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 16, 2016 - 10:33 p.m.
I'm taking a night off from writing about NERFA to write about what I did yesterday; somehow my life keeps happening even when I haven't caught up with my blogging. I don't know how that works.
Last night was the third not the second Tuesday of the month but just to make things difficult it was when we had John Platt's On Your Radar. Same thing happened last November. I had assured Allison and Joe that it would be the second Tuesday and Villa Palagonia booked a gig that night at the same time on my saying so. Not that I'm still feeling guilty about that. I have only 7,000 Hail Jonis left to say in my penance.
My plan was to go to Trader Joe's then to On Your Radar. I spent so much time blogging and ripping CDs that I did not have time for that. I ended up racing out of the house to make the bus. I always try and get to Rockwood Music Hall before doors open for On Your Radar to make sure that the seats are saved and to say hello to any musicians I know. This time that meant Rachael Kilgour. We had dinner plans for after the show so I especially wanted to touch base with her. The other artists were Max Hatt/Edda Glass and Sugar Ponies. As I got there right before doors Max and Edda were finished with their sound check and were upstairs. We introduced ourselves. Then I went down to check things out and say hi to Rachael. She was the first up so the last to sound check and I expected to see her. When I got there, I looked on the stage and didn't see her and said, "No Rachael." Then I heard, "Hi Gordon!" she was off to the side in the shadows. We did the hugs and greetings and I set up my table. The because Fred and Sheila couldn't make it we combined the usual saved seats to two tables and I moved to the one where John usually sits and he moved over one. I sat with Dan and Phyllis.
This was not a happy peppy night of music. Rachael's most recent album Rabbit in the Road, not in my head, I can only ever remember the rabbit part, sometimes it's hare, I'm an idiot, is an intensely personal work about her divorce. It's a unified album, not a collection of songs. Given the subject matter it is not cheerful. Maxx Hatt/Edda Glass's songs are also dark, though not as personal. There's a clear jazz influence on it. They were joking how the mood was staying down. Sugar Ponies brought the mood up with songs that had echoes of sixties pop, in particular the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
After the show and the selling of merch and settling of the business matters Rachael and I went for dinner. I've met Rachael a few times and we talked for a while in the Budgiedome but we had never socialized one on one before. I just thought she'd be fun to hang out with so I had asked her. I notice that I'm going out with the OYR musicians more often than I used to. I figured we'd eat and talk for an hour and then I'd head home with plenty of time to make the last bus. You know my saying that forebodes that wasn't going to happen. I was right, she was very good company and we talked to about midnight at Rosario's pizza. Going there is also becoming a tradition. Then I walked her back to Rockwood, she was meeting the Kirsten Maxwell, who had a gig there, and I headed to the subway. The irony is that Robby Hecht was playing at 10 PM and I thought that was too late for me to go to as I'd miss the last bus.
So now it was midnight and I was heading home. I missed the last bus but that speeds my trip as I get a cab at the Pelham Bay station, I don't have to wait as there's always one waiting, and I'm home in ten minutes. Again, you can tell that was not to be. To get home I take the to the and often switch for a while to the which runs express. I considered taking the all the way to 63rd street where I can switch to the or . If the is not running express that could be faster. But I decided to keep it simpler. That is a messier transfer. So I took the one stop to Bleecker, go to the platform and when I get there I hear an announcement that there are no trains running between Brooklyn Bridge and 42nd Street because of an incident. We weren't told what it was. It was back to the and waited another 20 minutes for it to come. I didn't mention I had a wait that long the first time. Then when I got back to the there were still long delays, I don't know how long I waited. I just know that I didn't get home till 3 AM. That means I lost an hour and a half on the subway. I was not happy. That's wrong; I was happy because I had a great time before that. It was very much like a continuation of NERFA. I went to a showcase where I heard three musical acts. I spent quality time getting to know one of them, then didn't get to sleep till an ungodly hour. For NERFA that's early.
I slept late today; till after 10 AM. Then I had to leave for therapy earlier because Jane couldn't drive me to the train. I found a new way of going. Instead of taking two buses to the New Rochelle station, I take two buses to the Fordham Station. That's a much longer distance but the bus to Fordham runs far more frequently than the bus to New Rochelle. That meant leaving only an hour earlier than I need to when I'm driven instead of an hour and a half earlier. The best part is there is much less waiting. Instead of just missing the train, I make it with just enough time that I don't have to worry if things are running a bit slow.
Therapy was a bit weird. We mainly did paperwork, but paperwork that's important for me getting social services. I love my therapist. I of course had anxiety with the entire process but I dealt with it well. I meditated and did deep breathing. I didn't show it at all. I had to tell her about it. I'm often like that. Unless I'm doing very poorly I can hide what's going on inside me and present my usual cheerful, what me worry, affect.
On the way home, I stopped at Stop & Shop as I couldn't go to Trader Joe's yesterday. That trip was also easier as I discovered that the bus leaves from across the street from an exit that I don't usually use so I don't have to go back to the train station. The bus take a circuitous route so the bus trip home was 10 minutes shorter.
For reasons I didn't get till I noticed when writing this that I only got five hours of sleep last night, I was dead tired when I got home. I couldn't write then as I planned. But I could watch two episodes of The Flash ad that woke me up enough to make dinner, and when I was finished with that I could write. Now tomorrow I can finish writing about NERFA and you'll discover what musicians you need to hear.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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