We planned to go out for brunch today. Well, that was the plan but by the time Fondy was ready, we were far past brunch and well into lunch territory. Rather than go the dim sum route or head over to Feenie’s for braised short rib sandwiches, we decided to try something a little different (lunch-wise anyway) and dropped by Bristrot Bistro. Owner Valerie was on hand to welcome us in and over to a table of our choice. Apparently, business has been brisk (which is great to hear because the food is excellent, and Valerie and husband-chef Laurent are really sweet people) and even though Saturday afternoons have been a little slow, Sunday afternoons are hopping. I elected to go with two choices off the regular menu – the cognac chicken liver terrine and the smoked duck and caramelized onion tart – while Fondy went with the pain perdu with maple syrup from the brunch menu. Both the terrine (served with crostini and gherkins) and the tart were excellent while the pain perdu – their version of French toast made with baguette and served with maple syrup dipping sauce – was the best I’ve ever had. I ended the meal with a new addition to the menu since my last visit – a wonderful truffle cake, possessed of a magical mousse-like consistency, accompanied by crème anglaise (and the scoop of vanilla ice cream I requested).
After lunch, we headed downtown and I swung by Chapters and picked up a few titles. Check ‘em out. I’m a big fan of short story collections, so I picked up Fast Forward 1 and Year’s Best SF 8 (I have 1-7 and 9-11). I really enjoyed Gene Wolfe’s heady The Third Head of Cerberus, so I picked up his New Sun quadrilogy. Also, after being totally blown away by China Mieville’s mastery in The Scar, I picked up his two books I didn’t already own: King Rat and Iron Council (Krista from Playback has Perdido Street Station and Bones from Visual Effects has Looking For Jakes and Other Stories). Also, based on your recommendations, I picked up some Terry Pratchett, namely Good Omens and The Colour of Magic.
I know, I know. When will I possibly have the time to read all these. Well, I’ve picked up the pace of late. After finishing The Handmaid’s Tale, I moved on to Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize-winning Blindness, a novel that focuses on a group of individuals, the first afflicted by a plague of blindness, who are isolated from a panicked society and forced to fend for themselves. Both haunting and thought-provoking. I then moved on to Salman’s Rushdie’s fanciful Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Neal Stephenson’s meticulously detailed Quicksilver, Arthur C. Clarke’s poetic Fountains of Paradise, and have just started Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber. I picked up a tome containing all ten books that make up the complete Amber Chronicles. If the subsequent books are as good as the first, then I am hooked! Once I’m done with Nine Princes, Peter Watts’s Blindsight awaits. This one sounds very cool. From Publisher’s Weekly: “ In the late 21st century, when something alien is discovered beyond the edge of the solar system, the spaceship Theseus sets out to make contact. Led by an enigmatic AI and a genetically engineered vampire, the crew includes a biologist who’s more machine than human, a linguist with surgically induced multiple personality disorder, a professional soldier who’s a pacifist, and Siri Keeton, a man with only half a brain. Keeton is virtually incapable of empathy, but he has a savant’s ability to model and predict the actions of others without understanding them. Once the Theseus arrives at the gigantic and hideously dangerous alien artifact (which has tellingly self-named itself Rorschach), the crew must deal with beings who speak English fluently but who may, paradoxically, not even be sentient, at least as we understand the term.”
On the t.v. and DVD front, Fondy and I have started on Dexter (which has received mixed reviews from the writers’ room), while, on the anime front, I’ve started on the most gorgeous piece of eye-candy I’ve ever seen: Gankutsuou (The Count of Monte Cristo).
Okay, enough about me. What’s up with you guys?
Susan the Tartan Turtle writes: “Are any of the Pugs exceptionally naughty? Are they cat lovers or cat chasers?”
Answers: Bubba is the naughty one. He’s the one who got into the Halloween candy last year, and a bag of chocolate-covered almonds the year before, and an entire sponge cake the year before that. Apparently, his favorite thing to do at daycare is to clamp onto the biggest dog’s tail and then hang on for the ensuing ride.
Jason writes: “In The Road Not Taken, Major Lorne was the leader of that AU’s SG1. Was there any other people under consideration for this role or was Kavan Smith always your first choice?”
Answer: He was always our first choice.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Sure, that’s the company line now, but there were some pretty honest comments made about the situation last year. Supposedly you had to “sell” her on the idea, and even then she was shocked that you wanted such a huge committment.”
Answer: Yeah, I’m going to have to call bullshit on that one. Given the situation she was facing – the prospect of coming on to an established show as a major character was departing – it’s no wonder Amanda was cautious when answering questions about her new role. And given the way certain brainless fans have reacted, can you really blame her? Oh, and you seem to be contradicting yourself. On the one hand you claim we forced her to appear on the show and yet, on the other hand, you claim she had to be sold on the idea, implying she had a choice. Which is it?
Crystal writes: “And now I’m off to watch one of my favorite buddy movie DVDs which I got for my birthday last month, “Tombstone” with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell.”
Answer: I loved that movie.
Lisa S. writes: “ Please reassure me that Atlantis isn’t going to become ‘The Sam Carter Show’!”
Answer: Honestly, it doesn’t matter what I say because fans will always assume the worst – until the shows actually air at which point they will conveniently find something else to complain about. That’s show business.
Anonymous #2 writes: “I just need to know how to write and how to sell the completed script. That’s all.”
Answer: That’s it? Then I would suggest you study a show you really like and write a spec script (sample episode). Any good book on scriptwriting (try one by Syd Field) will show you how to write a script. After that, get a hold of a list of television agents (maybe try the Writer’s Market) and query them with some self-addressed, stamped envelopes. If they’re willing to read unsolicited submissions, then send them your script, keep your fingers crossed, and be prepared to accept constructive criticism.
PG15 writes: “Any chance of a future DVD release where we get an uncensored “a day in the writers’ room” extra?”
Answer: Whooweee! Not a chance!
PG-15 also writes: “Have you seen your recent interview with “Sequential Tart” that was published? It has a pretty, um, bad-a** pic of you as a super villain.”
Answer: Yeah. Wolfen did a terrific job capturing the real me.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Is there any chance to make her an offical Hungarian character in the Atlantis expedition too?”
Answer: It’s possible.
Atlantisfannew1 a ecrit: “Quel est votre plat francais préféré??”
Reponse: Foie gras et sardalaise.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Is it just that the chicken isn’t very photogenic or did it taste as minging as it looks?”
Answer: Believe it or not, it was surprisingly good.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Is there any plan on having a wraith queen appearing in season 4?”
Marsha writes: “Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve already talked about this, but will we see the character Michael at all during during Atlantis Season 4?”
Answer: Hmmmm. It’s possible…
Tanis writes: “I don’t know if you understand me… It is difficult for me explain it in english language.”
Answer: Hey, Tanis, great post. Your insight is much appreciated.
Skopadiggle writes: “Would it be alright for me to use some of the pictures from your blog for a project I’m working on?”
Answer: Sure. Everyone else does.
Vabrella writes: “Any chance of us getting Teyla speaking in ‘techno-babble’ terminology?”
Answer: Yes, Teyla will demonstrate some of her newfound knowledge in season four.
Gilder writes: “Ever eaten turnip greens or collards, Joe?”
Answer: Yup. In fact, the Memphis Barbecue House here in Vancouver serves collard greens as a side with their big beef rib special. By the way, congrats on your Spurs.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Have you or Brad or Rob ever had to take an actor to the side and metaphorically slap them on the wrist for giving out any spoiler info?”