Boy, if there was a fight on which I could have developed deep vein thrombosis, last night’s red-eye from Los Angeles to Toronto was it.  I napped in about fifty five minute installments over the course of those four and a half hours, drifting off and starting awake, fingers numb, legs aching, back and neck sore.  You know what’s hard?  Learning to play guitar!  You know what’s even harder?  Trying to sleep sitting up!  By the time we got in at a little before 6:00 a.m. this morning, I was ready for bed.  A real bed.

But our dismebarkation would have to wait.     We taxied, rolled up to the gate, and then sat there, waiting.  One of the air hostesses informed us to remain seated with our seat belts on while an onboard issue was dealt with.  I automatically assumed it was either a medical emergency or someone was going to be arrested.  And, as our wait stretched from five, then ten, then fifteen, then twenty minutes, it became pretty obvious that it wasn’t a medical emergency.  Sure enough, the door finally opened and two police officers stepped aboard.  One of the air hostesses pointed to a guy (mid-thirties, well-dressed) sitting in business class and the passenger was informed the officers were there to arrest him.  He seemed surprised, and quite flustered, as he struggled to remember where he’d secured his overhead bag and then was escorted off the flight.  By the time we hit the terminal, one of the officer had his pen and pad out, cheerily filing a report with one of the air hostesses.

I wondered what the guy had done wrong.  Smoked in the bathroom?  Argued with the cabin crew?  Swiped somebody’s kosher meal?  Alas, with the heightened state of security surrounding air travel, there is zero tolerance for tomfoolery.  Also, fun.  Gone are the days when you could get super drunk, then surf the drink trolley, pantless, down the passenger aisle.  Let this be a reminder to all.

Anyway, it was a quick in and out, but much was accomplished (aka “eaten”).  Here was my trip in pictures:

Sunshine is ready to go!

We flew in late Thursday night.  The next day, we went for an early morning stroll.  While Alexander opted for a mundane smoothie breakfast, I went off-book and picked up a garden burger, fries, and some Ben & Jerry’s red velvet ice cream.

Alas, in the future, I think I'll stick with Cookie Dough or Haagen-Dazs Pralines and Cream. While I liked the cake bits, I wasn't a fan of the cream cheese/ice cream combo.
Look at the selection of ice cream! Ben & Jerry's alone! THIS is reason enough for me to move south! Oh, and, uh, hey there, Alex.

A car picked us up at the hotel.  The driver, apparently a huge film fan, kicked things off by asking whether we’d ever seen Once Upon A Time in the West.  Of course!  We started talking movies and he explained he was a huge fan of Hitchcock.  In fact, he was a fan of older films.  According to him, they just don’t make them like they used to.  Back in the day, the emphasis was on story but, nowadays, it’s nothing but mindless action.  And then, without missing a beat: “You know what movie looks good?  Fast Five!”.  I stopped listening to him after that.

Eventually, we arrived at our destination and were immediately greeted the chants of what I assumed was an in progress military drill but actually turned out to be this –

Picket line!

I was relieved to learn they weren’t picketing the network but the building manager that was using non-union drywall workers.  I expressed appropriate sympathy, whether it would be okay to cross the picket line.  Out of respect for the union worker of course.  And a desire to avoid being bonked on the head with an “Unfair Carpenters’ Local 1506” sign.  We go the all-clear and headed inside.

Alexander, in showrunner mode.

And there, we spent most of the day taking in the performances.

We wrapped early and, with three hours to kill, headed over a pre-dinner snack of chocolate fudge and smoothies.

Robert Cooper, relaxed.
Alexander M. Ruemelin, REALLY relaxed.
Check out this little porker. If Lulu likes short, squat beefy guys, then this little fella would be perfect.

I had my heart set on checking out Animal Restaurant – and the pig tails and pork belly sandwiches in particular – but it was booked so, on Martin Gero’s recommendation, Rob booked a table for us at Craft, Top Chef Head Judge’s Tom Colicchio’s place.  A great call by Marty G.  Dinner was terrific:

Fisherman Carl turns his nose up at the thought of skate but on the rare occasions I spot it on a menu, I'll always order it. My sister makes a delicious caper butter version. The Craft version is equally great - buttery crisp exterior, tender meat interior, topped with a scattering of chive blossoms.
Alex raved about his flat-iron steak.
A magnificent side of sweet onions...
And sneaky-spicy shisito peppers!
The only misstep was the deep-fried headcheese which sounded great (Alex would no doubt dispute this) but ended up leaving me a queasy.

Since Rob and Alex passed on dessert, I had to pick up the slack…

Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Good, but I was missing the soft chewiness characteristic of freshly homebaked cookies.
Rich and intensely flavored homemade ice creams. From left to right: Mexican Vanilla, Pistachio, and Peanut Brittle.

While we were eating, a host of hot young actors filed past on their way to the private party being held at the back of the restaurant.  Tyler Lautner and a host of blond, spiky-haired boys everyone seemed to recognize but me.  Clearly, I need to watch more teen vampire movies.

Or, maybe Rob and Alex need to watch a whole lot less.

40 thoughts on “April 30, 2011: The L.A. Breakdown: Returning on the Red Eye! A Ben & Jerry’s Bonanza! Skirting the Picket Line! Dinner at Craft Restaurant!

  1. Maybe you shouldn’t bag on Fast Five just in case they decide to make a TV series out of it…. just sayin’

  2. I had a weird, but okay time flying months after 9/11. When I feel a little self-conscious about my Tourette’s, that’s when it decides to act up.

    Now that there’s been time to line up all the cronies’ contracts, I mean, security measures, I wouldn’t even try flying. Very bad things would happen to me. I barely got my “you’re stupid” face under control in time when my driver’s license was being questioned because it expired just before my return flight. The stuff you have to be submissive about now…not my strong suit.


    I lived in the country and not as far south as L.A. and had at least 30 flavors of ice cream w/in walking distance from me.


    What’s so bad about Fast Five? I haven’t seen the trailers, just that bit you posted, but trailers are all fun and games moments for most movies, how can you tell it’s light on story? Or am I assuming too much to assume you haven’t seen the movie?

  3. “One of the air hostesses pointed to a guy (mid-thirties, well-dressed) sitting in business class and the passenger was informed the officers were there to arrest him…”

    I guess he was wanted in Canada and not in the US?
    Or the airport face recognition software isn’t a good as they say it is?

    I wonder how many people felt sick when they saw policemen board the plane, wondering if they had been rumbled at last, only to feel intense relief when it was someone else they had an interest in?

    Very few people are completely innocent nowadays.

  4. Sounds like you had a whole lot of fun. All of the food looked good. And you’re not the only one who wouldn’t have recognized Tyler Lautner. I don’t think I would have recognized him either.

    Glad you got back safely!

    Have a good evening!!!

  5. So does the interminable flight and the delay getting off the plane mean that your bad karma won out over Alex’s optimism? Or does the fact that you weren’t the one arrested mean he won? Or do they cancel each other out and it’s a draw?

    Oh, and there’s only 30 days in April, at least on my calendar. 😉

  6. Peanut Brittle ice cream…Hmm?….that sounds really interesting.

    Probably very very sweet and peanuty.

    Now I want some ice cream….cherry vanilla and banana fudge here I come.

  7. with sooo many things to be down about in this world, it would have been very, very nice to have one little fantasy come true.

    (((sam & jack)))

  8. you know what my fortune cookie said a couple days ago?

    “If your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted”.

    i saved it. i thought it was good luck. :/

    (and it was MUCH better than the day before, which was an empty fortune cookie… )

  9. @Picket line!

    Meh you should of just ignored them and gone inside Joe, by the signs they’re angry about low wages and benefits of somekind?

    I mean after all if it had nothing to do with the network or anything it’s not like they’d get angry right?

    Speaking of which, hope things are going well on the Transpoter front. And those food pics look nice lol

    By the way, I think you made a typo on the date, putting 31 instead of 30.

  10. Sorry Joe, no Japadog for us tonight…spent 6 and a half hours walking round Stanley Park and Granville Island before back up the whole of Hornby to my hotel.

    Can barely manage to walk from the bed to the TV to switch it on for the game tonight now.

    Will order room service if I feel the need to snack tonight – got to pack as well.

    Maybe next time – 10th visit lucky eh? a friend working on info on apartment rentals for next time..longer stay, cheaper than hotels…and it’s going to be in the Summer!!

    Sun’s been out all day too….cold but at least you can see the North Shore Mountains today!..

    Saw lots of dogs walking too..Vancouver seems to have a HUGE dog owning population…

  11. Seems like you had an interesting enough time. But it seems odd you flew out for a single day. If nothing else, adding another day or two would have let you sneak in a ocuple of extra meals.
    Speaking of which, the meal laid out seems a tad bit …bland, for your usual tastes. Even, or especially the desserts. Unoriginal flavors, though no doubt of good quality. And how is Alex as a dining and travel buddy? How did he fare on the redeye? And have you followed up on the arrest? Inquiring minds want to know…thanks for sharing and enjoy catching up on real sleep through the weekend.

  12. “a host of hot young actors…”

    Wait. You ARE straight, right??


    A quick airplane-pre-9/11 story ( may have shared this before, can’t remember – my apologies if I’m repeating myself). My dad is kinda gruff, and a bit loud…just his normal volume is loud. I’ve said before here that he’s a combination of Archie Bunker and Ralph Kramden/Fred Flintstone. Anyway, mom and dad were on a flight, and dad wanted something from the stewardess. She was across the aisle and a couple seats down, helping another passenger. Dad is impatient, and he kept telling my mom (who was on the aisle) to get the stewardess’ attention. Mom told him to be patient, but he was getting irritated, and he said to mom in his Ralph Kramden voice, “Just smack her on the ass!” Well, the stewardess heard him, whipped around and mom said she gave dad such a look she was surprised real daggers didn’t fly out of her eyeballs. Today I’m sure he would be carted off for making such a comment…heh…maybe it would teach him a lesson. 🙂


  13. Did Ashleigh send you some cookies? Those choc chip ones look delicious.
    Thanks for sharing your adventures, I just know you can’t make this stuff up, what fun.!

  14. Oh, pre-9/11, totally different ball game. In Russia, I traded with an Iranian athlete for his jacket. So, I wore a jacket all the way home from Russia that said “I. R. Iran” on the back and carried a Remington brand bag to boot. No probs.

  15. I’ve thought of writing a blog on the craziness of my regular travels through airports. Random strangers met, terminal shut downs, taxi drivers from hell, quarantine inspectors stopping at your seat with a concerned look, aborted landings, diversions, pilots trying to avoid weather, dodgy landings, customs officials thinking the cash in your passport is a bribe, just to name a few.

  16. Hey Joe,

    I really don’t like flying anymore. There are always stories to go along with my travel. My friends use to say they loved traveling with me because my life was NEVER boring. I am beginning to believe that yours isn’t boring in the least.

    Great pictures…love how you manage to find new food…that looks great…that I shall never see let alone taste…but it looks yummy.

    Enjoy the warm weather in LA. Just left there a couple of days ago.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl :o)

  17. i don’t know what’s better; seeing all of that ben & jerry’s ice cream or that fact that it was on sale.

    While we were eating, a host of hot young actors filed past on their way to the private party being held at the back of the restaurant. Tyler Lautner and a host of blond, spiky-haired boys everyone seemed to recognize but me. Clearly, I need to watch more teen vampire movies.

    Or, maybe Rob and Alex need to watch a whole lot less.

    i think it’s the latter. or maybe they need to stop watching so many “entertainment news” programs.

  18. Mailbag Q:
    Was/Is the large hydroponic bay on Destiny intended to be used as a hydroponics area by the Ancients?

  19. Personally, I’m surprised that the majority of the Screenwriters Guild *isn’t* on “Someone’s” NO FLY LIST! — Seriously, where do you think the Bad Guys get half of their “Ideas”?

  20. I am glad to see that Sunshine is taking his photo modeling job seriously. Carl is one tough act to follow. It’s so hard to get good people these days.

    How did the casting session go? Were you able to cast all the parts you were looking for? Or do you have to cast the net a little wider? just curious.

  21. Slow de-planing for us at Phoenix Friday, with no explanation. Would have missed our connection, had it not been delayed.

  22. I’ve never eaten at Craft. Do you think it’s really worth trying? It must be on the west side of LA. I never go over there unless the restaurant is really good.

    I was looking at the pics where Rob was sitting and where you happened to get smoothies and fudge. I can’t figure it out. Now it’s gonna bug me. Sorry about the nice weather, especially with you living where you are right now.

  23. Another Mailbag Q:
    Where was the town of Novus filmed at? It looks familiar, like I’ve seen it in another movie.

  24. “Gone are the days…” Oh Joe, if only they were. A recent cross-country flight had me crammed in the last row’s window seat next to Overweight Guy and Drunk Guy. Drunk guy was eventually cut off (“Well, sir, you’ve already had five”), tried to buy for everyone else (did he intend to repossess his Tanquerays once her back was turned?), picked a fight with OW Guy over the armrest (how much farther could I jam myself into the window if he started swinging?) and finished up by mooning we unlucky few stuck behind him in the aisle. I exited the plan grimly aware I had earned my ice cream.

    The stopover terminal had NO ICECREAM. 🙁

  25. I can tell you’re not a Twi-phile lol.. it’s Taylor Lautner..

    No, I am not a Twi-whatever, I googled because it didn’t look right the way you typed it 😛

  26. PS – what is ‘headcheese’?? I wouldn’t state that in Australia aaaaaaaahahahahahaha…..

  27. Hi Joe,

    A day late, but thanks for answering my question. I agree that it would have been nice if there had been some sort of final word on S/J. Maybe someday you or Brad might be able to share what Revolution might have held in that regard. Even intended closure, while not as satisfying as actually seeing it on screen, is better than none at all. I know Brad had rather a rough time when he kindly agreed to visit your blog before. Do you think he’d be willing to at least give us a rough idea about Revolution? And not just the S/J bits either. I always had the sense that we were missing some key information going into the start of SGU–things that Revolution would have made much clearer. It would be nice to have that missing bit of Stargate history, especially for those of us who are rather obsessive that way….

    And in that vein…when you start answering questions post-Gauntlet…(and I apologize if this is re-asking what someone else might have already posted…)…could you tell us where the heck the Earth gate is? If Cheyenne Mountain is closed down and Area 51 is mostly rubble…I’m at a loss.

    Unless, of course that “moon base” line in Continuum wasn’t referring to Icarus after all….

    As alway, Joe. Thanks.


  28. Hi Joe,

    Me again…

    I did have one more comment. You’d mentioned that the Aschen storyline was meant to be a trilogy with the survivors attacking Earth.

    Were you aware that one of the Fandamonium SG-1 novels, “Relativity”, by James Swallow, deals with that very storyline? It would be interesting to know whether his plot bore any resemblance to the intended 3rd episode, or if you all had even gotten that far in your thinking about it, beyond the general premise.

    Anyway. More of an FYI.



  29. Hey Joe, I have a random question.

    Do the communication stones need to always send the person’s consciousness into a body of the same gender? I figure it would have been a hilarious opportunity for a gender-mixup in a stone-related story, mind you that seems a little out of the Stargate style of things. Just thought it was worth bringing up 😛

  30. Oh Joe, next time you see Carl tell him he made me cry. I thought Epilogue was beautiful. The direction was incredible as well. I love Camile’s speech, at the end, about how it was all about the journey and not the mission.

    Poor T. J. That was heartbreaking. It make me sad we will not have the opportuntity to see where this revelation will take her. At least she had a happy family life until the end. As sweet as I thought it was I was surprised that Young and T.J. got together. I thought they had closure to their relationship and she was moving on with Varro. Given what you had said earlier about their relationship, what are you thoughts of them getting together?

    Volker’s words to Rush , about how they survive without him, were so Harsh. Rush really looked like he hurt by them.

    Brody was hilarious as the cranky old man. Eli finally found love. GREER was so awesome with his big family!!!!

  31. @Scarym

    I agree, with a few minor changes to the episodes it would of made a great series finale. Though not seeing them get back to Earth or completing the mission would be sad, them settling down and forming a great society would of made such a fitting end.

    It probably could of been done without having those people from the expedition from Novas/Novus being aboard Destiny either.

    How would probably make my brain hurt.


    Joe did you watch Eden of the East King of Eden yet? It’s out on a 3 disc release in Blu Ray packaging. Basically first disc being the Blu Ray of the movie, 2nd being a DVD version of the movie, and the last being the *prequal* but more like a recap of the series movie on DVD.

    What’s strange really is that this could been done in episode form, they could of just tacked on 4 episodes to show what happens directly after episode 11. However the animation is vastly improved and for an anime movie it’s impressive, 1 hr 21 minute in length, give or take a few seconds.

    Really expands the story and opens up new possibilities you probably wouldn’t of thought existed in the tv series lol

    I would give an opinion on the content but that’d spoil :3

  32. Damn, I can see a tantalizing ear and sideburn in that headshot on the table next to Alex; if I didn’t know better I’d say you made sure no identifying info about the casting was visible in this pics. Don’t you trust us? No? Well you really shouldn’t, can’t wait to see who gets cast.

    I’m on a Etruscan high after sampling the Greek food fest at St. Nick’s yesterday; had a fantastic Lemon Oil and Oregano Chicken, dolmathes, spanakopita, patstisio and baklava. Food tastes better when it comes out of a church basement. I’m already plotting a return trip.

  33. I can’t imagine they let SGU die. On what basis? If the TV that aired the show knew how we need it to survive and we are even ready to buy 2nd DVD just to let it happen, they won’t cancell it. They are barbarians, no less than more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.