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 20, 2012 - 12:08 p.m.
I haven't written for a while. Sorry about that. It hasn't even been because of the rabbit hole; it was just a series of accidents and time constraints and distractions. It's the busy time of the year, finals. So now the question is in how much detail do I try and catch up or do I try and do it over several days? I'll just write and see how things come out. I think I'll do an overview now and perhaps do some zooming in over the next few days. Like Tolkien I'll let the tale grow in the telling and see what happens.
On Thursday I gave my final. I kept hacking away to shorten it. I wanted it to be as easy to grade as possible. Some students finished in an hour, they were given two. As usual the ones that stayed to the end were not actually getting anything accomplished, they were simply afraid to walk away and accept that they didn't know what to do on the questions they hadn't done. I should have been good and stayed in and graded Thursday but you know me better than that. Kath Buckell was playing that night at Rockwood Music Hall and I had missed her last few shows and didn't want to miss another one. So I stayed around in my office and did some work before heading down there. I was disappointed to not see any of you there. Have you seen Kath perform live with her band? No? Have you heard me tell me that you have to? You're just like my students who don't do their homework assignments. You're hurting yourself. Your life will be better if you listen to me. Next time I see Kath I expect to see at least 3 of My Gentler Readers there. If not there will be repercussions.Yes it will be on the test.
On Friday I headed on the Megabus to Philly to visit Steve and LORi and get some grading done. Yes that's a strange combination. It was a wise mid-day bus, so it left ontime. That was great and so was the fact that nobody sat next to me. It was he pleasantest Megabus ride that I've had. I got a significant amount of grading done and rewarded myself with playing on the internet. Because of the empty seat I could use my laptop comfortably.
Lori picked me up and we headed back to her house. Friday was relaxed. We talked and we napped. Steve, Lori, and myself were all pretty tired. I wasn't planning on napping but I collapsed at the computer. Steve had grabbed dinner earlier and Lori and I went out for a very late dinner at a 50s retro diner. That was great. They had homemade sodas that let you get refills in any flavor and that caught both of our fancy's. I had chocolate/mocha, followed by chocolate, followed by coffee. Yes they were all on a theme. It was the best chocolate and coffee sodas I've had. I had a "chicken with bacon cheese steak" as my main course. Despite the oxymoron it was great. I topped it off with a hot fudge Sundae. Good thing I'm losing weight and can afford that.
Yesterday I realized that Ariana Gillis was playing at Concerts at the Crossings in Titusville, which in my mind is a local show from Philadelphia. I suggested it to Lori and we made plans to go. But first Lori had to give her mother a ride. I was going to stay home and grade but decided to do that in the back seat. I finished almost everything. I could have finished but once we dropped off her mother I decided to be better company. I probably have only 20 minutes to half an hour of grading left and I can do that either today or on the ride home.
I grabbed linner while Lori was in Trader Joe's. I had this great Persian chicken with saffron sandwich. It was special. I love that I found a great meal like that in a strip mall.
When we got back from Trader Joe's we found the road to Lori's house taped off; power lines were down. We heard what happened but interpreted it differently. Lori thinks the transformer exploded and that broke the pole it was on. I think the pole broke and that made the transformer explode. Either way we couldn't get through and the house was blacked out. That created a problem as I didn't know he address of the venue. I called Paul, who was also going and got it from him.
We had the time of the show wrong and missed 20 minutes or so of the opening acts set. You'd think that would be almost all the opening act. You're right, my research was wrong, this was a co-bill, not and opening act. It was Victoria Vox.
Paul sent me a text message saying he'd be sitting "Stage Murray" and I had no trouble finding him. Lori went to the bathroom first, missed when I told her we'd be sitting stage Murray and missed us. She didn't join us until intermission.
I am glad we were late as I don't think I could have sat through another 20 minutes of Victoria. She plays the ukulele and is accompanied by a cello, but she could not hold my interest. She might have spent more time talking than singing. That didn't entertain me either.
During the intermission I had some much needed coffee to wake me up. Of course Ariana would have done that on her own. I had just seen her on Wednesday but wasn't tired of her at all. She still blew me away. She started with a John Prine song and ended with a Dylan, and I thought that was an excellent framing for the show. It got me thinking about songwriting. Prine is one of those people called "the New Dylan." What I realized was that he and Loudon Wainwright and other new Dylans along with many of my favorite songwriting, don't actually write like Dylan. What they all do is give the impression that they are working in an established artistic idiom while in fact it is purely of their own making. Ariana is the same way. Her songwriting is like John Prine's only in that it isn't like anyone else's.
On he way back Lori and I stopped at Sonic. That was my first time there. Despite the waitress on roller skates I was not impressed.
They hadn't finished the repairs when we got home so there was no power. That of course meant that I couldn't write last night. I'm getting soft, I remember when we used to have to write by candle while using a steam powered computer. The power came back at 2:58 AM. I deliberately left a light on so I'd know when. I went online and bought my ticket for the ride back to New York when it did.
Now I'm caught up with music. I'll catch up with everything else and perhaps even tell you more about the rabbit hole this week.
Sit Down and Sing - May 20, 2017
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