Wednesday January 18 2017

Waking up at 10:37 a.m. to the sound of some dudes in a red pickup truck in the backyard making a racket installing a new set of doors for the neighbors. One of them yells in reaction to something, “You fuckin’ kiddin’ me?”

Ana thought she heard, “You fuckin’ hippies!

“Why in the world would they say that, Ana?” I ask.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


At the Princess Anne Rec for lunchtime basketball. They’ve got multiple games going. I’m probably gonna start coming to this Rec from now on if I want to play afternoon games.


Banana.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Golden Beet Soup. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home.

Tempeh with Kale, Carrots, and Black Rice.

Watching Cape Fear (1991).


DEJA rehearsal.


Back home.

Cinnamon Rolls. Raspberry Leaf Tea.


Business.


Sleep 2:30 a.m.

Tuesday January 17 2017

[i]

☼▬

Spending the night in a big hotel-like house with friends and friends of friends. Not sure what we’re doing here. Maybe we’re all traveling. Ana ends up sleeping in another room – it’s possible she’s mad at me for choosing to sleep alone. I walk down the hall to my room. A girl is lying in my bed.

“Can I sleep next to you?” she asks.

I don’t say yes or no. A friend of the girl’s enters the room later on. The girl insists on doing sexual things with me. Again I don’t say yes or no. Feeling guilty cause Ana is right down the hall. I wake up during the encounter but fall back to sleep in the same scenario. Now I’m aware this situation is a dream so the guilt fades away. And we continue on.

▬☼


Waking up at 10:37 a.m. Feeling guilty for having that dream. But I know whenever you dream about having sex with other people it just means you haven’t had sex with your significant other in a long time. It has been a few weeks.


Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


At the Rec shooting the basketball around.


Banana.


Toasted PB&J. Potato Chips. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Watching Camp X Ray (2014).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home.

Mom cooks Chicken with Mushrooms, Onions, Beet Greens, Carrots, and Black Rice.


Cookies.


Research.


Practicing songs at the studio.


Chamomile Tea.


Ana sleeps in my room tonight.


[i] Image source unknown.

Monday January 16 2017

Waking up at 11:26 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Researching. On the phone. Trying to take care of business.


Dropping off the recycle.


Scrambled Eggs. Naan Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.

Watching Pandorum (2009).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Ana made dinner: Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Zucchini, Onions, and Quinoa. As well, a homemade Golden Beet Soup.


ELO rehearsal.


Chamomile Tea and Cookies that Ana made.


Sleep 2:30 a.m.

Sunday January 15 2017

[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.


A bowl of Honey Crunch n Oats with Banana and Almond Milk. Black Tea.


Off to conduct the first Music Makers rock school session of the year. We’re four bands strong this winter. I mean it’s really stacked this time around. There’s even a girl on violin doing the “Iron Man” riffs. Super excited about it. Josiah and Ana are here helping out for the first half. Ana’s singing in the teen band and Josiah’s coaching.


PB&J. Plantain Chips. Apple.


Jimmy’s here for the second half. My head starts spinning after a while. It can be stressful managing every aspect of a band. Multi-tasking. Listening. Playing. Instructing. All in one.


I make the little kids band quote Zig Ziglar, “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”




After the working day is done Ana, mom, and I take a $50 gift card I got from Christmas and head to Lager Heads for dinner. Even though I need a break from socializing it’s nice to enjoy a meal with the closest people in my life. My mom explains her thoughts on how I teach the rock school and how fulfilling it is for every one of those students even if it isn’t perfect. In the end it’s not about how well the song is performed but more about the personal enrichment and sense of accomplishment.

...

Enjoying Fish n Chips (Beer Battered Haddock Filets with Boardwalk Fries and Kale Slaw) and a Belgian White Ale.


Back home. I’m tired way too early. But I chill out with Chamomile Tea and a Cinnamon Roll. Spending a little bit of time with Ana and the cat. I relay my thoughts on that American Honey movie I finished watching and how visceral and raw it was. Later on in the conversation she tries to repeat that Ziglar quote. She gets humorously frustrated when I finish her sentence.

“Uuuuuugh!” she exclaims as she reaches in to pinch my legs, something she does frequently when I get on her nerves. “I wish I could just ball you like a piece of paper and throw you on the floor!”

I try to fulfill her imagination and pretend to ball up on the floor. “And then Elvis will play with me like a toy.”


Sleep 3 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Saturday January 14 2017

[i]

Waking up at 11:36 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Teaching lessons all afternoon at Music Makers.


Banana.


Back home.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato.

Watching American Honey (2016).


Catching up on business and prepping for rock school.


Ana arrives home. I cook up a quick dinner: Sweet Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Onions, and English Peas. We watch an old clip from 1991 of Jim Carrey doing stand-up.


Preparing the rehearsal space for rock school tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Ana and mom make a batch of Cinnamon Rolls from pizza dough. Gooey sweetness!




Sleep 2:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Friday January 13 2017

[i]

Waking up at 10:45 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


At the Rec with Ana shooting the basketball around.

Ana explains to me an epiphany she had while running on the treadmill, “I realized life is amazing if you play music or do art.”


Toasted PB&J. Potato Chips. Fuji Apple.


Watching Inferno (2016).


Teaching all my in-home lessons.


At Music Makers working on a few things. Leslie Schiff drops by to say hello. We haven’t seen each other in a long, long time. We catch up on our respective lives.


Back home. Enjoying the slow cooked Red Beans with Onions, Kale, Carrots, Quinoa, and a bit of Salmon.

Watching American Honey (2016).


Catching up on emails and business.




Hanging out with the cat and Ana.


Navel Orange. Chamomile Tea. Chocolate.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday January 12 2017

[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Teaching a few early afternoon lessons.


Getting groceries.


Scrambled Eggs. Naan Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.

Watching Inferno (2016).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Navel Orange.


Back home.

Putting together a hodgepodge of leftovers for dinner: Japanese Style Fried Rice with Vegetables and Edamame.


At the Tidewater storage unit for Ladada rehearsal with Bobby, Josiah, and Jon. We’ve got no show coming up. We just jam on new material. The name “Jam Stars” comes up after we jam forever on this one tune. We joke about changing the band name to Jam Stars and just playing shows unplanned or basically jamming. It’s kind of a joke but it could be serious.





Back home. After eating Pineapple I notice a slug oozing on the kitchen floor – not an unusual sight.




Trying to fall asleep at 3:30 a.m. I can hear my mom downstairs in the living room hacking away – she seems to have an unstoppable cough. I hate hearing her in pain. Meanwhile, the cat is bothering Ana while she’s trying to sleep in the next room. Every now and then I hear her holler, “Stoooooop!”


[i] Images  by me.

Wednesday January 11 2017

Waking up at 11:18 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


At the Rec playing pick-up basketball. All the kids are still out of school and its 57 degrees out!


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Tomatoes. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Green Lentil Noodles with Green Peppers, Onions, Tomato Sauce, Salad, and Naan Bread.

Watching Mechanic: Resurrection (2016).


DEJA rehearsal.


Chamomile Tea. Brownie.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Tuesday January 10 2017

[i]

Waking up at 10 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Business.


Teaching a few early afternoon lessons.


Toasted PB&J. Fuji Apple. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers all day.


Back home. Ana takes care of dinner: Tofu with Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Onions, and Quinoa.

Watching The Mechanic (2011).


Later on, Cynthia comes over. Everyone is gathered at the table to enjoy Ana’s homemade Brownies and a $20 bottle of Rose Brut.




Sleep 3 a.m.


[i] Screenshot from The Mechanic (2011).

Monday January 9 2017

[i]

☼▬

Investigating an old house with a guy that’s understood to be a neighbor. The house is understood to belong to my great uncle Kenny but he passed away many months ago. It’s nighttime – shining the light onto the screened-in porch. All the furniture and décor is still up – nobody’s moved any of it. We turn our heads for a second. Suddenly Kenny appears in the dark room as a ghost – he makes this kind of a grunting sound with a gasp at the end. I step back in shock and fear. Later on, I’m running away from somebody, maybe a government agency. I explore a warehouse that’s been abandoned. It’s supposed to be a restroom facility. There’s a door that leads to second floor loft apartment. I climb up the stairs – it feels like somebody lives here but nobody’s around. There’s a bed, a ceiling fan, bookshelves, a computer, etc. The air is very stale – no ventilation – having a hard time breathing. I try turning off all the lights but it’s proving difficult. The people are still searching for me. I can’t even remember what I’ve done wrong. I stay hidden underneath a window. A crowd of people in the hall notice my presence. I try to cover up with a teddy bear. Chase dreams give me so much anxiety!

▬☼


Waking up at 11:33 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


At the Rec with Ana shooting the basketball around – happy to be exercising the body after the snow weekend. The roads are still difficult to drive on.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea.




Teaching a few lessons but only a few cause most of them were cancelled due to the persistent icy roads.


Taking care of a few things at the store.


Back home. Mom cooks dinner tonight: Battered Cod Filets, Cornbread, Beet Greens, and Potatoes.

Mom, Ana, and I enjoy our meal while watching Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2009).




During intermission Ana and I brave the icy roads to Kroger for some groceries but mostly for Ice Cream.


Learning some guitar riffs.


Sleep 3 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Sunday January 8 2017

[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m. We had to postpone rock school sessions cause the neighborhood roads are still questionable.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Catching up on writing.



The power suddenly goes out. Fun times.


Ana and I hop in the car to run errands. Even though the mayor officially closed the city we still gotta get stuff done. Every time we pull up to accomplish something on my to-do list I say, “Still gotta [take out the trash] [go to the bank] [drop off the recycle] [get cat food at Target]!”




Toasted PB&J. Honey Crisp Apple. Oolong Tea.


At the studio compiling ads on Craigslist for all the instruments we have on sale at the store.


Back home.

Making Pizza from scratch. Between my mom, Ana, and I we devour all two pies while watching the Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises (2013).


Doing some teacher homework upstairs.


All the while mom stills finishes watching the movie. The story really stirred something in her. She cries explaining the ending to us.

The wind is rising! We must try to live!


Practicing drums and such at the studio.


Chamomile Tea.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Saturday January 7 2017

[i]

Ana wakes me up around 11:30 a.m. “French toast is ready! And it’s snowing!”


Enjoying French Toast with Guayusa Tea.


The snow falls and covers everything in sight. The strong winds make it look like a blizzard. Apparently, the mayor shut down the city for the next three days.




Catching up on business and doing research. Meanwhile, Ana takes advantage of her days off to clean her room thoroughly and repot plants.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.


I brave the short drive from the house to the studio to do some inventory. The rear driver’s side tire’s suspension is frozen over making every little bump feel like I’m driving into potholes. The city did a good job of clearing the main roads.


Back home. Ana and I slop together some leftovers for dinner: Lentils, Broccoli, Carrots, Volcano Rice, and Quinoa. Watching a documentary on a plant based diet.


Doing our chores. Giving Elvis a flea treatment bath.




I decide to brave the roads again and set up things at the rock school rehearsal spot off Lynnhaven. It’s up in the air if we’re even having sessions tomorrow but I still need to organize the room and get a game plan.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Friday January 6 2017

[i]

☼ ▬

In Dudley, North Carolina at the old house on Pine Tree Lane where I used to spend the summers with my dad. It’s getting close to nighttime. I hear my dad start up his truck out front. I run around the corner in my brown house slippers tromping through the mulch and flowerbed trying to catch up to him but he’s already driving up the hill without me. I run up the hill after him. For some reason there’s a big black gorilla. I communicate to the gorilla with hand signals that I want to get on his back and ride him like a horse. At first he seems suspicious but eventually I hop on his back and off we go up the hill while he hoots and hollers...

“Oo! Ah! Ah!”

▬ ☼


Waking up at 12:28 p.m. lying next to Ana.


Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Taking care of business.


Scrambled Eggs. Naan Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips with Avocado. Pu-erh Tea.


Teaching all my in-home lessons.


Honey Crisp Apple.


Making dinner with Ana: Tempeh with Beet Greens, Onions, and Golden Beet Soup.
Watching a Miyazaki film while we eat.





Ana bakes some kind of cookies with almond flour. We top them off with leftover chocolate frosting.


I start jamming on the electric guitar unplugged – Ana slaps the bass – coming up with a new tune.


Ana and I lie down in my bed and finish the Miyazaki movie. Meanwhile, the snow falls consistently outside.


Cuddling up next to each other and enjoying the comfort of being safe inside from the snow storm a brewing just outside the window. Sexy time.


Sleep 3 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday January 5 2017

[i]

Waking up at 11:20 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Getting groceries with Ana at Trader Joe’s.


Business.


Toasted PB&J. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Thursdays are our busiest days – all four rooms are in use at once – mom’s signing up new students right and left. Business is good.


Back home.

Lentils, Kale, Carrots, and Volcano Rice.


Will and I drive out to Norfolk for a rock show at Toast. Ana’s plucking the bass in You’re Jovian. And Sink Tapes from New Jersey are rocking the stage. They play in town so much I’d consider them local. Meanwhile, the ping-pong table entertains most.




On the drive home Will and I discuss loss of hearing and how most likely in the future by the time we’re old and have hearing problems they’ll have viable solutions to restore hearing.


Chamomile Tea and Cookies.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Wednesday January 4 2017

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


At the gym playing pick-up basketball.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato.

Watching Dog Eat Dog (2016).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Mom bakes some delicious cheesy Tortellini thing with Naan Bread and Salad.


DEJA rehearsal.


Home. Grapes. Watching Collide (2016).


Researching.


Sleep 3 a.m.

Tuesday January 3 2017

[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Business. Errands.


Toasted PB&J on Sourdough Bread. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Headache starts up after a while. Being patient takes a lot out of you.


Back home. Warming up some leftovers: Chicken with Kale, Carrots, Mushrooms, Onions, and Volcano Rice.

Watching Dog Eat Dog (2016).


Practicing songs at the studio.


I walk into the house in the middle of Will and Ana’s conversation about Kevin moving out of the house and into another apartment with Stacy. The whole thing with Kevin moving out feels a little surreal. He’s the only other surviving original member of 1435 and I’m the other. Who’s gonna make fun of his perpetual cheese and meat diet every day? Who’s gonna give him a hard time about leaving his laundry downstairs? What will the kitchen look like without his dirty pots and pans? But on a serious note, will his relationship with Stacy become a long-lasting one? We all really want it to be and we hope the best for them both.


An Orange and Chamomile Tea.


In Ana’s bedroom. She puts on some groovy tunes and dances for me (after I beg for it). We needed some sweet lovin’.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Monday January 2 2017

[i]

☼ ▬

It’s understood I’m out of town with a few friends and family. Entering a hotel lobby – there’s a lot of commotion – tons of people moving around. My mom goes up the elevator after checking in with the staff. I’ve got a piece of paper in my hand telling which room is mine. I try to hop on the elevator but the staff won’t allow me to cause I didn’t sign in at the front. Signing in apparently involves getting a photo id made and a bunch of other stuff I don’t have time for. I just want to get to the room. I storm off down the hall looking for somebody in charge. A lady with a special collared shirt seems too busy to help me out. I keep trying to get her attention.

“Ma’am! Could you please help me?”

But nothing happens. Frustrated I run into a banquet hall and turn over a table with a bunch of pizzas on it causing a scene. Now all the attention is on me. I’m in trouble. Everybody is after me. I escape in the stairwell and stay hidden...

▬ ☼


Waking up at 11:18 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


At the Rec finally after a week away from the gym. Now I’m feeling good enough to burn some calories on the basketball court.


Scrambled Eggs. Sourdough Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Banana.


Back home. Ana cooks us a hearty dinner: Lentils with Onions, Kale, Carrots, and Quinoa.
We sit down at the table together and watch a little of a Miyazaki movie. Meanwhile, a cake is baking, Will is changing out the water filter in the kitchen sink, and Elvis is batting his paws through the black bars of the chair. While I wash the dishes mom and Ana devise a frosting recipe.




Later on, Anthony, Richie Howard (and his girlfriend) appear. We finished making Stacy’s cake. We all gather around, sing happy birthday, and enjoy moist chocolatey slices of cake. Stacy is actually turning 20 even though the candles say 110. That’s a Roman numeral II. Stacy takes her time thinking of a wish to make. The catchphrase of 2017: “Stop yelling at me”, even if you’re not really yelling.





Cleaning up the mound of dishes. Relaxing in the bedrooms chatting with Ana about the pressure she feels to pull together original songs for a show coming up. I try to encourage her creativity even when she gets afraid.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Sunday January 1 2017

[i]

It’s the first day of 2017. Sleeping in gratefully with nowhere to be.


A bowl of Honey Crunch n Oats with Blueberries and Milk. Guayusa Tea.


Business. Researching. Chores. Organizing our dry food shelf, which tends to get a little chaotic after a while.


Scrambled Eggs. Sourdough Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips with Avocado. Oolong Tea.


Grabbing a few things at Whole Foods.


Ana talks about a comment that was made to her last night – somebody thought she was magical because she could sing, dance, and play music.

“And then I remember what you said...it’s okay if people think your life is magical,” she tells me.

I respond, “I think a more complete quote would be: it’s okay if people think your life is magical...even if you know it isn’t.”


Grapes.


At the studio working on songs.


Back home. Mom cooked dinner: Salmon, Asparagus, Kale, and Quinoa.

Watching Deepwater Horizon (2016).


Chocolate.


Organizing Excel spreadsheets for keeping track of mileage and other tax related things for 2017.


Chamomile Tea.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Ipoenk Graphic.

Saturday December 31 2016

[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Teaching afternoon lessons at Music Makers.


Tuna Salad Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea. Chocolate.

Watching The Keeping Room (2015).


Helping my mom pick up her truck from the shop and buy parts.


At Music Makers to organize the accounting for the month and prepare for the next tax year.


Researching.


Putting together a hodgepodge of leftovers: Brown Rice Quinoa Noodles with Kale, Carrots, Capers, Mushrooms, Onions, and Pizza.


The whole house waits for Will to get back from China Wokkin’. Eventually, we all hop into my station wagon, even my mom and Joe (the other living room resident).

“I just realized the whole house is in this car right now!” Kevin exclaims.

Literally, everybody who lives at 1435 currently is inside the station wagon – seven people strong. You can feel the weight of the car as it sways right and left on the highway.




We arrive at Toast in Norfolk. My voice is still hoarse from Laryngitis but I don’t need to talk to have a good time. The bar is in full swing – drinks being passed around. Fire pits out on the patio. Smoke in the eyes. A drone flies overheard capturing all the new-year moments. Josiah hollers at it, “Happy New Year!” welcoming the new form of technology that’s become normalized.






In the warehouse DJ Sir Lord Thomas is spinning all that funk, soul, and Motown – keeping our bodies groovin’ and movin’ on the dance floor.





We leave Toast with an extra person in the car (Cynthia). Now there’s eight! We make it back home safe and sound.


Chamomile ACV Tea.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Friday December 30 2016

[i]

Waking up at 11:14 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea.


Dropping my mom’s truck off at the shop to possibly replace alternator and fix oil leak.


Organizing.


Toasted PB&J. Quinoa Popped Chips. Navel Orange. Oolong Tea.


Teaching all my in-home lessons.


Apple.


Back home. Mom cooked a wonderful dinner: Chicken with Onions, Potatoes, and Broccoli.

Watching The Birth of a Nation (2016).


Chocolate.


Building a DIY cat condo out of two Amazon boxes...




Learning DEJA songs.


Finishing the movie.

ACV Chamomile Honey Tea.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday December 29 2016

[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m. My laryngitis is slowly dissipating but still no point in speaking unless I want to sound like an old man with one of those electronic voiceboxes.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Business and figures.


Tuna Salad Sandwich with Tomato and Arugula. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea.

Watching Colonia (2015).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Still gotta whisper the whole time. Danielle, our strings instructor, says it sounds like I’m in a perpetual state of telling secrets.


Grabbing groceries at Trader Joe’s.


Back home.

Edamame with Japanese Style Fried Rice, Carrots, and Brussel Sprouts.


Navel Orange.


At the shop working on keyboard stuff – restringing a customer’s guitar.


ACV Chamomile Tea with Chocolate.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Wednesday December 28 2016

[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m. with no voice. The sickness from my sore throat moved to my vocal cords I suppose.


Becca is visiting the house. Her and Ana are preparing oatmeal in the kitchen.


Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Black Tea with Honey.


Rock school planning and general business planning.


Chores.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers. I have a whisper-only voice today making it somewhat difficult to communicate but it actually helps the little ones listen more carefully.


Honey Crisp Apple.


DEJA rehearsal – learning two Genesis songs.


Leftover Soup with Pizza and Naan Bread.

Watching Colonia (2015).

Lindt Chocolate.


Meanwhile, Ana, Will, and Becca are in the bedroom over from me.




At the shop setting up my keyboard rig in the drum room and working on patches.


Chamomile Tea with ACV and Honey.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Tuesday December 27 2016

[i]

Waking up shortly after noon. Feeling much better from yesterday – not completely healed but much better. Nothing like a good night’s rest.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Errands. Buying new slow close toilet seats for the shop and for the house.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Making dinner: Tempeh with Kale, Carrots, Onions, and Volcano Rice.

Watching The Accountant (2016).


Researching.


Replacing a toilet seat at the shop.


ACV Honey Drink and Chocolate.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Monday December 26 2016

[i]

Ana and I wake up to my dad, “It’s 9:30. Ya’ll gonna get up?”


Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Oranges and Papaya. Green Tea.


Saying our goodbyes to dad and Patty. We summon Patty’s daughters to come out briefly to say goodbye.


On the way to Delores’s house to pick up mom. Ana and I recount our earliest childhood memories and every changing family situation.


An hour later mom joins us for the rest of the trip home. Ana takes the wheel while I nap in the backseat.


Back home and ready for a normal working week.


Toasted PB&J. Pink Lady Apple. Black Tea with Honey.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Errands.


I’ve got a sore throat all of a sudden and a mildly achy body.


Back home. Mom makes homemade soup with Chicken Broth, Beans, Celery, Carrots, Onions, Macaroni, and Kale. I toast some Naan Bread to go with.

Watching Disorder (2015).


Learning some Genesis songs for DEJA.


Chores.


ACV Honey Chamomile Tea.


Sleep 2:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday December 25 2016

[i]

We woke up “flustered,” Ana says. But she’s just talking about herself. It’s early – 9 a.m.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Coffee.




With my mom and Ana by 9:30 we hit the road. All gassed up (“That sounds like farts,” Ana says). But what I mean is I filled up the car with fuel okay? Goodness. My mom is in good spirits excited to be road tripping with us. The farmhouse barren scenery on US-17 is fitting to the rock n roll/country sounds on the stereo. But then...here’s my mom air drumming with her jingle bell bracelet to the sounds of Tame Impala.




Then, a pit stop to let momma pee...






Two and a half hours later we arrive at John D and Aunt Delores’s humble country home. My dad showed up at the same time. Eventually, Vikki, her husband, and her boys are here. My aunt Pansy and Peter. Tammy and her daughter, Ashley, and her baby. Dad ordered McCall’s catering for dinner. Classic southern items such as Collard Greens, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Hush Puppies, Dressing, etc.





My mom being present brings a lot of good sentimental joy and nostalgic family camaraderie.




Everything turns into a Smith Family Getdown after I set up the piano...






[While writing this blog I ask Ana, “Okay so what happened next?” “Cookies,” she says immediately.]


Ana drives us to Goldsboro to settle down at my dad’s house. Mom stays behind to spend the night.


At the house. We manage to watch the last half of Christmas Vacation (1989), a classic Christmas favorite that always makes its way onto the TV. Patty, dad’s wife is still recovering from recent surgeries.




Dad and I grab some Chinese food from a restaurant called New China Fun down the street. While waiting for our order at the counter I observe the similarities to China Wok where I used to work for so long. The family has their child running the register and handling the credit cards. I explain to dad how Chinese families end up here and why they work on Christmas.


Back at dad’s house we chow down on Vegetable Lo Mein, Egg Rolls, and Rice.


We continue watching whatever they got on the tube. A Christmas Story, We’re The Millers, and John Wayne westerns.


Sipping on Hot Cocoa. Then, going to sleep at a decent hour in a tiny twin bed with Ana in one of the guest rooms.




[i] Images by me.

Saturday December 24 2016

[i]

Waking up at 12:24 p.m. Sleeping in feels great.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.


Catching up on stuff.


Researching.


Scrambled Eggs. Naan Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips with Avocado.

Watching a documentary about rats called Rats (2016).


Organizing the accounting books for Music Makers.


My mom thought it would be a good idea to attend the Christmas Eve service at Freedom Fellowship. It’s strange but familiar being inside this sanctuary again after so many years. The church is packed to the brim. Everything feels warm and joyous. Its nice seeing all these people I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s all so nostalgic for me. Pastor Rick’s daughter, Felicia, is singing just as beautiful as ever. Wesley, a fellow music teacher, is tinkering on the keys like a pro. All the kids have grown up into adults with their own children by their side. I’m glad I made it out to reunite with the old church community. 




Pizza and Kale.


Doing a present/card exchange with mom and Ana.




Practicing piano.


A Christmas fog falls over the town...



Chamomile Tea and Chocolate.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.