Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If They Had Been Luckier

It is Wednesday afternoon and soon, I will walk the 2 miles to the Lilly Pad and play for food, and strings.
I was up early this morning, after having gone to sleep early Tuesday night, after deciding not to go out and work Monday night, making 2 days off in a row. This is a habit which is starting to creep in.
When I was homeless, it felt silly to sit there under the wharf, when money and everything else was just a 5 minute walk away; I had established a rhythm in which busking every single night was a part.
Monday, I had woken up with about 15 dollars, down from 26 the day before.
I had spent the whole 26 Saturday night, before I even got to the Lilly Pad, but managed to pay back some debts in the process.
Then I made the 15 bucks, spent Sunday up listening to football, then went out Monday and found a bottle of cream sherry on the discount cart at Rite Aid for $3.50, and wound up staying in and sipping it and toking the bud that I had gotten Saturday night as part of my 26 dollar spending spree.
I made some interesting recordings.
I am continuously adjusting and trying different approaches to recording music.
At first, I wanted to just set the Snowball microphone in front of me and sit and play, as if I were on the street, in order to capture my "true" sound.
This led to difficulties with microphone placement, and situations where the guitar and voice were on the same track, and thus, couldn't be treated differently. A long echo might suit the voice, but make the guitar sound like there is another guitarist a block away, competing.
Then, the problems with doing the tracks separately are: When playing the guitar, one has to kind of sing along silently, in order to know one's place in the song, yet, the ability to tailor the guitar part around the voice is lost; hitting a chord extra hard to punctuate a certain word, for example is something which is hard to be aware of when overdubbing a vocal later.
I have discovered another "effect," included in the Audacity program called "repeat."
Now, I can play through a chord change, taking care to get it just right, then use the repeat effect to make it repeat for 12 minutes? and then instantly sing over it on a separate track, while the groove is fresh in my mind. This kind of frees up a portion of the brain which can be put to the task of improvising new lyrics. Then both tracks can be treated individually, with the voice maybe getting delay and reverb and an EQ boost in a certain range, while the guitar can be put through a phaser, or something.
I have also decided to sit and write pages of lyrics, in free form prose, without the melody of the song restricting things, and then to warp the words to fit the melody later....
I am learning from Elvis Costello, and now Prince, in regards to musical approaches.
There are so many. One can just start with a bare rhythm, composed of drums and hand claps and whatever else is lying around, and then construct a song around that. I think the Talking Heads would nod their heads to that.
Tuesday morning, since I was up at 5 AM, and since I had always wanted to play on one of the off ramps of the interstate, like I used to do in Florida, and since I wanted to go to the VA building and inquire about dental treatment, and that place is a couple blocks away from the off ramp of the interstate (where skeezers have worn smooth a spot from standing and holding their "anything helps" signs) I arrived at the corner of Tulane Street and the offramp and began standing there, jamming on the guitar strung around my neck and the harmonica.
It was before sunup, and in about an hour and a half, I had made 13 dollars, with two 5's in the bunch.
It was not like playing on the ramp in St. Augustine, Florida where I made 63 dollars in one hour, and then 38 dollars one other hour. Of course there, the cops will shoo you away as soon as they see you, so playing more than an hour becomes risky.
On this ramp, a cop stopped right in front of me at one point and only smiled.
The idea is that, people are supposed to honk their horns with their arms hanging out their windows holding money, because of the fact that I am actually doing something other than holding a dumb sign. I suppose it worked, to the tune of 13 dollars in about an hour and a half, yet, I think the motorists are just jaded by the fact that they see someone there every single morning; and some of them have been "stranded" for years.
If I try the ramp again (and at 6:30 in the morning it's one of the only games in town) I will make a sign with the outline of the state of Louisianna and then an arrow pointing to the outline of the state of Massachusetts; and I will try to help my cause in going to Mass. to attend my 35th high school reunion. I think some of my former classmates who are now financial advisers or lawyers need to see an example (me) of how things could have gone for them if they had been luckier.

Monday, September 28, 2015

On The Seventh Day, I Rested

3 And Out

Bottle Smashes Dry Spell
I took Sunday off, after having stayed up all night, and then continued to stay up all day listening to football broadcasts and then having recorded music into the evening, broken only by stopping to eat a whole hen, or "pollo entero," from the Ideal Market; along with a "3 days of sobriety smashing" bottle of red wine.
I hadn't slept in 24 hours and it was Sunday and I decided that I wasn't going to play that night, but would rather record music; and a bottle of red wine just seemed too much fun to turn down.
The recording came out just fairly well, and I deleted it this (Monday) morning, but not before jotting down some of the better lyrics that had come spontaneously, and making note of which songs I did, so as to keep them fresh in my mind, and on my plate, so to speak.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lentil Coconut Soup

3 Days Sober In Books
Now, it is early Sunday morning.

About The Cartoon
The cartoon was done off of a tiny photo that a young lady took of me off of a very small, yet Polaroid camera. It was about the size of a bar of soap and the picture that came out was a little bit smaller than a bar of soap.
I became impatient after about 3 hours of working on it, as evidenced by how I just drew "anything" to represent my left arm. Fingers take a long time and I had about had it at that point. I can always load it into Microsoft Paint and fix the arm and hand. Or I can bullshit some artistic reason for it being that way.
Saturday morning, I arrived home and prepared and ate the coconut/lentil soup. I would have to say that my reaction to the dish is mixed. I suspect that the yin and yang of mixing lentils with coconut milk is perhaps not an optimal formula.

I was still up when the sun rose this morning, and decided to stay up and listen to the LSU vs. Syracuse college football game, which was being broadcast over the local radio station, and which was an "early" game, a phenomenon that was augmented by the fact of the one hour time difference between here and Syracuse, making the kickoff of the game within a couple hours of the time that I had decided to snap my radio on, to see what they may have been saying about the games on the morning sports show.

I had gotten a newspaper, to go along with coffee and coconut lentil soup, and its sports page had peaked my interest in the LSU game.

I learned that Syracuse has a long tradition of excellent football programs and can boast Jim Brown, Jim Nance, and Larry Czonka among its products.

I was also intrigued by the local announcers forgone conclusion that LSU was going to win the game, touting the talent level of the LSU players as being one of the best in the nation, and repeatedly stating that Syracuse just wasn't a very good team (compared to them).

The point spread in the paper had LSU as a 24 1/2 point favorite.

This was such a classic setup for an upset, that I couldn't pull myself away from the broadcast as LSU repeatedly shot itself in the foot by committing penalties, and Syracuse hung in tenaciously.

The "LSU football network" announcers, at one point in the second quarter actually said that in their opinions, LSU should be ahead by at least 14 points at that point in the game, being that Syracuse was not a very good team. They had won their first 3 games, but they were over teams with names such as "Central Michigan," and "Wake Forest."

So, I was hooked into listening to the game and secretly rooting for Syracuse.

It kept me up until about 2 PM, when I finally went to sleep and slept until almost 9 PM, about a half hour before I usually try to start at the Lilly Pad.

I had paid Howard back 2 dollars out of the 26 that I had left from Friday, night, spent another buck and a quarter doing my laundry as I listened to the game, took the trolley into the Quarter, spent 2 bucks on an energy drink, ran into David the waterjug player and tuned his guitar; and bought a 5 dollar nugget of bud when a guy walked past with such while I was doing it; then ran into Tim the violin player, whom I repaid the 5 bucks that I owed him, and finally made it to the Lilly Pad, but not after spending 7 bucks on a pack of cigarettes that had me starting out with about 7 bucks.
A reprint of "Turtle On Its Back On The Rim Of A Volcano"

17 Dollar Saturday

Getting to the Lilly Pad at about midnight, and playing until about 1:45 AM yielded the above amount. I spent about 6 bucks on food and returned here on the trolley; past 3 days sober, now, and with plenty of energy for writing and cartooning.

You've just read: 573 words.

Up To 1826

  • 34 Dollar Friday
  • 50 Hours Sober
I suppose if 13 days was a relatively abbreviated stretch of time for me to have gone from the commencement of drinking, to quitting once again in disgust over having become broke and depressed, then 2 days of sobriety have brought about an equally quick return to normality.

I woke up for the final time at 7 PM in the evening, after having been up the entire Thursday night, dealing with the insomnia which typically comes the first few nights that I am not heavily sedated upon laying down.

I wrote yesterdays blog post on my laptop, and then alternately watched episodes of "The Shield," a TV show that I have acquired the entire 4 seasons of, on my hard drive, and read a James Lee Burke novel, called "Last Car To Elysian Fields," which is set in New Orleans, and in which a certain character has an apartment not far from the Lilly Pad, on St. Ann street, near Basin (the guy gets "whacked" in about the 12th chapter) and reading an American History book that I have on my bed, which is quite comprehensive and almost the size of a bread box, commensurate with that fact.

I am up to 1826, and John Quincy Adams has just won the election over Andrew Jackson. I will have to slog my way through about 30 pages devoted to just the Civil War, but look forward to eventually getting to the final chapter, which introduces Lady Gaga, complete with color photos (it is not your grandfather's American History book, almost as big as a breadbox).

I was still feeling kind of depressed when I got up at 7 PM, but a cup of oolong tea got me motivated enough to run my data stick up to the computer room to post to this blog, and then out to the parking lot to grab my 2 solar powered lights from where they had gotten a good dose of radiation over the day that I had taken off, plus this day.

I then embarked upon the 2 mile walk to the Lilly Pad, with about 48 cents on me; driven by will power alone and without the incentive of "that first half pint of whiskey to get me going" waiting for me on Royal Street.

I arrived at the Lilly Pad at about 10:20 PM, set up my extra bright spotlights, placed the remains of a Monster Energy drink that I was drinking, by my side and started playing.

I could almost sense that it was going to be a pretty good night. As per my voice being a bit tight from having taken one night off from performing, the tips kind of croaked their way into the tiposaurus jar, and I had enough of a constant audience so that it was almost an hour before I deemed it prudent to even stop for a few puffs off a cigarette.

Then, along came a couple who sat on Lilly's stoop and who said that they had last heard me a few weeks ago when I had been somewhere along in the 24 day stretch of not drinking.

I had a feeling that they may have been disappointed in me, should I have had to report that I was back on the juice, but I was happy to tell them that I was sober, even if only on my second day of being such.

Another group came along and seemed to enjoy the Bob Dylan song that I played; tipped me well, and then one of them asked if he could play my guitar, and I would accompany him on the harmonica.

We did a rendition of "The Joker," by Steve Miller (in the C harmonica-unfriendly key of E major) and soon there had gathered a small crowd across the street of what turned out to be the group that the guy was with, in town together for something.

They made the unimaginative request for the ubiquitous busking song, known by traveling kids and guitar skeezers worldwide, which was written by Bob Dylan, but popularized by a group which plays the same guitars missing a string and banjos missing a string and tambourines missing a cymbal, which are fit for the likes of the ensembles of traveling kids and skeezers worldwide (called "The Old Crow Medicine Show," I believe...although it might have been "Mumford and Sons,") called "Wagon Wheel."

And, lo and behold, it was in the perfect key for my garden variety harmonica (and would have been even if it had been missing a note) and we nailed it to the satisfaction of his group of friends and about 10 of the 34 dollars which I would end up making went into the jar afterwards.

Another guy came along and sat and talked (for a little bit longer than the 4 or 5 dollars that he threw me warranted, but I enjoyed the conversation, and am equally at fault for starting a new thread of thought just when he was shaking my hand and telling me how he had enjoyed our conversation and was about to leave -my mention of the fact that I had just discovered the music of Tori Amos led to an additional 10 minutes of him gushing over the talents of that lady, especially her live performances).

It was a successful night.

I stopped and spent 75 cents on a Friday paper, 2 bucks on a bottle of iced tea, and then just missed the next trolley when I was inside CVS, getting a small jar of instant coffee, and so just decided to forego waiting a half hour for the next one, and instead spend the half hour walking home.

I fell in with a couple of young guys who were locals, but who also didn't want to wait for the trolley, who lived near me and who were in the movie industry.

We talked about movies, with them basically telling me that I hadn't missed a thing during the 19 years (from 1996 when I took a date to see "Waterworld" in Jacksonville, Florida until the recent past when my caseworker Tim unloaded a variety of movies, old and new, onto my hard drive) when I watched not a single movie.

"I see all of these tabloids in the checkout isle in the supermarket and realise that I have never even seen Angelina Jolie, nor Tom Cruise, nor Brad Pitt, nor Demi Moore, nor Johnny Depp; in "action," I said.

"You haven't missed a thing...just mass produced industrial garbage that cost millions of dollars to make yet fails to invoke a feeling in the moviegoer...plenty of explosions, though..." said one of them. He said he was into some kind of Italian art films "shot without actors, but just using scenes from real life to tell a story" (or words to that effect).

I parted with them at The Big Easy Market, where I bought a can of coconut milk for $3.26, bringing my total expenditures for the day to just under 8 dollars, and then I came here, where I have lentils slowly simmering and waiting for a coconut milk bath, and where I sip coffee and write this, not nodding off and drooling on myself between gathering my thoughts for the next sentence, and not kicking myself for having put tomorrows trolley fare towards the overkill of one more half pint of whiskey that I will only remember upon seeing the empty bottle sitting somewhere in the morning.

Postscript: The lentil/coconut soup is not bad, but needs one more ingredient; maybe some zesty Indian spices.
You've just read: 1277 words.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Why Work?

Afraid Of The Quarter
1 Day Sober
It is Friday morning and I stayed in last night and watched a bit of football with Howard, not drinking anything but coffee, making that first step of a thousand mile journey by passing my first 24 hours sober, in 13 days of what I wouldn't exactly call a "drinking binge."

But by the same token, it seemed to take less time to return to the point where all the familiar symptoms came back -such as loss of interest in busking on any given night at least an hour earlier than would normally occur, along with the desire to just knock off, then go home and binge on some ill advised choice of food, such as a whole hen, baked and consumed before passing out into a low quality sleep, replete with nightmares, which I would wake out of in the morning (which would be the late afternoon) in a depressed state of mind, feeling like it was already time to go out and do the whole thing over again, after what felt like a 15 minute break (where did the time go?).

But not before staring at the ceiling for a while, contemplating things such as how meaningless my life would have turned out to be, should my heart stop at just that moment.

And then feeling the pressure to come up with that first drink to "get started," knowing that with first sip, the clock would begin ticking down to the moment when I would quit, due to moodiness over lack of tips coming in, or the perceived sloppiness in my playing -the two going hand in hand- and the day would end with a feeling that unfinished business was piling up; books I want to read, songs I want to write and record, laundry and housecleaning, etc., until the point where it would become overwhelming and I would become paralyzed, for not knowing where to start, nor being able to discern what is most important.

Things Piling Up On My Plate

Two weeks has passed since I got the toothache, which I deemed at the time to be bad enough to warrant numbing it with the liquor that started me back drinking.

The pain has gone away (it may have just been from a piece of popcorn which got jammed into a cavity) but it will never entirely leave, and if I keep procrastinating, I might find myself in the emergency room with the whole side of my head swollen up, kicking myself for not having taken care of it by scheduling an appointment with the "dental care for the homeless" people, and then waiting the 2 or 3 months to be seen by them.

It took very little time, in this slow season in the Quarter, for my cash on hand to dwindle down to an amount that had me opting to walk the 2 miles home from the Lilly Pad, spending the trolley fare on one last beer for the night; one which did little to make me feel any happier; just more hungover in the morning.

And, of course other phenomena, which seem to only occur when I am drinking reared their heads.

For one, the universe seemed to be playing jokes on me, as I endured the series of slow nights when the choices between walking Canal Street at 1 AM, sipping whiskey, or riding back in the comfort (and safety) of the trolley were at odds with each other; and I chose the former, in the rebellious spirit of one who isn't going to let the universe or anyone else tell him that he can't afford another half pint of Heaven Hill.

And, my "favorite" music, rather than giving me pleasure, made me feel inadequate (could I ever harmonize like Prince?) and I couldn't relax and listen, because I was constantly analyzing it; and looking at my guitar more like a cross to bear, rather than a beautiful instrument that I had a unique ability with.

So, this is my take on things as I work on yet another "day 2 without drinking," and work off some of the energy that I am already feeling imbued with, after just skipping one night of intoxication.

And, yes, people have asked me if I have ever considered going to "meetings." One lady named Rose, who lives here asked me that Thursday night when I encountered her in the smoking area, after I had staggered home, stopping for a half pint at the Big Easy Market which depleted all but 44 cents of my money, but I don't remember much more of the conversation.

I do remember her asking me to play something and her seeming impressed by my rendition of "Daniel," by Elton John, despite the 2 or 3 times that I forgot the next chord and had to excuse myself for being so drunk.

You've just read: 802 words.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alcoholic Logic

It's 10 before 7 and I am writing this in my room so that I can run it through my Perl program to format it and count the words.

I still need to improve the program so that it puts the comma in counts that are over a thousand words, and so that it bold faces names of persons, places and things, such as Lilly, the Lilly Pad and Bourbon Street -basically every word that begins with a capital letter will become bold faced; something that I have to do manually now by highlighting the word and then clicking upon the "bold" icon.

I am listening to "Southern Man," by Neil Young (a song name which the program will automatically italicize soon) which is on my special list called "must learn busking songs."

It, of course, like all Neil Young songs can be learned "in five minutes," but not really, because the "magic" of Mr. Young's compositions are in the fine details which put his signature on the song.

I once had a friend who totally trashed a band that he heard because they did a George Thorougood (sp?) song called "(Don't give me no lines and) keep your hands to yourself" and they didn't sing the little "no hokey pokee see (until I get a wedding ring)" in the same falsetto way that George did on the record. "That's the only reason I like that song," said my friend, Dave LeClair. And that was the only reason the band had wasted hours rehearsing that song.

A busker can fall into the same trap with the deceptively simple (3 chords) Neil Young songs, by omitting that part where it goes ♪♫ right after he sings about bull whips cracking, for example.

It is now 7:24 and I will soon have to process this text, put it on my data stick and then run it down to the computer room.

Then, I will re-enact last night, by leaving here with just enough money for a half pint of cheap whiskey, provided that I walk the mile and a half into the Quarter, rather than riding the trolley in. This will take about 20 minutes longer to do, and that will lose me an average of 7 bucks from lost busking time; all for a $2.50 half pint of whiskey...but, it makes sense according to alcoholic logic.

15 Dollar Monday

6 Dollar Tuesday

Monday, I made 15 bucks in about 2 hours, but then spent a lot of cash for food, in order to spare my food card, which is down to about 15 bucks with 12 days left in the month. Cigarettes and a trolley ride with one last half pint of whiskey had me waking up hungover and with just enough money to repeat the process Tuesday.

Tuesday, I walked past Jay the really loud singer, who exibited a 100 dollar bill to me. "Look what I got," he said.

It turned out not to portend good fortune for me, though, as I made 6 dollars off of not many more than 6 tourists who walked past.

Now, it is Wednesday, and I repeat the process, hoping that one of these nights I will have a breakout night of more than 50 bucks, and will be able to get caught up on a few things.



Troy: Recipient of my slide

I gave my slide to Troy, who plays on the corner of Royal and Iberville, right outside the Mr. B's restaurant, where both of Lillys daughters work as greeters, or something; and where she hopes they will be in positions to be married off to rich men; a desire that Lilly makes no bones about harboring.

I stopped and jammed with Troy (whom I am confused with often, due to his wearing almost the same hat, and looking like I might look in 10 years [if I don't get my act together])

He plays slide almost exclusively, but had lost his, or gotten it stolen. I only used mine to add slide parts to some of my recordings, but hadn't worked it in to my busking routine. They are only about 7 bucks; and Troy was very appreciative.

You've just read: 693 words.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Busking For Ones Dinner

Monday night, I got into the Quarter and was getting off the trolley just as another musician, who usually plays on Royal Street across from the Hotel Monteleone was calling it a day and getting on the thing. An omen?
He plays the spot where Johnny B. used to play when he was here. He is apparently still in New York.
The spot, which used to be Johnny B's has had its gate closed, so one can no longer go into the alcove where Johnny once stood, and where skeezers skeezed and left vomit and dog food behind. The blues guy just sits in front of the gate (obstructing the sidewalk to a degree).
He is only about 20 years old, uses open tunings and just kind of slides to each open chord without much trickery.
I walked a pretty deserted Royal Street and got to the Lilly Pad at about 10 PM, and played for a couple of hours and was happy to make about 15 bucks.
I had started out with nothing at all, after having made 25 on Saturday and then watched football with Howard on Sunday instead of busking. I paid Howard back 7 of the 12 dollars that I owed him, then ran to the store for a 4 dollar bottle of wine in time to hit the Ideal Market, where I unloaded another 5 dollars on food, while putting the balance on my food card. A pack of smokes, a trolley ride and a half pint of whiskey had me starting out broke on a Monday night.
I did learn a bit about the effect of interacting with tourists when, at one point, after hearing the piano guy inside Lafitts playing the oft requested "Piano Man," by Billy Joel and seeing a couple young ladies approaching; I broke into that song and substituted something like: "It's 11:30 on a Monday...the regular crowd is home in bed..."
Which caused them to stop and throw me 2 or 3 of the 15 that I made in the entire 2 hours.
I made it to Rouses Market in time to throw 5 dollars cash on some ground turkey, frozen condensed grape juice and a can of Becks beer, putting the balance of about 3 dollars on my food card. At this rate, the food card will run out with about a week left in the "month."
I guess there is something exciting about literally busking for ones dinner.
A pack of smokes and a trolley ride had me arriving home with provisions but just enough cash to do the same thing in about an hour: starting out with an empty tip jar, but with fully charged spotlights, new strings, cigarettes; and whatever else I might find just laying out on Bourbon, as I will walk that more direct route to my spot, for that very purpose.
I usually walk Royal Street in order to avoid skeezers. Out of sight; out of mind. They won't think: "Hey, why don't we try jumping him?" if they never see me.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pee Wee Revisited

I notice that the African Americans around here tend to focus upon upon whatever objects one has on his person rather than meeting the persons eyes.

On my way back from the store last night, where I had gone after watching football with Howard, I passed a black man, who was seated on the steps in front of the Eat Well Market.

I'm sure that he scoped me out as I approached, in the manner of sizing up that is commonly practiced by urban types; but as I walked past him I saw that his eyes fell upon the bottle of wine that I was drinking from and had in my left hand, followed it for a second or two and then his gaze switched to the bag of groceries in my other hand, before he snatched a glimpse of the tell tale rectangular protrusion in my left pocket, which could only be a pack of cigarettes.

His face wore a hostile expression. Either because he knew through experience or word of mouth that he would be wasting his breath trying to skeeze me; or because he is laboring under the disillusion that everything comes easily for us white people; and the fact that I had a bag of groceries, a bottle wine and cigarettes just fueled his resentment of myself and the unfair system that we live in.

Some people are going to find something to hate you for, even if they have to look for a minute.

I have detected a tone in the voices of some of those who say: "Give me a cigarette!" which seems to imply that giving them a cigarette is the least that I could do to right some invisible injustice.

I can remember the first black people that I ever really encountered, who were not the hand full who lived in the predominately white city where I came from, whose behaviors had been tempered in an effort to fit in.

It was in Army basic training, when I was 19.

During one of my forays into San Antonio from nearby Fort Sam Houston, I found a photographers shop, the owner of which did a thriving business in creating portraits of soldiers.

Since us soldiers were only in town when not in training, and would invariably be wearing civilian clothes, the proprietor had a whole closet full of military uniforms which could be donned by whomever was sitting for a portrait.

I'm not sure if he had the olive green shirts of the lowlier enlisted soldiers available; but the demonstration photo in his front window portrayed a highly decorated officer from the Green Beret battalion, complete with medals on his chest and, I think, captains bars on his shoulders.

I suppose any rank higher than that would belie the age of the 19 year old private who was shelling out for a professionally done photo of "himself."

It was suggested by the photographer that I don the very same uniform, and so I did.

"It doesn't matter that I'm just a private?"

"No, this will make a good picture. You'll be a General some day!"

To get back to the point:

When I returned to the barracks, where I cohabited with a group which was at least half black men; the first blacks that I had really met in my life; and I was showing a few of my friends the portrait of myself in the Green Beret digs, and it was garnering some admiration, I noticed that one of the young black kids was staring at the picture with that same mixture of contempt and envy that I see echoed in the faces of a lot of the black men around here.

Another, probably more "worldly" black soldier noted this and, laying his hand on the kids shoulder, said: "You can get one of those, Pee Wee (as that was the kids nickname) You can get one too, if you want!"

It had never dawned upon me that Pee Wee could have thought that such a thing was beyond his reach; unavailable to him -Just go to the same photographer and have one made of yourself. What's the big deal? I thought.

That incident opened my eyes to the existence of another world (outside of the city where I came from) where black people may have become conditioned to think that nice things were for whites only.

But I can't help think of Pee Wee whenever I walk past a black man with contempt and envy on his countenance; whose eyes don't meet mine, but rather survey whatever I might have in my possession.
If and when they say: "Give me a cigarette," I think I will take a cue from the other soldier and reply: "You can get some. Just go to that store over there, they'll sell them to you, too. This is 2015; your money is just as good as mine!"

That ought to save them the trouble of looking for a reason to hate me.


The photographer said that he would keep copies of every photo on file (until the end of time) in case the customer ever wanted copies.
I have often thought that, If I'm ever in San Antonio, I'll see if the guy is still in business and maybe try to get a copy of the thing. Even though he did some kind of silk screening, soft focus hocus pocus on the thing and my eyes came out looking too blue (they are actually hazel).

You've just read: 828 words.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Have The Dream

I had the dream again where, in the dream, I lose either my guitar or my backpack, or both.
It is a very detailed dream where I am in the society of what I would have to call "dream skeezers."

Last night's version, which took place around 3 PM, after I had gone back to sle
ep for about the 3rd time, after wakening, realizing that I had brought home about 25 bucks after Saturday night, had coffee and cigarettes and a half a bone of the "purp" and then gone back to sleep, lulled by a feeling of security.

It was also Sunday morning, and a football day, with Howards apartment only 100 feet away, and equipped to display CBS' broadcast.

The dream, this time was of losing both my backpack and guitar.

I was somewhere where there were other musicians skulking around. It was a dark place, the whole dream taking place at night and characters and places emerging out of the dark, so that they could be geographically miles apart, yet only separated in the dream by spaces of total darkness.

Every other musician in the dream was of the traveling kid type and a lot of them had guitars, but they were all of the cheapest brands.

I asked one what kind of guitar he had and went to look at the name on the headstock, as if to answer my own question, and, just as I was seeing that the "name" on the headstock was like some crudely carved hieroglyphic, which in dream-speak said" Cheap ass starter guitar from Sears from the 1950's or something" he started to say: "It's just a cheap knock off of a....."

Well, in the dream, I first freak out because I realize that I had placed my guitar down, rested on my backpack and then had drifted, maybe 15 feet in the dream, away for whatever reason and the guitar and pack had become enshrouded in darkness.

As I step closer to try to discern them, I am in a different place, but I remember where I had placed them, and I rush there, becoming relieved at first to make out a guitar resting on a pack as I approach, but then having this feeling morph into dread as I realize that it is not my Takamine and it is not even in my gig bag (it is in a gig bag with the same symbol on it, the logo of the makers of the cheapest ass musical gear on the planet) and I frantically begin to look around for either my guitar, or some skeezer making off with it.

The whole dream kind of goes like that, existing in an environment where one cannot literally turn his head on his stuff.

And finally, realizing that both were gone, I start to lament the fact that the Takamine would be about 300 bucks to replace, and I make a mental inventory of the stuff in my pack.

I even thought of getting a job as a dishwasher for a couple months, maybe, to save up to replace the guitar; thinking that I could get an even better one; but knowing full well what kind of hell it would be to go through the whole process of filling out an application at the labor pool down the street; etc.
Why I didn't just put the stuff on my back in the dream to safeguard it is probably the conflict which I need to resolve in the conscious waking state.

It is Sunday night, and when the computer room closes in 15 minutes, I will go to watch football with Howard.

I have drank the past 8 nights now.

I don't really feel like drinking now; just watching football and sipping coffee and running out for a half a cigarette every commercial break.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Night Football

3 Dollar Wednesday

I am taking the night off to watch football with Howard.
I probably won't drink; after the past 6 days when I have been; after the 24 days that I quit.
I have less than 5 bucks on me, and there is a correlation there, somewhere.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2 Dollar Monday

Monday, I ate a good meal of coconut milk with stir fried Oriental vegetables, pureed ginger, and red wine to wash it down.
I felt a little lethargic as I walked into the Quarter, just to save $1.25.
I had woken up with about 20 dollars, which was in my pocket.
I immediately ran into David the Water jug Player, who was, as is typical with him, looking to score some weed.
He had a half pint of vodka that he was working on, but no weed. He has his priorities, I guess.
We were able to find a Rasta guy who sold me a dime, which I shared with David, but not with a guy who happened to stop and strike up a conversation right when I was rolling the doobie. His timing was suspect and it had "skeeze" written all over it.
There were hardly any people on the street, and when I got to the Lilly Pad, I might have played for 15 people in the hour and a half that I did; netting two one dollar bills from them.
It is now Tuesday, and I got a half hour jump over the previous night, when I had run to the store for a bottle of wine and the food which dragged my energy level down after I had eaten it.
Tonight, I have about a half hour on this computer; and I need to try to download some classical music (It came to mind that, within the 9 days of music that I have on my hard drive, there is no opera, no Bach Brandenberg Concertos, and no Mozart Requiems or Handel Arias...)
I will go out and basically repeat last night, and hope to recover some of the money that I had spent on light bulbs and bath salts and a long shoelace that I needed to tie my backpack shut, replacing the one that had snapped.
Mundane expenses that only a responsible individual makes provisions for, rather than swilling down every cent of available cash.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

$18.40 Per Hour Saturday

Two and a half hours, beginning at about 10:30 produced the above amount.
I was most happy because I was playing for my own enjoyment; as soon as the first 10 bucks went into the tiposaurus jar, I relaxed.
I completed my second day of drinking with a bottle of wine.
I had been working on day 25 when, on Thursday I got a toothache, and was scheduled to watch the Patriots game at Howards apartment.
The two factors, pain and football, combined to throw me off the wagon...for now...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day Off

I just had a nice freaking out.

My laptops desktop screen has a slide show of photographs of myself, mostly head shots.

I have become accustomed to seeing one of the 10 or so photos of my face upon closing any and all windows and returning to the desktop.

Well, I had been watching an episode of Twin Peaks, and had paused the thing in the middle of the thing; probably so that I could jump in a bath that I had recently poured, before it cooled down.

I paused it just as they were in the middle of showing the face of a dead man, actually just an actor with gruesome makeup on his face and playing dead, but an actor who looks just enough like me so that, when I closed the Audacity program and there appeared the actor who looked just enough like me and was made up to look dead; I was freaked out for a second with part of my brain telling me that I must have returned to the desktop which shows a slideshow of me; and I have died in one of the photos.

I also thought for a split second that the mob was sending me a message; and wanted to be more high tech than putting the severed head of a horse on my pillow; so they chose to hack into my laptop and plant a picture of me, touched up in Photoshop so as to look dead, to warn me of something (stay off of the Quartermaster playing spot, perhaps).

It took me about 85 milliseconds to recognize the frame around the photo as the one which frames the media player; and to realize that I had not returned to the desktop which has the slide show of my faces; and another 20 milliseconds before I remembered that I had paused the Twin Peaks episode; right at the part where they were showing the face of the dead man that the protagonists were just discovering, right along with the home viewer; thinking that it was as good as any a spot to pause it, as it is the climax of the episode and, most assuredly, was immediately followed by a commercial break, returning from which would probably bring the viewer to a scene where the yellow tape is up and a forensic team is gingerly removing the body of the actor who looks enough like me to have freaked me out, who was playing dead.

In the background would be the squaking of police radios, and it would be at that point that the forensics team, as a stress reducer and an aid to coping with their jobs which bring them face to face with grizzliness, might make a joke.

You know, the dead guy has on a Celtics jersey and the first technician say's something like "What kind of sicko would do something like this; kill a guy with a phillips head screwdriver?!?"

And the second technician say's: "I don't know. Maybe he was a Lakers fan..."

Hillarity like that; then they cut to the next scene; probably the detectives standing around a map and poking a pin into the spot where screwdriver man was found.

The rest of the episode would be the dramatic unfolding, or the resolution (but not the complete resolution because there are more episodes to come) and I figured that, after unfolding in a hot bath, I would watch that.

It didn't cross my mind that it would freak me out when for a second I would think that one of the photos of myself had died; the mob had left me a high tech warning; and then but the scariest thought of all: I really look like that; and just hadn't looked at the photo really well.

Now, it is Tuesday and I haven't slept yet. I want to stay up drinking coffee and reading and writing and recording music, lately.

With me working on my 22nd day of sobriety, and not feeling destined to spend money on booze, I can afford to spend more time on those things; and by using my food stamp card to defray the cost, can stretch the 47 bucks that I made the last time I busked, for a few days of studio time.

I now go to see about messing with a recording a bit and then putting it on my flash drive so I can bring it to the computer room and try to upload it onto this blog.

I think it's about time for something recent.

You've just read: 763 words.

Go Fish

47 Dollar Sunday
I just invented an exercise called "the mattress slide."
It works like this: I grab my mattress and slide it forward, using my arm and shoulder muscles, and then pull it back towards me; it is just heavy enough and there is just enough friction in trying to move it back and forth over the box spring; that it is a great arm and shoulder and forearm workout.


I just placed a 17 fluid ounce bottle of olive oil, and a can of coconut milk on my kitchen counter; this after having poured a mug full of instantly brewed coffee out of a saucepan in which I had brewed the very item on my stove top; and had taken a sip off of the brew and then instantly spat it onto the floor and some of it on my socks.

I had ignored the fact that the pan with the water and the two heaping teaspoons of instant coffee had sat on the burner on a setting of about 6 for maybe 2 or 3 minutes and had not come to a boil, the roils of which would have alerted me to the danger; but I really wasn't thinking, I was daydreaming, after having walked the 2 miles home after having missed the last trolley because I sat with a guy named Joe, whom I met at the spot where I played tonight, and we talked until just about exactly 1:50 AM, acording to my phone, and this is just about exactly when the last trolley departs from Royal and Canal Streets.

I didn't burn my tongue; but I would guess that the coffee was about 170 degrees; not quite as hot as the stuff that comes out of a car radiator when it boils over, but hotter than chicken that has been cooked to the recomended temperature of 165 degrees, according to a meat thermometer.

I have a good sized bottle of "agave syrup," which has the information on its reverse label that it is x times sweeter than sugar. I know nothing about this syrup which comes from Mexican blue agave plants; and I can't Google it until the computer room opens in the morning; but I do remember flipping through one of those health related "Prevention" type magazines in a waiting room or something and seeing some kind of article which bashed a whole lot of sweeteners; and recall a heading to the effect of "why agave syrup is even worse," but I gambled upon the purchase of a bottle because I am lacking any kind of sweetener, and I am planning upon mixing up a bunch of oolong tea and sweetening up half gallons of it to take along when I busk. That would kill a lot of birds with one stone.

I will be getting the "liter of oolong tea per day" which Japanese tradition prescribes as a cure for eczema; and I will be getting the caffeine which is one of my best friends as I busk without the company of alcohol; and I will be saving what I spend per day on energy drinks (minus the cost of mass produced oolong tea) will wire me up so much that I will pull the head off the first bird that I see...

13 Dollar Saturday

Saturday (last) night, I did make 13 bucks in about 2 and a half hours; after the night started out eerily similar to Friday night, when I didn't make anything.

There were swarms of homosexuals, all apparently so into each other that they didn't even seem to see nor hear me.

Luckily a couple of them, who were not really tricked out in Village People mode, but still spoke with lisps; stopped by me and gave me the first dollar of the night, which was already a half hour old for me.

I had stopped playing and was just sitting with my guitar. I had made a sign which read: "Can I at least have one dollar for the whole weekend?" and that is what they were reacting to.

I had planned upon altering my approach for this Saturday night, after having laied a goose egg the previous night.

I was going to try to engage as many of "them" as possible in conversation and ask their opinions about why none of "them" were tipping me.

"I don't know; you should play" said young gay number two, and I decided to take his advice; and am pretty sure that is where the 13 bucks stemmed from.

Not Counted Yet Sunday

I took all that I had learned from the 13 dollar Saturday and modified, or tweaked if you will, my approach further for the night that I just finished.

I noticed how most of my tips came after things had quieted down and people were able to hear me from up to 15 feet away.
Queer Acoustics
The sound of 150 gay guys in one place is loud enough to spar with the volume of an acoustic guitar, and even after Lafitts turned off a loudspeaker which had been aimed toward the street, the din of gay conversation was something that I should have been more proactive about and I should have moved further down Bourbon Street to katty corner of The Quartermaster, which is well lit and heavily trafficked and has been packed to the gills with "them" all weekend.

It wasn't until the throng, some of them in thongs, thinned out to about 75 queers that I started having people actually stop and listen.

One couple, a tall thin young black kid, and another heavyset young black kid, who was sitting on the curb so I couldn't tell if he too was tall; asked me to play "Best Of My Love," by the Eagles in its entirety; after I had played only a section of it and then blasted a long harmonica solo which never came back to the song.

Another guy sat on Lilly's stoop and said "That was awesome," after I did "Like A Rolling Stone" by bob Dylan, with a mad harmonica solo. *note: Rolling Stone Magazine lists "Like A Rolling Stone" number one on its list of "The 500 Greatest Rock and Roll Songs Of All Time, by the way.

So, I interacted more, and I gleaned a connection between the ambient volume and my success with just an acoustic guitar and my voice and my harmonica. Even though the harp might cut through, without the backing chords; who the hell knows what it was saying....


So, tonight, on the last night of the Southern Decadence Festival, I headed into the Quarter at a reasonable hour, thinking that if the participants had been saving their money for the last fling, then they might fling me some; especially if they had seen me each night, but not heard me singing verses such as:

"Oh, that magic feeling...a guys d*** up your a**!!" -From "Queers Never Give Me No Money (they only walk by in funny ways, yeah) -which I only broke into after 3 hours of playing and not one tip Friday night. (a great display of self discipline on my part to go that long, I thought.

Learning from Saturday night, I went down to the corner opposite the Quartermaster and set up under the light of an art gallery window.

It was so quiet, compared to the Lilly Pad that it was like singing in the shower.

I got many tips and many complements; and nods of approval from the staff of The Quartermaster, whom have seen me walk in almost nightly with a guitar on my back and with whom I have had several interesting conversations. I had made probably about 25 bucks between 10 PM and 11:15 PM, when I knocked off, feeling as though I had just finished a blistering set and needed a break, to go to Rouses Market to get food for the day, along with olive oil and blue agave syrup.

I planned upon returning to the Quartermaster spot for another set, which would run from midnight until at least 1 AM, when that store closes.

Back to the syrup, quickly: I think the article in the Prevention type magazine was bashing the syrup because it's "even worse than sugar" in the department of keeping weight off of the obese people that might be reading the magazine. I think they were arguing that it somehow was easy to binge upon; to consume more of it in order to get the same sugar high. Anyways, I bought some.

When I was in Rouses Market, Tony the manager and Gloria, an employee were working by me, as I fished for my dinner among the fresh fish for sale; and one of the pedicab drivers, a young guy with curly hair and an almost European style and manner about him, said hello, knocked elbows with me "I would shake your hand but mine are all grimy" and told me that he had heard me a lot and that I was an asset to the Quarter and one of the reasons that tourists come here to see and hear interesting things.

That was cool to have happen within earshot of Tony and Gloria.

The whole staff at Rouses kind of warmed up to me after the last night, probably a year ago now, that I played the spot in front of it.

That spot is the equivalent of "Boardwalk" on the Monopoly board. Playing there, I kind of feel like I would if I was allowed into Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play, to toss a baseball around with a buddy. You know; slide into home base...have your buddy throw one that you can catch on the warning track, or better yet, have to jump up in front of "the green monster" (the wall in left field which is painted green and over which historic home runs were hit) to snag.

While I didn't have the volume that time to match a Doreen's Jazz Band or a Tanya and Dorise, I was heard by Tony, who had stepped outside for a smoke; and I had a group of 3 or 4 young tourists sitting in front of me.
Go Fish
To finally address the heading of "Go Fish" above: A guy walked up around 2 AM, after I had played for 2 hours and done pretty well; most notably when a group of about 6 young people who looked Indian or Pakistani walked up right after I had smoke a bud that a guy came by and sold me for 2 bucks, and was doing one of my latest originals; which is a reworking of a song called PaulaLution Number 9; which is something that I recorded the first demo of before I had the Snowball microphone and that I am redoing, having become enamored of the original recording through repeated listening that have allowed me to hear the song through all the noise.

It is a rather crude song about a time that I was invited by my sister to her house when I was about 19, and wound up alone there with one of her friends (named Paula, you guessed it) after she ran out on some kind of errand. I strongly suspected that that arrangement was planned by my sister and her; as a means of helping me out of my then virginity.

Paula was drinking.

At the time, though, I had something really important like a job interview to attend to, and could only stay for a short time.

Paula's reaction to my departure fed my suspicions; she acted surprised and kind of disappointed...

And that is what the song is about, and it is pretty graphic; and I had a real decision to make when the group of young Pakistani's formed a semi-circle around me with smiling faces turned my way and dollar bills going into the tiposaurus jar; should I continue to sing about losing my virginity; or switch up to something a little more "popular."

I decided to switch to some pop and was able to get a couple more 5 dollar bills and a few ones from them with a Cat Stevens song and a Beatles song, both of which they seemed to know and sang along to. I couldn't imagine them singing along with "f***ing Paula..."
So, this guy walks up around 2 AM and asks me about the sharks around my tiposaurs jar. I explained that they make the artistic statement that; where there is money there are figurative sharks circling it.

Then he asked about the tiposaurus and I explained that it looks like it is guarding the money in the jar against theft; but that he "rarely" bites those that are adding money to the jar. I further explained that the use of the word rarely is meant to instill fear into the tourists that will think: "rarely, maybe, but that means that it does bite" and to dare them to tip me, if only for the thrill of it and the satiation of the inner daredevil in all of us.

His name is Joe and we then talked for a while, touching upon our mutual puzzlement over the 1,000 gays that are in town for the festival; and talking about skeezers. The fact that it took Joe a while to warm up to me was evidence that he had had close encounters of the skeezing kind.

He gave me about 15 bucks for cigarettes and something to eat, and he invited me to go fishing with him Tuesday morning.

He said that he has never really fished before but that he and a buddy who are here from Ohio, have rented a boat, piloted by a professional fisherman and that even if the three of us don't catch any red fish or trout, the professional fisherman should; and that we get to take home the catch and put it in our freezers.
Joe said the boat rental was 800 dollars; so I guess we should be able to keep the fish that we catch.
We exchanged phone numbers and I should get a call from him before Tuesday morning; unless he was just so drunk that he invited me fishing and is going to wake up all hung over and read the fine print on the contract for the boat rental and see that no more than 2 people were allowed on the voyage...

You've just read: 2370 words.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Not So Fabulous Friday

13 Cent Friday
"You should play for us for free because we're fabulous!"
"I don't have any tip money; where would I keep it?"
The most messed up Friday in a long while, began with me waking up about a half hour before my alarm was to sound in the afternoon, and drinking coffee and packing up my gear to take along with me to the music store, where I would buy a new set of strings out of what was left of the 18 bucks that I had made Thursday night.

I set the alarm to give me 2 hours to make a trek which would only take 1 hour even if I walked out the door and just missed the trolley; and then got off the trolley downtown and just missed the #11 bus to the music store.

At least that worked out right, although it took me almost 2 hours to get there, what with the coffee brewing and the packing and the deciding that it was time to cut some of the dreds out of my hair with a pair of haircutters scissors which I had found laying in the road near the Lilly Pad the previous night.

I had walked home that night, to save the $1.25 trolley fare, stopping at the Big Easy gas station and convenience store where I bought a can of coconut milk for $3.24.

Once home, I made soup out of it, adding potatoes out of a can, and ate it, noting that I was less than 24 hours away from having my food card charged with $194; then stayed up watching episodes of Twin Peaks off of my hard drive, then took a bath and got to sleep some time around sunup.

The First Thing Goes Wrong

Waking up before the alarm was to sound on about 5 hours of sleep, I went outside to find that the skies were overcast and my solar powered spotlight had only gotten a half assed charge.

I spent 3 bucks on an all day bus/trolley pass, and then got to the Music Express, where I encountered the two guys that work there, out front smoking cigarettes.

I think New Orleans has got to have the highest per capita rate of cigarette smokers in the nation. I think also that it is bourne of having to live with the stress of having your fortunes up in the air, dependent upon a factor which is out of your control; namely, the tourists.

The presence or absence of them, along with their spending or not spending is the tide that raises or lowers all boats here. It's nerve wracking and most people need cigarettes to cope.

I walked up and answered the question of: "What do you need?" by telling them "Strings," and then added the detail that I had broken 3 the previous night.

"That must mean, at least, that they are consistent throughout in quality; if they all break at the same time," I joked.

"Which kind did you get?" asked one of them.

"I usually get the ones that are on sale for $5.99," I said, inwardly hoping that they still had them at that price.

I was told that I needed to "step up" to the Martin "Marquis" strings, rather than the plain old Martins, and they even sold me a set of them at the same price of the ones that broke on night 5 of usage, so that I could try them. Next time they will be 2 bucks more.

The Second Thing That Went Wrong

One drawback was that I also "stepped up" in string gauge, since they apparently only had the "Marquis" brand in the much heavier size of .13mm.

I had used that gauge for years, thinking that the heavier strings would last longer, and that this was a benefit that I was reaping for having strengthened my fingers up through daily playing.

It was along the same avenue of complaining to the same guys at the same store about how I could only play 3 hours a night before my fingertips began to sting; that I discovered lighter guage strings; "extra light," to be exact.

"You need to step down to lighter strings..."

And, although at first I thought they were a bit twangy and too easy to throw out of tune by pressing too hard on them; I soon learned to play using much less pressure; hence, more effortlessly. And I began to understand how Dorise Blackmon can play all day using nylon strings, which require even less pressure.

The Third Thing That Went Wrong

So, I sat at the bus stop, putting my heavy strings on, and putting my pick, which I usually keep wedged in between the strings, down on the bench while I did so.

The bus appeared suddenly, and there the pick remained after I hastily grabbed everything else and flagged the thing down and got on.

I didn't notice until I had gotten to the Lilly Pad at one of my earliest times ever.

It was just getting dark and the place was swarming with gay men, here for the Southern Decadence Festival.

The Fourth Thing That Went Wrong

Noticing that I had no pick, I packed all my stuff up and made a beeline for the Lousiana Music Factory, arriving just after 8 PM, to find it closed.

I wound up getting a pick from a young black guy who was playing on Decatur Street, but it was a cheap flimsy pick of the kind that they give away at music stores like the one that's logo was on the thing.
The Fifth Thing (the rest of the night) That Went Wrong.

I got back to the Lilly Pad and set up again and played; and made nothing.

As early as I started; even after having gone to get a pick; and as late as I stayed (until after midnight when my food card was charged) all that went in to the tiposaurs jar was a bit of change. All night.

I watched gay couple after gay couple walk past; absorbed in their gay conversations; dressed like Village People; making gay jokes, calling each other "baby" and not even appearing to notice me at all.

A few of them stopped to listen and then walked on; a couple of them did the thing where they start to dig in their pockets as if fishing for a tip and then just walk off (psych!!) in order to be hilarious and to loosen their stools for gay sex, perhaps.

One guy was acting like he was going to tip me before his boyfriend nudged him and said something and they both walked off.

I couldn't help but think that they weren't so stupid as to not know that I was out there trying to make some money, and they en masse knew that they weren't giving me anything at all.

None of them said anything to me at all until I was retrieving a sandwich that some skeezer type had given me (probably so he could skeeze me in the future citing the fact that he had given me a sandwich once as the reason that I should give him a couple bucks) that I had thrown in the general direction of a trash can after discovering that the meat in it was a little bit "turned."

I was going to give to a cat which I discovered was in Lilly's alley after I noticed it's shadow coming from under the gate.

"No, don't eat it; it's garbage!" chimed one of the group of at least 100 gay men, none of which had thrown me even a dime. This brought laughter from the other 99.

"I'm going to give it to a cat that's behind the gate," I said, pointing to the shadow that it was casting on the sidewalk. "But I might as well eat out of the garbage because I've been playing my ass off for 3 hours and not one of you threw even threw me a dollar.

I heard giggling and something to the effect of "Oh, boo hoo hoo" from one of them; and I formed an opinion of them as a snobbish clique of like minded queers; giddy with all the privilege of being a member of that particular fraternity that looks out for one another, -they probably all have cushy jobs; gotten through the gay network (You're too fabulous to be living like this; you need some nice clothes on your cute little tushy; go see Phillip at the Hotel Royale; he'll get you on as a bartender; you'll be taking home almost a grand a week with tips. Tell him you're Keiths partner) and they probably think that it is my fault, because I am not gay and not eating of the forbidden fruit of the gay tree; that I would and should eat garbage; and why spoil it by tipping me even a dime.

After all, wasn't our gay bashing just as bad as what we did to the native Americans, and the blacks? It's payback time; don't tip him, please!

It was either that, or the fact that they were really just so into themselves and what they were wearing and what they were saying to each other and texting to each other that they really didn't even see nor hear me.

And, speaking of "they," I usually check myself before generalizing about people, thinking that the next person to come along is a completely different individual than the last one that came by, with his own unique makeup. But, in this case it was almost scary how the whole group of them seemed to be of one mind.

The usual guys who carry big "Jesus" signs and yell through megaphones were at large; telling the thousand gays in town that there was room in hell for them; and the gays were responding by taunting them: "Oh yeah, homosexuality is a sin, yeah, yeah, yeah...I'm gonna burn in hell, yeah, yeah, yeah..."

And one of them yelled: "Forgive us our trespasses. What about that?!?" at the guys with the Jesus signs. And one of them was shooting a video of the guys with the signs that said things like: "Ask me why you are going to hell," and one that said: "Your priest lied to you. Praying to Mary? Jesus in the Eucharist? The rosary???" He was wearing a big grin as he shot the video. I had the notion that he and his friends are going to watch it in the hotel room and roll on the carpet laughing before they have gay sex.

The reason that I mention the above is partly because I have a far fetched theory that maybe I am endowed with a holy spirit and have the gift of music and maybe they really are possessed by evil demons and they are going to burn in hell and they kind of know and fear it; and thus, cannot stand the sight nor sound of me.

That's the explanation that sits the best with me; after playing 3 hours for hundreds of openly gay men and not being thrown anything.*

*OK, I did mention "a bit of change" earlier; and to be fair to them, there was that. It was 13 cents. One dime, three pennies.

And, to be fair further; I wasn't exactly exuding love towards them, holy spirit notwithstanding. I wound up changing the words to "You Never Give Me Your Money," by The Beatles to:

"Fags never give me no money

they only walk by in funny ways

too absorbed in queer conversations

to tip me...." type of thing (the rest is unprintable)

You've just read: 1928 words.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Off The Beat

$18.31 Thursday

The first wave of incoming people for the decadence festival arrived last night, and, consistent with other groups who are to be here for the full weekend but have just arrived; seemed to be holding on to their money.
It took me a good 3 hours of playing to net the above amount.

I Broke 3 strings during the night; the last one at about 1:15 AM, when I decided to quit for the night. I had repaired the other two.

I now go to look up the dictionary meaning of "decadence," which I will put on the back of a poster that I found, advertising some book, which was outside some gallery. They must have had the guy here signing books, but the poster is white on the back and about 2 feet by 3 feet.

I am sure decadence means to be out of cadence, off the beat, etc.....