Monday, June 29, 2015

Snark Hunting

It is Monday afternoon, and I need to go into the Quarter and find David the waterjug player, to see if he has my Snark tuner, which I left last night on the sidewalk next to him in my haste to catch a trolley that had kind of snuck up on us.

I had tuned Davids guitar for him -the blue one which originated with Bilal, the gallery curator (above) -and had remembered to remove the tuner from it after I did so, but did not put it back on my own guitar before the trolley was sighted and I grabbed my stuff (minus the Snark) and ran to catch it.
I think that David the waterjug player would return the tuner to me and not try to sell; had he noticed it sitting on the ground after I ran off...
Although, I had gotten the Snark free, from Dorise Blackmon, I had also given David his guitar free; via Bilal.
If worse comes to worse, I will cough up 11 bucks for another one tomorrow; the things are very useful in noisy environments...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday At Sundown

It is about sundown.
My solar light has been charging.
He's a street musician who solves crimes, also...
They are about to shut down the computer room here, at the Sacred Heart Apartments.
This has contributed to the decline in the frequency of my posting here.
I can always prepare the post in my room on my laptop and then transfer it; but, a lot of times after a day has elapsed; whatever I had written may have become mute; been negated or have been rendered irrelevant by ensuing events....
And, so, much of what I write is not being posted, lately.
30 Dollar Friday
After another late start, I made about 30 bucks from between 11 PM and 1:30 AM

Friday, June 26, 2015

 31 Dollar Thursday
I went out Thursday; early.
So early, once again, that when I set my solar powered light up, it did not illuminate.
I made about 31 bucks, although I was not even trying to stay sober, and was just out there in case somebody requested a song which can be performed totally plastered.
I knocked off at about midnight, and went to Rouses Market for some catfish nuggets; and then to Uniques for more liquor and then to the trolley...
I actually gained about 15 bucks after having spent 6 bucks on guitar picks, 1 dollar on rolling papers, 4 on food, and then the trolley and the extra liquor....
My clothes are in the dryer now...
It is Friday, and I will play for at least 3 hours....

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yucca Root Day

My stalker is kind of hard to miss...
As I sit here on this early Monday morning, after having gone out and played, but having started late, around 11 PM, and having made 10 dollars to help defray the cost of the day; I think about the little bit of good bud that I have; the whole chicken in the microwave (on the defrost setting) and the little bit of whiskey that I have; and the leftover money from Saturday night, and things are not that bad.
$209 Saturday
Saturday night, I went out with my 2 day old harmonica and I played and I got buzzed and, at one point a guy sat next to me and listened for a while, at one point saying something to the effect that he was going to remunerate me for my service; and not to worry about that; and then proceeded to lay a 100 dollar bill upon the tiposaurus sign.
I stashed the thing in my backpack, making the casual comment to him: "...Don't want to keep this in plain view," and at the same time thinking about how phony the latest inception of the 100 dollar bill looks, and half expecting to dig the thing out of the bag when I got home to discover that it is one of those "fake 100 dollar bill" ads for a credit repair website, or something.
I got back at the music; and was only playing a little bit more inspired, at the thought that I might have a 100 dollar bill; when, about 20 minutes later, a young black guy laid another 100 dollar bill on top of what turned out to be only 9 bucks in my tiposaurus' jar.
It was a strange way to make 209 dollars, on what could have been just an 11 dollar night, minus a few zeros on a couple bills...
The analogy that comes to mind is the golfer who knocks the ball in the hole from 175 yards away with a 6 iron; just to save par. A strange way to make par....

Monday, June 22, 2015

Casaba Day

In the aftermath of the 209 dollar day; which was such a disappointment in its falling short of my record night of 213 dollars; I went and bought some dirt.
I bought some brandy; and then bought some good potting soil; mostly for the purple plant which is prospering so well in the little bit of dirt that I had situated it, rather hastily, in; that I have decided to give it a big pot with a lot of dirt.
I plan to stay in and record music tonight; try to take my mind off of the 400 pound black guy whom is there every time I turn around, it seems...
I ate a lot of yucca root last night; baked.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Some Great Amnesia's

57 Dollar Friday
(...though only at $14.25/hour)
Friday night, despite battling incapacitation by E&J Very Smooth Brandy, I arrived at the Lilly Pad so early in the evening that, when I positioned my solar powered spotlight in the vines above where I play, and put the switch on; it wasn't yet dark enough for it to light. It must have been only 7:15 PM.
Me, Saturday, June 20th, 6:45 PM (CST)
The light did come on, about 20 minutes later, after I had played throughout the interim and hadn't made anything.
I started to think, and to accept the fact that it might just be a slow Friday night. I was glad to have enough on me for the trolley ride home.
The tips started to slowly trickle in, and I had maybe 12 dollars at the first point when I felt fatigued, not so much physically, but musically.
I couldn't think of any song that I wanted to hear myself play.
I took a break and ran to The Quartermaster (where I caught Lilly and both of her daughters in the act of eating some kind of pastries off of a plate of them which they had just bought).
After an Abita Jacomo beer and about 10 minutes of rest, I was back on the spot and went for about another 2 hours, still feeling like I was leaving too early at 12:20 AM when the second wave of fatigue and not being able to think of a song that I, myself, wanted to hear; hit me.
But, I rationalized that I could hit Rouses Market before they closed, on my way out, and could purchase catfish nuggets, something that they frequently have marked down, with a florescent orange "today's special" tag on it, at that last hour before their closing.
I wonder if I could haggle the price down even more, at that hour, by talking to Tony, the manager....Come on, Tony, you know you're gonna just throw this away....
There was a time when Rouses Market would indeed "just" throw it away, where it could be retrieved by anyone from their waste bins, who had a flashlight and the humility to "fish" it out of there within the view of tourists and others.
57 Dollars
I had left the apartment with about 30 bucks on me, bought brandy ($4.35), a new battery for the Snark guitar tuner ($3.24), and all-day trolley pass ($3), a new harmonica ($11), and actually started the tiposaurus jar with the only 3 dollars that I had on me.
I was therefore happy to be stuffing a full jar of what I thought were one dollar bills into my pack when I packed up. I had been putting larger bills in my back pocket immediately upon seeing them in the jar; and I knew I had a ten and three 5's there.
after a pack of cigarettes ($6) and the beers that drank while on break ($4) and a ($5) bud off a kid who happened by and then putting ($6) toward the purchase of food, to save some of my food card; I got back to the apartment 15 dollars richer in cash, after having made the discovery of two 20 dollar bills in amongst the singles in the jar.
I had made 57 bucks, at the rate of $14.25 per hour. Not bad for being pretty well lit up on brandy. I knew that I was a little sloppy; but perhaps the brand new harmonic, plus the Snark tuned guitar were consonant sounding enough to have bailed me out a bit.
I now have the brand new harmonica, a full pack of butts, the bud and; while not too many great memories; some great amnesia's!

Friday, June 19, 2015

4:31 PM, Friday

47 Dollar Thursday

The 27 dollar Wednesday night was followed by last nights one and a half hours of playing yielding the above amount.
The dollars/hour rate has spiked above $20 the past week or so.
The only things I can attribute this to is either A: I have been lucky enough to have been visited by at least one generous tipper each of the past few nights.
B: I am playing with the attitude, which has been slow to set in, of "If I don't like what I see out here, I'll just get right back on that trolley and go home," and that has unwittingly aligned me more with the "just trying to knock back a few and enjoy my vacation; maybe sing 'Beast of Burden,' by The Rolling Stones at the top of my lungs at some point, you know..." attitude of the typical tourist.
C: The later time-slot that I have been playing due to mismanagement of time and the resultant "arriving late for work" that has been plaguing me lately is actually a more lucrative time-frame.
D: I'm finally getting the hang of the harmonic.

Now, I would like to go and get a battery for the Snark guitar tuner. It's one of those little round disk shaped ones and I'm hoping it won't be much at the corner store, where I will also grab a 4 dollar bottle of red wine, to hopefully shield me from cheap vodka throughout the night.

The full light of the summer solstice which is just a day away is charging my solar light in the parking lot right now. Having the thing (that I paid $10 for) stolen is one of my biggest worries. Not bad; when that is one of your biggest worries...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Saving Me For Last

27 Dollar Wednesday
I got an earlier start last night, although the clock seems to go into overdrive as soon as the sun goes down and as I aim towards an early start to playing.
I walked into the Quarter, even though I had 11 dollars on me.
I had blown off the idea of buying a new harmonica (no pun intended) as I had been able to play around the missing notes Tuesday night, and there were only a couple of times when they were conspicuously missing; when there were tourists listening. At those times I feigned to have just blown the notes out that instant, and said something like: "Damn, I just blew a note out; there goes 12 bucks down the drain!"
This was only a subtly "skeeze" towards someone throwing me a 12 dollar tip and saying: "Here, get yourself a new one."
I am actually becoming a better musician on the harmonica by dint of having to know exactly where the missing notes lie in the scale, which is basically teaching me the notes on the thing in a backhanded way. I have actually gotten to the missing notes through an ascending melody, and then made the decision whether to jump over them and play something on the very high notes; or to reverse direction and try to hear a descending melody in my head.
A note on that (excuse the pun again):
John Patton*, who plays classical guitar in the Quarter, and who used to play the French horn with the San Francisco Symphony said to me once that, to him, the true test of a harmonica player is what he does with the very highest notes.
I can see his point; the highest notes are the most unforgiving; kind of like; if a singer is a little bit "shaky" she is made into a contra-alto and not a soprano, nor even a mezzo soprano, because those notes need to be crystal clear, and you can get away with a little more, the lower you go. In fact, in tuning a piano "perfectly," the very lowest notes are flattened a hair (the very highest notes are sharpened a hair, too; but I shouldn't mention that here because it contradicts what I am trying to say -it's microscopic, anyway).
This is perhaps why Tanya Huang is prone to incorporate huge upward intervals in her melodies on the violin, which put them in a range which showcases her perfect pitch, like a gemstone in an illuminated glass case (or like a really high note that is right on pitch).
Tanya, Dorise and bodyguard guy
The highest notes are the attention grabbers, and bending them requires a whole different approach, and more practice.
*John Patton plays classical music which is compelling enough that I can stand there and listen to him, delaying myself from arriving at my own spot by at least an half hour.
I remember one such occasion when I stopped to listen to him and he was complaining that he had only made 23 dollars after about 3 hours of playing. I finally said: "Well, I had better get to my spot and start playing," which I did.
I broke the guitar out and started to play the Eagles song, "Best Of My Love," and was thrown a 20 dollar bill before the end of the second verse. I thought about John at that point, and how unfair the world is...
Then I thought about how the latest Lady Gaga CD is almost 20 bucks, while you can find the complete Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach for under 7 bucks; and I plodded on with my Eagles and Elton John songs. Who am I to judge the world?
I made about 27 bucks last night, along with free drinks and an offer of food, which I turned down due to food allergy issues.
Most of the money came from one guy who sat and talked and listened for over an hour. In fact about 23 of the 27 came from him. I guess that is my hustle -the one guy who sits and talks and listens for an hour.
He is very often on the last day of his vacation, I have noticed; saving me for last, perhaps LOL!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It Pays To Just Show Up

16 Dollar Tuesday
Last night, time got away from me; and it was almost 10 PM as I began to walk (to save the $1.25 on the trolley) to the Quarter; getting about a half mile away when something told me to check to see that my guitar pick was in my case. It wasn't.
After going back to get it; and then stopping at The Big Easy Market for a half pint of vodka and an Arizona Energy drink to pour it in; it was just about 11 PM when I sat down to play.

Along the way, I was kind of depressed over the prospect of playing the same old songs again.
Being a drinker again has sapped the extra energy which used to go into learning at least one new song per day to feature at night.

A lot of times that was as simple as opening the Beatles complete book and finding the one missing chord to a song that I otherwise knew. "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," being an example.

The good news is that my solar powered spotlight floods me with a nice 5 foot in diameter circle of light.

And, I somehow made 16 bucks by playing for just one hour, starting at 11 o'clock.

Now, it is a day later and I am just barely in a better position, about to leave at 8 PM, to make the same walk...I could spend all my money on a new harmonica and have a good chance to recoup that money in the same night, but that would entail walking all the way to the music store (an extra mile round trip) without any vodka to fortify me along the way....

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's 6 In The Morning

and I have never been in this computer room at the Sacred Heart Apartments this early in the morning;
But, I played that late last night, missed the last trolley to my place, and hung out with people whom I don't recall the identities of now, such was the incline of our partying.
Despite not being sober, a state in which I had commonly decided to extend my playing time into the wee hours in the morning, producing usually a boon in money; I played until about 1 AM this (Sunday) morning, and then took a break, and during the break asked myself if  after a break I would be ready to play some more, since there were swarms of people and since I had just knocked off out of fatigue, which could be cured by a short break...
I went out and played again from 1:30 AM until, hell almos 4 and I had so much money flowing that I just was stuffing it in my bag out of sight.
Now I am home and the computer room is already open for the morning, it being after 6 AM;
I am going to go and cook and eat everything in sight.
I miss Karrie a lot, lately; especially when I am in the Spanish store, Ideal Market, I miss her a lot.
She has her own Unity housing unit now, and I haven't seen her....

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Cycle

I have run myself to the bottom of the cycle, after having started to drink again, after the 18 day juice fast.
Eating whole chickens now; how the mighty have fallen...
At first, of course, I had so much reserve energy that I was performing well; but then, the gigs became shorter; and then finally, a few nights were taken off because it was sprinkling lightly outside and I was already about halfway through a pint of liquor, and so now I have spent all my extra money and will go out sober and play.
Then, I will probably start the tedious discussion of "1 day sober," "2 days sober," etc. but will be blogging more and making more sense, albeit while sounding like the Boy Who Cries Wolf.
"Come see me after you've got about 3 weeks sober in," said Johnny B. once, while complaining that he just couldn't work with a drunk. Not many heroin addicts can, perhaps...

The past few stretches of sobriety have run 18, 17 and 12 days; with the 26 day one a distant memory.

However, the juicer has had a positive effect upon me; and I really do feel healthier when I drink fresh juice and get fresh air and exercise.

I just need to convince myself of that.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Eating Myself Out

of house and home.

The juicer, is a

$8.95 used
+$5.75 shipping. No tax
item, I just found out, (by Googling "cheap juicer Junior," which was about the best I could supply from memory) and I have, of course, paid $14.99 + tax for one at the Goodwill.
I Could Have Had A Cassette, Too?!?
And if the one listed and ostensibly shown to the right, which is available for $8.95, actually comes with the cassette -also shown-
...."Hello, and thank you for your purchase of a Juiceman Jr. juice extractor! 
Welcome aboard the Juiceman express to better health, more vitality, exuberance and an overall more positive experience of the universe.
You have taken a bold step forward in your quest for exuberance and vitality; and, despite that there ain't no way that a guy on food stamps, for example -we just throw this in as random catharsis- could ever keep himself in fresh produce for a whole month off of the food stamp money; without, perhaps cutting back on the purchase of other various and destructive things; and after he becomes spoiled on fresh juice will no longer enjoy the taste of any of the much more affordable bottled juices on the market, which used to be a blessed relief from more terrible and mucous producing foods; and will become a slave to the Juiceman Jr., and will prostitute himself out in front of produce stores in good time "I just want it for carrots, can buy the carrots for me, that would be fine; you don't even have to hand me any money; just buy me the carrots..."
But, for those of you who can afford a $5 tall glass of grape juice every time the urge strikes; welcome aboard!!!"
I don't have a cassette player. 

Juicing is healthy and damned expensive. 

The Juiceman Jr. juicer was designed, actually, by disgruntled engineers, who had gone through college dreaming of working in the aerospace industry (or something) but who had become abased to the point of engineering juicers; and as a consequence, have "flipped the bird" to those "health freaks" (who just need a good steak with mashed potatoes and a cold ale right from the tap; and to get laid; and they wouldn't have to spend no 
$8.95 on no juicer) by making it so that cleaning the juicer almost requires specially engineered tools to get into all the spots where mango pulp gets into and wants to dry into a crust that may not be possible to remove without cracking the plastic and effectively destroying the juicer, should you leave it in there.

Left: I defend myself on the way back home from the Spanish store down the street each night by picking up a weapon while there.
The weapon can subsequently be juiced and used either topically as a skin balm; or drunk with vodka to, you know, help all your "insides"...

The juicer should be cleaned immediately after its use. This requires a modicum of discipline in the juicer, who may be craving a fresh glass of juice, but knows that he is going to have to work for a good 15 minutes at the sink to clean the thing after drinking it.
The thing is as noisy as a loud vacuum cleaner.
A loud vacuum cleaner which has just sucked up something that won't quite fit through the hole to the bag and is rattling around like the Dickens.
"Rattling around like me now...what the f***!?!
A screaming match between a stubborn piece of carrot and the steel blades is the midrange; and the bass is the vibration of the thing on the counter top which uses the cabinets as a speaker box and really shakes the house at 3 AM, especially.
"Why does he have to friggin' vacuum is rug at 3 AM!?! God, is everyone crazy in this friggin' housing project?!?" -either the guy to the left of me or the one above me.
Well, out of time.
The Reason Why I Haven't Posted As Much Lately
is the new computer room schedule:
Open when I am either asleep or making a made rush to go out and work; closed otherwise.
They should sell pressure washers as a sideline and market them as juicer cleaners.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Turn On The Juice

Vicarious Thrill Day
I made only about 5 bucks Friday night, after having returned from the Wal-Mart where 5ths of tequila were on a certain discount cart at 6 dollars each.
I was unable to turn on the juice, I grabbed a bottle.
And the stuff is not bad at all; comparable to Jose Cuervo.
I am waiting to go see the horse race somewhere, hopefully at the store down the street.
I now have a solar powered light, which was the main objective of my mission in going to the Wal-Mart.
The light is charging in the courtyard here -stuck into the ground with the handy plastic spike base in use; with its considerable (4" X 4") solar panel skyward, to catch this almost summer solstice sunlight.
I had trouble figuring the light out, and the staff at Wal-Mart took the easy way out and bullshitted me about the light.
I bought the first light Friday, and then went outside the store and concealed the thing in a spot where it would be getting direct sunlight for the hour or so that I was to go back into the store to grab produce and a 10 pound bag of potatoes.
When I checked the light, after almost 2 hours of sunlight, there was absolutely nothing coming from the L.E.D.
I argued that, if the battery had gotten any kind of charge at all, should I not see at least a feable glow.
"It takes about 8 hours to charge," said one particular blue shirted, name tag wearing very heavyset Wal-Mart employee, taking charge.
"Unless there is some kind of gate which keeps the light off until the charge on the battery reaches a certain voltage," I said.
I switched the light out and only this morning discovered that there is indeed kind of a gate which keeps the battery charging as long as there is light hitting the photo cells. When I placed my hand over the solar panel, effectively blocking out all the light; the spotlight came on, and was pretty bright.
So I figured the light out without the help of the Wal-Mart guy whose department "that is."
If I see him again I will fortify him with the knowledge of how the lights work. They only work in the dark; unless you cover up the photo cells, pretty cool. I hope none of these skeezers steal my light from where it is innocently charging in the courtyard.
So, now it is out in the yard charging, and will continue to do so all the way through the horse race where history might be made...
Now that I think of it; history is made every second; just boring history that nobody cares about. I just scratched my head. That was history.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Photo 221

  • $15.42 Tuesday
  • $23.75 Wednesday
  • Going Out Imediately

Add caption
My caseworker, Tim, gave me a jump drive; so that I can keep pictures of myself, like picture #221 (right) coming.
I'm going out; in another 4 hours, my food card gets charged and I will be able to put my newly acquired juicer into motion.
I am looking forward to cucumber, carrot and a dash of tomato juice.
I really hope they didn't screw up my card over my failure to appear at the Job1 class; only becoming exempted from the program after the fact...We will see...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

No Time To Post

Someone stole my flash drive out of a computer in the computer room here at Sacred Heart Apartments.
It wouldn't have been there if I hadn't stepped outside just before 8 PM to have a cigarette, during which time the door automatically locked; locking my flash drive in the room, which wouldn't automatically unlock until 6 PM.
Already sold for narcotics....
Then, if I hadn't stayed up drinking rum and orange juice until passing out at 4 AM, I still could have gotten the thing when the room opened.
My blog backups, pictures (mostly of myself) and some stuff that I was planning to read, about water fasting and yoga and things will probably be over-written with Huey P. Newton videos.
That's life.
I will need a new (5th one now) jump drive, now.
After going to the Job1 place and giving them the letter, which I had paid 10 bucks to have notarized, and becoming exempt from the "mandatory registration" in the program, I went next door and found a juicer.
It was about a 35 dollar job, and was marked "$14.99."
I snapped it up and brought it home, where I now wait for food money on my card, so that I can start juicing carrots and apples and kale and cabbage et. al.
Now I half expect that the lady who runs the job class will never get the memo stating that I am exempt and will report me as AWOL and they will cut my food money off, and it will take me about 5 weeks, and probably having an additional letter notarized, in order to have them turned back on.
I am going out to busk for produce money.
Next on my shopping list, after a jump drive, might be a set of weights, at least dumbells...