What more be said?

Of course, when it was pouring rain in L.A. last Monday, I couldn’t help but think of this song I really, really love. It’s “Rainy Monday” by Shiny Toy Guns.

Monday the 14th – ON A RAINY MONDAY! – It was pouring cats and dogs, and we in L.A. were in for a good four solid days of rain. Not that I was complaining, but when I got up mid-afternoon the ringing in my ears was back and I was having serious TMJ pain. So after giving the pets a treat, I went back to bed and slept into the evening. I fed the pets their dinner, then napped on the couch with the door open so I could hear the rain. It lulled me right to sleep. I got up later to do a bunch of auditions and I was feeling a little better. I worked around the house, made some hot soup and a sandwich and watched a few episodes of “Taxi” from the fourth season DVD set. The rain had stopped overnight as one storm moved out to make way for the next one.

Tuesday the 15th – ORAL A-OK! – Just after 11am I woke up to get ready for an audition, where I needed to call the Casting Director to get specific direction. Once I got the direction I recorded several takes and sent it in via e-mail. Then I headed to my oral surgeon’s office for a one-week follow up to my implant surgery. He looked me over and said everything looked terrific. It’ll take about 3 months for my bone and tissue to fully bond with the implant, and then I can go back in and get fitted for my “post,” and have an impression taken for the crown. I figure by my birthday in May I’ll have a brand new tooth in my #14 position. I hit Wienerschnitzel for lunch and ate it in my car while I talked to friends on the phone. The second rainstorm had moved into the area and had started pelting the area with a pretty good shower. I chatted with my attorney for a bit on the phone about the next step for a special new project we’re working on, and then went to the post office to mail some eBay stuff. I got my packages at my mailbox, and then went to Kit Kraft to buy several different sizes of acrylic spheres to make puppets out of. I don’t want to use the actual acrylic shapes, because they’re clear. So I’m going to fill them with a plaster-like substance called Ultra Cal, pop out the “positive,” and take it to my effects guy Jim Ojala and have him make several copies with his “vacuform” machine. He’ll make them out of a lighter weight styrene plastic that’s much easier to cut, drill and deal with than acrylic. I took my Mustang over to the local smog test station to get it tested and registered for the new year, and I made it home just in time to beat the heaviest rain. It was nice lounging around inside by the fire with the pets while it poured outside. Hooky the bird was safe on the hook on my patio under the roof. (I’ve had a little bird as a guest since September that perches on a hook on the fascia board right up underneath the roof on my patio. Sometimes he gets kind of cold when the weather turns brisk, but at least during rainstorms he has a roof over his head! Since he perches on the hook, I refer to him as “Hooky”) I did my nightly auditions, wrote Wally’s Week, and did some other work around the house. Later I made some spaghetti and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.”

Wednesday the 16th – A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT! – At 1 I got up to make a bunch of phone calls. I had planned to spend all day inside getting stuff done that needed to be finalized; little detail-type things. First off, I found out that my Gran Torino was ready for pick-up at the Auto Doctor, but I wanted to wait until the rain subsided before I went to pick it up. I had some sort of short in my dashboard that was killing my dashboard lights. Apparently they found the problem, and while the dashboard was open, they installed new LED light bulbs so my instrument cluster will be much brighter! I spoke with a lot of different people about some new, exciting projects that are ahead for 2019, but it’s too early to talk about any of them now. I literally spent all afternoon on the phone and on the computer sending e-mails, and by late afternoon I was exhausted. I fed the pets and laid down on the couch for a bit before I needed to be up for a podcast interview. At 7 I got on-line with Ryan and Ryan, the hosts of “Batman on Film” and we talked all about the many roles I’ve played as The Riddler. The rain started up again full blast, so after the interview was over I laid back down on the couch and drifted off to a pleasant sleep. (What is it about rain that makes people sleep like babies?) I got up later to do my nightly auditions, and when I finished I decided I’d open my kitchen window so I could hear the rushing water heading down the L.A. wash, which is right outside my house. It literally sounded like a river. So with the sounds of that, coupled with the pouring rain outside, it was the ideal time to work on something fun. I got out my puppet stuff and started working on my new Oscar the Grouch puppet. I coated the interior of each acrylic sphere with Vaseline as a mold release, and then I poured in the Ultra-Cal and allowed it to set up. I had a lower jaw finished that I really liked, but I started to think that making it in 1” thick foam instead of ½” foam might be a better idea. So I made a new one. Since Oscar has moving parts (unlike the Rowlf the Dog puppet I’m just in the process of finishing up now) it will take a little more thought to accomplish it the way I want it, but that’s half the fun! I stayed up all night working on the puppet and enjoying the rain and the river. I made a Chef Boyardee pizza and watched a few more “Taxi” episodes. I wasn’t that tired, so I continued working on Oscar until about noon on Thursday!

Thursday the 17th – ANDY@70! – Today would have been Andy Kaufman’s 70’s birthday. Hard to believe! After only 3 hours of sleep I was up and rarin’ to go. I fed the pets, did some auditions, worked around the house and made some calls. The final rainstorm had come and gone, and now everything was in the process of drying out. The rain was VERY welcome! I recorded some voice files for a friend’s business phone system, and then I worked on the computer for a bit. Since the eye pieces for my Oscar the Grouch were set up, I attempted to remove the plaster casts from the acrylic molds. But they weren’t coming out easily. I found out that I had to knock them around a little bit to get them out; much like opening a jar of pickles by banging on the lid several times. Once I got them out of the molds I poured in some more Ultra-Cal to make some more. Out of 4 or 5 pours, only one or two will be suitable enough to make the vacuform copies. I got on-line and bought some URLs for a new project I’m working on, and then hit the hay for a busy Friday!

Friday the 18th – FOTO FRIDAY! – Shortly after 2 I was at Profiles in History in Calabasas to pick up my auction winnings from the late December auction. I had won a lot of 30+ personal Andy Kaufman photos that were in his private archive. It was odd that I was getting these only one day after what would have been h is 70’s birthday! I stayed around talking to Brian (one of the heads at Profiles) for a while. I noticed in the lot of photos that there were two copies of the original publicity photo like the one that he signed and sent to me back in 1977. He probably had hundreds of these things that he would sign and send to out. I’m under the belief that these were the only 2 copies that were left in his possession when he passed away. There were lots of other great pics in there too! I have to get busy scanning and archiving them in my own collection right away! I drove back home to drop the stuff off, and then my pal Clay came over to pick me up so we could get my Torino at the Auto Doctor. The new LED lights in the dash looked great, even though they were a little “blue” for my liking. I guess some “white” LED lights do have a bit of a blue hue to them. But I sure could see my instrument cluster, speedometer and gas gauge a lot more clearly now! I went back home to feed the pets, did some work, answered some e-mails, worked on the Oscar eye shapes, and grabbed a nap. When I got up later I poured up a few more Oscar eyes, worked on my computer organizing some stuff, and then watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.”

Saturday the 19th – SUNNY AND 75! – While the rest of the nation was freezing and shivering under a blanket of snow, we were enjoying a sun-filled 75 degree day! The rain was gone and it was gorgeous! At noon I went to Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet with my pal Joe Garner about some projects. I like to park the Torino on the street outside the restaurant, and then sit in a booth by the window to anonymously watch the people come by and look it over. It was getting a LOT of attention! I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to do a little shopping, and then I hit my mailbox to get my packages. I went over to my buddy Jim Ojala’s effects studio to take him the Oscar eye pieces that needed to be vacuformed, and we chatted about how to make Oscar fully functional once he’s all put together; eye blinking mechanism and all. I drove over to CVS to get some supplies, and then went to the grocery store to get some food items for movie night. I came home, put the groceries away, and cleaned up for movie night. After my guests left around midnight, I napped on the couch for a bit. I got up later and did some more work around the house, and made my traditional Saturday Night Super salad and watched an episode of “SNL” from the third season DVD set. It’s the one hosted by O.J. Simpson, and there were several “ironies” in that episode that were amusing. However it WAS the episode that featured John Belushi’s Samurai character in “Samurai Night Fever,” a bit that’s still just as funny today as it was back then.

Sunday the 20th – SUPER WOLF BLOOD MOON: WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?! – I can always rely on my cat Spooky to wake me up in time for evening church. Right around 4:30pm he starts walking all over my on the bed to wake me up for his dinner. I fed the pets their dinner, and while I wasn’t planning on taking Roxy to evening church, when she stood at the door whining I knew that SHE knew where I was going. So I relented and took her along. After the service my “adopted grandma” Shirley and I walked back to my house and headed out to get dinner. But first I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a cabinet for my kitchen that I had spied the other day. When I came out of the store the lunar eclipse had started, and the bottom part of the moon began to disappear. Shirley and I went to Jerry’s Famous Deli for dinner, and by the time we came out the moon was in full “Blood Moon” phase; fully engulfed in the earth’s shadow. Shirley will be 92 in late February and she had never seen such a thing before! Since the previous Blood Moons had occurred at 3 or 4 in the morning, I had seen plenty in the past few years. But since this one was mid-evening, MANY people could enjoy it! I took Shirley back to her place, and then I came home to try and snap some pictures of the Super Wolf Blood Moon. But the auto focus on my camera didn’t like the Blood Moon because it didn’t give it anything concrete to focus on. Out of 12 pictures, only one turned out slightly usable. I unloaded the cabinet from my car and started assembling it in my garage. I took the water cooler out of my kitchen (I don’t really use it much anymore) and replace it with this nice, new bamboo storage cabinet. But I realized that the dome lights in my Torino were no longer working. Apparently the mechanic who worked on the dashboard had forgotten to reconnect them when he was done. So…it’s back to the Auto Doctor on Monday. I went inside to grab a shower and a nap on the Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe. I got up later and fed and walked Roxy, and since Monday was a holiday all my auditions weren’t due until Tuesday. I did some bookkeeping, and then hit the hay.

Monday the 21st – MLK DAY! – It’s hard to believe that three years ago this weekend my Gran Torino was stolen from my body shop guy’s property. I think about that every time MLK day rolls around. But it’s good to have it back. I drove the Gran Torino over to the Auto Doctor to drop it off for diagnosis as to why my dome light wasn’t working. My pal Clay met me there around 4 to give me a ride back to my house, but we stopped at Coral Café to eat lunch first. I got home and relaxed for a bit before my friend Brittney came over for a quick visit and to do some work. After she left I grabbed a nap, and then got up later to do a ton of auditions which were due on Tuesday morning. There were several “sound-alike” auditions to do, which are very time consuming. You need to listen to the original voice, mimic it and audition with it using the lines they give you in the script. Ordinarily they’ll need “sound-alikes” to do characters that were originally performed by actors who are no longer living, or those who are unavailable. I did some work around the house prepping for a new week, had some cereal, and then headed for bed.

And how was YOUR week??!!


This was the best I could get of the Super Wolf Blood Moon

More puppet fun making molds for eye pieces

This video will give you an idea of how it sounded outside my kitchen window during last week’s rains.