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

June 15, 2013 - 11:56 p.m.

Is There a Doctor in the Haas?

I'm sleep deprived and had a long day but I love you so I'm writing again before I go to bed.

I spent to today at Clearwater but that's not what I'm going to write about. I'm not up to that yet. I still haven't finished the adventures of Thursday night. This is where it all comes together, music and exposing my psyche.

Last I left you I had bought my festival gear. I had successfully fought off the depression but keep in mind it's like Perry the Platypus beating the crap out of Dr. Doofenshmirtz. He doesnt arrest him and you know he'll be back again with a new inator.

The depression was temporarily defeated but not the anxiety. If you felt the way I did you'd be panicking over the panic. I'm used to it. I wasn't pushing the anxiety buttons so I could function. I made my way to Jenkins's house to see Brittany Hass, Jordan Tice, and Paul Kowert. Brittany is the one I know, I like the way she puts it on her Projects page, "Old friends, new trio. acoustic instrumental music at its finest--taking the littlest instrument from Crooked Still, the biggest instrument from Punch Brothers, and the most perfectly medium-sized instrument the world over." Brittany plays fiddle for Crooked Still and Paul bass for the Punch Brothers. Jordan plays the guitar.

So here I am riddled with anxiety going into a situation that many, perhaps most people find anxious. I was going to a party where I knew practically no one. Brittany is a friend but she's the talent and doesn't count for the pre-music socializing. I have met Sandy and Richard, the Jenkinses once, the last time Brittany played there. I know there daughter Stephanie better but she wasn't there. So it was me with 59 or so strangers. Perhaps it was good that I was one of the first to arrive. I wasn't faced with a press of people. I wanted to go someplace quiet and call LORi or Katherine but I didn't. This is what I do, thrives in groups of people even if I'm afraid of strangers. I know I can do it from experience and I didn't want to lose that hard won ability. I followed Stalins' order No. 227 issued before the Battle of Stalingrad, "Not one step back." Yes I'm overdramatizing but that's because that helped me. In practice I did what I always do at a party, I headed for the food. They actually had something I liked to eat, ham. I socialized with an Austrian couple. Know what we talked about? Food! Food likes me.

A huge amount of credit has to be given to Sandy She not only remembered me from last time but remembered where I like to sit. Unusual for a house concert there are assigned seats. Mine was in the front row on the aisle, the exact seat I would have chosen on my own. This is an amazing family, they are not only all talented, they are all sweethearts. I've been trying to figure out if there's a way to get them to adopt me. Then I'd have a really cool place to live.

So I ate, I drank, Yes I had a beer! I'm becoming a lush. it had a cool name, something red ale. It was good. Did the alcohol help me relax? There are times that it has but I don't think last night was one of them. I hope not. I am afraid of the idea of drinking to make myself feel better. That's not my kind of self-medication. I will stick to chocolate. What made me feel better was good people and incredible music. I was still feeling anxious till it started. It was music that soothed my savage breast.

There was an opening act. I talked the piano player, Sarah, during intermission but I don't rememver the name of the guitar player who was the lead. on most of the songs. On one he was accompanied by his wife who could not put down their baby. There was a reference in the song to baby or child and he or was it she, made a perfect prop. it was great.

Then out came the trio. This was the first I saw of Brittany. I was right up front so of course she saw me and I got a nice reassuring hello. That kind of thing means a lot to me when I'm in a fragile state.

I wish I could convey to you how their music made me feel and think. This was not music that was good. This was not music that was great. This was high art that reached the depths of my mind and soul. I decided to call it Conservatory Trad . Yes I just made it a registered trademark but I don't want money, I want the fun of other people using my expression. It's traditional or traditional sounding music played through a lens of classical conservatory training. It's a string quartet playing hillbilly music. It's a lot like Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck play. It engages all of my attention. There are no worries if there is a there, there. Perhaps best I can do is give you my subjective experience on one of the songs. It was an original waltz by Jordan. It was filled with chromatic chords. After the piece Brittany said how you wonder if other people think and feel about things the way you do. She doesn't get chromatic chords. She can never remember her part and moreover she is not sure it makes a difference. Before she said that I was got the eerie feeling and read my mind, the way I experienced the piece. On most of the pieces all three instruments play independently. The bass is not just keeping time. The guitar is not playing rhythm. They all do their own thing and the effect comes from putting it all together. I had trouble integrating the waltz. I didn't get that it was chromatic chords but I knew something funny was going on. I closed my eyes to help me understand what was going on. The problem was that I would then lose track of who was playing what and I'd have to open my eyes to find out. There was one time that Paul did something on the bass that that Brittany was delighted that everyone got how special it was. I did too but I didn't know what it was. I opened my eyes after he did it to see what happened.

I was working intently on the music and got totally absorbed in it. At one point I lost all sense of hearing it and instead visualized it as three planets orbiting a planet. There were grace notes of it being the "Firefly" universe. When I realized what was happening I opened my eyes. it was an amazing experience but I was afraid of getting lost in it and forgetting what was going on. I might have started dreaming. That could lead to snoring and that would be bad. But it wasn't boring, it was the opposite. It was thrilling. That's a good word to describe the entire show. Everyone felt privileged to be there. We all knew we had heard something special. I don't know if I ever heard a house concert audience applaud louder.

I was at Clearwater today and there was nobody there better than them. I don't think any of the main stage performers came close to being as good. What's sad is that this is as good music as I've ever heard but I don't know if it can ever be that popular. It is so different than any pop or folk or rock or jazz. I'd kill to have them play the Budgiedome. Maybe they are ahead of the crowd but I'd like to think that they could lead the crowd to where they are.

I totally forgot about being anxious or depressed. I was swept away by the music to a new world.

After the show I had a warm conversation with Brittany. I'm me so my idea of warm is a bit different. I said that I had just seen Emily Elbert the night before and my theory is that they are both evil geniuses out to conquer the world using the fact that they are utterly adorable. Brittany's friend objected to the evil but Brittany got the joke. They are both utterly adorable. They could go to the NSA, smile at whoever is on duty and ask to see their deepest secrets and they'd be allowed to because whoever was doing security would not have the heart to disappoint them. And they are both geniuses which becomes clear once you've talked to them for a bit. Listening to their music will do it too. Laura Dunn is also in the club but I didn't mention her as I figured Brittany wouldn't know her. I knew there'd be a decent chance she'd know Emily and I was right.

I decided to walk home across Central Park instead of waiting for the M96. That was a mistake Not because walking in the park at midnight is dangerous but because I don't know the area well and forgot the reservoir. First I got turned around. then I just couldn't find a way out of the reservoir path. I went a lot further than a straight line across the park and ended up on 96th street. I entered the park around 93rd. I'm on 102.

I am not going to get up as early tomorrow. I don't have to be there before 9 when the doors open. It's fine if I get there at 10:30, the music doesnt start till 11:00. I'm going to sleep till 8 not 7. I was too tired today with only four and a half hours sleep.

OK I'm going to watch Dollhouse and go to bed when it's done. Oh, one more thing before I got. I have to enjoy it while I can. My Fantasy Baseball Team is in first place! I jumped over 5 teams last night.

There's a fight going on in front my apartment now. I called the cops. One woman is screaming at another with a man involved too. Two of them just came in the building. It was pretty frightening. I hear others still outside.

OK all's quiet now and I'm going to watch Dollhouse.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile June 15, 2013
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