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 โ€” 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 โ€” except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

May 16, 2013 - 9:05 a.m.

Caitlin and Kristin

I am up ridiculously early. I figured I might as well take advantage of it and write. Because I'm early I'm going to go to Costco this morning with Celebrian and have glasses adjusted. I found out during the WfUV drive from George my optician friend that part of my problem is that the progressive lenses are at the wrong angle. I need to have the frames bent. He could have done it himself but there's a chance he'd break the frames. If they break them they'll replace them.

I was good yesterday and finished grading the finite math final. I have to enter the grades to see how they did. it feels pretty good, not that many students failed. More people than usual did problems the way I taught them. That has something to do with it. One of my best students was upset with how she did on the take-home test, she got a B. She wanted to talk about the grading with me but I told her to not worry. I'm sure she's getting an A. I graded her final saw she got an A and that's what she's going to get in the course. I don't need the exact numbers in front of me to know that. I can't decide if it was cute or annoying that she was worried.

Finishing made me feel not guilty about going out last night, I was going to do so in any event. I went to Rockwood Music Hall for a double header, Caitlin Canty at nine and Kristin Andreassen at ten. There always seems to be a conflict when I see Caitlin. I thanked her for not playing at the same time as Kristin. She said they actually planned this. I love that everyone I know, knows everyone I know. That theme continued with Anthony da Costa playing guitar for Caitlin. They just met last fall when they shared a bill at First Acoustics. It was a big day for Anthony; he took his final college final. He's graduating next week!. It seems so funny as I have known Anthony forever, since he was 16. It's also significant because he was able to play guitar. He's had tendonitis for months. Even though he was rusty he sounded great.

Is it me or is it Caitlin? Every time I see her it seems to be the best show I've seen her do. I'm finding more and more depth to her music. This time what struck me was the grit. I was trying to come up with the right adjective and kept failing. Swampy came to mind but that's not it. I used "gritty" It's what Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen have. I'm paid to come up with the right word for this kind of thing and I'm falling down on the job. Of course when I said "get paid" that doesn't mean getting money. Maybe I'm just on strike for higher wages.

Kristin joined Caitlin for a few songs.

When Caitlin was done there was a large turnover of the crowd. I was joined by one person I know, the fiddler Stephanie Coleman. I've seen her play with Kristin so that wasn't surprising.

Kristin had backup singings are a few songs, Caitlin and Michaela Anne. Have I mentioned that I love the small musical world,

Is it legal to have that much female pulchritude on the stage at once. I'm sure the talent is legal, the morals police don't go after that.

Kristin did all new songs. That's wonderful. I'm not sure how long I've known Kristin but since I discovered her with Sometymes Why my reaction has been I don't see her enough and she needs to record more. When I hear her music my reaction is not, "I love that metaphor" or "I like the way she used counterpoint." It's, "I love what she's saying," Her songs always say something, Many are written not just in full sentences but in paragraphs. A story or idea unfolds as you listen. It's a simple thing but progressing from A to B has a powerful effect. My mind doesn't drift because I have to hear what happens next.

She's going to release an EP soon. It's about time. She hasn't released anything since 2008. I remember the CD release party. I might have done the merch. Odd that I'm not sure of that.

At the end of her set I was joined by Kevin. It's been longer than usual since I've seen him. He's always a fun person to talk to at shows. I thought I might see him there. He might be my only non-musician friend that I regularly see at her shows. He stayed for the next performer but I had to head out, Of course it was not a direct path. First I ran into Caitlin but she had to go next door to the bar to see her band. I went with her and Anthony was there so I stopped and talked to him. There's a lot going on in his life with him graduating and I needed a recap. Not that we are ever at a loss for things to talk about.

Michaela Anne came over from behind me and said hi to Anthony. It's very dark in there and I always comment on how I don't recognize my friends that are standing close by. She turned and said "hi" to me then recognition hit and she said, "Oh Gordon! Hi ” The smile is the most important part of the quote. There are few things that I find as affirming as than a smile that comes the instant someone recognizes me. That can't be feigned. I'll take that over all the praise in the world. Michaela can turn the world on with her smile. Mary Richards doesn't own the patent on that. I can say it. How come I never said that about Ellis? She even lives in Minneapolis.

After talking to her I tried to leave but ran into Kristin. I finally did make it out the door and got home around midnight. I got a bit of reprieve in terms of time. We are leaving for Costco later than I thought so I got to finish this at home.

Last night felt a lot like the night before. I heard great music and talked to great people. I needed the catching up time with Kevin, Anthony, and Kristin. Lots of alliteration in the names in this entry, Caitlin, Kristin, Michaela, and Kevin.

I almost forgot food! I ate at Links, the sausage place next door. They stopped making the smashed potatoes. The only side dishes are things like chips. The bratwurst wasn't as good as it was either. They need to get their act together and get some consistency. The one thing they are consistent about is slow service. I still had to wait 15 minutes for my sausage,

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Horvendile May 16, 2013
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