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
-Bertrand Russell

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

December 24, 2012 - 11:04 a.m.

Winterbloomsday or Visions of Johanna

So yesterday I had a busy day and remembered at least some of the things I wanted to write about the next slow day and then had line a thought I wanted to share with you. It really isn't fair. I'll see what I can do. One of these days I will really write a second entry.

I'm still recovering from my George Bailey despair and trying to pamper myself. That was the theme for the entire day yesterday. I stayed in bed all morning listening to John Platt then Wait Wait Don't Tell me while I wrote "Wise Madness." Then at noon I went down for breakfast, poached eggs and had another very nice talk with Arwen Undomiel. It was so nice that I almost didn't leave myself enough time to get to Rockwood Music Hall to see Jo Kroger's Holiday Show. That is not how I had it written in my calendar. There it is listed as "Jo Kroger & cookies." Jo once again baked Christmas Cookies. She brought them when she backed up Kat Quinn too. I had never seen Jo do her owns set but I figured she brought cookies, I know she can sing, she's really cute, and she's fun to talk to so I might as well check her out. As I've mentioned here a few times the last is actually the most important thing. If someone is interesting to talk to they have something to say which doesn't guarantee good songwriting but there is a positive correlation.

I got to the show minutes before it was scheduled to start and comfortably before it really started. Enough time to down a few cookies and meet someone joining her on the bill Aaron Thompson. He is from Carey's home town of Fredrick MD. He sang a song about a girl in Chicago. I told Carey it must be about her.

Jo was joined by another singer and for the life of me I can't remember his name. Sorry other sing whose name I can't remember.

This was a long show for Rockwood, 2 hours. That's why Jo asked friends to help her. Jo filled the rest of the time delightfully, I was very happy that I went. It fit my emotional needs very well even though she kept apologizing for how depressing her songs were. How is it that cheerful people that make me happy write sad songs?

She also mixed in some holiday songs and I found myself singing along. Isn't that the point of Christmas songs? You can't just listen, at least I don't want to. Once I started others with better voices did too.

Before the show I discussed with Jo what her name was short for. She was cagey about it and said to listen carefully to her songs. Then she told me. I'm good that way. So what's hare name? Well in one of her songs she mentions Dylan's album, Blond on Blond. Does that help? How about the song, "Visions of Johanna?"

It was pretty much the perfect way for me to spend my afternoon. I left feeling nice and emotionally warm. I then continued with the pampering by going to Katz's Deli. I didn't get my usual knoblewurst but sprung for the more expensive pastrami, it is the very best in the world. In fact it is so exceptional it shouldn't be call pastrami, it's unique. I had fries with it and a drink. You should all know what the drink was. Yes that's right a Doctor Brown's cream soda, the only drink I get in a Jewish Deli,

Then I hopped on the subway to Brooklyn for another holiday show, Winterbloom. As often happens to me at Union Square I had issues. I thought the show was at 7:30 and doors were at 7. I wanted to get there a little earlier than that since I didn't have a ticket and I made great time so I got there at 6:30. When I arrived I discovered that doors were at 7:30 and the show at 8:00. I thought of going out but Union Hall is really comfy so I settled into comfy chair by the fire and read and napped for 50 minutes. When I went down to where the music was I was the second person on line. A few people followed me down. They let us in on time and I grabbed my seat in the first row. I was surprised that I didn't know a single person in the audience. I did talk briefly with Natalia and Antje. I guess I should say what Winterbloom is. From their website: "Winterbloom is a collective of four successful, internationally touring singer-songwriters - Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton, Meg Hutchinson, and Natalia Zukerman."

I remember four years ago Antje telling me about the first Winterbloom tour. I'm fairly certain that was at the Uptown Coffeehouse. Memories are tricky so I can't be sure. For some reason I've never seen Winterbloom before. What I liked best about them is that there is a reason for them to play together, they are more than the sum of their parts. They have marvelous arrangements. They often something that I love but rarely hear groups do, change who sings lead on each line of a song. They change who is singing every line too. That keeps things so fresh. It must also be very difficult. They sang their own songs, Their own original holiday songs, and traditional Christmas songs. Natalia is Jewish is her song is a Chanukah song! My people. She also channels her grandmother and gives a running commentary to one of the Carols and I'm kicking myself that I can't remember which one. I would have loved to hear the four of them do "Mi Yemalel (Who Can Retell)." You hear that Natalia. Think about it for next year.

After the show I actually made the quick getaway I never do. There was a line to talk to the performers and just didn't feel like waiting. I have never talked to Meg. I just know that Carey or someone will point out that I did and know all the details. But to my bad memory I haven't. Antje is played the the Budgiedome the second year so I've know her for ages.

I had two options going home. Walk a block and take the back to the or walk seven blocks to the . I chose to explore and did the latter. It was a nice walk through Park Slope. I got back and had more comfort food, peanut butter.

Now I have to gt out of bed and shower, eat, and get ready for Therapy. I might see "The Hobbit" today as I'm going into the City anyway. I wanted to see it on Christmas but I haven't been able to find someone to see it with me. I'll go see Jewmongous at City Winery. I asked people if they wanted to see it with me but they never got back to me. If I don't hear soon I'll buy a ticket and go by myself. If you want to go with me let me know.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile December 24, 2012
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