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
March 18, 2017 - 9:49 a.m.
It's now 9 AM but I started opening Word at 8:59. Can I say I started blogging before 9:00? That used to be a goal. Now it's a rarity. I'm back to staying up too late for no good reason. That's not true, there is a good reason, it's my body's natural schedule. I would just prefer it wasn't.
I said I wasn't going to write so much about commuting and food. Those topics are pretty much unavoidable today because neither was routine. I had a neuro St. Patrick's Day.
I was torn. I needed to go shopping yesterday and I had an iconic Irish dinner, bangers and mash, planned. On the other hand, hearing an Irish band is part of how I like to celebrate. On the other other hand, I don't have any money so I couldn't see Girsa at Bowery Ballroom. On the other other other hand, Joe Hurley and Rogue's March had a free show at a Tribeca bar. Seeing Joe used to be an St. Paddy's day tradition for me. The show was listed for 6 PM and that meant I'd have time to go shopping and have a not super late dinner afterward. Still that's hectic as I'm going out for live music the next three days. The deciding fact was that Dan said he'd join me. I headed into the City. My first stop was my PO box. I made it before closing, 5:30. Joe wrote on the FB event to get their early but I didn't quite believe there'd be a need for that, I just wanted to get there at 6:00. I doubted very much it would start on time. The trip from my PO Box at Columbus Circle to the bar is super simple, a straight one train trip. I walked in right before 6:00. When I got to the back where the music was I found instruments and speakers but no band. I texted Dan to tell him where I was sitting and played my phone. I realized that years ago, was it 15 years ago, or just 10, I met Roisin at an Irish music concert and I went to others with her including Rogue's March. I haven't seen her in ages. I sent her a message and asked if she was going. I had high hopes. She wrote back that she couldn't, she had to work late. Oh well. I'd have fun hearing the band and hanging with Dan. Then Dan wrote back, he wasn't coming, he was at another show. I looked back at our messages and saw that I misunderstood. He said he'd come if the other show ended early. I thought it was if the Joe Hurley show started early, and 6 PM is early. Oy. I'm an idiot. So now it's 6:30 and there's still no band. My plan was to leave by 8 so I could eat at a decent time. Joe showed up then and started discussing reworking the layout of the speakers and listening area. I was now sitting next to a speaker and had to move. There was still not a full band. At 7:00 the band, or maybe most of the band were there but still they weren't even sound checking. I gave up. I decided if I left then I could shopping in and still eat not awfully late. So much for live music. It was a wasted hour and a half.
I went to a different Stop & Shop than usual as it was easier to get to from where I was though harder to get home from. Getting there was easy, one train and walking four blocks. Shopping went well, things I always use were on sale and I stocked up. I had to wait 6 minutes for the subway but that's not too bad. I had to run and cross against the light to catch the BX Select bus. That was a bit scary. You have to buy a ticket form a machine for the select buses before you board. I did not have time to do that. I got on anyway. They rarely check if you got one and I can show them I have an unlimited MetroCard and explain the situation. I was pretty sure I could talk my way out of it; I'm a middle-aged white guy. I have shown them the wrong ticket, I had the right one, and gotten away with it. I did the same thing once and wasn't stopped while the black teen girl behind me was stopped and checked.
The timing for the bus back to City Island was average, a 15-minute wait for a bus that comes every half an hour. The app said the bus was running two minutes ahead of schedule. I sat down and got lost on my phone. When it got close to the time the bus was to arrive I checked the app again. The bus had disappeared. It said that none was coming. That usually means there's a problem with the bus GPS or communication with the app. Buses don't just disappear. The bus just disappeared. When it was 10 minutes late I posted on Facebook that the bus fell off the radar. Jane saw that and offered to picked me up. I saw that the next bus had also fallen off the radar so I called her and asked her to pick me up. She had to get dressed and drive from City Island. She got there after the next bus was scheduled. It never showed up either. I have no idea what happened. On the bright side, I bought us chocolate snickers bar while I waited in the candy store where it was nice and warm.
I got home after 10:00 and finally started making my dinner of bangers and mash. That takes a while. I decided that after wasting most of the evening I needed an extra treat and made garlic flat bread. I forgot to put the cheese on it but it was still great. I also had garlic mashed potatoes. Discovering the garlic press made my life better. When I have garlic, I tend to put it in everything. My bangers and mash came out super. Something finally went right. St. Paddy's Day was not a total disaster. I also listened to a lot of Irish music before I left home. It's all I listened to yesterday, Clannad, RUNA, Burning Bridget Cleary, The Wolfe Tones, and the Chieftains were on the menu. I'm still listening to an Irish mix. At the moment, it's Realta.
Tonight, I'm heading out to Teaneck to see Sharon Goldman, Villa Palagonia, and Bev Grant. Joe and Allison are giving me a ride to and from the City. I'm merching. I'm hearing music. I'm spending the evening with friends. That should keep me happy.
I've Been Doing Some Hard Travelin'. - March 24, 2017
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