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Diary: March, a (slight) bounce

March /月3 re-cap, a (slight) bounce

improving the campsite and a small journey to the sea. Maybe starting a band – wrote a song “goat milk latte” in the bath last night – note to self: buy electric baritone ukulele

friday im in love (with an arborist and a kiddo named Stan)

flipping all the calendars in the house today – should be keep me busy for a while – we have a lot of calendars (get so many free in Japan) – later i use for scrapbook paper

wanna;

catchup documentation of recent postcards arrived from Gifu, Palm Springs and Woodstock

also meaning to share recent Beat videos with Beat Generation and JK, AG, GS groups (could some one do this for me so i don’t seem like im pimping my own dojo?)

wanna call my pal to chat about her daughter’s wedding

maybe a video/round-up from Shimane trip

usual dishes and laundry, compost

will wait of garden box and bird house projects til weekend

must organize supplements for next fortnight

picking Ichi up early, going to seitai w/ wife

dinner with parents at home (approx 2 m away)

oh gotta bring the freezer (delivered for $15-ish 5:30) inside {we’re putting electric in for that, plus adding dishwasher, more light in kura and starting research for solar panels}

i’ll do some subset of maybe 3 of the above, maybe

ps watch the video above by Jeff Nicholson, Canadian in Japan, less than 100K of us (+ read my diary leaving India}

pps just brought in the milk and eggs delivery so added that to the list as a finished item

A partial assortment of the calendars in our house. There are others. “Time and tide wait for no one after all.”
(Unless you just disregard all of it and realize time is just a construct and malleable, i.e. don’t mind which day it is and don’t go to sea, in which case you’re fine)

oh i didn’t even mention getting a soy milk making device, such days

Addendum

Supplements sorted

Unexpected lunch with wife

Posted some internets

Dishes washed, laundry started

Packages arrived (pretty much daily though)

Calendars turned (duly documented) 

Tried to call friend but missed her, exchange messages nevertheless

Took out compost

++ opened packages including: books, French press (glass lined, steel shell), gooseneck water kettle

+ Bob Mould’s five vinyl “distortion” box set – somehow on the $50 and I’m not sure why or how (maybe I should double check the receipt?)

the freezer is still outside

Seitai done >> Gonna lay down for a bit #MiscellaneousUpdate

Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

Various notes before heading off on a lil roadie to Shimane prefecture (across-ish on Sea of Japan side). Ichiro’s 1st time outta Okayama-ken. Packing light, hitting a children’s museum & aquarium, staying at a ryokan (pyjamas provided). Minimal dispatches, maybe. (by car but saw this train last time)

– carry on

March 24: Trying to bounce up. Did some shoes maintenance, a bit of creative stuff in the barn, bath with the kiddo, eating healthy and taking my supplements but still… dragging :( just saying this out loud to get it out of my head before sleep. No big deal, should be used to it.

Just trying to be 32% as cool as these guys. You know who they are right?

Plan to do some shoes maintenance today. At least one pair anyway, to get ready for our little road trip this weekend. But really, still foggy and in bed.

Or I might sew another curtain. Possibly test some microphones and a little mini PA we got.

Curious if anyone’s moved into the birdhouse. None of this will happen unless I can get out of bed.

OK, general updates

* doesn’t seem anyone’s moved in to the birdhouse yet

* set up mini PA and tested (& taped) 3 diff dynamic microphones

* gonna try fixing up some shoes but do it outside

[update to update: Of course I did a little photo essay of doing shoes maintenance but it may have crossed the street threshold into “completely trivial matters” which means of course, I’ll get to it eventually. Anyhow, my shoes are ready for a road trip tomorrow.]

My brain is so fogged

Photo: family band vibes, impending

Continue reading Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

Diary: dumptruck, Bob, Jack, VWs, baseline

Several topics to catch you up on, including:

  • Ryoko’s new dump truck! 660cc, 4WD, 350kg payload
  • Brother Bob‘s birthday w/ pleasant convo from Diego Garcia (many topics)
  • Jack Kerouac birthday festivities with kindness from beat enthusiast pals
  • Updates from Gary Snyder, and about VW electric bus (entirely separate topics)
  • Wife gave haircuts to me & Ichi! (she can do anything, was basically like trimming trees)
  • Small tasks around the house
  • SxSW flashbacks (do they even bother doing this anymore without my gang of renegades on site?)
  • Topsy-turvyness of life in general (seemingly endless “life administration” tasks”)
  • An (trying to be small) “introduction to the beat generation“ video project for youths

But, Mondays are a little busy here around the cottage – rained last night which freshens up the air, spring arriving with bugs and birds, have an opened up the windows let it all into the abode – now with tea and porridge… must tend to grocery orders and grocery delivery, and trash out, and the usual laundry, dishes and compost…

I say this not to be redundant (which clearly is) but this is just me striving to be back to some kind of “baseline” – which is measured by the aforementioned household tasks coupled with bathtime with Ichiro #BestTime

(here’s a snap dedicated to brother Bob Olson featuring a knit watch-cap, (non-military regulation) mustache, his usual sorta-photo-scowl, and a blue shirt he made in Thailand, added with a tie-dye from Mac Kobayashi)

Everything else is bonus. #ImprovingTheCampsite
Carry on intrepid ramblers!

Notebook poetry scribbles, new keys & records (in the kura studio)

In bed sick a lot these last weeks/months #MECFS, which means I scribbled a lot in my bedside notebooks while in the fog.

Mostly will be filed in my “old man punk” dossier meeting semi-lyrical, probably angsty, likely too revealing bits & scraps of shiny foolish gold… which may eventually become songs or otherwise.

So anyhow, came out to the barn studio today just to bring/move some stuff around and try and get my brain and body moving a wee and set-up a device ideal for transcribing.

(thanks to Neal Cropper for keys & Rebecca & John Bollwitt for Yukon notebook)

And, listened to Television “Marquee Moon” = vinyl perfection

Also got the soundtrack to Wes Anderson’s “the French Dispatch“ along with another record by “top top” a.k.a. Jarvis Cocker which goes along with the movies vibes (i guess), also a poster in the pack (signed).

annnd a non/fictional magazine, seen here with a copy of the inspiration source The New Yorker and another French culture magazine (in English).

Somehow it makes me think of the Borges quote “the original is unfaithful to the translation“.

As it goes, while I’ve collected artifacts about the movie, I still haven’t had a chance to see it here in Japan (Yes I can get it from dodgy sources but waiting for proper Japanese subtitles so I can enjoy with my family).

3 years since forever, “Japan 3.0” annotations

Hearth & Home (& Hot Pot)

Hey 3 years here today(ish) arrived from Indonesia to build Japan,?part 3.0

Annotations:

  • DIY Wedding – 3+ events – with international & domestic renegades
  • Honeymoon ramble, many places & various trains
  • Hooray we’re pregnant!
  • Pandemic times, injections, precautions whatnot
  • Kura barn studio stuff arrived by ship
  • Ryoko’s concert(s)
  • Welcome a wonderful baby boy (+ he starts pre-school, later)
  • House renovations (our design is so good)
  • Continued pandemic times, ongoing
  • Apparently, an Olympics (related media)
  • Ordered a dump truck
  • Many doctors and hospitals, repeat
  • Seemingly endless dossiers of paperwork for various cards, clearances, filings and what not
  • A few funerals, many grave and shrine visits
  • Gardens, trees, rocks
  • Hundreds/thousands of letters and postcards, also diaries & scrapbooks
  • Wonderful in-laws, not near enough time with friends &/or festivals

We/i carry on (usually in pajamas), Improving The Campsite, grateful for my forever home

Grandpa and Grandma‘s grave stone. Close to our house and has been kind of our nature hang out walk and clean the graves, fresh of the flowers, burn incense etc. especially during “safety precaution times“. Many generations of wife’s family are here. Proud to be part of this tradition.

Memo; Japan 1.0 was 1992-94, 2.0 was a few stops 2015-18

Questions accepted within reason

February, farewell (mostly rebuilding)

Like January, February saw a lot of time spent at hospitals and doctors but added in a funeral, taxes in three countries, no visits to the post office (shocking, I know), some endless tech-support threads, few family jam sessions, pick ups and drop offs to preschool ++ cut wood, move dirt, light fires, make rice and tea, take out the compost and the trash.

Hello March, let’s continue to improve the campsite. First finish this coffee, put on clothes, wash the dishes, then maybe some postcards or some clearcoat on the new signs for the sign post. (Noting rain falls at this time)

If you’re waiting for a reply for some thing, I’m getting closer. Patience appreciated.

(It *seems* appropriate here to acknowledge all the death and destruction in the world of late but I’m not really capable of saying it in plain language and rely on poetry – stashed in other places instead – I’m not ignoring, I just express differently) #hubris

Items: record shop stop (feat. BTO Japan Tour)

yesterday, report / diary:

Finished medical appt and somehow a magnetic impulse pulled me into a tiny record store – now I’m waiting for ride with a blue bag full of “just a few vinyls really, well… several” David Bowie, BTO Live in Japan, Levon Helm RCO all stars, Echo and the Bunnymen, McCoy Tyner, The Pretenders +++

Admittedly, my powers of resistance are (deliberately?) very weak… Recently most of my record purchases are online but there’s real satisfaction to flipping through bins.

Yeah bookstores and record stores, especially small, well curated and possibly a cat wandering around, I’m very content. (There’s even a poem somewhere around here about almost being locked in a bookstore overnight)

Note: Japanese packaging is so often different and so interesting (with Obi – extra paper stripe around with the information in Japanese – too)

For what it’s worth, ranged between ¥1200 and ¥1800 – including some double albums, all in great condition – the proprietor inspected each one as he packed it into a vinyl sleeve.

Not that it really really matters but we’re living pretty thrifty these days / months so remind myself that not spending money on restaurants, travel, booze etc. so a little bit of cash splashed on vinyl is alrighhhht.

Listening to Wilco as im waiting for kei-truck pick-up, in front of piano bar / friendly master Ren san brought me yesterday cup of black coffee

Here: Power Plant Records
086-803-2608

Improving the Campsite (odds and ends diary)

+ Improving the Campsite, odds and ends from Tsuchida Cottage +

A little bit lost – &/or found – of late, but the dishes are finished, laundry started and the rabbits ointment is applied so saying “Hello. How are you?”

Plus a few other life annotation about *improving the campsite*, curbing ambition with gardening, wild boars, geolocated signpost, illnesses, funeral, taxes – goodtimes!

Also noting that i’m putting “Postcard as a Service” shop on hiatus, cancelling everything, tidying up here and there and attempting to find a little bit of peace in my aching head with yard, garden and barn projects.

Peace to all of us.

Diary: notes from the slow lane (curling, quiche, errands, taxes & flowers for Mom)

This disinter-mediated and somewhat timeshifting rundown of miscellaneous annotations and notes from the last week may not make sense entirely but put here for the historical record as you know, this is a “entire life site“.

Oh hi, just waiting with my boots on

Certainly not comprehensive, vaguely chronological, tense shifts and aggressions as usual. Summary includes: hospital, allergies, easel, coat rack, quiche and curling (and a payphone just to prove it’s actually me) + mention of funeral (heavy) & taxes.

Rally up for hospital time

Feb 21 off the hospital for blood, CT (re: inflamed spleen?) and usual check-in with neurologist. [Update: I am here at the hospital now assembling these notes in case you were curious. Carry-on.]

[Update: spleen doing alright / better is seems – information was probably really heated to a cute situation. Cholesterol is high, yes yes yes I know, working on that… Reduce big fish/meat/milk, more chicken, small fish, keep eating lots of salads, veg, olive oil, reduce nuts… All rather bewildering but on my quest to live well over 100 years old, all relative and relatively important]

Feb 20 So recently, amongst my other health challenges, I’ve been breaking out with strange allergic reaction but my arborist wife has figured out that is allergic/reactionary to eucalyptus wood. We have a stash in the firewood and even a puff of the dust causes me to turn red. Weird.

(As you mebbe know) been “deep in the well” with a really rough patch with my usual & not-usual illness… It’s really mentally wearing me down. Hard to do much of anything when I’m crashed & my scant functional time is spent trying to be supportive useful dude around the house.

Feeling overwhelmed and buried in “things on the list that didn’t happen in the last six weeks“ and turns out we’re bound for a a funeral tomorrow and then I’m back to the hospital on Monday.…

Sure, starting to improve the last couple days though & so eager to do some creative projects, I got excited yesterday putting up a coat rack for the wife’s work clothes. Must remind myself that patience and time are my allies. Importantly: I will point out that wife did all the important parts for putting up said coat rack, I basically handed her drivers, screws & level + offered words of encouragement and support, but still, a bit of dopamine.

However (and) yesterday moved my new/secondhand majestic Rembrandt easel up to the studio lounge and my adorable protégé gave it its first testing. These two make my heart leap and spin every day <3 (They went to tea ceremony).

Portrait of an artist as a Young Man (also note various art and hats)

So curling is over, allergic reaction subsiding, table moved and tatami mats replaced (finally, since Christmas) so I’m gonna take a rest for a while before going to a funeral at 16:30 and then big hospital tomorrow. Nothing but good times. It’s a glamorous life.

Also we finally moved the extra table which has been in the kitchen/dining room since Christmas back into the storehouse barn (where it will soon serve as a multipurpose table for making paper, repairing ceramics with gold (kintsugi), other arts & crafts) and put the tatami mats back in place. Ichiro was very happy about this as he likes to hang out and play here and it feels like we turned a metaphorical page.

Note to a pal regarding yuzu jam, “Think of you often as I put your jam which came in a tahini jar, along with tahini, on sourdough rye crackers as my *little pick me up“ snack.*

Curling: Fantastic final match between Scotland and Japan. Scotland just didn’t make any mistakes at all and ended up with some big ends. My Aberdeener Granny must be smiling. Im very happy for both teams. PS remembering the last Scottish team to win gold in #SLC2002 with brother Dan.

Im really enjoying watching Japan women’s team with their bright smiles and great communication.

I tried curling once back in Canada where it’s national obsession & it’s fantastically difficult at first. Rocks slide so fast and everything is so slippery! But beer afterwards…

Feb 18 Game on! 21:05 JST 2/18 Japan v Swiss women’s curling semi-final olympics. Japan had lost to the assassin like Swiss in the final game of the round robin but came back with a clinical match to advance to the gold medal game. Switzerland, despite their great tournament record, fell in extra ends against Sweden.

Feb 17 it’s Mom‘s birthday, I miss her so much, wife brought flowers and we sang to her with her picture on the table. Made her “Arabian spaghetti“ which I’m not sure is really a thing but it always works for us… basically: spaghetti with minced beef and possible onions and garlic, atop the spaghetti along with yogurt, optional pinenuts, parsley/green onions. Refreshing, easy *and* we are making our own yogurt at the house which Ichiro loves.

During the day however, the two of us went out to do some errands in the city, I’ve been really months since we’ve done that.

Grillmori’s “new location” is small, fabulously well designed with elegant minimalist simplicity featuring great attention to detail. Lunch has choice of three quiche, comes with soup and salad. Simple Zen.

Specifically included:

  • optometrist visit still trying to get glasses dialed in;
  • iPhone repair shop to put a new battery/screen into an iPhone 5 to make another camera to use around the studio;
  • lunch at one of our secret cafés for quiche/soup/salad and coffee and strawberries and cream (pictured ^^;
  • various tasks around the big shiny loud fancy fragrant department store Tenmaya >> drop some jewelry off to repair and look at some new fancy pots and pans (didn’t find exactly what we wanted).
  • afew things at a little kiosk from one of those guys who does shoe repair, key making, videotape transfer, hanko stamp making etc. (doesn’t sell pocket knives however, just feels like he should)

While in one of the corridors which seems relatively unused and filled with benches (rare) with no one sitting on them, spotted a nice payphone just there on the skyway, waiting to be used.

Will be around a month for a couple necklaces to be repaired but also remembered Ryoko’s stories of visits with her grandma buying special tea cups. Oh we bought some fresh hand towels (we’ve been putting away all the rags and towels which are 100% cotton or similar for our paper making project this summer.)

Oh also seitai treatment (great but hard to explain), definitely the busiest day for me since before Christmas.

Feb 16 Grumpy. Starting day on hold with Canada Revenue Agency for :50 min so far. Occasional messages saying “getting towards end of our business day so we might just not answer”. Presents existentialist conundrum. Are you there? Is anybody? Am i? {music plays on}

Ugh so disheartening! Ive tried to be a cub scout on all my emigrant / non-resident / cpp-d file & keep getting conflicting info & now a bill which just arrived with already $221.61 added on. No good deed goes…

I managed a coffee fresh up & p33 while on hold / thats an anxious maneuver. I did sharpen my pencil & jauntily) tucked over ear with pink eye mask. Such serious!

Pencil ready (but wasnt needed)

Yeah beleaguered and disheartening / im trying to be above board and dont get any sorta support :( 1:19 on hold – got up early to do this and have other tasks looming > giving up. Told expected hold time :10-15 at beginning.

I’m really trying my best, I send them letters, faxes and all of it and getting a statement with already interest tacked on is a bit of a kick in the groin but we carry-on, we carry on.

Switched tasks to the slightly more satisfying washing dishes and folding laundry. Decided I will communicate with CRA exclusively by fax moving forward.

Diary: Leaving India ~ rapidly, in a fog (Nov. 2016)

Nov. 29, 2016, 9:04 AM, Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India – i ordered this coffee and turned on phone…

Note: transcribed with light editing from my scribbled journal made in “real time” as always more to say but this is what is there is – read between lines, follow rabbit holes to fill in the blanks if curious. (will add more about Auroville at some point and more about dear Mom’s passing including my letters to her and obituary within)

Afterward: includes notes from the interlude

Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India – 9:04 AM, Nov. 29, 2016

After a visit to Townhall and Mathrimandir, near the visitor centre, hot coffee in small brass cup, turn on the pocket robot and (oddly) a barrage of messages on all channels, so many – I am confused (hithero ignored) – then email/every-messaging-channel – I read the first line, baffled but know something is terrible! so try to call brother Anders.

the day before, visiting golden dome dedicated to motherly love #sigh

Calls (over dodgy internet) are made and calls are dropped again and again after 3 words – finally, i hear “what” and say “Chennai airport, open the envelope, four hours” fast – go! {The envelope in Vegas contains access to Dashlane app which has all passwords credit cards and passport and a friend who is so good and helpful from home HQ.}

My location wasn’t on itinerary and no matter, no coverage anyhow. I was on my way to a post office to mail a dossier to Nick Bantock and then to the golden temple of meditation and somehow it all happened.

accomms in Auroville, met folks from many countries, enjoyed activities after a confusing start. i could *stay* here – i have skills

Hustle back to “Joy Community House” breathlessly explain. Return card to townhall. (Kind ladies hug me and give me “rescue remedy” in a glass bottle. I was just getting familiar and how do you explain this to someone? How do we humans know how to react. Grateful for wise ladies).

Bundle gear from cute room
Quick shower ("I will need this," he says from experience)
Call a taxi quicker
ring a taxi, try to make my situation understood, i look at my shoes

Fast to Chennai

Buy a bag of fruit from roadside, gogo man! eat bananas.

Shaking queasy, drink two coconuts en route

3 anna half hours weaving between cows

Coming the busses directly ahead! Fck Honk!

Roadhouses and truck stops and urine stained curbs and fields

Smoke two beedies each stop

Quick quick!

– dave in taxi

At airport, taxi drivers lounge around their classic sleds – i want to stay and ask them to take me far away. I don’t care to leave *at all*.

not my taxi driver, but other taxi drivers
Continue reading Diary: Leaving India ~ rapidly, in a fog (Nov. 2016)