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
March 27, 2016 - 3:32 p.m.
I'm starting to write this very late, 1:44 and when I'm done I have to submit the roster freeze list for my fantasy baseball team but I was still looking for ways to procrastinate. I had to force myself to start writing. I love writing. I love doing fantasy baseball. Analyzing myself is not easy. I am filled with non-linear processes as are we all. It's a bit more obvious with me than most. Hell I could do an entire entry on this. I just had a revelation. But no, I did things yesterday that I want to write about and I have do my fantasy team. Today is a tale filled with music and cute women, that's two of my favorite things. This should be easy. Sorry, no pictures or video so you don't get to hear the music or see the women. I'm a tease.
I had last night's concert on my calendar since before it was officially announced. Carter knew I'd be there come hell or high water, Harpeth Rising at the Common Ground Coffeehouse. Did you get the joke? Of course not; The Harpeth is the river that goes through Nashville that floods thus Harpeth Rising and high water. I'll give you a few minutes to stop laughing. Let me have my delusions.
Getting there was not easy. I had to make the 5:20 MetroNorth train from Grand Central. Under normal conditions it takes me 35 minutes to get there. Yesterday was not normal conditions and I didn't adjust enough for them. Under Normal conditions I take the the entire way. It runs express. It's a breeze. The tunnel under the East River flooded during Hurricane Sandy. They are doing a massive repair on weekends and close the tunnel. That means there's no in Brooklyn. I had to reroute. I had lots of alternatives. I have to start on the the only other train that goes to my station. It runs local through Brooklyn which adds time. I figured I'd make it simple. I'd take it to Fulton Street where I can switch to the to Grand Central. I gave it an hour. I started five minutes late. That was a bad beginning. Then I had a long wait for the . Then it went slower than usual. By the time I got to Fulton it was already too late. I started walking to the and heard an announcement that I probably heard but didn't listen to at my station. The wasn't starting at Bowling Green the first stop in Manhattan or at Fulton where it connects with so many other lines. It started at Brooklyn Bridge. Oy. So I went back and caught the next , which runs the same as the in Manhattan and took that to Times Square and the shuttle to Grand Central and made the next train, the 5:47 by only five minutes. That's with the time to buy the ticket and walk to the one of the furthest tracks.
I texted Carter so he'd know to send Sarah to pick me up at the right time. Things get much easier from now on.
Sarah waited for me on the platform which made it easy to find her and we road to the UU where the Coffeehouse is. I found out when I got there that I'm not doing the merch. Things didn't click in not just my head but Jordana's. I told her that I'm merching the show. She told me that she was looking forward to me meeting her husband David. He manages the band and if he's there he merches. Neither one of us put together that me merching and David being there were mutually exclusive. So you know how I helped out? I didn't get in the way …. Too much. Yeah I got in the way. First thing I did was go into the Green Room when they were getting ready to say hi and meet the newest member of HR. Rebecca the banjo player went back to California. This was kept under wraps. I had no idea till a few days ago when they announced that Michelle Younger was joining the band. I of course wrote and made sure that they told her that liking me is part of the deal. Jordana said that they did and assured me I'd like Michelle. I did. I got to meet David. I got hugs from Jordana and Maria. Why couldn't Michelle and Maria swap names so I could sing, "Maria, I just met a girl named Maria?" Of course I don't think I sang that when I met Maria. I should have. I'm a nice Jewish boy. I don't meet many Marias. OOO. OK this can be done. Jordana and Michelle should switch foot percussion. Jordana plays the cowbell. If they switched we could all sing, "Michelle my bell." What you don't think that the world should be rearranged to make song lyrics appropriate? What kind of freak are you?
It then dawned on me that I had to take care of something. I wasn't going to this show alone. I was being joined by the marvelous Melissa. She bought her ticket in advance. I forgot that the Common Ground now has reserved seating. They are the only Coffeehouse I know that does that. But I have put out the names on the chairs. Yes they actually put your name on your seat. So I was well aware of it. But Melissa bought her ticket online. I didn’t' have a ticket, I'm a comp. I had to go and rearrange Melissa's seat to one with a free one next to it and reserve the next seat for me. With the help of Sarah and the lovely woman whose name I forgot we got it done before Melissa arrived and I put my bag on the chair.
I then hung out with David by the merch table and waited for Melissa. When she came in I joined her. She lives 2.1 miles away. Yes, Melissa is my friend and not only knows the distance to the nearest tenth of a mile she shared it with me just as I felt the need to share it with you. As I told her; She is exactly what you expect one of my friends to be. She was designed to be someone that I love. Good job designers. We don't live in a world with primarily geographic social boundaries. Melissa lived 2.1 miles away and knew nobody but me. I live 30.8 miles away (both driving distances) yet Melissa knew only me while I knew a ton of people. In addition to the musicians, their families, and volunteers, there was Mark, Beth, Paula, Peter, Mike, Perry, Beth, Marybeth, oh those people that go wherever I go, people I forget at the moment.
I was not sure if I knew the opening act, Strunk and White. No that's not their name but it always comes to me first. It's actually Pluck and Rail. That's the duo of Andrew Sussman and George Gierer. Why do I always want to call George Georg? Oh right, I'm an idiot. Sometimes there's a logical explanation. Andrew plays cello, George guitar and banjo. That meant we had two bands featuring banjo and cello. That is two more than you usually see in a month. Notice I said you, not me.
How much do I love Harpeth Rising? I look at their tour schedule and email people in places they are playing and tell them to go to the show and stalk them for me. That's also tells you quite a bit about me. They are going to be playing in Reston VA and I wrote my friends that lived there. I liked the way I describe HP in that email so I'll repeat it here. This is my two sentence blurb; "They are three classically trained musicians, virtuosi on their instruments, with great voices and intricate harmonies. They hit all the marks." I was going to chastise myself for missing the Oxford comma but I didn't. the "and" was just connecting voices and harmonies. The Oxford comma came before "the." Whew. I don't want to lose my nerd cred. I know I would never believe what someone that doesn’t use Oxford commas said.
This was just the third show that Michelle has done with the band. They only practiced together the first time six weeks ago. This is not like adding a bass player or rhythm guitarist or even backup fiddler where the person just needs to know the chords .These are intricate parts. The show was seamless, you'd have never guessed Michelle was new if you didn't know.
They did one song I hadn't heard before. What was it? It was a cover. They always transform their covers into different songs. They often take a song with vocals, strip them out, dissect the song, and rearrange the pieces. After one hearing I can usually pick out what song they are doing, I hear the faint echoes of the original. I can't do that the first time. So what was the song? Melissa do you remember? I might have to ask the band what they did new. Of course maybe it's not new and just the first time I heard it. It might not just be the first time I heard it, I might have just forgotten, the whole me being an idiot thing. I was very happy that as expected Melissa picked out Stairway to Heaven exactly at the same point I did my first time, at the guitar introduction of the original. Most people need to hear where the lyrics, that they don't sing, begin.
The plan was for me to perhaps spend the night with Melissa and her family as it's been too long since I've seen them. I brought an overnight bag and my computer. But Melissa was not feeling physically up to it. She said she had to crash as soon as she got home. I was prepared for that eventuality though I told her I'm demanding a rain check. Maria's family was there. Maria family lives in Brooklyn. The entire band was crashing in Brooklyn. So I asked for a ride. I got one. This is what usually happens when I see them in the New York burbs. Usually? I think every single time. I am the tape worm of folk music. I like to think of myself as a symbiote but parasite is more like it. I don't know how I get away with it. Must be the eye candy thing.
I went back with Maria and her family except her brother who took the rest of the band to where they were staying. Maria's parents live not that far from Borough Hall where I'm always happy to be left off to take the subway. But Maria wanted to check on the rest of the band, she arranged the digs, and had to pick up her cello which was with them and that was in Crown Heights. So after dropping off her parents Maria drove me home. I love that she asked if I mined being driven instead of taking the subway. Yeah, because it's so unpleasant riding in a Prius with someone I love compared to taking the subway.
Hey I wrote 1912 words and none of them were discouraging it; at least after the first paragraph.
I just thought of the special Easter title.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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