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
June 15, 2015 - 12:32 p.m.
Therapy day and I need it. I always debate how much to write here about my issues. I will always discuss my thoughts, that's the point of blogging. But am I secure enough to discuss my insecurities? That is the question. Know what sometimes makes me tell you things? When I am proud of my writing. I've been thinking of sharing part of personal letter I wrote ages ago because I particularly enjoy the language I used. I know it's best not to but the temptation is there.
But instead of that I'll tell you about my day. I might even post pictures. I've been bad about editing them. I have a backlog. OK I edited yesterday's pics. So this will be an illustrated edition of Wise Madness. I have to await approval of the videos.
I had no plans on Sunday and I needed to have plans on Sunday. I needed a distraction from the aforementioned insecurities. Then Allison posted on Facebook that Villa Palagonia was playing at the 8th Street Festival in Greenwich Village. This was just about perfect. I love Villa Palagonia, It's easy to get to, and Allison and Joe are good for my insecurities. All it needed was chocolate.
I headed out of the house with my big festival hat to protect me from the sun. Too bad I forgot my sun screen. This was at 3 PM on a sunny Sunday and I have not built up much of a tan at all. When I've gone out it's been later in the day, the closer it is to astronomical noon, about 1 PM DST the greater the sunburn risk. I didn't turn back as I'd be late and the damage to my psyche would be worse that the risk of damage to my skin.
I arrived about five to three. That did not give me time to say high to Joe and Allison as they were on stage getting ready. I was impressed, they recognized me with the big hat and huge over my glasses sunglasses I was wearing.
They were playing right on Macdougal Street. Should that be MacDougal Street? The google map has Macdougal, the street signs say MACDOUGAL. What's the convention? Is this a weird New York thing that I never noticed till I needed to write it? There were tables and chairs set up on 8th street on the other side of the crosswalk. Who sees the flaw in that plan? Yes people kept walking in front of me when I was trying to watch the show. So I picked up my chair and moved in front of the crosswalk. Two people still walked in front of me. They were just oblivious or inconsiderate. Thing is when I walked down 8th street I didn't use the sidewalk at all. The street was closed. It was so much easier walking in the street but the street was empty and the sidewalks crowded making it difficult to walk on them. Why did people do that?
I didn't have to wait too long for the music to start. Villa Palagonia is one of my bands. They don't play often but I hardly ever miss them when they do. Now I just have to get my friends to discover how good they are. That means you My Gentle Readers. They play music inspired by their Sicilian roots. Some are in Italian. Most are in English. Many are tales of immigrants in New York. The music has life. The music swings. Joe plays the guitar. Allison sings, plays guitar, and assorted rhythm instruments, shakers, zils, bells, and tamburello. Is that right? It looks like a big tambourine.
I almost forgot Allison's first instrument, the clarinet.
The songs have depth. Sure you can dance to them, Allison does dance to many of them. But they are about something if you pay attention to the lyrics. One is about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, another is about exploited child labor. The immigrant experience included hardship and they are not afraid to dealing with it. Who wants a show that's all puppy dogs and rainbows? Well some people do but not me. It just hit me, those songs are like Woody Guthrie putting lyrics to Italian folk melodies instead of Carter Family tunes. The peppy "The Boots are Staying On" is about workplace sexual harassment." But it's still infectiously peppy. There's no reason you can't dance while making a protest. In fact it's better to dance
It was about 32° during the show. Oh wait that's Celsius. That's not what you want. It was 305 Kelvins. That's not what you want either? How about 90°? Know what's even better. It was damn hot. I was very happy I had my big hat as there was no shade. I was sitting down, Allison was playing and singing and dancing. When she was done she needed something cold so we got iced coffee. The stage was conveniently placed in front of a Stumptown. We then sat down and talked for about an hour. Allison went shopping and Joe and I did exactly what we always do when we are alone, we geeked out discussing math and teaching. Allison all bugged me to see an ophthalmologist. I promised I would. Then she texted Carolann who I also promised to see an ophthalmologist. Carolann just messaged me to make an appointment. Now I'm telling you. I guess I have to do it. I'm not afraid of the doctor or the surgery. I'm afraid of calling and making an appointment and dealing with the insurance. Hey I told you I had insecurities. I have great friends for a person who has so many insecurities about friends. As strange as it might seem they are not irrational. Life is complex.
Oh I almost forgot to tie up the foreshadowing I did. I said earlier that all that was missing on my day was chocolate. Alison gave me great Sicilian chocolate. But guess what, it was melted as it was damn hot. I still loved it. Then Joe bought more chocolate and they gave me a piece of that! So I had chocolate.
So I spent over an hour unprotected in the sun so I got burned right? Nope. Not at all. My natural dark coloring has its advantages. My head was covered and the rest of me took everything the sun had and did not go down. I don't even seem to have a Teva tan. I thought I felt the skin on my feet burning. That was all in my head.
I got home and I finished season five of Game of Thrones Yeah, not a pick me up.
Now in the next two hours I have to eat, shower, find my ophthalmologist referral, and make an appointment. Wish me luck. Thinking about it made my chest go tight. Good thing I have therapy.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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