Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weather The Story For Today

The weather people gave today a "6" on their meter. Possible tornado. (subtract 6 if there is indeed a tornado...)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The long holiday weekend saw temperatures adjust to the norm, which resulted in Karrie and I waking this morning to hear "The time is 10:30; the temperature 58"
Saturday, I was determined to make money, and did about 30 bucks.
Sunday, I listened to football and cooked a huge stew on the fire. It was intended to be a fish stew at first. "17 ingredient stew," I decided later, to call it. Lets see:
17 Ingredient Stew
  1. Lentils
  2. Olive oil
  3. Whiting fillets
  4. salt
  5. onions
  6. garlic
  7. celery
  8. corn
  9. spinach
  10. tomato
  11. potato
  12. two ritz crackers (for just a trace of a hauntingly familiar flavor)
  13. vinegar
  14. green beans
  15. cayenne pepper
  16. mustard
  17. sharp cheddar shreds

Place upon fire in large pan, feed little sticks to keep it slowly boiling all day. Serve with hard liqor (optional.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Conversations Kill

I woke up with $1.95

The Perils Of Society
I got out yesterday, and after updating this blog, got to the Visitor's Center spot, to see a fair amount of people. It was about 4pm. There were a couple of vendors, one weaving things out of palm fronds, the other selling jewelery. I had to go to the King Street Pawn Shop to replace a string which I had blown out the night before, playing Santana.
Talk Of Destruction
I was on my guard against being drawn into a long conversation with the pawn shop guy, as, on other occasions, we had talked for an hour's length. He's on the clock, I'm procrastinating. We had talked about vynyl records vs. CDs and the comparitive sound qualities. He specialises in vynal records, and has the place packed with them. I always joke to him "Any Donny Osmond come in on vynyl?" Not a huge collectable, the Osmond discography. He does have a copy of "Going Coconuts" in "the warehouse," if anyone is interested. "Played only once, and not even all the way through, eh?" I joked. I can arrange to have it shipped anywhere worldwide, just e-mail me...
Well, there was a documentary on a TV that someone had pawned and abandoned, and for the next hour (d'oh!) we talked about suitcase nuclear bombs and the Germans who were captured right here on Ponte Vedra Beach, foiling their attempts to sabotage the shipyards of Jacksonville, back in 1944, or so.
Reeled In
Then, I needed a beer, since any second there could occur a blast which would vaporize me, along with the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and it was potentially my last beer. I decided to drink it down by the waterfront. There were a couple of guys fishing. One of them asked for a cigarette. I told him that I would trade one for a fish. Along with wishing that they had a cigarette, they were at that point, wishing that they had a fish. The conversation turned to music. I mentioned The Grateful Dead, and one of them begged me to play some. For the next hour (d' oh!) I played and he did also. He had an interesting style, but he hasn't had a guitar for the past year, and it showed.
"Band, Not Van."
Another guy came along on a bike, to caution the fishermen about the illegality of using "stone crabs" ("that's what we call 'em") as bait.
He told me that I should go to Savannah, Georgia to play on the riverwalk. He said that the original song that I played was just the kind of thing that was needed up there. "People who can write." "Your pretty good, too."
He then said what I thought was "Somebody will probably come along and put you in a van."
That kind of puzzled me, so I asked him if the police rounded up musicians that way.
"I said 'band,' not 'van.'
The Anti Carlos
Then, it was getting late, dark and cold. The Visitor's Center was barren. I went to the flute players spot, where Karrie was milling around, anticipating me and panhandling up a bottle of rum. Then Carlos, a spanish guy who I know from Jacksonville, showed up. He greeted me as an old friend, and then amused (mostly Karrie) and I for about (d' oh!) an hour. He had a radio tuned to Country music. We sipped rum and listened, as tourists walked by with their wallets safely tucked away. Then, determined to make something, I went to Eustus's spot, only to find Eustus on his spot. The place looked dead, and I inwardly wished that he wouldn't make anything, because I had frittered away my opportunities, choosing society over productivity, and had had my first "zero day" in a while...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Santana Claus

This morning, I woke up with $13.74.
Last night, I played at the visitors center, until the sun went down and the temperature along with it. The tourists were either hiding behind the historic buildings, or had gone home.
Karrie came along and promptly fell asleep beside me.
I took the opportunity to go into O' Malleys, hoping that Amy was working and that I could complain about the rude treatment the previous night. She wasn't.

Ok, It Was More Like This
I went to the spot by A1 Aleworks and played as fast as I could, in order to stay warm. I was down to a tank-top after about 30 minutes. The people coming out of the Aleworks and facing the cold and seeing me playing Santana at a breakneck speed in only a tank top, sighed, as if to say "we usually don't tip these guys, but this guy is brave," threw what amounted to the $13.74, plus what I put in on the whiskey (I was cycling past the liquor store, when I heard a familiar voice cry "Daniel!" She had enough for a fifth of cheap rot-gut vodka. I threw in another 3 bucks, so that we could get a bottle of something which said "smooth as silk" right on the front of the bottle. Plus, there was a caricature of the founder of the distillery, and he looked like an alright fellow...)
Karrie and I, (and the alright looking fellow) sat by a fire. We didn't argue. The evening went as smoothly as silk.
Now, it is getting warmer. Temperature of 65 degrees today, 70 by Friday.
We bathed in the lime body wash from London, which the Lidgleys sent. We smelled great. Karrie is happy.
Now I go to the same spot to play the same songs, with, hopefully the same result or better.
Myself and Carlos Santana...hmmm

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This morning I woke up with one dollar in my pocket. Someone had given Karrie 5 bucks last night, and she told me that she wasn't going to buy me cigarettes with it. This was the first instance of her not offering me the money that she gets, as is the custom in her culture, her being a Mexican from Dalton, Georgia.
Open Mic, Right...
Before that, we were at Annie O' Malley's Pub, where they were ostensibly having an "open mic night." At the hour of 8pm. and with the temperatures dropping into the 30's, I thought that I could solve the problem of being broke and unable to play, due to the temperature, by playing at the open mic, which would be a warm haven and would lead to at least one person offering to buy a pint of ale, or to throw a couple of bucks our way.
I opened my guitar case enough to pluck a string, in order to see if I was in "concert pitch," ie. in tune with the person playing, who would have used an electronic tuner to achieve "A 440," the recognized standard in tuning. I can do it by ear, but, these are weekend wannabe musicians, who think that they can work their 9 to 5 jobs, and then become Jimi Hendrix on the weekend, as an "outlet," to ease the tensions which they are fraught with, due to the stress of trying to make 6 figures. They have the finest guitars and equipment, and, electronic tuners. Of course they have electronic tuners. I can do it by ear, because if I don't, then I don't eat. I have the stress inherent in trying to make 6 dollars...
What Have You Done For Us Lately
The bartender approached me and told me "No playing along." This reminded me of a time when I "played along" with a musician who was doing an open mic at Rendezvous, up the street. The musician was amplified, and I could only be heard by myself and Larry, 4 feet away. The bartender there had told me that it was extremely rude, or words to that effect. "Can't you see that there is someone performing?!?" I think that the same bartender now works at O' Malley's.
I told him that I was just getting a pitch. He asked Karrie and I if we wanted to buy a drink. I told him that we did not. He then basically ran us out of the pub- a pub where Dave and I frequented during Dave's visit, and where Dave spent a good chunk of cash, on sandwiches and Dogfish Lager. That was a year ago. What have I done for us lately?
It Becomes Personal
I then walked out and stood on the sidewalk in front of the establishment, Karrie in tow. The
bartender soon appeared a foot in front of my face and asked me if there was anything that he could "help me with."
I was not even on their property, at that point, but I was talking to a couple of customers about being run off. I said that I could play music and that people generally like it, and that they might buy us drinks, and the money would go into the coffers of O' Malleys just as if I had bought them myself. I said that the way to break into the business and get gigs in clubs is to start with open mic nights.
"Not tonight," said the bartender. He then told me that my chances of ever playing in O' Malleys were diminishing (at least he used a musical term). I said that all I was doing was listening to the performers in order to get an idea of what kind of music goes over with the crowd. He walked back inside, augmenting my joy.
I have concluded that it is the same group (click) of musicians there for the open mic night, who are having sort of a private party and are not there to hear anything except themselves. There isn't any room for a new musician, because their egos already encroach upon every corner of the place. And, God forbid, a musician come along and play so well as to make them think "I thought I was pretty good, but, now I'm not so sure."
To which I would reply: "Doesn't your $2,500.00 guitar play well for you automatically??"
That's Just "Life."
Now it is getting late again. I have chosen to update this blog, instead of playing again. I might see if the nice Amy is working at O' Malley's (she wasn't there last night.) She was the one serving up the Dogfish and crafting sandwiches a year ago. I'm going to ask her why they wouldn't welcome a street musician, who plays hours every day, to entertain and keep the Dogfish flowing. Maybe she will be able to tell me what is really going on. It might just be "homeless envy," by those who think "it must be nice" to not have to work; and, where do we get off not paying rent; we should somehow be forced to, that is just "life."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It is Tuesday, and I am broke. Karrie is out in front of the library, flying her sign, whcih reads: Homless, travelling. As the weeks go by, people will begin to question the "travelling" part of the message.

I have my sights set upon Savannah, Georgia, due to conversations that I have had with people, and the fact that, I too will soon have warrants for failure to pay fines...

The Patriots
I wallow in disappointment over the Patriots, having the ball bounce the wrong way, making up for all the times that it has bounced the right way in the past decade.
You just can't count upon anything, anymore.
I need to go out and play, so as to have some money.
Tax People
I talked to the tax people yesterday, and they told me that I needed to renew my ID, expired as it was on my birthday. And, I need to get Nina's Social Security number. Then, I can try to claim my earned income credit, and stimulate the economy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I want to thank the Lindley's (and I know I am getting their name wrong) for the parcel, which I picked up at the mission today. I had faith in the postal service, and believe that, since stealing mail is a federal offence, it's enough of a deterent for the average thief, enough to thiink that I would indeed get the parcel.
The sentiment of the denizens of St. Francis is that nothing good could come into such a place, and the parcel went unstolen, based upon this.
It was a bleak picture at the Visitor's Center, where I attempted to play, and I didn't see the chance for much profit, so, I went to get the parcel, thinking "Gee, I hope they put 20 bucks in it, like they did last time," quite frankly. They did.
The fact that it is freezing cold tonight makes it a very timely 20 bucks, which was the first thing visible, upon my slicing the pack open. My fingers are too numb to do the Beatles justice.
Above is a picture of where the Lindley's live. The Artfull Dodger, Jenny Wren, Uriah Heep, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield have all milled about these streets, which amazes me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ghost Town

I waited until the temperature was above 50 degrees, and then went into town and played upon the choicest spot, the one where Nick, the flute player has "established himself," (and will tell any musician whom he finds there, so.) He wasn't there, so I played. There were no other musicians out.

The forecast of the tobacco store guy has been correct; it has been a ghost town since the 1st of the year. Adding to that fact the cold temperatures; there haven't been any musicians out, trying to get tips from the 12 tourists, trundling about; except me. I made 3 bucks, and feel good about that.

Karrie, of course, came up with a fifth of liqour last night. She arrived with it as the fire was roaring and I was listening to Monday Night Football, which, in this case, was a college game between Boise St. and TCU.

This morning, our ritual was perpetuated. She went to get water and do the dishes. Taking a long time to get back and me having the knowledge that she knew that I had only made a dollar the previous night, I wasn't surprised to see her carrying a 12 pack of beer, along with the water.
The early panhandler gets the worm...
The forecast is for a warming trend. The weekend is also coming and I will try to maximize the playing during that time, especially while my strings are still new and bright sounding.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Too Much Information

The place has been crowded with tourists, (like these two on the left, along the Amalfi Coast.) The guy at the tobacco shop said that it was because the holidays fell in a certain way, so that they encompassed two weekends. He said that the bottom was to fall out and that it would die out today.
Yesterday, I parted ways with Karrie, or so I thought.
Karrie Wrecks Our "Home."
She was up at 5am. drinking liquor. She gathered wood, made the fire, bathed, did the dished, and then ate "everything in front of me." Karrie has gained 25 pounds since we got out of jail together, and would not be recognizable by the photos which I post, which depict her as a 13 year old, commensurate with her mentality, according to many.
My food card balance has dropped 300 bucks, as her weight has risen. She acts like a married woman, who's husband is fine with her letting herself "go," so that she will not be a temptation to other men. (just to play Doctor Phil for a second...)
Then, claiming "I'm sleepy," she went into the tent and disappeared into the 3 sleeping bags and the two sheets, which were still arranged there from the previous night. She then wet the bed, profusely, on the coldest day of the year, perhaps.
She was angry at me, and asked me why I hadn't woken her up and asked her if she needed to pee (I should have thought of that.) I don't want this to continue, and I am looking for ways to move on, without any sobbing like a child, nor any guilt trips on my part...
The forecast was for the coldest night, perhaps of the year; temperatures down to 27 degrees. All of our bedding's were soaked and dripping, and not with just water. It takes two big washers, soap, and dryers to remedy a situation like that. I had planned upon listening to football on my radio, drinking some beer and having an enjoyable Sunday. Now, I was faced with spending all of that money on laundry, that I had just washed 2 days prior.
I told her that I was not going to do the laundry, and that I would go and sleep at St. Francis House, as humiliating as that would be. She told me that, if I wasn't going to be out there, then she would find another place to sleep, I said that she could panhandle the money to do the laundry, and then to do it. I had a feeling that if she panhandled the money for the laundry, which is about the same amount for a fifth of liquor, the laundry would still be sitting there, stiff with frozen urine.
I left her and went into town to try to play, but the cold made it impossible because I couldn't feel my fingers.
Out Of Here
I ran into the One Man Band, Joe, and he told me that he was leaving town in a couple days in his van, and that he would take me with him. That is a viable option right now.
I decided to fore go St. Francis House and use my own means to survive. I went and got plastic milk crates from behind the supermarket and built a roaring fire with their petroleum based constituents. I hung all of the bedding's which weren't wet by her around the fire and dried them. Then, she showed up and I took her in and we slept comfortably under a heavy quilt which I had taken two hours to dry. I felt it would be cruel to send her away on a sub-freezing night. I knew it was cruel to myself to have gotten in this predicament. I chose the lesser of the two cruelties.
Even as I sit here now, time wastes and I am not getting any richer.
My blog has been mostly about my relationship with Karrie lately, and I have lost a lot of my "readership," -no surprise there. Maybe being on the road and going to the next place, that The One Man Band has found to be promising for street music, might add a touch of adventure to everything.