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


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.


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?”

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!

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.


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