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

December 24, 2013 - 1:51 p.m.

Knitting a Cast

Oh great It is after noon and I just deleted everything I had written and I'm starting over. I think it was as late as Sunday that Honor Finnegan posted that she was doing a show with Christine Lavin at Knitty City, a Knitting store where Chris has played before. A little after that Chris wrote me about it. I didn't need a personal invitation to know I was going to see two of my favorite singer/songwriter/people. Once she knew I was going Chris asked about going to Cast Party afterward. So my evening was set. I am always looking for people to go to Cast Party with me

My first stop was therapy. It's been two weeks and it was an emotionally eventful two weeks for me. There I talk about the things that I can't talk about here. I wish I could, I think this does me more good. Talking about talk therapy never works. How can I tell you about telling someone the things that I can't tell you? I know I can of course, with metaphor, and I often do, but I don't think anyone other than me likes that Maybe I'll get back to that later.

After therapy I had some time and I went to the Holiday Market to get buy my last Festivus present. While I was there I spoke to Sarah, yes she has a name, the woman I bought my hat and gloves from who remembered me from last year. I found out we had something in common. Her last name means "stranger", my Hebrew name means "Stranger in a Strange Land." She said, "like the Heinlein novel! Michael! Do you Grok that?" I of course did. How could I not read a book named for me. And it's Heinlein. I should reread that.

then I was off to Knitty City which Chris calls the world's greatest knitting store. I wouldn't know from that but what I could see is that it's a community. I made great time and got there early. Which did score me a seat. But the thing is that there was already a load of women there knitting. That's what they do. It's as much a club as a store.

I have to admit that I lied on Facebook. When Aviv walked in I posted that I was no longer the only man there. I knew there was another man sitting behind me but I couldn't see him and I really was the only man when I came into the store before the seats were put out.

Everyone I knew was performing so I sat with strangers and got friendly. The woman next to me was a folkie rabbi. There were a lot of Jewish people at this upper west side Christmas shows. What a shock.

In addition to Christine and Honor who was accompanied by Aviv, Eve Silber a jazz musician and David Ippolito the guitar man from Central Park performed. I see David about once a year at something involving Chris. I never met eve before but Facebook keeps telling me we should be friends.


Nothing wrong with my photography, Chris just lost focus. That happens.

Folk concerts at Knitting stores are THE next big thing. If you haven't played one you're nowhere. I'm going to start a business booking knitting store tours for folk musicians.

I thought we'd have a lot of time between Knitty City and Birdland, where Cast Party takes place, for us to eat but Honor, Aviv, and I took so long deciding where to eat that we ended up eating at Birdland. Chris had to bring the sound system home so she met us there.

Aviv is a master at hailing a cab. He got one for Christine and then for us. I give credit where it's due.

We got to Birdland before doors but that is meaningless as they still serve diner. So we went to our seats. I had some sort of chicken sandwich with a name. It was grilled chicken with pepper jack cheese. Raise your hand if you knew that's my favorite cheese? The rest of you need to study more.

I don't go to places like Birdland, just birdland,. It's a swank jazz club. Which means expensive which is why I don't go there often. But I feel like such a grown up when I do. Feeling like a grown up is not very grown up.

Cast party is as Jim Caruso the emcee says, is an open mic for the Broadway, cabaret, folk, didgeridoo, klezmer, zydelco community. I have to give myself props. The didgeridoo is my didgeridooing. I used it right here in Wise Madness and Jim must have seen it and picked it up. I met the guy that came up with klezmer and zydeco last night. But that's not the point. The point is that it's another community. There are regulars that all know each other. When they are called it's totally different than when they new people are. They banter their way from their seat to the stage. Jim does schtick. OK Jim always does schtick. Jim is the glib emcee playing a glib emcee. That's a bit part of the feel of the experience.

Chris and Jim

I have only gone to the show with performers and I don't think I'd love it as much if I didn't. I wish I could perform myself. Chris is a regular everyone knows her. This was Honor's first time. I was sure that she'd be a hit. Then she went on stage with Aviv, did Internet Junkie and the crowd went wild. I know what's good.

Aviv and Honor

For star power Lorna Luft was there and sang, and sang, a really famous Christmas song that her mother did and it even has a name. I'm just teasing, I know the name, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I'll be honest, It took me a few seconds to come up with the title. But I did do it on my own.

There were so many great performers. The woman that followed Lorna did a great song about a little girl in the West Village that tell Santa to not bring her anything for Christmas but instead to just take one of her two dads away, it doesn't matter which one. She was suffering from overdoting. But the kicker is the songs mentions Lorna! Sometimes things work out perfect. It was a total accident not planned.

There were a large number of teenage performers. I can think of six, The Locknar sisters performing separately, The Corpus brother and sister, performing separately, and the 15 year old girl jazz singer and her 19 year old accompanist who were sitting right behind me.

It was a pretty special night. When all was said and done I waited for Honor to get a cab, she's good at hailing too, and I took the subway. I lost Chris and did not get a chance to say goodbye, the only sour note.

I stopped at Pathmark on the way home to get some bacon that I'm going to eat now. I better get to it. It's almost two and I haven't eaten yet.





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 December 24, 2013
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