Someone once said “Real men don’t eat quiche”. Well, yesterday, for lunch, not only did I eat quiche, but I had it with a cup of green tea. We were at Feenies, little sister restaurant to Lumiere one of Vancouver’s premiere upscale dining destinations. Feenies is a little more laid back, a little more casual in both clientele and menu. Casual but with a twist. For instance, their house burger offers the option of a foie gras or short rib topping, and their lobster poutine (fries, cheese curds, lobster chunks, and gravy) puts a definite spin on that old Quebecois classic. I had gone in, my heart set on having the duck confit with poached eggs, only to discover that it had disappeared from the menu. Gone! I felt as though I’d been thrust back into the Middle Ages where poor unfortunates battled the plague, suffered the whims of a dispassionate nobility, and were made to eat their poached eggs with rustic country ham. Well, after much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to go with the quiche – and that cup of green tea. Fondy – the birthday girl on this special Saturday – went with the Smoked Salmon Benny and the “smoothie of the day”, a melange of yogurt, blueberries, peach, banana, and a couple of other fruit I can’t recall.
One of my pet peeves whenever I dine out is seeing people who are seated AFTER ME receive their orders BEFORE ME. Whenever it happens, I’m always reminded of that montage sequence in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz wherein the young waiter (played by Richard Dreyfuss) makes nice-nice with the chef by gifting him with a bottle of wine, resulting in a sudden improvement of his kitchen turn-around time. As we sat, sipping our smoothie and green tea, watching every other table but ours receive their meals, I could help but wonder whether our waiter had forgotten to “reward” the chef – or, worse, done something to piss him off. Finally, Fondy inquired about our order. After a quick check with the kitchen, our waiter apologized for the delay – there had been a mix-up and our dishes were on their way. They eventually arrived (a little over thirty minutes after we had made our order). Fondy loved her Smoked Salmon Benny which was served on a croissant and topped with salmon eggs and hollandaise sauce. My quiche was very good, but the strip of bacon that topped it was disappointingly cold and dry. Fondy spotted sticky toffee pudding with figs on the dessert menu and couldn’t resist. Feenie’s version isn’t as dense as others we’ve tried, but it was excellent – accompanied by crème anglaise and a wonderful home made ice cream that the menu listed as cinnamon but tasted more like caramel to me. When the bill arrived, I was interested to see whether the restaurant would compensate us for the wait by, perhaps, giving us the dessert on the house. To my surprise, they ended up treating us to the quiche and Benny instead. All was forgiven and I made sure to base my tip on what the bill would have been with the two dishes included.
Since it was Fondy’s day, she called the shots. I was perfectly prepared to accompany her to The Home Show taking place this weekend in Vancouver (and by perfectly prepared, I mean mentally AND physically as I’d toted along my 800 page copy of The Terror, just in case) but, instead, we headed downtown for a little shopping. Now I remember reading somewhere that men and women shop differently as a result of the roles our ancestors played in early primitive society – ie. hunter-gathering males as opposed to care-giving females. I guess that explains it. My wife is genetically predisposed to shopping for hours before returning home empty-handed to lament the fact that she didn’t buy those shoes she found on special. I, on the other hand, have always adopted the more surgical-strike approach to shopping: sweeping in and doing a quick reconnaissance, then zeroing in on potential targets but always maintaining a random pattern so as to avoid being intercepted by sales-bogeys. I’m pleased to report the mission was a success as I scored a hit on a couple of ties and one pair of silver scorpion cufflinks I’ll be wearing to the cast dinner this week.
We met friends Maisa and Alex (and baby) for dinner and celebrated Fondy’s birthday at HKYK over hot pot fatty beef, pork neck, scallops, chive dumplings, and watercress.
Fondy’s birthday festivities will continue through the weekend and until further notice. Tonight, we’ll be celebrating with friends Steve and Jodi at Fuel. Pics tomorrow.
My, my, my, you’ve all been much chattier than usual. Let me see what I can do about fielding some questions. Before I begin, however, to those of you who have written to complain about the fact that I haven’t posted your comments – I do post most comments unless the poster is: a) rude, b) clearly crazy, or c) goes on and on like the director’s cut of a theatrical feature. Occasionally, I may even weed out the odd obnoxious posts because it would detract from my own grandiose belligerence.
Carolina writes: “Joe are you rooting for anybody tonight at the Oscars?”
Answer: Well, Forrest Whitaker of course because he’s a fan of the Gates. Of the Best Picture nominees, I’ve only seen Little Miss Sunshine and Babel. So I’m rooting for The Departed because I really liked the original Hong Kong movie on which it was based.
Peter writes: “Will the season 4 opening credits have a brand new effect to it, or is it just going to be the same as the last 2 seasons but with different actors being displayed?”
Answer: I quite like the existing opening title sequence. It may change a little, but probably not all that much.
Copernicus writes: “Do you have any plans to incorporate more shades of grey into the story-telling?”
Answer: I’ve always been a big fan of unpredictable wildcards – characters and races that walk the line between good and evil. Yes, there will definitely be a few of these in upcoming episodes of Atlantis.
Patricia writes: “ I know you don’t have much for details on the third series, but, hint hint, nudge nudge, wouldn’t Ba’al be a wonderful main character? The reluctant hero who has a difficult time trying to behave himself and fit in with the rest of the characters? What do you think?”
Answer: Hey, I don’t need convincing. Unfortunately, I’m not the one who’ll be making the call on this one.
Patricia also writes: “You mentioned a book by Syd Field as a very useful tool to help you with your writing. He has at least a dozen books for sale on the net. Which book did you use?”
Answer: Hmmm. My old copy is back in Montreal. I believe it was Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting.
Agent Dark writes: “You’ve had a male/male kiss now on Stargate. Obviously there have been a few male/female kisses in the past. When do we get a female/female kiss?”
Answer: Good question. Off the top of my head, I don’t see one upcoming – but that’s not to say we won’t see one eventually.
RecycledFunk writes: “Do you guys plan on ever having McKay react to his allergens?”
Answer: It would make for a terrific off-world complication. It’s possible.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Do you think Atlantis would benefit from a reduction in episodes per season?”
Answer: Honestly, there is no benefit to a reduced season.
C.C. writes: “ Is there anything we can do to help get Beckett back, or is it truly and completely out of our hands?”
Answer: First of all, I don’t mind getting letters and do try to read most of the ones addressed to me. Secondly, I’m well aware that Beckett is a much-loved character. I don’t need more letters to convince me of the fact – but, again, I won’t discourage those who want to write in support of Paul. The campaign is great in that it especially lets him know how many people out there care about his Beckett. Also, it never hurts to let the network know that the fans support a particular character.
Pitry writes: “Aren’t you guys (a little bit) afraid for SGA’s, once it will be up against the major networks?”
Answer: Oh, a concerned thought or two has crossed our minds.
Etta writes: “What is favourite brand of chocolate(if you have one)-Lindt, Milka, other…?”
Answer: I’m an Amedei man. And, to be even more specific, their Amedei Chuao bar is my all-time favorite.
Minigeek writes: “Cheers minigeek (who has a couple of pugs, incidentally)
Answer: You’re a pug owner? Really? I guess this is what Luke Skywalker must’ve felt like when he found out Darth Vader was his father. Noooooooo! P.S. Dolby is a cutey.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Have you already decided the episode Chris Judge would be in of SGA? And will Tealc actually be in Atlantis, or will it be a situation like Pegasus Project?”
Answer: It will be a cameo in an episode called Reunion.
Pega writes: “From ’02 to ’04 M25-54 outperformed W25-54 in viewership by almost 3:1 (in syndication), and Atlantis was projected to have similar numbers. Does that ratio still hold true?”
Answer: I haven’t checked lately but I remember being surprised by the fact that Atlantis actually skewed more male than SG-1.
Chiandminh: “I was hoping you could recommend a pug breeder in the Lower Mainland.”
Answer: My wife suggests trying either Margaret Louie or Joyce Allen.
Anonymous #3 writes: “How do you feel about the ever-growing sentiment that Landry is a pushover General and that he has no consistent character or ties to the team?”
Answer: To be honest, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it.
m.k. writes: “Are there any plans for returning to any planets/people introduced in seasons 1-3, that we haven’t seen again?”
Answer: Are there any you have in mind?
Rob Heintz writes: “Given that Scifi doesn’t plan to air the first episodes of season four until the fall, on what information will a potential fifth season of Atlantis be based?”
Answer: Another great question. I would assume both the back half of season three and whatever season four episodes air before crunch-time.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Mitchell seems to be unequivocally in command in Season 10. Does this mean the whole co-command thing with Carter was dropped?”
Answer: Well, I guess it’s a matter of perception. I believe I’ve already mentioned that when this whole SG-1 command issue first came up back in season 9, there was much animated discussion in the writers’ room. Eventually, it was decided that Sam and Cam would co-command the team – and Mitchell suggests as much in Uninvited.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Do you feel like you’re being set up to fail by Sci-Fi? Aren’t they stacking the deck against a turn around in Stargate’s poor ratings?”
Answer: No, I think it’s in all of our best interests to see the series succeed. We’ve had some great conversations with SciFi regarding both the back half of season three and season four and everyone is looking forward to the April re-launch.
Lily writes: “Could be that John’s father is still alive but since he appears to be from the old school (“Cold War colonel”), maybe the two of them don’t get alone very well after John’s black mark?”
Answer: Hmmm. A very interesting possibility.
Arctic Goddess writes: “Have you watched any episodes of Eureka? If so, what do you think of it?”
Answer: Nope, I haven’t – though I met Colin Ferguson at last year’s Comicon and found him to be a very nice guy.
Lena writes: “Does the Stargate writing/ directing team have an overall James Bond preference?”
Answer: I’ve never asked, but I have a feeling the room is overwhelmingly pro-Connery.
Anonymous #6 writes: “I was watching Common Ground again today. There were several comments that Sheppard and the Wraith made about what would happen if their paths ever cross again and all bets being off. Will we will ever get to see an episode where they run into each other again?”
Magic 8 Ball says: Signs point to yes.
Anonymous #7 writes: “Is Torri definitely doing the Vancouver convention?”
Answer: The producers have nothing to do with the conventions and I, personally, have no knowledge about who is doing what and where. For all I know, things will kick off with a goat sacrifice after which fans will be invited to participate in the ceremonial spoiled mayonnaise and chocolate hunt. If I were you, I’d check with the convention organizers. More than twice.
Anonymous #8 writes: “Hey, I saw your food reviews at Urban Diner. Is this a new side job??”
Answer: The word “job” implies I’m being paid. Like my work on Stargate, I don’t do it for the money – I do it for the love of the art. And the occasional invite to a food-related event.