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 –
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.