Tag Archives: utah

Post’d: Griffin & Sabine books, essay magazines and ‘the usual’

My intrepid wife did a big service this morning by swinging by the post office (i’d written this lil poem of concern):

Letters and packages
Ready since Monday
Post office tomorrow, maybe

Meanwhile: laundry to fold

Being an angel, she even did the stamps wonderfully and arranged a photo with the addresses discreetly disguised.

Includes: 3 more copies of beloved “Griffin and Sabine” book off to friends in Mexico, Vancouver and Prince Edward County – meant to inspire youth & olds alike making 9 copies of Nick Bantock’s beauty sent so far this run.

The book/series combines art in the form of handcrafted, postcards, variety of handwriting, styles, custom-made stamps –both ink and postal – and a narrative with switches between realms, realities, possibly time traveling, geographic locations / both real and fictional.

You can imagine why this is very much my style. And, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with the author/artist on several occasions, including on the recent trip, and own many of his books (in English and Japanese), a couple of prints, personalized postcards and letters, and even originals from the book. Yep.

IsDave & WasNick, Victoria 2023

As an aside: introducing youth to books that are enjoyable, mixed media, stretch their possibilities, and even tactile is so important. Though I loved reading from a young age, the books assigned throughout junior / high school were insufferable and I know turned so many off. I made a list of examples if you would like me to include it here:

{Insert odd/curious/underwhelming assigned reading selections here for curiosity seekers}

There are also some signed magazines (with my essay), a custom artwork piece (made from an immigration card), a few postcards etc. in the bundle.

Good luck on your journey sweet dispatches!

this weary standard-issue postbox doesn’t really have anything to do with the above but noticed it from the van window while at a konbini, clearly dealing with sun stroke and loneliness

Signs for a Surveyor in Moab

With “the illness”, recently having a hard time getting to the post office and just finishing up lingering projects but, today I sent a couple of tender gifts off to some dear pals who lost their dad not long ago.

He was a truly legendary Utah land surveyor who knew by coordinate dang near every corner of several counties.

With that spirit, I made two “finger signs” with the ‘exact’ coordinates of the cemetery in Moab, Utah where he remains.

The wood is from old Japanese fish shipping crates or something & includes distance from one of the brother’s house to the cemetery and the other is a little smaller as that friend is a little bit more on the go so can be adjusted on the fly.

Regardless, I hope they point in the cardinal direction from wherever they are to where their dear dad named “Bing” is resting.

Now up to you postal services with all your complicated forms and customs declarations.

PS while I was out finishing, started a few more signs for what will become the second sign post here at Tsuchida cottage. Each place tells a story and I included a Moab sign of my own with a few festive cedar shavings from an unrelated fire starter project I was working on nearby.

unrelated firestarter project made from a carton, sawdust/wood shavings and soy wax

Diary: Leaving India ~ rapidly, in a fog (Nov. 2016)

Nov. 29, 2016, 9:04 AM, Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India – i ordered this coffee and turned on phone…

Note: transcribed with light editing from my scribbled journal made in “real time” as always more to say but this is what is there is – read between lines, follow rabbit holes to fill in the blanks if curious. (will add more about Auroville at some point and more about dear Mom’s passing including my letters to her and obituary within)

Afterward: includes notes from the interlude

Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India – 9:04 AM, Nov. 29, 2016

After a visit to Townhall and Mathrimandir, near the visitor centre, hot coffee in small brass cup, turn on the pocket robot and (oddly) a barrage of messages on all channels, so many – I am confused (hithero ignored) – then email/every-messaging-channel – I read the first line, baffled but know something is terrible! so try to call brother Anders.

the day before, visiting golden dome dedicated to motherly love #sigh

Calls (over dodgy internet) are made and calls are dropped again and again after 3 words – finally, i hear “what” and say “Chennai airport, open the envelope, four hours” fast – go! {The envelope in Vegas contains access to Dashlane app which has all passwords credit cards and passport and a friend who is so good and helpful from home HQ.}

My location wasn’t on itinerary and no matter, no coverage anyhow. I was on my way to a post office to mail a dossier to Nick Bantock and then to the golden temple of meditation and somehow it all happened.

accomms in Auroville, met folks from many countries, enjoyed activities after a confusing start. i could *stay* here – i have skills

Hustle back to “Joy Community House” breathlessly explain. Return card to townhall. (Kind ladies hug me and give me “rescue remedy” in a glass bottle. I was just getting familiar and how do you explain this to someone? How do we humans know how to react. Grateful for wise ladies).

Bundle gear from cute room
Quick shower ("I will need this," he says from experience)
Call a taxi quicker
ring a taxi, try to make my situation understood, i look at my shoes

Fast to Chennai

Buy a bag of fruit from roadside, gogo man! eat bananas.

Shaking queasy, drink two coconuts en route

3 anna half hours weaving between cows

Coming the busses directly ahead! Fck Honk!

Roadhouses and truck stops and urine stained curbs and fields

Smoke two beedies each stop

Quick quick!

– dave in taxi

At airport, taxi drivers lounge around their classic sleds – i want to stay and ask them to take me far away. I don’t care to leave *at all*.

not my taxi driver, but other taxi drivers
Continue reading Diary: Leaving India ~ rapidly, in a fog (Nov. 2016)

Letter: regarding eco-carpetbaggers, money-focused orgs, talk – action = zero, etc

Written as a letter to a friend, somehow thought good idea to put here so i don’t lose it. Not sure but hey… no one’s paying attention anyhow.

Might be scenic but still a dump

Hey [redacted],

I hear you on these hypocrites, bootlickers and carpet baggers who talk a big game but at the end of it, they spend all their “organizations energy on managing the organization” rather than actually doing stuff.

I learned a long time ago (somehow) in my punk rock youth that “talk minus action equals zero” and in that same youth, was idealistic enough to want to actively support a lot of different organizations in Utah and BC but every time I went to volunteer my (then healthy and strong) body for action (i.e. put me on those anti-whaling ships! send me out on desert missions! put me on a lookout tower!) the only answer was “you can help with fundraising… Why don’t you go door to door and ask for money?” Not impressed.

And, years later, I still see the same organizations spending all their money begging for money. E.g. After all my years of working to normalize cannabis, I see the suits and celebrities jumping into the mix and congratulating themselves and I wonder: where the fck were you on those rainy days at the capital decades ago? Where were you lobbying and writing letters and to policymakers and showing up at inane committee meetings? I hear you are running your mouth about stock prices and making cute branded labels for your factory growing weed blah blah blah.

As such, somehow I realize that despite my usual social and community-building nature, when it comes to getting shit done, I just do what I want to do on my own terms and float out into the world and don’t expect to see an impact for decades later. Been this way for my documentary films, punk rock fanzines, chap books of poetry and other arts and crafts… + Realized that I could be an artist who spends half of his time applying for grants and sending and submissions to be rejected (another quarter of my time complaining about the injustice of it all) or else I could just go hustle some day job for temporary times (goodness know i’ve had a few) and make art on my own terms and put it out there without any expectation of acceptance or money. Fuck Stats, Make Art.

Somehow I almost accidentally ended up this way as I teased with a flirting level of fame before vanishing again. Seldom seen indeed. I think of Henry David Thoreau self publishing 100 copies of Walden, dead at 37, no one remembers his contributions to pencil making or the impact that came hundred plus years later. That’s the kind of hero.

After being gone for Utah from sometime and ending up back there in recent years after my Mom died and hiding out, i saw all the precious places polluted by REI shopping yuppi3s and credit card wielding “ski bums” who think they’re making a difference by voting for “that other party”, left again as fast as I could and proclaimed my lifelong dream to never go back to Logan (the only town I’ve ever been busted for weed).

I even went to my favourite holy sacred hot spring up fifth water diamond fork on trails that I literally helped build and pools that I hauled up bags of cement to shore up the rocks to find it overflowing with BYU students, I stripped down to my naked self and took a nice shower in the waterfall and all my splendour and quickly cleared the area out for a nice leisurely soak. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

how to clear out an hot spring… (photo with Lomo sardine can spy camera)

All this is to say that I see you and hear you and admire you and you got a guy out here respecting your work and your life and understanding what you’re laying down about Lycra knuckleheads with their lawyers and mortgages.

Told a younger friend the other day who’s getting caught up in the rat race that all these asshole billionaires that end up in the news about not paying taxes or going to space, they’re all bunch of workaholics who never see their family, never just to get hang out in a barn with an illicit smoke and some used records, and hell my mother-in-law cooks as well as any restaurant and the best views are for free. And if you want to be all fancy, I built a house on a tropical island one time for $50K and another time for $70K, you can’t buy a carport most places for that. You can get your own campland near Gary’s outpost near Shasta for under 100… I’ll tell you about Paradise, the way John Prine sings about it. Move to the country, grow peaches… work little except for the real work.

That’s my riff/rant/spiel, yer pal, daveo

VW Suana, Hot Tub, Prayer Flags (also daveo)

just settle in and everything will be alright…

Handy when the psychedelic VW bus sauna, hot tub, and other time travel portals are all conveniently next to each other with the prayer flags.

As seen at Mangy Moose / Scraggly Squirrel ski cabins, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Thanks Honi and Dave!

{loads more from this visit to come in another post but in the meanwhile, check out the Lomo photo pictogram cards}

photo: Adam Burningham

 

#daveo50 ~ 2016 / 50 years > days > photos

Dave Olson, 2016 #daveo50
#daveo50 ~ 2016 / for passport, visa, or other ID

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).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2016 / 50 years > days > photos

Diamond Fork to El Cortez (2016) – Lomo photos (colour)

Whilst in Utah in autumn of 2016, I took a trip with my pals Marty the potter and Rod Ash (RIP), and his son and nephew, to beloved Diamond Fork hot springs (6ixth water, Spanish Fork canyon area). 

Indeed a special place to me. I hadn’t visited in many years and since then, the umm… cultural traditions had changed somewhat (nekkiedness not as prevalent or accepted, nevertheless…).

Anyhow, along the journey (beginning at Marty’s place in Provo) I snapped these pics with a Lomo La Sardina (Sardine can) camera loaded with expired film.

A few snaps ensued as evidenced in this assortment (unedited)…

A few days later, I made my way to Las Vegas to visit brother Anders and stay at the classic El Cortez hotel in Fremont area of town (off-strip). 

It was a slice of going back to the 1960s or something like that, my favourite part was walking down in the middle of the night in pyjamas and robe to the bar and no one batted an eye as they were all focussed on sticking another coin in another machine.

#daveo50 ~ 1994 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 1994 / BC Identification Card, issued 02/94

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).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 1994 / 50 years > days > photos

Momentos: USA University Road Trip (with Spanky and Kaimi), 1989

USA roadtrip, 1989, by 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

In 1989 (iirc), my beloved VW bus criss-crossed states at a frenetic pace with long drives to Kansas City for Drum Corps, California for punk concerts, over the Rockies to Denver for The Who, a Vancouver trip or two in there, couple of Moab and then was wrangled into the epic trip starting in Utah to the US Northeast and swinging back down through the Midsouth stopping by universities and colleges of all times so a fellow named Kaimi could pitch his idea of selling flag T-shirts to various bookstores. 

The deal was: he would pay the bills, do much of the driving and other logistics and I was just along for the ride and providing the wheels.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Kaimi at wheel, Dave shotgun in 1974 VW Bus “Earthship”

Resulted in many harrowing nights in places like New Haven, Cambridge, New York City (where we weren’t allowed through Lincoln tunnel because of onboard propane and required a complicated turn around in the midst of traffic), a break down in Connecticut – replacing fuel pump with a random mechanic in his driveway. I remember driving on a graceful parkway then seeing a horrific accident unfold in the pouring rain storm. Sneaking into all sorts of university dorms for clandestine hi-jink, being mysterious “aliens” from the west marauding in this renegade van. Seeing a wonderful girl I knew from Utah working as a nanny in Connecticut (rip Janel H.), making friends with the father of the house (he let us sleep in the basement because I was reading Jack Kerouac), buying beer with fake IDs and never a second glance, (racks of it drinking back while crossing midwest and through Penn), stops at Wrigley Field in Chicago (no game :(!), Sun Studios in Memphis (met a fine lady there), watching Kaimi spin spin spin with endless energy. Oh, staying with his family around Washington DC and going like a “show and tell” item to his younger brother’s high school class (to much acclaim :)). The van getting broken into and ransacked while parked in Washington DC to see the Smithsonian. Must’ve been a couple of other significant roadside attractions along the way. 

 

USA roadtrip, 1989, with Spanky in front of Sun Studios, Memphis (obviously)

Pal Jerrod aka Spanky was also on board (as kinda Kaimi’s svengali) and brought his guitar so, along with my bongos, we did some busking here and there ++ saw Fugazi play at All Soul’s Church, DC and REM play at Merriweather Post, Maryland, just missed secret Rolling Stones at a frog-something-named-bar by Yale. Rambled campuses and saw how the system of private patronage in the East works – they ain’t no smarter, just better connected / mostly. Skullz and Bonez.

USA roadtrip, 1989, Spanky and Kaimi (grumpy) out back Sun Studios, Memphis

I had no schedule nor expectations except to just go go go and so we did. And, behold I have evidence.

USA roadtrip, 1989, in front of Wrigley Field (we were told there was a game but nope, White Sox were playing across town)