Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Run Aground Again

It is Wednesday; and I have finally run myself down to being broke...
But, I have a new set of strings; and now have harmonicas in the keys of A flat, E flat, F and C.
The only two with all the holes working are the A flat, and the F.
Dave (of Dave and Rosylyn) told me that I could boil the Marine Band brand harps for a couple minutes, and that may un-stick the reeds.
I whacked a tiny bud of green vegetable matter out of the F harp; and that remedied the stuck "6" hole on the draw.
Leslie and I are soon to leave this library; flat broke; see if Sam at the Unique Boutique will extend credit for a couple Hurricanes to get started; and then maybe ferry across the river to see Howard, who is probably at that branch of the library; to see if he will load 5 bucks or so...
And that is the dire straights which I have put myself in at present.
I Get New Glasses
This morning, my new glasses were waiting at the Rebuild Center.
Putting them on reminded me of when I used to clean the windshield on my car when I drove; and would realize just how dirty it had been...
I Contact Unity
I have finally left a message with my Unity case worker; who has in his file cabinet; a folder containing a bunch of paperwork which I just need to sign; and then he can get to work finding me an apartment or empty house.
I have been informed by Mama Cat that I can get a voters registration card very easily; which can be then used as the elusive "third piece" of ID, which is required to get ID.
I will ask my mom to mail the other two documents to Rebuild Center.
Then, I may have an apartment, an ID, and hence some kind of job in short order.
Leslie has been an influence in that direction.


  1. So .... your staggering from half-finished drink to half-finished drink and picking up cigarette butts etc has been living at the "sub-Leslie" level and now Leslie's going to try to elevate you. I hope he can. The thing is, if you really want a studio, and to be able to make CDs, and not sound like a croaking bum, you do need a place etc.

    Plus, looks like you're putting your self to the head of the line of skeezers for Leslie's gratuitous alcohol. Since, like Bender the robot, you seem to be alcohol-powered, this is a good thing.

  2. Sub-Leslie? That only exists in the anti-world!

  3. I think it may be the anti-world you've been living in, in a way. Everything almost opposite to the "right" way to doing things - gather food for free, get drunk (or at least buzzed) to work effectively (because to make money busking you have to feel the music and really be "diggin' it", success often equating to owning less stuff (less to carry) rather than more, etc etc etc.

    On the harps, yeah, the little things need a fair amount of maintenance. There are books and things online about how to maintain them, and professional players get into re-tuning reeds and doing all kinds of strange stuff. Most of it is just sheer "survival" in that, it sucks financially to get a new Marine Band and have it blow a reed the first day, which occasionally happens, and not be able to repair the thing. Most of the problems you're experiencing are due to food particles getting in, I'm sure. And that's easy. You need to buy Special-20's and Lee Oskars because they can be taken apart easily. And you need to get a small "camel hair" brush, and use that and some rubbing alcohol, or even vodka or something, to clean the reeds. Once you open a harp up, you'll see that those reeds are tiny, and just a tiny bit of hair or food can seize one up.

    In my case, remember I was playing the cornet. Well, I got discouraged because I was mostly just playing exercises and wasn't taking the time to play stuff for feeling and diggin' it. Plus the cornet I had had significant dents, two horrible re-soldered joints, and the final straw was when I learned about the compression test and that horn didn't have much compression. Kinda worn out. So I sold it, and went the last 8 months w/o a horn. Well, I saved up my money and have another cornet, a Yamaha also but actually an older model, and it's great. I got it from a shop called Hornucopia that specializes in brass instruments and well, you get what you pay for. And I paid, believe me, almost $700 for the thing but I can't believe how much better I play on it, even with an 8 month layoff. I mean wow. Maybe some breathing exercises I've been doing and riding my bike a lot has helped, but most of it's gotta be the horn.

    Now, the reason I like the cornet is, essentially it's a weapon of war. Cornets/trumpets originally were for doing military music and bugle calls etc. You can play one in a snowstorm, on the hottest day, etc it just doesn't matter. Someone pours a growler of beer over me while playing, I just laugh, swish my faithful horn around in the nearest fountain, and keep playing. There is *some* maintenance: Slides have to be kept moving smoothly and not allowed to freeze up, valves need to be oiled, and the whole thing given a bath (using a "snake" and various brushes to clean out the tubing) about once a month. But there's no issues with pads, strings, wood warping, none of that. The price paid is, that it's not considered that easy an instrument to play, and it does take a lot of work to get good.


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