Tag Archives: alice

A Diversion


As much as I like to write, I like to read even more.

Years ago, for Christmas, I had surprised my wife with an iPad–even though my son told me it was a waste, because she’d never use it. In actuality, she is rarely without it.

For Fathers’ Day, my wife surprised me with an iPad, and–except for at work–I, too,  can rarely be found without mine. So, where does that lead me? Why, things to see and read, of course.

Sometimes, I’m drawn to  a book, perhaps through its adaptation as a television series. For example, I happened to stumble across the series The Magicians on Netflix (although I understand it started on the ScyFy Network). I found it intriguing, albeit a bit hard to keep the characters sorted out. I watched all the episodes that Netflix had, which was apparently two of four planned seasons, and enjoyed them, but figured that there was more, and potentially better available.

It’s a writers’ bias thing.

In any case, I downloaded the three Lev Grossman Magicians books (one at a time, of course) and have read two and a half of the three over the last two weeks.

So what’s my point?

The images that appear in my mind when I read a story are–at the very least, so much more personal–and possibly so much more real than what any screenwriter, director, or actor could produce, no matter how talented thay are. Imagnation is so much better than reality.

Nevertheless, I appreciate and enjoy both the books and the videos. Thank you authors, screenwriters, actors, movie and television crews for such wonderful diversions.

Maybe You Can’t Go Back, But…

alice 1There are things that I enjoyed in my youth that have a totally different look and feel in my, shall we say, more mature years.

My last days of high school and early days of college were during the anti-military time of Viet Nam. There were many songs protesting the war, including more than a few funny ones. Although I enjoyed the “Draft Dodger Rag” by Phil Ochs, my all-time favorite was “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie.

Around here one radio station has a tradition to play “Alice’s Restaurant” on alice 2Thanksgiving at noon, and I caught most of it this year. It bounced around in my brain for a while, and the other day I downloaded the MP3. I admit, after 30+ years involved with the military in one way or another, I still find it hilarious. My son was in the car with me when I played it for the first time in frzxy-sydrt (yes, that’s intentional) years, and he was totally unimpressed.

Maybe you can’t go back, but you can still remember the laughs, and that’s enough to laugh again. This time, with feeling.