Category Archives: Portraits of the Artiste

snaps of me (dave) in/at various disguises, ages, situation and circumstances – here for posterity (vanity only sorta)

Me in my place, at peace

Amongst all the hospital visits and dental appts and other “stuff going on behind the scenes which not ready to discuss” had a few more visitors, fulfilling my objective last summer of:

more pals just ‘rolling by for coffee and records’

As such neighbor pal snapped this of me in kura:

Re: turntable // GT stands for “gigantic tremendous” you can’t make it up. Early 80s, peak bubble goods. Fully manual, nothing automatic. Has a bubble level, rpm changer, go/stop & a platen which could decapitate. It was comedy getting it up the stairs and then had to build a special shelf

And was just a spontaneous kind of stealth shot… No big deal, I am at peace, we’re listening to John Coltrane or Chet Baker and swapping stories of road trips in Cascadia and how we came to be in Japan and met at a goat farm // the gent lives quite close by and brought pastries

{I’m still amazed my life journey brought me here with my art supplies, creations and holy smokes, all of my records! Look closely and you’ll see a signed Billy Bragg, re-issued Modernettes, paintings by Jean Smith, Cat Leonard and Timothy Wilson Hooey ++ And of course, that’s Joe Strummer mounted on industrial steel shelving captured by @bev101 at the US festival in California & the turntable is 55 kg Yamaha GT 2000 (a gift from my doctor) – can hardly believe life worked out like this after I lost everything including myself}

Thanks Mr T Fast.

PS When I think about the guy in 2018 who stumbled back to Okayama to hide out at a goat farm with a life in shambles, everything seemingly lost, body mind soul all damaged goods – I take none of it for granted. Savor it all, everything is possible.

Barber: back to “Showa shop” for shave & haircut

Back from Canada, into a hornets nest and feeling nearly faded as my everything

We returned from the “BC invasion” trip into a bit of a hornet’s nest, after loading up our Napoleonic expedition of luggage into the Kei truck and loading humans into the van (yes, two vehicles) was told there was a funeral (an auntie I never met) and of course, funerals are not to be missed.

A few hours of sleep and dutifully knocked off my magnificent beard to respectable trim – but done in haste.

Of course, with a black suit and sunglasses to hide the saggy eyes, I was my usual debonair shape-shifter, ha ha yes, “the worlds worst secret agent”.

Barely off the plane, into the suit ready for inaction

Things got even more topsy-turvy from there and the hair getting sloppy and my own job on the beard completely inadequate so took myself for some self-care at the “lost in showa” barbershop with ashtrays, faded manga, the backwards barber clock and the jovial second (at least) generation Barber.

{I mention this because every article about Japan’s rapid rate of the population mentions the amount of businesses without a successor so worth mentioning the ones which are generational.}

He’s a very enjoyable fellow

As is my custom, after a great haircut and an even better straight razor shave leaving a magnificent mustache, I asked him for a “twofer” snapshot and he readily obliged.

Brought him a present from Canada (a shot glass) and just in case I didn’t share it before, here is the photo of the trim up on the head just before the trip.

So full of hope and enthusiasm heading off on the BC invasion with a big thumbs up

And since I’m here over documenting the mundane, here is another addition to the “me and Ichiro sitting in the backseat of the van while he looks increasingly disgruntled” collection

Me: looking exhausted & ‘real’

There is a part in Wes Anderson’s spectacular film “Isle of dogs” where the beleaguered canines are given a serum injection which instantly cures dog flu, snout fever, and solves the proliferation crisis – all in one shot. The first dog “Chief” excitedly remarks how his eyesight, equilibrium, nervous system issues are all suddenly is resolved as he brightens up with a spark. Eventually, I dream that there will be a similar solution for MECFS.

As I go along, I *apparently* snap ridiculous and certainly unnecessary and unflattering photos of myself looking exhausted. Usually, I share the photos where I manage a smile. (if you’re smart, you know my “tell” of when I am manufacturing a smile). #PokerPlayersNotice. Some of these snaps of possibly on other social channels as a signal that I’m still alive.

I’m not sure why, it’s only sort of a recent habit, but I think it’s because in the future I can look back and say “right on Davey, you hung in there, you didn’t give up, you didn’t take the exit, and look at you, you’re doing right now”.

Continue reading Me: looking exhausted & ‘real’

Pacifica Pier: versions & evidence of me, evolving

During my “missing years” or the “healing ramble” or whatever, there was sort of a circuit of safe houses, hideouts and caches i rotated through which included Pacifica, California.

“Im just a constant headache.” is how I felt for a long long time (although I did not paint this myself on the pier)

A couple dear friends there looked out for me as I received of medical treatment there – some planned and some ummmm unintended.

As it goes, while looking for something else, I kept coming across mah ole face on four separate visits and right away could see the change as dealt with so much well, change and loss… “Losing everything” / my health, my erstwhile career, my energy, my mind, myself, my parents, and so much more.

the pier takes and “L” shape / you could often hear circle language is spoken, sometimes kids selling something, crab pots, fishing lines, a few dingy sinks for gutting your catch

The pier would be usually occupied by a scattered assortment of fishers and crab catchers, and others like me, just watching the waves rolling, fog twitching, the occasional hearty surfer, and every once in a while a humpback whale.

As usual, there’s more to say about “all of this” (yes, there’s a pending medical – specific report in the slow moving “healing ramble” series) but for now, I present to you: me & Pacifica pier which was a safe refuge for me as could walk back-and-forth – at the foot is a coffee shop serving clam chowder in a bread bowl and a Matcha latte, the street has so many cute little funky beach ‘shacks’ (any of them cost in million+ now) that, due to zoning regulations & shoreline protection mandates, couldn’t really be changed… so the area of town was sort of stuck in a past decade and showed it’s working class roots and rum running/bootlegging history.

Minor annotations included with the photos. Remarkable to me anyhow & a reminder of what “we” are capable of, I mean if I am able to tough it out, evolve and change with it all, you certainly can.

2014 / not happy with how I found myself in life as it was
2015 / it turns out the “unknown“ was a lot more dangerous than expected / and yes, it was much worse than this suggests
2016 / trying really trying to intrepidly step in to the unknown
2016 / an unexpected and unfortunate trip has no picture of my face but this is the coffee shop at the start of the pier
2018 / came to deposit my mother’s ashes off the end of the pier and took a moment to think about the changes my life would take in the months to come
2017/ Pacifica on a scrapbook and a Lomo rolling with me through Thailand

I Hell<3 Pacifica. Grateful.

wandering, wandering, being grateful and dreaming about the future
and oh how we rambled!

October, we’re home (again)

Preamble from Oct. 31: My sweet goodness, what a topsy-turvy buncha days out in the world. So much sadness, so much hope, so much everything happening all at once. Peace to the memories of the lost ones. Not quite sure how to react except to go wash dishes and fold laundry.

Meanwhile, Nov. 6: Usually, usually usually usually: i like to put a little monthly recap for the previous month – with a picture of a calendar – for some sort of a mental reset routine amidst the anomalies of chronology which, frankly doesn’t make sense (the concept of a calendars and the reasons i recap).

Though, i changed all the calendars (Japan is a great place to live if you love free calendars), i didn’t take a snapshot (my handy pocket robot camera has stopped working) but the photo with me in various hats feels kind of like a calendar and well, the last day of October is a day for dressing up in various disguises so voila!

Note: I don’t care for scary stuff or spooky stuff or horror stuff but you know I’m a fan of hats, costumes and disguises.

So, while we’re well into November, the darling wife and adorable son are off at tea ceremony after a day out a Kurashiki jazz street yesterday in the gorgeous historical Bikan district, and I’ve folded the laundry, still have a few dishes to do and a pot of rice to put on and, for consistency, here are a few notes about October.

my great pal Banghi made this amusing meme with me and hero Tintin, i love it!

Books: Currently reading Tanizaki Junichiro’s “The Makioka Sisters” – story of a once-prominent family in Osaka/Kobe in the (dreamy) Taisho era and enjoying so much. Kind of Tolstoy-esque it’s pleasant pacing & details of family life. Previously read his “Naomi”. Did you read either?

Also reading Murakami Ryu (not Haruki)’s “69” / I usually have three or four books on the go at once in different locations. Right now keeping stacks handy for glances of poetry for inspiration while I work on my book project.

Ichiro has learned the wonders of Tintin books so we’re reading Tintin in Tibet over and over again and we both love it. Also “old farm, new farm” as well as “toot and puddle” – all most excellent.

Also posted a review of Amy Chavez’s book, trying to do this for more books (and have a plan to write something about the new record from The Matinée)

Anyhow, October featured two big “buckets of things”

1) Loads of creative projects wound up, especially:

  • the Kerouac in Kobe video and related coverage in Rock and Beat Generation and Allen Ginsberg project and loads of dossiers send out into the world / note: followed along with coverage of “Lowell Celebrates Kerouac” event but made sure to not feel blue about missing out
  • poetry anthology “Muriel’s Journey” and the online reading – which sort of help me reconnect with my former home of Vancouver as well as meet some interesting poets, some of which also have a connection with Japan
    • interview / convo with Jason Emde for his “Writers Read their Early Sht” pod, coming soon-ish / provided opportunity to surface all sorts of archeology

2) Loads of “life admin” stuff wrapped up, including:

  • various passports, citizenship and tax matters in several countries
    • into new medical programs, detailed elsewhere
  • paperwork for schools & pensions
  • tickets purchased for a big trip next year (more later)

Next up for November:

  • the big one is trying to focus on this poetry book that I keep yapping about (its kinda project which is hard to start and stop and start… momentum and pacing is key)

but also:

  • one more round of absurd disability paperwork for Canada, completely intimidating
  • getting ahead of the New Year’s card production routine, (I love this but scaling back a bit this year, trimming the list)
  • doing a big picture hanging funtime (gonna be really fantastic)
  • a few more things around the yard and garden (did a few already)
  • plans for festive get together and possible Santa Claus appearances

Finally, King Tut:

My pal, super blogger Rebecca Bollwitt, AKA Miss604 has a campaign about the groovy interactive exhibit about King Tutankhamun in Vancouver / the King Tut exhibit in Seattle when i was a kiddo (1978?) was a HUGE deal for me and this year, this month is the centenary of the (re)discovery of the tomb by the squad of Egyptian workers, archeologist Howard Carter and patron “Lord” Carnarvon.

So i added 2 notes:

  1. Podcast: Behold, a very enjoyable, approximately 7 hour, “brief overview“ of the archaeological excavation of KV 62: Anniversary: The Tomb of Tutankhamun – The History of Egypt Podcast
  2. Bonus: me in fifth grade Prince Charles elementary school in Surrey science fair, and full costume with a (sorta) scale model of Tutankhamun’s tomb complete with gold painted treasures inside, a back light, and a sign saying “see what Howard Carter saw” / also a mimeographed and-out with an essay explaining “the daily life of the young king”
why yes, i did win first prize :)
Continue reading October, we’re home (again)

Disguise: TinTin, Guildford, 1977 (trying my best)

i mean, the details get lost: the right trousers, shoes, white shirt and blue tie – alas the glasses and the mediocre hair bring it down

Tintin, the intrepid reporter who managed to foil his enemies, while chasing down a story and exotic countries, was, and remains, my hero.

As a seven(?)-year-old in Guilford, I did my best to emulate him, alas, glasses were a necessity but the +4 pants, rackish tie and dapper overcoat captured the spirit for my satisfaction… as does the jaunty grasp of the overcoat showing “im ready for anything”. {Indeed, I was ready for anything and off into the world i went, eventually morphine more into a captain had hot type and finally settling into professor calculus/sunflower .}

However, I spent the entire evening trying to explain to people who I was. Surrey wasn’t ready then, and likely isn’t now, for this remix of (a relatively to North American audiences) obscure Belgian.

Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

While in Pokhara, Nepal in 2017 for extended Ayurveda treatment, i generally, wasn’t able to go out and explore aside from a haircut/beard trim (all the oils from the treatment or a little unwieldy so I switched to a great mustache) and another time to get this magnificent custom-made, hundred percent hemp outfit made at Sabitri Hemp Shop (map).

I sort of explained all the advocacy work I’ve done for commercial applications of hemp cannabis over the years with Hempenroad film, dozens of articles especially about hemp in Japan, the “Practical Guide to Cannabis” for policymakers”, but really, *this wasn’t my gig* rather i was there to enjoy and support.

here is the storefront with a few premade wares on display and double sewing machines in front making new things

The owner was a jovial friendly sort and i had a good time explaining what i wanted and being measured.

Specifically, ordered a short sleeve collared shirt with a trim fit made to wear untucked, and a pair of trousers with the waistband finished like I like it and back pockets with buttons and all the little details.

seen here with handmade flat cap by Mavili (from Georgia – the country, not state – purchased at Lonsdale Quay and traveled all over with)
Continue reading Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

IDs Please! (keep that hair inside the line mister)

[compiled Aug 2022 from notes and incident Aug. 17 2022]

Had to redo my photos for “my number” card for various government services here in Japan because a couple strands of hair were outside the frame of the photo (blue version).

evidently, the hair was outside the boundaries too much for specifications

Good news is: got to rock the mighty mustache and a yellow shirt from India in the new one.

fortunately, this snap is within parameters and is now on one of my dozens of ID cards

Also: have inadvertently started on ID photo series for #Daveo60

Accidental Palaeontology (& related accruements)

a palaeontologist, i considered (briefly)

Maybe you’ve seen my variety of elementary school science projects which were more focussed on “social sciences” like anthropology, archeology, and arts and crafts, I mentioned this because as a kid, figured would end up as a scientist/researcher/writer/photographer, contracted by National Geographic to be an “explorer in residence” uncovering civilizations hitherto unknown, remixing the contexts to fit contemporary times – most importantly, having an assortment of interesting and useful practical tools as well as a bunch of cool equipment and accruements.

Dug his tools, his shirt and cap, his liquor bottle, gadgets, good luck charms, some photos of colleagues goofing in the ground with giant dinosaur thighs. He worked out of Okayama University and is celebrated – in a way – for his achievements.

Continue reading Accidental Palaeontology (& related accruements)