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, three unrelated stops

Seitai treatment room

Today went “over the wall“ for some seitai treatment / stiiiiilllll trying to bust outta this ME/CFS crashmode.

Good news is: my head and heart are so happy and filled with wonder every day. And I’m managing a few little creative dispatches through the fog. Thanks to each of you for chiming in, so very noticed.

PS I wish all medical offices were this level of aesthetic loveliness as well as phenomenal hi-fi system and exceptional records

Notice the everyday normalness because the usual days are hidden goodness

Whilst out, noticed a cute house café nestled in amongst some concrete buildings with an orange bicycle in front. I found that if you stay focused on the goal, I miss all the good stuff which get filed as “distractions”… It turns out the things like hobbies and digressions are the best parts of life.

Anyhow, stopped in for some “safety Ramen” at really the best place > one owner operator and everything is just “perfect” – the seats, the size, the decorations, the music, everything tidy and just well thought out and of course the Ramen is top level. (Brian Ceci can attest ;)).

Gakucho / miso tonkatsu (w/ butter, really)

Ichiro was as always his jolly self. He also had some injections today and got to say hello to the doctor that helped bring him into the world. She’s (Moe-sensei) a really wonderful lady and she was so happy to see him growing up so happy, healthy and strong.

Jolly lil dude

Recap: Haven’t left the house for sometime so three stops today, quite significant.

Next activity: on the 18th I will be “socially distant Santa Claus” for a few kids at a local community center. Yes I will be using natural beard. And we ordered appropriate costume, the “luxury/deluxe” version but I would describe it more just as “adequate but with some extra gold bits (and a little cape!)”. Ryoko Olson will assist me in a super cute red velvet dress, likely with the little dude on her back. I may take a clipboard to take notes about the children’s requests before I tell them “no, none of this is possible, here is an orange :-)”.

Practicing Santa, Moab 1987

Back home, warming up – it’s sunny but chilly and even a few flakes of snow (!), folded laundry, made tea, a few dishes to wash, have something to write about Vincent van Gogh, and some Hokusai postcards. Oh and i hope to sleep, really – I mean I can dream, right?

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, dvo/UW

Diary: Of Baselines, Baby & Laundry

Ichiro and Dave, sharp outfits, out n about, Okayama, Dec. 1, 2020

Just a note: As it goes, my baseline for a “good day” is: laundry, compost, dishes, bath time with baby. Everything else is a bonus. Recently I’ve been below baseline which means I have to be extra gentle on myself and more time in a dark calm room. 

Folding the laundry also serves as a meditation of sorts. Oh, and (as I talk about *all the time*), we have a magical, super-efficient, washer/dryer all in one which uses the bath water… All of this makes the process easier on me.

Stretch-time include: making pickles and writing postcards. (Note both activities have low margin for error and can be done in short times of activity).

Special energy occasions include: making scrapbooks and paintings and poems. I “want” to be doing these things all of the time as my creative brain is going going going but execution is challenging.

What I came to say is: laundry is the *only thing* I stay up with & Bathtime with baby is my very favorite thing / 40°.

Bonus: here’s me and the dude go into my seitai treatment (which provides me a little bit of physical reset). 

Diary: Of Brautigan, Hats, and Hot Springs

Mondays at Tsuchida cottage are rather hectic by my standards… Grocery delivery comes from the co-op, new order form completed, take garbage down to the community collection center, plus the normal routine of taking out the compost, folding laundry, washing dishes, making rice and miso ~ plus trying to stay up on correspondence.

Just feeling a little bit behind because there’s so many things that I wanted to tell you about – really wonderful things, despite the challenges of my illness – including various treasures arriving via post, i.e.:

* The legendary beat culture literary legend “the Joanne Andersen letter“ Neal Cassidy wrote to Jack Kerouac

* A biography about Richard Brautigan that is bigger than a midsize city’s phonebook (quite literally starts with a bang)

* Another poet’s poetic homage to Richard Brautigan, the Tokyo Van Nuys Expressway. Really enjoyable poetry and also great book production quality worth emulating.

* A magnificent hat > handmade in Springville, Utah with the hat band in scribed by a phrase from “in watermelon sugar”, plus another rare book & various ID cards, posters, stickers, letters, momentos and other treasures. This new hat means I’ve now stopped collecting hats, I’ve reached the pinnacle. Thanks Willis and Marty so very much.

* A hand written card by the all-time postcard champion Nick Bantock, author of the Griffin and Sabine series and many other works of epistolary literature, ephemera and fine art. His words were so unbelievably appreciated “You’ve traveled so far to find home, well done“ ~ as his *story* inadvertently intertwined with mine, in a way that his fictional characters deal with one another.

* An ink stamp assortment for postcards including a sort of stamping “jig” and variety pack of delicious papers from Lydia Fiedler / Already used extensively (I would foreshadow about our upcoming festive cards but don’t want to put any more pressure to “get stuff done“, but hint: #TimeTraveler)

* Won an auction for some various treasures from, and also a way to support, the Beat Museum in San Francisco… One stash is going to my brother the commander on Diego Garcia, another to friends in Pacifica for safekeeping until I can be connected to the rare Bukowski & Ginsberg riffs

* A handmade card from a great correspondent in California Jeremiah Jacobs who, besides inky stamps and typewritten words, included specific fragrance in his card. #NextLevel (he’s got a new single out)

* well-chosen books, in English, for Ichiro / we are reading to him in English and Japanese on the regular already, including some of my childhood favorites and others that were gifted to me decades ago in an act of foreshadowing I suppose

* A stash of super cute Canadian style (meaning warm and rugged) baby clothes… All that stuff that you hear about babies growing out of their clothes super quick is well, super true. This goes along with Japan *really actually* having “4 seasons“ and the temperature seems to change right on cue

* Finally, the long-awaited literary collection by my dear sensei Larry Harper / “70” sparked from a riff during a time of recovery for him and distress for me, where we both did our best thinking in Hot Springs and made plans for the future. He’s got three out of three checked and I dug an entirely new foundation and build a completely different life. It all starts with Hot Springs my friends, Hot Springs.

OK, back to the domestic tasks, very grateful to hear whenever cards and letters arrive in your post boxes.

Oh wait… Did I even mention the great exhibit, well by my estimation anyway, of four of my post box paintings at the goat farm? Pleasant conversations, poetry, paintings and post and pals. All of it, all of it. Especially grateful for Mac Kobayashi’s kind words (mostly :-)) and father/mother-in-law‘s assistance.

Right now, Ryoko is at Mae Maes band rehearsal (safe &
all of that) with the increasingly (if that’s even possible) adorable Ichiro Stanley, there’s another stack of letters and dossiers and postcards to go to the post office tomorrow, I’m going to finish these dishes, make the rice, make the miso, make the pickles & vinegar and be grateful for all of it.

Fondly, dvo

PS  Connected with the photographer Steve Rapport who took the “Joe Strummer running a marathon” in London photos you might have seen floating around and he also has David Bowie in 1983… Want to buy prints.

Also, the umeboshi started in June or opened and sampled and very worthy of acclaim

Note: Above is Ichiro with Larry’s book / it’s so cool it doesn’t even have an ISBN #Renegade

PS 12.10 Several of these topics (the books and hats) are riffed in a recent Japan Cottage Musings video dispatch, dig in

Painting / Haiku ~ exhibit intro and round-up

My postbox haiku painting in Shibuya as part of Okayama Design exhibit with Rural Caprine Farm

+ Provincial Poetry, Wine and Goats in Shibuya, Tokyo +

Very proud to see my haiku postbox painting supporting sempei Mac Kobayashi’s display.  If you are in Tokyo area, please consider stopping by to dig it all and tell yer pals (and maybe i’ll send you a postcard print of it #hint).

* Session: Friday, September 18, 2020-Monday, November 30, 2020
* Time: 12: 00-20: 00 (Last Admission 19:30) / Closed on Wednesday
* Place: d47 MUSEUM (03-6427-2301)
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510
* Fee: Free admission + Advance application: Unnecessary

More info: https://www.hikarie8.com/…/d-design-travel-okayama…

As part of Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm exhibit at “d Design Travel Okayama Exhibition” in Shibuya, Tokyo (right near the famous scramble intersection), visitors can see my painting “Postbox Haiku (blue)”.

Hope folks can see the display for inspiration to visit the goats (and see more of my paintings).

Details:
会 期 2020年9月18日(金) – 2020年11月30日(月)
時 間 12:00〜20:00(最終入館/Last Admission19:30)/水曜休 Closed on Wednesday
場 所 d47 MUSEUM(03-6427-2301)
料 金 入場無料/Free Admission
事前申込 不要
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510

+ Tour the Farm (with Postbox and Paintings +

Take a tour of Rural Caprine Farm in Okayama in this video by d design travel 編集部 / starting at 5:34. See the “actual postbox” which goes with the painting of the postbox (which came first?) and hear Mac Kobayashi’s friendly voice at my favourite place.

The exhibit book is really nice and my postbox appears 4 times! You can purchase the catalog at Mac’s farm or by emailing dDesign folks (note to self: add email address here).

History: The painting was “just the postbox”, then i found a matching mailbox and installed at the farm, wrote the haiku onto the postbox, and then added to the painting to complete the meta circle. oh then made postcard prints and a book and mailed to the postbox… 

haiku on a postbox, and a painting of a postbox with a haiku / which came first? 

the original is unfaithful to the translation.

Today – a Letter!
Written as you ate a peach
In last weekend’s SUN

everything comes together!

Diary: Monday at Tsuchida Cottage

Monday at Tsuchida Cottage
Fire up laundry machine
Rock out these dishes
Leftover soup into fridge
Grocery deliveries around three
(Give them next week’s order)
Note: wife already brought in fresh bottle of milk
Coffee grounds to garden, scraps to compost
Garbage goes out tonight
Etc

1/2 way there (ps all about systems & pacing #MECFS)

Bonus: started some new stew & chopped up a pumpkin squash for roasting plus separated seeds for snacks

Tsuchida Cottage Art Gallery (in process)

New addition by Jean Smith (see also: Mecca Normal) / this lady reminds me of someone, somehow… do you know who?

Needs properly hung but wanted you to say “hello”.

Also, glimpses of:
* Miyake Noriko
* Grateful Dead pacific Nw box by Roy Henry Vickers  (thanks Trev!)
* Gravelly Beach series (me)

Elsewhere in house: Michal Korman & many others (this is a note to self to document further)

Note: There is another by Jean who is doing so many interesting projects to build an Free Artist Residency (FB)  somewhere in BC… check her interviews for more of her great story.

Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

This summer was a splendid fog of humid waves of action welcoming baby Ichiro amongst *all the world*. Yet, remains tasks to do (esp as i am still getting settled as an immigrant in a new country and logistically removing myself from several other countries, so: make a list, check the items, repeat.

Anyhow, what follows are scenes of “usual days” in late-summer 2020 as we caught up on life after welcoming Ichiro and tending to various life admin tasks. In other words, the bits which don’t fit anywhere else yet i find somehow amusing. Minimally annotated, non-chronologically. Carry on. 

Note: I roll slowly (1 action per day and only 1 outing a week usually) so strategic planning and adjusting to my health and the baby’s need were/are key.

Sept. 1, an ophthalmologist visit (more spectacle related items throughout this archive) with Dr. Kobayashi (no relation to the goat farmer).  

Background: I have challenging/delicate eyes (astigmatism, wearing glasses since a baby) and need an awesome ophthalmologist (眼科医
Gankai) eye doctor – was hoping someone with english skills as some the vocab evades me but had a very thorough test and fresh prescription to take to an ace optometrist and/or optician + optical shop / Note: tricky eyes so the “cheap and cheerful” places aren’t right for me.

Also: for the eye chart, instead of “letters” it was circle shapes with an opening to the up, down, right or, left. Of course the circle shapes and the opening became progressively smaller. got to do it all in japanese to add the brain confusion / needed to be placed in a dark quiet room for the rest of the day to reset my brain / needed a quiet room after. Continue reading Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

Diary: tasks (sundry = stereo, pickles, pre-school)

Today-ish (amongst laundry, salads, coffees, bath and vacuuming…) 

* Setting up stereo (need sturdy table)
* Making pickles (trying with kojo)
* Investigating pre-school (not pictured)

Evidence (brief): 

Note: from this photo, rather hard to gauge the *massive* size/heft of this turntable and amp. Next step is reconnect speakers with lower gauge wires trim for appropriate placement tbd / Really need a hi-fi master/buddy to help proper set-up

Note: got behind on the pickle assembly line but in the meantime, got a few more jars into the flow by consuming the exceptionally perfect peanut butter (formerly) contained within

Thankful: a Postcard to Pals

Hello You,

Having the best year somehow / full of gratitude for surprising treats, healthy lad, remarkable wife, poetry flowing, paintings regarded, a cottage abode, archives in a sturdy hidden fortress.

So many years lost/hiding in various wildernesses & now pure joy + wonder. (I live with pain but matters less). #grateful

Fondly, dvo/UW

Painting / Haiku ~ on exhibit in Shibuya (representing Okayama Design)

My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo: 

Detail of the exhibit catalog and the stand ( No. 14) for Rural Caprine Farm & Market

My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.

Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.

I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)

Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.

Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.

Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.

Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk.
My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).

Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.

Grateful to be part of HERE. Let’s enjoy.

Me and the exhibit magazine/map/catalog at Rural Caprine Farm

Diary: Spectacle update (part next)

Overview: Due to my absurdly complicated prescription, lenses are always fantastically expensive and, because I really wanted to have two fresh pair on the go, decided against new frames and instead reusing 2 existing frames. Details follow: 

As pictured above:

The top right pair (brown tortoise Clubman) are almost an antique, purchased in 1995 on Guam, with early days transition lenses. The frames are still in decent shape, well-made with machined screws and feel cool on my face. I remember purchasing this pair as there had been some recent advances in progressive bifocal lenses which significantly reduced the thickness of the lenses from “safety glasses thickness“ to something more dignified. The new lenses will have a brown tint – not gradient or transitions, just a light/medium brown for a general purpose out-n-about specs.

The other pair (rather clear + titanium with blue detail in the temples) were purchased around 3 years ago in Victoria, BC with hopes would be a *perfect* pair. Alas the lenses were not made to pro specifications (the focal point is wildly askew) and give me instant headache and nausea when trying to wear. As such, the frames are barely used and will now be basically remade as originally intended with a gray tint and blue light filter for screen time. Hopefully help in reducing headaches & twitches. 

Recap: So, saved a little bit of money by not going with new frames but still get a fresh-up on the face. Thoughts?

Also: Nishida-san at the optical shop with a good sport as a rolled in with a leather satchel with six different pairs of glasses (from my world to her at spectacles) to check which frames were serviceable / salvageable. I also learned about the “secret codes” that lensmakers embed into the lenses as an oracle of sorts to other opticians in optometrists to understand how the lenses were constructed.
Pick up in 10 days-ish.

PS Thanks to Tina T. for re-sparking idea about digging into the old stash. Everything new is old again.

Diary: Spectacle update (Ryoko’s new glasses)

Behold! Ryoko Olson with 1 of 2 new pairs picked and elegantly fitted by Nishida optical in Okayama.

Note: These specs feature blue filter for easing eye strain on screens. So very lightweight too.

PS She’s wearing the other pair now and I keep looking at her face and saying “wow“ as both pair really allow her eyes and smile to shine.