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May 25, 2018: Suji!

Relaxing with dad

Suji vs. fly

Suji vs. banana chips

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Okay, before we get started, please click to link below to find out if Thanos killed you at the end of Infinity War:

Did I Survive The Snappening?

To those of you who perished, you shall be missed.  To those of you who survived, congratulations.  May this close brush with non-existence give you a greater appreciation for the smaller things in life like the chirps of a morning bird heralding the dawn of a new day, the summertime smell of a freshly mown lawn, and KFC Hot Wings.

Alas, since I too survived, it looks like I’ll have to deliver the rewrite on that pilot after all.  I feel like I’ve been living with this script longer than my girlfriend but, after multiple drafts, it looks like I may be nearing completion on this one. You know what they say, eighth time’s the charm!

While I head off to read Act 3 for the perhaps the hundredth time, please enjoy this show video of Suji eating an apple chip =

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Fielding your burning questions…

gforce writes: ” Have you heard any new info (that you can discuss) about any possible new Stargate series/movie/anything? All news from that seems to have fallen into a wormhole.”

Answer: I’m out of the loop on the Stargate front.  On the heels of the SGO release, Stargate fandom rallied online to show support for a fourth series that could be a launch point for new viewers yet pay homage to the 17 seasons of Stargate that came before.  It was an amazing display of fan loyalty and, while I didn’t expect the campaign would spur MGM to make any sort of official announcement concerning the fate of the franchise, I assumed they would at least acknowledge the amazing fan effort.  Their disregard of the campaign was genuinely surprising, disappointing and, in my estimation, doesn’t bode well for longtime fans.

Chem_Is_Try writes: “I have a question for the mailbag about a shooting location I’ve seen in several episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. It is a long, dark, narrow hallway with a long pipe and several smaller ones running along the ceiling, and concrete block walls. For example, in SGA episode Sateda Ronon is being pursued by the Wraith, and he enters the hallway. He collects weapons and body armor from the corpses of his fellow Satedans.

I’m guessing it’s in the Vancouver area somewhere, but where? I’ve scoured IMDb to see if it’s mentioned anywhere, but can’t find any reference to that location. It’s driving me nuts. Is it a basement hallway somewhere?”

Answer: Honestly tough to say.  I do know that much of Sateda was shot at location called Terminal City, named after a show of the same name.

Duane Kennedy writes: “Quick question about dark matter , two has a child, did the child inherit any of the “enhancements” that are caused by the nanites? Also have you tried Max of Manila for fried chicken?”

Answer: No, the child would not have inherited any of TWO’s enhancements.  She would have been as vulnerable as any other child.  As for Max of Manila – no, but I’m intrigued.

Tam Dixon writes: ” Okay, one question: how are NOT overweight?”

Answer: My age is catching up with me.  Once, my cardio would consist of 45 minutes of full on running.  Over the past couple of years, it’s been adjusted to alternating brisk walks and sprints, then a 2:1 brisk walk to sprint ratio and, lately, 4 minutes of brisk walking for every minute sprinted.  Also, I think I pulled something in my shoulder.  I need the nanite upgrade.

TheOtherOne writes: “Always meant to ask this…
‘Maku-Chan (aka Marc Bendavid)’ in your December 14th 2015 blog entry. Please explain?”

Answer: Maku-chan is how Akemi refers to Mark – “Maku” being the Japanese equivalent of Mark, and “chan” being a more causal honorific (less formal than Mr. or Miss), usually referred for close friends.  It’s used for adults who are considered cute and, really, I can’t think of anyone cuter than Marc Bendavid.

Wayne Hughes writes: “Hey Joe, Do you think that there is too many T.V. shows being produced theses days? I think there is about a dozen Marvel shows alone.”

Answer: I think that they should continue producing as many shows as viewers will support.  Having said that, I feel like we’re reaching critical mass.  The other day, I had a friend say: “There’s nothing to watch on Netflix” which kind of surprised me but then, upon further reflection, made a certain sense.  We are overwhelmed with choices and many, rather than wade through the selection process, simply give up.

coveredincathair writes: “Any news on the Stargate front???”

Answer: See above.  I heard a rumor that there was a fourth series idea in play, one that would have completed ignored the pre-existing t.v. series, but interest in it was lukewarm.  Again, just a rumor, but interesting.

Quantum Mechanics writes: “So, any news on the Stargate front? How about how your screenplay is coming along? Do you read digital comics or just hard copies? As I have gotten older, I need a large screen (32 inch) in order to see comics anymore and sometimes even then, use the magnifier app on my laptop HDMI’d to the big screen.

Finally, how did you get Dark Matter from an idea to a comic book?”

Answer: See above.  The studio acknowledged fans who supported SGO but pretty much ignored the massive online fan campaign that followed.

The script is coming along.  Just received notes and will do one more pass before delivering next week.  After that, it’s smooooo – Ah, forget it.

I read digital copies first and, if I truly love the book, will pick up a hard copy.  I’m constantly surprised by what I respond to.  For instance, a couple of days ago, I decided to check out My Boyfriend is a Bear, a graphic novel written by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Cat Farris.

I figured it would be a cute, light read but was genuinely surprised by how much I loved this book.  Check it out here.  It’s one of those books I will buy just so I can gift to friends like Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, and David Benioff’s City of Thieves.

I prefer digital because it ensures I don’t add to my library of some 100 boxes of books currently sitting in my storage unit.  Also, I can adjust the print size and dial up the brightness to levels so blazing that Akemi has to sleep with a pillow over her head.

As for how Dark Matter made the transition to comic books = I simply pitched Dark Horse Comics who liked the idea enough to green light a four issue opening arc.

cudaker writes: “Questions:
-Do we (Canada) Have a potential($) to Host a tv series like Netflix do with their originals..Have you though to summit your scripts to one Canadian network?.”

Answer: Hmmm.  Not sure I understand the question.  If you’re asking whether Canadian broadcasters have the money to fund original programs like Netflix – I’d say it depends on the series.

“-Do you have a marble in the top lead..wich one ?”

There are currently two marbles in the lead, one sci-fi, the other horror.

TheOtherOne writes: “Here’s a daft question – what is your most perfect day, weather wise, and your favourite season? Please describe in glorious detail so we can experience it too”

Answer: As much as I like the spring and summer weather, there’s nothing I love more than a big, fat-flaked snowfall on a warm winter’s night.

Line Noise writes: “When are we likely to have a visit from Cookie Monster?”

Answer: Soon, soon.  Cookie Monster is mustering up the courage to get started.  He has a lot of superhero movies to get through.

Jenny Blood writes: “Question: In Dark Matter S3:E9 “Isn’t That a Paradox”, is that Lulu your dog in the scene by the Chocolate Shop?‬”

Answer: Nope.  That adorable french bulldog TWO encounters at the park is actually actress Melissa O’Neil’s frenchie, Tehya.

Curtis L Burnett writes: “Hello Sir, I am an Alaskan automotive painter with dreams of becoming a writer. What do you remember being the hardest obstacle to conquer, when you began your writing career? And, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?”

Answer: Getting started is always the hardest part – getting started writing; getting started in the business.  The best advice I can give is to make sure you have two solid samples, a spec (based on an existing show) and an original pilot.  Attend industry events, make contacts, reach out to agents willing to read submissions from unproduced writers.  I actually got my start writing for animation and will always recommend new writers look there first.

Katie writes: “My question is….would you ever consider doing some sort of drawing or something along those lines to read through and note a script? As an aspiring writer I would love to have someone I look up to read and note a script for me.”

Answer: Hmmmm.  On the occasions I do agree to read scripts, it’s usually with the understanding that my schedule is erratic and there’s no guarantee when I’ll be able to turn around a response.  Also, I make it clear that if someone wants me to invest my time reading their script, they should be prepared for an honest criticism.  As a result, interestingly, fully half of the people who send me scripts never contact me again after receiving my feedback.

Well, that’s it.  Thanks for asking!

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Did I mention we bought a new place?  Yes?  No?  Well, we bought a new place. After months of searching, we finally found something we liked and pulled the trigger.  We take possession June 1st and will begin our move away from the only home we’ve known in the entirety of my various stays in Toronto.

Goodbye, tiny kitchen, with your cracked stove top and busted dishwasher.

Farewell, upstairs bathroom, with your broken shower arm that forced us to manually operate the shower head like that time I went to Paris on business.  Also your shallow, raised single sink, impossible for a couple to properly share.

Adieu to windows that never quite sealed when shut, permitting entrance to everything from the bitter cold to the drunken shouts of Friday night revelers.

Sayanora to all of your weird fucking lights, from your inaccessible bulbs impossible to change to the stooping lamp that hangs over the kitchen table at just the right height and angle for you to continually bang your head against.

Arrivederci, uncomfortable living room couch, which replaced the admittedly even more uncomfortable couch that preceded it.

Auf Wiedersehen washing machine that can barely handle more than three shirts at a time.

Adios, dryer, with your startling end of cycle alert akin to the deafening alarm that signals the release of cell doors in Gen Pop.

So long, terrace that has become a dumping ground for various sundry items other tenants couldn’t be bothered to trash: cigarette butts, coat hangers, water cans and, most recently, an empty 64 oz V8 tomato juice container.

You will not be missed.

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“You’re toothbrush passed away,”Akemi informed me today upon my return home from Montreal.

“What happened?”I asked, in several different ways at several different times that afternoon.  Her responses were always evasive:

“You’re going to get a new one.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Just passed away.”

And, finally: “Commit suicide.”

I suspect I’ll never learn the truth surrounding Mr. Bristles fate.

Anyways, I’m back in Toronto, ready to reclaim my spot on the bed from Suji and Lulu who, by all accounts, are enjoying the newfound real estate, having laid claim to half the mattress in unabashedly sprawly fashion.  I may be in for quite the battle tonight.

Also, back at it!  I have a move to plan, people to meet, a script and overview to deliver, and a lot of comic books to catch up on.

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Whenever I come back to my hometown of Montreal, I am presented with elements of my past, opportunities and relationships lost and found, decisions made – and some made for me – and always I can’t help but think: “What if?”.  If you had that ubiquitous second chance time machine, what would you change?  Would you fight a little harder those battles lost, or cut bait on some of the ones you actually won which, in hindsight, weren’t the victories you assumed them to be?

I really have no cause for complaint.  I’m quite happy with the way it all turned out.  I’m happy.  But, after days like yesterday, I can’t help but wonder: “Could I have been happier?”

Anyway, that’s a question for the Alternate Universe episode of my life.   In other news…

My mother’s house lost power Friday night and, by late last night, it still hadn’t been restored.  I went to the Hydro Quebec site, input her address, and got the following results:

For those who don’t French, it says she can expect to have power restored sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9th.

Wednesday?!!!

I reached out to Hydro Quebec via a “WTF?!” tweet and they responded, assuring me that it would be well before Wednesday.  Still, with my return flight to Toronto scheduled to depart Monday at 2:00 p.m., I decided to give it until noon today at which point, if power wasn’t restored, I’d have to cancel my flight and rebook for later in the week.

As it turns out, power was restored at roughly 1:00 a.m. this morning, meaning mom can now have milk with her morning coffee and I’ll be able to return home, as planned, to reunite with my gals.  And complete delivery on that revised first draft!

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So we were twenty minutes away from the end of last night’s Dateline mystery, just as the authorities were closing in on the real killer – we lost power.  My initial instinctive writerly thought was: “He knows we’re on to him!”.

The windstorm that had assailed Toronto earlier, blowing in store windows and tossing patio furniture around the downtown core, finally hit Montreal – and, specifically, our street.  As I looked out the window, I noticed that houses on the surrounding streets still had power.

Oh here’s your problem.  A downed power line.

This morning, I transferred all the meat and seafood over to my sister’s freezer.

And, since mom couldn’t cook, we went out for lunch!

IMG_1081.jpg

Smoke Meat Pete, Part II!

Today, my big job will be to finish the leftover ice cream before it all melts.

Wish me luck!

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