I can’t wait to see this movie. I heard it’s hilarious!
Though it’s rare, I’ll occasionally post TWO songs that I’ve been humming all week. This is one of those weeks…
First, since it’s now officially summer, the song “Summer Rain” by Johnny Rivers has been on my mind. We had some fun lightning and thunder this past week (not much rain) and the summer storm reminded me of this great song.
Also, I stumbled across this video of the Cowsills doing their hit “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things” at a charity event and was STUNNED by the excellent quality of the vocals and orchestration. Enjoy!
Monday the 20th – “EAR’S LOOKIN’ AT YOU, KID!” – While showering a few days ago my right ear became plugged, and it would alternate between completely plugged and totally open. It was very strange. But since I had a week full of sessions I needed my hearing, so I called my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor’s office immediately to try and be seen that afternoon. They told me to come in at 11am and they would have a look. Come to find out the plug was due to a fungal infection. As the doctor explained, when you’re on antibiotics (as I had been for the past week for my sinus infection/bronchitis) these types of fungal infections can occur. The antibiotics don’t know the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria and just kill everything. Normally a simple fungal infection in my ear would have been fought off by my body’s natural bacterial defenses, but since the good ones died with the bad ones, the fungal infection is allowed to proliferate. So he did a little suction, put some antibiotic power in my ear, and I was on my way. Initially I was told that the doctor was totally booked all day, and that I would most likely have to see a PA (physician’s assistant). I said it didn’t matter as I just needed to have my ear cleaned out. But lo and behold in walks the man himself…Dr. Line! I hadn’t seen the Doc in well over 5 years, before I had my sinus surgery! Or as the Doc put it, “I haven’t seen you since B.C. – before Covid!” He’s a great guy! I stopped over to KFC to get some lunch and then dropped my Wizard of Oz base off to my pal Mike at Alex in Wonderland. But he said he’d rather have me come by sometime so I could work on it with him, just to make sure we get it right. It was another 95 degree day so it was a blast driving around enjoying the summer weather! I came home to walk Roxy and she too loves the summer weather. I honestly think the warm surroundings and sunshine make her elderly bones and joints feel better. I came inside and napped a bit, and then got up later to do a few things around the house. I relaxed all day because I have a long Voice Over session scheduled for Tuesday and I want to make sure I’m back up to speed to do it. Later I typed out Wally’s Week.
Tuesday the 21st – GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS THEN GOOD NEWS! – When I awoke to prep my day I had received an e-mail from my trademark attorney Solicitor Stephanie. She had been notified by the trademark office that all of the Christoween trademarks we applied for have been approved, and we can now go from using the “TM” demarcation to using the official “R” demarcation, denoting that it’s an officially registered trademark! FANTASTIC! It’s been a long, hard road – and having all of that merchandise created was well worth the effort! I also got a note from one of my agents letting me know that there had been a management change in the upper echelon of the company for whom I was doing that long-held, super-secret gig. I’ve had that gig for almost 10 years I believe, and I’ve never been able to talk about it. But they informed my agent that they would no longer require my services going forward. Bad news, right? Sure, except for the fact that their notification to my agent came in about 2.5 months too late, well under the 90 day notice they were contractually required should they wish to not renew. Complete contract violation. So not only do they still have to pay me for the normal number of work hours I was contracted for (big money) but they also have to pay me for the annual exclusivity fee that goes along with it (even bigger money)! This particular gig was never really very exciting, and certainly not one of my favorite gigs of my career. But the money was very good. But yet, when this time of year rolled around every year, I dreaded doing the actual work. So it was definitely time for this gig to end. We had done just about as much as we could do with it and frankly, I won’t miss it. On my drive to Culver City to my video game gig I discussed it with my agent at length. We had several choices we could have made, but I encouraged her to go for the whole enchilada. Speaking of enchiladas, I made it to Campo’s (my favorite Mexican restaurant) and ordered my usual; beef taco and beef enchilada. Unfortunately there’s only one Campo’s left, and it’s in Santa Monica. So whenever I’m on the Westside for a gig I leave home a little early to swing by and grab some delicious food. I got to Station 22 in Culver City and did a four hour video game session. This was the same one I couldn’t do a week ago because of my sinus infection. The second make-up day will be this Friday. Though it was fun I was severely lacking in energy. I’m not sure if it’s because of the allergy pill I took beforehand (I wanted to be clear for the session) or if I’m still not back to 100% yet. But I was definitely out of it! Plus, my breathing apparatus wasn’t quite back to its normal robust nature, and we had a lot of evil laughs to do. Needless to say it was tough getting through those without coughing and wheezing. I muscled through the session as best as I could. I was also still having some voice problems, as my vocal depth and timbre wasn’t quite back either. Maybe Friday’s session will be better. But Jonathan the Voice Director was very understanding and we took it pretty easy. Even with the limitations, Jonathan said we accomplished quite a bit of stuff that afternoon. On the drive back home I was looking forward to a long nap. It had cooled down quite a bit and had turned into a very nice evening. I showered, climbed into bed, and slept for about 5 hours! I was exhausted! Later I got up and did some auditions, and took Roxy on a nice, long walk through the neighborhood. I got to see some cool lightning in the clouds in the distance. Funny though, there was lots of lightning, but no thunder! It was forecast that we’d have some rain overnight, but after raining HUGE drops for about 5 minutes, it stopped for good. Very disappointing. I made a salad and watched the final episode of “Circle of Fear.” This episode was amazing for many reasons. First, it starred a very young David Soul! It was in 1973, two full years before he would be launched into superstardom on “Starsky & Hutch.” The minute he came on screen you got the feeling of “This is a star!” He was mesmerizing. But he had brown contact lenses in, as his eyes have always been blue. So I was wondering what was up. It all made sense later, when he turned into a creature – and the older actor playing the creature had brown eyes. So it was probably easier for young David Soul to wear brown contacts, than have the older actor have to wear blue contacts. But the fun didn’t stop there. He played a character named James Barlow. Barlow. David would do battle with Mr. Barlow four years later in the TV version of “Salem’s Lot!” Also, a nice, sad guitar ditty played all throughout the show with a voice (that was clearly David Soul’s) humming over it. That song would eventually be released on his self-titled album in 1976, and called “Seem To Miss So Much.” I recognized it right away as it’s one of my favorite “sad” songs. Plus, one of the other actors was an actress named Meg Wyllie. She’s a great character actress who appeared in a lot of TV shows I love, including “Star Trek!” If you’re a “Trekkie” you would most recognize her as one of the “butthead” Talosians in the pilot episode “The Menagerie!” She was a great actress! It was a thoroughly enjoyable episode! Now the thunder had started outside, along with the lightning show, but still – no rain.
Wednesday the 22nd – TAKIN’ IT EASY! – After a drive to the bank to make a deposit I swung by McDonald’s to get some lunch. I got my mail at my box and had a great time listening to some amazing tunes while driving around doing my errands! I got home to check the news of the day and relax. I’m taking it easy so I can get my endurance back for this Friday’s session. I don’t want to be energy-less again.
Thursday the 23rd – BURIED TREASURE! – There have been a few phone calls I’ve been meaning to make for a while now, but I just haven’t had the time. Today I was able to make those and it paid off! I found a great company to make some embroidered Christoween patches for this season’s Christoween celebration, and the price is right! I drove to Jersey Mike’s to get a sandwich, and then came home and worked around the house. One of the things on my list of to-do’s is to get into the garage and start sorting through all the junk I have out there and trying to get rid of a good share of it. Some stuff will be just tossed out, and other stuff will be sold or given away. I opened up a box that was labeled VOICE-OVER GIVEAWAYS. Back in the mid-2000s I bought merchandise of anything that I was involved in professionally. Videotapes, toys, dolls, etc. – everything! My intent was to use these as giveaways to other industry professionals in the interest of perpetuating my career. There were a few cool things in there, but I discovered six plush dolls of a character I voiced in an anime called “Zatch Bell” named Brago. These plushies were still brand new, and still had the backing display card attached! I checked on eBay, and these figures were going for anywhere from $27 to $47 WITHOUT the original display card! So if I signed them and offered them for sale, what would my asking price be? Hmmm. I dug them out, dusted them off and got them ready to offer on my website’s store for sale. I don’t need them, certainly. So maybe they’ll find a better home. I also found some old VHS tapes of “Flik in Disney’s Animal Kingdom” – which was one of my first big VO gigs for Disney where I provided a sound-alike singing and speaking voice for Dave Foley’s Flik character. I found a Tallest Red figure still sealed in the package, and a few other little things. So those things will all be offered for sale very soon. Later I recorded a ton of auditions, and did some prep work for my Friday session in Culver City.
Friday the 24th – THAT’S A WRAP ON EVIL ROGER MOORE! – The traffic on the way to Culver City was horrible, and I ended up being 15 minutes late to my video game session. But we’d make it up on the back-end and stay 15 minutes later. We finished up everything we needed to on this game for now, so that’s a wrap! It was lots of fun doing an “evil” Roger Moore-type voice for this character. There was lots and LOTS of evil laughing, which was fine because my lungs were all better. In fact, I requested that we redo some of the laughs we did last Tuesday which were a little wheezy and weak. They were happy to pick those up. The session went very well and it’s going to be a great game. I can’t wait to tell you more about it in the future! After the session I made a few phone calls, and then went to my friend Cecille’s housewarming party which, ironically enough, was literally 8 blocks down the street from the studio in Culver City! I drove home feeling exhausted, and enjoyed a nice nap when I got back to the house. I got up later to do some stuff around the house, and found out I had already sold two Brago figures! I packed them up and I’ll send them off on Monday.
Saturday the 25th – SHREDDER!! – My maids arrived in the early afternoon to clean, and when they finished I hightailed it over to my mailbox to get my packages. I also took in a bin of old tax documents that I needed to have shredded. Since I put all my 2021 tax stuff away in storage recently, that meant that I had to pull out all of the tax stuff from the oldest year in order to make room. So all my 2015 tax stuff will be going to the shredder! It’s all part of a major downsizing I’m planning on doing once I can get into my garage and sort through some things. One of the things I received in my mail was a hardcover book which contained all of the cover art for every one of the Eerie magazines that were published when I was a kid. I used to stand and stare at those magazines on the shelf at Four Brothers Market in Aberdeen, South Dakota – all of which featured very grotesque and gory imagery of all sorts of vile creatures doing all sorts of sadistic things to other vile creatures. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them! It took me into a frightening, chilling and fascinating world! Though I never bought any of the magazines (I never was a fan of the illustrated horror magazines, but only the magazines that featured actual stills of the actors from horror movies) those cover images stuck with me. This new book has compiled every cover ever published under that corporation’s publishing wing, and even comes with the author’s commentaries and notes about each piece. Though it’s not ideal lunchtime viewing for most people, I was fascinated as I devoured my grilled chicken salad on the patio at Paty’s! This book has made me want to go on eBay and buy a few more of those vintage magazines for my collection. I went to Staples to get some various supplies for my office, and then I went to CVS to pick up a few things there. While at CVS, I got a photo printed of little Carlos Cordoba – the young boy who passed away from cancer at the age of 3. I had sent him a few Muppet videos to try and cheer him up while he was going through his treatment. I’ll post Carlos’ picture at my signing table when I go to the Voices Against Cancer event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in early July. Just as a reminder to everybody that what we’re doing there is really all about. I picked up some groceries, and then went home to put everything away. I started poking around in an old plastic bin in my garage. The bin contained DVDs, CDs, cassettes and VHS tapes that I had stored in a cardboard box once upon a time. But when my water heater leaked the box got soaked, and I rescued the contents and put them in a plastic bin. But I never really sorted through them to ascertain their importance. That’s something I need to do. A lot of the junk cassettes will be thrown out, and a lot of the other stuff that’s keepable will be put in another storage bin. I’m going to see about archiving the contents of some of those old cassettes by digitizing them onto a CD. But it will require me to set up a cassette player and go through the tapes one by one to catalog their contents, and decide if they’re worth keeping or not. It’ll be a lot of work, but worth it in the end from an historical standpoint. I’m sick of going out into my garage and seeing box after box of stored junk that I know I’m never going to need. A lot of it has got to go soon! I grabbed a nap, and then later got up to work around the house. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched another episode of “The Saint.” This one provided some serious foreshadowing to Roger Moore’s future as James Bond in “Live and Let Die.” The episode called “Sibao” featured a voodoo culture that had Simon Templar investigating a power-hungry madman who hoped to use the voodoo religion to further his own evil aspirations. As I said, the similarities to Moore’s eventual turn as James Bond in “Live and Let Die” were stunning!
Sunday the 26th – SUNDAY SOLACE! – As is usual with my Sundays, I rested, and rested some more. I had to run over to see my stylist to get a touch-up on my color, but mostly I relaxed. I drove over to Little Toni’s to get a pizza to go, and then relaxed some more. Later I did some more work in the garage, did some auditions, and…you guessed it…relaxed some more.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Interesting lunchtime reading! But for a monster kid like me, it’s pretty routine!