Screw it!  I’m going to Vegas!

If things go the way I think they will, then next month is going to be crazy between planning for the Toronto move and the move itself.  And it aint gonna get any easier once I get there.  We’re going to be starting up a new series and that will require the assembly of qualified personnel, the establishment of a sound production structure covering everything from scheduling to sign-offs, the coordination of the various entities involved, the spinning, writing, and rewriting of scripts, general pre-production, general production, general post-production, early morning, late nights, and – of course – the odd disagreement over everything from second unit shoots to lunch orders. Alex, Paul and I will have our work cut out for us.  So before I launch headlong into the abyss, I’ve elected to launch headlong into a culinary extravaganza.

Back in SG-1’s final seasons, we would hit Vegas on a semi-regular basis, celebrating our birthdays in spectacular fashion at places like (then) Aqua, (the dearly departed) Alex, and Aureole (home of the wine angels).  It’s been a while, but with the impending move to the other side of North America, I figured now would be the time to go back for one final delicious blow-out.  To hell with Texas Hold ‘Em and Cirque de Soleil, I want my Chef’s Table d’Hote!  I touched base with my former culinary wingman and Sin City expert, Martin Gero, who threw some suggestions my way – Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Bouchon – and offered to drive down for a night and meet me for dinner.  Just like old times!  And, if Paul and I do end up in T.O., it truly will be like old times as Marty G. will be in town show running his own series as well (Epitome Pictures Releases Info For New Show “HIGHLAND GARDENS …).  Hey!  We’re getting the band back together!

On the flipside of the culinary coin was today’s lunch at Trattoria Restaurant on 4th. It’s owned by The Glowbal Group who have seemingly made a habit of following the same predictable pattern: opening strong with middling to above-average food, then coasting and eventually dropping precipitously in quality.  So it was with Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar where, on our last visit, Fondy was served a chicken so suffuse with rosemary flavor as to render it inedible.  So it was with Sanafir, a restaurant I thought highly enough to bring an out-of-town foodie to – with disastrously disappointing results.  And so it was, today, at Trattoria.  It wasn’t all bad.  Akemi had a very good omelette.  My meal, alas, wasn’t even close.  I sat down and ordered a bottle of sparkling mineral water only to be informed the restaurant serves up its own distilled carbonated water at $3 a bottle.  But, our waitress was quick to inform us, we could have as many glasses as we liked.  Bottomless tap water!  What a steal!  My experience with distilled water served at restaurants hasn’t been great.  The flavor is far from crisp or neutral; at best slightly chlorine in taste, at worst fishy.  I ordered a smoothie instead: the Strawberry-Basil.  Okay, okay.  I’m sure you’re thinking “Strawberry-basil?!  What do you expect?!”.  Well, in truth, the basil wasn’t the problem.  It actually worked.  It was the strawberries that were the culprit – sour and wholly unpleasant.  I hate to bring this up again, but no one puts up with this crap in Japan.  When you buy a fruit at the local supermarket, its ripe and incredibly sweet.  Here in North America, you take your chances.  Why?  Well, pick up Jeffrey Steingarten’s The Man Who Ate Everything and check out the chapter titled “Ripeness Is All” in which he details American agriculture’s push to harvest earlier fruit and greener produce.  All this to say: didn’t love the smoothie.  And REALLY didn’t love the Spicy Italian Pizza with house made sausage, caramelized leeks, fingerling potatoes, and burricotta.  I remember visiting this place when they first opened and ordering (AND ENJOYING) a similar pizza: crisp and flavorful, the potatoes thinly sliced and heavenly.  Fast-forward to today’s lunch and the pizza is soggy in parts, weighed down by flavorless potato chunks, a starchy mess.

For the life of me, I can’t figure these guys out.  First Glowbal Grill, then Sanafir, and now Trattoria.  What gives?  Do they have an A-Team that opens their latest restaurant and then moves on to other projects?  Are they easily bored?  Or is it more a case that, once their clientele is secured, they simply stop caring.  Not sure, but its a clear pattern that will have me steering well clear of Coast or Society, their latest additions to Vancouver’s increasingly mediocre restaurant scene.

In preparation for a potentially permanent move, I’ve decided to start clearing out my crawlspace.  I spent an hour today going through just a few of the hundred or so boxes full of toys, scripts, contracts, receipts, and general crap I’ve accumulated over the years (and have been sitting, unopened, since my last move five years ago).  I’ve decided I’d like to get through five boxes a day from now until mid-March and whittle down my holdings.  Among the treasures discovered today: the complete run of Star Trek: Voyager on video (tossed), my old animation contracts (tossed), hard copies of some of my old animation scripts (kept – they’re my only copies), a pile of 11+ year old receipts (tossed), spiral notebooks full of football stats from my old wagering days (tossed), a bunch of floppy disks (tossed), Hong Kong Penthouse magazine featuring Qi Shu (kept – for its collectible value).

Mailbag:

Ryan writes: “E writes: “Once SGU’s fate is determined, will you share with us an AU season 3, like you did with SGA S6?” What did you do with s6? What did I miss?”

Answer: September 30, 2008: An AU Season 6!

Lev writes: “Are there going to be any SGU fiction books and if so, how canon are books considered to be in Stargateland?”

Answer: Sorry, I have no idea.  This is a question for MGM.

JYS writes: “i’m going to New York on Tuesday. Got reservations at Jean Georges, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, WD-50….Per Se i’m going to walk in for the salon menu.”

Answer: Hope you plan on blogging about it.  With pics!

Anna Cookie writes: “What about the MMO Game? Is the whole idea scrapped or just permantley on Hiatus?”

Answer: Unfortunately, I know even less about what’s going on with the game.  Sorry.

Thornyrose writes: “So, are you flying out to Toronto again before the final move, to confirm your new digs, or are you relying on an agent or other proxy to provide you livable quarters?”

Answer: I’m only going to make one trip (if I can help it).  I’ll trust Fondy, who is in Toronto, to scope out the place and sign off on my behalf.

Sam V writes: “Has there been any news on an MGM trailer for SGU 2.”

Answer: Nope, and I don’t think we’re going to see one.

Zach P. writes: “You “disagree” with your accountant? That’d be like if your accountant disagreed with some of your writing. I don’t understand why people go to professionals and then disregard some of their suggestions.  Maybe you want to be like an American and live past your means.”

Answer: My accountant works for me, not the other way around.  And his suggestion has nothing to do with living beyond my means.

Erin writes: “Ever try any Cajun/Louisiana cuisine? If so, what particular dish(es) did you enjoy?”

Answer: I’m a huge fan of Cajun cooking.  Unfortunately, there are no good Cajun restaurants here in Vancouver.  Many years ago, I went to New Orleans and enjoyed some terrific meals at Arnaud’s, Brennan’s, Antoine’s, The Court of Two Sisters, and Commander’s Palace.

squall78 writes: “I have someone on the Syfy.com forums, posting plot info from episode 211. They stated something about a flashback with the Asgard and them developing something and whatnot.”

Answer: Hey, squall.  You could ban him for lying but not for giving away spoilers since his inside information is complete and utter bullshit.

DP writes: “My sister insisted I watch this show called Modern Family last night. I suddenly became very uncomfortable. “Who are they talking to?” I asked.

Did you notice what TV has slipped in on us? The characters occasionally sit in front of the camera and talk. To us. “Hey, look up from your iPhone a sec, here’s what we’re doing on this show you’re sorta’ watching.”

What am I measuredly ranting about? The characters on sitcoms talk to us now. Who let this happen?”

Answer: Years ago, there was a British show called The Office that used this technique.  The conceit was the events depicted were being shot/covered by a documentary crew. When the American version of the show was produced, they kept the same technique/conceit.  Don’t know why Modern Family does it.

Montrealer writes: “SPACE channel in Canada is getting a free ride from Skiffy (AKA SyFy) since they didn’t spend any money on producing SGU. IIRC the show was funded almost solely by Skiffy with financing in place for 2 seasons. Also SPACE only pays MGM not Skiffy for a licensing fee.”

Answer: Sorry to say you know a lot less about the situation than you see to think.  Both SPACE and SyFy paid a licensing fee to MGM to broadcast the show.  The amount they paid may have differed, but that’s because the broadcast markets differed.  The show was most certainly not “funded almost solely by Skiffy”.  And, for the record, SPACE did an incredible job promoting the show, from their terrific trailers to their fan-focused Innerspace features to the big pre-Gemini SGU special they aired spotlighting the cast and Creators/Exec. Producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper.

dasNdanger writes: “Today I broke down and bought something I really shouldn’t have – really don’t have the money to waste these days – but I just couldn’t resist. It’s a picture taken in 1947 for Harper’s Bazaar. SO mesmerized by this picture – it’s so ethereal and serene – I could not take my eyes off of it. It now hangs in my reading corner:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v54/dasNdanger/womanfloating1947.jpg

Answer: Awesome.  I probably would have splurged myself.

Miko writes: “Just wondering, if I just won the lottery for a 100 million €, could I make you guys produce like 10 more episodes for a season 3 SGU?”

Answer: Once you win, let’s talk.

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Tim Gaffney
Tim Gaffney

When you say you threw away the complete Voyager series on video, do you mean VHS or DVD? I still have a few season’s worth of Voyager on VHS even though I have them on DVD. Can’t seem to throw them out.

Deni
Deni

Ooooh, you and @JYS are making me jealous! Do tell me all about Bouchon. Had reservations at Aqua when I went to Vegas quite a few years back with my daughter, but had to cancel due to overeating earlier in the day, so missed out on that, too. I’ve only been to Aureole in NYC, and it would have been a very enjoyable meal had my son-in-law not been calling from Florida to tell me Elway was having seizures (asking what to do with the Valium suppositories, totally panicked, and me, at the top of my lungs “Stick it up his ass!” – yes, I went outside, but not before EVERYBODY heard me…). Daniel in NYC? Meh. I know so many people rave about this place, but quite frankly, I found my Dover sole really, well, meh. The Syrah reduction on my daughter’s fish was bitter and pretty much ruined the dish. Soup, appies and desserts were lovely, service was impecable.

So, when does your Vegas adventure begin, Joe? Enjoy yourself, and have a safe trip! smile

Elminster
Elminster

Hey Joe

My dad has every episode of Star Trek ever aired taped. He sat in his chair with the remote to remove the commercials. He would jot down the times, date and episode name in a little book. Mom heard enough about missing episode names from the original series so she bought him the DVDs…

Elminster

Gilder
Gilder

S & I are talking Vegas but not until mid-March. Too bad we can’t coordinate with you.

Maria
Maria

Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

I’m sorry to hear about your disappointing meals as of late. Maybe there will be good restaurants in Toronto.
However, I will soon be visiting Vancouver and was wondering if you knew of any good bakeries to visit…if you could answer in mailbag form that’d be great!

Thank you,

Maria

Gilder
Gilder

Glad to see you are purging old paper, though. That’s the easiest and probably most security-conscious move preparation. One of our biggest tasks at the estate house has been to go through files, photos, and scrapbooks.

Quade
Quade

I saw a SGU season 2 trailer on SPACE, I cant wait for March 8th.

Hey Joe if you find any Stargate scripts you dont want send em my way! Especially Window Of Opportunity or Scorched Earth, my favorite season 4 episodes (seriously no butt kissing) or my favorite overall episode Heroes. Rob Cooper is the man, i want to have his babies as soon as science finds a way to make that possible.

SebiMeyer

dasNdanger writes: “SO mesmerized by this picture – it’s so ethereal and serene – I could not take my eyes off of it. It now hangs in my reading corner:

comment image

That photo is awesome! I am also pretty sure I have seen it before, but can’t place it. Do you have any more info on it?

Ponytail
Ponytail

Did your Accountant approve this extra trip to Vegas?

(Just kidding – don’t hurt me!) smile

Guillaume
Guillaume

Yes SPACE did an awesome job promoting SGU. Also Canada did appreciate, recognize and reward SGU via the Geminis. A lot of folks are saying Canada is pirate country. Well check this out: even if SGU was broadcasted on Tuesday on Syfy and uploaded online, Canadians would still turn in to see the show live on SPACE on Friday. Even if I have been guilty ‘of cheating’ myself a few times, I can tell you that I always watched it on SPACE on Friday. So the fan base exists and is strong and can be galvanized via a proper marketing and promotion like SPACE did.
SGU failed in the ratings because Syfy fucked up its promotion and viewing time. Canada and Europe showed there was a public for SGU.

BTW, its not the first time we see Syfy fucking up a good show. Take a look at the good Merlin fantasy show:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlin_tv#UK_.26_US_Ratings
Strong S1 and S2 in UK… and off course Syfy managed to fuck it up too in S2 by moving it around the schedule and lose viewers.
Pattern much ?? GG !

All right, enough venom. I will enjoy the bittersweet SGU return for the end of S2. I can not wait to see David Hewlett and Robert Picardo in SGU! I am sure to have a blast.

Debra
Debra

@Randomness

Probably shouldn’t say this as you’lll likely feel the need to do the personal attacks you did last time and this time, but you seriously need to stop telling other people what to post as you come across as really offensive/angry and it wouldn’t surprise me if you respond to this with the abusive posts you did last time when someone disagrees.

As for the person in general, bite me. Their slur on Americans was uncalled for as was their comment to Joe. Until Joe appoints you as the person who approves comments, why don’t you get over yourself and move on.

And to think just yesterday I was thinking… well the person is a jerk sometimes but at least cares for animals. Okay I guess I can still think that… just change sometimes to “often” and add condescending to it.

Debra
Debra

On restaurants… I think the stupid ones work hard to do great to get business, then slack off not understanding they then lose business. Hope your final meals are much more appealing. You should call them ahead of time and let them know you will be blogging about your meal. smile Maybe they’ll put in effort!

I am utterly impressed at the 5 boxes a day. I have 2 storage units here I really need to go through and get rid of half the stuff in them… either sell or donate or trash. Dread it but we plan to move in 2 yrs and I sure don’t want to wait til down to the wire. Please post every day how much you are doing so I will be either inspired or shamed into digging into mine!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ SebiMeyer – It was used for a jazz album cover back in 1962…other than all I know is that it’s a “model floating in the water at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida. The image by fashion photographer Toni Frissell was published in Harper’s Bazaar in December 1947.”

@ Joe – I’ll get you that picture for a housewarming gift, IF you invite me to your first Toronto-based chocolate party! You’ll be within driving distance now…hehehe. twisted (Are you SURE you wanna make that move?? wink )

Also, the restaurants? Are you sure you’re not trying to convince yourself that the food’s gone downhill, just to make leaving Vancouver a little easier? It’s like when you know a relationship’s over and suddenly all the little habits you were willing to put up with or overlook when things were going good become magnified into huge, annoying habits that you can no longer tolerate. Maybe that’s what’s happening with you and Food Vancouver – you know you’re breaking up, and you’re looking for every reason to justify it and lessen the pain.

Okay…that’s my analysis for the night, now get off’a my couch and get back to packing!

Give the poochies kisses for me (esp. that Jelly!), sleep well, and remember…Toronto’s only a day away… twisted

das

Debra
Debra

Darn it, sorry Joe. Keep meaning to comment on the Jelly video because someone commented on her movement. She does appear to be dragging her back leg some… could be just muscle tone issue or neurological. But dang what an incredible improvement! Considering all she has been through, I am impressed.

archersangel

Screw it! I’m going to Vegas!

that needs to be the city’s new motto.

i can just see the commercials now;

a woman gets stood up at the alter, she turns to the bridesmaids & says; “screw it! i’m going to vegas!”

a kid doesn’t get into yale, he calls a friend & says; “screw it! i’m going to vegas!”

the big parts machine breaks down at work, the supervisor throws his hands up & says; “screw it! i’m going to vegas!”

a woman has a bad day, her car breaks down in the rain, she stepped in dog crap, the internet is down & she says; “screw it! i’m going to vegas!”

fsmn36
fsmn36

I doubt your accountant will appreciate your trip to Vegas. grin

Sorry to hear about this latest restaurant let-down. Striking out in the final days, no good! Can’t wait to read about your ReFuel dinner, though.

(Also, I hope you responsibly tossed those videos and floppy disks, rather than letting them sit in landfills leaching God knows what chemicals into the ground. Yikes!)

ganymede
ganymede

@DAS

*COOL*!!

JYS
JYS

i actually don’t have a blog…but the pics are definite.

Lou Zucaro

Joe, I smiled when I read “…no one puts up with this crap in Japan.”

I’ve only been there once, but there were two things (other than, you know, everything) that really stood out. And as a big-time tech geek, I’m even surprised that Akihabara wasn’t one of them.

No, they were Tokyo Disney Sea, which had one of the coolest theme park attractions (maybe the coolest) I’ve ever seen (the Sindbad ride) and the food section at Mitsukoshi.

In some ways, it blew away the food section at Harrod’s, and I think Harrod’s is pretty cool.

But what you wrote really drives to the point. They may not have the selection of Harrod’s, but every. single. thing. there was simply perfect.

Perfectly ripe. Perfectly made. Perfectly displayed.

And I’m sure there are plenty of other places I didn’t see that raised the bar even more.

I don’t know nothin about Canadians from Canadia, but I can tell you that we U.S.-ians, as a culture, have pretty low standards and that doesn’t seem to be a situation that’s improving at all.

Lewis
Lewis

Hey, Joe!

Well, the new season of AMAZING RACE has started… any favorites from the sea of familiar faces?

Oh, hey, have you heard about the comic called BATTLEPUG? I haven’t seen it or anything, but heard someone talking about it and immediately thought of you & your brood.

Take care!

Chris

“Answer: Sorry to say you know a lot less about the situation than you see to think. Both SPACE and SyFy paid a licensing fee to MGM to broadcast the show. The amount they paid may have differed, but that’s because the broadcast markets differed. The show was most certainly not “funded almost solely by Skiffy”.”

Interesting. I thought Syfy paid for around 40% of each episode. I guess you can’t disclose the amount they paid?

Merced
Merced

Since the topic of SPACE doing such good promotion in Canada keeps popping up I am curious: How good or bad where SGU’s ratings in Canada?
Can you make a comparison for non-Canadians to grasp how good or bad they where?
For instance: SGU was averaging about .. viewers which would be as good or bad if SyFy had .. viewers.
Any overview source for the Canadian ratings?

If the ratings where better it might help us in fighting the occasional “SGU was bad and no one watching it proves it” argument by argueing that when promoted right ratings would have been better.

Can’t wait to see SGU 2.5. Hope about some good news regarding SGs future soon…

Randomness
Randomness

@Debra

You attack others that don’t agree with you. Just grow up a little, people don’t appreciate such hostile comments aimed at them like you did with that other person. You’l just drive people away from posting here.

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

You are doing what I find impossible. I have wonderful things like floods that decide for me what goes and what I keep. Moving also helps…because things just tend to get lost. One time I numbered each box and listed every item in that box. Funny thing…that year we didn’t lose anything.

Yes…I have moved…as an adult….14 times. Crazy…I know. Life should be simpler…but it’s not. Oh well…good luck with all THAT packing and tossing. Wish I were there to see all the tossing. *smiles*

Best to you Joe,
Always,
Cheryl smile

cherluvya

Don’t throw out any of the toys that belong to the pups. They will miss them when they are in their new home. Take them ALL. Really…