Having already established that I am unable to sleep through the night prior to a day on which I fly out, I can now confirm that I am unable to sleep through the night prior to a day someone flies in – if I’m charged with the task of either picking them up or dropping them off.  Last night, I was up every hour, then every half hour, then, as dawn broke, every fifteen minutes, convinced I was going to sleep in and miss the scheduled 10:50 a.m. pick-up time.  As it turned out, by the time I woke up, worked out, tended to the dogs, showered, and made the drive to the airport, I had plenty of time to wait around for nearly an hour while Akemi cleared customs.

With time on my hands, I walked around the airport and took in the sights. That killed about five minutes.

Since Akemi was tired from the long flight, we decided to push lunch and head back to my place where she got settled into one of the guest rooms (I decorated her bed with the various stuffed toys I picked up on my recent trips to Tokyo including, my favorite, a giant tea-drinking radish!) after which she got to know the dogs.  I’m pleased to report they hit it off.  Her and Lulu, especially, are getting on like gangbusters.  Whatever the hell that means.  If it means they’re getting along really well, then, yes, that.  Anyway, throwing caution to the wind, I decided to drive downtown in the hopes that: a) I would not get stuck in traffic and b) I would be able to find parking.  I didn’t.  And I did.

Camera-shy Akemi gets ready to head out.

We had a late lunch at Don Francesco –

Seafood risotto and squash agnolotti with black truffle butter.
Akemi prepares to tackle the quail.

We decided to, if not exactly skip then delay dessert, and go for a walk.

Hey, check out the cheese!

We strolled up and down Robson Street, taking in the, uh, sights.

I think the yeti was drunk.
I later spotted him out cold on an in-store display. Shameful.
As opposed to this noble mascot.
I'm not sure. I think this guy is supposed to be half goat, half Uncle Sam.
We stopped by Lush where a sales associate demonstrated a bath bomb. Once dropped in water, it released its surprising contents. In the case of this particular bath bomb, coined "Street Party": sparkles, silver tinsel, a Canadian flag, and a streamer. Also, three beer caps, a cigarette but, and a drunk college student who insists on taking you back to their place.
We finally get around to that dessert. Fruit sorbets on the left. Dark chocolate and marzipan on the right. Guess which one is mine.

We went by Granville Island, picked up some produce, then headed back home where we made dinner.

Chicken cutlets on a bed of portobello and shallot in a port reduction, topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella.
Peach schnapps-poached peaches tossed in amaretto, roasted, and served with crushed amaretti and homemade amaretto-amaretti ice cream.

Akemi’s exhausted and going to call it an early night.  I’m off to fish one of the three books I’m reading.

Finally – I heard that the Frenchie lost the Westminster Dog Show title to a Scottish Terrier.  Now what was I just saying about the judged events?

46 thoughts on “February 16, 2010: Playing Host

  1. Okay Joe I am stumped. WTH? Bath bombs? Do you put them in your bathtub? LOL I’ll take the drunk college student…I can get him to do chores while he’s too drunk to think about it. As for Westminster… lol at least the Frenchie got that far. My breeds… Rotties, Basenji and Chows.. never. 🙁 Bastards. Still exciting to watch. Btw.. you probably meant FINISH not fish your book, unless it was part of the bath bomb and you have to fish it out of the water.

  2. 1. Dog Show winner – it says that the Scottish are better than the French! 😀 (*raises a pint to my great-grands Macbeth!*)

    2. I’m pretty sure that thing is Wen-Di-Go! Just not a very scary one… 😕

    3. You worry too much.

    4. Stuffed toys? See…that takes me right back to that straight/gay question. The whole ‘worrywart’ thing from #3 doesn’t help either. 😉

    5. Akemi is quite lovely. That throws yet another monkey wrench into #4.

    6. How does one fish with a book?

    7. Anyone here like White Collar? I’m really liking this show…

    8. Dinner looks yummy!

    9. “To come on like gangbusters – (c.1940) is from radio drama “Gangbusters” (1937-57) which always opened with a cacophony of sirens, screams, shots, and jarring music.” – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

    10. Sleep well, sir! And…BEHAVE! 😀


  3. Joe did you put a curse on me? No sooner did I insult your entire Canadian Olympic team on your Feb 11 post (“USA will kick your butts”), did I walk outside into the remains of a record setting snowfall in North Texas, and I slipped and fell and broke my ankle!

    I’m sorry I said that about your Canadian team! I’m sure they are kicking USA’s butt (I really doubt that). Now please take off your curse! Please!!

    I have just now felt like getting back on my computer. It will take me a while to catch up. But I did notice you assigned me a task to do (changing light bulbs) on your Feb 12 post. Sorry boss, but I’m now on a medical leave. But I would have been the best light bulb changer you ever saw! Or at least a great supervisor of vvv0472 and Kabra! Had to laugh at PG15. Glad I didn’t get bathroom duty!

    Nice seeing Akemi again. I hope you enjoy all your entertaining and time together.

    Now. Where is my pain medication…

  4. Bath bombs? Now that’s new…the only bath bombs I know of are basically fizzy scented things for the tub. Never gotten a Canadian flag!lol

    Mmmm, all that food looks super delish.

    Also, super creepy Uncle Sam. What the…

  5. Hey Joe,

    Wow, you do that too. It is worry…for missing someone. Better to have afternoon or evening pickup and drop offs…then you can fret all morning too, not just while sleeping.

    Akemi is going to have so much fun. You, the dogs, food and Vancouver (not necessarily in that order). The stuffed animals…so sweet of you. We really get to see some of your soft mushy side.

    Love the show-n-tell. You are the KING. No one does it better.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  6. @Ponytail – Ouch! Coworker here (Kansas) who just moved from Florida slipped on the snow and broke his leg. Maybe it’s good to be used to snow and ice? Maybe.

    @das – Come on, a stuffed tea-drinking radish toy is a sign of a keen intellect, nothing else. Worrywart.

    And I’d just like to announce for anyone who missed it, I’m working overtime tonight. Time-and-a-half! Woo-hoo! And the IT guy unblocked Facebook for me! It’s the little things that make you happy, you know. And I finished off the Nutella. Seriously, that stuff is crack.

  7. are you making some comic book or something? does it involve people in costume using super powers or is it an expose on the ghetto life in Vancouver?

  8. Bath bombs? are they the type you strap to yourself whilst wearing all your underwear?

    Hope you and Akemi enjoy her visit and tell her not to be so camera shy, she is GORGEOUS 🙂

  9. Coucou:) ça va Joseph?

    Moi oui, …on dirait que vous aussi vous avez des problémes pour dormir..vous avez deja essayer de prendre des médicaments pour dormir?…moi j’en prend mais ça ne marche pas trop^^!

    Très sympas cette petite journée :)Akemi à l’air très gentil 🙂

    Passez une très bonne journée!
    gros bisou!

  10. Akemi is so beautiful!
    The house looks spotless.
    You food looks better than most restaurants.
    I’m sure she is loving everything! What lady wouldn’t be wow!?

    Have fun!

  11. Morning Joe, those peaches aren’t doing a thing for me to stay on my preemptive diet (prior to daughter arriving from England in 10 days) in a somewhat decent mood! They look delicious.

    Watched most of the dog show, had to watch Lost in between groups, but caught Best in Show. I knew the Scottie would win, but the French Bull was lovely (although really, Brie would put that dog to shame) as were so many others. Yeah, judged events are what they are. I just read that a couple of women from PETA had to show up to screw up the works at the last minute but were dispatched pretty quickly.

    @Das: ROTFLMAO with your comments AGAIN at 3 a.m. 🙂 Mr. Deni thanks you for waking him up once more.

  12. @Chevron

    The Aussies aren’t sore losers unless you beat them in swimming. lol. You can’t argue that one 😉 Channel 7 demonstrated just that when Phelps beat the Aussies to a pulp.

    As for Begg-Smith, well his problem is that he’s Canadian. There’s some bad blood there. I saw it live, it was close, but in the end, I think the Canadian did the best. I remember the controversy on ch. 7 when the Aussies began to hate Phelps. They would over-analyze every second including slow motioning the wall touch. It’s stupid, petty, and very unsportsmanlike even for a news channel. Thank goodness Foxtel provides good, unbiased coverage. If it weren’t for them, I would definitely say the Aussies are sore losers, especially when they are expected to win. However, in the Beg-Smith case, it’s Canadian bad blood that made him less than enthused to receive a silver.

  13. Okay, I hate to be a downer with all this festive talk of Olympics, delicious foods, good TV shows, etc. But I just came across an article that sent my blood pressure into the cosmos.

    It is so hideously disgusting to me, as a life long cat lover/admirer and friend to animals. Read at peril of your bloood pressure:


    If anyone watches this chef, please write and tell him to stop suggesting this “olde time custom”.

    Shocking… don’t know how I can concentrate on work now.


  14. Mr Mallozzi it is my birthday today I am 22 can I please have a happy birthday please thank you. =3

  15. I do love ice cream. Was it marzipan flavoured ice cream? or just a big lump of almond paste-y goodness?

    That bath bomb looks a lot like boiled cabbage to me. Do you really want glitter in your bath if you’re trying to wash? I guess it makes sense if you’re going out at some point. It seems a little messy.

    You know, I never heard half as much about finding the mascot(s) for this year’s Games compared to (I think it was) the Summer Games at Sydney. But they are pretty cute looking.

  16. A question for the mailbag:

    What happens to you if you walk through the ‘wrong’ side of an established wormhole?
    I.E, the opposite side that the WHOOSH emerges from.

    I can’t think of any examples from the show that depict this happening, but I can think of three possible answers.

    A) Most likely, due to it never occurring on the show – you die.
    B) You pass through the wormhole as you normally would, arriving safely at the destination gate.
    C) You pass through the event horizon ineffectually…ending up on the ‘right’ side of the gate.

  17. To be fair, that Scottie was crazily decorated and was the top dog in America… When I saw him win the Eukanuba dog show, I thought it was pretty much given he would take Westminister as well.

  18. Hi Mr M!

    Lovin’ the peach-schnapps peaches!! Also, I see now that you can really cook!! A very warm Irish Welcome to Akemi…I presume Akemi knows that her every recorded move is read all over the world by us bloggees??

    Re: Stuffed toys…yowsers..have enough teddies in my house to comfortably outsell Macy’s at Christmas…..

    Great to see Don Francesco’s again.

    Best to all!


  19. Speedy healing, Ponytail. Or at least, enjoy the pain meds while you can.

    I’m off my feet for a few days, but nothing so dramatic. I just had half my mutant pinkie toe toenail killed. The half that grows horns and a tail. I’m not kidding. Pretty painful, but that was only the numbing shots. Something terribly wrong with that picture. I’m inconvenienced, I am! And hungry. The delectable food pics …. argh, drool drool.

  20. I think they’re should be pets on the Destiny. I finally got to finish out the eps; my sis and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Rush get beat down and see ya later. I think the Desiny needs pets; Bubba is the perfect candidate to have stowed away on Destiny, he looks like he’d love to chase space cats. I am very confused; why is Vancouver nearly 50 degrees F and the US East coast has 3 feet of snow? I haven’t seen green grass in months.

  21. See Joe? See? Today we’re all drooling, you MUST invite us all to dinner. Extra peaches for me 🙂

  22. So, what’s Akemi gonna do while you’re at work? If she was like me she’d probably go out, buy you a bunch of underwear a size smaller than you really wear – wash ’em so they don’t look brand new – then replace your regular drawers with the smaller ones, so that you have a panic attack over your big butt when you try to squeeze into them tomorrow. 😈 Wouldn’t that be fun??

    Soooo…when can I come visit???! 😀


  23. @ Mike/Albeno

    Not really sure what would happen if one walked through a Gate from the wrong end. Maybe it would be like hitting a physical wall, one cannot pass through it?

    I think canon via SGA’s Ghost in the Machine, is if someone establishes a wormhole, they can pass through the Gate from either side (of the actual Gate that established the wormhole), but your right, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone try to enter a Gate from the receiving end.

    *get your minds out of the gutter!*


  24. I wish they had a Lush store near me. The only one closed over a year ago. Oooh, you have to try a bath bomb (not sure why they call it that, stupid name). Without the cigarette butts and drunk college student though. Ick.

    Marzipan? Not loving that flavor. Does marzipan even have a flavor? Yours is the dark chocolate one? I love fruit ones myself. Lemon is the best.

  25. @Ponytail – no worries vvv0472 and I took care of it, you were there in spirit. Hope that ankle heals quickly and isn’t too painful.

  26. Oh yeah btw I was watching one of the millions of commercials during the Olympics and who do I see Larin!!!! Now correct me I am wrong but I am willing to bet a days pay that was her. I think it was for a Lexus commercial, I know it was a car commercial. I either watch too much t.v. or too much Stargate.

  27. Loving the dark chocolate/marzipan combo. Yum! Two of my favorite flavors. Feed me that and I would do anything for you. ….ummm, I mean, in the house… Uh, wait, I mean, any chores. 😉

    You should send copies of those Yeti pics to David Hewlett. Might give him some ideas for the movie he’s directing. I think he could give Vancouver some snow in exchange. 😀

    Hope Akemi enjoys her visit. If she gets bored, she can always come talk to us. Does she know what kind of people you hang out with on-line?

    Hey, I made that chicken dish for dinner last night! Well, mine didn’t look quite like yours, but it was a chicken and mushroom dish. That counts, right?

    Sorry the snow here was not kind to you… We had lots of fun with it at our house. Speedy healing wishes! Know what you’re going through. Injured my ankle badly last April; spent many weeks on crutches and air cast.

  28. While you’re reading, how about the April BotM club selection? I mean, I know you are busy with work, playing host, taking care of the dogs, writing comic books, and who knows what else, but one must have one’s priorities.
    The bath bombs can actually be really nice. Avoid the complicated ones like the one you described though. Some of them not only leave stains but “stuff” that clings to clothing and awkward body parts. Most of them smell and feel rather nice, without complication though. I’ve got three or four, which I reserve for special occasions.
    Glad to see Akemi has survived the flight and your first attempts to stuff her silly with Vancouver’s finest. The cutlets souned nice. more especially the bed and toppings. At least you have a second career as a chef if all else fails.
    Thanks for sharing and enjoy the role of host.

  29. Just a quick note today, Mr. M.!

    I use Firefox as my browser and I’ve been having problems downloading your photos. In Internet Explorer I can just right-click, hit Copy, and then Paste it into whatever folder I want, but in Firefox I have to right-click and hit Save Image As, then select where I want to save it.

    Now, this has usually worked, but lately I’ve been finding myself downloading a useless HTML file and not your image! Instead I have to copy the image to one of my manipulation programs and save it myself from there.

    Anyway, I’m just wondering if you’ve made any changes to the way you upload your photos, since I had no problems with saving them up until a few days ago. Not really a big deal, but it is a little weird…

    And thanks for the pics! I’m always glad to see them, no matter how I have to save them 🙂

  30. @Das, LOL! You are NEVER invited to my house, unless you buy me new bras instead of new underwear 🙂

  31. @ Ponytail – Ouch! Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery, and hopin’ that ankle wasn’t attached to your arse-kickin’ foot! 🙂


  32. Hi Joe

    Are v. impressed with your cooking skills – dinner and dessert looks great! Mum and sis would be proud of you!

    Glad that you took Akemi shopping on Robson, there are some great little shops around there, and we too went to Lush and bought goodies. Their bath bombs are great! But, by the time I left, I did feel a little nauseous – just all the various fragrances all combined left me craving fresh air – well, as fresh as it can be in the middle of the CBD!

    Have fun showing Akemi around, Vancouver really is a beautiful place to visit, especially when you get out of the city, ahh, Lynn Canyon, Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island…….minus the Olympic crowds and the freezing cold!!

  33. Hey Joe,

    A follow up from the other day. Did Theresa have her Vietnamese coffee warm or over ice?
    Can I suggest trying it over ice if you haven’t? After you’ve watched it drip, drip, drip, stir it and then throw over ice.
    Even in Winter it’s great. Especially when accompanied with a steaming serve Chilli Beef Soup with Rice Vermicelli. Mmmmmm. If I ever make it to your neck of the woods, I’ll have to get some Vietnamese Restaurant recommendations.

    Hope Akemi has a great stay!

    So what would have happened if Akemi and the dogs didn’t get along?

  34. Here’s hoping you and Akemi have a good visit, is she interested in the Olympics or steering way clear of it? Frankly, I don’t blame you for avoiding the huge event sprawl, when they have had the Superbowl here (greater Phoenix area) we just hide & stay far away.

    Das, I don’t think you are going to get many invites for crash space after that revelation! I think I’d watch my houseguests, too – you may have given them an idea!!!

    I like the idea of a pet on Destiny – maybe they can adopt some cute alien lower life form. The Ancients were certainly evolved enough to appreciate pets – where’s the Ancient equivalent of a dog? Or was that their whole idea with the replicators? If so, BAD idea. See, that’s why dogs are great – no thumbs, can’t build themselves thumbs and technology and take over the galaxy!

    I’ll be quiet and go watch my cross-country skiing, now….


  35. Is Akemi going to any of the Olympic events?

    Narelle: who could NOT get along with Lulu and the gang? 😉

    Ponytail: cheers to a smooth recovery.

    We had the cutest dog brought in today at the humane society. Some kind of yellow lab mix. Sweet, beautiful, playful but loud. I hope he gets adopted fast, I’m nearly deaf.

  36. Tammy – They are adorable. Sometimes people’s fear of dogs overrules that. It’s hard to tell.
    My Brother’s girlfriend is from Indonesia. She came out to Australia for the first time a few weeks ago. I went over to meet her and asked my Brother before leaving, “Do you know if she is ok with dogs?”. He answered in the affirmative, but upon arrival and her seeing Ralph she yelped. She’s used to the dogs in Bali where they are wild. We explained that dogs in Australia must be kept under control so they won’t hurt her. Later that night she was giving Ralph and Jack lots of hugs and taking photos to show her friends when she went back home.

    I hope that lab gets adopted quickly too 🙂

    Ponytail – Here’s to a speedy recovery and zany pain medication induced dreams.

  37. @Mike and Eddy

    I think there was an episode of SG1 where someone walked into the wrong end of the event horizon, and it broke the connection between gates, allowing the heroes to dial out.

    Hello Joe,

    Hope you and your family are doing well. I hope the games are not interfering with you plans while Akemi visits.

    How is Brie doing in her new home? My cousin has been cat-sitting for a few months, and now the cat is going home this week. Did Brie have any issues adjusting to the new environment? Best wishes.



  38. Narelle: yes, you are right about culture shock and animals. Plus, Ralph is large! He size would make most people a little hesitant 😀 .

    There are ethnic groups in this area afraid of animals. Some of the ladies from those groups would enter our animal hospital and start screaming when they saw our clinic cat running lose. 🙄 When the men from those groups would see me walking the clinic greyhound (it was a warehouse district), they would always ask me if he would bite. Of course, as they were strangers to me, I would encourage their belief in our docile greyhound’s fierceness 😉 . Even with his big doe like eyes, and silly grin, they seem to buy this story several times.

    As for the Lab, I believe Lab rescue will sponsor him for adoption. There are a lot of rescue groups for purebreds that advertise or take in particular breeds. Lab rescue, pug rescue, etc… If he looks close enough to purebred (and this lab/mix does), he will be a good choice for them. They are life savers! Maybe, the ringing will stop in my ears soon 😉 .

  39. OMG! Larrin = Jill Wagner duh, she was the host on Wipeout.
    She looked older as Larrin. I knew she looked famillar.

  40. So, given that someone flies in all the time – that means you never sleep? Does that improve the writing? 🙂

  41. Mike/Albeno et al. about Gate:
    I think there was a Q/A or something I read that stated the the gate was one-way, and that walking into it the wrong way was deadly. (I assume because the wormhole is forcing matter the other way, or some other such nonsense 😉 )

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