The phone rang. I snapped it up and answered “Hello?” (as opposed to the far more colorful “Yello?” or “Urology Ward. Name, please.”).
“Joey?”came the male voice at the other end of the line.
There are only two reasons why someone would call me Joey. Either they’re trying to annoy me, or they’re someone from so far back in my past that they don’t know any better, assuming I still go by the name my parents used to call me when I was a kid.
“Yes?”I asked, my voice betraying nary a trace of annoyance.
“It’s your cousin Matt.” As opposed to Matthew, his nom d‘enfant. “I’m coming into Vancouver and want to know if you’d like to get together for brunch.”
Matt, formerly known as Matthew, is my cousin Jeannie’s son. Bright, articulate, he’s an airline pilot with a very busy schedule that doesn’t allow him to attend many family functions. Add my equally heavy schedule to the mix and you have two guys whose paths rarely cross. Until today. Matt informed me that his flight was getting in at 11:45 p.m. on Friday (too late for a late dinner), and he’d be flying out at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Not exactly perfect timing, but it would give us about an hour to catch up over, I suggested, dim sum since the airport hotel he was staying at was located right in Richmond, Vancouver’s Chinese restaurant heaven. Alas, the thought of shrimp dumplings and steamed pork buns for breakfast didn’t appeal. He actually wanted breakfast for breakfast. Well, I was at a loss. A breakfast place? In Richmond?
I assured him I would think of something, clicked off, and consulted the expert – or, in this case, as close as I could get to an expert on the subject: my wife.
“The Fairmont Hotel is supposed to have a nice brunch,”she advised.
I woke up early, showered, called up (read: woke up) Matt to tell him I was on my way, then hopped into my car and made for Richmond, one eye on the road, the other on the directions to his hotel (and the directions from his hotel to the Fairmont).
Despite my inhumanly wretched sense of direction, I was able to find the Delta Airport Hotel where he was staing. My cousin was waiting for me in the lobby, looking cool (both figuratively and literally) in a thin, long-sleeved shirt. He looked pretty much as I remembered him the last time I saw him (about seven years ago on his last trip through Vancouver) with the exception of those big shoulders. Clearly, someone has been working out!
We skipped the Fairmont in favor of the River Rock Casino on the recommendation of the Delta concierge who assured us that the brunch at the casino was MUCH better. Well, in retrospect, I suppose he would know better than me. But all I have to say is that if the brunch at the River Rock is really better, then thank God we didn’t go to the Fairmont because that meal probably would have killed us.
Not much of a brunch buffet to speak. Eggs five different ways, sausages, and some sketchy-looking pastries. The Bellagio it aint. Following a quick perusal of the offerings, we returned to our table and opted to go a la carte instead. Matt had a healthy omelet. I went with the corned beef Benedict and side of blueberry pancakes whose only claim to blueberriness rested with the half dozen berries anointing the top of the tiny triple stack and the good word of our waiter.
We ate. We chatted. He’s based in Houston. He’s almost fluent in Spanish thanks in no small part to the year he spent in Argentina. Some day, he’d like to fly some helicopter medical evac. Compare to me who has never visited Houston, speaks no Spanish, has no plans to visit South America, and would only be caught in a medical evac chopper if I was the one being evaced. He has much bigger shoulders too. You could never tell we were cousins.
It was nice catching up. An hour an half later, I dropped him off at his hotel. Hopefully, it won’t be another seven years until we again cross paths.
I returned home and immediately got to work in preparation for Fondy’s return tomorrow afternoon: laundry, vacuuming, garbage and recycling. And, all the while, running dialogue through my head for the next scene I have to write: McKay, Zelenka, black tea, and a frank admission. I went on a bit of a creative tear last night, hitting the 29 page mark before running out of steam. But much of the night after that was spent lying in bed, tossing and turning as I plotted out the next couple of acts.
Not much time for reading of late although I am about a hundred pages into Vellum, by Hal Duncan, and am eyeing the interesting assortment sent my way by Jason Sizemore of Apex Books. And there’s also Astérix et les Goths I’ve been meaning to get around to. Where will I find the time? Oh, yeah. There’s that entire month of hiatus. Provided I get this damn script finished in time.
Hey, check out Marty G. fielding questions about his controversial new film:
Trish writes: “Since you’ve been using your way-snappy blog titles, have you noticed an increase in traffic?”
Answer: Not really, but I think further research is required.
Airelle writes: “How many queens do the wraith have, or are they in different hives?”
Answer: It’s impossible to tell how just many they have, but there is a Queen for every alliance. More on wraith politics in The Queen.
Thornyrose writes: “A question for you Mr. M. If enough attendees at this year’s Shore Leave suggest you as a speaker, and you get an invitation, what would you rate the odds of you accepting?”
Answer: I’d like to say yes but, as is always the case, it comes down to scheduling for me.
PG15 writes: “Do you guys know, generally, what you want to put in those 2 empty spots at the end of the season, or is it completely blank? Are there “notions” for those spots?”
Answer: No notions, but there are a couple of loose ends that could use tying up.
Rachel writes: “…any chance … in some future sam/jack will be together… ?”
Thunder writes: “Sorry to hear that Jelly is still having hip problems. Have you tried giving her some glucosamine?”
Answer: Jelly is on both glucosamine and Metacam. Her hips are badly deteriorated so, unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to reverse the process short of surgery.
Anne Teldy writes: “From what you’ve answered before, Mr. M, I’ve inferred a Wraith can survive off large animals but the sustenance gained isn’t as tasty or the effects as long-lasting as when they feed from humans.
1. Is this essentially correct?
2. If yes, do the Wraith in general know this?
3a. Will Sheppard and the others ever learn this fact?
3b. I’d like to see Sheppard’s reaction when he finally learns he could have fed Todd a cow instead of Wallace in “Miller’s Crossing”. Possibility?”
Answers: 1. I’d liken their feeding on animal to our consumption of chocolate and candy. In some respects, it would temporarily sustain us, but we would need real food – in our case protein, in their case humans. 2. The wraith do know this and are not inclined to change their ways given that feeding on humans is what gives them their regenerative abilities and strength. 3a. We’ll be exploring the wraith feeding process in season 5. 3b. It wouldn’t have worked.
WK writes: “ If the wraith do not mirror us, and therefore develop beyond the “baddie” let’s pack up and go home, because we know the end of this tale—dull. However, you did not say this…exactly.”
Answer: In fact, I said very little on the subject beyond the fact that the wraith will remain an enemy of Atlantis for the foreseeable future – and this has to do with other reasons beside the wraith’s need to feed. They’re far more complex as a race than the expedition originally assumed, and some individuals (Todd and even Michael for example) colorful and not wholly unsympathetic. Again, more on this (and them) in season 5.
Kevin writes: “1. In Season 2’s Instinct we see Jewel Staite play the role of a wraith child and in Spoils Of War we learn of wraith cloning. Will the topic of wraith children be revisited in season 5?
2. Is it possible that we may come across some planets that the wraith are not aware of in the Pegasus Galaxy?
3. Will we see Beau Bridges (General Landry) or Gary Jones (Walter Harriman) at all in season 5?
4. Just an off the wall question, are you or any of the other Stargate writers or cast into NASCAR?
5. Will we be seeing anything that has to do with the Goa’uld in season 5?”
Answers: First, congratulations on your impending fatherhood. Next – 1. I had pitched out a story early in the season that addressed this issue. Alas, it didn’t make the cut. Maybe season 6? 2. Sure. 3. Unlikely. 4. I’m not sure. 5. Nope, sorry.
Sammie writes: “Now that you answered Sam/Jack shippers about Continuum, is there anything for Sam/Cam shippers in Continuum?”
Answer: Nope, sorry.
Linda Gagne writes: “When the writers write for Carson, do they write it for his scottish dilect or tell him to fill in the appropriate phrase he would use if in Scotland?”
Answer: A little of both. In Whispers, for instance, there’s a point in the script where Beckett makes a surprising discovery. Under the character slug (Beckett), I wrote: “Insert quaint Scottish expression!”.
DasNdanger writes: “We had hope in Todd, but it seems that he will not be given that sort of character arc…either because he will be pigeonholed as a ‘villain’, or because he will be killed off.”
Answer: Really? Is that what’s going to happen to the character? Do you know something about episodes 17 and 18 that I don’t? Well, since you’ve already resigned yourself to the fait accompli based on who-knows-what information, don’t let me spoil it for you.
David writes: “ Hey, guess what…I was in a car crash last night.”
Answer: Glad to hear you guys are okay. Sad to hear the moose isn’t.
Dori writes: “Because you are a great book lover I was wondering if the new ebook reader devices have caught your eye. They seem like they may be very use ful in storing all the books that you read.. Any opinion if this device would be worth buying?”
Answer: Sorry, I have no opinion on this. I’m a collector and like the look and feel of real books.