Monday December 10 2018

Waking up at 11:14 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Basketball at the Rec. My 3-point shot is on fire today. Our team wins 5 games in a row.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Roasted Potatoes. Coffee.

Watching Reindeer Games (2000).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Ana cooked dinner: Lentils, Kale, and Quinoa. With mom and her enjoying our meals together. Anthony stops by to discuss the room switchover at the end of the month.


At ELO rehearsal. We’ve got a New York showcase to prepare for.


Ginger Turmeric Tea.




Ana joins me in the bed and we watch one of the Buster Skruggs short films on my iPad before we fall asleep at 3:30 a.m.

Sunday December 9 2018

Waking up past 12:30 p.m. Man, I really needed that extra sleep.


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


At Music Makers helping Stacie and Lisa with the vocal troupe. It’s their last rehearsal so we’re getting them prepared as they’ll ever be.


Scrambled Eggs. Everything Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Coffee.

Watching Reindeer Games (2000).


Catching up on business.


After Ana gets off work I take her and mom to Prosperity Bakery for half off pastries and pizza slices.


At Soul Haven Studios with Nigel and John tracking some keyboard tracks for ELO songs. Afterwards, I give Nigel a ride up to the 7-11 to get picked up by his son Kevin. He’s legally blind in one eye so he can’t drive. He mentions to me how he wishes he could just take a pill instead of eating food cause he doesn’t have time. He’s always in mission-mode talking as fast as he can to get the job done.


Back home. Enjoying some of the pastries and Pineapple.


Chores.


Hibiscus ACV Honey Tea.




Sleep 4 a.m.

Saturday December 8 2018

Waking up at 11:20 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Black Tea.


Teaching afternoon lessons at Music Makers.


Scrambled Eggs. Sesame Bagel with Butter and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Coffee.

Watching Skyscraper (2018).


Catching up on business.


Running errands.


At the studio printing and cutting Christmas cards – preparing the room for vocal troupe rehearsal tomorrow – adding band photos to the hall of fame.


Leftover Soup with Sourdough Bread.


Working on keyboard patches for some ELO tunes.


Grapefruit. Chamomile Tea.




Sleep 4 a.m.

Friday December 7 2018

[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m. Feeling much better today.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries/Raspberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Catching up on business – emails – phone calls.


Whole Foods with Ana.


Grilled PB&J Bagel. Coffee. Pineapple.


Teaching all my in-home lessons. While at the Kuzniewski’s I’m teaching Zak and Ellie. Ellie walks in with a bunch of her friends she was hanging out with and it turns into a Christmas sing-a-long session. There’s so much youthful spirit in the room.




Back home. Cooking dinner with mom: Scallops with Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Onions, and Couscous.


Ana continues working on her jungle mural on her bedroom wall. Meanwhile, I study a few ELO tunes I have to learn. Elvis runs around darting from bedroom to bedroom fulfilling his cat duties.




There’s some issues before bedtime. Ana asks if she can sleep next to me and usually I decline cause I like to sleep alone most of the time. But I do feel like there is an underlying problem that we need to address. In the end she’s sleeping next to me in my bed with Elvis up in the cupboard at 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday December 6 2018

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Bowl of Granola with Bananas, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Black Tea.


Not feeling great – got flu-like symptoms just like last Thursday. I pop a few Acetaminophen and push through the day.


Catching up on business.


Scrambled Eggs. Poppy Seed Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Navel Orange. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home.


Watching Kin (2018).


Seeking out acoustic gigs for Ana and I.


Ana and I take a late night trip to Wal-Mart mainly for pain relievers but we end up browsing kitchen stuff. I tell her going in here is like visiting an amusement park...cause we’re so amused by everything we see.


Kiwi. Grapefruit. Popped Chips.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Wednesday December 5 2018

Waking up at 11:14 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Irish Breakfast Tea.


Basketball at the Rec.


Pineapple.


Scrambled Eggs. Greens. Sourdough Toast with Butter and Jam. Coffee.

Watching a documentary on Johnny Cash and Nixon.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Cooking dinner: Vegetable Fried Rice with Kale.


Gingerbread Cookies.


Catching up on business and planning.


Pineapples and Yogurt.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Tuesday December 4 2018

Waking up at 10:57 a.m.


Bowl of Granola with Blueberries and Almond Milk. Black Tea.


Catching up on business and chores.


Errands.


Grilled PB&J. Apples and Yogurt. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Cooking dinner for the fam: Salmon with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, Peppers, and Brown Rice.


Gingerbread Cookies made by Ana.


At the studio restringing a couple guitars.


Elvis loves the new empty room where Will used to live. I run around with him playing hide and seek around the sofa and using the laser pointer.




Sleep 3:45 a.m.

Monday December 3 2018

Waking up at 11:13 a.m.


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


Basketball at the Rec.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Greens. Roasted Potatoes. Coffee.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Cooking dinner for the fam: Brown Rice Quinoa Noodles with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Onions, Green Peppers, and Parm. Sourdough Bread. Enjoying the conversation about de-cluttering our house and our lives.


And thus, the winter cleaning bug hits us. Ana tears apart one side of her room to clean the walls and paint leaves on the doorway. Meanwhile, I vacuum the empty room where Will moved out of and anywhere else see fit. Elvis runs around confused with eyes wide open. Austin arrives home from his new job at Trader Joe’s sporting purple Chuck’s and a purple TJ’s t-shirt. He’s glad to have gotten this new job with the help of Ana. Once Anthony moves in three of my roommates will be TJ’s employees.


Late night Wal-Mart and recycle run.




Raspberries and Grapes.


Sleep 4 a.m.

Sunday December 2 2018

Waking up at 12:22 a.m. Oo – feels good to sleep in.


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


At Music Makers helping Lisa out with the Holiday Vocal Troupe.


Scrambled Eggs. Greens/Garlic. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Coffee.

Watching Killer Elite (2011) – Jason Statham action flick with terribly too fast of pacing – and I faintly remember seeing this many years ago. It’s weird how I remember this only faintly and not definitely.


Catching up on tons of emails – doing the accounting for the month – chores.


At the studio organizing things.


Leftover Vegetable Soup with Kale.


Meeting up with the Ladada boys at Regal Columbus theater to watch a late night showing of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the Queen biopic.


Raspberries. Pretzels. Orange.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Saturday December 1 2018

[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.


Teaching afternoon lessons at Music Makers.


Scrambled Eggs. Mixed Greens with Garlic. Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese. Coffee.


Christy Fox is doing a photo shoot of sorts with Ana and I for promo pics.





Stopping by Prosperity Bakery again for pastries.


Afterwards, I gotta load up the car with music gear. Caravanning with Ana to Winston’s Café in Chesapeake. I haven’t been here in many years. My old band along with other friend’s bands used to hang out here and have shows. Ana and I do our usual with a set of her songs in the middle. It’s not a huge crowd in the beginning but towards the end we catch a few happy listeners and bar patrons.


Enjoying an amazing plate of Tuna Bites with Spinach/Garlic and Fries.


Loading out and transporting everything back to the studio. A lot of work goes into playing a gig with all this gear. Finally back home at some point late in the night. Organizing video footage over a cup of Chamomile Tea infused with Oregano Oil (for anti-bacteria).





Sleep 4:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Friday November 30 2018

[i]

Waking up at 12:07 p.m. Feels good to sleep in. I feel much better compared to yesterday.


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


Catching up on business – emails – digital organizing on all my devices – planning.


Scrambled Eggs. Beets with Hummus. Sourdough Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese. Green Tea.


I decide to cancel all my in-home lessons cause I don’t feel well enough for teaching. Instead Ana and I practice songs at the studio.


Slurping up some Soup at the house.


Then heading to Auntie’s Tiki Bar off Holland Road. I’m playing with Ladada. We struggle to put together the sound system that was provided to us. It’s like one of those screw in a light bulb jokes – how many band members does it take to put together a sound system? It’s kind of confusing figuring it all out but Doddie, the owner, helps us. This is the first time they’ve had a band here. Sipping on fancy cocktails and snacking on some Fries. Loving the vibe and all of our friends. Felix is here too to celebrate his birthday.






 




Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday November 29 2018

Waking up with a back ache and overall general achiness in my body.


Granola Bars. Irish Breakfast Tea.


I decide to cancel my lessons for the day and one of the other teachers sub for me.


Running a few errands – picking up something from the post office and stopping by Target. While there I run into Josh Yarborough, an old friend from middle school and high school. We catch up for a little bit by the winter gloves section.


Mom made me a homemade Tomato Soup. I put together an Egg Sandwich and Sourdough Bread to go with.


Relaxing and catching up on things.


Napping in Ana’s bed while she’s at work. Elvis cuddles by my side. We look longingly into each other’s eyes for some time.


Mom makes a big pot of Lentil Vegetable Soup with fresh Basil. It’s a perfect dinner for my sickly body.


I pop a few pain relievers and muster up some energy to join Josiah, Bobby, and Jonnie at Ladada rehearsal. We need to practice for our show tomorrow.


Chamomile Tea with ACV and Corn Chips.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Wednesday November 28 2018

Waking up at 11:21 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.


Cutting my hair – catching up on business.


Grilled PB&J on Sourdough. Plantain Chips. Coffee.

Watching I, Tonya (2017).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


After seeing the doctor today my mom brings good news about the crazy cyst in her neck – turns out from what we know so far it may be only an infection and not malignant/cancerous.


Back home. Making dinner: Tempeh with Onions, Celery, Red Peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, and Jasmine Rice.


Green Tea. Chocolate.


At the studio rehearsing songs with Ana.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Tuesday November 27 2018

[i]

Being rudely awakened by the lawnmowers in Chanticleer at 8 a.m. It’s not fair that they allow lawn care people to make obnoxious noise this early in the morning.


Granola Bar. Guayusa Tea.


Catching up on business – emails – planning.


Will stops by to retrieve more of his stuff. He’s been in the process of moving into his new house.


Scrambled Eggs. Roasted Potatoes. Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese. Coffee.

Watching I, Tonya (2017).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


After work, with mom and Ana at Prosperity Bakery, a brand new bakery Commune just opened up at the oceanfront. We check out the amazing array of baked goods and enjoy slices of Pizza.


Teaching an online lesson.


At the studio with Ana practicing our songs. Everything is very productive.




Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Monday November 26 2018

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Guayusa Tea.


At the Princess Anne Rec for adult basketball. I haven’t been here in a few months cause of cross fit but I had to get some games in. I do pretty well behind the 3-point line.


Orange.


Scrambled Eggs. Bagel with Butter and Jam. Roasted Potatoes. Coffee.

Watching Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Mom and I fix up dinner: leftover Vegetable Soup with Shishito Peppers, Kale, and Quinoa.


Helping mom with some IRS thing – catching up on business.


Chocolate Mouse Cakes and Fruit Tart.


At the studio Ana and I practice our songs in preparation for Saturday’s gig.




Sleep 4 a.m.

Sunday November 25 2018

Waking up at 11:07 a.m.


Granola Bar with Irish Breakfast Tea.


Catching up on business.


At Music Makers. While Lisa and Stacey coach the vocal troupe I clean up and organize.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Vegan Cream Cheese and Poppy Seeds. Salt n Vinegar Chips with Avocado. Coffee.

Watching Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).


Chores – cleaning.


Running errands – dropping off recycle – buying an actual rain coat and winter gloves.


Back home. Mom gets inspired to make a hearty pot of Vegetable Soup.


At the studio Ana and I practice songs.


Fruit Tart with Almond Milk.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.

Saturday November 24 2018

[i]

Waking up at 10:30 a.m. still in the cabin in the mountains. Ana, mom, and I enjoy an Oatmeal and Coffee breakfast and pack up to leave.

“Say goodbye...to the mountains,” I tell them.

“Bye!” Ana says.

“No. See you later! Not goodbye,” mom corrects us.

...

Feeding turkey to the two black cats out on the porch before we hit the road.


I take the wheel to get us through the difficult steep and winding roads out of the mountains. My 95’ Camry struggles climbing up the hills.


Onward we go making a pit stop in downtown Charlottesville. At the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar to enjoy a hot lunch and tea.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Salad and Hummus Plate.

...

Downstairs, in Underground-Strange Cargo we browse through an amazing collection of antiques and collectibles – it’s hard to get to a point where you want to leave. The older guy in charge of the place isn’t afraid to tell us all the facts about every single item. I purchase a couple of old LIFE magazine issues and some gifts for people.


Ana takes the last leg of the trip home to Virginia Beach. Elvis is glad to see us. I don’t think he’s ever gone more than 1 day without seeing the three of us so this was a tough absence for him. He clamors by the door as we load our luggage and stuff inside.


Ana and I dress up and attend the 90’s Alternative Dance Party at Charlie’s out in Norfolk. Most of our friends are here. I put on my baggy brown pants I used to wear in high school, some chucks, a long NASCAR shirt, and a flannel tied around my waist. The deejays spin all the hits we remember from that decade. Sipping on Bold Rock Ciders – mingling – dancing.






Settling in back at home. My nose has been runny non-stop since we got back. Ginger Turmeric Tea.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Friday November 23 2018

[i]

Waking up in a cabin in the middle of the mountains. The view from our window is enough to excite Ana, mom, and I.




Sharing Oatmeal (without cinnamon cause I forgot to bring it) with Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee.


Across the street from our cabin is Crabtree Falls with a moderate but steep hiking trail. We drive down there and start our trek. The temperature is somewhere in the 30’s cause our noses are running and fingertips freezing. Only 500 feet and we can catch a wondrous sight of the lower falls. Mom stands there in amazement. She remembers being here many years ago with my late sister, Dana, riding on her back. She starts crying happy tears, feeling so grateful to be here witnessing this beauty of nature. She worries she won’t get the chance to see things like this in her older age anymore.





Because of the strenuous parts of the trail mom only goes to a certain point but Ana and I brave it up to the very top where the sun is shining brightly. This being one of the tallest waterfalls in America it’s quite a sight. Other families and groups of people are enjoying the overlook and feeling the reward of their hard work.









Lunch break ­at the cabin: Peanut Butter Toast. Pineapple with Yogurt. Green Tea.


Afterward, we decide to venture out onto the long and winding mountainous roads in search of an orchard and a store. We spot a pumpkin patch and some grazing black cows with white faces and their calves kicking and running around.




We spot an interesting place called The Tea Room that appears to be a rundown convenience store of some kind. There’s a one armed man working on an old pick-up truck.

“What’d y’all need?”

 He offers to help us out. The lady that runs the store is off for the day. Inside, it looks like an old general country store. We grab a dozen eggs and an onion and try to give him some cash but he refuses and says, “Don’t even worry about it. Merry Christmas!”

As we’re about to leave he walks back to his hut and fills up some bags with more onions, the biggest carrots you’ve ever seen, and a spaghetti squash. What a blessing.




Back at the cabin. Mom puts together a homemade stew using Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions. Hard boiling some eggs to go with and warming up some Rolls. Mother’s Mountain Stew we call it. Sitting around the table loving the atmosphere – candles lit – glasses of Rose Wine.




After dinner Ana and I make a fire in the fire pit with split logs and kindling twigs/leaves. Mom joins us. Between playing some jams on acoustic guitar and the djembe we reflect and share all the things we’re thankful for. Mom talks about how she’s grateful to be here with us having this rejuvenating time and how she feels safe.

These moments here in the mountains and in general are something precious we should hold onto. We will need them later in life.




I drop some water on the fire and we all hole up in the cabin eating pie and watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018), the Mister Rogers documentary, which has us all tearing up with inspiration and feeling super warm inside.


After mom goes off to bed I sit on the iPad and edit today’s video footage, to which there is a lot of. Later, I encourage Ana and I to sneak downstairs in the lounge room and make love.




[i] Images by me.

Thursday November 22 2018

[i]

Waking up at 9:20 a.m. Ana, mom, and I pack up the purple station wagon and hit the road down to Grimseland, North Carolina, about a 2.5 hour drive.

...

Sharing Granola Bars for breakfast with Irish Breakfast Tea.


Arriving at Aunt Delores’s house for Thanksgiving festivities. Dad’s here too along with Aunt Pansy, Peter, Tammy and her family, Ashley and her little boy, Matthew. Everyone chipped in to bring all the food items like turkey, ham, collard greens, broccoli, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, etc. And not to mention all the pies – so many pies to choose from: pumpkin, apple, pecan, applesauce cake, seven layer chocolate cake.




The little boy Matthew begs to play outside with the football – he seems to take a liking to me. Later on, we strum the guitar and play the keyboard to familiar sing-a-long tunes.





Meanwhile, the males are lounging in the living room with Fox Sports on the television showing a Cowboys Vs Redskins game. I don’t get to talk to my dad too much but I plan on coming back for Christmas to hang out with just him and I.


Ana, mom, and I have to hit the road again to begin our mountain journey north. Ana takes the wheel first and braves the intricate directions of back roads to get us up through Lynchburg. She gets stressed out too easily when driving at night on unfamiliar terrain.

...

I take the wheel for the second half. We manage to spot a reindeer (with antlers and everything), a doe (a female deer), and horse/carriage Amish couple.

...

After 4.5 hours we make it to The Cabins at Crabtree Falls deep in the mountains between Lynchburg and Charlottesville.  I rented us a cabin that fits us perfectly. My car’s transmission barely gets us up the steep hills.




Mom is still struggling with this lump on her lower neck. It’s not as painful as it was the first time she discovered it but it’s still there causing her discomfort and concern. There’s not much we can do until she sees the doctor on Monday with the results from her test. So we try to stay positive.




Sleep at 3 a.m.


[i] Images by me.