Category Archives: blog

STFU

Took the day off today, and went on a long walk with Anne.
She pointed out that November is her favorite month, and it was easy to see why, with the sun warming our shoulders, as we walked beneath the bluest blue sky I’ve seen over Pasadena in years.
As we walked down Colorado Boulevard, in and out of the cool shadows cast by stores and the occasional tree, we hit upon a wonderful, awful, Grinchy idea: We’d walk quickly to a movie theatre, buy tickets for the next showing of Harry Potter, and we’d race ourselves home, manufacture a reason to snatch the boys from school, and take them to the movies.
It was brilliant. We hit the theatre at 11, bought tickets for the 12:30 show, and had time to grab a bagel before we made it back home. We took the kids out of school for “personal reasons” and settled into our seats with time to spare.
Now, I don’t go to the movies too often. It just strikes me as stupid to pay money to listen to other people talk on their phones and smack gaping mouthfuls of popcorn while slurping the last drops of Coke out of their super-sized drink cups.
I don’t know why people can’t stay quiet, and respectful of their fellow audience members for a few short hours. I suppose they feel that their ticket entitles them to behave however they’d like, so I usually stay home, and spare myself the aggravation.
Well, if you were in the 12:30 show today, I’d just like to say, as a member of the audience: WOULD. YOU. PLEASE. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP! Talk in your home, talk in your car. Talk anywhere, really, but shut the fuck up when you’re in the theatre.
Sorry. A teeny bit of pent-up aggression there. =]
The movie was entertaining, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first one, which I watched in silence in my own house. I haven’t read the books, but Ryan has, and he told us that the film was a more-or-less faithful adaptation. I think it could have been about 30 minutes shorter, but I also think the theater could have been about 30 times quieter.
It was worth it, though, because the kids had an amazing time. We ensured that they wouldn’t be missing anything vital in school, and I think we helped create a fond memory today.
Thought for today:


“Not all those who wander are lost.”

Ouch

I am writing this while I lay on my back in my living room, my iBook sitting atop my chest…because this morning, Anne and I were doing some planting, and I threw out my back.
How did I do that? Oh, I was doing something very manly and difficult…I was lifting a half-empty watering can and moving it. I was bent at the waist, and when I turned to put it down, I felt my back sieze, and I fell to the ground…it was very “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
So we spent the day trying to get my hips to relax, and take the pressure off my back. Thankfully, my parents live nearby and I was able to sit in their spa for an hour…I’m feeling better, but I’m nowhere near 100%, and I am really freaked about working tomorrow…I checked the schedule and I’m sitting for most of the day, but damn, man, sitting really hurts.
And can I just say that typing while laying on your back isn’t the easiest thing, either? It’s yet another nail in the coffin of my camwhore dreams.
So the gallery opening last night was really fun, and CROWDED! My friend Sean said that there was a bigger turnout than he had ever expected…oh, and the show was amazing. It’ll be open until the 30th, so if you’re in town, you should check it out. I met a few WWDNers there, so that was spiffy. I hope you guys enjoyed the show. It was the first opening I’ve taken the kids to, and they really dug it. I think it helped that there were pictures of skateboarders and punk rockers all over the place. I don’t know if they’d appreciate a Mark Ryden or a Clayton brothers show…but we’ll find out soon enough.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I work all day with Chef tomorrow…so I’ll have some lame fanboy stuff to share with you all.
Update: I just saw this over at boing boing. Coolest. Thing. EVER!

Home Again

Anne and I are back from the AVON 3 Day.
Our feet are as sore as you’d think, Anne hyper-extended her knee, and I really messed up the arch ofmy right foot…but it was the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. It was absolutely life-changing, and I can’t wait to write all about it.
It will be several days before I can, though, because when I got home, I found out that I had been cast in a movie.
That’s right.
Just when I decide that I’m not going to be an actor any more, I go and get cast in a movie.
As the lead.
=:o
I am number one on the call sheet, and everything!
I had my first day today, and I will work every day on the production, right up until my anniversary in November…so I fear that entries in the old WWDN Weblog will be shorter, more diary-like, some updates on the movie and stuff.
Right now, I am exhausted, and I have to go to sleep. More updated information about the film and the walk when I have some time.
Oh, I am going to be on Screen Savers on Wednesday. It should be a really funny segment, so check it out.
Unless you’re not into funny tech stuff, and babes. In that case, you’d probably be better off watching Maisy.
Know what’s weird? I had Chinese take out with the kids a few weeks ago, and my fortune said:

“All your hard work is about to pay off.”

Crazy.

Houses In Motion

It’s been almost a year since Aunt Val died.
I’m driving with my dad across the San Fernando Valley, on our way to Aunt Val’s house. Though we were all promised that the house would remain in the family, it has been sold, and there are many things to be picked up and moved out. Thankfully, there has been precious little pettiness and bickering within the family about her things so far.
My dad has asked me to help him pick up a china cabinet which belonged to my grandmother, and is intended for my mother.
I wonder why he didn’t ask my younger, stronger brother to help out, but I don’t ask. I’m always happy when my dad asks me to do things with him, so I decide not to push my luck.
We ride mostly in silence, but not uncomfortably. I’m lost in thought, though it won’t occur to me until later that this is the last time I’ll make this drive. This drive that I’ve made since I was in a car seat. I’m thinking about what I could talk to my dad about: baseball? the kids? my family? work? We end up talking about them all, and the drive passes very quickly.
As we drive down Aunt Val’s street, it hits me: this is it. I’ve been asked to help my dad move furniture, but I’m really here to say goodbye to this house that’s been part of my life since I was a child.
A tremendous sadness washes over me as we back into the driveway.
I exchange polite hellos with Aunt Val’s daughter, who is responsible for the selling of the house, and walk inside.
It’s the first time I’ve been there since her death, and the house feels cold and empty. It’s more than just the furniture being gone. It’s her warmth and love that are missing.
Most of the furniture has been moved out, but certain things remain untouched: her bookcase, filled to overflowing with pictures of the family and children’s artwork…some of it mine…still dominates tne side of the living room, the recliners where my great grandparents spent most of the last years of their lives opposite. I remember sitting in my Papa’s chair, while Aunt Val sat next to me, watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island, thrilled that I was staying up past my bedtime, watching shows intended for grownups, putting one over on my parents who would often drop my siblings and me off for the weekend.
I loved those weekends. When we spent time with Aunt Val we were loved. We were the center of the
Universe, and though she was well into her 70s, she would play with us, walk with us to get snacks,
let us stay up late. It was wonderful.
In the living room, the table where Aunt Val would put the artificial tree at Christmas is gone, though it’s footprints still mark the carpet. In my mind, I put it back, fill the space beneath it with gifts, warm the air with the laughter and love of the entire family gathered around it, singing songs and sipping cider.
I blink and the room is empty again. The warm light of memory is replaced with the harsh sunlight of
the fading afternoon. Aunt Val’s dog Missy is nosing at my hand, asking to go outside.
I lead her toward the patio doors. Aunt Val’s dining room table, where the adults would sit at reunions and holiday meals, is still there, covered in paperwork and trash. It’s a little obscene.
When I was little, Aunt Val would always sit at the card table –the kid’s table– with us, and when I was fourteen or so I was moved to the “adult’s table.” The next year I begged to be granted a spot
with her at the kid’s table again.
Missy is impatient. She urges me through the kitchen. I look at the cabinet where my great grandparents kept their Sugar Corn Pops cereal. Regardless of the time of day my brother and sister
and I would arrive at her house, we were always hungry for cereal, and Aunt Val was always happy to
oblige. This cabinet, which I couldn’t even reach, this cabinet which held so many wonders is now empty, and at my eye level. I am sad that my own children will never get to look up at it’s closed door, and proclaim themselves starving with a hunger that can only be cured by a trip to the Honeycomb hideout.
The kitchen counters are littered with dishes and glasses. Notes written in Aunt Val’s handwriting still cling to the refrigerator, surrounded by my cousin Josh’s schoolwork.
They say that when a house is passed over by a tornado, it can do strange things to the things inside. They say that sometimes a whole room can be destroyed, and the table will still be set, candlesticks standing, untouched by the violence of the storm. As I look at the refrigerator, unchanged in nearly a year, I wonder why some things have been left alone while others have been
completely dismantled. It’s like a half-hearted attempt has been made to honor her memory.
I walk onto the patio. Missy runs after a bird, and disappears around the corner of the house, leaving me alone.
I stand on the patio, knowing that it will be for the last time. I see the backyard through the eyes of a child, a teenager, an adult, a parent. I look at Aunt Val’s pool, and remember when I was so small, riding around it on a big wheel seemed to take all day. I remember playing with my cool Trash Compactor Monster in the shallow end, before I was big enough to brave the deep end and it’s mysteries, known only to the Big Cousins. I remember being unable to ever successfully complete a
flip off the diving board, and reflexively rub my lower back.
I look at the slide, and the sobs which have been threatening since I walked into the house begin.
In summer of last year, I’d taken Ryan and Nolan to spend the day with Aunt Val. The three of us sat
with her on the patio, eating hot dogs she’d grilled for us, drinking punch she’d made. The kids talked eagerly with her about their plans for the rest of the summer and the upcoming school year. I watched her listen to them, the same way she’d listened to me say the same things twenty years earlier, happy that they were getting to share in her unconditional love the way I had.
We went swimming. Nolan and Ryan both doing cannonballs and flips, Aunt Val always giving them an approving, “Good for you, kiddo!” after each trick.
God, I can hear her voice as I write this.
When they grew tired of tricks, they took to the slide. They took turns for a few minutes, going head-first, on their backs, on their knees.
Ryan was sitting at the top of the slide, waiting for Nolan to get out of the landing area, when he screamed and raced into the water. I immediately knew something was wrong, and rushed to the water’s edge to meet him.
I got him out, and saw that he’d been stung by a wasp.
We patched him up with baking soda and some Tylenol, and prepared to spend the rest of the afternoon inside, watching TV.
Aunt Val wouldn’t hear any of that. She picked up a broom, and some Raid, and marched out to the angry nest of wasps, which we now knew was just beneath the upper edge of the slide. The wasps were pretty pissed, and beginning to swarm, and I couldn’t stop my 84 year old great aunt from wiping them out, so the kids could continue to play.
I’m looking at the slide, remembering that day, remembering how scared I was that she’d get stung and would go into shock, remembering how much fun the kids had with her.
I remembered that day, and recalled a thought I had back then, watching her battle with those wasps: Aunt Val isn’t going to be with us forever. Some day I’m going to stand here, and she’ll be gone, and I’ll cry.
So I cry. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. It’s not fair that she died. It’s not fair at all. I miss her. She was in perfect health one day, and the next she was gone. It’s not fair, and I miss her, and I have to say goodbye to this house, and that’s not fair either.
The finality of her loss takes hold, and refuses to let go. I cry until my sides hurt and my throat is dry. My cheeks are soaked, my nose is running. It’s fitting that as I bid farewell to the house and person who played such an important part in my childhood, I sob like a child.
After awhile, I pull myself together, take a hard look at the backyard, run my hand along the slide, and say goodbye out loud.
I walk back into the house, and I help my dad load the china cabinet into the car. It is heavy and cuts into my hands as I lift it. I’m nervous about dropping it.
Aunt Val’s daughter comes out of the house. I want to scream at her for selling off this enormous part of my childhood, but I don’t. I continue tying down the cabinet, tell her goodbye, and get into the car.
We pull out of the driveway, and drive down the street for the last time.
I speak effusively with my dad on the drive home. I talk about the kids. I talk about work. I talk about the Dodgers and I ask lots of questions about when I was a kid. I want to cherish this time with him, make the most of it. I don’t want to waste any of the time we have together.
When we get home with the china cabinet, my mom asks me how it was being at Aunt Val’s house.
“Tough,” I tell her.
She understands.
We unload the china cabinet. My dad hugs me tightly and thanks me for helping with him. I tell them
that I love them, and I drive home, alone and silent.
It’s been a year since Aunt Val died.
Truth is, it could be a day, or a decade. She is gone, and I will always miss her.

If you’re not ready, holler “Aye!”

I am standing in the kitchen making dinner, listening through the open window to Ryan and Nolan as they play whiffle ball in our front yard.. They’re actually playing nicely together, not being overly competitive.
Nolan stands over a patch of dirt, in front of a bush, which represents home plate, while Ryan hurls the ball towards him.
Ryan always tries to throw the ball too hard, and usually has trouble finding the strike zone, so Nolan just sits there, letting the ball bounce off of the house behind him.
Nolan comes in for a drink of water, and without even thinking I tell him, “It sounds like you guys are having a great time out there. Tell you what: you keep up this good attitude, and I’ll come out and play with you.”
Nolan does a little hop, and says, “COOL!” before he runs back outside. I hear him tell Ryan, “Wil says he’ll come play with us!”
They’re both excited to play with me…that’s cool. I’ve been really busy these past few weeks, finishing up my book, so I haven’t been able to play with the kids very much. They’re getting to that age where they want to hang out one minute, and the next minute I’m so incredibly uncool they can’t even stand to be in the same room as me. Hearing the genuine excitement in their voices makes my heart swell.
Dinner is really easy tonight: It’s a curried tofu with rice dish. I put the rice into the rice cooker, cut the tofu into cubes and put them in the pan. I dump a bunch of curry over them, and I race out to play.
I’m thirty years old and a parent, and I’m racing through my “chores” to go play outside.
When I get there, one of Ryan’s friends (who is also called Ryan) has come over to play, so we immediately separate into teams: Nolan and me against the Ryans.
Nolan steps back up to the plate, and Ryan proceeds to walk him. He then walks me, then Nolan again, and we quickly load the bases with ghost runners. The sun is rapidly sinking into the mountains to the west, and the ball is getting hard to see, so I suggest that we call the game so the Ryans can have a few at-bats. Nolan agrees, and we send our ghost runners back down to Triple-A as we head
into the field and take our positions on the grass, and in the street.
Nolan pitches a few balls to Ryan, but it’s really too dark to play any longer. Like every other time we’ve had to call a game on account of darkness, I resolve to install lights over our front lawn so we can play at night, local building codes and my wife’s desire for a normal suburban house be damned.
We’ve been having fun, though, and like the only child who finally has someone to play with, I don’t want to go back inside; back to being a grown up…so I suggest that we play hide and seek.
They all excitedly agree, and I’m It.
We quickly define the boundaries, and “Safe.” I close my eyes and count to one hundred by fives.
As I shut my eyes and begging to count, the world slows, and I hear my own voice, twenty-one years distant, calling out the same numbers. I’m nine years-old, head buried in my arms as I stand at the light pole on our street which was “Safe,” Boston plays on my parent’s Techniques turntable, while my dad cooks fish on the Webber Kettle in the back yard. I can smell the smoke as it drifts over the house and hangs in our yard, in the still summer evening.
5…10…15…20…25…30…
I’m ten years-old, and I run like crazy, trying to evade Joey Carnes. It is summer, hot and smoggy. My lungs burn with each breath.
35…40…45…50…55…60…
I’m eleven years-old, and I can hear the stomp, stomp, stomp of my feet hitting the ground as I look for a hiding place. It’s springtime, and the grass is cool and damp beneath me.
65…70…75…80…85…90…
I’m twelve years-old, hiding behind the side gate, crouched down, my arm just barely touching the arm of the girl I have a crush on as we hide together. While we listen to the kid counting, I try and fail to screw up the courage to hold her hand. In middle school, she’ll break my heart over and over again.
95…100! Ready or not, here I come!
I open my eyes, and I’m back on my street. The kids are well-hidden. Lost in my memories, I didn’t think to listen for their footfalls, and I have no idea where they may be.
I walk slowly around a hedge, and see Ryan begin to run across the street, towards “Safe.” I run at him, hoping to cut him off, but he’s too fast for me. During my pursuit of him, his friend has made it to “Safe,” leaving only Nolan undiscovered.
I walk down our street, towards our neighbor’s house, and see Nolan racing across the front yard next door. I give chase, and we both run straight through the heavy spray of several Rain Bird sprinkles. Nolan runs very, very fast, but ends up going Out Of Bounds. We return to “Safe,” laughing, wiping the water from our faces.
Nolan is It, and begins to count. I run across the street, hiding behind a tree. When I was a kid, I never hid behind trees, preferring cars and fences, with their clever ways to spot an approaching “It”…but I know that if I stand still in the October darkness, he’ll never see me. I’m wearing a black
“Ataris” T-shirt and long olive shorts…I’m practically invisible.
Nolan finishes his count, and the chase is on. It is several tries before he catches someone, but his attitude never sours. We are all having a great time playing together, being kids.
Finally, I am just too wiped out to play any more, and I head back inside. Anne asks me to drive Ryan’s friend home, and on the way to the car, Ryan’s friend tells him, “Your house is so much fun! You’re really lucky that your Step-dad plays with you.”
Ryan agrees, but warns him that we don’t always play like that…Ryan tells him that I’ve been writing a lot, so I spend a lot of time at my desk. It’s the first time in months that I’ve played with them like that, he says.
He’s right. Most of the time these days, I have to be a grown up, and I can’t play very much.
But last night, I got to be a kid again, if only for an hour or so, and while I appreciated the sentiment from Ryan’s friend, he didn’t quite have it right.
Yeah, there was a lucky guy out there playing…but it wasn’t Ryan.

101010

And now, for something completely different:
Several readers have told me that TrekWeb has linked to this group wedding picture of all of us from Nemesis.
I’m the guy who looks like a complete dork.
Looking at that picture, I can clearly see how happy I am –to the point of goofiness– to be there with all of them. It was a great time.
Here is Star Trek Dot Com’s write up of the rest of the TNG con, including a brief mention of the Saturday night program, where I read some stuff from WWDN, to a very wonderful, warm, appreciative crowd.
When I saw Brent backstage Sunday at the con, he asked me how I felt about being cut. I told him what I wrote here, and he was surprised and happy that Rick called me himself. He told me how upset they all were that I was cut, and he asked me if I’d be at the screening. I told him that I would, and he says to me, “You know, Wil, you should still be involved in all the press events.” He gets this impish glint in his eye…the same glint that I lived for when I was sitting next to him on the bridge, the same impish glint that I knew was going to end up getting me in trouble when he made me crack up, and he continues, “I think you should sit there, answer as many questions as you can, even if you don’t know the answers. I’ll see you in Europe. It’ll be fun.”
Before I could play the “yes, and…” improv game with him, he was whisked away to go on stage, but not before he says, “Hey, you’ve got my number, right?” I tell him that I do. “Use it when you need it, man. It’s great to see you.”
It’s great to see me?!
Yahtzee.

Is this?

The 15th Anniversary Celebration of TNG was just wonderful today.
I had my talk this afternoon, and though I started out slowly, I warmed up, and eventually left feeling very satisfied. I asked many people in the house how they thought I’d done, and they were all very complimentary.
Then I watched Patrick, who I have never seen onstage…holy shit. If you get a chance to see Patrick, RUN THERE.
I hung out for the bulk of the day, signing stuff for people and visiting with some really cool WWDN readers, one of whom gave me the gift of “The Wesley Dialogues” printed and bound into a little book…it was so freaking cool, I can’t even tell you.
Speaking of books, the week has been very light on entries because I’m nearly finished with mine.
Remember how so many readers have been telling me to write a book? Well, I listened. Watch this space for details on how you can get it in about a week or so, maybe two. Know what’s in it? The end of SpongBob Vega$ Pants, baby!
Tonight, I took the manuscript with me, and I read selections from it for a large crowd, who really seemed to be “with me” for most of it. Having an audience “with me” rather than pissing them off of boring them is always a good thing, and I left tonight feeling really happy. My mom was in the house and she came up to me after the show, crying, telling me how good I was, and what a great writer I have become. Yeah, she’s my mom so she isn’t the most objective person in the world, but making my mom proud is also always a good thing.
I read some entries from the old WWDN, like The Trade, Hooters, Fireworks, and The Wesley Dialogues, along with a new story called “Hooters Revisited,” which will end the book.
I am really excited, guys. For the first time in ages I look forward to each day, and I feel like I’m doing something which really makes me happy.
There was one thing which bothered me, though…this guy was talking to me about how much he admired my guts for putting my life out there, and while I was talking with him, my friend Keith came over, and I got distracted, and when I turned back around, this cool guy was walking away. I bet he felt like I totally blew him off, which is making me feel really bad. If you’re reading this, I’m sorry, man.
I’ll be back at the con for a few hours in the morning tomorrow…I’m hoping that hot porn star shows up again.
…Just kidding.
(well, maybe not)

Inferno

I had an audition for “John Doe” this morning.
I watched it over the weekend, and thought it was pretty good. There were some things that I thought were very “pilot heavy,” but other than that, I think the show has great potential…sort of a Bourne Identity meets Millennium, meets Girls Gone Wild.
A brief explaination of “pilot heavy” is in order: When a series creator wants to sell his or her idea to a network, after all the scripts are approved, and the casting is done, the creator shoots what is called a “pilot.” In the pilot, the creator has to show the network more or less what they’re going to do over the years of the series, and introduce them to the main cast, as well as to the viewing audience. Because of these necessities, pilots can be a little heavy on the talking and exposition, and the explosions and stuff.
So I thought it was a little “pilot heavy,” but not bad at all. I don’t think anyone should ever judge a series by it’s pilot.
So I’m a little excited about this audition, because I like the show, and I haven’t had an audition in several weeks.
Funny aside: at an audition I had a few weeks ago, I walked in, and the receptionist comes over to me and says, “You’re Wil Wheaton, right?” I told her that I was, and she replied to me, excitedly, “I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!”
Okay, I thought that was really cool. =]
Anyway, there’s this massive brushfire burning near my house, and the resulting cloud of smoke is thousands of milles thick, and hovering over my house, so when I walked out to my car, it was covered in ash, and the sun was casting this spooky blood red haze down on everything. My lawn is completely dead, so it was sort of orange…wish I’d taken a picture of it, but I didn’t.
So I head over to the audition, which is to play a character called “Elvis”, who is described thusly:
“a wild-eyed genius with an IQ that’s over 160…a former “Doogie Howser” with a brilliant mind and questionable social skills. The youthful chief of neurosurgery at a Seattle hospital…”
Sound familiar? He’s sort of halfway between Wesley and the guy I played on Invisible Man, so it’s not a lot of work to prepare the audition…I even get some technobabble…albeit medical terminology, which is a little bit easier to remember.
I get to the audition early, and as I’m walking up the stairs, I am passed by this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL GIRL, who is clearly reading for the part of the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL GIRL…I shit you not, she is even wearing a red dress.
As she passes me, I am engulfed in the intoxicating sent of her perfume, and I am hit full in the face with a hypernostalgic memory from when I was about 15…


I’m with my best friend Darin. We’ve just seen a movie in Burbank, and we’re driving back to his house. We could take the freeway, and be there in about 15 minutes, but we choose to take a more circuitous surface street route, knowing that it will allow us to stay out longer.
We’re listening to “The Queen is Dead” as we pull through the curves of this particular street, talking about girls, comics, Nintendo, and debating the me. We stop at a light, and a two girls pull up next to us. I look over, notice that they’re insanely hot, and begin to get nervous. At 15, I’m convinced that any girl I see is a potential trip to at second base…though I’ve never even been to first base, or really had a real at bat, yet.
Darin looks over, and says, “Hey! That’s Misty!”
“What?”
“That’s Misty! I know her from school.”
Darin waves to her, and we all get out of our cars, leaving them idling in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night. Over the next few months, and even now, that simple act of standing in the middle of the steet would bring me incredible satisfaction.
Darin introduces me to her, and she is very, very nice to me. I am immediately drawn to her. She is about my height, with lots of thick blonde hair and bright green eyes that stand out from her face in the La Crescenta night. She is funny, and engaging, and our conversation is easy and effortless. She is also wearing this amazing perfume, that gives me goosebumps…I realize with some embarassment that I have been inhaling deeply through my nose, while she talks, drinking her in.
We talk for a long time, Darin and I carefully avoiding topics like the ones we’ve been discussing in the car. Though we are nerds, we know that Cthulhu is just not discussed in the presence of potential foolin’ around.
A few cars pull up behind us, and we wave them around, as we stand there in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night, enjoying the freedom of being away from our parent’s ever-watchful eyes, talking to a beautiful girl while Morrissey entreats an anonymous driver to “take me out, tonight…take me anywhere I don’t care I don’t care…”
Eventually, that time comes when we have to get home, and she has to leave as well. We begin the awkward process of saying goodbye, and I try to screw up the courage to ask Misty for her phone number. We stand there a little too long, me fumbling with my words, and she asks, “Would you like to go out sometime?”
I unsuccesfully try to act nonchalant and my voice breaks as I reply, “Sure!”
She writes her number down on a 3×5 card…which I provide to her from within my Car Wars Deluxe Edition box set. She writes her name and number on the card, and before she delivers it into my sweaty hand, she takes a bottle of perfume from within her purse, and sprays the card.
“So you won’t forget me,” she said.
Yeah, like there is any chance of that happening.
I put the card back into my Car Wars Box, and we all get back into our cars, still idling in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night.
Darin and I drive back to his house in an electrified, excited, stunned silence.
I have gotten a phone number from a beautiful blonde, without even asking.

Though I kept that card in that box for years… I never got the courage to call her. I don’t know why, really…I know I was super geeky and afraid that she’d want to make out, or something, and I wouldn’t know what to do (I should be so lucky)…maybe I was content to sit in the safety of my garage, listening to Oingo Boingo, happily considering what could be…maybe I was just a lameass who didn’t know what to do when the golden prize landed in his lap.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s the last one.
After my audition today, as I was driving home into this great ominous cloud of thick grey smoke, I thought about that night, and the months that surrounded it. I thought about the way her perfume still permeates my Car Wars Deluxe Edition Box Set, and the times I’d play Car Wars in my dressing room with my friend Caius, when I was working on TNG.
I remembered how cool I thought it was to be on Trek back then, and how much fun it was to be part of something that I knew was great. It was wonderful to be part of something that made me feel proud. I feel that same way about WWDN. I feel proud of this stupid website, and the chance it’s given me to find my Voice…I feel proud that even though the source is clunky and I really need to redo everything now that I know what I’m doing, this lame website is mine, for better or for worse.
As I drove home, I looked to my right, at the bright blue September sky over Downtown, and off to my left at the growing cloud of smoke swrling around the mountains, and wondered whatever happened to Misty, who signed her name with a heart over the i. I wondered if she remembers standing in the middle of that road, in the middle of the night, fifteen years ago. I wondered what that amazingly beautiful girl in the red dress would say if she knew that the smell of her perfume had put me in a time machine.
The fire burned hotter, out of control.

TECH

For the first time in my life, I can relate to this story.
So it made me laugh.
Laughing is a good thing, especially after spending so much of yesterday on the verge of tears.


A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.
“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”
The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

TechTV is coming tomorrow to shoot some really spiffy “call for help” stuff and a segment for “show us your tech.” I’m hoping to show off how cool Mandrake is, and how easy it is to use and install…I have this XP box that has never started up, but sure has a ton of badass hardware in it, and I think we’re going to put Mandrake on it, and attach it to the network here in old casa Wheaton. It should be fun, and dispell a little FUD.
Coming in the next couple of weeks:

  • Chicago
  • Vega$
  • Boxing Barney
  • Wrapping up SpongeBob Vega$Pants
  • The Trip To Alaska
  • My Linux Adventure, so far.

I think I’m going to take the weekend off from updating WWDN, starting now. Have a good one, everybody.