Archive for November, 2013

November 25 – December 1


Spooky the cat hopes you had as good a Thanksgiving Day as he did!

When I’m peeling around in the Gran Torino I normally listen to Sirius XM’s 70’s on 7 almost exclusively. But occasionally they play a real turkey, so I switch over to Elvis Radio, or 80’s on 8. During one of the times I had it on the 80’s channel, they played Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby.” I had forgotten how great this song is and I really enjoyed it! Here it is so you can enjoy it too! (This song reminds me of that scene in “Fast Times.”)

Monday the 25th – THANKSGIVING COUNTDOWN! – A hotline call came in late morning with instructions for me to report to NBC at 2pm to record a comedy bit.  I snoozed a while longer and got up around noon.  Then I got another call canceling the 2pm bit.  That’s the way it goes in TV sometimes.  Easy come, easy go.  The comedy bit gets approved, then something happens and it gets canceled. Either it’s postponed to a different day, or canceled entirely.  The business of doing a daily comedy show is so fluid.  But instead of a 2pm call-time, they wanted me to come in a few minutes earlier than my usual 3:30 call-time to record some stuff.   Since I had some extra time I walked Roxy, did some work around the house, and worked on creating new Spooky bathroom signs.  My cat Spooky’s main litter box is in my downstairs bathroom, which is the same bathroom used by my guests.  I have to post signs on the bathroom door, on the inside of the bathroom door, and on the shower door to remind people to keep the bathroom door open when it’s not in use.  If the bathroom door gets closed, and Spooky needs to use his box, then he’s out of luck.  And I have a mess to clean up.  So I made some really cute signs and printed them out.  My assistant Sara came by to pick up some stuff for some errands I was sending her on. I wanted her to go to my printer and have the Spooky signs laminated for durability. She also needed to pick up some light bulbs, a prescription, and some other miscellaneous items I would be needing for my upcoming Happy Th-HANG-sgiving Hang-Out and Open House, which I do every year on Thanksgiving weekend.   I hopped in my Gran Torino and sped off to KFC to grab some quick lunch, then off to NBC to tape another episode of “The Tonight Show.”  I did a couple of bits, and then met up with Leeyann Neeley outside the studio. She the wife of Ted Neeley of “Jesus Christ Superstar” fame, and she was dropping off a package of info for our music booker. Ted has a great new Christmas song out and I think it would be great to get him on the show.  Unfortunately we will only be taping for two weeks in December because of scheduled hiatuses, but I wanted to get the package to our booker just in case she needed a great musical act for the Christmas season.  After we wrapped I stopped by the dry cleaners to pick up some comforters I had cleaned, and then it was off to Rusty’s Discount Pets to pick up some food for Roxy.  Young Rusty 3 the collie was doing well, and he had really grown.  About a year ago, 9 year old Rusty Jr. the collie (the store’s mascot) passed away in his sleep for unknown reasons.  Terry, his owner, was understandably devastated.  He contacted a collie breeder and got a new collie puppy in the spring, and he unveiled him around Easter time.  He was absolutely adorable and as curious, energetic and precocious as a puppy should be.  He LOVED Roxy!  But as he started to grow within the first several months, something went wrong. He basically grew too fast for his own good, and it affected his bones, joints and muscles.  He underwent very intensive surgery to relieve some of the stress, but it would take a couple years of therapy for him to return to normal.  But today he was playing and running around like a normal puppy.  He had a slight limp, but he had improved enormously since the last time I saw him!  He’s actually starting to look a lot like Roxy…same coloring and coat texture…even the same black spot on the back of his tail!  It was good to see him playing and trouncing about.  I went home to walk Roxy and feed Spook, check my e-mails, and prepare for a nice nap on the couch by the fire.  When I awoke I did some auditions and finished up Wally’s Week.  It was Roxy’s dinner time, so after she ate we went on our late-night stroll through the quiet (and COLD!) neighborhood.  I came back inside and made myself some dinner and we went to bed to watch another episode of “Magnum P.I.” from the Season One DVD set.

Tuesday the 26th – WHAT DO YOU GET THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING?! – The nights may be cold now, but the days are absolutely beautiful!  So gorgeous in fact, that I decided to hop on my bike and ride to work.  I got up at 11:30 and took Roxy for a walk.  When I came back inside there was a “TS” bit waiting for me in my inbox for Cat Theater.  I hopped on my bike and had a great ride over to Paty’s in Toluca Lake. I met up with my assistant Sara, and my pal Edi and her daughter Ems.  I finished up my lunch around 3:10 and got back on the bike.  When I got to NBC I was 10 minutes early for my 3:30 call-time. Just as well. As I pulled up one of the guys was running around telling everybody that we were going to start the taping 10 minutes early!  What are the odds?  I just happened to be 10 minutes early!  I love it when stuff like that happens!  The first guest on the show was Quentin Tarantino.   Now everybody knows that Quentin has a penchant for TV shows of the 60’s and 70’s, like myself.  And during a commercial break I heard Jay say to Quentin, “Guess who came to see me a few months ago!  Mike Connors…MANNIX!”  Quentin was amazed.  Jay said, “He looks great!  He brought me a model of the Mannix car and everything!”  If you remember a few months back, I mentioned to you how Jay was enjoying watching “Mannix” on DVD. Since I also love the show, and have seen every episode from seasons 1 through 5, I asked Jay if he had ever met its star Mike Connors.  He said he met him in passing once but it was a long time ago.  Apparently Jay has pleasant memories of watching “Mannix” with his parents back in “the day.”  I first got him a signed Mike Connors photo through my friend David Elkouby who runs the Hollywood Collector Shows.  Jay loved it and said he was going to hang it on his office wall.  Then when Jay’s birthday rolled around in late April I thought, “What do you get the guy who has everything?”  So I bought a vintage Mannix model on eBay. Then I arranged through David Elkouby to have Mike driven over to NBC to meet Jay and give him the model.  It all went flawlessly and Jay had a fun time meeting Mike.  Apparently Jay really loved it because he was beaming when he told Quentin all about the visit.  It made me feel good, and it was well worth the effort of putting it all together.  I told Wayne, one of the “TS” limo drivers about it.  Wayne was the one I hired to go pick up Mike at his house and drive him over to NBC.  Wayne told me that he drove a VIP over to Jay’s Garage for a tour, and Jay was even telling HIM about the Mannix encounter.  Awesome!  The “Tonight Show Band” played one of my favorites again…”Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield.  So I had to run out to the stage to hear it performed live.  Strangely enough, I was just telling the lead singer Dorian earlier in the afternoon what a killer job he does with that song.  He said Curtis Mayfield has always been one of his favorites.  Since we started the taping 10 minutes earlier than usual, that meant that we wrapped 10 minutes earlier than usual.  And that meant I had 10 extra minutes of daylight to bike home to.  The light gray hoodie that I had purchased especially for night biking was going to pay off. I also turned on all my blinkers…the one on my backpack and the one on the back of my bike.  I also snapped a glow stick and hung that from the back of my backpack as well. NOBODY was going to miss seeing me on the road!  When I got home I saw my Brooks Robinson jersey all framed up and looking beautiful. Sara had picked it up from the framers earlier in the day.  They did a great job with it.  It turned out being a little more expensive that I had hoped, but it looked awesome and will make for a very nice display.  I fed Spooky his dinner then walked Roxy, and came back inside to relax.   I answered e-mails and got set up for the maids’ arrival Wednesday afternoon.  I’ve got to figure out some way to remove the large plate glass covering to my Andy Kaufman case.  It seemed like a good idea at the time to cover it with glass, but now it doesn’t match any of my other displays which are NOT covered with glass. Plus the glass adds glare that is unsightly.  I’ve called several glass companies and left messages, but so far no responses.  I guess they don’t need the work.  It’s heavy, but I may attempt to do it myself.  I took a dip in the Jacuzzi then grabbed a nap.  I got up and did auditions, and then fed and walked Roxy.  I did work around the house to get ready for my Happy Th-HANG-sgiving Hang-Out and Open House weekend.  I changed out the movie posters in my display frames, and made a very long list of “to-do’s” for Wednesday night.  I made a pizza and watched “Magnum P.I.”

Wednesday the 27th – TIIIIIRRRRREEEED! – I woke up at 9 after a very odd dream.  I was no longer very tired, nor was I interested in going back to the dream, so after cuddling with Roxy on the bed for a while I got up and started the day. It wasn’t like I didn’t have anything to do anyway.  We had two shows to tape, one for Wednesday night and one for Thanksgiving night, so it was going to be a VERY busy day.  I started working inside the house to get ready for my weekend guests.  I walked Roxy, did a few things around the house, and got ready for work.  But first I did a few errands.  I hit the hardware store to get some light bulbs for the little lights that hang above my CD rack.  3 of the 4 had burned out all at the same time, and I needed replacements.  But they’re weird little halogen bulbs, and I wasn’t able to find the exact ones.  But I found something similar and was on my way.  While at the hardware store I got hit with a wave of serious heartburn. I went out to the Torino, opened the trunk and found my Gaviscon.  Yikes! It hurt like hell!  It seems to come on when I haven’t eaten in a while.  I went to Aaron Brothers Art Mart and got four frames to frame album covers.  But 3 of the 4 I brought up to the counter were bent, so I got 3 replacements of a different brand.  A quick stop at Taco Bell for lunch it was off to NBC to tape the first show of the day.  When we wrapped that show I had an hour and a half break.  So I darted off to a local thrift store to find shoes for my new kid mannequin.  It’ll be a new Halloween boy wearing an old Ben Cooper Laurel and Hardy Halloween costume.  I found two pair of shoes that were perfect!  Then I hit up Rocket Fizz to buy some bottles of Grape Crush and Bubble Up, and it was off to It’s a Wrap.  I found a few items there, and then it was time to go back to work to tape the second show.  The Thanksgiving show has traditionally been for an all military audience, and this will be the last time we’re able to do it.  Buses pulled in with servicemen and women from all five branches of the military…Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.  I parked my Gran Torino next to the parking area for the buses, and I loved watching the looks on the faces of the military people as they checked out the Torino.  Once inside, I walked into the stage and got an eyeful of something I may never see again.  A studio FILLED with uniformed personnel.  It’s quite an awesome sight!  I’ve loved seeing it every Thanksgiving since 2009, and this may be the last chance I have to see something like it.  Impressive, to say the least.  We finished the taping and I headed over to my friend Brittney Powell’s house to pick her up for dinner.  After dinner she helped me get some grocery items, but I was dragging ass!  I was REALLY beat.  I had been going solid all day, and hadn’t had that much sleep the night before.  I walked through the grocery store aisles and it was tough to concentrate on the things I needed.  When I got back home I unpacked the groceries, walked Roxy, and laid down on the couch for a quick nap. Quick?  I didn’t wake up until 4:30am!  WOW!  I was really beat!  I fed Roxy and then started my work around the house. Because I slept so long, I wouldn’t be able to do all the things on the list, but I did the important stuff.  I broke down my art table and moved it to the garage.  It wasn’t an easy task, but would create more room in my house for seating for movie nights.  I cleaned up the Chaney Room and put away some costumes in the closet.  I finished up, made a salad and hit the hay to watch “Magnum P.I.”  I got to sleep around 10:30am!

Thursday the 28th – HAPPY THANKSGIVING! – By the time I woke up it was 3:45.  Perfect timing.  I had just enough time to walk Roxy and get ready for our traditional Thanksgiving buffet at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.  We had about 18 people coming and our reservation was for 5pm.  It’s always a great time!  Edi and Ems came by to pick me up at 4:45 and we met up with everyone else there. The food is fabulous, but this year the service was exceptionally lame. Not sure why that was.  But we were 20 minutes into our meal before our drinks arrived.  I think it’s because they only have one operating bar for literally hundreds of people dining.  It’s not like the servers have to worry about getting food to the tables, it’s a buffet. So really the only thing the servers do is get drinks.  Several times I got up out of my seat with my empty glass and went to the bar myself to get a refill of Coke.  It always looks bad when a customer is standing there at the bar with an empty glass and a sad look on his face.  I made a  note to contact the head of catering next week to let them know about the issues we were having.  But the good food and good company kind of made up for it. (Next year, I’m bringing my OWN drinks!) As is tradition, I pass out pens and index cards so we can all write down one thing we’re thankful for. It doesn’t have to be the most important thing…it could be a little thing. But the responses are great.  When we finished up we went to my house to enjoy movies by the fire.  We watched “Airplane” and “Airplane 2: The Sequel” on Blu Ray.  Nothing digests a hearty Thanksgiving meal better than laughter.  When everyone left I grabbed a nap on the couch.  It had started to rain a little bit, so it was a nice ambience for napping.  I woke up around 3:30 am and fed and walked Roxy.  It was still raining lightly, so I enjoyed walking around the neighborhood…letting the cool drops fall on my head as we strolled through the quiet, wet streets.  When I got back inside a made a small dinner and watched a “Magnum” episode. This one featured our friend Kathryn Leigh Scott!

Friday the 29th – BLACK FRIDAY?! – Well, black in the sense that my bedroom was blackened out so I could sleep all afternoon.  I didn’t get up until 3, and my assistant Sara and I got lunch at Panera.  On cool, fall days there’s nothing better than hot soup, a sandwich and a side of mac n cheese!  We picked up a few grocery items to have on hand for the second night of my traditional “Happy Th-HANG-sgiving Hang-Out and Open House” celebration.  When I got back home I napped for a bit before the open house started. Since it was still rainy I wasn’t sure how many guests would come over for it, but it ended up being a nice group.  We watched the “Flint” movies on Blu Ray.  They were great! I hadn’t seen them since I was a kid.  After my guests left I took another nap, but when I awoke I felt like going straight to bed. I had severe pains in my back and areas of my chest.  I knew it wasn’t a heart attack, so after a Google search, I realized that it was probably residual effects from the severe heartburn attack I had last Wednesday.  I guess it’s time to get back on the medication my doctor prescribed for such things.  So I got ready for bed and hit the hay around 6am, after taking some meds.

Saturday the 30th – THE WEEK JUST “FLU” BY! – When I got up at noon I was feeling much better. It was a beautiful day and I walked Roxy around the neighborhood.  I got a text from Edi saying that she and Ems got the flu and had been out of commission the past few days. The flu?  Maybe that was the cause of my achy evening.  Perhaps I had caught a touch of the flu.  But because I take colloidal silver regularly, it enhances my immune system to the point that any symptoms are minimized. Maybe I had a bit of the flu and didn’t know it.  In either event, I was glad to be feeling better. Just to be on the safe side, I called the pharmacy and had my Nexium prescription refilled.  I straightened up the house, vacuumed the floors, took a dip in the Jacuzzi, worked on my computer a bit, and then Sara came over to prep for the final night of my three night Happy Th-HANG-sgiving celebration.  We ordered take-out food from Little Toni’s and Sara dashed off to pick it up.  We watched “West World” and the sequel “Future World.”  A strange coincidence, but Sioux Falls was mentioned in two of the films we watched over the weekend.  In “Airplane 2” it’s mentioned, and it’s also mentioned in “Future World.”  Odd.   The Blu Ray transfer of “West World” looked great. I’ve loved that movie ever since I saw it in the theater as a kid at the age of 12.  And the newly remastered 5.1 surround sound was a bonus treat!  But “Future World” seemed like a really expensive TV movie.  But I’m glad I saw it.  After my guests left I grabbed a nap on the couch, and didn’t wake up again until 4:30am!  I fed Roxy and we took an early morning stroll around the neighborhood at 5am.  I came back inside and made one my awesome Wally salads, and got ready for Saturday Night Saint and Salad night.  But because I was eating slowly and cautiously in fear of a repeat of the heartburn incident, by the time the hour-long “Saint” episode was done I was just finishing my salad. I hadn’t eaten my dessert, or popcorn or pineapple. And since I wasn’t really tired, I decided to run a bonus “Magnum” episode too.   I got to sleep around 10am.

Sunday the 1st – CH-CH-CH-CHANGES! – When I woke up at 2 I walked Roxy and had a bowl of Boo Berry, but promptly went back to bed to sleep until it was time to head to evening church.  After the service Sara and I went to Denny’s for dinner.  She gave me the 18” 1966 Batman figure she had picked up for me earlier in the day.  It’s a great looking piece!  Then we went to the local CVS so I could get my refill of Nexium.  But the cost was astronomical. $226!  My insurance didn’t cover it.  I wasn’t sure why exactly. But I was determined to find out first thing Monday morning!  But I needed the medication, so I paid full price for it and came home.  I took a dip in the Jacuzzi, then napped until 2am.  When I got up I spent the rest of the evening putting my house back in order. I put my art table back together, and though it should have been an easy task, it was anything but.  Because of its age one of the plastic bolt housings had worn through. And the securing bolt was no longer grabbing onto the metal to keep the table at its proper height. I tried everything but nothing would work.  So, I broke out the good old duct tape and sealed it up nicely.  It won’t last forever, but it’ll last for a good long while.  I was playing Christmas music on my satellite while I worked and at 3:15am I heard Andy Williams “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  It’s my personal tradition that when I hear that song in passing, I know the Christmas season is really here.  Last year I heard it on Thanksgiving night…a little too early.  But this seemed right, as it was now the first day of December.  It’s my favorite Christmas song out there and it really puts me in that “retro” Christmas spirit.  I worked all night on the house and finally restored it to a state of normalcy.  Though it was 7am my time, it was 10am on the east coast. So I called my union to see why my medicine cost so much.  Apparently, in their infinite stupidity, they converted the prescription system to a MAIL ORDER service called Medco.  So unless you get your prescriptions through this company in the mail, you’ll be paying full price at your local pharmacy.  MAIL ORDER DRUGS? I don’t even trust the postal service to send a birthday card on time, let alone much-needed medications!  What is this insanity?  And why all the changes all of a sudden?  I called Medco to get the lowdown and it seems like it’s the only way to do it now if I don’t want to pay full price for medications.  What a bummer.  I wonder who’s bright idea THIS system was.  Mail order drugs through the post office. Gosh…what could go wrong there??!!  I made some Buffalo Mac and headed to bed to watch the final episode of “Magnum P.I.” from the Season One  DVD set.  I finally got to sleep around 10am Monday morning.

And how was YOUR Thanksgiving week??!!


The finished product! My signed Brooks Robinson jersey along with the photo I took with Brooks back in 1971 at the Met Stadium in Minneapolis, MN!

The new NECA Batman figure. Pretty cool looking!

Batman calls Robin and plots to escape my glass display case with his Batarang.

A restful Spooky the Cat after Thanksgiving festivities.