Kobe beef

Kobe beef

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

The Dinner Club.

The Dinner Club.

The Tsukiji lynx.

The Tsukiji lynx.

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

This one seemed to be in kind of a rush.

This one seemed to be in kind of a rush.

Even the fish are in the Christmas spirit.

Even the fish are in the Christmas spirit.

It's a fish.  I think.

It's a fish. I think.

Yeah, can I help you?!

Yeah, can I help you?!

I want the stuffed toy version.

I want the stuffed toy version.

Just a lot of standing around.

Just a lot of standing around.

My vacation villa is in Ice Cream City.

My vacation villa is in Ice Cream City.

So as I was wandering around Ginza yesterday, thwarted by the line-up outside the Pierre Marcolini Café and Ice Cream Shop, when I spotted a promising-looking dessert destination on the third floor of a nearby building. “Sweets Paradise 90 mins.”read the sign outside the window. “Sweets Paradise” was self-explanatory (and just what I was looking for). “90 mins.”? Well, I just assumed it was one of those quaint Japanese non-sequiturs like “Are you electric?”, “Best contact face”, and “For external use only!”.

Turns out it wasn’t. I stepped inside and was immediately greeted by a cheery woman dressed like a Slavic midwife who handed me a laminated sheet containing English instructions. She then ushered me over to a machine into which I inserted 1475 yen. In return, I received a ticket with a time stamp. I had 90 minutes to eat and get the hell out! I walked over to the buffet set-up and checked out the offerings. There were savories, sweets, and some green chewy things devoid of any discernible flavor. The desserts weren’t bad, simply not comparable to others I’d sampled to date. Needless to say, I wrapped things up well inside the 90 minutes allotted me.

Last night, I went to dinner at Ukai-Tei, a teppanyaki restaurant recommended by the concierge. Upon arrival, I was escorted into a lounge area that resembled your eccentric aunt’s parlor – all antique and crystal and Brideshead Revisited upholstery – where I awaited the rest of my party. Yes, on this night I would not be dining alone. Let it be said that the internet is a wonderful means of connecting with strangers, some of whom may have designs on your kidneys, others who are just eager to socialize. In the case of my Ukai-Tei fellow diners, it was the latter. The first to arrive was Yuka, a native Tokyoite and fellow foodie. We had a great get-to-know-you chat and, after waiting 30 minutes for the rest of our party to show decided, what-the-hell, and asked to be seated. We were shown to our chic private room where we were seated on one side of a table facing the teppanyaki iron griddle. As we were checking out the menu, the third member of our party arrived, Mahesh, an American east-coaster on a whirlwind tour of the Japan. More chatting, some aperitifs, we placed our orders and then the meal began. And quite a meal it was. Our chef host enlightened us on the merits of the various beefs – in Japanese. Fortunately, Yuka was more than happy to translate for us. I started with an excellent foie gras, then followed with an outstanding cream of chestnut soup. Here in Tokyo, chestnut is king, and it’s served every which way, in everything from savory sauces to delectable desserts. I personally think it’s high time North America jumped on the band wagon. Next up was an excellent Alaskan crab served with a saffron butter sauce. The steamed abalone followed, first the body, then the, uh, reproductive organ that Yuka assured me is all the range amongst the men in her hometown. We had some organic spinach, some organic mushrooms and then, finally, the show-stopper: 300 grams of Kobe beef. And yes, to whoever asked, it does melt in your mouth. The first time I tried Kobe beef some six or seven years ago ruined North American beef for me. It simply paled in comparison.

After dinner, we retired to the dessert lounge where I had a Mont Blanc (chestnut cream dessert – Chef Belcham, take note!) and an accomplished Earl Grey ice cream (for the table, natch). The bill arrived and it was a record-breaker – the most expensive meal I’d ever eaten (breaking the three year old record formerly held by Shinjuku’s Seryna Restaurant).

The next morning I phoned up Mahesh and we made plans to meet at the Tsukiji fish market for a sushi breakfast. I suggested we meet at the stuffed lynx (located at the heart of the market) and, at 8:30, I headed out. I reached the rendez-vous point at the appointed time, 9:00 p.m., and busied myself with my GPS and maps. Alas, Mahesh ran late. Very late. 45 minutes later, I decided to grab a seat at a nearby restaurant counter from where I could keep an eye out for him. 15 minutes after that, I ordered some sushi in order to keep my strength up. As it turned out, I had much strength to keep up and, following subsequent orders of chu-toro, o-toro, and ankimo (aka monkfish liver), it suddenly dawned on me that I may have missed him. I headed out, completed one final walk around the market and then caught a cab to my next destination.

“Sunshine City o gozonji desu ka?”I asked the cab driver whether he was familiar with Sunshine City. His half-nod was less than inspiring so I informed him it was in Ikebukuro “Ikebukuro ni arimasu.” He gave another nod and uttered something that sounded like “Unh”, then put the cab in drive. I consulted my research sheet and read out the address: “San-ichi-ni Higashi-Ikebu-” This seemed to annoy him enough to interrupted me with an emphatic “Unh! Unh!” and head bob. So much for conversation.

Twenty minutes later, we pulled up in front of the Sunshine City Mall. The first place I noticed as I walked through the entrance was Patisserie Atelier de Reve, a pastry place that specialized in – yep, you guessed it – chestnut cream desserts. I ordered two magnificent-looking desserts – one plain chestnut cream, the other pumpkin-chestnut cream. They were…well, good but not outstanding. The cake portion could have been moister.

From there, I wandered the enormous mall, eventually finding my way up to the top floor aquarium where I took in the penguins and bug-eyed fish. Alas, no sharks but there was one impressive big-ass fish that could probably kill you were it dropped off a tenth floor balcony onto your head.

On my subsequent wanderings, I passed by what looked like the entrance to a kiddy amusement park. Unbearably cheerful employees in costume welcomed youngsters of all ages (between 3 and 17 so far as I could see). Not wanting to come across as the dimwitted tourist haplessly meandering into a children’s funfair, I approached the woman in the candy striper-like uniform manning the wicket and asked if it was something that might interest an adult, say a dimwitted adult tourist. Well, she cheerfully assured me that I would have a great time and happily handed me an English guide map that outlined some of the theme park’s varied offerings: The Pig-Riding Shooting Game, Ice Cream City, the Tokyo Dessert Republic, and something called Pilgrimage to the Cat of Good Fortune. I purchased my ticket, walked in (following an embarrassing mishap at the entry where I was supposed to feed my ticket into a machine, push through the turnstile, and then retrieve my ticket on the other side), and was immediately assaulted by a full-scale sensory overload: lights flashing, music blaring, sound effects, children racing around. I had to sit down and, once I’d gathered my bearings, ventured forth, map in hand, in an attempt to find an attraction called Jigoku Benjo which the English Guide translated to Hell’s Toilet. Unfortunately, I didn’t find Hell’s Toilet. But I did find another sort of Hell in a labyrinth of gyoza stand jamp-packed with children. I got lost and, in trying to find my way out, ended up strolling through something called The Haunted Inn that brought me back to the escalators and the next floor’s Dessert Garden. Lots of interesting-looking desserts but, at that point, I was not so much in an eating mood as I was a passing out mood. I was about ready to call it a day when I spotted the sign for Ice Cream City.

Not unlike Vatican City, Ice Cream City is its own principality within Namja Town. It’s comprised of an ice cream museum, various shops selling ice-cream-related products, and a central shop selling easily 200 different flavors of ice cream from the weird to the freaking weirder. I was surrounded by some terrific Weird Food Purchase of the Day material. And so, I picked up five ice cream (having trouble uploading the vid so check out tomorrow’s entry for the wonderfully memorable flavors) and headed back to my hotel.

I had enough time to change and then I was off once again, across the street and up to the 20th floor of the Yurakucho Denki North Building where I met with a publisher in the lounge of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. We discussed potential properties after which he regaled me with tales of the in innumerable crazy Westerners who have come to teach English in Japan.

Back in the hotel now and getting this off to you before dinner tonight at Hamadaya. If I’m not asleep by the time dessert is served, I may even hit one of those crazy theme bars tonight. I’m thinking either Office or the Absolut Ice Bar. I think I’ll bring my gloves just in case.

46 thoughts on “November 25, 2008: Tokyo Travel Day #3, Sweets Heaven and Hell, Sushi Breakfast, Sensory Overload

  1. Wow, Joe! I’m exhausted just reading about your escapades! Good thing you are eating at every opportunity, you need to keep up your strength.

    Sounds like good times so far. Stay safe and keep the pics and stories coming!

    PattyO

  2. I’m still following, just been working on uni work, dissertation due in soon, panicking a little.

    Wow, Tokyo sounds fun, and Ice Cream City – even better, no-where in England can I find my favourite flavour, but I’m determined to find Toffee Ripple out there somewhere.

    The toilets there are way to over complicated, the mind boggles, and why would you need all the buttons for the bath?

    If you get bored (not likely) over there it would be great if you (and anyone else) could join in with my story writing experiment on my blog, it’ll really help my final year project. Thanks.

    bridjess.wordpress.com

  3. Mr. M —
    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time — I googled Cream of Chestnut soup to find some recipes and they range from the sublime to the ridiculous, one even appearing on Oprah’s website! Wonder if your soup there was made with American or European chestnuts?
    I just finished reading “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson, and his description of Cayce Pollard’s trip to Tokyo combined with your blog has got me adding a trip to Tokyo to my wish list!

  4. Bonjour Joseph!! Vous allez bien??

    Contente de voir quel point vous prenez du bon temp =)!!! Ces photos sont super! Merci beaucoup !

    Ici il fait trop froid en ce moment et je détéste le froid graaaa!! Mais il faut bien s’adapter^^!!

    Vous savez quoi? il parait que je suis la meilleur de ma classe, ouh sa m’inquiéte, le niveaux est trés mauvais alors^^!! En plus dans 2 jours je vois mon cheri, je suis impatiente!!

    Passez une trés bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!!
    A demain!

  5. Have you played with your toilet yet? 😀

    (NOT that I really wanna know…)

    Sooooo…instead of going to kabuki theater…you decided to go to a kiddie theme park? I find this disturbing on so many levels… (but it might explain Irresponsible ) 😉

    das

  6. Ah, Joe’s flashing the infamous peace fingers in his photo! The national gang sign of Japan! Be sure to throw down as many peace signs (or Victory signs for the red state folks) as you can get away with while in Japan.

  7. Joe , yea for chestnuts! My sister and her husband have a chestnut farm in Gainesville,Fl. and it is your good luck , I am heading up there tomorrow for the US thanksgiving day. ( We live in S.Fl.) She’s loaded with them. If you are a good boy, I might just send you some ….. with instructions, since most people don’t know how to eat them. Put up the studio address so I can send them!

    Hey anne t. you have a letter on it’s way. Happy Turkey day! Bye Joe. Happy trip. Sheryl

  8. I am enjoying the pics from your holiday thank you for sharing them and you adventures with us! ummm…thats it, thanks 🙂

  9. Your descriptions of some of the finer foods, such as the Kobe beef and chestnut dishes, are enough to make me short out my computer by drooling on it. The cost of the meal wasn’t a surprise, given the fact it is Kobe beef. It’s greatly appreciated that you are taking so much time out to give us such vivid descriptions. Just stay healthy, and hopefully the walking will help you maintain the requisite appetite for all your adventures.

  10. Never made it to the Fish Market in Tokyo, Hubby went to the one in Yokohama. Left right around four a.m. to get there between five and six; it closed up in the morning. He’d go with the other sailors in his shop at Totsuka; they’d split the massive wholesale amounts. Like the Costco of seafood. Some was off the boat fresh, there was produce, and flash frozen seafood from Vietnam or China … the giant black tiger prawns were my hands down favorite.

    Freaking Weirder … great name for band.

    I wannna goooo …….

  11. Hey Joe!

    Wow, talk about a fun-filled day. I don’t know how you fit all that into one day schedule (and how you ate all that 😀 ), but it sounds like you had an amazing time. That kobe beef dish looks absolutely delicious!

    Judging by your description of the amusement park, I too would probably have a sensory overload. 😛 I greatly look forward to your Weird Food PurchaseS of the Day tomorrow! Too bad we can’t send you other weird ice cream flavours for you to try…alas, you would get a package of a leaking melted liquid.

    Thanks as always, enjoy day 4!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  12. Sounds like you’re having a blast in Tokyo!!! When I’m on vacation with my extended family, we always search out those sensory overload places, as they always make for an interesting afternoon! 🙂
    Can’t wait for weird food purchase of the yester-day vids!!!

  13. I miss reading the updates at work–this time zone is confusing! Your trip has been inspiring me to read up on food in Japan (particularly how “American” food has been adapted) and the tourist trade there. It’s fascinating stuff!

  14. The Christmas season has arrived: last night I took my first report on vandalized decorations. Someone unplugged a lady’s two reindeer, threw them in the street and ran over them. Personally I think it may have been a social protest about the way the season begins earlier and earlier every year!

  15. JenR, I never thought I’d say this because I’ve fully supported Atlantis from the beginning until earlier this season. I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    As the season progressed, I got tired of the obsession with the writer’s favorite characters (as said in many interviews) in detriment to the rest. Sorry, Mr. M. I don’t mean to be obnoxious. It’s just the way I see it. Maybe I’m wrong, but from this side of the corner (i.e. as a viewer who doesn’t have any inside knowledge of why the decision about the s5 storylines were made) it looks to me as if the only reason season 5 exists is to watch the Rodney and Keller show with a side order of Woolsey. Ronon, with the exception of the first bunch of episodes, haven’t had anything to do, except been there to show some conflict with Rodney and Keller. John and Teyla have been pretty much wallpapered except for when they are required to shoot baddies.

    Except for the first bunch of episodes, there has barely been any friendship interaction between John and Rodney (The Shrine and The Prodigal) and zero interaction between John and Ronon, John and Teyla, and Ronon and Teyla (being in the same room for 2 minutes doesn’t count as friendship interaction in my book).

    No team together either for the most part (again, for me an episode with the 4 members of the team, but separated in groups or alone it’s not a team episode. Why are they called a team if they’re barely together? If an episode is a team one just because they are in the city, then Radek, Lorne, everybody is a member of Shep’s team. There’s no difference).

    The only family relationships that have been explored are those of Rodney with Jeanie, in several episodes. We don’t know anything about Teyla and Ronon’s families, except that they’re dead. John got a couple of scenes with his brother and nothing else. Nothing after that. Couldn’t have things been more balanced, spreading things more equally between the four main characters?

    Teyla and her people, her culture, etc have never been explored after the first few episodes in season 1 and the Athosian ceremonies in Critical Mass and The Kindred I. The Athosians vanished after their token episodes in season 1… only to return in season 4 by just saying they’re missing (well, they had been missing since 1×05 Suspicion, so no real news there). After they were found in The Kindred II, I thought we would see at last something more about them in season 5…

    JenR put it better than I could possibly do. I agree with her that Rodney has always gotten the best part and the writers seem to be only interested in developing him and now Keller and Woolsey (and I do love Rodney and Woolsey). From my point of view (i.e. just a fan with no studio/network politics knowledge), things have never been balanced, but this season in particular has been by far the more unbalanced of all, at least to me.

  16. Mr M looks like you are having a interesting in Nippon.

    Let the amusement park entry ticket machine be a useful lesson. The Montreal transit authority and many other similar bodies uses the same type of ticket machine.

    I wonder if they are using the ticketing system for the Skytrain in Vancouver.

    Will we be getting more Weird Food Purchase of the Day video clips?

  17. Good to see you’re having a good time lol
    For some reason I was going to mention Mount Fuji but it’s probably not climbing season, that’s one place everyone should see at least once in their life.
    By the way did you see any more cosplayers around?

  18. Hey Joe!

    That was quite the blog! I think Japan sounds insane. I really want to go there even more than before!

    I’m too afraid to think of how much that dinner with the amazing Kobe beef cost you in Tokyo of all places. I’m sure it was a record-breaker.

    It’s too bad you couldn’t find Hell’s Toilet. I really would love a picture or at least a description of it. Too bad!

    Have fun clubbing in Tokyo! I’m sure gloves will be helpful.

    Trish 😀

  19. Oh my god, ice cream city??? that must be heaven. you really seem to see food where ever you go 😀 that’s good, food is good to get to know a foreign culture. but sushi for breakfast would be too much for me. 😀

    So have fun in Japan, I’m looking forward to the video 🙂

  20. I’m getting a headache just reading about all of that food and sugar.

    I hope the aquarium wasn’t just a waiting area for the sushi restaurant next door.

    Octopus is now another animal on my list of creatures I can’t eat. Watch a few doco’s and you’ll see why. Amazing problem solvers and a little bit cheeky.

    Hope you and your stomach are still friends and Mahesh made it out of the ice bath safely and to hospital after you harvested any organ that increases your ingestion capabilities.

    All well at home?

  21. It sounds like you are having a great time. Are you having as much fun as your blog reads? I’m enjoying your trip anyway.
    The Oriental flushing… that is something, how long before that carries over to US and Canada? Be safe.

  22. Sounds like you’re having a good time! Even if the children’s funfair was like riding on a tilt-a-whirl with someone flashing a fog light in your face.

    And, oh my, I really REALLY want to try Kobe beef now. It looks so tasty!

  23. Not to be redundant…go for the Ice Bar!!!! Im waiting for pictures!!!

    Did you ever find out what happened to Mahesh? Does he still have his kidneys?

    What’s the Japanese preoccupation with ice cream? Come to think of it, who invented ice cream in the first place?

    (Sounds like you are having a great time! Yay!)

  24. Glad your trip is going so well! I’d just be visitng every ice cream shop in Toyko, as I love ice cream. I don’t know about you, but I can watch penguins and otters for hours – they are cute and fun to watch when they’re in the water. Can’t wait to see the Weird Food Purchase of the Day video!

  25. I want to hear some of these stories about crazy westerners who’ve gone to Japan to teach English! I’ve given it half a thought in the past since it’ll be a good way to practice my Japanese but decided I probably wouldn’t be suited to teach anything at all…

  26. Seems like you are having an interesting time in Japan, hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly and we get to see more fun vids. Ice Cream and Toilets are a prominent part of life there then?
    Re Brainstorm, I read the following about the episode and MG’s role in its creation:
    http://stargate.mgm.com/news_detail.php?id=117
    I wonder why on earth you other writers didn’t stop him from the madness of displaying his private fantasies on screen. I kind of thought it was a waste of an episode, that could have focused more on the entire cast in their last season.
    Stargate is much better without this blatant shipping. It makes all sorts of fan factions angry. Why, when you have never done this before, did you do it now?
    This aspect of the show has really made me a lot more accepting of the cancellation, as I shudder to think of what next season would be like. Unless you had killed off Keller as a tragedy, in a parallel to what happened in The Last Man. Now that would have been poetic.

  27. One more question?
    Why, after years spent building on the team relationship between McKay, Shep, Teyla and Ronon, would you have McKay so casually mention that he might leave Atlantis after his contract was up? It seems to undermine the previous 4 and a half years of his development, as if he were just there on a business assignment, not fighting for his life with people he cares deeply about. Just one more thing that diminishes the character when you put him together with Keller.

  28. Joe, I honestly don’t know how you do it. Reading through the numerous food encounters makes me wanna go on a self-starvation spree for the next six months. Where the hell do you put it?

    “It’s a fish. I think.”

    Ever wondered what exactly the fish think of humans when they turn up to gawp at aquariums and their inhabitants? It could be that we’re misinterpreting what looks to be a blank, mindless stare, for something far more evolved and along the lines of, ‘I really wish you Humans would piss off and leave me the hell alone.’

    @ Das: Union. I was bred and dragged up with Union, because anything else is considered sacrillage within the Valleys. In fact, up until recently any mention of Rugby League inside of the Welsh borders was likely to result in you having your car vandalised and an artistic rearranging of facial features. Now that I live in Yorkshire, however, it’s League everywhere and I think i’m slowly coming around to the notion of a different take on the game. But Union will always be my first love. There’s simply nothing else can hold a candle to it 😛

    As for the Wales v All Blacks match.. All I can say is that it was awesome! Naturally, I went through the ritual guilt trip and self-beating at sitting in a Welsh seat whilst wearing a Kiwi shirt. But both sides played wonderfully and although it did pain me to see Wales inevitably loose the match.. the best Team ultimately won. They’re simply a joy to watch and I can’t wait to see them anhilate England this coming Saturday 😀

  29. Have you heard/tried a restaurant called Ninja Akasaka yet? (Should be the first hit in Google) It’s Ninja-themed and lots of fun. When I was there a few weeks ago they had a guy come into your room in the middle of dinner and do some “Ninja magic tricks”. He was pretty amazing.

    Glad you’re enjoying Tokyo.

  30. So earl gray ice cream does that taste like earl grey tea or just like the bergamot which they add to earl grey tea?

  31. @ Perragrin – The beauty of the union game can be summed up in the words of two announcers, calling a Super 12 match (this is going back a few years). They were watching the replay of a maul, a replay that had to be repeated about a dozen times in an attempt to see if the ball had been grounded.

    Anyway, after about the 6th replay, the announcers ran out of snarky things to say about the players, so the one says, “Ah, the rolling maul, it’s the sexiest part of rugby, isn’t it?,” to which the other replied, with more passion in his voice than is healthy, “Oh, yes it is. Just look at all those sweaty, smelly great big blokes in there!”

    Well…THAT’S what I was doing, but I’m a girl. 😉

    I like the league game okay – it is faster-paced, and I’ve seen more wedding tackle a-dangling than in the union game (NOT that I watch for that, but…well…seems those league shorts don’t stay on so well in the tackle, so when it happens, you really can’t miss it 😀 ). However, I’ve also seen more lopsided scores in the league games. Of course, with the international union matches you can have some really lopsided scores…like…whenever the US plays ANYONE. 😛 But that’s international level…I’m talking club level…in league I’ve just seen more runaway games, so even though it’s faster play, I get bored easier when I know one team has no chance of catching up.

    My only complaint with the Wales v. NZ match was that some of the kicking (or not kicking) was disappointing. A lot of grubber kicks that did absolutely nothing…just looked sloppy, especially in the first half, and especially those from NZ. Now – I was watching on tv, so maybe I saw it from a different perspective (the announcers didn’t seem to think anything of it, but I’ve certainly seen better). But to borrow a quote from Bill McLaren, they were kicking the ball ‘like it was a 10-lb. bag of haggis.’

    AND, I’m still a bit confused about the new ELVs – when they’re being used, when not – and how it changes the game. I understand that the new laws encourage more kicking, so maybe that’s why things looked a bit different to me.

    Oh, yeah…and I’m totally jealous that you were there! I still have the match on my DVR…so I’ll keep an eye out for the lone silver fern floating in a sea of red… 🙂

    das

  32. Well, it ain’t exactly the same, but you can get yourself a stuffed box jellyfish – they come in a variety of colours! Check ’em out: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5360 My friend makes them. (I have a blue one.)

    Great to see some appreciation for the chestnut! Since having to go gluten-free, we’ve started using a variety of other flours/meals for baking, including chestnut meal and chestnut flour. Last weekend we also used some canned chestnut puree in making our dessert. Mmmm.

  33. Your trip sounds absolutely terrific. I’ve always admired your metabolism!

    Re: Brain Storm. Sorry, but McKeller does not interest me in the least. I could deal with the ship if it had been presented in a more subtle way, but Brain Storm was anything but subtle. I thought the main reason for this ship was to Rodney’s personal growth, but it turned into a rather heavy-handed fanboy idea of romance. It is painfully obvious that you, the other PTB and not a few viewers love McKeller, but knowing that renewal of SGA for a 6th season was a long shot, why did you waste this episode on something so frivolous and fatuous?

    Season 5 started with so much promise. Just why isn’t The Team (John AND Rodney AND Teyla AND Ronon) important to TPTB any more?

  34. Whoa, you really are having a busy time, aren’t you? I just had to laugh when you mentioned the theme park (though, i probably would have done exactly the same thing- or walked the other way) :/

    Talk about sensory overload though! It must have been really dizzying! And that food! Argh! Sorry, but couldn’t read the whole thing!

    I’m glad you are having a great time though! BTW, have you figured out the toilet and bath yet? 😀

  35. Loving the gastronomic tour you’re on! kobe beef. ice cream city. (drools).
    and if you make it to the ice bar, don’t worry about gloves. you’ll be supplied with gloves and an insulated poncho. very trendy look *cough* but it’s pretty cold in the bar!

  36. joe, you took pics of penguins! 😀

    that’s the s/j shippers standing around, waiting for sam/jack confirmation. 😛

  37. 90 min’s then out, that is soooo funny.

    Wow, you sure are living up to your plan and eating a lot.

    I see you did make some friends even if it was on the internet first.

    Lastly, if you see a lot of kids, run the other way and run fast.

  38. Hi Joe,

    First of all, thank you and the writing staff for many hours of great entertainment in the form of Stargate Atlantis. Last week’s episode, however, was the exception. When you work on the story for the upcoming movie, you will be doing SGA fans and the franchise a wonderful favor if you pretend that “Brainstorm” never made it to script or screen. I have been a great fan of the show and its characters since the beginning, so it pains me to see a teen’s fan-fiction masquerading as an episode of Atlantis. To the author of “Brainstorm”: It may be tempting to introduce one’s own fantasies, a Mary Sue, and Marty Stu into the story, but please respect your audience. McKay is my favorite character, but I will never be able to watch that episode again. I’m also afraid of the influence that Brainstorm will have on the remaining episodes. Normally I would just try to forget about it and move on, but I hope that by speaking up, I can help ensure that the movie is something that everyone can enjoy. Please, please, for the love of all, ban the writing of what is believed to be “romance” on Stargate without adult supervision.

    I did enjoy seeing Bill Nye.

  39. Re “Brain Storm”‘s final scene…
    spoiler space
    s
    s
    s
    s
    s
    s
    s
    s
    s
    Hallelujah! And deja vu…I’ve been in a simliar situation, but *sigh* on a packed college-band bus.

    Hooray for Keller…if I had a daughter, I would have raised her to make the first move…though with my luck, that would have backfired…!

  40. If one doesn’t eat a lot of food when on vacation, then it wasn’t a vacation well spent. Keep it up, Joe!

  41. Hi Joe,

    Gald you are having fun and eating to your hearts content!

    In the picture of the Dinner Club, what is that in your right inside pocket?

    Stay Safe!
    Cheers,
    Patricia lee

  42. Mmm—hmm—hmm! Su-u-u-u-shi!!! (a’ la Homer Simpson and his donuts). LOVE sushi, and wasabi horseradish, and pickled sushi ginger. Have a jar of that in the fridge right now, just ‘cuz. And the best part? You can be hungry enough to eat it again in 3 hours. 🙂

    But, Cap’n Joe, Ice Cream City! That’s my other weakness-at-the-knees. I was born in the dairy state (and raised elsewhere), so it’s genetic. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. CanNOT wait to hear the catalogue of flavors and watch you partake of some of the wild ones. C’mon with the vid!

    You know, reading all this is like so much food exploitation. (I wanted to use the “p” word, but can’t bring myself to do it.) Or is it eyeball exploitation, since we don’t get to eat it?

    And wow, did you give us stories. Am loving those, too! Who else did you arrange meet-ups with? These are interesting people! Did you ever find your friend, or did one of Narelle’s favorite octopi slither out of a tank and nab him? (Sorry, ‘Relle!) 😀 Those things seriously give me the creeps, too, and they’re sentient!

    Miz Anne, here’s to hoping that you’re feeling well enough, and your family is, too, so that you can have a proper Thanksgiving. On Thursday, we’ll raise a glass – or a drumstick! – in your honor.

  43. Well, I seem to be in a minority, but I thoroughly enjoyed Brain Storm. I mean, it had Dave Foley, Bill Nye, and freeze lightning!

    I like McKeller, because for me, it DOES show that McKay is finally getting a clue when it comes to dealing with other people. I like that he isn’t going to be a socially obnoxious asshat forever. I think McKeller works for me for precisely the same reason that McBrown (or McKatie, or whatever Katie Brown/Rodney McKay was called) didn’t — Keller knows exactly who Rodney is. She’s seen him at his worst, at his most biting and sarcastic, and she likes him anyway. Just like John and Teyla and even Ronon do.

    Why is Keller a classed as a Mary Sue? Is it because she has the good taste to look past Rodney’s irascible exterior and see the person all the fans are seeing underneath? Or is it because Rodney returns her regard?

    Keller’s certainly not portrayed as perfect or without flaw herself: she’s a bit of a coward and self-absorbed. She’s not comfortable with leadership and the responsibility it entails. She’s been known to make mistakes and suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to her patients (Rodney in The Shrine for instance — had Jeannie not forced Keller to allow the team to take Rodney to the Shrine planet, Rodney would likely have died with Keller trying to save him all the way. Keller’s a bit like Rodney in that respect, thinking she knows best when it comes to medical situations). In fact, I’d have thought that Keller’s flaws would have been well documented following all the whinging last year after Missing aired, where fans came down hard on the character for being a wimp, and too unadventurous to possibly be involved in the stargate program. Or after Trio, where she invited Rodney out for a drink after almost, almost kissing Ronon in the infirmary a few weeks before — OMG, what a harlot, how dare she like more than one person at a time, and how dare they return her regard! Or when she and Ronon were trapped in the infirmary in Quarantine, and, after hearing about the death of Ronon’s fiancee, she nodded and told him about her own tragic, tragic past of graduating super-early, and not being able to attend parties with all the cool kids. No, Keller isn’t perfect. And I don’t think she’s been shoehorned into every single story this season, or last. So why the Mary Sue tag?

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