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
December 03, 2013 - 2:25 p.m.
So last night I went to sleep at 12:30 AM. I had my alarm set for 8:30, all prepared for a good night's sleep. Then I wake up in the night have one of the bathroom visits where I can't fall right back to sleep and had to read online for a bit. then I woke up at 7:38 on my own. So now I'll be tired today. It isn't fair.
Yesterday was a running around day. I finished the curriculum in both classes and did so by holding off going over the homework till Wednesday. the last regular test in Friday. Then two days reviewing for the final, then the final.
After class I prepared a homework assignment for them, I decided I didn't like the book's problems. Then I raced down to Union Square for therapy. It was an upbeat session as I was in a very good mood. You probably picked that up from my last entry. After that I had to head back uptown, a few blocks from school for the Annual Lincoln Square Winter's Eve Celebration. Usually I just walk there from school. This year it was not as convenient. So I raced out of therapy to take two trains to Lincoln Center so I could get a good spot in Dante Park. That's where they have the tree lighting ceremony now. It used to be a lot more impressive in the middle of the Lincoln Center Plaza, now it's a tiny stage in a vest pocket park with a modest tree. So why did I go? Arlo was performing.
There is more than the music though, there's this.
And before Arlo came on there was this.
That's a band on stilts. They did forced versions of Christmas songs with Renn Faire patter Then they did a kickass version of Duke Ellington's Sing Sing Sin. I take it that jazz is what their heart is.
After them there was a group of kids that work on Broadway. I didn't like some of the arrangements and it tended towards the precious but they were still pros. That shows.
Then came Arlo and his family,.
I believe those are all children and grandchildren. The only ones I know are Sarah Lee and Abe. They did two songs, Rudolf and White Christmas then got interrupted by the tree lighting. That was hosted by someone from ABC News.
She did a little interview with Arlo. She managed to say something stupid in a one minute puff piece. "I was shocked to find that some of your children and grandchildren sing and write songs too." Yes because what could be as unexpected as the children of the famous folk singer whose father was the most famous folk singer having children that are folk singers. We expected them all to be lumberjacks and used car salesmen. I can't even figure out what she was trying to say.
After the break they did "This Land" and I think one other song by Woody. So it was a short set. No matter, it's Arlo and he can always move me. I sang along full voiced. Arlo believes you can change the world by singing loudly and who am I to argue with folk royalty? He somehow manages to not be an institution but a human being, one I want to sit down and have dinner with. I wonder how many time I have seen him over the years. It's scores.
Even though I wasn't there as early as usual I got a pretty good spot. A woman with a stroller pulled out as I got there and I grabbed the opening she left in the second row with short people in front of me. There were two young mothers with very small children that I bonded with. I didn't say anything to one and just a few words to the other, "Your son has the beat!" but there was eye contact and sharing the experience. The one I talked to had a reason to like me. The short person I was behind was joined by two friends who just pushed their way to the front of the crowd, including pushing the woman with the kid out of the way. Her kid, who was a toddler that she was carrying, could no longer see. So I offered to change places with her. The interlopers separated the mother from her other kid. These were older woman who should know better.
I was disappointed that Arlo did only four songs but then went to do other things. There was a Klezmer band up next but I'm listening to Klezmer tonight and that wasn't the best place for a show. I had a guide of what's going on in the celebration. There was nothing great, like when Eileen Ivers played the dance tent. So I walked around a bit then went to the Professional Children's School to watch their students perform. That's in a nice comfy auditorium with seats. I saw a pianist do Chopin, a violinist, a cellist and two singers. One singer did a Stephen Schwartz song and the other something by Vivaldi.
Then I decided to have dinner. I had to go to Trader Joe's too so I headed down to Chelsea and ate at Hill Country Barbecue Market. I have finally learned how to not pig out there which makes it less fattening and less expensive. All I had was a beef rib and a pork rib. That's a decent amount of food and is of course amazingly good. They seem to be emphasizing the service more. It is not waiter service, you get your food at a counter, but a waitress, I don't think there are any waiters, bring drinks. I don't order anything, just water, but they bring that and they are very good at being attentive and making sure your water glass is full and ask you if you want dessert. And now for the first time they take your check. I never know how to tip with that kind of service. A percentage of the check is silly as she didn't bring me my food What I ordered was irrelevant. I just left a dollar. I hope that's not too cheap but it has to be less than I'd pay a waiter that actually brought me my food.
The hostess is one those people that always impress me, she remembered me. This was her first time being hostess, she used to be the one that you paid when you left. Now she didn't know my name, but she knew who I was. I got a, "Oh hi!" with recognition. We made small talk. We know we each other did for Thanksgiving. It's always good when people make you feel like a person, not device for carrying around a wallet.
Trader Joe's had the biggest line I had ever seen there but they are so efficient I managed to get out pretty quickly. Too bad they were out of the thing I went in to buy, jumbo white eggs. They are much cheaper than most places. I had to by the more expensive organic extra large eggs. You know I am very skeptical of the benefits of organic.
Wow I've written over 1200 words talking a day I didn't think I had much to say about. I thought I was going to have to get philosophic again.
Today I have to do laundry and I'd like to go to school and get some work done too before a possible musical doubleheader tonight. I guess I better start moving.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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