Tag Archives: books

Scenes of life: spiral staircase, library signs, basket of balls + pink door

While out and about on various expeditions, snap snap’d the usual days and the glimpses of regular life.

{With generally unrelated diary notes which happened to happen the same day}

Up early, by my standards, to see classic movie “the sound of music” at some community something something place.

First, a stop at a rusty strip of shops which houses an exquisite French style bakery: fluffy cakes, croissants, croque monsieur, brie / prosciutto sandos + uniforms. Swoon!

Made it as far as the intermission in the exceptional epic “sound of music” – Each time, notice the fantastic use of light and shadows, and pacing (+ of course stellar stoic Christopher Plummer as well as the effervescent Julie Andrews) – was kind of my speed, maybe a total of 8 people at the screening, the 3 of us were by far the youngest / I forgot my “pro tip” of always bringing my own slippers… but anyway, now ramen w/ evidence:

Then, nearby our not-so-secret-anymore Ramen place, went to check out the dinosaurs in the shopping arcade, spotting a few bits of *normal* along the way: a basket of balls, a pink door, a streetscape sign – all very pleasing in their normalness…

…and were fortunate to catch the “Okayama University woodwind orchestra” (or something like that) rocking through the final bit of their set. Especially enjoyed seeing the percussion section of course:

Bonus:

Was a Sunday of a three day weekend and coming out of the winter doldrums or whatever but a lot of people out and about, which meant that after my usual limit of 1.5 activities, we should’ve run for home but a library visit was on the agenda.

I tried to find a quiet corner to scribble postcards with limited success. Ichiro checked out a massive – both quantity and size (quite literally as included an oversize book with a spine approximately a meter which was packed in a giant padded satchel), and join me for scribbling postcards, including one to himself, another to a cousin, and of course he did much stamping.

I noticed that “technically” no photos are allowed in the library (of course, taking photos of patrons/humans is totally offside) and also “no self study without using library materials” which may have made my postcard writing an inappropriate act.

But, spotting books such as “start up 101 “”what is sound art?” and “end of life” required documentation – as did a lovely construction paper collage of a train station.

Usually, libraries are calm and chill but again, at no fault of the other patrons, a little bit too much going on for me. We did make a stop at the embedded coffee shop for a tasty beverage and refresh before…

Yet another stop on the way home to a shopping plaza to dump off some plastic recycling and purchase a few items, during which I hung out on a bench outside, mailed postcards, and spotted “cake box” – which I can only imagine is a service for ordering a cake which is placed in this box, then magically opened so you can pick up (obviously), a cake, and I’m sure it’s quite wonderful.

Asides:

I would like to thank Taylor Swift & her conundrum of getting from Tokyo to Las Vegas for football by going backwards across the international dateline for helping my friends in the USA understand that yes, I live in tomorrow in Japan (also yesterday but that’s another story)

And, at the risk of being Cliff Claven, I like to explain to people that:

* The international dateline is not straight

* And yes, I have crossed the international dateline by ship

* But no, I have not passed the exact point of the international dateline and equator simultaneously #shellback

Finally, enjoyed a few “old-time style” phone calls with pals recently… It took me years to get over my phone phobia from a terrible job in Utah, 1987 but now find it quite pleasant to sit in my dark room with a beverage yapping away to someone, in this case, back in Utah. {Note: not using the phone pictured}

Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

Moving north across the Fraser river to downtown/West End, Vancouver, settling into a kitchenette hotel for several days, enjoying tea ceremonies, hotel picnics, coffee times and pleasant times with friends, plus our initial foray into Stanley Park.

#BCInvasion, part 2 / Downtown Vancouver & Stanley Park

Part 2 of this mixed-media montage series includes:

* Construction site across the street from “1234 hotel”

* Friendly Maple Leaf deli reunion and picnic stash

* Crow attacks and rainstorms on 4/20 at Stanley Park

* Excursion to Kafka coffee shop for pal hang-out, hugs & tasty snacks

* Several waves of tea ceremonies at hotel with generational bowls & significant rattle

* Special thanks to book and record “mule” from OlyWa + waffles

* Rooftop tea at coliseum-inspired library ceremony with books

* Parallel-life experience with a fella with a vintage Volkswagen bus, selling Japanese inspired stickers and patches by Vancouver Art Gallery

* Coffee catch-up with punk rawk radio/photog/cat enthusiast

* Staring down dramatic demons at St Paul’s (and marking how far I’ve come)

* Scenes of life, building, trees, gardens and sidewalks strolling and observing

* Plus hotel picnics, Cherry Garcia ice cream, Whitewood Cider, bits of dispatches, flashes of hockey games with hidden messages, silk robe lobby lounging, Mae Maes on teevee

Special greetings to all who tracked us down – including, in this wave:

* Roland (by bicycle, by bicycle)
* Lance from OlyWa (with books & vinyl)
* Wayne (in midst of a move)
* James (with real talk)
* Monique (let’s enjoy tea!)
* Danielle and beautiful daughter
* Mark, community wrangler
* Chris, sundancer & deadhead
* Eric Flexyourhead (rawk, etc)
* Kemp (popping in here and there)

thanks for alllll your planning / logistical help and friendship Monique

Music:

“Blood’s Too Rich” by Luke Doucet (Whitehorse, Veal, White Falcon etc) https://sixshooterrecords.com/artists/luke-doucet/

“Change of Scene” by The Matinée https://thematineemusic.com + new album: https://the-matinee.bandcamp.com/album/change-of-scene

Continue reading Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

Three books: various kinda & important for various reasons

Three important book, of various kinds and origins.

1) Taisho/early Showa era commercial art about which I am quite fascinated – plus, the cover reminds me of my wife // this era of Japan before militarism took over and there was for a brief golden time with a burgeoning international mindset, a “jazz age” of sorts, s3xual opennesses and class conventions dissolving. Curious to peruse the book further

2) “Confidential” one of the many journals, scrapbooks, scribble books, diaries etc. I filled up this year with words of course, but also items, dried flowers, artifacts and memos… Reminding myself that I didn’t “publish” a lot beyond my own channels, yet I created a lot of material, it’s just confidential for now // ps seen behind is the Shawn Parkinson designed print issue of Narwhal from Vancouver

3) 70 from my dear sensei Larry Harper who introduced a 17-year-old high school dropout at the community college that creative writing is a noble endeavor and life pursuit. This is his book “70” with appropriately, 70 different components including short plays, poems (long and short), stories of various lengths, and lists – it’s very punk rock as there is no ISBN, UPC barcode, not available on that major international book reseller. And yes, there’s shades of me in here, including a blurb, a riff and an inscription

Post’d: Griffin & Sabine books, essay magazines and ‘the usual’

My intrepid wife did a big service this morning by swinging by the post office (i’d written this lil poem of concern):

Letters and packages
Ready since Monday
Post office tomorrow, maybe

Meanwhile: laundry to fold

Being an angel, she even did the stamps wonderfully and arranged a photo with the addresses discreetly disguised.

Includes: 3 more copies of beloved “Griffin and Sabine” book off to friends in Mexico, Vancouver and Prince Edward County – meant to inspire youth & olds alike making 9 copies of Nick Bantock’s beauty sent so far this run.

The book/series combines art in the form of handcrafted, postcards, variety of handwriting, styles, custom-made stamps –both ink and postal – and a narrative with switches between realms, realities, possibly time traveling, geographic locations / both real and fictional.

You can imagine why this is very much my style. And, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with the author/artist on several occasions, including on the recent trip, and own many of his books (in English and Japanese), a couple of prints, personalized postcards and letters, and even originals from the book. Yep.

IsDave & WasNick, Victoria 2023

As an aside: introducing youth to books that are enjoyable, mixed media, stretch their possibilities, and even tactile is so important. Though I loved reading from a young age, the books assigned throughout junior / high school were insufferable and I know turned so many off. I made a list of examples if you would like me to include it here:

{Insert odd/curious/underwhelming assigned reading selections here for curiosity seekers}

There are also some signed magazines (with my essay), a custom artwork piece (made from an immigration card), a few postcards etc. in the bundle.

Good luck on your journey sweet dispatches!

this weary standard-issue postbox doesn’t really have anything to do with the above but noticed it from the van window while at a konbini, clearly dealing with sun stroke and loneliness

Diary: momentary empty nest (with letters and sewing machine) #io

Ichiro away overnight to hot springs with grandparents – our 1st day/night alone, together.

So, I wrote letters and compiled packages with books, magazines & treasures (9 total).

While Ryoko fired up a new sewing machine, starting with a bento bag.

What a wonderful life!

He hugged us on his way out the door with his dinosaur backpack, (legendary) red trucker hat & lil mtn boots – patting us on the back as though saying “you’ll be OK without me for a little bit” – and headed off on his adventure like a trooper. I’m only crying a little bit.

Projects ahoy!

}I should note it’s always a bit of a conundrum/puzzle which manner of correspondence to “catch up” on first between the email inboxes, the phone calls, the 37 different erstwhile ‘social’ platforms / but tactility always wins for me. Hooray for postal mail!}

Postal conundrums

Although I was disheartened but hardly surprised to learn international postal rates gone up a notch.

From Japan, international postcards cost ¥70 for about 30 years as i recall, but bounced up to ¥100. And aerogrammes are discontinued entirely.

I have a significant emotional connection with #aerogrammes (1 foldable pre-stamped sheet) were my go to in ‘Japan 1.0’ days.

Subsequently, I’ve acquired a little bit of a collection and often remix into my postal art. I still have a few now obsolete in Japan aerogrammes on hand for the archive.

Note: in Canada, same rate $2.80 CAD for postcard or a card/letter as well. It definitely cramped my routine!

While I understand the price raise, wishing would’ve waited a few more months as I go a little heavy on the Christmas/New Year’s cards and running a little lean on ¥¥ these days. #ManifestMoreMagicPapers

In general though, the postal rates are quite reasonable even for sending small packets internationally (are not heart attack inducing anyway)

The new required web/printed customs declaration form is a little cumbersome but again not really surprising is this has become an international standard for advanced customs clearing (allegedly/evidently).

Yeah, while postcards and letters are still straightforward to send, I have a couple of A4 sized packets with a single magazine/book each (pictured above) inside ready to mail so I’m gonna see what the “demarcation line” is between what needs a declaration and what goes unhindered.

Chit-chat message catch-up

Update / today (the next day): folded laundry, put away the grocery delivery, loaded/unloaded/loaded the dishwasher, lunch with darling wife and caught up on a few years worth of FB “Page” (not “Profile”) messages as well as various IG messages that are somehow intertwined.

It’s always so complicated. Also noticed that some of the videos I had uploaded to the aforementioned “page” went up in “reels” format which sucks and others somehow misplaced their titles. I don’t know why I try. Maybe I will stop trying.

Also telephone talked to two friends, one I haven’t seen in probably 30+ years in BC and another maybe not seen for 20+ years in New Jersey. Now I’m trying to connect with a friend in Dubai. So, bye.

Books: tatami-side reading, currently

Of possible interest to small subset of humans:

current tatami-bedside reading / cycle through these (plus kiddo’s awsum books & – rather under-whelming Paris Review) semi-simultaneously as notion strikes

Includes: L. Ferlinghetti, DT Suzuki, H. Hesse, W. Davis, R. Rubin, K. Babbs & a compilation about Kyoto with my pal Tedward Taylor + own journal musings, natch

Do you read many books at once and delightfully remix them all in your head? Or do you stick to a more sensible and linear approach of one at a time?

{Answer not expected, unless…}

Diary: sparking tiny fires

Fresh tray of fire starters made from paper egg cartons, sawdust, wood chips, dryer lint, soy wax // not the most aesthetically pleasing batch I’ve made but they’ll keep us going through the winter / One match is all you need

Diary notes:

Saturday included: new orthotic inserts, made on site to order, plus reviewed/evaluated big bag of shoes for sturdiness and arch support / very diligent and serious practitioner

had ramen with my duo after shoes dealio / such kind folks + Ichi was charming (also hit up a park & community centre in wife’s childhood neighbourhood)

Also recently:

mixed CD arrived by post, looking forward to enjoying

packet mailed to Kentucky river region came back with “address not found“ hmmm

postcard from India received, my attempts to reply have been denied so far

did I mention that 2 Canadian passport with middle name “Thorvald“ arrived?

Mac the goat farmer came for oden dinner couple nights back /he forgot his pickles gift but remembered signed/stamped poetry book

expecting a pleasant guest from Vancouver on Nov 28

read Tintin books, watched Country Bears, practiced English with Ichiro

previewed a pod im a guest on taking about writing “early sht” {oh my!}

limited project on the #Circumnavigation book this week as interrupted by medical appointments and recovery but still, 90+ pages drafted in so far

Re: books

finished Tanizaki’s Makioka Sisters (making a note to watch the movie adaptation during New Year’s)

now working through:

  • Alex Kerr, Heart Sutra
  • Murakami Ryu, 69
  • e.e. cummings, 100 selected poems
  • (sorta) DT Suzuki, Zen & Japanese Culture
  • Deep Kyoto Walks, various (ed. Ted)
  • Tokyo Van Nuys Express, Rick Lupert
  • various others

tomorrow (probably):

hanging family photo corner, bringing in some firewood, maybe harvesting some persimmons, and making ginger/turmeric syrup

Carrying on:

“yesterday’s tomorrow, is right now”

And I love waking up to the sound of rain / I live in the sunniest prefecture in all of Japan (really!) but still, I’m (partially) a #cascadia human/Sasquatch

Did some tasks:

  • Recycling (plastic food trays) done (mostly) // As “rebellious“ as I get these days is overfilling the plastic recycling bin at the grocery store that we don’t necessarily always shop at (90% of our groceries are delivered through the Co Op) / Yep, it’s a wild lifestyle
  • Hung buncha great family photos / more to say & the location, lighting & wall are hardly ideal, but we’ve made a start!

Further annotations:

For the record: im never sarcastic, very rarely cynical, mostly sincere, often enthusiastic, frequently curious, enjoy offering compliments, and always (try to be) kind

Be rich when “poor” by giving more

Also noting it’s great seeing more kids/toddler/babies out and about… The first couple years of our kiddos life, we hardly saw any other parents out with their kids that we could do that “I know what’s up with this“ nod with

Asked darling wife what she would like for a Christmas present(s). The answer “a chainsaw and/or a sewing machine“. Sums her up. (Oddly enough, you could maybe buy both of those from the same brand but seems Husqvarna doesn’t make sewing machines anymore)

A trio of great poems by Jason Emde (of Gifu rock city and creator of the “writers read their early shit“ podcast) in “hole in the head review”. High-quality writing (and yes, I’m a guest on his next episode in which I reveal *way too much*) mentioned above

{While not as well known and heralded as some others}, “Ken Sanders Rare Books“ in Salt Lake City is one of all-time favorites book shops. Sometimes, i browse around and fill up carts but then again my nemesis: shipping fees comes to thwart the plan :( kensandersbooks.com

Ahead:

Monday Morning is grocery delivery & order + garbage out.

Backing up twtr in case, locked down to be tight & tidy, security hygiene.

(Hopefully) back to barn to finish packet to Gary S. & notes for The Matinée, more poems & stories for book. Tuesday meeting at pre-school + wife’s band comes to rehearse. No scheduled medical appts! Oh order something for festive dinner & work plan for card (design, quantity, production).

Just talked to my brother who happens to be in Muscat, Oman. However, he did not use this #payphone

Poetry book scheme (working title: “A Circumnavigation, of sorts”

time traveller, allegedly, wandering widely to find poems for you

Good night wonders,

I’ve got some ideas in my head for this book project, tentatively called “A Circumnavigation, of Sorts”.

Generally: freeverse poems + letters snippets, a few lists and musings and diaries / also some black and white images (hazy lomo &/or scribbled originals) and other personal archeology and/or cartography.

A bit of a creative almanac of elsewhere.

xo dvo

PS thank you for your anticipated purchase

Poetry & Design from Several Small-ish Books

let’s hang out and enjoy some poetry and whatnot

“In the studio barn, anxious on account of an impending medical and other “life admin” project, Dave reads from a variety of slim-sized (mostly) books of poetry, discusses book layout, design and publishing styles and pathways, relates some anecdotes about writers & how the books came to be here. Plus a few musings and projects of his own – while trying to calm a weary head and body.”

Maybe I’ll make you a mix tape

(I will add a proper list of books and writers, soonish, not right now, but of course if you just watch you know about the books cause you’ll hear all the poems)

Continue reading Poetry & Design from Several Small-ish Books