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

March 26, 2013 - 10:59 p.m.

Exodus Stage Right

Today someone from IT migrated my document files from my old computer to my new one. I havent lost all my work. I have lost all my music. As much of my music is in storage and others were left in the ill-fated Fort Green sublet I could ill afford that. I have no copies now of my favorite album of last year Red Ducks by Pesky J. Nixon.

I am now facing having to learn a new version of Word. Of course all my macros and preferences are history. Why does Microsoft hate Draft View? It is what I always use and you always have to fight to let it open documents in draft mode when you get a new copy of world. I just figured out how to have it save documents in the format MS has been using since 2007, docx. Do they simply hate their users and want to torture them?

Im way behind in writing this as Ive been fighting the computer. I said Id have it up by 5 PM. I was wrong. It is 4:52 now.

If I want to listen to WFUV I have to do it on itunes. It wont work on windows media player or the wfuv media player. This computer hates me too. Its also the only way I can listen to WQXR.

Oh and my coffee tastes terrible. I got it from the school food service, its Starbucks. It doesnt taste like Starbucks and the only reason I dont pay like at Starbucks is that I get a 30% discount as a faculty member.

OK enough griping, lets get the fun stuff. Yesterday was one of the days I look forward to all year, the Seder! Yes this devout atheist/pastafarian/theobromatic loves the Seder. For ages, Im not sure how long, maybe 25 years my family has spent it at Louis and Sylvias. My sister Alison knows them from high school and college collectively and fixed them up. When I told Louis Ive known him for 45 years he said, longer. He was right, its 50. Ive known Sylvia for 46 or 47 years. The participants of their Seder are one of my once a year families. The other is the denizens of the Steeple Tent at Falcon Ridge. What about my partners in the Budgiedome? I see them more often so they are an auxiliary family, not once a year.

I took the Metro North up there. I have become expert at commuter railroads. I thought I got there early but there were not many seats left when I boarded. I sat down next to someone that clearly didnt want someone sitting next to him. He sat on the aisle. He put his coat stretched out full length so I couldnt use the overhead. He glared when I said excuse me and took his sweet time getting up to let me in. He of course didnt slide over. I knew I would have trouble getting out of my seat so instead of waiting for the train to pull into the station to get up I did it well before. I was right. He took his sweet time about that too. And as he was staying on longer than me why didnt he just move over? If he were getting off early I can see wanting to be on the aisle but not when he had to get up again to let me off.

Wait Im bitchin again and this was a good day. I was happy.

I got picked up by more members of my once a year family, Larry and Louise, not Harold and Louise, who also picked up their daughters Leah and Corinne. I am so proud that I remember their names. I forgot the name of one member of the Seder family. I will avoid mentioning anyone else by name, so it isnt clear who it is. Leah and Corinne were on the same train as me. I knew they would be and looked for them when I boarded but didnt see them and wanted to make sure I got a seat.

As Ive described every year this is not your grandfathers Seder. We each have our personalized Haggadah with our name on it. It isnt a standard issue Haggadah either, it is cut and pasted from many sources. More importantly we each get a kazoo and a mask or toy representing one of the plagues. I got murrain! I was proud of myself for knowing that the cow mask meant murrain. Yes I get proud of myself for stupid reasons.

The kazoos are for people who dont want to sing the songs but are also used to interrupt Louis leading the Seder. Not by me of course. Im a nice Jewish boy.

Louis is the master of ceremonies and directs us to read our parts. Mine changed this year! I always got what I considered the joke portion, Four rabbis walk into a bar and discuss the Seder. What did I get this year? It was an actual part of the Exodus story but I forgot which. It really isnt easy not having a brain.

My favorite part of the pre-dinner portion of the Seder is the whipping each other with scallions when we sing Dayenu. It represents the whips of the overseers in Egypt.

After the Pesach dinner that couldnt be beat we resume the ceremonies. One part of which is signing Pesach parodies of popular songs like Elijah to the tune of Maria from West Side Story. I added something new this year playing Marks song Grandpas Seder. I posted the video here yesterday. The problem is that the audio on my computer isnt very loud. Next year Ill have to get an MP3 of it or play it on somebody elses computer.

The penultimate songs is Chad Gadya.

We dont sing it Hebrew, or is that Aramaic? Except for line Chad Gadya. But we do sing it very fast, very very fast. It becomes a race. Its chaos, its great.

By tradition this is where we call Max, my nephew, Alisons son. We serenade him, if you want to call it that. He was a regular at the Seder till he moved to Hollywood and became a mogul.

We finish with LASHANAH HABA'AH BIY'RUSHALAIM (Next Year in Jerusalem). I followed it with shave and a haircut two bits on the kazoo and Thats All Folks and The Merry Go Round Broke Down.. This is all acceptable behavior at the best Seder in the world.

I love when people notice things that I notice, like inconsistent translation. How come sometimes its Egypt and sometimes Mizraim. How come sometimes its Adonai and sometimes its Lord?

Another thing, Moshe (Moses) was a prince of Egypt (Mizraim). Why was he afraid hed get in trouble for hitting the overseer and killing him? He was the Prince in an absolute monarchy. Princes and Kings have killed people throughout history. Its a royal prerogative. I said it was because he was Jewish and felt guilty. He was probably afraid of what his mother would say.

After the Seder I took the train home with Denny, Sylvia and Louiss daughter. That was really nice, Ive known her since she was a kid but we never had time to sit and talk one on one.

It is almost six. I better finish this off. I have to be at Rockwood at 7 and I want to eat first. Of course eating afterward is no big deal. Im seeing Caitlin Canty.

I recently wrote about social anxiety. The best part of the Seder is that I dont have any there. I belong.

Argggh. I forgot my diaryland password. Ill have to post this when I get home. Im emailing it to myself.

Lucy I'm home.

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 March 26, 2013
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