RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Since it’s getting close to Halloween, I wanted to post another candid shot from everyone’s favorite soap opera vampire Barnabas Collins, aka Jonathan Frid. Several years ago I was gifted a bunch of candid photos from Jonathan’s personal collection by his family. They gave me permission to share them with fans as I saw fit. Here’s a great one of Jonathan having drinks at home with family members. Oddly enough, what he’s drinking isn’t red!
Occasionally, the AM oldies station that I like to listen to here in LA will veer away from their usual boring, overplayed 50s and 60s playlist and get into some juicy 70s. They played “Space Oddity” by David Bowie and I almost wet myself! It sounded SO good! I wish they played MORE 70s!
Monday the 8th – ROOFER MADNESS! – As the seemingly never-ending roofing work continues on our complex, it sounded like they were going to come right through the roof! When will this madness end already!? I somehow managed to sleep until 2 (with some robust ear plugs) and I got up to meet my friend Gil who was bringing his girlfriend over for a tour of Planet Wallywood. But when I got up I saw an e-mail from him stating that they’d have to come another time due to a last-minute emergency. It was just as well, I guess. I had a pounding headache which seemed to be exacerbated by the constant drilling and hammering overhead. I laid down on the couch and slept into the evening. When I got up I wrote Wally’s Week, did my auditions, and listed some more eBay stuff that I’d like to sell to buyers before Halloween hits. I’ve got to downsize quite a bit, and fast. As my friend James says, “I’m STUFFocating!”
Tuesday the 9th – H2 TOO! – As the day began I tried to do some work around the house, but the continual roof noise made it very difficult. I’ll SURE be glad when this is over. And hopefully it won’t need to be done again in my lifetime! I went to the post office to mail off some eBay stuff, and then I came home to prep for my pal Scott Maguire’s visit on Thursday. We’ve been best pals for almost 40 years, and in the 31 years I’ve lived here he’s visited me exactly one time. He came out in 2005 for a radio convention, and since he was in town he made some time to come visit. I’ve been begging him to come out for years, and he finally agreed. The 40th anniversary of the movie “Halloween” (of which we are both huge fans) is this year, and there’s a convention this weekend commemorating the anniversary, as well as the new movie that is being released in mid-October. This is one not to be missed. So he and his wife Patty agreed to come visit from Thursday night to Monday morning; a short trip but I’m not complaining! In anticipation of the upcoming convention, I had my effects guy Jim Ojala whip up a new Halloween 2 mask from the mold we created a few years ago. The mask in “Halloween 2” was the same mask as the one worn in “Halloween,” but it was on an entirely different actor, with a completely different facial structure. So the rubber mask took on a whole, different look in the sequel. Add to the fact that the mask wasn’t very well cared for in the years between the first and second movies, and the mask took on a more weathered and dirty appearance for the second film; which added to the creepiness factor quite a bit. It’s my goal to get a picture between the two actors, each holding their respective masks. I had a version done similar to the look of the first film a few years ago. Jim brought the mask over and we started working on finessing the paint job; adding just the right amount of weathering, dirt, and paint rub. The original mask was a Captain Kirk mask from 1975, but it was painted over with white paint. Over the course of the two films the white paint started to rub off in places, so the flesh colored latex underneath started showing through. It all added to the charm of the mask. So all that needs to be replicated in any good replica mask. While he was over, he also did a few touch-ups on my new Robin mannequin. After Jim took off I started dressing the Robin mannequin and prepping him to be incorporated back into my Batman ’66 Batcave display. (Read more about the new figure in last week’s Wally’s Week!) As I was putting him into place, the Batarang that he was holding snapped. Great, more stuff to have to repair. Robin’s looking good though, and I really like the new pose. I worked around the house some more, listed some more eBay stuff, did my auditions, made some hot dogs and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi” from the season three DVD set. My little bird pal Hooky wasn’t perched on the hook on my patio tonight because when he came to rest for the night I had my blue patio lights on. He must’ve gotten scared of them and flew off. So since he wasn’t there I took the opportunity to fire up the grill and make hot dogs. (I think Hooky might be a bird called a Black Phoebe!)
Wednesday the 10th – TORINO TUNED! – My pal (and fellow Voice Actor) Clay came by in his Mustang to drive me to my mechanic’s so I could pick up my Gran Torino. It had been in the shop about a week getting a lot of stuff worked on. After I got my baby back we drove over to Lancers in Burbank to get lunch. Then I hit Hobby Lobby for some supplies, and I dropped by Milt and Edie’s to pick up the newly tailored Wonder Woman jacket for my pal Valerie. I stopped by the post office, went by Prints Charm’n to pick up some photos I had printed, and then met my pal Brittney Powell at my place so she could get a haircut. No, I wasn’t doing it. But my friend Sergio Lopez was coming by to add some hair to my Halloween 2 mask that night and he said he’d also trim Brittney’s hair while he was at it. He did amazing work on the mask’s hair (and Brittney’s!) and when he took off I recorded my nightly auditions. I worked around the house to prep for my pal Scott Maguire’s arrival the next evening; I cleaned the living room, boxed and hauled eBay stuff to the garage, cleaned the Chaney Room, and got the guest room ready. I was exhausted!
Thursday the 11th – LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WHILE YOU’RE BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS! – When I got up at noon I saw a text from Scott in Sioux Falls. My heart sank because I saw the time the text was sent, and at that time he and his wife should have been in the air. Something was wrong. He said his father-in-law had gotten very sick overnight and needed to be rushed to the hospital. They decided they would monitor his condition and assess their travel plans accordingly. They had even rescheduled their tickets to leave on Friday instead. But when it looked like his condition was more serious than they thought, I figured they wouldn’t be coming at all. I raced over to Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet with my pal Bridget Marquardt (most famous for her appearance on the show “The Girls Next Door”) for lunch. She has some fun merchandise ideas that we’re discussing. Then I hopped in the Torino and raced over to my oral surgeon’s office. The three months’ healing process was over, and he was going to see if I was ready to receive the implants yet or not. But when I got there the office lady said there was a problem with my insurance. The dental insurance company told her that as of July 1st I was “inactive.” WHAT?! I pay my premiums a year in advance, unlike many people who pay semi-annually. There was some sort of horrible error. I called them from the oral surgeon’s office and sure enough their records showed I wasn’t covered any longer. So I didn’t waste my oral surgeon’s time, or any more of my own, I told them I’d straighten it out and get back to them for a new appointment. I had planned on stopping at Weinerschnitzel and getting a banana split on the way home, but I wanted to race right home and get this settled. Stupid bureaucracy…it always makes me nuts! Sure enough, once I got my union on the phone, their records show I was definitely covered. They weren’t sure how the dental insurance company could have made the mistake. I still think it’s because I pay my premiums a year in advance instead of semi-annually. He said they would send over a special e-mail to the dental company to remind them I WAS insured, and by Monday it should all be settled. Good grief. I talked to Scott in Sioux Falls to see how the patient was doing, organized a few things for the weekend, and called my buddy Chris Malmin to see if he wanted to take the spare ticket to the Halloween convention this Saturday. I grabbed a nap, did my auditions when I got up, worked around the house, did some video editing, took Roxy out for our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, enjoyed a nice cigar while watching clear, starry skies (even saw a shooting star!) and then went to Denny’s to get some food to go. I came home and worked on the computer for a bit, then watched a few more episodes of “Taxi” from the third season DVD set and ate my dinner.
Friday the 12th – ARE WE SURE IT’S NOT FRIDAY THE 13th?! – I know the calendar SAYS it’s Friday the 12th, but I really had to look twice! I got some good sleep because it appears the roofers have moved on down the line to other units. When I got up around 4 my pal Edi had texted and said her family were all under the weather, and she couldn’t make our dinner plans for later. Everybody’s having bad luck this week!. My landscape lady was in town so she came over to advise me on some upgrades to the flower bed. Then I began working on assembling my collectibles for Saturday’s “Halloween:40” convention in Pasadena. I sprayed the hair on my H1 and H2 masks very well so they would travel easily and not get mussed. I found a waterproof bag for my two vintage H1 and H2 movie posters. While I did all this work, it was inspired by the ambience of thunder and lightning! Perfect conditions for working on Halloween stuff! And then it started to pour rain! I grabbed a short nap on the couch and listened to it rain outside. I slept like a baby! I got up later to do some final things, work around the house, and prep for the weekend. But it STILL felt more like Friday the 13th instead of the 12th!
Saturday the 13th – H:40! – Shortly after 10 I sprang from my bed and got ready to go. My pal Chris arrived at 11 as planned to pick me up for the short trip to Pasadena for the Halloween:40 convention. Once we were in, my first stop was at the table of Dick Warlock; who played Michael Myers in the second Halloween film. But just as I became second in line, he had to leave for an hour to go do a panel. ARGH! So I decided to get the other signatures I needed on my original Halloween and Halloween 2 vintage movie posters until he came back. The veterans of these shows know how to keep the line moving. But a lot of the people at this show had never done an autograph show before, and they were enjoying talking to the fans. This was nice, but it made the wait in line MUCH longer than it should have been. After all, there’s only a finite amount of time in the day, and there were other people I needed to get autographs from. Chris and I watched the time tick away as we stood in lines that really weren’t that long, but took forever. Another small complaint was that there seemed to be some price gouging at this show. Normally autographs are about 20 bucks, and I grabbed enough cash to make it through the day based on this cost and the amount of autographs I needed. But many of the actors were charging 30 or even 40 bucks per autograph! Some of the lines were just too darn long, so I passed on them altogether. I didn’t really want to be there all day, and I was running out of cash anyway. There is a TON of anxious anticipation for the new “Halloween” movie and there was a buzz in the air. It was magical! There were lots of cosplayers dressed as various characters in the films, and many different incarnations of Michaels! I got back in the Dick Warlock line and just as I was second to go, BOOM! He had to leave again for a photo op. Luckily this was only going to take about 20 minutes. I wasn’t able to arrange a pic with just the two Michaels I cared about (Nick Castle and Dick Warlock) so I’d have to settle for getting a signature from Dick on my new mask and a photo with him. While we waited for Dick to return I had a nice conversation with his wife Kat. When he returned he signed my mask and we got a couple of really great shots together! I bought a few t-shirts and then Chris and I headed off to South Pasadena to an art gallery called Sugarmynt to see a special “Halloween” art exhibit they had on display. Oddly enough, the art gallery is right next door to the original house they used as the Myers house in the first movie! As soon as Chris and I entered the South Pasadena neighborhood where much of the film was shot he recognized the locations right away! The backyard of the art gallery was set up to hold screenings of the original “Halloween” movie, and while you sat there you could see the back of the original Myers house in plain view! It was a great time seeing other “Halloween” fans milling about the area, taking lots of photos. There were even a few Michaels roaming around for photo ops! Chris dropped me back home and I had just a few minutes to change into my Laurel and Hardy bowling shirt and Sons of the Desert fez and get over to the Sons of the Desert meeting. I originally hadn’t planned on going because Scott was going to be in town, but since I had the evening free I figured I’d go over. I’m glad I did. They ran some very funny movies, and even had a discussion about the new movie called “Stan and Ollie” which would be coming out in early 2019. They took comments from the members after viewing the trailer, and while most were looking forward to seeing the movie, some were skeptical. I commented that, much like “Man on the Moon” generated new interest in the work of Andy Kaufman amongst a whole new generation of fans, I thought this movie would plant a seed to get people curious about the films of Laurel and Hardy who hadn’t heard of them before. Even though they only do Saturday night events once a year, I really look forward to them over the Tuesday night meetings. When I was 13 I would anxiously wait up to watch “Laurel and Hardy Theater” every Saturday night at 10:30 on KABY-TV in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I would read books about them and learn about a club called “Sons of the Desert.” It was my childhood dream to someday be a member of a tent and watch their films with other enthusiasts. And now this dream has come true. Our Saturday night SOTD meetings truly are remarkable to me! On the way home I got some groceries, and after putting them away in my kitchen I grabbed a nap. It had been a long, exhausting day! I got up and fed the pets, worked around the house all night, and then made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “SNL” from the second season DVD set. Bill Murray was really coming into his own at this point. He had already introduced his lounge singer act, and he was starting to get worked into Weekend Update regularly. I got to bed around noon on Sunday!
Sunday the 14th – SUPER, SLEEPY SUNDAY! – After a much-needed six hours of rest, I got up around 6pm to feed the pets. I had missed evening church, but I felt I really needed the rest. I worked all evening around the house, and settled some of the things from the weekend. I put stuff away, input the autographs I had gotten into my database, cleaned up, and then did my nightly auditions. I did a little video editing, made a Tombstone pizza and hit the hay. WHEW! Another fantastic, fun-filled week!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
This past weekend, people dressed as Michael Myers were so commonplace in South Pasadena (where much of the original film was shot) that the locals barely took notice of the fans who were there to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Halloween!” – as demonstrated by this