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 15, 2016 - 10:51 p.m.
God am I tired. I'm starting to write this later than I wanted but I'm so dedicated to My Gentle Readers that I'm going to write this instead of vegging out. I've been on the go since the last time you heard from me. When was the last time you heard from me? I guess two evenings ago, Wednesday. What has happened since then, lots of volunteering at WFUV, riding public transit, a great concert, and very little sleep.
After writing on Wednesday the plan was to go immediately to sleep. I called WFUV and told them that I'd be in late the next day as I was going to sleep later than wanted to. I turned off the light, and didn't sleep. I tried looking at things on my phone and going to sleep then turned that off and didn't sleep. I went to the bathroom, went back to bed and didn't sleep. I tossed and turned and didn't sleep. Finally, as it got close to 4AM I gave up on sleeping., I took a shower. I got ready and realized that by about two minutes I was too late to make the 4:40 . I then got brilliant. I went to see when the first express was and it meant skipping the next train and taking the one where I had to leave my house at 5:06. This was a major discovery. It was still local in Brooklyn but express in Manhattan. When I got to the Bronx the Bx 12 SBS bus running which is faster than the regular Bx 12. I got to the station at 6:30. If had left 33 minutes earlier I've had arrived just 10 minutes earlier. So for now on this is my morning routine. I hate getting there that late so I can't set up in the morning but it's usually not very busy then anyway.
It is all pretty much a blank now but it was a fun day there. I know Jim was around but who else? Howard and Brian were there for the late shift. I met Michael. He's the new Laura which makes him the new new Sam. In less accurate lingo he's the student who is going to be the volunteer coordinator next drive after Laura graduates. Laura took over from Sam. He is not a Doctor Who fan which is a minus. After grilling him I discovered he's a Met fan so he passes muster. I don't know his last time I have to find it and send him a FB friend request. Hey Laura you have to add him to the WFUV volunteers group. I can find him that way.
I had to leave early, by four minutes to make my dinner date with Kevin. We had tickets to see Aoife O'Donovan at the Bowery Ballroom and met for dinner first. I got there a little late for reasons I don't know, I think the just went a bit slow. Kevin was also a bit late because of the subway. We ended up eating at a nice restaurant a couple of blocks away on Delancy. I had delicious fried chicken. That was pretty much what I wanted, a nice sit down meal. I had been on the go so much and though I love pledge drive food I gulp it down while doing other things.
We then went back to the Bowery Ballroom in time to see the opening act, Cassandra Jenkins. I had seen Cassandra once but had forgotten about it. She was with Chris Thile and it was opening for Crooked Still. Aoife was in Crooked Still. None of this is a coincidence. Cassie said from the stage that she's known Aoife half her life. Half whose life? Is that clear? I think technically that should mean half of Aoife's as it's closer to "her" in the sentence. But I meant half of Cassie's. I can't see how to phrase that better. Oh I just figure it out. Cassie said, "I've known Aoife half my life." Hey I am working on very little sleep. You're going to get passages like that as my censors are too tired. To work hard.
When we walked in the room was not crowded there were a few people around. One of them I saw was Stephanie Coleman. I have to break my usual rules about not using last names for musician friends that I see socially because things would otherwise get confusing. I said to Kevin, there's Stephanie. Then followed with,
I didn't know what Cassie did and it was not what I expected. She has an electric rock band. I expected more trad but the trad influence was obvious. She even did a murder ballad. She's great. During the show Kevin noticed that her father was standing right by us. Her parents have a house concert series we've both been to. Funny think the last time I was at the Bowery it was to see Sunflower Bean. I was standing in pretty much the exact same spot and talking to Julia Cummings' father Alec. Julia is the vocalist/bassist. So now if I go to the Bowery I guess it's obligatory that I stand in that spot near the father of someone performing. That is totally unimportant and silly but it's what I was thinking, and Wise Madness is not a music blog, it's not a history of what I do, it's a history of what I think.
Cassie lied and told us it was her birthday. The audience sang happy birthday to her. Then she fessed up and admitted that her birthday was the day before when they performed in Boston but she's forgiven because she's from New York and this was the home town gig so that made it more important. And the Boston press trashed her guitar player, whose name I was supposed to remember, for not waving to the crowd. For us he waved. He learned his lesson. I would not have trashed him for not waving. They might do that in Boston but not in a class City like the Big Apple. Aoife defended Boston, that's her home town. Someone in the family, I think her mother, made Cassie a cake. So I'll give Boston a conditional pass. Aoife joined Cassie on her last, or was that penultimate song. Hey I'm still sleep deprived.
Aoife for the most part did songs from her new album, The Magic Hour. There were a few exceptions. I loved when she said, "I'll take a break from this singer/songwriter crap and sing a folk song." Aoife's songs are not crap. They are beautiful, weird, and have actual content. What people tend to notice most about Aoife I her voice. I describe it as her singing. It's not just the sound quality but what she does with it. It's breathy and velvety and sensual and sounds like microphone singing. The type of singing you can't hear from a distance without a mic. But she somehow manages to do that and project her voice at the same time. That's musical chops, not being born with a beautiful voice.
I first knew Anthony as a singer/songwriter. It was his songwriting that stood out more than anything. He can still write great songs but somewhere along the way he became a great guitarist. And as a singer/songwriter it was acoustic guitar, now it's electric. At least playing with Aoife he has an unusual style. I've heard him shred but that's not what he does in this band; it's lyrical and at times reminds me of sounds you'd associate with a synthesizer.
Because this is all a small tight community Cassandra joined Aoife on a her last or penultimate song. Yes, I'm still sleep deprived.
After the show Kevin and I hung around to talk to Aoife. While waiting we saw Sandy, Cassie and Stephanie's mother. I know her better than their father, notice I know her name.
We talked to Aoife, got hugs, and headed out. Going home took far longer than it should have because of long waits for the trains. We both started out walking to the which was nice but Kevin went in the opposite direction.
It was well after midnight when I got home. Why didn't I get to sleep till 2 AM? I'm not sure. But that's when I got to sleep and woke up six hours later. In contrast to the night before I fell asleep so fast I didn't remember walking from turning off the light to my bed. It was pretty much instantaneous.
I let myself sleep late and missed the first shift at WFUV and didn't plan on getting there till ten to ten. I timed things nice and got to the station the right time and got on a super crowded train. I didn't get that. Then it was explained. There was signal trouble at 125th street. They had to space the trains ten minutes apart, perhaps twice as far as usual during the height of rush hour. We had to wait for the train ahead of us to get sufficiently ahead. I get on the first stop.
When I got on the train I had to squeeze past a woman with a stroller who gave me a sound of disgust, like how dare someone try to get on the train after she did and expect her to move out of the way so he could reach the middle of the car where there was room for people. She pretty much made that explicit with the next person came on and she told him, "there's no room. There was still some room in the middle. This led to her getting in a shouting match with someone not at her door, but the next door. What she actually said to the guy she wouldn't let on was, "There's no room there's a very big stroller here." I usually give a pass to parents with kids. I don't know what it's like but when she feels that much entitlement I couldn't help thinking, "That's why there's a rule that strollers must be folded on the trains. Most times of course they are find but this was taking up the space of at least three people. I didn't say a word of course.
The signal problem made the train run slow. I got to the station, at 10:10, ten minutes late; horror of horrors. I of course got mock indignation from Jim and Linda. I texted Jim earlier and told him to save me some eggs and sausage and bacon for breakfast. He did. Damn, I left my coffee mug there. I just realized that. Well it will be there when I come back on Sunday.
I had another fun day today. No don't ask me why or who was there. Actually for much of the day it was just Jim, me and students. We were quite shorthanded. The big excitement was frozen yogurt and toppings. I of course had a double helping. First I made a milkshake with a combination of coffee and peanut butter yogurt, milk, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, and Butterfinger pieces. I couldn't get the blender to work. Neither could the student who was doing food. Neither could George, the engineer. Then finally Jose another engineer got it working. The problem was two-fold. At first something wasn't locked in properly. I saw that and fixed it. But in the process I put the lid on wrong. Yes, there was only one way to orient the lid so that the machine will turn on.
I ended up staying an hour late because I was socializing. Who was I socializing with? Wow I can't remember. I know Rona and Bob were there but I talked to them before I was leaving. I said goodbye, then stayed another hour. One person was Alexis. She just started at the station last year. I whispered to Jim, "who's that?" He couldn't get her name or what her job was. So I fessed up and said, "I'm sorry I forgot your name and told me what she does. Then I got distracted talking to other people. As I was about to leave she was sitting by the door. I forgot her name again and asked again. She was totally insulted, or so she said. I stopped at the bathroom and walked across campus to the bus stop. About a third of the way there I heard my name called. It was Alexis, she had caught up with me. I remembered her name! She was walking towards Metro North which is at the same corner of the campus as my bus stop so we walked together and had another nice talk.
I got on my bus and got involved reading something on my phone. I did catch when I got off my stop. I got off. I reached into my pants pocket for my wallet as I'd need my MetroCard again. It wasn't there. I jumped back on the bus figuring that it fell out of my pocket I got to my seat. It wasn't there. It was in my hoodie pocket I never put it in that pocket. I have no idea why I did. Of course the bus pulled out and I had to take it another stop and then walk back to the subway. The only consolation is that meant I had an idiot story to tell you.
I brought chicken teriyaki back for dinner. I wasn't hungry at the station after filling up on frozen yogurt. Thing is I'm still not that hungry. Well I ate a lot today so it's not a big deal.
I better post this then actually relax for a bit. I am not volunteering tomorrow so I can sleep late. That's nice. I do have a busy day though and I have no idea when I'll have time to write again while the drive is going on.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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