RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
It’s been a while since I posted a Jonathan Frid personal photograph, so I figured it was about time. Watching “Master of Dark Shadows” last week at movie night (a documentary about Dan Curtis, the creator of “Dark Shadow”) reminded me that I should post another one of these photos. A while back, after Jonathan Frid’s death, his family gifted me a set of personal family photographs from Jonathan’s collection. They gave me their permission to post them and share them with other Jonathan Frid fans. This one looks like some sort of family birthday party was happening. Can you imagine back in the 60’s or 70’s having Jonathan Frid at YOUR birthday party???!!
This past week I’ve been humming “For Pete’s Sake” by the Monkees. Really the only thing I didn’t like about the Monkees when growing up was that sometimes the names of their songs were confusing. The names they gave some of their songs had nothing to do with the song’s content. I used to call this song “In This Generation.” But other songs like “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “Tapioca Tundra,” and “Randy Skouse Git” had nothing (or very little) to do with the lyrics. But this is a great song, written by Peter Tork!
Monday the 8th – I HATE MONDAYS! – It seemed like bad news at every turn. Eddie my garage door guy arrived around 1 to try and figure out why my garage door was intermittently sticking. He oiled the gears, tightened the chain, filed off a few things on the hardware, and it seemed to be working well. I paid him and then he left. My contractor Handy Don and his pal Greg the Flooring Guy came over to look at an ever-growing black smudge on the wood flooring in my kitchen. It was determined that it wasn’t normal. Handy Don went to his truck to get his saw, and the garage door stuck again. Rats! Looks like I’m going to have to get a brand new sectional garage door and mechanism installed soon! CHA CHING! Handy Don cut a little square out of the wood flooring where the black spot was residing to see what was going on under there. We had already determined that I was going to have to have the kitchen floor completely redone, as the black spot was not a good sign. When the piece of flooring was removed and examined, there were no outward signs of water intrusion, other than some warping on the edges of the piece. But SOMETHING was wrong! So we decided to replace the entire floor with deluxe vinyl flooring. CHA CHING! What was that old saying about ‘when it rains it pours?’ And what did the Carpenters sing about ‘rainy days and Mondays?’ Ugh. I told Handy Don that I was getting new carpeting installed on Monday the 15th. He suggested we change out the floor immediately. He was uneasy with the thought that he and Greg would be traipsing in and out of the house with demolished wood flooring, doing dusty construction and making a mess AFTER the new carpet had gone in. I agreed that we needed to do it asap. I got on-line and looked up the options for vinyl flooring at a store that was close to Handy Don’s house. He would head there on his way home, I’d pay for it over the phone, he’d pick it up, and bring it up early the next morning and start working with Greg the Flooring Guy. I set about doing some work while he headed to the store. He was going to give me a call when he got there and I’d give my credit card over the phone. But given the horrible afternoon L.A. traffic, it took him several hours to get there. Meanwhile, my pal Sara was heading to Little Toni’s to meet me for dinner at 7. Handy Don got to the store, but they refused to take a credit card number over the phone (like in the ‘old days’) and I would have to fill out a form on their website. I told him to have the girl e-mail me the proper form and I would pay it quickly before I left for dinner. It was about 6:45 at this point. It took her about a half hour to get the form sent to me. It was now 7:15 and Sara was waiting at the restaurant. The form FINALLY arrived, I filled it out, got cleaned up and headed to Little Toni’s. On my way there Handy Don called and said they got the order fine, but he wasn’t listed as the ‘pick up’ person. I didn’t see anywhere on the form to list a pick up person. I was starting to get furious, as this was starting to become a real pain in the rear (and pocketbook!) I talked to the girl and she said there was nothing she could do, as it was the new store rule. Handy Don said I had to call a number authorizing Don to pick up the flooring, and then they’d clear him. It’s now 7:40, Sara’s been waiting at the restaurant since 7! I told Don to call the number and pretend he was me. It was turning into a big hassle. (I thought the internet was supposed to make purchasing things easier!) To make matters worse, the store didn’t have the quantity of matching quarter-round in stock that we needed. They said they were going to continue stocking the flooring, but not the matching quarter-round. WHAT?! They said one of their other stores had some and they could Fed Ex it for $140. WHAT?!! I was losing it! Handy Don said he and Greg the Flooring Guy could make their own quarter-round, stain it to match and it would be better and less expensive. By the time I got to Little Toni’s (45 minutes late) my pal Sara was livid, and so was I; but for different reasons. Handy Don assured me it would all be OK and he’d see me bright and early at 9am. I ate, cooled off, and went home to grab a nap. I got up later to do auditions, move all the stuff out of my kitchen to prep for the kitchen floor demolition, and then hit the hay to be up early.
Tuesday the 9th – CHA CHING! AGAIN! – At 9am sharp Handy Don and Greg the Flooring Guy arrived and started tearing up my floor. They had lots of plastic up so the dust from the demolition wouldn’t permeate my house too much. I went back to bed and let the guys work. When I got up at 3 the guys were gone, but my kitchen floor was completely torn up. They had to hit the lumber yard to get the appropriate quantity of quarter-round and begin to stain it so they could have it ready for the installation on Wednesday. I called him to see how it went. He said the following – 1) they discovered that when the wood flooring was laid originally, the old linoleum tile under it hadn’t been removed like it should have been. It should have been stripped completely to the floorboards. The wood was simply laid OVER the linoleum. So they had to remove all of that too. Big, nasty job – which put them behind schedule a bit. Since the wood flooring wasn’t lying flat on my floor, but rather had the layer of linoleum underneath it, it allowed water intrusion to go down the little alleys between the linoleum tiles (under the wood) and settle in a low spot in my kitchen – ie; the black spot. 2) When they removed all of that, they discovered that my old dishwasher had been leaking – the source of the water intrusion. There was a lot of visible staining on the floorboards in front of my dishwasher. I would need to get a new dishwasher too. CHA CHING! It just never ends! He said they were going to go to a store in his neighborhood that sold brand new appliances for cheap in a kind of ‘scratch & dent’ setting. The machines were all brand new, but there were little aesthetic blemishes that prevented them from being SOLD as perfect, brand new items. He said if I didn’t care that it had a little ding on the bottom of the front of the door, he could save me about $300. I told him if anyone would notice a small ding in my dishwasher door, given the fact that I have so much OTHER stuff to look at in Planet Wallywood, then I was doing something wrong. So it wasn’t as bad of a Cha Ching a I had thought, but still it was an added expense I hadn’t counted on. On a side note, I simply do not know what I’d do without Handy Don. He’s a valuable pal and construction resource and I appreciate his help. I had the evening open so I decided to go over to Floyd’s Barbershop for a touch up on my color and get a little trim. It was a nice night so I put the top down in the Mustang, put Roxy in the back and drove to Taco Bell to get some food. Then I went home to do my nightly auditions, type out Wally’s Week (which was a day late, given my construction issues) and finish up some things around the house. Then I got inspired to finish up a new kid’s story I had been working on for my kid’s project. By the time it was 7am I was pretty tired, but I had to be awake at 9 to let the guys in to start laying the flooring!
Wednesday the 10th – BREAKING AND ENTERING!? – Before I turned in at 7:30am, I phoned up Handy Don to tell him I was hitting the hay. I told him I’d leave the front door locks UNLOCKED, and he and Greg should just make their way in and start work, as I’d be upstairs passed out. After I hung up with him, I got out of bed and went downstairs to DOUBLE CHECK the locks on the doors to make sure they WERE unlocked. Once I’m in the Tranquility Zone asleep, there’s no reaching me. I don’t hear my phone and I don’t hear the doorbell. I remember waking up briefly and hearing them working downstairs, cutting the flooring. I went back to sleep until 2pm. When I went down to see them Handy Don jokingly said he’d have to charge me extra for breaking and entering. I didn’t understand. He said when he and Greg the Flooring Guy arrived the door was LOCKED and they couldn’t get in. Nor were any of their calls and shouting being responded to. So they put a long ladder in the back of Greg’s truck, Handy Don climbed up to my Puppet Room window (which thankfully was open!), removed the screen and got in the house that way. WHAT?! WHAT??!!! I told him I had checked and DOUBLE CHECKED that the door knobs were unlocked. I simply didn’t understand how they could have gotten locked! Good grief. ANOTHER pain in the neck to deal with this week. I told him I was very sorry he had to do that, but I just didn’t understand how that happened. The flooring was going in a lot more slowly than expected. The floorboards had to have a certain amount of patching done before the vinyl panels could be laid. This would minimize any future “low” spots in the floor. I spent the afternoon on the computer tweaking my new kid’s story that I spent all night writing. I monitored news on-line and hung out in case the guys had any questions. A few months ago I scheduled an appointment with my orthodontist’s office, and the appointment was for this very night at 8:30pm! (They do night time appointments occasionally for those people who work during the day) The office is VERY busy, and if I missed this appointment it would be another month or so before I could get in again. My dental appliance (retainer) no longer fit in my mouth because of the recent dental augmentation I had received. It needed to be reconfigured to fit and I wanted to make sure I could start using that as soon as possible. My teeth tend to move around a little bit without it. The guys had assured me that they would be all wrapped up by 7:45pm so I could make my appointment. The flooring was in and it looked fabulous, but the dishwasher wasn’t going in as smoothly as they had thought. While Greg the Flooring Guy cut and installed the quarter-round, Handy Don worked on the dishwasher. I called a few of my assistants to see if they could come over and sit with the guys while they finished, as it looked like they’d be here later than planned. But no response. Luckily, my pal Sara could come by for a few hours and hang with them while they finished up, and while I drove to the orthodontist’s office. I decided to de-stress on the drive over, so I got out the Gran Torino and had a nice drive on a gorgeous summer evening. Driving that car always mellows me out! I got to the appointment, everyone loved the car, I got to see the orthodontist’s staff, and it was determined that I would need a brand new appliance made. Altering the existing one would render it basically useless. So they took a new dental impression so they could get working on it. I paid the fee (CHA CHING!) and got in my car to head back. Sara texted to say they had just finished up at 10pm (!) and I told her to meet me at Jerry’s Famous Deli for dinner. When I walked in, I saw a beautiful sight! Everything was clean, things were put back in their place, and best of all – the flooring looked fabulous! Feeling a lot better about life, I sat down and recorded my nightly auditions, recorded my new kid’s story, did some work in the kitchen cleaning up, and got organized. Whenever there’s construction being done, despite how much plastic is hung, there’s always a thin layer of dust on everything. I gave the kitchen a once-over, with the intention of doing more detailed cleaning the next day. I was really glad that this week was slow work-wise, so I didn’t have a nutty work schedule complicating things. The week before the San Diego Comic Con, and the week during the San Diego Comic Con, and the week after the San Diego Comic Con are usually pretty slow. I’m sitting Comic Con out this year, and a good thing too, given all the work that’s being done around the house. That night I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood and enjoyed a nice, relaxing cigar! With full intentions of sleeping in on Thursday, I went inside, made some Buffalo Mac, watched an episode of “The Mod Squad” and relaxed and reflected on a nutty week. The next huge project would be the carpet installation next Monday!
Thursday the 11th – THE KITCHEN IS BITCHIN’! – Boy did it feel nice to sleep in until 3 knowing that when I awoke, I didn’t have to face a demolished kitchen, or contractors who had to break into my house, or the like. I casually did some work around the house, had a great strategy phone call with my trademark attorney regarding my kid’s stories, made some other calls and texts, and got ready to go to dinner. I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up some items for the remodeled kitchen, and then I met the fantastic Tiffany for dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli. I met her at the Micky Dolenz show last Sunday, and we discovered that we had a ton of things in common! In addition to a love for the old songs, she hails from Iowa originally (right next to South Dakota!) and her mom works at the hospital in Des Moines where I was born! We spent almost 3 hours chatting. What fun! I got home around 10pm and did my nightly auditions. I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to spend all night putting my kitchen back together. Since I had to do a ‘deep clean,’ I took the opportunity to almost completely reorganize my kitchen system. I cleaned the outside of the refrigerator top to bottom (BOY was that thing dirty!) and I cleaned off every square inch of counter space. I threw out things I no longer needed that had been lying around for a long time. I reorganized my snack section for my movie night guests, and I cleaned up to prepare for the maids’ arrival on Friday. I made some food and watched another episode of “The Mod Squad,” a show I’m enjoying immensely!
Friday the 12th – SINGASONG! – The maids arrived just after noon, and it was really hot outside! We finally got our summer deep into July. Which makes me think that it’s going to stay hot deeper into October. After the maids finished up, I had fully intended to put my walking shoes on and go get some things done, but the crazy circumstances of the totally nutty week and worn on me. It was much more fun to stay inside with the pets and enjoy resting in air conditioned comfort. Later that evening I met my pal Pat the Batman Fan at a recording studio to record a demo for a song. While working for an elderly member of a famous recording group from the 60’s, he stumbled across a box of sheet music. These were unrecorded songs the artist had written but had never recorded! Pat is now producing the first new album from this group in over 50 years! And one of the songs I got to sing! We had a great time laying down the melody track and then the harmonies. It ended up having a bit of an Everly Brothers vibe. It’s a great song! I hope to get Pat’s permission to post a sample of it as soon as the final mix is completed. This was just the kind of fun I needed after a ‘trying’ week. I drove to the store to get some groceries on the way home, and when I arrived back at Planet Wallywood I moved everything back into the kitchen to restore normalcy. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched another “Mod Squad!”
Saturday the 13th – CONVALESCING, COMEDY & CORVETTES! – After receiving an e-mail from my old pal Gil that he was in the hospital, and the prognosis for his recovery wasn’t very good, my pal James and I decided to go visit him. I’ve known Gil for about 25 years when I first got into full-time Voice Over. I worked for him doing radio comedy and BOY did we have some fun back in those days! Gil would occasionally come to movie night when he was feeling up to it, but his health continued to decline. James picked me up at 1 and we drove to the hospital and checked in. When a comic is in the hospital, you can bet that when his friends show up to visit him it’s going to be a wacky time. James and I were cracking up the staff all the while, and they were loving it. It distracted them from being surrounded by all the sadness and illness. Like they sang in “Singing in the Rain,” ya gotta ‘make ‘em laugh, make ‘em laugh, make ‘em laugh!” Gil was in a lot better shape than I thought, and we all had fun yucking it up. In fact, I felt sorry for the people in the other boring hospital rooms, as it sounded like there was a party going on in Gil’s room! James and I went to Bob’s Big Boy for a late lunch, and then I went back home to clean up for movie night. We watched the 1978 movie “Corvette Summer” starring Mark Hamill. It was the film he did a year after the first “Star Wars.” What a fun time! I took a short nap, and then got up later to work all night. I made my traditional Saturday night Super Salad and watched the episode of “SNL” from the fourth season when Gary Busey hosted. That was…interesting.
Sunday the 14th – LIVING ROOM PURGE! – Right around 3:30 I woke up, did some work on the computer, and determined that it was too hot outside to walk Roxy to evening church. So I hopped in the Torino and drove over. I met up with my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley to enjoy the service. Then we drove over to Barones to have dinner. My pal Sara joined us. After dropping Shirley back to her residence, I got home to do some work. I had a full night ahead of me! I recorded my auditions, and then set about clearing out the first and second floors of Planet Wallywood. Anything that wasn’t nailed down had to be removed from the floor so when the carpet guys arrived early Monday morning they could access the old carpet to remove it. By the time I got to bed it was about 4:30am – roughly 3 hours before I had to be awake to let the carpet guys in to start their work! It was a busy night. But worth it! The new carpet is going to look great!
And how was YOUR (cha ching!) week?!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Spook seems a bit ‘spooked’ by the temporary absence of a floor!