You know what I love even more than going to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner? Going to that same restaurant for lunch. As was the case today when I went to Fuel for lunch with Fondy, her business partner Shawne, and our friend Josie. Now the nice thing about going out with the girls is that I have the opportunity to try dishes I normally wouldn’t order. Dishes like the housemade ricotta and arugula salad, and the smoked chicken and romaine salad. In short – the salads. Now far be it for me to knock salads (even though I’m almost certain the sprouts that adorned my sunchoke soup were the culprit in my bout of food poisoning last month, and am ever-mindful of the Caesar salad that did in a fellow producer so badly that he was vomiting up blood – I mean, when was the last time an ailing diner pointed the finger at the braised veal cheeks? But I digress). I went in with an open mind and was rewarded. Both salads were very good. Not as good as my smoky chorizo sausage sandwich on a fresh Portugese bun with red pepper a side of sweet and salty red onion rings, but still very good. I suppose I could have had the salad as a side but my utterly delicious order of morel mushroom risotto topped with sea asparagus was already pulling side plate duty.
Like I said – the nice thing about going out with the girls is that I have the opportunity to try dishes I normally wouldn’t order. Except in the case of dessert because, to my frustration, it’s something they usually skip. And at lunch in particular. That warm caramel brownie with vanilla ice cream, cocoa, and cardamom soup had my name on it. But, alas, so did the script impatiently awaiting my return at home, so I skipped the sweets and headed back home where –
I finished Act the Third. I’m going to need to go over them and fine tune the dialogue but, hey, I’m not complaining. Top of page 37, start of Act Four, and I’m taking the rest of the day of to read.
Finished two books over the course of the past four days(ish). The first was Joe Abercrombie’s Before They Are Hanged, the second book in his First Law series. Now, as most of you know, I’m not a big fan of high fantasy. Earnest quests involving dwarves and elves and plucky princesses don’t do it for me. However, I was quite impressed with first-time author Scott Lynch’s book The Lies of Locke Lamorra – a nice mix of roguish adventure, rich world-building, and dark humor. Abercrombie’s work (The Blade Itself, and Before They Are Hanged) is very different in terms of the type of story told, offering up a wonderful cast of flawed adventurers, some truly heinous villains, and a titanic quest – fantasy tropes to be sure but, like Lynch, Abercrombie does a masterful job of setting these tropes on their respective ears. The flawed adventurers are maybe a little too flawed and keep getting, er, flawier. The villains are almost impossible to get a handle on. And as for that quest – well, I’ll leave it to the reader to check out the surprise Abercrombie has in store for them at book’s end. And, as an added bonus, dark doings and equally dark humor abound. I liked the first book in the series a lot but really loved this, the second. Now I have to wait until March of next year for the third installment.
In the meantime, I have more than enough books to keep me busy like, for instance, Iain M. Banks’ (not to be confused with Iain Banks who, incidentally, is the same author but writing in a different genre) Consider Phlebas. An incredibly inventive, thoroughly entertaining, off-the-wall space opera that, clocking in at some 470 pages, took me all of two days to get through. What can I say? The Eaters and their disgustingly rotund leader. The big-stakes game of Damage in which players bet lives (but not their own). The Clear Air Turbulence and its crew of misfit mercenaries led by a captain who never sleeps thanks to the fact that his brain has been partitioned in three parts so that while one third of his brain sleeps, two-thirds are always awake. All this amidst a interstellar war pitting the machine-minded Culture against the warrior Idirans with humans little more than bit players in grand affair. The Player of Games, his second book in this, his Culture Series, is on my list of Books to Read on Hiatus. If it’s as good as the first, I plan on picking up the entire series.
Next up, for a nice change of pace, I’ll be reading The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent, a collection of “never before published in English” SF short stories.
On the viewing front: Finished the first season of Dexter the other day. Yerm. Flight of the Conchords, the new HBO comedy series focusing on a hard-luck two-man band struggling to make it in New York – punctuated by hilarious musical numbers! It’s dry, deadpan humor reminds me a lot of the original Office. It’s a welcome addition to an otherwise dreadful t.v. summer schedule.
Pics: chorizo sandwich, morel mushroom risotto, me mesmerized by some scintillating dinner conversation, Jelly enjoys the Summer sun and the dogwalker’s hat.
Propagandor writes: “ Joe is there any question your supprised hasn’t been asked yet? Something you were sure would come up. If so what would your answer be?”
Answer: As a matter of fact there is one big question that hasn’t been asked that I was sure would come out. And my answer to it would be: “You’ve got a lot of nerve asking me that but I admire your courage and will respond to your brave query. The answer is a surprising NO but “the red one” has always been considered a very strong possibility. Thanks for asking and that’s the last I’ll ever comment on this subject.
Imitation tofu writes: “Joe, are you planning on photographing any of your ice cream creations this summer? “
Answer: Yup, when the time comes.
Imitation tofu also writes: “What do you think that Jewel Strait and her character will bring to the CMO position that Paul McGillion and Carson Beckett could not?”
Answer: The question seems to suggest that we offed Beckett in order to replace him with Keller which wasn’t the case.
Mackenziesmomma writes: “ Can we get an update on the pug you are ‘definantly not getting’?”
Answer: The pug we won’t be getting won’t be able to leave his mom until August which is when we won’t be getting him.
PG15 writes: “ I do live very close to Bridge Studios (around Metrotown), perhaps I should come down personally tomorrow to receive my prize?”
Answer: Sadly, the sets are dark for the next three weeks. However, do include your email in your next post. I promise not to approve it and share it with the all of the readers of this blog (but will sell it to that UK Lottery Corporation that has informed me I’ve won 10 million dollars in a recent draw I didn’t even enter. Here’s hoping you should be so lucky).
Sarah writes: “I believe you mentioned a while back that you had picked up season one of Veronica Mars. Have you watched it yet?”
Answer: Not yet.
Little Raven-Hawk writes: “Who is going to there for the panel at Comic Con that you know of?”
Answer: So far, I believe Michael, Chris, Amanda and Ben for the SG-1 panel with Rob Cooper being a strong possibility. As for the Atlantis panel, I believe Amanda, David, probably Joe and myself. Nothing has been finalized. That I know of.
Anonymous #1 writes: “By the way, are you going to AE07?”
Answer: I don’t even know what that is.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Why are the beds in Atlantis single beds?”
Answer: The Ancients were a very uptight race.
Vaberella writes: “I was watching Top Chef and was introduced to black chicken. Have you ever had it?”
Answer: Yup. I’ve always known it as Silkie chicken and have had it on more than one occasion. It’s very good.
Shawna writes: “In all honesty, how much does an actor’s image play into the casting decision?”
Answer: It really depends what we’re casting for. For instance, if we’re looking for a beautiful Ancient to tempt Sheppard, we’re going to need someone who looks the part. That said, talent is still our first priority when it comes to casting.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Is there friendship growth between Teyla and Rodney this season?”
Answer: Yup. There’s a particularly sweet scene in Be All My Sins.
Platschu writes: “Can we hope that Brad Wright or Robert C. Cooper will make major announcement about the third SG series at the Comic Con in July?”
Answer: Don’t hold your breath.