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Well look at who I came across this morning at the Farmer’s Market.  None other than my favorite fellow foodie Natalie Cooper, aka Batman, aka The Sock Girl!  She informed me that she had been trying to convince her mom to join her for the special tasting menu at a local high-end Mexican restaurant.  I, of course, strongly urged her to drop her mom like a hot potato – in favor of a nice cold potato (yours truly!).  So, mom’s out.  ¡A comer!

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Speaking of Natalie, I’ve fallen behind in this blog’s semi-regular Sock of the Day feature.  Pictured above: Friday’s instalment.  As someone who hasn’t taken a math class since grade 10, I really appreciate this one.

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And, while we’re on the subject, these Halloween-themed socks arrived in the mail the other day compliments of – I think because there was no accompanying message – Sylvia.  Thanks, Sylvia!  I think.

The other day, somebody asked me why I didn’t respond to comments on twitter.  Well, the truth is my online presence is pretty much confined to this blog which, going on eight years now without missing a day, is enough.  I use only use twitter to keep updated on @DRUNKHULK, while Facebook is reserved solely for sharing lost dog posts.

Yes, to those asking, today was my zoo date with Cloverblob -

https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/february-24-2015-cloverblob/

So, how was it?  Well, let me post this screen grab of the text I just sent Zoie:

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 7.14.33 PM

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Between prep, production, and post, I hardly have time for anything else.  Hell, I hardly have time for prep, production, and post.  If I’m prepping an episode, I can’t be on set.  If I’m on set, I can’t be in editing.  And if I’m in editing, I can’t be in prep.  So what’s an Executive Producer to do?  Well, if you know someone with production experience (producing AND directing) and that someone shares your script sensibilities, then you hire them to set sit for you.  Which is exactly what we did.

Introducing new Dark Matter consulting producer Ivon Bartok who will be overseeing production of episodes #106 through #109. His duties will include script consultations, shot surveillance, and the putting out of fires both literal and figurative.  But especially literal.

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First order of business after taking the grand tour of the sets and meeting the DM gang was Ivon’s induction into our whisky club.  From left to right: Norman Denver, Trevor Finn, Jay Firestone (sipping tea instead), Ivon Bartok (breeching etiquette by foregoing the toast and getting right to it), Brandon Tataryn, and director Ron Murphy.  Not pictured: me.

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We were actually drinking 18 year old Bunnahabhain, but I’d love to try this 250 year old Glenmercury spaceside single malt.

Tone meeting today for episode #106 and parts of #109 with director Ron Murphy. Next week, Ivon acts as my representative to the tech survey heading to Kitchener early Monday morning.  Then, on Tuesday, we’re going ATV’ing.  No, seriously.  The area we’ll be scouting for #109 is only accessible by ATV.  Wish me luck!

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It’s official.  He got his parking pass.  He’s one of us now!

Whenever I visit a foreign country, I always like to check out the local fast food eateries for a taste of the strange yet familiar.  For instance, last time I was in Japan, I went to McDonalds and had a hamburger – but not your run-of-the-mill hamburger.  I had a Kuro Burger: a beef patty served between two black buns, topped with black cheese, bamboo charcoal, and squid ink ketchup.  Overall, it was a resounding 5/10 on the burger scale.  But the experience?  Well, that was a 10/10!

Japanese McDonalds can always be counted upon to deliver some mighty unique menu items.  I’m never disappointed.  That being said, I AM disappointed in some of the menu items available at familiar fast food joints around the world – only insofar as I can’t get my hands on them.

Here are my Top 15 Strange But Familiar Fast Food Menu Items I’d Like To Try!

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15. Burger King Chili Cheese Nuggets: Deep-fried cheese with fiery hot japalenos. (available: Austria)

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14. McItaly Adagio Burger: Beef patty topped with eggplant mousse, ricotta salata, and tomatoes served in an almond topped bun (available: Italy)

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13. Mcdonalds Le Poulet-Curry: Breaded chicken, potato pancakes, lettuce, and curry served on a mini baguette (available: France)

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12. McRice Burger: Beef or chicken patties topped with lettuce, mayo, and Asian barbecue sauce served on crispy rice buns (available: Singapore)

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11. McDonalds Ebi Filet: Fried shrimp patty with special sauce and lettuce (available: Japan)

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10. McAloo Tikki Burger: Potato and chickpea patty with tomatoes, onions, and tomato mayonnaise (available: India)

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9. Burger King Pumpkin Burger: Beef patty topped with fried kabocha squash, bacon, lettuce, and a creamy nut sauce (available: Japan)

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8. McDonalds P’tit Beldi: Spiced halal meat, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo (available: Morocco)

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7. McPollo Italiano: Fried chicken patty topped with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and guacamole (available: Chile)

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6. McDonalds Bacon Roll: Bacon and ketchup on a hard roll (available: The U.K.)

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5. McIberica: Beef patty topped with Iberico Ham, manchego cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and olive oil (available: Spain)

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4. The McArabia: Grilled kofta patties, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and tahini served in flatbread (available: Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia)

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3. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Jalapeno Bulgogi Hot Dog: Marinated beef slices with jalapeños, melted cheese, and barbecue sauce  (available: South Korea)

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2. McSpicy Paneer: Fried paneer cheese patty topped with lettuce, red cabbage, and tandoori sauce (available: India)

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1. Burger King X-Tra Long Chili Cheese Burger: Three beef patties, cheese and jalapenos (available: Austria, Germany, Netherlands)

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Toronto has been very Hoth-like of late, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised to come across the above in the lunch room today.  Could’ve used that nice warm lightsaber while we were shooting in Hamilton last month!

Morning meetings today for episode #106 with director Ron Murphy (or “Murph” as he is affectionately referred to by members of the crew).  This one’s going to be an acting tour de force for Jodelle Ferland (FIVE) who’ll be spending the next couple of weekends in training with our stunt coordinator, John Stead, preparing for her very demanding fight sequences.

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The trench!

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The gun lock-up!

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The infirmary!

Hey, check out a recent interview I did with Joe Julians at Idiotbox.com:

http://www.idiotbox.co.uk/joseph-mallozzi-dark-matter-interview-33747/

“IB: We do have many further Stargate questions we would love to ask at some point but we really want to talk about Dark Matter. First up the obvious question, where did the idea from the show come from?

JM: I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of redemption and wanted to create a show that explored this theme. I wanted it to include elements I’d always been drawn to in the movies, t.v. shows, and books I enjoyed: a team dynamic, a sense of adventure, humor, and a serialized narrative offering continuous set-ups and pay-offs, twists, turns, and surprises. I wanted the pilot, our opening episode, to end on a WTF?! moment that would have viewers counting down the hours to the following week’s episode and so I actually reverse-engineered the original pilot script from its final scene. As we developed the show’s first season, we were always cognizant of working toward those Holy Crap!/WTF?! moments that would cap each episode. And, I’m happy to say, there are some amazing ones to look forward to in season one.”

We talk Dark Matter, Stargate, favorites and, of course, Nathan Fillion.

So there I was the other day, minding my own business, when I received the following message on twitter:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.05.42 PM

Hunh?  Who, I wondered, is zoiepalmer’s cat?  Well, I did a little research and, as it turns out, zoiepalmer’s cat IS Zoie Palmer’s cat, Cloverblob, who apparently has her own twitter account.  Hoping to avoid any potential conflict, I wrote back:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.02.58 PM

And I left it at that.  But upon further reflection, I thought it best to mention the incident to Zoie.  I approached her yesterday while she was waiting to shoot her first scene of the day and, unsure as to how best to break it to her, I just blurted out: “I don’t know how to tell you this but I think your cat is harassing me on twitter.”  I’m not sure what kind of a response I was expecting.  Shock.  Sadness.  Maybe an apology.  Instead, Zoie nodded knowingly, “Oh, yeah”, and made it clear Cloverblob was out of her control.  Immediately realizing my mistake, I requested she not mention our conversation to her cat when she got home that night but Zoie gave a shake of her head and informed me: “Oh, she’ll find out somehow.”

I assumed she was kidding but, only an hour later, I received the following tweet:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.04.22 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.05.01 PM

I, of course, scrambled to do damage control.  After all, the only thing worse than an angry cat is a vengeful angry cat:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.01.12 PM

 

I didn’t receive any further messages from Cloverblob so I figured the entire incident had been put to rest.  And then I received a panicked text message from Zoie.  Our correspondence follows:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.17.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.18.37 PM
Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.22.24 PM

So Zoie put in a good word for me and, in the end, we got things sorted out.  Kind of.  This Saturday afternoon, I’ve got a date with Cloverblob to go visit the hippo exhibit at the zoo.  I wasn’t prepared for a long term commitment though and Zoie’s last text has me kind of concerned:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.25.46 PM

Wait.  Wait!  WHAT?!

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https://twitter.com/Cloverblob

It feels like mere weeks ago I was planning our trip to Toronto to work start work on Dark Matter.  I’d been developing the series for so long, impatiently awaiting its green light, that when we finally received word we had a go, I couldn’t quite believe it.  And back in the summer of 2014 when we were gearing up to assemble the season one writer’s room (all three of us!), production felt like such a long way off.  Even in December, after the construction had commenced on our standing sets and we had 10 of our 13 episodes scripted, it still felt distantly surreal.  And now…

We’re locking Dark Matter episodes #101 and #102 (directed by T.J. Scott) and I’m editing episode #103 (directed by Paolo Barzman).  The editors are working on their assembly of episode #104, directed by Amanda Tapping.  Director Lee Rose is presently shooting episode #105 and I’m in prep on episode #106 with director Ron Murphy.  We’re almost at the halfway mark!  Holy crap!  Never mind the season finale.  I’ve got to start thinking about season two!

Episode #112 came out today and, hopefully, that will tide the cast and crew over until I’ve had a chance to write #113, the shocking season finale.  I’m seven pages in.  At this rate, I should be done by the time it comes time to shoot it in May.

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Last night, I took a break from the madness for our weekly Walking Dead Night attended by VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, Akemi, Jodelle Ferland, Roger Cross, and yours truly.  Our new consulting producer (who arrives on Wednesday) enjoys the show as well and will no doubt be joining us for next week’s instalment.

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Meanwhile, thousands of light years away, the final stragglers (Kyle, Alison, and Trevor) await the transport vessel that will ferry them from Shaofu 2 back to Earth.

Sock of the Day!  Sock of the Day!

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What official announcement?  Oh, THAT official announcement.  Apparently, it had to run through one more proper channel and then all should be good to go.

Oh, and regarding my hint of last week – his CHARACTER (singular) has appeared in all three Stargate shows – narrows it down to only four possibilities I can think of.

Last night, Akemi and I went out with our friends Jeff and Barb who are in town for a few days to enjoy all the snow, subzero temperatures, and blistering wind that Toronto has to offer.  Last time Jeff was in town, we took him out to one of my favorite restaurants: Buca.  For his return visit, we decided to take him and Barb somewhere completely different: Bar Buca, sister restaurant to Buca.

Jeff and Barb - all smiles.  As usual.

Jeff and Barb – all smiles. As usual.

What did we eat?  Well, a lot.  All told, over a dozen plates.  I don’t know. Whenever I order, I always think I’m not ordering enough while everyone else – especially the waiters – feel just the opposite.  I suspect I need to start listening to everyone else.

A few of the culinary highlights:

Salt baked beets, stracciatella spuma, pistachio, sea buckthorn berry

Salt baked beets, stracciatella spuma, pistachio, sea buckthorn berry

Beef tongue, buffalo yogurt, pickled mushroom, turnip, radish

Beef tongue, buffalo yogurt, pickled mushroom, turnip, radish

Baby octopus, soppressata, crema di patate

Baby octopus, soppressata, crema di patate

Porchetta: roast tuscan pork, mascarpone, apple mostarda, agliata

Porches on focaccia: roast tuscan pork, mascarpone, apple mostarda, agliata

Smoked bone marrow, lampredotto, agliata

Smoked bone marrow, lampredotto, agliata

Rolled eggplant with ricotta and prosciutto, tomato, stracciatella

Rolled eggplant with ricotta and prosciutto, tomato, stracciatella

It was great catching up with Jeff and Barb.  Their presence was presents enough. But so were the actual presents they – and blog regular Sylvia – surprised us with…

Second Christmas!

Second Christmas!

Akemi's new hot chocolate mug.

Akemi’s new hot chocolate mug.

Socks!  I can never have enough!

Socks! I can never have enough!

Lulu was eyeing this little guy when we got back to our place.

Lulu was eyeing this little guy when we got back to our place.

Sushi socks!  Just in time for our Sock of the Day feature!

Sushi socks! Just in time for our Sock of the Day feature!

At 16, I guess Jelly's old enough.

At 16, I guess Jelly’s old enough.

A bottle of Ardberg which Jeff describes as "On the smoky side".  Perfect.  I like peaty.  And, best of all, my writer partner doesn't so I won't have to share.

A bottle of Ardberg which Jeff describes as “On the smoky side”. Perfect. I like peaty. And, best of all, my writer partner doesn’t so I won’t have to share.

A big thank you to Jeff, Barb, and Sylvia.  Merry Second Christmas!

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