My gal

“You two are always so happy,”noted the woman at the counter, wrapping up our olive oil purchases.  “Whenever you come in, you’re always laughing and smiling.”

I thought that was very sweet of her to say even though she was clearly mistaking my lunacy for merriment.  Happens all the time. Still, I suppose I am a generally good-humored sort, the type of person you’d like to talk to at a party or be on hand to lighten the mood during the final alien assault.  Yes, being slightly cracked helps. So does having a houseful of funny dogs.  And, oh yeah, a girlfriend that never fails to make me laugh – intentionally or not.

Like earlier this morning for instance when she quietly walked into the living room from the kitchen, took a seat and, eyes downcast, informed me: “I saw something terrible.”  She appeared shell-shocked.  What had she witnessed?  A bird fly into one of the back windows?  Our neighbors in a fist fight?  Graphic CNN war coverage?  No. As it turned out, she’d peeked into a container of expired sour cream and beheld a sight so horrific that she was in shock.

The Scream

She has still yet to adjust to our Vancouver winters which are, evidently, a lot colder than Tokyo winters (but, I can assure you, a lot warmer than the Montreal winters I grew up with).  This afternoon, we took the dogs for their daily walk.  Before heading out, Akemi bundled up with the warmest jacket she could find – one of my old Stargate crew gifts.

Akemi: “I look like a human boneless ham.”

Not exactly fashionable, but warm.

And yet, fashion is important to her.  Especially kitchen-fashion, as evidenced by this video:

Via her blog:

And yet, the video that never fails to make me laugh was the candid one I took of her back in Osaka.  At okonomiyaki lunch, Akemi at her kooky best:

She admits that, before coming to Canada, she wasn’t really a dog person.  All that has changed, especially when it comes to her second boyfriend, Bubba.

Soooo jealous. How come I don’t get tummy rubs?
Hanging out with Lulu.

Every time I try to snap a photo of her, she starts moving – waving her hands, turning, posing – so that fully half of her is a blur.  She can’t help herself.

And eventually…

In this particular pic, I ask her to NOT move. This is the result. Kanashii as the Japanese would say.

And, best of all, she LOVES to cook:

A girl after my own heart!

41 thoughts on “November 21 2012: My gal!

  1. Akemi is priceless! Cherish her.

    @Akemi – I love your comment about the “human boneless ham.”
    Other variations – the michelin tireman (body made of white rolls).
    Pillsbury dough boy. And then there is the stuffed turkey.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it.
    Waving back at JeffW and, oh my manners….
    Waves at Sparrow Hawk!!

    FYI – found another Irish Boutique in Long Grove.
    And….Sweet Whimsy – they do make macarons, but there is no set schedule.
    They did not have any for me to purchase and taste test…yet!
    Will investigate further and report.
    And, found 2 butchers….but they were closed the day I found them.
    So will discover if they carry/sell belly pork.

    whew…reporting done. Now to rest up for tomorrow’s over indulgences.

  2. Oh, that was adorable. I mean that just as much about how you wrote it, Joe, as your subject.

    Cameras don’t deserve stillness. They’ve been confining people to held poses for too long. They absolutely can be fast enough, they’re just not doing it because we keep cooperating. I bet you’re in the market for a faster camera. Right, Joe? See? Passive resistance works.

  3. Just one slight correction. I’m pretty sure Bubba is her first boyfriend. The tummy rubs are a dead giveaway!

  4. That picture of Akemi bundled up in the jacket reminds me of Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story. 😆 We all love Akemi too!

    I’ve made the orange jello salad, and have everything ready to put together my broccoli salad tomorrow. The horror of 2 broccoli dishes has set in after making the broccoli/rice casserole. Do you think they’ll notice? I will cook it along with the corn casserole tomorrow. And 2 hams. Oh, did I mention that I must have been a caterer in a past life? Yes, I have to pack everything up and take it to my mom’s house tomorrow. That alone takes 15-20 minutes. I’ve arrange for my niece to start the turkey, green beans, and gravy over there. She is making the dressing. My house smells like sauted onion and celery, and fried bacon. Can’t get better than that!

  5. G’day Joe

    Akemi sure is a doll.

    Sorry to put a dampener on such a happy post.
    My Dad has been battling cancer for the past few months and this morning he was put into the Palliative Ward in the hospital. He is not expected to see the other side of the weekend. The hardest part for me is that I am 3500 klms away and may not be able to get up to see him. Our financial situation is not the best so having to wait for cheaper flights is really the only option for us. Which is about Wednesday. Driving is not really an option as I am in Tasmania the island state.
    Please spare a thought and if your thing say a prayer for Dad – John.


  6. @Janet….very sorry to hear your situation.
    Have you tried to talk to the airlines regard your situation? I think there are situations where they may be able to help with the fares.
    It is worth asking…
    crossing fingers and toes, and sending good thoughts and vibrations.

  7. Hi Joe,

    I’m glad you are so happy. It’s just an awesome thing when you find someone you truly gel with.

    I thought I’ve found that girl (twice now), but neither one reciprocated any interest….. Eventually, I suppose. 😉

    Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving from the east coast,

    Major D.

  8. I can testify that Akemi is just wonderful as she seems, and Joe, you and Akemi do make a great couple! It was so awesome to spend some time with you guys.

    A very happy and thankful Thanksgiving to all you folk south of the border!

    @Janet: So sorry to hear about your Dad. I went through my Dad’s passing last year and this is a very difficult point in the process. I would second Sylvia’s suggestion about at least talking to the airlines to see what kind of deal you can work out, or at least see how much you can go on stand by for. It can’t hurt to ask.

  9. This is a great post almost brought a tear to this old Cynic.

    On a lighter note i finally got my hands on the Dark Matter graphic novel. I’m impressed.

  10. Nice blog with Akemi featured, how cute. Glad you admitted what we already knew. Thanks for sharing with us. Its nearing Christmas, and you requested a tummy rub, so maybe santa will hear you. Happy Tanksgiving day to those who will be celebrating,, I plan on eating too much and taking a nap to digest. Oh and having dessert, maybe I will have that first, to cleanse my palate for the mains. 😉

  11. Happy Thanksgiving ALL!!! Akemi is awesome!
    @Joe I WON week 11 Sirius PigSkin Pik-em! Grad School has me too busy and brain-glazed for fantasy football this go round. Business school has been terribly disappointing, I won’t finish this. MFA or MA creative writing if I stay in school mode.

  12. Ahh, that’s so sweet. My hubby and I celebrated the 20th anniversary of when we met a few weeks ago. It’s amazing when you can find that kind of relationship.

    To all in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!

    Janet, we will pray for your father and your whole family!!

    Have a great day!

  13. Janet–ex-airline personnel here. Many US carriers offer a discount in similar cases, as Sylvia mentioned. Worth a try with AUS carriers.

    Tell the agent about your father’s condition & have Dr., chaplain or social worker /hospital /ward or floor info & phone(s) available for verification. Ask for least expensive fare available, even if it has restrictions, as “bereavement” fares are usually based on unrestricted fares & therefore more expensive.

    God bless you & yours.

  14. On Thanksgiving Pictures:

    Here’s our start this morning:

    I’ve got the turkey in the oven and will put in the sweet potatoes at noon.

    @sylvia on the Irish store:

    Do they have bangers? I have some bangers in the freezer now just waiting for a nice clammy day to have a British breakfast. I’ve retired the smoker for the year, so no more smoked pork until the spring. 🙁

  15. @Joe and Akemi: I wholeheartedly agree with the lady at the counter … it’s lovely to see such a happy couple! Always take care of one another 🙂

    @Janet: I hope you manage to work things out with the airlines … your dad will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry this is happening to you!

    @Everyone Celebrating Thanksgiving! Have fun with all today’s activities – eat ’til you’re fit to bursting. 🙂

  16. @ Janet – Keeping your dad and you in my prayers. I hope you find a way to see him sooner.

  17. @JeffW – yes, the are affiliated with the Crytal Lake store and seem to have everything. Got a supply of bangers and doubled the score with some Flake. Love that candy – put in freezer then crush over ice cream. YUM.

  18. OMG!!! Help me!!! 😯 The corn casserole, 2 hams, and broccoli casserole are in the oven. Got to pack it all up and leave in one hour. The fruit tray and deviled eggs w/veggies tray is ready to go too. They are pretty. When I get to my mom’s, I need to make the mashed potatoes, stuff everything hot into the oven to keep warm until we can put it all together on the table(s). Next year, I’m going to Maggiemayday’s house for booze! That sounds good right about now…

  19. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
    Mum rang early this morning. Dad died in his sleep, he went peacefully.

    Have rang all the airlines and they are not willing to help. Typical. Trying a few aid agencies, see how I go.
    Thanks all.

  20. 1. GREAT blog!! We love Akemi!!

    2. ALL my windows are CLEAN! YAY!

    3. My back is KILLING me. BOO! :P:P:P


  21. Janet, I am so sorry to hear about that. My sincere condolences, and sending the most positive of thoughts to you and your family.

  22. @ Janet – So very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom and family. {{{{hugs}}}}


  23. @Janet: My condolences. I hope you are able to get a flight soon.

    @Joe: That was the sweetest blog ever. In a good way.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  24. Just now getting caught up online — thanks for sharing your lovely family, Joe! And Janet, I am so sorry about your dad — I lost mine back in July and it is so hard, especially when you live far away…

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