Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).
On my healing journey, i was introduced to Kamalasom Traditional Thai massage (and other therapies) clinic in Phitsanulok, Thailand after the magical Athaya made arrangements.
Since Oct. 2016, so far i have spend 4 extended treatment sessions at this facility.
I’ll explain how the routine goes:
Usually,… first starts with a blood pressure and pulse rate check (keep in mind all this happens in Thai so i just play along with smiles and they are all so nice to me), and brief consult (again, in limited common language).
Then, after changing from street clothes to sorta pyjamas/shorts, i receive 1-1/2 hours of Thai “Royal Court” massage in which all my muscles, joints, ligaments etc are stretched and bent to the very outer limits with elbows, knees, feet as well as hands involved. Continue reading Healing: Story of Kamalasom Massage, Phitsanulok (Thailand)
What becomes of the seemingly ephemeral creations we leave behind? Especially in the analog-days?
Consider these in the context of missing cassette tapes made by a now departed poet/activist/scholar Foster and guitar-ing Mikael, who recorded spontaneous youthful riffs in parent’s basement in Utah. In this postcard, Mikael Lewis sings “Wildflower (for Foster)” written by Dave in a clinic in Nepal, then adds some more verses, spiels and a poem called “Occasionally Free” – with lightning, rainstorm and crickets chiming along.
Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.
Rolling some/elsewhere in Thailand at some point in time by tuk tuk and taxi, plus a spin around the train station in Phitsanulok. Nothing happens whatsoever, just looking out at everyday in a very normal place on a regular day…
While i started enjoying haircuts when i found a barber shop which also offered libations, good tunes, pinball and the like, since “the illness” I made a list of things I can do which involves sitting down, but gets me out of the house, and leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction.
These include: making scrapbooks, seeing matinée movies, sitting in parks under a tree, getting my beard professionally trimmed (rather than chopping at it myself) plus trim up the haircut,… as well as pedicures documented elsewhere.
While rambling, i like to seek out the hole-in-the-wall, no fuss, traditional barbers and enjoy a leisurely visit. Its hit or miss sometimes but ya know, hair grows back right? Sometimes, not always, i grab a snap with the barber or the shop or me before and after… sometimes i don’t so you won’t see those.
Oh sometimes i recall names and/or locations, this is not meant to be comprehensive, just amusing and vaguely documentary. This assortment features barbers in international locations (meaning *not* Canada and USA), moreorless (pending).
These days – what with the M.E.(cfs) and Fibro etc. – slowing me down, I find activities to get me out of the house which requires doing not much but sitting.
While pedicures may not seem like a medical therapy, and they’re certainly not, self-care is important part of my healing journey. Indeed, when feeling frustrated and early days of the illness, I made a list of things I can do which involves sitting down, but get me out of the house, and leave me with a feeling of satisfaction. These ideas include: making scrapbooks, watching matinée movies, sitting in parks under a tree, getting my beard professionally trimmed (rather than chopping at it myself), as well as enjoying pedicures.
As such, on all my healing journeys, I find pedicure places to massage and soothe my feet, trim up my nails, and leave with some colour to decorate. (Noting this predilection often elicits a strange response from the practitioners as painted toes aren’t as common for men as they are for women certainly, but I find this practice quite enjoyable nonetheless.)
In some cases, I paint my toes the colour of a local flag or other traditional local schemes (coconut trees, bamboo, waves…), otherwise I generally stick to shades of blue and green. For the record: Indonesia and Thailand definitely have the best pedicure practitioners (is that the proper term?), but I’m also eager to try pedicures in Vietnam as many manicurists in the USA, come from Vietnam.
In India especially, they thought my practice of painting toes was very strange, as such, i did myself (very poorly yet joyfully nonetheless). In Nepal, they were low on supplies but made do with some rugged polish which was moreorless impervious to removal. Once or twice, i enjoyed a pedicure whilst at sea.
I first started this practice at the advice of a remarkable lady who took me for a pedicure in Vancouver before going to Jamaica the first time at that time, I had Jamaican flags painted on my big toes (not sure i have a photo…). Sometimes i take photos of my toes, not all the time, here are some of mah big ole ugly feets. Sometimes i forget and just take snap of the old colour before replacing. No annotations since i don’t expect anyone will look or care, i mean really, its just photos of my feet – ewwww. Continue reading Mementos: Pedicures, various
Once upon a time… humans moved away from bartering things and services on an ad hoc basis and came up with a default transaction medium which became known as money. First coins (well, maybe something before, likely made of clay) denominated by an arbitrary, yet commonly agreed-upon, value – often made of metals which were deemed to be rare/shiny/valuable.
Then after (perhaps admitting the arcane value of metals and needing something handier to tote around) eventually created paper bank notes – first with value attached to aforementioned shiny metals, then again arbitrarily assigned a transactional value by central banks and governments.
To me, this is neither here nor there, i really don’t have an opinion about the “importance” of money. Indeed, if you value such “wealth” so much, go forth and acquire in exchange for your time, talents or conniving – or simply create your own currency, print it and rally folks to desire it as a means of exchange. This is commonly done in form of community notes, “virtual” currencies (often managed by Blockchain tech), or even various commercial operations making notes, coupons or points systems.
My point in sharing this is: Very often, these banknotes – both contemporary or deprecated – are lovely specimens of design art and printing technology (granted the reason is usually to thwart counterfeit versions polluting the general population’s trust in the monetary system). I very much enjoy the loveliness of printing “things on substrates” – the values to me are non-important (aside when i need to purchase eggs and bacon) but rather the artistic-ness and the totems decided by a society to represent their culture/country (often historical figures of various repute, significant events, important buildings or cultural motifs) are a source of endless curiosity. Additionally, the stories the bills imbue, often soaked quite literally into the fibres, as well as the journey the note took to your hand or pocket and/or the travel one undertook to acquire… are what sparks my interest.
As such, i gather these notes, photograph for the historical record and my own amusement and, evidently, to share with you.
This is Volume Two of several in an on-going series, this round featuring notes in situ as it were in Sri Lanka, Thailand as well as a variety of banknotes in common use in USA, European Union and Indonesia.