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
August 12, 2015 - 11:30 a.m.
This entry is a race against time. I posted last night that today's idiot story would not be about me. I was wrong and it is and that's why I'm racing the clock.
Last night was my second time being guest DJ with Brian Norton on WFDU. I'm going to need to write a macro to link to that. The problem is I don't know what keyboard shortcut to use. All the natural ones are already used.
My first stop was My PO Box. In it I was expecting two CDs that I wanted to play on the show, one by Richard Thompson I ordered from Amazon which I knew would get there on time and the other by Mike Laureanno which depended on ordinary USPS delivery so I wasn't. When I got there both packages had arrived. I also got USB to microUSB cables for my phone charger. The one I have must have a small break in it and gets finicky.
WFDU is on the campus of Fairleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck so I needed to catch a bus from the Port Authority on 42nd Street. The Post office is on 60th street so I walked. I grabbed a cheap dinner on the way. There's a place that keeps changing it's name but that has been there for years on the way on Eighth Avenue. They have very good chicken and cheese sandwiches and that's what I got.
Then comes the adventure of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It's made in two sections, North and South. I wasn't sure I needed so I went to the information booth in the closer North. I said I wanted the bus to Fairleigh Dickenson. She asked me, "What number bus?" That is of course what I wanted to know. When I said I didn't know she rolled her eyes and sighed. She was clearly displeased. She sort of fiddled with things then said, "number one" on the other side. Followed by "Number 35." Then she looked away. She didn't tell me what those numbers meant. She was clearly displeased that I wanted her to give information. What did I think that just because she works in an information booth that's what she should do? I really should write a letter to the Port Authority and complain. I didn't know what she meant but I knew I should be in the south wing so I went there and asked the information person there. He was nicer. He wanted to be helpful. His intentions were good. You know what they say about good intentions. I asked for the bus to Fairleigh Dickenson University. He looked through some schedules then came back to me and asked, "What city is that in?" I told him Teaneck. He got on the phone with somebody. When he got off he said I should get the ticket from Windows 1-10 for bush 168. I went over there and got the ticket. I asked what gate and was told 14. I went there and there was no sign I could see and nobody on the line. There is no one in the gate area that can give information. If you get there and have a question you have to walk back up to the information booth there. I asked at another gate and nobody there knew what I needed. Then a woman got on line at gate 14 and I asked her. She said she thinks it's the right bus for me but wasn't sure as she got off before then. She told me the bus was at 6:32. Nobody had told me the time at information. They figured that my time was totally unimportant. It was about 6:20 at the time. I waited and the bus was late. It started boarding at 6:45. I asked as I got on, is this the bus to Fairleigh Dickenson? Glad I did. It was the wrong bus. The right bus was the 155 at gate 16. It has just left. Arrggghh! I was told by someone out by the busses the next one was at 7:17. Yes almost an hour after I arrived. I went back to the information booth to complain. I had plenty of time. It wasn't the same guy. The shift must have changed. He went to look up what bus I should take. The problem is the book that lists those things had the page with Fairleigh Dickenson torn out. He made a call. He told me I needed the 155 at gate 16 at 7:16, same bus I was told before but a minute earlier. I don't know which was right.
I got back down there and was the first person on the line. They don't have anyone to help you but it's clear where you are supposed to line up and if you look at the other gates you can see what people do. Then someone else came and got in front of me, right by the door. The door has a sensor that opens when somebody is in front of it. It kept opening. I told him, "If you stand in front of the door it will keep opening, the line forms over here;" pointing behind me. He responded then went on how this bus is better for him than the 168 for some reason or another. What he didn't do was move. He stayed in front of the door and it kept opening and closing. He simply did not understand or care about the concept of a line. At this point I thought my idiot story would be about the two information people and the guy who cut in front of me and posted that on Facebook.
From then on things went fine. The bus came close to on time, it left at 7:18. I texted Brian I was on my way. I got there without a hitch and the bus drive was helpful telling me where to get off. Brian was waiting for me in his car. He needed to get something to eat so I went with him then we drove back to the station and set up.
We got there more than an hour early because I wanted to be prepared. I put all my CDs in the order they were to be played. I had made a spreadsheet with the playlist that was coded; anything in bold was on file, not CD, anything in italics I had concert information on. I sent Brian a copy of the spreadsheet and the music files via Dropbox.
Brian went on at 10:00. He played one song then threw it to me. I think I did a credible if not good job of talking and a good job of constructing the playlist. I tried to get the songs to flow. We hit a few glitches. I never could find the Dagmar CD that my landlady moved so I went to play the file. The file wouldn't play. For some reason it was ripped as a WMA file not an mp3. So instead Brian's computer went to the next file, Skye Steele. That was not he segue I wanted, I wanted Harpeth Rising into Dagmar, but at least they are both sophisticated string pieces. I then had to figure out how to convert the file to something Brian's computer would play. His is a Mac and it doesn't work or play well with others. I know how to convert formats using iTunes. The problem is iTunes wouldn’t just import the WMA file. I did some research online. I had to drag and drop the file onto iTunes which would then convert it. That worked. I did all this while the other songs in my list were played. It worked and I sent it to Brian to play.
For the most part we did three song sets that I would pre-announce the first song then post announce the entire set followed by some info on the bands or songs and where they could be heard in the tri-state area. Many are playing at the Philly Folk Fest this weekend. You probably want to know what was played. Here's the list.
Barbara Allen ~ Spuyten Duyvil
The theme was new music, I think the oldest album on there was the Bobtown which was released in December. This was what was actually played not what was planned because of the glitch with Dagmar. We had one other disaster. My copy of Kristin Andreassen's Gondolier was cracked! I had to send Brian the file from that. Dropbox is wonderful. I never used it properly before I had always sent Dropbox links but if you send the actual you share the folder in almost real time. I put it in and Brian got it within seconds. You might notice that the last four artists were not on the list I posted on Facebook before I went on. I didn't originally include Meg because thanks to glitches we played three songs from her album last time I was on. I had played one song off the Kennedys album West last time and already played songs from each of their solo albums. I thought I had played Rhiannon last time on the show but looking at my records I saw I hadn't. And Somehow I just missed seeing Amy on my list of 2015 albums. As we had time I included all of them. I thought Brian wanted to program more of his own music or I'd have planned on playing more. I could have gone back a bit into 2014 releases. I also have CDs I haven't listened to yet. I have a backlog. My life has been in a bit of disarray. You might have noticed. I ran out of new music on my computer with about half an hour to go and Brian filled in the rest of the time.
I then had to get home Brian drove me to Secaucus where I could get a train to Penn Station. I only had to wait about 15 minutes. I had trouble getting into the station. You have to use your ticket to get through the turnstile. I've done this before. You put it in a slot and make sure to align the magnetic strip. The ticket did not have a strip. After trying it every possible way I saw that they had added a scanner and there was a QR code on the ticket. So I was able to get in. The subway ride home was longer than during the day as the wasn't running and the was local. Then I had to switch to the . I got home at 3:05 AM. My parents would call me a dirty stay-out-late.
I got home and went to plug my computer in and discovered that I had left the charger at the station. That's my idiot story. I texted Brian. He's coming into the City today so he'll pick it up on the way in and I'll meet him at Grand Central Station. Well I won this race against time handily. I still have 2 hours and 55 minutes left on the computer.
I should go see the Amigos tonight at Joe's Pub but I have to check on the price. I didn't arrange to do the merch. I have a feeling I'll be staying home. That sucks. I have not heard enough music since Falcon Ridge.
Hey good news, the show is on the archives for two weeks. If you missed it you can listen. Sports Don't Sleep. That's the name of the show that Brian's show, "It's all About the Music" replaced. They haven't gotten the memo at the website yet. But if you listen you'll hear Brian's dulcet tones and my dissonant piercing screech.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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