RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Hey Mattel. Who the hell is Namtab?
I’ve recently heard two different songs from Gin Blossoms in stores. So it started me on a quest to rediscover this great band. I heard “Until I Fall Away” a few days ago, and BOY does it sound good!
Monday the 9th – BINGE BUYING AND BATHING! – Since I heard the sad news that one of our local mom-and-pop craft stores is closing, I’ve made the determination to stock up on all of the supplies I may need for future projects. Kit Kraft has been around since the 40’s and has been the go-to place for all things ‘crafty.’ Many celebs have shopped there as well as special effects artists, and just regular folk who love to do projects. I stocked up on wire, plastic, molding epoxy, some paint, and a bunch of other stuff. They’ll still be around for a little while longer, but I suspect they’ll start running out of stuff soon as other people get the same idea that I had. I headed over to CVS to pick up some vitamins and supplies, and then I went over to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy one of those little shoe shelf thingies. I needed a nice little floor shelving unit for a space in my kitchen, and I found the perfect one! I was craving Taco Bell so I hit the drive-thru and then headed home. Roxy’s mobile groomer Arturo came by with the van and took her in for a nice bath. In the evening I worked around the house setting up the new fan I bought (my big one bit the dust last week), and building my new shelf units. Later I scanned some checks for a deposit, and wrote out Wally’s Week.
Tuesday the 10th – WALKIN’ AND WORKIN’! – My pal Brittney came over and we enjoyed a nice, long walk over to the bank so I could make a deposit. It was warm out, but not too unbearably hot. We took it easy so we wouldn’t get overheated, and it ended up being a really nice stretch of exercise! We had lunch at Panera, hit the hardware store on the way home and then I headed back to do some work. I worked around the house all day and into the evening, and then did my nightly auditions. It felt really good to get out and stretch my legs and do some sweatin’!
Wednesday the 11th – DOME IN MY HOME! – Michelle came over and we went to enjoy a nice lunch on the patio at a place I hadn’t been in a long time. Just before they closed for the day, I stopped by Kit Kraft to pick up a few fairly costly items I’d had my eye on for a while. One was a gorgeous glass domed display case that was perfect for my signed Batman cowl. It’s a 1966-style cowl I made years ago, and had many of the surviving cast members from the TV show autograph. It has 8 autographs on it and I have always been looking for the perfect way to display it. This glass domed case was the perfect size, so I grabbed it. I also bought a Paul McCartney life mask which had been on Kit Kraft’s wall for years. They have many other life masks and they’re getting rid of all of them. I went back home to start futzing around with the cowl and the display dome. I put it in a few different areas around Planet Wallywood, but oddly enough, it looked best in my kitchen. I hung the Paul McCartney life mask in the Chaney Room, next to all my other life masks of Adam West, Alfred Hitchcock, Boris Karloff, Glenn Strange, and Lon Chaney Jr.! Later I did my nightly auditions.
Thursday the 12th – LAZY, HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER! – The weather had warmed up considerably (it tends to do that in August) so I just hung around the house all day doing random, miscellaneous things.
Friday the 13th – GOOD LUCK DAY! – No bad luck today! It was all good! I drove to my mailbox to get some packages, and then enjoyed a salad on the patio of Paty’s. I headed back home and strolled over to Studiopolis to do some various voices for an anime cartoon. What fun! Then I went home to rest a bit, and do some more work around the house. Later I made some hot dogs and watched an episode of “Mod Squad.”
Saturday the 14th – USING AN ANIMAL AS BAIT! – For a while now my pal Joe has talked about embellishing a one-of-a-kind Elvis sport jacket he owns with some sort of nail head studs or rhinestones. I encouraged him to meet me at Kit Kraft to get some supplies for his project before it was too late. I walked over to meet him and we consulted with their staff about the best way to approach his project. He decided that two different kinds of nail head studs would look great as trim around the cuffs and the bottom of the jacket. I walked over to the grocery store to get a few items for dinner, and then headed back home to clean up for guests. My friends Aliza, Cecille, James and Brian were coming over to hang out for a bit. Since I stopped doing movie nights at the start of the whole virus thing, everyone has missed seeing each other. So once we all got assembled we hopped into James’ SUV and went to Lancers for a nice dinner. What fun! It was great catching up. When I got home I turned my attention to a convention I’d be attending on Sunday to promote my Christoween project. As I was walking Roxy out the front door to take a potty break, I looked over and saw Oscar the Grouch in his trash can. I thought that maybe a good way to engage potential Christoween fans would be through a Muppet! I could take Oscar, but being a ‘live hands’ puppet he might be too cumbersome. I could dig out some green fleece and make a nice Frankenstein head piece for Kermit (Franken-frog?) but it seemed too labor-intensive. My early Sesame Street monster puppets might fit in, but they’re not recognizable enough. So it was down to Gonzo or Animal. I had just had Gonzo out at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater on my birthday, so I figured Animal would be the best choice given the type of audience who attend monster cons. He would be a huge draw as my pal Officer Mark and I hand out promotional Christoween magnets to create awareness for the brand. I laid out all my stuff for the next day, and I realized that I need a much better ‘puppet travel’ bag!
Sunday the 15th – MUPPET BAITING! – The Mustang was loaded up with all my stuff and I headed to the Pasadena Convention Center for the Midsummer Scream monster convention. I parked, walked to the convention center and met up with Officer Mark. We went inside, I loaded him up with magnets, I put Animal on and we started working the crowd. What fun! In fact, we passed out all 200 magnets in about 45 minutes! I could have used about 1,000 more of these things! I had no idea this con would be this huge, but it seemed like people were really ready to get out and have some fun, given the past 18 months we’ve endured. It was so fun working the crowd with Animal; posing for pictures and making little videos. And with my mask on, nobody could see my lips move! The place was filled with freaks, geeks, weirdos and nerds – and I loved each and every one of them! My kinda people! It was a terrific afternoon! Officer Mark and his girlfriend Miss Connie and I went to PF Changs to take a break from the con madness and have a bite. Then Officer Mark and I went back to the con to do a little shopping. It was a very odd thing. Voice Actors very seldom get recognized in public. But people approached me on three separate occasions and said they loved my work. That was amazing to me. And doubly so considering I was masked! But it was nice chatting with them and taking some pictures. I even signed an autograph! It was wild! What a fantastic day! The Muppet Baiting, as Officer Mark called it, worked out great. I’m so glad I brought him. He was the perfect character for this type of venue. I drove home, sweaty and exhausted, and fed the kids. I enjoyed a hot shower, edited a few of the pics and videos from the day, and got in a good nap. Later I did my nightly auditions, and tackled my personal and corporate accounting. Ugh. I paid a few bills, and then made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad (but on Sunday instead!) and watched a VERY funny episode of “The Saint” called “Luella.” It seemed that even in 1962 everyone knew that Roger Moore would someday become James Bond. There was a lot of “meta” going on in that episode. Moore’s character Simon Templar convinces the landlady of an apartment complex that he’s James Bond, even though Moore never actually utters the words “James Bond” out loud. But it’s hilariously implied. At the end, the landlady asks, “Are you REALLY James Bond?” Moore shakes his head no, and then shoots a glance upwards. The trademark halo appears over his head. It’s a fantastic ‘geek’ moment. The guest star was David Hedison, who later played Felix Leiter to Moore’s Bond in “Live and Let Die!” I’m under the impression that Hedison and Moore were pretty good pals off-camera. The two female leads were played by actresses named Suzanne Lloyd, and Susan Lloyd! I bet THAT caused some confusion on the set! An amazing episode!
Monday the 16th – 44 YEARS?! – I remember very well where I was on August 16, 1977. I was in my house in Aberdeen, South Dakota goofing around on a lazy summer day around 3 in the afternoon. My second cousin Mark Langston was the first one to call. “I just heard Elvis died.” I was crushed! I turned on the TV and it was on all three channels. The King of Rock and Roll was gone. Particularly distressing was the fact that a group of musicians and I were rehearsing an act for the talent show in the upcoming school year. I had done Andy Kaufman’s “Foreign Man” act the previous year, and had planned on following it up next year with a goofy Elvis act. But now that Elvis was dead, goofing on him would be in bad taste. So we had talked about dispensing with the Elvis act. But my dad suggested that we change directions and do a serious tribute, instead of a comedy act. That was it! So once the band and I reprogrammed our concept, it was decided that we’d do a full-on tribute at the talent show. A song called “The King Is Gone” by Ronnie McDowell was playing on all of the radio stations, and we figured we’d add that song to our show. But after rehearsing it a few times we ditched the idea, because it would have really brought down the energy of the show. We decided to keep it up-tempo, and pure rock and roll. February 9, 1978 we did the act and some of the guys and I still laugh about it today. I’m really glad I saw Elvis in concert on June 22, 1977 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Given the condition he was in at the time, it really was no surprise to me when I heard the news of his passing. He was a very sick man. I drove to the post office to mail off some more Christoween merch to a customer in Germany, picked up a few packages at my mailbox, and then found the local McDonald’s and got lunch. I hadn’t had McDonald’s in a long time and I had a craving. I got home and opened my packages, and one of them was a really cool mini-TV that played clips from the 1966 “Batman” TV show! This is an amazing little collectible! Later I did my nightly auditions, which included a fun little talk-sing one that I had a great time with! I typed out Wally’s Week, walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the complex, made some lasagna and watched another episode of “Mod Squad.”
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
The drums were calling Animal!
A total stranger loved my mask and wanted to get a shot of it. Better yet, he took a “boomerang” of it, and here it is!
It’s no wonder these new toys from Tiny TV Classics are sold out everywhere. I found this one on eBay and it’s a great addition to my collection!