Tag Archives: ichiro olson

Ichiro: Catching up with 2-1/2 yr old boy

Ichiro, 2-1/2 so filled with curiosity and yes, he’s definitely exploring his limits, testing his boundaries, expressing himself for what he wants, trying to make his own path and pushing back a little bit… That’s all normal if sometimes a little bit rocky.

He’s such a cheerful happy boy 99% of the time & he loves music (listening, singing, playing), working vehicles (from excavators to airplanes).

He’s learning two language codes, we read loads of books, he’s very particular about his outfits, loves having mama papa baba jiji all around him (as such, sometimes forgets that he’s just not a miniature adult).

He knows we’re heading to Stanley Park this year, loves telephones and video calls and cameras. His favorite movies by far are “the country Bears” and “Isle of dogs”. Both excellent selections. He really likes the soundtracks of both as well as “Iron & Wine” Jack Johnson’s soundtrack from Vurious George and the Supremes, especially “stop, in the name of love”.

These days he’s not as enamored with bath time as he was (but still every night a proper hot bath), nor pre-school (its not daycare) but really there’s a lot of extra days off anyway because of the C 19 situation.

He loves working outside in the garden alongside mom, messing around with art supplies in the barn studio with dad, and cleaning out the woodstove and setting the fire.

PS Did I tell you about his first proper barber chair haircut?

There’s always more to say, and I’m always trying to be a better papa, despite my physical limitations due to the illness.

Just kicking back with a can of corn chowder from the vending machine like we do

I’m slowly learning that just being present with him and being patient, making sure not to lose my temper, and inviting him to make decisions and to go with me on the most minor of errands – like taking out the trash or going to the post office or just to the postbox is so important.

Me and my dude at the park in the cold on the way back from the post office

Haircut day at “Lost in Showa” shop & with Ichiro’s first time in the chair

Haircuts day at a “lost in showa” barber / first time for Ichi-Stan in the chair (usually mom snips him up at home).

*Both of us* look less like eccentric time traveling professors now.

What a trio! Notice the reverse clock, so the right time shows up in the mirror

Barber was a great sport (and has a majestic head of hair himself).

wiped me out, so back home in bed, but hey, we got it done.

{Included some snapshots of the “ambience}

I have some annotations about the well-stocked shelves of yellowing, manga graphic novels, the instant coffee station and ashtrays, the reverse clock (so you can see the correct time in the mirror), and the fading framed photos of Mount Fuji left over from when his dad was the barber… but in all, the shabby chip board counters, the cigarette butts in the arm ashtrays, the forgotten magazines, the broken couch, no cash register (cash on the table only), a few pamphlets for his preferred political candidates, no reservations, needed nor accepted, a squeaky door, a rack of drying towels outside… all contrast with his well-maintained clippers and variety of scissors and the well practiced routine of draping over the smock, tilting the chair just right for washing your hair, straight razor clean up around the edges and ears felt all usually left to another time.

goodbye tigers, hello rabbits / new year greetz 2023

Fondly from the Olsons of Tsuchida Cottage // grateful for the goodness you bring into our lives
Us, New Years Day / blahhhhh

Field notes: Kurashiki Jazz Street day-out snaps

Field Notes (brief) Kurashiki day-out during the “Jazz Street“ event (first in-person since 2019) with little pop-up concerts happening in all sorts of venues from tatami rooms to kissatens. Possibly more to follow.

Bikan Historical Quarter is just everything is so fcking cute with canals (complete with sort of gondola boats), rickshaws, coffee shops, cafés and restaurants of all kinds, craft shops, and some spectacular museums.

Ichiro was a great respectful supporter of the bands & especially like players rolling double basses down the lane

Everyone looking extra sharp with dapper hats, sometimes kimonos, musicians rolling double basses down the cobbly road.

Also tourists (mostly domestic but also some internationals… First time seen “in the wild“ for a very long time) heck we even chatted with a Belgian couple briefly. “Good Timing” i said.

Importantly, the tree with wooden supports was a spontaneous emergency repair by wife at a friend’s cafe (it was falling down and she went to work with saw – standing on a restaurant chair – and we pounded the support sticks in with a chunk of wood and tied up with rope. Not “perfect“ but a bit safer… The planter box is too small for the roots yet the tree was very healthy)
One thing about Japan, a lot of the attractions and “things to see and explore” require a lot of stairs which I have limited ability with. I can walk upstairs but just not a lot of them or else I use up all my batteries for the day. But anyway, you can see the branches cut down from the emergency tree surgery
peeked at an art installation, or is it a sculpture? no matter (same artist was the “space cat” from Osaka… the name slips me, hold on, i’ll figure it out)

Moving on… a few more (really didn’t capture any of the actual music or musicians we were there to see , but these just “field notes” after all, not a documentary.

this is me sitting in the breezeway, listing to tunes and goofing with the camera – just so lovely
another stack of stairs to gaze at, ramble to clamber up

{note: these photos come straight off this little ruggedized Olympus camera that I found in the wife’s office while tidying up and I really like it, lots of onboard effects / settings ++ and allows me not to be handling my phone as a camera – on which the cameras don’t work anymore so well, works out extra well}

and back towards our sweet ride, Agnes like we live in a Ghibli film

Halloween out n about / minimal effort, moderate fun (w/ magic darling duo)

Canada Japan Friendship Society, Tsuchida branch

Briefly: Evidence of us doing the Halloween rounds this afternoon / including the magnificent Taroman pumpkin shriveling into repose & our “bare minimum yet very effective” costumes of a ragtag baseball squad

It seems we live in a Ghibli theme park

The neighborhood has four “official” trick-or-treat stations, specifically available from 1 PM till 2:30 PM.

After hitting up a couple, I pulled out the pumpkin to the stoop, set up a lawn chair and added chaos into the well-ordered routine with spontaneous station number five while my darling duo hit up a couple of others, returning beaming with treats while I am a few twizzlers lighter after visits by a young surgeon (with stethoscope and spectacles in his pocket), a young police officer, a couple of cats, a little bear, and a few middle-age neighborhood guys shutting down the other stations.

Why yes we do matchy matchy looks

Noting that station number one had a great persimmon tree and issued scissors to bring a few of these wonderful fruit home which look like tiny little pumpkins. We use them all sorts of ways including my fermented vinegar.

Pumpkin looking a little worse for wear, hopefully the wild boar will come make short work of it

The nice lady there took a snapshot of the three of us & the husband there asked when we’re having another baby 🙂

There they are!

Really nice to see a little bit of liveliness in the neighborhood after, you know… “all of this“ / glad to be able to chitchat with folks as I’m still a bit of a mystery in the area but Ichiro is clearly famous(!)

Ichi was Concept Director for the pumpkin which was modeled after his favorite program, the super campy 70s crazy art collage by Okamoto Taro “Taroman”
Supporting evidence of above: Ichiro at Taroman exhibit in Osaka

Ikebana & Bento / brief notes from a day out {now with snapshots!}

Diary notes:

Rode bus into city with my 2 darlings to see an ikebana exhibit (Ryoko’s ceremony teacher had a piece on exhibit – no photos allowed) at a high floor in a department store.

“Noise pollution“ is huge problem for me even with earplugs. Ditto with flouro lighting.

Then acquired various bento/snacks and a street car ride for a picnic in the park with a friend.

Saw our funny passport photographer fellas shooting a kimono girl.

On bus ride home, a man gave us nice food.

Definitely more people out n about in city recently than previous couple of years (unsurprisingly of course).

Especially enjoy seeing other parents with similar age kids as we share a common experience of babies in this weird time.

Also many new art Installations around. {“Do we dream under the same sky” exhibition currently}

Now home resting… Was a lot for me but did it. #mecfs

Still quite warm and sunny here in Okayama. My outfit was sharp (natch ;)) but a bit too hot.

Tonight we’ll carve the pumpkin + noted community Halloween event on 10/30.

No accompanying photos. approximate location denoted.

Bonus: Triptychs of postbox and payphone (should be separate post, eventually will)

Charcoal, Poetry & Postal + topics of varied interest

it’s cardigan season so let’s discuss a bonanza of topics, shall we?

While the industrious senior ladies are cleaning the house, I fire up a machine to tell you about the following items:

several pleasing items
Continue reading Charcoal, Poetry & Postal + topics of varied interest

Chooglin’ through September, logistics & whatnot

Chooglin’ On -– not on the Canadiana tracks this time, rather balancing logistical and creative life in a cottage in Japan

Are you there pals? It’s me, daveo.

So many actions yet forward momentum doesn’t feel forward.

I think its a matter of expectations and “how my brain is a little bit broken” / I purchased a book about brains and whether or not one’s might be broken (or specifically how it is not). Have yet to read.

Regardless, when making a laundry list of “things ticked off list” – this month was spectacular! Especially when gauged against my *cough* priorities for the year:

  1. Be a great hubbo and papa
  1. Take steps forward for health
  1. Sort out life admin stuff for the long haul

I.e. Intake to new speciality clinic at Okayama University Hospital plus a follow-up visit, seitai x2, a few walks, cleaning ancestors graves, surviving typhoon warnings (really hard for me), stepping up emergency preparedness, passports, taxes, applications, translations, certifications, notarizations, tickets punched, forms filled out, tolls paid.

Truthfully these “life admin” tasks often feel redundant at least and ridiculous at times (noting: there is a choice to fly under the radar though once you surface, you’d best be prepared to deal with the consensus reality) but very required and somehow I do have latent paperwork genetics(?) from both strands tailored for the task when the brain is firing. Problem is the brain doesn’t always fire. (Did you read that article from the Atlantic I’ve been bouncing around?)

I mean, loads of all of the above PLUS the “creative life” goodness which sometimes feels elusive happened, ergo: An online poetry reading with really fantastic collaborators; a poem in a poetry book which sits on my (one of my several) desk(s); 50+ posts in this very archive – including some detailed mixed-media diaries of healing ramble, stories of adventures, usual ephemera, artifacts, collections and more sort-ganizing in ongoing semantic nuance; solid handful of video storytimes with arts and crafts, stories and poems; many conversations, some of them quite lengthy, with friends – both foreign and domestic – by telephony.

This is even before we dig into Ryoko’s singing performance, various rehearsals, and loads of arboristing and landscape designing. She amazes me with her patience, creativity, strength and sweetness regularly. 

And more important than any of this is playtime with Ichiro almost every morning before school and wonderful hot bathtime every single night. We do puzzles, play music on ukulele, piano and drums, all the words tumble out of his mouth but the songs even moreso. And He looks through the scrapbooks of his art and always pulls a book out of his pile eager to explore the words both in English and Japanese. While on the logistical errand to the big gray city of Osaka, we went to a museum exhibit which was especially for him, for us too but for him, was some kind of amazing heaven of Okamoto Taro.

++ Almost all meals prepared at home, laundry is always caught up dishes almost always, house generally tidy despite an active toddler and two parents with many hobbies. 

So when to lay it all out, the score is rather high but at the same time, and very eager to do more big creative things. I know they wait patiently amidst stacks of furious notebooks, sheets of unfiltered papers, digital documents with various suffixes –and I know the time is coming as I think about these projects all the time in the long hot baths. Will you read them if I make them? The words in the books that is?

Now the weather will cool, I will get IVs on the weekly, drink magical traditional Chinese medicine potions, other “off label/experimental” medications, I will find my peace, and I will pluck the things as ripened.

I didn’t even mention the wild boar attack.

Let’s make a start! Tomorrow comes photographs and possible live Jazz in the streets.

We will travel by bus. the three of us together. October ahoy! 

Equinox at Ohaka, saying respectful hellos to the ancestors

The both of them are so adorable, me, I’m just glad to be here

Friday, Sept 23: Equinox day walk up to the ancestral graves for cleaning, incense and fresh flowers… as is tradition. We tended to several generations in Tsuchida, Okayama.

Note we are wearing our “family tie-dye tartan” made by brother Dan (wiped me out so back home to rest fckn #mecfs :()

Continue reading Equinox at Ohaka, saying respectful hellos to the ancestors

Ichiro in the summer (with cicadas & fish)

Snippets from the park a few weeks ago with my pal Ichiro.

This is what Japan sounds like in the summer with the cicadas in full voice. Dig the vintage vibes as a playground equipment, does it remind you of 1979?

PS yes, he’s rocking tiedye & trucker hat & Canada shorts like so cool right? #io

Since were here, here he is at a community center (Mama’s client where we were delivering an invoice) checking out the fish tank. Dude loves to check out the fish that’s for sure.