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

December 12, 2012 - 1:39 a.m.

Eggnog on the Radar

I'm not going to have any free time so I better write now and I'll have to keep this short even though I have two days to cover.

On Monday I gave tests in school. That means an easy day for me. I got in early to print up the tests and put them in blue books. I'm glad I had an emergency supply of books since I forgot to ask the admin for them on Friday. Oh wait, the Admin wasn't in on Friday, it isn't that I forgot. The ridiculous way my school is run is that the admin and the chairman are the only ones with the keys to the cabinets where the supplies are kept and neither is there in the morning. If you come in and need paper for the copying machine or test books or markers and you didn't get them the day before you are simply out of luck,. There is no alternative. You just have to not teach that day. Rather than do that I spent $7 of my own money on Friday to buy dry erase markers.

After school I went to therapy. That ends at 4:30. I had to be at the Living Room at 7 PM and grab dinner at some point which left with me with an awkward amount of time I live in the opposite direction as the Living Room. I decided to find ways to fill the time without going home. First I went to the holiday market. I wanted food and to talk to three people, Caitlin, the guy at the puzzle booth, and the woman at the Bali shop. Caitlin wasn't there. I couldn't find the puzzle booth. It looks like they aren't there anymore. That or the puzzle is to find them. I wanted to talk to the woman at the Bali shop because we had discussed my sister Alison's research there, she's a developmental psychologist. I told her I'd talk to Alison and find out what she discovered. I did and went to report back. The problem was every time I went by the booth the woman was deeply involved with a customer. I finally gave up. I'll try again next week. I didn't find any food that particularly excited me either. My favorite chocolate's price has gone up and I haven't seen my friend. It is so expensive now I'll only buy it if he's around.

I didn't accomplish what I wanted but that did take a lot of time. I then walked from Union Square to the Lower East side. I decided to eat at Crif Dog in the East Village if I didn't find anything exciting along the way. I didn't. I haven't been to Crif Dog in ages. I went to one in Brooklyn with Carey back in April. but it's been longer since I went to the one in the East Village. I got the breakfast dog, a smoked hot dog wrapped in bacon and an egg with cheese. It was scrumptious.

I then did engaged in some more nostalgia from the days I haunted the East Village. I went to Alphabets an amazing tchotchke store. I used to go there and to Love Saves the Day but Love went out of business. They have all kinds of weird fun toys and cards and well tchotchkes. Lots of them were bacon themed. Bacon is now an official fad.

I then discovered a new tchotchke store and explored that for a bit., By then it was time to get to the Living Room. I went to see John Elliott and Anthony da Costa., As I just wrote about them on Sunday why don't you read that. I even saw them with the same person, Gene except this time he was joined by Isabel. Emilyn and Laurely were at both shows too. I like when Emilyn is around because then I'm not the only one heckling Anthony.

I will talk about the band on before John, it was a Christian Pop band, that was um something. They bribed people at their shows. If you bought a CD you got a cupcake. They brought pizza just for being there. There was one other way they bought affection but I forgot what it was. I had pizza. When they asked everyone to stand I said "Jesus Christ can't this atheist catch a break." The irony was unintentional,

I want to add just one thing that I forgot to say about John's songs the other night. I get to show off something I learned in music appreciation in college. His songs are often not strophic, that is they don't follow a repeating pattern. Most songs are structured in stanzas that are structured identically or nearly so. Not many of Johns. They go where they want to go. They are written like art songs.

Now on to today. I graded tests but didn't get nearly enough done. I should have finished but I didn't. I still went out tonight because it was John Platt's On Your Radar. John's guest this month were the Tres Amigos, Jeremiah Birnbaum, and Miss Tess and the Talkbacks. this was one of the shows I was most looking forward to. I wasn't going to discover anyone new but even though I love all the performers I haven't seen them often.

I talked the show up and promoted the show extensively and asked the performers to do the same. The results were great, there was a packed house. I had many friends there of course, Dan, Fred, Lori & Joe, Bob & Rona, Richard and Viki, Suzanne, Chicks Catherine, Karyn, and Allison, Rooster Joe, Coco & Bruce, Maggi, Laura, Paul, and the usual everyone else I'm forgetting at the moment. There were even more friends than usual there. I spent a lot of time socializing. Oh. damn, I forgot my copy of Richard and Viki's Acoustic Live and my picture is in it! It's the NERFA issue. You can see it online, Acoustic Live 2012 NERFA Scrapbook Issue . Go find my picture, I'm with Carolann Solebello. Find it? Back?

I realized looking through it that it is like a small town newspaper and I'm in the town. I know so many of the people. Look at the great review Jeremiah's CD got.

Now back to tonight. The Tres Amigos were up first. All I saw was the 15 minutes they got at the NERFA formal showcase., That was enough to get me excited for tonight. My initial response was dead on. They are very much like Moxy Frvous . What makes them so much fun is that they are having so much fun on stage. They are much better musicians than Frvous and haven't developed Frvous's incredible patter yet but the spirit is the same. Eddie even looks like Jian. Keeping up the fun lookalikes Justin looks like Peter Tork, Did Carey's head just snap around? and Sam he looks like Mickey Dolan. If you don't enjoy watching them you are anhedonic. Speaking of fun they are going to be working with Nellie McKay! They said they've been chasing her for six months. I've been chasing her for six years, more than that. When did she start? I saw her when she was all of 16 or 17 before she had a CD out. No fair that they caught her and I didn't. It's because they are young and cute and look like rock stars and I am a spiny anteater.

I see Jeremiah more socially than I do performing. The odd thing is I don't know how we became friends. We met at Jack Hardy's memorial at Christopher Street.. I don't know when I saw him next but I do remember seeing him at Falcon Ridge and knowing I knew him and knowing I liked him but having no idea who he was. I knew I liked him and I could tell from our conversation that we were friends but that was it. This was the kind of situation I used to rely on Carey for. She'd tell me who the person was and even if I liked him. When someone called him by name thinks snapped into place except I still didn't remember when we got close. To me it just happened instantly, Maybe aliens erased my memory. Maybe Jeremiah is an alien. That would explain why I like him so much,.

Jeremiah has music too. I bet it isn't what you'd expect from seeing him. He looks like his music should be gritty or maybe punk rock in a fun Ramones sort of way. In fact is more like fun 60s pop often with a Motown feel. Hey there's that word fun again. Yes serious music can be fun. Serious music is often fun. Jeremiah is often fun. I should mention Pam, his girlfriend that I met before the show. Of course her name could be Pat. No it's Pam. I said it three times so I'd remember. I just know Jeremiah is going to say, "um her name is " Well I liked her in any event. Actually I met her already at the Budgiedome. I'm excused for forgetting people I meet at the Budgiedome. I meet a lot more people there than hours I get of sleep.

Last up was Tess. The only time I saw Tess before was the last time she played On Your Radar. So you might think I wasn't that thrilled with her. You'd be wrong. She's one of the half dozen acts I discovered there that I like the best. I don't like Miss Tess I love her, Well I love her music. I don't know here well enough personally to love her, I like her a lot. I want to get to know her better. I'm sure when I do I'll love her, For now let's just say I love her music.

I have this reputation on the WfUV question of the day group as a folkie. Yes I love folk but I love other music too and the ones that often make the biggest impression on me are not folkies but people that make unique unclassifiable music. That's Miss Tess. There are elements of western swing and jazz and country and western and New Orleans and things I can't begin to describe. Her music can't be held in by the bounds of conventional genre. It is once again, fun! Your feet move, your head moves, your fingers move. You'll find yourself smiling. You'll find yourself singing along. Sometimes you'll find yourself listening enraptured. The woman got pipes. My new year's resolution is to see Tess more in 2013.

I'd like to write more about the performers but I have to get to bed. I'll wrap things up quick.

After the show I got CDs by Tess and the Tres Amigos, I have Jeremiah's. I tried to make a quick getaway but had too many good byes to say. That worked out well because I got to the subway just before Allison and Joe and had company for most of my ride home. They got off the stop before me. We had a great nerd conversation. Joe and I usually do. I took the train all the way home instead of switching to the or . That saved me a transfer at W 4th street but meant walking over from 6th Ave about a third of a mile. So why did I do it? I got one more stop of conversation with Joe and Allison and I got to feel a chill walking home. Why did I want to feel a chill? I wanted to need a hot chocolate. So I got home and made myself one and felt nice and toasty. I did a culinary experiment. You know that I'm something of a Doctor Frankenstein in the kitchen. I'm never afraid to sew together the parts of different foods. This time I added egg nog to the hot chocolate. have any of you done that? I didn't make it all with hot chocolate. I made it with milk then added as much egg not as you'd add milk to coffee, if you use a lot of milk. It wasn't blow you away great but it was very interesting. Give it a try. I went shopping today and bought egg nog instead of half and half. I intend on using it wherever I'd normally use half and half. Tomorrow I'm going to make mashed potatoes with it.

Now I really have to get to bed. Tomorrow night I have to be asleep by 10 PM as I'm getting up at 4:30 or so the next day to volunteer at WFUV.

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 December 12, 2012
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