Friday, May 5, 2017

Coffee With Christina

And, so, I was down to about 6 cents, after I bought a pack of rolling papers at the Unique Grocery, on my way to the Lilly Pad, slated to arrive there at the very early, Jazzfest hour of 9 PM.

I had left Starbucks, where I had partaken of coffee in the company of Christina Friis, after having run into her and Brian Hudson at the corner of St. Louis and Royal, a spot that they seemed to be taking turns playing at. Since it was Brian's turn to play and I had mentioned that I was on my way to Starbucks, she rode there alongside me on her bike. She is Danish.

That spot where they were playing is like Park Place, if in front of Rouses Market at St. Peter's and Royal is Boardwalk. If I was amplified to the point where I was too loud for the Lilly Pad, then that is certainly a spot that I would jump on, if it was vacant. Everybody who plays there benefits from the "rising tide lifts all boats" effect of the spot, but talent is amplified at that spot, also, with the Tanya's and Dorises of the world cresting well above the tide.

There is also the spot in front of the art gallery where my friend, Bilal works. He told me, a few years ago now, that I could and should play alongside the gallery, and even offered to kind of reserve it for me. At the time, I had just discovered the Lilly Pad and, though I hadn't met Lilly yet, I had met Barnaby Chancellor, after he had come out of his condo with a very nice Guild guitar one night, and we had jammed on Grateful Dead songs. "I've always wanted to play on the street but never had the balls, but you're playing the kind of stuff that I like to play. Do you mind if we jam out on a couple songs, I'll get us a 6 pack up the street..." Barnaby had said, and thereby became the outer layer of the protective onion, at which center is now Lilly. I just felt that my music was a better fit for the Lilly Pad, and that, having made a friend of Barnaby, who wiled away the hours after dark sitting on his stoop diagonal to me on the other side of Bourbon St., had been a stroke of good fortune for me, and that I had best take advantage of it. But, after I get an amplifier, I might talk to Bilal about playing there, maybe up until a certain hour, say, 11 PM, before I move to the Lilly Pad for the late-late night busking action.

I think it is only a matter of time before I have a little battery-run, rechargeable amp and a microphone.

For one thing, after having had a...

58 Dollar Thursday

After getting to the Lilly Pad and having started playing by 9:30 PM, I thought I was sounding good.

It is premature of me to say this, but the "Kratom" stuff, of which I am trying a second package of, is helping to put me in an industrious frame of mind, and even seems to be improving my memory.

I gave myself a two day "cooling off" period after the first experiment with it, to give any withdrawal symptoms, should there be any, a chance to play their hand. If I was going to find out that a couple days on the stuff would lead to a couple days of feeling depressed, I didn't want to find that out after I had already taken a second dose of it. That would be called something like "compounding," in substance abuse parlance, I'm sure. And, I didn't want to find out something like, after it wears off it's still in your system for the next day or so, but after it's completely out of you is when you'll start to crave it; and they you will know that you are becoming addicted to it.

But, after having felt not slightly blue, only a bit sleepy after one day of juice fasting, and found nothing very scary at all written about Matrix "Kratom" online; not one bad review after a reasonably comprehensive (I scrolled down an extra page) search on the topic; I decided that I would do some more Kratom

The fact that it would be on a very empty stomach would eliminate any other thing that I had ingested that might be causing me to feel like I took about 2 and a half Vicodin, and in the mood to busk more, at a high level.

But, here is the thing:

Kratom is not exactly flying off the shelves at the Unique Grocery, at 11 bucks for what turns out to be 3 or 4 doses of it.

It is primarily used by those addicted to very hard drugs to help them stay off of them.

It does this by blocking some kind of opiate receptors, or something. It is an "antagonist," of some kind, in psychopharmicalogical jargon.

The mitragyna speciosa leaf is chewed by Asian laborers in the morning, and draws comparisons to the coca leaf that the South American laborers chew in the morning, with the end being that the chewer is then gets in the mood to work.

I have only been smoking about half the amount of cigarettes as usual when taking Kratom.

And, well, I took some right before leaving Starbucks, went out and played pretty vigorously for close to 4 hours, maintaining a $16.75/hr. average, and playing a well as ever.

Now, I am home, after having picked up a half gallon of juice along the way, off of my food stamp card, which I had forgotten all about in my fasting haze, but which became charged up for the month at midnight, and I am pecking away at this blog post as the sun rises. I started a recording project on the first night that I tried the stuff, and surprised myself by how persistently and methodically I pursued it to the end.

Of course, I know better than to think that there is a magic leaf out there that can give you something that you don't already have -there ain't no Coupe De Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box- but, the plant is in the coffee family, and coffee sort of "works" as far as stimulating more production out of us, is a mood elevator, and is basically another drug.

Once, when I was in jail, I was without coffee for maybe about 6 weeks before, in light of how long I was being held for whatever it was, my mom sent some money into my jail account. I bought some coffee with the next commissary order and, after the first sip of it, the room seemed to have become brighter, as if the sun had just poked through the clouds and was coming through a sun-roof. It was a Juan Valdez moment to cherish.

So, I do think that the Kratom might actually help me regulate my moods and my drive to accomplish things, in a way similar to coffee.

Frenchmen Street; land of amplifiers

The fact that I'm not trying to kick crystal meth, heroin or crack doesn't mean that Matrix Kratom is not for me. I'm trying to quit cigarettes, and I don't care if I'm using a canon to kill a fly; I just want the thing to stop buzzing around my head and landing on me and on my food...

Tonight will be another Jazzfest occasion, with the chance to earn upwards of $17 per hour.

I will need to get some sleep sometime before then.

I'm glad that the juice fast will make me sleep more efficiently, as I won't be "sleeping off" a meal.

I have a new set of strings on the guitar, and the Special 20 harmonica continues to be a Baby Grand of harps.

While picking up the strings at Downtown Music, near Jackson Square, I noticed that they had the reed plates for the Lee Oskar harmonicas for $16.99. I'm very tempted to start using Lee Oskar's because of the money I would save. I'm willing to make small concessions as far as tone and play-ability; I'm sure they can't suck, with Lee's name on them...

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alex carter said...

I've looked up Christina Friis and Brian Hudson and they both sound good.

I wonder if their "busking in New Orleans" experiences are different than yours. Maybe they live in regular places and even can afford cars? I mean, hardly anyone except the hereditary rich can afford a car these days, but I wonder if they're doing that well?

Daniel McKenna said...

He's the same B.H. that you said sounded "like every other boring guitarist/singer" or something...
Brian has wealthy parents in Austin, where the car that he drives is registered; I think his parents are "helping him through college," i.e. understanding that he needs to study and it would be a shame if his grades suffered because he's struggling to get by...
But, he shows up with excellent gear, Martin Guitar, stereo amps, excellent "vocal" mic, etc, and in that
Christina is also pretty tied to her family in Denmark; she has lived in an apartment in the Quarter whenever she has been here; moving from one to another at times because of the courtyard or the balcony...
In a sense they, along with Tanya and Dorise to a degree, almost seem like they are "cheating" in the sense that the money is easy pickin's for them because their performance on the street corner has the sound quality of a TV broadcast; and Christina has projects in the works and will probably have some claim to fame before it's said and done, but, while some producer is listening to her demo and trying to decide between her and another vocalists, she's pulling in about 100 bucks an hour on the corner of St. Louis and Royal.