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
November 18, 2012 - 10:57 a.m.
I'm going to be good and start writing now. A friend was commending me on my discipline for writing this every day. The only discipline needed is getting started. Once I do it's an effort to start. More importantly it makes the rest of my day better. Writing this gets me to examine my life. It makes me appreciate things more. It makes me realize just how weird it is.
Yesterday I finally got to my storage unit. I took the LIRR out to Bayside and Lori not LORi and Joe drove me there. On the trip out there I got to be both a commuting idiot and a commuting god. I'm all of 11 blocks from Penn Station yet I managed to miss my train by a minute. The train I missed was to Queens Village. I called Lori and told her that I'd take the next train out to Bayside. That's closer to her house but the opposite direction as the storage. Missing the train made me an idiot. What made me a commuting god is that I got on the right car of the train so that when I exited in Bayside the door I went out was the right at the base of the stairs. I used to make the trip every day but haven't in 5 years but still knew exactly where to stand.
One of the ways my life is weird is my obsession with commuting, Someone commented on it at NERFA as I broke down the commute between rooms at the Quadcentric showcases.
When we got to my storage we rescued my computer, TV, and some winter/late fall clothing. All I had was a light spring jacket, sweatshirts, and the Camel Hair coat I bought. Now I have my heavy winter jacket, my leather jacket, some sweaters, hats, gloves, winter weight pants, and some more shirts. I won't have to keep wearing the same clothes over and over.
We can now close the door to the storage unit without solving complex problems in three dimensional geometry. I was then able to navigate our way back to the apartment without the use of the GPS. The only hard part is getting out of the immediate neighborhood of the storage. It is surrounded by railroad tracks and I have thread the needle to get through them.
When we got to the apartment I ferried my stuff into the lobby then up to the apartment and had to immediately leave. I live a life of pit stops. I did immediately put on my leather jacket and my ski cap. Then I headed to Brooklyn to see Anthony da Costa, Anna Dagmar, and Caitlin Canty at First Acoustics. The show was at 8 but I did the merch and got there for dinner. Blogging makes me realize how much I think about food too.
OOO Nels Andrews is on WFUV Sunday Breakfast as I write this. He was at the show last night too. I've been seeing a lot of him the last week and a half. You can never have too much Nels. I still get a kick when I hear my friends interviewed on the radio. Now back to our regularly scheduled ramblings. Hey that could be a name for my blog, Nash Ramblings.
I said I was there for dinner but the conversation is more important than the food. I got to meet Anna's string quartet. Do I remember anyone's name? There was Caleb and another guy whose name begins with a C on the violin. I asked him his name again right before he left for all the good it did me. As for the women on cello and viola? They had names. Wait one was Beth! She played Cello. OK not bad, I met four people and remembered the names of two of them
Someone gave Anna and me a tour of the Sanctuary of the church. I hadn't been in that before. It's gorgeous. It's one of the few churches built specially for a Unitarian congregation. It dates back to the 19th century. There are less than a million Unitarians in the US but I seem to know them all and they are all involved in folk music series.
After that I went out to where the show was and who was the first in the door? Fred. What seat did he claim? The other one at my table even though he didn't know it was mine. Great minds think alike.
Caitlin was up first. I think this was the longest set I've seen her do. She is one of those people that I know from around. We see each other at shows. I noticed her because she's the tall dark gorgeous woman I'd see at shows. I don't know why she noticed me, probably as the weird looking guy that somehow manages to not get locked up. She came up to me at NERFA 2011 and introduced herself to me. I kept meaning to see her perform and did a few times but never full sets. Things just didn't work out. I did see her at NERFA and loved what I heard. She got a hell of a voice and has something to say. You don't need more than that. As someone at the NERFA DJ showcase said; "What's not to like?" She's moving from the suburbs of my musical world to downtown.
I have seen Anna perform many times but this was the first time she's ever done a show backed by a string quartet. I came up with the word to describe the sound then lost it. When I got it back I took my notebook out and wrote it down. Because I did that I now know it and don't have to refer to it. The word is elegant. when I was floundering trying to remember it I thought genteel but that's wrong. I don't think I'd want to hear music described as genteel but elegant is different. It speaks of a symmetry and harmony of proportion. Mozart was elegant. So is Anna with the quartet. It is a perfect sound for private parties in beautiful mansions like stately Wayne Manor. I started planning a new career path for Anna doing fundraisers for WFUV and political causes.
Anna's parents came up for Virginia for the show and her brother who lives in Brooklyn was there too. There were two raffles, one for CDS and one for free admission to a later show at First Acoustics. Who won? Her mother won the CDS and her brother the tickets. I can assure you that this was not a fix. If it was I'd have won!
Anthony finished off the evening. All the performers were young but Anthony at 21, 22 in January, was the youngest. I've known him the longest. It's been almost six years. I've been taken for his father so many times he's pretty much family. He's has been having hand problems so couldn't play guitar. He blames in on the guitar playing but I think it's from the secret handshakes. "Secret Handshake" is the name of this latest album, that's a clear giveaway.
Anthony was new to many of the people there and I liked that, I got to see him with fresh eyes. I take it for granted how talented he is. Not just talented but he's a natural performer. He's funny. He integrates a stand up routine with the music. He has always been able to hold an audience in the palm of his hand. Come to think of it that's probably how he hurt it. Since he couldn't play he performed with a guitar player and fiddler. I know he feels awkward singing and not playing but if you hadn't seen him before you'd just think that's how he always performs. The show was great.
After the show I took the subway back to the City. I have a zillion options on what train to take so I went with Caitlin as long as I could and got to know her better. I've gotten to know a lot of people on subway rides home after hearing live music.
Today's plan is to see if I can get my computer set up. I'll probably have to buy some cables and such. I'll also have to get a wireless card. It will be so nice to have access to my files again. This laptop is fine but I prefer a desktop with a full keyboard and a very large monitor.
I also should go shopping and do laundry and write about the music I discovered at NERFA. We'll see if I can get any of that done. At least I'm finishing this before Sunday Breakfast is over. Then I can make my own breakfast. It's a peanut butter omelet day.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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