RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
After doing an interview with an artist named Rachel Berman, about animation, comedy and related stuff, I mentioned that if you do a certain kind of comedy that some would find offensive, it could ruin your career. But if you do it through an animated character or a puppet, you can get away with a LOT. She put this concept into a visual piece that I just love!
I caught this song on the radio this past week and had forgotten what a good sounding record this was. INXS with “New Sensation” – back when music was music
Monday the 13th – FROM SASSY TO SLEEPY! – Roxy needed a bath very badly, so I took her over to the groomer and dropped her off for a good dog wash, and then hit Subway for a sandwich. I got home in time to meet up with my pal Sergio Lopez so he could do some trimming on my latest Muppet replica; Gleep aka Green Grover. Grover was GREEN when he first went on “Sesame Street” in 1969. He was repurposed for the show, but was originally called Gleep when he was first created. He was eventually named Grover, and later on he turned blue. But I’ve always been fascinated by the original Muppets created by master puppet maker Don Sahlin; the guy who was virtually responsible for giving the Muppets their trademark look. Like the Muppet known as “Beautiful Day,” (a replica whom I just recently finished), Gleep was one of the original Henson Muppets that Sahlin created. I like the blue Grover, of course. But the original green Grover always intrigued me – and I don’t know of anybody who has made a replica of him. But before my replica goes back to my fabricator Alex in Wonderland for a darker paint job, he needs to have some fur trimmed away from his mouth and fingers. Sergio’s a master at that. My cat Spooky had a 4:30 appointment for his annual exam, and because he’s been feisty at previous appointments, they suggested I give him a “mother’s little helper” before I bring him in to calm him down. The instructions on the bottle said to give him a pill 2 hours before “desired effect.” So at 2:30 I wrapped the small pill in some cheese and let him have at it. While Sergio worked I typed out Wally’s Week. I also had Sergio snip Beautiful Day’s hairline to “mess” it up a little bit and look more monster-y. Sergio finished and took off, and I took Spook to the vet. But he growled as soon as I put him in his carrier. Did the tranquilizer not work? I dropped him off and warned them that he might need a small “chaser” to be more docile. I picked Roxy up at the groomer and she looked gorgeous and clean! I took her home and then headed back to get Spook. The Dr. called me and said he was still a little bit rambunctious, but it wasn’t anything they couldn’t handle. He said Spook’s lost ½ pound since last year, and because he’s an indoor cat the Dr.’s not worried about parasites. But he said I could be a little more liberal with his food portions. I’ve seen so many overweight cats in their senior years, and I know that it limits their longevity. So I’ve been keeping a keen eye on his food intake. I picked Spook up from the vet and took him home. Sure enough around 6:30 he climbed up on my lap as I was typing out Wally’s Week and fell asleep. Apparently the pill takes four hours to work in his system, and not two. Note to self for future visits. Craving a big burger, I put Roxy in the back of the Mustang, put the top down and drove over to Bob’s Big Boy for some carhop service. It was delicious! Then I went home and did my nightly auditions.
Tuesday the 14th – CREEPY CAR CREAKS! – Just after noon I had an appointment to do a “directed audition” for a project. The directors were going to be on Zoom directing me as I put my voice to a piece of video, much like the audition I did last week. I signed on the programs, and waited. But five minutes passed and nothing. Ten minutes passed and still nothing. I contacted my agent and they said the producers were having technical difficulties. But I had a busy day planned, so I had to sign off after about 15 minutes. Once they figured out their technical difficulties I figured they’d get back to me to reschedule. I went over to Quest Diagnostics to give some blood for a Covid 19 antibody test. I just wanted to know if I had ever been exposed to the virus. As I drove around I noticed that my car was creaking every time I turned the steering wheel. I called the Ford dealer to schedule a service appointment. I stopped by KFC to get some lunch at the drive thru, then I went over to Alex In Wonderland to drop off three puppets; Gleep aka Green Grover so he could get an additional paint job on his fur and have his nose attached, Beautiful Day so he could have his hands transplanted, and Robin the Frog so I could get Alex’s opinion on tightening up a seam on his head. Then I stopped at the grocery store to get some supplies, and I headed home. My pal Sara met me at the Ford dealer so I could drop off my Mustang to get a diagnosis on the creaking problem. I got back home and did some work around the house. Later I did my nightly auditions, and walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood. It was very cool and quiet out, and eventually the night gave way to another blue morning; a nice translucent, overcast sky. I tried to lie in my hammock and enjoy the dawn, but it was TOO COLD! In July!!!??
Wednesday the 15th – THE CREAK WAS A LEAK! – My Ford service tech called and said I had a few leaks in my steering assembly, and they would need several days to make all the needed repairs. So I walked over to my auxiliary garage and got the Gran Torino out. It started right up! Excellent! But I had to take it to the Firestone dealer to have the tires inflated. I drove by my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley’s residence to drop off another sack full of DVDS for her to enjoy. Being 93 she’s been locked down in her room since March, so I’m trying to keep her as entertained as possible with books and movies. I got some lunch at the Jack in the Box drive thru and then went home. I chatted with a storyboard artist I know about my kid’s book project. I want to do an “animatic” for my first story. An animatic is a series of still drawings edited together in such a way to approximate what the story would look like animated. I already narrated the first story, had it scored by a very talented composer, and added sound effects. So it just needs some visuals. I’m hoping that I can share it with you very soon…FINALLY! Later I did my nightly auditions, worked around the house, and did some accounting work. I walked Roxy under a clear, star-filled sky! I decided to lie out in the hammock and stare up into the sky. I had a pillow and blanket, because it was still rather chilly. But I hadn’t counted on my back getting cold! The cold floor of the patio underneath me radiated the cold up through the hammock. Next time I’m going to put a blanket on the hammock before I lie in it. Little by little I’m learning ways to improve my experiences on the Tranquility Annex. I made some hot dogs and watched another episode of “The Mod Squad.”
Thursday the 16th – TICKLED BY THE TORINO! – After visiting my chiropractor Dr. C. for another adjustment (still trying to conquer this pinched nerve problem) I stopped by Paty’s to have a salad on the patio. I got my packages at my mailbox and then went home to grab Roxy and take her to the vet’s to have some blood drawn. The medication that has helped her weak rear leg issue is amazing, but can harm the liver over an extended duration. So periodically I have to have her liver levels checked. I went back to Shirley’s to pick up a sack of movies that she was returning to me after having watched them. It’s great watching people’s faces as I drive around in the Gran Torino. People sure love that car, and it’s fun getting comments and thumbs up. It sure is great seeing people smiling and laughing, especially during these days! Later I did some auditions, worked around the house, and started prepping for my big “negative” project. I’m going to catalog and organize all my old negatives, and the ones I determine to be important, I’m going to scan them for posterity.
Friday the 17th – PET NEWS! – After what was probably the shortest session I’ve ever done, (it literally only took about 3 minutes!) I went outside to enjoy the gorgeous day! I was itchin’ to get out in the Torino and drive around, but I decided instead to stay inside and buckle down to get some work done. I got a call from Roxy’s vet that said Roxy’s liver levels were good! It’s probably because I’ve backed her dosage off to one pill every third day or so. It’s enough to keep the symptoms from returning, and I feel it keeps her from being over-medicated. The vet said whatever I was doing was working nicely. Particularly since the medication the Dr. prescribed to counteract the harmful liver effects of the main medicine was making Roxy vomit. So I think this is working nicely! Spook’s Dr. called and said that he’s slightly anemic. Spook is going to have to go back into the vet in a month to give more blood. Boy! It’s been a BLOODY WEEK, between me giving blood, Roxy giving blood, and Spook giving blood! My Dr. e-mailed me to tell me that my antibody test was negative; that I’ve never been exposed to the Covid 19 virus. Rats. I ordered a delicious Domino’s pizza and enjoyed it on the Tranquility Annex!
Saturday the 18th – CAR, COLOR, CLEANED AND COOL! – Because it took a while to get the parts in, it took several days for me to get my Mustang back. But my pal Sara picked me up and took me to the Ford dealer to settle up on my repairs. I went to get some groceries, and then headed home to meet up with my stylist Andie to get a touch up on my color. Her salon had just been closed again by our Governor, so a home visit was the only option. I cleaned up and put Roxy in the back of the Mustang and headed to Bob’s Big Boy to meet up with some of the old “movie night” gang for dinner. It was great seeing everyone again, and enjoying some good food under the night sky on a gorgeous evening!
Sunday the 19th – WHAT INDIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES! – I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but I was just feeling…’indifferent.’ I didn’t really care about doing much of anything. I washed and sanitized my masks and laid about my house doing not much of anything. At one point I wished that an asteroid would slam into the planet and it would all be over; that was how indifferent about everything I was feeling. This lockdown has gone on too long. I want my rockin’ life back. I talked to Shirley for a bit on the phone, and decided to get out of my funk. So I would meditate on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe” for a while. That seemed to do the trick! I got up and felt a little better. I delved into the folders on my computer and found some video I decided to work on. A while back, my friend Officer Mark and his girlfriend Miss Connie came over to shoot some video for a project, and while he had the camera handy we shot a little improv piece with my Oscar the Grouch replica Muppet and my robot Elvis. But for some reason there wasn’t any audio on the file, but the video was hysterical. I decided to turn it into a short silent film and posted it on social media in hopes that other people would find it funny. Later I got on the webcam and chatted with my friend Tabby in Missouri. I fed and walked Roxy, and enjoyed a nice cigar on a beautiful night. The gorgeous star-filled sky overhead, the sound of the crickets in the trees, and the smell of my cigar put me very much at peace. I drove over to Denny’s to get some food to go, and settled in to watch another episode of “Space 1999” before bed. Even though the day started off kind of rough, it ended very nicely.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Here’s the short silent film I put together on Sunday night called “The King and the Grouch.” Hey, I was bored. What can I say?