RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Ahhh the gold old days, when all I wanted for Christmas was Gumby and Pokey and a few of their playsets!
This song always reminds me of the Burbank Christmas House, as it’s my favorite number in their sequence. A professional Hollywood lighting guy has his house totally rigged out with lights and they dance to music he broadcasts on a low frequency FM station. It’s “Sleigh Ride” by the Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Monday the 5th – GREEN HORNET GONE! – When I got up at noon I came downstairs to find my assistant Sara busily scanning away in my impromptu scanning station in the kitchen. It’s my goal to have all my “orphaned” photos from my personal collection (loose photos with no photo albums to call home) scanned and in the computer by the end of the year. Then after the first of the year I want to have all of the photos in my photo albums (chronicling my 30 years’ worth of life and experiences in Los Angeles) scanned. It’s a huge job, but in the long run it’ll be well worth it. I sped off to Pure Imagination studios to do a Voice Over for a theme park at 2. Then I hit Taco Bell for some lunch and headed to Michaels Art Store to get my newly commissioned artwork framed. It took forever to get here from a mere 10 miles away (thanks USPS!) but as soon as it showed up I took it to the framer’s to have it mounted and framed nicely. Then I went home to settle in for the night. I took some ‘Christmas Nappies’ (a term that started with my first collie Sassie, which involves lighting the fireplace, turning on Christmas music softly on the satellite, and napping on the couch for a few hours…HEAVEN!) while Sara continued scanning. I got up later to get some groceries, and then came back to put them all away. I did my auditions and finished Wally’s Week. Since my webmaster had been hospitalized and was unable to maintain the site for a while, I had two weeks’ worth of entries to post. I ended the day on a sad note when I found out that Van Williams had passed away. He played the Green Hornet on the TV show of the same name in 1966. He sure was a great guy. I made some lasagna and watched another episode of “Barnaby Jones” form the fourth season DVD set before bed.
Tuesday the 6th – POOR LITTLE LAUGHING GRAVY! – At 1 I got prepped for a home-studio session that would be occurring at 2 for the “Pentatonix Christmas Special” on NBC. It’s for the same production company that I recorded the Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Parade Celebration voice tracks for. So once, again…I’m back on NBC. It’ll air Wednesday December 14th at 8/7c. After the session I had planned on running errands the rest of the day and evening, but my pal Officer Mark texted me to let me know he would be driving in for the “Sons of the Desert – Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society” meeting that night. So I hung out and worked around the house, fed the pets, walked Roxy, showered and headed over to my local convenience store to buy a case of tuna. The SOTD group does a food drive every Christmas and they asked us to bring canned items for food pantries around the area. I headed off to the meeting, but the parking lot was full. The street parking was restricted until 7pm, and it was 6:45. So I went across the street to Target and killed some time. I also bought a bag of popcorn to enjoy during the Laurel and Hardy movies. I finished up right at 7pm, parked in front of the building and went into pay my dues for 2017. I got a hot dog and waited for Officer Mark to arrive. We had a blast watching the movies. First they played “The Fixer Uppers” which had Stan and Ollie selling Christmas cards door to door. Then Jim McGeorge, who used to perform as Stan Laurel with my buddy Chuck McCann as Oliver Hardy, got on stage and had everyone rolling in the aisles with classic comedy. Then they played the French version of “Laughing Gravy.” It’s always funny watching Stan and Ollie reading their lines in another language phonetically off cue cards. They served cake and then they ran “Babes in Toyland” which had been colorized. We stayed for a little bit, but then I took off to get some Christmas Nappies. I got up later to do my nightly auditions, fed and walked Roxy and came inside to make a pizza and watch “Barnaby Jones.” It was a VERY cold night and it felt good to be inside, safe and warm. Just before I turned in for good at 10am Wednesday morning, I had a few last-minute auditions that had just come in. It seems to never end. THANK GOD!
Wednesday the 7th – FOAM, FUN & FIGURES! – Late in the afternoon I got up and headed to Studiopolis to pick up a check. Then I headed over to Foam Mart to have some custom pieces of foam rubber cut for a few new projects I’m working on. I stopped by Hobby Lobby and picked up some lettering, card stock, and a few other things for another project I was working on. I wanted to make a sign for my Puppet Room door that reads “3D VIEWATORIUM,” since I now am 3D capable in that room. I stopped by my mailbox to pick up my mail, and my new mannequin arrived for my Jack Lord figure. The other one I got was much too small (maybe I’ll turn that into a Fonzie mannequin) but this new mannequin will fit Jack Lord’s costume perfectly! I just need to have my effects guy Jim Ojala transplant the head from the small mannequin to this one, then we’ll be finished and I can spend the holiday break reconfiguring the platform above my fireplace to make Jack fit in with the rest of the TV Detective costumes I have on display there. My pal Natalie Duran from “America’s Ninja Warriors” stopped by to say hi, and when she left I snuck in some Christmas Nappies (I LOVE it!) I got up later to do auditions, and then worked on my 3D Viewatorium sign. It turned out VERY nicely, if I do say so myself! I fed and walked Roxy, did some more work on the sign, and then sat down and sent out my Saturday night movie night invites. Then I headed right to bed.
Thursday the 8th – QUARTERS FROM HEAVEN??!! – The first event of the day was a meeting with my accountant about end-of-year tax stuff and corporation stuff. We met from 1:30 to 2:30, and then I sped by McDonald’s to get some food. I headed over to VoiceTrax West to mix the audio for a video project I had been working on. Then we set about trying to digitally copy an old cassette that my mom sent me. The tape contained stories being told by my great grandpa back in the 70’s. He was already pretty old back then, but he was telling stories about living on the prairie back in the late 1800s! Engineer Evan worked at his station trying to add in all sorts of digital noise reduction programs to take the background noise and the hiss out of the tape. I sat in the back against the back wall listening and watching. Just out of the blue I heard something hit the carpet to my right. I couldn’t imagine what it could be, but my first thought was that something had fallen off the studio’s ceiling in and hit the floor. I looked three feet to my right and saw a quarter laying on the floor in the back right corner of the studio. I told Evan about it and we tried to figure out how it had gotten there. He thought that maybe it had been up on the top of the baffling for a long time, and the vibrations of the speakers had moved it off. But the baffling was 8 feet off the ground. Who would stand up on a ladder only to put a quarter on top of the baffling? It didn’t make any sense. Plus, we weren’t driving the speakers all that hard. Plus, the speakers were mounted to his work desk, and not the studio walls, so any vibrations wouldn’t have transferred to the baffling on the walls anyway. I knew it didn’t come from my pockets, because if a quarter had fallen from my pocket it would have hit the carpet directly underneath me, and not 3 feet away! I immediately called my parents. For years they’ve been finding mysteriously placed quarters in all sorts of odd places; on top of freshly made beds, down by the driver’s side door of their car, etc. When it started happening they asked me what I thought it could be. Then I remembered visiting my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. Before my sisters and I would leave, we would always shake hands with Grandpa Joe. Why? Because he would always palm us a quarter so we could buy candy, comic books, whatever. I always suspected that the mysterious appearance of the quarters was his way of letting my folks know he was keeping watch over them. But how strange was it that I had been listening to my great grandpa on the tape, and this happened. Were my great grandpa and Grandpa Joe conspiring together in another realm to let me know they were aware of our audial efforts? I guess I’ll always keep speculating about how that quarter REALLY got there by my side. My next plan is to get up on a ladder and take a look at the top of the baffling. If there’s a quarter sized spot on the top of the baffling that’s dust-free, then obviously the quarter had been sitting there for a while. But if it’s solid dust, then…??? Hmmm…it was definitely weird. I went home to do some work, and then my pal Scott Zillner came over to pick up some things I’m having him paint. I took some Christmas Nappies and then got up to record one audition. I did some work around the house, went to Denny’s to get some food to go, and then came home to watch “Barnaby Jones” before bed.
Friday the 9th – CRITICS CHOICE! – Third time’s the charm, as I prepared to do another 2pm session for the company that had me narrate the Macy’s 90th special and the Pentatonix Christmas special. This time they had me record voice tracks for the Critic’s Choice Red Carpet Live event for Sunday night on A&E. It would be the hour-long red carpet event preceding the award show. I finished up the tracks, edited them and sent them over to the production company. I was going to go out to eat, but it was too late in the day. So I ordered a Domino’s pizza and stayed in to do more work. I worked on a few Christmas gifts, did a few auditions that were sitting in my inbox, and did some other work around the house. My adopted grandma Shirley called to check in. For about a month now, she’s been staying with her daughter several cities away. After she had her choking issue and resulting hospital stay, her daughter and son-in-law thought it best that she not live alone any longer. So she said they want to put her in an assisted living facility in the neighborhood. She won’t be quite as close to my house, but at least she’ll only be a few miles away. She also delivered the sad news that she probably wouldn’t be back in the neighborhood until after Christmas. It didn’t seem fair, not having “grandma” Shirley around for Christmas. But at least she’ll be spending some good quality time with her family. Later in the evening the Critic’s Choice producer called and said there were some errors in the script they had me record, and I needed to re-record the majority of the lines I had recorded earlier in the day. Good thing I decided to stay home all afternoon and not go out! Had I been out running around I wouldn’t have been able to get to it until later! So I recorded them with the corrected copy, and sent them over. Whew! Later my pal Brittney Powell stopped by to say hi, and then I took some short Christmas Nappies. I got up to do some more work on Christmas gifts, fed and walked Roxy. It was a gorgeous, misty and overcast night! It’s odd that it seems much warmer when it’s overcast. I guess the cloud cover helps keep the warmth in the environment. Either way it was beautiful, and we enjoyed a great late-night walk through the complex. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched a GORGEOUS blue morning dawn over the city. Not only does the cloud cover keep things warmer, but it seems to keep things quieter; deadening the sounds of the city. I sat in my window seat in my bedroom and watched the black sky become dark gray, then blue gray, and then light gray. The first signs of life were two crows who circled overhead looking for breakfast. I ate my hot dogs and watched “Barnaby Jones,” and hit the hay around 9am.
Saturday the 10th – ONION FLAVORED TOMATOES!? – By the time I woke up it was already 3pm. I met Sara at Paty’s for a late lunch, and then I came home to start cleaning up for movie night. We watched “Alice Through the Looking Glass” on Blu Ray. When my guests left I got a short session of Christmas Nappies. But when I awoke it was 5am! I fed and walked Roxy and enjoyed another gorgeous WARM, overcast morning. It was hard to believe the rest of the country was experiencing a polar vortex. By 6am I went upstairs to my room, turned on the Medit8 playlist on my iPod, and watched another gorgeous blue morning dawn. It was quiet, cool, stunning, beautiful, peaceful, meditative and fabulous. I was fascinated by two squirrels having one hell of a fight in the tree outside my window. One squirrel just wouldn’t leave the other alone, and followed him everywhere. It was finally time to make my traditional Saturday night Super Salad and head to bed to watch the old BBC show “The New Avengers.” But unlike my usual pattern of dicing my own fresh tomatoes for the salad, I bought some pre-packaged diced tomatoes from the grocery store. BIG mistake! For some reason the diced tomatoes tasted very “onion-y.” I don’t like onions. It wrecked the whole salad. I’m not sure why the store would flavor their tomatoes with onions, but maybe they used the same cutting block for both the tomatoes and onions. Onion juice, being very powerful, probably soaked into the tomatoes and there you have it! YUK! I tried to pick out the little cubes of tomatoes, but I just couldn’t finish the salad. It was ruined. From now on I’m cutting my OWN fresh tomatoes! No more shortcuts! After “Avengers” I watched the news for a bit and turned in around noon on Sunday.
Sunday the 11th – CHRISTMAS HOUSE ON THE HILL IS BACK! – At the end of my street, high up in the hills, a homeowner always has a terrific digital light display on his house every year. But it wasn’t on after Thanksgiving. It still wasn’t on the first week of December. But tonight it was back on! I loved watching it as Roxy and I walked to evening church. The music at the service was absolutely gorgeous in every way. It’s wonderful that we have so many talented musicians in our church. On the walk back home I kept my eyes transfixed on the mesmerizing Christmas house on the hill. When I got home I did a little work, and then Roxy, Spooky and I took some Christmas Nappies. When I got up later I had a few auditions to do. When those were finished I had a ton of bookkeeping work to do, including paying bills, reconciling my expense receipts, update my bank accounts, and prepare to close out my corporate account for the year. It’s this way every year at this time, and I dread it every year. I made some soup and a sandwich, but I hit the hay without any TV. I had to be up early Monday morning for a session at Mattel.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK