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
December 26, 2016 - 12:27 p.m.
It was the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a pointer was stirring, not even a mouse. Well except for the touchpad on this computer. And probably a few others downstairs. It's called poetic license. I only have a learner's permit.
How did this Jew spend Christmas? There was no movie and no Chinese food. Does that make me a bad Jew? I think not. After you read this, tell me what you think.
I went to Santa-Klez the Metropolitan Klezmer Christmas/Chanukah show at the Cornelia Street Café. I went with Carey not Carey. It was a very last minute thing. He didn't get back to me that he and his girlfriend Barbara were going till shortly before I had to leave. I had called him the day before. Carey doesn't use email or text or use his cell phone at all. We have had communication problems in the past that became large because of that. That's foreshadowing. It's important to know now because it affected my mental state. This was a fun but neuro day.
Jane gave me a ride to the subway which meant I got to the Café half an hour early. I walked around a bit then went inside to wait for Carey and Barbara and for the doors to open. Doors were supposed to open at 4:45 and the plan was to meet by then. I was of course the first one there. I hung out and chatted with the host. He was fun and very nice. Other people came and stared piling up inside. Then most of them moved outside. The doors did not open at 4:45. They kept pushing back the time. They ended finally opened a little after 5:00. Some people cut ahead of me but I went in right after them. I had a reservation for three. I got a decent table near the front. I put my bag down and went upstairs to look for Carey. I was afraid he was lost or waiting outside. I went up as people were still coming down. I had to wait for this one couple to come down the stairs. He said as he neared the bottom, "You going upstairs?" I said yes and ran up to look for Carey and Barbara. I talked to Eve and Debra from the band and knew they'd be starting in a few minutes. All I did was walk to the end of the block and came back. I went back downstairs and found other people at my table. I had been seated by the downstairs host who know I had a reservation for three. I looked around and found my bag at a table for two. I went to someone that worked there and told them some body took my table. Before he answered that he pointed to Carey and Barbara and said, "Those people said they were with you." I said "they were and we need a table for three and I was the first one on the line and should get my original table. He said, "But are those people with you?" I said, "Yes," again. Anyway, he started to show me to a seat in the back and I said that I was the first one there, I had a reservation for three, and I wasn't sitting in the back. The reason he moved me was because there was a party of 10 that made a reservation. I don't quite know why that meant moving me but they put several tables together including mine. For them. I called over Carey and Barbara who were still waiting in the back. I said, "OK we'll sit here but we still need another seat." Somehow it came out that he thought we needed four seats because Carey said he had a reservation for three people. Yes, Carey, Barbara, and me. Somehow, he thought that meant three people plus me. He finally brought over another chair. It was very cramped unlike my original table that had room for three. The table with ten had put coats on hour coat hook. I could squeeze mine on over theirs and Carey and Barbara had to put them on the bench. The neuro continues.
When I got to talk to Carey he told me that he had passed me on the stairs. Huh? They were the couple asking if I were going up when they were coming down. I'm blind, they were silhouetted and bundled up. I was distracted and rushing to find them. He didn't say "Hi Gordon," or anything that showed recognition to catch my attention. I'm not sure if this counts as an idiot story or a blind story.
The show was already late but then the entire show was delayed why they took the orders of the party of ten that took my table and were sitting up front by the stage. They didn't take our order. I looked at the menu and it was a $65 Prix fixe. They were supposed to have the regular bar menu available. The waiter finally came over and I asked for the bar menu. He didn't come back with it till after the party of ten were served their dinners. I had a burger and fries. When they came, he said, I'll bring you the ketchup. I nibbled on fries while I waited as I need it for the burger. After several songs of him not coming I ate the burger. It needed ketchup. Soon after I finished he came over to clear the table. I said, "I never got my ketchup." His response was "oh?" He said that I expected more. He perfunctorily said, "I'm sorry, as he was walking away." OK that's it for bad neuro. Now on to the good parts.
Metropolitan Klezmer rocks. I always love their shows and this was no exception. It was an unusual lineup. Ismail, the accordionist was not there. He was replaced by someone I know from totally difference circles Rachelle Garniez. She's a neuromusic singer/songwriter that played Common Ground for Carter's birthday. She was great. I didn't get a chance to say hello to her.
Every MK show is not just entertainment, it's an education. Eve gives the history and background of the songs. Where else would you find out that there closeted gay Yiddish films? The music is dance/party music but it's also intricate, the kind I close my eyes to better follow all the different strands. Klezmer and jazz have a lot in common. Improvisation is integral to the music. I wish we had learned more about this in Hebrew school. I wish we had studied it in Hebrew School music. Perhaps we didn't because so much of it is instrumental and the singing is difficult and in Yiddish. It isn't the kind of thing kids and sing along to.
I've been to so many Jewish weddings and there has always been Klezmer played but I'm not sure there was ever a real Klezmer band like this. If you are Jewish and plan on getting married, and inviting me, MK does weddings. Just saying.
Unfortunately, Carey and Barbara had to leave before the encore so I had no real time to talk to them. I was planning on going to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree but wimped out. I just didn't feel like it and headed home. Maybe I'll go today.
Jane and Bernie had company one of whom slept on the couch I write on. He was sleeping when I got up so I ate breakfast first, sausageeggandcheese on an English Muffin. I know that each day you await me telling you what I had for breakfast. I know you don't care but I hope you enjoy that I tell you and make fun of myself for doing it.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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