December 10 – December 16 (2018)



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

Not sure if you’ve seen this ad pop up on your internet news feed, as I have. But I love it. I’m not even sure what it’s for, but the look on this beautiful dog’s face is adorable! He’s looking up at the guy with such love and adoration as if to say, “Is everything OK, dude?”

 Oddly enough, I’m not really humming any Christmas songs these days. In fact, it just doesn’t seem like Christmas, and I’m not much in the Christmas mood. It’s all come up too fast! But the other day when I was walking around, this song by Davol came up on my iPod, and it elicited visions of Jason Momoa as Aquaman tearing through the ocean waves. It’s called “Aquus.”

Monday the 10th – CLOUDY CONSTITUTIONAL! – It was a nice, cool overcast day, so I decided to run some errands. Literally. Well, walk some errands, actually. I put on my walking shoes, packed up some stuff and headed out. My first stop was to my neighborhood shoe repair guy. My black leather satchel (my “black sack,” as I call it) had a few broken zippers that needed repair. I bought a few possible replacement satchels on amazon, but neither were to my liking once they arrived. In cases like that, internet shopping doesn’t really cut the mustard. So I decided to get it repaired, regardless of the cost. I had gotten used to it, I knew where everything was stored in it, and I didn’t want to change. Plus, the leather was still in really good shape. The strap was shot, but I ordered a different strap on amazon. After dropping off my beloved “black sack,” I walked around the corner to the post office to drop off three eBay boxes. I walked down to the bank to get some checkbook registers. On my way there, I noticed that our local Gap store was going out of business and there was an amazing sale on jeans! I made a note to stop there on my way back as I was sorely in need of new jeans now that “shorts weather” was behind us. I stopped up at Chin Chin to get some fried rice, and just as my food arrived my pal Eric Singer walked in to have lunch with a friend. Eric plays drums with Alice Cooper and Kiss, and I met him many years ago through our mutual friend Bruce Kulick. Eric’s a car guy, and we love talking about cars and related subjects. He invited me to his table, but I was in the middle of eating so I told him I’d stop by before I left. Once I got to his table I met his friends Jerry (drummer for the group The Lettermen), and Frank (who used to drum for Sinatra and Ella)! What great stories! You just never know where life is going to take you from one moment to the next. I stopped next door to say hi to the guys at Voice Trax West, and then went to the Gap and bought 6 pair of jeans. Everything was 50% off in the store, and the jeans were an additional 20% off! I got jeans for 70% off! Amazing! I stopped at CVS to get a mouth guard, in hopes that would help minimize the TMJ problems I’ve been having of late. I stopped at the craft store for some paint, got some frozen yogurt, and then stopped by the cigar shop to pick up a cigar for future enjoyment. I got home, did some work, and then grabbed a nap. I got up later and spent the night doing work around the house. Since it’s pretty quiet in the industry right now, this is the time of year to get a lot of work done that I normally can’t get to.

Tuesday the 11th – TOM’S TUESDAY TOUR! – My pal Edi and I met for lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli just before noon, and then I dropped some more eBay packages at the post office. I stopped by Prints Charm’n to get a print of Andy Kaufman as Elvis from the first season of “Saturday Night Live” for my new display. Just as I got home my pal Tom Woodruff Jr. (special effects artist supreme) stopped by for a tour of Planet Wallywood. We had been trying to get together for a tour for a long time, and as I said earlier, this time of the year is the best time to do stuff like that. We had a fun time looking through the collection and comparing similar stories of how we came to be out here in this nutty town of tinsel. I did a little work after he left, then I hit the road to pick up my “adopted grandma” Shirley for the Sons of the Desert meeting. It was a fun evening, as always. I renewed my dues for the new year, and there was a lot of buzz about the new “Stan and Ollie” film. Those who had been lucky enough to see it already had glowing reviews. As I mentioned here before, it’s a beautiful film in every definition of the word. When I got back home I grabbed a quick nap, then got up later to do my nightly auditions. I put the new photo in my Andy Kaufman/Elvis display, fixed the backing curtain, moved the speaker (which plays the accompanying audio file) to a more suitable place, made some spaghetti and watched a few more episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.” But just before I turned in for good, I got an urgent audition in my e-mail that needed to be done.

Wednesday the 12th – SPACE BASE! – Around mid-afternoon I woke up and started the day. I did a little work, recorded a few auditions, sent out my movie night invites, and then turned on my computer to monitor the Profiles in History four-day auction of Hollywood memorabilia. I was amazed that wonderful objects weren’t selling, and were being passed on. It seemed like the items with the high starting bids were the most affected. While an animation cel from the opening credits of “I Dream of Jeannie” sold for $8,000, Sean Connery’s shoes from “Never Say Never Again” didn’t even get one single bid! This auction was very perplexing, and one for the ages! The normal rate of items being auctioned was 60 to 70 lots per hour. But I did the calculations and they were ripping through 90 lots per hour! It was because so much stuff was being passed on. Was it because the sellers had an unrealistically inflated view of what their stuff was worth? Who knows? Tomorrow I’d be heading out to Calabasas with my friend Rob so we could bid on some Andy Kaufman/ Tony Clifton items. After the auction ended for the day, I headed out for an early dinner with my friend Alex Zsolt who was in town. But on the way I stopped at the shoe repair guy to get my beloved “black sack,” which had not only had its zippers repaired, but also got a nice spit shine! It looked brand new! While I was enjoying dinner with Alex and his friends Tim and Lucy, my buddy Pat Evans dropped by. After dinner Pat and I headed to my house to do some work on the new Captain Kirk figure I’m working on. Pat is building a really cool base for him to stand on; which Pat calls the “Space Base.” The figure will be standing on what will look like a planet surface. I wanted a mixture of colored sand (using a mix of the three main colors of the Star Fleet uniforms) with a little metallic glitter thrown in so it looks like the planet’s surface has a pretty good mineral content. We sketched out the contours of the base, and soon Pat’s wife Jamie joined us. When they left I took a short nap, got up later to feed the pets, did some more work, and then hit the hay.

Thursday the 13th –AUCTION ACTION! – Right at noon my friend Christine came by to return the Rowlf the Dog puppet we’ve been working on since April. She did a little work on the face, but was unable to complete it because of an intense work schedule. Make no mistake…work is GOOD! But I did want to get it back so I could engage another fabricator to complete the project. I had been watching the Profiles in History auction all day, and was once again amazed that incredible items weren’t getting even so much as one bid. And the items that WERE selling were going for very reasonable prices. Was this going to bode well for me later, as I bid on Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton stuff? I was hoping so. Around 1 I drove to the Profiles in History offices in Calabasas, got registered, sat down on the aisle, opened my catalog and followed the action. Again, many lots were being passed on. And many lots had unrealistic opening bids, which I believe scared people away. My pal Rob was running late to bid on the Andy Kaufman stuff with me. We had agreed to pool our resources and bid on a few lots together, and then split the winnings later. But because of the rapidity of the auction (today they were averaging 99 lots per hour!) it didn’t look like he was going to make it in time to bid on the Kaufman stuff. Just a few minutes before the items we wanted came up on the block, Rob arrived! And then something happened right out of a Laurel and Hardy movie! I was so happy to see that Rob had arrived, but it looked like he was killing time in the lobby. I wanted to wave him in to sit down because our items were coming up soon and I didn’t want him to miss out! And wouldn’t you know it, I had forgotten in the madness that you’re NEVER supposed to wave during an auction! The auctioneer mistook my wave to Rob as a $4,000 bid on a Richard Dreyfus diving knife from “Jaws” that was being auctioned at that very moment! OH NO! He asked me if I had intended to bid, and I apologized sheepishly that I was waving to my friend. He told me that could have been a very costly mistake. I agreed. Luckily, just 2 lots before the Andy Kaufman stuff came up on the block, Rob got sat and we conferred. Last spring I helped my pal Bob Zmuda (Andy Kaufman’s former writing partner and co-conspirator) list some valuable Kaufman items through Profiles in History. He wanted to purge his stuff so he could prepare for a move out of the country. The item I most wanted was Andy’s original Tony Clifton tuxedo jacket. Rob and I also wanted to pick up a lot of Tony Clifton ephemera that we had planned on splitting between us if we won. Unfortunately, the way the auction items were listed, the item I most wanted came AFTER my second-most wanted lot. So as the price climbed on the lot of ephemera (it got down to me and one other guy on the phone, after one of the floor bidders dropped out), Rob and I decided it was best to save our mojo for the Clifton tuxedo. But unfortunately, the tuxedo jacket went out of my price range, and I stopped bidding at my predetermined financial limit. Again, it was between me and the mysterious phone bidder (I wonder who it was?!) But I was rather proud of myself for having that discipline. It’s very easy to get carried away in a setting like that and have buyer’s remorse later. But had I known the tuxedo would go for that amount, I would have had more freedom to bid higher on the ephemera. Had those two items only been listed differently in the line-up. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I did, however, pick up a lot which contained many of Andy’s personal photographs, which will be very nice additions to the collection. Rob and I discussed things later in the parking lot just before we hit the road to head home. He raised two very good points. He said the two major take-aways from the bidding was that, 1) had we not been there to bid against the “mysterious phone bidder,” and bid the stuff up to a higher price, the “mysterious phone bidder” would have gotten the stuff for a steal! And 2), this demonstrated that there’s DEFINITELY a market for Andy Kaufman memorabilia! This bode well for the Kaufman items that I already have in my collection, in case I want to sell them someday. I drove home rather relieved that I hadn’t spent the amount of money that I could have on the items. I had plenty of other things I needed to spend money on, so I was actually OK with how I was feeling. And I was glad that my pal Bob Zmuda made some good money for his items. I got home and fed the pets, and then went to my box to get packages. I met my friend Sara at Bob’s Big Boy for dinner, and we happened to run into our friends James and Cynthia Braddock! What a treat! There are NO accidents in life! I came home to get a short nap, and then got up later for some auditions, work around the house, and then I headed off to bed.

Friday the 14th – SLIP SLIDIN’ SESSION! – The first stop of the day was Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet with Patrick Owsley, a buddy and artist with whom I wanted to discuss a project. Originally I thought my afternoon session at Bang Zoom studios was at 4, but I had gotten an e-mail earlier that morning that it had to be moved to 3. So I didn’t have as much time to meet with Patrick as I had hoped. But it looked like we were going to be working together on my new project and I was elated. I’ve always been a fan of his style and talents. After lunch I stopped by my auxiliary garage, swapped my Mustang for my Gran Torino, and then headed over to Bang Zoom for my session. My pal Mike was in town from Chicago for the Profiles in History auction, and he wanted to meet at Bob’s Big Boy later for dinner. Friday night is Hot Rod Night at Bob’s, so I wanted to make sure to drive the Torino to join in on the fun. It was great seeing Mike and his wife, and I didn’t even mind eating at Bob’s Big Boy two nights in a row! I bid them farewell and dame back home to check the internet. 3 of the 4 items I had up for auction in the Profiles in History auction had sold…and for decent prices! I was elated. In my house, when I no longer “see” an item in my collection, I know that it’s time for it to go be enjoyed by someone else. If the item has started blending in, and it’s no longer special to me, then I know it needs to be moved out to make room for a different collectible. The items I sold hadn’t been important to me for quite a while, as my interests had moved on since I originally acquired them in the early 2000’s. In recent weeks I had avoided napping on The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe, with the thought that sleeping on the sofa might be exacerbating my TMJ issues. But I couldn’t resist. I had to take “Christmas Nappies!” (Back when I had my dog Sassie, we would nap in the living room together by the fire, while listening to Christmas music on the satellite.) I hadn’t done that yet this year, but it was time. I turned on the green LED lights on my patio, and cracked the blinds just a bit so a little of the light could leak through to our environment. I turned on the fireplace, turned on the Christmas music on DirecTV channel 858, put several blankets and a big comfy pillow on the couch, and got settled. I slept like a baby! When I got up later I cleaned up some things in preparation for the maids on Saturday afternoon. I did some video editing, walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood, made a Tombstone pizza, and watched two more “I Dream of Jeannie” episodes. I’m really enjoying these third season episodes!

Saturday the 15th – STAN AND OLLIE! – My maids arrived at 1 to clean. It was a gorgeous day! I lounged around the house all day, and that night’s movie night was spectacular. I had a screener of “Stan and Ollie” on DVD and I couldn’t wait for my friends to see it! I fell in love with this movie when I saw it several weeks ago at an Academy screening at a theater. The first time I saw it I was blown away with John C. Reilly’s transformation into Oliver Hardy. But upon second viewing I was really taken with Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Stan Laurel. Both actors captured all of the nuances of Stan and Ollie’s on-camera personalities as well as their off-camera personas. Basically, I really love the places that movie takes me emotionally. Unfortunately it probably won’t get much Oscar buzz, because of its obvious lack of SJW issues. After everyone left I enjoyed another round of Christmas Nappies. I got up later to do work around the house all night, made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched an episode of “SNL” from the second season box set. It was an episode that featured 5 finalists from the “Anyone Can Host” contest they ran back in 1977. I remember it well, because one of the 5 contestants was the sitting Governor of South Dakota, Richard Kneip! It was all the buzz in South Dakota at the time, that our Governor was going to be on “Saturday Night Live!” It was fun to see that episode again!

Sunday the 16th – BOOKKEEPING BLAHS! – Late in the afternoon I got up for evening church, and took Roxy over for the service. After the service this time of year, Shirley and I like to “take a walk through the pine forest” before we leave. Our church has a very successful Christmas Tree lot, and we like to walk through the aisles of trees and enjoy the scents of the season. Then we headed over to Little Toni’s for dinner. After dropping her off at her home, I headed back to my house and enjoyed some Christmas Nappies. I got up later for a lot of auditions and a TON of end-of-year bookkeeping. Yup, it’s that time of year again. The time of year I’d rather shove hot razor blades under my fingernails than go through all of this mathematical madness. But, it’s got to be done. I had to have everything calculated and ready for my accountant first thing Monday morning. At 5am, when I finally finished, I was so exhausted I laid down on the couch for a bit. I woke up at 10am with my cat Spooky cuddled up next to me. He must’ve gotten cold. I wasn’t feeling that tired, so I got up to start the day.

And how was YOUR week??!!