Well, the tradition continues insofar as this makes two years in a row Akemi and I have roasted up a turducken and made a piecaken to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.

I ordered the turducken last week, electing to go with a different butcher and different franken-bird: turkey-chicken-duck but with bacon-wrapped sausage-stuffing.  And, to hedge our bets, a side of regular bread-based stuffing as well.

On Friday, we got to work on the pie portion of our piecaken, baking up a Chuck Hughes version of the southern favorite -


Then, on Saturday, Akemi baked the pie inside a giant brownie cake.

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. this morning to start the turducken – four hours covered; one hour uncovered…


Cha-daaa!  I was worried we might not have enough but, as usual, I was wrong.  The 10 lb bird went a long way for eight.  Our guests had seconds and thirds and even took home leftovers.


It was very good although I’d have to agree with Akemi that last year’s turducken was better.


Everyone liked the stuffing as well – although, like the turducken, I preferred last year’s version.

So near...

So near…

And yet, so far.

And yet, so far.

Served with cranberry sauce, Rob’s signature salad, Ivon’s signature brussel sprouts, gravy, and a little taste of the south -


These compliments of two (transplanted) southerners who happened to be in town -


Jeff and Barb came bearing desserts – a pumpkin pie and -


This awesome bourbon-laced pecan pie with paper shell pecans.  Delicious!


They also came bearing gifts: a mug and apron for me, and this pug-themed book that had Akemi positively giddy with joy.

Joining the dessert line-up…



This year’s version of the piecaken was richer and denser (owing to the fact that we actually followed a recipe this year instead of winging it) and lacked the clear, paleontological-like layering (cake, pie shell, gooey substrate, pecans, shale, etc) of 2013’s piecaken.  Still, damn tasty though.

A good time was had by all.  Jeff and Barb’s Baltimore Ravens crushed the Bucs, while a last second interception return for a touchdown by the Cardinals D put my Snow Monkeys within striking distance of an unlikely win.  All I need is for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree to put up a perfectly average 9 points (a TD + 30 receiving yards should do it).

STILL too far!

STILL too far!


Watching dis movie be like getting together wit former girlfriend after several years.  You tink it be a great idea but, when show up for date, you diskover she really let herself go, embittered wit life, and spend most of evening telling tasteless jokes and trying to sell you on Amway.  At end of de night, you go home feeling sad, cheap, and gross.  Also poorer becuz you bought box of multivitamins and six pack of men’s fragrance dat smell like eau de Grover’s toilet.


Yo, Kick-Ass.  Try to keep up.

Movie open on Hit Girl and Dave (aka Kick-Ass) in training.  He a wimp but she tuffening him up by beating de living crap out of him and, occasionally, shooting him.  Dey going to be de greatest team-up since Punisher and Archie!  UNTIL Hit Girl’s step dad make her promise to give up superheroing and just be a normal girl. Haha!  Right.  De Hit Girl we know from last movie would never agree so…Oh.  She does agree?  Haha!  Right.  But de Hit Girl we know from last movie might agree but would never really give up being a superhero…Oh.  She does?

Yes, for some reason, she agree and den spend big chunk of movie “trying to fit in” wit other high schoolers.   Dis plot development offer plenty of opportunities for hilarious fish-out-of-water scenes as Hit Girl try to akt like a normal teen. Unfortunately, it make absolutely no sense.  It be totally out of charakter for de Hit Girl we knew from last movie but,  luckily, cliquey high school girls also akt totally out of charakter, inviting her to a sleepover and convincing her to try out for dance team.  While she desperately trying to fit and hilarity ensuing, monster wonder: “What happened to terrific rebellious kid from last movie?”.

Alrighty, den!

Alrighty, den!

Meanwhile, Dave, aka Kick-Ass, team up wit lame amateur vigilante superheroes lead by Ace Ventura.

You!  Gimme de cash!

You! Gimme de cash!  You!  Spank me!

Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico, aka Red Mist, come out of retirement and don his dead mom’s S&M ensemble to become…De MUDDERFUCKER!  He also assemble his own lame amateur super villain team.

Scenes of extreme violence ensue but, unlike original, no fun to be had here.   In first movie, action sekwences enjoyable becuz it feature incongruous kid taking out bad guys.  In dis movie, we instead treated to action sekwences of bad guys killing cops in gruesome fashion.  Hohoho!   And, later, Ace Ventura.  Hahahaha!   Oh, and Dave’s dad.  Heeheehee!  At one point, Mudderfucker unable to assault a girl becuz he can’t get erektion!  And it all played for laughs.

Eventually, Hit Girl come out of retirement and join rest of superheroes in warehouse showdown against supervillains.  Ho hum.

Sorry about getting your dad killed, dude.

Sorry about getting your dad killed, dude.

Bad guys are defeated and all is forgiven.  Even Todd, Dave’s high school buddy, who joined Team Supervillain, revealed Kick Ass’s true identity, and was direktly responsible for Dave’s dad being murdered, get a pass.  Well, you know what dey say: “Bros before common sense!”

So long and tanks for all de fish sticks.

So long and tanks for all de fish sticks.

Hit Girl heads off into the sunset disappearing herself and leaving her step-dad to pick up de pieces of the police investigation into her vigilante past – and, presumably, face jail time for aiding and abetting a murderer.

Not so kick-ass.  Aktually, dumb and depressing.  A sekwel in name only.

VERDIKT: If you loved de first movie, you’ll hate dis one.  But if you hated de first movie, you probably won’t hate dis one as much.

RATING: 4 chocolate chippee cookies – except chocolate chippees actually raisins.  Sucker!

1. I’m back in Vancouver.  And exhausted.  I’ve got seven days to get my crap together, including: banking, car servicing, making arrangements for the house, and making a turducken AND piecaken for this Sunday!

2. The official announcement on my new series is coming.  No, really!  Apparently, Tuesday is the day.

3. Ever wanted to own a figurine of yourself?  Or a figurine of your favorite Executive Producer?  Well check out this place, located right here in Vancouver, where you can pop in, get scanned, and have your very own mini me delivered to you in 72 hours: http://mini-me.ca

4. Comcast goes above and beyond the call of shitty customer service: http://gawker.com/comcast-half-apologizes-to-the-customer-it-allegedly-go-1644252018 

5. 10 t.v. shows that are really creepy if you think about them: http://io9.com/10-tv-shows-that-are-really-creepy-if-you-think-about-t-1644845434

6. Oh, I noticed: http://www.cracked.com/article_21574_5-movie-plans-that-you-didnt-notice-rely-entirely-luck.html

7. “They taste like burning.”  http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/28-simpsons-quotes-every-fan-must-know.html

8. Uh.  Oh.  Okay: http://defamer.gawker.com/nielsen-weve-been-getting-tv-ratings-wrong-since-march-1644853977

9. Pecan pie at the bottom of the list?!  Creamed horns lower than apple fritters?!  Plain croissants at number #1?!  Nonsense!  http://rankings.gawker.com/pastries-ranked-1635451466

10. Pursuant to my recent post about the new Twin Peaks series, here are 10 Things Showtime’s New Twin Peaks Series Needs To Do: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2014/10/post_10.php

11.  Oh.  And THIS re: Golden Boy Marin Gero: http://deadline.com/2014/10/l-a-complex-martin-gero-phoenix-project-cw-849644/

“Whatever you do,”said my writing partner, Paul, clearly concerned about my penchant for adventurous eating, “don’t order the brains.”

“When was the last time you saw brain on a menu?”I scoffed.

And then, there it was, in the appetizer section: lamb brains.

In retrospect, it shouldn’t have come as that big of a surprise.  After all,  we were dining at Buca, my favorite Toronto restaurant, known for its creative offal offerings.

“No innards,”Paul reminded me as a we perused our menus, squinting to make out the tiny print in the darkened room.  Finally, I gave up and used the flashlight app on my phone.  Yes, I felt old – but not quite so bad as the evening progressed and about a half dozen other diners followed suit.  “Just go ahead and order for us,”said Paul, obviously too proud to use the flashlight function on HIS phone.

There were a lot of very intriguing menu options, but many fell foul of the “no innards” edict.  Eventually, I decided to split the difference by reading aloud slightly altered versions of the dish descriptions.  For instance, the pasta with duck offal ragu became “pasta with duck ragu”!  The revised descriptions proved more palatable to my squeamish writing partner.

A couple of the highlights…

1The nod ini: warm bread knots with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and sea salt.


The crispy pig ears.  Yeah, yeah, I know, but it’s not brains and, technically, not an “innards”.  It’s more of an “outard”.


The bianca pizza with gorgonzola and duck eggs.

And various awesome pasta.  Love that place.

Then, last night, we met up with Brad Wright for dinner at another Italian restaurant in the neighbourhood.  My review: Pizza good, pasta okay, service excellent, slight urine smell.  Not sure about that one.

I was walking the neighborhood today, shopping for necessitates – socks, underwear, towels, a soda stream shaped like a penguin – and noticed A LOT of intriguing dining options in the area.

Tonight, it’s oysters with the director of our first two episodes and then, tomorrow morning, I’m homeward-bound.  And none too soon.  Akemi tells me that Jelly has been restless since I left, up and panting through the night, and has taken to following her around.


Today, we interviewed some great Directors of Photography, talked cameras, shooting style, pre-lighting, then sat down with our stunt coordinator and discussed how our characters’  varied personalities are displayed in their respective fighting styles.  After lunch, we visited the art department where the gang had a bunch of goodies awaiting our perusal: designs of the ship corridors, quarters, mess hall, air locks, training room, and bridge.  It’s all coming along nicely.   Tonight, it’s dinner with Brad Wright.  Tomorrow, we sit down with the director of our opening two episodes – and, maybe, in honor of Carl Binder, dinner with our script coordinator at his favorite Toronto restaurant.

Fielding some of your early show-related questions…

arcticgoddess writes: “Since your team is writing scripts a year in advance, what happens if one or more of your actor choices go awry and do not work for your series?”

Answer: This is a very serialized show, so we’re approaching the 13 episode first season as an extended mini-series.  We’re not writing the scripts a year in advance but will have all 13 scripts completed by November – roughly a month a half before the commencement of principal photography – so that we can plan ahead and make the most efficient use of our time and resources.  It also allows us to make adjustments to any of the scripts early, for whatever reason, rather than have to scramble and make last-minute changes that compromise the story.

Bailey writes: “Sometimes actor chemistry just changes things on a show and can’t be predicted.”

Answer: True but, like I said, we know the story we want to tell, but can certainly make adjustments to the various character relations based on performance and onscreen chemistry.  I liken it to adapting a book.  You need to be flexible enough to make necessary changes but you’re not going to overhaul the entire script.

Line Noise writes: “So is there a ready-made production company for you to use in Toronto? Or did you have to build your own? You seem to already have a production team and art department on tap so I assume they come with the studio?”

Answer: Yes, we’re working with a production company here in Toronto.  Over the course of the past couple of days, we met all the department heads and they’re a great bunch.  We’re really looking forward to working with them.

It’s time to play Guess the Show by the Teefury t-shirt!



P.S. Under the terms of the deal as this blog’s resident film critic, Cookie Monster is sitting through Kick-Ass 2.  You can expect an angry review within the next few days.  Screen the movie if you have time and want to commiserate!

Today, we discussed casting, the budget, locations, post-production, and superheroes.  Okay, maybe that last one was a little off-topic, but still – another productive day.  I have to say I am very pleased with all of the people I’ve met to date.  Super-talented, super-positive, and super-pleasant – I really look forward to working with them.

We’re going to get rolling on casting asap – as soon as I can possibly get the sides out – so I’ll be staying up late, choosing two perfect scenes for each of our seven cast members.

I’m burning the midnight oil – and we’re not even in production yet!

And missing the gang back home…




I’m exhausted.  I slept fitfully last night because of the time change and then woke up at the crack of dawn – because the morning sun shines unobstructed through a blind-free section of my patio window.  Fortunately, the meetings were plenty interesting enough to keep me wide awake throughout the afternoon.  We started off with our costume meeting in which we discussed wardrobe for our crew, the android, “planet-dwellers”, and corporate guard.  Then, we moved onto the directors’ schedule and nailed down all but the late season two-parter.  We discussed Directors of Photography (we’ll be sitting down with a few over the coming days), then headed downstairs to check out what the Art Department have in the works.  We’ve got a great-looking hero ship and an equally awesome space station design.  The designs for the ship and space station interiors, corridors and rooms, are very clever.  We’re close on the exterior shuttle design but have yet to start work on the interior.  I expect we’ll see more in the coming days – and more in the days to come as we’re about three weeks away from the start of construction.  On deck tomorrow: casting, locations, and post-production.

Oh, and, apparently, the official announcement is coming sometime next week. Unofficially.

Saw this today…

Apparently, the cult series will be returning to television in 2016.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I loved the first delightfully eccentric first season of the show but hated the meandering, ponderous second season.  With the exception of the final episode that ended the series in perfectly depressing fashion.  But, like the conclusion to Blake’s 7, it’s a classic.  I’m not sure what more can be added to the story (like most, I skipped the Fire Walk With Me prequel movie).  And I honestly don’t know if I’d be all that interested in finding out without the quirky Agent Cooper leading the investigation.  But I certainly would love to know what they have planned.

The story apparently picks up 25 years later.  I wonder how many of the original cast they’ll bring back.  Sadly, some of the actors who played a few of my favorite characters have passed away since Twin Peaks arid back in 1990-1991.  Jack Nance (Peter Martell), and, of course, Don S. Davis (Major Garland Briggs).  Don, who, for many years, played the part of General George Hammond on Stargate: SG-1 loved attending the occasional Twin Peaks conventions and meeting his many fans.  One afternoon, he was sitting in my office and told me about the atypical way he was cast for the role of Major Briggs.  According to Don, he went in for an audition.  While waiting for his turn, he struck up a conversation with show co-creator and director David Lynch who was, presumably, on break.  They hit it off immediately and spent a long while talking about fly fishing.  Then, Lynch excused himself.  He had a meeting to attend.  He left and Don inquired about his audition – only to be told that Lynch had left so they wouldn’t be seeing anyone else that day.  Don returned home, upset.  After all, he had spent all that time preparing for an audition that never happened.  He phoned up his agent to complain only to learn that the Twin Peaks production offices had called only moments earlier.  They wanted him for the role!

I have to admit, I was a huge fan of the show back in the day and still have the collector card set back in Montreal.  Among them, this – my favorite card:




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