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
July 20, 2016 - 10:52 a.m.
Welcome to a written by a 59-year-old edition of Wise Madness. I know, I know, you're thinking that's a typo and I meant to write 19. Well except for Brian who thinks it's 159. Some of you are thinking it should be the Roman numerals of my youth or maybe hieroglyphics.
So here's the report on my birthday. I had no bacon in the house so I had sausageeggandcheese on a bagel. That's not settling; When I was drinking my coffee I turned on the TV and saw that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on. I turned it on in the hope that it was one of the high school episodes. It was! The first episode of season two. That's one of the best. I'm still amazed at how great the writing was; it was great line after great line. The story was both meaningful and exciting. Part of the genius of the early seasons was how it could seamlessly discuss real world issues in context of vampires. This one was about PTSD. Another part of the genius is I still laughed out loud at times. A third part is how much of the story is told visually. Their facial expressions spoke volumes. The latter years lost the subtlety but those first three seasons were as good as TV as there has ever been.
OOO Dar on WUMB.
Because I'm me I waited to the last minute to organize my birthday dinner but I did. The main birthday event was seeing Bobtown as part of the Tender Mercies Festival at the Sheen Center. Doors were at 7:00 so that meant an early dinner and I knew not that many people could make that. It ended up being Fred, Dan, Carolann, and Felix. It was a high quality dinner party. We ate at Veselka which sometimes is called Veleska because idiots invert the letters. Why did you look at me when I said "idiots?" I will dutifully report on what I ate. It's a Ukrainian restaurant so I had a Kielbasa with mash potatoes and French fries. Yes, I had two potato dishes. It was my birthday, I'm allowed. I had such a good time eating with my friends. That's one of my favorite things to do. It's actually been a while since I've seen Carolann. That's what happens when I don't live in Brooklyn
Then it was off to the theater. I ran ahead and saved most of the second row for my birthday party. Gidge and Loyse were right behind us so part of the party too. Then by coincidence John and Sheila sat in our row. So all my friends were together other than Joe who was a few rows behind us. Who was us? The dinner party was joined by Jane, Bernie, Mark, and Kevin. Have I actually remembered everyone? That seems like a miracle.
The theater was beautiful, had good sound, and plenty of leg room. The band told me it treated them well. Got a gig in New York, I recommend it.
This is my third year in a row seeing Bobtown on my birthday. I told them to get on booking next year's show now. It's not like they play that many gigs and it's not like they planned it. It's la forza del destino. Mozart goes very well with Bobtown. For my birthday they did two songs I hadn't heard before, an original and a cover. It was one of the best shows I've seen by them and that says something. As it's a theater I only heckled once. Well maybe twice. I was almost good.
It was hard on Dan as he had to be nice to me for my birthday. He didn't succeed but he tried. Well OK he tried to make the insults not sound like insults. And I'm always so nice to him. When I introduced he and Kevin to Jane and Bernie I said, "This is Kevin and Dan; Kevin has great musical taste and Dan is a musician with terrible taste in music." That's not mean, just accurate. He likes Dawes and Taylor Swift and doesn’t like Dylan.
At the end of the show as they were heading off the stage I head Katherine say something about a birthday. I assumed that was about me. When I got to the lobby they sang their birthday song to me! I should have made sure that Fred took a picture of that. Oh well. You could have seen Katherine in her Captain Kirk outfit, summer edition. She wore a gold shirt with black trim and black shorts. It makes sense, Katherine and Kirk are both from Iowa. Just hit me that Alan talked about Kirk from the stage. Katherine introduced him as being from Queens. He said he's from Brooklyn and just lives in Queens. That's it's like when Captain Kirk said, "I'm from Iowa, I just work in space." I had Buffy and Star Trek on my birthday.
After the show I went to the NOHO Star with Jane and Bernie. They got me chocolate cake ala mode! They said it was for my birthday and it came out with a candle on it. It was only when I was finished that I noticed the plate.
I said, "How can I notice anything else when there's chocolate around. It was amazing. I begrudge what's left on the plate. If I had more nerve, I would have licked it off.
Bernie and Jane got great parking a block away and we drove home. On the way I checked my phone and saw that the Mets pulled out a great win, 2–1. We listened to the recap on the radio. My fantasy baseball team had a good day too and we reached our high point of the season.
I did not get the Official Red Ryder Carbine Action Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing to tell the time but I spent time with great friends, heard great music and had chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream. That's a great birthday; put a circle around it.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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