Lost a Whole Year » Third Eye Blind Glossary

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Aqua Lube
Bacchanalian
Blinkers
Blue Diamond
Bullhorns
Chelsea
Chromosome
Crystal baller
Crystal meth
Dalva Bar
Drano
Fatima
Georges Seurat
Greenbuds
Golden Gate
Haight Street
Icarus
Jackie O
Jeep
Joneser
Low ride bicycles
Macramé
Marigold
Mood rings
Narcolepsy
Nutmeg peach
Old English
Paint chips
Prozac
Ritalin
Shawn and Lars
Smack
Snakeskin boots
SuicideGirls
Swabber
Swan song
Tater Tots
Vicodin
Whipping boy
Wind chime
Wino
Zombie

Ever wonder what a bacchanalian was? You're not alone...

Aqua Lube "Now we're stuck with the tube / A sink full of dishes and some Aqua Lube"
"Losing a Whole Year;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Aqua Lube]

Aqua Lube is a brand of water-based lubricant produced by Mayer Laboratories since 1991. Unlike oil- and petroleum-based lubricants, water-based lubricants can be used in conjunction with latex condoms without weakening the material.

Bacchanalian "Chemicals wear me down in your summertime bacchanalian"
"Faster;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Bacchanalian]

Traditionally, a bacchanalia was an ancient Roman festival of dancing, song, and revelry in honor of Bacchus (or Dionysus); the Greco-Roman god of wine. In more contemporary times, the word has been appropriated as a general term for a drunken feast or orgy.

Blinkers "I can't turn back, I make contact / Blinkers smash into mosaic, then I start flying"
"My Hit and Run;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Blinkers]

Turn signals that blink at periodic intervals have been standard equipment on most motor vehicles since the 1950s. On motorcycles, turn signals are typically mounted on struts protruding to either side of the chassis; rendering them vulnerable to damage in skid accidents. Since the song is essentially a dramatization of a motorcycle crash, it is this fact to which the lyrics allude.

Blue Diamond "Blue Diamond, strike 'em anywhere"
"Burning Man;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Blue Diamond]

Diamond is a leading manufacturer of matches; in both strike-on-box and strike-anywhere varieties. In addition to matches, the Diamond product line currently includes products such as toothpicks, plastic cutlery, clothespins, and craft items.

Bullhorns "Bullhorns feed back in stormy skies / No one listens but it's so hot when you try"
"Danger;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Bullhorn]

Portable, electronic funnel-shaped devices implementing a microphone and loudspeaker; allowing a voice to be amplified towards the direction in which it is pointed. Bullhorns are often utilized in emergency situations, or when directing instructions upon a crowd.

Chelsea "Summer time and the wind is blowing outside in lower Chelsea / And I don't know what I'm doing in this city"
"Motorcycle Drive By;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Chelsea]

One of many neighborhoods lining the boroughs of New York City; Chelsea is a community located on the west side of Manhattan, bounded (roughly) by 5th and 10th Avenues, Broadway, and 34th and W. 23rd Streets. In the 1940s, uranium for the Manhattan Project was stored in a warehouse on W. 20th Street. In more recent times, the neighborhood has morphed into a cultural center for visual and theatrical art.

Chromosome "The chromosome divides, multiply and thrive / And the strong survive"
"Darwin;" Blue (1999)

[Chromosome]

A chromosome is a cellular unit consisting of a singular strand of protein and DNA; playing a vital role in genetics and cell division. Each human cell contains 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. Among the numerous variables that chromosomes help determine is gender: Females have common sex chromosomes (XX), while males have pairs of sex chromosomes that are distinct and different in structure (XY).

Crystal baller "Can we try and take the high road / Though we don't know where it ends / I want to be your crystal baller / I want to show you how it ends"
"Crystal Baller;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Crystal Ball]

Crystal balls are transparent or semitransparent spheres; often composed out of quartz mineral, that are used in traditions of superstition as a means of supposedly achieving clairvoyance and confidence in anticipating the future. A crystal baller is, therefore, someone who has this ability.

Crystal meth "Doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break"
"Semi-Charmed Life;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Methamphetamine]

Methamphetamine (sometimes referred to as "meth," "crystal," "crank," "speed," and various other euphemisms) is a psychostimulant drug. The drug can be illicitly produced in home laboratories using ingredients found in over-the-counter medications. Diverse physical and mental side-effects can result from its consumption; ranging from hypertension to correlated deficiencies in hygiene.

It's worth noting that in the 1990s methamphetamine abuse was a relatively geographically-isolated phenomenon; concentrated on Third Eye Blind's home turf of the west coast. This subject matter was also touched upon by the Oregon band Everclear in their 1997 song "Amphetamine."

Dalva Bar "Would come back down to the Dalva Bar / You tell them, that's just my battle scar"
"Wounded;" Blue (1999)

[Dalva Bar]

The Dalva Bar is an actual San Francisco bar, located on 3121 16th street. The bar is renowned for its convenient location, dimly-lit Old World atmosphere, music, and wide selection of beers.

Drano "Later, bathing in the afterglow / Two lines of coke I cut with Drano"
"Slow Motion;" Blue European release (1999) and Collection (2006)

[Drano]

Drano is a brand of drain cleaner, invented in 1923 and manufactured by the S.C. Johnson & Son company of Racine, Wisconsin. The product is available in both crystal and liquid forms.

Chemicals such as drain cleaners are sometimes abused as inhalants; either alone or in conjunction with other drugs. In severe cases, the intentional inhalation of chemicals or concentrated fumes can lead to death.

Fatima "I'll be her terrorist, and she will be a looter / Eye of Fatima painted on her motor scooter"
"New Girl;" American Pie (1999)

[Eye of Fatima]

The name Fatima has origins in Islamic culture, where it identifies the daughter of the prophet Muhammad and serves a purpose as a common female name in some parts of the world. The town of Fátima in Portugal carries a similar origin, as according to legend it was named after a local Moorish princess of that name.

The Eye of Fatima (or Hand of Fatima, Hand of Miriam, or Khamsa) is a five-fingered symbol commonly employed as an icon in jewelry or as a decorative symbol. Although used in traditions of both Muslim and Jewish superstition, archaeological evidence suggests that the symbol actually predates both religions.

"Eye of Fatima (Pts. 1 & 2)" is also the name of a song by Camper Van Beethoven; one of Third Eye Blind's musical influences.

Georges Seurat "Be a dream in color even on a winter's night / Thinking Georges Seurat, afternoon bathed in light"
"Camouflage;" Blue (1999)

[Seurat]

Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859-1891) was a French painter, notable for his contributions to neo-impressionism and his use of unique techniques such as pointillism in creating his works. One of Seurat's most famous paintings was A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, completed in 1886 and currently exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Greenbuds "Hey bro, props at the after show / Can you tell me where the greenbuds grows?"
"Misfits;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Green bud]

Although the term is relatively ambiguous, it is probable that "green buds" in this context refer to marijuana; a drug prepared from the leaves of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been illegal to cultivate in the United States since 1937; in spite of other practical uses poised by the hemp seed and fiber.

Golden Gate "I got the rhythm down now in the places we warred / The Golden Gate is like my diving board"
"Another Life;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Golden Gate Bridge]

Arguably the most famous landmark of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge is a two-tower suspension bridge spanning the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. The bridge opened in 1937, and had the longest suspension span of any bridge in the world upon its completion.

Haight Street "I do the things we did before / I walk Haight Street to the store"
"The Background;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Haight Street comic]

Haight Street is the most prominent street in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district; an area notable for its 19th century residential architecture and its close association with the counterculture movement in the late 1960s.

Stephan Jenkins (and his band's manager, Eric Godtland) both lived on lower Haight Street in the early 1990s.

Icarus "Icarus is not a T-shirt or a swan song / No, he is born again and it's not easy being me"
"Blinded;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Icarus]

In Greek mythology, Icarus (son of Daedalus) was a figure who attempted to escape imprisonment by attaching artificial wings to his arms with wax and flying away; only to fall and drown after flying too close to the sun.

Jackie O "Jackie O with the top down open / All the words to what's unspoken"
"Anything;" Blue (1999)

[Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis]

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) was the wife of the late president John F. Kennedy. Ms. Kennedy was an extremely popular personality during her husband's tenure, with her name closely associated as a shorthand for style, intelligence, and elegance even today. The tale of Onassis' life has inspired a number of creative works over the years; including a 1997 chamber opera titled Jackie O.

Jeep "The Jeep gets broke on a blown out road / And I'm a tourist with a real light load"
"Can't Get Away;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Jeep CJ-7]

The Jeep is a four-wheel drive vehicle; originally commissioned by the U.S. Department of the Army for military use during World War II. The first prototype military Jeeps were built by American Bantam in 1940. Since the end of the war, Jeep vehicles have been produced by a succession of concerns over the years; including Willys-Overland, Willys Motor Company, Kaiser-Jeep, American Motors, Chrysler Corporation, and DaimlerChrysler.

Joneser "Blue come over / Born a Joneser"
"Darkness;" Blue (1999)

[Keeping Up with the Joneses]

The notion of "Keeping up with the Joneses" by embracing mindless consumerism is a common catchphrase in the English-speaking world. The popularization of the term supposedly originates with an early 20th-century cartoon of that name by Arthur Momand, published in the New York World.

Low ride bicycles "Low ride bicycles go cruising by / I laugh, I don't even know...why"
"10 Days Late;" Blue (1999)

[Kiddie bike]

In all certainty, low ride bicycles are children's bicycles...which have small frames, a relatively low riding position, few gears (if any gears at all), and tiny wheels. Such features make the bikes more convenient for young riders; although less practical in execution than they conceivably could be.

Macramé "Macramé queens in the afternoon / And I'm in tune, or did I speak too soon"
"Crystal Baller;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Macrame halter]

Macramé is a coarse lace or fringe made by knotting threads or cords in a geometrical pattern; sometimes used for garmants such as halter tops. A related term is "macramé knot," an ornate knot employed while making such a fringe. A macramé queen is evidently a person who wears such material.

Marigold "You say you don't know / You're the marigold"
"Wounded;" Blue (1999)

[Marigold]

A marigold is an oft-cultivated flower (of the genus Tagetes), notable for its beautiful red and yellow flowers. In the context of the song, it is obviously used as a complementary analogy.

Mood rings "I remember the stupid things, the mood rings, the bracelets, and the beads"
"Never Let You Go;" Blue (1999)

[Mood ring]

Like bracelets and beads, mood rings are elements of jewelry. Such rings contain thermochromic material in the (usually fake) gemstone that changes color in response to the wearer's body temperature. There is, however, no definitive correlation between a color and a specific "mood."

Narcolepsy "I try to keep awake, but I / I can feel this narcolepsy slide"
"Narcolepsy;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Sleep bubble]

Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by fatigue and brief attacks of deep sleep. A strong link exists between susceptibility towards narcolepsy and specific genetic conditions.

The lyrics of "Narcolepsy" were supposedly inspired by a series of unusual sleep-related happenings experienced by guitarist Kevin Cadogan in the 1990s.

Nutmeg peach "If I could bottle my hopes in a store bought scent / They'd be nutmeg peach and they'd pay the rent"
"An Ode to Maybe;" Blue (1999)

[Fragrance]

Nutmeg is an aromatic seed and spice procured from the Myristica fragrans tree, while a peach is a sweet, fleshy fruit cultivated in temperate areas (such as the southeast United States). Although nutmeg and peach are distinct scents, many inexpensive store-bought fragrances have odors that are ambiguous at best.

Old English "Can we get the chemicals in / Old English is making me manic"
"Company;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Old English packages]

Old English is a brand of liquid furniture polish, providing a high gloss shine on wooden surfaces. As in "Slow Motion," the product named in this particular song is a reference to the abuse of household chemicals as inhalation drugs.

As a side note, it's worth mentioning that when styled as "Olde English," this name also provides the designation for a brand of malt liquor.

Paint chips "My sister's eating paint chips again / Maybe that's why she's insane"
"Slow Motion;" Blue European release (1999) and Collection (2006)

[Paint chips]

When wooden surfaces are allowed to deteriorate, paint will often crack, peel, and chip off. Lead was a common ingredient in paint in the U.S. until 1978. When consumed, accumulated traces of leaded paint can present damage to the neurological system and other organ systems; particularly in those under six years old.

Prozac "And if it's not the defense then you're on the attack / When you start talking, I hear the Prozac"
"Losing a Whole Year;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Prozac]

Prozac is the commercial name for Fluoxetine, a commonly-prescribed antidepressant medication. The drug was first discovered in 1970 and approved for use by the U.S. FDA in December 1987. Although the medication isn't without its side effects, it has remained on the market longer than any other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drug.

Ritalin "That's the sign I was born to be living in / I ran around and gave the finger to the Ritalin"
"1000 Julys;" Blue (1999)

[Ritalin]

Ritalin is a commercial name for Methylphenidate, a psychostimulant commonly dispensed to children as a medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although generally effective in the short term, Ritalin has won a reputation of being overprescribed to the nth degree, and the long term effects of the drug are somewhat unclear.

Shawn and Lars "I promised you what's ours is ours / Somewhere backstage with Shawn and Lars"
"Forget Myself;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Napster]

Shawn Fanning is a Boston-area computer programmer; notable for developing the Napster file-sharing service that, from 1999 to 2001, became a popular magnet for illicit music-downloading activity online.

The popularity of Napster eventually attracted the attention of Lars Ulrich; drummer in the heavy metal band (and Third Eye Blind's Elektra labelmates) Metallica, who became a vocal opponent of the service. In July 2000, Ulrich testified against Napster before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; providing a list of some 300,000 users who were ultimately blocked from the system. In spite of technically holding the legally-justifiable position, Ulrich faced severe ridicule from fans for his controlling and overzealous attitude, and he and Fanning were often portrayed as nemeses in editorial press and media.

Smack "I shut the door to her moaning, and I shoot smack in my veins / Wouldn't you?"
"Slow Motion;" Blue European release (1999) and Collection (2006)

[Heroin]

"Smack" is a "street name" for heroin, a synthesized opioid drug derived from the opium plant. The drug is administered by a number of techniques; including injection.

In the early 20th century, heroin was viewed in the medical community as a beneficial drug. Later studies however proved that the substance had a dangerously addictive effect, and heroin is currently illegal to possess in the U.S. without a Drug Enforcement Administration permit.

Snakeskin boots "And the grandson of an alien wears his snakeskin boots / And shows his reptile roots"
"Darwin;" Blue (1999)

[Snakeskin boots]

Boots (of the "cowboy" variety and otherwise) have indeed been made out of a wide range of materials; depending chiefly on fashion and whatever materials were available for the taking: Cowhide, buffalo, alligator, crocodile, eel, lizard, elephant, and ostrich, to name a few! Given that, the prospect of snakeskin boots almost seems ordinary by comparison.

SuicideGirls "I go to SuicideGirls again / To check on anything I missed"
"Company;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[SuicideGirls]

SuicideGirls is an online pay-registration community website, launched in 2001. Its features are centered primarily around softcore "pin-up" photos of young women; with text profiles and comment features. The website also includes a message board, and individual members are referred to as "Suicide Girls." According to the website's statement, its role is to "celebrate alternative beauty and alternative culture from all over the world."

Swabber "All hands on deck boys 'cause this ship was made to sink / Your swabber salutes you now, but I know what he's thinking"
"Thanks a Lot;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Swabber]

A swabber wipes (or swabs) the deck of a ship with a mop to keep it clean and clear of debris. In a more general context, a swabber can refer to a sailor; or specifically one of a lower rank consigned to such mundane tasks.

Swan song "Icarus is not a T-shirt or a swan song / No, he is born again and it's not easy being me"
"Blinded;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Swan Song]

A swan song is most easily defined as a final performance or effort.

It's worth noting that when Led Zeppelin operated a vanity label from 1973 to 1983, they named the venture "Swan Song" and depicted an illustration of Icarus (of Greek mythology) on the record label.

Tater Tots "Funny then we always pick these spots / Feeling like a have in the land of have-nots / Sleeping on cots, wishing that I had some Tater Tots"
"Can't Get Away;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Tater Tots]

Tater Tots are a brand of miniature hashed brown potatoes first marketed by the Ore-Ida company in 1953. Long a bane of frozen food shelves and school cafeterias everywhere, products similar to Tater Tots are now marketed by a number of different concerns.

Vicodin "Mix it up with Vicodin / 'Cause anything's better than this"
"Company;" Out of the Vein (2003)

[Vicodin]

Vicodin is a narcotic analgesic medication containing hydrocodone and acetaminophen; prescribed to relieve severe pain. In the U.S. Vicodin is classified as a "schedule III" controlled substance; a distinction that places it in the same class as anabolic steroids.

Whipping boy "To the bastard talking down to me / Your whipping boy calamity"
"Graduate;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Whip]

A scapegoat; the word apparently coming from the origin of "a boy formerly educated with a prince and punished in his stead," per Merriam-Webster.

Wind chime "A wind chime voice sounds, sway your hips round rings true"
"Deep Inside of You;" Blue (1999)

[Wind chime]

A device of various pieces or tubes of glass, metal, or ceramic; often suspended outdoors, that are arranged loosely in such a way that the pieces strike each other and a clapper and produce musical tones in a light breeze.

Wino "And death slides close to me / Won't grow old to be / A junkie wino creep"
"Slow Motion;" Blue European release (1999) and Collection (2006)

[MD 20/20]

In urban slang, a wino is a chronic and often homeless alcoholic; typically drawn to the overconsumption of low-end fortified wines.

Zombie "Her zombie mom and dad live in a separate house of freaks"
"Thanks a Lot;" Third Eye Blind (1997)

[Night of the Living Dead]

A dead being reanimated into a living and/or walking form through a supernatural force...in the figurative sense, at least!

Concept inspired by The Steely Dan Dictionary. Thanks.




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Last update June 21, 2009.