If it was up to me, we’d spend every night down in the theater room watching movies and t.v. on dvd. Yesterday, however, I deferred to Fondy who something a little different in mind. No Boston Legal and House for us last night. Instead, we went to Fright Night at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition), sort of a cross between a traveling carnival and a high school Halloween party.
We started our evening at Moderne Burger. There we met our friends Jodi and Steve and I enjoyed a beef burger with caramelized onions and bacon, fries, and an extra thick chocolate malted milkshake. The shake arrived about ten minutes before the burger and, by the time my meal was set down in front of me, I was no longer hungry. Still, I had ordered the burger and it would have been a shame to let it go to waste. Same went for the fries.
From there, it was off to Fright Night for an evening of fun, frivolity, and standing in line. We met up at the entrance passed through the turnstile and, in no time at all, we were on the fairgrounds – and waiting in line to get frisked by security. Eventually, it was my turn to get felt up. I assumed the position and one of the guards patted me down, reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the empty sandwich bags I keep in my pocket for emergency dog-curbing purposes. The guy eyed the bag suspiciously and threw me a look that seemed to ask: “Where’s the stash?” and then, perhaps realized he wasn’t being paid enough, stuffed the bag into my pocket and sent me on my way.
We strolled the grounds, took in the various Halloween-themed displays, then lined up for our first haunted house walk-thru. When we finally reached the front, the guy on duty advised us to “Keep your hands in front of you at all times. Watch your step. Keep moving. No swearing or hitting the people inside.” And then, we were on our way – through a dark and winding passageway. At some point, someone blasted air at us. At another, a skeleton rose up out of a chair. At another, a mysterious doorway gave way to…the exit. It takes me longer to walk across my bedroom and, with my habit of tossing my clothes into a big pile at the food of the bed, perhaps equally as scary.
We took in some sort of deranged clown show in which the clowns (presumably psychotic like most clowns) danced and rode tricycles to WHAM! Without a doubt the scariest thing I saw that night.
The line-up at the next haunted house tour was twice as long, the wait even more so. As we inched our way along, some mischievously grinning fellow clutching a bloody knife ambled out of the attraction and off. I assumed he was part of the show. Once we finally reached the front, we were again cautioned not to swear or strike the employees. I assumed they’d been on the receiving end of many an angry patron (“What’s your problem scaring me like that?!! You want to give me a freakin‘ heart attack?!!). This one was a little more inspired with costumed participants popping out of alcoves, jumping out of hiding, and generally harassing my screaming wife. Good times.
Finally, it was a stroll through the maze where Steve was startled by some guy dressed as a plant. Again, good times.
I got home last night to discover that I’ve already committed my first Tokyo social faux pas. It turns out the affable concierge who contacted me the other day, My Man Yian, is actually My Woman Yian. In any case, she and another concierge of indeterminate gender named Kaori have got me booked at ten of Tokyo’s top restaurants. I’ll have to thank them somehow. Since tipping is frowned upon in Japan, I may just treat them to lunch at the Shibuya hospital prison themed restaurant Alcatraz ER. Sadly for me, dinner is when you really want to go. According to the website:
18:30 – inmate/in-patient escapes
20:00 – ER surgery show 1
22:30 – ER surgery show 2
2:00 (on Fri. & Sat. only) mystery show
Damn! I think I would have really enjoyed a good meal over a good surgery.
Hey, I got a call from Bob Picardo today. Sounds like he’s been quite busy since leaving the Pegasus Galaxy. In addition to shooting an episode of Pushing Daisies and completing work on the SF film The Awakened Bob has been working on a little side project:
Apparently, this is the first in a series so check back for more of Alphonso’s words of wisdom.
To all those of you impatiently awaiting some of the upcoming Q&A guest blogs – I’m going to have to ask you to be impatient a little longer. Brad Wright and Joel Goldsmith have their hands full at the moment but will be getting around to answering your many questions very soon. Atlantis Costume Designer Val Halverson’s Q&A is upcoming. Special Effects Supervisor Wray Douglas is on deck. Robert Cooper has already committed to a post-Vegas visit. And when I see Marty G. for dinner tonight, I’ll ask him if he’d care to swing by for a post-Brain Storm chat. Finally, I’d like to start gathering questions for my friend and co-worker, the spectacular Krista McLean. In addition to her many years spent overseeing the playback department, she is also our matte shot overseer extraordinaire. “What,”you may ask “is playback? And matte shots while you’re at it?” Well, whenever you see something flash up on a laptop, or scroll by on a wraith screen, or display on anything from a handheld life signs detector to a puddle jumper HUD (Heads Up Display) and much, much more – THAT’S playback. And whenever you see those establishing shots of the mainland or sweeping over the wraith facilities or revealing hundreds upon hundreds of stasis pods and, again, much, much more – THOSE are examples of matte shots. So, if you have questions for Krista, start posting ’em.
By the way, thanks for all of the inspired horror movie titles. Some were truly brilliant.
And re: the return of the mailbag. Soon. Soon.