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 โ 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 โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
February 03, 2013 - 1:45 a.m.
I'm going to be interrupted while writing this. I have to help repair the Last Homely House West of the Mountains. I'm waiting for Elrond to come back with the needed magical part.
I'm being very good about school so far this semester. Maybe it's because I'm teaching courses I don't teach that often but I'm spending a lot more time prepping than usual. I'm always ahead. I of course also use my time in the office reading the Times online and writing Wise Madness. In any event I find the three hour break between classes isn't enough and I go back to the office afterward. Yesterday that worked out well as I had a busy evening planned. I was upset that I couldn't see the captivating Kristin Andreassen performing at the American Folk Art Museum a few blocks from my school. I haven't seen Kristin solo for ages and most importantly she was going to be clogging! I always have to miss her clogging shows. I've never actually seen clogging but how can I not like it? And it's Kristin and I just discovered the museum last week and I met Lara who runs the music series and I like Lara and I wanted to see her too and I really wanted to be there. So I decided to be insane. The show started at 5:30, I had to make a 6:08 train. I figured I'd stay for one song, 5:40 then hop on the train and just make the train. I got there early so I'd have time to talk to Kristin and Lara. I did that, met Kristin's fiddler whose name is totally escaping me, and dance partner Megan (sp?) and grabbed a seat. This is where things stopped working out. Nobody starts exactly on time. They didn't. comes 5:40 and Lara just started to make the introductions. I stayed to 5:45, five minutes later than I thought I could safely afford and I didn't get to see any of the show. At least I heard rehearsal and saw Kristin and Megan dancing. I found out what kind of shoes they wear when clogging, "anything but clogs." I was a bit disappointed I wanted to see Kristin in wooden shoes Not sure why but I did.
I left five minutes later than I considered cutting it close. I still got to Penn Station at 6:00 plenty of time to make the 6:08, right? Wrong. There were such long lines at the ticket machines that I didn't get my ticket till 6:12. I'd have just made it if I were there 5 minutes earlier like I planned. On the bright side this left me time to eat dinner. I went to Nathans.
The next train was at 6:39. I made that easy. Got a seat. I was set to get there at 7:25. The open mic started at 7:30. So what happened? this train was late. If the earlier train were late I'd have been able to make it. We left 15 minutes after we were supposed to. Not a bit deal but too late for me to get a good seat. I texted Gene and told him to save me one.
I didn't tell you where I was going, The Garden Stage to see Pesky J. Nixon and We're About 9 as a duo. This is pretty much a show I couldn't mix, two of my favorite bands and six of my favorite people. They are both bands I'm proprietary about. When I say they are my bands I'm asserting ownership rights. It goes beyond loving the music. I belong at their shows. The ownership runs both ways. This was also a show that Gene and Isabel couldn't miss. Both bands have played at their house. They are such big supporters of them that Gene was asked to introduce them. He did a great job.
When I got there the open mic had already started. I never asked if Gene got my text but Fred who I hadn't texted saved me a seat next to him in the front row and Gene and Isabel were right behind him. There were so many other people I'm close to at the show, John & Sheila, Dan & Phyllis, Coco & Bruce, Joanne & Stephen, Mike, and the ubiquitous people I'm forgetting. After grabbing my seat I went to the greenroom to say hi to the musicians. Katie spotted me before I went in and I got my first hug. She asked if I lost weight, a lot of weight. People keep telling me that I have. The scale disagrees. Brian thinks it's turning into muscle which is denser. He also said that he weighs 300 lbs. I don't think he's credible on this issue. I really should post my pictures. Somehow I find it a pain downloading them from my phone. I have to do that so I can edit them in Picasa.
I Dled them but now the internet is down so I'm going to just write this as I have to leave in an hour or so.
You probably expect me to write about the music. That's what I do right? But as I told Kara; "When I go to the Garden Stage the music is tertiary, seeing my friends is secondary, the primary reason I go is the chocolate trifle." Why do I love Kara? She was not only not insulted, but she approved of my value system. Kara is in Pesky J. Nixon and someone with lesser insight might be insulted that I put her music third and her friendship second to chocolate.
I'll touch on the music but it really isn't as important as the chocolate. That trifle is really good. It's worth the trip out there. I feel bad that I forgot who made it. She should be worshipped as a goddess.
Oh wait, I'm supposed to be writing about the music. I had praised both of the bands to the sky to Fred so I had a lot of street cred on the line. I put pressure on the musicians by telling them that. Brian is my archetype great and distinctive songwriter. He is inimitable The songs are built with the intricacies of a Chinese puzzle box. John Platt says that I like them because they use words like concatenate. It struck me last night that the reading level of his songs are probably two years above the mean. Anyone have a program to figure out reading level of writing? Does it work for poetry? I never trust gut level reactions to things that can be quantified. Into the third song or so Fred goes, "He can write." Yes he can. So can Katie, And they sing like, well themselves. As a duo I can compare them to the Sea the Sea and though they are both brilliant male/female harmony duos their sound is so different. Chuck and Mira blend into one voice. Brian and Katie are always distinct, they are two voices doing a dance around each other. When Pat is there the trio kicks it up a notch. It's auditory three card monty.
At the end they were joined by Pesky J. Nixon. Ethan is a miracle worker. I can never get WA9 to jam with other bands at the the Budgiedome. He succeeded where I failed.
During the break I sold the merch for Pesky and ate chocolate trifle. Did I mention there was chocolate trifle?
Pesky did not let me down and I maintained my street cred with Fred. It's pretty much impossible to not have a great time listening to them. Nobody has to tell me to sing along. I can't help myself. I just keep the volume down if nobody else is doing it. They did my request, "John Brown." I should have asked for "Last Call' by Anthony da Costa since I had to miss his show to go to this one. Why can't I be in two places at once? It wasn't just Anthony but Brittany Ann too and I never get to see her. Every time she's in town something comes up. That happens with certain musicians often for years. It will turn around and I'll see them often.
Guess where I am now? I'm on a Metro North train sitting in Grand Central Station, You'll have to keep reading to find out now.
Anthony did get his props from Pesky J. and We're About 9. Ethan told the story of Brian, Katie, and Anthony finding them at FRFF and swapping songs then taking them around to meet people. I was one of the people they met. Anthony sang a song for them he credited to Dylan or John Prine "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." You haven't lived till you've heard that sung by three big guys. Oh and it wasn't written by Dylan or Prine. I'd look up who wrote it but I don't have internet on the train.
After the show I sold more merch. Bruce and Coco gave me a ride back to the Last Homely House West of the Mountains, a great time saver when I'm out on the Island. I usually manage to get a ride back when I take a commuter train to the wilderness outside of New York City. I was lucky this time. I didn't have any run ins with lions and tigers and bears oh my.
This morning after the traditional Saturday pancake breakfast at the Last Homely House West of the Mountains Elrond and I tried to make some repairs without great success. We put in two light switches but that didn't fix the light at the top of the stairs. We then put in a new modem-router but now mine is the only computer that can connect to the internet. I must have some setting right that is wrong on the others. I changed the DNS on Elrond's but it still doesn't work. I'll have to compare all his settings to mine.
Now I'm heading up to Common Ground Community Concert in Dobb's Ferry, thus the MetroNorth. Antje Duvekot and The Sea the Sea are playing. They should have internet on commuter trains. It would make them quieter. People would spend less time talking on their cell phones. Yeah I know people can do that on their phones but I like my computer better and it gives me an excuse.
I hope there is WiFi at the church so I can post from there. I don't want to have to wait till I get home tonight.
There wasn't and there is problem with the WiFi at home. I am posting this through an unsecured wireless network in the neighborhood.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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