When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer.  And so, I sought out opportunities, worked hard, persevered and, today, I’m a writer.  This story would be impressive if not for the fact that, in addition to wanting to be a writer, I also wanted to be a famous detective and a starting cornerback for the Oakland Raiders.  Still, one out of three aint bad and, in retrospect, I picked the right one.

I may have realized that particular dream but there are many more that, for now, for whatever reason, remain on my life’s on-deck circle. So what are they and what’s taking me so long?

1. THE DREAM: Write a novel.

WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: I’m very disciplined when it comes to writing under a deadline, but not so much when I have all the time in the world.  Also, writing prose fiction is A LOT harder than scriptwriting. Believe me, I know.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?: Good.  I already have one work of (relatively) short fiction under my belt, the short story “Downfall” for the Lou Anders-edited Masked superhero anthology.    Granted, it took me about nine months to write, which doesn’t bode well for a comparatively longer work, but I’m sure I could get it done if I approach it with the same discipline I apply to writing scripts.  I already have a terrific idea for a mystery novel.  All I have to do is spend a month outlining it before embarking on a chapter a day pace.

2. THE DREAM: Becoming fluent in Japanese.

WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: My poor comprehension skills are a problem. Unlike most language students who have an easier time understanding the language than speaking it, I’m the time opposite – which severely inhibits my ability to learn.  I’ve been studying Japanese on and off for years now and yet, in that time, have only achived the verbal skills of a very polite four year old Japanese boy.  Yes, I have a Japanese girlfriend and that could help – IF she didn’t insist on speaking to me in English so that she can improve HER language skills.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?: Fair to good.  Either I move to Japan for a year (highly unlikely given the fact that it would be next to impossible to fly the dogs over with me) or start taking comprehension classes.

3. THE DREAM: Cooking classes.

WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: Sure, I can cook, and cook creatively, but I have yet to really master basic knife skills and sauces.  When I was on Stargate, I kept saying that, once the show ended, I would take a year off to attend cooking school.  As it turned out, I got busy with other matters and cooking school was never a realistic option.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?: Good.  Akemi is equally keen to take some cooking courses so that should force me to make the time.

4. THE DREAM: Travel.

WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: This year was supposed to be my travel year and, while we did hit Vegas and are planning to head back to Tokyo, many of the cities on my list will go unvisited in 2012: Hawaii, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco.  I also briefly toyed with the possibility of doing a foodie road-trip, but had those plans quashed by an, uh, opportunity in Toronto.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?: Good.  Oh, I’ll get there eventually but it’s all work-dependent.  This year, I wanted to take it easy and focused on freelance writing over producing opportunities.  2013 is supposed to be the year I get back to full-time production but, hey, who knows?  If things don’t pan out, I’ll have the free time.

5. THE DREAM: Writing for comic books.

WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: Despite the year off, I’ve actually been surprisingly busy, trying to wrap up certain elements of my personal life.  At this point, it’s simply a matter of prioritizing.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES: Fair to good.  With the four-issue opening arc of my comic book series, Dark Matter, under my belt, I feel confident approaching (or, rather, having my agent approach) some of the big publishers.  Again, this will all come down to timing – and the relative interest of the decision-makers.

So, do tell.  What’s on your yet unrealized To-Do list?

Our latest Stargate poll is off to a rousing start.  I asked: What was the best comedic episode in Stargate history?

So far, 230+ fans have voted and SG-1’s Window of Opportunity has the early lead.  But there’s still time to rally behind your favorite episode.

Head on over here and cast your ballot, then leave a comment for a chance to win a signed Stargate script:

36 thoughts on “October 11, 2012: My To-Do List! Vote for your favorite comedic Stargate episode!

  1. Hi Joe

    @The ambition to write a novel.

    Heck, shouldn’t you be thinking in terms of telling many, many such tales! A thought, therefore – how would it sound for you to have a team-based approach to the opportunity, like you and Paul do on scripts? Sort the characters, structure & beats and then, bottom line (& thrust of my thought here), you can share the prose ‘fleshing-out’, which may seem the slow slog bit?Then, job done…next! The approach would leverage off experience, share the work, cut the time and so short-cut the ‘one-man-hill-to-climb’ barrier. And, hey, your an extrovert, so collaborative novel writing would be the game to play! Thoughts? Best, Pat

  2. I’ve been working on some of my dreams over this past year. I started my own blog which I’m now writing regularly in; I attended my first sci-fi/fantasy festival back in May; and I began a creative writing course to expand my horizons. I’ll be done homeschooling the kiddoes in just a few years and am looking towards the next phase of my life.

    Now, on to the unrealized dreams.

    1) I would like to, at some point, have some of my writing published. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing if I’m not. It’s just a goal I have.

    2) I also would like to go to Dragon Con. That is one dream I’ll be able to realize next year as I already have made plans with a friend to share a hotel room, and I’ll be purchasing my membership shortly so I can get the cheap price.

    3) Finally, I would like to learn to throw a baseball better so my boys won’t say I’m a wimp and will actually let me toss it with them.

    Have a great night!!!!!

  3. What’s keeping you from believing in the power of your dreams? Or, something like that. Anyway, I kind of know what you mean, I used to dream of being a forest ranger, but then I wound up volunteering for organizations like the Appalachian Mountain Club, as well as some local stuff and get to do a lot of the “fun” parts of that job anyway (albeit on my own dime.) So, close enough on that I guess.

    I always wanted to be an astronaut since I was a kid, but I eventually (okay 2010) went to Florida and did the Kennedy Space Center’s “Astronaut Training Experience”, where I actually got to be the commander of a (simulated) space shuttle mission. It was so cool! Okay, not really like the real thing, but still.

    Anyway, follow your dreams! Or at least something like them! Or, something like that.

    I voted for “200”, since while I did love “Window of Opportunity”, “200” was just so funny and clever on so many levels. Absolutely brilliant.

    Still recovering from my trip home, which seemed to take forever AND I lost my luggage. I already have it back though, so now it’s just the jet lag to get over. Once I get them on to the PC, I’ll post some pictures of the Grand Canyon!

  4. 1. I had some athletic dreams I came very close to realizing. I had some spectacular times along the way. No, I can’t revisit those.

    2. I had a career vision that was off to a spectacular start, but got derailed. I’m re-formulating that now.

    3. I want to re-focus the desire to use creative problem-solving (that it turns out the engineering career I was pursuing doesn’t take advantage of as much as you’d think watching Geordi LaForge) into a writing career. I was still figuring out how I wanted to focus that when I fell into writing game content. I’m happy with where that’s going, but the work has been speculative so far in that I’m filling pipelines with content, but technical development can get a bit stalled. It should start paying off any day now, though. Any day now…

    4. I want to make money enough for the security of my family. That doesn’t seem like a spectacular dream, but it has shaped and focused everything else. Even the athletic dream was partially about a spectacular resume. I’ve dialed down from spectacular, though, so I’m willing to consider more options now. I was considering things I wasn’t well-suited for, but now I’ll probably get involved in web development using the relationships derived from the game development.

  5. Look at you mister cheater man. Cheat, cheat, cheat. Cheater, cheaster, cheating one, cheataholic, the cheatmister. Is that a big huge picture of Window of Opportunity up there? You wrote that episode correct? You don’t have to advertise. You are going to win the contest easily, you cheating fool. Cheaters never win except in this case. Window of Opportunity was awesome. Funniest and bestest SG-1 episode of all time. But I had to vote for Duet being an SGA girl. Look at that little tiny baby picture at the bottom from Duet. Duet was the most funniest SGA ep ever. David Hewett as McKay and Cadman? was too funny. He plays a great girl. He’s got all the moves down pat. Also in this episode was Ronon’s first days in Atlantis. He is shooting target practice with Sheppard, teaching others how to fight, and who can forget that great cafeteria scene with Sheppard. Ronon stuffing his face, eating with his fingers, while Sheppard invites him to stay and become a member of the team. And the “kiss” in the end was hilarious. For me, Duet was the funniest. (I think you could have included Tao of Rodney. It was darn funny too.)

  6. By far the best comedic episode was Window of Opportunity. Sure there are other funny episodes but for me Window of Opportunity will always be the best. Probably because it was my first ever experience with Stargate. And it made me laugh… a lot. Its still the “go to” episode when I have no clue of what to watch. Because of that Window of Opportunity I became addicted to anything Stargate related down to this day. By the way I still would like to know the topic Daniel was asking Jack about? “Anyway I’m sorry but that just happens to be how I feel about it. What do you think?”

  7. Um, I think I’ll take the 5th on the unrealized dreams thing. Much more interesting reading other peoples’ lists. You list your own goals as good. What about priorities? If you have to do those things sequentially instead of serially, which comes first, and which gets consigned to the end of the bucket list?
    So far it looks like I called the ratings of the shows. Wish it was evidence of some psi ability. Oh, and love that last picture. A true classic.

  8. Hmm… 200 had me rolling. Urgo was great. The Other Guys, It’s Good to be King, Wormhole X-Treme and Irresistible were all a lot of fun. I’m surprised Heroes Part 1 isn’t on that list.

    But it’s always going to be Window of Opportunity. There’s no question. 🙂

    BYE

  9. @Joe:

    4. THE DREAM: Travel.

    Wanna trade? 😀

    I’ve had enough of business travel lately…I’m off to Detroit again on Monday for 3 days and then again a week from Monday for 3 days, and then Europe for 10 days in early November. Yep, I’m done (but I still have to travel).

    Of course, when you’re traveling for fun, it’s a different experience. If you make it to Chicago, we’d love to do a foodie tour with you. Something like this could be fun:

    http://www.zvents.com/st_charles_il/events/show/285571685-chicago-food-and-wine-expo

    So, do tell. What’s on your yet unrealized To-Do list?

    Finish building my airplane! And then have some time to fly it. Sometime between when the kids go off to college (5 years to go for the youngest) and when I retire (maybe about 20 years from now) I’m hoping I’ll get it done.

    As for the poll, I voted for “Urgo” (since I practically grew up with Dom DeLuise and it warmed my heart to see him on a show directed by his son, Peter). My son David went with “Window of Opportunity”…mostly due to the slapstick (Teal’c getting hit with the door and then later slamming the door in the offender’s face, Daniel getting slammed by Siler, and so on).

  10. I had to give the vote to Window of Opportunity, too. It was the extended gags, slap stick even. You don’t get many, ah hem, opportunities to pull that off in science fiction action adventure and still keep it relevant to the story.

  11. I enjoyed all the humorous episodes, but nothing could top Jack’s smiley face plate or Jack and Teal’c driving golf balls through the stargate and declaring a record long drive. WOO is a classic!

  12. Hi Joe,

    Being a writer is at the top of my to-do list as well. Actually…I *am* a writer…what I hope to someday be is an author…you know, someone whose writing is actually published. (And alas, I don’t think fan fiction technically counts….) I may have a shot at it in the near future…fingers crossed…but if that doesn’t pan out, I have a back-log of first chapters to fall back on. Time has been my scarcest resource in the past…time and energy. But my life has taken a dramatic shift in the past six weeks and suddenly I now have uncommitted days stretching ahead of me. Not exactly how I’d have liked to come into this free time, but since I have, I hope to make the most of it.

    And secondly…I’d like to learn to play the harp. One of those big concert harps that you see tucked in the back of symphony orchestras. I’m not sure if my fingers are as agile as they used to be, but I fully intend to give it a try. Now I just need to find a teacher….

    Stella

  13. My life is “Wacko,” and I always feel like I am 3 or 4 fries short of a happy meal. So…had to go with WoW…cause it is WOW!!

  14. Personally I think it’d be nice to see You and Paul back doing TV stuff Joe. It’d be nice to see.

    Anyway I don’t think you need to move to Japan to learn the language, if anything baby steps and conversational skills would likely help you to no end, like learning to ask someone how they’re doing, being able to respond to their response and generally grasping what’s being said to you. If that makes sense.

    Basically once you learn something you should bounce it off Akemi and see how that goes. To see if you’re saying it right and what not.

    That said, if you ever decide to move to Japan in the future, points 1 and 5 although difficult, I would imagine it would be very easy for you, mostly because people do points 1 and 5, even in their 60s. Plenty of time there lol. Some of the greats in the anime/manga/light novel industry are really old.

  15. I’m impressed with your “bucket list”! Maybe you could have one day of the week with Akemi speaking Japanese?

    I’m in Atlanta now. It’s been 30 years since I’ve seen downtown and it has really grown! Atlanta seems like a warm Chicago. We had to cross six/seven lanes of I85 in a mile of heavy traffic. I felt like I was living the “chomper” scene in Galaxy Quest.

    I can’t vote on the episodes without reading the synopsis. Later..

  16. Ah. travel. Since i was born and raised Navy, I got a lot of travel under my belt early in my life. It is addictive and unending. When dad retired in 1970, he took mom and me to Japan and Europe via Space Available military flights. AKA free. We had Frommer’s Europe on $5 a day. I didn’t go to a single day of school that year. I did go to a ton of cathedrals and museums.
    Then dad took a job in Iran. I think visiting Persepolis is one of the top experiences in my life.
    And then I joined the Navy and I married Navy. Gave me many good things in my life.
    We’re going to Cancun for Day of the Dead. Touristy resort, but that’s a valid travel choice too.

  17. My dream? To be a housewife.

    Sure, I always wanted to be an archaeologist, but that isn’t going to happen, so I must be content being the armchair variety. And sure, I would like to go to Scotland (and/or NZ), but since I don’t fly, I figure I just have to be content with watching NZ rugby at home, and enjoying men in kilts at Ren Faires and Highland games. Write a book? Sure…if I didn’t have ADD. Meet Johnny Depp? Of course, if I want to turn into a creepy stalker fan sort. Live in a real castle? Gotta make that million or so first. Live aboard a square-rigged ship for a year? As soon as I get over my discomfort of living with smelly strangers in tight quarters. I have lots of dreams, things I would love to do, but due to age, finances, health, and various neuroses, I have found satisfaction by living vicariously through movies, books, magazines, hobbies, and the occasional re-enactment.

    But there is one thing – above all other things – that I really want to be, and it’s probably the only thing that is realistically within reach. I want to be a housewife. Ever since I was a kid I had no desire to work outside of the home (except for the archaeology thing). I actually like taking care of a home, decorating, working in a garden, helping neighbors, and having real time to enjoy my hobbies. If I was a housewife, I’d also have more time for volunteer work, something I literally can’t afford to do right now. Once dad goes out of business I really don’t know what I’ll be doing – I need to work for health insurance (the only real reason I work fulltime as it is). I can probably earn a living selling stuff on ebay or something, but it’s the health insurance that holds me back from working from home. As I get older, and as I see our financial situation unchanged (or sometimes changing for the worse), I figure my dream is still afar off, but at least it’s something I feel that one day I can attain, although it will be after I’ve wasted the best, most productive, years of my life sitting in an office.

    Greeeeat. Now I’m depressed. 😛

    das

  18. I have so many unrealized dreams, and they are ever changing. But I’d have to guess the most enduring is art.

    I was a pretty decent artist when I was younger. Pencil, charcoal, marker, acrylic paint. In fact, I did a charcoal and pencil of the inside cover of Led Zeppelin IV when I was 14 that was well beyond my years and experience. I wish I could find it now.

    I also played music, and was an above average guitar player.

    A few years ago, I started to get into tattooing, but financial and time constraints killed that mainly since my state requires 2000 hours of apprenticeship before you can obtain your license. And the time required to get to the level I would expect of myself is just not available.

    So, pretty much all of my dreams will remain unrealized due to real life commitments. I’ll remain in my dead-end I.T. job, scraping to get by, never being able to retire comfortably, and die a miserable, broken man.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  19. Speaking of Toronto just saw the Transporter premiere on rtlnow.de
    I didn’t like the Transporter movies that much, but the series is off to a good start.
    Paul, Alex and you Joe did some great writing, congrats.
    Post Scriptum: Greetings from a long time reader and first time poster from Austria.

  20. Okay, funny things your parents say…

    Firstly, and to set up this scene, my dad is a bit gruff and rather loud. He looks like Fred Flintstone, and his personality is an amalgam of Fred/Ralph Kramden and Archie Bunker. He’s also a tad hard of hearing.

    Well, the other day I went to the gastroen…ya know, the gut doc…and now I have to have all sorts of tests. The scope down the throat and the one up the – ya know – as well as tests for all sorts of food intolerances, including fructose and lactose. The latter two are breath tests.

    So, I explain to mom (with dad sitting off to the side, supposedly minding his own business) about the tests.

    I say, “The fructose and lactose tests are breath tests.”

    Mom asks, “What kind of test?”

    “Ya know, it’s a breath test,” I repeat.

    “What kind?” Mom asks again, still not getting it.

    And at that moment, from out of nowhere, dad bellows, “MAMMOGRAM!”

    😆

    das

  21. I voted for Duet! SGA/Beckett/Cadman loyalty. I loved Urgo and Window of Opportunity is a classic! We ALWAYS stop what we’re doing to watch Jack’s *Whacko* scene! Brilliant 🙂

    ***
    Dreams! So many!!!

    I adore social history and coupled with my passion for writing, I wanted to pursue a career as a historical archivist. It didn’t happen! Now I’m rapidly approaching my late forties, I don’t think it will!

    I would dearly LOVE to be a published author! Once, a long time ago, whilst staying with my in-laws, we planted a *time capsule* under the floorboards in their Victorian House. (They were having massive underpinning work done at the time so we had full access.) I distinctly remember listing amongst many things, my desire to become a successful writer!

    I do write, in the past it’s primarily been factual, I’m most at ease with factual writing, however; in recent years I’ve tried my hand at fiction – dunno if I’m any good, but I love doing it anyway! I couldn’t go for more than a few days without writing something …

    I would travel more if I could – I’ve visited many places in the US and loved the one visit I made to Vancouver. I liked the atmosphere and the similarities to London, except it was cleaner, cheaper and a LOT friendlier! Switzerland would feature on my travel list, alongside learning to ski and, oh, yeah, playing tennis with Roger Federer!

    Relatively short and sweet today; I’ve been battling a nasty sinus infection all week – it’s impacting on my ability to sit, write and focus on all these interesting discussions!

    Have a fun weekend 🙂

  22. Well my dream is also one of yours. I would like to write a novel good enough to be published. My plan is to get stuck in. I have it plotted out, and in fact I’ve even started the first chapter. The problem – fear. I have a lot of self-doubt, and it has kept me back over the years. Many times I’ve been too frightened to try, because in my head I’m beaten before I start. However, I’m trying to get past that…

  23. Hey, Joe!

    Don’t give up on your NFL dream ..when it comes to the Raiders one always has a shot

  24. Tie between Duet and The Other Guys.Had to go with The Other Guys,Patrick McKenna and John Billingsley played off each other so well.

  25. Lewis reminded me. I want to treat people the way das treats people. If wraith empathy ain’t lovin’ outside the box, I don’t know what is. I read about someone who said to treat your enemies that way before. I also want to gibe at people more, but it doesn’t sound as cool and friendly when I do it.

    Oh, Joe, to write a novel: write the feature version, then use that as your outline and source of cool dialogue to write a novel with lots of visuals as your signature style. Pad it with a little internal monologue here, a little summarized background there, then market it as something that has a structure that can be easily adapted into a feature without the usual adaptation problems. After the novel sells, “Hey, look! Who wants to option this here script? It’s true to a novel that’s in your local bookstore.” Call it Stargate: Extinction. Yeah, I know, MGM. Call it something else, then. 😉 We’ll interpret.

  26. A-a-a-and she’s back. We missed you, Das! Thanks for the laugh. Needed it today! :LOL:

  27. @Jim from Jersey… if you make art, you are an artist. No one says it has to be a living or a business, or you have your work hanging a museum or gallery… just be an artist. Make art for your own joy.
    I’m an artist. I am not a good artist, I can’t draw well and my paintings are far from photo-realistic. I have never sold one, but I’ve never tried to go that route. However, I do have a gallery, a chickenwire gallery which exists for one brief week at Burning Man. I put up art to be adopted because you aren’t allowed to vend there, I gift random art, found art, weird art, donated art, and my own original paintings and collage works, and whatever else I create. I move about 500 hundred pieces of art in that week. I paint all year, hundreds of paintings, original works, small in scale for the most part. I have fans, people who seek me out each year to adopt one of my paintings. I’ve done this for seven years now, so hundreds of my works hang in the homes of people I don’t know, but yet I know they love my creations. I have folks fill out little cards, and from the remarks, I know I touch hearts. That’s enough for me.
    So you don’t have to be “good”, although it sounds as though you are, you just have to MAKE ART. Do it, do it now. You are an artist.

  28. It is funny you posted this poll… I just was posting a clip from Window of Opportunity the other day. Classic, funny time after time…hands down the best comedy episode. While some individual shows had some funny moments, this one was beginning to end chocked full.

  29. Interesting poll had to think for over hour. So many good episodes. Voted for the other guys 🙂 Ive watched window of opportunity so many times, it lost its charm to me 🙁

  30. Favorite comedic stargate episode so goes to Windo of Opportunity……..WWAAAACKOOO!!

    THE DREAM: Being a character in Stargate (even a one show no one is acceptable!).
    WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: Stargate got canceled.
    WHAT ARE THE CHANCES: Slim to none unless a new good Stargate show gets made.

    THE DREAM: Writing a book.
    WHAT’S KEEPING ME?: Time availibility.
    WHAT ARE THE CHANCES: Decent when I sit down and actually write/type. I actually have some realy good ideas that if I expand on them could be very entertaining.

  31. I actually have a 3-paged list of dreams. Most of what is keeping me from achieving them is money and lack of freedom–well that is poorly worded–but having to be here for Patrick when most parents can leave their almost 17 year old alone for even just an overnight visit somewhere. I think going to my reunion actually made me depressed in the long run because I had forgotten how I just used to hop on a plane and fly wherever I wanted to see whomever I wanted on a 3 or 4-day weekend. Then I resented being home which then me feel an awful mother, to which a dear friend reminded me that most parents of 16-18 year old kids cannot wait for them to leave for college, so to stop beating myself about it, but the whole thing still makes me cry (like now). I plan to post them on the blog soon.

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