Monday, February 20, 2017

Pumpkins Turn Into Chariots

Jams Recorded

Healthier, wealthier and wiser, I was up at 1:30 PM, the time that I wake up automatically just about every day, even if I had just gone to sleep 3 hours earlier.

I thought that I wanted to have a bunch of guitar stuff recorded so if and when I take the laptop and mic out into the country -out some place where I could do Janis Joplin imitations for Pete's sake, and it wouldn't bother anyone (and that's hard enough to do when as drunk as she usually was, never mind sober and with people around).

So, I just recorded 2 jams; a 7 minute something one; and a 14 minute one.

I'll be going into the French Quarter tonight, probably around the usual time, as I am doing the usual things already today; being headed to the computer room at around 5 PM as soon as I close this being a prime example of such.

Harold the cat is inside; his schedule having been thrown a kilter, recently, by my having taken some nights off.


I made 11 bucks last (Sunday) night, arriving and being playing by 10:15 PM, and then I knocked off at 12:36 AM, thinking that I was going to be able to make it to Rouses Market before they closed, though not knowing what for because I was seriously considering extending the fruit only diet a bit further.

I drank coffee and ate a Reese's Dark Chocolate peanut butter cup, which is my only daily dose of sugar and which gives me a rush similar to what a heroin junkie feels, I'm pretty sure. The dark chocolate has no milk in it.

When I lazily ride my bike down Bourbon Street after having had coffee and the Reese's, I have the feeling that the skeezers are thinking that I must have made enough money busking to have gotten my fix.

I had also the notable condition of being pot free when I sat down. It had been a string of a few weeks that I had burned a bowl while tuning up, but not last night.

I started to play and thought that the harmonica was out of tune slightly, though really just one note in particular, and I was struggling a bit just to get sounding good.

A young guy came along and sat and listened, kind of a small guy of about early 20's who had a pretty much trimmed face as far as having a very distinctly shaped goatee and sideburns and mustache, and I think eyebrows.

It was hard to guess what kind of music I would play for the guy, I thought, as I was playing something.

I went into putting my own fake lyrics into the song, which was "While My Harmonica Gently Weeps," an adaptation of mine of a George Harrison song that's slant is obvious from the title.

Well, the guy seemed to like my song about Leslie Thompson, "Cavorting With Amy," and he introduced himself as "Wesley" which I actually asked him to repeat to make sure he hadn't said "Leslie," because the song about Thompson that I had just sung would have had his name in it (and would have been unflattering to him).

Well, he offered me a bowl, which we shared, and then I launched into a harmonica laden version of "The Unforgiven," by Metallica, and that is how the story: "The time I actually played for like 20 minutes not stoned" ends.

Forward To This Afternoon

I put my shirt on inside out, just to let any of you who might be kind of tracking my demise as kind of a hobby. Shirt on inside out, February 20, 2017.

Then, some traveling type kids came by, two young guys, one of which had a guitar on his back, and a girl. And the dog.

They turned out to be pretty decent, the guy with the guitar asking me politely if I knew of a place where he could buy a blanket. I directed them to the Veaux Carre Baptist church on 711 Dauphine Street not 4 blocks away, telling them that if they rang the doorbell there "and they come to the door," that they might get a blanket from them out of their stockroom of just such things there.
Veaux Carre Baptist Church

It is a church that ministers to the homeless as their focus.

The girl came back later and offered me a Grenade drink, in exchange for a cigarette, which I turned down, and then offered her just a few drags off of one of my American Spirit organics, at $7.30 per pack.

I did this by basically telling her that I was down to just a few cigarettes and was taking 3 or 4 puffs off each one and then putting them out.

I then explained how I felt that the way that cigarettes are packaged i.e. in cigarette form kind of implies that a cigarette is a standard unit for human consumption of it, and how I refute that as being the case, touting instead my method of taking just a few drags here and there. You might as well use as little of it as possible to satisfy the nicotine monster inside. Like weed, you actually have to wait a minute before you get the signal from the brain that you have indeed nicotine in your system.

She wound up summing up the evening before she left when she said: "You play the guitar really awesome; people should be tipping you more..."

Pumpkin Blues

The Family Dollar on Canal and Broad had cans of pumpkin on display at 2 for a dollar.

I had loaded up with 6 of them only to learn that, for some reason, the cans of pumpkin had been put on the "do not sell" list and the cashier, a 19 year old petite black girl with a cleanly shaven to the point of being shiny head told me that she could lose her job if she sold the pumpkin to me. She also has tattoos.

We looked at the expiration date. It was today's date, but it was February 20, 2018. It will be a whole year before the pumpkin turns into chariots.

Obviously, a computer is responsible for having flagged the pumpkin for being out of date, and unsalable at risk of termination; but the wrong year has been entered by one of their all African American (incidentally) staff.

Only human intervention can win me that pumpkin contract and make the deal go through.

 I need to get in touch with upper management at the Family Dollar store, and while I'm asking them why ain't no white boys be working there, appeal to their common sense over the clearly stamped expiration date on the top of all the cans of pumpkin.

I'm not going to give up.

This is a chance to get fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and even a bit of iron, at 50 cents for a can (140 calories =  less than a half cent per calorie) in rather delicious form if you sugar it up like hell, and then mix it with something that does taste good -Just kidding, it has a nice squash-like flavor and the fibrous texture of it seems to counter the dryness that meatloaf can sometimes fall prey to.

So, I left the store with a 4 pack of Monster Energy Zero drinks, a gallon of purified water, a can of cat food and a bag of dry cat food, but pumpkin-less.

A 5 dollar sack of weed from around the corner from the Banks Meat Store later, and I was back at the apartment making the recordings and finding that the change machine is out of quarters and so I won't be doing my laundry. I'll wear the Metallica shirt and the jeans again tonight, if I go play the Lilly Pad.

Play On A Monday?

The tourists who are here for the whole Mardi Gras could quite possibly be at Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern on a night such as this when there are no parades. It is on the unofficial list of must-see places in NOLA, being the oldest bar in America, and all.

And so, I will most probably be at the Lilly Pad, for if nothing else, letting those who are here for the entire carnival and who might tip me upon seeing me for the 3rd, 4th or arbitrarily 5th time, see me.

I am feeling more and more  secure there, in a way lately, especially when people stop and hang out.
The skeezers on the block are a decent sort and I have not done anything to block their skeezes and somehow the message has gotten to them that it isn't cool to block my "skeeze," if you will, by using me as a filter to see which tourists show promise as skeezees by the fact that they are tipping a musician and to enact their skeeze upon them in a way which distracts them from myself.
Today's "Homeless Place Where I Used To Sleep" comes from the grounds of the World Trade Center, a very tall building with like a turret around the top which was starkly empty at the time I slept here, right by it. Across the street was Harrah's Casino and there is a good chance that this spot was under the eye of one of their cameras, making it that much safer. Since I wasn't a recognized card counter, I drew no attention to myself.


alex carter said...

When you put those videos you have onto YouTube (which can't be found by any searching so don't worry they're being kept a closely-held secret) did they take HOURS to upload? I just tried making a video to see if I could, and it went OK for a first one, but it seems about 5 minutes of video takes an hour and a half to upload from where I am.

Daniel McKenna said...

They took maybe an average of 10 minutes each; to have them "enhanced" or balanced, stabilized whatever, is what takes "an hour an a half" here; I'm going to keep mine unstable. I'm still debating upon just how much more interesting seeing the guy playing the song as you hear it is, compared to just hearing it. I really want to be able to put up videos where the music is meticulously produced with Audacity and then snychronized to random visuals that can be, of course placed so that the scenes shift right on the beat, to the point of ridiculousness like the early eighties ones where the picture changes like 4 times a second, in time with a drum roll; or just fading from one scene to another; then, even when I'm shown, I'll be lip syncing to the music that was recorded mistake free, due to not having had to play and try to look a certain way at the same time while on camera...but, maybe 12 minutes for 5 minute videos to "appear" on YouTube. I may be able to edit something in my profile to make my videos more visible; perhaps put the term Street Musician Daniel in the "meta tags" because what else would someone put in a search box to find my home brews?

alex carter said...

I dunno if they were being "stabilized" etc., it was just uploading one piece of video, just under 2 minutes. I'm thinking there may be two factors: First, I may have used a much higher resolution than I need to. Secondly, I'm in San Jose - center of "Silicon Valley" but also where the "digital divide" they talk about is deeper than anywhere I've been. Internet here is often S-L-O-W, sometimes doesn't work, and if it weren't for my employer paying for it, I'd not have it at all since it would cost me about 10% of my gross income.

I think I need to shoot some more video, and try putting it onto YouTube from Ken's house. His house is in a different city and actually in a different county, Alameda as opposed to Santa Clara, and that may make a huge difference. Babysitting a computer for close to 2 hours to load just under 2 minutes of video is not fun.

What I plan to do, at least for now, is not show myself, but show interesting things. (Yes, it's doubtful that my first video would be described as "interesting".) For instance, there's a neat little LED and diode gadget that's easy to make, that lights up when your cell phone is actually transmitting and it's next to it. The trouble is, I don't have the LED and diode handy right now so I'll have to wait until I can find those. The thing is, the page showing how it's put together is really sloppy. I'd like to do a short video on it that's very neat and easy to understand.

Daniel McKenna said...

My videos pop right up by Googling "Darius Palermo" That's one of the aliases I used to open an e-mail account. Back when I couldn't decide which e-mail to use, and I had one's on,,,, hotmail, etc. I would use different names so that if I got junk mail or spam, I could get an idea of where it was coming when I bought something at Radio Shack and they asked if they could put my e-mail in their computer, I gave it to them but gave them the fake name of Mark Palermo. Soon, I started getting unsolicited junk mail addressed to, you guessed it...
My Google account is tied to my g-mail fake name of Darius Palermo, and when they bought Blogger, they just stuck it on my blog; so I suppose if I changed the name on the account to Daniel, then my stuff would be more searchable; but, maybe they won't let you change the name on your e-mail, due to identity fraud issues...

Daniel McKenna said...

The next book I take out of the library will be the Idiots guide to Blogger, and I am going to try to understand how Blogger and Google and Google+ and Youtube are all tied together (and how g-mail fits into the equation) But, I think if I "share" my videos on my blog then the link will be made for the search engines; I just have to make sure I have stuff worth checking out before I find a way to direct a bunch of traffic towards it..

alex carter said...

The problem with those library books is, if your libraries are anything like California libraries even in the most "techie" and wealthy areas, you'll be lucky to find something as "new" as 10 years old. You're better off looking for tutorials online, or ordering up to date books off of Amazon. to give an example, I don't think it's actually been called Blogger (I think a play on the old video game Frogger) for at least a decade.

And yes Google and Blogger and YouTube work strangely. I only recently discovered I have a youtube channel.

Darius Palermo LOL.