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

February 20, 2014 - 5:53 p.m.

Baby Got A New Pair of Shoes

Wow I've killed two hours without writing or preparing for class. I guess I should check to see if I need to prepare before I write. I did take care of administrative duties.

Because of President's day my therapy was rescheduled for yesterday, so I went into the City the one day I usually don't. It actually worked out pretty well. I might actually talk a bit about the therapy later, I don't normally do that. Therapy is private but there's actually a lot of overlap between therapy and blogging. I will often come up with something and try to decide where it belongs, here or in therapy.

After therapy I made my now weekly visit to Gunz imports. I am running out of new things to try but it is still a good source of therapeutic chocolate. This week I got the European version of Pepperidge Farms chocolate pirouettes. They were even better!

Then I went to my office to get some work done. I thought I had too much time to kill before I went to Rockwood Music Hall at 6:00, I got out of therapy at 2:50 but instead I ended up being rushed and didn't do everything that I needed to do. I did get one class's final attendance submitted. I did the other today. More exciting I picked up the shoes I ordered online! I never ordered shoes online before because my feet are hard to fit. But these are the same shoes that I already had, just a different color. Did I need new shoes? You be the judge.

That's the heel you see in the second pic and the hole that was in it. As soon as I got my new shoes I through those out. Here are the new ones.

The problem is that they are slightly loose at the heel. I know they sell pads you insert to help that. Where do I get them?

At 5:30 I noticed the time and raced out to see
Michael Ronstadt at Rockwood Music Hall. The sat in the tunnel right before West 4th Street and I ended up just missing the train at B'way Lafayette. The upshot is I got to Rockwood at 6:05. They were just about to start. They? Didn't I just say Michael Ronstadt. I did and was wrong. Michael is the one I know but thie act was actually Trotta & Ronstadt. Michael was playing with his sometime partner Dave Trotta. I got the name right, Michael? This is one of those shows where I walk in and the band stops what they are doing. Michael say, "Gordon!" Then said, "Dave this is Gordon, Gordon this is Dave." Then they went back to the show. Michael plays the cello and Dave guitar. They were joined bhy a mandolin player whose name I forgot but who looked like Tevye.

Michael with Dave is nothing like Michael with Aaron Nathans or solo. He is very versatile. This music was lively someplace near bluegrass or old time I love that musicians can do that, master totally different genres. It's because there are only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind and I don't listen to the other kind. I bought the Trotta and Ronstadt album Clown Cars and Canyons.
Co you really need to know more than that title to know you want it? I can't wait to listen to it.

I'm not sure if any of friends with venues are aware of Michael. I have told John Platt about him. I linked to the band camp, give it a listen. My friends should be booking Michael in any and all of his projects and configurations. He is both musically talented and entertaining. You don't need more than that.

I'm on a run of hearing conservatory musicians, Michael, Lake Street Dive, and Sasha Papernik. I have a weakness for musicians with formal training. And it isn't prejudice, I never find out about it till after I like the music.

I headed straight home from the show to make dinner. I've been very good about that. The tough part is not the cooking and not forsaking restaurants I like it's spending that extra time in my room. I's still depressing not having my own place.

I stopped at the produce store on the way home for a plantain. I never use the one I went to and I'll have to start. The plantain was 35 instead of 50 or 66 as it is at the two I frequent. My plan was to try roasted plantain for the first time. My initial idea was to just cook it like roasted potatoes , 20 minutes at 425 but I checked online and saw a recipe that said it took 50 minutes. That seemed too high so I set it for 40 and if needed more I'd put it back in.

While it was cooking I called my sister Sue for her birthday. I have not talked to Sue for months and months, maybe a year. I don't do that. I love my sisters. I used to talk at least once a month and more like once a week. This is my anxiety getting in the way. It builds on itself. I get afraid that she's going to be upset that I haven't called, so I don't call. But this was her birthday and I never miss her birthday. And you know what? She wasn't upset and we had a really good talk. I'm so glad I called. I needed it. She needed it.

This is something talked about at therapy and before therapy with a friend. I think the friend might have done even more good. My world has been shrinking. Friendships go in and out like the tide but almost all of mine are ebbing at the same time. Some are just chance the currents have carried us in different directions. Some are the result of m changed circumstances. I don't have a car and I don't live in Queens and people that were once convenient are not very difficult to see. It's why I stopped playing bridge with Roy. And some are because people have withdrawn from me. Perhaps it's just in my head but many seem to be holding me at arm's length. One place the therapist helped was by just stating the obvious, that I'm living without one of the emotional necessities, a stable place to live. I'm needy because I have needs. This isn't me in my normal state. While the number has often changed and I've had slumps but at least for the last 15 years I've usually had many friends that I spent quality time with. I'm not incapable of getting close to people.

I am incapable of keeping to a timeline. I left the most important thing hanging, the forested plantains. I got off the phone and made the Cajun chicken break to eat with the plantains. I put it in a little late so I would not be ready the same time. But that's no disaster. When the timer went off I took the plantains out of the oven. Well I took out the pieces of charcoal that were on the baking sheet where the plantains used to be. What was the insane woman who wrote that recipe thinking? O was right, 20 minutes was enough. If I hadn't been on the phone I'd have checked after 20 minutes. See it was a disaster calling Sue. Just not the disaster I feared. I actually ate about half of it just so I'd have something to go with the chicken I experimented with the chicken too. I cooked it in ghee instead of olive oil or butter. That came out perfect.

One more thing this perhaps belongs right before therapy as it started when I reading an article in the times on the way there. But it's been in an out of my head since then. Have you been following the events in Ukraine? You should. On Tuesday I read this, Kiev Protesters Set Square Ablaze to Thwart Police. The government turned to violence to stop the protesters in Kiev. They sent in the riot police with water cannons, percussion grenades and tear gas. They took back most of the square but the protester set a ring of fire around the stage, the center of the protest, to hold the police at bay at it worked. Since then things have gotten worse, As Deaths Rise in Kiev, So Do Fears Ukraine Will Use Troops. People are dying but I can't help but be moved by the commitment of those inside the ring of fire. The deaths are mounting but things are at the knife edge. The mayor of Kiev has resigned from the ruling party in protest of the use of deadly force. This could turn into chaos and civil war but it could also be a victory for people power. No government can rule without a sense of legitimacy. If they people feel the government has no power it has no power. I'm rooting for the people.

This couldn't be better designed to get me emotionally involved and inspired. When I read "Ring of Fire" I think of Sigurd and Brynhildr. Yes not Siegfried and Brunhilde; as much as I love Wagner and the Ring Cycle I know this story from the Norse, the Eddas and Volsunga Saga. Odin Brynhildr's father put her asleep under enchantment to marry the first man to kiss her. Brynhildr doesn't want to love a coward so Odin sets her in a ring of fire so only a hero will dare to cross it to her. Sigurd, the greatest of heroes, does. I have known the story since childhood, before I ever saw a Thor comic. It's part of me. And I have always felt that Brynildr the Valkyrie was obviously worth braving a ring of fire for. Sigurd is a good person for someone with anxiety to think about. He is totally free of it.

And of course I can't think "ring of fire" without singing this:

Not many things make me feel as good as that.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile February 20, 2014
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