I was at the shop, picking out pastries for my superbowl party (After all, what superbowl would be complete without an opera cake or a financier?) when the woman beside me remarked on the impressive assortment of sweets I’d lined up.  I don’t recall exactly what she said.  It may have been “Wow!  That’s a lot of dessert!” or “Are those all for you?” or maybe even “You’re not seriously gonna cram ’em all down your piehole, are ya?”.  Whatever it was, it ended up sparking a conversation.  We talked desserts, travel, and culinary adventures and, before heading out the door, I handed her my card.  I don’t recall what I said.  It may have been “Drop me an email when you get a chance.” or “Give me a call.” or maybe even “Who’s the girl who wants some crispy duck?!!!”.  Whatever it was, Denise emailed me the next day, we exchanged messages and finally, last night, we went out for dinner.

Alas, no pics of Denise.  She claims she’s camera shy but I suspect it has more to do with a possible warrant out for her arrest.  Still, some shots of the meal we enjoyed at Refuel…

Foie gras croquettes.
Watercress salad. I think I may be allergic to the stuff. Just to be on the safe side, I didn't eat any.
And, of course, the crispy duck.

At one point, a waitress came out and presented us with the duck before whisking it back to the kitchen for deboning.  Some thirty seconds later, another waitress came out and presented the duck, prompting one of the two women seated at the table behind us to ask exactly how many ducks we’d ordered.  I informed them I was extra hungry and strongly urged them to go with the duck – but their hearts were already set on something else.  That, of course, didn’t stop them from admiring the duck when it was served moments later.  “They’re admiring the duck,”noted Denise.  Knowing full well we’d never be able to finish it off by ourselves, I swung the platter around and offered our surprised neighbors a piece each.  Which they loved by the way.  So much so that they ended up buying me dessert –

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Parfait.

We talked more food, travel, and just about every other topic imaginable.  The next time I checked my watch, it was three hours later!  Time flies when you’re eating crispy duck!

A great time was had by all.  Well, by me anyway – although Denise seemed to have a good time.  Well, guess we’ll find out next week when we hit Peaceful Restaurant for fiery noodles.

I woke up this morning to discover I’d been quoted in The Wall Street Journal.  And what, you may ask, was the topic of my informed commentary?  Healthcare?  Politics?  The recession?  Try macarons: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269004575073843836895952.html?mod=googlenews_wsj End of the article.

Hey, meet the new Stargate writer-producers –

Remi Aubuchon - Caprica, 24, Persons Unknown, Summerland, The Lyon's Den.
Linda McGibney - Homicide: Life on the Streets, Family Law, Chicago Hope.

In addition to scriptwriting and producing duties, you can be sure there’s a Q&A in their not-too-distant future.

Some Boneshaker discussion –

Rebecca H. writes: “Why did the Chinese (or anybody) continue to live in what was a literal hell on earth?”

This is a good point.  Given the squalid conditions and the obvious dangers, I’m not sure why most of the inhabitants of the walled city didn’t leave.  The most obvious answer would be that they were prevented from doing so – although this is never addressed and I’m not sure why those on the outside would want to prevent those on the inside from getting out.  If that was the case, however, it’s possible that those who did have the means to get out (ie. bribing airship captains) got out when they could.  Then again, what stopped them from escaping through the same tunnels Zeke used to gain access to the city.  Hmmmm.  Raises some interesting questions.

“Why has no one attempted to seal the Blight hole in the earth’s crust (and again, lemon sap doesn’t seem to be reason enough)?”

This is another one for the author but I would imagine that sealing the opening would have been easier said than done.  It reminds of that town in Pennsylvania that had to be abandoned because of a mine fire that has been burning for almost fifty years, rendering the place uninhabitable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania).  Weird but true.

NKP writes: “I liked the story idea and that Briar went after Zeke just to get him back without wanting to play a leading role in the city.”

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I found Briar’s motivation refreshing.  She demonstrates courage and resourcefulness in the face of many obstacles, but never really assumes the mantel of leader or savior – which would have been the all-too-obvious way to go.  Her sole concern is her son, finding him and getting him back to safety, and that made her all the more real to me.

NKP writes: “I had the impression during her stay within the city that she didn’t know what became of Leviticus.”

Answer: For me, it was quite the opposite.  Throughout, she was certain that Minnericht was NOT Leviticus and I kept wondering “How can she be so sure?” and then, eventually: “Ah, there’s something more going on here.”  And, as it turns out, there was.

NKP writes: “What also left me wondering was, why Captain Cly didn’t tell her about Minnericht before giving her the lift to the city.”

Answer: I’m guessing that between the rotters, the blight, and the city’s many unsavory elements, Cly figured he’d be the least of her problems.

Ponytail writes: “Joe said, “the threat of the rotters felt more incidental than an essential story element.” I say, thank god! I think the zombie rotters were just the right amount. Nothing worse than having a dead, decaying person grabing at you all the time and trying to eat you. There were too many other stories going on in the book, like, who lived in that walled up city and down below it, how did they live like that, and why would they live like that, and what did they do.”

I’m not saying we needed to see more of the rotters.  I simply wanted them to figure more into the main story.  For instance, it’s suggested that Minnericht is able to exercise some form of control over the living dead, but this is never fully explored.  Would have loved to find out exactly how he was able to control them and the extent of said control.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday boy Belouchi and AV Eddy.

46 thoughts on “March 2, 2010: Feasting with a fellow foodie! Meet the new writers! More Boneshaker discussion!

  1. Sorry, hit the send button. Guess who I had dinner with tonight? 2 other Joe blog regulars! Deni and Kabra aka Karen, also joining us was Deni’s daughter,Lauren, who was visiting from the UK for mom Deni’s birthday, btw which is the 5th so, don’t forget and do a dedication to her on FRI.!! ok? Pictures to follow, when we can figure it out!! We had wonderful Irish food and left “rolling” out the door. We ate, laughed and talked about you for 2 hours!! We did have a great time!! See the trouble that you have created? My hubby said he would NOT bail me out if I got into trouble with them!! Yes, we behaved… NOT!!This place might not have been Refuel, but we did enjoy!! You have created monsters!!! BTW, how is Martin Woods’s daughter doing? Could you let us know please? Off to Disney World this weekend for some fun with another sci-fi geek friend from the L.A. con. tata, Sheryl.

  2. Remi Aubuchon himself? I’m intrigued – his work on Caprica was very good!

  3. You know I can’t resist… first hell froze over with snow in Georgia, now y’all have a woman writer/producer. Going out to check for falling sky.
    Congrats on the new foodie. Don’t scare her off.

  4. I want to have dinner next to you sometime and get the free tastes! The adorable lady who runs the Chinese restaurant on my way to work always puts extras in with my order. She’s very sweet, so I don’t have the heart to tell her I don’t like her egg rolls. The little donuts and the dumplings, though, are excellent! The can of Dr. Pepper she slips in the bag is pretty good, too.

    Tell Denise that she shouldn’t worry about you posting her photo. However, if you’d like to post her full name and birthdate, that would help that warrant thing along.

  5. In Boneshaker, I think Cherie Priest created a well rounded story from beginning to end. And actually, when I finished reading the book, I did not have any open ended questions. For me, I could imagine how I thought the story would continue after the book was over.

    Briar and Zeke “raided” their own house and took what they needed to start a new life in a new town. I think they did not stay behind the wall in that ruined city and they moved away. Briar’s secret she had been keeping from her son was finally told, so Zeke would have had his answers he was looking for and they could move on. And Briar let Captain Cly and others take the rest of the loot.

    I think those “living” inside the wall would have stayed, especially now since Dr Minnericht had been taken care of. Why would anyone live in a place like that? Well, why does anyone build a house on an earthquake fault line? Or on the edge of a hillside? Why do some people take jobs in the most dangerous parts of the world? Why do people live in filthy conditions in their own homes? Either it is profitable or they feel they have no choice. Inside the wall there was that drug to be made and sold to the outside. Maybe those Chinamen made good money and were able to funnel the money out of the city and back to their families outside the wall.

    I think life went on inside the wall, rotters and all, until maybe some time in the future when it become impossible to stay there any longer because of the Blight beoming worse.

    And I think no one came into that little city without everyone knowing about it. (Small town syndrome) I think Briar and Zeke were protected from the rotters by everyone they met. Maybe that was Minnericht’s contol over the rotters?

    Very enjoyable book. I finished a good book, the Olympics are over…what do I do now?

  6. How lovely of you to offer them the rest of your crispy duck! How nice of them to buy you dessert… I love this stuff…

    I am sooooooooo wanting to try that duck. We have FINALLY got ducks here to buy in my area. $18 AusD for a whole duck.. I am gonna try it. I wonder if they flour it and then deep fry it . Gonna experiment.

    Watercress isn’t bad actually – has a peppery taste (a bit like Radish). I like it.. would be interesting in a salad but not AS a salad.

  7. @Av Eddy — So sorry to hear about Simon. My best wishes to you. And I hope that you will be able to remember the good things about him and know that he is in a good place.


  8. Denise may be a foodie but does she like dogs? That is the most important thing.

    She must be really nice – not sure how I would feel if a guy brought his camera on a first date and took photographs of the food. 😕

    I am glad that you have a lady writer now – not that a person’s gender is relevant to their ability to write. 🙂

  9. Thanks for the article link. I honestly had no idea what macarons really were. I just knew they were brightly colored and looked like a sandwich cookie. Also, I think the article makes you seem less cool than you are in my mind. Of course, I only have an opinion of your coolness because of what you write in this blog, which could be a biased perspective.

    So, how cool are you actually, Joe?

  10. Small question, Mr. M.: have you seen John G. Lenic lately? He hasn’t updated his Twitter in about two months now, and he was planning to hang out at the Olympics, so I’m just wondering where he’s been.

    In the meantime, nice to see that you’re getting the popularity you deserve with that article! Now, uh, what are macarons? 😉

  11. Wish this tweeter had referenced SGU…

    “EricStangel Lost Spoiler: In daring bit of cross-promotion, the castaways’ 1 chance at being saved is trip in the Hot Tub Time Machine
    about 3 hours ago
    Retweeted by MGM_Studios”

  12. Three questions today:

    1.With stronger actors do you think SGA would have been a better all around show?

    2.SGA can be broken into two parts really seasons 1-3 and 4,5… which part do you like the best?

    3. What do you think of the new google layout? I don’t like it… 🙁

  13. Hi, Joe!

    Welcome aboard the Destiny (and her motley crew…) to Remi and Linda. Happy Gating to you both!

    And thank you, Joe, for your daily blogs. You’re inspiring.


  14. Hey Joe,

    Every time I think of something to say…I think “I can’t say that”…hmmmm

    Hey she sounds nice, food was great as always..ummm

    Fun learning about the new writers. That is an interesting combination. It will be fun to see ….hey wait a minute…they will be “old hats” by the time we see what they first write on the screen. hmmm

    VERY entertaining tonight, much to think on.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  15. Hello Joseph!

    ça va bien? moi oui 🙂

    éhéhé qui est cette Denise?? moi je veux des photos!! cette rencontre est un signe du destin 😉

    Yah, cool les new producteurs/écrivains de stargate, je les ajoutés dans mes amis facebook ^^!

    …ofaite si un jour vous avez dans l”idée de vous inscrire à facebook faites moi signe 😉

    Bonne journée!
    Enormes bisous!
    je vous adores!!!

  16. It’s cruel that you live so close to Refuel and the rest of us have to just sit and drool over the pictures….

  17. Hm, I should re-read Boneshaker in a few months to see if I get a different impression. I thought, Briar was just clinging to her knowledge about Levi’s fate without actually knowing it. After all, somewhere she mentioned, Levi left her behind. Or she voiced it in thoughts.

    Rebecca H. writes: “Why did the Chinese (or anybody) continue to live in what was a literal hell on earth?”

    I wondered a little bit about that too, but I my take on an explanation is this:
    1) People who want to stay hidden from the rest of the world would stay inside the walls, because no clear thinking mind would go after them there. -> criminals, deserters (Jeremiah)
    2) People who have lost everything, but have found friends and family among the inhabitants and just decided to stay with them, because outside the walls they would be on their own again. And inside the walls they are someone. -> Lucy?
    3) People who came to earn money and found out, they still can earn a lot of money. It’s like working in a mine. You just need to be extra careful and stay away from the rotters. And this they have. -> Chinese
    4) People like the Princess who have their personal reasons to stay.

    So all in all, people staying within the walls sounded logical enough for me.

  18. Joe,

    Man, someday you have to tell us what exactly is going on in the romance department, like which one of your “dates” are just two friends going out and which are potential candidates for the next Mrs Mallozzi. Why? Well, come on, lots of us live vicariously through you and your adventures and how are we supposed to wish you luck or push you out of the way, or perhaps even give a thumbs up or down on the woman post-date? You know, I thought Akemi was a serious contender for your heart, but because you publicly talked about your date with Denise I know now that I was wrong. See, if you would tell us ahead of time, or at least tell us which date is a *date* date and which are *friend* dates we (I) wouldn’t jump to foolish conclusions. There’s a question in here Joe, help me find it….?

    Okay, now a non-personal question or two: Two new writer/producers? Does that mean someone (or more) are not returning for season two? Can we know who is or who is not on the team for S2?

    While I do, somewhat, enjoy Caprica (it’s not a must-see show for me) not sure how I feel about having a producer on the team who undoubtedly had some responsibility for the tone of Caprica. For me, SGU is a little too much BSG/Caprica as it is, not sure adding more of that particular tone is a good thing.

    Did anyone on the SGU staff complain about the long hiatus period for s1.0 to s1.5? With less time off the air then SGU I have lost my enthusiasm for Flashforward, I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to SGU with viewers (not me, I’m onboard).

    About Teal’c; Is there serious talk about having Chris Judge appear in SGU for season 2? Has he expressed an interest or non-interest?

    Lastly, I’m about finished with an article to be published about MGM’s handling of the Stargate franchise, would you care to have a peek before it’s published?

  19. @AV eddy – sorry to hear about Simon. It is really hard when a loved companion dies. I hope that your family (including the furries) are coping.

    [b]@elminster [/b]
    I have managed to administer Frankie’s medication with no injuries to myself – yet. Today took some Aberdeen Angus roast beef to coax him into complying with the treatment. He is a lovely sweet natured little grown-up kitten. His sister Princess Merlin is not so sweet natured – she is stupid and temperamental.

    Frankie is the picture above – Merlin is long haired and pretty but is all black and just looks like a black blob in photographs.

  20. @AV eddy – sorry to hear about Simon. It is really hard when a loved companion dies. I hope that your family (including the furries) are coping.

    I have managed to administer Frankie’s medication with no injuries to myself – yet. Today took some Aberdeen Angus roast beef to coax him into complying with the treatment. He is a lovely sweet natured little grown-up kitten. His sister Princess Merlin is not so sweet natured – she is stupid and temperamental.

    Frankie is the picture above – Merlin is long haired and pretty but is all black and just looks like a black blob in photographs.

  21. Wait, they’re regular writers and producers? Cool!!!!!!

    Welcome to the stargate family Remi and Linda!!!!!!!!!!!

    Really looking forward to season 2 now!!!!!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  22. @susan the tartan turtle – Ya, I had a dog a while back we had to give an inhaler to for a while. The ex couldn’t manage it, I think she got more of the inhaler than the dog. Anyway, I had come home in the middle of the wrestling match, took a look and asked if I could see the inhaler, reached into the cupboard took out the peanut butter, put a dab in the back and the dog put his face in and I gave him a puff. He didn’t pause with all his furious licking.


  23. Hey Joe

    Just noticed, you’re up early! Real early…. doggies or another date? Couldn’t be for work.


  24. Welcome to the Stargate crew, Remi and Linda!

    Joe, you met a fabulous woman at the pastry shop Before your Superbowl party, and you just now think to mention it to us? 😉

    Sounds like your “crispy duck” line works — Denise at the pastry shop, the two women at ReFuel…

    Yeah, okay, that’s all the humor I have in me today, and even that used too many brain cells. Am sick and on drugs, so don’t hold me responsible for any bad grammar or weird syntax.

    Food looks great — wish looking at the pics didn’t make me more nauseous.

    @av eddy — Sorry about your loss of Simon.

  25. @ AV eddy – So sorry about Simon. 🙁 {{{hugs}}} Seems like just about everyone here has lost a pet or loved one since I started following Joe’s blog…we just can’t escape this stuff. My thoughts are with you.

    @ The New Writers – Whatever you do, DON’T KILL THE WRAITH! 😀 … 🙂 … 😐

    DOH! Wrong show. 😛


  26. Hi Joe!

    Yummy Refuel food and interesting book discussion. I didn’t read it as I’m allergic to zombies, but I just might pick this one up! I hope you enjoy your next date with Denise.

    Thanks to Joe, Arctic, susan ttt, ava, and das for your kind thoughts. It means a lot.

    Joe – you gotta great li’l community here. 🙂


  27. @elminster – when I was a teenager we had a bull-mastiff/German Shepherd/Scooby Doo/human mutt. One day he took a chunk out of my mother’s inhaler and must have breathed in most of the drug.

    My mother, being my mother, didn’t say a thing – poor dog was lying at the top of the stairs with his eyes rolling and panting for Scotland.

    Once he recovered she just happened to mention what he had snacked on.

    Frankie is not keen on Peanut Butter – and I am much too fond of it.


  28. hello to the new writers!!!!
    Joe, do you plan to answer my burning question anytime soon or are you avoiding the answer: D
    Too bad Denise did not want to be photographed ! I’m sure she is a beautiful woman! But again, I’ve never seen you being photographed in the company of an unattractive woman 😀 ( ….when you think about it, saying the contrary would be unflattering to me 8) )

    Joe, the big pile of Duck is not inspiring me! I like it better whole, more attractive looking. But that’s ok Joe, unattractive food makes me less hungry, and less inclined to cheat!! 😀

    ….What can I say, I’m lovely as usual 😈 😆

  29. @ NKP – I agree with you totally. People live in weird places and in weird ways all the time.

    @ AV eddy – sorry about your beloved Simon. It’s too bad all our family pets can’t live longer lives. But it sounds like he was well taken care of for all of his.

    Joe you are so sweet to share your Crispy Duck with your dinning neighbors. I’ll be sure to ask for a table next to yours if I ever see you.

    Your new writers look interesting and certainly have great credentials. (I’d go easy on taking Remi’s picture unless you want to be eating your camera for lunch. He looks like he is temporarily tolerating you.)

  30. AV Eddy: so sorry about Simon. I know how rough that is.

    Mr. M, I was going to suggest a health club for meeting ladies but hey, a pastry shop is a lot more fun! It was super nice of you to share with the other table, too. That quote in WSJ could be the beginning of a new career. Didn’t someone on the blog suggest you should do the food critic thing?

    That Boneshaker book sounds pretty good. I’ll put it on my reading list.

    Today was rough at the humane society. I’m beat. The Shar Pei has finally been adopted (he is loud but sweet to people, hates other animals). The lab is going to lab rescue, finally. I think lab rescue place must be overflowing as well.

  31. Oh and one questions for the next mailbag.

    Is Robert Carlyle directing Pathogen?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  32. Welcome new writers!

    Question for Joe:

    I just read on the Gateworld forums that Robert Carlyle will be Directing ”Pathogen” is there any truth to this?

  33. Centralia, Joe? I’ve been there. Not much to see. Actually I was going to Knoebels Grove Amusement Park in Elysburg.

  34. Hi Joe, haven’t been around for a few days, daughter’s visiting! We went to Miami to visit with family for a couple of days, got a slight case of food poisoning (only me and one cousin) and had a very long drive home because of it last night 🙁 We stopped to have dinner with Sheryl and Kabra, lots of fun.

    So, got home and found my Cocker’s eye had swollen up to twice its original size. She’s always had a “cherry eye” problem, has had surgery to correct it and that didn’t work. Took her into the vet today and it turns out she’s got terrible glaucoma in that eye (had it checked less than a year ago and it was fine), nothing wrong with the other. The vet was very pessimistic about treating it with medication and/or marijuana (just kidding…), so unfortunately the poor girl will have the eye removed next week. I’m worried, she’s 13, but she’s very healthy and I have excellent vets, so she should be ok other than the fact she’s going to look awful. I think she’ll actually be happier and healthier for it, so wish us luck!

    Hope everybody is well out there, I’ll catch up on Sunday after the kid goes home 🙂 Have a good night!

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