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
February 11, 2017 - 11:36 a.m.
Yesterday I said that I discovered that chamber music is the best thing to blog to. The problem is that I also discovered that Saturday mornings are the best time for me to listen to WFUV Sunday Supper as I'm rarely home when that's on. That's what I'm doing now and in some ways unhappy when John Platt plays a song that I love as it's a distraction. Oh, good, right now there's something I'm not fond of so I can get something done. This is very confusing.
Last night I went to hear Carolann Solebello at the Starving Artist Café & Gallery. I always give you the story of my commute and I don't want to disappoint you. I walked down the stairs of the duplex, out the door of the apartment, was lazy and took the elevator to the first floor. Then I took the path to the street, walked a block and a half west and two blocks south and I was there. I live closer to the Starving Artist than I ever have to a venue. For most of my life, if I were able to park that close to the venue, I'd consider myself fortunate. It's important to appreciate the little things that go well.
Seeing Carolann is a big thing and it was even better as I got to go with a posse, not just Jane and Bernie who I live with but Brian and Gary. Brian came all the way from Mahwah. We sat at the closest table so Brian can take pictures. I took too but Brian has real cameras. He was given a 60-year-old medium format. I was jealous for Brianne. I realize that I have been remiss and not been giving the link to Brianne's website when I mention her. She is a photographer. The podcast is a sideline. I always think of The Odd Couple, "Felix Unger Photographer – Portraits a Specialty;" except that's not Brianne's specialty. From what you saw on the show it wasn't Felix's either.
It's weird not seeing Carolann often. I saw her just about a month ago, when she played at Jalopy with Abbie Gardner but before that it was a long time and I haven't seen her socially. When I was in Brooklyn I saw her all the time. She hasn't been playing much solo since she started with No Fuss and Feathers. Carolann might have known everyone in the audience, some well and she knows the owner Elliott as do Bernie, Jane, and I. I had to check to the spelling, Elliott's are always tough, so many options. With everything put together this might be the homiest home game since I last hosted a house concert.
I could listen to Carolann sing the phone book but singing the great songs she writes is better. She did an odd mix, for the most part very old songs mixed with very knew ones that haven't been recorded. I didn't notice it when I heard it last month but she wrote a song that sounds like it was written by someone married to Mark Allen Berube. I told her that and she knew what I meant, "There are a lot of words." That and a lot of clever rhymes. Carolann's songs tend to be lyrical. Variety is a virtue. Carolann, it's a keeper and put it smack dab in the middle of the album. When I first heard Red Molly, I tried to figure out what kinds of songs each of them would sing lead on. My parsing was, Laurie would do country, Abbie, blues, and Carolann, Broadway. What's funny is that they never did any actual theater music and I didn't know that Carolann's background was musical theater. It was just something in her singing style. Now I hear her more as a fusion of Broadway with traditional folk; Rogers and Hammerstein collaborating with Jean Ritchie. There is a lot of Earth Mother in Carolann. She recalls Frodo's reaction to the singing of Goldberry, Tom Bombadil's wife;
He stood as he had a time stood enchanted by fair elven-voices; but the spell that was now laid upon him was different: less keen and lofty was the delight, but deeper and nearer his mortal heart; marvelous and yet not strange.I realize that I used that description for Emmylou Harris too. Earth Mother's don't have to be rural, they can live in Brooklyn. Carolann sings of the East River and Brooklyn in the rain as others would of the Appalachian Mountains or Oklahoma plains.
For dinner, I had a stuffed baked potato. I forsook the yucky mushroom and spinach and stuck to the cheese and bacon just as god intended.
I was very good and hardly mocked Brian and Gary. I cannot say the same of them. I made plans for recording a few shows with Brian on WFDU, I'll get my revenge then. Brian, Gary, and I are all 12.
I hung out with Carolann after the show and walked her to her car and she drove me home. Her car was not much closer than the apartment but it gave us one-on-one time.
I'm going to my fantasy baseball league's party today. It's on Long Island but I can go because Larry is going to drive me. When we both lived in Queens I saw Larry all the time. I have not seen him since the league draft last April. It will be good to see everyone that shows up. I'll have to check to see how I feel and if I can make it back home before the last bus leaves but I might see Abbie Gardner tonight at the PostCrypt Coffeehouse. I hope I can make that work out. Abbie's getting back in my life. Auld acquaintance be not forgot.
Now for breakfast. Second day in a row with no eggs in the house. I have to make adjustments. I think I'm going to have grits with cheese, butter, and Taylor ham to provide the protein and fat.
Honey I Shrunk the Shrink - February 16, 2017
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