“I’ll do the takoyaki,”I told the guy behind the counter. “That’ll take thirty minutes to prepare,”he informed me. A thirty minute wait! For octopus balls?!! Forget it! I wandered over to the Cantonese Food counter and ordered the pork slices with garlic sauce and eight pork-chive dumplings…and a blueberry yogurt shake…oh, and an order of Hainanese chicken. Fondy ordered a whack of fried wings that proved a little too fried for her liking. However, the fried rice noodle with beef she shared with her sister Grace (snapped here strolling in her shades) did impress. For my part, I though the (almost) boneless Hainanese chicken was fine. The dumplings were great. The pork slices (think thinly sliced slightly cooked bacon) was pleasingly gelatinous but the accompanying “garlic” sauce had a hint of, well, the closest I can come to describing it is “redolent of some corrosive agent”, and it marred the flavor somewhat. For dessert, I had the Matcha (green tea) soft ice cream that proved surprisingly light and unsatisfying.
Following lunch, we ended up at The Costco. Fortunately, I had the foresight to bring along my book. While Fondy and Grace shopped, I followed along behind them, one eye on Red Mars, the other on the back of my wife’s feet lest I lose her. After a while, I could tell she was growing a little impatient with me, no doubt preferring to command my undivided attention. But I’m sure all of you will sympathize with my position. The Mars colony was in a state of revolt, the city’s were coming under missile attacks, the space elevator had just been downed – and I was expected to fret over laundry detergent?! Come on!
Went by Chapters late last night and, as is often the case when I visit, I ended up leaving with a bunch of books. The new additions to my ever-growing library include: Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself (Although I’m reading mostly scifi, the occasional times I have shifted gears to the fantasy realm has been very rewarding – The Lies of Locke Lamorra comes to mind – so I thought I would check this one out), The Princess Bridge 30th Anniversary Edition (which includes a terrific introduction by the great William Goldman who wrote also wrote the screenplay to one of my all-time favorite movies), The Zombie Survival Guide (Loved World War Z so I thought I’d get the first book that turns out to be exactly what it says, a guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse complete with chapters dedicated to zombie-proofing your home and the most effective weapons to use in the event of a zombie attack), Neil Gaiman’s Never where (which I’ve heard great things about), Consider Phlebas (following your Iain M. Banks recommendations), and H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds (a classic). With a hundred or so pages to go on Red Mars – a meticulously detailed, occasionally overwhelming work of hard scifi – I’m trying to decide whether my next read should be scifi or not. A little break might be nice and, hey, you never know when the dead or going to rise and that survival guide could come in handy.
Oh, and in case he’s reading this blog entry – Happy Birthday to my dog Maximus who is seven today.
Let’s see how many questions I can field today…
Craig MacD writes: “The Athosians (Teyla aside of course) haven’t really played a big part in Atlantis since season 1, and I’m curious as to how well they’ve been faring on the mainland.”
Answer: Actually, the Athosians are no longer on the mainland but have since been moved off-world to a place we’ll call New Athosia. More on the Athosians in season four.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Damn this show went downhill fast.”
Answer: Normally I’d write you off as just another over-reacting fan but I can’t discount the possiblilty that you may actually own a time machine that allowed you to jump into the future and watch as-yet-unproduced eopisodes of the show. So, what’re the last five episodes like? We’d love to know as it would save us the trouble of coming up with them.
Minigeek writes: “Would you still be open to an agented pitch? Or are you a closed shop at this point?”
Answer: Because we’re only producing 20 episodes of television this year, the script slots have already been spoken for. However, that could change next year. Stay tuned.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Lets say the world of Stargate really existed and you’ve been offered a position on Atlantis….knowing what you know what would it be?”
Answer: Head scientist in charge of Ancient icecreamology.
Anonymous #3 writes: “1. When are you going to make a cameo appearance in an episode? 2. What do you mean by “whumping” in shep whumping? Do mean he gets his fanny kicked like in Common Ground or he does the ass kicking like in The Eye. 3. Will reunion be another Sateda or Runner, where Ronon will be the main protagonist?”
Answer: 1. Maybe episode #100. 2. A bit of both. 3. Ronon will play a significant role in the story, yes.
Anonymous #4 writes: “I was wondering what is the budget of Atlantis, roughly speaking.”
Answer: Roughly speaking? I’d say somewhere between fine and good.
SmileyFace_06 writes: “What other career choices were you thinking about before deciding to become a writer?”
Answer: In elementary school, I considered becoming a detective. As I matured, I realized that becoming a detective was probably not something I could realistically achieve, so I set my sights on becoming a writer. Well, a writer or a super villain.
Mel writes: “I just can’t picture Jason Momoa driving a PINK Cadillac.”
Answer: If I remember, I will – and post it.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Why on earth are there no bloopers on the DVDs?”
Answer: Stay tuned for more on this topic.
Linzi writes: “Who comes up with the ideas for what everything will look like? Do you, or Paul, as writers, have an image of, for example, what the Travelers ship would look like in your heads, and you pass on what you envisage to the artists/set designers, or do they pitch ideas to you and you decide which you will go with?”
Answer: The writers always have a general notion of what they’d like to see – but when we turn it over to James Robbins and co., they take that initial concept and come up with something that will surpass anything we imagined.
Anonymous #6 writes: “I was wondering if you’ll be continuing showing the progression of Sheppard’s and Teyla’s relationship as you have been from season 3 into season 4?”
Answer: Oh, we’ll be continuing to show the progression of everyone’s relationship.
Anonymous #7 writes: “When you’re looking for an important secondary character, what is the process you and the casting directors for SG-1 and SGA use?”
Answer: We send the script out to our casting directors and they’ll scour the city and the various agencies for just the right actor or actress to come in and audition.
Crazymom writes: “You’ve recommended John Scalzi’s books–do they need to be read in any particular sequence?”
Answer: I’d suggest starting with Old Man’s War. Oh, by the way, re: The Demolished Man. I meant to recommend The Stars My Destination which is the scifi version of the Count of Monte Cristo. I’m sure he was wondering what the hell I was talking about.
SweetPea writes: “Anything you can share about the trouble they get into? And talking of animals, how do you feel about cats?”
Answer: When they’re together, they like to boss other dogs around. They’re little terrors at doggy daycare. Re: Cats – Love ‘em, and animals in general.
Shawna writes: “So, you’ve read Harry Potter? Two questions: Who’s your favorite character(s)? Snape: good or evil?”
Answer: We are in agreement on Snape. He’s my fave. And, in the end, I think he’ll prove himself a worthy secret ally.