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
-Bertrand Russell

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

May 21, 2013 - 11:04 a.m.

Talk About Heaven

I got up early. I should be finished writing this already. Instead I'm getting sleepy and ready to go back to sleep. I'll fight off Morpheus and write. See how much I love My Gentle Readers?

Yesterday I went to school to hand in the final test papers and enter the grades. Excel did something strange that I couldn't explain or fix. On my grade book the grid lines didn't show up when I printed. It only happened on that one sheet of that one workbook. I checked and "print gridlines" was checked. what I ended up having to do is copy the sheet from the copy on my thumb drive and paste it onto a new sheet then delete the old sheet. I tried copying the formatting. I tried copying the entire sheet. Nothing worked.

The precalculus class did not do well. I knew that would happen, nobody did the homework. In a class with over 30 students at one point nobody got an A. Many people failed. I warned them to no avail.

I am now dealing with the finite math students who got their grades. How can students not realize that they blew the final when they got a 40? What's really frustrating in the one student who had conflics with the scheduled time for the final and the make up time but never told me. Instead she wrote me Tuesday, after the final to reschedule. I didn't look at my email then as I was busy grading. on the last day of class, that she went to, I said. "Does anyone have a conflict with the final or the make up final. She didn't say anything. She was given the time for the finals a month ago.

No on to fun things. On Mondays I have therapy and I always eat what I call therapy food afterward, That means eating something I love. Sometimes it's chocolate sometimes it's my dinner. Last night I got to engage in two passions at once music and barbecue. David Jacobs-Strain played at Hill Country Barbecue.. That's the best barbecue in the city. Frank Bruni, formerly the restaurant critic of the NY Times said it was his favorite restaurant. It's amazing. It's also ironic because David is a vegetarian. It's like someone who isn't a baseball fan being asked to sing the National Anthem at the World Series. Still every musician I love, even the vegans, need to play there, it makes me very happy.

I have only one complaint at Hill Country, organization. The people are super nice and helpful but the system of handling the customers is terrible. The show was at 9:30 and doors were at 9:00. the music is in a room below the main room. Fortunately I have been there for music before so had some idea how it worked. On the main floor it's run as a market. You go to the counter and order your meat and another counter and order your sides and take them to your table. Downstairs there is no counter and there is a wait staff so I figured you could order your food from them. It makes sense as you can't get up while you are watching the music. But no. You order the food upstairs and carry it downstairs. This time I learned and figured I'd get there early and eat. I arrived at 8:00. It was Monday night but there was a big crowd and I was told a 40 minute wait. I put my name on the list and was handed one of those things that vibrates when your table is ready. I figured I would take my food and move downstairs when it opened. I then went to get my tickets for the show. It was free for WfUV members! $15 for the masses. As soon as I turned around after getting my reservation I heard someone call my name. It was Erin, a friend of Jill and Hilary? . I have met her at Church Korner House Concerts. I recognized her but could never come up with her name. I was impressed she remembered mine. She's tres cool. After talking to her I went over to where the sign was saying tickets and the lovely woman, Hilary (different Hilary), told me that the woman who sells the tickets, "she has bright red hair and is really cool" wasn't there yet. I went outside to wait and saw Bob Beach. He accompanies David on the harmonica and vocals. I know Bob as a presenter from Philly. He's at the Lansdowne Folk Club and hosts the Beach House Concerts. I talked to him for a while. He actually got parking right in front of the venue. He must have made major human sacrifices to the parking gods. He introduced me to Tania Elizabeth who accompanied David on the fiddle. You might know her from the Duhks.

God I'm 840 words in and I'm not even inside the venue.

A little after Bob and Tania went in David showed up. I said hi to him showed him the stage entrance and went back inside. It was between 8:15 and 8:20. I wanted to see if the woman with the tickets was there. She wasn't. Hilary told me to talk to the guy that took my reservation. I did and he said he could seat me now. Not only that he could seat me downstairs where the music was. He gave me the wrist band for people hearing the music. As I said it was free for WFUV members. The thing is that when I took my card out I saw it was last year's card. With all that was going on with me last spring I never got my new card. I forgot about that. Good thing he didn't look carefully. I was wearing a WFUV hat, that probably helped. I don't feel guilty as I really am a member and should have had a card. He had to wait to find me a table. Oh and my buzzer never went off. Good thing I walked over there. Finally a hostess came up from downstairs and seated me. There was no one up front but she put me in the second section of tables. I asked if I could sit closer and she said "no." Then Erin came over and said hi. They seated her downstairs and told her party they could sit there but had to leave before the music. The Elisa, her son, and two friends showed up. I haven't seen Elisa in ages. We used to see each other at least once a month. I talked to her and nobody came to seat her. they just sent them downstairs. I asked somebody if they could sit with me. The woman said she'd have to see if there was open seating. There was. In fact we could sit anywhere we wanted, including up front, where I was told I couldn't sit before. Like I said, they have problems with organization.

So this was perfect. I had an amazing dinner, ribs and brisket. I splurged because the ticket was free. I splurged too much, that was a lot of food. Still I had a belly full of great food, sat with a friend, and was ready to hear great music. To make it even better one of Elisa's friends, Jennifer, is an opera singer! I told her about Emilie and we talked opera. God I love doing that.

OK 1254 words in I better start talking about the music. David is "A Jewish blues singer from Oregon." I first met him when he was a 17 year old wunderkind that some musician, probably a friend, I can't remember, brought in to accompany him on guitar. David can play! Most musicians in the acoustic music world are singers that play guitar because they need some to accompany them. It isn't their focus. Most are serviceable, Some are good. Very few are worth seeing for their musicianship. David is. If he did an instrumental show it would be great. Especially if Bob was playing with him. They have great chemistry. Bob can really play the harmonica. Most folkies just add it for color. David's roots are Delta Blues. You know just like all Jewish kids from Oregon. He started with a song that people said was age-inappropriate when he learned it, Robert Johnson's Come Into My Kitchen. He was 12 at the time.

He played for two hours, maybe more and still left me wanting more. He knows how to build a setlist. There were originals too. Most blues songs are shorts but some of his are epic without being self indulgent. His songs do what I love, they go somewhere. There is a reason to listen to the entire song as there is an arc, either lyrically or musically. He has funny songs. I love the one about turning down a woman twice his age because he only wants women between 21 and 33. I know that crushed a certain woman friend of mine who is just over the line and has a thing for cute Jewish boy musicians.

After the show I said goodbye to everyone then headed home. That wasn't too bad though as I walked out I became Buridan's Ass. I had to get to Herald Square. That's where Broadway and Sixth Avenue meet. Hill Country is smack dead center between Broadway and Sixth. I really couldn't decided and just stood there. I then went for Broadway as I dont walk that stretch often,. As soon as I got there I remembered why. It's a creepy street to walk up. The Great White Way is poorly lit and everything there is closed. There is very little activity and anyone there is just loitering so seems shady. But then it was on the all the way home.

Now I have to eat breakfast then get back to writing. This time the eBlast for First Acoustics. The Chicks with Dip are putting on the Blue show. That should be easy. I've seen them do it enough. I could just quote Wise Madness. I might.

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please hold me accountable.

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Horvendile May 21, 2013
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