Tag Archives: kissaten

Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

At a café awaiting hospital appointment, scribbling postcards

// they’re playing doo-wop music which reminds me so much of dear dead Dad. I know all of these songs by heart even though I haven’t really listened since via 8-track in a Mercury station wagon driving to Utah in 1970s

{Visual imprint seems to get all the “obvious attention” but really it smells and sounds that take you right back to a place in time at whiplash speed}

Flowers stolen from kissaten (but I confessed to my crimes)

Dr says “shut it down, big time, you need rest, a lot of rest, all of it”

The above is determined by: physical examination on various ummm “nexus points” on my body // I’ve been running on adrenaline and fumes for a while (there were some reasons I had to shift out of second gear) and took a toll on my body.

My illness is a neurological virus situation so activity plus stress plus other attributes “flare up” and cause neurological physiological crashes which feels like the worst flu and the worst hangover and the worst Jetlag all at once.

Continue reading Healing: hospital day with doo-wop, muffin, and a rock

Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

So many things to tell you but I’ll scribble in Postcards, 1 by 1 because each of you deserves custom-made inky artifacts, right?

And coffee in fancy cups, and crocheted pen/cil + quilted stamp bags, and fancy postboxes.

Don’t you?

Anyway, briefly (ha!), for starters – not capable of brevity):

* Hot springs visits with over-the-top performance in quirky confines {note: have a post from a previous visit to share one of these days…}

* Pork belly, woodstove yams Kabocha squash etc. dinner

* Gorgeous new blue herringbone cashmere scarf and my own fancy Hanko stamp (previous was a ¥500 vending machine version)

Continue reading Festive Omnibus Annotations (church, shrine, tea, gardens, fire, poems, snaps)

Healing: stumbling (but not defeated) & “rescued” by lunch

Briefly: Messed up date with hospital appointments (every time, like lining up dominos to get all doctors/injections/tests lined up on same day and was supposed to be here last Friday) getting some of the stuff done today but means back here again next Friday. Very discouraged :(

*Not smiling* with my eyes

The hospital staff were super accommodating and got me in for “cocktail injection” and with Chinese Medicine Doctor who reviewed my memo and gave a thorough exam of abdomen, pulses and tongue.

TCM Doctor told me pulses are very weak and shallow, my body is fighting and trying but needs rest + Hot Springs and protein.

of course the hospital has flowers on display

I’ll be back next Friday to finish up the parts of the visit didn’t get done this time including inquiries about options for IVIG & Ozone therapy.

Continue reading Healing: stumbling (but not defeated) & “rescued” by lunch

Healing: anxious run-down of hospital day

Aug 3: I’ve got a big long day at the hospital tomorrow, preparation for which is my priority.

So I’m going to fold some laundry and tidy up the writing desk.

Resisting desire to re-hang new art.

Did I tell you about our massive closet project yesterday?

Will find a long-winded yet loquacious esoteric historical rabbit hole podcast/video/audiobook (what’s the difference anymore?) to listen while I’m doing the above.

(Yes Margaret, I scribble when I’m anxious)

“to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger makes haste in what he does”

V vG

Aug. 4: Terrible sleep, unbelievably anxious about today’s hospital visit even though I’ve done this literally hundreds of times before…

So, “pregaming” at my tiny calm cool coffee shop from which the master sent me a postcard (with transcription from his diary remarking on my first visit to his kissaten)

Machinery translation / dapper & injection

I keep whispering to myself (while at hospital checkpoint 2 of 5 or 6)

“you’ll be okay”

(I neeeeeed a long rest, however, i cant think about quite yet) but also, im #betterthanbefore

Always exciting to go to the “department of nuclear medicine”… Isn’t it? #BetterThanOppenheimer

Protip: for “tube tests” I now bring my own sleeping masks and earplugs and ensure them there is no metal included.

I have a whole arsenal of earplugs for different circumstances and situations but my “heavy artillery” are custom made by a hearing aid maker in Thailand and work their way down my ear canal and seal off the entire world when fully inserted.

Oh and I took my wonderful doctor a gift of a travel size Bodum French press – stainless steel with extra lid.

She’s incredibly busy and I always find canned coffee empties on her desk so trying to change that travesty.

Also, some bamboo charcoal and a shodo style letter.

Of course, I also have (at last count) 47 different sleeping masks in my continual search for the “perfect sleeping mask” / eventually, will sew my own but my fingers are much more geared for “big clumsy rough” projects right now

Postbox in the hospital / so many extra services available

Colossally long day at hospital. They’re incredibly efficient, organized and caring but my goodness, it’s a busy place and today had several different checkpoints including injections and scans in magical tubes.

My darlings came to pick me up fortunately, we are now home.

Thanks as always for my “fellow chronic and complex travelers” for chiming in with words of support and solidarity.

In my mind, summertime is especially hard for folks like us. #shrug

Diary: Archival Cabinets, Dirt, Kissaten & Espresso

Picked up a mighty cabinet unit from a crazy junk shop down the road apiece. {The old fella and the lady was so surprised to see my adorable wife driving the k-truck and tying cool trucker knots to secure the load. Yeah she’s the coolest}.

Ryoko’s rig – i love being her sidekick, rolling country roads with a tied down load

plan: Gonna replace these open book shelves on the right (photo below). The new cabinet has glass front doors so I can put in de-humidification packets to control the humidity to keep my fancy collectible books safe and sound.

Don’t worry, the air conditioner is positioned well in front of the stereo and records

Then, will get rid of these shtty IKEA shelves (which are about to collapse under the weight of the books & the records anyway).

The trick is going to be getting this unit up the steep kura stairs as it’s quite heavy. The current crappy shelves attached to the wall with L brackets and all the books and artifacts will need to be thoughtfully removed… This takes some thinking and a friend (Hi Ted!)

We had the home center all to ourselves with attentive staff helping us load up the truck

Also picked up buncha soil, manure, etc stuff for Ryoko’s job site tomorrow. #arborist #landscapedesign

Take a spin, I personally am not qualified to operate motor vehicles at this point in my life

Oh & a quirky bric a brac laden kissaten lunch (with a friendly owner and a variety of bikes and scooters around despite his very limited eyesight, all in a giant dog have a breed I have no reference of).

Clearly a lot of love went into this machine. I wish the coffee shop had a seat other than one rustic wooden bench… Like aesthetically I get it but a little bit of cozy is nice

Finally a stop fancy espresso at an almost too hip coffee roaster with a gorgeous machine which must require diligent maintenance and elegant repairs.

Overall come out way way too much for me in one day but sometimes when the opportunities are there, you gotta do *all of the things* even if it means a couple of recovery days. Life goes on, and I want to be part of it.

Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

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.

Sept. 1, an ophthalmologist visit (more spectacle related items throughout this archive) with Dr. Kobayashi (no relation to the goat farmer).  

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.

Also: for the eye chart, instead of “letters” it was circle shapes with an opening to the up, down, right or, left. Of course the circle shapes and the opening became progressively smaller. got to do it all in japanese to add the brain confusion / needed to be placed in a dark quiet room for the rest of the day to reset my brain / needed a quiet room after. Continue reading Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019

Christmas isn’t really an “event” in Japan, more of a marketing campaign and a prelude to New Year’s Eve which is laden with tradition, nostalgia and routine. It’s kinda my speed as i am def turned off by rampant commercialism quasi-religious sabre-rattling which comes around. 

Regardless, with new family (and more family arriving in 2020) i wanted to wrangle a bit of festiveness – also acknowledging been a long while since i had vaguely “regular” christmas and while this was atypical, established some new routines, scratched an itch… after all, with the turmoil in my life the last years, there is admittedly some misgivings and rather tough emotions which come around during all this hoolpa. Most importantly, got to show love and respect for wife and in-laws. 

PS You can see a bit of building up for Christmas and read a riff between a friend and i about this holiday in Japan in: Diary: Christmas Forthcoming / out n about and at home in Okayama, 2019

What follows are a few poorly-photographed artifact of activities from Dec. 24 – 26 JST. Carry On!

First off, Dec. 24 (christmas eve) we made dinner of grilled mackeral, squash, pickled cucumbers and tsukemono carrots, greens, miso soup, tea, rice, lotus root, and whatnot. Yup, not off to a very traditional start – ha!

Christmas morn, we opened our stockings (pictured above) purchased from a 100yen store ($1), nothing but the best! and enjoyed toast with cream cheese and my kaki (persimmon) jam which i am always talking about, and nashi (pear). My sock had snacks, Ryoko’s had expired 35mm film and a necklace and snacks. 

Then we went to post office (one of my fave activities of course) and i wore a Santa cap (borrowed from Ryoko who wore at Mae Maes Christmas concert) to the amusement of the post office staff and the kids at the grocery store which was our next stop. Folks are stocking up for New Years time during which many stores are closed or scaled back hours and folks generally wanna hunker down. 

Then we picked up a pre-made feast from a great lil cafe called Sakura-mi we had ordered a while back when we went on a little lunch date. Here’s the café’s post box.

And i got to make a fire in the wood stove. So yeah, post office and fire making in the same day! Pleased. 

Took the grub home and set up at parent’s house (next door).

Continue reading Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019