at the break of day

I went to sleep around 9pm last night, because my alarm was set for 5:15 this morning. I fell asleep quickly, and slept straight through the night, with Marlowe curled up next to my left hip, and our cat, Luna, tucked into my neck.

I slept soundly, until I woke in a panic and saw that the clock said 7:34am. Oh shit I slept through my alarm! I’m supposed to be doing radio interviews! Shit! Shit! Shit!

I jumped out of bed, and ran into the kitchen, disoriented and trying to find my phone, so I could call the number … the number! I can’t remember the number!

I looked around for my laptop, and then realized that not only was it not in my kitchen, I wasn’t in my kitchen, either. Oh, I was in a kitchen, and I suppose it was mine, but I hadn’t been in this kitchen since I was a little boy and we lived in Sunland.

I sat up in bed. It was just a dream. Thank god. I looked at the clock, saw that it was 3 something in the morning, and put my head back onto my pillow. I exhaled as much of the memory of panicked adrenaline as I could, and closed my eyes. Luna began to purr and nuzzled her head back into me.

When the alarm went off, it was still dark. I got out of bed and walked out into my living room, where I saw my dad. I don’t remember what he said, but it was pretty mean for some reason.

I woke up again. It was now 4 something in the morning. Oh, come on…

I would dream at least three more times that I somehow overslept or couldn’t find my number to call or — in one case — was at an amusement park with no payphones for some reason. When my alarm finally did go off, for real, I felt like I was drunk and hadn’t slept at all for several days.

None of the animals moved when I got out of bed. Anne rolled over to one side and muttered something in her sleep as I gently closed our bedroom door behind myself and headed to our actual kitchen to begin the coffee ritual.

Thirty minutes later, I got on the phone and started a three hour radio press tour, working my way Westward across the country to hit morning drive time radio all over America, to talk about The Wil Wheaton Project (TONIGHT AT TEN ON SYFY, Y’ALL), The Big Bang Theory, Tabletop, and Zen And The Art of Being Wil Wheaton. I did fourteen interviews over the three hours, with one five minute break. I drank three cups of coffee, just enough to prevent me from taking a nap — at 830 in the morning — after I was finished.

I live a charmed life.

I am inherently skeptical of media, including drive-time radio, so I told the network that I wouldn’t talk to shock jocks, I wouldn’t talk to the right-wing screamers (not that they’d be interested in me, but I wanted to have all my bases covered) and I wanted to be very clear ahead of time that if they wanted me to make fun of people like me who love the things I do, I wouldn’t be talking with them. I guess everyone got the memo, because with the exception of one 60-second bit on one station (that I hope will be cut if and when the DJs will realize it probably made them come off like dicks after nearly 10 minutes of really nice conversation), I really enjoyed myself.

A few moments after I finished my last interview, I heard our bedroom door open on the other side of the house, followed by the familiar sounds of my dogs waking up and walking around. Marlowe ran into my office, tail wagging like crazy, and jumped her front paws onto my lap. Anne followed, shortly after.

“How did your interviews go?” She said, sleepily.

I told her, and gently pushed Marlowe off of my lap. She’s cute and all, but jumping up uninvited is not okay in Castle Wheaton.

“That’s good,” she said. “Sorry the one thing wasn’t awesome.”

“It’s okay. 60 seconds out of three hours is a really great batting average, and I think that by sincerely and enthusiastically answering the questions they asked as a set up to making fun of me and people like me, I managed to call them out on the premise of their thing without just saying, ‘you guys, just stop. This isn’t cool.'”

“Maybe they’ll cut it out before they air it,” she said.

“I hope so.”

Marlowe sat quietly and patiently at my side, eyes huge, tail wagging.

“Okay, Marlowe,” I said, tapping her on the shoulder. She leaned into me as I stood up. “Do you want your breakfast?” She ran into the kitchen so fast I could see the red shift.

“I’m proud of myself,” I said, “I’ve accomplished more before 9 am than I usually accomplish in a whole day!”

In the kitchen, Riley barked.

“But apparently not enough,” I said. I kissed Anne on the cheek as I passed her and went out to the kitchen to actually start my day.

If you want to read a really nice article about me, geek culture, and The Wil Wheaton Project, Fast Company got it right.

29 thoughts on “at the break of day”

    1. Hi Wil, I saw the first episode of The Wil Wheaton Project today and it was fun, interesting and I could obviously see you were enjoying yourself. I don’t usually talk to “celebrities” but I just wanted to say I enjoyed the show. I have to apologize though – I’m not in the USA and couldn’t get your show any other way than illegally. I don’t usually feel like a shitty terrible person for illegal downloads, but it’s different when it’s someone I honestly feel I like and admire as a person. I hope I can find some other way to support you (I did throw money at Tabletop Kickstarter) because you are honestly a great voice for us nerds. Thanks for everything!

      1. I’m really glad that you liked the show, and I hope that we’ll have a way for you to legally watch it sooner than later!

  1. Trying to “DISH Pass” the new show, but for some reason DISH or Syfy has no episode number on ep 1, and #6 on ep 2…so my DVR is trying to tape EVERY instance of the show playing, which in case you didn’t know, is like 100 in a week. :( Hope it gets fixed soon! Loved the first ep, and I love your posts, especially when you talk about your furry family.

    1. It’s not just DISH. I have a similar issue on my TiVo, so it’s either something with Syfy or with the service the companies use to generate the listings.

  2. Whew! That sounds like a more eventful morning than any I’ve ever had. Also, please, PLEASE tell me you have a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

  3. The dreams just mean that in the back of your mind you were worried you would wake up late and miss the interviews. I have dreams like that all the time.

  4. ‘I live a charmed life.’ I think you do, and I think you’re a great person because you recognize and appreciate it. Well done, and continued success to you. I love ‘The Wil Wheaton Project.’ The first episode was a lot of fun!

  5. I listened to your interview today on Todd and Tyler. After the interview they had nothing but compliments about how funny and passionate you are with your Geekdom.

    One of the host never heard that term “Cord Cutter” before when you mentioned trying to get your new show on Hulu. Thanks for looking our for us, our demographic is growing.

    1. Like Ryan, I too listened on the Todd & Tyler Radio Empire (on their podcast later since I got to work before your segment) liked your description of the new show! Well done!

  6. Love the blog, tweets, your character on BBT, Tabletop, and the new show. Like others have mentioned, not loving having 12 instances of episode one on my DVR at all times. Here’s hoping SyFy can work it out soon. All the best to the Wheaton clan.

  7. I heard you on KLOS 95.5 this morning and thought you sounded great. I imagine that was one of your later interviews, but you still had lots of energy. So many of the promo circuit callers sound completely wiped out by the time they get to the west coast stations.

  8. A couple of nights before I ran a photography workshop (the first time ever I did such a thing) I dreamt I was at the corner shop, picked some obscure beer/cider bottle out of the fridge and realised I couldn’t pay because i was only wearing thin, white underwear and my hat. It was also raining outside. Panicked, I woke up. A friend who’s currently training as a counsellor interpreted this as me feeling I was utterly unprepared for something. He was probably right but thankfully, the workshop was a success.

    “Marlowe […] jumped her front paws onto my lap. Anne followed, shortly after.”
    This made me laugh as I had this mental image of both Marlowe and Anne sitting in front of you with their paws/hands in your lap.

  9. Watching the show in Phoenix now, it stared at 7:30 local time. Lucky for me I was watching the TNG mini marathon so I haven’t missed any! Loving it!

  10. I’m looking for somewhere to comment on the Wil Wheaton show on television.
    The pre-made clips are funny … but what is lacking is any sense of fanboy. Do you like the genre? Because that is why I tuned in, to enjoy time with someone who loves fantasy, horror and sci-fi.
    Humor is okay, but we can’t always laugh at the shows … some of them we have to love.

  11. I’ve had a lot of those stress-related dreams. When I was doing community theater, I looked for the dream where I screw up the show as a good omen, because it meant I was engaged both consciously and subconsciously. My freshman year of college, I actually had a dream much like your first one – I went to sleep on Sunday and dreamt that I woke up on Wednesday, missing 3 of 5 exams, and my roommate only said “well, you looked tired.”

  12. I really liked last nights show. As a fellow hockey fan, i appreciated the ending. It just goes to show you that someone can be a geek or a nerd and still love sports. Society needs to stop pigeon-holing (did I just make a new verb?) us. Its always great to see the wonderful Felicia Day, I hope the special guest spot is a recurring event. For myself, Joel McHale’s interaction with his guests are some of my favorite spots in that other, similar show which happens to be on a channel that I refuse to watch except for his show. It seems to me that those moments allow for the hosts true personality to come through. Thank you for the years of entertainment and I hope you have many more. Oh yeah, Go Kings!

  13. I’ve had the same thing happen to me when I had something big the next day and really needed a good night’s sleep…… and didn’t get one. Glad it turned out so well for you!

  14. I used to have to get up at 5:30am on weekends to sign on a television station working master control and I would have nightmares about waking up too late for work all the time. Still happened for years even after I didn’t work in TV anymore.

  15. Did the bad 60 second interview come from Michigan? I was about to turn off my radio until I heard the pre-commercial break announcement that they would be talking with you… Naturally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to listen to this so I stayed tuned, was so disappointed and it left me feeling angry and ashamed that I ever enjoyed the DJs in the first place. They were complete douchers toward you and laughed at me when I called in to defend your honor! Sorry Wil, we love you here!

      1. I did appreciate you handling them with so much class, although I must admit I was really hoping for you to destroy them with your superior wit and intellect. In the end they just came off looking like a-holes to their fan base. Also, pretty rad to get a response back immediately…thanks for keeping it real. All the best

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