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
May 29, 2016 - 3:15 p.m.
Welcome to a mid-afternoon edition of Wise Madness, that's an unusual time for me to write. Is anyone around this holiday weekend to read this? I guess we'll find out.
Does my memory stretch back as far as yesterday? Yes, it does. This is a miracle. My hosts, I still need a good name for them, were out all day so I fended for myself. I slept late and in the afternoon walked to the IGA to get bacon. I had price shock when I was there. There is no competition on City Island and the prices show it. Pretty much nothing is on sale. Brown and Serve Sausages are one penny short of twice the price I usually pay in Brooklyn. The store brand bacon was reasonable and that's all I got. Then I went home and made bacon and eggs for the first time in ages. That was great. I love my own cooking.
Last night I headed down to the Lower East Side to see Kate Copeland. I discovered her at NERFA where she played with Dougmore, Doug Goldstein's band. I know Doug from Cricket Tell the Weather. Got the chain of connections? This was the first chance I had to check her out on her own. I knew one member of her band, Doug, he plays banjo. The show was at 8:00 at Left Field, a venue I have never been to. My plan was to get there at 7:45. I'm on City Island so getting places isn't easy. There is one bus on and off the Island. I checked the timetable and planned on taking the 6:09. Yeah, right. This is not just the summer but memorial day weekend. There's only one access road to the island. People come here in the summer to eat and boat and frolic. Traffic is bumper to bumper. The bus was 15 minutes late and then took a long time to get to the subway. When I left my ETA according to Google Maps was 7:40. By the time I got to the subway it was 8:07. Good thing I can do better than Google Maps. They had me take the the entire way to the . The runs local. I got off at 125th street and switched to the express and then went back to the at 14th street. That maneuver got me there at 7:58 even though I just missed the connection back to the and had to wait for the next train. Of course it didn't quite work out as I wrote the address down wrong. I then had to walk three blocks to where it actually was. I was still there before the show started.
I found a seat and someone came up and said hi, it was Alan. Alan lives in Syracuse. He said he was going on Facebook but I figured he hit that by accident but there he was. So we caught up.
Kate is very much not a generic singer/songwriter or part of a generic string band though that was the instrumentation, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, upright bass, and guitar. Is that right? I think so. The music was far more lyrical and lyric centered than string band music. It was more complex than typical singer/songwriter. I wish I knew more about music but there were parts that reminded me of prog rock. Please tell me that I'm write and this was not I, IV, V chords. I know it went in directions I didn't expect, that's half the battle. The songs had something to say, that's the other half. Then as we are using Car Talk math there's the third half. I'm not sure what's in that. Whatever it is it I enjoyed it and it had content. You can't ask for me. I bet most people would start with her beautiful voice but I can't. That is never enough for me. There are plenty of singers with beautiful voices that I don't think much of. The voice is like the presentation of a meal, not the meal. Yes, it's nice but it's not what matters the most. Unless it's Annie Haslam or Sandy Denny. No rules are hard and fast.
After the show I talked to Doug, Kate, and Alan. When I got outside I saw that George was with Alan. I hadn't seen him inside so I talked to him too. I loved having a night with music friends I don't see very often.
Then I headed back to City Island. It was later and this trip was easy. I had perfect timing with the bus, that's the part that's the toughest as it comes once a half hour at that time of night.
Today I went to Brynden's to pick up my summer clothes. It got hot fast. Now I have sunblock, shorts, a big hat and wicking fabric shirts. I can face the heat. Speaking of heat tonight I'm seeing Hadestown!. You should get your tickets if they are still available. I'm free tomorrow, anyone doing anything fun that I can join in? If not, I might explore City Island by foot.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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