Archive for January, 2010

January 31 – February 7 (2010)


Because L.A. got dumped on again with a ton of rain, this song had been running through my mind all week. But actually, it’s not a song about a literal rainfall at all, but rather an attempt to have the love of another rain down upon him. Great song, and Eric Clapton has always been one of my favorites!

Sunday the 31st – EPILOGUE! – Though I had finished writing Wally’s Week and sent it off to my webmaster Scott mid Sunday evening, later that night I had one of the worst nights of my life. It was like I had been drugged or something. Very strange night! My friend Sara came over to my house after church to hang out for awhile before she left around 8:30 to go to a Grammy party. I told her that I was having deja vu. But the deja vu continued for about 5 minutes, which is unlike any deja vu I’ve ever had before. After she left I wandered around the house like I was lost. I couldn’t keep my mental focus though I knew I had stuff to do. I did my auditions and sent them to my agent, but then wandered around the house some more. In fact, details of what exactly I did that night still are sketchy. I remember looking in the sink and seeing a plastic knife and wondering why that was there. Even though I routinely use that plastic knife to dish out my cat’s food from the can. For some reason I was having difficulty remembering certain things. Then I went upstairs and got ready to go to bed. I didn’t know if I should take any medication or not, and I didn’t feel sick. I thought I might be having a stroke but I did all the things you’re supposed to do during a stroke…smile, say the alphabet, etc. and it was all fine. It was like I was moving around the house in a dream state, half in reality, half in dreamland. It was very weird and nothing like I ever want to experience again. I was wondering if I was coming down with food poisoning, but the only think I had eaten was some McDonald’s earlier and a Twinkie at church. I just couldn’t clear my head. It’s this very same reason why I don’t drink or do drugs…I HATE THIS FEELING! It wasn’t the same “foggy” feeling I remembered feeling the half dozen times I smoked pot back in the early 80’s. I could focus on tasks if I absolutely needed to, but for the most part my mind would wander very easily. Even more than usual. I’ve never been drunk, but I was imagining that this is what it would be like. Remind me to never touch booze! I finally decided I was going to settle down and go to sleep, since I had an early session the next day. I tried to make myself throw up thinking that it might be food poisoning, but no luck. I was feeling only semi-nauseous, so I curled up in bed after taking some Alka-Seltzer and slept. It was 12:30, some 4 hours after the whole thing started turning weird. What had I done for those four hours??!! But I was up again in two hours. I forced myself to go back to sleep. I was up again two hours after that, but I forced myself to go back to sleep. When I woke up Monday morning I was feeling better, but still really puzzled about what the hell was going on with me the previous night. Had somebody slipped me something in my food? I may never know.

Monday the 1st – WHEW! –After the previous night’s experiences I was just glad to still be drawing air. I really didn’t know what the heck was going on. But Monday I got up and felt pretty good. I got to Studiopolis Burbank for another “Gormiti” episode and told some of the other actors what I had gone through. They too felt it sounded very odd. After the session was over I got some chicken tenders at Burger King, figuring it was safe. Then I went to It’s a Wrap and picked up some new clothes. I also stopped by Leet TV to pick up my camcorder which had been repaired. It was having a difficult time loading tapes and it kept kicking them back out. So apparently some mechanism had broken down. I got back home and did some work around the house until it was time to head to the Leno Show. I got to NBC and did my run-through, and then did the taping. I was still reeling from the previous night, and even though my friend Bruce Kulick was having his big album release party at the Kat Klub that night, I figured it would be safer to stay home and rest. So when I got home I did just that. I took a four hour nap. When I got up I felt refreshed and even cleaned the garage. But I did something to the electric eye mechanism that allows my garage door to close, so now I have to have a guy come out and fix that. Until then I shut the door by hand. It will open easy enough, but there’s a little electric eye on the left side of the garage opening, and a receiver on the right side of the opening. If the electric eye senses an obstruction between the two sensors, it won’t close the door, thinking it’s going to kill somebody. So, just my luck. I was starving, and since we had no Leno taping the next day I figured I’d go to Denny’s and get some food. On my way back I didn’t notice a possum in the middle of the road and didn’t have time to swerve wide enough. I heard a thunk under my right front wheel well. I instantly felt bad and hoped for the best. I stopped the car, pulled a U turn and tried to see where he had gone. But there was no possum anywhere. Luckily he didn’t get under my wheel, so hopefully he just got clipped a little bit from my right front bumper. He must’ve felt good enough to scamper away because I couldn’t find any evidence of him. I said a little prayer that he would be alright, and he probably will be. Maybe just sore for a few days. Boy, this week isn’t starting off very well. I certainly hope it gets better!

Tuesday the 2nd – MUCH BETTER! – I slept late, and enjoyed it. There was no Leno taping today because NBC had Jay off doing some out-of-town appearance for one of the affiliates. I found out later that it must’ve been the day Jay filmed the Super Bowl promo with David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey. If you haven’t seen it, Youtube it for sure! My production partner Ken Dennis picked me up so we could join my pal Greg Glass from BCII-TV for lunch at Olive Garden in Burbank. After a fun lunch and good conversation, we headed back to my house. I spent the rest of the afternoon goofing around the house, doing little odds and ends. Then I did some auditions and e-mailed them into my agents. I grabbed a quick nap, and then got up to enjoy an evening full of watching videos, eating dinner and playing with the pets.

Wednesday the 3rd – WILD WEDNESDAY! – The first part of my day was spent at Kalmenson and Kalmenson Casting in Burbank, doing an audition. Then I ran some errands and picked up some supplies at a few local stores. Then I got to the NBC studios around 3:30 to do the 5th to the last “Jay Leno Show.” I finished up the taping and headed over to my bank to make a deposit. Then I went home to get ready for evening church. When I finished I took my pals Georgette and Sara out for dinner at DuPar’s. When I got home I did some auditions in my home studio and sent them off to my agent via this new invention called…the “internet.” It’s a fabulous invention!

Thursday the 4th – TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS! – I met my pal and webmaster Scott Sebring for a late lunch at Paty’s in Toluca Lake. A couple of L.A. cops sat down in the booth next to us and we started up a great conversation with them. They’re very worried about the new California law which will release about 6000 prisoners from our prison system early. In fact, one early release had tried to rape a woman within 12 hours of his release. This is a VERY bad idea! Like I always do, I anonymously bought the officers’ lunch. I took off to NBC and did the taping for the Leno show. That night I rested, and did some things around the house. The rain was coming again on Friday, so I was getting ready for that!

Friday the 5th – NICE DAY IF YOU’RE A DUCK! – Back in the old days of life in Sioux Falls, I somehow picked up the corny rainy-day greeting, “Nice day if you’re a duck!” It’s been in my arsenal of cornball things to say during a rainy day since then. I still enjoy saying it, and getting a chuckle out of the people who hear it. Well, after my session at Studiopolis Burbank for “Gormiti,” I came home to enjoy some time on the computer with the front door open so I could hear the rain. I really REALLY love a rainy day, night, morning, evening, etc. – and since they’re rare in L.A. I take the opportunity to enjoy them when I can. While sitting at my computer, I heard some “whopping” sound. It sounded like it was somebody with big overshoes stomping in water. It continued and I knew it wasn’t somebody in our complex. When I went to investigate I found three rainy day visitors in our pool…TWO MALLARDS AND ONE FEMALE DUCK! Now, I’ve seen a male and female duck in our pool before, and in fact I like to feed them bread when they visit. They’re so used to me feeding them that they know that when I come outside with my arm held high, that means I’m about to throw them bread. But the two males were fighting each other. Obviously for the female. One male would flap his wings to gain height on the other one while biting the back of his neck. Then the other one would flap is wings (and make the “whopping” sound on the water in the pool) and try to fight back. Eventually they stopped and the other male kept his distance from the couple. I knew the other male was new because he didn’t recognize the “signal”…holding my arm up high to throw bread. The couple recognized it immediately, which told me that they were the same two ducks that always visited our pool periodically. They swam forward and I threw them bread. I also threw some in the direction of the other male and he ate as well. It certainly was “a nice day for a duck!” The rain was coming down moderately and they were having a blast swimming around in the pool, relaxing and eating. I shot a little video on my camera, but by the time I got my camera the fight was over. I headed to the Leno show, and after the taping we did a “post tape.” Which means we tape something for a future show, after the taping is over. It involved a funny gag with Jay texting the audience. The phone they had for him to use wasn’t working so well, so there was some downtime. In order to keep the audience interested, Jay started telling jokes. It was great watching him command the audience with his well-honed joke-telling skills. In fact, I was hoping somebody was taping THAT for a future show, or at least for the internet. It was really something to see! After I did the Leno show that day, I came home and got a nap, listening to the rain get more and more intense. It was GREAT!! That night I got up to do some things around the house. But when the thunder started, Sassie freaked! Normally she has trouble with her back legs, getting up from a laying down position. But when the thunder clapped she was up in a flash and headed upstairs! This would prove that what my vet said was correct. Her condition is a neurological issue, and not a physical issue. When her brain is impeded with certain thoughts or feelings, it could very possibly “short circuit” the message from her brain to her legs to move. But this feeling of “ultra fear” might have sent such a strong impulse to her legs that they started moving right away. Sassie was nervous all night long as the thunder continued. I had her on the bed when we watched “Hawaii: Five-O” but she didn’t seem the least bit interested in the chunks of grilled chicken I was throwing her. Unfettered by the weather, Spooky my cat sat on the bed and stared me down until he had his fill of chicken bits. By the time I took Sassie out for her final potty time before bed, disaster struck! Her nervousness had not subsided. I put on her raincoat (which she hates anyway) and it was pouring rain. But I wanted her to go potty one last time before we went to sleep. Her back legs were not operating at all well, no doubt due to the nervousness she was feeling. The impulses were not making it to her hind legs at all. As soon as she got outside she wiped out and fell into a puddle. I picked her up and encouraged her on. She made it to the potty area, but then fell right down again into the wet grass and got all wet. To make matters worse, the elastic straps which hold her raincoat snugly around her hind legs, was so stretched out that she was tripping over it. I vowed to buy new elastic the next day and sew on new straps that would fit more snugly. I almost had to literally carry her back into the house, as we were both getting a good soaking from the torrential downpour. We got inside and I toweled her off, but she was still unable to walk with her hind legs. I thought perhaps she broke or sprained something, but I laid her down and checked both her legs. She didn’t seem to be in pain. So I carried her up the stairs and we went to bed. I feel so badly for her, but the words of the vet kept coming back to mind…”It’s probably a neurological issue.” And her nervousness about the downpour and the ill-fitting raincoat probably blocked her hind legs from getting the orders to move from her brain. Boy…it sure is difficult.

Saturday the 6th – BEAUTIFUL! – When we awoke to let the maids in, the sun was out and it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon! I ran some errands with my pal Sara but she wasn’t feeling too well. First stop was to go get some elastic to sew on to Sassie’s raincoat. I got back home and did some preparations for that evening’s Blu Ray Trek gathering. The usual gang showed up and we finished out the second season of the original “Star Trek” series on Blu Ray. Next week, we’ll delve into season three!

Sunday the 7th – WAITER, THERE’S A DUCK IN MY POOL! – Just before I went to bed early Sunday morning (I stayed up all night watching “Hawaii Five-O” on DVD) I took Sassie out to go potty. There was the mallard duck again. Not the one from the couple, but the “other” male. I threw him some more bread but he didn’t seem that hungry. But it sure is cool to see a beautiful duck swimming around the pool. I love nature! I slept all day, and then got up in time for evening church, where I was needed for elder duty. When I finished I got some groceries and met Sara for dinner at Panera. I got home, did some things around the house, did some auditions, watched (you guessed it!) another episode of “Hawaii: Five-O” and hit the hay. I was dreading the final two Leno shows on Monday and Tuesday, as it’s been such a fantastic gig since September. I will really miss it! Hopefully I’ll be asked to continue with “The Tonight Show,” but if not…this gig will remain as one of the highlights of my career.

And how was YOUR week??!!