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
December 14, 2015 - 12:27 p.m.
I always feel I am rushing through writing. I have therapy today and I'd love to go out tonight I think I have to stay home and prepare for being on the radio tomorrow. Perhaps I can get it done before I leave for therapy, that's the cause for the rush. I have another 50 minutes of music to program and then I have to sequence it. How do DJs do this every day? How do I waste so much time every day? Now to stop being distracted and write.
Yesterday I trekked up to the great North, Piermont NY to see Joe Crookston at The Turning Point. When I had a car I was a regular there, everyone knew me. Now that I don't I can only go to Saturday afternoon shows because the last bus leaves before the night shows are over. I wanted to take the early bus that arrives at 2:17 for the show, the doors were at 3:00 but I slept late, 11:30 and I had to leave here by 12:12 to make it. I decided that eating breakfast was more important. I actually could have almost done it but it seemed to hard. Instead I texted Gene and asked him to save me a seat.
My bus took a strange route. It left from the Port Authority in Manhattan and crossed the Lincoln Tunnel into New Jersey. It went up the Jersey Turnpike to the George Washington Bridge and crossed back into Manhattan. It went to the George Washington Bridge Bus terminal but did not stop. It then crossed the bridge again back into Jersey. It went by the Fort Lee stop without stopping. So all that was a waste of time. The bus had started late too,
Like my trip to Boston and ended up talking most of the way to the woman sitting next to me. It started when I asked her if she knew where I get off in Piermont, I heard that was where she was going. I did not catch her name but I learned a lot about her including that she and her husband biked up to Piermont once and right into their friends' swimming pool.
I got there around 2:35, quite a bit later than I wanted to but got prime seats, thank you Gene and Isabel. I knew plenty of people at the show and I will now embarrass myself by forgetting some of them. Elizabeth, Peter & Paula, Perry, Where's Perry? Daria, Shelley, and John. That was particularly bad. I know there are a lot more. One person I didn't know knew me from Facebook. That happens more than it should.
I have written about Joe a zillion times. He is one of my favorites of favorites. You'd think I'd run out of things to say but yesterday I found some new insights. First after all these years it struck me how musical he is. That might sound strange as hes' a musician that I love. Doesn't that mean he's musical? No it doesn't. Dylan isn't particularly musical, neither are many folk musicians. They can play guitar just well enough to accompany themselves and can master using three or even four chords. Their skills lie in their songwriting and delivery or their voice. I always thought of Joe's skills in the things I will talk about next. But he's a guy that could always really play the guitar. He picked up the fiddle and slide guitar without training. He holds the fiddle wrong. No matter he can hear the music in his head and make it come out of the instrument. He can write a fiddle tune. He has that natural ability.
Joe is musical but that's what sets him apart, it's that he always has something to say. His songs are miniature plays. He has ideas. The secret fire burns hot within him and finds its way out. It comes out in his singing, his songwriting, his playing, it even comes out in his feet. Everything he does is with both passion and intelligence. Ok the foot stomping might not have much intelligence but I could be missing the secret encoded messages. I hear songwriters talking and scrambling for things to write. They pick up on some guitar lick and want to build up songs around it. They try and just make their music pretty. With Joe you always get the feeling that the music is just a means to an end. That he is trying to express something and this is best way for him to do it. Perhaps that's why he also paints; sometimes music is not the best medium. There is just so much there there. He's a human Tardis bigger on the inside than the outside and what in there is trying to get out. I sometimes get that feeling in conversation with him too. He does that eye glowing thing. I love that. My eyes start glowing too. The only thing missing yesterday is that I didn't get to talk to him
Joe is one of the most compelling performers I've seen. Why is he playing the Turning Point not the King Theater? I'll tell you, I don't know. I see all these nice people playing nice songs nicely and smile. Seeing Joe disrupts the routine working of your mind and gets it working at higher speed. It's a mental tune up. Perhaps some people don't want that.
Joe also plays a long time. The show started at 4:00. I thought there was no way I'd miss the 6:47 bus. I did. He finished after 7:00. The next bus was at 8:47. I didn't want to wait that long. I was able to get a ride from Peter and Paula to Hastings where I took the train in and was back at Grand Central before the next bus was scheduled to leave. Yes it meant burning the price of the bus ticket. Oh well. I have to see how long it is good for. Now it's late. I have to eat and get ready for therapy. Then I have to prepare for the radio tomorrow.
Oh wait, I forgot one thing. I didn't write yesterday so I never told you about the great mosquito war. I have been complaining that despite the fact that it's December every night I'm being kept away by mosquitos and being eaten alive. On Saturday night at 4 AM when the mosquitos were keeping me awake with their buzzing I thought about how well they evolved that they do that when it's dark so I can't easily kill them. I did get lucky and got one when it was feeding on my hand. Of course when I turn the light on they are gone. But then it hit me, some mosquito behavior that I had forgotten about. When they are buzzing around your head and then they stop, where are they? You turn the light on and you don't see them flying around. What I remembered was that one of the best ways of fighting malaria in Africa is lighting spraying the walls of the huts with DDT. Mosquitos land one the walls when they aren't buzzing your head. So I turned on the flashlight on my phone and turned around to look at the wall right behind my pillow. What did I find? Loads of mosquitos. I killed five of them. Then there was one on the wall on the side of my bed. I killed that one too. It was not all of them but I think I only missed one. It wasn't nearly as bad when I turned the light off. Oh I missed something. I tried that a few more times and did get a few more mosquitos. But there was still at least on left at the end but it was not enough to keep me awake. Last night it wasn't nearly as bad. I decimated the population. Now we just need a cold snap to stop new ones from moving in. I'm caroling in a week. I don't want to go out without a jacket like I did yesterday. I want to be bundled up.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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