When I was a kid, my interests were markedly different from those of my classmates. Whereas they spent their weekends and evenings playing little league hockey, I spent my free time reading Shakespeare and writing fanciful stories about small town alien invasions, robot revolutionaries, and party-crashing interstellar space buccaneers. While they idolized the likes of Montreal Canadien’s great Ken Dryden, Cowboy’s QB Roger Staubach, and Expos All-Star catcher Gary Carter, I looked up to decidedly more colorful trailblazers: the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and, of course, the Riddler. They wanted to be astronauts, policemen, firemen, and professional athletes. My goals were much loftier. I wanted to be a James Bond villain.

Why not? They were always stylish and well-dressed, surrounded by beautiful women, and fairly bursting with imaginatively bold schemes for world domination. The only drawback, so far as I could tell, was the risk of overconfidence which proved the undoing of many a good villain. It wasn’t enough to kill Bond. No, they had to demonstrate their superior intellect by concocting elaborate means to rid themselves of him – long, involved, and unnecessarily complicated processes that involved sharks, giant lasers, and in one particularly memorable sequence, a tiny sinking island surrounded by ravenous alligators (although they may have been crocodiles). As a young boy I vowed that if I ever caught James Bond, there’d be no messing around. I’d shoot him on the spot and have done with it.

Flashforward some thirty years and my classmates and I face the cold, harsh reality of life. Paul Hemming did not grow up to be a rock star. He became an accountant instead. And Kim Burnside never did end up pursuing her dream of becoming Canada’s first female astronaut. She now sells real estate on Montreal’s West Island. And, as for me – I never did become a James Bond villain. A villain of sorts (as many will attest), but not quite the evil megalomaniac world-shaking bad-ass I’d kind of set my heart on in primary school. Still, imagine my delight this morning when I received a package from a fan exhorting me not to give up on my dream. The fan (I set aside the letter but forgot it at work so I will make a point of mentioning her in Monday’s blog) even went to the trouble of sending me a truly Ernst Stavros Blofeld-esque accessory: my very own (stuffed toy) Angora cat. And a pure white one at that. Check out the unfettered evilness exuded by this simple accoutrement. Villainously chic, no?

Back to Fuel tonight for another nice meal. We again started with the pumpkin soup with caramelized sunflower seeds surrounding a plump, grilled scallop isle – this time sans those cool glass bowls that were reserved for the onion consommé. For our mains, Fondy remained loyal to her Alberta rib eye with sauce bordelaise, making it three times in three visits. Accompanied by broccoli rabe and sautéed gnocchi, she declared it a 10 on 10. So far, this dish has never failed to impress. I tried something different and went with the slow cooked beef shin and seared weather scallop served with wilted arrow leaf spinach and a fingerling potato vinaigrette. It didn’t really work for me as the cut was fairly lean, lacking in the tender marbling I look for in my beef dishes. For dessert, I had the pear beignet, served with a green tea sabayon. It was good, but I prefer its previous incarnation. Fondy went off-book and had an excellent caramelized banana tart. We received first-rate service from the lovely Genevieve, and the dashing Jameson, pictured above.

I finished Gene Wolfe’s The Fifth Head of Cerberus. What an intricate work of science fiction. I’m still trying to put the pieces together. Anybody read his Long Sun series? Next up: The Lies of Locke Lamorra by Scott Lynch.

By the way, on Martin Gero’s recommendation, I checked out 30 Rock last night. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen on television since Arrested Development. Great script and great performances. Guest star Paul Reubens stole the show.

17 thoughts on “February 2, 2007

  1. Weeeeellll, if it isn’t Dr. Mallozzi…

    Hehe, very nice room, very nice cat, and very nice evilness.

    By the way, how do you pronounce “gnocchi”? Is the “g” silent?

  2. Joe,
    “Villainously Chic”, YES! Actually, you have a very Kevin Spacey look going on. No, really, very suave and debonair! Oh, and, love the cat. It fits the Villainous persona!

  3. hi, joe,

    that was a lovely gift/words that fan sent you. i’m curious, though, what would you have done if you hadn’t went into writing?

    for a long time, i didn’t know what i wanted to do. somewhere around watching stargate sg1, though, i realized it was writing scifi for television. it’s not so much that it’s too late for me, it’s that i lack the drive to make myself successful.

    so i’m curious; what do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t a writer?

    on a sidenote: ‘medium’ and ‘smallville’ are really good shows.

    sally 🙂

  4. Cool office. Cool gear. All you need is the sinister goatee and the chunky gold ring.

    Suggestion for being a villain on a budget:
    1)Plan the decor of your impenetrable fortress with as much care as you’d put into a plan for unleashing deadly biological weapons on the world.
    2)When it comes to decorating your lab, remember the adage that more is … more. A busy, even cluttered, work environment gives victims and secret agents alike the impression that your fingers are into many fiendish plots.
    3)Don’t forget to save the packing material from your international arms deals. Not only will you need it in case you have to return some defective weapons for a refund, just having the extra armaments packing boxes around looks impressive; no one else will know if they are empty. You will look like you are well supplied.
    4)Don’t overlook the impression you create with your getaway vehicle either; successful villains don’t drive station wagons or minivans. Even if you can’t afford to buy a sports car or stretch limo, you can still rent one for important occasions.
    With this advice you can’t go wrong when practising your malevolence and saving money at the same time.

    (the above was provided by a friend who has personal experience as an evil villain)


  5. Well done Joe! You look suitably maniacally villainous 😉
    However, I feel your office is missing something… perhaps one or two stuffed lemmings on the wall (shrill or otherwise :p ) amongst the action figures…..? 😉

  6. Black outfit, white cat, and a Windows PC. Truly the epitome of evil.
    Bill Gates is just a monocle and a persian cat away from being a villian in a James Bond movie. –Dennis Miller

  7. Hey Joe,
    I registered so I could ask you this: You mentioned the other day about a script going over the network and I was curious what kind of changes do they usually request? And do you always do as they request? Do you pretty much have to? Is the network the reason we see scantily clad large breasted women? Have they ever told you they didn’t like a character and to write them out or give them less screen time?
    In other words – I am rather surprised that a writers “artistic vision” can be changed at the blink of of an eye by a network exective and I would surmise that a writer would resent it. Thanks.

  8. You remind me a little of my brother – he also enjoys good food and likes to tell people about it. 🙂

  9. Joe,

    30 Rock is a funny show, I love it, epically when Jack was trying to that product placement for GE correctly in Jack-Tor (you got to see that episode).

    Now to the question:
    With the exception of Gero, what other Stargate cast and crew members have MySpace profiles?

  10. Am loving the back half of seson ten. Wish there were more SG-1, and more Jack. Good luck with Atlantis. Hope Sam is going to lead the expedition.

    Ross Chamberlen

  11. I’ve been reading some at the Our Stargate forum, and I must say I can’t believe some of the things they say. Those folks are the most hateful, mean-spirited bunch of pathetic excuses for human beings I think I’ve ever come across. The things they say about you, about Torri Higginson, about Richard Dean Anderson, and about Amanda Tapping are revolting. Anyone who posts over there should be ashamed of themselves. I wanted to post this to tell you that there are people out there who appreciate everything you guys do to entertain us, and to tell you to pay them no attention at all. Thanks for all you do, and thanks to everyone involved with Stargate.

    Lissa Valez

  12. Great cat, cool look but are you going to go all the way and shave your head bald? Hey it looks good on Lex Luthor over at Smallville;)

    Just a little tidbit of interest, but did you know that a convention, Michael Shanks said he wants to be James Bond? (His reason: cause even though Bond gets older, the women just get younger).

    I always wanted to be the stough and daring Intergalactic Princess, but drat that Carrie Fisher, she got there first! So I had to turn my attention to wanting to be an entertainment reporter.

    So while here I am being an office assistant in my day job to pay the bills and I have been, over the past 15 years, slowly fullfilling my dream of being an entertainment reporter.

    So if you could create the ultimate ‘villian persona’ for yourself, what would it be? Would your villian be more focused on World Domination or Galactic conquest? What would his colors be? Costumed or not? Where would he locate his lair? Would it be a castle, un underground fortress or something even more exotic?

    To Arcticgoddess- your suggestions had me rotfl. Thanks for sharing those:)


  13. 30 Rock is hilarious. Who knew Alec Baldwin was such a comic genius? NBC’s whole Thursday night line-up is belly-busting funny.

    BTW, have you ever tried macadamia crusted halibut? I tried some for the first time the other night and I think I’m in love.

  14. Fandom is a scary place these days. I, for one, wish you to know I enjoy Stagate Atlantis as it is, and I look forward to whatever is coming our way for season 4.

    A related question: How do you feel, if at all, about ‘fans’ who delight in spreading rumours about members of the cast, supposedly from setside sources, in response to storylines of which they are fearful?

  15. Speaking of T.V. shows Joe, it seems Heroes has made a splash for N.B.C. It is, I suppose, Sci Fi. Have you seen it and what do you think?

  16. Creepy cat.

    I’ve been absent a few days. Gah, this bug going around is a nasty one.

    Lovely dinners the last few nights for you. Mine have been nothing more than soup and pizza. Told you I was sick.

    Tomorrow night is the SUPERBOWL. Wooohooo! Go Colts! Yeah so my menu will be posted on my blog. Any I will have my camera!

  17. Hi!

    I’m glad you got a chance to catch 30 Rock. It’s definitely one of the more underrated comedies on NBC.

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