“Did you know,”said Rob, “that Applebee’s and Chili’s are two completely different restaurants?”
In fact, I had long suspected that they were the same restaurant serving the same menu under different names, so Rob’s revelation was downright shocking. This interesting fact was one of many my fellow producer picked up over the course of his location scout down south. Another great pearl of wisdom he picked up was “always bring a satellite phone with you if you’re driving into the desert on a location scout”. Apparently, they experienced a spot of truck trouble some ten miles into nowhere. None of them had cell phone reception but thank God for OnStar. They were assured that someone would be there in forty-five minutes. An hour and a half later, with the OnStar no longer working, they were considering either sending someone back on foot or (and this would have been my choice) making a human sacrifice to whatever ancient desert god might see fit to saving them, when rescue showed up in the form of a tow truck. An actual lift, it turned out, would have been preferable but, hey, doomed wayfarers can’t be choosers, right? Fortunately, from what Robert tells me, the casting went somewhat smoother. Still no final decisions made but they’re close!
Last night, Fondy and I went to dinner with our friends Steve and Jodi. No doubt envying the fantastic meal I’d enjoyed at Campagnolo’s just the other night, Fondy decided we should pay the place a return visit. As we started perusing our choices, owner Tom Doughty came walked by and did a double-take. He threw me a “Seriously?” look. Yep. Serious. I suppose I was bound to return sooner than later to try the three menu items we didn’t order the last time I was in with Marty G. We had an excellent meal followed by an equally memorable dessert (a double decker nutella tart from the kitchen because I had been quick to note the downsized version on my last visit) and booze. Yep, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 will be to drink more (which should dovetail nicely with the Weird Food Purchase of the Day: Liquid Edition I’m planning to co-host with Martin when we both get back from the east coast). To that, Fondy and I enjoyed a delectable dessert wine and something called Strega Liquore, that translates to Witch Liquor from the Italian and smelled and tasted like spiked Armani code. It was pretty brutal but, quite frankly, was ambrosia compared to the complimentary digestif Tom served us, another Italian concoction that tasted exactly like the Chinese medicine Fondy takes to settle her upset stomach (check out me enjoying the Chinese medicine in this installment of the Weird Food Purchase of the Day: http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/08/20/august-20-2008-production-update-more-guest-announcements-and-the-weird-foodmedicinal-purchase-of-the-day/). Anyway, it was only a taste, but the taste was horrid. So horrid, in fact, that I tried to chase it with a glass of water. Only problem was that, instead of water, I inadvertently downed the glass of strega instead. GAAAH! It was one helluva a one-two gut punch. I couldn’t help but think that had I agreed to have my mind transferred to an android body last summer, it would have been a simple matter of switching over to my default tastebuds.
On my way out, I ran into George Heffelfinger, co-owner (with George Sung) of The Memphis Blues Barbecue House, THE place for ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in Vancouver. Although I’m still a semi-regular customer, the opening of a third location has kept Park busy so it had been a while since our paths last crossed. He seemed genuinely happy to see me, leading me to believe he had mistaken me for someone else. “Bring back the lamb ribs,”I took the opportunity to request. He suggested I give him a call and he would bring some in. “Better yet,”I said, handing him my business card, “just give me a call whenever you get them.” Done and done. I am now on the Lamb Hotline.
Things I learned today:
1) Usually, when someone invites me to their child’s birthday party, I swing by Toys”R”Us and pick out the noisiest toy in the store (usually one of those space guns with the flashing lights and seemingly endless repertoire of buzzes, blips, zips, and warbles), thereby ensuring I will never again be invited to some kid’s birthday party. I always assumed noisy toys were the way to go, but this list provides some wonderful alternatives. Like the “gun that shoots little bits of hard candy down kids’ throats.” Brilliant:
2) The Green Pit Viper and Rock Rat are not cool new supervillains but one of some 1000 species discovered in the Greater Mekong region over the past decade:
3) Hollywood is still, evidently, making some pretty bad movies according to the fine folk at Television Without Pity who put together their list of the top ten offenders. As much as I would have loved to have seen Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Happening was the only movie on the list that I actually saw. And, yes, I did hate it. “Look out, the wind is coming for us! RUUUUUN!!”:
4) Want to lose weight? Eat dark chocolate:
Shiningwit writes: “Is Lawren going to be updating your blog as well? or will we not be deprived of your mutterings and chunterings over Christmas after all?”
Answer: No, I’ll be updating throughout the holidays. Unless I’ve been misled, Montreal has internet now!
T’loc writes: “after reading the background info regarding SGU i think it sounds Farscape”
Answer: It does?
PG15 writes: “Don’t you have to apply a cream to Jelly’s eyeballs as well? Is that in the Lawren Instructions?”
Answer: Apply a cream to Jelly’s eyeballs? Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s actually a gel – which needs to be applied to the eyeballs of all four dogs. And, yes, it’s in the instructions.
Alexandria writes: “My only question is where are the hover boards that Michael J Fox claimed we’d have by now?”
Answer: I picked mine up at Best Buy two weeks ago but I had to wait several hours in line. I think the manufacturer purposely short-supplies the retailers to create buzz.
Chevron7 writes: “So what was the fallout from yesterday’s post? Any reaction from the mob at work?”
Answer: Yes. Paul said he had an idea to do the exact same blog entry several months ago.
Quacky writes: “Eating the liver of a duck who spent two weeks being force-fed while confined in a 1 foot by 2 foot cage does not sound like a high-class experience to me. Might as well be kicking a dog or beating a child.
If you’re really interested in eating well and love animals, choose more compassionately than that.”
Answer: The gang at Fuel strive to source ingredients from organic and ethical suppliers. Chef Rob himself has made it a point to visit his Quebec producer. While I certainly understand your position, I can’t help but wonder about the compassionate choices you make when it comes to your own eating habits. For instance, I’m sure you know of the great suffering experienced by the battery chicken and the feedlot beef sold in many fast food restaurants and supermarkets experience in their journey from factory farm to your dinner plate. Do you always make it a point to always seek out organic, free-range meat? Or are you, hypocritically, only targeting consumers of foie gras because you can consider it an elitist dish and therefore easy to critique without running the risk of offending meat-eaters in general?
DasNDanger writes: “Since the audience gets it, will we ever see Todd and the Lanteans come to an understanding about the events in FC/TLT so that the matter can be put to rest, and not used against either one of them in the future? Or was it just put to rest in Infection with Todd and Sheppard’s little blow up over it, and their subsequent [positive] actions towards one another thereafter?”
Answer: The issue was effectively put to rest in Infection. However, while some may be more forgiving of Todd’s actions, Sheppard is likely the type to allow events of First Contact and The Lost Tribe to color his opinion and impact future dealings. Let’s just say that Sheppard will always opt for the more cautious approach in dealing with the wraith.
DasNDanger writes: “I guess I’m just wondering if these two – and especially Sheppard – will ever openly acknowledge that they understand where the other is coming from. After Miller’s Crossing I really thought that Sheppard understood that the ‘need to feed’ was just that – a need, and not some evil, depraved act practiced just for funsies. But he has really regressed this season, especially through this back half, and I know I’m not the only one who is frustrated by it.”
Answer: I believe you’re confusing Sheppard’s opinion with that of the Atlantis expedition as a whole. Sheppard has agreed to work with the wraith in the past (somewhat grudgingly) and has seen the benefits of the treatment that would “cure” them of the need to feed, but that has never made him sympathetic to them. That said, there is still hope for their working relationship in events to come…
AMZ writes: “ Has your approach to the short story been any different to how you would approach a script?”
Answer: In many ways, the approach is very similar: come up with an idea, think it through, flesh out a story, imagine the scenes, then sit down and write.
AMZ also writes: “And, just because I haven’t seen it asked before, have you ever watched either the original Battlestar Galactica or the re-imagined series?”
Answer: Sorry. I’ve never watched either but I hear very good things about both.
WayBeyondSoccerMom writes: “Are there plans on Stargate: Universe to concretely explain how people from Earth can/will communicate with the aliens they meet?”
Answer: Yes. No magical English-speaking aliens.
Steve writes: “Can you tell us if it’s known who will be directing the two movies next summer? Will Martin Wood direct the SG1 movie? Will Andy Mikita or Rob Cooper himself direct the Atlantis one?”
Answer: We’ll have to wait and see on the SG-1 movie, but Andy is slated to directed the Atlantis movie.
Ada Caley writes: “How did you end up with all your dogs? And who was first? (I’m a dog person, owner, and shelter volunteer, so dogs and dog related things interest me!)”
Answer: It’s nice to hear you’re helping out the lovable little furballs. Jelly was first. She came with us to Vancouver from Montreal. Eventually, we picked up Maximus (pictured in the banner) to keep her company. Bubba was supposed to be a gift for my wife’s brother but, after having him for a week, we decided to keep him and get her brother a toaster oven instead. Lulu, the Frenchie, was the latest addition (she’s a year and a half).
Ponytail writes: “Didn’t you once tell a story of how Lawren borrowed Beau Bridges’ car at lunch and wrecked it?”
Answer: I did? I’m uncertain because, on the one hand, I don’t recall this event ever happening nor do I remember telling this story but, on the other hand, Beau did have a car and Lawren does drive so hmmm….
BlueJay writes: “1…what is it specifically that wraith get from humans that they can’t get from other beings?
2. Does Todd know the team calls him Todd? Will we ever get to see his reaction to being called Todd?
3. In infection, what exactly were the wraith exchanging with the ship?
4. Which brings us to infection. Which hive was it that became ill and crashed? I mainly want to know if Kenny was onboard cause i don’t want him to be dead. Was he on another hive in Todds alliance?”
Answers: 1) Specifically? Good question. I want to say life force but that isn’t really specific. 2) Oh, he knows. 3) They weren’t exchanging anything. They were receiving nutrients that would keep them hail and hearty while in stasis. 4) The hive that crashed as the hive that Kenny was not on.
Thunder writes: “Thanks for the video of the dogs. One seems to be missing though, Jelly I believe. Too cold for her?”
Answer: Hey, good eye! Yes, in fact, it is Jelly who is missing from the video. She of the sensitive paws was watching the action from inside the house.