Osoko natte sumimasen!  I was skyping with sis, discussing Christmas gifts and getting her up to speed on recent (and not-so-recent) developments.

Hey, speaking of Christmas gifts – I went shopping today, braving the crowds to drop off mini-cupcakes and ice wine for friends, then picking up presents for everyone else on my Christmas list.  Done and done.  I spent some fifteen minutes expertly wrapping gifts and voila –

Note the artistry, the exquisite folds, the deft use of wax tape.  If all else fails, I could probably just move to Tokyo and get a job as a professional gift-wrapper at one of the high-end department stores.

In order to prepare for my future professional gift-wrapping career, I had my first one hour session with my new Japanese tutor #1, Tomo, this evening.  I know I’m making progress because I can now make people laugh in Japanese.  Of course, I’m assuming she was laughing with me rather than at me.  By the time I make my return trip to Tokyo, I’ll be as flawlessly fluent as those spectacle-sporting giant gun-toting anime characters I’ve come to know and love.

Hey, thanks to the gang at SFSignal.com for giving me the heads up on this site – http://www.sffmeta.com/home – a site that cross-references official online reviews of different works in the fields of Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction, generates ratings from each, then generates an average score for each book.  Categories include: low and high-scoring titles for 2007 and 2008, low and high-scoring titles over the last 90 days, and, most interestingly, All-Time High and Low-Scoring Titles.  Leading the pack in the All-Time High-Scoring titles is our friend Matthew Woodring Stover with the book 3 of his Acts of Caine series: Caine Black Knife.  Another friend, author Joe Abercrombie, sits in the number five spot with Last Argument of Kings, the third book of his First Law series.  And another friend of ours, editor Lou Anders, claims the #12 slot with Fast-Forward 2.

Tried out that new new Korean barbecue restaurant on West 4th tonight, one of those places my buddy Carl would hate because going there would require him to cook his own food.  We had short ribs, spicy chicken, beef, pork, pork belly, and assorted side dishes.  All excellent.

Provided I didn’t make myself ill by improperly grilling the chicken and/or pork, I’m giving this place two thumbs up.

Let me conclude today’s entry with a picture of my pug Jelly.  Seriously.  I should be producing my own dog calendars.  This pose has July written all over it…

Ready to hit the beach.

40 thoughts on “December 21, 2009: Done and Done! Barbecue! And Miss July!

  1. I told you a looooong time ago that you should make doggy calendars – your pictures are great! (Your gift wrapping…eeehh…just so-so. 😉 )

    Gotta get my beauty sleep – have a good evening, sir!


  2. I hope that’s not Fondy’s flip flop.

    You cook your own food at the Korean BBQ place? I know of a place where you grab your own ingredients. They cook it for you though. Not sure I like that concept.

  3. Please keep fingers crossed for my friend who is flying in from Amsterdam to London Luton today…

    I know a little bit of snow and we stop over here…but we are just not used to to the weather here…

    Kriss 🙂

  4. Coucou Joseph!

    Comment ça va ? Ahhh votre papier cadeaux est magnifique, il ne manquerai plus que le petit neoud dessus 🙂

    Tiens aujourd”hui c’est l’anniversaire de mon papa 🙂 vous venez juste de m’y faire pensée^^!

    Je comprend Jelly, vive l’été!!!! On en peu plus de ce froid!!!!

    Rolala skype ne m’en parlée pas =( Je voudrai tellement avoir votre adresse.

    Bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  5. Ah chicken, one of few meats that’s pretty much low in most kinds of harmful fats.

    And aw animals can be so cute at times Lol

  6. Awww lovely pugkid with a pink thong..

    Hey Joe..ever experienced a Southern Hemisphere Christmas? No snow, hot weather… beach and barbecues the order du jour…

    I’d love to experience snow at Chrissie ONCE!!! And not this pixelated snow on your blog ..

  7. P.S ‘Thongs’ in Australia are those pink ‘flip flops’ as you call them. I know.. we’re different.

  8. LOL! love the pug pic, you are right it does say July. I too have attempted to learn Japaneese, of course this was years ago. Japan is a beautiful country and well worth the visit. I lived there for four years.

  9. A calendar would be great. Plus, I think you should submit some of your doggie picts to http://ihasahotdog.com/ . They have some great pug pictures every so often.

    I’m glad you don’t have to get out in the holiday madness today. I like Gilder’s idea about charities.

    A tutor sounds great! It should make learning smoother. Will we be required to read Japanese to enjoy your blog now?

    Have a great day Mr. M.!


  10. Got to love Pugs!

    Ours tends to go for a type of shoe called Crocs if anyone is wearing them. Of course if he is in the mood for shoes any will do even my size 17’s!

  11. You sure you weren’t channelling me some way? That package wrapping is right up there in my league. Though i don’t see evidence of scissor cutting to get rid of the excess bits of paper. Of course, that’s what the tape is for. You simply fold over some and tape it down.
    I have to finish my own shopping today. Then get the last ingredients to cook up christmas dinner for not one, but two emergency rooms. in between working of course. Lots of work, but on the plus side my dad gets VIP treatment whenever he has need of the local E.R. So worth the effort.
    doggie calender? Sign me up for three right now! You should seriously consider having a batch of calenders made up. And if the doggie one is successful, just think of the other possibilities. The faces behind Stargate calender, the props of stargate Calender, the sets of Stargate calender, the foods of re-Fuel calender, the bookcovers of my reading list calender, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver calender(18 month 2010-2011 edition), the Chocolate party pictures calender….you could have quite the cottage industry going there. A paypal account to make monetary transers easier and voila. I won’t even charge a fee for suggesting some of these no doubt incredibly profitable ideas.
    Not sure about paying to cook my own food, but I suppose I’d give it a go if the opportunity arose.
    have fun for the holidays and thanks for keeping us posted on your various misadventures.

  12. A calendar of your doggies??? Where and how can I get one? I just love your doggies! They are my favorite tweets on Twitter! Is the doggie calendar a sure thing? ‘Cause I want one.

  13. Korean bbqs rock. Especially in Korea.

    As for the gift-wrapping, you need to take lessons from Rowan Atkinson’s character in “Love, Actually”.

  14. I adore Korean BBQ. Haven’t found one in Utah, so we have to make do with our own homemade version.

    @crayonbaby… that’s Mongolian BBQ. Now those we have in Utah.

    Hey, I’m catching up… went to Vegas last minute. Miss me? Hubby got paid to drive down (steel load) and we had a nice free(ish) stay at a higher end resort. Engaged in the Santa Rampage on Fremont Street, I didn’t know I could pole dance, much less in a long velvet dress and a cape! The next night we wandered the Strip dressed in full Santa gear; our friend was a giant stocking. I’ve never had my picture taken so much! Ended up in Coyote Ugly, dancing on the bar with the super hotties. One gal freaked me out, she said, “I’m going to show Mrs. Claus how naughty I can be” and began dancing with me. Cough cough, ahem, VERY closely. How low low low… Vegas, huh?

    Fun, but my feet are still killing me. I want to go back and soak in the resort spa some more, a LOT more.

    I didn’t have nicknames as a child, except “Magpie” from mom. Now? Maggie, MMD, Bad Maggie, and Anti M (Auntie Em).

  15. Joe said: …a site that cross-references official online reviews of different works in the fields of Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction…

    i think it’s interesting that several authors can be on both the high and low lists with different books of the same series. i guess it just goes to show that everyone stumbles now and then …

  16. At least you wrap your presents, Joe. This is my husband’s version of gift giving: “Close your eyes.” Walks to wherever he hid the gift about to be giving. He puts the present behind his back then walks towards me. He puts the present in my hand and sayd, “Open your eyes. Ta-da!”

  17. Quickies…

    1. Joe, thanks for the other night. 😉

    2. Do you have a male Japanese tutor? I’m asking because – as I understand it – there are different words or ways of saying things, depending on whether you are a woman or man. Wouldn’t want you sounding all girly-like on your next trip to Tokyo. 😉

    3. I wanna do Korean barbecue now. I wonder if there are any up in Atlantic City – large Korean population there – but most of the Koreans (and Chinese) are opening sushi places. 🙄

    That’s about it! Have a good day, sir!


  18. @Annie from Freemantle

    I’m guessing that “thongs” for flip-flops is still acceptable here in the States, despite the advent of thong underwear in the 90’s.

    In various Spanish dialects, flip-flops are “chanclas”. When I first heard that word, I misunderstood the context and thought it meant “jock straps”.

  19. Snow? Annie, it’s cold and wet and….cold. Forget it, my blood is way to thin for that!

    As far as I am concerned, a sunny Christmas is the way to go. Temperature about 28C (82.4F), and me relaxed somewhere complete with sunglasses, suntan lotion, floppy hat and a chilled Red Bull/Apple Cider mix.

    Add friends, a pool and ahem – suntanned male eye-candy…
    Oh, alright, the husbands can come as well. 😛

    Meat sizzling, salads galore, and my personal favourate – paper plates (so there is no washing-up to face later) 🙂

  20. crayonbaby

    I hope that’s not Fondy’s flip flop.

    I hope that it is Fondy’s flip flop – Joe doesn’t strike me as a pink flip flop wearer – try saying that when you are drunk. 🙂

  21. Not that I have anything against places where you cook your own food, or places where you pock out your own food and the restaurant cooks it, but if you put both of those places together, you either get a western restaurant or a supermarket.


  22. I just deleted 250 unopened e-mails (10 pages worth). Woo!! I feel so unburdened now. 😀


  23. “A Very Jelly July” 😀

    Actually, I think those gift wrapping skills are pretty amazing! Mine usually involve stuffing unwrapped presents into bags, followed by several layers of tissue paper to hide my incompetence!

    Hey, today I’m 21! Finally old enough to drink alcohol in the USA! (Yeah, I know you Canadians have been drinking since the tender young age of 19. Australia is even lower, right?) Also, I totally forgot but last week was the 2-year anniversary of the day I first saw Stargate SG-1!!!

  24. Hello Joe,

    I just got finished taking an online market research study which, after the initial catagorizing questions of which networks and genre of shows I enjoy, became very heavily SGU related. It was conducted for the NBC Universal family of networks. I’ve taken many of these in the past, but this is the first one that was so directed at a Stargate show.

    I was asked everything from what was my favorite/least favorite episode to what I thought about the characters using the communication stones to visit family members, and do I ever join in blog discussions about the show. Oh, and they also had some questions that seemed to want to fan some flames of discontent. “Do you like SGU more than SG-1? More than Atlantis? More than the Stargate movies?”

    As I was answering many of the questions I thought more than once that these questions, in the wrong hands, could make for some very interesting network notes to the writers and producers. In addition to the standard 1-5 like-dislike scale they did even allow for some exposition on why I liked or disliked something, which I hope I put to good use.

    Overall I took it as a good sign that the parent company of Scyfy was soliciting opinions on a show I enjoy.

    So if in 2010 scyfy has more time slots available because ghosts are no longer being hunted, and grappling entertainers are no longer wedged onto a channel ostensibly devoted to science fiction and fantasy, I will take a grain of credit. I hope you don’t mind a Wednesday 9:00pm time slot.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  25. Merry Christmas Joe, and everyone here at the blog.
    And, hell, have a Happy New Year while your at it.


  26. I have what I think is an ‘awesome’ idea that could be incorporated into a script.

    It goes something like this……

    The Destiny crew is trying desperately to figure out how to access the main computer. After frying the brains of Franklin, Chloe, Camille, and half the science team….Young is simply running out of people to forcibly “volunteer” (Yes, dark-side Young has emerged since “justice”).

    Young uses the stones to communicate his failed attempt to General O’Neil back at the Pentagon. While walking into the office, Rodney MacKay haphazardly bumps into him in the hall.

    After a short but heated exchange where Young decides to unload his frustrations verbally…Rodney comes up with a solution.

    “No worries Colonel, we’ll get you that access code for the main computer…we’ll just look it up in the Ancient database on Atlantis”.

    …problem solved
    But seriously…why couldn’t they just look it up? It seems logical that it’d be there (if it was the Ancients that put the code in). Moreover, I would think they could find out just about ‘anything’ they want about the Destiny from looking at the Atlantis database.

  27. @ Guilder I’m guessing that “thongs” for flip-flops is still acceptable here in the States, despite the advent of thong underwear in the 90’s.

    when i was growing up in southern california in the sixties, we called them zories (and don’t ask me where that name came from!

  28. Ok sign me up for a calendar. Such a cutie,Jelly!
    And the BBQ place right next to the Fitness Town, How convenient.!!
    @das, man thats a lot of crap emails…
    Joe-Have you decided what to get your mom for Christmas, something to go with the nice tv,,hmm.,maybe she will get used to it.
    Hope you have a safe and wonderful Christmas with you and yours!

  29. Hmm, I don’t see any mini-cupcakes or ice wine waiting for me at home. So that’s how it’s going to be hey Joe? Fine. I’ll just take back the … okay, I didn’t get you anything either. Let’s just call it even.

  30. After checking out the package-wrapping job, I’m thinking it’s good you wanted to be a writer, not a prop-master. Not that I can talk — but as you’ve noticed, I do anyway. — Well, come to think of it, I do fairly well with wrapping now, if I go verrry, veeeerrrryyyyy slowly. That’s all fine and well as long as I don’t feel like hurling the package off the balcony once I’m done. (Or just plain hurling off the balcony. – Ewwwwww, sorry. Bungee-jumping does that sometimes. . . )

    Yep, pink flip-flops and July are a classic combo — rough on a chick who didn’t like pink as a kid, and whose birthday falls right in the middle of the month. But if your formative years were in the mid-to-late 80s, and if you preferred blue, you could get by with teal soles and pink straps. These days, you notice that your feet have gotten so big they don’t fit in those flip-flops anyway, and then you try to keep your mind off a very different type of flip-flop Cookie Monster once referred to. Man, I miss Cookie Monster. BCS. Hint hint. (Although I do remember you’re busy with a challenging script.)

    – Hey, hope the holidays are very pleasant for all of you. Also, I took a page from your book and picked up some ice wine (Missouri has some pretty damn respectable wineries, actually) to distribute among friends. I just need to remind them to empty their glasses of Southern Comfort first.

  31. Susan the Tartan Turtle, you crack me up. I didn’t even think about the flip flop belonging to Joe. Glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I went back through comments. And I hope it’s not one of her favorite shoes, is what I should have said.

  32. Is every actor that plays a person aboard Destiny accounted for such as in the scenes where they show the group of people meeting in the gate room, or do they bring in different actors for each group scene? How accurate is the show about this? I’ve identified 43-47 people through their names and I know 80(+) people got sent to Destiny.

  33. @ Airelle – Oh, they weren’t crap e-mails. They were things I’ve ‘requested’ – e-mails from Borders, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pier 1, Wine Enthusiast, Staples, Petsmart, etc., some forwarded things, some from friends and family. I actually looked at them ALL, saved what I wanted, and then deleted the ones I didn’t want. I didn’t make that clear – they were unopened UNTIL I opened them. 😀


  34. Hey, Joe…Look what I just found!! (A new obsession, perhaps??) From 2007ish…


    His name is – get this – Wraith. He’s pale, and wields an Elricesque sword. But here’s the best part (from wiki):

    “Wraith is first seen when he incapacitated an entire Phalanx battle-cruiser…He is tracked by the Phalanx to the resistance’s base, and in allowing them to escape, he is captured and brought before Ronan the Accuser, head of the Kree empire since the end of the Annihilation War, now slave and Head Inquisitor of the Phalanx.

    Though Ronan subjects Wraith to all manner of horrible torture, inflicting more pain than any Kree would be able to withstand, Wraith refuses to give up his origins, finally prompting an infuriated Ronan to attempt to impale him on a large spike. Wraith simply pulls himself off and immediately heals. Ronan states that due to his seeming immunity to pain, he is not Kree, he is something else, like a wraith. This amuses the son of Sim-Del, and he decides that Wraith is a suitable new name for himself. He then divulges his origins, and points out that he pities Ronan because he is a slave.”

    So, whatdoyathinkaboutthat?


  35. Oh, it gets better…

    “Wraith is the son of Kree scientist Sim-Del, who created a power source sufficient to “light an entire galaxy.” Kree society banished him, but he continued his work, using the power source to turn the barren planetoid he inhabited into a paradise. The Kree then simply destroyed him and all trace of his work. However, he had a son, who was sent off in an escape ship.

    The ship drifted into “The Exoteric Latitude,” the space of the Nameless, an offshoot of the Kree. Here he was infected with the Exolon, parasites that feed on the souls of living creatures. Because he had become a Nameless, he was subjected to endless self-inflicted torture, as this is the only way a Nameless can remember their life before losing their soul.”



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