“Where are we going?”asked Fondy, this despite the fact that she was the one driving and we were already halfway down 16th Avenue.

“I don’t care,”I truthfully replied. “Wherever you want to go.” The fact is, while my wife was out of town for a month and a half, I enjoyed most of my dinners at home alone, watching Food Network and eating off the marble kitchen island. So when I said “I don’t care” I really meant it. After forty days of tuna sandwiches and corn on the cob, I was just happy to be out.

“I feel like paprikash,”she informed me. And I immediately knew where we were headed: The Budapest. That family-run little establishment at the corner of Main and 16th, with its golden schnitzel, down home desserts, and frustratingly inconsistent hours. Sometimes it would be open Tuesdays to Fridays; sometimes Wednesdays to Saturdays. On occasions it would be open late. Other times, it would be shut down for weeks on end.

We rounded the corner and made our approach. “Take a look and tell me if they’re open,”Fondy instructed.

I peeked out the window as we rolled by and was greeted by a dispiriting sight. “They’re closed!”

Fondy was already considering alternatives: “We could go for Vietnamese instead.”

“No, it’s closed!”I emphasized. “Closed CLOSED!” The restaurant was dark. The tables and chairs were gone. The Budapest was no more!

This was a place that served the best chicken paprikash in the city. The best schnitzel in town (Carl and I would order the Transylvania Wooden Platter for 3, a veritable feast comprised of three kinds of schnitzel, cabbage rolls, home made sausages, fried potatoes, spaetzle, and sauerkraut). The best langos (deep-fried bread) in Vancouver. Okay, granted, I’d never tried langos anywhere else, but the cold truth remained: from this day forth, it looked like I would never get to try langos anywhere.

I’ll miss their walnut torte and their poppy seed strudel and their various kremes and their samloi galuska and their occasionally indifferent service and that pork tenderloin dish I discovered on one of my last visits that I absolutely adored and vowed I’d order again the next time I was in which will be never again.


From the culinary to the literary – I finished up The Keep last night and spent the morning composing my thoughts for tomorrow’s book discussion. Again, a reminder to get your questions and comments for author F. Paul Wilson in early as I’ll be collecting them over the next couple of days and then sending them his way mid-week.

Prep begins tomorrow on Whispers. Looks like it’s going to be a full day: 8:30 (Concept meeting), 12:00 (Art Department meeting), 13:30 (Prosthetics meeting), 14:00 (Costumes meeting), 15:30 (Props meeting). The second Fog Test has been moved to later in the week.

Today’s video: Ready to roll. Click on the link or try your luck with the video…


83 thoughts on “April 13, 2008: A dark day in schnitzeldom

  1. Isn’t that an awful feeling when you find a favorite restaurant is gone for good? The same thing happened to me on a trip to Memphis a year or so ago. I’d been eager to eat at a favorite old haunt of mine only to arrive and find it was something else. I was oddly crushed. And I feel sort of bad that this happened to you on my birthday… 😉

    Glad to hear things are moving along with Whispers. I’m really psyched about this episode.

  2. I’m sorry for your restaurant loss. I have a hot dog place near my house that is really good that closed for the winter and has yet to reopen or show signs of reopening any time soon. why is it these places close without warning??

  3. I saw some footage from Continuum today at a Creation SciFi Convention in Burbank. They showed some footage from the Arctic shoot with Amanda, Ben, RDA, and Martin Wood the actor. The scene with the sub coming up through the ice was awesome. Then there was some footage of Ben and Amanda in fighter jets with their squadron facing off with what looked like gliders. It was hard to tell because they were only on screen for a couple seconds. Thanks to Brad Wright and MGM for sending the footage!!!

  4. Awwwwwwww Joe hun i’m so sorry!!! I hate it when my favorite Restraurants close or when I get attached to a certain product they take it off the shelves. It’s a universal conspiracy I tell you!!!

  5. Deep-fried bread? I’m not sure I understand the point of that, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Anything deep-fried can’t be bad. So sorry about The Budapest, though.

    Who is that blurry person running by in the video?

    I’m not allowing myself any wine until I finish my trainee evaluations (which seems like a reasonable thing to do), so I want to get busy, because I want that wine!

  6. I just read about a geek flashlight, it has an inbuilt camera which can record 2 hours (also in infra red) – amazing 😉

  7. I feel your pain. I love spaetzle with pork tenderloin and all the other things you mentioned. It was devastating years ago when Old Krakow closed. Now I have to travel to the nearest German heritage town around San Antonio (New Braunfels) to get that kind of food.

  8. We thought that our favorite restaurant had closed down a few years ago, and it popped up, bigger and better than ever, in a nicer section of town a few months later. We saw it and said “Oooooh!!!”

    So perhaps there is hope?

  9. Alas, it seems every time I love a restaurant, it closes. French/Caribbean I drove 40 mins for, gone. Our only nearby Arabic/Indian cuisine, GONE just when I was craving it, the last one I jinxed. I am afraid to say how much I love the Rice Thai restaurant.

    Question (though I think I am in the running for most questions without ever having an answered one, feel free to break my streak, I don’t want the ribbon)… have you ever read any of Terry Goodkind’s books?

  10. Poor Joe … It’s hard when a favorite restaurant disappears. Just as hard as when they change hands without warning, as happened to our favorite Thai restaurant several years ago. New owner, new menu, but they kept the same name so Hubs and I walked in all unsuspecting. We thought, ‘OK, we’ll give it a try anyway…’ Big, BIG mistake. Never went back.

    Hope you and Fondy find another place with good chicken paprikash!

  11. I’m sorry to hear about your restaurant. The same thing happened to me one time, except it was a Chinese restaurant, the best one ever. None of the other Chinese restaurants within two hundred miles are half as good. Oh well.

  12. I just realized that in your shots from ‘Ghost in the Machine’ Ronon still has his signature dreadlocks. Did the plan for them to go in ‘Broken Ties’ change or is it simple a case of things still being shot out of sequence?

  13. Awesome video. I know what you mean about eating alone and falling into the habit of eating the same thing. Even if it’s a great meal, after a while you really get bored.

    This has been especially true since I went back to school and started working for my production network. I did just move across the city, and let’s say the deli’s on broadway are a lot better than the deli’s in Spanish Harlem (they’re also a lot cleaner too).

  14. Well, that sucks.

    I don’t go to restaurants so I’ve had to experience them vicariously through this blog of yours; and I’ll admit, those pics of the food from The Budapest did look yummy. I am sorry for your (and Carl’s) loss. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something else, or maybe they might even revamp the restaurant into something better? It can happen, perhaps.

  15. No mention of what Fondy had to settle for. Were you that deep in mourning, or was the food that forgettable? And the story is depressingly familiar. I almost fear trying a new place and liking it. The prospect of returning, only to find it closed feels like an exercise in masochism. Stupid question time. If you’re reached the prep stage for Whispers, does that mean filming starts next week? I believe you’ve discussed the topic before, and I plead combined laziness and lack of sleep for attempting a search. I’ve put off my note-taking on the Keep till tomorrow. As always, thanks for the blog and photos/video.

  16. Ohhhh, mannnnn….what a teaser vid.
    But, thanks for sharing it. Yes, it works; yes, can see it; yes, can hear audio…now a few more seconds would be oh so cool. Not clear if the individuals are prepping for a scene or if this is a scene. Too short to really grasp.

    Feeling your pain regarding the closed restaurant.
    In another lifetime, a bunch of us piled into a car to go to a rather good seafood restaurant that none of us had been to in months. and Eeekkk. closed.

    Only a few months to July. Saw a note somewhere that Continuum would become available July twenty something. So that is good. And, waiting on SGA-S5 and we’re waiting……

    I was not hungry until I read how you and Fondy were deprived. Hope you guys had a nice and enjoyable dinner. Of course, any shared details will be appreciated. We love to follow your dining trail; your pictures always capture the moment.
    hint hint…but the vid was a wee bit short.

  17. This was a place that served the best chicken paprikash in the city.

    My husband mourns with you…this is his favorite dish, ever! A real bummer when a favorite restaurant goes away (I had this experience with a great Middle Eastern restaurant I just loved – still miss it 3 years later).

    On a brighter note…I make a killer chicken paprikash, with some of the best paprika ever, brought straight from Hungary. I *COULD* arrange to send you some…IF we come to some agreement that the Wraith are not inherently evil (or ‘unnatural’ as Carson put it), but simply a species with a special dietary need who have every right to exist as humans do, especially considering that even humans have no qualms over killing their own, and often for far lesser reasons than to quell a burning hunger. Hey, add Todd to three more episodes, and I’ll even send you the recipe. Make him a regular, and I’ll come cook it for you, personally! 😀


  18. Oh my I feel your loss. Perhaps they will open somewhere else under the same or a different name, if I liked a place that much I’d be persistently inquiring til I got a definitive answer. I learned to cook awesome spicy Hungarian & Germanic foods from my grandmother & my companion’s mother, but I don’t think paprikash will ship too well…

    Some compassion for my fellow Joe F.-loving friends, here is my fave pic of him so far this year, from the Visual Effects Society Awards 2008 Feb 2008, which will be shown on HDNet on Tues Apr 15 at 10pmEDT if you also want to hear him talk (he was a presenter)
    Perhaps this week he will let Mr. M, who loves him so, take & post some more nice pix for us!
    🙂 DD

  19. Sorry to hear about The Budapest closing down! Is there any possibility that they just rudely relocated without informing you?

  20. Sorry about your fav restaunt Joe! Hey, what happened to you sending me an autograped pic? No, I’m not your mom.

  21. Sorry to hear about your restaurant, Joe.

    So… I am SO EXCITED to be seeing an all-woman gate team! But I’m starting to get a bit confused. I’ve heard rumblings that the all-woman gate team will first be met on a survey on a planet accompanied by John (even though there’s already military on the team) and Carson (even though there’s already a doctor on the team.) This can’t be right! Surely John and Carson show up after something particularly in Carson’s field was found, and John tagged along because he was bored? I know you wouldn’t want to imply that the all-girl team needs male supervision, as the rumours I’ve heard imply.

    Equally, I’m sure you didn’t consider introducing the all-female team in one episode, only to kill a bunch of them (here, have an all girl team – haha, sorry, we killed them!) Or in a horror episode so that you can have lots of screaming women running around to conform to the genre’s worst stereotypes. Right? Right? You guys are more introspective than that, right?

  22. Joe —

    Well, darn. I hoping to hit Budapest before I leave Vancouver on Wed. Guess I’ll have to brave the wait at Vij’s instead.

    Have you eaten at CinCin? Best pasta ever!

  23. hey Joe,

    aww that sucks! so what did you do then? according to David Hewlett you’ll start filming The Shrine tomorrow and from the episode list and your comments I’m assuming Whispers is next. good luck with those! and yes I’m hoping for some pics LOL 😉

    I’ll just post my questions from yesterday: does season 5 have less Shep centred episodes than previous seasons? also it seems that Ronon still has the dreads, can you confirm this?

  24. My early thoughts on THE KEEP…Spoiler alert (somewhat)
    First thing I have to mention is that before this book I never really saw a difference between the German Army and the SS. I never let the possibility of a separation, sense of duty, or purpose, cross my mind when it came to viewing them as separate entities. It was an eye opener but more importantly a lesson to look with new eyes; thank you Mr. Wilson.
    I have been to Dachau and I know what it is like to have your life sucked out of you by just by stepping over the threshold. That has only happened to me one other time in my life. I could feel that when reading this story. I could feel the chaotic eerie rhythm from the first page that faithfully flowed through out the entire story pushing me to reach the end so that maybe I could breathe again. The horror was not found in the thought of the SS or the fear of death but for me it was found in the images that Mr. Wilson used to illustrate Woermann’s and Magda’s points of view. I found the imagery profound and sometimes horribly relatable.
    I instantly disliked Kaempffer. I don’t know if it was from my image of what someone who loved being a part of one of the worst groups in history was actually like or the fact that his arrogance and ego were so vividly relatable to people I have known that turned me into a unwearied spectator waiting to witness and revel in his humiliating demise.
    I loved Woermann! I see him as an anti-hero who is proud of his service, loves his country or what used to be his country, and now finds himself entwined with the arm of evil. As the book progresses, I found myself sending a wish out into verse hoping that he would be spared.
    The relationship between Woermann and Kaempffer was very well constructed. I imagine everyone who served the SS as cowardly and in this story it was quite amusing to see Woermann, who is trapped in more ways than one, find some sense of power, usefulness in demoralizing the impotent Kaempffer. I found it sad and unfair how Woermann was “wrapped” up but I understand the reason.
    As for Cuza and Magda, all I can say is wow. I was instantly drawn to Magda. There was something in the under current of the story that lead me to believe that she was meant for greater things, that her father was a tether to the evil that seethed in Europe, the evil of selfishness, and the weakness in doubt. She was not allowed to follow her dreams because of her “responsibility” to take care of her father and men like Hitler that saw her as unworthy. The struggle of a woman to find her place and find herself is a long hard road. Thanks to Mr. Wilson, Magda’s journey was mesmerizing and had me rooting for her and Glenn. Cuza on the other hand was someone whom I did not feel anything but sympathy for…not for his illness but his capacity to be so misled. Fear of death, pain, and hunger drove this man to expel his daughter, his morals, and ultimately his life.
    Glenn/Glaeken was by far my favorite. I feel like his story was not complete; not enough questions were answered for me. I feel the same about Molasar/Rasalom. I wish the resolution lasted longer…I would have loved to experience a knock down drawn out fight.
    The Keep itself was the most intriguing character. It breathed trepidation and magnified everyone’s anxiety of being trapped. From the crosses to the tower, the nightmare remained truly unseen. The setting for this battle was strong and maintained. I loved the mystery behind every stone. Mr. Wilson has a beautiful way of painting a picture.
    Mr. Wilson did a great job misdirecting the reader.
    I imagined being in Cuza’s place when the possibility of having everything I believe be terrifically wrong and I did shiver. The scariest place for me was “He was trying to make light of it for her sake, but Magda knew he was being flayed alive in his mind.” There is something about that line, that image that thrust me into a place where I knew how that felt, feels and that is what is scary about this book.
    I have a couple of question for Mr. Wilson.
    What was the spark that made you set Woermann as the “good” side of the war?
    Were you listening to any music while you wrote this book? If so, what kind?
    What is it about the horror genre that drives you to write?

  25. Joe:

    I have a couple of questions.

    1) When the 20 lucky fans(one of them was moi) were hustled back out to the bus after the amazing screening of Continuum, is that when you brought out the dancing gnomes and serving monkeys?

    2) My dumb husband made the mistake of giving money to an unemployed young fellow a few weeks ago. Now he drops by the front door semi regularly looking for more handouts. He said he needed to buy bread and milk for his kids. When I offered him bread and milk, he declined. I know I could have said something that would deter him from pan handling at our door. Any ideas? I mean, polite ideas?



  26. Hi Joe,

    How come when you find a nice restaurant with great meals they end up closing! i know how that feels I used to have this favourite restaurant just down the road but it closed down recently & I didn’t even hear anything about it closing down I went there quite a bit too! Joe! At least you still have your favourite meals at “Fuel”!

    Oh! A dark episode of SGA? A all women gate team?
    I am happy you are working on whispers & sounds very intriguing!

    Take Care & happiness always!

  27. those hole in the wall family places are the best. sory you lost yours. in levenworth ks. i have two hole in the wall the queens tea room, and maid rites. I would cry for days if they closed. good luck finding a new place. connie

  28. Its always a bugger when that happens, makes you want what you can’t have even more dontcha think?
    I’ve got the flags out because the kids are back to school today after a two week (that felt like a life sentence) end of term holiday in which I got very little quality reading in whatsoever.
    I tend to completely lose myself in a really good book to the extent that all around me fades into insignificance as I soak up everything bookwise and HATE being distracted by oh, lets say anything at all, do you know what I mean? I seem to be able to make reading a whole body experience and get my mind locked in and then tend to live the book for a couple of days after, which can be a bit embarrassing in the middle of Tesco.
    How do you find yourself reacting to a really good read?

  29. Had to add to the food section:
    Deep fried bread – think doughnuts, malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts), funnel cake, churros, corn dogs, and, some people are battering and deep frying twinkies, Ding Dong (chocolate covered and filled cake treats.

    dyginc’s questions – that’s a good one regard music.

    Wonder if JoeM listens to anything in particular while writing our precious SGA scripts and then how bout the blog?

  30. On April 13, 2008 at 9:02 pm Luis Said:
    Deep fried bread?….straight to the ARTERIES!!!!

    :O Woah now I know it’s time for bed when I read that as Atredies!!!

    One should not confuse ateries with dune no matter how tired one is…..lol.

  31. Hello Joe!
    I am so proud that you like the Hungarian foods. You should visit Hungary. Budapest is a beautiful city and you can taste here everything. 🙂

    Hungary has some new film studio and lot of good shooting locations. Have you ever spoken about the shot an episode or a DVD film abroad? I would be happy, but I think you will lose more money with the traveling, what you could earn with the cheaper production costs here.

    I always wanted to ask, if you will ever make a such competition, where fans could send you story or scene ideas. I know you can’t accept scripts, but if you collect some information what they really want to see on the screen, than it can help to spin a better season with fresher ideas. I hope this statement didn’t hurt you or the other writers. Sorry.

    I tried to imagine the future of the franchise here:
    I know I am bit naive, but do the producers have such plans for years for the SG franchise? If the budget of the newest Atlantis season could get more money from the DVD film’s income, than how could you use it wisely?

    Is there any chance that one of the newest character will cross-over to the Universe series? You’ve spoken positively about Alicia Vega (Leela Savasta), so can it happen?

  32. Just saw this and thought I’d share I’d share it with the Joe Flanigan fans (in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet). Check out the beautiful black & white portrait photo of Joe for the About Face Project taken by John Russo (Portfolio 3 pic 1).

    The photographer says of the series, he wanted to “capture their raw beauty, essence, diversity and the qualities that made each subject unique”.
    About Face Info

    A percentage of the profits will be donated to The Smile Train, a charity assisting children with facial deformities.

    In a sea of beautiful faces, Joe really stands out – very intense and strong and don’t get me started on the “designer stubble” :-D. Great cause too.


    Cheers, Chev

  33. Always sorry to hear when another good restaurant bites the dust. In my town there was a gelato place that had a zabaglione gelato that was to die for. If I’d known they were going to go under, I would’ve bought every single bit of the stuff I could get from them, and would’ve gotten a mini-deep freezer to go in the basement to hold what the upstairs fridge/freezer couldn’t. And now I’m just left with the memories. – Pass the tissues, please. . .

  34. Hey Joe,

    You sound a little depressed and irritable today. Sure it’s just The Budapest closure? Perhaps they were drifting in and out of alternate realities. That might account for the inconsistent opening hours.

    But I do empathise. My fave Indian restaurant was closed for months after a guy smashed his car through the window. I couldn’t feel bad though because the guy didn’t make it.

    Cheers, Chev

  35. I felt compelled to speak up with regards to your blog today, as I to can empathise with the situation that you’ve unfortunately found yourself in, and can relate to those overwhelming feelings of disappointment.

    My situation is very similar in that I often frequented this establishment; the proprietors provided an array of samplings for their clientele. I particularly enjoyed their desserts; my favourite was of course ‘The Flan’. However, although I was a regular customer, and bantered with the owners on occasions, which I enjoyed immensely, I found that the owner appeared reticent to provide my favourite dessert. ‘The Flan’ used to be a regular item on the menu, and obviously as I experienced the delights of ‘The Flan’, I remarked to the owners how enjoyable that particular dessert was.

    However, for reasons unknown to me, ‘The Flan’ was taken off the menu. I wasn’t sure if it was something I had said or done, or if the owners were just unhappy with ‘The Flan’. But even though my favourite desert was no longer, I found myself hopeful and continued to visit in the hopes that one day ‘The Flan’ would return in some capacity, even if it was only recurring. As the days passed though, and my favourite dessert was no longer to be seen, I felt disheartened. I observed through looking at the wonderful pictures on the menu that ‘The Flan’ was being replaced by other deserts. I’d see those pictures on the owner’s website, and once more wait in hope to one day see a picture of my favourite dessert again. As a businessman I’m sure you can understand the power of communication, as I find it is an important part of clearing the air. I tried to discuss my concerns with the owners as to why the ‘Flan’ was off the menu, yet to date my pleas for clarity continue to fall on deaf ears as to the reasons why. It must be said that on occasions I have felt like I was being brushed aside, or been ‘teased’ by the proprietor with samplings of other deserts. I’m sure that wasn’t their intention, but sometimes actions speak louder than words. Through conversing with other I customers, I found that they to experienced that same feeling, and even discussed whether we should start a campaign! Ultimately though we realised that it did not matter what we said, our fates lay in the hands of the restaurant owner, something I’m sure you can understand given your current plight. As I’m sure you can appreciate all of the other desserts are wonderful and special, but I miss my favourite. I’m sure that given your current situation, and the fact that you to are concerned that you may never have your favourite food again, this post just may stir some empathy for my situation, and others who miss their favourite foods.

    This brings me on to why I am here. I require your guidance. Can you advise how I can proceed? Do I continue to remain a loyal customer in the hopes that one day ‘The Flan’ will make an appearance or do I move my custom elsewhere? Is there some way that I can explain to the owners of said restaurant that by simply having ‘The Flan’ on the menu occasionally, it will settle some of the unrest I have witnessed at the restaurant.

    Your time is appreciated and I look forward to your advice.

  36. I recall that wonderful pic of the plate of all those schnitzels. Dang!!! What a shame! Can you find out if they’re just moving???

    I love paprikash.. hope it’s the same kind of dish I knew of. Chicken in a paprika/tomato-ish sauce with big chunks of potato you mash when you get it on your plate.

  37. Well, it’s bad, that your favorite restaurant is closed, but I know a solution: visit Hungary, and you can eat as much of these foods as you want!
    Greetings from the city Budapest!:)

  38. Awww. I remember the pictures of your happier times at the Budapest. The happy, slightly overwhelmed look of Carl as he tried to digest ungodly amounts of schnitzel.

    You will mourn, yes, but you will move on.


  39. Comment on Timescape: Now that I’ve finally finished it, I agree with all the people saying that the timelines did not diverge immediately when the messages back in time were received. The discovery of messages from the future may have created the potential for a paradox to occur, but the paradox was not that Gordon placed the note in safety deposit box — it was that the high-school kid interrupted Lee Harvey Oswald before he fired the fatal shot. Until the paradox occurred, there was no need for a new universe to branch off.

    I liked the way things wrapped up, that Gordon and Markham had a chance at a new future, one not devastated by ecological catastrophe. I liked that Renfrew recieved a message from 2349 — it makes me hope that maybe, just maybe, the bloom doesn’t kill everything and everyone. But how much hope is it really? If messages from the future to the past set up the potential for a paradox, then Renfrew, just by stint of having recieved that message from 2349, may cause his own universe to branch off and become something separate.

    There is no way to know what actions will cause a paradox. Gordon putting the note for 1998 in a safety box did not. Gordon’s discovery of the messages from the future, and their subsequent write-up, resulted in a kid visiting the book depository to find them — a kid who otherwise would not have been there and who ultimately saved the life of a man who should have died…at least, according to the 1998 timeline. So a completely random side effect of sending a message back to the past, and one that could not have been predicted, causes the paradox. And when Renfrew recieves the message from 2349, the potential for another paradox is created…

  40. Comments on The Keep: I will admit upfront that I tend to be ambivalent towards stories set in WWII, because all too often they paint the Germans as nasty pieces of work, too evil to let live. I understand why — what the Nazi party stood for, and the inhuman atrocities they were responsible for should not be overlooked or forgotten.

    But taken as individual people, I refuse to think of every German soldier as a generic moustache-twirling evil villain. They were people fighting for their country every bit as much as the British airmen who firebombed Dresden. Heroism and human decency are not traits that are defined on the basis of a person’s nationality. I think it is possible to disagree vehemently with the ideology set forward by one’s government or leaders…and subsequently to find oneself fighting in a war for the wrong side.

    The Keep has German soldiers of both kind: the German Captain doing his best to fight for the Fatherland, a country he was once proud of, and looking forward to the end of hostilities so that he can return to live out the rest of his days with his wife and children, and try to forget what he has seen in this new war; and the SS Major, who is pretty much a generic moustache-twirling evil villain out to gather for himself as much personal glory and wealth as he can.

    Kaempffer and Woermann themselves seem almost the personification of different eras/different wars: Woermann a decorated WWI hero, ready to lay down his life for his men and his country; and Kaempffer the face of the new German order, thuggish and cowardly and just generally despicable. And the two have such different personal beliefs that they are immediately antagonistic. Kaempffer thinks Woermann is old-fashioned and out-of-date, and Woermann witnessed Kaempffer’s cowardice and thinks of him as little more than a bully and a thug.

    It is easy to sympathize with Woermann, who is a man just trying to his duty as best he can, and still stay true to his own beliefs. Woermann still looks at his fellow man and sees a man, not a label. Kaempffer looks at his fellow man and sees a Jew or a Gypsy — a thing less human than himself.

    The Germans take over the Romanian Dinu Pass, and old-fashioned greed to the release an ancient evil. Drawn into the intrigue are Magda Cuzo and her father, Romanian Jews who have been studying the Keep for years. The war has not been kind to the Cuzos. Magda is a musician whose latest book detailing her work on Gypsy music has recently been refused publication. Professor Cuzo, who is crippled by sclerodermia (sp?), lost his job at the university, and he and Magda have been forced to give up their house.

    I was not terribly thrilled with the portrayal of Magda, who struck me as a kind of ideal fantasy heroine. She’s your typical innocent maiden, full of saintly charity and good-heartedness and with a handy helping of feisty gumption. No sooner does she meet the real hero of the piece — the mysterious high-handed arrogant Glenn — than she falls in love with the thrills and tingles and prickly heat he engenders in her maidenly bosom. Her good sense and innocence mean she is better able to resist the darkness that gains a foothold in other characters in the Keep.

    As for Glen/Glaecken, well, to be honest, he didn’t seem to do a lot in the course of the novel except step in at the very last minute to save the world. He struck me as a standard knight in shining armour, complete with magical blade — a loner with a quest that must be discharged: Rasalom must not be allowed to escape again into the world. And, of course, no sooner does he meet Magda than he falls in love blah blah blah.

    Honestly, I think I would have liked the story better had Magda and Glen been left out of it. Woermann struck me as a far more interesting character. There’s the conflict between his duty to his country and his need to remain true to himself. The desperation to find a way to keep his men safe and prevent Kaempffer from committing too many atrocities. Woermann is a human hero where Glen is a mythical one, and for me, human trumps mythical every time. *shrug*

    (1) Did you have Woermann’s fate already in mind when you started writing the novel?

    (2) How did Glaerken know that Rasalom was breaking free? Did he have some kind of mystical tie to the keep? Would Rasalom not know of this connection, and, if so, why was Rasalom so surprised to learn of Glaerken’s appearance outside the keep?

  41. Sigh. I wrote: The Germans take over the Romanian Dinu Pass, and old-fashioned greed to the release an ancient evil.

    It should read: The Germans take over the Romanian Dinu Pass, and old-fashioned greed results in the release of an ancient evil.

  42. On April 13, 2008 at 6:09 pm Zona Said:
    I just realized that in your shots from ‘Ghost in the Machine’ Ronon still has his signature dreadlocks.

    Zona, I thought of that when I first saw the picture… Good eyes! Maybe Satedan hair grows really fast?

    — As for the restaurant – sorry to hear about that Joe. It’s always a pain to find out only AFTER you’ve made the conscious decision to drive there and eat. At least it wasn’t after you’d already fought someone for a parking space.


  43. Hi, Joe-
    This is my first time leaving a comment. I love reading your blog. I have one quick question. I am having problems viewing your remixes under your BaronDestructo account at Photobucket. I can view the regular videos just fine. What am I doing wrong?!

  44. Ohhh poor Joe, speaking as a Langos lover, I feel your pain!!! While at that restaurant, have you ever tried Lechos, a stew made with peppers and sausage???

  45. Hey Joe,

    I do feel your pain. Jeremy and I had our first date at a lovely little place that made the best burgers and shakes. Then it closed. Our first fancy night out was at a place that served a mean pineapple pizza. Then it closed. However, we did find that our favorite pizza place has a sister restaurant and is up and running in San Diego. Maybe you will run into your favorite schnitzel place or a sister place somewhere in the future. Who knows? Maybe they’ve moved to Tampa. I’ll keep an eye out for you.


  46. Just finished The Keep this morning. I actually hadn’t planned to read this book until I read the back cover description, and the idea of having something supernatural killing Nazis, and them having to turn to a Jewish expert for help absolutely hooked me.
    The most intriguing aspect of this novel was the blurring of the line between who was good and who was evil. I had never really thought about there being a difference between the German Army and the SS units, so when the novel began with a German officer in World War II as a very sympathetic and likeable character, I immediately wondered what was going on. I expected Woermann (at the very beginning of the novel) to be the bad guy, but then as the distinction between the regular German Army and the Nazis was made clear, he was clearly not bad. Molasar/Rasalom was clearly evil, but then he would do something that was clearly good, like rescue Magda from the rapists. Glenn was set up as the hero coming to fight Molasar/Rasalom, but then he would kill the people that got in his way on his journey to the keep without a second thought. Cuza was old and sick and trying to save his daughter, but then he gets corrupted by Molasar/Rasalom. Even the description by Glenn/Glaeken of the power of light was ambiguous. Magda was one of the few characters that I could pinpoint early on as a good character. I tried to use her as an anchor to measure the rest of the characters, but her confusion about what was going on kept me guessing as to who was really good and really bad beneath all the plotting and deception.
    By the end of the novel, people’s motivations and actions throughout the story were made clear, so I could say at that point, “This character was good, this one was bad, this one was misguided, this one was confused, this one did good things for bad reasons, etc.” As I was reading the story, though, trying to figure out what the characters were doing and why and who I should be rooting for really threw me. In retrospect, even though Magda was confused, her instincts were right. The people she pegged as good turned out to be good; the ones she thought were bad turned out to be bad.
    The twist toward the end, where we find out that Molasar/Rasalom was not a vampire but something much older, and that he started and used the vampire myth for his purposes was cool, but I wished more time had been spent on it. We get this brief glimpse at this conflict between the power of chaos and the power of light that has been going on for millennia, and is really the crux of the conflict in the novel, and then the books over. I believe there are subsequent novels that use these same characters and maybe go into that a little more, but I really wanted to hear more about it in this novel.

    What do the names Rasalom and Glaeken mean? What was the significance of reversing Rasalom’s name at the beginning to Molasar? I got the impression that there was a significance to the name Rasalom that was initially disguised when he is identified as Molasar, but I can’t figure out what it is.

  47. Salut Joseph =(

    …Pas d’email de vous ..snif…je commence vraiment a me demander si vous ne m’aimez pas =(

    Bon bah juste pour vous dire que je ne serais pas là jusqu’a Vendredi car j’ai éxamin..mais vous ne l’aurez même pas remarquer =(

    Bisou , aplus

  48. hi joe i was just up in Leavenworth and found out my little whole in the wall has closed the only good news it the tea shop is still open. They said too costly. It was always full. I guess folks just stayed too long and tables did not turn over. I will miss the tea room very much.


  49. Oh my, I wish I could get some Hungarian culture back to Vancouver!
    Let’s hope ‘Budapest’ opens somewhere else. But if you miss lángos or any other Hungarian dishes, we’ll gladly provide you the original recipes. Just ask. (:

  50. Joseph,
    I wanted to thank you for getting me hooked on yet another series (The Advesary Cycle). And now I am in the middle of the Blade Itself wondering how I can get the third book from the UK so that I can finish that series in one fatal swoop. (I haven’t bought the second one yet…just bought four other books this weekend)

  51. Hey Mr. Mallozzi,

    I have been reading your blog for a while and just figured out how to post a comment to your blog, how sad is that. Anyway just wanted to say i enjoyed read it and your dogs are so cute i have a Jack russel terrier my self.


  52. chev Said:
    “I love Think Geek. Now I love them more. They’re selling a Stargate mirror.

    Wouldn’t like the bad luck though if it got broken in transit.”

    geez, ya think if you break a quantum mirror every aspect of you in every other dimension would get lousy karma? I wonder which dimension I broke one in then PMSL;P

  53. Ty Chev for the JoeF piccie link and the Stargate mirror link!! I have in the span of twenty minutes been reduced to a squeeing puddle of goo and i’m out so many dollars for buying that mirror.

    GOD BLESS YOU!!! 😀

  54. Joe, I was hoping you could clear something up for me.

    The Official Stargate Magazine recently put out specs on the Daedalus class ships, and some of the information looks off, or in some cases totally wrong. I’m curious if the Official StarGate Magazine gets its information from you guys and MGM, or if they make it up, and if it can be considered “canon” at all.

  55. 1)Will anyone undergo extraordinary trauma this season, something that changes them forever?

    2)Will jealousy be a theme in any of the upcoming episodes?

  56. Awe, Joe! *Hug* Sorry to hear!

    I have a question for you:

    A couple of weeks ago, I rewatched ‘The Gift’. We’ve since then evolved very much in episode numbers, so I thought it was safe to ask, now.

    The scientist who performed those experiments, is that someone we’ve met in the past, or are we ever going to meet him (or her!) in season 5 or beyond? Anything planned?


  57. Ah Joe, I feel for you.

    Now, as a supervillian, what is your position on high school reunion’s?
    I’ve been invited to mine, 10 years, god help me.
    Personally, i’m thinking it sounds like a new level of hell but there are others who seem to want to go.

    What are your thoughts?

  58. Ah Joe and the crew’s fun times at The Budapest. Raises hand to chin as the world goes all fuzzy and reminiscing begins (insert sound of harp strings).

    We expect to see a collection of your favourite Budapest pics set to a moving Celine Dion song such as “Because You Loved Me” post here within the next few days.
    It’s the respectful thing to do at a time like this.

    Thank goodness for volume control.

  59. PS: (Looks at time, minuses a day adds six hours) Hope the costumes meeting is going well.

    Do you guys ever get tempted to dress up as the local peasant lady, System Lord or just plain old Commando?

    And if you do, pictures please.

  60. Since Christina Cox (spelling?) is now been cast…does that mean no more Blood Ties? My sister loves that show.

  61. Joe,

    Thanks for the glimpse of behind the scenes. Sorry to hear about the restaurant. Nothing can be more tragic for a foodie like yourself. I hope, as has been suggested, that they are in the process of relocating and not gone forever.

    Any word on when R.C. will be guest blogging? I finally got my copy of “Stargate: The Ark of Truth” and loved every minute of it.

    Thanks again for the blog,


    PS Thanks to Chev for the link to “About Face”. Absolutely gorgeous pic of J.F. as well as many more fantastic shots.

  62. Shadow Step Said:

    Luis Said:

    “Deep fried bread?….straight to the ARTERIES!!!!”

    Ah, but then you use micro robots to clear the arteries! Tiny robots!

    Now those are very nifty. But then, once the patient is back at home feeling very pleased with him/herself after having escaped a coronoary from having the ol’ arteries reamed out (“I’m so glad I never let those tasty globs of deep-fried bacon fat go to waste”), he opens a notice from his private insurance company saying they’ve decided not to cover the cost of said procedure, and keels over from a stroke. (Which is just as well, given that his bankrupted family would have torn him limb from limb upong getting the news that their Kensington townhouse has just been accepted in payment by the surgeon, who was looking for a new pied-à-terre in the city.)

    And that’s why the primary-care docs always say that prevention is better than cure. 😉

  63. Narelle “Do you guys ever get tempted to dress up as the local peasant lady, System Lord or just plain old Commando?
    And if you do, pictures please”

    Pictures of JM going Commando? Whoohoooooooo1

  64. dyginc said:

    Now I am in the middle of the Blade Itself wondering how I can get the third book from the UK so that I can finish that series in one fatal swoop.

    Amazon.co.uk ships to locations outside the UK. Though perhaps someone has a better alternative, given Amazon’s unethical new policy in regard to publish-on-demand books.

  65. Allo Joseph,
    Juste un petit coucou !! (Ben quoi, ça fait toujours plaisir d’être salué !) 😉
    Incroyable mais vrai: la neige fond !!!!

  66. Joe, I’m looking forward to participating in my first book discussion when “The Empire of Ice Cream” makes its appearance. That said I’m not really sure what to do. Is that stupid or what!?! Anyway do I submit comments the day before the discussion? Please let me know what to do and no laughing please! 😛

  67. Thanks tiger’s eyes…I really just don’t want to pay double for the book…not to say it won’t be worth it but the exchange rate sucks…though I like the UK versions of UK authors better than US translations. I tend to buy as many books when I am there as I can.

  68. My condolences. 🙁 There was a place in Chicago I always went to on new comic book day, until one day I discovered that it had burned down. 🙁 The place I ended up going to that day was a total let-down, and I was resigned thereafter to taking my comics straight home to read them ….

    Maybe this place you like will pop up again elsewhere?

  69. I’m sorry to hear a favorite restaurant closed. I hate when that happens! But — I gotta ask — shouldn’t a Transylvania Wooden Platter come with a steak?

    (please don’t hurt me :-P)

    On a less painful note — I read The Keep when it first came out, I think. At the time, it didn’t seem to be “my speed”. However I just put 2+2 together and got 4 (an amazing feat for me, a math idiot) and realized that F Paul Wilson writes the Repairman Jack stories.

    Dang you, Master Mallozzi. Now I’m gonna have to reread The Keep. [and also the SF books you recommended. They’re on my plate, really.]

  70. OMG!!! This is how I learn about Budapest’s demise! Never again will I be able to properly satiate the desire to eat my arms weight in Schnitzel. Sure there are other places but not like Budapest. I will long remember barely being able to finish my pork or chicken schnitzel only to have Carl say “are you gonna finish that?”

    A dark day indeed.

  71. Thanks for the video link, Joe. I clicked on it and it brought me to the photobucket album. I was checking out a dozen or so of the vids you have there. LOLOL!! Lulu is a card! First she’s harrassing the pug, then she’s going after Boney Barney. She’s a spitfire. She looks quite young in both of those too.

    Sorry to hear about your favorite restaurant. That totally sucks.

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