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
June 22, 2017 - 11:18 a.m.
Why does last night seem like so long ago? I suspect that I was picked up by time traveling aliens in my sleep, examined for weeks on their time-space-ship and returned to my bed this morning.
Last night I went on an expedition to Brooklyn to see Her Crooked Heart, the artist formerly known as Rachel Ries. It is not everyone that I'll travel to Brooklyn for though Barbès is not that difficult to get to, I could theoretically do it with just two trains, in practice it's faster with four, the local-to-express-back-to-local thing. I was out of coffee so I stopped off at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe's on the way. I still think of that as "My Trader Joe's." it's much easier to navigate and has shorter lines than the ones in Manhattan.
Then I was off to Barbès. Barbès always seems to have a late arriving crowd, I'm not a late arriving crowd; that often makes me the first one there. As I approached the front door I remembered that it gets beastly hot there in the summer and sometimes in the spring and fall. I was glad I was in shorts and a t-shirt. When I walked in, it was cool! I was shocked. I said something to the waitress. She said that after 10 years they finally fixed the AC. Yay! Barbès was always one of my favorite venues but now it's even better. I heard someone talking to the waitress about a good summer beer. I thought it was Alec Spiegelman. It was. I saw him talking on the phone outside the place so it wasn't that impressive. He sat at the table next to me. I sit in the chairs because they have backs and the bench by the tables doesn't. Otherwise I'd have sat where he was. Barbès is one of those places I have one specific seat I want; the first row on the end, it has the most leg room. It's not a compulsion and it's not why I'm early, but it's a clear preference.
One thing I miss about Brooklyn is running into my Brooklyn friends like that. We got to do some catching up and we even talked math! Who else can I talk about manifolds, number theory, knot theory, and music with? The next one in was Jean, she sat next to me. She probably wasn't the next one in, but she was the next one in that I know. We still got to catch up. She had just come back from Miles of Music Camp, her first time there. I looked over to my left and saw Emily and Liam. Everyone that was sitting where I can easily talk to them was a friend. Alec and Emily were also at Miles of Music. I am a bad person because I was happy that Liam hadn't so I didn't have to be jealous of everyone.
I'm also a bad person because I can't remember the name of the guy that went on before Rachel, excuse me, My Crooked heart. It was initials, J.E. something or other. No, that makes me an idiot not a bad person; it's not a moral failing. See, I don't have self-esteem issues. I forgot, I'm supposed to say, "it's the meds." The meds made me forget that. I'm now showing I'm a good person. This line of thought was of someone I know whose normal state is more of a fog than I'm feigning. The fact that I'm not naming the person is what makes me a good person.
J.E. or whatever his name is was quite good which makes it sadder that I can't remember his name. He had to be as I started with a natural prejudice against him. I thought that
My Crooked Heart was on next. Rachel often wears red but this outfit looked particularly Star Trek: The Original Series. Think Uhura, even though Rachel is twice as tall as Nichelle. I couldn't help but tell her that. You might have noticed that I'm a nerd.
Rachel used to live in Brooklyn and had the same reaction that I did, she missed so many of th people in the room. I love this crowd. I know I live in the same city and still seem them but it's not the same, it's not as casual. Rachel lives a bit further, Minnesota. I had to look that up, I forgot that and that she's originally from South Dakota. She's cosmopolitan. Something tells me she lived in Vermont for a while too. That might just be because she did an EP with Anaïs.
Her Crooked Heart is one of those artists you can't classify. There are elements of folk, country, pop, and standards. All her songs have in common is brilliance. The effect is "acoustic artist" but she plays electric guitar and was accompanied by drummer with a full kit. Yeah, I sort of like her. Hell, just look at the other songwriters in the audience, they recognize talent. Alec wasn't just audience, he joined her on bass clarinet for a song or two or three. Sometimes I'm not the best recounter of what happened; I'm a blogger not a reporter. I convey the important things like distinguishing between the person Rachel and the act, Her Crooked Heart. There should be a concert with Her Crooked Heart, Crooked Still, Cricket tell the Weather, and Cricket Blue. It would confuse the hell out of me even though no two of them sound similar.
I thought that Anaïs might be there, she was, and she joined Rachel for a song or two or three. When the set was over I saw that Amy and Stephanie were there too. I wish I could have stayed and hung out but of course I had to travel back to City Island. It turns out that I could have stayed a half an hour more; I made the penultimate bus home. Still, it is nice to get home before midnight.
I have nothing on the agenda today and it's beautiful outside. Let's see if I can get myself to walk to Orchard Beach. I have not explored Pelham Bay Park and I should.
I have to pat myself on the back. I just did the spell and grammar check and it didn't catch a single mistake. That never happens. I usually make at least one typo and forget some commas.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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