Saturday February 28 2015

Super Mario Land 2 by BLUEamnesiac[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

All day shift at China Wok.

Back to the full day grind.

Toasted PB&J. Potato Chips. Dark Chocolate. Pu-erh Tea.

It's a fairly steady day for deliveries.

It's still an ice kingdom here in Hilltop. Being extra careful not to slip on the blacktop. It's becoming annoyingly difficult.

Snagging a small Chocolate Chip Cookie from the front desk of the Residence Inn. They always have cookies like that just crying out to be grabbed.

Off work and back home.

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

Watching X-Men: First Class (2011).

Decompressing like whoa.

Playing Super Mario Land 2 on Gameboy.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Super Mario Land 2 by BLUEamnesiac.

Friday February 27 2015


Waking up at 10 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

I'm supposed to attend a continued court case for my "following too closely" citation but as soon as I arrive the security at the front entrance inform me that all traffic division cases will be issued continuances for inclement weather. Really? What inclement weather? That is bogus. So I drove all the way out here to the courthouses for nothing.

I take advantage of being in this area to check out a few thrift stores.


Running errands. Stocking up on all the essentials. At Target I see a familiar face. It's Margot! Wow. It's been well over a year since I've seen her face to face. I pull up my shopping cart behind her in line and joke, "Excuse me, ma'am. I was here first." She smiles, blushing on the inside I can tell. This should be awkward but it's not. However, I'm really nervous for some reason.

She scans my appearance. "You haven't changed," she remarks. "Wearing a Cosby sweater."

Me: "Yup."

She looks the same as well. We small talk for a bit while the girl rings out the items.

Me: "Alright, well, I'll see you around I guess."

Margot: "Bye bye!"

Scrambled Eggs. Sourdough Toast with Butter and Jam. Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Hummus. Dark Chocolate. Pu-erh Tea.

Watching X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

At the Rec Center exercising on the basketball courts. Everybody and their dad are here in the gym. It's crazy – basketballs flying around non-stop like it's a party. Playing a few pick-up games. Three hours later I've lost three pounds and feeling super energized.

Honey Crisp Apple.

Back home. I find Ana lying down in her super heated bedroom. She had a very long day – had to stay a couple extra hours at work. I fix up a simple dinner for us: Black Beans with Onions, Broccoli, Carrots, and Sprouted Wild Rice.

Settling down and sipping on Ginger Pear Tea.

Sleep 4 a.m. 

[i] From X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Thursday February 26 2015

19th Century Marbled Paper. Turkish on Stormont Pattern.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

In a creaky wood house somewhere deep in the woods. It used to be an old general store I think. Exploring one of the rooms with Ana by my side. It's filled with creepy porcelain dolls. Almost immediately you can sense something off about the room, a dark spiritual heaviness. 

Realizing how unsettling it is I turn to Ana and say sternly, "We need to leave."

I try to turn the doorknob of the front door to the house but it's locked on the inside. We can feel the spiritual presence start to take form and suddenly I'm jolted into a new scene waking up in Ana's bedroom. I'm fiddling with a blender of some kind by her closet. A strange sounding alarm goes off on the floor beside me. I turn around and ask her, "What is that?" As soon as I ask I'm pounded by a spiritual force and fall to the ground.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up breathing heavily and half snorting – drooling uncontrollably. It was just a nightmare.


Next to Ana in her bed. I make fun of her lips, which still have chocolate from the brownies last night.

Me: "Poopy lips! I didn't know you liked poop."

She likes to pinch me whenever I give her a hard time.

Ana: "How many more pinches do you want today?"

Downstairs, we each make our own oatmeal side by side. She has her recipe and I have my recipe, one of the only foods we like to make separately.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Installing a white shelf on Ana's bedroom wall.


There's some confusion on a couple canceled lessons today. I end up only teaching two.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Soy Flaxseed Tortilla Chips with Hummus. Pu-erh Tea.

At The Escape with Ana. To our disappointment the sauna is malfunctioning.

Back home. Having a little sexy time with Ana.

Leftover Lentils with Mixed Greens Salad. Coconut Flour Brownie.

Driving to Josiah's storage unit to practice with him and Calum for a couple hours.

Back home.

Sipping on Ginger Pear Tea.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] 19th Century Marbled Paper. Turkish on Stormont Pattern.

Wednesday February 25 2015

More Snow (February 25 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:45 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Watching Non-Stop (2014).

Lesson prepping.

Grilled PB&J. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Pu-erh Tea. Banana.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Got one last lesson at Jackie's house in King's Grant.

Navel Orange.

At the Rec Center playing a couple pick-up games of basketball for exercise. The threat of snow is imminent; a snow storm overnight. So I'm making sure to exercise hardcore before everything shuts down.

Back home. Making dinner while Ana puts together a brownie recipe. Meanwhile, I'm fired up with energy for some reason. Sarcasm, jokes, and poking fun at Ana constantly. I'm all over the place. She takes notice, "What is going with you?"

Me: "It's life! I'm just high on life!"


We enjoy Salmon Filets with a Kale and Carrot Salad. I add a leftover Egg Roll from China Wok and dinner is complete.

Watching the last segment of Django Unchained with Kevin and Whitney while we scarf down our freshly baked Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Brownies. 

Kevin, proud of himself, approaches me, "Look, Robert! I shaved my chest and stomach."

Me: "Wow. It looks like a butter ball."

Kevin: "It's Frederick butter balls to you. That's Froderick butter ball!"

Me: "Okay, Kevin. Okay."

Finding a place to park on our court is quite the inconvenience when it's raining or in general very dark out cause the guest spots aren't always visible. I had been thinking about drawing out a map guide for us. And since it's going to snow the next few days I figure now's the time. I give Kevin a flashlight and we mark out all the guest spots on the back of a notebook. I draw it out on graphing paper and use Kevin's face to mark the free spots. That's one less hassle in our lives.

Taureau Court Parking Map (with Kevin Markings)

Staying up late doing chores and researching.

Sipping on Ginger Pear Tea.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Tuesday February 24 2015

Donkey Kong 3 Micro Vs System (February 24 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

I got Kenny Bunting a job at China Wok. So I meet up with him at the restaurant and show him the ropes.

Running errands.


Printing out some color photos of my car and other cars involved in an accident I was in a few months back. I'm going to court this Friday to fight a "following too closely" citation so I need to bring in pictures to show the judge.


Getting some groceries at Kroger.


More errands.

Scrambled Eggs. Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Hummus. Melon. Pu-erh Tea.

Teaching a couple piano lessons at Music Makers.

The snow falls again and nobody seems to be thrilled. It's a light fluffy snow but enough to turn everyone into idiots on the road. There'll probably be more school cancellations, which means lesson cancellations tomorrow.

I scoop up Ana from the house and head to the Great Neck Rec. Only about 8 people showed up for adult basketball. So we do game after game of 4-on-4.


Back home. Cleaning up and cooking dinner for Ana and I: Green Peas, Carrots, Onions, Red Peppers, Kale Sprouts, and Brown Rice. Watching an adult re-imagining of the Power Rangers, a visceral and darker version. Dipping fresh Pineapple Spears in Greek Yogurt.

I got some watch batteries to put into my 1984 Donkey Kong 3 video game. Playing a few rounds with Kevin...

Donkey Kong 3 Micro Vs System with Kevin (February 24 2015)

Talking with Ana and lounging around in her room. She warms up by the personal heater, which she stays glued (I swear if it were possible she'd integrate one of those things on her body), and recaps on not-so-fond memories of her childhood.

Listening to old cassette tapes of my granddaddy playing the piano and organ. Feeling inspired afterwards and exploring on the piano myself.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday February 23 2015

Ana's Forever Rose Mirror (February 23 2015)[i]

Waking up officially at 12:30 p.m. I needed some extra sleep.

Raw Cacao Protein Drink with Almond Milk, Banana, and Blueberries.

Catching up on business and various things on my to-do list.

Grilled PB&J. Lentil Potato Curls. Brown Rice Green Tea. Cantaloupe Honey Dew Melon.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

At the Seatack Rec with Ana shooting around the basketball.

Back home. Making dinner for Ana and I: Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti with Pomodoro Sauce, Mushrooms, Kale, Red Peppers, Onions, and Sourdough Garlic Bread.

Enjoying some fresh cut Pineapple to soothe our digestive tract.

Upstairs in Ana's bedroom. Tinkering with the little Yamaha keyboard. I help pull apart the roses I got her for Valentine's Day and hang them up on the wall.

Hanging Roses (February 23 2015)

Later in my room I continue listening to old family cassette tapes and transferring them to the computer.

Practicing piano.

Sipping on Ginger Pear Tea and watching The Bag Man (2014).

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday February 22 2015

Mobile Muncheez (February 22 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:10 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

All day shift at China Wok.

Business is a bit slower compared to yesterday's storm of deliveries.

Mixed Greens Salad with Carrots, Tomatoes, and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Sourdough Toast.

Ana gave me an individually wrapped Quinoa Oatmeal Crisp she made this morning.

Ana's Quinoa Crisps (February 22 2015)

The day continues slow and steady.

Thoughts about the upcoming week and year loom over my head during the driving time – so many things to be concerned with. I remember there was a time in my life where I didn't have so many things to worry about. Now it's overload.


Off work and back home.

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

Finishing I Am Not a Hipster (2012).

Ana gets home after attending a house show in Norfolk. We chat briefly about learning lessons and music. "I just love music," she says.

Me: "I know. Music is powerful."


Before I leave her good night she blurts out something about feeling disconnected from me.

"It's alright. Everything's alright," I say.

Listening to old family cassette tapes and transferring them to the computer.

I decide to slip into Ana's bed tonight. She curls up next to me immediately.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday February 21 2015

Penguin Tire (February 21 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

All day shift at China Wok.

Cocktail Grapefruit.

It's crazy busy at the restaurant today – it's non-stop. Something about the month of February Ling says. My guess is tax refunds.

The tire sculptures are pretty nifty sights at the Used Tire Shop...

Eagle Tire (February 21 2015)

PB&J. Plantain Chips. Pu-erh Tea.

The day just keeps zooming by. The cold temperatures have subsided. You can hear the melting of all the ice and snow – dripping down the gutters and falling off the roofs.  

Red Delicious Apple.

While I'm driving around I listen to a fascinating Invisibilia podcast on wearable computers and how technology affects our behavior.

It's after 11 p.m. and I'm still at China Wok delivering. This is ridiculous. Overtime. Overtime. 41 orders in total. I made a good amount of money today.

Back home.

Lentils, Broccoli, and Rice.

Watching I Am Not a Hipster (2012).

In conversation with Josiah about a possible college show in Connecticut. It leads me to vent a little bit, "What it really I just get lost in this blur in life. Driving on the weekends. Teaching in the week. Filling in on bass with You're Jovian. Filling in on bass with you. Playing these random solo gigs. Dealing with adult things. Trying to accomplish personal goals. I can't even think anymore. It's like I've hopped on a train that just won't stop. You'd think the railroad tracks would come to an end somewhere. 'I'm spread so thin I don't know whoooooo I am.'"

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday February 20 2015

Ladada at The Iquana (February 20 2015)[i]

Waking up around 11:40 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Seeing the chiropractor to adjust my tailbone from landing on it wrong the other day when sledding.

I get called into China Wok for only one hour (1pm to 2pm). I was supposed to work the whole day but they couldn't let me off early for the show therefore I'm only on call today.

Grilled PB&J. Lentil Potato Curls. Pu-erh Tea.

Watching The Cabin in the Woods (2012).

Setting up my audio interface to transfer some old family cassette tapes of my great-grandmother and grandfather playing piano and singing.

Working a couple hours at China Wok.

Scooping up Ana from the house then heading to Norfolk for the rock show at The Iguana.

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

I'm performing bass with Ladada alongside Josiah and Calum. Jumbo Rollers and Sister Abigail are also on the bill. Considering we haven't played in over a year and only practiced three times we played pretty well despite. There are some obvious structural mistakes and flubs but that's okay. We have a good time. Ordering Ana a Bahama Mama and myself a Blue Moon. Didn't expect to see the mother of one of my vocal students here.

Turtle Neck Boy (February 20 2015)

Before we go home we stop by the soft opening of a brand new Toast Bar down the street, the same people that brought Norfolk Handsome Biscuit and Field Guide. Bianca makes a special order of Cinnamon Paste and Tres Leches Toast using Brioche, a burst of sugary goodness. I sip on a Licorice Sazerac Spirits.

TOAST (February 20 2015)

At the TOAST BAR (February 20 2015)

The side of the roads still resemble broken ice shelves stacked on top of each other. I comment about how tired I am of the persistent wintry temperatures we've been having lately. "I just wanna punch it away," Ana blurts out.

"Punch it away?" I laugh.

Ana: "Well, maybe sweep it away."

Me: "I could see you doing that."

Ana: "Or better I wanna melt it away!"

Me: "Yes!"

Back home in our semi-warm abode. She wraps up in her robe and reflects upon the night. There was a moment when she was looking at me on stage and thought how attractive I looked in my turtleneck.

Ana: "I was thinking 'how did I get him?' 'oh yeah, I just reached out my hand!'"

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday February 19 2015

Feels Like Zero Degrees (February 19 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:50 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Running errands. Printing out certificate awards for my piano students.

Grilled PB&J. Plantain Chips. Oolong Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Navel Orange.

Scooping up Ana from the house and heading to the Rec Center for adult basketball. Ash is on my ass tonight. He has a competitive spirit and holds high expectations for me for some reason. I keep missing all my three-pointers and it doesn't go unrecognized. But I'm a beast on defense getting a few turnovers and fast breaks.

Leftover Quinoa, Broccoli, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Eggs.

At the storage unit off Tidewater for Ladada rehearsal with Josiah and Calum. We've got a show tomorrow, which is a bit too soon considering we've only had three practices. But we're determined.

Virginia Beach has officially been turned into an ice kingdom. Upon every walkway and pathway are mounds of ice and snow that appear permanent. The weather app states that it's 11 degrees but feels like 0.

Back home after 3 a.m. enjoying a piping hot cup of Ginger Pear Tea and Dark Chocolate.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday February 18 2015

Winning Power Rangers on Sega (February 18 2015)[i]

Waking up later than I prefer at 12:30 p.m.

Cacao Raw Protein Drink with Banana, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Cara Cara Orange.

Catching up on business.

Grilled PB&J. Pea Snacks. Oolong Tea. Dark Chocolate.

At Music Makers teaching lessons.

As soon as I'm done with my last student I get called into China Wok for a couple hours. Most of the main roads are clear of snow and ice but you still gotta be careful in the less traversed neighborhoods.

Picking up groceries at Trader Joe's.

Back home. Fixing up dinner for Ana and I. She notices a general sense of grumpiness and shortness in me. I apologize later. Enjoying Baked Salmon with Roasted Rosemary and Thyme Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, and Sugar Snap Peas.

Turning on the Sega in the living room. Ana and I team up to beat the Power Rangers game.

Me: "Yes! We did it. I'm so proud of us."


Lounging around on her bed – giving her a back massage but she can barely handle my touch. She keeps laughing and giggling.

Me: "I don't know how you'd survive a massage therapist. You're just like a squeezebox."

Settling down. Sipping on Ginger Pear Tea.

Beating Super Mario Land again.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Tuesday February 17 2015

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (4)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Stuck in a movie plot where there are no cameras or camera crew, just the actors and the story. I'm supposed to be the female role in a newly formed romantic relationship. We got mixed up with a crime lord in the boondocks of North Carolina, some of the area resembles the woods and neighborhood where I remember my dad lived in Dudley. My lover (his name is Joe) takes off with a bunch of strangers in a jeep cause we've been fighting. I implore him to stay. Once the gravity of him leaving hits me in the gut I start weeping right in front of him. The guys in the jeep are irritated and impatient. I request if they can wait a couple minutes while I grab my suitcases. They're not interested in waiting. As soon as I let go of my lover and step out of the jeep they storm off down the road heading to God knows where. Devastated I run back to the house of the crime lord where we've been shacking up. I overhear a conversation between two ladies. One of them comments, "Now I can go to the moon or jump off a roof," implying that so many bad things have happened going to the moon or jumping off a roof would seem second rate. I'm eating a dinner plate of hard-boiled eggs cut in half with spinach greens and potatoes. A black lady from the neighborhood sits down to talk with me and make sure I'm eating healthy. Soon after I finish my food the crime lord guy (appears to be Woody Harrelson) receives a call from Gleade, the guy driving the jeep with Joe. Apparently Gleade works with the crime lord. Something happened to the jeep, a flat tire or something, and they need help. Also, Joe requested to be picked up and brought back me. < 3 

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 12:45 p.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (2)

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (1)

Ana gets off work early. It's time for snow activities! I corral everyone (Kevin, Whitney, and Ana) into the car and we drive to pick up Elliott. Searching the oceanfront for the best icy hills to boogie board down. We locate a good starter hill on a parking garage. Then, at The Cavalier right out in front of the old hotel everybody from around shows up with their kids and girlfriends bringing their sleds, snowboards, trashcan lids, and even a baby mattress. Randomly we run into Jamil and his girlfriend. We all take turns down the hill. Watching a guy wipe out with his GoPro and a little boy banging his head on a staircase pole. I scrape my wrist a little bit when Elliott and I go tandem (blood in the snow).

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (3)

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (5)

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (6)

Snow Dayz (February 17 2015) (7)

Back home. Eating a Chic Pea Salad Sandwich with Tomato, Pancit Noodles, and Pineapple.

Everyone separates for a while to settle in and recuperate.

Later, downstairs I crank up the stereo for a strenuous workout/dance session with Ana. Kevin lies safely under the comfort of his comforter on the couch.

In Ana's room we enjoy a strenuous sex session.

Making our first Cauliflower Pizza from scratch. It turns out much better than expected. Enjoying it with a side Salad.

Cauliflower Pizza (February 17 2015)

I invited Art over for a night of video gaming. I set up the Sega Genesis on the big screen. Mortal Kombat. NBA Jam. Kevin and Ana join for a while. Then Art and I set up our laptops in the dining room for a strenuous Unreal Tournament session. We could play this for hours and hours and hours. But at some point we have to put up the stop sign and call it quits.

Upstairs in my room I pull out the Gameboy Pocket and play Super Mario Land, a game from my childhood. I didn't plan on doing this but I can't start playing and not attempt to beat the game. This takes another hour of my night but I pull through and am victorious. I don't think I ever beat this game when I was a boy so I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday February 16 2015

Snow Storm Neptune (February 16 2015)[i]

Waking up at noon.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

At The Escape running a couple miles and enjoying the steamy sauna. Somebody just informed me that the governor issued a statewide emergency for a possible snowstorm. There're a couple flurries out but nothing too demanding.

Grilled PB&J. Pineapple. Pea Snacks. Oolong Tea.

Watching The Two Faces of January (2014).

At Music Makers. The snow has fallen dramatically by now. Almost all of my students cancelled their lessons today except for the duet brother and sister. I spend a half hour doing fun vocal exercises and singing Christmas songs (even though it's not Christmas but they were excited about it).

I scoop up Ana from home to fill our water jugs at Whole Foods and grab a few extra things.

I expected China Wok to call me in. You know the drill: bad weather brings good business. The new driver apparently crashed his car so it's just Art and I making deliveries. The roads aren't too bad. Just take it easy on the turns and pay close attention to other drivers.

Two and a half hours later I'm back home. Everybody else in the house is putting on their bathrobes and popping open bottles of red wine. I warm up the leftover Vegetable Soup Ana made and add Kuk-soo Noodles and Shrimp to the mix. It's Movie Monday night. Kevin has been pushing for everyone to watch Cube (1997) for the past year. I finally break down and download it for us.

Later on upstairs in Ana's bedroom I start de-tuning her guitar so I can change the strings but get distracted by a lower open-chord tuning that sounds interesting. Jamming on that for a while. Sharing Dark Chocolate and Ginger Pear Tea.

Kevin barges in with his New Balance sneakers tracking in snow to which Ana and I protest to. He starts ranting about his new job at Haynes and all the swindling customers that call in.


The snow continues to fall lightly outside. Ana's room gets real stuffy from that little heater she keeps on all the time. I crack open a window to breath in the fresh cold air. It sounds like a rain stick from the snowflakes falling ever so softly on the ground and the leaves from the trees.

Sleep at 4 a.m.                                        

[i] Image by me.

Sunday February 15 2015

Emerald Point (February 15 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:10 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, and Greek Yogurt. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's under 20 degrees all day, freezing temperatures. And along with a wind chill that makes it feel like 5 degrees. I'm layered with a sweater and a jacket.


The deliveries have been steady leaving me with zero time to do any kind of prep work at the restaurant. Still have a bowl of garlic sauce that needs filling into containers. Still have crunchy noodles that need bagging. But whatever, they pay me to deliver first then restaurant duties second.

Grilled PB&J. Plantain Chips. Oolong Tea.

In conversation with Ana I learn that she got sunburned on her face after taking a nap by the window. Her face is red and sore.

Me: "How did you manage to get sunburn on a day like this?"

She lies around like a cat napping in the sunlight that comes through the window.

Honey Crisp Apple.

I personally thank the government for providing refunds to all citizens. That's the only reason we're getting bombarded with so many orders. 95% of these are being paid with credit card too, another sign of people having lots of money to spend.

Cacao Oatmeal Cookies.

The night continues to be busy. I'm driving non-stop from one house to an apartment to a hotel to another.

Off work and back home.

My grand total profits tonight are $222. Drove 143 miles. Took 42 deliveries.

Curry Chic Peas with Broccoli and Rice.

Spending a couple minutes with Ana in her bedroom. Being playful and cuddly.

General chores around the house.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday February 14 2015

Ana in Bath Robe on Bed (February 14 2015) (2)[i]

Waking up at 10:30 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Greek Yogurt. Green Tea.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's a multi-layered weather cornucopia day.

First phase: sunshine chills.


Lots of chores to do at the restaurant like fill the dumpling sauce in cups, stock sodas, bag crunchy noodles, etc.

Cacao Oatmeal Cookies.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Pea Snacks. Oolong Tea.

Second phase: rain.

Third phase: snow.

Fourth phase: near hurricane force winds.

Meanwhile, Valentine's Day brings its V-Day doomsday to China Wok. The orders stack up on the counter, customers walk in left and right. The wait time is doubled. During the dinner rush almost every order I deliver is late. The phone rings non-stop with complaints. Some people think the world revolves around them and their appetites.

Navel Orange.

The wind is ridiculous. I'm dodging tree branches and shopping carts on the road. The sight of a couple car accidents is expected. Everybody takes their sweetheart out to dinner but others choose to stay home where it's safe and order takeout, hence why I'm driving around in a haze.

Off work and back home.

Tofu with Broccoli, Onions, Snow Peas, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

Watching The Whole Nine Yards (2000).

After decompressing in my room I head over to Ana's room where she has a couple Valentine gifts on display for me: a box of Caramel Chocolate Truffles, a bottle of rose brut wine, an apple, and a handwritten card. She writes, "You're the apple of my eye. You're the chocolate to my truffle. And your soul's beauty is as rare as a rose. [page over] Robert! I truly appreciate the amount of love, patience, and understanding you give to me. (Especially in my times of confusion.) I admire the stamina that you have! It's something I want to have. I want to thank you for all of your efforts to better everything. I'm very grateful to have met you! I honestly feel that you are one of the best people in my life. I'm happy to have you as my partner, my lover, my valentine. – (heart) Khrizzia"

Valentine Gift from Ana (February 14 2015)

She's the sweetest girl really. We catch up on our troubles and thoughts of the day. She went to work but afterwards attended her mom's wedding ceremony. She lies there in her green silky bathrobe – I can't help but admire how beautiful and adorable she is. She keeps experiencing the urge to pinch me. When talking about how she likes to take showers after work she says, "Showers are baptisms from the world."

Ana in Bath Robe on Bed (February 14 2015) (1)

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday February 13 2015

Fox in Ana's Car (February 13 2015)[i]

Rising early to leave Richmond with my sweetheart at 7 a.m.

Gulping down a Marley Coffee Raw Protein Drink and eating Cacao Oatmeal Cookies. Ana takes the wheel.

During the drive our conversation is uppity and cheerful. I get reminded about wanting to transfer all these old cassette tapes to digital.

Me: "It's on my list of things to do."

Ana: "Your endless list of things to do!"

Me: "Yes! It is endless."

The sun blinds me from the side mirror.

Me: "Ah! The sun!"

Ana: "It's okay. Life's meant to hurt a little."

Ana drops me off at the dental school and goes off to a coffee shop until I'm done with my appointment. I'm receiving my last set of fillings today. John, my veteran student dentist, has a board examination coming up in March. He's asked me to be one of his guinea pigs so to speak. I'll have to come and spend the afternoon being looked at by numerous teachers grading him on fixing a lesion on my tooth. The plus side is I get a free cleaning, a free filling, a free lunch, and I get paid for it.

Ana picks me up and we go to Diversity Thrift like we always do. We can't not browse our favorite thrift store.

Ana's Staircase (February 13 2015)

I made a reservation at Can Can Brasserie in Carytown for Ana and I to have a semi-classy lunch. It's a beautiful restaurant complete with a handcrafted zinc bar flown in from France – a French-style brasserie mind you. We order the Quiche Du Jour with a Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Frites (the best French fries in Richmond according to our waitress). We won't be able to spend Valentine's Day together tomorrow so we're celebrating today. We raise our piping hot mugs of Paris Blueberry Tea and cling them together.

Ana: "Cheers!"

Me: "Cheers! Wait, you can't cheers tea."

Dinner with Ana at Can Can (February 13 2015)

"Happy Friday the 13th!"

I had ordered a dozen roses to be delivered to the restaurant before we arrived. I even paid extra for a morning delivery before noon but no show. I try to stall us as long as possible hoping they'll show up but no luck. We leave and walk around in the freezing cold with the sunshine blinding our eyes – checking out a kitchenware store and a vintage antique shop.

The Really Small Measuring Spoons (February 13 2015)

Baby by a Piano (February 13 2015)

Ana's Magnifying Glass (February 13 2015)

Music Minded People Are the Happiest (February 13 2015)

We continue lingering around the busy streets of Carytown. Stepping into a chocolate shop that's packed full to the brim with people ordering their customized boxes of chocolate. Even if we wanted any it would take about 30 minutes till we got a truffle. Instead, we just enjoy the plethora of chocolates behind the glass, oo-la-la-ing every piece. We decide that our chocolate fix is satisfied just by looking. I get a call from Can Can that the roses finally showed up. I lie to Ana and tell her I left my keys there and that I'll be back. She's skeptical. I return with the long-awaited beauties. She smiles real big and with a glow in her eyes kisses me real sweet.

Ana: "Nobody's ever gotten me roses before."

Friday the 13th Roses for Ana (February 13 2015)

Speaking of sweetness, we can't leave Richmond without indulging in a couple of donuts from the Sugar Shack – "Road Donuts" as we call them because we've gotta hit the road back to Virginia Beach. Inside the shop it's crowded to the brim.

Me: "It's like a party in here! Welcome to the party!"

Nobody seems amused – they're too focused on their donut desires.

Sugar Shack (February 13 2015)

On the drive back – Ana at the wheel again. I'm terribly sleepy. She listens to an Invisibilia podcast about entanglement while I take a powernap. An accident near the tunnel sets us back a little bit.

Ana at the Wheel (February 13 2015)

Soon after we get home it's time to go burn off all the lunch and donut calories at the gym. Working the elliptical, the row, and various core exercises.

Back at the house. Ana makes dinner for us: Black Beans, Onions, Broccoli, Carrots, and Quinoa.

I corral Kevin and Whitney in the living to partake in the newly established, "Film Fridays" showing the classic horror film from 1980, Friday the 13th. Ana screams at every slasher part as if she's never seen a horror flick.

Sipping on Ginger Pear Tea.

Sleep 2:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday February 12 2015

Waking up in Ana's room – so bright and sunny in here. My nose has calmed down – feeling much better.

Irish Oatmeal with Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, Cinnamon, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Practicing Ladada bass lines. Doing chores.

Grilled PB&J. Plantain Chips. Probiotic Coconut Water.

A full schedule of lessons at Music Makers.

At the Great Neck Rec with Ana for a workout and adult basketball.

Curry Chic Peas with Onion, Carrots, Kale, and Rice.

At Josiah's storage unit in Norfolk practicing Ladada and Bamm Bamm songs with him and Calum. It's a whopping 21 degrees outside but with the wind chill it feels like 12 degrees.

Back home at 2 a.m. sipping on Ginger Pear Tea and enjoying a couple of Cacao Oatmeal Cookies Ana just baked.

Wednesday February 11 2015


Waking up around noon.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey (I missed having coffee the past couple days).

Watching Stonehearst Asylum (2014).

Practicing Ladada bass lines.

Downstairs, I watch Kevin cook is weekly Tupperware meals where he cooks a huge meal to last him four or five days. He minces up two whole things of garlic (two bulbs to be exact). I mock him, "And I've got 20 cloves of garlic..." He suddenly realizes this whole time he's misunderstood what a "clove" of garlic really means. Whatever recipe he's been using calls for one clove of garlic and he's been literally chopping up more than one clove thinking a bulb of garlic is a clove.

Whitney goes "Awww!" and I laugh hysterically.

Kevin: "Don't write about this in your blog, Robert. I don't feel like reading about this a year later."

Grilled PB&J. Lentil Potato Curls. Lemon Water. Dark Chocolate.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

My nose is like a drainpipe today causing me to blow it every 30 seconds. I apologize to my students. The good thing is this means my body is in the process of releasing all the sickness.

To The Escape with Ana. I brought along the eucalyptus oil solution for the sauna. It does wonders on my sinuses. Not doing any cardio tonight, just focusing on weights.

We set up the table in the living room to enjoy dinner and a movie.

Dinner: Tuna Steaks with Cauliflower, Kale, Carrots, and Quinoa.

Movie: Nightcrawler (2014).

Dessert: Ginger Pear Tea with Dark Chocolate.

Warming up with Ana in her bed falling asleep semi-early.

But wait...we wake up with sexual things in mind.

[i] Nightcrawler (2014).

Tuesday February 10 2015

Waking up at noon. Ana left a thank you note for me in the kitchen, "Thank you for being so understanding Robert – (heart) Ana P.S. Thank you for being an imaginative and talented cook. All your meals are grand."

Thank You Note from Ana (February 10 2015)

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Blueberries, and Almond Milk. Green Tea. Banana.


Running errands. Buying Ana a new set of guitar strings. Grabbing some things from the storage unit. Getting groceries at Trader Joe's.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter and Jam. Flax Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Salsa.

Lessons at Music Makers.

At the Rec doing some light cardio and mixed weights/core exercises. I'm on the wait list for basketball tonight but I manage to get time to shoot the ball around towards the last half hour.

Back home. Eating leftover Lentils with Snow Peas and Quinoa.

Walking over to Art's apartment right down the street. He's been living in Chanticleer with his Ukrainian girlfriend and a kid for a year now but I've never once visited his place. He's been alone for the past month so I told him I'd come over. He's watching the Suns Vs Rockets game on TV. I brought over my laptop in order for us to duke it out in Unreal Tournament, a favorite pastime of ours since we've known each other. There's a problem with the mouse sensitivity that causes a setback. But Art is quick at the computer and we easily find a patch to download. Once we get the game up and running time just flies. After two and a half hours my fingers are sore from tapping the keys repeatedly. There's a lot of excitement to be shared when playing a competitive and outdated game such as this one. I linger around and we complain about healthcare for some time before I walk back home.

My eyes are sore from staring at the computer screen for so long.

Sleep 4 a.m.

Monday February 9 2015

Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Highway in Norway.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

With Ana driving my car on the interstate. Not sure what state or country we're in but it's understood we're approaching a controversial bridge with an extreme slope – it almost resembles a roller coaster track. We're both very nervous, Ana more than I, as the car makes it's way up the bridge. Reaching the peak, which upon looking down seems like miles and miles of elevation. The road curves up and almost upside down. Confident that we won't fall I drive at a steady pace up the track. Suddenly, the car loses its traction and the car flies off the road. We jump out and hang on for deer life.

I shout to Ana, "It's alright! We're gonna get through this. We're gonna survive, okay?"

She's afraid; so am I but I don't show it. I maintain my composure. We start making our way down the tower, carefully placing our feet on the flimsy ladder-like structure. There are still miles and miles of distance between the ground and us – we can feel the mist of the clouds floating by our face. Ana takes one side and I take the other but we stay parallel with each other. Somehow we manage to arrive at the bottom. There're a couple of old lady tourists congratulating us on our descent from the top.

I celebrate with Ana, "Wow! I can't believe we just did that! We did it!"

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

Later on, we're at an airport. Upon entering the restroom I'm confronted by a man with hostile intent. It's hazy what actually happens but the man manages to escape through a secret compartment door in the bathroom and I save myself from harm. I meet up with Ana like nothing happened. She goes off to the restroom. I'm left waiting at a table. Minute after minute goes by. For some reason I didn't think about how she could be in danger because of what I encountered earlier. I realize this suddenly and run to the bathroom. I spot a man with sunglasses making his way into the women's restroom where Ana is. He sees me running and hurries inside locking the door behind him. I make it to the door but I can't turn the knob.

I yell as loud as I can, "Hey! Open the fucking door you bastard!"

At this point I've alarmed bystanders. I'm furious and frightened for Ana. Within a couple of seconds the door is unlocked by the man. I rush inside. The lights aren't working so I leave the door propped to allow light from the airport in. The man has disappeared of course. I peek under the bathroom stalls and see Ana's expressionless face, her eyes closed.

"Oh no. Oh no," I mutter nervously under my breath.

I barge into the stall and find Ana keeled over and passed out. I can't tell if she's unconscious or dead. It all feels so real. I try to pick her up in my arms and wake her up but no luck. How could I be so careless by letting her go off alone after what happened to me?

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up with a full on sore throat at noon.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maca Powder, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, and Almond Milk. Green Tea.

Catching up on my to-do list.

I don’t want to pass on my sore throat contagion to any of my students so I cancel lessons for today. Instead, I stay at home and work on stuff.

Leftover Tilapia Fish Sandwich with Greek Yogurt, Mustard, and Tomato. Flax Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Salsa. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. Earl Grey Tea with Lemon and Honey.

Finishing Robocop (2014).

Practicing Ladada bass lines.

Ana's home from work. She sits on my bed while I recite my crazy dream about her to an ominous soundtrack.

Despite my slight illness Ana and I head to The Escape. We spend a good amount of time in the sauna. I brought a diluted solution of eucalyptus oil to splash on the hot rocks. The Russians seem to enjoy it. They keep muttering "хорошо".

Back home. I cook us a hearty pot of Lentil, Ginger, Garlic, Onion, and Carrot Soup with Snow Peas and Quinoa.

Ana Quinoa Lips (February 9 2015)[ii]

We wait for Kevin, Whitney, and Steven to get home so we can start Movie Monday. Tonight's showing is Whiplash (2014), about an aspiring jazz drummer being instructed by a frightening conductor with a method-to-the-madness kind of teaching. There's a lot of sweat, blood, and emotions. As Kevin explains, if Rambo were a movie about jazz drumming this would be it. Sharing Chocolate Chip Cookie Almond Cookies.

Later on, after all is settled and the rest of the house is asleep, Ana says something out of left field, "I don't think I can be with you." I knew she was feeling off after the movie but I couldn't put my finger on it. This isn't the first time she's said something like this. I've heard it a number of times. It happens when she's stressed about her own life and when she feels disconnected from me/others. Ever since she moved in we've seen more of each other, which has been a joyful addition but has also interfered with her "independence" as she claims.

Me: "I don't judge you. I just have expectations of you. I expect you to be strong in who you are."

I know I can be controlling and a bit bossy sometimes, if not all the time. But she knows it's only because I want the best for the situation. I still want to alleviate that frustration off her and be less controlling. I need to work on this. I try to explain that the point of a relationship like ours is to lighten one another's load – help each other out – like a team.

Me: "We're a team, Ana! And we're going to win at life!"

At some point I tuck her in her bed and we share a warm embrace.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Highway in Norway. 
[ii] Image by me.