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
October 12, 2015 - 10:26 a.m.
I'm writing at 9:15. Give me a cookie. Now if I can only do this every day. Now if only I knew what I was going to write about. There's a lot of turmoil inside me and I have to decide how much to let out. Did I just give away the ending?
Maybe I should quote Vonnegut; "I am a victim of a series of accidents as are we all." Not sure if I'd call them accidents but there were a lot of mishaps yesterday. It was the last day of the WFUV pledge drive. With the new schedule all the shows I love are on Sunday, that means a long day. Originally I was planning on being there from 8 AM to 8 PM, then they decided to extend it an hour earlier to 7 AM. There was also no enough volunteers scheduled, it was just me and a student. I recruited Dan to help me. I tried recruiting another friend but I guess she couldn’t make it. To get there at 7:00 I have to get up at 5:13 and leave my house at 5:33. I dutifully set my alarm. I dutifully went to sleep early so I wouldn’t be dead all day. I dutifully checked the time when I woke up and it was dark. I felt well rested, that got me nervous. It was 5:33, when I was supposed to leave. This was not good. I checked the alarm. I had set it for Saturday not Sunday. Oy. I raced into my clothes but it was just the normal race. The leaves every 20 minutes so I had exactly the same amount of time to get ready as I had planned. The problem was that I had planned on taking the to the MetroNorth and that left every hour. Now that was out. I had to take the to the Bx12 bus. That take quite a bit longer. I had planned on getting it at 6:50 but I actually arrived at 7:35. That 20 minutes of sleep cost me 45 minutes. Now it wasn't busy as that first hour there was the syndicated show Thistle and Shamrock not a live show from the station. But because there was no supervisor nobody had shown Dan what to do and his phone was on break. There were actually three students there so there were people to take calls. I trained Dan and turned my own phone on before Kathleen Biggins came on.
I was surprisingly busy supervising early on, there were a lot of little issues to deal with that required someone that knows the quirks of the system. I ended up sitting with Dan much of the time not at my usual spot or my computer.
Oh I forgot the other mishaps. See there's another mishap. OK so I rushed out of the house. I closed the door to my room and checked for my keys. Notice the flaw in that plan. I didn't have my keys I had just locked them in my room. I didn't let that slow me down I went to the station anyway. I called home during the break between shows to tell the Landlady to put the key to my room where I could find that. Of course that still left the problem of getting into the house. I ended up talking to her mother and told her when to expect me home. .She said there'd be someone around to let me in. I went to recharge my phone. I found I brought the wrong charging cord. Ugh, No. I turned my phone off to preserve power. I then took a nap in the supervisor's chair. Everyone else gets a folding chair. The first day of the drive I always bring in a nice office chair with arms. I'm in that thing a long time.
The next shift is Ceol na nGael the other Irish show. It's now Irish Sundays. Kathleen's show, A Thousand Welcomes was on Saturdays for over 25 years till this September. John Platt's Sunday Breakfast was moved to the evening and became Sunday Supper. When John had the Sunday morning slot there was always an overabundance of volunteers. The change knocked out both volunteer bases. John's people apparently didn’t want to come in for the Irish shows and the Irish people didn't want to come in on Sunday. There is an issue with it conflicting with going to church.
Ceol na nGael had a full crew including Gary who has been doing this longer than me. Of course one of them said "seal na en-gah-el." It should be "Keel-nah-gale." In proper Irish "Keel-nah-nail." If you don’t listen or know Irish you are not going to get that right.
Who else showed up for that show? I am totally blanking. I'm a bit fried. It was a long day.
The next shift was for Bob Sherman's Woody's Children and John Platt's Sunday Supper the last bastions of folk music on what on a station whose format was once known as City Folk. Fred came for this shift. It's always good to see Bob and catch up with him. He knows I'm a folk ally. Brian showed up for this shift and he stayed the rest of the night, he never misses Rich Conaty who follows John. I got to see Rich, usually I'm long gone before he comes on but now as I never miss John I'll see him every drive.
The theme for this drive was playing songs A-Z, they kept running through the alphabet playing an acts whose name started with the next letter in the alphabet. It's hard to hear in the volunteer room but as I was writing my own pledge, I of course pledge for John, something great came on that we heard and couldn't identify. Then John announced it was John Fullbright. They were up to F. That was followed by Rhiannon Giddens. When it came to the part of the pledge where it asks "Why do you support WFUV;" I said it was because John is the only one that plays the music I love best and pointed out John Fullbright and Rhiannon Giddens. They he played my girls, Harpeth Rising. Notice they even have a macro. I said that was the best three song set ever. The only reason it took me several songs to finish my pledge was that kept getting interrupted. I can finish a form in two minutes when someone calls. I've timed myself. I'm really made that I can't remember who was "J", it was another super favorite. Fred remind me when you read this. "I" was the Indigo Girls not exciting for me. "K" was the The Kennedys. That was such a great stretch, the epitome of what Sunday Supper should be, all artists that would not be played on the Station the rest of the week. This is three hours free from the WFUV format, I don't want to hear what I hear the rest of the time or even on Mixed Bag which is on Saturdays. "N" was the Nields, and guess what, I liked the song and was still delighted to hear them. I was actually disappointed that "R" was not Jean Rohe; it was Josh Ritter, not that he's bad but he's played in heavy rotation during the week. Yes it's the part of the programming that also fit City Folk but again, you can hear him all week. Nobody else will ever play Jean Rohe. "S" did not disappoint, it was Spuyten Duyvil. Fred was wearing a Spuyten Duyvil shirt. I think that's all the artists that excited me. NO there was one more. "U" was Mike + Ruthy. Why is that "U?" Ruthy's maiden name is Unger and that's how she was known for years. I didn't mind the cheat to get that in. Look how many acts have links, that means I write about them enough for them to get a macro to insert a link into my blog. My other disappointment were that "B" was not Bobtown and "C" was the oft-played during the week Brandi Carlisle not Caravan of Thieves or Dave Carter or whoever it was that Fred and I actually thought of at the time who is totally escaping me. Oh right, "B" was still great, Dan Bern! I can't complain when Dan is played, he's been a favorite for almost 20 years and I discovered him on WFUV. He totally fits what I think should be played. Never mind "B" was not a disappointment. "D" was but I forgot who was played and why I wanted to be played. And that ended John's show.
Near the end of the shift there was a blast from the past as Kathy and Sam came in. They are both former students who I have known for years. Sam used to be the volunteer coordinator. She usually gets in on the evenings shortly after I leave to make my train. She came in early on Wednesday the one weekday I wasn't there. We finally connected and I finally got my hug.
I just missed a bus coming home so I walked to the Metro North to take that home. They never collected my return ticket on Friday so it didn't cost me anything. When I got home I rang the bell. Nobody answered. I rang the bell again, nobody answered. I called the landlady, nobody answered. I kept ringing the bell over and over again. Finally her father came down and let me in. My room was left open so I could get in that. My keys were in the basket where they belonged and my shower was cleaned so I can shower. I'll do that after I eat. I really should take a bath; my legs are still rubbery.
Now I'm back to my regularly scheduled blogging. I'm done by 10:22 maybe I can keep that up.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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