Thursday, March 3, 2016

Waiting For Food

11 Dollar Tuesday Night


Mystery Of The Harmonica Solved


Yeah, 2 hours of playing netted 10 bucks, and again, I probably only saw 50 people walk past that weren't skeezers, residents, or employees of nearby establishments.


I haven't seen any official statistics (perhaps I can Google such) about the amount and/or "quality" of the tourists that are coming here.


I would imagine that the highly published accounts of mass shootings where innocent people have been slain have had a negative impact upon their numbers.


I can't remember there being such a slow season in the 4+ years that I have been here. I remember the problem of deciding when to quit playing, there still being masses of people swarming around Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern, after I had already played almost 5 hours, and feeling bad about walking away from potentially more money.


Thursday The Third

But, I woke up with only 3 dollars and change, bought an energy drink and a can of cat food and then rode the trolley into the Quarter with 53 cents in my pocket.


So, leaving the Lilly Pad with 11 dollars and 53 cents was good, given that there were stretches of up to 20 minutes that I went without seeing any tip money at all. A couple of people must have tipped more than a dollar because it's hard to recall more than 4 or 5 people approaching the tiposaurus.


But, Tuesday is in the books and I am now counting down (68 more hours now) until my food card will have money on it.


I bought a small jar of instant coffee, an energy drink, a few bananas, a jar of jelly (because I have oatmeal) and a can of food for Harold the cat, a couple of cigars for a dollar in lieu of cigarettes, and got off the trolley with just about the $1.25 needed to take the trolley back tomorrow.


I did make progress in getting to the spot at around 9:30 PM; an hour sooner than I had been managing the past week or so.


I got to Starbucks at around 7:30 PM. I had run out of coffee the night before, and so I was highly motivated to get there.


Mystery Solved

Using their wireless connection, I checked my e-mail for the first time in at least 2 weeks and discovered a message from the Lidgleys of London, telling me to be on the lookout for a package containing a harmonica.


I sent them an mp3 of the first song that I recorded using it.


It is 4 AM, Wednesday, March 2nd, and I suppose I just need either one good night, or to keep making 11 bucks a night for the next couple days, and then I will have to see if I can avoid another food debacle the next month, which has 31 days.



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I Catch Up On Sleep

France

50
United States

23
China

3
Germany

2
United Kingdom

2
Mexico

1
I seem to have some readers in France, lately.
More upon this particular day than in the USA....
Look how dark a shade of green their country is. Perhaps a wave of buskers are planning to hit the streets of the French Quarter and are reading up upon at least one guy's experiences...


Wednesday, I had stayed up into the morning, getting a lot of things done on the music studio which didn't require making a lot of noise (adding new vocals or the snare drum was out).

I then fell asleep in the tub, as I have done before; waking up when the temperature of the water fell to a certain point where it would feel warmer to get out into the air than to stay in the water.


I had set the alarm for the evening at around 5 PM, knowing that I was almost broke, having only around 3 bucks left from the 11 that I had made Tuesday night.


Thursday, March 3rd

I smell food...


Tonight should be that last night in a while that I go out there to busk, knowing that I am playing for, first, the trolley fare home, and second, food.


Time seems to be marching at a fast pace, as I have noted recently.


Sure, it is cool that I have only about 32 hours (right now) to wait before my food card is charged with $194, but it seems like only yesterday when I had 14 days to wait, with a zero balance on the card, and was pressed to find a way to eat during the interim; avoiding hydrogenated oils in the process.


I have had a few meals of beans in cheap tomato sauce, and pasta and beans in tomato sauce, when feeling extravagant.


One $2.17 can of coconut milk has something like 700 calories in it, and can have rice added to it, making a delicious soup, seasoned with ginger, salt and pepper, and will support almost anything else that you throw in with it, such as meats and vegetables and even fish.


The advice of Tony, the night manager at Rouses Market on Royal Street, where I wind up often, right before closing time; was "Just get a loaf of bread, and some peanut butter and jelly..."


I can see his logic. "How many meals will that make?" he asked...


My problem with that is that I would have to buy the peanut butter that has only its natural oil, which I would stir into it, rather than the peanut butter that is "spreadable" right out of the jar.


I read an article about that kind, once.


The article stated that, in order to integrate the oil into the peanuts, so that it would be creamy and spreadable, they add some chemical, which turns the fledgling peanut butter a sickly shade of peanut color. So they then add an artificial color.


That makes the peanut butter too dry; so they add a moisturizer.


That makes the peanut butter nice and moist, along with being the right color, but makes it too tart...


So they add something to make it less tart, which is alright, but that combination of ingredients tends to spoil faster once the air hits it, and so they add a preservative...


But preservative will just float on the top and not mix thoroughly, unless they.....etc., etc...


I'm paraphrasing from memory, but the point is that I have to buy the $5 per jar kind (I don't mind stirring the oil in, before each use) along with the "fruit only" jam, which is expensive; and then, I don't eat just any kind of bread (believe me, I've tried; and have yet to wade through the whole paragraph of ingredients listed on the sides of the cheaper loaves, to figure out which one aggravates my eczema) and will buy only the ones that are literally made from just whole grains.


These are easy to spot, because they crumble easily, and are apt to fall apart when used for sandwiches. Now, there is a way to make them more elastic; but that dries them out, so they have to add.....


So, Tony's heart was in the right place when he made his suggestion, but those sandwiches at 40 cents a piece, or whatever, would mess up my skin. Is it any wonder that they are a staple in jails nationwide, where the cheapest food available is served?


A whole sleeve of beans ($1.29) along with a ($1.29) can of tomato sauce and a ($1.29) bag of rice will get you through the night, I find, and will actually make 2 meals for someone who is less of a pig than I am.


There is always some anxiety when the date comes for the food card to be charged as, they seem to love to send letters advising that certain actions must be taken or the account will be closed; and they seem to love to send them to a prior address, or to send them when they will arrive only a few days before the action must be taken.


I check my mail only about once per week, and I have just checked my e-mail for the first time in 3 weeks, and so they prey upon me.


"We sent you a letter on the 26th, saying that you had to come in and fill out a ...but the letter came back...you need to re-apply..." type of thing.


I am going to have to pay for 60% of my food with the card and then pay the rest in cash in order to stretch it for a whole month, I have calculated.


That will keep me from having those days when I make a good amount and wake up with the whole thing, minus just trolley fare and maybe a newspaper, sitting on my bureau; but it will also eliminate days like Tuesday, when I made 11 dollars and then spent the lion's share of it on food...



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1 comment:

  1. The last place I lived, I was "required" to get food stamps, and I had to do more work in going to meetings, interviews, etc for my $200 or so a month than I'd have made just panhandling, doing odd jobs, etc. So I said I was just not gonna do that any more.

    Same thing now. If I made little enough ($10k a year is considered huge money in "silicon valley" and thus I'm not eligible) to get food stamps, I'd not mess with it. Just go out and busk, beg, do odd jobs, etc. Plus, and this is a huge plus, if I'm busking/begging/doing hobo work, I KNOW I'm going to eat, whereas being dependent on food stamps, they can take 'em away any time - and have! - because they delight in having power over poor people.

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