RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Love this cartoon, on many different levels!
With Huntington Beach residents protesting the beach closure by the governor, something was mentioned in an interview about “a line in the sand.” That got me thinking about this great song by Belinda Carlisle called “Circle in the Sand.” LOVE this song!
Monday the 27th – STIFLING A SNEEZE! – My day started by posting my latest parody song “Shelter Skelter” on Twitter, Instagram and my YouTube page. (Read the full story in last week’s “Wally’s Week.”) Since it seems like Monday is my usual day to go out and run errands, I hit to the road to go get my mail at my mailbox. Then I went to get some groceries. I had my face mask on, obviously, but it’s been very warm and breezy. I have hay fever that always seems to rear its ugly head at the worst times…including this one. While in the store shopping I could tell that a sneeze was coming on. I couldn’t rub my nose through my mask, and I certainly didn’t want to sneeze! Because then I’d get “the glare.” Luckily I escaped from the store with no sneezing. I headed to my seamstress Shelley’s house with some fur that just came in for my Animal Muppet hat. I stopped by my local Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich, but they were closed for construction. I guess they figured they’d use the crazy downtime to make some improvements. So I headed to Taco Bell to get some food to go. When I got home I did some more work on my “Beautiful Day monster” puppet, and then grabbed a short nap in the Puppet Room. My left elbow is still sore (I think it’s Tennis Elbow from repetitious movement of some sort) and my left thumb and index finger are still numb from an old chiropractic issue that has reared its ugly head during this time of sloth-dom. I fed the pets and did some auditions. I wrote Wally’s Week, made some chicken nuggets, and hit the hay.
Tuesday the 28th – P.M. MEANS…PUMMELED ME? – Since my left arm was hurting pretty badly, I took some Advil PM before bed the night before. WOW! It knocked me out! I ended up sleeping all day! I did get up to feed the pets in the evening, but I went back to sleep on the couch for a while. When it comes to drugs I’m a total lightweight! I did manage to get up later and answer some e-mails, and do some more work on “B.D.M.” I carved the snout from a block of foam rubber and it’s turning out quite nicely! Carving foam with a tiny, sharp little scissors is very fun, and a great way to focus and concentrate. Once wrong slip and OOPS! I’d like to find out a magical way to get rid of the snip lines, so I’m asking all my effects friends. I remember carving out of foam as a kid when I was making puppets back then, but doing it with a big pair of dull scissors. And when you cut foam like that, electro static builds up and pieces of foam get everywhere! But it’s fine, and actually fun. I’m going to cut the bottom lip out tomorrow. I continued all working on it most of the night, until it was time to record some more auditions. I fed the pets, and then took Roxy out for a long walk through the neighborhood. There was a gorgeous crescent moon, a bright, shining Venus overhead, and a fair amount of stars. One good thing about this lockdown is the clearer air. I made a Chef Boyardee pizza-in-a-box and watched another episode of “Bronk.”
Wednesday the 29th – SAD SHIRLEY! – Shortly after noon I drove by Kit Kraft to pick up an order of spray paints for my “B.D.M” puppet. I call the order in on the phone, give them my credit card number, and it’s waiting for me in a sack at the back door. Then I drove by the residence of my 93 year old ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley who has been locked in her room for about 6 weeks, unable to even walk in the hallway. She’s going crazy, but I’m trying to keep her entertained with books and a constant flow of movies to watch. She watched the first 10 movies I brought her, so I’m going to drop off 10 more movies, and take the other 10 movies back. At her assisted living center, they allow visitors to come to the door and leave packages, groceries, etc. Then they’re cleaned and taken to the resident. But as I stood there at the front door in my mask and gloves, one of the attendants at the residence pointed upstairs and said, “There she is.” I looked in and there was Shirley, standing in the hallway, upstairs on the landing. She was waving like crazy. I honestly think it was the first time she was allowed out of her unit in a month and a half! I held out my arms and said, ”Long distance hug!” She looked to be in good shape, but I know it’s wearing on her. Later, she called me to thank me for the movies and said after she went back in her unit, she broke down and sobbed. Poor Shirley. This situation sucks so badly. I went over to the post office to mail some things, and then I stopped by Bob’s Big Boy to enjoy their carhop service. Since in-restaurant dining is forbidden, the legendary Bob’s has decided to bring back their carhop service from 9a-9p and serve people in their cars! But I waited for about 15 minutes and was never waited on, so I left. Guess they were overwhelmed and the service was hurting. So I went to Carl’s Jr. and got a barbecue cheeseburger there. When I got home I did some auditions, and then started working on sculpting “B.D.M’s” lower lip. I sculpted well into the evening. Then I took a nap. When I got up later I worked on “B.D.M’s” eyebrow mechanism and I prepped the eyes for painting. When they’re molding in white plastic, it’s a very dull, grayish white. But I like to paint them a slight off-white, and then spray them with dullcote. I did some other work, walked Roxy, and enjoyed the cool, overcast night. Then I went to bed.
Thursday the 30th – APRIL SUCKED! – On the final day of April, I noted that the lockdown had been going on for exactly six weeks. It was a pretty unremarkable day, which had me thinking that maybe I would suspend writing “Wally’s Week” until more interesting things begin happening. I did an audition, e-mailed some people, worked on B.D.M. for a bit, swept out my garage and swept the leaves off my patio, cleaned my kitchen table (which had been my puppet-making bench), made some hot dogs on the grill, and turned in.
Friday the 1st – ANOTHER PREDICTION FULFILLED! – When this whole lockdown thing started, I made several predictions about what life will be like on the other side of this. One of the things I was very vocal about was that (in my belief) Americans would only give this lockdown until May 1st, and then they’d let it be known to the powers-that-be that they were done with it. At first it was a two-week lockdown so the hospitals wouldn’t get overwhelmed. That didn’t happen generally, but then they asked for another two weeks. And then another two weeks. Just like clockwork, on the first of May, protest and demonstrations began breaking out all over the country. Though we had been seeing it creep in over the past few weeks, this was the day it hit critical mass. It will be interesting, as a person who loves analyzing situations and extrapolating evidence, to see what happens on the other side of this. Much like the events of 9-11, life will change in MANY different aspects after this is over. And much like 9-11, which prior to that the country was basically asleep, this is a major wake-up call to the citizenry. I don’t think the citizens will be as quick to trust the word of the governments, and “experts” in the future. The old adage “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me” comes to mind. The first part of the day I did a podcast interview with a guy named Matt Horn from the UK. My only request was that we stayed away from any talk about the pandemic and focus only on Voice Acting. He said that normally his interviews go about a half hour, but we chatted for about two hours! My maids arrived and began work upstairs while I continued the interview. By the time the maids were finished it was too late to scan checks and walk to the bank, so I took B.D.M.’s snout and lip outside and painted them. Then I glued the fur on to his bottom lip. It’s highly conceivable that his head will be finished by next week and ready to have the pattern drawn up for the fur on his head! WILD! Early in the evening my effects pal Jim Ojala brought the trash can over which will serve as the new home for my Oscar the Grouch replica Muppet! It was gorgeous! I can’t wait to get him finished and on display permanently! I’m very proud of the work we’ve all done on him. I hopped in the Mustang, put the top down, picked up my friend Sara, and headed to Bob’s Big Boy to try their carhop service again. It was a little more organized that a few days ago, so we got parked, I turned on 1260AM and listened to 70’s oldies, and we enjoyed some amazing food! It was good to be out, eating great grub under the stars, listening to wonderful music! It almost seemed like life was normal again! On the way home they played “Pop Muzik” by M! I hadn’t heard that song in about 40 years, and it sounded great – especially on AM. I remember we played the heck out of that song when I was a young D.J. – about once every 90 minutes! I got home and did some more work, and then napped in the Puppet Room. Then I got up for more work around the house, drew out the measurements for the finger loop placement on the inside of B.D.M.’s mouth, and then took Roxy out for a walk in the cool, clear night. As I stood there looking up at the sky I saw a beautiful star that I fixated on. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was moving. Slow and steady toward the southeast, but it was moving. Obviously it wasn’t a star, but an airplane flying very high up. Then, at a distance behind it, another one; moving at the exact same speed in the exact same direction. Then, equidistantly, a THIRD one right behind it. Somebody was going somewhere in formation, and the amount of space between the three planes was almost exact! Those pilots were masters of their craft! It was fun to see! I’d never seen anything like that before. I came inside and made a pot pie and watched another episode of “Bronk.”
Saturday the 2nd – HOT! DAMN! – When I turned in early Saturday morning I turned on the AC because I knew it was going to be a warm day. But when I woke up around 3:30pm I was pretty toasty. The AC was on, but no air was blowing in! DAMN! Normally when the AC is on a long time it will freeze over and need to be thawed. But in that instance air is still blowing in – it’s just warm air. But there wasn’t anything coming in at all! I called my AC guy Pete and told him the problem. He said he’d come by Monday and have a look. Luckily the really hot weather wasn’t due to hit until later in the week, so I’m glad this happened now. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY has a permanent Jim Henson Muppet exhibit. In lieu of having visitors in person, they have taken to doing several interesting Zoom webinars. I signed up for one at 4pm Pacific that featured three former Muppet builders. It was a fascinating presentation, and at an hour in length, MUCH too short! It was fantastic! I turned on the fan and slept on the couch for a little bit, and then my friend Helen came by so we could go to Bob’s Big Boy for more carhop service. Given all of the protests and rebellion going on around the country in response to a seemingly never-ending (and to some, unnecessary) continued lockdown, there was a palpable party atmosphere at Bob’s. People sitting in chairs outside their cars, glad to be out and about, enjoying some food and friendship. Somebody in the neighborhood had some leftover fireworks from last 4th of July, so we were briefly entertained by a few brilliantly bright fireworks in the sky. When one went off the entire group gasped and I shouted, “Lockdown’s over!” A guy passing me smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. I wouldn’t be surprised if public pressure is going to force the politicians into opening up aspects of life very soon. I came home and napped on the couch for a bit, and then got up to work all night on perfecting the eye mechanism for B.D.M. It’s going to be quite different than the Oscar mechanism, because Oscar’s eyes were wired for eyebrows independently. B.D.M. has one wire for his entire unibrow. I think I’m going to need a small spring for this one in order to bring the unibrow back into place that my finger can’t achieve. Unlike Oscar, who’s a horizontal puppet, B.D.M. is a vertical puppet. So my middle finger, which works the mechanism, needs a little gravitational help to bring the eyebrow back into place. Animal’s mech is almost the exact same thing, and they use a small spring in that one too. I can pull the mechanism ring down easily enough to open the eyes wide, but pushing it back up vertically is tough to do. I’ll go spring shopping on Monday and see what I can find. When I went upstairs to clean up for TV time, I decided to clear out an area on the floor by my headboard that has a power strip. The strip was overburdened by lots of utilities, so I pulled them all out, cleaned the strip, got rid of the utilities I no longer needed, tidied up the cords and wires, labeled the cords of the utilities I kept, and reorganized. I had a great sense of accomplishment after it was done, but it was dirty work. When Jim Ojala brought over Oscar’s trash can, he loaned me a DVD called “Making Apes,” about the making of the groundbreaking make-ups for “Planet of the Apes.” I decided to make that my Saturday night viewing instead of the usual “Space 1999.” It was amazing. As a lifelong ‘apes’ fan, it was something I wished I could have seen as a kid!
Sunday the 3rd – SPRINGY SUNDAY! – I took advantage of the “day of rest” and didn’t wake up until 6pm. Luckily it was still fairly cool and breezy out, so my bedroom didn’t get very hot. I fed the pets and then I plopped back down on the couch and slept until 10. WOW! 10 hours of sleep! I was good on sleep for a while. I got up to do some work around the house, make a pizza, do some editing, do some more work on the B.D.M. eyes, and figured there is basically two ways to do it – the spring method, and the non-spring method. Given my experimentation I figured that the spring method was going to be the best option. I had anticipated the need for that early on, which is why I put the eye pieces in a hard plate of styrene, as opposed to just attaching them to the foam face. I kind of figured I’d need something solid to drill a bolt into if a spring needed to be attached later. Good thing I did! Pete the AC guy called to let me know he’d be coming at 7am on Monday to get my AC fixed. He said it sounded like the motor died, which will be expensive to replace. But necessary! My system is about 11 years old, and most of those AC systems last from 12 to 15 years. It’s conceivable that I may need a whole new system within the next few years. Ugh. I lounged around some more, had some cereal, and then hit the hay. I could only sleep two hours before I needed to be up early to meet up with Pete the AC guy.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
With disco on the radio last Saturday night, our server at Bob’s Big Boy got into the spirit!
B.D.M. is coming together!
In the early stages of the eyebrow mechanism, I had the principal down, but the execution wasn’t exact yet.
One night the moon, Venus, and a beautiful star made the night sky stunning.
As Roxy laid in the entry way to enjoy some morning sun coming through the door, I thought she looked especially beautiful in the lighting.