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 โ 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 โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 28, 2013 - 10:12 a.m.
First I have to thank My Gentle Readers, there are more of you than ever before. You just passed June's numbers. 1749 people have red read Wise Madness this month.
Yesterday was not productive. First I went to Coco's house to get my phone charger that I left there the day before then I went shopping for bacon and a few other things. Then I went out to see The Lords of Liechtenstein in Astoria, one subway stop from my family's gas station I spent a lot of time there when I was a kid. That would have been convenient when I lived in Queens and had a car, not so much coming from Crown Heights in Brooklyn. It didn't help that the was not running express in Manhattan. It was a late show, 10 PM, I thought I'd get there early enough to have finished my dinner before they went on but I ended up arriving at 9:55. I had planned on eating late.
The venue was the Olde Prague Tavern. The reason I didn't eat beforehand was that when I looked them up I read about how great their kielbasa was and that they were known for their late dinners.
I said hi to Noah, Dan, and their parents and found a seat by the wall. the place is set up so odd and so poorly. There are picnic tables with benches. Three are aligned parallel to one of the walls. They are next to each other. So you have to enter from one end of the three tables then slide down to where you want to sit. People were sitting at the far end from the stage and went in the near end and slid down to the far end of the table. It was the only seats with back support and most of the other seats were taken. I had to actually move the sound board to get in the seat. It was an idiotic set up. Have you picked up that I'm not thrilled with the venue. It gets worse. At 10 someone who wasn't the Lords started playing.
The sound guy said there was waiter service, Then he said, 'whoops, there isn't. I went to the bar and found out the kitchen was closed, the late dinners part was a lie. I went out to grab something fast. I would have much preferred to have eaten before the show. I only waited because I read how good the food was. I couldn't check on the place's website because they don't have one. I found a Greek place down the block and ordered Souvlaki to take out but I had to wait because there was a large order placed right before me. I was afraid I'd miss the start of the Lords. I was there quite some time but when I came back, The "Opener" was still playing. I asked Dan or Noah when they were going on, They said, "We were told 10:00 but this guy just came on, maybe a half an hour. I ate my dinner and the guy was still playing, The guy before, actually two guys, a singer with a guitar accompanied by a fiddle did mainly covers. It was not worth listening to. I read the Times on my phone. The Lords did not go on till 11:00. Did I mention that I didn't like the venue?
The people at the bar were very loud and the sound was not good, that made it very hard to hear. I did not have a lot of flexibility where to sit but I slip up and down the bench but couldn't find the sweet spot. On a lot of the songs I couldn't make out the lyrics. They did a new song but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. The clever lyrics are a big part of what makes the Lords great.
So I hate the venue, no more of this wishy-washy don't like it but it was the Lords of Liechtenstein and they are amazing. When I knew the songs I sang along. Well OK I sang along with parts of the chorus became I never know songs well enough to know the actual lyrics.
Here's one of my favorites that I can sing along to as it is about something I can relate to, as Noah says, "All girls are mean to me." At least they don't say he's cute in a spiny anteater sort of way.
After the show I talked to them and Michael, their father for a bit then headed home. I of course just missed the train, I saw it as it started to move. Very sad. There was a long wait till the next one. It took me an hour and a half to get back.
On the long ride up there I didn't bring my book to read and I didn't update the Times on my phone before I went underground so I couldn't read that so I did something that I should do more, I listened to music. I never update the music on my phone. It's one of my stupid anxiety things, I don't download the photos or change the music. But I have some great music on it. I listened to Bobtown. I was in a great listening state of mine so I listened very closely. It's an album that grows under the scrutiny of listening closely. It fits into my current taste for complexity. Their voices do an ornate dance. It is so much not 1-3-5. Their voices are totally unlike each other. When I say that Karen has a big bottom that is not a reference to her looks but her voice. Think a cello. Jen's is reedy, an oboe, and Katherine's is is is , sorry the description and analogy isn't coming to me. It might be because I talk to her often enough that her voice just says "Katherine" to me. If you heard them individually you'd never think of having them sing together. But somehow it works. Perhaps that's what drives the complexity.
The opposite of that is familial harmonies and I heard an interesting example of that on the train There was a family with four children spaced about one year apart. The two and a half year old girl went up to the three and a half year old girl and sang "ahhhhhhh" The three and a half year old harmonized! This was apparently a game they play. The parents took no notice. I don't think they taught the kids. Have any of you known of kids that young discovering harmony on their own? They didn't have great voices but that shows musical talent.
I'm advancing on my Falcon Ridge preparations but it is still filling me with anxiety not joy. That isn't fair. Falcon Ridge is my favorite time of the year. I should be excited not fearing disaster. I find it hard to read everyone's exciting posts on Facebook. Maybe I'll feel better after today. Fred is going to pick me up at the train station and drive me to Gene and Isabel's to get my camping stuff. I have a lot of camping stuff, largely Budgiedome furniture. He is then going to drive me and my stuff out to Brianne's house in New Jersey. She's driving me and Honor up to the festival. I have not worked out what to do with my stuff after the festival. Thus more dread. But still once it is there hopefully I'll feel better. I just have to keep reminding myself what great friends I have. Fred is giving up his day to help me out.
After that if we have time we are stopping at a street fair in Manhattan to hear Christine Lavin. I just got an email from Chris. I wrote her with an idea, she had exactly the same idea on her own. I know how to pick my friends.
OK if I'm going to do all that I better get ready.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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