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 30, 2012 - 10:59 a.m.
Hey it's only 9:02 and I started writing. Hurray to me for fighting off the Chronoklepts. Now I'm torn. Do I continue to write since I started or do I edit the photos I took last night? I'm going to edit and come back. Let's see how long that takes. Not bad the first run through only took 9 minutes. Of course now I have to edit it down. More pictures came out well than usual and that means it will take longer. I'll write while the edits are saved.
I got to school early yesterday because I had to prepare my lesson. I could have pretty much skipped that as I spent almost the entire class going over homework. I made a terrible last minute decision the class before and assigned "The Norman Window" problem. All my calculus teach friends will know the one I mean. It's a great problem but there is a lot of algebraic simplification in it and that takes time, especially for my pre-calculus students who are very weak on fundamentals. When I was going through it I realized that most of them were not paying attention at all which defeats the entire purpose of it. I stopped what I was doing and told them they have to finish the problem themselves for yes, homework. I had done the hard parts already. The rest should be mechanical and there is no reason that they shouldn't be able to do it. I'm going to collect and grade it so now they have to. Of course I know that most will just copy from somebody else.
After class I had to wait around in the City and figured I'd get some things done on my computer before running up to Trader Joe's. When I did I found another teacher using my computer, not one of the people I share it with. She thought it was there for everybody to use. There are half a dozen computers there for everyone but she chose the one at the desk with my name on it and personal things on it. Oy. She was nice and I wasn't actually upset with her but with the school for putting me in that situation by not giving me a office.
OK it's 9:43 and the photos are uploading. Of course I also did some online reading. Now to full time writing.
After school I went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on lots of things but not one that I saw on the flyer and wanted to try, fig butter. I'm always looking to find ways to get fruit in my diet since I can't eat most of the fruit that I like for various health issues. I love figs but they wreck havoc on my intestines, the seeds and the skin get stuck in the constrictions caused by the Crohn's disease. I'm afraid of even fig jelly and jam because of the seeds. Butter should work. So of course they were out. I bought apple/honey butter instead. I can't eat raw apples because I'm allergic. I tried that last night and had no ill effects.
There's always a question of what I should do for dinner when I go to Christopher Street. I usually just grab something after or before the show even though when I really want to eat is when I'm there before the show for the preparations. I decided last time that I'm going to bring dinner and pop it in the microwave. As I had about 5 tons of barbecue that John Brown's Smokehouse gave me the other night that was super simple. I just popped it in plastic container. They didn't give me any sauce so I took the store bought I have at home and jazzed it up with some tear jerk sauce and jerk seasoning. I can never leave prepared food alone. I always try to put my personal touch on it. And yes it worked. It was far better than what came out of the bottle.
I get there early because I'm the artist liason. I don't always beat the artist there but I usually do. In addition to eating I hung out with Tim, the church's sexton. That's part of my routine. You can tell he's my people because we have weird conversations that go wherever they go. We talked a lot about magic and illusion yesterday.
I'm 766 words into the entry and the musicians are finally entering the stage, Diana and Paul arrived. Peter on sound hadn't so they did an acoustic sound check. I have never heard anyone sound better at the venue than Diana singing off mic in the sanctuary. I melted. I wish she could have done the entire show that way. I was told that the problem is that when people are in their seats they absorb too much of the sound. I need to hear it for myself with someone that can sing like Diana. She said that she's been singing in church her whole life, it's where she learned to sing.
I first saw Paul play last summer and he's becoming part of my musical world. He is closer to being a folk singer than most singer/songwriters. His songs tell stories and not always his own. That's something I thought from the first time I heard him and I just realized that was part of the conversation last night. He said how he doesn't have to be in pain to write a sad song. He can do it when he's emotionally in a good place. Is this like method versus classically trained actors? Method actors try and feel like their characters, classical actors don't. Both styles can work. When filming Marathon Man Dustin Hoffman stayed awake all night, maybe two to prepare for the scene where Laurence Olivier's character is torturing him. It's a brilliant scene that you never forget once you've seen it. After they filmed it Olivier told Hoffman, "you should try acting, it's much easier." Paul's songs are no less moving for them not telling his personal story. It hit me last night that his voice fits my childhood notions of what a man's singing voice should be. That means pretty much the opposite of my reedy high pitched squeaks. He has a resonant low baritone.
I first saw Diana when she did John Platt's On Your Radar, back when it was Under the Radar at Makor. She was always on my list of artists to see more often but it never worked out that way. I have seen her but sporadically. That has to stop, the sporadically that is. She should be on the if she's playing in the area I should see her list.
I usually compare her to Gillian Welch as a neo-trad singer/songwriter. That's a good comparison but emotionally she affects me more like Emmylou Harris. Her singing reaches down into my heart. It isn't the voice of an angel, god, or elf but of humanity. Where does that come from; her voice or what she does with it? While the voice is important I think what makes her special is the musicianship. If you put me in her body with her voice, if you gave the vast majority of singers her voice they couldn't move me like Diana and Emmylou do.
How about some pictures.
Diana has two gorgeous guitars, the 1944 Gibson you see in the last photo and this 1930 Gibson tenor guitar.
Usually when people point out how great a guitar sounds I don't really notice it. I did on that tenor. I don't know what it is. I don't have the vocabulary to describe it but it works like her voice does, a perfect fit.
I was delighted that some of my friends were able to make it to the coffeehouse for the first time, Carolyn & Peter and Hesch ( Is that how you spell your name?) It's such a great place to hear music. I want to see you there next show May 3, RUNA is playing so you know it will be another special show.
I made no attempt at quick getaway after the show. I knew there were too many people to talk to. I've known Peter for years and just discovered he's in a Klezmer band! I love Klezmer. How do I not know these things?
Carolann snuck in late so I didn't talk to her till after the show. We walk to the subway together so I'll always have that time to talk to her.
This show was only booked this month so I extra appreciated my friends showing up. We ended up with a decent crowd. We're building our audience. It takes time If you come once you'll be back. We have great musicians in a great space.
It's almost 11 and that means I better put this edition to bed. I have to get to school. Tonight I'm going to the Chicks with Dip tribute to Joni Mitchell's Blue album. This time they are doing it at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair. I have to do some research and find a supermarket near the Outpost where I can buy some Taylor ham.
When Diana caught me in the green room snacking I told her that I blog about food and music. My Gentle Readers know that well. Here's the slideshow.
Change Climate Change - March 29, 2017
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