RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Remember, when monitoring temperatures…F is for Fahrenheit. But…
This past week The Bob Baker Marionette Theater Tweeted out a video of two alien-looking bead puppets dancing to a song called “Coo Coo Ru” by the Manhattan Transfer, a song they released in 1979. The puppeteering video was great, but I wasn’t able to link to it.
However, I DID find the song’s official video on YouTube, and it’s even crazier! How can you go wrong with synthesizers, creepy sped-up voices, weird puppets, old public domain film footage, and psychedelic animation? I love this video and song on SO many levels! It’s delightfully disturbing! (Seriously, what the heck is up with these puppets?!) I’m assuming the red, sparkly puppet is a forest fire. Other than that I’m totally confused!
Monday the 31st – APPLIANCE RELIANCE! – Today was the day I would get my new washer and dryer! While I waited for them to arrive I scanned more old negatives. After consulting with my pal Scott Sebring (a pro who knows this kind of thing) I was scanning them at a DPI that was too low to be useful. Once I locked into the proper DPI and created a formula, I was off and running! The very first full roll of film I ever shot on my own was of my childhood dog Ralph. Though they would need color correction, the images were still there on the old 110 negatives! Amazing! I also found out that the Waze company released the Batman/Riddler GPS additions on this day! We did the voice tracks about a month ago and I have been keeping it a secret. People were loving being guided to their destinations by either Batman or the Riddler! After the workmen arrived and installed the washer and dryer, I got cleaned up and scanned some checks for a bank deposit. Then it was off to the bank. I picked up my packages at my mailbox, got some lunch at KFC, and then went home to do some work. My pal Brittney Powell came over to do some work and I did my nightly auditions. I typed out Wally’s Week, walked Roxy, and made soup and a sandwich. Last week I started watching a new DVD set of the show called “The Time Tunnel.” I don’t know why this show hadn’t been on my radar all my life, but it’s fantastic! The acting and writing are wonderful! Just before I hit the hay, my pal Evan sent me the new remixes of the narrations I had done of my kid’s stories. They sounded amazing!
Tuesday the 1st – SESSION PREP! – As I was scanning more old negatives, one of my agents contacted me about a session for a video game on Wednesday. I made arrangements with my pal Brittney to take care of my pets while I was away, and reviewed the new “safety” protocols for recording in an actual studio. My pal Sara came over to run through the operation of my new washer and dryer. I was fearing the worst, but they’re actually quite simple – not as digital as I was expecting. However, that being said, there’s still too much clutter on them. Too many choices. I just want to wash clothes. I just want to dry clothes. I hate clutter. But they’re good machines nonetheless. I did some work around the house and readied my own drinks, snacks and headphones for the session. Those things are no longer being provided by the studio in the interest of sanitation. I scanned some fun negatives from some trips I had taken with my church group. I had long forgotten about these shots, as the prints from these negatives are long gone. It was good seeing them again, particularly since some of the people in the shots are no longer with us. But they came with a fair amount of oil and debris. So after Googling negative cleaning protocols, I gently swabbed them with 99% isopropyl alcohol and cleaned them off neatly. It did the trick! I got beautiful results! I haven’t seen these shots for 45 years; probably since I originally had them printed. I’m going to get on Shutterfly when I’m done scanning and order prints of the select shots for my photo albums. It’ll be nice having these added to the mix after all these years!
Wednesday the 2nd – MARINA MAGIC! – Just before I hit the freeway to go to Culver City for the day, I heard the screech of a hawk overhead. Normally when I hear that, I’m on my guard. I don’t like them flying into our complex and attacking our Mourning Doves. But this hawk was very high in the sky, circling lazily with her two younglings. Then a gorgeous red dragonfly started circling around my patio. I had never seen one that color before! Luckily, it landed on a branch of a tree long enough for me to get some shots against a beautiful, clear blue sky. I drove to Culver City and visited my nerve doctor to get a shot of Cortisone for the numbness in my left hand and left foot. He said that hopefully the disc in my back that’s bulging will settle back in soon, and the muscles surrounding it will heal around it. I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant in that area and got some lunch to go. I drove over to Marina Del Rey and found the studio where my session would be held. I had some time before I was due to go in, so I turned on AM oldies and ate my lunch. I rolled down my windows and let the cool sea breeze blow through my car while I ate. It was magical! The session was at Side LA, and it’s always nice to be in a real studio again! I had done several sessions at Voice Trax West recently, and those too were fun. I’m not a big fan of working out of my house. I can’t say much about the video game that I recorded tracks for, but I can say that they’re characters I’ve voiced in the past – but the application of these characters in this game’s storyline is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. As a fan I was going nuts. This was brilliant! I told the producers that when this game is released it’s going to break the internet! Other fans will be as excited as I am! I worked until 6 and then drove home. I got home and handled some e-mails and grabbed a nap in the Tranquility Zone because I was bushed! It’s been a long time since I’ve had to be on my feet for a 4 hour session, and I’m not used to it any more. Hopefully there will be more sessions and I can work back up to where I was before the virus thing hit. A gorgeous full moon shone in through my window and bathed my face in moon glow. I got up later and did a bunch of auditions, but I needed to turn in early for a busy Thursday.
Thursday the 3rd – SHIRLEY SHOCK! – Bright and early I was up to go see my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley with my pal Edi. But first I did a quick audition. Edi and I met at Shirley’s residence at 9:30 and went up to the door to check in and have the staff bring her down. The staff person said, “Are you family?” I thought that was an odd question, because you don’t need to be family to have a visit. I replied, “We’re the closest thing she has to family in this area. We’re ‘church’ family.” The lady said, “Oh…church family.” What the heck was going on? “Well,” she continued, “she’s not on the premises.” Edi and I looked at each other. “Where is she?” I asked. “You’ll have to contact a family member,” the lady said. ‘Not on the premises?’ What did that mean? The blood left the faces of Edi and I. So I paced around on the patio and dialed up Shirley’s daughter on my phone. No answer. I left a voicemail message and then texted her asking her to call me. I also called our head pastor to see if he had heard anything about Shirley’s situation. Nada. While I was on the phone with Pastor Bob I saw Shirley’s daughter calling in. I clicked over and found out that Shirley was taken to the hospital by ambulance early in the morning because she had a strange feeling in her head, and the nursing staff at the home couldn’t adequately diagnose the issue. Shirley’s daughter said, “She’s paralyzed on the left side –“ (at that point my heart stopped) – “of her face.” Since it was only her face I was a bit relieved. They did an MRI and found out that it was NOT a stroke! Whew! It wasn’t a blood pressure issue or a heart attack either. The attending nurse suspected it might be Bell’s Palsy. That’s bad, for certain, but curable. She said she’d keep in touch with me throughout the day as they learned more. She also said that my name is being added to the ‘family list’ at the residence so I can be apprised of any personal information that may occur from here on out. Since I live closer to Shirley than any of her family it only makes sense. Edi and I went over to Jerry’s Famous Deli to eat and discuss the situation. Later I was joined by my pal Tuesday Knight and her mom and her friend Jeff. It was a fun morning! I headed to my mailbox to get my packages, and I received several fur samples for a new puppet project I’m considering. Unfortunately none of the samples were what I was looking for. I went back home to do a bunch of auditions. Since I had gotten up so early in the morning I was a bit beat.
Friday the 4th – MUSHY MASK BRAINS! – When I got up I had a message from Shirley on my phone that said she was back home. They didn’t really ever ascertain what her issue was, but she did say the facial paralysis had diminished after about an hour. It’s the first time she’s been out of the residential facility in six months, and now I’m worried that they’ll have to put her into a 14 day quarantine because she left the building. But she said she hadn’t heard anything of that nature. My maids came over to clean Planet Wallywood, and when they left I took Roxy to the groomer’s to get a bath. I got a few grocery items, went to my mailbox to get my mail, and decided to drive to Little Caesar’s to get some lunch. I always order the same thing when I’m there – a pepperoni pizza, an order of Crazy Bread, 2 containers of Crazy Sauce, and a Diet Pepsi. But the kid at the counter didn’t seem to be able to grasp what I was saying. I had to repeat the order about 3 times. Then, when he gave me my order he had forgotten the 2 containers of Crazy Sauce. Even after being VERY clear as to what my order was. I said, “Not on your A-game today, eh dude?” I honestly think all the mask-wearing is melting our brains; by having to continually rebreathe our own carbon dioxide. I’d like to know if there’s any science behind this assertion, but I’ve definitely noticed a downward turn in efficiency since this whole mask-wearing thing started. And to be honest, in many cases, the efficiency wasn’t all that hot BEFORE that! I hit the grocery store to stock up on supplies, and then went home to put them away. I drove over to get Roxy at the groomer’s, took her home, fed the pets, put away the groceries, and bolstered ourselves for a legendary heatwave this weekend. It’s supposed to approach “Palm Springs-like” temps over the weekend, possibly hitting as high as 118 in some areas! I don’t remember it ever being that hot since I’ve lived in this area. It’ll be interesting to see just how those sorts of temperatures feel. I had a really interesting singing audition, so I spent some time recording that. Later I spent some time working on-line, went to Denny’s to get some food to go, and then came home to eat and watch another episode of “The Time Tunnel.” This particular episode had me in tears! This is an excellent show!
Saturday the 5th – 112! – Content just to stay in all day and monitor the weather, I got up mid-afternoon to check the temp. It was 112! Since I haven’t been successful in training my dog Roxy to use our indoor plumbing, I had to take her out for a potty break. I wanted to see what it was like, because I had never felt anything that hot before. It actually wasn’t too bad, as long as I stayed out of the direct sunlight. Even Roxy was OK with it, and she went to the courtyard and laid down in the grass to sunbathe. She was raised in an area that had temps very similar to this, so this was like old times for her. The hot weather actually felt pretty good, to be honest. Like a sauna. My body just felt better – my joints, my muscles, everything! Heat can be very therapeutic in the health industry, and this is no different. Roxy got up and was ready to go in, so I took her inside. But I stayed outside a little longer. It was supposed to be about 5-7 degrees hotter on Sunday. The rest of the afternoon was spent scanning slides from my collection and Tweeting out the progress. We were asked, as residents of L.A., to conserve energy so as not to overwhelm the power grid. What year is this, 1918? Overwhelm the power grid? Is this ‘electricity’ thing a new invention? Have we not figured out by now how to build a suitable power structure to support the modern-day? Newflash: it gets hot in August and September! People use their air conditioners! Is this just a new development? It’s been hot in August and September for millennia, so why do the people who supply our power seem so ill prepared for this? We can spend money on all sorts of stupid stuff in this state, but we haven’t built the proper infrastructure to withstand these PREDICTABLE situations to keep the power on? Utter insanity. But not wanting my electricity to blackout, I turned off everything I didn’t need. I think by now we’ve figured out how to make electricity, right? We have for a century, right? So…why don’t we just MAKE MORE! Like Doritos! Or at the very least have a supply of extra energy ready to purchase from other states should we need it during the peak months? How has nobody figured this out? Why are we even still having these “peak usage times” restrictions? It’s nuts. Some folks from our usual movie night crew (which we haven’t had in six months) were all going to meet at Bob’s Big Boy for dinner, but when the forecast for the weekend came out earlier in the week, and I realized that it was still going to be around 92 degrees at the time we’d be eating, we decided to postpone to another weekend. But having that seed planted in my brain, I was craving a hamburger! Shortly after the sunset I hopped in the Mustang, put the top down and took a nice, leisurely drive over to Carl’s Jr. It felt REALLY good to be out in the heat. I’m not joking. It felt WONDERFUL! It was nice and hot, and unlike the summer weather I endured as a kid in South Dakota, NO HUMIDITY! I love the hot and DRY conditions. I came back home and watched some TV. Svengoolie on ME-TV was running “The Blob.” I’ve always loved that theme song, and the animated opening is really cool. Apparently, the entire opening (song and animation) was done as an afterthought, AFTER the film was completed. Sven said it was done to minimize the “scariness” of the film. My folks had the song “The Blob” by the Five Blobs on a 45 when I was a kid and I couldn’t stop playing it enough. It had one of the coolest sax solos I had ever heard! Kitschy and cool! Come to find out, the “FIVE” Blobs was one guy who multi-tracked his voice. I also loved hearing the song on “The Dr. Demento Show” from time to time. I did a little work around the house, did some accounting work with my bank accounts, reconciled my receipts, and paid some bills. I’m ready for another super-hot day and anticipate just lying around some more. But by Monday the heatwave breaks and it’s back down to normal late-August/early-September temps for this area.
Sunday the 6th – SUMMERY SCREW-UP! – My sleep schedule was all messed up, so I ended up staying up through most of Sunday. I made my Saturday night Super Salad on Sunday afternoon, and watched “Space 1999.” It was a pretty good episode, and it wasn’t until the next day that I realized that Martin Landau (the star of the show) wasn’t in that episode! I love Martin Landau, but in my opinion this show wasn’t a good vehicle for him. He’s not necessarily a commanding leading man, and evidenced by the fact that I didn’t even realize he wasn’t in this episode, the show didn’t really suffer from his absence. I mean, can you imagine a “Star Trek” episode that was missing Captain Kirk? You would DEFINITELY notice the absence! I got a little bit of sleep off and on, I scanned some more of my old negatives, and had a blast seeing these old images. Some of these images I hadn’t seen in over 40 years! I don’t know what happened to the original prints I had from these negatives, but it was good to see them again. I plan on scanning all of the desirable negatives from my “South Dakota” years, isolating the images I want to get printed, and then send a huge order to Shutterfly to have prints made. I have corresponding prints for about 96% of these negatives in my photo albums, but I’m finding some holes here and there. And it’s for that very reason that I’m glad I’m doing this project. The rest of the day and evening I rested and fasted until first thing Monday morning. I believe the temp hit 117 today.
Monday the 7th – GRAB A SWEATER! – As expected the heatwave broke, and by the time I got up in the afternoon the temps were hovering around 88 degrees. When I took Roxy out I noticed how “orange” everything looked outside. I’m not sure if it was weather-related, or if there was another reason. I heard there were some fires going on around the area, so that could be the issue. Back when I was living in South Dakota, any time there were orange skies it was either before or after a storm. I spent all day scanning negatives and relaxing. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched another episode of “The Time Tunnel.” I’ve said it before, but this show is EXCELLENT! Great writing! Great acting! Great cinematography! How was this show not on my radar all these years?! I’m enjoying the heck out of this show! Later I wrote Wally’s Week, assembled all of the photos I wanted to post, and then scanned some more. This is a blast!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK