Archive for May, 2016
May 31 – June 5
RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
My cat Spook is clearly ‘in the bag.’ But he likes it there!
After watching Yulia Argo’s show at Barone’s last Friday, I haven’t been able to get Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” out of my head. And I…don’t know why.
Tuesday the 31st – YOU ‘CAN’T’ BANK ON IT! – After a wonderful Memorial Day holiday, and the release of our new music video “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town),” I had to get back to business. There was lots to do. I got up at 2 and headed to the post office to mail some stuff. Then I went to my mailbox to get my packages, stopped by the dry cleaners to drop off a comforter, go to the comic book store to pick up a few pieces of reading material, and then I headed to my bank to see why the deposit I put in their night depository hadn’t yet shown up in my account. Sunday when I woke up a “little voice” told me that before I pay bills for the week, I had better check to make sure the deposits I put in the night depository at my bank last Thursday night, actually made it into my account. Good thing. Because as of today, they hadn’t! I talked to the manager at the bank who was absolutely no help at all. I told him the story and he said they hadn’t seen it. I asked if he could go into the depository and see if it had gotten stuck. He gave me a bunch of policy folderol about not being able to open the depository until the next morning at 8:45am. Even though I was standing there, worrying that my deposits were lost, forever lost, and he didn’t seem that interested in helping me. I gave him my number, started to make plans about moving my entire group of accounts to a competing bank, and left unsatisfied. They had “completely” emptied the depository Friday and Tuesday and had found nothing. I was getting worried. I headed back home to do some work and prep for a busy Wednesday. I had 2 sessions scheduled and one audition at Nickelodeon. Just as I was getting ready to head to dinner, the bank manager called at 6:15 and said that he in fact DID go into the depository and FOUND my deposit. It had gotten stuck in the chute. (Strange nobody found it until now!) He was very apologetic about the whole affair. Apparently the business size envelope I used can get caught in the chute, but wouldn’t their employee be trained to clean out the entire chute to double-check that there’s nothing else there? Or do they just mindlessly grab what’s in the basket at the bottom and toddle off? They said there is a specific type of “bag” that’s normally used, but since I use the night depository so infrequently, I never knew anything about it. Not only am I not going to use those types of envelopes again, I may never use the night depository again and just give back my key. I’ll certainly sleep better knowing it was found. Whew! Talk about heart failure! I headed to dinner with my assistant Sara at Jerry’s Famous Deli, then I got home to do some work. I went to bed so I could be up early the next day for a very busy day!
Wednesday the 1st – JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS! – It was “blast from the past” Wednesday, for many reasons. I got up at 8, got cleaned up, and then walked Roxy to the groomer’s for a bath. The groomer is right next to one of the Studiopolis locations where I’ve been recording episodes of a cartoon for Cartoon Network. So I usually drop her off there just before I have to do a session. And normally when I’m done with the session, Roxy is ready to go home. It works out very well! My friend Yulia Argo, my singer friend, came by the session to observe for a while. She’s only been in America for a few years (she’s originally from Russia) and she had never seen a cartoon voice-over session before. I think she thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked up Roxy at noon and walked back home. Then I hopped in the Mustang and headed to Nickelodeon in Burbank for an audition. When it was over I went down the street to the Tally Rand restaurant to meet Yulia and her young daughter for lunch. While I was there I ran into my old pal Art, who used to work as a spot operator on “The Tonight Show.” Apparently he eats lunch there every day. It was great seeing him again and laughing about the old days. Yulia, her daughter and I enjoyed a fun lunch, and come to find out, Yulia’s daughter is a big fan of “The Garfield Show.” So we had fun at lunch running through all of my voices on the show. I also did a few impressions of other cartoon characters she liked. She’s a nice little kid. When we finished, I headed to Guns Direct to see what new items they had in stock. Then I stopped by It’s a Wrap to look around. My session at Salami wasn’t until 4, but I just didn’t want to kill any more time. So I headed over to Salami and relaxed for a bit before my session started. I had been on the go all day, so I was pretty beat. I snatched a small 15 minute nap on one of the chair in the lobby. Then I got up after my short “meditation” and started my ADR session. ADR stands for “additional dialogue recording,” and it was for an animated film I had recorded lines for several months ago. Now that the animation has been completed, there are lots of additional little things that needed to be put in. Impact grunts, laughs, noises, running sounds, etc.- general stuff needed to keep the animation “alive.” This movie looks amazing, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it when it’s released. I got home and met up with my pals Elliot and Edi so I could take possession of Edi’s dog Bunny. “Bun Buns” is an old friend, so when Edi and Elliot are in town and unable to keep her at their hotel, she stays with Roxy, Spook and me in Planet Wallywood. It’s always fun to have her. She’s a nice little doggie. Buns got dropped off and had a little dinner, and then I did some work for a bit. Then I headed over to Floyd’s to get a cut and color. While I was waiting for the color to set, I grabbed another quick little “meditation” in the chair. It had been quite a day! When I got home I got an official nap on the most comfortable couch in the universe. Then I got up to do my nightly auditions, but I also had a short session to do for radio station KABD in Aberdeen, South Dakota; one of my beloved hometowns. The material they had me record was all “severe weather” announcements. Boy reading that stuff sure brought back memories of the awful summer storms we experienced during my South Dakota life. Tornados, severe thunderstorms, etc. – it was all coming back to me. It was stuff we don’t have to deal with here in L.A. – but talking about all of the safety measures you have to take if a tornado is sighted really took me back! I flashed back to our family huddled together in our house’s basement, clutching flashlights and listening to a little transistor radio to get the latest storm information. As we listened to the latest news about where funnel clouds had been sighted, we prayed they wouldn’t hit 1516 S. 6th street. The lightning crackled in the airwaves of the only AM station in town at the time; KSDN. I thought about what it would be like to be that guy on the air, all alone at the station, fielding all sorts of important incoming weather information, disseminating it, and knowing that virtually everyone in town is listening to you for lifesaving info. Strangely enough, years later, I WOULD become that guy. I finished up for the day and fed Bunny, Roxy and Spook. I sent out my movie night invites and then headed to Denny’s to get some food. I enjoyed eating it in bed watching “Lost in Space” with one dog and a cat on the bed and another dog on the floor, all looking for treats. We watched another episode of “Lost in Space” from the second season Blu Ray set.
Thursday the 2nd – McCARTNEY CONCERT COLLAGE HAS LANDED! – When I got up at noon I got a call from Michael’s Crafts saying that my ultra-cool McCartney Concert Collage framed piece was finished. I couldn’t wait to see it! When I got there I was blown away. It was perfect! Definitely a great memento from a wonderful time! Edi and Elliot came over to pick up Bunny for their trip back to Palm Springs. Then my pal Brittney Powell came over to do some work. At 5:30 I headed over to Marc Graue recording to do a very rare evening session. It was for a feature film, and my pal Kirk Thornton directed me. Kirk has played my brother (“Tiger and Bunny”) and my computerized robotic co-hort (“Sonic Boom”) and now he was my director. We had a blast. We finished up in an hour and I drove by Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich. I really hadn’t eaten anything substantial all day, just a few snacks here and there and lots of iced tea. But when I got home to eat it, I found out my guests had arrived early. So I’d eat it later. My old pal Jenalyn and her two sons and mom came by Planet Wallywood for a tour. Her youngest son Tyler has become a huge fan of my webseries “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys,” and was actually quoting lines from the first two episodes. The first thing he asked to see was the Magic Lunchbox and my Michael Myers figure. After their tour I sat down for a bit and enjoyed half of my Jersey Mike’s sandwich. I changed the sheets and comforter on the Puppet Room bed in anticipation of some overnight guests from Seattle who would be flying in around 10. I got a short nap on the couch, and then got a call from my friends Sunni and Erica who said their plane was late getting in, but they were on their way over. They would be crashing for a few hours in Planet Wallywood and then taking off for a road trip early the next morning for Bakersfield. They would be surprising a friend of theirs at a graduation party. They got here just after midnight and we chatted and got caught up. While they slept I did my auditions and worked around the house. I fed and walked Roxy on our usual late-night stroll around the neighborhood. By the time 5am rolled around, I woke Sunni and Erica up and they got showered and headed out on the road. When they left at 6, I hit the hay.
Friday the 3rd – THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY! – Every time the 3rd of June rolls around I think of Desiree and Billie Joe. There are two prominent songs that mention the 3rd of June as an important date. Neil Diamond lost his virginity to an older woman on this date (according to the song “Desiree”) and we owe something to Billie Joe McAllister in the song “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry. Fun stuff. I got up at noon and let the maids in. But I was so tired I napped on the couch while they worked around me. I was totally oblivious to the noisy vacuum cleaner encircling me. I was out! I paid them when they finished and I got ready to drive to Hollywood for a Wells Fargo audition. (Wells Fargo is NOT the bank in question from my troubles earlier in the week, FYI) But I promised myself that if I got the job for Wells Fargo, I’d take that as a sign that I should move my accounts there and leave my old, indifferent bank. It was a fun audition and I saw a few of the “gang” at the casting office. It’s not often these days that you get out into the field and do outside auditions. Most of them are done at home now. But when it happens, it’s usually a fun time seeing everyone. I drove to Voice Trax West to do a quickie session for American Airlines. It would be my last professional act for the week, and I was ready for the weekend! I got home and met up with my pal Jasmine to plan her appearance in an upcoming episode of “Wacky Wally’s Vintage Toys.” And then I got showered up and headed to Barone’s to meet some friends for dinner and watch our pal Yulia do her show. She’s a terrific singer and we all enjoyed her performance. We all ended up staying very late and saw her very last song of the night. On the way home I got groceries, and when I got home I put them all away and crashed on the couch for a while. I enjoyed eating my leftover Barone’s pizza and watching “Lost In Space” later.
Saturday the 4th – SPECIAL GUEST SATURDAY! – There was LOTS to do! First I hit McDonald’s for some lunch to go, and then I went to my box to pick up my mail. I got some White Ginger essential oil that I had ordered. For my birthday I got an essential oil diffuser from my friends Mark and Connie. It makes things smell nice around Planet Wallywood, and with two rambunctious pets, that’s always a welcome gift. I had tried sandalwood and lemongrass, and while both were nice I was looking for a signature Planet Wallywood scent. I love the White Ginger-scented soap, shampoo and lotion that the Palm Springs Hyatt used to give out, but they stopped doing that several years back. Thankfully I hoarded a bunch of it, and am always on the look-out for those items on eBay. To me, it just smells like memories of Palm Springs and I love it. So I was hoping that the essential oil would smell similar. I couldn’t wait to try it out. After all, when you walk into the lobby of the Palm Springs Hyatt it always smells so good, and they told me that they used White Ginger there too. I went to the cleaners to pick the comforter I dropped off on Tuesday, and I dropped off another one to be cleaned. Then I went to the hardware store to pick up some picture hangers and a few light bulbs. I went to CVS to pick up a prescription and a few other supplies, and then I went to Jerry’s Famous Deli to give them my food order for delivery later that night. I got home and cleaned up the place for movie night. I hung the McCartney Concert Collage, which required me to move around several other pieces of art to accommodate it. (That’s where the picture hangers came in!) Our special guest for movie night was the lovely and talented Lee Meriwether! Planet Wallywood was packed with about 25 people who sat in rapt attention as she told tales of working on “Barnaby Jones” with Buddy Ebsen, her experiences as Miss America in 1955, her work on “Star Trek,” as well as her stint as Catwoman in the 1966 “Batman” feature film. She is “class to the power of class!” Her daughter Lesley and her had a generally good time chatting with everyone and taking photos of things around Planet Wallywood. Lee sat next to Robo-Elvis and swooned as he sang “Love Me Tender” for her. She posed for pics with everybody and signed everyone’s books and photos. When everyone left my friends Scott and Vickie Sebring stayed behind for a bit to tell me about their recent camping trip to Joshua Tree; a place I love dearly. I cleaned up the house, posted some updates for Wally’s Week, put some of the White Ginger oil in my diffuser and let ‘er rip! It smelled clean and wonderful, much like that “soapy” smell when you’re fresh out of the shower. I think I’ve found my signature scent. Between uses, you need to clean the diffuser out with citric acid, which I also got in the mail earlier in the day. I made my traditional Saturday night super salad and watched an episode of the old BBC TV series “The Avengers.” FUN DAY!
Sunday the 5th – SUNDAY SOLACE! – No matter how crazy the week was, I can always count on a nice, relaxing Sunday. I got up around 2 in the afternoon and walked Roxy. After several hot days it was starting to cool down again nicely. I went back to bed until 4:45, when I got up to get ready for evening church. Roxy and I walked over to church, had a great time, and walked my “adopted grandma” Shirley back to her house. After doing a little bit of work, I hopped in the car and picked up Shirley and Sara so we could go to dinner at The Coral Café. But I was feeling a bit blue. A woman who was obviously “on” something had come to our service. She was very happy and was really enjoying her “trip.” As much as we try to be welcoming to everyone, there comes a point when somebody like that is just too disruptive to everyone else and has to be removed. She grabbed some food from the table and scurried around the room erratically; not really sure what she was doing. Our security guy escorted her out of the room, packed up some food for her, and even gave her some clothes and supplies from our church’s Food Pantry. But he deemed her a danger to herself and others. Just as he had called to police to attend to her, she disappeared. I felt so badly for her, and wondered why somebody would do that to themselves. It really colored my evening spirit with a dark tone. I was still fairly tired so when I got home I napped on the couch for a few hours. I got up and did a few auditions, and also did a few in-home sessions (where I’m allowed to self-direct) for a DVD bonus materials documentary, and a demo for a Mattel TV commercial. I fed and walked Roxy and then hit the hay to be up early for a session on Monday. In fact, three of the five days this coming work week would require me to be up early in the morning. And I’m definitely no fan of getting up before noon! Whatever shall I do?
And how was YOUR week??!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Lee meets Kermit