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
April 15, 2017 - 2:41 p.m.
I'm getting off to a late start today, that's what comes of sleeping late and spending time trying to figure out how to make boneless ribs in a crockpot. I have never used one so of course I googled what to do. Every recipe I see calls for 4 lbs. of meat and I have less than a pound. It's just for me. I might have to just wing it. If this works I might have a new addiction.
My plan is to write for a few minutes, then make brunch, then come back and write again. I had adventures yesterday seeing Richard Thompson. Perhaps even more important Mike and I came up with a plan to spiritually transform Trump and make him a better president. We did not discuss how to implement it but Justin Trudeau should be able to help. Can any of you get a message to him? Do all Canadians know each other? I'm getting ahead of myself. I have much to tell before I even get to the plan.
I'm back. So much for my plan to have matzoh brei every day during Pesach. I had a craving for sausageeggandcheese so that's what I had. I don't hold myself to arbitrary rules. I have only one egg left so tomorrow it will be matzoh brei. I'm a terrible tease. Here I am promising word on Richard Thompson and saving the republic and I take time off to discuss breakfast. I guess I shouldn't blame the network news when they tease a news story.
I got to see Richard Thompson thanks to the beneficence of WFUV and one of its members. He had two tickets to see RT that he offered to the station to offer as a premium during the pledge drive. They were not able to do that but they asked if they could offer them to a volunteer. I was the volunteer! The next step was getting a date. Today is Emma Watson's birthday so she's the first one I asked. She didn't get back to me. I bet she didn't get the message and she'll call me tomorrow and tell me how much she would have liked to have gone if she had known. I did what I learned I have to do in these situations; I asked many people at once and told each of them to get back to me ASAP. The winner was Mike! The show is in Tarrytown and he lives in Irvington so I thought he would be a likely taker. Last year he had the extra ticket to see RT at Caramoor and asked me. I was on my way to the Mile End Deli at the time to get poutine. I got it to go and turned around and raced to Grand Central Station and met him up there. It's only fitting that I returned the Richard Thompson favor.
Linda is the WFUV admin, i.e. the person that gets thing done. She was going to the show to represent the station. She's the one that told me about the tickets in the first place. She picked me up in Pelham, gave me the ticket, and drove me up there. There are reasons that I love WFUV and I love Linda. I helped her set up. I would have had dinner with her but I ate with Mike who couldn't make it till 6:30 and Linda had to in the lobby by 7:00. I kept her company while she ate.
Then Mike and I walked a few doors down to The Oath – Craft Beer Sanctuary. It has a French theme. That serve, now get this, poutine! I bet the owner is French Canadian. They do it with a twist, instead of serving it with smoked meat they use pulled pork. I figured I'd try it. it was wonderful, better than with smoked meat. The consistency works better. How perfect is this? for the second time in less than a year I saw Richard Thompson with Mike and ate poutine first. I saw RT and had poutine and saw two friends. I could stop right now; you should be jealous. There are few ways this could not be a great evening.
Over dinner, while discussing poutine with pulled pork, I brought up that I would not have liked that when I was younger. I didn't want everything mixed together. I see now that I had to travel further on my spiritual path to learn the joys of mixing all your food together. I am now more enlightened. Mixing your foods together is both a sign and a result of enlightenment. The Buddha would have loved poutine with pulled pork. That's when it hit us. If we served Donald Trump poutine he'd gain enlightenment. Yes, he would probably put ketchup on it, but now that we ate poutine and are now more enlightened we'd forgive him for that. The country, the world, would be in better hands if he ate poutine. The best plan is for him to visit Trudeau and for Justin to serve him poutine at a state dinner. Who can help us make that happen? We'll share our Nobel peace prize with you.
After dinner, we moseyed over to get ice cream. It was delicious coffee with chocolate chunks. Then we went to the theater. All of this was within a block of the Tarrytown Music Hall. You can do the same any time you go to a show there. I highly recommend it.
Linda asked me if I could man the WFUV booth during the intermission and I of course said, "yes." This let her go home early. All I had to do was sit there and smile. I thought of it as being eye candy. I encouraged people to take the tchotchke. The keychain bottle opener is great.
Mark and I discussed where we met. We both knew it was the Bell House but didn't remember what show. I thought it was the Brooklyn Folk Fest or the Bluegrass Bash. We know that Sarah Jarosz played as that's that started the discussion. He thought it was a Punch Brothers show. Thanks to the magic of the search box on the bottom of this page I found that it was The Deadly Gentleman's Ball. You can read it now, Dayanu. Notice I was very proud that I remembered the names of the couple that I met, Mark and Kate. Hey, Mark is close to Mike. I considered calling Mike, "Mark" this entire entry but that would confuse even me.
Our seats were in the first row of the balcony, those are very good seats. Richard did not put on a very good show, he put on a great one. He plays at Tarrytown every year and often does something unusual. This time it was unusual in an unusual way. Instead of digging out lesser known songs he gave what amounts to an extended festival set. He played so many hits. Valerie was the second song. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning can 25 minutes in. There were some I didn't know. One was great; it told the story of a soldier in WWI that find a dead soldier clutching a picture of his bride. He carries the picture through the war. When he gets back home he looks up the dead soldier's wife, falls in love, and marries her. Then he goes to war again, I assumed in WWII, fighting in the same place as her first husband died. It was a novel in one song. Thompson is not just one of the greatest guitarists, he's one of the greatest songwriters. This song was deep.
I'm totally blanking on what the new funny song was. Mike, do you remember? Most of RT's songs are very dark but he can be laugh out loud funny. His banter is always funny. He mocks himself, the audience, and just about everything else. Impish is the world that comes to mind.
Richard Thompson never phones it in. I have never seen him give a bad show. I have never seen him give a mediocre show. I've never seen him do a good show. The range is great to epic. He does 1952 VBL just about every show but it is always fresh. I always cry. The challenge is to not sing along. I showed Mike my Pesach kazoo and we discussed my playing it during the guitar solo. Before the show, they made an announcement saying no photography and to turn cell phones off but said nothing about kazoos. I could have done it but resisted. What if Richard asked me to tour with him and I had to miss Falcon Ridge?
After the show, Mike drove me to the train station. I had to wait 23 minutes as they come only once an hour. On the bright side, it stopped at University Heights so getting home was faster. I can catch the BX 12 from there. On the dark side, it was still too late to catch the last bus to City Island and I had to take a cab. On the bright side, I still had a leftover Metro North ticket so I didn't have to buy one for the train.
My plan today is to not leave the house. I can watch MST3K on Netflix!
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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