Sigh.  I hate being the bearer of bad news, especially when the individual I’m bearing the news to already had a sneaking suspicion.  Like cats and certain fans, mothers possess a sixth sense that makes it near impossible to surprise them.  As a result, potentially earth-shattering revelations are met with little more than an “I’m not surprised” or “I had a feeling” or, best of all: “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”.  Should be an interesting Christmas and, by interesting, I do not mean “interesting” as in “discover a crashed alien ship” interesting but more “being discovered by aliens while nosing around their crashed alien ship” interesting.

Hey, I was apparently kidding when I said I’d finished my Christmas shopping.  Turned out I had a few more people to buy for – most important of all, myself.  I picked up a pair of stylish black winter boots I will sport all of ten days a year – unless Montreal experiences a staggering warm spell between and tomorrow’s flight.  I also swung by Toys R Us and snapped some pics of some of the more memorable selections for the kids on YOUR Christmas list…

Aw, man, how cool is this? A remote-controlled tarantula. Think of the fun and heart attacks to be had with this adorable little critter. "Hey, grandma, I think there's something on your shawl..."
Yep, it's always best to set realistic goals for your children as you prepare them for their future careers.
"Hey, son, why don't you go play out front - specifically around the rhododendrons."
Yessiree, growing up there were three things my friends and I used to love to play: cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, and Westminster Dog Show.

The new dog-sitter came by the house today to get acquainted with the dogs, run through the security and entertainment systems, and potentially scope the place in advance of the rest of her gang coming in to clean it out.  I left her a rundown on the dogs complete with unique personality quirks like: “Maximus won’t come in when called meaning he’s either deaf or very stubborn and pretending to be deaf” or “Jelly hates little people”. Boy, is she going to have her hands full with Brie.

More writing – actually, rewriting – on the script today and I’m actually beginning to like what I’ve got so far. 30 pages in and that really tricky scene fast approaches.

Travel day tomorrow so you can expect an early blog entry.  Questions, questions, questions, and answers.

Oh, almost forgot!  Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Ytimynona.  Happy Birthday!

41 thoughts on “December 22, 2009: Okay, now I’m really done! And great gift ideas for your kids!

  1. I always wait to Christmas shop until the last minute. I think the latest I’ve ever left it too was 4-5pm on Christmas Eve. I’ve wrapped up until the MINUTE before presents open!

    I don’t know about you but for me it helps if I write the beginning and the ending and then just work towards the “middle” from both ends.

    Good luck!

  2. A couple of guests have been announced for next years Convention in Los Angeles in November. Joe Flanigan again as well as Christopher Heyerdahl. I know it is really early to even think about this, but I know how many people like Chris so I thought I would mention it.

  3. I bet that the toy store doesn’t have many people coming in to photograph their stock! 😉

    Remember and take piccies of your sister, Lili (or does it have ‘ll’ in the middle?), your lovely mother and, most importantly, Felix and the cat alien. Does your sister have a dog too?

    Anyway – have a nice flight and be nice to your mum and sister.

  4. Yeah, I had a feeling, too. 😉

    Smooth travels tomorrow! Give mom and sis (and the critters) hugs from us all!


  5. I shouldn’t have put that winky in there…makes my comment seem smug. Didn’t mean it that way.


  6. das

    How do I ‘do’ a winky?

    It is 5am here so I think that I will toddle off to my bed!



    The alien space ship thingy – you still got us and the hounds. Not sure if that is a good thing! 🙂

  7. Grrr! Why do I hit ‘submit’ when I still have stuff to say??!

    Whenever you go back home you always seem blue – whether it’s just melancholy, or personal reflections, or being the bearer of ‘bad news’. Wish there was some way we could cheer you up (besides giving you a one-way ticket to Tokyo and an endless supply of cash and cute diner dates). 😉

    Just one thing I need to know – when you’re feeling this way, does my snarky overfamiliarity annoy you? Because…ya know…just tell me if it does, okay? You know I’m just pouncing around like an over-excited pup (though I am NOT smelling crotches or piddling on the carpet…yet), but that can get annoying after a bit…so…if you need to smack me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, please do! (But not too hard! 😉 )


  8. @ytimona…Happy birthday! 22 Dec? Mine is 23 Dec. Yes, I’m fishing…childhood birthdays almost always fell during school holidays.

  9. EEP! Just saw the tarantula! 😯 You wouldn’t survive 5 seconds if you tried to pull that trick on me! 😛

    das (last comment, I promise!)

  10. THANKS!!!! I was starting to panic about what to get my 10 year old nephew. Every year i try to find something he will love and his father (my brother) will hate! He started it! Any idea if you will be doing a Q&A with Robert Carlyle? Love the show so far. Dogs make me laugh. Your blogs make me hungry and curious. I’ll disappear now. Um….bye!

  11. Thanks for the dedication Joe! 😀
    My sister took me to see Avatar for my birthday, and right away I was drawing SG-1 comparisons…if the people in the movie had only seen Enemy Mine, they wouldn’t have that problem! (She threatened to leave me at the theater! Luckily, I was the only one who knew how to get home! 😉 )

    Wow, that’s legit toy reconnaissance right there! Did you get funny looks for snapping photos in the kid-toy section? 🙂

  12. @Gilder Hey, happy birthday yourself!!! (Mine was always either the first weekend of break, or the last day of school!)

  13. By the way. The description that Australian Geographic place under the heading, I have no idea what that’s meant to mean. A case of apostrophe abuse and there seems to be the end of a sentence missing.
    But quite possibly it’s just me. It’s hot here (100F). Brain is in lack of sleep, Christmas chaos, overheated meltdown mode. Can I go to sleep now please?

  14. I lied, I LIED! (THIS is my last post…really…for now, at least.)

    Anyhoo – guess what I learned today? Well, see…my favorite pasta sauce is puttanesca, and you know what ‘alla puttanesca’ means? It means ‘in the style of a prostitute’. Figgers. 😛 Of course, now I can’t wait to go out for a nice Italian dinner, just so I can order me up some whore’s spaghetti! Can’t wait to see the look on the waiter’s face… 😈


  15. @Mr M

    uneventful flight tomorrow back to Montreal. The temperature suppose to be hovering around 0C for the next few days. It might snow on the upcoming weekend after a light dusting tonight.

    Winter boots? I don’t usually wear them except after very heavy snowfall or extreme cold. Instead uses a pair of Merrell outdoor trail shoes.

    You should not have tease Das with the mechanical tarantula even if she didn’t notice it until after 3 posts [laughs]

  16. Hi Joe! Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe trip! By the way, your pet sitter list sounds very familiar 🙂

    It’ll be a very quiet Christmas here, daughter’s at her in-laws’ in Leeds for two weeks, son’s off with his girlfriend to her parents’, but who knows, maybe we’ll take the weekend and head to Miami with Elway, assuming there’s a pet sitter to be had for the other 3 dogs. If not, it’ll be doggie Christmas and early to bed 🙂 Actually, a six hour trip (one way) with Elway whining in the car sounds awful, maybe we’ll skip that…

  17. Those toys just fail.

    I finally decided to have someone housesit instead of having a pet sitter this time. Just easier. I’m just as paranoid as you are about that kind of stuff. I always worry about someone robbing us and leaving the door open, where the cats will roam the neighborhood. Of course, only one of them will ever leave the house. The rest of them are chicken.

    Have a great Christmas.

  18. Hi Joe, you’re up late! I’m staying up to watch that gem of a movie, “Mega Snake” at 3 a.m. Poor Shanksies will never live this one down 🙂

  19. What the heck are you doing to your poor pups? You’re home, then you leave. You come back home, then you leave again. They’re going to need therapy. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ll have a few “presents” for you when you get back.

    My neighbor took me to the doc today to have the stitches pulled and my first post op check up. Good news. The knee is healing great and he said to do whatever I feel like doing. Agonizing pain will tell me when I’ve done too much. F-r-e-e-d-o-m! So I got home and immediately jumped into the car for the first time in two weeks and clutched my way to the grocery store for massive quantities of forbidden goodies. Pain be damned.

    Then tonight was the wind. I love wind. We’re having warnings with gusts up to 45 to 55 mph. I went outside and with my back to the wind watched and listened to the leaves as they trickled down the street like water. I turned into the gusts and watched the tree branches dance wildly to the rhythm of unseen roiling currents of air…then the bloody dust blew into my eyes and I had to blindly grope my way back into my apartment.

    Hope you have a windless safe trip back east, and a fabulous Holiday with the family!

  20. Hi Joe howe about buying some Stargate action figures for any kids on your buying list and stargate books for adults and kids you know.

  21. Coucou Joseph 🙂

    Et oui pas facile de choisir des cadeaux, pour les miens j’en ai réfléchit déjà depuis 6 mois lol.

    Ehéhéhé Toys R Us ça fait longtemps que je ne suis pas rentrée dans ce magasin, c’est sûr que ça fait tout de suite retomber un peu en enfance…..par contre le jouet Mcdo o_O Lol comment peu t’on mettre un tel jouet en vente ?

    Passez une bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  22. @deeinsouthafrica – Sitting on the decking, listening to the sounds of the watet in the pond, spotting ring tail possums, it’s still over 30 degrees.
    It got me thinking how you and I are in the extreme minority of liking a warm Christmas 🙂

  23. Now I know why I read thisw blog daily. Only a genius would take the trouble to look around and find some of the silliest toys out there(even if you used the internet rather than physically braving a ToysRUs). I wish you a safe travel experience and a fun stay out east. And rest easy, the dogs will no doubt charm the dog sitter to wher she betrays her burglary cohorts.
    Oh, and does anyone have any idea on how to help a doggie over the hiccups, or is it just a matter of letting them keep on till its over?

  24. Hi Joe,

    I’m sorry about you having to tell bad news (and experiencing those bad news in the first place).

    I wish you a merry christmas, a happy new year (in case I won’t comment until then) and I hope you’ll be spared by this year’s christmas blues!
    Hopefully, the next year won’t have any bad news.

    I think I didn’t yet comment on SGU’s season two, so:
    Congratulations! I wasn’t sure how to read the ratings and I’m happy SGU gets a second season!

    All the best and a great christmas time to everyone!

  25. My son and I could have fun with that spider robot 👿 . Someone gave me a bag of plastic roaches once. Boy did we pull some jokes with those babies. They looked so real, ick.

    Das: go order ho pasta! Too funny!

    Have a safe and happy trip!

  26. Merry Xmas to everyone! Have a nice flight Joe. Wish Mom & Sis a happy holiday.

  27. *takes deep breath and sighs*

    Got the last of my shopping done at 7.30 this morning just in time for the rain to fall onto freezing tarmac and make a huge skating rink out of Cornwall.Slithered home amid much dark muttering and vague entreaties to any god, demi or otherwise, with a promise of regular virginly sacrifices if I could just get the shopping home in one piece. Anyhoo,mission accomplished and having taken two hours (including tea breaks) to rearrange the cupboards and freezer to accomodate the christmasly shop I’m now ensconced in my room with hot drinks,mince pies and the sounds of x-boxing filtering from the next room.

    Safe trip and hugs to all.
    Keep safe and warm everyone:)

  28. “Travel day tomorrow so you can expect an early blog entry.”

    LIAR!!!! 😡



  29. My son totally wanted that weed trimmer this summer – a toy leaf blower, too. I forgot about it, but I’ll bet my mother-in-law got him both.

  30. @Joe

    If one succeeds in keeping the bad news from one’s mother, woe betides one when she finds out! We kept news of a surgery from Mom once and got the riot act afterwards. (Lord, I miss her…)

  31. Joe –

    Safe trip and a warm, happy Christmas to you and your family – this means the doggies too. And – happy holidays to all.

  32. No no, don’t think “grandma” – think “Quiet on set! Action! – ARRRGH!” *g*

  33. @dasNdanger
    “Grrr! Why do I hit ’submit’ when I still have stuff to say??! ”

    Because you are never done! 😉

    “So what did you tell your mother that didn’t surprise her?”

    Go back and read the description of the Tokyo metro 😉

    (Btw, i resemble das’ comment about smilies)

  34. My brother has that McDonald’s Playset. He is a huge collector of McDonald’s stuff and has hopes to own one someday. He’s been this way all his life.

  35. Hey Joe

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, especially THIS Christmas. Hope that you have a fabulous time with Mum, ‘sis and all the rellies, and that you get spoilt rotten!

    Thanks for the tips on gift ideas for kids, but think that I’ll stick with the more traditional Barbie, Polly Pocket, Littlest Pet Shop etc for the little people here at my place! I wonder what Santa will bring me this year – last year I was given an SG1 t-shirt, and a way cool Atlantis mug that has a picture of a puddle jumper that cloaks, when hot water is poured into it – perfect for my Earl Grey in the morning!

    Stay warm, says she as I look out onto a blue cloudless sky with the sun twinkling off the water and a beautiful 22 degree high today…..Merry Christmas everyone!

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