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

September 28, 2013 - 11:11 a.m.

Gurfing USA

For the first time in a while I woke up with my eye hurting, like something is in it. This happened more frequently for a while. I used eye wash but it still hurts and I am having trouble seeing. Writing is a challenge.

After school I headed down to the East Village for a house concert. My first plan was to walk it. It's 3.6 miles. But the streets were crowded and it took me longer than I thought. My next plan was to walk to 14th street then take the to First Avenue. But I was walking too slowly for even that so I only made it to 34th Street and took the to the .

The real problem is that I was having a bad anxiety attack the entire trip. I tried all kinds of things to shake it. I thought about the house concert. I have never seen or even heard Gurf Morlix's music but I know of him through Slaid Cleaves. I knew that two of my favorite people would be there, Kay and Katherine and suspected that Richard, Jeremiah, and Pam would be there too. It didn't help. I thought of many things that I love and that didn't help too. I tried to lose myself in what I saw as I walked. No good. The thing that helped the most was thinking about something and someone I was mad at. Feeding my righteous indignation proved a viable distraction. This might have been something to cause my anxiety but instead it helped.

When I got to Kay's there was Jeremiah sitting outside. We were a bit early. If he weren't there I would have rung up anyway. I still had the anxiety and needed to get off the street. But it wasn't as bad talking to Jeremiah and when he asked if it was late enough for us to go in I jumped in and said "yes." It was only four minutes early so I would have under any circumstances. Very few people would want friends to stand on the street because they were a few minutes early.

I did start feeling better when I was inside and taking to my friends, yes all of them were there. Kay seems to have dedicated her life to making me love her. She gives great house concerts. She gave me great tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, She's always warm and kind. But you know that's not what I'm talking about. This is me. I'm talking about food. First time I went she asked if I like salmon. I'm not a fish eater, or vegan chili or anything else on her menu so she got me great salami! This time not only was there Salami and some other delicious sausage there were the two best Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Milanos and Pirouettes. With a mouth full of chocolate I had to leave the room where the food was served and go to the door to tell her that I love her. I might be a shameless moocher but I'm an appreciative shameless moocher. Remember the rule, I love all people that give me chocolate more than all people that don't give me chocolate.

By the time the show started my anxiety was history. Good thing, that isn't fun.

As I said I was totally unfamiliar with Gurf's music. I didn't even talk to him much before the show. I did have a very nice talk with his wife Brende (Bren-dee). I was going to say his lovely wife but you hear that phrase so often it loses its meaning. She is lovely but I'll say that he's fun to talk to. learned the story of her name but not of Gerf's. As you might guess there is a story. Now I have something to talk to him about next show.

If I didn't know Gurf why was I at the show? Two things, One I trust Kay's taste. Two, Gurf produced albums by two friends of mine that speak highly of him. Slaid Cleaves and the Kennedys. Except as I found out talking to Brende he didn't produced Pete and Maura. But talking to him I found that he played on one of their albums. I was right remembering them singing his praises I just got which praises wrong.

OK there's a third reason, Gurf Morlix is totally a Martian name and I thought he might know Alan Mendelsohn boy from Mars. He might even have had fleegix.

I was right to trust Kay, Slaid, Pete, and Maura. I could hear his influence on Slaid immediately. I could also hear the influence of John Prine on him. There was also a lot of Gurf as their should be. The thing I've been paying a lot of attention to is how songwriters hold your attention during the course of a song. The sad fact is that most songs don't. They are fine as background music but if I pay attention I soon get bored. A successful song is always unfolds. The way I've been putting it is that it goes from A to B. It can tell a story. It can describe something and it's the auditory equivalent of walking around a sculpture and seeing it from all side. Or it can evolve musically. Most of Gurf's songs tell stories but the throws in unexpected musical developments. Sometimes it's just one chord or a few notes thrown in that keeps you from sinking into complacency.

After the show I had my post show schmoozing. Katherine, Richard, and I helped put the chairs away. I was among the first to arrive and Katherine and I were among the last to leave. It's a good thing people don't hate me.

We made a strategic mistake and walked to the instead of walking all the way to Union Square. I've done both and it's usually faster taking the train but not last night. And it was such a nice night, the walk would have been pleasant. We then shared the as far as Atlantic Terminal where we parted way.

OK I'm up to speed and it's only a 11:08, Yes theoretically I like finishing by 10:00 but that hasn't happened in ages. Another musical double header today. Brother Sun at Madison Square Park in the afternoon and the Amigos Band and Mark Berube at First Acoustics tonight. Wow I'm seeing Carolann a lot I'll be seeing her tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday and I just saw her four times I the last two weeks. This is a good thing.

Now it's time for breakfast.

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 September 28, 2013
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