Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Rubble On The Beach

  • Food Card Situation
  • 3rd Prospective Renter Waves Red Flags
  • The Guys Who Shot Video Of Me
  • $8 Tuesday
  • Essay On Fame

Countdown To Costello: 10 days
I enter the heading above pertaining to food, firstly as a reminded to myself that, as soon as I get off this computer, I must waste little time in getting to the food stamp office.

I will pass by The Ideal Market on my way there, planning upon doubling back, after having straightened out the situation I am in, which has the authorities on the verge of closing my account tomorrow.

I have found that the most expedient route to solving any food stamp related problem is to go to the office down Canal Street, take a number, wait usually no more than a half hour, and then step to the window, where one of the black ladies (who is doing a good job of not saying "Why do you need food stamps; you're white, you have the whole world at your fingertips?" with her eyes) will peck a few keys on the computer and then tell you the exact status of the account and provide a course of action to rectify any problems; explained so that a 7 year old would understand. The hardest part is making it to that office during business hours.

The Ideal Market has a lot of items on sale: tomatoes, whole tilapia, oranges, yogurt, rice, yucca root and even some meats, I will have an empty backpack on my back when I leave here. I will hopefully return with enough food for a while and the reassurance that I will not have the food cut off, at least not before the possible Donald Trump presidency comes to fruition.

While I Still Chase Stardom...

I might make a side trip in order to try to find the R.V. of a couple guys who had stopped at the Lilly Pad and listened to me for probably about an hour, telling me before they left that one of them had shot a video. I was hoping that it would include some of the stuff that I was making up out of my head that night -a "hit or miss" endeavor that had had its share of hits, I thought. The fact that I hadn't known that a video was being shot interests me, for the candidness.

The one negative that I can think of is when I had jumped into a harmonica solo and initially tripped over the fact that I had misread how my new harp in the key of A was going to fit over the chords that I was playing and hit a couple of sour squawking clunkers, before smoothing it into a better scale; saying something like "yikes" as the segue.

But, they gave me directions to where they were living, told me that they were musicians themselves that were planning upon soon debuting as buskers themselves, and were there listening to me partly as an education in the craft.

They added that there is a fine recording studio right by their place, run by someone whom they have gotten to know quite well, who is an expert sound recorder.

I would kind of like to see the video that they shot and then post it somewhere if it is worth its salt.
As far as them being musicians; a possible red flag in regards to their chances of success, was that they were "planning" upon making a go of it, but hadn't busked yet.

Performing is one of those things that must be undertaken with a good majority of the preparation made, but with some left out, to leave room for improvisation, or to let the energy supplied by a live audience be the additive in the gasoline which will allow the performer to reach his "highest" level. 
The whole time I was playing, they showed no inclination towards participating, either by trying to harmonize, or by asking me if they could use my guitar to play a song that they were inspired to play through just by being "out there" in a busking environment.

This could also have been out of courtesy, as, some buskers will ask: "Could you please not do that?" if someone is trying to sing along and, of course, many, including myself are pretty reluctant to relinquish their instrument; certainly without having a substantial tip thrown to them.

These guys had tipped me, though, and they showed a lot of appreciation for the music, and, after I go to the food stamp office, I am going to try to locat them, behind Louis Armstrong park in "the only R.V." that I will see there, according to them.

Then, I will hit the Ideal Market and stock up on the healthiest food that I can find on sale in bulk.

Crash On Couch, $20/night

I got a call from a third person interested in crashing on my couch.

The person is going to call back this afternoon, and I think I am going to reject the offer. I counted about 6 red flags during our 6 minute conversation this morning.

First of all it is a female. This was a red flag. Her name, she told me, is Melissa. She would have known from the ad and the accompanying pictures that she was applying to be a (albeit temporary) roommate of a male; sight unseen (except for the pictures). She mentioned that she was in "a 7 year relationship" that she wanted to get out of, so that she could "start over." Ostensibly, she needs a place to cool her heels, away from the guy, where she can collect her thoughts and choose a direction to go in.

So, she is not a tourist, briefly coming to see the city, planning upon being out sightseeing most of the days, carrying a suitcase or two, but most assuredly would arrive with more baggage than that.

Someone who has been at her last place for 7 years is very unlikely to be adept at crashing somewhere for just a few days to a week and then "starting over" again.

She had called me from "South Metarie," which is a podunk on the other side of the Mississippi, not far from here.

The fact that she had added the particular "south" to the Metarie further paints her as being a local, and a long time one; long enough to have learned north, south, east and west Metarie.

When I mentioned the 10 day restriction placed upon my guests, Melissa said: "But, if they don't see me for a while, here and there...?" which kind of betrayed a familiarity with situations such as mine, and a mind already scheming to skirt the rules here.

I started regretting my having included a picture of myself with the ad for the room as it dawned upon me that, although I intended it to show what a laid back, likeable guy I was (the photo shows me playing "rug grapefruits" with my guitars and snare drum visible in it) Melissa might have seen in it a sort of personal ad, seeking a roommate "for companionship and whatever."

Then, during our conversation, which would have been shorter if not for this; she, without saying "excuse me a second" began chatting with a male voice about the size of a clothing item, arguing that "12 is OK, but 13 is too big," as part of that discussion.

She did apologize for the 30 second interruption upon returning to me but I had gotten the phantom of a flashback of a woman who is a friend of mine, but who I had discovered was a very selfish one.

She asked me if she could call me back this afternoon, to talk.
This probably meant that there are things that she wants to discuss with me that don't have to do with clothing sizes, and that she doesn't want to talk about in front of whomever the male voice belonged to.

Enough Melissa's Out There

I'm sorry, that wasn't the final red flag; this is: apparently she is living with a male now, unless whoever it was was just visiting. If she is seeking to move away from living with a male to living with another one, then a suspicion is aroused that she might somehow be tying her sexuality around her living arrangements. She had the course voice of a late middle aged smoker. I didn't hear much money in its overtones.

I could almost add to the speculation about her age (or just ask her if she calls back) by factoring in that her name is "Melissa."

This was a very popular name to give to a new born girl in the early 70's. Not so much before then -certainly not before the Allman Brothers song, "Melissa" came out; and not so much a few years later, when new mothers began to decide that there were already enough Melissa's out there...

On Fame

Back in 1978, my friends and I had all of The Beatles sheet music. We would study it and read up on all the ancillary anecdotes about the fab four, dissecting it in hopes of finding the key to unlocking their genius, and then being able to follow in their footsteps, finding fame and fortune in music by learning from the undisputed kings of it.
40 years later, there are not only bands or artists as "big" as The Beatles popping up left and right, but there are a dozen or so of them running concurrent to each other.

With the proliferation of the human race, and the explosion of technology, the "15 minutes of fame" that Andy Warhol? said that everyone would bask in, has probably shrunk to 15 seconds.
When Arnold Palmer passed away last week, for example, the news of his demise was condensed to about a 7 second blurb on NPR radio. "Arnold Palmer, blah blah blah...changed the game of golf forever, blah blah, has passed away...he was 89. Now to "All Things Considered..."
And who hasn't heard of Arnold Palmer?
The problem is probably that too many undeserving individuals are being thrust into "the limelight," by those trying to "capitalize" on them, that the "importance" of them becomes watered down. They are soon after exposed as being not so deserving of everyone's attention when others come along who are even better. And they are coming along at an exponentially faster rate.
Think about all the numbers that the New York Yankees, to give one example, have "retired" over the years. These are "immortal" players, each of whom "there will never be another" of.
What will happen when all the numbers from 00 to 99 have been retired?
Should they go back and un-retire Babe Ruth's number at some point in the future after, say, 50 newer generation players have eclipsed his lifetime home run total. Players nourished their whole lives on "sports nutrition" and trained using modern scientific techniques to optimize baseball skills?
Or will the Babe be even more appreciated for having accomplished his feat without the benefit of the above but having only a six pack of Black Label beer in the dugout to fortify him?
People have forgotten about more "famous" people than they know about.
There is no point in trying to achieve fame in today's world, because being buried in obscurity is just about inevitable.
If I were to ask 100 people to write down the names of 100 musicians that they think are the most famous of all time, the list of 1,000 names that would result would most definitely be missing names that would have all 100 people saying: "Oh, yeah, I forgot about him/her!" People like Olivia Newton John, or Arlo Guthrie, Glen Campbell, Glen Miller, the band The Who; and others that "just about everybody has heard of."
If the list was expanded to 1,000 x 100 people, it might be more of a reflection of today's culture.
But the list would be erroneously skewed towards more recent appearances on the music scene.
J.S. Bach would be on the list; but someone like Prince, the recipient of "Lifetime Achievement" awards and an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and one of the Greatest of All Time would probably be overlooked a mere 20 years from now. Oh, yeah, I forgot about him...
I was just searching the "fake book" website that I use to find sheet music for Elvis Costello tunes,
Here is a portion of the alphabetical list, preceding and post-ceding Elvis Costello:
Coryell, Larry (3 songs)
Crosby, Bing (1 song)
Cosma, Vladimir (1 song)
Cosmic Rough Riders (13 songs)
Cosmo Klein (1 song)
Cossette, Sylvain (2 songs)
Cossio, Diego De (1 song)
Costa, Antony (2 songs)
Costa, Matt (33 songs)
Costa, Nikka (4 songs)
Costello, Elvis (139 songs)
Cot Death (1 song)
Coti (2 songs)
Cotter, Brad (1 song)
Cotton Mather (5 songs)

I have heard about 4 of the other artists here, who rate having their songs cataloged in the big (and I'm not kidding) ol' fake book, so that people world wide can learn their songs more easily.
I haven't found time in my hectic schedule to check out the latest CD from Cot Death yet, but I mean to get around to it....

At a record store in Charlottesville, Virginia I met one of my now ex girlfriends when I was digging through the Elvis Costello CDs, and she showed up to dig through the Counting Crows ones, bringing us close together for the first time.

On the website, from whence the above comes, the Counting Crows songs are several hundred bands thereafter the Costello ones. A similarly comprehensive stock at the record store could have saved me months of misery in a doomed relationship, but I digress.

I guess my point is that, sure, I would like to post a video of me doing one of my originals and have it get x amount of hits, and more so, touch just one person who might relate to it. But I don't disillusion myself about putting together the next Beatles. 40 years of waves pounding on the walls of that castle has just about reduced it to rubble on the beach.


alex carter said...

On getting food stamps while white: I have certainly gotten the butt-end of things for being white, but I kind of have to agree. Unless having the free place to live is dependent on your being on food stamps, I'd drop 'em. It's too much work and worry for $200 a month, which is easily made in a few days.

Your video shooters will post that video on YouTube or someplace, just ask them for the link that you can post on your page. You should be able to aggregate videos onto a YouTube channel of your own.

On renting to drama-mamas: Size 12-13 is biiiiig. So there's that, if you're into that sort of thing. Plus, if my (thankfully sparse) observations of skeezettes are correct, there are lots of gals who really don't mind a bit, trading their "delicate honor" for room and board, said board consisting of cigarettes, vodka, and anything left lying around loose. Plus, she can probably be counted on to parlay her vulnerable position as a delicate feminine flower to end up as the primary renter at your place and well .... let's hope the space under the Nachez's dock is still open.

I think if I were going to visit New Orleans, I'd just take my chances at the India House Hostel.

Daniel McKenna said...

I was still updating this post while you were commenting; did you see the essay on fame? just wondering how that works; like, do you have to "refresh" the screen to see if I might have added to the post?

Daniel McKenna said...

And, yeah, whether it is shoes or anything else; size 12 screams Venus Williams to me.
I've had enough experience with "good looking heavyset" women for a life time, thanks.
Very eloquent description with use of "delicate honor" by the way; I'm a big fan of sarcasm!

alex carter said...

Prospective buskers who are interested in busking but upon encountering a friendly busker, pass up an opportunity to co-busk, are pretty much giving themselves away as lightweights who will probably never busk at all.