June 27, 2008: Adventures in Haircutting! Pineapples! Retractions! And the Return of the Mailbag!

Construction\'s little hiatus project.

Bob has his eating cap on!

Spot the pineapple in this shot from Outsiders.

Renfield, you have betrayed me!

Fondy cut my hair last night and it was about time too as I had begun to resemble a cross between Gary Oldman’s Dracula and that guy from Flock of Seagulls. She’d been busy of late dealing with business matters and, as a result, my once trim do had gradually deteriorated to the capillary equivalent of a neglected lawn, all sprouted tufts, flat patches, and potential nesting spots for marsh hawks. I consider myself fortunate that she did get around to it as things were looking touch and go earlier in the day due, in no small part, to my big mouth. “I picked up blueberry juice,”I enlightened her as we returned home from our trip to the grocery store. “It’s sweet. Not like your goji juice that burns your throat.” (A reference to the box of “miracle berry” juice that had sat unopened for months since its purchase and was presently serving as an impromptu plant stand.) Fondy threw me the look she usually reserves for squeegee kids and Air Canada employees, prompting me to qualify: “But that’s how you know it’s working!” Having, I thought, nicely acquitted myself, I hurried inside to avoid further conversation.

I greeted the dogs, ate a half a peanut butter cookie, and then proceeded with the pre-hair-cutting ritual of washing my hair, setting up the folding chair in the basement, and patiently awaiting the arrival of my coiffeuse. Fondy is a former hairdresser and does a great job, but she is meticulous and takes her time. Once, I brought along a book to read and she was greatly offended that I would choose to zone her out. So now, instead, I sit quietly in the chair while she silently cuts my hair.

As we got started, I made a modest request: “Not too short.”

“I heard you the first time,”she rejoined. I wanted to point out that “the first time” was actually several days ago, but I thought it best not to say anything since her scissors were dangerously close to my right ear.

And, twenty minutes later, we were done. “It’s short,”she informed me the way a drycleaner might notify someone that their 2 for 1 coupon expired last year. That’s the way it is, bud. I don’t want any argument from you.

“But my mom likes it long,”I protested in an admittedly lame attempt to salvage the principal of my argument. I was headed to Montreal on Saturday to visit with family and my mother had always been a very vocal critic of my preference for short hair. She favored longer hair on me as evidenced by the fact that, throughout my elementary school years, I was occasionally mistaken for a girl. Oddly enough, mom preferred shorter hair on my sister who was sometimes mistaken for my little brother. Whenever we siblings needled each other, she was Andy and I became Josephine.

“Your mother’s hair is shorter than yours. She shouldn’t be complaining.”

In truth, my request had had less to do with mom’s partialities than it did with my desire to go with a different look. I’d been doing the short hair and suit thing for ages. It was time for a little variety like, say, longer hair with jeans and a t-shirt or shaved head with monocle, walking stick, and a propensity for using terms like “knackered”, “cracking!” and “luvvly-jubbly“. I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s nothing more unconvincing that some short-haired guy in a suit trying to pull off “luvvly-jubbly”.

All that said, even though it is shorter than I would have liked, it is a cracking haircut. And while mom may not be wholly pleased, at least she’ll be able to tell me apart from Gary Oldman’s Dracula.

Today’s entry is, appropriately enough, dedicated to Whovian celebrating her 15 year wedding anniversary.

Retractions: I stand corrected! Apparently crickets are on the menu at Vij’s. Daring culinary trailblazing are stupid publicity stunt. You decide – because I won’t. Also, the Greek Day stilt-walker pictured was not, I repeat, NOT an elf as previously cited. She was a fairy.

Well, ’ll be on the road all of next week eating my way through Montreal (my sister is already making the reservations) and while I’ll certainly keep this blog updated, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to get around to the mailbag. So, before I head off and start packing…

Carol Z. writes: “What say you? Silverberg on your author lists?”

Answer: I say yay. I’ve read Lord Valentine’s Castle and The Best of Robert Silverberg which included one of the most unsettling short stories I’ve ever read about a dystopian future where people have reverted to cannibalism for survival.

AMZ writes: “I’m currently making my way through the anime works of Satoshi Kon, I was wondering if you could recommend any other anime?”

Answer: I enjoyed Miyazaki’s work, especially Spirited Away. There’s a movie called Tekkonkinkreet that I just picked up. I haven’t watched it yet but I have heard very good things about it. If you enjoy Satoshi, you might want to give Paranoia Agent a try. Also, depending where your interests lie: Berserk, Boogiepop Phantom, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell (movies and series), Grave of the Fireflies, Haibane Renmei, Infinite Ryvius, Kino’s Journey, Last Exile, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Now and Then Here and There, Samurai Champloo, Serial Experiments Lain, Voices of a Distant Star.

Pl writes: “What was your opinion on Fahrenheit 451?”

Answer: “While I did enjoy the premise, I thought it felt a little dated.”

The first lily writes: “I don’t want to sound greedy, but is there any chance Martin gero can post a Q&A or a breakdown of Search & Rescue once it airs?”

Answer: I’ll ask him whether he’d be interested in doing a Q&A.

Anti-Social Butterfly writes: “When would you suggest posting our BOTM comments and questions?”

Answer: Anytime on the first day of discussion (in the case of In the Garden of Iden, this Monday when I’ll also be weighing in with my thoughts).

Enzo Aquarius writes: “I have a question for the visual effects crew.”

And Green writes: “Alan McCullough is my man on this one. Oh, have I got questions for you, mister…”

And Sarah Lacey writes: “I’d like to ask Mark Savela some questions. Should I post them soon or wait until you give us the go head?”

Answer: Please save your questions for the appropriate week as I’ll only be collecting them in the lead-up to the specific Q&A sessions. It’s a lot less confusing for me.

Muddypippop writes: “I haven’t heard you mention The Ghost Bridges did you read it and did you like it?”

Answer: I thought it was a great book, but I simply preferred Old Man’s War.

Caitlyanna writes: “How’s the planning committee doing for the 100th episode party coming along do you know?”

Answer: We had a big meeting the other week and discussed the guest list and date. Your offer is much appreciated, but MGM prefers to go with one of the local Vancouver caterers for convenience sake. Nevertheless, your creations do look magnificent. Maybe the next time I’m in the California area, I’ll make it a point to drop by for a bite…

Narelle from Aus writes: “So I continued my questioning regime of Hubby and according to his friend, what makes someone think you are an undercover agent is:
1. I’m away on business a lot
2. I get phone calls late at night which causes me to immediately duck into my office and jump on my PC
3. I can fix electrical appliances
4. I can chop firewood while weighing only 45kgs.”

Answer: Yeah, the latter is a dead giveaway. And, to be perfectly honest, I have had my suspicions about you.

AV Eddy writes: “I probably should know this, but do the Wraith have feeding orifices only on their right hand or both hands?”

Answer: The wraith have one feeding hand.

Sandy writes: “ I have read about spot the pineapple in SG1. When did that start and is it in the finished cut of every episode.”

Answer: Every Stargate director had a signature piece they liked to work into every episode. In Martin Wood’s case, it was the big wrench. In Peter DeLuise’s case, it was himself. In Will Waring’s case, it’s the pineapple. According to Will, it started when he was an up and coming camera operator. The director of the low budget movie he was working on asked him to do a little on camera performance – simply drive his car through the shot. He did but, unbeknownst to him, there was a pineapple rattling around in the back window. No one else seemed to notice and, thinking it was kind of funny, Will decided to make it his signature. All well and good until he was working on a comedy and included a pineapple as a background piece. When the director saw it in the dailies, he went berserk and chewed Will out. He was beside himself until the star of the move, Danny Devito, asked him what was up. The director explained and Devito responded with: “I think it’s funny.” Well, if Danny Devito thought it was funny, then it was funny enough for the director. Not only did they keep the pineapple in the shot, they used it as a recurring motif throughout the rest of the movie (culminating in, I believe, a pineapple beach stand in the closing scene). So, if you ever see Will’s name in the credits, start playing spot the pineapple.

K8T writes: “Forgot to ask if you watched “Wipeout” or “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” last night? “

Answer: Nah. Nothing beats the real thing. Paul’s wife was telling him about a Japanese Game show her family used to watch in Switzerland. Contestants would roll beneath an open tiger’s cage with a piece of raw meat strapped to their chests. Those who made it all the way through (presumably meat and chest intact) would win a trip to Hawaii. “Did anybody ever get injured?”I asked her. “Oh, all the time,”she assured me. Now THAT’S entertainment!

Patricia Lee writes: “Speaking of Whispers, can you give us any more details about how Anne Tedly characters dies??? or does she?”

Answer: Nice try.

Essaytch writes: “Was S&R shot at the same time as the end of S4 for continuity’s sake? Or did you wait until S5 filming began to shoot that epp? In general, is this how you guys operate?”

Answer: Search and Rescue was the first episode shot when we returned for season 5. Continuity was important, which is why Jason had to have his dreads painstakingly reattached. To date, this is how we have operated since, more often than not, we don’t know whether or not we’re coming back when we finish episode #20 of a given season.

Fishbaum writes: “You said you approve all publicity stuff — any comments on the horrible MGM promo photography?”

Answer: I stand corrected. I approve most of the publicity stuff. I have no say on the network promos and stills. And, by the way, that was SciFi not MGM.

Wraith Cake writes: “Two films in recent memory which did frighten me silly were The Ring with Naomi Watts and Halley Berry’s Gothica…”

Answer: Halle Berry’s Gothika? For real?

Dyginc writes: “Do you know what the next BOTM selections are yet?”

Answer: Sure. Check out yesterday’s entry or mosey on over to the right sidebar.

Bailey writes: “Why, exactly, do you have a hiatus? Is it to give the “behind the scenes” people time to catch up with the filmed material?”

Answer: Pretty much. It’s an opportunity for our crew and various productions to have a well-deserved break AND play catch-up with set construction and props.

Ikiniowa writes: “On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the darkest, just how dark is ‘Whispers’?”

Answer: It depends what you mean by dark. I think, in some aspects, Remnants is actually darker than Whispers.

NCSUfan writes: “I know you dig the dining experience…any recommendations?”

Answer: Fuel, Vij’s, Moderne Burger, Yujis, Tojos, Bistrot Bistro, Don Francesco.

Wraith Cake writes: “Do all those lovely sets soon see the landfills of Vancouver when a season is over, and are all those lovely long black wraith jackets destined to rot along side?”

Answer: We keep most of what we use. What we don’t is usually sold off at auction. What is not sold we end up eating.

Planet_tv writes: “1. How long will Woosley be command of Atlantis or has that not been decided yet?

2. How to do you tell Bubba and Jelly apart since thay are both fawn pugs (Even thou they are not related I am trouble telling them apart)?

3. Since you’re not going to Comic Con are you going have someone who is going get pictures for you so you don’t miss out on the fun that have seen cast and crew have in the Comic Con panel videos at Scifi’s website?”

Answers: 1. If we get a sixth season pick-up, chances are good Woolsey may still be in command. 2. It’s easy enough once you spend time with them. Telling babies apart – now THAT is hard. 3. Nope. Think I’ll just stay home and sulk.