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
January 16, 2018 - 11:43 a.m.
I've been remis of late, getting right to the point of the entries instead of randomly rambling. It's a matter of perspective; seeing it as a feature not a bug. I'm torn on what to do. The writing doctor in me says, "Start by stating the main idea." The rebel in me says, "Wise Madness is about your idiosyncrasies, be idiosyncratic." Today I'm going with idiosyncratic. It might not be "good writing" but it's writing I enjoy.
Yesterday was the last day of APAP and I went to this.
Tamara invited me when we were at NERFA. That's a lineup meant for me. I love Kaia, Jonathan, Sam, and Session Americana. I discovered just the day before that I love Ben & Joe. The only problem was that it ran to 11 and I didn't know if I wanted to stay out that late. There's no problem leaving these shows early, so it wasn't an issue and I went.
The Sheen Center is a block and a half from the Bleecker Street stop on the 6. The closest subway to me is the 6. I can get there easily and fast, for small values of fast. It takes an hour and 20 minutes. First, I had to stop by CVS. They sent me a text that my prescription was ready on Friday. My psychiatrist had emailed it in. I didn't know they automatically filled them when that happens. I also got a text asking me if I wanted my prescription for Gabapentin filled. I texted back, "NO." I no longer take that. When I picked up my prescription guess what it was for; that's right, Gabapentin. I have enough Zoloft® to last me this week but it's annoying that they got it wrong. I'm also annoyed that I'm blanking on the generic name for Zoloft. It's what it says on the bottle. It's what I usually call it. I got it, Sertraline. I know it starts with Ser, like serotonin. Now I don't have to call myself an idiot.
Even with stopping at CVS I got to the Sheen Center 25 minutes before doors. I should have taken the time to work things out at CVS. It was cold, and I had eaten at home, so I just waited in the lobby. I wanted to get there early in the hopes of socializing with the artists as APAP is a conference similar to NERFA. It's similar but not that way. They always refer people to the artists' management. I saw Kaia twice and didn't get to talk to her or her mother Tamara either time. I had been looking forward to that.
No one I knew showed up before doors. On the bright side when they opened I got the seat I wanted down front. I took pictures and videos. You aren't going to see them now. I have a backlog to edit.
As soon as Kaia came out I realized that I am an idiot. Yesterday I said she was accompanied by an electric and an acoustic guitarist. There was no acoustic guitar, the other guy played upright bass. Instrumentation I something my memory has trouble dealing with. I don't know why.
I'm just glad I got to see Kaia perform again. She was one of my favorite discoveries when I saw her at NERFA and she has improved since then. She's on my must-see list; now she needs play New York more often. I had an extra bonus, she was accompanied by Lily Henley on one song. Lily didn't fiddle, she sang; she's a double threat. I love when musicians I know independently collaborate.
During most of the intermissions I went into the lobby to see if anyone I knew was hanging out and maybe the artists. The only artist I ran into was Jonathan. I wasn't sure if he'd remember me, but he did. The person I schmoozed with the most was someone I didn't expect to be there, David. He's married to Jordana from Harpeth Rising and represents artists as the Sparrow Agency. I didn't think he represented anyone on the bill. He wasn't. His people had played earlier in the weekend. Just as it's more fun when artists have unexpected collaborations, it's more fun to run into friends when you don't expect to. Or is that just me?
Jonathan was performing as a trio with Johnny Waken, and Kyshona Armstrong on electric guitar and electric bass respectively. I know Johnny, he was with Jonathan when they performed at Spiral Sounds and I had dinner with them. I don't know Kyshona. I haven't seen Jonathan in a few years; he's at the point in his career where most artists have settled into what they do; not Jonathan, he keeps growing. When I first saw him over 15 years ago I thought he was good but not an eye-opener. Now he's on the short list of greatest singer/songwriters. I was going to just say songwriters but he's a great performer too. He's someone who I could bring someone that wasn't a music aficionado to and expect them to enjoy the show. My tastes aren't always so universal.
Sam is a great pairing with Jonathan, a unique songwriter and performer. He's a storyteller. He tells them in song and he tells them in prose. He's has a backstory, he was the victim of a terrorist bombing in Peru, it was a miracle he survived. His left hand was badly damaged as was his hearing. He didn't let that stop him from being a great artist. He learned to play guitar lefthanded and incorporate the experience into his songs. Those aren't my favorites. I love his sense of humor. He can tell touching tales that make you smile. The closest one to him is John Prine. I was disappointed not being able to talk to him. He's one of my people.
Ramy Essam is an Egyptian political rocker. I wish I knew Arabic and could understand the words, from what he said in his patter, my guess is that they are powerful.
I love Session Americana and don't see them enough. I wanted to see more of Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, but I decided that I should try and get home at a decent hour. I was expecting to have to make an early start tonight as Lauren is in town and we were planning on getting together.
We aren't but the reason we aren't is also a good reason for me to get home early. I might be coming down with something. I have not had symptoms like this before. I woke up the night before last with a terrible coughing fit. I was wondering if I had the flu. After it passed I went back to sleep. In the morning I felt fine. That's why I went out. A few times during the day I had similar coughing fits including on the ride home. I feel fine now but have a fierce post-nasal drip. Maybe it's allergies. Maybe I'm fighting off something. Maybe I have the flu but thanks to the flu shot it's so mild that it manifests itself as an intermittent cough. I don't want to risk getting sick this week, so I'll take it easy. On Saturday I'll be out all day for the Women's March and that night I'm going to Spuyten Duyvil's farewell show before their hiatus. I might have to run out to get potatoes and if I do I'll stop by the CVS and take care of that. But I won't push myself and I'll minimize exposing other people to what I have. Sorry Jonathan and David. If you get sick blame me. I was feeling fine at the time.
Time for brunch, Eggs Horvendile served on a waffle.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
From Love to Rockwood - January 22, 2018
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