“I want you to do a favor for me,”said my mother.

“Okay,”I said, assuming she wanted me to look up some old friend now that I was in Toronto.

“I want you to call someone for me…”

Knew it.

“Phone [man’s name] and find out if he’s still alive.”


“I was his assistant many years ago,”she explained, ” and used to babysit his children.  They came to visit once when we first moved to Montreal.  Just phone and ask how he’s doing.”

Given the fact that my mother celebrated her 80th birthday last year, I thought it highly unlikely that a former employer whose kids she used to babysit would still be around.  Still –   “Hang on,”I said.  “You want me to call up a complete stranger to find out if he’s still alive?”

“Oh, just say my name.  They’ll know me.”

“Then shouldn’t YOU be the one to make this call?”

“I don’t have the number,”she protested.

“Well neither do I!”

“But it’s easy to look up somebody’s phone number when you’re in the same town.”

I wanted to point out that it was easy to look up anybody’s phone number anywhere now that we have this thing called the internet, but decided not to press.  I was on speaker phone, driving back from a long day on set, and I didn’t want to risk getting into a more involved backstory.

So, yes, at some point, when I have free time, I need to ring a complete stranger and inquire about the well-being of their probably deceased father/husband.  Remind me!

January 20, 2015:  Hello!  You Still Alive?

In the meantime, I’ve got a show to produce!  Day #2 shooting in Hamilton has proven even colder than yesterday.  Nevertheless, the show looks great.  I was showing Akemi some of the behind-the-scenes pics last night.  She is mightily impressed with THREE’S big gun (insert your own gag here) and the guys’ singing voices.  Between takes, I caught them belting out a rendition of I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (EP assistant Alison Hepburn got a longer version I’d love to post in time – provided the boys sign off) and all four of them – Roger Cross, Marc Bendavid, Anthony Lemke, and Alex Mallari Jr. – were terrific.  I already know that Canadian Idol Winner and broadway vet Melissa O’Neil has a beautiful voice and, apparently, Zoie Palmer can sing as well (which, I’m told, she did on Lost Girl).  The only one I’m not sure about is Jodelle Ferland.

Rejoice!  We’re another step closer to that third season musical episode!

The screen grab of the day:

January 20, 2015:  Hello!  You Still Alive?

 And our sock of the day.  Natalie Cooper goes a little bad-ass:

January 20, 2015:  Hello!  You Still Alive?

Tomorrow, I’m back on the home front as prep for episode #103 gets underway!

27 thoughts on “January 20, 2015: Hello! You still alive?

  1. I just love all your stories. Your mom sounds like a peach!

    Don’t work too hard.

  2. Oh, my goodness! That sounds like what my deceased father did! Well, first of all, at the risk of boring everyone, here are some basics:

    My Dad died at age 95 almost 2 years ago. He had been with Southern Bell, then South Central Bell until he retired. However, he never chose to move past what he knew then and to grow. He just stopped learning or trying to learn at a certain point and then that was the end. (I on the other hand, constantly strive to learn new things every single day). Anyway, all of that aside, when traveling, my Dad would stop at a payphone in a town to call someone he knew in the town to say Hello. Now, it would be one thing if he paid for his long distance, but part of his retirement was that he got free phone service and long distance for life. Then, to the mortification of all concerned, my Dad would often invite himself over to visit, with no prior notice – or worse, just drop in. :::sigh:::

    Then, of course, he decided that the internet was the answer to everything. He’d wanted for years to find a long-lost cousin who was considerably older than me. He didn’t realize that I needed SOMETHING to go on – where she moved to and when, her mother’s new married name (since she divorced my uncle), anything at all! I can’t just look for someone named Bonnie on the internet.

    And finally, a few years before he died, he was on the quest for phone numbers like your Mom. However, then and now, so many people have dropped their land lines and have only cell service, it has become virtually impossible to find phone numbers. Cell service isn’t listed in phone books around here.

    SO, bottom line, I feel your pain.

  3. I cannot imagine what Natalie’s sock drawer must look like! If she’s at all OCD, I’d guess that they’re all arranged in some sort of rainbow pattern according to their main background color.

    How long of a feature will this Sock of the Day thing be? Have you asked her how many pairs of uniquely styled/themed socks she actually has? You might be in for a surprise!

    -Mike A.

  4. Joe, totally random question, and I should have thought of it before your recent mailbag, but, now, since you are the Grand Poohbah of Dark Matter, do you get driven to the sets? Limo? Monster Truck? Mini Cooper?

    Personally, I think the Monster Truck would be most memorable for you. 🙂

  5. Cold? I looked up the weather in Hamilton and it was -7C! That’s toasty for January! 🙂 As long as there’s not wind, that’s a nice Winter day.

    Also, be nice to your Mom! Is she handy with the interwebs? Maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable navigating it. You’re such a good son, I’m sure you’ll help her out. 🙂

    All the singing going on there makes me want to join in! You realize at this point, people really ARE expecting the musical episode. I remember that episode where Rachel sang in SGA (the title escapes me at the moment) and I thought she did great and it really added to the show.

    A bit of a rough start this morning with the cold, but I am feeling quite a bit better this afternoon. And I actually went to work!

  6. A musical episode would genuinely be amazing Joe 🙂

    Also 12 Monkeys premiered last Friday(And pulled a 0.4), along with Helix Season 2(Pulled a 0.3). Dark Matter looks like it won’t have much in the way of competition, I look forward to seeing it do well. Hopefully it’ll get a 0.6.

  7. Always make time for mom. She doesn’t ask for much. I know you are stressed. How are Akemi’s detective skills?

    Natalie’s socks have a nice Black Sails vibe to it. Did TJ notice?

  8. I think Trevor would be the ideal person to delegate the phone number research to. Don’t you think?

    @Randomness: I watched the 12 Monkeys premiere and I actually thought it was fairly interesting. Don’t know if I’ll keep watching though. We’ll see.

    @tinamarlin: Sorry to hear about your Dad, he sounded like a character. My Dad passed away 3.5 years ago, but he was always learning new things. He even started playing with computer hardware (in his late 70s) and building/upgrading them for people right up until he almost passed away at the age of 89. I still miss him terribly.

  9. Sounds like something my mother would ask me to do!

    Hey, Joe! Find that phone number for your mom! (just reminding you like you asked)

    @tinamarlinI love the story about your dad!

    No. No musical episodes. There is a time and a place. This isn’t it.

  10. Er, meant to say “almost until he passed away”. I really need to proofe read bettere.

    Don’t listen to Sparrow_Hawk! Do the musical! 🙂

  11. I’m wearing crazy socks in honour of Amy today! I call this day next week CRAZY SOCK DAY! UNITE and wear the craziest socks you have.

    Yeah it’s been bit chilly but Kitchener should be a bit nicer depending on where you are shooting 🙂

  12. I gots me an idear. You could hold a contest for composers to write and submit a recording of a potential theme song for Dark Matter. Sci Fi shows need full theme songs…ideally with lots of brass and bass, using a live orchestra. The blog readers could be the judges.

  13. @tinamarlin: Your Dad sounds nice. Thanks for sharing!

    @Gforce: You can’t say -7C and toasty! 😉. Your dad sounded like a fun guy. We bought my dad a DVR about 2 years before he passed and he took to it like crack! He loved having control over commercials. My mom still refuses to use it but at least she’ll change the channel (baby steps).

    Great suggestions from the others on your Mom’s request: You have “people”, they can number hunt for you. Your mom sounds like such a sweetie. Maybe she should come to Toronto for a visit. 😄

    How is Lulu? How is your rib?

    Good evening to All! I’m beat and heading to bed early.

  14. When you find out if this friend is still alive, don’t forget to update us too. I got to know how this story ends. Your mom is precious.

    Both my parents are turning 90 this year, so I know what you are talking about. They don’t have a computer and are always asking me to look things up for them. I have them on my cell phone plan. My dad was always playing around with the phone and I would get big bills at the end of the month. He was always accidentally subscribing to everything. I finally had to call up the phone service provider and put a parental lock on my phone’s internet to keep my dad out. You should of heard that girl laughing when she found out the parental lock was for the parents!

  15. You are a good son, Joe Mallozzi, to call a complete stranger for your lovely mom.

    Great socks today Natalie Thanks for sharing them, 😀 I would love to see your sock drawer (s) :p

    Singing cast members,yes! Please let us hear you guys,pretty please. 🙂

  16. I see a common internet vs. elderly theme developing here.

    Before my mom passed away, I set her up with a computer and an Internet account (she had had hearing problems most of her life and old age just made it that much worse, so we thought she mike like use a computer to send emails to family members). This turned out to be a bad decision; she was not technology literate and was constantly accidentally deleting icons from the desk top, corrupting hard disks by simply unplugging the machine when she wanted to turn it off, and moving it around her apartment and mis-connecting cables when she tried to put it together again in the new location.

    I became on-call tech support whenever something would go wrong (which was on a weekly basis). I rapidly learned that trying to talk her through the problems got nowhere. She simply wanted the machine to accommodate her way of doing things and not the other way around. After about a year, she gave up on the whole Internet thing and basically used the machine to write letters which she would print out and mail to family members; she was much happier then.

  17. Oh and now I’m off to Detroit tomorrow morning to do some GPS test driving with a customer. At least I’ll get to take them to the North American Auto Show on Friday, so that should be fun. I’ll try to get some pictures of the new car models that are coming out (whenever I get a chance to actually do a blog update! 😃)

  18. if it was me, i’d just google the guy’s name & see what comes up, maybe an obituary or something. if you find out enough info that way, you don’t have to bother with a phone call.

  19. I like her socks, I think my daughter has the same or similar. 🙂 They match her tennies.

    Find the number, pick up the phone. Or search for obit… or give me the info and I’ll do it for you. Your mom.. she wants to know. Be a good son. 🙂

  20. Sounds to me like your Mom just pitched a new show — “MALLOZZI, P.I.”!
    [“TV Producer” by Day, “Net-Surfer” by Night…] — The next thing you know, Akemi will be making the “Hounds” little Trenchcoats…

    BTW, a “clue”…Start with the OBITS!

    oh. Does Natalie have any RHINO Socks?? – Got B-Day coming up soon, could use a Pair for my Rhino-“Collection”…

  21. Thanks for the nice comments about my dad.e

    And, @JeffW, my youngest sister (now age 56) has about 6 different developmental disabilities and is on the autism spectrum. Anyway, though, she functions well in an analog world, drives to a small job, lives on her own (about 900) miles away from me as long as nothing goes amiss. I bought her a laptop about 8 years ago. She really is a techno terror! It’s calmed down now since she learned not to click everytime she sees a link that claims to give ‘free food to a puppy – just click’. She spent half the time having her computer cleaned of viruses and worms. But it did open up her world. She shops online and looks at the news but spends most of her time on cutesy animal sites. She means well but just trusts far too easily. I ended up setting up a special needs trust and taking over her big financial stuff, because she was preyed upon by crooked ‘investment experts’. Before Mom died, she’d helped her with that kind of thing.

    And, to anyone who ends up being tech support for others, here’s something: You can download for free (as long as it’s for personal use) something called TeamViewer which will give you remote access to another computer that you’ve installed it on. Since my sister is 900 miles away, it has been very helpful.

  22. JeffW: That sounds like my MIL. She would have loved a tablet. Unfortunately, she passed before they became common.
    Safe travels!

    Ponytail: Your dad sounds like a character!

    Cute socks!

  23. @tinamarlin, I tried to do something similar for my techno-phobe mom but it never worked. She would open up the contraption, fetch her glasses so she could watch your careful demonstration of how to use it, then wait for you to leave before putting back in the box and placing it in her closet “for a special occasion.”
    More singin’ please! How cool, I’m on a Joe Walsh kick and just wishing I’d learned to play electric guitar; that’s the only thing on my bucket list.

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