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
November 26, 2014 - 11:45 a.m.
I'm writing this on the bus to Boston. It isn't a regular Bolt Bus and has no outlets so I have to race to finish this before my computer's battery's die. Wish me luck. This will be shorter than usual.. I am also cramped. Bolt bus is going to hear from me.
Yesterday I made an expedition into the Lower East Side to get treats. I also went to a restaurant supply store to get a potato masher and a potato peeler. I asked the guy where the mashers were. I didn't want a huge commercial one. He found one and said is this OK. It said, "Perfect Potato Masher" right on it. I told him, "It's perfect." Yes I believe everything that I read. When I got home guess what I made. Come on guess. Yes you got it, mashed potatoes. I haven't made them in years as I didn't have a masher. I forgot that I make the best mashed potatoes even though I didn't do anything special. I didn't use peanut butter instead of butter and there were no bacon bits. But there was half and half and butter AND olive oil. That's a tip you should try. As for the masher it really was perfect. I never had one that did such a good job. One press and the potato was just about done. It came out incredibly creamy. One other tip. Don't put in the butter and cream or whatever fat you use at room temperature. I warm it in the microwave for 50 seconds. That's why it comes out so creamy. I should have taken pictures.
Then I was off to Williamburg to see Mike Meranda and Robert Sarazin Blake. Williamsburg is in Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn. That should be easier to get to than the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It isn't.. I went through Manhattan. and then had to walk 8 blocks. It took far longer than getting to the LES.
Good thing it was worth it. The show was at Pete's Candy Store. When I got there I saw Jeremy out front! I didn't expect that. I should have realized that he knows Mike from the Hoot.. I have to get to the Hoot one of these days
When we went in I saw Robert at the bar and said hello.. He wasn't very friendly. I didn't get that. He's always friendly to me. When we got to the back room where the show was there was a second Robert Sarazin Blake who gave me a warm greeting. I guess he divides himself in two like Captain Kirk did in damn, I forgot the title of the episode but you know the one I mean. The one where there' s a good Kirk and a bad Kirk. No not "Mirror Mirror:" with the alternate universe and Spock has a beard. .The one with transporter malfunction. Anyway Robert must have been divided the same way. That or some guy looked like him and I am so blind or stupid I couldn't tell it wasn't him. But that doesn't seem likely.
Mike was nowhere to be found. He was supposed to go on first. He was stuck om the NYS Thruway.. He gave himself four hours to get there but it wasn't enough. Oh the Star Trek episode is "The Enemy Within." Google finally connected. There were actually people I knew in the audience.. In addition to Jeremy there were Amy, Stephanie, and Laura. I had met Laura when Robert played at Amy's house.
The show must go on so Robert just went on first. Somebody I forgot who, described him as a beat poet. John Platt said he sings with the voice of experience. I wish I had come up with either one of those. I will tell you that not only is he great but that I love him more every time I see him. He tells stories as much as he sings.. But even when he's talking about the same event the story changes from telling to telling. Not that he changes the facts but the emphasizes different things. He sounds nothing like him, his music is not at all similar but the closest thing to Robert is Sam Baker. That's high praise indeed. It's the seamless mixing of storytelling and song that they share as well as that voice of experience thing.
Mike showed up about 20 minutes in and went right on stage and joined Robert. They swapped songs. They backed each other. Mike's banjo adds so much to Robert's songs. He has this way of putting in dissonance at just the right moment.
I have known Mike since 2001 but this was the first time I've seen him without his wife Ruthy. Originally in the Mammals and now as Mike & Ruthy. He has the best name for his solo show, "Ruthless Mike." If Ruthy goes solo it has to be unplugged. She'd be Mikeless Ruthy.
OK time out. The people behind me are having a great conversation and I had to talk to them. We are in the Bronx and the man told the woman that they renamed River Avenue "Rivera Avenue" after Mariano Rivera. How perfect I that? They just needed to add one letter and this is near Yankee Stadium Before that he quoted Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we talked Eliza Dushku for a bit. OK now back to last night.
Mike is an actual folk singer. I say I listen to folk music but most of it is pretty far afield. There's just no other place to put it. Mike is totally in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. It is folk with no apologies He's working on three part album "69 Protest Songs." When he writes a protest song it isn't a letter to the editor. It doesn't just protest but it's also a song. People so often forget that part. 90% of everything I crud. It goes up to 97% with protest songs. I've heard some that I agree with the sentiments but that hit you over the head so hard I want to change sides. There' one that if were about the Vietnam War back in the day would have gotten me to enlist and fight the Vietcong. But Mike doesn't do that He's subtle and they are good songs to sing. They are the voice of someone who sincerely believes and doesn't have to oversell you. OK now I'm overselling you. But this is a case where not commiting an artistic sin is a major artistic virtue.
We moved North a bit and the ground is covered in snow.
Oh this entry isn't short. It's long. Well the battery is holding out so I'll keep writing.
It was a great show in a great intimate venue with two performers that are so good and that I'd have fun with if they didn't sing and we just talked. And of course I did just talk to them for a while. And to Jeremy and all the other people I know. I told Stephanie that we always seem to run into each other in these narrow room venues. The last time was Cornelia Street. She said we were narrow minded. Yep that' me
I asked Google the fastest way home and the way the timing worked out it was walk 15 minute to near Heather's house and take the bus I usually take from there. I just missed the bus They don't run often. So what I did was run in front of the bus when it was stopped at a red light, waved my arms like a crazy person and hoped that the bus driver knew that meant I wanted to get on. He did and he broke the rules and let me on! Woohoo! that saved me 20 minutes or so.
There's so much more I want to write about. There's some of the CDS I've been listening to. but This is just not a comfortable place to write. Remind me that I have to write about crafts and arts. Not the other way around. I have to write about Harpeth Rising and Bumper Jacksons. But that will have to wait till after Thanksgiving and my visit with Joe, Emily, and their daughters. My once-a-year family is becoming more frequent than that.
Walk Off To Look for the End of America eo - November 06, 2017
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