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
March 05, 2016 - 12:58 p.m.
I did something yesterday so I have something to write about today. Aren't you lucky I had fun. Of course I think it might be more interesting when I write about a bad time; that was Tolkien's theory. Most literature and films bear that at. Mordor is more dramatic than Rivendell. Yesterday I was in Rivendell.
Kristin Andeassen has this marvelous project, Miles of Music. Follow the link to learn more. It's a camp on an Island in Lake Winnipesaukee and two house camps, one in Brooklyn and one in Boston. There are intensive music lessons for everyone from total beginners to professionals. No I've never gone but I've wanted to forever. I don't actually make music but one of these days I'll go for songwriting and take beginning lessons in some instrument. I feel like Alan Mendelsohn saying that; "I'm a Martian, I was born here but my parents are from Mars and one day we'll go back there to live." This weekend is the Brooklyn House Camp and last night was the kickoff concert and square dance at Jalopy. I did the merch. The performers were for the most part the instructors at the camp, Mike + Ruthy, Kristin Andreassen, Kristin Slipp, Alec Spiegelman and Ben Davis of Cuddle Magic, Lauren Balthrop of Dear Georgiana, and Stephanie Coleman. Hey that list isn't complete the Brother Brothers appeared also, that's Adam and David Moss; this was their first official show. I pretty much had to be there for that. When's the last time I saw Mike + Ruthy? I think it was a year ago. Kristin, Stephanie, and Alec I see all the time. I see Kristin more since she moved to Nashville than when she lived here.
Jalopy listed the show as starting at 8:00. I wanted to get there around 7:15, before the 7:30 doors to set up the merch and find out exactly what's going on. Someone ate the 7:00 bus. It was there on the MTA website approaching the terminal and at the terminal but didn't leave the terminal. Instead I had to wait for the 7:09 bus. I got there at 7:33. Turns out that doors were at 8:15 so I was fine. I had plenty of time to set up and for the artists to tell me about the merch.
In addition to the artists I knew Amy and her son Lucas who help run the event. It's always fun to see them too. Next year I want to see more of my Gentle Readers there, it's such a great show. Because of the square dance they took out the pews. People sat on the floor or stood at the back. I stood as I had to be able to get to the merch. There was a lot of collaboration, the musicians played with each other. I know Steph and Alec from their playing with other people. Imagine what an old time folk show would be, something from the 60s. That's what this was. It was all acoustic with harmonies and strings and marvelous instrumentals. This was not sensitive people with guitars telling you how they feel. It was very loose. Early on, I think Cuddle Magic was up first, Kristin was making up the running order. Everybody knew each other. The audience was mainly campers; it's like being members of the same club. I got to meet some cool people The two I got to know were a neuroscientist from Cold Spring Harbor and a musician from Boston that Alec thought I should know. I had a great geeky conversation with the neuroscientist. He also thought the idea of using people's nervous systems for energy in The Matrix was ridiculous. These are my people
Next year I'll volunteer for the Brooklyn camp, that way I don't have to pay. I'll go as a songwriter. If I ever get on my feet financially I'll go to the Island too. I meet the campers at Kristin's shows or the house concerts at Amy's and they all love it so. It's easy to focus on the annoying people you run into going about your business. But that's not most people and if you go to something like this that attracts kindred spirit the world looks a lot more inviting.
I of course did not make a quick getaway. I manned the merch and talked to people. Then when I was ready to leave I saw the bus wasn't coming for 20 minutes. So I hung around with Kristin, Mike, Alec, and Ruthy. Six minutes before the bus was to arrive I left. It's a few blocks to the bus stop. I passed Mike and Ruthy packing their car right on the block. I stopped to ask them who they killed for such a great spot. I stopped to talk for many a minute. That was a mistake. A block from the bus stop I saw the bus make the turn. As I got close I shouted "STOP!" the driver didn't hear me. Nobody was at the stop and nobody get off there and the bus just moved on. NOOO! The busses run something like every half an hour. I started to walk to the subway, I think the walk is something like half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. But then I saw the bus stop for a light. I ran to see if I could catch it at the next stop. Somebody got on or off there which gave me a chance. I raced and got to the bus, the door was closed. I knocked on it and the driver let me in. Whew. That saved a ton of time. I feel out of breath now thinking about running for the bus.
Now I'm going to finally make grits. If you live near Boston sign up for the Miles of Music house camp if there's room. I know the Island camp is sold out. But you can still go to the Boston concert. Get to know the people and see what it's like.
Just to make me happy Miles to Dayton should play the Miles of Music camp. I think of one whenever I think of the other. The world should be run for my amusement.
A miracle just occurred, I didn't make a single typo; spell check tells me there were no spelling or grammar errors. Actually I'm better than spell check. I can spell Andreassen. It thought that was a mistake. People often get her name wrong but it's easy. Just remember that it's Andreas' son and that the Norwegians spell son sen. Hey they are Vikings they can spell things any way they want.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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