Archive for May, 2011

May 30 – June 5 (2011)

While Amanda and I were hanging out at Denny’s in Palm Springs having lunch, Macy Gray’s “I Try” came on the music system. Of course, after hearing it I couldn’t get it out of my head the rest of the weekend!

Monday the 30th – HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! – It was great reading all of the recollections people had of their friends and relatives who have given their lives in the service of this country. It takes a brave soul to make the ultimate sacrifice for something in which they believe. My hat is off to them! My pal Terry came by to replace the hinges on my main showcase. I’ve had the case for about 11 years and the hinges were starting to fatigue under the strain of holding up those heavy glass doors. We found some great new hinges, but unfortunately it involved a bit of redesign that we hadn’t anticipated. So Terry had to carve out little niches in the wood supports to accommodate the new hinges. It was a messy, dusty, noisy process but it must be done. This week we’re on hiatus for “The Tonight Show” so I was enjoying the prospect of a few days of relaxation!

Tuesday the 31st – DOUBLE THE GARFIELD! – Since I didn’t need to be at “TTS,” “Garfield” director/writer/producer/genius Mark Evanier decided to do a long recording day. We got four new 11 minute cartoons recorded, and once again we welcomed in guest actors Julie Payne as Liz, and Stan Freberg and Laraine Newman. It was a fun day playing with the cast. When we finished I left Buzzy’s Recording studio and headed home to walk Sassie. Then I changed clothes and hopped into the Gran Torino. Off I went to Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet with a few buddies and my pal Bridget Marquardt. I’ve wanted to work with Bridget on something since we met filming an episode of “Girls Next Door,” and there was a concept that a friend of mine had that I thought she’d be perfect for. We had a nice long dinner, lots of fun discussion and I have a good feeling about everything! That night I went home and zonked out after the super long day. And tomorrow I had to be up early as well for an “Avengers” session. Hey! Aren’t I on vacation this week??!!!

Wednesday the 1st – WILD WEDNESDAY! – I was up early and headed to Studiopolis Burbank to do some ADR (additional dialogue recording) for an episode of “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” This was one of the second season episodes and I can’t tell you anything about it, but it’s a DARN good one! Stay tooned! When I finished up there I hopped in my car and went to Calabasas to Profiles in History. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I won Jim Carrey’s Tony Clifton tuxedo from the movie “Man on the Moon” at the latest Profiles in History memorabilia auction. Today was the day to pick it up! So I drove to Calabasas, saw my pal Brian, got my tuxedo coat and pants, and headed out the door. As I was leaving it looked like 80’s rock heartthrob Rick Springfield walking in. Sure enough, it was him! I didn’t want to bother him with a bunch of questions and nonsense, so I left him alone. But he looked terrific…virtually the same as he did back in the 80’s! When I got home I grabbed one of my Captain Action hats that I make, and went back to Studiopolis to drop it off for Frank, who supervises the audio mixing for “Avengers.” We were talking about Captain Action earlier that morning, so as a surprise I dropped off one of my hats for him. Then I went to the bank and deposited some checks. That evening I grabbed a nap, then did some work with my friend Edi at my house. Tomorrow was mini-vacation day! YAY!

Thursday the 2nd – OFF TO PALM SPRINGS! – In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t go to Phoenix the weekend before. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed packing for that trip, then unpacking, and then packing for another trip this weekend. My friend Brittney Powell came over around noon to do an audition in my studio, then I started packing my stuff for the trip. My housesitter Emily came by and I got the car loaded. Sassie was doing really well. She had walked out to the yard all on her own and was eating like a horse. Two bowls of food the night before! I left around 2, went to the local CVS to get my prescription of yet ANOTHER antibiotic for my chronic sinusitis, and hit the road around 3 with a quick stop at McDonald’s for some food. I was still having that annoying headache over my right eye and in my right sinus, and I knew that Levaquin had worked when I had it before. After trying two other antibiotics that didn’t work, I asked my doctor for Levaquin, since I knew it was proven. I’m hoping that this will be the end of it for awhile. This has been the most brutal allergy season EVER! The traffic was pretty good to Palm Springs, but it did take me about 40 minutes longer than usual. But the drive was nice and enjoyable and my Mustang was running like a champ! I got to Denny’s in Palm Springs about 5:40 and met up with my friend Amanda who’s from that area. Eating at Denny’s in PS is kind of my ritual when I hit town. During the meal Amanda realized that she had lost her wallet! She tore out of the restaurant in a panic, but came back smiling and praising God. She had put her wallet on the roof of her car when she left home and had forgotten it. But THERE IT WAS! Stuck in the roof rack of her car! And after having traveled the freeway at top speeds! Somebody up there really likes her! I checked into the Hyatt Regency Suits on North Palm Canyon Drive and then walked around the street fair. Every Thursday night they shut down the street in front of the hotel for a street fair. I remember it from last month and had a great time. We looked around and bought a few things while it was still daylight…some grape licorice (my favorite) and watermelon licorice (Amanda’s favorite) and I also found some great hand-made bath soaps. I got back to the room for a little bit and took a brief swim and a dip in the jacuzzi. Then I got back out on the street to enjoy the street fair at night! I bought a bag of these cinnamon salt crystals that are used as room fresheners. I also bought a cool Pepsi bracelet, made out of a recycled Pepsi can and silver. People in Palm Springs LOVE their dogs! I love looking at all of the dogs on the street during the fair. In fact, a month ago one of the vendors had just bought a new puppy named Julio. But Julio wanted to get out of his box in the worst way to go play, so in his many escape attempts he earned the nickname Houdini. I wondered if that same vendor was there and how big Julio (or Juliodini, as I was now calling him) had grown. Sure enough we saw him! I took another picture of him for comparison so you can see how much he’s grown in the month since I had been there!

I went back to the hotel and fell asleep for a bit. When I woke up I went to the local IHOP for dinner, but their parking lot was dark and there were some guys lurking around out there. So we decided to go back to Denny’s instead. Our old pal Bonnie the waitress was there. It was good to see her again. After dinner I went back to the room. As I like to do, I sat up all night on the balcony of my room, eating popcorn (yes, the manager puts a microwave in my room for me!) and drinking cold Cokes in a glass bottle, listening to quiet music by candlelight, and watching and enjoying Palm Springs at night. The mountain outside my room is beautiful, and so is the golf course below it. There are several screech owls living in the trees on the golf course, so it’s great listening to them screech all night. I also heard a crow, a nightingale, and some high pitched whooping noises peppered with gurgly breathing. I looked down on the street to see three playful raccoons chasing each other down the street. I swear this is the best show in town! To top it all off the streaks of clouds in the sky were clearing, so all of the stars overhead were bright and beautiful! I also love watching the flashlights of the late-night mountain climbers on the mountain across the way. The group that were there that night made it to the top in no time! They must be real experts! I stayed out so long on the patio I noticed the sky was getting bluer. When I looked at the clock I noticed it was 5:00am! I had stayed up all night on the patio! Oh well, I guess that’s what a relaxing vacation is all about!

Friday the 3rd – PALM SPRINGS DAY 2! – I slept really late since I had spent all night watching the stars and listening to the owls. But luckily the Palm Springs Aerial Tram was running trams up to the mountain top until 8:00 that night. I had never done that before and when I drove into town I passed a sign for the tram. I decided that this trip I was going to do it! Amanda’s afraid of heights, but I assured her that the tram was safe, as it’s been operating since 1963 with no mishaps. We got to the top and started looking around for the restaurant. We thought about going down on the trails, but our stomachs were demanding immediate attention. So we got some food in the cafeteria and sat down. I’ve always said that pizza is a lot like sex. Even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good. But I won’t be saying that any more. This pizza was the worst I’ve ever tasted. It was almost like it had been sitting out for awhile getting dry. But at least it was something. I made up for it by getting some ice cream. As I was coming back to the table with my ice cream I noticed somebody outside the restaurant taking pictures of something. I looked down and it was an adorable little grey ground squirrel foraging for crumbs. He was darting in and out of people’s feet as if they weren’t even there. Obviously he was quite tame. He took advantage of a gap between the doors and entered the restaurant! He went underneath the tables looking for scraps. Some ladies sitting there were shocked at first, but the waitress said, “There’s nothing to be alarmed about. He does this sometimes.” Then the ladies started taking pictures of him and laughing. I coaxed him back outside with one of my pizza crusts. But some guy opened the door to exit and didn’t see the squirrel. The squirrel darted for the door and it didn’t look like he was going to make it. I ran for the door to grab it so it wouldn’t squish the little guy but he darted on through like nobody’s business. Clearly he had done this before. The signs said DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE. But I ignored it because this little guy was so cute. Then another squirrel came out and started eating food too. They liked our ice cream quite a bit! Amanda threw a small chunk of chocolate ice cream on one of the rocks and the squirrel delighted in chowing half of it down. Then he ran off the rock, rolled around in dirt for awhile, and ran back up on the rock. By now the remaining chocolate ice cream was starting to melt down the rock. The squirrel climbed up the rock and started to lick the trail of melted ice cream off the rock. THIS ROCK IS DELICIOUS! It was the funniest thing I had seen in a long time! I’m glad I had my camera handy! I also saw a few lizards (I think they’re called Alligator Lizards), and a few other little critters. We walked up to a lookout point and was amazed at the view. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to accurately describe it. It really is very peaceful and awesome. We caught the 5:30 tram back down to the bottom and headed back into town. I took a nap, then hit the jacuzzi and ordered some room service because I didn’t feel like going back out for dinner. Once again I spent most all night sitting on my balcony, watching the stars, listening to the owls and pondering life. I even saw a few shooting stars!

Saturday the 4th – THE PARTY’S OVER! – I got up Saturday morning, packed up all my stuff and got my car. Another highly enjoyable respite in Palm Springs! I went over to the Spa Casino to meet up with my friend Jacklynn Chaney and her boyfriend for brunch. Jacklynn is the great granddaughter of Lon Chaney Jr. and is interested in heading up the family estate for likeness licensing. We had a great meeting about possible ways that can be done and tossed around several ideas. When brunch was over it was time to head back. The drive back home was real nice. Saturdays the traffic isn’t too bad, but Sundays can be a bit worse, since everybody is heading back home. When I got back home I found out that Sassie wasn’t doing very good. She had a spell of diarrhea and was lethargic again. Just a few days ago she was alert, barking and walking around. So I put her down in her house in the garage so she could rest up quietly and get better. Terry was still working on the hinges and was just finishing. I was beat so I took a nap. When I got up I got the place ready for movie night. My old pal D.C. Fontana and her husband Denny came over, as did my pal Bruce Kulick and his girlfriend Lisa. They joined the usual movie night gang in watching “American Graffiti” on Blu Ray. I had forgotten how good that movie is! And it looked terrific on Blu Ray! After that a few of us remained to watch the Blu Ray of “Beetle Juice.” After having done Beetlejuice at Universal Studios for 4 years in the late 90’s, I had been away from it just long enough to enjoy the movie again. In fact, it brought back a few really good memories! I brought Sassie back inside and she was doing a little better.

Sunday the 5th – SASSUPUNCTURE! – Every Sunday for four weeks I’m going to get Sassie on an acupuncture program. I had it done to her two weeks ago, but Memorial Day weekend the doctor was out of town so we missed it. But now for four weeks straight I’m going to have her get therapy in hopes that it will help her condition some. The doctor also brought in a laser unit to help stimulate aspects of Sassie’s spine. At this point I’ll try anything. Sassie kept looking up at me like, “Hey. What is all this?” She’s a good dog. I grabbed a quick nap and then got up for evening church. It was such a beautiful day that I biked over. But after church it had gotten considerably cooler and I biked home fast because I was getting chilly! My assistant Sara came over and we headed out to dinner. We noticed that it had started to rain. But first I wanted to pick up a refill on my nose spray prescription at CVS. But when we got there at 8 we found that they close at 6 on Sundays! This is twice that CVS has left me frustrated. To make matters worse, we went next door to Panera and they were closing early for a staff meeting! I just couldn’t get a break! And I had my mouth all set for some soup and a sandwich. So we went to get some italian food at Little Toni’s instead. I got home and did some auditions, finished up some things around the house, fed Sassie and got ready for a busy week. Since vacation is over, “The Tonight Show” will be starting up again, my IVR sessions will be starting up again, plus we have another “Garfield” session this week. WOW! I’m sure glad I had some time to relax!

And how was YOUR week??!!

Pics from the week

Julio’s friend Henrietta looks regal in her chair.

Two beautiful horses as the Palm Springs street fair.

Here’s the entrance to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Looking back from the tram. We’re a LONG way up!

Our brave squirrel friend looks for an opening to the restaurant!

The view of the desert cities from atop the mountain!

Here’s a video of beautiful 360 degree view
atop the mountain in Palm Springs!

A beautiful red-headed lizard hides in the rocks.

I know the sign says DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE, but how can you resist a face like that??!!

Yum! Chocolate ice cream!

Lick lick lick! He tries to get every last drop!

One of the oddly beautiful trees you’ll see atop the mountain.

More unique trees.

Another lizard friend comes out to sun himself

Alright! Who’s the wise guy!

A beautiful mountain stream!