Saturday November 30 2013

Nothing But Blue Jazz by Richi Howard (Nov 30 2013)[i]

Waking up around 11 a.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's incredibly slow for business.

I've chosen to take a break from the electric screen today, at least at work on the down time. Instead I'm reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I can't believe a 13-year-old girl was capable of writing with such articulation and prose. It's an incredible piece of work. I can't wait to dig into it.

Mixed Nuts with Cranberries. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Black Tea.

The day goes on like a slug. Not many deliveries. But fortunately, the individual tips are generous, mostly $5 or $6.

Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bar.


Delivering to The Residence Inn. I go to room 508 but no answer. Returning to the front desk I locate the customer. He's a jovial black man. He was confused and thought he had to wait there for the food. Then he says, "Why they send a guy, an ugly ole guy to deliver my food? Why they don't send a pretty girl?"

I snicker and apologize with a smile.

Him: "I'm just playin' witchoo. How much is it?"

I look at the ticket and keep the joke rolling, "Well, it just went up."

He cracks open with laughter. I make the exchange ($3 and some change tip) and as I'm walking out he adds, "And make sure they send a pretty girl next time okay?"

Me: "I will!"

Towards the last hour of my shift Ana shows up. She tags along on my deliveries. I find myself venting and sounding a little bitter, but not towards her. It bothers me sometimes that I impose my complaints onto her. I don't want to do that all the time. I want to be pleasant. But she understands.

After delivering the final order to Eden Roc Circle, and receiving a whopping $13 tip, I reconvene at home with Ana sharing our Garlic Sauce meals, mine with Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, hers with Fried Shrimp and Mixed Vegetables.


While she's chatting with Lo, Josh's friend, I take some stuff upstairs to my room. I come back down and place a few things that she left here a time ago: a cat book, a kid's book about a fox, and her black tights. I go back upstairs and hear Lo say bye to her. I think maybe she took something the wrong way because she walked herself to the car to leave. I chase her down and inquire about why she was about to leave without saying goodbye. The biggest part of it is she's just so worried about being a burden to me. Sometimes she reads between lines that aren't there.

I assure her, "You are never a burden to me. You're nothing but extra special goodness!"

It's late and I am eager to settle down alone and recharge. But I make sure she knows I was grateful for her visit to the restaurant and sharing dinner with her at the house.

Things get patched up later after I receive a string of Facebook messages from her. All these words are gold to me because she opens up dramatically through the written word as opposed to in person. In person there seem to be hidden barriers.

"I've been trying my best to remind myself everyday that I need to not allow fear to hold me down. Fear has been holding me down," she says.

I settle down in my bed watching some low-grade movie on Netflix and then off to sleep around 4 a.m. 

[i] Marker art by Richie.

Friday November 29 2013

Dance Floor(Tequila Lounge) (Nov 29 2013)[i]

Waking up super late shortly after 2 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Banana and Almond Milk.

Finishing Lincoln (2012).

Grilled Cheese with Hummus and Tomato. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Working a two-hour shift at China Wok – making an easy $50.

Back home. I walk in on Darren and Nicole sharing beers in the dining room. I haven't seen Nicole in a long time. They seem to be reconnecting.

Salad with Spring Mix, Carrots, Tomatoes, and Cranberries. Shrimp Tempura with Rice.

I grab Darren and we drive out to Norfolk for this dance thing at a place called Tequila Lounge, formerly known as Lola's. We link up with Ana. The deejay is spinning strictly Mod-60's-Soul-Motown-Britpop. Expensive cocktails. $3 Rolling Rocks. After midnight the dance floor overflows – hip shaking – body twisting – feet stomping. It's fun. Even Darren is having a good time.

(Tequila Lounge) (Nov 29 2013)

The lead singer of the Hissy Fits is here. I met her at the last show I played at The Belmont. She observes Ana dancing with vigor and approaches me, "Is that your girl?"

Me: "Yeah!"

Her: "She is the most amazing creature I have ever seen!"

Me: "I know!"

Deep talks with Darren on the drive home.

Popcorn. Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream.

Sleep 5 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday November 28 2013

Extrospection (Nov 28 2013)[i]

Waking up at 12:40 p.m.

A small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

I drive out to Norfolk for a Thanksgiving gathering at one of Ana's cousin's house near Ward's Corner. I'm introduced to most of the Filipino family – everybody with bright smiling faces and good cheer. Leah is here too. A plethora of foil trays filled with most anything you can imagine: Mac n cheese, Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn on the Cob, Pot Roast, Fish, Pancit Noodles, Rice, Fruit Punch, Apple Cider, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, a big ole fat Turkey, etc. After somebody says a prayer we all dig in. I try to sample a little bit of everything. The Apple Pie seems to be the favorite; Ana spent a few hours baking it from scratch last night using a recipe I sent her. The dogs, Luca and Papa, run around our legs staying alert for any fallen food. I feel overwhelmingly tired after eating; I guess from all the different foods my body is trying to digest.

Twerky (Nov 28 2013)

Bomb Shelter (Nov 28 2013)

There in the Moment (Nov 28 2013)

47 to 91 (Nov 28 2013)

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom." – Proust

Back home recuperating.

Lifting weights and doing ab workouts. Kevin walks in after just getting off a China Wok dinner shift; he's got a mug of beer in one hand. Not too long after Darren appears. He's in town for Thanksgiving and with a whole lot of stories and ideas to expel off his chest, one of which included a stressful situation for his delivery job at a Chinese place back at Radford and ended up losing over something frivolous. We migrate downstairs and gather around the table in the dining room. I eat some leftovers: Fish, Stuffing, Pancit Noodles, Corn on the Cob, and a Parmesan Bagel. A fuzzy black jumping spider crawls out from under a record. Lo and Kevin trap it in a plastic container and attempt to get it high.


Conversations roar with Darren at the pulpit. I mostly listen and just enjoy my dinner and sip on a beer. I mean all I'd have to do is take him into a talk radio studio and hit the record button. He speaks with such conviction and goes on these long, long tangents about pretty much anything that concerns him about the world...

Darren: "It shouldn't even be called the Bible Belt. It should be called the Bible Pillow."


In critique of all the college kids he meets at Radford, "I feel like the new class of male is like a fucking pathetic fucking loser. Everybody I meet. It doesn't matter if they're like the jock-ish type or they're like lonely loser computer nerd, they both have the same...'I don't know fucking anything about the world, I've never had any real responsibility in my life ever, I pretty much get everything given to me, or I'm here on a gigantic student loan so fuck it bro! It's just so weird, dude.'"

Richie chimes in, "Technology! That's what it is."

Darren: "You know what I think it is? You know, that male character has changed. MacGyver is not a man's man anymore! Where is the badass and being able to work on your car? I feel like you're not a badass for working on your car anymore. You're a badass if you can afford a ten thousand dollar exhaust system that you paid a professional to install for you on your Japanese import!"

After a few comments on my part he continues, "I feel like there was a day and age where a man built his fortune and he didn't give fuck-all to his kids because fuck them they can earn it themselves, right? But in today's day and age it's just become the children are so fucking entitled they're like 'oh my parents have a shit ton of money therefore I have a shit ton of money' and that is it. You've got so many kids that have carte blanche access to their parent's wallet that they start to feel like they were the ones that built this fortune."


"People's wages should not reflect the amount of work that they do. It should reflect the amount of responsibility they have."


Then, he hits me with this proposition, "Now just hear me out. I know you blog and shit. But what if this summer when the lease runs out at Chanticleer, if we just started at my aunt's house in Scotland, we got a EuroRail, and we just went from Scotland to China, we went all the way to Shanghai, China and just flew home, right? Maybe I'm just more of like the spontaneous, pizzazz, do it up, this is the shot, this is the scene where we should go, make it hot, make it fresh, blah blah blah. But you are the fucking brains, the lay it down, make sure it gets fucking done, organization, you are the database, and you have a lot of experience. You have the experience of taking your thoughts and feelings and writing them down. I feel like maybe I can make thoughts and feelings and you can make them legible. We'll go on vacation anyway and just Vlog it. You know? People make dumbass travel documentaries and they just fucking go and they do it."

Settling down in my room with another beer and watching Lincoln (2012).

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

Wednesday November 27 2013

Elysium Interior Concept Art.[i]

1:40 p.m. Waking up to a text from Ana...

"Thank you for sacrificing your sleep time and letting me spill out my thoughts. I felt SO much better. Thank you. You are really good to me. It's overwhelming and unbelievable! But like I said last night...You are definitely not an ordinary person, and I am so lucky. [heart symbol]"

Honey Strawberry Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Catching up on writing.

Ana had to work at the Virginia Beach location of her job and asks to stop by. She's here. While she changes out of her black tights I clamor onto her with sexual intentions, something I knew she really wanted per our conversation last night. It's a relief every time we have sex.


Afterwards she tags along with me to the store to get a few things.

Peanut Butter Bagel. Banana. Honey Green Tea.

At the Rec Center shooting hoops – playing a few games with others. That one old guy with his adopted Chinese kid is here. We all play a few rounds of Knockout.

Orange Juice.

Multi-Grain Rice with Baby Broccoli, Carrots, and an Egg.

Watching Elysium (2013).

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream.

General research and writing.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Elysium Interior Concept Art.

Tuesday November 26 2013

Still from The Tree of Life.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

In a train station Ana and I sit down in a train car. On the other side we see our friends take over another train car. I have this container of pink Nickelodeon Gak and start throwing pieces of it at our friends. Elliott keeps shifting around trying to avoid getting hit by the pink Gak. The train moves and eventually Ana and I get off at the next stop. I think I'm driving a car now. We enter a neighborhood that's made up of extreme winding roads. It's nighttime now and I barely miss the sight of a dead end. I hit the brakes and we casually fall out of the car, which seemed to be some kind of motorcycle rather than a car. In front of us is a peaceful lake. We can hear the sounds of the night creatures like the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs. Slightly lost we scan over a sign that has a detailed map of a nature walk – identifying where we are and which way we should go. As we walk up this hill we come across this falcon hiding low in the trees. It's very close, like arm's length. I have my camera and try to take a few close-up shots. I notice through the lens that it doesn't look like a falcon anymore. It looks like Ana – an exact image of Ana! Both of us are freaked out. The Ana-falcon makes funny noises and holds up a bloodied squirrel ripped in half. I snap a few shots. Out of the corner of my eye I notice an apparition. But it's just Renee, an old friend. When looking through the camera lens her face is scary – her eyes white and hollow. She warns me about this difference and questions what we're doing out here, insinuating that we should be doing something with our lives.

I explain, "We're just enjoying nature! What's wrong with that?"  

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up officially at 2:30 p.m.

Strawberry Toaster Pastries. Orange Juice.

Business. Chores. Cleaning.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Banana. Honey Green Tea.

Watching a documentary, Death by China (2012).

Basketball at The Rec Center. I gain more and more respect every game.

Back home. Concocting homemade Tilapia Pad Thai using our wok that rarely gets used. I think I'm gonna start using it more often. Ana walks in with bright eyes. Sasha has a guy friend over that's about to give her a ride somewhere. He tells me about how he cleaned out a bunch of black widows and brown recluses in his dad's garage who apparently just passed away. 


Ana and I enjoy our dinner on the foldout wood table in the dining room to the faint sounds of the 1920's radio station. Kevin just got off a China Wok shift. We invite him to eat the leftover serving.

Me: "I'm very proud of this dish. It wasn't very hard to make either."

At work Cecily's sister has made appearances. She's in town for a few weeks to help watch the girls. I told Kevin that she was substantially attractive. He was able to see that today and develop the hots for her. Earlier he texted me about it, "I told Cecily I thought her sister was really nice, she looked at me and laughed. She knows what I'm thinking, my cover is blown. I then watched her sauté my hopes and dreams, throwing them in a wok and serving them with a side of house duck sauce."

I set up the computer in the living room and attach it to the TV's for Ana and I to watch The Tree of Life (2011). We pull the couch out a little bit. Sipping on Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows. Normally we would just hole up in the bedroom and be alone. But I wanted to experiment. I scold some of our guests chatting obnoxiously in the dining room and force them up into Kevin's room.

The movie's soundtrack and cinematography was phenomenal. It inspires me to fiddle on the piano, something I haven't done in a while. Kevin systematically spills water behind me while talking to Ana about drugs ruining people's lives.

In the bedroom. Ana announces that she'll be right back. Maybe 20 minutes later she returns.

Me: "Where were you?"

She explains that she was just downstairs in the living room.

Me: "What were you doing? Writing?"

She wasn't writing or on the phone or anything. I guess she was just meditating. Her mood seems off – she looks discouraged about something. I invite her over by the computer so I can distract her with some things I researched about the film we just watched.


We settle down in the bed. I take the space against the wall and she slips under the covers next to me.

Me: "Talk to me."

Ana: "Right now?"

She seems flustered and in need of letting things out.

Me: "Yes. Tell me something you've been thinking about...deep stuff about your life. C'mon. I'm listening. Don't be afraid to tell me things."


Me: "You weren't just sitting down there meditating."

She slips off her shorts and shirt. I tickle her back with my hand in attempt to calm her nerves. Eventually, she starts to spill her thoughts about the challenges she faces at work – a certain coworker that breaks her down – the idea of moving onto a new job...

Ana: "I always get reminded about everything so I have to get rid of certain things. Taking that futon out of my room was so symbolic. I can't keep old things cause I feel like I'm too sentimental. I have to throw them out. I don't know how you keep things around. I can't do that."

Me: "Yeah I'm very sentimental about things."

Ana: "I feel like it's so pointless for me to talk to you about it because it's just me saying again I don't like my job or whatever."

She doesn't like talking about her problems over and over again. It brings her down, the rut she gets stuck in.

Ana: "I just feel like talking to people about my problems is not gonna solve anything."

Me: "But sometimes you have to let your feelings out. You can't just keep it inside. Like talking to someone is not the same as writing in your journal. Don't be hopeless."

She mentions how she doesn't want to get a job involving food because she'd have to tie her hair up and all, which gives her headaches because of how much hair she has to manage.

I joke, "Time to get a haircut. It's time to cut your hair short. It's holding you back from great things."

Ana: "I know. What?! No!"

Me: "Why don't you just be a hair model?"

Ana: "No."

Our bed conversation veers to the topic of sexuality, but more specifically our sexual behavior and how she's so careful not to intrude or make many sexual advances. I question why.

Ana: "It's just with you. Cause I really like you...a lot. And I feel like you are so much better than any of the other guys that I have ever seen. You're special. I feel like I have so much faith that you're not – I know that you're not – the average guy. That's why I'm just like I can't be mean to him."

Me: "Even more the reason! To make sexual advances towards me!"

But I understand that she's just being too careful. Our relationship is fragile in her mind. We come to a closure.

With a smile of relief she says, "Well that was a lot."

Sleep at a late unknown hour.

[i] Still from The Tree of Life (2011).

Monday November 25 2013

Red Light Hates You[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Honey Strawberry Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

Cecily walks into the restaurant with her sister, whom I've never seen before. She's just as equally, if not more, attractive. The whole China Wok family is beautiful.

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

It's a typical Monday. Just slugging along one order at a time. Driving through the cold night. My favorite part is every time I hop into the car back into my own warm cozy mobile abode. It's a great feeling.

Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bar.

Listening to J-Lo (Jennifer Lopez) feeling nostalgic for the early 2000's. 


Tips are mediocre.

After scanning the map of Virginia Beach on the wall with Ling and discussing the difference between schools in China and America, he cashes me out and I go home.

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

Watching The American (2010).

It's 1:28 in the morning. I decide to take a night walk across the street to the bagel shop to check the dumpster for fresh bagels and viola! I carry a brown paper bag full of them back home. Our neighborhood is silent. 99 out of 100 windows are dark meaning most everyone is asleep or dully awake. All except for our house with the lights on and the social noise reverberating from the back patio.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.   

[i] Red Light Hates You. The Oatmeal.

Sunday November 24 2013

Kevin Holds Josh Down (Nov 24 2013)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.

Honey Strawberry Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.

The season has changed, and very noticeably today with a temperature of 30 degrees. The wind chill makes it feel even colder. I'm wrapped up in a sweater, jacket, and fingerless blue gloves.

Five Guys French Fries with Ketchup. Honey Green Tea.

It's substantially busy for deliveries. I'm driving non-stop without much time to relax at the restaurant.


I manage to have a streak of bad luck on a few deliveries. Walking up a few flights of stairs at the Marina Shores apartments only to find out it's the wrong building. Having to drive to a customer again because I forgot a second bag with their order. But whatever. Those are just small nails thrown into the machine. Overall I'm making a good profit. Generous tips and smiles of gratitude.

Snacking on Nuts with Cranberries.

Eventually the day comes to a close and I get to go home at a decent hour.

Hot and Sour Soup with Broccoli, Carrots, and Rice.

Watching Maniac (2012).

While reading and such in my bedroom I suddenly hear an alarming thump coming from Josh's room. I check it out and discover him and Kevin engaging in an intense wrestling match. I've noticed this tends to happen every few months or so between these two.

Kevin: "You're not gonna win, Josh! You're not gonna win!"

Fierce moments turn into brotherly love.

Josh: "Dammit, Kevin! You gave me a rug burn like I never had since I dated this girl in Middle School."

Kevin: "Josh, I love you no matter what."

Sipping on homemade Hot Cocoa.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday November 23 2013

Hissy Fits at Belmont (Nov 23 2013)[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Grapefruit.

All day shift at China Wok.

Ana visits the restaurant with Papa, her mom's sweet little poodle. She looks really happy, Ana that is, but also Papa. I show up at the house briefly to grab a quick lunch. Her and Josh have a dog date.

Ana Cradling Her Lamb (Nov 23 2013)

Egg Drop Soup. Peanut Butter Sandwich. Honey Green Tea.

A pretty steady day for deliveries. I notice more and more people today end the transactions at the door with statements like, "Stay safe," or "Be careful out there." I hope it isn't some kind of warning.

Kevin's here to help out with the dinner shift. He's such a funny character to me. He waltzes in here with a determined look on his face like a man on a mission, ready to work hard even if there is no work to work hard for. At one point he tries to give me advice about a particular gated community we deliver to often.

Kevin: "You know how to park at Harbour Point, right?"

Me: "Kevin, I've been working here for three years. Don't insult my intelligence."

KMoore Chinamerica (Nov 23 2013)

I observe Cecily cashing out Kevin. He says these things that just make me laugh and he's not even really meaning to be funny.

Me: "You should really be an actor, Kevin. You'd do really well in comedy films."

Baked Lentil Chips. Apple.

The night continues steadily without any awareness on my part. Auto-pilot to the max.

At about 10:30 p.m. I cash out and deliver my last order to Rosemont Road. Then trekking straight out to Norfolk. On the way I slurp up a container of Vegetable Lo Mein.


At The Belmont for the rock-n-roll show. I catch the last song of The Wet Boys (Tom Waits inspired). Ana and Will are chilling up near the front. I give Ana a greeting hug but she doesn't take a liking to my "limp hug" as it's called. I didn't realize it was so unenthusiastic. I'm happy to see her smiling face. I buy us some drafts of Woodchuck Cider to relax our nerves. The Hissy Fits blow up the stage with their semi-sludge rock slop pop. The lead female singer carries a larger-than-life presence with her big frizzy black hair and mischievous sexy smile. The crowd is intrigued. The Hm Hmm's are last. That's Josiah, Calum, and I. We perform what are basically Bamm Bamm songs but revived with Calum on the drums. With minimal practice time Calum pulls it off and the crowd is pleased.


Post-show I witness the entertaining drunken personas of Hissy Fits members. Later, as we're all departing for the night, I realize something is wrong with Ana.

Me: "I'm gonna settle all this with one question, okay?"

Ana: "Okay."

Me: "Do you trust me?"

Without hesitation she replies, "Yes."

Me: "And I trust you too. So there shouldn't be any confusion."

I think it would be easier if I just relay some messages she will eventually send me after I arrive home...

"I think that my moodiness that has been happening frequently stems from just being upset/holding my thoughts in. Thank you for pushing some of my thoughts out tonight. I just feel like sometimes I need reassurance. I know that sometimes I want affirmation even though I don't really need it. Nobody really needs it, but sometimes it is good. I've just been really stressed lately Robert. I'm sorry.
I know that all I have been is sweet to you, but know that I do have a little aggressive side builds up whenever I don't vocalize my thoughts.
I think that I've been guilty of over thinking. I've been guilty of being overly concerned about whether or not you would think badly of me.
I know it's been so unfair to you.... me not letting you in.
Well, the seal is broken. You're going to slowly seep in now. Not so sure if you can handle that.
I've just been afraid to be vulnerable Robert.
But I know that it is time for me to just open myself up.. because it feels unnatural not to.
I want to keep this relationship. It is great. You are great. I know that my fears have been a bump... well.. a few bumps... but I know that I'm lucky to have you so patient."

It feels good to be home and in my bed at 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday November 22 2013

Victor Beuren[i]

Waking up at 2:10 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Research. Cleaning.

Peanut Butter Toast. Baked Lentil Chips. Papaya. Honey Black Tea.

Watching 3:10 to Yuma (2007).

Anna Kozitsyna texted me about a keyboard I was supposed to give her about a year and a half ago. I haven't even conversed with her since then. I know her through my Russian friends, Art, Jamil, and Roma. She plays the piano quite well as I recall. I drive over to Piney Branch, where she just moved. I don't stay too long but long enough to catch up briefly.

At the Rec Center. I had planned to just shoot the ball around and workout. But of course I get caught up in a few games, just some 4-on-4 games. Three other guys my age team up against four middle schoolers.


At the storage unit with Josiah and Calum practicing rock n roll for tomorrow's show.

DiGiorno Pizza with Red Peppers. Carrot.

Watching the movie.

Ana calls me around 1 a.m. She just had a rap show in her garage and she wanted to talk.

Me: "I feel like I'm listening to the radio, like talk radio. The Khrizzia station. And there's Ana just talking about her day. And I'm just listening."


I got off the phone but later we reconnect and continue discussing this particular problem she has of not telling me what's really on her mind. I use an analogy of her in battle with a monster and how the more we talk about it the more power she gives the monster. She simply needs to face it and counteract it with confidence. I just wish she'd open up to me. She will in time I hope.

Feeling a little angsty. Lifting weights and working out my abs to the tune of White Zombie.


Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Victor Beuren.

Thursday November 21 2013

Things Take Time (Slug)(1)(Nov 21 2013)[i]

Waking up shortly after noon. Ana left me alone in the bed for quite a while. She was playing the pump organ downstairs. But now she's returned by my side, caressing my back and chest. It's a gradual progression into sex, which I can tell was highly anticipated by both of us.

Sharing breakfast: Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk, Bananas, and a Grapefruit.

In the kitchen we discover a slug oozing on the side of the counter.

Me: "How in the world did he get in here?"

I use the opportunity to take photos of our new friend Franklin, named by Sasha.

General reading online.

Grilled Cheese with Kumato and Hummus. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Black Tea. Strawberry Greek Yogurt.

Watching Hot Coffee (2011).

Basketball at the Rec.

Back home.

Cleaning up.

Homemade Tilapia Pad Thai with Carrots, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Celery.

Watching Faster (2010).

Kevin and Sasha invade my room with beers in their hands. We share theories and talk about the drama behind the scenes of Asian restaurants like China Wok and Pho 79.

Papaya. Vanilla Coke.

Downloading and organizing music files.

Sleep 5 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday November 20 2013

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! still.[i]

Waking up around 2 p.m.

Strawberry Toaster Pastries. Orange Juice.

General time spent reading articles and doing research.

Organizing and making improvements in my room.

Egg Sandwich with Kumato and Mayonnaise. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Black Tea.

At the Rec Center for open gym basketball. Playing a few games of 3-on-3.

Rehearsing with Josiah and Calum at the storage unit. We're playing a show this Saturday as The Hm Hmms, not Ladada or Bamm Bamm, even though we're basically just reviving Bamm Bamm material. We spend a lot of time teaching Calum the structure of the songs.

Back home. Ana's here. I cook us up a dinner: Spaghetti with Basil Tomato Sauce, Red Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, and Parmesan Bagels. Kevin just got off work. He walks in, turns off the jazz radio, and serenades us with his violin. Later, upstairs in my room, I set up theater seating with pillows and crates in front of the computer for Ana and I to watch the 60's cult classic, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), an exploitation film chock full of campy dialogue and beautiful longhaired women fighting. Sharing a few cups of Hot Cocoa and attempting to be comfortable in the seating but the crates keep sliding and our butts get sore. But it's still nice lounging with her entertained by one of the most quotable movies I've ever seen.


Tommy: Look, I don't know what the hell your point is, but...

Varla: The point is of no return and you've reached it!


Varla: I never try anything. I just do it. And I don't beat clocks, just people! Wanna try me?


Varla: If you believe that how could you be with me like this?

Kirk: Cause you're a beautiful animal. And I'm weak. And I want you.

I compliment the high pull-up black pants she's wearing.

Ana: "Yeah, these are my house pants."

Me: "I've got on my house pants too!"

Ana: "Yeah we're just hanging out in our house pants drinking cocoa, watching movies."

Ana Reading Siddhartha (Nov 20 2013)[ii]

Sleep at 5 a.m.

[i] Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! still.

[ii] Image by me.

Tuesday November 19 2013

Snowflake. Alexey Kljatov.[i]

Waking up at 1 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk.

Errands. Visiting the Pick-n-Pull on Sykes Avenue. Found a new sun visor and medallion for my car. Groceries.

Mixed Nuts with Raisins. Edamame Cracker Thins with Hummus. Banana. Honey Black Tea.

Watching Only God Forgives (2013).

At the Rec Center for basketball. Today feels a little more positive. My game play is slowly improving. Other players notice.

Basketball at the Rec (Nov 19 2013)[ii]

Honey Crisp Apple.

Shrimp Tempura. Leftover Greens, Brown Rice, and Lentils.

Finishing Only God Forgives (2013).

I get a text from Ana that she wants to stop by cause she'll be in the area. Here we share stories and thoughts of the day. I have her sit next to me on a stool by the computer. I show her a bunch of articles and Youtube videos, one about a Polish guy that built a "viola organista", an instrument that combines a harpsichord and a cello performing at the same time; Leonardo da Vinci drew up ideas for this invention 500 years ago but it never got built until now. Looking at macro photos of snowflakes. Then, a video of a physicist that studies snowflakes.

"It's not just water in motion that shows invisible beauty. When temperatures drop and water goes from being a liquid to a solid it takes on dazzling forms..."

We're both equally fascinated by the phenomenon of snow and can't understand how something so perfectly formed and symmetrical can be made intentionally by nature.


I lay my head down next to her and she comments, "You're so warm. You're so warm, like, I don't understand. Why are you so warm?"

Me: "Cause I like to be warm."


She comments on the functionality of particular things in my room.

Ana: "So everything has a purpose in your room."

Me: "Yeah everything always has a purpose. That's how I like to live my life...with purpose."

She mentioned wanting to talk about something in person yesterday and of course now she doesn't feel the need to. Once again I'm left alone in the dark on her personal thoughts. Playfully, I press the issue and link my finger around the belt loop of her jeans threatening to give her a wedgie unless she agrees to tell me.

Me: "Are you gonna talk? C'mon! Are you gonna talk? I'm gonna give you a wedgie if you don't."

She resists in a laughing manner.


I grab three clementines and attempt to juggle them for a while. Then, I show her the small six-pack that's been forming on my belly recently because of all the working out I've been doing.

Me: "Feel that. I'm like turning into a ninja turtle!"

Ana: "Well that's a nice accomplishment."

Commotion and interaction with Kevin in the hallway.

Chocolate Coconut Water.

Ana sends me some after-texts...

"Thank you for letting me stop by, sharing the videos, juggling, showing me your hardrocksixpackabdominals, playing the allegro in d in a minor scale on the organ piano, letting me nourish my tummy with that banana, walking me to my car, and being so patient towards me. No one has ever been so patient towards me like the way you have. You are warm internally and externally! I really can feel this warm energy coming from you. You are the sweetest. Thank you. I really like you. You are always reassuring to me why I like you so much. < 3"

Sleep at a late hour.

[i] Snowflake. Alexey Kljatov.

[ii] Image by me.

Monday November 18 2013

Peaceful Moment (Nov 18 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

In New York City. A friend of a friend has offered to give me a ride to school. I'm all ready to go at the curb but I need to return my bicycle back to the apartment I've been staying at. The guy says he'll wait for me. I cart my bike up the stairs and into the lobby. The elevator door is stuck and someone else has to force it shut. Looking at the notepad on my phone for the apartment number and the door code. I can't seem to find it. I step out onto the 2nd floor. Big crowds of college students loiter in the hallway. I make it to the apartment door. I still can't find the lock code to open the door. A girl is standing nearby. I shout out loud to myself, "What a production!" I figure she would understand that I'm just a guest here so that I wouldn't appear shady or that I was up to trouble.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:14 a.m. Upset at myself because I set an alarm that went off 20 minutes earlier. Now I have to rush to leave in 10 minutes. I prefer having enough time to eat breakfast before I leave the house because as soon as I walk out that door I have to be alert and attentive to the world. Orders will be waiting at the restaurant.

All day shift at China Wok.

I eat a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk in my car after my first delivery.

It's a beautiful sunny day out with plenty of breeze to blow the fall leaves inside the car, inside the restaurant, and into my soul.

I take advantage of the down time to exercise around the side of the building next to the water pipes. After doing a set of crunches I gaze up at the clear blue sky, a peaceful moment.

Climb Into the Blue (Nov 18 2013)

Tuna Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Reading about an incredible study on human happiness

It's a slow Monday for deliveries and the tips aren't so generous. A lot of lower middle class customers ordering chicken wings and such.

Banana. Fiberful Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.

Later in the night I receive a few messages from Ana on Facebook, most of them responding to the articles and links I sent her earlier. She mentions daydreaming on the interstate and how she experiences these epiphanies sometimes...

"I remember feeling my brain feel as if it was opening up and expanding in a way that seemed like it was weightless and in the sky. I get this feeling whenever I'm already in a good mood and am thinking of all the good things that I'm so fortunate to have and everything that could be possible."

The night dwindles down slowly.

Off work and back home.

Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetable Fried Rice.

Watching Seven Psychopaths (2012).

Orange Juice.

Sleep at about 4 a.m.

[i] Image  by me.

Sunday November 17 2013

Play Time at China Wok (Nov 17 2013)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I'm led to protect a friend of mine from the cops, or maybe it's a government agency that's after him. We're running down an alley. Into a warehouse building. He climbs a ladder. The determined agents run inside. I stand in between them.

Me: "He's my friend! If you have questions about him you can ask me!"

One of the agents starts throwing punches. I fight back and with more stamina.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.

Strawberry Toaster Pastries. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

The buttons on one of the business calculators stopped working. I take it apart and try changing the battery. Even with all the troubleshooting the solution doesn't arise. But it magically starts working again after I screw it back together.

Enjoying the soothing powers of Egg Drop Soup and Crunchy Noodles. Peanut Butter French Baguette. Honey Black Tea.

Delivering an order to the Fairfield Inn. I remember this lady from yesterday. Mostly, I remember her blatantly not tipping. The people at the front desk think she's cuckoo and after today I can see why. She refuses to give out her room number over the phone because she's convinced it's tapped and that people will come after her. On the ninth floor I make the exchange.

She opens with, "I must be your worst tipper huh?"

Before I even have time to respond her little dog interrupts. I inquire as to the reason why she won't let us know her room number when she places the order, "You know, you can let us know what room you're in that way I know where to go when I get here. Yeah the lady at the front desk was like, that must be room 908."

I was kind of poking fun here but then she retorts back with a serious look in her eye, "The reason I don't do that is because my mother was brutally murdered in her apartment. They knew where she was..."

Me: "Oh."

"And you just announced my room number in the hallway. Thanks," she says with sarcastic disdain.

I don’t even have time to apologize before she hands me the money and closes the door. I get on the elevator blindsided. Is this woman really crazy? Or is she just stricken with paranoia because of her past? And she stiffed me once again after even admitting to not tipping. What a bitch. In the lobby I tell the lady at the front desk my interaction. She explains further that the woman claims she's under some kind of protection program at Langley and she's a part of some secret service agency. And her father is the founder of Dunkin Donuts. Maybe she is crazy after all.

Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bar.

Cecily is getting frustrated with Eileen about learning words. So I offer to help teach her. At the table I spend a good 30 minutes off and on using simple explanations. That's all she needed, someone patient enough.


Ana shows up. She plays with the girls while I tend to the phones and the orders. Ling comments how she should cut her hair because it's too long.

Ling: "Your hair. Too long. Alotta trouble."

Riding around with me on deliveries she seems much brighter and happier compared to yesterday's occurrence. She snacks on this chocolate drizzled popcorn she picked up from Trader Joe's. Something I've noticed that I truly admire about her is her constant drive for self-improvement.

I get off work and we go our separate ways. I can tell she wanted to hang out more but I need to recharge alone tonight. But she's always understanding, something else I like about her.

Back home.

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

Finishing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure (2012).

Chores. Cleaning.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday November 16 2013

Gunung Gede in Indonesia.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I have to catch a flight. I'm in a terrible hurry. The distance between terminal to terminal is gargantuan. As soon as I arrive at my terminal I realize I forgot my basketballs. Now I'm forced to go back and retrieve them. It's going to take me a long time. Wesley Bunch says he'll watch my luggage until I return. Running through the crowds and corridors. I find my basketballs deflated, which is probably a good idea cause they'll fit in my bags. I make it back to my terminal but it seems Wesley has abandoned me. Luckily, my belongings are still there. I start packing everything up but some airport agents nearby inform me that the airlines don't allow denim or anything made of cloth inside a carry-on item.

Me: "Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous!"

I don't know what I'm gonna do. I mine as well leave my stuff here at the airport. What's strange is that the loft bed from my bedroom is set up right here in the middle of the terminal.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

I wake up from a dream but I'm not actually awake. I'm still dreaming but nothing's lucid or anything. I have an idea to use what I dreamed about for a short novel. In the dream there is a girl and a boy, both pre-teens. The boy is a few years older than the girl. They meet in a special spot in the woods, a place that feels enchanted to them. There's a fiery romance. Amidst their play they make a promise to meet back here in fifty years. And so we skip ahead fifty years. They've both forgotten about each other. The girl, now a mature adult and already been through three marriages, has a new job as a travel agent. She's helping a man and his wife find the perfect location for their vacation. They drive up a mountain road and stop where a log cabin should be. As soon as they walk up the pathway the man and the travel agent woman freeze. Upon them is that special spot in the woods where they promised to meet fifty years ago. The woman looks at the man with familiarity now. Their faces light up with ecstasy. The man is conflicted now because he is already married but he cannot fight against his childhood love that somehow stayed strong secretly in his heart all this time. 

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11 a.m. I love how the music creepily resonates through the vents in this house. It matches the theme of my dreams.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Grapefruit.

All day shift at China Wok.

As soon as I arrive at the restaurant I'm on the go – delivery after delivery, at least until 3.

Banana. Mixed Nuts with Raisins. Baked Lentil Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Drive. Drive. Drive. To here. To there. Racking up the tips and the miles.

I catch a beautiful display of pink-orange cirrus clouds.

Fuji Apple.

NPR and Free Talk Live on the radio.

Just before 9 it slows down a bit. I decide to have an early dinner: Egg Vegetable Fried Rice.

The fog suddenly envelops the streets of Hilltop after 10 o'clock making it difficult to see the addresses.

Finally getting off work after 11.5 hours of China Wok slavery. But it was worth it. I made more than half of what I usually make.

Back home. Stephanie's throwing a roommate warming cookout party.

Rasslin' Boys (Nov 16 2013)[ii]

Sharing Chocolate Chip Cookies with everyone. Marko offers me a Mickey's. A few people strut vampire capes. The back patio is adorned with tinsel and Christmas lights. The fire pit is glowing. I encourage Kevin to jump in on a wrestling match in Stephanie's room.


I invite Ana into my bedroom to have some nice conversations in private. But something's wrong. I noticed it earlier. When I arrived home from work she was happy to see me and embraced me sweetly. Later on in the evening I felt something was off in her attitude towards me. I have no clue where it sprung. I inquire but to no avail. She just won't tell me what's up. She stands by the dresser and leans against the door looking kind of scared. I just don't understand. I feel frustrated she won't open up to me. It happens just like this every time when she can't express herself. Her eyes well up a little; with that and her special makeup on her whole appearance is kind of beautiful. She's afraid to reveal this darker side of her, the inward struggles to be a better person. She doesn't ever want to be mean to me and she thinks she's becoming a person that she used to be in past relationships. Also, she keeps claiming that I don't know her yet.

Me: "You have no idea who I am or where I've come from! I've been through my own hell, too, you know? I'm just eager to know the other side of you."

Even amidst this serious exchange of words there's room for laughter and jokes. It's interesting how the power of humor can help alleviate stress. Eventually, she departs, and on a somewhat good note I suppose.

Relaxing in my bed trying to drown out the lingering social noise outside.

Sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Gunung Gede in Indonesia.

[ii] Image by me.

Friday November 15 2013


Waking up a little late at 11:16 a.m.

Strawberry Toaster Pastries. Orange Juice. Vitamin C (500 mg).

All day shift at China Wok.

The temperature is pleasant today, just enough chill to keep on my track jacket.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Black Tea.

Strawberry Greek Yogurt.

On the classical station a Japanese folk song about cherry blossoms comes on and strikes an emotional chord.

Fiberful Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.

Standing behind the counter at the restaurant I watch as Ming sneakily walks over to Janice who is napping at the table. He squeezes a drip of hot sauce on her mouth. She awakens and wipes it off not knowing what just happened. A few minutes later she's crying. Boredom at work leads to pranks.

Towards the end of the night I find myself feeling extremely tired and this monotony doesn't help one bit. Nothing interesting on the radio stations anymore. I ache for that wonderful consolation waiting for me in my room.

Back home.

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

Watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).

Sleep at a decent hour for me 3 a.m.

[i] Movie still from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Thursday November 14 2013

Henry Winkler as Butchey Weinstein in The Lords of Flatbush (Columbia Pictures, 1974).[i]

Waking up later than usual around 1:40 p.m. My body is sore from the strenuous basketball playing the past few days. But I feel well rested.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Grapefruit.

Watching Citadel (2012).

Catching up on writing.

Egg Salad Sandwich with Tomato. Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Chips. Honey Black Tea.

At the Rec Center. Lifting weights and doing ab workouts. Then basketball. Mediocre game play.


Downstairs cooking dinner. Meanwhile, Josh, Leisa, Ana, and two girls loiter in the dining room. The iPod player blaring music. Ana and I share Lentils, Greens, and Multi-Grain Brown Rice. Leisa baked Chocolate Chip Cookies. I take a few. Kevin strolls in after a full day at China Wok. He vigorously shakes a big cup of wonton soup to mix up the sriracha sauce he squirted into it and of course manages to spill it everywhere. Josh and Leisa get inspired to dance in the kitchen.

Ana informs me she's going to her car real quick to retrieve something. I follow playfully. "Wait up! I'm coming, too!" She didn't want me to come ad purposefully stays ahead. "C'mon! My legs are sore. I can't run to keep up." We get to the car but for some reason she refuses to complete the task while I'm standing there. "Go ahead. Get whatever it is that you need to get." She won't though. I can tell she's embarrassed. I get semi-frustrated and complain about how she has a problem opening up to me. "Are you afraid of me? You shouldn't be." She gives up and shuts the door. On the walk back to the house I tell her to just go get whatever it is. "I'll go back inside okay?" It turns out it was only her face wash bag.

Upstairs in my room we put on The Lords of Flatbush (1974). It's got Henry Winkler and Sylvester Stallone, before Happy Days and Rocky came out. It's an entertaining coming-of-age 70's drama set in 1958. Greasers, egg creams, motorcycles, leather jackets, cigarettes, drive-in movies, teenage romance, etc. Ana and I cuddle up with Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows.

Sleep 4 a.m.  

[i] Henry Winkler as Butchey Weinstein in The Lords of Flatbush (Columbia Pictures, 1974).

Wednesday November 13 2013

Monks Playing Basketball.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

In the gym at the Rec Center just finishing a pickup game in basketball. Students from a high school start to pile in and squat on the floor. There's a projector showing a movie on the wall. For some reason I have control over what's playing. I'm logged into my blog website opening up random entries. A short film version of the blog entries starts playing on the wall for all to see, with professional quality too. I don't remember filming these but somebody did. I feel a little embarrassed that everyone is watching them but the whole room is silent and engaged. On the screen we see a dream sequence: a baby doll, that's understood to be me, talking with a girl on the boardwalk at the beach. She whispers something awkwardly romantic. Then, the baby doll falls over the railing and ends up drowning on the shore. The movie stops. Meanwhile I'm cracking eggs on a grill that seems to be built around the DVD player/projector. The liquid of the egg keeps slipping through the grill making it difficult to cook. One of the teenagers yells out a request to play another movie. I get up and leave.  

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 1 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Grapefruit.

Finishing Oldboy (2003).


Egg Cucumber Tomato Sandwich. Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Potato Chips. Orange Juice. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

I meet up with James Nee at the Williams Farm Rec Center out near Witchduck Rd. He wanted to play basketball with me. This Rec Center is fairly new, a lot of the younger kind running around the courts. We run a one-on-one. He's not as practiced as I am so I win 11 to 1. They've got a full court pickup game going on. I join for a while. It's not as serious compared to the Rec Center I usually go to but still a lot of fun.

Back home.

Catching up on writing.


Vegetable Whole Wheat Lasagna. Honey Black Tea.

Watching Phantom (2013).

Playing guitar.


Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Monks Playing Basketball.