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.
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.
Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.
The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?
As such, some started simple…
and got more “maximalist” as we went along:
Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:
Or catch up with life and things folks might like:
with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:
sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.
Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:
And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:
In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.
Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied:
“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)
Update Sept 26:
Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.
The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.
Update, Oct. 6:
Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).
Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)
Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro
Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!
Update, Oct. 13:
Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.
Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.
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)
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
Memo: Worth noting that through all the pregnancy and 3 1/2 months since he was born, we haven’t been out to physical store shopping for him a single time.
Everything ordered online, showed up as care packages #grateful, hand me downs from community etc.
Today made an (appropriately safe) stop at a sortof kid’s stuff box store – resisted buying matching Curious George onesies simply because they didn’t have one in my size, however some organic cotton items, cute pjs & a larger “asanoha” hemp leaf gi for him acquired (along with other bargain sundries) #io
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.
The vocalizations, the smile, the happy demeanor, the active eyes… All of it so wonderful!
PS have an *actual* photo shoot scheduled to celebrate 100 days (101 but close enough)… We didn’t do a pro shoot during the pregnancy or well, up to here… The conundrum is choosing which adorable outfit to wear (for him and mom and papa)
Bottom: good shape but with the weird gradient coloring, found them distracting like an “reverse mono brow” hard to see in the picture but there was kind of a green color to them, also available in blue but just didn’t feel quite right
Top: like the quirkiness of them for sure but, I found that chunky/dark frames are tough on my eyes because of my astigmatism… the “lazy eye” gets *pulled* & i see the frames in my peripheral vision all the time so I tend to prefer lighter colored/translucent frames with kind of a wide lena area. But yeah, they were fun to wear for a minute, somehow felt like would be a good choice if I was hosting a TV show
Middle: fun but just tooo much for my lil face
I am really the best customer ever of optometrists/opticians (and ophthalmologists for that matter) > Have spent untold thousands over my lifetime. However, I didn’t buy any for myself this time because my lenses are so unbelievably expensive and complicated, unless the frames are “oh yes completely awesome“ I don’t pull the trigger.
Plus I am investigating a new “migraine-prevention” lens called (rather mysteriously or just poorly branded) FL-41. My eyes change significantly year to year so I’m always having to spend the big bucks and there’s nothing worse than a substandard set of spectacles for me – if the focus point is even slightly off, I get intolerable headaches and eye strain.
I save money on lots of things and find good deals but I’m glasses, no time to scrimp. I look on with some enV when I see these “buy one, get one” or special prices because I am the guy that is excluded in the fine print.
That said, I celebrate all the advances in lens technology from my youth wearing heavy glass executive bifocals which left a semi-permanent divit in my nose. So glad I can get gradient tints, various filters and I’ve even had the transition lenses a few times.