Fondy and I celebrated my birthday with dinner at Quattro’s. Yes, on the one hand it was the scene of that gangland-style shooting several weeks back; on the other hand, their carpaccio and ravioli Piemontese are to die for. In all fairness, such an incident could have happened anywhere and, really, at the end of the day it says less about the restaurant itself and more about an alleged gangster’s affinity for fine pasta. Anyway, our dinner was far less eventful last night. Fondy started with a Caesar salad while I went with the grilled fresh mozzarella wrapped with prosciutto and radicchio in a cherry vinaigrette. Pleasantly sweet and smoky. We also split an order of the carpaccio Senape – paper thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth beef topped with horseradish aioli, asiago cheese, and crispy shallots. For her main, Fondy went with the fusilli con rucola – beef tenderloin, tomato, arugula, while I opted for the heartier ravioli Piemontese – portabella mushroom-stuffed ravioli nestled in a porcini and mascarpone cream finished with white truffle oil. No dessert on this night as Fondy had already picked up my birthday cake (coincidentally, her favorite!) earlier in the day: a deliciously purple ube cake which I enjoyed with some pistachio ice cream and a healthy topping of Advokaat.

When I headed downstairs to the media room after cake, I was surprised by the sight of the massage table Fondy had purchased six months ago – all set up and ready to go. I was treated to a wonderful massage reminiscent of the one I enjoyed on my last trip to Hong Kong, complete with scented oils, dim lighting, soothing music – but minus the forehead triple knuckle rap that concluded my Shangri la experience. It was a delightful once-in-a-blue-moon treat. Interestingly enough, Fondy was complaining of lower back pain this morning. Even more interestingly enough, a stroll through the media room on my way to do my work-out this morning confirmed the massage table was still up and ready for further use.

Did a little work on the fourth pilot script today (al…most…finished…second…act…) and reached the 150 page mark of both The Legacy of Heorot and Lord Foul’s Bane. I’m alternating chapters and should be done in time for next week’s discussion. So far, I am enjoying one (though have issues with some aspects of narrative) and am positively NOT enjoying the other. More on that next week.

Well, I think it’s high time I got the dogs back in daycare. They do nothing but lie around all day like shiftless teens nursing recent break-ups. Seriously, there’s nothing sadder than a moping dog (well, maybe a drunk and depressed cat). I may drop them off for a day of fun and frolic this Friday as it looks like that’s the day we’ll be screening the Ark of Truth mix in North Van.

Today’s pics: Dinner at Quattro, the birthday boy (makes a wish, blows out candle, a celebration is in order), them shamefully lazy dogs.

Today’s video: Click on the date to see Jodelle hitch a ride with David H. on the way to set.

Today’s mailbag:

WingedPegasus writes: “What other two eps will you be deconstructing?”

Answer: This Mortal Coil and Kindred I.

Linzi writes: “ Joe, I think you’ve misunderstood what Joe F was saying here. He specifically answered, after a fan asked if TPTB had taken Sheppard anywhere he didn’t want his character to go that that hadn’t happened in any specific episode – so he wasn’t talking about Harmony here.”

Answer: Actually, it was specifically in reference to Harmony because this exact issue came up only once all season and that was during a discussion of the Harmony script.

Wolfen writes: “Clicky for your pressie (AKA, that Utena pic I asked you about ^_~).”

Answer: Wow! Great artwork! I tried to leave a comment but couldn’t figure out how, so I’m conveying the thumbs up here.

Anonymous #1 writes: “You said that you would be watching ‘Arc of Truth’ this weekend with the rest of the gang. Does the rest of the gang include the main actors that were in it that still reside in the area such as Mr. Shanks, Ms. Tapping and Mr. Judge? Are they invited to the viewing so that they can see the finished product and possibly critique their performance?”

Answer: They will be invited to the premiere screening. What we are attending (probably this Friday) is a screening of the mix.

Dilemma writes: “Have you read novels ‘The De Vinci Code’ and ‘Angels and Deamons’ by Dan Brown?”

Answer: Not my cup of tea. My wife has enjoyed them however.

Semisweet writes: “Can you tell us who created each of the original SGA characters… Weir,Sheppard,McKay,Ford,Beckett,Teyla and Zelenka? Also Ronan, too, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Answer: All of the original characters are compliments of series creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper. The Ronon character was the brainchild of RCC.

Anonymous #2 writes: “With SG-1 over, what is the fate of the SGC set?”

Answer: That remains to be seen.

Elizabeth writes: “Is there ever possibly going to be a Stargate Atlatnis christmas episode?”

Answer: Highly unlikely.

Rac76 writes: “Do you eat anything normal? Like a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich or turkey sandwich, every once in a while??”

Answer: I had a can of chili for lunch. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

Jessica writes: Good or bad, I’m guessing some sort of news before the end of next week.

JoanlovesChachi writes: “Would you still have married Fondy if she were a picky eater?”

Answer: I read your question aloud to Fondy and she answered “No.”

Moe Jacuzzi writes: “I wish you a foul anniversary of the most tragic affair of your birth…”

Answer: Say, your middle name wouldn’t happen to be Frederique would it?

Namiko writes: “But what’s the difference between a cannoli and a canneloni?”

Answer: Damn. Good catch. I meant to write canoli (an Italian dessert which is basically a tubular pastry shell surrounding either a marscapone cheese or ricotta cream filling), not cannelloni (which is a more savory dish of ricotta cheese, and occasionally meat, stuffed in a rolled pasta sheet and baked in tomato sauce).

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