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
December 08, 2016 - 6:11 p.m.
Captain's Log Supplemental: I haven't written two blogs the same day in ages. Part of the reason is that I'm writing longer blogs now which makes this even more surprising as I wrote 1800 words the first time. I just have a lot to say today. Some of it is things I forgot to write about in previous days. God I hope I can remember at least a few of them. God doesn't care if you believe in him when you pray does he? I mean that would make it an egotist.
Here's one that I don't have to rely on my memory for, I wrote it down in my "diary ideas" file. Tuesday morning I talked to Brianne. That's one of the best things for my mental health. Today I remembered to write an email I said I'd write then. I had to ask someone of we can merch at their show so we can both afford to go. It will give us a lot of quality in person time together. We're going to a protest march on Monday. That's twice seeing each other before we bid adieu to 2016. None of that is what's in the note I wrote. Not only I staling to Brianne good for my mental health we often discuss mental health. She came up with; "I'm not psychotic anymore but I don't quite care enough to be neurotic." She said I could quote that. I asked, "With attribution? She said, "Yes, I'm proud I came up with that." That is one reason I love Brianne.
I didn't take notes on the other thing. It was something so obvious I couldn't forget it. I did. I'm talented. I did know better I just couldn't get myself to write it down. I think it has something to do with Dan or Kat. At least it was something I forgot to include in that entry. Make up something funny and make believe I wrote it.
Earlier today I wrote about The great music I heard yesterday by Abbie Gardner, Rachel Ries, Hannah Read, with guest appearances by Anaïs Mitchell and Sarah Jarosz. . If you read that you'll notice I didn't include all my commuting and food. It was Wednesday and I didn't write about therapy? Why? I saved all that for this addendum. I was out 13 hours and all I wrote about was about two and a half of them. I did a lot of running around.
Jane gave me a ride to the New Rochelle station to catch the MetroNorth. We made it with just a few minutes to spare but that's fine. There was a margin for error. It wasn't like one red light would have made me miss it. I get to the hospital about 1:25 and my appointment is for 1:45 but if she has time my therapist sees me earlier. When I checked with the receptionist I was told two things, one, I didn't have an appointment, two; my therapist was out sick. Ugh! The appointment was not my fault. I make mine well in advance. I always say just add the first Wednesday after my last appointment. I always show up so they let me do it far in advance. Somebody slipped up. Of course, as she was sick all it would have done was saved me from leaving as early as I did. I would have left an hour later. Why? I had psychiatrist appointment immediately following it. This is the second month in a row that I planned for the psychiatrist to immediately follow the therapist only to not have a therapy appointment. At least last month I didn't get there early. I knew my therapist was away.
Are you supposed to enjoy talking to your psychiatrist as much as I enjoy talking to mine? In therapy, we work on things. My psychiatrist and I just talk about things, often nothing to do with my mental health. I told her about how cheap Trader Joe's eggs were and we talked about TJs vs Stop & Shop. I told her the great quote by Brianne. This is how she sees observes my mental state. Everyone once in while she throws in a pointe question. But it's always about learning more, not changing me. That's why it's more relaxing that therapy. Therapy helps me directly. The psychiatrist essentially gives me fun mental health tests. I'm me, a professional patient, so I tell her all the things that I think have a chance of being important.
After the psychiatrist, I wait around for the next bus that comes only once an hour. Then there's a 24-minute wait for the next train. That I used productively by going to Dunkin' donuts and taking advantage of their any size hot chocolate for $2.
My original plan was to go to the Brooklyn Heights Trader Joe's, I needed eggs and a few other things, and then to the Mile End Deli for the best poutine in the City. Then on to the Owl to see Rachel Ries and Hannah Read and friends. But that meant missing Abbie Gardner and friends so I decided to be insane and do both. I got off the subway at Union Square and went to Trader Joe's. When I got home I realized I forgot to get peanut butter. Then I went to the Friterie on St Marks place for poutine. It is not nearly as good as Mile End or as good as Pomme Frites on MacDougal street but it's still sort of poutine. I don't think they use cheese curds. If they do, they look different. But I still love it. They are always slow and yesterday's the woman at the counter was very annoying. I can describe her in one word, desultory. She kept her earbuds in. She didn't smile or have any emotional contact with the customers. The potatoes start partially fried. Not sure if the other fry places do that. They are faster not slower but I certainly never noticed it. When my fries came out she put them in the plate and I expected her to add the cheese and gravy. Instead she let them just sit there while she served a bunch of other customers who got their orders before she touched mine. Then she finally put on the cheese and gravy and popped it in the microwave. That's another no-no. It took 15 minutes to get my order, I'm standing and waiting all that time and she didn't say a word to me. Thing is with all the shortcuts they still taste great. Not as good as Pomme Frites and not close to Miles End but still delicious. I wrote an email today complaining about the service. I will let you know if and how they respond.
I walked down to Rockwood and saw Abbie, Craig, and the keyboard player I don't know. If you want to read about the music read my last entry. From there I had to race to Brooklyn to see Rachel, Hannah, and company. That's the weird Brooklyn unlimited MetroCard only transfer. I got off the at Jay Street, left the subway, walked about 4 blocks down Fulton to Hoyt Street, where I got on the . That is only a few blocks from Mile End Deli. I hope that Abbie appreciates that I gave up the best poutine in the City to see her. I'll tag her so she knows. I have zero shame.
I wrote about finding the Owl Music Parlor. I'm cheating and repeating here what I wrote to Fred. It's not refined at all, not like the Sidewalk. It's as if someone turned their large rec room into a house concert venue. It's just a rectangular room with a grand piano and folding chairs. The bar is in another room. There is no cover and they don't even serve drinks in the listening space. The owner Orrin isn't trying to make money. He just loves music and wants to provide a space for it. I know that Jean played there, it's so close to her house so at least some of his taste aligns with ours. Most importantly it's a listening room. There are no distractions. People aren't there to socialize or drink. They are there to pay attention to music. That means everything. The sound is good and so are the sightlines. Everything else is the cover, not the book. If I were still in Crown Heights I could walk there and I would go, there all the time. From here it is difficult so I must pick my spots. Of course, poutine tips the scales in its favor.
If I wanted to make the last bus to City Island I would have had to leave at 10:06. The problem is I could see that Hannah was just getting started then and she was far too good for me to miss most of her set. I bit the bullet and stayed. And once I did that I could take the time to talk to Hannah and Rachel after the show. I wasn't the last to leave. They were planning a post-show jam, all people that I love, but I would then never get home.
The trip home was difficult. First there was a wait for the . then there was a wait for the , Then here was a wait for the . When I got to Pelham Bay it was after 1 AM. I didn't have to wait for a cab, there was one right there. I got in. It's something like a 10-minute trip from there. I was half asleep and keeping myself awake by doing things on my phone. We got to near the bridge across the Hutchinson River and traffic came to a dead stop. I asked the driver if the drawbridge was up. I couldn't see. He said it was. But that wasn't the problem. There were all these emergency lights. There must have been an accident that closed the road. There are only two roads that access the causeway to City Island. The other comes from the north. The driver finally gave up and drove all around the park so we could use the other approach. I didn't get home till after 1:30. I went to post my blogs from five, ten, and fifteen years ago, but gave up after the first. But I was too tired to get up and go to sleep. I ended up not getting to bed till after 3 AM. Now I have to go back and see if it's necessary to post the old entries that I missed. I already wrote two posts today and linked to an old one because I wrote about John Glenn who died today. I'll blog about him tomorrow. Damn, I wrote another 1800 words now. That's a lot of writing in one day.
Troubled Bridge Over Waters and Other Traveler's Tales - December 08, 2016
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