November 5 – November 11



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

The passing of the great Stan Lee over the weekend reminded of one of the times I met him at a Children’s TV symposium at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. What a swell guy. We’ll miss him.

 I wont’ lie to you…but I’ve been humming this song all this week; particularly to my pets! My friend Chris sent me a clip of Andy Kaufman on the “Dinah” show that I had never seen before. Surrounded by giants like Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., and Marvin Hamlisch, he proceeds to sing a song called “Kiss Kiss Kiss.” WARNING: It’s pretty catchy!

]

Monday the 5th – DOUBLE DUTY! – Right at 8am sharp I was up and getting ready to hit the road for Santa Monica. I had to be at Juice studios at 10 to record a few voices for a new Red Bull TV commercial. The session went great and only took about 45 minutes, though the producers allowed an hour and a half for the session. Afterwards I drove over to the post office to mail off some eBay stuff, I hit the craft store for some paint, and then home to work on my “Halloween 2” Michael Myers bust. The green coveralls I bought on eBay were too “new” looking and needed a considerable amount of distressing. So I bought some dark olive US Air Force spray paint and oversprayed the entire section of coveralls on the bust. It really took the brightness down considerably, and made them look used, dingy and old. GREAT! While I had the Styrofoam head and Halloween 2 mask detached from the bust, I took the opportunity to align the eyes exactly how I wanted them to peer through the mask’s eyeholes. Once I got them placed, I anchored them with several wig pins; punched through the top, sides and back of the mask. I replaced the head on the bust (it Velcros on) and it looked amazing! I had time to do a little more work around the house, and then I took off for the second session of the day. Over the past several months I’ve been doing “scratch tracks” for a new animated film which is in the works. The producers said if they like the performances they get from the actors during the test run, they’ll keep us in the final product. This was the fifth of ten planned sessions, and I was surprised to hear that they had “screened” the film using the tracks we’ve already recorded. Based on the feedback they received, they ended up adding several scenes for one of my characters. It’s a good sign, I think! We worked from 3:30 to 6, and then I stopped by Enterprise to reserve my SUV for my upcoming Palm Springs trip; probably the last trip I’ll take until it warms back up in the spring. I got home and fed the pets, worked a little around the house, and grabbed a short nap on the couch. I got up later for my nightly auditions; I typed out Wally’s Week, and killed some time while waiting for my neighborhood polls to open so I could vote. I voted at 7:30am, then walked home and hit the hay.

Tuesday the 6th – ELECTION DAY! – Having already voted first thing in the morning, I slept until 3 in the afternoon. I did a little work on the computer, packed up some eBay stuff which had just sold, and listed a few more items. It tickles me to no end to carry boxes and boxes of stuff out of the house to the post office! With every box I take out, that means I have a little more room in my house! It’s a good feeling. But I have a TON more stuff to get rid of! My friend Sara and I went to Lancers to get some dinner, and then I came home to do a little work and nap. Later I did my auditions, fed and walked Roxy, and did my bookkeeping stuff – paying bills, organizing and reconciling my receipts, and scanned checks for a bank deposit. When I finished all that I thought I’d lie down on the couch for a bit. Bad idea. I slept until 10am!!

Wednesday the 7th – ERRAND RUNS! – Since I had slept all night on the couch, I was pretty much up for the day. So around 11 I packed up some more eBay stuff and headed out. I figured since I was out and about I would stop by Regenix and pick up some more hair supplies. The microanalysis of my scalp showed good, clean results. The bulbs of my hair were big and healthy, and my scalp was free of debris and follicle plugs! On the way home I stopped at the post office to drop my eBay packages, dropped by the bank to make a few deposits, and then headed home to do some auditions. Later in the evening I grabbed a short nap, and then got up later to edit some videos, list more eBay stuff, and head to Denny’s to get some food to go. I came home and watched two more episodes of “My Living Doll” on DVD while I ate my dinner. I got a lot accomplished today! It’s a good feeling!

Thursday the 8th – STUDI-OMG! – When I got up I had a ton of phone calls to make. Then I took Roxy over to Paty’s so we could have lunch on the patio. She knows the routine there so well now, that when she sees where we’re at she starts making crazy “happy” noises. She LOVES the grilled chicken there! I picked up my packages at my mailbox and headed home. One of the packages I received contained a set of silver lame curtains, which I had ordered for a possible new display in the future. I took them out of the box and they were a bit wrinkled, so I found a tension rod I had lying around in my “newly cleaned” garage, and put the curtains on them. I hung them up between to beams in my garage to work the wrinkles out. But then I got an amazing idea. Previously, to photograph items to list on eBay, I would have to bring a big roll of green paper up from the garage and install it in my kitchen. I would take binder clips and attach the paper to my shelves and drape the paper over my kitchen table. This gave me a nice, neutral background to display the items I was selling. But when I set up my ersatz eBay studio in my kitchen, that meant I couldn’t use my kitchen for a while. But this silver curtain in the garage got me to thinking. I brought a few clip-on lights down from upstairs, set them up with extension cords, and a new eBay studio was starting to take shape! I liked it! Now I don’t need to hijack my kitchen when I want to shoot photos of eBay items! Proud of myself, I took a short nap, and then got up to do a ton of auditions. I spent the rest of the night in my “new” eBay studio photographing items to list. I turned on the radio, moved my car out of the garage so I had plenty of room to move about, and photographed and measured items all night. Then I went inside and listed the items on eBay. I made myself a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and watched a few more episodes of “My Living Doll.”

Friday the 8th – CONFRONTING THE UNTRAINED! – Some days I really don’t know how people get through life being so clueless. I went to the post office to see about getting a refund on some postage I bought on-line. But the postal employee said he had no idea how the company’s website worked, and I wasn’t able to get a refund for the transaction at the post office. Aren’t the postal employees trained on how their company works? They should know this stuff, one would think. Then I went to CVS to get some photos printed, but the printer wasn’t working. The clerk opened the printer and pulled out some jammed photos, but she had no idea what she was doing, or why the printer wasn’t printing my photos. If a store is going to offer photo services, shouldn’t their staff be TRAINED on how the equipment works? Good gravy! The cluelessness was bumming me out! Despite my discontent, it was a gorgeous day! I headed home to do some work and grab a nap. But later that night it got really cold out. It was the first time in many months that I needed to turn on the heater. Soon after I did, my upstairs smoke alarm started beeping. It didn’t go off, it just beeped intermittently. I consulted the internet as to why a hard-wired smoke alarm would beep and there were two reasons given; the back-up battery was getting low (my smoke detector is so old I doubt it even HAS a back-up battery) or – the sensor was clogged with dirt. After all the roofing work I’ve had on my unit, and with the smoke from all the recent fires in Southern California, I figured that turning on the heater had forced a lot of dust and gunk into my house. Plus the filter in my air return looked a bit dirty. I turned off the heater, and the smoke alarm stopped beeping. My contractor Handy Don is coming on Saturday so I’ll consult with him. When I walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood I noticed that “Hooky the Bird” was back on my patio, perched on a hook that’s screwed into my fascia board. He likes to perch there at night because there’s a roof over his head and he feels safe. But I have to be very quiet when we go out so as not to scare him away. But it’s so cold out I was wishing there was a way to shoot some warm air his way. Poor Hooky. I had some cereal and then hit the hay so I could be up to work with Handy Don all day on Saturday.

Saturday the 9th – HANDY DON TO DO! – When Handy Don arrived at 1 I had a list of four things we needed to get done that day. First, he needed to patch up the area when an old skylight used to be. I had the roofers build over a skylight in my bathroom vanity area that I’ve never liked nor have ever used. In fact, the lady who had the house before me didn’t like it either, because she had it covered with tin foil and a blackout curtain on a tension rod. The aperture in the ceiling is about 3 feet by 1.5 feet, so Don brought over some drywall and studs and patched it over with some mud. He’ll return in a few weeks and texture it and paint it. He also looked at my smoke alarm and said I should throw it out. He said it was so old it had yellowed with age. So while he was out getting supplies he picked up a new one to hard wire in. A GFI outlet stands for Ground Fault Interrupter. It’s imperative that you have GFI’s installed in areas where there is water; like a bathroom. Several years ago, my late contractor Electric Bob installed a GFI in my bathroom to power two electric toilet seats; one in my bathroom, and one in the Puppet Room bathroom on the other side of the wall. For many years both plugs coexisted peacefully in the same GFI plug. But recently the GFI has decided that it doesn’t like the Puppet Room toilet seat and it keeps kicking the power off. It’s OK with the one in my bathroom, but as soon as I plug the other one in it kicks off. Even when I unplug mine and plug in the Puppet Room toilet seat, it kicks off. Something’s amiss. So he did a little work on that, but I honestly think he’s going to need to install a separate outlet in the Puppet Room to give the toilet seat in there its own unique power source. I’m puzzled as to why it would be good for years, and now just recently pops up with problems. So when the ceiling patch, the smoke detector, and the GFI were all taken care of, he turned his attention to the lighting in my garage. I had some old fluorescent light bulbs overhead that my OTHER late contractor Terry had installed when I first bought the house. But the fixtures were old and the bulbs weren’t working that well either. Instead of getting new fluorescent bulbs, Handy Don suggested that I just put new LED lighting in and be done with it. He said I’ll never need to replace the bulbs. But time was wasting away, and I needed to go get groceries for that evening’s movie night! So while he installed the garage lighting I headed to the store. When I drove back into my garage it looked like a movie set…the lights were SO BRIGHT! I love it! I can now see every square inch of my garage thanks to those new lights! I went inside to pay Handy Don and put the groceries away. My guests arrived for movie night and we watched the new documentary about Mr. Rogers called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” It was amazing! He was definitely an ascended being – gone way too early. I commented to my “adopted grandma” Shirley that there is no heir apparent these days. There’s really nobody that the world turns to for an explanation of things that are going on. Mr. Rogers always had a great, philosophical way of explaining things, and a very peaceful, graceful outlook no matter what the circumstances. It’s really sad that there’s nobody out there today who can claim that mantle. When my guests left I napped on the couch with the fireplace, and got up later to feed and walk Roxy. Then I hit the hay so I could be up early for a church project that would be recording in my home studio at noon!

Sunday the 10th – SUNDAY IS THE NEW SATURDAY! – It’s uncharacteristic for me to be up early on a Sunday, but I got up at 11 so I could record some bits for my church. Each year the church elders write up Christmas meditations that are published in a booklet and given out to the congregation. But this year they also want to have the elders read and record their meditations so they can be posted on the church’s website and Facebook pages. I told them I would volunteer to record the voice portion, and then some music would be added by the lead guitar player in our church band. Shortly after noon five people came over, read their pieces and then took off. I did a little editing and then went back to bed to sleep for a few hours before evening church. After the service I was craving spaghetti, so Shirley and I went to Little Toni’s to grab some Italian food. Shirley’s 91 and still doesn’t know how to do the “spaghetti twirl,” so I’m trying to teach her. Up until recently she had cut her spaghetti, but she was finding it hard to get it loaded on to her fork since the pieces were so small. But she’s getting the hang of it. I took Shirley home, and then I headed back to my house to get a short nap. I had a bunch of animation auditions to do, so after I recorded them I did some work around the house. It was very cold again, so my late night stroll through the neighborhood with Roxy was a short one. Since I didn’t get to stay up late on Saturday night and make my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watch an episode of “SNL” from the third season, I decided to make Sunday night my Saturday night. And since Monday would be a semi-holiday, being the Monday commemoration of Veteran’s Day, there wasn’t much going on anyway. So I could sleep in!

And how was YOUR week!!??

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Here’s a letter I received from Stan Lee back in the 70’s when I sent him a hand-drawn birthday card.

The “H2” Michael Myers bust is complete! I love how it turned out!




In July of 1990 my pal Dave and I went to Las Vegas to see Adam West and Burt Ward at a sports memorabilia show. Stan Lee was also there, and this was at a time when you could easily walk up to his table and chat with him. These video clips from that day demonstrate what a truly genuinely nice guy he was. RIP Stan “The Man” Lee.