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Last night, I rang in the New Year with my mother, Fondy, the dogs, and Fondy’s business partner Shawne. We celebrated by playing Scrabble, testing our blood sugar levels, and then impatiently awaiting the strike of midnight so that we could finally call it a night and head up to bed. It was great a time. So, anyway, while I was lying sprawled out on the couch, sipping eggnog and watching the cookie-cutter skateboard-bands-du-jour “rock out” on the east coast, I thought I would take the time to make a few New Year’s resolutions. I know, I know. “Good luck with that,”you say. And, true, enough, for past experience has proven that sticking to these well-intended declarations is well nigh impossible. But, in all fairness, that’s because people tend to have unreasonable expectations of themselves. Saving money, losing weight, getting organized – sure, they’re commendable goals and they certainly seem doable…on New Year’s Eve after you’ve put down half a bottle of celebratory champagne and a handful of those liquor-filled chocolates someone re-gifted you. However, give it a month and you’re mislaying files, scarfing down fries, and swinging by Tower Records to pick up the new Juiceboxxx CD. Ultimately, in order to succeed, your objectives must be realistically achievable. Like mine:

1. Be less charitable: By this, I don’t mean make fewer contributions to charity (by all means, continue sending your annual donation to the Mottled Orange Ferret Organization); simply be a whole lot less accommodating to those around you. Now I realize this sounds a tad selfish, but that’s only because it is. A tad. But believe me, it’ll make your life a whole lot easier. Montague and Trudy just called to let you know they’re running late? F ’em! Start dinner at the appointed time and have them play catch-up on what’s left of the leg of roast while you polish off their slices of sachertorte. Best case scenario: they’ll learn a valuable lesson and the rest of your dinner party will thank you. Even better than best case scenario: they end up offended and you lose their friendship, meaning one less holiday greeting to worry about when the time comes.

2. Be less patient: This one goes hand in hand with the aforementioned resolution and goes a long way toward putting on notice all of the coasting nimrods and jerks who take advantage of your stolid equanimity. Stop thinking of life as a series of compromises. That kind of attitude aspires to adequacy. Don’t lower your expectations and never feel sorry for anyone. Next time you go to a fancy restaurant and the waiter asks “Sir, how were the short ribs?”, tell him the truth: “They tasted like urine-soaked balsa wood shavings sauced with the residue of last week‘s pan scrapings. But, on the bright side, they were immeasurably better than whatever the hell you served my wife.”

3. Be less accommodating: When I first started blogging, I vowed to keep the comments section open to all opinions, from the high-and-mighty to the occasionally caustic. I felt it important that all voices be given a forum. In retrospect, it was an honorable goal and one that I would surely continue to pursue – were I the webmaster of Mahatma Ghandi’s website. However, this is my private blog. So, while I welcome input and will continue to welcome criticisms, complaints, or calls for Character X’s return, I won’t be quite so forgiving of surly missives or blanket show-bashing. If that’s the way you want to go, then I invite you to limit your comments to dedicated forums where your opinions can be shared with like-minded individuals…and absolutely no one else.

4. Be more reckless: Repercussions are for losers.

5. Be more camera-ready: I can’t help but think that if I’d adopted this resolution a little earlier, I could snapped that pic of Fondy losing her shoe in the mud last week.

By the way, we kicked off last night’s festivities by going to dinner at one of Vancouver’s premiere restaurants: C. Actually, I should say “formerly premiere restaurants” as this once dependably solid eatery has had the wheels come off in a big way since the last time we visited some seven or eight months back. A for effort on the foie gras macaroons that, while splendidly creative, proved a little too cloying. The lobster risotto with shaved truffles was an excellent appetizer that pretty much blew away everything else we were served that night. Fondy and my mother had the lobster sous-vide and, while this particular cooking method has yielded remarkable results in the hands of Fuel’s Chef Belcham and Gastropod‘s Angus An, it proved far less impressive on this night. “The meat is gummy,”was my mother’s review. Shawne and I, meanwhile, chose turf over surf, going with beef tenderloin served atop a bed of braised short ribs with a rosemary crumble and bone marrow au just, accompanied by a rather drab pine mushroom tortellini. Although we’d both ordered it medium-rare, they were served rare to blue and cool to the touch. By the time the tenderloin was whisked away and a replacement whisked back (medium-rare as ordered) it was ticking toward 7:30 p.m. We’d been advised that we only had a two hour seating (perfectly acceptable given it was such a busy night), so dessert was out of the question. Still, points to our waiter who inquired anyway, clutching the dessert menus to his chest as if in fear we would actually take him up on the offer. Strangely, our meal was punctuated by a cacophony of clangs and crashes emanating from the kitchen, as if someone was practicing their juggling technique. Hey, one or two dropped items – accidents happen. Four or five and you begin to suspect that someone has jumped the gun and started their New Year’s celebrations a tad early.

In response to some of the comments on yesterday’s poem, I would like to emphasize one passage in particular:

“So here is this year’s abstruse composition,
Designed for you fans who possess the volition,
To examine and study its cryptic contents,
In a bid to unearth hints to future events.”

In other words, all of the clues refer to unaired episodes. Each line of rhyme, more or less, hints at one upcoming episode, covering the back half of season 4 and into season 5. And to those who complain that the clues are too vague – they’re a lot more specific than they appear. Also, as much as I appreciate all of the guesswork, I will not be commenting on your various theories (as admittedly brilliant as some of them may be) until after the cryptically-alluded to episode has aired.

Speaking of which – Okay, as I’m sure you’re all aware, the back half of Atlantis’s fourth season kicks off this Friday on SciFi with Be All My Sins Remember’d. Well, I exchanged emails with Marty G. and, despite being in vacation mode, he has expressed a willingness to do a post-episode guest Q&A for this blog. So, if you’re interested in finding out what the hell Martin was thinking when he wrote the episode, get your questions in on Saturday and he‘ll, hopefully, get back to us in a timely manner.

Finally, a note to all of you leaving comments. Although I read all your posts before approving (or casting them down to the fiery pits of internet Hell), when it comes time for me to do the mailbag, I only reference the most recent questions (unless I missed a mailbag in which case I will go back and review the questions missed). So, if you want your question answered (or considered for a proper answering), please make sure to post in the most recent blog entry.

Today’s blog is dedicated to the flu-ridden Alia UK fan.

Some mailbag –

Mailbag –

PG15 writes: “Do you ever talk to the directors about what you envisioned the shot to be, or do you just let them do their own thing?”

Answer: Unless it’s crucial to the story, we have confidence in our directors and pretty much allow them free rein.

Thronyrose writes: “Are there any ideas or plans being tossed about about doing an AU episode next season?”

Answer: In fact, such an idea was tossed about in early November, yes.

Thornyrose also writes: “And are we going to see any major changes in the relationship between the Atlantis expidition and Earth? More specifically are we going to see any Earth/US politics affect the mission’s status?”

Answer: Hmmm. Yes. This possibility was also discussed.

Jake E writes: “Do you like theater at all?”

Answer: Honestly? Not so much.

pl writes: “From all I’ve heard, the Discworld series does not need to be read in publishing order — do you have any suggestions of books to start with?”

Answer: They don’t need to be read in publishing order, but I always prefer to read them that way (if I’m planning on making my way through the canon anyway). Start with Colour of Magic.

Nettyo writes: “Oh and I thought you might like to check out an anime show called Death Note if you havnt seen it already.”

Answer: It’s on my to-view list. Is the complete series out? I don’t like to start watching something unless I can watch the entire run uninterrupted.

PG15 also writes: “Atlantis’s usual ~0.3-0.4 million viewer increases after DVR is factored is is far below the top DVRed shows. So…what’s with the discrepancy there?”

Answer: It depends who you talk to and what research you happen to be referencing. It can be very frustrating at times because, clearly, the fast-developing technology is rapidly outpacing the industry.

Elizabeth writes: “Did the deleted scenes from Trio make it onto the deleted scenes special feature on the season four DVD?”

Answer: I’m not sure there were any whole deleted scenes or significant cuts in Trio that warranted a special feature appearance.

Emily writes: “Let’s say you’re shot with a zat (if it makes you feel more comfortable, imagine it’s me, not you). How much time must pass before it’s safe to be zatted again without being killed by it?”

Answer: Good question. Thinking back, I can’t recall if it has ever been established.

Linzi writes: “I was also wondering if Joe F. is going to direct in season 5…”

Answer: There are no plans to have any of the actors direct in season 5.

Shiningwit writes: “I remember my very first Trek convention in 1981, I was 18 and it was held in Newcastle upon Tyne with guests Theodore Sturgeon and his wife Jayne with whom I was fortunate enough to be invited to breakfast with…”

Answer: Theodore Sturgeon! So, what was breakfast like?

SamJack Shipper writes: “I have a question about Continuum do Jack & Sam have any emotional moments with each other?”

Answer: If you mean emotional in the way I think you mean, then no.

suspicious writes: “Could this entire Joe persona be a promotional constuct to promote controversy and interest in SGA? […] Have you hired actors and actresses to play your “mother” and “Fondy” for your photos? And hired others to play your pups? Come clean please, enquiring minds want to know!”

Answer: I can assure you that it’s all real. With the exception of the role of my French bulldog Lulu which is actually played by a very talented boxer named Mutton. Also, for the purposes of this blog, I am portrayed by Armand Assante.

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depenn
depenn

Joe

Your resolutions for the New year are noted.. YOu know what this means don’t you? You are no longer a Canadian. Those behaviours you noted are what canadians are . YOu know polite considerate charitable etc. But you know maybe its better to be honest and truth ful .. tell everyone the truth.. It sort of gives you a sense of freedom.. But knowing you it will be impossible for you to keep these resolutions.. You’ll be back to your very own sweet self in a matter of days…

Take Care Joe and hope you have the best of the best for 2008..

Dori

Squall78
Squall78

Hey Joe,

Based on how the show is doing success wise now and if the trend continues, do you see the show going past 5 seasons?

Thanks!
Squall78

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Happy new year

kathy
kathy

Can we talk about Time Travelers Wife yet? I got a few questions

Pauline
Pauline

Joe said:
3. Be less accommodating: When I first started blogging, I vowed to keep the comments section open to all opinions, from the high-and-mighty to the occasionally caustic.

So are the lunatic fringe like myself still welcome?

I find your blog very therapeutic, after a long day working with the general public.

I find it stops me going postal.

Where else can you get a virtual dinner and a virtual floor show?

Especially when one of the fans goes off on one!

I do miss those anonymous people and their rants.

Pauline

Serendipity
Serendipity

Elizabeth writes: “Did the deleted scenes from Trio make it onto the deleted scenes special feature on the season four DVD?”

Answer: I’m not sure there were any whole deleted scenes or significant cuts in Trio that warranted a special feature appearance.

SamJack Shipper writes: “I have a question about Continuum do Jack & Sam have any emotional moments with each other?”

Answer: If you mean emotional in the way I think you mean, then no.

Aww come on Joe, it’s a new year. Please stop breaking my heart.

– Seren

Angel
Angel

Armand Assante?? My my what a rich fantasy world you inhabit…

Amber Hooker
Amber Hooker

I just want to say thanks for the poem and I am eagerly anticipating the episodes to which they refer.

Charles Schneider

Armand Assante. I didn’t think he was still acting professionally! Kudos to Mutton for the deft portrayal of a puppy coming into her own in a big world. It sounds like it could be a Lifetime movie-of-the-week.

Thanks to Marty G. for offering to give us a pre-DVD commentary. He’s done a really good job of sitting in on most of the past season DVD commentaires and behind-the-scenes featurettes. I will prepare a suitably intriguing question for him.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Hmm. Did the resolution making come after dinner? I detect a cause/effect there. Sorry to hear your last meal of the year turned out so poorly. I know how dissappointing it is to have a place you like deteriorate in quality. Still, all the resolutions look to be not unreasonable(especially if I manage to avoid being on the target end of them). Thanks also for clarifying the verses. I’ve sorted them out but have decided not to post them up. Having them all apply to the last half of season 4 and into season 5 has complicated deciding which verse to which episode. Still, anything to take my mind off the clock and the start up of the second half of the season. No questions today, just best wishes to everyone for a great new year’s.

Annie from FrEmantle
Annie from FrEmantle

“….In other words, all of the clues refer to unaired episodes..”

My bad! I assumed it had to do with all of Season 4.

Sounds like you had a nice quiet time. Sounds like a lot of us did.. are we getting too old and perhaps too cynical to celebrate NYE banging pots on tables and chugging copious amounts of woobla? (Aussie slang for booze).

I love your blog Joe… it brightens my day!

nodakskip
nodakskip

Is it hard to reset up the SGC sets like the Gateroom/control room for an Atlantis ep now that SG1 is done? Like for Millers Crossing, do you have to write more then one scene in them to balance the cost or are they cheap since they are already planned out and created and just in storage?

Penny
Penny

Hi Joe

Well your first blog for 2008, how did it feel??

I love reading it so funny, do form an idea for your blog entry during the day or do you sit and just start typing in the hopes you come up brilliant… which you always seem to do.

So here begins the beginning of my New Years resolution which is to comment on every single on of your entries. Please don’t take me for being a stocker.. I posses neither the ambitions or the money to be effective in that endavour.

Cheers
Penny

Teyilia

Just wantedt to say, lovely poem! Did you know you are similar to Tolkien in putting riddles so well versed that way?

oh and Happy New Year!!

voodoolizzy
voodoolizzy

Hi Joe

Enjoyed the enigmatic poem – I’m impressed with the number of folks who wrote back in verse (I think your readers are more erudite and learned than the usual lot).

Are you watching the bowl games? My Gators were outplayed by Michigan, but so far this bowl season SEC has done well (4 wins, 2 losses – Florida and ARkansas). Right now Georgia has Hawaii on the ropes.

Kathleen
Kathleen

“Also, for the purposes of this blog, I am portrayed by Armand Assante.”

I don’t know why, but this amused the hell out of me.

narellefromaus
narellefromaus

Hi Joe. Happy New Year! And Happy Hangover neutral
When watching the Sci Fi channel there tend to be the same actors going from one show to the other. Is this intentional? ie: Is this because there is a Sci Fi actor’s guild or is it just that those actors understand the genre and have more experience therefore more appropriate to the part?
PS: My husband agrees with all of your new year’s resolutions and is now aiming to be a real doosh bag in 2008.

Loren (a.k.a Napoleon)
Loren (a.k.a Napoleon)

You rock, Joe. You seriously rock!
I absolutely loved the poem.. got me thinking real hard, and that’s sayin a lot. Joking.

Anyways, when you were in school, did you find youself really interested in TV shows? Or… the idea of working in that kind of business in general? I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but I never saw it so..

Yeah, I’m just gaining different people’s career histories and stuff like that as I’m getting closer and closer to having to choose one for myself, and you have a really cool job.

And here’s one you probably can’t/won’t answer, but is there any good Shep whump in the second half of the season?

Lt.Col.Errandboy
Lt.Col.Errandboy

Happy new year to you as well, Joe! It’s already the next day here in Oz. Back to the grind for another 16 days before I jet off to the Cocos Islands for a 10-day ‘do-sweet-FA” holiday!

New year’s resolutions? Huh. I’m with you on all of the above. Only thing I’m really resolved to do is TRY not to let too many people p*ss me off this year. Hard, considering the number of semi-evolved simians I deal with on a daily basis…*SIGH*… oh, for selective breeding programs!

OK, finally come to the ‘question’ part: Do you have any good Italian patisseries in Vancouver? Because I had a cake on NY eve here in Australia that was to DIE for!!

Bring on 2008, mate!

– Dana

Lt.Col.Errandboy
Lt.Col.Errandboy

PS. like the blog ‘snowflakes’ – thought I had dandruff on the screen for a moment (only ONE snowflake) but then it moved…

Nathaniel
Nathaniel

Will you be attending the peoples choice awards to pick up Atlantis’ prize?

riley

So sayeth the Joseph.
Now, those are some worthy resolutions. I’m adding them to my list, which at the moment consists solely of:

1) Build a big bomb to kill all the stupid people.

That’s been my aim for a while, but my friends seem to think it’s a bad idea and keep thwarting me. Perhaps I should use one of your resolutions to solve the pesky problem of interfering friends.

Doci121787
Doci121787

1. Will we ever see any ori in stargate atlantis? 2. Is Baal ever going to atlantis? 3. Is Oma gone for good? and 4. Is Weir ever going to come back as a regular cast member?

promogirl

Now those are some resolutions I can pull off. Nice.

So we know what types of books and movies you like. What kind do you hate?

Thunder
Thunder

Are the dogs well behaved around the Christmas tree? I guess the pugs have seen one before but what was Lulu’s reaction? Happy New Year!