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

March 14, 2014 - 4:48 p.m.

Always Faithfull

I'm working under time pressure. I am meeting the esoteric Erika for lunch. Erika forgive me but the poet in me wanted to say "erotic Erika." That's a wonderful word combination.

At one point I'm going to talk about math. Don't be scared. Just skip to the horizontal line if the going gets too tough. I'll be back with music and a beautiful woman. OK that's pretty much every blog post of mine.

I remember what I did yesterday! give me a cookie. You can pretty much always give me a cookie. Something with chocolate, no oatmeal. Got that? I'm going to start a Wise Madness crowd-sourcing page but you donate chocolate not money. I'm drinking chocolate coffee as I write this.

So what frustrated the hell out of me in school yesterday? Wow not much. A student came for help. That's a good thing. I love when a student cares enough to come for help. After class I was good and did grading. I gave quizzes on the quadratic identities both expanding and factoring. So here's the thing, students can know the identities but still have no idea that they are there to be used or don't know how to use them. Students did things like this. correctly memorize the formula:
But then when given the problem of finding (x+3) either multiply it out or even worse write;
I specifically told them they can't multiply it out. That the point was to see if they know how to use the formulae. I think I might have to give a lesson in substituting. I am pretty sure I never had one but it gives students problems. It's the very essence of algebra, knowing that the variables stand for numbers, other variables, or expressions.

OK did I lose everyone? I caught your attention with erotic Erika now I lost you with math. I'll have to bring you back with the tantalizing Tammy Faye.

After school I went the shortest distance I ever went for a concert, a block and a half, to the David Rubenstein Atrium for Tammy Faye Starlite Bring's Marianne Faithfull's "Broken English" to Lincoln Center. It was part of the free Thursday music series there. A key word is free. that means the place gets packed and you have to get there early to get a seat. They won't let you in the room after it's full. the show was 7:30 and I got there at 6:15 and there were already lots of people but I still snagged the seat I wanted down front. One seat to the left would have been better for pictures. I miscalculated. I didn't have time for dinner so I grabbed some grits at 'wichcraft in the atrium. They were excellent.

Free music crowds are different. You get a lot of people that just want to see something for free in addition to the people that actually care about the show. I had the former sitting by me. These two women grabbed the prime seats down front then left early. During the show the one next to me played on her phone. When she left someone grabbed her seat who was totally into the show and appreciated the seat so much more. One more kvetch. They announced no flash photography and as soon as Tammy hit the stage someone's flash went off several times. It stopped then, My guess is that security stopped whoever it was.

The crowd went crazy as Tammy hit the stage

Do I have to explain who Tammy is every time I write about her? She's outside my usual circle. I knew only two people there and they were both press. I first saw Tammy when she was in the musical Co-ed Prison Sluts which is as brilliant as it sounds and don't let Carey tell you otherwise. Now she does shows where she plays a musicians and not just covers their songs but takes on their persona and satirizes it. It's always wonderful. You both laugh and learn something. Tammy can sing, she can write, she can improvise, and she has pizzazz.

Tammy did the entire show as Marianne, never coming out of character though occasionally the accent strayed which she riffed on. What makes it work is that Tammy can sing. She isn't just playing a singer, she is a singer. The show works on a musical level. Her band is kick ass. Or is that kickass or kick-ass? Insert your own ass joke here. The drummer should be the punch line.

I feel I should be ashamed that I'm not that familiar with Marianne Faithfull or the album Broken English. Am I ashamed? Not sure but it is the kind of thing I should be familiar with. I have some serious holes in my music education. The music is a bridge harkening back to the 60s and forward to at least the 90s. It's much grittier than you'd expect from a pop diva. Why she was never a pop diva, she was just perceived that way. Of course she's a pop diva that had such a severe heroin addiction that she ended up living on the streets.

After she did all the songs on the album Tammy did some songs not on it. One was not even an Marianne Faithfull song but a Dylan song covered by Nico that Tammy does in her Nico show. Was it "I'll Keep it With Mine?" It must be.

She finished with of Faithfull's best known songs, Sister Morphine and As Tears Go By Watch this and it's hard to see her as someone homeless because of heroin.

Marianne succumbing to Lady Morphine

Lady Morphine has taken its toll

After the show I was going to say hi to Tammy but the place was packed and there was a crowd I'd have to push through to get to her and she was already talking to people. I hadn't eaten dinner yet so I left it for the next time I see her. And I'll say hi now. "Hi Tammy!"

For dinner I do something I used to do all the time now never do. I ate at the Popeye's right by where I live. It's been long enough since I ate there that I enjoyed the food. I did not enjoy the ambience. It was a cold night and the place was filled with people begging for money or food. It was a cold night and I'm guessing that most of them were homeless. One was of the heartbreaking muttering to himself type. I don't blame them of course, they are victims and suffer far more than I ever have. But it is not pleasant to be reminded of this when I'm eating. There but for fortune go you and I.

This morning as I said I had lunch plans with Erika. That meant eating breakfast at breakfast time, not lunch like I usually did. I had scrapple and eggs. Then when I met Erika like hobbits we had second breakfast. This time it was an omelet. The main course was conversation. As I discovered from looking at old editions of Wise Madness the first time we spent time together alone was just over 5 years ago. We both felt that we have known each other far longer. On the other hand the concert we went to, Natalie MacMaster seems much more recent. Memory is tricksy. I'm lapsing into Gollum again.

I have several options what to do tonight and tomorrow and I don't know which I'll choose. I might just go shopping. I need a ton of stuff.

I'll leave you with the slide show and tomorrow you'll find out what I did tonight.

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 March 14, 2014
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