Saturday August 31 2013

Rodolfo Loaiza.[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Plain Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

Kofi drives up in his convertible Saab and orders a spicy beef lo mein.

Kofi: "I'm still recovering from the last plasma transfer."

My phone rings. It's Cox Communications trying to sell me a new plan. Almost immediately after the restaurant phone rings, then a customer walks in.

Me: "Dude, you could be sittin' here for ten minutes doing nothing. And then my phone rings, then that phone rings, and then people walk in. It's ridiculous. Everything happens all at once. It's like the cosmos doesn't know how to pace itself. Everything comes in waves...Everything comes in waves."

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

It's extremely slow. Sooooooo slow. I guess most everybody is cooking out for Labor Day weekend. I've delivered a mere 4 orders in 4 hours.

I pull out the foursquare ball and play in the parking lot with the China Wok daughters. It's quite a workout.

I drop by the house for a minute to meet the 5 couch surfers from New York; they're napping on the couches. There's plenty of Coronas with limes in the fridge. I decide it'd be okay to chug one down before I get back to the drudge of work.

Not a very profitable day.

Back home.

Hot and Sour Soup with Fried Noodles. Broccoli, Snow Peas, and Rice.

A group just came back from the beach after seeing Sugar Ray and Eve 6 perform a free concert. Anthony and Richie were thoroughly impressed. In Josh's room, once again for another night in a row, there's loud music bursting through the speakers and banging on the walls and closet doors. Our cop neighbor apparently makes an appearance and reprimands the commotion to which he can probably hear quite clearly considering his bedroom is directly behind Josh's bedroom walls. Of course I hear all of this happening safely from my bedroom. I consider starting my own Prohibition in this madhouse, but it would probably fail and only cause more problems just like the real one did back in the 20's.

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise."
                                                                                    – Proverbs 20:1

I depart from the debauchery on my bike and shoot a few rounds of hoops at Linkhorn Elementary School. I needed some physical activity. I needed the blood to run through my veins. I needed the fresh night air.

The couch surfers arrive back from their own beach shenanigans. I finally get to meet a few of the faces; all hail from New York but some from France. Other miscellaneous people are here. The mattresses and blankets spread out in the living. I'm just a witness to the camaraderie.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Goat's Milk.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Rodolfo Loaiza.

Friday August 30 2013

Sexy Beast still.[i]

Waking up around 11 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Brown Sugar and Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's hot, hot, hot. I can't wait until Fall.

Still enjoying the rental car for an extra day.

Peanut Butter Bagel. Goldfish Crackers. Honey Green Tea.

The day continues steadily.

Into the night. It's been a fairly profitable day.

Back home.

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

Watching Sexy Beast (2000).

There's a substantial amount of drunken commotion coming from Josh's bedroom that escalates into somewhat of a riot. His entire book collection is being thrown against the walls. BAM! BAM! BAM!

Josh and his followers repeatedly yell, "READ! READ! READ!"

I swear his dog Sophie acts more mature. I'm too old for this shit.

It's after 1 a.m. I drop off the rental car down the street and walk down Laskin Road while snacking on Kinder Chocolate to pick up my car.

Sipping on a beer.

Sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Sexy Beast film still.

Thursday August 29 2013

Casey Weldon.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I'm an underhand of the king, or totalitarian leader, of this country. There's an uprising happening outside the gates of the government's building. It's understood that a lot of us working in the government will die. We're given a packet of cards and one notepad to act as a will and last testament. The king is waiting in his quarters. There's nothing that can be done to stop the revolution. I manage to scram away to a farmhouse miles down the road. A special girl lives here. I park my car on a makeshift second story lift. She arrives on a horse. The sunlight shines just perfectly behind her face. She climbs up to where I am. We crawl together under the limbs of the tree. Her smile keeps me lost in my head – nothing else matters, even the fact that I might die after being found out doesn't even phase me. She's mine. I'm hers. We can move far, far away.

▬ ○ ☼

Alarm goes off at 11 a.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

The girls keep pestering me with questions about words in their storybooks, pointing at any and every word they don't know...

"Rob-bert! Rob-bert! What is that? Rob-bert!"

I go with a playful mood and stay evasive.

Me: "I don't know. I can't read."

The day continues steadily.

Egg Sandwich with Vegenaise and Tomato. Goldfish Crackers. Honey Green Tea.

Deliveries pick up consistently in the evening.

Kevin really likes the China Wok hat...

Kevin likes the hat (August 29 2013)[ii]

Snacking on Trail Mix to tide me over till dinner.

I'm incredibly tired, more than usual at the end of a China Wok shift.

Finally home.

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

Watching a documentary on Prohibition.

Sleep at 3:30 a.m.

[i] Casey Weldon.

[ii] Kevin likes the hat. Image by me.

Wednesday August 28 2013

Baller in the Rye.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Stuck waiting at an airport with friends to get on a plane to Norway. Phil found a way to clone himself. He stands together with a hypothetical twin at the same time he's sitting across the room. He takes on various characters but all still with the same mischievous face. I find a tiny black hedgehog in a shoebox. He scurries around frantically. I scoop him up in my hands and breathe hot air in his face. He seems interested. Maybe it smells like food? I let him crawl on my shoulders. He's terribly cute. 

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 1 p.m.

Sharing breakfast with Ana: Hot Cinnamon Oat Bran with Brown Sugar, Blueberries, and Milk. Kofi walks in with lo mein and egg rolls from China Wok.

Kofi continues to hang around – fiddling on the guitar in the living room while watching a Korean black comedy. Ana goes on a solo bike ride while I prepare lunch.

Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Tomato. Creamy Tomato Soup with Toasted Bagel Croutons. Honey Green Tea.

On the basketball courts with Kofi and Ana playing a game of 21 – shooting the ball around – silly basketball antics.


At the storage unit playing music with Calum and Josiah.

Vegetable Pad Thai with Broccoli.

Watching Killing Season (2013).

Leslie comes over with heavy emotions and thoughts dealing with recent turmoil of the day. I take a seat and listen taking on the role of a counselor.

Her: "In life in general I'm not okay but I was trying to put on a face for myself saying enjoy the day or whatever."


Me: "I think it's really interesting how everyone has their unique ways of..."

Her: "Coping?"

Me: "Yeah."


Leslie: "I was realizing that on the way over here that you literally are the only person I'm willingly openly conversationally emotional with. It makes it a little bit easier to breathe in my life so thanks. Cause it's really hard to just deal with everything on your own always."


I grab a Heineken from the fridge and we go for a walk around the neighborhood – the rain freshly fallen on the sidewalk – the sounds of night creatures making noise in the woods nearby.

Sleep around 4 a.m.

[i] Baller in the Rye.

Tuesday August 27 2013

Ana with the ladies in the jungle (4)(August 27 2013)[i]

Waking up around 1 p.m.

Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Milk.

Dropping my car off at a body shop. I get picked up by an Enterprise agent driving a Mini Cooper.

Me: "Oh! I've never ridden in a Cooper before."

The girl and I spark up conversation. She graduated from Ocean Lakes high school in '07.

Me: "Me too except I'm class of '02. I'm an oldie."

I'm given a silver Kia Soul for my rental, free of charge of course via the insurance company.


Watching a documentary on The Prohibition.

Working out.

Eating leftover Tilapia with Garlic, Onions, Peppers, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Quinoa-Brown Rice Mix.


Ana comes over. Ordering a large Cheese Pizza from Chanello's. Sitting out in the parking lot eating slice after slice – taking advantage of my rental car's Sirius satellite radio and listening to the 70's station.

In Josh's bedroom with Leisa, Laron, Kevin, Richie, and Ana sharing music and Werner Herzog oddities on Youtube. Sophie runs around with the squeaky tennis ball acting bashful and playful. Richie continues painting his mural on the wall.

Ana scrammed away on her bike. I figure out what she's doing and join her on mine. We ride around the neighborhood across the street. Snagging a bunch of bagels from the dumpster on the way back.

In my room I switch all the lights off except for the blue string lights coiled around my bed and glow from the computer screen. With lounge-like electronic music in the background my hopes are to instigate sensuality between Ana and I. It's been a while to which we are both aware. Typically she keeps her distance in regards to sexual desires unless I bring it to light. But we both make the moves and a lengthy session inspires a new position that we both find pleasurable.  


Afterwards, lying down. She squeezes in between the wall and bed right next to the neoclassical picture of women dancing in the woods. The song "Time" by Blonds is playing on the laptop. I go on a mini thought tangent about how odd it would be if someone from a hundred years ago were to hear this song a hundred years from their time.

                                                                                    "The future scares me."

I get up and joke around, "Hey girl! You lookin' for a man? You need someone strong?"

Her: "I feel like that's said to me at least three times a week. I just laugh it off and walk away."

Sleep together around 4 a.m.

[i] Ana with the ladies in the jungle. Image by me.

Monday August 26 2013

Ego BBall. Source unknown.[i]

Waking up just before 1 p.m.

Sesame Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese and Apple Butter. Orange Juice.

Cleaning up the mess downstairs – sweeping and other such chores. Kofi shows up with Cup of Noodles and helps me take out the trash.

Running some errands. Kofi tags along.


Egg. Creamy Tomato Soup with Croutons.

It's been a week or so since I played basketball and I'm itching to get on the courts. So I head to the ones off First Colonial. A huge game is already being organized by a bunch of guys. All black or Hispanic – I'm the whitest one there. They invite me in. It's full court. 5-on-5. Too many dominating players to compete with – hardcore ballers. I pump up my defense though and rack up a lot of turnovers. It's a very popular part of America's subcultures, this hip-hop-basketball scene – always striving for the top. It becomes apparent that I just stepped into it when I entered this game. Almost immediately there's ego battles between players who are high on themselves. Nothing disrespectful but confrontational nonetheless. We win in the end. I shoot around on a court nearby with a few little kids. It's hard for me to miss. One of the boys notices and asks, "How do you do that?"
"Just keep shootin'. You just keep practicing everyday," I reply. Next court over there's a father coaching his daughter with sternness. I play two 1-on-1 games with the girl. She's obviously an aspiring high school basketball player – with decent skills and moves. While we shuffle around the dad criticizes her constantly. At this point I'm tired out and my right arm is sore so my game isn't at it's best. She wins both games by one point.

At the storage unit practicing with Josiah and Calum. Getting comfortable with the Ladada songs and doing a lot of jamming. Josiah is insistent on just jamming and coming up with new material for the Daytrotter sessions we'll be performing at next week. Classic Josiah to desire ditching already established music projects and seek new avenues.

Me: "We're not driving 15 hours to just have someone record us jamming. We can do that here!"

It's a playful debate with him and I. He just feels like the Ladada songs don't reflect where he's at right now. But art doesn't always have to reflect where the artist is at all times. The art surpasses time and deserves to be shared with other people seeking inspiration.

Back home.

Tilapia with Garlic, Onions, Peppers, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Quinoa-Brown Rice Mix.

Watching The Untouchables (1987).

Downstairs, a band from Brooklyn is lounging in the living room with Laron. They just played a show at The Shaq. Laron takes advantage of the audience and company to share anime shows on the TV.

I joke, "He's really happy you guys are here. Cause if you weren't he would still be doing the same thing, just by himself."


In the kitchen Kofi is attempting to bake a bunch of food he snagged from his job at The Cavalier.

I joke around, "Welcome to Kofi's Cookin'! Live, right here at 1435!"

There's no oil or butter for him to use so it's all dry baking.

"He'll teach you how to cook ANYTHING with NO OIL or BUTTER!"

Settling down in my room. Finishing the movie.

Sleep at 5 a.m.

[i] Ego BBall. Source unknown.

Sunday August 25 2013

Cetin Yildiz.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

One night Margot appears out of nowhere in my room. She's drunk and hazy. It's understood we haven't seen each other in a long time, and we really haven't. She insists on sleeping over but Ana is here. This creates a stressful situation. Meanwhile I criticize Laron for not doing his dishes. I'm yelling and freaking out, raising my voice substantially. Eventually Margot realizes she has no place here and gets picked up by her friends.

Me: "Wait, are you sure you're going to be alright?"

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 11:30 a.m.

All day shift at China Wok.

As soon as I arrive to the restaurant at noon we get hit with 5 orders. No time to sit and enjoy breakfast. So I pour myself a bowl of cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats) in the car, slurping it down while I drive.

Right from the start it's been busy but don't mistake that for a hefty profit. These shitty tips/stiffs are like repeated blows to the chest.

Mixed Nuts with Dried Apricots. Honey Black Tea.

The orders keep coming non-stop and the miles keep racking up. Every now and then I get a redemption tip, like $5 or $6, but they're a rarity.

Steve comes in to help with the dinner rush. We stand there waiting for orders to get expedited. Suddenly, Ling yells something in Chinese, obviously furious about something. As the situation progresses I recap the events to Steve, "Ling's mad at Ming for not listening and making the wrong food."

Then, Ling slams the container of food on the ground, fried rice and General Tso's chicken flung across the tile floor. Cecily shouts at Ling. Meanwhile, their 6-year-old daughter stands there smiling and laughing.

Me: "Now Cecily's mad at Ling for wasting the food. And the kid's just standing there laughing! Just one big happy China Wok family."

Steve: "Man, I miss this." 

All in all this day has hardly been rewarding. It's funny how I delivered more orders and drove more miles today compared to yesterday. But today I made substantially less money. Doesn't add up. Checks and balances I guess. Bullshit.

Finally I'm off work and sitting in my computer chair – the bedroom door locked – breathing in the undisturbed air.

"Ah...yes. The moment I've been waiting for," I say out loud to myself.

It's Richie's birthday. All the monkeys went to The Office and got drunk, then went to Tapped and got even more drunk. Except for the few words shared with James Graves I stay holed up in my room hearing the boisterous sounds of things breaking and bouncing off the walls.

After letting my imagination run wild and pleasure myself, I'm off to sleep at 5 a.m.

[i] Cetin Yildiz.

Saturday August 24 2013

Hiroshi Manabe.[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice. Zinc (50 mg).

All day shift at China Wok.

Feeling better today, about 87% better than yesterday. Ling gives me some Tiger Balm Oil to rub on my lower tummy for the pain.

Tuna Salad Sandwich with Egg Drop Soup.

Steve, a driver that used to work here years ago, shows up. They've got him working part time shifts now.

"Steve!" I shake his hand. "I thought it was just a rumor but I guess it's true. It's been a long time."

A customer calls and uses some odd form of English, obviously taught to him by the mainstream influences of TV culture. He keeps pronouncing the number 3 like the word tree.

Me: "What's your card number?"

Him: "foh-tree-2-1-2-2-0-0-tree-tree-foh..."


While driving around in the hectic Oceanfront traffic full of tourists just putt'n along in their flashy explorers and chargers I come to an understanding about society that kind of disturbs me. Everyone starts to look the same after a while. It's like a generic filter over my eyes. Even the pretty things become generic. We're just masses...sheep...a race of robots seeking out stimulation and sensations in any way we can, and when we realize we can't have real and genuine experiences we settle for the generic!

It's after 10 o'clock. After delivering an order in my neighborhood I drive by two familiar faces squatting next to the Chanticleer marsh. It's Ana and Leah. I guess they came to the house to meet up with everyone and decided to go for a walk for some girl talk. I put it in reverse and scoop them up taking them with me on the last of my deliveries. I go on a few rants related to the struggles of the day, part of it explaining how a driver shouldn't be overly cautious but also shouldn't be careless.

Ana: "Careless and cautious. That's me!"

At the restaurant. My boss cashes me out. The three of us enjoy dinner at the table.

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

At the house. There's a huge group of people here including James, Will, Ken, Laron, and a few of the Slovakian couch surfers. Phil, Cheongah, Elliott, and Michelle show up. I rush them into my bedroom along with Ana.

Me: "I can't let the toxic air outside my room get in here for too long."

Elliott's antsy and wants to get back to the beach for Foursquare as soon as possible. Phil sets a timer for 20 minutes so we don't get stuck here too long.


20 minutes later we head to the boardwalk on 16th Street. Drawing out the boundaries with chalk. The Foursquare ball we've been using for some time now has lost its original spherical shape and is now an egg shape making its bounce unpredictable. The wind is strong creating another challenge. But it's just good times and noncompetitive fun.

Back home. Decompressing while Ana reads a book in the bed. Eventually I slip in next to her – cuddling – then sleeping.

[i] Hiroshi Manabe.

Friday August 23 2013

Ana and Ashley are Cats in my Bedroom (August 23 2013)[i]

I wake up at 10:45 a.m. with intention on going to work but I think I need another day to rest and heal. I knock on Kevin's room and inform him. He was already expecting the possibility because I told him last night.

Then back to sleep.

Waking up not so achy anymore but still feeling a little pressure in my lower abdomen.

Hot Cinnamon Oat Bran with Blueberries, Figs, Brown Sugar, and Milk.

Watching Virginia (2010).

I have enough motivation to repair the passenger side door handle on my car and make a trip to Trader Joe's.

Tuna Sandwich with Tomato. Creamy Tomato Soup with Croutons. Honey Green Tea.

Finishing the movie.

Researching and catching up on writing.

Ana stops by with her friend, Ashley, bearing gifts: homemade vegetable soup and vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. They both lie down on the carpet and recognize their association with cat-like behavior.

Me: "Maybe you two were cats in another life."


We join up with Elliott and James at Rick's Café for good conversations and free lemon water. Phil and Cheongah are in town for the weekend and come a little later. Elliott gets his usual starch meal of the century: grilled cheese, tater tots, and mac 'n' cheese. James fills up on his food staple: broccoli. I'm still feeling bloated from my condition so I don't order anything.

Back home. Eating the Vegetable Soup Ana made me with a few slices of Honey Wheat Toast and Honey Ginger Tea.

Watching Quills (2000).

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Cats in my Bedroom. Image by me.

Thursday August 22 2013

Ana Hiding in the Bed (August 22 2013)[i]

Waking up just before 1 p.m. with incredible lower abdominal and bladder pain. I drank a beer before I went to bed so it's only natural I would need to pee when I wake up. But this feels different. My back hurts too.

I nourish myself with Apple Cider Vinegar Honey Tea.

Researching online.

Eventually I get around to actually eating something: Hot Cinnamon Oat Bran with Blueberries, Figs, Brown Sugar, and Milk.

I can't do anything but lie down. I'm feverish and useless.

Watching a moving and emotional documentary about the descendants of Hitler's officers called Hitler's Children (2011).

Out in the hallway Josh gives me a few droplets of Colloidal Silver to help with my immune system. Sophie, his longhaired sweet natured Chihuahua recognizes I'm sick and offers affection.

Homemade Soup with Ginger, Edamame, Mixed Vegetables, and Lo Mein Noodles.

I took some Ibuprofen earlier and now I'm feeling about 80%, good enough to join Josiah and Calum at the storage unit for practice.

Ana is kind enough to pick up some raw ginger and mineral water from the store. I'm weak as a mouse. My condition doesn't get better unless I take those pain relievers. At the house we shred ginger into a pot of boiling water to make Ginger Tea. Upstairs in my room I put on Silver Linings Playbook (2012). I already saw it a while ago but I wanted to share it with her. She sinks into the crevice where the bed meets the wall.  I snack on some Grapes and Lentil Chips. Sipping on Ginger Tea.

Me: "Thank you for keeping me company. I appreciate the moral support."

Sipping on Carbonated Mineral Water and playing a few rounds of Unreal Tournament. Then off to sleep around 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday August 21 2013

Claire Scully.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Anthony and I are supposed to perform a play about people with curses or inner turmoil and how they prevail from it. We have to come up with a title that's original and not the same one we used last time, which had something to do with goth subculture. I propose, "Black people! That's what we should call it." I thought it was a clever title because of the blackness in people's souls hence, black people. I'm a little stressed out because we haven't even rehearsed the script so I have no idea what my lines are. "I'm not good at keeping my wits on stage, Anthony."

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up just before 1:30 p.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese.

Phone call from Darren. He moved out about three weeks ago and has been in Radford. He calls to tell me he found a job at another Chinese restaurant there.

Darren: "You know that feeling you get when it seems like everyone else is busy doing something with their lives and you're just sitting around with your thumb up your ass? Yeah, that's how it feels here when I just look out the window."

I'm going to be receiving a check from an insurance company to cover repairs from a teen side swiping my car. Considering it's only cosmetic damage I plan on using the bulk of the check to repair other things on my car. I go up to Pick-n-Pull on Sykes Ave to search for a hubcap, a sun visor, and a door handle. After some searching through the car graveyard I locate all three things. $20 well spent.

Vegetable Fried Rice with Lentils.

At the storage unit for Ladada practice. Josiah and I work with Calum to learn the drums. He'll be traveling with us to perform at the Daytrotter sessions in Illinois.

Kale. Pierogies with Yogurt Dill Dip. Pita Bread. Banana Chocolate Bread.

Watching The Sum of All Fears (2002).

Biking around Hilltop after 1 a.m.

Sipping on a Michelob.

Sleep at some point.

[i] Claire Scully.

Tuesday August 20 2013

Laron & Pinball Locomotive. Scotty Quixx. (August 20 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Struggling to park my car in an apartment complex. There are a limited number of visitor's spots and for some reason I have an extra vehicle. I have the muscle power to stack this second car on top of my station wagon. But it won't stay put; it keeps sliding off. Eventually, I make it work. Later, in the apartment, I attempt to trap a special jumping spider into a plastic Tupperware container.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:07 a.m.

White Peaches.

All day shift at China Wok. I don't normally work on Tuesdays but Kevin and I switched around the schedule this month.

It's terribly slow, so terribly slow.

I spend some time at the house exercising on the down time.

Five Guys French Fries with Ketchup. Honey Green Tea.

Not a very profitable day and it's getting to me – affecting my sanity.

I leave work with dissatisfaction but at a decent hour.

Leslie scoops me up from the house and we ride together to Scotty Quixx in Norfolk for the Pinball Locomotive show. Chowing down on Broccoli, Carrots, and Rice in Brown Sauce. There, most of our friends are present. The band plays through their lively set of alternative-pop jams. Sipping on $2 Red Stripes. The owner keeps instructing them to turn down the volume after every song. Years ago my old band Tokyo used to play shows here with Foxtrot Rio and Still Pink, many years ago. Reconnecting with an old friend from high school, Mike Joyner – I haven't seen him in ten years. It's kind of a wild reunion. He joined the Navy, got a 7-year-old son, was married for 8 years, and now works at ODU as a security officer.


I walk Ana to her car a few blocks down the street. While standing by the car some black man hobbles along very quickly in our direction exclaiming something along the lines of, "God is good," or "All things work out in his will." Of course after we acknowledge him he stops to shake my hand and starts to tell a prepared story about needing a gallon of gas to get back to wherever. Immediately I recognize what he's really doing and I interrupt him, "No man. I'm sorry. We can't help you. We're in the middle of a conversation." He insists he let us listen to his rehearsed sob story. I've seen this before many times, and especially in Norfolk. "I'm sorry, dude."

Man: "Okay-okay."

"But God bless you anyway," I add.

Back home.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Milk.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Laron & Pinball Locomotive. Image by me.

Monday August 19 2013

Sonic and Tails by xjestino.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

JP is sitting in the dining room with no pants on. He asks if I can massage the bruises and blemishes on his ankles.


Stressed out because somebody uninstalled the screen on my laptop and changed the settings on my phone.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 1:21 p.m.

Sharing Hot Oat Bran with Brown Sugar, Figs, and Cantaloupe.

I talk about my list of things to do today, one of those things being to drop my car off for an oil change.

I smile and say, "So if you wanna hang out with me you can help me run errands today."

Ana: "I always like to spend time with you on my days off so..."

Me: "We can have a symbiotic relationship. Heh-heh."

We drop my car off at the shop for an oil change. Then she drives us to Target, then to Kroger. Kevin calls with an emergency: a tire went flat on his car while working at China Wok. I buy him an air pump with a gauge so in the future he can take care of himself.


While going through the stores I playfully compare Ana and I to Sonic & Tails, me being Sonic and her being Tails who follows my every move and helps me along the way.

Back home. Making lunch. Sharing Egg Sandwiches with Tomato and Vegenaise, Tortilla Chips with Avocado.

She leaves. I ride my bike to retrieve my car from the shop.

More Cantaloupe.

Lifting weights and doing crunches in my room. Practicing Ladada bass lines.

Pierogies with a Yogurt Dill Dip. Kale. Lentils. Tea.

Watching Erased (2012).

I found a container of frozen bananas in the freezer. Trying out a recipe for Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Glaze. It turns out perfectly.

Watching The Hunt for Red October (1990).

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Sonic and Tails by xjestino.

Sunday August 18 2013

Nudity. Mixed Media. (August 18 2013)*

It's 9:50 a.m. I've been encouraged to wake up. French Toast, Cantaloupe, and Mimosas are waiting downstairs in the kitchen. The rain falls outside replenishing the yard from party debris. We give Phil and Cheongah our best wishes.


Elliott: "I'm a P.E. teacher in a bucket."

Me: "Yes! We know."


Phil: "People get depressed when they get old."

Me: "And that doesn't help their physical state."

Phil: "Yeah, and then they get diseases and stuff."

JP: "People get older when they get depressed. That can happen."

Hitting the road back to Virginia Beach. In the car just after stopping by a filthy crowded Sheetz for some Coffee and snacks. JP's in the backseat with me – Elliott and Michelle up front. JP pulls up his collection of musical oddities and novelties on iTunes – albums of phone pranks, playing music with animals, and porno-sampled recordings.


We drop JP off in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Williamsburg where he parked his car. Snacking on some Dried Apricots.

Back home. It feels like a week went by but it was only a day or so.

Finally selling that wall mirror I've had for years.

Lentil Wraps with Hummus and Tomato. Lentil Chips. Fruit.

Watching a Vice documentary on spear battles and blood sacrifice in Indonesia.

A little bit of basketball.

Spaghetti with Garlic, Peppers, Onions, Tomato Basil Sauce, and Wheat Rolls.

Watching Erased (2012).

Ana comes over after 10. Cuddling on the bed and catching up on our eventful weekends. I feel inspired to pleasure her with my hands. Having sex is a fair idea, which was much needed.

Arts & crafts time to the ethereal hypnotic sounds of Sigur Rós.

We Can Help You. Mixed Media. (August 18 2013)

Be Kind Please (Owl) by Khrizzia (August 18 2013)

Sleep at some point before 5 a.m.

* Nudity. Mixed Media by me.

We Can Help You. Mixed Media by me.

Be Kind Please (Owl). Mixed Media by Ana.

Saturday August 17 2013

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party[i]

Just before 10 a.m. I hear the racket of the dogs downstairs. It's early and everybody's slowly waking up. The sun shines blindingly through the front screen door.

Phil's mom made us all Blueberry Pancakes and Coffee.

There's a lot of preparation to be done – blowing up balloons – making sushi – setting up a popcorn machine. Under the tent by the pool we set up a PA system to which Phil insisted on playing music strictly from the 50's. I squat on a bucket with an electric guitar and perform some mountain-like background melodies in G.

A kickball game is organized in the front yard, surprisingly the only game we play. We had planned on conducting a wizard staff jousting competition and hide-and-seek games with flashlights.

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Later in the evening, JP and a few friends have prepared an area off to the side of the house. They gathered anything wildlife and deadlife they could find in the yard and nearby forest – bails of hay for the seating – a pile of pinecones, flowers, crabapples, and stalks of field grass – rings of vine and ivy – a beautiful rustic scene. It's meant to be a silent ceremony with no priest and hardly any spoken word. We hum the tune of Amazing Grace as Phil and Cheongah make their way down the hill. JP leads them along sweeping the ground with a pine branch. Up at the hay altar the ceremony begins. Their wrists are wrapped with ivy and flowers symbolizing their commitment. The bowl of dead cicada exoskeletons is tossed up in the air, "And here's to the many babies you'll have!" A spout of water is poured in a circle around them. They each take a mug of their own water and are instructed to toss their mugs away from each other. JP places the pine branch and a can of PBR in their arms. They drink, then turn around, and in silence of course, are presented as Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gray. Everybody tosses their handful of foliage. They kiss and shake hands with the friends and family, one of them being a 90-year-old grandmother. It's a beautiful ceremony.

Herschel, a good friend of Phil's from Richmond, makes a brief speech and mentions, "We don't know if this is just another one of Phil's tricks..."

Elliott lights off a rocket that shoots over the trees. Phil and Cheongah are married, unofficially but officially in our hearts. In a few months they'll be officially married in Korea with a traditional Korean wedding.

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Chris, the neighbor of Phil's parents, is barbecuing everything imaginable over a large fire pit using a caged fence door as a grill: Kabobs with Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions, Zucchini, Shrimp, Bok Choy, Pork Ribs, Steaks, Chicken, Corn on the Cob, etc. Normally I wouldn't eat red meat and poultry but I, along with other vegetarians at the party, make an exception to enjoy these cookout delicacies.

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Phil & Cheongah's Wedding Party

Under the tent by the pool I join Phil and a guy named Tyler in a cathartic chant with buckets, trashcans, and a brass pot lid.

After snapping a few photos of the girls dancing by the pool I pass by Herschel who's talking with somebody else.

I comment, "Girls love to dance."

He says, "Plumage. It's all about plumage."

I'm unusually tired and not full of much more energy. Elliott and Michelle started napping an hour ago. I decide to settle down and do the same.


I've already been sleeping for a while now. It's got to be after 4 a.m. Phil walks into the bedroom with a mischievous smile and protests, "Robert, it's not your bedtime yet." He stands there with his wizard staff of accumulated beer cans duct taped together.

Me: "Phil, that wizard staff almost surpasses your height."

He takes a huge last swig and says, "Time for another beer," then walks out.

[i] All images by me.

Friday August 16 2013

Yang Yongliang.[i]

Waking up at 10:50 a.m.

Mango, Peach, and Grapefruit.

All day shift at China Wok.

Shitty tips all afternoon – nothing but one or two dollars here and there.

Peanut Butter Bagel. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Fruit Tea. Kinder Chocolate.

I truly appreciate these cloudy days – no sun in sight.

The shitty tips continue into the night...sometimes a generous one here and there. It's extremely busy for just one driver. But I take it like a man with a grumble and curl of the lip.

It rains for the last hour.

Ling made me Fried Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Rice. On my way to deliver an order on 83rd Street I clobber my dinner down with haste.

I told the boss I had to be off work at 10pm for something. And of course as the night continues, and the hours dwindle I'm running out of time to cash out. 10 o'clock rolls around and an order for Harbour Point comes up, which is way out in Croatan. I don't have time for this whatsoever but I realize as the phones start ringing I'm really the only one who can take this delivery. They can't send Ming, the chef who sometimes helps out. So I grab it and jet out the door and promise to cash out when I return on Sunday.  

I pull up to the house. Elliott's waiting in his car with Michelle. I grab my stuff from my room and hop in. We're driving up to northern Virginia to be a part of Phil and Cheongah's wedding party on the farm tomorrow.

Elliott gets frustrated when looking for the Wawa he thought he saw a few exits back. Instead we settle for a Shell that's almost 3 miles out of the way. He's disappointed. 

Me: "Everything is designed to make your life miserable. Now you know how I feel."


64 to 95 to 17. Engaged in fun conversation with Elliott about him, me, and all our friend's futures in music, what it takes to get there, and what's holding us back – Michelle in the back napping slightly. Coffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Love's Truck Stop. The darkness on the road. A few deer sightings. Country music on the radio, a song about blue jeans and being "drunk on you".


Lighting fireworks off in the car.

We arrive in Marshall at about 3 a.m. and reunite with Phil. I've been here on the farm a few times before. So quiet. The stars are brighter than the porch light. Phil greets us with French phrases for a while and eventually reverts back to English. Settling us into our sleeping quarters.

Me: "It's good to see you, Phil."

Phil Reunion (August 16 2013)[ii]

[i] Yang Yongliang.

[ii] Phil Reunion. Image by Michelle.

Thursday August 15 2013

Ana and the Girls (August 15 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I've obtained a family of mice in a bucket of water. Opening the lid to give them air. I don't have a proper pet cage to keep them in so I use a small crate for now. Feeding them oat bran mixed with a variety of seeds. A big black rat invades the bedroom. We can somehow communicate. I insist that he doesn't eat the mice and try to shoo him away. He recognizes my high level of empathy and social equality and asks, "But you're still empathetic aren't you?"

"Yes," I answer.

We peck each other on the lips and he leaps out the window.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:07 a.m.

White Peaches.

All day shift at China Wok.

Ling gets frustrated with a customer that orders chicken wings and that doesn't understand something about the price. He explains to me in his thick Chinese accent, "Stupid! Sometimes people stupid! talk a lotta, it's very trouble." To sum it up: too much conversation creates trouble and confusion.

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

It's a decently busy day for one driver.

Kinder Chocolate.

Ana comes by for the last hour of my shift and accompanies me in the car. Things start to get stressful when I overlook giving a 2-liter Pepsi to the wrong customer, not to mention the customer that it was actually for stiffed me and of course it's this customer I have to go the extra mile for (literally) to bring them another 2-liter and pay for it out of pocket. I vent all my frustrations to Ana. I explain how this momentary madness will be all forgotten about tomorrow, the next day, and the future. Little situations like this come and go. They're meaningless.

At the restaurant, no orders come. Ana and I sit down at the table with the little girls and share Moo Shu Vegetable.

Back home.


Practicing Ladada bass lines.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Milk.

Watching Arbitrage (2012).

Sleep at some point.

[i] Ana and the Girls. Image by me.

Wednesday August 14 2013

Thrift Store Books (August 14 2013)[i]

Waking up around 1:45 p.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

I decide to look for some new shorts and shirts at the Salvation Army thrift store near Witchduck Rd.

Kofi made some steaks so I make a small Steak Sandwich with Tomatoes and Apple Pie with Honey Green Tea.

At the storage unit with Josiah – he's teaching me more Ladada songs on the bass.

Spicy Salmon Sushi with a Salad and Rye Bread.

Watching Silver Linings Playbook (2012).

Ana's in Virginia Beach visiting a friend and asks to stop by. It's fall weather outside, the first cooler day of the summer – I guess it's coming to an end. I feel a sense of relief. If every day of the year felt like this I'd live a happier life. Ana and I take a stroll around the neighborhood, enjoying the atmosphere. I light up a mini cigar I found in the house – scoping out the Chanticleer sign at the front of the neighborhood on Laskin where somebody's car rammed into it. Some of the fancy gold letters came off – and of course some of them have ended up on our walls. A noisy cicada on the ground strikes our attention. It resembles a wind-up toy when you touch it, buzzing and stumbling on the asphalt. When hugging with Ana I can't help but lean my neck into her face because I know she's going to kiss it. Adorable. Sweet. She's so loving.

Going for a bike ride.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Milk.

Practicing bass lines for Ladada.

Finishing the movie. Anthony told me he took a lot from this film when writing the script to our movie.

Sleep 5 a.m.

[i] Thrift Store books. Image by me.

Tuesday August 13 2013

Denis Darzacq.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Pursuing an old lover in a grocery store.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 12:15 p.m.

Watermelon and Champagne Grapes.

I've got an appointment at a body work shop to get an estimate on the minor cosmetic damages I got when a teen side swiped my car. It averages to almost $600 for some polishing and a paint job. Ridiculous. But hey, I'm not gonna pay for it and I might just take the check anyway.

Egg Sandwich with Vegenaise and Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Valkyrie (2008).

Ana had called wanting clarity on something, nothing extremely important. But she does this thing where she hesitates and holds back causing a stall in what she wants to ask. We make fun of this behavior over the phone. Meanwhile I attach the headset and do some curl-ups and other exercising.

Me: "While you're hesitating to ask me questions I'm pumping iron."

On the basketball courts. Three dudes show up and we play round after round of 2-on-2. One of the guys lost his gold earring in the grass. Everybody helps look for it but it's like searching for a needle in a haystack. Then, on the last game near the last point one of the guys fumbles with the ball and sprains his ankle real bad. Playtime is over. I feel his pain. Sprains are no joke.

Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Garlic Sauce, Peppers, Onions, and a Salad.

Finishing the movie.

I talk with Ana over the phone – picking up where we left off – a pivotal conversation I would say. She finally spits out what she wanted clarity on, which was my (our) intentions. I feel like we have a good understanding of each other though already. There's loyalty. There's positive interaction. There's attraction. I want to keep riding this boat as long as I can to see if her and I shall have a long-lasting relationship.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Milk.

Watching Jack Reacher (2012).

Sleep 5:30 a.m.

[i] Dennis Darzacq.

Monday August 12 2013

Kulik Larissa.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

A government agency is after my girl. I pretend to be a bystander to her, whispering signals to her on what direction to go. If I stood by her the whole time it would be obvious who I am and I'm sure the agency would take measures to stamp me out if they saw this. She and I hop over an arena of ancient stone steps. We manage to hop on a ferry that immediately leaves the dock and takes a freight of people across the harbor. It feels like Russia. People start to complain about the tight quarters. Claustrophobia sets in. At least there are no signs of the agency. 

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 1:24 p.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.



Watching a Werner Herzog documentary on texting and driving...

Running some errands.

At Chicho's Pizza for a gig. With friends: Ana, Will, Ken, James, and Leah. Gorging down two slices of Cheese Pizza while Mike Gombas performs.

When trying to figure out what beer to order Kofi protests, "Pabst is getting too old."

James retorts, "Or you're getting too old for Pabst!"


Ana's whole Filipino family is here, mom, aunt, grandma, and cousins. Her grandma is 90 years old. I'm fascinated with the fact that this sweet little human being survived for so long. I don't know if it's a rarity, at least it is to see an elder of her age status out and about. Most people this age are in nursing homes because of degenerative diseases. But she's healthy.


Aaron Firestone woos us with 90's pop hits like "Possum Kingdom" and John Mayer songs. Then, I'm up to perform. Ana accompanies me on stage for a White Stripes song and our low-key rendition of "Proud Mary". A few oldies tunes and Weezer jams and the crowd is satisfied. It was a fun collaborative set.


Elliott and James Nee encourage everyone out for Foursquare on the boardwalk.


Competitive. Fun.

Upon getting out Will asks Leah, "How does it feel to be exiled from the Foursquare kingdom?"

Back home with Ana. There's a 4-man touring band spending the night here. Ana and I secure our hunger with Apple Pie and Milk.

Ana spreads out on the bed wallowing under the thin sheet attempting to hide her recent injuries, which happen to be scabbing up and healing. She has such a positive and persevering attitude. No matter what kind of damage is done she knows how to get back up. These are mostly just minor hassles – her constant fight for a hassle-free life. It isn't as dramatic as it might sound like. It's mostly laughter material when we converse about it. I've been getting to know her and I've found she has a good heart, loyal and strong.

Sleep at 3:30 a.m.

[i] Kulik Larissa.