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 21, 2013 - 2:07 p.m.

Snakeoil and Inaugoration

The God of subways is still against me. I decided it has to be Poseidon as he had so much practice thwarting Odysseus. I have raved about how great Google Maps is at planning subway rides as it knows the timetables and delays. This weekend it was an utter failure. I don't know what happened. It said that the fastest way for me to get to Rockwood was to take the bus to the . One problem with that. Because of construction the F was running express from Church Street to Seventh Avenue and skipped Prospect Park where the bus dropped me I had to take the train the opposite direction to Church. I can walk to Church from The Last Homely House West of the Mountains and I would have done that if I had known. It's a long walk which is why the bus is faster if you know the schedule. . The upshot is that I got there later than I wanted. I did the merch and wanted to be there before doors to set up. I also wanted to eat dinner first. As it is I got a few slices of pizza and ate them at Rockwood.

There were issues of where to set up the merch table. They put up a table in a totally different room that nobody would go to. I got a tiny table to set up the merch for four bands. That took some juggling on my part.

Good thing the rest of the evening went smoother. Oh I didn't tell you who was playing. Duh. Mark Miller from Spuyten Duyvil and Ron Olesko from WFDU put on the Snake Oil Review 2. The acts were in order of appearance:

Putnam Smith
Mamie Minch (I keep having to force myself to not say or write Mimi Mensch)
M Shanghai String Band
Spuyten Duyvil
Morgan O'Kane

The only ones I knew were old friends Spuyten Duyvil and Putnam. I haven't really known them that long, especially Putnam, but there is something about them that made them instant old friends.

I didn't know anyone in the audience other than people involved in the show and their relatives. Too bad. You would have loved the show.

Putnam was up first. He became an instant old friend but his music took a while to grow on me. It's grown. Or perhaps his music has grown. Perhaps I have grown. It was always good. It just didn't connect. Now it does. It's the kind of music that should connect with me. It's neo-trad with lots of banjo. One song connected so much that before I heard it I planned on writing about here. I meant to write about it yesterday and as usual forgot. I'm going to save that for later though. Now I'll just say that one of his friends, or was it siblings, told his mother that every song on one album was about sex or food. You know that gets my attention except I'm not really sure there is a difference.

Mamie was totally new to me and totally won me over. She sings blues with attitude like Bessie Smith. I am pretty sure she covered Bessie Smith. She has chops. She can sing, she can play the steel guitar. She says that because her guitar is steel she can beat any other musician in a fight. She knows how to hold an audience. She doesn't know that she's invited to play the the Budgiedome because I'm an idiot.

M Shanghai then came on and blew me away too. Mark and Ron have great taste. Mark was happy because as an eight piece they are an even bigger band than Spuyten Duyvil. There music is Old Time and traditional. They are invited to play the Budgiedome too.

I'm going to speed this up. The internet went out so I had breakfast till it came back but then the inauguration started and then I took a shower but now I'm back with more to write about.

Do I need to write about Spuyten Duyvil. I love Spuyten Duyvil. I love the music and I love the people in it. I got to really catch up with Beth and nice conversations with Mark and Efrat and at least touched base with everybody else. They are so much fun on and off the stage; one of the bands that I think you have to make an effort to not like.

Morgan O'Kane came on at 11 and I was exhausted and that was also when I got to talk to Beth so I am not the best judge of the band. I don't know if Morgan is the name of the band leader or just the band. They have a hillbilly sound. Good but I'm not going to try and review them. I was just not up to giving them a proper listening.

The CD sales were terrible. They usually are at Rockwood. There are too many people who just walk in to get a drink and listen to a few songs. There was one young woman that seemed totally foreign to the notion of buying CDs. She thought $15 was a lot of money. She said, "they're on iTunes, right?" That's all she knows, downloads. It's a brave new world.

I made sort of a quick getaway for me as I was so tired and I knew trains would be few and far between after midnight. Once again Google Maps failed me. The trains were running but not when they said they would. I had far longer waits. I went the three train route, to the to the instead of my usual and walk because it had dropped below freezing and I wasn't quite dressed for that. I got cold on the much shorter walk from the .

Now back to what Putnam reminded me I wanted to write about. I'm staying at the Last Homely House West of the Mountains aka Rivendell. It's ancient Elvish name is Imladris. After Sauron forged the one Ring and destroyed the Elven Kingdom of Eregion where the other Rings of Power were made the surviving Elven smiths sought refuge in Imladris. They are the ones that reforged the shards of Narsil into Anduril the sword of Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar, the heir if Isildur. It wasn't mentioned in LOTR but here in the Rivendell I have found their most wonderful creation. It is a skillet made of metal as black as Anglachel, the sword of Turin, forged by Eol the Dark Elf. it is wondrous. It holds the heat and cooks the food evenly. It is magic and the food, even eggs do not stick to it. With Elven skill they do not forge but cast the iron. They somehow make the iron porous. Oil is then applied ot he surface and it penetrates the pores. As oil and water do not mix water cannot penetrate them. Each time you cool you apply a small amount of oil and that prevents the food from every touching the actual surface. Cleaning it is a breeze. You simply wipe it down then rinse it off with water. Do no use soap, it breaks the magic. Then you put it back on the fire till all the water is boiled off so it doesn't rust. Putnam has heard of this magic as he wrote a song called "Cast Iron Pan."

Now on to the Inauguration. I only watched to Obama's speech though I caught Carrie Underwood's too and she figured into what I want to write about.

Celebrian had an inauguration party with hors d'uvre and champagne. I had sparking cider. It was the best speech that Obama has made since his keynote address in 2004. He came down in favor of the progressive agenda. He didn't try and make everyone like him. He even made a direct dig at Romney when he said that people who are unfortunate and get government assistant are not takers. I loved that. I loved his making a point of accepting gays. I loved his laying out the progressive agenda,

What I did not like was him making me feel like an outsider by repeatedly bringing god into it. We are not a theocracy. His oath is not to god. I did not like hearing Jesus invoked during the opening prayer. I don't like that there is an opening prayer. I hate that it is now required to end all speeches with some variant of "God bless America." I'm an American too. How would theists like it if an atheist president said, "We are a nation that believes in reason and rejected irrational concepts like god?" That is something that is true of me but not the country. I would never dream of saying something like that in a speech. Actually what Obama did was the equivalent of saying. "And I know we'll all be rooting for the Ravens in the Superbowl." Um no, we won't "all" be doing anything. Just leave that kind of thing out of politics.

I have to get ready to go to therapy now so I'm done even if I have more to say.

Oh and I don't really care who wins he Superbowl. No I take that back. I have a lot of friends from Baltimore so that's who I'll root for. Go Ravens!





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile January 21, 2013
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