Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Sunday That Turned Out To Be Saturday (updated)

Thankful For 24 Dollar Saturday
Disparity Between Plugged And Unplugged Amplified

Haven't slept in 24 hours...
So, I had thought that I had gone out and had an 8 dollar Saturday, only to discover the next day that it had been an 8 dollar Friday.

I had spent about an hour at my friend Jerry's house, who is a sandwich maker at the Quartermaster, and who has a certain guitar playing game which turns his TV into a giant representation of the guitar neck and strings and the guy playing the game has to strike the notes, which come at him on the screen kind of the way the flags must come at a slalom skier; and to actually hit the target on the screen, the player must play the correct note in the correct time.
The computer will, at the end of the song, grade the player based upon the percentage of notes that she hit and a general assessment of how close to the rhythm she stayed.

So, my buddy, who took up the guitar maybe a year ago, is already spanking out Weezer riffs, hitting 80% of the notes, and staying in "almost perfect" time; and has even made progress in playing "Peace Of Mind," by Boston; not for the timid, that song.

So, I left the apartment in the middle of this afternoon, when the sun was still high. I had no money.
I rode my bike around by the bar to get a few puffs off of an American Spirit butt, and was greeted by a group of people who were sitting around a table under an umbrella and who asked me what kind of music I played and if I would play and so I took the guitar out and found that it was in pretty good tune, and played "Imagine," by John Lennon, which was well received and then one of my originals, well praised, and then filled a request for "Rocky Racoon," by The Beatles.

The Rocky song, I had to do in its entirety, as the guy who requested it seemed to know every nuance of it, even how many bars the little "doo doo dee dee doo" vocal improvisation was; as I had tried to jump back into the "doctor came in" verse, but the guy shook his head as if to say "not yet," and then "doo doo dee dee'd" the second chorus.

The butts in the ashtrays usually aren't wholly ground
Holy Ground

They gave me 5 bucks, and happened to mention that it was Saturday.

I had packed a couple of books, thinking that it was Sunday and that I would drink coffee and read at Starbucks. Now, I realized that I had miscounted the days and it was like getting a gift of a Saturday night.

I wound up making 24 bucks the whole day and, while it is cool to have at least cat food and human food; I really could be consistently making more money had I an amp and microphone.

A lot of people like the "unplugged" thing but; in a numbers game like busking can be when one dollar is the consensus tip amount, then getting out on Royal Street during the day and cranking anything out will invariably make you something.

Making 4 Times As Much

I'm thinking of "incorporating" my busking business and having a public offering of stock.

I could divide the amount of money that I would need for a state of the art amp and mic and stand and maybe an Oriental rug to go under it all and a trailer to pull it behind my bike; into say, 200 shares at 3 dollars per share. That would allow me to raise 600 bucks and get my gear; and then I could pay dividends to the shareholders.

I would have to be under the assumption that I would indeed quadruple my earnings by playing at a certain decibel level. I have been told by more than one busker who used to be just acoustic but now is amplified that they quadrupled the amount of money that they were making when playing the same material unplugged.

Marvin in Saint Augustine said it, Jay the really loud singer echoed it loudly, and Dave from Dave and Roselyn trebled it, if that is the right word.

The Diet

I have still not had any corn, in syrup or other form, since the water fast of about 3 weeks ago now.
I have continued to loosen up and become more flexible; even my left knee, which had always been "tight" and felt stiff when I squatted down, because I broke a bone in it back in 1986, has loosened up.
The first food that has caused me to feel less than amazingly well, is either barley, wheat or green split peas, as I have simultaneously added those 3 foods to my post water-fast diet and experienced a slight headache around the temples and slightly swollen glands around where the jaw meets the ears on each side.
I need to retrace my steps; eliminate them for a few days and then add them back, one at a time.
My apartment: far right, bottom floor
I can foresee a time in the future when I might make my own "pizza" using a whole grain dough, like rye or barley, a tomato sauce made with olive oil, not soy, and then topped with sheep's or goat's cheese and then baked in the oven after being topped with anchovies, onions and mushrooms. It might be dry and have crust that breaks easily when bitten into; but I can do without the ingredients that keep pizzas from doing that. It might be gluten that acts like "glue"ten and keeps pizza crust from breaking apart...

I Am Looking To Move

I am putting in a request to move to another apartment in our building. Before I totally "decorate" the one I'm in with artwork and such.

It has the advantage of being on the bottom floor, yet it suffers from lack of sunlight which intensifies the feeling of being in a cellar.

The photo above was taken in April and it is evident that, just 2 months before the summer solstice, the light is just barely angling in my window. After about September, it never reaches inside until spring.

I wouldn't mind being on a higher floor, and it might be easy for me to trade rooms with someone who might see the first floor as being more "accessible." The truth is that through a short elevator ride all floors are equally accessible. In the same way that the intersection of Canal and Royal Street is virtually only 100 feet from my apartment (the distance to the trolley stop).

I will just have to be cautious and check out the neighbors on all sides of any apartment which becomes available. I've heard stories of people knocking on others doors at 3 AM asking for a cigarette.

My neighbors are pretty cool where I am; but I sure would like to be able to open my blinds in the morning and let the room fill with sunlight; it would help stave off depression; and I would be able to turn the place into a huge terrarium. And if I ever get back to sound recording, it might be quieter on the side of the building away from the street; although that is the side facing the huge HVAC unit that sounds like a factory all the time...

The windows might even open on those higher levels. They are sealed shut on the first floor, most likely so that unauthorized guests can't be sneaked in through them.



alex carter said...

You *had* an amp, and you sold it. Why'd you sell it?

There are lots of great little amps on the market now, and you could also rent someone's amp and give it a try - remember you'll need some kind of a pickup that works for your guitar.

In fact I'm going to say maybe you should put what money you can into a good pickup for your guitar, so you can rent an amp from someone who trusts you, or "plug in" with other players while their guitarist takes a break, and try that waters that way.

Daniel McKenna said...

I was offered 300 bucks, the price of a new one, for the used amp (missing the battery cover and duct taped instead) and that made good business sense, since I could have bought a used one for $150 and pocketed the difference; the guy (Tim Todd) who bought it from me was chomping at the bit to run in stereo and utilize his multiple "loop" pedals; and didn't even want to wait until he had save up for another amp; plus, I think he has a hard time saying "no" to certain substances when he has a wad of money; and the people with the substances know that to be the case...
It should have worked out for me, I should have gotten another amp for 150 and then used another 75 or so for a good mic; I wouldn't need a pickup right away if I just positioned the mic 9" from my mouth and 18" from the guitar's mouth...
But, what turned out happening, since I was drinking, was, Tim always seemed to shoot me another 15 or 20 bucks on the balance at a time when I was scraping drinks off the trash cans and out of cigarettes; so his fear of being unable to manage money became my reality...If I would have had the amp and the mic and the stand, then I would have started using it; but the amp was just sitting in my room waiting for the other stuff (and I didn't even have a bike, so it would have been hell to tote it on the trolley)...
I just need to check the last 4 years of posts and maybe shade my calendar according to when the Lilly Pad was lucrative; and when it's time to play at Royal and Orleans instead

alex carter said...

I see ... yeah the guy was "trickle feeding" you when he was paying for the amp. Not enough for anything meaningful, but enough for a handle of whiskey!

alex carter said...

I wonder if there's some "off season" thing you can do that does not depend on tourists so much, since it's looking like you're putting in the same number of hours, but a given night's "hat" is very small.

Can you become Mr Odd Job Guy? The guy who goes around to small shops and mops the floor, takes out and cleans the trash cans, cleans those greasy ol' finger prints off of the door, etc? It's gross, and I'd buy a box of rubber gloves first, but I bet you could make a business out of cleaning bathrooms. All of this work cash-only, off the record of course.