February 11 – February 17



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

As I was researching the buttons on the jacket that Andy Kaufman wore in the movie “Heartbeeps,” I came across this screenshot of Andy with Bernadette Peters from the film. It looks really cool! Too bad this movie wasn’t a hit.

After church we started talking a little bit about the music of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as we are approaching the Easter season. We started talking in depth about Barry Dennen’s amazing interpretation of “Pilate’s Dream,” and I came across this video of Barry singing it live on stage back in 2017, just shortly before he passed away. We all miss him.

Monday the 11th – TRAIN TIME! – Knowing that I needed to get up early to take my “adopted grandma” Shirley to the Amtrak station to catch a 9:30am train, I slept on the couch so I wouldn’t get too comfortable and could get up easily that early in the morning. As it worked out, I woke up on my own at 6:45 and was ready to rock. I called Shirley to make sure she was all packed, and I dropped by her place at 7:30 to get her. We went to Denny’s by the Amtrak station and had a nice, leisurely breakfast. Then we went over to get her on board the train to visit her sister up near San Luis Obispo. While I was in the Burbank area I decided to stop by Plastic Depot and see my friend Kyle. I had worked all night perfecting the eyeblink mechanism for the Oscar the Grouch puppet I’m working on, but I lack a lot of the tools to really make it as good as it could be. I knew my pal Kyle was great with stuff like this, so since I needed him to vacuform the eye shapes anyway, I asked him if he’d like to fabricate the entire mechanism. He said it sounded fun and he already was coming up with some other great ideas to augment it even further! I have a feeling my Oscar is going to be amazing! My seamstress Shelley is already working on my new Rowlf the Dog, and he should be ready any day now! I left the prototype with Kyle and headed home to relax. I ended up working around the house all afternoon, did a few auditions, and because I was dead tired, went to bed in the evening. I got up around 2am to feed Roxy, and then laid down on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe” and napped for a bit. I got up around 6am to take her for a walk, and then came back inside and crashed on the couch for a while longer.

Tuesday the 12th – ANIMATION CRASH COURSE! – When I woke up at 10:30 in the morning I was no longer tired. Now I had the entire day ahead of me with no plans to do anything. But I got a text from an old friend of mine asking if we could meet for lunch. Recently she reached out to me for assistance for her very first animated project, and since I didn’t have anything else going on I wholeheartedly agreed. Up to this point she hadn’t had much experience in Voice Over, being primarily an on-camera actress, so I promised her we’d meet and go over the script so I could prepare her for a little bit of what she could expect at the session. We met for lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli at 1, and by the time we left it was 6! We had so much fun just shooting the breeze, and we hadn’t even gotten to her script! So we went over to my place so I could feed the pets, and then we set about working on the script. We went through the 16 page script beat by beat, and we talked about different ideas she could bring to the character. She also has to do a little bit of singing in the show, which she was rather nervous about. By the time we wrapped it was around 8pm. It was a full, fun day! I gave her lots to think about, and a little bit of homework to work on until we got together next week to go through it again, just a few days before she was set to record it. Plus, she brought a lot of great ideas to the meeting that showed me she was definitely on the right track. I hope the session goes swimmingly for her! I did my nightly auditions, laid down on the couch to nap, and then got up later to write Wally’s Week. I did some more work around the house, and laid back down on the couch again. (I don’t know why I’m so attracted to that couch, but darn it…I sleep REALLY good on that thing!) I slept until around 10 am Wednesday morning. Am I turning into a…gasp…DAY person??!!

Wednesday the 13th – HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN! – Again I found myself with a full day ahead of me and lots to do. I worked around the house for a bit doing miscellaneous things and recording a few auditions. I sent some e-mails, made some phone calls; just basic business stuff. I drove to my local “pot store” (we have one on every corner here in L.A.) and got some more CBD oil for Roxy. The girl behind the counter told me that, since I had spent over a certain amount, that I was entitled to a free “pre-rolled” joint or a chocolate chip cookie. I said thanks, but my dog probably wouldn’t enjoy either of those. She looked at me oddly. Imagine, a long-haired Wildman like me refusing a free joint. She acted like my refusal of her free offer was akin to calling her kid ugly. But I was only there for my dog’s health, as I have no other reason for visiting a “pot” store like that, I’m proud to say. I get my “highs” in other ways. I hit Kit Kraft, my neighborhood mom and pop craft store to get some super strong magnets. My Andy Kaufman “Heartbeeps” figure is going on display this April in the Monsterpalooza museum, so I’m working on doing some light restoration so he’s ready for exhibition. Back in the late 90’s, when I bought one of the original screen-used jackets Andy wore in the movie, it was missing the square plastic buttons on the front. So I’m having Kyle at Plastic Depot fabricate some copies for me. But since the jacket is original I don’t want to glue the buttons on, or bolt them on, as both options would ruin the fabric. I figured the best option was to have Kyle countersink some small metal washers in the back of the buttons, so I could use magnets to keep them attached to the jacket without damage. Then I went over to CVS to get some supplies. About a year ago, CVS (a drug store chain here in L.A.) very proudly announced that they would no longer be selling any tobacco products. That’s all fine and dandy, but two whole aisles are dedicated to alcohol products. Not sure, but I think alcohol might kill just as many people as tobacco – so they may want to consider getting rid of their booze aisles as well. Just sayin.’ I hit McDonald’s for some food, and then went to my chiropractor to get an adjustment. The TMJ pain I had been experiencing is almost completely gone, as long as I stay conscious about keeping my teeth aligned while I’m at rest. I also have been meditating myself to sleep each night so I’m less likely to clench my teeth in my sleep. It’s a stress-related thing that makes my entire head hurt when it happens. But the meditation has really been helping! I went to my mailbox to pick up some packages, and then home to do some auditions. I fed and walked Roxy, and got ready for a nap. Later, it was supposed to start raining really hard again and continue throughout the night. I love those rainy nights, as Eddie Rabbit once said, and it’s a lot of fun to stay up and work on stuff all night while it pours outside. I napped until 1am, then got up to do some accounting work, and pay bills, etc. I spent some time organizing my bags of puppet stuff; foam rubber, patterns, eye pieces, etc. By 3am it started pouring. I made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box for a rainy night, watched a few episodes of “The Addams Family” from the second season DVD set, and enjoyed the evening!

Thursday the 14th – HAPPY V.D.! – I got back to being a nocturnalist again, and didn’t get up until around 3. When I checked my e-mail I found out I had sold a couple of eBay things. I wanted to get them boxed up and sent off right way. So I went to the garage and dug out my USPS priority mail flat rate boxes, packed up the items, bought the appropriate postage on-line and got the packages ready. I had thought that I was going to have to drive to the post office to mail them, but just then I heard my postman! Perfect timing! I gave the packages to him, he scanned them, and they were on their way! Whew! Just in the nick of time! I spent the afternoon doing auditions and enjoying a nice reprise of the rain. I grabbed a nap in the evening, and then got up to do a bunch of work around the house. It seems like it never ends! The rain had let up, so I drove to Denny’s to get some food to go, came home to do a little more work, and then settled in to watch more “Addams Family” episodes!

Friday the 15th – TOOTH TIME, AND TRACKING TRAINS! – Since I had been running the heater in my house all night, my bedroom upstairs got very hot. Because it’s on the top floor, it’s the first room to get really warm, as heat rises. Even though I have the vents closed, it still gets very warm. The downstairs rooms, where I hang out all night, get comfortable, but not hot. I wasn’t able to get all the heat out of my bedroom before I turned in, so by 10am I woke up sweating! I went downstairs to sleep on the couch and cool off until it was time to get up and take Roxy to the groomer. She had an appointment to get her teeth cleaned and get a bath. There’s a great company that does non-anesthetic teeth cleaning for dogs that visits my groomer’s from time to time. Roxy was overdue for a cleaning so I wanted to get her in. She also needed a bath, so I got both jobs done at the same time. By the time I needed to go pick her up, it had started to sprinkle again. But this was the last gasp of our storm systems, so it wasn’t going to last very long. I brought Roxy home and got her settled, and did some work and recorded a few auditions. Shirley’s return train was due around 9:13, but Amtrak is notoriously late. So I made sure to track the train on the internet to make sure I wasn’t there too early, standing around waiting. But it looked like her train was going to be perfectly on time. I headed to the train station, picked up her, and we went to Denny’s to grab a bite to eat. She had a wonderful time with her sister and her family! I took her home, and then I came back to my house to do some work before turning in for the night.

Saturday the 16th – PETE AND PARTYING! – Just after 1 I pulled into Jerry’s Famous Deli’s parking lot to have a lunch meeting with my pal Pete Tassler. Pete is a producer on “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGuyver.” We always love getting together to discuss ideas and talk about new items we’ve added to our ever-growing collections. After lunch I stopped by CVS to pick up a birthday card and a gift card for my friend’s niece Emma. Emma’s a big fan of animation and Voice Actors, so it’s always my pleasure to visit her on special occasions to hang out with her fun family. Plus, he grandpa Irwin produced the first two “Halloween” movies back in the 70’s and early 80’s! So it’s always fun talking to him about movies he’s produced and behind-the-scenes stories. We started talking about an old 80’s horror movie called “Motel Hell” which he quite enjoyed. It was one of my favorites too, but I don’t think the rest of his family was very enthused about Irwin and I discussing some of the “gorier” scenes in the movie as we were eating dinner. But all in fun! It’s not every day you get to sit around with film producer Irwin Yablans and discuss horror movies. Wonderful! Emma had a fun 21st birthday and got a lot of nice gifts, and everyone said their goodbyes for the evening. I headed home to get settled and get a short nap. I got up later for my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and an episode of “SNL” from the third season DVD set.

Sunday the 17th – SHIVERIN’ SHIRLEY! – After the rain had left our area, it was time for some wind and cold. It was so cold I didn’t walk to evening church like I normally do. I drove my car! After the service Shirley and I drove to Barone’s to meet my pal Officer Mark and his girlfriend Connie for dinner. While we were there, a guy approached our table and asked if I had a bobblehead made in my image back in the early 2000s. I told him I definitely had done a run of bobbleheads as a promotional piece. Come to find out his name was Paul and he owned a recording studio back then, and I had given him one of my bobbleheads during that time. In fact, he seemed to think that he still had it around somewhere! It was great telling stories about the old days, and common people we knew. What a funny, fun conversation! I came home to grab a nap, and got up around 2 to feed Roxy. I laid back down and slept until about 6, walked Roxy, and then came back in to sleep some more. I must’ve needed the sleep, because I didn’t get up until 11 Monday morning. With all of the colds and flu going around, perhaps it’s a GOOD thing that I’m resting so much so I can avoid catching the heebie jeebies that are going around!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

My friend Emma and I at her 21st birthday

At Barone’s, my old friend Paul stops by to tell tales of the old days

Shirley rebuffs the paparazzi who are insistent on getting a picture! (She’ll be 92 in two weeks!)