“Tokyo crows are very smart.  They eat McDonald’s garbage and their brains get bigger.” – Akemi, October 11 2o11.

Today, I brought Akemi to the dentist to get a cavity filled and, I assure you, she was not very happy about it.  Oh, she doesn’t mind visiting the dentist.  In fact, unlike most, she actually enjoys going in for a check-up and cleaning.  I suppose it doesn’t hurt that she finds our dentist quite dashing.  Or “hansamu” as she says.  No, it wasn’t the visit itself but the cause of her visit that had her upset.  She was incredibly downcast at the prospect of having one more cavity.  She suspects it’s genetic, but I think it may have more to do with her recent addiction to Nutella that sees her eating the stuff by the spoonful.

Anyway, once she was done, I thought a trip to some local sweet shops would have made the perfect reward.  Not for her, mind you – her mouth was still frozen – but for me since I had to wait for her in the dentist’s office (I read the first 140 pages of Iain M. Banks’ The Algebraist.  Brilliant!).  As I mentioned in a previous blog installment, I’m on a quest to find the best macarons in Vancouver and have decided to do a little comparison tasting.  I’m pitting 16 of the city’s macaron makers in head to head competition, sort of a literal Sweet Sixteen.  A Macaron-off.  Or, if you prefer, Smackaron-off.

So, on this day, tour search for Vancouver’s best macaron led us to Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie on Alberni Street.  Thierry’s macarons would be taking on next door’s Urban Tea Merchant’s tea-infused macarons in their first round match-up.  As I approached the assortment, the cute girl behind the counter seemed to recognize me.  “Joe?”she asked.  Damn.  I’m usually pretty good with faces.  Terrible with names to go with those faces, but usually pretty good with faces. Not this time.  I hesitated, buying time.  She did look vaguely familiar…  “Nadine,”she said. And, immediately, it clicked.  Of course.  Nadine.  Blog regular/Vancouver native/on Ashleigh’s winless soccer team Nadine!  We chatted a bit and eventually, not wanting to get her fired, picked up a seven macaron assortment, a cappuccino for Akemi, and one hazelnut chocolate meringue dessert for good luck!  Given the fact she has an English bulldog named Bella, I have a feeling our dog-walking paths may cross very soon.

As we headed back to the car, I explained the Stargate/Blog/Ashleigh connection to Akemi.  She was surprised.  Which spurred yet another awesome Akemi-ism that, I suppose, speaks volumes on the nature of Japanese SF fans:

“She is cool geek.  Not oily grossy geek.”

I assured her that the quality of my blog readers was beyond reproach.  Geeks perhaps, maybe even nerds, but certainly neither oily nor grossy.  They hang out at the anti-SGU boards.

Off to dinner tonight with some Stargate friends, then looking to the waiver wire for some fantasy football pick-ups – and then, another 100 or so pages of The Algebraist.

42 thoughts on “October 11, 2011: Akemi-isms! A trip to the dentist! The Smackaron-Off! Only the highest quality geeks!

  1. “Tokyo crows are very smart. They eat McDonald’s garbage and their brains get bigger.” – Akemi, October 11 2o11.
    i guess that doesn’t work with people.

    BTW did you hear that the national tourism agency of japan is giving away 10,000 round-trip airline ticket to there to try to boost tourism after the quake/nuclear meltdown scared people away. but they only want to give them to people with popular blogs who will write up their trip. maybe you could apply & if they pick you, you’ll have the tickets for your next toyko trip.

  2. Uh…Joey? I am both oily AND grossy. Trust me. Nearly 50 (AAAAACCCCKKK!!!!!) and still have pimples. And let’s not get me started on some of my…uh…primative…habits. Like not washing my hair for two or three days, or wearing the same clothes I worked in all day to bed, or chasing Mr. Das around the house until I can corner him and squish that bigass zit on his back. He HATES that. I, however, get sick satisfaction from it. 😀

    So, yes…I am both oily, and grossy. So, please, do not try to pass me off as some kind of normal, socially acceptable human being. 🙂

    @ Sparrowhawk – I got your message on FB – but for some reason I can’t figure out how to reply (I used to be able to reply…I think the more I use the net, the stupider I get). I should drop you an e-mail one of these days when I can catch my breath. Just so very busy, but in a good way! 😀


  3. Probably not a nice thing to eat macarons in front of Akemi just yet…I want to see those crows with the big brains, and I think I have seen oily grossy geeks,,thanks Akemi. Have a great evening!

  4. Flattered to hear I met Akemi’s approval! I hope she’s feeling better this evening.

    I read the Algebraist several years ago and I remember loving it, although I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s about right now. Banks is pretty consistently great though.

    My books at the moment are Lev Grossman’s series which begins with THE MAGICIANS. I read it a couple weeks ago and found it thoroughly engrossing, and now I’m working on the sequel, THE MAGICIAN KING. Highly recommend it.

    Great to see you today!

  5. Hey Joe had a quick Atlantis question that came to me. My guess is you guys never thought of this but… The shield of Atlantis is mostly for defense and when flying through space. While a space ship has life support in the main parts, what does a city ship have? I mean I understand the buildings of Atlantis have life support but where does the air for the outer city areas come from? When they took off from the planet Mckay said they will need the shield to hold the air in. Does that mean that its just the air in the city when the shield is first closed? Would the outer air run out or go stale after being say on the moon for awhile?

  6. Hey Joe,

    Got Fantasy Football question to ask… Do I keep Drew Brees on my bench and play Cam Newton again like last week when they played each other or do I put Newton back on the bench… In our standard espn league, Newton has outscored Brees in total points this season and edged him out by one pt last week, but its Drew Brees, how do I justify to myself having him ride the bench…

    I was off to great start going 2-0, then I lost by a point in the 3rd game after espn fixed their typo and now I’ve lost 3 straight at the bottom of my 4 team division(its an 8 team league) albeit only down by one game as everyone else in my division is 3-2. You would think that with the likes of Brees, Newton, Hillis, Andre Johnson, Kenny Britt, and the Raven’s D i would be riding high, but nope… Stupid injuries and sickness have plagued my star RBs/WRs… 🙁

  7. Haha, I’m neither oily or grossy (though I don’t really visit anti SGU boards if they even exist now because I could really care less…having a 6 month old will do that.) Hmm…on second thought I do feel “grossy” as I get spewed, pooped on, and have had food flung at me. I wear my nice jacket out only to come home with it covered in milk and I strongly suspect that the orange smudge on my shoelaces is smooshed pumpkin from K’s dinner last night.

    By the end of the day, I just give up changing clothes. haha. It’s too exhausting. Tonight we got the go ahead to give her chunky food (so she can “feed” herself aka play with it)…so here’s to wearing chicken and zucchini.

    Say all the nasty things about the anti SGU people you want (some of them deserve it), but some pro SGU people were a bit on the creepy/scary side with their pink unicorn brigade and infantile tantrums that were thrown at Syfy upon the cancellation. It was a moot point by the time the fans found out.

  8. With regard to the waiver wire, for whatever reason in one of my leagues, people keep dropping amazing players: Brandon Pettigrew, Ben Rothlesberger, Darren Sproles, and the list goes on. Needless to say, I’ve picked them up super quick and added their abilities to my bench, beefing up my options beautifully. Although, now it’s harder to decide who to start on a weekly basis!

    @Dustin: my guess would be that the city has a plethora of air scrubbers to be able to remove the majority of carbon dioxide in the air once the shield is closed. As writers, I’m sure that between the scrubbers and the city’s “didn’t know they existed before just now” oxygen supply reserves, Joe and Paul would’ve had that covered. It’s not too different than the situation on Apollo 13(and all the space missions really, but we see it more clearly in that movie). Either that or Rodney would have setup a remote console in the arboretum and put the majority of the majority of the city’s personel in stasis pods for the journey.

    Hmm… Kinda sounds like the end of SGU, no?


  9. But Tokyo crows ARE smart! They steal the hangers off the many apartment building balconies to build their nests. Smart move given the lack of urban trees.

    We have a large murder of crows living in the cemetery a block over; one of the sub-families resides in the neighbor’s pines behind our house. Some mornings the magpies and blue jays get into it with the crows. Lovely chorus of shrieks and whistles and cackling. The cats go bananas!

    I just don’t think Maco-donaldo is the reason the urban crows are so brainy. Blech.

  10. Poor Akemi looks sooo upset in that picture. That’s about how I feel everytime I have to go to the dentist – and I never have cavities. Completely enjoy the Akemisms, as always.

  11. The akemi-isms are great!! I enjoy reading them. My older son calls hubby and I geeks because we like sci-fi shows. When I tell him he’s a geek too, for liking video games and fantasy books, he says, No, Mom, I’m a cool geek. You and Dad are just geeks.” Ahh, to be 14 again. 🙂

    Have a good day!!!!

  12. I’m with Akemi on that one. I eat Nutella by the spoonful too. The only way I found to stop is to not buying it because I can’t resist. Courage!

  13. I wonder how many years Nadine’s been waiting for you to visit..haha that’s cool…so did you score a discount? Oh and yes, we in your blog community are coolest of geeks.

    I’m curious about the relationship of McDonald’s garbage to increased intelligence in crows. Why wouldn’t they just get fat? I love the Akemi-isms…keep ’em coming.

    So Joe, I was wondering…what makes a great macaron? Have you tried making them yourself?

    Cheers, Chev

  14. PS : I agree Mark Dacascos is terrific in Brotherhood of the wolf (Le pacte des loups).

  15. bite yer tongue Das noone from South Jersey is oily or grossy 😉 haha I love Akemi’s turns of phrase. New book for you to write, Joe.

    Clarification on ebooks. The ones I’m voicing severe displeasure about in terms of errors are ones I have purchased. I also have many from Project Gutenberg, but those are free, and while I’m not happy about errors in them either… they are free and a labor of love (RIP). I won’t complain about that.

  16. Poor Akemi! I hope her tooth is better. I wouldn’t say I’m oily, more combination skin; I keep the shine down with hemp blotting paper from DHC, it comes in cute little oregami-ish paper packs. Akemi is right tho, there is no place more ripe than a main ballroom on the fourth day of the Dragon Con.

    You and Akemi should get your molars sealed; it’ll protect your molars for years. I heard about sealants from a friend who’s dad was a dentist. I keep forgetting to get mine done:


    And I really love Super Floss; that alone has helped me avoid calories for the past 11 years. Yep, I am tooth obsessed (but not in an oily way! 🙂

  17. One thing that really helped my son (16 ys) with his dental visits was a waterpik. The dentist said he had the gums of an old man and when my son started using the waterpik, it really turned his checkups around. It’s not for everyone but…

    Das: TMI, TMI 😉

    I liked your memories of yesterday. Thank you!
    I’m also glad that Max is doing great! Keep on rocking Max!!!

  18. @ DRLDeBoer and Tam Dixon – One must look at the bigger picture. What is that picture, you ask?

    For me, it’s preparing my defenses in advance to face off against the space-invading bear-hugger and/or juicy-lipped cheek-kisser. How did our dear Aloysius put it, Sparrowhawk? I just hold up my hand and say, “Please, no effusive demonstrations of affection until I am showered, and dressed.” 🙂

    I have absolutely no excuses for the zit-squishing thing…they’re just fun, like human bubblewrap! 😀



  19. Toothpain is one of the crapiest things to have. Poor Akemi!
    But she got it over with so good for her and the Akem-isms are awesome, plz keep ’em coming 😉

  20. My goodness that was many blogs to get caught up on. Much to my dismay, getting access to my sister’s computer was not going to be easy; even asking to get on (she had to do all sorts of things to get her air card to work) to print my boarding pass for my return trip met with a heavy sigh. Yes, it was one of those kinds of trips. It really is a good thing I only stayed Thursday to Sunday. I got in about 2:30 or so eastern time to North Carolina and we had our first argument at 6:30, the first of MANY. Cool thing on Saturday is we went to Cherokee, NC where they were having their 99th annual festival. A lot of history there. I love her and I missed her, but she still treats me like a teenager, something I was sure to bring up several times. Also, I was going to meet a friend from Fox there and she got all pissy about it. Even complained to my other sister about it. Yet, the first night I’m there, she invites her friend Lynn to dinner (whom she proceeds to talk to 99% of the evening) and then invites her to just about everything else we were going to do that weekend, but she doesn’t see the double standard in that. Ugh. One example of many.

    I told Nadine I bet you’d be in to that store soon.

    Joe — the pictures of you growing up are adorable. And Das — wow, that Dom DeLuise picture was spot-on.

    @LisaR My deepest sympathies. I had a miscarriage halfway through my pregnancy (Patrick’s older brother) and if you want to talk let me know. In my ministry we had a quilt for children who had died and a celebration of life ceremony (for any child from conception to adulthood–celebrating the special bond between parents and children). And I did a lot of listening and hand-holding and hugging, etc.

    @Penny: Hope everything with your ear turns out fine.

    @ForTheLoveofBeckett I wish doctors wouldn’t act that way. If you are in pain, you are in pain, and everyone’s pain responses are different. For example, my 7-mm left kidney stone hurt me tremendously last time. I had no explanation for it. Once they finally removed it totally on operation #4, the pain went away. I was surprised to find out that 4 months later another 7 mm stone formed. But this one isn’t causing me any trouble. No explanations. It just was what it was.

    My wound on my arm finally closed up on Sunday. Six weeks! I think it looks awful, but two nurses have already commented how “great” it looks. I’m working on treatments now for scars (like vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, mederma, etc.) For those who are not faint-hearted: http://www.twitpic.com/6z1k6q Bad thing is I still have nerve pain. Typing any longer than 2 hours is killing me. They have me on a low-dose of Neurontin and that helps some, but I’m hoping another month or so it will start getting better. It better not bet permanent.

    Patrick & Jeff didn’t miss me at all. However, my sweet dog, Maddie, did. What would we do without our furry kids! I’m glad to hear Maximus is doing great.

    Well off to work I go. Maybe I can get 1 report typed before the boy comes home from school.

    Missed chatting with all of you.

  21. @PB Mom: Thank you so much. I might take you up on that. Tomorrow it will be a week. I have never ever had anything hurt as bad as this has. This was not even something we were trying for, and it still hurts. It sounds like you had/have an amazing ministry. I will let you know.

    Thanks to all again who replied to my post.

    1. @Das I tend to form keloids, so I hope not. So now it’s just the nerve pain and the skin around the scar is tight, so that will be better over time.

      @LisaR Here is my email address: HildaBowen@comcast.net If you email me, I’ll send you my phone number. XXOO

  22. @ PBMom – I used to go to Cherokee, NC a lot – as a kid, as a single adult, as a married woman. Last time we were there Mr. Das’ grandmom passed away, and we had to cut our trip short. That was back around ’95, and we haven’t been back since. I hear they have a casino and that’s mostly why I’ve never bothered to go back down – I just figure it’s not the sleepy little tourist town it used to be.

    Your wound looks GREAT! Yes…that is very good. You should see the scar on my dad’s chest from his infection – it looks more like the scar from a third-degree burn than an infection. It’s very Freddy Kruegerish. I have a scar something like what you have on your arm, but it’s on my shoulder. It’s from a mole-thingy I had removed (burnt off) back in the spring. It’s raised, and red and ugly – sometimes itchy – almost worse than what I had removed. I probably should have gone back to the doctor, but I am prone hypertrophic scars (which it is), perhaps because of my distant black ancestry. They usually go away in a few years, so just as long as it doesn’t turn into a keloid, I’m okay.

    So if that’s all you have after that terrible infection, I think you’re doing very well. The vitamin E should help, too. I always forget to use it, maybe if I did I wouldn’t get bad scars. (I only get bad scars from procedures, never from a scratch or scrape or cut. It’s one way to assure that I will never have plastic surgery. 😛 )


  23. @Das Oh, and yes, they did build a big casino. If you go during the day traffic is not too bad, but on a Friday night, whoa, but it was also that festival, so that had something to do with it, too. Once you got past the casino, however, traffic flowed.

  24. Akemi, I hope your tooth is much better and you can eat yummy things again! Pain in the mouth can make the rest of you hurt, too. You have my sympathies. 🙂

    For PBMom and everyone who sent prayers/good vibes for dental pain, thank you! This dry socket business has been misery. Shirt-n-Tie (and others!) saw my “Pain, pain, go away” tweet on Twitter, and gave some excellent advice and reassurance. God bless him! He said to let the oral surgeons pack in more medicine (Alvogyl), because it helps the heal area faster. His explaining why it worked and why the condition happened in the first place really, really helped. (Any time he needs editorial help, he can certainly call on me!)

    That gave me the confidence to go back today. And miracle of miracles, the waiting room was empty so I didn’t have to wait to be seen. They put in more medicine, and this time, gave me a script for Ultram for the pain. God bless them, too. Now I won’t be up most of the night in pain. They also recommended I come back in a couple days, which I will for sure.

    For Lisa R, I’m so sorry for your loss. My cousin, a best friend from college, and two more good friends all lost babies before they went on to have several children, including a blessed oopsie event. Depending on your beliefs, there’s a book you might like to read. Heaven Is for Real is the story of a 3-yr-old Colton, a boy who died in the OR, and came back to life, after his appendix burst. Out of the amazing things he learned, he met his sister who his mom lost to miscarriage before he was even born. He had never known about her until then. This helped my friends and family, knowing their children were not lost to them, but waiting for them in heaven, and probably in the care of great-grandparents. Hugs and prayers for recovery and rest coming your way.

  25. I love the Akemi-isms. My husband refers to me as a sci-fi dork. He gets really creeped out when I start recognizing the Stargate actors on other shows, like Wo Fat ( did i spell that right). had some drink with some friends tonight nothing looks like it’s spelled correctly. Or Corey Monteith from Glee.He is a kid now how old was he when he did Atlantis?

    Hope you’re feeling better Akemi.

    If I may ask for support – this is Unity Day and my friends at Orange Avenue are asking to show your support against bullying.

    follow this link and you can download a free song. Also by wearing orange this month to show your support. We had a case of bullying not far from here in Deerfield Beach, left a young girl severely handicapped after someone beat the crap out of her( there’s some speculation she was bullying as well, but to be left disabled… no one deserves that.
    Thank you

  26. Keloid? I had no idea what that was…had to look it up. Now I think I may have a small one on my arm…or maybe its just a mole.

  27. Aw, poor Akemi!! I hope the visit itself wasn’t too bad and she’ll be back to eating sweets with you soon.

    LOL, definitely not grossy! Though I am amused that I’m not only the one who uses words like that. 😉

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