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

January 18, 2014 - 2:45 p.m.

Savannah Safari

Wow I slept late and I'm only starting to write now and it's noon. Maybe I should just eat breakfast first. OK, you talked me into it. Actually it's all Meg's fault. she posted a pic on Facebook of a breakfast menu.

I'm back from breakfast, bacon and eggs. I'm doing something that I always mean to do but never do. I'm listening to the archives of John Platt's Sunday Breakfast from a couple of weeks ago. I rarely get up in time to listen to the beginning and that week I missed almost all of it. the problem is that not only can't you fast forward or go back but you can't even stop it. I talked to Laura the WFUV web master once about that and she said they were going to put in being able to stop it and I thought they had, but you can't now. If it bothers you write the station at thefolks@wfuv.org and let them know. I have a lot of criticisms of the station but not the people. They really do listen. It doesn't mean they will do it but they care what you think. I think of myself as being a true friend of the station which means that I let them know when I think they are wrong but that never affects my affection.

Now I'm smiling, I heard those first few notes on the vibraphone of Jean Rohe's New Year. I love that there is someplace on the radio I can hear my favorite musicians and I'm amazed that sometimes they can also be my friends. The only reason John needs to play someone is that he thinks his listeners will like it. It doesn't have to be a hit, there doesn't have to be buzz, it doesn't make it a difference if there's a machine promoting it. That's how it should be everywhere but instead it's a rare exception. Speaking of which, remind me when I'm done writing this to post a song on the Question of the Day group. On the weekends I post a song each day of an artist I think should be played on the station during the week but isn't.

My mental state has improved a bit and I was able to get something done yesterday, that being my laundry. It's been a long time. I always feel better after showering and doing laundry. I don't quite get the laundry as I'm not wearing dirty clothes before then. I just have a more and more limited wardrobe. When I lived a normal life in my house or my apartment and had a large wardrobe even that wasn't a big deal. I could go almost a month without doing laundry and still have clothes to choose from. Underwear was the limiting factor. But even then I liked the feeling of just having done laundry. Once it was put away. I HATE putting away laundry which is why I would put it off for a month. Someone needs to invent self sorting socks and self folding shirts and pants. Do that and you'll be a zillionaire.

You can tell I'm in a better mental state I've written over 500 words and haven't started the story of my day. I'm getting my rush out of writing. It was scary the other day when I didn't. I've been in a bad state because frankly my life isn't good. But I'm a cheerful hobbit and find the good things to emotionally emphasize and writing is one of them.

Gah! I already heard this Sunday Breakfast, it isn't the one I missed. I know because he's playing Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes's 1972 and I wrote Scott to tell him when I listened live. So I just Gah's at hearing a song I love by a person I love. People are complex. I'm a people. Rod Picott says I'm good people twice. Sometimes the jokes aren't for you. OK I switched to last week's show. Maybe I missed the beginning of that. I did. He played Mike Laureanno one of my NERFA discoveries. And that my friends is the segue I needed.

Last night I went to hear another NERFA discovery Savannah King. She's a college student from Buffalo who followed my boys aka The Lords of Liechtenstein in one showcase and shared the stage with Jean Rohe in another. I actually know her from sitting near her in the lobby while I was working on my schedule. We got to talking. That's what NERFA is really about.

She was playing at the Way Station right here in Brooklyn. That's the place with the Doctor Who theme and a bathroom that looks like a TARDIS. When I got there I was turned around at first because they switched everything around. The stage is now exactly where I used to prefer to sit and there is a table where the stage used to be. I liked it better the other way though the stage is bigger now. I wasn't sure if she's recognize me though we do talk on Facebook but she did. You know I love walking into a room and getting a hug. If I could only manage to get that at home.

The Way Station is simultaneously one of my favorite and most annoying venues. I love the physical space. I love the way it's run. I love the owner. The only problem is the other customers. There is too often people there just to drink that still sit in the separate room where the music is and talk loudly all during the music. It means that I have to work at blocking out the distractions while I'm listening especially when it's someone I'm not that familiar with. One trick I do is to close my eyes so there are no visual distractions. I often do that even in perfect listening situations. Savannah I hope you didnt think I was sleeping or ignoring you. It was the exact opposite. I hope all musicians that I frequent realize that. An irony that I've noticed is how often I shut my eyes when there are attractive women singing. The times I'm most likely to do it is when I'm struggling to make out lyrics.

Savannah writes most of the songs she sings. And of course I'm totally blanking on the song I wanted to write about and why I wanted to write about it. I know that she did it at NERFA too. I somehow didn't get her CD at NERFA so I can't check on that.

I met some of her friends and one was totally a young version of me. He's 19, from Bayside, and a geek. We geeked out talking about Doctor Who, WFUV, and the like. He only told me his name four times so you can't expect me to remember his name. I had to check on Facebook to remember Savannah's last name. It's not like I ever have to worry about which Savannah. It took me forever to learn Tomoko's last name too. Even Carolann Solebello; I used the mnemonic "beautiful sun" for her.

After the show I was off to Chris and Seth's to prepare my French Toast Bread Pudding for this weekend's house concerts. The hard part is transporting it on the subway so I asked if I could come over and make it there. I had to make one stop and pick up some ingredients. I already had the challah and chocolate chips but needed the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Of course after I left the store I discovered that I forgot to bring the chips so I had to go back in and buy more. I might have to buy pancake mix now and make chocolate chip pancakes.

It is surprising difficult to get to Chris's house from Brooklyn east of the park. It took three trains and more time than it takes me to get to school in Manhattan I took a longer route home that involved walking a few blocks on the streets when I came home so I could cut it to two trains.

I got to their house and rang the bell. Nobody came down. I rang again. Nobody came down. I called Chris's phone. I got his voicemail. I rang again. Nobody came down. Then I entered a time warp and Becca came by and let me in with her key. This is a time warp as she is two roommates ago. Fortunately she still had the key. Chris and Seth were there but the doorbell glitched and Chris's phone was in another room. There current roommate was there too. He even has a name. I only heard it three times so I'm not expecting anyone who actually knows me to expect me to remember his name. I have lost all shame.

Seth's girlfriend Emily was there! Yes I know her name. We've met before. I forgot her name and had to ask again once last night but now it's seared into my brain. Emily and I talking is now Seth's favorite new TV show, or perhaps his new favorite TV show. Those are not the same thing. And this despite the fact that I proposed to Emily right in front of him. Hey she was carrying a bowl of chocolate ganache. If you don't want me to propose then don't carry large quantities of creamy chocolate in front of me. Oh and I got a maybe! Or was that from Becca? I apologized to Becca at one point because I had never proposed to her. Now I don't remember proposing last night but that doesn't mean I didn't. I know I didn't propose to Chris, Seth, or the new roommate. I am pretty sure I have proposed to Seth in the past. I hope nobody else I proposed to feels less special now.

I got the recipe from Christine Lavin. She says the preparation takes 15 minutes. I don't think it has ever taken me less than 45. Last night there were distractions like proposals. I have been making the chocolate chip French toast bread pudding for a dozen years or so. I have even rechristened it the Choco-Lavinator. Yesterday was the first time I realized that I had been making it more difficult than it need be. Here is the recipe as given on Chris's website.

1/2 loaf of challah (or brioche, or any good white bread --
even stale is fine)
7 eggs
2-1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
fresh ground nutmeg (how much is up to you)

I make this in 2 aluminum loaf pans or 4 baby aluminum loaf pans. Butter them well. Tear up the bread into pieces around 3/4" and fill the loaf pans about halfway with bread.

Mix together the next 5 ingredients in a bowl (with wire whisk or hand mixer on low) and pour over the ripped up bread. Sprinkle fresh ground nutmeg over the top. Take a spatula and push the bread down in the egg mixture so it gets good and soaked. Then wrap each pan with aluminum foil and put in the fridge. Go to bed.

The next day, put the pans in a COLD oven. Turn it on to 350 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. Take the foil OFF and continue cooking approximately 35 minutes more. It will puff up and be 'set.' If it's wiggly it needs a little more time. The puffing up and setting is the key. Last night I made 4 pans and had to do it an extra 15 minutes, so it depends on your oven.

Serve with maple syrup. It's so delicious, and so easy since you prepare it the night before -- that part only takes about 15 minutes. Everyone RAVES. It's good hot, warm, or cold. You can make it with more bread (cakier) less bread (more puddingish), 8 eggs instead of 7, whole milk instead of 2% -- you just can't mess this up. You can also add orange rind, raisins it's so versatile.

Bon apetit!


I have added the chocolate chips which I layer in with the challah. What I did every time I made it till last night is add all the wet ingredients in a blow and mixed them with a whisk. That's stupid. When you have eggs floating in that much milk they yokes don't break when you whisk them. I had to puncture each individual yoke. I finally realized when visualizing making it yesterday afternoon that I should whisk the eggs first by themselves. Duh. I bet everyone in the world that cooks does that without even thinking. This is a different kind of idiot story for me. I am fine not having a memory but my self-image is that I'm logical and clever and can figure anything out. So that hurts.

I finally got everything done. Talked with everyone for a while then headed home. Wow I don't have that much time now before I have to leave. I better wash up my breakfast dishes then shower.





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 January 18, 2014
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