RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
While researching facts for my upcoming radio show in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota over Labor Day weekend, I ran across an Aberdeen appreciation Facebook page. I was shocked when I saw THIS post! Yes, I did in fact DJ dances when I was about 15 at the local YMCA. I had one record player, a menial record collection, and one microphone I had borrowed. I connected an electric guitar cord from the headphone jack of my record player into the guitar amp. In the amp’s second channel I plugged my microphone in. I used a small lamp to see so I could put the needle on the record, (it was very dark in the YMCA gym) and obviously there was a gap between songs so I could change to the next record. But the kids didn’t seem to care; they got to snuggle with members of the opposite sex and I got to play DJ. Plus, I made 50 bucks…which seemed like a FORTUNE back then!! But the year was around 1975/76. I’m glad somebody else remembered those dances!
The countdown is on for the upcoming trip to see ELO with my buddies! I’m sure that every week leading up to that I’ll have one of ELO’s songs stuck in my head. But as of right now, “Evil Woman” is coursing through my brain!
Monday the 24th – ALL CLEAR FOR 3! – I just dove right in to a new week which promised to be very busy. And it started with a super busy day. I got up at 1 and checked my voicemails. My internist called and left a message that all of the biopsies from last week’s colonoscopy and endoscopy came back completely clear. “Nothing to worry about,” he said, “and I’ll see you in 3 years.” Deal! It’s important to stay ahead of this, particularly if you’re like me and this sort of cancer runs in your family. If you’re over 50 and haven’t had one, GET ONE! If you’re over 40 and it runs in your family, GET ONE! I can’t emphasize that enough. I drove down to Guns Direct and picked up two handguns I bought from a friend of mine. One was a Springfield .45 model 1911 (really beautiful) and the second one was another Walther PPK (the James Bond gun). This makes about 5 Walther PPKs in my collection now. Since they’re no longer being sold new in the state of California, I like to get one whenever I can. I need to get back to the range one of these days and retrain my eye on the targets. I’ll add it to the list of things to do. At one point several years ago I was a pretty good shot. Not sure if I’ve lost that ability over the years or not. I grabbed a quick lunch at the Taco Bell drive-thru, and then headed to Bang Zoom studios for the final session of the year for the digital assistant job I’ve been working on for the past few years. I got home and fed the pets, did some work, chatted on the phone, and then sat down on the computer to make my plane, car and hotel reservations for my trip to the Midwest to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO (this will be my third time) later on in July! The reason I’m flying all that way, when I could have seen them in Anaheim a few weeks ago, is that my pal Officer Mark and I are flying into Sioux Falls, picking up a friend I’ve known for 40 years, and then “road-tripping” it from there. It’s a “dudes only” trip, so it should be some raucous, rambunctious fun. Once we get to the venue, a pal I’ve known since little league baseball will be driving in from Rochester to join us. CAN’T WAIT!! Then I did my auditions, wrote Wally’s Week, and hit the hay.
Tuesday the 25th – THE ROXY TROTS! – Right around 10:30am I woke up, cleaned up, and walked Roxy over to the groomer’s for a much-needed bath. Then I walked over to Voice Trax West for a quick session for Direct Energy; a Texas power company. They’ve been a regular client now for a few years and I love doing their commercials. After the session I went next door to Chin Chin and got some fried rice to go for lunch, met with a guy at a carpet guy downstairs from Voice Trax West, went to the vitamin store to get some supplements, bought a cigar at the cigar store, and then headed home. No sooner did I get home than I got a call from the groomer’s telling me that Roxy had diarrhea and I needed to come get her right away. Apparently they had her all bathed and dried, and BAM! I’m not sure if she’s had too many rich treats, or if she got into the cat food, but she had it bad. I walked over to get her, apologized to them for the inconvenience, and sure enough, on the way home, BAM! It happened again. YIKES! Not just diarrhea, but PROJECTILE diarrhea! I got her home, hosed her off, and brought her upstairs to the vanity area of my bathroom with the marble floors. I shut her in there with a big bowl of water, and let her rest for a while. I had 2 anti-diarrhea pills from the vet left, so I gave her one and hoped for the best. The carpet guy came by to check out the required square footage of new carpet I’d be buying soon. I did some work, and come dinner time, I only gave Roxy hard kibble; no chicken. I did my nightly auditions and then talked to my computer guy Brian about getting a new DVD burning program on my computer. The one I had for a long time was no longer functional, as I don’t think it’s compatible with the computer upgrades I did a few years ago. I wanted to burn a DVD copy of the videos we made for my folks’ 60’s anniversary party. Once I got the program bought and loaded, I burned a copy of the videos to send to my folks. I grabbed a short nap and then got up later to work around the house. I was cravin’ hot dogs on the grill, but I couldn’t use the grill on my patio. My little bird friend “Hooky” (named because he perches overnight on a hook I have screwed into the fascia board on my patio) had returned to spend a few nights snoozing on my patio. He left around March and I hadn’t seen him in a while. But he’s back. And if I go out on my patio and start up the grill, he might get scared off, since the hook upon which he sleeps is almost directly above my grill. So I made a pot pie instead and went to bed to watch two more “Taxi” episodes from the fifth and final season DVD set. I saw one called “Alex’s Old Buddy,” and I figured it was about an old college pal of Alex’s who came back to say hi. I was waiting for any number of classic 70s/80s character actors to make an appearance and be very funny. But no. It ended up being the saddest “Taxi” episode I’ve ever seen. Buddy was Alex’s dog whom he raised from a puppy. He had been with Alex’s sister enjoying a big backyard, but since Buddy was now elderly, he was going to live out his final days with Alex. And it just gets sadder from there. When Alex sits down in the garage and slowly pulls out buddy’s collar and leash from his pocket and breaks down sobbing at the end (spoiler alert) I couldn’t take any more. Particularly since it was about 8 years ago to the day that I had to put my first collie Sassie down because of her neurological mylopathy. I hugged my collie Roxy a little tighter, and went to sleep feeling very sad. DAMN that well-written, well-acted TV show!
Wednesday the 26th – FABRIC FUN! – The carpet guy called with my installation date to have new carpet put in my downstairs living room/home theatre, and the second floor/showcase area. VERY exciting! The carpet I have now is the same carpet that came with the house when I bought it back in 2000, and God knows how long the carpet had been in here before then. But with the incredible amount of traffic I get at my house, it was long past the time to retire it. The problem is, moving everything around in Planet Wallywood is going to be a huge chore. But well worth it. I did a little work on the computer, checked and sent some e-mails, and then picked up my friend Sara for lunch at El Pollo Loco. We went to JoAnn’s fabrics to pick up some new fabric for some prototypes I’ll be making in conjunction with my children’s book project (which I’ve been working on for a while now), and I got some great material for a new bowling shirt I’m going to have made. Then we hit Staples to pick up some supplies for the home office, and then I headed home to put the stuff away. I fed the pets, did some work on the computer, organized my nightly auditions, grabbed a short nap, and then got up to record my auditions. Since I hadn’t gone to Denny’s in a long time to get my usual salad and buffalo chicken strips, I figured it was about time. I got my meal and then came home to watch a two part “Taxi” episode called “A Taxi Celebration.” It was a “best scenes from” 2-part episode that aired just before they were canceled. But the episodes looked blurry. I figured out why at the end, when I saw a “videotape edited by” credit. Normally the show was shot on film, but for the retrospective, it was all done on videotape for ease of editing. Despite the fact that it’s the last season of “Taxi,” there are some pretty good episodes in there.
Thursday the 27th – MONSTER PARTY PLEASURE! – I took the liberty of sleeping in until 2, and when I got up I did some work around the house. But buddies Matt, Shawn, Larry and James (the hosts of the podcast “Monster Party”) contacted me the night before to see if I would come be their guest on another episode of their podcast. It’ll be my third appearance, and it’s always a great time. I’ll post the info when the podcast is released to the public. It was a blast hanging out with the guys, as always, and my pal Sara Raftery even came along. She worked several weeks on the new “Annabelle Comes Home” movie, and she’s even on the movie poster! So they interviewed her about that too. I got home after the recording session, did some work, did my auditions, and napped on the couch. I got up to feed the pets, but plopped right back down on The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe again, and slept a few more hours. As the sun was coming up, I went to bed.
Friday the 28th – HOOKY DOGS! – The maids arrived shortly after noon, so when I got up at noon to let them in I was still pretty tired. But after they finished up I got cleaned up, went out to gas up the Mustang (gas prices will rise in California as of July 1st due to…guess what…a new tax!), I stopped by McDonalds to get some lunch, and then went to my box to pick up my packages. I got some groceries for the weekend, and when I got home I listened to the mixes I just received of a few of the new kid’s stories I just wrote and recorded. I can’t wait to tell you more about these. I’m VERY excited about how they’re being received so far! I took a short nap, and then got up later to do something I’d been dreading for a long time…bookkeeping! UGH! Luckily everything worked out perfectly, with no stress at all. So, to celebrate, I took Roxy out for our late-night stroll through the neighborhood and enjoyed a nice cigar. It was soft and moist, and it had lit very well. I had a good, robust cherry burning on it. It was fresh and very enjoyable! But when I came back inside I noticed that Hooky was on my patio again snoozing on the hook. Once again, no hot dogs. But I recalled a small grate that I had taken off a miniature grill I had several years ago that rusted out. While the body of the grill itself was rusted and unusable, the grill grate itself was still really good. I jerry-rigged a way to grill hot dogs on my stove over the open flame. It worked GREAT! Then I went upstairs to bed to enjoy 2 more “Taxi” episodes.
Saturday the 29th – PRODUCTIVE SATURDAY! – When I got up at 1 my contractor Handy Don was waiting for me at my front door. We had a lot to do today. He was replacing a toilet seat in the Puppet Room bathroom. The “Smart Seat” I had in there had stopped working, so I bought a replacement and he installed it. He did some more electrical stuff that needed to be done. Then he put another coat of “mud” on the ceiling of my vanity area. When the association redid our roofs last September, I asked them to build over the annoying and useless skylight in my vanity area. The lady I bought the house from in 2000 didn’t like it either, as she had it covered over with tin foil and a blackout curtain. I figured since they were up on the roof resurfacing everything, I’d just have them build over it. Then a few months ago, Handy Don filled in the aperture with studs and drywall. He put one coat of mud on it to blend it, and it needs one more coat and some texturing. Then it’ll be ready to paint. He also installed new lighting fixtures over my CD rack in my living room. The lights that my old pal Terry installed back in 2000 when I moved in were the little halogen bookcase lights. But the bulbs would burn out, and they were very hard to replace. 2 of the 4 fixtures had burned out bulbs, so I asked Handy Don to take all of the fixtures out, throw them away, and install new, cooler LED fixtures. While checking my supply of lighting things in my lighting cabinet, I realized that I had 9 unused halogen-powered fixtures that I had bought back when I moved in. I figured if the fixtures stopped working, or if I wanted to add other lighting, it would be a good idea to have them on hand. But now that LED lighting is all the rage, I’m not really sure these old halogen lights are even useful any more. Even though they’re brand new, I think I may have to throw them out. Who’s going to want these hot, old lights…when you can buy new, cool LED lights that will do the same thing? Maybe I’ll put them on eBay and see if anyone wants them. Just as Handy Don was finishing up, people started showing up for movie night. But Don and I had been working all day so I was in desperate need of a shower! The 1980 “classic” ‘Can’t Stop the Music’ had just been released on Blu Ray. It was produced by the same guy who produced “Grease,” but this movie is far from “Grease.” In fact, this is probably one of the worst movies ever made, and we were delighted by it. I think the word is “craptastic.” It stars The Village People, Valerie Perrine and Bruce (yes BRUCE) Jenner. Hooo boy was this thing a turkey! But it was a laugh riot. After movie night a few of my guests stayed around to help me out with a birthday video for my pal Dr. Doom’s young daughter’s birthday party. She loves Rowlf the Dog, so I got my Rowlf puppet out and we did a little video greeting. My pal Officer Mark shot the video, and my pal Scott’s wife Vickie (herself a very good puppeteer) did Rowlf’s right hand. We did 3 takes, but the first take was still the best, I felt. Mark sent it over to me and I edited it a bit and sent it to Dr. Doom. His 4 year old daughter is going to LOVE it! I fed the pets, grabbed a short nap on the couch, and then got up to make my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watch a great fourth season episode of “SNL” with Rick Nelson as the host.
Sunday the 30th –SUNDAY DOGS! – Even though I got up in plenty of time to make evening church, I was really late getting there. I walked Roxy over for the service, but walking Roxy is like driving the Gran Torino around. I always know that it’s going to take me a little bit longer to get where I’m going because people are going to want to stop me and talk about them. Sure enough I met a great little doggie named Brandy (indirectly named after my pal Elliot Lurie’s song, I’m sure) who was rescued from the Chinese dog meat farms. She was a little shy, but I’d be too if I was this close to becoming a sandwich for somebody who doesn’t know how to enjoy a good hamburger! We finally got to church and met up with my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley, and after the service we enjoyed the gorgeous night and walked back to my house. We got in the Mustang and drove to Paty’s to enjoy a nice dinner on the patio. We met a Doberman named Cody, and his puppy pal Serenity; a young German shepherd. They were great dogs! After dinner I drove by McDonald’s to get us a couple of ice cream cones, and then I dropped Shirley back at her place. I went home and grabbed a nap on the couch. I got up just long enough to feed the pets, and then plopped right back down on the couch and slept some more. I got up at 6am with the sun beaming through my door, and some work, and then went to bed to rest up before my 2pm session.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK