I can lie awake in bed for hours, waiting to fall asleep, but put me in a meeting and I can doze off in no time at all.  In addition to meetings, I’ve found that other snoozy-worthy environments include the back seat of a bus, during a late afternoon viewing of a mix, and any dinner outing at which someone feels the need to open up about a recent relationship gone wrong.  And, after today, I’m going to add “while driving from Montreal to Toronto” to that list.  Fortunately, the staccato burst of shoulder gravel impacting the underside of my SUV was enough to rouse me from my deep slumber.  And, at one point, I was actually considering driving cross-country back to Vancouver!

Uh oh

A pretty good weekend for my Snow Monkeys (seeking supremacy in the R.I.P. Stargate fantasy football league).  Despite some monster stats from the likes of Adrian Peterson, Jahvid Best, and Ryan Fitzpatrick (who I started over Romo, thank you very much), it looks like we’re going down to the wire.  We’re down 20 points (thanks to Miles Austin and Michael Turner) but have an opportunity to wrack up some points in tonight’s Monday night tussle.  He’s got Giant RB Ahmad Bradshaw.  I counter with Rams RB Cadillac Williams (a late waiver wire addition when I heard Jackson went down) and Giants #1 WR Hakeem Nicks. It’s gonna be close!  Our friend (and former Stargate Special Features Producer) Ivon Bartok faces a similar scenario.  His team, The Running Dead, need Mike Sims-Walker to come up big and get the 20 points required to pull of a week 2 win.  Wish us luck!

Some snaps from the weekend…

Lulu says "Pass the biscotti!"
Baby. Adorable, no?
Mom's dog #1: Felix. Or, as I like to call him, Barky Barkerson.
Mom's dog #2: Caramel. She adopted him so he already came named. Caramel! Who would name their male dog Caramel?
Lulu fluffs up her new favorite pillow. Baby cat.

Maximus protects his kill.
The pugs relax will Ringu's Sadako works on her laptop.
Maximus works on his nice, even tan.

Sis's dog #1: Aspen (aka Sneezy).

Sis's dog #2: Roxie (Roxy?).

One of Sis's innumerable cats: Rapini.

Another one of Sis's innumerable cats: Chantilly.

34 thoughts on “September 19, 2011: I need a less comfy car! Snow Monkeys in trouble! Pet pics!

  1. Your sister has a beautiful looking furry family – Chantilly especially. Baby has to be the most un-cute feline that I have ever seen. I have said in the past that there is no such thing as an ugly cat – I will no longer be saying this. 😉

    Is your sister a C.C.L. – Crazy Cat Lady?

  2. Oh. gosh yes….be careful on the long drives UNLESS you have company to keep you awake. Clearly if you had to rely on gravel, they were likely snoozing too.

    Great snaps of the kids. I do have to apologize for referring to Baby as a she/her…forgot he was a him. I shudda remembered because Baby has almost got handle bar whiskers.

    Love your caption of Lulu fluffing up her “baby pillow.”

  3. I live in such a small country that I forget how big Canada is. A long journey for me would probably be about an hour – but I get car sick so it might be much much shorter.

  4. I will say that Baby looks rather, um, evil. The dogs however are totally cute!

    I hear ya on the sleepiness thing – the bus particularly makes me doze off, especially on the way home. I think it’s the loud drone of the engine. Or something. Anyway, be careful of driving while tired! It’s a recipe for disaster. I find that if I’m getting sleepy while driving, especially if I find my eyelids are “heavy”, I pull over and have about a 10-15 minute nap. The trick is as soon as you wake up again, immediately get out, have a stretch and get going again. I find doing that makes a HUGE difference and can go for quite a while before needing to do it again. It can also be the difference between getting to your destination fine and being, you know, dead!

  5. Great artistic photo of Chantilly. Lulu and Baby are the odd couple.
    They say Romo has a broken rib and a puntured lung (partially collasped). Next game (next Monday night) is a wait and see if he will start.

  6. Sounds like you need a less boring car. I have been contemplating buying an Audi (an A3, not a Q7), but now you’re making me reconsider.

  7. I’m glad you’re okay, Joe. Don’t drive tired. We like you and would like to have you around for a lot longer.

    Great pictures today and I loved all of the family pictures you’ve been posting the last couple of days.

    Is that actually Baby with Lulu? And Baby puts up with it? What a mellow cat.

    Back to lurking now.

  8. The cat is evil.

    The stuff of nightmares.

    I worry about Lulu.

    Sneezy and friend are cute. The second dog look like a regular Loki.

  9. @ Deni
    That cute pooch is my girl, Roxy. For some reason Joe omitted the picture of my third cat, Thyme… guess he didn’t want anybody thinking I was a C.C.L.

  10. Poor Sis’s dog number 2, so cute but no name? Your sisters cats are beautiful as are Aspen and no name.

    Did your mom shave Baby for the summer?

    All the dogs look pretty mellow and relaxed.

    Thanks to your mom, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts and all pets for allowing their photos to be shared.

  11. I forgot to say, Caramel sort of looks like a caramel and one of my cats looks a lot like Chantilly.

  12. Come on Joe, I’ve driven through the mountains between Edmonton and Vancouver (a 12 hour drive) several times. You just learn tricks regarding how to get there in one piece. First, find someone no older than 25 to drive you. For some odd reason, they are not nearly as likely to fall asleep as we older geezers are. Second, failing the young person availability, try consuming lots of coffee and talking to Akemi. Tell her she’s not permitted to sleep. Besides, she will miss the most beautiful parts of this great country of ours, especially all the trees in Ontario. I dare her to keep a running total of how many she sees. When you reach Manitoba, the next thought you will have is, “Hey, where are all the trees?” Seriously, if you think you are fed up with the vast quantity of pines in Canada, the open prairies will make you wonder if you just landed on another planet. As you proceed, you’ll quickly learn why it takes no time to cross three provinces by car. The road is so straight, if one of your dogs get lost you won’t have to search for him or her for the next day or two since you’ll see him or her still running away. Once you reach Edmonton, let me know and I’ll come have lunch with you. There are some awesome restaurants here…uh, no, not really.

    I must admit that the Rocky mountains in Alberta, and the Coast Mountains of B.C are breathtaking and are really worth the travel time. You won’t be disappointed. After all, those many, many, many Japanese tourists in the buses I’ve seen along the Trans Canada highway can’t be wrong.


  13. Baby is the scariest cat I’ve ever seen.

    Speaking of cats, we took Big Girl Kitty to the vet and she is okay…just a bad case of cat ‘herpes’, so she got a steroid shot. Whew. Hopefully that will do the trick.

    RE: Sleepy time. I fall asleep to TV very easily. Maybe it’s because I use the TV as a sleeping pill, but if I try to watch anything (sitting up or reclining) – no matter how exciting or how many albinos are in it – I start to nod off unless I’m multitasking. Playing solitaire, writing, reading – yes, reading – like this blog, doing puzzles, jigsaw or otherwise, organizing drawers, counting coins…ANYthing to keep me busy, and awake. Needless to say, since I’m multitasking, I rarely can remember what I’ve just watched! TV is such a waste of time in my case. 😛

    Cars are my second best sleeping pill. For the most part, I only talk on the cellphone (hands free!) when I’m driving, simply to keep myself awake. At home I listen to nice, soothing music, but in the car I have to listen to hard, heavy stuff if I’m going to stay awake. Repetitive, droning music – like rap, pop, and country – puts me in snooze mode, no matter how loud it is. I even have to be careful with groups I love, like Tool, because they have longer instrumental breaks in their songs than most groups, and music alone can have me nodding off in no time. So far, the best thing to keep me awake on a long drive is Rob Zombie’s music, especially Thunderkiss 65…but it also makes me drive waaaay too fast! 😛

    However, I’m having a big problem with more current rock music. It’s just not keeping me awake! Like the aforementioned rap, pop, and country, rock has lost it’s edge, and has become very repetitive and pedestrian – it all sounds the same! I miss the grunge, industrial and nu metal stuff…even alternative rock (is there ANY out there now?)…and I am REALLY sick of the ‘Buckcherry’ sound. Some good stuff out there, I suppose, but (because of time, etc) I rely on the radio to hear what’s new, and nothing sounds ‘new’ to me anymore. I tend to like whatever Jack White does (esp. the The Raconteurs), and no matter how soft the song, Eddie Vedder can get me stirred up, no matter what. Just love his voice. But, for the most part, there’s nothing that’s catching my ear these days. Needless to say, I’m wearing out my old CDs, listening to music that is no longer relevant, like Korn. I swear I must listen to that Issues CD about 10 times all the way through each week…just driving to and from work and running errands. I mean…I am nearly 50 years old! I shouldn’t have ‘issues’ anymore! BUT, hey, it keeps me awake!

    And wow…did I ramble, or what? 😛

    Okay…just because I did ramble, I’ll leave you a good driving song (it just makes me happy…despite the video 😉 …and happy driver is an awake driver! ). It’s an oldie, but goodie, from the 90s…I loved it then, and still love it now (okay…I’m in love with the guy’s voice…he got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he…).



  14. BE CAREFUL! I don’t want to read about your death. I would be greatly traumatized. You know they are making cars now that will tell you that you are falling asleep. Pretty cool, huh? Maybe on your next upgrade. In the meantime, be careful. Thanks for all the cute pet pics. I’m a sucker for them.

  15. Wonderful furry friends! But seriously, did Baby try to join the Marines or something? Too hot? Fleas? Shedding issues?

    @das… yes, TV puts me out. I have to record everything if I want to see the ending. And cars, very much so. Hubby now drives truck for a living, he can put in 11 hours behind the wheel legally… and yes, he hates certain music for driving. Our friend likes clever songs he knows the words to for our long road trips; while MyLarry must have something upbeat and fast paced. The Gimme Gimme covers have done the trick in the past. Personally, I have to go crawl in the sleeper bunk after a few hours. Although scenery can keep me awake, but would be a disaster if I actually drove.
    I have no idea how he does it day after day. Certainly isn’t coffee, he’s one of those hyper people whose brain is wired backwards. Caffeine makes him sleepy!

  16. Okay, after my surprise from reading about your falling asleep while driving, I don’t need coffee to wake up this morning. Be careful. Think of the kids, Akemi, yourself, and other folks on the road, please! Years ago, I was a member of an astronomy club. I also worked a labor intensive full time day job, cared for one small child, two large dogs, three cats, and a house. It was not unusual for me to fall asleep in the middle of a night time astronomy club event. Often, while someone was speaking to me.

    Baby is rocking his summer cut. Very surreal. Allowing Lulu to use him as a pillow earns Baby lots of awesomely mellow points. Love the photos of the all the babies.

  17. Andria/sis

    My brother thinks that I am nuts because I prefer to live with two cats – they are my friends and my babies.

    Maybe we could start a planet wide C.C.L. cyber-group. 😉

    I love dogs too – but cats are fun because they do what they want to do, when they want to do and don’t give a sh*t – unless that sh*t is in the neighbours garden!


    Susan – slave to Frankie and Princess Merlin

  18. My headache (oops – precious angel) Rodney is a Schnoodle that looks a great deal like Felix. And, he is a barking maniac, as well… Sympathies to everyone in earshot when he decides to let loose…

  19. Joe, have you ever considered pet portrait photography as your next gig? Some nice pictures of them gazing off into the distance there. By the way, what’s up with your Mom’s cat. Why no body fur?

  20. @Sis: Well, if Joe thinks you’re CCL, what does that make him? Heh, what does that make me? Four dogs and a mess of feral cats, 3 of which have decided they’re “mine” now. 🙂 All of yours are gorgeous!

  21. That is the way most Persians look. Unless they are show cats or have owners that will brush them every day that is. I stick with mixed short haired breed felines (DSH-domestic short haired) myself.

    Falling asleep driving? Maybe you should try the Das’s method of focusing while driving: The Death Star approach 😀 .

    Love The Pictures!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  22. “while driving from Montreal to Toronto”…Would “while driving from Toronto to Montreal” have had you falling asleep, too?

    You’re free now! You do what you want when you want and, if you think someone’s taking advantage of you, you easily walk away. No worries, stop and sleep when you want, keep going when you want, eat when you want, play when you want. Destroy something (then cut a check) if you want, which you probably won’t want to, knowing you, but, just sayin’, if you want.

  23. Be careful!
    My trick is to listen music very loud and if it’s not enough I open the window.
    Love the pictures.

  24. @ Ponytail – From a couple days ago – I love your additions to the list! 😉

    @maggiemayday – I like to sleep to things that I really love (it’s psychological – if I WANT to watch it, I will surely fall asleep 😛 ). When I have trouble sleeping, I often just ‘watch’ Inspector Lewis, but only my absolute favorite episodes. It’s like being wrapped in a warm, cozy blanket…with Sgt. Hathaway whispering sweet nothings in my ear. 🙂 That said, musicals and comedies will wake me right up, as will lighter shows, like Psych. I love Psych, and can fall asleep to it, but I can’t stay asleep. I think it’s because the show is a bit ‘hyper’, and comedies are ‘hyper’, and musicals are ‘hyper’, and my subconscious picks up on that and I become hyper myself. So dramas and film noir and mysteries are what I prefer.

    Now, about driving. If I am driving to a location I tend to get excited and hyper and have no trouble staying awake. It’s always the drive home that makes me start to nod off. I do scare myself sometimes, and have a lot of tricks to keep awake (music, phone, drinking water, etc), but if I just can’t fight it then I stop somewhere until the attack of the sleepies passes.

    @ Tam Dixon – To this day I use the Death Star Approach when driving in city traffic. It really helps me block out the distractions (unless those distractions are in the car… *glares at Mr. “Oo! -Oo!-Look-at-that!” Das. 🙄 ).


  25. Joe,

    I realize this probably is not the best way to contact you, but I figured it would not hurt. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and have always appreciated your insights, candid posts and scrumptious looking food. I am also a big fan of Stargate and your work there.

    The reason I’m writing is because I recently graduated and am looking to take my next step. I would appreciate any advice you might have for someone wanting to get into the television industry.

    I have considered moving to be in a better location for work, but was curious about which city might be the best place ‘to be’, in your opinion. LA, Vancouver, or somewhere else?

    I recall you mentioning that writing for animation was a good way to get into the writing scene, but I’m not sure where to start.

    I have written several feature length screenplays and many teleplays. In addition, I was one of the top five finalists in the 2011 CinemaSpoke Screenwriting Contest.

    I am passionate about writing, but am fascinated with all aspects of TV production. Especially on the planning and producing side.

    Thank you for your time and this blog.

  26. Insert lecture on driving sleepy. You know the drill.
    Your mom’s poor damned cat. It is going to start stealing money out of her purse to pay for boarding next time you bring the rude dog, lol.
    Lulu wants her own cat.

  27. The gravel at the side of the road is helpful that way. The little reflective dots work well too.
    I’ve spent the past week driving my parents around while we’ve been on vacation in Ireland. Falling asleep at the wheel has been the least of my worries. The whole driving on the left side of the road thing I could manage, but when you add the gear shift on the left side, the five foot wide roads, and my dad yelling at me every ten seconds… Well, let’s just say it’s been an adventure. (I’ll admit that it probably hasn’t helped that I’m not just used to traveling independently — I’m used to traveling alone.)
    But despite the harrowing driving we’ve mostly enjoyed ourselves, except now we just got word from my parents’ cat-sitting neighbor that Roxie (their cat) had to be rushed to the emergency pet clinic wig some kind of mass obstructing her breathing. Don’t know yet what’s wrong but now we’re trying to figure out how we could get home to California before Saturday (our scheduled return date) if needed. My mom’s worried sick. (My dad and I are worried too, but Roxie has always been most attached to mom.)
    My parents’ neighbors are pretty amazing, though. Their teenage daughter was watching RoxieCat and called in her parents web she saw she wasn’t eating. Her parents took her to the pet emergency place and stayed there with her until midnight. And my folks dont even really know these people very well — someone else just recommended the teenager as a reliable catsitter. Good neighbors.
    Loved all the pet picks. Poor Baby being used as a pillow! But at least it might help keep her warm with the lion cut.
    – KB

  28. Poor Baby, what’s with calling her names? Evil? Ugly? Nah, she’s just a vielle dame who doesn’t cotton to hijinks or tomfoolery. She looks a lot like my gran, all she’s missing is the cat glasses.

    I think you could make a fortune on Baby the Cat dolls; the pugs seems to love her. Does Lulu sense that Baby isn’t well? Seems like the pugs know when one of their friends needs a little extra TLC.

    I haven’t slept well for days now, I started two new projects and keep waking up hourly to jot down more notes and quips. I’ve long given up on hoping I’ll remember that really great line the next day; when the muse strikes I have to get up and write, sleep be damned.

  29. Joe, thanks for the pix of the kidz. Is Baby feeling any better? (Think you’d said he was elderly and had health issues.) Glad Maximus was able to make the trip, and that nobody got hurt while driving home! Please stay awake, stop for a cat nap when necessary, etc. Akemi and the doggies and your family need you. 🙂

    Sis, is Aspen getting around better now? Roxy is really cute.

    Deni, we hadn’t planned on it, but we have six feral cats now, believe it or not. (Minus “little one,” the one who left this earth so soon.) At the end of winter, we took pity on a feral cat who looked hungry. It turned out to be a pregnant “she,” who had a litter of six kittens. Mama cat is still around, and loves to dance around our ankles. The remaining kittens are 6 or 7 months old. Sassy Dad even cooks for them. (You should hear him talk to them.)

  30. Hi Joe-
    I’m back, well never really left, I had been periodically reading your blog, just been so stressed and too busy to reply to anything, BUT now I have quit my abusive job!!! I can relate to a blog you posted about being out of your routine. Though I am still busy – I really don’t have a routine.

    Glad to see the pups are doing well, I was saddened by Maximus – hope you got my email.

    You have a lovely family four legged and two. Your mom is amazing, God bless her – I think she has more energy than I do ( still recovering from the emotional abuse).

    And now to keep me more busy – we’re moving!!!!! As you know,Joe, no easy task.

    Good to see everyone again. Sorry I have been out of touch, but my job really did a number on me.

    All the best.

  31. Well, I just got word that my parents’ cat has died. Damn.
    My parents don’t even know yet – It’s 1:00 AM here and I got the call since it’s my phone we’re using for the trip.
    Damn damn damn.
    Sorry to be such a downer,
    – KB

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