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

February 15, 2012 - 10:39 a.m.

Piercing the Radar with Grace

I did things yesterday. I have things to write about! Of course that means remembering things so don't get your hopes up.

Something dispiriting happened in class yesterday. I spent most of the class going over homework. When I started new material I prefaced it by saying, "what we are about to do is very important, the most important thing we've done so far." Four students then got up and walked out. What is going on in the mind of a student like that? Even if they don't care about learning, even if they don't care about disturbing other students, even if they don't care about being rude, don't they care how it looks to me the person giving them their grade?

After class I had a few hours to kill. My computer is still not set up. The computer I've been using was occupied by the teacher that was supposed to be tutoring. When someone came in for tutoring she stayed there and I still couldn't use it. So I had to use one of the even worse computers there for the students. It didn't even have Firefox installed. At least it let me install it. It really shouldn't have. Students should not be allowed to add software to a shared computer like that. I complained to my department chairman about my not having a computer and what she suggested is that we take my computer which has no place to be plugged in and move it for now over to where one of the student computers is. I have to make sure that they don't let students use it. I won't be at my desk and will be in the middle of the room but at least I'll have access to my files.

After I got settled down Carey came on and we were able to play on turntable.fm. I needed that after all the annoyances I had to put up with.

The reason I had to hang around is because it was the second Tuesday of the month so I went to see John Platt's On Your Radar. John's guests this month were Pierce Pettis and his daughterGrace Pettis.

I got there a little later than usual, other people were already lining up to go in. I'm usually there before anyone and hang out during the end of sound check. The bright side of this was that I got to hang out with Lori not LORi, Rona & Bob, Richard and Viki, and Eden.

I was not that familiar with the performers. I had never seen Pierce live and I don't have any of his CDs but I've heard him on the radio and knew he was one of the people that I should know better. I caught Grace's set at the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase and talked to her for a few minutes after that. She had to run straight from there to a gig in Virginia so she couldn't stay for the rest of the Festival. My friends who saw her at Kerrville spoke so highly of her that I made sure to not miss her. She was back at Falcon Ridge this year I'd have invited her to play The Budgiedome.

The show didn't have the usual On Your Radar format. John interviewed them jointly before the show and they did one long combined set. Grace harmonized on Pierce's songs and Pierce played guitar on Grace's. I wish I had taken some notes. There was one Pierce song that Grace did with spare harmonies and slightly out of synch that worked perfectly. That's it, it was Perfect Moment! I have my moments too.

Grace doesn't look, sound, or write like Pierce but she inherited his songwriting talent. The songs have both the craft and the art. What they share is compactness. They can say a lot with very few words.

They also both have a totally unassuming stage presence. It's like they are playing a few songs just for you in your living room; not on stage in front of a crowd. There's no showmanship yet it makes for a great show.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day but Lori's Valentine Joe couldn't be there. He had to sing "I've been working on the railroad." Actually he had to work on the railroad, he's an engineer. So was Pierce's grandfather and he wrote a instrumental about that, My Granddaddy Blew the Whistle. I videoed that as Valentine for Joe. I'll play it for you so you can hear Pierce's guitar skills.

Grace is going to Texas today to record her new album. She has more songs than she needs and played several of what she called contenders. They were all good but my favorite was You're a Cowboy. Did I just remember a third song title? Is that possible?

I had plenty of other friends at the show of course, I always do at On Your Radar. Were all the others musicians? Maybe, There was Karyn, Honor, Anthony & Lauraly, and Bill. Anthony had a gig right afterward at Rockwood. I considered going to that too.

After the show I talked to Grace and Pierce. Pierce got all excited when I told him that Joe couldn't go because he was busy operating a train. He loved talking railroad. His grandfather wasn't the only one that worked on it. I have to pick up this conversation next time I see him.

After the show Bob and Rona gave Lori and me a ride home. This was the earliest I got home, 9:30. That was good as I forgot to bring my pills with me yesterday. I had to take 20mg of prednisone as soon as I got home and then another 10 mg when I went to bed.

I often have a strange eating schedule. Yesterday I ate brunch around 11 o'clock in the morning then didn't eat again till I got home when I gorged myself. First I heated up the leftover soup in the microwave. I ate it while I cooked a cheeseburger. I followed that up with a Trader Joe's S'More's ice cream sandwich.

Being able to do that is one of the best things about making the soup. I love cooking but there are times that popping something in the microwave is just what I need.

Today's schedule is running out for bagels. Tonight I'm seeing Carolann Solebello, Aaron Nathans, and Honor Finnegan at Gizzi's. Not only are they three of my favorite musicians and favorite people it's Carolann's birthday. She must be getting close to thirty by now. You should go too. The show is from 7 PM till 9 PM so it's an early evening.

Hey I got this finished only a half an hour later than I like. That's a half hour earlier than usual. Now for breakfast. I have to figure out what I'm doing for dinner. Maybe I'll eat when I get home again.

I forgot to post the pictures!





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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile February 15, 2012
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