RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
This is beautiful. Just beautiful.
In the 70’s, 3 minute story songs could be turned into 2 hour movies! Strange but true. This one, “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie C. Riley spawned a movie which starred Barbara Eden! It’s too bad they never made a movie out of Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia!”
Monday the 12th – MONDAY MOTORIN’! – Sleeping until 3 felt really good, considering the previous week I had. When I sat down at the computer I had two last-minute auditions in my inbox to record and send into my agents. I met my assistant Sara at Paty’s for lunch on the patio. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed it a lot, considering that a heatwave is on the way. I got my mail at my mailbox and then drove to my seamstress Karyn’s. I needed to pick up a few new bowing shirts and drop off the fabric for my Gonzo Muppet replica’s new tuxedo. I drove over to Michaels to pick up my new Gran Torino framed art piece, and then I went home. My pal Brittney Powell came over to do some work, and then I grabbed a short nap. I got up later to record my nightly slate of auditions in my home studio and e-mail them to my agents. I wrote Wally’s Week and started in on my tribute to Adam West. But I put it aside so I could gather more of my thoughts. It was tough because I didn’t want it to read like it was all about me, but when you’re writing a tribute to a 37 year friendship, I guess I have to be in there somewhere. I realized that I had to write the set-up to the situation, which I facilitated, and then I could write about how Adam handled it, and about the wonderful results he created. If I left out all the parts about me it would be like just telling the punchline of a joke, without any set up. It was a tough line to walk. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched a few more “Taxi” episodes.
Tuesday the 13th – NEIGHBORS AND A NEW YORKER NOSH! – Mid-afternoon I was walking Roxy out in the courtyard and I ran into a few of my neighbors who were also walking their dogs. We got to talking about area restaurants and Paty’s came up. They were talking about going to eat, so I suggested that I drive them over to Paty’s for a late lunch in the Gran Torino. I went back inside to pack up some mail, grab a shower and then I picked them up. We got to Paty’s, I went next door to send off some mail, and then we had a nice meal on the patio. Just then, my friend Chris from New York texted me so I told him to come join us. He arrived about 20 minutes later and we all had a fun time. He followed me back home so I could give him a tour of Planet Wallywood. My friend Emily was busy scanning photos in the makeshift scanning station I set up in my kitchen. I’m trying to finish up the long scanning project before the end of the month, so I can get my kitchen back for the 4th of July weekend. But I’m proud to say that, after many many months, most every personal photograph I own has been digitized for posterity! I finished up my Adam West tribute and Wally’s Week, and then did a few auditions. I grabbed a nap, and then I got up later to study a script for a Nickeloden animated film I’d be doing Voice-Over work on the next day. I cleaned up The Chaney Room, did some laundry, made some stew and watched “Taxi.”
Wednesday the 14th – 17 YEARS LATER! – Shortly after noon I arose and did some work around the house. I hopped in the Torino and headed to the Burbank Auto Doctor to drop off an old car battery I had lying around the garage. I wasn’t sure it was good any more, but it’s an Optima so it wasn’t cheap. If there way to get it charged back up again I’d like to swap that out with the one currently in my Torino. I’ll find out the next day if it was able to hold a charge after the put it on the trickle charger overnight. Then I headed over to Nickeldeon for to do voice work on a new special based on a cartoon I did 17 years ago at Nick. In fact, it was the first cartoon in my career where I was a regular cast member, as opposed to an episodic guest. It was great seeing some of the old crew…Fred Tatasciore, Richard Horvitz, the ever-so-gorgeous Olivia D’abo (who has NOT aged at all, for some reason!), and my old pal Kevin McDonald. What a great time we had…both in the studio and out. Before we even started the session we sat in the lobby catching up and chatting. We even started singing old 70’s songs and tossing out old trivia questions. Richard and I sang the entire “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” word for word! The guy has an incredible memory! The session was an absolute blast, and our director Jhonen Vasquez seemed genuinely ecstatic to be back in the driver’s seat lording his genius all over us peons. It was a WONDERFUL afternoon! I got back home and my assistant Sara was busy scanning. She had been there all afternoon, and when her shift was up my friend Emily came over to continue for another several hours. I did some work on my computer, and then my trainer Natalie Duran from “American Ninja Warriors” came over to work out. When Natalie and Emily both left, I grabbed a nap. I got up later for my nightly auditions, did some laundry, fed and walked Roxy, and then went to a local grocery store to get some Gentle Giants dog food for Roxy. It’s hard to find, but this particular store had several bags in stock. I phoned in my order to Denny’s and then went to pick it up. I brought it back home and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.”
Thursday the 15th – TRULY TORN! – By the time I got up in the middle of the afternoon Sara was busy scanning. I hopped in the Torino and went to Plastic Depot to talk to my pal Kyle about some new projects I needed to have fabricated. Then I stopped by the Burbank Auto Doctor to see how my battery did. IT’S ALIVE! It held a charge and is good to go. But they didn’t have time to swap it out then and there, so I’ll come back next week and have them do it. I stopped at KFC to get some lunch, and then went o have the Torino washed. I drove it over to my auxiliary garage and swapped it out with my Mustang. Emily came over to do her scanning shift and I was texting back and forth with several friends about an event that was going on in downtown L.A. that night. The Mayor decided that the City of Los Angeles was going to honor the memory of Adam West by shining the Bat Signal on the City Hall building at 9pm that night. I was torn about going. After careful consideration, I decided not to go. First off, I’m allergic to politicians. Secondly, I had a bit of a problem with the timing of the event. Why not do it when Adam was still alive so he could have enjoyed it? Maybe for his birthday, or even when the “Batman” DVDs were released? Leave it to bonehead politicians to be late to the game…always. Then I remembered something mentioned in the “Starring Adam West” documentary. They said that Adam was turned down for a star on the Walk of Fame FIVE times before he was finally accepted! So I thought it odd that they had no interest in Adam while he was alive, but now that he’s gone they’re suddenly in love with him? I made up my mind. I would not be attending on that principal. Besides, I had a few projects at the house that I needed to finish. But I’m glad my friends who went had a great time and got some publicity. My pal Officer Mark even got on TV wearing one of the Batman bowling shirts we created! Emily finished up scanning, and then I grabbed a nap. When I got up I fed and walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood, but I was still pretty tired. So I made something to eat and hit the hay.
Friday the 16th – FRENETIC FRIDAY! – A casting service asked that I do a phone audition at 11:30am, so I got up early to look the materials over and prepare. After the audition was over I waited for my maids to arrive and did some work at my desk. I balanced my personal and corporate checkbooks, reconciled my bank statements, paid some bills, and prepared a few deposits for the bank. The maids finished up their work and I headed to my embroidery place to submit a project to be completed. I went to Staples to get some 3 ring binders to put my photos in. As Sara and Emily were scanning my old photos, they discovered that not only were the photo pages old and worn out, but the binders they were in were wearing out too. So I supplied them with new photo album pages, and new binders to hold them. I stopped by the bank to drop off a few deposits, and went by Michaels crafts to pick up a framed piece. Back in 1995 when Adam West and I were on a gameshow pilot called “Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush,” he gave me two art pieces that he drew. I had one hanging in my room for a long time, and the second one was in storage. I realized that the one that had been hanging up had yellowed from sun exposure. So I took that one down and put it in storage, and made plans to hang up the other one that had been in storage since 1995. But before I displayed it, I wanted to have UV protective glass installed in the frame so it too wouldn’t yellow. I stopped by Henry’s Tacos to get a few taco burgers on the way home, and then went back to my house to enjoy my dinner. Emily was scanning, so I ate my lunch and did some work on a little booster pad for my Kermit the Frog 1:1 Muppet replica. The plastic rod that the puppet sits on is just about ½” too tall, so when Kermit sits on it, he doesn’t look right. But by placing a small pad around the plastic rod (cut from foam core and covered in olive green faux suede) it elevated him just enough so that he looks great! I had made one a few nights ago from foam rubber that was 1 inch thick, but it didn’t look right. But the ½” thick booster pad was perfect! If at first you don’t succeed, I guess. Emily finished up her scanning and then I took a nap. I got up later to feed and walk Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood. It was a gorgeous, star-filled night – very similar to a Palm Springs night. I came back inside and did some work around the house, made some lasagna and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.”
Saturday the 17th – THIS MOVIE WAS NO DOG! – Realizing that the 3 ring binders I bought a few days ago were the wrong size, I went back to Staples to get several more of the correct size. I picked up some mail at my box, and then went to Togo’s to get a sandwich for lunch. I got a bunch of groceries for movie night, and then I went home to prep for the evening’s festivities. I was a little nervous, since we’d be watching “A Dog’s Purpose” (and I’m basically a total softie) but it ended up being a terrific film! In fact, it was unanimously agreed-upon that it was one of the best movies we’ve watched so far. While it had its sad parts, it was generally uplifting. It was 80% funny, 10% sad, and 5% action-packed. I hate watching movies where a dog dies once, but in this movie a dog dies FOUR times! FOUR TIMES? What sort of sadist came up with this idea, and what sort of masochist am I for wanting to watch this? But seriously, it’s a darn good film! In fact, I really started resenting PETA for the B.S. they released about animal abuse during the filming of this movie. While the initial reaction from the public was outrage, after the producers explained what really happened, and showed video to back up their story, they were totally vindicated. And after it was released that PETA selectively edited footage to bolster their claim, including footage of a CGI dog, they lost all credibility. I mean, the dog in the clip they showed wasn’t even REAL! Now, I’m against abuses of animals in all forms, but it seems that PETA is getting a bit extremist in their mission. You may want to consider that the next time you’re thinking of making a donation to their cause. First off, isn’t an animal welfare officer on-set at all times these days? If an abuse would have occurred, the on-set officer would have shut down production. Secondly, PETA waits until just before the movie is released to make their case? This movie deserved better, and could have been a huge hit had they not interfered. A friend mentioned that PETA stood for Petty Extremist Total A- – holes. I was inclined to agree in this instance. We watched a few behind-the-scenes bits on the DVD, and those dogs were totally pampered! In fact, they have it a lot better on-set than most human actors! OK, I’m done spouting off. When everyone left I grabbed a nap, and then got up to do work around the house. I fed Roxy and got ready for our late night stroll through the neighborhood. I hadn’t had a cigar in a while, because of the sinus surgery, and I was really looking forward to enjoying one. But sure enough, once I got outside, my lighter gave out. So my cigar was only lit on the top side; which caused it to burn very unevenly. But it was another balmy Palm Springs-like evening and our walk was very enjoyable. I came inside, made my traditional Saturday night Super Salad, and watched an episode of “Hee Haw” before bed.
Sunday the 18th – SERENE SUNDAY! – After sleeping all day, I got up late afternoon for evening church. I met a nice gal named Leanette who was in L.A. all summer for an internship. She’s a EMT from Chicago who came to town to learn how to be a community organizer, and how to work with politicians. (Good luck with THAT!) But we had a nice conversation and I invited her to join Shirley and I for dinner. My assistant Sara also joined, as did my church friends Gina and Rae. We had some darn good food at Tally Rand in Burbank, and then I dropped everyone at their homes. I got back home and napped for a bit on the couch, and then got up later to do a bunch of auditions. I worked around the house to prep for the new week, fed and walked Roxy, made a Chef Boy Ardee pizza-in-a-box, and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.” I’m REALLY enjoying that show!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK