Tag Archives: out n’ about

Diary: sparking tiny fires

Fresh tray of fire starters made from paper egg cartons, sawdust, wood chips, dryer lint, soy wax // not the most aesthetically pleasing batch I’ve made but they’ll keep us going through the winter / One match is all you need

Diary notes:

Saturday included: new orthotic inserts, made on site to order, plus reviewed/evaluated big bag of shoes for sturdiness and arch support / very diligent and serious practitioner

had ramen with my duo after shoes dealio / such kind folks + Ichi was charming (also hit up a park & community centre in wife’s childhood neighbourhood)

Also recently:

mixed CD arrived by post, looking forward to enjoying

packet mailed to Kentucky river region came back with “address not found“ hmmm

postcard from India received, my attempts to reply have been denied so far

did I mention that 2 Canadian passport with middle name “Thorvald“ arrived?

Mac the goat farmer came for oden dinner couple nights back /he forgot his pickles gift but remembered signed/stamped poetry book

expecting a pleasant guest from Vancouver on Nov 28

read Tintin books, watched Country Bears, practiced English with Ichiro

previewed a pod im a guest on taking about writing “early sht” {oh my!}

limited project on the #Circumnavigation book this week as interrupted by medical appointments and recovery but still, 90+ pages drafted in so far

Re: books

finished Tanizaki’s Makioka Sisters (making a note to watch the movie adaptation during New Year’s)

now working through:

  • Alex Kerr, Heart Sutra
  • Murakami Ryu, 69
  • e.e. cummings, 100 selected poems
  • (sorta) DT Suzuki, Zen & Japanese Culture
  • Deep Kyoto Walks, various (ed. Ted)
  • Tokyo Van Nuys Express, Rick Lupert
  • various others

tomorrow (probably):

hanging family photo corner, bringing in some firewood, maybe harvesting some persimmons, and making ginger/turmeric syrup

Carrying on:

“yesterday’s tomorrow, is right now”

And I love waking up to the sound of rain / I live in the sunniest prefecture in all of Japan (really!) but still, I’m (partially) a #cascadia human/Sasquatch

Did some tasks:

  • Recycling (plastic food trays) done (mostly) // As “rebellious“ as I get these days is overfilling the plastic recycling bin at the grocery store that we don’t necessarily always shop at (90% of our groceries are delivered through the Co Op) / Yep, it’s a wild lifestyle
  • Hung buncha great family photos / more to say & the location, lighting & wall are hardly ideal, but we’ve made a start!

Further annotations:

For the record: im never sarcastic, very rarely cynical, mostly sincere, often enthusiastic, frequently curious, enjoy offering compliments, and always (try to be) kind

Be rich when “poor” by giving more

Also noting it’s great seeing more kids/toddler/babies out and about… The first couple years of our kiddos life, we hardly saw any other parents out with their kids that we could do that “I know what’s up with this“ nod with

Asked darling wife what she would like for a Christmas present(s). The answer “a chainsaw and/or a sewing machine“. Sums her up. (Oddly enough, you could maybe buy both of those from the same brand but seems Husqvarna doesn’t make sewing machines anymore)

A trio of great poems by Jason Emde (of Gifu rock city and creator of the “writers read their early shit“ podcast) in “hole in the head review”. High-quality writing (and yes, I’m a guest on his next episode in which I reveal *way too much*) mentioned above

{While not as well known and heralded as some others}, “Ken Sanders Rare Books“ in Salt Lake City is one of all-time favorites book shops. Sometimes, i browse around and fill up carts but then again my nemesis: shipping fees comes to thwart the plan :( kensandersbooks.com

Ahead:

Monday Morning is grocery delivery & order + garbage out.

Backing up twtr in case, locked down to be tight & tidy, security hygiene.

(Hopefully) back to barn to finish packet to Gary S. & notes for The Matinée, more poems & stories for book. Tuesday meeting at pre-school + wife’s band comes to rehearse. No scheduled medical appts! Oh order something for festive dinner & work plan for card (design, quantity, production).

Just talked to my brother who happens to be in Muscat, Oman. However, he did not use this #payphone

Snap: tea & coffee / kimono & hat

Today in “Beauty and the Beast”

I’m just thrilled to be her sidekick :-) riding the bus together, her in kimono & sandals, and me in my hat & Docs

Outing: bus to passport snaps, jazz & tea

The three of us, on the road by wonderful, air conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled, Uno bus service into Okayama city for passport snaps for Ichiro. His first time on the bus and he’s really into it, waved to the driver, of course, (yup, like his papa).

Evidence of the journey as he looks at the windows to endless possibilities

Lots of fun at the photo studio, serious face and a sailor suit for two passports, two countries, two sizes… Then and outfit change (jimbei & barefeet) for a bit of a commemorative studio photo / just like my Mom used to do for us boys.

After photo studio, caught street jazz / sort of informal part “Okayama Jazz Street weekend” (Including a tenor sax, followed a car and upright bass combo, the bass played by the chief of “Live House Bird” where we hosted our “foreigner welcome party” before the wedding.

Melodica, Tenor Sax, Bass combo afternoon in Omotecho shotengai

We’d never had a chance to thank him in real life – he was grateful for all the snapshots and awareness of our pals brewed up.

Stopped for tea at a place filled with older gents playing Shogi & Go + bought Ichiro a puzzle at one of those dusty forgotten stationery shop so I dig.

You can *barely tell* that we’re even related I’m sure

Oh, also bumped into several people we know, or wife knows… Starting to be a lot more action around the city, was also a sake festival and saw a gaggle of obvious foreigners, first time in a long long time, seem to be maybe a sports team?

[update: done-ish] All above unpictured for now, mebbe i’ll grab something from R‘s phone as my camera is broken but i did take the instax for 3 snaps.

Home now in the cool dark room with the little guy snoozing next to me.

Exhibit: Noriko Miyake’s goddess art

the phallus points the way…

Catching up on my/our miraculous life, yonder back in December 2021 amidst preparation for Christmas and a few of their ongoing projects, we went to see an exhibit of one of our favourite artists, Noriko Miyake who is just about to head out for creative sojourn in Paris.

3 shining stars

We have a couple of her paintings [see: Diary: New Goddess Art from Miyake Noriko, Diary: Get on the Omnibus (annotations from the fog)] and have flowed a couple out to the world as gifts as well, she’s always doing something interesting, often involving p3nis and vag!nas and related whatnot (pardons keeping this post safe for search).

The exhibit was in a great coffee shop in which was on board with placemats, menus, table flags and other treats to make the exhibit completely immersive. There was even art hanging in the toilet (yup, we purchased one, a wild collage) and in the hallways (yup bought one from there as well, a sort of jellyfish kite).

Then, you climb a very steep dangerous staircase (watch your head! gonk!) and head into a room FILLED with painted, stuffed and sewn vulvas, yup! Cozy up and lounge in the splendor. We all enjoyed and have one at home now.

Continue reading Exhibit: Noriko Miyake’s goddess art

Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

just up around the bend

Along our adventures, in this case, June 2022, we made a return visit to a stretch of beach called Nishwaki with a handy wood fired pizza oven/ hang out/ playground/ parking called Iweburo around Ichiro’s birthday. (He really wanted to go back to the sea even since the trip to Shimane when he saw the surfers.)

We ordered pizzas and then spread out blankets, chairs etc and picnic on the beach. Few people, some high-school/college age kids were playing games while the whipped whipped around a bit, the fellas from an takoyaki shop nearby chased a blowing red paper lantern. Ichiro went in for a bit and managed a swim (wade out for a bit amidst the seagrass).

Our friend Ayumi who lives nearby joined us there. (Foreshadowing, we are going to her top floor apartment for fireworks soon).

3 happy adventurers

The “inland sea” is very different than the rugged sea of Japan (or the Pacific coast of which i am not so familiar). Because the seto ni kai is protected by islands, this was a useful place for manufacturing, mining, shipping and transport. As such, some of the locations are hardly pristine but regardless, scenic and handy.

beach, not to scale

The Pizza Café is totally my style with reggae music playing, guitar scattered around, handbillsfor live music, drums and shakers and Legos and coffee.

Continue reading Outing: inland sea beach and pizza (and camera goofing)

Ramen (with yuzu and spring vegetables)

I don’t have any cat pictures on hand but I did photograph today’s Ramen with spring vegetables, yuzu peel and extra pork.

At Gakucho Menya – best place ever (in Okayama and beyond).

See…, I do know how to Internet.

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.

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

Snap: Backstage at the oasis

{Artisan roasted coffee across lane from shrine, Ichiro carried on family tradition batting eyelashes at baristas}

Backstage at the oasis… Was surprised to find a painting of me in this mural :-) >> Complete with suitcase, backpack, hat and scarf, glancing at a tree thinking about a chair and coffee.  Yup, def me.

Diary: Café Poetry, Street cars, Seitai and Curry

As it goes: “Over the Wall” > Headed by bus for some medical treatment (seitai) trying to stay ahead of the “Crash mode”… Head and heart are Genki, just trying to catch the body up… But as someone once sang “two out of three ain’t…” Staying positive, rolling slow, counting the goodness, always grateful.

yup, waiting on a splendid bus

Baby is with grandma, wife is working, yesterday sent more absurdly and unnecessarily complicated paperwork for various schemes and reasons. But hey the bus is on time, has great Wi-Fi and a power outlet at my seat. It’s the simple pleasures.

Oh and this hat – of course – is made by Mavili, the elder gentleman from Georgia (the country, not the state) from whom I used to purchase loads from at Lonsdale Quay market. Recently his son found a blog post from like 2008 and contacted me to say thanks, & his dad is still making hats from home. I am happy to say I have at least three creations of his here in Japan (& many others lost along the way and/or purchased as gifts for distinguished folks).

If you are curious, scarf from an Istanbul souk (was so surprised to see tartans on offer in markets in Istanbul – the Turkish cotton is absolutely wonderful), jacket Uniqlo, satchel from Thamel, Kathmandu.

Btw, the kanji on the bus stop 土田 is Tsuchida, our neighbourhood & means “dirt/soil-field” more or less.

Note: cute cause its me and intrepid elder ladies on the bus. The *secret power* of Japan are these invincible women. Strength, dignity, kindness & grace abounding.

Steeple-chased and sensory depravation / Poetry and Coffee is Everything.  Pen functional if not exquisite. 

Update: Finished my treatment (seitai, it’s kind of hard to explain but it’s not shiatsu, it’s not acupuncture, it’s not massage, it’s not reiki, it’s not chiropractic but a little bit like all of those things sort of but in a calm tatami room)… then in my post-fog, opened a vaguely random door to what turned out to be a blissful little café… Just me at the counter, jazz playing, skilled master made me curry… feeling so happy to find this place that I’m having another coffee and writing some poetry (lyrical even… as a gift for a musical friend).

i mean ¥900 for this magnificent plate in a chill calm place with a diligent proprietor is like some kind of wow (note notebook in bg)

For the record, this was the café… They have one kind of curry per week which makes ordering easy. Stay up to date via @Grillmori Instagram 

Gri(l)mori Original Lunch / even the sign is evokes nostalgia #Okayama

And here is one of the street cars rolling down the tracks… There’s all kinds of different eras and designs represented from “slick modern” units to classic beauties like this one to the obligatory hello kitty themed one, also Chuggington. I rolled one for just 2 stops cause i love the feel (and really every step saved is a big help).

2 street car lines here in Okayama, ¥100 for most on/off rides – enter at the rear, pay, exit from front

Finally, after I got off the street car, right in front of me was a brand new CBD shop/café/lounge. Went in to say hello and all that and great variety of products and displays but wow, a little expensive.  Had nice conversation with the young proprietor (30) told him about my activism at young age and how we eventually changed *everything* in Canada and US west coast. Had some samples (they also have CDB wax and vape device #want) but after treatment, i am bit foggy (like more than usual) so mumbled a bit before making my way back to the bus and back to the stop and home to rest. 

Ready for action (as in riding a bus to do a thing)