Archive for July, 2011
July 25 – July 31 (2011)
For some reason (and I don’t know WHY) I’ve been humming the theme song from “The Price Is Right” this past week. Weird how things get into your head and won’t leave. Now I’m going to make you listen to it too so it’ll be stuck in your head as well. Enjoy!
Monday the 25th – TOMMY THE TORNADO! – I got up early to get Alex to the airport on time. She had a great time at Comic Con, and even though it was her first time at the SDCC, and her first time in a Catwoman costume, she made friends fast! She was already showing up on numerous websites and being praised by the fan community almost unanimously. When she got on her way I went to the UPS store in my neighborhood to sign up for a new mailbox. My previous mailbox had become inconvenient with arbitrary closings and strange hours of operation. I figured the UPS store would be reliable. While I was filling out my paperwork a beautiful male Golden Retriever bounded in and greeted everyone at the store. He got up on his hind legs to see the people behind the counter. I had been missing my dog Sassie quite a bit, so I made some noises to see if he would come over. He ran over to me and I gave him a serious regimen of scratchies and pets. He went crazy! What a great dog. His exhausted owner came in behind him holding a leash. She seemed like she had seen all this before. With a super friendly dog like this, it seemed like old hat to her. She said his name was Tommy and it was a great time playing with Tommy. He would run around the store and then run back up to me again for more pets and scratchies. I told his owner that I would give her $10,000 right then and there for Tommy. She said she’s been offered money for him before but she just couldn’t part with him. I totally understood. Once she called him back to her so he could be leashed up again to leave, he stood there by her side with a look on his face I’ll never forget. Though he sat dutifully next to his mistress, he still kept his eye on me. He had a look on his face like Sassie used to have when we’d play. That look of “Can we play again, I’ll come back over if you want me to, I will I will, can we play again, can we?” That look of happy anticipation was great, but it made me a little sad thinking about Sassie again. Then I realized that it was four weeks to the day that I had to let Sassie go. With tears in my eyes I drove to Taco Bell for a quick lunch. Then I drove to Carroll Casting for an audition for Nesquick. It’s always great to see Carroll Day Kimball. She’s always such a great, positive person. After the audition I went to Studiopolis to record some voice tracks for “Bleach.” After our 2 hour recording session I headed over to NBC for another week of “The Tonight Show!” When I got home the one month anniversary hit me again and I got a little sad. Luckily Brittney stopped by to cheer me up. I grabbed a nap, then got up later and recorded some auditions to send to my agent, then I hit Denny’s for some takeout food.
Tuesday the 26th – I SHALL NAME HIM WALLY! – I woke up with my hotline ringing. It was time to get up and record a bit for “TTS” in my home studio and e-mail it in. When I finished that I was off to Voice Trax West to do another IVR recording session for US Airways. After the session some of the executives on the project got on the phone to thank me for all of the hard work. The project that we’ve been working on since February has been VERY well received and the reviews have been astoundingly good. The geniuses who devised the program really outdid themselves! They told me how the project got named “Wally.” A lot of the engineers and producers were asking “Did we get the new Wally tracks yet?” and “Where did you put the Wally files?” So much so that the project just took on the name “Wally.” I told them I was honored. They even suggested naming one of their 777 planes after me. WOW! I couldn’t believe it! I took off over to my mailbox and picked up the mail. Then I headed over to Best Buy to pick up some new Blu Rays. I went to NBC to do the taping for “TTS” and then took my filthy car to the car wash. The hotel in San Diego valet parked my car under some kind of weird tree that dropped white powdery droplets all over my car. I got home and grabbed a quick nap (I was still pretty exhausted from the Comic Con weekend!) and when I got up I did some stuff around the house. I packed up my Walther PPK for shipment to the repair place. I was unable to remove the slide to clean it, so I took it to a two gun stores. They were unable to remove the slide as well, so I had to send it off to be repaired. I also packed up Alex’s Catwoman costume for some minor repair work too. While I was at it, I sat down and went through two months of bank statements.
Wednesday the 27th – TOURISTS IN TROUBLE?! – I slept late and it was wonderful. I got up and went through my e-mails and phone calls. I didn’t have enough time to hit Fed Ex before “TTS” so I had my assistant Sara come get the boxes and get them to the nearest Fed Ex. My brother-in-law’s niece was in town with her friend from Germany to attend the taping of “TTS.” Though I had never met her I walked into the studio before the show started hoping that they knew what I looked like. I heard two girls in the front row say, “Are you Wally?” Sure enough it was Lindsay and her friend Bella. They enjoyed the taping, even met Jay during the warm-up and got on camera during the opening! When I brought them backstage to show them the inner workings of “TTS,” they ran into Jay in the hallway and he remembered that Bella was from Germany! I asked them where they wanted to eat and Bella wanted Mexican food. She said Mexican food in Germany was awful, so I called Sara and had her meet us at Ernie’s Taco House for some good, authentic Mexican food! Afterward we went to get some frozen yogurt. The evening was still young so the girls talked about going to Hollywood to try and glimpse the Hollywood sign before the sun set. I told them the best place to see it was Hollywood and Highland by the Chinese Theater. But after I bid them farewell, and was driving away, the news report came on my radio talking about a huge riot in Hollywood right at Hollywood and Highland. Apparently a film screening had been canceled and the people didn’t take the news well. I immediately spun a U turn and headed back to try and catch the girls at the yogurt shop before the went to Hollywood. Luckily they hadn’t left yet and I told them the news. Whew! Talk about a close one! I can only imagine what my brother-in-law would have said after I sent his young niece into a Hollywood riot! I went over to Robano’s to meet up with my friend Fred and Ray Ferry, who has just started a new magazine called “Freaky Monsters.” He wants to do a spread on my collection and my love of make-up techniques and Lon Chaney. After the meeting I got home to feed Spooky my cat. Then Ray and Fred came by to tour Planet Wallywood and we talked about the upcoming spread. Edi also stopped by that night for a visit. Then I did my auditions, e-mailed them to my agent, and hit the hay!
Thursday the 28th – PAYING BACK! – In the morning I had a meeting at Voice Trax West Studios with one of my childhood idols…Paul Michael Glaser. I’ve spoken about this before, but to refresh…he’s written a book and I’m helping him with the audio book version. I helped strike a deal with Voice Trax West to do all of the voice tracks, and possibly they’ll add music and effects too for the finished product. I wanted to introduce him to Andrew at VTW and have them talk about the things Paul would need for his sessions. Andrew has done many audio books there so he knows the drill. After the meeting I sat down with Paul and discussed some other promotional ideas for his book, which he seemed to like very much. It makes me feel good to help those who inspired me at a young age. Adam West, Andy Kaufman, Elvis, Roger Moore, Paul Michael Glaser, Henry Winkler, etc. – were all performers who somehow inspired my own urge to perform. Not to mention that watching their work on television helped to make my boring South Dakota existence a little more palatable. Because I could imagine I was those characters, and it took me out of my boredom and helped me through several awkward stages of my young life. So now, to get the opportunity to help those who “helped” me all those years ago…is really a pleasure. Especially since I used all of those characters at some point in my own performing career. My imitation of Roger Moore helped me get one of the first ad campaigns I ever had in voice-over for Black and Decker. My impression of Starsky got me a job on “Angry Beavers” I can’t count the number of times I’ve been able to pull Elvis out of my hat. And the Adam West impression certainly has come in handy in more than one instance. I performed the voice of Fonzie on episodes of “Family Guy.” And imitating Andy got me a job on E! on the True Hollywood Story. It all comes around! I got home and let Sara in to take Spook to get his nails trimmed at the local groomer’s. While she was away I got caught up on bills. I took a quick nap then got up for “TTS.” I came home after the taping to feed Spook, then I went to DuPar’s with Edi, her son Josh and Sara. We saw legendary director John Carpenter while we were there, but we didn’t bother him. I grabbed some frozen yogurt on the way home. While I was there a beautiful female golden retriever came by with her owner. I got to stay with the dog while her mistress went inside some yogurt. She was a beautiful dog, a bit smaller than Tommy whom I met a few days earlier. Was fate trying to get my interested in the golden retriever breed? This dog was named Charley and she was great. She enjoyed pets and scratches, but was very loyal to her mistress. When she would move out of Charley’s sight, Charley would let out a bark to make sure everything was alright. As I was sitting on the patio with Charley, ANOTHER golden retriever came by with a couple. This dog was just out of puppyhood, and stood up over the patio fence to touch noses with Charley. Three golden retrievers in three days? Weird! First all I saw around were huskies, now goldens. I got home and grabbed a nap, got up to do auditions, watched more “Mannix” on DVD, then went to bed. I reflected how God was working in my life. He knew I was very sad because of the whole experience with Sassie, so He chose to shower my life with good things to counterbalance it. The Riddler trailer was getting rave reviews and the new Arkham City game looked like it was going to be a monumental hit, the crowd at Comic Con were very welcoming and made me feel great, the US Airways news was monumentally good, I was working with another one of my childhood heroes and loving it, my contract with “TTS” had just been renewed for a long period of time, and Spook was awesome. I’m very thankful for all the good happening in my life right now. It definitely helps.
Friday the 29th – ANOTHER CHILDHOOD IDOL! – I got up at noon for a very important phone interview. My pal Reed was involved in the production of a new DVD package, and he put me on the phone with a guy named George S. Irving. We were going to do a few commentaries of some old cartoons George worked on. Though you may not know the name, you will recognize him when I say he was the man who uttered the immortal words…”One of the city’s most humble and loveable characters was, Shoeshine Boy.” That’s right, he was the narrator for the old “Underdog” show, as well as voicing Chief Running Board in Go-Go Gophers, and Major Minor in “Klondike Kat.” I used to love those cartoons as a kid. It was a pleasure to talk to him, even though it was over the phone. After the interviews were done, I hopped in the Gran Torino and headed off to a painter in Glendale. My pal Bodie Stroud, who has done a lot of work on my Torino, sent me to this painter to see about repainting the tip of the strip on the door and front fenders. The guy who painted it originally didn’t do a very good job and the tip of the strip looks bent. It should look straight and parallel with the natural mid-line of the car’s design. Mario the painter took some photos, and said he’d call with an estimate. I tooled off to NBC for the taping of “TTS,” then headed back home. Though I could barely fit the Torino in my garage (I have a separate parking space for it normally) I parked it there. I wanted to take it out on Saturday and drive around. I grabbed a quick nap, then my pal Amanda came into town and we went to Little Toni’s for some pizza. By the way, if you’re wondering why I take so many naps, I should explain that I sleep like I eat, in small but frequent increments. I’ll sleep an hour here, a few hours there, and then about 5 hours at night. It totals 7 or 8 hours, but I do it in chunks. It suits my lifestyle better that way. Sleeping a full 8 hours in a row is tough for me as my mind is constantly buzzing and won’t let me sleep for very long.
Saturday the 30th – I HAVE THE POWER! NO I DON’T! – I had just gotten to bed around 6am and slept a few hours before I was awakened by my fan stopping around 9:20. The power had gone out again! I called the Dept. of Water and Power and they said they were aware of the outage. My neighbors didn’t have power either. It wasn’t a total blackout though, it was partial power. My fan was turning but very slowly. The lights were dimmed. But by noon the power was back on. I hopped in the Torino to go pick up my new .357 stainless steel pistol at Guns Direct in Burbank. This would be the 10th gun in my handgun collection, and only my second revolver. But when I got there they said it was too early for pick-up. The 10 day waiting period wouldn’t be over until 6:45 that night! Boy, they really clock it to the minute! Disappointed, but understanding, I went over to It’s a Wrap to look around. Amanda wasn’t feeling too well. I think it was because she hadn’t eaten in awhile. But she wasn’t interested in lunch. She just wanted to go lay down. After dropping her at the house, Sara and I went to get lunch and pick up some groceries for that night’s movie night. We got the groceries home, unpacked them, I drove the Torino back to its parking space and got my Mustang. I grabbed a half hour nap before movie night and we watched “The Blues Brothers” which had just been released on Blu Ray, and “Damnation Alley,” also just released on Blu Ray. I had seen “DA” at a drive-in when I was a teenager and I remember liking it. But halfway through the movie a friend came over and said his girlfriend just left him. So while the movie finished up, I took my friend into the kitchen, shut the door and heard the story. I’m not much for giving relationship advice, so I called over Sara who would no doubt have some good advice. After talking for a few hours we got him straightened away, my guests took off for the night, I went to bed to watch another episode of “Mannix” and then sleep.
Sunday the 31st – AUCTION ACTION! – There was an auction going on all weekend that was offering items from Hollywood movies and TV and music artists. I was only interested in one piece. Jack Lord’s stunt gun and badge from the “Hawaii Five-O” TV show. I’ve seen every episode from season 1 through 6, and I’m about to start season 7. I got up in time to see my item go up for bid, but just my luck, 12 items away from the one I wanted, their internet had problems. I had called the auction house earlier in the week to sign up to bid and they were going to call me just before my item went up so I could bid. But just to double check, I called them first. Good thing I did! The best advice I ever got from my dad was “You have to DOUBLE CHECK everybody!” And that you do! They said they thought I was going to bid on-line and not on the phone. I told them I didn’t trust on-line and would prefer to phone bid instead. My item would have come and gone and I would have never gotten a phone call. So there I was, anxiously awaiting the call for my item to come up. I was monitoring the action on-line, though I was bidding on the phone. So each time a bidder outbid me, I could see it on the computer. And I would tell the gal on the phone YES! YES! YES! to tell her to bid higher for me. I probably ended up spending WAAAAAY too much money on it, but I got it! And I’m glad I did. You see, watching “Hawaii Five-O” in bed at the end of the day was special for Sassie and me. I had made up silly little words to the theme song and would sing them to Sassie. It was kind of our ritual when watching the show. But as I was about to launch into season 7, I would have to do so without Sass by my side on the bed listening to my dumb rendition of the theme song. That was going to be painful. So to make myself feel better, I really wanted to get this lot from the show. It still wouldn’t be the same without her, but now having a little piece of the show would make me smile a little bit anyway. Around 2 my old pal Ken Dennis picked me up for lunch and dessert. We hadn’t gotten a chance to talk in awhile so it was good to catch up. It had turned into a pretty hot day. I went back inside my house where it was cool, still having a bit of buyer’s remorse for spending so much at the auction, but I grabbed a quick nap before evening church. And coming out of church was, you guessed it, ANOTHER golden retriever. This was a real puppy…only about 8 weeks old. He was chewing on the grass and having a good old time. I played with him a bit and gave him a kiss on the head. I like golden retrievers. I like huskies. But I still really like collies. I’m still considering getting another dog, but it won’t be right away. I’ve found that I really miss the energy of a dog in the house. I got home and grabbed another nap, and then got up late in the evening to do my auditions. I couldn’t stay up too late because I had an early Garfield session first thing Monday morning. As I was getting ready for bed I started thinking about Sassie again. This was our time to be together. This was now the hardest time of the day for me. I thought about how I should have gotten a paw print before she died. A paw print that I could have had tattooed on my arm. I regretted not keeping some of her hair. But all I had to do was go down and clean out my vacuum cleaner and I’d have plenty of that! I thought about how I always took her paw prints and hair for granted. I’d see her prints on the sidewalk after coming out of the wet grass. I’d see them on the marble entry way and sometimes on the carpet for a little while. But I never thought anything of it. I used to have to cut the hair out of the roller on the vacuum cleaner because it was so long and plentiful. But now I’d love to have those things back again. Boy, losing a pet really sucks! But she’s in a much better place now, so I can’t be too sad.
And how was YOUR week??!!