“It’s like a smoodjie,”said Akemi.
“It’s like a smoodjie,”she repeated, assuming I’d misheard.
I hadn’t. Again, “Huh?”.
“A smoodjie,”she said. Then, slowly, doing her best to clearly enunciate: “Smooodjieeee. Smoooodjiieeee.”
I glanced down at my milkshake and the penny finally dropped. “Smoothie?”
“Smoodjie,”she corrected herself.
“Smoooooothiieeee,”I corrected her correction.
It reminded me of the time we went shopping and she expressed an interested in picking up some “peasnatch”.
“Peasnatch?”I asked. “What’s that in English?”
“That’s English,”she insisted. And then “Peasnatch!” as if that would somehow jog my memory.
“Peasnatch!”I heard her call triumphantly from the produce section, pointing and smiling. “Peasnatch!”
Ooooh, so close. “That’s spinach,”I informed her.
Okay, close enough.
Since coming to Canada, Akemi has offered a steady stream of adorably amusing mispronunciations and butchered grammar. Her favorite part of the bread was “the margin” (aka crust). Prior to my trip to Tokyo, she wished me “Safe fright!”. She once ruminated on the properties of yogurt: “I think yogurt very mysterious. Always likids on the tops!”. “Jesus Crisis!”she once exclaimed.
I am loathe to correct her because it’s so darn cute. It’s like when my mother uses the expression: “Kill two birds with one.” Every time I hear it, I imagine hurling a bird like a fastball to nail a second sitting on a low-hanging branch, taking both out simultaneously. As much as I think I should correct the mangled expression, I fear I’ll miss it once it’s gone and so elect to say nothing.
Fortunately, in Akemi’s case, I get the best of both worlds. I’ve corrected her to the point where she can correctly identify “spinach” and refer to the bread’s “crust”, but she nevertheless continues to come up with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of mystery words and hilarious observances.
“I want to watch fuck show,”she once told me while casually loading the dishwasher.
Huh? What the hell had she been watching? I knew for a fact I hadn’t ordered the Adult package from my local satellite provider. Turns out “the fuck show” was what she called Hell’s Kitchen. In addition to learning how to say “These scallops are rooooooow!” in an English accent, Gordon Ramsay had taught her that.
A while ago, during a conversation on vegetarianism, she admitted to being confused by the very idea. After all, she said: “We have to eat meat. Too many chickens in the world. Too many beef. Too many pork.” A pause to consider, and then: “Too many whales.”
Sometimes, the fault is entirely mine as I’ll misinterpret something she’s said. Today, for instance, she expressed an interest in picking up a present for her mother. Apparently, her mom likes lettuce head. “Lettuce head?”I asked, pointing out that, by the time it arrived in Tokyo, it would probably be kimchee. She stared back at me, bewildered. It took a couple of back and forths before I realized it wasn’t “lettuce head” but “letter set”. My bad. It happens.
This afternoon, while leaving the supermarket parking lot, we rolled by a security guard attempting to usher an angry, inebriated homeless man off the premises. “They can’t touch you,”she enlightened me, referring to the homeless man.
“It’s against the law.”
Oh, she was sure of it. During her first orientation session at her language school, they’d told her as much. If a homeless person approaches, they can ask you for money, but they’re not allowed to touch you.
“And what happens if they do touch you?”I asked.
“Then you call the police and they’re arrested.” She emphasized the point with a myriad of sound effects: “Booboooboo” approximating the sound of the danger alarm followed by the sound of the police siren followed by the sound of cell door slamming shut on the guy. “It’s common sense,”she said. “Homeless can’t touch me.”
I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Until twenty minutes later, on our way back, when I had to slow down to avoid a police wagon parked in the right lane. As we rolled by, we glimpsed the same homeless man being arrested.
“He touched someone,”Akemi concluded knowingly.
Well damn, I thought. I guess he did.
KEK writes: “Just had a look at the Teamsters Union site, with the SGU sets now being taken down I’m guessing we can assume that here won’t be any live action continuation of SGU, and that Brad was unsuccessful?”
Answer: Not necessarily. For now, I believe the plan is to strike the sets on Stage 6 (the cave and Homeworld Command which were doubtful to be used moving forward anyway). The standing sets (the Destiny corridors, observation deck, gate room over on Stage 4 and the bridge, shuttle, and mess over on Stage 5) will remain standing until we hear definite word that we will not be proceeding with production on any movie(s). And, sorry to say, no news to report on that front.
Boyd Godfrey writes: “The blood sample I believe is a DNA sample from the “ark” ship in Scorched Earth, season 4 episode 9 SG-1. I should know, I made them.”
Answer: Hey, Boyd, thanks. How goes it?
Debra writes: “Moving always a trauma… made worse by the not quite 100 percent sure part. When will you know for SURE?”
Answer: By end of next week. At which point things start happening VERY QUICKLY!
Randomness writes: “Also you totally need to set some Q&As up with the shows staff eventually.”
Answer: Oh, definitely. I’ve already informed Alexander M. Ruemelin that he’ll be first up for a little fan Question and Answer session.
Lev writes: “Was there a particular reason you guys chose to work with John Scalzi on SGU or was it a long time desire and the schedules finally worked out in time for SGU?”
Answer: Brad and I had been fan of John’s work for years. I’d actually approached John about the possibility of writing a script for Atlantis back in the day, but he felt he’d be more comfortable starting on the ground floor with a new show. So, when Stargate: Universe got the greenlight, Brad approached him about coming aboard as our Creative Consultant. Happily for all involved, he accepted and went on to make some great contributions over the course of the show’s two year run.
Sandra Good writes: “I was talking to my Boston Terrier loving friend from Toronto (the one who actually got me into SG1) who incidentally always brags about how Dog Friendly Toronto is… sends her dogs to Daycare, hires dog walkers, etc.”
Answer: Hey, Sandra. Thanks for this. Several people have recommended the High Park area.
Bloomgate writes: “Hey Joe – A couple thoughts on your upcoming issues: Set aside / pre-pack your favorite kitchen implements like your ice cream maker, knives, pots and pans etc. These are things that you may end up missing far more than you might initially expect.”
Answer: Appreciate the advice. I’m going to take note of what household items I make the most use of over the next couple of weeks. The result will no doubt surprise me.
susan the tartan turtle writes: “When you move to Toronto are you going to go and look for wee Rosey? I hate it when little stories like these are left hanging in limbo.”
Answer: Sadly, it’s more than probable that the reason the story was left hanging was because there was no happy ending.
steph writes: “Do you know what a buckeye is?”
Answer: I didn’t but I do now. Two of my favorite things – chocolate and peanut butter – together! Thanks for the recipe.
Janet writes: “First Cyclone yasi hit us, without power for a week. Then my family and I moved 3000 klms south. We went from the stinkin’ hot to the cold. Summer here at the mo and when winter hits, ain’t we going to know. Hubby and no.1 daughter already have colds. So I know what you are going through with the move.”
Answer: The discomfort of my cross-country move doesn’t even compare. Hope you and the family have settled in happily.
polyp0124 writes: “Aside from that, do you follow Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman?”
Answer: I love Neil Gaiman’s work and do have a bunch of Sandman trade paperbacks sitting on my to-read pile. Sadly, given the upcoming move, that pile will remain untouched for much of 2011.
48 thoughts on “February 25, 2011: I think yogurt very mysterious. Always likids on the tops!”
I gotta tell you. That post made my night. Especially the part about the fuck show. Remember back in the day when the fuck show used to refer to The Sopranos? Man those were the days. The Sopranos, Stargate, Friday nights were a winning combo. Now it’s Hell’s Kitchen and for some reason that is just funny as hell (no pun intended.)
And speaking of hurling birds like fastballs, the first of the Spring Training Exhibition matches are coming tomorrow at least in my region. How about up in Canada. Any updates on baseball? You get to be right there with the Blue Jays when you move to Toronto.
Not sure if you’re aware Joe but Irredeemable Vol. 5 is out now.
So it seems that you built a new set for the last epsiode , which you said was beautiful. doen’t it stink that you only get to use it for 1 episode ?
I am glad you mentioned movie(s) ..That is some bit of news since you never mentioned that is the plan..
Am I at least in the ball park on these ???
Thanks Joe 🙂
Akemi is so cute! If she is learning English, maybe she shouldn’t be watching any of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. Make her watch Jeopardy so she’ll get real smart or Wheel of Fortune so she learns the alphabet. But then she might start answering you in the form of a question or always wanting to buy a vowel.
can you please post pictures of the stargate seed ship?
LOL, for the 3rd or 4th time… is Akemi going with you, or staying to house set? Inquiring minds want to know.
LOL, reminds me of my first husband (Palestinian.. don’t ask.. my Psych professor said I found a way to screw both sides of my family– baptist/jewish–at once.) Anyway, couldn’t say “p”. They don’t have it in Arabic. Had me nearly distraught trying to understand that he wanted BEES. BEES. He really wanted them bad. BEES he kept saying. Finally after much frustration he said “YOU KNOW! They sit on top of the refrigerator.” Peanuts. Sigh.
My Brother and I made the journey to his girlfriend’s grave on Lombok with 9 other of Rosa’s Indonesian friends. “Homo-Man” as his friends called him (no political correctness when English is your 3rd language) commented on the lovely skank I was wearing. Talk about a mental image.
When showing them Mars one night in the sky (as all stars are called Bintang in Indonesian) they said, “You call it Mars? We saw that in a movie once”. Didn’t realise Mars was a planet or real.
I loved spending time with them despite the reason we were all together.
Oh, Gods, thank you for the laugh! I SOOOOOO needed it. And thanks for letting us know the sets are still up. I still have hope of visiting one day!
How’s Her “written” English? And be sure to keep her AWAY from the “DEADWOOD” DVDs!
Since the sets are still standing can we FILM a 48-hour special season 2 FINALE?
Like smallville is getting a 2hour finale and SGU is more epic so a 48hour FINALE only makes sense no?
This would equal 48episodes worth. I am sure the last three seasons 60 episodes can be squeezed into that time frame if you take out the season filler eps.
Akemi-isms! I like the word Peasnatch, as in to snatch a pea. I’m going to try to work it into as many conversations as possible; let’s make “peasnatch” happen.
I feel bad though for the many mistakes I’ve made while traveling, especially in Japan. In Japan people corrected me quite gently, as in “I’m afraid you’re in the wrong rest room” and “please stop desecrating our temple.”
This weekend is gonna be about Gods of the Arena; so look forward to the finale.
Maybe I shouldn’t reveal this. I worked for a Japanese based company so a lot of the employees were from Japan. There was a company car, a Chevrolet Malibu. One of my duties was to keep track of the company cars and retrieve and hand out the keys. The guys always called it the Mariboo. I started calling it the Mariboo. No one every corrected me. It still makes me giggle when I think about it.
Huh Alexander M. Ruemelin, so it is the Transporter TV series. http://tv.nytimes.com/show/210158/Transporter/credits
Actually, I think Akemi is probably right about ‘Hells Kitchen’
The number of times Gorden uses the expletive, it probably is a more fitting name for it!
At least not *all* hope for SGU is gone. The mood was very depressing last night after reading all these news/threads about sets getting taken down.
I’ve been following the blog since the Atlantis days but never commented before. However, today’s post reminds me of some of the conversations I have with my fiancee who is from the Philippines.
Some of the more common things she mispronounces are tooth, feet, important. I’ve noticed that she quite often adds an ‘s’ to words.
But nothing is more funny then my attempt to speak Tagalog to her. For example, I was supposed to asked her if she was in the living room (tagalog word salas) but actually asked her if she was in sin (tagalog word sala). Easy mistake, but very embarrassing!
While I am here Joe, I wish to thank you and rest of the rest of the team for so many years of quality TV. I also wish you luck for the future and hope the move goes smoothly.
I teach second language children…the most common is “paper toilet” and “hanitizer.”
We’ve hosted exchange students and the only major one I remember was when she asked if I wanted a “vegi- TABLE” I laughed at that one…
Akemi is adorable! However…
PLEASE educate her about whales. Seriously. (Of course, you’re probably the worst person to try to convince someone else not to eat something that’s endangered. 🙄 )
It has always bothered me that, for how intelligent the Japanese people are, they just do not (or refuse to) understand the delicate balance that exists in the sea, and how once these species are gone, that’s it. Someone needs to get it through their heads that you can’t eat computerize toilets and compact cars, and that once the animals are gone, so are we. A little education about the earth’s ecosystems and food chains might be in order. It’s the one thing I take real issue with in the Japanese culture; hunting species to the point of extinction is revolting to me. Of course, they’re not the only people who have done this, but right now they are the most educated, and should just know better. That, to me, makes them just as accountable, if not more so, as greedy poachers.
Next, I’ll go off on fans of shark fin soup. Such ignorance about the cruelty of it and what this is doing to sharks is insufferable. Combine it with the whole ‘Yee-HAW! Let’s kill Jaws!’ sport fishing mentality over the last few decades, and now we’re seeing shark species flirting with the endangered list.
AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!! Humans are JUST SO FREAKIN’ STUPID!!!!! *bangs head on desk*
Sorry…it’s my ol’ Wraith Defenders ire that this has stirred up. 😛
Shutting up now.
LOL, I made my pocket money in Japan tutoring the neighborhood kids in English. Every Sunday was potluck after lessons with the house owner’s relatives, and we branched out into other days as more parents discovered I charged far less than anyone on base.
You get a better grasp of English when trying to explain the difference between pigeons and doves.
Meg-chan was delighted when she crafted her first joke in English, nicknaming my tall, skinny husband “string bean”. She lives in Singapore now, speaks three languages I of, maybe more. I miss “my” kids.
The potlucks were always fun, and the family was surprised that Larry cooked as much as I did. The father thought that was odd, why would a man cook? Larry pointed out all the great chefs were men. The very next week, Mr. Hattori proudly served us green tea sponge cake. Very nice. Mrs. Hattori was not quite as pleased, as she got to clean up the kitchen behind him.
Then there was the time I made a Christmas tree “cake” out of stacked sugar cookies covered in poured boiled icing (hard sugar coating) for the holiday potluck. Had sugar decorations and tiny candles. We lit the candles and sang some silly song and .. oh crap! Sugar burns fast and high and BRIGHT! Crap! Nearly set their house on fire.
Your mailbag in this post reminded me that I’ve been wanting to ask you if Scorched Earth was always considered a one-off ep, or if there were ever any plans to revisit the Gadmeer after they had terraformed the planet? Obviously the Stargate wouldn’t be there anymore, but SG1 started flying around the galaxy quite a bit in later seasons…
Another random thought from Japan: my husband goes by Larry, his middle name, in the family. When he moved to Japan, he switched to Howard, his first name, just because “Larry” in Japanese doesn’t quite work out the same each time. Our neighbor boy made Larry a birthday card with wishes for “Rei”. We were puzzled until we said it out loud. Yes, Re-i is Larry.
His dad is a Howard, which is why hubby uses Larry, except his dad was called Pete at work, although his middle name is Claire. Larry’s son is a Lawrence Scott, and somehow they got Lonny out of that. I have no clue about his side of the family, they’re all crazy. I just call him Oogy-Woogy Sugar Bucket Honey Sweetie Dear.
Don’t give up on Rosey! Cute little dogs often get picked up and kept.
Please, Thank Akemi for us. I’m sure she approved of this post beforehand.
We have another driving lesson for my son (15 yrs) today. Pray for us 😉 .
I’ll have to ask my homeless aquaintance (gotta’ love the internet) if it was illegal for him to touch someone during his years in Vancouver. From what I understand, if the Vancouver police want to arrest you, you’re getting arrested and knowing the specifics of the law ain’t going to help you.
Thanks to Vancouver’s forward thinking in harassing the homeless population before the Olympics, you’ll be meeting many more homeless in Toronto. No, they didn’t magically find homes. Some moved to Toronto, temporarily, permanently, however you want to put it.
Maybe I’ll just ask him theoretically. You’d get a fast answer if I just sent him the link to this blog. He spends a lot of time on the internet at the Toronto libraries and, since you’re moving to Toronto, you could use a friend who knows the streets. However, I don’t think you want Toronto’s homeless population forwarding the link around under the heading, “Guest of Soon-to-be Toronto-ite Believes It’s Illegal for Homeless to Touch Her”. (gotta’ hate the internet)
The “too many whales” comment is awesome. There’s the solution to excess whaling by the Japanese. The problem will just take care of itself.
I make buckeyes all the time. I do live in the Buckeye State. They’re labor-intensive, but the ingredients are accessible to a limited budget. More often, I make a subset of buckeyes called peanut butter balls. I’ll let you figure out the recipe.
If you’re going to make buckeyes, don’t skimp on the butter. It’s really hard to get enough air out to get it to not crumble if the mixture is too dry. I punch the mixture down while it’s still in the bowl. A large batch of buckeye rolling will wear out the hands. That’s why Ohio has great quarterbacks, lots of buckeye-rolling going on.
This was hilarious and I laugh not at Akemi’s expense but at our crazy and difficult English language with its idioms, slang and being butchered by TV shows.
By chance did you clear that post with Akemi, or are you counting on her good nature (or lack of interest in your blog) to keep her from chastising you later? The post was indeed very cute and extremely funny. But as much as I enjoyed it I wouldn’t want her to be embarrassed simply so that your readers can be entertained for a few minutes. Or for you to wake up duct taped to the bed with tarantulas crawling all over you because she got irate… please pass on our thanks to her for being a good sport, and reminding us how learning new languages is not simply a matter of listening to some tape and then repeating.
A belated congrats to Mr. Scalzi for seeing his book picked up for movie production. I hope he will be able to retain enough control to make the movie a worthy tribute to the original book. I look forward to following the progress of the movie’s production, and will make it a point to catch its release on opening night.
Smooodjieeee mochi. “ε(・ω・)з”
Akemi is such a cutie. You probably want to keep her around!
Regarding the sets, I got word a couple of days ago that the set tours for the April convention in Vancouver are not going to happen, which is disappointing (even though I was kind of expecting it.) I figured that news was a bad sign, but your comment on this post at least still gives us a little hope. Maybe it’s because of lack of staff around at the time?
Speaking of the convention, any suggestions for lunch/dinners at places that aren’t too expensive or “unusual”? Also, I hope to do a little day hiking in the area – any suggestions on places not too far out of the city (I’ll have a car)?
555-Thai for LOL. Asian women can be so darn cute at times, but in the end they are still women. I understand your plight. At least you have the ease of talking across the table. Doing it over the phone add all new degrees of intrigue. In talking to my girlfriend about our a newest vacation she has been insistent on visiting “Maryland” (to my ear) to see the whale. Huh? Oh, Marine Land in CA, which was closed by the owners of Sea World 24 years ago.
I am finishing up the SG-1 series with the commentaries, I just watched Family Ties where you and Paul did the commentary. How do they go about choosing those who will do these commentaries and do you expect to do any for the SGU? Will your new schedule preclude you from doing any, or is too much of a pain in the butt? In Talion I listened to Andy Mikita and Chris Judge. It was fun to hear about how they made some of the camera work for the effects and the progression from 16mm to 35mm film to HD. Geeky I know, but it give me a greater appreciation as to how you all are able to put together such great shows.
In all honesty I like the camera work in SG1 and SGA much more than in SGU. The floating camera effect I see quite too often in SGU reminds me of SCTV with John Candy and Eugene Levy demonstrating the Channel’s high tech 3D effect. Or, perhaps it should be left to such comedies like Scrubs and the floating head doctor flashbacks, or MTV when they used to play music vids. It is to me too distracting. But I guess you have even less influence in that than making sure an actor uses you script completely.
Akemi is cute…although I had don’t really see a connection between “smoodjies” and Akemi’s left hand…at first I thought she was showing off an engagement ring 😉
In the area of cross-cultural funnies…I once did a trade show where some Italian colleagues were demonstrating an “American-English” Speech Recognition System for our Hands-Free Dialing system. Try as they might, they couldn’t get it to recognize their accented english. A typical effort went like this:
Italian Colleague: “Diala”
Hands Free Kit: “NINE”
Italian Colleague: “No I saida, ‘Diala'”
Hands Free Kit: “EIGHT”
Hands Free Kit: “DIAL…Dialing…(ringing)”
Phone Connection: “We’re sorry…the number you are dialing is not recognized. Please try your Call again.”
@ Akemi – you’re commenting! Awesome!!! You are so cute and a very unique person! Don’t change!
opps…in that last “Italian Colleague” exchange, he was cussing in Italian.
my brackets were interpreted as HTML tags…
It should have been:
Italian Colleague: “Diala”
Hands Free Kit: “NINE”
Italian Colleague: “No I saida, ‘Diala’”
Hands Free Kit: “EIGHT”
Italian Colleague: (Starts cussing in Italian)
Hands Free Kit: “DIAL…Dialing…(ringing)”
Phone Connection: “We’re sorry…the number you are dialing is not recognized. Please try your Call again.”
So even though the main sets are still standing. No set tours for the fans attending Creation Stargate Vancouver 2011. Had my heart set on the tour.
That’s great, I look forward to aiming 20 questions at Alexander.. jk.. I’ll aim for a few.
I’m really looking forward to news about the show, love hearing about that stuff.
No Homeworld Command? Okay then… Are the Hammond sets still around or are those gone too?
I know you’ve been quiet on the future of SGU/et al lately and understandably so. But, if you were a betting man would you say our chances of getting the SGU storyline (and those few other “goodies”) tied up 1) highly probable, 2) still possible, or 3) fading with each passing day?
And if you can’t answer I understand. It just never hurts to ask…I hope.
Good luck with the move. It’s on my list of top ten things never to do again. When they take me out of this place, it’s going to be feet first (with my Stargate DVDs clutched firmly in my hands…).
I just asked *How are you?*. It’s hard typing in a foreign language using an English keyboard, having to switch things to get to another language =/ I’m not literate in technology.
Anyway I guess I should of put a hello infront of that. lol
My wife is from Thailand and while she has trouble Pronouceing some words it does tend to make me laugh only to have her give me funny looks. She’s learning..
You ARE such a good sport, like someone said. It is good to see you on the blog! I bet if we tried to speak in Japanese it would give you gits of giggles. Will you be able to give us your recipe for Miso Soup? It looked very good! I also enjoyed the blog pictures Joe showed us the day you cooked noodles. They looked yummy, too. Please visit us often on the blog. 😀
Oh boy, a typo already…. Sorry! That should have been FITS of giggles….
Oops, one more thing… 🙂
Google translate is not completely accurate, so comedy may ensue! 🙂
I asked Akemi if Joe gave her the ring she is wearing.
A few fossils (and other stuff) I picked up on the beach over the last couple of days:
Most are fossilized coral (agatized coral), with a couple pieces of river quartz, shells, and some stones with unique patterns. You can’t see all the coral patterns clearly, but it gives you an idea of what washes up on the beaches around here.
Also, Joe, I want to clarify that I wasn’t calling Akemi stupid. Not sure if my rant sounded as if it was aimed at her – it certainly wasn’t. My apologies if there was any misunderstanding.
Sending good thoughts your way Joe for the difficult choices you have to make at a rapid pace in the next week or so. Sending hugs your way.
@Das I have to agree with you on this. After watching “The Cove” I see that many people in Japan think they are actually eating whale meat when they are actually getting mercury-laden dolphin meat. It took me several days of uncontrollable sobbing to get through that documentary. It deeply affected me. Rates of autism are going up in Japan as well. It is not a coincidence.
Do you think you would be able to wrap up SGU if it had been renewed for even a ten episode season?
I so feel with Akemi, I’m afraid that for some of us some foreighn sounds are just a nightmare to say (or even hear) no matter how much practice we have. Just the other day I got very funny looks for the department store attendant when I asked her where she kept her shits… she kept saying Pardon ? I kept saying your shits? where do you have them? in frustration I turned to my son who was bent over laughing and eventually asked the lady where were the bed sheets …
Off to Oscar party so will read blog tomorrow. Please try to sleep for a change before your trip! Travel safely, eat well, get refreshed and unstressed.
@ Ponytail san
Thank you for your comment.
Genki desu yo. Thank you for your comment.
@ for the love of Beckett san
It is nice to see you too. Do you like Japanese food? I will tell Joe how to make Miso Soup. I asked Joe to buy the ring for me when he went to Japan.
I’m confused, is Akemi Joe’s; wife, girlfriend or friend?
Hi Akemi san,
Domo arigato for writing back. I really like Japanese food, but I L:grin:VE SUSHI! The wasabi and pickled ginger they serve with sushi is very good, too. I got a jar of pickled sushi ginger for Christmas. Yum!
The Japanese foods I like best are fresh and lean, but not so much fat, salty, or fried. Miso soup is another of my favorites. Also, your ring is very pretty!
(If domo arigato doesn’t translate well, we have Mr. Roboto to thank.) 🙂