Don’t expect too much out of Jellium 

click to enlarge BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg

I have not yet checked out the movie Cats (I’m more of a Sonic the Hedgehog kind of guy when it comes to disastrous and disquieting anthropomorphic animal movies that probably should never have been made) and I have never witnessed or heard the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical either. But I know enough from internet jokes that a Jellicle is some made-up type of cat that they sing about because T.S. Eliot wrote dumb poems about them 81 years ago and that is close to the name of this week’s strain, Jellium, so here I am thinking about Cats and its Jellicles as I roll up some Jellium.

The buds on this paltry Indica almost look like they’re white or blue and gray (periwinkle?) rather than green — a ghost bud; fitting for a strain that hovers and never really quite feels like it’s there. A combination of Jelly Breath (a mix of Mendo Breath and Do-Si-Dos) and Platinum Candy (a mix of Platinum and Candy Land), Jellium feels top-heavy and foamy with a high that plays tricks on you. All of the signs are there that it should escalate and soothe, but instead its numbing effects stop doing the work and get distracted — about to do it, but never quite doing it. I was enervated and unsatisfied. The scent is hard to pin down too. It jumps between a series of nuanced, natural notes (fir trees, hash, black tea) and then less natural, ugly ones (a fir tree-scented air freshener, movie theater butter), again, never committing.

And then Cats got me thinking about big cats, which of course means I started thinking about what everybody is thinking about: Netflix’s staggering and brilliant docuseries Tiger King. My expectations were low for the series. Everyone likes it so it must be dumb or mean or condescending, I thought. The true crime doc bubble is about to pop — there is only so much B-roll filibustering one can do to stretch stories that deserve 90 minutes out to nine hours, you know? But no, Tiger King is a truly remarkable fusion of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo trash TV theatrics and sprawling New Yorker-style storytelling. For something to be thoughtful and stupid — a big dumb goo-goo cluster of ideas and characters and trauma and criminality — also feels incredibly on-the-nose for this moment in this awful year. I expected nothing and was delighted when it was totally something.

Maybe that’s the issue with Jellium. I expected something different than what it provided. Maybe I was expecting too much out of Jellium. I lowered my standards. I went in again and realized that if you want a light, stress-free high, then Jellium might work: A slow leak of stress and anxiety isn’t too busy or impressive but is a touch transformative. I felt like a human waterbed.

Strength: 7
Euphoria: 7
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Nose: A drive-in — butter and the woods
Drink pairing: An energy drink
Music pairing: Sam Gendel’s Satin Doll
Rating: 6


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