Anymore suggestions on the book of the month club front?  I’d like to make the grand announcement by this weekend to give everyone time to pick up the title and start reading.

In the meantime, finish up March’s BOTMC selection: Boneshaker.  The discussion begins Monday and author Cherie Priest will be coming by to answer your questions later in the week.

Am in the process of reading a phenomenal book that I’m even considering as the April selection.  I started it last night with the intention of reading the first chapter – and ended up reading the first 100 pages.  So far, so marvelous.

Yesterday was another relaxed day.  I let my houseguest call the shots and she decided she wanted to watch Ponyo.  So we watched Ponyo.  Meh.  Cute character designs but, ultimately, a flimsy story that would appeal more to kids than adults.  Spirited Away still ranks as my favorite Miyazaki film.

My new secretary.

She excels at filing, dictation, and cappuccino design.

Rather than head out for lunch, Akemi decided she wanted to make something instead.  And so, after picking up the necessary ingredients…

Akemi makes curry for lunch.

And soup.  Natsukashi!

She also makes a mean matcha.

For dinner, we headed to Tojo’s.  I’d talked the place up so she was really looking forward to checking out Vancouver’s high-end sushi scene.  And, I’m pleased to report, Tojo’s didn’t disappoint.  She enjoyed the food – and especially enjoyed the service on the part of the ever-upbeat Dragon and Hiro.

Me. Oh, and Dragon.

Uni on the half-shell. Sweet and creamy. There’s nothing like it.

Akemi gets creative with her edamame.

Akemi eyes the ginger.

We had some excellent toro nigiri, aji nigiri, and some of Tojo’s special temaki (the lobster roll, the spicy tuna, and the dynamite dynamite roll).  Then, onto the maki…

The Great BC Roll and the Great Pacific Roll.

And, finally, desserts! Black sesame pana cotta, green tea creme brulee, coconut ice cream, pineapple-ginger ice cream.

A fantastic time was had by all – especially our waiter, Dragon…

Akemi and Dragon.

It’s Customer Appreciation Day at Tojo’s.

Today, we stayed in again.  I picked up a massive lobster tail for lunch…

Lobster lunch. Look’t the size of this baby!

Sauteed sweet potatoes.

Another Akemi creation.

Hey, you know who’s going to miss Akemi when she heads back Japan?  Besides me?  These guys…

Lulu – ready for lunch.

Bubba wants another bath.

Jelly settles in for her all-afternoon nap.

Maximus rests up for dinner.

43 thoughts on “February 23, 2010: Akemi calls the shots! Tojo’s! We do lunch!

  1. ok, Joe you posted way too early, you threw me off. As it is I’m sitting here thinking tomorrow should be Friday. For some reason Mondays and Tuesdays have been brutal. Today is the 23rd?,right?

  2. wow. That lobster looks like it could have fed an entire fire station. Hope it tasted as good as it looked.
    So many suggestions from others I’m just going to shut up and pick some of them up, and hope I can keep my backlog pile from tipping over. A sad state of affairs when I do more reading at work than at home it seems. I’ll have to make a more dedicated effort to just turn off all the noisemaking devices in the house and enjoy a few hours of concentration on a good text.
    Loved the dog pictures, as well as the other yummies you showed off. Glad you’re having fun, but got to admit I’m looking forward to more behind-the-scenes postings next week.

  3. Uh … hate to say it, but Bubba looks more like he’s ready to *give* someone a bath. o_O

    That’s totally a “Don’t mess around with me. If you do, I’ll wash you” look.

    Jelly looks more sad that someone didn’t pay attention to Bubba’s words, and, well … ended up getting a bath.

    Maximus looks fearful of him being next. It’s what happens when you lead a life of grime …

  4. I’m going to miss Akemi when she heads back to Japan too. I like her. She was fun.

  5. It was PANCAKE day today here in America! They gave out fee pancakes @ IHOP! 😀 (Don’t have an IHOP around here, but still…)

    Hooray! Puppy pictures!!!

  6. Joe,

    I’m wondering if you would do us a favor down here and do a little blurb in your blog about the fact that Walter Koenig’s son Andrew has gone missing in Vancouver.

    Here is one of the stories, which also has the number for the Vancouver police:

    We’ve been passing the information around Facebook and Twitter, but I was now asked by email to pass it around. Since Andrew was last seen in Vancouver, I figure that you must have a lot of people reading your blog in Vancouver as well as everywhere else.

    I only met Andrew once so I can’t say I really know him, but I’ve worked a bit with his father on online Star Trek stuff and he’s a wreck about this, as you can imagine. Walter and his wife Judy are asking for all the help we can give.

    A missing person poster has been done up for Andrew but I don’t know how to attach it here. If you want it, I can email it to you, but I know you’ve said you don’t look at your email often. If you want it, you can contact me at the above email.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  7. The curry and soup look delish. Nothing like Japanese comfort food on a cold day. Now I have a curry craving. I think I may have to make katsu karē tomorrow night for dinner.

    So, Joe, what’s the fabulous book you’re reading and will it be the selection for next month?

  8. Soooo…is Akemi a friend…oooor a servant? See… I hear human trafficking in the west is worse today than the slave trade 150 years ago. So natch, I start to worry when every day I read about how this ‘guest’ is doing your cooking, cleaning, sorting, folding, filing…after a bit it all just starts sounding a bit fishy to me.

    I’m keeping an eye on you, bub. 😉

    RE: Snow. Today it rained, and most of our snow is gone (though Saturday we were still digging out so the mailman could get to our box). We still have big piles of the stuff around from where it drifted or was shovelled/plowed, but for the most part it’s gone. Weird how just a couple days ago we were still trudging through about 8-10″ of the stuff to get to the bird feeders, and now it’s just muddy ground. HOWEVER…a sneak attack storm is coming Thursday – one of those under the radar things – that promises to dump (if all goes wrong) 6-12″ of snow, with near-hurricane force winds! Woo! The last two storms had gusts between 40-60 mph, but with the strongest winds off the coast…but these winds are supposed to be the worst yet. We’ve dodged the power-loss bullet for the last two storms, but I’m thinking we won’t be so lucky this time. This will be our 4th snowstorm in a month, and they’re calling this one a ‘snowicane’. Doesn’t sound too good, eh? 😛


  9. I would like Akemi to come visit me as well. My linen closet is a wreck, I need a secretary and my dog needs a bath.

  10. @ Narelle – That massage therapy you mentioned under yesterday’s blog sounds interesting – I’m going to look into it. I’m in constant pain (usually muscular) most of the time, to greater or lesser degrees. My sister has this ‘trigger point’ book so she kinda knows where to press and she just touches a spot, and I crumple. But now I think I’ve got some kind of inflammatory thing going on. I did test positive – then negative – for Lyme’s Disease last winter…but now I’m starting to wonder because my joints are giving me all sorts of trouble the last couple of months (my f-i-l has Lyme’s, so I know it’s hard to diagnose). My elbows and shoulders and knees are the worst, but also the tops of my feet ( 😕 ), my hips, back and even fingers are all stiffening up on me. I don’t like taking aspirin, but I think I’m going to have to give in and start because these aches are not going away. On top of it, I still have the muscular pain – so maybe I should look into a good massage and back adjustment. 🙂 The worst thing about it is that otherwise, I feel great! Pretty positive in mind, full of energy, good tummy, no sinus problems…feeling fairly well…until I move…lol. So much for the ‘full of energy’ part. 😛


  11. It was really cute that Maximus was responding to Makka-chan. Do any of the other babies have have nick names as well?

    Meanwhile, the all of the food just looks soooooo good. Is that beef or other curry?

    Have to put Tojo on the “need to visit list.”

  12. Don’t have any crunchy story to tell today unfortunately.
    You know Joe, you remind me a bit of my friend James when I used to leave in Connecticut. He was a very intelligent man with a great sense of humour. I miss him. We used to dine out one to twice a week to restaurants he would select. The amazing thing about the dining experience with this friend was that he seemed to have tried every restaurant he ever brought me to.
    I was always intrigued by the fact that he would always open the menu for 1/2 a second, close it , put it on the table and wait for the waiter to order. When I asked him about it, he told me he was opening the menu just to check if the dish he wanted was still on it.
    I really miss him…. haven’t heard from him ever since I moved back to Montreal 7 years ago.

  13. Seems I’m dodging the bullet. Snow fell in ¡SAN ANTONIO! and Austin today; normally, the flurries don’t occur that far south. I return to Texas tomorrow, just ahead of the new snow-maker.

    Sat in at Nephew’s school today, very impressed. They were given a basic computer-graphics lesson, creating a snow scene with a house and a tree. Seemed much faster than doing same with crayons or markers!

    Would love to tell you what my bureaucrat brother said about Cheyenne Mtn., but if I did, he’d have to shoot ALL OF US. 😉

  14. @Tammy re: Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
    😀 I’m finally glad to read that someone aggrees with me that bad camera angle are a true pain in the ….. and that it has more impact then we think :mrgreen:
    next time I’ll put on my sunglasses 8)

  15. BOTM The Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin. Excellent book, very original and start of a series I think

  16. PS: I think I love Dragon. 🙂 And thank you, Joe, for NOT making duckface when you pose for pictures… 😉


  17. Hey Joe,

    All these perfectly wonderful days…how will you survive in your life without such daily smiles and sweet laughs.

    The pups were great to see. I love seeing a picture of each with the names. Still hard for me to name them each correctly. May have to save this snaps and practice.

    The food is yummy looking. So fun for you to show us home-cooking too. I love to see the creativity. All fun fun for me.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  18. @Das

    You said your FIL has Lyme’s so you probably know, but…

    It’s possible to test negative for Lyme’s even when you have it. Something about there not being a lot of the cells associated with Lyme’s in your bloodstream, so they don’t always get the cells in a blood sample.

  19. So Joe,

    I thought you might be interested to know that SG1 came up at my weekly Bible study yesterday. Someone used the Ori to illustrate her point of how NOT to discuss your faith beliefs with others. Love it!

  20. I’ve been craving Sushi for WEEKS now and those pics are not helping my self control!!

  21. The food looks good but I think you need to jazz up your china collection. They looked like paper plates at first glance. Villeroy & Boch has some great patterns that will make your food look fabulous.

  22. Regarding reading suggestions, how about first time author Kimile Aczon and her supernatural horror ‘BJ’. The dark days of winter are still with most of us, so a little horror story is always good for that extra shiver in the night.

    If Akemi wants to fly through Arizona on her return, I’d be more than happy to let her creative cooking skills shine in my kitchen.

  23. Ah the joys of parenthood! My 14 year old daughter spent the day in sex education where they learned how to apply a condom to a blue(?!) plastic penis! Next week I assume they’ll be taught how to go to the chemist and ask for the morning after pill followed by a complete term in how to fill out benefits forms when neither forms of contraception work! I should have stuck to dogs.

    All this in a country with the worst record for underage pregnancies and little or no mathematical ability in either teachers or pupils. I despair I really do.

    Joe, will you please write me a better script than this one?

  24. Juste un petit message pour vous dire que mes vacance se passe très bien, j’ai tellement de chose à vous dire….sa me manque beaucoup de ne plus pouvoir passer sur votre blog…

    ANAIS !! ♥

  25. @ Dreams2Knight – Yeah – I know a lot about Lyme’s – unfortunately. The spirochetes ‘hide’, and sometimes have to be drawn out – often by a dose of antibiotics. I was on antibotics last winter because of the pneumonia, and I think that’s why I tested positive. The problem is this – IF I have it, I have no idea when I got it – maybe even as a child. So, the doctor asks, ‘do you recall an intense joint pain flare-up?’ – Well…I can’t answer that because if it happened 10 years ago – or longer – I just can’t remember back that far. So I say, ‘I don’t recall’, and they say, ‘then you don’t have Lyme Disease’, and that’s the end of it. Also, there are some doctors who don’t believe that Lyme Disease is a chronic infection – that once treated with antibiotics, it’s done – while other doctors believe it’s an ongoing health concern with many complications. I believe it’s the latter, since my FIL now has Lupus. 🙁 But to get real answers about everything, you have to make going to doctors and testing a full-time job…and I just don’t have time (or patience) to do that right now.

    Snow Update: Woo! Sounds like we’re gonna get mostly rain. That shouldn’t be too bad, then.

    I’MA GONNA KILL MY HUSBAND! (No, not really…but…) He “filled out a form” that came through his e-mail account, and in 10 minutes I’ve received 5 phone calls from debt consolidation telemarketers. He SWEARS the form he filled out was an advanced education opportunity…well, I educated him! I have since lectured him on how he’s just opened up a loop-hole in the ‘do not call’ list we’re on, and how I’m gonna stick my foot up his arse (no, not really…but…) if he ever does it again. He just said sorry… again… 🙂

    Ugh. It’s gonna be an interesting day… but I AM gonna make him clean the bathroom, and do the dishes, and run errands…maybe even make dinner. Who the heck needs Akemi when you have a penitent husband! 😀


  26. Cute pics of the dogs!

    About book suggestions:
    I’m not sure if it would fit into your concept of botm because it’s a foreign author, but as far as I recall you liked his works. (At least I think I recall that 😉 )
    Personally, I would prefer it to be a selection when I would have time to read and be able to participate myself (How about December this year? … erm >..<

    Hope the remaining time of Akemi's visit is going to be as great as it has been until now ^^

  27. O.O I lost some words … somehow O.O Maybe I shouldn’t use the smiley with the “rotated v”s :

    Personally, I would prefer it to be a selection when I would have time to read and be able to participate myself (How about December this year? … erm ) but if it was for April I could still read the discussion 🙂

    I’m talking about Sergey Lukyanenko (of whom I’ve found various spelling versions) and you’re free to pick any of his works (I’m generous, am I not?).

    I’ve only read Night Watch and I loved it. It’s just that it was so captivating I couldn’t stop reading it and that took quite a while… I can’t afford that much time in one go at the moment so I stayed away from his works.
    But still, I do believe his works could make a good discussion.

  28. A late comment: It would seriously weird me out to have a houseguest (houseghost?) rearrange my linen closet. Not even my mother takes that kind of license! And she cleans the rest of the house from top to bottom. Yes, I do worship the ground she walks on. Love ya, Mom!

    When I’m at my sister-in-law’s, I try to help with the laundry, since as a family of five we add quite an extra towel burden, but I think if I went through her closets she’d pull out the flamethrower.

  29. Hello

    Quick question: ever since I finished the SGU blu-ray, I have had that song “This is The Worst Day Since Yesterday” stuck in my head. Does anyone know who recorded it?



  30. LOL@ noelm. My house is open to anyone who feels the urge to commit the anti-crime of breaking and cleaning/folding/decorating:)

  31. Akemi’s food looks great! Sorry she is going but you can go visit her next.

    Das: I completely understand being sick of doctors. BUT isn’t the treatment for Lyme’s a long term antibiotic? So if that is correct, can’t they treat you for Lyme’s even if the test are ambiguous? Since you are having symptoms, and if they can’t find anything else wrong, treatment would seem to be the logical course. You need to go see a doc again. Sending good health wishes your way.

    Narelle: did I understand you correctly yesterday? You bruised your diaphragm? You must lead a dangerous life! Glad you are better.

  32. @Das

    Everything I know about Lyme’s disease I learned from Mystery Diagnosis. 🙂 I was under the impression, though, that Lyme’s was indeed a chronic disease. Some doctors scoff at things on which there is little research and which they do not understand. A pity for us.

  33. Hi Joe! LOL, I saw “Flogging Molly” before I read the question and after bathing dogs this morning (Molly included), I was ready to flog me some dogs (jumping on everything soaking wet, running all over the house like maniacs). Just wondering how you knew 🙂 Of course, after baths and blow drying the Cockers, it’s pouring rain. Muddy, too!

    My daughter arrives this weekend from England to spend my birthday week (yes, a whole week) with me! Meeting up with Sheryl and Kabra on Tuesday for dinner, hopefullly 🙂

    Hey Das! 😉 😉 😉

  34. Hi Joe-san!

    A quick book suggestion for you. Have you tried anything by Mercedes Lackey or James Rollins? Or the Kingmaker , Kingbreaker series?

    And I had to mention this since I think you may appreciate it. Saturday my family will be bringing home a Pug/Schipperke mix puppy.
    I know you have been asked this before but any suggestions or pointers for pugs (ie bad habits they have or medical issues specific to pugs?) since you have just a bit of experience with pugs?

    Your pictures of the food were delicious looking as always. Fortunately I now plan to read your blog while eating dinner so I dont get the munchies quite so bad. Living in the back woods of New England culture and fine dining are a 90-180 min drive to get to from here so we live a bit vicariously through your regular pictures *g* Thank you!

    Genenut (and family)

  35. Tammy – Not a dangerous life anymore, just a stressful life.

    das – Definitely check out the myotherapy. Only downside, you will feel horrible afterwards (an overwhelming feeling of despair kind of bad) but you’ll feel much better the next day. The girl I go to says she either gets tears or uncontrollable fits of laughter from her patients. You might get the laughter!
    Hope your aches and pains start to ease a bit.

  36. Hey you guys THANK you for even thinking about my book “BJ”

    If you ever decide to read it – I would love to skype or call-in when you discuss it.

    Thanks -this made my day!

    Kimile Aczon
    Author “B” A Supernatural Horror Story

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