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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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).
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.
Took a few tries but getting fresh specs dialed in for my curious eyes￼.
Thanks to Kenji Nishida-san and his tiny optical boutique. Noting: he dresses exclusively in black like some kind of spectacle superhero
And one more (because I am a relentless cornball), this one here at the gallery with a cut out of the architect at this building which was once the prefectural office and now endless white corridors and the hum of fluorescent lights and ventilators
Out and about! On an errand (picking up a second hand roll-top writing bureau desk) in the Kei truck with the absolutely incredible and adorable Ryoko Olson at the wheel rolling the country backroads to the (minor provincial capital, mostly forgotten) city of lovely goldilocks Okayama – yes, we even have canned coffees in the cupholder and a.m. radio (which you can’t really hear over the 650cc engine but whatever) – got to say it’s a *pretty romantic* date
matchy matchy / curling sweater and hockey jacket, handmade hats, snappy scarves
Update: this is what we picked up, look at this gorgeous desk with the rolltop and everything￼
The usual, ergo:
dossiers of art, poetry and ephemera￼
scrapbooks of same(ish)
piles to Post offices￼.
PS I enjoy this sort of activity on many levels for sure, i.e.: find playing with scissors and glue and pens very pleasant and, like the thought of spreading a little bit of goodness to various places around the world and, going to the post office gives me a little manageable errand.
I have a hard time getting “out and about” and really have to minimize screen time so this allows me to communicate and create and keep my brain active.
In these dossiers, i included prints of my paintings, bits of poetry, various insta snapshots, and letters on expired aerograms etc.
- payphone box w/ green phone
- tiny bar (w/ Guinness, evidently)
- outdoor smoking section at an Indian resto
In 2001, three of my four brothers and Dad gathered in Seattle (some of us came from Olympia WA, others down from Surrey BC) for some activities including a visit to the Experience Music project which is a sort of interactive museum at Seattle Center.
Amongst all the fine exhibits is/was a “live concert simulator” in which you are announced on to the stage with lights and crowd and play along in a kind of *deluxe karaoke* of sorts / with if I recall correctly ” twist and shout”. Really quite fun.
Brother Bob wasn’t in attendance so, we called our band “Bobless” which has become sort of our de facto codename for events and activities in which Bob is elsewhere.
Related: brother Dan and I were charter members of the Experience Music Project and received a special piece of tile as an artefact to commemorate this membership I will share this elsewhere in this archive at some point, probably/maybe.
As is the case with most every bail receipt i suspect, there’s a story behind this one… I’ll save it for another time but in short involves: a baseball I didn’t get to keep, and two policeman with the same name, and a 4:20AM drive home. Thanks Dan.
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.
My my the pleasant days go by – we fill our days with tending to lists of tasks from gardens to scrapbooks to required paperwork to making pickles and tasty baked goods… with everything focussed on preparing our house to welcome a new human, make our life simple and efficient so we can enjoy art and music and love.
With this in mind, may i offer a few slices of evidence?
So we are working down the list of stuff for the lil baby coming and doing most all by mail order and also received a few care packages form friends. In this case, a big load of clothes and diapers which we washed (with delicate detergent) and air-dried! Its all so cute.
The little pyjama outfits will be so fun to play dress up and match with.
Next, our rabbit. This is Maru-chan. He eats and hops and mostly lives indoors but sometimes hangs out outside.
As noted recently, we put in a fresh garden plot in the front yard area of our house in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan. As part of the project is moving a buncha boulders to make room for planting a smattering of fruit trees.
The boulders are moved by a steel tripod, chains and a pulley system and as such, assuming one is careful and strategic, *fairly* non-heavy work aside from pushing the cart with the boulder to the location to dump it off.
Time-lapse of a rock moving session:
The relocated rocks are used to build up a retaining wall of sorts to support a drainage ditch… When offloading from the cart to the ditch, we added leftover bales – really bales – of bubblewrap from the shipping of my archives to protect a hard plastic pipe in the ditch. Quite fun rolling the rocks into position!
Then using a few more to put a ring around a big plum tree to make a picnic park area.
We’ve done a few sessions now of hauling the rocks and while the pile is reducing, still can’t see the ground sufficiently to put in the trees, so we carry on / there are enough rocks that we’ll sorta extend a little wall. Continue reading Diary: More Rocks, also Herbs + Bocce Dreams (with time lapse fun)
Quick notes: relocated these three big old foundation boulders using a tripod and pulley to make a little ring around the plum tree for picnics with the kiddo, and hopefully you
there’s a big pile to move in order to make space for 5 more fruit trees (we have the saplings living in pots: orange, lime, grapefruit… )
the boulders were moved using brains not brawn with a steel tripod and pulley system made it very easy as long as you were smart and careful. :) It’s quite ingenious as those mighty heavy rocks were moved with just me, pregnant wife and the wonderful tiny mother-in-law
Next, we fixed up the area next to Ryoko’s tool shed with a potted olive tree, lemongrass, and various other plants…
first, put down a stack of old bricks and other rocks so ya know, give it some character and functional charm Continue reading Diary: Moving Boulders, Laying Bricks, Planting Seeds at Tsuchida Cottage