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 13, 2013 - 10:56 a.m.
I have to stop wasting time. I have places to go and things to do. It's after 10 AM already. What gets me is that I find myself looking for things to do when there are things I have to do. That reminds me to maybe talk about anxiety later, We'll see how things go. Sometimes I have to decide to discuss something in therapy, here, or both. I don't have to pay My Gentle Listeners to listen. That's what makes you gentle.
Once again I had no mail in my mailbox. I suspect I'm not getting things mailed to me.
There were three concerts I wanted to go to last night. If I were insane I could have made all three. I am insane but I wasn't feeling up to it so I settled for the middle one, Tomoko Omura. Don't let the title make mispronounce her name it's Toe-moe-ko. At least that's what i've been saying. Karen Dahlstrom was at the American Folk Art Museum, right by my school and my mailbox at 6:05 and I would have gotten to see Lara who runs the series too. That was so tempting. But Tomoko was at 7:00 at Pianos on the Lower East Side so I'd have had to miss part of it and not have time for dinner. and Karen is playing the Budgiedome. The Second Friday series hosted by Carolann Solebello and Bev Grant with guest Karyn Oliver was in Park Slope at 8:00. Of course Karyn is playing the Budgiedome too and I'll be seeing her and Carolann at a gig next weekend. The timing didn't really work and then I'd have to figure out how to get home from there. It's one easy train back from the LES so discretion proved the better part of valor.
I realized more than those practical reasons it's not the performers but the kind of music. I always hear singer/songwriters, I rarely hear jazz. It pretty much is just Tomoko and Emily Elbert. Does my jazz have to come in a beautiful petite package? Nah, I used to listen to Dave's True Story and Kelly wasn't petite. I won't say that Dave and Jeff weren't beautiful. Nope you didn't hear that from me.
Tomoko plays something different every time I hear her. This was the first time I've seen the String Bop Trio. I am pretty sure it's new. It's Tomoko on violin, a guitar, and an upright bass. Tomoko put the group together but gives the guitar the lead on many of the songs.
As I've said before I don't have the vocabulary to discuss jazz. It's different from what I've heard her do before but what do you call it? Bop is in the band names, so Bop is a good guess. In Phineas and Ferb Candace is offered some meatloaf and asks if it is vegetarian. She is answered "It has meat in the name." I'd like to think I'm less clueless than Candace.
Especially when the guitar had lead the word ambient came to mind, And of course this is where my lack of experience discussing jazz becomes painful. I might be using the term incorrectly. It's based on what I've gleaned from hearing other people speak.
The music challenges my vocabulary but it sounds great and it expands my musical world. It has the property I most value, it goes from A to B. It isn't music that listening to ten seconds gives you everything you are going to get out of it. There's development. That keeps me engaged. The best music can sound inevitable yet at the same time surprise you. Like Holmes's logic "It is only obvious after I explain it."
They did a few covers. One was what you'd expect, Charlie Parker. I imagined it on sax. the other was by someone I never expected, the person Tomoko said is her favorite musician, Nick Drake. Yes we always think of jazz when we think of Nick Drake. I forgot which song. I'm not that up on his canon. I did tell Tomoko about Carey's little kid guitar student that plays Nick Drake.
Who is up to coming with me next time I see Tomoko? come listen to something you don't usually hear. Or perhaps you do usually hear it just not with me.
When I was leaving Alessandro came over and said hi to me. He's the kazoo player from Toys and Tiny Instruments. I actually admitted that I forgot his name. I'm so bad with that. But I was so happy he said hello. I might be homeless but I'm the kind of person that kazoo players will stop and say hello to. There's something to be said for that. I always say that I'm afraid of people but I realized that's just not true anymore. Acting like I wasn't afraid of people led me to not being afraid. I step up and talk to strangers and get rewarded for it. I talked to the woman that was actually listening to the music who sat next to me at the bar. Sure she brushed me off but that wasn't the worst thing in the world. I am much happier being brushed off by her and having Alessandro talk to me than I'd be if I had never spoken to either. Alessandro was there because his co-worker is Tomoko's violin student. It is such a small world.
I left my office just about when Karen would have been starting, not finishing and planned on having dinner before the show, I did have time, barely. I had Philly Cheesesteak for a change. I had it with pepper jack cheese. Sad to say cheesesteak is best with cheese whiz,. That isn't even cheese, It's a processed cheese product. But it's what works.
I got to pianos about five to seven. It's a bar with seats around the side. There is no place actually front and center to hear the music except the corner of the bar. Those seats were taken. I took an open table on the side that had the advantage of being one of the few seats with back support. I ordered my usual diet coke. I didn't realize that had real food. I might have eaten there if I did. The place was loud, everybody was talking. Then the music started and everybody talked louder to be heard over the music. That was not good. In addition I was over to the side of the speakers and the sound quality wasn't great. When Tomoko talked I couldn't make out what she said. I'm pretty good at filtering out noise and concentrating on the music but I had to use all my skills. After few songs I saw an open seat at the corner of the bar. It was further from the stage but not off to the side and not as close to other people. I made a beeline for it in mid song. I got there and was told that somebody was sitting there. I didn't sit down. I decided to stand next to it which is also next to the sound booth. I then got lazy and decided to sit on the floor with my back against the booth. I did my usual using the wall for support as I lowered myself to the floor thing., Too bad the sound booth wasn't a wall. It's actually a cart on wheels. I moved it to the dismay of the sound guy and myself. No disaster, it didn't affect the sound and I wasn't hurt. Eventually the people sitting at the bar left and I grabbed one of the seats. A women left one of the side tables to join me for quieter pastures. I got to sit with one of the only other people there to listen to the music not talk to friends. It's not a place I recommend playing or hearing music. I'll do it for Tomoko but not many others.
I then headed home. It had started to rain but it isn't a long walk to the subway. The rain dashed what thoughts were left about seeing Second Fridays. Mostly I was tired. The fatigue is emotional, not physical. I got back to Bag End and talked and watched TV with Frodo. I talked to Lori on the phone. Sometimes talking to friends is the best medicine. Maybe I'll be able to get to the scary emails today. I hope so. They are important. Katherine sent me an email the subject line:
Budgiedome question, so...DON'T OPEN THIS...NO...NO, DON'T DO IT! DON'T OPEN THIS....REALLY, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOI love having friends that know I can laugh at my disabilities and that it actually helps. That email I read.
Now to get breakfast and get ready for my day. Maybe even read scary emails. Wish me luck. I won't know if you actually will wish me luck. I know very well that wishing me luck or praying for me will not make the slightest bit of difference. But somehow asking for you to wish me luck makes me feel a bit more relaxed. It's a placebo. placebos actually work so I believe in it even though I know it only works AS a placebo.
A lot goes on in my head, notice that? Funny I told Tomoko that there's a lot going on in her head. It's crammed filled with musical ideas. Mine is filled with froth.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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