Category Archives: blog

Small Wonder

Today’s title comes from The Vandals album “Fear of a Punk Planet.” One of the true classics, if you ask me.
Doctor update: I have a sinus infection, and the doc put me on antibiotics. I didn’t want to take them, but he agreed to dance around me with a stick chanting the theme to Knight Rider if I did, so we compromised.
I have heeded countless email requests, and I’ve put up an eBay auction. It’s an 8×10 of me in the spiffy red spacesuit. Interesting fact about this photo: it’s the only one of me from TNG that I really like. Of all the publicity photos I ever did, I think I look the least lame in this one. The auction is set for 5 days.
Also, I’ve updated the library selections on the right side over there. I was going to let them stay for another week or so…but when I saw that Hitchhiker’s Guide was out, I couldn’t wait. I am such a geek.
So check it out: if this auction goes well, I can totally buy a GPS, and start geocaching…how cool would it be to make a WWDN geocaching team?
I’m taking the kids to see Spiderman tonight. I hope it doesn’t suck.
Funny, isn’t it? In a post-Episode I world, every time I get excited about a big movie opening, I am reminded of how ripped off and angry I was when I left that movie, and my excitement is tempered…then I recall how much I loved X-Men, and my excitement rises again…and then, while I’m basking in that warm feeling…I remember Jar-Jar, and [whine] “My name is Anakin, and I’m a peson!” [/whine]
Well, at the very least, Kirsten Dunst is hot. :-)
Oh, and speaking of hot…maybe Episode II won’t be so bad after all. Meow.
I’m off to work now. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Oh, and….GO LAKERS!

Cough

Well, I’m still sick. I’ve broken down and made a doctor’s appointment for today.
I was reading loren’s site earlier today, and I have found a new purpose in life: Geocaching. As soon as I get some time and some scratch, I’m totally getting a cheap GPS, and taking the kids to do this. It looks awesome.
Thought for Today:

“If you sacrifice others for yourself, you will suffer the consequences.”

Good news and bad news, and good news

Good news and bad news:
Good news: G4 did the official switch from Pong to real programming at 12AM EDT this morning. My show, Arena, even has it’s own page on the website now. I just checked it out, and they’ve added TONS of stuff to that page. You can click the little 8-bit picture of me, and see all sorts of spiffy stuff.
Bad news: I am officially sick. I have some sort of sinus infection thingy. My head is so stuffy and my throat hurts so badly, I may have to go see a real doctor (I much prefer those guys who dance around you and chant, while shaking a stick that has a complete set of A-Team dolls tied to the top of it.)
Even though I was feeling like hell last night, I went out to our official launch party, where everyone from Comcast down to the janitor in our building watched the programming switch from Pong to Blister. It was a strange feeling. I felt like we’ve been pushing this rock up a hill for months, and we’ve totally been able to control where the rock is going, and how fast it’s rolling…and now it’s over the top of the hill, and on it’s way down, and we just have to keep up with it, and hope that it doesn’t roll too far away from us.
It’s still a bit surreal to me, because Arena evolves heavily from our first episode to our fourth, and we’re just now hitting our stride…so it won’t be until the third or fourth show is on the air that I’ll feel that sense of accomplishment and excitement that I always feel when a something I’ve worked on is put in front of an audience.
The thing that’s totally new and different for me is that I’ll be constantly producing new material, so I won’t get to sit back and think, “Man, Episode 107 was GREAT!” Because Episode 108 is right around the corner.
It’s good though, one thing I’ve never liked to do is sit back and rest on my laurels.
Oh! One last thing before I go back to bed: I drove over a screw a few days ago, and my tire was going flat yesterday, so I took it back to the tire shop, and got a free replacement, because I’d bought that stupid road hazzard insurance for like 8 bucks. Hmm… 8 bucks or 200 bucks? I was happy to save the 200 bucks.
So I bought myself a cool new shirt for 25 bucks (Or should I say, Vega$ bought me a shirt?! Oh YEAH BABY!), and called it even.
Thought For Today comes from the Tao:


“The sky is everlasting
And the earth is very old.
Why so? Because the world
Exists not for itself;
It can and will live on.
The Wise Man chooses to be last
And so becomes the first of all;
Denying self, he too is saved.
For does he not fulfillment find
In being an unselfish man?

True Dreams of Wichita

Boy, I should really be in bed now, but I can’t sleep.
I think I’m getting sick, and my throat is just killing me. My sinuses are all dried out, and I keep coughing. I think all that smoke and recycled air in Vega$ got to me.
Anyway, so I’m in bed, just starting to doze off, which is a good thing because I have to be up early tomorrow, because we’re filming 2 episodes of my show, and I’m pretty sure the Big Men In Suits are coming to watch us…but as I’m dozing off, I get this idea for a sketch to present at ACME tomorrow night, so I hop out of bed to write it.
When I sit down here, I see that I have email waiting for me, that they’re talking about me at Mike Doughty’s BBS. Now, Mike Doughty was the man behind one of my favorite bands of all time, Soul Coughing.
Apparently, they were pokin’ fun at that stupid picture of me that Robert posted at RetroCrush a couple of weeks ago…
So I read through it, and posted:


“So anyway, Mike (can I call you Mike?), here’s some fanboy ramblings from the artist formerly known at TVs Wil Wheaton: Your band was and currently is one of my all-time favorites, and I was listening to Ruby Vroom this morning. You were a real inspiration to me (along with Burroughs and Rollins) when I was younger and wanting to be a writer.
Okay, that’s the end of my fanboy lameness.
Here’s my stickin-up-for-myself lameness:
We all looked like tools in the 80s. Anyone who denies that is either too young, or too delusional to remember. Unfortunately, I have the joy of my 80s lameness being forever preserved in magazine form for all eternity. And for the record, “Party Naked” was the pathetic plea from a confused and awkward 14 or 15 year-old for female attention. Pink Floyd was one of the few bands I had heard in 1987 who had anything meaningful to say (Listen to Animals, and you’ll get my drift).
In times like these, when I feel mortified at this photographic record, I thank the gods that I never wore anything like Corey Feldman.
Well, at least I was never photographed in my fedora.”

God, don’t I sound like a stupid fanboy, there?
Anyway, if you haven’t heard Soul Coughing, you really owe it to yourself to check out Ruby Vroom and El Oso, at least.
So when it’s 5AM and you are listening to Los Angeles, you can know if the Radio Man is laughing at you, or with you.

10:15 Saturday Night

Just to clear up any confusion, today’s title has nothing to do with this entry; I’m just listening to The Cure, and that’s the song which is currently playing. Hey, by the time I finish writing this, maybe I’ll change the name to “A Forest.”
So the weekend was awesome. I can only share a few things with you all, because it was a bachelor party after all, and therefore The Code of Guys Has been inVoked.
What I can say is:

  • Dee is getting an awesome husband out of my friend Darin.
  • The Rum Jungle at Mandalay Bay is really cool, even of you can’t stand rum.
  • Interestingly enough, Caius is completely full of shit, and it’s only a matter of time before Ron moves into a cabin in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by landmines and razor wire.
  • For the first time EVER I won money in Vega$. That’s right, Vega$ can still kiss my ass, but I have 80 of Vega$’s bucks, so I only have about 2,020 to go before I’m back to even over my lifetime.
  • On Sunday morning, this cute girl comes running over to me, and says, “Stop! I have to tell you something! You are so hot!
    So I got that going for me, which is nice.
  • I have a new motto for Excalibur: It’s Laughlin on the Strip!
  • That thing they say about making sure you re-hydrate after having “just a bit too much to drink: is totally, completely, 100% true. Oy.

It was wonderful to get away from everything, and just be stupid for 2 days. It was awesome to call Shennanigans on Caius, watch Mike pass out fouls and penalties, bowl at 2AM because we could, and spend 5 bucks to play Pai Gow Poker for 90 minutes.
I even found my funny while I was gone, which was an unexpected bonus.
Speaking of funny, and pretty cool, Something Awful wrote a thing all about yours truly today. Sure, it’s not a 21 year-old girl telling me I’m hot, but I’ll take what I can get.
Well, I guess if I was going to change the title, I’d be calling it “Primary,” but I’m too lazy to do that, so 10:15 Saturday Night it shall remain.

Advantage: Left Paddle

All Pong, all the time.
It sounds like one of those joke commercials from GTA 3, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not quite “Fernando’s New Beginnigs,” but it’s a close third after PetsOvernight.com.
Well, G4 went on the air yesterday, and we’re broadcasting all Pong, all the time, for 7 days.
It’s what they call a “Launch Stunt.” They program something silly for a week or so, and it gets people talking about the network, and builds audience. I think it also lets them test the signal and stuff, and work out any problems before the “real” programming goes up.
Well, we’ve already gotten lots of press, including this story at Slashdot, from this morning.
Best thing about the comments so far? People saying, “Man, if they did a show where I could watch people play UT, I’d watch that!” Well, that is EXACTLY what my show is! If you look carefully, you can find my post all about it.
This is how much of a nerd I am: I didn’t care about The Wall Street Journal (I’d link, but those bastards want 50 bucks from me), or Reuters… but I got all excited when I saw the channel I work for in a story on Slashdot. Yep, news for Wil, stuff that matters.
A cool thing happened last night: I was going to pick up dinner, because Anne and I realized at about 7:30 that we didn’t have anything in our fridge, and I asked Nolan if he wanted to come with me. He said that he wanted to stay home and play PS2, but when he saw that I’d taken the cool games back to work, he decided to come with me.
On the way there, we were listening to Incubus in my car. I know that he likes to see the CD case for what is in the player, so I passed it back to him, and I told him that there were many things about our relationship that I loved, and many things about him that I loved, but it was very special to me that we can share an interest in music. I mean, he likes all the same bands that I do, especially the super indie stuff. So I go on and on, telling him that, and he says, “Wil, when you gave me the case, and you said there was something you wanted to tell me, I was going to say everything that you said.” Then he says, “I love you, Wil.”
I just thought that was so cool. Parents don’t always have things in common with their kids, as much as they’d like to, and it touches me deeply that I can share something like music with Nolan.

7

While I look for my funny, I’m going to heed the advice of many people, and do a list of Seven Things…to keep perspective, and stuff.

  1. I spoke with my manager, and he made some calls about Trek X. The word is that it’s too early to know if I’m out or not, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to cut my scene, so this may turn out to be a Stupid Internet Rumor(tm). I am grateful that I have good people working for/with me, who care about my career as much as I do.
  2. I got to come home early from work today, because I finished and turned in two episodes a day earlier than I thought I would. So instead of sitting in traffic, I’m sitting at home waiting for Anne and the boys to get back.
  3. The episodes that I turned in are being described as “really really funny” by the head writer, my producer, and my executive producer.
  4. My mom sent me a really awesome “This totally sucks, what you’re going through, but look for the lesson and respect The Balance” email.
  5. I get to go away for the weekend with my best friend Darin, for his bachelor party. It’s just sinking in right now, I mean, at this very moment, how happy I am that I’m going to get to spend 4 days with just The Guys(tm).
  6. I have two desk calendars. One is The Far Side, and the other is quotes from the Dalai Lama (“Hey Lama! What about the tip? How’s about a little something for the effort?”). Between the two of them, I bet I can find a great deal of wisdom and happiness…if I’m just willing to look.
  7. Finally, I am extremely grateful to know that, for the few “fuckin’ internet fucks,” there are the TONS of people who seem to “get” me, and send me good wishes. Having said that, I got some great Wisdom from a comment earlier today: I have been putting WAY too much of my happiness and sadness in the hands of other people. I never would have seen that, if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me. I learned today that my current struggle is to just be comfortable and happy within myself.
    I wonder if that’s The Lesson that I need to learn right now? As I approach 30, and as I look around me for my funny, and I deal with all the external frustrations that I can’t control, even beyond my career…I wonder if The Lesson is that, in order to succeed, I need to rely upon myself, trust myself, love myself, and not put my happiness and sadness into the hands of others.
  8. I am grateful that I just had that moment of clarity. That’s cool. I totally wasn’t planning that when I sat down here.

Okay, that’s 8. But I’m giving myself permission to break my own rules.
The Thought for Today is going to bounce around in my head for awhile.

Lost: 1 Funny. Please Return if Found

Well, I’ve started and erased 3 different entries this morning, so this is the last try to not be grouchy and lame.
The thing is, I’m just having a really shitty day. I presented material at ACME last night, and it SUCKED. I just haven’t been able to find my funny for months, and tangible reminders of that, like absoultely BOMBING on stage last night, really sting.
It’s okay, though. It will pass. It has to pass.
Right?
Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
It’s been so hard for me to be funny recently…I won’t go into it, but my life has been under siege for the last 2 years, and it’s just getting worse and worse, with no sign of improvement.
Between that and this “hyper-nostalgia” that I spoke of over the weekend, I just can’t be funny.
It also doesn’t help that I keep seeing the phrase “Has been” and “washed up” immediately preceeding my name all over the place.
Boy, it’s a great fucking feeling to know that people are calling me washed up at 29.
Oh, and I hear that they’ve cut me out of the Star Trek movie. Perfect.
Incidentally, I’m totally not fishing for encouragement. I’m just saying…well…it hurts. It shouldn’t, but it does. That’s all.
Hm. Failed at the “Try to not be grouchy and lame” thing.
Damn.

Batman to the Rescue

I am officially a total geek right now.
I am listening to the Batman soundtrack (the Danny Elfman score, not that Prince monstrosity) on my PC speakers while I type this.
I think it’s appropriate, because I’m writing this morning about those really awesome days of youth, when nobody understands you, your parents are completely unreasonable, and you can’t wait to grow up.
During those days in my life, the Batman score competed with Black Celebration and Only a Lad for air time in my car. It was part of the soundtrack of my life.
Last night, I was watching the History Channel, and this commercial for some 80s super box set comes on. It’s pretty standard for an 80s collection: there’s Foreigner and Journey, as well as some Crowded House and Howard Jones (yeah, I thought that was a weird mix, too.)
While I’m watching this commercial, I start to feel this completely overwhelming sadness. This type of massive sadness that starts so deeply within me, I can’t even define its origin in a physical location. It was sadness coming out of my soul. I get this feeling that I can only describe as “hyper-nostalgia.”
So I’m sitting there in bed, my cat snuggled up to me on one side, my wife sound asleep on the other side, and I start to silently weep, as this David Fincheresque montage of childhood images and feelings races through my mind. I can feel my fear and nervousness the first morning I went to public high school in 9th grade. I can feel the excitement of standing in line to see Batman, in Westwood, at 9AM a few weeks before it opened. I see faces of friends long forgotten, and places which were teenage hangouts that don’t even exist anymore. I feel pain, love, hope…but mostly, I feel sadness and regret that is completely overwhelming.
It’s like I’m sitting in my bed, mourning the passing of my youth.
It’s not that my life is totally miserable now, it’s just so much more complicated than it was when I was a child, and I haven’t really stopped to think about that in quite some time.
I mean, I would gladly trade wondering whatever bullshit my wife’s ex-husband is going to pull today for not being able to stay out past 12 with my friends.
I would gleefully trade worrying about making mortgage payments for…well, for anything, really! :)
Every time I go to Paramount, I look around and I think to myself, “man, I had it so good here. Too bad I was too young and arrogant to realize that.” But that could be a series of entries, all on it’s own.
When I go up to my parent’s house, and go to my old bedroom, I can see in my mind the phantoms of my teenage years: Watchmen comics bagged and hung on the walls. Depeche Mode concert posters above my bed, where my cat Ziggy would be sleeping. Stacks of GURPS source books on the floor, and, of course, my Mac II, complete with smokin’ fast 2400 baud modem.
I miss all of these things, and writing about them now I can really feel a sense of loss, and longing. I just closed my eyes, and I could see things in my old bedroom that I haven’t thought about in years: 82 Los Angeles Kings season ticket stubs from 1988-89, taped to the wall next to my computer, underneath this simply dreadful fantasy-art poster I bought at a game con that same year. A clump of silly string mashed into the cottage cheese stuff on the ceiling, above my bed. Five book shelves, filled with VHS copies of the entire collection of 79 episodes of Star Trek.
I recently visited one of my best friends from high school, who moved into his mom and dad’s house when they moved out. It’s the same house we hung out in when we were young, but now his kids are running around in it…and I can still see the path we wore through the ivy, going up the hill to my house. The house is the same, but it’s so very, very different now.
My best friend Darin is getting married in just a few weeks. Darin and I have known each other since I was 14 and he was 16. We have done just about everything together, and crossed lots of major bridges together on our way to adulthood. I’ve been married with kids for 2 years, but never felt like it was that big a deal…it’s HIM getting married that makes me feel like we’re finally adults, with mortgages and responsibilities. When he is married, we will have crossed another major rubicon together.
So when I saw this commercial last night, it hit me: I’m turning 30 in 3 months.
Three months, man.
I am the primary father figure to two kids, one of whom will be a teenager two days after I turn 30.
A teenager, man.
I am going to be the parent to a teenager, and I’m going to be 30. I don’t know why that’s fucking with me as much as it is, but it sure is burning a lot of cycles in my brain.
Thing is, I know that I’ll be 40 someday, and I’ll look back and think, “Man, I thought things were so messed up at 30…and I was so wrong,” as I watch Ryan graduate from college, or get married, or whatever.
But right now, I miss those wonderful days in the late 80s and early 90s, when I couldn’t wait for the weekend, so I could hang out at Darin’s house and play GURPS and Illuminatti, before heading out to the movies to catch whatever crappy Lethal Weapon movie was in theatres.
I totally understand that saying about youth being wasted on the young. I guess that’s the beauty of childhood: we don’t know how tough life is going to get when we grow up, so we cavalierly waste time, blissfully ignorant of how valuable our youth is going to be to us, late one night when we can’t sleep, because we’re thinking about paying bills.

Last Place You Look

Playing dodgeball yesterday up in Sacramento with Boomer and The Dave was a very traumatic experience, and it brought back all the painful childhood memories associated with goddamn fucking dodgeball.
Matter of fact, the only difference between playing yesterday, and playing in 3rd grade, was that I wasn’t crying when I walked off the court.
I still sucked, I still got hurt, I still felt humiliated and embarrassed when I tried to play…
But at least I knew why I felt so terrible when I was done: I just suck at dodgeball. I’m weak, I can’t throw, and that stupid ball always slips out of my hands when I try to catch it.
My wife, on the other hand, rules at dodgeball. In 6 games that we played, she was the last person left on our time 4 times.
So Dodge Club (har) really sucked for me, but I did have fun the entrire rest of my trip up there. Boomer and The Dave are really cool guys, and the whole crew from KWOD is always super hellacool to me when I visit them.
But I hate dodgeball, man.
I fucking hate fucking dodgeball so much, I could sit here all morning, and well into the evening, and rant about how fucking much I hate fucking dodgeball.
But I won’t.
I’ve got lots more to write, but I have to get to work and finish an Arena episode today, so I’ll briefly say:
The show last night was really fun. Holy crap there were TONS of soapboxers and posse members and farkers all in effect, and it really made me feel great.
I know that I got to meet lots of you, and that I had to literally run from the building to catch my plane (which had 4 people on it, including me and Anne) so I missed a few of you, and I’m really, really sorry that I didn’t have time to stop and talk and stuff.
Coolest thing yesterday: Hanging with Tiffany. Wow. What an amazingly cool person. She agreed to be a guest on the JKvS next month, so all of you who are in LA should come out and see us. I’m trying to get her on the May 10th show.
As I was running out to the car to get to the airport last night, there were a few people walking in front of me…and one of them reaches up, and puts a sticker on a stop sign, the way I put OBEY stickers on everything in the world. So as we approach the stop sign, I look up at it, and see that it’s a “Wil has a posse” sticker.
How cool is that?!
So I took a picture, which I’ll scan and upload next week sometime.
Speaking of pictures, here’s a color version of Sweet Uncle Willy.
If you’re looking for something to do today, you should check out The Mystery of Wil’s Pants over at Retrocrush.
Oh, and the Soapbox is fixed. Send your thanks to jbay.