My mother’s guest bed is horrifically uncomfortable.  It’s like every night, after I turn off the lights, two guys armed with baseball bats crawl out from under the bed and beat me mercilessly about the neck, back, and shoulders until dawn.

The picture tube on my mother’s 30 year old t.v. set needs frequent breaks.  Every two minutes or so, it simply goes to black for a full minute, taking the volume with it, before returning to its former vibrant self.  For another two minutes.

Every once in a while, my mother’s refrigerator emits the rattle and hum of the ice making process.  Only problem is my mother’s regrigerator doesn’t haved an ice maker.

My mother operates under the constant impression that people: a) are cheating her, b) have cheated her, or c) have every intention of cheating her.  Thus, grocery shopping with her can be a trying experience as she’ll take the time to go over her receipt while she’s still at the till, occasionally challenging the check-out girl on spurious charges – that always end up being legitimate.

One of the key ingredients in my mother’s shampoo is battery acid.  I know because I accidentally got some in my eyes this morning.

Speaking of my eyes – I have no idea whether it’s the new environment or me but, over the past few days, I can barely get through 50 page before my eyes begin to sting and I’m forced to set aside my latest book.  It’s as though the remnants of bear spray forever hangs in the air.

Felix’s high-pitched and incessant barking is like a shiv to the soul.

My mother’s alarm system that screams “ARMED!” and “DISARMED!” is also like a shiv to the soul.  Especially if you happen to be sleeping when mom turns it on or off.

My experience to this point suggests there are no good restaurants in Montreal.  Today’s lunch, at a Szechuan restaurant, was comprised of an odd-tasting cucumber salad with gelatinous bits, a spicy chicken dish whose every chicken morsel disguised a deadly bone shard, a cumin beef dish that tasted strangely gamey, and a fatty pork dish that failed to impress.  Tonight – Europa.  Tomorrow – Au Pied de Cochon, which has yet to let me down.

Some Blood of Ambrose discussion:

Sparrow_hawk writes: “I really liked the “Blood of Ambrose”. The characters were original, interesting and engaging. On the surface the plot seemed to be a rehash of the tale where the young king has his power usurped by his evil advisor/protector and has to fight to regain his throne. But James Enge managed to put enough twists and turns into the story to make it fresh and exciting.”

Answer: True.  About halfway through the book, Morlock throws down with Lord Urdhven.  I thought “Oh, I know how this’ll go.” – only to be surprised by the first twist that had me revising my opinion to “WTF?  It’s too soon!” – only to be blown away by the second twist that had me revising my opinion yet again to: “Holy crap!” and “Okay, you got me.”

Sparrow_hawk also writes: “There were a lot of things I loved about the book. I liked the characters of Morlock, Wyrtheorn and Ambrosia.”

Answer: My favorite was Wyrtheorn and I was actually upset early when it became apparent that the focus of the story would shift away from him to Morlock.

Sparrow_hawk also writes: “That brings me to the things I didn’t find quite satisfying: I’m not sure purpose the alternate personality/sister character of Hope residing within Ambrosia was supposed to serve.”

Answer: That was my poin in yesterday’s overview.  I absolutely loved this development and was looking forward to seeing how it would effect the action.

Ben writes: “The king didn’t love the girl at all. Those thoughts were planted in his head by the shathe to lure him into Morlock’s workshop…”

Answer: Really?  My bad then.  I missed this and the Merlin tie-in at book’s end.

Thornyrose writes: “Then there is Lorn, the loyal and dedicated soldier who provides the young king with a friend and protector during a critical part of the book.”

Answer: Yep, I really liked the Lorne character as well.  I loved the fact that he maintained his loyalty to Lathmar in the face of Morlock and Ambrosia’s suspicions.

I’ll be gathering questions for author James Enge until Thursday, so post ’em if you got ’em!

61 thoughts on “July 8, 2009: Points of Interest and Annoyance

  1. Sounds like going home to the parents is painful experience. Just not the cozy places of safety we knew as children.

    Sigh

  2. Oh man, I can totally relate to your visit. One story my husband loves to tell:

    My father (who passed away a few months ago) was very sick and liked things to stay the same. Everytime we visited- the toliet paper my parents had was like using sand paper. Some kind of generic brand.

    So I make a Sam’s Club run and got them lots of house supplies, including a name brand toliet paper. My dad would NOT use the new toliet paper. He LIKED the sandpaper/toliet paper! While everyone else would use the toliet paper I bought, he made my mom get the generic kind for him.

    If you are going to visit often, do like we do, buy her gifts (mattress, tv, a fridge for Christmas 🙂 ). She can’t say no to a birthday/Christmas present, right? Works with my mom.

    Tam

  3. Seconding Tammy re parent gifts.

    Looking at Twitter, all sorts of excitement over launch of MGM SGU site, release of IB’s video profiles, etc.

    Saw some of the promos last night. A bit frenetic for my taste.

  4. WOOOOOOWWWW!!

    Just saw the new MGM site!!!

    After watching most of the videos, literally all concerns and doubts regarding SGU vanished!!! I WAS SOOO IMPRESSED!!!!! IT LOOKS SOO GOOD!!! Thanks for dealing with all us fans worry’s… believe me, you won’t hear nothing but positive stuff from me from now on. When watching all those vids, I could not be more proud to be a stargate fan!!!!

    THANKS SOOOOOOO MUCHHHHHH
    Major D. Davis

  5. Hmm, not to state the obvious, but I think all those problems can be fixed with a credit card and a couple of hours shopping. Unless your mom is one who insists she doesn’t need anything new, no matter how badly she does? And what did you do to make her so suspicious of others? 🙂

  6. Poor Joe. I’d suggest that you stay in a hotel when you visit, but I have a feeling that I know what kind of emotional response that would elicit from your mom. I think Tammy has a good suggestion (replacing the defective items with gifts), but only you know how well it will go over.

    @Ben : I agree with you about the great Merlin reveal at the end of the story, but I’m not sure how you made your conclusion about the Merlin aiding Inglanor in learning to dominate the shathes. Maybe I missed something?

    More questions for James Enge? I’m in awe of authors who can write books that are so entertaining and original. Others have posted some very good questions and I don’t have anything else to add for now; I’ll just wait for the answers.

    Oh, maybe I do have one or two:
    Where do you teach? You don’t have to tell us if you would rather not, but I think I want to go back to school and take your classes!
    How does the mix of teaching and writing work for you?

    By the way, finding the stories on the Pyr website take one additional step. You need to click on “Sample Chapters” on the left margin of the home page or catalog page before you get the list of short fiction on the right margin where the Morlock stories are listed. But I found ’em and soon I’ll read ’em!

  7. I thought that you were going to say that your mum had a black and white TV. I think that we were the last people in Scotland to get a colour TV and then only because it was almost impossible to find a black and white TV to purchase.

    I have to admit to having a noisy house but you get used to your ‘own’ noise at home.

    Cheer up – it will soon be time to go home to the loving wife and faithful hounds. They will all be lined up at the door asking “well – what did you buy us?”

  8. When I visit my family home I always start to revert back to my old familiar teenage habits and do things I would never do in my own home, like have to be shouted out of bed and end up eating the same suger laden ceriel I used to when I was 13. 🙂

    A question: Do you know what Dnaiel and the russian soldier said to each other in Continuum, or is it not pg?

  9. Time to hit the bosses up for early Christmas bonuses, and buy your mom a new bedroom suite, complete with flatscreen tv, that happens to match your preferred parameters of comfort. For the shopping thing, no way out of that I fear. Nothing in life is free, even room and board when you go back home. Sorry the food tour is turning out so badly for you. On the other hand, At least you have a proven performer saved for last to salvage the week.
    off to Shore Leave tomorrow. Das, I’ll try to get you an autograph of Mr. H. aka Todd if you like. And if things hold out, next month I look forward to expanding my own culinary experiences at Fuel.
    Questions for Enge. First, the Merlin of Ambrose appears to be the Merlin of Authurian legend. Is this so, and if so, how do the two worlds connect? Second, are we going to see a sequel? Third. What aspect of writing a fantasy novel most appeals to you? Creating the characters? the World? figuring out the twists and turns to keep the readers off balance? Fourth. When writing, do you start with the goal in mind, or does the story and/or characters move in their own direction and bring you with them? Thank you very much for an excellent read, and for taking the time to take part in Mr. M.’s blog.

  10. Oh Joe, you made me laugh so hard with the descriptions and momism,,my mom is the same, I stayed with her for awhile, she was recovering from heart surgery, I got the couch. I did buy some foam to put under the cushions,didn’t really help,hah.The grocery was a similar tale.. You made me laugh all over again, like it was yesterday, needless to say I was happy to come home and sleep in my own(knows where the lumps are ) bed. and now that I am back home, I get the guilt trips, oh yeah. I have 3 brothers that live in the same town, but oh well you know.. She did get herself a new tv while I was there, great investment, but again, you know how its like pulling teeth,, anyway thanks for the trip back down memory lane. No< I am really not ready to move back there. "Happy Dance" where I am.. and you keep thinking about that decision on where to move, yes sir, you keep thinking…

  11. Have you ever seen bilingual Montreal produced movie ‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop?’ Part of it was filmed at Cegep John Abbott and a whole bunch of other places throughout Montreal. I recommend it to anyone who has not seen it. (There are both English and French subtitles for people who does not speak both languages.)

  12. Are you planning to go see any of the Just for Laughs shows while you are in Montreal?
    Great weather we’ve been having lately eh?

  13. Ouch. Besides making me more acutely aware of just how irritating some (many?) of your recent experiences have been, you’ve really hit a nerve for me (and I’m sure for a lot of people) when it comes to interactions with family. A safe traveling distance just seems to be a necessity for some. I know illness and infirmity can change the picture a lot, but until then. . . .

    Even though (1) I always took a sleeping bag and just crashed on the floor at my grandmother’s, and (2) bro and his wife had to pull the other spare room’s mattress onto the floor because they kept rolling right into the middle (and neither of them is exceptionally large), Grandma never changed either mattress until the first time hubs went with me to visit her, and she found him at 5 a.m. sacked out on her couch. That embarrassed her. Having my pissed-off father offer to buy her two completely new beds & frames, when she has an abundance of funds herself, wasn’t enough to embarrass her. – Battery-acid shampoo, definitely; that and used carwash suds make a two-liter bottle last a looooong time. I always take everything I’d need if I were going to a hostel, because her soap and even her towels are scented more strongly than the liner of an ancient mothball-filled steamer trunk. – I hope your eye is better now.

    Your Szechuan restaurant lunch sounds not just disgusting, but dangerous as well. I hate when something so potentially tasty is totally botched. You didn’t say anything about blogging from a jail cell, so I guess the cook (maybe the same one from Le Bocage, trying to spread the joy) was lucky enough not to have you punch his lights out. And while “a shiv to the soul” is a prose-perfect phrase for a horror novel, having it appear in an excerpt from someone’s biography ain’t so great. I pity Felix – or actually, those around him – who I suppose can’t help it; but the alarm system sounds like it might be effective enough for a minimum-security prison. (If my grandma had one like that, and I told her the same thing, she’d reply “Damn straight,” and nonchalantly light another cigarette, even though she quit smoking 20 years ago.)

    So, anyway, I would like to wish you “bon appétit” for Au Pied de Cochon Thursday evening, but maybe at this point should consider drinking to your health a priority.

  14. Joe, Joe, Joe. Its like what Tammy Dixon said. Your mom has a one hundred year old TV and you have not replaced it with a new one at Christmas or her birthday yet? Or her refrigerator? Or the guest mattress? (you have a vested interest in repalcing that one.) Boys like to shop for appliances and crap like that, so chop chop mister! Take care of that while you are there. It will get your mind off your stomach and I’m sure she will appreciate it. And why again were you using her shampoo?

  15. Joe, Joe, Joe… *shakes head in dismay* Though I’m almost starting to feel as sorry for you as I did for poor, doomed Elric…I just have to say one thing: Dude. Stop yer belly-aching and buy your mom a new tv set.

    😉

    das

  16. Sounds like your having fun. Our TV used to do the same thing, until we got a new one, the old TV has gone bye bye.

  17. Oh, geez! I was reading Ponytail’s mind!! LOLOL! 😆

    I think we’re sending you a message, loud and clear – stop being a cheapass bastard and buy your mom some new stuff! 😀

    das

  18. Sounds like a wonderful vacation! While you are busy checking out what appears to be the worst food in Montreal, I have been checking out the best desserts in the US – National Pastry Championships here in Phoenix, AZ. Will be happy to post/send pics if you are interested…

    Hope the rest of the trip goes better!

  19. @ das – Scary, isn’t it! A wraith lover and a Ronon lover thinking alike. The end is near!

    Yeah Joe. Stop being a cheap bastard. (I wouldn’t have used those words, but…)

  20. @ Thornyrose – Oh, yes! If you can get Chris’ autograph, please do! I am so disappointed I can’t go. 🙁 It’s just not possible right now, real life is just too much at present…overwhelming at times. It probably was the only chance I’ll ever have to meet him, too. WAAAAH!! 😥 If you get to see Chris, tell him how much I love his work, Todd & Druitt & ‘Foot, and…erm… his eyes. 😳

    das

  21. Hey Joe,

    I guess I’d like to wish you and the rest of the people involved with SGU all the best. Having watched the trailers and scanned through the new, not-so-shiny but definitely more shadowy MGM Stargate site, I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that SGU probably isn’t going to be a show I want to watch — I like the aliens and the starships and the massive explosions too much. And, frankly, SGU seems awfully dark, not only in story tone, but also in palette. My old eyes can’t make out what’s going on, beyond everybody whining about how they shouldn’t be here, and how they’re all going to die. And, you know, when you’re wishing half the characters would just die already — before the show’s even aired, mind — it’s probably a good indication that the show isn’t for you. 🙂

    After the success of BSG, shows with an overtone of gritty reality seem to be all the rage. It reminds me a little of how so many the comics took a darker turn after the success of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Me, I’m more of a fan of the lighter side of life — shows like Eureka, and SGA, and Firefly are more my speed.

    I know you’ve stated in the past that SGU would retain the some of the humour of the previous Stargate shows, but the preview trailers and glimpses we’ve seen for SGU so far show me nothing that feels even vaguely familiar. It’s a whole new show for a whole new network, and for a younger, hipper, more edgy fanbase of which I’m sadly not a part.

    So yeah, I guess this is me saying cheers on the stargate side for now. Thanks for SG-1 and SGA, and for giving me shows that weren’t afraid to be labelled as science fiction. And I shall look forward to watching the movies when they become available.

  22. Yeah, I know I’ve posted a lot already, sorry. But I’d bet just about anything that you’ve already tried to replace your mom’s poorly functioning TV/fridge/mattress. Pride on her part, maybe? She sure wouldn’t be the only parent (or adult child, to be fair) to assert her self-sufficiency. And maybe I’m being naive, but somehow I don’t think you’d post about the whole thing if you hadn’t already made attempts to provide such items.

    If I’m wrong, well, I’ve made plenty of bad calls before.

  23. Joe, I’ve been reading your blog for a while but I don’t comment very often. Anyway, I’m in L.A. for the first time ever and I wondered if you have any good restaurant recommendations? Thanks!

  24. >> my mother’s 30 year old t.v.

    Hard to believe TVs can last so long. Most have an erractic lifespan, when they go, they go, per say.
    Sounds like fun though, watching such a tv 😀

  25. I was going to suggest springing for some new appliances for your mom, but seems like some folks have already beat me to it. If she worries about the cost, you could always tell her it’s hot.

  26. Sounds like you need to go home… back to your own bed (that luckily doesn’t have pugpuke on it).

  27. Shame Joe it sound like everything is getting on your tits. Do you think this time you are spending at your moms will have any effect on your decision Montreal vs. Vancouver?

    At least this time you are spending away from your homely luxuries will make you appreciate them that little bit more – not quite as much as the contestants of survivor do when they see a bed after having slept on the floor for a few weeks.

    Love reading your blog – daily highlight. I read first thing at work and on my mobile on weekends.

    I really admire that you post daily – I can barely make 1 post a week.

    Cheers
    Kevin

  28. I love the new stuff on the MGM site. IB did a great job on the interviews. I’m glad they posted his stuff there on MGM instead of us having to wait for a SGU video release date.

    Ah, yes, the adventures of visiting family. I can relate to the bed story totally. I do have a funny story. One time on a visit to my in-laws, I was in their refrigerator to get stuff out for something for breakfast. I noticed the thing I was about to eat had expired 2 years previous to that. So I did the only thing a great daughter-in-law would do — protect them from impending food poisoning while secretly saving myself in the process. They were out to church and I had collected enough expired stuff from the refrigerator to fill two 13-gallon trash bags. Or maybe they were the big leaf and lawn trash bags. It was close to 17 years ago so my mind thinks they were the bigger bags. The mortified look on their face as I proudly told them I had cleaned their refrigerator out for them while they were out was all I had to see to know I had crossed the do-not-cross line. Of course that story trickled down to the sisters who had a field day with it, and it is now often brought up in moments to bring me to a lovely shade of red. I kid you not though, they had stuff in the refrigerator that was expired 5 years previously. I also then had to go out and replace all the stuff I had just thrown out. At least I knew I wasn’t going to be ill on that visit.

  29. I will add my own “ouch” to the painful reminder of my visit to my mom’s house. I had the exact same experience with the aching back in the morning, the TV that was so bad I couldn’t even watch it, the shower that leaked and had no hot water anytime I tried to shower and the toliet that leaked so bad I was afraid of falling through to the basement. Yikes! I did buy her a new TV, a new computer and my husband fixed the leaky shower (but not the shortage of hot water–she says that is because we are there and uses extra water than she does by herself). I complained about the bed and she did add a foam mattress pad and that did help. I totally agree with the others that if you see a need, you might discuss it with your mom, or if you think she would accept it, then just go out and buy her what she needs. Maybe you and Sis can spilt it next holiday. You will reap the benefits next time you visit. You mom will enjoy your happier mood at your visit as well!

  30. so Joe I take it you had a bad day. From what I understand your mother an old Italian dame right? Off course everyone is trying to cheat her. Actually we can drop the Italian part cause all the old dames that come into my store check the receipt and challenge it upon every available breath. I have one lady that makes me ring up every item by it’s self.

    As for the poor quality of items that you are forcing your mother to live with well I’m sure she thinks everyone of them is just perfect the way it is and that there is no need for a new one so just stop complaining. (at least that is what my grams would say and then all us grand kids would chip in and buy her a new one that is really easy to operate.)

  31. Hey Joe, teh awesome Stargate Universeness has arrived!
    (yeah, I know it’s already been mentioned but I felt like gushing a bit :D)

  32. Jeez, no wonder your Mom feeds you so much. With your face stuffed, she won’t have to listen to all the complaining.

    And give her a big (or little) hug unexpectedly once a day while your home. That says more than any words can convey. Time passes so quickly, and it’ll be all those little moments that will be remembered.

    This week I had to put my mom in a nursing home. I remember when I was a kid in Girl Scouts going to the same place to sing Christmas carols, and thinking how weird the old people were mumbling to themselves as they aimlessly wheeled down the halls.

    It kills me to put her there. And she was fighting to get out, but she can hardly walk. I’m hoping she’ll get better, but I wish now I had more unexpected moments to remember.

  33. Coucou Joseph!

    Vous allez bien? Waou je vient de voir le site de la MGM!!! Vraiment le style!!! =D

    Outch, vous êtes sure que vous n’avez pas besoin de lunette pour vos yeux..?

    Aller bisou.
    Bonne journée!

  34. What is it with parents?!? My dad won’t buy anything we need unless it’s on sale, he’ll buy anything that’s on sale whether we need it or not and he won’t throw anything away because ‘it might come in handy one day’ including a broken washing machine, electric fire and commodore vic-20 with – wait for it – 5k of RAM! Drives my mum completely insane!

  35. Your mother told me not to tell you. But she has a secret comfortable guest bed. When you are coming she brings out that one so you aren’t tempted to stay too long. Just thought you’d like to know. 🙂 Next time, bring one of those egg crate mattress covers and announce: MOM, I’m here to stay.

  36. No place like home, huh? ;))) (btw. I would check out if those guys with baseball bats are really *not* there.. you never know )

    Is it a loft in translation or something is wrong here? Checking the MGM web, but all Im getting about SGU is “coming soon” and “stay tuned”..? *shrugs*

    Lesson learned today – never visit restaurants in Montreal.xD

    xo

  37. I’m with everyone else who suggests embarking on a replacement program. They make a fuss about buying new things “at their age,” but they ultimately will accept them.

    As for your eyes, you have my sympathies. My eyes have been doing the same thing all week. Clearly something odd is in bloom in the eastern part of North America.

  38. Joe,
    Regarding the revamped MGM Stargate Universe site, i wish to convey my dismay. This is not because the quality of the site is poor, I’m sure it’s not, but that as a loyal fan, I can not access the entire site. This may have something to do with the fact that I live in England, and fans in the UK have never been able to access the videos on the old site. Now the entire MGM site has been blocked off to us, and i was hoping that you could inquire as to wether there are decisions in place to rectify this problem. If this is not the case, then I strongly urge you to contact your fellow Stargate workers, and change the site settings so we can access any part of the site. I am and always have been a loyal fan of all things Stargate, and fear that fans outside the US and Canada may be put off due to the fact they cannot get any of this new material, which may make them more inclined to viewing SGU. This is a problem which could cause you to lose viewers outside the US and Canada

    Sorry If I have rambled on, I am only a 15 year old boy living in England!

    Kind Regards as always to you Joe,
    Josh T

  39. Ahhh je viens de voir tout pleins de new sur sgu grâçe à la MGM. Notament l’interieure du Destiny…trés étrange, on à l’impression de voir quelque chose venant du 19iem siécle mais version anciens^^!! Sa me plais!

  40. Ha! Seems we’re ganging up on you Joe, but ditto on what Ponytail, Gilder, Tammy and das have said – spend a few bucks and get Mom some new stuff! 🙂

  41. My mother, no longer with us, was the queen of hospitality And Nice. She was the nicest woman on earth and went to extra lengths to be sure visitors had food they liked and a soft place to sleep.

    My MIL on the other hand. Wow. She has hoarding disorders and cannot throw anything away. When you opened the fridge, the food was crammed in so there was not a single inch of space. We cleared it out, over many protests. There were ten year old or older veggies in the crisper. You can’t use the stove or the dining room and there are trails through the house between boxes and bags of books and clothes and long-forgotten to give birthday gifts. She will NOT let anyone touch anything, even though she and dad are in danger on many levels. We’ve tried, but the psychological problems run too deep; she won’t let go of her thins without serious intervention and counseling.

    And she’s a compulsive shopper. When company is coming, which no longer happens, she buys “fresh” canned goods, a dozen cans of corn for folks who are going to take her out to eat because her kitchen is not usable. She’ll travel miles and miles to return a sale item she found for three cents cheaper at another store.

    Buy your mom a new TV already.

  42. LOL omg, that was too familiar and very funny. My mom is the same way. I bought her a nice set of plastic containers, because A – she was complaining about what she had and B – what she had was in pretty bad shape. So I thought it’s a simple purchase and bought some for a Christmas gift, because as Tammy said, they can’t refuse it as gift. Well – the last time I went home it was still in the box in the spare room upstairs. I don’t get it.

  43. @Sheryl – I didn’t realize there were so many fans so close here in FLA – we could have our own SciFi convention. Well, if Joe does decide to vaca here he has to do a chocolate party – that would be worth a migraine.

  44. Hello Mallozzi.
    Your food is very delicious, XD
    could you invite me to lunch with you???(you have my email, i live near paris).

    But i have an answer.

    I decrypted, 29 symbols on the Universe gate on Destiny.
    There are very stranges, each symbol is a composition of 3 to 6 basic symbol (line,circle, ring or tild).
    It’s very strange.

    Why, do you have replaced constallation symbols by this complicated form ?
    The arrangements has chosen at random, or there is a logic?

    thanks

  45. Today’s shopping list for Joe:

    Mattress & boxspring
    Refrigerator
    Flatscreen TV
    Shampoo
    Eye drops
    Ear plugs

    😉

    das

  46. I’m back!!! Did you miss me? 😉

    After another spell of bad health — I hate 103°F fevers — I’m finally on the mend.

    I haven’t finished Blood of Ambrose yet but am enjoying it.

    Mr. M., my birthday is the 27th of July. Any chance of that special something arriving before then? You said “soon” on May 25th.

    Anne Teldy (off to nap — AGAIN!)

  47. @ anneteldy – Hiya! *waves* Good to see you back with us! And I wouldn’t hold my breath for mr. M…his poor mum has been waiting ages for him to buy her a new tv, mattress set, and fridge! 😀

    Speaking of which – why are you home approving messages when you should be out shopping??!

    (Just call me PITA… 😉 )

    das

  48. @anneteldy: Hell, yeah, I was asking about you just the other day! Glad you’re back! Enjoy the nap!

    @das: Duct tape, as well 🙂 ROTFLMAO.

    @Kabra: Yeah, we ALL live in Florida. The others don’t count 🙂

    Ok, I’m punchy, need food, nap. Later!

  49. Mr M

    You are not alone with watery eyes. Mother nature is to blame. A lot of the flora bloomed this year early and often around the Montreal area.

  50. Despite all the hardships you’ve mentioned you still make the effort to visit your mom. Now that’s what I call a good son, Joe….

  51. A couple of questions for James Enge if its not too late.

    I thought this was a great book from start to finish. There was never a point where I was bored or my mind drifted. The story was so compelling that I read the whole thing in three sittings.

    I would like to know what the author considers a good book. Not a favorite book but what actually makes a good book. What does he set out to do when he puts pen to paper or finger to laptop key.

    Mr. Enge apparently got his literary feet wet writing short stories. I want to know how he views the different forms and whether he has a preference between the two.

    Thank you.

  52. You may have a stray lash bothering your eyes. I went to my eye doctor a few weeks back after having lots of stinging pain and sensitivity to light. I was certain I had a detached retina or the early stages of glaucoma. Turned out I had two stray eyelashes that grew down instead of out.

  53. hey, my mom does the same thing when we go grocery shopping!!!! And she feels like everyone is cheating or has cheated her or intends to cheat her.

  54. hello Joe,

    Well, I glad to hear that you’ve regained some confidence in Montreal dining scene. Here are a few other restaurants suggestions.

    A) French cuisine:

    1. Restaurant Le Tour de ville
    It’s located on the 30th floor of the Delta hotel in downtown Montreal. It’s a revolving restaurant.
    2. There was Les Remparts at the Vieux Port de Montreal. It used to be my personal favorite until their changed the administration, the chef and the name. It went from French gastronomy to French bistro. It’s now called Le Narcisse. I haven’t tried it ever since the chef was changed. It has a fabulous rooftop terrace with a nice view on the St-Laurent river!
    http://www.topreservation.ca/main.cfm?Restaurant%20Narcisse%20(Les%20Remparts)&p=410&l=en&RestaurantID=28
    http://www.narcissebistro.com

    B) Steakhouse:
    Restaurant La Queue de Cheval.

    C) Sushi restaurant
    http://www.mikasasushibar.ca/
    On the website, select the peel/ Centre-Ville location (it’s the only location I’ve been to). Then, on the left side, 2 tabs will allow you to see pictures of the restaurant and some of their specialty dishes. It’s a very cozy restaurant. Some of their dishes presentations, not illustrated with pictures on their site, are spectacular!

    D)Fine Caribbean Creole cuisine
    Restaurant Le Kalalu

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