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 smile 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.

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Peter
Peter

I’m with you on the shopping thing; I can’t stand being in supermarkets or any kind of shops really. It’s typically “I need to buy this!” And then in and out of the shop in under 5 minutes. It’s not even a surgical strike, it’s like an…assassination.

Hmmm…that didn’t sound very good. Ah well.

So, more questions: do you guys, as in the writers, have any plans for the 100th episode of Atlantis?

Anonymous
Anonymous

“m.k. wrote: 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?”

Well, the planet from Poisoning the Well: it was mentioned in the ep that the Wraith would destroy them. Any plans on following up on that?

windshieldbug
windshieldbug

My husband not only eats, but bakes quiche. I have never developed a taste for it. But, truely its the texture that is unappealing.

Happy Birthday to Fondy. We share it! Although, without offense, I’m betting I am a few years her junior.

Saturday night consisted of 4 close friends and a tiny local bar. Complete with a 6 month old babe who’s sitter cancelled at the last minute. Festivities tonight include a bottle of wine and Season 1, Disc 3 of “The Sentinel”.

M.K.
M.K.

Hi Joe, thanks for taking time to answer our questions! Speaking of questions, I have 2 to ask.
1) Will you add any additional entries to your um… “alternate” blog?
2) As for my previous question about revisiting past atlantis people/planets, I was wondering if we’ll see the other Athosians, Ronan’s people, the people from “the game”, and the brotherhood/sisterhood people protecting their zpm. And the whales, you can’t forget the whales (assuming we ever go back to Lantea).
thanks again! smile

Shawna
Shawna

Two things that you said in this entry have me totally stoked: that we’ll be seeing Shep’s wraith friend again, and that you like characters that straddle the line between good and evil. I love those types of characters! Michael and Ford both fit that mold, don’t they? (Still holding out hope for more stuff with them. Possibly in the same ep.) In fact, reading your blog has got me more excited about the upcoming season than anything else I’ve read or seen.

Here’s a question: Any chance of any of the good guys getting (temporarily, I’d imagine) turned into a wraith, probably using some kind of backwards version of the wraith retrovirus? (I could just totally see Michael coming up with something like that to get some kind of poetic justice on the good guys. It would also make sense, from the wraith’s point of view, to do this to Ronon and try to use him as a weapon against the heroes.)

Anonymous
Anonymous

I challenge you to eat at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. Go on, do it! There was one that David Duchovny used to eat at all the time. Can’t remember what it’s called, but if it’s good enough for Mulder, it’s good enough for you!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Joe,
Wondering if you still make your own ice cream. If so, any new flavors you’ve made? If not, why not then?

Kelly J. Compeau
Kelly J. Compeau

Lobster poutine?! *shudder*

KJC

vaberella
vaberella

Hiya …JM

The Vabmeister in the house!! grin Ni hao ma? (or in creole–‘Sak passe?!) Just thought I’d drop in and drool over the great pics, once again.

I love chinese food, I’m partial to pork sung. It’s like dried shredded pork, I put that over any rice dish I eat. Fantastic stuff if you can get your hands on it!! By the way have you ever heard the foodie joke…What is Chinese Food called in China?

I wanted to ask, have you ever had Haitian Creole cooking? I’m Ayitienne (Haitian), and since you’re up in Canada–we tend to propagate in Montreal, of course!

I was wondering if you have had a taste. I think you’d like it, although it’s very spicy cooking, most people get ill from the spice originally.

You should try…
Diri ak Jon jon (our most famous) –black mushroom liquid used to turn the rice black (more like gray) and usually with lima beans or green peas (pois france). Have that with some lambi (conch) or grillot (marinated pork), and a side of pikliz (it’s vinegared cabbage and habanero peppers ((not for the faint of heart; and happens to be my personal fave)). Then we usually wash it down with some iced water, Coco Rico, Tropical Punch Soda (addictive!), or liquor of some kind! grin

Atlantis Questions…
I have a few questions for you.

I’m not certain if you would know, but will we see Teyla sparring with John, Ronon, Wraith, or Zelenka?! grin I can’t see Zelenka asking Ronon for stick fighting lessons. grin

What does your magical eight ball say about asking Claudia Christian(Commander Ivanova: B5) to guest star in an ep? Have you ever thought of having her in an ep?< --Complete fantasy on my part. :D
I just read RL’s interview in the official Stargate magazine, I’m extremely glad you’re going to develop her character more. She’s been through a stunted period lately. I’m happy she’s more than ‘Sacajawea’, though in a similar position. This goes double for Ronon and Sheppard, you guys do a fantastic job on McKay already! grin

I’ve been meaning to tell you guys thanks for the entertainment. I may not like everything, but everything is worthwhile and I’m definitely an appreciative fan. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait for S4. I wish you guys many more seasons.

UberAmandaFan
UberAmandaFan

Anonymous said…

“m.k. wrote: 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?”

Well, the planet from Poisoning the Well: it was mentioned in the ep that the Wraith would destroy them. Any plans on following up on that?

That’s funny that this anonymous poster suggested them because the Poisoning the Well people were the first to pop into my mind.

Another suggestion would be the people from Condemned. Sure…the bulk of them were taken out by the Wraith…but were all of them? But then keep in mind that I’m still hopeful that a few Tollans survived the Goa’uld massacre five years ago. What can I say? I’m optimistic by nature. wink

Lastly, there are the people from The Brotherhood. Now it’s been over a year since I’ve seen that episode so I don’t remember the particulars. Does their influence extends beyond just that one planet? If so…well…they could serve as a foil for the team’s plans once again.

I would have asked about the people from Inferno…but alas… sad

Take care,
Mary Beth smile

PS…Happy belated birthday wishes to Fondy from me, someone she’ll probably never meet but who wishes her well all the same. grin

vaberella
vaberella

Ooh, I just saw this post, so sorry!
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?

1)I’ve been talking about going back to the planet in The Brotherhood. I thought Allina (Jana Mitsoula),was a fantastic character. Would you consider bringing Allina from The Brotherhood back?

2) Possibly revisit the incident in Trinity, where Teyla basically protected Ronon’s actions. Has John found out? Will John find out, and his reactions to Teyla or Ronon killing the guy (I think he’d agree with it) or putting Teyla in that situation? Does Ronon’s past commander have loyals who are willing to get back at Ronon?

Ugh, now I have too many questions. Sorry for the VB attack, but your answer provoked these questions. grin

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey, I was wondering if you would consider bringing Sora back? I’ve wondered what she’s been up to, and decided it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Royal_Nonesuch
Royal_Nonesuch

First off, thanks much for taking our questions. Now for my question I apologize if this has been asked–and it probably has–is there a chance, we might see Jack O’neill in Atlantis again? “The Return:1&2” were fantastic! I love the Atlantis team and characters, but I don’t see anything wrong with having appearances from the SG-1 squad.

Thanks and have a good week,
Royal

cowpants
cowpants

Your blog rocks! I just read a bunch of it, and it’s really cool. Full of witty comments, good food, and lots of interesting factoids. I haven’t laughed so hard in quite some time…

Anyways, I have a couple of questions for you. And when I say a couple, I mean three.
1) How many times do you eat out a week? You seem to do it all the time. Doesn’t that get expensive?
2) What is your favourite type of cheese?
3) Do the actors and actresses ever come to the writers and offer up plot suggestions? More importantly, do you ever follow the suggestions?

Hmm, 3 questions turned into 5. Sorry! Have a fun day!

Tempus Meum
Tempus Meum

Quick SGA question: I know you probably can’t comment too much about this but all this talk about Torri’s Weir being reduced to reccuring doesn’t mean she is gone for good does it?? She will still be in the show to some extent? I love the character of Elizabeth Weir and would hate to see her go but, if you and the powers that be on the show believe it is for the greater good, than I as a fan will trust you!!

pilgrim
pilgrim

Some of my favorite Stargate episodes are those that walk a slightly darker path, I think that the humourous side of the show often works best when juxtaposed with a more serious storyline. Will we be seeing more of the dark side of Atlantis, and it’s characters, this year?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I would love for Elizabeth to return in an consulting capacity and have her join some team missions. Any chance this could happen? She has great chemistry with all the team members.

BR

Anonymous
Anonymous

That thing about women and men shopping differently is so true, at least for the way most women shop. Even though there are some exceptions…

Have you planned doing some ‘last episode special’ for the last SG1 episode? I was watching the last episode of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ a couple of days ago and wondered if you are planning to do something or add something to the DVD.

Etta

Night Spring
Night Spring

Hi. Thank you for the clarification you posted the other day that the decision to change Weir’s status to recurring occured before the decision to bring Carter over to SGA. Knowing that, I feel a little less unsettled about the changes taking place. Now, I appreciate that you don’t want to spoil too many things about the coming season, or discuss matters that are of no concern to anyone but the parties involved. But within those limitations, is it possible for you to say whether the change in Weir’s status was a purely creative decision, or did outside factors contribute to it?

Anonymous
Anonymous

What do you think about the Stargate : Worlds MMORPG game? Will season 4 and the game have common storylines, races?

Craig
Craig

Hey Joe!

I was just wondering a couple of things. Had Robert Davi been available for Coup D’etat would the Genii still be the pain in the ass nuisance they were in season 1?

Also, with 20-20 hindsight do you think killing off Kolya was a good move? Personally i thought he was a cracking villan for Atlantis.

Cheers for answering our questions. Its appreciated even if you do end up getting abuse from some quarters.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Joe!
Jet another Weir question!With her role beig reduced to reocuring I was wondering how often will she appear…I mean will she appear like Ford,or alla Bra’tac and Janet Fraiser in SG-1?

Take care,
Anonymous XY

Mimi
Mimi

Hi Joe! And Happy Belated Birthday to Fondy. (I’m a Feb. B-day too, different Zodiac though.)

I have to say what a surprise your blog has turned out to be! When I found the link at gateworld I figured it would be pretty much the same as the one you left behind on their site. How wrong was I! I went back to the beginning to read every entry. I love it that your blog combines the foodie and the sci-fi. (My two obsessions.) Thank you for sharing so much inside information from the writers room and mind.

You’ve mentioned foodnetwork, a book on chocolate and searching for restaurant reviews online. Can you share with us some of the shows and websites that you like? Do you read any other food blogs? Any particular books on food, chefs or cookbooks you’ve enjoyed reading? If I understand correctly your heritage is Italian but you definitely enjoy Asian cuisine. Can you talk more about your food influences?

One last thing. One of my favorite lines from you. “Finally, when it comes to this blog, people come for the mock but stay for the food pics.” 1/18/17

So true.

Thanks.
Mimi.

Maja
Maja

Hi Joe,

just want to say that I can’t imagine Stargate Atlantis without the character of Elizabeth Weir. I hope Elizabeth fans will have a reason to tune in next season… as many episodes as possible. smile

Nichole
Nichole

Hi Joe! Just wanted to let you know I’m very much looking towards you running the show during Season 4, because (A) you’ve written some of my favorite episodes for both the Gates and (b) I’m the hopeful for lessening of the woo-woo Ascended being stuff. I like the idea of the Ancients as a far more advanced and older race whose technology we attempt to master and the problems understanding it can cause, because it’s entertaining when Rodney blows up 3/4ths of Solar System. Oh yeah—ignore the people who are complaining Season 4 before is shot, let alone airs—I mean seriously, let’s include all the complainers. Sometimes things, like Janet dying on SG-1, make me cry and upset, but it would be boring to watch if things were hunky-dory every week. I don’t think show would grow and evolve.

Random Question, how far is Whistler from Vancouver? I’m thinking about heading to Whistler sometime this year for vacation, if I can time it right to get the company discount—reading your blog makes me want to head to Vancouver and try the restaurants out- sounds like it may be as good as city to eat out in as mine-Charleston, South Carolina.