Category Archives: blog

Tribute to The Great Bird

Last summer, at the Creation Grand Slam convention in Pasadena, there was a tribute to Gene Roddenberry. I was asked to speak at the tribute, and I eagerly agreed. However, the tribute was going to conflict with a show that I was in at the ACME, so I couldn’t be at the tribute.
By the way, can I please say “tribute” again?
Tribute. Tribute. Tribute.
Well, I was very torn. I really wanted to be there to honor him, but I couldn’t back out of the sketch show at the last minute. So, I asked my friend Richard, who was putting together the event (notice I didn’t say “Tribute?”) if I could write something down, and have it read on my behalf. He agreed, and I was able to be in two places at once. Sort of.
Earlier today, Anne and I were cleaning and organizing stuff in our house, and I found what I’d written, dropped behind a dresser, on a folded up sheet of yellow legal paper.
I’d like to share it with you all today.


“Gene Roddenberry’s office door was always open to me, regardless of who was already there.
He always made me feel important, like he was proud of the work I was doing, and that he was glad to have me as part of his great creation.
When we were shooting TNG, I had no idea that he had named Wesley after himself. I’m glad, because at the time, the sense of responsibility would have paralyzed me.
However, knowing that now, the sense of honor and pride is overwhelming, and hope that, somewhere, Gene is still proud of all of us.
Gene was an anachronism in Hollywood. He was a warm, caring, profoundly creative man who never compromised his vision.
I am proud to be part of his legacy, and it is an honor to remember him tonight.”

Bird

It’s nearly 10PM.
The kids are with their dad, leaving Anne and me in an empty, quiet house.
We sit at our dining room table, Ferris asleep at our feet, the 85 degree Southern California air stirred only by a single fan in our air-conditioner-less house.
We’re reading. She reads a magazine, I read a book, and Charlie Parker travels through time from 1950, transported by our radio, tirelessly bebopping at us.
These moments that we share, just the two of us are precious few, and I cherish them.
I close my book and tell her, “You are the other half of my heartbeat.”
They’re not my words. I’ve borrowed them from Dizzy Gillespie, who was speaking, ironically, of Bird…
…but truer words have never passed my lips.

Be careful what you wish for

You know that adage, “Be careful what you wish for?” I should have heeded it. For months I was complaining about how bored I was and how I had nothing to do…there are few things in the world that I hate more than being idle…and, while I wasn’t looking, I got busy.
Really, really busy.
I crammed months and months of work into about 8 or 9 weeks: Writing for Arena, two different sketch shows, preparing for the show we did on the cruise, trying to keep this website interesting and relevant…oh, and being a husband and step-father, too.
Actually, it was pretty cool, and I’m really grateful that I was so busy, but I’m glad it’s over.
I have never been so creatively exhausted in my life as I am right now.
And get this: to end it all, in the last 36 hours I’ve been in 4 different states, and seen two major oceans with my own eyes. (More about that later, when I actually have the time to tell a long and interesting story)
So this morning, as I sit here, drinking my coffee, listening to Exodus, getting ready to go to the beach with my wife and kids for the first time this summer, I take a deep breath, look at my dog, and enjoy this moment.
I don’t believe that we’re ever given more than we can really handle, even if we don’t think we can handle it.
Life is good.

Home Again

So the short version is: We’re back. We had an amazing trip, and now we’re home.
The long version is: We’re both sick, I have a show tonight, and no time to write anything about what we did.
But it was just weird to me to see this big empty space…so I filled it.

Awesome

Anne and I are getting ready to leave. Our plane to Vancouver departs in just a few hours, and we’re finishing up the last-minute packing, and cleaning up our house, because it’s so nice to come home from a vacation to a house that’s not a mess.
Our house is usually a mess. I say it’s the hallmark of a family who works a lot…Anne says it’s because I’m lazy…I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.
So the last 2 weeks have been crazy, as we get ready for CruiseTrek. I’ve been working on 2 shows for G4, finishing all my sketch comedy writing class assignments( we have a show the day after I get back from Alaska), and re-writing my sketches for the ACME show. I also enlisted the help of my friend Sean to help me design some cool T-shirts for our sketch comedy group, which we are calling Earnest Borg 9.
Get it? Who’s with me?! Yeah!!
So the point of all this is, I’ve been really busy, just getting ready to go, and I sat down here about 10 minutes ago, just to check the weather in Alaska, and take a quick look at the website, and I thought to myself, “Hey, I think I’ll check out my walk-a-thon sponsorships, and see how I’m doing.”
Holy.
Moses.
You people RULE!! It’s been less than a week, and already we’re at $1,875.00!!
I am so ecstatic, and so proud. I don’t think I’m going to have a problem reaching my goal of $5,000. As a matter of fact, if I hit that goal by the end of July, I’m going to reset my goal and aim even higher.
Thank you, most sincerely, to everyone who has donated to sponsor me.
I will attempt to update from Alaska, so keep watching this space.
Have you checked out my Message Board yet? It’s a fun place to hang out while Uncle Willie’s out of town.
Thought for Today:


“Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.”
-William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Kaaaaaaaahhhhnnnnn!!!

Wow.
I slept on the couch last night, and set my alarm to 415 am so I could watch the game without waking up my wife.
Nolan slept on the floor in front of me, and ordered me to wake him when the game started.
When the alarm went off, we both sat up, and watched USA take on Germany…

Continue reading Kaaaaaaaahhhhnnnnn!!!

I’mPossible

In October, Anne and I are participating in the AVON Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk from Santa Barbara to Malibu.
It’s a 3 day, 60 mile walkathon. All the money raised goes to Breast Cancer Research, and to support women and their families who are affected by the disease.
We are walking for a friend of ours who is a survivor. Even though she survived, her bills and lost income are still affecting her and her family.
I’ve set my goal at 5,000 dollars. I think we can easily do that. Please take a look at my walk homepage, and give whatever you can, no matter how small, and sleep well tonight, knowing that you’ve made a difference.
Thank you :-)
Thought for today:

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”

Mexico v. USA

I’ve been staying up well past midnight the last couple of weeks, to watch the World Cup.
I’m one of those rare people in the US who actually LOVES international soccer. I’m not a huge fan of MLS, because the level of play just isn’t very good, but I watch English Premiere League all the time, and I never miss a USA Cup qualifier if I can help it.
So I get pretty damn excited every 4 years, even though I have absolutely nobody in my circle of friends with whom I can discuss the matches.
Last night, I watched Team USA (who is actually pretty good for the first time in my lifetime) take on Team Mexico (who has been a VERY good team since about 1997, I guess). You can read more if you’d like to hear my ramblings on the match. If you’re planning on watching the delayed match, don’t click it. :)

Continue reading Mexico v. USA

Mosquito Bites

Yesterday morning, I had to run some errands. I had to go to the bank, put some bills in the mail, and stuff.
Ryan was working in the Snack Shack at the little league field, so I asked Nolan if he wanted to come with me.
Nolan never wants to come with me, because he’s the kind of kid who’d rather hang at home and watch TV or play PS2, or do just about anything except ride in the car.
But I ask him each time, because I really do enjoy his company, and there’s always a chance he could say yes.
Yesterday, he said yes. I think it had something to do with the fact that I have a new car (turned in my Passat for a Golf since my lease was up) and I suggested that I may be stopping at 7-11 for a slurpee on the way home.
Hey, a little bribe never hurt anyone.
Well, that’s not even remotely true, but the point is, he agreed. :)
I was surprised, but happy, and we headed out to do our errands.
We had a great time, listening to Cake and Save Ferris, Nolan asking me all the technical specs of the new car, recalling drives we had in the old car, and talking about the coming summer vacation.
The bank I go to has this new security thingy, where they make you walk through this chamber where both doors must close before you can get in or out.
Nolan wants to go through by himself, but I told him that I wanted to go through together to save time. He agreed too quickly, and I could tell that he was scheming.
So we conduct our business in the bank, and as we’re getting ready to leave, Nolan races ahed of me, and into the exit chamber. He lets the door close in my face, and crosses to the outer door, which he opens, and then holds open, pointing and giggling at me, because now I can’t get out.
I laughed with him, and told him to close the door, so he lets it go, but catches it with his foot, so it’s held open about 3 inches. He continues to giggle and point, and finally lets the door close.
We hit the post office, got our slurpees, and headed home. I went to an ACME workshop while he stayed with Anne and Ryan and played in the pool next door.
When I got home, we barbecued turkey burgers and went for a walk all around our neighborhood, the 4 of us laughing about all sorts of things, chasing each other, and enjoying the beginning of summer. When we got home, Anne took out the hose to water the lawn, and we stayed out front with her, watching Ferris jump through the water and tear around the yard.
When Anne was nearly done, the kids decided to limbo under the stream of water, which of course led to the 4 of us having a massive water fight at 9PM last night.
I can’t remember the last time we had a day in this family where we just played, and enjoyed each other, and felt free of the burdens that have hung over us for nearly 3 years. Let me tell you, we needed it. Things have been extremely tough for Nolan and Ryan, Nolan especially, with their father the last couple of months. He often puts his interests ahead of theirs, with really upsetting results for the boys. It’s been killing me to see these two little people, who I love so dearly, be constantly hurt by someone who they love. Not being able to really do anything about it sucks, too. They’ve both been really unhappy, Nolan especially, and seeing them both giggle and play and laugh and just relax for a whole day was really wonderful.
We ended the night eating ice cream and sitting on the living room floor listening to the radio.
When I put the kids into bed, I said to Nolan, “I really had fun with you today. I really enjoyed your company.”
He lifted his head off his pillow and replied, “Me too, Wil. I want to spend LOTS of time together this summer.”
I hope they’re all days like yesterday.

Summertime

Today is Ryan and Nolan’s last day of school.
I can’t believe that it’s here. The end of elementary school for Nolan, and the end of 7th grade for Ryan.
I recall those days when time was measured in terms of school years, but when I look back at my childhood, the only times I remember with any clarity are the summer vacations.
I remember the oppressive heat and still, smoggy air in the San Fernando Valley where I grew up.
I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I forced myself to stay awake nearly all night the day I got out of school in 5th or 6th grade, watching VHS tapes of wrestling on the top-loading VCR, just because summer had started, and I could sleep in.
I remember the progression of water-themed toys: The hose, the thing with the clown hat that spun atop the stream of water that you jumped through, the slip-n-slide, and finally the swimming pool.
The Sunland of my elementary and early middle school days only exists in those summertime memories of ice cream trucks and afternoon naps underneath the wall-unit air conditioner.
Back when the livin’ was easy.