Tag Archives: canada

(Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

Such goodness coming

10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 11-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor. It was our own 90 person indie rock Festival Express co-mingled with the usual passengers and doing ridiculous / ill-fated whistle stop shows along the way and ended up at NxNE festival for showcase and I presented a keynote talk about social media disasters… And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts starting June 8th iirc. Consider yourself warned, amused and excited.

All the goodness at Green Couch Films Tracks on Tracks playlist atYT: https://www.youtube.com/greencouchfilms

Continue reading (Almost) cross Canada Rock n Roll Train / Flashback and Preview

Healing: Journals and a Postcard

sorry, i guess – no not at all

As I’m stumbling along on my “healing ramble” series (please watch the intro video for overview and disclaimers, not unusually, finding myself a little bit overwhelmed with all the artifacts, memories, items, even data, to share. So, rather than obsess over it just putting it all out there, even if it’s a bit redundant.

The next “real” dispatches from the series include my “tips for travelling with a chronic illness” (which is rather practical and logistical stuff), plus another entry from Sri Lanka, another from Nepal, a tough one from Pacifica California, more from other places i forgot and maybe I’ll even fill in the missing gaps from Adelaide Australia, Austin Texas, and crossing Canada looking for a home.

In the meanwhile here are the fronts of some notebooks and a postcard which allude to some of the above.

Continue reading Healing: Journals and a Postcard

Item: Canadian mail-in election ballot #voting

Pick a winner &/or a whiner. Whatever, I’m not telling you what to do (in this case anyway).

For me it starts with true sincere reconciliation with First Nations, meaningful immediate climate action including halt on old-growth logging & tar, and appropriate support for disabled / chronically ill plus other folks who have “slipped between the cracks”. #Elxn44  

Memo: Mine showed up in Japan by DHL 2 days after election was called. Wrote in my choice (look up candidates in riding online) put envelope inside envelope inside envelope & zoom’d it back to Ottawa by standard airmail. *Probably* didnt pick a winner but hey i participated so not a whiner

Effectuating positive change from heart (with ukulele)

Just back from cleaning the grandparents’ graves and regrouping in century+ old barn studio, i riff a few things in my head about communities, hubris, restitution, sincerity, safety, life and death, empathy, seeds, cycles and children and everything.

As well as attempt a few chords on ukulele and talk about an air conditioner.

Memento: Stay Hydrated, p. 2 (global coconuts)

As the world stumbles, stay hydrated (p. 2) / coconuts, various locations (Kerala, Phitsanulok, Davie Village, Likkle Bay, Irie Cove, somewhere Indo, etc)

Items: assorted / luggage tags, woggles, keychain

Items: assorted / luggage tags (including Vancouver Grizzlies), woggles (including CJ81), keychain (feat Lorne Olson)

Life During Wartime(ish) / Talking Heads and Peanut Butter

“I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days…
I got three passports, a couple of visas – You don’t even know my real name”

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this ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain’t got time for that now… (Actually, i have allll the time for lovey dovey ;))

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The fact that this peanut butter is like as good as any peanut butter I’ve ever had in the world, and it’s available at a certain store that the wife found and totally reasonably priced, organic, made in Canada and delicious… makes Japan perfect for me , no change required (well maybe a few things about the patriarchy but that’s another post)

Diary: Stop Making Sense / Talking Heads and Tacos

from my side of couch

Taco night in Japan with 1984 Talking Heads classic concert film Stop Making Sense. As the box says “let’s taco!” Aye we shall taco.

Note: even found my favorite hot sauce, Marie Sharp’s from Belize.

Yup that is a cheap and cheerful projector in a tripod and a screen hanging from twine… “Aint got no TV, ain’t got no big screen, this is chill on your eyes.”

I shared anecdotes about Talking Heads, seeing DB and Tom Tom Club in various instances and segued into other important Dave/ids of history and then a search for the other DB (Bowie)’s Serious Moonlight concert filmed Vancouver 1983. Continue reading Diary: Stop Making Sense / Talking Heads and Tacos

Diary: Hermiting, baby, art, archive & you you you + us us us

I hermit like Obi-wan is his “lost years” / indeed, a Gen X kid with a lot of hobbies and a chronic illness – i know the flow. Got the food delivery service, plenty of books and art supplies and several versions of loungewear/pyjamas.

Keep in mind, here in Japan, we’re a couple months into “all of this“ – schools, events, museums, public places and gatherings have been canceled for many weeks now, and things, at least where I am the outskirts other rather minor provincial capital city, are generally calm / however, a quick glance at Twitter videos plenty of vitriol about the governments response (or lack of, or too much of, or…) especially in terms of testing (not enough of it, especially compared to neighbour South Korea) – Of course much debate and sabre-rattling about wither the Olympics – what to do? (seems to me just pushing forward exactly one year would make sense but hey, no one’s been on the phone to me to ask).

I have visited a few hospitals in the last six weeks for other reasons and found them to be calm, not busy, extremely tidy and efficient. Also note that Japan’s elderly population means much experience at treating pneumonia which has some similar respiratory components and thus treatments as current conundrum.

Certainly my first priority is taking good care of my adorable pregnant wife, though she requires very little assistance in *anything* aside from reminding her to slow down. With her business as an arborist, she is her own small business/boss and is still doing bits and pieces of work, no longer climbing trees however #ThankGoodness but with all appropriate precautions and out in the gorgeous spring weather here.

We have a check in with our doctor tomorrow though the “Papa’s Class” series at the birthing clinic has been canceled indefinitely. (This was also serving as my Japanese study session as I try to learn new vocabulary related to pregnancy and childcare but… We shall carry-on – Noting that I have absolutely zero discipline in regards to language study).

Canada’s Prime Minister implored Canadians to “come home“ before impending doom etc. and while this is wise advice for many, I live here in Japan now permanently. Plan is to grow old here raising a happy kid, write poetry and letters, make paintings and friends and books and gardens – Come visit, we’ll have tea and hit up a museum.

and… Very excitingly, my “entire life archive” arrives in a container after a trans-pacific journey on Thursday. So, just in case I’m not sharing enough creative artifacts to keep you amused 😉 40+ years of journals, scrapbooks, fanzines, photos, letters, certificates – as well as books and records and funny hats – are all being offloaded into a 300-year-old grain barn for sort-ganizing and sharing.

Anyhow, thinking about each of you wonderful people out there in the world and, as I’ve mentioned before, if you need any advice about staying chill and keeping your mind busy whilst indoors (aside from being watching television problem etc. which I don’t know too much about), I remain your semi-useful uncle in custom-made pyjamas.

Your turn, tell me about everything going on in your world, where you’re at, how you’re feeling, what you’re working on, what’s inspiring you, what do you dream about and so on and so on. All of it all of it.

Note: You can write a letter if you prefer

Diary: Coffee in Tiny Café / refuge from the storm

Japan has loads of a little tiny cafés/restaurant/bars which are like less than 10 people maximum, often with a little private rooms too. It’s one of the things I love about living here, as tiny little cafés in North America don’t really exist as everything becomes chains or aggressively turning over tables to maximize the slim profits.

Anyway, this is a little neighbourhood lunch place where we can chill out in a room closed off with sliding doors to enjoy a little break from the house. Plus everyone is so excited about Ryoko’s belly

Aside: As you likely know, Japan has a declining birth rate which is especially evident in the cities with a few kids, and countryside with some kids but lots of (awesome) old people. Anyway, we’re helping to balance that out in a very tiny way.

We went out for an errand to the post office to deal with a few banking issues, and again, it’s tiny, tidy & friendly.

To friends in North America, we see/hear you… All the cancellations and restrictions and what not started here maybe six weeks ago so we’re kind of into the routine so maybe that’s a message of solidarity or just “I see you“ #alwaysbekind

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Daniel remarked:

Okayama is the best. Such a chill and safe area. With just enough variety of food and culture to keep it interesting.

to which i replied:

That is a great summation of this remarkable and underappreciated area. Super handy transportation links to big cities, mountains, hot springs, inland sea, other islands…, including easy getaway via 2 airports if needed.
So many museums, I’m still catching up on all of them.
Certainly enough to keep amused (Plus any needed shopping) but easy enough to get out of the city when needed.
I’ve traveled much/most of Japan and this is the best “all around” place to live in my mind.
Sunny days ahoy!

Michal added:

Their the best! Especially when there’s a view on small niwa Japanese have such a great taste for! A Bliss…

to which i chimed:

I especially love the places that are sort of “lost in showa era” – with all sorts of kitschy knick-knacks and bric a brac which hasn’t been moved or dusted for a few decades… Still the old character left over from another age, run by an old couple who started the place with such dreams in their youth.

Michal again:

you incorrigible romantic

Lydia said:

That china is gorgeous

and me again:

Right! Sometimes you find these cafés that I’ve just been frozen in time and it’s like going to grandma’s house all over again… In this case, it really is as two generations of ladies both over 60 (a granny and great granny or something like that) are taking care of the shop and make a huge fuss over my adorable pregnant wife. I let them know I appreciate their great China as well, plus a fantastic tea selection