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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Today, I completed a first draft of episode #12 in which the various arcs we develop over the course of the show’s first season converge in a story about identity, loyalty, and friendship, culminating in a shocking conclusion that sets the stage for an even more shocking finale.  It joins my first draft of episode #9, on a virtual shelf, until the intervening bunch of scripts get done.  Paul is halfway thought #5 while Rob and Trevor have started work on scripts for episodes #7 and #8 respectively.  Ideally, I’ll have a bunch of first drafts to review by the time I come back from Japan on September 21st.

Yes, I’m off to Japan next week for 10 glorious days of cultural enlightenment and eating my face off.  Before then, however, there’s plenty to do.  Tomorrow, a conversation with our VFX guys, Mark Savela and Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, to discuss the first four episodes.  Next week, Tuesday, another conference call with our Line Producer and Production Designer – also about episodes #1-4, and ship and space station designs.  And I’m hoping we’ll have our first three directors slotted before I leave.

When I get back from Japan, I’ll have roughly two weeks to do my passes on episodes #5-8 before I head to Toronto for our first official week of prep: more meetings in which we’ll discuss key crew members and casting.

At present, the plan is to head to Toronto for that week of meetings during which I’ll stock our new Toronto place with everything we’ll need: dog mats, dog beds, kitchen gadgets, pillows, toiletries, and a big-ass winter coat.  Then, I go back to Vancouver to pick up my dogs – and girlfriend – and make the final move.  Since we’ll no longer have access to a handy backyard, I’m going to also have to buy a doggy stroller to make life a lot easier for Jelly – and Akemi.  On top of all that, I’m going to have to find an animal clinic where Jelly can continue her accupuncture treatments:

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Is it helping her?  Well, tough to say.  Between the accupuncture, Metacam, painkillers, pulsed electro-magnetic dog bed, and joint pills, SOMETHING is working.

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Well, I got that second opinion on Jelly’s hip.  Apparently, she dislocated it a while ago.  It’s an old injury and that makes it even harder to treat.  Popping it back in will be a very painful procedure – and given the deterioration of her hip bones, it’s almost guaranteed to pop out again.  Our options are a major surgery to address the issue (and the potential dangers given her advanced age) or treating her with pain meds.  Well, the other day, we started her on Gaba-pentin and, so far, so good.  She a comfortable night’s sleep…

1Then, today, as a special treat, we surprised the pack with smoked bones.  They were greatly appreciated…

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Also today, I received a treat of my own in the form of a t-shirt delivery from TeeFury (http://www.teefury.com) who offer all sorts of interesting and original shirts for geeks, nerds, and sundry social rogues (I, of course, consider myself part of the latter group).  Guess the shows while I model ‘em for ya!

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Finally, to show Akemi isn’t be left out of all the fun, here is a picture of her yesterday with her good friend Boxy…

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August 9, 2014: My poor girl!

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Akemi and I came back from visiting the farmer’s market to find Jelly’s water bowl upended and Jelly splayed out on the wet hardwood floor.  Her head was completely drenched and I suspect she must have done a face plant into the water before losing her balance and falling…and then not being able to get back on account of her arthritic joints and hip dysplasia.  I dried her off and took her out back to see if she was okay.  On the one hand, she is still able to squat/support herself and do her business; on the other hand, she can barely walk.  So, I whisked her off to the local animal hospital where they did an x-ray and discovered her right hip is dislocated.  If she were younger, the vet would recommend surgery but given her advanced age (fifteen and half – which is about 78 in human years) he’s suggested pain management might be the best way to go.  She’s already on Metacam and she was on Tramadol, but the vet suggested we try Gabapentin.

So, we’ll see how that works out but I face a bit of a dilemma here.  If her hip is dislocated, my initial response would be to curtail her walks and save her the pain of putting pressure on the joint.  But if I don’t walk her, I’m afraid her muscles will atrophy.  What to do?

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While at the farmer’s market, Akemi and I came across a stand for Beyond Bread (http://beyondbread.ca).  While waiting to be served, someone stepped up – and got served before us.  I waited, impatiently, and then when they had moved on, I started making my order – when the guy redirected his attention to ANOTHER couple.  At that point, I was ready to leave – but Akemi desperately wanted a poppyseed bagel.  Fortunately, another guy – who apparently WASN’T wearing blinders – noticed us standing there and took our order.  Akemi got her bagel and I picked up a couple of amaretti and pistachio-lemon cookies:

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Sweet, citrusy, and slightly bitter from the almond…and my customer service experience.

Which reminds me.  I watched Elysium yesterday and, after that experience, have decided to start a Worst Recent Watches movie list.  You’ll find it in the right sidebar under my Top 20 Recent Reads.

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The other night, I was awakened by a kerplunk (!), the unmistakable sound of a portly, elderly pug falling off the bed.  I sat up to discover 15 year old Jelly, struggling to stand up on the polished hardwood floor.  She seemed surprised but otherwise okay.  Just in case though, I brought her out to the backyard to make sure.  She did her business and seemed perfectly fine, so I scooped her up and we headed back up to bed.  This was the first of several incidents involving my old gal who has seemed notably crankier of late.  Akemi suspects it’s because Jelly senses my impending Toronto trip and is demonstrating her displeasure by acting up. Apparently, when I’m away, she is uncharacteristically quiet, sleeping through most of the day and only getting up for meals.  This is in sharp contrast to her demanding,  downright “diva-esque” attitude when I’m home.  Nary an hour goes by when she isn’t whining or crying or barking at me to pick her up, take her out, give her a snack, or generally demanding my undivided attention.  I’m amazed she’s able to get along without me and I wonder how she’ll do while I’m away.  I suppose she’ll be fine so long as Akemi remembers to keep her updated by reading my blog entries aloud to her.

Whoa, where do you think YOU'RE going?

Whoa, where do you think YOU’RE going?

Yes, I’m headed to Toronto for a few days to discuss strategy and come up with a game plan for my new scifi series.  We fly out early tomorrow morning and get in with plenty of time to have dinner with a former fellow Stargate writer-producer. Then, on Thursday, it’s all day meetings re: budgets, locations, visual effects, and deliveries.  I figure we’ll assemble a writers’ room here in Vancouver for a month in July-August and hammer out our 13 stories, then disperse and retreat to our respective lairs where we’ll write 10 of those 13 scripts.  I’m assuming we’ll go to camera sometime in early 2015.  This will give us plenty of time to prep what should be one hell of a twisty, turny, suspenseful, spectacular, action-packed, character-driven inaugural season.

Friday, I’ll be fly out of Toronto and head to Montreal for a day to visit with mom and sis and then, Saturday night, I’m homeward bound!

Of course this blog will be traveling with me.  I needn’t remind you that, tomorrow, we kick off our Star Trek: The Original Series re-watch.  Me and my fellow reviewer, Cookie Monster, will be weighing in on episode #1: The Man Trap!  Watch the episode and join tomorrow’s discussion!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular whoviantrish.

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A crazy day, chock full o’ tests of physical endurance, phone calls, emails, errands, reading, critiquing but, alas, no actual writing.  Damn.  I’ve been sitting on this pilot for over a week now.  Time to get it done!  Tomorrow, come hell or high water, I finally complete that elusive first draft.  Best decant the Knob Creek tonight.

Another reminder that we’ve kicked off our Stark Trek (the original series) re-watch!

1Next Wednesday, we’ll be reconvening to discuss the show’s first five episodes: The Man Trap, Charlie X, Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Naked Time, and The Enemy Within.

Yes, technically, The Cage and the original version of Where No Man Has Gone Before fall earlier in the chronology, but we’ll save those particular episodes for a later viewing.

So tell your friends!  I’ll be sitting down to a back to back to back to back to back screening sometime this weekend.

Hey, while, you’re here, enjoy some pics of the gang…

Akemi and her boyfriend, Bubba, on Granville Island.

Akemi and her boyfriend, Bubba, on Granville Island.

Jelly in summer mode.

Jelly in summer mode.

Jelly (photo compliments of ace photog force).

Jelly (photo compliments of ace photog force).

Bubba (via gforce)

Bubba (via gforce)

Snoozing Lulu

Snoozing Lulu

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“I ate like a garbage box.” – Akemi, the other day, after a particularly filling meal.  She has a way with words, no?

These are some of the inspired dishes she’s been packing away…

Summer salad with olive oil, ginger balsamic, and chive blossoms

Summer salad with olive oil, ginger balsamic, and chive blossoms

Pea soup

Pea soup

Onion pie

Onion pie

Eight-hour octopus slow simmered in herbs and olive oil

Eight-hour octopus slow simmered in herbs and olive oil

Last night, we elected to take a break from the kitchen and headed over to our favorite Japanese restaurant: Yuji’s (2083 Alma St. Vancouver).  Some of the highlights of our meal…

Akemi's favorite = the salad rolls.

Akemi’s favorite = the salad rolls.

The maguro-avocado crepe.

The maguro-avocado crepe.

And the sushi.

And the sushi.

We were driving back home when we spotted a dog walking around by his lonesome.  I slowed down and we watched him sniff around, trot across the street, sniff around some more.  There was no owner in sight.  So, I pulled over and we approached the handsome fellow who turned out to be incredibly friendly.  I checked his collar and, fortunately, he had a tag, a name (Ollie!), and a phone number.  I called but got an answering machine, so I left a message and was just loading him into the backseat of my car (Ollie seemed really eager to go for a ride) when my cell phone rang.  It was the owner.  She was in Vietnam!  She thanked me for corralling her dog and gave me her address so I could drop him off.  Her husband was home.  Or so she assumed because when we went over, no one answered the door.  We ended up bringing Ollie back home – our dogs weren’t quite as warmly receptive as we were – and ended up walking him back to his place once the owner’s son got in touch.  Such a great a walker.  He puts my gang to shame.

Ollie needs sunglasses

Ollie needs sunglasses

Speaking of houseguests, tomorrow we say goodbye to Judd after ten happy days. Akemi will miss him.  And he’ll miss our backyard…

The gang

The gang

 

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Last night as the game headed into overtime…

Me: “Who are you rooting for, the Chicago Blackhawks or the Minnesota Wild?”

Akemi: “The Minestrone Wild.”

Alas, it was a sad night in Minestrone.  The Wild ended up losing and were eliminated from playoff contention.

Well, we’re Vegas-bound for a few days.  I was hoping to have everything wrapped up on this new project by now but, of course, things are progressing at a glacial pace because…well, welcome to show business.  That awesome lead time we were looking to take advantage of is gradually shrinking away.  There may come a point when my enthusiasm to face the challenges ahead will wane and I’ll simply have to move on.  Not there yet but if this goes on much longer without definitive word, or I lose any of my key players while we’re waiting, then I’m going to have to start looking southwards.  Again.  And, when I do, I think I’ll be looking at a changing of the old guard.

On the one hand, it’ll be nice to get away.  On the other hand, we’ll certainly miss the dogs.  Especially Akemi who has…maybe not quite “lost her mind” but certainly “shown alarmingly elaborate creativity” in preparing their various snacks and meals, to wit:

Bear cookies (peanut butter, sesame, oats, cinnamon, nutritious yeast, and dried cranberries).

Exhibit A: Bear cookies (peanut butter, sesame, oats, cinnamon, nutritious yeast, and dried cranberries).

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit C

Finally, since we’re on the topic of suspect culinary creations – Akemi has taken a liking to the offerings at a local eatery featuring “health conscious” cuisine, everything from veggie pot pie to chocolate-beet cake (Why you would do that to a perfectly good chocolate cake?).  She’ll stop off every Wednesday, while I’m doing the rounds of my local book and comic book stores, and grab herself at oat bran square or a day-old muffin (Not because she can’t afford the fresh ones but because she actually prefers the drier leftovers).  The other day, she decided to go off-book and picked up one of their cookies.  Check it out:

1As my father was fond of saying: “Who did THAT in THERE?!”.

 

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