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

April 14, 2014 - 11:23 a.m.

Thy Rod and Thy Picott they Comfort Me

Yesterday's expedition was to the Sunday Street Series at the University Caf on the campus of SUNY Stony Book. when I had a car that took me a little over an hour to get there. Now living in Brooklyn without a car it took closer to three. I left home around 11:005 an took the to Atlantic Terminal where I could the Long Island Railroad. I had to leave extra time in case the train ran local or there was a line at the ticket machine. Neither happened but I've had them both happen before and have missed my train. the train left at 11:45. I had to switch trains at Jamaica and again at Huntington. Amazingly the LIRR is still not electrified past that. I think it's a NIMBY thing. The trained pulled into the Stony Brook station at 1:45 I then had a ten minute walk to the venue. I knew I'd get there right before showtime and I asked Charlie who runs it if he could save me a seat. He kindly did at his table

I was happy to see that the only people I knew in the audience were sitting next to me, Dan and Phyllis. So I got to sit with friends and Charlie of course.

I didn't tell you who was worth this odyssey. It wasn't Penelope it was Rod Picott (pie-cot). Rod's an old friend. Carey and I met him when he opened for his childhood friend Slaid Cleaves. I was going to show you what I wrote about it. That was a classic show but instead of writing about the show Carey wrote a guest entry for me and didn't write about it at all. Instead she wrote really nice things about me.. I will use any excuse to link to that. That's the show where we gave Oliver Steck his "Oliver's Army" t-shirt. Rod was so impressed. He said something like, "That's when you know you've hit it big, when your side man has groupies." That pretty much meant that Rod was not going to forget us.

Carey told me that I had to give Rod a hug for her yesterday and I told her I'd give him a manly hug. I did. It was very manly. This from the guy that pouts when Jay doesn't stop whatever he's doing to give me a hug. I'm complicated.

Rod was well worth the trek out there. This is probably the longest I've gone without seeing him. I think it's a matter of years. Rod has one happy song, Angels and Acrobats. Not only is it a happy song but it evokes thoughts of the two women I most like to have evoked. When Rod sings at wedding that's the one song he sings. He won't write a second happy song as that would double his wedding work load.

It's hard to talk about Rod's songwriting without using the word gritty. He doesn't write about the pretty things. He sings of working class heroes and heartbreak. His songs are often autobiographical but they are never self-involved singer/songwriter fare. He never whines. He never is not the sensitive guy with a guitar. The songs can be tragic but avoid bathos.

His songs aren't funny but Rod is. He tells the best stories and had some new ones. After 13 years I thought I heard them all, but I haven't.

After the show my trek home was made much easier by Dan and Phyllis. They drove me back to Hicksville. The trains run frequently there, it's much closer, and the train was express. I could have been home in less than two hours. I wasn't because I stopped at Trader Joe's. I hadn't taken food out for dinner so I bought some chicken and a few other things.

This has not been a great week for me so I indulged myself with dinner. I made a Cajun chicken breast and I didn't cut it in half I ate the whole thing. That's over a half a pound of chicken. I made a roasted plantain with it and tried something new, I topped it with cinnamon. That was great. I had that Jamaican peanut drink. I got an Italian bread at Trader Joe's and heated it the oven. For dessert I had hot apple pie. It's a miracle that I'm not fat. I use food to deal with stress. I have a lot of stress. In fact I'm still feeling too stressed to edit my photos or videos. I'm going to post this and yes, eat. I might have t make pancakes to feel better. I could go for chocolate chip pancakes. Or I might be lazy and have bacon and eggs.

Tonight I'll have real contact with people I love. It's the Seder. In addition to the usual crowd, my sister Alison, Louis, Sylvia, Denny, Marjorie, et al, my nephew Max, and my soon-to-be niece-in-law Caila will be there. They flew in from California. I'll make my way to the Jewish Bakery today and see if I can find something special to bring with me. It's going to be awkward but I also have to do some food shopping. On Mondays I go to the farmer's market in Union Square. My therapy is right around there. This week there's no therapy but I still need blue potatoes and amazing apple cider. That vender is only there on Mondays. So I'll be dragging that up to Norwalk CT and back on the train. I'll bring cider for the Seder too. This is going to weigh a ton. Of course that involves me getting ready early enough to buy it. That's not a given.

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 April 14, 2014
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