Common sense dictates that certain activities can and will exact a terrible toll on the human body: smoking, recreational drug use, 4 sets of 12 forward lunges holding two 20 pound dumbells. Experience will also suggest other not-so-obvious candidates: eating fried spicy peppers, sleeping in one of the guest rooms in my mother’s house.
I woke up this morning feeling like I’d just gone three rounds with Mike Tyson (post Buster Douglas Mike Tyson – it was bad, but not that bad). My neck was stiff, my lower back ached, and every time I stretched my shoulders responded with a less-than-reassuring snap, crackle, and pop. Part of the problem was the bed itself, and part of the problem was my inability to relax. I blame my mother’s security system. Most security systems, when armed, will sound some sort of alert like a chirp or a double-beep or even a sustained whine. My mother’s security system, instead, alerts the house’s occupants with a masculine, booming: “ARMED!”. So there I was at half past midnight, lying in bed, drifting off, halfway to dreamland when: “ARMED!” I sat bolt upright, heart hammering, eyes wide and searching: “Wha-? What? What the hell?” My mother poked her head in and sheeipshly apologized. She’d forgotten that the security speaker just so happened to be located in the guest room. Good night. I spent the next hour trying to will my heartbeat back down to its normal resting rate and, in time, I succeeded as my body eventually reached that close-enough-to-relaxed state that would allow me to finally fall asleep. It was a restless few hours until sheer exhaustion took hold and put me out and into a deep, gentle slumber that had me dreaming of flying amidst the fluffy – “DISARMED!” – I sat up in bed, bug-eyed, heart pounding. Ah, morning already.
We got in at a little after 8:00 p.m. last night. My mother and sister had dinner waiting. A terrific rabbit in red wine reduction, baked basa with parmesan, fried spicy green peppers, rapini, broccoli, and pizza. For dessert: canoli, vanilla and chocolate macarons, some little cookie thing with a topping that tasted like whipped grapefruit cream, and, of course, mom’s home made apple pie with ice cream. Needless to say, it topped the meal I had on the flight over. And, yes, I overate.
Mailbag is back –
Shawna writes: “How do you do it? Do you sort of skim, gleaning the meaning while skipping over words like “the” and “and”, or do you read every word, but somehow do so at an amazing speed?”
Answer: I’m a fairly thorough reader but have always been fairly quick.
William writes: “Will Carter and Teal’c get to interact and have scenes together?”
Peter writes: ” 1. Besides that snake soup thing, when was the last time you got sick from eating bad food, and how bad was it? 2. Doing any on-location shoots near Metrotown in the near future? 3. Since you’re making Atlantis darker with the coming season, do you believe that the previous 3 seasons have not been dark enough?”
Answers: 1. About twenty year ago, I got really sick after eating a suspect samosa. 2. Nope, sorry. 3. It’s not a matter of attempting to rectify any balance in tone. These just so happen to be the arcs we’ve chosen to pursue this upcoming season.
Smiley Face06: “Do you ever eat fast food?”
Answer: On occasions when I’m keeping my wife company.
Bugguy writes: “I realize that you don’t have a whole lot to do with “Ark of Truth”, but when does shooting wrap up or has it already”
Answer: Ark of Truth starts shooting in about a week.
Anonymous 1 writes: “1. I was wondering why the production pushed SGA season 4 all the way to a fall 2007 debut. 2. Also, sir, is there any way to convince you and your people to revert back to a 22 episode season instead of the new format of 20.”
Answer: These were network decisions.
Anonymous 2 writes: “Do you mean that there was an argument between the scriptwriters concerning the death of McKay?”
Answer: The big argument was exactly how to kill him. Carl wanted to go with rabid space squirrel while Martin wanted to stick with the tried and true exploding tumor. I thought it would be cool to have him done in by a whipped lemon curd. Tune in to season four and find out what we eventually decided to go with.
Anonymous 3 writes: “Although a big sci-fi fan, I find it difficult to get into the more recent novels as they are just too convoluted and samey. What 5 would you recommend I start with to get back into the swing of things?”
Answer: Old Man’s War, Ender’s Game, The Day of the Triffids, Childhood’s End, and Foundation – just off the top of my head.
Anonymous 4 writes: “So, can you confirm Carter indeed comand her own spaceship?”
Answer: I cannot.
Prior_of_the_Ori writes: “1) Will season 4 explain how the Wraith became such a big threat to the Ancients so quickly? 2) “Aurora” mentioned that the Ancient crew found a weakness in the Wraith, will we find out what that was? 3) Will the Atlantis Expedition encounter any Ancients this season?”
Answer: 1. Yup. 2. Sort of. 3. That remains to be seen.
Ryu Gaia writes: “Is it true that the “Horizon” weapons’ platform in 320 “First Strike” was a reference to the virtual series “Stargate: Horizon?”
Dee in South Africa writes: “If Gourmet magazine asked you to be their Vancouver correspondent would you do it?”
Answer: Alas, I have my hands full with season four. I’d be happy to be their Asia correspondent for the month of December however.
Anise writes: “What is your favourite chocolate/flavouring combination, and why?”
Answer: Dark chocolate and marzipan because Paul hates it.
Minigeek writes: “I took some pictures of the brood tonight.”
Answer: I love ’em! Especially the fact that they’ll actually let you dress them. If you ever bring them to Vancouver, let me know. My gang would love to meet them.
Tauri Sith writes: “When you say “dark”, do you mean emotionally dark or character death dark or meeting a new enemy dark?”
Answer: Possibly all of the above.
Dorentus writes: “Congrats to you and the whole cast and crew for the Hugo nomination! It is well deserved. What’s your take on the competition (Galactica’s “Downloaded,” as well as “Army of Ghosts,” “Doomsday,” “Girl in the Fireplace,” and “School Reunion” from Doctor Who)?”
Answer: I’ve seen all but the Galactica episode. I really liked Girl in the Fireplace.
Anonymous 5 writes: “Amanda Tapping sounds so very happy in that Scifi interview. Cripes even she seems to be hedging her dialogue, despite your protestations otherwise.”
Answer: Given the way cetain fans have dumped on her for crossing over to Atlantis, does that really surprise you?