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daisy chains and laughs | Main | last of the 31st

July 25, 2004


I'm cleaning the house today, but now it's lunchtime, and I want to brain dump. But first, check out a couple of Geek things that I think are exciting and cool:

  • Just A Geek is available from my favorite retailer of all things geeky, Think Geek dot Com. They're offering geek. stickers as a free bonus with the book, so you can really get your geek on.

  • I've heard from a dozen or so WWdN readers and about half as many non-WWdN readers who have finished Just A Geek, and I want to thank everyone who has sent me their thoughts on the book. I'd like to share a little bit from one of them, because it made me do a geeky dance: "I loved it and realized that many of us Gen-Xers are finding out that our lives are hitting crossroads and too many of us are too busy looking at the door closing behind us to see the brighter view ahead. I'm glad you showed us that we can turn around and run forward into that future many of us have. Thanks for the work."

    Also, at Amazon, a reviewer wrote: "Wheaton's a natural, unforced writer. He's got guts and writers' chops. I don't care if you're a Star Trek fan or not, you should read this book. You should read this book if you've ever had really tough times. You should read this book if you've ever struggled with your own place in the world, your own self-esteem. You should read this book if you've ever tried to separate who you are from what you do."

    I'm still a little terrified that the misconception that it's either a fluffy celebrity bio or (even worse) just a Star Trek book will turn readers off, but these readers got exactly what I hope people will get from my book: I may be the central character, but Just a Geek is really a story about the struggle to find your place in the Universe, and I'm really happy that they grokked that. For today at least, I can lower my internal terror level from Ernie to Bert.

Okay, before I go back to cleaning the house (it's the best way to spend Sunday!), here's the real braindump:

Last night, Anne was going out with her girlfriends, and the kids were both spending the night with friends, so I had big plans to go play poker at Commerce, but Burns left me standing at the altar . . . so I ended up playing iPoker 3, which is a great way to practice low-limit Hold'Em skills, and just all-around fun to play, too. (Todd has programmed in all these crazy "Dealer's Choice" games that are just nuts. I had way too much fun playing this 2-card hi-low game called 'Hurricaine," and I actually made Broadway in Jacks-or-better!)

I was doing REALLY well, playing just the way I would have played in a live game. I bought in for 1000 and played 10-20 limit, and was doing about +300 / hour or something like that, until I got pocket Aces on the button . . . and got rivered by a flush draw, because UTG had 9-6 of spades. I had capped it pre-flop, too! The pot was 1050 or so, too. Stupid computers.

Hey, here's a not-so-subtle note to the guys at all the online poker rooms: SUPPORT MAC AND LINUX USERS! I really want to play Poker Stars, and Party Poker (sign up with code IGGY!)

Anyway, because I was stuck at home, I watched the Dodgers, and I got to see Adrian Beltre hit a grand slam as the Dodgers made it 2-0 vs. the Padres in this series.

Speaking of the Dodgers, my dad took me and my boys to Chavez Ravine on Thursday for the first day game I've been to in YEARS . . . and we got to see Eric Gagne for the first time this season. (I've been to 5 games, and the Dodgers have been killed in 4 of them, so no Gagne for me until Thursday.)

I'm talking to the men now: if you get a chance to take your boys to a ballgame with your dad, DO IT. It's awesome.

Okay, time to finish lunch and get back to cleaning. Exhale on XM 80 is the perfect soundtrack for today.

Posted by wil at July 25, 2004 11:40 AM
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» Outgeeked from BannerBlind.org
Have you ever had one of those moments where you're doing some casual blog reading, and you're suddenly struck by the horrible realization that Wesley Crusher (aka Wil Wheaton) is a better geek than you? Kinda depressing -- but that's... [Read More]

Tracked on September 6, 2004 01:48 PM

Yeah, I was at the Dodger game last night, awesome grand slam and double homers. First time I've seen a grand slam in years.

Posted by: Sean Herron at July 25, 2004 12:30 PM

First Comment. Awesome.

Posted by: Sean Herron at July 25, 2004 12:30 PM

I just rushed in front of a television because I heard the Phils' Eric Milton had a no-hitter going into the 8th.

Of course, I'm bad luck... and Milton gave a up a bloop single to the first batter in the 9th. I blame myself.

Posted by: CJ at July 25, 2004 12:48 PM

I finished Just a Geek last night. Excellent stuff, once again. You really do have an extraordinary talent for writing. Thanks for sharing that part of you with geeks worldwide :)

Posted by: Kryten at July 25, 2004 01:23 PM

Poker software for Mac...

www.pokerschoolonline.com is a great place to improve your poker game. It offers a slew of instructors including Daniel Negreanu, John Vorhaus, Barry Tanenbaum, & Jennifer Harman.

The software also offers real money play at www.bugsysclub.com.

This sounds kinda like an ad, but the school has done wonders for my game & is a great community to boot.

A new reader & fan

Posted by: SeekingPlumb at July 25, 2004 02:04 PM

From Ernie to Bert, Wil?! That made even my geek-dar sputter and choke. You're such a geek... don't ever change.

Posted by: Marie at July 25, 2004 02:07 PM

I did my house cleaning yesterday, so I get to goof off and read the blog, today. Ha! I'd like to be reading JAG today, but I'm saving my JAGinity for the Aug 21 book signing in San Diego, where a friend of mine lives. I'll be buying him a copy, too. (Ca-ching for Wil!)

Question: Could someone please explain the Ernie/Bert terror level thing for me?

Posted by: Valerie S at July 25, 2004 02:38 PM

I just started reading JAG and I started to
wonder why you used so much german phrases
like "schlepp" or "meister". It's kind of
funny that over here in germany erverybody
thik it cool to use as many as possilbe
english words and in the U.S. many people
seem to like using german words or phrases.
Perhaps some time in the future we all use
some kind of universal language. So shalom -
peace or frieden to everyone.


P.S. JAG rocks

Posted by: Ludger at July 25, 2004 02:56 PM

Have you played Full Tilt's online poker program? It's free and pretty enjoyable (for a novice like me at least). Got a big charge today when I hit an ance-high straight on the river and took down the bully of the table. That was fun.

Anyway, give it a go sometime. http://www.fulltiltpoker.net/ I'd like to hear what you have to say about it (and I might have to try some of the ones you mentioned as well)

Posted by: Jason at July 25, 2004 03:12 PM

Gah.... Ace-high straight not ance-high. Jeebus. I finally have a constructive post with a real question and comment and I flub it up with poor typing.

Mavis Beacon would be SO angry with me right now.

Posted by: Jason at July 25, 2004 03:14 PM


My Friends and I play online poker at http://www.pokerroom.com

You can either play with Real Money or Play Money.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: Jedbeck at July 25, 2004 03:28 PM

I just finished _Just A Geek_ . . . I absolutely loved it. I admire your courage in openly discussing various mistakes that you feel you've made. You are an awesome writer; you managed to do what few people can: Namely, describe in words the place-in-the-universe struggle we all face every day. Thank you.

Posted by: Kristin Hamlin at July 25, 2004 03:52 PM

Great to see the book doing so well... muuuust have .geek bumper stickers.

Actually, here in New Zealand we have a whole second level domain for geeks. Forget those pansy .com and .mil - Wil, you should buy wilwheaton.net.geek.nz.

They sent me a beanie with .geek.nz on it which I wore briefly till a larger geek took it off me. Shame! I cry. Shame!

Anyway, thought I'd share the .geekiness. Cheers!

Posted by: Audent at July 25, 2004 04:00 PM

You clean house, I do laundry. *SIGH!*

Posted by: patinhisrightmind at July 25, 2004 04:31 PM


In addition to being a fan of yours, I'm a fan of Sean Astin's, (Toy Soldiers rules!) and I think he would love Just A Geek. Moreover, if you don't mind me being meddlesome, I think he needs to read it! He's an absolute sweetheart of a man, but he's so career-driven that sometimes I worry he hasn't got enough time left over for his family. Your insights and values could be just what he needs to hear.

I don't know if you ever got in touch with him after that audition where you two met, and I know you said you were nervous about calling him, but I think it might be a neat idea to break the ice by sending him a signed copy. ;-)

Sorry to butt in and apologies for offering unsolicited advice, but I've grieved for a long time that you said you didn't call him back. He's a great guy, and I bet he wouldn't mind renewing your friendship.

Oh, and you should come to DragonCon in Atlanta sometime, if you can ever arrange to be on the east coast. :-) I'd love to get to meet you!


Cara, WWDN reader via LJ RSS

Posted by: Cara Chapel at July 25, 2004 04:51 PM

Dude -- I think you meant you say your terror level went from Bert to Ernie; no way is Ernie a higher level than Bert... :-)

Posted by: Ed Bailey at July 25, 2004 04:58 PM

I created a parody of the Just a Geek cover, mostly for my own amusement, but if there's anybody else who'll find it funny, that person/those people will probably be here.

Posted by: Simon at July 25, 2004 05:03 PM

I have really enjoyed playing @ www.pokerroom.com

They are one of the only sites to support mac.


Posted by: Keith Coogan at July 25, 2004 05:05 PM


I am a single dad (3 wonderful girls) and was raised by a single mom (thats where the girls got the wonderfulness)... First baseball game we ever went to was here in Arizona... I had no clue who we were even playing. somewhere between the 3rd and 90th inning, the girls were bugging to go and I was thinking of giving in. When I noticed this big bulky dude coming up to bat... I told my kiddies to wait until after this cat did his thing and we would go home.

The bases were loaded (I knew that from playing Sega games) and when the ball was hit I felt it... the ball went RIGHT OVER OUR HEADS and out into the concessions... WE WERE IN FREAKING AWE.

Stayed for the entire game (Diamondbacks lost)

OH and the cat hitting was Mark McGwire on his way to 70 home-runs that year.

FREAKING AWESOME... So baseball for Dad's and Daughters is cool too!

The Keeme

Posted by: Robert at July 25, 2004 05:11 PM

Pokerroom supports Linux, and their real money game isn't bad. Pokerstars supposedly works in wine, but I've never been able to make it do it.

I finally just gave up, and now have a windows machine that I pretty much only use for poker.

Posted by: alan at July 25, 2004 05:23 PM

I just ordered JAG and DB from Amazon.ca (the sticker looks awesome, but it was $14 USD shipping vs. free shipping). I won't get it until early September, but I'm really looking forward to it. It will mark the triumphant return of the Fall season, and with any luck, hockey. :oP
Congrats on your success!

Posted by: Reena at July 25, 2004 06:11 PM

I have been lurking on your site for several months now and I have to say, I am always intrigued and never disappointed! I am very interested in JAG . . . but before I plunk down cash for a hard copy, any chance you will release it as an e-book? It would seem the geek thing to do!

Posted by: Lisa at July 25, 2004 06:30 PM

Okay, I don't really have anything to say on the ball game having never been to a pro game with anyone, let alone my children (I don't have any) or my Father (who doesn't like me)...

The Lowering of the Terror Level from Ernie to Bert CRACKED me up. Dude, You rock.

Posted by: ApeculiarDaisy at July 25, 2004 06:55 PM

Hi Wil, Greetings from Down Under.

I picked up a copy of Dancing Barefoot on the weekend. JAG was out of stock in my bookstore.
I sat down to have a read and only a matter of hours later I was finished. I LOVED IT. I couldn't put it down. And I will read it again many times I suspect.

It spoke to me on so many levels and made me laugh a thousand times over. I particularly loved the way you described your inner voices in the 'Sponge Bob' story. That in particular rang true with me. I had never thought to seperate the inner voices in my head like that. But I certainly recognise similar voices in me.

Each of these stories taught me something about myself as well as something about you.
Now I can't wait to read JAG.

Oh...and when it comes to your internal terror levels. Is there a place on this terror rating system for my favourite Sesame Streeters the 'Twiddlebugs'?


Posted by: Lauren Carter at July 25, 2004 08:03 PM

Add me to the list of those who've finished Just a Geek. I thought it was great and agree that all the Trek and audition stuff is fascinating in a voyeuristic kind of way, but what's really impressive is the self analysis and honesty throughout the book. In fact, I thought the best parts weren't the blog reprints, but the connecting narrative which ties together the posts and clearly shows a development and maturing in both the person and the writing. It's a great accomplishment and a great read. Congratulations, Wil!

Posted by: Kevin T. at July 25, 2004 08:34 PM


Hopefully you read this. Why dont you try running windows software ie pokerstars under wine/vmware or virtual pc under mac. This may help your woes.

Posted by: Mike - D at July 25, 2004 08:51 PM

Anybody else(Wil included) see WWdN's mention in Wired magazine? WWdN gets more visitors than the White House...wonder why? *snicker*

Posted by: ArmyWife at July 25, 2004 09:20 PM

Okay, I have to say this Wil: You probably won't believe me but, I don't think your book is going to be a misconception for alot of readers. Wether people are ST fans or not, you would not believe how many people like reading your book because you are your self. I don't think you would believe how many people you made cry, laugh, or whatever. Your too damn good a writer not to make people feel. Try not to worry about it. It'll all turn out for the best.
All the best to you and your family/

Posted by: angry penguin at July 25, 2004 09:26 PM

Nothing's cooler than a geek who cleans house! *smile*

Thanks for bringing a little joy to my corner of the world. JAG has found a special place on my nightstand. I must admit that Dancing Barefoot is still my favorite. I really was moved by the story about your aunt. My grandma died in 2000. We were very close, and it's just hard for me to visit her house. There isn't a day that goes by that my heart doesn't ache for just one last conversation. One last word...

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed your Sunday. I've always enjoyed your acting on Star Trek and in Stand By Me, but I really love your blog and your books.

Please keep writing, and I'll keep listening. :-)

Posted by: Linda at July 25, 2004 10:53 PM

Aaaaargh! There it is, again! I'm sorry for being dense and ungeek-like, but I just don't get the Bert/Ernie terror stuff.

I was never much into Sesame Street when I was a kid, prefering The Electric Company (boy, that dates me!). My kids never cared for SS, either, but we certainly never thought of Bert & Ernie as being as being particularly frightening! (If we wanted scary, we'd watch Baby Bop, from Barney & Friends!)

Or, is this whole thing a correlation with the US's National Security Levels, i.e., low = Bert, medium = Ernie, high = Big Bird, or some such, but on a personal level??

Wil, or somebody, please explain!!!

Posted by: Valerie S at July 25, 2004 11:42 PM

Hey Wil, does Todd have an online version of FIZZBIN? Cause that's MY favorite card game!

Especially when it's dark on a Tuesday! ;)

Kirk: Spock, what are the odds of a Royal Fizzbin?
Spock: I have never computed them.
Kirk: Well, they're astronomical, believe me!

Posted by: Rocknar at July 26, 2004 12:50 AM

Okay, so I'm living up to my name, but please stop with the shilling of Just a Geek. I have been reading your blog for a long time now, and I am just getting a little bored with it. I know you have to promote your book, but couldn't you do it with a banner ad or a special section of your site? The hardcore willies will go and read it there anyway.

I will probably get torn a new one for saying this, because anytime anyone says anything on here that is not incredibly, brown-nosingly positive it gets trashed, but I am being honest and I hope that will be respected and considered.

Posted by: Sourpuss at July 26, 2004 03:35 AM

Daughters like baseball too! Some of my best memories as a kid involve going to Mariners games ... and wishing a homerun would be hit right at me. My brothers and I were ready with our gloves. :) The Mariners consistently lost back in the '80s but we didn't care, it was fun.

Posted by: Kristi at July 26, 2004 05:43 AM

It's funny that when you get older you start realizing how important your parents are and how little time you really have with them on this earth. I'm glad that growing up I was so close to mine and that they were my best friends. I'm glad you've come into that realization Wil and that your boys will be able to benefit from you and your parents. I think family is the strongest bond in the universe.

Posted by: 1cutebird at July 26, 2004 06:20 AM


As Wil himself says in the second half to the interview he did with me on Sequential Tart:

"Something that has come in really handy, really good advice that I got from, I cannot remember the name of the man who gave me this advice; he's a published author who regularly contributes to rec.arts.writing he said, "The authors who sell the most books are the ones who work real, real, real hard to promote them."

I'll also add that Wil said in the interview that it's really hard for him to be the schill that he's supposed to be because he's just not normally like that.

I don't mean to be so harsh, but that's the advice he was given, he's following it, and he's doing very well.

Don't forget that this is one of his sources of income now, and if by talking about his success with JAG gets him a few more dollars to help support his family, I'm all for it.

Posted by: Trisha Lynn at July 26, 2004 06:34 AM

For the people who were questioning the terror level comment:

I just sort of assumed that the Sesame Street terror level thing related to the colors of Bert & Ernie. Ernie is orange, Bert is yellow. Orange is higher than yellow on the US Terror Alert rating system.

Posted by: Suzanne at July 26, 2004 07:21 AM

hey wil,
i used to live in san diego, so used to be a padres fan...however, now that i'm back in the UK, we don't get much baseball over here! YEY for you for the dodgers winning...boo for me for the padres losing! oh well...thats life!

glad all is going well..
take care

Posted by: rach at July 26, 2004 08:17 AM

Wil, do you ever play at PokerRoom.com? They have a Java client that runs on Mac just fine. Hopefully I'll run into you at the tables sometime.

Posted by: Wearsch at July 26, 2004 10:11 AM

There's another Just A Geek review up at http://www.881theburg.com/weeklygeek.php . You can also request a free cd there of an on-air interview with Wil. :) Good times.

Brilliant book, by the way Wil. Cheers.

Posted by: Frodo at July 26, 2004 10:26 AM

Great reviews! I'm so glad it's doing so well, and people are "getting it." Awesome!

My house needs cleaning too! Wanna come over? ;) j/k

Posted by: Sue at July 26, 2004 10:38 AM

1. Just finished reading JAG. It was really, really great. I read it backstage during the play I'm in, and I kept finding bookmarks from the other actors who were also reading it. Keep plugging it!

2. My husband plays Pokerstars on his Linux machine using wine Wine Is Not an Emulator). It seems to work just fine, except he can't seem to get an avatar thingy to show up.

Posted by: Kate at July 26, 2004 11:32 AM

hey Wil

Baseball is not just for the Boys. So I hope you don't mind if I take my daughter to a game. :)

Posted by: BitTwist at July 26, 2004 01:01 PM

The cover of JAG looks fantastic. Just the right amount of introspection on your face. Now I just have to bug my local sci-fi store to get some copies in and the world will be in order.

P.S. Have fun in Las Vegas this weekend...break a leg with Ernest Borg-9

Posted by: Filora at July 26, 2004 01:53 PM

I've seen the question asked a few times here in the comments but no clear answer yet on the whole fear scale thing. Have a look in the pright hand panel of this web page and you'll see a link under a 'FEAR' header. The full link is http://www.geekandproud.net/terror/ and, yes, it is a reference to the colours as a scale.

Hope that gets ya where you're going!

Posted by: Allan at July 26, 2004 03:39 PM


As an aside, John Kerry will be giving his acceptance speech on your birthday--how lucky can you get; and you'll be in Vegas.

Have a nice trip!

Freeman :)

Posted by: Freeman in Louisiana at July 26, 2004 06:05 PM

Dear Suzanne and Allan:

Thanks so much for the terror alert explantions. I checked the sidebar. Now I'm going to go adjust the color on my TV!!

Posted by: Valerie S at July 26, 2004 06:41 PM

Well you can tell if you are a geek by the movies you watch. A popular entry on my blog is on that subject and is listed here:
Basically as you can see by my entry that a true geek is also a fan of the "thinking man" film as well as the action/adventure type of movie.

Geekness prevades our society right now and it is interesting that this was once "uncool" in some areas. Ofcourse it still is in many areas but at least we are getting better accepted!

Posted by: Richard Callaby at July 26, 2004 07:13 PM

I finished JAG last night.

Thank you for sharing some of your life with us.

Although I've never been famous, or a struggling actor...I'm in the process of moving from the sheltered world of "student" into the "real world" and finding it a scary place.

Our searches and struggles are very different, but you made me feel less alone. I hope that doesn't sound silly.


Posted by: Crystal at July 26, 2004 09:27 PM

Well this after noon I went looking for JAG in Barnes & noble. was not there :( however they DID have walking Barefoot.. Guess where it was? In the Star Trek section *doh* It was a good book though.. I did enjoy it even if B&N did not know where to put it..

Posted by: Joni Coons at July 26, 2004 10:05 PM

Just A Geek has hit Australian shores! The copy I ordered from amazon arrived this morning. I was thrilled, because they estimated a delivery date in September. Have already read the first bit, but had to put it down to go to work. Can't wait to get stuck into it.
By the way, I LOVE the photo on the back cover! :)

Posted by: crystal at July 27, 2004 01:44 AM

Thanks for mentioning Amazon, Wil...I had forgotten to add my review of JAG there...but now it's "in processing"...look for it in a few days.

Posted by: Winona at July 27, 2004 06:58 AM


What can I say? Loved JAG. Just finished it. Posted a review on Amazon. Can't help but tell all my "geek" friends about the books (I work at one fo the NASA centers, so there are one or two around). I'm about your age, so the stories, the conflicts, the confusion reall ring true. Love your stories with your family.

Keep writing, and I sure as heck will keep reading.

Posted by: Melissa at July 27, 2004 01:30 PM


I've been a devoted fan of your site since the beginning. I just finished JAG and it brought me to tears. I know JUST how you feel about finding your place... You are an awesome writer. I strive to find my voice and write as well as you.

I'd also like for you to consider coming to DragonCon as another WWdNer mentioned above. It's the biggest Con on the East coast and we'd really love to have you. If you would consider it for next year (Labor Day weekend), would you have your agent contact the Con folks? [I ask because they are notoriously BAD about pursuing artists for the Con.] Go to dragoncon.org for the contact info.

Thank you for your insightful and inspiring book.



Posted by: Angela Pratt at July 27, 2004 08:12 PM

I ordered my copy of JAG from Amazon last week and it finally wended its way over from the States yesterday.

Wednesdays are the busiest day at work of the entire week for me, so I decided not to start reading it properly last night, although I couldn't resist sneaking a peak at the first couple of pages...

I finally finished it at quarter to three this morning, and I'm sitting at work right now feeling knackered but with a dappy smile on my face - who knew I wasn't the only one wondering about where I fit in in the world nowadays ;)

As soon as things calm down here completely I'll be ordering several more copies for friends who I know will 'get it' in the way I did, but in the meantime I just wanted to say thanks. I'd read DB so I had pretty high expectations anyway, but JAG blew them out of the water. Now if only you end up doing a VO for Knights of the Old Republic 2 you will be my official geek hero :)

Posted by: Naz, UK at July 28, 2004 04:52 AM

JAG *is* so much more than a Star Trek story.

It resonates on so many levels, and we, your fans, sympathize and identify, because we see ourselves in you.

Not that the Star Trek stuff isn't important...if anything, I love reading how you remenice about time spent with your fellow actors...hearing about that kind of friendship between people that are just mythological wonders to the rest of us. Your views are all the more interesting, because you are both a part of that saga, and not. You're Wesley, but you're also Wil, admiring Stewart, Frakes, Spiner, and all the rest no less for that you are counted as a member of that august group (at least, by us...and that's what matters, isn't it?)

Your own work was partly the inpiration for me to write, and it still is. Especially, since I plan to include these words and a lot more in my own, small review of Just a Geek on my site. Not that I have as mig an audience as yours...but at least I can clue my friends in on the wonders of Wil Wheaton, actor turned everyman, writer, dreamer.

Well done.

Posted by: GregED at July 28, 2004 09:29 AM


Just A Geek

Dancing Barefoot

The Professor, The Banker, And The Suicide King


The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Green Day: American Idiot

Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


The Simpsons: Season Six

Firefly: The Complete Series

The Incredibles

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