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

February 24, 2014 - 12:08 p.m.

Failure at Cook

How have I wasted two and a half hours since I woke up? I can't believe I waited so long to start writing. Part of the time I was editing pictures but the rest? I read the Times not sure what else I did. I'll blame the Chronoklepts. I'm still trying to get that work into general usage. Chrono means time and klept thief

I did a lot yesterday but it's all about recounting events so maybe I can write this quickly even if it's long. My reward for finishing is breakfast. There's an omelet on today's menu.

Have I mentioned that I'm insane? I might have once or twice. This is totally separate from being an idiot. What's insane? traveling two and a half hours to go to a concert. It was at the University Caf at SUNY Stony Brook. When I had a car it was less than an hour away and it's hard for me to think of it as out of town, but for practical purposes it is. It is also one of my favorite venues. I like the physical space and Charlie Backfish that runs the series is a musical kindred spirit. The only reason it didn't take me three hours was that Gene & Isabel drove me part of the way. Here's the timing of the trip. I left my house at 10:54 and took the to Atlantic Terminal. Well that was the plan but there's construction and I actually took the which didn't leave when the was supposed to. Good thing I gave myself extra time and. I took the 11:22 LIRR train, transferred at Jamaica and arrived in Amityville, the horror, at 12:31. I love how punctual trains are. People complain but that's because they expect them to be on time. It got there the scheduled time to the minute. Then Gene & Isabel drove me to Stony Brook and we arrived at the campus at 1:30. That's a trek.

So what got me to make the trip? A cobill of Pesky J. Nixon and Miles to Dayton. I love both bands but neither could get me out there on their own. But the two together could. I knew that they would jam together and that made it a special show.

I had arranged to do merch for Pesky. One problem. they had no merch. They sold out the night before. They opened for Cheryl Wheeler and her fans cannot get enough of PJN. But I still got comped and sat at the merch table. I sold Kara's solo CD, answered questions, and made sure people signed the mailing list. Even though it was at the other end of Long Island I knew people at the show, Norm, Shelly, Dan, and Marty. I know a lot of people

Ethan and Kara

Jake and Ethan

Jon and Leanne backing PJN

The music did not disappoint. most of the songs were performed with at least some members of the other band sitting in. Am I the only one that cries when he hears Wagon Wheel? It's a song I identify with two specific hearings that had a big emotional impact on me. One was shortly after my eviction when the wind was out of my sails. I was walking to home of the friends I was crashing with and came to a halt. I couldn't motivate myself to take another step. I couldn't see the point. I had my mp3 player on and Pesky version came on and I found myself singing along and walking to the beat of the music. It lifted me from the depths of despair. I will never forget that. The other time was in the Budgiedome when Bobtown sang it for five-year-old Katie. I just got all warm and fuzzy and filled with love thinking about it.

Of course I never need an excuse to sing along and I did so quite loudly when the opportunity presented itself

Miles to Dayton I don't see nearly as often, They play mostly on Eastern Long Island and as I pointed out that's difficult for me. But they come from very much the same place as Pesky. They are more instrumentally focused though they are moving to a more vocal-centeric sound. There are four instruments and Krista's vocals but it sounds like there are more. They have a big sound. Part of the chemistry is that other than the drummer Brian it's a family affair. Jon and Krista are married. Leanne the fiddler is Jon's sister. Dave the bass player is Krista's brother. Jon plays guitar but is a cellist too,

The band jamming

Leanne, Krista, and Dave. Jon his hidden behind the speaker

Leanne, Jon, Ethan, and Cara

There's a lot going on in their songs. I couldn't start to get bored if I tried. They have all the elements of a band that I love. I think the highest praise I an give them is that in most bands what everyone would talk about is Krista's voice, it's outstanding. But in M2D it's just one of many outstanding elements. And they are as nice people as I've ever met and that's saying something.

After the show there was a question of timing my trip home. After checking various stations the best choice was for Gene and Isabel to drive me to Hicksville. I managed to make it home in just two hours! It was a more direct route with less stops on the train.

I had plans to go out again for a 10 o'clock show which meant leaving around 9 so I wanted to be back by 7 and just about made it. I came home because I wanted to cook dinner. I performed a culinary experiment. In an attempt to get some vegetables in my diet I made my soup with vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef, I was hesitant about that. In an attempt to cover it up I also chopped up a hot pepper and added that to my already hot mix. So here's the thing. It was the hottest food I ever tasted and it still couldn't cover the vegetable broth. I couldn't eat it. The experiment failed. I ate a peanut butter sandwich with chocolate chips. If I can't eat healthy I'll eat happy.

Then I went to The Bitter End to see Alfa. Alfa used to live in the area and I saw her quite often. Then three years ago she abandoned us for snow-free California and seeing her is a rarity. I had to miss her show the last time she came East. That was very sad. Alfa's music is intelligent pop. If you don't pay attention you might think it's something from a top 40 station. But when you seriously listen you hear there is actual content. She is NOT just another pretty girl with a uke, even though she is pretty and does play the uke.

Of course she plays more than the Uke.

The crowd was large for the Bitter End. Usually people I like don't do well there. And this was at 10 PM on a Sunday night. Alfa's people turned out because this was the one chance to see her and like me nobody wanted to miss it.

Part of her charm is that Alfa has no stage persona. She is exactly the same on stage and off. She talks to the audience the same way she talks to me. I've never seen her do oen but that makes her ideal for a house concert.

I realized that I did not have her latest album, World Go Blue or if I did itw as lost in my travels So I made sure to get that and to talk to her a bit after the show. She's another incredibly nice person and fun to talk to. Gene and Isabel and I were talking about how much we like most of the musicians we know as people. There are a few fake and a few prima donnas but for the most part elves they were and elves they remain and that means good people.

I would have liked to stay and hang out with her more but it was late and I had a long day so I headed home.

I'm not going to do slide shows as I' posted so many pictures but here are links to the full albums


Alfa Bitter End 2-14

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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 February 24, 2014
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