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October 31, 2003

Halloween Safety Tips


Smilin' Jay (Fark audioedit master of the universe) just sent in the following Halloween Safety Tips.

Ignore them at your own peril. You have been warned.

1. When it appears that you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it's really dead.

2. Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.

3. Do not search the basement, especially if the power has gone out.

4. If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language, which they should not know, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run.

5. When you have the benefit of numbers, never pair off and go alone.

6. Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt.

7. If you're searching for something which caused a loud noise and find out that it's just the cat, GET THE HELL OUT!

8. If appliances start operating by themselves, do not check for short circuits; just leave NOW.

9. If you find a town which looks deserted, there's probably a good reason for it.

10. Don't fool with recombinant DNA technology unless you're really sure you know what you're doing.

11. If you're running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are female. Also note that, despite the fact that you are running and the monster is merely shambling along, it's still moving fast enough to catch up with you.

12. If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination for blood, glowing eyes, and so on, kill them immediately.

13. Stay away from certain geographical locations, some of which are listed here: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog, anywhere in Texas where chainsaws are sold, the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.

14. If your car runs out of gas at night on a lonely road, do not go to the nearby deserted-looking house to phone for help. If you think that it is strange you ran out of gas because you thought you had most of a tank, shoot yourself instead. You are going to die anyway, and most likely be eaten.

15. Beware of strangers bearing tools. For example: chainsaws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawnmowers, butane torches, soldering irons, or band saws.

16. If you find that your house is built upon a cemetery, now is the time to move in with the in-laws.

17. Dress appropriately. When investigating a noise downstairs in an old house, women should not wear a flimsy negligee. And, please, carry a flashlight, not a candle.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

who do you want to be?


It must be 5:30, because Ferris is hitting my leg, and wagging her tail like crazy. I stop typing and look down at her.

"What?"

Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.

"Is it time to . . ."

She hits me with her paw. Her eyes are wide. Wag, wag, wag, wag.

"Are you ready for . . ."

Riley races into the room, and jumps up. She lands with both paws on my lap. Ferris growls at her to get down.

"Thank you, Ferris."

Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.

"Are you girls hungry? Are you ready for dinner?"

I said the magic word. Both dogs explode ahead of me, and tear across the living room. By the time they make it to the kitchen, Riley is running so fast she can't stop on the smooth floor and crashes into the wall. Ferris stops right next to her dish.

"What's that, Ferris?"

She looks at her dish, then at me. Riley picks herself up off the floor and stands next to me.

"Ferris? What do you want?"

I absolutely love this nightly ritual. I love the way Ferris finds me at about five o'clock, and reminds me, in her little (maybe not so little, at 72 pounds) dog way that it's almost time to eat. I love asking her questions, and watching her grow increasingly excited when I say words she recognizes, like "hungry" and "five thirty" and

"Do you want your dinner?"

She is wagging her tail so hard now, her hips are rocking her whole body back and forth. She kicks her dish halfway across the floor. Riley barks at me.

"Okay! Okay!"

I pick up their dishes, and dump in their food.

My cell phone plays "Ode to Joy," and I remember that I wanted to pay 1.99 for a cool ring tone.

I flip it open, and try not to notice the obvious relation to an Original Series communicator.

"Hello?"

"Hey Wil, it's Jed and John from VH-1." They're on speaker phone.

My heart leaps. I've been waiting for this phone call.

"Oh, hi, Jed. What's up?" I'm pretty sure I've successfully played the first line cool.

"Do you have a moment to talk?"

Do I?!

"Sure. I'm just feeding my dogs. Hold on."

"Ferris, sit."

She does.

"Stay."

She does.

I put her bowl on the floor. She obediently waits.

"Okay!"

Ferris attacks her Nutro the way I attacked that Mean Gene burger on the weekend.

"Just a second, Jed."

"Okay," he says.

"Riley, sit."

She looks at me and wags her tail.

"Riley. Sit!"

"Woah, you really are feeding your dogs!" he says.

I chuckle. "Did you think it was a euphemism?"

"Yeah, but I'm not saying what for."

Riley sits, and I tell her to stay.

Ferris stops eating, like she does every night, and cocks an ear back toward us.

"Okay, Riley!"

Riley cocks her head to the side and barks at me.

"Riley, Okay!" I point at her dish, "You can eat now, dumbass!"

Riley looks down at her dish, and begins to eat. Ferris hears her dish scrape on the floor, and she resumes eating, too. It cracks me up that Ferris waits like that each night. I haven't been able to determine if Ferris thinks I'm talking to her when I tell Riley to stay, or if she wants to make sure that she won't be bothered by Riley while she's eating, or what . . . but it's pretty funny to watch her stand there with her mouth in her bowl, as she just listens to us.

"Sorry about that, Jed." I say, and walk out of the room.

"No worries," he says, "how was your trip up North?"

Oh shit. Is he making small talk? Did he call me to tell me that they're excited, or is he making one of those look, I'm sorry that it didn't work out, but we still want to work with you calls that I've gotten so many times before?

"It was tough. Anne's grandmother is in the first stages of Alzheimer's, so she's really forgetful, and so frail the wind could knock her down."

"Oh, Jesus, man, that sucks," says John.

"Yeah," I say, "I'm really glad we got to go visit her, though. I don't think she'll know who we are next time." I say, "but the driving part was really great. Anne and I needed a couple of days to ourselves."

"A couple of days with just the wife is always a good thing." Jed says.

"Yeah," I say. "So what's up?"

"Well, we met with the network people here,"

Time slows to a crawl. The next few words are the ones that count.

"And they want us to go ahead and do a test with you."

I'm pretty sure my heat stops. I sit down on my couch.

"Really?" I say. Though my meeting with them last week went really well, and all signs pointed to this happening, I've been let down so many times before . . . I guess I just expect things to fall apart. I'm genuinely surprised that we're going to be taking the next step.

"Yeah, they love you. When we said your name to them, they went nuts."

I allow myself to feel a bit of excitement. I don't know if they really went nuts or not, but they said yes, and that's what matters.

"So what happens next?" I ask.

"We need to get our budget together, and then we're going to do a test with you. We'll find someone local who could be on the show, and we'll spend a day shooting stuff."

Mother Jesus Balls. I can't believe this!!

I can't contain the excitement any longer and say, "Oh my god, you guys! This is so cool!"

They seem a bit surprised when I unleash my enthusiasm.

"Oh, I'm happy that you're excited, Wil. This is going to be a lot of fun." I don't know who's talking, now. In my defense, my heart had stopped for a moment there.

"We're going to call your manager now, and get all the details worked out, but I just wanted to tell you myself first," Jed says, "I hope that's okay."

"Are you kidding me?! This is great news, you guys, and I'm really glad that you called me."

"Okay. We'll put some stuff together, and talk to you soon."

"Okay! I'll talk to you then."

"Bye."

"Bye."

I close the phone, and don't care if I look like Captain Kirk or not.

Well, I run my hand through my hair, just to be sure.

I let out a loud, "Whooop!!" and jump up off the couch. "Thank you Fark! Thank you WWdN! Thank you! Thank you! Thank yyyooouuuuu!!!!!!!111"

Ferris comes racing into the living room, head cocked, and looks at me.

"Ferris! I'm going to be on VH-1!"

Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.

October 28, 2003

Home Again


We left Folsom at 8:30 this morning, and just got home about fifteen minutes ago.

When we got close to Gorman, we could see some smoke plumes over the mountains, and by the time we were in Santa Clarita, we were under a think blanket of smoke. (There are some camphone shots in my MoBlog)

The sun is this magnificent red ball in the sky, and the light it plays down on the city is a creepy but beautiful yellowish orange. All the grass in my neighborhood is just about glowing, it's so green. The plumes we saw over the mountains as we came down the 5 were nothing short of majestic. I feel like it's awful to praise the beauty that comes with the destruction, but I can't ignore it.

I know that I'm late to the party on these fires, but it's so immense, I couldn't not mention it.

Some Oregon trip stuff:

I'm glad to be home, but sad that I have to leave the temporary "just us" world that Anne and I occupy when we go on a road trip. I'm happy to see the kids and the dogs again . . . but I'd like to selfishly keep Anne all to myself just a little bit longer.

As I reported in my Audioblogs, Grandma Beth is not doing well, and it breaks my heart to see 81 year-old Grandpa Joe struggling to care for her. We're going to head back up to see them in Spring, so I hope Grandma Beth's condition doesn't get any worse before then.

Anne and I broke the trip up with stops in Folsom (just outside of Sacramento) at our friend's Bed and Breakfast and Day Spa. The B&B hasn't opened, yet, so Anne and I got to help apha test it with our two stays . . . I can't wait to go back and get in on the beta. ;)

So now, it's back to regular life. This week looks to be pretty busy for me, as the meetings I took last week move into their second stage. More details as they develop.

October 24, 2003

Big Day End.


I got back from LASFS about an hour or so ago. I was gonna just write about it real quick and then try to grab some sleep, but I realized I was hungry . . . so a bowl of pasta later (Yeah, that's the way to get rid of the gut and double chin, Wil, have lots of PASTA before bed) I found myself watching "I love the 80s Strikes Back" on VH-1.

It was 1987, and I guess they talked about TNG on it, but I must have tuned in after they were done. Did anyone see it? Did they trash me? Mo Rocca and Michael Ian Black are two of the funniest people on Earth . . . but goddamn, they could burn me good if they had a mind to.

"Had a mind to?" Does anyone really talk like that? Sheesh.

So. LASFS was great. I got there about 8, and talked with them about the LosCon next month, and took some pictures for the wwdn MoBlog. This one is my favorite.

About 8:40 I went into their . . . clubhouse? Meeting place? Super-secret undisclosed location? Whatever you call it, it's where they meet. I stood quietly in the back while they did official club stuff, and took a few more pictures with my cool cameraphone . . . and then I hit the wrong button and made it ring at about 6900 Db. Color me embarrassed. When I finally took the stage, I apologized and said, "Sorry about my cell phone ringing. I just thought I'd put some more distance between me and Wesley by showing you all how technically incompetent I am."

It got a big laugh, so I guess it was worth it.

I talked a bit about the website, and the stuff that I've written since the last time I was there, and then I read from Dancing Barefoot. I picked out two sections from VegasPants: the first time I met William Shatner, and then the first time I rode the Star Trek Experience. Whenever I read from that book, I'm reminded of how much I miss those days when I was running around the Enterprise, and it makes me really sad. Tonight was no exception. I had to stop several times so I didn't cry. There's parts where I talk about Gene and Brent, and when I read it, I can hear their voices, and tonight, it was really hard to get through those sections.

I managed, though, and I think I did a good job. I felt really good about it when I was done . . . and I totally didn't suck in front of my hero Larry Niven, either!

I don't think I'm doing any more readings until LosCon, but that's going to be a BIG one. I'm going to bring stuff from JAG and Barefoot, and some unpublished material, too. If you're within a couple of hours of LA, it may be worth your time to come out and see me. I'll do my best not to suck.

I'm about 6 hours away from driving up to Oregon to see Anne's Grandmother. We'll go to Sacramento tomorrow, then up to Oregon Saturday morning. I won't have Internet, but I plan on sending in some AudioBlogs and MoBlogs, so check them if you're into that sort of thing.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Edit: I hear that comments are busted because of some stupid javascript error I don't have time to fix. If you wanna comment on an entry, you can always click the time next to my name. That will take you to an archive page with all the comments there. And yes, we're really running this late.

October 23, 2003

Big Day Middle


My meetings went really well. The guys I saw at VH-1 seemed very excited about me, and I ::heart:: the idea they have. I think we are "on the same page" as they say in Hollywood, and maybe something will come of it.

My second meeting went equally well, and I am now officially "attached" to a project.

About my Comic Shop Idea: Many readers pointed out, in comments to the previous entry, that it sounds just like Empire Records.

I didn't make the Empire Records connection, which is good, because I thought that movie was the biggest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

My idea is more about the people and their relationships. I'd just use the shop as a location, and work in some of those archetypes we've all come to know.

Hrm.

Just like Empire Records, but in a comic shop.

Well, fuck me.

In other news, I'd just like to point out that Gator is Spyware.

See you all at the LASFS tonight!

And by "all," I really mean none. But you'll read about it tomorrow. Or something.

Big Day.


Today, I have an honest-to-goodness meeting about a Television show!

Some guys at VH-1 are doing a new show called "Totally Obsessed," and they called me about hosting it. I guess the people behind "Behind The Music" are behind this one, so I'm sure it'll be a good show. Hosting stuff is a lot of fun for me, because I get to goof off, and make jokes and stuff. Whenever I watch a show, I'm constatnly saying to myself, "What would I do here? As an audience member, what do I want them to do?" so when I get a chance (like today) to be that host guy, I know where to go.

Hey, last night I had dreams. This is a big deal, because I haven't been able to remember a dream for MONTHS. I can't recall any of them right now . . . of course . . . because I didn't take my notebook to the bedroom with me last night. But I know I had them, and that's a good start. I miss the nights when I'd have lots of vivid dreams. There was a time, a couple of years ago, when I would dream these incedibly lucid dreams almost nightly. It was like living another life when I was asleep. That was cool. I miss that.

After my VH-1 meeting, I have another meeting with a writer. He wrote a really fantastic script, and wants to attach me to the project. I'm meeting with him to give him a letter of intent that he can take to investors, and talk about some things I think can be better in the script. If everything goes according to plan, I may actually be working on a movie next year.

Tonight, I'm reading from, and signing Dancing Barefoot at the October meeting of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Admission is FREE. Directions are here. LASFS is the organization behind LOSCON, where I'll be speaking on a few panels next month.

Monolith Press is going to stop direct sales of Dancing Barefoot pretty soon, including autographed copies. So if you're interested in grabbing one, it's probably a good idea to get it sooner than later.

Speaking of Dancing Barefoot, I went to *my* local comic shop, the one where they pull books for me and everything (anyone else read "Fables"? I freakin' love that book), and I saw my book right on the shelf next to Death. It gave me quite a thrill to see that. When I paid for my books, the guy told me, "My wife read your book, and loved it. She wants to know when the other one is coming out!"

"As soon as I can finish it," I told him. "I'm hung up on Chapter 10 right now . . . not that that means anything to you."

"Well, I read your Vegas story, and I loved it, so now I'm going to read the whole thing. We'll carry your other book when it's ready, too," he said.

Some other guys who work there sort of drifted over, and I got the impression that most of them had read my book, and liked it. L walked out of there feeling pretty good.

I have this idea for a movie: You know how Clerks was about . . . well . . . clerks? What about a film about a comic shop, and all the interesting characters that hang out there? Like the guy who doesn't work there, but is always there, reading books that he never buys while he sits at the counter? I think it'd be great to explore the relationships between the owner, who probably loved comics at one time, but now really runs the place like a business to support his family, and the guys who work for him, who remind him of the person he used to be. The "spine" of the story could be about a big artist who's coming to do a signing.

HEY! Don't steal my idea, fuckers!

Okay. Thanks.

We just found out that Anne's Grandmother is really sick, so we're leaving first thing in the morning to drive up to Oregon for the weekend. This means AudioBlogs, and MoBlogs, if you're interested. Where'd that cool camera phone come from? Funny you should ask. The whole story gets its own post in a few days. :-)

Finally, I need to thank everyone who wrote in with support, encouragement, and all that stuff about my recent frustrations. I feel guilty and weird, because I'm not *looking* for anything like that, but I'll admit that a little encouragement goes a long way with me. So thank you. I mean that.

October 21, 2003

can't see useless


It's an opressively hot October afternoon. I have the worst writer's block of my life. I can write a few words together, I can create one or two images, but I can't connect them. I want to tell the story of the young girl who sees the carnival come to her small town, the girl who is just 18, and aware of her power over men, the girl who tries to use this power on a young ride operator so she can escape her small town. The girl who has her power turned back on her and ends the story crying in an empty field surrounded by torn tickets and cigarette butts.

I want to tell the story of the powerless man who watches his wife cry herself to sleep at night. The man who can't provide for his family, the man who can't protect them from the Bogeyman. The man who wanders his empty house at night, looking for the joy he knows once lived there. The man who waits for exhaustion to claim him in the deep of night, and give him a brief reprieve from his sadness.

The stories sit cross a river of doubt and frustration, and the ferryman demands a payment I don't have. I decide to walk down the shore, in search of a bridge.

I find myself in Old Town Pasadena, in front of Hooters, where this whole journey began. Maybe my muse is inside.

I walk in and find the place filled with middle-aged businessmen who drink beer and leer at the young waitresses over fish sandwiches. A young girl with hair so bleached it looks like straw says, "Welcome to Hooters!"

"Can I get food at the bar?" I ask.

"Of course!"

"Thanks," I say, and take a seat.

The waitress working the bar appears to be about the same age as me, in stark contrast to the other girls who look like they're all in their early 20s. There are heavy bags beneath her tired and sad eyes.

"What can I get you?" she asks.

"A Guinness and a cheeseburger," I say.

She turns, and pours me a pint. It's still settling when she puts it in front of me.

"Not many people drink Guinness in the middle of the day," she says.

"Is that a fact?" I say. In my mind I'm Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe, and I'm in a 1920s Hollywood speakeasy.

"It is," she says, "I think this is the only pint I've poured all day.

"Well, I don't like to drink beer I can see through," I say, as I lift the now-settled glass to my lips.

Her laugh doesn't make it to her eyes, but it's still friendly. I find a kindred spirit in her sadness. We're both in a place we didn't expect to be. I bet I'm the first guy she's waited on all day who hasn't stared at her skimpy outfit while talking to her.

"Hey, honey, can we get another pitcher of Bud over here?" calls a guy in a George Zimmer signature suit at the corner of the bar. His tie is loose and he bounces his leg on the rail. It shakes under my foot. I don't like that at all.

I look around the restaurant. I've never seen it this full during the day. John Fogerty tells me that there's a bad moon on the rise.

"Sure," she says, and walks down to the taps.

Two young girls turn heads as they walk in and sit at a table behind me. "Oh my god! Your eyebrows look so great!" the tall one says.

"Don't they? I totally had them tattoo'd on," she says.

I tune them out and count the rings down my glass: one . . . two . . . three.

Four.

I look down the bar and see Men's Wearhouse and his business partners putting their best midlife crisis moves on the waitress -- my waitress. Brown Suit stares at her chest while Blue Suit flashes a capped smile at her. She giggles and fusses with her hair, and fills their glasses.

"Hurry back!" Brown Suit says, as she walks back up the bar.

Five. I stare at the top of my beer. It looks like clouds over a black sky.

"So what do you do?" she asks.

" . . . I guess I'm a writer."

"You guess you are, or you are?"

"I am. I'm blocked today."

"By what?"

"The Bogeyman."

"What's that?"

"A convenient literary metaphor."

"You are a writer."

I laugh. "Yeah, I guess I am."

"Have you written anything I've read?" she asks. A loaded question.

"Probably not," I say, "I wrote one, and the people who read it seem to like it, and I'm working on another one."

"But you're blocked today," she says.

"Yeah. This place is sort of involved in my career choice, so I thought I'd come here and try to break the block."

"How's that working out for you?" she asks. A flicker of mirth passes her eyes.

"Well, at the very least, I'll get a Guinness out of the deal."

garrgh


I don't know what the fuck is wrong with me, but I can't write. I've started and stopped so many times this morning, I lost count.

I want to write. I need to write, but I can't get my words to work. I've grown so frustrated, I want to scream.

I mean, it took me several minutes just to write that, for fuck's sake.

October 20, 2003

click whirr


Major updates to my Gallery, including some new Vegas images.

But I'm most excited to share the first few shots from our road trip to Tulsa this summer. Right now, I have Eastbound California, Eastbound Arizona and Eastbound New Mexico completed. I hope to have the remaining Eastbound galleries completed by the end of the week.

UPDATE: The direct links to the roadtrip and vegas aren't resolving correctly. Thanks go to Tim, who pointed out it was the trailing slash in the URL that made it resolve incorrectly.

I asked some nija monkeys to beat up the server until they *do* work. In the mean time, you can still see the new pics by following the links on the main gallery page. Sorry 'bout that.

Here is a funny Fark Photoshop featuring yours truly to make the pain go away.

October 18, 2003

10K


I just read that bOING bOING dot nET hit their 10,000th link today.

Congrats to, Cory, Xeni, and everyone else who makes bOING bOING teh rock.

October 17, 2003

Scary!


I've done a lot of interesting things in my life. I've seen a lot of interesting places. I've made out with Ashley Judd. But something was always missing . . .

On Wednesday night, that all changed.

You see, on Wednesday night, I got to ride in the Munster Koach. To a Big Hollywood Screening. With Leonard Stone, Marilyn Monroe, George Barris and Screech.

Don't worry. I had to read that twice myself. Take a minute to let that sink in. go ahead, get up, rub your head, and try to get a mental picture. Maybe these will help.

The whole thing was put together by my friend Wally to promote a pilot he did called Uncle Davver's Really Scary Movie Show.

See, for years, Wally has held these parties over at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax, where he screens cool old movies and puts on a bit of a show for all his friends. (About two years ago, I was asked to play Santa Claus at his Xmas show . . . but I was the worst Santa ever. The only gift I brought was one jar of Sauerkraut, and everyone had to share it.)

Most of Wally's friends are incredibly talented performers. Many of them are improvisers, so the screenings quickly turned into a mixture of MST3K and Rocky Horror, and people started showing up more to listen to the audience even more than to watch the films.

Because we live in Hollywood, this super-fun party was, of course, turned into a TV concept: Wally plays this character "Uncle Davver" (pronounced like a-cadaver) who gathers his friends together to watch really scary (and awful) movies, and hilarity ensues. It's shot just like one of those campy old Saturday Afternoon Horrorfests that you'd see on UHF back in the early '80s, complete with awful puns like "Drew SCARYmore" and "Boys and GHOULS."

I hear there are some Uncle Davver bootlegs already floating around the 'net . . . if you see one, grab it. It's hilarious.

rules and regulations


He travelled back in time to make the past safe for . . . TEH FUTAR!!!1

October 16, 2003

The Yanks play with the fishes.


Dear Grady Little,

Don't worry about leaving your starter in when he's clearly finished. Even if he blows the lead. Silly things like playing "by the book" are overrated.

See you on the golf course next week!

Signed,

Dusty Baker

Damn punk kids


Electronic Gaming Monthly rounded up a bunch of kids, and had them play classic video games. It's one of the funniest things I've ever read.

Niko: Hey-Pong. My parents played this game.

Brian: It takes this whole console just to do Pong?

Kirk: What is this? [Picks up and twists the paddle controller] Am I controlling the volume?

John: I'm just going to do this [twists the paddle controller as rapidly as possible].

Tim: John, don't do that. You'll die.

Andrew: This is a lot like that game. Um, whatchamacallit-air hockey.

Sheldon: Except worse.

Andrew: Blip. Blip. Blip. Blip.



More incredible insight here.

An Open Letter to "That Guy."


Dear That Guy,

Like you, I am a huge Cubs fan. Like you, I've been telling people "next year! Next Year!" as long as I can remember. Like you, I am crushed that they aren't going to the World Series. Again.

Unlike you, most of Chicago (and the world, really) could give a shit about me. That's where this letter, from some guy you'll never meet and could probably care less about, comes in. See, I think we have a few things in common, and I just wanted to take a minute here and tell you that I think you're getting a bunch of shit that you don't deserve.

I used to be on this big cult TV show that had lots of very passionate fans. Many of those fans absolutely (and irrationally) hated the character I played on that show. Most of them wrote me nasty letters and heckled me whenever I'd show up at one of their events, they never called my house, or tried to hurt me, but I can sort of imagine what you're going through. That thing that makes a sports fan wear only paint and a diaper to a ball game when it's 15 degrees outside? It's the same thing that makes a Star Trek fan wear the same unwashed uniform for 5 days in a row at a big ass con.

I've read that just about every Cubs fan in the world is giving you hell for going after that foul ball. Well, That Guy, last time I checked, baseball fans like to catch foul balls. It's something we do, like paying too much for terrible beer and screaming at a player for not picking up that slider that we're so certain we'd be able to hit if they'd just put our fat asses in the game. Hell, I've been going to 20 or 30 games a season at Dodger Stadium for almost 30 years, and I try to catch a foul ball every single time I'm there. I've even had my hot wife flirt with the teenage bat boy in a pathetic effort to score one. To date, I am still empty-handed. But that bat boy, Jesse, is convinced that my wife's going to leave me just as soon as he gets out of high school.

Anyway, That Guy, enough about me. This is about you.

It's not your fault that the Cubs lost game 6. It's not your fault that Dusty Baker probably left Prior in too long, or that Alex Gonzalez chose game 6 to make his 11th error of the whole freakin' year. It's not your fault the Cubs stranded 7 runners. It's not your fault that they lost game 7. It's not your fault that Kerry Wood, normally one of the best pitchers in baseball, just couldn't get it together in game 7. (That was a sweet fuckin' homerun though, wasn't it?! I was screaming and cheering so loudly I scared both of my dogs!)

In short, it's not your fault the Cubs lost three in a row. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure it's the players fault they lost three in a row. Even Dusty Baker said, "We didn't lose the pennant, the Marlins won it. We were close and the Marlins took it from us, it's as simple as that." You'll notice that he didn't say "That Guy took it from us."

Yep. You know, now that I think about it, I'm positive that it wasn't your fault, and I'm pretty mad at anyone who's giving you shit about the loss.

It's pretty fucked up that those jackals in the news media printed your name, That Guy, and it's even more fucked up that they disclosed your workplace and forced you to change your phone number. But don't quit coaching the little league team, okay? Since you're not a dad, you're probably not coaching that team for your own personal glory, or doing it because it's the only way you know how to relate to your son. You're probably there for those kids, and you're probably having a positive impact on their lives. What are they going to learn if they lose their coach, That Guy?! Think of the children, okay? Don't be a quitter!

Tell you what. You keep coaching that team, and if you ever come to Los Angeles, I'll get some hired goons, and we'll take you out for a beer at one of the best pubs in the city. If anyone tries to fuck with you, those hired goons will kick their punk asses while we exchange high-fives. It will be sweet!

In the mean time, when someone gets in your face about the Cubs losing, you can say, "Hey! Wil Wheaton says back the fuck off!"

When they look confused and say, "Who the hell is Wil Wheaton?" you can just smile and laugh at them, because you know something they don't.

Rock on,

Wil Wheaton

Life-long Cubs Fan,

living in Los Angeles

October 14, 2003

3-3


Dear Alex Gonzalez,

Don't worry about everyone who wants to kill you right now.

Fundamentals, like using your body to back up a routine ground ball, or using two hands to handle that ball, are totally overrated.

Signed,

Bill Buckner.

October 13, 2003

11835 kHz


"We'll be coming to you in just about two minutes, Wil." The producer's voice was strong and clear in my headphones,

"Okay," I said. I spoke slowly and deliberately, in an effort to hide my nerves.

"Hold on," he said, and clicked off. There was a brief silence, and then I could hear live programming.

I adjusted my headphones, and looked down at my hastily-scrawled notes. I lifted my microphone, and prepared to send my voice out to 150 million people.

One hundred.

Fifty.

Million.

People.

All over the world.

I was about to file a report with the prestigious World Service of the BBC.

represent


When I was up at Screen Savers a few months ago (maybe even longer) I stuck an Obey WWdN sticker on their camera boom.

I just saw that Sarah Lane took a pitcure of my sticker and put it in her photo blog.

Man, I really gotta get one of those camera phones. I hear that Verizon (the devil I know) has some deal where I can get one for 100 bucks . . . but I dunno if it's worth it.

(thanks to MobbyG for the head's up!)

October 10, 2003

briefly


Quickly:

SGVLUG went really well last night. I wasn't 100% perfect, and scared as hell, but I think I entertained everyone, and even informed a few people.

After, we went over to the Burger Continental on Lake for burgers and beer. Here's a tip: don't get Guinness in a pitcher. It doesn't handle the trip from tap to pitcher to glass very well.

I'll give more details next time I update, which will prolly be Monday. I think I'm taking the weekend off from everything so I can spend it with my wife. We just filled over 100 Dancing Barefoot orders, and now we're going to a movie, then to dinner. I love starting the weekend early!

October 9, 2003

Speaking / Signing @ SGVLUG


I hope to post some recollections about my work with the BBC later today, but until then, I have an announcement to make:

Tonight, I will be speaking to the San Gabriel Valley Linux User's Group about my experiences writing Dancing Barefoot.

I'm nervous and excited, because this is my LUG, and I'll be speaking to people who are far more skilled in the *nix world than I am.

Here's what their site has to say about the appearance:

Topic: How I Used Linux to Write and Publish Dancing Barefoot

In this short talk, Wil Wheaton dispells some FUD about word processing on Linux, explains how he used Open Source tools to write and publish his book, and reads a short selection from it.

Actor, Blogger, Author and Linux Weenie Wil recently published a collection of autobiographical short stories called "Dancing Barefoot." In this presentation, he will talk about how he used Open Source tools to write, edit, and publish the book, specifically OpenOffice.org, Kwrite, and the gimp.

Wil will bring a few copies of his book to sign after the presentation.

Wil Wheaton is best known for his acting work as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek The Next Generation, and the classic Rob Reiner film Stand By Me. Most computer geeks, however, know Wheaton as a frequent poster at Slashdot, Fark, and his own website, wilwheaton.net. Wil is a passionate Linux advocate, and has spent countless hours trying to dispell Microsoft FUD. He's been responsible for fives of Linux converts. He is also a card-carrying member of the EFF, FSF, ACLU, and a vocal privacy advocate. Though it's only been available online, and has recieved virtually no mainstream media attention, Wheaton's first published book, "Dancing Barefoot," has sold out three printings, and is set to reach a mainstream audience later this year.

He lives in Pasadena with his wife and her two children, and frequently hikes to Echo Mountain.

Directions to the meeting are here. If you're in or near Los Angeles, I hope you'll stop by and laugh at my jokes.

October 6, 2003

london calling


Man, I am exhausted . . .

. . . and it's wonderful! I've done more in the last four days than the previous month, and I have a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

I've been covering the California recall election for BBC's Radio Five. Radio Five has some real political reporters on the campaign trail, so I get to cover the quirky stuff. In the past few days I've talked with a psychic, a hand specialist(that's not a plam reader, bucko, it's a hand specialist), and several stein-hoisting revelers down at this huge Octoberfest celebration at the Alpine Village in Torrance, California. Yesterday, I walked up and down the boardwalk in Venice Beach, where I talked with several bohemian artists and activists, and went to Muscle Beach, where I spoke with several body builders, who all said, when asked how they felt about Arnold Schwarzenegger, "He's a jerk."

They also said they were voting for Gary Coleman, but I think that has less to do with his platform, and more to do with their ability to bench him.

I take this election very seriously, so it's been great to focus on stuff that simply can't be taken seriously. I've seen a fantastic and unintended consequence as I've spoken to voters: this election has energized Californians. People who have never cared about politics have suddenly taken an interest, and registered to vote. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign, which has been run entirely on action hero slogans and broad-based, non-specific platitudes, has brought into sharp focus the reality of style over substance in the modern political arena. Gray Davis, who never seemed to give a crap about anyone who wasn't bringing him a check, is suddenly forced to take responsibility for the lousy job he's done as governor, and the reputation he's buil for himself as a negative campaigner has seriously undermined his efforts to cast serious doubt on his opponents.

At Five Live's website, you can see the scariest picture of me that's ever been taken (I'm pretty sure they caught my laser beam eyes while they were fully charged, just before I blasted a frickin' shark). While you're there, you can review some candidate's positions, and then cast your online vote for one of the recall candidates. I'll be talking about the results of that poll on the air.

Now, I don't want to influence anyone's online vote, but if you all were to vote for Mary Carey (SFW), it would greatly increase the odds of me getting to meet her.

October 3, 2003

skylarking


XTC came out of Fred on XM as I took Ryan to school this morning.

"Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but... I feel that I should be heard loud and clear. We all need a big reduction in amount of tears and all the people that you made in your image, see them fighting in the street 'cause they can't make opinions meet about God, I can't believe in you"

"This song is from one of my favorite bands of all time," I told him.

"What's it called?"

"The band or the song?"

"The band."

"XTC," I said, "and this song always reminds me of my first day in regular high school."

Ryan looked surprised. "You went to regular high school?"

"Yeah," I said, "for one semester when I was your age, just before I got Star Trek."

The light ahead of us turned yellow, then red. We waited.

"Did you like it?" He said.

"No. I hated it."

"Why?"

"Because I was really shy, and awkward, and nerdy. I had never been in regular public school before, and I felt like I was in a foreign country," I said, "it was even worse, because I was famous from Stand By Me, so the kids at the school thought my shyness was arrogance."

The light changed.

"Anyway," I continued, "it was already hard for me to make friends anyway, and when nobody would give me a chance . . . "

I trailed off, and joined Andy Partridge, "I won't believe in heaven and hell. No saints, no sinners, no devil as well. No pearly gates, no thorny crown. You're always letting us humans down."

"Would you change it, if you could?" Ryan asked.

"I don't think so," I said. "I missed out on homecoming, and prom, and football games, and all that stuff you're going to get to do, but I had a good time being on Star Trek. I don't know if I ever would have made friends in high school."

We pulled up in front of his school.

"You only get four years here, Ryan. Don't waste them."

"Okay," he said, "I love you. I'll see you after school."

"Love you too," I said, "have a great day."

I watched him walk across the lawn, and didn't drive away until he was out of sight.

October 2, 2003

all in


At times like this, I wish I had a publicist.

"Bravo will take over Las Vegas where twenty-five Hollywood stars will all vie to win the first ever "Celebrity Poker Showdown," a new six-part, one-hour original series hosted by Kevin Pollak airing Tuesdays this Winter, it was announced today by Jeff Gaspin, President, Bravo.

"Great celebrity poker games have taken place privately for years and this series offers viewers a rare opportunity to witness a new side of their favorite celebrity," said Gaspin. "'Celebrity Poker Showdown' maintains Bravo's goal of offering a popular concept from a unique point of view, adding to Bravo's growing original programming slate."


in between days


I've made some nice progress on the Just A Geek rewrite. I'm up to chapter eight as of this morning. It's the chapter where Aunt Val dies, and I've already had to stop twice because it makes me cry. I don't know why, but I've missed Aunt Val more in the last two weeks than in the whole two years she's been gone. Anne and I watched "Dead Like Me" night before last, and during a scene in a cemetery I was overcome with sadness and cried. Hard. I just saw this crane shot of all those tombstones, and I thought, "Man, I really miss Aunt Val," as this thing in my chest turned and knotted and exploded with grief. It was weird.

I worked for about 90 minutes on Tuesday (maybe it was closer to two hours, I'm not sure) heavily editing Chapter 6, "Slow Emotion Replay." I tried a new direction: there are some weblog entries that can stand on their own, but others are better if they're cut up, and incorporated into the narrative. I like the format of a little narrative, followed by a weblog entry, then some "behind the scenes" info . . . but I honestly think it would be better if I rewrote the whole thing, and folded the weblog entries into the narrative. I sent two copies of Chapter Six to Andrew for comments, one old version and one rewrite. He agreed that the weblog entries are a vital part of the story, but the way they're included right now, it sort of breaks up the "flow" of the story, and he liked the new direction. If I made it more of a straight forward story, it would flow better. It would also be a substantially different book than the one I've been working on for over almost a year. Hrm. It's something to seriously think about.

Yesterday was Anne's day off, so I didn't write much at all. Instead, we spent the morning running errands and had lunch down at Barney's in Old Town. I'm gonna get onto their Beer Bragger's Board someday. Mark my words.

i ::heart:: october


Reasons I love October:



  • Baseball post-season


  • Punkin Ice cream


  • Punkin pancakes


  • Punkin ale


  • Halloween!


  • Halloween Haunt at Knott's


  • Autumn gets started in Los Angeles


  • Hockey starts