“Tastes like old taxi driver.”  – Akemi on the gazpacho we had at Origin

“Tastes like Santa Claus’s socks.” – Akemi on foie gras.

While in Toronto, we were visiting my elderly aunt when the conversation turned to cell phone plans.  Mom, miffed, suggested my sister and I change the topic of conversation to something my Auntie Jeanette could talk about too.  We were at a loss.  Finally, my aunt: “Let’s talk about coffins.”

An awkward lull and then Akemi piped up: “I like cappuccino!”

“Not coffee,”I informed her.  “Coffins.”

Akemi: “What difference?”

Today broke down thusly:

8:00 – 9:00 – Wake up, check my fantasy football waiver wire pick-ups (dropped the disgraceful Cadillac Williams for Dexter McCluster, fumblesome Greg Salas for Tennesse’s Nate Washington, and ineffective Marshawn Lynch for Miami’s Daniel Thomas), shower, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, go over some of the documents for Akemi’s sponsorship.  I can’t believe how many forms we need to fill out.  I’m convinced our lawyer didn’t tell us for fear we would be discouraged by the veritable mountain of applications, bio requests, and questionnaires.

9:00 – 10:00: Photocopy personal info, print up rare dated photos of Akemi and me (thank goodness for her facebook friends) and then date and offer details on exactly where we were, what we were doing, and who we were doing it with.

Stopped by the gas station to check my tire pressure because the tire pressure warning light went off in my car.  Pressure looks okay, but I topped off the tires anyway.  Warning light still on.  It wouldn’t concern me so much if I didn’t have to drive all the way to Guelph and back tomorrow for Maximus’s anti-cancer vaccine.

Went (ran) to the optometrist and picked up Akemi’s contact lenses.  Boring old two-weeks, no violets or teals or those ones that make your pupils enormous.

10:30 – Drop off Jelly at the vet’s for her stem cell treatment.  I find it amazing that Peyton Manning has to go all the way to Europe to get a similar treatment while our dogs can get theirs here in North America.  With terrific results.  My 12 year old pug went from being unable to walk to run-wobbling down carpeted corridors.  Thank you, Vet-Stem (Vet-Stem | Dog Arthritis Stem Cell Therapy | Horse Tendon Ligament).

11:00 – Accompany Akemi to her medical (another sponsorship-related hoop).  She was extremely nervous about having her blood drawn.  Beyond the curtain, I could hear her conversation with the concerned nurse –

Akemi: Will it hurt?

Nurse: I’m not going to lie to you.  It may a bit.  (Okay make a fist)

Akemi: (unintelligible fretting)

Nurse: Have you heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Akemi: Ah.  I know Yogi Bear!

1:00 – Down the wire, then a mad dash back downtown for a meeting at the Space offices.  They kind of reminded me of the Nickelodeon offices.  A nice sit down with Rebecca DiPasquali.  They’ve got a lot of interesting shows poised to go.  On my out, we ran into Ajay Fry, co-host of the fabulous InnerSPACE. Told him how much I enjoyed the show and thanked him and the gang for doing such a great job of supporting the Stargate franchise for many years.

2:00 – Drop off documents with the lawyer.  There, I’m informed that the fingerprint check I endured last week should have actually been for Akemi.  On the bright side, I apparently don’t have a criminal record.

2:30 – Meet blog regular Penny for some hot chocolate and chocolates.  She’s very sweet.  Akemi: “I like her a lot!”.

4:00 -Back home, on the phone with my agents and various other interested parties.

4:30 – Pick up Jelly from the vet clinic.  Have to say, we’ll really miss Dr. Juan Elduayen, one of the most knowledgeable and compassionate vets to ever treat my dogs.  Thanks to Juan and the rest of the gang at The Front Street Animal Hospital (including Cynthia, Chelsey and hospital mascot Ollie).

Left the vet clinic to discover I got a ticket.  And, it was raining.

5:30 – Walk the other three dogs.  Following Lulu’s lead, Maximus has adopted the annoying habit of stopping and staring at people until they pay attention to him.  Last night, we walk by a couple in the middle of a heated argument.  Maximus stops and stares up at the angry blond with his big, soulful eyes.  I give him a tug.  He responds by lying down, not taking his eyes off the woman until she notices him.  The couple stop arguing and spend the next ten minutes fawning over Maximus – and Lulu who quickly seizes the opportunity to shoehorn her way in there as well.

Get waylaid by a surprise phone call on our way to pick up dinner.  Akemi grows increasingly miffed as I offer a long line of “No comments”.  Finally, we head inside and order oxtail, jerk chicken, and plantain.

6:00 – 6:30 – Dinner.  Turn down a crazy trade offer that would have seen me give up Roddy White and Jahvid Best for Jordy Nelson and Shonn Greene.  I mean, come on!

7:00 – Start working on my blog.

7:57: Start fielding your mailbag questions.

Dr. D writes: “Have you done or thought about doing a Q&A on Dark Matter?”

Answer: I’ll definitely be doing a Q&A in support of my comic book series Dark Matter (for Dark Horse) after the first issue comes out in January.  My editor, Patrick Thorpe, informs me the solicitation for the first issue will appear in the November Previews.  Watch for it!

Dr. D also writes: “Do you use or know of any computer programs that help with organizing ideas for writing stories?

Answer: I use a simple beat sheet or outline to organize my story ideas.  Other writes I know prefer to use index cards.  Sorry, don’t know of any software programs that would help in this regard.

Airelle writes: “Joe how was Max’s dr visit? Is all your packing just about done? Is Akemi excited to go back to Van?”

Answer: Maximus heads in for his next anti-cancer vaccine tomorrow.  Far from finished packing.  And, yes, Akemi is very excited to head back to Van. First stop: Bella Gelateria.

BMc writes: “Joe, is the outline for the Tara Yelland Project done yet?”

Answer:  No way.  This isn’t your run-of-the-mill network pilot.  This is the Tara Yelland Project!  Not something I can just dash off in a couple of months.

kabra writes: “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!!!”

Answer: Congrats (I hope)!  Life’s Too Short!

Mike Ferguson writes: “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?”

Answer: Best location?  LA by far.  Head down, get an agent, start making connections.

Mike Ferguson writes: “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.”

Answer: Do a little research.  Check out some Saturday morning television and take note of the production studios.  Contact them about writing opportunities on their various shows.  Have some writing samples standing by and ready to show.

Duptiang. writes: “The food looks great, but sounds so different. It is not something I would knowingly order, except the macaroons. Ever think of setting up some sort of food tour?”

Answer: Would love to lead a Vancouver (or Tokyo) food tour.  Who’s in?

8:14 – Head down to the gym after being guilted by Akemi, realize Survivor is on and gripe about missing it, head back to the gas station and check the air pressure in all four tires, notice the tire pressure warning light is still on (Akemi: “Maybe if we drive like this tomorrow we will be passed away.”), walk all four dogs at once.

9:36 – Resume answering mailbag questions…

Lloyd67 writes: “Do you know what the staff are doing Stargate since the end of the series?”

Answer: Some.  Writer/Exec. Producer Carl Binder is finishing work on Transporter.  Exec. Producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper are back on the west coast, working on their own projects.  Writer/Supervising Producer Alan McCullough is about to start a gig on Lost Girl.  Alex Levine is working on Flashpoint. Martin Gero and Jewel Staite are working on Highland Gardens.

Penny writes: “What will Carl be up to after Friday? Is he heading also to Vancouver or elsewhere?”

Answer: Carl is homeward bound – not BC but California.

Sylvia writes: “Great story about the meds. and Auntie Jeanette looks much more spry than I do and I’m quite a bit younger. hmmmm. And, what is the secret of her youth and energy?”

Answer: Eating sensibly, walking every day, and bathing in the blood of twenty virgins.

JeffW writes: “So how did the Snowmonkies do?”

Answer: Sadly, my Snow Monkeys lost.  Their record now stands at 1-1.  We bounce back this weekend against the Autodrafts.

DP writes: “Have you tried buckeyes yet?”

Answer: Not yet.  It’s on my list of things to do along with my quarterly tax installment and “be a better person”.

Duptiang. writes: “Joe, I remember watching the out takes for from Morpheous from the DVD. It was a fine spooky show. Claudia is a fabulously and funny actress. I loved her off handed dark comic work in Farscape. However, I never understood the design with the Chem Suits. The head piece just seemed to be poor design, to include the internal lights. I would have thought they would have washed out the vision of the actors.”

Answer: Those internal lights were an issue throughout the franchise run.  While they didn’t make sense dramatically, they did serve a purpose from a production standpoint: illuminating our actors’ faces and in some cases countering the wash-out effects of the reflective exterior lights.  And we weren’t the only ones guilty of this.  You’ll notice similar interior lights in many movie space and hazmat suits.

Nancy Bienville writes: “Then I find out The Stargate Series has been completely canceled…
With that being said, and putting my emotions on the shelf for a minute, I want to thank you and everyone who worked on the show to make it what it was…..”

Answer: Much appreciated.

maggiemayday writes: “Oooh, cufflinks. Do they give you super-powers?”

Answer: Not sure.  I plan to test my flying ability this weekend.  Wish me luck!

32 thoughts on “September 21, 2011: More Akemi-isms! Today – the breakdown! Mailbag!

  1. I had a wonderful time and want to let everyone know that the way Joe is on his blog is how he is in person. He is super nice and a very genuine person. Akemi is so sweet (I like you a lot as well!!)

    Wish Carl a safe trip for me! Tell him to send the nice weather my way.

  2. Yay, Akemi’isms, very cool.

    Answer: Would love to lead a Vancouver (or Tokyo) food tour. Who’s in?
    I’m in. But depends on when you sked a Van food tour. Bet Refuel will be on the list…that is a definite woohoo.

    Re the secret of Auntie Jeanette’s youthful vigor. I was good up to the punch line. eueuuuwww. Think I’ll stick with washing the innards with gin tonics, rum & cokes, special phoenixes – passion fruit vokda, and moscato wines, you get the picture. Now I’m thirsty – time for a phoenix.

  3. ummmm, that shudda been Passion Fruit Vodka…and I was not drinking before posting that either.

  4. Wow, you had quite the busy day. I enjoyed the mailbag and all the other events. Sounds like you’ll stay busy until you get back to Vancouver.

    Have a great night!!!

  5. Stem cell treatment for dogs? That’s pretty cool – and sounds like it made a difference. Oh, and hello! 🙂

  6. Just wanted to say, you’ve got another John Scalzi convert here. I’d downloaded a sample of Old Man’s War a few months ago as I’d recognized his name from your blog, Finally opened it the other day and bought the book as soon as I finished the sample! Loved it! While I enjoy books all the time, its a rare treat to get totally drawn in and immersed in a great book. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. Envious of Penny.

    Your day exhausted me. Is this the day of a normal person? I’ve seem to forgotten.

    The light thing is probably just a bad sensor. Probably.

    Akemi — you make me smile a lot.

    Hope the doggies treatment go well. Maximus — adorable. Who couldn’t stop arguing over that adorable face? He might bring about world peace.

  8. For your tires, you might have ‘too’ much air in them for the light to be coming on. The tires have their recommended air pressure stamped on the side of them. However, inside the drivers door, on a sticker on the car frame, you’ll see the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. They are very often “not” the same. I’ve never quite understood why they are different sometimes.

    Hopefully your fingerprint check doesn’t come back to haunt you in a few weeks for any unsolved crimes that are out there,lol.

    Oh, and for computer programs for writing. I just got a new PC with Microsoft OneNote being a part of my new MS Office 2010 package. It was geared for students for note taking, but I find it very useful as I am self employed and do alot of proposal and business writing. I find it really good for taking notes, and it allows me to draw and insert screen clippings. Might be a little basic for screen writing, but it is definitely affordable for people starting out.


  9. Regard tires…if you have aluminum rims/wheels after a while they can be source of slow leak. Only a trained professional – meaning swiping some soapy solution around the rim edge or dunking into the tub of water will reveal what is wrong. Good thing you dropped of tires. You may NOT…drive with that and get passed away. SO that Akemi-ism is one you MUST pay attention to. Please???? thanks dude!

  10. Good morning Joe,

    Re the tire pressure light, mine lights up frequently and the usual culprit is actually the spare tire in the trunk (my car has a full size spare, not sure if this is the case with yours). It’s a little annoying, because each time the light turns on I have to check all the tires just in case, even though I have a pretty good idea that they’ll be fine.

    I can sympathize with Akemi’s dislike of blood draws. Had one myself the other day. The doctor gave me a sucker afterwards. 😀

  11. Oh man I finally have a few days off and now I see your time table. >_
    And I hope that you will come to enjoy YOUR time off, soon!
    Good luck 😉

  12. I’m sorry! My last post got ripped apart, because of the opening tag, that was supposed to look like a smiley.

    I’m sorry that I write so later, after all you sent my questions to Tara. Thank you very much for that! And to Tara, thank you very much for answering my questions 😀
    Oh man I finally have a few days off and now I see your time table.
    I hope that you will come to enjoy your time off a little more, soon!
    Good luck!

  13. Awwww…love Akemi-isms! 🙂 She’s so sweet! Love her comment on foie gras, “Tastes like Santa Claus’s socks.” LOL! Too cute! 😀 And…when you said coffins, she thought you meant coffee. LOL! So sweet! 🙂 I sure hope that she is aloud to stay. 🙂

  14. Oh medical exam ?? so that means you’re the sponsor for Akemi’s permanent residency permit ?
    I know it, I went through the same procedure with my wife. She sponsored me and I got the work permit for here. This is great news !
    But you know, it would be so much easier that you just marry Akemi (for taxes too). You love her, she loves you… the dogs love her, she loves the dogs …
    I mean… the solution is quite obvious here 😉

  15. Joe,
    I’m a frequent reader and very infrequent commenter, but I love the idea of food tour. Vancouver preferred ( slightly cheaper/easier to get to vs Japan..)
    I would pay good money to come up there and share a few meals over a weekend with you, akemi and some other foodie fans.
    I have a feeling it’d be quite the undertaking to arrange but i really think you’d garner some interest and have fun doing it.

  16. 8:00 – 9:00 – Wake up, check my fantasy football waiver wire pick-ups (dropped the disgraceful Cadillac Williams for Dexter McCluster, fumblesome Greg Salas for Tennesse’s Nate Washington, and ineffective Marshawn Lynch for Miami’s Daniel Thomas), shower, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, go over some of the documents for Akemi’s sponsorship. I can’t believe how many forms we need to fill out. I’m convinced our lawyer didn’t tell us for fear we would be discouraged by the veritable mountain of applications, bio requests, and questionnaires.

    Okay. That right there would have taken me the whole morning. 😛 Feeding the cats takes at least 15 minutes, and taking a shower and getting dressed takes me at least 30 minutes. How can you do all of that in an hour! Unless…unless you didn’t get dressed… 😯

    Joey, do you walk the dogs in the nude? 😮

    I LOVE the Akemisms! She must be a real delight to be with. Mr. Das is similar, especially in screwing up idioms. Keeps life amusing!


  17. @ Mike Ferguson, before you move to LA you should already be entering the very excellent studio fellowships (offering training) and film fest contests (offering exposure and access to agents). Do not bother with fly by night competition and just stick to name brand stuff: Nickelodeon will start accepting applications for their writer training scheme in January 2 2012, Warner Bros starts accepting May 2, 2012, ABC Disney starts accepting in June I believe, check with their website, and Austin Film Fests teleplay contest deadline in June 1. The dates may move around, but keep up with their websites and enter as many as you can; ABC Disney’s fellowship is a paid one year training in LA, all have different pros/cons. Good luck to you!






  18. i’ve got some mailbag questions for you 😉

    1.) Do you walk around with a notebook allday to make notes for your blog/writing assignments?

    2.a) you mentioned that you have a Home Theatre, Did you build it your self or did you have a company working on it?
    2.b)Can you show us some pix/ tech spec’s of the room
    2.c)what are tech spec’s of the room and equipment

    3.a)Do you have a 3D projector and what do you think of the 3D revolution that is going on.
    3.b)Do you think that ,in time tv shows will be broadcasted in 3D, that it will add something extra for you as writer to keep in mind while writing the stories?

  19. Joe, there are currently ZERO space-based, live action TV shows being produced right now. Now’s your chance! Quick! Pitch something to TPTB!

  20. Joe, i’m a moderator for alvaro’s comicboards (www.comicboards.com)
    and i was wondering if you’d like to do a q+a for us if your interested?

    i was also wondering what other project you’d like to eventually go on to?
    what kind of influences would you say you’ve had for dark matter?


  21. Thanks Joe, Yes it is a good thing. Yes,life is short and I’m moving on.I left on a good note and what a relief. Just wonder who they will blame when things go wrong now – certainly not their Golden Girl.

    Akemi’s cute. Does she see us Westerners as an odd sort? What was her biggest adjustment? Hugs to you Akemi.

  22. I gotta say that I love reading Akemi’s sayings. I’m not sure if any of the ones in today’s post are as good as “Jesus Crisis”. That will be tough to be!

    Tara’s comments were fun reading, also. Without Tara, we never would have known what a **** you are to work with! 😉 .

    Good luck with the pups!

  23. Glad to see we both start our day off obsessing over our Fantasy teams…My team, The Wraith, are also 1-1. I’m hoping for the best this week! 🙂

  24. On the tire pressure:

    The pressure sensor reading can be affected by seasonal temperature changes. If the pressure manually reads okay in all your tires, then look in your owner’s manual for how to “reset” the warning.

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