Friday, January 30, 2015

Cream Sherry $3.80 A Bottle

A Familiar Tune
It has been a kind of depressing past couple of days.
Now that I have broken my string of 12 days without drinking, that is a bummer in itself. 
At least I'm drinking Sherry now, not the cheap malt liquor which the other skeezers drink.
Once again, the money seems to equal what I spend on debauchery.
Guitar strings; batteries for the spotlight; percussion instruments for the studio, and new harmonicas are expenses that are grinning at my window.
I hope to clear enough tonight so that I can go across the river (and back) to let Howard know that he can watch the Superbowl with me in two days and be assured a place to crash afterwards.
I have arranged it with the building manager.
It is Friday night; and I go out without much enthusiasm, to play. 
5 Dollar Thursday
Last night, I made about as much money helping Christina Friis tote her equipment 3 blocks to her apartment ($3) and selling a few cigarettes to David the water jug player ($2) as I did busking.
I might as well call it a 5 Dollar Thursday.
I charted out "The Man Who Couldn't Decide What Flavor He Wanted," and laid down a couple rhythm guitar parts, along with a pseudo bass guitar, produced by dropping the pitch of the guitar down a full octave, and playing a bass line on it.
It sounds pretty much like a bass guitar; an acoustic bass guitar. With all of the synthetic sounds inundation everyone's ears these days; I don't think any "purists" will complain "But it's NOT an acoustic bass! It sounds artificial!!"
This morning, I decided that the tempo was too slow for that song -I may have once played it at that speed, when I was teaching it to myself, but now I can play it much faster, and so I might as well.
85 beats per minute is the current speed.
I now go to get a bottle of cream sherry, which is on sale at CVS ($3.80 out the door) and hopefully sipping it will put a cheerful glow upon my countenance, rather than make me moody, cantankerous and/or glum.
The next attempt at a juice fast/abstainence period will probably have to start 6 days from now, as that is when I get food money on my card.
Time To Bulk Up
Now that I have a refrigerator and freezer, I can bulk up on things.
Last month, I had a lot of catching up to do; and I wasn't as wise in my decisions as I could have been. A prime example being the two 8 dollar bottles of olive oil which I bought (35 ounces total) when, for a little more, I could have gotten a whole gallon.
I think olive oil is the most "quantity" discounted item that I have ever seen.
It ranges from 40 cents per ounce for the smallest bottle down to about 17 cents per ounce for a gallon of it. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Program Don't Fail Me Now

Yes, fans, I come to you powered by Perl, the scripting language. " 
Asked for "an intravenous shot of espresso
at Starbucks; again. They laughed; again.

The problem (the one that caused a previous post to have up to 12 line breaks after each paragraph) has been temporarily solved.
I cannot hit enter after every paragraph and thereby put a space between paragraphs.
The program sees this one line-break character and processes it as if it is an entire sentence. A pretty boring sentence; one character long and that character being the character that tells the browser to go to the next line.
So; the program would try to make the first three words of this "string of words" larger, and in a different font; it would also change the color of these words; to a randomly chosen color which the rest of the paragraph will "inherit."
Since there were no more words in the paragraph; the program somehow looped, and in that loop; printed "return" after "return," etc.
So, right now, as I compose in Notepad; I am careful not to put my own "ENTER" button in between paragraphs, trying to put a space between them; but sending my program haywire.
That was the first time I have used the word "haywire" in this blog, in 8 years, now.
I almost used it once, when telling the story of the dog that I bet on at the dog track where the track itself (which you could see, if you'd eaten your carrots, through the huge glass back of the building) had no dogs running on it; wasn't even illuminated; and all the dogs were running on television screens; races taking place world-wide and starting at different times; and all could be wagered upon.
My dog actually lead the race, before going haywire is, I think the way I considered using the word.

25 Dollar Wednesday
Last night, I was at the Lilly Spot pretty early...I made 25 dollars, approximately...I am playing my best ever -the stress-free sessions at my place having allowed me to focus more upon details.
There was no sign of the guy who wanted to play my guitar, drink my wine and smoke my cigarettes and.....
Tonight Is Thursday
I have been gravitating towards the habit of being up a bit after noon (perhaps the actual time when we experience "true noon" here, when the the sun is 100% directly over head; this would be around 1:15 PM, or so. Let's just say that it is 1:08 PM when the sun is indicating true noon; because that is the time that I seem to awaken at; a lot).
Pillows = All

I have been following the recording plan and charting songs out; determining their best tempo for the "click, click, click" track; and measuring out sections and putting markers along the track to let me know when the different sections are coming; that way I can go into them full steam and not like a diver who doesn't really know how deep the water is that he is about to dive into; from a great height.
I charted out a couple; and then put the initial rhythm guitar parts down.
What I do is play an additional (live) rhythm guitar part along with all of the previous rhythm guitar parts -and there can be like 5 or 6 of them; and I try to be the standout; best one of them all by trying to play better.
Then, the tracks which have actual "mistakes" in them can be deleted and replaced with the better ones.
The first track is the one where it feels really stark and you are kind of totally responsible for laying down what the rhythm actually is.
The second one, you have the freedom to "leave out" whatever the first guy is doing; because he is already doing it.
So, on the second track, you can play stuff that is going to make the whole sound better; but which; by itself, would never probably be the initial first rhythm track; you feeling so responsible for establishing the rhythm because nobody else is, at the time....
Do you follow me?
Let me feed this through the perl program and see what pretty and random colors it chooses for the paragraphs, shall we?
Then, I am off to the Lilly spot, where I made about 25 dollars last night.
There was a 20 dollar bill in there, so the figure could easily have been 6 dollars.
But, I was nailing the harmonica pretty well right before I noticed the Alexander Jackson, or whomever; in the tiposaurs' jar (and then absconded it from the sight of skeezers).
I just plain quit early.
I started at about 7:30 PM.
I am not in the habit of seeing it be so early upon my first time check, after having sweated through about an hour and a half of playing.
I might have played another half hour; and then weighed the advantage of having more studio time, in exhange for having a chance to pad the 25 dollars...and I went to Rouses Market and purchased food with cash (I am 7 days away from the assumption of my entitlement to a load of government assistance, when my food card will be charged with $194).
If I don't make cash busking; I don't eat.
Rouses Market has stopped putting out any refuse food; they wait until the trash trucks show up; and then bring it forth from out of the bowels of the store.
I could have filled my free refrigerator with free food. I would have been a vegetable-rinsing; fresh fish freezing; fruit squeezing fool!
With the last street car home departing at 2:50 AM, I would have had plenty of time to apply my flashlight and my backpack in food gathering. But, as of now, there is no more Rouses Market food being put out.
We have gone from The Great Chicken Bag to this.
I wonder who made the corporate decision...I worry that this blog has unwittingly made the food that Rouses used to throw out, world famous. "....half a roll of turkey breast deli meat; double-wrapped in Saran wrap..."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pictures Added, Wow!

A warmer than seasonal Tuesday night had me out busking at the Lilly spot, by about 10:15 PM.
I played for a good solid hour, hitting a sweet spot when about 22 dollars went into my jar; then showed up a "friend" of mine; who was drunk and being a jerk.
I have seen him around.
He once sat next to me and requested an original song; and then gushed encomiums upon me and the song; and has even pointed me out to others around the Quarter and said something to the effect of: "This guy writes awesome original songs...weird stuff; but great."
But then, I noticed that every time I encounter him; he asks me if I have any weed. He asks me if I will roll it up and smoke him up, at no cost to him.
He lives here; and certainly knows where to go and buy it.

Last night, he sat on Lilly's stoop next to me and began to rant, in a loud voice about something. I am still not sure what he was trying to yell, but I knew that I wasn't going to make any money with him sitting there spewing forth.
The 22 dollar stretch came to a grinding halt.\
Then, he wanted to play my guitar.
He had played it on one other occasion; and wasn't too impressive with his skill; and was dangerously close to bashing the strings with an errant strum; you're not really supposed to whack them with a closed fist; it stretches them, so they come back out of tune; or worse, it breaks them.
I have very new strings on the Takamine; and planned to record music using it; as soon as I got home; and I just preferred that he not play probably the very same song that I hadn't been impressed with the first time.
He kept reaching for the instrument; grabbing it by the neck once; and begging to be able to play it.
He owns a guitar, and actually brought it by the spot one time and played it. We didn't score any tips during that jam, I recall.
Then, he wanted a sip off of my wine.
The bottle had been sitting there next to me, but when I grabbed it, he said: "Oh, you got wine...what kind is that; can I see?"
He wanted me to hand him the bottle for his "inspection". I was sure that he was going to pop the cork; tip it up and drink off of it; unbidden. His frustration over not being able to play my guitar needed another outlet through which to vent itself, I guess.
I showed him the bottle and said: "See, Taylor cream sherry; nothing special; they sell this everywhere; I'm sure you've seen it before..."
I put the bottle back down next to me and began to play some; whereupon, he walked over and picked up the bottle, commented upon the brand name and type of wine; and then when I looked up, as he was saying "...not bad," and wiping his lips; I realized that he had just basically stolen from me.
"Did you just TAKE a sip off my bottle?!" I fumed.
His answer to that inquiry was to bend down and snatch up my pack of cigarettes; as if about to help himself to one of those.

I was able to snatch it back from his grasp.
"Get the f*** out of my hustle, dude, can you understand that?!?"
He apparently couldn't.
At that point, I started packing up my stuff; with him saying: "So, you're not gonna let me play your guitar?" as I was bagging it up.
I could have rung Lilly's bell and had her run him off, under threat of prosecution, but, I was almost ready to call it a night and split my time between making a decent little 22 dollars; and making a decent little CD in my "studio." 
The Guy Turns "Leslie" On Me
Then, the guy (who already reminded me of Leslie Thompson, in that, if I were casting the part of the shopkeeper in a screen adaptation of "Needful Things," the Stephen King creation; I would cast either him, or Leslie Thompson with the same effect -there is something satanic about both of them) then the guy turned Leslie Thompson on me; referring to the one time that he paid for us to shoot 4 games of pool out of his own quarters; failing to mention the couple of times that I had just handed him a roach of pot; and then completing the vignette, by calling me stingy, greedy, a jerk, a retard, an idiot, etc.
The only thing he doesn't ask me for is money -just everything else I might have.
He talks about having jobs; having a truck; and playing piano at the Hotel Montdeleone. That is where Billy Joel jumped on the piano one night when he was playing in town and staying there.
Beware of people who say that they play the piano at the Hotel Montdeleone but who can hardly play 3 chords on a guitar -they may be pathological liars; or worse. I wonder why, when I walk with the guy nobo,,,
The time that we had shot pool, he was dry, but I was drinking.
He had actually commented that time, about the fact that he was sober and told me that, if I ever wanted to give up drinking; I could always meet him there, and we would shoot pool and drink soda, and he would support me in that way in my effort to stay sober.....
Now, he was so trashed as to be yelling gibberish to whomever it may concern...
I left, and caught the 12:50 AM streetcar, back to my place, where I recorded a track which I deleted this morning. I will re-do it tonight.
It is a little after 5 PM, and I hope to replicate last evening and make at least 22 dollars.
I want to buy a percussion instrument; at least some wood blocks to use on "My Favorite Mule," to simulate the sound of hooves; and hopefully a tambourine.
A Gym
The Sacred Heart Apartments is in the process of installing an exercise room, complete with weights and treadmills, etc. 
This comes as great news to someone who used to do heavy, physical labor every day and who now feels like a scarecrow when it comes to muscle tone (although my finger muscles are pretty toned in my forearms; and my walking muscles are those of a man 15 years younger).
Howard is actually on the "list" at Sacred Heart Apartments.

I was talking to the management about the fact that Howard had been denied admittance into the building on that night that we watched the Patriots/Colts game; despite the fact that he had his VA identification on him. They tossed his veteran ass out onto the street.
When I told Vallerie, the building manager, what my friends name was; she recalled it, and told me that he was on the list.
When I told her where Howard was staying, she nodded her head, as if to imply that she was familiar with that particular spot along the Mississippi River on the Algiers side, where many fish for, and catch, catfish almost 3 feet long; and where Howard has his tent.
"He's stuck in such a routine; that he never comes around here to try to sign up for a place; it will take one of you to go out there and drag him here....I can play you a song real quick; about that routine, if you'd like..."
Howards name is now inscribed upon a certain pad on the desk at the front entrance, and I have been assured that; should the two of us return late Sunday night, after watching the Patriots solidly trounce the Seattle Seahawks, that Howard would be let in.
After one night at my place, I think his sentiments will be: "Gee, I should have signed up a long time ago; I've got 14 years in the Air Force...."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Curtain For Certain

My upcoming CD is going to blow away any previously posted music to the right sidebar. That music will be deleted and upgraded....
I am at Starbucks on this Tuesday night, which is an unseasonably warm temperature in the 60's.

Of course I have to busk.
Sunday, I cheated on my alcohol free diet with a bottle of wine; which was South American, and thus, pretty cheap.
Monday, I cheated again; in the same way, shape and form.
I am working on the CD methodically; not going on to the next step until the previous one is up to par.
Yesterday, I layed down a guitar track on "Like A Rolling Stone," the Bob Dylan song; and that one is "in the can," awaiting vocals and harmonica; and possibly a tambourine; should I come into enough money to buy one. A good one can approach 50 dollars.
I am about to add a feature to this text formatting program which will boldface "important" persons, places and things.
I am thinking of prefacing the particular word with "bb," in order to tell the program to boldface the word (or to write in the HTML code which will do it). There are no words in the language which start with "bb," and, since my hands will already be on the keyboard; it will be easy to put two "b"s in front of a word that I want to appear bold ("ii" will italicize).
I am pretty broke; but, thanks to a parcel which arrived from the Lidgleys of London, I was able to take a whole day off to work on the CD.

Along with a shower curtain (shown), the parcel had a couple packs of smokes (I was dying for a cigarette when the knock came at my door bringing the news that a package had arrived, addressed to me.
The Lidgleys were pretty resourceful in finding my apartment number in a previous post here; and finding the zip code online.
There was also 20 dollars; and another Starbucks gift card.
I am about to see if I can buy someone their coffee on it; in exchange for cash of an equal or lesser amount.
That way; I can go to the Lilly Spot, on this balmy evening, and play while having the security of streetcar fare in my pocket.
You Tryin' To Skeeze ME?!?
To Be Continued...
Mardi Gras cannot be far away; as evidenced by the police barricades which are positioned around the Quarter; ready to hold back crowds....

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Big Skeezy

8th Day Of Sobriety

I am pretty proud of that little program; and plan to automate it more, so that it will boldface " people, places and things," like I do now by hand.

Whenever I mention an important person or place, I might preceed it with a 'tab' first -then have the program boldface every word after a tab; yeah, that's how I will code that...

It now after 4 PM, and if I am to make it to the music store to replace the missing string plug on my guitar, I had better hurry.

I won't have to buy light bulbs, as those were supplied to me by the maintenance guy, after I had spoken with him last night and mentioned that my light bulbs were "burning fast," to quote Neil Young.

I continue to test the program now.

I couldn't show it here, yesterday, because Blogger was trying to run it on my page as a script, which reaked (sp?) havoc.

I guess I found out that I am allowed to run scripts on my pages, though, and that is good news for you all. -interactive things could be on the way...

Rained Out Thursday

Last night, I came into the Quarter on the street car.

I like to walk, and save the $1.25, but it was raining quite heavily.

It continued to rain, as I waited inside the Unique Grocery store.

David the water jug player was also inside there, reading a newspaper.

The staff there tollerate him.

He bummed a dollar off me; and a cigarette.

Every single time that I stepped outside to smoke, someone tried to skeeze one off me; sometimes more than one skeezer per smoke break. The rainfall meant no picking up butts off the sidewalk, and so the cigarette skeezers were quite animated.

David the water jug player has been here "since before Hurricane Katrina," and I quote that because it is a catch-phrase here; something which places an imaginary badge of Honor on ones chest, in the esteem of others who have been here "since before Katrina."

The sentiment is that they toughed it out; they stood their ground; and weren't daunted by the 12 feet of water and the corpses floating up out of graves and past The Unique Grocery store.

They refused to leave, because they LOVE New Orleans (just read half of their tee-shirts) -it is engrained in them; and they in it; and they will never leave.

Closer to the truth is more like: People like David the water jug player had no means of getting the hell out of here, at the approach of the storm; were more interested in getting drunk and high than in evacuating; were deluding themselves with the wishful thinking that the storm might change coarse at the last minute, and not be as bad as predicted; and/or were secretly hoping they would have opportunities to break into businesses and loot (what with everybody out of town, and half of the police force (at the time) thinking the same thing*

*The police are MUCH better now; with officer Adams being a shining example.

Casino Skeezer

When the rain hadn't abated by 10 PM, I decided to call off busking and go to the casino, where their Starbucks is open until midnight to do this post that I am doing now.

I am doing it now, because I was not allowed into the casino with my backpack and guitar. That is my own fault, because I had them cover with a huge black trash bag, so that the security people couldn't tell WHAT I was bringing in.

I stepped outside, where a medium built black man was talking to an older, well dressed white guy with "tourist" written all over him.

The black man immediately motioned me over. "Come here," he said, gesturing with his hand.

Normally, I never "come here" when impelled to by anyone, especially someone with "skeezer" written all over him.

I feel that it is a sign of weakness to run to someone like a puppy when called. If he wants to speak with me, he can put forth the effort of walking over to me.

He asked me if I had an umbrella, using the parlance of something like "Check this got an umbrella? I KNOW you got an umbrella! (I was dry by means of the trash bag).

It crossed my mind that he might go on to say: "This man will GIVE you 50 dollars for your umbrella...he doesn't want to get his hair wet walking to the cab stand; and will buy your umbrella from you! (...and I only want half of the money, for brokering the deal).

I really had walked over to him (when beckoned) because I was in the mood to mess with a skeezer.

I wanted him to skeeze me, so that I could practice being snide and sarcastic; and lead him on by acting very naive and making him think that I was about to give him the 35 dollars so that he could take the bus to tell his grandmother, who just had a heart attack in Baton Rouge, that he loved her one last time, in case she died -even to the point of reaching for my "wallet," only to defrock him at the last second..."Wait a minute...There IS no cardiac ward in Baton Rouge (he wouldn't know that)...They life-flight them here!

"...Well, can I have the money anyways?"

Then, he became engrossed in skeezing the guy in a manner unrelated to umbrellas (I guess) and I drifted off to the side.

The rich tourist went back into the casino, whereupon the skeezer turned his attention back to me, as I was fishing my trash bag out of the pocket of my guitar case.

I guess the set of keys to my apartment and the laundry room empowered me to want to mess with him some more.

I took the about 19 dollars out of my pocket, and, turning my body slightly away from him, as if desiring privacy, began to count it.

Like a good skeezer, he moved, so as to be able to see the money.

Then, it became academic that he would push more vigorously to find an inroad to skeeze me; using the skeezers number one weapon; "the conversation."

"Oh, you did pretty well," he said, disregarding any offence that I may have taken over him having repositioned himself in order to look over my shoulder at the money I was counting. As an "afterthought," he added: "I need a bag of chips."

I didn't answer him. He wanted me to tell him that, yes, I had been lucky; more than that; I had been "blessed."

Then, his next move would have been in the vein of; "Then, why don't you pass the blessing on ?" To him, of course.

I didn't say anything, though. His "inroad" had come to a dead end.

I then put the trash bag over my guitar only; not my head.

"Oh, I thought the bag was for you, but it's just for the guitar," he offered; still trying.

Maybe he was still thinking (or knowing, in his case) that I had an umbrella for the rest of me.

Also, should I have put the bag over all of myself, it would have empowered him with the knowledge that I was probably homeless; and he could have stepped up his skeezing; probing me for whatever I might have.

Surely if I was homeless, it would be due to some addiction, and I just might have cigarettes, pot, or alcohol or all three, right on my person.

Also, if I was homeless, he could hold some vague threat over my head by tacitly implying that he was "out here, too" -where he was bound to encounter me; and would remember all too well how much of a jerk I may have been for not giving him a cigarette or a dollar or smoking weed with him; and I might not like the consequences.

I didn't answer him, again.

"What, are you F***ING DEAF?!?" he then barked.

"No, I heard you. You told me that you thought the bag was for me, but it was for the guitar. I don't know what to say to that; but it was interesting and informative, and I feel like I know you so much better now," I countered, noticing as I said it that he was glaring at me with rage in his eyes.

"What, am I f***ing deaf?!?" I echoed incredulously ...what kind of a thing is that to ask someone; what if I really was deaf?

"Watch your f***ing mouth!" he then said.

He was actually getting under my skin; and I started to anger. I was ready to pull out my cigarettes and light one; which I was 99% sure would produce a "Give me a cigarette!" out of him; allowing me to say something like: "They're just for friends and family; sorry...

We were right in front of the well lit; well patrolled casino which has cameras everywhere; even ones which have facial-recognition software running on them to ward off card counters and such; and I had a good mind to try to get him to boil over and maybe even swing his fist at me; whereupon he would be siezed by security.

He was apparently very angry because the rain had hurt his skeezing business; he couldn't pick butts off the sidewalk; his umbrella hustle had crashed and burned; and he was getting sassed by someone whom he deemed homeless; and who thus wasn't in the position to give anyone any lip; especially a hustler like himself who "runs" these streets.

I reined in my anger; thinking about the warm apartment which awaited me and the popcorn that I would eat as I worked on my computer and on my music.

He had been looking for a fight, for whatever reason. Maybe it was the easygoing manner which I exuded; having shrugged off being denied admittance into the casino, rather than having taken it personally and yelled obscenities at the security lady (which would have gotten me barred for life; probably like he, who would probably rather have been skeezing inside, where all the money is.

I walked off, insuring that he wasn't following me (he HAD seen about 19 dollars in my hand) and caught the street car.

The ride was free because the dollar bill accepting machine had been jammed with wet dollar bills.

I stayed up, working on things and drinking coffee, until 8:30 in the morning; slept until about 3PM, and here I am.

It is Friday.

I have been sober for 8 days now, and I came into town with about 17 dollars on me, after having stopped at the Dollar General and purchased a scrubby sponge, and some cleaning solution (which I can use on tubs, counters, floors etc.).

It seems like a ghost town, at this end of the Quarter; but that has never been a reliable indicator of how busy it will be at the Lilly spot, which is only 60 feet away from the "must see" tourist stop of Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern (the oldest bar in America...).

Let me run this through my formatting program and see if it changes the color of every paragraph and makes the first 3 words larger; and then get out there and busk.

It is in the low 50's temperature-wise.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Perl Progam To Automate Blog Posts

  • $12.40 Monday
  • $8.40 Tuesday
  • $23.37 Wednesday
I am testing out the Perl program that I wrote, which will format my text for me, so I don't have to do it manually.

This parapraph should be a different color than the previous one, with the color having been chosen at random by the program.

I still haven't worked in the feature which will choose a different color than the previous paragraph, but, since the colors are random, that should rarely be a problem, as they should rarely repeat, and certainly shouldn't for 3 paragraphs in a row.

Here is the code; in its infant stage: 

#use 5.010;
#while (!eof) {

#print '*span style="font-size: 175%"*'; --WRITES HTML TO ENLARGE TEXT
#@words = split / /, $paragraph; --BREAKS PARAGRAPH INTO INDIVIDUAL WORDS
#$x= @words; --COUNTS THOSE WORDS
#for ($j = 0; $j IS LESS THAN 3; $j++) { ---PRINTS FIRST 3 WORDS LARGER
#print $words[$j] . " ";

#print '*span style ="color: '; --CODE TO CHANGE  COLOR
#for ($c = 0; $c IS LESS THAN 6; $C++) { ---SELECTS 6 RANDOM HEX DIGITS (A..F)
#$color = int(rand 5) + 65; --MAKES SURE THEY ARE IN THE RANGE OF CAPITAL A...F
#print $hex; --WRITES THE COLOR TO USE
#}print '"(CLOSING BRACKET)*';
#print $words [$y] . " ";
#print '* /span** br/ *';


Monday, January 19, 2015

It's What's For Dinner (and lunch and breakfast)

"Have you eaten?" "Sort of..."
The following post, I wrote last (Sunday) night in the comfort of my apartment.

31 Dollar Friday

And, so it came to pass that I played a second   (Friday) night sober, putting in almost 2 hours and makng about 31 bucks.

I walked through the cloud of alcohol gas on Bourbon Street, with only the thought of coming back to my apartment on my mind.

I stopped for a pack of cigarettes, because I still had the urge for them, and was picking them up off the ground. I could at least try to gradually slow down on their known toxins without having to factor in whatever butts on the ground may be laying in.

In the morning, I counted about 30 dollars from what I had pulled out of my pocket and thrown upon the table which sits near the entrance.

I went and got the whisk broom and bottle of shampoo, washed my hair, and then defrayed the cost of those items by walking into the quarter, saving street car fare, getting some exercise, and at the end of which walk, arriving at Starbucks about 2 hours before their closing time. I spent the 2 hours doing yesterdays post.

Sidebar: Did You Know?

F.Y.I.: Using Bloggers "schedule posts" feature, I am scheduling posts, written to the purpose,* to publish well into the future, even 800 years from now.

*They will all begin with: "I'm dead now, but I just want to say..." and will touch upon such things as "I'll bet you've all got the whole world pretty screwed up by now, haven't you?" and "Ill bet that 'In The Year 2525' song, has made a recent comeback, hasn't it? Well, I remember the original!"

If I were to die today, I would have a nice story coming out this coming April, by the way....

And now, back to yesterday...

Inside McDonalds across the street from Starbucks sat David the water jug player.

"Aren't we living high off the hog," I said to him upon espying the salad type meal which he was devouring.

He greeted me with a smile, which only dipped slightly at the sight of the bottle of of apple juice that I was holding.

"Working on my 3rd day without drinking," I said, as an answer to that particular facial expression. I guess, to an alcoholic, it is like losing a friend when one of your "drinking buddies" stops drinking.

I had been carrying around a book that I finished reading, and one which David had expressed an interest in, after glancing over my shoulder once, as I read it, and perusing a few paragraphs. I had seen him on at least 4 previous occasions and had forgotten that I had been toting the extra 2 pounds of it in my pack for days.

What reminded me that I had it was the sight of a book which was laying on the table next to him entitled: "100 Successful College Application Essays" (right up my alley).

I gave him "Your Country Just Isn't That Into You," by Jimmy Dore, much to his delight.

Asking him about the one he had, drew forth the information of: "I read a little bit of it, and that was enough...I got what I needed from it."

I am now in possession of it; and readers of this blog will soon reap the benefits of the knowledge that I am sure to acquire in the art of writing essays well enough to get one into college; something that I'm not sure that 7 years in college did for me.

Then, David asked what has established itself as a routine question from him: "Do you have any hemp?"*

*A euphemism for marijuana, a plant which induces a hallucinatory effect, when smoked, or baked into brownies, or similar confections, and eaten.

I thought about the question for a second.

I hadn't eaten in 2 days; was living on apple juice; and hadn't had a drop of drink throughout the same span of time.

I rationalized that pot was not going to disqualify me from being sober of alcohol, and then came up with a further rationalization that I voiced to David as: "Yeah, the Native Americans used to prescribe pot as a treatment for alcoholism..."

Good enough for me.

No sooner had I said this than one of the pot dealers (the tall skinny black kid of about 18 years of age who wears either a red or grey hoodie) walked past, mumbling: " that good smoke..." as he did.

I was feeling good physically; a bit light headed, but it was a good light-headedness because it came with an increased energy level which made my whole body feel lighter. And, technically it was, after 2 days of juice fasting.

I gave David the hand signal of holding one finger up, to indicate "I'll be right back; I'm going to go with this guy to some discreet place where we can conduct some clandestine dealings."

I then followed the guy to what turned out to be an unoccupied booth a few feet away, where he broke out his stash, placed it in front of him on the table, not seeming to care whomever in the restaurant might glance his way (I'm loving it) and pinched me out a few buds. I thought, too late that I should have told him that it was to be shared with my buddy, meaning David, and he might have pinched out some more.

My only concern, which I told David about was that I didn't want to smoke in that locale, and then have to navigate to my playing spot 12 blocks away, with my mind wandering like a wild goose in the wind, and me stopping to have deep philosophic exchanges upon topics which hadn't even seemed important to me before I smoked, with everyone whom I met along the way. "It will take me an hour just to get to my spot."

The solution was that he was able to produce $2.50, and we were able to split the herb down the middle, with myself just pocketing my half and lighting out for the Lilly spot.

I got to the same juncture, where the choice is to turn towards my spot, or turn towards Sydneys Wine and Beer and Liquor and Cigar store, and found that it was a tad easier than on the previous night to make the left instead of the right, and I soon had the tiposaurs set up under the spotlight, and, only then did I fire up a joint, before beginning to play.

I was actually having fun, after starting out. If someone were to ask why I was busking, I would have told them just that; that I think it's fun to play the guitar and harmonica and sing.

The weed made it hard to focus; and made me more prone to only do a couple verses of a song before switching to another; myself deeming, because of what they call "distorted perception of time," that I had been playing the song for a long while at that point, and that I should switch things up.

The mindset made it harder for me to judge whether or not I was staying in tune, and the guitar having needing-to-be-replaced strings, tuned a whole step down, didn't help.

I was able to play the harmonica with the guitar in counterpoint to it -basically just high as a kite and wailing away- and one dollar bills began to trickle into the tiposaurus' jar, seeming to ebb and flow along with the bursts of energy which I was putting into the music. At one point, when I was "totally going for it," almost every tourist within a certain radius appeared to stuff bills into the jar.

The downside was that, after singing (pretty well, I thought) for a few songs, my throat became parched and I felt that my voice was on the verge of cracking.

I wasn't happy with the high notes that I tried to hit on "Comfortably Numb," (Pink Floyd) and found that I had just about run out of gas after having succeeded in sounding like Bob Dylan on "Like A Rolling Stone," complete with an all-out harmonica break, during which the dollar bills flowed.

I knocked off earlier than I would have, had I not had "cotton mouth," having added one 5 dollar bill, 16 ones, and 98 cents in change, to my coffers.

As I headed towards the street car stop, I was thinking that, along with alcohol and cigarettes, I will probably have to eliminate that (pot) too, in order to further my busking career. Or learn how to mix it into granola bars.

I would have saved $2.50, also, without it.

My first 2 days of playing sober had netted me about 54 dollars, for about 4 hours and 15 minutes of playing ($12.70/hr.). Considering that, on one of those nights the temperature was in the low to mid 40s, and factoring in that I now have very few "bills" to pay, I am happy with that.

Pot only makes one think that they are sounding great; the same way that it can make the music on the radio sound better. If that illusion is enough to make someone busk, when they otherwise might not have; then I guess it has some value. But, a Snowball microphone cannot be deluded into thinking that you are sounding great.

I feel that, in appreciation of the fact that I have come into a free apartment for life, with utilities paid, I have incurred a sort of cosmic debt, whereby the least I can do is remain sober long enough to record a fine CD, and ultimately funnel the money flow, which traditionally has spiked during such periods, away from my mouth, and into getting an amp and a microphone, a stand for the mic, and a little cart to pull it along in.

Those buskers who make enough to be able to rent a place all have such setups; and how cool would it be for me to be making enough to pay rent, yet not having to pay it? That would be kind of like retiring at the age of 52.

I might even be able to travel; always purchasing a round trip ticket to insure that, come hell or high water, I can make it back to the shelter of the Sacred Heart Apartments.

This (Sunday) morning, I worked on music; keeping an eye on the clock, so as not to miss my rendezvous with Howard, to watch the Patriots/Colts playoff game at a bar where I would sit and drink apple juice.

I had told Howard last week that he was welcome to come and check my place out. He reneged then, but said that today, he would take me up on the offer.

I thought that, after he actually saw the place, he would be motivated to take a few steps to get himself in. There is a McDonalds AND a Burger King 3 blocks away for christs sake!

CD Project

I am dividing up my CD project into steps.

1. Take a day to make charts for all the songs with the bars and measures and the chords mapped out, so that I can record an independent part and know where I am in the song, by following the chart, without having to keep the vocal in my head to guide me (or worse; sing along under my breath) and having to try to "guess" when the different sections come in, or where the solos are going to go, for example.

That way, I will not have to sing and play at the same time on any track; and can avoid conflicts when I mix down, like: Do I pull the midrange down to make the guitar more sparkly, which will make the voice sound hollow? Do I use "vocal reverb," when its a vocal AND guitar together, or "guitar reverb" etc?

That will also make it easier to leave room for (see #8 below).

2. Lay down a metronomic "click track," after determining the right tempos for each song (meticulously; as a tad too slow and the song drags; too fast and it "undrags") and measuring it out so that I will know that I got it right if the clicks stop when I stop on the last beat of the song.

3. Spend a week or so doing just guitar, in many takes if necessary; until the parts mesh...leaving them "dry" -no echo or reverberation or equalization, until I hear what they sound like juxtaposed against future voices that I add.

4. Spend a week or so doing just vocals and harmonies; a week of jogging in the mornings and drinking a lot of lemon honey tea; and warming up by singing along with my favorite records.

5,6,7,8. Repeat for percussion, bass, adding sound effects, bringing in (surprise) guest performers that I can hoodwink into coming to my apartment.

9. Spend a week or so working on the cover concept and art and writing the liner notes, giving some background about the songs, rather than just listing their titles, and visiting a place like Kinkos or somewhere that can turn it all into CD case-sized folding inserts, which I can stuff in the finished product.

Howard Turned Away

Sunday, I woke up and got some computer and music work done, and then pocketed my 40 dollars and headed for Filipis Taqueria, where Howard met me, and we watched the Patriots/Colts game on one of their TVs.

I was still on the apple juice diet, a juice not available at that bar/restaurant, and so, since I was sitting there and not ordering anything through the entire game, I felt compelled to tip the waitress a couple dollars as she came by to wipe our table off.

Howard ordered a basket of chips with salsa on the side and a soda (as he always does) and then periodically refilled the basket out of a can of Pringles cheddar cheese chips from out of his backpack (as he always does).

The previous week, he was spiking his soda with Tequilla, a pint of which he had in his backpack. I guess he doesn't always do that, because he wasn't drinking. He had become queasy the week before and had had to step outside for air.

Felippis has got to be the most tolerant place in the Quarter, to allow outside drinks and outside chips to be consumed right under their noses.

Maybe Howard thought it was my turn to supply the tequilla, but was understanding of, and a bit surprised over ("Is it really you?") my then 3rd day of sobriety.

He had his bedroll with him, as I had offered the week before to show him my place, hoping that it would spur him to talk to Vallerie about getting himself in there. The thought of sleeping where he does, in a tent in the woods by the river, really has become quite unappealing to me; and after only a couple weeks indoors. As "used to it," and "comfortable" as I had been when I was outdoors; that sure did wear off quickly.

And, so, I felt very bad when, after the game ended and we had boarded the street car and ridden out there, Howard was not allowed to enter the building for lack of a state ID card.

He has lost his, and is in the process of replacing it (you know, sending 40 dollars off to someone who will peck a few keys on a computer, then take the resulting copy of his birth certificate; put it in a 1 dollar stamped envelope, lick the envelope and then hand it to a mailman).

The slap in the face was that he DID have his Veterans Administration ID, but that was ironically not good enough to allow him to be admitted into the "housing for veterans" building. Not even with me there to vouch for him.

So, I turned to go into my warm apartment, after making sure that Howard had some kind of alternative arrangement.

He thought that he could still catch the last bus to Algiers, where he had locked his bike up, and where his tent was waiting for him. The contrast between our situations was stark.

"Maybe this will impress upon him a sense of urgency in trying to get into Sacred Heart Apartments; having been right on the threshold of staying in a 70 degree place, cooking his choice of food, eating popcorn which I was going to pop, and then sleeping on a real bed; then being able to hang around the next day (which is a holiday with the library being closed) reading; and then having the rug pulled out from under him like that..." I thought, trying to see the silver lining in the situation.

Howard was convinced that the security guards, two black women, barred him because he is white; and because they could...

"If the guards had been a couple of white guys; I would have been let in; I'm sure of it!" said Howard, before going off to catch the street car.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Busking Sober

The big issue of yesterday was the fact that I had gone on another Dr. Christopher juice fast the day before, and I knew that coming into the Quarter to busk on apple juice alone was going to be a challenge.

It is easy to sit in ones living room alternating between sipping apple juice and distilled water every half hour and meditating; and another thing entirely to come into the Quarter and go through a regular day and night.

I wasn't sure that I could, or would, do it.

I had only 20 cents on me.

Having only 20 cents on one is NOT enough to keep one from drinking.

I walked the mile and a half down Canal Street, and then found myself headed towards where David the water jug player usually hangs out. He usually has a pint of vodka or gin in one of his pockets.

I veered away, towards Starbucks, where I bought a lady her coffee off of my gift card, telling myself that it was for streetcar fare, should I not make any money at all and be faced with the same mile and a half walk; only through the dark; and carrying a laptop in my pack and a guitar on my back.

I made it past the Unique Grocery Store without spending any of the 6 dollars (it was one of those fancy coffees, skim mocha chai latte frappicino with caramel or something) on any alcohol.

The sight of all the drunks milling about that place was repulsive to me (do I act that stupid when I drink?) and there was a gaseous odor of alcohol which 2 days of fasting had tuned my nose to.

I got to Rouses Market, after having passed Christina Friis, who was singing on the corner of Royal and St. Louis, the spot which I had held for her Monday night.

She congratulated me upon my 2nd day sober.

I told her that I still had to make it past Sydneys Beer and Wine, Liquor and Cigar Store, before getting to my playing spot.

"Don't do it," she said.

Sometimes someone saying that evokes a reverse psychology, making me prone to go and drink because I feel guilty over having let the person down by going and drinking; even before I went and drank.

I got to Rouses Market, where I used my food card to buy a half gallon of apple juice -the good kind; not from concentrate and $4.59 per bottle- the brand that Dorise Blackmon drinks.

Then, as I closed the last 4 blocks to my spot, I decided that I was going to go to Sydneys and get a half pint of vodka to spike the apple juice with. That way, I would still technically be on the apple juice fast; and vodka is just made from water, right.

I passed the spot where John Patton the classical guitarist usually plays, but he wasn't there. It was cold; about 45 degrees. He doesn't drink, and I thought that he might offer me a word of encouragement or congratulations, or play so well that I would conclude that the true masters don't drink and play.

Then I got to the corner where Sydneys was one way and my spot was the other way.

I couldn't bring myself to turn right towards the vodka and walk the walk of shame, mumbling to myself some kind of rationalization.

I went to the Lilly spot and set up. I had brand new batteries and a brand new piece of cardboard with "The tiposaursus rarely bites on it," and I played for a total of about and hour and a half, fumbling over the chords and notes (one really does have to re-learn how to play sober) and made 31 dollars, which I pocketed and walked the length of Bourbon Street witnessing drunken behaviors and smelling booze on everyone.

I spent $1.25 on the street car and made it back home, successful in my endeavors.

This morning, I bought a whisk broom and dustpan and a bottle of shampoo.

Now, I go out and try to make it 3 days sober. My mental energy is coming back, along with my memory for lyrics and songs; and it is about 55 degrees out (10 degrees warmer than last night).
I look forward to doing some material that I haven't done in a while; and then recording some stuff at the place, and then meeting Howard to watch football at the bar...tomorrow.

Bars serve non alcoholic stuff.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Reality Bites

Housebound for a couple days, I have discovered that, in the quiet of the nights, I hold back on my vocals; creepily conscious of the people on the other side of the walls, and the security people in the hall, whom I can hear every time they sneeze.
I need to come up with a super-padded area.

And so, I left the jail about noon Tuesday

I had had 46 dollars handed to me, through the window, along with the rest of my property, in plain sight of a skeezer who was also being handed his property.

He immediately struck up a "friendly" conversation with me on how good it feels to walk out of jail and how it is hard to do so without a smile on ones face.

The amount of 46 dollars indicated that Christina Friis had given me 20 dollars for having held her spot, as I had made about 23 in the hour and a half that I played there. Not bad for a slow evening on a pretty empty Royal Street.

I next needed to find out if the police had indeed transported my stuff along with hers, to her apartment.

The skeezer and I stepped outside into the chilly air.

"Is there any way I can get a dollar from you?," he wasted no time in asking.

How can a guy who was just handed 46 dollars hold out on a fellow release-ee? We were brothers in incarceration, right?

"No, I need to figure out my expenses..."

"Do you have a cigarette?," he then asked; going down the skeeze list, checking each item off mentally.

"No, I have to go to the store," I answered.

"Oh, good. I'll walk with you; 'cause that's what I really need right now," he said, apparently taking a cigarette for granted.

It is that "taking for granted" part that bugged me; enough so that I said: "I'm just going to buy a lighter...I have cigarettes at my apartment, not far from here..."

"Oh, your apartment's not far from here?" he asked, his face momentarily lighting up.


I could almost see the wheels turning in his head: We go to the store, I buy a lighter, and then he "walks with me" to my place, where there are cigarettes and it is nice and warm and stocked with food and then..."What I really need right now is a place to crash, bro, I'm on the street..."

I managed to ditch him.

I then called Christina, who gave me her address.

I showed up, sipping on a pint of brandy, and got my stuff.

"Are you sure you didn't give me too much money?"

"No, I gave you what I felt it was worth to me to have the spot held," said Christina, through her perfect teeth (see below).

I then went to Radio Shack, where I spent about 7 dollars on 16 pack of batteries for my spotlight, which I would not use that night, because it would be cold and rainy.

The Tooth, And Nothing But The Tooth

And, because I had an appointment with the dental clinic at Healthcare For The Homeless, the next morning.

My Situation

Thursday morning I was up about and hour and a half before my scheduled appointment. It was raining pretty moderately; and pretty cold.

I had less than 5 bucks, after a night of not busking; and so I decided to walk the 3 miles to the dental clinic; through the rain. I wasn't sure which bus went there, nor where I could catch it, anyway.

When it came time for my teeth to be examined; all I could think of was that sound effect which played during the scariest moments in the movie "Carrie," the screenplay of which was based upon the Stephen King book of the same name.

Open (Your Wallet) Wide!

I had thought about recording that onto a small mp3 player and hitting the play button as soon as she said "Open wide," and I did so.

My teeth have always been somewhat of a mystery to me.

A diet which has kept me otherwise pretty healthy through the years, has not preserved my teeth accordingly. A dentist once told me something to the effect of "Just because you live on fruits and vegetables, doesn't mean you don't have to brush and floss religiously...fruits are loaded with sugar; especially stuff like raisins, which stick to your teeth and have concentrated sugars..."

"I thought that Jack Daniels was just as effective as mouthwash, doc..."

After examining my teeth then studying the x-rays, the dentist at Healthcare For The Homeless first asked me if I expected my "situation" to change.

It wasn't hard to figure out that she meant my financial situation.

She then gave me the contradictory information/advice that, I really needed to have all my teeth pulled out and replaced with dentures, but then added that "It's always better to try and save them, if at all possible."

If your situation changes.

I can't make a quick decision on the subject, and I think I am in denial right now; focusing upon every other thing on my mind and putting it on the back burner. You can't change your mind and have them put back in...

What if they (the dentures) are not the exact size and shape of my original teeth; and make me look like a woodchuck...?

Or, what if they are so "perfectly" shaped and so white that they look obviously fake from 2 blocks away...?

As a 52 year old, won't I walk out of the hospital looking like a 62 year old, automatically...?

What if they resonate at an odd pitch which would ruin my already challenged singing voice...or make every "s" sound like an "f"....?

She "referred" me to the University Hospital, so that I could set an appointment for the oral surgery, should I choose to go that route, because there are some teeth that cannot be pulled by the Healthcare For The Homeless people, due to the limited scope of their office.

When In Doubt, Procrastinate

My inclination right now is to just keep my existing teeth until they break apart and fall out on their own, or become unbearably painful and abscessed; at which point I can have them removed one at a time.

Maybe then I will be 65 years old before I cave in and get the full dentures.

That would give me another 13 years for my "situation" to change, while they work on newer technologies in less fake looking dentures...


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Use Christinas Amp

I Use Christinas Amp And Mic On Royal Street
I Go To Jail

I can't remember the exact order of events, but, Sunday night, as I was walking down Royal Street pretty much broke, I came upon Christina Friis, who was on the corner of Royal and St. Louis Streets.

We had a conversation, during which I agreed to hold that particular spot for her on the next (Monday) day. It was also agreed that I would be able to use her microphone and amp while holding the spot from 5 PM, when the gallery (behind her) closes, until around 7:30, when she would show up and take over the spot.

I stood and listened to her sing; she wanted to harmonize on whatever we could, which was a mild and pleasant surprise to me.

Click Hear To Hear Christina with none other than Dorise Blackmon

She is a real perfectionist; she plays with accompaniment from only certain musicians; and they basically follow her lead and are the types who become invisible by not making any mistakes; and not improvising; not taking any (chances, or) solos, unless they have already been worked out in advance, so that Christina knows exactly when to resume singing (and upon which exact note to start on; based upon the last note of the guys solo, etc.).

So her asking me to harmonize with her was a compliment to me; and we did a pretty "Amazing Grace" together; though, she was going through the microphone and I was about 3 feet away; so that my harmonies were subtle, to say the least; but that would be about the preferred mix between our voices in any arrangement.

She gave me 5 bucks as I was leaving; on my way to make about another 5 dollars on that cold Sunday night, which "died" early on in the evening.


I got there at the prescribed time of about 3 PM and was able to set up her mic and amp and play my guitar through it and sing.

Immediately a guy named Matthew showed up, who was about my age and who gave me cigarettes and drink, as we waited for "them" to conclude the shooting of a scene for "CSI New Orleans" or whatever the show that I have never seen is, on the next block, in front of the Supreme Court building.

People were not as interested in a street musician one block away as they were for watching that particular spectacle.

I managed (after they stopped) to move to in front of the gallery, where I played a couple of Beatles songs, and then switched to all originals.

At one point, a police car parked along the curb near me; and sat there, with the window rolled down on my side.

I had just started playing "Crazy About A Crazy Girl," and saw no need to stop, due to their presence. It's on of my better songs, despite some of the "raunchy" lyrics.

I had already garnered some tips after playing "You Are Better Than Nothing," a spoof on the Joe Cocker song "You Are So Beautiful," and "Not A Bad World," a spoof, in the same vein upon "Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong.

The cops sat there for a while, a veteran, whom I have seen around the Quarter, sitting in the passenger seat, and a rookie, whom I have seen on at least one occasion, behind the wheel.

The occasion that I saw him and which I can remember, was on the night when I was last incarcerated, in December of 2012.

On that night, he was working with another veteran cop.

When the "attachment" (or warrant) came up then, which I still have in Jefferson Parish (for trespassing upon the rail yard), he called it in to "verify" it; and thus guaranteed my trip to jail. I guess, once an attachment is "verified" and it is determined that the right individual is in custody; it is not going to happen that the officer will call back and inform them that he has decided to let the person go (he would probably have to give a good reason for doing so).

The veteran cop shook his head and told the guy: "There are other ways that we could have handled this..."

"But, I already called it in," said the rookie.

Well, Monday night, he (who apparently has a good memory) called me over to the car and asked: "Did you ever take care of that business in Jefferson Parish?"

I told him that the attachment had been there for 2 years, and that they have, on several occasions, said that they didn't want me to be transported over there.

They continued to sit there, with the rookie pecking away at his laptop, until finally I asked "Is it OK if I go sit back down and sip my beer?"

It was OK with the older cop, "But don't play, because he won't be able to hear his phone."

He added assuring words like: "You're alright, we're not worried about you..."

I sat there for a while; they sat there for a while. I even DID play another song after Christina arrived at about 7:20.

Then, she took over the equipment, and I was picking up my pack and my guitar and saying goodbye to her when the cops got out of the car and the rookie told me "Wait a second; we're not done yet."

Then, telling me "Let's take care of this now," and "Put your hands behind your back, please," he put the cuffs on me.

All the while, the veteran cops was assuring me that I would probably only be in for a couple of hours, because it was a 2 year old trespassing charge, and that they (Jefferson Parrish) would only fax over a court date for me, and I would sign it and be released on my own recognizance. "Then, you show up in court, and they will most likely dismiss it and take it out of the computer; then you can come out here and play your music without anything hanging over your head..."

Christina said that she would take my stuff for me; at the suggestion of the older cop, who said that it would speed up the process if I didn't have all that property with me. The property is held in an entirely different building, about a mile from the jail; and I would have to go there during business hours and pick it up the next day.

The older cop told Christina that, after he dropped me off at the jail, they would come back and transport my stuff to place, so she wouldn't have to tote it, along with her own stuff.

Christina handed me some money having held the spot for her, as I was being put in the back of the cruiser.

"This can go on my commissary account, so I can buy coffee," I said, to which the older cop reiterated: "No, I'm telling you; you'll probably be out in a couple hours!"

Well, it turned out that he was being straight with me, however, he hadn't known what I found out when I got to the jail to sit for "a couple hours," that the Jefferson Parrish offices were closed for the night, and I would have to wait until they opened in the morning and faxed my court date.

I lied down on the cement in the holding tank; using my hat for a pillow and glad that I had put on 3 sweatshirts over 2 tee shirts before going out that night.

The Thoughts Of A Man Sleeping On Concrete

I wondered about a few things.

Was it somehow related to the fact that I had just gotten an apartment and was no longer "homeless," and was now that much more likely to pay any kind of fine which might be levied (rather than abandon my nice place and skip town over 150 dollars, or whatever)?

Was it karma, or the gods way of saying: "Just when you think you have a cozy place to go to, life can smack you down at any time; and put you on the concrete floor of a holding cell, with your hat for a pillow, with you being woken up every half hour by another inmate rattling the cage and yelling for the captain to see if his people had posted his bond yet."?

Had Jefferson Parrish begun an initiative to clear up old warrants, beginning with the new year?

Had the cops thought that my music was interesting, and that I would add to the Royal Street atmosphere, and that it would be a shame if some other officers in a bad mood one night were to spoil it for me; causing me to lose my guitar and amp, or whatever might mysteriously disappear from the notorious property building?

Had I just made myself more visible than at the Lilly spot, by cranking my original music up to 80 decibels and aiming it at the posh Royal House restaurant (though I got good reactions from the staff working the front door)?  

Had the arrival of Christina given them the idea that they could then transport me, and clear up the warrant, without having to bring along the backpack, guitar, amplifier and microphone, stand and  stool?

I thought about a lot of things, laying there in the holding tank.

And, of course, I was not taking for granted that I would be out "in a couple hours," and the news that Jefferson Parrish was closed for the night came as no big surprise, because, more often than not, something comes up to complicate things in and around the justice department.

I also had an underlying dread that they were going to come and serve me some warrant from some place that I had never been in my life, telling me: "That's what the computer say's; we have to go by what the computer say's...If what you say is true, they'll straighten it out when you get to Fargo...but for now, you are being detained...."

That would not have come as any great surprise, either. I've had experiences with the law before....

to be cont.

Friday, January 9, 2015

40 Degrees

He's Back!

It is a little below 40 degrees, and I have decided to stay in my apartment; and get some reading and music practice done.
I am at Rouses Market, which is about .75 miles away, and I will probably pick up some more apple juice (the brand which is on sale at $1.19 per half gallon).

This almost dictates to me that it is time for the 3 day juice fast; and the cessation of drinking and smoking, which is part of the program.

I have no cash; and no cigarettes; but I will have a couple of gallons of apple juice and distilled water and a place which (despite maintenance struggling with the heat) will be at least in the 60's.

Tomorrow, I am slated to meet none other than Howard, at Fillipis Mexican Taqueria to watch the Patriots playoff game.

Howard is a veteran, also, and balked at the idea of trying to get a place at the Sacred Heart Apartments, because of the 30% of his social security which will be taken from him.

That amount would be about 170 dollars, we calculated.

"Why don't you sign up for food stamps and get 194 dollars per month, enough to cover that amount, PLUS put 24 dollars in you pocket, PLUS get you out of the tent that you sleep in along the Mississippi River, Howard?" I said.

More on Howard later....

I have a Starbucks gift card, which the Lidgleys sent me from London for Christmas, and, unless I can busk up some money during the day (which is forcast to be warmer) I might hang around there and ask people if I can put their coffee on that card, in exchange for cash of an equal or less (to make it worth their while) value.

The temperatures will continue to rise back into the 70's by Sunday, supposedly.

After that, I will be back in business; hopefully not drinking or smoking, and hence, not worrying about money accumulating. That has been a remedy for money woes every time in the past.

I have plenty of time for working on music and writing; and this blog should benefit in the coming days; as I have the opportunity to catch up on it; do "housecleaning" chores upon it, etc.

One of which will be to start replacing the old crappy recordings in the sidebar to the right with the newer "Snowball Era" ones that I am starting to put together, now that I have the leisure and the freedom from distraction of other people at my place.