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
July 06, 2017 - 10:50 a.m.
My friend Larry's funeral is tomorrow. I'm going to speak. I arranged for a ride to therapy afterward. If you go to a funeral of someone close to you and they invite people to speak you should; it's a celebration of their life, not their death.
Yesterday I went to see Alec Spiegelman at Rockwood Music Hall. It was a very early show, 6 PM. I'm proud of myself, I got myself out of the house early enough to stop by my PO box and then go to Trader Joe's. I didn't go to the one I usual go to, Union Square. Coming from Columbus Circle and going to Rockwood the easiest one is Chelsea. I will sometimes go out of my way to shop there as it's more spacious and less crowded than Union Square. It's the best of the Manhattan stores. There was an added lure, my friend Tim is working there now. I haven't seen him in ages. As I was checking out he saw me and came over and we got to talk for a while. Only at Trader Joe's do employees tell you about the new musical genre they invented. His is called PIP-Pop. I know what two of the letters mean but I'm not sure of the first, I'll make believe it's Personal Independent Polyphony. Tim wrote and sang the melody and lyrics. He then sent it to other musicians who wrote their own musical part to accompany it without hearing the others. This is what came out.
It's pretty damn good. I hate these situations. What if I had thought it was mediocre, or even hated it? I wouldn't have posted it here if I did but what would I tell Tim?
From Trader Joe's I went straight to Rockwood. Even with the two stops and talking to Tim I got there early. I can't seem to help that. I meant to bring my camera but I forgot. Why? You know the answer, because I'm an idiot. Good thing I'm cute.
I know Alec from his backing up Kristin Andeassen and his band, Cuddle Magic, opening for Anaïs Mitchell.. He rarely plays solo and I try to not miss it when he does. It is unlike anything else he or anyone else does. It's just him and an acoustic guitar. He doesn't play chords, he plays a countermelody to his voice. It's largely arpeggios providing a basso continuo. Then there are the lyrics. Wry might be a good word to describe them. He's been on a creative tear since the election. I think he should do a concert, "Love in the Time of Trump." His perspective is all his own. He wrote an ode to Kellyanne Conway, a song about alternative reality, and an epic about an unnamed member of the Trump Administration. I thought of posting the song but it needs the intro and I'd have to ask his permission to post it. Instead I'm going to give you the link. You absolutely MUST read this and then listen to the song. The song is posted first but don't listen till you've read it all.
I made it pretty hard to ignore. If you skipped it go back and click on the link and read and listen. This is required to pass the class. Yes, it will be on the test.
Isn't that priceless? Another favorite song is about the best haircut he ever got. It becomes a song about white privilege. It is in no way heave-handed, it's clever, and understated, and yes, wry. John Oliver should hire Alec to write a topical song every week. He is very much one of my people
I was very low on cash so my plan for the day was to get cash back when I went to Trader Joe's. I didn't can you figure out why? I'll accept two answers as correct. Got your answer before I reveal it? The two correct answers are 1) I forgot and 2) I'm an idiot. There's a TD bank not far from Rockwood and on the way to the subway I stopped there and then got 99¢ Pizza. I make exactly those stops quite often after a show at Rockwood. The ride home was so easy until to bus to City Island. I got to the stop a minute or two before the scheduled departure. The Bus Time website said it was 7 minutes away. After about 7 minutes I checked again, the bus was no longer listed. It never came. Nobody explained. The buses come every half hour. The bus arrived about on time but then just sat there. The driver did not explain why. I ended up waiting for 37 minutes. The bus service to City Island is terrible.
Today I should make some anxiety inducing phone calls. I'll also write Larry's eulogy. That will be easy, it's from the heart.
Radar Gun At the All-Star Game - July 12, 2017
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