dolphin: “Damn straight it’s a disaster. He owes me fifty bucks.  Well, I guess he’s ‘Flipper’ from now on.”

I’m writing this while semi-watching the Golden Globe awards wherein it seems that suddenly famous people who built their careers based on taking chances are so averse to doing so now. Just a thought, but Bill Murray, Dave Chapelle and Daniel Tosh r still out there folks. Whoa! Hold the proverbial phone here but not only one yet two award recipients (the second being Christian Bale) just got bleeped (was the first Ben Stiller?) in an unexpected development.  I was mostly expecting preachy, self-serving speeches (one so far) about various issues that I coulda made fun of but won’t cuz I’m admittedly starting to change my tune so as to fall in with our brainwashed Hollywood elite. (Being seen not applauding during a celebrity’s self-righteous, indignant speech can really bring trouble to the uncooperative actor.) Not falling for that trap, my friends!

Turning to another point, I’m getting a little sick of my local news channel suddenly interrupting your “regular programming” with “breaking news” that ultimately winds up being a big pile of nuthin’. I don’t mind waiting ’til five o’clock to hear this stuff, man.

If you haven’t already noticed this is a placeholder column until (proud to say our third writer) Kate’s music column is up and ready to go. On this site, anything goes. (Anybody a cartoonist? I’d love to have one man, even if other people think u stink.)

Stay tuned.

Jimmy

 

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-Redux

Chuck came up with some great commentary on the Queen/Freddy Mercury movie in response to the film and my own recent review.  Check it out.

Jimmy

Here’s Chuck’s slant…

I haven’t had a chance to write up a full review for the blog, but my take on it was that it was decent. Not great, but not horrible. On the plus side, Rami Malek was fantastic as Freddie Mercury. He elevated the entire film. He didn’t so much “play” Mercury. He became him. It was a marvel to watch. Another huge plus was the dead on recreation of their set at Live Aid. Everything about that scene was so authentic. My favorite part of the film. And of course, the music was stellar. Some of the greatest stuff ever recorded.

On the down side, the dialogue was hackey in places. The pace was too slow in some places. The timeline of their music was off in some places. (IE. Fat Bottomed Girls didn’t come out until 3 years after their first American tour).  They got a ton of facts wrong. ( IE. He didn’t tell them he was HIV positive until 2 years after Live Aid).  The other actors were bland. (Which, maybe, was the point in comparison to Freddie’s personality). The guy playing Roger Taylor drove me crazy. Taylor has a very (very!) high pitched speaking voice. This guy, um, did not. I cringed every time he spoke. Mike Myers was a little unnecessary. (We get that he used Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World).

I do get your point about them not focusing on May and Taylor and Deacon more. You and I are rock music nerds and would have loved to have seen a deeper dive into the 3 of them. But most of the movie ticket buying populace aren’t rock music nerds. No way this film makes half a billion dollars if it dove deeply into the life of Brian May. (It likely doesn’t even get made). Freddie is who people wanted to see.

Overall, in terms of stars, I’m right there with you, but for different reasons. 2 ½ out of 4.

Chuck

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-A Movie Review

Queen.  (The band, not the monarch.) Tailors of the triumphantly sonic rock sound stemming from their inception in the early seventies that so many of the second-stringers coming behind them found to be a band not only uncopiable but still mythical in many ways.  Subtle yet dynamic, alternatively humble and bold, honest but still occasionally playful in their sound they used their jazz/blues/classical and God knows whatever other musical roots to bring rock to it’s theatrical zenith.

But this isn’t an assessment of the band but rather the recent movie so let’s go…

I was initially stunned by the resemblance between the actors and the original Queen members (Hey! That guy looks just like Brian May!) for instance. This really helped supply the effect that I was now immersed in Queen-World but the movie as a whole has an annoying tendency to skip this initial platform of credibility and throw away a beautiful opportunity to establish and recognize the tightness the members of the group used to establish themselves as one thing, irreversible and continuous.

When I plunked myself in my seat I was happily expecting a flick about Queen but it quickly became apparent that I was watching a biopic centered around lead singer Freddie Mercury with only occasional references to why we listened to Queen in the first place.

Here’s where I started losing interest.

If your interested in Freddy Mercury himself then your in business. This film dives into his personal life highlighting his personal, conflicted relationships eventually leading to the near destruction of the thing he loved most, writing songs and performing them with the guys who took him in as a brother and stood by Freddy even when his ego got the better of him. While this movie runs two hours and fifteen minutes, plenty of time to give you a sense of Queen’s overall talent, little of that time was used to establish the most critical portion of Freddy’s life.  While I admit that Elvis Presley would have been a famous talent without the benefit of the innovative guitarist Scotty Moore, it sure didn’t hurt to have him around. Would Freddy’s superb talent ever been known if it wasn’t for the utterly unique sound of Brian May’s laser-like guitar, Roger Taylor’s huge pioneering drum effect and Fred Deacon’s whizbang bass (as well as songwriting from these three)?

That’s what I was expecting and got nothing but a few glimpses as to why Queen worked at all. Where I was expecting light, I got darkness, I don’t mean that metaphorically though. It seemed that half this venture was deliberately filmed in dimly lit locations like an Orson Welles picture.

The final scene of the movie actually delivers the sound and power that Queen is famous for but why did I have to wait two hours for delivery? Given that the musical advisors were original members Roger Taylor and Brian May, it’s mystifying they’d let this great music be tamped down, volumeless where volume was needed and unspectactular when spectactulerness was so easily within grasp. When I mentioned this to my daughter she agreed speculating that putting Queen’s stunning sound out there at the movie’s early points would’ve lessened the effect at the end. She’s probably right but she’s also seventeen years old and wasn’t available to hear this group in it’s proper time.

I was. We both gave Bohemian Rhapsody 2 1/2 stars out of four. Here’s two original promo videos that Queen provided in the seventies.  I’ll ask you to please watch so you can see what I’m driving at here and don’t forget to hit on MAMEMAGAZINE.COM for more music-oriented content and as always, thanks for reading…

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Hey, hey and Ho, Ho Dear readers! Lotsa stuff to get to today so let’s dispense with the niceities and proceed right to the usual buffoonery…

I saw in the news recently where there was a lady who had the power go out in her house and sensibly fumbled her way into the cellar to find and subsequently light a candle in order to gain some light thus enabling her to see where she was going and generally provide light to her now very small world.  Sound thinking, right? Well, these apparently simple tasks sometimes come with an unforeseen downside as we all know and this case is especially noteworthy as the “candle” she was trying to light was in reality a stick of dynamite.

Don’t get me wrong here, as a fellow citizen who also tucks my candles into the same type of drawers and in the same normally sensible proximity to dynamite I see this is as a triumph of the American Will. I ask you my fellow Americans, in what other country is it OK to accidently risk blowing your block to kingdom come while inciting references to Bugs Bunny and The Three Stooges?  No country that I wanna live in and that’s for damn sure.  (To our friends at the NSA who’re obviously reading this now that I used the word “dynamite”, I’m just goofin’ around here man)

Speaking of The Three Stooges, I normally refrain from commenting on people’s personal appearance because I’m a fine one to talk but I recently came across a guy who’s toupee reminded me of Moe Howard’s hairdo (“Hey Moe! It’s a tarantula!!)

Next up, why do people who had a sufficient amount of dozing say that they “slept like a baby”?  What’re u trying to tell me, that you woke up screaming every three hours?

Having seen the two previous posts, my daughter is trying to straighten me out on the state of modern music in apparent hopes that I’ll embrace some of the newer bands. If u consider her as Lisa Simpson and me as Homer you’ll get the idea that she’s usually right about alotta stuff and this time I want in on the ground floor. In this, the first case she confronted me with will be a band called “Cage the Elephant”. Having listened to their “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, they appear to me to be a cross between Run DMC and Paul Revere and the Raiders but form your own impressions with the video supplied below…

Jimmy  

That Means WHAT???

Being a 53 year old guy who thought he was wise to the ways of the world (the English vocabulary in particular) and then some, I’ve recently found out how wrong I was when my daughter and I recently got into a friendly argument about the nickname of her targeted college, namely the University of Hawaii.

While she insisted the team nickname was “The Manoans”, I quickly and accurately corrected her with “Rainbow Warriors” as the school’s flagship moniker.  In order to settle our dispute I looked up the aforementioned Rainbow Warriors on Google and the first site presented was The Urban Dictionary, which gave a vastly different interpretation of the term than I was expecting:

Kate:  OK Dad! Look it up!

Me (while Googling): Yep. I’ll show you!

(momentary pause)

Me: What the hell is this???!!!

Kate (laughing): Dad, you clicked on The Urban Dictionary site!

Allow me to withhold the definition of Urban Dictionary’s version of what “Rainbow Warrior” means (seeing as this is a damn family site) compared to what I thought it meant (brave Polynesian Warrior).  This got me to thinking what other interpretations of terms I thought I knew might be out there. This’ll require some investigative journalism on my part (or in other words “work”) but it’s a small sacrifice for you, our readers. Let’s begin:

“Afterclap”

What I’d guess it meant- noun; the fallout from a venereal disease

What it now means-verb; the last sound from a round of applause

“Yard Sale”

My thinkin’-A homefront where used junk is sold at dirt cheap prices

Alternative-Wiping out on a snowy mountain leaving gloves, poles, skis, etc…all over the place

“Unlightening”

Me: A light bulb blows leaving you in the dark

Actual-Somebody represents an idiotic and untrue theory as fact (I’ve gotta include this term in the website motto.)

“Beerboarding”

Me: (you’d think I’d know this one) Bringing a frosty alcoholic beverage up the gangplank

Actual: Getting someone bombed so that they spill the truth

This is getting so fun that I think I’ll make up a few of my own.  Lemme know what you think:

“Funselfish”- Buying the bar a round so you can keep the party going when everyone seems to be wrapping it up

“Steamed Clam”- A person who walks face-first into a glass door thinking it was open

“Kangaroo”- A person who trips on a crack in the sidewalk and has to hop in an effort to maintain some dignity

“Floon”-As Chuck knows, I’ve already tried this one out to no effect.  It’s intended meaning was to imply a screwup or mild mistake.  Shoulda gone further but the Catholic Church wouldn’t buy into it with the whole “forgive me Father for I have flooned” serving as quite the obstacle.  Worth a shot, tho.

This topic has above all proven to me how flexible, interpretive and stupid the English language can get.  See ya next time.

Jimmy