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

November 02, 2014 - 12:09 p.m.

Jefferson and Robt in Love

We set the clocks back last night so I had an extra hour to start writing this. That didn't seem to do me any good. I was up late last night the second 1:30 AM. So what did I do yesterday? I know I did things. OK now I know.

I didn't tell you what I was going to have for breakfast yesterday. I decided I'm going to stop doing that every day. So what am I going to do now? Tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, Why? There's a point. I had poached eggs on Taylor ham. It was yummy.

Heather headed down to visit her parents in Maryland and I went with her to catch the Bolt Bus. The stop is in a strange place, 33rd Street and 11 Ave. She doesn't know the City well so I told her I'd guide her. the problems started when I left my house. The bus ride to her house which normally takes 35 minutes took almost an hour. That ate up almost all the slack time I planned on getting to her bus. Then there was a mixup with the weekend schedules of the trains by her house. They all just barely get into Manhattan and there was no direct connection to the . then we waited forever for the . then we couldn't get a cab, the rain again. The trip from my house, stopping at hers, and then going to the bus stop should have taken an hour. It took closer to two. We only missed it by 15 minutes because I plan on things going wrong. So she called Bolt Bus and they said to just take the next bus in two hours.

So now we had two hours to kill. We went to my favorite diner in the area, the Skyline. They had brunch specials. I had one, eggs benedict. What's that? poached eggs on a slice of Canadian bacon aka ham. Yes I essentially had the same meal twice in a day. But this had hollandaise sauce. I don't make that at home. I don't know what to do with the egg whites and it seems wasteful. So I order it when it's available. And guess what I loved that too. So there. Nobody says you always have to eat something different each meal. For variety some days I eschew variety.

I then took advantage of being in the neighborhood to go to Fairway for my favorite peanut butter. You know what I should tell you what it is, Brad's Organic. It's reasonably priced and sometimes on sale there. They have the big two pound jars, I eat a lot of peanut butter.

Then I headed home and sort of crashed for a while. I had a nice nap. Then I headed to the wilds of Red Hook. The only thing that brings me to Red Hook is music. The Fairway in Chelsea is easier to get to. The trip there was actually not bad. I made a good connection to the bus and the bus flew, not like in the morning. I made it to the House of Love in no time. Get your mind out of the gutter, the House of Love is a house concert series hosted by the amazing Amy. It's one of my favorite series and worth the trip. She travels in a different musical circle than most of my house concert friends, it's the world of Jalopy. The performers were Jefferson Hamer and Robt Sarazin Blake. That's a great double bill. I have seen them perform together before. As usual at the House of Love I didn't know many people other than performers. This time I actually knew two other people Greta and her husband who I am pretty sure has a name. Guess where I met them? Jalopy. Pretty sure it was a square dance that Kristin Andreassen called. Kristin was there as were Jean and Stephanie. Jean just shared a bill with Jefferson's duo The Murphy Beds. Where? Jalopy. There's going to be a lot of interconnectedness here. Robt met Jefferson through Kristin. I know Jefferson through Anas Mitchell. I know Anas because she went to a summer program with Lena. Yes not musically. Jefferson met Robt through Anas . I met Robt independently of music. Back on election day 2008 I was electioneering for Obama in Philly as PA was a swing state and Robt who lives as far from Philly as you live and still live in the lower 48 states, Bellingham Washington, just happened to walk by and we just happened to start talking. I told him I'm diagram these relationship. I was wrong. I'm not. But I am having fun explaining them. Not sure but I think Kristin played the first time I went to the House of Love. I know I saw her and Critter there. Or is that she and critter? No its her. I would never say "I saw she there."

As I blogged this in my head I decided that what I like about Robt is that he sounds like nobody else. I don't know anyone that does what he does, not that it's easy to say what he does different. But then he did a song that hit me. "No he sounds like Lou Reed!" But it was just that one song. Then near the end he said "You all wanted to sing it so sing it now." People tried to sing some lyrics from the refrain but he said not that, this, "Do duh do duh do " Yes we were the colored girls from Walk on the Wild Side. I almost lost it there. How perfect that he knew exactly what I was thinking. One thing Robt does that I can sort of describe is talk in cadence. It's not rapping, it's not talking blues, it's not talking on pitch. It's just the cadence that lets you know it isn't just talking. He vamps on something that happened that day like getting picked up by Amy from the subway as he hate a sandwich. Somehow that become an epic tale in his telling.

I always have trouble writing about Jefferson. I think I got some of it figured out. Robt sounds like nobody, Jefferson sounds like many people but it's a different person each song. He can be trad guy doing Child ballads. He can be sensitive singer songwriter stuff but not in the way I always make fun of. He's actually good. He can do Irish songs. He can do Applachian music. He can do rock. He knows there are only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. He doesn't play the other kind.

He was accompanied by another favorite musician Alec Spiegelman. I first saw Alex when his band Cuddle Magic opened for Anas. I met him because he often backs Kristin. No the connections don't stop. Last night he played flute, clarinet, guitar, and this super cool pump organ that was designed for use by army chaplains in the field. it folds up for easy transport and sounds great. He plays neuromusic, and jazz, and folk, but hey if you play any neuromusic you're a neuromusician. And here's the highest praise, it hit me last night that he's like Oliver Steck, a sideman who plays a wind instrument, guitar, and air powered keyboard. For Oliver it's trumpet, and accordion.

My phone battery always seems to be dead when I go to the House of Love. I brought my charger but forgot the cable that connects to it. So I had to be prudent with camera use. I was going to not take pictures but then the photographer in me saw some shots he couldn't resist.


Robt. It is the mirror I couldn't resist


Jefferson and Alec in silhouette.

I'll be a bit confessional. Thanks to my anxiety I did a major screw up and let down Robt and Kristin in regards to something at NERFA. I was nervous about seeing them. I was happy I could overcome my anxiety enough to talk to them. It shouldn't have been hard. I don't know Robt well but from what I write about him he has to know I love him. As for Kristin I do know her well and if she doesn't know I love her she's in worse shape than me. But it still took an effort to talk to them and I'm somewhat proud of myself for doing it. I beat myself up a lot over the anxiety issues. I hate letting people down. I never want to let my friends down. I pride myself on being a good friend, And I am. But sometimes anxiety gets in the way of doing what I should.

I used the little power left in my phone to see when the next bus was coming. The MTA lets you monitor bus positions on some lines in real time. I had it all planned right and then ran into Jefferson and took too long to say goodbye. I got to the corner and the bus was passing me! I ran to the next stop. It closed its doors and started to pull away before I got there. I banged on the window. The driver stopped and let me on! The next bus would have been in something like half an hour.

of course I then had to wait 20 minutes for the .

How many of my presenter or dj friends know Jefferson or Robt? I'm thinking of writing an entry about musicians that should be part of my usual circles but aren't.

OK not sure what I'm doing today. I have no plans. I know I have food to cook so I'll make myself dinner. I haven't been doing that enough. I should read too.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile November 02, 2014
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