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

November 04, 2013 - 2:58 p.m.

By Hook or by Crookston

OK time to start writing. Lots to do today. Lots to do every day. At some point I have to do laundry.

So of course I wasted most of yesterday and didn't go shopping or do laundry. I kept getting fooled by clocks that hadn't been turned back, the one on the oven and my wrist watch. I don't know why my watch didn't automatically adjust. I think it's because I had the year wrong. I never see the year but when I went to adjust the hour I saw it thought it was 2003. Even though it's a common kitchen and I got up late I knew nobody but me would change the time o the oven.

Last week one of my colleagues couldn't believe that one of her students asked if she was going to go in costume on Halloween. She thought it unthinkable. I didn't tell her that I always teach in costume if I have class that day. One person's unthinkable is another person's norm. You might guess that she's not someone that I'm close to. I'm guessing that all of My Gentle Readers know adults that dress up on Halloween or do so themselves. That's why we're the cool kids.

Last night I once again headed up to Hastings-on-Hudson to hear music. In this case it was Joe Crookston at River Spirit Music aka Peter and Paula's house. It's getting to the point where I can make that trip in my sleep. I needed a ride from the station but I wasn't sure who was giving it to me. Last time it was Peter. I called Peter when I was one stop away and he told me that mmmrphumph would pick me up. Rather than asked him to keep repeating it I figured if I saw someone there I knew he or she was my ride. It turns out hat mmmrphumph means Carter. That's good as I could actually recognize his car.

We got there pretty early and grabbed my usual seats down front. It was that or towards the back. I was tempted to try the couches but they were so far off to the side I thought there might be sound quality problems.

It's been a long time since I've written about Joe because it's been a long time since Iv'e seen him. That is not a good thing. Joe is one of the greats. Usually when I talk about someone being a great songwriter it's in the Cole Porter/Randy Newman/John Linnell tradition, people who what John Elliot calls "clever wrongwritery songs." It's about perfectly crafted language and bizarre metaphors, and getting people to think not just outside the box but realizing that there is no box.

Joe is not in that tradition. He is from the Woody Guthrie/Lead Bell school of folk troubadours. Joe tells stories. Is there any older art form? I'm sure before there was music, before they were painting on cave walls, people were telling stories. It goes back at least as long as fishing as the first fisherman surely told of the one that got away. What Joe does most often is listen to other people and retell their stories. It can be about his grandfather building the runway that the Enola Gay took off from. It can be about how a rooster got into the mash when bootleggers were making whisky during prohibition. It can be a poor kid whose life had gone wrong and was in prison in Seattle. They can be happy, sad, inspiring or tragic but they are stories that ring true. No matter what they are he sings them with passion. He stomps so hard the paintings fall off the wall. He gets as close as he can to the audience then leans in further. He plays guitar with manic energy. On one song he played his mother's old guitar which he converted into a slide with a nut extender. I'm going to make you google that to find out what it is then you'll have to deal with all the ads for devices and drugs to enhance your sex life. He said that Pat Wictor encouraged him to do that and now he's going to play like Pat. He played nothing like Pat. Pat plays smooth sounding blues. Everything Joe does has a rough edge. His playing has a lot more in common with Rob Hinkal of ilyAIMY. He actually bases his guitar playing claw hammer banjo. It's naturally percussive. I am rushed for time and I hate that. I can sing Joe's praises for hours. He's as good as it gets.

Last night he was joined by Peter Glanville. I've only seen him with Peter one other time. He raises the show to another level. He plays the tenor and whatever you call a regular guitar. It ads and entire dimension to the music.

Joe had an extra special guest, Melissa Greener. She's doing the next John Platt's On Your Radar. She's a great singer/songwriter in her own right. I loved her new song Transistor Corazn. A mariachi song about robots. Is that right?

OK add lots of more praise for all the musicians but I have to leave and need to get in the idiot story I promised.

After the show I checked the time of the train and saw that it left in 33 minutes.; That was perfect. It gave Carter and I some time to say our goodbyes to people. I really wanted to talk to Joe. Not only is he a great musician he is one of the best people to talk to. I can milk our conversations for countless blogs. He always makes me think.

Carter and I left with plenty of time to get to the station. I looked at his car clock and saw we had 10 minutes so I spent it talking to Carter. We also have great conversations. Then with five minutes to go a train pulled up. I knew it couldn't be mine but it had to be. I raced up the stairs then couldn't find the way across the bridge to the other side. "Why? Because I'm an idiot. It was right there. I just had to go up another flight of stairs. "The upshot was I missed the train. Carter's car clock was 5 minutes slow. How could I not have asked if it was right. Car clocks are wrong more than they are right. I should have just looked at my phone. Why didn't I? Im an idiot. And with that I have to leave.

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 November 04, 2013
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