Sunday May 30 2010

[i]

DREAM: It’s late evening. I’m in the big city. Across the street – observing two men going into a porn shop, or maybe a gentlemen’s club. They’re outside now. I approach them, maybe I’m questioning them, or maybe investigating a case involving them. They have wooden sticks and start taunting me by slapping the back of my legs a few times. Their aggression is too much for me to handle. So I try to runaway and attempt dialing 911 with my cell-phone but its complicated – the key guard slows me down; I have to press “OK”, then “CLR”. Only then can I dial anything (which is how my phone really is in waking life). I keep running then stopping, running then stopping, trying to dial, but nothing goes through. I can dial “9” then “1”. But after that, the “1” button stops working. It comes up as “2” or “7”. The men get closer. I’m hurrying through hallways and stairways inside buildings. Finally, I make it through a door behind a building and into an outside courtyard. It’s brighter and seems more like afternoon now. I see a few people sitting at a picnic table. I join them in desperation hoping the men won’t bother me in sight of others. But they never show up. ☼☼☼☼☼ Delivering an order in an apartment complex. Knocking at the door, the lady lets me inside. She has an 8 year-old daughter. The carpet is orange and there is barely anything inside, no clutter, clean and simplistic – a couch near the door and an entertainment center set up. The lady, who is quite large, tells me a story about these kids who steal TV’s on the beach, and some of them get caught, and then shot. Everything that she is telling me shows up on a newsfeed in front of my eyes. I want to compliment the simplicity of her home but she won’t stop talking. We walk outside together and she hands me the cash. Finally I am able to tell her how much I appreciate the lack of clutter in her apartment. She thanks me. 


I wake up at 4:22 p.m.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Mulberries, and Milk. Mango Oolong Tea. Zinc and Vitamin E.

Work at China Wok.
Memorial Day Weekend makes it a busy shift.
Getting frustrated driving at the oceanfront.
While reaching over to grab a bag, my hand accidently hits my cell-phone charger that is plugged into the cigarette lighter causing it to snap, break, and fall to the floor.

On the way to Becca’s to get my haircut – scarfing down Vegetable Lo Mein with chopsticks.
Meeting her mother for the first time – getting asked a lot of questions – feeding me a Butterfinger cupcake she made from scratch.
Walking on the pier over a lake in Becca’s neighborhood – Becca is worried about rodents scurrying around her feet, but there are none. The night air is warm and moist – it has a thickness to it.
Me: “I don’t like feeling rushed.”

I left my suitcase in the Mae trailer yesterday. So I stop by there to pick it up.

Dumpster Diving at Trader Joe’s with Margot.
The finds: Sweet Potato Chips, Oriental Rice Crackers, Bread, Lettuce, Carrots, Asian Pears, Avocados, Lemons, Limes, Peppers, Honey Dew Melon, Tomatoes, Grape Juice Boxes, Strawberries, Bananas, Carrot Juice, and a PB&J Chocolate Bar. (see above photo)

Eating an Asian Pear, Strawberries, and a PB&J Chocolate Bar.
The Alien Ants are starting to create trails in the house. 

Cuddling, bodies close – I know this won’t help anything change – I know you think this will make you happy – I know in the end what we do to each other will not benefit either one of us – I also know how good it feels to be inside of you.

I spend hours attempting to transplant and solder the circuit board of my cell-phone charger into the shell of an old car charger. Not a successful endeavor, but nonetheless fun to experiment with.

Sleep around 7:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Saturday May 29 2010

[i]

Around noon I wake up to Pogge telling me the van will be waiting for us in 15 minutes.

We have to leave Guillem behind to continue his travels. I’ve had good memories with him and he’s had the chance to get a glimpse into the real and raw parts of my life within the past two weeks, which have been packed full to the brim with happenings. It’s a sad moment watching him standing on the curb with his bag as we drive off. I would tell him from time to time as a joke, “If you stick with me, you’ll survive!” But now, he’s on his own again to explore the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

Breakfast: Cheese Danish. Milk. Orange Juice.

Riding in the van. Stop at Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch.
I am informed Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper died today.

Andy thinks up an idea to get the lawn chairs from the trailer and place them in the van for us to sit on since one of the benches is gone. This is a good idea.

Napping on the top bunk.
DREAM: On my laptop, scrolling through photos on a Flickr account that belongs to one of Pogge’s friends, Josie. She uses this natural filter concept where, for example, she’ll put a glass jar in front of the lens and take a shot of a landscape scene. I admire all the photos. ☼☼☼☼☼ In a dark auditorium. A big event similar to Show N Tell is happening. Zach is on stage with an acoustic guitar talking about some new philosophical understanding he’s discovered. Above him is a huge wooden square board being held up by four sturdy chain links – Andy is on top of it rigging an entertainment center to help display the light show. The seats are packed with kids. Switch to a scene of Mae practicing upstairs in a small hallway. Dave is playing a double-neck guitar he borrowed from a friend. There’s a bulge in the middle of the top neck. He wants me to learn some parts on guitar. I hear Zach meddling with drop D power chords. I try to play along.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches with Andy and Pogge. Banana and Mango Oolong Tea.

Zach, referring to the strong smell of peanut butter: “I feel like I’m inside a jar of peanut butter!”

Explaining part of my dream to Andy: “Dreaming of websites is kind of weird.”

“Weeeee!” Andy keeps saying this after announcing something silly.
Me: “You’re like a cartoon character.”
Andy: “That’s how I can express how funny I think it is.”

Stop in Raleigh, NC to drop off Dave. Hanging out with the guys in his apartment listening to some of the new Rekapse songs that Dave is producing.

In the van, talking about proper comma placement in writing.  

Stop at Chipotle for dinner: Black Bean and Rice Taco with Chips and Salsa. Chatting about the food industry, referencing the Food Inc documentary.

In the van, sitting in the lawn chairs with Zach discussing the motivation behind an artist’s art and distinguishing between proving a point to their peers and proving a point to themselves.

Reading The History of Love.

Quick stop at a gas station – inside, a strong smell of a combination of urine and disinfectant spray, in short, a strong public bathroom stench. Andy and I walking down an aisle…a black man passes Andy and greets him, “What’s up Project One?” I soon follow…the black man says to me next, “And Project Two!” At first, it made sense because Andy is wearing a shirt that states, “Project One”. But then, he calls me “Project Two”. It’s as if both of us were anomalies to him, like an experiment society is performing and we are the human projects. I buy a cup of Coffee and a Crème filled Donut.

We pass Emporia off US-58, the moon revealing itself with a deep orange. I am reminded of last Tuesday night when I was driving the van through here and the moon surprised me with it’s presence.

Reading.

Jacob is driving, Andy in the passenger seat. Both of them rocking out to Kenna. Jacob honking the horn and flashing the lights in sync to a repeating double hi-hat within the drum beat of the song.

Me: “You and I, Andy, we’re collectors.” 

Back at home, eating an Egg, Salt n Vinegar Chips, and a Kiwi.
Watching Five Easy Pieces (1970) with Jack Nicholson.
Feeling an unusual connection with Nicholson’s character.
Catherine: “You’re a strange person, Robert. I mean, what will you come to?”

The more and more reading I do on ways to prevent hair-loss, the more and more the answers are: remove stress from your life.

Doing the dishes all the while on the phone with you…comical and playful at first, then going to the storage unit and playing piano all the while on the phone with you still, but now you’re crying. This is the part of the movie where something is supposed to get resolved, but this isn’t a comedy, maybe a dark comedy, but not solely a comedy, more like a tragic comedy-drama. We don’t always know what we want nor do we always know how to express it. Being straightforward with you is the only way I can get my point across. Yeah, you’re a catch, you’re one in a million. I’m lucky to be wanted by such a beautiful girl. But what is the cost? Will I satisfy you? Will I make you happy? I’m in a selfish stage in my life…I’m too ambitious to be distracted. I’m not emotion-less nor am I a robot. I just want you to be happy, but most of all, I just want everything to be genuine.

Sleep around 7 a.m.


[i] Photo by me.

Friday May 28 2010

[i]

DREAM: Walking down the dirt road in my dad’s old neighborhood in Dudley, NC. My childhood friends, Trey and Andy, are with me, both of them older now. I get them to come with me so we can check out our old clubhouse spot in the woods. We have to crawl in through this small muddy hole. Once inside, the roof gets smaller. On my hands and knees, I start to feel claustrophobic. I tell the guys to turn around. They come in anyway. We make it through to these rooms that are still apart of the woods but seem separate somehow. There’s concern about the authorities finding us. An older man, who’s supposed to be a cop, is investigating outside. I can see him through a second entrance between the trees. Trey, Andy, and I try to lay low and hide. The man runs inside on guard searching for us. Trey is outside and he shoots the man 3 or 4 times. I can see the blood spurt out of his chest. I end up running back to my dad’s house nearby – through the back porch – my dad is sitting just outside on his laptop – stepping into his bathroom – I want to rinse out my mouth. I have knowledge that my dad threw up earlier, so the sink is backed up with a mixture of water and vomit. I hear my mom debating with my dad outside. She’s upset about what just happened in the woods, “Did you know you inherit violence from the father?” making reference to my dad’s time in Saudi Arabia when I was younger.  

3:52 p.m. Waking up from another hard sleep.

Breakfast: Cream Cheese Muffin. Apple Danish. Peach Yogurt. Orange Juice.

Sitting in the restaurant with everyone. The rainy weather causing a delay in the concert.
A few slices of Pizza.

Playing guitar in the stairwell – enjoying the natural reverb.

We all head over to the field where we will be performing.
Sitting down under a tent – Guillem is writing in his journal – I’m eating some dinner I snagged from the ballroom: Fried Chicken, Pasta, Green Beans, Salad, Mango Oolong Tea. Ah! There you are. I spot you off in the near distance. I almost didn’t recognize you with your hair down – standing there with that guy. It’s killing me – these feelings – most likely a fleeting crush, but genuine nonetheless. I feel paralyzed – like I’m in elementary school again. I imagine writing down my phone number and confessions on a piece of paper, then slipping it into your hand and walking off without a word. It’s been a long time since a girl has made me this nervous.
Sound checking on stage. It’s dark out now and a deejay starts spinning old and new dance hits to pump the kids up. The kids swarm the field with neon glow sticks, tossing them up in the air and throwing them everywhere. It’s a G-rated rave.
Behind the stage, you’re closer than ever now, standing with your girl friend. Guillem by my side, I spark conversation – connecting voice and name with a face.
Time to play my last show with Mae – about an hour-long set. Just before the last song, some kids in the front start singing, “Olé! Olé! Olé! Olé!” similar to The Bouncing Souls song. I don’t know how or why we started playing the song, but we did. And we continued it for quite awhile, strumming the 1, 4, 5 chord pattern over and over again. As we’re nearing the end of our last song, “Anything” I come to the realization that this will be my last moment on stage with Mae – trying to take it all in. 

Drinks and socializing in room 1418. I visit for maybe 5 minutes, then retreat back to my room feeling unexcited and a little forlorn. Listening to music and letting it nurture my imagination.
Kiwi and Coffee.
Guillem walks in with a slice of Cheesecake, which goes well with my cup of Coffee.
Organizing some music.
Andy is interviewing Guillem with his camera.

Stretching and working out in the fitness center – listening to the likes of Aqua, The Real McCoy, and other old Dance hits.

Eating a whole bag of Salt n Vinegar Chips and some Dried Apricots.
Watching the first half of a movie called Chop Shop (2007).
Shower.
Sleep 6:30 a.m.


[i] Photo by me.

Thursday May 27 2010

[i]

DREAM: Running my fingers over the end of this dish rack trying to figure out one of Beethoven’s sonatas.

4:23 p.m. I wake up from a really hard sleep.

Peanut Butter Sandwich. Mango Oolong Tea.

Pogge walks in the hotel room. He’s happy to be practicing his Spanish with Guillem lately.

I grab my longboard to explore the city in the daytime. Crossing over the big bridge to the other side of the river. Buying a drink inside a gas station. A sun burnt man with a thick Tennessee accent, referring to my board,  “What in the world is that?”… “How much you want for that?” Walking into a music shop called Ralph’s Music – playing Beethoven on a beautiful black upright piano. As I’m leaving, a man asks me, “You a major?” Me: “No, I just like to play.” Riding past a Shriners Temple and into a hilly country neighborhood – passing by a mother and her teenage kids playing on a porch – getting some beautiful shots with my camera – on the wall of a concrete company advertising a church service reads: “COME GET HIGH WITH US…PARTY FOR JESUS” Crossing back over to the city – riding a parking garage, one of my wheels becomes stuck and won’t spin anymore. Walking into Market Square – musicians everywhere. I join a few people bouncing a hacky sack – Mark, with red hair, a green shirt, and black glasses – Jess, skinny girl, friends with some of the street musicians. Mark is in a band playing at one of the bars nearby. Guillem happens to be roaming in the square. He joins the camaraderie. Sitting on the concrete talking – the mandolin player smoking a tobacco pipe – he has a big beard, a farmer from Arkansas. He tells us Neil Young is performing somewhere in town tonight.

Back in the hotel room – Guillem discovers N64 games on the TV, “This is awesome!” After realizing that is costs $7 to play a game for 60 minutes, he settles for an exercise video and attempts to follow the moves from the sexy instructor.
People are playing a makeshift cornhole game outside in the hallway.
Guillem and I eat our complimentary dinner in the ballroom: Roast Beef, Potatoes, Rice, Broccoli, Spinach and Tomatoes, Baked Apple with Raisins and Ice Cream, Milk.
Guillem is teaching Pogge Flamenco style guitar and rhythm.
Guillem and I go to The Preservation Bar to see Cletus Got Shot, the band that we met earlier – bluegrass punk. Then, The Congress gets up to play. The smoke is getting to me so I take a breather outside. Sitting on a red bench – a black man picking up discarded cigarette butts and coin change off the ground – the fiddler is rolling tobacco – people in their late 20’s and early 30’s drinking and mingling on the patio. I try to decipher people’s behavior – my eyes feel like they’re on the prowl – what do I really want?
Guillem and I leave. We meet the other guys at another bar on Gay Street. Drinking a $3 draft – chatting with the others. Guillem and I head back to Market Square. He begins to play guitar and I, beating on the guitar case. We attract a few bar people. A black man nearby is banging on a door in a hip-hop rhythm and spitting rhymes. We join him and the on-lookers.

Back in the room – snacking on Salt n Vinegar Chips and Kiwi.
Coffee.
Putting together footage from the last Show N Tell.
Talking with Margot on the phone.
They serve breakfast between 5:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. So I walk downstairs to the ballroom to gather breakfast materials before I go to sleep. In this way I won’t miss breakfast in the morning.

Sleep at 6:30 a.m.


[i] Photo by me.

Wednesday May 26 2010

[i]

DREAM: There’s an argument between Zach and Dave about a particular event from a past tour. According to my memory, this took place at a show Mae played right after we came back from Indonesia. My conscious is aware that I am sleeping, so I can’t wake up to tell Zach and Dave this. I trick myself into thinking I already tried to explain this to them but they can’t hear me. Flashbacks to a made-up memory of our show somewhere in the northwest of America – on the side of a mountain – picnic tables – eating and hanging out with fans. ☼☼☼☼☼ Riding in the backseat of a car with the guys. We’re in Knoxville. I hear Dave and Zach discussing directions. The car is a convertible now. We start driving down this long narrow road – orange and pink sky – the sun has just risen. A colossal machine ahead of us that looks like Evil Emperor Zurg from Toy Story with big robotic arms attached with laser guns and a fat stationary body. “Watch out, Zach!” We pass by it. One of the gun arms aims at us, then shoots, but nothing hits us. Our car begins to fly around like a helicopter. These weird floating black metal things in the form of faces, similar to the Easter Island statues, start chasing after us. We’re flying higher up now. The metal face statues get distracted with some light facade that appears on the ground. Zach puts on “M79” by Vampire Weekend on the stereo. Zach: “This is the only song I like of them.” Half asleep, I realize Dave and Zach were having waking life conversations that intertwined with my dreams.     

Waking up at the hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Breakfast: Cliff Bar (Blueberry Crisp). Mango Oolong Tea.

At the stadium – sound checking.
Playing the keyboard, discovering new melodies, Pogge playing along with the bass.
Waiting…waiting…waiting. Reading Adbusters Magazine.

Fancy O'dourves for dinner.

Sitting in the stadium hall with over 15,00 young and innocent blood all gathered for Destination: Imagination. Teams from different states and countries march out in various colors. Beach balls are being thrown everywhere. “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane rocking out of the sound system. I see you standing there in your grey “video crew” shirt, black shorts, and sneakers, holding your clipboard. Your friend points in my direction and whispers something. Earlier, in the media room, I was playing guitar and I felt relaxed. You walked in and I lost focus. I knew you felt me watching. You caught my stare. I smiled so big and even snickered a little as if this was some sort of comedic moment. 
Time to hop on stage and play “Anything”, then retreat to watch a ring of pyrotechnic fire fall on our instruments.
Back in the media room, waiting to leave. Guillem is playing guitar and I, singing pseudo Spanish melodies. There’s a good mood in the air. Sitting across from us, you smile. But I just can’t seem to crack one word to you. It’s like jumping into a pool you know is going to be cold and I just don’t have the balls to do it. This is probably for the better anyway. But how can I control what you cause me to feel?

Back at the hotel. Playing guitar in the stairwell.
Snacking on some Salt n Vinegar Chips and Dry Roasted Edamame, Coffee.
Watching a documentary about urban exploring called Urban Explorers.
Catching up with a friend.
Shopping online for external hard drives.
Hot shower.

Pogge and Guillem walk in the hotel room drunk.
Kiwi.
I grab my long board and do some of my own urban exploring.
It’s 3 a.m. The city of Knoxville is a ghost town and becomes a long boarder’s heaven. Riding down some of the steepest and most riveting streets I’ve ever ridden.
I come across an inebriated guy about my age carrying a gas can. His truck ran out of gas. As we’re talking about the steep slope in front of us, he keeps repeating to me, “I bomb that shit…I bomb that shit!” He wants to take it for a run but he’s toppling over like a drooping flower. I fear for his life if he were to even attempt that hill, so I inform him I must be going.
Onward into the alluring and ghostly night. I make it to the river and discover a quaint abandoned apartment complex. There’s a big hole in the corner of the building where a bathtub sits. I make my way in only to find a homeless person snoring in the next room over. I respect his territory and leave. Creeping around to the other side, I’m able to walk up an iron staircase all the way to the top story. Crawling in through an unlocked window. Only a refrigerator and empty rooms. The street lights glowing in through the glass giving it an eerie and sexy mood. The emptiness – the aloneness – the deadness. It was spontaneous and totally out of the ordinary for me to relieve myself on that dusty white and crooked floor. However, it was also something I had to do – a beautiful moment I could not resist – my seed planted into the old wood of this cracked out building by the river.

Sleep around 6:30 a.m.


[i] Photo by me.

Tuesday May 25 2010

[i] 

DREAM: Riding in the backseat of a car. Two people beside me; I’m in the center. Somebody is driving and Renee is in the passenger seat. I’m going on a rant about how eating paper is okay to do and how it is healthy for you. While holding a white piece of paper in my hand with random holes in it, probably from a hole-puncher, I say, “This particular type of paper is what I call Hominem Paper.” I start eating bits of it to prove to everyone I’m right. (Waking life comparisons to dream: gathering at Waffle House last night with people. The eating of the “Hominem Paper” could be symbolic of being accused of character flaws when giving arguments. The holes representing all the times this has happened to me. Taken from Wikipedia: “Ad hominem abusive usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions.”)

Close to about 4 p.m. I wake up.

Breakfast: Hot Cream of Wheat with Vanilla, Brown Sugar, and Milk. Blueberry Green Tea. Zinc and Vitamin E.

Event planning. Ordering a part for the broken dryer.

I meet Chad and Kal at the unit. We teach Kal some of the bass parts.

A guy sells me some high quality recording microphones.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Blueberry Green Tea.
Finish watching Tell-Tale (2009).

Renee and Guillem are on the couch…then, picking mulberries out on the street.

Organizing.
Renee and Guillem are watching The Prestige (2006).
Stretching. Exercising.

I go back to the unit. Playing music.

Back at the house.
Rocky, Renee, Guillem, Margot, and I corralling in the kitchen.
I eat Green Giant Navy Beans, Spinach, Carrots. Garlic Everything Bagel.
Baking a Mulberry Cobbler using the mulberries from across the street.
Margot tells me about a documentary she watched called The Cove (2009) dealing with dolphin poaching in Japan.

Josiah and Gabe are rehearsing for Color in the attic.

In my room. Packing. Margot and I debating split rent semantics when sharing a room - hugging and embracing.

Traveling to Knoxville, TN. Driving the Mae van – the guys are asleep in the back – my iPod playing through my headphones. It’s been a while since I’ve really listened to music. The 3 and half hour shift I have to drive creates the perfect opportunity to step back into that familiar world I’m used to when out on the road, on tour. At the wheel, lost in thought and imagination, the music opening the door for visions and fantasies.
Quick stop in Emporia off US-58. The moon surprises me behind the hills as a big gold coin in the sky. Coffee, Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter.

Stopping in Raleigh to pick up Dave. Zach’s turn to drive.
Sleep around 6:30 a.m.


[i] Marilyn Minter.

Monday May 24 2010

[i]

DREAM: Locked up in a training school. They’re teaching us to become something like robots where we must obey every command. But we’re humans. We need freedom. In love with one of the others – a pretty girl – lying in a pose in turquoise underwear – jumping in the swimming pool – a scene of us kissing, then flashbacks to the others who are not with us anymore because of their rebellion.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Mulberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

I run to a few stores for some groceries.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Mango Oolong Tea.

Practice at the storage unit with Chad and Chris.
Filming Chad’s parts on bass for Kal to learn from.
Kal shows up and we introduce the songs to him. His bass is busted so he learns unplugged.

I pick up Guillem and Art from the house. We meet Becca in her salon at Greenbrier Mall. She cuts Art’s hair while Guillem and I trim our beards.
A gathering at Waffle House. Renee meets us there.
I eat a Buffalo Grilled Chicken Sandwich, a Waffle, and Coffee with Cream and Sugar.
Art: “Robert, be concentrate.”
Me: “Be concentrate? …I can concentrate myself!”
Becca: “I don’t think we want a concentrated Robert.”
Renee: “Concentrate the essence of being Robert.”
Jermel, our waiter brings a plate of 3 strips of bacon for Guillem. Guillem asked for pecans on his waffle but his pronunciation sounded like bacon.
Me: “I just want to talk about something we already understand.”
Talking about playing poker right now, Art: “Robert, it’s not allowed to play in public places. Seriously.”
Despite Art’s reluctance, he explains Texas Hold’em Poker to everyone who doesn’t understand and we play a few rounds.

Back at home.
Kiwi.

Art and I play NBA Jam on Sega. I win 2 games. Art wins 1 game.

Organizing and planning.

Eating leftover Basmati Rice.

Watching some of Tell-Tale (2009), a modern version of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story.

Sleep around 7:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday May 23 2010

[i]

DREAM: Playing Sardines in a big house. I’m upstairs looking for a good place to hide. I hear everyone downstairs start screaming and being loud. They’re coming up the stairs! I need to find a spot quick.

Shortly after 3 p.m. I get up.

Breakfast: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Biotin.

Practicing at the storage unit.

Work at China Wok.
Eating Dried Edamame Soybeans, Vanilla Yogurt, and Oolong Mango Tea.
Talking with Becca on the phone about some dreams she had recently, and people’s desire to share things and how it coincides with their desire to be one with someone, like two becoming one.
Delivering an order off Waterfront. I step in dog shit as I’m walking up to the customer’s door. Making nonchalant jokes about it. I rip a piece of cardboard from a tissue box to scrape it off.
Becca meets me at the restaurant and rides around with me for the last hour of orders I have to run.
Becca: “…I was listening to Tom Waits and I was just, like, drifting…and I started picturing dancers to it, to the song.”
Me: “That’s usually what happens when you listen to Tom Waits.”
Becca makes a great secretary.
Eating dinner in the van: Vegetable Lo Mein.

House Show at 1623. Yesper, Folk the System, Eric Ayotte, Toby Foster, and Musicplayer. A good atmosphere of music and friends.

I eat a bowl of Raisin Bran and Granola Cereal.

A bunch of us play a few games of Sardines at Chad’s place.

Back at home – I hear a scream coming from the kitchen – a malfunction with the coffee machine – Brianna gets her leg burnt by coffee – Dad mode – giving her ice and aloe vera to help with the burns.

Cleaning up around the house – washing clothes. I discover the dryer is broke and doesn’t spin.

I eat an Egg Sandwich, Salt n Vinegar Chips, and drink a Mickey’s.

Watching the footage from the show.

Using the laundry mat on Birdneck to dry my clothes.

Shower.

Sleep around 7:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Saturday May 22 2010

[i]

DREAM: With Elliott and an unknown girl. We’re trying to lock ourselves in this classroom to escape from an evil boss and his sidekick. I try to lock the door and hold it shut. I put my foot down to keep the door in place but the sidekick is strong. I get mad and throw a black chair across the room hitting the foosball table – breaking one of the handlebars. There are three other doors. I tell Elliott to keep guard of the other ones. The boss arrives trying to get in. Elliott and I slip out one of the doors and run out the building, leaping down the side of a hill with brown hay straw covering the ground. I can hear the boss and his sidekick cursing and yelling out loud behind me. I get ahead of Elliott and keep running as hard as I can. At this point, I experience a familiar moment I had in another dream where I was stuck inside a wobbling slide and tried to lift myself up into the sky. I reach out my hands as I hear a narrator speaking, “Reach out your hands to God…” I feel myself being lifted immediately and everything flashes around me.

3:08 p.m. I wake up.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Biotin.

Mom and Jimmy come over to the house.
Jimmy is snoring on the grey couch.
Mom is talking on the phone in the kitchen as she wipes down the counters.
Kenneth calls me for advice on a cell phone service and what kind of laptop he should buy.

Lunch: Toasted Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Sandwich. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Oolong Tea.

Work at China Wok.

Family Dinner: I bake some Salmon and cook Basmati Rice with Indian Spices, Peppers, and Onions. Ewa, Nina, and Marta prepare the salad.


Chocolate Chip Cookies. A guy that works at The Boot suggests putting rosemary into the batch – turns out to be a good idea.

I spend a few hours practicing at the storage unit.

I feel socially exhausted.

Sleep around 7 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Friday May 21 2010

[i]

DREAM: In the attic, yet it’s bigger and unfamiliar. A lot of people sitting around. We hear a shuffling sound coming from the intricate airshaft system above us. I see a big rat crawl out of the shaft and run along this metal gutter. It gets out and starts walking around. Having a closer look, it seems more like a possum but also dog-like. I pick him up in order to take control of the situation. I pet him and rub my head over his back so he knows I’m not scared. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking about how dirty he might be – maybe he has diseases like rats do. I’m having a hard time pushing him out the garage door. He doesn’t want to leave.

3:36 p.m. I wake up.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Biotin.

My parents are in town. Mom and Jimmy stop by the house.
We go outside to the Mulberry Tree. A cute little old black lady wearing a blue dress is already there with a bowl picking what she can. Her name is Queenie.
She keeps referring to them as blackberries,
“In Alabama, we call ‘em blackberries!”
Me: “I’m pretty sure they are mulberries.”
I grab a stool to reach higher up in the tree.
An older guy on a bicycle with American flags attached to the handlebars pulls up to chat with us. He calls them Huckleberries. Explaining to us what his Daddy told him growing up, “If it don’t come up and bite cha then you can eat it!”

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Oolong Tea.

Work at China Wok.

Waiting to turn left at the stoplight on the corner of Laskin and First Colonial, a black man with a big cyst on his right cheek approaches my window, “Hey buddy. Can you help me with bus fare?”
I pull 4 quarters out of my Sonic changer and hand it to him, “Sure. Here’s a dollar.”
“Thank you.”

At a stop sign on the corner of Bay Colony and York, I see a red brown fox roaming on the road, a few black spots on his fur. He looks very similar to the red fox we spotted last night at The Cavalier. Margot spots me in her neighborhood shortly after. We pull off to the side of the street. She’s upset I didn’t visit her last night at the restaurant.
Me: “Sorry. Stop treating me like a commodity.”
As we hug in the middle of the road, Travis Kesler drives by with his friend Chase.
Travis: “Are you hanging out tonight?”
Me: “Yeah. Come to the Jewma!

Delivering an order to the Ocean Pine RV Park off Harpers Road. An older white guy in a black biker shirt meets me at the entrance. He has a cyst on his right cheek, just like the black man earlier.

I grab Guillem and we go to The Jewish Mother for the Long Division show.
Eating a Kiwi. Leftover Spanish Omelet and Sugar Snap Peas.
Outside in the smoker’s courtyard, Rachel pulls out an abnormally large lighter.
Chad and I munch on somebody’s French Fries with Cheese and Bacon.
Renee is wearing seven mystical looking bracelets on her left arm.
Margot is scrolling through Facebook statuses on her iPhone.
The girls are dancing, flailing their arms in rhythm, in a mocking kind of way.
Guillem, in reference to the other band, Augustine: “The guitarist looks like the president of Catalonia.”
Elliott places his thumbs inside his belt loops and bops like a cowboy.
Andrew is playing TicTacToe on his iPhone.
I meet three couch surfers outside that needed a place to sleep for the weekend…Marta from Italy, Nina from Austria, and Ewa from Poland.

After Party at Chad’s place on 54th street.
Food and Beer is in abundance. Leftover from his other room mates.
Fun with a big cardboard box: sliding down the stairs in a cardboard box, 2001 reenactment using a piece of cardboard as the monolith, becoming a Tetris piece.
Swimming in the ocean – skinny-dipping for the first time.
Nudity can be sacred to some.
A few games of Sardines, the backwards version of Hide and Seek.
I feel tension in the air.
I choose to be a free spirit.

Sipping some Ginger Red and White Tea at home.

Hot shower.

Sleep around 7 a.m.


[i] Source unknown.

Thursday May 20 2010

[i]

Around 1:30 p.m. I wake up to the sounds of Kenneth banging consistently on something metal in the backyard. It doesn’t stop. Somehow I fall back to sleep.

DREAM: An exciting amusement park atmosphere – I’m sitting in a rollercoaster by myself holding a whisky glass filled with red wine. Green stands out the most, which I think is even the color of the rollercoaster. The ride starts. I have a hard time keeping the wine contained in the glass. During the run, I see the city and the lights and neon signs. The ride stops. I get off and the girl working the rollercoaster asks if I need escorting. She opens the gate for me and walks me around to the left out a different exit through storage rooms and corridors. We had walked in a circle because we reach where the ride should be but a band is setting up instead. She’s talking to me while she looks for something in a tower of boxes. (Waking life comparison: yesterday I rode in my van carrying a whiskey glass full of oolong tea on my way to the storage unit. I had spilt it when I closed the garage door. Rollercoaster route was similar to driving on the interstate last night. Seeing the different colors and city lights similar to driving through the Greenbrier area. The band relating to playing the show last night.)

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Richard walks in my room to see what I’m up to. I tell him I’m doing business on the computer.

Going to Big Lots. On the phone with Rocky.
Rocky: “You only make time for people with available vaginas.”
Me: “That’s not true…available penises, too.”

Lunch: Toasted Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Sandwich. Chickadees (Target’s version of Goldfish). Oolong Tea.

On the phone with Becca.
Becca: “Hang on, let me call you back. My mouth is full of nuts.”

I rig up a special dish rack for glasses above the sink using a milk crate.


I go to the storage unit and attempt to fix one of my microphones.

Family dinner at the house. Guillem cooks a traditional Spanish Omelette with Potatoes and Onions. Renee brings bread with Goat Cheese and Apple.

Guillem, Renee, and I take a trip to the old hotel. The Cavalier hasn’t opened up yet apparently. After climbing up the brick stairs behind the building, we make it to the top just in time to find a big red fox run from a bush – his tail just as long as his body.
Guillem: “I have never seen a fox before.”
Boogie boarding down the steep wet slopes.
Reverberating the lit corridor underneath the entrance with song and beat – some great musical moments.
We go to 63rd Street. On the beach – lying on the thick royal blanket – sipping on wine and smoking Indonesian cigarettes.
Guillem explains to us he is allergic to marijuana. When he tried marijuana for the first time when he was 16, he thought his mind went crazy. And this caused him to study psychology as his major in college.
Renee, in reference to sadness: “Our generation is more accepting of that sort of thing than many have been…it’s not considered, like, crazy to have…sadness.”
Me: “There’s certain people you look at and you’re just, like, they’re gonna get married.”
Me: “It’s cold! The sand is cold.”
Running along the shore – playing tag – the water is not as cold as the sand.
Renee and Guillem go for a swim. I stay behind attached to the blanket, watching the flying machines blend in with the many stars.

Back at home: Kiwi and Ginger Tea. Sigur Rós playing aloud. We’re lying on the couches.

This was a good night – a free night.

Sleep around 7:45 a.m.


[i] All images by me.

Wednesday May 19 2010

[i]

DREAM: On a trip – I’m driving down an interstate that’s supposed to be I-64. Aaron and a skinny girl are riding with me. We’re on the right side of the road. In the middle, where the HOV lane is supposed to be, is a valley road made of wood at least 20 feet below the regular lanes where we are. Going along, a bulldozer obstructs our way and I’m forced to drive along the edge on the cliff. Somehow I manage to get past with only a little dent on the right side. But then…more bulldozers! I lose control and the car falls off into the valley road. Landing safely, we keep driving through. We’re not allowed to be down there – I’m looking for exit ramps. Finally, we reach the end of the road. The scene switches to a view of Google Maps – the purple line showing the route we’ve taken. We’ve just crossed the border to North Carolina. “Did you guys know we’re in NC now?”

Around 3:30 p.m. I wake up.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Guillem is listening to Radiohead.

I go to Sal’s Pizza for my first day of work. I leave after 30 minutes because it is slow.

Listening to Beethoven and stretching.

Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Kiwi. Oolong Tea.

Chris, Chad, and I have a quick rehearsal before the show tonight.

Musicplayer’s first show at Winston’s Café.
It’s good to present new music to friends.
Talking with Dan from Astropop 3 about his current music endeavors. Getting some new ideas and tips on sending songs to be on commercials.

Dinner: Spaghetti with Peppers. Steamed Artichoke Hearts and Sugar Snap Peas. Garlic Toast. Blueberry Green Tea.
Watching Up In The Air (2009) with Guillem and Margot. Spanish subtitles.
Ryan Bingham: “If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life... were you alone? Life's better with company.”

I construct a TV Tower in the show room of the house.

Watching footage from the concert.

Sleep around 7 a.m.


[i] Graphic by me.

Tuesday May 18 2010

[i] 

DREAM: Family cookout in the backyard – my Dad and his side of the family – the house is apparently where they filmed some Tom Cruise movie. There’s a playground. I start climbing the ladder to a blue swirly slide. I get to the top in the compartment where you wait to slide down and the whole thing starts wobbling from side to side as if I was in a big tall building swaying from the wind. I look out and I’m really high. I keep holding onto the edge in different ways. I even attempt to jump out when the slide gets close to the grass. But I couldn’t do it. The slide sways faster and faster. Eventually, I will myself higher. I start to see the darkness of outer space, the stars, the outline of the atmosphere. I want to be up there. I try willing myself higher but I can’t seem to go any further. 

4:16 p.m. I wake up.

Guillem is watching SLC Punk (1998).

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Guillem and I go to Alpha…looking for a pick-up for an acoustic guitar.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Oolong Tea.

Listening to Guillem play the painted guitar.
We meet Elliott and Wesley at Bella Pizza.
Flipper McCoy’s Arcade…minus Wesley. Air hockey showdown. Pinball.
We show Guillem the beach. The white clouds above us – the beach lights reflected – peering out in the ocean – only blackness.
Elliott: “Look! It’s the moon.”
Me: “That’s a plane, Elliott.”
Guillem and I jam at the storage unit. He plays electric guitar and I play drums.

On the phone with Becca.

Painting.

Guillem puts on Donnie Darko (2001).
Exercise.
I make Dinner: Eggs. Rice with Peppers, Onions, and Indian Spices. Garlic Sautéed Spinach. Garlic Pita Bread.

Chocolate Coffee. Blueberry Dunkers. Kiwi.
Practicing at the storage unit.
Saltine Crackers.

Shower.

Sleep around 7:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Monday May 17 2010

[i]

DREAM: Riding in a car. Jimmy, my stepdad, is driving. My mother and I are in the back seat. We have to crunch together because there’s too much luggage. She is lying down next to me. I use my purple book bag to prop myself up. Three television sets on the dashboard playing music videos. My mother has gotten a lot older, so much that Jimmy says she isn’t able to cook anymore. Her body hasn’t aged though. Jimmy shows me these craft-like things she’s been getting into making – oval shaped balls in different colors attached to straws. It looks very Japanese. The scenery outside the window changes to Japan. We can see all the unique Japanese architecture and signs. Because we’re still lying down together, we can only see just above the horizon of the windows.

Just waking up, lying in bed for a few minutes. 3 p.m. I get up.

Brianna leaves a note by the sink that reads:
“DO NOT GO IN HERE. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.”
The sink is full of soapy water and has a fishy smell to it.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Our electric bill is abnormally low. Talking to Kenneth outside in the rain about it. We discover my van is covered in mulberries from sitting under a mulberry tree. I had parked it there last night. Collecting them into a mason jar.
I go to Trader Joe’s and Big Lots.
Arriving back home, a man who looks like Kevin Smith (or rather Aaron Lachman) is here to test our water. He claims he talked to my “girlfriend” and that she said it would be okay to stop by today around 5 p.m.
Me: “That was probably my roommate.”
I invite him in.
Man: “This must be some art house or something. Are you guys a bunch of artists?”
We discuss the quality of Virginia Beach tap water. I tell him I drink the tap water regularly. Apparently, just having the water sit without a lid in the fridge or in a room will get rid of the chlorine and gasses. Because I’m not the owner, he isn’t able to do any tests. I find out he’s just a salesman trying to sell water filters for homes.
Leaving the house the man says, referring to my roommate: “She’s a cutie…”
Upon reflection, I realized I became fearful of tap water after talking with the man. Instilling fear is the most effective way to sell or advertise a product. Fear is the reason we choose certain products over others. Somehow, through devious marketing, we’re convinced that whatever brand name we prefer is the safest and better choice.

Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Oolong Tea.

Songwriting.

Practicing at the storage unit with Chad and Chris for the Musicplayer show this Wednesday.

Chad and I go to the Norfolk Greyhound station to pick up Guillem, a traveler from Spain that contacted me through www.couchsurfing.org. He’s staying at 1623 for a week. We grab him and meet Becca at Waffle House. Becca runs from her house to the restaurant in the pouring rain – it takes her exactly 15 minutes.
Dinner: leftover Alfredo with Broccoli, Coffee, and a Waffle.
Guillem eats his very first Waffle.
Waffle House employee, on his experience upon first arriving in Virginia from California: “Why are people in Virginia so sweet? They’re so sweet my teeth hurt.”
Chad puts on 14 tunes from the jukebox including 3 or 4 country songs in a row. 
Big discussions ensue – Guillem’s travels – entertainment and humor in American culture.
Me: “Society trains us to laugh at things…”
Chad, referring to certain laugh tracks that were recorded years ago and still being used today: “Most people on those laugh tracks are probably dead.”
Me: “That’s really weird.”
Becca: “That’s morbid.”
Me: “I can see myself when I get, like, really older…”
Chad: “You’re gonna be 70 years old still living at 1623…”
Laughter.
Me: “…still doing Show N Tell…getting really cranky about everything…’Sign up on the board!’”
Chad: “Like, people still come…it’s still tradition.”
Chad: “Where’s Phil been?”
Me: “He’s on a farm in northern Virginia bailing hay!”
Becca: “I can see him working with horses…like talking with them and stuff…like being a horse whisperer.”
“The Kid Informant” walks in with his grandfather. They sit at their usual booth by the window. Becca and I joke about how they would systematically show up every Monday when we were there.

Back at home, Rachmaninoff on the record player – Guillem is lying on the red couch reading War on Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

An Egg. Two pieces of Toast with Blackcurrant Jam (the heels). Kiwi. Milk.

Songwriting at the storage unit.

Sleep around 7:30 a.m.


[i] Image by me.

Sunday May 16 2010

[i]

11 a.m. I awaken to the sounds of my roommate and his girlfriend yelling at each other.
“You criticize me every fuckin day for the things I don’t do and never recognize the things I do do!”
“I do everything for you!”
I’ve never seen this side of their relationship. I sensed something like this might happen from the way I’ve observed their relationship.
Back to sleep.

DREAM: Playing tennis on a courtyard in the middle of some school. Instead of a clay or concrete ground, there is thick wet muddy grass making it difficult to play. I take front position and Art, my roommate, takes the back. Our opponent is Angel Berrios. As he serves the ball, I systematically miss and sometimes barely hit it. The head of my racket is too small and the rod is the neck of a guitar. I can see the fret board and the dots. Off to the side of the court is a huge cardboard box of rackets. I switch mine out for a weird pink one with a trapezoid shape. It’s too light and small. Again, I switch it out. This time, I finally get a preferable racket. Purple and blue – the head is big enough. Angel attempts to serve but eventually just kind of walks off the court and doesn’t seem interested in playing anymore. I’m dropping change out of my pocket and hitting the coins with my new racket. A dime falls into the grass. I make sure to keep my eye on it so I know where it falls. I retrieve it from the mud.
A lady walks by me, “Don’t worry! I’m gonna get your money.”
She wants to take a picture of me with some other people standing around. I’m not really interested but I smile and strike a pose with my purple blue racket and matching purple blue outfit.  

3:36 p.m. I wake up to the sounds of laughter from my roommate and his girlfriend. Seems like they’ve made up.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

The Love Police actually exist!


Work at China Wok.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Sweet Potato Chips. Green Tea.

Delivering an order to the nicest woman in the world on Vintage Court – a regular customer – in her late 60’s – orders at least once every weekend – invites me in as usual, making sure we make the correct transaction.
Me: “How’s my favorite customer?”
Woman: “How’s my favorite guy?”

Delivering an order on 10th Street – walking through a white arch entrance surrounded with the rich sweet smells of honeysuckle.

Some thoughts: If you stay in a constant state of seeking reciprocation you will be in a constant state of disappointment.

Stretching. Exercising. Cool Hand Luke (1967).
Dinner: Black Beans and Rice with Indian Spices, Garlic, Peppers, and Onions. Green Beans. Garlic Naan Bread.

I go to the storage unit. Music.

Back at home, Chocolate Coffee and Blueberry Almond Dunkers.
Finishing Cool Hand Luke (1967).
“For the secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for. Without a stable conception of the object of life, man would not consent to go on living, and would rather destroy himself than remain on earth, though he had bread in abundance.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I love a hot shower.

Sleep around 7:20 a.m.


[i] Source unknown.

Saturday May 15 2010

[i]

DREAM: I barge out of my room after just waking up to make my usual breakfast, Hot Oat Bran Cereal. Before entering the kitchen, I see a big pile of cat liter on the floor. It looks like someone tried to lift it up and the bag broke. I notice on top of the stove, one of the spice jars has shattered, possibly the coriander jar – broken glass just sitting on the counter – the mound of coriander sitting on top of the stove still in a jar shape but with no jar. Giant dirty bowls sitting in the sink. Elliott is there the whole time – making jokes about the disarray. I’m complaining out loud to him and I get progressively irritated. I open the spice cabinet – spices are missing and toppled over each other. I get angry and tip over a few of them myself and yell. In my mind, I assume its Elaina’s fault. This is my roommate Kyle’s girlfriend. A bunch of people start walking in – apparently Show N Tell is happening tonight and the festivities are starting early. I think Felix wants to make pancakes. “Hey Ashley.” I say hi to Ashley V. I don’t recognize her at first because she looks like Brianna a little bit. With a grin on my face, “What are you doing?” She starts throwing some of her clothes in the dryer. “I’m drying my clothes,” as if this is a completely normal thing for her to do. An older lady is in the kitchen with me. She sees how flustered I am and starts helping by putting all the dishes in the dishwasher. I explain to her the dishwasher doesn’t work. All of sudden, a big rat crawls above the sink on the window. “This has never happened to me before. I don’t know what to do.” She reassures me that if I just keep looking at it and stand still, it will be okay. I pick up a stick to poke it and hopefully shoo it out of the house. But the rat seems interested in me – his big eyes look like a puppy’s. He acts harmless but I don’t want to be near him because I’m afraid of getting diseases. Every time I start poking him, he wants to get closer to me. I’m yelling at him. I notice my Dad walking in. The rat grows bigger and turns into a black dog without notice. I finally succeed in getting him out. 

3 p.m. I wake up having anxiety from my dream.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Music.
I write a dishes decree for the house.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Green Tea.

Quick stop at Taylor’s Do-it Center – looking for an Allen wrench set. An older man with a permanently slouched back and a limping walk signals for me to follow him. At the display shelf, he shows me my options. “What’s the difference between these sets?” With his yellow notepad he writes down “METRIC” and points to the correct set, then, “AMERICAN”, pointing to the other one. I realize now, he is mute. I grab the American set and thank him.

Work at China Wok.

Delivering an order to the Memory Center off Old Donation Pkwy. Of the many times I’ve delivered there, this time I have the opportunity to see the inside – it looks like Disneyland or rather an airport with superimposed businesses like The Tavern, The Salon, The Kitchen, and even The Bank. Apparently, this gives the patients there the illusion of the real world.
The lady keeps repeating out loud, “I don’t got four cents!”
The total is $35.74. She hands me $35.70. Before arriving, I had already prepared myself for no tip. But I couldn’t even get the full payment. How ridiculous. With haste I go to leave. The lady follows me out so she can punch in the security code.
Lady: “Are yall family or something at China Wok?”
Her ghetto accent is slightly funny.
Me: “Well, I’m not Chinese.”
Lady: “You been drivin around in dis hot heat…hold on. I’m gonna get you your four cents.”
After retrieving money from her car, she hands me a dime. Sarcastically, I think to myself, how kind of you!

Daniel and I discuss ways to ensure getting tips from customers. Start off the transaction at the door with, “I risked my life for your dinner tonight.”

Waiting for orders at the restaurant. An Asian lady in her late 30’s wearing glasses and a pink salmon collared shirt walks in.
Lady: “So you’re the PR guy right?”
Me: “I guess…what’s PR?
Lady: “Public Relations! You’ve got the Chinese making the product and you deal with the people.”
I sit down and continue to observe this lady. She talks to Daniel about how impressed she is that “white” people work here. I’m fascinated by her social confidence and her happy spirit. She has this engaging presence. I watch her sit with her guy friend, husband, boyfriend, whatever he is. He seems quiet and focused on his meal. She’s probably high maintenance behind closed doors.

Towards the end of the shift, my Dad calls me out of the blue. We talk and catch up on each other’s lives.

Leaving work, I get a call from Sal’s Pizza from down the street. I forgot I had left my number for them in case they needed drivers. Sitting down with the manager there while she eats her pizza – she gives me a few days out of the week to work. A younger Middle Eastern lady with two little boys walks in with her mother.
Her: “You remind me of my brother.” 
Come to find out, her brother is the drummer of this band, The Sugar Report. Tokyo played with them a long time ago. 

Stretching, Yoga, Exercising.
Dinner: Penne Pasta with Sauce, Peppers, and Onions. Salad. Texas Garlic Toast.
Watching Altered States (1980). Why have I never seen this?
“You saved me. You redeemed me from the pit. I was in it, Emily. I was *in* that ultimate moment of terror that is the beginning of life. It is nothing. Simple, hideous nothing. The final truth of all things is that there is no final Truth. Truth is what's transitory. It's human life that is real. I don't want to frighten you, Emily, but what I'm trying to tell you is that moment of terror is a real and living horror, living and growing within me now, and the only thing that keeps it from devouring me is you.”
“We all live with it. That unbearable terror is what makes us such singular creatures. We hide from it, we succumb to it, mostly we defy it! We build fragile little structures to keep it out. We love, we raise families, we work, we make friends. We write poems...”

Miscellaneous cleaning and fixing.

Oreos and Soy Milk.

I go to the storage unit.
Music and organizing.

Sleep around 7 a.m.


[i] Fred Tomaselli.

Friday May 14 2010

[i]


DREAM: Holding a letter from Megan Stamper which is actually a giant scroll made out of thin white poster paper. I don’t want to read it right now so I use rope to construct a few knots and tie it up on this piece of wood that’s built into the ceiling of the computer room in the house. Moses, my black cat that lives with my mother, walks up and acts loving towards me. I lay down on a chair and he plops himself on my chest, my arms caressing him. “I’ve missed you Moses!” I feel close. I feel comfortable.  

3:20 p.m. I wake up.

Breakfast: Hot Oat Bran Cereal with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Orange Mango Juice. Zinc and Alfalfa.

Songwriting.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Strawberry Yogurt. Green Tea.

Work at China Wok.
Talking with Daniel, the other driver, about the Crips and Bloods documentary I watched yesterday. We discuss the “what ifs” of America: What if slavery never happened and Africans were never brought over to the Americas? Our country’s culture has many roots stemmed from the oppression of black Americans. 
Delivering an order near English Court. Two cute little girls stop their Wii Bowling game and corral at the door. Holding their Wii controllers, “Thank you dude! Thank you dude!” They seem really amused by calling me “dude”.
Daniel and I compare the differences between restaurant servers and delivery drivers. People take for granted the risk and work delivery drivers have to deal with.  

Dinner: Leftover Chicken Alfredo and Broccoli. Snap Peas, Edamame Soybeans, Green Beans. Red Peach Tea.

Vanilla Milkshake at Doumar’s.
Seamonster and Adam Arcuragi at The Boot.
Sitting with friends. Listening to the sounds of alt-country on stage.
“Between you and me…I’ll be singing through my teeth…the words may be wrong…I’ll still sing every song.”
Chad is suspicious of the universe.
Aaron finds an opportunity to take off his shirt at the table.
Margot talking to Chad in the front seat of the car: “You are like Mr. Legal Everything!”

Pineapple.
Feeling a little bummed out.
An Egg and Garlic Naan Bread.
Watching a documentary called Lord, Save Us From Your Followers (2008).
Going through audio files on my digital recorder.
Strawberries.

Songwriting.

Chatting with Verity on Skype.

Sleep around 7 a.m.



[i] Photo by me.