I still haven’t quite got the hang of this “sleeping” thing. I thought I did. Two nights ago, I fell asleep at 10:00 p.m. and didn’t wake up until 10:00 a.m. Twelve hours, uninterrupted! Now THAT is how the professionals do it! Unfortunately, last night’s session wasn’t quite as successful. I fell asleep at 11:00 p.m., woke up at 3:00 a.m., and lay in bed for the next four and half hours, trying to will myself asleep – which is apparently how Captain Kirk does it. I know this for a fact because I went to high school with a guy who would bring up this little gem whenever anyone complained of insomnia. “Captain Kirk just closes his eyes and wills himself to sleep,”he would confide. “That’s how he does it.” I never contradicted the guy. After all, it didn’t sound like the kind of thing one made up. Still, Kirk was a starship captain and, in that respect, he had a leg up on us land-dwellers. Next to a waterbed, I can’t think of a more relaxing place to catch some shut-eye than drifting among the stars without a care in the world (with the possible exception of Klingons, Romulans, and the occasional Horta). And so, earth-bound suckers such as myself must learn to deal with the occasional sleepless night, and its disorienting aftermath. In retrospect, I didn’t suffer too greatly. I only almost-passed out twice on the treadmill this morning.
I did manage to get a bit of work done on my script, beat out some season 4 synopses for this Friday afternoon’s conference call with SciFi, exchanged emails with Gary Jones (SG-1’s Walter Harriman) who, it turns out, is quite the watch aficionado (Just you ask him about the Tourbillon at the next convention), and chatted with poor Paul McGillion who has been deluged with interview requests regarding the Carson Beckett character. I suggested he follow my lead and defer the discussions of all sensitive matters to the show’s unwitting unofficial spokesperson: line producer John Smith.
We went for dinner to Northern Delicacy, a pretty good restaurant offering solid northern Chinese fare in Richmond. As we took our seats, the waiter came over, took one look at Fondy and noted: “You’ve gotten bigger!” Perhaps the withering look she threw back wasn’t the reaction he had expected because he immediately attempted to cover his gaffe by miming dumbbell curls as if to say “Jeez, you’ve really been blasting those pipes!”. And, when that didn’t work, he settled for the ubiquitous “Must be the jacket.” Poor Fondy. It’s not the first time. Once, when we were in Montreal at yet another Chinese restaurant, the waiter responded to her Coca-Cola order with: “You don’t need. You’re big. Don’t get any bigger.” This was the same waiter who, on an evening out with the guys, suggested we order the barbecued pork. And then, tossing a knowing look in the direction of my writing partner Paul, confided: “It’s good for your friend.” Clearly, Paul is the type of person who can benefit from the occasional plate of cha siu. But perhaps my favorite “Chinese restaurant staff member brain to mouth disconnect” was the time Fondy’s sister came to town with her family. As we were ushered into a Chinese restaurant (have you noticed the pattern?), my sister-in-law informed the waitress that we were four adults and two children. “THREE babies,”the waitress corrected her. Pointing at my sister-in-law’s five year old son: “One baby.” Pointing at her one year old daughter: “Two baby.” And, finally, pointing at her belly: “And three baby.” Alas, she wasn’t pregnant.
Well, Fondy had a bad taste in her mouth and hadn’t even started the meal. The dinner itself, while not bad, was surprisingly unimpressive for this usually solid restaurant. We started with the recommended soup, the Mrs. Fung’s fish stew, which contained fish, abalone mushroom pieces, tofu, and way too much shredded ginger in an otherwise bland soup base. I ordered the fish in wine sauce which was again, pretty bland. I much prefer the Long’s Noodle House version. Fondy had the handmade house noodles with chicken, shrimp, and pork which tasted mighty good to me but which she granted only grudging approval. Fondy finished the meal with a pit-stop at McDonald where she thoroughly enjoyed her chocolate fudge sundae. Our compliments to the chef.