RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I read a story that a mask-making company in Japan creates $3,000 dollar masks of your pet, so that you can put them on and “understand them better.” Sounds like a scam to me. The irony is, if you spend the $3k on the mask with the thought of understanding your pet better, the thing you realize once you DO understand your pet better, is that they HATE your $3,000 mask that you bought to understand them better. Oops!!
On the drive back from Orange County the other night, Set Me Free by Utopia came on my iPod I hadn’t heard this song in a long time, and though it wasn’t really a hit, it sure sounds great! I believe Todd Rundgren had something to do with this group.
Monday the 18th – BOWLING SHIRT BOO-BOO! – In the early afternoon I dropped over to my seamstress Shelley’s house to pick up the finished Rowlf the Dog puppet. He is GORGEOUS! She did a fantastic job! I can’t wait to add his eye pieces, his nose piece, and get him trimmed! I stopped by the KFC drive-thru to get some lunch, and then drove over to see my friend Kyle at Plastic Depot to drop off the plastic buttons for my “Heartbeeps” jacket (worn by Andy Kaufman in the movie of the same name). The backs of the buttons needed much larger metal washers on them, so they’ll REALLY lock into the magnets I have that keep them secured to the jacket. I dropped by the post office to drop off a package containing an eBay sale I made. I called my mailbox to see if a bowling shirt I ordered was in, but nothing yet. I was puzzled. Last Thursday I talked to a lady at Bowling Concepts, an on-line company who makes all sorts of bowling shirts. They had a red shirt with one black stripe running down the right side of the shirt that I ordered. I wanted it for the upcoming Paul Michael Glaser 76th birthday celebration on Saturday. When she called me last Thursday I told her I needed it in plenty of time to have the S&H logo embroidered on, as well as having my seamstress turn the black stripe into a white stripe (like on the Gran Torino they drive). She said, “Let me check if they’re in stock.” – (slight pause) –“Yeah, we have them.” I ordered it on-line like she instructed me, put down the special instructions to send it 2 Day through my Fed Ex account, and all was good. But I hadn’t received a tracking number from her, an e-mail confirmation, not even a phone call stating that it was on its way. Very odd. But when I got home I had an e-mail from the lady at Bowling Concepts saying that she was sorry, but the shirt was held up in transit from the sew house. I don’t understand, considering that I heard her lay eyes on them over the phone. Maybe she really DIDN’T have them in stock?! Hmmm… Does nobody take pride in their work anymore? She asked if I still needed it and I told her I did not. Furthermore, I questioned her business practices of telling me the shirt I wanted was in stock and ready to ship, and even going so far as to have my put my Fed Ex number in the order box on their website. I was angry, puzzled, disgusted. It saddens me that people are so lax about their work ethic these days. And it seems to get worse with each passing year. Oh well, I guess she didn’t need my business. So, I’m going to make my OWN Gran Torino bowling shirt that’s EXACTLY suited to my specific design. But I won’t have the shirt for the event on Saturday, sadly. I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to type out Wally’s Week. I fed and walked Roxy, and then hit the hay so I could be up early to attend an audition at Universal Studios at 9am Tuesday morning!
Tuesday the 19th – BACK ON THE LOT! – Since getting up early in the morning for a Voice Over session or audition puts me out of my normal sleep schedule, I didn’t sleep very well overnight. I get concerned that my alarm won’t go off, there might have been a power outage overnight, etc. So I got up a little earlier than the 7:30am alarm I had set. I cleaned up and drove over to Universal Studios to get checked in and parked. When I do an audition or session at a big movie studio I always allow plenty of time, knowing full well that it will take a while to get through security, and that the parking structure will be mostly full, and that the walk to the stage might take a while. Luckily I got there a full 20 minutes before my 9:00am audition time! It felt good to be there so early. The Casting Director greeted me and the other 3 guys vying for the job of replacing a famous actor’s “naughty word” dialogue for the TV edit of a famous film. I was fairly confident I could sound like the actor, and I had been rehearsing all the previous evening and that morning. I went in to audition first, took a few passes at it, and then went outside to enjoy the morning. The other three guys took their turns going in to have a go at it. I wandered back in and the Casting Director told me that I had the job. Thinking it was just an audition I was ready to go back in and do it for real. But she said they had gotten what they needed out of my audition, and I only need to sign the paperwork and I was done. NEAT! It was a gorgeous day out and I enjoyed being on the Universal lot again. I worked there as Beetlejuice in the theme park from 1994 to 1998, and it was one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had. I got very nostalgic being back on the Universal property, even if it was the lower lot. Not wanting to waste a beautiful day, when I got home, I put on my walking shoes and strolled over to Panera to meet my friend Edi for lunch. I was really elated, because I had gotten a great e-mail from the Program Director of a radio station in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Every month I do a bunch of image liners and IDs for them, as I love the thought of my voice still being heard on the air on my hometown after all these years. Well, since my class reunion is coming up over Labor Day, he said he wanted to put together a six hour retro radio show to celebrate the reunion that weekend, and have me host it! Complete with my favorite 70’s music, stories, memories, anecdotes, and commercials, promos, news stories and movie trailers from the day! WOW! This will be a dream come true! It sounds like it’s going to be from noon to 6pm on Saturday August 31st, the day of the reunion. But I’ll have to pre-record the last two hours, because that’s when I need to get back to my hotel room to get ready for the reunion dinner and class photo. Personally, I think a few days in Palm Springs might be just the thing for relaxing and creating the flow of the show…don’t you? It was a fun lunch with Edi, and then she drove me over to JoAnn fabric so I could search out fabric for my Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino bowling shirt. I found the perfect fabric! If I can’t get one from a decent company, I’m going to make my own, dammit! I had already found a set of buttons on eBay that look like little mag wheels, complete with RED lug nuts! Perfect! Edi drove me home and I did some work on the computer. But as I worked I started to get sleepy. So I fed the pets and hit the hay around 5pm. With the early morning audition/session, and the walk to Panera, I was beat. I napped in bed for a few hours, but I had a super weird dream. I was in this amazingly vast amusement park that was one of those horror maze type of places. All it consisted of was themed maze after themed maze on an island. The park had been created by some rich, evil genius. But unlike the horror mazes at Universal and Warner, where the scare actors can’t touch you, these scare actors could do whatever they wanted! And they weren’t wearing make-up, THEY REALLY LOOKED LIKE THAT! I saw some friends I knew who were also there, and I was getting the feeling that I was going to be trapped there for all eternity; that I would never be able to get out of there, or off the island. In one of the mazes the lights went out and it was totally dark. The scare actors came out of everywhere and started poking, grabbing and shoving me. I just stood there waiting for it to be over. It was NOT fun. When the lights came on in the maze, one door would open, apparently for an escape. But when I got to the door it led to nowhere. Other doors would open that also had no outlet. Once I finally got out of the maze, there were other people there who were so happy to be out they were kneeling down, kissing the open ground. It was NOT a happy scene. It was insidious, sinister, and dark. We got on a tram out of the park, and as it drove by the other themed mazes they all looked very twisted and sadistic; all elaborately designed for different tastes. Weird! I wanted out of there asap. It looked like there was a long walk to the pier to catch a boat off the island, and the line of people waiting for boats was very long as well. One boat was just pulling away and it was full of kids. I didn’t like the thought that these children were being taken away in a boat to who-knows-where, so I shoved my way through the crowd of people and jumped on the boat just as it was pulling away from the dock. I wasn’t going to let those kids go unaccompanied, because I had a bad feeling they weren’t going somewhere nice. And I wanted to be there to defend them. At that point my cat Spook woke me up by walking all over me. So I got up at 7pm and gave the pets some treats. I did some bookkeeping work, paid some bills, reconciled my bank statements, etc. I laid down on the Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe and slept until about 3am. I got up and fed and walked Roxy, then did some writing. I came back inside, made some Buffalo Mac and watched a few more episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.” What a day!
Wednesday the 20th – TONI’S TO BARONE’S – Boy did it feel good to sleep in! When I got up I called Bank of America for some clarification on my bank statement, did some more work on-line, made some phone calls, did some writing, and met my friend Sara for dinner at Little Toni’s. But as soon as I walked in she said, “You’re not gonna like it.” Apparently there were two unruly kids over in the corner who were screaming bloody murder, and their feckless parents weren’t doing anything to correct the situation. After about two or three ear piercing screams, I told the server we wouldn’t be staying. When I got up to leave I could see the mother notice our impending exit, and she leaned over to the kids and said, “SHHHH.” Assessing that her late-to-the-game admonition was most likely going to prove ineffective, Sara and I headed to Barone’s for a nice, peaceful evening of delicious Italian food. It’s a wonder that restaurant management can’t tell parents of children like that to make their children behave civilly or leave. Everybody’s scared to say anything. But much like the people at Bowling Concepts, I guess Little Toni’s just didn’t need my business. After dinner I came home to rest by napping on the couch again. I got up later to do a ton of auditions, and stayed up all night gluing foam “understructure” pieces to my Rowlf the Dog puppet. Unlike puppets like Cookie Monster, Oscar and Beaker, Rowlf has a visible understructure in his forearms, shoulders, back and tummy. It was fun attaching those and watching him take shape! I had some leftover Barone’s pizza and watched a few episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.” Just before I turned in for the day, my pal Troy from the “Ellen” show texted me to have me cut a voice track for a bit he was doing. I recorded it and sent it over.
Thursday the 21st – GROOMING THE DOG! – After having been up all night, and into the morning, it was great sleeping in until 3. I worked on-line a bit, answered some e-mails, and then my old pal Sergio Lopez came by to work on trimming up Rowlf’s fur. Sergio is a master with anything fur or hair-related. I first met him about 20 years ago when he was doing wigs for the Beetlejuice show at Universal. First, we grabbed dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli to catch up. I hadn’t seen Sergio in a long time and in addition to the fact that he’s styled the hair on virtually every figure in my collection, he’s also a good pal. But he lives in Orange County so I just never get to see him much. When we got back to the house Sergio got his scissors out, posted pictures of the real Rowlf the Dog all over the Chaney Room, and started snipping and sculpting. While he worked I did my nightly auditions. Rowlf turned out beautifully! After Sergio left I grabbed a short nap, and then got up later to do one more audition. I put Rowlf on, tested out how he would look with his nose piece and eye pieces, and set him town to work on him later. I fed and walked Roxy, and then came inside to make some lasagna and watch a few more episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.” It seems like, unlike previous seasons, in the fourth season (1966) they were consciously sexualizing Jeannie a bit more. It looks like they’ve padded her bra, and they’re posing her in much more alluring positions this season. Not complaining, mind you, but I definitely notice a difference from the previous seasons.
Friday the 22nd – CASING OUT CASE SPACE! – The maids arrived at noon and did their thing. When they finished I went to my auxiliary garage and got the Gran Torino out for a spin. It had been about 3 weeks since I had driven it. And it was a beautiful day for it! My first stop was Plastic Depot. I picked up the Heartbeeps buttons, and they were perfect! I headed to the Wendy’s drive-thru for lunch, over to Krispy Kreme to get a few glazed cream-filled donuts for dessert, and then I went to Walmart to get some Tombstone pizzas. My local stores no longer carry Tombstone pizzas, which makes me very sad. I’ve had a saying for years, “If Wally likes it, it’s got to go away.” Seems like everything I like goes away…Taco Bell Enchiritos and Bellbeefers, Space Food Sticks, Diet Pepsi with Splenda, Diet Rite drinks, etc. Luckily Walmart had plenty of Tombstones, and in many different varieties! I got a few 4 Meat pizzas, a few Pepperoni pizzas, and one Supreme. I also found some tasty banana pudding cereal! YUM! When I got home I met with my seamstress Mariah to work out some new bowling shirts, and a few other projects I had her start. FUN! When she and her husband Clay left, I took a short nap on the couch. I got up to work on my Rowlf puppet, and work out the spacing of his eyes on the puppet. It has to be just right, otherwise it won’t look like Rowlf. I also took a measuring tape upstairs to the Tranquility Zone (where I have my 1:1 Muppet replicas in Plexiglas cases) and started plotting out where Rowlf was going to live. I have one display cabinet in particular that will work perfectly. I’ll have to move Mahna Mahna down into the cabinet under Gonzo, and I can have Kyle at Plastic Depot build a new case for Rowlf that sits atop the cabinet. I brought the puppet up and measured, and he’ll fit perfectly! Later that night I had a Tombstone pizza and one of the glazed cream-filled donuts from my trip to Krispy Kreme earlier in the day. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Saturday the 23rd – PMG76 – It was another early morning for me, as I had to be up at 10 to get cleaned up for Paul Michael Glaser’s 76th birthday party down in Cypress, CA (down in Orange County). My house sitter Emily came over to stay with the animals all day, and my pal Cecille dropped over so she could catch a ride with me to the party. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes in traffic, and by the time they got there they were just finishing up the Gran Torino rides with Paul. My buddy Joey had his gorgeous Torino there, and Paul was giving rides around the town to lucky fans. I got to meet Charlie Picerni, who was Paul’s stunt double and driver all during the series. He had some fascinating stories! He’s been in just about every TV series I love, including Mannix, Barnaby Jones, Kojack, Star Trek and more. And you can bet, that whenever Charlie Picerni shows up in a scene, you know there’s going to be a kick-ass fight! While Paul and Charlie went inside to sign autographs, my pal Officer Mark and his girlfriend Connie, Cecille and I walked over to Taco Bell to get some lunch. It was probably the cleanest and most orderly Taco Bell I’ve ever seen!! After lunch we went back to the hotel to chat with some of the other fans until the Q&A started at 3. We started with a viewing of a Starsky & Hutch episode called “The Heroes” from season 3. Then Paul and Charlie took questions. When it ended at 5:30 Officer Mark and I went to a favorite local restaurant called Polly’s Pies. It’s a cozy diner-like establishment with great food and the best damned dinner rolls I’ve ever tasted (since I used to eat my Aunt Sheryl’s rolls back when I was a kid!). But after the long day, and a tummy full of yummy food, I was getting tired. And I still had a long drive ahead of me to get back home. We drove over to Connie’s parents’ house so I could drop off Officer Mark, and I stayed and chatted with her folks and some visiting relatives for a while. I hit the freeway around 8:15 and got back home around 9:30. Boy was I ready for a short nap! I got up later to work around the house, do some more work on Rowlf, make my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad, and start in on season 4 of “SNL” on the DVD set. I had remembered seeing that specific episode as a kid. I remembered Mick Jagger with Dan Ackroyd doing his Tom Snyder impression, and I remember how simply awful the Rolling Stones were on that show when they performed three songs. It was like an amateur garage band who hadn’t really rehearsed that much. I don’t really “get” those guys.
Sunday the 24th – A WEEK PREMATURE! – Thinking that I was singing at church later that evening, I got up at 3 so I could warm up and be at the rehearsal at 4. But as I started thinking about it, I realized that I was a week early. I’m not singing until NEXT week, when we do a huge “revival” type of service with great music and food. I’ll be singing “Oh Happy Day” with the band and chorus, which will be exciting. SO exciting, in fact, that I was overanxious in thinking it was THIS Sunday. So, since I was up early, I decided to work on Rowlf’s eye pieces. I made the pieces out of a two-part substance called Magic Sculpt. When you mold the two parts together, a chemical reaction takes place and whatever you sculpt will harden in a few hours. Then you can paint it, sand it, drill it, sculpt it…whatever! I couldn’t remember exactly how Magic Sculpt took to paint, so I took the eye pieces outside and hit them with the off-white paint I had bought. But it didn’t look good. It wasn’t smooth, and there were nicks and mars showing up on the pieces. I took them back inside, cleaned the paint off with thinner, and started again. I sanded the pieces so they would be free of nicks and scrapes, and took them outside to primer them first. The primer went on smoothly, so I put them down to let them fully cure overnight before I painted them with the off-white. I walked Roxy over to evening church and noticed that my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley wasn’t there. My pastor said Shirley wasn’t at the morning service either. After the service I gave Shirley a call, and when she answered I realized why she wasn’t at church. She had a cold. I was hoping she didn’t get it from me, which didn’t seem likely since I had my cold over a month ago. I walked home with Roxy, did some work, and then grabbed a nap. I got up later to do a ton of auditions (mostly animation), made some spaghetti and watched a few more episodes of “Jeannie” before bed.
And how was YOUR week??!
PIX FROM THE WEEK