Archive for June, 2017

June 26 – July 4



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

In 1975 I wanted to look as much like Paul Michael Glaser as possible. So I had one of the ladies in the neighborhood give me a “perm.”  Little did I know, that since I already had naturally wavy hair I really didn’t need it.  It just ended up making my hair frizzy.  But after the perm wore off, my own naturally curly hair sufficed for my the “Starsky” look I wanted.

Our study of story songs continues with a great song written by my old pal Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel).  It’s another one of those weird stories about a character who’s not quite right in the head and does some naughty things. “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy always intrigued me as a kid, but I didn’t understand the part “he’s getting smaller with the sound.”  I asked Alan about that and what it meant.  He said that Angie was into witchcraft and literally shrunk her lover to keep him like a doll.  WILD!  His explanation was even weirder than what I originally imagined!

Monday the 26th – SUMMER’S COME! – It was another 100 degree day in L.A. today.  Heatwave? Nah, we used to call it summer.  I slept until 2 in the afternoon in the cool of my air conditioned Tranquility Zone.  I had a lot of dreams about Adam West, and they were awesome. I guess that means he’s in a good place.  Later in the afternoon my contractor Electric Bob came over to investigate the leak in my Puppet Room shower. It was causing a leak in the ceiling above my dining room.  He found exactly what the problem was, and he’ll come by Tuesday morning to start the work.  I stayed inside all day and wrote Wally’s Week.  Edi and her dog Bunny were in town to get an MRI at a vet in West L.A., so they stayed at my house overnight.  My assistant Sara, Edi and I went out to Chin Chin to get some food and talk about Bunny’s health troubles.  She’s a 10 year old teacup Maltese and she has degenerating discs in her back, which causes great pain and has rendered her right back leg intermittently lame.  Very sad. Doggies bring us nothing but pure love, and it’s always sad to see them go through bad health issues.  Bunny will get her MRI first thing Tuesday morning.  When we got back I swapped out the Mustang for the Gran Torino. I wanted to get it ready for tomorrow morning.  I had an early session right by my mechanic’s shop, so I’ll stop by before the session and have them swap out the battery that’s in there now for a much better, higher quality battery.  I went into my kitchen and cleared off all the shelves so Electric Bob could get at the part of the ceiling that was most affected by the Puppet Room shower leak. Then I went off to bed for the early session and stop-off at The Burbank Auto Doctors.

Tuesday the 27th – TWO-FER TUESDAY! – I had a difficult time sleeping; I always do when I’m forced to sleep at night.  But I got up at 9:30 and started an utterly fantastic day!  Edi was already up and out the door with Bunny to head to the vet’s office for the MRI.  I drove the Torino over to my mechanic and it only took them about 20 minutes to swap out the battery I had in there with an Optima battery I had bought a while ago. It’s a much more robust, high quality battery and I wanted that one in there permanently.  Then I headed over to Monkey Land audio to do a session for a new feature film. I did some ADR (additional dialogue recording) as various vintage newscasters for a film that focuses on the assassinations of JFK and RFK.  Everyone at the studio loved the Torino and they were taking pictures of it. They especially loved my ride-along “Hutch” mannequin.  After the session I mailed some stuff at the post office, picked up some packages at my mailbox, and then went home to swap the Torino back to the Mustang.  I walked Roxy and then headed to Paramount Studios in Hollywood to do another session for “Lady Dynamite.”  I saw my old pal Jeff Nimoy who was also there to do a Voice-Over session.  He showed me a picture he took in front of a sign that said “Leonard Nimoy Way,” which is a street on the lot.  Leonard was his cousin so he was on a mission to find the sign the next time he was on the lot.  I love being on the Paramount lot. In addition to “Star Trek” many of my other favorite shows were shot there, “Taxi,” “Happy Days,” “Love American Style,” “Mannix,” “Mission Impossible,” and more. WOW!  The session at “Lady Dynamite” was short and sweet, and when I finished I met up with my pal Pete for lunch at the Commissary.  Pete is a Producer on “Hawaii Five-O” and I’ve known him for years.  It was good to see him again and check out his office.  They had just come back from hiatus so he wasn’t swamped with work yet.  He actually had time to sit around and chat!  When I left I looked for the “Taxi” stage (having just seen the entire first season) but I couldn’t find it.  I even called my pal Randall Carver to see if he remembered which stage he shot the show on, (Randall played John Burns the first season) but since it was almost 40 years ago he couldn’t recall.  I drove back home and cranked the A/C since it was another hot day.  My friend Emily was busy scanning at my impromptu scanning station.  I had several books of photos yet to scan and I wanted everything finished before the July 4th weekend.  The station was set up on my kitchen table and I needed my kitchen for the big weenie roast we’d be doing on the 4th. So all the scanning needed to be done by then so I could tear down the scanning station and put everything away.  I got a call from Profiles in History to bid on a few “Magnum, p.i.” items in the latest auction, but I got outbid on both of them.  One item wasn’t particularly rare, but when it went over a certain amount I dropped out.  There will be more to come soon in the future, I’m sure.  I’m convinced that the hammer price was a lot more than it was actually worth.  In the auction world, you have to be very mindful of that.  Exhausted from the heat and the busy day, I grabbed a nap upstairs while Emily continued scanning.   My pal Brittney Powell came by later to say hi, then I made a pizza and did some work.  I did some auditions, worked around the house, and got ready for Electric Bob to come over and fix the shower tomorrow.  I perused the scans that Emily did and it sure was great to see some of those old photos again. In addition to having every movie and TV still in my collection scanned, I’m also having Emily scan my entire Lon Chaney photo collection.  Later I made some mac and cheese and watched another “Outer Limits” episode.

Wednesday the 28th – WEIRD, WILD WEDNESDAY! – When I got up at noon I had a tearful message from my mom that my Aunt Sheryl (her sister) had been T-boned in an auto accident that morning. Thank GOD she was still alive, but she was in serious pain.  I spoke with Electric Bob about the shower situation, and Edi called to say that the doctors consulting on Bunny’s condition did NOT recommend surgery.  She’ll be on serious pain management, steroids and rest.  She won’t be allowed to run around like crazy and re-injure herself. Electric Bob came over at 1 and opened the ceiling above my dining room.  There was a pinprick leak right around the drain gasket in the Puppet Room shower which is directly above my dining room.  He said in “earthquake country” it’s not uncommon for caulking and sealant to move around and cause small leaks.  While he worked I prepared a deposit for the bank.  When I got back my friend and Voice-Over colleague Secunda Wood came by to say hi.  She had just finished an audition in the area and wanted to stop by and say hi.  Emily came back to do more scanning.  But as we hung out around Planet Wallywood, Secunda started acting strangely.  Then she didn’t feel well and laid down on one of the beanbag chairs in the living room.  I called my pharmacy to get a refill on the little vials of stuff my sinus surgeon recommended I include in my sinus rinses.  But for some reason (even with insurance) it was over $200!  I told them to cancel the refill and I left a message with my surgeon. When my doctor got back to me, she said the medicine was no longer necessary, considering the surgery was 5 weeks ago. I had intended to stop by the bank to drop off the deposit, and then go see my embroidery guy to pick up an order.  But he didn’t make it back to his shop in time so I decided to do it tomorrow. Meanwhile, Secunda was getting worse.  I had to get going to dinner with Edi at Paty’s and Bunny, so I asked Emily to call Secunda’s husband to have him come get her.  Come to find out she had to be rushed to the ER, and they found out she had pneumonia!!  I took Roxy with me to dinner and it was a fun time.   As Edi and I sat on the patio eating we heard screeching tires. We looked over and saw a car about 4 inches away from a girl in a crosswalk; she almost got hit!  This was one WEIRD Wednesday to be sure!  I told the girl her Guardian Angel was working overtime today!  Edi felt a weird vibe in the air too, as the energy around the vet’s officer was also very strange.  After dinner I drove home (very carefully!) and went to bed and hid under the covers. I just wanted this day to end!  I got up later to do auditions, work around the house, and then feed and walk Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood.  It was a nice night, but I could smell smoke in the air from the area fires.  Even with my bad sniffer I could smell it, so it must’ve been really bad!  I went back inside and made some spaghetti to get ready for another “Outer Limits” episode.  I was pleasantly surprised because the episode entitled “The Architects of Fear” starred my late “adopted grandpa” Leonard Stone!  He’s a terrific actor.  He must be, because I was totally hating him toward the end of the episode.  And in real life, I had nothing but love for this kind gentleman. What a great, great actor!

Thursday the 29th – TIME MACHINE THURSDAY! – Around 11:30 I had to be at another church meeting with my pastor and a few other folks.  When I got done I headed to the embroidery shop to drop off an order I had placed a few days ago.  I hit Burger King for lunch, and then went over to the bank to make my deposit.  I stopped by my pal Joe’s printing shop to get some flyers printed and laminated.  Then I met Electric Bob at my house to see how it was coming with the leak.  Then at 6 I dialed a number to do an interview about my comedy songs.  The interviewer was an 11 year old boy who has a show on Sunday nights on his local radio station.  He’s a kid version of Dr. Demento, as his show covers all sorts of comedy recordings.  It was an amazing experience talking to him.  In fact, at one point I was very highly amused by the whole thing.  It really seemed like I was talking to my younger self at that age.  If I could get into a time machine and meet my 11 year old self this would have been very similar to how I’m sure it would have gone.  After every answer I gave he would issue a very enthusiastic, “COOL!”  I’ve been doing that since I was in Junior High!  He asked very well-planned and pointed questions and was a consummate pro.  I could hear his dad on the line helping with ideas and questions.  I couldn’t stop smiling, because this is exactly what my dad and I would have done together back in “the day” if we had access to the internet. I can’t wait to get the link to this interview so I can post it and have you hear it.  It’s one of my most favorite interviews I’ve ever done!  He played my songs “Adam West,” “Too Late to Get Fries,” and “Chiller.”  After the interview I headed to my seamstress Karyn’s to pick up some sunshades she made for my 1:1 Muppet replicas.  When I open up my bedroom during the day the sun beats in, and I don’t want my valuable replicas getting sun-bleached. So during the daytime hours I put up these little sun shades so they don’t get hit by sunlight.  I hit Jack in the Box on the way home to get some food, and then I took a nap on the couch. I got up later to do my nightly auditions, and then made some soup and a sandwich to watch “The Outer Limits.”  Another GREAT episode!  I actually like this series better than “The Twilight Zone!”

Friday the 30th – FOUR DAY WEEKEND FOR THE FOURTH! – Though I only got a few hours of sleep I had to get up to handle a ton of stuff.  First, Electric Bob came over to work on the leaky shower drain.  I found out Plastic Depot was closing early, and that my order was ready, so I didn’t want to wait until mid-next week to get my stuff.  I left Bob in charge of the repairs and I headed out.  Sara was on her way to hang out with Bob and let the maids in when they arrived.  Bob wanted a good couple of hours to work before the maids arrived so he wouldn’t be in their way.  I stopped off to get some packages at my mailbox, and then picked up my order at Plastic Depot and bid my pal Kyle a happy 4th of July!  I got a new, taller cover for my Kermit the Frog 1:1 Muppet replica.  I also got a riser and cover for my Gonzo 1:1 Muppet replica display.  This would lift the item on top of the Gonzo display case high enough so that I could put a light on top that would shine down on Gonzo.  I stopped by KFC to get lunch, and then headed back to my embroidery guy to pick up my order.  I got a couple of baseball tees (light gray body with black sleeves) and had my Elliot Lurie; Looking Glass design printed on the front. They looked great!  I got one for me, and one for Edi; Elliot’s wife.  In fact, they turned out so well, I’m going to pay to have a silk screen made so we can make a lot of them.  The two I picked up today were just transfers, but when they’re screen printed they’ll look exceptional! When I got home Bob was gone (the work was all finished) and Sara was there waiting for the maids.  Once the maids showed up I did some work around the house and stayed out of their way.  But the new cover for my Kermit case didn’t fit.  It was just 1/32” too short to fit on the base snugly.   To make matters worse, the riser and platform on the Gonzo display case didn’t work as I had anticipated. I had forgotten to consider two very important components in my prep.  Once the top of the display case was elevated, the floor lamp next to it would no longer fit!  The large dish of the lamp cleared the top of the cabinet before, but now that the cabinet is almost 3 inches higher, it conflicts. So I got Sara on the phone and had her come back to help.  She and I took very specific measurements to determine what the available amount of space.  Once she had the measurements, she went to some local stores to go searching for a new lamp that would fit in the new space provided.  Once the light was installed over Gonzo’s head the cord and the base of the light fixture was visible behind him.  I went downstairs to my storage and pulled out some sparkly blue fabric to use as a background. It was pretty wrinkly, but it looked great behind him.  And best of all, it covered up all the things I didn’t want anyone to see behind him.  Brittney came over to swim in the pool, and Emily came over to finish scanning the photos in my still collection.  The lamp Sara brought over worked perfectly!  I put everything back together, and then we went to DuPar’s for dinner. We were joined by my personal trainer Natalie Duran; of “America Ninja Warriors.”  I tried to hide the fact that I was enjoying a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and extra gravy. I asked if she could go easy on me for tonight’s training session.  After the workout I grabbed a nap (I needed it!) and got up later to feed and walk Roxy.  I hit Denny’s to get some food to go and relaxed with another episode of “The Outer Limits” before bed. What a day!

Saturday the 1st – INDEPENDENCE WEEKEND! – The Fourth of July four-day weekend was officially underway!  I got up at 3 and headed to Hobby Lobby to get some more of those baseball tees to make more Elliot Lurie; Looking Glass shirts, and I got some adhesive foam core.  I didn’t like how the backdrop behind Gonzo looked so wrinkly.  So I’m going to lay it on some foam core to flatten it. I think it’ll display much better.  I got a bunch of groceries for that night’s movie night, and then headed home to unload the goods.  I worked on the Gonzo background and it worked out perfectly.  We enjoyed a fun movie night with Michael Keaton’s “Johnny Dangerously” from 1984.  When everyone left I grabbed a short nap on the couch.  I got up to do some work around the house, made my traditional Saturday night Super Salad and watched a great episode of “Hee Haw.”

Sunday the 2nd – HEADING FORTH FOR THE FOURTH! – The first thing I did when I woke up at 2 was hit the internet to get the status of my friend Alex’s flight from Phoenix. She’d be staying in Planet Wallywood through the 4th of July weekend, and I needed to pick her up at the airport at 3:15.  But it looked like her flight would be delayed about a half hour.  I picked her up with her little Chihuahua named Lady and we headed to my house to drop off her luggage.  Lady, Roxy, Alex and I walked over to evening church.  We were joined at the service by Alex’s friend Allie, and then my “adopted grandma” Shirley, Allie, Alex, Lady, Roxy and I all walked back to my house.  We met Sara at Barone’s for a fun dinner.  We dropped Shirley off at her home, and Alex, Allie and I went back to Planet Wallywood so they could watch movies.  Sara joined them and I went upstairs to grab a nap.  Later I came down and joined them and looked through the file of scanned photos to do a little QC.  I have to tear down the scanning station on Monday and before I did that, I wanted to make sure that all the scans looked good.  I needed all the computer gear out of the kitchen to make room for my 4th of July guests. Sara was tired so she headed to the Puppet Room to crash.  Around 5am Allie and Alex took an Uber over to Allie’s, and I got ready to watch another “Outer Limits.”  I heated up some Barone’s pizza and watched a great episode starring the always amazing Martin Landau!

Monday the 3rd – PREP FOR THE PEOPLE! – Sara burst into my room around noon and woke me up from a sound sleep.  I thought the house was on fire or something. Come to find out she couldn’t find her keys!  I told them that Allie and Alex may have accidentally grabbed them when they left early this morning. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.  Sara continued doing some last-minute scanning as I walked Roxy and then went back to bed for a few hours When I got up at 3 I went outside to clean up the area for the big 4th of July weenie roast and fireworks extravaganza.  My patio was full of leaves and it needed a serious cleaning.  Sara would be cooking hot dogs out there and I wanted the area to be super clean.  I showered up and Allie and Alex brought Sara’s keys over.  Then Sara and I went to get groceries for the weenie roast.  We got back home, put all the stuff away, and I was exhausted.  Sara kept scanning, but I grabbed a short nap.  I got up just after midnight and transferred all of the scanned photos over to my computer and two additional hard drives; just to be safe.  I fed and walked Roxy, and then tore down the auxiliary computer and put all the components away in storage.  It was good to have it all done, as it’s a project that’s been going on and off since last October.  I made some sloppy joes and watched “The Outer Limits” before bed. I was looking forward to a wonderful Independence Day!

Tuesday the 4th – HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! – When I got up at 3 I started prepping the house for the big party.  There’s a huge fireworks display every year right out my back door, so I love to have friends come over to enjoy it.  Sara’s always willing to make hot dogs on the grill and we always have a great time!  I swept the area outside my garage where we’d all be gathering and got some chairs ready.  There’s an exceptionally bright light outside my unit that would have spoiled the view of the fireworks, so I got on a ladder and, amazingly enough, I was able to cover it with a black garbage bag with a very long stick.  My guests started arriving around 6 to swim and help out with the food.  What a great time it was, and the fireworks display was amazing as always.  There were a few guests left who were chatting, but I crashed out on the couch.  I was exhausted!  I bid them all farewell and worked to clean up the house.  I did my nightly auditions and then hit the hay early for an early session on Wednesday. I hope you had a great 4th of July too!

And how was YOUR week?!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

It’s quickly becoming tradition around my neighborhood to pass out glow necklaces before the 4th of July celebration. It’s a kick to see everyone with glow stuff around their necks, heads, arms, and bodies as the fireworks blow. Thanks to Mike Schrimmer from Windy City Novelties in Chicago!

All the neighbors exude a “glowing” anticipation of this year’s fireworks display!

Happy Birthday America!

Nothing like beans and hot dogs to commemorate a great country’s birthday!

Everyone has a great time with some great comfort food!

Chef Sara wields a wicked pair of tongs!

Even Lady enjoys it!

nd at the end of the night, I collapse on the Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe in utter exhaustion! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!