Well, dear readers, as if one wasn’t enough, we had us another earthquake, this one stronger than the last – they keep changing the figure – started as a 7.1, downgraded to 6.9 and then upgraded back to 7.1. Here’s a thought: Stop with the numbers until you actually know what they are. This, like the last, was centered about 150 miles away from Los Angeles and environs. Of course, the media, as always, has to fan the flames of hysteria – they live for this stuff and act like the earthquake happened HERE, which it did not. HERE, we got considerable rocking and rolling but no damage, no injuries, no catastrophes. It happened around 8:32, I believe. I was actually sitting on my couch like so much fish, watching the end credits of a German DVD of The Creature Wasn’t Nice aka Spaceship aka Naked Space – very nice transfer off what was then my personal print, and the only transfer in its proper screen ratio. So, the credits are rolling and then suddenly the house is rolling and creaking and moving in a very unnerving way. The TV is shaking, I get up and start yelling, “Stop it!” at the top of my lungs – what seems like a few minutes of this is in reality less than thirty seconds – but those seconds seem like an eternity. The blinds are moving back and forth but it’s the rolling and creaking that make it seem worse than it actually is. It finally abated, I did a spot check of each room in the house and didn’t even find a crooked picture.
Of course, other people, rather than doing that, were on Facebook as fast as can be, making with the melodrama, which is what people do on Facebook. Anyone in LA who has been through the two terrible and horrendous earthquakes from 1971 and 1994 know that your pool water sloshing is not a serious thing. And yet, that was the kind of comment I was reading. I think everyone must just have Facebook open twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. I’ve felt a couple of very mild aftershocks since.
Other than that, yesterday was surprisingly irritating on certain levels and I can no longer remember why. I got almost eight hours of sleep, so it wasn’t that. I think there were many idiot drivers on the road, so that was part of it. I answered a few e-mails and then headed over to the transfer place and picked up my latest transfers off three-quarter-inch tapes. I’d been told these tapes were useless and could not be transferred – but when you actually deal with professionals, well, then the amateurs are proven wrong. Which means in plain English – avoid the amateurs. I’d driven by a few restaurants and every one of them was jammed due to people being off work and eating out. So, I stopped at the mail place and picked up two packages, then went next door and got a footlong Subway Club and a six-inch spicy Eyetalian, came home, ate the footlong, and began watching the tape transfers. Well, what a trip that was.
I began with four of my Playboy on the Air bits. Some of the studio stuff I did was pretty amusing on certain levels – the studio stuff was like a monologue that would lead into the roll-in segments we’d done on location. The How to Behave In a Hot Tub was kind of funny, especially visually, but whoever actually edited and directed the shoot sure didn’t understand how to edit the jokes so that they would land at their best. There was a cooking with aphrodisiacs segment that had a couple of moments but not enough, a singles bar segment that had one moment that made me laugh out loud, and I can’t remember the other segment. Of the monologues, my favorite was Synonyms for Genitalia, which is a list bit where I just list the names for male and female and they get funnier and funnier as we go – and then I pair them up in funny ways, although I’d forgotten that they’d cut all but one of the pair-ups, a shame as that was the best part of the bit. It was both weird and fun to see them and they’re not anything I’d put up on YouTube due to content and occasional nudity. Does anyone know the Facebook rules about that stuff?
Then I watched the second of the Dinah and Her New Best Friends tapes, from which the highlights reel had been made. My solo song was there (I Write the Songs, it was) and that was wacky seeing that again. I sound fine, but the inanity of the way they shot it is so wrong and stupid – the director, Jeff Margolis, went on to direct many Oscar shows, including the infamous Allen Carr-produced show. Well, instead of having me sing TO the audience, kind of the normal thing you’d do, they had me facing away from them, so you saw them behind me. Well, c’mon. That’s just dopey. I did like my clothes in this series – designed by Donfeld. There were two other musical numbers, maybe three – I had no memory of any of them. I’m not the greatest mover in the world, but on this show compared to the other male cast members, I was Gene Kelly. I had another sketch with Leland Palmer – horribly written, but she’s great in it and it was fun to see. I’d forgotten that Lola Falana’s bother was in the final two episodes, as was DeeDee Rescher. And I got a glimpse of Phyllis Diller, who must have guest-starred, as well as Paul Williams. Interestingly, none of us regulars ever interacted with the guest stars – they were with Dinah. There are also some intro and outro things where we’re all with Dinah – and you can see that I’m mostly always next to her – she really liked me and I adored her. I can’t post this one yet because so much is repetition from the other one, but I’m going to have clips made and then I can. Then I might be able to post one of the Playboy things, too.
Then I watched in its entirety my cut of The Creature Wasn’t Nice. Time has been kind to my cut – it plays so much better than the awful hatchet job they did. My version runs a very tight 88-minutes, while there’s runs around seventy-five minutes sans credits and with a lot of stock footage added in. But I can finally see what one of the major problems with my cut is – it’s dead-sounding and I don’t know why that is. There’s no ambient noise and there needs to be, and then certain scenes need source music playing softly, like Muzak – that will help those few moments that are dead, and then a few other scenes need to have actual scoring added – I have all the cues in great sound, so that would not be an issue. So, I think my editor, Marshall Harvey, will attempt to do all of the above – he’s got a great musical ear. They did add more score in the bad version, but they did it with a tin ear. But how much fun to hear Broderick Crawford. The only change I’d make structurally is to insert the Dirty Harry Strikes Back movie trailer exactly where it was meant to go. They talk about seeing a movie, but we never go there and I’m not sure why I didn’t at least try it. It’s in their version, so we’ll just lift it from there and insert it.
Then I did some work on the computer, then found the German DVD of The Creature Wasn’t Nice and watched that, just to see what they’d done with the music and the mix. One of the fun things we might be able to do is have the main and end titles and the songs in stereo for the first time. We shall see, but if it turns out well then I’ll probably put the two versions on one DVD. Then we had our rock and roll earthquake, and then I listened to music for the rest of the evening.
Today, I can sleep in, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, eat, but basically it’s a ME day from start to finish.
Tomorrow, I’m lunching with Marshall Harvey and I’ll give him the hard drive with the Pro-Rez files and we’ll go from there, oh, yes, we’ll go from there. Monday is a work session, then it’s meetings and meals, beginning to choose songs for the September show, and whatever else needs doing.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, hopefully pick up packages, eat, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: In your life, what were the worst disasters you personally saw and experienced – floods, earthquakes, hurricanes – that sort of thing. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, tired of the rocking and rolling and hoping we’ve had the last of it, because one was enough and two was too many.