Feeling a little under the weather.  Today, the guys were working on the new backyard deck.  It was kind of cold so I thought it would be nice to make them some nice hot chocolates – which I did, using Callebaut bittersweet, vanilla, milk, and a touch of sugar.  I sprinkled chocolate shavings over top and then served them piping hot!  To no one.  By the time I stepped outside, the guys had gone on lunch break.  

Here you go...oh damn.

Akemi suggested I store the hot chocolates away in the refrigerator and then reheat them when they returned.  For my part, I thought refrigerating, then reheating the hot chocolate would spoil the flavor.  So I ended up drinking them myself.  All three.  About three hours ago, I sugar crashed.  I’ve got a wicked headache and feeling all sorts of cranky and rundown.  I honestly think a bit of chocolate will help pick me up, but Akemi has forbidden it.  She’s tiny, but has three years of ninja training under her belt, so I know better than to mess with her.  

Okay, seriously.  Do you know what I hate?  Meeting people who have been studying Japanese a lot less longer than I have who speak the language a lot better than I do.  I’m thinking immersion is the key.  To that end, I’m developing a couple of Japan-centered shows.  I figure six months of production should be adequate time to master my conversational skills.  I think I’ll bring Bartok with me as I’ll require a wingman for my nightly visits to Star Bar in Ginza, the world’s greatest watering hole (http://starbar.jp/).  

Oh, and someone to help me produce the show.  

Maximus goes in for surgery tomorrow.  According to the vet, it will not be a major procedure and he should be good to go home by day’s end.  Fingers crossed.  Wish him luck!

Bubba and Maximus thank you for your support.

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Deni.

53 thoughts on “November 15, 2011: The Tuesday Report!

  1. Hmmm…I’d like to immersively (?) study Japanese, too. But Husband dislikes long-trem separations.

  2. @for the love of Beckett You may not have missed anything. Not everyone gives any clues, and some people work very, very hard NOT to give any hint. One year ago next week one of my coworkers killed herself, and no one had an inkling until she didn’t show up for work the next morning. It’s hard to deal with, but sometimes there’s really nothing you can do. I’ll be thinking about you.

  3. I want to live a life where each night ends with me sipping a perfect cocktail created at Star Bar… is that so much to ask?


  4. Go Akemi. Being feared is necessary to living with the Western male. Seems like you are doing a great job so far. Keeping Joe from executing all his “good” ideas.

    Isn’t living with a person who speaks Japanese immersion?

  5. Okay, this is weird. I could have sworn I read your blog yesterday, but when I opened the page to your site, there was not one, but two blogs. Did I miss a day somehow? I’m sure this happens to everyone. You go to sleep on Sunday night and wake up Tuesday morning. Happens all the time, right? Or maybe I’ve accidently discovered time travel. Or, more likely, I somehow managed to forget to read your blog. If this is what it’s like to grow old, I’m going to start counting backwards on birthdays.

    An FYI for everyone: Colin Cunningham, who played Major Davis on Stargate SG-1 has lost his dog, Piper, to Cancer. He had her since 2003. I’m sure everyone wishes him and his g/f Bri, the best. He can be reached through Twitter @CunninghamColin.


  6. Best of luck and wishes to Maximus! I think immersion is the key. In my attempts to learn French I could only get so far with regular language training. It’s just to easy to fall back to the ease of your native language unless you have to use the new one.

  7. G’day Joe

    Sending good vibes and thoughts to darling little Maximus. Good luck!!!


  8. You deserve a sugar crash after three cups of chocolate! Shame on you. Should have taken Akemi’s suggestion and put it in the fridge. Good luck to Max on the surgery.

  9. I had a buddy in Japan who seemed to be fluent after two weeks. And he had a black belt. And a remarkable drinking ability which got him in hot water with the Navy after he tried to fight six or seven Marines on The Honch. Those were the days….

  10. Hope everything goes well for Maximus!

    I once ate three extra-large donuts when the other two people I bought them for had to postpone our meeting. I convinced myself they would get stale if not eaten immediately, then a few hours later had the same sugar-crash it sounds like had! Wish I could say I learned a lesson that day . . . .

  11. Good luck Max!!!

    Joe, why not have Akemi speak to you in nothing BUT Japanese? I’d say you’d be bound to either become fluent…or single.

  12. Did you already know the guys working on the deck? Here in the Chicago area, if you offer a work crew hot chocolate, I think they’d look at you kinda funny.

    Good luck to Maximus and the entire family!

  13. My best wishes go out to maximus for a good outcome with his surgery. Joe I wouldn’t mess with a ninja bunny rabbit either.

  14. Good morning, Joe! Thanks so much for the second dedication in less than a week. It’s been a tough one around here, but things seem better this morning, or at least, I hope so. Elway seems pretty chipper, so maybe it’s over and done with for this round. I always marvel at how resilient dogs are. He’s back to being his goofy, happy self (mostly) today!

    Good luck with Max’s surgery today. Please give him a kiss on his cute little face from us, and remember we’ll be waiting to hear from you!

  15. thinking about Maximus today and praying that things go well

    So, you think immersion is the best way to learn Japanese?? My older son was thinking about letting that be his foreign language for high school, and I’ve been looking into programs he could use for his sophomore year.

    Hope you feel better!

  16. The idea of you not being able to tolerate sweets terrified me so I googled “sugar crash”. Wikipedia pins the blame on hot drinks speeding the digestion. Phew.

  17. Look at those punims! Maximus is such a sweetie, can’t imagine him battling lions and Gauls in the Colosseum. Now Bubba I can see whaling on Romans with a sword.

    Subbed at a lecture last evening; a bunch of blank little faces staring back at me. About ten minutes in I seriously considered fleeing. But stuck it out and got them to discuss their writing and what films influenced them. But it was like pulling up trees with a tweezer. Now I know why I’ve never applied for teaching jobs; seems like a great way to have more time to write but the students I can live without.

  18. PS, this is one of the stations I listen to that has helped me keep my French up, lots of different accents and they talk brutally fast but listening when I’m doing other things sorta sneaks the language into my brain. I was watching how Gabby Giffords used music therapy to help her get her language back, music really helps to learn a language:


  19. Joey, I need some chocolate now.

    This morning we had to put our old lady cat, Marbles, to sleep. I guess that makes four of us in a week…not a good time for our furry babies. 🙁 She was all wobbly this morning, walking in circles with her head cocked to the side, and flopping over. She had a little fall, but not sure if the fall did it, or if she had a stroke or something and that caused the fall. Either way, it was time…but damn, was it hard. She’s such a lovebug and purred all the way to the vet as I held her. Do you know how hard it is to do this when they’re purring and clinging to you like a little child? Guh…we are gutted, even though we know we had no other choice. I try to look at the positives, like no more litter pan misses, and no more caterwauling in the middle of the night, and no more carrying her when she’s too crippled up to walk…but still, this isn’t as ‘easy’ as I thought it would be. She was a sweet little thing, right to the end.

    Here’s my little girl in better days, looking a bit smug, I might add…


    Gonna miss you, li’l stinkybutt. 🙁


  20. Yay on getting your deck fixed!

    Too funny about the chocolate hangover but I bet it was worth it. My drug of choice for a “post prandial dip” is M& M’s. Ninja training, huh? It’s always the innocuous ones.

    I don’t know about Japanese but a local Spanish teacher recommends it for her pupils.

    Praying for Max!

  21. Big ~~HUGS~~ and good thoughts for baby Maximus!
    Yeah, the back deck is getting fixed, ..yeah!! and chocolate..

  22. Das: so sorry about Marbles. She was a pretty girl and had such a sweet expression. I have a soft spot for torties.

    for the love of Beckett: My sympathies….

  23. You listen to Akemi. She know what’s best for you. And…no more sugar highs. I take it you learned you lesson. Joe…I think you owe Akemi something nice for taking good care of you. 😉

    I shall be praying for dear Maximus while he’s in surgery. May God use His miracles through the hands of the surgeons whom will be performing the surgery. May Maximus have a full and healthy recovery. 🙂

  24. First two paragraphs show that you are indeed a smart man.
    Good luck wishes for Maximus

  25. 1) Explain to Akemi the “hair of the dog” theory as to why you need the chocolate now.
    2) Many libraries in the US have subscribed to a great online foreign-language learning system called MANGO. If you have a library card, you can access the site for free from home through your library’s website. You might want to see if this is available where you are. (I’m a librarian in training!)
    3) Having just lost one of my cats of 15 years, I know the stress even a “not a major procedure” can bring. Take it easy and hold him tight before and after.
    Good luck!

  26. @das
    Oh, Das, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful kitty. :-((

    It’s so hard that our furry family members don’t live as long as we’d like. We can do no more than love them for as long as we have them, and grant them a peaceful end when the time comes.

    My thoughts are with you, and with 2cats, Sheryl and Deni, and Colin Cunningham.

  27. Wishing Maximus a successful operation and since I’m traveling in the UK’s west-country, I’ll raise a pint to him as well!


    Sorry to hear about Marbles…I can tell she was loved. You’re in my prayers.

  28. @Das My sympathy to you all. RIP Marbles.

    We always love to hear about the adventures of Ivon and Joe. Sounds like fun. I hope Maximus’ surgery went well today and he’ll be eating better very soon.

  29. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. It’s been hard – Marbles was my cat nap buddy, and now I don’t have any little furry bodies to curl up with on a rainy afternoon (our other indoor kitty never sleeps with us…I’m kinda hoping that now she will). Needless to say, today’s been pretty rough.

    And needless to say, you and Maximus have been in my thoughts today, Joey. Hope all is well.


  30. Joe how did “our” boy Maximus do today? Hopefully he is back home and letting all the other dogs smell his mouth.

    @ Das – so sorry about your Lady Marbles. Beautiful cat. She had the same coloring as my last dog. Keeping you and Mr. Das in my prayers.

    @ Deni – glad to hear Elway is doing better. Even though he has those spells occasionally, that is still very frightening. He has a wonderful family.

    @ for the love of Beckett – a girl I worked with once killed herself too. With her husband and friend right there and a 9 month old sleeping in the other room. That was almost 20 years ago and I still think about her. No way to predict unless they say something. I think she just made a mistake that could not be taken back. Very sad.

  31. Lol…studying japanese…
    Do you know of the Destiny goof where in Resurgance the collectors are extended when Destiny is comming out of the star after we hear the sound for the collectors retracting?

  32. Dear Joseph a big support from your Toronto Vet, I hope Maximus did well in his surgery. I always have him in my prayers. Missing you guys a lot.
    Dr Juan Elduayen

  33. @Das, so sorry to hear about Marbles. It’s heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet, but I know that you gave her a great life and she had all the love and care that any furry friend could ever hope for.

  34. Good luck to Maximus tomorrow. Sydney Cat and I have our paws and fingers crossed.

  35. I wrote:
    >Good luck to Maximus tomorrow.
    >Sydney Cat and I have our paws and fingers crossed.

    When I wrote that I didn’t realize that “tomorrow” was today. I hope Max did well and is safe and home.

    – KB

  36. @das, sorry for your loss, Marbles looked like a kitty I once had, Patches/Pookie, she was a lap lover cat also, remembering all over again. Better days ahead for all.

  37. @ Joe — How is Maxi-mousse recovering? Is the gang sticking close and giving him comfort? Especially “mama” Jelly? Thank you, Dr. Elduayen, for taking such good care of Maximus. He’s one of our blog mascots. Joe, how are you doing?

    @ Deni — Very glad to hear that Elway is doing much better! Hope you’ve been able to catch up on sleep. Wanted to tell you that our feral cats are doing well. They look sleek, with soft, dense coats. Wonder if the weather is making their coats thicker.

    @ Das & Mr. Das — Am so sorry for your loss of Marbles. Her coat looked like fudge ripple, pretty with many colors. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose a “lap kitty” and nap buddy. If your other kitty will let you, give her a big hug.

    @ crazymom1, tam dixon, and Ponytail, thank you for your insights. Have been doing all kinds of second-guessing, but have to let that go. Sassy Dad said that he’d known, unfortunately, a few people who… and none of them let on any sign at all before they left. My take-away is, if someone crosses your mind, it’s for a reason! Don’t lose that opportunity, or that person.

    If someone out there already feels isolated and alone, please tell somebody. Heck, tell us! We may be goofy and warped, 😀 but nobody has a mess-free life. And yeah, it takes a while to turn things around sometimes, but it is worth it. DON’T give up! Hugs, to whoever you are. :-]

  38. @for the love of Beckett

    ‘…it is worth it.’
    It’s not.

    ‘Hugs, to whoever you are. :-]’
    But thanks for the kind thoughts.

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