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
-Bertrand Russell

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

July 18, 2012 - 11:18 a.m.

Barnaby Brightening Up My Birthday

Here's my dilemma. Do I write first which gives more time to read Wise Madness today or do I eat breakfast first so I finish cooking before it hits 90. Like there's any question that I'd choose my personal comfort over My Gentle Readers.

Yesterday turned out a lot better than I thought it would. My fears all proved groundless. I finally went to the DMV. This was quite important and it was one of the things my anxiety prevented me from doing. I needed a replacement driver's license. My old one was somewhere in my old apartment and I never found it. It's an enhanced license and it was a pain in the neck to get it. I had to go several times to get the right documentation including my original birth certificate and that wasn't easy to get. I don't blame Obama for not wanting to get his. And of course I don't know where that is now. I expected all sorts of problems. Instead all I had to do was wait on line for an hour and a half and fill out a form and I got it. Not only that but I got a change of address and registered to vote in Brooklyn. I should have done this as soon as I had a new address.

I rewarded myself with Stone Cold Creamery ice cream. It isn't my favorite but it's the only place to get ice cream in the neighborhood.

Then I was good and made dinner at home even though it was 6,000F. I did cheat and made microwave mashed potatoes even though I just bought farm fresh potatoes that I want to try.

I'm going to blame the heat for my idiot stories. I made two plans for my birthday which is on Thursday. Part one was seeing Barnaby Bright at The Living Room. The show was at 10 and I planned on getting there at 9 so I could make sure I had a table.

Till then I watched the Met game. Then I looked at the clock and realized it was time to go, that I'd perhaps get there after 9. That might be a problem as the act before BB was on then and there might not be a table available. I hopped on the C train which I get at my front door. On the ride in I read. That kept me occupied till I reached West 4th Street. The problem is I wasn't going to West 4th Street. I was supposed to change trains to the F and get off at Delancy. Good thing that the F stops at West 4th street too so I just took it back a couple of stops. When I got off I saw that I'd get there a few minutes after the hour wait for it the eight o'clock hour. Yes I had left an hour early and didn't notice it till then. It was too hot to walk around and I had eaten enough so I didn't want to stop in a restaurant so I just went into the Living Room to watch the two acts before BB.

I used to do things like that a lot. I'd watch the act before and sometimes after the act I was there to see. I have often been rewarded for that. Not last night. Both acts were bad. The first was a woman who came equipped with a looper and some sort of weird sounding small keyboard played by her accompanist. She played the uke. Now you might think that I'd like that. Well I do like the uke and keyboard but the looper was the tipoff. It's fine in moderation but when it's central to the act it tends to be too gimmicky. There were technical problems with everything and that proved fatal. When all you have is gimmicks and the gimmicks don't work there is nothing else. If a talented musician's $20,000 breaks and he has to use a cheap one he borrowed in the audience he could still put on a great show. The instrument adds value but that's overwhelmed by the value the artist brings.

The next act was a country rock band that sounded like they thought they should be playing in one of those bars with the net between the stage and the audience. They were such a stereotype that they'd fit in a Spinal Tap type movie. They also were not good.

My anxiety for the evening was that none of the friends that I invited to come to celebrate my birthday or perhaps just Chris who goes to most Barnaby Bright shows anyway. Chris did show up early, close to nine, and joined me. We were then joined by Carter, Coco & Bruce. Richard couldn't stay but he came by just to wish me a happy birthday. So once again my anxiety was unfounded.Oh and by pure coincidence Paul Sachs was there for the band on before Barnaby Bright. I somehow missed him when I was sending out invites. I'm sure i missed a lot of people.He couldn't stay for BB but it was great having a bonus friend there.

And of course Becky and Nathan were there. They are Barnaby Bright. When I saw them a month ago they asked if there were any song that I'd like them to cover and they'd play it for my birthday. Think for a moment and try to figure out what song I requested. It's one in the running for my favorite song and it fits in very well with BB's repertoire. Yes it's 1952 Vincent Black Lighting. There aren't many musicians that I are talented enough that I'd suggest covering Richard Thompson, especially that song but I knew they could pull it off. They did! They did it right, it wasn't RT's version, they made it their own. As most of their songs involve death, traveling, and love that wasn't much of a stretch. Even though the song is mainly sung from a male point of view Becky's voice brings the perfect haunting quality to it. The true test of its success is that I cried at the right times just like I do when Richard Thompson sings it. Especially the two greatest lines.

He smiled to see her cry

Said James in my opinion, nothing in this world
Beats a '52 Vincent and a redheaded girl

They rest of the audience loved it too and it's staying in the act.

Ricky Lee Jones was in the audience or so the rumors went. I didn't see her. Maybe she'll be covering Barnaby Bright soon.

It was a late show but I made no pretense of racing home. I wanted to spend time with my friends. Part one of my birthday celebration went great. There weren't a lot of people there but I knew the time would make that difficult for most of my friends.

Part two is on my actual birthday. I have at least one friend showing up so I now I won't keep imagining getting to the chocolate room, reserving a table, and then sitting there all alone on my actual birthday. Yes I was imagining that.

Today I have to figure out where to go to keep cool. I could go to the movies but I'm thinking the Museum of Natural History. I'll give myself a birthday present and renew my lapsed membership.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile July 18, 2012
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