“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.