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 02, 2014 - 10:51 a.m.

A Winter's Eve's Tale

I wanted to leave early for therapy so I could stop at my bank first. What happened? Of course I left later. And what happened next? I had to wait forever for the . I can take the the entire way but it is almost always faster to transfer. But not when I have to wait over 15 minutes for the train. In the end I was only four minutes late. It just meant going directly to my therapists office not the waiting room. Cell phones really make this sort of thing easier. I texted her to let her know what was happening. My dream is that I could tell you everything that I tell my therapist then wipe your memories but leave a residue of feelings.

I will share in general terms one thing. We were discussing a situation where I could play it safe and have no risk of getting hurt or doing something with a big risk but a possible payoff. If I play it safe I will feel bad anyway as the hurt will come from knowing I am not getting the payoff. And I realize that as much as I agonize I usually end up rolling the dice.

After therapy I did the hard thing and went to the bank. I was worried about nothing. I put my money in the wrong checking account. The only glitch with the card was the error message, "invalid card." Whoo. But facing the bank like that is the heart of my anxiety. Or at least one of them. It helped that the woman at the bank was wearing a Christmas hat. Of course like everything else in TD it was green and white not red and white. I told her they are going too far with the green dcor. It' a good thing when your biggest problem with a bank is the color scheme.

I wanted to go to the bank before therapy so I could get up to Lincoln Center faster. Yesterday was the Lincoln Square Winter' Ever festival. They light the tree in Dante Park and then there's all sorts of music and entertainment and food. It's a bit toned down from what it used to be when it was in the Lincoln Square Plaza and Dar performed along with a whole lot of other great people. Now it's in the park, a much smaller scale but Arlo and his family are usually the centerpiece. I never miss it. I try and get there at least an hour early to get a good spot. Yesterday it was only 10 minutes. But I got within sight of the stage. Of course the reason I could is that it was raining and that cut down on the crowd. I did not have proper rain gear, I just put up my hoodie and wore gloves. It was chilly, 45˚ F. It was in the sixties when I left my house. I wore layers.

I do this every year. I'm an atheist and an iconoclast but I love traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof. See I might love Christmas celebrations but I'm still a good Jew. That's a tradition too.

Usually there are some holiday acts on before Arlo, kids and local bands playing holiday songs. This year it was actors from Kinky Boots. Now there was nothing wrong with the music. It was great but it wasn't in the holiday spirit and what they said made it feel like an ad for the show and for one of the singer's new album.

When Arlo and family came out it changed. Just him being out there with his extended family puts you in the holiday spirit. They were all dressed for the occasion in Santa hats and Arlo looks a bit like Santa now. They gave Arlo less time than usual so he didn't talk much. Arlo talking is half the fun of seeing him. Hell I'd go see him if he never sang a song at all. I always thought how much I'd love to just sit down and have lunch with him. But Arlo and family singing is still magic. Of course it is hits in a situation like this; City of New Orleans, This Land, If I Had a Hammer and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. After the tree lighting they did one more, Jingle Bells. Did I miss one Jeremy? He was there too but I didnt see him. The performers were out in the rain, uncovered, with the rest of us. I'm guessing Arlo brought the guitar he cares least about. Actually it seemed a bit oddly colored. I wonder if it was made of composite?

When was over I ran up to Richard Tucker Park to see Spuyten Duyvil. I think I came in the middle of their first song. They were supposed to do sets at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 alternating with a brass band. But because of the rain they did one long set then the brass band. They were under cover when performing but not when moving their equipment. There were a few SD regulars in the crowd including Beth's mother. I was able to make my way up to the front. Spuyten Duyvil might have been the band I saw the most in the last year and they still managed to play songs I hadn't heard before from their upcoming record. That made it well worth standing out in the cold and rain. It kept me dancing to warm up. I watched them for a full hour before heading across the street to the warm and dry Century 21. Why? To see Annika. I kept on running into her at NERFA but never saw her perform so I considered this the NERFA extension. I talked to her at NERFA because whenever I wasn't looking directly I felt she was someone I knew. But then when I looked directly I lost it. Who might I be thinking of.

I was able to get pictures of Annika because it was inside. I didn't want to take my phone out in the rain.

I stood with Annika's mother Ginger. We are Facebook friends and I did say hi at NERFA but this was our first actual conversation. Turns out she's Christine Lavin's cousin! That makes Annika Chris's first cousin once removed. Yes if you ever need to figure that stuff out ask me.

Annika did a long set, 40 minutes and she did three of them, the same times Spuyten Duyvil's were planned for. It was an odd place for a show. It was near the front door and we kept hearing the beeps of people triggering the alarm as they went through the anti-theft sensors. Annika was a pro and just played through it. Once song there was a rhythmic beat going on and she just adjusted so it came on the downbeat of the song. It was a rhythm section.

She does Real Women Real Songs, Cary Cooper's project for women songwriters where they write a song a week. I knew half the women doing it the first year. Annika is totally one of my people.

I hadn't eaten dinner so I stayed for an hour there. I heard the first song from her second set and went home with a stop at Pathmark for food. I got minute steaks, they were on sale. I made them blackened with mashed potatoes. Dinner was amazingly good. Yes I'm still pleasantly surprised by my own cooking. I haven't made the steaks in a while. They haven't been on sale. Bacon was on sale too so I stocked up.

OK now it's time for breakfast. It's been way too long since I made an omelet.

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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 December 02, 2014
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