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

May 14, 2014 - 11:26 a.m.

I Stink Less than Dan

OK, I have tons to do today. Let's see if can actually get this banged out. I'm already making a late start, 10:21.

Yesterday did not start well. I went to school to meet a student and went to the class next to my office as it was grand central station. So I missed my other students who came to tell me they can't make the rescheduled time for the final. I never checked my school email this weekend and they had written me. Of course I asked when people had finals on Thursday to avoid a conflict and none of them said anything. I told htem they could take it afterward and they all said they couldn't do that. I said they could take it Wednesday or Thursday and they said they couldn't do it. they felt they should just not have to take it. They didn't have conflicts, either. So they had a final the next day, it wasn't he entire day. I told them that was there options and to let me know what they decided. They just walked away and never came back.

That was part of why I had a terrible anxiety attack as I proctored the final. I doubt the students noticed. I don't show it most of the time. I had aggravation right from the start. I handed out the test booklets with the questions inside and said what I always said, "don't open the books till I tell you to under pain of death." That's my running joke. It goes over well. So what does one student do? He gets his booklet and opens it to look at the test. I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I wanted to bang his head against the wall. I told him to close the book and said, "I can't understand why you'd do that after I just said to not open the book!" I then told him to move down front where I could watch him. He moved and guess what the first thing he did was. Come on guess. Yes he opened the book again. What the hell is he thinking? Does he totally zone out what I'm saying? I asked him and he said he wanted to write down formulas. So he though that gives him the right to do the thing I just chastised him for doing? What kind of feeling of entitlement does that entitle? I grabbed his test book and told him that I could kill him as I said to not do it under pain of death. Instead I would just give him less time for the test since he tried to cheat to get extra time. I just held it four minutes. I couldn't do it for the full five I wanted to. I knew it was a short test and wouldn't make a difference. I just wanted to make him sweat.

I made it through the test despite the anxiety. On the bright side my pulse was actually raised. My pattern during anxiety attacks was my heart wanting to pound but being incapable of it. that lead to my not being able to move for lack of oxygen. This is better.

One student was sweetheart. She had a conflict but let me know and arranged to take the test tomorrow. But she finished her other final early and came to see if she could take mine if it wasn't too much trouble. She was so nice about it. she took it for an hour with the class then stayed another 20 minutes in my office and finished it. I told her how much I appreciated her attitude. You have to let the good students know they are good.

I posted on Facebook that I was having an anxiety attack. Lori not LORi saw it and texted me to ask if I were OK and that she'd be at On Your Radar later and would give me a hug. That didn't make the anxiety go away but it made me feel good.

I went down to Rockwood Music Hall and didn't see Lori, Rona, and Bob but I saw Noah and Dan aka The Lords of Liechtenstein and talked to them. Then when they went down to sound check I saw Lori et al in the shadows and got my hugs and talked to them. I got hugs from the Lords too. Hugs help.

So I guess I should give the lineup, this month's performers were The Lords of Liechtenstein, The Grahams, and Connor Garvey. One perk of being me is getting to go into On Your Radar before doors so I went down for the end of sound check. I Connor was on stage. He was joined by Jenna Lindbo. I have never met Jenna though I've heard of her. I introduced myself and told her, "I was told that I'm supposed to like you." There's a fine line between charming and annoying, I'm not sure which side I'm on. Whichever side it's the real me.

I grabbed my usual seat and when doors were opened I was joined by Gail and Sharon Goldman. Sharon is playing next month. Mea culpa, I didn't save a seat for Fred. I will use the cute girl defense. Cute girls get priority, duh.

As usual I knew all the early arrivals and played social butterfly. All the time I was still deep in anxiety. I can enjoy myself and feel anxiety at the same time.

The anxiety finally faded away during Connor's set. I was in my ultimate comfort situation surrounded by friends hearing music at my home away from home. But that doesn't always help. This time it did.

I just wrote about Connor when I saw him at the Hurdy Gurdy. He's still great. He's still playing the Budgiedome. His banter has gotten funnier and that's a good thing. It fits is personality well.

John interviews Connor

I needed one color shot to show his red hair.

Jenna Lindbo

People were right I like Jenna and sent her a friend request. She's a Maineiac too though of recent vintage. She's from Oregon. I should have asked where. I wonder if she's gone from Portland to Portland. It came out in the interview that Connor has lived in both.

During the break I looked around and saw someone in the back wave at me. I could not see who it was, I couldn't make out any features, just a wave. I waved back like I knew who it was then got up to say hi. It was Karen. I saw her play a gig with the Lords at the Way Station. She asked if there was a seat near me and I told her there was the stool nearby. But the room was packed and it wasn't easy to make her way to the front where I was sitting. I'm made of sterner stuff. She was sitting next to Jim one of the WfUV volunteers. Not the Jim I usually talk about. She came forward to talk to me a bit and I couldn't do much more than say hi to Jim. I told Karen to introduce herself and say it was at my say so. I wonder if she did.

I got back to my seat for the Grahams who were new to me. They are itinerant musician. They are based in New York but they spend all their time on the road. They traveled the full length of the Mississippi and are off to see the country by Amtrak next.

John interviewing the Grahams

Their band.

They played an interesting take on Americana. Their first song was almost exactly the same as one Red Molly did, I think I Gillian Welch cover, I'm blanking on which one. I hate that feeling of knowing I know the song and not being able to get it out. It was the title track of their album Riverman's Daughter. I was wondering if that was a Lord of the Rings reference. Tom Bombadil refers to his wife Goldberry as "Riverman's Daughter." They disappeared before the end of the show so I didn't get to ask them.

During the next break Karen made her way up front and joined us. See cute girls like me as long as they are married. That of course fits in with the Lords. They always introduce Girlz by dedicating the song to me because the song is about how all girls are mean to Noah and they are all mean to me too. That's how we bonded. When the song was over I said, "that's the story of my life." Sharon said, "They are your mini-mes." That was high praise for me. They are insanely talented. Such a gift for lyrics and such stage presence. I was kvelling their whole set. I loved hearing everyone around me loving them. I somehow have laid a claim on them. I am an early adopter.

Noah, Dan, John

We of course hung around after the set until they kicked us out. I had missed her before but Kat Quinn was there and came over to say hi. Last year she and the Lords were my Young Performers Series at the Budgiedome. They were giving the showcase spot before the headliner, Kat on Friday and the Lords on Saturday.

Upstairs in the backroom is always something aof a madhouse and not the best place for socializing. I mainly talked to Karen and Scott Wolfson. Scott is on next month's bill with Sharon. The third act is someone I don't know. Did you notice my rule. I use last names with performers but not anyone else. I figure for them publicity trumps privacy.

I wore my official Lords of Liechtenstein argyle sweater vest. The Lords took theirs off after their set. Scott said they weren't as dedicated as I was. Dan said "Gordon's not as stinky as I am." So that's my new thing to be proud of. I stink less than Dan.

I ended up leaving with the Lords and walked with them as far as Delancy and Allen street where we parted ways. So you know how Noah made the movie about me? I haven't seen it but apparently it went well. It got their mother saying very nice things to me. Not that she didnt' always act nice to me. Even though I'm totally blanking on her name. So apparently I should use the movie as my dating video. You might get a chance to see it. They thought of doing a show at a small venue and screening the film there. It's still a film even though there's no film involved, right? Do I have to stop saying films and only say movies now? I've cultivated the snobbish film for ages. Will I now be advertising that I'm old and behind the times?

OK. I better eat and get my day started. I have to write a final, grade a test and a final, and go shopping today. I hope they did well on the final. I guess it's an omelet day today. I haven't had one in ages.

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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 May 14, 2014
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