In the Minneapolis airport I saw this kid’s book in one of the stores. I thought Mickey and Minnie looked rather odd – kind of “off model.” But it’s actually kind of charming.

On the plane ride home a week ago, “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins came on my iPod. I hadn’t heard it in a long time, but the song tends to stick with you.


Monday the 17th – FINAL FASTING FEAST! – The hassle of trying to get out of South Dakota on Sunday evening, after having my flight canceled had really worn me out. I slept until 1, and then met my pal Edi for lunch at Lancers at 3. After that I stopped by my local Walmart to get some supplies for my upcoming ‘liquid-only diet’ for my Wednesday colonoscopy and endoscopy. While I was at the Walmart in Sioux Falls, I spied some yummy looking banana popsicles in bulk. I was hoping my local Walmart had them as well, because popsicles are allowed during a liquid fast; and I particularly like banana. Plus, being colored yellow, they’re not one of the forbidden colors for colonoscopy prep. Red, blue and purple are all colors that aren’t allowed in any foods consumed during the preparation process. Bingo! I found them. I bought two packs! I got home and got everything set up; the timing for fasting, the foods I could eat, etc. I did some work, and then took a nap. I got up later for my auditions, typed out Wally’s Week, and around 3am I had my final meal before the 28 hour liquid-only fast – soup and an iced tea. I got on the couch around 5 and napped until 8. I wouldn’t be able to eat anything solid from here on out.

Tuesday the 18th – LUCIOUS LIQUIDS?! – When I woke up from my couch nap at 8am, I did some writing until 1pm. Then I hit the hay until 6pm. I logged my activities from my colonoscopy back in 2016, and I realized that as much as I could sleep through the preparation process the better. I got up to feed the pets, and then start the “fireworks” portion of my prep. The modern-day procedure is that you drink a little 8 ounce premixed prescription liquid, and then chase it down with at least 40 ounces of water of the next hour. I had bought a 15 pack of 10 ounce waters. So I had all the times written down on the lids. At 6pm the medicine, then 6:10 water bottle #1. Then at 6:20 water bottle #2. Then at 6:30 water bottle #3. And at 6:40 water bottle #4. I’m pretty good at guzzling down the water bottles pretty quickly. And the water always fills up the stomach pretty well. I made some beef broth, ate some Jello that I had prepared, did some more work, recorded several auditions, and of course, stayed close to the bathroom. I wrote some more of my kid’s stories, and then napped on the couch from midnight to 2am. I fed the pets and then laid back down on the couch. When I woke up at 4am, a mere 4 hours before I was due at the surgical center, it was time to start the second phase of my prep. I took the second and final bottle of the medicine, and then chased it with another 40 ounces of water much like I did 10 hours earlier. By 5am I stopped all liquids in preparation of being sedated. After a few more bathroom visits, I went to bed at 5am and slept until 7am.

Wednesday the 19th – Colonosco-ME! – At 7 I woke up, showered, gathered my things and my pal Sara picked me up at 7:45. We got to the surgical center in Burbank around 8; 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. I filled out paperwork, Sara took off (they’ll call her to come get me when I’m ready to go) and they took me in to give me the final instructions. I put on the gown, socks and cap and got on the gurney. They started the IV with saline to hydrate me, since the whole prep process takes a lot of the fluids out of you. I got wheeled into the surgery room, and the nurse assured me that when they put the scope down my throat for the endoscopy it would NOT affect my vocal cords. He said the trachea splits off from the vocal cord area and while they’ll be able to see them, they’ll be going down a different way. I said hi to Dr. Fisher, the assistant put a round plastic gizmo in my mouth and fastened it to my head. This plastic appliance had a hole in the middle, and it would keep my mouth open while I was out so the doctor could snake the camera down into my stomach. I don’t remember much after that, as the Demerol had started to take effect. Unlike the procedure I had back in 2016, this time I was more alert and came out of the “twilight sleep” much better. Three years ago I couldn’t remember what was said after my procedure, how I got dressed, or even how I got to Sara’s car. But this time I actually woke up during the final part of the procedure. I woke up looking at the monitor and I could see a polyp, an instrument moved over it, and there was a little blood and it was over. Then they wheeled me out. That was very cool seeing the procedure happen. My head cleared almost right away and I was chatting with the nurse. I have full recall of everything that happened, and I even remember when the nurse grabbed my belongings and dropped my phone on the floor, breaking my phone case! I told the nurse after all the surgeries I’ve endured in the past two years; sinus surgery, oral surgery, bone graft, implant, etc – this was a walk in the park! By the time I got out it was a little bit after 10am, and Sara and I went to Coral Café to have some early lunch. I was pretty hungry and wasn’t going to stand on ceremony to wait for the official lunch hour to arrive. Though this info may seem a little personal, I want to log it to encourage you to attend to your digestive health too. Colon cancer runs in my family, so I’m going to stay on this every 3 years like I’m supposed to so I can be assured of a good, long life! I advise you to do the same. It’s really not much of a hassle at all! I got home just before noon and made some calls. They suggest that anyone who has been put out for a procedure like this not drive for the rest of the day. I was happy that my health obligations have been taken care of for now. I had my eye exam, my complete physical, I got my dental implant, and now I got my colonoscopy and endoscopy out of the way! The rest of the year would be a breeze! I was looking forward to having a lot of fun! I did some more writing on my children’s stories, checked e-mails, and planned the rest of the week. I napped later in the afternoon, and just relaxed and did some light work around the house for the rest of the night. The doctor would send the removed tissue into the lab for biopsy, and he’d let me know next week what the results were.

Thursday the 20th – ONWARD AND UPWARD! – Now that life had slowed down a bit (given the fact that the last few months were non-stop craziness) I wanted to make a very concerted effort to take care of a few of the things I had been remiss on of late. Even though I allowed myself to sleep late, I did some work in the afternoon, and spent much of the afternoon taking care of auditions. Later that night Sara and I celebrated our new choppers (she just got some new dental implants too) by going to the Smokehouse and devouring some steaks! It was delightful! I got home and napped, and then got up later to prepare for 2 early sessions on Friday morning!

Friday the 21st – DOUBLE DAY! – Right around 8am I woke, showered and headed to Voice Trax West for a quick session for Direct Energy. It’s a Texas power company that I do regular voice work for. They’re good folks! Then I sped off to Studiopolis in Burbank to do some pick-ups for a new Sega videogame project. I had done two days’ worth of sessions a few months ago, and this was a pick-up project to record some of the lines that had changed, or that they had newly written for the game. It’s always great working with the legendary Jack Fletcher again. I got some groceries, sent some mail at the post office, got my mail at my mailbox, and then went home. I recorded my latest kid’s story, as I was happy with how it had been written. My seamstress Shelley came over to pick up some fabric and take some measurements for a new project, and then I grabbed a short nap. Later that evening I met my friend Briana for dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli, and then we came to my house to do some work. When she left I grabbed a short nap, and got up later to work around the house all night.

Saturday the 22nd – SATURDAY SONS! – Promptly at 12:30pm, my pal Boz arrived, as did my friend Aliza. We would all be going downtown to a theatre called the Orpheum; a legendary landmark in the downtown Los Angeles area. That afternoon they’d be showing two Laurel and Hardy films, “Battle of the Century,” and “Sons of the Desert,” the movie for which the club I belong to was named. Thankfully Boz drove, and when we got to the theatre we met up with my pal Sean; a fellow Sons of the Desert member. The theatre is gorgeous and recently restored at the cost of about $3 million! The 2,000 seat capacity venue was darn near full! Sitting there listening to the opening speakers talk about Laurel and Hardy, and hearing the cheering audience, made me a bit emotional. I flashed back to staying up late on those snowy Aberdeen, South Dakota nights, and watching “Laurel and Hardy Theater” on my local channel 13. Normally I was alone, as my folks had already turned in for the night. Sometimes I would record the audio of the films on my little cassette recorder, so I could study their routines and learn to mimic their voices. And now here I was…in Los Angeles, in a gorgeous, vintage theater, with close to 2,000 Laurel and Hardy fans…ready to watch the boys and laugh ourselves silly! Wow how times change! When one of the speakers mentioned the Sons of the Desert fan club (of which I’m a member) he mentioned the founding members who started the club. When he mentioned my old pal, the late Chuck McCann, then the waterworks started. I miss Chuck. Seeing “Sons of the Desert” on the big screen was a real kick! Hearing 2,000 people laugh at the same things I’m laughing at is a real head trip! A truly amazing experience. To open the show, an organist accompanied the silent “Battle of the Century,” which boasts the greatest cinematic pie fight ever filmed. They used 3,000 pies in the making of it! The organist played the mighty Wurlitzer organ to the action! Some of this original film had been lost until recently, when a work print of the film had been discovered in somebody’s collection. A part of reel 1 is still missing, but the L.A. Conservancy subbed in title cards and stills to bridge the action. After the event we drove to Paty’s for lunch, I got my mail at my mailbox, and then I went home to settle in. Under the abandoned nest where my Mourning Doves used to reside, my pal Boz pointed out a small, lifeless baby bird lying on the sidewalk. I buried it in the dirt. I was confused because I saw one baby Mourning Dove grow up in that nest. At one point there were two birds in the nest (I believed it to be the mom and the baby) and a dad hanging out in the branches overhead. But perhaps the mom had two babies, one lived and grew up, but maybe the other one didn’t live. And now that the nest was abandoned, perhaps the wind knocked the little baby bird’s body out of the nest. Very sad. I finished up another of my kid’s stories, took a nap, and then got up later to do some work. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “SNL” from the season four DVD set.

Sunday the 23rd – SUMMER? REALLY?! – Though the first day of summer was last Friday, it doesn’t seem much like it. The first day of summer in L.A. was overcast and cool. Today wasn’t much different. I got up around 4, worked on my computer doing some bookkeeping, and then went to evening church. My ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley wasn’t there because she was still in Simi Valley, after attending her niece’s wedding there on Saturday. While I was walking Roxy home after evening church, Shirley called and said she found a ride and was heading back to L.A. I told her to have her ride drop her off at Miceli’s Italian restaurant so we could get a bite to eat. I told Shirley all about the day with Laurel and Hardy at the Orpheum, and she told me all about the wedding. I drove her home, and then I came back to my house and recorded my latest kid’s story, which I had completed the day before. I’m now up to 9 stories, and I have an idea for a 10th one! I can’t wait to tell you more about this, but my trademark attorney is advising I keep it quiet just a little bit longer. I did an audition, and then napped on the couch for a bit. I woke up to feel the pets and plopped right back down on the couch and slept a while longer. I woke up around 6:30am, walked Roxy, did some work on the computer, and then went to bed around 10am.

And how was YOUR week??!!


All the appropriate foods for my liquid-only fast are assembled…

…and so it the medicine required. Let the fireworks begin!

After the procedure, it’s time for a satisfying SOLID meal!

My Mourning Doves are all gone. The baby finally got to big for the nest and evacuated.

The gorgeous lobby of the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A.

A pair of L&H lookalikes create fun and frolic

This is the interior of the recently restored Orpheum. Stunning!

Boz and I square off for our own “Battle of the Century.”

A vintage “Sons of the Desert” movie poster print in the lobby