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
November 21, 2016 - 2:06 p.m.
I failed at political activism yesterday. I failed this entire election cycle. The result was not my fault but if all the others that failed and I had done our part it would have been enough to win. I used to be able to do this. The anxiety has now taken forms where I find it more difficult. I'm not even sure if it's anxiety but it's something I have trouble overcoming. My starter is unreliable.
What I didn't do? Go to Muslims & Jews Unite: Shut Down Stephen Bannon and the Racist White Right, a rally and march starting at Union Square. The weather was miserable and I found it just too hard to get moving. I did some good. I invited all my Jewish friends in the area to go and two of them did. They live a lot closer to Union Square than I do but I still should have gone., Glad they did.
Yesterday I said that by not going I get to make dinner. Did I? Sort of, I made some hot dogs right before I left. That's not a mentally healthy, let alone physical healthy meal. Hot dogs are comfort food, I love them, but I ate it standing and didn't make a potato or anything to go with it.
Till now this entry is not sanguine, it gets better from here. I did get myself out to see Eric Schwartz at Rockwood Music Hall. I duplicated the face events for Eric on this tour so I should know all the details. I had it written in my calendar, "Eric Schwartz on Stage 3" for 9 PM. I wanted to get there early, before doors, to talk to Eric first. There were some train issues but I got there around 8:30. When I transferred at Broadway/Lafayette there was a train in the station but I couldn't see if it was an , that I needed, or . I went in as the doors were about to shut and asked, "Is this an " I was surprised by the answer, "Yes, Gordon." It was my friend Todd who was also going to see Eric. As we crossed Allen Street someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind. It was Carolyn and Peter. They were also there to see Eric. They all seemed to think it was on Stage 2, which is around the corner from Stage 3. I was sure it was 3. But, I'm the one that told Carolyn and Peter on the show. I sent them the invite. I decided that I'm an idiot but not enough of an idiot as to trust an idiot's memory, so I went with them. What happened when we go to Rockwood 2? They were right and I was wrong. That should surprise nobody.
The previous act was still on but the door guy let us in and stamped our hands. The others and bought tickets online, I was on the list, except that Eric hadn't given them the list yet. Sometimes there are advantages to being me. The door guy knew me and took my word for it. A show at Rockwood is a home game.
When the crowd for the previous act left, we took a table. I heard someone call my name, it was Orly. A little while later I saw Richard. This was very much a home game. Even with all those friends there I was disappointed here weren't more of the old Frühead/DVNt crowd there. I invited everyone I'm connected to on Facebook.
Eric was playing with the A team, Jagoda on drums and Mark Dann on bass. He did half the show on the guitar and the other half on the piano, switching instruments mid song. I was listening with my eyes closed during the switch and didn't see how he did it. In general, not totally true, guitar songs are funny and piano songs aren't. I'm pretty sure that Who's Gonna F#%@ the Singer counts as funny so the rule isn't hard and fast. Of course, this is Eric, he might be totally sincere about that song. He was also generous and added verses about F#$@ing the drummer and the sound man. I was very disappointed that he didn't have one about the heckler. That's me, you probably knew that. The instrument transition song was a real rocker. It's a side of Eric I hadn't heard and it needed the A Team to work.
Does everyone know Eric? I have been assuming you do as I've known him forever, but as you weren't at the show you must not. I am including those that live far away; you should have flown in for the show. Eric was the very first person to book a show at the Budgiedome. Others had played there before but as walk-ons. He's as funny as all hell and that's where he'd be going if it existed, the cool part of hell where the good bands play with me and Carey. he can be a bit, how to put this gently, not family friendly. People forget that he's more than that and can play, sing, and write. It struck me last night that his first instrument was probably piano. He plays more guitar but the music is a bigger element when he tinkles the ivories. If seems more natural to him. I was going to ask after the show but I'm an idiot and forgot. Am I right Eric? Please say yes. My ego needs the validation
I shouldn't need the ego boost, I got one last night. After the set, Richard called me over and said that I was "really on." He was referring to my heckling. Eric was one of the first members of my heckling set. The only ones before him were Da Vinci's Notebook and I saw him perform with them multiple times. Last night's quips were all new and spontaneous. I was off my heckling game when seeing Pesky J. Nixon and We're about 9; I'm glad the slump is over.
After the show, I didn't make the quick getaway as I had to talk more to all my friends on and off the stage. When I headed out I saw that I didn't have to race home to make the last bus to City Island. I decided to get finish my dinner and get fries. I walked up to Frites on St. Mark's Place. This was my first time there that I didn't order poutine. They were out of the first three dipping sauces I wanted, I ended up with melted cheddar. I should have just gotten cheese fries or poutine. But it was still great. Hand cut Belgian fries are a different food from fast food fries.
I had about a ten-minute wait for the and there were no express trains so I took it all the way to the last stop. I still got there 20 minutes before the last bus. I'm glad I dressed warm. It was in the upper thirties but with the wind chill it felt like the 20s. It was my first time wearing one of my winter coats and the second time with the silk long underwear. That was enough to keep me cozy.
I should go to my PO Box and get bagels in the City so I better get moving. I usually stop at Trader Joe's when I do that but I'm not sure that I need anything. I might go in for Pumpkin Spice Scones if it isn't crowded. No, I have some here and I'll be away from Wednesday to Sunday so I'll buy it when I get back. If Jane and Bernie are going to be home, I'll make them tonight.
It's gray and nasty again. What gets to me the most is the sound of the wind howling. I'll force myself to get moving or be a lump in the attempt.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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