Tag Archives: regular life

Diary: emerging, again (maybe) hermitude / so tired

tired, skinny – waiting for bus,

Evidence for the curiosity seekers: I’m still here, alive…

Left the house for the first time in 10+ days (previous was a big hospital day) somehow amidst my hermitute, after 3+years got “the thing” laid me out badly with feverish hallucinations, debilitating pain, confusion, tears and sleeplessness {Sidebar: keep in mind that with my illness #MECFS I carry a massive viral load and a big legged immune system which has been constantly fighting this for 10+ years and also, the symptoms evidenced without the usual “scratchy throat, lack of smell and respiratory issues” so was a bit of a bewildering situation and very very much not good, not at all} … and then of course, the darling duo joined in on the fun… They are starting to bounce back because they’re invincible but tough seeing my normally intrepid wife battling through and are excitable cheerful boy we just started a new preschool program burning up with a 40° fever.

I am several kilograms accidentally trimmed up as really hard to keep food down and no appetite and so rolling like a zombie – bewildered, bothered, befuddled and just worn out of it all.

August got really weird with some unexplained and unexpected catastrophes, remarkable wife rolled with it all because she’s brilliant and a rainbow. Ichiro enjoys our spontaneous evacuations for a few locations as it meant trips to dinosaurs, beaches and pools.

I played along with my ukulele and tried not to be too grumpy as my precious batteries drained into oblivion… and made a few friends along the way.

Anyway, this is my usual picture of “waiting for a bus, wearing a hat and a mask trying to keep it together but losing my equilibrium & sanity inside” add it to your nft collection

PS our house is now set up for solar power including battery and selling back to the grid. Hooray for semi self sufficiency!

And yes, I keep sending out postcards and other little treats so I’m doing something right, right?

Diary: i need quiet (grousing for no reason but so tired) #vent

I’m quite desperate for some long period of extreme quiet.

You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best… I desperately need a rest

Yesterday, an outing to our fave beach, “quite empty for a Sunday,” I thought until a reggae soundsystem crew showed up with 5 awnings, multiple barbecues, flats of beer and significant speakers… I mean, party on but… Then some wannabe tough city kids showed up on the other side of us wearing those air cooled vests and spraying on mosquito repellent, sunscreen, chain-smoking mild sevens and then turned on a boom box with some crap music and then started arguing amongst themselves / nbd

Floated in saltywater, played ukulele, practiced meditation to ignore all the surrounding sounds. Across street is a great quirky café so I ate Oden and ice coffee and laughed / rolled wyes with the owner about the “Rastas” using their toilets but not buying any food or drink ~

This is all going on while we vacated house for our second round of fumigation for some persistent pest problems that I won’t go into detail except it includes so much vacuuming and laundry and decamping to a hotel before and last night, parent’s house~

I did my usual “triple stack” futon but the dear in-laws stay up till 11 and then back up at 7 remarking with shock and awe at *every single thing* on the loud television. Yes I’m a sensitive soul… Kind of a conflict to the elegant tatami room where I attempted to sleep~

Solar Power Digression

This morning back across to our house to get things opened up in time for the solar panel installation crew to finally show up (contracts were signed/stamped in February but been an assortment of delays due to various permitting/authorizations

1) Truck fulla solar panels (made in Japan)

2) Roofs where solar panels will go (not on blue roof or frontside of tile roof, but will go on the grey roof and the 2nd floor roof if that makes sense – the house has ideal East/West exposure (which makes for a hot house but guess good for this project)

3) Another awsum #keitruck in action laden with gear

So above me – while I am folding yet another basket of laundry waiting to go to Seitai treatment – the crew are up above my head drilling, stomping and attaching bits. Bless dear hearts working in this heat (2 days installation for panels then should light up around Sept 7)~

{when I’ve talked about the solar panel project when we signed contract back in February after meeting with four different suppliers, getting various different options amongst multiple visits (each with tea/coffee/polite, chitchat)…. We ended up with Made in Japan solar panels, with 25 year warranty, sufficient to power our house (the cottage), the parents house, and the two outbuildings – plus a battery system (with 15 year warranty) sufficient to power the house in the event of outages (and hey, it’s Japan, there’s always a natural disaster) plus, sell power back to the grid however that works.

I don’t recall how many kilowatts and all the technical specifications because there was so many numbers so many options and it all happened so long ago but eventually, I’ll give you that information if I can figure it out. Very important to us was the quality of the installation as the cottage isn’t particularly well built and the panels are going on a few different roof types, including the ceramic tiles on the backside of the naya tool shed.

Note: In some jurisdictions in Japan, there are grants, eco-loans, other subsidy programs, but in our case, no-go, so we paid cash with the aim of being self-sufficient, minimizing, carbon footprint, and planning long-term. With thanks to the “missing uncle and his empty dilapidated house” situation.

So I’m grousing for no reason except that my head is so inflamed from the air pressure and the stupid illness #MECFS and we’ve been in this crazy cycle for the last few weeks while also getting out of the house weigh more than usual by my standards~

Good news is, we’ve hit up the van Gogh exhibit, some chaotic interactive dinosaur thing, an odd traveling aquarium installation, two hot springs, a hotel with swimming pool and communal bath, three visits to the beach, a festival at a church, etc Plus, my favorite thing of going to quirky café/coffee shops.

Friday is a visit to the University hospital for another big day of iv & meds. I’m so grateful for medical care, solar panels, in-laws yet I’m so exhausted and dealing with absurd level of pain


Amongst my foggy half sleep, keep thinking about a few people who recently passed away far too early and somehow realizing I can draw a string between their 3 seemingly disparate lives. These are not the “famous people” rather those with whom I had a tenuous connection~

So yesterday at the beach, while thinking about how to respond in some meaningful way to the emotions, I wrote a song with 4 solid linking verses, a clumsy bridge and a chorus which needs another chord.

Huge Barefoot Hamilton

Maybe I’ll work on it /notebooks are filled with scribbles to transcribe xo

Snaps: additions to usual collections (phone, postbox, ship, stamps and coffee)

Compiling usual additions to standard collections, ergo:

* rotary phone (black, functional) at Tereya Cafe

* postbox (6th floor of dept store courtyard)

* wooden ship (hotel lobby with cutty sark booze)

* ink stamp rally checkpoint (at a traveling aquarium)

* coffee (Hawaiian Lion at hotel)

Diary: unexpected Ushimado hotel outing

Oh my goodness, what a topsy-turvy start to day… really going on for a few days since Typhoon(s)… While we didn’t get hit hard but dealing with some unpreventable & unsuspected problems so currently preparing for a fumigation and heading out to an unintended “hotel vacation”.

ships on stilts and the gentle glow of Family Mart in the distance

A busy post holiday week in August meant most everything was booked, and, in general, you have your choice of elegant/full-service, traditional ryokan or “highly efficient, but spartan and charmless” business hotels… Darling wife found us a groovy, kind of faded glory resort-y kind of place, seaside in commercial port harbour village about 40 minutes away.

[Update] Impromptu hotel night included:

  • outdoor inland-sea-side pool swim
  • a quirky cafe w/ cool boss (Hiroshi Kobayashi at Tereya Cafe)
  • tiny picka-picka shrine
  • hotel onsen
  • sharp pyjamas

Some evidence follows:

& now cuddled up with travelling correspondence kit

Summary: Making mango-ade outta fumigation downer

Bonus: after the hotel which included to swim in the pool, and I soak in the very hot seaview onsen, we went to our “usual” beach Nishiwaki for a dip in the ocean, a lousy ukulele song, and a bit of a meal and a snooze in the groovy little café.

Diary-ish: typhoons, corn, tidying up + RR

Aug. 6 I tried to clean up some email inboxes, got a bit done, so much behind on correspondence of all sorts. Can’t dare open up Messenger or Messages or DMs or whatever else is lingering. My brain just cannot get going and sleep remain elusive. Did an unscheduled clean of bedroom :( – let’s just say there are challenges involved with not having a foundation on the house

Aug. 7 A new stamp to track how I’m doing as i add different supplements, medications, processes and procedures / today is really tough as to low barometric pressure from a typhoon “somewhere nearby” is crushing my little head.

Kinda doesn’t look like it but did a little bit of a tidy up of the writing & misc desk/bookshelf area which is sort of squeezed in the corner next to the piano.

[No big deal but if you look really close you’ll notice several interesting artifacts and art pieces including an original Nick Bantock piece and some exceptional books on the shelf]

{there’s probably a German word to say how “every available flat surface quickly gets covered up by stuff”}

And that Kenwood audio deck has turned out to be a great purchase! Plays CDs plus AM/FM (all three of which we use often), also Bluetooth and USB which are used much less frequently. We’re kind of a physical media family. The two record players are in the kura.

Two headscarves (what’s the proper term?), one from Oman and one from Dubai (or is that the one from Jordan?) and a handmade cloth from island of Yap on top of the piano (which, along with the kamidana are next for a tidy up)

Family shrine in tidy up process… Top of piano not improved as yet

Aug. 8 The typhoons don’t seem close to us but a couple clicks up, down rather I guess… or lower or whatever on the barometric pressure wreaks havoc…

Borrowed from someone else’s post. Is that you? If so, thank you

and I’ve managed to pick up a lousy cold/fever from the kiddo so I’m just a big pile of grumpiness right now :(

I can see my house from here (arrow not exactly accurate, im clumsy)

Aug. 9 Not sure I’ve ever seen wife quite as happy as coming into the room to say “with that typhoon, I better cancel the trip to Tokyo”. She & Ichi were going for niece’s 1st birthday but traveling during Obon on holiday is already a drag & torrential downpours won’t make it easier.

Of course she wants to meet wee baby (Rio chan) and also had arranged with her University jazz circle friends to see their big band concert in Yokohama-area but it’s all just a bit too much.

Autumn / winter are her busy arborist seasons so we’ll look for a chance.

{And while I would love to go to see the relatives and whatnot, there’s no way I’m capable of a six hour shinkansen ride and going into the big smoke of Tokyo right now, like 0% chance. I’m in total bed lock mode with crushing head, fever etc}

To clarify, wife is happy because we’re still spinning catching up on projects from a rocky reentry from #BCInvasion + traveling during Obon holiday (when folks return to their home village to clean ancestors graves etc.) is a busy expensive hectic slog + such humid right now

A sweet and wise friend reminded me,

“You don’t owe anyone anything”

which I get however, nothing is better for wee heart and aching head then making creative projects (besides sleep) & have so many in mind from trip + tender words to say in commemoration of humans passed.

But I’m in total bed lock mode anyway so resets my parameters of what I’m capable of… I might do a bit of rough sewing as a lap project.

Also have to send notes to my big-time international accountant (who is quite literally, a legend/rockstar) so I can do in bed too.

And, finally broke down and ordered a foldable bamboo “bed desk” // wanted one for years but thought if purchased, might make me too comfortable and then remembered ‘being comfortable it’s kind of the fcking point of healing’

Memo: I didn’t do either of the above

Aug. 10

Oh my goodness, just learned Robbie Robertson passed on.

What an incredible storyteller // and while the conflicts inside “the band” break my wee heart, the music they created is beyond timeless, redefined genre and the epitome of ensemble.

Onwards to the showdown at big sky.

Royal Robertson requested donations to the Woodland cultural center in Memorial which you can find: https://woodlandculturalcentre.ca/support-us/

Our home in #Okayama is right in the “Venn diagram” where they connect

Typhoon update: Handy link for anyone who wants to follow real time these two typhoons buffet in Japan… https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#4/32.176/136.187/&elem=root&typhoon=all&lang=en&contents=typhoon

Aug. 12 Two days ago was really blustery and the bamboo trees were swaying heavily, but yesterday and it looks like today are just hot humid and sunny.

We will be OK, remember I was a Cub Scout so I have all alarm urgency supplies :) We’re tracking it, the first typhoon has peeled off away from us and the second is slowly making its way towards us but a little bit to the east. Landfall around August 15.

Spruced up the shrine in cottage // family went up to clean up graves, usually i love love love this task but completely wiped out from yesterday’s seitai treatment.

There was also ramen involved, artfully designed shop as well as the ramen (unphotographed because “ramen is not a fashion” but my selection was delightfully fresh, zesty cold variety

I will not tell you the name of this shop

Arrived by post today:

  • Box of corn, on cob (from Gandalf’s hipper brother in Nagano)
  • Classic book of epistolary literature (used) to send to a friend, elsewhere in Japan
  • Also, Received yesterday: variety of sweet cakes from Taiwan from a visiting Canadian with Singapore ties
The aforementioned gift from Taiwan also came with a photograph of postbox from the same charming gentleman. Gratefully received

Diary: sundry task to 2nd hand shop + shoes & blue couch unpurchased

Aug 1: Back home after many errands, completely wiped out, spun out, etc.

Now in a cool dark room with ice pack on neck and strangely, a hot coffee… Too late for caffeine usually but it’s best cure for crippling headache besides “more pills” / also mucho water.

PS didnt buy (size in-between wifey & me… Paul Reubens woulda loved em – stellar design & great construction)

3 more great choices for wifey, maybe we’ll roll back to buy / dunno, kinda busy

I’m quite obsessive and perceptive when I get into a good second hand/antique/thrift/unique curio shop and really wanted to leave with this couch as well – great price too!

Oh the graceful curves… Plus is dang near long enough where my full 5 foot 9 can almost sort of stretch out to read a book or have a snooze / tatami floors with cushions are wonderful… for a while / aesthetically splendid however comfort wise, well… let’s just say I’m delicate

Re: “art of sitting on the floor” – I have a book coming out about exactly that artful topic // which also touches on unique vending machines and the advantages of a 6 1/2 day work week

Remind me to tell you sometime about the “Japanese art of drying slippers”

Diary: various errands + wild boar foreshadowing


Brother Dan’s birthday in Japan time (got him The Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime reissue 2xvinyl)

Flowers at seitai office
  • Seitai treatment
  • ¥550/ea lunch (fish or chicken + miso, rice w/ furikake & pickles + tea)
  • Drop off pre-school admin papers (I. starts 3 days/week in Sept at “forest school” run by YMCA


Replace this empty space with a new dresser type dealio
  • 2nd hand furniture shop
  • swim cap & goggles purchase
  • Post office (return googles, send postcards)
did not purchase at the secondhand store because I already have too many of these but these ones have the gold highlights which really please my eyes
To Germany, BC, New Jersey, New York, Gifu, etc

8/2 deal with closet *problem*
8/3 wild boar guy comes
8/4 blood flow brain scan

For your biometric convenience

Diary: ghee, ice packs, carpet baggers and immigration anxiety

Scrambled eggs in ghee

Packets of medications and supplements + 水

Errands to: 
* hospital (admin); 
* preschool (applications): and,
* immigration (hopeful for resolution)

Then buy father-in-law dapper hat for birthday present

Ichiro is outside trying the reel lawnmower

Tomatoes from neighbors

Ice pack on the back of my neck

(Internet carpet baggers capitalizing ad-laden “think pieces” breaking down sht don’t know about someone who publicly pleaded for help for years like they're wise forensic music-scientists/anthropologist/psychiatrists)



Q: At immigration office (again)… Will my extension be approved for 1, 3, or 5 years Or denied & i go right to airport??

Interlude: They’ve disappeared with my file / note: at least the “don’t do drugs“ posters are now pinned it to the wall rather than duct tape like previous. Seems the office had a bit of an fresh-ip over the last few years of them doing… Hmmm not much due to closed borders etc #anxious

A: 55555555 years (clarification: 5 years but/& didn’t throw up in the office from nervousness) #GreatNews #Japanlife

{was a bit of an Odyssey this time around // had the Tiger Air direct flight from OKJ to Taipei on standby :) / last time I had a visa situation back in 93, I went directly to Guam and ended staying for a year and a half}}

Carrying on: made it to the hospital administration desk with minutes to spare to get some “magical important disability paperwork“ which I folded efficiently into thirds and inserted into the provided envelope

Onwards: to new/next pre-school (including figuring out the route which I’ll take by bus and street tram to pick up the wee bairn from time to time – familiar in a way as it’s from “bus end of the line to bus terminal (with vending machines!) to tram end of the line and reverse“). More about this but it connects to my dad’s first job working for the YMCA in the 1960s.

[Saw a boat which says something about going to the Setouchi Islands while we were driving, snapped a picture for Ichi-Stan]

A friendly “thank you“ for all the words of support recently.

{Funny how it goes: we build real relationships through these beleaguered channels and somehow found each other amidst the static.}

KK says, “damn yer back to Tweeting all day long… :P”

I reply, “I tweet when the anxiety gets out of hand… I’ll disappear again soon to free up your feed for other robots // Anyhow, I figured you would be slightly enamored and possibly even vaguely impressed seeing what I’m pushing through the same way I’m always showing up on your projects #ImYourStan // And really, I use Twitter as a handy notebook // then becomes diary posts in my beleaguered “creative life archive” site for #personalarchaeology purposes // which then, as you noted, the AI robots can slurp up to remix into other forms and functions

PS By the way, always fresh posts at my web archive // most recently a couple more lyrics from my “old man punk” series… make blog posts instead of playing games or watch movies or whatnot… Although kind of wish robots could make for me (not writing, just publishing/metadata)

Now: home in a cool dark room with many ice packs and noise canceling headphones

Recap: All of above is a big relief, a real challenging few weeksbeen feeling a little bit “unlucky” (as ridiculous as that sounds) this last little while but feel like turning a corner and hoping to spend a lot of time in bed – most important is a lot of rest + in kura with creative projects & with ukulele in August / heck, even have the kiddie pool filled up w/ awning & a grill nearby

This year seen plenty of big moves but used all of my batteries.

Next step: blood flow to the brain imaging scan on August 4

Unrelated to everything else: “extensive elaboration and long attention span” are basically my middle names (which are very hard to write on application forms) / iow: incapable of brevity except in haiku #UnrelatedPhotoOfMyAwesomeHomemadeGrill

Snap: tsuchida cottage interior (w/ pork belly & postcards)

Tsuchida Cottage (post-dinner) table setting with my flower arranging & postcard string on speaker wire (heavy gauge) / #postcards from sri lanka, austria, ireland + japan, canada, usa etc

ps speakers swivel to kitchen or lounge room / see also “moon light” (can’t see big-ish gas oven, super rare in Japan)

Cartagena to Carolinas (notes from a dream) + ramen vending, octopus slides #diary

It’s March, and I’m so tired. But I was tired and February too so I guess nothing’s changed :) but hey, April is going to be a beauty

This is not a postcard, it’s a cassette tape but hey, it might be traveling from Cartagena to the Carolinas or maybe just to Japan ++ there is a minor chance that the typed liner notes don’t match the actual contents (i started this project before holidays and ended up with a bunch of scattered sheets of different tracklists so I hope I matched the right one up)

Went out for medical treatment today (seitai), had a lovely chat with 2 elder ladies also waiting in tatami mat room clinic, also scribbled some postcards.

Wife and kiddo went for lunch and afterwards, we all went to the park. I sat on the bench.

Now resting in bed.

Noting postcards are mostly for folks who are having a rough time with health challenges themselves. I know how much it means to me when I get a note in the post wormhole so I try to always remember to share a piece of magic paper with a specific thrifty sticker on it with others

I think postal mail c/should be made as though they were generational artifacts. This is not required, just a thought I like to think.

So much fun dropping off letters with the kiddo. Chance to talk about where the letters/cards are going, who the recipient is, and why you’re sending. Geography, communications, empathy, friendship… All in one lesson <3

[Update} Gosh, craziest dreams last night… So vivid and all over the place.

Hit up seitai again and holy smokes… That fccked up vertebrae (lumbar number two) is finally starting to move after a couple years of working around it and today my entire nervous system is buzzing with electricity. Going from my left second toe tracing lines up through my shoulder blade into the back of my skull

Completely wild, I’m trying to lay still but feel like I got jumper cables attached

Just needed to tell someone in case I levitate and float up to outer space

I guess thoughts of passing of a friend combined with seitai treatment, changing of seasons, + medications all cooked up a perfect stew of mental chaos (plus lingering anxiety of leaving in Japan for a trip)

Scenes in Cartegena & Carolinas, various cargo transport airplanes, clues hidden in a smuggled menus, hitchhiking in Spain & meeting up with a band who were partying hard before doing a show at 4 AM at a festival a long way away. Nothing I haven’t done before but still… collaged

Ergo: *finally* getting some L2 nerve compression released after decades of doctors saying “oh it’s nothing, here’s some painkillers” Neural synapses reconnecting is a completely psychedelic & exhausting experience. However i am unable to explain this to my doctor (esp in Japanese)

A picture of the cottage and the tool shed and carport snapped to explain where the solar panels will go but for now… it’s just a picture of the cottage, the tool shed and the car port

Other dis-intermediated maybe semi-related but probably not notes:

Indeed, we’re not “standing on the shoulders of giants” were “leaning against normal sized humans” - like *us* who have just done other things similar before us… Reminds me of cultures passing from shiitake log to shiitake log as they’re leaned up against each other in the woods

(life in Japan is a constant barrage of “wait what? Seriously, they can do that?”)

Just on this day we’d gone to a park with an octopus slide, a medical treatment in a tatami room, a 7-11 for ¥900 lunch/world tour of food, stopped at a bakery that looked like was airdropped in from provincial France… while listening to Wes Anderson’s Isle of dogs soundtrack.

Today saw an oddly placed ramen & gyoza vending machine. no idea how it works nor why *here*
From the van window. We called the van Agnes. Shall I post a zoomed in shot? OK.
No, I do not know how this works and I would investigate but the placement is very strange and inconvenient. So we go on