As I was typing out Wally’s Week last week I was attempting to write Santa Mickey hat (as in a Santa Claus hat with Mickey Mouse ears on it). But apparently the person who programs spellcheck is a serious Grateful Dead fan. Spellcheck wanted to change “Mickey hat” to Mickey Hart; one of the drummers for the Dead. Funny!

Last week I played an amazing song by harpist Andreas Vollenweider that had been buzzing around my head, and now here’s another one by him that’s also very catchy; and is ALSO from the visionary “Down to the Moon” album. This one’s called “Silver Wheel” and I love it’s spunk and spirit!

Tuesday the 26th – LET THERE BE LIGHT! – By the time I woke up at 5:30 it was already dark out. So I got cleaned up and headed to my mailbox to get some packages. I stopped by Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich, and then my pal Brittney Powell came over later to help me do some prep work for the big Batman ’66 museum exhibit which opens on January 10th! I grabbed a short nap and when I got up later I wrote Wally’s Week. I fed and walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood, and then came back inside to work on my photo albums. About a week ago, as I was searching for something to wear to the big museum opening party, I had to dig out a flashlight to see my clothes. The overhead lighting in my closet is blocked by a large, overhanging shelf. So I got the “bright” idea of ordering up a strip of LED lights to shed some light on the problem. Since the lights arrived in today’s mail, I figured there’s no time like the present to solve the problem. It fit perfectly, and now I can see my clothes…and in any color I desire! I ate the rest of my Jersey Mike’s sandwich and started watching the new “Twin Peaks” limited series event. Pretty interesting, but I got the feeling that David Lynch was trying too hard to top himself. I like when he’s more “naturally” bizarre. But this seemed a bit forced. Oh well, I’ll give it a chance. I got to bed around noon.

Wednesday the 27th – PHOTOS, DUMMIES & GROUCHES! – Once again I got up around 5, fed the pets, and then hurried off to my mailbox to pick up some mail. I dropped by CVS to get some supplies, and talked to my folks for a bit. My mom had a biopsy taken from a mole on her cheek and they found it to be cancerous. But like my dad, she’ll have something called the “Mohs” method where they take off a few layers, biopsy it on site, and continue removing layers until the cancerous tissues are removed completely. I got some food at Jack In the Box and sat outside my garage eating it while listening to the radio. I know…weird, huh? I got the itch to sweep out my garage, so before I pulled the Gran Torino in for the night I did so. I brought my newly cleaned and air-dried car cover back from the patio, popped it in the trunk, put my Hutch mannequin in the passenger seat, and drove to my auxiliary garage to put the Torino to bed for another week. I got some cool motion sensor lights for Christmas, so I placed them at floor level around my house where there are “dead” spots. These are places “between” lights when sometimes I find myself fumbling around in the dark to get to another light switch. I put one in my bathroom’s vanity area, another one at the top of the stairs when I come up from the garage, and another one by my main showcase. I placed the latter unit in that particular spot so when people come upstairs during movie night they can see their way to the bathroom or kitchen. Plus, I’ve tripped over Roxy a few times as I was in one of these “dead” spots, so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. In the mail I received some “dusty green” fur that will make a great Oscar the Grouch puppet. I have a puppet maker in Canada who will make one for me, but I wanted to hearken back to my old puppet-building days and create the perfect pattern. After a lot of trial and error, I put together an Oscar mouth and head out of posterboard. Then I covered it with some of the fur to see how it would look. It turned out pretty neat, but still needs a few adjustments to truly look like Oscar. I took some photos and sent them over to him for inspection. Then I started work on my photo albums again. A year ago I decided to remove all of the photos from my old 70’s and 80’s-era photo albums (which were decaying) and remount them in new photo albums. While they were removed I had my assistant Sara scan every one of them for posterity. Now that I have time over the holidays I decided to get started on the process. My first night of work was on Christmas Eve and I had a great time putting it all together. I’m going to combine photos along with press clippings and related captions and quotes. They should look amazing when they’re finished. I’m separating the photo albums into two categories; my life in L.A., and my days in South Dakota. Then each category will be subdivided into two other categories; personal and performance. The first book was South Dakota performances. I figured a good place to start would be with my impersonations of celebrities. The first section is my experience doing Andy Kaufman. Then I followed that up with my work as Elvis. After that came Darth Vader, Frank N. Furter, Paul McCartney, and “Weird” Al Yankovic. But it takes a lot of pre-organization before the photos even go in. I have to coordinate the clippings and photos for each character and lay the pages out carefully before anything is stuck down. It looks like the second book will be Paul McCartney, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Batman, Superman, and more. When I finished work on the photo albums for the night, I started prepping my “costuming kit.” This will include everything a responsible costumer would need on the job site. It includes binder clips, safety pins, tape, a sewing kit, etc. Thursday at the Hollywood Museum, a group of us will all meet on the top floor to begin dressing the mannequins for the “Batman ‘66” exhibit! Costumes have been shipped in from all over the country, and now it’s our job to match them with some of the museum’s mannequins for display. It should be a very fun day! I fed and walked Roxy, and then made some chili and garlic toast. I watched the second episode of “Twin Peaks” from the new 18 episode special series event Blu Ray I just got. I got a laugh out of the fact that South Dakota plays heavily into this new storyline!

Thursday the 28th – MEL’S, MUSEUM & MANNEQUIN-MANIA! – At noon I met the rest of the museum gang at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood, which is connected to the Hollywood Museum. The management of the museum was buying us all lunch before we started our work with the mannequins. It’s not particularly glamorous work, wrestling with large mannequins trying to squeeze them into a variety of tights and leotards, but it sure is satisfying when it’s all said and done. With these costumes in particular, there are a lot of complicated components to the process. And the team I assembled was well-versed in the intricacies of super-hero costuming! While Scott Sebring and Mark Hardeman worked on getting the original Batman and Robin costumes on their respective mannequins, I started in on dressing Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. They turned out very nicely. My pal Tom Woodruff Jr. set up the “lobby” Batman; a striking Batman figure that will adorn the lobby (right next to their Christopher Reeve Superman costume!). Valerie Perez dressed all of the Catwomen figures, and did a darn good job of it too! I switched over to start dressing the “replica” Batman. About halfway into it, Scott became available and took over, while I moved on to dress Catwoman’s henchman. The “replica” Robin that they’re using is mine, and I was able to bring him to the museum already dressed. I just added the cape and he was done. Then Val and I started dressing Pussycat, but the mannequin was too large for the costume. We dressed it nonetheless, but we put in a request for a teenage girl mannequin to portray the costume in a more favorable light. Pat Evans did a great job putting together Mr. Freeze and Egghead. Kelly Delcambre brought in pre-dressed mannequins of The Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Bookworm. Fantastic stuff! It was really coming together! They ran out of mannequins for us to use, so I’ll have to dress the two False Face figures, the Mad Hatter and a few others later. Because of security issues and in order to preserve the mystique, no photos of the set-up were allowed. It wuld spoil the magic! I really can’t wait to get started on the installation! We wrapped up our fun afternoon around 5:30 and I headed home to feed the pets. I was feeling a bit sore, as I felt like I had just been in an all-day wrestling match! Essentially, I had been! I napped from 6:30 to 10:30, and then got up to do more work on the photo albums. I fine-tuned the South Dakota photos into more specific categories before any further work was to be done. I also went through all of the “orphaned” L.A. photos I had to see if any South Dakota photos had snuck into those boxes. I also checked my L.A. photo albums to extract any South Dakota-based photos that may be living in those. These albums are going to be very nice indeed. I worked on them all night, fed and walked Roxy, and then put everything away in the Puppet Room closet. The maids are coming Friday and I don’t want them disturbing any of my photo piles. I made some spaghetti and watched another “Twin Peaks” episode.

Friday the 29th –FRIDAY FRIEND FUN! – The maids arrived at noon, so I worked around the house while they cleaned. I always try to stay out of their way as much as possible, obviously. When they left I drove to Paty’s to join a few friends for lunch. My pal Edi was in town with her dog Bunny, so she joined us. My pal Joey Torino and his friend Henry were in town picking up a computer, so they joined. And my assistant Sara stopped by since she hadn’t seen Edi in a long time. We had a fun lunch and talked about all sorts of things. I hit the post office to mail off some things, and then drove back to my house to get Edi settled in the Puppet Room. Joey came by so I could give him an original 1970’s-era blue chambray work shirt (the kind Paul Michael Glaser wore in the first season of “Starsky & Hutch”), and Sara stopped by to hang out with Edi in the Puppet Room. After Joey and Henry left, I went to my room to nap for a bit. I got up later, worked on my photo albums, and made a Tombstone pizza to eat while I watched another episode of “Twin Peaks.”

Saturday the 30th – BAR WARS! – Edi had gone to get a facial treatment in the morning and when she returned her face was swollen in certain areas. She had an allergic reaction to the products they used. So I gave her a Benadryl and she rested with an ice pack. I spent some of the afternoon working on my photo albums, and then it came time to get ready for my buddy Brian’s birthday party. We have a “Star Wars” bar in Hollywood called the Scum and Villainy Cantina. It’s “loosely” based on the designs in the original “Star Wars” cantina scene. (Loosely, because they don’t want to get into legal trouble) Since the theme was “Star Wars,” I put on my Darth Vader hoodie and waited for my pals James and Mark to pick me up. When entering the limited parking zone of Hollywood it’s always best to carpool. We picked up Sara on the way there. It was a fun party and it was nice to be there for Brian’s 50th birthday. But we were starting to get hungry so James, Mark, Sara and I went over to DuPar’s for one final meal. I say final, because as of December 31st, DuPar’s (one of my regular eating haunts for many years) is closing for good. They lost their lease and they have to go. A new Sephora make-up store will be built in its place. Delicious pancakes destroyed to make way for a make-up store? Really? Whatever. Anyway, we wanted to have one final meal before it all went bye bye. We got a photo with Biff Naylor, the owner of DuPar’s, and he gave us souvenir coffee coasters. I even bought a DuPar’s Blue Plate to keep in the collection. Good memories of the gang meeting late nights at DuPar’s for food. I even ran into Roger Davis, an actor from the old “Dark Shadows” TV show, who was there to get pie. Mark and I went to my house to shoot a little New Year’s video which you can see at the bottom of this page. It was a fun little shoot to do. Edi was upstairs asleep with her ice pack while I worked on my photo albums some more. I really enjoyed adding relevant captions to the layouts, once I got an idea of how the pictures were fitting in with each other. Mostly the photos take up the majority of the space on the 12” by 12” pages. But occasionally the layouts will be such that there will be some blank spaces. I will fill those with quotes or other information about the character featured in the photos. Later I made soup and a sandwich and watched “Twin Peaks.” Since we’re all getting together on New Year’s Eve for movies, and since Brian was having his “Star Wars” birthday party, I didn’t host a movie night. By the time I made it to bed, it was 10am Sunday morning. Edi had just gotten up and I got to say goodbye to her before she left to go back to Palm Springs.

Sunday the 31st – NEW YEAR’S EVIL! – Since I postponed our usual Saturday night movie night in lieu of movies on New Year’s Eve, I treated this night like I would a regular Saturday night. I got up at 5 and headed to the grocery store to get some supplies. People were buzzing around like crazy at the store getting their last minute chips, salsa and booze. Thankfully, none of those items were on my list. I got back home to get set up and relax. Several of our movie night regulars were unable to make it due to the evil flu bug that’s going around. So we had an unusually small group for New Year’s Eve. MY throat was feeling a bit odd, but I think it was because I was shouting over the loud music at the “Star Wars” bar the night before. At least I hoped that’s what it was. I took some Zicam and extra colloidal silver just to be safe! We watched a screener of a great new film called “Wonder,” which was amazing. After everyone left I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to feed and walk Roxy. I sat down and printed out some more photo album captions to fill in the gaps. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad (even though technically it was Sunday night) and watched an episode of “SNL” from the first season. It was an episode I had remembered seeing as kid, as specific lines of dialogue were sounding very familiar. This episode originally aired in late January of 1976.

Monday the 1st – HAPPY NEW YEAR! – Since so many of my friends were out sick I wanted to get my rest. I slept all day, but got up later to feed and walk Roxy. I napped on the couch for a bit after that; not taking any chances. When I finally couldn’t take sleeping any longer, I got up to work on Photo Album 1: South Dakota – Performance #1 – featuring Andy Kaufman, Elvis Presley, Darth Vader, Frank N. Furter, Paul McCartney, and “Weird” Al Yankovic. I got it totally finished and the album is completely full. It really helped to add the extra captions and quotes. Heck, I even included a copy of a letter I got from “Weird” Al back in 1985! The second album will include other characters I used to impersonate like Boy George, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Ronald Reagan…even Jesus! I’m estimating between the remaining South Dakota photos, and the “orphaned” L.A. photos, I have about 10 more photo albums to complete. I need to get more removable tape at Hobby Lobby before I can continue on further. But now I’ve got it down to a system! Since it was the start of a new year, I sat down and organized my bank accounts, and paid a bunch of bills. I made lasagna and watched another episode of “Twin Peaks” before bed.

And how was YOUR New Year week??!!


Brian, Mark, James, Sara and I at the “Star Wars” bar: The Scum and Villainy Cantina

Me with the birthday boy!

Hey! There goes Santa Claus!

The whole gang is here!

The end of an era. After 70 years DuPar’s is closing. Here we are with owner Biff Naylor.

One last souvenir to remember those tasty pancakes by!