“Have a good day.  Don’t karoshi!” – Akemi, Every morning before I leave for work.

From wiki: “Karōshi (過労死?), which can be translated literally from Japanese as “death from overwork“, is occupational sudden death. Although this category has a significant count, Japan is one of the few countries that reports it in the statistics as a separate category. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.”

Hmmmm.  I suspect that, in her subtle way, Akemi is trying to tell me something.  But what?  WHAT?!!

Speaking of work – prep continues on my block (episodes #103 and #106, Sharks and Payback) as we try to cast, nail down locations, and get through that final round of meetings in advance of next Monday’s start of production.  Also, have my hands full with these seemingly endless script revisions.  This morning, I received a call from one of the broadcasters informing me that the script for episode #103 was in great shape!

And that I could expect the next round of notes by day’s end. 🙁

Anyway, the production express stops for no one.  I’m on board and racing toward the finish line – now December 2nd.  I’m sure that by that point, we’ll have a thoroughly awesome first season under our collective belts and will have established a well-oiled machine for the second season’s  team (And, yes, I have no doubt that there WILL be a second season).  Following Christmas in Montreal with mom and sis, I’ll be headed back to Vancouver for a much more easy-going 2012.  Hopefully, Akemi will be along for the return trip.

To all of you inquiring about Akemi’s future here in Canada – well, I’ve retained the services of an immigration lawyer to help us out.  With less than three months and counting before Akemi’s visa expires, here’s hoping we can figure something out.  I know that Carl would miss her terribly.  Tonight, we start by filling out oodles of paperwork!

A Weird Food Purchase of the Day video installment.  Deep-fried chocolate fudge!

46 thoughts on “August 22, 2011: If the karoshi doesn’t kill me, the deep-fried fudge might!

  1. Oh Joe, watching that video just makes me pity your poor arteries. How much of a workout will it take to erase that day’s indulgences?

    Great to hear that you have an expert working on Akemi’s visa issues. I’m really hoping that everything works out well there.

  2. Hey, Joe, thanks for that mailbag you teased us with last night! 🙁

    (I’m still waiting for your list of the 20 best places you’ve eaten at in Toronto)

    My chest feels tight just watching that video. Then again, fried dought is an Italian staple, so I guess I shouldn’t talk.

  3. Okay I am so so so so happy to hear Akemi may be staying. She’s good for you and more important, good for us. 🙂
    That said, your eating partners are wimps. For crying out loud, they have no sense of adventure (or an abundance of sense of self preservation).

  4. Good luck with the lawyer! There are so many criminals, immigration should focus on the scumbags and let the good ones stay. Akemi should do well in interviews with immigration. She is so cute, how could they resist?

    “Karōshi”? You really need to set up that twitter account. It was a stroke of genius.

    So were you very sick post fair food?

    Why ruin fudge deep frying it? It’s so good on its own.

    Max doing ok?

  5. At least now we know why the fudge was right near the bathroom….lol

    (soooo gross)

  6. Thanks for the Akemi update. I was curious but didn’t want to be a bud-in-ski. Don’t need to fill me in on the particulars, but glad to know you are working on a resolution. I know that when living in a SE Asian country there was a continual retreat for Ferong (foreigners of European genealogy) to the boarder to renew their VISA. Hope for the best.

    Plus Debra@well said.

    You know how Asian women have a circuitous way of telling you something.

  7. 1. Yum. Fudge. (Aw, come on Joe, it wasn’t really near the bathroom – that’s like the swimming pool/tootsie roll joke from Caddie Shack)

    2. I love Akemi’s “don’t Karōshi” comment.

    3. I love Akemi’s dress with the little sailboats in the picture where she’s eating edamame. She looks adorable, and very determined!

    4. Good luck on getting Akemi’s continued stay in Canada approved.

  8. That fudge may have been tasty, but it certainly looked rude. Must have been by the bathroom for some reason.

  9. AAAAARRRRGGGHHH!! None of your videos are showing up for me! I can hear them, just can’t see them. 🙁 Not at home, not at work. I am very, very sad.

    Also, that blog entry above sure as hell doesn’t look anything like a mailbag to me. 😉

    Take care of yourself, sir…I totally get the job stress thing. But look on the bright side – at least you’re not working for family. 😛


  10. Hi Joe, 🙂

    Speaking of circuitous… (good word, Duptiang)

    Are you or are you not going to be executive producing for Transporter: the Series in Toronto next year?

    Will you be writing scripts from Vancouver and flying into Toronto now and then, like Carl has so far?

    Or will you be leaving Transporter completely and working on another project, to be determined?

  11. i’m in awe of akemi’s chopstick skills. she looks very intense in that picture. must be concentrating not to loose her grip on that edamame.

    i agree with this entry title.

  12. So glad to hear y’all are working with an immigration attorney. As a former US gov’t. immigration employee, I would have recommended that move.

  13. I’m sure the lawyer can think of something. I think Akemi chan is pretty much a Canadian mascot now, if nothing else, so she simply can’t go. Akemi chan, 私たちはあなたを手放すことになります!!!!

    Deep fried fudge actually sounds good. It makes a little bit of sense since I’m used to having the soft chocolate ooze out of volcano cakes. ^__^Y

    I know I totally missed it, Joe, but when did you actually make the decision (get the okay?) to move back to Vancouver at year end? Anyone point me in the direction of the blog post of note? Thanks in advance!

  14. Oh…I sure hope that Akemi is able to stay. Y’know…Joe…I think it’s time you did something about it. 🙂 (*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) I think it’s time you show her how much you really love her. Pop the question already. 😉

  15. Are you actually quitting Transporter or just trying to scare the suits into leaving you the f**k alone? I hope it’s not the German network giving you notes. Remember they produced “Sumuru”, which just about ended Michael Shanks’s career. Not really, but let’s just say he often apologizes to anyone who ever watched it.

    Akemi is awesome and I’m glad you’re fighting for her!

  16. Glad to see your attending to Akemi’s dilemma. Hope all works out well for her.

  17. That gave me heartburn just watching it.

    Good luck to Akemi. Hope things come to a swift resolution and she can stay in Canada.

  18. Musical doodle……. brutal…… futile…… ARGGHHHHHH WHYYY????????????

    That is all.

  19. I suggest you have Frank Cassini and his brother John as two evil Italians in your series. They’ve never actually worked together in a scene. Can you believe that? I’m sure you could find a cozy spot for them.

    Also, how on earth can you eat all that stuff from the CNE? Those meals were heart attack on a plate. I’m so jealous!


  20. Well, Carl is not the only one who would miss Akemi.
    WE, your and Akemi’s loyal followers, would miss her too!
    And, don’t forget you have 4 other family members who would miss her.
    So, when are you getting the “Akemi’s words for the day.” or “Akemi’s words to live by” Twitter account going?

    Speaking of other family members, how are Max and Jelly?
    ok..will behave and stop bugging you.
    nite nite

  21. So can some one tell me what player i need to down load to watch the videos? they use to play for me and now they won’t… I can watch youtube video’s so why can’t i watch these? thanks for the help.

  22. The deep fried fudge looks really good. I am so glad to hear you are a man of action, having secured an immigration lawyer to help. And at the end of “Transporter” in December, you will be “Transporting” her to Vancouver with all the pups in tow. December will be here before you know it. Hang in there! I sent a card this past weekend; don’t know how long it takes to get from the states to you. Well, it’s not for you. Patrick made a card for Maximus with a little help from me.

  23. Coucou 🙂 Comment allez vous? Moi très bien, je profite plainement des derniers jours de soleil à Paris 🙂

    J’espere vraiment qu’Akemi pourra devenir Canadienne 🙂 Alalal c’est beau l’amour ♥

    Ahaha la video, mais c’est quoi cette chose?? Vive la diététique hein Joseph? 😉

    Gros bisous!

    Ps: Avez vous vu le dernier “Planet of the Apes” ?

  24. How on earth are you not dead yet with all that fatty, deep fried food you eat? If that was me, I would have had a heart attack 10 times over!!!

  25. As the Sister of someone who has had to go through a similar ordeal with the beauracracy, have a glass of wine handy while dealing with it all. Wishing Akemi the best for a successful application.

    My Dad worked through Asia a lot when I was a kid. Visiting guests from all parts of Asia would come to our house. Particularly Hiro from Japan. I didn’t realize until I was older how rare this was and I still remember his stories of Japan. He always had a way of putting things in perspective.

  26. Good luck with the immigration attorney, Akemi!

    And Joe: definitely don’t karoshi. It would so throw off my morning ritual. =)

  27. Fans of Akemi are cheering for her to stay and lead us into the Kingdom of Kawaii!

  28. Karoshi, the only acceptable excuse for missing work…at least is sounds like you’re having fun with the Transporter show. That should provide some degree of protection from that form of death.
    Best wishes on the immigration fight. Don’t know how Canadian immigration is, but I’ve lost all faith with our American version. Illegal aliens can spend years disputing deportation, but our government deports a woman who came here as a legal immigrant as a child, but who committed a misdemeanor shoplifting as an adult. Result? Fast track back to the land of her birth, which she has no memories of and no connections to. Hiring an expert in the system should weight things in your favor. After all, it’s not just a personal issue, it’s a public service Akemi provides by giving you material to write about. Just let us know where to send the petitions,, emails, bribes, and other needed materials to resolve the issue. Thanks for the post and enjoy the week. I’m off to the stores to prep for the hurricane.

  29. Hope all goes well with the immigration paperwork, we can all vouch for Akemi’s fabulousness.

    Akemi needs an artistic job to get that special artist visa; I still think an Akemi comic book could be a hit. She’s a mild-mannered chocolate shop owner by day, crime fightin’ hitgirl by night.

    She’s got a bento box full of daggers and fudge. Her calling card is little smiley faces and her motto is revenge is best served in adorable bite sized portions.

  30. We just had a 5.8 earthquake! Woo!

    I was standing at the window and started getting dizzy…or at least I thought I was getting dizzy. So I moved away from the window, and was still dizzy, and thought I was going to have to call for help…then all the stained glass ornaments at my windows started clinking against the glass, and I realized we were having an earthquake. Crazy stuff!


  31. Up to a 5.9 quake. And now they’re like…evacuating all the buildings 200 miles away from the epicenter. 😕 A bit much, I think, but maybe better to err on the side of caution since our buildings on the East Coast are old and not built to earthquake specs. Still, I bet West Coasters are laughing their heads off at us right about now. 😛

  32. FYI, I just read that Canadian doctors are calling for a ban of pets (other than guide dogs) from the cabins of airplanes. This would be to protect passengers who have allergies. Pets would be allowed in pressurized cargo holds. So it may be a bit trickier to transport the canine gang across the country in the future.

    Maybe some flights will be designated ‘pet friendly’ as a compromise.

  33. @Shiny: Brilliant!

    @das: I had a similar reaction when I saw that commercial and had the sudden urge to go to Netflix and look for the movie. Which doesn’t exist. Hey! I got something in the mail today!

    @Joe: Hi! Is everything smoooooooth sailing yet? Hang in there, tiger.

  34. Okay – it’s back down to a 5.8 quake. I wish they’d make up their minds.

    For those who might be wondering why this is such a big deal for the East Coast of the US, it’s because we sit on nice, hard bedrock, and bedrock doesn’t absorb motion very well, so the earthquake is felt over a much wider area. As I understand it, people did feel it in Canada, about 800 miles away. And we just are not used to the earth moving like this since we’re practically in the middle of the tectonic plate, not on one of the major faults. So, for us, this is a big deal.


  35. @das – Damn, missed another earthquake. Was down in the basement sandblasting. With all the noise and vibrations from that I missed it.


  36. Ah..having orientation from 8am to 5pm today, then being scheduled for Wed from 10pm to 7am is fun. I guess I shall stay up all tonight and sleep in the day tomorrow.

    Though, I have no right to complain, I should just be thankful for the opportunity.

    As fried food go, I don’t think that is too unusual. Try deep fried kool aid….

  37. @echelon I’ve worked the graveyard shift. It’s hard to adjust your cycle. When I switched back to days, well, it’s been 3 years and let’s say I don’t think my body has fully switched back. Messes with your health. Sleeping during the day — telemarketers don’t care, people who do business during the day don’t care, people come knock on your door don’t care, and the sun exposure or lack thereof, will give you vitamin D deficiency problems.

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