Tuesday June 30 2015

Kevin and Yana Making Music (June 30 2015) (2)[i]

Sometime around 9 a.m. Ana lies next to me completely unclothed and caressing my backside with such a sincere desire there's no discussion of what's about to happen next.

Waking up officially around 11:30 a.m.

Ana and I take a trip to Duck Donuts and bring back warm delicious donuts to share with Stacy. Along with that I'm hopped up on Iced Coffee.

Then, a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on groceries and take advantage of the 10% discount Ana gets as an employee.

Teaching a lesson at Music Makers.

Hard Boiled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Back to Music Makers for more lessons.

At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. I start the games off right with a nothing-but-net 3-point shot. It's a fun and tough night.

Back home. Fixing dinner for Ana and I. Having it ready and plated right when she gets off work.

Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti Noodles with Onions, Garlic, and Arrabiata Sauce; a Spring Mix Salad with Carrots, Melon, and Tomatoes; and Garlic Parmesan Naan Bread.

The couch surfing season is in full swing. We've got a respectable 20-something bearded guy, Steven, from Las Vegas who just up and quit his job at a furniture store and decided to travel across the country all the way to Maine. Stacy invited her Russian girlfriends from across the street to take part in music. One of them, Yana, is a classically trained pianist. Kevin pulls out his violin and collaborates with Yana.

Kevin and Yana Making Music (June 30 2015) (1)

Pulling out some old books from boxes that Anthony left here and building a single book tower in Ana's bedroom.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Monday June 29 2015

Clove on 1st Street (June 29 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:48 a.m.

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

Organizing. Business.

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

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Selling that purple dresser with the cats and the boom box painted on it. Stacy isn't happy about the absence of this dresser in the living room but I plan on putting something else in place to keep her belongings in.

Dried Peaches.

On to Norfolk. At the New Jersey house practicing with Ladada. Calum's somewhere in Paris and Bobby is out of town. So Ross of The Seeers is stepping in on drums. We give the set a speedy run-through with barely any issues. Outside on the front porch Josiah smokes a cigarette and tells me about his new plans to learn kung fu.

Back home. I prepare some leftovers for Ana and I to have for dinner when she gets off work at 11. Vermicelli Noodles with Egg, Mixed Vegetables, fresh Basil, and Tomatoes. Ana arrives at the table with a grateful heart and an excited attitude about life. Stacy gets home shortly after and we embark on a long drawn-out conversation about habits and how to change them, something I've been learning about lately. Kevin shows up and it becomes an overcrowded kitchen. I get stressed and leave the room, "You guys are stressing me out. I'm going on a bike ride!"

Ana doesn't react lightly to my statement and appears upset.

Kevin sheds some light into the situation by mouthing to me, "She's pretending."

I turn to Ana and Stacy, "Is that true? Do girls pretend to be upset just so they can grab your attention?"


There really was some tension between Ana and I. But anytime that happens we can easily talk it out and make light of the situation and move on.

"Why do you get like that all of a sudden?" I ask. "You get all huffy and puffy...and then blow the house down."


Me: "I never want you to feel stifled to be who you are. I like it when you get excited about things."

Finally, I can get on my two-wheels and ride the oceanfront. But as I'm passing 30th Street and Pacific Avenue where Murphy's is I hear somebody call my name out, "Robert!" It's Margot. She's on the clock working a shift. And it's funny cause I was just thinking about her a few minutes ago, about how stubborn she used to get whenever we argued back in the day. I turn my bike around and chat with her for ten minutes.

Me: "It's nice to see you and actually talk for a little bit instead of just randomly seeing you on the road or at Target."

It happens to be her birthday. Some random dude leaving comes up behind her and slaps her ass. I always think it would be awkward to talk with her whenever I do see her but it's not. We chat like old friends. Her personality hasn't changed, nor has mine I suppose. I see her off and move on down Atlantic Avenue until I make it to the 1st Street jetty. I'm kind of repeating last night's micro-adventure. I pull out a clove and enjoy the smoky spice flavor while working through thoughts in my head. 

Back home. Orange Juice.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday June 28 2015

Sunset Oceanfront (June 28 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:05 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

For the first three hours there is absolutely no deliveries. ZERO. I keep myself busy scheduling and planning for the week on the computer. Meanwhile, Janice and Eileen try to tell me knock knock jokes that they make up on the spot.

Scrambled Eggs. Naan Bread with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Jam. Guacamole Corn Bites. Honey Green Tea.

Deliveries here and there but nothing worth mentioning, except the usual analytical thoughts racing through my brain.

Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts.

The night oozes along – not many deliveries to speak of. At some point after 9 p.m. my mood will switch to one of two modes, either lazy-tiresome monster or a revved up frenetic puppy dog. Tonight my spirits are with the latter. I didn't have any caffeine since noon so I don't know what causes this syndrome of frenetic energy. I'm bouncing around in my car to great tunes on the stereo feeling completely prime and ready to drive straight into the moon.

Off work and back home.

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

Finishing Rosewater (2013).

After settling in and doing most everything I need to do I receive a sudden burst of inspiration to pump up the tires on my bike and ride into the night. Reading last year's blog entries about my rejuvenating night rides kind of made me jealous of my ghost. After listening to that podcast the other day on micro-adventures I really wanted to do this and make this a regular part of my nightly activities.

I didn't really have a chance to talk with Ana when I got off work and I noticed she called me. I take a break and call her back. I talk about how I want to ride at a fast pace on my bike...

Me: "I wanna go fast!"

Ana: "Live fast. Live long."

Me: "Haha! I don't think that's how it goes but I like that one."


Over by the 1st Street jetty I lean over the railing where the water ripples and hits the rocks. There're a couple people night fishing. A heron stands completely still close by waiting for fish. I follow suit and just stand there listening to the sounds and feeling the breeze. I miss the sounds of the natural world. Urban environments get old and feel mundane after a while.


Continuing on. While zipping down the boardwalk I witness two teenage girls giggling and snapping a photo of a homeless man sleeping on a bench like it was an attraction for tourists or something. I almost turned around and took a photo of them because what they were doing was an attraction to me but it was too late.

The Haunting Cavalier Hotel Under Construction (June 28 2015) (1)

Passing by the old Cavalier hotel. It's under construction/renovation. All the lights are brightly lit through each window. With the moon hiding behind the clouds above it creates a haunting image.

Back home. Kevin just got back from open mic at Tapped. Stacy and him are giving each other a hard time. I brought back a couple dozen free bagels from the bagel shop across the street (dumpster dove). They both toast their own serving.


Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday June 27 2015

Sunshine Rain (June 27 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Three Apricots.

Rain off and on all day.

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

Listening to a new podcast by The Art of Manliness about taking micro-adventures and depression. Here are some of the things I took from it...

Low mood is healthy in that it gives you time to grieve or reassess your situation.

You don't need to make being happy a goal in your life; happiness is a byproduct of pursuing things that are meaningful in your life already.

I need to start implementing micro-adventures into my life like I did when I was younger.

Fuji Apple.

I've been gradually coming to a decision about whether or not to resign from being a delivery driver. To make a long story short I'm going to make some major life changes by focusing on more meaningful ways to make a living – like helping out with the rock school at Music Makers, getting more students, becoming a better musician and doing paid gigs around town, and making time to design plans for the future. If I don't act now then nothing is going to change. I can choose to do the same thing I've been doing for years or do something different. Meanwhile, I'm compiling a list of things I will miss/not miss as a delivery driver at China Wok.

Off work and back home.

Leftover Chicken with Broccoli and Rice.

Watching Rosewater (2013).

Chitchatting with Ana in her room. She's got her wet hair wrapped up in a towel like the Chiquita banana woman as I like to compare her to jokingly. She talks about how she gives all her energy to everybody all day long at her two jobs and by the time she gets home to me I don't get the same positive energy. It's a similar story for me. But we kind of make light of the situation. 

Me: "So basically I don't get your fully realized self – I get your lazy self."

We share our thoughts for the day...

In relation to her (and anyone's really) tendency to compare her success to others and what she sees online.

Me: "All that social media and social networks...that's not reality! People post all these things they're doing because they're proud of them. But nobody posts all the mundane in-between things that go on. It's just...a display of humanity! It's not real humanity."

Orange Juice.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Friday June 26 2015

Ling Napping on Prep Table (with HamCat) (June 26 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10: 40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Apricots. Banana.

The sun is hiding behind gray clouds today – a little bit of rainfall to refresh the air.

An historic event happened today that everybody's talking about and celebrating: the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage making it legal across America. Apparently, The White House even had rainbow lights lit up in the front of the building to honor the ruling.

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

Before the dinner shift I discover Ling laying his face on top of the prepping counter in the back kitchen. He's napping. I've never seen him so sleepy. It's a rare occasion when there is no prep work to be done and everyone's just twiddling their thumbs.


It doesn't really pick up for business. I take the opportunity to stretch my legs out and do a hundred jumps with the jump rope.

Off work and back home.

Tofi with Broccoli, Carrots, Green Peppers, Baby Corn, Onions, and Rice in Garlic Sauce.

Watching Rosewater (2014).

Catching up on stuff.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Thursday June 25 2015

James R Smith Trucking Co. (June 25 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:24 a.m.

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



Teaching a couple lessons at Music Makers then teaching an in-home lesson in Kempsville.

My mom upgraded to an iPhone 5s. We can finally FaceTime each other.

Face Timing Mom (June 25 2015)

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

Watching The Butler (2013).

Teaching more lessons at Music Makers. One of my newer students, a 5 year old, passes gas pretty loud during our lesson. He just laughs and says, "I tooted!" This kind of thing seems to happen quite often. I don't know what it is about my piano students farting. Maybe it has something to do with sitting on the hard surface of the piano bench.

At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. On the all-star team tonight. I've found as of late that I'm a lot better at passing the ball instead of just shooting all the time. I've trained myself to keep my head up and check out what's going on around me.

Back home.


Preparing a dinner for Ana and I: Chicken with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Vermicelli Rice Noodles.


Playing a little guitar quietly in my room.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Wednesday June 24 2015


Waking up at 11:45 a.m.

Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon, Peaches, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Iced Coffee with Maple Syrup.

Watching a Vsauce video about social awkwardness and anxiety.

I am not the main character in the universe. Protagonist disease. Worrying about what other people think about you is essentially pointless.

And then this really grips me...


Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Watching The Butler (2013).

Teaching a couple lessons at Music Makers.

At the Princess Anne Rec to play basketball. Unfortunately, they cancelled doing organized adult games for the summer on Wednesdays but that doesn't stop a bunch of us from playing pick-up games for two hours.

Back home. Will and Stacy brought home Pizzas from Whole Foods. I put together some Salads to go with them. Delicious. Pizza craving satisfied.

Eventually, Ana comes home after working a Trader Joe's shift. I warm up some slices and prepare a salad for her – I have it ready and waiting for her on the table along with a ice cold glass of sparkling spring water. She's grateful.

Watermelon and Orange Juice.

Joining Ana in bed at 3:10 a.m. Somewhere along the way into our dreams we make love.

[i] Taken from Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

Tuesday June 23 2015

The Summer Heat is Tranquilizing (June 23 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:44 a.m.

Peach. Iced Coffee with Maple Syrup and Cream.

Part One of organizing and redesigning with Will and Ken.

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

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

It's barely the official start of the summer season and I watch as the weather app tells me it's 100 degrees hot outside and then an hour later it goes up to 101. This is the dangerous kind of heat.

A Degree Hotter Every Hour (June 23 2015)

Part Two of organizing and redesigning with Will and Ken. Will brought home a used fridge off Craigslist for only $25. Cleaning it up. Defrosting and cleaning the compact freezer to sell on Craigslist.

Ken shows us the Hawaiian way to blow a conch shell...

Ana brought home some Norwegian Salmon. We bake it with lemon, olive oil, and basil (from the backyard). It turns out so soft and tender. Enjoying it with a Spring Mix Salad full of Tomatoes, Carrots, and Cucumbers, and leftover Couscous.

Kevin Butters Up Stacy (June 23 2015)

Ana and I go for a walk around the neighborhood. While puffing on a Clove we try to figure out what causes her to feel inadequate in our relationship.

Me: "Comparing yourself to other people is pointless because you have to have your own goals."

It's always entertaining to watch Kevin talk to me while his mouth is full of toothpaste...

Fun with the virtual try on feature of a glasses website...

Before I join Ana in my bed the sky cracks with thunder and lightning – a storm and the comfort of having a roof over our heads.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday June 22 2015

Thrift Store Books (June 22 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:27 a.m.

Iced Coffee and a Grapefruit.

Corralling everyone into the station wagon. We head to Cullipher Farms Market in Pungo to treat ourselves to Ice Cream and gather as much regional and local produce as possible. Every time the four of us hang out the more we set into our roles: Ana and I as mom and dad. Will and Stacy as brother and sister.

Stacy and Will as Kids (at Cullipher Farms Market) (June 22 2015)

On the drive I pay mention to all the expensive cookie-cutter developments they've been building on this side of Virginia Beach. We pass by a new neighborhood called "Munden Farms". Will corrects the name to "Mundane Farms".

Thrift store browsing at the DAV.

Back home. Sorting all the produce we just got.

The art of watermelon tossing...
Watermelon Toss (June 22 2015)

Two Eggs. A piece of Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Olive Oil Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching one lesson to Addison at Music Makers. She's dressed as Elsa from Frozen today. She's probably the jolliest of all my students.

At the Princess Anne Rec for adult basketball. Sweating it out and playing hard.

On the drive down General Booth I get hassled by a loud bunch of guys a few lanes over from me at the stoplight. I re-enact what they said in this sound recording...

Back home. Taking all the beautiful looking Zucchini and Squash and frying it using almond meal, egg, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Will, Ken, and Ana hang out at the dining booth while I play chef.

Later on Ana stands beside me at the computer in my room. She reflects on a fond memory from when she was a teenager. It reminds her of how analytical she's becoming with age. She says, "As I get older I'm thinking more because I know more things. And sometimes I want to un-know them."

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday June 21 2015


☼ ○ ▬

At Music Makers where I teach piano but the building is bigger, three stories tall. On the third floor there's a little staircase that leads to a special secret room that turns out to be a white alien spaceship. I'm responsible to clean and prepare the craft for travel. It's understood at the end of the year we're to board the ship with select students and go somewhere. The two hatches where a person enters inside are extremely small – I can barely fit myself through. It's a tight area inside the spaceship control room – I don't know how we'll fit more than two or three people in here. Something happens when I try to turn on the spaceship and the ship accidentally starts lifting off the ground. Slowly it reverses through the highways. I can see the city buildings and the active streets – some people notice the ship and some don't. I'm worried this is going to be all over the news. I manage to take control of the ship and take it for a test flight.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

Exploring the oceanfront of Virginia Beach. It's very different here in dreamland. There are more rundown buildings and abandoned storefronts – gangs are rampant in certain areas. Tourists crowd around a water attraction on the boardwalk. I notice a play place built underneath a pier. There're standard plastic long-winding tubes for kids to crawl through just hanging about 20 or 30 feet above the water. I feel an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia for this particular structure, like I've explored it before in another dream. Later on, after it gets dark, the oceanfront becomes dangerous. The streets are now rampant with shady characters. I discover homeless people who appear to be car mechanics – they have special rundown garages where they work on hybrid devices and machinery. It doesn't feel like the clean and family-friendly Virginia Beach that I'm used to. I start running down the bike bath. I witness two guys barge into a club and start raiding the place with guns. I keep heading up north until the boardwalk ends.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:09 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Angelcots. Banana.

It's a slow one today and super hot of course. To block the sun I dress my head with a towel and a rubber band to keep it on.

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

It's a slow, slow night for deliveries. The rest of the China Wok family are just standing around – Cecily naps uncomfortably in a chair – Janice jumps with the jump rope – and Ling and I discuss American's affinity for sodium and sugar.

Off work and back home.

I corral Stacy, Ana, and Will into the living room to watch a documentary about exotic fruits and people obsessed with fruits in general called The Fruit Hunters (2012). I enjoy my Fried Shrimp with Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Rice in Garlic Sauce. The macro-cinematography is stunning and actually led to salivation. I cut open a fresh Pineapple to share with everyone – it had been ripening for a few days and it couldn't more appropriate to eat while watching this.

General chores.

With my personal A/C unit blaring right beside me and Ana sleeping in my bed I get carried away quietly on the guitar working out lyrics to an old melody.

Sleep 3:20 a.m.

[i] From The Fruit Hunters (2012).

Saturday June 20 2015

Dumpster Finds - Vintage Posters (June 20 2015)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

Two Angelcots and an Orange. Enjoying a refreshing glass of cold brew Coffee with a bit of Honey and Cream. I'm just loving this cold brew coffee – so smooth and flavorful. I think I could acclimate myself to stronger coffee if I wanted – this caffeine truly gives me the proper energy I need for the day.

All day shift at China Wok.

Another blazing hot day.


Delivering an order to Magellan Dr. The guy customer is a gamer – he left his RPG game unpaused. While we conduct the transaction I notice his character dies.

"You just died," I tell him.

"That's okay. I'm not that worried about it," he says back.

I realize that this conversation out of context would be kind of strange.

One Egg. Treating myself to Five Guys French Fries with Ketchup. Honey Green White Tea.

It's been noticeably slow for deliveries during lunchtime the past few days. Making less money than I usually make but that's okay.

While taking a stack of boxes to the recycle bin I notice that the FedEx Office threw out a box of greetings cards with cats on them, calendars with vintage prints from old science fiction books, comics, and football posters. I haul a select few inside. Giving the mini cat calendar to the girls.

Putting a new motivational poster on the wall near the expediting counter...

Motivational Poster at China Wok (June 20 2015)

Peach. Banana.

Albums of the day that define my night drives are "The Rhythm of the Saints" by Paul Simon and the best of Patsy Cline.

Off work and back home.

Black Beans with Broccoli and Rice.

Watching Life of Crime (2013).

General chores.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday June 19 2015

Inspired by Jurassic Park.[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

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

All day shift at China Wok.

Angelcots and a Banana.

Traffic is always horrendous on Fridays. No matter where I drive there's no way around it. Everything takes a little bit longer than usual.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Tortilla Chips with Avocado.

It's a slow day for deliveries.

Off work and back home.

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

Watching Life of Crime (2013).

General chores – learning how to cold brew coffee using Will's method. Meanwhile, making Kevin do his friggin' dishes. For the past couple nights him and Stacy, our Russian couch surfer, have been smoking and talking for hours and hours out on the back patio. I suspect an undertone of romance kindling between the two but according to Kevin nothing of the sort is happening.

Me: "So did you guys kiss yet?"

While he struggles to take out his contact lenses his mouth curls into a smile. "No," he exclaims and adds, "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear."

"What does that mean?!" I ask.

He just repeats his statement, " Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear."

"Okay, Kevin."

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] From Jurassic Park.

Thursday June 18 2015

Yogurt City (June 18 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:50 a.m.

Oatmeal with Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Greek Yogurt. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

Teaching a piano lesson to Jennifer at Music Makers.


Organizing at the house.

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

Finishing Song One (2014).

More lessons at Music Makers.

Adult basketball at the Rec. I've got a good well-rounded team tonight – winning some and losing some.

Back home. Cooking Ana and I a quick but nutritious dinner: Barramundi Filets with Couscous and leftover Beet Greens. We had planned to use this 20% off card I got for Skinny Dip but to our dismay it closes at 9:30 on Thursdays even though the Internet stated it closed at 10. Our hearts are set on frozen yogurt so I search for the next best thing. Off the boulevard near Rosemont is a place called Yogurt City, run by an Asian family with their toddler daughter running around interacting with all the customers using a cute demeanor. We made it just on time before they closed. I had never heard of this shop before until now. It seems to be a local non-chain kind of place. Ana and I fill our bellies with all sorts of Frozen Yogurt topped with whatever we want.

Back home. Ana helps me move the pump organ from the dining room into the living room where it will be put in the same spot where the TV tower used to be. I spend the rest of the night organizing and cleaning out corners that haven't been touched for years – finding bottle caps, onion peels, dried out clementines, banana peels, markers, black spiders, etc. It feels good to exhume all the dead things lying around.

New Cozy Area in 1435 Living Room (June 18 2015)[ii]

Rewarding myself with an Angelcot and Sparkling Raspberry Lime Water.

Sleep 3:15 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

[ii] Image by Stacy.

Wednesday June 17 2015

Inland. Dan McPharlin.[i]

Waking up just before noon.

Irish Oatmeal with Chia Seeds, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Milk. Cold Brew Coffee.

We got a new kitchen sink faucet installed today. I spend a lot of time being a kitchen witch – cleaning, washing and prepping beet greens, brewing green tea, etc.

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

At Music Makers teaching lessons. One of my students, Jean-Marc, keeps asking what time it is so he can know how much longer till the lesson is over.

Me: "You don't need to know. It doesn't matter anyway cause time doesn't exist."

Jean-Marc: "If time didn't exist you wouldn't get paid for your job!"

Sometimes kids are too practical.

Picking up some things from Trader Joe's. Ana's here getting trained – I think it's her third day on the job. She's wanted this new job for a long time and it's hard to believe she finally got it. It's not hard to get what you want if you keep striving for it.

Back home. Prepping for dinner tonight and general cleaning.

I have dinner plated and all ready to dig in at the table before Ana walks in from her Trader Joe's shift. Sprouted Black Bean Tacos with Green Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes; Beet Greens; and White Corn Tortilla Chips with Guacamole.

After all that, it's time to clean out and organize the area where the old air organ is in the dining room. Eventually, we're going to transfer it to the living room. Ana helps me clean and dust all the alcohol and soda bottles we've collected over the years. I put on a NOW compilation from 1998 – nostalgic 90's melodies ring true throughout the house.

Sipping on Orange Juice.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Inland. Dan McPharlin.

Tuesday June 16 2015

New England Patriots Band at Pancho N Luigi's (6-16-15) (2)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.

Bananas, Peaches, and Greek Yogurt. Cold Brew Coffee.


Grilled PB&J. Potato Chips. Sparkling Strawberry Mineral Water.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

At the Rec Center for adult basketball. My defensive hand is strong tonight – handling rebounds and stealing the ball.

Watermelon and Pistachio Power Clusters.

Carpooling to Norfolk with Ana in the passenger seat and Will and Stacy in the back. There's a rock show with Ladada at Pancho N Luigi's, a divey sports bar off Colley. We're on first. It's the height of the summer heat – the side door is open near the smokers patio with a nice breeze flowing in from outside while we perform our surf garage pop rock. Wearing this longhaired wig makes me sweat even more. The set goes smoothly. Afterwards, Ana and I take a seat at the bar and order dollar tacos, the refried bean kind (not the best quality but for a dollar it serves it's purpose of filling an empty stomach. Sipping on a Dos Equis and watching the Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship on TV. Meanwhile, the second band, Fat Spirit, rocks our socks off.

A couple of noisier experimental math-rock kind of bands go on after. Socializing on the smoker's patio.

New England Patriots Band at Pancho N Luigi's (6-16-15) (1)

On the drive back to Virginia Beach it's become apparent that Stacy and Will take on the role of Ana and I's children, complete with playful sibling fights that continue when we get home.

Sleep sometime around 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Monday June 15 2015

Dinner (6-15-15)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Inside a large cleaning closet of a school building, or maybe it's a hospital facility. It's understood I'm a scientist that is experimenting on magnetism. I've got 15-pound dumbbell that I've managed to keep floating about 4 feet up in the air. I show off my achievement to a co-worker.  

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 11 a.m.

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

Music lesson prepping.

Taking a trip to Whole Foods with Ana to fill up our water jugs and grab a few things like beets!

Ana's beet bouquet...

Ana's Beet Bouquet (6-15-15)

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Pineapple. Cinnamon Kombucha Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. That cold brew coffee this morning really gave me a jolt of energy. I find myself on point and enthusiastic with my students today.

Ana and I go straight to the Princess Anne Rec. I play my hand in adult basketball. I'm put on a team of all small guys, so the 3-pointers are the only advantage.

I cook Ana and I a savory dinner: Barbecue Garlic Chicken, Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, Bamboo Rice, and Sparkling Strawberry Mineral Water. Leaving a plate for Stacy when she arrives home later.

At the music space playing the piano – working out my own rendition of Nirvana songs.

Ana texted me earlier, "Queen Ana's Le Ruit is ripe Monsieur King James. Ripe n' juicy. You better come for it later."

When I arrive home I heed the queen's call.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by Ana and I.

Sunday June 14 2015

Delivery Driver Malaise (6-14-15)[i]

Waking up at 11 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 hot one today.


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

Listening to a podcast about a musician taking apart a particular song he recorded and describing the whole process. It's kind of inspiring for me. I never felt such a strong urge to create. Afterwards, I come to a realization – one that I've had before multiple times but this time it really hits me in the gut – I realize now more than ever how important it is that I create music, but more specifically that I record music because that's where I feel the most alive. That moment of pride after listening to the end product of a complete recorded song – I want it. That feeling of gratefulness for the discovery of the unique melody and progression – I want it. I've got to get back there, back into my own personal music factory. If I don't do this soon I fear I will get too old and days will go by while I continue to distract myself with other projects and endeavors that may be interesting but they don't mean as much to me as composing music does.

"Don't over learn your instrument or it could affect the authenticity." This was said during the podcast as a kind of joke but it got me thinking...

Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Off work and back home.

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

Ana walks in wearing her usual bathrobe. We vent to each other about the current stresses in our lives. She talks about that annoying part of life when you finish dealing with one problem then there's another problem - one thing right after the other.

Ana: "Life is like playing whack-a-mole."

Me: "Bam! Bam! Bam! So true."

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday June 13 2015

Still from Montage of Heck.[i]

Waking up at 10:32 a.m.

Oats with Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Almond Milk. Coffee with Cream and Honey.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's a super heated day – making sure to keep the exposed parts of my skin lathered up in sun-block.


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

While delivering an order to the physicians at the hospital like I usually do every weekend, I run into Brian Clarke, a friend of mine from an old social circle. He works as a transporter. We talk only for a little bit.

Later on, Tristan shows up to the restaurant and rides around with me on a bunch of deliveries. And just like last time I encourage him to walk with me to the door of a customer and convince them he's training to be a delivery driver. I got a bigger tip than expected. 

Pistachio Power Clusters.

Delivering late into the night.

Off work and back home.

Vegetable Lo Mein. Swiss Milk Chocolate.

Watching Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015).

Downstairs, I help Will organize some of his many gadgets and cooking appliances. Ana has some fun learning how to manually grind coffee beans. Meanwhile, I pick up the guitar and tinker on the piano learning Nirvana songs. I've been on a nostalgic Nirvana kick lately.

I discover Kevin left his phone charging in the dining room. I pick up and record a video of all of us for him to stumble upon next time he goes through his phone.

"This just in! Kevin sucks immensely!" Will announces into his air microphone pretending to be a news anchor.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Still from Montage of Heck.

Friday June 12 2015

Ana Love Face (June 12 2015)[i]

Waking up sometime after noon. I can't seem to drag myself out of bed today. Fortunately, I don't have to work an all day shift at China Wok like I usually do. I talked to Cecily last night about getting off every Friday from now and on and only working a night shift on those days. This will really help boost the productivity in my life.

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

Taking advantage of the free time I've been given to clean up particular areas downstairs in the dining room – organizing the arts and crafts and throwing out unnecessary junk.

Ana comes home from work. After watering her plants outside she comments about how it's better to neglect (under-water) than to over-water them.

This pops out of my mouth, "Better to neglect than to overprotect I say!"

Upon further reflection I don't know if either are worse than the other. But it sounded cool.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Jam. South African Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea. Navel Orange.

Watching Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015).

I thought I was going to work a dinner shift at China Wok but Cecily already had some other driver come in – I guess there was some confusion from our conversation yesterday. Anyway, I take advantage of the extra time I've been given and use some of my insurance money to replace my PA system and buy a new stereo for the car. It takes some time to install it because I have to crimp all the wires together. But it's rewarding when I finish.

Ana and I have plans to "go out" tonight. We're always hanging out at the house with other people, the roommates and friends, but sometimes the only way we can get alone is by going out. To Field Guide in Norfolk, our favorite place to dine. On the drive there we discuss how people can sometimes lead you in a new direction in life. Specifically, we talk about Emily Hill and how I offered her to move into 1623 years and years ago and how that changed her life dramatically – opened up a whole new world of friends.

"You were like a portal for her," Ana says.

Me: "Yeah! I like that. People can be portals to new beginnings."

At Field Guide. Enjoying Rice bowls, hers with Chicken and mine with Grilled Tofu, and along with all the fixings. The Champagne Grape Slushies are refreshingly intoxicating. Finishing off our meals with a sugary Cinnamon Bun and a Cookie.

Ana and I - Norfolk Arts District (June 12 2015)

Kissing - Norfolk Arts District (June 12 2015)

While strolling down Granby Street to reach the arts district, Ana switches places with moving away from the street side. "I'm afraid of men in cars!" she exclaims as men drive in cars nearby. It was getting a little too rowdy.

Suit Store - Norfolk Arts District (June 12 2015)

There's a free exhibition event at Work Release called "Nobody Writes Letters Anymore", an homage to graffiti art. We decide to check it out. Waiting for a good while outside since the venue is at capacity. There's a big crowd every time we visit this place. We just missed Gull, the one-man band who plays guitar and drums at the same time. But now there's a deejay spinning Morrissey and big jams.

PHONE - Work Release Graffiti Exhibition (June 12 2015)

Camera Obscura - Work Release Graffiti Exhibition (June 12 2015)

Refuse - Work Release Graffiti Exhibition (June 12 2015)

Back home. Settling down.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday June 11 2015

Beetle on the Move (June 11 2015)[i]

Waking up officially at noon.

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

Teaching a lesson to Kristian out in Kempsville.

Grilled PB&J with Bee Pollen. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea. Navel Orange.

Watching Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015).

Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.

At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. Almost all of the shots I take fall short – bricks everywhere. But I burn a lot of calories and get a good run of games. Can't complain.


Back home. Will's parents are here with him to help move all the big furniture into his bedroom. Eating leftover Tilapia, Black Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, and Brown Rice.

Before I leave to drive to Norfolk for band rehearsal there's a moment between Ana and I that can be described as a breakdown. She always tends to give me a sour attitude at the end of the night. After I pry a little bit she breaks down into tears and says, "I can't handle all of this!" She just started a new job at Trader Joe's, which she is extremely happy about and will be much more financially beneficial than her car parts job. Maybe the daily commotion in the house is too much for her. Things have been sort of hectic with Stacy living on the couch I guess.

"Be strong, baby. Be strong," I say as I wrap my arms around her.

Then, off to Ladada rehearsal at the Tidewater storage unit. It takes about 30 minutes to drive there cause of all the lane closures on the interstate. They've got it cut down to one single lane in the busiest parts creating massive traffic. They mine as well put up a big sign that says, "Sorry folks! Virginia Beach is closed!"


While practicing the set Josiah says something about there being no pressure on Bobby for this upcoming Pancho N Luigi's show next Tuesday.

I quickly respond, "Oh no. Pressure is a good thing. It could turn us all into geniuses."

Josiah: "Hmmmmm."


After a good hour or so of running through songs I'm back home. Enjoying some Cantaloupe and sucking down Orange Juice.

Ana steps into my room and slips into bed around 2 a.m. I decide to not stay up too late fiddling with the computer and join her. She touches and caresses with determination. We have sex.

Sleep 3:17 a.m.

[i] Image by me.