RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I like to lurk on a Facebook page dedicated to nostalgic recollections from Aberdeen, South Dakota – where I spent 9 formative years in my life. This restored photo really took me back, as it shows a pristine Main Street looking exactly the way I remember it as a kid! Those were good times!
We’ve had quite a few really great foggy nights of late in L .A., and everytime we have foggy nights I always like to walk around in the fog and hum that mysterious sax riff from Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street.” I’ve done it ever since the song came out. It just seems appropriate. Though it may not be foggy where you are right now, enjoy the song anyway. It’s a classic from one of the greatest albums ever recorded!
Monday the 1st – A NEW OLD PHONE! – While I waited for Roxy’s groomer to arrive, I typed out Wally’s Week. Her groomer arrived and it was nice to have a nice, clean dog again – especially after her health issues of the past week. But she’s back to her old, healthy self again! Later in the afternoon my neighbor Bob and I walked over to the local Verizon store so I could pick up my new phone. I ordered the latest top of the line flip phone. I don’t like smart phones because I have to have a keypad to do all my work. I can’t stand those slippery screens on a smart phone. It’s a lot bigger than my former flip phone; very robust! I think I’m going to like it quite a bit. Bob and I walked over to Studio Café to have dinner, but it was clear that our server’s mind was elsewhere. He asked us twice what our drink order was. I was thinking that he was a regular pot smoker, as his memory and concentration was pretty much gone. I had intended to get a salad, with some very specific requests. But when our server showed up to take our order, he wasn’t carrying any writing utensils – he was going strictly on…uh oh…memory. Knowing full well that this guy was never going to remember my specific salad requests, I just opted for a simple pepperoni pizza. I walked back home and rested for a bit. Later I recorded all my auditions, and started reading over the enclosed information about how my new old phone works. I started putting in all of my contacts, as there really is no good way to transfer my call list over from my old phone. Why has nobody figured that technology out yet? Maybe I’m missing something. I had contacted Verizon back in 2012 when I switched phones to have all of my contacts sent up to the cloud. But when I tried to download the list to my new phone, I found out the list hadn’t been updated since back then. But many of the contacts were still good, so I just had to put the newer contacts in by hand. And there were a LOT of them! Since I was busy all weekend, I decided to do my Super Saint Salad tonight, instead of Saturday. It was the final episode for the second season. Next week is the first weekend of the month, so it’ll be Laurel and Hardy Theatre night. So it’s good I’m wrapping up with the Saint’s second season. I did a little prep for a Zoom call with a drama class on Tuesday.
Tuesday the 2nd – BABBLING WITH BROOK! – When I woke up I saw on my phone that my voicemail was full. FULL?! It wasn’t a day ago! Now it is. I wasn’t sure why. I added that to the list of things I needed to bring up with a Verizon tech expert. The guys at the Verizon store had no idea why my voicemail was all of a sudden full, but they said it didn’t have anything to do with the new phone. I did a half hour Zoom call with a drama class in my hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My old pal Dave’s daughter is in this class and suggested that I be a guest to talk about Voice Acting. When that was done I finally got on with a Verizon tech specialist named Brook, and she was amazing! We chatted for about an hour, talking all about the new phone I just purchased. She was a fountain of information! She said the “full voicemail” problem was part of going from a 3G account to a 4G account. While the 3G account had unlimited saved messages, the 4G account placed a limit of 20 saved messages on me. So I had to delete over 10 messages to free up some space. She also told me about a plan that gave me about 10 times the data for a lesser price! Amazing! I spoke with my old pal Carmen Grillo about creating a demo for a Christoween song I wrote to coincide with a Christoween Caper that I’m releasing on the 13th. It was good to chat with him again, and we’re going to attack it this Thursday. I still had much of the afternoon left, so I drove back to the Verizon store to get a headset, but they didn’t have anything in stock. I did manage to get a new charger for my car though. I went to my mailbox to get my packages, got gas in the Mustang, and headed to Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich to go. I went home and enjoyed my dinner while I put more names and numbers in my new old phone. I did some more work on my Cookie Monster replica Muppet, by placing an extra finger loop on the top mouth plate, so when the eye plate is attached to it, the eyes will be level.
Wednesday the 3rd – EYE DOCTOR! – The day started with a last-minute audition that I recorded and e-mailed to my agent. I drove to KFC to get lunch to go, and then headed over to Alex In Wonderland to spend some time with my pal Mike. He was the only one in the shop and we spent several quiet hours chatting and discussing ideas about the eyes for my Cookie Monster Muppet replica. If you remember from last week, the eyes I had made for the puppet had gotten damaged a little. But Mike seems to think that he can salvage them and make them work. He’s a professional prop and effects guy, so if anybody can save them, he can. We came up with a plan to epoxy pieces of wood dowels in the bottoms of the eyes and then attach them to the eye support plate. This will work great! Perfect! I’ll get the appropriate sized wood dowels and head back to his studio to do the work next week. I went to my mailbox to get my packages, and then I went to my bank to do some business. When I got back home I did some prep for the music session at Carmen Grillo’s on Thursday. Later I did my nightly auditions, and did a quick ‘self-directed’ session for one of my usual clients. I did some more work programming my phone and then hit the hay.
Thursday the 4th – COOL CARMEN AND BEAUTIFUL BELLA! – Since Carmen likes a certain pizza place, I ordered a few pizzas on-line to pick up on the way to the music session. I got the pizzas, got to Carmen’s, and we ate lunch while we got caught up. We worked out the chords for the new Christoween song, and while Carmen put a basic track together I headed home to walk Roxy. When I got back to his studio his granddaughter Bella was there. She’s 16 and a great singer and actress, and she was the one who would be singing the song as one of my Christoween characters. She was a very quick study, and we got some great stuff! Carmen will do some tweaking on the track and it’ll be ready by next week. I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Friday the 5th – BIG MONEY MUNSTERS! – The day started with me munching on a blueberry muffin and watching the Munsters auction on the Heritage auction site. I had a bid in on one specific lot, but as I watched the money fly and the bids go sky high on the other stuff, I knew I wasn’t going to get the item. Which is OK. Because while I liked the Munsters, I wasn’t crazy about it. The lot I was interested in went for 3 times what my maximum bid was. I drove over to the bank to make some deposits, and then went to my mailbox to get my packages. I mailed off some Christoween merchandise, had a salad on the patio at Paty’s, and then went back home to feed the kids. After a quick change of clothes, I got back into the car and headed over to Barone’s Italian restaurant. I met up with my pal Officer Mark and his girlfriend Miss Connie. I also met with Denise and Seig, and their cousin “Bazooka” Joe! He’s the 102 year old WWII vet I’ve told you about before. I wanted Officer Mark to meet him, and Joe had some photos of cars he restored that he wanted me to send over to Jay Leno. It was great seeing them again, and it was a ton of fun! I came back home and relaxed.
Saturday the 6th – I AM THE REINCARNATION OF STAN LAUREL (AND THAT AIN’T GOOD!) – A last-minute lunch was staged with my old pal Chris Malmin, and we had a great, long lunch at Lancers in Burbank. Since I was close to where I keep my Gran Torino parked, I decided to swap out cars. I parked my Mustang and drove the Torino around. It was a great evening for that! I got home and fixed the LED light string in the breakfast bar area of my kitchen. They had gone wacky a while back; dimming and flashing. I bought a brand new string of lights and hooked them up, but the same thing happened. So I bought a new transformer and power supply and hooked that up to the old string of lights. It worked perfectly! So the lights themselves weren’t bad, but the power supply had gone bad. I plotted out the forthcoming week’s Christoween Tweets and social media posts. Later I set the clocks back for the idiotic, unnecessary and illogical Daylight Saving Time nonsense (there ought to be a law!), and I got ready to walk Roxy on a gorgeous foggy night. We’ve had a lot of fog these past few nights, and ever since I was a kid I always liked humming the sax riff from “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty as I walked through a foggy night. But I was having a particularly klutzy night, worthy of Stan Laurel himself. No, this wasn’t good stuff as in Stan Laurel the comedic genius. This was stupid, klutzy stuff akin to the character Stan Laurel always portrayed. First, as I was replacing some buckles on the straps of the car cover for my Gran Torino, and cutting off the old buckles so they could be replaced, I miscut and sliced into the mesh strap. Great. As I was stitching in the new buckles, I made sure to stitch over the rip in the mesh strap as well. But it was a klumsy move. Then, as I was preparing to move the remaining tablets of vitamin C from one container to a new container, I accidentally bumped the near-empty container of tablets and it went upside down into my sink, and the remaining tablets of vitamin C went right down my drain! Ugh. As is my normal routine when I have Laurel and Hardy Theater on the first Saturday of the month, I make a Chef Boyardee pizza (for my own personal, nostalgic reasons). In the box, there are two pouches of dough mix. If you mix both pouches together for one big pizza, you’re supposed to add one and a third cup of water. But if you only make one pouch (which I always do since it’s just pizza for one) you only need to put in two-thirds of a cup of water. Without thinking, I poured a full cup of water on the dough, and then realized what I had done. The dough would be much too watery! I thought about adding the second pouch and making a large pizza, or I thought about starting over and opening up a new box. But I figured I would see how this dough rose and take it from there. I took my shower and got cleaned up and found out that, while the dough was too moist, it had risen nicely. I was going to take a chance. I made the pizza and put it in the oven. It did turn out rather nicely, but I’ve been making these pizzas for decades, and I can’t believe I made such a rookie error! It was great having Laurel and Hardy Theatre on a foggy night! I had the pizza, a banana Twinkie, popcorn, and my Oliver Hardy mug (that my mom made for me in her ceramics class back in 1973) filled with iced Diet Pepsi. I watched the feature film “Pack Up Your Troubles” which was terrific!
Sunday the 7th – SOCIAL MEDIA SUNDAY! – After I finally managed to wake up, I spent some time plotting out more social media posts for the forthcoming week to promote my Christoween property. It involved editing videos, and composing texts. I did a few auditions and e-mailed them to my agents, and relaxed the rest of the evening. It was a wonderful Sunday!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK