Felix and sis

Yeah, we over-ordered.

I woke up at 5:20 a.m., a full forty minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off. It’s always the way the night before I travel. For some reason, something in my subconscious mind won’t allow me a restful sleep. There’s always that niggling doubt, that faint uncertainty that I did, in fact, set the alarm properly. Silly, granted. I mean, I’ve done it hundreds of times: slide the button, set the hour, set the time, release the button. Piece of cake, I told myself and drifted off.

My eyes flashed open! 6:35 a.m.! Sweet Father Christmas! My alarm didn’t gone off! I was late!

I jumped out of bed and it was GO!GO!GO!

Fortunately, I’d taken the time to check-in the previous night and had my e-ticket sent directly to my new blackberry. “I got one of these,”I told the airport employee standing at the head of the long, looooong check-in line, fully expecting her to ask me what the hell it was I was showing her.

Instead – “Just go to gate C-35,”she instructed.

It seemed implausibly simple and yet, once I got to the security check-point, all I had to do was flash my blackberry and the guard on duty motioned me through. I grabbed a seat outside gate C-35 and breathed a sigh of relief. Plenty of time. Finally, I could relax. Until I remembered that I’d failed to recharge my blackberry battery the night before. Granted, the prospect of it dying on me – and taking my e-ticket with it – were remote, but the way my day was going…

Happily, I was able to board without incident. I settled in, pulled out my copy of In the Garden of Iden, and started reading (Incidentally, discussion on the book begins this Monday, so finish up gang. Kage Baker will be coming by to make sure you’re all up to date.). I read half the book, then set it aside and took a nap.

I may have been out ten, maybe twenty minutes before I was shaken awake. In my bleary-eyed state, I imagined the air hostess standing over me: “Sir, you missed your stop! Now we’re on our way back to Vancouver!” It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I wasn’t being shaken awake by anyone. It was turbulence. I shut my eyes and attempted to go back to sleep but, strangely, the prospect of being rattled out of a flying tin can and sprinkled over central Manitoba made that a little difficult. Eventually, I gave up and resumed reading.

I touched down in Montreal where I rented a car. The guy at Hertz said there was only one car left, a Ford Escape, and informed me I would find my car in stall 107. It turned out the car parked in stall 107 was actually a Toyota RAV4. Rather than trek back to Hertz, I tried the key I’d been given, just for the hell of it.  It worked.  Ford Escape.  Toyota RAV4.  Close enough.   

I got to mom’s house a little after 5:00 p.m. There was really not that much catching up to do since I’ve been reporting on a daily basis since my move to Vancouver, but she did make it clear she didn’t love the haircut before making me speak to my relatives in Toronto (“Hi!  It’s Joe!  Yeah, I’m on Montreal.  Only six hours away from you!  I’m calling you now because I’m practically around the corner and, well, I don’t own a phone in Vancouver…”)

For dinner tonight, mom, sis, sis’s friend Lily, and I went to Aikawa. While I prefer the quality of the west coast fish, I’m always impressed by the creativity of the east coast sushi chefs.  Check out the culinary creations. 

Finally, more BIG BOTMC NEWS! I’ve heard back from August’s Book of the Month Club selected authors – Lois McMaster Bujold, Catherynne M. Valente, and Stephen Dobyns – and all three have kindly agreed to come by and field your questions. So, once again, we are three for three. Check the right sidebar for news on the upcoming discussions. Or, keep reading…

BOTM Club Selections


In the Garden of Iden, Kage Baker.
Discussion the week of June 30th, with author Kage Baker.

The Etched City, K.J. Bishop.
Discussion the week of July 7th, with author K.J. Bishop.

Unwelcome Bodies, Jennifer Pelland.
Discussion the week of July 14th, with author Jennifer Pelland.


Cordelia’s Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold
Discussion the week of August 11th, with author Lois McMaster Bujold.

The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente
Discussion the week of August 18th, with author Catherynne M. Valente.

The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
Discussion the week of August 25th, with author Stephen Dobyns.

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Ms Gavankar: Were any Space Cows harmed during filming?

the real Anne Teldy grin


I understand lateness anxiety.

Whenever I am worried about waking up on time I will often dream about being late and run through all of the worst consequences of that but then wake up ot feel relieved that I have in fact plenty of time to get ready, relax and make it to my destination . Crazy huh?


The not-sleeping-before-travelling thing seems to be fairly common. I usually resort so some sort of medication to help me sleep a bit more deeply. And I’ve learned from bitter experience not to rely on a single alarm. Two on the electric clock, cell phone, AND a work pager. Paranoid, me?
The sushi place looks impressive. It must have rated to actually get pictures posted. Wish I had a place around here to indulge in. Ah well, always road trips. Hope the trip to Montreal goes smoothly and happily, and looking forward to the book discussions. The gremlins have finally consented to return Etched City, so I’ll be finishing that off in the morning.


Joe – glad you made it ‘home’ okay, with only a few bumps along the way. I’ve only been to Montreal once, but it is a such lovely city. Favorite moments included a beautiful evening overlooking the city from Mont Royal, and a night in old Montreal. Unfortunately, we were only there long enough to see the touristy areas, but we still had a wonderful time. It was just easier for us to wait for summer when our Canadian friends came down to the shore to visit – with all their homemade wine…and lupini beans… smile The adults only spoke Portuguese, but it’s amazing how universal the language of laughter is. Good times! (For some reason, I think I’ve already said that here…forgive me if I’m repeating myself…)

Enjoy your visit – and don’t eat TOO much (takes lots of pictures to make us jealous)!!

@ WK – Stop talkin’ dirty. wink Wraithy nails have got to stay! It completes their look. And they keep them nice, so nice that it conjures up all sorts of images of Steve getting a manicure a la:

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“You Wraith are such interesting creatures! I was just saying to my girlfriend, just the other day, ‘Wraith are such interesting people! Why, I’ll bet they lead such interesting lives!’ The things you must see and the things you must do! My stars!”

Oooooh…GREAT. Now I’m imagining Steve fixing Todd’s hair…

“Here, for goodness’ sake, let me fix it up. Look how stringy and messy it is. What a shame. Such an interesting Wraith, too. My stars, if an interesting Wraith can’t have an interesting hairdo, then I don’t know what things are coming to.”

Oooooh…GREAT. Now I’m imagining Steve fixing Joe’s hair… unamused (hey – perhaps mum would approve of that wink )




And, yeah…this thing needs an edit feature so that when I talk backwards – or overdo the smilies (accidently or on purpose), I can go back and correct it. On one hand, I doubt anyone reads this stuff word-for-word – but on the other hand, it …well…it drives my OCD nuts!

Speaking of OCD (and so this isn’t just a whiny ‘my post isn’t right’) comment, are there any characters in SGA that you imagine have OCD? Any picture-straighteners? Any germaphobes? Would you say that, perhaps, Rodney comes closest to having such a personality?



Hi Joe,

Welcome to the East Coast… any plans to stop at Au Pied du Cochon, last time I was there I had a tart of foie gras and I don’t know the name in english, it has the shape of a sausage and has blood… in french it’s boudin or something like that… I also had a Ceviche, but didn’t like it that much, it wasn’t fish so the texture for me was strange that day.

Can’t wait for your experience!


Alfredo De La Fe

Joe, if you ever make it to New York I promise that if you reach out to me you will have a sushi experience that will make you consider moving to the Big Apple. While sushi in Canada was “pretty” it tasted like it was thawed out in the microwave.


razz Welcome to this side of the country!

After having spent a week up north (er… well north as in Northern Ontario and a few hours past Toronto which seems to be our landmark for everything…) I’ve returned to the land of the internet! YAY! Cottages are fun except for the whole lack of technology. And drinkable water. And bears.

I did want to say that being up north, in a place where there is no ambient light at night, makes the stars come alive! Standing out by the lake, in the crisp cold air, and staring up into all those stars-planets-suns-galaxies certainly makes me wonder how people can be daft enough to think we’re the only ones out here. smile


Charles Schneider

Sounds like a normal flight. No matter how much I travel, things like that still happen to me. Late to the check-in counter (no blackberry here), sleepless flight, terrible movie. The first time I ever rented a car the tire blew up (thank god for rental insurance). I just dropped the car off at the lot when I was finished and went on my merry way without a word (I never did get a nasty phone call, so I assume things were ok at the dealership).

Narelle from Aus

Trish Happy Anniversary to you and your Hubby!
Say Hi to your Uncle Bill for me?

How’s the Blackberry going other than almost running out of battery? Remember that if you turn Bluetooth off the battery lasts a bit longer.

As for your rental car, just remember what you ended up driving away in.

I’ve been driving a loan car since my accident and it was slightly embarrassing when I was attempting to get into a car that wasn’t mine. Especially when the owner of the car that I was trying to open turned up… with friends.

It was a lesson to not email on your Blackberry and get into your car at the same time.

Finished Garden of Iden a while ago and then went onto Sky Coyote and have started Mendoza in Hollywood.

Almost finished Old Man’s War and it keeps on reminding me of Starship Troopers for some reason. It might be that unfathomable level of death and the nightmarish ways that it occurs, **shudder** but I’m really enjoying the read (unlike watching Starship Troopers).


Yahoo!!!! A feline presence on your blog!


Hi Joe…
I haven’t posted in awhile; but I couldn’t resist when i read you blog yesterday about the pineapples in various scenes…Are you aware that the show, PSYCH ( psychic detective) uses a pineapple in EVERY episode as a gag? This show is Hilarious!..It is als filmed in Vancouver….
Also, can’t wait for season 5 to start!!


The food looks very pretty.

What is Squishface the Cat’s real name?



Not only did the winky face mysteriously appear again …but it ate my parenthesis after ‘comment’…or…I just need to call it a night and go to bed.

I’m thinkin’ the gremlins have moved to WordPress… razz

On a side – and sad – note, comic book artist Michael Turner passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer. His recent Wolverine cover is absolutely beautiful (caution, large file):

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oops sorry, I meant season 4!! ***Theresa***


I like the haircut. Very stylish.

I am amused that the key worked in the other car. Hopefully, the employee simply misread the file, and the keys don’t work in all of the cars. And glad your flight went without a hitch! I have not been so lucky of late. Then again, I think American is quickly killing itself.

I’m very excited to ask questions of next month’s authors! It’ll be a good month, I think.


Oh, also – my pre-travel experience always includes a nightmare a couple of days before the trip wherein I suddenly realise either: a) I’ve completely forgotten about the flight which I was meant to be on two days ago; or b) I’ve landed at my intended destination only to realise I have zero dollars and am at a loss to know what to do to survive. After that, I usually find the actual fight yawn-inducing. (And cranky-making. I get very irritable in planes. So many people, so close.)


doing as my semi-computer geek brother demanded instructed; i right clicked the food pics, select properties & look under “alternate text” and there’s just the word “blank.” that’s all it says for all the food pics except for the last one. so what is all of that food?

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Awwwww… Joey is visiting his Mom & Sis… how sweet!

That Cat looks crazy… kinda like one you’d see on the Twillight Zone!

And will the real Anne Teldy please stand up!!! a la… what’s my line!

Go for it Anne, but I already tried to get the dirt on your character’s demise and Joe would not bite! Oh well, maybe Dusty will spill some beans… Here’s hopeing!!!

I see that MGM’s has gotten YouTube to take S&R off the internet… finally. It only took them a week. Why so slow on the draw? Surely they have lawyers who can work quicker than that… or not?

Have a nice visit! and don’t over do the eating…remember your super villian figure is at stake!

Patricia Lee


i am surprised that on your reading list are books that were published years, if not decades, ago. For some reason, I always expect people to be reading the latest published. Some of the books you have listed I read many many years ago, and now u have reminded me of them and i want to read them again. Especially LM Bujold. And I have a bone to pick with her. I absolutely adored Cordelia’s Honor and the sequel. But I wanted her to stay with Cordelia and Lord Aral. But she started writing about their child, and I missed the parents so much and especially their earlier years together. The books about Miles V are some of the best storywriting. The hero isn’t tall, good looking and full of superpowers. Instead, he’s very short and has physical disabilities. But he has such a sense of humor, seems able to instill trust in people and give them hope. His team or crew are made up of such a disparate group of people, and yet they keep going. Saving the world, solving mysteries. And it isn’t a rosy future, people die, wars happen, people get tortured, bad guys sometimes flourish. and Miles changes and grows up. Each book was a development in his life, and not just the same characters, in a same setting, confronting similar challenges.
My favorite scenes in Cordelia’s Honor are 2 quiet ones. The walks she takes with Lord Aral on the planet when her crew is imprisoned. And they experience the connection between each other and acknowledge there is very little chance they will ever have to have the future felt by them. And when she goes to Lord V’s home planet and searches him out after the war is over. And she finds him sitting outside by the lake, getting drunk and numb, something he has obviously been doing since he got back. and he sees her and realizes that he has been saved. I thought how her strength, altho never explicitly written, saves them both and gives them a life together. she left everything at home, family, friends, comfort, job, and a way of life quite different then his. and sought him out. He was the one bred to power, leadership. She had enlisted off a rural agricultural planet, with limited fighting skills. He was the ruthless warrior, and yet of the 2, she was the strongest.

good stuff, good story. wish the books were longer so there was more to read. hate to see the ending coming.

Annie from Fremantle
Annie from Fremantle

Um….. is the cat disapproving of your hair too?


Hey Joe.

No question today, just my wishes that you enjoy your trip!

Also, if you get around to checking to email soon and find one from me, just delete it. Things got changed around and it won’t work out. Thanks anyway!

Have a good trip!


Joe, have you recently changed something in the coding for your pictures? I ask because, as of a few days ago, the LiveJournal feed for your blog is suddenly very wiiiiiiiiiide. Consequently, it’s completely frakking up the width of my friends page. This is not at all your problem, but I thought maybe you made some change recently that would explain the problem. If not, I’ll just have to remove the feed and remember on my own to check in here everyday. Not exactly the greatest hardship in the world, but I figured it was worth asking.

I hope you have a wonderful vacation, and a great time with your mom and sis!


And yes – I PROMISE this will be my last comment (damn that 2 hour nap!).

I swear those pictures were not there when I first looked at this tonight. Anyway –

The food looks fabulous! Almost too pretty to eat.

Baby doesn’t seem at all happy with your visit. Looks JUST like Garfield blowing a raspberry! lol

Mom (lovely lady, btw!) looks like she’s plotting to do something about that hair…heh. Let us know if she succeeds.

Felix and sis…your sister is so pretty! Makes ya wonder why she got second billing to the dog.

Brothers. roll

Have a great time!



Hey Joe,

Taking a break in my rereading of LMcMB’s “Cordelia’s Honor” to wonder…what’s happened to Alex Levine’s blog?

Is he no longer there? Now, dont’ get me wrong, I love your blog, but when I’ve read it, I am hungry for more, so I pop on over to his. Still nothing since March.

Can you share?