I head back to the office tomorrow with the first draft of a brand new script AND a brand new title: The Awakening.  I like it because it works on a couple of levels – none of which I can go into any detail at this point.  You’ll just have to trust me.  Anyway, I certainly look forward to seeing the rest of the gang: Paul, Carl, Brad, Robert, Lawren, and Ashleigh.  Oh, wait.  Did I say Rob?  No, not Rob.  Last week, we all received the following email from Rob: “Gentlemen, hope you’ve had a great holiday. I won’t be in the office until Tuesday. I have some important business to attend to in Texas this weekend.”.  Important business? How interesting.  Was he scouting a new location?  Meeting with some prospective new talent?  Discussing a new series?  I was intrigued.  Until Saturday night, when I came across THIS picture…

I’m guessing that meeting went really well.

So while Cowboy Bobby Cooper was taking care of business in Big D, I was prepping for my return to work – by taking Tomomi out for her final night in Vancouver.  We hit one of my favorite Italian restos, Gusto di Quattro…

Tomomi claims I take great photos. I beg to differ. SHE takes great photos! ( Note the angelic halo).
We started with Quattro's famed antipasto platter that includes - well - a bit of everything. Standouts include the lamb sausage and the grilled bocconcini wrapped with prosciutto and radicchio in a cherry wine reduction.
I ordered what I always order when I come here: The Galletto al Vino - Roasted and braised rock hen, pinot grigio, black truffle mash, and organic baby vegetables. And it's excellent every time.
Tomomi had an equally delicious herb-crusted lamb with fig reduction.
I decided to order some pasta "for the table": the off-menu Fettuccine Tartufati and the on-menu Duck Fettuccine. Our waiter - the ever-affable Daniel - urged me to order a half-order of each rather than go full on both. "Trust me,"he said. "You won't be hungry." And, boy, was he right.

A trio of desserts to cap off the meal: the wonderful House Tiramisu, a delightfully subtle Lemon-Ricotta Cheesecake, and Quattro's premiere Cilliege Filate, a killer combo of cherries, marscapone, and phyllo.

Gusto di Quattro is an old standby, one of those restaurants you can keep going back to time and again, confident in its ability to provide consistently great food and service.  Although its listed as fine dining – and the menu selections are certainly top-notch – it’s hearty, rib-sticking fare sure to please everyone from fussy foodies to famished families.  And, incidentally, it also gets Carl Binder’s seal of approval as his favorite Italian restaurant in Vancouver.

That was last night.  Today, Tomomi and I had brunch at a very busy DB Bistro Moderne, then headed downtown for a little stroll.  As it turned out, the little stroll turned into a full-out shopping expedition that saw me purchase a new digital camera to replace the one I dropped and broke last night, two snazzy dress shirts, and three new colognes: another bottle of the John Varvatos Vintage (my Tokyo scent) and a choice of two for my 2010 office cologne – Boss Pure or YSL’s La Nuit de L’Homme.  I like both, but if the print ad for La Nuit de L’Homme gives any indication to the kind of action I can look forward to once I start wearing it, I suspect it would be better suited to evening’s out than the workplace.  I could get into all sorts of trouble.

Mailbag:

Susan the tartan turtle writes: “Any recent amusing doggie stories?”

Answer: Yeah.  I brought Tomomi by to meet the dogs last night.  Jelly had peed in the kitchen.  And Brie kept following us around, barking and nipping at Tomomi.  Quite the reception.

Tammy Dixon writes: “My karate instructor has a picture that includes me and my son on his website.”

Answer: Congratulations.  We’re going to have to start calling you Fists of Fury.

DasNdanger writes: “Anyone else ever get feeling that way – not tired, just…just you feel like you’re moving in slow motion – no drive.”

Answer: Yep.  Maybe we should start a club.

DP writes: “Are any of your friends not foodies?”

Answer: Oh yeah.  My buddy and fellow producer Carl Binder is as, uh, un-foodie as it gets.

Bailey writes: “Do you find that the kind of story/script/comic you are writing affects your mood outside of work?  I realize that intense drama can be very satisfying creatively, but do you find you are generally happier when writing happier things?”

Answer: To be honest, I’m generally unhappy while in the throes of a script.  However, I do tend to enjoy myself more writing the more comic episodes.

Fsmn36 writes: “So, in getting the truffle, does that mean they added it to the dish or that you got a different dish that featured it?”

Answer: They shave it onto the dish.

Fsmn36 also writes: “This is probably my lack of foodie background, but is truffle really so rare/special that simply adding a few slivers onto a plate brings it up that much in price?”

Answer: Oh yeah.  It’s one of the priciest of food items out there.

Spectre writes: “I was wondering if you knew that if the SG-1 and Atlantis movies were to be made, would they be using the old filming and editing techniques that defined the series for all those years, or will it be using the fancy new stuff learned from SGU?”

Answer: We would stick to the tone, look, and shooting style that Atlantis fans are familiar with.

Jenny writes: “You eat out a lot, at some rather impressive sounding restaurants, but as impolite as it might be, I’m curious as to how much, on average, would you spend on these evenings?”

Answer: It really depends on where I’m eating.  A terrific dinner at my favorite local Vietnamese restaurant will cost me about $10.  The West tasting menu came in at about $100.  I paid more for my meals in Tokyo than the costs of my business class flight and 15 day stay at the posh Peninsula Hotel combined!

Anais33 a ecrit: “Allons nous voir des extraterrestres dans le prochain épisode de sgu?
– L’objet de forme ronde qui s’éxpulse du vaisseaux à la fin d ‘Air’ (part 3), à t’il un rapport avec le vaisseaux que l’on découvre dans l’épisode “Justice” ?
– Est-ce que les méchants de sgu feront plus peur que les wraiths?
– Selon vous, quel épisode de la seconde partie de la saison 1 plaira le plus aux fans?
– Vous êtes plus Eli/Chloé ou Matt/.Chloé?
– Allons nous voir des anciens dans la saison 1”

Reponses: Oui, nous verrons des extraterretres dans Space.  Je pense que les fan vont particularement apprecier Space et Incursion I et II.

Sort of translations: Yes, we’ll see some aliens in Space.  As for which episodes the fans will particularly enjoy, I have a feeling they’ll respond quite favorably to Space and Incursion I and II – only because they are significantly more action-driven and visually spectacular.  The fact that I was lucky enough to write them speaks more to the luck of the draw than anything else.

Joshwilko writes: “How many episodes are you writing for the second half of season one for SGU?”

Answer: Space, Incursion I and II.

Dodoalda writes: “Any chance to see all of Earth ships together in some battle?”

Answer: Quite possibly in Stargate: Revolution, the next SG-1 movie.

Eric.Stewart writes: “And I won’t ask about the knife incident, since …. it appears that you don’t want to answer that question.:?”

Answer: Your Japanese is “jozu”.  As for how I cut my finger – I was wiping the stove top down and swung my hand wide and far too close to the disassembled blades of the blender sitting nearby.

IggyMing writes: ”

How timely that you’ve gone to West. My February issue of Canadian House & Home has an article on Vancouver’s top chefs, and they featured West (with chef Warren Geraghty), Cibo Trattoria (with chef Neil Taylor), and Maenam (with chef Angus An).  I was going to ask you if you’ve been to any of these restaurants, but you’ve already beat me to West. Any thoughts on Cibo and Maenam?”

Answer: Hey, congrats!  I’ll have to track down the issue.  I went to Maenam last year and enjoyed it although I found the portions a tad dainty and almost all of the dishes I sampled erred toward the sour.  Have yet to check out Cibo.

Shiningwit writes: “Hey! When’s SGU back on? I read somewhere it won’t be back til April, that can’t be right, can it?”

Answer: Alas, it is.

Tanie writes: “And Joe… what is it about froie gras that you just have to have?”

Answer: I enjoy its flavor, its texture, and the fact that its contrasts beautifully with sweet accompaniments.

Simon writes: ”

1) Is ”Incursion” a three parter? Seems to make the most sense since 02×02 is ”Aftermath”.

2) Dunno if you’ll be able to answers this or not, but do you know where Sanctuary is supposed to be set?

3) Have youe ever seen We Will Rock You?”

Answer: 1) Yes, I guess it can be considered a three-parter.

2) Sorry, can’t help you there.  But Sanctuary creator Damian Kindler maintains an online presence and I’m sure he’ll be able to answer your question.

3) Sorry.  No love for Queen.

PG15 writes: “I’m back, Joe!”

Answer: How embarrassing.  I assumed you were gone for good and ended up selling your parking spot.

O6untouchable writes: “I’ve just begun to educate myself in anime (watching in Japanese with subtitles; my friends would lynch me otherwise), and thus far I’ve started out with Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach. I’m enjoying both thoroughly, but would appreciate some extra suggestions!”

Answer: I’m a huge fan of Cowboy Bebop, a slick, jazzy, ultra-cool spaceship-based series with some very compelling characters.  Berserk, a dark, unrelentingly gritty fantasy series is also a favorite.  Last Exile is a visually stunning series set in a world where airships do battle.  Now and Then, Here and There is a remarkable SF mini-series.  For brazen, over-the-top humor, check out Exile Saga.  Death Note is an incredibly captivating series that deals with demons, curses, and an elaborate game of cat and mouse between two brilliant strategists.   Start with those and get back to me.

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DP
DP

@Simon

Damian Kindler recently promised on Twitter that he’d be sharing more tidbits with his followers. Hold him to it.

BTW, the skyline for the New City (across the river from the main Sanctuary for the show) contains landmarks from around the world, but there have been hints that it is in the U.S. so I think it’s meant to be fantastically ambiguous.

pg15

As the resident Episode title obsessor, I must protest: while The Awakening sounds intriguing, it is made up of 2 words! Are you guys done with the 1-word titles?

Luis
Luis

I have been to a few Asian countries never Tokyo. You seem to go there all the time on Vac. You must love the place the people ,the culture, I love the Asian culture my wife is Thai I will start working on her now so our next Vac. will Include Tokyo. Tokyo is rated as 1 of the top 3 most expensive cities to live in you find that to be true??

Ponytail
Ponytail

Robert Cooper is a Cowboy Fan!! I knew I liked him the best! Ask him how he liked the Cowboy’s new stadium. I toured it last summer. It was awesome!

The reception your dogs gave Tomomi? Trust me Joe, it could have been worse. Get a Beagle and find out.

@ Tammy Dixon alias “Fists of Fury” – I took Karate classes when I was sixteen. I learned a lot. Didn’t go past that one class though. What is that, a sissy pink belt or something? (I don’t know all the colors, except I know I need to be nice to you now) grin

@ Das – I’ve been sleeping every chance I get all weekend. Can I join your blah club? I’ve gotta go now and look up the symptoms of menopause…

Ganymede
Ganymede

Thought I’d save you that CH&H issue cover price and checked to see if they had any good snippets from their online issue… Just found this:

http://www.houseandhome.com/food/17-celeb-chefs-recipes

Don’t think it includes any of the recipes from the actual issue, but perhaps you may find something interesting nevertheless…?

vvv0472
vvv0472

Have you seen Avatar?

The reason I ask is because the effect of ‘activating’ the avatar is remarkably similar to the en route transportation effect between stargates. Any thoughts?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Hey, Joey! My cat pooped in the kitchen today! It’s like…we’re twins! This is my schizo-kitty, she’s been totally neurotic since Cowboy died. She was only half-neurotic before. We’ve been ‘walking’ her to the litter pan 2-3 times a day, and I thought she had finally returned to her good-girl routine when I noticed her going to the pan on her own again. I was wrong. At least she didn’t pee, though – poo is easy to clean up, pee soaks into the tile grout…not good! “As for how I cut my finger – I was wiping the stove top down and swung my hand wide and far too close to the disassembled blades of the blender sitting nearby.” Yeah, yeah, right. No one cuts their finger that way…so I’m writing that explanation down as “I cut myself manscaping.” @ Fsmn36 – Truffle prices vary from week to week, all depending on availability and demand. A 1-ounce black truffle can cost as much as $150, or more. The rarer they are, the more expensive. I don’t like to eat ‘fungus’ – I avoid most mushrooms because I hate their texture. However, I am very intrigued by truffles, and would love to taste one someday…but unless I strike it rich, I don’t see me putting out the money for something that can grow between my toes! “Yep. Maybe we should start a club.” So, what causes it? Mid-life crisis? Clinical depression? Disappointment in one’s self? Inability to adjust to unexpected (or expected) change? Found this about depressive personality disorder (why do we have to classify everything as a ‘mental disorder’ – can’t we just feel like shit without being labelled a nutcase??!): A) A pervasive pattern of depressive cognitions and behaviors beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated as five (or more) of the following: 1. usual mood is dominated by dejection, gloominess, cheerlessness, joylessness, unhappiness 2. self-concept centers around beliefs of inadequacy, worthlessness, and low self-esteem 3. is critical, blaming, and derogatory toward self 4. is brooding and given to worry 5. is negativistic (passive-aggressive), critical, and judgmental towards others 6. is pessimistic 7. is prone to feeling guilty or remorseful B) Does not occur exclusively during major depressive episodes and is not better accounted for by dysthymic disorder. Yup – that’s me (except #5 – I’ve never been very critical or judgmental of others, unless they are killing hawt albino-types! ). I checked that ‘dysthymic disorder’, and that doesn’t sound like me at all because there’s behavior associated with that that I just don’t have outside of a major depressive episode. And, thankfully, I haven’t had one of those in quite a while (and hope I never do again!). Nah, the above ‘symptoms’ (I hate using that word) are more like me, though people may tend to disagree because I have a good sense of humor. But laughing on the outside doesn’t mean I’m laughing on the inside – if you know what… Read more »

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Ok dang.

All of earths ships in battle together???.

I want these dang movies made. Really now. Let’s start a campaign.

WHOSE WITH ME??

Beaudacious
Beaudacious

Tomomi San Wa Rippana Kideina Ono no Hito Desu

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Darn. I’ve always sort of liked Mr. Cooper, but after seeing that photograph I am terribly disappointed. I mean, I know there are people that actually like the Cowboys(and I even appreciate that Texans support their home team) but it’s always jolting to see non texans rooting for them. I hope Mr. C. isn’t too crushed when the Cowboys meet up with the Vikings and head back home properly humbled.
More nice pics. And the mailbag is appreciated. Looking forward to your account of the first day back at work and what all the other writers.producers, and troublemakers have been up to over the holidays.

Beaudacious
Beaudacious

My Romanji may be a tad off Been many moons since I took Japanese at ACU.

me
me

@O6untoubhable: Besides the ones you and Joe mention I recommend Mobile Suite Gundum 00 (http://www.youtube.com/user/BandaiEntertainment#p/c/27238FEDDE831016) and Code Geass (http://www.youtube.com/user/BandaiEntertainment#p/c/4F052E545F5BC5B2). Enjoy.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Ponytail – Fortunately, the ‘blah’ feeling wasn’t so bad today, and I felt fairly good. Not spontaneously singing good, but good nonetheless. wink I can live with ‘I’m a loser’ me – I’m used to her – she keeps me amused roll , but when you add the blahs to it, ugh! Then I stop laughing.

Ya know – I wonder if that’s how comedians are? Most (as I understand it) have low self-esteem, but they can make jokes and laugh and deal with it. I’m a lot like that. But add ‘the blues’ to low self-esteem issues, and it’s almost unbearable. That’s when I feel paralyzed. Sometimes I think ‘the blues’ are worse than full-blown depression, because I can adapt to depression…I get used to it after a bit. But ‘the blues’ often come out of nowhere, hit hard for no reason, and it totally catches you off guard. And because it’s usually short-lived, you never really have time to adapt, so the next time it hits, it’s just as unexpected and difficult to deal with.

Funny you should mention menopause. I have a hormonal imbalance, took progesterone (sp?) for 10 years, and THAT was supposed to be a depressant. Been off of it now for 6 months, and I’m more depressed. razz One of the killers for me is my blood pressure meds – it is a known depressant, and when I went on it back around 2004/2005, I went into a terrible funk. But I was at the tailend of a major depressive episode (that started in 2001), so I just thought it was a part of that. The blood pressure meds made me feel disinterested and unmotivated – I went from being excited about going to ren faires and movies and other events, to not giving a damn if I ever left the house. That’s when I stopped working on the tall ship – I just ‘lost interest’. By the time I realized what was causing my depression, I was starting to adjust to it, and not feeling ‘as bad’. Still, I know it may be a factor, so I’ve talked to my doctor, and he gave me an alternative medication, but it’s a beta blocker, and THAT can cause diabetes (I’m on a channel blocker, which can actually suppress diabetes).

So, for now, I’ll stick with the depression. It’s an old friend at this point, and I really don’t want to mess with diabetes just yet.

das

Narelle from Aus

das – If everything wasn’t labelled a ‘mental disorder’ then you wouldn’t have anything to blame. Particularly in court.

Narelle from Aus

Hey Joe,

With your apparent love for all things Asia, are you looking at investigating any other Asian regions at this point?

Narelle from Aus

Hmmm? It’s almost 5pm here and it’s getting hotter rather than cooling. Almost 43 degrees C (108F) and our air con just had a hissy fit. D’oh!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Narelle – But by classifying every little quirk as a ‘mental disorder’, pretty soon there will be no ‘normal’ people left on the planet – we’ll ALL be nutters! eek

das

Ponytail
Ponytail

@ Das – I know all about the “low self esteem” thing. But I’ve always felt that way and, like you, I have adjusted. That is just the way I am. Basically I am a happy person. Hey, I found out there are 34 to 35 symptoms of menopause. There’s something there for every girl. Just blame whatever your doing on that! (It didn’t mention the urge to kill. That must still be the PMS) twisted
I learned the smiley faces from you Das. Thanks for the lessons.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe – thought this might be of some interest – 10 Sci-fi Weapons That Actually Exist:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/01/sci-fi-weapons/all/1

Major D Davis will probably enjoy that link, too!

das

crazymom1

You and the Food Network have a lot to answer for, sir! Last night I went out for dinner and had a grilled mahi mahi sandwich with dill tartar sauce, napa cabbage, and homemade pickles, with a side of sweet potato fries. Me! Do you know how strange that is? I have always been a “cheeseburger, no sauces of any kind, no weird fries” kind of person. Now I’m looking at the menu for the place we’re going tomorrow and actually considering some items I would never have looked at twice. Asparagus even! Of course, it has occurred to me that asparagus (and many other things) might not taste too bad if someone with a clue is cooking them. I’m pretty sure I won’t be trying brains tartare (really, really sure actually), but I am branching out a little.

cat4444
cat4444

Hey, I just realized that when SGU returns in April, it will be “Space” on Space!! I’m not slow, just slightly delayed wink

chevron7
chevron7

Hey everyone! Need a favour.

There are only a few days left in the nomination process for the Streamy Awards (for web-based series) and I’m trying to get the Kino scenes nominated for Best Companion Series. I need a last minute swarm of votes so I make sure that the Kinos are in the Top 10 nominations for that category. Nominations finish on January 15. Then they’ll tabulate the noms and voting will take place in March.

TO VOTE:

1. Go to The Streamys site

2. Select Best Companion Series

3. Type Stargate Universe Kino Scenes as the series title

4. Copy and paste the MGM Kino address in the url section – http://stargate.mgm.com/view/character/171/index.html

You can vote once per category per pc per day, so you can vote at work and home.

If you’re logged into Twitter it will take you to a Twitter page where you can post a tweet to let your followers know you’ve voted but you don’t have to be a member of Twitter to nominate or vote.

Thanks! Plus I’m sure if Ivon was here he’d say thanks too…

Cheers, Chev
@imwebgurl

p.s. Please copy and paste this to your various forums, livejournals etc

pg15

“Manscraping”?

Should I google that, or should I be happy that I’m ignorant of its meaning? razz

Alright, now that I’m only slightly (ONLY SLIGHTLY) less enraged about the title inconsistency…LOL @ Rob. It’s like he’s mocking you guys. Well, I guess those are the perks of being Executive Producer. wink

I will say this though. That photo is asking for some serious photoshopping. grin

Wait, what? You sold my parking spot?! But…NO! NOOO!! Joe, do you have any idea what you’ve done?!

It wasn’t just a parking spot…it was my only possession! I don’t even have a car for goodness sake; I bought the parking spot just because it looked cool, all rectangularish, with that cute side that didn’t have a white line defining it like the two longer sides, symbolizing openness and freedom!

It is said that, on a moonless night, if you stand in the middle of that parking spot, you can see truth and beauty personified; hear the voices of angels, and smell the aroma of angels, and taste the flavor of angels. You can also feel the touch of the splended concrete ground beneath your feet! WHY HAVE YOU TAKEN THAT AWAY FROM ME, JOE?!

Yes, Joe, you SHOULD be embarrassed, embarrassed with shame and self-loathing for taking away such a treasure from me. A parking spot is not just some *thing*; once you park in it, you form an everlasting bond with it, or should I say, with her. Yes, that’s right, we were in love, Joe. Love the likes of you humans who’d rather love other humans will never, ever understand! We were going to get married…it was all planned; we were going to go to a WalMart parking lot; all her friends would’ve been there…and then, for our honeymoon, we would’ve gone to the black sand beaches of Hawaii, and paint white lines on the sand to make many little baby parking spaces!! But no, you’ve taken that away from me!! How do you live with yourself after doing something so horrible?!

Anyways, have fun at the office tomorrow!!

ytimynona
ytimynona

Haha the tracking chip is for dogs in my *county* not my *country* wink (Although it’s apparently not GPS-enabled; it’s more like a microchip with information on it. Definitely not as cool as it sounds. Nor as useful, I would think, since it can only be activated/read by the authorities and vets with the proper hardware.)

I have decided that none of us blog regulars are “normal” and also that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our strange habits, medical issues, fetishes, stories, preferences, and experiences make this a very unique community. grin Normal people are boring. wink

@Joe Maybe Tomomi means you take great photos of her.

pg15

Wait, I just realized: that’s not photoshopping, that’s captioning. Oops.

Also, cool update on SGR. All the Earth ships fighting at once? Sounds epically Awesome. One more reason why it must be made!