Black Hawk down
Black Hawk down

Over the almost three years we’ve been together, I’ve gotten know a lot about Akemi.  For one, she’s an amazing cook.  She also excels at gift-wrapping.  She’s incredibly kind and considerate.  She loves dogs (especially Bubba).  She’s afraid of spiders, mysterious night time noises, and any food that has been sitting in the refrigerator for over a week.  Oh, and she’s a tad klutzy.  The sight of her wielding a kitchen knife fills me with dread. Still, There’s something downright adorable about the way she’ll trip over the most seemingly innocuous things (a rock, the curb, a discarded lozenge), shouting “Ooooo!” or “Kyaa!” or loosening a cross between a shriek and squeak as she stumbles forward, arms windmilling, hands scrambling for purchase.  I have never known a woman with such bad walking luck.  It’s as if there exists some inexplicable law of attraction between the heels of her shoes and every crack and cranny in the sidewalk.  It’s kind of amusing, almost endearing – unless she has her arm around you at the time in which case, depending on how well-balanced you are in that split second, you could be going down for the count along with her.

There was the time she tripped over the bicycle path while carrying Jelly and fell flat on her face like some hard luck cartoon character, arms outstretched, buffering the blow for my eldest pug who landed, none the worse for wear, and ambled off.  There was the time she tripped going up the stairs and broke her glasses.  And then, there was the other day…

I came home to find her at the door, looking incredibly sheepish.  “I fell again,”she admitted and then, after showing me the beginnings of her various bruises, proceeded to re-enact the sequence of events.  She was playing keepaway with our french bulldog, Lulu.  Dog toy in hand, she raced down the hall, Lulu hot on her heels.  But she was moving too fast, failed to negotiate the turn and wiped out, landing as pictured above – sprawled, left arm extended and still clutching the dog toy. Lulu stopped and looked down at her, perhaps considering how best to console her – then decided against it, grabbed the dog toy out of her hand, and scampered away with her prize.

As a result, I’ve decided to revise my Christmas list insofar as Akemi is concerned.  I’m thinking either this –


These –

Aluminum alloy toe guards.
Aluminum alloy toe guards.

Or this –

Personal air bag system.  (
Personal air bag system. (


Anthony Porter writes: “It’s the worst thing to happen to Salt Lake since the Giant Brine Shrimp! (”

Answer: Terrifyingly tasty!

dasndanger writes: “Joe, I have a few questions…  1. Are you going to restart the BOTM club, perhaps in the new year?”

Answer: Thinking about it.

“2. If so, can we do Dark Matter? (I’m pretty sure we haven’t, though I know you’ve answered questions about it already throughout various blog entries.)”

Answer: Hmmm.  I thought we had discussed Dark Matter as a book of the month club selection but, apparently, we haven’t.  Great idea now that the trade paperback is out.  I’ll schedule it for February.

3. If the BOTM thing is too much, what about a book every other month, or so?

Answer: No, a book a month is fine.  And I think I’ll start taking requests this time around as well.

4. Regarding previous BOTM Q&As, when an author doesn’t get back to you with the answers, does it put you off their work?

Answer: Not so much their work as it does hosting a book of the month club.  I understand people are busy and try to make things as easy as possible for them to participate – gauging their interest at first and, if they’re keen, sending them the Q&A, informing them that they are free to pick and choose among the questions and that there is no hard deadline to get back to us.  Even so, a few of those Q&A’s went out, never to be responded to.  And when it happen twice in a row, well, I decided to put the club on indefinite hiatus.

5. Are you reading any comics at the moment?

Answer: I am.  In trades, I just finished up Jason Aaron’s Scalped and am still reading Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Lemire’s Sweet Tooth, and Layman and Guillory’s Chew.  As far as ongoing titles, I used to love Iron Man and The Ultimates, but dropped them soon after the creative shift.  Still enjoying Waid’s work on Daredevil and Rucka’s Punisher.  Same goes for Scott Snyder’s Batman.  Jason Aaron on Thor has been a pleasant surprise as has Mark Waid’s take on the Hulk.  Fantastic Four, with Fraction assuming writing duties, has also impressed.  Still picking up Ultimate Spiderman and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye.  Am sticking with All-New X-Men, Avengers Arena Thunderbolts, and Captain American for now.

PBMom writes: “Thanks everyone for the Patrick birthday wishes. He had a bad seizure on Saturday, but he is okay today. Had a quiet day at school. We go back to the doctor for him after the holidays.”

Answer: Here’s hoping for a happy and restful holiday for both you Patrick.

Bella&Kasper writes: “We had a harrowing experience last night. On the way home from Christmas & wedding (my step daughter is getting married Fri with a reception at our place) shopping, I hit a moose with my brand new little Subaru Forester.”

Answer: Glad to hear you and your hubby are okay (well, better than your Subaru anyway).  Where did this happen?

Maggiemayday writes: “Mmm, marzipan. I adore marzipan.”

Answer: Marzipan is a contentious issue.  It’s hard to find people not passionate on the subject.  I, for one, love it.  On other hand, you have people like Akemi and my writing partner, Paul, who hate it.

Paloosa writes: “I got some good news this past week. Thankfully, Norman hasn’t grown much and is considered stable. I don’t have to worry about the little dude for another year.”

Answer: Great to hear.

Ponytail writes: “Hilarious convesation with Akemi. That first picture of her is very pretty. Is it recent? I’m just noting the sleeveless dress. You must keep a very warm house.”

Answer: That’s Japanese fashion for you.  Today, she wore a skirt out shopping.  In 0 degree (32 Fahrenheit) weather.

mike mcginnis writes: “when is the SGA recap going to continue?”

Answer: Our trip down Stargate: Atlantis memory lane will continue, with SGA’s fifth and final season, in the new year.

32 thoughts on “December 18, 2012: Kyaa! And the mailbag!

  1. Maybe I need you to shop for me! I am the same way as Akemi, I trip over everything including my own toes! My husband worries about me all the time but, knock on would I have never broken anything, or should I say almost. I fell in a market one time and shattered my two front teeth. Thanks to a good dentist I look ok. Good post, happy holidays!

  2. I’m ASSUMING that picture of Akemi on the floor is a re-enactment! 🙂 I can relate to Akemi’s problem – I sometimes trip over… well, nothing basically. It’s an interesting problem for someone like me whose hiking hobby takes me to some fairly risky spots. I won’t fall then though, I promise!

    Went out and got my Christmas tree this evening (I still go for the real thing.) Of course, it had to be a windy mix of rain and heavy snow outside. Not so much festive as annoying while trying to pick out a tree in the dark!

    The mention of the Dark Matter trade paperback reminded me that I need to pick that up. Maybe I can even get the author to sign it someday! I hear he’s a most pleasant and accommodating fellow.

  3. Hubby swears that our boys have flashing lights so people can aim the baseball at them. We’ll have to see how baseball season goes in the spring.
    I can’t believe my oldest is sixteen today. Where have the years gone?

    Have a great night!!!

  4. Hey Joe

    My brother is the same way. Once, years ago, I told our parents that he’d trip over a line drawn on the ground. They laughed. I drew a chalk line outside the door on the pavement and sure enough, down he went.


  5. I need those toe guards! Playing with dogs around here always ends up in bruises or blood. 🙂 Otherwise, just waiting for my grandson to make his grand entrance, but so far, NOTHING. Oy.

  6. Joe, in all seriousness, perhaps you should get Akemi one of those, “I’ve fallen and can’t get up”, fall detectors. You don’t want her alone in the house for hours if she falls and hits her head on something.


  7. I can relate to Akemi’s clumsiness. I always have a nice collection of bruises too. However, it took a lot of skill to absorb the fall and leave Jelly unharmed! Well done Akemi!!!!

    Paloosa: I was wondering about Norman. Glad to hear he’s not growing. You have such a good sense of humor about the whole thing. Hats off to you too!!!

    Sleeveless dresses and skirts in the winter? It’s only 50ish (F) or 10ish (C) here and my hands go numb in the grocery story. I have gloves stashed everywhere. Akemi’s tougher than I am!

    I really enjoyed the blog tonight. Thanks for sharing!

  8. @ Akemi – My mom falls all the time, even when she was young. It’s partly due to the fact that she had a stroke when she was just 36, but she recovered fairly well from that. No, her problem is that she NEVER looks down when she’s walking – she’s always looking up and around. Me? I always watch where my feet are going! Mostly it’s so I don’t step in dog doo, but it’s also because I hate to fall down, so I’m pretty careful about where I’m walking.

    Oh, and I’m afraid of spiders, too! But Joey’s afraid of snakes… 😈 And I will not eat anything more than 5 or 6 days old in the fridge – another thing we have in common with PG15 (where is that young man??!).

    Also, I love the personal air bags! LOLOL!!

    @ Joey – How do you manage to read SO much? I have trouble enjoying (and keeping track of) stories if I’m reading more than two or three at a time. You must have an amazing brain…or lots of empty space in there to be able to take it all in. 😀


  9. My sympathies are with Akemi, I too believe the ground is out to get me 🙂 I trip and fall all the time. Most the time I am able to catch myself. I even tripped at work the other day right in front of the Sheriff! It was hilarious, and he got a good laugh while asking if I was ok. Tell her I KNOW the ground reaches up and grabs her foot, because it happens to me too! 🙂

  10. Hey, Joe!

    Why do I get the feeling that what really happened is that you came home, saw Akemi on the floor, and exclaimed, “Wait! Stay right there! I’ve gotta take a picture w/ my phone!” ..and then she re-enacted the sequence of events.

    FYI- the personal air bag system really works (unless you fall straight down vertically like in a manhole or something, then it’s a no go) ..but if gravity were to ever fail, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to wear.

    Hey, I was reading through the original Suicide Squad comic book series from the 80’s/90’s and came across a character that was (a very pale) Grant Morrison. Any thoughts to writing either you or Paul in as a background character in Dark Matter part deuce? Or maybe even (a very pale) Carl Binder murmuring about hippies in the background of a panel?

  11. Akemi is the cutest. I find it so disappointing when I fall or I am crying and my beagle just looks at me like … ” 🙄 get over it”, then goes on about her business. I thought dogs were suppose to be all sensitive and stuff to the people they live with.

  12. Thankfully I have a very good sense of balance and very rarely trip over anything and I can’t remember a single time I’ve actually tripped and fallen completely over. The downside to having a good sense of balance is that I’m very susceptible to motion sickness. 🙁

    My girlfriend, on the other hand, while not exactly clumsy does have the occasional fall every now and then. The latest one resulted in her travelling down the stairs on her knees before landing flat on her face at the bottom. Carpet burns on her shins and ankles and a wounded pride but it could have been worse!

    I’ve just finished listening to the audiobook of Storm Front by Jim Butcher. It was very entertaining. My first foray into Urban Fantasy.

    If you’re looking for interesting BOTM authors you can’t go wrong with Paul Cornell. Author of many Doctor Who novels, Doctor Who TV episodes, original novels and comics. He’s currently writing the new Wolverine comic.

    I’m curious. Do you have some previous connection to the authors you feature on BTOM? Or do you just E-Mail them out of the blue and say “Hey, I have this blog thing. Would you answer some questions for me?”

  13. Helmut – Good!
    Knee Pads, Elbow Pads, Butt *Cushion* – even BETTER!!

    BTW, after writing this Post, “good luck” with ever getting Her “Insured”!

  14. I was going to recommend the helmet, but seeing the personal air bag system changed my mind. Definitely that.

  15. @ Akemi – See this?:

    Yeah, that’s a bullseye on the edge of the bathroom door. Why? Because that’s inevitably where Mr. Das will hit his head. He also bangs into kitchen cabinets (with his head), furniture (with his feet and/or body), and always – ALWAYS – manages to find the cat and/or dog poo in the yard with his size 13 feet (which he only discovers after he’s walked back through the house! 😡 ). He’s also prone to break things, like my favorite vase when he decided to toss his hat on the table a la a 1940’s song and dance man. 🙄

    So, you see, you are not alone. My mom is clumsy because she never looks where she’s walking. Mr. Das is clumsy because he’s always in a rush. I’m not quite as clumsy as they are but I do have ‘dropsy’, not the medical condition, but the tendency to drop things on the floor. 😛


  16. @ Akemi
    Das has good suggestions – watch where you are going/walking. Look down sometimes.

    re the poo on shoe. REMOVE shoes on entering house.
    Good practice! I do…and we can see from some of Joe’s naps that they do too.

    sigh…back to work, now.

  17. Poor Akemi! Joe, you better take care of her. You don’t want people to think her boyfriend tosses her around!

    I remember one winter when we had freezing rain. A thin sheet of Ice coated everything. I went outside my apartment door, put my foot down, and it shot right out from under me. My other foot shot straight up, I went down, and my shoe went sailing off in the air. It landed on the icy hood of my car, slid off the back end, and landed on the ground. Classic!

    At the time I lay there, sore and too stunned to move. My head had almost hit the concrete step behind me. Even now I shudder, but it gives me new respect for people doing physical comedy!

    Usually I have good balance, and motion sickness, but definitely clutzy episodes, especially when hurrying. Slowing down a micro-second helps a lot.

    I bruise easily though, so Arnica salve comes highly recommended! If you slather it on *immediately* after taking a fall, it takes away some pain and prevents a bruise from forming. Try re-applying as needed. It’s good for bruises, after they draw blood, scrapes, and really dry/sore spots on knuckles, elbows, etc.

  18. Perhaps you should move Akemi into a bouncy castle. Fun AND adorable!

    Ah, the old Saltair. Mom used to go dancing there in the 30s/40s. They replaced it after it burned, but it simply is not the same. Rarely have more than the occasional concert or rave there now.

  19. You know Joe. I think you’re being kinda mean to Akemi. You’re gonna get sad usagi from her. It’s not nice to pick on your girlfriend. She may get you back someday. I would watch out if I were you. 😉

  20. I’ve seen a version of those toe guards in use. I never was so worried a factory accident was eminent than seeing someone negotiate the scaffolding of a giant vinyl sealant mixer wearing high heels and toe guards. I used to carry a pair of English buckle steel toes in my briefcase just in case. Safety regulations can be dangerous and un-stylish.

    My oldest daughter is the klutzy one in the family. Lots of us are prone to impulsiveness and carelessness, but are agile enough to turn it around at the last second. My son gave half the town a heart attack the other day running full bore at the edge of the high school stage, then stopping on a dime. Not her. I lost count of the number of times she’d take off running right when I was opening a drawer and whack her head on it. What are the odds that would even happen once in the short time a person’s the right height for it?

  21. @ sylvia – Aye, I do take my shoes off when I go into the house. But Mr. Das? He’s in and out of the house so many times that it’s near impossible for him to take off his shoes, especially his work shoes. We call him ‘Captain Doubleback’, because he must go out to his truck to leave a half dozen times or more, always forgetting something and having to come back to get it. He does the same thing when he comes home – back and forth from van to house before finally settling in for the night. If he had to take his shoes off and on each time he’d never get anything done!! 😛


  22. On the personal airbag system: My first thought was, if you fall off a building (landing on your back), what happens to your unprotected legs? Broken? Fractured? Something not good I imagine…

    I’m not really klutzy, but I did suffer a period of falling down stairs. We had just moved to a rental house in England, and the stairs were covered in a very close cut pile carpet that, with the callouses on my feet, ended up being very slippery when in my bare feet. Well one morning when I was just waking up, my foot slipped on the second step, I landed on my back and then slid down the stairs with the back of my head hitting each step on the way down. As I lay crumpled at the bottom of the stairs with my vision slowly returning, I heard my dear wife laughing from the top of the stairs. To this day she still insists that she asked if I was okay before bursting out laughing, but somehow I don’t remember that part.

  23. Though I am glad she was not hurt, I will say 5555(Thai LOL). Interesting how her toes are pointing in ward. Maybe she need those walking shoes that have curved souls. If this reoccurring You may want to carpet the whole house and install a lift to the stairs. Beside kids should know better than to run and goof off in the house. While originally designed to protect from dog bites, perhaps this might be helpful for preventing unwanted bruising.

    or you could get her an outfit like this designed for high impact and protection

    @sg1efc That was a very interesting video.

    So much thought so little time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Joe and Akemi

  24. My wife is a klutz as well. She’s a night person, I always say we live in different time zones, she goes to bed five hours after I do. I go to bed at 11:00, she goes to bed at 4:00 am.

    One night at 3:00 am I heard a strange howling in the house. I got up to find my wife Lori on the floor in the laundry room, clutching her elbow moaning and howling. She had tripped on her own toes, landed on her elbow and did considerable damage.

    I immediately got dressed and took her to the hospital.

    Meanwhile, as they took her into the emergency room, the elderly nurse spend the next thirty minutes with me playing twenty questions. Questions like, why would I hurt my wife? Have you been drinking? How drunk are you?

    I don’t drink. I worked in a bar from the age of 15 until I was 21. I’ve had enough of drunk people to last me the rest of my life. Sitting above and to the side of this crone like admitting nurse, this wretched Stalinist dictator who was surely adding up the required points to send me off to the gulag, sitting above and to the side is a sign that says people who use abusive language or threaten the staff will be charged. And to say the least, I was getting angry.

    At first I was confused. I was tired. Sleepy. I didn’t know what was going on. I was sure this was some mistake. She was being really hostile. She looked at me like I just kicked a puppy to death. The first question, what’s your wife’s birthday, through me for a loop. Her birthday? I don’t even know my own birthday. My God, it’s 3:35 in the morning! As usual, my Ankylosing Spondylitis was killing my back. But I guessed, then said, no, that’s my daughters, my wifes is next month. I gave her the day and month. Well, it was too late. By that time I had already hung myself. “what’s the matter with you? You don’t even know your own wife’s birthday?” “You should get her something nice to make up for that!”

    Our birthdays are not that important to us. We buy what we want when we want it, we don’t buy stuff just because of the day of the year. The first time I bought my wife flowers was the last time I bought my wife flowers, she berated me for wasting money, and she told me not to buy her a present or card. That would be silly. She has money, and if she needs something, she’ll buy it. Now, if we want something, we get it. If we see something the other person would like, we don’t wait until a certain day comes up. We buy it and give it to them. When it comes to holidays, we are unconventional. But don’t you dare say I don’t care about my wife.

    She stayed there for two days, on the second day a specialist was able to screw her elbow together with stainless steel plates and screws. She now has a long (six inch) scar on the underside of her upper arm, from the elbow up. It matches the one on her leg from when she stood on a swivel chair to get a book off a high shelf. I DID buy her a short step ladder after that.

    I decided to play nice and not cause problems for the admitting nurse.

  25. Absolutely loving the aluminium alloy toe guards Joe, very Face/Off offshore prison attire-esque 🙂

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