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 10, 2018 - 5:47 p.m.
Pop quiz time, put your books away and take your pens out. Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month; what did I do last night? Are you serious? Breathed? I did it, but you know it's not what I meant. Let's try again; where did I go last night and why did I go there? That's right. I'm glad that some of you have done your reading assignments. I went to John Platt's On Your Radar.
I'm back. You didn't realize I went away? I fell asleep. Then I decided I needed coffee to finish this and I had to do laundry. It's two hours since I finished that last paragraph. The magic elixir caffeine is now coursing through my veins transforming me into Bloggerman!
John's guests last night were Diamond Hotel, Meghan Cary, and Shawn Taylor. I promote OYR on social media, so I have been writing that for a month. I'll now say what I have thought every time I wrote it but resisted. Now that the show is over, and Shawn is not around to punch me I can. To me it's always been Meghan "spells her name right" Cary and Shawn "What the hell hadn't his parents heard of Sean Connery" Taylor. The first time I saw the spelling "Shawn" was Mets' number one draft pick Shawn Abner. I figured his parents were illiterate hillbillies. Then they proliferated, Shawn Colvin, and Shawn Mullins. It's still wrong. Sorry Shawn, I know it's not your fault. Maybe your parents loved A Boy Named Sue and figured it would make you a man.
Why is anybody my friend? It must be my good looks.
I always get to On Your Radar before doors open to make sure everything is going smoothly and to schmooze. Yesterday I lost track of time. Then I just missed a bus, then the next bus was late. Then there was a problem on the F train. The show had already started when I arrived. Good thing I have a reserved seat. The problem with that it is the furthest seat from the door. My timing was good, Shawn (sic), had just finished a song but I still had to cross a crowded room during his patter. The easiest route is cutting in front of the stage, but I thought I shouldn't do that. Instead I squeezed between tables knocking things down and wreaking havoc. John put it nicer, he said, "you had to make an entrance."
When I realized I would be late I commented on one of Shawn's (sic) posts that as I'd miss the start of his set he should begin with Barry Manilow covers. I'm glad I missed that part. There three folk acts last night and not one of them was a droning sensitive person with a guitar. They avoided that in different ways. Unlike the drones, Shawn (sic) uses rhythm as a dimension to express himself. He knows there's more to playing a guitar than strumming chords and playing a few riffs. It sounds simple, but it isn't. Go to NERFA, and you'll realize how rare that is. When I closed my eyes, it was to listen closer, not to hide that I was sleeping.
Nobody will accuse Meghan of droning. Meghan writes anthems. Not all her songs but she did three in a row and had the crowd singing along. Other audiences sing but we Sing Louder. I should explain that joke to those unfamiliar with Meghan, it's the title of her hit song. That's folk hit, which like folk famous, means that it's a hit in the NERFAverse. I know Meghan well enough to heckle her. That's a true sign of my affection. After the show she said I was gentler than usual. I need to bring my A game next time. Meghan was joined by her husband Peter who I am pretty sure has a last name, it might even be Cary, on keyboard and Bob Beach on harmonica and flute. I've known Bob for ages through the Lansdowne Folk club and playing with David Jacobs-Strain.
Diamond Hotel was totally new to me. This is embarrassing I thought they didn't have a website. I couldn't find one when I posted the information on the show on Facebook. Now I doublechecked and found the URL on their Facebook page. Nicholas the sprite that steals and replaces things in my apartment must have gotten an internet account and has been hacking. I bet you thought I'd say I was an idiot. I am an idiot but I'm blaming this on Nicholas. As they didn't have a website (sic), I did not have high expectations. They were raised somewhat by fun interactions with Raquel, the leader, on social media. She didn't run away from my jokes, she joined in. She was charming during her interview with John and reminded both Fred and me of Dar. That was reinforced when she told stories introducing songs. They have the same cadence. Then came the music which was not at all like Dar, it was folk rock. Fred thought alt-Rock. It was rock for sure. There was electric guitar and a drum kit. There was a rock beat. There was an element of Eilen Jewel at times but moodier and haunting. Eilen meets Barnaby Bright? That's falling around the mark without hitting it. The Dar connection was not a coincidence. She lives two minutes from Dar and they are friends. She is Dar's partner in the songwriting retreats.
I didn't get to schmooze before the show, but I got some in between sets and afterward. Many regulars were missing but it was a packed house. I knew Dan & Phyllis, Marty, Mara, and Ellen. Is that really it? I think so. I already mentioned Fred and John. Andrew was there too. I didn't see him till I went upstairs
I finally had time to talk to Shawn and Meghan and introduce myself to Raquel. I wanted to make a quick getaway as I only had a few tiny slices of reheated frozen pizza before I left home. I stayed for close to an hour. Even when I'm in a rush I don't get on the F train which is right there. I've grown to enjoy my walk to the 6 train. It's nice to stretch my legs after sitting so long and it's a fun neighborhood. I stopped at the 99¢ pizza place for a slice. When I got to the Astor Place station I found that the 6 was running express to 42nd Street. If I had taken the F I would not have been able to transfer at Bleecker. I had to walk up to Union Square to catch it. I was dressed warm enough and I enjoyed that walk too. I rewarded myself with a hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows. Don't ask what I rewarded myself for.
It's late now and I should go shopping. I might just stay on the Island and pay a little more rather than spending an hour traveling to and from Pathmark. I'll see if we can do without butter till tomorrow. If so I'm going to put it off till then. I was away again. I didn't leave to find out about the butter. My help was needed by Jane and Bernie. There is a ceiling fan downstairs. The ceiling is about 15 feet high. There's no wall switch on the fan, just for the fan/light unit. There's a short pull chain, way to high to reach. Bernie had cobbled together a device to pull it out of a long rod and a coat hanger. They tried but couldn't get it to work. I tried it and realized that the hanger had bent out of shape. I used pliers, changed the widened the hole and was able to hook the chain and pull it. So far so good. Too bad the fan is a two speed. I had to do it again. The first time put it out of shape again. I did a redesign. This was much sturdier. I pulled, the fan went off. The problem now is that the design was so sturdy that it pulled the wire off the rod. It's stuck up there now. We decided to leave it till the spring when we need the fan again. In the mean time I asked Nicholas to get the wire off the chain. He doesn't have to fix the device, just bring it down and save me from having to climb the ladder. We'll see in the morning if he's done it. I'm not optimistic.
My therapist sometimes read my blog. I hope all this talk of Nicholas doesn't lead to commitment papers. If it does, I'll see if the loony bin has internet access
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
A Panaply of APAP Players - January 15, 2018
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