So, the fact that I’m back in Vancouver sooner than expected surprised a few people – perhaps no one more than my buddy Lawren who was housesitting for me during my exile and was fully expecting me back in December at the earliest.  My speedy return means he’ll have to find alternate accommodations but, like I told him, he needn’t rush.  I have the extra room and he’s free to stay as long as he likes.  It’s actually nice to have someone around to handle sundry duties like addressing technical issues with my projector or cleaning up the poop-studded backyard.  Also, the house now full of personalized touches that offer insight into his character (and, alternately, the darkness of his soul). My office has been transformed into mission control, boasting three wide screen monitors on swivel mounts as well as bewildering equipment with multicolored lights that sounds like a portable air conditioner on its last legs.  There are three bottles of fine Scotch in the wok kitchen alongside a bottle of flavored Bison Grass Vodka in the wok kitchen, and an almost empty bottle of tonic water in the fridge. Also, I discovered what I think is a didgeridoo in my umbrella stand.

The dogs seem to be equally happy to be back in familiar surroundings. Maximus has resumed eating again and seemed downright lively today during his afternoon walk.  Some pics of the two oldsters…

First on my to-do list is completing the documents necessary for my sponsorship of Akemi.  In addition to the two dozen things we’ve already done (fingerprinting, medical check, photo documentation, etc.) I also have to supply a recent notice of assessment, three statements outlining the genuine nature of our relationship, and declarations from people who have personal knowledge of our relationship which, come to think of it, is all of you.  Once that’s done, I can finally redirect focus to that unfinished pilot I’ve been meaning to get around to.

Received some more of Garry Brown’s inks for issue #2 of Dark Matter, my comic book series coming out in January 2012.  I’m loving the artwork.  If you guys are nice, I’ll give you a sneak peek of what’s in the works as part of tomorrow’s blog entry.  In the meantime, here’s another look at Garry’s early version of the cover for issue #1 –

What do you think?  Pretty cool, no?


2cats writes: “So, when are you peeking in on ReFuel?”

Answer: Actually, I was there on Sunday night with Lawren (see my Sunday entry) and then back again today for lunch with Akemi.  We shared the sweet walla walla onion risotto, an heirloom tomato salad, some terrific corn with jalapeno butter, and an incredibly tender octopus and chicory salad.

Fiori writes: “‘Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand’ was wonderful; it reminded me of one of my favorite books — ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.”

Answer: On your recommendation, I’ll be sure to pick it up.  I’m loving the characters in this book, especially the Major who is at turns stodgy, befuddled, and wholly charming.

Lou Zucaro writes: “A few weeks back, I went to dinner at Top Chef season 4 winner Stephanie Izard’s home for a charity event. Jessica brought gelato for dessert and they made some really great little gelato sundaes for us.

If you have any interest in the food that Stephanie / her team / Jessica made for us, you can read about it here:

Answer: I am SOOOOO jealous.  As you may (or may not) know, Akemi and I are HUGE fans of Top Chef and loved the season 4 showdown between Stephanie and Richard Blais (and the third chef whose name I can’t recall).  I also love goat!  Very jealous.

DP writes: “Does he have time between rewrites to read our encouragement?”

Answer: Oh, I have no doubt Alexander drops by on occasion.

Jean writes: “Hi from all of us at Prairie Girl Bakery for your declaration that Prairie Girl makes “Canada’s Best Cupcake”- – thanks for that!
We loved your visit and hope to see you again soon.
The PGB team”

Answer: Damn, I’ll miss you guys – even though I discovered Prairie Girl Bakery in the last week of my stay.  Like Buca Restaurant, it’s one of those places I’m really going to miss – along with our neighbors at the Soho, The Silver Snail, and Jamaican food.

Joan001 writes: “Life sucks sometimes and it would be nice to get into bed and pull the covers over your head for a good year. I’m so tired of the worry myself, but I know that there are people who are going through much worse…”

Answer: Hang in there, Joan!  I was, admittedly, pretty damn miserable – but things turned around in spectacular/surprising/annoying fashion.  Hopefully things take a far less dramatic but equally satisfying turn for you soon.

dasNdanger writes: “Vick grew up around a culture where dog fighting and killing were the norm.”

Answer: In some cultures, bride burning and female circumcision is considered the norm by some.  Doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

dasNdanger also writes: “Then he went to prison.  Then he was educated that what he did was wrong, and he has said so many times. ”

Answer: Would you expect him to say anything else given the backlash he received and his desire to resume his professional football career?

dasNdanger also writes: “Why?  Because, in the end, he only killed dogs.”

Answer: Demonstrating borderline psychotic behavior.  Studies of serial killers have shown a history of animal abuse in their early years.  Vick didn’t just force dogs to fight to the death.  When he was done with them or they proved too weak to continue fighting, he would personally dispatch of them with seeming delight.  Body-slamming and electrocuting them were his apparent preferences.  I’m sorry.  An individual predisposed to such violence isn’t going to be “educated” about the errors of his ways.

dasNdanger also writes: “There is some sort of freaky moral imbalance going on when people have more hate for a football player who killed dogs than they do for a football player (Donte Stallworth) who killed a human being while driving under the influence, or a football player (Rae Carruth) who plotted the murder of his girlfriend.”

Answer: Last I heard, both Stallworth and Carruth were in prison and, unlike Vick, I doubt very much they’ll get a chance to resume their careers on the football field.

Dr. D. writes: “Do you think FTL or time travel might become a reality or are you siding with the notion of the faster than light muon neutrinos being a fluke?”

Answer: I am cautiously optimistic.

43 thoughts on “September 28, 2011: The Lodger! The Oldsters! The Mailbag! Oh, and Dark Matter!

  1. Just one question, Joe – have you ever had shark fin soup, or would you if the opportunity arose?

    Also, I think it’s a bit of a stretch comparing Vick to a serial killer. Afterall, when I was a child I used to do some rather twisted things to small critters, and now I can’t even smush a spider. People do change, Joe.


  2. Please do holler for volunteers for statements or however you want or need to proceed. Meantime, it is GOOD to have you, Akemi, and the babies at HOME!

  3. I really dig that cover art concept, Joe…very pleasing vibe to it that’s both old-school and yet timeless.

    Also: Totally agree that the Season 4 showdown between Stephanie and Richard was one of the best Top Chef season enders.

    Definitely let me know if you’re ever gonna be in Chicago…I’ll hook you up with some great meals!

  4. “Pretty cool, no.” Actually no, not at all. VERY cool, yes! I haven’t been into comics per se, but with season 3 of Jericho hitting the comics and then Alaina Huffman’s Agent Mom, I’ve found myself turning around about them so I’m looking forward to yours.

    Here is my declaration about you and Akemi: They’ve been together for a very long time. Joe was in denial for quite some time with his blog-posters about the true nature of their relationship, but it was quite obvious to all of us.

    I don’t know Joe–something about life not turning out the way you think (you thought Toronto would be good, etc.) and in a way it woke you up to the things that were most important to you, putting them in perspective in such a way maybe no other way could. Of course I am assuming a lot but just based on your blog posts.

    Although I’m sure the dogs are very happy to be home, I bet Maximus is picking up on your happiness and that is feeding him good vibes. When we’re depressed, our furry kids pick up on that and seem to sigh along with us.

    As far as good fall shows, Terra Nova is looking pretty good. Dexter starts on Sunday. There were a lot of good summer shows that you could always get caught up on — Falling Skies (Remi is writing for season 2). Alphas I love because they have a character with autism as one of the leads and they actually have gotten it right. Eureka — it was great to see so many of our Stargate friends on there. Game of Thrones is a MUST-SEE.

    The next Top Chef (after the latest Just Desserts) is going to be “Top Chef: Texas” I bet you they do it out of Dallas.

    Speaking of Dallas, Lou Diamond Phillips is going to be doing a staged reading of a play he wrote at Theatre Three for 3 days (Oct 23, 24 & 25) so any Texas residents should try to see about going to support him in that. I’m driving up. Would not miss it. He’s also taking part in some celebrity cooking show. I’ll try to get more details on that when I can.

  5. If you’ve ever been in a crash and had Akemi listed as a passenger, that’s some rock solid documentation right there.

    We are very nice and deserving of a sneak peak of Dark Matter. Just this week, I didn’t send you a selection of heirloom tomatoes. That’s very nice seeing as my garden is riddled with blight. Oh, those old ivory egg tomatoes are to die for.

  6. Welcome home, Joe! Your happiness at being back in Van leaps off the page. Sort of like my joy to be back in my own bed after 2 weeks in China. Great trip, but a wooden plank with a blanket does not a bed make.

    Sending good thoughts to Maximus. So glad he’s able to enjoy home too. I wonder if dogs have any sense of time, in the sense of knowing how long they were away. It’s amazing how they remember people and places, though.

    You used to refer to the comic book as being written by you and Paul, but then switched to just “my comic book”. Did Paul leave the project all to you?

  7. Hoooome!!

    Great to hear the young-at-heart pups are regaining some spunk!

    And to have you back on west coast time. I never got use to the three hour time difference.

    I really hope you can finally relax and enjoy life more. But still curious about all the projects you’re working on now. I can never keep track.

    I don’t watch a lot of shows, but was channeling surfing a couple of weeks ago and saw a familiar face on Ramsey’s Nightmare Kitchens. He was a co-worker who, with his brother, own a local restaurant. It was a mess, but in the end I’m really hoping the guys stuck with all the changes. Made for a good show too!

    I’m hoping to head up to Van in a couple of weeks for my yearly trip to supply a couple of friends with good California wine. And indulge in cold rainy weather.

    But in last two weeks I’ve found out I have an abscessed tooth, and now a cranky infected cyst on my arm. Since Sunday, it’s grown from hardly noticing it, to feeling like there’s a mini Chucky in there stabbing me with his mini knife. And it’s huge. Thankfully, I’m going into the hospital on Friday for surgery and have the dang thing removed. Ironically, the tooth feels fine.

    Anyway, I’m hoping to be on the mend soon and motoring up north by mid October.

    Glad you, Akemi and the kids are back home!

  8. PS. If you want birthday cards, you need to give us a new address to send it to. I don’t think: Joe Mallozzi, Mission Control, Vancouver, BC is just going to get it there.

  9. PBMom wrote, “Although I’m sure the dogs are very happy to be home, I bet Maximus is picking up on your happiness and that is feeding him good vibes. When we’re depressed, our furry kids pick up on that and seem to sigh along with us.”

    I don’t know, my last dog was never that way. She was a little weird. I never could get any sympathy out of her. I don’t think she cared. I’d hug her and be crying and make sure a tear would hit her in the face so she could taste my salty tears. But she was like, “Get away from me!”. She would look at me like, “What do you want from me? Get over it!”

    My new beagle dog seems to be a little more sympathetic. She will come sit beside me as if to say, “I’m here for you.”

    Joe do your dogs look at you any differently when you cry…err…I mean, when Akemi cries? Do they all rush over and comfort her?

  10. Hey!! That’s it! A photo of Akemi playing with all your dogs and how much they adore her. Tell the immigration people that your dogs love her, so what else do they need? If someone else’s dog likes you, then you must be okay and that would be a gold star for the nature of your relationship statement. Right?

  11. “…or cleaning up the poop-studded backyard”

    You know, sir just because you’re a big-time Hollywood North producer/writer/director that doesn’t give you the right to defecate anywhere you want and expect your “friends” to pick it up.


    Glad you’re back home in Van and that Maximus is doing better. Speaking of Vancouver; have you ever heard of Thierry Chocolates? I know nothing about them except that one of my Twitter buddies works there. You should check it out.

  12. holy crap, i haven’t been so busy this week i haven’t checked your blog and all the (mis)adventures I have missed 🙁

    In regards to yesterday’s question, the only fall show that has caught my attention is Terra Nova. Also Archer is back, really funny stuff.

  13. congratulations on being back at home. I know it feels great! I am glad that everybody is happy and comfortable. I am happy for you.

    I am the first to admit that any participation in dog fighting is wrong. I lived in Atlanta at the time when this situaiton all came to light. it was a HUGE scandal as Vick played ball for the Falcons and was worshipped like a hero. the dog fighting business took place in Virginia where he grew up. He had two cousins who ran the thing as a full-time business. Vick owned the land and also put money into the thing. Just time wise and logistics, he could only participate in this business very it was a minimal 10 hour drive or 2 hour plane ride between locations and only after football was not going on. In fact, I read they had no evidence he did anything to the dogs himself, except that he had visited the place occasionally (after football) That doesn’t mean he didn’t, just no physical evidence or eyewitness. Being as he owned the land and put money into the business, legally he was responsible for what happened there. His two cousins pled guilty and actually said that Vick didn’t kill any dogs. Of course they could be covering for him. Being a celebrity in this culture, he could have gone to trial and maybe gotten off. who knows what would have happened. But instead he pled guilty and did his time. granted, I am sure he got a lower sentence because of pleading guilty than if he had gone to trial and found guilty. but I give him respect that he pled guilty, saved taxplayers thousands of dollars by pleading out, made a public statement that he was wrong, and blamed nobody but himself., It is incredibly difficult for a black man in the south to publically admit they are wrong. it is even more difficult for someone to be out of football for over 2 years and then be able to come back physically. He is just a football player. If he can do the job physically, I say let him. he said he was wrong, he took the punishment, now let the man do his job. he also has done community service for SPCA and animals shelters in the area, such as fund raising and public service ads. Sure, it is possible this was all done in order to secure good feelings toward himself. but honestly, do football owners care? no. do coaches care if Vick does fund raising for the animal shelter? no. Nor do they care about how fans feel about Vick. all they care about is if he can perform. that is how he will keep or lose his job. I can be honest and say I won’t be inviting him over to dinner. But I will watch him play football.

  14. Welcome home! And is Lawren going to get paid a PA’s wage, because yeah, doing those annoying detail items is pretty much the job description.

    Have you had your big sigh moment yet?

    ~ From a PA in a past work life.

  15. I love the 5th picture of Maximus – such a wise old soul.

    We’ll all vouch for Akemi, just tell the immigration folks that.

    The Dark Matter ink looks terrific. Never been into comics before, but I’m looking forward to this one.

  16. Loved the dog pictures and the comic book art. And I agree with Ponytail too, You need to show the immigration people a picture of Akemi with the dogs.

    Glad you’re back in Vancouver where you belong.

    Hope you have a great day!!!!!

  17. No hate for ya das. I have this argument at least once a week with my friends, who are huge Vick supporters or “enablers” as I call them. =) We’ll just agree to disagree. In fact, I bought an Eagle’s jersey for my Pit Bull, Brandi and glued letters on the back that say “Fuck Vick” just to poke fun at them.

    I am not of the opinion that Vick will ever lose culpability for what he did. He is a morally bankrupt and vicious piece of shit who murdered helpless dogs for fun and profit, and I would have no qualms with doing to him what he did to them. If I could get away with it. (Like he did.)

    I am of the opinion that as the dominant species on the planet, animals deserve our protection and it is our responsibility to see that we provide it. Within limits, of course because I am a carnivore. 😛

  18. Welcome back to Vancouver Joe! I’m sure it’s good to be back home. 🙂 Now…you can concentrate on those who are most important to you. I hope and pray the everything goes well for Akemi and that you can somehow find a way to keep her with you in Canada. Love seeing your baby doggies! 🙂 Such sweet faces! Good to hear the Maximus is eating again and has his spirits up again. 🙂

  19. First off, the puppy killer (Vick) can go (redacted)!!! Broken hand and all! What ever he gets is not enough punishment. Killing a dog is like killing a member of the family. Doing it for entertainment: that is worse. Can’t support Philly anymore.

    Second: Welcome Home!!!

    Best Wishes,


  20. The eyes, they are soooo cute, how can you not resist those puppy eyes, will get you every time! thanks for sharing. Glad everyone is back home.

  21. Glad you are all back home — thanks for the doggy pics. And the “Dark Matter” cover is terrific 🙂

  22. @louzucaro: those goat-naan sandwiches sound wonderful, and the desert sounds amazing!

    Hugs to the pugs, I’m glad to see Maximus is feeling more spry. I got to see the sneak peak of “Homeland” on crackle and I gotta say it sucked me in. I love LeCarre and Follett, so the show was perfect for me plus they filmed in my old stomping grounds of DC which is a huge plus.

  23. Hi Joe! I haven’t checked on your blog for quite some time, sorry! Last time you were so miserable it made me sad. What a difference your homecoming has made to your writing, I find that so amazing.
    Welcome home to you and yours!

    Oh, I can also attest to your relationship with Akemi. I agree with PBMom, we all knew the real deal long before you were ever willing to admit to it 🙂

    Did you know I am now watching Gossip Girl on Monday nights? What a difference a year makes 🙂 I miss SGU

    Sherry Harris (Brian’s mom)

  24. RE: neutrinos, FTL, time travel, relativity, etc….

    A comic strip:

    “A limerick by Telescoper.

    Do neutrinos go faster than light?
    Some physicists think that they might.
    In the cold light of day,
    I am sorry to say,
    The story is probably shite.”

    “And a relativity-themed one by James Ph. Kotsybar.

    A young lady known simply as Bright,
    who could travel at speeds fast as light,
    said: “While I’m never late,
    I’m concerned that my weight
    goes to infinite mass, though I’m slight.”



  25. Talking TV – was watching AMC last night and they had a preview for The Walking Dead. It starts up Sunday, October 16 @ 9:00. We have that to look forward to! Hope this season is as good as the last one was.

  26. three statements outlining the genuine nature of our relationship Not a problem! Let me know where to send this statement 😉 .

    Since you turned in your walking papers at Transporter, you whole outlook on life changed. Glad to have the old you back!

    Cinemax is playing Eight Heads in a Duffle bag this month. Try to DVR that one if you haven’t seen it before. It’s dark humor but I love Joe Pesci>/b>.

    You can argue to and fro about Vick but I’m glad the Humane Society has gotten money/PR from this scandal. Local H. S.’s are really hurting for donations and volunteers.

  27. 😳 I left my bold on….. I swam a mile and then went straight to Karate class this morning. Kind of braindead AND wobbly now. However, my night is FREE!

  28. Hey, thanks Deni! She is the doggie love of my life, and the main reason I feel so strongly about “the Vick thing”.

    Brandi was a rescue dog. She was picked up by our county animal shelter from a place called Camden, NJ. It’s directly across the river from Philadelphia. I’m not sure how well known it is outside of the tri-state area, but it’s our little Detroit. At one time a few years ago, it had the honor of being the murder capital of the US.

    Brandi was abused and fought, and bred and thrown out on the streets. She has scars, including marks from the claw of a hammer almost directly between her eyes. Someone tried to kill her. With a hammer. You can see it on that image as a white line near her left eye.

    She was very timid and underweight and sickly when we brought her home. But in the 5 years we’ve had her, she has become the most loving dog I’ve ever known. Such a personality! It’s actually like she is thanking us for making her part of our family. And as you can see, she’s no longer underweight. 😛
    The only remaining issue she has is still being very dog aggressive. Which is unfortunate, because I’d like nothing more than to rescue a few more of these guys.

  29. Excellent answers to Das in reference to Vick. I have a simpler answer though. He did NOT grow up in a culture of dog fighting. Rather, he actively sought out those people in that subculture. He then went to college, which should and did expose him to an entirely different perspective on lfie. Rather than learning and being enriched by his time in college, he went on to the pros and elected to remain in contact with the criminal elements he had associated with earlier. I don’t wish the man undue ill, and approve of him making what amends he can but I certainly don’t look upon him as any sort of hero, or worthy of being admired. While few people may have his professional skills, those skills are not inherently valuable to society, or at least a society with a balanced set of morals and reason.

  30. @JimFromJersey: I’m sure she’s quite happy being the only “child”! It takes only one dog that you adopt that’s had a bad past to make you understand how deeply they hurt and how long it takes for the physical and emotional injuries to heal. Unfortunately, it seems dogs like this are a dime a dozen these days. Thankfully, there are people like you out there who care enough to take a chance on them! The rewards are certainly worth it!

  31. Joe and Akemi, so glad you are both home, along with the doggie babies. You sound relieved, Maximus looks like a new dog, and Jelly has the sauciest look ever on her sweet face. Love it.

    Am mentally in “ditto” mode because of pain, etc., so ditto to anything said about the protection of animals. Ultimately, the safety of society is protected as well.

    Paloosa, I’m with ya! Just found out today that I have to hit the oral surgeon’s tomorrow morning to liberate a lower molar that is putting up one last fight. After fillings, root canal, and crown, and heroic measures to save it a few years ago, it’s time to be pulled. Hate to lose all the money spent on it, but will be very relieved to be rid of this pain. I’ts been in my ear, tooth, jaw, vein below the jaw. Can’t mess around with it anymore, as there’s a history of osteomyelitis. But since we’re getting on it right away, and the surrounding bone looks good, we should be okay. Am nervous about the pain, but am praying for the right surgeon, and speedy healing for both you and me! (And your arm as well.)

  32. Joe, what do you think of non-Japanese animated shows? Which are your favorites? Mine would be Daria and Archer. What do you think of them?

  33. JimFromJersey: Loved the picture of Brandi! If you lived here (in the South) you would have to be very careful. Pitbulls get stolen out of fenced yards all the time! At least 36 dogs were stolen from the Memphis Animal Shelter a few years ago!!!! I don’t believe they arrested anyone for those stolen dogs but here is a likely suspect: Just makes me sick to think of what probably happened to all those dogs.

  34. You know it’s funny to read how you go all ‘green card’ on Akemi,
    because the immigration process is somehow forcing your hands to
    ‘officialize’ your relationship.And its not a bad thing at all, on the contrary it’s an excellent thing for you both!
    It’s official!
    I don’t know why but I am almost tempted to say ‘congratulations!!’
    and I am very sincere and happy for you both writing it 😉
    I am also glad for the dogs to be back on familiar ground. This could
    be very beneficial for Maximus.

    Relax… take care of the dogs, let your spirit ‘float’ around, just
    listen to everything and everyone and at some point a job will find
    you, literally. And I just got it myself, hired this Wednesday
    starting Monday. Life is crazy.

  35. @Paloosa and @Fortheloveofbeckett You’ll both be in my thoughts tomorrow.

    Joe — Another recommendation if you are wanting to catch up with stuff that ran this summer: Curb Your Enthusiasm. GREAT season.

  36. First, I have to admit I doubted you and had to look up to see if “bison grass vodka” exists. Sorry I didn’t believe you, lol.

    Rosh Hashanah had me absent til now… and while I am sorry I missed you absolutely HAPPY BACK HOME vibes I am glad I missed dasNdanger defense of Vicks (though I love you for your response!). I just wonder das, if you read, really read, and watched what happened and his responses up until the public pressure— not any REMORSE– had him parroting regrets?

    First, my friend Christie’s article:

    “As that dog lay on the ground, fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its back legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So, Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground until, at last, the little red dog was dead.”

    I ask you to read these 2 articles.

    I no more believe he is sorry than I believe SyFy is going to pay massive money and restart SG1 and SGA next month. He is sorry he got caught. He is sorry he got jail time. He lacks any humanity. At least someone plotting his fiance’s death was personal. At least the drunk driving was stupidity and misjudgement. What Vicks did was without soul, utterly devoid of any humanity and evil. No comparisons.

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