Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy July 31st

It is July 31st and I woke up this morning at the "sign" spot with two broken strings on the Yamaha and 1 dollar in my pocket.
A construction crew had started to arrive about 6:30 a.m. and had parked their vehicles around me.
They are used to me being there and they see that I have a guitar and I usually make a show of straightening out my money on my cardboard, as I sit up bright and early sipping instant coffee and reading.
I really think that it is the sight of the money which keeps them at bay; and the fact that I tree my cardboard and then pick up every last cigarette butt before leaving for the Rebuild Center or the library.
I pondered the broken string situation and finally settled upon the idea that I would take my 5 dollar Burger King gift card, which I have been carrying for 3 months in my wallet, and which the pickpocket has passed upon taking (twice) and I would walk to Burger King with it; the one in the direction of the music store; where I would try to sell it for 3 or 4 dollars (and maybe hit upon someone who would give me the money and then tell me to keep the card "you may need it some day..").
I got to Walgreens and grabbed a coffee energy drink (which I intended to spike with instant coffee to strengthen it up some) and was at the register when an older gentleman with a Boston accent asked "Where do you play?"
After a brief discussion about where and what I played, he asked me if I needed anything.
"I broke two strings, both during the last song that I played last night; and making it definitely the last song."
He gave me money for strings and, off I go to the music store....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fight Or Flight

  • More On The Fight
  • More On My Flight
  • My Musical Aspirations
I have been frustrated by the library computers, because the Blogger W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G editor doesn't load properly and is useless. I have to spend my time using HTML code, like This, just to enlarge text...
This will be another blessing of getting out of here for a while...speaking of which..
A quick addendum to the fight story of yesterday.
Yeah, I actually sat there and took verbal abuse from the punk; even to the point when he punched me in the cheek (but not even hard enough to knock my glasses off) but it was when he knocked my hat off my head and I saw it laying on the sidewalk (and I think he was ready to stomp on it and kick it into a puddle of water/piss/spit/motor oil/pidgeon droppings/snots/semen/ear wax/tears and Popeyes Chicken) and it conjured up the memory of having been gifted it by Dorise;
and it was as if the guy had attacked her, in a sense, and I snapped so completely that I actually sent the guy flying backward with my first punch to his face and then; as soon as he righted himself, I was there with a shoulder to his shoulder, which knocked him onto the hood of a car; and then an elbow to the jaw, sending the pigeons skyward, and the rest was an adrenaline fuelled blur.
I started to pummeled him so hard in the kidneys after knocking him down again that the girls went back inside Popeyes.
They had been smoking a blunt and were probably afraid that police were about to show up...
The guy actually got up out of the puddle, dripping all of the above and came over to me and said: "If you ever come at me like that again, I'll kill you!" and got right back in my face.
He may be someone who enjoys being beaten.
The next morning, my shoulder was sore and I had scrapes on one elbow and one knee...
My Knight
Bilal Can Sell You This
I happened to tell Bilal, who is the curator of a French Art Museum, and whom I have jammed with on occasion (he likes to set up his amp and play his expensive guitar in front of the place after getting off work sometimes) the story.
He assured me that the guy would never bother me again, should I point him out to him. "You're connected. You have some powerful friends; don't worry, my friend..."
My Night
I played at the Barnaby spot last night, and had only gotten about 3 bucks when I took my first break, to go and spend one of them on a beer.
I returned and played from about 10:30 till a little after midnight and netted another 4 bucks.
A pack of cigarettes and beer for the night is the same value of a brand new set of strings...
The reason that (when I think as a "spiritually minded" person) I deem NOLA to be like a Purgatory on earth is just such occurances.
It is like a test to see: "Can he go all night without smoking and drinking, so he can buy a new set of strings in the morning?"
And when you look at the top grossing street acts Tanya/Dorise and Doreens Jazz Band; you see bottles of water by their sides; and never any cigarettes.
You could say that this is part of their "professionalism" and that those things would detract from their presentation (Tanya with a Lucky Strike dropping ashes on her clothes and drooping from her lips as she tears through a solo?).
Doreen needs all the lung capacity that she can muster...
The Hokum High Rollers have bottles of expensive beer at their sides and actually perform with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, as a notable exception to this rule; but, in their case; it is like window dressing, adorning their "hillbilly" shtick...
And, when "Wolf" (see hilarious video above) plays the trombone along with Doreens Jazz Band, a pint of Evan Williams Whiskey will tell you which chair he is sitting in, by which seat it is sitting under...but, again it actually helps the stage presence; in his case...

Coming Soon: Vote For Your Favorite
French Quarter Passed Out Guy
There have been a couple mentionings in my comments concerning my "musical aspirations," or lack thereof.
At this point I am focusing entirely upon getting better at playing.
I have been getting feedback from people (Barnaby is an honest critic) and have even given up upon trying to match the right song to the people who are walking past and have been practicing as much as performing, lately.
I will, in the future, go back to "promotional" activities...
To wit: If I make it to Boston, my old friend, Ted Broughey has a fully functional digital studio in his studio apartment.
He is an excellent drummer and an excellent friend, who has invited me to crash there; get cleaned up; and look for a job waxing floors or whatever; and all the while having access to all kinds of techno gadgets (He is a cameraman for one of the local TV stations).
My goal is to make a "leap forward" (to quote the lamented Chairman Mao)in my next media incarnation -to become "ready for prime time," to drop another phrase, in one fell swoop.
I am cramming scales and arpeggios and learning songs such as Drunk On The Moon, by Tom Waits, which has a jazzy progression which will port to many other songs; opening the door to learning jazz "standards," which can a lucrative endeavor here.
I've actually had to learn it in chuncks over several days and it took about a week to be able to make the chords swing -proof of its worthiness as way to improve upon my playing.
Paul (in red) "Keep Doing What You're Doing."
And...should I return here, after becoming cleaned up and having worked waxing floors and bought equipment and burned CDs of professionally recorded versions of my songs, then my present "aspirations," would have come to light...
But, right now, I am learning from Paul and Tanya and Doreen and Brian Hudson and even Christina Friis; each of whom have a unique lesson to teach about different aspects of the "business," and specific advice to pass on.
Paul especially has encouraged me to "keep doing what you're doing."
Brian has told me: "Just make up your mind that you're not going to drink while you play...have a few afterwards..."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weighed Down With Lead

  • I Have To Fight A Rainbow Punk
  • Not Enough To Travel On
Saturday night, a Rainbow kid who was playing a guitar on Canal Street developed an attitude with me, and for some reason started telling me that I needed to leave there because "No one wants you around here," because I had a bad vibe.
I said "You're telling me that I can't walk on Canal Street in New Orleans, because of you?
He had started to advance towards me, and told me that he would kill me if I walked past him again.
A friend that he was with was trying to calm him down.
Yesterday afternoon, I was in the alley by Popeyes, sitting near a couple of girls who work there and who were on break, when the same kid came along.
He immediately came over and stood in front of me and yelled "What are you looking at?!" and then repeated that "nobody" wanted me around, because I had a bad vibe.
I started to think that the whole problem is that I never give he or any of the Rainbow Kids anything for free...I don't "share" with them.
I looked at him and asked "What did I do anyways?"
He then started to tell me to shutup and if I said another word, he would attack me, or something.
Then, he asked me if I understood...
So, if I answer him; I will be saying another word.
He became belligerent and actually hit me, but I hardly felt it.
After he knocked my hat off my head, I snapped on him and beat him pretty badly between two cars.... The weekend didn't produce enough money for me to think about hopping out of here just yet. Here are some more scenes from it, though...
Ron and Howards new camping spot (Howards tent in rear)
All the catfish you can eat, can be caught from their "front porch."
A Better picture of Jesse (note his "breakaway" tip jar, designed to seperate if someone tries to run off with it; leaving the thief with only the empty top half...the bottom is weighed down with lead...
Even the street preacher has an amplifier, shown here on Canal Street. "Repent, People!!"
A competent blues player with stereo amps and "that fender strat sound," who makes a living playing 5 hours per day in a variety of places
My second favorite living statue, on Canal Street last night...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Money For Nothing

Spare The Rod

New Feature: People I Met Today
 When we last left Daniel, he was walking along the floodwall, with ex-convict Rod at his side, headed for Dorises house at a rate which would have the unlikely pair showing up at that dwelling almost 4 hours before the time of "8:30" which was prescribed by Dorise over the phone from Connecticut.
Rod was out of money.
Daniel had the 13 dollars from the sale of the Jasmine guitar minus a beer and a dollar which Daniel kind of felt like he had been conned out of, excuse the pun....
Daniel was hoping that somehow, Dorises housemate had gotten off of work early and would be there to hand over the Jasmine guitar and thus bring the first stage of closure to the ordeal of selling it to Rod.
He was uncomfortable about the way that Rod had paid him for the thing before it was in his hands; and then had shown an inclination to want Daniel to spend the money upon both of them; as they hung out and waited until "8:30."
This smelled of a hustle.
If Rod had kept the money, then he wouldn't be able to spend any of it or he would be short of the cost of the Jasmine.
By putting the money in Daniels hands, he was then able to turn around and exert subtle manipulative psychological pressures; of the kind that you learn during a 25 years prison stay.
It basically boiled down to the fact that Rod had guessed correctly that Daniel was going to be drinking beer at some point along the 6 mile (round trip) walk to Dorises house and back; and all the proper groundwork had been layed by him, in the form of his being charming and amusing and repeatedly thanking Daniel for turning his whole life to the good, by putting a guitar in his hands.
He had told charming and amusing stories; and just generally (Daniel believed in hindsight) tried to establish a rapport of the kind which might communicate to a person that, if he is parched from walking through the 90 degree air and comes upon a little convenience store along the way; then why, surely his new pal whom he has gotten to really like, must be equally parched and, surely it would only seem natural to get him a beer too, while you're in there...
As Daniel tells it...
"Hey, I'm considering this 6 mile walk to be like a job where I'm earning 15 bucks," I said to Rod after I emerged from the little convenience store, holding one (1) beer.
"Oh, I understand," said Rod.
A Wrought Iron? Gate Along The Way...

"I mean, I sold the Jasmine pretty cheap, and frankly I would feel like a fool if I spent all the money and wound up taking a 6 mile walk for nothing."
"Oh, I understand."
Then, a couple blocks up the road, looking at the can of beer in my hand which was quarter empty: "Is that still cold?"

The Pick Pocket
Early Friday morning, the pick pocket guy came around and got me again; after I was derelict of having taken my cash out of my back pocket and stashed it in my backpack; an action that would have taken 17 seconds to do.
I guess I underestimated the buggers ability to ferret his way through heavy shrubbery and I underappreciated just how deep a sleeper I must be....
He once again repositioned my guitar as an "I could have taken this," token(In truth, he wouldn't have been able to get it through the briar).
I suppose I should thank the guy if I see him on the street...
I've talked to other people about him.
They say his "name" is "lucky," and a couple of heavyset middle-aged black men whom I talked to spoke quite admiringly about the talent of that man; saying that he is a professional who uses an arsenal of tools like tape and razor blades and practices using a buddy to play the victim..."Did you feel that?"
I couldn't help ruminating that he is indeed lucky that nobody has yet caved in his head with a tool of their own, lika an 18 oz. hammer.
So, Friday, I woke up broke.
But Ron the surfer still owed me 7 bucks.
Ron the surfer was broke and didn't seem apologetic about it.
Howard lent me 5 bucks and that started me off and I had about a 20 dollar Friday night.
People I Met Today: Friday
I began my routine stroll down Royal Street; and here are some of the sights which I saw...
After first encountering The Guy With The Loud Voice Who Plays A Fender Acoustic, I then ran into The Brooding Black Man Who Plays A Fender Acoustic...
He does bluesey renditions of songs and sings in a kind of Issac Hayes way.
He does have CDs for sale (10 bucks) and they are recordings made on a hand held digital recorder of him playing and singing; done in a certain court which is quiet and has good reverb...
Then, on the very next block was the nice Adrianne Edsen, singing in a rather lilting alto accompanied by mandoline, harmonica, and tambourine, played by bare foot.
I had heard her a few times, but never introduced myself until yesterday.
She let me take her picture and even offered to move into the sunlight after we saw how shadowy the picture came out, but, I preferred to have a picture of her "in action."
She pulled in about 10 dollars in tips as I stood there for 20 minutes of lilting.
She played "Blowing In The Wind," by Bob Dylan.
Then, At the very next block were these guys who are from some foreign country which escapes my memory right now. They pretty much play a lot of Chuck Berry sounding rock and roll instrumentals and complain that they very much need a bass player.
Then, at the very next block was this charming fellow playing a very nice guitar and singing a Townes Van Zandt song called "Pancho And Lefty."
He had one 5 dollar bill in the box after a couple of songs.
Wait, There's More!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Drunk On The Moon

  • Collection Day
  • Pick-Pocket Strikes Again
Yesterday, I sat writing my post, while keeping an eye on another "tab" hoping to hear from Tanya and/or
Dorise about the Jasmine guitar.
Rod, as that was his name, was a guy who had gotten 20 dollars from Father Joe, at the St. Jude Catholic church on Basin Street, after having told him his sob story about how he passed out drunk on Bourbon Street and had all of his stuff stolen by one of his "friends."
He recieved forgiveness for his debauchery and the cash.
Father Joe also called me in the morning to corroborate his sob story.
The only "inconsistency" was that I had only asked for 15 dollars, not 20.
Rod and I met at The Rebuild Center, where I showered and shaved, etc.
We walked to this libraray where I blogged and tried to contact Dorise through Facebook.
After Getting no response from her, we started walking in the general direction of her house, about 4 miles from where we were.
The Con
Rod told me that he had spent most of the past 25 years in prison in Trenton, New Jersey for armed robbery(s) as we walked.
He had plenty of interesting stories to tell about prison life; and plenty of interesting stories in general.
Of course he did.
For most of the past 25 years, he had nothing to do but to pass time by trading interesting stories with all kinds of interesting felons; cultivating the ones that had them rolling on the concrete floor with laughter; or the ones that made time evaporate "Wow, it's chow time already?!?"
He suggested that we each get a beer at The Unique Boutique (he had 5 bucks and change; I had 15 dollars coming) and we started heading in that direction.
Rod handed me the money for the Jasmine at that point.
I thought that was a bit unconventional; usually people pay upon receipt of the goods...
I told him to just give me 14 dollars, and tak a dollar out for my beer.
He went into The Unique Boutique and emerged with two 24 oz. Hurricanes, which cost $2.50 I owe him another $1.50?
He had spent his entire 5 dollars on them,  and was now broke....but, watch what he does....
I had 14 dollars.
Finally, my phone rang at about 2 p.m.
It was Dorise, calling from Connecticut ("Why didn't you just ride up here with me?") who said that her housemate was at work, but would leave the Jasmine on the back porch when he got home in a few hours, if he was to go out.
Rod and I had a few hours to wait.
We continued to drift eastward, in the general direction of  Dorises house.
We ran into Ron, the surfer, in Jackson Square, who gave me 5 of the 10 bucks that he owed me.
I thought it a bit curious that Rod, my new ex-convict friend smiled just perceptively and mumbled the word "cool," as Ron the surfer was handing me the 5 dollars. Is he just happy for me?
I now had 19 dollars.
Rod had only a little bit of change, but was now the owner of a Jasmine guitar.
Ron the surfer told me that he would give me a couple dollars in addition to the 5 (today) if I would give him some of the bud that the guy on the bike had thrown in my case the night before. I did.
I was still pretty cool with Rod at that point, even after he suggested that we could sit in the park and smoke a bowl (of my herb) to kill some time. We did.
Then I told him that I was going to run to Rouses Market for a beer.
He tagged along with me ("That sounds cool") and grabbed one of what I was having; a Fosters Lager.
It wasn't until we were almost to the register when he pulled the change out of his pocket, looked at it, then turned to inform me that he was "short."
He was about $1.20 "short," but assured me that, once he started busking with the Jasmine he would be able to pay me back twice over.
I begrudgingly gave him the money, but told him that I hadn't appreciated how the deal had transpired.
"I bought you a $2.50 beer, remember?"
...yeah, I also remember telling you to take a dollar out of my money for a (dollar) beer...
"I gave you all my f***ing money!" he said.
I had to correct him:
...No, you spent all your f****ing money on a guitar; and got a pretty good deal on it; got over on a priest for 5 dollars in the process; you didn't give me all your f***ing money....
With that behind us, we had a walk ahead

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tomorrow At The Latest

  • Chasing Ron, The Surfer
  • Jasmine Sold Again
  • 3 Dollar Night
Yesterday, I woke up on the other side of the river with $2.50 in my pocket.
I had come across Monday night, hoping to find Ron, the surfer, who owes me 10 dollars.
The ferry took off on me after one of the workers (the one who opens and closes the gate to let people on and off) told me that I had "plenty of time" before the boat was going to leave, and who then slammed the same gate as soon as I had walked the lenght of the tunnel out into the terminal to see if Ron was there charging his phone.
Ron wasn't there, and the ferry had embarked upon its last run of the night back to NOLA, and wasn't there, either.
I found Ron and Howard in a stand of trees about a mile down the levee...
Ron didn't have my 10 dollars and acted upset over the fact that I had found them.

-Sidenote: It would be interesting to introduce the two of them to Ron Howard (the film director who played Opie on the Andy Griffith Show as a kid).
It would go something like: "Ron Howard; Ron...Ron; Ron Howard...Ron Howard; Howard...Howard; Ron Howard...
Ron And Howard Ousted
They had been kicked out of the stand of cedars right by the terminal; during the week that I had spent on the other side of the river. They, therefore couldn't blame me and the miniscule amount of "trash" which I left on the ground, while I was there.
It was probably Rons tent being pitched and his bike locked to the fence in plain sight of the workers at the power plant behind us, who maintain that particular stand of trees.
Still, Ron said "If those guys see you here, they're gonna kick us out of here..."
"They" were the guys who once invited me to live there, saying that I could catch huge catfish out of the river and cook them over a fire.
I had declined, because of the additional walk of a mile, and due to the fact that I made some money playing music, and I could forsee them panhandling me for things on those days that they couldn't panhandle enough from the wealthy, to provide for their "needs."
I was down to 50 cents at that point, and just barely made it to the little store in time to get some food and  (non alcoholic) drink.
I Help An Elderly Lady
As I walked up Pelican street, eating a sandwich, there was an elderly lady opening the trunk of a car which held about 4 cases of bottled water.
I started to ask her if she needed help at the same time that she opened her mouth to ask me if I would help her.
She gave me 2 dollars for my efforts and talked to me about how she had lived her whole life right there on Pelican Street and was "an old maid schoolteacher," which is what she exactly looked like, actually...
I went to the old spot, not wanting to get Ron in trouble (even though the other campers knew that I knew where that spot was, and would believe Ron if he told them that he hadn't told anybody where to find him) and went to sleep there.
I had no alcohol to drink that night, but rather meditated and then fell asleep to music.
Yesterday, I went into town with my $2.50 and almost extended my one day of not drinking into a second one, but got a couple Hurricanes and went to my playing spot.
But not before having a half of a lit blunt handed to me at the spot near Popeyes where I like to consume "the first Hurricane," out of habit.
I played like "the finest violinist in all of Europe," to quote Mozart...
I only had 3 dollars thrown to me, but a guy rode up on a bike and asked me if I smoked pot.
"Yeah, but I don't have any money for any..."
He threw me about a 20 dollar bag of premium numbface purple haze kush Afganistani kind sticky bud for free and rode off, saying "I'm always around here, I'll see you again..."
So, I went on a mission after I stopped playing (Bourbon Street was as "dead" as I've seen it since last year in this same season) at about 10 p.m. and was able to trade bud for cigarettes and beer money.
Like The Jasmine In My Mind...
Then, I guy walked up to me, whom I had spoken to before.
He is the guy who fell asleep on Bourbon Street (passed out is more like it) and woke up to discover that his bag and his guitar had vanished into thin air.
He was looking to buy a guitar and had 20 dollars to do so.
Enter the Jasmine.
Right now I am off to try to contact Dorise to see if I can bring the guy to her house with me to get it; or if Dorise is in New York (they are on a 2 week vacation) maybe her housemate could contact her to get the OK to let me have the guitar...
Or, if her housemate recognized me as the person who last came and got the guitar, which then re-appeared later, he should probably give it to me again....
I will Facebook them and wait about a half hour for a reply; and then maybe just walk to Dorises house on pure speculation....a 3 miles walk worth of speculation.....
The 20 dollars, plus the 10 from Ron, the surfer would mean that I will be on the road tomorrow at the latest....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Geez! (final draft)

This morning, I woke up broke.

I had decided to spend what little I made Sunday on a pack of cigarettes and the rest on beer, and then just go to bed; by midnight.
So, I picked up a heavy styrofoam container with the word "homeless" written upon it; which had been placed upon a trash receptacle on Decatur Street, during the one minute that I had spent inside Sydneys making good upon my self-promise to spend my last cent on a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Triple IPA Ale, stuffed it in my pack and started towards my sleeping spot, using a well lit route which is under video surveillance the entire way, and which promised lots of tobacco, thrown on the ground by people who took one puff and then walked around a corner to find themselves right in front of a famous attraction like Pat O' Brians restaurant/lounge.
The Trash Can Out Front Is One Of The Best In The Quarter
For Half Full Drinks ***** (rating: 5 hobos)
A 5 Star Bar
Pats is good for drinks, too.
The place that sells Hand Grenades is a mere two blocks away; and people usually only have gotten a few sips off of them when they notice "Oh, look! It's O' Briens...we're here!"
Pats doesn't allow outside drinks inside; which is a good formula for producing free alcohol.
Staying drunk in NOLA is not a problem.
Not staying drunk is, though...
I like to think that the person; who placed the food outside Sydneys, rather than in the trash; saw me pass and, given the sparcity of the foot traffic and the fact that the tourists would never think of touching it; placed it there for me.
I've been around for about 2 years and always have something friendly or hopefully amusing to say to the folks who stand outside the businesses, trying to coax people inside

Where Do I Fit In??
I hadn't felt like playing music very much at all the entire night.
I often stopped right in the middle of a song because I wasn't "feeling" it.
I reminded myself of Elvis Costello during his infamous stint on Saturday Night Live when he stopped the band after a few bars and told the audience "I'm sorry, but there's no reason for us to be doing this song," before starting a different one.
A Real Bummer
The bums were ridiculous.
When I went to The Unique Boutique to get the cigarettes and a beer, I took the money out of my back pocket to straighten the bills out (and face them all the same side up) and count them. I had just wadded them together and shoved them in my pocket, when I was done playing; as I usually do.
The reason is that, if I were to sit there and organize them, it would give the low life people a few seconds to form some kind of strategy to try to hustle me.
If there is more than a pocket full of bills, I will lay my guitar on top of them, zip up the case and be gone within a matter of seconds.
That allows only enough time for one of them to announce "He leaving!" to someone who is sitting right beside him (loud enough for me to hear a half block away) giving away the fact that they have an "interest" in me and making it easy for my to make sure they don't follow me.
So, I unfolded the money in front of The Unique Boutique, preparing to go inside; stacking the (5) bills in my hand and realizing with dread that, after buying cigarettes and a Hurricane Lager, I would be left with only change to re-start my case with.
This is not a good thing; because it often leads to a case full of only change at the end of the night. ...I guess a quarter or two is the appropriate tip for these guys...
I hadn't even pocketed the money when there appeared in front of me a droopy old black lady, who said "Give me a dollar," and held out her hand.
"I don't have any money at all," I replied, hoping that my sardonic tone would register upon her.
I expected her to say something like: "I just saw you with some money! Don't try to tell me that you don't have no money!"
I was eager to reply: "No, you're seeing things" or "What I have is none of your business, what are you looking in my hands for, anyways?!?"
"I Was Talking To Him, Man!!"
Instead, she seemed to accept that response; not taking it literally.
"I just want a dollar because it's my birthday. I can't have a dollar on my birthday?"
The look on her face said that she couldn't believe that someone wouldn't give her one of his 5 dollars on her (excuse me) birthday!
I suddenly remembered that I had seen her before and it had been her "birthday" that day too.
I went into the store without saying anything further.
At the register there was a guy behind me whom I vaguely recognized.
He gave me a fist bump as if we were old friends and asked me how it was going or something, and then asked me if I would buy the beer he was holding for him "It's only a dollar," he said.
"No, I barely have enough for my own."
The cashier rang up my Hurricane and pack of Pall Mall Reds in the box.
"Mind if I get one of those?" asked my buddy behind me.
"Geez, I haven't even opened them yet and you want one!" I said before walking outside.
As I stood on the sidewalk opening them, the guy, who had just thrown his dollar (which he had wanted to be my dollar) on the counter and hustled outside right after me, was standing at my elbow, looking expectant.
Then, another guy walked up and started to say something to me.
The first guy said to him "Hey, I'm talking to him right now!" in a "back off" tone of voice.
It was as if he was ready to fight over who would get to panhandle me for a cigarette.
"Oh, I don't give my cigarettes away," I finally said, after the guy had stood there watching me unwrap the cellophane, and pull the little tin foil thing out, and then walk over to deposit them in the trash; and then slowly take one cigarette out and fish my lighter out and light one...
Going Nowhere
I just encountered some travelling kids outside the library.
They told me good things about California; such as their experiences working as marijuana pickers on "the mountain," as well as some good things about "touring," by which they meant following a band around the country. A band such as Further (a Grateful Dead clone band).
They told me to check out Ashville, North Carolina on my way to visit Massachusetts "for street music."
I have a warrant out of Raleigh, which is "do not extradite" from outside the state. It is an 8 year old warrant.
I believe that they would bring me to court, but that the prosecutors might not be able to prosecute me on it. The arresting officer and only witness may have retired by now...
Still, I might skip Ashville, North Carolina for now....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rainy Sunday: Relying Upon Faith

I promised to get off this computer in "5 minutes" 5 minutes ago.
I am alive and it is raining.
I've got 5 dollars and change on me.
Ron the surfer owes me 10 bucks but the ferry isn't running and he is stuck in Algiers with my money.
No surprise there.
I can't pick up butts off the sidewalk  because the sidewalks are all wet.
I might have to buy a pack of smokes.
Times are tough.
I am thinking of leaving out of here regardless of how much cash I have on me and relying upon faith....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

About A Lucky Man...

I Find 42 Dollars Laying On The Floor
After writing yesterdays post, and mentioning that I was trying to scrape up "at least 35 dollars" as travelling money, I left the computer and was walking out towards the lobby of the library and there was 42 dollars sitting on the floor.
I pocketed it; aware that it could not have been laying there for very long; due to the amount of traffic in that area; even though it was almost closing time and the place had thinned out.
I got on one of the 30 minute "express" computers to put the finishing touches on my blog post; all the while keeping my ears pealed for the sound of someone asking the librarians if anybody found any money laying on the floor; or for the sound of the librarians telling someone to check the lost and found.
After the half hour was up, I left the library; feeling slightly guilty over the fact that I hadn't been more pro-active in trying to return the money.
I had a feeling that the two 20 dollar bills could have been returned; and the two 1 dollar bills might have been my reward, if the person was just as poor as I and really needed the money.
But then, I thought that, either the person wasn't aware of losing it, or couldn't think of where they may have dropped it, or didn't show up during the half hour because they were rich enough to say "Oh, well. It will make somebody happy..." and just let it go.
42 dollars is the exact same amount which was in the purse which I found (and returned) in Baton Rouge almost a year ago...
I went to Royal Street, stopping at The Unique Boutique for a 24 oz. Twisted Tea, and a pack of smokes; as a way of "splurging" on myself.
Then, it was off to work.
The Guy With The Really Loud Voice Who Plays A Fender Guitar
I passed The Guy With The Really Loud Voice Who Plays A Fender Guitar, who was set up near Hotel Monteleone.
He uses an amp, but only for his guitar and sings without a mike.
He is the arch enemy of Jesse (The Grizled Old Guy) because, in Jesse's opinion, he sets up too close to him and pulls business away from the ATM machine across the street from where Jesse sits.
"...I used to see people over there, doing their transactions, and they get to hear me for more than just 10 seconds; and a lot of times, they will come right across the street and throw me a tip...Now thet're hearing a mixture of me and that guy bellowing out whatever that crap is that he sings..."
His voice is a little rough, but well suited to his material, which seems to come from the 90's. He was singing a song by the band called "Live," when I walked up.
He has been here for two years, though I only remember meeting him a couple times, because he used to play on Chartres Street, where I never had the need to walk past; and where I actually avoided because of Caveman Guru in his efficiency apartment nearby.
Half of the mixture
I keep asking him why he plays on Royal Street, and hint that I have found much better spots (for what I do, specifically).
He keeps telling me that Royal Street is where it is at and has whipped out large wads of bills on more than one occasion in front of me.
The last time he did that, he was holding about seven 20 dollar bills.
They were all "facing" (the same way) and all crisp and in the same newish condition; as if they had come out of an ATM machine.
"They were tipping 20 dollar bills this morning!," he had gloated.
"Wow, no tens or fives or ones?!" I asked, barely concealing my sarcasm.
"No, these were all rich people," he said.
I had walked away thinking about the probablility of 7 individuals each throwing a 20 dollar bill;  all in the same new condition and folded uniformly so that the bills fit together like spoons and all bearing the "G" seal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Ron The Surfer
The new ferry scedule does not bother Ron the Surfer.
He is still staying in the stand of cedar trees.
The guy with the weed whacker (far left) is cool with Ron having his tent pitched in the stand; where you can't even see it (not shown above) and his stuff up in the cedar trees, ditto.
Ron is really a "people person:" is almost covered in tattoos and surfs.

Ron does a good job concealing things up in trees, evidently.
Yes, that is a trailor of the kind which is pulled behind a bicycle, up there in the tree; along with a copious supply of camping gear, etc.
The tent isn't up there, as it had been, because Ron now keeps it permanently pitched.
I don't trust the citizens of Algiers not to drop a dime on he and Howard; maybe out of envy, should they see the lap of luxury that they are nestled in and think it not fair that they are not paying rent....
I Played and made about 10 bucks that night...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2 Dollar Tuesday

I wasn't surprised when, immediately after spending myself down to 3 dollars; the money stopped flowing.

This city seems to have a conscious will to make that happen.
When all you are trying to do is make enough money to leave town is another time that you are likely to hit a drought; as if the city knows what you are up to...

Starting From Scratch
That being said, I will be starting out this evening, July 17th, a Wednesday; with one penny in my pocket.
I am going to hop the freight train as soon as I scratch up about 35 dollars, and after I have reduced the load in my pack down to one pair of boots (the ones Brian Hudson gave me) and a couple changes of clothes.
I will stay on it until I get to Mobile, Alabama, when I will take note of which track it is on; the one closest to the bay or the other one.
If it is on the right track, the one that goes through Montgomery, I will be golden, like the famous spike.
Nice To Feel Unwanted
If it is on the one that goes to Pensacola, Florida, a state where I have a warrant out for me in Duval County (Jacksonville) for God knows what, then I will have to get off there and try to hop on the other one (before spending the 35 dollars or so, or being arrested there for whatever the cops that don't like me can think of).
Maybe I can ask the cops here in NOLA if they can find out what it is for...
They (Florida) don't want to extradite me to there; I already know that, because the last time I was in Mobile (a mere 60 miles away) they said "We don't want him!"
Sometimes it's nice to feel unwanted...
Once in Montgomery, Alabama, I could take the Megabus from there to Atlanta for a lot less than from here, and it would give me a chance to busk in Montgomery. I've always wanted to try that place.
I will at least have a chance to use my phone camera to capture the change of scenery...
Howard will, I think, stay in NOLA, he really likes the sleeping spot across the river and the ferry schedule doesn't reek any havoc upon his "routine."
Why he would want to trek into the unknown with me when he seems so content (right) here is beyond me...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Blog Era Begins!

  • More "Pertinent" Photos To Come!
  • Blog Promised To Become More Interesting
Here is a girl whom I saw last night in Rouses Market
who looked so much like Tanya Huang, that I actually walked up to her and began to make
a remark such as "You're out late," before I got
to within 3 feet of her and realized that she was not Tanya,
rather; an imposter (Tanya wouldn't be buying those doughnuts that she is holding...)

I finally got ahead enough, money-wise, the past week to have purchased all the hardware needed to get the pictures off of my Android Phone and onto this blog...
That left me with 3 dollars and change yesterday (Monday) afternoon.
I could have left town on my planned trip with the money; but the thought of being able to enhance my account of the journey using pertinent photos was too irresistible...
I made back about 10 of the dollars last night, on
Bourbon Street; before quitting rather early.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Embellishment Monday

My Hawaiian Adventure
First Picture Off Of Android Phone

I was playing at my spot on Bourbon Street on Friday night.
It was after midnight and a man came along and asked me “How do you play chords?”
He said that he had just started to learn the guitar, and was having trouble with playing chords.
I gave him a quick tutorial, the essence of which was to play scales in every conceivable order and pattern; and to play arpeggios; and this would train the same muscles required to play chords and help him to position his hand and wrist to facilitate them…
He dropped 20 dollars in my case and we continued to converse…
He said his name was Archibald Meriwether,* CEO of Meriwether Global Enterprises*, and that he was in a predicament.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wednesday Through Friday

  • 20 Dollar Thursday
  • I Catch A Thief
  • Bike Stolen Again
  • I Pay Back Tanya And Dorise
  • 20 Dollar Wednesday
  • 20 Dollar Thursday
  • 35 Dollar Friday

20 Dollars Wednesday
Early Thursday morning I went to sleep at the Harrahs Casino spot.
Daylight was only a couple of hours away.
I slid my cardboard well into the coffin sized opening in the shrubbery and then pulled the purple bike in behind me.
I took care to place my hat out of any ones reach, and put my cigarettes and lighter and cell phone into it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ginger Root (updated final draft!)

When The Comment Becomes The Post
Gotta admit, you're living the Life Of Riley for street bums. Free food, free booze, only get rolled once in a while, mostly every thing free-free-free until another bum takes the T-bird awayyyyy .... Only thing being sacrificed is ... musical progress and the respect of the kind of people who might help you attain that -Alex In California

There's Alex...
I am hoping to address the above comment from the garlic capital of the world, implicitly through the following post...
Start With A Penny...
Yesterday, I left the library after posting and drank an apple juice instead of a Hurricane Lager.
I had to use my newly acquired and activated food stamp card for its purchase, as I had a total of one penny in my rear left pocket.
I walked down Royal Street, stopping briefly at Rouses Market, in front of which were playing about 2/7 ths of The Hokum High Rollers.
It was the washboard player, upright bassists/singer and resonator guitarist/singer combo.
My Resolve Not To Smoke Or Drink
After walking past my habitual first stop, The Unique Boutique, sipping the apple juice, and not smoking, I started to sense a feeling of wellness welling up in me.
At Rouses Market, I decided to get an energy drink to set beside me at the Bourbon Street spot as a surrogate to the can of Steel Reserve Lager, which might "normally" be there.

Before I get to the part about the attractive young woman, a sidebar on The Hokum High Rollers...
Four Out Of Seven Ain't Bad...