RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
This is one of the old photos I dug out. I know they’re supposed to be mushrooms from the movie “Fantasia,” but seriously…the costume design is a little bit…ummm…salty?!
While working on photo albums and listening to oldies on AM over the weekend, there were moments of convergence when a song would come on the radio that was popular at the same time many of the photos I was working with had been taken. This really sent me down memory lane and made me nostalgic! I had always promised myself I would never turn into one of “those guys” that sit on the porch and gripe about how great the old days were. But given the events of the past 9 months, I think I’m due a LITTLE bit of nostalgia. This song by Rod Stewart talks about very nostalgic things; contacting an old love, remembering basement parties in Minnesota, etc. – and has always been a favorite of mine. It’s fun hearing a song about the very things you’re looking at in old photos. Here’s “You Wear It Well.” (A little old fashioned but I don’t mind.)
Monday the 14th – oh boy. another monday. yawn. – Most of the early part of the day was spent scanning more South Dakota negatives so I could get prints made to include in my photo albums. When I get all of that finished, then I’ll turn my attention to cataloging my L.A. negatives and scanning the ones I need prints of. I spent a few hours trying to get them into chronological order as best as I can. I worked around the house, recorded some auditions, wrote Wally’s Week, fed and walked Roxy, and then made some spaghetti and watched another episode of “The Time Tunnel.”
Tuesday the 15th – NEVER EVER AGAIN! – When I bought my laser printer 2 years ago I bought one of those four year repair plans through one of those companies. Big mistake. My printer is no longer able to pull paper through the bulk paper feeder because the little rollers have worn out over the years. I believe that they make it purposely difficult for you to file a claim; exacerbated, of course, by the whole virus thing. I called them on the phone at the number Staples provided me when I bought the printer. The message said that they’re only opening up claims on their website. In order to locate my policy, they showed a sample receipt on their website, with the required numbers and date circled. The receipt that Staples gave me to file a claim didn’t look anything like the receipt on the website. So it was utterly useless. I called the customer service number for the insurance plan and they said they needed those numbers or they couldn’t open a claim. Luckily, I keep all my receipts for tax purposes, so I had to go to my garage, move a bunch of stuff around, and dig through envelopes and envelopes of receipts. ALAS! I found it. I scanned the receipt and went back on-line to fill out the form. I got all the numbers input, but at the bottom of the webpage they have two buttons, one marked BACK and the other marked NEXT. I tried to click the NEXT button to move on to the next page of the form, but it was unclickable. So I used their chat function, but the algorithm I was chatting with was completely worthless. So once again, I called the customer service line AGAIN to tell them their website was malfunctioning and I couldn’t get to the next page of my claim form. I talked to a very nice lady named Tonisha who took most of my information so they could locate my plan. After 14 minutes of conversing, all of a sudden she was no longer there. The connection had broken on their end. Convenient. So I called back once more, but their system put me over to the sales department. They said they couldn’t help me (DUH!) but they would get me over to customer service. After a long wait I got somebody else on the line, and after 2 long days of dealing with this “convenient” repair plan I purchased, they FINALLY e-mailed me a Fed Ex shipping form to send the printer in for repair. In the future, I’m just going to accept the fact that these printers last about 2 years, then I’ll just junk it (or donate it to Goodwill) and just buy a new one. NO MORE WARRANTY PLANS!! They’re a rip off. So I’ll have to be without a printer for about 2 weeks while it’s being repaired. Half of me just wants to go buy a new one and when/if the other one gets repaired and returned, I’ll just use that as a back-up. Madness! I did some more cataloging of my L.A negatives and realized with horror that I’m missing a TON of prints of my early days in L.A.! The shots that weren’t important to me back then, are important to me now. First, when I initially arrived in L.A. I had stars in my eyes, and only kept prints of things that were of a show-biz nature. All the pictures I took of my roommates, coworkers, etc. were somehow missing. I’m guessing I gave the prints to them as gifts. But now I want those for my photo albums as those people mean a lot to me! Secondly, I also think that I wanted to keep the number of prints that I would have to commit to my photo albums very low, in order to cut down on the expense of having to buy more photo albums. I was on a VERY limited budget back then. I selected them too conservatively out of economic necessity. So it looks like I’ll have a lot of scanning to do in the coming weeks so I can replace a lot of those missing prints. Thank GOD I still have the negatives! It was a nice evening, so I put Roxy in the back of the Mustang, put the top down, and headed to McDonald’s to get something to eat. Everybody else had the same idea, as I was in the drive-thru line for about 40 minutes! When I returned I rifled through my garage to pick out a collectible “Bleach” piece for my friend Tabby in Missouri. When we shot a “Bleach” documentary back in the mid-2000s they backdrop was a faux brick wall, and we all painted our character names on it. When we wrapped, the set guys cut out the Renji portion and gave it to me. Johnny, the voice of Ichigo, also spray painted “THE END” on a piece of Plexiglas that was affixed over the camera’s lens. I kept that too, but I also had the rest of the cast members sign it. I could find the faux brick piece, but not the Plexiglas piece. I thought they were together but I was wrong. I’ll find it someday. I recorded my auditions, then fed and walked Roxy.
Wednesday the 16th – SLEEPY SPOOK! – It was time to take my cat Spooky into the vet again to have his blood checked. Last time he was in the test showed that he was slightly anemic. They wanted to recheck his blood to see if there had been any improvement, or worse, a decline. Because he’s a feisty little boy, and doesn’t have much tolerance for the vet, I have to give him a tranquilizer a few hours before I take him in. Because of all the flea madness we had been going through recently his return visit was long overdue. I gave him the tranquilizer in some cheese at 2, and then did some work and recorded some auditions. I put him in his case and he was nice and compliant. We drove to the vet’s office, just a few blocks away, and they told me not to leave. They took him in and I waited about 45 minutes for his return. I could have gone and gotten my mail in the meantime, but it’s probably best I stayed put. So I just leaned back in my seat with the sun on my face, jammed to oldies on AM! They played ELO, and many other great 70’s songs! Between the warm sun and the great music, I was literally high! They brought Spook back and I took him home and fed him and Roxy their afternoon meals. I drove over to Chin Chin to get some food to go. I put on my face mask (which is printed with the lower half of my face) and walked in to get my food. The manager was behind the counter waving his arms frantically. I wasn’t sure what he was saying because, well, he was wearing a piece of cloth over his mouth. Apparently from a distance, he thought I wasn’t wearing a mask. It’s only when I got closer, and the lighting improved, that he saw it was a mask. We all had a good laugh over it. I took my food home to eat and relax. I had a dental appointment on Thursday, and I’m fearing the worst since the original check-up appointment was scheduled for many months ago. But while the whole virus thing it kept getting delayed. I started working on a new piece for my website about cosplay. I wrote into the night and then fed and walked Roxy. I’m longing for another trip to Palm Springs, so I may make a trip out there very soon. With everything that’s been going on, I need it badly! I made a pot pie and watched another episode of “The Time Tunnel.”
Thursday the 17th – I NEED A GUARD! – My pal Troy, who’s a writer for the “Ellen” show, sent me a comedy bit he wanted voiced. I met Troy back in the old “Tonight Show” days, and I’m blessed that he still uses me for bits from time to time. Then I drove over to my dentist for my check-up. I was supposed to go in April, but with all the delays this is the earliest I could get in. We didn’t have to take X-rays this time, so he just did a cleaning and an examination. It looks like I might be grinding my teeth while I sleep (and with everything that’s been going on, can you blame me?) so they took my dental impressions to create a night guard for me. I also need to improve my flossing. I was doing really well until the virus thing started. Then I just kind of let it slide. On the way to Paty’s to enjoy lunch, I heard from Shirley that she had to go to the hospital again. I told her to keep me posted. I honestly think that being locked down for six straight months has worn on her, and I’m not happy about it. I’m SO glad she’ll be moving to a new facility in Palm Desert in a few weeks so she can be closer to her daughter and son-in-law. I picked up my packages at my mailbox, and then went over to Rusty’s Pets to get some treats for the kids. I got back home and worked all afternoon. One of the things I received in the mail was a vintage Planet of the Apes board game, from my friend Sheriff John! I cleaned out my ‘apes’ display shelf and put the cover for the game in with all of the action figures and other collectibles. Before I scan a lot of negatives I remembered that I had a huge box of discarded photos in my garage. I think it would behoove me to sort through those pictures to see if any of my missing prints are in that box, before I go through the work of scanning the negatives. I started digging through the box of photos and found some gems! I laid my hands on some extra South Dakota photos I had forgotten I had, so I need to restructure some of the pages in those photo albums; even though I thought I had completed them long ago. My pals Officer Mark and Miss Connie met at my house and we drove over to Bob’s Big Boy. We turned on the Waze app and had The Riddler guide us to our destination. It was great fun, and kind of odd taking driving directions from a recorded version of me! I got home and it looks like I’ll be working all weekend to augment and complete my South Dakota photo albums. I have 7 large albums in total; 3 filled with personal photos, and 4 filled with performance-related stuff. When I restructure my L.A. photo albums, I won’t be dividing them up the same way. Instead, I’ll try to do a chronological sequence in the albums starting with photos taken in 1987 and going up through the mid 2000’s. It was then when I stopped shooting photos on film and went exclusively to digital photography. I called and reserved my room for Palm Springs in a few weeks! I can’t WAIT! Shirley called to let me know she was home from the hospital.
Friday the 18th – QUICK QUAKE! – Shirley had to go back into the hospital today with her shaking problem again. This worries me somewhat, and I hope the doctors can get the problem diagnosed and get her on some medicine to rectify it. As I sorted through the big box of discarded photos I found in my garage, I separated them into South Dakota and L.A. categories. The L.A. ones I’ll get to later. But the South Dakota ones were terrific. Some were duplicates of shots I already had in my albums, but some were new. I worked through the evening categorizing them and cross-referencing them with some of the negatives I had scanned a few weeks ago. But my eyes started to cross so I Iaid down on the couch to grab a short nap. I woke up around 11:30pm and about 20 seconds after I woke up the house started shaking. ANOTHER earthquake! It’s odd that I woke up 20 seconds before it hit, and wasn’t jarred awake by it. Hmmm…I wonder why? Did my sixth sense know the tremblor was coming? When I took Roxy for a walk it was a gorgeous, clear night filled with stars (as star-filled as L.A. gets, that is), so I enjoyed a nice cigar as we did our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. When I put her back inside, I sat outside on the Tranquility Annex and just stared up at a nice piece of sky I found. It had the Orion constellation in the eastern sky, as well as the gorgeous Sirius star. I came inside and made a Chef Boyardee pizza and watched “The Time Tunnel.”
Saturday the 19th – CALIFORNIA. EARTHQUAKES. BLACKOUTS. – I woke up Saturday afternoon with the sound of my fan shutting off. I sprang awake and discovered that all our power was out. Luckily, within a few minutes it came back on again. Funny how a state with the fifth largest economy in the world can’t figure out a way to KEEP THE ELECTRICITY ON! An earthquake last night and now a power outage? Living in a more sensible state is starting to make more and more sense to me. But where to go? I love California and I never EVER want to endure snowy winters again. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my computer and doing upgrades to my South Dakota photo albums. Some of the extra pictures will need color correction before I post them in the albums. My pal Brittney Powell came over late to do some work, and then I went over my bank statements, reconciled my receipts and paid some bills. I worked some more on my photo albums, and then made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched the second-to-the-last episode of “Space 1999.” The second season episodes were rife with rip-offs of “Star Trek” storylines. This one was no exception. Remember the old episode that had an alien that was so bright you couldn’t look at it without going mad? And the alien’s companion was a blind woman? Well, not only did “Space 1999” rip that off completely, but the title “The Immunity Syndrome” was also a rip-off of a “Star Trek” episode. I guess this deep into the series, they just didn’t care anymore. One more episode of this show and I’m done, thankfully.
Sunday the 20th – HOLA OLD AMIGO! – As is my usual Sunday ritual, I slept late into the day. When I got up I was craving food from Ernie’s Taco House. I had driven by them the other day and noticed that half their parking lot was now outdoor dining! So I called my friend Sara and we met for dinner. It was delicious, but Ernie’s location in a major intersection in the valley made for a VERY noisy dinner experience. I went home and recorded my auditions, did a few more lines for my buddy Troy’s bit for the “Ellen” show, and worked on my photo albums some more.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Shirley Squirley chills out after enjoying some tasty peanuts!
It sure was fun having the Riddler tell us where to go!