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
December 19, 2015 - 1:02 p.m.
I got a nice 8 hours of sleep last night; before that I got 5 hours the previous 63. I am lying in bed but my legs still feel it. Maybe coffee will help; of course I'm putting that off It's a little after noon and I'm just starting to write.
So last I left you it was a bit before 4 AM yesterday and I had been up all night. My alarm had been set for 4:13 and my plan was to leave for WFUV at 4:33, I have this down to a science. I catch the 4:39 which gets me to Grand Central Station in time for the 5:37 MetroNorth train to Fordham and I walk in the doors of WFUV at 6:05 for the 6 AM shift. But as I was up anyway I decided to leave at 4:13, that lets me catch the 4:19 . That extra 20 minutes lets me save the money for the MetroNorth. I take it all the way to Fordham Road where I catch the BX12 bus. What's the problem with that? The train runs local. The bus doesn't run that often. I left 20 minutes earlier and got there at 6:12. Next time it's back to the MetroNorth. Some might ask, Why don't you just not do the 6 AM shift if it takes you two hours to get there? Because that's when they need me most and it's become something that defines who I am.
There were all sorts of computer glitches yesterday. That meant I was kept pretty busy supervising. I had one big slip-up that I'll blame on lack of sleep. There was no harm done.
Fred had an extra ticket to see Dar Williams at the Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington. The plan was for me to take the LIRR and meet him there. That' not so easy to do and meant getting down to Penn Station from Fordham. It would take something like two hours. So I signed up to only 2 AM though I knew I'd actually stay later. But then I realized that John Platt was going to emcee the show so I asked him if he could give me a ride. He said yes. That made my life so much easier. I even took an hour off from three till four to take a nap. I went to the student lounge and put two chairs together. I should have taken a picture as it's sort of hard to picture. The chairs are big cushioned chairs that are squares with one side open. So when you put two together it looks like a human sized dog bed.
I was very well fed. I always am at the station. I had some Albanian dish I never had before for dinner. It was shaped like a pizza and came in a pizza box but was a filled pie in a flexible crust. There was one with spinach and one with feta cheese. I of course opted for the one with meet. They served it during my nap. It was gone when I came back but Linda saved me a slice! Thank you Linda. That meant I wasn't hungry for the actual dinner served. I probably ate about 3000 calories before then. I had pancakes sausage, bacon, ham, and a cheese steak. Wow I had a lot of meat and cheese.
John and I left at 5. It was a fun ride, we went close to my old neighborhood and I got nostalgic. John and Sheila lived in Bayside for a long time too. When we got back to their house and I was talking to them I found out there kids had the same second grade teacher I had, Mrs. Schuster. If you are still alive and reading this Mrs. Schuster know that you are remembered fondly. We relaxed for a bit the three of us went to the Landmark. I met Fred, Gene & Isabel there. They weren't sitting with us but hung out together before the show. Fred and I got to our seats in the balcony and Dan & Phillis were sitting not far from us. I see Dar and I'll know people Marty was there, who else? I'm sure there were others.
I just saw Dar a couple of weeks ago but what does that have to do with anything. I can certainly see Dar more than once a month, I can see her more than twice, even when it's not the easiest place to get to. So I saw her in Irvington and I saw her in Port Washington and I might miss the nice convenient show at Bell House in Brooklyn on Boxing Day. I'm not sure I can justify the expense for that one.
The opening act was Lucy Wainwright Roche. I have known her since she was about 8. She's Suzzy Roche's daughter and I'd see her at Roches' shows and she took part in the Christmas shows. I have seen her perform as an adult and it always saddens me that I didn't love her. Why did it sadden me? Because as a person on stage she's delightful. That’s the exact right word, she is full of delight. But her singing was weak and she was the archetype of her songs not being as interesting as she is. Then last night her singing was so improved. Her songwriting was so improved. Even her patter which was always great was improved and she realized her talking should be a bigger part of the performance. Her patter was almost half the time. She was always someone I wanted to sit and have dinner with now she's someone I want to hear sing the sit and have dinner with. I'm so happy I loved her performance and not just her as a person.
Damn, delightful is also the exact right word to describe Dar and I used it up. I could say she's 'darling" which is both accurate and a pun but I've used that before too. I always thought her fans should be Darlings. I tried to popularize that but it never caught on. Maybe I'll try that with Darlingside.
Do I need to say how much I loved Dar? I don't. I said I saw Dar; that means you should know that I had a great time. It means I was moved, had my thoughts provoked, laughed, was inspired, and left to a better world than was there when I entered. That's what seeing Dar is about. She always brings to mind what Tolkien said about the Elves of Mirkwood in The Hobbit; "Elves they were and Elves they remain; that is good people."
After the show Gene & Isabel suggested going to a dinner and I was sorely tempted but I needed to get to sleep. Fred drove me to Mineola where I could get a train back to Brooklyn. I had about a 15 minute wait which isn't bad but I was freezing. When I left the house at 4 AM it was 54°F. That's the coldest part of the day. It's what I dressed for, actually I dressed for a bit warmer as I wouldn't be out much till later. But it had dropped to 38°F and I was cold. At least I thought to bring gloves. All I had one was a light hoodie and a light spring jacket and a baseball cap. I was so happy when the train came. Walking back from the subway wasn't too bad as I was walking. It's better than standing and waiting.
OK it's 1 PM. I better post this and eat. It's a nice simple poached eggs and Taylor ham on an English muffin day. Fine it's not so simple as I top it with cheese whiz.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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