August 28 – September 4



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

I ran across this picture of Andy Kaufman eating a bowl of Honeycombs cereal. It really is a shame he and I never met. We have SO much in common!

When I saw “They Call Me Trinity” at the movie theater back in 1970 it was quite a while before I could get the theme song out of my head. Now that we’ve watched it at movie night, that song is drilled in my head again. Luckily, it’s a great piece of music! I love listening to the singer’s slight Italian accent. He’s trying real hard to sound as English as possible, but certain words still come out strangely.

Monday the 28th – A REAL PAIN IN THE…BACK! – As you read in last week’s Wally’s Week, I’ve been dealing with a pulled muscle in the middle right of my back. I got an appointment to see my Chiropractor Dr. Carletta at 3, so I headed over to see him and hopefully get this worked out. I first discovered him back in about 2010 when I had a pulled muscle in my back while working on a TV commercial shoot. His office is right by where the used to film “The Tonight Show” so it was very convenient. As before, he worked on my back a little and then put me on an “e-stim” (electronic stimulation) machine for a while. He puts little electrodes on the affected area of my back and sends shockwaves into the muscle. The shockwaves cause the muscle to tense up and then relax. The repetition of this exercise eventually causes the muscle to fatigue and eventually just “give up.” The intended result is supposed to be less pain. It worked, but only for a short time. As I laid there on the table getting these gentle shocks in my back, I recalled how my problems originated. After an injury from jumping rope (I didn’t warm up properly before jumping right in) I rested a few days to get rid of the pain. When I thought I was better, I immediately launched into an ambitious project of repeatedly climbing up a tall ladder in my living room, swiveling right, picking up my 18” classic monster figures on my “Monster Shelf,” and then bringing them down the ladder for cleaning. They’re not very heavy, but they’re also not very light. I also cleaned the “Monster Shelf” and the haunted house facade behind it. It was after repetitive lifting, climbing, and twisting motions that I started to feel the pain again. As the electric shocks continued to buzz my back, I thought it was very ironic that it all started by lifting a Frankenstein figure…and now here I am literally feeling like Frankenstein; with all of the electrical wires hooked on to my back sending electricity into my body. It’s good to see the humor in all of this, I guess. I think I’ll probably need to go in every day this week. I definitely won’t be able to work while I have this, because it feels like a railroad spike buried in my back. And the affected muscle is one of those muscles that’s used in every activity a human being needs to do. So it’s constantly getting flexed. After my appointment I drove to Rite Aid to get more Icy Hot lidocaine patches, and then I went home to sit in the Jacuzzi for a while and put the jet on my hurting muscles. I rested on the couch for a bit, and then I woke up around 10 to do my nightly auditions. I typed out Wally’s Week, made a salad, and put the heating pad on my back and watched some TV before I went to sleep.

Tuesday the 29th – When I got up at noon I had a last-minute audition to record, and then it was off to the Chiropractor again. The e-stim felt really good and I hope I’m turning a corner. I went to my mailbox to get a package, stopped by Jack in the Box to get lunch to go, and then came home to relax in bed with the heating pad. I watched a video a friend loaned me called “Elvis Lives.” It was a live concert done in 2002 where some electronical geniuses took Elvis’ vocal tracks from past performances and isolated them. Then what was left of his old TCB band gathered on stage to accompany the video elements with live music. Besides the fact that it was a monumental undertaking, which took a lot of technical know-how, the music was excellent! I even watched the bonus feature that talked more about the technology behind the concept. Fascinating! I took a nap until it was time to get up for my nightly auditions. I fed and walked Roxy on an abbreviated version of our late night stroll through the neighborhood. Not only because of my limited physical capacity, but also because it was darn hot out! We were having a triple digit heatwave all week!

Wednesday the 30th – THE OUCH COUCH! – Even though I was dealing with this annoying back issue, I wasn’t going to miss my scheduled Voice-Over session with Disney for a super-secret project for anything! I took some Advil and got in the car. The fact that the session was only an hour really helped a lot. I’m not sure I could have done much more than that. I was scheduled to do a bunch of sessions for American Airlines this week, but they would have been 2 to 3 hour sessions each, and I’m just not ready for that yet. But soon, I hope. I grabbed lunch to go at Burger King, and then went back to see Dr. Carletta again for another adjustment. Sadly, I haven’t been having much improvement so far. I went home to relax, do a few auditions, and do some light work around the house. Later, I ordered a pizza and took a nap. When I got up I felt pretty good. It helps that I’ve been sleeping flat on my back with my knees elevated. I can’t sleep on my side like I usually do because of the pain, and sleeping on my back seems to provide some nice rest for the affected muscles in my back. I fed Roxy around 2am and laid on the couch while she ate. When I got up walk her I experienced horrible back pain. I was starting to realize that lying on the couch during this time probably wasn’t doing me any favors. So no more ouch…I mean COUCH! After a limited walk I came back inside to put on a new back patch, I made some food, and sat in bed upright and watched a 2-part “Barnaby Jones” episode. I was feeling a little better by the time I went to bed around 8am Thursday morning.

Thursday the 31st – A SUMMER T-STORM! – By 2:30 I was at Voice Trax West to do a quick one-hour session for American Airlines that was fairly urgent. I still have several hours’ worth of material to record for them that isn’t that urgent, which hopefully we’ll get to do next week; my back willing. The session went fairly well, and when we were done I headed to my Chiropractor’s office. But Dr. Carletta was out for the day, so I saw his associate Dr. Williams. It was nice getting a different view of my problem, because when Dr. Williams felt my back muscles he said, “You have a LOT going on there.” Apparently I was starting to affect other muscles in my back adversely because I was overcompensating for my original back problem. He did a few different things and put me on the e-stim machine with heat, and ice alternately. I stopped into Weinerschnitzel to get some a couple of chili cheese dogs with kraut and a banana split. YUM! I was still very hot out (I’m glad I had my A/C fixed last week!) so I drove home to relax. Though it was hot out, it was very heavily cloudy. As I sat on my computer doing some work I heard a familiar rumble overhead. Then I heard the tapping on the roof. We were having a late-summer THUNDERSTORM! I immediately ran outside to enjoy the experience, as I knew it would be short-lived. This hardly ever happens in Los Angeles, so when it does I like to watch it. There wasn’t any lighting to speak of, but it sure did rumble overhead! We got a nice splash of rain for about a half hour and then it moved on. I continued to do some “gently” work around the house and type out my weekly movie nights. My back was marginally better. I took a nap, and then got up later to feed Roxy and do auditions. I took her on another abbreviated walk, came inside to make some stew and watch an episode of “Barnaby Jones” before bed.

Friday the 1st – BARBECUED BURBANK! – I was up by 1pm for a Voice-Over session in my home studio. It was a quick narration project for an upcoming TV special. (More on that later!) I drove over to see Dr. Carletta and get another adjustment. I bought a body wrap that will help keep my sore muscles from moving around so much. And as a result, hopefully help them heal faster. The reason my affected muscles aren’t healing more quickly is because I use them so darn much. As I said earlier, these muscles are used for just about everything the human body does routinely. I think the wrap will help a lot. I drove over to It’s A Wrap to check out their selection, and I saw heavy, black smoke over the northeastern sky. At first I thought it was more heavy storm clouds, but they looked different; more ominous. It was then I learned that the mountains that crown the city of Burbank were on fire! I started talking about the fire to a guy outside the store that I thought was a security guard. But upon closer inspection, I saw a patch on his sleeve that said BURBANK FIRE DEPT. He told me that they sent a lot of fire trucks over the mountain to fight the fire, but then called them back over when fires flared up on the southern side. I said politely, “Shouldn’t you be up there?” He said he would like to be, but he was on a film shoot and couldn’t leave. Across the street I saw a lot of film trucks, lighting rigs, and people running back and forth. Film crews are such a common sight in L.A. you barely notice them anymore. With the extra heat I didn’t envy those brave firefighters in all that heavy equipment battling that blaze. I stopped by Del Taco to get a hamburger and fries (Yup, the best fast food hamburger in L.A. is at a taco restaurant!), and then I stopped by my mailbox to get my packages. I got home and my old pal Brittney Powell stopped over to say hi, since she was in the area at an audition. I hadn’t seen her in a few weeks so it was good to catch up. I napped in my bed (flat on my back with my knees elevated) and got up later to do light work around the house. I made some food and watched another “Barnaby Jones” episode before bed. I was really looking forward to the three-day weekend, and relaxing my back all the while.

Saturday the 2nd – BITE AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! – About mid-afternoon I drove over to Floyd’s so my stylist Andie could give me a touch-up on my color. She said she has a muscle in her neck that always acts up, and she is prescribed muscle relaxants for the pain. She said it works very well, and she wondered why I hadn’t been prescribed those for my issue. I said that subject came up, but my Chiropractor said there was more negative than positive to those. But the thing that made my day brighter was when I went next door to a frozen yogurt place called Chill. Normally I like to get a strawberry or cherry vanilla frozen yogurt before or after my appointment with Andie. I looked at all the flavors and just as I was about to get a strawberry I looked at a hand-drawn sign that said “Dole Pineapple – Non-Dairy.” That could only mean one thing. IT WAS MY BELOVED DOLE WHIP! I asked the guy working there if it was indeed Dole Whip and he said it was, and he was trying it out for a while. NIRVANA! JOY! RAPTURE! Dole Whip…just a few blocks from my house???!! I was talking to him a mile a minute about how I have to wait for a Palm Springs trip to get Dole Whip and it would be great if they kept it on regularly. He said he was trying it out to see. But I told him to get a better sign so people would know exactly what it was. I had him put some pineapple chunks in it and I covered it with coconut shavings. Delicious! Just how I like it! They used to have pineapple fro yo from time to time and I loved it because it tasted so much like Dole Whip. But now it’s the REAL DEAL! I went back home to get ready for movie night, and then I went to get a couple of groceries while my assistant Sara prepared the house. We watched the newly released Blu Ray of “They Call Me Trinity,” an Italian-made comedy western from 1970 which paved the way for films like “Blazing Saddles.” Nobody in my group but me had seen it before. But they loved it! The hi def print was better than I had ever seen it before, and sitting there watching it sure brought back good memories of sitting in the darkened Orpheum theatre in Aberdeen, South Dakota laughing my 9 year old butt off. I’m glad the other movie night folks loved it as much as I do. We may watch the sequel “Trinity is Still My Name” soon, though I don’t remember it being as good as the original. My pals Mark and James stayed after everyone left so we could chat about a huge event we’re staging on October 21st. After they left I got a short nap, and then fed and walked Roxy. I made my traditional Saturday night Super Salad and watched a TV movie from 1979 called “The Wild Wild West Revisited,” which reunited the team of Jim West and Artemus Gordon (Robert Conrad and Ross Martin) from the old “Wild Wild West” TV show. It was light-hearted fun.

Sunday the 3rd – THE COOL DOWN! – When I got up at 3 to walk Roxy I noticed that the weather had cooled down considerably. It was overcast and there was talk of another shower or two. It was so nice out I decided to take Roxy with me to my walk to church. It was an excellent service. The music sounded better than usual (if that’s even possible); louder and more vibrant. Jeremy gave an amazing talk and even used clips from “Game of Thrones” to illustrate his points! Terrific. And as if it couldn’t have gotten any better, as the service ended and the band went into their final number, a rush of people headed for the door with big smiles on their faces. When it’s a nice day out, we leave out doors cracked open slightly so the fresh air can come in. We also like to have the doors cracked so people passing by can hear the great music and wander in. But somebody had noticed that it was POURING rain outside, and there was a rush of people who came outside to see it. Since I sit in the back all the time, I got up to kick the doors wide open so the sound and the smell would permeate the building. The sun was setting in the west and was clearly visible, but it was still pouring rain. I love those “raining through sunshine” days. I knew it probably wouldn’t last long, so I just stood outside getting drenched in the warm summer rain. It was the perfect “theatrical” ending to a wonderful service! After the service ended and everyone came outside to watch the short storm, we were all hoping it would fly over the Burbank mountains and help the firefighters there as much as possible. My “adopted grandma” Shirley and I walked to my house, and then we drove over to Paty’s to enjoy the cool, but humid evening having dinner on the outside patio. My new friend Carrie joined us, and we got to meet her little doggie “Baby.” When we finished dinner I dropped Shirley back home, stopped by Chill to get another Dole Whip, and then met Carrie and Baby at my house. I couldn’t wait to introduce Roxy to Baby. They got along well instantly, though when Roxy came up to Carrie, Baby got little protective. Spook didn’t know quite WHAT to think! But eventually they were walking next to each other on the floor not paying each other very much mind. I asked Carrie what she wanted to do and she said she wanted me to show her some “Starsky & Hutch.” She was curious about the show, as she had never seen it before. But after seeing how elated people were when they walked by my Gran Torino she was curious. So I showed her the pilot episode. When we finished we made a Tombstone pizza and had a bite to eat. After and Baby left I was beat, so I grabbed a shower and hit the hay. I wanted to relax all Labor Day to give my back a rest. I had a big week coming up and I needed to be back to my old self again.

Monday the 4th – LABOR DAY! – The Advil PM I took really worked, as I slept all the way until 3pm! It was some good solid rest for my back, and I got up feeling pretty good. Not to take any unnecessary risks, I put on my body wrap immediately and did a little work around the house. I did some laundry and got cleaned up. It was much cooler out and it was a very pleasant evening. A friend of mine found the “They Call Me Trinity” soundtrack on-line and sent me the tracks to listen to. The titles were all in Italian, so I had fun translating the Italian titles to English. Not only was the movie memorable and fun, but the music is also very clever and catchy! I picked up Sara and headed to Barones for dinner. All that talk over the weekend about “spaghetti westerns” had made me hungry for spaghetti! I also got a pizza to go for later. After dinner we drove over to my seamstress Karyn’s studio to pick up some repaired pants for my Gonzo 1 to 1 replica Muppet. I came back home and listened to some more “Trinity” music. I think I may run the sequel “Trinity is Still My Name” next weekend for my movie night folks. I’m obsessed with this movie franchise again! If you’re curious, read up on it. It launched the careers of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, and they became a movie comedy team because of these movies! It’s a fascinating story! I laid down in the Puppet Room for a short nap, and then got up later to do an audition and write Wally’s Week. After feeding and walking Roxy under a gorgeous clear sky and nearly-full moon, I heated up my Barones pizza and watched another “Barnaby Jones” episode.

And how was YOUR week??!!

 

PIX FROM THE WEEK

It’s always a pleasure to be back in front of the Disney mics!

This the view I got last Friday of the fires in Burbank

This hastily hand-scrawled sign was the harbinger of heaven on earth!

This week I got the new Captain Kirk mask from Trick Or Treat studios. I doubt that many of these will stay Captain Kirk masks, as I suspect the majority of purchasers will have these converted to authentic-looking Michael Myers masks from “Halloween!”

Here’s some video of the mid-summer thunderstorm.