Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moldova Checks In

United States
United Kingdom
When I was studying geography in elementary school, I'm pretty sure that there was no Moldova
I love it when people in countries which I would have been unable to find on a map of the world check out my blog.
Freeze Out: Day 3
I hung around Starbucks until around 9 p.m. yesterday, and when I stepped outside, the temperature was around freezing; but there was no wind, at least.
I had stayed in my sleeping bag until well after noon, when the desire for tobacco and the boredom of watching the river and reading a book outweighed the discomfort of the cold.
The French Quarter was dead.
Outside the Westin Hotel, which is in the same multilevel mall as the coffee shop, I found a trash can which had the remains of what looked like a huge ashtray dumped on top of the other trash.
I was able to get enough tobacco to eventually last the night.
I had foraged for firewood before coming out from under the dock and had a pile of it waiting for me there.
I decided to kill some time and wait for Rouses Market to put out their trash.
Walking along Bourbon Street, I found an almost full cup of Cabernet Sauvignon wine, chilled to the almost freezing temperature of the night. It would be my only drink in three cold days.
Rouses put their stuff out at around 10:30 p.m., and I was under the dock by 11 with a full rotisserie chicken in the carton, a pack of sushi, a twice baked potato, a pint of cooked white rice, a baggie with a couple pounds of turkey deli meat, another with swiss and cheddar cheese, a couple of tomatoes, a couple of long banana peppers and a pack of portabello mushrooms.
My olive and sesame oils had been knocked down off the girders onto the rocks by the rats, but miraculously didn't break open. The olive oil had a dent right on top of the cap.
Out of time..........

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One More Night Of It

Partly Cloudy 38 °F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy 28 °F
Partly Cloudy
Clear 53 | 41 °F
3 Dollar Coffee
 Yesterday, I went to Starbucks and spent a few hours (and too much money, because it was the one at Harrahs Casino where a "grande" cup is 3 dollars) sipping coffee and reading my Readers Digest Word Power book.
Outside, the wind was howling and sleet or hail (depending upon your mood) was falling, and the temperature was making its way to its eventual low of about 28 degrees.
By that time, I was inside a sleeping bag with 2 fleece blankets wrapped around me inside; a knit blanket over the top; and a heavy quilt type thing wrapped around me like a burrito. It was almost hot in there.
I was too lazy to get out of there and start a fire using stinging cold fingers to snap the kindling. I figured that I would be shivering my butt off before the fire was large enough to be kicking heat. I have to gradually build the thing up; keeping an eye on the smoke emission as I go.
Lilly had called me several times during the day, concerned about me freezing to death.
Rats, My Fish Is Gone!
The rats were beside themselves; rattling the empty tins and nudging me with their noses; as if to say "Where's the food?"
It made me wonder if I had created a monster by feeding them so well.
They have started to learn how to crawl up on the girders (by mounting them at the end of the dock 100 feet down and then tightrope-walking their way to the food above me) and steal things like sandwiches.
Fights break out after the rat that knocked the sandwich down to the rocks and then has to retrace its steps all the way around back to it; finds that it has been devoured by its contemporaries.
They are like hybrids between raccoons and squirrels.
I got pretty mad when I discovered that the 3 pieces of fresh catfish had been breached at some point in the night. I thought that they would freeze and, hence, give off no odor; and be unappealing to them.
But, they weren't quite frozen, and I guess after they gleaned that there would be no hot food; no cookies or sandwiches, etc. they settled upon one of of three (before I caught them) pieces of raw, near frozen, catfish fillets.
There was frozen rain falling through the night, but not on me, as I listened to a lot of AM talk radio and then some classical.
I stayed under the blankets until well past noon, and then came here, to The Royal Blend, where I must wrap this up, or buy a coffee soon.
I am totally broke; no food on my card for 7 more days; but I have a 5 dollar Subway card; and about 20 dollars left on my Starbucks card; and a new set of strings; a new harmonica; and I will probably be sober for a second day in a row....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cold Air Mass A Pressure Cooker

Library To Close For 2 Days
Due to the expected arrival of a sub-freezing mass of air; starting about 14 hours from now, this library is actually
Overcast 39 °F
Ice Pellets 39 °F
Ice Pellets
90% chance of precipitation
scheduled to close for 2 days.
Ice pellets!!
So much for "Post frequently to keep the readers interest."
I don't know if this is over concerns about heating costs, or concerns that the place will turn into a huge homeless shelter with a lot of books for the day...
Friday Freezeout
Friday night, I did not play.
I walked to the Lilly spot, through 38 degree air and a light rain.
I had plenty of food under the dock and the means to light a fire; plus the added assurance that there was a very slim chance that another soul would be in sight for at least a half mile in either direction.
Arriving at the spot, I spotted Lilly's SUV idling with her behind the wheel, as her younger daughter, Angelique was entering the gate, carrying a bag.
"Where are you going?," asked Lilly, who was also engaged in a phone conversation at the same time.
"I just wanted to walk past the spot."
I had thought about sitting there with the guitar next to me -it was too cold to play- as another musician on Royal Street does and claimed to have made 85 bucks one cold night; out of peoples sympathy over his being out of work; by the forces of nature.
"No, you can't play tonight; it's too cold," said Lilly. "Plus, it's raining, to boot," she added.
It was then that I was prepared to tell her that I was looking forward to cooking over a fire and eating a hot meal then listening to my radio, should she have invited me to crash at her place.
But, she didn't.
She seemed eager to resume her phone call, and I left, because the rain was falling at an angle which caused it to be landing on the spot where I sit, and because I saw only a handful of other people out.
I figure that some kind of complication probably arose after Lilly mentioned that she had told me to call her if it got too cold out; which might have turned into a family discussion; possibly involving her ex-husband, who lives there; and maybe some kind of argument was advanced which had eluded Lilly at the time she invited me to "call me anytime," perhaps involving insurance risks etc...
I didn't want her to feel badly, so I put on a happy countenance and then went off to the dock.
50 Dollar Saturday
Saturday night, it was about 10 degrees warmer and it was promised to be another 10 degrees warmer on Sunday.
I struck while the iron was hot, forcing myself back out to play additional sets, after taking breaks due to the feeling that I had made my artistic statement and played focused and energetically and had left all the blood sweat and tears out there on Lilly's stoop, and just had nothing left to say as an artist and to continue would make me feel like a monkey tinkering on a toy xylophone.
After short breaks, during which I might fortify myself with a fine beer from Sydneys, I found that I had more to say artistically, and made myself set up my stuff and sit down.
Once I started playing, 45 minutes could pass quickly, and I made amounts of around 20 bucks during each of 3 sets, and got some good compliments.

Close Encountering of the Second Guy
(Photo above: My view, looking towards Lafitt's Tavern which the white car is in front of. The hedges on left are over my left shoulder and where I hand my spotlight)
A second guy from out of the wrought iron gate which is about 10 feet to my left as I play, came up to me and talked Saturday.
Lilly has described "them" as being mean spirited people; and has warned me about them.
The first guy is the one who gave me a 10 dollar tip after he had pushed his trash can out to the curb and then stood and listened for a minute.
This guy, who was about in his 20's reminded me of a couple of kids, who had been staying there last summer, a girl of about 10 and a boy of about half that, who had listened to me play; and who had apparently found it inspiring.
He even found a picture of them on his phone to show me.
I remembered the girl, a tan-skinned skinny thing, as being curious about music in a way which led me to believe that she was a musician; she seemed to ask the "right" questions. 
The boy was shorter and had a little more weight to him.
They were back in some northern state, I was told, but will return again next summer.
(Photo left: Looking to my right towards Lilly's left stoop before her gate and then the green stoop of the "man in the red shirt" on the other side of her)
I thought this was a very good sign that the "mean spirited people" next door to Lilly, with whom she is feuding, have not decided to view me as an extension of her, and to run me off.
"Don't tell them that you're my friend!"
If the guy, who was very friendly and complementary, thinks that it would be nice for me to be around 6 months from now, so that the tikes can hear me play again, then that should hopefully bode well.
Now I just have to worry about the guy on the other side of Lilly (with whom she is feuding)!

I told him that I remembered them (the girl tipped me) and remembered that, before they got in the loaded SUV with the tags from some northern state on it; they stood and listened for a while and I had heard whom I assumed was the father "That would have been me," he interjected, say to the girl "That isn't classical," in response to whatever she had said.
I was soloing over the existent-only-in-my-head chords of "Eyes Of The World," by The Grateful Dead, at the time, I remember...
Break Even Sunday
But, A Harp Ahead
Sunday, I woke up with about 30 bucks and was at the Lilly spot by 4:00 p.m. where I began to play and sip on a vodka and energy drink combo.
I hit a very nice groove and was thrown a couple dollars by one of the few people who walked past.
The guy who lives directly across from my spot was sitting on his step, people watching and petting his two lap dogs.
He is on the opposite corner of the guy who installed the spotlight under his eave to give me more illumination, and they both seem to be of the same mind
Lilly and Angelique emerged at one point and walked over while I was doing what I thought was a very "tight" version of my "Carcass Song," and listened.
I could tell that I had their attention by their bemused looks.
"Daniel, you just keep getting better and better," said Lilly "I've never heard you play so good!"
I was just focusing on the guitar and hadn't even put a harmonica around my neck.
Usually you hear me after 10 at night and I'm half wasted, I felt like saying.
Here's a pretty good picture of one...
I took a break and decided that I would spend myself down to 20 dollars with the purchase of a new $12 (Hohner "Ol' Standby") harmonica from Louisiana Music Factory, and that is what I did, after thinking very hard on the subject and settling upon the key of G.
I also hard to think hard on the subject of whether or not a Marine Band harmonica with 3 plugged notes would still sound better than the brand-new12 dollar harp.
I decided that the Standby which Dorise Blackmon (Tanya and Dorise) had given me (key of F) had sounded just fine, if a little "plastic-y."
I got there and learned that "everything's 20% off today," and it further seemed like I had made the right decision.
I returned to the Lilly spot and, playing the new harp and guitar, made about 10 bucks, enough to cover everything that I had bought that day which wasn't a harmonica.
Vocals Helped
By the end of the night, I valued the harmonica far more than I would have valued 10 dollars and 80 cents.
The two dozen songs that I had been doing a half step above their natural keys using the A-flat harp, I dropped down a step and had a pretty good night vocally.
So, it is the day above and the temperature is forecast to plummet over the next two days....

Friday, January 24, 2014

Natural Born Skeezers

Light Rain
Light Rain
33.0 °F
Feels Like 33 °F
This guy rakes it in when his 4 year old daughter sits by him...
Sunrise / Set
6:54 AM
5:30 PM
The Weather
It is 33 degrees outside; and it feels like it, as a matter of fact.
Last night, I left the library shortly before 6 p.m. and shortly after the sun had set.
It was cold, but not bone-chilling cold.
I thought about going to the Lilly spot to try to enhance the 14 dollars which I had in my pocket.
Instead, I went and got a pint of whiskey from The Toulouse Market, and then to Starbucks, where I sipped upon "Irish" coffee until 9 p.m. when they closed.
Walking down Royal Street, I spent my self down to under 7 dollars with the purchase of a pack of cigarettes, thinking that, if nothing else, I had food under the dock; and whiskey in my pocket; and plenty of fresh batteries for the radio; and some herb; and, with the addition of cigarettes, what else could I want for, sitting by a fire and then wrapping up in 4 blankets to brave the cold.
10 Dollar Thursday
I decided to go to the Lilly spot after that, where I soon felt inclined to turn my spotlight on myself and play for a while. It was about 9:30 p.m.
It was a couple from Canada who came by me first (not counting the skeezers who could be heard muttering under their breaths -which were like steam escaping their mouths- about the cold and about the lack of tourists out and about the "tightness" of those tourists who were out.
The Canadian couple asked me if I knew any Canadian music....Celine Dion, Rush, Neil Young, Triumph?
Playing a bit of "Jack And Diane," by John Cougar Mellencamp produced a 5 dollar tip; and then wailing away further for another half hour, another 5 bucks to go with it and basically replace what I had spent that day.
I waited around, walking randomly around the Quarter, sipping on a Tecate beer
A Tecate like she has...
until almost 12:30 a.m., when Rouses put out what materialized into some tin foil basting pans and a grilled salmon dinner, and some "milk buns" which I intended for the rats.
Once again the dock area was deserted, with the Natchez still absent.
The Rats Take The Cheese
Once under the dock, I discovered that one of the rats had managed to use one of the rocks which I had stacked up in order to block some of the morning sunlight (which reflects pretty intensely off of the river with the steamboat not being there to block it) to boost itself up and take a wedge of cheese which I had put on the girder; knocking down and breaking my bottle of hot sauce in the process.
I almost considered withholding the buns from them.
I managed to make a pretty good driftwood fire, with the smoke blowing out over the river and not in the direction of anyone who might report it; and heated up and ate some pretty good food.
Natural Born Skeezers
A softening of my heart led me to put the buns out for the rats, as I figured that they had no morals and weren't disrespecting me by stealing my cheese; they are natural-born skeezers, in that regard...
I listened to my AM/FM radio, which was acting very quirky in the frigid temperatures with the volume level jumping from high to low and the thing shutting itself off randomly. Maybe that is why I found it discarded by the railroad tracks.
Finally, I wrapped up as best I could and slept fairly well, although it was cold -not cold enough to freeze the water in my jugs, I noticed- but cold enough so that I stirred a few times to rearrange my blankets.
This morning never really warmed up, and was rainy, to boot.
Now, I leave the library to probably go to Starbucks and spike coffee with vodka and to read and write and contemplate "weather" or not (excuse the pun) to call Lilly and tell her "It's a ghost town out here and I am freezing," to see if she will let me crash at her place.
She said that she had TV and internet; oh, boy!!

I will have to flip a coin between that and cuddling up with the rats...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Simple Life

  • Staying Warm
  • The Lilly Offer

The Goal of Life has been simple lately:
Stay warm.
The Starbucks gift card which the Lidgleys sent in a Christmas parcel has been instrumental in allowing me to hang out there until they close at 9 p.m. sipping 50 cent refills and loading some with enough cream and sugar to make meals out of them.
This allows me to read and write and stay warm; all of which are catalyzed by caffeine; and to leave there with only a short wait until the various out of date food is put out.
Busking is not an advisable option after the temperature goes below 40 degrees.  
Last night, I found some excellent uncooked steak along with a variety of garden salads (with turkey or some other meat and sometimes hard-boiled eggs added) at about 9:30 p.m.
Sometimes I wonder if some of my friends who work in there wait upon the sight of me at one point in the night before pushing the trash cans outside.
They have come out within 10 minutes of my appearance, the past couple cold nights.
I headed for the dock, as it was about 35 degrees outside.
There was nobody in sight as I sneaked underneath it.
Out Of Rats Reach
The Natchez has not been docked for the past couple of days; perhaps it is under repair at some yard...
I made slits in the bottom of a tin-foil basting pan with my knife, and soon had the steaks (and some ham shanks which were mostly fat) sizzling over a driftwood fire; dripping their juices into it.
I'm trying to cut back on sushi because of its tendency to contain soy; but hadn't been able to resist grabbing one container, which I shelved up onto the cold steel girders, out of rats reach.
Keeping My Phone Charged
Lilly had tried to call me about a week ago on one of the nights which was forecast to go below freezing.
She was going to invite me to stay somewhere at her place; and I only had to bring my own food.
I don't have any pictures of Lilly and her two daughters, Chantilly and Angelique, but I have looked at a lot of stock photos online and have come up with some approximations which I will post here, and which I might use as icons until such a time that they overcome their shyness about being photographed.



The Danger Of Forgetting
My mission now; on this Wednesday night which is forecast to go below freezing is to go shortly to Starbucks, where I will charge the "Lilly" phone and try to read and write; working on song lyrics and organization of things; such as the compilation of my "master list" of songs in hopes of printing out the 5? page document sooon, so that I can routinely pore through it and reacquaint  myself with songs that I am in danger of forgetting otherwise.
Then, I will don an extra shirt and sweater and sweatshirt and go out into the night and probably pretty much repeat last night; except I might try to make a pretense at busking by sitting on my spot with the guitar out and hoping someone will come by and say: "It's too cold to be out here; get yourself a room!" and hand me a large bill...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Money's Gone With The Wind...

Tomorrow Night
Overcast 33 °F
 The weather is in the news in the sense that I didn't play last night after sitting at the Lilly spot for almost an hour and contemplated doing so; but then noticing that there were very few people braving the 38 degree air, not even to hear a skinny white guy play a Toni Braxton song.
33 degrees is really no match for the dock spot as, my cooking fire actually imbues the surrounding rocks (which I think are the rock called "shale") with heat which radiates enough so that I can lay there with my blankets only half covering me and listen to my AM/FM radio for a while and then only totally cover up after the rocks cool a bit.
  The propensity of that particular (igneous?) rock to cleave into flat surfaces is what makes it possible to construct a flat surface out of them; it just brings into play jigsaw puzzle building skills...
That being said; today is about preserving as much as the 34 dollars which I woke up with that I can as I wait for the temperatures to rise towards the weekend; and then wait further for Mardi Gras to come along...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Thursday: Zero To 30
  • 76 Dollar Saturday
  • 20 Dollar Sunday
  • Monday: Sell Me Some Cells

Thursday night, I had actually spent all my money and was starting out at the Lilly spot with nothing in my case.
A guy soon offered me 10 dollars, if he could play my guitar.
I handed it to him, but forgot to caution him to not take the capo off.
The super tight capo on the second fret is actually keeping pressure on the neck at the spot where it is splitting and separating from the fret board; and the A flat harmonica, which I have been playing almost exclusively is at home with that arrangement, allowing me to play all of the songs in G and E minor, A major and even C.
The 20 Dollar Song
"...and maybe; you're gonna be the one that saves me..."
After I had re-attached the capo and re-tuned a bit, the guy played "Wonderwall," by Oasis for a group of about 10 of his companions.
The companions threw at least another 10 dollars in my case as he was playing and they were singing; all of them apparently very familiar with that particular song.
(I met another group from Great Britain in Mobile, Alabama -some kind of underwater welders; in town to work on something related to The Oil Spill of '09)- who had requested that same song.)
When "Rain" Comes
Friday, I pretty much broke even.
Saturday night, I noticed that the Beatles tribute band called "Rain" were scheduled to play at the Saenger Theater starting at 8 p.m.
I plopped myself down at the corner of the building and was not run off by security and managed to play from out of my Beatles repertoire and had a bunch of singles and a few 5 dollar bills, equal to about 35 dollars in the span of about an hour.
Then, I went to the Lilly spot, rather than wait around for the show to let out -something vaguely promising to be more lucrative than the Lilly spot- but I planned upon possibly returning.
The 20 Dollar Challenge
For almost the 5th consecutive night, The Guy Who Comes Along And Sits Beside You As You Play came along and sat next to me.
Admittedly, these are not all skeezers.
One was an artist and musician, who played along with me for a while and was shy about taking half of the 6 bucks or so which were thrown to "You guys have a good night"  us.
He later rendered a very good sketch of me playing, which I might have been able to post here had my phone been charged.
Saturday night, another guy came and sat and listened.
He threw a few dollars in my case.
He asked me, at one point what my "best tip song" was.
I had to think.
I related a few stories based upon the memories which I have of getting good tips.
"Comfortably Numb," by Pink Floyd spawned a woman running across the street in Saint Augustine with a 20 dollar bill.
"Wild World," by Cat Stevens did the same thing once...
Then, I thought of the time (2009?) that I was in Jacksonville Beach, Florida during Spring Break and I was learning "Tears In Heaven," by Eric Clapton by playing it over and over and over for college kids who mostly only caught a few seconds of it and who threw me about 80 dollars through a couple hours.
That, along with what the song went on to garner for me after that; probably earns it the status of "my best tip song," I told the guy.
Then, a couple guys came along and listened to what I was playing and then one of them requested a Neil Young song; but before I could embark upon it; his friend said (honest to God):
"Hey, do you know and Clapton...I'll give you 20 dollars if you can play 'heaven'!"
I guessed that he was referring to the song that I had just deemed my best tip song 10 minutes prior; and was able to play it to the guys satisfaction and get the 20 dollar bill thrown in on top of what was about 40 dollars, bringing my total for the day to about 77 dollars.
He almost had the attitude that his bluff had been called as he shrugged and said "Well, I did say that I'd give you 20 bucks if you played it...."
How serendipitous was that.
Batteries Included
Monday, I went to Walgreens, where I broke down and spent almost 16 dollars on batteries for my AM/FM radio and my spotlight.
My anguish was halved when the cashier told me that they were "buy one, get one free."
I now own 48 double A batteries and should be under a bright spotlight at the Lilly spot for some time to come.
It is Tuesday now; and a little cooler outside (50's) and I woke up with 27 dollars less than I had Monday morning.....
But, I have 48 AA batteries; a new set of strings; weed and vodka; a bright light to play under; and my throat seems to be getting better; after I have gargled with salt water following the suggestions of Dorise and Alex from California....
I might go and get a new harmonica this afternoon; a12 dollar (Hohner Ol' Standby), perhaps in the key of G.
Singing everything a half step up started out being so weird that it was hard for me to recognize the pitches of  songs which I had done hundreds of times in the lower key; but it eventually helped my ear and my voice, also.
"Powering through " the throat ailment seems to have helped me also, in the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" sense of the word...
Maybe the key of G, or C or F sharp....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Money Dwindles Further

From (click here)
A girl was walking around asking people to write "advice" on a sign and then hold it.
I pulled this phrase out of my butt and held the sign at the Lilly spot.
There are a few more from NOLA, some of whom I recognize, but who are not characters on this blog (yet?). 
I left the library last evening with 8 dollars in my pocket; spent half of that on a pint of vodka and went to the Starbucks, where I tried to write; but encountered writers block; despite spiking my coffee with the vodka.
Wasting His Breath
"I could feel him scowling at me the whole time I was in there..."
There was a skeezer in there trying to stay warm, who was sitting a bit behind me and off to my right; and I could feel him scowling at me the whole time I was in there -envious of the coffee which he probably assumed I was paying $2.40 a cup for with cash, or off of a debit card -not knowing that it was the gift card which the Lidgleys sent for Christmas; envious of the (American Spirit) cigarettes that I was stepping outside to smoke, probably thinking that I paid $6.72 for them with cash; envious of the vodka; but mostly filled with hatred of me; spawned by the knowledge that he would be wasting his breath trying to skeeze me (that is common knowldege throughout skeezerdom; because skeezers compare notes) and with that all too common "I know he makes money with that thing; and yet he can't 'help me out' with a couple bucks; a cigarette or two; a swig or two; and maybe a coffee?!? What a jerk!" expression on his face....We're all out here together trying to survive; all for one; one for all...
Skeeze Not, Lest Ye Be Skeezed!!
The place was pretty crowded with well dressed people and college students; but he knew enough not to bother any one of them; lest he be tossed out into the 45 degree night; besides, he was busy focusing all his energy upon scowling at me.
He walked past me once on his way outside to smoke off a duck and to skeeze pedestrians and said "What's up?" in a tone of voice which could have meant "f*** you!"
I put on all the extra clothes which I had in my bag in the restroom before heading towards Brothers Market to spend myself down to about 4 dollars on a Cobra Malt Liquor before traipsing in the general direction of the Lilly spot.
There was a dollar bill laying on the sidewalk just outside the door, and a skeezer right around the corner who was oblivious to it -if he had only seen it drop -d'oh!!.
Sign Flyers Like Flies
There was a skeezer every 100 feet or so on Bourbon Street (on both sides) sitting there holding signs with staring tourists in the eyes with "sad puppy" expressions. 
Most of the signs read some variation of: "Hungry."
It is curious to see more than one person holding duplicate signs, as if some signs "work" better than others.
One guy might have had a "good" night holding: "Allergic to water, need alcohol" one night, and so there seems to always be someone holding that (stupid in my opinion) one.
Selena holds: "Need weed" with a marijuana leaf drawn on it.
"I bet you a dollar you read this" is apparently a winner.
"Smile if you masturbate" has "worked" for some; and on and on...
There is one "Just a girl and her dog trying to survive" around Pat O' Briens and another "Just a girl and her dog trying to survive" a few blocks further, usually.
They are partners; both have smooth skin, shiny hair and perfect teeth and they wear "raggedy" clothes -the kind that come raggedy right out of the store and they stay at hotels and eat gourmet food and drink Crown Royal each night; trying to survive.
I actually gave one of my ideas away and told a guy that "If I had to fly a sign," it would read: "Unemployed cardboard sign maker," or maybe "Neyd muny fur spelin lecins"
None of them has taken my ideas and ran with them, as far as I can see.
I Play For A Beer
The extra clothing, along with the 10 block walk to the Lilly spot warmed me up enough so that I took my guitar out and played for about and hour; though hardly anybody was out.
One couple stopped and applauded after I had finished playing "A Space Oddity," by David Bowie.
"Is that one of yours?' asked the female.
"No, that's David Bowie."
They lamented that they didn't have any money to give me.
Just then Barnaby walked up and handed me a Heineken and thanked me for having played the guitar and sang and not played the harmonica.
I pretty much called it a night shortly after that; running to the restroom, but not returning.
The temperature got down to 37 degrees, according to the weather website.
Blackened Catfish Dreams
I ate blackened catfish fried in olive oil and then lied down on my cardboard, to which I had just added a thick layer the size of a queen sized bed to the top of, which I had grabbed from off of Decatur Street.
I had trouble falling asleep, thinking about Karrie and a lot of other things as I lay on the cardboard which is now big enough for two...
I had tortured dreams about the rats attacking me, causing me to set up traps to snap their necks; and one dream about dying in a grassy meadow and becoming fertilizer.
Maybe eating blackened catfish right before bed isn't such a great idea...
I almost got up at 7 a.m., had coffee and started the day; but went back to sleep until after noon.
Now, I am out of cigarettes and down to about 3 dollars in cash, and feel like I have wasted half the day; but the temperature is a good 10 degrees warmer than yesterday....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The Money Dwindles
  • Karrie Encounter

There is not much to report here, except that I retired pretty early last night, after having played Canal Street, instead of the Lilly spot, on a whim.
The whim produced 2 dollar bills, and an almost full pack of American Spirit ($7 per pack) menthol cigarettes.
I didn't deem this a totally disappointing experience.
I had only played for about an hour; it is much more noisy there; people tend to be more jaded there; and I felt a sense of liberation in the fact that I could wail away on songs which I had pretty much worn threadbare at the Lilly spot; as if for a totally new audience; and that I had them sounding good enough to make one of the pedestrians; who would probably not stop for someone having a heart attack; not wanting to get involved; to throw me a couple bucks.
Whomever threw the 2 dollars and the cigarettes, I ddn't get a good look at, because I play without my glasses on most of the time; but it could have been the girl who works at The Herbal Shop where I only go when I feel like I have so much money that I can splurge upon American Spirit cigarettes, which is about once every 2 months.
Then, I could have gone to the Lilly spot, but Rouses had put their food out at the very early hour of about 9 p.m., and all I could think about was boiling pasta and sauteeing portobello mushrooms with beets heated up on the side, along with buns; and then cracking a couple eggs into the boiling water and then throwing some pepperjack cheese on top of the whole experiment, all of which I did.
The eggs and cheese caused a mild flare up in the eczema which I had just about kicked, but everything comes with a price.
In the morning, the calliope played "Windy" by The Association as its first song; and so I wasn't surprised to be buffeted by a stiff breeze after I came out at around 1 p.m.

Everyone knows it's windy, unless...

I saw Karrie earlier and invited her to Starbucks after this library closes in a half hour.
She declined, but thanked me for inviting her there.
She said that she has been cold lately.
I would bet that she could put a womans touch on my place under the dock; maybe move some rocks around...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do You Know Any Bear?

I am your Edward Bear connection.
If you want to check it out and jam along, just come by my spot in the 900 block of Bourbon Street, between the hours of say, 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m.; and say: "Hey, man, do you know any Bear?!?"
Money Dwindles
It is Tuesday afternoon.
I lit a fire last night and had gourmet food, in the form of sauteed mushrooms with pasta and veal and buns on the side (most of which the rats ate).
I woke up with a mere shadow of the wad of money which I had woken up with the previous day.
Reckless spending, starting with a pint of vodka and proceeding to a 10 dollar sack of what I was assured was "the kush" and then continuing on to the point of even a couple "McDouble" burgers, when I had the munchies; a pack of cigarettes, etc.
Well, how about some Braxton?!?

This ultimately landed me upon Lilly's stoop amongst sparse traffic, but in plain sight of Barnaby and his lady friend sitting upon their own stoop; both of whom I thought that I was unable to sufficiently entertain; after being unable to remember all the chords to the Tom Waits song that I know and even the Toni Braxton song that I know, and it became a reminder that there is a lot of work to be done by a street musician, during his off hours, in order to assure that he will be able to complete songs...
I Just Like This One...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stormy Monday

A Milestone
Well, one year ago, I was in the Orleans Parish Prison, with 2 days to go on a 15 day sentence for obstruction of a public passageway.
This brings me to the milestone of "one year without going to jail," which is one small step for a man...
The following days were the coldest of that year, which makes me feel like we are at a point where the weather could "turn the corner" and head towards spring.

It started raining early this morning, after a single vicious thunderclap which seemed like the opening gun to set the storm off.
It was perhaps the loudest clap of thunder, and it reverberated, that I have ever heard.
It poured very hard, and I considered leaving my guitar under the dock and walking around without it.
I am at the library now, having found that it had stopped raining after I came out at about 1 p.m.
I guess I wanted cigarettes and some booze; and to blog...always to blog...
Don't Want To Smoke Too Much...
Last night, I reluctantly bought some "instant light" charcoal briquets to take to the dock with me...for almost 8 bucks; ouch!
I was retiring early, having played for maybe 20 bucks; but then having spent money on the briquets.
I got to the dock around 10  p.m. just as the Natchez was coming in and lit a fire with the amazing briquets and they instantly burst into a clean, almost smokeless flame, and eventually became glowing and hot.
I was able to boil water (though it seemed to take forever) and cook spaghetti, to which I later added veal (for scallipini) sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with some stuff which I had lying around like a tabbuli type thing, of which I had found several fresh containers of and which had sat on the cold metal all this time.
The capacity to build a fire has been an immense aid in my being able to prepare much more healthy fare; I would recommend fire to mankind, in fact.
"I would recommend fire to mankind"
Then, I woke up with heavy rain coming down; and now I am about to go into the Quarter to hopefully take advantage of this evenings warm (low 60's) temperature and hopefully make some money to defray the cost of smokeless fuels.

I still need a tiposaurus and some new laminated signs and eventually a new guitar and.....

I now go to Starbucks to read and write and will not dally too long before going to the Lilly spot to take advantage of this 60 degree weather on a day which was, only a year ago, the coldest day of the year...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wirelessless Sunday

  • Weather Improves
  • Throat Still Bothers

It being Sunday, I woke up under the dock and counted $51.80 out of my back pocket (up about 11 bucks from Saturday and 6 bucks from Friday mornings).
Your NOLA Style Music Store...
I have been spending about 17 dollars per day on average, so I suppose I made $28 last night, playing only from about 10:30 p.m. (after the Patriots/Colts game ended) until about 1:30 a.m.
It felt like a slow night, and if it weren't for the one 20 dollar tip, something that I have gotten 4 or 5 nights in a row (from the same person?) it would have indeed been a slow night.
I was plagued by The Guy Who Sits Next To You And Listens But Has No Money And Is Basically Trying To Skeeze, for the second night in a row, though it was a different guy each night.
I have just been informed by someone that he saw me on some website.
Today, I hope to maybe have my guitar looked at by the guy at Webbs Bywater Music, which is near a dollar store where might be found another tiposaurus or at least some poster board and packing tape which I could use to make more permanent "laminated" signs, to go with the spotlight which I am now using.
Not much else to accomplish on this Sunday, except maybe catching some football on a TV...