Category Archives: Personal Musings

sometimes i have something to say about me, life and the passage of time – schemes, ideas, holiday dispatches, thoughts and dreams that aren’t too private and other journalling

Diary: Hopeful logistical annotations (not about wild boar)

I hope you enjoy hanging out with my unnecessary annotations.

Summary: yes, +/- 90% of my creative energy of late is spent on government paperwork – passports, taxes x3, disability, resident permits, visas, insurance, pensions, various IDs, certified translations, notaries etc. (the rest of the time, i eat oatmeal, fold laundry and make mix tapes).

Yesterday:

  • Tax papers signed and sent (to one of three national parks in jurisdictions with which I can contend, for the time being of at least) still have to submit payment
  • Scans of important family registration/birth registration papers (acquired Monday at the Ward office) sent to certified translator for certified translation (duh) plus notarization to be returned by registered mail
  • renewed domain, yes, I only pay for one or two domains now
  • unplugged hard drives and routers drain a couple hours of pretty serious thunderstorm just to be safe
  • Prepared a couple more posts for the creative life archive just to get down to the “only 300” in the draft/pending folder… Anything you’re enjoying from this project recently?

Still have a few series which just need a bit of ”clean up” to finish (much of which I can do from bed in a semifog) but a lot of stuff is just gonna wait for another “blitz” run.

Gonna slow this project down I think as I need to move on to three different projects:

1) finish Kerouac in Kobe video, I’m really close, but editing video is so rough on my eyes! October is a big month in the Kerouac world and I wanna make my contribution.

2) Google Drive shake down, move/archive/back up files, cancel my 2 TB subscription (this is final step in my “quitting the sass” project this year which I’ve canceled more than a dozen various online subscriptions which would really handy when I was nomadic but now kind of redundant expense)

3) poetry book manuscript assembling project / long overdue, have the poems (so many!), have a concept/working title, and moving poems around is much easier on my eyes then video. It’s not something that will “make money” but it will feed my soul and hopefully inspire my friends (that’s you!). Once I do this, then I can move on to a book of nonfiction travel stories and then a book of fictional short stories but first, these poems need an audience to breathe life into them – thoughts?

Today though, gotta:

Continue reading Diary: Hopeful logistical annotations (not about wild boar)

Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

the “working holiday visa which started my Japan life in Dec. 1992

Before arriving in Japan, I really knew very little about Japan, I didn’t have an interest in Japan, didn’t care about anime or manga or hadn’t eaten sushi, and had no interest in martial arts, though did have some interest and experience with traditional pottery (raku) techniques, familiarity with Japanese poetry albeit as introduced by *Western* writers, however my older brother had gone to Japan for “proselytizing reasons” and him being in Japan – in a roundabout way – is what brought me to Japan (via the working holiday visa paper of importancy pictured above).

In brief: after a several years of traveling around US & Canada for Grateful Dead concerts, hemp festivals, national park exploits, mountain climbing, canyon hiking, couch crashing, Punk shows, fake IDs, drum corps, university invasions, odd jobs, foolish hitchhikes and “doing my best” with the ladies… And then extending that vibe into Mexico for fish tacos and tequila mistakes and taking my VW bus in even more places it probably shouldn’t have ever gone but did, came an accepted application to Evergreen college which was thwarting by ignominiously *not* winning of any scholarships, not awarded of any bursaries, not accepted into any grants, not allowed any loans so (kind of a shock since i was really accustomed to winning everythings, (you wanna see all my elementary school ribbons, maybe you have?).

So, took the money saved from a summer of building bicycles at Sunrise in Logan, Utah while living in a tent next to the temple & went to Seattle anyway but instead of going south to Olympia to finish off a bachelors degree (with wide eyes of getting a master of fine arts in creative writing and likely a tweed jacket with elbow patches soon there after to go with my smoky pipe and intellectual airs), went North to my “for lack of a better term” hometown of Surrey/Vancouver, bought a one-way ticket to Amsterdam, found some ridiculously-colored hiking boots, obnoxiously-colored trousers and barely usable but very packable sleeping bag & mat on the clear-out table (obviously because of the color) at one of the dozen outdoor good stores in Kitsilano, and with a butane stove (loaded), pocket knife (dull-ish), cut off overalls, a travel sized wok pan, juggling sticks and a jester hat, headed off on a European adventure – not the sort of package tour with giggling youth on a graduation trip, nor the earnest guidebook-toting aficionado, just me, a patched up red wilderness experience backpack and the 1972 “hitchhikers guide to Europe” with vague plans to eventually meet up with my buddy Trevor who had gone a few months earlier (keep reading) and working as a waiter at a seaside something in England and seeing all these bands we loved at big muddy festivals.

At the risk of an extended digression, (& unsurprisingly, documentation of this trip exists in poems, paintings, two photographs, a wine label and at least one but probably more podcasts telling stories about getting deathly ill at Oktoberfest in Munich after hitchhiking from Amsterdam, meeting up with the Bad Yodelers band and being (yet again) a sort of uninvited guest on their band tour being a “roadie who didn’t do anything but smoke hash mixed with tobacco – yech”, then meeting up with Trevor in an idyllic fairytale town, picking grapes, gathering chestnuts for sale, partying in old castle dungeons, carousing with more people than should fit in a Citreön, a wild “new wine” festival [censored], hitchhike back to Amsterdam hostels & coffeshops, a bus to Belgium, a hazy ferry to England, rainy expensive London with Hare Krishnas and bad decisions and couch surfing (again) with New Zealanders (and an Australian who was convinced he was going to carry on a dozen beer steins for his flight home) after watching red dwarf… We ended up in Miami after hurricane Andrew on a cheap Virgin Atlantic flight – where we drank more than our airfare of fancy liquor & bought a bottle of scotch for a friend Who (yes, again) would be hosting us on his couch – on a fraudulent credit card. Then came all night Denny’s nursing coffees, Halloween hilarity, caught in thunderstorms, meeting sketchy friends of a sort, trying to exchange a Canadian hundred dollar bill which had been hidden in my boot for months, soggy and unvaluable, adventure down to Key West meeting neither Jimmy Buffett or Hemingway but eating some conch fritters, then a drive-away car delivery towards Dallas with at least three police incidents including a very thorough search on alligator alley none of which were nowhere near as frightening as dropping off the car to the very large, very agitated (and wearing very short shorts) recipient who was ummm concerned & confused about why the trunk wasn’t filled with a certain white powder and “who are we?” and why we were demanding he gave us $300… Somehow we ended up at the Greyhound station, scammed a scammer into a two-for-one ticket for a bus ride to Salt Lake City, i’ll never ride a greyhound again I said as I sat in the loser seat next to the toilet but still I remember every bus station was playing a different Neil Diamond song.)

Continue reading Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

Will my “Prince Charles elementary school” ribbons and certificates be upgraded?

Declined an invitation (which never arrived), had things to do around the house after all

However, thinking about how sharp I would’ve looked at the ceremony at Westminster Abbey yesterday with all these Royal accolades and badges spangled across my black morning suit with tails & a ceremonial hat of some sort. Pretty fancy & obv regal I think.

I just hope I would’ve been seated by the president of Moldova. She seems really sharp.

Question: do these “Prince” Charles ribbons get upgraded now?

Have my certificates become even more prestigious?

I need to know this to update my LinkedIn profile.

Meta: archive fiddling (instead of tea ceremony)

Wiped out today after (by my standards) a really hectic week so I didn’t go with my double darlings to tea ceremony. Had some emotional lay down, bit of house tidying/ usual laundry folding, “Life admin“ list reviewing, and some fiddling with my creative life archive.

Re: creative life archive, still clearing draft backlog (315) & enjoying the process, more or less.

(this composition was made for the #daveo50 series and now I’m #daveo52 but no one’s keeping score, right?)

Next up: a new series/category of “signs in the wild” + a couple more Ayurveda hospital reports from Nepal and Sri Lanka, & notes from a Shodo calligraphy exhibit & more museums.

Reckon ive mentioned before but for me, assembling the archive post is like playing some sort of video game or a puzzle or maybe even watching a TV series… I scout around hard drives and repositories for the items, combine various media, figure out categories, plot a schedule.

And, as “collections” grow from 3 posts to suddenly 7+… I create & nest in a new category.

For example: just finally made categories for “payphones” “postboxes” “currency/bank notes” and “typewriters” & moved posts.

It’s semantic web funtimes w/ clear url slugs & metadata!

Diary: ME to Consulate / much officialness + sleeping masks & fades

Yesterday’s #MECFS medical intake checked off the list (more to say, of course, I have more to say… there are notes).

All packed up

(Very brief version: long day, spun me out but “felt heard” & respected and have some new approaches)

So today was resting in a cool dark room for Thursday is business of an official kind in Osaka for the US consulate but just gonna do it as an “sniper mission” with no additional stops.

Rules: Items are forbidden beyond scant essentials. Various documents and methods of large payment. Oaths will occur.

As such, I’m looking official, right? #WorldsWorstSecretAgent

No spectacles or smiles allowed, also must fit all hair inside the photo, really.

Yes, I am leaving the prefecture. We will travel by private vehicle rather than train for precautionary purposes.

Then next week starts in projects for Canadian and Japan passports for Ichiro, (and renewing Canadian passport and Japanese resident card for me) but that’s next week(ish)…

Tip regarding passports in general: keep dozens on hand for various purposes, mix and match, trade with your friends! Remember, everything is a forgery. Invent your own country.

All right, 4:38 PM, got to get out of bed and wash some dishes… Get ready for my darlings coming home. Think we’ll have kabocha croquettes

PS re: sleeping masks

I have about 17 sleeping masks, 4 or 5 in regular rotation but am (obv) still seeking *the perfect 1”.

AudreyHepburn’s much sought after blue satin sleep mask makes £6,250, over x 4 the high estimate #AudreyAtChristies #AuctionUpdate

Above is Audrey Hepburn’s actual sleeping mask, not the one used in-character in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which is endlessly reproduced and sold through all your usual Internet outlets… This one went at auction for £6000

Want:

  • soft to touch/silky material
  • big enough to really cover beardo face comfy w/o squeeze
  • wide backstrap w/ covered elastic
  • and dammit, want it cute!

I keep buying them and what should be a very simple solution is always either under built (skinny shtty elastic are the worst), poor materials, or too much “technical” cloth that doesn’t feel nice aside from an emergency use, or so massive that they wrap your head in some kind of overheated cocoon.

With my illness, I wear these like a super lot. I would make my own but I’ve got a few projects on the list before that and figure someone’s got this figured out.

Advice?

PS A few more notes and examples commingled with notes about Ramen and I don’t know, probably pickles

Not for passport use that surfaced from 2014, fresh from Junior’s Barber shop… Just thinking I might get to go back there one of these months 
* Public Service Announcement *

Note: Junior's BarberShop does the snippy snip in chill style.

Ya be a fool to go nowhere else for fades, razor cuts. & all that...

Down Davie st near Burrard & Hornby - find it, worth it.

Peace in every street.

August Ends, so we go on…

{This end of this summer is not melancholy for m/we, no one leaves to school or to deserts or even to foreign lands, it just ends with a storm}

August ends
September begins
Ganesh comes to visit removing all obstacles.
“All of them Ganesh, all of them?”

So we go on:
Two big plans
in one week, next week –
for now,
The power returns
though I remain in the dark
waiting a turn.

typhoon weather
morning teapot fills up
with rainwater

The edge of a typhoon at Tsuchida cottage, The lad and I turned the couch to face the window and he cuddled a bit when the thunder was loud

Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

I have only visited Disney-branded theme parks twice, both at the *classic location* in Anaheim, CA, USA.

The first time (1979?) stands out as it was on a trip with my Mom, aunt and various cousins in which we went to Salt Lake City and then to Anaheim, staying in hotels, eating room service, pay-per-view hotel movies and whatnot. Most significant though was auditioning for a game show, two iirc, “children’s versions“ of Jokers Wild and Tic-Tac-Dough. {artifacts exist and will be shared under separate cover}.

Have you visited Tom Sawyer island? Were you part of the occupation? What’s there now if anything? This is a blurry photo, blurry like my memories

Anyhow, the park itself I found a bit hectic and crowded and preferred the quiet corners: enjoying a Carnation milkshake, hitting a shop which embroidered my name onto a floppy hat, and the Country Bear Jamboree – also recall something about a jungle cruise and a tiki room and riding a gondola which fit my speed moreso then Matterhorn or Space Mountain with their long lines and short attention span. Oh, Caribbean Pirates, and Haunted Mansion… It’s all coming back to me now.

Anyhow, I suppose fitting with my nature, Tom Sawyer Island was my favorite. I wondered, “how was it that a place was left mellow & leafy, not built up and not filled with noises and lights in amongst this jumble of manufactured excitement?”

This impression stuck with me and it wasn’t until years later, mentioning this to (I think) Larry Harper who told me about a “y/hippie occupation” of the lil island in the 70s. Unsurprisingly, this was well sanitized from the “official corporate history” of the uncompromising, brand-conscious company but of course, various recounting exist. A link round-up follows below.

Anyhow, why we are here is: Going through my archives, the only Disney ephemera in collection (so far at least) is a brochure (not sure what the purpose of a brochure is since you’re already there and I don’t think anyone buys the golden ticket just to go there) of the humble island.

Continue reading Artifact / Riff: d!snëy Tom Sawyer Island (brochure and notes about h/yippie occupation)

Musing: fires, volcanos, axe handles & cycle of children

This shelf, containing “danger on peaks” was itself dangerous and not aesthetically pleasing so now it is a garden planter box

March 13, 2022: I went to sleep last night – first night without a fire in the stove for some time – on tatami mats reading “Danger on Peaks”, dedicated to Carole, woke up as my Ryoko took little Ichiro to school, recalling Gary writing about being a 63-year-old stepdad taking a 10-year-old to school in the carpool, and thinking of myself at 10 years old on 95th Ave. in Surrey, getting ready for church the Sunday morning when Mt St Helens erupted, remembering the feeling of the unusual rumble (was not an 18 wheeler), and thinking of Gary coming down the mountain as a 13-year-old to learn that Japan was bombed and “nothing will grow there for 70 years“ and how Hiroshima is just down the road from me, indeed wonderful noodles, activists & parks.

Poured fresh French Press coffee, and picked up my robot and read Wang Ping’s remarkable recounting moments with the axe handle, with the boy-now-man (about my vintage) who the axe handle was created with, with the poet (who had been just up the road in Kyoto, probably pass through here at some point), together throwing hatchets into a stump, then into a barn (no food allowed to prevent pests, like my kura), pulling out Ezra Pound and Han Shan, pages falling open to the exact place, and marveling at the un-coincidence of it all. Such treasure.

It’s all about the cycles as Gary said to Lew. Or was that vice versa?

Also, Ichiro – a year and a half old – loves no toy more than the brush and scoop to clean the woodstove & darling Ryoko now has the skill to light the store with a single match with help from my special arts and crafts made from egg cartons, soy paraffin and sawdust learned from my mother, her ashes on the altar.

Hail the fire queens, axe carvers, and pantry mice!

Axe Handles
BY ©1983 GARY SNYDER

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
"When making an axe handle
                               the pattern is not far off."
And I say this to Kai
"Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with—"
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It's in Lu Ji's Wên Fu, fourth century
A.D. "Essay on Literature"-—in the
Preface: "In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand."
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Diary: #daveo52 / happiness and time are infinite, right?

chicken, 4 ways

Most years, for my birthday I “give myself a present of making some creative project”… In past years there was the Frederick Varley three-part mixed media essay in Vancouver Observer, the “poets, punks and revolutions: Forgotten Vancouver stories” video from Northern Voice 2013 (with Andrew Lavigne), last year was the “Leo card“ bonanza plus a special video dispatch “Castle, foundations and pyjamas (from Saskatoon to Tsuchida)“, the year before was the “Regarding Personal Archeology #daveo50 (video introduction)” project tracking each year of my then-50 years, i also assembled and published my 1988 “Uncle Weed’s Red Rock Storybook” in 31 parts for another birthday creation. Previously was big raging parties for UncleWeed 40 Pig Roast and UncleWeed 42 (+ brother Danimal 39) “Music Festival” themed epic (round-up)… Anyway this year I had thought about doing a live poetry reading or maybe a chapbook, or finish the Kerouac in Kobe video.

But then I remembered the most important things for this year are being an “good husband and papa” and the most important thing in life is having time/connections with the people that you care about. (plus recalled that mid-August when folks are rocking the last of summer is a lousy time to put something out on the internet, regardless of my fck stats make art ethos). So/and:

waking up, 1 year in the new.old.new house/cottage

Also, I just can’t seem to “bounce up” recently… I mean between the illness (MECFS) and the heat and a couple of energy-vampire significant “personal life administration” projects that i’m not quite comfortable talking about yet, i’m spending a significant amount of time in bed (not shocking for my illness and no, no advice requested), i did close to nothing as far as a creative project aside from posting a few odds and ends while killing time in the doctors office.

Indeed,i went to seitai treatment – it being a “holiday“ (i guess) as the last day of O-bon, a lot of people waiting ahead of me so i shared some dispatches (about Auroville and the end of my driving “career“), reading a new ‘zine as well as Nick Bantock‘s “Sabine’s notebook“ – which I now own two original creations – and then lay down on the fainting couch underneath a framed print of my art (yes I will say this every time).

Sei tai drs waiting room with zine and epistolary lit

After an intense treatment (it really spins me out), Ryoko picked me up, gave me a sandwich and took me home to bed… PS going to the doctor, i did a funny thing (i think) by wearing the same outfit the doctor always does to see if he will notice: Khaki pants, brown belt, off-white short-sleeve collared shirt. No comment but i was amused.

The previous few days, we prepared food in stages including slow roasting a pork belly, marinating and roasting three kinds of chicken thighs (banana pepper mustard, barbecue, and jerk) and then oiled-down and powder jerk rub on a chicken, marinating resting overnight. Mother-in-law made salads, I always have pickles on standby, so we just stashed the chicken in the oven – on the special rack with a tall can of Spring Valley – for an hour and whazzam, dinner.

Of course my pal Mac the goat farmer came over with a large flagon of fancy Koti beer and two lovely gifts, a great new record and cool new T-shirt. Thanks Pal.

we tried to call Cmdr Bob but no go

My lovely in-laws also gifted me a couple of new T-shirts. I also told them how grateful I am for how we built a relationship more and more this year as it’s a one year anniversary also of us moving back into the new/old/new cottage.

quick with the photo and eat the gelato!

For dessert, Ryoko with help from Ichiro, really, made Matcha Gelato as my request and it was fantastic! We pulled out Mom‘s fancy China and she wrote “happy birthday Dave” in chocolate sauce which Ichiro quickly attacked.

And, while throwing Ichiro around, he noticed the missing pack of Anpanman “fireworks“ (sparklers and simple things) we had put on top of the fridge and forgotten about so we promptly went outside where there was a little bit of rain (hooray!) and had some fire fun.

So in amongst jerk chicken and hanabi sparklers… so ends another circuit for me and so ends another o-bon so our ancestors can go back to their heavenly confines and me to bath. good night wonders, fondly, dvo
Continue reading Diary: #daveo52 / happiness and time are infinite, right?

Diary: Ramblin’ Ted visits the shed (& farm)

My friend Ted came to visit – he lives in Kyoto but was doing some tour guide reconnaissance/spiels on Kyushu & our home with the waystation before heading Shikoku.

me at the giggling piglet studio and consulate, photo by Ted, minor crop and edit by me

Notably, he is my first multi-time visitor to the Giggling Piglet studio besides Mac Kobayashi. Also, we went to Mac’s Goat Farm for lunch, coffees etc.

Listening to Leonard Cohen in the thunderstorm, thankful for the relatives who built this mighty store house

Dude is keeping up an incredible pace in an exceptionally hot and humid summer.

I mean, it’s really perfect mixed media creation studio

Overall, we discussed many topics. Thanks to my sweet in-laws for setting up the comfy room for him complete with the family altar/shrine open for o-bon. It’s a very special time of the year here when our passed away relatives can come back to visit for a while.

the hi-fi system is sounding great after a couple of tweaks by the piano tuner & this snap is a great angle cause you don’t see my balding spot :)

Thank you for visiting Ted, I really enjoy time with you.

Memo: You might enjoy Ted’s snapshots of the experience in general (snaps are stashed on facespace but this is a note to add some more here down the line // Right now I’m at the doctors office, my battery – phone & human – is/are plummeting so, you know how it goes…)

[update: photos added, mostly unannotated]

These snapshots should have captions/annotations but at this point they don’t, but *they exist* thanks to Ted. At some point I’ll add a link to his “notes from the nog” blog.