For some reason, this past week somebody started “Old Headshot Day” on social media. So I took to rummaging through my files and came up with this gem. It was taken back in the late 90’s, about 10 years after it was OK to have hair like this. Somebody quipped that it was “very REO Speedwagon.” So I started humming the catalog of their songs. This is probably my second favorite of theirs (behind “Live Every Moment”) and certainly a motto to live by, “Keep Pushin’.”


And here’s the headshot in question.

Monday the 23rd – TOILET TROUBLE: PART 1 – The first stop of the day was to Voice Trax West. We needed to record 2 hours’ worth of material for American Airlines. The previous week I was on voice rest and didn’t work. Then last Friday my doctor told me that an inhaler I had been using for allergy-related bronchial issues was coating my vocal cords with yeast and was irritating them. After only 3 days of being on the anti-yeast medication my voice was better. Still not 100%, but definitely better enough to work. We got done what we needed to do and we were very happy. The second stop was at a hardware store to get a bolt kit for my toilet. The place where the tank bolts on to the bowl was leaking. After inspecting the cause, I realized that the little rubber washers all around the bolts were nearly disintegrated. Being a fairly easy fix, my pal James offered to come by later that night and put the bolts in. After he left I grabbed a short nap on the couch, then I got up later to work on my photo album project. I got the entire section entitled “Miscellaneous Me” completed. It’s comprised of various photos of me from birth all the way up to the time I left South Dakota. I made a Tombstone pizza and watched “Barnaby Jones” before bed. Then I did some more work on the photo albums. “Family” photos are the next section I’m working on. A little bit later, I hit the hay.

Tuesday the 24th – THE DATE IS SET! – We wanted to make sure to put a day between our sessions for American Airlines just to make sure my voice got a rest day. I got up at 4 and called the office of the oral surgeon who will be doing my tooth extraction. The issues I’ve been having with my #14 tooth (and the cyst that’s lying on top of its apex) have been a long-running battle. The office lady scheduled me for May 10th at 8:45am (no…not “tooth hurty” like you’d expect!) and we locked it in. Then I spoke with the surgeon to ask a list of questions I had. He said there’s a good chance he’d have to take the #15 as well right next to it (the very last tooth on the upper left side) as he thinks the cyst has harmed that tooth as well. I asked him what the chances were that the #15 would have to go too. He said it was a 93 to 7% chance it would have to go. I’m holding out for the 7% chance that I can keep it! On the10th, he’ll extract the tooth (teeth) and then remove the cyst and send it in for biopsy. He’ll let me heal up, and then we’ll schedule a bone graft, which will replace a lot of the bone that has deteriorated around that area. It’s important to replace the bone in that area so I can eventually get an implant there. A bone graft involves putting a small incision in the gum line, taking an instrument and lifting the sinus, and grafting in some bone material into the affected area. Sounds nasty, but necessary. I typed out Wally’s Week and then grabbed a nap. I got up later to do some work around the house and nibble on a pot pie. Then I hit the hay for another American Airlines session on Wednesday.

Wednesday the 25th – TOILET TROUBLE: PART DEUX! – It was back at Voice Trax West at 2 for another go at American Airlines. My voice was much, much better. The session went very smoothly. But on the way home I had to stop at the hardware store again. Though my pal James had stopped one leak in my downstairs toilet with the new bolts, nuts and washers, a SECOND leak had begun in the round rubber gasket that fits between the tank and the bowl. I stopped by Enterprise to reserve my SUV for my upcoming trip to Palm Springs, and then I got home. James came and fixed the other leak, and when he showed me the old rubber gasket that had been in there, I realized why it was leaking. It was full of holes; like a sieve! Those things wear out over time. I grabbed a nap, did a few auditions, fed and walked Roxy, and sent out my movie night invites. I sent out a mass e-mail to all my agents about my upcoming vacation and dental work, did some work around the house, made some spaghetti and watched another episode of “Barnaby Jones” before bed.

Thursday the 26th – TOOTH-HURTY! – My day off turned into a day of misery. When I got up mid-afternoon I was experiencing bad tooth pain. I was going to run errands, but I took some medication instead. This tooth (and partnering cyst) can’t be out of my head soon enough! I hope it’s not going to interfere with my Palm Springs vacation!! And the surgery is exactly two weeks from today! I laid down with an icepack and slept into the evening. When I got up later I did some auditions. The voice was already MUCH better even though I’d only been on the medication for less than a week. My ENT said it could take the full 2 week run of medication to completely recover. I did some work around the house, fed and walked Roxy, and hit the hay so I could be up for the final American Airlines session for this run of needed material.

Friday the 27th – LAUGHS IN TRANSLATION! – The final session for American Airlines certainly wasn’t short on laughs. Maybe Paul (the engineer) and I were just punchy. Maybe it was because it was the end of the week. But as we recorded tracks involving the names of certain cities in China, sometimes we would giggle like little kids. Some sounded silly enough (“way high”), while others just sounded plain naughty if you didn’t pronounce them correctly! But all the laughing aside, we put the sessions to bed. We had recorded 6,000 plus lines for the American Airlines interactive system over the course of the past month and a half! But I love doing this job, and I love the challenge of learning how to pronounce names of foreign cities. I learned that when you see “chang” in Chinese, it’s pronounced “chong.” But when you see “chong” in Chinese, it’s actually pronounced “choe-ng,” with a definite long “oh” sound. So it’s either “chahng” or “choeng.” But the differences in the pronunciations fascinated me! I got home and fed the pets, traded my Mustang for the Gran Torino and headed off to Hobby Lobby to get some items. Then I went to Walmart to get some supplies. I came home and just relaxed. My trainer Natalie Duran was in town for a few days from her busy travel schedule with “American Ninja Warriors,” so she stopped by for a quick work-out session. When she left I was exhausted, so I grabbed a short nap. I got up later and made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and watched an episode of “Barnaby Jones.” I only have about 3 more episodes before the series finale! I’ve almost watched all 8 seasons!!

Saturday the 28th – MUPPET MEET! – Mid-afternoon I awoke and headed out to get some groceries. Then I went home to set up for movie night. We watched the amazing new film from Frank Oz called “Muppet Guys Talking.” It’s only available for download on their website, but it’s a fantastic insight into the goings-on during the heyday of The Muppets. GREAT stories! When my guests left I grabbed a nap on the couch, and then I got up later to do some work on my photo albums. I fed and walked Roxy, but then laid down on the couch again. I was having another tinge of tooth pain and a headache.

Sunday the 29th – SUNDAY, SLEEP, SHIRLEY, SARA – Though I had awakened in time for evening church, I simply wasn’t feeling like getting out of bed. So I slept well into the evening. Later that night I got a call from my “adopted grandma” Shirley who said she had been diagnosed with shingles. Poor Shirley. I know that’s nasty stuff. She thought she had twisted her neck in some strange way, or slept wrong. But when she went to the doctor he gave her the diagnosis. Though I was feeling a bit better, I was still fairly out of it. I called up my assistant Sara to see if she wanted to grab a late-night meal at the Coral Café. After some dinner, I came home and got ready to turn in so I could be up for an early session on Monday morning. Palm Springs is only a short time away! I CAN’T WAIT!!

And how was YOUR week??!!