Thursday, September 18, 2008

Akemi - Day 6


Despite being house trained after Day 3 at home, the next day Bug told me he never wants to have kids.

What I want to know is why is it that after doing all the research that we've done for nearly 6 months, between books and online, how is it that we did not come across the "Shiba scream" until AFTER we bought the little rat.

I even ran across an entry in Wikipedia a couple days ago. I swear I've read that entry several times, and so did Bug. It's a conspiracy!

From Day 2 - 5, we had to deal with Akemi screeching at the top of her little lungs like a flogged monkey-donkey-parrot. I am not exaggerating. The longest span of torture was 4 hours straight.

I was fortunately able to sleep through half of this, but Bug was kept awake and didn't get but 3 hours of sleep a day.

Even yesterday, when he called me at lunchtime, I could hear her squawking.

Akemi and her best friends looking innocent while sleeping

Last night, it was like an epiphany. Akemi didn't scream once while in her crate, even though we were raiding Black Temple from 19:45 - 23:30. Amazing! The trick? We shuttle her humongous crate back and forth between the living room and bedroom depending on where we will be. As long as she doesn't think she's alone and no one will come back for her, she's fine.

Squeaky the Elephant

She'd roll on her back, sleep, sit cutely, chew on her chewbone, or play with Squeaky, her squeaky rubber elephant companion who is always attached to her head or paw when she's in her crate. We didn't see any of the rabid monkey behavior, where she climbs up along the side of her cage (2' tall), jumps off to slam her head on the top of her cage, and falls to the ground.


...for hours

Of course, this is while screaming at the top of her lungs.

The only reason Akemi screamed last night, technically this morning (00:30), was because she was fidgeting while I was holding her so Bug could get dressed to take her out to go poopy. She wiggled and kicked off my chest and I couldn't hold on to her so she plunged 4' onto the hardwood floor.

I thought I heard her scream before. Oy.

She screamed louder than I've ever heard her scream. I felt her foot as she laid on the floor, and she cried even louder. Bug ran into the living room, took her to the bedroom, and laid her on the bed.

Akemi hobbled about screaming; the intensity waned. She walked in a circle a few times, then stopped screaming, and began to walk normally.

Bug took her out to the yard, and she ran around like nothing happened, then pooped.

- Cassaendra

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Akemi - Day Two

Our fearless hunter

I have a feeling I'm probably going to be the type of mother that carries a tome of pictures of my kids' each and every waking moment, such that you could flip the pages and it would look like a contiguous motion picture, and shove it in everyone's face. Not sure why, but it's just a weird feeling.

hates leashes

When I'm awake, I really can't tell the difference between the spoiled "I want to play now" cry, "I'm scared," or "I have to go poo/pee" cry. I'm probably going to be the mother that sleeps through the baby wailing at night while Bug wakes up every hour to check on the little one. Apparently, Akemi was crying much of the night so he got out of bed and checked on her. Bug definitely makes a better mother than me!

stalks her prey...

Every two hours or when Akemi whimpers, Bug gets dressed, latches the leash on our turdling, walks down our narrow stairwell, and takes her to the yard so she can pee and/or poo. 9 times of 10, all she does is attack the weeds, goes to town digging up the lawn, eats leaves, stares out in complete attention at invisible predators, and rolls around in the dew-drenched blades of grass.

All this paid off when she finally pooed on cue last night in the yard. She also walked to her litter box and peed in it twice! She's been doing well in the 2 days that we've had her. She even comes when we beckon.

...but is easily distracted

Bug is snoring as I write this, trying to catch a few zzz's, since he's only had 3 hours of sleep. Akemi is zonkered out in her cage because she's been feeling yucky, barfing up peanut butter. No, that's not a euphemism.

- Cassaendra

Doumo, Konnichiwa!

Halloween display at Target

When I walked into my neighborhood Target, I was surprised to see pirate, Frankenstein, ghost, vampire, and pumpkin Domo-kun flying, plastered, hanging, slouching, and standing in comical proportion!

Halloween display at Target

I slinked around with my camera and snapped a few shots. The hanging eye patch Domo-kun was huge!

Halloween display at Target

But no sign of Usajii and his other mates.

- Cassaendra

Friday, September 12, 2008



The most recent addition to our family, Akemi, a 7-week-old shiba inu. She's quiet, inquisitive, bright, ornery, and cute. Akemi is named for her bright nature and her reddish fur.

For ~6 months, we've been mulling over getting a Shiba and a Welsh Corgi (think Ein in Cowboy Beebop) -- I wanted a Cardigan and Bug wanted a Pembroke. A fluffy dog not having a tail just freaks me out like twins.

We've been checking out places for the right color. When we walked in and saw her, I knew she was the one.

As for what the other members of the family think -- Yoru isn't sure yet. He stands outside her cage and meows. Mochi is a ferret (curious).

- Cassaendra

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise

I love pho and could eat it every day, but to keep the peace, we only eat it 1-2 times per week.

On Mondays or when Bug isn't in the mood for pho, we go to #1 Pho; otherwise, we go to Superior Pho. Our most recent trip was on a Monday, so we went to #1 Pho.

grilled pork summer rolls

#1 Pho has the best appetizers. Not only do the appetizers taste great, there is a fairly large selection and different matching dipping sauce for each. We've been an addict of the grilled pork summer rolls for over a year. I'll occasionally change it up and get the shrimp or shredded pork (powdery stuff that sometimes goes in my eye). Ground shrimp skewered with sugar cane is good, but I'm a bit too cheap most days to order that except on rare occasions.

small pho tai minus the vegetables

I used to order my pho with raw meat on the side and would still order it that way, but nowadays I'm fine with the meat in the soup. I was so accustomed to ordering it raw in Hawaii that I was dumbfounded when I moved here when the order would come to me wrong. I would ask for no onions or cilantro in my soup, and find them in my meat!!

You know, if I don't want it at all in my soup, what makes you think I want it stuck on my meat?!? A little common sense, please?!

So to take the lesser of two, I just ask for no veggies in my soup and leave it at that.

small pho tai and our dirty dishes

Superior Pho is our go-to place mainly for the price and meat. The flavor of the broth at both restaurants is different, and I thoroughly enjoy both so the two are tied. I prefer really thinly sliced meat, so Superior wins out on that. Their meat is literally paper thin.

Superior also has bahn mi. Because it has onions, hoisin, and cilantro, I don't even bother ordering it. It's not worth it for's all Bug's.

Bug also enjoys the rare meat dishes at both places. I've noticed him ordering it more often at Superior. It must taste better. I don't really know the difference. When meat has been mixed with cilantro and onions, that is all I taste. Bleah! Despite the bleah, the addition of squeezed citrus is actually quite refreshing.

With the weather changes, we'll probably pop in to eat pho more often than once a week. It's the best way we can think of to clear our sinuses and to battle colds.

- Cassaendra

#1 Pho
3120 Superior Ave E
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 781-1176

Superior Pho
3030 Superior Ave E
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 781-7462

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


We were in the mood for Mexican but wanted something a little cheaper than Don Ramon, our usual go-to Mexican restaurant in Cleveland, which is very reasonably priced.

It's hard to find this restaurant sometimes. I'm not sure why. It's painted yellow and red, but it is!

The staff is warm and the interior of the restaurant is cutely done. It's probably cheesy to most people, but I think it's cute. It's like you're sitting outside near a stucco house with a thatched overhang.

The chips were on the thicker side, crisp, warm, and lightly salted. I prefer it close to unsalted, but it was still very good. What I did like was their salsa served in a lava looking bowl. Again, I know this sounds cheesy, but I freaking love it! I like salsa pureed versus diced tomato, onion, and cilantro chunks. I think it takes the edge off the raw onions and cilantro, which I detest. The salsa tasted fresh, the tomato flavor was sharp, and it had just the right spiciness.

I ordered camarones alla diabla ($12) and Bug ordered Mexican tacos and added chorizo ($7 + 1).

Bug was hoping for hard shell tacos but expected soft shell tacos. Three double-wrapped soft shell tacos piled with beef and chorizo arrived in a large, heavy ceramic plate along with a sectioned rectangular platter with chopped white onions in one section, cilantro in the second, and pico de gallo in the third. His opinion was that it was all right, but he isn't concerned about getting it again. This isn't to say it was bad.

My camarones arrived in a large ceramic platter with rice and beans, along with another plate with chopped lettuce and guacamole, and a small plate with 3 wrapped tortillas. The camarones wasn't spicy at all. I was a bit disappointed since I was used to flaming hot 'diabla.' The flavor was good, since I don't normally know what the other diabla dish tastes like. lol It had a "Hey, I'm a Mexican red sauce" deal going.

Service was good.

The first time we came, we got sopapilla. It would have gone really well with vanilla ice cream, I think. It was my first time trying the deep fried tortilla dessert dusted with sugar and cinnamon and honey drizzled on top. It wasn't extremely sweet, despite the description, nor was it extremely crunchy. It was a bit messy to eat.

The next time we come here, I'll probably try something else just to check out what else they have. I have a feeling that most of the dishes are all right to good, but nothing OMG. Flavor, price, quantity, and service makes this a great place.

- Cassaendra

Cozumel Mexican Restaurant
16311 Brookpark Rd
Cleveland, OH 44142
(216) 898-1200

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