November 15, 2018: Your Shower Secrets Revealed!

Throughout most of my life, I’ve been a morning shower guy.  Get up, brush my teeth, shower, get dressed and go.  But when I started Akemi, that changed.  Akemi was a night shower gal (a Japanese thing) and the whole morning shower routine left her thoroughly perplexed.  She would ask: “Doesn’t it make more sense to take a shower at the end of your day and go to bed nice and clean every night?”.  In fact, it DID make more sense and so, after some forty years of morning showers, I switched.  And, quite frankly, I’m glad I did.  The best part is I now get to bank that extra half hour in the morning.

So, my first poll question to you is this –

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Yesterday, I got on the elevator with one of my neighbors and commented: “You’re doing something new with your hair.  I LOVE it!”  As it turned out, she’d been to the hair salon earlier in the week and was trying a new do.  When she got off, Akemi remarked: “She probably doesn’t wash her hair every day.”  I was like: “Wut?”  According to Akemi, when you get your hair done, the hairdresser will often suggest you NOT wash your hair every day.  “I was like: “Wut?”  In fact, Akemi informed me, even though SHE washes her hair every day, experts tell you not to.  It’s apparently bad for your!  And I was like: “Wut? Wut?”

So, my next poll question is this –

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I grew up in a home where we always ate dinner together, always went to bed at a reasonable hour, and always used both shampoo AND conditioner when we showered.  And then, when I eventually moved out, I stopped using conditioner and noticed something interesting: It made absolutely no difference.

Maybe my hair isn’t as sheeny and bodiful as yours, so I’m wondering –

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I’d always assumed that showers were all the same, the heads angled at a 45 degrees.  Then many years ago, when I visited Japan, I discovered the rain shower head that  – well – rained the water straight down on  you.  I loved it – and now get to love it even more because my new place has one.  Akemi, for her part, hates the rain shower, endures the 45 degree shower head, but actually prefers the hand-held shower head.  I went hand-held for about a month at our last place after the slide bar in our shower broke and absolutely hated it.

So, next question is this –

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Finally – when Akemi first came to Canada, she would take a bath about once a week, just lying in the hot tub, soaking and relaxing for an hour before hitting the shower.  I, on the other hand, can’t remember the last time I took a bath.  I guess I don’t see the point.

So, my final question is this –

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Thanks for your input.  I look forward to analyzing the results.  And passing judgement on you.

November 14, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

These were my favorites…

Cyber Force #7 (cover art by Atilio Rojo)

Dark Ark #11 (cover art by Juan Doe)

Darth Vader #23 (cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli)

Domino #8 (cover art by Gang Hyuk Lim)

Elves vol. 21: Rebirth (cover art by Kyko Duarte, Olivier Heban)

Gideon Falls #8 (cover art by Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart, Mico Suayan)

Marvels: The Remastered Edition (cover art by Alex Ross)

Ms. Marvel #36 (cover art by Valerio Schiti)

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #26 (cover art by Ashley Witter)

So, which were your faves?

 

November 13, 2018: This and That!

A late blog post today as I was out with Private Eyes Showrunner/Executive Producer (and former Stargate Co-Executive Producer) Alan McCullough for an evening of drinks, discussion, and rosemary-infused dessert.  Good, good guy.  He say hi by the way.

Pursuant to what I mentioned in yesterday’s entry…what was it again?…Oh, yeah! Dark Matter!  I sent out my rundown of what we need to accomplish in this relatively short period of time.  I say “short period” but, to you regular mortals, it may seem like an eternity.  In an ideal scenario, we get the ball rolling on Phase 1 in December which will lay the groundwork for Phase 2 (letting everyone in on the plan) in early 2019 and then, if all goes as planned, aim for a very “productive” Phase 3 in late summer to early fall.

Had a meeting today regarding my Untitled Awesome Project (which, actually, has a title now but I won’t mention it as I don’t know if it’s going to stick and I don’t want you to get attached), a preparatory sit-down in advance of Thursday afternoon’s broadcaster pitch.  We already forwarded them the 12 page overview, so I’m hoping it’s less pitch and more of a chat about the show creative – and compliments.

On the somewhat less ethereal front, I’m about halfway through the script for Episode 3 of the show I’m currently showrunning.  Received the script for Episode 2 tonight from Courtney and, tomorrow, I sent Alejandro to draft on Episode 4. Still awaiting notes on the Episode 5 outline.  The pilot was well-received – which is always a relief.  You’re only as good as your last script, right?

Early next week, I begin to apply pressure on the outstanding materials delivered for that comic book adaptation.  Once everyone is happy with the overview, we start talking pilot.

Finally, with the deal closed on the option for that horror novel, it’s time to sit down with the author and start hammering out a game plan for the show’s first season.

Oh and hey, check this out.  My Snow Monkeys won last week by the narrowest of margins, securing a share of first place in my NFL league (while maintaining sole possession of first in my Yahoo league):

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 8.39.10 AM.png

0.04 points!  The potential for a stat correction will keep me up for the rest of this week!

November 12, 2018: Distant Dark Matter Rumblings

When Dark Matter was cancelled a little over a year ago, I was left somewhat frustrated, kind of annoyed, a more than a little pissed.  For various reasons.  I was frustrated because I wouldn’t be able to complete the story I’d mapped out, annoyed by what I felt was a petty and vindictive decision, and more than a little pissed at how it all went down.  In the end, it was a Clueless Exec Sucker Punch to the show’s cast, crew and, chiefest of all, its fans who had supported the series for three seasons.

An ensuing online campaign to save the show proved ultimately (frankly, surprisingly) unsuccessful and so I redirected focus to other projects.  Whenever fans have asked me about the prospect of a Dark Matter revival, I’ve been honest with them.  It’s unlikely, but I still hold out hope for a mini-series that would allow me to wrap up as many of those narrative loose ends as possible and, hopefully, offer fans some closure.  That, I honestly felt, was the best case scenario.

Until today after my conversation with a very determined individual with connections to a group of equally determined, forward-thinking individuals who have proposed an atypical but very intriguing approach to getting it done.    And the more they talk about it, the more convinced I become that, maybe, the odds of a fourth and fifth season of Dark Matter may not be as long as I’d initially assumed.

Ambiguous, no?  Alas, for now, all I’ll say is that the wheels on a resurrection are – surprisingly – in motion again.  There is, of course, no guarantee that anything will come of this, but the strategy is crazy-brilliant and certainly worth pursuing.

Anyway, I followed up this afternoon’s call with an email outlining the game plan, the questions we needed to answer, and my proposal for a schedule moving forward.  Conversations to follow.

Let’s just file this one away for now but I’ll leave you with this.  Prior to this afternoon, Magic 8 Ball said “Outlook not so good”.  After my chat, it had revised it’s prognostication to: “Ask again later”.  Read into that what you will.

November 10, 2018: Moderate progress and the week ahead!

Well, today wasn’t exactly the 10 page, Act II, whirlwind of writing I planned it to be.  More like almost 2 pages, a revised outline, and a couple of well-crafted emails concerning various projects.  I’d like to say that I’m going to make up for lost time tomorrow but who am I kidding?  Tomorrow is Sunday and, with my Snow Monkeys in sole possession of first place in my yahoo league, but in second place in my NFL league, I’ll be too focused on football to do much of anything else.

Beyond that, the week is shaping up to be a busy one.  More work on Episode 3 and I’m going to get the writers starts on Episodes 4 and 5 while we await the broadcaster response to the pilot.  Monday, it’s lunch with former Dark Matter director Ron Murphy.    Tuesday, it’s a pre-pitch meeting with Vanessa and the gang re: Untitled Awesome Project, then dinner with former Stargate Co-Executive Producer, present Private Eyes Executive Producer Alan McCullough.  Wednesday, it’s lunch with former Dark Matter stunt coordinator John Stead (aka SteadMuffin).  Thursday, it’s a visit to a potential broadcaster to discuss Untitled Awesome Project, then Korean hot wing dinner with some Japanese cheerleaders (Long story).  Friday, free and clear – for presumably putting the finishing touches on that Episode 3 script.  And another week will come to an end.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in with their awesome lists of Guilty Savory Pleasures.  This ensures I will, upon my retirement, be visiting each and everyone of you.  Please make sure the pillows in your guest room are neither too hard nor too soft, but just right.  I’m picky!

November 9, 2018: My Top 10 Savory Guilty Pleasures!

I have to specify “savory” because if I didn’t, my top ten would be entirely comprised of desserts.  

By the way, “guilty pleasures” isn’t entirely accurate as I don’t feel particularly guilty about eating any of these, but I can see how some might!

10. Stuffed Pasta with Cream Sauce

I don’t have it that often but when I do go to an Italian restaurant and I order a pasta medley, I do make it a rule to include at least one of these delectable artery-cloggers.

9. Nankotsu

A fave standby at a lot of yakitori restaurants and many casual Asian eateries is this version of popcorn chicken that is essentially fried chicken cartilage.

8. Ramen

This one is tricky since I can trace two of my five food-poisoning experiences back to ramen (an impressive 40% rate).  Still, I love me some tonkotsu base broth with black garlic and extra butter.

7. Shahi Paneer

This Indian dish is basically cheese in a creamy cashew sauce.  Delicious!

6. Fried Dumplings

There’s a restaurant a ten minute walk from my place that serves up a dozen a plate with a side of sweet and spicy chili sauce for dipping purposes.

5. Pizza

Obvious, perhaps, but not just any pizza.  One of my favorites is a version that combines honey with spicy sausage or pepperoni, black olives, and cheese – sweet, salty, and spicy.

4. Schnitzel

Ah, I remember the old Stargate days when writer-producer Carl Binder and I would do the Vancouver schnitzel tour.  There’s a place here in Toronto that offers up a platter comprised of three different schnitzel varieties and a piece of sausage.  I always prefer mine paper thing and crispy.

3. Katsu Curry

This Japanese dish if comprised of tasty fired pork, rice, and their version of curry which is sweeter and thicker than the Thai and Indian versions.

2. Chicken Wings

Nothing gets me quite as excited as the prospect of going out with friends and sharing a variety of chicken wings.  Buffalo, parmesan, barbecue – you name ’em, I’ll eat ’em.

1. Fried Chicken

I suppose this one should come as no surprise as I’ve often alluded to my search for Toronto’s best fried chicken.  I love the fact that this dish transcends cultural boundaries and some of the city’s best offerings include Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Southern versions of this dish.

So, do tell – What are your top savory guilty pleasures?

November 8, 2018: Toronto’s Top 5 Mochas!

As a fan of mochas, lattes, and various chocolate/coffee drinkables, I make it a point to sample as wide a variety as often as possible.  For research purposes mostly.  And, having done my due diligence over the past year, I offer up my Top 5 Toronto Mochas…

#5. Bar Buca

This place boasts a host of fancy lattes laced with everything from honey and ginger to dulce de leche and, well, chocolate.  They also do a delicious Cafe Al Zabaglione for that taste of Venice.

#4.  Les Moulins LaFayette

The latest addition to the Queen Street West scene is the Toronto branch of this Montreal bakery.  Enjoy your mocha with lunch – or, better, yet a tartelette tropezienne and/or a Paris-Brest.

#3. Oretta Cafe

Adjoining the Oretta Restaurant is a little cafe that offers up terrific Italian bites and, of course, a stellar mocha (aka The Cioccolacciono).

#2. Hot Black Coffee

One of the chocolatiest of mochas hails from this quaint little Queen Street coffee shop whose internet-free environment ensures conversation over solitary browsing.

#1. Soma Chocolate

This should come as no surprise.  Toronto’s premiere chocolatier makes one of the city’s premiere mochas.  If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, check out their decadent drinking chocolates.

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I’m sure there are a lot of other great candidates out there.  No doubt, in time, I’ll check them all out.

November 7, 2018: Week’s Best Comic Book Covers!

A lot of great comic book covers this week.  These are my favorites…

Batman #58 (cover art by Tony Salvador Daniel, Mikel Janin, Tomeu Morey)

Death Of The Inhumans #5 (cover art by Kyle Kaare Andrews)

Friendo #2 (cover art by Kim McLean, Martin Simmonds)

Friendo #2 (cover art by Kim McLean, Martin Simmonds)

Immortal Hulk #8 (cover art by Alex Ross)

Infinity Wars #4 (cover art by Mike Deodato Jr.)

Moth & Whispers #3 (cover art by Jen Hickman)

Seven to Eternity #12 (cover art by Matt Hollingsworth, Daniel Warren Johnson, Jerome Opena)

Spawn #291 cover art by Francesco Mattina, Todd McFarlane)

The Dreaming #3 (cover art by June Chung, Jae Lee)

The Wicked + The Divine: The Funnies #1 (cover art by Jamie McKelvie, Margaux Saltel, Matt D. Wilson)

Weapon X #25 (cover art by Rahzzah)

So, which were your favorites?

November 6, 2018: All aboard the runaway locomotive!

Well, the plan was to go catch Venom today, but I got waylaid by a last-minute rewrite, a few apartment chores, and notes…that I waited around for but never came sad   And so, in the end, I elected to just sit on my couch and finish Jonathan French’s The Grey Bastards, a rollickin’ foray into grimdark, one of my favorite fantasy releases of 2018, and my 316th book read this year.  Sadly, it doesn’t look like I’ll reach my insane 365 in 365 target but who knows?  I figure I can get through at least three or four books during the flight to Tokyo!

The preliminary overview for Untitled Awesome Project will be going out tomorrow with a place-holder title.  I, personally, love Untitled Awesome Project.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch THAT?  But it has been suggested to me that, in all likelihood, somewhere down the line, someone is going to ask us to change it, so best to start generating possibilities now.  I came up with about a half dozen I kind of liked.  Not sure what we’ll end up with, but I’ll let you know the titles that didn’t make the cut.  They should give you hint as to what I’m working on.

Oh, I’m also working on the show I’m working on.  With Episode 1 done (for now), I’ve moved on to Episode 3 and written the tease.  I’m hoping to deliver a first (and possibly second?) draft by the time I’m Japan-bound.  Then, after that, it’s rewrites and prep as we barrel towards production like a runaway locomotive.

Hey, great to see two long-time blog regulars, Jeff and Gary, on their recent swings through Toronto.  Suji and Lulu were especially thrilled to catch up!

November 5, 2018: Dear, Suspiria…

I have questions for your film, set in the 1970’s that, oddly, borrows much of its visual style from music videos of the 1980’s…

Why didn’t you hire an actual editor to work on your film rather than, say, some Yes Man or Woman happy to defer to the whims of your self-indulgent director? You’re not remaking Lawrence of Arabia.  It’s a fucking horror movie.  Keep it under two hours.  The “elevated” in the hipster douchebag term “elevated horror” is NOT a synonym for “elongated”.  If you’re truly at a loss as to how to trim down your goddamn precious oeuvre, might I suggest starting with the 15 minute Old Man Walking montage.

Speaking of which – why not cast an old man to play an old man?  I mean, sure, there’s probably some meaningful meta-commentary you’re trying to make about casting in today’s Hollywood, but you’re social posturing to the detriment of your film.  Spend a little more money to ensure the bottom half of your faux “old man’s” face actually moves instead of looking like a latex mask.

Was it your intention to specifically tailor your film to fans of Aranofsky’s Mother with a coincidental appreciation for arterial spray and exploding heads?

Shouldn’t a movie’s subplots somehow at some point in some small way tie into the main storyline?  Consider this one more of a rhetorical question.

Aren’t horror movies supposed to be, y’know, scary?  Sorry, this one’s rhetorical as well.

Just curious.

November 3, 2018: You Can Never Go Home Again!

Earlier today, I received a text from my good friend Robert Cooper who informed me that, while rewatching some of the classic movies he enjoyed back in the day, was shocked to discover that a number of the seminal films from his youth are, upon further review, not that good – or, at the very least, not as good as he remembered.  I can empathize as it has happened to me countless times when I’ve revisited some of my old favorites.  Sadly, a lot of just don’t hold up.

Some of the movies I LOVED back in the day that I’ve fallen out of love with in time:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Phantasm

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Forrest Gump

Apocalypse Now

Con Air

Ghostbusters

Groundhog Day

Gladiator

Crash

To be fair, I’m unimpressed by most of what I see, so this just serves to trim down an already slim list.  It makes me almost afraid to re-watch The Sting, Tombstone, Pulp Fiction, and Clue less.

Thank goodness for Die Hard, Misery, and Planes, Train and Automobiles – classics that DO stay the test of time.

So what about you?  What movies have you recently revisited that – well, aren’t anywhere near as good as you remembered?

November 2, 2018: Halloween

Everything old is old again in Halloween, a sequel to a movie made 40 years ago, that feels like it was made 39 years ago, so devoid is it of even a shred of originality.

Contrived death sequences?  Check!

Closet fake-out sequence?  Check!

Ankle grab and struggle beat?  Check?

Characters making moronic decisions that put them in harm’s way?  CHECK!

And so much more!

There is one extended sequence in which Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode character searches the house with nothing but a flashlight illuminating its dark recesses.  At one point, Ivon leaned over and whispered: “Turning on the lights wouldn’t be a bad idea.”  True, but then where would be the fun in that?

It’s like wondering why, after 40 years, would authorities choose to transfer a serial killing mental patient on  the anniversary of his killing spree?  I mean, they couldn’t have waited until the day AFTER Halloween?

I guess ours is not to question why but to mentally note the innumerable horror movie cliches that pepper this half-ass effort.

It’s downright astounding to think that Scream did such a brilliant job of subverting the genre back in 1996 and now, twenty-two years later, we get THIS.

Favorite line: “I’m a doctor!  Get back in your homes!”

Oh, a doctor you say?  Alrighty then.

 

November 1, 2018: Updating You on Me!

I pitched Akemi some of the character elements of my Untitled Awesome Project today and she is now bemoaning the fact that she can’t watch the show.  Yet!  She already has a favorite and some of the situations I describe had her laughing out loud.  Even my go-to onset producer, Ivon, is excited about it – and he only knows the basic premise.  Some major Dark Matter vibes in this one, thematic and tonal similarities that would make it ideal for crossover potential.

Tonight’s blog entry is late because I’ve been having way too much fun working on this series overview that is already 12 pages long.  It hopefully goes out next week for initial broadcaster consideration.  Also, apparently, I need to come up with an actual title for the show.  I’m stumped.  I throw it over to you guys.  Any ideas?

Speaking of overviews, I did a pass on one this afternoon for the series I’m currently showrunning, a polish on an impressive first draft written by our script coordinator, Sam.  It will also go out for broadcaster approval along with the pilot script I revised this morning and sent RT’s way.  Things are coming along nicely on this front.  The revised outlines for Episodes 3-5 are in play and it’s looks like fluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiid and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilky sailing!

Should I succeed in finishing all my work well ahead of schedule, I may actually treat myself to a matinee tomorrow.  Halloween?  Venom?  Suspira? Can You Ever Forgive Me?    Burning?

Or will I just stay home, researching fantasy football and thinking about starting Haunting of Hill House?

P.S. I woke up to the sound of tremendous CRASH this morning.  Turns out one of the motorized blinds snagged and upended my bar holding my entire collection of Japanese whiskies.  Two crystal glasses shattered but I’m pleased to report that the Hibiki, Toki, Yoichi, Bush, Taketsuru, and Tokinoka survived the ordeal unscathed.