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

June 22, 2012 - 12:16 p.m.

Music to Change the Universe By

I forgot to post this two days ago. Now you have something to read till I write today's edition of Wise Madness.

It's 8:30 and I'm writing! Yes! I'm finally getting on a schedule I like and fighting off the Chronoklepts. Of course tomorrow I have to be up at 5AM to volunteer at WFUV. I'll be there from 6 AM to 6 PM then I'm seeing Barnaby Bright at 9:30 PM. Will I survive that? If I get a ride to the D Train I can perhaps be home by 7:00 PM, nap till 8:45 and still get to Rockwood in time for the show. Will that help? I'm not sure. I might just head straight to the City. This is where I wish I still had a private office in school. I can get there faster and take a nap there. Maybe I'll just sleep on a couch at Fordham and till I go down to the show. That might make the most sense.

Now I'm way ahead of myself. Im writing about tomorrow when I haven't gotten around to writing about two days ago yet. But before that I forgot to write the most important thing that happened at Clearwater. When I went over to the musical instrument booth I started playing with the didgeridoos and told the guy selling htem that I could never get my lips to do what is needed to play it. He told me he could teach me in five minutes. I've tried a lifetime (it's pretty much the same thing for any brass instrument, you just vary the details) but told him to give it a shot. People have tried before and always failed. Guess what. He succeeded! I can get a sound out of didg. Sure I can't circular breathe or hold it long but I get the sound. I called him a genius. He said he's been trying to get people to call him genius John. I officially dubbed him that. Next year at Clearwater I'll go over and say hello and call him Genius John so all can hear. He deserves the honor.

I spent most of the day Monday recuperating from Clearwater. I went to therapy in the morning and had my after therapy sausage (I think that does me more good than the therapy) but didn't go to Trader Joe's as usual. Instead I went up to my office, why? I thought I left my watch there last week. The day after I was there I didn't have my watch but thought I just left it at home. The next day I couldn't find it and without panicking I realized I had probably left it in my office. When I got there it wasn't on my desk where I'd have left it and it wasn't in my desk where I asked the admin to put it. I waited around a while for the admin to get in so I could ask him if he had seen it and not returned my call. Just as I was giving up he came in. He had put it in my mailbox. I really should have looked there. I thought of looking there then something distracted me. I'll blame being tired from Clearwater but we all know it's just that I'm an idiot.

I thought of going to the Trader Joe's near school but decided I needed rest more and headed home. So you know what? I didn't spend most of my time recovering from Clearwater. I just wished I had.

I did actually vegetate as much as possible before I went out that night. I went to the Living Room for a Folk Alliance Showcase. It was part of a music business conference with events throughout the City. The showcases were open to the public. There were lots of good musicians playing but I limited myself to two that I already knew but loved Nels Andrews and Ariana Gillis.

Nels has crept up on me as a favorite. I met him first socially and liked but didn't love his music. But then something happened. The more I listened the more I discovered in it. I always liked that he wrote real folk songs, stories of people and characters, not the typical singer/songwriter confessionals. I thought of him in the tradition of Woody Guthrie with some workingman's voice like Springsteen. But there is more. There is poetry. There is a brilliant use of language. There is art. The songs are not as simple as they sound on the surface. He is the opposite of Dala, who I wrote about in mylast entry. Nels isn't pretty; sorry Nels but I think you'd agree you are not as pretty as Amanda and Sheila. Of course I didn't really mean physically but I couldn't resist that, it's too good a metaphor. Nels songs aren't pretty, but they are beautiful just a Van Gogh picture of peasants is beautiful.
Rod Picott fans should check him out and visa versa.

Ariana on the other hand blew me away the first time I saw her and had the same effect on the other music aficionados who discovered her at NERFA like I did. Ariana is pretty, she's very pretty, and that does have an effect on how you experience her music. You just don't expect such depth to come out of this adorable young woman. She's 21 but looks like she's 16. That cognitive dissonance fits her music. She can break your heart on one song, get you laughing on the next one, and get you up and dancing on the song after that. She can sound totally traditional but also write a catchy pop song. Her stage presence is always in command of the audience. I am so happy I got to see her 3 times in a month. She Canadian and does not get down to the US that often. When she does you have to make sure and catch her. She's something special.

Nels and Ariana can both change your perception of the world. Nels does it subtly and Ariana in a flash. That's worth going out to see hear even when you are exhausted.

I of course knew people at the show. I sat with Mike, Richard, and Ihor & Marisha.

Yesterday was exciting as I finally got my kitchen range connected to the gas! I can cook at home! It took only a few minutes once the guy got here.

After that I went out apartment hunting with Lisa. She moved back to New York and is now looking for a place in Brooklyn convenient to Manhattan. If you know anyplace let me know.

We spent the afternoon pounding the pavement. We didn't find anything but she got a feel for the neighborhoods.

Last night I planned on cooking dinner but got too late a start. I discovered that there wasn't a useable pot in the apartment I could use for making soup so I went to target and bought one and a French Press and a coffee grinder. I need some more cooking utensils and checked out Marshall's too but couldn't find what I wanted. The problem is that it's killing me that I have all this great cooking gear locked in storage that I can't get to or find. Today's plan is to beat the heat by getting out of the apartment and going to Bed Bath & Beyond for some things I can use. I want either cheap stuff of things that are better or different than I have in storage. I'm thinking cast iron skillet. Last night I ended up making breakfast for dinner. I poached eggs in the pot, heated bread my oven and added a few slices of Taylor ham that I heated in the microwave.

Tonight I'm going to Christopher Street Coffee House. We are presenting Ellis tonight. Come on down. It will be a great show. I'm the artist liason, It's my job to take care of Ellis's needs. Like it's a job to hang out with Ellis. People would pay to do what I'm doing.

Now it's getting hot. There's a frying pan that might be usable in the house and I'm going to try and make bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then a quick shower then Im out of my unairconditioned apartment. I have AC but only in the bedroom and I'm not staying in there all day.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile June 22, 2012
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