A shout-out today to one of Dark Matter’s unsung heroes heroines, script coordinator Alison Hepburn who came through, yet again, with a terrific backstory idea for the show’s third season.  Alison has a great scifi mind and she has become my go-to-gal whenever I’m looking to spin ideas – or in need of one.  Like, for instance, this morning when she emailed me a terrific reveal for the end of the episode I’m currently working on, a dark little secret that ties in neatly with what we’ve set up to date.  It comes on the heels of another great character revelation she came up with, this one for FIVE, that will be coming your way in Episode 302. But wait!  There’s more!  On the strength of a great pilot script she sent me last year, Alison landed representation with my agent AND got herself a script assignment for this coming season.  Wondering who traveled over from the Alt Universe at the end of “Stuff To Steal, People To Kill”?  All will be revealed in Episode 306, compliments of Ms. Hepburn.

Hey, you know what I hate more than driving around looking for parking?  More than getting stuck behind shoppers who park their giant carts in the middle of the aisles?  Even more than not being able to buy a couple of hamburger buns because they only come in enormous two-dozen packages?

Yes, the only thing I hate more than those three things individually is experiencing all three of those things combined.  I’m talking about shopping at Costco.

Today, we helped my mother re-stock her bomb shelter with everything from raw almonds to bleach.  When the zombie uprising happens, we’ll be heart healthy and our shirts will be whiter than white!

An action shot of me enjoying the Costco Experience…

December 21, 2016: Hepburn Comes Through Again!

So, how are y’all enjoying the holidays?  Eating anything or anywhere special?  Last night, I plucked a jar of diced peppers out of my mother’s fridg.  Mom warned me they were hot and, while I appreciated the heads up, I dismissed her concern and popped a generous forkful into my mouth.  After all, mom rarely makes anything overly spicy and grocery shop peppers don’t pack THAT much of a punch.  Only, it turned out mom didn’t make them; my sister did.  And she didn’t use grocery shop peppers.  She used her homegrown ghost chili peppers.

24 hours later, I still feel kind of dizzy.

21 thoughts on “December 21, 2016: Hepburn comes through again!

  1. We have been avoiding Costco. The large families there are overwhelming.

    Hubby got some ghost pepper cheese dip. My stomach, it burns.

    My SIL just invited us over for Christmas dinner. Dammit.

  2. Wasn’t it Carl you tricked into tasting the horrifically hot pepper before? I wonder if he paid your sister to set you up?

  3. Oh wow, you are lucky to have survived this, a tiny portion of Bhut jolokia goes a long way, with more than 1 million Scoville heat units it’s one of the hottest peppers in the universe. That jar needs a clear and proper danger labelling!

  4. whew…lesson learned. Do not assume you know what your mother has in the fridge.
    Meanwhile….WAVES at Mama Mallozzi and Andria and all their fur babies.
    Mele Kalikimaka y’all.

  5. Whenever I sent my husband to the store, I made sure he had a full stomach. Men have a habit of buying unnecessary stuff. 😉 I already have the ham and fixin’s for the Christmas dinner. Instead of pumpkin pie, we’re having cheesecake. My son and I have no relatives in Arizona so we celebrate Christmas together. I don’t have a Christmas tree, but I bought a hanging “window tree” that has the Christmas lights. I also have silk red and gold poinsettias around since I can’t grow live ones year around. I saw live blue poinsettias at the store.

  6. I avoid Costco during peak hours. Peak hours round here, is lunchtime. And if it’s lunchtime on a day that schools are off, it’s called super peak hours. Why, do you ask, are those the “peak” hours? Cause that’s when all the seniors and moms with kids in tow come for their free lunch. Hitting up & crowding every single tasting station so you can’t pass them, causing you to either skip getting an item or going way out of your way to get to that one thing you need. You’d think these people never eat. If you have the disposable income to be able to afford the membership to Costco, you can afford to eat I’m sure. I very very rarely stop and taste. I don’t eat processed foods, and most of the time that’s what they are tasting. Or, they are tasting something that is an overstock, and if you like it and buy it you have a week to consume the entire thing (I learned that from the 12 pack of organic watermelon water I purchased one day.) If I can’t get there when they open at 10 (the tasting stations don’t open until after 11) I will go around 2-3 when all the moms are home meeting the school buses and the seniors have all had their fill of tastes.

    I’m so excited we’re going to find out who snuck back to our universe!! (According to the spell check here, snuck isn’t a word. Huh. Who knew!)

    Spicy. Ugh. My acid reflux is responding to reading your pepper story.

  7. Oh shoot Joe!! Had I known you were going to Costco, I would have had you look for some Woolite Everyday liquid detergent for me! Not Woolite Dark! And NOT Woolite Gentle!! It has to be Woolite Everyday or my mom goes crazy. My Costco here has only had Woolite Dark damn it. Even Walmart don’t carry it. Joe don’t you just LOVE Costco?! I do! And Sam’s too! I’m going there tomorrow!

    Looking forward to Alison Hepburn’s episode!

    What did you have for dinner tonight? How are all the dogs?

  8. Um, exactly how much bleach does your Mom use? That looks like multiple bottles.

    Congrats to Alison on the script assignment! I’m looking forward to seeing who that was, also.

    Nothing too special going on for the holidays here, although just tonight we did do our annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, complete with chamber orchestra. (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been in it, but for a number of the chorus it was their first time.) It went almost perfectly if I do say so and it was pretty much a full house. Great evening, but it was a lot of rehearsal and I’m pretty tired and kind of glad it’s over.

    I’m going to see Rogue One tomorrow night and then finally on Friday I get to spend an evening home!

  9. I love going to Costco…all the free samples!! Really I love Costco. Great chicken pot pie, cheeses, ready made pizzas, and wine. What more could one need?

    Met some friends tonight for dinner at Rain, a local Thai restaurant, which rarely disappoints. Tomorrow night planning on going to Sushi Nabe, a local Japanese restaurant, which serves an amazing (and expensive) annual Christmas dinner buffet for three nights before closing down for the holidays. They basically take every speciality on their menu and serve it up. Love watching them make it. Lots of surprise rolls too. Absolutely one of the best places in Chattanooga for nigiri. I’m planning on no lunch tomorrow so I’ll be starving by dinner.

    Have a wonderful visit with family!!

    @sylvia: Mele Kalikimaka!!

  10. Can’t wait to see what Alison has in store for us ….

    That picture of you, Joe, is priceless!

    Funny you should ask about eating anywhere special….
    I finally persuaded one of my friends to join me for an adventure in Japanese food tasting. We went to Yo! Sushi! I know, it’s probably not the best example of Japanese cuisine but those weird moving bowls of food had me hypnotized like a cat, from the start.
    I started with Takoyaki, which was devine, a multitude of flavours (yum factor 10/10)
    I then ordered chicken katsu curry (- I hate Indian curry but my fellow blog siblings here recommend I try so….) while I waited for the curry to arrive I had Harusame aubergine (yum factor 8++) and Albacore Trufflue Ponzu Sashimi – I think slightly seared tuna bits with vinegery squiggles underneath (yum factor 7). Then the BIG bowl of Katsu curry arrived! Eek. I managed most of it …. interesting flavour (def. not like Indian curry) …. mmm? I’m afraid 3 on yum factor. Found it a bit bland? I think I’ll try the chicken katsu next time tho. That looked interesting. Dessert was Custard dorayaki (- scotch pancakes with egg custard methinks)
    I would have taken pix but I’m afraid as soon as the dishes hit the table my chopsticks flew! A very enjoyable meal with diverse flavours. I will definitely try again.
    Thanks Joe for your enticing and to everyone here for the encouragement!

    Oo and just thought you’d like to know my accompanying friend is the Deputy Virger at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. She’s Canadian (yay!), from Tehkummah (hope I spelt that right) Amazing, no?

  11. Joe: this was a fantastic read! Love this time of year… Honolulu City Christmas Lights should be up until the days are longer than the nights. It gets so dark so early, and cold.. it was a 3 dog night for sure, but we still get rainbows. The Costco runs are not as fun. We hit Sam’s Club and my son used the IPhone scan app as we loaded up the cart… and walked out like criminals, without waiting in line.. what a rush!!

    5- I must not be able to wait for the reveal, so I dreamed an entire conversation with five, who was upset over some alien nation thing, 5 is unreal fantastic character to have come up with.. a kid who plays a pivotal role that knows more about the blink drive than lets on, like taking bullets from a baby-3, who knows if she didn’t just take the key and lock it down, she helped 2 by reprogramming android, so she was not just hiding the whole time? And very sly reveal. I didnt catch it on the first watching or the second. Like 2, 5 believes they are family, so is there something deeper keeping them together? How can 4-Ryo be off the Raza but be in the drama/family? what is between 3and4? Who made the blink drive? Who is on the 2nd marauder? What does 1’s back story have to do with Raza? Speaking of which, our crew is broke, so When do we get to look for the cache hidden on some moon? I am crazy over your work. AH has a nice name too, I like these discussions.

  12. It’s really nice of you and Akemi to do the shopping for your mom.

    You must have a cast iron stomach to handle that many ghost peppers!

    I made a quick trip to Nashville to visit my mom. No cell phone service but she has Wi-Fi.

  13. The ignorant shoppers are everywhere. Especially this week. I’d rather open a vein than set foot in a store right now. Merry Xmas!

    We’re spending a quiet weekend at home. Our son’s girlfriend is coming in from Pittsburgh. I’m making breakfast on Xmas day and chilling in front of the “A Christmas Story” marathon on TNT.

    Merry Christmas to Joe, Akemi and the kids, Mom and Andria. Merry Christmas to my fellow blog readers. Enjoy the time off. You deserve it!

  14. Wow! Well done, Alison! Sounds like you’ve got a real shooting star on your hands there, Joe! From now on when I watch the show I’ll wonder, “Who came up with that great gem, Joe or Alison? Hmm…” 😉

    Well, if you went through the fresh fruit section at Costco, then you’ve probably seen my work and didn’t even know it. I’m a graphic artist at a label company in California and we design and print the majority of labels on the produce that goes to Costco North America. Everything from stonefruit to grapes to kiwis, we do just about all of it. We’re not contracted with Costco directly or anything, we just sell the labels to the companies and packing houses that sell their fruit to Costco. Most of them are based here in California.

    I totally agree about Costco, too. If I don’t absolutely have to go, I don’t. I’m a single guy, living alone, so my Costco trips are about once every 6-8 weeks or so, which is nice. My bother on the other hand, who has seven kids, goes about every other week. No thanks!

    -Mike A.

  15. Joe,
    I understand your concern and warning. When my Mom says something is spicy I can assume it has too much pepper (white or black). I have no one in my family who would use ghost peppers. My Mom gets mild sauce because it is spicy. Me , on the other hand, get habanero meet sticks that will wake me up at night with a tummy ach.

  16. Time to catch up after a week away (for my birthday)
    The week was a bit more eventful, though than I would have wanted!
    Have I eaten anything special….nope, been too ill to eat much at all 🤒

  17. Congratulations Alison! Looking forward to seeing all these bits that you had your hand in creating.

    Happy Belated Birthday ceresis64. I might have said happy birthday at the time but every day is rolling into another and I don’t remember at this point. Sorry to hear you are ill, though.

    I think at this point Gilder you are feeling better so I’ll refrain from saying that now. I’m glad you really are feeling better. We have an appointment for Patrick on Tuesday afternoon with his doctor; I think he needs antibiotics, too.

    I have never been to Costco. One didn’t open up near us until last year I think but we have a Sam’s Club membership. The Costco location is terrible and trying to get in and out of there can really lead to a car accident. Sam’s is still closer. We go in for the basics. The portions they sell are too large for a family of 2 (I know we are 3 but Patrick doesn’t eat anything we eat it seems and this week he has barely eaten anything because he is sick).

    How have we been enjoying the holidays? Mixed bag. This is the first year I didn’t get my Christmas cards out. I don’t plan to. I am planning on creating a New Year’s card to send out instead and might work on that tomorrow. It’s just been a lot for the final push. I got things for my human clients and their pets. And then the 20 volunteers at the church Patrick attends to thank them. And people at Patrick’s agency. I hurt my knee and I had my first PT appointment on Dec 17. Patrick turned 21 on December 17, but we had his party at the museum on Dec 12. We had a small cake, but Jeff picked up a different cake for a change which I shook my head “no” when he came in with it. Patrick does not do well with texture differences. It was chocolate cake with lots of fancy chocolate curls on the outside but the significant point — it had a raspberry filling. It wasn’t bit, but it had tiny seeds in it occasionally. Patrick dry-heaved and that was the end of the cake. I have clients until Wednesday morning. Then, if no one calls, I don’t have anyone from then until the next Tuesday. I have a lot of things I need to do though, but I am planning on having breakfast with my friend and her mother; we have a bowling thing for Patrick with a disabilities group on Thursday. My friend Kim is in town from California and we are hoping to connect. If my illness leaves, I’d like to go visit some other people. But they don’t want me over there unless I’m well and I can understand that. We had our “official” Christmas dinner tonight–take-out Italian food at a local restaurant. I needed a Zofran though before I ate it. Tomorrow will be gifts. We got Patrick a TV for his room (we figure that at age 21 he can be allowed to have one in his room now LOL), a Blu-Ray player, and a TV stand. Jeff already told me what I was getting him for Christmas and paid for it himself. And I told him to guess what I wanted because I wanted to be surprised. I got some nice gifts from some of my clients; I saved a few for Christmas Day to open just to open a few more. Is that a lot happening then?

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