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1Bubba had his surgery today.  Before…

And after…

1The bandage conceals a nasty cut-and-stitch that looks like a wound he may have sustained in a  knife fight.

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Thanks for all the well-wishes.  He’s on the mend and already eating like crazy.

Robert Cooper forwarded me the following link under the email heading: “Where were these guys when we were making the show?”

http://www.neatorama.com/2014/04/21/This-Model-Stargate-Spins-Lights-Up-Kills-Anyone-Standing-Too-Close-to-It/#!FgIaJ

It’s apparently one of a several Stargate-themed entires in hackaday.com’s Sci-Fi Contest Roundup.  Others include a staff weapon and a life signs detector.  Check ‘em out:  http://hackaday.com/2014/04/20/sci-fi-contest-roundup-stargate/

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Infection!

1This one was a lot of fun – and a lot of complicated as well for someone who missed all those episodes about the retrovirus.  Still, it moved along at a fair clip and Akemi always finds the wraith hive ship set particularly creepy, especially, in this case, with all the “zombie wraith” running about.  Her comments on the episode:

When they receive Todd’s first choppy transmission: “It’s like he is in prison and only gets one call.”

When the mutant wraith springs out of the wall toward the red shirt: “WAAAAAAAAH!”

When the mutant wraith springs out of the darkness toward Sheppard: “WAAAAAAAAH!”

She is really enjoying the Todd character: “Has a sense of humor.  But his face hard to read.  Hard to tell if he is trying to be funny or not.”

She didn’t think that leaving Keller alone with Todd was a good idea.  But, if she was going to be eaten, at least “Jewel looks better than in other episode.  I like her straight hair.”

When Sheppard refuses to help Todd: “Why so mean?”

As the hive ship breaks in two: “Beautiful!”

But as the hive ship lands in the water: “Not great computer graphics.  I fee like I’m watching Final Fantasy 9 instead of Final Fantasy 14.”

Overall: “I liked this episode so-so.  Chotto complicated.”

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Akemi’s birthday…

Picking up a selection of home made marshmallows at Achimallows pop-up stand.

Picking up a selection of home made marshmallows at Archimallows pop-up stand.

The selection

The selection

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Birthday lunch at Bel Cafe.  Banh Mi for me.

Birthday lunch at Bel Cafe. Banh Mi for me.

And spicy chicken salad and a matcha latte for Akemi.

And spicy chicken salad and a matcha latte for Akemi.

And some hazelnut drags to go.  I'm a sucker for those complimentary samples.

And some hazelnut dragees to go. I’m a sucker for those complimentary samples.

New running shoes, a.k.a. new chew toys for Lulu.

New running shoes, a.k.a. new chew toys for Lulu.

Then, over to Main Street to check out the Candy Meister truck.

Then, over to Main Street to check out the Candy Meister truck.

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And, of course, her favorites - and the reason we chase this truck around town - the handmade marshmallows.

And, of course, her favorites – and the reason we chase this truck around town – the handmade marshmallows.

An afternoon walk/roll with the dogs.

An afternoon walk/roll with the dogs.

Doggy bath time.

Doggy bath time.

Sushi dinner at Miku Restaurant

Sushi dinner at Miku Restaurant

Drinks.  For her, some sort of Yuzi liquor.

Drinks. For her, some sort of Yuzi liquor.

For me, the sake sampler.

For me, the sake sampler.

And the "lotus root salad" that was served, completely devoid of lotus roots.  When I asked about this, I was informed that they were out.  Really?

And the “lotus root salad” that was served, completely devoid of lotus roots. When I asked about this, I was informed that they were out. Really? On the bright side, our sushi was served with the expected fish.

And, instead of birthday cake, Akemi opted for birthday gelato at Bella Gelateria.  Yes, it's that good!

And, instead of birthday cake, Akemi opted for birthday gelato at Bella Gelateria. Yes, it’s that good!

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…The Prodigal!

1Another Carl Binder-san spectacular.  I loved this episode even more on repeat viewing.  It’s got action, humor, and high-stakes developments with all of our characters in play (even Zelenka, Lorne, and Amelia Banks).  Fast-paced fun!

And Akemi agreed.  She laughed out loud a couple of times, jumped at others, and seemed just as anxious as Teyla when she was in hiding with her baby.  The night time establishers of the city all lit up never fail to amaze, and the “really cool fighting scenes” in this one wowed her as well, especially the final showdown at the top of the tower (Again, thanks to Mark Savela and our VFX crew and James Bamford and our stunts crew).  Her only quibble with this episode: “I’m so sad I didn’t see any scenes with Jewel.  Where’s Jewel?”  I dunno.  Night off?

She was at her most animated when Sheppard almost tumbles off the tower and is left dangling: “Now Mike Dopud can take over team!”

When Teyla approaches Michael hanging on by his fingertips: “Kick him off.”

And when she does just that: “What?!  He isn’t really dead, is he?”  And when I informed her that, yes, he was: “Wow.  Michael die.  Are you sure?  Who will they fight?”  No one!  The last six episodes of the final season will feature scenes of them sitting around, talking about their feelings.

And a closing observation as the end credits started to roll: “Sheppard never die, ne?  Don’t you think so?  Why not?”

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Hey!  Great news, Mrs. Doubtfire fans.  21 years later, a sequel is finally in the works: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Mrs-Doubtfire-2-Works-42606.html

It will follow in the rich tradition of Basic Instinct 2, Blues Brothers 2000, Escape from L.A, and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights – as sequels that were released after over a decade had passed since the original graced the big screen.  Here are some notable others…

The Evening Star, sequel to Terms of Endearment, released 13 years later.

The Two Jakes, sequel to Chinatown, released 16 years later.

An American Werewolf in Paris, sequel to An American Werewolf in London, released 16 years later.

The Rage: Carrie II, sequel to Carrie, released 22 years later.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, sequel to Wall Street, released 22 years later.

Psycho II, sequel to Psycho, released 22 years later.

The Odd Couple II, sequel to The Odd Couple, released 29 years later.

And here are some sequels  either rumoured to be in the works, in production, or coming soon to a theater near you…

Bad Santa 2 (11 years later)

Beetlejuice 2 (16 years later)

Blade Runner 2 (22 years later)

Dumb and Dumber To (20 years later)

Goonies 2 (29 years later)

Independence Day 2 (18 years later)

Rounders 2 (26 years later)

Shakespeare in Love 2 (16 years later)

Top Gun 2 (28 years later)

Trainspotting 2 (18 years later)

Triplets (sequel to Twin – 26 years later)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 (26 years later)

Zoolander 2 (13 years later)

Which one are you looking forward to the least?

The afore-mentioned lists got me thinking about some of the great movies that REALLY need sequels.  Dear Hollywood, if they’re not already in the works, might I suggest:

The Sixth Sense 2: The Seventh Sense

Apocalypse Now 2: I Love the Smell of Napalm at Night Too!

Forrest Gump 2: Still Running

Casablanca 2: Play It Again, Sam

Better Off Dead 2: I Want my Two Dollars!  Plus Interest!  Which Would Now Make it About Two Fifty!

A Few Good Men: You Couldn’t Handle the Truth So We Apportioned it over Two Movies

Titanic 2: My Heart Still Going On

On the Waterfront 2: The Contender

Taxi Driver 2: Are You STILL Talkin’ to Me?

Field of Dreams 2: If You Produce It, They Will Come

Gone With the Wind: Tomorrow is Another Movie

Citizen Kane 2: Charlie and Rosebud, the Early Years

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Inquisition!

1Clip show alert!  Clip show alert!  Alas, the notion of the money-saver was completely lost on Akemi who, partway through Inquisition, turned to me, brow furrowed and remarked: “Just replaying parts of episodes we’ve already seen.”  Well, yes.  That’s the point of the clip show, the high point of any season.  It’s a very special episode that, in its short run time, manages to pack in all of the very best of what has come before.  It’s like a bowlful of only the red skittles.  That have passed, undigested through the alimentary canal of an Asian palm civet cat.

Apparently, they don’t do that sort of thing in Japan.

Surprisingly, however, this episode went over quite well, owing to the fact that many of these repeat clips were actually new to Akemi who missed seasons 2 through 4.  Plenty of “oohs” and “aaahs” throughout those amazing space battles.

“Toby!” she called when actor Thobias Slezak – and occasional guest to our home during the football season – showed up on screen.  Although it was, I thought, a sizeable enough appearance, she was somewhat disappointed: “Toby’s part is very small again [a reference to his turn as the doomed Peter in SGU's Visitation].  Too small!”

And a minor quibble for the prop department.  She hated the glasses Woolsey and Sheppard were drinking whisky out of at episode’s end because we own those very same glasses and it shattered the illusion: “Same glass as you are drinking almond milk out of.”

Overall, even though she had a hard time following (and I had an equally hard time explaining): “I liked it.  I was happy to see so much computer graphics.  I liked the fact it summarized everything because I missed so many episodes.”  And, she’s up to date!

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Dog fight!

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Outsiders!

1Hunh.  I assumed Akemi would enjoy The Lost Tribe, but she found it slow-paced and confusing.  I figured she wouldn’t like Outsiders, but she was entertained throughout.  While I wouldn’t rank it among her favorites, she did prefer it over the previous episode: “I felt quicker than last episode.”

Still, plenty of nitpicks of Outsiders:

When leader Elson sneaks back into town wearing a cloak to hide his identity: “Why he is hiding?  From who?”  Good question.

When Elson makes his pitch to “Shrekish-looking guy”, seemingly betraying the Atlantis team and the outsiders: “What?  Whatwhatwhat?!”  And then suspicious: “Why Jervis trusted so simply?”

When Beckett taunts the wraith, Akemi wondered why the wraith didn’t just feed on him.  And when, seconds later, he tries – and dies in excruciating pain: “Wraith is as dumb as I am.”

After Sheppard triggers the explosion, killing the wraith – as well as “Shrekish-looking guy” and his fellow townspeople: who, it turns out, were entrapped by Elson and Sheppard: “Why he did that?   He’s supposed to be hero?!”

When McKay figures out how to re-jib the dart so that it deposits him and Beckett on the planet rather than scoop anyone up off the surface: “How he figured that out?  Oh, right.  Because he is genius.”

On the with-only-seconds-to-spare escape through the gate: “Of course.”

And after “everyone” escapes: “They said six hundred to seven people in the village, but we only see forty escape.  What happened to everyone else?”  Hello?  Extras casting?

Speaking of unanswered questions: “What happened to the group that was delivered to gate first? Where did they go?”  Er.  Um.  Transported up to the hive ship?  No.  They escaped too?  Uh, no.  I guess they were killed?  “Usually the episodes make sense.  Here a bunch of actors and actresses are missing.”

She felt the episode was lacking a little something.  A little Robert Picardo: “I was sad the fact I couldn’t see Woolsey-Bob.”

Overall, however, she didn’t find the episode offensive and gave it this ringing endorsement: “Not bad.  I don’t mind.  I just hated Jervis.  Reminds me of Top Chef Canada contestant.”

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I’m a fairly adventurous eater and I’m always up for trying something new.  I may not like everything I sample but I will, for the most, give it a go.  Seafood City, in the Granville Island Public Market, can always be counted upon to have a few surprises along with their regular, more mainstream assortment of oysters, clams, crab, sea bass, rainbow trout, various salmons, etc..  It’s my go-to place for fresh fish and seafood AND the occasional unique offerings.  Like the other day when I happened to come across the above-pictured Goose Neck Barnacles on display.  Sure, I thought, they look ugly.  But why the hell not?  And, after getting  quick rundown on their cooking and preparation, I headed home with a handful to check ‘em out…so YOU don’t have to.

The instructions were fairly straightforward.  Boil them for five minutes in salted water, rinse with cold water, then remove the outer layer that will unfurl like…well, let’s say a sock.  Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice and, voila, they’re ready to eat…

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Mmmm.  Tasty-looking, no?

Not bad, but a little sandy.  And, while interesting, it doesn’t rank up there with the equally special likes of sea urchin or skate wing.

Agree?  Disagree?  What’s your take on them?

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…The Lost Tribe!

1Hunh.  Interesting.  As much as she enjoyed the first part of this mid-season two-parter, Akemi couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for this one.  I think the problem was that, while Part I was incredibly fast-paced and raised many questions, Part II bogged down in the answers – many of which went right over her head: the Asgard, their cloning issues, the Travellers, Larrin, etc.  “This episode feel so long,”she sighed at one point.

When McKay and Daniel have a lengthy discussion regarding how the device affects wraith hyperspace drives, the gates, and how they can stop it: “Don’t talk.  Just do it!”

When the Asgard revealed himself: “Oh, so cute!  Look at him!”

And during the inside the suit Iron Man POV: “Cool.”

This episode’s final space battle was the first she didn’t enjoy: “I couldn’t tell which ship was which.”

She questioned the suddenly verdant Atlantis in a later scene: “Why so green?”

And, finally, she was quite disappointed that the Ronon-McKay romantic rivalry fizzled out so quickly: “So handsome guy so sad because Jewel doesn’t like him?  I wanted to see geek vs. handsome guy situation!”  :(

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Awww, this is sweet.  And salty.  And  risky!  http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2014/04/14/kfc-chicken-corsage-prom/7705419/

World’s Fastest…cat?  Wheel of Fortune’s Worst Contestant.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/04/14/wheel-of-fortune-contenstant-cant-solve-filled-in-puzzle/7710211/

And in science news: http://www.theonion.com/articles/study-finds-earth-located-in-lamest-part-of-univer,35688/

Cat burglars beware!  Dog summoned for jury duty.  http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/weird/Dog-Chosen-for-Jury-Duty-255184841.html?_osource=SocialFlowFB_PHBrand

And we continue our SGA re-watch with…First Contact!

1Hey!  Another great episode.  We’re on a roll!  Lots to love about this fast-paced episode (compliments of golden boy Martin Gero) but, of course, at the top of the list is special guest archaeologist…Dr. Daniel Jackson.  Loved the rapid-fire interplay between him and McKay.  But, again, who cares what I thought.  What did Akemi think?

She took an immediate shine to Daniel (“He is handsome!”) who she thought looked kind of familiar (“He looks like Jeff from Community.”).

Less a fan of their super quick dialogue which she had trouble following, eventually giving up with: “Faster!  Faster!”  Still: “He is very nice looking guy.  Just speaks too fast.”

After Rodney was whisked away by the aliens, leaving Zalenka to lead the science charge: “Now’s his chance!”  I pointed out that if he really impresses and takes over the science team, what would become of McKay?  A fair point.  She’s a fan of Rodney McKay as well – although she doesn’t like the fact that everyone calls him Rodney now instead of McKay.

She continues to enjoy Robert Picardo’s turn as Richard Woolsey: “Bob is funny.  I like his character.  Nice and warm.”

And misses Mike Dopud: “Too bad Mike Dopud is not in this episode.”

Another round of compliments to Mark Savela and the VFX team, especially for the “shield guy scene” that was, in her estimation, “very Final Fantasyish.”

Overall, a most enjoyable episode – though maybe a little too fast-paced: “So manny things happening.  Hard to organize my brain.”

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday gal Jovanna!

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It’s full steam ahead on the project front!  While A.K.A. is still in development limbo, Southern Gothic (the pilot I co-wrote with our friend Tara Yelland) has garnered some early interest.  My U.S. agent will be reading it this weekend and will get back to me early this week with his take on a prospective strategy.  Also in his inbox for a weekend read is that SF actioner I finished about a week and a half ago.  My Canadian agent thought it “Loads of fun” and suggested we send it to The Big Boys to see if they’d be interested in wading into the t.v. waters.  Meanwhile, I’m in the process of juggling three different pilots (in response to one of my agents’ request for something a little more provocative and a lot less genre).  I had a terrific idea for a script and got five pages in before getting bogged down by issues related to ex-convicts and driver’s licenses.  I spend an afternoon researching and finally figured out how I was going to tweak the outline – and then got distracted by the second script.  I pitched Paul a sucker-punch dark tease which I went ahead and wrote, pitched him a general outline and then went ahead and completed ten pages before – getting distracted yet again, this time by an idea for a third script inspired by horrifically true events.  And that’s the pilot I’ve been working on over the past few days.  I just hit the 28 page mark and am hoping to push past 30 (and the cafeteria scene) tonight.  In the case of all three pilots-in-progress, I know exactly where I’m going and, most importantly, where I want to end up.  And, like Dark Matter, A.K.A., Southern Gothic, and the actioner, all three will end on some great Holy Sh*t! moments.  Oh, and speaking of Dark Matter – things have miraculously picked up on that front.  Given past experience, I’m not about to start jumping up and down, but I will note how, in this business, the fortunes of certain projects can turn on a dime.

The results of our June Book of the Month Club are in and the winner is:

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 10.02.03 AM

Evening’s Empire by Paul McAuley

Our June BOTMC discussion will begin June 2nd.

Check this blog’s right sidebar for our upcoming Book of the Month Club discussions.

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Akemi and…The Queen

1“Wraith culture shock!”said Akemi, two-thirds of the way through this twisty-turny study of wraith political ambition and military/social structure.

Without a background on the retrovirus, she found Keller’s pitch to Todd in the tease downright wild: “What the f*%k this crazy wraith plan?”  But she WAS onboard.

As is customary with most wraith episodes, she had plenty to say about the bad hair.  Also, with regard to Ronon: “Handsome guy need haircut.”  Little did she realize he already got a haircut earlier in the season and has been wigged ever since.

A deeper, better understanding of our new coloful allies seemed to go over well: “Wraith, so friendly!”  And she did enjoy the individual personalities shining through.

Much less love for Teyla’s transformation which, quite simply, she didn’t buy: “How did Teyla turn into wraith?  What kind of surgery did she do?  So hard to believe. It’s like turning people into pug.  I don’t think it’s okay to shortcut that part.  Don’t you think weird?”.  But we saw the surgery scenes, didn’t we?  Well, okay, not exactly…

And, of course, the usual highlights: “Pretty good makeup!  I like the shooting scenes with the ships.”

All in all, pretty enjoyable although: “This episode have a lot of question marks.”

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular Jeff W.

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What is it they say?  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  But what comes next?  Fool me three times and…what?  I need to know because, despite the obvious history, I’m going down THAT road again.  It’s like that friend who always shows up late to the party despite the fact you told him you have to leave at a reasonable hour because you have to work the next day.  The last time, he phoned ten hours late to tell you he wasn’t coming.  This time, he initially put his E.T.A. at around 7:00 p.m., then said he meant 8:00, then revised that to 9:00, and now is saying 10:00…but you really know he means 11:00.  I’m always one to offer the benefit of the doubt but, technically, he’s still maintaining he intends to make the very first party…that was thrown two weeks ago!

In other cryptic news – how does that other saying go?  When one door closes a window is left partially open for you to attempt to squeeze through but, when you do, it closes a little further, trapping your ankle and, as you struggle to disengage yourself, you glance over and notice that the door isn’t closed after all but actually slightly ajar and if you don’t find your way over soon, that busybody neighbor is going to waltz over and close it for you, thereby locking you inside with your eccentric aunt’s pet chimpanzee, Nippy McFaceChew.  Or something like that.

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Whispers!

1Ouch.  In retrospect, not one of my favorites despite the great time we had on set making it, and our wonderful guest stars.  On the bright side, there were a few moments that made Akemi jump.  Mission accomplished. :)

Ultimately, she didn’t have much to say about this episode.  She’s NOT a fan of horror but IS a fan of Beckett: “Nice to see doctor.  But very scary.”

She was quick to point out parallels between the mutant hybrids of this episode and flesh-eaters of The Walking Dead: “Like super aggressive zombies!”.

After 65+ episodes of the franchise, she is now able to recognize familiar locations: “The same forest as The Hunt.  I liked that episode better.”  Hmmm.  Come to think of it, so did I.

Tonight, we move on to The Queen.  It’ll be interesting to see how this one stands up to our my critical re-watch.

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular glowyzoey.

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Last night, I met up with my foodie friend – Nicole, Lan, and Missy – for a little culinary tour of Chinatown.  Nicole, our guide on this trek, had us hopping from one place to the next, covering four different places in which we sampled about a dozen different dishes…

Fellow foodies: Nicole, Lan, and Missy.

Fellow foodies: Nicole, Lan, and Missy.

We met at The Pie Shoppe, a tiny place that offers a variety of pies both sweet and savory.  On this night, only half an hour away from closing, they were out of savory options so we settled for (and by settled, I mean devoured) two of the sweet pies: apple-rhubarb and chocolate pecan.  I can’t fairly judge a fruit pie without ice cream so I won’t weigh in on the apple-rhubarb, but that chocolate-pecan pie was outstanding on its own. I was tempted to try the salted honey pie but Nicole had to remind me to pace myself.  This, after all, was a marathon.

A plethora of pies

A plethora of pies

From there, we headed one block over to a place called Oyster Express that offered about a dozen varieties of oysters on the shell in addition to a number of other menu items.  But, come on!  The place is called Oyster Express!  So we ordered two dozen assorted raw oysters.  They were all excellent.  Akemi, who had to beg off because she was feeling under the weather, would have loved it.

On the half shell at the Oyster

On the half shell at Oyster Express

One block over and two blocks down, we hit Besties, a restaurant specializing in sausages.

With by besties at Besties

With by besties at Besties

We ordered a number of items and shared.  Among them:

The sausage slider

The sausage slider

Currywurst

Currywurst

Asparagus with hollandaise.  Oh, and an egg!

Asparagus with hollandaise. Oh, and an egg!

For me, the highlight of this stop was the venison and blueberry sausage (that, for some reason, I failed to snap).  They were out of the intriguing sounding Butter Chicken sausage, so I’ll definitely have to make a return visit.

From there, it was one block over, three blocks up (through the downtown east side’s more colourful area), and around the corner to the Dunleavy Snack Bar.  At this point, Lan was tapped out and declared himself stuffed.  BUT that didn’t stop him from having some of the bimbimbap – and later, finishing it off when the waiter asked/threatened to take the plate away…

Pork belly and Korean chicken steamed buns

Pork belly and Korean chicken steamed buns.  I was hoping the chicken would be spicier, like they serve at that Korean restaurant in Shinjuku where the chicken is so spicy they serve it with a side order of surgical gloves so that you don’t burn your fingers while eating.

We didn’t order dessert, but only because we’d already had some at the start of our tour.

Thanks to Nicole for organizing and Lan and Missy batting clean-up on those fries and rice.

Next up, braise and bourbon at my place!

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…The Shrine.

1Our viewing of this fan favorite episode kicked off with this out-of-left-field exchange:

Akemi: “Teyla is weird name.  Like fixing clothes.”

Me: “No.  That’s TAI-LOR.”

Akemi (clearly disappointed): “Oh.”

This episode reinforced David Hewlitt’s talents as an actor: “McKay is a good actor.”

And also reinforced how pretty Jewel Staite is: “Jewel is very cute, don’t you think so?”  Hmmm.  Is this a trick question?

Akemi was also delighted to see actor Jason Momoa get a few more lines than his average: “Happy to see handsome guy speak a little more than usual.”

She loved the night time establisher of Atlantis all lit up: “Beautiful!  Like Shanghai or Hong Kong.”

But found the lighting in the famed pier scene a little “too dramatic”.  As for the gorgeous night time setting: “Nice scene for young couple but instead two middle-aged guys.”

Again, high marks to Mark Savela and the VFX team: “I liked the insect coming out.  It looked really real!.”

But the surgery scene – moreover, the prospect of the scene – made her squeamish.

In the end though: “I found it sad from the get-go.  Very sad episode but happy ending – which I like!”

Today’s entry is dedicated to Denise McInerney.  Condolences on the passing of your beloved Jeter.

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And continuing our discussion of our April Book of the Month Club selection: Annihilation:

Jenny Horn writes: “One thing regarding Annihilation I had not yet considered…perhaps Area X is not on Earth.”

Answer: Now that’s an interesting possibility.  It would explain why the region is so much larger than originally mapped out.  Maybe even an area that exists apart from our space time?

whoviantrish writes: “It’s just so bizarre how they have to enter it and how it’s being kept a secret. Even Area 51 has been discovered.”

Answer: True, but it’s suggested early on that entry (and presumably exit) from Area X is a bigger deal than a simple stroll across an imagined boundary.  If I remember correctly, our narrator even states that she doesn’t remember the actual crossing over.

whoviantrish writes: “The biologist had mentioned they had ways of keeping tabs on Area X.. whatever that means. I’m thinking there were far more truths untold than told. Because they certainly didn’t expect her husband to return so it’s not like they’re guarding it really well.”

Answer: Again, this hints at the possibility that this “entrance” to Area X may be more than just a physical boundary.  If that was the case, the fine folk at the Southern Reach would have gotten their hands on her husband the second he stepped through – rather than being surprised by his reappearance well after the fact.

Jenny Horn writes: “It is clear to me that we are not going to get any answers in subsequent books, so I propose that we make up our own answers to our questions. I’m going to begin by naming the lead character Bridget…Bridget the Biologist. And her husband is/was Richard. Ok, now who wants to say what happened to Richard? Did he morph into the dolphin, or is he still roaming Area X as a human?”

Answer: I’m going to guess his consciousness has been incorporated into Area X.  A sliver of Richard resides in the Crawler, in the mysterious moaning creature, even the dolphin.

Jovanna writes: “I enjoyed Annihilation, more for the dreamy atmosphere than anything else. I always wondered if there were books or stories like this that were just steeped in atmosphere and allowed you to watch without feeling too much.”

Answer: There was certainly a dreamlike quality to the narrative and the way the story was told made it difficult for the reader to connect with anyone beside our protagonist, but I was definitely caught up in the mystery and transported by the story.

Line Noise writes: “It’s possible that the Southern Reach authorities have been infected by Area X and their minds are being controlled in order to keep “feeding” Area X with fresh meat.”

Answer: At this point, anything is possible.  An interesting hypothesis I never considered – even though it is strongly hinted that elements of Area X have infiltrated and infected our reality.

Line Noise writes: “Without advanced technology you need people on the ground to gather information. Assuming the Southern Reach authorities aren’t compromised then I’m sure they are worried about the expanding influence of Area X and it’s a priority for them to find a solution.”

Answer: In which case the team we followed was following a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach.  Would love to find out if this is the case.

Line Noise writes: “They’ve sent in a lot of expeditions but is it wise to tell the current expedition about the tens (perhaps hundreds) of expeditions that have failed before them? [...]. If they were told there were 111 previous expeditions that all failed I suspect they’d struggle to find volunteers.”

Answer: A fair point.  But surely, after those 111 previous expeditions had failed, you would think they would arm the new group with some insight into what they were about to face.  For instance, the script in the tower couldn’t have been a surprise.

Line Noise writes: “Is the Area X phenomenon a purely biological one? In which case maybe some sort of hazmat suit and decontamination/positive pressure tent could be employed to ensure no contamination. Or is it some sort of “field” that affects the brain?”

Answer: It certainly seems to affect the brain which begs the question “How is the agent – biological or otherwise – absorbed by the body?”.  It’s not unreasonable to assume that precautions were taken with previous expeditions (ie. hazmat suits) and they failed to protect the team members.

Kathode writes: “I just heard an interview with the author of “Blood Will Out” on the radio a couple days ago, so when I read the “Schroder” description, the parallels were fresh in my mind. Both have a shady German immigrant who goes by a famous, wealthy-family surname (“Kennedy” in “Schroder”; “Rockefeller” in “Blood Will Out”). Both masquerades come unraveled when the shady con man kidnaps his daughter in a custody dispute. Except in the nonfiction tale, the guy is not only a kidnapper, but also wanted for a double murder in California 23 years before his façade came crashing down. I guess that detail would’ve undermined the reader’s ability to empathize with “Stirred” and find some good in him.

“Blood Will Out” is told from the perspective of the author, who was friends with the con man and duped by him for 10 years. From what I can tell, it’s the story of how he was sucked in and missed all the signs that could have tipped him off that the con man’s entire existence was total BS.”

Answer: Interesting.  I didn’t know anything about the book outside of the blurb I posted.  It and the fact that the book seemed to be getting a lot of buzz.  I’ll eventually get around to reading Schroder because it’s already sitting on my to-read pile, but if you read the other book, please give us a report.

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis re-watch with…Ghost in the Machine.

1Akemi found The Daedalus Variations incredibly confusing so I was thrilled with the first 15 minutes of this episode.  It was straightforward, fast-paced and full of mystery and suspense.  And then, when Weir appears in the flesh (so to speak) the episode takes a turn into an arguably necessary but no-less painful extended exposition sequence.  And, once it was finally complete, it was too late.  We’d lost Akemi.  Still, she recognized that the mythologically-rich backstory was no doubt appreciated by longtime fans: “Bonus episode for the loyal Stargate fan.”

So, sadly, not another favorite, but this episode did have its highlights:

Whenever Woolsey appears on screen: “Bob!”

She continues to note the disparity between McKay and Ronon’s line count: “How many sentences handsome guy had in this episode?”

And she continues to find Zelenka all sorts of adorable.

The reveal that Weir’s digitized consciousness was responsible for all the tech failures took her by surprise (no doubt because she missed seasons 2 through 4 that introduced the Asurans and dealt with Elizabeth’s disappearance).  She suspected another culprit was behind the strange happenings: “At first I thought flying monkey caused the trouble.  Very smart monkey.”

The strongest reaction in this episode came after Woolsey gave the okay for Weir to download her consciousness into  replicator body.  “ENH?!!!”were her exact words.  In retrospect, she had a point.

In the end, a tough episode for her: “Very difficult to follow, especially for someone who skips the episodes.  And Joe seems tired to explain every single thing that happened.”  True dat.

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular and birthday gal Erika (poundpuppy29)

 

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