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 14, 2013 - 11:57 a.m.

Heaven Ain't Got Nothing on NERFA

Time to write what I hope is my last NERFA entry, adventures with friends. I try and not see them when they perform as I'm at NERFA to discover new music. There are some exceptions. There's nothing else going on during the Formal showcases so I get to kvel when my friends are up there. They were all great. Jean Rohe and Amy Speace knocked it out of the park.

The one friend I will see at a Quad is Jory Nash aka cousin Jory. We are not actually related. He lives in Toronto and I hardly ever get to see him outside of NERFA so I make sure to catch him there. And he in turn makes sure to mention Moxy Frvous when he sees me in the audience.

Now I just saw ilyAIMY and even crashed with Rob and Kristen but I still had a spot where I could catch them at a guerilla. I walked in the room and grabbed a spot on a bed as they were about to start a song. Rob goes. " And I'm not going to walk over and give a hug to someone who just walked in Oh yes I am!" And he left the stage and did it. When I said, "get up there and play he said, "Heather starts this song," So she played while Rob hug. Do these things happen to other people? Do I have the freakiest friends because nobody else would have anything to do with me? Sometimes I enjoy being me.

Speaking of kvelling I was so proud when The Lords of Liechtenstein started playing in the lobby right behind me. I was talking to Michael their father and I thought they were just practicing. then I turned around and saw a large crowd! I always want other people to love the music I love. I was particularly happy as I am the one that suggested that they go to NERFA.

I finally got to meet Shawna Caspi. Shawna is a Frhead. She entered my consciousness when she said, "Are you Gordon the Frhead?" after I commented on something on David Hein's timeline. She was a teenager back in Frvous days. Now she's not only an adult but she's a musician. She's been giving me the inside track on Canadians since I started going to NERFA. This year she was one of the Canadians! I got to eat brunch with her one day and found her even better company in person as on Facebook. Then I got to see her at two guerillas, one with Jory! She is of course invited to the Budgiedome. I can't count her as a discovery as I already knew her.

I also couldn't count The Murphy Beds. That's Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O'Leary's Irish/Traditional American band. I know Jefferson from his playing with Anas Mitchell but the reason I can't count the band is that Kathleen Biggins has played them on her radio show, "A Thousand Welcomes." They proved even better live.

I had more meals with friends than usual at NERFA, Yes I discover new music sitting with strangers but I hardly ever get to see Jory, Phil & Allison, or Richard and Beth.

I had no excuse for eating with Katherine and Karen as Katherine is the person I eat with the most often when I'm not at NERFA but sometimes it's nice to sit at a table of strangers with friends.

I am usually the only one in the pool and spa but this time I ran into Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes! There was Scott, Jeremiah, and Chris F. Where else can I have a detailed discussion of Stanley Kubrick, while sitting in a whirlpool. That's where my talks with Chris tend to gravitate. Was Kirk there? I am going to need a restraining order to keep that crew away from me. I run into them everywhere. It's nice to have stalkers that are also friends.

I alluded to it before but my boys, Pesky J. Nixon, put on a hell of a show to close the night on Saturday. Ethan and Jake were joined by 13 friends in one end of a hotel room while the audience packed the rest. I sat at Jake and Ethan's feet. Nobody can turn an audience into a community better than Pesky J. You want to feel one with the world? Watch these guys. I sang along not in my usual sotto voice but full throated. I don't think I can hear "Talk About Heaven" without tearing up. This is exactly why I love Falcon Ridge and NERFA. People believe in myths and join cults to feel like that and all you have to do to join is sing next time it comes along on the guitar.

When it was over I went down to the lobby. I used to go to Gene Shay's party but that's not for me. The lobby jam is where the real action is. I didn't join Pesky's jam. Why? there was another smaller one with Bobtown and Chicks with Dip and the Boxcar Lilies and friends. You can't have more of a home game for me than that. This is what it looked like.

On Sundays I went to On Your Griddle for an hour and made something of a spectacle of myself. I knew I couldn't stay for the whole thing because I wanted to pack. I guess I should explain what it is. It's a workshop where artists submit a song and a panel critiques it. John Platt is always one of the panelists. It can be a lot of fun and I can discover new artists at it. It requires bravery as they can get critical. I had to leave and got up just before a song was to be played. But before I reached the door I realized it was Carolann Solebello's "Put Down the Gun." I LOVE that song. And I love Carolann so I went back to my seat. The quick turnaround struck everybody as funny. One of the panelists said, "That's all you have to know about the song." After they finished the critique I still had to leave and didn't want it to happen again so I made a very quick departure before the next song could play and that drew laughter. Good thing that is NOT one of the thing I have anxiety about.

The farewell lunch was great and then I had to find my way home. Matt Nakoa heard of my plight and offered me a ride. He lives in Brooklyn not that far from me. He's not one of my close friends. I have not seen him outside of NERFA and FRFF but he helped anyway. Matt gets the spirit of NERFA. He's also tres cool. I was talking to Alex Mallett in the lobby. I am the one that encouraged Alex to go to NERFA. He also needed a ride and I asked Matt and he said he'd take him too! Matt is a mensch. The ride home was pretty much part of NERFA. I was with two musicians listening to CDs people had given me and talking music. That was worth the price of the conference. After we dropped off Alex Matt switched to WQXR and we listened to classical music. He's really my people. He knows a lot more about it than I do of course and that's how I like it. This way I learn.

So that's my NERFA wrap up. Tonight things are back to normal. I'm going to be Bobtown's roadie and merch guy. It's out in Babylon and I'm helping Katherine lug her gear on the LIRR. Yes that is my idea of a good time.

People, especially musicians, thank me for things that I do purely for my own pleasure. Many things about my life suck so I pamper myself. If I hear music it isn't because I want to support the band it's because I want to be there. I love the music and I love the musicians. But it goes beyond that. If I sit and listen to somebody's problems, it's because it makes me feel closer to that person and I like that. Yes there are people that always see the glass as half-empty and it can be draining to listen to them. But if someone I care about has problems I want to hear about it. I think that's why people will tell me things they won't otherwise talk about. And then they thank me. And then I tell them there's no need. Because there is no need. It's part of pampering myself. NERFA is a giant pamper. Is that a word? It should be. I dont' have a real home or health insurance and I live alone but I know some remarkable people. That helps so much.

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 14, 2013
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