I woke up this morning unable to move, my dogs clustered around me like a Cruella Deville topcoat.  I figured it was one of two things: 1) Like animals who sense earthquakes or similar natural disasters, my super-sensitive dogs were consoling me ahead of inevitable catastrophe, or 2) Winter had arrived.  Today’s weather convinced me to go with option #2.  Wha- happened?  I could have sworn it was still summer yesterday!

September is shaping up to be a busy month as I count down the days to my Vancouver return.  Just received an email from Jen Spence (SGU’s Lisa Park) who will be in town for a couple of days next week, so will have to make time for her.  And my buddy Steve.  Plus Anne-Marie, Carl, Marty G., Mega, Ryna, John, Nancy, Alan, Ivon, Alexander, Sarah, my aunt Antoinette, and many more.  I may have to stay an extra month just to squeeze in all these dinners.

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ll be taking the rest of the years off.  Sort of.  There’s a pilot script I’ve been meaning to get around to finishing and I have a fun, comic-related project (not Dark Matter, my Dark Horse comic book series, that hits the shelves January 2012) for this blog.  Also, with Akemi’s October 18th visa expiration fast-approaching, I’m hoping we can find a way to extend that looming deadline.  It would be very sad to bring her back to Van for only a couple of weeks and then have her leave two days after my birthday (start working on those cards now!).  Well, all I can say is I’m working on it.  Tick, tick, tick.

Some highlights of my (apparently all Alex) weekend:

Friday night – dinner at Trevor Kitchen with….

Trevor, Sarah, and Alexander
Ryan. So awesome. He has FOIE and GRAS tattooed on his knuckles.
Akemi and I.

Also in attendance were precision driver David Julienne and stunt wizard Mohammed Elachi (not pictured clutching the requisite menu).

Then, Saturday night was BBQ night hosted by the lovely Sarah – and her boyfriend the German guy.  I brought sliders: buffalo, wild boar, camel, and kangaroo. All surprisingly good and, frankly, hard to tell apart once you lead ’em up with caramelized onions, avocado, barbecue sauce, and bird’s eye chilis.  I lean toward the buffalo…

I find that camel goes down easier with beer.
Sarah mans the grill. Seriously. Who else is going to do it?
Trevor shows up, sweating like he's just run a marathon. The boy is sensitive to humidity!
Alexander shows off his latest purchase. I know nothing about guitars but I believe it's a big deal considering how much he paid for it! But who am I to criticize? I collect supervillain statues.
I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this hideous lamp in Alex's office. I figured no one would actually believe me without photographic evidence.
Alexander lights up Tokyo Tower. Or, as some people in the rest of the world call it: The Eiffel Tower.
The trio see us off. Then, five minutes later when I'm in the car, I get a call from Trevor who apparently remembered he doesn't live there and needed a lift.

And then, Sunday, we checked out the Spicy Food Festival which sounded a lot more interesting than it actually was.  We wandered about for the first twenty minutes, ravenous, and finally located the (all of six) food stands.  Had some not bad ox-tail, a great curry goat roti (would it have killed them to remove the bones before wrapping the sucker up?), and plenty o’ plantain.  Then it rained.  And we went home.  Good times.

The happy couple.
The even happier couple. Kampai!
The happiest couple!

I’m off to complete my Mind Meld write-up for SFSignal’s JP Frantz.  Just finalizing my top ten…

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular PBMom.  Get well soon!

37 thoughts on “September 5, 2011: It’s an all Alex weekend!

  1. 1. Wouldn’t that be ‘Akemi and me’? I get so confused with that – any grammar nazis out there?

    2. I like the lamp. 😳

    3. My hands have been tingly and itchy ever since doing all that yard work last Tuesday, and TONS of typing for the rest of the week to catch up on billing that was delayed due to the evacuation. I guess it’s a Crappy Tunnel flare-up, amongst other things, and even thought I religiously wear my wrist braces every night, nothing is helping. I woke up early Wednesday morning with unbelievable pain in my left ring finger – so bad it felt like my finger was broken. I couldn’t bend it, I could apply pressure to it – I was near to tears for an hour before I was able to work out the ‘knot’ that was causing the pain (still not sure if it was in my wrist, elbow, shoulder, or neck). For that reason I’ve really not been able to comment much – even for this comment I’ve had to pause every 5-10 words to scratch/stretch/flex my hands. The itchy feeling is the worst…really.

    4. Saturday evening – after we cleaned the house and the coat closet (finally!) – we took a stroll around town, playing tourist. I bought this cute little wood carving of a Gieco-esque ‘gecko’:


    I named him ‘Simon’ in honor of a British friend (due to visit in October!) who sounds just like the Geico gecko. I bet you think my little Simon is hideous, too, doncha Joe? 😉 ANYways, It was our first time in town all summer, mostly because it’s been so damn hot this year that we never wanted to leave the comfort of our AC.

    5. Sunday after services we went to the beach with friends. My second time this year! It’s a record! It was quite breezy and cool (though off shore it was very toasty), but once in the water it was perfect. Rough surf, and I got exhausted jumping the waves and fighting the current. It was a good exhausted, though. We finished up the day with a nice, casual dinner at a Mexican joint down the street. Nice day.

    6. Already commented under yesterday’s entry about spending the day with a 9-year old friend and taking him (and us!) to the zoo…a nice end to the holiday weekend.

    7. Looking forward to a [hopefully] rainy day tomorrow! I’m gonna try to convince the boss (dad 😛 ) to let me work from home…I just love listening to the rain while working. However, not really sure how much I can do with these hands of mine, they are driving me INSANE! *scratch/stretch/flex….AAARRGGH!*

    I like the number 7 so I’ll end it there. 🙂 Have a good night, Joe and Akemi! Give the puppies smoochies from me!


  2. All those pictures are really nice of you and your friends. The one of you and Akemi is cute. Sarah is very pretty too! What do you mean “hideous lamp”? That lamp is awesome! Looks like a Texas treasure.

    When you get back to Vancouver why don’t you get a PO Box? Then you can give us the address and just sit back and wait for all the goodies to come in…like a homemade birthday card.

    I read Peyton Manning will not be playing in the first game. Guess you’ll have to go with Tony Romo. 😆 😆 😆

    Where does Gilder live in Texas? I’m wondering because Texas is on fire right now in several places including outside Dallas/Fort Worth (me), down near Houston, and a super huge wildfire outside of Austin. They have burned 25 thousand acres and destroyed more than 500 homes. I’m afraid the only thing that will stop it is rain. Pray for rain.

  3. @ JeffW – Speaking of pain…

    Many moons ago when I had my 4 wisdom teeth pulled (with just novocaine because I’m totally badass 😀 ), the dentist gave me Darvocet afterwards. All it did was make me feel out of my head and sleepy – but I still was aware that I was in pain. So I switched to Tylenol with Codeine (which my sister had and which is basically the same) and it was no different from the Darvocet…I was totally out of it, but still aware of pain. So, I switched to just plain extra-strength Tylenol. My head cleared and the pain went away. When it comes to pain meds, I swear by ‘less is more’.


  4. that is a hideous lamp, but i have seen worse.

    BTW did you ever post that video about the deep fried twinkie? i remember the mars bar & the other cake-like thing, but not the twinkie.

  5. @ Das – your Gieco-esque ‘gecko’ little wood carving is awesome too! I have tons of little gecko’s living on and around my house. They are cute, but their poo sticks to the walls.

    Oh and Joe, the Texas State Fair has fried salsa, and fried bubblegum this year. The fried bubblegum is a dyed pink marshmellow with pieces of gum stuffed inside.

  6. @ Joe – , I totally agree with Ponytail – you need to get a PO box or something so we can send you stuff. I mean, you can’t be dropping all these hints about wanting stuff without giving us an address to mail them to.

    @ Everybody – Anyone know how to go about shipping live snakes?


    @ Alex – I still think the lamp is cool. Just looking at it makes me wanna dust off a Louis L’Amour book and drag out my Johnny West dolls, horses and tack, and saddle ’em up! For those who have no idea what I am talking about, it was just about the best toy, EVER!:



  7. @ PBMom – Late, very late comments – hope things get better soon.

    Joe, cool pix of everyone. LOL – although I’ve neve sampled camel or kangaroo, kinda figured any unusual stuff would ge very nicely with beer!

    Sorry, have to ditto what Das said…shudda been Akemi and me. No, I ain’t grammar or grampar police as I butcher the language kinda good myself.

    At least you did not have really neat looking food pix to make me hungry. But the coconut drinkie poos you and Alex had look good, especially with the smiles on your faces. So, in your honour am having a drinkey poo, but not in a coconut container. Yes…that is a Canadian, Australian, English kind of honour not US one.
    nite nite all

  8. @Ponytail – Gilder and I live in San Antonio. There were grassfires up near her side of town this afternoon.

    Looks like a good weekend was had by all!

  9. Wow. Due to the evacuation as well as switching my browser thingy over to Firefox, I haven’t been to Moorcock’s site for about two weeks. Just learned that Mike, his wife Linda, and their kitties have to evacuate due to the fires in their area (Bastrop). Sad to think he may lose all his Elric-related stuff, not to mention everything else, but better to lose ‘stuff’ than your life.

    Thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Texas – wish you were getting the rain we’ve been getting, and praying that you do. This has been a wicked summer, and I just can’t imagine dealing with the heat and dryness you folks in Texas have had to live with this year. I HATE drought – I get depressed and go kinda nuts when there is no rain (see the movie Black Narcissus ), and when it does start to rain after a long dry spell I get absolutely giddy, sorta like that night I drank too much and wanted to eat at White Cloud. 😛


  10. Good for you Joe, doing only six projects instead of fourteen; that’s the way to relax! The pilot project sounds veeerry interesting.

    Great pictures, Sarah is gorgeous, lucky Alexander! Does Trevor own his own restaurant?

    Please give cheers to the mega-awesome Lisa Park.

    So why not head over to Tokyo with Akemi for a few months, so she can reapply for a new visa? If you can jet over with the pugs you could actually live in Tokyo, improve your language skills and get totally immersed.

  11. LOL my friend’s mother had a lamp almost exactly like that. You have no taste. ROFLMAO. (okay I don’t want to own it either but still…)

  12. good to see Sunshine again and he has a good reason to smile with such a beautiful wife. they look so happy together. good job, sunshine!

    glad to hear you have your priorities in order. staying in TO in order to socialize with friends is really important. good for you.

    with the weather getting better, and your not being in traffic in order to get to the office, you acutally might enjoy your time in TO. It might even be enjoyable!

  13. @ Das – you have friends/relatives in Bastrop County? Oh my gosh, that is the hardest hit area by the wildfires. I hope they are safe and their house was spared. (By the way, as a teen, I read pretty much every Louis L’Amour book I could get my hands on. Loved western books…and ghost stories.)

    @ Nola Shingledecker – Couldn’t remember exactly where Gilder was. Glad you both are okay. PBMom is in San Antonio too, I believe. It all depends on which way the wind blows now. Whichever way it blows, so go the fires. Very scarey!

  14. Make sure you give us an address for sending our crazy birthday cards.
    Hope all works out with Akemi!

  15. Agreed. We need a PO Box for you. Also, I really like the way you “subtly” promote your comic book. Reminds me of “Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.” from Idiocracy. Fantastic movie and kinda scary in a lot of respects. It could easily be a future documentary. I like money, though… 😉


    PS. That’s a nice Les Paul. From this far away it could either be a standard(American made) or maybe even a ’59 reissue. If it’s the latter, then we’re talkin’ BIG bucks! Either way, great axe. A shame what the government’s doing to Gibson down here. 🙁

  16. Wow! You have quite the social life. The pictures were nice. Also, wishing you luck for all the ongoing projects.

    We’re dealing with flooding from Tropical Storm Lee today. Interesting to deal with 50-60 mile wind gusts and 7 inches of rain three days after you move in.

    Have a great day!!!!

  17. @ Ponytail – Michael Moorcock (Elric’s creator) lives in Bastrop, and that’s who I am concerned about right now. Hubby does have an uncle and cousins that live in the Austin area, but as far as I know (since I haven’t heard anything alarming from my mother-in-law), they are not in the danger zone.

    In all honesty, I’ve never read a Louis L’Amour book. 😛 My brother – a real western freak – has, and Mr. Das’ favorite book of all time is L’Amour’s Last of the Breed. He reads it every other year, usually in the winter. I think he as at least 3 copies of it. He just loves that story.


  18. @das: Yahoo, Johnny West–I still have the whole set from when I was a kid. Now I also have real horses and dogs–remember Flick and Flack? As for sore fingers, my naturopathic doctor friend put me onto a cream called Zeel (by Heel, yes, really that’s the name) for osteoarthritis. She was very surprised how well it works and so was I. But it is only for osteoarthritis–us middle aged types who do a lot of work with hands tend to get it in our joints and it flares up once in awhile.

    @Joe: you want homemade b-day cards, give us a way to get them to you!

  19. @das – Did you hear what Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl said at Dragon*Con about your dear Todd?

  20. @Das:

    Tylenol doesn’t do much for me except when I have a fever, so I don’t take it often. But then again, I don’t have chronic pain, so I haven’t had a reason to use it often.

    Sounds like you had a relaxing and fun weekend; mine was spent repairing cars and emptying storage lockers…not really fun. I did bake a cheesecake and smoke some country ribs though, which the family enjoyed yesterday.


    Despite having “Time-off” it sounds like you’ll be very busy. Funny how free-time is like closet-space…it always fills up with something 😉 I’m hoping you all can work out the visa issue!

  21. @das – I have atypical reactions to pain medicines and many, many other medicines, too. What may look like toughing out childbirth and gall bladder attacks is plenty about not adding side effects and dashed hope to the ordeals.

    I do have much love for anti-inflammatories, though, as long as I don’t need enough to cause ulcers.


    Joe, would you need a work permit if you did all your work in the cloud* from Japan? What kind of bento breakfasts would you make for Akemi?

  22. I loved the pictures! It looks like you have tons of fun all the time. I’m jealous. I especially liked how you worked your B-day in 😉 .

    So if Akemi had to go back to Japan, wouldn’t she be able to reapply or is there a time period limit?

    I saw the picture of the S’more the other day. It is kind of ironic to me that with all the money you pay for fine dining, Akemi likes S’mores the best!

    Oh my Das, you are in rare form! I hope your carpal tunnel clears up soon.

    It’s a weird weather year! I did wonder about Hurricane Lee affecting Lisa R but I was hoping she was too far from the coast. I’m in Northern Mississippi (Memphis, TN area) and all we got was a small amount of rain with some wind. Prayers to all the people affected by these storms/fires.

    PBmom: Feeling better?

  23. @Tam Dixon: Thanks for thinking of me. We got LOTS of rain which caused localized flooding. The schools in our county and in downtown Birmingham have been cancelled for today. We also had high wind gusts. (50-60 mph)

  24. @ Bilo&Bella – Woo!! Lemme see…I had a bunch of horses – the big brown one, the articulated one, I think a brown one trotting (or maybe I’m thinking of the articulated one), a big standing palomino, Flame (I remember that one’s name), and maybe another one. I had Johnny, Jane, and one Indian, and the buckboard. I just loved those toys…they let me use my imagination, not like so many toys today.

    @ JeffW & DP – I avoid pain meds as much as possible – I’ll go a year, maybe even two or three, without taking them. Then when I really do need some help, one regular strength aspirin usually does the trick, but I have to be desperate to take it. Not for any reason in particular other than I don’t want to become dependent on pain meds, and since I can only take aspirin and Tylenol I’m always concerned about rotting out my stomach, or my liver.

    @ Tammy Dixon – Rare form? Didn’t you read my comments the other day – I prefer well done! 😉

    @ afg1 – NOPE…did not hear their comments…sooooo…

    Do tell, DO TELL! 🙂


  25. @ das –

    1) Part of it is here and you can read for yourself 😉

    2) In a panel Q&A, someone came up and said that they knew it was far fetched but had they ever thought of having Todd come to the sanctuary? Amanda and Christopher kind of looked at each other and you could see the lightbulbs go off. Christopher said it made sense because the city had come to Earth and now what the heck were they going to do with him. Amanda wrote it down on her List of Things From the Panel.

  26. Thanks, afg1 (and Deni 😉 )!!

    Firstly, we all know that Todd can’t keep his hands off of Sheppard. The bigger question here is can Chris keep his hands off of Flanigan. 😉

    Secondly, that would be a brilliant move to bring Todd to Sanctuary – I’ve been hoping for something like that. The Big Guy meets Todd…it would make for a most amusing episode. 😀


  27. @das– I lurk here and have only commented a couple of times. About the carpal tunnel; check out an herbal supplement called ZMA (zinc-magnesium aspertate) it’s a “sports recovery” vitamin. Make sure you find one with *no* calcium. Follow it’s directions to the letter. I suffer from the same issue. (well, not anymore) (I’ll check this comment thread if you are interested. If not that’s ok 🙂 ) I hope this helps! (I can send my email to chat further if you are at all interested!) good luck.

  28. @ Marsh – I will ask at my local health joint about that, thanks for the tip! I am fairly busy right now so it might take me a few days, but if I have any questions or comments I will post them here (I will try to post on this blog entry, but I might forget and post in the most recent one. Got any ideas what to do for memory? 😛 ).


  29. I’m home all. Got home last night about 9 p.m. This was after a very long night and day. I’ve got pictures thought of it finally and I’ll post.

    As far as where I am in Texas, I’m in The Woodlands which is the town adjacent to Magnolia where a lot of those fires were. Not the real bad ones in Bastrop, but these were pretty bad. Lots of subdivisions I know evacuated. I live up against a forest preserve so I’m keeping my eye on that Magnolia fire.

    The Woodlands is 30 minutes north of downtown Houston.

    @LisaR: I’m so glad to hear about your husband’s job. Congratulations.

    @Das: Love your stories of your adventures trying to get back home. You will never know how worried I was about you.

    @Joe: Thank you for the blog dedication. Now that you will be moving, we need a PO Box to mail you things, or to your agent — whichever.

    Wait until you all see the pictures. Yes it feels as bad as they look. I’ll upload to YFrog and then post the link.

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