Tag Archives: spectacles

Kerala Field Notes: painting, rupees, museum, specs, wedding etc

The doors open, you don’t know where you might go, so you go

An omnibus round-up for lousy photos of logistical considerations, various tasks and personal memories in Thrippunithura (Kochi), Kerala, India (wiki), late 2016 while staying at Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra hospital. Please read the related story and consider watching the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series. 

In the neighbourhood

sherbet coloured houses in the neighbourhood 

I sought permission to go out of the house to explore the neighbourhood, and after a while, she relented, warning me of the intense heat. I made a few oil pastel paintings of neighbouring houses which were all “sherbet coloured“ with lime greens, tangerine oranges and lavender which I found delightful.

i stepped out to make oil pastel painting and quickly made pals / note my awsum disposable clothes 

However, as soon as I would sit down with my art supplies, the neighbourhood boys and men would gather around to see what I was doing, ask me dozens of questions, and look on intently at everything I was doing. Continue reading Kerala Field Notes: painting, rupees, museum, specs, wedding etc

Healing: Story of Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra ~ Thrippunithura, Kerala, India

Me and Mr. Mohammed the Ayurvedic practitioner at Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra in Kerala, India

What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin/Kochi, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques. Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff.

Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series. Importantly, this is not meant to be a travelogue or creative writing exercise, just laying out my experience as it came to me. I may include some links to other projects or creations that came out of this, maybe… I’m not there yet.

This entry, from Thrippunithura (Kochi), Kerala, India (wiki), late 2016 and was written during my stay and in the weeks following – hence possible tense shifting and “note-style”. For the record: it’s nowJune 2021, i live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”.  No advice or sympathy requested or accepted. Carry on. 

Thrippunithura, Kerala, India , Nov. 2016

Intro: On my healing journey, I had tried most every possible medical modality to find some relief, and was determined to try everything which showed reasonable promise a benefit.

A friend from Dubai recommended Ayurveda as a natural and holistic approach, and in a fog – truly, in a really difficult point in my healing process, I investigated 20+ Ayurvedic clinics in India and Sri Lanka – very rapidly and without knowing what i was doing really…, received all manner of different replies, prices and recommendations.

my first cup of Chai in India! such splendid heaven for a dime

I settled on Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra the province/state of Kerala, India due her excellent clear communications and no nonsense approach to the clinic (some seemed dodgy, others were “resorts for yuppies” with very high rates, most told me to “call” and i am not a phone calling type). 

Settling-in

I flew from Thailand (after time doing a load of tests at a hospital in Phitsanulok) to Kochi (aka Cochin), spent two nights in an airport hotel recovering in a bath {note: will share travel tips later in the series}, venturing out only to drink coconut (below) and tea (above) and rolled by taxi to the clinic – exhausted, demoralized, confused but open to anything.

stepping out into “all of the India” to drink a coconut 

The clinic was run by a whip smart woman named Dr. Veena who was sometimes assisted by her husband, a jovial tall thin man named Dr. Hemesh who worked at a regional Ayurveda hospital requiring a long bus ride for him every day. Such chemistry between them ;)

I lived in-patient in this facility for three weeks. My room was simple with the bed, wardrobe and desk and a wet bathroom. For much of the time, I was the only patient in their small three-story facility. Other times, there was a couple from Malaysia.

They also had a wonderful 3-year-old daughter who spent the day with relatives and came home welcoming me with a best hug calling me “Uncle”. The staff included a house lady, and a practitioner, a short Muslim man with a moustache – though almost every man the state of Kerala had a moustache. My 3 week, intensive, in-patient program of traditional Ayurvedic treatments was designed to address chronic pain, pain and heaviness in legs, reduced/uneven sleep. The treatments consisted of various massages with medicated oils, plus inhalations, purging, dripping medicated oil/milk on forehead, eyewashes … plus specific food for body’s needs, meditation time, stretching and a variety of herbal medications.

assorted Ayurvedic medications i took “to go” at the end of my treatment cycle along with Dr Veena’s handwritten direction 

Left with 2 month program of medications (capsules, liquids, ghee, powders…) and advice to avoid cold, avoid acidic food and meat, do yoga stretching and breathing exercises. Day-to-Day

Shirodhara vessel for gently pouring liquids over the forehead 

Continue reading Healing: Story of Dr. Veena’s Ayurmantra ~ Thrippunithura, Kerala, India

Diary: Dialing in Specs, more or less…

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

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: Spectacle update (part next)

Overview: Due to my absurdly complicated prescription, lenses are always fantastically expensive and, because I really wanted to have two fresh pair on the go, decided against new frames and instead reusing 2 existing frames. Details follow: 

As pictured above:

The top right pair (brown tortoise Clubman) are almost an antique, purchased in 1995 on Guam, with early days transition lenses. The frames are still in decent shape, well-made with machined screws and feel cool on my face. I remember purchasing this pair as there had been some recent advances in progressive bifocal lenses which significantly reduced the thickness of the lenses from “safety glasses thickness“ to something more dignified. The new lenses will have a brown tint – not gradient or transitions, just a light/medium brown for a general purpose out-n-about specs.

The other pair (rather clear + titanium with blue detail in the temples) were purchased around 3 years ago in Victoria, BC with hopes would be a *perfect* pair. Alas the lenses were not made to pro specifications (the focal point is wildly askew) and give me instant headache and nausea when trying to wear. As such, the frames are barely used and will now be basically remade as originally intended with a gray tint and blue light filter for screen time. Hopefully help in reducing headaches & twitches. 

Recap: So, saved a little bit of money by not going with new frames but still get a fresh-up on the face. Thoughts?

Also: Nishida-san at the optical shop with a good sport as a rolled in with a leather satchel with six different pairs of glasses (from my world to her at spectacles) to check which frames were serviceable / salvageable. I also learned about the “secret codes” that lensmakers embed into the lenses as an oracle of sorts to other opticians in optometrists to understand how the lenses were constructed.
Pick up in 10 days-ish.

PS Thanks to Tina T. for re-sparking idea about digging into the old stash. Everything new is old again.

Diary: Spectacle update (Ryoko’s new glasses)

Behold! Ryoko Olson with 1 of 2 new pairs picked and elegantly fitted by Nishida optical in Okayama.

Note: These specs feature blue filter for easing eye strain on screens. So very lightweight too.

PS She’s wearing the other pair now and I keep looking at her face and saying “wow“ as both pair really allow her eyes and smile to shine.

Diary: Spectacle annotations (re: dave)

Tried these, didn’t pass the awsum test, quest continues.

Notes:

Bottom: good shape but with the weird gradient coloring, found them distracting like an “reverse mono brow” hard to see in the picture but there was kind of a green color to them, also available in blue but just didn’t feel quite right

Top: like the quirkiness of them for sure but, I found that chunky/dark frames are tough on my eyes because of my astigmatism… the “lazy eye” gets *pulled* & i see the frames in my peripheral vision all the time so I tend to prefer lighter colored/translucent frames with kind of a wide lena area. But yeah, they were fun to wear for a minute, somehow felt like would be a good choice if I was hosting a TV show

Middle: fun but just tooo much for my lil face

Riffs:

I am really the best customer ever of optometrists/opticians (and ophthalmologists for that matter) > Have spent untold thousands over my lifetime. However, I didn’t buy any for myself this time because my lenses are so unbelievably expensive and complicated, unless the frames are “oh yes completely awesome“ I don’t pull the trigger.

Plus I am investigating a new “migraine-prevention” lens called (rather mysteriously or just poorly branded) FL-41. My eyes change significantly year to year so I’m always having to spend the big bucks and there’s nothing worse than a substandard set of spectacles for me – if the focus point is even slightly off, I get intolerable headaches and eye strain.

I save money on lots of things and find good deals but I’m glasses, no time to scrimp. I look on with some enV when I see these “buy one, get one” or special prices because I am the guy that is excluded in the fine print.

That said, I celebrate all the advances in lens technology from my youth wearing heavy glass executive bifocals which left a semi-permanent divit in my nose. So glad I can get gradient tints, various filters and I’ve even had the transition lenses a few times.

Diary: Spectacle choosing (for Ryoko)

My super power is spectacle shopping (in this event, w/ endlessly adorable Ryoko Olson)

Q: which 2 did we choose?

~~

Update: Top right and middle left were the choices.

Reasoning/recap: Top right with the clear frames allow me to see her adorable face, and the side/temples are translucent blue for a nice accent without being distracting.

(The face is “the painting,” the frames are the frame not a “statement”, rather a complement)

Went back-and-forth on the middle and bottom left choices but ultimately she preferred the way the middle ones felt on her face – so light! I tease that she looks like a *serious German scientist*.

Again, allows me to see her face – especially her expressive eyebrows – so very happy with them.

The bottom left were fun but overall just a bit too big and clumsy.

We pick up in a week so will update at that time.

Worth noting / regarding “objective”:

For Ryoko, we wanted one lightweight pair with blue filter for indoor/screen use time and another pair that was a little bit more rugged (while still being cute and not “sporty-goggley”) which she can wear out in the field when working.

PS When doing her jazz performing/singing, she usually wears contact lenses.

The top left and bottom right are both good “all around-ers” if we were only buying one pair – both safe/solid choices but really happy with what we chose – nice utility & variety.

Memo:

The shop was a tiny boutique without the “endless walls of crappy frames” and the young gentleman diligently assisted us while I made a colossal mess of the place, and asked dozens of questions in my *rather unique* Japanese.

#daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 2 / modern collection)

#daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 2 / modern collection)

Spectacles (modern collection) / with accessories 

I’ve bought boats for optometrists
Trying to see more clear

Paid for orthodontists
for kids of ophthalmologists

Sent the work of opticians
to unknown recipients

Examined construction of lens
from a bifocals dented nose

Understood refraction more than options
conglomerates of industrial design

Still evidence glinty abounds
enough to make a mobile

##

Personal Archeology – #daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 1 / classical collection)
Daily Ephemera, Oddities, Artifacts, Mementos, etc
2020 6.26 ~ 8.16 

#daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 1 / classical collection)

#daveo50 “Personal Archeology Project” (spectacles, various, vol. 1 / classical collection)

I’ve bought boats for optometrists
Trying to see more clear

Paid for orthodontists
for kids of ophthalmologists

Sent the work of opticians
to unknown recipients

Examined construction of lens
from a bifocals dented nose

Understood refraction more than options
conglomerates of industrial design

Still evidence glinty abounds
enough to make a mobile

##

Personal Archeology – #daveo50 (spectacles, various, vol. 1 / classical collection)
Daily Ephemera, Oddities, Artifacts, Mementos, etc
2020 6.26 ~ 8.16