We had a surprise birthday party for Martin Gero the other night. I’m pleased to report that he was, indeed, surprised – partly because his girlfriend Stephanie did such a good job of organizing the secret event, and mostly because his actual birthday isn’t for another month. In attendance – lotsa people including: Fondy and I, Rob and his wife, Alan and his wife, Carl and his wife, Ivon flying solo, and sundry others. I sat beside Martin’s brother, a marine biologist who has been studying whale cultures and is about to publish some breakthrough research on whale pups. He’s an interesting and affable guy, someone who’ll know doubt make a significant contribution to our society. I couldn’t believe he was related Martin.
There were about twenty of us at Cru, one of Martin’s fave restaurants, and we all ordered from a set menu. I started with an excellent beef carpaccio with white truffle oil. My main – a beef tenderloin – was fine. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a tenderloin that has blown me away, preferring the unctuous marbling of a nice ribeye. Fondy enjoyed her halibut while Ivon, who went with the tuna special, complained bitterly about his main (“Fishy!”was his one-word review). For dessert, my bitter chocolate torte was delightfully intense while Fondy gave her crème brulee two big thumbs up.
Not sure what he received from anyone else, but I know that Carl gifted him with the second season DV D of Punky Brewster (which included Carl’s very first produced episode – Love Thy Neighbor – a subtly understated yet powerful tale of ageist intolerance, redemption, and a dog sporting a tweed hat. I know this because Martin made us watch the episode at lunch today). Meanwhile I got Martin his favorite chocolates – the Bananas Foster from Wen Chocolates. And, since I was already placing an order, I figured “What the hell” and got something for the other writers as well.
And it turned out to be a good call. We needed the energy as we finally finished breaking Rise of the Googlions Part I today. I’ll be doing the honors, which means I get to work on the outline this weekend. Alan will be tackling Rise of the Googlions Part II which we’ll start spinning next week along with Martin’s next episode. Carl has finished revising Quarantine and already has an outline in place for Midway. Then comes Joe F.’s story, still in play, and Paul’s season finale. Send in the Clones is toast.
Just finished reading Leigh Brackett’s “The Long Tomorrow”, an excellent book about a post-apocalyptic world run by Mennonites (I kid you not). Best known for her pulp scifi and fantasy, the author also had a number of notable screenplays to her credit including The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and The Empire Strikes Back (although her contribution to the final shooting script is uncertain). I’ve moved on to “The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century” (my favorite, so far, being Henry Kuttner’s “Time Locker” – Kuttner, by the way, wrote a short story titled “Mimsy were the Borogoves” which was turned into the movie “The Last Mimsy”) and have David Wingrove’s “The Middle Kingdom” on deck (the first book of the Chung Kuo series, a Martin Wood recommendation).
Pics: The birthday toasts…himself, Alan McCullough (doing his best James Bond) and wife Teresa, Martin and Alan pretending to discuss work but secretly talking about me, party people, energy the writing department needs to get this damn story broken, Carl’s thoughtful gift.
Gate Geek writes: “So..what type of pics are your favorite? Galaxies? Planets? Nebulaes?”
Answer: I’m definitely a nebula man.
M writes: “By the way, who’s the other man in the photo with you and Carl?”
Answer: That is writer-producer Alan McCullough. Carl owes him twenty bucks, so he stayed by his fellow-writer’s bedside all day. Then got hungry at a little after 6:00 p.m. and took his shoes as partial payment.
PG 15 writes: “Am I right to say that all episode spots in the latter half of Season 4 have been filled?”
Answer: There is one slot open.
SMB Books writes: “Have you watched any of the “Planet Earth” series?”
Answer: I haven’t.
Rebecca writes: “Oh my God! You killed Carl Binder! Won’t that mean more work for you now?”
Answer: Good news! According to Carl, when he flatlined, he suddenly found himself in an impossibly long tunnel with a beautiful light at the end. An angelic voice called out his name “Caaaarl! Caaaaarl!” He was so excited that he raced down the tunnel, each footfall filling him with the warmth and happiness of supreme cosmic understanding, finally stepped into the light, and found himself in a Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits Restaurant in LaFayette, Louisiana. He just got back this morning.
Watcher 652 writes: “Would you try scrapple? […] Have you tried/would you try rumaki?”
Answer: Pork scraps and cornmeal? Chicken livers with bacon and chestnuts? Sign me up!
Kristine writes: “Is there any food that isn’t junk food that will help me gain weight?”
Answer: Sure. Macadamia nuts and bulgar.
Paula writes: “Are you going back to the market tonight in hopes of finding good food again?”
Answer: No. I’m done with the Night Market. I think Fondy wants to hit the Seoul House for some Korean barbecue tonight.
Scifan writes: “Did you get a chance to watch Spiderman 3 or Ghost Rider, or are you waiting for the DVDs? Are you going to watch Fantastic Four 2 and are you or any of the writers fans of Fantastic Four?”
Answer: Haven’t seen any of them although I will check out FF2 since I had dinner with the writer the last time he was in town.
Kristine writes: “How come you changed your shirt? Do you often change your shirt in the middle of the day?”
Answer: My religious beliefs necessitate I change my entire wardrobe every two and half hours. This isn’t so bad during the day, but hell at night.
Elodie writes: “Any plans to bring ben and claudia in season 4?”
Answer: No, sorry.
Anonymous #1 writes: “ Do you think it would be at all effective to contact SGAs sponsors and tell them how much we love their products and the fact that they support our favourite show?”
Answer: An interesting and novel approach.