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

June 27, 2013 - 11:24 a.m.

Overhead Kami

I keep forgetting to mention this but my readership is going through the roof. Wise Madness has already had more readers this month than any of the previous 12 months. And it isn't ahead by just a little. It is going to have more than 400 readers more than any month other than last August, when I had my usual post Falcon Ridge boost. I have a feeling that Facebook might have something to do with this. It might be showing my links in the newsfeed to more people. In any event, thank you My Gentle Readers. I write for myself but it's a lot more enjoyable knowing that you are there.

I ventured from the wilds of upstate New York, White Plains, into the City yesterday. The necessity was looking at an apartment, in Spanish Harlem, just four blocks from where I was the last two weeks. I'd have a roommate who seems nice and listens to WfUV. Not my first choice of where to live of course. We'll see.

Once I was in the City I checked my PO Box. I got a text saying that I had mail, I didn't. That isn't the first time that's happened. The person I talked to said there were still bugs in the system.

Then I had some time to kill so I went to my office and played on the computer for a while,

Many of my friends, many of My Gentle Readers, are musicians, But I did something musical that I bet none of you have ever done. I played Woody Guthrie on a clavichord! I had had to go back to the apartment I just left in Spanish Harlem, I had left my shower supplies in the shower. Well where else would I have left them? It was actually fun because I had a nice talk with Evan. I finally asked if could try out his clavichord. He said, "Of course." I played one of the songs I was pretty sure I could still play, This Land! Sometimes I do something I really like.

After seeing the apartment I head to the Cutting Room to see the comely Kami Lyle. I have never been to the Cutting Room till Monday and I was back again just two days later. I'm guessing not many of you know Kami; raise your hand if you do. The way I discovered her is the reason I go to NERFA. I was walking in a hall and heard a trumpet. You don't often hear a trumpet at a Folk Music convention. I followed the sound till I found her practicing, there in the hall, with her band. I had to stop and talk. She told me where her showcases were and saw one, or was it two? It was enough to let me know I wanted to see more. The people who get formals and quads I'm likely to discover someplace else. There is probably no chance that I'd know of Kami's existence if I hadn't been to NERFA.

Kami is the second alumna of the Berkelee College of Music I saw this past week, Emily Elbert was the other. If you know anything about Berklee you know to expect jazz.

I got there early, well of course, but that let me finish dinner before the show started. There is a $20 minimum so I get the Steak Frites which cost $20. The shows are only $15 and I have to eat anyway so that's not bad. I get a good dinner and a great show for $35.

Before the show I was wracking my brains to remember her husband and bass player, Joey's last name. I could have cheated but felt I shouldnt have to. as soon as I saw his face I remembered, Spampinato! You might know him as he was a founding member of NRBQ. I always like the weird ways memory works. The visual triggered the memory.

What's Kami's music like? It's like many things, her styles are diverse. She entered a songwriting contest which had awards by genre and she won, country, jazz, and pop with three different songs. She started with a trumpet medley of songs that she said she wrote in 1939 for a little movie called The Wizard of Oz. I find that a bit hard to believe. She would have either been a negative age then or there's a painting of her on a wall that is looking very old.

She then did an original song that I heard her do at NERFA which wouldn't be out of place if Marilyn Monroe sang it in Some Like It Hot. She also plays the piano. I didn't know that till last night. Speaking of which is anyone looking to sell a Nord keyboard? She's going on tour with Steve Forbert, opening for him and her band is going to back him up, and she needs a new one. She also plays the bongos. She is multitalented.

Because she and the band have been learning a slew of Steve Forbert tunes they have not been able to rehearse her own songs. She kept talking about flubs and trainwrecks but it sounded fine to my ears. She handled it great, it because part of the show. Kami has a lot of personality and that's a big part of the entertainment. She's exactly the kind of act I love for the Budgiedome. She's not only great but she's different than what people at Falcon Ridge are used to hearing. I'm going to have to recreate my spreadsheet of all the music I hear live from my blog. People think of me as a folkie, I want to see how much nonfolk I listen to. Of course all music is folk music, you never heard a horse singing it.

Joey put his glasses down and Kami stepped on them. Somebody offered him her reading glasses and I said, "I have a glasses repair kit on me." Kami said "That's the nerdiest thing I ever heard." I think saying, It wasn't even the nerdiest thing I said that evening. "I played Woody Guthrie on a clavichord" has it beat.

I had one friend at the show, Jim, but I didn't see him. I knew he was there because he checked in on Facebook. Who was intrigued by what I said. Who wants to see Kami with me in September when she comes back to the City?

When the show was over I had 20 minutes to catch my train. It was a 10 minute walk away. I decided that I'd risk missing it and talk to Kami and not run out. I did and it was worth it though I cut it short and left myself 12 whole minutes to get there. I had to walk from 32nd Street to 42nd street straight up Park Avenue. That should have been doable, except I forgot one thing. Grand Central is huge and not well organized. I had to find what track the train was on and then it was on the lower level. That added another minute. The upshot was I missed it by seconds, The next train was in half an hour. Who can guess how I spent the time? That's right, Ice Cream. This is where a smart phone is great. There sadly is no good ice cream place in the station so I did a search and found a highly recommended gelato place on 42nd and Madison. They were set up odd. You have to go outside to see what flavors they have. There is no board listing them and the signs on the canisters face the outer window. They didn't have chocolate but I didn't let them stop me. I got Dulce de Leche. I just looked up the translation. I know that "La Dulce Vita" is translated "The Good Life" but I was pretty sure that wasn't literal. I know that Leche means milk. Do you know the translation? It's The Candy of Milk, or Milk Candy. Whatever the name it was marvelous. I got back well in time for my train.

Grand Central has one huge flaw. There is no listing of what time the next train is to each station. Even though I knew the line that wasn't enough information. There were two trains going to White Plains leaving within three minutes of each other. One stopped at Hartsdale like I needed and the other didn't. The only way to find out was to find a paper schedule and search it, that takes significant time to find the right schedule, or go to the track and see the stop listings. Fortunately the two tracks were near each other so that wasn't that difficult. Why don't they have the big board with all the stations on it like the LIRR has? I don't understand how simple things like that aren't thought of.

I was going to see Ariana Gillis tonight but that might be too difficult. That's life in the Burbs for you. You know I hate missing her.

I better get going. I'm going out with my host soon and I'm not dressed.

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 June 27, 2013
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