Monday, September 30, 2013

Stream Of Conciousness

  • Another USB Drive Gone
  • Friday Cancelled
  • 50 Dollar Saturday
  • 2 Dollar Sunday
  • Monday Night Football

Take A Drive
I wanted to back up this blog but discovered that yet another tiny piece of technology is missing from my backpack.
Namely, a 4 gig USB jump drive, onto which I have been backing up this blog, and on which I had pictures dating back to 2006 which are irreplaceable.
This makes me wonder if, when I am standing in line at the Unique store, skeezers standing immediately behind me aren't going into the back pockets of my pack and stealing from me (and then tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Hey, guitar man, buy me a cold one).
But, it may have fallen out and into the rocks under the dock when I was using the pack as a pillow and may not have zipped the pockets shut.
I have been meaning to get a flashlight and search around where I sleep; I might find all kinds of stuff. 
I haven't posted since last Thursday.
Friday: Too Drunk To Busk
Last Friday, I was up early in the morning and completely broke.
I had watched some football, Thursday night, standing outside MRB bar on the sidewalk and drinking the profits of the little bit of busking which I had done.
Things are gradually picking up here.
Now the commonly heard complaint is not that it is "dead" with hardly any tourists; it is now that the newly arrived tourists are cheap.
Friday was a day of debauchery.
I got to Rouses Market at about 5 p.m. as a hillbilly band (called Tuba Slim) were just breaking their stuff down.
Tuba Slim
Dorise appeared and greeted me.  
She asked if I would watch the stuff that she had placed next to the hillbilly bands stuff, while she went to get the rest of their stuff.
She wound up giving me 5 bucks after I asked her if I could borrow "a couple bucks."
I got my first beer of the day, but hid from Dorise while I drank it.
Then, I wound up finding so much alcohol laying around, and then ran into Leslie (click to read profile), who was in "let me buy you a beer" mode, and the night ended with me just cancelling my busking gig and getting to sleep early at the sign spot.
I was within 50 yards of a whole cadre of security people who were standing across the street, guarding the newly re-opened Saenger Theater while Jerry Seinfeld was inside making jokes (I assume).
It was their "Grand Re-Opening," and they got a pretty high profile act, and then hired far too many security people for the event.
Hurricane Leslie

Saturday, I woke up broke again, but realized that it was my own fault, for having cancelled my gig the previous night.
I was up and determined to play during the day, somewhere.
I got to Rouses Market where Tanya and Dorise were just arriving and setting up.
I knew I had already burned my "borrow 5 bucks from Dorise" card, and so I was prepared to start the day off flat broke, and figured that it would just be an uphill climb from there.
I took my guitar out and played through the chords of "Something," by The Beatles, as they set up their stuff.
"Are you playing 'Something'"? asked Tanya
They wound up starting off their set with "Something," by The Beatles, after Dorise glanced through the chords off of her phone.
And then "We Can Work It Out," followed by "Oh, Darling," by the same fabulous four, before doing 2 Smokey Robinson songs, and then 2 James Ingram songs.
The first Beatles song was inspired by my asking them how much they would charge to play under the bridge for us homeless people.
"You want us to play 'Under The Bridge' (referring to the Red Hot Chili Peppers song)?"
"No, I want you to literally play under the bridge where the homeless live; we'll all pitch in..."
"You'll have to give us a date," said Dorise.
And, then they played "We Can Work It Out." as if responding that it was negotiable.
"Folsom Prison Blues" was played after a guy walked by with a Folsom Prison tee shirt on; and I got an idea about how those two select their songs, out of the 1,800 that they know...
Then, Leslie appeared.
"I'm Going To Vomit!"

He was in "Do you want a beer?" mode.
I had just finished an energy drink, which I had gotten off of my food card, but I didn't turn down the 24 oz. Tecate Lager which he emerged from Rouses Market with.
He was able to go into that store because the security personnel whom had barred him from ever entering that business, were not on duty.
Leslie is barred from almost everywhere in the French Quarter.
He becomes confrontational when he is too drunk.
When we were walking along a crowded sidewalk later that night, he was yelling "I'm going to vomit! I'm going to vomit!" in order to clear us a path through the well dressed people.

Only the Unique Boutique seems to let him past their threshold, as their personnel are ready and willing to be just as confrontational right back at him, and they seem to enjoy it.
Well, Leslie ran to Uniques a couple times, returning with a Hurricane Lager for me each time, and one for him (I later learned that he was buying 3 and gulping one down along the 10 minute walk back to where we were listening to Tanya and Dorise).
Then, he mentioned the "chronic" which we had smoked some of the previous (Friday) night and which was a contributing factor towards my decision to cancel my gig.
We started heading towards his apartment and his garden, where we planned to smoke together and then I would go to my playing spot, which is just 2 blocks from the huge house full of apartments, all of which are empty except for number 6, where Leslie lives.
His landlord used to occupy the front apartment, but has recently passed away.
The place, like every other dwelling on Bourbon Street is a fort.
An iron gate with more iron reaching 12 feet high and studded with sharp spikes is the portal to a narrow sidewalk which runs along the side of the building and along a chain link fence which separates it from the neighboring house.
Even jumping over the garden wall would put one in the back yard of another house and there would be no escaping there either, without employing some cat burglar type maneuvers.
To make a long story short, Leslie wanted to stop for another beer at Uniques, before we embarked for his house.
And then another one at the corner of Dauphine and Conti.
And then another one at the corner of Bourbon and Ursuline.
And, we eventually got to his apartment, with him stumbling the last few blocks.
He unlocked the gate and let us in, opened his door, turned on the A/C and the radio, then flopped onto his bed and went into a deep sleep, from which I couldn't stir him.
There I was, trapped on a Saturday afternoon, thinking that I was going to have to wait until he woke up before I could leave.
I wound up breaking out of there, by hanging my guitar and pack from the highest spikes at the top of the gate, and then scaling the chain link fence, hoisting my stuff over the top and then getting myself over the gate.
I went to my spot kind of angry and feeling like I had been led on; but then figured that it was just Leslie and anyone else would have gone through his place; found and smoked his weed and then fished the keys out of his pocket; left to go to the hardware store to make personal copies for future treachery; and then returned his originals and walked off; leaving him to wake up and not remember any of it.
I played myself sober and got over my anger and wound up with about 50 bucks for the whole night.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not Much Stirring

Ladies Of Chengdu, China and the most
beautiful in the world, (according to Howard).
Today was a day to do laundry.
I am now toting all of my clothes on my back and they are all clean.
Last night, a guy gave me 20 dollars, after I had left my playing spot after making 2 dollars. He said that he had seen me around.
This helped make the laundry trip possible
I then found a lot of food outside Rouses, and even left some inside Lillys gate for her dogs. I hope they like chicken salad on kaiser.
Great Balls Of Fire!
The newly renovated Saenger Theater is going to be lit up like a pinball machine at night by the new multi-bulb sign and all kinds of additional lighting designed to spotlight the place and let everybody know that it has been renovated.
Right now, there is some heavy machinery shielding me from the light; but it will be moved eventually.
This will make the sign spot unattractive as a place to sleep.
I have been doing a little bit of stone masonry under the dock by the Natchez steamboat in case I have to move there.
Other than that; there isn't much stirring on this Wednesday afternoon...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just More Tales Of Skeezers

I replace micro sd card
After the 35 dollar Friday, I made another 30 bucks on Saturday night, and then got another chip for my phone on Sunday.
I still need the adapter to plug it into these computers, which will be another 12 bucks.

The Superdome
Sunday, I got to the Superdome, carrying a milk crate, at about 3 p.m. when the game was nearly over and people were streaming out of the place.
I found a spot and sat for about a half hour wailing on the harmonica and playing the guitar; and made about 15 bucks.
Monday, I woke up with the same amount of about 25 bucks as I had the previous day.
It was a day to relax and try not to spend money, but I still bought razors, a lottery ticket, a single guitar string, amongst the other daily expenditures of living high off of the hog...
I am thinking of calling Dorise to ask if she has a camcorder or something that I could use to begin the process of recording music which will eventually be burned onto a CD.
Angry Skeezer
This (Tuesday) morning, I woke up after sleeping about 7 hours.
Little did I know that it would be The Day of the Skeezer.
I bagged up my trash, which consisted of three empty sushi containers, one empty turkey and cheese sub container, two empty chicken salad on a bun containers, and one empty garden salad container, and one empty can of hard apple cider (I had chowed down at 1 o' clock that morning, then done 40 push ups and gone to sleep).
After throwing the trash away, I walked to the corner of Canal Street and Basin Street.
Then, I saw, across the street; a skeezer.
He had a huge backpack on his back.
He spotted me and began to skulk towards me.
"How are you, today?" he asked.
"I'm doing great; nobody is panhandling me; no one is asking me for anything; it's been a good day!," I said, trying to head him off at the pass.
He paused for a half second and then asked: "Is there any way that I could get a dollar from you; please?"
He then continued: "Yesterday, I blessed 16 (different) homeless people with a dollar..."
I just turned away from him, thinking ...your problem, then, is that you gave all your money away; how is that my problem?
"And, you can't give me one f@#$ dollar?!?" he yelled at my back, before he stalked across Canal Street, still mumbling something and as if looking for something to kick.
 What Do You Want From Me?
Howard, Added For No Real Reason
I headed towards the Rebuild Center, to take a shower and wash some clothes out.
Two random people whom I passed asked me for cigarettes.
I left there and went to the Shell Station on Tulane Street, where a guy, who had "just got out of the hospital" (and had bandages to prove it) asked me if he could use my phone.
My phones battery was dead, but I told him that we could plug it in at the library, which was my next destination.
"Oh, thanks, you're a life saver," he said, as we began to walk towards the library.
We hadn't gotten 100 yards down the street, when he turned to me and asked: "What are you doing out here, bumming like me?"
I opened my mouth to answer, but he cut me off with "Give me a cigarette!"
I changed my direction away from him and picked up my pace.

Then, it continued at the library.
"I don't give away cigarettes," I said to an older black man of slight build.
"Well, then, let me get the second half of that one," he said, referring to the one in my mouth, and then punctuated it with "God damn!" if he just couldn't believe these people who don't give things for free...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Someone's Been Sleeping In My Bed

35 Dollar Friday
Friday, I woke up with about 5 bucks on me.
Here's The Church; There's No Steeple...
My only pair of pants on this side of the river were on my body and had become dirty over the course of the 3 days that I had been wearing them.
I headed for the Veaux Carre Baptist Church on Dauphine Street and its clothing room and its showers.
Open The Door,
The clothing lady had no pants (just like the emperor?) but gave me some socks, underwear and a blue shirt.
I washed my pants in the shower, happy to see most of the dirt going down the drain; and then put them on wet.
When I stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed, there was another, presumably homeless guy at the mirror, shaving.
I had seen him before on the street.
He wears life preservers around his neck. Bright orange-red life preservers.
Presumably, he is out of work; but his "trade" requires him to bring his own life preservers; and so he wears them around his neck everywhere he goes; as a way of safeguarding them (the way I wear my guitar) and as a flamboyant advertisement of his willingness and availability to go to work immediately. just another Bourbon Street hustle...Look, buddy, the tug boat laid me off and I've got kids to feed...
He had never said a word to me on the street.
Everything but pants...

He continued to not say a word to me until I was dumping out one of my shoes, in which I had placed my money and my glasses.
Hearing the coins clink, he turned his attention to me, in time to catch a reflection of money-green in the foggy mirror.
He then turned and said his first words to me.
"Can I borrow a dollar?"
I just laughed, and said "I wish I had more than 5 dollars..."
I spared him any further sarcasm; we were in a church..
"Do you have a cigarette?" asked the guy who never would have spoken to me had he not heard coins clink.
"No I don't."
And See All The People

I went down to Royal Street, where Doreen (Doreens Jazz Band) and her husband, Laurence, had started to play as a duo, minus Paul was playing guitar at Cafe Du Monde.
He probably makes a good bit of cash doing that for 2 hours, then joins Doreens band for about 4 hours and then goes down to Jackson Square to sit in with any number of horn players until sundown.
Paul has a good life.
Then, I encountered Tanya and Dorise, who were in good spirits and were amused by my tale of having had to wash my pants in the shower because I rolled off of my cardboard.
"Why did you roll off your cardboard?" asked Tanya.
"I think I was having a dream that I was on fire and I 'dropped and rolled' in the dream."
I told Tanya about the Snow Crab Roll, Blue Crab Roll and California roll of sushi which I had found and eaten the previous night.
"Oh, I should have hung out with you last night!" (causing Dorise to look up to see my reaction to that).
"Yeah, you could have slept next to me on my cardboard; it folds out. Maybe then I wouldn't have rolled off of it.
And maybe the ants would have preferred Chinese food to my right arm..." 
There were smiles all around.
I ran the errand of running to Rouses for a gallon of distilled water for Tanya, and a quart of mango-orange juice (not from concentrate) for Dorise.
Returning with those items double-bagged, I said: "I got you a gallon of vodka instead of water, I think I know what's best for you, Tanya...It will loosen you up."
She smiled and then let me keep the change of 77 cents; and then added "I should tip you; do you want a tip?"
I left their spot 2 dollars and 77 cents to the good; and went to Uniques for my second beer.
Someones Been Eating My Porridge
Then, I went towards my playing spot across from Barnabys, where I was shocked to see two guys with guitars standing and playing right where I usually sit.
My blood pressure started to increase as I approached them with my brain scrambling for the best way to handle the situation.
They were playing pretty decently, and their sound quality was enhanced by the expensive guitars which they had.
I caught the eyes of some of the locals; who seemed to be communicating "Let's see how he handles this," as I closed the last hundred yards or so to the spot.
There was an obvious (by his Hawaiian shirt) tourist barely managing to stand in front of them.
He was handing them money as I arrived and gushing over the one with the expensive resonator guitars ability to work 2 and 3 note chords into his solos (which is exactly my own technique when soloing).
I sat patiently on Lillys step, while he gushed; trying to think of what angle to take.
I knew that the ace up my sleeve would be to ring Lillys doorbell and have her run them off; but decided not to over react.
"Are you guys new in town?" I asked, as I greeted them.
They said that they were.
I told them that I played at that spot every night.
"Do you want us to pack up?" asked one of them.
I thought about how slow it was at the time, and even though I had just apparently missed out on a 20 dollar tip from Hawaiian shirt man, there didn't seem to be many more of him around.
I also thought, that if I were to leave and then either Lilly or Barnaby showed up, they would either be run off (in the case of Lilly, my love) or cautioned (by Barnaby) that there is a guy who regularly plays there, whom "we kind of gave permission to play here" who might show up.
I told them that the block was a residential one and that technically there is a curfew on performers at 8 o' clock each night, but that I had gotten to know the residents over the past 2 years and they never call the cops on me.
Amicable Solution
I could sense that they were trying to determine if we were having a confrontation or just a discussion; and decided upon this approach:
"I don't usually come here until about 9:30 or so," I said; testing the water to see if they planned upon staying all night.
"Oh, we'll be out of here by then!
"OK, that's cool"
I Play The Lilly Card
Then, I got the notion to turn things around, so that they would think that I was trying to help them.
"Um, if the lady that lives behind you -her name is Lilly- comes out and tries to run you off; tell her you spoke with Daniel and he said he isn't coming back until about 9:30. She has run other musicians off before."
"Sure," they said, seemingly content that I was now looking out for them; rather than trying to confront them over the spot.
I thought I handled that pretty well, as I went toward Sydneys to get another beer and to see if I wanted to play near there.
It would have been different if I had walked up at 11 at night when the street was swarming with tourists, with them there, raking it in. Then I would have played the Lilly card more aggressively.
I took the long walk to Canal Street to get some herbs; spending myself down to zero; but giving me something to barter with.
No sooner had I gotten back to the middle of the Quarter, when I ran into someone who gave me the entire 5 bucks which I had spent on herb back, in exchange for what I had left.
Harmonica = $
I wound up getting to my spot around 9 p.m. to see that the two guys had left.
Son, you may think that you're skeezing the Lord, but you're not...
I thought that I played well, especially on the harmonica based songs; and the presence of the two guys had wound up serving as a motivator for me to make sure that there was no drop off in 2 and 3 note chords with me replacing them.
My case was soon "full" of what I thought were all one dollar bills, but this morning, I found a five amongst them; bringing the total figure to about 35 bucks; as the slow season nears its end.
It started raining at about 4 in the morning, forcing me under the statue of  Simon Bolivar with his colony of ants.
It is still raining, but I will try to salvage something out of the day.
Tomorrow the Saints have a home game at the dome; and I will make sure I don't repeat the failure of 2 weeks ago to arrive in time to play for the masses.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Loss And Grief

How could I have been so stupid?
I have lost my little USB micro sd chip and adapter.
I'm pretty sure that I left it in one of the computers here at the library after working on yesterdays cartoon profile picture and just barely getting that posted as time expired on my session and then logging out of my Google account (so the next person on the machine can't delete my blog or send all my e-mail contacts death threats) with one second left.
The thing is small and the same black plastic (no red as shown) as the front of the computers and camouflages well. 
This has happened before, and I should have wrapped some florescent orange tape around the thing; which would catch my eye before I could walk off.

This sucks because the combination of the chip and the "reader," cost me about 30 bucks; and was my only means of getting pictures that I take with my phone onto this blog. This will cause me grief.
French Connection
Someone in France (it must be one person) was pretty busy last night; reading this blog, but mostly pages that mention Tanya and Dorise. This is the first time in 7 years that I got more page views from a foreign country than from the U.S.
United States
United Kingdom

IN Skeezers I Must Trust
I can hope that one of the patrons of the library turned my USB thing in to "lost and found"...but the library is Skeezer Central, with its free A/C, its free restrooms, and its free cellphone charging...and its free stuff that people leave behind.
The Beatles
So, while I waited for this computer (and I still wait for the tech guy to come in so I can ask him if anyone turned in a USB card) I read an article about The Beatles making of Magical Mystery Tour.
The section about their encounter with the Maharishi and the 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and evening every day, kind of caught my eye.
I think I will try to get back into morning meditation, to order my thoughts, set my priorities, and maybe help me to stop losing things (...the capo; and now my SD chip...).
It occurred to me that I seem to be losing all the things which I bought with the last tip of 175 bucks; as if maybe the guy regretted giving it to me and the money took on bad karma...
I had run into Leslie yesterday afternoon, who had come into a fortune of 40 dollars, and who bought me a couple Hurricane Lagers, to go with the one already in my hand; and was soon drunk enough to prove the axiom, which some of the brass bands expound that "the more you drink, the better you think we sound."  
Brian Hudson
At one point, I stopped to listen to Brian at the corner of St. Louis and Royal.
His guitar, voice and amp all sounded great ("professional," if you will) and he has his songs down to a science, with compelling lyrics and finely worked out accompaniment and he plays songs completely through from intro to the last note; and rarely screws up.

In my stupor, Brian sounded (even) more polished, more professional, more well rehearsed, more sober and on-the-ball, and more worthy of the 20 dollars which people were paying for a couple of his CDs.

I'm hoping that my morning meditation and rearrangement of my schedule to put music first and blogging second (sorry, readers) will produce a song or two of that caliber.
I'm sure that his musical opinion of me is that I get "a little too drunk and sloppy" and that I hardly ever finish a song before jumping to another one.
Morning Practice
The morning practicing has been paying off.
The sign spot has been a blessing in this regard because, at some time around 6:30 a.m., while I am still asleep, the workers from the Saenger Theater across the street start to park their vehicles around me, thus walling me in, so that when the sun comes up, I am still invisible, and can get my full 8 hours of sleep.
Then, I put in at least an hour of playing scales and chord exercises.

I basically am doing chord exercises on the types of chords that Paul (Doreens Jazz Band) has mastered.
I had a booklet given to me in Mobile about how to play "swing style" rhythm guitar (four chords per measure; on on each beat) but had never used it as much as I am now.
These are the chords that are fit for the likes of Doreens Jazz Band...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hello World

Just thinking about making a CD has been getting me to work on arrangements and memorizing lyrics and practicing my own stuff...
Last night, I made enough money to pay for my day and then put 5 bucks in my pocket; and I got a good nights sleep.

I spent an awful lot of time trying to make a cartoon profile face for Facebook; and so I am including it (right).
I have been working on new songs at my playing spot and have been able to get tipped; as nobody passing by realizes that I am playing the same section repeatedly.
After I knocked off last night, I found some good food, and was considering going back out to play some more; but ran into some of my few friends on Bourbon Street; who shared enough liquor with me that I cancelled those plans.
I saw Brian Hudson at one point and we wound up walking and talking and were soon nearby my playing spot.
I "showed" him the spot; but there were very few people around; and my attempt to play a song (to demonstrate the acoustics) failed when I was too drunk to remember the words to "Like a Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan.
I had tuned the whole guitar down a whole step, so that my harmonica would fit songs such as that; but the trade-off is that it creates tuning nightmares when it is dropped down in pitch that much...
Tonight, I hope to put the finishing touches on "Something," by The Beatles and to continue my life-long study of "Kid Charlemagne," by Steely Dan...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Make "Something."

Wasn't it last Monday night that I played on Bourbon Street and got a 5 dollar bill and a 1 dollar bill, and then left to get a large Hurricane Lager then stood and watched football outside a bar; and then found a bunch of excellent food; and went back to my spot and got to sleep relatively early; and woke up Tuesday morning with a couple dollars and change on me?
I think that was last Monday.
Well, I basically did the same thing; again.
With the exception of Leslie having invited me to crash at his place at around 10 p.m.
And with the exception of not being spit upon by a "dog skeezer."
By the time midnight came and I had gotten sandwiches, corn, lemon rice, fresh broccoli, apples and a pear from Rouses "friends of the homeless" Market, I forgot all about Leslies offer, and went back to the sign spot on Basin Street.
A Nightlight?
The newly renovated Saenger Theater across the street from where I sleep has installed a big sign over its entrance which was glowing with a hundred light bulbs last night; illuminating me too much and forcing me deeper into the brush.
I hope that they have it lit just to publicize the fact that the theater is almost ready to re-open; and don't plan to keep it on every night, like the Joy Theater does on the other side of Canal Street...
Now, I am off to see if I can improve upon last Tuesday.
It seems like I have reached a point where I am putting out a steady amount of music and getting back a consistent amount of just a bit less than what I need.
Last night, I sounded out the chords to "Something," by the Beatles and am only hazy about one particular chord...
I have been able to put songs together faster, lately.
Doing things first thing in the morning helps; and cutting back on drinking at night has, too.
I am coming up with a list of songs to eventually go on my first CD...
  • The Bum Song
  • Hubert's Trip
  • Crazy About A Crazy Girl
  • Terrapin Station
  • A Day In The Life
  • The Man Who Couldn't Decide What Flavor He Wanted
  • Computer Technician Blues
Plus, I've started a couple new songs, one tentatively entitled "I Didn't Have Time To Write This Song," and another one called "Purple Heart," about a homeless guy I knew in Jacksonville, Florida who had one...
And, I might try to polish off one of the songs that I wrote when I was 14 or 15 years old and only knew major and minor chords; and try to give it some New Orleans flavor.
"Hubert's Trip," kind of falls into this category, as it was based upon a simple bass guitar riff which I would play at the same time as I sang. I'm able to play more complex things and sing now, and thus will be looking for a way to jazz it up.
Paul, of Doreens Jazz Band, seems to like the lyrics and has asked me if any recordings of the song survive.
Unfortunately, all those cassettes have been lost in transit.
There was one version which had a vibraphone mixed in; which I thought was cool.
It was made at the house of a person who collected exotic instruments (native indian and such) which was being house-sat by a friend of mine; back around 1988.

Monday, September 16, 2013

4 Days Go By

It's been how long since my last post?
Leslie In His Garden
Last Thursday...?
Highlights Of The Weekend
  • I Watch Football Instead Of Busking Thursday Night
  • 40 Dollar Friday
  • Doreens Jazz Band To Tour Iowa
  • Leslie
  • Jesse Attacked By Car Arial Wielding Madman
  • Better Music Netting More Money
Thursday night, I discovered Harrahs Casino as a spot to watch football for free on my choice of TVs up to 60" across in size.
You just walk in and sit down where you can see a screen and watch; as security personnel walk past, probably following some kind of instruction to not profile anybody, nor tell anyone that, if they aren't gambling away money they need to leave.

I watched the entire Patriots game and then walked to my playing spot, where I decided not to play at that late hour, because I would only be making "Thursday" money; but would be risking putting another straw in the camels back; which would mean annoying one of the residents; who might be tolerant of late night sounds on the weekends; but maybe not every single night; especially when I would be breaking the silence created by the lack of very many people out.
Those in the know say that we have "one more week like this" when the subject of slowness comes up...
 All The Way Across Iowa
I learned Friday that the entire Doreens Jazz Band has gigs lined up "all the way across Iowa" and will leave next week, to drive "for 2 days" to get there.
And to drive home the point that it is slow enough here, even for them, to look elsewhere for adventure.
Doreen merely rang up club owners along a certain highway and referred them to the bands Youtube videos. "Some said yes, some said no, some said call again when we're in the area," she said.
When I told her that I was thinking of doing some playing during the day, she said "Why? It's slow..."
I Play Better After Cutting Back On Alcohol
But I wound up making about 40 bucks on that Friday night; a lot of it from playing "Terrapin Station," by The Grateful Dead.
I've been checking myself as I move towards the beer store during my breaks, as if on autopilot.
I stop myself and ask; What is a 4th beer really going to do for you at this point?
Once I get back into the music I am fine and can go longer between "restroom runs."
I have been making decent money compared to comparable solo acoustic musicians
I ran into Leslie, who was formerly known as the guy who promised to get his bongos from his pad and come back and jam with me, but who never did.
He is on "Section 8," and gets money from the government; and is able to afford a modest apartment with a pretty cool garden (which needs pruning) behind it.
He has a habit of asking the same questions repeatedly; even ones that have been answered a minute prior; but he is a cool guy; only, too generous.
When he gets a pocket full of money; he attracts people who unashamedly cling to him; because he offers to buy people beer when he has money; and so I don't hang around with him at those times (maybe long enough to join him in the first beer which he buys me, but, by the time we are finished; we are surrounded by the smiling "Will you be my friend and buy me a beer too?" faces of bums.
I leave before I puke.
Saturday was pretty much forgettable; except for a couple encounters with Tanya, whom I got to smile as she was getting into her van to go home.
"I hope you're not going to be lonely," I said.
"I hope you're not going to be lonely either," she said and then, after an awkward silence of a couple seconds; smiled and drove off..
Jesse Attacked
Jesse was attacked by a guy wielding a car antenna, whom he thinks it is one of the henchmen of the guy who sings loudly and plays the Fender acoustic.
He is mad at me because I even talk to the loud guy.
The guy told Jesse that he sucked and to leave.
A scuffle ensued and Jesse was able to run the guy off, with the help of a couple tourists.
But he soon was back, and charged like a rhino; antenna in hand and  "I'm lucky because I had just taken my guitar and mic off; so I was able to fight him off..." said Jesse.
He got mad at me after I said that I didn't think that the loud guy who plays the fender had anything to do with the attack; because I have heard the loud guy put down Jesses music, but never sensed any real animosity.
Crystal Methamphetamine may have been a contributing factor in the attack; according to sources who shall remain anonymous...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again

S.S.D.D (Same song, different dance)
Wednesday was so much like Tuesday had been, it was uncanny.
After hearing from the Rebuild Center that the next available eye doctor appointment is 3 weeks down the road (October 2nd) I headed into the Quarter, thinking that; if I'm going to hang around for another 3 weeks, then I should also pursue getting my valid Louisiana picture ID, free of charge also, out of that organization.
The "poverty pimps" there seem more than eager to help me in that regard. It's a pretty good looking ID (and it would corroborate my "New Orleans Musician," claim anywhere I go).
I had 2 dollars and 25 cents from the night before.
Janis Joplin
I went and got 2 Hurricanes and walked Royal Street.
How I Amassed My Wealth
Getting to my spot, I set up and was working on "Crazy Fingers," by the Grateful Dead when someone put a dollar in my case, just like on Tuesday.
Then, I was working on Terrapin Station, by the same (and had the first section of it sounding pretty good) when a lady walked over and put a 5 dollar bill in with the one, just like on Tuesday.
Before I took a break around 9:30 (just like on Tuesday) I had gotten another buck and a half.
I came back and played more, bringing the total to 9 dollar and 50 cents on a Wednesday night.
The Girl Who Made 50 Cents More
By Sydneys on Decatur Street was a girl singing very loudly and playing a guitar in the little cubby hole of a business which has moved to Royal Street, but which didn't take its "anyone occupying this area is trespassing and police have been notified; see you in court" sign with them.
It hangs there with nothing but emptiness behind the glass to which it is stuck by suction cups.
Or it doesn't hang there.
Like an inconsistent parent; that business, when it was there, would sometimes stick the sign up and sometimes take it down.
It was as if they would have a change of heart and give the street performers one more chance to not leave urine (canine and human) in their foyer type thing, along with food which fell out of the fractured Styrofoam containers which are there (or out of fingers or just plain missed the mouths of some) and to not break any more windows during fights in which wooden clubs are employed by people with impaired skills.
They (the business) would sometimes unsuck the cups; and it would become a great place to play, both acoustically and by its location on Decatur Street (near Sydneys beer and wine store) but especially acoustically.
The business having gone to Royal Street and left the sign stuck there invites speculation.
That they left it there out of spite; having perhaps made their determination to move out of there and to a much nicer locale after they just couldn't take any more of the Decatur scene; and left the sign as a good riddance is one theory.
I will sometimes play there myself; feeling that they just left the sign as part of the building. Maybe it came with it.
It takes a bit of moxie to play there when officer Adams on duty (tr. the prowl) though.
He could always cite it and "I thought they've moved out, and wouldn't care" wouldn't work.
"They still own the building and pay insurance on it," or something, I can almost hear him saying, as he reaches for his pen and his booklet of blank citations.
Back To The Girl
Her lyrics were hard to distinguish, because she belted out such a series of long held consonants, so that when walk up on her, you don't know what the previous vowel was; so you don't know if she is singing the word "know" or "go," or "low," for example; or you've forgotten what the previous vowel was while she was bending a note up into a crescendo somewhere between opera and yodeling and being piercingly loud; like a siren, even.
When she did go a bit sharp or flat (which was when I thought that she was trying to be as loud as possible) her tone was shrill and chilling like having a screech-eagle too close for comfort.
A bit of vocal coaching and she would be fine; as long as they don't try to take the "twang" out of her lol.
She turned out to be very friendly and introduced herself and said that she had made 10 dollars; and I admired her humility and was quick to tell her about my 9 dollars and 50 cents.
She said that she was happy to have a pack of cigarettes and I think a beer out of it.
"Right on." ...nothing wrong with a simple country gal...nothing at all...
And I Forgot To Get A Pic Of Her; D'oh!
She looked a bit like Janis Joplin; but more (frighteningly to me, at least) like one of my former girlfriends.
She had big bones, but wasn't fat, and was wearing boots and had reddish curly hair and a button up blouse with a "country" look to it. I forgot to ask her where she was from.
She said that she is determined to learn "Me And Bobby McGee," by Janis Joplin after hearing it recently in a keroke (sp?) bar and thinking that that was an omen; and after I pointed out her resemblance to that iconic legend.
Yeah, There's Food In NOLA.
Then, I got a Steel Reserve and headed towards Rouses Market, where I found the remains of the cold cut meat which they carve into slices -tubes six inches in diameter and up to a half foot long, of chicken breast and ham and such; still tightly wrapped in their own original plastic and then double wrapped again in Saran Wrap. About 15 pounds of meat, still refrigerated, God bless 'em. Someone had taken the the trouble of wrapping them up tightly; maybe Helen.
"This is all I need. And some bread and some mustard...salt, pepper...maybe," I said to an older, thin black man who had walked up and told me "Why don't you wait for the good food; the good hot food comin' out in a half hour!"
I was just discovering the meat by a combination of feeling the outside of the bags for temperature and paying attention to which objects were in them which would be tell tale signs of which department the bag came from when he walked up.
After a while, you can read a black trash bag like a tea leaf.
"I'd be happy with just a sandwich," I said to the man, as I moved out of the way a bag in which an empty Coke can told me was from an in-store trash can.
I found the cold cuts in the next bag and grabbed about a 5 pound roll of chicken breast; which I put in my pack.
"All I would need is some bread and that's a lot of sandwiches, I said."
"Here you go, right here," said the man and pulled a loaf of bread out of one of the bags.
I Repent
I walked the length of Royal and, at one point passed the two girls, whom I had called dog skeezers and had been spit upon by one and who were on the opposite side of the street on the corner which is across from the museum where my friend Balil works.
They are usually right in front of the museum.
There was a resignation about them. They both had their heads down and didn't look at me; neither to glare derisively or in any other way; and they looked kind of sad.
I remembered Balil's words to me after the skeezer in the alley had attacked me, knocking my hat off my head and starting a fight between us (which I won, btw).
He had told me: "That's not going to happen again. You're connected; you've got some powerful friends."
I went and got a beer at Uniques and then changed my mind about the chicken bag and started back towards it; but took the next street over from the two girls; not wanting to provoke them or make them think I was trying to.
and r