Friday, March 30, 2018

12 Dollars Good

It's Friday.
I woke up around noon and I wasn't that tired. Then I thought of how I had been up until the sun had come up. I had snapped off the lamp next to me and opened the Venetian blinds to let the sun hit the last paragraph that I was reading out of Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth."

That accounted for only about 4 hours of sleep.

There was 8 of the 10 dollars I had made the night before on my coffee table, and no cigarettes.

I knew that 4 hours of sleep wasn't enough, and so I laid back down.

When I woke up again at 5:30 PM, I had about 9 hours of sleep in me.

I had to think a bit to reconstruct the night before.

The theme of it had been sugar.

I finished busking and spent a couple of the 11 dollars I had made on coffee and cat food. The coffee is kind of a ritual for me at The Quartermaster. They have a change of shift at midnight and the night person has usually made fresh coffee by the time I knock off at the Lilly Pad at an average time of 12:30.

I had ridden to The Unique Grocery, where I balked at spending any more money.

I was just short of a packet of 32.5 grams of "gold" maeng da kratom that they have recently gotten in there (it has been disappearing as fast as they have been stocking it, probably due to its being one third the price of the stuff that had sat there in its blue, red and green packets).

The notion crossed my mind of getting one of those packets and then staying up all night and into the next day, working on a "creation" of some kind.

But then I remembered to guard myself against ever expecting some foreign substance to fuel a project of any kind.

Sure, The Beatles dropped acid and then recorded "I Am The Walrus," but they already had impetus to go into the studio and record something, it had become their lives at that point, and it wasn't just the acid that produced the walrus song.

Trying to use kratom to stay up and work on something became a mute point after I counted my money in the safety of the Unique Grocery.

I always stand in front of the wall of liquor bottles as I organize and count the money that I had haphazardly shoved into a pocket just to get it out of my tip basket.

This would look, to a skeezer, like I wanted to buy a bottle of liquor but wasn't sure if I had enough; there certainly wouldn't be a whole lot left over to skeeze if I just barely had enough to cover the bottle.

He would understand someone emptying his pockets for a bottle of liquor. "Get drunk first and everything else will take care of itself," is a skeezer motto.

"Hey, man, I barely have enough to get a bottle of whiskey," I would reply to a skeeze for a dollar.

Then, I would be ready to say: "I'm not going to open the bottle until I get where I'm going because more than one person went in on it." if he should then try to skeeze whiskey.

"Can't you just open it and let me get a sip?"

"No, skeezer. I'm not going to show up at a party looking like I'm such an alcoholic that I couldn't even wait to get there before tapping into the whiskey!"

"Well, then f*** you!!"

"Now that I see how you are, I'm glad I didn't give you crap..." type of thing...

Then, I sat on my bike across from the Walgreen's, roaming the aisles in my mind. I debated upon getting cheese and then attempting to make my own pizza, with spaghetti sauce as the sauce, then I thought of all the pasta I had at home and considered a packet of Velveta "cheese sauce," which was only $1.29 and had "whey" listed as the first ingredient.

Then I considered getting a dozen eggs (on sale at 99 cents) with which I could make any number of things, such as fried eggs, eggs over easy, poached eggs...all kinds of things.

The 9 dollars in my pocket would supply me with a Bang energy drink and a double shot of kratom almost to the penny the next day, if I were to just ride home without buying anything.

I wound up grabbing a box of brown sugar, on sale for 99 cents, and a can of diced tomatoes.

The cashier hit some kind of button on the register and my total for the two items became $1.19.

I think she is the same young black girl who had done the same thing for me at the other Walgreen's location. I couldn't help thinking about how Eckhart Tolle had written that things will start to "go the way" of the person who is only concerned with the present moment.

A theory is that, a person puts out a certain vibration or releases positive energy into the universe or maybe gets in step with the positive vibrations already out there, and then "everything you do is going to come back to you," type of thing.

It's fascinating to wonder...has she heard me at the Lilly Pad, has she seen me talking to Lilly and her daughters, has she seen me talking to Bilal the art gallery, did she see me talking to the crazy guy in hospital scrubs?

I wound up having too much sugar after first making a healthy cake out of flour and pulp from out of my juicer that I had bagged up in the freezer, adding an egg and some coconut oil, a dash of salt...etc.

But then the craving for sugar hit and about 4 AM, I made another cake, this one with a liberal amount of brown sugar mixed in, which caused the bottom to brown in a different way than with flour alone..

I had some negative feelings when I woke up.

I wasn't ready to die just then, feeling that I had much work to accomplish here on earth and wanting to leave behind something for future generations.

I also thought about how devastated I imagined my mom and other people becoming upon learning of my demise.

Everything in the physical world is temporary, so why worry worry about it, why try to leave behind a piece of art that will communicate to other humans thousands of years from now?

Those were the seeds of a kind of depressed feeling that I had; but, once again it coincided with my having heaped tablespoons of brown sugar into the cake I had eaten.

I then brought my bike outside, preparing to hop on it and go to the Uxi Duxi, where I would only have about an hour to gulp kratom and use their wireless.
It was chilly enough to make me go back inside for a jacket to throw in my backpack. After the Uxi closes and I move to one of the tables outside to continue using their wireless, it can become uncomfortably cold, since the sun has just gone down by then.

A Letter From Mom

Reemerging with the jacket now in my pack, I was greeted by a meowing Harold the cat. The urgency of his meows, coupled with the fact that I had let him outside more than 12 hours earlier, made me do yet another about face to let him in and give him the last of the wet food, before locking him in and leaving again.
Then I thought about the possibility of the smartphone which is on its way, supposedly, being already in my mailbox.
It wasn't, but there was a letter from my mom.
She still doesn't write "apt A110" on the envelope which had been added to the envelope by someone, using a thin marker. This creates the one extra step of someone having to read the name and match it to an apartment.

This was probably the undoing of the delivery of the one letter that I never got. It had probably gone to the wrong apartment. "Wrong" in the sense of: If someone gets someone else's mail in their box, they will usually just slip it into the right one, but if it goes to the wrong apartment, you're screwed...

Having woken up with no cigarettes, I was happy to discover that I could make the craving, which is almost a reflex upon waking up to the smoker, with the thought process being: huh, what? I'm awake? Yeah, I am..I'm awake! Where are my cigarettes? go away by focusing upon the present moment. I did this as I sat on the toilet, letting my gaze wander out the window and to the branches of trees that were not moving due to the wind ...I can wear my hat as I ride, instead of stuffing it in my pack to be put on my head once inside somewhere...

I got to the corner where the Holy Grounds bar or whatever it is, is. The bartender who sometimes comes out of there wielding a baseball bat, ready to beat anyone away from the ashtrays, emerged from the place right as I got to the corner, changing my plans of offering to buy a cigarette off someone for 50 cents.
"No, they don't have a cigarette to sell you for 50 cents, bye!," he would most likely have butted in to any such conversation.
I then stopped and fished the letter from my mom out of my pocket.
I was hoping that she didn't feel like she had to wait until she had money to slip in the envelope before corresponding or sending an Easter card, which was what this one was. It had 20 bucks in it, plus the news that my neices; my 10 years younger brother's kids, were growing up "smart and beautiful" (still yet to meet their eccentric uncle from New Orleans).

So, I am in the familiar situation now, of sitting here outside the Uxi Duxi and watching the clock with some anxiety, knowing that I could be at the Lilly Pad and set up at a decently early hour if I leave now. Or I could sit here and blog about the anxiety over arriving there later and later it seems every night, and my wish to start playing by a certain time.

Right now, a 10:15 PM start is feasible. It is Friday night. After a typical 11 dollar Thursday, it seems that the odds tilt in favor of my having a good ($35 or more) Friday.

And, isn't it Good Friday today?

The 20 dollars from my mom means that I can go and apply that amount to my gree American Express card, so that I can then use at least get a $2.49 set of guitar strings on the way.

These are the cheapest ones (anywhere) and I sure did notice the difference between them and the set of Cleartone brand ones that Bobby once gave me. He had been going through a phase of experimenting with different guages and had settled upon a different guage as being what he was going to use, and had given me the set which had been a bit too heavy for him.
I could hear how the notes sounded and remained in pitch, rather than initially being sharp after the string is plucked before "falling" back into pitch. This happens at the millisecond level but was noticeable when using the Cleartones. They are 5 times more than the MusiciansFriend brand, and I am tempted to get a set. They would make my home recordings sound better, and would probably pay for themselves with one tip from a person who thinks that I sound 10 dollars good, rather than just one dollar good...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Give Us This Day...

It was 11:35 PM when I went out the door of Sacred Heart Apartments.
One of the latest times ever. And, on a Wednesday night.
The previous Wednesday night, I had made 23 bucks, I recalled, plus sold one hit off a joint for 20 dollars to a lady.
Then I was woken up the next morning by Ed (of Rose and Ed) who bought my extra bike off me for 30 bucks, so I had gone from broke to 73 dollars in the course of 12 hours.
"I guess I'll be doing the midnight 'til two shift," I said to the security lady at the front desk.
I had no cash at all on me at all, just like the previous Wednesday..
I had no weed and had chosen not to knock on Bobby's door and basically beg him for some. If I tell him I am on my way out to play (and probably have all my gear on my back to "prove" it) and that I have no weed but would really relish a toke or two while I tune up, he will usually give me what, to him, is a tiny bud, but which I can smoke off of for a couple days.
Something told me not to push that luck.

I had just fed Harold the cat the only food I had for him, the dry stuff; and had had to tell him: "That's all there is" repeatedly as an answer to his meows," as he stood by the spot where the wet food usually is.
I had been at the Uxi Duxi, a further reenactment of the previous Wednesday, with the difference being I had one dollar and eight pennies to go with the $2.62 on my green Amex card.

"There will be coincidences," states Eckhart Tolle in his "A New Earth" book that I'm about a third of the way through.
A coincidence was indeed having the identical amount of $2.62 on my card after a week of earning and spending.
This is the 30 cents short of a shot of kratom which was the big issue of the prior Wednesday.

But I had "come up" one dollar and eight cents over the course of the week, it felt like.
I set out thinking that, it would be nice to make at least 3 bucks to have for the following day.
It was with this, and Harold the cat, in mind as well as making enough for a 3 dollar shot of kratom the next day, that I pedaled towards the Lilly Pad.
I can cut 8 full minutes off my journey if I take the bike trail (where I was shot in the face with a paint ball about a year ago now) instead of Canal Street.
I did a variation of this and plucked my first note about 8 minutes before midnight.
Before I tuned up, I looked down and found, in the crack of the sidewalk, one of my roaches of weed from Sunday night, two nights prior.
It was almost an inch long, making for some kind of miracle that it hadn't been swept up by the crews who had come through twice at 4 in the morning, since I had dropped it there.
I could actually recall Sunday night, packing up and thinking that I still had a decent sized roach somewhere, but couldn't find it.
So, the ritual of smoking bud while I tuned up remained intact.
Money steadily flowed into my basket, with one particular group of four being responsible for about 12 of the 26 dollars that I would make before seeing that it was 1:48 AM and I had just about covered the midnight 'til two shift that I had set out to accomplish.

The ultimate impetus to pack up came after an older black man, whom I have seen before, and who is some kind of hustler, sat on the stoop, ostensibly wanting to listen to me, or maybe just seeking company.
He offered me a cigarette, which I smoked a bit of, after hedging against the possibility that he was going to try to skeeze money off me, by saying: "Yeah, I haven't even made enough for a pack," as I accepted it from him. I had broken the basket down to about 4 dollars by that point. 
It was a challenge to play "for him," and, in retrospect I think this was the biggest issue and the "spiritual exercise" that I had in front of me for the entire day.
It hadn't been the 30 cents short of a shot of kratom of the previous week which had placed a load on my mind that required the ironically hard work of letting it go, but this was not to be taken lightly.
I suddenly felt inadequate, as I tried to come up with a strategy through which I could entertain the shaven headed older black guy (being driven by an ego-based sense of pride and my wanting him to at least go around saying: "That guy can play!" to whom it may concern) while, at the same time, keep him from hanging around.
Should I play something that I thought would bore him into leaving? This would have the effect of boring anyone else out that night into leaving.
I feel badly that I wasn't able to embrace his being there and play no differently than I would, had be been a nice white couple from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
My mind wandered and I wound up aborting the first couple songs I attempted, saying: "My mind's a million miles away," to the guy after stopping, hoping he would respond by saying: "I guess I'm distracting you," and leave.
It's just that he evinced no signs of actually enjoying my playing that I could see; no singing along to any part of "My Girl," by Marvin Gaye(?), no giggling over any of the verses to "Crazy About A Crazy Girl," one of my originals intended to be kind of funny etc.

I figured that he knew that I didn't like people sitting there, not tipping but dissuading others from sitting there and doing so. We had most likely been over that, at least once.

There are people who take offense to being asked to leave anywhere in general. That may be due to their having issues related to "abandonment," (or, I guess that would be reverse-abandonment in this case when I wanted him to abandon me) or perhaps low self-esteem.

The guy who tried to physically take my guitar from me after I had asked him if he could not sit there, in as nice a way as I could muster, but in a way that sounded rude even to me the way it came out, is a good example.

It was almost as if this guy was enjoying the anticipation of me asking him to move, perhaps to see the amount of tact I would be able to do it with.

After a couple of pretty young ladies had walked past, and he had said something complimentary to them,  and then had remarked to me, or maybe just out loud to nobody, something like: "They got it going on," I added, "Yeah, and they didn't seem to want to stop."

This was a subtle hint.

It felt like a spiritual exercise, of the kind that Ekhart Tolle talks about -the situation I found myself in.

I decided to look past him and play to the window on the third floor of the house across from me, where the imaginary young lady reclines on her bed, her head propped up on a pillow so she can hear my sound coming through the cracked open panes -the one who loves the music of The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, would die for Elvis Costello and who, most of all, enjoys a musician playing and singing whatever is popping into his head at that moment.

The amount of tourists there had dwindled down as 2 AM approached. After another couple groups had gone by without stopping, I started to pack up, focusing upon being level headed and having no hard feelings towards the guy on the stoop.

As I shouldered my pack, ready to walk off, he got up and walked away himself, saying something like: "I was just fixin' to move," which tipped me off that he had known exactly what he was doing.

He might have been testing me in a way.

I have complained about some of the hustlers doing the same thing as myself at some level.

One rolly-polly black lady, who motors around in an electric cart that is equipped with a sound system and flashy lights, comes to mind.

I had gotten pissed off once, after she had motored past me on the sidewalk with her face contorted into a "Get out of my way you piece of shit" look after she had given me a quick once-over.

Then appeared a couple of well dressed white tourists from around a corner.

She transformed immediately. With a big smile on her face and with her fingers snapping she began to dance, as well as someone seated in a cart can, to her music, while engaging them with some kind of patter "Welcome to my city, nice tourists, where we sing and dance and snap our fingers all the live-long day! And where tips are appreciated!"

I resented her. I wanted to get in her face and ask: "Where's MY song and dance?!?"

And, yet, here I was hoping the street character hustler guy would move away so I could sing and dance and snap my harmonica for some nicely dressed tourists.
It took an Eckhart Tolle book and a lot of meditation for the truth to become plain to me.

So, yeah, the guy might have been trying to defrock, me in that regard.

It raised a very important issue; one that the busker has to deal with, at some point. An issue surrounding being able to see through the veil of physical form to the divinity in all living creatures.

I should have engaged him in conversation and shown him the utmost respect; maybe next time...tonight? 

There was a time when a group of three black teens stopped, with one of them asking me: "I can get a couple dollars?" about the 4 dollars that was in my basket.

I subdued my reaction to something like: "Man, that's all I've made all night, a couple dollars," rather than a sarcastic: "Yeah, I'm sitting here handing out money, that's what I came out here to do!"

The kid then pulled out a wad of money and said: "I was going to give you 10 bucks if you said I could have a couple!"

And, I think he was sincere. He would have given me the 10 bucks had I said: "Well, I've only made a couple bucks so far, but, if you really need it..."

You don't want to present yourself as a naive, kind-hearted push-over, but...
Well, back to "A New Earth," for me, I guess.
It's 9:45 PM on this Thursday night. the rain has stopped.
I have enough left of the 26 bucks to get a bit of weed.
I had a box of Life cereal and then some baked fish a few hours later last night, fed Harold a couple cans of food, had a cigar to smoke, a Bang energy drink which I used as a mixer for the double shot of kratom that I'm just finishing now, as I prepare to go out to make my daily bread for one more day... 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Time Out

So, a lot of people have maybe seen this already. I am considering downloading and using a video editing program called Cinelerra.

The included video was made using that software and is a demonstration of it, along with being of extraordinarily interesting subject matter.
If the sun was the size of a huge beach ball, Jupiter would be a half mile away; there is some kind of correlation between atoms, which have protons and neutrons whirling in orbit around them, and our solar system. If I could just figure it out and come up with a complex model; I think I can travel across the universe in no time at all...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hey, Ray

There are rain clouds in the area; it is Monday night.
I woke up and had to get my bearings...

One time I woke up with 7 hours of sleep in me, and almost stayed up.

Had I had dragged myself into the kitchen and popped some instant coffee in the microwave for 45 seconds, I would have started my day then.

I had consumed a lot of sugar the night before. Plus, I had eaten a po-boy that a young lady had given me at the Lilly Pad. "It's sandwiches; they're good," she had said.

I stuffed the bag in my pack, behind the excuse of not wanting to get a chunk of sandwich into my harmonica; and so that, if the sandwich was bathed in soy mayonnaise, I wouldn't have to eat it in front of her to show my appreciation.

I opened the bag when I was done playing, which had indeed, one foot long poboy sandwich that had about 4 sections to it, each one different -one stretch tasted like tidy Joe's (sloppy Joe's that wasn't dripping out) and there was a ham and cheese and olive part (trying to emulate a muffalatta) and I wound up eating the whole thing, after taking a couple bites at the Lilly Pad, and then taking it back out for some more outside the Quartermaster. Little did I know that I was following in the footsteps of Brad Pitt by eating an "All that Jazz" poboy

It was so good that I had to try to figure out where it had come from; it may have even come from the Quartermaster, I thought. I'll have to tell them how good their po-boys are...

There was a Verti Marte receipt in the bag, though, which also contained a Styrofoam of macaroni and cheese and another of cole slaw and enough napkins to keep me out of the toilet paper aisle for a while.

Verti Marte is the most direct competition to the Quartermaster, being also open all night, right down the street from it, known far and wide for their "sandwiches," as well as for the local celebrities that go there.

The po’boys deserve 5 stars, and by all means, get an All that Jazz – a $9.50 po-boy of grilled ham, turkey and shrimp, two cheeses, grilled mushrooms, and tomatoes on grilled French bread with “Wow Sauce.” -from
Brad and Angelina (Pitt) and children. "It's sandwiches,"
in the bag, as they leave The Verti Marte...

I should have been full and not even interested in going into Rouses Market before they closed, but had already forgotten that I had eaten the foot-long thing, by the time I got there.

The Munchies

This is another effect of smoking good weed -the munchies.

I can remember standing in front of an open pantry, munching down a bag of Bugles, to keep me going, while I looked over the items, trying to find something to eat.

I can also remember coming home from my job as a bar-back at Scampi's Lounge and Restaurant, when I was a worldly 17 year old still living with his parents, and toasting up three quarters of a loaf of bread and eating it with butter and rhubarb marmalade (made by my grandmother in Vermont).
 French Quarter residents Pitt, Angelina Jolie and their children were recently photographed exiting the newly opened deli with snacks. “They came in and got some juice and chips and stuff like that for the kids,” a source told People Magazine. “They don’t get a lot of pop for the kids. They like to get the whole family out and walk around on a pretty day like today.”
A Lot Of Pwank

I would put 4 slices in the toaster and push them down.
As soon as they popped up toasted, I would push 4 more slices down.

It worked out nearly perfectly that, after I had buttered and marmaladed and eaten the first 4 slices and was licking my fingers, Pwank!, up came the next 4.

I would get the next batch started, and go to work buttering and marmalading and eating. 20 pieces of toast later, I would twist back up what was left of the bread.

My parents, perhaps hearing the pwanking of the toaster at 2:30 AM, might have thought I had been pretty hungry, to have made 5 whole slices of toast. Multiply that by 4, and I guess they were right.

Of course, as a worldly 17 year old, who worked at a hip and happening night spot*, I had no idea what the price of a loaf of bread was, then, nor what percentage of what I had made the entire night three quarters of a loaf of it cost.

It was hoped that I would stay in college, land a good job, and then never have to worry about that price.

A Good Segue...

After making about 13 bucks at the Lilly Pad, and eating the po-boy, I got a cup of coffee and a can of cat food. The 13 bucks would about break me even after what I'd spent that day.

It was still early enough for me to get to Rouses Market, where I had 8 minutes before they closed at 1 AM, to roam the aisles.

The pressure was too much for me; and I wound up buying a couple bananas just to exit gracefully, and make them think that they hadn't let me in at the last minute just so I could buy nothing.

There was a pack of beef "soup bones" which had been marked down to $2.99.

Pretty good price for soup bones, right?

I don't know, either.

Rouses could put a price of, say, $7.49 on something, cross it out and, under it, put "Today's Special: $2.99!," and I would probably pounce on it like I was trying to protect everyone in the store from a live grenade, wrap myself around and corral it, like a football player recovering a fumble.

Soup bones, in action...
I had to think about the soup the 8 minutes ticked down to under 5...the meat on them is usually pretty good, but they are intended more to be used as soup "stock,' supplying plenty of marrow, good for the soul...

But, I already had a glass full of marrow in the refrigerator at home, the top layer had coagulated into like a wax, which kept the liquid in the bottom layer from evaporating (that would be the water that the bones were boiled in).

Enough bone marrow at home, already. The flour tortillas for $2.99 are $2.49 at the Ideal Mart; the Smuckers natural peanut butter for $3.59 is $2.49 at Wal-Mart....


I loaded Audacity onto this laptop at the click of a mouse, but am having technical issues with recording more than one track that I won't go into.
I found and downloaded the free drum sounds from
I have OpenShot video editor waiting to make cat videos.
And, I put the GIMP graphical image manipulator program on, so I can get back to that kind of artwork, cartoons and stuff.
Oh, yeah. The GIMP editor...

*the Scampi's job, I had gotten after starting out as a dishwasher there. I was a dishwasher who could work in a 108 degree kitchen without complaining.

I had told the owner, Jimmy Fusco at one point, that my dad was 100% Italian (according to what scanty information was made known to me through the Catholic Social Services*** organization that I had been adopted through).

Jimmy was happy to hear this, and, after the job of bar-back opened up, and I had said: "I'll do it," as he was telling the kitchen manager, Ray**, to be on the lookout for worthy candidates, I became the bar-back.

I instantly became a special man, at that point.

Since the drinking age was 18 in Massachusetts at the time, I was technically not supposed to be allowed to be around alcohol at my age. But, the place was mob owned and run, and Jimmy didn't seem too concerned about adhering to any such laws.

So, I became a 17 year old who could go into Harry's Liquor Store (also mob owned and run) and buy alcohol, answering Harry's inquiry of "How's Jimmy?" at some point, as almost a code phrase between us.

And a 17 year old who could walk into the strip club named: Steaks and Crepes, and disappear right past the "employees only" sign and into the backstage area, where I had often been sent, by Jimmy, to get buckets of ice out of the ice machine that was there. It was a mob owned and operated ice machine, and it had naked young ladies walking to and fro by it, on their ways to and from the stage.

I had my cheek pinched a time or two while taking an awful long time to fill a couple buckets with ice.

I would then sit at the bar and watch the girls dance. The phone would ring and Leo would answer it, say: "Yeah, he's watching the girls," and then tell me: Jimmy say's put your eyeballs back in your head and get that ice over there before it melts!"

Those were the days.

That might have been my first chance in life to become a mobster, and I might still be working for Jimmy Fusco in some capacity if I hadn't decided to go to college in the fall of 1980.

"Good for you," he had said when I told him of my decision, but still shook his head as if lamenting the losing of a good bar-back.

He found a way to fire me shortly thereafter. He needed a full-time bar-back and staying out until 2 AM, helping myself to all the free alcohol I wanted, was not going to help me as a college student. I'm sure that was the real reason Jimmy let me go...
My "If you don't give me a dollar, I'll cry" expression, in case I ever have to skeeze...

**Ray was gay, and provided me with the first chance in my life to sell my body to a guy almost 3 times my age. "It's called hustling, but you can call it anything you want," Ray had said, in that 108 degree kitchen.

I declined, but wound up writing a pretty cool song entitled "Gay Ray," about him. "Hey, Ray, what do you say; how are you today do you feel OK, Gay Ray...? Hey Ray, the sky is gray, I'd love to stay, but I must be on my way..." type of lyrics, as I recall...

*** Now the same organization is providing me with a voucher to pay my rent for the rest of my natural life. From the cradle to the grave, C.S.S has me covered, it seems.

I'm afraid that my blog traffic has diminished because people see the pictures of me, and lose interest in a guitar player so ugly.
Street Musician Daniel, from now on...
From now on, here I am, Street Musician Daniel (right).

This one was taken of me playing at the (new) Lilly Pad, on Lillian's front steps, as I try to do at least a few hours each night.

Teen aged girls can send money, guitar strings, selfies, kratom, whatever, to the address above.

Thank you in advance...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Elvis Wedding

  • A New Leaf
  • A Retro Post
  • 21 Dollar Saturday Night 

"Nathaniel," the first picture off the 16 gig drive...
I have finally gotten a version of Linux Ubuntu "17.10" installed upon this laptop.
Hopefully, I can come up to speed with it and be recording music and doing artwork with the editor (cartoons, at least). And, when my smartphone arrives within the next week, I should seamlessly transition into photo-intensive posting, making the blog more interesting...

A HellRide

So, I left the apartment around 5 PM, yesterday (Saturday, the 24th) to "scoot over to the WalMart 'superstore' real quick," to grab the 16 gig USB drive that had come in, and be back within the hour.

I was back 2 hours and 15 minutes later, making it to the Uxi Duxi just in time to grab a double shot of kratom before they locked the door at 8 PM.

I had had a 35 dollar Friday night.

I had gotten lost, and didn't realize it until I had come upon a Rouses Market that I had never seen before on Tcoupitoulous Street. That street has warehouse after warehouse and they all look similar enough that I had ridden about 3 miles in the wrong direction before coming upon the Rouses.

After the double shot of kratom, I stopped at Bobby's to get a 10 dollar bud of weed, regretting spending 10 bucks.

I waited until I got to the Lilly Pad before rolling it up, giving me a carrot in front of my nose as I pedaled toward there.

No sooner had I tuned up and smoked "one," than a well dressed early 30's couple came by and sat on Lilly's stoop. They seemed amused by the tiposaurus.

Then the guy said: "It would be cool if the tiposaurus smoked weed..." and then told me that they were from Baton Rouge and that they had not been able to locate any since they had gotten to Bourbon Street.

This being because they had entered it from the "quiet residential" end that a lot of people do; having located the street on their phones and found a place to park.

A lot of tourists come in from that Elysian Fields Street entrance and start to suspect that they are on the wrong Bourbon Street by the time they get to the Lilly Pad, having expected it to be more like it is on the "crazy" end of it that comes out on Canal Street.

I thought about the 10 dollar bud that I had gotten and how that was 5 dollars more than I like to spend on a given day.

"I'll tell you what, I'll just roll one up and smoke it with you," I said, after the guy said that he wanted to buy some, but didn't want to get ripped off, by purchasing oregano or fennel instead of weed.

I rolled it up, took a puff and then passed it to them, telling them to take their time and pass it back and forth between them, I had already smoked my tune-up joint.

Is there anybody out there?
They seemed to only take a couple puffs, before handing it back, and I'm not even sure they did that. The guy put a 20 dollar bill in my basket, the lady handed back the joint, and they went off.

I began to become paranoid at that point -one of the features of good weed- thinking that, if they were cops, then they would probably have faked taking a puff, and then would have handed me a "marked" bill, the serial number of which being recorded somewhere, to be used as evidence in a court of law.

As ridiculous as that seems, with weed being decriminalized here, and all.

They had been friendly and pretty cool and the lady seemed greatly pleased to have been able to get the one hit (for 20 bucks?) and I didn't sense any guile in the way they interacted.

Still, the paranoia made me shove the 20 into the body of one of my sharks, which sat on the sidewalk next to my tip basket, and not on my person. In a court of law, I would be able to beat the rap due to the sharks being on the sidewalk. "They were there when I got there, I just moved them to around my basket..."

This is the heightened sense of paranoia that is a trade-off for smoking good weed. I guess the one little hit had been enough to brighten the ladies outlook, for she then said: "You have to play us something!" to which I played my song "Crazy About A Crazy Girl,"

The song had quite an effect on them, with them insisting that the girl in the song described the lady to a tee. "That's my girlfriend, exactly," the gentleman said, giving her a squeeze.

They didn't stay to hear the whole song, which could have been another red flag for me.

I then had to weigh the risk of someone walking off with the plastic shark and me losing 20 bucks, against the risk of being busted with the marked bill in my pocket. But, they don't arrest people for weed here...maybe in Baton Rouge they do, though...
It was all weed based paranoia, and maybe another sign that, if something makes you feel paranoid then don't do it, type of thing...Eckhart Tolle material.
I wound up with 43 bucks after about 2 hours of playing, but, except for doubling my money on the 10 dollars sack of bud (while keeping 95% of it) it would have been a 23 dollar night.

Plus, once again, after the buzz wore off it left me devoid of any sense of having anything else "to add," musically, like I had wrung my brain out like a towel soaked in ideas. Another trade-off for smoking good weed.

An Old Post

A throw-back, retro post from 2009...
As I was backing things up preparing to totally wipe my disc clean and start from ground zero, or whatever the phrase is; I came across this, from when I was in Ocala, Florida; my girlfriend at the time, Karrie was in jail in St. Augustine and I was visiting with a friend, John Abel, who was getting ready to depart for Las Vegas to marry Ester, a Latina girl half his age who was quite a knockout to look at...
Their marriage lasted only about 2 years, and its decline can be retraced through old Facebook posts (with their mutual friends dropping off , one by one, etc...) But I remember asking John if they were going to be married by an Elvis impersonator, to which he replied: "No, I thought about that, but..."
The reasons that he gave which led to his decision not to were lost on me, because I was in astonishment over the fact that he had "thought" about it, I recall. I figured that would have gone something like below, and probably wouldn't have given them any impetus to stay wed any longer than they wound up being...

From 2009:

Plus, more on John's Wedding, which he decided NOT to have performed by an Elvis impersonator, even though he "thought about it." He thought about it??? He's joking, isn't he??

Elvis: "Do you John, promise to not be cruel, and to love Ester "tender?"

John: "I do"

Elvis: "Ester, if John is in sickness, or poorer, or the Kentucky rain is pouring down; Is that alright, Mama?"

Ester: "It is."

Elvis: "John, are you a hunk of burnin' love for Ester?"

John: "I am."

Elvis "Will you be Ester's teddy bear?"

John: "I will."

Elvis: "Then, by the power invested in me, as the King of Rock -n- Roll I now pronounce you all hooked up! (hey, hey hey!)

 I wonder if this book can make me funnier...

Friday, March 23, 2018

Before Running Out Of Talent

  • Surprise Is Sprung Upon Me
  • Up All Night Playing Computer Tech
          Please don't try to upgrade (click "OK" not "Upgrade") or it will mess up

The above screen is what will greet residents of Sacred Heart from the only one of three computers in there that I was able to get up and running last night, using a Linux installation CD and loading that operating system alongside the existing corrupt Windows, instead of in place of it (so that if anyone ever repairs Windows; the music and photos and whatever residents might have saved onto it will still be "there." along with their viruses...)

One of them has a dead screen -I might switch the hard drive from that into the one that has a good screen but a damaged hard drive...

It was a labor of love, a few of the people who live there, "lived" in the computer room, playing "Hearts" or Solitaire or watching video after video on Youtube.
After I decided not to go out to busk when 11 PM crept up on me and I was faced with starting at the Lilly Pad at almost midnight on a chilly Thursday night, I figured I could do that

A Spring Parcel Arrives

I woke up around 4 PM, well rested, not very depressed and not thinking too hard about lighting up a cigarette.
I did a quick workout...

Then I made the bold decision to deviate from the all-black outfit I usually wear and go with brown and green.
I'm turning over a new leaf, I guess, and have even switched to a different strain of kratom.

I had to do a double take when I was on my way out to the Uxi Duxi around 5 PM, with $2.62 on my green American Express card and another $1.35 in cash.

There was a box wrapped in grey plastic sitting where items too large to fit in our mailboxes are kept, with the tell-tale Royal Mail sticker that signifies the Lidgleys of London.

I had to think for a second: It's not my birthday or Christmas...St. Patricks Day was last week; it must be a "spring parcel."

I had just checked my mailbox, hoping for anything...a belated tax return check from 1984...a letter from my mom, who might have read about the abuse I was subjected to over 30 cents, containing 30 cents in the envelope...anything.

I rode to the Uxi Duxi with renewed vigor.

It was just as hard -with things seemingly going well- if not harder, to remain in the present moment and be a silent witness to my thoughts and emotions, as it was when things were seemingly "going bad."

Just 2 days ago, I was just about flat broke and had gone out to busk on a cold night when I felt like I was coming down with a cold, and that seems, in retrospect to have been a turning point.

A Turning Point

I saw Lilly and Chantilly at the Quartermaster when I was picking up my milk crate, who asked me to text her "not tonight, but tomorrow," about whether or not I saw anyone coming or going from her neighbor's house, reiterating her warning to me to not ever let on to anyone there that I know her.

I made 13 bucks and was able to feed Harold the cat.

Then last (Thursday) night, after leaving the Uxi Duxi, I came upon a white Styrofoam container of food, sitting on a table in front of the Cafe Minh down the street.

It was very close to where I had found the one that had leaked cabbage juice into and almost destroyed this laptop.

This one was tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, though.

I then went about my usual routine, stopping for a can of cat food, and was on my way to Rouses Market out of force of habit, already trying to think of what I could get to eat for the 4 dollars or so that I had left, when I remembered that the food was in my backpack. I had no idea what it was, though...

When I got back to the apartment, I opened it to discover that it was a seafood dish, a shellfish type thing which had scallops and clams and shrimp and oyster and probably mussels and maybe even crawfish.

After eating that, I decided to stay in and work on the computers. Harold snubbed my offer of one of the clams.

Rose and Ed bought my extra bike from me, and are going to pay me the 35 bucks next week at the latest...
The extra bike (far right)
no longer clutters my room...

Then, the parcel arrived, containing vitamins, a new Starbucks gift card, two packs of Benson & Hedges cigarettes, two shirts of the kind fashionable millenials wear, a box of chocolate, and coffee -some of the best instant that comes in an air-tight can- and some cereal packets upon which everything is written in Italian, I believe is the, a crisp 20 dollar bill at the bottom of the box.

I got to the Uxi Duxi to find that Dom was working and that I had no hard feelings towards him.

I started to open the parcel, hoping I could do so before he asked me if I was going to purchase anything, in case there was money in it.

I had enough to buy a shot of kratom regardless, but would have had to drain the balance off my green card, and then throw in some cash, a complication that might have had him sighing in exasperation over what he has to go through to get a 50 cent tip. And if he misunderstood me and entered one penny too much off the card "...I thought you said 'two sixty three'..." then the business would have been hit with an "insufficient funds" charge; and then, how would they like 50 cent tipping man then?
Coffee, kratom and chocolate; heaven is a place on earth...

I told him to go ahead and grind me up a shot of Yellow Horn, a strain I have been trying lately instead of the Green Borneo that had been my regular.

I was able to open the parcel and fish out the 20 dollar bill by the time he had it ready, thus, avoiding the: "So, you want to use two sixty off your card and then pay the other 30 cents in cash, and...oh, my God, I'm getting a migraine, I need to close up for an hour so I can lay down...come back at six.." type of scenario...

I had originally thought that I would open it in the lobby of Sacred Heart, right after I got it, but then realized that that was me wanting to feed my ego, to feel like I had "more" by comparison to those around me. To give them an example of what doing something, even if it is just being a homeless busker for 8 years, can produce.

There were a few residents hanging around there, who would have probably been looking over my shoulder, ready to say: "Hey, let me get a cigarette; and a chocolate, and a vitamin, oh I need a vitamin, and some of whatever that is; give me some of that...if you don't mind..."

But it would have been something, indeed; after I had unwrapped the box (shown).

It bore the label of "The White Company," which is I guess where the Lidgleys shop in London.

I can imagine the suspicion with which the blacks at Sacred Heart would have eyed that box..."The White Company, what that is?!?"

"You all don't need to know about The White Company..." I could have left them hanging with.

Then, once I had logged on to my laptop and was sipping my kratom shot, I went to the Wal-Mart website to learn that my USB 16 gig data stick was "ready for pickup," just a 30 minute bike ride, dodging potholes the whole way, away.

I again had to calm myself down, stay the course, plan to go out to busk as usual, and not run over there to pick it up then spend the rest of the night messing around with installing Linux.

I want to get my recording studio back up and running, sure, but everything should be done in proper order. It will still be "ready for pickup" tomorrow.

It is 9:30 PM on a Friday which is still only maybe one degree warmer than it has been the past couple days. 

We are having a more normal March, here in New Orleans, which sucks because I had gotten used to the extremely unseasonable warm springs of the past couple years, even if they were going to melt the polar ice caps a bit and wash away a few houses along the coast...

I will feed Harold, throw on one of the lucky new shirts, and then see how long I can play in the key of D before running out of talent.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

When The Going Gets Tough

I'll show them! I'll show them all!
I'm going to put an ass-kicking on them
they'll never forget!!!
The tough force themselves to go out on a Wednesday night to busk, even though it feels colder than the 49 degrees that it is and am I coming down with another cold or flu? is a worry.

I rode my bike to the Starbucks after having been asked to leave the Uxi Duxi, being 30 cents short of my usual shot of kratom.

I am there almost every day, have spent probably over 200 dollars in there since they opened; have recently started adding tips for the baristas to my purchases, even though it's only 50 cents (but an amount that adds up infinitely faster than zero) and was subjected to "Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out," the Eric Clapton version playing in my head as I unlocked my bike, and had to struggle with anger; telling myself that rules are rules and that Nathaniel probably fears that the bar will turn into a place where people hang out but never spend money, and thus the rule.

It was a heaping load of everything that Eckhart Tolle talks about in the way of: Things are going to happen, and you are going to find yourself in circumstances that are going to test your ability to stay in the present moment, etc.

So, I had to push away thoughts of never going back to the Uxi Duxi again to "teach them a lesson," or of going back there and pulling out a wad of hundred dollar bills, because I didn't have them.

The whole evening felt out of kilter. I wondered if I had made a mistake by not having sat in my apartment with less than 3 dollars to my name and meditated; until the desire for anything that costs money went away.

Once at the Starbucks, the young black lady behind the counter took my order never making eye contact with me, after having practically flirted with the black guy before me; no big deal.

Then, as I did my blog post using their wireless there was an older drunk black guy who was a Snagglepuss laugher, sounding like he was getting ready to hock up some phlegm rather that reveling in mirth. He kept uttering barely intelligible phrases, seemingly about how he had been walking around telling people that he hadn't a dime to his name; and all the ten dollar bills that he had been given, as evidenced by all the ten dollars worth of whiskey that had turned him into an obnoxious Snagglepuss laugher in Starbucks.

He sat right next to me as I typed away. It would drive the person who wasn't in the present moment and seeing his connection to every living creature through the love of God, crazy. My connection was cutting in and out, maybe due to the florescent lighting in the place. I couldn't refrain from looking at the guy with a "Can't you see I'm trying to work here?" expression.

Then I felt ill at ease trying to record thoughts while trying not to identify with them at the same time; that turned it into a mind game which is exactly what I was supposed to be trying to transcend. And Snagglepuss seemed to derive endless amusement over my plight.

I dreaded going out to busk.

10 PM, and the closing of Starbucks, overtook me as if the clocks had been accelerated.

I stood on the corner, realizing that my only viable option was to proceed directly to the Lilly Pad, do not pass go, and that I would feel better once the first dollar went into my tip jar.
I went through the alley behind the Hotel Monteleone where I pick the ashtrays, feeling like I shouldn't be doing it, like I should have meditated away the desire for tobacco and that the few staff members of that hotel could sense this at a subconscious level.

There was a fat black lady, dressed as a house-keeper sitting on top of one of the ashtray things, for example. I had to dissociate myself from thoughts like: what a lazy lady, can't imagine how much work she accomplishes, yet she has a job when I would work three times as hard yet don't...and did she plant her ass on the ashtray when she saw me coming? Maybe snagglepuss laugher is in cahoots with her and had texted her that I was on my way. Or maybe she doesn't mind getting ashes on the butt of her black slacks; and if one of the cigarettes that she is sitting on is still lit, oh well...those are the risks you take when it is important to you to keep a white man from getting free tobacco...

No, those are the emotional risks you take when you are a white man picking ashtrays, I determined; able to maintain some peace of mind.

Then I rode by Jay the Really loud singer who was singing "Here I go, playing star again..." from the Bob Seger song which is one of the dozen or so that he does in constant rotation.

His voice has become thinner and weaker in the past year; I wondered if crystal methamphetamine does that to a singer.
Then I got to the Quartermaster to pick up a milk crate to sit on. They were out and I had to grab three of the other kind to stack together.

Then I looked in the window to see who was working.

It was Robert, reminding me that I was indeed getting an earlier start to busking having left Starbucks at 10 PM and rode the 9 blocks; instead of having left Uxi Duxi at almost the same time, but then stopped at the apartment and became delayed by a meowing cat, etc.

And, Robert was in the process of serving none other than Lilly and her older daughter Chantilly.

I walked in and all three of them chimed "Hi, Daniel!" in unison, with each party seeming impressed that the other knew my name. I felt officially like a fixture in the neighborhood.

I really didn't feel like playing, and the fact that I hadn't had any kratom or any weed and that I felt a chill and wondered if I was coming down with something were all factors.

The first dollar went into my basket within a couple minutes and other ones followed at a pretty steady rate. I thought I was playing horribly. The new strings, which are the cheapest strings available ($2.49 a pack) felt like the cheapest strings available, like I was going to cut my skin open while sliding from one fret to the next.

I made 13 bucks in an hour and a half; bought cat food and a small jar of instant coffee and was able to lay about 9 bucks on my coffee table.

I still had 30 cents short of a shot of kratom on my green American Express card.

But more importantly had weathered the storm; had not blown up and cussed Dom out over the 30 cents; had endured Snagglepuss laugher, and found it easy to go into a deep state of meditation when I got home.

I then understood the importance of being an instrument of peace in the daily walk through life; less crap to have to not identify with when trying to meditate later.

I hadn't eaten before going out to play, unless you consider the half and half and sugar I put in my coffee food, and I had the notion of doing a juice fast. I drank juice while boiling up some yellow corn grits, as per the instructions on the back of the 5 pound bag of it that I had gotten from the food bank 3 weeks prior.

It would be an experiment using corn as the substance being tested.
I was woken up at 2:30 PM having just about 8 hours of sleep in me by Ed from apartment 303. He wanted to see the bike that I had offered to him and Rose for 30 dollars as soon as I had gotten it back from Howard Westra's.

He came and looked at it; didn't try to haggle the price down, borrowed 50 cents for doing laundry, and informed me that he would take it; used my wrench to lower the seat to "Rose height," and informed me that I had 35 dollars coming from he and Rose on the 1st of next month.

Things had turned around pretty quickly from the mental anguish of the night before. I didn't even think of a cigarette first thing upon waking up. It was about the 3rd thing I thought of.

On the way to the Uxi Duxi I remembered to stop at the library and photocopy my food stamp card to send to the Assurance wireless people in order to get the smartphone on its way to me.

The Riddle Solved

The significance of the number 22 as it relates to the Uxi Duxi is that that is its value on the Scrabble board. I originally wondered if the guy that named the place was a Scrabble player but then realized that, apart from the X's the rest of the tiles are only worth one point each.

"No, it's a Sicilian curse," said Chloe today after I solved the riddle for her. "The guy that owns it is Sicilian and, in fact, one of his Sicilian relatives is buried in the cemetery across the street."

Max and the girl who sometimes wears equestrian boots.
I'm hoping I have the resolve to go out and play a second night without smoking weed first and that I play better than I thought I did last night. I hadn't been able to think of more than a couple songs to fit the D major harmonica, even though there are thousands in existence.

Harold is outside, but will be meowing for another can of food when I get back, so I will tap into the 4 dollars and change that is my net worth for one on the way back there.

The temperature has come up about 5 degrees from yesterday. At least this spring is acting like a normal one, dispelling fears of cataclysmic climate changes and the destruction of the planet, for now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Doing It Somewhere Else

I tried to load the Audacity program again. This time, I was armed with a litte bit more knowledge, maybe from having held the Linux book in my hands at the Goodwill Store.
I hope whomever bought that book for a dollar, after having learned through their smart-phone that the book originally sold for 35 bucks, realizes the short shelf life of books about computer knowledge. It is common to hear computer people say things like: "Everything is C++ now," which is something that was said to me in 1998, when I was holding a book about programming in the C language (minus the plus plus) "What are you studying that for?," wondered the young Russian man, who had come to this country within the past 5 years, making him about 22, I would say.

And probably a college student, and, maybe one who considered, or had considered, computer science as his major. He probably would have been told by the guidance counsellor that everything is C++ now.

I hope the person who bought that 2003 book knows the shaky nature of the speculation upon which his one dollar was invested, and that, it would only be a person like myself who would pay, oh maybe 4 dollars for it, and that's only because I am alright with knowing that in the years since it came out, everything became something else and, now 15 years later, the Linux book would be teaching a lot of things that have been deprecated and/or replaced with other software.

I'm probably going to be able to look on E-bay and find a seller of that exact book (which is arguably rare because most of them have been thrown out by now) who happens to be in the immediate area and maybe call him to say: "Look, buddy, you bought a dud. That's one dollar that you'll be lucky to ever see again. I'll give you 2 dollars, and I'll leave you my phone number, so you can think about it. I know you got it at the Goodwill on Tulane Avenue on Monday, in fact, I know a lot about you, Leonard...but I deviate. Think about it, Leonard, 2 bucks *click*....).

Maybe I let the book go, at the subconscious level.

I knew I would have to ride to the Uxi Duxi with both my laptop and the 6 pound, slightly water damaged thing (It was printed a couple years before hurricane Katrina) in my backpack, and that can put a crack in the laptop's screen if not packed right. Or, I would have to separate the two and carry the book on my handlebars in a plastic bag, which would have upset the balance of the bike, since I probably wouldn't want to rip the book down the spine and carry half on each handlebar (although I've done stuff like that before).
But there was the matter of the dollar, also.
I was going to the Uxi Duxi with 10 dollars, I think. That would have made the decision of whether to get a double shot or just a single one hairier. After 2 shots, I would be left with 4 dollars.
This would give me a can of cat food, and 3 dollars with which to seed the hat with.
Last night, a couple of good natured men came along and listened for a while. I was able to interact with them. Sometimes people give signals to indicate that they would like to talk, ask a question, sometimes make a request, and in this case, ask me what song I would play "if you were just sitting by yourself at home, what song would you play, for your own enjoyment, not somebody else's?"
I hit an E major chord and began to sing "Dock Rock," one of my cult favorites, which goes: It's 4 o' clock I'm under the dock I just looked at some images and stroked my cock; it's 4 o' clock..." and then stopped and rationalized: "Hey, you said home by myself and for my own enjoyment, didn't you?"

And that kind of broke the ice. I had technically stopped because I could see that they weren't totally amused by the song; even though I mentioned the alligator and feeding the rats; tough audience.

But, they stayed for a while and threw a 5 dollar bill on top of the 3 ones that were the only thing in the basket, after 20 minutes of playing.

After we all had had a splendid time, the two gentlemen bid their adieus and retreated to a spot about 20 feet away, where they began a lively and hushed discussion, I believe in retrospect, about the fact that they had only seen 8 dollars in my basket, and: Is that all the poor guy is going to make tonight, and should we give him more?
My evidence behind this claim is that, when I stopped in between songs, I scooped up their 5 dollar bill and pocketed it, and heard the gentlemen immediately utter words to the effect of: "Ah, he puts the larger bills in his pocket...he's probably made more than 8 dollars..."
You see, people. If, while feeling their presence and sensing that they were debating upon tipping me more, I was more on the ball, I would have picked up the basket in between songs, looked into it with a forlorn expression, shook it as if trying to gauge how much change was on the bottom, and if it's silver or mostly pennies (which the busker can tell by the timbre of the rattle) and might have gotten them to come over and throw more. "Here, it looks like kind of a slow night out here..." type of thing. But, I guess I don't think enough like a skeezer.

There is a crapload of Linux stuff to study. I will put it all together, like a 2,500 piece jigsaw puzzle.
Then I will write an application that will take control of every other application in the world, breaching the entire web and siphoning all the money from all of the banks in the world into my account.
Then, once I own half of the world, I will list it on E-bay with the asking price of the other half. I know I can get that much because that is what half the world is worth.
Broke Wednesday

If walking around in the world is to be a "spiritual exercise" for me, then the lifting has been very heavy.
I connected to the wireless at Uxi Duxi, to check my balance before ordering a shot of kratom. I was 30 cents short. I had tipped Chloe 50 cents on the last shot that I bought there, according to the ledger, and that had left me 30 cents short.
Nobody, including Dom, who was working, and whom I have tipped 50 cents on my shot a couple times, having gotten in the habit of at least throwing something in their jar, came to my rescue with 30 cents.
Then, Dom informed me that, if I wasn't buying anything, I had to go.
There is no reason for the enlightened man to become angry, for rules are rules.
I had to push away the thought of "feeling like shit because you don't have any money, or being made to feel like shit because you don't have any money."
As I rode away, I felt that it was likely that I would find 30 cents laying on the ground before I got to Starbucks, where I had 23 bucks left on my gift card.
It crossed my mind to just start buying kratom by the ounce at The Herb Shop, and to just disappear from the Uxi Duxi; to use Starbucks' wireless instead.
I found myself thinking that heroin addicts take selfishness to a new level, recalling Johnny B, and equating him to the half dozen or so people who had been in the Uxi Duxi. A lot of people use kratom to help keep them off of opiates. I recalled the time that I ran into Johnny B. in the dollar store, who was in the process of buying some food. I asked him to let me pay for his food off my card, because I had almost no cash, and then he turned around and gave me half the value of the food in cash: "That's how it works," he said.
That's how it works when you sell your food stamps to total strangers when you're desperate for money, but, Johnny B., my "friend" had turned a profit on me.
Then, when I asked him where his apartment was, knowing that it was somewhere in the area, he replied: "I'm taking you there now, I'm gonna show you..." without regard for any other plans that I might have had.
There was just something wrong with the dynamic of being "taken" somewhere, by someone, but it was below the level of consciousness. I wound up going with him anyways, I think I was interested in buying the amplifier that he would wind up trading to me for a staying at my place for 10 days, and wanted to see it.
Once we were there, and he said it was OK to smoke, I had pulled a half cigarette out of my pocket, whereupon he produced a new pack of Marlboroughs from somewhere and lit one up, never offering me one.
Was he trying to feel superior to me by smoking a new cigarette while I had only a "snipe?" Perhaps.
Did he not even notice that I was smoking a snipe because all of his attention was on himself? Perhaps.
I attributed his behaviors to his being a recovering heroin addict, thinking that that particular drug winds up altering the brain chemistry of its victims so that they become egocentric.
This is why I approached Bobby in building C so cautiously. It was about the 3rd time that he invited me to his apartment to check out his guitar, promising to smoke a joint with me, and that he was not gay, that I actually went.
I had almost made it a personal rule to just not associate with any opiate addicts at all, giving them up as hopeless.
So, all of this, I was thinking, as I rode my bike away from the Uxi Duxi, and towards Starbucks, having been 30 cents short of a shot of kratom.
There is a reason that things worked out like that, maybe kratom has been building up in my system and I need a break from it, and it was a blessing.
If the people in the place thought that I had planned the whole thing as a way of manipulating them: "I'll get to the register and then, oh darn, I just happen to be 30 cents short," expecting someone to give it to me, then I can understand them all just sitting there as I packed up my stuff and left; and opiate addicts would be well versed on any kind of manipulative behavior.
It's just one of those situations where, though I wasn't thinking: I'll be alright, someone will have 30 cents, but then, as I was leaving it was hard not to recall that song: "Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out," and not to think that Dom hadn't let me "owe him" the 30 cents because he would prefer that I not be there.
If I need a shot of kratom to make me happy, then that is a problem that eclipses anything that might have happened there.
And, if I felt like I was being treated like shit because I didn't have money, then I guess it's back to the drawing board with the Eckhart Tolle "Power of Now" program.
I had to acknowledge that I had these feelings, look at them objectively, and then shift my focus to the present moment. I was riding my bike towards Starbucks. The thing at the Uxi Duxi was in the past and was just an illusion. There is no point in trying to use the very same mind that is tormenting me to try to intellectualize.
Though, this is the second time that I have considered buying packaged kratom and then "doing it" somewhere else, if I am going to.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Strings And Things

I woke up for the final time at 4:28 PM, with 4 and a half hours of sleep in me.
I had eaten a pasta and chicken dish that Rose had called me about the night before.
It was about 9:30 PM then, and I was debating upon whether to go out and busk or not. She said that she was still cooking but would bring me down a plate if I answered the phone in another hour.
I ate the chicken and pasta with parmesan, and it was good enough to make me boil up my own bag of whole wheat pasta and eat it, along with a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce that had been on sale for $1 a jar (all varieties; I got mushroom flavored).
I, of course, am pushing my luck, as far as food allergies and intolerance of certain things, and the face that stared back at me from my mirror (above) shows the tell-tale lines around the eyes that go away whenever I juice fast for a few days...but Rose's pasta was good.

An Assurance Comes By Mail

Yesterday, I mentioned that "I need to get a smart phone," and in my mailbox this afternoon, along with the set of guitar strings that I had ordered was a letter from the Assurance phone people.

I had sent them an application about 6 months ago after being strongly encouraged by Travis Blain, "Dude, I strongly encourage you to send them an application; they'll send you a free Android phone; and then you'll have a smart phone!' It was as if he is such a cheapskate that he enjoys watching others get things for free, vicariously.
Assurance sent back a "sorry" letter, then, saying that their records indicated that I already had the Safelink phone that I have had for like 5 years, which doesn't even have a camera.

Today's letter bore the "great news" that, due to changes in laws, they can now send me a free Android phone with 350 of the same minutes, I can keep the same number of 504-333-4123 and things are going to start looking brighter on this blog as soon as I get into the habit of photographing things of interest and turning this into a more visually oriented site.

The 16 gigabyte USB flash drive is not ready yet to be picked up at Wal-Mart, but it is paid for, as evidenced by the $4.39 having been drawn off of my green American Express card.

I was afraid that the drive would not be available at every location. I know I have never seen such a thing on the shelves of the store, so drastically reduced in price. They will probably take one that bears a price tag of maybe $9.99 and give it to me at the online-discount rate. If they ever get off their asses.

I'm hoping that the fact that they took the money off my card means that they have it in stock and just have to get it ready for me to cycle over there to pick it up.

It is a hell-ride on a bike to get to that store, it is protected on all sides for blocks around by giant potholes in the roads and sidewalks that the cyclist needs to leave in certain spots and ride alongside heavy traffic.

It is Tuesday night, March 20th. The temperature is probably about 62 degrees now -OK for sitting outside the Uxi Duxi and blogging, now that the wind has died down -the wind that blew my hat off my head on the way here.

I realize that I have so far only blogged about what I've eaten, how much money I've spent, and I guess the only way I could make this post more boring is to start talking about my cat.

Whenever I get the USB drive and load a Ubuntu Linux system on this laptop and have the thing back to "normal," I am thinking of doing a video of my cat song.
The cat song is in the sidebar as one of the videos that I shot using Howard Westra's tablet type thing that he had gotten for Christmas last year, that he wanted me to put through its paces, figure out what it was good for, and then give him a tutorial on it.
It turned out to be good for shooting videos of me singing the cat song.

With Dom slated to take a whole 2 months off to travel Europe, it is likely that the Uxi Duxi will hire another employee. I'm focusing upon staying clean and fresh smelling whenever I go there, never wearing the same clothes 2 days in a row, etc.
I still might not be gay enough to qualify, though...

I guess the procedure would be to record the whole song with at least a guitar and vocal, set to a click track.

Then I could sing (lip sync) along with that recording while shooting video from different locations.  I would just have to make sure my lips were moving along with the music when I'm being shown. In between, I can insert clips, such as Harold the cat raking non existent dirt on the floor in the direction of the litter box, perhaps timing them to the lyric: "What's the point in having a cat, anyway?" while he pointlessly polishes the floor around the box...

I don't feel like going out to busk. I do have new strings and a new harmonica in the key of D, though, and am down to less than 10 bucks cash...

And, I am on my second shot of kratom, which usually turns me into a work-aholic. The half hour bike ride to get there is the biggest deterrent.

I could stay home and install Linux onto one of the computers in the computer room, making it operable for the first time in months.

There are residents who would really appreciate that, it would be a labor of love on my part. There used to be 6 computers in there, but now there are only 3.

I think about taking one to my room to use.

It would give me the additional storage of however big the hard drive in the thing is. It would be really easy to sneak one out of there and back to my room; they are the kind that are not much larger than a flat screen, with all the hardware built into it, no "tower" to deal with.

I'm sure the 3 that are missing have been similarly appropriated by residents, or maybe even some of the staff.

It would give me something to play with. It would make typing a bit easier on its full sized keyboard. I will soon have 16 gigabytes of storage to save anything onto before I return the thing, healthy and up and running.

If I got caught I could say that I was taking it to my room to work on, saying that it was easier to do there, where I have all my "test equipment".
Plus, what if I install a lot of Linux software, like games and maybe the Stellarium planetarium application, which is educational.

(note to self: invent own constellations by connecting stars in patterns other than dippers, crabs and hunters..."the retrograde moon is in Leroy The Crackhead now...Rose and Ed will be visible after sundown, just above the western horizon"...type of thing)

I think it would be a fair trade off, to get the remaining 2 in the computer room up and running, for the benefit of the residents, in exchange for borrowing the 3rd one, and returning it in working condition.

It's almost 9 PM, time to busk, or not to busk. Tomorrow morning I will have the opportunity to go to the food bank at the St. Jude Community Center. 16 days remain before my food card will be loaded. I don't know how people who can't busk manage, I really don't...

I might try to do some daytime busking, after taking an evening like tonight off..