All posts by Wil

I'm just this guy, you know?

so i throw the windows wide

I’ve been beating myself up a little bit for not putting something new here every day, and for missing my self-imposed-but-flexible Monday deadline for Radio Free Burrito. I have a pretty great life! Why can’t I just do these simple things?

Well, if those were the only things I was doing, I would be justified in beating myself up. But those aren’t the only things I’m doing. I’m working my face off to get the RPG show up and running as production draws terrifyingly close (we have our actors coming in on Monday to create their characters! Already! I’m not in a panic! YOU’RE in a panic!)

But it’s not just the RPG show (which is about to be titled, officially) that’s making demands on me, creatively and emotionally. I’ve had to travel — well, that’s not right. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to some neat places to do some really neat things with some really neat people (fun fact: Sir Baldy hated it when we said “neat” in the old days. He never explained why. I said it a lot to troll him. It worked). I’ve had a bunch of meetings with really fancy people for some really fancy gigs. I’ve been doing a ton of work that I can’t talk about because of NDA.

I started to get anxiety just writing all of that. Sheesh.

So I give myself permission to accept that my creative output isn’t going to be writing stories and telling stories and adding something new to my blog every day. I give myself permission to miss a deadline on a podcast, because I’m making it for my own entertainment and hopefully some people come along for the ride. I mean, it’s free and everything.

One of the reasons I can give myself a little bit of a break was the realization, this morning while I was waiting for my coffee to brew, that I have told tons of stories and written hundreds of thousands of words here in my blog for over ten years, almost every day. That’s a really long time, on a really aggressive schedule, to create stuff. So if my creative energy is pointed away from my blog for a little bit, that’s okay. This isn’t a job. This is … well, it’s a lot of things, but it isn’t a job.

Help me out, here, Internet: what is this, again?

we have fun

I’m working, I swear. I’m not goofing off and doing dumb things with my friends on Twitter…

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… well, except for when I am.

UPDATE: It’s good to be easily amused.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 17.24.47 Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 17.25.00

It turns out that there’s a lot happening today.

First up, this is happening:

Wil Wheaton Big Bang Theory Season 8

We also have a new episode of Tabletop out today, and it’s one of my favorites of the season.

And after waiting almost a year to be able to talk about it, Nintendo of America has announced that I play the voice of Abraham Lincoln in their insanely awesome 3DS title, Code Name STEAM.

I am extremely proud of this game, and I can’t wait to play it. It’s got a great balance of humor and strategy, and there may be some awesomely weird stuff in it, too … you can confirm it for yourself with the trailer:

It turns out the Village People recorded a punk song in 1981

I came across this punk rock masterpiece on one of my very favorite blogs, Dangerous Minds.

Now, look, I’m going to warn you: it’s the longest 2:27 of your life, and the video is sort of the ancient progenitor to a looping .gif, likely due to budget constraints, and the possibility that the band involved wasn’t particularly into recording a punk song because the band was THE VILLAGE PEOPLE.

Yes, those Village People.

BEHOLD:

Dangerous Minds says:

“Food Fight” is an anomaly in the Village People’s oeuvre: a first and last attempt to cash in on the punk audience from a band clearly grasping at straws, willing to try absolutely anything to stay relevant.

Musically, one can hear the best elements of DEVO, as well as The Dickies, and Hodo’s nerdcore vocals sound remarkably like Weird Al.

“Food fight” plays out like the music you’d hear in an early 80’s teenage T & A movie where there’d be some marginally “punk” band playing on the beach in wrap-around sunglasses and clam-diggers, while a bunch of girls in string bikinis did robot dances in the sand. Yes, it’s that good. The subject matter would seem to indicate the Village People’s new target demographic was middle school children.

I’m super conflicted about it, because on the one hand, it’s pretty epic … but it’s also pretty horrible, and it feels like ten minutes of repetition to me.

But, still, the fucking VILLAGE PEOPLE recorded a song that would have been perfectly at home in Valley Girl, or Night of the Comet, or Midnight Madness, or even on an episode of CHiPs, if they did something about the way old white people thought punk rock and new wave kids acted in 1981.

What do you think?

on technology and nephews…

My godson, Shane, is pretty good at technology — especially for a 2 year-old.

He’s very good, for example, at picking up my sister’s phone, finding my picture, and tapping it to call me. A typical call goes like this:

Me: Hello?

Shane: giggling

Me: Shane? Is that you?

Shane: Blah blah squeal BLAH!

Me: That’s really interesting. Well, let me tell you about my day…

Shane: maniacal laughter hangs up

On longer calls, he’ll babble on and on about stuff, and then my sister will pick up the phone to tell me how he’s been walking around the house and the yard, pointing at things and telling me about them. I guess he is really into this tree in their backyard, and he talks to me about it all the time. (If I’m being honest, from my end of the line he’s about as excited about the tree as he is about their cat, or his toy cars, or this Batman mask he likes to wear.)

So he’s recently learned how to use Skype to talk to me, and this weekend, he introduced me to a new game that he likes to play. I don’t think he named it, but I call it “Run Around The House With Uncle Wil On Mom’s iPad, Put Him On The Floor In The Hallway, Then Run Away Laughing.”

Witness:Skyping _with_ShaneIt’s a pretty fun game for him, and I’m not sure what the rules are, but I think he’s winning.

Also? It’s a little bit of a mindfuck that he’s growing up in a world where being able to see me on a thing he holds in his hands while we talk to each other is so normal and pedestrian, he can literally put it/me on the ground and RUN AWAY from it.

Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Normally, I’m pretty good with words. At the moment, I’m not at my best, for reasons I hope are self evident. However, I’m going to do my best to remember someone who gave more to my life than he ever knew.

I never got to know Leonard Nimoy the way my fellow cast members did, so I can’t remember him in the personal way that they can. I didn’t know Leonard as a friend, or even as a colleague. I can’t tell you what he was like off the set, because I never had the privilege of visiting with him off the set. In fact, by the time he worked on Next Generation, my character was off exploring other planes of existence, and I was a nineteen year-old kid who was stumbling around, trying to figure out what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

When you are part of the Star Trek family — and that’s what it is, in ways that are as wonderful and complicated as all families are — you are part of a very small and special group, where news travels fast. Though I never got to be close to Leonard, I knew that he was a wonderful and lovely man, because that’s all anyone ever said about him. I feel that I haven’t earned the right to eulogize him, but a lot of people are asking me to, so if you’ll allow me a few minutes of your time, I’d like to do my best to remember Leonard the way most of us will be remembering him today: as the actor who played a character who was deeply important to all of our lives, because everyone who watched and loved Star Trek is part of our extended family.

When I was a kid, long before I put on Wesley Crusher’s sweaters or piloted the Enterprise, I loved Star Trek. I watched it all the time in syndication on our black and white television, and when the other kids at school wanted to play CHiPs or the A-Team on the playground, I wanted to turn the jungle gym into the Enterprise. On those rare occasions that I convinced my classmates that we were boldly going toward new worlds on lunch recess, one of the Cool Kids would claim the role of Captain Kirk, and I would always happily assume the role of Mister Spock.

I was too young to fully understand why, but as I got older and looked back on those years, it became clear: I identified with Spock because he was weird, and cerebral, and he was different from everyone else. He was just like me, but the things that made me a target of ridicule on the playground made him a valuable and vital member of his ship’s crew. In ways that I couldn’t articulate at the time, I wanted to be Mister Spock because if I was, I could be myself –quiet, bookish, alien to the people around me — and it wouldn’t be weird. It would be awesome.

When I was cast to play Wesley Crusher, and became part of the Star Trek family, one of the first things I got excited about was meeting Mister Spock, and the actor who played him. It never happened, really, so I never got to know the man behind the ears and the eyebrows and the character that meant so much to me. But as I said on Twitter this morning, we in the Next Generation stood upon his shoulders, and we got to explore a universe that wouldn’t have existed without him. I’ve met thousands of people over the last decade, who have told me that Wesley Crusher meant the same thing to them that Mister Spock meant to me, and for that I am eternally grateful to everyone who was part of Star Trek before I was, including Leonard.

Mister Spock made it okay for me to be the weird kid who eventually grew into a slightly-less weird adult, but it was Leonard Nimoy who made Mister Spock live, and who made Star Trek — and every science fiction TV series since 1966 — possible.

Thank you, Leonard, for making it okay to be me, and for making it possible for me to explore brave new worlds, and boldly go where you had gone before. I wish I’d gotten to know you the way so many others did, because everyone says you were as awesome and wonderful as I hoped you would be. Rest in peace, sir.

 

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please prepare the cabin for arrival

As I write this, I am 34,998 feet above the skin of the Earth, traveling East at 527 miles per hour. The captain just announced that we’re about to land, and I have about five minutes of Internet left before I have to buy more.

Looks like I picked a really bad time to write a 1500 word post about a bunch of cool and interesting stuff that’s happened since last Friday.

(In the time it took me to type out those words, we descended a little over two thousand feet. I’m not sure why I felt that was worth mentioning, but then again I’m not even sure why I’m going to be clicking publish in about ten seconds.)

I’ve found Serenity, and you can’t take the sky from me

Something very awesome happened today. I can’t say anything more about it (for now) but I can finally talk about this other awesome thing that I’m super excited to be part of!

In the upcoming Firefly Online game, I get to be the voice of the male avatar!!

This just in from Firefly Online HR: Wil Wheaton has joined the FFO voiceover team and will be playing the part of you – that is, he will be giving voice to the male player character. We couldn’t be more excited that Wil is taking on this huge part. (There’s lots of Chinese cursing too!)

I am so excited to be part of this, and not just because it means I get to finally be part of the best universe in the ‘verse.

…well, maybe it is.

A little.

…okay, it totally is.

I’m recording my dialog in a couple of weeks, and when the game is released in Spring, I’ll be there with you as we pilot our own ships, interact with our favorite brown coats, evade the alliance, and, of course, aim to misbehave.

I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity, I can’t wait to be a leaf on the wind.

…shoot. now i’m sad.

the point of view that creates the world

I imagine my creative process as a cycle of filling up a reservoir with inspirations and ideas, and then emptying it out into various creations. Sometimes that reservoir is drained in one explosive surge, but mostly it’s emptied out a little bit at a time, into different projects.

Recently, I’ve been using my creative reserves to power the writing on the Tabletop RPG show, and whatever is left is going into Radio Free Burrito.  My stupid random thoughts and links, once the exclusive property of my blog, are filling up Twitter and Tumblr, and I haven’t had much to say here, anyway.

BUT.

I have a new Tabletop for you:

Most of the things I’ve been consuming are helping me power up and work on the Tabletop RPG show (all day today I have conference calls with our writers and designers!) and I would like to share some of the ways I’ve been refilling my creative reservoir, starting with books:

And Podcasts:

Also, movies:

Some TV:

And Anime:

So my reservoir is slowly being refilled, at a rate that is just slightly faster than it is being emptied … and neat stuff is happening.

that time I got to see the Arecibo telescope

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I suck at mornings, especially when I’m on a (working) vacation.

But getting up at oh-my-god-it’s-still-dark-out-why-am-I-awake o’clock to go see the Arecibo telescope with my own eyes (and two busloads of nerds) was totally worth it.

The thing about this is that it’s so huge, it sort of distorts the scale of itself and creates the illusion of not being a thousand feet across. But it’s a thousand feet across.

While we were there, I got to watch the detector move, which made me way more excited than I thought it would. Unfortunately, we didn’t discover any aliens or distant galaxies while we were there.

But look at that picture, and just think about this incredible thing that humans built in 1962, existing, harmoniously, next to all that natural beauty. In fact, it doesn’t just sit there beside the natural beauty, it is able to exist precisely because of the conditions created by that natural beauty. I think that’s really neat.

Sometimes we humans don’t suck.