Sunday August 23 2015

Ladada Rehearsal (August 23 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.


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


Trip to Trader Joe's with the girlfriend.


Cleaning. Vacuuming. My mom and her friend Myra have officially moved into the 757. They had some difficulty with the U-Haul truck on the way here from Florida. Tomorrow I'm gonna help them move into my Uncle Kenny's house in Portsmouth.


Tuna Salad Sandwich with Tomato and Cucumber. Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Next (2007).


At the music space practicing some keyboard stuff. Then, Josiah and Bobby show up to have a last minute Ladada rehearsal for the show tonight. I haven't even picked up the bass since the last show – let alone, Bobby hasn't played drums with us in a few months – but we barely have to run through the set once and everything feels show ready.


At Back Bay Brewing near the shadowlawn area of the oceanfront. It's a local craft beer brewery. They've got a well-polished upstairs room where they do shows. It feels like this place used to be a house, like maybe one of your rich uncle's home – duck ornaments and images everywhere. Beforehand, we order Fish Tacos from Gringo's Taqueria next door, another hole-in-the-wall joint. And then there's Zeke's next door also for coffee. I love this block. It's really representative of what's possible in Virginia Beach. Instead of just putting up corporate chains we can have more of these unique establishments that give you a sense of locality and culture.


You're Jovian at Back Bay (August 23 2015)

Sink Tapes at Back Bay (August 23 2015)

Back Bay Brewing (August 23 2015)


Upstairs, Elliott starts off the night with a solo You're Jovian set using pre-recorded guitar and bass tracks while he plays live drums, a difficult thing to do but he pulls it off naturally. Sink Tapes from Jersey goes on next. Then, Ladada. We put on a performance I can be proud of, and others are too.




Lingering around after the show drinking watermelon wheat beers and joking around with everyone.


Back home. Prepping egg salad, green tea, and other things for food to bring over to Portsmouth when Ana and I help my mom move in.


Sleep 3 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Saturday August 22 2015

Dark Places (2015).[i]

Waking up to a barrage of sunshine coming through Ana's windows. She caresses with sexual desire. Not even bothering to remove her red and white shorts and Ramones tee we go at it, or rather she goes at it cause I'm still barely awake.


Checking out the Old Beach Farmer's Market – gathering some produce for the week. Elliott appears with his straw hat.


Sitting down at the diner table to enjoy breakfast together: Nutella Pop Tarts, Papaya, and Teeccino.


Napping.


Sourdough Toast with Tomato, Non-Dairy Cream Cheese, and Alfalfa Sprouts. Scrambled Eggs. Sweet Potato Corn Tortilla Chips with Hummus. Honey Green Tea. Dark Chocolate.

Watching Dark Places (2015).


At the music space working out tones on my synthesizer for DEJA songs.


Pluot.


Black Beans, Zucchini, Snap Peas, and Quinoa.

Finishing Dark Places (2015).


Back at the music space configuring tones for the synthesizer.


Back home.

Sourdough Toast. Herbal Tea.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] From Dark Places (2015).

Friday August 21 2015

Lars Tunbjörk.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I parked my car in a shopping plaza for the whole day. When I come back I discover that it's been replaced with an older model of the Toyota Camry, one from the 80's, and three of my hubcaps are gone – why they left one I don't know. They still somehow managed to maintain the purple paint job. I get inside and notice they were courteous enough to leave all my dashboard figurines and décor. Overall I feel stressed out about the situation.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

Exploring a mansion of a house. I open a small closet door that leads to a room cluttered with clothes and toys from my childhood. I recognize this place from a previous dream I had. A green and black Days of Thunder hat with Hot Wheels cars sewn on – Ninja Turtles pajamas – Nintendo and various video games. I don't actually have any real memories of this place except through another dream. My mom is here and explains that I really did stay here for a short period when I was a child. Apparently, it was during troubled times.

▬ ○ ☼


Waking up at 11:48 a.m.


Plum. Banana. Guayusa Tea.


Ana and I run errands together. Chiro appointment. Kroger (she gets stressed out easily when at the store). Stopping by China Wok to say hi and collect the last two days of my wage. Ling's face brightens up when I walk in. I can tell they missed me. Eileen looks confused that I'm even here. Haha.

"But you change life," she says.

It's funny how they regurgitate whatever their mom tells them. I told Cecily a few weeks ago that my life was changing and that's why I couldn't work here anymore. I make sure Cecily knows they can still call me when they need extra help if I'm free.


Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Sweet Potato Corn Chips. Honey Green Tea.


Chores.


At the Rec doing cardio by playing a bunch of pick-up basketball games.


Making dinner: Black Beans, Mahi-mahi Filets, Broccoli, Carrots, and Volcano Rice.

Watching Dark Places (2015).


At the music space tinkering with my new synthesizer configuring the correct tones for all these DEJA songs.


Back home real late.


Sleep.


[i] Lars Tunbjörk.

Thursday August 20 2015

Field Guide with Ana (August 20 2015) (1)[i]

Waking up later than I wanted at 12:26 p.m.


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


Teaching a lesson out in Kempsville.


Grilled PB&J. Potato Chips. Plantain Chips. Honey Green Tea. Fig Bites.

Watching Lord of War (2005).


Teaching lessons at Music Makers – the vocal lessons take the most out of me.


Researching.


Ana gets home. We take ourselves out to Norfolk to enjoy Field Guide. It seems whenever we decide to go out to a restaurant we can't go anywhere but here. It's our comfort food so to speak. Rice Bowls with Chic Peas, Tofu, Veggies, and whatever else sounds good. Some Peach Bread Pudding to settle it all down. Mmm.

...

Reflecting upon the treasure that I have sitting right here next to me I can't seem to understand how she exists – how is it that she's so adorable and lovely to be around – excluding the times she gets "weird and grumpy", as she describes it, but even then there's something about her that keeps me reeled in.

"Why do you love me – I don't know why," she asks with that big embarrassing smile she reveals quite often.


Back home. The French Canadian couch surfers are still here. And Richie Howard is in town for a little while. Him and Kevin have been gulping down Yuenglings since dinnertime. Jessa Potter and a friend of hers are here too. But Ana and I resign to her bedroom and play guitar together. I teach her how to play "Love Me Two Times" by The Doors, a song I've been playing a lot recently.




Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Wednesday August 19 2015

Rick Wakeman (1974).[i]

Waking up at noon.


Blueberry Waffle. Teeccino.


Researching. Practicing.


Falafel Wrap with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Hummus. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Back home. Chores. Practicing.


Leftover Chicken with Kale and Bamboo Rice. Dark Chocolate.


Rehearsing with DEJA in the theater room. This time they've got their PA system set up. We spend most of our time getting a handle on all the technical difficulties. Running through a couple new tunes. My brand new Roland JUNO-GI synthesizer came in the mail today – impressing myself with this D-Beam controller, which is a cooler way to control the modulation on any tone by waving my hand over it similar to using a theremin.


Back home. Feeling overwhelmed with all the new keyboard responsibilities. Chatting with Ana in her room while we stretch our bodies out on the floor.


Dill Popcorn. White Herbal Tea. Plum.


Experimenting with this new synthesizer.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Rick Wakeman (1974).

Tuesday August 18 2015

The Doors live at Fillmore East 1968. Photo by Yale Joel.[i]

Waking up around noon.


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


Finishing The Doors (1991).


Educating myself on rock history. I didn't know that Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27, not to mention Kurt Cobain.


Organizing.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Grilled PB&J. Apple. Olive Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.


At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. Ash, the guy who's always on my ass, compliments me more tonight.

"That was great defense, Robert."

He's the only one who actually uses my real name as opposed to my court name "MacBook".


Back home. Ana brought home two large Pizzas from Whole Foods. With the help of Thomas, the couch surfer, we prepare a hefty Salad to go with. The whole house digs in and there's a lot of social stimulation.


Kitchen Nonsense with French Canadian Couch Surfers (August 18 2015) (2)

Kitchen Nonsense with French Canadian Couch Surfers (August 18 2015) (1)


Two 4 GB RAM came in the mail today for Ana's MacBook. I install the upgrade on it for her. Now she can have multiple tabs open without her computer slowing up. She only had a total of 2 gigs of RAM before and now there's 8 gigs of RAM. She's happy.


Learning Styx songs in my room for the DEJA band.


Watching a Doors documentary.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] The Doors live at Fillmore East 1968. Photo by Yale Joel.

Monday August 17 2015

Couch Surfer Tacos (August 17 2015)[i]

Waking up to sex with Ana at 11 a.m. She makes us the best homemade Waffles using oat flour – they almost resemble Eggo waffles from our childhood but healthier. I brew a pot of Teeccino to go with.


I get a call from two French Canadian couch surfers who requested to stay at the house. Picking them up from the Greyhound drop off on VB Blvd. Catherine and Thomas.


Doing a little teacher homework – printing out supplement sheets for piano exercises and note reading.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Jam. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching a lesson at Music Makers then sitting down with Drew discussing what songs I need to prioritize on learning for DEJA.


Ana and I shoot the basketball around at the Lynnhaven Middle School courts.


Back home. Catherine and Thomas made Tacos for the whole house, family style! It's a nice spread and a nice thing for them to do. Everyone chips in for cleanup time.


Pineapple.


Later on, I hole up in my room to keep learning DEJA songs.


Milk Chocolate. Ginger Pear Tea.

Watching The Doors (1991).




Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday August 16 2015

alan

Waking up at 11 a.m.


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


At the theater room with DEJA rehearsing songs. I'm still trying to get comfortable with these guys from a different era. I feel uneducated doing songs from the 70's. But I have a good ear for music and can easily pick up the song structures.


Falafel Wrap with Tomatoes, Red Onions, Spinach, and Hummus. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

Watching a Vice documentary about eSports, professional video gaming.


I was recently reminded of an old blog entry I did from June 17 2011. After reading the whole thing I remember how thorough I used to be in the blog, never leaving a single thought out. I used to care more about things. I've found as I age I care less about some things but other things become more important. 



Practicing DEJA songs.


Picking up Kevin from work cause his car is kaputz for the time being.


Shooting the basketball around at the street courts.


Cooking Breaded Chicken using Coconut Oil with Baked Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Carrots. Impressed by the outcome of the simple and savory flavor of the meal.

Watching The Doors (1991).


Practicing more songs.


Ana arrives home. We chat downstairs over Pineapple.


Entertaining ourselves with a BBC voice over for talking animals.




I joke about how I should film her and have them do British voiceovers.

"I'm not an animal," she exclaims. "I'm an Ana-mal!" and then laughs at how silly that sounds.


I peak down at Ana's gargantuan bruise on her leg that she got from moving stuff around at work.

Me: "Dang! Your bruise has a face now."


Ana's Face Bruise (August 16 2015)


Me: "If I post this I'm gonna get social services called on me."


Sleep 3 a.m.

Saturday August 15 2015

Peekaboo Ana (August 15 2015)[i]

Ana's peaking over trying to awaken me to reality but I'm unwilling – I'm a tad bit hung over.


Plumcot. Banana.


Eventually, we clothe up and check out the Old Beach Farmer's Market for the first time. The sweet smell of fresh waffles fills the air. There's produce everywhere, handmade anything and everything, and bleating goats. We run into Shamara, a parent of one of my students.


Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (2)

Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (1)

Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (3)


Back home.

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


Catching up on business.


Shooting the basketball around at the Rec.


Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching The Hurt Locker (2008).


Napping for half an hour.


Plumcot.


Practicing/learning DEJA songs.


Making dinner for myself and Ana (when she gets off work at 11).

Mahi Mahi Filets with Adzuki Beans, Bamboo Rice, and Kale.


Still practicing.


Sharing Grapes and Chocolate with Ana.


Sleep 3:35 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Friday August 14 2015

Pregnant or Not (August 14 2015)[i]

Waking up shortly after noon.


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

Finishing Enemy at the Gates (2001).


Later on in the afternoon I come downstairs to find Kofi in my dining room! He's in town for a few days before he goes back up north to New York. His scent is strong with Egyptian musk. Him and Will strike up conversation for a long while.


Getting groceries at Kroger.


General chores.


Scrambled Eggs. Sesame Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Starting The Hurt Locker (2008).


Learning Pink Floyd songs on the keyboards.


Making an early dinner: Adzuki Beans, Roasted Kale Sprouts, Carrots, Red Onions, and Basmati Rice.


Kofi's been chilling at the house all day. He tags along with me to Norfolk for a rock show at Pancho & Luigi's. On the drive there we get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, not caused by the usual construction and repaving crews but from an accident.




There at the show. Elliott's putting on a solo You're Jovian performance using a multi-track player plugged into a guitar and bass amp while he plays drums and sings. Edgier bands go on after him. Outside on the smoker's patio talking with Josiah, Bianca, and Kofi about kung fu, Niagara falls, and music. Sipping on one-dollar Presidente pilsners.


PBR Warning (August 14 2015)


Jessa Potter's here too. I haven't really talked with her that much since she's been out of jail. She seems to be busying herself with lots of music and socializing. Kofi takes a liking to her but he seems to be taking a liking to any girl really. Maybe it's just a game for him.




Later on, with Kofi, driving back to Virginia Beach. He hollers at two hood girls at a stoplight. The cute one explains to Kofi that she's married and even if she wasn't he wouldn't be ready for what she's got. I miss hanging out with this guy.


Meeting up at Rick's Café with Elliott and Kofi. Ana rides her bike here from the house and joins us. Elliott orders me a belated birthday short stack of Pancakes. I don't even really want anything to eat but hot pancakes sounds like a good idea after an alcohol buzz. They've got the TV on the religious station. Elliott gets excited when a phone number pops up on the screen for you to call in for a prayer. Quickly, Elliott dials the number and hands the phone over to Kofi, who is basically comatose after eating french toast. The person on the other line asks Kofi for all his personal information starting with his name...

"Kofi Newton," he says. "Newton! Cause I'm related to Isaac Newton."

Then, his address and phone number.

At some point in the conversation Kofi recites The Doors, "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!" and then gets cut off.




Back home.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Thursday August 13 2015

Ana Bicycle (August 13 2015) (2)[i]

Waking up at 11:18 a.m.


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


Teaching a couple lessons.


I catch Ana leaving on her bike for work. She's got to be the coolest girl on a bicycle.


Ana Bicycle (August 13 2015) (1)


Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.


Pluot.


At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. I'm stoked cause I missed all of last week. It's a fun workout running up and down the courts.


Back home.

Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti with Sauce, Garlic Bread, and a Salad.

Watching Enemy at the Gates (2001).


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Wednesday August 12 2015

June Wayne. 1973.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

For some reason I'm visiting Cecily, Ling, and their family in a hotel room at the oceanfront. I move straight over to the window and watch the beach scene from the 20th floor. There's a storm brewing – rain splashes hard on the window and the wind howls. The shoreline is creeping up further and further. Waves crash hard against the sand. In disbelief I spot a tidal wave in the distance.

Me: "Oh my gosh! Look! It's a tidal wave! We gotta get out of here."

I shuffle everyone to the door but it's too late. A colossal wave slams against the building and it crumbles to the ground. Somehow we manage to survive. I lift up the wreckage and find everyone looking dead. But as soon as I command everyone to leave...

"C'mon! We can't stop now! Let's go!"

...they follow me. We have to move quick before the next wave hits. We climb up around the corner of the hotel. The city seems more like San Francisco or Seattle with steep hills connecting to other steep hills. I locate my car and reverse it out of the parking garage. There's another guy in the passenger seat understood to be my protégé. I hear the second tidal wave crash but we're high enough that it doesn't affect us. The story continues and becomes long and drawn out in between waking up and going to the bathroom. Meeting up with a reporter at a café up the street. It seems like not everyone is aware of the disaster that's taking place.       

▬ ○ ☼


Waking up at 12:52 p.m. Heavy, heavy sleep.


Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Teeccino.




Practicing songs on piano.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


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


Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.


Shopping for groceries at Trader Joe's.


Eating leftover slices of Pizza.


Having my second band rehearsal with DEJA in the theater room. Drew isn't here to play drums but everybody else is here, Eric on guitar, Jimmy on bass, and John on vocals/keytar. Jimmy seems to take the lead in regards to song structure and knowing the correct chords. I'm slowly getting comfortable with the seven songs I know so far.


Back home. Dinner part two: Spring Mix Salad with Carrots, Grapes, and Cashews.


Going for a night ride at the oceanfront.


Biscotti Cookies. Ginger Pear Tea.

Watching Outcast (2014).


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] June Wayne. 1973.

Tuesday August 11 2015

BYU4udhCQAERoj9[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I come home after a long day's work. When I step inside 1435 everything has been cleared out of the dining room and hallway – no pictures on the wall, no piano, no diner booth. It looks as if somebody just repainted the walls too. In the kitchen there are two husky dudes taking measurements and moving things around. One of them is Hulk Hogan. Kevin is helping them.

Me: "Uh, what the fuck is going on?!"

Kevin explains that these two guys are moving in and we have to move out. It's understood these guys can't be on a lease cause they're fugitives and they're going to pay us each $700 a month to stay here for a while.

Me: "Um. I'm not okay with that! And where is all of our stuff?"

At this point nobody really explains anything more.

I ask Kevin, "Did you even consider talking to the rest of the house about this first instead of just letting these guys move all our stuff?"

Hulk has a menacing look on his face. I've got a thin piece of wood in my right hand and twist back and forth on my left hand like a street bully with a baseball bat. This situation feels so real. I move along upstairs to my room. Nobody's touched my room yet. A couple teenagers and their mother walk in. I guess they're with the fugitives. I shake their hands.

"Do you have any movies?" one of the boys asks.

Me: "Yeah, but they're all digital."

▬ ○ ☼


Waking up around noon feeling a tad bit hung over. I only had one glass of red wine last night but my head hurts.


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


Researching new synthesizers.


Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Honey Green Tea. Banana.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


Handful of Cashews. Fig Bites.


Practicing songs for DEJA and researching.


Ana cooks dinner tonight: Salmon, Bamboo Rice, and Salad.


In the theater room at Music Makers trying to configure my keyboard rig. It's stressful cause I still don't have my RD-700 nor do I have a comfortable synthesizer.


I'm exhausted and burnt out from all this music learning. Ana and I start off on a bike ride to extinguish the pollution of the day.




Eating a piece of leftover birthday cake with Ginger Pear Tea.


Sleep 3:30 a.m. Or so I thought until Ana subtly twists and turns next to me in the bed with sexual desire.


[i] Hulk Hogan Double Beard.

Monday August 10 2015

Ana in the Guitar Room (August 10 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:20 a.m.


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


Ana and I take a trip to Guitar Center to look at keyboards and synthesizers. Her eye really latches onto this roundneck resonator acoustic guitar.

...

Things get wonky on the ride home...



Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.


When I get back from lessons I find Ana in the process of super cleaning her room. When she's done we hop in the car with plans to go to the gym but instead stop by the Lynnhaven Middle School basketball courts to shoot the ball around. I pretend to be a coach instructing her on drills but it's all in good fun. I get involved in a full court pick-up game with a couple homies and four Russian guys.


Back home. Watermelon.


Making dinner for Ana and Maria, the Ukrainian couch surfer.

Barramundi Filets with Beans, Brown Rice, Zucchini, and Carrots.

Will just got home from a China Wok shift and enjoys Chinese food at the table with us. I decide to pop open a bottle of Red Wine to share. Chilling out in the living room with the others. Stacy plays what is known as "trap music" on her phone. Later on, after a nice little wine buzz, I hop on the pump organ and fill the living room with ancient air pipe sounds.


Sharing Pineapple.


Sleep 4 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday August 9 2015

Kevin's a Sprawler (August 9 2015)[i]

Waking up at around 11 a.m. Ana's body is warm and perfectly fitted next to mine. She's extra affectionate, kissing me five times on the face.


She makes us Blueberry Banana Buckwheat Pancakes from scratch. I brew us some hot Teeccino to go with.


Later on, a little sex in the bedroom.


A couch surfer arrives from North Carolina named Maria. She's from the Ukraine and has been working with kids at a camp the whole summer.


Scrambled Eggs. Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015).


Practicing songs.


Meeting up with Drew, the drummer and head honcho of DEJA, at the music space to figure out a keyboard rig. It's been awhile since I was given the role of keyboard/synthesizer guy. It takes me back to the time I first started playing in Mae – I remember feeling overwhelmed in the beginning with all the songs I had to learn and educating myself on how synthesizers worked. And here I am again, so to speak, in the same position. I just wanna get past this beginning stage and feel comfortable about what I'm playing and how I'm playing it.


Back home. Maria and Stacy seem to be getting along really well – they're speaking Russian back and forth. Kevin thinks it is funny that they get along considering one is from Russia and the other is from Ukraine.


Making homemade Pizza using the Whole Foods dough. It turns out delicious and wholesome.


Kevin and Will are sitting in Will's room watching the Republican Primaries while eating popcorn.

Me: "So this is what Will and Kevin's idea of a date is. Politics and popcorn."


Popcorn Politics (August 9 2015)


Practicing more songs.


Ana and I take our own separate bike rides to the oceanfront. We pass each other going opposite directions without expecting to run into each other. Meanwhile, as I'm zipping down the boardwalk, I pass that same guy jogging with short shorts on and no shirt. He always has something funny to say to me. When I pass him he yells, "Cheater!"


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Images by me.

Saturday August 8 2015

Goodbye China Wok.[i]

Waking up at 11:50 a.m.


Oatmeal with Figs, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Teeccino.


Today marks a very unique occasion: I am no longer working at China Wok. When I talked to Cecily on Sunday explaining how my life was about to change there wasn't any clear communication on whether or not they would be getting someone to work the full day shifts on the weekend. Kevin told me they put KB, the other driver, on the schedule for the weekend so I assumed, without any word from them, that the weekend is covered. It's after noon and I don't get any calls from China Wok so I guess that's that. I'm out of the delivery driver game. It was a very good job, consistent and demanding. I made a "China Wok Miss List" in honor of it...


THINGS I WILL MISS
The constant sense of urgency all day long.
All of the friendly dogs excited to greet me at the customer's door.
Learning the geography of my city and exploring all the hidden roads I never knew existed.
The efficiency of the Chinese way of thinking.
The meditative thinking and time listening to podcasts while driving.
Meeting different types of people and catching a glimpse into their lives.
The exercise I get from walking up and down flights of stairs.
The boss's daughters drawing funny pictures for me.

THINGS I WILL NOT MISS
The constant sense of urgency all day long.
The anxiety of missing out on taking deliveries I know would've tipped decent.
The "slam on the brakes, accelerate" rhythm of driving.
The wear and tear on my car.
Not being able to take undisturbed lunch breaks.
The cops setting up speed traps and stop sign traps.
Not knowing what time I will get off work, or thinking I will get off work at a decent hour then suddenly there are three more orders to deliver.
Squinting my eyes at night searching for the correct house number.
Getting stiffed. And also getting stiffed repeatedly by the same customer.
Speed bumps! Oh those fricking speed bumps that wear out the suspension.
The screeching sound of the restaurant chairs being pushed in and out from the tables.
The phone ringing at the most inconvenient times.
Having to snap a whole box of snow peas.
The little girls calling me while I'm on a delivery to find out, "How long gonna take?"
Delivering to a customer who's not even home or can't hear the doorbell, knock, or phone ringing.
Driving to addresses that are well out of our delivery range.


From here on out my life will change. DEJA, the classic rock band I joined a few days ago, will be playing regular gigs, about four or five a month. I'm guaranteed pay for every show. I will be spending most of my free time this month learning keys and guitar on 22 songs. It's going to be a challenge. There are certain licks and solos in these songs that are going to take some effort in learning. But I'm up for it. This is my new job now, a keyboardist/guitarist for a cover band.


Catching up on business.


At the Rec (my first time on a Saturday!). There're plenty of guys in this gym for a couple full court basketball games.


Grilled PB&J. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea. Plumcot.

Watching Rocky Balboa (2006).


Running errands. I brought home the perfect new bike for Ana – it was only $20 from the thrift store. It looks like the previous owner never even used it. She's ecstatic.


Back home. Practicing songs over and over again.


Chic Peas, Chicken, Kale, and Couscous. Pineapple.


Ana arrives home. I plop onto her bed feeling burnt out on music. She massages my back, then the backs of my legs, and then my feet. We watch some funny Tim and Eric stuff on YouTube – my body shakes the laptop every time I giggle.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Friday August 7 2015

Ana Driving (August 7 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.


Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, and Kefir. Runa Guayusa Tea.


Learning Over the Hills by Led Zeppelin on Guitar.


Getting groceries with Ana at Trader Joe's.






All day I'm stuck in a haze of Styx and Led Zeppelin trying to learn these songs for the DEJA set.


Scrambled Eggs. Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.


At the Great Neck Rec working out and shooting the basketball around.


Back home.

Making dinner for Ana and I. As usual though she doesn't get off work till 11 so I wrap up a plate for her.

Maple Mustard Garlic Salmon with Couscous and a Salad.

Watching Rocky Balboa (2006).


More song learning.


After 2 a.m. I take a break. Sitting at the diner booth with Ana enjoying Cherries and Grapes together.

"This was also a good decision," she tells me.


I just bought this new battery powered toothbrush. Every time I use it I feel like I'm waking up the whole house it's so loud. But it sure does its job.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Thursday August 6 2015

In My Room (August 6 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m. My stomach is still aching but I feel a little better.


Aprium. Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Blueberries, Chia Seeds, and Kefir. Ginger Pear Tea.


Taking a trip out to KBD Systems, a hole in the wall repair shop for organs and keyboards. The RD-700 I've owned for many years has some problems from water damage and I need it at 100% functionality to use for DEJA.


Teaching a few lessons.


Grilled PB&J. Lentil Potato Curls. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.


Ana sends me a song text..."This is my birthday present to you. ~ < 3"


Listening to her sing to me makes me all warm inside.


Slow Cooked Beans with Bamboo Rice and Broccoli.


Meeting up with the DEJA band in the theater room at Music Makers. It's kind of like an audition – beforehand I made sure to learn four songs so I can try out for the band. They're in need of a keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist. It's a totally different genre world for me: classic rock. I never really studied this kind of music before so it is going to be a challenge. I'm a bit nervous as I play through the songs with them. Besides Eric, the guitar player (who's my age), everyone else is what you would consider "old heads". I'd be the youngest of the group. This situation reminds me of when I first got hired by Mae and had to learn 16 songs in 2 weeks. Now I have to learn 21 songs in 3 weeks. Afterwards, they all seem to take a liking to my sense of rhythm and ability to learn quickly. I'm leaning towards committing to the challenge. It'll be my new job since I'll be resigning from China Wok.


Back home. Discussing my experience with Ana at the table over some Thomcord Grapes. On another note she's having trouble at work feeling alone and not connecting with her coworkers. Even though it's the job she always wanted there's a strong desire in her to feel close to people and she hasn't been able to obtain that at Trader Joe's just yet.


Staying up late figuring out songs.


Sipping on hot Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Water.


Sleep 5 a.m.


[i] Image by Kevin Moore.

Wednesday August 5 2015

rocky-iv[i]

I awaken just barely with one eye open. I look at the clock – it's 7:47 a.m. Ana feels my rustling and starts caressing me with that early morning desire. I can hardly move. I playfully complain in a groggy voice, "It's not even 8 in the morning yet!"

"It's okay," she says. "Just go back to sleep."

She continues in a sexual manner.


We wake up again around 11 a.m. My dad and his wife, Patty, just checked out of their hotel. We introduce them to Duck Donuts. On the drive there my dad is giving Patty a hard time about all the crumbs in the mid console of the car.

Me: "Life's full of messes, Dad. You can't clean em' all up."

...

There in the hot sun on a bench we stuff our faces with sweet warm goodness and Coffee.


Catching up on business.


I've got the whole day off – gonna be productive.


Practicing piano.


Washing my car.


At the Great Neck Rec working out and shooting the basketball around.


Back home.

Rosemary Lemon Garlic Chicken with Kale, Carrots, and Bamboo Rice.

Watching Rocky IV (1985).


My stomach is very upset with me for having so many donuts this morning and maybe also from having the coffee (I dropped coffee a month ago). I sip on Ginger Kombucha Tea to soothe my aching belly.


Sleep 2:30 a.m.


[i] From Rocky IV (1985).

Tuesday August 4 2015

Birthday Image from Felix (August 4 2015)[i]

Just after 6 a.m. Ana and I hear a dog whining just outside the bedroom window.

"Raow! Raow!"

It's persistent enough to keep me awake. I rustle myself out of the bed to peek out the window. I discover it's just an old lady walking her hound dog very slowly.

"It's just a hound dog," I explain to Ana as I hurry back into bed. "It ain't nothin' but a hound dog," I add. "Crying all the time."


☼ ○ ▬

Disturbing realities where I find out Anthony committed suicide. It seems so real in the dream. I experience the crude feelings of grief after finding the news out. Nobody understands why.

▬ ○ ☼


Waking up at 10:45 a.m. Ana describes a nightmare she had where her step dad shot a hole in her throat. 


So many happy birthday posts on my Facebook timeline to read through.


Sharing Oatmeal together downstairs. I'm officially 31 years old today. Now I've really joined the 30 club – there's no doubt.

Birthday Message from Mom (August 4 2015)


Working on piano stuff while Ana bakes a birthday cake from scratch.


Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching piano lessons at Music Makers. Olivia sings me happy birthday...




My dad and his wife, Patty, decided to come visit me for my birthday. Ana and I dress up and pick them up from the Hampton Inn. We check out this fairly new local restaurant called The Whiskey Kitchen off General Booth.


Ana Purple Goddess (August 4 2015)[ii]

Whiskey Kitchen Cheers (August 4 2015)


Sharing Crispy Cauliflower Bites, Crispy Asparagus, and refreshing brews. For myself I order the Crab Cake Sandwich with Seasoned Fries. It's nice seeing my dad here. He really knows how to charm the ladies. I notice this when we're talking to our waitress throughout the evening. He likes to kid around and be friendly – it's in his nature. I love this characteristic of my father.


Back at the house Ana reveals the homemade Chocolate Cake she slaved away all day on. Will and Stacy are present for the traditional candle blowing. Ana also re-purposed an old "Happy Birthday" sign we used for Will's birthday last year and designed a new sign with my name using my favorite colors, purple and turquoise. There's a basket filled purple paper filler, two bottles of wine, a container of grapes, and a hand written letter...


Birthday Letter from Ana (August 4 2015)


Ana's Birthday Sign (August 4 2015)

Ana's Birthday Cake made with love (August 4 2015)


The cake is hearty and delicious. After some chitchat Ana and I take dad and Patty back to their hotel room. We go up for a few hours. While Ana and Patty have girl talk on the back patio I have a man-to-man talk with my dad inside. We cover racism, health insurance, the confederate flag, cops, violence, and social security. Now that he's retired my dad seems content and happy with his life – he's got a desire to go on more trips and not be bothered with the stress of home life. He deserves it cause he's worked hard all his life.


Back home. Settling in next to Ana in my bed. Another birthday has gone by and I'm still alive literally and figuratively. I've got nothing to complain about.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by Felix. 
[ii] Images by me.

Monday August 3 2015

Pretty Clouds (August 3 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:33 a.m.


Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Kefir. Teeccino.


Practicing songs on the piano.


Tuna Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.


Teaching a new student at Music Makers.


Introducing Will to the China Wok family. He's working his first part time shift there. I'm hoping to pass over the torch.


At the Great Neck Rec doing a tough workout on my legs.


Back home.

Vega Sport Performance Protein Shake.

Dinner with Ana: Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti with Basil Tomato Sauce, Green Peppers, Onions, and a Kale Salad.


Practicing more piano in my room. Ana sneaks in to wish me a happy birthday at midnight. She stands beside me at the piano while I try to figure out these classic rock songs.

Me: "Well I guess I'm done waving goodbye to my roaring 20's. I'm really in my 30's now."


Pineapple.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday August 2 2015

Waking up at 11 a.m.


Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Blueberries, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.


All day shift at China Wok.


Aprium. Banana.


It's a stupidly hot day – as usual I'm fighting against the sun's rays.


Scrambled Eggs. Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.


The day continues steadily – deliveries everywhere.


Enjoying Sweet Blueberry Almonds and a container of Papaya that Ana cut up just for me. She left a cute note on top...


Honey Beary (August 2 2015)[i]


At the end of my shift I have a difficult conversation with Cecily about getting Friday off and having Will try to work a couple shifts and possibly take over my job. I understand they have their own idea of how many days they want me to work here every week. On top of this debacle Ming, the other cook who has worked here since the beginning, is getting married and moving to New York tomorrow. So that means one less person to help out in the kitchen.

...

It feels like being in a relationship with somebody and you don't know how to tell them you want to break up. I mean I've been working here a little over four years – it's a long, long time. I've already been mentally preparing myself to resign from being a delivery driver here at China Wok.


Back home and off work.

While warming up the mung beans on the stove Ana sneakily reaches over and pinches my butt.

"Stop pinching my butt!" I exclaim.

Nearby, Will mentions something about how we've made that illegal.

"Yeah! Butt pinching is illegal in this house now!" I tell her.


Leftover Sprouted Mung Beans with Broccoli and Rice.

Watching Rocky III (1982).


I talked with Drew earlier and we decided I should learn two or three of DEJA's songs and rehearse with them on Thursday. I spend a good part of the night trying to learn "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas on the piano. The organ solo is a challenge. I might not be ready to perform something like that.


Feeling overwhelmed. My birthday is on Tuesday. My dad will be here. My girlfriend is making me a cake and wants to make me feel special and appreciated. There're bitter feelings between China Wok and I. There's pressure to learn songs by Thursday from a genre I've never had experience in. Some of my plants are dying. I just can't keep up with life sometimes.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.