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
August 02, 2012 - 11:13 a.m.
I'm finally speeding up the writing process. I wrote last night and I'm back again this morning. I'll finish writing about Falcon Ridge before next year's festival starts.
I'm up to Saturday. I'd have loved to have gone to the Rolling in the Aisles workshop with Brother Sun, Ellis, George Wurzbach, & Annie Wenz but 10:30 is just too early when I've been up till after 4 AM the night before. Too bad as all but Annie are favorites and friends. Instead I had breakfast at the Steeple Tent. It was eggs made to order day! Yes I'm easy to keep happy, all it takes is eggs over easy. On Friday Emily apologized because the eggs were frozen and the difficulty in thawing them made them look funny. What she actually said was, "Don't judge me by my eggs." I think for now on that is going to be my sole criterion for judging people.
After breakfast I planned on showering the going down to hear the Most Wanted Song Swap. Then it started raining. And then it continued to rain. Then it rained some more. After that it rained. There was some precipitation. Then it rained. I actually had a lot of fun then as there was a Budgiedome filled with fun people. We entertained ourselves. I'd pay good money for an afternoon of Budgiedome filled with fun people. When the rain stopped I checked out my tent. I discovered disaster. It was filled with water. My suitcase was sitting in a puddle. All my clothes were soaked other than my underwear and socks which were in the netting on top. The dome light was filled with water. My fly's seams need to be sealed. I was not a happy camper. I had to bail out the tent and wring out my clothes and try to lay them out to dry. It was so damp that wasn't going to happen. I ended up never making it to any of the stages during the day. The only one I cared about was a workshop with Spuyten Duyvil, Pesky J. Nixon, & Blair Bodine.
This was a rough FRFF for many people. I had my issues with the car rental. Lots of people got caught in horrific traffic and the trip took twice as long as it should have. One friend's car broke down on the road. One performer had a dental emergency and had to miss Friday. I thought he should have shown up anyway and let Neale Eckstein take care of him. Sure Neale is a pediatric dentist and doesn't have his equipment there but I'm sure that Steve could have rigged something up to do the job.
All that pales though to what happened to one performer whose mother died the day before. She was able to rush home and see her before she died. The other performers who were supposed to share the stage with her sang one of her songs. She was missed.
I didn't mention her name. I'm not sure if I should. Was this public knowledge? Is it too personal? I'm not sure and I'm erring on the side of caution.
I had dinner once again at the Lounge Stage. The steak made me once again propose to Ethan. He told me that Scott made it. I had never met Scott but I proposed anyway. He said that I'd have to be OK with polygamy since he was already married. I responded, "I'm willing to give up heterosexuality for good food, polygamy is not a problem." I have absolutely no shame.
I unfortunately missed Brother Sun on the main stage but I see them fairly often. I then watched three acts in a row from a tarp. I never do that. Most years I take lots of photos. It was three acts that my friends get very excited over that I merely like; Eddie from Ohio, Girlyman, and The Grand Slambovians. I was an EFO fan from way back. They did one of the first WFUV Required Listening shows at the Bottom Line. For a while they were a favorite band. I didn't miss a local show for years. The problem was two-fold. First I overdosed on them when I saw them 11 times in less than two years. The second is that I liked their earlier material better. Till this day my favorite song by them is Old Dominion. They played that the first time I saw them.
It's been a few years since I saw them so I knew I could enjoy them again. What I really looked forward to was seeing them with Carolann, they are her favorite band. Her song Downtown is about trying to get her boyfriend to see them at the Bottom Line. He didn't. He became an ex-boyfriend. I was at that show. I should have met Carolann then. Catherine and Jay shared the tarp too.
I did have fun seeing them. I did the hand Rocky Mountains eroding hand motions. I did the Joe. I sang along. They do have fun songs and I shared the tarp with fun people.
When Girlyman was in the emerging artists I voted for them. They sound beautiful. They know harmony. They are bubbly and silly. They just don't blow me away like they do so many of my friends. My mind wanders when they do a full set. Carolann, Jay, and Catherine went backstage during their set and I decided that was a good opportunity to grab a snack. I had chocolate ice cream. Do I need to tell you that made me happy?
It took me a long time to learn how to go to a festival by myself. I guess I should explain what I mean by "by myself." Yes I have literally scores of friends at Falcon Ridge but there's nobody whose default is to do things with me. I always like it when I can say, "who should WE see next." Yes if we want to do different things we'll split up but we'll also make plans to meet afterward. I have had many depressed moments at Falcon Ridge where I found myself alone on my tarp sitting in the rain waiting for people to come back that never did. I finally realized that was just making myself miserable for no reason. So after my friends went backstage I packed up my tarp and joined the Steeple Tent crew on theirs.
So how come I had to ask if I could join them when we all knew the answer would be yes. Well actually it was "No, we don't like you." But that was only because Emily knew that I knew the answer was really yes. The thing is you have to go through the ritual of asking, at least it's better too.
I don't think I ever shared a tarp with 4 preschoolers before. I liked it! I was in the center of a beehive of activity which is appropriate when watching the Grand Slambovians.
The final act of the evening was Tracy Grammer & the Butterfly Conservatory, a tribute to Dave Carter. This was what I was most looking forward to at the festival. Then when my boys, Pesky J. Nixon started to sing fatigue caught up to me and I fell asleep. Their ain't no justice. I did wake up in time to hear Pat Wictor. Then I had to go back to the Budgiedome to help prepare for the evening's music. I heard my favorite song, Gentle Arms of Eden from there but I wish I could have given it my full attention.
So once again I've written too much to start with the Budgiedome session. You'll have to wait to hear about that.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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