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
April 10, 2017 - 8:54 a.m.
I have not written the last two days; not by coincidence I had my first good night's sleep for the first time in over a week. Even though I had two cups of coffee I want to go back to sleep. I can't because I have to leave in less than two hours and I can't leave you hanging for another day, or can I? it's tempting. I left you hanging but not for a full day. That nap was good. It's now almost 11 hours after I started this. I had a full day and I'm back home and have so much to write about but will attempt to keep it short.
Saturday was my Fantasy Baseball League Draft. Preparation is very important. I started to prepare Friday night at 8 PM. This is another place my anxiety has reached. I had the added problem of getting to the draft in New Jersey. I had been going with Chris but he's in Brooklyn and I'm now as far from him as it's possible to be and still be in New York City and in the opposite direction. There is only one member of the league for him I'm not totally out of the way, Nick, he's in upper Westchester. I'm still out of the way but not ridiculously far. He's super nice so I was pretty sure he'd say yes. The only issue is that he likes to get there early so I had to get ready to be picked up at 6:20. Remember how I didn't start to prepare to 8? I didn't finish till near 2 AM. I got less than four hours of sleep.
Most of my prep time I spent working on spreadsheets, it was Excel not baseball. Of course, that's what I did last year and came in second. My methodology is good.
We got there at 8:30, the draft theoretically started at 10. Some people weren't there yet so it started a bit late. I was brought into the league by Marc who I met when I tutored him for an actuarial exam 20 years ago. The league started in 1989. I brought two teams into the league, one owned by Chris, and one by Larry and Diana.
I was happier with the way the draft went this year than most. I didn't have any, "Damn I should have bid higher on ___ " or "why the hell did I bid so much on ____ " moments. Now to introduce the team. Ladies and Gentlemen here are your 2017 Nashional Batnoses.
For the first time in ages I stayed after the draft for the pizza. I always say I should eat my pizza so I did. It was yummy. When we finished the pizza Nick and I left. He didn't drive me home, he drove me to Irvington; I was going to Irvington Town Hall. This was not very far out of his way. I thanked Nick profusely and went in for the second adventure of the day. It was now after 6, almost 12 hours after I left and remember I had less than 4 hours of sleep.
I was there to see Susan Werner and John Gorka. It's one of the four Common Ground Coffeehouse shows that Carter puts on and the much larger Irvington Town Hall every year. I was one of the merch people.
After setting up the merch I went to say hi to the performers. I don't know them as well as I usually know the people I merch for. Susan knew she knew me but couldn't pin down from where. I said, "I'm Gordon, I'm the one that proposes to you when I see you." That triggered her memory. One of the reasons I love Susan is I know she'll go along with a joke like that. I love her but the marriage might be problematic as she's already married and she's gay. Our tentative plans are to move to Utah and all be married to each other. I'm not sure how her wife will feel about this? I'm not so sure I want to live in Utah. I am sure that I love that her reaction is laugh, not get a restraining order.
John and Susan are a natural pairing. They are both funny but people might not categorize them as funny singer/songwriters as they also have many serious songs. I haven't done a survey but my guess is that Susan has a higher percentage of funny songs that John. She certainly has fewer super depressing songs. Many of John's humor is riffs on writing super depressing songs.
I got there first and planned on being the one to sell Susan's albums as I know them better. Strangely I don't have any by either of them but Susan's I keep up with more. So, what happened? I ended up selling John's. I'm not as good as answering questions on his.
I usually have people I know when I see shows that Carter puts on and this was no exception. I like when I'm at Town Hall standing in the back by the merch and my friends come by to say hi to me. There was Mike & Kate, Peter and Paula, Beth and Perry, Isabel without Gene, and Marty. Joyce who I know from FUV volunteered with the theater and was an usher. Winston a Common Ground Volunteer helped me John's merch. There there's Jim who is the official photographer. We became Facebook friends after the last Common Ground show. We discovered that we both when to Cardozo High School. He introduced me to his brother Gary and said I didn't have to be nice to him because he went to Lewis. Ended up he was in the same year as my sister Sue, and one behind her husband Mike and he knew them, or at least knew of them. It's a small world.
The show was tremendous, John and Susan were in rare form. In the first half John did a set then Susan did. The second half was a song swap. There aren't many shows where you will hear such great music along with such wit and intelligence. They give your brain a workout.
After the show, I did the merch then said goodbye to people. Isabel drove me home which saves me well over an hour. I was hoping there would be someone there who could give me a ride. There are advantages to knowing everyone.
My plan for today was to not leave the house and to prepare tomorrow's radio show. Then I got a message from Lena that she'd be in town this weekend. I ended up spending the day with her and her friend Patricia and Blythe. I was in charge of coming up with an inexpensive itinerary. I came up with walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and then getting poutine at the Mile End Deli. The weather gods looked kindly on us and it was a beautiful day. I met them in the heart of darkness, the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Terminal. That's where they stayed. Who, not from New York, knows why that is the heart of darkness? It is owned by Donald Trump, is earliest foray into Manhattan; his first erection so to speak. I fear that I imperiled by soul by going in there. I met Lena and her friends at the bar. I have to admit, they had the best bar mix of salty snacks that I've had. I ate an entire bowl. I did not buy a drink.
Then we were off on our Brooklyn adventure. It was a beautiful Sunday and as I feared the bridge was packed with people. Still it was fun; Lena and her friends were suitably impressed with the magnificent vistas. I gave my historical perspective guided tour. If you talk about the Brooklyn Bridge and don't mention caisson disease you have not done your job. We walked from the end of the Bridge to the Mile End. We got there at 4:25. They were closed! They close every day from 4 – 5. There are chairs out front so we sat in them and waited for the place to open. I then had my first poutine in months. That's just not right. Poutine is the food of the gods. I'm still enjoying it.
We then took the subway back. They got off at Grand Central where they picked up their luggage and headed to Penn Station to catch their train home. They made it. I stayed on the train and made my way home. I think I'm too tired to prepare the radio show. I might end up doing it tomorrow morning. I have one show in the can and just have to work on the other.
I will not be updating tomorrow morning. You won't hear from me again till Tuesday.
Oh, great. I forgot to post this last night. I was sleepy. So, I guess I am posting this morning.
Richard Thompson and Saving the World - April 15, 2017
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