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.”


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…


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!”  :(

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!

Our Food Purchase of the Day video series returns with a most undelightful soda…

Akemi samples the soda, fails to offer a review, and then gets distracted by a bee…

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

1A great episode from start to finish.  Unlike many of the episodes I can nitpick after repeat viewings, this one actually gets better with time.  A great, fun, fast-paced script by Carl Binder.  One of my favorites.

And Akemi loved it as well.

When I told her that Carl wrote the script: “Binder-san!”

And when she spotted actor Mike Dopud, who she instantly recognized even though his back was turned to camera in his very first shot: “Mike Dopud!”  By the way, it’s never just “Mike”.  It’s always the complete “Mike Dopud”.

Akemi was on the edge of her seat (aka the bed) throughout and a couple of moments made her jump and scream – once so suddenly and loudly that a startled Bubba got up and moved over to my side of the bed where he spent the rest of the night.

On the wraith sport of hunting runners: “What game wraith play?  So bad taste. Who want to do it?  High risk, no?”  Hey, you won’t even catch me driving the extra three blocks for bison burgers, much less hunting armed prey for sport.

Not much in the way of dazzling visual effects in this one, but she did praise the shot of the teleportation device fastening itself to Kiryk’s wrist: “Looks really real!”. Yep, that’s what we were going for.

Some sadness when Kiryk disappears through the gate, taking the wraith with him, and it became apparent to Akemi that he wouldn’t be hanging around: “Mike Dopud doesn’t join Atlantis?”  I told her, sadly, no.  She was disappointed and then, upon further reflection: “Poor Mike Dopud.  They don’t need two handsome guys. Just one handsome guy and done.”  It would’ve been like having TWO archaeologists on SG-1!

Finally, she loved the romantic rivalry between McKay and Ronon.  On the one hand, I know that she finds Ronon very handsome, but on the other I know she finds McKay quite loveable, so I had to ask which one she would choose.  After some consideration, she finally answered: “McKay.  I like geek boy more than handsome guy.”  Uh, in this particular case or in general?  Never mind.

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.

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.

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



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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