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

December 03, 2017 - 11:14 a.m.

Lloyds of Liechtenstein

You're in luck, I went out last night and did something fun, so you don't have to read my musings. I realize that I've been in a live music draught; that's now over, I'll be hearing music every day for a stretch. When I say draught, I am saying this relative to local conditions; a draught in Mawsynram, India, which averages 467" of rain a year is not the same as in Death Valley. I had not heard live music since Tuesday, and before that it was the previous Tuesday. Yesterday was a home game that took me two hours to get to. What makes it a home game? Heather Aubrey Lloyd and The Lords of Liechtenstein were playing at Church Korner House Concerts aka Chris's apartment in Kensington, Brooklyn.

I arrived late, 20 minutes before doors; I'm grading on local conditions again. When I arrived, there was even a person I didn't know. It's time to play, which friend will I insult by forgetting them when I try and list all my friends attending? The Lords' parents, Michael and Star, Paul & Sarah, Kevin, Coco & Bruce, Gene & Isabel, Emily, and of course Chris and all the musicians. There are others that I just know from attending other concerts at Chris's house. I just sent friend requests to two of them as I still remember their names. Oh yes, I'm now engaged to one of them.

My favorite way to eat is grazing, it was a pot luck and there was a lot of good food. The best were these things that looked like cinnamon rolls but were sausage rolls. I asked who made them, it was Mac. I proposed. His girlfriend, Amanda? I think so, was standing next to me at the time. How am I not locked up or at least punched in the nose more often? But hey, it's not my fault that most of the world doesn't realize that the polite thing to do when given amazing food is to propose to the person that made it. Shortly after the proposal Emily came in. She's a long-standing fiancé. I first met her at another Church Korner concert; she made a chocolate ganache. Now come on, you aren't going to tell me it's not rude to not propose to someone that makes a chocolate ganache? She's Seth's girlfriend. Seth used to live in the Church Korner apartment. He now lives with Emily. See how open-minded and fair I am? I don't believe in double standards. We were discussing how many fiancés I have; I told Emily that I don't count, it keeps down the guilt. Right now, I can think of just five, in order of proposal, Ethan, Emily, Susan Werner, Cassie, and now Mac. I could add Susan's wife, but I don't know her name. Emily and Mac are going to be sibling wives. I'm going to contribute Choco-Lavinator to the marriage. All good marriages are based on equal contributions of delicious food.

Wasn't I supposed to be talking about music? I'm pretty sure there was music. I know there were hugs. When Heather came out of the green room, I gave her a hug. Then I gave her a second hug to give to Kathy; She's playing the Me & Thee Coffeehouse next weekend. That's in Marblehead. Do yourself a favor and go to the show if you are within two hours of the venue. If Richard hadn't beaten me to it I would have proposed to Heather. It wasn't even over food! It's because a fun weird totally neuro thing she used to do with other touring musician friends. If a friend was performing in the same city within a few weeks she would leave a gift hidden somewhere in the city and a clue how to find it. Her friends would do the same for her. Don't you want to marry somebody that would do that? She couldn't tell me this before she got engaged? Richard, you owe me; Ask Seth, I'm not always so considerate.

Oh right, music. The Lords were up first. It was make fun of Dan day. It's always Make fun of Dan day for me, but Chris and Noah joined in last night. Chris introduced them as Noah, and Noah's brother. Horror of horrors, Noah forgot to bring his argyle sweater-vest. I said, "You couldn't have forgotten Dan?" I was in good heckling form last night.

I write about the Lords often, which makes it difficult. I did notice one thing last night that I can't quantify. As with most people what I like best of their songs are the lyrics, they are clever, and meaningful, and distinctive. But that's not all that's distinctive, most have a distinctive sound. I don't know what is responsible for it; it's separate from their familiar harmonies; it's in the songwriting. Their slow songs create a feeling of melancholy and loneliness.

Heather was in fine fettle. With all that's going on in the world she decided to play a more upbeat set than usual. She also altered it to match the themes of the Lords set. She said that we were going to hear the same set twice. I should have made a request, "The Animal Crackers Song." The recording has kazoos and I had my kazoo with me. I always have a kazoo with me. If you see me in the audience and need an accompanist, I work cheap. She did another song based on the same songwriting contest. The songs have to include five words given as a prompt with a bonus for including the word, "monkey." The song she used was about birth control; the prompt was babies.

Heather brought up her severe anxiety and depression and said that people should be more open about it. Sound familiar? At therapy on Friday we discussed if the hospital could help him get social work help. She had to check my exact diagnosis. It's "major depressive episodes" so I qualify! That made me so happy … uh oh. I knew about Heather's issues because she's open about them. Like me you wouldn't know it she didn't. She always appears effervescent.

There is nothing about her performance that is generic, not the lyrics, the music, or the delivery. She is nerdy, her lyrics and patter reflect that. She knew this was a nerdy audience, so she highlighted that. She finished with a poem of math double-entendres. You really owe me Richard.

I was not the person that traveled the longest to get to the show. Paul and Sarah came from the Philly suburbs. They drove to Jersey transit and took the train in. We took the same F train back and I beat them by an hour and a half even though I hit a snag. I tried something new, I used Google maps to plan when to leave to minimize my waiting time for the bus. Google said that I would get there with seven minutes to spare. I would get there at 12:46 and the bus leaves at 12:53. The 6 train was running express for a stretch due to construction, so I should have had a comfortable margin. The subways haven't gotten worse over the last five years, the on-time percentage has fallen. Despite not having any major incidents it arrived at 1:01. I had to wait till 1:23 for the next bus. I was prepared, I wore my silk-weight long underwear.

Why did I wake up early today? Early means my normal time, the problem is I went to sleep at 3 AM. I had planned on sleeping late. I know the answer; I spent last night grazing and my digestive system is paying the price. Like my lede? I didn't think so. That's why I'm moving it to the end. I could have just eliminated it but I always like showing you when my brain works weirdly.


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please hold me accountable.





A Frank Discussion of Franken - December 12, 2017
Side by Side by Darlingside - December 11, 2017
Dave and Gillian, Not Gillian and Dave - December 08, 2017
The Blue Grass of the Lower East Side - December 05, 2017
Jazz Jumping on the Subway - December 04, 2017



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Horvendile December 03, 2017
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