Tag Archives: usual life

Kura Scrapbook Hangout w/ cards & letters

come along for a hangout, no big deal

Adding recent postcards, cards and letters to an “accordion” style scrapbook with various tapes and stamps in kura barn studio while listening to records (Aztec Camera and Belle and Sebastian) and discoursing on recent trip to Shimane, the role of monarchy in commonwealth countries, importance of friends, fondness for invitations, sending postcards to self, putting everything on casters, discarded records, and hats – many many hats.

Kura Scrapbook Hangout – Japan Cottage Musings

Musing: Painted into corner (of a blank canvas) #video

Spontaneous riff with usual lousy video and dodgy audio but solid stories

Diary musings including: brain fog; trips to Shimane and Kyoto (Minka Summit); pals Ted and Ed and a big dog; recent books (Alex Kerr, Robert Whiting, Miles Copeland, Dave Bidini) + classic Japonica books; ++ sorting out my head about “what comes next” (answer equals anything; seitai treatment; MECFS awareness (and other awarenesses month); sortganzing ephemera; new records, old records; how are you? etc – all from kura barn a spontaneous rambling blur on another sunny day in Okayama.

Accidentally features Leonard Cohen and Mxmtoon.

Did you notice my sweet black globe and green ship lantern?

Diary: visitors see new life & family + trip to Teshima w/ Ichiro annotations

A mysterious brilliant visitor from overseas – first in three years – captured me, at home, in my new life. This is my family, this is our home.

my adorable family with whom Xo Ryoko, Ichiro (thanks Amber Sensei)

I wandered far and endured plenty to find this life, and immensely grateful for it all. I’m so happy to show someone from my “old life“ what i found & and she understood very well.

and now with remarkable in-laws/grandparents

With out guests coming, we pulled out the special stash of saké, some fermented carrot pickles, housemade miso, and a few other fermented treats. Also started to soak in soy beans to make soy milk; prepared the Bizen yaki ceramic cups & small dishes for sashimi; also have bamboo shoots from our forest. (thanks M-i-L and F-i-L)

garden vegetables and bamboo shoots right out the door

Ryoko also prepared matcha tea in an abbreviated tea ceremony with tea bowls from her great-grandparents and made anpan (anko sweet bean paste in lil pancakes) to go with.

tea bowls and accessories, freshly washed

I should add that, “no, Japan is not open to tourists at this time” – Our recent particular international guest was on a publishing-company-sponsored book tour / meaning the company supported a business visa requiring a detailed itinerary and accepting of various risks / responsibilities etc. visit with issued by Japan consulate in USA before departure and required 10+ various forms, letters, etc.

Out n About to Teshima

the hilltop minimalist cafe where fig farmers served curry and you can chop your own green onions

Briefly: The many islands of the Seto inland sea (nestled between our home prefecture of Okayama and neighbour pref. Kagawa and the 4th of the main island of Japan Shikoku) host a triennialle art festival – not shockingly unheld for a few years – more to say about the economic goodness and reinvention and volunteer spirit but for now, i’ll say:

We went with our guests rather spontaneously (they had planned and reserved museum access) by our groovy “Esquire” van, then walked onto ferry and used various busses around the island of Teshima, ate curry, drank coffee/tea, more curry, postcards, then a walk-on ferry back to Uno port, more art and drive to Okayama station – the busiest day i’ve had in forever but was buoyed by conversation, views and friendship. Further annotations follow:

whilst friends went to museum, r, i and i went to a hilltop sorta café (really some fig farmers putting out a shingle for a few hours a day) and enjoyed views of Inushima (Isles of Dogs) and back to Okayama #panorama

Ichiro, postcards, ships (all sizes) etc

After our day out, in the bath he explained over and over again all the different modes of transportation and conveyance (big ferry boat, small ferry boat, two buses, baby car/stroller, our usual van etc.) he used during that day, using new sentence construction skills with conjunctions and verb conjugations. His magnificent brain spinning – even working out the names of our friends.

this obv was not our ferry but Ichi loved checking out all the fune

Lil dude got a bit of a fat lip running down the hill too fast and tripping but still was able to chill out at a café and enjoy his beverage.

dude knows how to lounge at a quirky curry cafe with Suzuki and Ota san

Papa wrote postcards and drank chai, sitting on cushions and sending geo-coordinates to pals who found us at カレー喫茶 異邦人 near Ieura port across the island from Kubota where we originally disembarked.

Ichiro mailed my postcards for me. “Choose the right portal for postcards Ichiro” i said {update: he did, what a smart fella} Inventory: 2 cards from Teshima to Gifu and Kyoto.

2 are decoys but one whisks secrets anywhere

Ichiro has now learned how to use the coffee bean grinder and insists on being the coffee captain in the morning, two scoops of the right beans, puts on the lid, covers with his hand, inspects to see if it’s the right grind for French press or Moka pot, all very serious & perfect.

And my darlings auditioned for a role in the next Wes Anderson movie (so to speak) with a pose by this blue truck.

blue, red, yellow – the day was my fave sort of weather, warm, breezy and overcast

Back to the port – love the salty smell, rusty metal and reinvention from industrial manufacturing and process to artistic tourism.

Ieura port – like most of Pacific coast of Japan, lots of factories in various states of use or decay, boats/ships of all kinds including container ships and now ferries, all sizes

Dozen+ of these islands with art, more to say but time to head home with my snappy shoes, happy. Thanks family and friends.

Fluevogs, since 1970 (like me) now with new aglets – getting very worn in

Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

Various notes before heading off on a lil roadie to Shimane prefecture (across-ish on Sea of Japan side). Ichiro’s 1st time outta Okayama-ken. Packing light, hitting a children’s museum & aquarium, staying at a ryokan (pyjamas provided). Minimal dispatches, maybe. (by car but saw this train last time)

– carry on

March 24: Trying to bounce up. Did some shoes maintenance, a bit of creative stuff in the barn, bath with the kiddo, eating healthy and taking my supplements but still… dragging :( just saying this out loud to get it out of my head before sleep. No big deal, should be used to it.

Just trying to be 32% as cool as these guys. You know who they are right?

Plan to do some shoes maintenance today. At least one pair anyway, to get ready for our little road trip this weekend. But really, still foggy and in bed.

Or I might sew another curtain. Possibly test some microphones and a little mini PA we got.

Curious if anyone’s moved into the birdhouse. None of this will happen unless I can get out of bed.

OK, general updates

* doesn’t seem anyone’s moved in to the birdhouse yet

* set up mini PA and tested (& taped) 3 diff dynamic microphones

* gonna try fixing up some shoes but do it outside

[update to update: Of course I did a little photo essay of doing shoes maintenance but it may have crossed the street threshold into “completely trivial matters” which means of course, I’ll get to it eventually. Anyhow, my shoes are ready for a road trip tomorrow.]

My brain is so fogged

Photo: family band vibes, impending

Continue reading Diary: (trying) to bounce up with various pleasing tasks

Diary: dumptruck, Bob, Jack, VWs, baseline

Several topics to catch you up on, including:

  • Ryoko’s new dump truck! 660cc, 4WD, 350kg payload
  • Brother Bob‘s birthday w/ pleasant convo from Diego Garcia (many topics)
  • Jack Kerouac birthday festivities with kindness from beat enthusiast pals
  • Updates from Gary Snyder, and about VW electric bus (entirely separate topics)
  • Wife gave haircuts to me & Ichi! (she can do anything, was basically like trimming trees)
  • Small tasks around the house
  • SxSW flashbacks (do they even bother doing this anymore without my gang of renegades on site?)
  • Topsy-turvyness of life in general (seemingly endless “life administration” tasks”)
  • An (trying to be small) “introduction to the beat generation“ video project for youths

But, Mondays are a little busy here around the cottage – rained last night which freshens up the air, spring arriving with bugs and birds, have an opened up the windows let it all into the abode – now with tea and porridge… must tend to grocery orders and grocery delivery, and trash out, and the usual laundry, dishes and compost…

I say this not to be redundant (which clearly is) but this is just me striving to be back to some kind of “baseline” – which is measured by the aforementioned household tasks coupled with bathtime with Ichiro #BestTime

(here’s a snap dedicated to brother Bob Olson featuring a knit watch-cap, (non-military regulation) mustache, his usual sorta-photo-scowl, and a blue shirt he made in Thailand, added with a tie-dye from Mac Kobayashi)

Everything else is bonus. #ImprovingTheCampsite
Carry on intrepid ramblers!

Items: record shop stop (feat. BTO Japan Tour)

yesterday, report / diary:

Finished medical appt and somehow a magnetic impulse pulled me into a tiny record store – now I’m waiting for ride with a blue bag full of “just a few vinyls really, well… several” David Bowie, BTO Live in Japan, Levon Helm RCO all stars, Echo and the Bunnymen, McCoy Tyner, The Pretenders +++

Admittedly, my powers of resistance are (deliberately?) very weak… Recently most of my record purchases are online but there’s real satisfaction to flipping through bins.

Yeah bookstores and record stores, especially small, well curated and possibly a cat wandering around, I’m very content. (There’s even a poem somewhere around here about almost being locked in a bookstore overnight)

Note: Japanese packaging is so often different and so interesting (with Obi – extra paper stripe around with the information in Japanese – too)

For what it’s worth, ranged between ¥1200 and ¥1800 – including some double albums, all in great condition – the proprietor inspected each one as he packed it into a vinyl sleeve.

Not that it really really matters but we’re living pretty thrifty these days / months so remind myself that not spending money on restaurants, travel, booze etc. so a little bit of cash splashed on vinyl is alrighhhht.

Listening to Wilco as im waiting for kei-truck pick-up, in front of piano bar / friendly master Ren san brought me yesterday cup of black coffee

Here: Power Plant Records
086-803-2608

Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022

oh hai, just us talking about stuff like scrapbooks and schemes

+ Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022 + 

No surprise whatsoever, Dave, surrounded by scrapbooks, well-designed books, unfolded laundry, impressive selection of washi tape and a vessel of homemade miso – and feeling a little tired – looks ahead to 2022 with schemes and dreams including: 

  • compiling/creating a book called “a circumnavigation, of sorts” with freeverse poetry, snippets of diaries, scraps of letters, forgotten lists and possible scribbles; 
  • (the usual of) taking care of health and being a great husband and papa; 
  • making more scrapbooks and collages; 
  • maybe even some paintings of post boxes, payphones and portals. 

Plus tidying up digital odds and ends, stepping up some skills and figuring out how to space out and rest and relax (per Doctors’ orders).

Ichiro makes an appearance as Dave also sends a special *hello* to those who are dealing with some health challenges including uncle in Michigan, a young postcard maker in Sri Lanka, and Larry sensei, and possibly you. 

Finally, after reviewing a litany of scrapbooks of plans, poems, correspondence and other oddities from years past, offers encouragement to share your intentions for the year ahead and reflections on years past in whatever medium you fancy. 

[UPDATE] Feb 1, 2022 (due to sickness and reevaluation): basically canceled 90% of what I ambitiously planned. Recalibrating to “improve the campsite”, ergo: spruce up yard and garden a little bit, finish Kerouac video, make some washi paper, get better at writing Japanese, and maybe repair some broken ceramics with gold.

Note: Oh yeah, calendars and sweater thanks to Shawn P.

just staying alive, yup