Monday April 25 2016

MR BLUE SKY by USC MFA undergrad students.[i]

☼ ○ ▬

At some kind of summer camp. I go exploring away from the campground and into the city nearby. I walk by an Italian pizza place located near a river. There's real pizza pies hanging on display from wires. I touch the crust and it's still warm and soft. I continue on around the corner. I get mugged by some thugs. Later on, back at the campground. I'm talking with a few of my friends. I thought by now everyone would've heard about the mugging.

"You didn't know I got mugged?" I ask.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 10:30 a.m. Ana and I struggle to get out of bed for some reason. She describes a nightmare she had where she woke up and saw I had a bruise on my hip. She asked if I was okay. I wasn't responding so she asked, "Are you seeing someone?" implying that I might be cheating. I replied with, "It was only oral." Then she starts yelling.

Me: "I'm sorry you had that dream. It's not true."

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

I've noticed within the past few weeks my poops have been real solid – they've been coming out real clean – I barely even need to wipe. My diet is pretty much the same except I've been eating no chocolate or added sugar. But I've also been on antibiotics.


At the Rec getting my cardio on. The left hand is slowly becoming more functional.

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

Finishing Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014).

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Fuji Apple.

Dinner: Mustard Maple Salmon with Onions, Mushrooms, Carrots, Broccoli, and Bamboo Rice.

Watching the Hornets win game 4 vs the Heat in the playoffs.

Navel Orange.

Learning ELO songs, mostly spending time on Mr. Blue Sky.

Sleep 2 a.m.

[i] MR BLUE SKY by USC MFA undergrad students.

Sunday April 24 2016

Powerpuff Girls Vs Rowdyruff Boys[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Meanwhile, Kevin stinks up the house with his leftover crabs.


Coaching rock school sessions at Music Makers. In between having lunch: Grilled PB&J, Fuji Apple, and Oolong Tea.

Back home. My mom stops by for an hour – we discuss plans to move her out of the Markham house next weekend and other things.

Power napping.

Learning ELO songs.

Dinner: Lentils with Celery, Onions, Kale, and Quinoa.

Hanging out with Ana in her room eating Pineapple. We discovered Netflix now has The Powerpuff Girls, my favorite show back in the early 2000's – we watch one of my favorite episodes where they introduce The Rowdyruff Boys.

Chamomile Tea.

Making tea for Ana.

"I'm just gonna drink my tea and leave you be," she says without even realizing the rhythm and rhyme.

We're always entertained by her natural ability to use alliteration and rhyme without even thinking about it.

Sleep next to each other at 2:30 a.m.

[i] From The Powerpuff Girls.

Saturday April 23 2016

Daryll Peirce[i]

Waking up at 11:30 a.m. It's nice to sleep in.

Ana and I both woke up around the same time. She's in a weird mood.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Before I leave for the gym I check in on Ana in her room. She's wearing her green robe with a guitar strapped on – I heard her singing earlier.

"I love it when you sing that song," I tell her.

She's non-responsive. I reach my hand on her back and start rubbing it gently.

"I know you love me," I say. "Why can't you just admit it?"

Her eyes get watery.

I recite a line from a message she sent me recently, "You said to me once, 'I do love you. I'm just a cry baby sometimes when I feel like I'm lost.'"

"I'm sorry," she says.

I joke about how she's a negative Nancy but she corrects me, "Honest Ana!"

"Yes! Honest Ana!"

Exercising at the Rec. Feels good to be back here getting the heart beat pumping again.

Tuna, Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese, Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato, and Oolong Tea.

Finishing Misconduct (2016).


Power napping.

Spinach and Chive Linguini with Mushrooms and Arrabiata Sauce. Salad.

At the music space to pick up my keyboard. I get caught up playing the drums. My left hand can't grip the sticks completely but it's enough to jam out.

Back home. Working on keyboard patches.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Daryll Peirce.

Friday April 22 2016

DEJA at Grumpy's (April 22 2016)[i]

Waking up at 10 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Getting groceries.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea. Dried Mango.

Out and about teaching in-home lessons.

Power napping.

Left Hand Post Surgery (April 24 2016) (2)

Left Hand Post Surgery (April 24 2016) (1)

Leftover Barramundi Filets with Beans, Snow Peas, Carrots, and Quinoa.

Watching Misconduct (2016).

Got a DEJA gig at Grumpy's in Kempsville. It's my first gig with my handicapped left hand. With three working fingers I'm still able to pull off my parts on the keyboard. Drew ended up not getting shoulder surgery today so we've got him and Tripp Johnson playing drums tonight. The set is kind of chaotic – a lot of flubs and confusion on song closure – but we have a lot of guest singers: Caitlin, Kim, and friends of friends.

Left Behind Poop (April 22 2016)

Enjoying a Fuji Apple in between sets.

Back home after a long day of teaching and playing.

Fruit and Tea.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Thursday April 21 2016

Uncle Kenny's Funeral (April 21 2016)[i]

Waking up just before 9:30 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Ana and I suit up in our black attire and attend my great uncle Kenny's funeral out in Suffolk at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens. I brought the Yamaha synthesizer to play a couple songs using only my right hand, "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "I'll Fly Away". It's an honor to sing for Kenny. The songs were well suited. It's a small gathering in the main entrance hall – lots of sunlight shining through the colored stained glass windows. Pastor Rick leads the service – he does a good job at keeping it light hearted with a little humor. We all take turns sharing our favorite moments with Kenny.

Down the street from the Markham house at a church we have a little fellowship with food. I enjoy some Fried Chicken and Veggies.

Peanut Butter Cookies. Banana. Brown Rice Green Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Get Well Card from Kiran (April 21 2016)

Leftover Udon Noodle Soup.

Attending poker night. It's only one table tonight. I last for a while but don't make it to the end.

Peanut Butter Cookies. Pomegranate White Tea.

Sleep 2 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday April 20 2016

Waking up from a well-rested night at 10:40 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

My phone is blowing up from the doctor's offices calling me. They want me to come in for physical therapy of my hand – it's not something I feel I need. I know the fingers can become stiff after being immobilized in a dressing or cast. I can manage this myself. Then there's the concern of getting a PICC line (IV antibiotics), which I decided not to do and rather just finish off my Amoxicillin. I understand the importance of antibiotics when dealing with an infection. It's just a difference between oral and IV. I don't know. I'm just gonna finish my pills and then see what's going on.

Scheduling and business.

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Getting tired of having to explain my hand to every single student and parent. That's what it's like getting an injury.

Back home. You know its crab season cause Kevin's stinking up the whole kitchen with crabs. They're filled to the brim in the sink.

Barramundi Filets with Beans, Bok Choy, and Quinoa.

At the music space rehearsing The Wall with DEJA.

Back home. Ana's baking Peanut Butter Cookies. Even though I already had peanut butter for lunch I can't resist a few with an Orange.

Practicing a couple songs with Ana cause I'm supposed to sing tomorrow at Uncle Kenny's funeral.

Sleep 2:45 a.m.

Tuesday April 19 2016

Hand Surgery Sightings (April 19 2016) (1)[i]

Waking up at 9:30 a.m.

Ana drives me to the surgery center in Princess Anne. I've gotta get surgery on my left hand to drain the infection out of the joint above my pinkie. Ana stays by my side for the prep time. I'm reminded of all those times when I was younger being sick and in the hospital all the time. I'm put on anesthesia…..and then I wake up after it's all done.

Hand Surgery Sightings (April 19 2016) (2)

Hand Surgery Sightings (April 19 2016) (3)

Hand Surgery Sightings (April 19 2016) (4)

Ana peels me a refreshing Orange.

Driving back home. Finally able to eat some food: Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Oolong Tea.

I got referred to see Dr. Tignor (another doctor my goodness) off Laskin Rd. So we have to go there and do the whole doctor visit thing again. I'm tired of doctors and waiting. My hand is starting to gain feeling again and so the pain is starting to creep up on me. I've got a stronger Hydrocodone coming later. The doc recommends a PICC line, which is basically a home version of an IV that's stuck into your arm and shoulder – I'd have to wear this thing for two weeks. The idea is that the antibiotics go straight into your system and supposedly are more effective. In the end I choose to stick with the oral form of antibiotics.

Back home finally for good.


Ana and I put together a late lunch: Spinach, Tuna Salad, Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Fuji Apple.

Later on, we visit my step-uncle David's house where Jimmy and Grandma Carr have been staying this week – they're visiting from Florida. David's 4-year old daughter, Ashley is running around with playdough showing off her creations. Grandma Carr had a really bad fall on Sunday – hit her head on a wooden chair – had to get a bunch off stitches. I can relate.

At Uncle David's House (April 19 2016)

Little Ashley at Uncle David's House (April 19 2016)

Grandma Carr, Ana, and little Ashley at Uncle David's House (April 19 2016)

Back home. Ana and I make a late dinner. We had beans slow cooking all day and now they're just right.

Beans, Broccoli, Onions, and Madagascar Rice.

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen cleaning up and prepping. Since I basically have only one working hand Ana's been doing all our dishes. It seems like the dishes never stop getting dirty.

"We should probably hire a dishwasher for our house," I suggest.

Sipping on White Tea and settling down. 

Ana turns into a clam when I go to say goodnight. Something's wrong and she won't fess up.

"You don't need to be by my side because I'm such a hard head. That's the last thing you need. I love you, but something just doesn't feel right with us and I don't know what it is. You're only good to me because I'm here. I'm sorry."

"And if you weren't here I'd just be good to myself and I'd have no goodness to share with anyone."


Like the bread that I make every week you are the dough that is kneaded. I need you. You are needed. I am needed.

Sleep 2:40 a.m.

[i] Images by me and Ana.

Monday April 18 2016

Waking up at 10:30 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Even with my injured hand I can't not go to the gym. I gotta do some kind of cardio or my whole body's gonna go stiff. At the Rec working out my legs on an elliptical bike.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Spinach. Vegetable Root Chips. Oolong Tea.

At the doctor's to have Dr. Kline see me. After looking at my hand he immediately tells me I'll need hand surgery to clean out an infection around the joint. He seems very concerned about it. So we schedule a time for surgery tomorrow morning. As much as I'm not excited about it I guess I'm better safe than sorry. Human bites aren't something you play around with.


Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Brown Rice Quinoa Spaghetti Noodles with Onions, Tomato Sauce, and a Salad.

ELO rehearsal in Lynnhaven.

Back home. I can't eat or drink anything 24 hours before surgery so I fill up before midnight.

Lentil Potato Curls and Chamomile Tea.

Sleep 2:30 a.m.

Sunday April 17 2016

Nap (April 17 2016)[i]

Waking up at 10:40 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Rehearsing with DEJA at the music space.


Then, the adult band session for rock school starts.

Lunch: Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Then, the kid band session for rock school.

Finally back home.

Power napping.

Making dinner with Ana.

Flowering Bok Choy (April 17 2016) (taken by Ana)

$5 Veggies is a Bright Idea (April 17 2016) (taken by Ana)

Enjoying homemade Udon Noodle Soup at the dining booth and watching spoof Documentary Now! episodes.

Udon Dinner (April 17 2016) (taken by Ana)

It's a chill night with the girlfriend.

Hanging out in her bedroom working out a little Vaginasaurs-like song – she strums the guitar like a bass and I play around with an organ sound on the keyboard.

Later on, my mom calls me. It's 1:50 a.m. She tells me that Kenny passed away in his sleep. We were all prepared for this moment but now it's actually here.

Sleep 2:45 a.m.

[i] Images me or Ana.

Saturday April 16 2016

Kenny listening to his 2-year old self sing (April 16 2016)[i]

Waking up just before 11 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Ana drives us out to my mom's house in Portsmouth just to visit for the afternoon. My great uncle Kenny is officially off his meds now and basically under hospice care at the house. Mom and Myra do their best to make him as comfortable as possible. He's lying down in one of those movable beds with a Western playing on the TV. We let him listen to an old recording of himself singing at 2 years old – what a moment. He even starts singing along.

My mom peels open an Orange for me.

On the way home. Ana's mad cause she thinks she's gonna be late for work but she's not.

Back home. Sorting through and organizing sound files.

Getting groceries at Trader Joe's. Still having to explain the hand injury to everyone.

Making dinner: Tofu with Onions, Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas, Cauliflower, and Quinoa.

Watching 16 Blocks (2006).

Pulling out the keyboard and attempting to play through DEJA tunes using only the index finger on my left hand – it's hard not being able to play with octaves and 5ths.

Sipping on Ginger Turmeric Tea.

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Friday April 15 2016

The Holy Pizza (April 15 2016)[i]
(circular waves added for effect)

Waking up at 10 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

It's a mix of lessons and meetings all afternoon.

Of course I have to explain my hand injury to everyone I come in contact with. Eventually, I just give in and say a vampire bit me.

Back home. I'm very tired. Power napping.

I kept a homemade pizza in the freezer. While cooking it in the oven a hole is formed in the middle from the crust being too thin. Kevin happens to be around during this discovery and captures the embarrassing moment.

I tell him later on Facebook, "Everything is harder when you only have one hand. Have some reverence for the holy pizza, dude! It was still delicious."

Watching The Trust (2016).

Tending to my hand – unwrapping the splint and letting it breathe – soaking it in Epsom salt – stretching it out.

Ana joins me in the bed. We just lie there and listen to Radiohead.

Sleep at 3 a.m.

[i] Image by Kevin.

Thursday April 14 2016

Ana Sings for Me (April 14 2016) (1)[i]

Waking up at 10:30 a.m. Had a much better night's sleep compared to last night. My hand starts throbbing as soon as I rise from the bed.

Eating Ana's Homemade Granola Bars with an Orange and Green Tea.

Teaching a lesson at Music Makers.


Scrambled Eggs, Toast with Butter, Spinach, Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato, and Oolong Tea.

Teaching more lessons at Music Makers.

Ana comes home looking fresh with makeup a friend gave her. She sings me a song or two. While listening I hear the beauty in her voice.

"You really need to perform more," I tell her.

Ana Sings for Me (April 14 2016) (2)

Fortunately, there's an open mic at Fairgrounds tonight. I encourage her to go.

Snacking on some Banana Chocolate Muffins Ana just baked.

Attending the Thursday poker nights in Lynnhaven. Every week I come I seem to get closer to the end. I endure to the final table but my hands just aren't good enough to survive past 7th place. But I did walk away with a win at Cee-lo.

Back home. Enjoying a hefty Salad with Quinoa and Dried Mango.

Watching Ten Thousand Saints (2015). 

Sleep 2:30 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Wednesday April 13 2016

Hand Cast (April 13 2016)[i]

Waking up off and on throughout the morning. The pain in my left hand is unbearable. It almost leaves me feeling nauseas. Eventually, I decide to get up at 9. After going to the bathroom my stomach feels open enough to eat my usual Oatmeal – Green Tea with it this time.

Ana takes me to an urgent care doctor off Great Neck. The ladies there give me a Tetanus shot and a butt shot of antibiotics. They also draw a little blood to check my white blood cell count, which can also determine if my body is fighting off an infection. Turns out I am. A few x-rays later and they refer me to an orthopedic down street. But I can't go there until 4.

Ana picks me back up and we grab some stuff from the store, including some Vicodin.

Chilling out at home. Ana helps me make lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese, and Oolong Tea.

Watching Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2016).

At the orthopedic doctor’s office. It's a lot of waiting around. But eventually the doc sees me. He presses on parts of my hand to assess the injury. The biggest thing to be concerned about is risk of infection. The nerves and tendons will heal in time. Time and Vicodin will be my best friends.

After three hours and a couple of unnecessary trips back and forth from the doctor to the pharmacy, I finally arrive home with all my meds. It's funny cause I actually ran into the guy that accidentally hit my hand with his mouth at Target – he works there. He apologizes for my hand. He says his jaw is a little out of sorts.

Back home. Fuji Apple.

Ana prepped dinner earlier as to make it easier for me to cook later. Tempeh with Baby Broccoli, Carrots, Romanesco, and Quinoa. Starting my 10 days of Amoxicillin along with Vicodin.

Trying to work on ELO songs on the keyboard.

Finishing the Star Wars movie.


Sleep at 1 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Tuesday April 12 2016[i]

☼ ○ ▬

At Busch Gardens with a couple friends including Ana. Everything is mapped out different – it's not the same amusement park. We're all excited to ride the Alpengeist roller coaster. We run through the entrance but instead of a line there's an intricately designed maze and slide to go through. You've got to follow the arrows and signs very closely or you can get lost. The group sort of splits in half. My group finds an elevator. An arrow on the ground points to it so we assume it's the right direction. It takes us down to the ground floor and back out into the park. We're all very confused. It was the wrong way. Ana is with the other group and apparently they made it on the ride. I try to figure out a way back to the other side of the ride so I can meet up with the other half of the group but this place is very difficult to navigate. It's like a carnival atmosphere. People dressed in scary costumes are running around acting their part trying to confuse me. I manage to find a way through the main building. I find Ana but she keeps running away from me. I guess she's upset we got split up. I chase her down and grab her by the arm. I explain everything that happened but she's still not amused by the whole situation. 

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Hanging around the house – making bread, chores, scheduling, etc.

Leftover Salmon on a Sandwich with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and Tomato. Roasted Potatoes and Onions. Oolong Tea.

Watching The Revenant (2015).

It's a dreary rainy day out.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers.

Basketball at the Rec. I was going to leave after the third game but it didn't feel like enough. Unfortunately, I take another injury, this time a tooth banged into my left hand making a gnarly gash just below my pinkie and ring finger. It's only about half an inch wide but it cut real deep, down to the tendons. I may or may not need stitches. It feels like a constant risk being on the court. You never know when you're gonna hurt yourself.

Back home. Warming up some food: Chic Peas, Kale, Carrots, and Brown Rice.

As time passes my injury starts to throb and continues to throb all throughout the night. Ana sleeps by my side in moral support. I can barely move or get situated in a comfortable position. Agony. The best thing I can do is prop my hand up on my chest and wait for it to go temporarily numb.

[i] Image source unknown.

Monday April 11 2016

Gym Time (April 11 2016)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

An intricate design of wire coat hangers all connected in circles with pieces of white paper attached to each one, poetry and random words written on all of them. It's understood this is a hospital or a medical center of some kind. Christina, whom I used to know from youth group at my old church, works here as a nurse. We had a brief romantic encounter when I was younger that only involved letters written back and forth. For some reason she writes me another letter explaining that it's not going to work out, which doesn't make sense cause nothing was going on to begin with.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up at 10:05 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

At the Rec working out. Ana is here as well as my ex-girlfriend, Margot. It's kind of funny seeing them both on a treadmill. Ana acts like she doesn't know me the whole time. For some reason she gets all weird when we're at the gym together. She doesn't like me bothering her, so I don't.

Back home. I bother Ana in her shower. She used up all the hot water so my shower is cut short. I still love her anyway.

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

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Eating a Banana on the break.

Back home. Eating leftover Lentils, Broccoli, Carrots, and Brown Rice.

At the Right On rehearsal space for ELO practice. It's a newly formed band now except for Eric, Jimmy, Kevin (Nigel's son), and myself. We've added the guy from The Blue Lords on guitar and Bri Stover as the female vocalist. The drummer is still a question mark for now. It goes smoothly. We run through the four songs we already learned a long time ago with plans to go over new songs every week. Nigel is around directing everything.

Back home.


Ana's baking cookies downstairs. I can't resist a few.

Pomegranate White Tea.

Life talks in Ana's room. She keeps talking about how she doesn't want to be here, and by "here" she means this house but I think it runs deeper. Her job is tiresome having to help so many people all at once. There's music in her too that she wants to work on with other people like me or somebody else.


"You're one of those clumsy artist types," I say. "And I'm the organized OCD artist type."

"Is that why we work?" she asks.

"I guess so."

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday April 10 2016

ELO Video Shoot (April 10 2016) (5)[i]

Waking up at 10:45 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Strawberries, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Gotta busy day ahead. Meeting at the music space to rehearse with DEJA – we're having another drummer, Tripp Johnson, fill in for a couple months while Drew recovers from shoulder surgery.


Then, two rock school sessions – got some repeats and some newbies. Overall it's a fun group of band members.

Two Grapes Become One (April 10 2016)

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Then, straight to Kempsville High School for an ELO video shoot in the auditorium. We haven't been doing ELO rehearsals for a few months now but the idea is to film the band performing four songs over a studio recording to help sell the show. I'm playing through a whole new keyboard rig with a Moog and a Fender Rhodes but nothing's actually making sounds. We perform take after take of the songs – everything is lip synced so we have to be spot on with our vocal parts and leads and such. Everything is going much later than I thought. 80% of the time we're all just waiting until the cameras change positions. 

ELO Video Shoot (April 10 2016) (4)

ELO Video Shoot (April 10 2016) (3)

ELO Video Shoot (April 10 2016) (2)

ELO Video Shoot (April 10 2016) (1)

Snacking on Muscat Grapes and Plantain Chips.

Finally back home. Eating leftover Salmon with Broccoli and Carrots.


Sleep 2:40 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

Saturday April 9 2016

Waking up at 11:25 a.m.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Teaching an hour lesson to Maria at Music Makers.

Picking up groceries and filling up the water jugs at Whole Foods.

Scrambled Eggs. Toast with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese. Corn Tortilla Chips with Avocado and Tomato. Oolong Tea. Muscat Grapes (which are absolutely heavenly).

Watching Arrowhead (2016).

Staying in the kitchen primarily being a kitchen witch and prepping all kinds of food for tonight, tomorrow, and in general. Then, it's my turn to clean the kitchen.

I've realized as of late that I don't include many self-portraits (selfies) on the blog but maybe I should?

Selfie for Mom (April 9 2016)

Ana arrives home from work. Sharing fresh homemade Pizza and a Salad at the card table. More Grapes.

Practicing songs on the piano.

After doing a few chores I convince Ana to lie down next to me.

"I just want love and affection," I tell her. "Is that alright?"

I read a couple quotes from Steppenwolf, a book by Herman Hesse I started reading a few years back but never finished. She just cut her bangs, something she does from time to time to keep her eyes open to the world.

I go to pick up my phone and she immediately reacts, "No!"

"What?" I ask. "What did you think I was going to do?"
Apparently, she thought I was going to snap a photo but I was just setting my alarm.

"Actually that's a good idea. Your 50-year old self would like to see a close-up of your bangs."

Reading a little before I fall asleep at 2:20 a.m.

Friday April 8 2016

Stereobloom at the DEJA gig at Jerry's (April 8 2016)[i]

Waking up at 10:20 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

At the gym. I was prepared to work out but lunchtime basketball is in full force and they need a 10th man. So I play. My teammates keep dogging me the whole time, especially towards the end. I keep fumbling with the ball, making bad passes, and missing 80% of my shots. It's just not a good day for basketball.

On the drive home I feel defeated. I'm just in a bad mood now. I've got no confidence in myself.

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Teaching my in-home lessons.

Back home. I help Ana cook us an early dinner: Sprouted Lentils with Onions, Carrots, Kale, and Quinoa. This is a combination of foods that I absolutely love – so hearty.

Off to the DEJA gig at Jerry's in Chesapeake. It's been quite a while since my last gig with them so it feels fresh. Those two fairly new prog-rock songs, "Roundabout" and "Foreplay/Long Time" still make me nervous. I wish I could do bluesy keyboard solos fluently but I simply can't so I flop through the organ solo. The Boston tune isn't too bad but Drew keeps that tempo so incredibly fast I can't keep up with the triplet notes. Otherwise, it was a fun show. A lot of people present. Drew's son, Tim, and his band, Stereobloom, perform a few tunes during the break.

Snacking on a Pear and a Presidente Pilsner.

Back home.

Sipping on Chamomile Tea and eating a Banana.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Thursday April 7 2016

Jumpin' Ana (April 7 2016)[i]

Waking up at 11:09 a.m.

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

Errands with Ana: dropping off recycle, Target, and Trader Joe's. After we pile all the grocery bags in the car I realize how stacked our receipt is...

Stacked TJ's Grocery Receipt (April 7 2016)

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

Teaching lessons at Music Makers, or a lack thereof. People keep canceling on me today so I'm back and forth between the house and the studio.

At some point I catch Ana jumping on the trampoline because according to her she ate too much bread.

"I don't like having photos taken of me!" Ana complains.

"But everyone else loves photos taken of you!" I say.

Making Salmon Quinoa Tacos with Kale, Carrots, Cucumber, Beets, and Portobello Mushrooms.

Attending the poker night in Lynnhaven where Mike Gombas usually goes. This will be my second time playing at this location. I actually fare pretty well and make it well past half time. Had a couple of good hands but in the end I was dealt a lot of bad hands, not enough to stay in the high ranks.


Practicing DEJA tunes at the music space.

Ana arrives home around the same time I do. She just got back from singing karaoke with a friend. We have serious talks about striving for what we really want in life, the struggles we face being stifled in our living environments, and the balance between helping each other out and allowing one to work independently.

"Live the life that you want!"

Sleep 3 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Wednesday April 6 2016

Waking up at 10:30 a.m.

Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Working out at the Rec – playing pick-up basketball. Running into the ex.

Grilled PB&J. Fuji Apple. Oolong Tea.

Watching Backtrack (2015).

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. Today is creative songwriting day.

Back home. Black Bean Rotini with Tomato Sauce, Green Peppers, and Onions. Salad.

Watching Inside Man (2006).

DEJA rehearsal at the music space.

I've got a sickly scratch in my throat. Sipping on ACV infused Pomegranate White Tea.

Sleeping next to Ana in my bed at 2 a.m.

Tuesday April 5 2016

Good-ass Tofu (April 5 2016)[i]

Waking up at 11 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Raisins, and Kefir. Yerba Mate Tea.

Chores. Organizing.

Chic Pea Falafel Sandwich with Lettuce, Tomato, and Mustard. Potato Chips with Avocado. Oolong Tea. Chocolate Bar.

Teaching lessons at Music Makers. It's a huge day for me cause all my Monday lessons had to be rescheduled. I'm non-stop from 2:30 all the way to 8. Eating a Fuji Apple somewhere in between.

With one of my students who gets a little stressed out I tell them to take deep breaths with this, "Breathe in the flowers. Blow out the candles."

Ana and I both arrive home from work at the same time. Cooking dinner together: Tofu with Broccoli, Asparagus, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Onions, and Quinoa.

I continue doing chores: making bread, cleaning a futon mattress, grinding oatmeal, clothes, etc.

I tell Ana as I enter her room briefly to bring up her cup of tea, "Man, I just haven't stopped. I'm doing everything right now."

Ana: "Don't stop! Keep going."

Settling down at some point with Tea and catching up on our tour weekends.

Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Monday April 4 2016

Going Home (April 4 2016)[i]

☼ ○ ▬

Josiah and I are living in an apartment complex where Dave Hausmann is like the mayor or something. We go to drop off some trash at the dumpster. Josiah leaves the passenger side door ajar as we put it in reverse. One of the local guys accidentally gets hit by the door and gets flippant with us. He's a black gangster kid. I encourage Josiah to stay calm and just apologize but he responds with a hostile attitude that only makes the situation worse. Later on, I come out to my car to find a bunch of used carpet and garbage crammed inside. It must be payback from the kid. I get super upset about the whole thing. It's understood that the kid's father has been in jail for some time now. Dave has taken the kid under his wing. We're having some kind of meeting.

I ask Dave, "Did Josiah tell you what happened yesterday?"

He heard about it. I try to explain to him that the kid needs hard discipline and that he's been acting too soft on him. Dave seems to agree.

▬ ○ ☼

Waking up around 11 a.m. in Brock's bedroom with a hangover headache.

We say our adieus to Brock and his friend. I really love this guy – an all around lovely person to be around – funny, hospitable, and intelligent.

Bobby, Josiah, Bianca, and I drive up to Bedford Ave to get brunch at Peter Pan Donuts. Sharing breakfast sandwiches, Donuts, and Coffee. It's still cold in New York City and the rain continuously falls.

After what seems like hours of sitting in traffic in the city we manage to get on the highway and start our route back home.


Somewhere in Delaware Josiah spots a brightly lit restaurant called Seafood City and turns the van around in haste. We dine in. We joke about how everyone in here is probably Trump supporters.

Ordering Fried Oysters with Peas and a Baked Potato.

I take the wheel the rest of the way home. The rain has been pouring all day and night long. I put on a bunch of podcasts to keep my brain engaged.

It's after 1 a.m. and I'm finally home in my room. I talked to Ana on the phone a little bit on the drive back cause I told her I needed to get right to settling down and going to bed.


Sleep 3:30 a.m.

[i] Image by me.

Sunday April 3 2016

Skull Graffiti NY (April 3 2016)[i]

Waking up well rested underneath a new plant friend in a homey pad in New York.

Waking up to plants (April 3 2016)

Morning Plant Friend (April 3 2016)

Ordering a Breakfast Burrito from Jesse's across the street. Sipping on some Yerba Mate and having afternoon conversations with everyone.

Brock's Pad in NY (April 3 2016)

"I love it. I can be naked out in my yard. I mean, I put my naked butt on moss," Brock says as he describes the beauty of living in his house upstate.

Bobby, Bianca, and Josiah decide to hang back at the pad while I venture out in the city solo. It's a whopping 40 degrees. I've got my warm winter coat on and gloves. I was gonna take my Razor scooter but the wind is too brisk for that. First on my agenda is to get some new clothes at Buffalo Exchange on Driggs Avenue.

Antique Shop NY (April 3 2016)

At Peter Pan Donuts, a place I always revisit anytime I'm here. Cheap, delicious, and fresh donuts. Old school diner vibe. Ukranian girls wearing uniform green and salmon colored aprons. Eating a Honey Dip and Blueberry Buttermilk. Taking my time sipping on a Coffee with Cream. Observing the Ukrainian man have a little argument with one of the employee girls. It's kind of entertaining for some of us at the booth.

Peter Pan Donuts NY (April 3 2016)

Peter Pan Donuts Cherry on Top NY (April 3 2016)

I walk on looking for a quiet place. On the corner of Berry Street and Nassau Avenue there's a cozy workshop turned into a coffee shop. Wooden benches and tables community style. I spend a lot of time reflecting...

"I wanna get LOST," I write. "In other words I wanna travel. I wanna move. Anytime I get out of town for a few days it inspires me. The idea of moving out of Virginia Beach frightens and excites me. What happens if I leave all my roots behind and everything I've built falls apart? Can I return and pick up the pieces and re-establish myself? Do I have it in me to grow roots somewhere else? Do I need to? How necessary is it to see what's out there in the world? The one thing I don't like about it is the feeling that the grass is greener wherever I am not. The desire to receive a clean slate – to seek opportunities elsewhere. Sometimes I forget the control I have to just up and go, to leave everything behind. But it just doesn't seem plausible. I have all the tools I need at home to be happy and make the music I want to make.

It haunts me every day like a constant shrieking ghost on my shoulder, 'CREATE, ROBERT!!!' 

I need to create! I'm stuck imitating everybody else. It pays the bills but that's not enough for me."

Solution: I write out a list of things I'd like to spend more time doing and then a list of things I already spend a lot of time doing.


It's time to go. I browse around and purchase a couple bars of local soap, one cedar and one goat's milk.

ATM Phonebooth NY (April 3 2016)

Walking. Walking. Walking.

I find a store called Cacao Market dedicated to all things chocolate. I buy a couple treats to give Ana.

Cacao Market NY (April 3 2016) (1)

Cacao Market NY (April 3 2016) (2)

In the subway a man strokes a black cello making an earthy therapeutic sound.

Cello Busker NY (April 3 2016)

Alvvays Mural NY (April 3 2016)

Making my way to the vicinity of the venue. Stopping in this café called Bake Shop. I fill up on a bowl of Quinoa Veggie Bean Chili and a Buttered Bagel.

Veggie Quinoa Bean Dinner at Bake Shop NY (April 3 2016)

We're playing at a fairly new venue in Bushwick called Gold Sounds featuring Ben Seretan Group, Fieldings, Ladada, Suburban Living, and The Due Diligence. Skippy, Danny Rogers, Leisa, and her friend Amy make it out along with other friends of friends. The bar is out of all their well drinks. I was gonna get a Crispin but the bartender recommends another cider with a Jack of spades on it. It's a lot dryer and absolutely great. The first two bands put us all in a pleasantly mellow mood. I describe Fieldings as the ultimate lullaby. By the time we get up on the stage the rock n roll energy is hard to muster. But we do our best and it's a good response. Suburban Living rocks the stage next. Then The Due Diligence. Isaac's child-like charismatic nature is hard to ignore. He passes out LED rainbow colored tambourines for everyone to play. 

Fieldings - Gold Sounds NY (April 3 2016)

Ladada - Gold Sounds (April 3 2016) (2)

Ladada - Gold Sounds (April 3 2016) (1)

Suburban Living - Gold Sounds NY (April 3 2016)

I keep kicking the ciders back – four in total – they start to kick in – I'm on a good buzz.

Rainbow Tambourine Fun at Gold Sounds NY (April 3 2016)

Our crew is down to myself, Josiah, Danny, Bianca, Skippy, Brock, and two of his friends. Checking out The Three Diamond Door a couple blocks down the street. In the back room there's a smaller bar where things start getting hazy. I'm fully lit as I've never been before. 90's hip-hop and pop songs are blaring on the speakers. We dance, dance, dance. The strangers around us become instant friends as we sing along to familiar tunes. It's not often I get the chance to let myself go and get loose. One girl in particular is all over the place constantly taking on and off her jacket and other people's jackets. She shows me an Instagram for her lingerie company that's all about female empowerment or something.

"I'm just tired of meeting guys," she yells into my ear. "I'm tired of meeting guys who just leave – I want them to know who I am!"

I just listen to her, treat her like a sister, and tell her I understand. It's a good time until they kick us all out after 2 a.m.

'MY VAN' 'MY VAN' (April 3 2016)

'MY VAN' 'MY VAN' (April 3 2016)

Josiah texts me, "Hey we're next door at the Mexican."

I run over there. The guy behind the counter offers to sell me a box of Pork Tacos that they made on accident for only $5. I take it cause I'm drunk and need food in my body.

Driving back to Brock's pad. We bring in the futon mattress and a bunch of us pile into his bedroom. Bobby and Bryant hang out on the futon catching up on life and complaining about the fragility of their sex life as they get older. I fall asleep listening...

[i] Images by me.