November 19 – November 25



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

Honestly, I don’t think my new computer tech knows what he’s doing.

After seeing the new film “Stan and Ollie” this past week, once again I find myself with this song from “Way Out West” stuck in my head. Fantastic! If you don’t laugh (or at least smile) when watching this, check your pulse.

Monday the 19th – PREMATURETURN! – Though I had originally planned on returning this day from my trip to Palm Springs, I came back early (on Saturday night) because it was too cold in the desert for me to have any fun. I started the day by driving my rented SUV to my box to get packages. It’s a good thing too, because one of the packages was a new mannequin I had ordered for a new project I’m working on. And the extra space in the SUV to accommodate that mannequin was VERY much appreciated! I mailed off some eBay packages, I gassed up the SUV, and then returned it to Enterprise. I came back home and did some work around the house. Then I rushed off to Bang Zoom studios in Burbank to do another 3 hour session for the digital assistant project I’ve been working on for 3 years; now going into its 4th years. This technology takes a long time to perfect. Because of all the recent fires, smoke and general bad air quality, I had a lot of phlegm sitting on my vocal cords. In addition to continually having to clear my throat, I just didn’t have my usual resonance, which I needed for this digital assistant job. So I had been taking Sudafed for a few days prior to clear all that gunk away and it seemed to work pretty well. Putting lemon in the bottles of iced tea that I took with me to the session also helped immensely. On the way in I stopped at Jersey Mike’s to grab a sandwich, and after the session I rushed home to record some more of our church elders for recorded messages that will go up on the church website over the holiday season. After they left I grabbed a much-needed nap, got up to do a bunch of auditions, worked with my new mannequin, packed up some more eBay stuff I just sold, typed out Wally’s Week, and hit the hay. Though I had bought all the fixins I needed for my Saturday Night Super Salad last Saturday night, I’ve been too tired to watch an old episode of “SNL” before bed and eat my salad. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday the 20th – A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL FILM! – Because several more church elders were coming over in the early afternoon to record their messages, I got up and noon and prepped my studio. Wouldn’t you know it, the maids arrived right around the same time. This presented a quandary, because they needed to clean, but we also needed it quiet for recording the messages. The maids started working upstairs doing quiet work for a bit while we recorded. As soon as the elders left, they could start in with the vacuuming. I packed up some more eBay stuff I needed to send, organized my garage a bit, put Roxy in the Mustang, headed to the post office to drop my packages, picked up a package at my box, and took Roxy to a delicious lunch on the patio at Paty’s in Toluca Lake. I got home and was able to do a little work, and then I drove to the Arclight Theater in Sherman Oaks to see an Academy screening of “Stan and Ollie.” I had been dying to see this ever since the first trailer was posted. My pal Elliot Lurie is a member of the Academy, so he signed up for the screening and took me. But when we arrived at the theater it looked like we weren’t getting in. The screening was at 7, and we were there by 6:45. The guy at the ticket stand told us that all the seats had been taken. He swiveled his monitor around and showed us that all the seats in the theater had been occupied. I thought this was odd. I noticed a bunch of people going into theater 2 for a special KCET (the local PBS station) event. I told Elliot it was OK, that we’d catch another one. He thought it odd that, even though he had RSVP’d on the Academy website, there wasn’t an available seat. But sometimes they overbook to make sure they have a full house. Elliot said he wasn’t ready to take no for an answer quite yet. And thank God he didn’t. He asked another lady at the theater where the “Stan and Ollie” screening was. She said it was theater 10. I’m thinking that wonderboy at the ticket counter thought we were trying to get into the KCET screening instead of the “Stan and Ollie” screening. Even though Elliot CLEARLY said it was for the “Stan and Ollie” screening, it’s further proof that nobody listens any more. Once we got to theater 10 the girl there checked us in and we found some seats. There were only about 25 people in the theater, which made me think that wonderboy at the ticket counter might have chased some other people off who DID take no for an answer. Too bad. I told the girl at the desk that the kid up front was telling everyone the screening was full. The manager went to speak with him immediately. But by then, the damage had been done. The screening was set to start in 5 minutes. This movie is a beautiful film in every conceivable definition of the word. The performances are beautiful. The sets are beautiful. The cinematography is beautiful. The costumes are beautiful. The make-up is beautiful. I fully enjoyed it, and to be honest, I was fighting tears in the first 5 minutes. To see the filmmaker’s recreation of Laurel and Hardy’s glory days in full color was a sight to behold. I was very moved by thinking that this must have been what it looked like to be on the set back in those days. The film is an amazing achievement, but I fear it won’t get the Oscar buzz it deserves because it doesn’t deal with any Social Justice Warrior issues, LGBTQ issues, or racism issues. And the Oscars seem to be drawn to those types of issues when nominating their films. Too bad. I wholeheartedly recommend “Stan and Ollie” which will (unfortunately) only get a limited release in the U.S. on December 28th. On the way out of the theatre I recognized director Peter Farrelly sitting in the lobby talking to friends. I worked with Peter a few years ago (right around this time of year) when he directed the Dodge spots I did; providing the voice for a CGI monkey named Gas Monkey. I could tell that he recognized me when I approached him, but I reintroduced myself anyway. I told him I was the voice of the monkey in Dodge spots we worked on, and he said he could hear it in my voice. I congratulated him on all the great buzz surrounding his new film “Green Book,” and told him I had just seen a screening of “Stan and Ollie.” He said he had always been more of a 3 Stooges fan (evidenced by the Stooges movie he co-directed several years ago). I got home and did my auditions, prepped for the morning recording session with more church elders. Since I had to be up so early, I opted not to make my salad and watch “SNL.” It was so close to Saturday at this point, I decided to just wait anyway.

Wednesday the 21st – ROMAINE PTOMAINE! or EEE! COAL EYE! – When I got up at 9:30 to prep for another session with the church elders, I had a text from my friend Sara telling me about a Romaine lettuce ban. She said if I had any I should throw it out. Sure enough, the salad kit I bought last Saturday night upon my return from Palm Springs INDEED had Romaine in it! This would have gone into my salad last Saturday night, had I not been too tired to make it! WHEW! I trashed it without a second thought. When the recording session with the elders was complete I sent back to bed with some serious jaw pain. I’m thinking I may have some sort of TMJ issue now, considering all of the sinus and dental surgeries I’ve had of late. Great. More trouble. In addition to jaw pain, headaches and ringing in the ears, my head feels very stuffy. I ended up napping until 4. I had a call with my computer guy Brian to fix some issues I’d been having with my system since he was here to effect changes back in September. They were easy fixes and it didn’t take much time at all. I had a bunch of e-mails from Stephanie my trademark attorney about some products we’re looking to acquire a trademark for. I had to download a bunch of legal paperwork, sign it, scan it, and e-mail it back. Honestly, how did anyone do any business before e-mail?! They sent it through the post office?! Good grief! I got cleaned up and took my Mustang to my auxiliary garage to get my Gran Torino out for a spin. But over the past few months it’s been acting oddly. It used to start up right away, even though it had been sitting for a few weeks. But now it was having trouble staying lit. It took several startings before it finally caught. And in the process I had to rev the engine several times to get the fuel into the line. As I was locking up my Mustang I heard someone yell, “HEY!” I turned around and it was some irate lady telling at me. I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying, and her accent was very thick, but I could tell that she probably wasn’t happy with the engine revving that was necessary to get my car going. I told her I was sorry, I couldn’t hear her, and I had to go. I hopped in my Torino and took off. I definitely need to get this problem looked at the next time I’m by the Burbank Auto Doctor. I can’t keep doing this. But I felt it was odd that somebody would complain, considering that I have to listen to yelling and screaming kids in the pool outside my house for hours on end, sometime. Add to that the leaf blower guys that seem to camp outside my window (usually when I’m trying to record a Voice Over) for 20 minutes! A few minutes of engine revving raised this lady’s ire? We should trade places so she could REALLY have something to complain about! I got to Coral Café to have dinner with my pal Sara, picked up some groceries on the way home (including new salad mix with NO Romaine), made some hot dogs on the grill, and watched the final 2 episodes of “My Living Doll” on DVD before bed. It’s Thanksgiving Eve!

Thursday the 22nd – HAPPY THANKSGIVING! – Shortly after 3 I woke up, cleaned up, and drove the Torino to the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City so our group could enjoy our annual and traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner together. As always it was a lot of fun, an the food was spectacular! We went to my house and watched a film that came out in 1965 called “Laurel and Hardy’s Laughing 20’s” – a fun, mindless romp that was perfect for post-Thanksgiving dinner bliss. A filmmaker named Robert Youngson in the 60’s tapped the studios of Hal Roach and Mack Sennett to see about using clips form some of their silent masterpieces. He cut the best scenes together and would release the compilation films theatrically. Back in the 60’s the thought was that nobody cared about silent films, so he had his pick of the litter. His compilations made LOTS of money! This particular film was shown at the most recent Sons of the Desert meeting, and I loved it so much I bought it on DVD. After everyone left I grabbed a nap on the couch. When I woke up my “TMJ” issues had seemingly gone into my left sinus; the same sinus that was the problem a few years ago. Uh oh. So it’s NOT TMJ issues, it’s another sinus infection? Great. As I laid there on the couch I could feel my left sinus getting stuffy, and I could hear popping and snapping inside. I wasn’t sure my ENT’s office would be open on Friday, but I left a message anyway. I was experiencing the exact same types of pain that I had before I had the sinus surgery – pain behind my left eye, in my left jaw, and ringing in the ears. I worked all night, did some auditions that were due on Monday, edited some videos, and spent all night considering what to do about my situation. I stayed up all night until the local urgent care clinic opened at 9am.

Friday the 23rd – MY EARS ARE RINGING…BUT I’LL LET IT GO TO VOICEMAIL! – The nearest urgent care center was only a few miles from my house, so at 8:30 I hopped in the Torino and headed over. I got there about 15 minutes before they opened, and as I sat there in the parking lot a few guys pulled into the parking lot and asked if they could take a few pictures. I chatted with them for a bit, and then they headed off. Nice guys. I was ushered into an examination room and the doctor looked up my sinus with a scope and said it looked pretty red. She prescribed me some of the antibiotic Clindamycin. Off I went to CVS to get my prescription. If this IS another sinus infection, I want to get ahead of it now so it doesn’t get nasty like it did 2 years ago. That was hell. I refused to let my “Black Friday” turn into a “Bleak Friday!” When I got home around 11 I made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and started in on the season 3 DVD set of “I Dream of Jeannie.” Though I was dealing with a fair amount of pain, watching a 29 year old Barbara Eden helped to quell it considerably! I got to sleep around 1pm, and got up at 6:30. I checked e-mails, took another antibiotic, listed some more eBay items, made some Buffalo Mac and watched a few more episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie.”

Saturday the 24th – HEADIN’ TO CHRISTMAS! – The Advil PM I took for my head pain knocked me out until 4. By the time I got up it was too late to get my packages at my box, so I just worked around the house and got ready for movie night. We watched “Incredibles 2” and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a real honor to be in the Additional Voices credits for that film! After everyone left I grabbed a nap, and then got up to do some work around the house. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad (Romaine/Ptomaine-free!) and watched the third episode from the third season of “SNL” which featured Hugh Hefner as host. He was brilliant. Andy Kaufman peformed Elvis Presley’s “I Need Your Love Tonight” in that episode. After checking the episode’s original airdate (October of 1977) I realized it was only a few short months after Elvis’ death. It was a great episode! Then I slept for a few hours so I could be up for the final church recording session.

Sunday the 25th – THE HOLIDAYS ARE RINGING IN…IN MY EARS! – Right at noon I got up to prep the studio so our church’s head Pastor Bob Bock could some record his messages for the church’s website. He had never been to my house before, so after the session I gave him and his wife Peggy a brief tour. But my head was hurting pretty badly so I headed back to bed. I sacked out until 6:30! I got up to feed the pets and wait for my effects guy Jim Ojala to come over to pick up some materials for a new William Shatner/Capt. Kirk figure I’m thinking of making. I took another antibiotic, grabbed a nap, and then got up later to spend all night working on bookkeeping duties, and to prep some deposits for the bank. With my head still hurting and my ears still ringing, I headed to bed. I hope these antibiotics kick in soon. This is miserable!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

This is the figure I hope to eventually turn into a Captain Kirk figure for Planet Wallywood. Here’s how it starts. Stay tuned to watch the progress!

Our nutty Thanksgiving 2018 group of hungry celebrants at the Sportsmen’s Lodge!