Sunday May 31 2015

Stacy in her newly designed corner at 1435 (May 31 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:15 a.m.

I still have this stupid Starbucks gift card from Christmas. I grab an Iced Coffee and eat a Banana with Greek Yogurt for breakfast.

All day shift at China Wok.

While looking at the restaurant calendar I realize how terribly long this month has been – it's felt really long. Four weeks and three days long.


It's super, super slow for business. I finish filling the 2 oz. cups with dumpling sauce.

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Veggie Chips. Honey Green Tea.

The deliveries pick up around dinner time.

Navel Orange.

This pre-summer heat is making my skin sticky at the end of the day.

Off work and back home.

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

I help Stacy, our Russian couch surfer, move from Whitney's old bedroom into the living room. Meanwhile, Ana bakes cookies and lends a hand where she can. Cleaning everything out of the bedroom to make room for Will to move in tomorrow. Organizing and cleaning out the little area where the record player is in the dining room, replacing it with a proper black shelf to hold all the records. Ana helps organize the records.

I explain to Stacy what we're doing tonight, "We're rearranging!" but she doesn't understand this word. "Organizing! Do you know this word?" Nope. "Cleaning! Moving things around!" Being around foreign exchange students with English as a second language sometimes you have to be a human thesaurus. Ana and I have this ongoing joke that she's like our daughter or an adopted Russian child.

Anthony and the gang in Shreveport made another Garbage Dump Theater video featuring a song I recorded back in the day...

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday May 30 2015

Cecily's New Sneakers (May 30 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Just another sticky hot day on the road.


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Jam. Salt n Vinegar Chips. Honey Green Tea.

As I sit in one of the restaurant chairs and snap the snow peas I find myself growing fonder of the idea to start working less at China Wok. I could use an extra day in the week to get things done and recuperate. Between teaching all my students during the week, delivering on the weekends, and playing shows it's kind of overwhelming.

Getting through the busy dinner shift. Listening to 99% Invisible podcast about the history of billiard pool balls.

Off work and back home.

Leftover Beans with Broccoli and White Rice.

Finishing the sub-par sci-fi movie, Jupiter Ascending (2015).

I turn my head to take a look at my young snake plant by the window and discover surprise baby mushrooms growing in the soil. At first they don't even seem real. It's possible I may be over watering the plant. These kinds of mushrooms enjoy hot damp conditions. But according to the Internet they are not harmful to the plant.

Surprise Mushrooms in Snake Plant (May 30 2015)

Cleaning up. Settling down.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday May 29 2015

Ivy Pathways (May 29 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.


It's a super hot day, so hot that even the China bosses have turned on the A/C inside the restaurant. This is a rarity. Normally the air is off and the door is left open. As Ling explains, "It's too hot for customer!" And not to mention to hot for us too!

Two leftover slices of Whole Foods Pizza. Masa Corn Crisps. Honey Green Tea.

There were two major car accidents in Hilltop today, one at the intersection of Wildwood and First Colonial and another off Laskin in front of the Friends School. I swear at least one accident occurs at these spots every week. It's ridiculous. Poor road design and confusing service roads. Hilltop is a dangerous place, not for the amateur driver. Its really crazy how many accidents occur in this congested area but not surprising.

Recurring Hilltop Car Accidents (May 29 2015)

Somebody phoned in a delivery order that totaled up to $408. This definitely beats the record for most expensive delivery. Unfortunately, the fortune cookie did not crumble in my favor. We get busy and while I get stuck delivering chicken wings to Piper's Crescent Ming is told to take the delivery. Obviously, that had the potential to be a really good tip. It's very disappointing.


Later on in the nighttime I get a delivery to Linkhorn Dr, which is right next to the Princess Anne Country Club at the oceanfront. There're a lot of upper class condos and apartments around these parts. The actual apartment is located up a narrow cobblestone path surrounded by a thick brush of ivy. I get lost in this intricate maze trying to find the place.

Off work and back home.

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

Watching Jupiter Ascending (2015).

Sleep 3:15 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday May 28 2015

Men's Basketball[i]

Waking up sometime around 10 a.m. to Ana's hypnotic touch over my back – this leads to sexual behavior.

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

Errands. Business.

Blueberries. Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Veggie Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching a documentary on Kevin Durant.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

At the Rec for adult basketball. I'm having a really good time tonight on the courts. Not shooting too many buckets, in fact I'm missing most of them, but my defense is really on point. I'm locking it down with every opponent I defend. The other players pay notice and compliment me. My reputation as a strong defensive player has only gotten better.

Back home. Sharing dinner with Ana and Stacy: Slow Cooked Beans (Jacob's Cattle Trout) with Kale, Basmati Rice, and sliced Tomatoes.

I've got Ladada band practice at the Tidewater storage unit. It's super far away for me and plus the city's repaving all of I-264 and I-64 dwindling the open lanes down to one open lane. Calum won't be able to play with us on drums for the next couple months so Bobby, from Boneske and 1888 is filling in. Josiah already taught him on a few sessions before tonight. So I hop right on in and we rock out, polishing up a few parts. I don't get back home till 2:30 a.m. Ugh.

Cutting up some fresh Watermelon from Pungo for tomorrow – I can't resist eating some now.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image source unknown.

Wednesday May 27 2015

Russian Folk Songs by Stacy Couch Surfer (May 27 2015)[i]

Waking up at noon.

Blueberries, Peaches, Chia Seeds, Almond Milk, and Greek Yogurt.

Cleaning and organizing.

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Peruvian Inca Corn. Plantain Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Kiran, one of my brightest students, is taking a break from piano lessons for the summer. It's kind of disappointing when I lose a student, even though I know it's not my fault. Kiran and I have lots of fun during our lessons. His mom emailed me to assure me it was a decision he made on his own – he thinks that piano may not be his thing. As the summer approaches I'll lose and gain students.


Art and I grab tennis rackets and meet up at the tennis courts by Lynnhaven Middle School. I can't remember the last time I played tennis. It's a fun and a close match. 

I'm weak and out of energy for some reason. Whenever I choose to omit oatmeal from my breakfast this happens. I'm ravenous when I get home. Ana brought home delicious Pizza from Whole Foods and Crispin. We enjoy slices and a Salad with Stacy, the Russian couch surfer.

Afterwards, we pull out the guitar and use the piano for impromptu performances by Ana, myself, Kevin, and Stacy. It's a wonderful night to share music.

My new basketball shoes came in the mail along with my special basketball in-soles. Putting them together and lacing them up.

Sleep next to Ana in my bed at 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Tuesday May 26 2015

To Stacy, our new couch surfer friend from Russia (May 26 2015)[i]

Waking up next to Ana in her bedroom to morning sex.

Sharing fresh cold washed Strawberries that we got from the farm yesterday.

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

Thrift store. Organizing.

Oat & Almond Biscuits with Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Birdman (2014).

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

At the Rec for adult basketball. I got a good set of players on my team tonight, no hotheads or barkers harping on my ass. I feel confident. We win a lot and lose a little.

Back home. I prepare a hearty dinner for Ana and Stacy, our Russian couch surfer: Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Zucchini, Carrots, Onions, Snow Peas, and Brown Basmati Rice. We get to know Stacy a bit more – sharing music on the stereo and the difficulty of learning a new language.

Later on, Ana and I have an emotional heart-to-heart talk in her bedroom. She was out of sorts earlier – feeling stifled and like she can't be herself around me. Sometimes I think I'm too controlling and try to take care of EVERYTHING. That can be stressful for her because she wants to be able to cook and make things, which she already does really. We talk about our decision to be living with each other and how unique our situation is with us having our own bedrooms. And yet we still see each other every day – hardly a day goes by without sharing at least one meal together. We both know the importance of having space and being alone. She's been feeling the need to not be in a relationship with me because of all this. Every now and then she gets like this. And we talk about everything, cuddle, and move on. But I don't like her feeling dissatisfied. I want to resolve this.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Monday May 25 2015

Ana in Kiddie Clubhouse at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

It's understood that I'm a superhero, a well known superhero that defends earth from hostile alien races. I'm still living at 1435 in Chanticleer. One evening I'm hanging out in the living room with Kevin while he watches Netflix on his laptop. Through the back door I spot a UFO with blue and green neon lights hovering above the ground. It's understood one of those hostile alien races is out looking for me, probably because I demolished the last army they sent. I hear a knock at the door. It's a pizza delivery girl but I know it's really one of those aliens. I get out my weapon of choice, which is one of those toy swords from the 90's that flip out into a longer sword. It also doubles as my laser gun. I pull open the front door and start blazing up the neighborhood, zapping aliens right and left. It's almost like one of those POV arcade games.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up sometime before noon next to Ana in her bright, bright room. We share our heavy narrative dreams.

Ana: "I'm always mad at you in my dreams."

"Hmm. Just like you are in waking life," I joke.

Sharing a hearty morning meal downstairs: Homemade Oat & Almond Biscuits with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Homemade Cranberry Orange Jam; Scrambled Eggs; and Coffee.


Her mom calls just as we finish eating breakfast. I leave to clean up and over hear Ana scold her mom about diet and such.

Ana: "You need to listen to me. You need to stop buying cookies, mom!"

I have one lesson to teach out in Kempsville. Ana tags along cause it'll be easier for us to get to where we want to go afterwards. She sits on the couch of the student's house while I teach Kristian, a 6-year-old with a special ear for music. I didn't bring my folder with all the cool stickers and he absolutely loves stickers – he has a serious collection. So I have no choice but to give him a Musicplayer band sticker. He's grateful.

After the lesson we stay cooped up in the A/C filled car driving down Indian River all the way into Pungo. Our goal was to go strawberry picking at the Cullipher Farm Market but we just end up buying a bucket of strawberries along with other select vegetables and fruits. Ana convinces us to get Ice Cream on Waffle Cones: Butter Pecan, Strawberry, and Vanilla. It ain't no ordinary ice cream either.

As Ana tells it, "I never felt so filled eating an ice cream!"

We enjoy our cold cream near a sand pit for kids to play in. Coincidentally, Dave Hausmann and his girlfriend are here too.

Ice Cream at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)

Me Next to Birdhouse at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)

Ana Peeking Out of Kiddie Clubhouse at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)

Ana through peephole in Kiddie Clubhouse at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)

Birdhouse at Cullipher Farm Market (May 25 2015)

We head back into Hilltop and shoot some hoops on the street courts near Lynnhaven Middle School. I've been training Ana a little bit here and there, giving her simple drills to help her learn the fundamentals.

Back home. Putting together a dinner out of whatever we have in the fridge. Taking the leftover Black Bean Burger mix and turning them into tacos – adding Tomatoes, sautéed Mushrooms, Spring Mix, Avocado, and Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips. Washing it all down with cold Honey Green Tea.

Whitney and her lovable orange cat officially moved out of 1435. I clean up the remains of her room, vacuum, and clean as much as I can. Meanwhile, Ana practices her drumming at the music space.

Later on, Kevin arrives home with a guy friend of his from work. Not long after a couch surfer from Russia arrives – her name is Stacy. We hang out with her and get to know her a little bit. Putting her in the open bedroom with fresh sheets. Kevin and his friend are slowly working a tequila bottle, blowing bubbles, and playing with a talking Pee Wee Herman doll.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday May 24 2015

Playtime with the China Wok Girls (May 24 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:08 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

It's a terrible slow afternoon for deliveries. I take advantage of the down time to organize my to-do list and lesson prep for the week. Both Janice and Eileen are lounging around. They're learning music in elementary school so I quiz them on music notation.

Music Lessons at China Wok (May 24 2015)

A couple rounds of hide-and-go-seek around the building.

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Plantain Chips. Honey Green Tea. Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Deliveries pick up a little bit and then get crammed all into the last couple hours.

Strawberry Carrot Fruit Chews.

Off work and back home.

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

Watching Birdman (2014).

Scheduling a show – organizing.

Chatting with Ana downstairs about general exhaustion with life.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday May 23 2015

VaBeach Aesthetic at Schooner Inn (May 23 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:50 a.m.

Raw Cacao Protein Shake with Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, and Almond Milk.

All day shift at China Wok.

Dried Peaches.

Enjoying a bright sunny cool day – the perfect temperature.

Scrambled Eggs. A slice of Cheese Pizza. Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

It's a frightfully slow day for deliveries.

New Toddler at China Wok (May 23 2015)

When talking with Elliott using FaceTime on my phone I keep him on the line while I make a delivery to a regular customer. It's the older lady who lives on Virginia Court (she's probably in her 50's). I introduce her to Elliott. She smiles big like she always does when I deliver to her. She tells us she's impressed with technology and that she doesn't even own a phone.

Elliott playfully asks, "How do you like Robert?"

"Oh he's great!" the lady explains. "He always brings my food. And he's cute!"

FaceTime Delivery with Elliott (May 23 2015)

Nothing like soft cold Watermelon to refresh the mundane.

Just getting through the night listening to podcasts and learning about American history.

Back home. Instead of bringing Chinese food for dinner I allowed Ana to make me something: Black Bean Burger with Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots, Onions, and Brown Basmati Rice.

Earlier, we joked her slip of the tongue when describing black bean burgers. She referred to them as "black blean blurgers" or "the BBB's" or "black blean burglars".

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday May 22 2015

Spider Friend at China Wok (May 22 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.


I spot a lone spider friend on the counter. He crawls out in front of the register and just sits there all day. I don't bother him except for a moment when I snap a photo. Later on, he turns lifeless. I guess there weren't enough bugs around to feed on and he just gave up.

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Lentil Potato Curls. Honey Green Tea.

While delivering at the oceanfront I catch a funny scene of a Dalmatian dog sticking his whole body out the passenger side window of a truck – he lays his whole body on top of the rearview mirror.

Cow Dog at Oceanfront (May 22 2015)


It's a slow night for deliveries.

Another Banana.

Off work and back home. It's Whitney's last night at 1435 so we're throwing a small going-away-gathering. There was supposed to be grilling but for some reason that didn't happen. However, Ana made delicious Black Bean Burgers. I throw one into the Broccoli and Rice I got from the restaurant. Will's here. He'll be moving in to take Whitney's place in the house. We talk over some of the details and get lost in conversation about the plethora of podcasts out there. Meanwhile, downstairs in the living room, Kevin and Ken are jamming out on the guitar and violin.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday May 21 2015


Waking up at 11:20 a.m.

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



Teaching an in-home lesson in Kempsville.

Grilled PB&J. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. I've finally successfully taught one of my vocal students, Elly, how to sing the Cults song "Always Forever". We're still working on using her "big voice" but she does a fine job.

At the Rec for adult basketball. I manage to get on a team with Ash, a guy about a couple years ahead of me – he's always on my ass ("Ash on my ass" as I describe it to Ana) but at the same time he expects me to succeed. I disappoint and amaze in many moments throughout the night.


I make Ana and I dinner. It's my first time cooking with Barramundi Fillets. It's a white flaky fish, similar to tilapia. I drizzle it with Butter Lemon Basil, and Garlic. Serving it with Brown Basmati Rice and a light cheesy Spinach, Mushroom, Onion, and Red Pepper side.

I announce, "You think you've already ate the best dinner I've made. I think this will surpass them all."

It's been a while since her and I sat on the couch and watched a movie together. Usually there's something going on or we're too busy and tired. But not tonight. After Kevin's persistence in the movie selection we settle on Inherent Vice (2014). After a good twenty minutes or so Kevin loses interest – I think we might've heard him snoring at some point. But Ana and I still enjoy the film.

Sharing Pineapple and Chocolate.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Inherent Vice Poster.

Wednesday May 20 2015

Handsome Biscuit with Ana (May 20 2015)[i]

Waking up sometime before 9 a.m. – Ana and I's alotted time to get up so we have enough time to enjoy an afternoon to ourselves. Her light touch is soothing and induces us to sex.

Our "Day Date" begins on the car drive to Norfolk.

Ana: "You know what I've always wanted to try? Those banana cream pies – the ones they throw in your face."

Me: "I'll remember that for your next birthday. You'll get a pie in the face."

Ana: "I would like that!"

Nourishing ourselves with Butter and Berry Jam Sweet Potato Biscuits and Coffee from Handsome Biscuit.

Sunbathing Fly at Handsome Biscuit (May 20 2015)

Then to Thrift Store USA and Thrift Store City, two of the top thrift stores in Norfolk. Gawking over everything we find...

Owl Pine Cones at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Old School Roller Derby Skates at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Records with Ana at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Painting at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Thrift Store City (May 20 2015)

Ugly Rectangle Pig at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Kissin Don't Last; Cookery Do at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Mistah Boombastic at Thrift Store (May 20 2015)

Back home. Shopping is tiresome on the senses. I take a short nap while Ana gets groceries. She brings back perfect slices of Cheese Pizza from Whole Foods. Enjoying them with fresh Watermelon and Honey Green Tea.

At Music Makers teaching lessons. I had one cancellation but some extra ones added at the end of my shift. It's been a big day.

After that I drive out to the Princess Anne Rec, mainly to retrieve my membership card that I left there on Monday, but also to do a little cardio. After about 25 minutes of shooting around the basketball I'm overcome with exhaustion. Having to get up a few hours early and with all the extra lessons I had today really got to me physically. I snack on some Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, and half a Banana on the drive back home.

Ana takes control of the kitchen and makes us dinner: Kale, English Peas, Carrots, and Onions. Flipping through a gardening book we got from the thrift store today and learning about particular things related to the herbs she's growing and all the houseplants I've been maintaining.

General chores.

Snacking on Peruvian Inca Corn.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Tuesday May 19 2015

Custom Built Piano Footrest for Students (May 19 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:40 a.m.

Raw Cacao Protein Shake with Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, and Almond Milk.

Organizing and business.

Practicing a new song on piano at the music space.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Jam. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Picking up Ana from the house as soon as I'm done teaching. As we drive to the Rec I know she can see my stoic face and all the exhaustion exuding from it.

I explain, "My life is motion – all the time – it's just in constant motion. I feel like I'm on a carousel that won't stop. I just want a break every ten minutes."


I wasn't able to get here on time for basketball but I make use of the some of the cardio machines.

Back home. We stopped by Whole Foods for me to collect some dinner from the buffet: Gen. Tso's Chicken with Brown Rice Pilaf and Mixed Vegetables.

I enter into Ana's room. She just got out of the shower. We lie down and exchange gentle touch – I was looking for the calming sensation that can only be given by her.

Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts.

Back at the music space practicing piano.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Monday May 18 2015

Ana Watermelon Head (May 18 2015)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

There's a dragon roaming about inside a government building. I'm with a couple friends exploring the halls and rooms. The dragon finds where we are and attempts to destroy us with his claws and fire breath. I can feel the heat emanating from his presence.

"Hold on a minute!" I plead.

I put my hands on his scaly body and caress every spot with care in attempt to calm him down.

"C'mon. Doesn't that feel good?" I exclaim.

He doesn't resist my touch but is still adamant about killing us afterwards. Somehow we manage to lose the dragon. I find myself in a familiar room where there's a stage. Two girls whom I met before are on the stage setting things up. I start talking to the cuter one and try to convince her to fly with me. At this point I'm aware that I'm dreaming and try to wake up the girls by shaking them and yelling, "Wake up! You're dreaming!" The cuter one experiences a moment of realization for about a second but then resumes dream character. I have her on my back as I try to jump up into the air and fly together but it doesn't work with two people. I can only fly in my dreams alone. So I show off my abilities zooming around the room while I flap my arms. It doesn't seem to impress her very much. All of a sudden I hear the fire alarm. Everyone starts scrambling to get outside. Near the entrance there are a bunch of police officers barricading the door and catching everyone that tries to leave. I slip out a sliding glass door and immediately flap my arms, elevating myself high off the ground. The cops use these weird satellite guns to slow me down but it doesn't work. I keep flying far away from the building. I discover that they've been hiding us here on another planet. The countryside looks unfamiliar. I see giants tilling the fields and throwing rocks deliberately at each other. I land safely near the bushes.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:40 a.m.

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



Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

As soon as I arrive to Music Makers to teach the only two vocal students I have today I find out the mom forgot and so that's a no show. I use my time wisely and take a trip to the hardware store.

Once Ana gets off work we drive out to the Princess Anne Rec together. I play my heart out in basketball. Steven, the scrawny white kid, is here, the one who always sports a Kobe Bryant jersey and yells out "Kobe, baby!" after every shot he takes. Entertaining.

Navel Orange.

Back home I attempt to make a tomato sauce from scratch to go with Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta Noodles. It turns out decent but I could improve. Serving it with a side Salad of Spring Mix, Tomatoes, Carrots, and Cucumbers. Sipping down a Blonde Hunny Ale.

Ana Blonde Hunny Ale (May 18 2015)

After Ana saunters off to bed I finish up the long and drawn out project of building the foot stool out of encyclopedia books for my students. Along with that I glue down an old Oral Roberts spiritual poster circa 1960's from my grandma's house onto a picture frame.

In the meantime I discover a photographer by the name of Eve Arnold who happened to capture some photos of Oral Roberts from the 1950's...

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday May 17 2015


Waking up just before noon.

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

Running around town searching for the right power inverter for the road trip. Errands.

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

Watching Under the Electric Sky (2014).

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Out on the basketball courts by Lynnhaven Middle School playing a few pick-up games with familiar faces. The sun is setting and the court lights still don't work causing us to end the games early.

Back home. Eating Lentils with Cauliflower, Carrots, Onions, and Rice.

Oat and Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies.

At the storage unit rehearsing Ladada songs with Josiah and Calum, our last chance to perfect our set before the big SXSW show this weekend.

Back at the house making almond milk and packing for the road trip.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] From Under the Electric Sky (2014).

Saturday May 16 2015

Naked Naps[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Banana. Navel Orange.

It's bright and sunny. I've got my sleeveless China Wok t-shirt and black shorts on. My A/C works. I've got no complaints.

Meanwhile, Ana and Rachel, and practically everyone I know, is enjoying Lava Fest in Suffolk. Ladada got free tickets from playing that promo show some time ago at The Parlor. But I usually work on the weekends and I can't just keep asking off.

Grilled PB&J. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Delivering to 1112 Vintage Court. An old lady lives here. She used to order more frequently back when her husband was still alive. I remember her telling me when he passed away. She was very sad but every time I showed up to her doorstep with a Triple Delight she'd perk up. She'd always ask questions about my life. That's a sweet soul right there.

Cantaloupe Honey Dew Hybrid. I've been eating a lot of fruit all day.

Off work and back home.

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

Watching The Homesman (2014).

Ana gets back from being at Lava Fest all day and shares her thoughts on the bands that played. We clean up the kitchen and cut up Pineapple to enjoy as a late night snack.

Naked Naps, a band that played at College Park tonight needed a place to stay. They come over with cheery faces and fun talks. Ana and I chill with them for a little while.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Naked Naps album cover.

Friday May 15 2015

Three Ships Coffee with Nutella Poptart (May 15 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:21 a.m.

After getting my car back I still noticed this scraping sound coming from the rear and after the shop bled the brakes it made the brake pedal a little too loose. I'm not gonna ride all weekend at China Wok like this. So I take it back to the shop and drop it off.

Riding my bike back I decide to stop into Three Ships Coffee, a local coffee shop that just recently opened up off Mediterranean. I order a slow pour cup of the light roast kind with a Nutella Pop Tart and a Banana. While I sip on my coffee there's two ladies near the window analyzing dance moves – one of them is teaching the other – they're talking all kinds of dance jargon and hyperbole. 

Back home. Hyped up on caffeine I take advantage of this surprise day off from China Wok and teaching to vacuum, organize, and make general repairs around the house.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Butter. Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomatoes.

Watching The Homesman (2014).

Picking up my car from the shop for the bazillionth time. Now I'm set with new front and rear brake pads, rotors, shoes, and a master cylinder.

Organizing stuff at the music space.

Back home. Ana makes us homemade Naan Pizzas with a hefty Salad. I dial the radio knob to 92.1 The Beat (throwback hip-hop and R&B), which suits our fancy for the evening. Songs like "Tootsie Roll" and Lil' Kim's "Crush On You".

On a whim I spark the idea of going for a night beach escapade. I drive us to 79th Street. Throwing down a couple blankets on the sand and sipping on a bottle of hard cider. I can't even remember the last time we went to the beach together. It's peaceful with the sound of the waves crashing. While we're lying there looking up at the stars and all the twinkling lights out at sea she asks, "So in the past 30 years, tell me something you've learned." 

"Hmm. I don't know." I think for a minute and answer, "I've learned that everything is fleeting."

Meanwhile, we can hear other groups of people (or couples) an unknown distance away from us having their own night beach experiences.

Back home. Having a little sexcapade in her bedroom.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Thursday May 14 2015

Knitted Apple Gift from Student (May 14 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:09 a.m.

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

Catching up on writing and other business.

Grilled PB&J. Potato Lentil Curls. Honey Green Tea. Banana.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Kristian, one of my special students who likes to collect everything, he gives me a hand knitted apple (made by his mom of course) for teacher appreciation week. It even rattles with beans inside to turn it into an instrument.

Picking up my car after getting new front brake pads, rotors, and a caliper installed.

Adult basketball at the Rec – only enough for four teams, which means non-stop running up and down the court.

Back home. Making Ana and I dinner: leftover Sprouted Black Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Basmati Rice.

I head over to Darren and Devon's apartment in Birdneck Village. I haven't seen Darren in a long while nor have I seen the new place they moved into back in January. It's nice and organized. Jupiter the cat still recognizes me. Initially Darren wanted to talk about how I keep track of my taxes at China Wok since he works at the other Chinese place. But we get into deep talks catching up on happenings and plans and ideas.

Back home. I keep facing the dilemma of needing to make almond milk but I've been getting home so late the past couple nights. I'm too tired to do it.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday May 13 2015

Ladada Recording (May 13 2015)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

In Detroit out in front of a venue. For some reason my white 1986 Oldsmobile (the very first car I owned) is parked on the street. It's assumed I drove it here. Another car drives up attempting to park as close as possible to mine and then proceeds to back into it abruptly on purpose. Their car kind of mashes into mine in an abnormal way that doesn't seem physically possible. I approach the driver's side window to protest. It's some drugged out black guy with long blonde hair. He doesn't waste any time driving off. I try to type in his license plate number into my phone: "HN8-7692"

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:41 a.m. with heavy after thoughts from my dreams.

Downstairs, Ana left a couple Vegan Chocolate Donuts for me that she got from the Vegan Sweet Tooth Bakery that just opened up in Virginia Beach. I enjoy these with Coffee.

Chocolate Donuts from Ana (May 13 2015)

Ana complained about waking up to a sun burnt face from leaving her blinds open and managed to get the day off from work. She takes me to the chiropractor and observes my session with my doctor. Then, checking out some beach cruiser bikes at Conte's. We're trying to get rid of the Japanese vintage road bike she currently has for a more comfortable ride. Then, to Trader Joe's. Ana must've gotten a high from all that overdose of Vitamin D from the sun cause her personality is extra sunny. There's a moment when I sneeze a couple times. After the first atchoo she says, "Bless you." Then, after the second atchoo she says, "I love you," instead as if those words would have a better effect.

Back home. Preparing myself for a big day of teaching music lessons.

At Music Makers. Feeling an extra boost of teacher energy and keeping my students focused and on point. One of the little boys walks in upset with his dad about not being able to play a 17+ video game. I take on the role of second adult opinion and convince him that it's for the best that he waits to play these kinds of violent games.

Me: "You gotta learn music first!"

He perks up big time and plays through this fun finger exercise he's been learning like a pro.


Seven thirty minute lessons later I'm back home to recuperate. Every day in my life I have this DC Talk song running through my brain: "Time is ticking away, tick, tick, ticking away!" Seriously, time just gets lost in my day-to-day schedule. I don't know where it goes. My schedule is always stacked to the brim.

Onward to a house studio in Norfolk to record with Calum and Josiah. They ordered a couple large nutritious vegetable heavy Pizzas from Cogan's and some tasty Garlic Knots. After chowing down and fueling up with beers we hole up in the basement to record drums for six new songs. We're only focusing on the drum takes but Josiah and I still play bass and guitar to keep it real. Ross, ex-drummer from Mas Y Mas and current guitar player for The Seeers, engineers everything from the attic using Pro Tools. It's a stellar setup they have here in this house. Whenever we're having trouble locking in on the metronome Josiah explains it like this: "Imagine it's just a dude with a wood block."

Ladada Recording Session (May 13 2015)

Basement Cat (May 13 2015)

After the last take on the last song...

Me: "That was a powerhouse session guys!"

Home after having to drop my car off at the shop and ride my bike back.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Tuesday May 12 2015

Ladada Rehearsal (May 12 2015) (2)[i]

Waking up 12:15 p.m.

Raw Cacao Protein Shake with Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, and Almond Milk.


Grilled PB&J Toast with Bee Pollen. Plantain Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

At the Great Neck Rec for organized adult basketball. A lot of hustling on the court – getting my cardio on. I always tend to get on a team with hotheads with short fuses and high expectations.

Back home. Making dinner for Ana and I: Baked Tilapia, Sprouted Black Beans, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Quinoa.

Me: "This is the most complete meal you can have right now!"

Explaining to Ana about how there are some days where we simply can't see each other for more than a couple minutes and if we're lucky we can share dinner.

Me: "Some days are gonna be like this. We're not living on a cloud. This is real life."

We both understand that our lives are busy and constantly in motion.

At the storage unit off Tidewater for Ladada rehearsal. We're mainly focusing on drums and locking in with a metronome cause tomorrow we'll be recording.

Ladada Rehearsal (May 12 2015) (1)

Roly Poly (May 12 2015)

Deep talks outside in the breezy night air about chi and the source of life in all living things while a roly poly bug crawls on my hand tickling the pores on my skin as it looks for food.

Back home after a very long day.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday May 11 2015

Video Game Heaven (May 11 2015)[i]

Waking up later than I wanted at 12:47 p.m.

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

Errands: taking my PA amp to Alpha seeking repairs. Tire shopping.

Hard Boiled Egg. One piece of Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato.

Teaching a couple voice lessons at Music Makers. It's important to keep lessons interactive. Maria, one of my 9-year-old students, can be quite scatter-brained. But whenever we start writing lyrics and singing silly songs we come up with on the spot she's focused and excited.

At the Great Neck Rec shooting the basketball around getting my exercise on.

Valencia Oranges and Banana with Greek Yogurt.

Picking up Ana from the house, grabbing the music gear, and headed to Norfolk for a Musicplayer gig at Video Game Heaven in Ghent. It's an acoustic show with a few out-of-town acts including a decent Violent Femmes sounding duo, Sarah Camden, Daniel Hart, and Level Headed. It's a younger emo punk scene here. Talking with Ana how funny it is that I (and her) can step into all these different worlds. Just next door is Café Stella, a completely different scene of coffee shop laptop goers and refined tastes. I order a Buckwheat Mushroom and Swiss Cheese Crepe from there. Ana's got her two brothers hanging out with us; she's happy to get them out of their houses. I put on the last performance of the night. My set gets cut short a little bit because they have to close up shop by midnight but that's okay. It was a fun show. And I like to continue to perform because it keeps my skills fresh. 

Video Game Heaven Show (May 11 2015)

Musicplayer at Video Game Heaven (May 11 2015)

Reflecting on the night with Ana in my room while we wait on the Level Headed guys to come home and sleep on our couches. She says that every time she sees me play I seem to get better and better, and how she's proud of me. There's a glow about her as she explains how much she loves me and that it's on nights like this when she's really happy and realizes how much she loves me.

The band shows up to the house. I open up the couch that folds out into a bed and get them situated. They're grateful for the place to stay.

Ginger Pear Tea. Dark Chocolate.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.