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 21, 2017 - 11:32 a.m.
I'm seething from strong disagreements with people on Facebook. My digestive system is uncomfortable. My sunburn still hurts, it also itches, I'm beginning to worry that it's not sunburn. None of that is what I want to write about. This is a happy edition of Wise Madness. I don't want to take the time to meditate. I'm going to use blogging as the centering device that will allow me to blog. I'm pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I can feel the calm coming. My heart rate is coming down. Give an assist to Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. That means Aviv gets credit as he was talking about the album last night. What happened last night? The happy thing I want to write about. The transformation is complete; except for a small nub of general anxiety that became noticeable when the tempest calmed down.
Yesterday was Elisa Peimer's birthday. She celebrated by performing at Arlene's Grocery. That's not a bodega, it's a music venue and bar. Anyone know where the name came from? Was it a grocery store and they just left the sign up? I'd like that to be true.
Elisa is a friend, one of the Chicks with Dip. It was a round number birthday, she's a folk-rock goddess; I wasn't going to miss this. I kept changing my plans for before the show and ended up staying home and working on setting up the next John Platt's On Your Radar until I had to leave. That let me have dinner at home. Our neighbor Mark often brings food over for us. The night before he brought pizza. I decided to try an experiment. I am never happy with reheated pizza. Often, I'll just have it cold. I checked online for the best way of reheating it. I found two methods, a microwave and heating it alongside a mug of water, and heating it in a skillet. The problem with the skillet is you need a big one to heat more than one slice at a time. I had a big one but the slices were so big I still could only fit one. That's what led to the experiment, one in the skillet and one in the microwave. The winner by a country mile was the skillet. It was the best reheated pizza I ever had, far superior to putting it an oven. You put it on a pre-heated skillet at medium heat and cover it with dome of aluminum foil. Don't use the skillet cover, you have to let the steam out. Then heat it for four or five minutes. It makes the crust wonderfully crispy. It's the only way I'm reheating pizza for now on.
I times things beautifully. I left just enough time to get an ice cream cone from Lickity Split, and eat it before the bus came. So far, the story has pizza and ice cream, that pretty much guarantees a good day and I haven't even gotten to the good part.
There was a rude person on the subway but I'm not going to ruin the mood by giving the details. The only reason I'm mentioning it is that I had a linguistic inspiration. When telling about people, especially unpleasant people, I try hard to avoid using group identities. I am always bothered when people say, "This Jewish guy" or "this black woman" when the ethnicity is not germane. I'd like to do the same for sex but pronouns for people are gendered. I hate using "them" in lieu of "he" or "she." I know there's a history of it but it still sounds like a plural. It's usually used as a plural. It creates confusion. I decided to invent a gender neutral third person subject pronoun. "He" and "she" are very similar and I wanted it to fit in with them. I decided on "zhe," pronounced zee. Now I need to come up with a gender free third person object pronoun to use in lieu of him and her. I'll leave that for another day. I know that it's almost impossible for me to create a word and have it come into general usage. Not enough people read this. You can help. If you start using zhe then your friends and readers can pick it up from you. You can be an early adopter.
I stopped by Rockwood to see if they had found my WFUV cap or my water bottle. That made me sad. They should have a special lost and found just for me; I'm there often enough and always lose things.
I got to Rockwood not quite as early as I'd have liked as this was not just a concert but a birthday party. I sat at the bar with Fred and Aviv and hung with them till the music started. The only other person I knew was Jon, Elisa's husband. When the music started I moved up so I could see.
Elisa's music is not what you'd expect if you just knew her socially or saw her do the Blue Show with the Chicks. She's a folk-rocker. She has a band. Her music has teeth. She doesn't write about how sensitive she is, she writes about how she has writer's block. I'm not kidding, she did two songs about not knowing what to write about. I danced in my seat to most of the songs.
After one song, she said that she loved the lighter someone was holding up. I turned around and thought I saw Carolann. I expected her there so I had a hint. It was dark and I'm blind so recognizing people is not a given. When the set was over I went over and talked to her. Carolann, Aviv, Fred, and I were the music friend contingent. When the next band went on we went outside to wait for Elisa. That's when we talked jazz and Aviv brought up Miles Davis. That led to us discussing why so many great musicians were and are schmucks.
The four of us were having a gay old time till Fred had to catch his train. Then we wondered, what happened to Elisa and Jon? There's only one way out. We went in and found her at the bar. The venue has two rooms, the stage and the bar. We joined her and her other friends at their table and had more fun. This was a combination of a birthday party and afterparty. I have not been getting enough of this of late. I was going to say I got to hang with my Brooklyn friends but only Carolann lives in Brooklyn. I was a wild man. I did not have my usual diet coke. I drank a real coke with high fructose corn syrup and everything. That's how you celebrate!
I was very good and checked the time I had to leave to make the last bus home and I gave myself an extra five minutes just to be sure. There was an announcement of delays on the train. I was worried but my train came in 5 minutes. I made the last bus with 7 minutes to spare. Everything went well. The blogging therapy worked, the nub of anxiety is gone.
Now I get to reward myself with breakfast then finish creating the On Your Radar event. I might have a musical doubleheader today. It depends on how I feel and the weather. Part 1, the Isle of Klezbos is outdoors. Part 2 is Her Crooked Heart, the artist formerly known as
Tree Good! Fire Bad! - June 26, 2017
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