Saturday, February 7, 2015

76 Dollar Friday

My 4th consequetive day without a drop of alcohol, I slept all day, having been up all night, writing yesterdays post, and drawing the cartoon that went with it.

Harmonica Convergence

I took the cable car into the quarter, on a mission to get a new harmonica, at Louisiana Music Factory.

They had mentioned a while ago that they were open until 10 PM on certain days; and Friday would, I think, be a prime candidate to be one of those days, but I also know that schedules change. If they weren't selling enough harmonicas and vintage vinyl records during the extended hours, they may have cut back to 7:30 as the closing time.

The thought of trying to play the blown-out B-flat harmonica on a Friday night when the Mardi Gras parades commenced, was what was driving me to get there before they closed.

The cable car driver ordered everybody off at the edge of the Quarter, due to the streets being barricaded for the Mardi Gras parades.

It hadn't occurred to me that the cable cars wouldn't run through the throngs of people more concerned with catching beads than staying out of the path of a 5 ton machine.

I got to the store at exactly 7:30, relieved from a distance to see the "open" sign lit.
Encounter Of The Tanya And Dorise Kind

I had passed Tanya and Dorise on Royal Street, and waved to them, whereupon Dorise yelled "Hi, Daniel!; and I walked across the street to greet them.

I had been avoiding them for about the past month; when I was drinking.

I found that I left them feeling worse than I had before encountering them; especially the times that I might have had only 3 dollars in my pocket and watched them make 300 dollars in the 20 or so minutes that I may have hung out.

I also gleaned that, like myself, they probably don't particularly enjoy talking to inebriated people; who tend to think that they are being jovial and humorous and entertaining, but are really just being obnoxious. Since I was generally plastered, I just crossed the street and walked past without even acknowledging them.

Then, I started to foment a kind of anger towards they who had been so good to me in the past; I was wearing the hat that they had given me as I walked past, not even stopping to greet them.

I was thinking things like: "I'm sick of their music; sick of their sound; they always use the same settings on their amps, never putting the equalization on anything but flat, all the way across. They never play anything original, never say 'This is one that we wrote'"

This is kind of mean; probably prompting them to wonder if they had somehow offended me; and if so, why couldn't I be man enough to hash it out with them.

What it was, was "sour grapes."

I was messing up, being sloppy drunk and playing below my potential and for shorter durations, because I just wanted to stumble home and pass out, and thus, making less money.

I was like the adolescent girl who "hates" another girl in her class because that other girl is pretty and getting all the attention; and tries to find fault with her. "..she paints her nails such a stupid color. She laughs at the dumbest things..."

After just a couple days of sobriety; I decided that I would talk to them the next time I saw them and tell them that I just hadn't wanted to be around them when I was drunk because I thought it annoyed especially Tanya.

Tanya doesn't always get my humor, but that is a cultural thing. Anyone who takes things literally is probably not going to get my humor. And when I was drunk, I interpreted that as "She doesn't like me."

But, on this occasion, as I raced against the clock, I just said "hi" to them and told them that I had to get to the music store in less than 15 minutes.

"That's OK," said Dorise. "We're just saying 'hello'"

Her tone of voice implied that, even if I am in a super rush, how long does it take to say hello? 
I Can "C" Clearly Now

The selection of harmonicas was limited in my price range.

I had only just started to see the fruits of playing sober with the 30 dollars I had made the night before.

I had 26 dollars and change, when I left the apartment, spent 86 cents on a tube of toothpaste at the Dollar General, and then a buck and a half on the street car which only took me 3 quarters of the way to the music store.

The harmonica that I got was in the key of "C."

I figured that one cannot go too far astray with that key, especially as a guitarist, because it can be played in most of the common guitar keys. And, to start off a collection of harps that I hope to augment to about 6 or 8 of them, it seemed like the practical choice.

I then reversed direction and walked the entire length of the Quarter again, only to arrive at a Starbucks which was closed, due to; you guessed it; the parades. I guess they didn't want 25 people using their restroom every half hour.
A New Coffee Place

It hadn't occurred to me that they would close early on such a night either.

Then, I started towards the Lilly spot, ruing the fact that I would be carrying my laptop around all night and not even getting to use it.

I encountered a guitarist on a corner, whose name escapes me, but who is a nice guy, and was genuinely glad to hear that I was now indoors. "It fills my heart with joy to know that you are off the streets and out of danger," he said.

Then, after mentioning my disappointment over Starbucks being closed when the subject of the parades came up, he enlightened me with "There's another coffee shop right down the street that's open, and they have wi-fi."
Saturday night at Starbucks, posting this...

It was a "duh!" moment for me.

Of course there are other coffee shops with wi-fi. I don't have a gift card to use in them, but, that's alright because I have cash now, because I don't drink. I had been so much in the habit of having to rely upon the gift card because I had drank and smoked up all my money, that it hadn't even dawned upon me.

I wound up at Community Coffee, one block down the street from the Lilly spot, where I spent myself down to 8 dollars with the purchase of a $2.49 "super grande" coffee; then plugged in and posted yesterdays blog post.

I only had 20 minutes to do so, because they close at 9 PM, but I accomplished it; and then was at the Lilly spot by 9:15, where I set up (with some difficulty with the spotlight, which I now have to smack in order to illuminate) and wound up playing for 3 and a half hours and making somewhere very close to 75 dollars.
A Surprise Reunion

One of the highlights of the night was the appearance of Matt from Sweden.

He and his partner, John, were the ones who had bought an old guitar from me, which had been stored at Dorise's house, then played a few songs on it, yielding about 12 dollars in tips, which they added to the 20 dollars which they paid me for it; and then gave me back the guitar before making their return to Sweden. This happened perhaps a year and a half ago, and is documented here in this blog. I think the title of the post is "How Swede It Is."

I astonished Matt by remembering a lot of the details, like what song they played and sang, and what song Tanya and Dorise had played for them, while they waited for me to trek to Dorise's house on Tanya's bike and return with the guitar. (They were playing "Dancing Queen," by ABBA when I rode up. It was a "Swedish" connection -always a connection with T&D).

I also astonished myself by remembering a lot of details; myself having huge gaps in my recollections; such as everything after 11 PM on nights when I drank; and "I have a pocket stuffed with money this morning, but I don't remember where I played; probably at the Lilly spot..."

Matt asked to play my new guitar, after I had told him the story behind it; how it was just given to me by a guy, after I had played something on it for him (Another previous post) and 5 dollars went into the tiposaurus' jar.

I knocked off at 12:45, went to Rouses Market for a half gallon of pineapple juice, then eventually found a cable car to ride home on. They were still screwed up because of the parades, which had been over for hours.
One Last Vice To Get A Grip On
I was kicking myself for having spent 6 bucks on a pack of cigarettes, and an energy drink which I basically consumed out of boredom. I could have gone home with 85 bucks to lay on the coffee table; but; the cigarette demon is still haunting me.

Tomorrow (Saturday, or today) promises to be even warmer, with temperatures in the low 70's.

I have a brand new harmonica, which I thought I played pretty well -I seem to have a steep learning curve on the things, and am starting to be able to name the notes that I'm playing, which definitely helps; since I already know the chords that I am playing under it- and I am looking forward to perhaps playing even longer than 3 and a half hours.

I should probably get a new spotlight, because if the current one craps out; I will be left in the dark, both literally and figuratively.

The "The tiposaurus rarely bites" sign got a lot of positive comments tonight, for example, and the spotlight falls squarely upon it.

Better To Lose Your Teeth Than To Have Your Whole Body Cast Into Jail

There are two things, at the other end of the scale, that are vexing me the most now.

The first is the appointment with the dental clinic this coming Monday, ostensibly to have a lot of teeth removed.

I'm not really ready to have them removed. I still have a lot of questions, like: What will happen if I don't have them removed?

And: What will happen if I do have them removed?

I don't want any kind of dentures to change the tone of my singing.

I don't want any deep rooted tooth decay to find its way into my jawbone, causing a bone infection in the marrow, resulting in my early death, either.

But, I just don't like the "irreversible" aspect of the procedure.

I'm sure that I won't be the first one who has shown up for the appointment wanting to reschedule it well into the future to give him time to think about it.

I might want to wait until I get a toothache so bad that I am ready to pull them out myself with pliers; then go there.

The dentist didn't mention anything life-threatening about leaving them in.

And, for my part, I haven't gotten online and read up upon teeth, and overall health. Probably because I just don't want to face the issue; as if the problem will go away if I ignore it.

I would also have to go by the VA and have my "primary care" doctor sign a release so that I can have the surgery done. This is because I checked off "chest pain" amongst the long list of complaints which can be checked off on the intake form.

The second thing is that, after spending that (January 12th) night in jail, then being released, but told that the warrant will remain active until I go to the court in Gretna, across the river, and have it dismissed or get fined or whatever; I haven't yet gone to the court in Gretna.

Now that I have plenty of bus fare, I need to do that.

I think I might be avoiding the issue; as if it will go away if I ignore it.

But, if that same cop sees me and wonders if I ever took care of it and gets on his little computer; it could spoil Mardi Gras for me.

And that's the way it is, Saturday morning, February 7, 2015

New Feature Added To Program: Word Count

At the end of every post; the program will now print "Words:" and then the number of words that you have just read. I will get it to put the comma in numbers over 1,000; but not right now, because it is Mardi Gras, and I don't have time to dig through the Perl reference manual.
Words: 2099


Anonymous said...

Always a pleasure meeting you. NOLA is quite Swede after all...


Alex said...

I know two guys who had all their teeth pulled, one had it done when he was in his 20s!

I'm sure it hurt bit long term they were both quite satisfied, bone benefit being a very clean mouth.

Harmonicas are maintenance nightmares, those little reeds always get particles etc stuck in them so you either learn to be a harmonica mechanic or you just go through a lot of them. Plus nothing screams "bum" like a harmonica which is too bad since it's a nice sound.