Burbank, California Professional Whistling and the Importance of Peach Cobbler

I’m in Burbank at the same Sizzler I sat in six months ago, editing the last dancing video. Same booth. Same surf. Same turf. New clips. New music. New video.

It’s the outtakes from the trip; the stuff I didn’t use for the big video. Some of the clips weren’t quite up to snuff, sometimes I had more than one good clip from the same place and had to choose, and some clips I just couldn’t use for one reason or another. This video is a place for all that stuff.

But the main justification for the whole thing is the Rwanda footage. I’ve got about a minute of pure gold and I was only able to use a few seconds last time. So the outtakes will include pretty much every second I spent dancing with the kids in Rwanda, and that footage serves as the spine for the whole piece.

There’s an older woman in the booth next to me. Mary. Her trip to Sizzler is clearly the main event of her week and she’s providing a running commentary to the whole restaurant. This visit has been ruined by the absence of peach cobbler on today’s menu. She has hailed the waitress, Maria, three times to inquire about the latest peach cobbler developments. There are none.

Now she’s punishing Maria by demanding that her vegetable soup be warmed up. When Maria returns with the soup, her tea has gone cold.

Rinse. Repeat.

They keep the temperature too low in the restaurant. But Mary knows they do this and thought to bringing a sweater.

Mary walked here this morning. She intended to walk home as well, but she’s worried about the weather. She may have to take the bus.

Mary’s not sure if the bus runs on Saturday. Neither is the waitress, the bus boy, me, or anyone in the adjacent booths.

I should be editing right now. One might call Mary a distraction.

It feels good to produce something again. I’ve been sitting on my butt for six months — and relishing every moment — but it’s time to get moving again.

We did the recording session yesterday at Kevin’s house in Woodland Hills.


Kevin is the guitarist who performed in the last video. That’s him on the left. Garry is back as the composer. That’s him in the middle. I’m the man in ill-fitting pants on the right.

Garry and Kevin came up with something very different from what we did before. It’s got a more whimsical tone. Banjo, accordion, clavinet, theramin — we even brought in a professional whistler. These are all instruments that make me happy to listen to, and Garry managed to compound the effect by throwing them all together. Listening to the song, it’s pretty much impossible not to crack a smile.

I issue that as a challenge.

Some journalists showed up during the recording and shot video. They interviewed the whistler about the dancing video. He’d never heard of it until last night, so he was a little unprepared to give comment.


Sorry to dwell, but the whole "professional whistler" thing fascinates me. If you think about it, whistling is actually a really hard thing to do well. When he does it, I would not be at all surprised to see animated birds land on his shoulder. Wild deer might approach him for a pat on the head. Through his puckered lips, the man blows pure happy.

I’ve wasted time writing this. Gotta head off to the airport soon. I’ll keep editing on the plane, and in the days ahead while we polish up the audio mix and add final touches to the song.

We worked it out this time so that Garry can put the song up for sale on iTunes. We both got hundreds of requests for it after the last video, but were unable to provide it. No longer. So we’ll see if people are interested in forking over a dollar to avoid having to watch the video in order to enjoy the song.

Anyway, Mary is heading for the bus stop and it’s time for me to go as well. She’d really rather walk, you know. Walking is good for you and she needs the exercise. But it’s very cold outside and the implication is that somehow this is the waitress’s fault.

The video should be up in the next week or two. I hope you enjoy it.