Today, Akemi and I met up with our friend Sheryl (and her boyfriend West) to check out the first day of the EAT! Vancouver festival, described as “the only consumer food, beverage and cooking festival in Vancouver” and “the ultimate Food Expo”.  These two facts together make me very, very sad.  I’m not saying it was a total waste of time, but I am suggesting your $16 entrance fee could be better spent on lottery tickets.

There were plenty of exhibitors offering free samples of everything from Greek yogurt and olive oil to chocolate and smoothies.  Ultimately, there was nothing there you couldn’t find at most high-end grocers but I suppose it’s an opportunity to get the word out about their respect products.  In addition to food, there were other retailers selling dog treats, kitchen products, and information on travel to Louisiana, Mexico, and the Philippines. There was also a separate booze section that was a little more interesting.

In terms of entertainment, we were treated to some sort of Chef Off on the big stage featuring some Food Network personalities, and a barista competition that was difficult to watch given the angle of the seating and the fact that most of the baristas worked with their backs to the audience.  A big screen offered a live feed of the action but, unfortunately, the bright lights pretty much blew out the picture so it was near impossible to make out what was going on.

As for the food – the main draw – there were some two dozen food stands, mainly local restaurants, selling 2-3 bite-sized portions of fairly unremarkable plates: quite a few mini burgers, some tacos, desserts.

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.
Akemi in happier times (aka before we forked over our $32 to gain entrance to EAT! Vancouver).
June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.
We lose Sheryl and West at the cheese seminar. Apparently, they failed their finals.
June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.
The high point of the afternoon was meeting blog regular, JYS, who recognized me (I actually think it was Akemi he recognized) and stopped to chat. He gave me a tip on some great macarons and I thanked him by promising to visit the restaurant where he works and being hyper-critical about my meal.

While we were talking, an elderly woman stumbled over a pocket of cables and took a tumble right behind us.  Then, seconds later, another elderly woman tripped but managed to steady herself before eating carpet.  I suggested we step aside or risk being taken out at the knees.

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.
Even the chocolate-peanut butter mousse was a disappointment. I mean, come on! The chocolate-peanut butter mousse!

On the way out, I stopped to snap some photos of the melon art at one of the Thai restaurant booths:

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.

Too pretty to eat.  At least that’s what they said when I tried to eat it.

As it turned out, EAT! Vancouver wasn’t a total waste of my time.  I ended up buying two bottles of some lovely flavored oils:

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.

Once you factor in their purchase price, the entrance fee, and the cost of parking, they came out to roughly $35 a bottle.

I’ll have to be sure to use them sparingly.

Mailbag:

Yates writes: “I’ll be at SDCC selling my wares – booth 1335, look for the guy with all the colorful puzzles – It would be great to say hello!”

Answer: I’ll track you down!

DP writes: “Here you go: the list of words to avoid to supposedly keep the Department of Homeland Security from cyber-stalking you.”

Answer: Yep, pretty much covered all of them while researching this miniseries.

Tam Dixon writes: “I thought prawns were just big shrimp? I’ve never seen them prepared like that.”

Answer: Went out for sushi last night.  Look at what they served us with our spot prawn aburi…

June 1, 2012: We Hit Eat! Vancouver!  And Then Eat! Vancouver Hits Us Back And Takes My Wallet.

KEK writes: “The stuff done on BSG was groundbreaking, not even surpassed in SGU. The stuff we’ve seen on Stargate is relatively generic by comparison, with nothing really setting it apart too much from Trek or even Dr Who.”

Answer: The second sentence receives a huge ?????!!!! from me.  As for the first part  – yes, BSG did amazing things with, as you pointed out, a significantly bigger budget, but the aliens our VFX team created for episodes like Space and Awakening were second to none.

Debra writes: “Speaking of your guys, did I miss an update on the older adoption pair you wanted?”

Answer: Nope.  I’ve been busy working on this miniseries and wanted to go away for a little vacation before adopting.

Line Noise writes: “I’m curious about the origins of this mini series.  Was it an idea that you and Paul had on the shelf that your agent was shopping around? Or were you approached out of the blue by the producers?”

Answer: The latter.

Line Noise also writes: “If the latter, how much of the story was already decided by the producers before you started writing? Were you tightly constrained by certain elements or did you have free reign?”

Answer: They came to us with several concepts and there was one that particularly appealed to us.  They had some suggestions for the opening and potential dramatic developments but we were otherwise given free rein in building the story.  We broke the 16 act narrative over the course of a week, received notes on the outline, and started work on the script soon after.

Line Noise also writes: “How much interaction do you have with the producers during the writing process? Are you sending them regular drafts and receiving notes?”

Answer: As I said, we received notes at the outline stage.  We’ll receive our next round of notes after delivery of the first draft.  And then, depending on how tight the prep schedule, probably one last set of notes on the second draft.

Line Noise also writes: “I’m just intrigued because if cameras roll in July the producers must be pretty confident they’re going to get what they want from you.”

Answer: The outline was fairly detailed, breaking down every scene and beat in each act of the four hour event, so there won’t be any surprises at the script stage.  There will no doubt be notes, but they won’t be of the “I think the end of act 4 should be the end of act 2” variety.

Ponytail writes: “I’m wondering if when you reflect back on your Stargate days, if the problems you had with production or people involved don’t seem so bad anymore, and you recognize it was all just a part of the process?”

Answer: Stargate was such a well-oiled machine that there were few if any big problems to deal with.  Sure, there were some minor hiccups along the way typical of any production – scheduling conflicts, disagreements on creative or other matters – but those were issues quickly addressed and just as quickly forgotten.  We had a show to produce!

mike mcginnis writes: “Two quick questions
1. can please do an SGA trip down memory lane?
2. if you get shanks to answer questions, could you also ask hewlett to stop by at one point and maybe flanigan?”

Answer: 1. Yes, eventually.  2. David’s web presence is bigger than mine and has made himself very accessible to fandom!  Having him do a Q&A here would be redundant.

16 thoughts on “June 1, 2012: We hit EAT! Vancouver! And then Eat! Vancouver hits us back and takes my wallet.

  1. Sorry the food festival was disappointing. You should come down here sometime and try food from the American South. (Hubby thinks you should come to Dragon Con. 😉 He’s been to a lot of restaurants in Atlanta and says you would fit right in as a foodie. )

    Hope you have a great night!!!

    PS: In case Word Press messes this up, it’s Lisa R posting. My account messed up when I started my blog.

  2. @VFX team created for episodes like Space and Awakening were second to none.

    I agree Joe. Shame SGU didn’t last long enough to see more of these types of aliens.

    I believe I’ve always said this but Stargate in general always raised the bar for quality, when you think it couldn’t impress you any more than it has done, it simply exceeds expectations.

    Be All My Sins Remember’d was so amazing in that area. Lost City too. Stargate can easily take its place as one of the best Science fiction shows made in many a year.

  3. What Deni said. “SPECIAL”

    David Hewlett needs to get out of his web house every now and then. What better place to come than your blog house Joe. After all, we’re here! 🙂

  4. Hello JYS! Cute guy! And that fruit art is beautiful. I’d still want to eat it too. It’s just going to rot. 🙁

    Looking forward to your Atlantis trip down memory lane. I’m going to follow along by watching each episode again.

  5. I’ve heard of times when people brought in ‘just’ to write something have seen the finished product and had to look to find what parts of their work actually made it in. Do you think this’ll happen to your new script (eg. “Hey! That bit of dialogue we actually wrote?”) and has it ever happened to you in any other productions you’ve worked on (eg. “Well we didn’t set it in France, and the main character was a girl, not two brothers… but hey, the name of the car is the same!”)?

  6. Hey Joe,
    I’ve got a writing question for you. When you write description and action in your scripts how much detail do you include? I would love to hear you thoughts on the subject.
    Thanks

    For instance …

    EXT. QUINCY – DUSK
    The Town of Quincy, Washington Territory. November 1893. Main Street of Quincy is a wide dirt street lined with a few wooden buildings. At the end of the street is the largest of these buildings. A stagecoach, hitched with two horses, is in front of the building.

    Or …

    EXT. QUINCY – DUSK (November 1893)
    The main street of Quincy in the Washington Territory stretches out for a mile and then leads to wilderness. Simple square wooden buildings line the wide dusty road.
    At the southwest corner the largest of the buildings looms over the rest. Hung across the front is a newly painted sign that reads, “Quincy Livery and Stable.”
    Just in front of the stable two weary horses, hitched to a simple stagecoach, wait patiently in the silence.

  7. @ JYS – What a handsome fella you are! And all this time I thought you were a chick. 😛

    RE: Melons – They’re truly amazing, and beautiful! Humans can be so creative and talented, and yet so many of us waste our time on nonsense…like the internet.

    I’m in the process of weaning myself off of the net and getting back into magazines and hobbies. Just started getting Nat Geo and Smithsonian mags again, ordered a new book on Native Americans (one of my many passions), and then there’s the metal detecting, and I’m thinking of adding another bonsai to my collection of struggling bonsai plants…trees…green thingys that I haven’t killed yet. So, yeah…I’ve decided that I’ve wasted the better part of the last ten years just piddlin’ my time away at a keyboard, and I’ve neglected a lot of things I used to love doing. Therefore I’m cutting back on forums and such, and just the time I spend on the net in general.

    I still love this blog, though. 🙂

    I have good reason to get off the keyboard: my Crappy Tunnel is getting so bad that now I’m dropping things. I need surgery, I suppose. The odd thing is that my hands don’t go numb when I’m typing! I can type for hours and be just fine, but the moment I try to hold the phone, a glass, a book, the steering wheel – just anything – my hands go ‘dead’, they’re just totally weak and numb and uncoordinated. I can’t do detail work like I used to, and that makes me worried (sewing is almost impossible). Right now, I’m fine – I could type forever – but pick up the phone, and it’s dropsy time. 😛 So, yeah, I think I better start making changes before it’s too late.

    das

  8. Ouch on the entry fee! I loved the commentary. 🙂

    The prawns look good but it does seem like a lot of work. OR Do you eat the exoskeleton too? If people eat chicken feet whole (except for the nails), maybe they eat prawn heads the same way, like popcorn? Hmm, probably not. It does remind me of crayfish. Anyone like eating crayfish? Those seem like a lot of work too. Hubby calls Crustaceans, water roaches. 🙄

    Food art is so intriguing.

  9. Sow sa-way mach! (what a lovely young woman) Thais have a lovely tradition of decorating with food as you saw. I know one who would really appreciate your shrimp head recipe. Now I know what to do when I am done with the tails.
    While on Facebook, I came a cross the add for Dating Japanese women. Joe, do you have any thought or opinions on using such mysterious entries?

    I will need to update my note book of possible point of eating as you have offered some many new names.

  10. naw, the prawn still does not look like a good thing for me,, But thanks for sharing photos, Akemi looks lovely as usual. Nice to meet the face of JYS, jealous a little you got to meet Joe and Akemi. And I think I gain weight just reading your blog Joe. thanks. I will be going on walkabout of sorts so may not have computer access, may have to catch up, make lots of pictures(food)(dogs)(etc) Have a great day!

  11. On food related matters… Yeah! I found scrapple! I’ll be cooking it for breakfast tomorrow. For the other Chicagoland people who might be interested; this helped me locate it:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-02-20/entertainment/0802180138_1_country-scrapple-lake-forest-pork-and-cornmeal

    In a little bit I’ll need to shuck the oysters for making oyster stew tonight. I’m having a bit of a nostalgic food weekend. 🙂

    @Das:

    Whiner.

    And Diner? 😀

    @Tam Dixon:

    I’ve had crawfish in Georgia with my relatives, but they boiled them while I prefer my crustaceans steamed. Now if I could find a place in Chicago that steamed them and knew what Old Bay was, then we’d be talking! Heck, I’d be happy with decent steamed spiced (in Old Bay) shrimp with fresh cocktail sauce (heavy on the horseradish please), but I’ve had no luck around here with that either. 🙁

  12. I don’t know, it seems going to those food fairs is a recipe for disappointment. (Ha! Get it? Okay, never mind.)

    Anyway, SGU or any Stargate’s VFX were second to none in my book. Almost every episode, the VFX team kept upping the bar.

    @das: Have you considered maybe some physiotherapy? They can do wonders if you find a good one.

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