RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Having just put up my new Creature From the Black Lagoon display in Planet Wallywood, I started researching photos from the film’s production. I found this great shot of Ben Chapman as the Creature along with Julie Adams. CLASSIC!
I might have heard it in passing somewhere, but all week I’ve had Chicago’s “Call On Me” on my mind. What a great song! Imagine me cruising down the street in my 1974 Gran Torino on a sunny warm day with this song cranking on my stereo!
Monday the 20th – BOB, ROBIN & SHOPPIN’! – Right around noon my assistant Sara came over to hang out while my contractor Electric Bob came over to continue his work on my kitchen ceiling. It needed to be resurfaced after a few small leaks from the upstairs showers dripped down into the drywall making it…well…wetwall. I had lots to do so I took off to start the day. I drove to my seamstress Karyn’s to pick up a new outfit for Gonzo she made (an awesome chicken print bowling shirt and a pair of maroon cargo shorts) and a pair of awesome pajamas she made for me out of aqua colored, retro-looking MOVIE NIGHT flannel fabric. I dropped off one of my Robin capes for her to shorten by about 5” for the upcoming museum exhibit. The length of the Robin cape on the “Batman” TV series varied, depending on where Burt Ward was in his growth spurt. I have always preferred a longer cape, almost to the knees. But I’m having her cut it to mid-thigh for the exhibit to more closely match the original Robin costume that will be on display there as well. I headed up the 5 freeway to Plastic Depot in Burbank to pick up my newly re-designed “Muppet cages.” They used to be Muppet cases, but I got tired of having to pick them up and remove the cover every time I wanted to remove them to show people. The cases were darned heavy! So I had Kyle cut a little door in each of them and they turned out great! On the way over to Studiopolis to do a quick session for “Terraformars,” I saw my old boss Jay Leno driving one of his old vehicles on San Fernando Road. I wasn’t close enough to him to yell out and say hi, but it sure was good to see him again; even if it was from a distance. As I was pulling into the Studiopolis parking lot I walked across the street to see the Christmas House. It’s the house in Burbank I like to visit every year that has a music program broadcast on a small FM station from inside the house, and the lights on the outside of the house are computer synchronized to the music. I noticed that everything was set up and ready to go, and then I saw Alan the owner. He had his laptop in his hand and was working out a few bugs. I got to talk to him for a while and tell him thank you again for doing this. I really enjoy the tradition of driving by The Christmas House every year. When I finished the session I drove over to It’s a Wrap to find Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson wardrobe for the museum exhibit. Not only did I find exactly what I was looking for, but I costumed them both for about a hundred bucks! That included a blazer, shirt with French cuffs, slacks, and shoes for Bruce, and a long-sleeved sweater, shirt, slacks and shoes for Dick! You gotta love those pre-Holiday sales! I drove home to feed the pets and check e-mails. Then I grabbed a short nap, got up to do my auditions, fed and walked Roxy and typed out Wally’s Week. I set about writing some more stuff for the upcoming Batman ’66 museum exhibit, made some sloppy joes and watched 2 more episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie” from the second season DVD set.
Tuesday the 21st – TONSIL TROUBLE! – I didn’t sleep very well, but I had to get up at noon again to let Electric Bob in to continue working on the kitchen ceiling. The “mud” was cured, so now it was time to start painting. The TV guys came over to install my brand new TV, as the old one was about 12 years old and was starting to give me problems. It would go into an on/off cycle; turning off and then on again, and then repeating until I wanted to pull an “Elvis” and put a bullet through it. While everyone worked away, I completed another conceptual sketch for the museum exhibit. When everyone left at 3:30 I got ready and headed to my ENT Dr. Jill to see what was wrong with my tonsil. It felt like I had a popcorn kernel stuck in it, and it hurt. I started to have vision problems in my left eye, so I knew something was definitely wrong. But when I got there she said my tonsil looked OK. She said the vision issue may have been a small migraine headache. I’ve never had migraines before, but I got to thinking that I hadn’t eaten anything in quite a while, so that may be it. She said my ears looked good and my sinuses looked great! Aside from a little bit of inflammation from allergies, the surgery from last May has healed perfectly! I got back home and got the Torino out. I fed the pets and took a nap. My pal Brittney Powell came over to go to dinner at the Smokehouse, but I wasn’t feeling very well. Luckily Sara was there with us so they could chat while I zoned out over my food. In retrospect I really do think I had some sort of small viral infection. The pain in my tonsil had slid down into the left corner of my mouth. I drove home and napped some more. Then I got up later and did a ton of auditions and got ready for the Thanksgiving break. I made some spaghetti and watched another few episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.” Not only was Barbara Eden smoking hot, but she was a great comedic actress. That’s a very rare combination!
Wednesday the 22nd – BOB BACK! – At noon Electric Bob came back for final touch-ups to the kitchen ceiling. He did a few other things around the house that needed done as well. I did more work on museum stuff and did an audition. It was a pretty hot day, which actually felt pretty good. I think the temp hit 98! Pretty sweet for the day before Thanksgiving! I was feeling a little better, so I set about doing some work around the house. Years ago I had been given three wireless LED spotlights but had forgotten all about them until I was rummaging around in my cabinet in the Chaney Room. I figured now would be a good time to install them. And I had the perfect idea. Since there were three of those, and three 1:1 Muppet replicas in my room, I would assign one light to each Muppet to highlight them with proper lighting when I was showing them off. I drilled the screws into the ceiling, focused the lights, aligned the sensors for the remote, and gave it a shot. It looked amazing! When the sun went down it cooled down considerably. I napped in bed to catch up on some sleep. Later I got up to put in a full night of work around Planet Wallywood to get ready for Thanksgiving. I cleaned the house, washed clothes and dishes, and worked out some lighting issues I was having with one of my display cases. I figured out how to plug in my Atomic Clock so it would be constantly lit. Then I went into the kitchen to put everything back now that the ceiling was fixed. I have about 80 Soakys (toys from the 60’s in the shape of popular cartoon characters that contained bubble bath) lining the top of my kitchen wall. Of course those had to be all removed so Bob could do his work. Not only were they in his way, but I didn’t want them getting accidentally damaged during the ceiling resurfacing. I have them all in a particular order, so I printed the list I keep with the order on it, and set about putting them back. After cleaning the shelves they sit on meticulously, I started with the first one; Bugs Bunny. I have all the Warner characters together, and then I have all the Hanna-Barbera characters together, super-heroes, monsters, etc. etc. Since the bottles no longer have bubble bath in them they’re very light. In order to keep them from getting knocked over by a stiff breeze or a slight bump, I filled them with craft sand to give them some weight. I got halfway through with replacing them in their proper places on the shelf, but when I picked up Magilla Gorilla his hand snapped off in my hand! It was very brittle! I looked more closely at the bottle and noticed there were cracks everywhere on it! I gave it a little squeeze to see if I could detect any others and CRACK! The entire bottle shattered in my hand like it was made of thin ice! The plastic had become brittle over the past 50 years. Maybe that particular run of Soakys had a bad batch of plastic, as none of my others had become brittle like that. Not only was I now looking at a rare toy in a thousand pieces in my hand, I had a floor FULL of craft sand! So I stopped what I was doing, got the broom and dust pan and cleaned it up before I could continue. That set me back quite a few minutes! I finished setting up the remaining 79 Soakys and moved on to the Chaney Room. I installed some clothing hooks over the molding above the closet doors. This would allow me to hang some clothes on them while I was in the closet pulling out costumes. I cut a blue gel to cover up the face of my Atomic Clock so it’s not so bright (besides I like a blue hue), and made some hot dogs on the grill. I settled in to watch a 2-part “I Dream of Jeannie” adventure. As I was walking Roxy just before we hit the hay around 6am, I walked out to my street to watch people’s cars being towed. A Thanksgiving “Turkey Trot” 5k race would be coming right down my street. And they were busy towing cars away to clear the way. This seems like it’s all kinds of wrong. Our taxes pay for us to use those streets, and they’re able to just arbitrarily tow cars away for some stupid 5k? I know they post signs well in advance, but what about those people who are out of town and aren’t there to move it in time? I’m questioning the logic of doing such things in the interest of charity 5k races. Can’t they find somewhere else to hold them? I did some work and got to bed around 11am Thanksgiving morning.
Thursday the 23rd – HAPPY THANKSGIVING! – Right around 4:15 I woke up, showered and headed to the Sportsmen’s Lodge Thanksgiving Buffet in my Gran Torino with my friends Scott and Vickie Sebring. There we met up with another 8 of my friends and we had a great feast. At first the food was cold and I mentioned it to the staff. Apparently it was so late in the day, the little burners underneath the metal serving trays had gone out. But once they reignited them with new burners, we went back and got good hot food. After dinner it was back to my place to watch a few episodes of “The Outer Limits” I wanted everyone to see. When everyone left I grabbed a nap, and then stayed up all night doing work around the house. Just before bed I made some lasagna and watched a few “I Dream of Jeannie” episodes.
Friday the 24th – BLECCH FRIDAY! – I took the opportunity to relax and rest all day. The last thing I wanted to do was to fight the Black Friday mess. I did some writing for the museum, worked around the house, and got ready to help Jim Ojala set up my new Creature From the Black Lagoon display on the wall right over my front door. I bought something called a Creature Grave Walker, which is the head, shoulders and arms of a classic Universal monster. The idea is you put them on your lawn for Halloween and it looks like they’re coming out of the ground to get you. But I figured it would look just as good reaching out over my doorway. Plus I had Jim create a watery background that made it look like the Creature was reaching through a water time portal! He created it using resin, Saran wrap and a blow-dryer! Darn clever! He climbed the ladder and attached it to the wall with screws and wall anchors. The screws holding it up are all cleverly hidden on the exhibit. It looked darn cool, especially after Jim gave it a custom paint-job. The paint job it came with from the factory was awful. Then I brought up the big ladder so I could hang a green “water ripple” light. This light would shine on the Creature making it look like light reflecting off of water. I hung it, focused it, and tacked up the electrical cords. But then I got really hungry. I hopped in the Torino to head to Denny’s to get some food to go, but the battery was dead! It’s strange because the cut-off switch I have installed in the Torino only sends power to the alarm and the dome light. And the alarm wasn’t even set! I reached down and grabbed the dome light knob and it seems like it had been turned on somehow. But even still, leaving a dome light on for a day wasn’t going to drain an entire battery; especially the awesome Optima battery I had installed in the Torino. So I walked over to the auxiliary garage, got my Mustang out and headed to Denny’s. I parked my Mustang in Guest Parking next to my house so it would be handy the next day when I used it to jump my Torino. But since it was late at night I didn’t want to do it then. It was Denny’s and “Jeannie” before bed.
Saturday the 25th – BURGERS, BOB’S, & BATTERIES! – At noon I got up to walk Roxy, and then I went to my neighbor’s house to walk their greyhound named Abby. Abby’s mom was overseas visiting her daughter for Thanksgiving, and this was the one day her house-sitter was unable to care for Abby. But I love Abby so it was my pleasure. I cleaned up and then went down to the garage to try and start my Torino with a jump starter I had. Though it was fully charged, the voltage wasn’t strong in it to crank the Torino’s engine. I pulled the Mustang around, and not even that worked. So I took the Mustang over to Bob’s Big Boy to have burgers with my friends Caroline, Isabel and Emma. I stopped at my box on the way home to get my packages, and then headed home. At 4:30 I went back to Abby’s house to feed her dinner and walk her. Then I called AAA to get battery service. I was having déjà vu, since this exact same thing happened to my Mustang about a month ago. The technician arrived and tested my Optima battery, and to confirm my suspicions, the battery had gone bad. So I bought a brand new battery, had him install it and I was good to go. I fed Roxy and Spook and then drove over to get some groceries and supplies for movie night. I got back home, unloaded the groceries, and set up for movie night. We watched the sequel to “They Call Me Trinity” called “Trinity is Still My Name.” They’re a couple of comedy westerns from Italy that were released in the early 70’s. After my guests left I grabbed a short nap on the couch, and then got up to work all night completing some writing for the museum project. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched an episode of the old “Saturday Night Live” when Richard Pryor hosted. It was the episode that had the famous “job interview” sketch. Classic! It’s too bad we can’t laugh at stuff like that anymore. I did some more writing and hit the hay around noon on Sunday.
Sunday the 26th – SLOTHFUL SUNDAY! – My eyes opened around 6pm and I realized I had missed evening church. Based on how I had been feeling the past few days maybe it was best that I just rest and relax. I got up to feed the pets and walk Roxy, and then came back inside and fell asleep on the couch until midnight. I had slept almost 12 hours! That’s pretty rare for me. But it felt good, and apparently my body needed it. I recorded a bunch of auditions, worked on stuff around the house, and prepped for a brand new week!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Here’s how Jim Ojala’s Creature piece looks with the lighting installed. Pretty darned creepy!