The barmaid stared back at me uncertainly. “Are you sure you want to order the hot wings?”she asked. “They’re pretty hot.” “Oh, yeah,”I insisted. After all, how hot could they be? Well, judging by Lawren’s bug-eyed response after trying one – excruciatingly so. In retrospect, I suppose I should have warned him. Ah, well. Maybe next Superbowl party.

Exec. Produer Rob Cooper hosted the soiree. In attendance: writer extraordinaire Carl Binder, script coordinator Alex Levine, office assistant Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, actor Tobias Slezak, special features producer Ivon Bartok, and occasional food critic, me. We enjoyed four different kinds of pizza (all-dressed, spicy, meat lovers, and Hawaiian – up until I accidentally upended the all-dressed), four types of wings (Greek, sweet Thai, Chicago salt and pepper, and HOT), veggies, cocktail shrimp, brownie cake, a variety of multi-flavored waffles compliments of Alex. I haven’t felt this sick in a loooong time. A great spread and a good half a football game. Alas, in the end, the Chicago Bear faced their worst nightmare: having to rely on their quarterback to win the game.

I’m almost down to my fighting weight – already the lightest I’ve been in five years. I’d like to take off another five pounds but the going has been tough. Fondy claims that the way to lose the five pounds and pop those abs is by removing sugar from my diet, at least for a couple of weeks. No sweets, no fruits, no foods containing any sugar. Well, I did manage to do it for two whole weeks last year and, as hard as it was on me, it was doubly difficult on my fellow writers who had to deal with an unbearably low-key version of my former manic self. It got to the point where Gero was actually pleading me to eat a doughnut. Ultimately, I stuck it out and completed the 14 day sugar-free regimen after which I was finally looking forward to a, uh, less strict meal plan. People who had done similar cleanses warned me that my body was no longer accustomed to sugar; that I needed to re-introduce it in small quantities or risk making myself very ill. Check! I ended up celebrating that night with a triple dessert blow-out that included flourless chocolate cake and chocolate-peanut butter ice cream. And enjoyed the best night’s sleep I’d had in ages.

Questions & Answers –

Luis Jr. writes: “Are you a Marvel comics fan?”

Answer: Growing up, I was a huge Avengers and X-Men fan. Eventually, with the proliferation of the various X titles, I grew disinterested and pursued other interests. Some fifteen years later, I decided to give comics another try – picking up almost every title on the shelves and dropping the ones that failed to interest me. During my comic book renaissance, I particularly enjoyed the DC offerings – the Bat titles and JLA in particular. In time, I again lost interest. Last year, I decided to check out comics once again, again picking up every title out there and dropping the ones that failed to interest me. Presently, I am still reading about ten titles including: Daredevil (I enjoy Ed Brubaker‘s work), Thunderbolts (to see what Warren Ellis does with the title), X-Factor (Peter David does a wonderful job with the characters, injecting much-needed humor ino the genre), Powers (love Brian Michael Bendis’s writing and this title in particular), Martian Man hunter (A. J. Lieberman‘s writing is deft and poignant), JLA (following Brad Metlzer‘s brilliant Identity Crisis) and Shadow pact (Bill Willingham truly in his magical element).

Miss E. writes: “In the first season, what’s your favorite episode, and why ? And same question for the episode you less love !”

Answer: First season episode I liked least? That’s easy enough. Emancipation, the first episode of Stargate I ever watched that effectively kept me from tuning back in at the time. Dreary. As for the best season one episode. Hmmm. Probably Within the Serpent’s Grasp. A fun, action-filled episode.

Keshou writes: “I’m curious if you, as new showrunner, have talked to any of the other Atlantis cast members about your – or perhaps their – ideas for character development in S4? Do you like input from the actors as to what aspects of their character they want to see developed or explored?”

Answer: I’ve always welcomed input from our actors and have always done my best to address any of their concerns.

Keshou also writes: “Is there a type of episode you’ve always wanted to do that you’d like to see on Atlantis?”

Answer: Yes. And we’ll be doing them in season four.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Was Ba’al your brainchild?”

Answer: As much as I’d love to take credit for Baal, he’s a character that owes as much to Cliff Simon’s portrayal as he does to all of the writers who developed him over the years. When I wrote Summit, I did so with a mind to making it a try-out of sorts for the various system lords. Baal certainly stood out amongst them.

Arctic Goddess also writes: “Thanks for answering my questions. Although you must have missed my question about recommending a good sea food restaurant in Vancouver.”

Answer: Woops, must’ve missed it. For seafood – it depends what you feel like and what your budget is. C Restaurant (2-1600 Howe St.) is the crème de la crème, but a bit pricey. At the other end of the price spectrum, check out Go Fish (1504 West 1st Ave.) for inexpensive but tasty fish ’n chips. Rodney’s Oyster House (405-1228 Hamilton St.) is a great choice for a laid-back evening of oysters on the half shell and then some. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant (3711 No. 3 Road) is a little out of the way, but offers the most upscale Chinese treatment of fresh seafood in Vancouver.

8 thoughts on “February 4, 2007

  1. Joe said: I’m almost down to my fighting weight

    Congrats, Joe! I know how tough it can be. Try dropping all yeast breads for a week /month.


  2. So which was your favorite Superbowl ad? That FEDEX one was very out there..literally!


  3. Hi Joe:
    I find the “art” of filming a sci-fi series fascinating, the writing, of course, it’s incredible that all of you can manage to come up with so many stories and situations and characters that continue to entertain.(Your active imaginations must keep you awake at night!) The behind-the-scenes work is also amazing, lighting, art, directing, special effects, etc. What I’ve always wondered is when you’re writing a scene that needs a specific effect, do you give ideas to the special effects expert, or see what they come up with? Are you familiar enough with what they do to give imput on the process, or do you just trust their expertise? On the same subject, have you ever been totally impressed with what they came up with, and it took your idea farther than you expected?

  4. Most of my Canadian friends are totally uninterested in football. How did you get so into it?

  5. Hola from the Big Island! Me and my friends are bigtime stargate fans, Joe. I started watching when two of my other friends recommened it to me. Unnatural Selection was the first episode I saw. I wish Jack was still around, I think it was better before he left. Anyway:

    Do you know if MGM is planning on selling the DVD movies separately or together as a package? I think it would be sweet if the two came bundled together, and they could probably charge more that way. It’d make a great Christmas gift.

    Thanks for your time, and for this funny blog. You should try some poi, it’s da’ bomb.


  6. ah those waffles look nice!
    I should sent you a good belgian waffle from brussels!!

  7. So, I was just wondering if the Magic8 Ball went for a spin on the Ouija Board of Doom would it land on any of the following letters in response to the question, What’s going on with Weir in S4?
    a)Weir will be in the show for a couple of episodes and then gone
    b)Weir’s role is being concentrated in some eps hence won’t be needed in every ep (but she’ll still be there at the end of the season).
    c)We’re all cylons here in the production office and we have a plan: it’s all part of an uber secret plot point and I can’t tell you … unless I kill you … all
    d)Oh that, Brad just said it to tease everyone. Actually Weir’s staying but we’re losing two other characters *bwahahahahaha* Unfortunately, everyone was so stunned by hearing that Torri was “recurring” that no one listened to the bit where he didn’t say who else was coming back for S4.
    e)We realized that the best way to keep Weir was if she was taken over by McKays twin consciousness, that way we could write double for McKay and we could retain Torri’s tremendous talent (win win) but obviously that would only work for a couple of eps.
    f)Wait until you see who else we’re getting rid of from the cast.
    u) You don’t honestly think we’d get rid of our best female character do you?
    y)why did I start this blog again?
    Π)The pecan pie sitting on the edge of the board
    (Note: the letter x otherwise known as “nobody ever dies in sci-fi” was rubbed off the board from recent over-use.)

  8. Oh sounds like yall had fun. Hotwings are the best for games. What’d you have to go and upend the pizza for though? Too drunk is my guess. 😛

    By the time I got to the party everyone had started eating most of the food….so only one appetizing shot on my blog. Alot of…party shots though.

    Budwiser King Crabs were the best commerical of the night. Funny though, crabs in Florida that big aren’t red…they are purplish.

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