“I have no future!”cried my wife perhaps a little too loudly.

Our mortified waiter mumbled some sort of apology and scurried off, returning seconds later with another two fortune cookies. Fondy actually felt bad for the guy. She’d been kidding of course but appreciated the fact that the second cookie contained an actual message, something about her needing to concentrate more in order to succeed. Exactly the type of fortune cookie note that would set my writing partner Paul off on a thunderous tirade, bitterly arguing that “advice” and “observations” do not, in fact, constitute “a fortune“. For my part, I was fairly content given that I ended up with two credible prophecies – one letting me know that my hard work was about to pay off, the other informing me that I was about to go on a trip. In the case of the latter, I‘m assuming the drive home didn‘t count and that I will soon be on my way to some exotic locale like Tokyo or Hong Kong or that area of town with all the Italian deli’s. As for the former – well, my “hard work” could be a reference to a number of things – the Atlantis script, my Universe script, that short story I’m endlessly writing, this blog, all the laundry I did last weekend – so there’s no telling how I’m going to be rewarded, but I’m expecting something truly awesome…

Perhaps to compliment the meal I’m going to win from Kerry once my Montreal Canadians advance further than her Vancouver Canucks in the NHL playoffs. Okay, okay, I admit I may have underestimated the Canucks (who swept the Blues tonight) and somewhat overestimated my hometown Habs (who are looking to scramble out of an 0 and 3 hole) but in my defense, I am occasionally delusional and susceptible to bouts of extreme denial so bear with me. To be honest, I’m actually happy my team faces the almost insurmountable task of having to win four straight games in order to advance to the next round. It’ll make their victories all the sweeter. And even still, I won’t stoop to gloating. Unlike a certain someone (who shall remain nameless) that sent me the following email yesterday morning:

“ So….. 5-1 loss, eh? ugh…. after a 4-2 clobbering on Thursday…. yikes, that must hurt. Does it hurt, Joe? I mean, I don’t want to say your team is terrible, but I’m sure you’re sweating a little here. Wait… what’s that I hear in the distance? Sounds like someone is choking over in the east coast…. can’t quite make it out…. I’m sure it’ll get louder by 7pm tonight…

In case you weren’t aware, my Canucks put on a very good show both Friday and Sunday. And we might just sweep this round, just a little fyi… you know, in case you weren’t up to speed with where my team is sitting currently… Not that I would want to rub it in or anything…

Three and O, friend, three and O.”

A little harsh, no? Now were the roles reversed, I would have been very sensitive to her feelings and shown good sportsmanship by, say, declaring us both winners because, in life (and youth sports designed to boost self-confidence and thereby imbue youngsters with wholly unrealistic expectations that will be mercilessly crushed when they inevitably enter the work force), there are no losers.

Except for the St. Louis Blues.

And maybe the Montreal Canadians.

Hey, I read the first draft of Time yesterday (Rob apparently wrote it during his free time driving to and from work every day) and it is brilliant. Now “brilliant” is a word I tend to reserve for works of supreme magnificence like Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” or my Aunt Fannie’s Russian Teacakes, but it applies here to a script that is, without a doubt, the very best of its kind. It’s delightfully intricate and thoroughly engaging, full of surprising twists and heart-rending character moments.

And speaking of character moments – today, I read Brad’s finished version of Darkness and Light. This one has got me very excited as well, particularly for the remained climactic sequence.

After lunch, Carl, Paul, Lawren, and I headed over to the set in Stage 2 or what I’m referring to as Hoth. Brian and Justin regaled us with their interpretation of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots after which we chatted until the airborne particulates threatened to choke off my airway, forcing me back out – but not before marveling over Brian’s commitment to learning everything he can about the production process. Not only does he hang around set to watch them shoot scenes he isn’t even in but, the other day, he actually accompanied Carl and co. on a location survey! Not only does this kid have a terrific attitude – polite, humble, hardworking – but he’s a fantastic actor as well. Since nobody’s perfect, I fully expect to eventually find out he’s a robot or an alien doing an all-too-good impersonation of a human life form – but hopefully that won’t happen until the end of season one at the earliest.

36 thoughts on “April 21, 2009: Advice and Observation Cookies, In Life We Are All Winners (Although Some Of Us Are Clearly Bigger Winners Than Others), More Scripts On Deck, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots on Hoth.

  1. Just a quickie since I MUST get to bed…

    The funniest fortune cookie I ever heard of was one I read about in Reader’s Digest a bazillion years ago (‘Life in These US’, perhaps). It read: “In case of fire, pay bill…then run!”

    I just love that one. 🙂


  2. Come down to Robson St, it’s currently insane with people rubbing in the Canucks superiority.

  3. An empty fortune cookie never bodes. I had one without and what happened in turn was so bad I don’t remember.

  4. Wow seems like Brain is a great guy. Perhaps he’s trying to suck up in case you’re thinking of killing off a character.


    Sorry Joe, but I gots to root for my home team. I’m not into Hockey either, but it’s tough to not get caught in the rush. THE CANUCKS KICKED ASS!! WOOHOOO!!!

    Look on the bright side, at least now you won’t have to fear Kerry poisoning your dinner in revenge. Though of course you might have to fear Kerry poisoning your eyes, ears, and mind with that play.

    Thank you for all the Universe info!! Time sounds fantastic, and I know Rob Cooper has it in him to give us GREATNESS. He’s written some of the best episodes of the franchise, and IMHO some of the most enjoyable episodes of TV I’ve ever seen.


    1. Do you have an idea on what your 2nd SGU script will be about?

    2. Darkness and Light…is that 2 episodes (perhaps a 2-parter), or are you guys scrapping the idea of all-1-word-titles-for-SGU-Season 1?

    It’s been so long since I ate a fortune cookie. I wished they really go far out with the fortunes though; like, be really specific about it.

    “You will find a quarter in the back of your couch, and it will give you a rash”

    “You will find another fortune on the back of this piece of paper”

    ^Of course, you print this line on both sides of the little strip.

    “When you leave the restaurant, you will run into a short man who will offer you a job at his corporation. You will take it, and eventually end up embezzling money and get sent to prison for 2 years.”

    ^That may be too long to fit in the cookie though.


    And sorry to say, but Boston’s going to be reaching for the brooms tomorrow. Should be a good game.

  7. Hoth eh? Watch out for those Tauntaun entrails …

    Given your experience of filing and the time taken to prepare Stargate shows, what sort of timescale do you think there will be until the release of Universe ? Autumn? sorry, Fall !?

  8. Ooohooohooo!!! “Hoth” is a clue, right? So it’s a set that’s all cold and white?!? [Yeah, it’s 3:30 in the morning in Cleveland right now, gimme a break!]

    Aside from being excited about the actors who have been in tons of TV shows and movies before, I am totally excited about the new (or not-so-new, but not-so-famous either) guys–Justin, David, Brian! I can’t WAIT to see what they do with their characters!!! Waiting for behind the scenes pix and vids is sooooo hard… almost as hard as waiting until the premier!!!

  9. Well, a four run win streak after being three down isn’t impossible….but I don’t think it’s been done before….kudos for facing up to your situation rather than blithely ignoring it. Not that some here wouldn’t remind you.
    Sorry I missed out on the latest book review. I’ve read the Poe-inspired tales, but personal circumstances have distracted me. A situation has arisen that threatens my opportunity to eat at Fuel later this year, and that evil twist has me in too foul a mood to concentrate on a review. Your own review was wonderfully comprehensive however.
    As for yourself, well, at least the bet doesn’t involve clothing and Canuck emblems/insignia/colors, so you’ll be spared the ignomity of being confronted with pictures in future years.

  10. coucou Joseph!

    Journée tranquil pour moi aujourd’hui et pour vous? J’espere à Vancouver qu’il fait beau temp ici oui =)!
    Heurement que je n’est jamais manger ce genre de gateaux car je n’aurai jamais pu lire le message…..et oui je suis une goinfre^^!

    J’espere que vous allez réponde au question demain, voici les miennes:

    1)Avez vous prévu qu’un acteur de sga joue dans sgu?
    2)avez vous fait le générique de la saison 1 de sgu?
    3)Vous êtes plus Pepsi ou Coca cola?

    Voila, merci à bientôt!

  11. Hi again Mr M!

    Is the set as bad (particulate wise) as NORCO? Has Kerry settled on the Musical production yet? Might I suggest our production of Oliver! (flights not included!!!).

    Also, belated congratulations to Mr Binder on his finishing time of 47.30 in the Sun Run! Well done! I followed the link to the results and bizarrely it asked if I wanted a print out…when I hit the cancel button, my printer started up on its own (shades of Ghost in the Machine I think)…so now I have a Certficate of Completion for one Carl Binder. . As I was wondering what to do with same, I was called away, returning to my desk to find my assistant had pinned it up here in the office!?!…..So if Mr B wants to swing by Ireland to collect…..

    Any word from Mr Scalzi by the by? His new book featuring Zoe is out shortly…Have you read his Agent to the Stars?

    Best to all at the Bridge!


  12. Once I got a fortune cookie that was blank on the opposite side of the fortune, where they usually have a Chinese word. Since my wife got a Chinese word, I asked for another cookie. That one didn’t have a Chinese word either, so I gave up on ever learning Chinese.

  13. Re Brian, anyone who is so committed to looking good for the role that he subjects himself to workouts that make him puke (see Twitter) has to be pretty dedicated.

    He also seems like your basic nice guy.

    His mother would be proud. 🙂

    And Kerry. She’s a funny writer. Is she thinking of invading your profession, someday?

  14. Come down to Robson St, it’s currently insane with people rubbing in the Canucks superiority.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  15. I have to agree with Paul on the “advice” and “observations” not being fortunes. Those fortune writers have gotten so lazy.

  16. Saw Caprica last night… it was entertaining, Eric Stolz was very good. Anna Galvin graced the screen, I was kinda dissapointed she made a only a brief appearance.

    Me, being the fan of the original BSG and not the new reimagined version, this was good. It looks like they left it open for a sequel or a series… anyone up on the news with this? I am so out of touch lately.

  17. It sounds like the new actors and old staff are getting on well. And brian have certainly join the right productions to learn the ropes of producing, may be he could be given an episode to direct in future, may be in a couple of seasons?

  18. You aren’t alone, it appears my Flyers will also have to overcome heavy odds to make it to the next level.

    I never understood that bit about there being “no losers”. Kids need to learn how to win, and there are no winners without losers. Every professional sport has obvious losers, and the kids who see it, know it. You aren’t fooling them with such nonsense.

  19. Hello Joe,
    It is true that you have accomplished many great things and mabye someday you will get a mega reward. However, Think about this. You have been nominated for a leo award just this year for your writing. In 2010 you will be able to walk it to most superstores and see a movie on the shelf next too all the new big-budget releases like watchmen and see a movie you wrote. I mean how much more awesome can that be. Then you walk past the TV aisle in the store and then see all the numerous SGA and SG-1 seasons. Then you realise, you were involved with most of the seasons of the show and all of the Stargate movies in every step of production. Additionally, by next year, you will have millions of atlantis fan’s worshiping you and Paul for giving us a SPECTACULAR 2 hour Atlantis event. Last, and hopefully not least, you have your blogging family Pg15, Das, Duneknight, Daniel, Shirt’n’tie, anais33, and me just to name a few. We are dedicated readers of you blog and true die hard fans of yours. Now to me, it sounds like your living a pretty darn good life.

    Here are my questions for the next mailbag

    1. Will the Atlantis Movie’s A plot be about the Wraith?

    2. Will there be lots of action? Such P90 fire, Space battles, hand to hand scenes. Or will it be like a common episode’s dose of action? Do you think it will have more action than the previous movies?

    3. How do I contact Mrs. Val Halverson?

    4. So are you done Filming Water yet? Has Life Started Filming yet?

    5. How close is Air to being finished.? How are the visual effects coming? Are they almost done?

    6. Do you think the Atlantis movie will be released in the summer or the spring of 2010?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  20. I am happy to hear that Brian is being a good boy.
    I am and always have been proud to to be his mom. Of course, I do have photographic proof that he is NOT a robot or an alien!
    I LOVE hearing about him, and how is is doing. He seems so very far away.

    Since I am not allowed to show the pics, or get too mushy, I will sign off!!!

  21. I know how Fondy feels! Fortuneless cookies… *never* a good thing! Especially twice in a row! Happened to me at this quaint little cowboy-Western motif Chinese place in the wilds of Burbank many years ago… Waiter comes out with a dish of 5 cookies, I got the last one – no fortune! Hmmm… When informed, guy gives me 3 more cookies. And the first one I open, again, NO fortune! Sensing a trend here…

    Now, the moral [of a sort] to this tale of woe, ALWAYS check to see if the little paper is inside those things!

    This little *Omen* of Things To Come [or “not”] was just before the stock market Tech crash [much NO fortune there!] and that weekend I had just met a new guy… But that ended up as a whole other chapter of fortunelessness…

  22. Mrs. Harris,
    Thank you for visiting the Joe’s blog. I suppose Brian has sent you pictures from the set. That’s amazing. You must be so proud of him. From what i have seen and heard he seems to be an amazing actor and a joy to be around. Also a couple months ago, when the male cast was announced, gateworld’s David Read snagged and interview with Brian before he moved to canada to film. After he came out of the interview he said he was “200% psyched for universe” and to this, Brian is the actor that he is most looking forward. I have a feeling he is going to be a fan fav. I am really excited to see him on screen. Once the show air’s, I am sure you are going to have a million fan girls mailing you to ask permission to marry your son. So you have about 5 1/2 months to brace yourself and mentally prepare for the event. Lol. Thanks again for stopping by. We love it when people like you drop in. Hope to see you again soon.

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  23. Hoth is what I was calling it as well. Great minds hey?

    Joe, one thing I have noticed on SGU is how the actors all get along even while the camera isn’t rolling. I was listening in to a scene between a couple of them and could feel the electricity from the other end of the stage. I wanted to clap afterwards and yell bravo!

    Are you on Twitter?

  24. Major Davis,
    Thank you. I have been a fan of this blog since Brian started the audition process. I read this blog everynight before I go to bed. Then search around on GateWorld, Scifi, and any other web site that might have news of my extremely talented and extremely handsome oldest son. Life with this child has been a wonderful journey and blessing. I have always known he was going to be something wonderful. I don’t like to read the hateful comments, but I realize that comes with the territory. If those people knew him, they would be ashamed. A lesson in patience and kindness for me. And some quick talking from Brian to talk me out of telling them what I think about judging somebody or something you know nothing about…. Oh well!
    As for the girls, it should be known I am a FIERCE momma bear. I have 3 sons that I gaurd and love with all of my heart and soul. It’s going to be a battle to find any woman worthy enough….. I can, however, be bought!!!! jk

  25. Lol it’s because some places are frightened to get negative reviews in restuarants, he probably got more cookies thinking that you’d tell your friends the place sucked or something. You get people that refuse to pay for food and stuff if they dont like the taste/flavour.

  26. I love the picture of your dog at the top of your blog (no rhyme intended). He/she is so cute. What’s his/her name?

  27. Next time come prepared: Bring a magic 8 ball with you, or a sheet of paper to write down your own fortune for her.

    “You will be seduced tonight by a handsome man” is always a good one. 😉

    (Please read Observatory Mansions. It’s not sci-fi but its one of the finest books ever written)

  28. Hello Joe, It is a wonderful day for my bd here in sunny Fl. No older really, just celebrating. Not getting a fortune in my cookie would make me feel a little funny, coz I believe those things, also the numbers they recommend to play for lottery, don’t you?!? And maybe those pictures Mrs Harris was talking about could they be baby pix of the talented Mr Brian? I bet he was a cutie. I am glad she posts to your blog. Soon we will all see pictures from the set… and then what will we do for suspense.. Can’t wait, sounds like things are on track at Bridge. Have a grand day everyone! 😀

  29. Go Canucks Go!…..I’ve got my souvenir towel to prove I was at the very first Playoff game again St Louis last Weds…so what if it cost me an arm and a leg – I wouldn’t have missed that atmosphere for the world!…

    Now all I need is a good online source where I can watch the subsequent games from the UK …..and of course the sun has to come out in Vancouver just before I head home…*sighs*…does it every bleedin’ year!!…

    Look after my beloved Vancouver during the summer months will you…..I will have to return as soon as possible I think…

    Deeds x

  30. That reminds me… when I was a little girl I learned this very valuable lesson:

    Fortune cookies are tasty.

    Fortunes are not.

    True story.

    And by the way I’ve rid my body of those vicious virus germs once and for all. I can finally use my nose as it was meant to be used! 😀 Horray!


  31. Just had an idea for a story about a guy or girl, whose entire life is determined by fortune cookies. Will probably never write it, and it’s probably already written by someone else, so if anyone’s interested go off and write it for me please.

    Cheers, Chev

  32. I always wonder about the ramifications of accidentally getting someone else’s fortune. I mean…they throw them higgledy piggledy in a pile on the table & you fish one out. Who’s to say you don’t grab one that was intended for the person across from you or vice versa, thereby altering the course of the fortune itself. Or is that the point…that you CAN alter someone’s fortune by taking it from them.

    I’m just saying…

    Ok…no more sugar for me…

  33. Just read the new interview on Gateworld with Rob and Brad.

    Seems you guys are going for the “Cloverfield” approach in filming SG-U?

    Are we to take from that that every episode will consist of lots of shaky camera movements and lens focusing shots?

    Because I got to be honest, I’m not much of a fan of movies trying to act like documentaries, The constant camera movements kind of make me experience motion sickness. 🙁

  34. Bonjour =)
    Vous allez bien?

    Encore une fois j’ai raté les questions de quelqud’un^^!

    En tout cas cela me fait trés plaisir d’avoir des nouvelles de Peter, donc un grand merci à vous pour ces Question/réponses!

    Bonne journée! Bisous!

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