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 28, 2012 - 10:46 a.m.
I did things yesterday so writing should be easy. Will it be? Actually yes. One thing writing every day has done is make it easy for me to write. I might not write well but I can pretty much always write something. I should put expanding on that in my ideas bin.
Class was strange yesterday. The students were pretty good but things went slowly. I don't know where the time went. Well actually I know where some went, erasing the board. Before spring break I bought special dry erase board wipes since the terrible boards we have in the new classrooms don't clean properly with an eraser. I thought I bought them in my brief case after class. I didn't. So I had to try and do the best I could with erasers, which isn't good, and takes tons of time to make things at all legible. So I started right off with an idiot story.
I told them there would be quizzes when they got back from vacation. They aren't exactly quizzes but addenda to the test but of the no work sort of questions I ask on quizzes. I'm simply adding them to the last test as a way for them to improve their grades. I started having qualms about giving one the first day back but then thought that some students might be upset that they studied and then I put off the quiz. I had no need to worry. I took a poll to see who wanted to wait a day to start the quizzes and it was unanimous. Everybody wanted to wait.
The class is so far behind where we are supposed to be. I'm going to be jettisoning material right and left the rest of the semester. Once again the reaction to my saying "what we are about to do is vital" was followed by a student immediately getting up and walking out.
After class I had to do some things on the computer at school and found another teacher who I don't share the desk with sitting at it. We have a big room with lots of computers and he chose the only one with people's names on it and he wasn't even using the computer. He could have sat anywhere. I hate not having an office and having to share with everyone. After I waited for him to clear out I got something really important taken care of, printing things out for my fantasy baseball league. I have an idiot story there too. I rushed sending in my list of players I want to hold over from last year. I realized that I forgot my best minor leaguer. I hate doing things things like that. It comes from the procrastination of course.
I love/hate listening to conversations of some of my fellow faculty members. One was all excited because he discovered a new kind of ice cream that he thinks is the best, Cherry Garcia! How long has that been around 20 years? I'll do some research, it was 25. So you go OK one person has been living in a cave; that happens. Then it turns out that another teacher had never heard of it either. Have any of My Gentle Readers never heard of it? In case you are wondering these are both native born Americans.
After school I made a Trader Joe's run, stopped at the bank, and headed home. Somehow I lost a lot of time in all this and got home just minutes before Mike was supposed to pick me up. I ran up to my apartment, dropped off my things, went to the bathroom and called Mike and found he was almost at my house. I ran down to meet him and the timing actually worked out perfectly. I just had no down time to relax.
We were off to see Laura Dunn and the Ghosts Of Xmas Past at John Brown's Smokehouse in Long Island City; Great music and barbecue, pretty much my idea of heaven. I've never been to John Brown's before but Laura and Kirk who usually plays bass in the band raved over it. I was excited. The Ghosts plays there the last Tuesday of every month.
I wanted to get there early so we'd have ordered before she went on. Our timing was perfect, we got there 20 minutes before she was scheduled. Laura's wasn't she had some problems. No matter Mike and I loved the food and got some quality conversation time in. What we didn't do was get good seats. There was some confusion as to where they'd be performing and it turns out how many people would be in the band. The management thought they'd be a six piece but it was only Laura and her accordion player. That's the most stripped down I've seen her. It was the first time without Kirk.
That would have been fine but the place was crowded, as it should the food is great and inexpensive, and it was noisy. We had trouble hearing the lyrics. As the evening progressed we kept moving closer till we were right next to her. I was delighted that Mike was sold on her music even when he had to struggle to hear the words. I referred to her as my latest obsession. I think that's still accurate as I never heard her before December. Some bands I get impressed keep their new band smell for a long time. With Laura I'm surprised how fast she became a comfort band. She still has the new band smell but I have that sense of social ease when I talk to her. She and Kirk became old friends very quickly.
So what's left to say about Laura? Go back and search for her name and you'll discover that she's spooky. You'll see that she isn't someone you can compare to other people. She's is who she is and you have to just see her to understand. When Mike asked me where she was from and I told her Oregon it hit me that the same things can be said about the other Oregon songwriters I know, Dave Carter and Todd Snider. Is there anyone more original than those two? They are nothing like anyone else and that is the only thing they have in common. So what do they put in the water there to make this happen? I don't know a single other songwriter from the state which pretty much guarantees that I like the average writer I've heard from Oregon more than I do the average songwriter from any state. Of course talking about songwriting with Dave Carter in the mix is like talking about the average wealth in a room with Bill Gates.
Oh food. I need to talk food. Mike and I shared a double meat platter, pulled pork and brisket. I lumped them both on one big sandwich. It cost less than half of what it would at Hill Country. I'll be back there. We spent hours there and I also tried out the lamb sausage. That rocked too.
We were there till closing and they gave us food to take home. I now have a fridge filled with pulled pork and chicken. I love cooking but I won't be cooking for days. I'm not complaining.
After the music we talked to Laura for a while, gave her sage advice, that's what old guys do. Mike drove me home and dropped me off and it was a great relaxed evening. Next time we do it we want to go as a group. If you love great music and or barbecue join us. If I go by myself I'll take the subway. This is an easy place for me to get to.
Oh one more bonus. We drove right past my family's old gas station. That still excites me and makes me nostalgic. I spent a lot of youth there.
Tonight I'm off to see Kath Buckell at Rockwood Music Hall 1. Kath also combines New Band Smell with Comfort Band and is a fairly new obsession. I discovered her a year and a half ago but that was a brief exposure at NERFA. It wasn't till last summer that I discovered that she wasn't good, but great. You need to discover that too. Be there tonight.
OK now I'm off to eat breakfast, a nice simple bacon and eggs seems to be on the menu. I have music to hear every night through Saturday. Part of me wants to say, "too much I have to have some rest" but they are all of the can't miss variety.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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