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February 27, 2003

Hall and Oates had more number one hits than any other band in the 80s.

I stayed up way too late last night, and got up way too early this morning.

After getting the kids to school, I decided to go back to bed, and just sleep until I wasn't tired any more.

That was two hours ago. I haven't closed my eyes once, because I've been watching Free Enterprise.

Man, I know these guys. I am these guys. Every single one of them.

And William Shatner is my Hero.

February 26, 2003

fhqwhgads

I need to get my groove on.
I need to do some secret eating.
I need a theme song.

February 25, 2003

Click Friend and Enter!

Get ready to have a non-productive rest of the week:

Nethack 3.4.1 is out!

They would have to release this when I'm on a deadline, wouldn't they?

If you missed it, yesterday's Strong Bad Email is good for spreading some mirth.

Looks like John Ashcroft has run out of naked statues to cover up.

I had a dream last night: the world was set on fire, and everywhere I ran, there was a deadly war.

Oh, wait. That's not what happened.

I dreamed that I was standing at the base of a really tall Mayan pyramid, hoping to get to the top. I was surrounded by people who looked like they were on The Simpsons, but if I looked at them directly, they vanished.

When I tried to climb the pyramid, the steps would scroll down, like an escalator, and Professor Frink would pass me coming down over and over again. I never made it past the first step, no matter how hard I climbed.

Stupid symbolic dreams, with the pyramids and the escalators and the FLAVEN.

I order ISBNs today. Holy shit.

February 24, 2003

In the Flat Field

Woke up early yesterday, anxious to get out on the trail . . . and immediately went back to sleep. Heavy fog and ominous rain clouds forced us to change our plans. Though I love hiking in the mist, we didn't want to take a chance on being caught in the rain, and we didn't want the kids to miss out on the amazing view.

So we went to the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History instead.

It was a great way to spend a few hours, and it was the first time I'd been there since I was in elementary school. Did you know that Cacao trees produce fruit all year round, and can't be harvested by machine? I didn't know that until yesterday.

Ah, sweet, sweet knowledge, how I love to dine at your all-you-can-eat buffet.

I finished Vice City last night. Haven't 100%-ed it, yet, but I beat the mob. I won't let the kids watch me play it, or play it themselves, but I did allow them to hang with me while we did the asset missions for the car dealership, and some unique jumps. Funtimes.

Anne is taking a little two-day getaway with her best friend, and she asked me if I could help her burn a bunch of 80s music for the drive. While I was digging through my CDs, finding all my compilations and stuff, I also dug out some things I haven't listened to in ages, but still love.

Here are some CDs that I pulled out of the closet last night. Each one of them has been, at one time or another, "The Greatest @#$%^&ing Record EVER!":


  • Love at Fist Sting - Scorpions
  • World Clique - Deelite
  • The Sickness - Disturbed
  • The Bends - Radiohead
  • Greatest Hits - Steve Miller Band
  • This is the Modern World: UK Punk 2 (1977-78) - Various
  • Rushmore Soundtrack - Various
  • Slingblade Soundtrack - Various
  • Boot Heel Drag: The MGM Years - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (playing now!)
  • When I Woke - Rusted Root
  • dubnobasswithmyheadman - Underworld

Music isn't something that I just put on in the backgroud. It is always the soundtrack to my life.

I spoke WAY too soon about KDE 3.1 I broke Kmail, and maybe even some Qt libraries. Luckily, the insanely cool guys at my local LUG have offered lots of help on their mailing list . . . but I think I'm going to go back to 3.0 for the time being. I've been using Gnome, which isn't my favorite desktop . . . and playing with Windowmaker, which I haven't used since RH 5.2. I'd forgotten just how great Windowmaker is. Since I pretty much only use the computer for writing, browsing, and e-mail, I can easily use Windowmaker, or even IceWM. OH! I managed to teach myself enough to get around in vim! I issue a personal challenge to myself: write some sort of cool php script in vim before the end of May.

I really want a dev box!

Sorry, geeked out there a bit.

*snort*

February 22, 2003

Telegram Sam

Three geeky things I'm excited about:


  1. Using apt-rpm, I sucessfully upgraded KDE to 3.1 without breaking anything.
  2. My pal Russ built a nifty website called blinktag.
  3. I had a submission accepted at Slashdot on Friday!

Now, if I could just get my lan browsing working, and convince all three of my machines to see (and use) my printer, I'd really geek out.

Huge thank yous to everyone who e-mailed suggestions on printers for my books. I have narrowed the search down to two places, both of them highly-recommended. It's just a matter of figuring out who will cost less, and who will print on recycled paper.

Regarding the previous entry, I failed to point out my long-held belief that we are the sum of all our experiences, including the ones we regret. If I'd listened to my advice to my 12 year-old self, I would most certainly not be the person I am today. To paraphrase a certain bald captain: "I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain."

Time for bed. I'm taking my family to climb a mountain tomorrow.

February 21, 2003

Advice to my 12 year-old self

I read at Slashdot a great question: "What advice would you give your 12 year-old self?"

Here's mine:


Dear 12 year-old self,

Your life is about to be forever changed. You don't know it now, but in three years, you're going to be in millions of households world-wide.

Everywhere you go, people are going to scream at you that they hate you. Listen to this advice, 12 year-old self, because I know that nobody else is going to give it to you: whatever you do, don't listen to them, and let don't let them define your sense of self-worth. It's going to hurt, a lot, and it will go on for years. You won't understand it, and you'll try really hard to convince them otherwise, but they will not listen . . . because they're just as insecure and confused as you are right now. You're going to want to quit the show, but if you do, you'll be 30 before you stop regretting it. Trust me on this one.

Stay on that show until it's over, and when you're older, you'll realize that for every person who screamed "I hate you," there is another who was quietly inspired by something you did. It all balances out, kid.

You are never going to be cool, no matter how hard you try, so save yourself the agony of trying to fit in. You end up marrying a real hottie who loves your inner geek.

February 17, 2003

Stream

Off the top of my head, without any editing, a stream a consciousness:

Man, I really want to write, but I am just out of ideas. It's not that I'm "blocked," or anything, I just can't think of anything to write about.

So I'll just make myself write, and maybe something interesting will come out.

Maybe it's because there's not too much going on in my life right now: no auditions, nothing really exciting at home . . . I've just been working on rewrites of Just A Geek, and collecting some other weblog entries that I really like, (but couldn't put in JAG) for their own smaller book.

Just A Geek came in at over 350 pages today, and "Dancing Barefoot" comes in at about 90. I'm applying for ISBNs tomorrow.

I did some heavy rewriting of SpongeBob Vega$ Pants, to clean it up and make it flow better, and while I did that, I relived those five days. Jesus, what a great time that was. What a great con.

Jesus, I really hate Puddle of Mudd, and POD, and all those shitty bands that sound like them.

I've been trading calls with Adam from Creation about the Grand Slam show, and it sounds like he's excited to have me there. I've been thinking about conventions a lot lately, because I talk about them a great deal in JAG, and realized something: I have ALWAYS had more in common with the fans than the franchise, and attending conventions, as a speaker or a paying fan, is something I'll always love to do. Now that I have stories to read, a website to talk about, and comedy shows to do, I don't feel any angst about doing the shows. I can't tell you enough how great that feels.

As I get closer to finishing JAG, and it's younger brother (which requires far less work) I've been looking for printers . . . and actually got some quotes today for the first printing. It's very exciting, and also terrifying.

If anyone reading this has experience with a printer, and you'd like to share comments about that printer (good or bad) I'd really like to hear them.

I mowed my lawn tonight, and my shoes are grass stained and smelling like a summer morning.

When I mow the lawn, I like to listen to Jimmy Eat World on my car radio. "A Praise Chorus" is one of the greatest songs I've ever heard. This afternoon, I didn't listen to the radio, but I did sing "Dogs" from Pink Floyd to myself as I mowed in a circle, rather than the diagonal lines I usually make.

My cool neighbor moved away on Friday. He's like 80, and Anne and I both felt like he's moving away to die. He'd lived in his house since 1951. That made me really sad. Now his house is empty, and will remain that way for a long time, according to neighborhood gossip.

Ferris wants to go outside.

Nolan is watching WWE. I remember when I was a kid, and I'd get up each Saturday morning to watch WWF when it was on KCOP here in Los Angeles. I loved it, once I figured out it was fake.

Anyone remember M.U.S.C.L.E. figures? The Dark Tower game from Milton Bradley? I bought a new GURPS 3E last week, to replace my old and falling apart copy. Boy do I love RPGs.

This was more fun than I thought it would be, but I can guarantee you that I'll read this in a few days and want to take it down. Well, I feel pretty satisfied now. Maybe I am blocked.

Does everybody really love Raymond? Because I really don't.

Anne just walked in, and Ferris doesn't want to go outside any more. Now she just wants to run around with Anne.

I really love Anne a lot. She is TRULY my "other half."

I have Red Hat 8.0, and I want to install KDE 3.1. Has anyone else done this? Is it going to bork my machine like it did when I tried to upgrade on Mandrake 8.2? Why can't I get CUPS to work?

I have to go make dinner: Falafel, tabouleh, and hummus. How Greek^H^H^H^H^H Lebanese of us.

February 16, 2003

if ($TIME==free) then {make_cool_stuff}

Sometimes, free time is a good thing.

Anne is finally home, and I can walk away from the computer for a few hours. Hooray!

Voice and Fist

Yesterday, I marched through Hollywood with my mom, her friend, and about 100,000 other people. We raised our fists and joined our voice to millions of other voices around the world. We sent a clear message to the Bush administration: This is just the beginning. We will stop your war machine. Your policies endanger America, and enrage the world.

I hope you are paying attention, Mr. Bush. The masses are speaking -- the world is speaking -- and we are rebuking you, your plutocracy, and everything you represent. Your time is over, Mr. Bush. The Supreme Court can not silence the voice of the world, as it silenced the voice of the American people. It is time for you to fade into history.

I hope that those who politically oppose Mr. Bush are also paying attention. There is a minority, on the cusp of becoming a majority, who are anxiously awaiting your leadership. Rise to the challenge, and give us representation in our government. Greens? Libertarians? Democrats? Who will represent the people? This is your moment. Do not squander it.

Peace.

UPDATE: Thank you, Senator Byrd.

UPDATE: I understand the visceral reactions that come when reading a post like this. If you'd like to comment or discuss, you are welcome to go to the Soapbox.

February 13, 2003

Tux Millionaire

Taking a break from rewrites today, I read this story at a linux site I frequent for reviews and tutorials.


"Knoppix is a distribution of Linux, the open source operating system, that runs completely on a single CD, making no use of the hard drive. This is perfect for people like me, who have always wanted to try out Linux, but never could because they didn't want to completely install a new operating system. This is my first time trying Linux, and my primary operating system is Windows XP. For me, Windows XP is fine. It does everything I need, which is mostly web development and regular computer usage, and is completely stable. However, after KDE 3.1 was released, I felt like I needed to try it out because it looked very nice. There was a problem however, Knoppix 3.1 contains KDE 3.0, which is not the latest version, so I decided to download a remastered version of the Knoppix distribution which contains KDE 3.1 from this site..."

If you've ever wondered about Linux, but you've been scared to death about doing the install, and dual-booting is something you think best reserved for a rodeo, you should check out Knoppix. It's even cooler, now that they've got KDE 3.1.

I also had a submission accepted at FARK. Funtimes.

Update: Holy Jumpin' Jesus! I got another accepted! That's 2 in one day. Fb- is my father.

February 12, 2003

Kingdom of Rain

It's fun to watch someone go through a major crisis, even if it's self-inflicted. Puts things into perspective.

Some thoughts I had last night while listening to the rain bounce off my roof:

Ii have spent each day the past few weeks just inches from tears.

it's a lot of things: fear and uncertainty about the quality of my book being the biggest, having the sit there and take it while some Rich Fucking Asshole treated me like I was a little kid, stupid computer problems, anne's ex-husband bullshit, and finally the blog trolls (who I really should have just called assholes, because that's what they are) and emailers.

Alone, I can deal with any of those things, but together . . . well, it's just too much to deal with.

But the uncertainty about this book is killing me. I thought I had something really good, and shared it with a few people. Most of them told me it was really good, and gave some constructive feedback. A few of them absolutely ripped it to shreds, and gave me some constructive feedback. The result? I found myself unsure about everything. Unable to trust my instincts. I rewrote major parts to please others, instead of myself, and it left me paralyzed. I've since decided to just let it go. I'll finish some grammatical and spelling corrections, complete a few tiny changes where I want to add more information, and publish the damn thing.

I'm scared. I'm scared that it's not as good as I thought. I'm scared that it's better than I thought.
My mom told me that I was in the middle of "vast uncharted territory" and that it was okay to be afraid. I'm not so sure.

I shouldn't have posted my "I'm leaving, here's why, okay now I'm back but I'm really leaving and I hate you" post. What I should have said is, "I'm overwhelmed with several things in my life, and writing for WWDN isn't bringing me any joy right now. As a matter of fact, it's sort of a chore, so I'm taking some time off." What I posted gives way too much power and importance to a very small group of people who I should really just feel sorry for.

But I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel just a tiny bit better to hear from people who actually SUPPORT me for a change. And Ben sent me a nice cartoon.

Note to self: don't post when emotional.

And you know what else? I am profoundly upset about war, dreams of war, and the Bush Junta. Patriot II? How the fuck did this happen? How did we, as a culture, sit back and put these people in charge?

And these "Terror alerts?" Does anyone believe them? Did you guys read about the "suspected terrorist" in SF Bay? Some tug boat captain suggests that he saw someone in an unlit Zodiac raft at 3AM, wearing a wetsuit. That's it.

The CG looked everywhere for this boat and its alleged terrorist, and found NOTHING.

But it's all over the news, because WE ARE ON ALERT!!1!!11!

What happened to critical thinking? Are the American people so soporific that they can't see this bullshit for what it is?

And now we're supposed to believe that Osama Bin Laden is JOINING FORCES WITH SADDAM?

What?!

The timing on this is all too pat for me, and I wonder where the fuck the critical voices are who should be questioning this stuff. Where are the other voices in this vast wilderness? Isn't anyone willing to speak up?

We are marching directly into a war, though there is massive public resistance to it.
We are marching directly into a war, and the media, the supposed 4th estate, isn't doing ANYTHING to keep people informed -- they're just propagandizing for the Bush Junta.
We are marching directly into a war, though the rest of the world wishes we'd just mind our ouw stinking business.

And nobody seems to care. And I'm "anti-American" because I feel this way.

I was picking up some tools at OSH about an hour ago, and helped an older woman take some plastic boxes down from a tall shelf. When I put them in her cart for her, she moved a bunch of duct tape and plastic sheeting out of the way. She told me how scared she was, and urged me to be prepared and safe.

That's perfect. This woman, who could be doing several other things today, is preparing for a terrorist attack, right here in Pasadena. Because she's afraid. Just like the Bush Junta wants us all to be.

Ugh. Note to self: don't post when emotional.

February 11, 2003

Test Pattern

I've had it with blog trolls, hateful e-mails, and the general idiocy that seems to overwhelm otherwise normal people when they connect to the Internet.

I just don't understand it. Where is your humanity? Do you treat people you see in real life the way you treat me? Do you go out of your way to insult and belittle people? Is your life so miserable, so empty and meaningless, your self-esteem so low that you need to attack me? Honestly, what have I ever done to you? Really. What have I ever done?

Dealing with this shit has become a huge and unecessary distraction, so WWDN will not be updated for the near future while I finish "Just A Geek" and take care of some other RL stuff.

I just . . . I just need a break. In the meantime, check out the archives. There's some stuff in there that I'm really proud of.

. . . I'll be enjoying Channel 2's TEAM COVERAGE of STORMWATCH.

Heh.

February 6, 2003

Previews

I used to be a big fan of South Park. I watched it every week, and anxiously awaited new episodes.

When I heard that they were making a movie, I was thrilled, and counted down the days until it opened. Of course, while the creators poured all their creative energy into the movie, the weekly content of the TV show suffered dramatically. It felt like filler with no creative soul, and I stopped watching.

So it is with WWDN as of late.

All of my creative energy and focus has gone into rewriting "Just A Geek," and racing to get it done in time for a late March release.

I love WWDN, and really enjoy writing for it, but I have limited resources in my head, and when I have to pick, the website takes a back seat to the book. I hope readers understand.

Having said all that, I'd like to offer a small excerpt from the book, so you can all see what I've been working on.

This is from Chapter three:


Writing about the satisfaction and love I felt when I was with my family came very easily. I didn't have to put on a brave face, or risk revealing how frustrated and tormented I was in my career. When I focused on my family, I felt liberated, and found humor and happiness at every turn.

28 August, 2001
Romper Stomper


From an e-mail I got this morning:
Wil:

I'm writing a book about Romper Room and came across a TV appearance of you on a California show with Miss Nancy. You told the hosts you used to watch Romper Room ?religiously."

I'm writing to people who were on the show, or who watched the show, to get their impressions of Romper Room. I'm hoping you can answer some questions. What made you watch it? What's your strongest memory of the program? Were you ever on Romper Room?

My response:

I was never on ?Romper Room", but here is my clearest memory from watching it as a kid:
I would sit on the floor of our house (which was really a chicken coop behind my grandparents farmhouse. Yes, we were that poor), my fingers dug deeply into the golden shag carpeting, my tiny fists balled with anticipation, as Miss Nancy would hold up her magic mirror and ask it to tell her, ?did our friends have fun at play?? I would sit up straight, stare into the glorious black-and-white 13-inch Zenith TV and wait patiently as she saw Steven and Jody and Tina and Todd and Michael and every-fucking-body except WIL! Hey! Miss Nancy! I'm sitting right here! I've had LOTS of fun at play! I did the DooBee dance! I ran around pretending I was a fireman! I HAD FUN AT PLAY! WHY CAN'T YOU SEE ME?! AM I INVISIBLE?! *pant* *pant*

I never watched TV shows like the ones I did when I was four. Jesus, does anyone?

Writing that made me laugh out loud. I hadn't planned on it turning into a rant, but I was doing lots of improv at the time, and I just wrote what came out of my head. I thought it was really funny, so I called my mom as soon as I was done to read it to her. When she picked up the phone, I could hear wind chimes and a waterfall. She was gardening in her backyard.

"Hey, it's your son," I told her.

"Hi Willow! How are you? Are you feeling better?" My mom always sounds happy to hear from me, and her voice is comforting -- like a warm blanket, fresh from the dryer.

I was able to answer truthfully. "Yes, much. I wrote something funny for my website and I wanted to read it to you."

"Oh, honey! That's great! Let me turn off the hose." I heard her set the phone down, and I closed my eyes, picturing their backyard: the beautiful redwood deck my dad and brother built, covered with potted flowers and tomato plants, the railing draped with white twinkle lights. I heard the jingle of their dog Kona's collar, as she chased a butterfly, or the water falling from the hose. I saw water cascading into their swimming pool, and recalled the long summer afternoons spent floating in that pool, and the warm summer nights I spent as a teenager sitting in their spa, looking up at the stars. I breathed in, and I could smell the star jasmine which still grows under my old bedroom window.

"Wil? Did you hang up?"

"No, sorry. I was . . . lost in thought. Can I read you what I wrote?"

"Yes!"

I told her about the e-mail I'd gotten, and read her my response. I paused dramatically, and lowered my voice for the final sentence. I eagerly awaited her response.

"Oh, Wil,? she said, ?why do you need to have such a potty mouth?"

I resisted the urge to tell her that I had no fucking idea.

"It's comedy mom, and it's not always pretty."

"Well, it's very funny. I just wish you didn't have to cuss so much."

I beamed, knowing that I'd made my mom laugh, and -- more importantly -- made her feel proud of me.

"I gotta go answer emails, mom. I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie. Bye-bye."

February 4, 2003

Who's Watching Our Cats?

According to The Onion, I am.

This is too cool!

I had an audition for John Doe again yesterday . . . but I didn't nail it. I have a call for CSI later this afternoon.

Update: The role, which was about six lines, shoots tomorrow, and I haven't heard anything, so it's not happening. I'm actually sort of glad . . . if I'm going to be on CSI, I'd rather have a bigger role that I can do more cool stuff with. While I was out there, I ran into Scott Grimes, who I've known since childhood, but haven't seen or spoken to in almost a decade. It was great to see him, and we made plans to get our families together for funtimes. So it wasn't a total waste of time and miles on my car. ;)

Busy, busy, busy . . . and you expect me to watch your damn cats? There'd better be Anchor Steam Liberty Ale in the fridge, buddy.

February 3, 2003

It's dot net!

Strongbad

February 1, 2003

We shall never cease

STS-107 We shall never cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. -T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)