We had arrived in San Diego for Comicon and were in the taxi, on our way to the hotel the network had booked us into, when I glanced out the window and noticed the lurid lettering on the side of the bus beside us. “HAUNTED TOURS” it screamed. Perfect, I thought. Fondy is a big fan of ectoplasmic entertainment, shows like Poltergeist Puppy Patrol, Insufferable Exorcisms, and World’s Most Haunted Gazebos that delve into the ominous and unsettling (read: unintentionally hilarious) world of supernatural apparitions. I assumed she‘d be up for a little spectral sightseeing. But I assumed wrong. Apparently, sitting down in the comfort of your own home and watching a t.v. program is one thing; actually checking out the stomping grounds of reputedly restless spirits something else entirely. She was genuinely creeped-out at the suggestion. I dismissed the passing fancy and thought nothing more of it until we pulled into the parking lot of our hotel, an aged turn-of-the-century building – and had the Haunted Tour bus pull into the spot right beside us. What were the chances? Fondy was – well – not quite as amused by the coincidence.
For her sake, I tried my best to maintain an air of casual indifference to – the tour group as it strolled by us during check-in, the decrepit wide-eyed baby dolls that decorated the lobby, and the dilapidated guest book in our room that held entries like: “Saw HER again tonight, sitting at the foot of the bed”. To no avail. Fondy wasn’t about to sleep in a haunted hotel. No, we didn’t switch accommodations because every other hotel in the city was booked. Quite literally, she didn’t sleep. And took me along for the ride. Time and again, I would just be drifting when, suddenly, she would start: “Joe! Did you hear that?!”, rousing me in a heart-pounding panic. What? Who? “I thought I heard footsteps,”she’d inform me. “Like, say, someone in the room above us walking around?”I’d ask. No, no. Far more menacing than that. I’d lie awake, straining to hear, waiting for the sounds of the pacing ghost but, eventually, I’d succumb to sleep, start to drift off when – “Joe! Did you hear that?!” – causing me to once again start awake.
And so it went. The nefarious rattling of the air conditioner, the chilling creak of the floorboards, the menacing echoes of our flatulent neighbor – all conspired to make it a truly harrowing stay.
On the bright side, the area boasted some pretty good restaurants.
My sole pic today is of writer-producer extraordinaire Carl Binder who was disappointed with the snap I took of him the other day. Hopefully, this photo is one he can truly take pride in.
Anonymous writes: “If you had to have the same meal everyday for a month what would it be and why?”
Cream of wild mushroom soup with white truffle oil to start. Kobe beef cheeseburger topped with foie gras and braised short ribs topped with Vidalia onions and mayo on a home made cheese bun for my main. And a dark-chocolate liquid-center lava cake with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. Why? Because I probably wouldn’t live long enough to grow tired of eating the same thing for every meal.
Arctic Goddess writes: “Ok, what is your secret? I look at your pictures of food and I feel the added weight sneaking on. (…) So, talk, before I get the desk lamp and rubber hose.”
Answer: Okay, I’ll talk. I’ll talk. Seriously? I wake up early every morning and alternate between a 30 minute high intensity run and 45 minutes of weights. My breakfast is usually comprised of all-bran, berries, protein powder or hard-boiled eggs, and skim milk. I’ll eat a healthy lunch. Between lunch and dinner, I’ll have a power bar (eat ever 3 hours to keep your metabolism up). For dinner, I eat whatever I want – but make a conscious effort not to overdo it.
Marla writes: “Speaking of food, are you going to be attending NATPE?”
Answer: I’ll probably be up to my eyeballs in production demands when NATPE rolls around. Too bad because Vegas is a truly premiere dining destination, from the foie gras trio at Michael Mina’s to the corn tamales at The Cheesecake Factory.
NowIWillDestroyAbydos writes: “Do any of the cast and crew (of SG-1 and SGA, and including yourself) have any of the current gen gaming consoles (Wii, X-Box 360, and/or PS3)?”
Answer: I believe Martin Gero owns an X-Box. Rob owns both the X-Box and the PS2. Paul and I are still on PS2, waiting out the PS3. I tried to buy Fondy a Wii this past Christmas but, alas, they were all sold out.
Windshieldbug writes: “Your food this blog-entry looks delicious. I will be doing a little Texas bbq tomorrow night. Football and meat!”
Who are you rooting for? And, more importantly, what are you making? If you’re doing ribs, are you going dry rub or sauce?
Anonymous writes: “Is this Alan guy single ?? though I wouldn’t mind BamBam to be either:
Answer: Sorry, ladies. Alan is a newlywed. As for BamBam – get him while the getting’s good.