RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I just figured it was time for another random puppy and kitty picture!
The other day I recalled a Toto song we used to play on 94.7 The Wave back in 1987 called “Somewhere Tonight.” It still sounds just as amazing today, and I’ve been humming it all week!
Monday the 15th – AND WINDY HAS STORMY (AND WATERY) EYES! – Having made noble plans to walk to Voice Trax West for my 12:30 session, I sprang awake at 11:30 and took Roxy outside for a potty break. But the wind was so strong it made the task very difficult. The amount of dust and dirt that was blowing around was intolerable. By the time I would have made it to Voice Trax my eyes would have been swollen shut and my nose would be dripping. I’m not sure why it was so windy, but it provided an environment that was prohibitive for a nice walk. And as luck would have it, just as I was leaving for the gig in my car, the power went out. L.A.’s infrastructure is so ancient, that if the wind gets above 36 m.p.h. the power goes out. It’s very odd. I called the studio to tell them I’d be a little late, as I’d have to lift the garage door manually, and they said they lost their power too. Though by the time I got there it had been restored. The session went very well and was fun. Oddly enough, it was for a Texas power company! After the session I headed over to the Post Office to drop off a few eBay packages. Since I’ve been purging unneeded stuff on eBay, I’ve coined a new phrase, “People who don’t believe dinosaurs still exist have never been to the post office.” And boy is it true. I just don’t get how an archaic system like this can survive. Especially given that competing services such as UPS and Fed Ex are so much more efficient. If the government wasn’t helping the USPS along, and they actually had to subsist on their own merits, I truly believe that the Post Office would be out of business in a day. Completely antiquated! There aren’t enough employees, so the lines are always out the door. Their Flat Rate service is a good idea, but there is never a good supply of boxes. They seem to be always out! Bad for business. I can guarantee that if you walked into Fed Ex or UPS, THEY’D have plenty of boxes. After all, it’s all about revenue. And the Post Office doesn’t need to care about it much because they’ll always have big brother watching over them. I went to my mailbox to pick up some packages, got lunch at Burger King, and then headed to my pal Jim Ojala’s effects studio to have him split a head. Actually, I needed him to saw a Styrofoam head in half for a project I was doing. Now that I had the new Halloween 2 mask finished, I wanted to put it on the display bust I had in the Chaney Room. Years ago I had put acrylic eyes in the Styrofoam head for a life-like look with a different, smaller mask. But because this new mask was slightly bigger, the eyes didn’t align through the eyeholes in the mask. So I had to add an inch of space between the eyes to get them positioned correctly. After Jim split the head down the middle, he suggested putting the two halves back together using toothpicks, or popsicle sticks. That way I could leave enough room in the middle so the gap could be filled with spray foam filler. So I headed to the hardware store to get spray foam and a thin wooden rod to use as spacers. While I was there, the legendary comic Charles Fleischer was there entertaining the staff with improvisation in the aisles of the store. They said he does that every time he comes in. I saw Charlie perform at a comedy club back in the 90s and he was brilliant. He had no prepared material, and his act consisted entirely of improvising with the audience. It was amazing! Just as he left, Ed Begley Jr. walked in! It was celebrity day at the hardware store (the same hardware store where I had seen Steve Perry a few months ago!). I came home and started working on the head. Unfortunately the spray foam takes 24 hours to set completely, so it was a bit challenging to get the head aligned perfectly so that the acrylic eyes lined up with the eyeholes in the mask. Thankfully the wind had died down, but now there was junk everywhere! I came inside to relax, read some e-mails, do some video editing, type out Wally’s Week, and list some more eBay stuff. It makes me feel pretty good to be carrying out three or four boxes of stuff every day to mail out. Little by little, I’m going to get some space back in my house if it kills me! Some of the items only go for a few bucks, but I don’t care. They’re going to a good home, and their absence frees up much-needed space here!
Tuesday the 16th – AND HE COUGHED, MAN! – There are a lot of good ways to wake up, and a lot of bad ways. But the worst way to wake up is coughing! And that’s exactly what happened! I believe that all the junk and crap flying around from the previous day’s windstorm caused me to start hacking. It was very annoying. So I got up and addressed the issue as best as I could. I had to tackle more bureaucratic dental insurance madness with calls to Delta Dental and SAG. SAG showed I was covered for the entire year, but Delta only showed I was covered up to September 30, 2018. At least this was an improvement, since a week ago Delta said my coverage expired on June 30, 2018. So I had gotten another three months out of them, but they were still not in possession of the complete, factual information. So I had to adamantly insist that SAG’s liaison to Delta Dental call me personally so we could straighten this out. For some reason Delta was getting incomplete information. The liaison did call me, and assured me that it was all straightened out. I asked him for the cause for the erroneous information, but he didn’t know. Great. I expect this type of miscommunication to happen again someday, as there’s no way to ascertain its origin. There’s absolutely no explanation as to why the insurance company wasn’t getting accurate information from the guild. Like I said, bureaucracy. I packed up some more eBay stuff, and then sped off to Goodwill in my Torino to drop off some donated clothes and items. I went to the post office to drop off the eBay packages, and then stopped over my mechanic’s shop to have the timing of my Gran Torino addressed. When my car was in the shop last week they adjusted the timing, but the adjustment caused my car to hesitate when starting up. But they fixed the problem quickly and I was on my way to the car wash to get her washed and waxed. I got home and put the Torino to bed in my auxiliary garage, and got my Mustang back out. I believe that the previous day’s windstorm not only caused my morning coughing spell, but also walloped me with a killer headache. So when I got home I napped. I got up later to do my nightly auditions, and did some more work on my Halloween 2 mask. It’s coming along very nicely! I did some more video editing, made some spaghetti and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi” from the season three DVD set. Though there have been some good third season episodes, many of the shows seem to be “off” a bit, compared to the previous seasons.
Wednesday the 17th – PIP PIP AND CHEERIO! – It felt really good to be able to sleep all afternoon. I got up to do some work around the house, did some more video editing, and then headed down to Hugo’s in West Hollywood to meet my friend Valerie Perez for dinner. She’s heading to the U.K. soon for a convention, so this would be my last chance to see her before she leaves the country for a few weeks. When I got home I looked up show times for the new “Halloween” movie, which was opening on Thursday evening. I grabbed a short nap, did my auditions, packed up some more eBay stuff, and hit the hay so I could be up early for a lunch meeting.
Thursday the 18th – RE-BOOOOOO-TED! – There was some banging around on the roof, and it sounded like the roofers were finishing up their work. Could it be the LAST day of roofing madness?! Could the nightmare at last be over?! I met my pal Joe Garner for lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli at 1 so we could discuss projects, and he gave me a copy of his new book “It’s Saturday Morning!” It’s a colorful new hardcover coffee table book about Saturday morning cartoons through the decades. It’s an amazing feat! After lunch I went home to get organized, and then I headed to Bang Zoom studios in Burbank. It was time to resume another year of sessions for the digital assistant project I’ve been working on since 2015. My buddy Scott Maguire in Sioux Falls (another hardcore fan of the “Halloween” movie franchise) would be seeing the new film that evening, and since he was in the Central time zone he had already seen it by 7:20pm my time. When my session ended at 7:30 I called him to get his reaction. Without giving too much away, we discussed it in a spoiler-free conversation. I went home and grabbed a short nap, and then got up around 10 to head to the theater. I was very excited to see this, as the trailers looked terrific. The buzz at the recent “Halloween” convention was very good. At 11:30pm I got to the theater, got a hot dog, popcorn, Diet Coke and some Red Vines. By 1:30 I was heading home. I won’t say much about it, other than I believe that the franchise should have stopped after “Halloween 2,” as I still regard the original “Halloween” and “Halloween 2” as the only official canon in my world. As I told Scott on the phone the next day, “Halloween 1 and Halloween 2 are tied for first place. All the other films are tied for last place.”
Friday the 19th – EVERYTHING FALLS…APART! – It seems that everything is breaking down all at the same time in my life. The hot water faucet in my bathroom sink is leaking, and the drain is clogged. The interior trim on the driver’s side door in my Mustang is loose. It’s the piece that holds the switches for the power locks, power windows and side view mirror control. As a result the switches are sinking down into the panel, as the pins that hold them into place have broken off. But one thing at a time. First I had a plumber come over to unclog the drain. He looked at the faucet and said the stems were bad and needed to be replaced. But it was too late in the day to find the parts, so he’d have to return on Monday to finish the job. The maids were over cleaning up Planet Wallywood, and when they left I called my “adopted grandma” Shirley to see if she wanted to get dinner. I picked up her up at 6, and then stopped by the Ford dealer to have them look at my side panel. They looked up the part but said it had become obsolete, due to the age of the car. But there is still plenty of good aftermarket parts out there which will suffice nicely. I’ll just have to have my pals at the Burbank Auto Doctor do the work, since Ford mechanics only deal with genuine Ford parts. I’m sure there are tons of options on eBay. Shirley and I went to Smokehouse and had a delightful meal, and then I came home to nap after dropping her back at her home. I got up later to do work around the house, and I made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and watched a few more “Taxi” episodes. Saturday was going to be a BIG day!
Saturday the 20th – FEMBOTS, FRIENDS, FRIGHTS, FOOD, FUN! – My pal Mark dropped by at 3 so we could head into Beverly Hills to visit the Paley Center. They had several items on display from the forthcoming Profiles In History auction which will be happening in December. One of the items on exhibit was my “Smoking Jubblies” Fembot from the first Austin Powers movie. I didn’t have much use for her at Planet Wallywood anymore, so she’s being auctioned off to find a better home. I’ve replaced her with a mannequin wearing one of Donny Osmond’s original stage costumes. It was fun to walk in and see my Fembot there amongst the other items. Then we drove back to my house so I could feed the pets, walk Roxy, and get ready for an evening back at Warner Brothers’ Horror Made Here Halloween carnival. We started with dinner on the patio at Paty’s. It was a gorgeous evening and as the sun began to set it cooled off considerably. Then it was off to Warner Brothers to meet up with our pal James. It was a fun time at Horror Made Here, and it seemed like they had upped their game considerably since opening night. There were more actors in the mazes, more activity, and more scares. We had a great time, and thankfully we bought the VIP passes which allowed us front-of-the-line access to all the attractions. Some of the wait times were 2 hours + without the VIP passes! I honestly can’t imagine waiting over 2 hours to get into an attraction! But for the younger folks, I’m sure it’s no big deal; just part of the fun! I came home and was pretty beat. I napped a bit on the couch, then got up to feed the pets, walk Roxy and then hit the hay!
Sunday the 21st – MEMORYYYYYYY! – Right at 1 my computer guy Brian came over to work on my system. He put more memory in my computer, and increase the storage to 12TB! It’s hard to believe, but I had filled up the 2 TB worth of storage in my system and was out of space! I had found out that my contractor Electric Bob had passed away from liver cancer back in May of this year. It was especially upsetting, because my computer guy Brian is the son of my other contractor Terry Crisp who passed away a few years ago. When Brian finished up I skedaddled over to evening church with Roxy. I hadn’t been able to go the past few weeks because I was busy, so it was nice to be there again. Roxy and I walked home in the dark, as it’s getting darker earlier now. I LOVE it! And when that annoying Daylight Saving Time ends in a few weeks, it’ll get darker even earlier. I LOVE this time of year! After a short nap, I got up to do some work around the house, I made my Saturday Night Super Salad (on Sunday night, because I was too tired on Saturday) and watched an old episode of “SNL” from the second season.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Some of the highlights from Warner’s Horror Made Here Halloween carnival!