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 11, 2014 - 1:53 p.m.

Sharon, Scott, Paul Atreides, Tom Bombadil, and Other Heroes

Pop quiz time. Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month. So what did I do? Yes you got it, I went to John Platt's On Your Radar. John's guests this month were Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes, Sharon Goldman, and David Lockwood.. Which of these is not like the others? It's David. Scott and Sharo are both integral parts of the New York singer/songwriter community, go to the Songwriter's Exchange, come to On Your Radar, play with each other, and are good friends of mine. They were on a first name basis with just about everyone in the audience, as was I. David is the outsider from New Hampshire though he did go to NYU. That has to be awkward when everybody else knows each other. I project a lot.

As always I got there early. I ran into Karen OK I have to use last names as all my friends share a small set of name and there were two Karen's there. I ran into Karen Hudson on the way there but she was walking in the opposite direction. She and her friend went to the show but we were way early and she went to Yonah Schimmel for Knishes first. That might be the only food that gets into this entry. Even though I don't like knishes they are the food of our people and that is THE place to get them. If I didn't want to go in early I might have joined them to have an egg cream.

But I do help with the series and I like to get there early to schmooze and see if there is anything I can do to help. There was! The light that's by the merch area was missing and I got it put in place. Mainly I grabbed a table for me and Fred and schmoozed. Lots of people to schmooze with there.


David Lockwood

Sorry to say he didn't impress me. He studied with Randy Newman and that gives you an idea of the genre of his music but as do 99.99% of songwriter's he lacks Randy's genius. Good thing I didn't talk to him or friend him or I'd have to be more circumspect.

When his set was over I fett a tap on my shoulder and thought it was Gayle on the stool next to me but it was Allison Scola. She and Joe came in late and sat down behind Gayle. I haven't seen them in a while so I spent most of the break talking to them.

Next up was Sharon Goldman. Now we enter the warm and fuzzy part of the lineup. There's more to Sharon's music than meets the ear. I can see someone not paying close attention thinking, "another sensitive chick with a guitar singing sensitive songs." It fits her look. It fits her demeanor. But if you actually pay attention you find there's far more polish to the songwriting. She find the right word, not almost the right word. The chords are not always the one you expect. But most of all she has something to day. And often what she has to say is "Don't assume I'm another sensitive chick with a guitar, there are unplumbed depths here." When you listen you plumb those depths. Now I want to use that as a pick up line. "I want to plumb your depths.' OK I'm back. Continuing in the warm and fuzzies. Sharon was joined by friends.


Skyler Bode one of the Other Heroes

Mya Byrne, another Hero, and Amy Soucy

This was a family affair. I always feel good after hearing Sharon and I always want to give her a hug.

Scott and the Heroes were last. I usually do an intellectual discussion of Scott's music and the phrase cognitive dissonance finds it's way onto the page. But this time as I was listening and dancing in my seat it came to me that the word I should use to describe their music is fun, straight up "it has a good beat you can dance to it" fun. Yes the lyrics are dark and twisted but of course that is fun, at least to me. If I didnt love dark and twisted I wouldn't love Scott as a friend. He probably wouldn't like me either. I want to live in a world where Apocalypse Caf is a pop music hit.


Scott, Matt, Mya


Skyler on concertina

The rhythm section, Chris and Kirk were standing I the dark so I couldn't get their pics.

More warm and fuzzies. Somehow I was never introduced to Matt before and I got to know him before the show. The other Heroes are my friends. Kirk gave me the best present ever, A Perry the Platypus decal for my water bottle. It pays to be friendly.

I hadn't eaten dinner and I didn't stay as long as usual to socialize after the show. I stayed a bit of course. Then when I left I found myself walking with Karen, Amy, and Jenai. Jenai is my Facebook friend and I sort of feel we must have met at NERFA but we had never actually talked. So we played getting to know you. I learned that other people had said her name wrong. It's JEN-eye, rhymes with Jedi. So now you know to not call her Jen-A. We walked to the subway together and I rode with them one stop. They live uptown but I can take the one stop uptown and switch to the to get home so I did that. OK I got food and commuting in there. It's an official blog post now.

My therapy was postponed from Monday so I had to take my own measures to handle my anxiety. One thing I do when I know I'm going to face an anxious situation is to play it out in my head with the bad result I fear. That prepares me for the reality. To give an example I don't face. Let's say I was asking for a promotion. I'd picture the boss telling me "No" and then because this is me adding. "in fact now that you bring it up you suck and you're fired." Good thing my high school didn't have a prom. If it did and I worked up the nerve to ask a girl out she's have told me, "Not only would I never go out with you but I'm now going to flunk all my classes so I'm left back a career and I won't have to go to the same prom as you." This from the guy that says he has self-confidence. I do, the key word being self.

It struck me the other day that this visualizing is analogous to the Litany Against Fear. Who other than Rob knows what I'm talking about. I know there are a few of you. I know that some of you have recited it when you needed to. It's from Dune a book that I've read about a dozen times. It's one of those perfect books for adolescents where the young boy more rarely girl turns out to be the foretold chosen one. The litany is part of his training.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing....only I will remain.

I said it now and then when I was young. I started to try it now when I feel the anxiety coming. It helps. Why? Nothing magical. Like mantras and meditating, and prayer, it distracts you and focuses you on something else. When I do it I visualize the process with the fear a moving miasma and the path a tunnel.

Sometimes in similar situations I'll sing the song that Tom Bombadil taught the Hobbits to summon him.

Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow,
By fire, sun and moon, hearken now and hear us!
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!

Therapy and books I read when I was 12. Both seem to help.

I think it's bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. They are beckoning. Ackk. how did it get so late? It's almost 2.





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile June 11, 2014
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