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 03, 2013 - 11:52 a.m.

Ruthless Lords

I have been up for hours, why am I only now starting to write? Oh right it's the chronoklepts. I haven't talked about them as much since I've acknowledged my anxiety. But the anxiety is just a tool of the chronoklepts.

They were in full force yesterday as I wasted most of the day. I didnt do some shopping I needed to do. Maybe I'll get some done today before I go out. I hope so.

My evening was for more productive. I had a evening/night musical doubleheader, The first stop was Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 to see Ruth Gerson. There was a time in the early and mid 90s that Ruth was the musician I saw most often, and I mean often, she seemed to play just about every week in the East Village and I went to almost every show. Then she became a mother and played less frequently and then moved to San Francisco. It's been years since I saw her last. She was a ray of light in an unhappy portion of my life. She's also a friend and she's beautiful. All those things make me question if she's as good as I remember her. Then I hear her and I she is! That's the beauty of things. I also get to pat myself on my back as I spotted her as special from all the people I heard at Caf Sine.

The reason she was in town was to run in the New York Marathon to raise money for Sanctuary for Families, the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Ruth has been involved in direct social action groups like that since I met her. She deserves extra credit for running the marathon as she had a baby earlier this year. You'd never guess that from looking at her. I resisted telling her that I have another friend running, Meg Braun. There are thousands of people there, what are the odds they'd run into each other? Of course they are both singer/songwriters. let's see how many friends they have in common. It seems like they are already Facebook friends. I should have known.

Ruth did a solo show. She used to always feel more comfortable with a band. That made me just realize that she has become less rock and more folk over the years. She doesn't do songs like Evil Sex Queen anymore. She did perhaps my favorite song of hers Black Water a very gritty murder ballad. I remember when she first wrote it she took it to a songwriting group and was told, "It's too negative." It's a murder ballad for god's sake. That was from one of the fools I don't suffer gladly. As she did it I was thinking of who could cover it. It is a first person narrative and the person is a man so I had to break away from thinking of women because she's a woman. The one person who would be perfect it Richard Thompson but he isn't someone I can say, "Hey you should record this song" to.

When I was leaving I thought I saw her parents. I felt bad that I didn't know for sure. I used to sit with them at shows. There was no one else I knew. I wonder if Kevin was there? He was her best friend and oddly I didn't meet him through her but through The Story. He was the one I saw most often with at her shows.

The show was over before seven and my next show was at 10:15. I had to kill three hours and I didn't want to spend an hour and a half of it riding the subway. If I were smart I would have brought shopping bags and shopped, headed home, and then back into the City. But we know that I'm not smart, I'm an idiot.

What I actually did was quite productive. I went to Katz's Deli for dinner. I have been eating there for ages but I never had their tongue, my usual first choice at a Jewish Deli. So I did. Or I think I did. It tasted very much like their pastrami. Maybe it's because they did their own pickling and they are prepared the same way. In any event it was heaven. There is nothing like Katz's.

But that was not why it was productive. I ate there not just for the food but the layout. I knew I could find a table in the back and stay there till my next show. And that let me grade tests! I actually finished my grading. Remember when it took me days to grade a test. I did this one in hours. I had started yesterday but I think I got it all done in about three and a half or four hours. Part of it is that I have only half as many students as I have many semesters. I have also shortened the tests and gotten more of them to write the test in a way that is easy for me to grade.

They did well but not nearly as well as the first test. This test was better. The good students did just as well but the poor ones did worse. One thing that gets me is that even many of the good students won't stop and think of what the best way to do a problem is. I have decided that's my new approach to teaching. I'm going to emphasize how you start each problem off not by racing to write things down but by stopping and thinking and planning it out. It's clear from the way they write things they don't do that. They'll start a problem where there clearly is not enough room for them to do it. Of course I have often had these teaching revelations and they never work as well as I'd like because the students just don't care enough. They don't want to do a great job. They just want to get it over.

My timing was great. When I was done I walked about a mile down Houston Street, a woman on a cell phone I passed pronounced it like the city, damn tourist, to the Ivy Bakery to see The Lords of Liechtenstein. Ruth is one of the artists I've known the longest and the Lords are one of top discoveries of this year. I've written about them before. What's new to say? They are brilliant and funny and charming. No woman has ever seen them and not called them adorable. Don't believe me? Ask any woman who has seen them to describe them in one word, it's what she will say. That is of course part of their evil plan because what I love about them is that they are evil. I'm sure being adorable is part of their scheme to take over the entire tri-state area! They have a new song, what Jim Jones might have said to his followers before they drank the Kool-Aid. They must be related to Mark Allen Berube. Somewhere there's an organization of evil folksingers. The difference is where Mark writes beautiful if twisted love songs Noah and Dan write about how girls are mean to them. Noah dedicated Girlz to me as I said that's how woman treat me too.

Ain't it the truth.

I didn't video that last night but it was taken at the same venue, the Ivy baker and the videographer, probably their father, had his camera set up right next to where I was sitting. That's where he was yesterday. It's a bit dark for photography but here's a couple of pics I took.

What idiot put his finger in frontof the lens?

I was going to shop on my way home but I was too tired. Setting the clock back does not make you more awake.

OK now I have to eat. I'm going to have to find some time to go shopping before I'm off to see Joe Crookston.

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 03, 2013
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