I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
April 26, 2015 - 11:42 a.m.
I've been in therapy for years, I have been analyzing myself my entire life, but I still have no idea why I do many things. How come today I can't bring myself to edit my photos from last night before I write? I don't know why but I know it's true and I know it isn't worth the effort to fight it. I also don't know why the cursor in word is flowing above the line I type instead of on it. Look a bunny! Sorry I got distracted. OK a diversion. I'm not ADHD I can concentrate and I can keep on topic when I write but my mind does often break into two or three pieces at times then recombines and as the purpose of writing this blog is to show you how my mind work I have to show that now and then.
I'm a bit anxious today. OK I'm a lot anxious today. OK anxiety is me today. That's why it's taken me half an hour to get to the second paragraph. Of course you didn't need to know that. You don't know how long I've been writing. But again, I am feeling the need today to report my inner dialogue.
Should I tell of my adventure at Popeye's? I will. I had no intention of eating out last night. I'm trying to eat in as much as possible. The problem was I needed to buy food and I waited so long to go out shopping. I finally decided to just walk to the local supermarket not Pathmark or Trader Joe's that I usually go to. On the way I passed Popeye's and saw they had a special, Red Stick Chicken, fries, and a biscuit for $4. That was cheap enough for me to go for it. Red Stick Chicken is tenders with "smoke'n' red pepper dipping sauce. That sounds like my kind of thing. I ordered it with the intention of eating at home. But the woman didn't give me a bag, just a box. She was already taking the next person's order so I decided to just eat at the restaurant. I sat down and opened the box and saw that it didn't have the sauce, the defining feature of the dish. I went back to get it. She said, "You want sauce?" I said yes an she went to the fridge and brought me sauce, ranch sauce. Not the red pepper that I wanted. I told her it was the wrong song and she said, "We are out of it, this is good too." And turned her back on me. Ugh. I should have just asked for my money back but I was hungry and had wasted time so I just went to eat it. Then I realized that she never game me napkins. I went back and she was waiting for something to come out from the kitchen and not by the counter so I just reached behind the register to grab it myself. I of course took the customer survey they link to on the receipt and wrote a letter to the company complaining. When I used to eat out more I used to write and complain more.
OK now on to fun things. Last night I went to see The Murphy Beds and Jean Rohe at House of Love Concerts aka Amy's house. I love Amy, I love the musicians she books. I love her house. I hate getting to her house in Red Hook. It's not even that it takes so long, it's no worse than going to most places in Manhattan, it's just that it's in Brooklyn and it shouldn’t take so long. I have to take the to the B61 and no matter what I always have a long wait for the bus. It never connects well with the train. None of which stopped me from being one of the first ones there. That's important as there is one chair that I think of as my chair. It's a comfy chair and even though it isn’t in the front row there is a clear path to most of the area where the performers are.
Doors were at 8 PM and the show scheduled for 8:30. I got there about five after. It was odd, I didn't know anyone there other than Amy and the performers, and the performers were in the green room. Well Jefferson was downstairs when I arrived, He said hi to me, then headed up. So instead of socializing I ate. There were really good snacks, peanut butter filled pretzels and Pepperidge Farm Milanos make me happy. I did bond with one guy who also got excited about the Milanos. Usually I end up talking to the strangers but it just didn't work out that way last night.
Wow I was afraid I'd have nothing to say today and I've written 823 words before I get to the music. But part of why I was worried is that I've written about the performers before. What can I come up with that's new?
Jean was up first. I saw Jean the second most of any performer last year and I have not missed many shows by her in the last five years or so. However you define my core musicians she's in it. She even lives closer to me than any musician that I know. But this was one of her rarer solo shows so it's different. I heard a song I haven't heard before! I heard about a new project I haven't heard before, a song cycle. I'm not sure how much I should talk about it. I think I won't go into details but it's a departure for her. The style is theatrical. It was fantastic. I noticed something else about her writing in general. Yesterday I discussed how Harpeth Rising keeps a song from becoming boring by changing the arrangements of the verse and chorus. Bobtown does the same thing. Jean solo can't do that. What she does is write many songs in free form. There is no rhyme scheme. There is often no rhyme. It isn't divided into verse and chorus or even stanzas. I'm tempted to compare it to the lyric poetry of Robert Sarazin Blake or Sam Baker. But it isn't. It's not a poem with music in the background. The music and words are more integrated. It's an art song.
The Murphy Beds are Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O'Leary. Eamon rhymes with Haman not seamen. Do gentiles know how to pronounce Haman? The first syllable is hay. Another thing I don't get about myself. Why have I never spoken to Eamon? I know Jefferson well. It just seems to work out that it never comes up naturally. I was going to walk over and talk to him during the break but there were too many people in between us. The room was crowded. House of Love shows are always packed.
The Murphy Beds come from a totally different place than Jean. Their music sounds traditional even when it's not. The tradition is variable, Appalachian, Irish, and English, but it always sounds authentic. More importantly it always sounds beautiful. Back in the days when people violently argued that you couldn't write a folk song that it had to evolve naturally; they would argue that the process gave the songs a unique beauty. I totally disagree with the premise but the beauty is there and it's in the trad and original songs by Jefferson and Eamon.
I said that the Murphy Beds come from a totally different place than Jean so what did they do? They sang many songs together. Because they aren't really different places, just didn't ways of approaching the same destination.
For some reason my phone is always going dead at the House of Love. Yesterday I left it uncharged all day before I went out and of course my portable charger is broken. But it's vital that I have it working when I leave. The bus's then are running every twenty minutes or maybe half an hour. So when the show is over I turn my phone on and go to the MTA Bus Time website and see when the bus is coming. Last night it was a mile away when the music ended. For a change I was good. I got my jacket and waved to Jean instead of fighting the crowd to get to her to say goodbye. I didn't even wave to Jefferson or Amy. I got to the bus stop less than a minute before the bus. I write way too much about commuting for anyone that isn't me. Not that I'm going to change that.
OK time for breakfast. I'll post the pictures I took on Facebook.
Rohe to Bed. - April 26, 2015