Tuesday December 31 2013


Waking up at 11 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Banana.

All day shift at China Wok.

Maple Leaf Cookies.

Delivering to a regular in the trailer park. He leaves me with a New Years caution, "Don't let none of the drunks run ya over!"

Peanut Butter Pita. Popped Potato Chips. Cranberry Honey Green Tea.

It's a slow pace day at The Wok. Deliveries here and there one at a time.

I get a delivery for The Flagship motel on 5th Street, the building with the great big jet mural painted on the back. I've always taken a liking to this place and it's historic character – Virginia Beach chic at it's finest. On the top floor. The girl answers with a smile and signs the credit receipt without a tip. Whenever I know I'm not getting a tip my cordial jovial face turns to a face of disapproval. And whenever people knowingly don't tip but say, "Appreciate it," I can't help but respond to them with, "Well actions speak louder than words." I wonder what would happen if I just started speaking out loud what was on my mind.


This leads me to ponder on the fact that this time last year I was doing the same thing, working at China Wok. I just want to be on a path of progression – you know achieve goals and shit.

Back at the house a very small New Years gathering is brewing. Will, Elliott, Michelle, Ana, and my old high school friend Mike Joyner are here. Ana's busying herself in the kitchen making Black Bean Burgers and baking Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillow Cookies. Sharing good eats with everyone. I set up a live stream from Times Square on the TV – pouring plastic cups of fine Champagne – countdown to 2014. Card games in the dining room, "No Way Dude". Leave it up to Elliott to provide fireworks. We light them up between the Chanticleer buildings, dropping some in the sewer. BOOM! It sounds like a bomb is going off underground. We react like little children running into corners to escape danger.

After everyone leaves Ana and I talk in the bed about this and that – the phases in one's life – growing out of naivety – relationships – jealousy. I fear she takes mild offense sometimes whenever I speak my mind about certain things, like taking things personally. But she's also very self-aware enough to not let things get the best of her, smart enough to step aside from the emotional. I admire this in her.

[i] Patternoftheday.com

Monday December 30 2013


Waking up at 10:50 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's a slow normal day at the restaurant.

Banana. Maple Leaf Cookies.

Like clockwork every Monday the mother-daughter combo comes in for their weekly serving of crab rangoon and egg drop soup. They chat away the comings and goings and gossip of their lives.

Leftover slice of Pizza. Hard Boiled Egg. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Cranberry English Breakfast Tea.

Not as busy as I expected a weekday to be but despite the delivery hustle the tips aren't very generous as a whole and the stiffs are sometimes too much to handle.

Apple. Almond Granola Bar.

Even though I worked the same hours and drove the same miles and delivered the same amount of orders as I did yesterday, I made $30 less. Checks and balances don't feel very good.

Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

Watching Prisoners (2013).

Cleaning up.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Image not mine.

Sunday December 29 2013

After the Rain at China Wok (Dec 29 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Locked up in a three-story house with roommates. Outside is a killer on the loose. He's determined to break in and take all our money. I direct everyone to lock all the doors and cover up the windows. No matter how many precautions we take he finds a way in. We frantically run up and down the stairs trying to avoid our demise. He's got a knife.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:14 a.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

The rain pours and pours. But luckily it's not so cold, just refreshing.


Delivering an order in my neighborhood. The guy hands me exact change and says, "Sorry. Can't give you a tip. I'm broke."

I restrain myself but respond to him in my head, "Then what're doing ordering Chinese food then? You can afford $20 on takeout but can't give up a few bucks to the guy who delivered it to you? If you're that broke make some mac n cheese or microwave some Ramen, douchebag!"

Almonds, Cashews, and Craisins. Popped Potato Chips. Cranberry Honey English Breakfast Tea. Maple Leaf Cookies.

The sun comes out – the bright rays shining through the restaurant windows just before dusk.

Been getting stiffed a lot more than usual today. It's frustrating. But I know in the end I'll come out winning.

I'm fortunate enough to enjoy an order of Crab Rangoon that was cooked a tad bit too much, not good enough to sell to a customer but good enough for me.

Cecily, Ming, and Ling are in the back trying to finish prepping the dumplings while up front I play games with the girls.

Off work and back home. I join Will, James, and Darren at the table. I offer everyone some Honey Chicken, a mess-up order from work. Listening to Darren and Will debate politics while I enjoy my dinner: Broccoli, Carrots, and Lo Mein Noodles with Ginger Chicken Broth.

Darren talks, "I feel like these zero tolerance policies...it turns people into a bunch of bitches because everybody realizes that it doesn't matter the fucking circumstances...you get shafted. So it turns men into bitches. It turns the species that should be fucking bold-chested and should be fucking standing up to tyranny and should be fucking telling people off and shouldn't be afraid to speak their opinion even if they're fucking wrong and shouldn't be afraid to admit they're wrong – I mean it turns all these little boys into bitches."


"I think a lot of things in our society have to do with the fact that when kids go to school – every kid has to go to some kind of school – and when you go to school you're told to sit down and shut up and pay attention! And if you don't your whole fucking life is gonna go down the drain."

Ana offers me a PB&J Chocolate Bar from Trader Joe's. I gratefully indulge while she plays Gameboy Tetris.

Cuddling under the blankets together at 2:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday December 28 2013

Lia Melia.[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's a slow start for deliveries. I sit down at the marbled table with Eileen. She's fiddling around with two fortunes and putting together a Disney puzzle. I pretend to take a nap on top of the boxes in the corner.

Two Hard Boiled Eggs. Everything Pretzel Thins. Cranberry English Breakfast Tea. Maple Leaf Cookies.

The deliveries pick up towards the evening. And it's mostly non-stop from there.


Finally it's all over and I'm home at 11:11 p.m.

Fried Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, Broccoli, Onions, Carrots, and Rice.

Watching Outlander (2008).

Not having to give any attention to anyone but myself is super relieving.

Sleep 2:30 a.m.

[i] Lia Melia.

Friday December 27 2013

Outlander Screenshot.[i]

Waking up at 1:39 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Catching up on writing.

Chicken Salad Pita Sandwich with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Cranberry English Breakfast Tea.

At the Rec Center working out in the weight room. Pick-up basketball games in the gym.

Trader Joe's Pizza. Steamed Baby Broccoli. Orange Juice.

Watching Doom (2005).

Downstairs, Kevin is wrapped up in his bathrobe making tomato soup. He asks me outright, "Have you ever thought about retiring the blog?"

Me: "No."

Unusually thirsty.

Watching Outlander (2008).

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Outlander screenshot.

Thursday December 26 2013

Dance! Dance in the Blue Glow! (Dec 26 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

A Velociraptor T-Rex hybrid is on the loose in a school. We're holed up in a restroom. We can hear it's heavy breathing and screeching behind the door. I thought we had locked the door but the dinosaur barges through with ease. I throw a towel over its head to confuse it. And this gives us the opportunity to escape. I dart out into the hallway and head straight outside the double glass doors – jumping on the roof of the school. I can sense the dino roaming the perimeter. Eventually, I run off the ledge and slowly elevate myself into the air using an umbrella-like device to stay afloat – gliding through the trees traveling further and further away from danger...

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

At Winston's Café in Chesapeake. I'm just hanging out with friends here to see some kind of show. While sitting down at a table these two black dudes sit down with me and make small talk. Something in their voices doesn't seem right. They keep inviting me to some New Years party that I'm not interested in. During the conversation I'm organizing big-numbered bills in my hands. Then I have the realization that these guys are con-men. I turn my head for one second and discover the guy's hand sneaking into my backpack. I call him out and say sternly, "I would like you to leave...now! Give me my money back." He gives me a handful of mini-boxes with coins inside. I stand up and announce to everyone, "These guys right here are thieves!" They seem embarrassed and march out the front door. Security officers stay alert.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 12:45 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Figuring out my life.

Chicken Sandwich with Tomato. Popped Potato Chips. Cranberry English Breakfast Tea.

At the Rec Center. The gym is packed with people. Playing a few pick-up basketball games with anyone available. I think I've hit the point in my basketball career that my skill level is maintained considering I play so often. Shooting nothing-but-net 3-pointers and making buckets right and left. It appears that I'm the most valuable player on this court at least. I've still got some steps to climb in the adult games. One of my opponents comments about how based on appearance he wouldn't have taken me for a decent baller.

Working a few part-time hours at China Wok making easy cash.

Tofu with Broccoli, Onions, Carrots, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

I'm surprised downstairs when Becca walks in with Chris Remaley and a friend. I knew she was in town for Christmas but I wasn't sure when she'd come over with hair cutting supplies for our annual haircut party. James Graves and I get haircuts while Chris draws caricatures of us. Ana walks in surprised to see everyone.

Annual Haircut Party (Dec 26 2013)

Caricatures by Chris (Dec 26 2013)

Becca pretends to start shaving my back hair. I exclaim, "What're doing?!"


Me: "No! Stop! Like, that's my strength right there. If you cut off my back hair it's like Samson & Delilah."

Chris: "I decided before I get married. I'm just gonna laser remove all my back hair."

Me: "Permanently?"

Chris: "Permanently."


Talking about boyhood, "Yeah I was just a kid with a basketball. I just wanted to look cool."

James: "A kid with a basketball?"

Me: "Yeah man."

Chris: "A young man with a dream."

Me: "I started off with a basketball. Then I found the piano."

Chris: "And there was no more traveling."

Me: "I travel. I go to Norfolk sometimes."


Ana talks about cutting her hair. Josh begs, "Please don't cut your hair. Please don't. If you cut your hair off I will re-fix it and glue it onto my head. And I'll be Ana. I'll literally glue it to my head. It won't be weird. I'll change my Facebook to Ana."

Me: "Ana Vaughan. Anashua!"

Unicorn Face (2)(Dec 26 2013)

I toast bagels and make coffee for anyone who wants it, a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese for myself. Josh is hopped up on that Rain vodka, distilled seven times. He encourages me to have a few shots with him. "C'mon, Robert. I have never had a shot with you since I've lived here." We move the table out of the way and turn up the stereo. Dancing in the blue light.

After laughing hysterically at fart noises made by James, everybody leaves. Josh is passed out on the floor in the living room with Sophie on guard nuzzled in the blanket.

In my room Ana and I cuddle up and have sex. It's rejuvenating.

Sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Wednesday December 25 2013

My Dawgs (Dec 25 2013)[i]

Waking up at 12:18 p.m.

Dad and Patty are watching some Sci-Fi movie about ice monsters on TV. Jennifer's watching the Mulan movies in her bedroom.

Eating Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Toast, and Orange Juice.

Shooting the basketball around in the driveway. My dad comes out and joins. Even though he's not fit enough to play me 1-on-1 or anything like that he's still got the skills enough to shoot buckets, right and left. I remember playing basketball with him when I was a boy. He was good. He was a challenge. I cherished those moments with him then and I cherish this moment now.

I open up a Christmas card Ana gave me the other night. She instructed me to open it on Christmas. It's a brown paper envelope with a brown paper card stock inside marked with green dots and purple lines. It simply says, "Dear Robert, I love you. Sincerely, Khrizzia" My heart melts a little. I had already been pondering about this statement. I imagined saying it to her sometime and if I would mean it. I realized the words would be true out of my mouth. And then this...

First 'I Love You' from Ana (Christmas '13)

Time to see some other family. I drive my car with Jennifer in the passenger seat. We follow dad and Patty to Greenville. With music in the background Jennifer tells me a little bit about her new boyfriend at school. I tell her to warn any boys that she's got a big brother now with muscles if anything goes wrong.


We arrive at Aunt Deloris and John D's house off Mobleys Bridge Road. We were here this day last year. Inside we greet everyone and help ourselves to leftover plates of some of Aunt Deloris's good cooking: Stuffing and Gravy, Collard Greens, Dinner Rolls, etc. She's got a little black skittish shorthaired Pomeranian dog following her around everywhere. Vicky and her boys are sprawled out in the living room playing the game of Life. Sipping on Coffee and mingling with the family.

Dad and Jennifer (Dec 25 2013)

Barbie Doll Case (Dec 25 2013)

Jingle Bell Karaoke (Dec 25 2013)

There's another little girl named Ava here. She gets on the little karaoke machine in the office and entertains us with "Jingle Bells".

We were going to see my great-uncle JW but he's come down with a severe cold and doesn't recommend we visit. It's time to say goodbye to my dad, Jennifer, and Patty. It was a short stay but a lively day and a half. I hit the road in the cold dark night, passing by ramshackle Carolinian houses with smoking chimneys, tattered barns, and those big cylinder grain bins. I stay on 17-N all the way into Chesapeake and make it back to Virginia Beach at a decent hour.

Eating leftover Salmon Pad Thai.

Watching The Company Men (2010).

Orange Juice.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Tuesday December 24 2013

Father & Son (Christmas 2013)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Orange Juice.

Driving down to North Carolina to see my dad for Christmas.

Apple. Almond Bar. Popped Potato Chips.

It's a quick three-hour trip – no traffic – just US-58 to I-95 to I-795, past Wayne Memorial Hospital, and I'm there.

As soon as I arrive my dad takes me to a Mexican bar in historic downtown Goldsboro for an afternoon beer. I had told him on the phone a few days ago that I desired one-on-one time. We order Modelo drafts with a slice of lime and talk, talk, talk about family matter updates, the rise of social networking and how it affects the baby boomers, and the openness of personal information and how easily accessible it is to the government or any other interested party.

Me: "The government can spy on you via Facebook."

Dad: "Well, you know...you can't hide from nothin' now. Cause they gotcha right there."

Me: "Just don't have anything to hide..."

Dad: "That's right."

Me: "...and you'll be fine."

Dad: "And I don't."


Me: "A lot of things changed in the past ten years. I'm approaching 30. It's a weird feeling, you know. I mean what was it like when you turned 30? What was going on in your life at 30?"

I can tell after asking him this question it opened up a dam of fond memories. It was 1978. He had joined the military in '66. He was stationed in England working for the Air Force at a mail terminal and sometimes as a courier for classified documents. He'd meet my mom in Portsmouth not but a few years later, get married, and have me in 1984. There's a lot more I'd like to discuss but we've got to head back...

We link up with Patty, my stepmother, and Jennifer, my stepsister, and walk across the street to a neighbor's Christmas gathering. There's a variety of food for the taking: Veggie Trays, Sandwich Trays, Chips and Salsa. I grab a little bit of everything. Most of the faces here I've met before from previous holiday visits. Even though nobody here is blood family they're still a part of my dad's social circle. And they know how to laugh and have a good time. Keith, the well-mannered and likable country bumpkin neighbor, brings over his infamous peach moonshine. Some take shots. I decide not to drink too much tonight.

Christmas 2013 (2)

Christmas 2013 (1)

Christmas 2013 (3)

Christmas 2013 (4)

Christmas 2013 (5)

Christmas 2013 (6)

Christmas 2013 (11)

I'm encouraged to pick up the guitar and lead everyone in song. I perform some Christmas songs and some general crowd pleasers like "Proud Mary", "Island in the Sun", "Blowin' in the Wind", and "Hound Dog". Sitting beside me, my dad doesn't hesitate to sing along joyfully; he's never been one to hold back his young lively spirit.

Somebody's grandma of a whopping 98 years old is here. I bring it in close to her wheelchair and we chant "Silent Night". There's a glow in her eye as she sings. Later, I sprawl out on the carpet in front of the fireplace with Jennifer and Ava (a little girl of 7 or 8 years old). Most of the other friends and family watch as we entertain them with yoga and aerobics poses. Ava won't stop grappling onto me and insisting that I pick her up repeatedly and turn her upside down. At one point I turn to dad and say, "Okay, your turn!" Without thinking much of it he swoops me up in his arms and spins me around as if I was still a little boy. After setting me down he says, "I bet you didn't think I could still do that, huh?"

Me: "Yeah! You surprised me. I didn't know you still had it in you."

That was a cherishing moment.

Eventually, we walk back over to the house. Jennifer has the expected behavior of any 17-year-old to keep snapping photos of herself. She gets me to take multiple pictures of her by the Christmas tree. My dad gets irritated and demands the camera back. But it's just a game. I witness him tackle Jennifer on the floor tickling her to death.

Settling in and eating a traditional Honduran Chicken Sandwich.

Sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday December 23 2013

Ana in the Red (Dec 23 2013)[i]

Waking up around 1 p.m.

Frosted Shredded Wheat with Almond Milk.

Vacuuming and cleaning downstairs.

Scrambled Egg with Tomatoes. Blueberry Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Honey Green Tea.

At the Rec Center. After shooting the ball around for ten minutes they close the gym down because of the condensation. It appears the A/C is not in working order today. The weight room is still open for use. I do sets working on different parts of my body.

It's raining and Christmas traffic is at its peak in Hilltop and idiotic behavior abounds – people driving without their headlights on – zooming through yellow lights just turning red.

Salmon Pad Thai with Baby Broccoli, Onions, and Carrots.

Watching the 1992 Dream Team Game: USA Vs Germany.

It's Movie Monday at the house. Tonight we're showing Christmas Vacation (1989). Ana takes on the role of hosting by bringing over endless bags of popcorn and baking her well-known Chocolate Chip Coconut Cupcakes, which turn out near perfect. Present are James, Will, Ken, Leah, Elliott, Mike Joyner (old high school friend class of '02), and Darren. There's wine involved and it seems Ana has drank a little too much. I find her locked in the bathroom with Sasha assisting. Eventually, I lead her into the bedroom. Being generally playful and snickering the whole time. I can't help giggling because she squirms around in the bed in such an adorable manner.

"Nothing's funny right now! You think everything's funny."

She keeps apologizing for her woozy drunken state of mind but I assure her there's no judgment and that I'll take care of her.

Sleep around 3 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday December 22 2013

James's Drunken Desolation (2)(Dec 22 2013)[i]

Waking up at 11:41 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.


It's borderline 80 degrees outside, beautiful and sunny. Gotta love VB weather. I feel substantially more energized as I deliver orders.


Five Guy's French Fries with Ketchup. Honey Green Tea.

It's a steady day for deliveries.

Maple Leaf Cookies.

During the down time Ling tells me a news story he read about a couple that camped out in a tent for 9 months only having to spend about $200 a month on food but keeping full time jobs and in the end saved enough money to put a down payment on a house.

Egg and Ginger Soup. Lo Mein with Bok Choy.

Watching Gone Baby Gone (2007).

Darren and James stumble into the house after drinking at Tapped across the street. James is unusually wasted, so much that he can't seem to balance himself. I wrap my arm around him to keep him afloat. He calls out my name as if I have the power to deliver him from his drunken desolation. Later, I find him past out on the back patio.

James's Drunken Desolation (1)(Dec 22 2013)

I pull out my bike to ride around and enjoy the fresh night air. I catch Kevin and Darren clobbering Chanello's pizza and sipping on Rolling Rocks behind Darren's car. I ask for a slice but it's the last one. Kevin's adamant about not giving "the last slice" up.

Me: "C'mon, dude! I do your dishes...everyday. I saved your car from getting impounded. I changed your life by getting you a job at China Wok!"

In the end I ride away with a slice.

Orange Juice.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday December 21 2013


Waking up at 10:55 a.m.

Instant Berry Flax Seed Oatmeal. Orange Grapefruit Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.


Two Hard Boiled Eggs. Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Nice and easy for afternoon deliveries, nothing too hectic. It's in the 70's today, a summer day in December.

Maple Leaf Cookies.

Apple. Vanilla Almond Granola Bar.

At some point Ana comes to visit and return my backpack, which I left at Emily's party. Every time I see her I can't help but smile. There's much brightness and joy inside her. Sitting in the passenger seat for the last hour of my shift providing a listening ear to my rants about society.


Ana: "Comfort is number one in life and clothes."

Off work and back home.

Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

Watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011).

"Always strive to elevate your craft."

Sleep at 3 a.m.

Friday December 20 2013

Chinese Frog. Source unknown.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

An army of Norwegian soldiers, giant-like and slender, line up behind corridors. I'm a part of an American army of sorts. After something gets lost in translation between a Norwegian soldier and I it sparks a war. We don't stand a chance physically. They're just too big for us. The hallways get bombarded and confusing. The armies migrate outside. I'm left with a few fellow soldiers. We link up with the Seals and arm ourselves with guns. While looking for our enemies we discover a water-slide tunnel connected with a water park. I grab a raft and slide down with excitement.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

I find an abnormally large frog with toothpicks lodged into it's back for protection, kind of like a porcupine. I take pride in my new pet though. I notice a smaller frog is stuck to it's back. I attempt to pull it off but the frog moves around too much for me to handle it. I'm careful not to get poked by the sharp toothpicks. Later, this frog thing kind of transforms into an attractive girl that I just met. She's lying face down on the ground. I pull down her black panties and use my fingers to pleasure her. Nearby, a few friends are watching, one of them being Ana. I feel embarrassed but something is controlling me. At least Ana seems to be hiding her face with her hands. The good part is I don't go any further with this strange frog girl.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 10:55 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Grapefruit.

All day shift at China Wok.

Caramel Nut Bar. Half a Peanut Butter Bagel. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

After lunchtime it's pretty non-stop driving and delivering for the rest of the night.

Maple Leaf Cookies, a little too much.

Dealing with the general annoyances of a delivery driver. The traffic is worse than it usually is. Cars line up like ants behind the stoplights. And here I am a part of it. I'm a slave just like everybody else.

The whole day just whizzes by in a time-canceling haze. Racking up the tips and the miles.

Finally off work after a full 12 hours.

Fried Chicken with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

Watching a documentary on NBA's 1992 Dream Team.

While cleaning the dishes Josh walks in and asks, "Where's the house?" referring to the whereabouts of the other roommates.

"I don't know," I reply.

He asked this as if him and I being home didn't satisfy as "the house". We're used to it being a full house in the late evening hours. When people are missing either something's wrong or there is another event outside the house that's more exciting.

Sleep at 3 a.m.

[i] Chinese Frog. Source unknown.

Thursday December 19 2013

Evil Amby (2)(Dec 19 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Cooking dreams. Preparing food for a family Christmas feast. It feels like we're living underwater in an abandoned city.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at about 12:30 p.m.

I remember while I was high last night that I promised myself to make pancakes in the morning. So I look up a recipe and fix it up in the kitchen – everything from scratch, syrup and all. Sharing the final product with Josh, Darren, and Ana.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes with Peanut Butter and Syrup. Orange Grapefruit Juice.

In general, I feel pressed for time. There's just never enough time for me in the day to complete the tasks I want to accomplish.

I run to a few stores for groceries.

Then, to the Rec Center for basketball. I need this workout before I start China Wok for three days in a row.

At the house I gather all the children (Darren, Josh, Sasha, and James) into the wagon and drive out to Norfolk for Emily's annual Christmas gathering. It's an ugly sweater party. There's good cheer and drinks to be had. Ana looks cute in her felt cat sweater and her ribbon bun hair and tube socks. Ambrotious is running around biting any flesh he can find. He doesn't seem to recognize who I am. After all those years living with him at 1623 you'd think he'd show a little respect but none is given. There're tons of people packed into this little studio apartment. It's stuffy and my nose is getting irritated.

JP and Stef (Dec 19 2013)

Meow Lovers (Dec 19 2013)

Mid Convo (Dec 19 2013)

Ugly Xmas Sweater Party (Dec 19 2013)

Wrapped Up (Dec 19 2013)

Xmas Krampus (Dec 19 2013)

Ana's Turning Japanese (Dec 19 2013)

Afterwards, we all reconvene at Rick's Café, the mostly Virginia Beach lot of us. Ana orders chocolate chip pancakes (even though we already ate pancakes this afternoon) along with broccoli. I give her a hard time for it. The conversation is engaging even though I feel a strong magnet towards the house. That's where I'd like to be.

Ana's Happy Meal (Dec 19 2013)

Back at the house, after opening the door and answering a question of Don's, Kevin, being his belligerent drunk self, tries to stop me from closing the door on him with intention of marching into my room and demanding a hug. At the moment I just didn't have the tolerance and wanted to be alone. With intensity I push the door hard and accidentally slam the door on his hand. There's blood and a big gash on his middle finger. I feel terrible. Even though it was unintentional I could've lightened up and just accepted a surprise hug from my friend/roommate. The rest of the Rick's crew arrives home and we have to explain the tragic story. I don’t think it's his bow hand though so he'll still be able to play violin. 

Ana spends the night. Before drifting off to sleep at 3:30 a.m. I softly deny her touch down below. I'm beat. I'm tired. I feel drained. And whenever I feel spread thin I barely have any sexual energy. I feel bad because she deserves it. She deserves my love and I deserve hers. And she looks super cute and sexy today in her outfit.

[i] Most images by me, some by Stephanie.

Wednesday December 18 2013

Acoustic Showcase at Jewish Mother. Trevor DeGroat Credit (Mike Gombas)(Dec 18 2013)*

Waking up at 12:41 p.m.

Grapefruit. Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Watching Robot & Frank (2012).

At the Rec Center for an afternoon workout and basketball.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Popped Potato Chips. Maple Leaf Cookies. Honey Green Tea.

Acoustic Showcase at The Jewish Mother featuring Mike Gombas, JoAnna Lynne, Alice Conner, and myself as Musicplayer. Good vibes, good tunes, and good friends. Sipping on a Coffee. Ana performs a few songs towards the end of my set. She's uncomfortable on a big stage such as this but we pull off all the songs with flying colors and topped it off with a cover of "Silent Night".

An Us-ie (Dec 18 2013)

Acoustic Showcase at Jewish Mother. Trevor DeGroat Credit (Musicplayer)(Dec 18 2013)*

Back at the house. Ken, Will, Leah, James, and Ana gather round the dining room table. I cook up a big pot of Spaghetti with Sourdough Garlic Bread and Steamed Carrots for everyone to enjoy.


Darren appears with fresh bud from California called Blue Dream. I watch him take a hit from the gravity bong that he constructed using a ceramic monk cookie jar and a plastic soda bottle. For some reason I announce that I'd like to take one. He's surprised by my enthusiasm. Ana's shaking her head. Darren sets up everything and gives me instructions, as I've never tried a water bong before. I've only ever tried the one-hitters and they never had much of an effect on me. He lights it up. I inhale a big riff into my mouth, then into my lungs and out. The smoke is too heavy for me to handle and I start coughing in the hallway. I feel a burning sensation in my throat and lungs. I calm down and reconvene in my room alone taking precautions for the weed wave to come. Ten minutes later I've been transported into another dimension. Body feels like it's vibrating with white fuzz every time I move. I'm keenly aware of everything I say and aware of how silly I sound. Ana enters my room with Will following behind. Will, dressed in a leather jacket and armed with a wine opener marches towards me in a sarcastic hostile fashion and says something vaguely reminiscent of Ryan Gosling. At first I thought it was part of their plan to confuse me because they knew I was high. Then I realize how much Will looks like Ryan Gosling with his blonde hair and leather jacket. I apologize in advance to Ana for acting strange. I encourage her to take a hit so she can be on my level. She does so. I refuse to go downstairs. I keep repeating to Kevin, "I won't be able to handle it. I just...can't! It would be a weird experience. I won't do it."

Kevin: "But it's fine down there."

It felt off limits to me. I don't know why. It's heating up in my bloodstream. Will records a video of Kevin and I making fools of ourselves attempting to slide down the staircase with a couch cushion.


At some point Ana joins me in the bedroom. She's reached her own high but I keep asking her if she really is or not. It's a big concern for me in this state of mind that I be surrounded by people on my level. And she appears to be.

Ana: "I can barely do anything!"

Me: "Everything I do right now is gonna be really weird to you."

Ana: "No I just think that you're gonna be really truthful and I'll find out...if we really get along."

Me: "I think we'll get along fine."

Ana: "No."

Me: "Are you getting along with me?"

Ana: "I don’t know. Am I?"

Me: "Of course. I can't possibly get upset right now."

Ana: "Oh really?"

Me: "I don’t feel like I can get really mad. I don't have the ability to get mad."

My body is extra sensitive so anytime she touches me I giggle. 

I hop on the computer and type out some nonsense...

"Let's see if I can write something."

After realizing I can I say, "Oh wow, I'm spelling things correctly!"

Wfoooooo. eageret to be philanthrpoic ieojfljpjdiejfkdpaap0e9nlinieojojofjsljfghostly manure thigh chicken thighs arrest mercilessly into the moon it shines it glows into space into blackhole space stephen hawking doesn't know a thing about everything…………..


Me: "Oh God! I can't do this again. Maybe in another fifteen years but not anytime soon. Ask Darren how long this is supposed to last."

Kevin walks in and sees me lying on the bed in a fetal position, "You should put on some music so you don't go fucking crazy."

Me: "Oh well does music help?"

Kevin: "Fuck yeah! Especially when you're having sex. Music is great. I'm not assuming you're gonna have sex but you guys should. Anyway. No. Music and sex and drugs go hand in hand. Music and drugs go hand in hand. Put on a fucking Shins album. Put on some Creedence Clearwater Revival. Seriously put on some music!"

Me: "Well why don't you play me some music, Kevin. Play the violin for me."

Kevin: "Being high makes it better. It makes music better. It makes food taste better. It makes driving for China Wok better! It makes sex better. It makes paying your fucking bills...worse actually."

I turn to Darren, "Why are my eyes on fire? Why are my eyes on fire?"

Darren: "Put in some eye drops."   

The laughing and snickering are uncontrollable. It feels like my cheeks are raised permanently.

Me: "I know the things that I'm saying right now are really stupid!"

I take Kevin's advice and we put on a huge playlist of piano sonatas by Arthur Rubinstein. I snag an Apple out of the fruit basket. The taste of its crisp flesh is enhanced. Forgetting Ana is allergic to raw apples (as I usually do) I offer her a bite. She reminds me of her allergies.


I recall her saying how afraid she is of gazing into my eyes, in this state but also in a normal state of mind.

I don't know how but we fall asleep at who knows what time.

* Images by Trevor D.

Image by James.

Tuesday December 17 2013

Victo Ngai[i]

Waking up at 10:49 a.m.

Plain Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Grapefruit Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

When picking up lunch from the house I notice a tow truck guy snapping photos of Kevin's car that is parked at the end of the curb just barely and impeding traffic. The guy is preparing to tow his car. I roll down the window and explain, "That's my roommate's car. I'll tell him."

I warn Kevin inside of his crappy parking job and save him from having to spend who-knows-how-much for a tow.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Feeling an unexpected ache in my stomach. I can't imagine what it would be from because I haven't eaten anything out of the norm. I borrow Ling's tiger balm to soothe the pain.


Fiber One Bar (Oats and Chocolate).

It's a steady day for deliveries. Letting talk radio entertain my drive and influence my brain.

While helping expedite orders I notice a different kind of dough draining above the fryers. It's those Chinese Peanut Cookies that my boss makes every once and while. I can't turn down the opportunity to have one fresh. They're the most delicious pastries I've ever had.

Before he cashes me out for the day Ling goes on a rant about how expensive hospitals are and how screwed up the American Dream is. 

Off work and back home. Enjoying Broccoli, Carrots, and Rice with Ginger Chicken Broth.

At the storage unit I discover the power is out. It's just my luck; the only night I have the opportunity to practice is the night there's no electricity at the unit. I tough it out and light some candles. Fortunately, it's not too cold tonight. I work out a set and play through the songs. Ana shows up around 1 a.m. and we sing "The Funeral", "In the Highways and the Hedges", and "Proud Mary".

Back home. I mention to her how strangely quiet I think it is in the house. Kevin's already asleep in his room. Josh and Sasha are like mice in their bedroom. And Darren stealthily browses through Craigslist ads on his laptop. Josh explains that he's been sickly lately and he hasn't been bringing bottles of wine home, so that may explain the lack of noise.


Cuddling in the bed together. With her being the big spoon she gradually drags her hand around my waist and eventually reaching you know where. Even though I'm tired my little guy has his own agenda and nervous system. I pretend to be sleeping and let her do what she wants. This leads to a 20-minute sexual session.

Sleep sometime about 3 a.m.

[i] Victo Ngai.

Monday December 16 2013

Tributary Veins (Dec 16 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Inside a big mall. No shoes on. Just socks. Running as fast as we can and sliding across the slippery tiled floor. Some kid has a mysterious white substance on his clothes and it keeps clogging the cracks. Whenever I approach this part of the tile I hop over to avoid it.

▬ ○ ☼

Mom tries to wake me up at 10 a.m. I told her the night before to awaken me at 10:30.

Me: "I said 10:30 not 10!"

20 minutes later I get up and get ready.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk and Strawberries.

I take the wheel for the drive to the airport, my mom in the passenger seat. I continue talking about the evolution of society and how the acceptance of homosexuality should be commonplace – the legalism that we face in Christian culture – how happy she is with Myra – the concern she has with Jimmy learning to be himself and not cover up his natural desires.


Arriving at the airport. I snap a few photos of us. She kisses me on the cheek and then tears up; she's a crybaby. We hug for what seems like 10 minutes. Who knows when I'll be able to see her next.

Mom: "Oh Robert! I wish we lived closer."

Me: "I know. You should move to Virginia Beach."

I walk off with my bags and keep looking back at her sad smiling face. It was a short and sweet vacation weekend with her. I wish I could've stayed longer.

Mom Goodbye (Dec 16 2013)

Mom Goodbye Kiss (Dec 16 2013)

Sitting at gate 12 recollecting memories and snacking on Strawberries, a Banana, and French Fries with Ketchup.

On the plane. Trying to finish Anne Frank for the hour and ½ flight but during the last twenty minutes the two strangers next to me seem to be interested in chatting about everything from Disney to the best time to fly.

Atlantic Ocean from the Plane (Dec 16 2013)

Arriving in Newport News. Ana picks me up with a smiling face. On the drive through the tunnel to Norfolk I try to sum up all the interesting details from my weekend.

Back home. Settling in and organizing things. There's a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. I take it upon myself to clean them. Who else will? Steaming some Carrots and mixing them with microwavable Pad Thai Noodles.

Stephanie and Elliott planned a movie night featuring Joe Dirt (2001), a classic for most and with some hilarious moments, but for me it just seemed like a low-brained comedy. A good group of friends are here: Marko, Richie, Darren, Ken, Will, and Ana. Popcorn and Beers shared by all. Kevin storms in after a China Wok shift with a dramatic story of how he almost died when his car spun out from an idiot driver that just decided to stop in the middle of the road.

In the bedroom settling in with Ana – showing her photos from the weekend and listening to Helen Reddy. Cuddling under the blankets. She feels relaxed enough to orgasm tonight.

Sleep at 2 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday December 15 2013

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)[i]

Waking up to a mild thunder and downpour. It's cold in this guest room but I'm cozy warm under the sheets.

Mom makes me Scrambled Egg, Grits, Honey Biscuits, Orange Juice.

We were supposed to attend church this morning but I guess we woke up too late. Instead, mom and I drive into quaint downtown Bartow. All the stores are closed except for a few bail bond offices. This is the kind of town that closes down on Sundays. Everyone's at home relaxing and recognizing the Sabbath. Mom shows me a beautiful park by a lake called Mary Holland Park. Analyzing the wildlife and interesting plants – colonies of lizards scurry under the dried up palm leaves – big birds with long beaks making strange croaking noises – tiny stumps resembling a community of lovers – The Spanish moss looks like bits of old people hair draped over the trees.

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Almonds, Cashews, and Craisins. Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bar. Apple.

We scoop up Myra from the house and drive to another park about 30 miles out with plans to go fishing. On the pier over the lake – the herons and other birds alike crowd on the mini islands nearby – the armored catfish splash consistently on the surface of the water – every now and then it's easy to mistake a log for an alligator. We cast our lines and wait patiently for the fish to bite. I smoke a Black & Mild to pass the time. After two hours, no luck. Dusk comes and the park officers drive by to inform us the park is closing. 

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Back at the house. Mom prepares dinner for us: Tilapia, Homemade Mac n Cheese, and a hefty Salad. Afterwards, the three of us take a night walk in the neighborhood to admire the Christmas decorations.

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

My mom and Myra head off to bed quite early as Myra has to work in the morning and mom is driving her to Tampa, and then of course driving me to the airport in the afternoon. I listen to them laugh with each other behind the bedroom door. After the conversation with my mom the night before I am convinced she is happy, even as unconventional as this relationship may seem to our Christian upbringing. She never would've thought in a million years she'd be in a relationship with a woman but I know it's where she feels God wants her to be. It's a beautiful story and I'm proud of her.


I resign on the lanai in the back. It's slightly chilly out tonight but I stay warm with a cup of Black Tea and those fancy powdered donuts, Pfeffernusse Cookies. I sit for a while looking at the plethora of aloe vera plants, wall decorations of stained glass butterflies and dragonflies, painted metal lizards, lighthouses, and little pictures written with inspirational words. My mother, always surrounding herself with pretty things, cute things that make you feel warm inside. I meditate deeply into the unbreakable bond I have with her. I'm grateful I had a mother that I could respect and actually learn wisdom from. As much as I'm her son we are also best friends now. 

Sleep at 2 a.m.

[i] All images by me.