Monday August 31 2015

Musicplayer at Chicho's (August 31 2015)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Driving my car down Laskin Road with Ana in the passenger seat. It's been raining hard and the streets are flooded in some parts. Fire trucks and cop cars are stationed everywhere blocking off the roads. I somehow manage to drive into the flooded parts anyway. It gets to a point where I start picking the car up with my bare hands keep it afloat as her and I wade through the water. We bring the car around the corner and into an alleyway. Conversing with some shady guys that give off hostile vibes.

When they leave I urge Ana, "We need to get out of here. Now!"

The car is parked awkwardly behind a pole. I command Ana to get behind the wheel and steer while I direct the car with my hands. She keeps fiddling with her bag and doesn't seem to understand, or maybe she's just afraid. I get irritated and keep pressing her to move.

"C'mon, Ana! We gotta go. Those guys are going to come back."

Eventually we get the car going and leave.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up from heavy dreams. Lying next to Ana. We both slept hard as rocks. Her bed is so soft you feel like you're sinking in the ocean.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Chia Seeds, Peaches, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.

Practicing music.

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

Teaching a couple lessons at Music Makers.

Picking up Ana from the house and heading over to Chicho's on 29th and Pacific for a solo Musicplayer gig with Mike Gombas. Sipping on a Killian's. I try performing two Nirvana songs for the first time that I don't completely botch up – Mike harmonizes on "All Apologies". And of course Ana joins me on a bunch of songs. Her singing with me really boosts the energy level of the show. I explained to her last night that I really want to start preparing more songs to do every week and eventually have a huge arsenal of songs to pull from. Then, we can start doing regular gigs at different clubs.

Chicho's Set (August 31 2015)

Back home with the French Canadian couch surfers, Thomas and Catherine – they're in town for a couple nights before they head back up north.

Sharing Watermelon with Ana.

Working on music in my room.

Sleep next to Ana at 4 a.m.

[i] Image by Ana.

Sunday August 30 2015

Breakfast with Mom (August 30 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

My mom comes over to visit after seeing friends at the church. I make us hearty bowls of Oatmeal with Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, Peaches, and Kefir. Ana joins us at the table. Picking through a bunch of figs. Showing mom how to do certain things on her fairly new iPhone. It's nice spending time with her. And it's nice knowing she's not so far away now. Things at the Markham house out in Portsmouth are getting better. My great-uncle Kenny's spirits are up now that mom and Myra are there to take care of him.


At the Great Neck Rec playing a couple full court pick-up basketball games. It's been a whole week and then some since I shot the ball around or exercised for that matter. I've been so consumed with learning DEJA songs I didn't have time to.

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

Watching Survivor (2015).

Music. Music. Music. Learning Led Zeppelin.

At the music space, repairing a pedal, setting stuff up, and practicing.

Back home. Making dinner: Green Peas, leftover Tofu with Yellow Curry Sauce, Onions, Carrots, Kale, and Quinoa.

Back at the music space with Ana rehearsing songs together.


Sleep at 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Saturday August 29 2015

DEJA at Grumpy's (August 29 2015)[i]

Waking up officially at 12:37 p.m.

Ana made us delicious Blueberry Banana Pancakes. I brew some Teeccino to go with. Meanwhile, Kevin awakens in the living room like a wild animal breathing and sniffing as obnoxious as possible.

Learning some songs using the Yamaha PSR-3 that's been sitting in Ana's room. I like it cause I can just lay it across my lap at the computer.


Tuna Salad Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.



I've got another DEJA gig at Grumpy's Bar and Grill in Kempsville. I flub that darn Led Zeppelin song again but Eric's guitar came in all out of tune and threw me off, not to blame him or anything. Other than that it's a smooth show.

Spinach Salad and a slightly burnt slice of leftover Pizza for dinner. Sipping on a couple Blue Moons. Shamara, the mother of the student I teach out here, comes out with her husband. I invited them to the show. Ana's here too looking sharp in a red dress.

Ana gets grumpy and tired – she's just ready to go home. As we're walking to the car I tell her, "Look, just because this place is called Grumpy's doesn't mean you can act grumpy!"

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Friday August 28 2015

DEJA Gig at South Beach Grill (August 28 2015)[i]

Waking up after noon.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, White Peaches, Chia Seeds, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Picking up my RD-700 keyboard from the shop. The guy at KBD Systems wasn't able to repair everything but it's in playable condition.

Teaching a lesson in Kempsville.

Back home.

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

Watching The Running Man (1987).

Working on DEJA songs at the music space.

At South Beach Grill for my debut DEJA gig as keyboardist. I'm nervous and excited, but mostly nervous. All these songs and this band is not my cup of tea but I took it on like a beast and worked hard at learning as many songs as I could. Led Zeppelin, Rush, Styx, Yes, Pink Floyd, The Police, etc. Progressive is an under statement for this band. They choose the most difficult numbers to perform. Besides Eric, these are older guys who have been rocking out since the 70's. They welcome me into the band and cut me some slack. The only songs I feel like I get washed up on is "Over the Hills" where I'm playing acoustic guitar.

DEJA South Beach Grill (August 28 2015)

In between sets enjoying really salty Crab Cakes with Broccoli for dinner along with a couple of Amstel Lights. Ana shows up after she gets off work just in time for the second set.

Fuji Apple.

Settling down with Ana.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday August 27 2015

Cucumber Eyes (August 27 2015)[i]

Waking up at 8 a.m. to the obnoxious sounds of the roofers banging away like three feet above my sleeping quarters. I put on headphones to drown out the sounds.

Waking up later after noon.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.

Catching up on things.

Two leftover slices of Pizza. Honey Green Tea. Pluot.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

I've got a damn headache from all that racket and lack of sleep this morning.

At the theater room practicing DEJA songs.

Ana takes care of dinner tonight: Tofu with Yellow Curry Sauce, Onions, Broccoli, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers. It's nice to have a break from making dinner all the time. And it's not often she gets the chance to cause of her work schedule.

Dinner with Ana (taken by Kevin Moore) (August 27 2015)

Sharing Pineapple.

Back to the music space to work out DEJA songs.

Back home. This headache has gotten much worse. It feels like my head weighs a ton. After some Chocolate and Chamomile Tea I plop down on the bed.

Sleep at 4:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday August 26 2015

Trader Joe's Picnic (August 26 2015)[i]

Waking up just before 11 a.m.

Ana and I attend the Trader Joe's picnic shindig at the Holiday Trav-L-Park. All of Ana's co-workers are here. Mingling. Eating Tofu Wraps and Watermelon. Shooting a bald basketball and kicking a soccer ball around. One of the guys, Chris, I recognize from Ocean Lakes High School – we both graduated 2002 and had mutual friends. We talk about horror movies and House of Leaves.

Back home. Catching up on things.

Grilled PB&J using Ana's homemade bread. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.

Watching a documentary on Rush.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Learning DEJA songs in the theater room at the music space.

Enjoying a home cooked meal outside: Chicken, Red Onions, Broccoli, and Sweet Potatoes.

DEJA band rehearsal. There's technical issues with the sound system that hold us back from practicing as long as we'd like. But I'm getting more comfortable the more I play with these guys. I still don't feel prepared for the first gig this Friday.

Back home. Hanging with Ana for a bit in her room – sharing Chocolate.

Snacking on Dill Popcorn.

Back at the music space practicing my own damn songs...finally.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Tuesday August 25 2015

Moog 2012. DKNG.[i]

Waking up at 12ish. Chanticleer is making a serious racket repairing the roof. Apparently, we have to announce when we're exiting and entering the house so they don't drop materials on top of us.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Peaches, and Kefir. Teeccino.

Organizing. Researching.

Grilled PB&J (using Ana's homemade bread). Honey Green Tea. Plumcot.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Early dinner: leftover Pizza and a Kale Salad.

DEJA rehearsal at the music space. I'm still overwhelmed at all this material I have to learn. It's simply way too many songs to figure out and master in such a short time. The first gig is this Friday and then another on Saturday. And then I have a solo gig on Monday. It's a lot to deal with all at once but I'll manage.

Taking a bike ride to the oceanfront to clear my head.


Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Moog 2012. DKNG.

Monday August 24 2015

Granddad's Old Band Trailer (1) (August 24 2015)[i]

Waking up at 9:30 a.m.

Ana and I drive out to Portsmouth to help my mom move into the old house she grew up in and where her uncle Kenny lives. Eating breakfast on the drive there: Pistachio Power Clusters, Peach, and Guayusa Tea.

There, my mom and I embrace. She's very sweaty as her and Myra already unloaded most of the boxes out of the truck leaving only the heavy stuff for Ana and I to help move. We get right to it, moving the furniture to the room in the back of the old house. Transferring the piano wasn't as difficult as predicted. By laying down two thick plywood boards on the grass one at a time we manage to roll the piano into the back room. I mention to Ana how funny it is that the piano used to reside in this same room when my mom was a little girl – she played it – my granddad played it – I played it in the Ocean Lakes house growing up. Then it was in Florida. And now it's right back where it started.

Piano Operations (1) (August 24 2015)

Piano Operations (2) (August 24 2015)

During all the hustling and moving things around my mom has a little break down moment and starts crying. This whole move from Florida back to the house she grew up in is overwhelming. Her worrisome eyes tell all too much. Along with the fond and pleasant memories from her childhood embedded in the walls of this old house there are also dark memories. Coming back here and having to face all this is tough. But she's a strong woman – she always has been. This perseverance was passed onto me.

5712 (August 24 2015)

"It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless."
– Kahlil Gibran

Settling down inside. I brought lunch to share with everyone. Egg Salad Sandwiches with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Fruit, and Honey Green Tea. Everyone is grateful. Afterwards, dropping off the rental truck with my mom.

Dotty, the six-toed cat warms our hearts with his cat pawing...

I get my mom to describe the time when she was indirectly struck by lightning as a little girl...

Back on the other side of the city after getting through some mild traffic. Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Chanticleer is having some serious roof work done on our side of the neighborhood tomorrow. They placed orange cones everywhere that say "DROP ZONE". We're officially an amusement park now with a drop zone ride.

It's a Pizza from Whole Foods night for Ana and I. Stuffing our faces with Spinach Bianca slices and Kale Greens. Then, Cotton Candy Grapes.

In the theater room at the music space working out DEJA songs on the keyboards.

Back home. Eating more Cotton Candy Grapes.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Sunday August 23 2015

Ladada Rehearsal (August 23 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Blueberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Trip to Trader Joe's with the girlfriend.

Cleaning. Vacuuming. My mom and her friend Myra have officially moved into the 757. They had some difficulty with the U-Haul truck on the way here from Florida. Tomorrow I'm gonna help them move into my Uncle Kenny's house in Portsmouth.

Tuna Salad Sandwich with Tomato and Cucumber. Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

Watching Next (2007).

At the music space practicing some keyboard stuff. Then, Josiah and Bobby show up to have a last minute Ladada rehearsal for the show tonight. I haven't even picked up the bass since the last show – let alone, Bobby hasn't played drums with us in a few months – but we barely have to run through the set once and everything feels show ready.

At Back Bay Brewing near the shadowlawn area of the oceanfront. It's a local craft beer brewery. They've got a well-polished upstairs room where they do shows. It feels like this place used to be a house, like maybe one of your rich uncle's home – duck ornaments and images everywhere. Beforehand, we order Fish Tacos from Gringo's Taqueria next door, another hole-in-the-wall joint. And then there's Zeke's next door also for coffee. I love this block. It's really representative of what's possible in Virginia Beach. Instead of just putting up corporate chains we can have more of these unique establishments that give you a sense of locality and culture.

You're Jovian at Back Bay (August 23 2015)

Sink Tapes at Back Bay (August 23 2015)

Back Bay Brewing (August 23 2015)

Upstairs, Elliott starts off the night with a solo You're Jovian set using pre-recorded guitar and bass tracks while he plays live drums, a difficult thing to do but he pulls it off naturally. Sink Tapes from Jersey goes on next. Then, Ladada. We put on a performance I can be proud of, and others are too.

Lingering around after the show drinking watermelon wheat beers and joking around with everyone.

Back home. Prepping egg salad, green tea, and other things for food to bring over to Portsmouth when Ana and I help my mom move in.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday August 22 2015

Dark Places (2015).[i]

Waking up to a barrage of sunshine coming through Ana's windows. She caresses with sexual desire. Not even bothering to remove her red and white shorts and Ramones tee we go at it, or rather she goes at it cause I'm still barely awake.

Checking out the Old Beach Farmer's Market – gathering some produce for the week. Elliott appears with his straw hat.

Sitting down at the diner table to enjoy breakfast together: Nutella Pop Tarts, Papaya, and Teeccino.


Sourdough Toast with Tomato, Non-Dairy Cream Cheese, and Alfalfa Sprouts. Scrambled Eggs. Sweet Potato Corn Tortilla Chips with Hummus. Honey Green Tea. Dark Chocolate.

Watching Dark Places (2015).

At the music space working out tones on my synthesizer for DEJA songs.


Black Beans, Zucchini, Snap Peas, and Quinoa.

Finishing Dark Places (2015).

Back at the music space configuring tones for the synthesizer.

Back home.

Sourdough Toast. Herbal Tea.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] From Dark Places (2015).

Friday August 21 2015

Lars Tunbjörk.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

I parked my car in a shopping plaza for the whole day. When I come back I discover that it's been replaced with an older model of the Toyota Camry, one from the 80's, and three of my hubcaps are gone – why they left one I don't know. They still somehow managed to maintain the purple paint job. I get inside and notice they were courteous enough to leave all my dashboard figurines and décor. Overall I feel stressed out about the situation.

▬ ○ ☼ ○ ▬

Exploring a mansion of a house. I open a small closet door that leads to a room cluttered with clothes and toys from my childhood. I recognize this place from a previous dream I had. A green and black Days of Thunder hat with Hot Wheels cars sewn on – Ninja Turtles pajamas – Nintendo and various video games. I don't actually have any real memories of this place except through another dream. My mom is here and explains that I really did stay here for a short period when I was a child. Apparently, it was during troubled times.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11:48 a.m.

Plum. Banana. Guayusa Tea.

Ana and I run errands together. Chiro appointment. Kroger (she gets stressed out easily when at the store). Stopping by China Wok to say hi and collect the last two days of my wage. Ling's face brightens up when I walk in. I can tell they missed me. Eileen looks confused that I'm even here. Haha.

"But you change life," she says.

It's funny how they regurgitate whatever their mom tells them. I told Cecily a few weeks ago that my life was changing and that's why I couldn't work here anymore. I make sure Cecily knows they can still call me when they need extra help if I'm free.

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


At the Rec doing cardio by playing a bunch of pick-up basketball games.

Making dinner: Black Beans, Mahi-mahi Filets, Broccoli, Carrots, and Volcano Rice.

Watching Dark Places (2015).

At the music space tinkering with my new synthesizer configuring the correct tones for all these DEJA songs.

Back home real late.


[i] Lars Tunbjörk.

Thursday August 20 2015

Field Guide with Ana (August 20 2015) (1)[i]

Waking up later than I wanted at 12:26 p.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Blueberries, Peaches, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Teaching a lesson out in Kempsville.

Grilled PB&J. Potato Chips. Plantain Chips. Honey Green Tea. Fig Bites.

Watching Lord of War (2005).

Teaching lessons at Music Makers – the vocal lessons take the most out of me.


Ana gets home. We take ourselves out to Norfolk to enjoy Field Guide. It seems whenever we decide to go out to a restaurant we can't go anywhere but here. It's our comfort food so to speak. Rice Bowls with Chic Peas, Tofu, Veggies, and whatever else sounds good. Some Peach Bread Pudding to settle it all down. Mmm.


Reflecting upon the treasure that I have sitting right here next to me I can't seem to understand how she exists – how is it that she's so adorable and lovely to be around – excluding the times she gets "weird and grumpy", as she describes it, but even then there's something about her that keeps me reeled in.

"Why do you love me – I don't know why," she asks with that big embarrassing smile she reveals quite often.

Back home. The French Canadian couch surfers are still here. And Richie Howard is in town for a little while. Him and Kevin have been gulping down Yuenglings since dinnertime. Jessa Potter and a friend of hers are here too. But Ana and I resign to her bedroom and play guitar together. I teach her how to play "Love Me Two Times" by The Doors, a song I've been playing a lot recently.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday August 19 2015

Rick Wakeman (1974).[i]

Waking up at noon.

Blueberry Waffle. Teeccino.

Researching. Practicing.

Falafel Wrap with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Hummus. Potato Chips. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Back home. Chores. Practicing.

Leftover Chicken with Kale and Bamboo Rice. Dark Chocolate.

Rehearsing with DEJA in the theater room. This time they've got their PA system set up. We spend most of our time getting a handle on all the technical difficulties. Running through a couple new tunes. My brand new Roland JUNO-GI synthesizer came in the mail today – impressing myself with this D-Beam controller, which is a cooler way to control the modulation on any tone by waving my hand over it similar to using a theremin.

Back home. Feeling overwhelmed with all the new keyboard responsibilities. Chatting with Ana in her room while we stretch our bodies out on the floor.

Dill Popcorn. White Herbal Tea. Plum.

Experimenting with this new synthesizer.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Rick Wakeman (1974).

Tuesday August 18 2015

The Doors live at Fillmore East 1968. Photo by Yale Joel.[i]

Waking up around noon.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Finishing The Doors (1991).

Educating myself on rock history. I didn't know that Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27, not to mention Kurt Cobain.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

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

At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. Ash, the guy who's always on my ass, compliments me more tonight.

"That was great defense, Robert."

He's the only one who actually uses my real name as opposed to my court name "MacBook".

Back home. Ana brought home two large Pizzas from Whole Foods. With the help of Thomas, the couch surfer, we prepare a hefty Salad to go with. The whole house digs in and there's a lot of social stimulation.

Kitchen Nonsense with French Canadian Couch Surfers (August 18 2015) (2)

Kitchen Nonsense with French Canadian Couch Surfers (August 18 2015) (1)

Two 4 GB RAM came in the mail today for Ana's MacBook. I install the upgrade on it for her. Now she can have multiple tabs open without her computer slowing up. She only had a total of 2 gigs of RAM before and now there's 8 gigs of RAM. She's happy.

Learning Styx songs in my room for the DEJA band.

Watching a Doors documentary.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] The Doors live at Fillmore East 1968. Photo by Yale Joel.

Monday August 17 2015

Couch Surfer Tacos (August 17 2015)[i]

Waking up to sex with Ana at 11 a.m. She makes us the best homemade Waffles using oat flour – they almost resemble Eggo waffles from our childhood but healthier. I brew a pot of Teeccino to go with.

I get a call from two French Canadian couch surfers who requested to stay at the house. Picking them up from the Greyhound drop off on VB Blvd. Catherine and Thomas.

Doing a little teacher homework – printing out supplement sheets for piano exercises and note reading.

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

Teaching a lesson at Music Makers then sitting down with Drew discussing what songs I need to prioritize on learning for DEJA.

Ana and I shoot the basketball around at the Lynnhaven Middle School courts.

Back home. Catherine and Thomas made Tacos for the whole house, family style! It's a nice spread and a nice thing for them to do. Everyone chips in for cleanup time.


Later on, I hole up in my room to keep learning DEJA songs.

Milk Chocolate. Ginger Pear Tea.

Watching The Doors (1991).

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday August 16 2015


Waking up at 11 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

At the theater room with DEJA rehearsing songs. I'm still trying to get comfortable with these guys from a different era. I feel uneducated doing songs from the 70's. But I have a good ear for music and can easily pick up the song structures.

Falafel Wrap with Tomatoes, Red Onions, Spinach, and Hummus. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Honey Green Tea.

Watching a Vice documentary about eSports, professional video gaming.

I was recently reminded of an old blog entry I did from June 17 2011. After reading the whole thing I remember how thorough I used to be in the blog, never leaving a single thought out. I used to care more about things. I've found as I age I care less about some things but other things become more important. 

Practicing DEJA songs.

Picking up Kevin from work cause his car is kaputz for the time being.

Shooting the basketball around at the street courts.

Cooking Breaded Chicken using Coconut Oil with Baked Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Carrots. Impressed by the outcome of the simple and savory flavor of the meal.

Watching The Doors (1991).

Practicing more songs.

Ana arrives home. We chat downstairs over Pineapple.

Entertaining ourselves with a BBC voice over for talking animals.

I joke about how I should film her and have them do British voiceovers.

"I'm not an animal," she exclaims. "I'm an Ana-mal!" and then laughs at how silly that sounds.

I peak down at Ana's gargantuan bruise on her leg that she got from moving stuff around at work.

Me: "Dang! Your bruise has a face now."

Ana's Face Bruise (August 16 2015)

Me: "If I post this I'm gonna get social services called on me."

Sleep 3 a.m.

Saturday August 15 2015

Peekaboo Ana (August 15 2015)[i]

Ana's peaking over trying to awaken me to reality but I'm unwilling – I'm a tad bit hung over.

Plumcot. Banana.

Eventually, we clothe up and check out the Old Beach Farmer's Market for the first time. The sweet smell of fresh waffles fills the air. There's produce everywhere, handmade anything and everything, and bleating goats. We run into Shamara, a parent of one of my students.

Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (2)

Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (1)

Old Beach Farmer's Market (Petting the Goats) (August 15 2015) (3)

Back home.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, Chia Seeds, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Catching up on business.

Shooting the basketball around at the Rec.

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

Watching The Hurt Locker (2008).

Napping for half an hour.


Practicing/learning DEJA songs.

Making dinner for myself and Ana (when she gets off work at 11).

Mahi Mahi Filets with Adzuki Beans, Bamboo Rice, and Kale.

Still practicing.

Sharing Grapes and Chocolate with Ana.

Sleep 3:35 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Friday August 14 2015

Pregnant or Not (August 14 2015)[i]

Waking up shortly after noon.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Finishing Enemy at the Gates (2001).

Later on in the afternoon I come downstairs to find Kofi in my dining room! He's in town for a few days before he goes back up north to New York. His scent is strong with Egyptian musk. Him and Will strike up conversation for a long while.

Getting groceries at Kroger.

General chores.

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

Starting The Hurt Locker (2008).

Learning Pink Floyd songs on the keyboards.

Making an early dinner: Adzuki Beans, Roasted Kale Sprouts, Carrots, Red Onions, and Basmati Rice.

Kofi's been chilling at the house all day. He tags along with me to Norfolk for a rock show at Pancho & Luigi's. On the drive there we get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, not caused by the usual construction and repaving crews but from an accident.

There at the show. Elliott's putting on a solo You're Jovian performance using a multi-track player plugged into a guitar and bass amp while he plays drums and sings. Edgier bands go on after him. Outside on the smoker's patio talking with Josiah, Bianca, and Kofi about kung fu, Niagara falls, and music. Sipping on one-dollar Presidente pilsners.

PBR Warning (August 14 2015)

Jessa Potter's here too. I haven't really talked with her that much since she's been out of jail. She seems to be busying herself with lots of music and socializing. Kofi takes a liking to her but he seems to be taking a liking to any girl really. Maybe it's just a game for him.

Later on, with Kofi, driving back to Virginia Beach. He hollers at two hood girls at a stoplight. The cute one explains to Kofi that she's married and even if she wasn't he wouldn't be ready for what she's got. I miss hanging out with this guy.

Meeting up at Rick's Café with Elliott and Kofi. Ana rides her bike here from the house and joins us. Elliott orders me a belated birthday short stack of Pancakes. I don't even really want anything to eat but hot pancakes sounds like a good idea after an alcohol buzz. They've got the TV on the religious station. Elliott gets excited when a phone number pops up on the screen for you to call in for a prayer. Quickly, Elliott dials the number and hands the phone over to Kofi, who is basically comatose after eating french toast. The person on the other line asks Kofi for all his personal information starting with his name...

"Kofi Newton," he says. "Newton! Cause I'm related to Isaac Newton."

Then, his address and phone number.

At some point in the conversation Kofi recites The Doors, "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!" and then gets cut off.

Back home.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Thursday August 13 2015

Ana Bicycle (August 13 2015) (2)[i]

Waking up at 11:18 a.m.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Teaching a couple lessons.

I catch Ana leaving on her bike for work. She's got to be the coolest girl on a bicycle.

Ana Bicycle (August 13 2015) (1)

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.


At the Great Neck Rec for adult basketball. I'm stoked cause I missed all of last week. It's a fun workout running up and down the courts.

Back home.

Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti with Sauce, Garlic Bread, and a Salad.

Watching Enemy at the Gates (2001).

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Wednesday August 12 2015

June Wayne. 1973.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

For some reason I'm visiting Cecily, Ling, and their family in a hotel room at the oceanfront. I move straight over to the window and watch the beach scene from the 20th floor. There's a storm brewing – rain splashes hard on the window and the wind howls. The shoreline is creeping up further and further. Waves crash hard against the sand. In disbelief I spot a tidal wave in the distance.

Me: "Oh my gosh! Look! It's a tidal wave! We gotta get out of here."

I shuffle everyone to the door but it's too late. A colossal wave slams against the building and it crumbles to the ground. Somehow we manage to survive. I lift up the wreckage and find everyone looking dead. But as soon as I command everyone to leave...

"C'mon! We can't stop now! Let's go!"

...they follow me. We have to move quick before the next wave hits. We climb up around the corner of the hotel. The city seems more like San Francisco or Seattle with steep hills connecting to other steep hills. I locate my car and reverse it out of the parking garage. There's another guy in the passenger seat understood to be my protégé. I hear the second tidal wave crash but we're high enough that it doesn't affect us. The story continues and becomes long and drawn out in between waking up and going to the bathroom. Meeting up with a reporter at a café up the street. It seems like not everyone is aware of the disaster that's taking place.       

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 12:52 p.m. Heavy, heavy sleep.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Teeccino.

Practicing songs on piano.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

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

Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.

Shopping for groceries at Trader Joe's.

Eating leftover slices of Pizza.

Having my second band rehearsal with DEJA in the theater room. Drew isn't here to play drums but everybody else is here, Eric on guitar, Jimmy on bass, and John on vocals/keytar. Jimmy seems to take the lead in regards to song structure and knowing the correct chords. I'm slowly getting comfortable with the seven songs I know so far.

Back home. Dinner part two: Spring Mix Salad with Carrots, Grapes, and Cashews.

Going for a night ride at the oceanfront.

Biscotti Cookies. Ginger Pear Tea.

Watching Outcast (2014).

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] June Wayne. 1973.

Tuesday August 11 2015


☼ ○ ▬

I come home after a long day's work. When I step inside 1435 everything has been cleared out of the dining room and hallway – no pictures on the wall, no piano, no diner booth. It looks as if somebody just repainted the walls too. In the kitchen there are two husky dudes taking measurements and moving things around. One of them is Hulk Hogan. Kevin is helping them.

Me: "Uh, what the fuck is going on?!"

Kevin explains that these two guys are moving in and we have to move out. It's understood these guys can't be on a lease cause they're fugitives and they're going to pay us each $700 a month to stay here for a while.

Me: "Um. I'm not okay with that! And where is all of our stuff?"

At this point nobody really explains anything more.

I ask Kevin, "Did you even consider talking to the rest of the house about this first instead of just letting these guys move all our stuff?"

Hulk has a menacing look on his face. I've got a thin piece of wood in my right hand and twist back and forth on my left hand like a street bully with a baseball bat. This situation feels so real. I move along upstairs to my room. Nobody's touched my room yet. A couple teenagers and their mother walk in. I guess they're with the fugitives. I shake their hands.

"Do you have any movies?" one of the boys asks.

Me: "Yeah, but they're all digital."

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around noon feeling a tad bit hung over. I only had one glass of red wine last night but my head hurts.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, Chia Seeds, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Researching new synthesizers.

Bagel with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Honey Green Tea. Banana.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Handful of Cashews. Fig Bites.

Practicing songs for DEJA and researching.

Ana cooks dinner tonight: Salmon, Bamboo Rice, and Salad.

In the theater room at Music Makers trying to configure my keyboard rig. It's stressful cause I still don't have my RD-700 nor do I have a comfortable synthesizer.

I'm exhausted and burnt out from all this music learning. Ana and I start off on a bike ride to extinguish the pollution of the day.

Eating a piece of leftover birthday cake with Ginger Pear Tea.

Sleep 3:30 a.m. Or so I thought until Ana subtly twists and turns next to me in the bed with sexual desire.

[i] Hulk Hogan Double Beard.

Monday August 10 2015

Ana in the Guitar Room (August 10 2015)[i]

Waking up at 11:20 a.m.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Chia Seeds, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, and Kefir. Guayusa Tea.

Ana and I take a trip to Guitar Center to look at keyboards and synthesizers. Her eye really latches onto this roundneck resonator acoustic guitar.


Things get wonky on the ride home...

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Honey Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

When I get back from lessons I find Ana in the process of super cleaning her room. When she's done we hop in the car with plans to go to the gym but instead stop by the Lynnhaven Middle School basketball courts to shoot the ball around. I pretend to be a coach instructing her on drills but it's all in good fun. I get involved in a full court pick-up game with a couple homies and four Russian guys.

Back home. Watermelon.

Making dinner for Ana and Maria, the Ukrainian couch surfer.

Barramundi Filets with Beans, Brown Rice, Zucchini, and Carrots.

Will just got home from a China Wok shift and enjoys Chinese food at the table with us. I decide to pop open a bottle of Red Wine to share. Chilling out in the living room with the others. Stacy plays what is known as "trap music" on her phone. Later on, after a nice little wine buzz, I hop on the pump organ and fill the living room with ancient air pipe sounds.

Sharing Pineapple.

Sleep 4 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday August 9 2015

Kevin's a Sprawler (August 9 2015)[i]

Waking up at around 11 a.m. Ana's body is warm and perfectly fitted next to mine. She's extra affectionate, kissing me five times on the face.

She makes us Blueberry Banana Buckwheat Pancakes from scratch. I brew us some hot Teeccino to go with.

Later on, a little sex in the bedroom.

A couch surfer arrives from North Carolina named Maria. She's from the Ukraine and has been working with kids at a camp the whole summer.

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

Watching Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015).

Practicing songs.

Meeting up with Drew, the drummer and head honcho of DEJA, at the music space to figure out a keyboard rig. It's been awhile since I was given the role of keyboard/synthesizer guy. It takes me back to the time I first started playing in Mae – I remember feeling overwhelmed in the beginning with all the songs I had to learn and educating myself on how synthesizers worked. And here I am again, so to speak, in the same position. I just wanna get past this beginning stage and feel comfortable about what I'm playing and how I'm playing it.

Back home. Maria and Stacy seem to be getting along really well – they're speaking Russian back and forth. Kevin thinks it is funny that they get along considering one is from Russia and the other is from Ukraine.

Making homemade Pizza using the Whole Foods dough. It turns out delicious and wholesome.

Kevin and Will are sitting in Will's room watching the Republican Primaries while eating popcorn.

Me: "So this is what Will and Kevin's idea of a date is. Politics and popcorn."

Popcorn Politics (August 9 2015)

Practicing more songs.

Ana and I take our own separate bike rides to the oceanfront. We pass each other going opposite directions without expecting to run into each other. Meanwhile, as I'm zipping down the boardwalk, I pass that same guy jogging with short shorts on and no shirt. He always has something funny to say to me. When I pass him he yells, "Cheater!"

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday August 8 2015

Goodbye China Wok.[i]

Waking up at 11:50 a.m.

Oatmeal with Figs, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Teeccino.

Today marks a very unique occasion: I am no longer working at China Wok. When I talked to Cecily on Sunday explaining how my life was about to change there wasn't any clear communication on whether or not they would be getting someone to work the full day shifts on the weekend. Kevin told me they put KB, the other driver, on the schedule for the weekend so I assumed, without any word from them, that the weekend is covered. It's after noon and I don't get any calls from China Wok so I guess that's that. I'm out of the delivery driver game. It was a very good job, consistent and demanding. I made a "China Wok Miss List" in honor of it...

The constant sense of urgency all day long.
All of the friendly dogs excited to greet me at the customer's door.
Learning the geography of my city and exploring all the hidden roads I never knew existed.
The efficiency of the Chinese way of thinking.
The meditative thinking and time listening to podcasts while driving.
Meeting different types of people and catching a glimpse into their lives.
The exercise I get from walking up and down flights of stairs.
The boss's daughters drawing funny pictures for me.

The constant sense of urgency all day long.
The anxiety of missing out on taking deliveries I know would've tipped decent.
The "slam on the brakes, accelerate" rhythm of driving.
The wear and tear on my car.
Not being able to take undisturbed lunch breaks.
The cops setting up speed traps and stop sign traps.
Not knowing what time I will get off work, or thinking I will get off work at a decent hour then suddenly there are three more orders to deliver.
Squinting my eyes at night searching for the correct house number.
Getting stiffed. And also getting stiffed repeatedly by the same customer.
Speed bumps! Oh those fricking speed bumps that wear out the suspension.
The screeching sound of the restaurant chairs being pushed in and out from the tables.
The phone ringing at the most inconvenient times.
Having to snap a whole box of snow peas.
The little girls calling me while I'm on a delivery to find out, "How long gonna take?"
Delivering to a customer who's not even home or can't hear the doorbell, knock, or phone ringing.
Driving to addresses that are well out of our delivery range.

From here on out my life will change. DEJA, the classic rock band I joined a few days ago, will be playing regular gigs, about four or five a month. I'm guaranteed pay for every show. I will be spending most of my free time this month learning keys and guitar on 22 songs. It's going to be a challenge. There are certain licks and solos in these songs that are going to take some effort in learning. But I'm up for it. This is my new job now, a keyboardist/guitarist for a cover band.

Catching up on business.

At the Rec (my first time on a Saturday!). There're plenty of guys in this gym for a couple full court basketball games.

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

Watching Rocky Balboa (2006).

Running errands. I brought home the perfect new bike for Ana – it was only $20 from the thrift store. It looks like the previous owner never even used it. She's ecstatic.

Back home. Practicing songs over and over again.

Chic Peas, Chicken, Kale, and Couscous. Pineapple.

Ana arrives home. I plop onto her bed feeling burnt out on music. She massages my back, then the backs of my legs, and then my feet. We watch some funny Tim and Eric stuff on YouTube – my body shakes the laptop every time I giggle.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.