Another grueling day of football-viewing has drawn to a close and I am wiped.  Looks like my fantasy football team, the Snow Monkeys, are headed down to defeat (their third in a row) and looking at a 6-4 record.  Thankfully, they’re still in playoff contention.  Joining me on this day of channel-flipping were fellow fantasy football GM’s Ivon Bartok, Patrick Gilmore, and Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

On the menu –

Ivon's slow-cooked root beer-braised pork. Served with creamy cole slaw.
Handmade Ice cream sandwiches from Indulgence: tangy lemon buttermilk and chocolate banana.

I turned on the t.v. last night to some white guy rapping.  Which can only mean one thing: Christmas shopping season is upon us!

So, what are your holiday plans?  I’ll be Montreal-bound with Akemi to spend Christmas with mom and sis, leaving the gang –


– in the care of our dog nanny and her boyfriend who’ll be moving in while we’re away.

Speaking of the gang, Maximus’s blood test and x-rays came back a-okay, meaning he’s good to go for surgery on Wednesday.  The procedure will remove part of the mass on his inside cheek and hopefully make him a little more comfortable.

Speaking of which – lately, I’ve been stricken by this mystery pain that comes and goes.  Now I’m no doctor, but I think I might have pulled a fallopian tube.  Anyway, it goes much more than it comes so I’ll just monitor it for the time being.  In case things take a turn for the worse, however, I’m going to need you guys to monitor the blog so that you can swing by and give me a lift to the hospital if I need it.  Thanks.

Taking a break from leisure reading to study more Japanese.  The other day, we met a Korean exchange student who was conversational in Japanese after spending a year in Tokyo.  Conversational after one year of immersion!  I’ve been listening to those damn CD’s for years and I’m lost three sentences into any conversation.  I’ve heard that most language learners have an easier time understanding a foreign language rather than speaking it – which I find altogether bizarre.  I understand next to nothing but can have wonderful chats with myself.

42 thoughts on “November 13, 2011: Fantasy Football Sunday!

  1. Nice blog entry.mmm…food…..Do you remember Resurgence from SGU? Well…You guys kind of goofed on the star sequence. I hear the sound for the solar collectors retracting but you don’t see them retracting. Destiny flies out of the star with its collectors still extended…..

  2. You gotta sing it my friend, it’s the fastest way to learn a foreign language. I get lyrics off the web, translate words I don’t understand and then listen to cool French songs while following the lyrics.

    Root beer to season pork, interesting! Looks tasty. I tried making carimanolas which are sorta yucca empanadas, I didn’t boil the yucca long enough before I made the carimanolas so they came out a dry. But I’ll try again.

    Good luck to Max on his surgery, I’m crossing my fingers for him to have a fast recovery so he can get back to chewing up fine Italian loafers.

  3. “Now I’m no doctor, but I think I might have pulled a fallopian tube.”

    I have fallopian tubes Joe, not you. If you have a fallopian tube, not only are you no doctor, but you are not a man either. 😆

    Are you drunk? 🙂

  4. I left M. Lynch on the bench and started Ogbonnaya…ouch! Lucy for me I have Tom Brady and Arian Foster to take up the slack.

    I’m still not convinced that Romo is anything more than lucky.

    Root beer pulled pork? I have to stock up on gout meds and try that!


  5. I’ve heard that most language learners have an easier time understanding a foreign language rather than speaking it – which I find altogether bizarre.

    Before I went to Greece for my cousin’s BFGW I followed some basic Greek language CDs and I found that this was enough to give me a rudimentary comprehension to get the gist of what was being said. Speaking Greek, on the other hand, was a different kettle of fish. With the exception of “όχι”, which I found very useful when navigating the packs of street vendors, I found it difficult to put together more than a couple of basic sentences on the fly.

    I’m required to be “officially bilingual” (English/French) in my job (government) and almost everyone I know has found that when tested their comprehension rating is the highest, while the spoken rating is usually lower.

  6. Shiny has a good point. If your are trying to learn to read a language I would get some Karioke dvd’s preferably the the more family oriented ones. I have some Thai adult (R-rated) types and end up not looking at the words. Japanese is easier than Thai as I have some of those CDs too. At least I can ask a woman if she would like to have a beer or saki at the hotel.

  7. If your japanese doesnt work out, you’ll both have to learn a different language together heh heh. Maybe french?

  8. Joe, if you have pain in the ‘fallopian tube area’, and it’s on the left side, you may have diverticulitis. On the right, appendicitis. Or a hernia. Did you lift anything heavy recently? Squat? Perform any stunts? Do the twist? The Charleston? The hokey pokey? If that’s not what it’s all about, have you engaged in any sports? If it’s in the middle, it may be your bladder. Are you drinking enough cranberry juice? Do you have a full stream? a dribble? a stop and start? Have you had your prostate checked recently? Are you eating too much gluten? Perhaps you’re developing a wheat intolerance. Hopefully it’s not full-blown celiac. Or colitis. Are you allergic to nuts? legumes? cats? dogs? dust? pollen? It could just be gas. Maybe you have twisted intestines. Or a worm. If it’s really low, perhaps you strained something while engaged in vigorous… sit-ups. Or a vigorous ‘sit down’. Are you regular? Have you recently swallowed a fish bone, a coin, a magnet, a marble, or a filling? If it was the latter, was it your filling, or someone else’s? Have you manscaped recently? If so, do you have razor burn? stubble? an ingrown hair? Have you checked your bellybutton for lint? Did you recently eat raw eggs, meat, or fish? Have you ever been tested for Helicobacter pylori? Salmonella? E coli? C diff? Have you recently gained weight but are still trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans? Do you wear skinny jeans? If so, would you consider yourself to be emo? a hipster? a gigolo? Have you been checked for kidney stones? gall stones? Do you have any stones at all?


    Sleep well, Joey…I’m sure that little pain is nothing to worry about…yet. 🙂


  9. Hey Joe,

    I know you’re probably wondering how Brody’s Bar, my Fantasy Football team went this weekend. We pulled off another victory, that’s 2 in a row, taking me to 4-6. I’m pretty sure I’m not in playoff contention but I’m having fun. I’m glad I played Tony Romo instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick….you did do that didn’t you?

    The food looks awesome as always…I wish I had someone come in and cook for me….that would be the ultimate luxury…q

    Question for everyone: what would be your ultimate luxury?

    I don’t have any plans for the holidays as I’ll only have just gotten back from my trip.

    Thinking of Maximus & the gang..& you & Akemi – hope the op goes well…hope you figure out the mystery pain – it’s not an ulcer is it…it’s been a stressful year *hugs*

    I’d offer a lift to the hospital but I drive on the left side of the road…might be a tad scary for you.How about I do charades with you at the hospital…deal?

    Take Care!!

    Cheers, Chev

  10. @Joan001
    ‘We had 2 such people, one after the other as supervisors.’

    Aargh. Harsh. I’ve had to deal with a few. One managed to ruin the reputation of an entire department through her lies and toadying. The senior managers thought she was wonderful. 🙁

    ‘The general population would not believe the havoc that these personalities can cause…’

    They’re like a drop of ink in a bucket of water; their presence taints the whole, making it toxic. Bad metaphor, but I’m sure you know what I mean. Everyone around them suffers.

    ‘Makes you wonder just how many are politicians, doesn’t it?’

    I hope your next workplace is a happy one! 🙂

    I forgot ‘Footrot Flats’! My favourite character was Horse the Cat, followed by the neighbour (I’ve forgotten his name) who was kind to all living things. 🙂
    And I used to read ‘Marmaduke’ and ‘Garfield.’

    I read a good book called ‘The Funnies’ by J. Robert Lennon, about how the family of a cartoonist deals with his death, which has alot of fascinating detail about the craft of cartooning.

    Mr. M, nice pic of the pups. Glad to hear Max is good to go for his surgery. Wishing him all the best.
    Nice to see Patrick Gilmore (and the other guys, of course :-)). Volker was one of my favourite SGU characters; I loved how he went from being uncertain of himself to being able to stand up to Rush. 😀

    Christmas is a bit of a miserable time for me. I’ll be trying very hard to pretend it’s not happening.
    Bah, humbug, etc. 😉

    Those pesky fallopian tubes, eh Mr. M, always getting strained… 😉

  11. fallopian tube? There have been things you have kept from us 🙄 .

    Hugs to Max!

    The food looks awesome!

  12. @Joan001
    I’ve added ‘Snakes in Suits’ to my library list, along with Jon Ronson’s ‘The Psychopath Test’, which is somewhat along the same themes.

    How are those doing NaNoWriMo going?

  13. I have no doubt you are unsurpassed in your abikity to talk to yourself in just about any language. The food looks great as usual. Off my feed myself, which is not a bad thing. Probably something to do with the flu shot/multi-disease/anti-zombie vaccines I took at the same time. Or maybe the aliens came in the night and took out my thyroid. At least I’m finally home, doggie is in her rightful place behind me(but due for a trip to the groomers; 5 days roaming the woods and countryside have left her with an unusually distinctive odor)Having to play catch up on the rest of your posts the last few days, butin the next day or two I’ll have my new ipad in hand so that I don’t have to rely on a dying computer or knocking people down to utilize their laptops before they get back up.
    Hope all goes well with Maximus, and that the Snow Monkeys make a late season run to carry you through the playoffs to well deserved victory.

  14. Pulled a fallopian tube eh? Yeah, I remember the last time I pulled my Adam’s apple – not fun at all.

  15. Certainly hope it’s not a fallopian tube because then you have whole set of new problems. 😉

    Well…I hope ((((Maximus)))) gets through this surgery okay. I shall be praying for him.

  16. Those ice cream sandwiches looked good! And the pork too! I always get hungry after you have food pictures on the blog.

    Christmas–no plans for the day itself. We will be headed to SC to get our stuff out of storage New Year’s weekend and move into our own place. No more corporates. Yeah!!!!

  17. Good news for Max! That’s awesome!

    And uh…good luck with that fallopian tube thing. Maybe you should stay off of it for awhile.

  18. It’s absolutely easier to understand a foreign language than speak it. When you hear it your memory is triggered within the context of the conversation. When you’re the one speaking you have to dredge some word out of the depths of your memory, pushing aside the method for solving quadratic equations and looking under the name of your cousin’s cocker spaniel from when you were kids and hoping that answer for last week’s Final Jeopardy didn’t fall on it and smash it to smithereens. Top that off with the pressure of being on the spot it’s a recipe for blank slates to be popping up all in your noggin. I would think that Japanese would have an even steeper learning curve for Westerners since there’s nothing to relate it to. We’re exposed to Romance languages our whole lives so there’s some thread of continuity to help with an educated guess.

    Why don’t you and Akemi have lessons together? Pick “Tokyo Tuesday” where you all converse only in Japanese. It’s a safe environment to make mistakes and learn from a real speaker and not the classroom vocabulary that may or may not be the words spoken on the street. Good luck!! My Spanish is rusting away even though I have a deal with one of the guys in the building that he only speaks English and I only speak Spanish (he’s from Peru)..

  19. Hope the pup does well, we are now down to 1 kitty as we had to put pumpkin to sleep due to cancer, miss my bitchy,sweet cat!! It’s too quiet in this house!!

  20. Once you get to a certain proficiency level with a language, it is harder to speak than to understand mostly (I think) because you are afraid of making mistakes. This can inhibit you so that you don’t get as much practice speaking as you do listening. This would definitely be more of an issue in an immersion situation where everyone else speaks the language perfectly.

  21. “An early symptom of appendicitis is intermittent pain in the naval region.”

    I got that quote off a web site, but, having had 2-4 year olds, I know that all 4 year olds identify the location of all tummy aches as the belly button. Until they prove that information is not based on a survey of 4 year olds, you should dismiss it as horribly irresponsible internet conjecture.

  22. @Das: ROTFLMAO. You do know you’re insane, right? Then again, I was thinking that Joe’s problems could be due to uterine fibroids, or maybe an ovarian cyst. Maybe menopause? 😉

  23. Sorry Ivon but we have to put a flag on your play; Victory sign with thumbs up? Definitely deserves a penalty for fumbling the fingers. 😉

  24. @ das…. you frighten me. I love you!

    @ MIrth M….. Tokyo Tuesday? They could combine it with Tutu Tuesday and wear their matching tuts while speaking Japanese! (Presuming the existence of matching tutus in the Joe~Akemi collective)

    I too can understand a more of a spoken language without being able to generate a coherent sentence, especially when the participants go slow for me. I wore out “mo ichido”. I transpose words, and once tried to order a kotatsu rather then tonkatsu. Embarrassing, but funny. I do better with non-Romance languages, I tend to mash the Romance ones together.

    12 years in Japan and I didn’t get past the basics, all my neighbors practiced their English on me, I tutored English to most of the neighbor kids, and we spoke English on base. I tried classes, but the Navy kept having other plans for my free time. So I ended up with chatty “bar” Japanese skills.

  25. I come here to read the people who comment as much as for you Joe. Hugs to you all 🙂

    Speaking of snow monkeys, hope youse were able to catch David Hewlett’s work on Syfy’s Rage of the Yeti. Now, that was a cast.

  26. @Das
    😀 😀 😀

    ‘They could combine it with Tutu Tuesday and wear their matching tuts while speaking Japanese!’
    😀 😀 😀

    @Lisa R
    28,000 words?! *reels* Oh, yeah, I could totally do that. If, like, it was all the same word…;-)
    Gonna let us in on what it’s about? Tell us the genre, at least! 🙂

    Why, yes, we are all exceedingly entertaining and erudite, here on Joe’s Blog. 😉

    Ahh, David Hewlett…

    1. @Zed of Earth: LOL: I’ve heard there’s actually people that will do that (on the NaNoWriMo site). When you submit your piece for verification of the words, it’s supposed to be on the honor system. I was able to finish last year, and I’m on track to get to 50,000 this year. Oh, and my genre, it’s a young adult coming of age novel. 🙂

  27. Good luck Max.

    Learning language to songs is definitely the easiest way. I had to study German in High School and as a Physics and Biology student I found it confusing how objects had genders. I asked if there was somewhere I could look to tell if the table was male or female. Teacher didn’t appreciate it. So, realising I only had one more year of being forced to learn German I put it to songs so I could get through enough to pass. Although I’m sure the teacher was wondering why I was almost singing to her during the practical exam. Ah well, she thought I was crazy anyway.

    As for comic strips. I’ve been drinking out of a “Midvale School for the Gifted” Farside mug for 13 years now. Being in IT Dilbert is “funny because it’s true”. But as a kid, I couldn’t get enough of Garfield.

    Will the new comic book bring you to any of the cons in this hemisphere Joe?

  28. Maybe your “fallopian tube” pain is sympathetic pregnancy pain? Something you and Akemi want to share with us? 🙂

    Hoping the surgery goes great.

  29. @ Deni, Tam, and Zed – Glad you enjoyed! Joe inspires me. 😀

    @ Maggiemayday – You love me? Is that in a creepy, or a non-creepy kinda way…


    Whew! Came home early from work today and worked allllllll afternoon in the yard with Mr. Das. We got the cat houses ready for winter (ACK! A bazillion SPIDERS!!!!! 😮 😯 ), and raked leaves to the curb (about half off, half left to fall), cleaned the gutters, and cleaned up my Japanese garden a bit. I’m amazed at how much we got done since we really didn’t start until about 1:30-2:00, and worked up to 6:00 (thank goodness for floodlights!). We didn’t do a perfect job since we have more leaves to rake once they fall, but it looks way better than it did this morning. The weather was absolutely stunning – clear blue sky, 72 degrees, and a light breeze – couldn’t have asked for better!

    Gotta grab a bite to eat! Ta-ta!


  30. Miss me anyone? I’m going to start here and work my way backwards.

    Perhaps you are having a tubal pregnancy, Joe. Nothing to fool around with.

    I hope Maximus’ surgery went well today.

    Holiday plans: Thanksgiving: Working. Order our turkey dinner from La Madeleine which is all prepped and ready for us to pop in the oven. Friday: Working.

    Christmas: It lands on a Saturday, so they were kind enough to not put me in the rotation since I worked Thanksgiving & Christmas last year and had New Year’s off. I have to work the previous weekend. Just the 3 of us. And another La Madeleine turkey dinner (yep, I hate cooking). Although, I did make an ambitious pumpkin flan for book club last Sunday. Looks beautiful but it was nauseating about halfway through it. I think smaller dishes would work better. And a pretty decent minestrone soup. That was Sunday, then Monday night to Tuesday I came down with the stupid flu. I find out Friday if they want to do a kidney biopsy so I might have to squeeze that in during my holiday season. Joy to the World. (heavy sarcasm). It’s my job to convince him, however, that we can postpone said procedure until 2013. I’m taking 2012 off from doing medical procedures.

  31. Wow, I’ve missed a LOT.

    @2cats @sheryl and @Deni: So sorry about your furry kids. Big hugs.

    Loved all the Akemi pictures.

    Congratulations to Trevor and Holly on the birth of their child.

    High school: Some of the best times of my life, some of the worst times. I was class president, in chorus, got a part in a play, Anchor Club (service organization). In 11th grade I was given physical education student of the year (1000 students in my class) much to the display of all the athletes, Spent the summers on a boat docked at Davis Park on Fire Island, clammed with my feet and dog walked for extra money. In 11th grade I got a job at a restaurant during the school year. In 11th grade I competed in the Suffolk County typing contest and won 1st place–on a manual typewriter when everyone else was using electric. Here is the funny part–my husband, who was in the same graduating class of a rival high school remembers the person who represented their school coming back and saying to them, “I got beat by someone from Patchogue.” Nine years later we would meet, date & get married. I went on to “All Long Island” but didn’t place there. But it was fun. I was 10th in my class out of 1000 students when we had to move to Florida (from NY). Then the story gets complicated. I was supposed to skip senior year and go right to college — was accepted to University of Central Florida in Orlando (David Blue’s alma mater), but my foster mother hid the information from me because she didn’t want to have to pay anything and I was forced to take classes in senior year in Florida (when I enrolled and told them that their education system was far inferior to what I had been learning in New York which is why I had applied to go to college from my junior year, as I would be taking all AP classes in NY, and the counselor said he didn’t like my attitude). I was set to graduate early (in December). In late Oct, or early Nov, an incident occurred with my foster mother and I walked out with my belongings. I wasn’t going to live there anymore (I was only 17). I rented a room in the home of someone I worked with at a local restaurant (Pinellas Park Mall), and basically homeschooled myself because it was too far for me to get to school each day. I took my exams and when I graduated in December, I was ranked 2nd in my class (I would have been 1st had I been able to get one of my projects done, which I could not). I consider myself though to be part of the Long Island class. I have reconnected to so many of them on Facebook and it’s been wonderful to see their children experiencing the same things right now as what we went through. My 30th reunion is coming up next year. I really want to be there.

  32. @ Das – 😆 😆 You are too much!

    And Joe, do yourself a favor and when you go see the doctor about your fallopian tube, don’t mention the name. Just point to your body and say, “it hurts here”. And when your making the appointment, just say you have a pain. Don’t tell them you think you pulled your fallopian tube. Trust me on this one, okay?

  33. Joe I hope your tubes are feeling better soon…
    I have been away from the blog, but just wanted to say sorry to all the people who have recently had to put down beloved pets, My condolences to you.
    Good luck to Maximus on his upcoming surgery,have some doggie ice cream ready for him,,num yummy.
    The pictures on the blog, thanks, is Ivon sharing his recipe? I love pork and coleslaw. And the guy gang was nice to see as well. Have a good tomorrow.
    ~ das, very funny, you might have scared Joe,,

  34. Hey, everybody, esp DAS, I. Just saw Chris Heyerdahl on AMC’s Hell on Wheels. He had the best line ever. ” they call me the Swede…..I’m Norwegian”

  35. @das – clever! and this: “The hokey pokey? If that’s not what it’s all about, have you engaged in any sports?” clever!

  36. Next time you have Patrick Gilmore over, have him teach the dogs how to win at Twitter. Those dogs have been slacking lately.

  37. @Lisa R: ‘Oh, and my genre, it’s a young adult coming of age novel.’

    With aliens and space battles, right? 😉
    Happy writing!

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