The special on the chalkboard read: “Half a roast goose with pan-fried…” And then, what could have been “potatoes” but, strangely, looked more like “poison”. “Gosh, I hope it’s potatoes,”I confided in Fondy since I had already placed my order. For her part, Fondy had a hankering for chicken paprikas and would not be denied.
We were at The Budapest, a quaint little Hungarian restaurant on Main and 16th Ave. that serves up the best homemade Hungarian food in town. Whenever me and the guys head over, we always split a couple of Transylvania Platters between us – huge plates offering up enormous portions of three kids of schnitzel (pork, veal, and chicken), cabbage rolls, sausage, bull’s blood cabbage, and pan-fried potatoes and spaetzle (tiny little noodle-like dumplings made of eggs, flour, and salt). I’ve also had occasion to sample their terrific langos, a deep-fried flat bread served with garlic (for rubbing) and sour cream (for dipping). They do hearty east-European food well here – and this night was no exception. My huge half goose was delightfully crispy-skinned yet moist and meaty, Fondy’s chicken paprikas as consistently good as she’s ever had it. There were a lot of great-looking home made desserts on display including Carl’s favorite poppy-seed strudel, kremes, and the truly awesome somloi galuska (sponge dumplings with chocolate sauce, rum, and whipped cream), but I was stuffed and took a rain check.
The Budapest isn’t the place to go for a quickie meal. The place is a small, family-run establishment that offers friendly but admittedly leisurely service. And, of course, great Hungarian cuisine.
Well, spent most of the early afternoon writing the outline for Rise of the Googlions Part I. A number of pieces fall into place as many of the things we’ve been building toward come to fruition (and not in a sweet apple sort of way either). Surprises in store; revelations galore.
Fondy, meanwhile, spent the day shopping. We’re having company over for dinner tonight and she’s making ribs. You can read my review tomorrow.
Let’s field some questions –
Anonymous #1 writes: “ 1: Since the Rainbow was on the enzyme, what happens if he was injected with the retrovirus? 2: About Ronon’s rank of Specialist, is it a commissioned rank or not, and is there a Earth equivalent? 3: When was the last time Jason went to NZ?”
Answers: 1. Rainbow was on the enzyme? 2. It’s commissioned. Not sure about the Earth equivalent. 3. No idea.
PG 15 writes: “In your opinion, how different would Seasons 2 and 3 of Atlantis be if SG1 ended at the end of Season 8 (and Stargate Command never started)?”
Answer: I’ve never really thought about it. We would have had more time to concentrate on less scripts. On the other hand, we would have had less opportunities to take advantage of the simultaneous productions. It’s very hard to speculate.
Anonymous #2 writes: “YOU ARE SOOO BAD!! To insinuate that Martin is not making a significant contribution to society.”
Answer: Come on. He’s a television producer. They’re worse than spam distributors.
Anonymous #3 writes: “A Sheyla hug? Reason for me not to watch.”
Answer: And if you’re anti-slash – beware! There’s an episode in which Zelenka and Sheppard share a smile!
Yin writes: “Have you ever had a chance to try cava, a Catalonia sparkling wine?”
Answer: I haven’t. I’m not a big fan of champagnes or sparkling wines.
Lizzyshoe writes: “Rise of the Googlions? You’re kidding right?”
Answer: When have you ever known me to kid? What’s wrong with Rise of the Googlions? Is it the “Rise of” you object to?
Lughtigern writes: “Have you read any books by Barry Hughart?”
Answer: Haven’t. Any good?
Scifan writes: “Dear John…”
Answer: Who’s John?
Diana writes: “First, Do you know if any of the actors are doing commentaries for season 3? Second, while I plan to watch the airings of SGA regardless, how does that help the ratings?”
Answers: Don’t know and getting the word out about the show will hopefully bringing in new viewers who will hopefully like the show enough to bring even more viewers into the fold. And if a couple of them are Nielsen families, all the better.
Alanna writes: “That rec also led me to Jeff Long’s “The Descent” and my if-I-could-marry-a-book-it-would-be-this-one read, “Year Zero”.”
Answer: Okay. Based on your recommendation, I’ll track Year Zero down.
Jenny Robin writes: “I remember one season when there was a contest for submitting story ideas to the show. I was convinced I had the best idea EVER, so I mailed it off to the given address. Alas, no episode was ever made involving Punky and her friends finding treasure in the hollow of a tree trunk.”
Answer: So that’s where Paul got the idea for the season finale!
Kristine writes: “What does bulgar mean?”
Answer: Sorry. The correct spelling is bulgur. It’s a whole wheat grain that’s been parboiled, dried, ground, and sifted. It can be used as a rice or couscous substitute. One cup has about 500 calories. Still, it’s more nutritious than rice.
Nicolas a ecrit: “1°) Est-ce que vous pensez que la série va battre le record de SG1 qui est de 10 saisons? 2°) Est ce que Elisabeth Weir va faire son grand retour dans la saison 5?”
Reponses: 1) Non, je ne croix pas que SGA va battre le record. 2) Nous n’avons pas meme commencé a penser a la cinquieme saison.
Silver writes: “I enjoyed Family ties […]. I was wondering how much fun the set designers had furnishing Vala’s father’s apartment.”
Answer: A little too much fun. I had to swing by set and have them tone down the look of the apartment. The filmed version was relatively tasteful in comparison.
Anonymous #4 writes: “Is Rodney’s character going to change in anyway now that Carter has joined the team?”
Answer: You mean “Will Rodney turn into a sniveling, love-struck puppy dog around Carter?”. The answer is no.
Farscape Fan writes: “Is it possible that Vala’s father didn’t know that his daughter was taken a host to Goau’ld? Where was he when that happened? And how long exactly Vala was the host to Qetesh?”
Answers: It’s possible. He was away for a lot of the time she was growing up and it’s more than likely they’ve lost touch for a while. As for how long Vala had been a host to Qetesh – clearly not that long in comparison to other goa’uld hosts.
Anonymous #5 writes: “Rodney’s allergy to citrus – real and deathly, or part of his hypochondria and he only THINKS it’s a deathly allergy? Or maybe somewhere in the middle – he is allergic but it’s not as serious as he thinks it is.”
Answer: Let me put it this way. Rodney’s citrus allergy was based on someone Brad and Robert knew who insisted he had a terrible citrus allergy. Whenever they would go out, he would make it a point to inform the waitress that “a single drop could kill me!”. They later learned that, unbeknownst to him, he had been unwittingly consuming plenty of citrus all along. Make of that what you will.
Ruffles writes: “Do you write a bio when you create a character or do you decide on general characteristics and flesh out the rest as opportunity permits?”
Answer: We don’t write anything down. We have a general idea of who or what we want the character to be and then find and develop them in the writing.
Anonymous #6 writes: “From where the Queens and the Keeper find these wonderful clothes?!”
Answer: They cull Winners.
Rebekah writes: “I love SGA. But I am so worried that it’s going to become a sci-fi soap opera of who’s sleeping with whom.”
Answer: Based on what?
My Name Is Scott writes: “What’s the most miserable sacrifice you’ve ever had to make in regards to a plot element or effect you or a fellow writer has written that had to be given up?”
Answer: A producer’s life is filled with sacrifices. Take a look at Irresponsible for a great example. Often, the budget dictates what one can and cannot do. One sacrifice that comes to mind was the opening scene in Lockdown. I had written a sequence that would take place entirely on the international space station. Because it proved too pricey, we had to infer most of the action by having most of it take place via video-link in the SGC. Not quite as satisfying.
Anonymous #7 writes: “If the worst should come to the worst and Atlantis doesn’t get a fifth season and there’s no chance of continuing the series in a movie format would you let the fans know what you guys had planned for how you wanted the series to be resolved?”
Answer: If worse comes to worse, I’m sure MGM will find a way to have the Atlantis team continue its adventures in one way or another.