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.
Lots on my mind to riff about sometime about with various dangling topics & conversations unfinished and yet the days go by so quick￼, ergo:
* libraries (lost in Showa) * meeting Ed Abbey (for Heads Lifestyle) * my next postbox paintings/poems * Ryoko’s new Fluevog shoes(!) / below (note: Vancouver company but these came from the Amsterdam store in the magnificent box with extra treats. She will look so great in these, and hopefully can wear in her next concert sometime this autumn if things well, get safer.) + I kept an eye on the sale section and special sale days to find just the right pair at well, a good price and this was my third attempt * Dennis Kearns & Quinn Hughes * Canucks family cook book circa 1981 (contents thereof) * paintings by Noriko Miyake (She’s local to our area but spends a lot of time in France making her vag!na goddess art. We have 2.5 of her pieces. Purchased this “wild hot spring” as a surprise “momma’s gift” for Ryoko Olson) & Jean Smith (she’s rocking it so well right now) * reducing humidity for book and record archiving in kura barn * Fast Times (film & soundtrack etc) * Itami’s “The Funeral” film * scheme for house modifications/extension (safety & efficiency) * so many letters out in the post, absolutely fantastic custom and complicated… And time-consuming(!) but so worth it￼ * Ichi-Stan’s CDN paperwork / checkmark #io * The Queen never getting to know the pleasure of making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich * further annotations re: hemp in Japan (state of & unpublished artifacts) * recap #daveo50 / 190+ posts project * wild boar sausages & inflatable pool (+ impending typhoon) * how i ended up in Japan this time around * how are you? * condolences for losses (i see you) * yes *the illness* persists #chronic #complex yet research drastically increasing (note: One strange /good thing is with *the virus*, there’s suddenly a lot more attention and awareness and research going into CFS/ME vis a vis so-called “long haulers” / Would be so wonderful to see so many people get so much of their lives back #MillionsMissing) * “Hollywood” Scurlock (for Dark Poutine Mike Browne) #weird * etc * full email box #trying * autumn is best season in Japan * questions??
> in the meantime…
Note: The reality is, I wrote this as a little bit of “stuff I’m thinking about but I can’t do anything about right now“ list when I was in a crash mode from my silly consortium of syndromes.
(When I “crash“ I can only be in bed with the lights off, audio playing but not video, no outside light or noise,… but my head is swimming with ideas of stuff I really really want to do but can’t. In this case, three days of almost complete an activity aside from bathtime with baby.)
Dictating out a “laundry list” of thoughts, helps the brain calm down and well, means I’ll maybe address the topics eventually… maybe.
I suspect you eat food, likely more than once per day. While I dabble in many mediums of art, the kitchen has never been a place of creative comfort for me however… I’m working to add a few new skills to my repertoire, as well as watching the unique techniques take a bus out for some traditional Japanese favorites.
Also, paying attention to the importance of plating and presentation and choosing an interesting variety of dishes when serving – I’m probably better at this part than in the preparation but hey, one revolution at a time.
As such, very little in the way of annotations or details, or quality of photos for that matter, just evidence of living life at such a cottage.
The results are sort of a hybrid of Japanese and “western“ dishes, and usually served rather Japanese-style meaning lots of little plates as we sit at usually a low table on a mat to enjoy the creations.
While life is still exciting and new here, I occasionally remember to take a snapshot of things prepared, most of the time I don’t, but sometimes I do, and since I did, i’ll share with you. There are loads of these round-ups elsewhere in this archive if curious.
+ Dinner choices (& results) at Tsuchida Cottage with Snapper (Tai) or Wagyu (beef) +
Amongst all the goodness in our lives with the wonderful baby, we’ve received some treats. Some are part of Japan’s “summer gift” tradition, others specifically for the baby (so many to document, will get to them eventually) and some because folks are nice and adore Ryoko.
In this case, we received a box of luxurious premium wagyu beef and a whole tai (snapper) fish / the combo of the 2 provided several fantastic meals as you might expect.
Because i am grateful and obsessive, i present documentation.
For the record, these are salt fermented though i did a couple with vinegar and sugar which are great too. the salt does some kind of magic anaerobic fermentation creating pro-biotic goodness. The taste is clean and simple with the veggie taste and texture intact.
chop up whatever veggies i have (in this case, carrots and daikon and onion)
stuff in a sanitized (not really sterilized) jar (stashed in hot water for a while on stove and handled with tongs)
toss in a garlic/onion and a bay leaf (there’s an enzyme which helps the crispyness)
top off with brine (basically 2 Tbps of non-iodized salt to 1 litre/quart water)
fill to top and/or put a cabbage leaf or something on top to push the veggies below water line
stash em in dark place for a few weeks, months – will be fizzy when ya open up
after open, stash in fridge.
there’s all sorts of complications you can add to the process but i am a simple boy. have done a load of batches now and all turn out decent. mild, clean, crispy.
and yes, someone has already sent me the Portlandia “pickle that” clip. thanks.
Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal.
To be clear: this is the 1959 Hollywood/King Vidor version with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda and others… There are several adaptations of the classic Tolstoy novel and this frankly, is not the best by any measure. Even at 208 minutes the story is incredibly compressed and huge critical chunks simply cut out. It really lacks in its reliance on camera trickery which, perhaps was innovative at the time, but has the feeling of “clean it up in post“… Especially with the sound editing/mixing, it’s a mess. All that said, I totally enjoy it Mostly because of Audrey.￼
There’s is a much longer Soviet-era Russian adaptation (7 hrs) by auteur Sergei Bondarchuk ￼￼￼(co-wrote, directs and acts) ￼from 1967 / it’s endlessly wonderfully long, came out in a series in Russian language (naturally) with various French and German as needed. It’s truly epic so you got to settle in / plan for the long-haul / ￼rousing battle & party scenes interspersed with slow contemplative vignettes. The actors arent as pretty/shiny as other versions but hey, realism ￼(I have this one of three long VHS tapes)￼. ￼ Then, there’s a BBC series from 2016 which is in general very well done – aside from a few casting choices which I for some reason find incredibly annoying (but I’m kind of like that). Pacing is good and cinematography is often great.￼￼ if you’re going to settle in for one, this is probably the best all-arounder/entry point. Lily James is a worthy Natasha.
￼Another good all-arounder albeit a bit melodrama-esque came in a 2007 series. An international production so well done on various languages & casting actors from different cultures / a bit hard to find as was made for European release. ￼
There is also a 1972 British made TV series and a 1915 b&w film, neither of which I’ve seen.
Have you seen any of the series? Any opinions on a favorite? Have you read the book?￼
I mean, if not now, when?
Ted says: The Soviet version is one of the most amazing films ever made I think. It’s now on a criterion Blu-ray release.
I reply: indeed, the backstory of the creation is just as epic as well. He had free rein to state museums, use of the Army personnel and helicopters etc / Must get my hands on the criterion as I’ve only watched on the VHS tapes which, leave a little bit to be desired.
Ted: Factoring the current rate of exchange, it supposedly the most expensive film ever made. Like 800 million or something.
Me: Epic in every sense of the word! Although hard to calculate the true cost of the budget with all of the government resources/access use. Have you seen any of the other versions? Comments?
Note: Went “outside the wall” yesterday for a hospital visit and wow, a lot of weirdness everywhere… Got back home safe and I’m going outside to work in the garden now that i washed dishes / ps we made a yard waste / compost bin from scraps
Remember: Control The Controllables
Update: also replanted 4 seedling trees (temporarily) and transplanted a bunch of kabocha (pumpkin squash variety)