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 05, 2013 - 1:25 p.m.
I gave two tests yesterday. I will never adjust to students not being able to follow directions. This was my favorite exchange. On the graphing problems the instruction, in bold print, is "Do all the work on the graph paper." I spotted one student doing it in the test booklet and wasn't too taken aback. Sometimes these things happen. But I then announced to the class. "Remember to do all the work on the graphing questions on the graph paper." A hand shot up.
"Do you want us to do all the work on the graph paper? "
One student asked if he should write all the answers at the back of the test. Why would he think that's a good thing? Does he think I'm not going to look at the work?
After school I was very good and started to grade. It was nice, hardly anyone came in the office the whole time. I fixed a jam in the copying machine/printer even though I wasn't using it because if I don't, nobody else will. Someone left it with their job in the machine and just walked away. All I had to do was follow the instructions the machine gives to fix it. I left the papers on a nearby table. I should have left a note saying, "You're welcome. I fixed your job and got the machine ready for others to use. No big deal it only took a few minutes."
I stayed in school because I had to go to Long Island City that night to see Tara O'Grady at the New York Irish Center. the trip took 20 minutes, It is across the street from the first stop on the in Queens. I decided to see what's to eat in Queens. I found a place call O"Leahy's. I figured it was an Irish Pub. It might have been but they had boring bar food. Oh well.
The doors opened an hour before the show because there was a reception with food and coffee. I forgot all about that and when I walked in I was told "there's a bar downstairs, then something mumbled about coffee." I wasn't going to buy coffee or drinks. But it was free! You'd think he'd say that. I stayed upstairs and graded till someone mentioned that Tara was down there so I went to say hi and then it hit me. The food was pasta but I got coffee. It wasn't good,. But I sat and talked to Tara and Justin. Justin's also in The Amigos, another favorite band. I saw them last Saturday. It's amazing how fast people can enter your life. I discovered The Amigos and Bobtown last November at NERFA and now I see them so often. I first saw Tara at John Platt's On Your Radar just a few months ago and this is my third time seeing her since.
Because of the lighting and Tara's coloring it was very difficult to get pictures of the entire band. If you can see anyone else Tara's face gets washed out.
The other times I saw Tara were dances so the song selection was different. And as this was at an Irish Festival there was even more of an emphasis on her Irish based material. I'd love to see her do a show of all songs from Good Things Come to Those Who Wait her album of all originals recorded in Nashville. It's quite different. Cause that's the thing, talent is talent. Artists stick to a genre because it's easier to market that way but they usually have broader tastes and can do much more than what they are known for.
I discovered some interesting trivia from Tara. Billie Holiday is buried in the cemetery in the Bronx right at the Whitestone Bridge Toll Plaza. I have passed that a million times. For years I didn't even know it was a cemetery and I wondered what the big white cross was about. I don't have a car now but next time I'm driving with someone over the bridge and I think they'd be interested I'll suggest looking for it.
I'm still trying to get someone to see Tara with me. If you love Irish music or love Billie Holiday, or swing or blues, come see her.
I did something I never do today. I slept late. I got up at 7:10 as usual and went back to sleep and didn't get up till after 9:30. That's great but it means that it is after 1 now and I have to eat. I'm never going to get to write about the personal things.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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