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
April 22, 2017 - 4:05 p.m.
I got home too late last night to make it to the March for Science today. I feel guilty and disappointed, I have been looking forward to this since it was announced. I can't do nothing so I'm going to write a second entry today on the importance of science. I wrote about science yesterday, go read that if you missed it, Holiday Secret Revealed. You'll notice that even before I get to the gist I wrote about the notice scientist, Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
Before I get to writing about science I have to write about what I was doing that kept me out till 2 AM. My parents would call me a dirty stay-out-late. Has anyone else ever heard that expression? My parents used it all the time.
I was supposed to have therapy, I didn't have a session last week because I couldn't get an appointment or was that the week that was canceled because my therapist had a meeting? Yesterday morning I got a call from Connie, my therapist, saying she had to cancel as her mother was in the hospital. I couldn't argue with that excuse. This was the third appointment she had to cancel, one was because of the snow and one because she had to go to a meeting. I need some therapy!
Therapy being canceled did make my day easier, In the evening I had to the Outpost in the Burbs to see Christine Lavin and Honor Finnegan. They are two of my favorite artists and people. I've sat with Honor in the audience watching Chris and seen Honor opening for Chris. Hey Chris, when are you going to come with me to see Honor? I'm a math guy, I need the symmetry.
Before I went to the show I had to stop at my PO box, I had a notice that I had mail. I got there and found that it was a letter from the previous owner of the box. I've had the box for 5 years. I should ask if there is a way I can make that stop.
Then I went down to Penn Station to catch the train to Montclair. I now always buy my tickets online. I find the machines annoying and there is often a wait. Once you buy the ticket you have to activate it. I wait till I'm on the train just in case something comes up that prevents me from getting on. Once you activate it you only have two hours to used it. I get on the platform and activate the ticket and I can't activate it. There's no Wi-Fi or cell signal. How ridiculous is that? It's not like I can get a signal anywhere near the platform. So now I have to hope that the conductor doesn't get to me till the train get above ground or is understanding. I figured he or she would be understanding as this has to happen fairly often.
It's about a half-mile walk from the station to the church where the concert was. I've done this before and knew there was a Popeye's on the way. That's where I ate. I hardly ever eat there now so once it's a treat.
I got to the venue around 7 for an 8 o'clock show. I thought that was when doors were, they weren't They were at 7:30. There are perks to being me and knowing the volunteers; I could wait inside. Maybe it's just because I'm so gosh darn cute. Stop that snickering! Now! Let me have my delusions. I ask for so little.
I was the first one in and grabbed the seat front row center. By pure chance Dorothy and Christopher who I can't call Chris as it would be too confusing, sat next to me. They are Brianne's parents. I was kicking myself for not thinking if she were free today so we could hang out. I realized after a while that I didn't because I thought I'd be coming from therapy so wouldn't make it till right before the show. But then I realized I should have asked her to come to the show with me. Oh well. I'm talking to her tonight.
Honor is a very different performer than she was a year ago, her singing is only about half her show now. Last night she told two stories and recited a poem. There was a feminist theme to the set. I love sitting in an audience that have not seen her before; they get dazzled. The different songs and spoken word pieces are so different from each other each is a revelation and the audience reacts. she asked if there were any requests. I see her often so I let other people shout theirs first. The thing is that nobody else there might know her music. The guy behind me said, "Google!" We knew he meant, Internet Junkie.The Librarian instead. After she finished that someone shouted out a request for Internet Junkie. She hadn't learned to do that on the uke while playing the Librarian. I decided she should do a crowd please and instead of asking for my favorite song of hers, the very dark, Swimming, I suggested I Should Stop Having Sex with You. That's quite a mouthful so I just said, "sex with you." She said instead of doing that she wanted to do something darker, yes, she started doing Swimming. Then she changed her mind and said she should do something funny and went with my suggestion.
During intermission, she chastised me for suggesting Internet Junkie as I should know she couldn't. I explained it was the guy behind me. I didn't think my voice could be mistaken for anyone that wasn't a boy whose voice was changing. I felt the need to defend my honor.
When I sit in a large crowd that sees Honor for the first time and loves her I wonder why she doesn’t get more gigs, why she isn't headlining larger venues. Part of it is the lack of radio play. She doesn't fit into most formats. Even on WFUV she only fits into John Platt's and Bob Sherman's shows. If you saw her opening at the Outpost or anywhere else contact the venue and let them know you'd like to see her headline. That's true of any opener you loved.
I have never seen a Christine Lavin show that wasn't great. She did a few old-school songs, by which I mean songs from before I discovered her in 1989. One was from 1980, Amoeba Hop. She was joined on that by Betsy Franco Feeney who illustrated a book based on the song. It's a song that has "real science" in it. It won an award from National Science Foundation. I've known Betsy for ages, we have sat together at some many shows by Christine. We were talking online how we haven't seen each other in so long. I should have realized there was a good chance she'd be there. If I had known I'd have gone backstage so I could have time to hang with her. The reason that she was onstage is that she made a giant copy of the book that she brings to shows. With someone's help she turns the pages of the book to keep up with the lyrics. I'm sure there's a pic somewhere of me being the helper.
Chris also did new songs. She never rests on her laurels. She never became a Christine Lavin tribute act. There are so many performers that have not been around as long as she has who do that. Her mind is always observing the universe and converting it into songs.
At the end of the show she started doing her usual finale, the mash-up of Summer Song and All I Have to Do is Dream. Part of that is recorded, now that's on her computer which is on the stage with her. She started singing and stopped. She said, "wait a minute," and started to fiddle with the computer. I thought there was something wrong. Then when the music stops she looks at me and says, "Is that Gordon I see?" I was sitting right up front but I was wearing my hoodie with the hood up. I need to stay street to keep up my image. She is also looking into the lights so she hadn't noticed me till then. Then she had to introduce me to the audience, tell everyone I was on Jeopardy, make our "Drinks for Everyone!" "One drink everyone share!" joke, and sing the Jeopardy theme song. Maybe the anti-anxiety meds are working, I didn't get nervous this time. I have the other 999 times. Not that I have ever minded it. OK, fine, I love it. But I still get anxious.
Honor and Betsy joined her for the encore, Goodnight Irene. I've seen her do that before. As it's on the short list of greatest songs ever written I'm happy with it.
One of the volunteers and board members of the outpost is Gail. I had asked if she could Honor and I a ride back to the train station. She said yes. After the show, she wasn't feeling well and had to leave soon. I wanted to wait for Honor and the next train didn't leave for almost an hour so all it would have done was give me a long wait at the train station instead of fun socializing time at the Outpost. I got to say hi and get hugs from Betsy and Chris. I met John who books the Outpost. He's my new bud, he was also on Jeopardy. When I was thinking that it was getting close to time to leave I saw Honor talking to someone I couldn't see. I went over to ask her if she were ready and saw she was talking to Gail! There's a reason Gail and I are friends, like me she's not good at the quick getaways. This time it benefited Honor and me. We got the ride and were still early but only by 10 or 15 minutes and we had each other's company. I had a fun train ride home with her. After Newark, it got a bit tougher as a group of loud young people got on the train. They weren't raucous, just loud. Also, they wouldn't get off my lawn.
When we got back to Penn Station we went to the train which I could take to the . That is, I could if the was running on 8th avenue like it usually does. It didn't. It was running on the 6th avenue line. Riding the subways on the weekends is like navigating the dorms at Hogwarts, everything constantly shifts. I had to take three trains and a cab to get home. That's why it took me until 2 AM. I didn't get to sleep until 3.
And now that I'm finished writing about yesterday I realized that I'm not going to write a second entry today on science. I've already written 1906 words. I will write it tomorrow. Today I'm going to watch Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches on Concert Window then run to Stop & Shop. I need eggs but I'm not traveling all the way to Trader Joe's where they are cheaper. At Stop & Shop I can also get breakfast sausages, grits, plantain, all of which I need. I also need coffee and that I want from Trader Joe's. Tomorrow I'll evaluate if I can wait till Monday to get it. Then I might buy bagels while I'm in th neighborhood.
A Free Ride! - April 29, 2017
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