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
January 14, 2017 - 2:01 p.m.
I have eaten breakfast, sausageeggandcheese on a bagel, and more importantly had my coffee. This will be a supercharged, caffeinated, edition of Wise Madness. Did you know that if you drink enough coffee you can move objects with your mind and teleport? Let's see if it can do the more difficult job of making me coherent on four and a half hours sleep.
Last night I made the trek down to my favorite venue in Brooklyn, Jalopy. I went there to see performers that weren't part of the usual Jalopy crowd. Carolann Solebello and Abbie Gardner performed together for the first time in a month of Sundays. In the name of accuracy, I should say a year of Sundays. That was worth a longer trip than from City Island as was demonstrated by Ginger coming from Northampton MA for the show.
I have seen each of them more times than I can count. They are two of my favorite performers and favorite people. This was a home game two hours from my home. I had to be there and I had to do the merch. I figured I'd know many people in the audience and I was right, though except for Chris they weren't the people I expected. There was David, Eliot, Mary Lee, and Greta. Who am I forgetting? I know there was more. Jalopy is one of my places so I also knew the bartender Janelle and the sound man whose name I have once again forgotten. It is so hard not having a brain. It's Glendon. I could cheat and look it up because he's in the band M Shanghai. Musicians often have the staff positions at Jalopy. It's part of it being a community, not just a venue.
Abbie and Carolann did not perform as a duo or consecutively. It was a round robin where the frequently accompanied each other. I think of myself as seeing both of them often but it's been a while, especially for Carolann. A few years ago, her solo was the musical act I saw the most often. They each had years as the person I saw the most often. I saw Abbie do a show at Rockwood late last year but that's not enough. I need to see them more. I am going to make a really long trek to see Carolann next month. Yesterday I traveled two hours to see her. Next month she's playing at the Starving Artist Café, a full four blocks from me. The way I put it to her was, it's closer than I'm used to parking when I had a car.
Carolann and Abbie did not do old songs that they've performed together before. it was all new songs, the oldest was Carolann's River from her most recent solo album. Most of the rest have not been recorded. There were some great ones. It would be so nice if I could remember them. What do I remember? The double entendre jokes. Like I said it's hard not having a brain. On the other hand, it is part of what made it a special show, their chemistry. They were so clearly enjoying each other's company. That is something that makes it enjoyable for the audience. It was unscripted and genuine. The musical chemistry was to some degree scripted, they practiced together but some of it they made up as they went along.
I got to the show early, before sound check, and stayed late. I'd have stayed even later just to hang out but I had a bus to catch. Carolann I see socially, Abbie not as often. I have to change that. It's not like she lives on the other side of the world, just the other side of the Hudson River, albeit the bad side, the JC.
As I was traveling to deepest brightest Brooklyn I took advantage of that to eat at the Mile End Deli, home of New York's best poutine. There are a few places in Manhattan to get it but it's nothing like the Mile End. It's owned and run by someone that moved here from Montreal. He knows his poutine and smoked meat. Or is her? Whatever it is the poutine is divine and the help friendly. I was there by myself but ended up talking to the waitress much of the meal. I had only one complaint. The service was so good I had too much time to kill after I ate. I was served and ate my poutine in less time than it took me to get served the far inferior poutine at the Friterie on St. Marks. The waitress and I discussed how bad poutine is still poutine and enjoyable but it's still not the real thing. I am in the Bronx but I went to two of my favorite places in Brooklyn. If I can work out going to the Mile End when I go to Brooklyn I do.
Part of the reason I had so much time was that my commute went so smoothly. I beat the time Google said it would take by fifteen minutes. That hardly ever happens. Part of it is that I went a slightly different and better way. Part of it was making great connections.
The same could not be said for the ride home. I forgot that they might not be running till I was almost at the station. I had to walk back to the which is much closer to where the bus leaves me off. Then I have to make the awkward transfer to the at 63rd Street. It took me almost two and a half hours to get home and of course it was later than the last bus to City Island so I had to take a cab.
Was all that traveling worth it? Of course, it was. I got to see Carolann and Abbie. I heard great music. I got to enjoy great friends. I got to enjoy great poutine. I'll only make that trip for something special and this was something special.
I was going to go out tonight but it would cost money and mean traveling. So, I'll stay home and eat leftover soup for dinner. I love leftover soup. It's the only food that gets better. It's pretty hard for soup to become dried out. This time I won't be an idiot like I was when I served it to Jane and Bernie; I won't forget that I bought oyster crackers to go with it. My mouth is watering thinking about it.
Remind me that tomorrow I want to write about not being depressed.
Listen to the Rabbi - January 20, 2017
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