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 06, 2015 - 1:03 p.m.
Still having some issues with the new edition of word. It doesn't open right into new document. Then I have to switch it to draft mode. At least I got the default font set. Everyone know what I use? Book Antiqua. When I got my first word processor I experimented for a while but this the one I like by far the best. Yes I have a strong opinion on fonts. Sans serif fonts are beyond the pale for writing in paragraphs. For signs it's another matter. Next to make "No Spacing" the default style
OK it's just nice to have a working computer to write on. OMG I figured out how to change the "Normal" Style have no spacing! That's an actual improvement over Office 2007. See they can actually improve things. The problem with so many computer designers is that they think they know what you want better than you do and won't give you the option to choose for yourself. OOO I might come back to this later. I just had an insight. But first I have to talk about my day. There was music and cute women involved so that's clearly more interesting.
Last night I went to see The Calamity Janes at Pete Candy's Store. I have a strange history with the Janes. I first saw them opening for Crooked Still at The Bell House. I love them but they went on hiatus soon afterward. Then somehow I met Stephanie Jenkins the tenor banjo player. I don't know how we me for sure but I think it was through Kristin Andreassen but it could have been through Aoife O'Donovan. It was someone in those circles. So I knew her more socially than as a performer though she's occasionally sit in with people and her parents host house concerts and she's opened there playing with her brother. Am I getting that right? We all know I'm an idiot. Now I'm thinking we met through Brittany Haas. No matter we met. Then last year the Janes had a reunion at the Brooklyn Bluegrass Bash! So I saw them once again at The Bell House. Now they are back together for real. They have an album coming out today. So for the first time last night I got to see them do their own show.
Pete's Candy Store is in Williamsburg which does not work or play well with the rest of Brooklyn. There is no easy way to get there. I went a way that I'm not too fond of but Google maps said was the best at the time I left. I took the to the . It's not a free transfer and it involves walking in a sketchy neighborhood on a pedestrian bridge over railroad yards and then back down to the street then back up to the platform. The is an El there as is the .
I have been going to Pete's Candy Store for years but had a hard time figuring out where it was as I didn't go there often and I would go different ways. First I learned it driving.
The show was at seven and I cut the timing a bit close considering the snow. I got there a bit after seven. I hoped that wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't. The show hadn't started and most of the audience hadn't arrived. More importantly Stephanie hadn't arrived. I grabbed a seat and took off my outer clothing and boots and made myself comfortable. In a few minutes the rest of the band took the stage. Still no Stephanie. They launched into a fiddle tune. I thought it was sound check when they started but they played like it was the show. In the middle in walks Stephanie. She strips off her coat, takes out her banjo and joined in. That's a trooper. I don't know what happened if she had to work late or the trains were delayed but whatever it was, she dealt with it.
Here's the part I don't get. She walked in out of the cold and started playing and her banjo was in playable tune. I will be honest. I didn't notice it being out of tune at all but I figured it couldn't be? How did she do that? It's a banjo. You can't tune the damn things under perfect circumstances. She mentioned three songs in that the banjo was just starting to warm up. I have an idea for climate controlled instrument cases but the problem is the only ones that could afford it are not racing into the gig from the outside and they have people to tune it for them.
But back to our story. The Calamity Janes are an old-time string band. I lTove that kind of music. They are more trad than most of the acts in the genre I hear. OK I'm basing that on two short sets I saw them do but I'll stick with it. Last night's set was different. They were asked to open a Johnny Cash Tribute Festival with a set of tunes by his in-laws, the Carter Family. They have never played Carter Family songs. The Festival is tonight. Last night's show was essentially the rehearsal. This could have been a disaster. It wasn't. It was great because they knew how to handle it. First off they got the musical chops. They know how to play. Secondly they knew this was a neuro situation and just had fun with it and rolled with the punches. They broke out laughing a few times. Sure they didn't know all the words and sometimes the words are sung fast. So they did a do-over. They had fun so the audience had fun. I can vouch that I loved it. I love shows like that. The barriers between the audience and the performers were let down.
I took some pics. I did something I hate when other people do. I took a flash picture. Why? Because I didn’t know the flash was on. I actually thought at first that somebody else took a flash pic at the same time. Good thing I double checked to see if were me.
Stephanie is the tall one with the hat. Notice there is a second banjo player. Can you tell that It's smaller in the pics? Is that an alto banjo? Looks too big for soprano. Did you know there's an entire family of banjos from soprano to bass? There used to be banjo bands. They were banned by the Geneva Convention.
After the show I got to talk to Steph for a bit then I headed out to Trader Joe's. That meant walking to the . The nice part was that's only one train. I had trouble getting home from Trader Joe's; there was a problem on the . I had to wait forever.
OK now it's late and I don't have time to write more. Maybe I'll remember that insight I wanted to write about. I'm in the middle of a run of being me. I saw Jason Trachtenburg's show on Wednesday. Last night It was the Calamity Janes, tonight Scott Wolfson, and Saturday SONiA disappear fear. On Sunday or maybe Saturday I'm seeing the 90-second Newbury Film Festival.
OK now I have to eat. It's 1 PM. It's breakfast sandwich time.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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